Thursday, January 21, 2010

The hedgehog and the hyena

It is pretty clear that the hedgehogs of the world understand what the hyenas don't, that given enough measurements the imperfections in individual weather stations average out and you are left with reliable trends, at least if you understand what area averaging is and how to correct for things like the time of day that different folks measure at. John V (in the comments, and the graphs have disappeared in the reorganization of the site, here they are, thanks to Valtteri Maja and Zeke Hausfather) at Climate Audit and later at Hyena Watt's place figured that out early when he compared the trends in the best and the worst stations and found essentially no difference..

However, there are surprises. The bunnies bring words in several threads at Rabett Run that Matthew J. Menne, Claude N. Williams, Jr., and Michael A. Palecki from the NOAA/National Climatic Data CenterNational Climate Data Center have been looking at dirty pictures of weather stations in the US Historical Climatology Network (USHCN), and those in the carefully sited, but new US Climate Reference Network (USCRN) and come to the conclusion:



Recent photographic documentation of poor siting conditions at stations in the U.S. Historical Climatology Network (USHCN) has led to questions regarding the reliability of surface temperature trends over the conterminous U.S. (CONUS). To evaluate the potential impact of poor siting/instrument exposure on CONUS temperatures, trends derived from poor and well-sited USHCN stations were compared. Results indicate that there is a mean bias associated with poor exposure sites relative to good exposure sites; however, this bias is consistent with previously documented changes associated with the widespread conversion to electronic sensors in the USHCN during the last 25 years. Moreover, the sign of the bias is counterintuitive to photographic documentation of poor exposure because associated instrument changes have led to an artificial negative (“cool”) bias in maximum temperatures and only a slight positive (“warm”) bias in minimum temperatures. These results underscore the need to consider all changes in observation practice when determining the impacts of siting irregularities. Further, the influence of non-standard siting on temperature trends can only be quantified through an analysis of the data. Adjustments applied to USHCN Version 2 data largely account for the impact of instrument and siting changes, although a small overall residual negative (“cool”) bias appears to remain in the adjusted maximum temperature series. Nevertheless, the adjusted USHCN temperatures are extremely well aligned with recent measurements from instruments whose exposure characteristics meet the highest standards for climate monitoring. In summary, we find no evidence that the CONUS temperature trends are inflated due to poor station siting.
Eli will add more links later. He understands that the howling has already begun over at the kennel. Bring hankies.

67 comments:

carrot eater said...

This is perhaps my favorite bit:

"Further, the influence of non-standard siting on temperature trends can only be quantified through an analysis of the data."

This would appear to be a recurring blindspot for the sceptic camp.

The analysis is quite comprehensive; they show pretty much anything you might want: Adjusted, unadjusted, adjusted only for TOB; comparison with the initial CRN results; discussion of what error might be left.

Deech56 said...

Has another wheel fallen off the Mystery Van?

carrot eater said...

OK, time for a game.

What will be their complaint?

They can't complain about the classification of good and poor, as they're the ones who did it.

Fig 2c/d will confuse them.

Magnus Westerstrand said...

Complain? they would never! Maybe it just shows that the other stations are even worse... it is a brake through now they just have to go out and get a picture on them from the right angles!

Hank Roberts said...

> bring hankies

You rang?

Hey, I don't need to go over there to figure out how they'll see it. Simple:

> we find no evidence
See? it's all opinion!

> that the CONUS temperature trends are inflated
See? If they're not _inflated_ then they must be _deflated_. And Deflated means _flat_. So it's not warming! That's logic.

> due to poor station
> siting.

See? They ADMIT it was poor siting. GOTO 1.

So all that comes 'round to is they're saying in their "opinion" the trend was flat, therefore no warming, so very Not the IPCC.

You just have to squinch your mind up and look at this stuff the Right(TM) way.

Oops, I've gone and posted this on the wrong blog, haven't I?

Steve Bloom said...

Hyenas got kennels?

P. Lewis said...

My favourite bit is

"The authors wish to thank Anthony Watts and the many volunteers at surfacestations.org for their considerable efforts in documenting the current site characteristics of USHCN stations."

I feel some Shakespeare coming on:

"For 'tis the sport to have the enginer
Hoist with his own petar; and 't shall go hard
But I will delve one yard below their mines
And blow them at the moon: O, 'tis most sweet,
When in one line two crafts directly meet."

Cymraeg llygoden

rumleyfips said...

Although I am a but of a dumb bunny, Mr. MacPherson's arguement has seemed ( to Flopsy and me) to be: the temperature records are not accurate because of siting problems and need to be corrected and if you correct them you are faking them. Mopsey says that he has quit beating Mrs. Cottontail.

Rumleyfips

Brian said...

So when they say its a bias towards artificial cooling, do they mean a bias toward cooling over time? I assume because poor exposure conditions get worse over time, or more stations experience poor conditions over time? I suppose I could do more than read the abstract, but I'm a lazy bunny.

I wonder if this would be enough to redethrone 1934 for CONUS and put 1998 back on top, thanks to the hard work of the surface station documenteers.

Boris said...

Tony will say that the bad stations have been used to adjust the good stations, so everything is still bad.

Martin said...

Boris, yes they (also Pielke Sr.) have been saying that, but...

Compare Figure 2c to 2a. Note how the red line (poor siting) moves, while the black line (good siting) stays put.

Then, look at Figure 2e for an explanation of what is likely making many bad stations bad... also the text is pretty clear on this.

This is called "rubbing it in" ;-)

Anonymous said...

Does this mean that there will be a name change, to "What's the Point of That"?

Bernard J.

Anonymous said...

"What's the Point of Watts" would be more apposite.

Cymraeg llygoden

carrot eater said...

Boris: As Martin says, the text explicitly rules this out. The "good" stations are indeed adjusted, but most of the adjustment in the max temp and pretty much all of the adjustment in the min temp is coming from TOB, not from surrounding stations. So no, the "poor" stations are not polluting the good.

Anyway, just the unadjusted figures are good enough to dismiss Watts. Unadjusted poor stations run *cooler* than unadjusted good stations, which is counter to his entire thesis. The homogeneity adjustments mainly serve to warm up the 'poor' sites.

My guess: The average WUWT reader will require several iterations to even understand what's going on. As for Watts: He'll either start attacking the good stations too, or retreat to saying that spatially averaged anomalies are meaningless. Either way, he'll then shrug it off.

carrot eater said...

Brian:

Look at Fig 3 for that. I'm not sure which bias you're talking about (they discuss a few), but Fig 3 shows whether the different biases are constant or increasing over time.

As for future revisions: Even after the adjustments, the new MMTS instruments run a bit cooler than the old liquid thermometers. If that difference is truly artificial, then correcting for that bias would make post-1990 year warmer in comparison to pre-1980 years. So yes, this has some implication for US 1934 vs US 1998, but it's also why the analysis has a margin of error. Whatever adjustments you make, the comparison will fall within the margin of error.

Boris said...

Apparently, Pielke Sr is going with the "professional discourtesy" angle. That''s right, they should have let Watts publish his analysis first. Ugh, the stupid.

http://pielkeclimatesci.wordpress.com/2010/01/15/professional-discourtesy-by-the-national-climate-data-center/

ligne said...

Deech56 said... "Has another wheel fallen off the Mystery Van?"

i'd got the impression all the wheels fell off years ago. since then, they've just left it propped it up on bricks, and have been sitting inside making "brum brum" noises.

i'm liking the paper. all the references to CONEYS is making this bunny smile.

carrot eater said...

Useless. I should have figured they'd invent some slight, and ignore the work. Just as they did when the beginning of this analysis was informally published by the NOAA as 'talking points'.

Watts published his station data. There's absolutely no discourtesy in the NOAA using that, clearly citing Watts, and re-analysing their own data on that basis, in response to Watts' loud claims about their work. What, scientists are no longer allowed to specifically respond to the charges of sceptics? They have to wait several years, just in case the sceptics come up with a better analysis?

Watt's own analysis? How long are we supposed to wait for him to figure out how to grid and spatially average the "good" and "poor" subsets of data?

And I'm to believe that when Watts or McIntyre find some published data, they ask the authors if they're done publishing papers with it, to avoid an accidental scooping?

What a waste. Watts published, the NOAA responded. Let me know when they sceptics are done whining, and have figured out something substantive to say.

dhogaza said...

"Watts published his station data. There's absolutely no discourtesy in the NOAA using that, clearly citing Watts"

I could swear that I've heard somewhere or another that Real Scientists like it when their published work is cited.

Apparently Blog Scientists don't ...

Tracy P. Hamilton said...

About the professional discourtesy angle - if one does not actually dispute the paper in question, then one implictly agrees with it, since the implication is that they would have basically published the same paper.

AS IF!

Jim Bouldin said...

Seems to be a lot of wild animals showing up on this blog lately. But the rabbits don't seem too phased.

Jim Bouldin said...

Not apparently fazed by wrong word usage either.

Anonymous said...


Apparently, Pielke Sr is going with the "professional discourtesy" angle. That''s right, they should have let Watts publish his analysis first. Ugh, the stupid.


Now I'm all confused...

How is it possible to commit an act of "professional discourtesy" against someone as unprofessional as Watts?

carrot eater said...

Further comments on RPSr:

Pielke talks about a "collegial" approach. Has he ever been to WUWT? He's not noticed the constant implied and explicit accusations of fraud and conspiracy? What were we saying about collegial?

He then says the NOAA only uses ~40% of the sites, when over 87% have been surveyed. The NOAA simply used what's publicly available on Watt's page, with the rest apparently being held back until Watts publishes something more with it. RP also says the publicly available data didn't go through "final quality assurance checks!" Well, the NWS went and confirmed most of it. But given the pamphlet published by Heartland with the conclusion, "The conclusion is inescapable: The U.S. temperature record is unreliable.", it's quite appropriate for the relevant people to take a look at those claims.

You want to talk about professional courtesy? How about not publishing a "paper" in the grey literature making extraordinary claims and publicising it widely, if you don't think your analysis is complete yet?

Whether he realises it or not, Pielke's really just arguing that the Heartland publication and all of Watts's public claims are premature, not the response of Menne et al.

EliRabett said...

Eli thinks that WUWT is Roger Srs vanity site. If you dig through the history of the thing it looks pretty clear that Pielke was the one behind the USHCN survey, starting with Davey and his piece on Colorado sites which Peterson shot down

IEHO the whole surface station thing has always been a Pielke special. All we need are the Emails.

carrot eater said...

Funny, I was just thinking about that Pielke paper with all the pictures of a few Colorado stations.

The surfacestations webpage says the whole project grew out of a discussion at Pielke's. Look under 'about':
http://www.surfacestations.org/about.htm

So Watts is the public face, but Pielke's provided inspiration at least. Which is fine, but we see that the fruit doesn't fall far from the tree. Watt's academic advisor also thought that photography is a substitute for quantitative analysis. But at some point, they'll have to progress beyond saying that they just don't like homogenisation.

Jim Bouldin said...

ligne said:
all the references to CONEYS is making this bunny smile.

That's CONUS ligne.

Anything for a lagomorph joke.

Dano said...

Eli thinks that WUWT is Roger Srs vanity site. If you dig through the history of the thing it looks pretty clear that Pielke was the one behind the USHCN survey, starting with Davey and his piece on Colorado sites which Peterson shot down

Yes. Kind of like a sack puppet, if you will.

'Sack'-appropriate imagery being left to the reader, of course.

Nonetheless, the picture I have is sort of like Eli's "3 Stooges" picture, but more like someone doing the 'honkey nose' to Bozo the Clown.

Precious.

Best,

D

Anonymous said...

I've always thoght that Pielke Sr was wrong on many respects, but as an academic he maintained e certain style.

"I was quite surprised to learn that despite the central role of Anthony Watt’s analysis in the paper, he was not asked to be a referee of the paper. This is inappropriate and suggests the Editor did not provide a balanced review process. "

I'm afraid i was wrong.
Riccardo

Angliss said...

Is it standard operating procedure to have one of the authors from a paper that's being criticized as a reviewer? That strikes me as a recipe for conflicts of interest.

EliRabett said...

It's not a bad practice, but the editor has to maintain control and be able to separate the hurt feelings from the good points. It should put the referee on best behavior, but that is often a bit much to hope for.

There was an hilarious version of this played out on Climate of the Past, when one of the referees was obviously Michael Mann who was being dissed in the paper, and could not control himself (may be wrong on the journal, but it was one of the EGU open review ones)

Former Skeptic said...

RPSr.'s reaction to this kerfuffle is stunningly inept, even by his own recent low standards (e.g. with the K09 paper, and with Urs Neu correcting his mistake in Lin et al 07.)

Whatever happened to the nice fellow that wrote the seminal mesoscale modeling textbook?

Boris said...

It gets better. Over at Lucia's, mosher is claiming that the set of Anthony's data than the NCDC used was not quality checked. Didn't stop ol' Tony from slinging it about the internets though.

carrot eater said...

Exactly, Boris. What Anthony, you weren't done checking it yet? You weren't done with your analysis yet? Then WTF were you doing telling the whole world that you've found that the temp record is unreliable?

The surface stations website does say something about not being quality checked. But after the Heartland publication, the NOAA had to be able to respond somehow. And again, the NWS went and confirmed a lot of the station ratings, and the paper shows analysis for the subset confirmed by the NWS. Same results, more or less.

All these complaints point back to the same thing: they shouldn't have published the Heartland pamphlet, and they shouldn't have hyped the daylights out of the results on their website. Will you seem them admit this?

Anonymous said...


Exactly, Boris. What Anthony, you weren't done checking it yet? You weren't done with your analysis yet? Then WTF were you doing telling the whole world that you've found that the temp record is unreliable?


So how long has the surfacestations.org project been up and running? And how long have Watts and Co had to get a paper submitted? If Watts were serious, I would have expected him at least to have submitted a paper to a quick-turnaround "letters" journal by now.

If the NSF folks had been funding the surfacestations.org project, would they be pleased with the project's progress to date?

carrot eater said...

Let's be fair on that. It's an effort based on volunteers, not something being done on a grant. It's nobody's full-time or even part-time job. Given that, it'll take a long time to get enough stations in and verified. Though if anybody over there is competent, it shouldn't take very long to grid it up and take the mean. Perhaps they never wanted to do that, as it undermines their whole thesis.

My point is they shouldn't be running around telling everybody who will listen what their conclusions are already, and publishing campaign pieces, when they haven't done the analysis to support their conclusions. And having done that, they definitely have no room to be indignant when somebody else who is affected by those conclusions takes a look themselves.

Martin said...

> Let's be fair on that.

Yep, agreed. Watts may be a bone-headed ignoramus, but he and friends put their own personal resources in this.

Then when you use it, even to show the exact opposite of what it was collected for, then you cite and acknowledge. Take the high road. Even while playing Poe by including the Heartland "report" into your reference list as if it was a real, serious paper ;-)

Boris said...

My theory is that they've done the analysis and didn't get the result they want, and they are finding it very difficult to salvage something. Imagine Watts posting something that said The US surface temp record was accurate?

EliRabett said...

Eli mentioned this many times before. Pictures are moments in time, to be really effective it would have been necessary to expand the archive so that pictures were taken every few years. Before three or four years ago, there really was no way of doing this in an accessible way, e.g. digitized images that could be stored on line in a data base.

Watts and Pielke Sr only wanted to kill the USHCN, they have no commitment to improving and continuing the measurements. Pielke Sr probably knows that the system is resilient (e.g. useful if not perfect), Watts, perhaps not.

The most likely scenario is that Pielke Sr. was preparing a paper that had cherry picking written deep into it, as most of his recent output has. Watts let drop a hint when he was at NOAA, and they decided to get out front and publish first. Thus the old boy biting his tongue, because his paper, no matter where published outside of E&E or JPANDS, is going to run into referees pointing to the NCDC results.

Dano said...

My theory is that they've done the analysis and didn't get the result they want, and they are finding it very difficult to salvage something.

Yes. Me too. I think that Mr Pete person is in the same boat with his cores from the bristlecones SW of here.

And I'll disagree with Eli a bit - pix are okey-dokey but no one thought about the design of the...um...'experiment' and there are no temperature readings at these sites. Useless. Let us not forget this basic problem. Nonetheless, the 'likely scenario' thing is interesting to think about.

Best,

D

Anonymous said...

Commie Dano. You'll get into trouble if you stray from the Party Playbook Comrade.

"...in the same boat with his cores from the bristlecones SW of here."

"Linah Ababneh’s (Sheep Mountain) result are different than the results presented at AGU. Malcolm Hughes was on Linah Ababneh’s thesis committee but did not mention her work which arrived at different conclusions than the ones presented here. Linah Ababneh’s thesis said that the data would be archived at ITRDB, but Hughes and her other thesis supervisors did not archive the data. David Meko said that they had lost track of Ababneh although she was easily located. When asked about the data by a CA reader, she said that she had legal advice not to provide the data to me." http://climateaudit.org/2007/12/13/malcolm-hughes-and-the-witness-protection-program/


Linah Ababneh was so "instructed" to hide the decline, that she had to get lawyered up. Pathetic.

carrot eater said...

They could have just published a little picture-show paper with no analysis whatsoever, or some half-analysis that let them cast vague doubts on the homogenisation process. Unless they want to aim really low on choice of journal, that shouldn't be possible anymore.

And really, what did they really expect to find? We've already had publications of rural-only stations. The satellite readings are comparable. Pielke can talk about microclimate until the cows come home, and Watts can draw circles around air conditioners all he wants, but the big picture seems pretty robust.

IN a perfect world, you wouldn't need to homogenise or adjust anything, but the weather stations aren't perfect and the results are still pretty good. F'ing get over it.

I get the idea that most WUWT readers still don't understand that we're looking at anomalies, not absolutes, and that the anomalies correlate to a pretty good distance.

Jim Bouldin said...

Jesus, someone failed to submit their tree ring data to the ITRDB. SEE HOW "THE TEAM" CONTROLS THE GRAD STUDENTS, thus perpetuating fortress academia!

Conclusive evidence that AGW is BS conspiracy.

Steve Bloom said...

And who can blame Ababneh for lawyering up given recent events?

Former Skeptic: "Whatever happened to the nice fellow that wrote the seminal mesoscale modeling textbook?"

Eli may be able to inform us on this point, but I have a strong suspicion that NSF defunded RP Sr.'s modeling work around five years ago. It would certainly 'splain everything that's happened since then.

Steve Bloom said...

As Watts now hosts RP Sr.'s site (and in that capacity presumably had a role in the deletion of all of those embarrassing comments), perhaps we should say that "Climate Science" is Watts' vanity site.

Hank Roberts said...

> his cores from the bristlecones

Wait, did he ever publish, or even blog, results? I recall someone saying they'd been sent off to a lab for analysis long ago. Some news?

Anonymous said...

Ah, so this is the “in press” paper cited in the “talking points memo” used by Peter Sinclair in the Watts episode of “Climate Crock” http://www.youtube.com/user/greenman3610#p/c/029130BFDC78FA33/12/dcxVwEfq4bM
http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/oa/about/response-v2.pdf

Thank you for finding it for me.

arch stanton

carrot eater said...

Actually, no. This paper would have been 'in preparation' at the time, not 'in press'.

I think you're looking for this one.

ftp://ftp.ncdc.noaa.gov/pub/data/ushcn/v2/monthly/menne-etal2009.pdf

Also noteworthy from Menne et al in 2009 is a paper describing a new homogenisation method.

EliRabett said...

Nope, Sr. still has an NSF grant. Don't know about NOAA, etc.

Anonymous said...

Thank you carrot eater you are right.

arch stanton

Anonymous said...

Why don't we just all agree that we reduce the stations to just one... Random Walk; thats the way to go I think. Put the meter on Eli's, living room wall and just give him a call when we want the mean temp for the day. Probably not to expensive and his traffic is sure to go up. Win, win.

EliRabett said...

Random hop

carrot eater said...

Does proximity to Eli cause artificial warming or cooling?

carrot eater said...

OK, my guesses on the Watts/Pielke response, beyond random whining about nothing.

They will do anything they can to avoid gridding it up and computing spatial averages of good and poor subsets. (I doubt Watts is capable of doing that math, anyway). They will try to say there aren't enough good stations to do any analysis comparing good vs poor, so they'll just say the whole thing is poor. They'll then make some argument that spatial means are meaningless anyway, since people don't experience the spatial mean.

They will dig up one or two cases where they find some site discontinuity that the homogenisation procedure does not successfully remove. They will then invite the reader to extrapolate from there.

There may be some cognitive dissonance: they will highlight site discontinuities, and then try to paint homogenisation as some sort of fraud, instead of realising that homogenisation takes care of their complaint. You don't have to be self-consistent if you take a scorched-earth approach. Happily, the US CRN has been up and running for a few years now, and the satellites are out of their reach, so they can't burn everything.

However it goes, the WUWT crowd will carry on thinking that the only allowable adjustment is a downwards one. TOB is of course a communist plot. The ones convinced that the observed warming is nothing but UHI will be attacking the satellites as well, once they realise the satellite trends are also consistent (apparently Watts didn't figure that out until relatively recently). We're starting to see attacks on the satellites from Monckton. The rest will mumble something about PDO.

Just my guess.

Dano said...

Wait, did he ever publish, or even blog, results? I recall someone saying they'd been sent off to a lab for analysis long ago. Some news?

AIUI from the last gibberishy hand-fluttering I got from him the labs were done and he found something else to do. I suspect his hypothesis wasn't falsified or there was a problem in the data/data collection.

Best,

D

mphysopt said...

The hyena has finally responded to Meene et al.'s article, and it's a tedious read. Mostly a recapitulation of Roger Sr's whining, with some slurring of Tom Karl thrown in for good measure.

The interesting part of the screed is Watts's claims that both sides had nearly reached an agreement on joint authorship, but NOAA refused to send a formal letter of invitation about such and so the project foundered.

I've never, ever heard of a formal invitation for collaboration on a research paper (this bunny used to hang out in the numerical modeling areas of meteorology). Has our humble host heard of such a thing?

Boris said...

Quoted for Nostradamus-ness:

"Tony will say that the bad stations have been used to adjust the good stations, so everything is still bad."

And Tony said:

"Essentially, in my opinion, NCDC is comparing homogenized data to homogenized data, and thus there would not likely be any large difference between “good” and “bad” stations in that data. All the differences have been smoothed out by homogenization (pollution) from neighboring stations!"

http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/01/27/rumours-of-my-death-have-been-greatly-exaggerated/

Also: Colts 34, Saints 31.

carrot eater said...

Boris: Good call. Menne et al even anticipated he'd say that, so they specifically addressed it. It clearly went sailing over Watts' head. I might have expected a few iterations of Watts not understanding what all they did.

My favorite part: "yes even at 70% when I wrote my booklet “Is the US Surface Temperature Record Reliable?, which contained no temperature analysis, only a census of stations by rating."

Keep in mind, he did no analysis for his booklet, yet was able to conclude: "The conclusion is inescapable: The U.S. temperature record is unreliable. And since the
U.S. record is thought to be “the best in the world,” it follows that the global database is
likely similarly compromised and unreliable."

No analysis, but an 'inescapable' conclusion, and even one that can be extrapolated.

What a clown.

carrot eater said...

I called this one:

"Plus there are really not enough good stations with enough spatial distribution at that sample size."

Will he claim the same thing about the entire sample set? Even odds, I say.

EliRabett said...

The only places you have "formal letters" (scare quotes, because today they are more and more emails) of collaboration) are in grant proposals. These can be pretty sketchy.

The other place where all sides have to sign is on copyright agreements signing over the rights to reproduction to the publisher. IF (and this is super sketchy) NOAA insisted on papers being available without fees and was willing to pay the publisher and Watts and Pielke wanted to retain some rights to the images/paper, that could be an issue, but as Eli said, that's about all he could think of. Come to think about it a bit more, if Watts wanted to keep the rights to the data, that could be the problem. Steve McIntyre will have to have a talk with the lad.

Boris said...

I glean from comments over at WUWT that there will also be a couple other shots at Menne.

1. Airports!
2. UHI

The airports one is going to be very silly. They will say most of the good stations are at airports, then throw them out for no real reason.

There's years more of this stupidity left. It appears to be a renewable resource with these guys.

amoeba said...

Re Boris @ 8:04

'There's years more of this stupidity left. It appears to be a renewable resource with these guys.'

Even so, the idiots still feel the need to recycle the stupid ad-nauseam.

carrot eater said...

Whatever they can do to narrow down the list of good stations, and then avoid doing any sort of big-picture quantitative analysis.

Anonymous said...

Incompetent data theft by Tom Karl and his gang of fraudsters?

"In the summer, Dr. Menne had been inviting me to co-author with him, and our team reciprocated with an offer to join us also, and we had an agreement in principle for participation, but I asked for a formal letter of invitation, and they refused, which seems very odd to me. The only thing they would provide was a receipt for my new data (at 80%) and an offer to “look into” archiving my station photographs with their existing database. They made it pretty clear that I’d have no significant role other than that of data provider. We also invited Dr. Menne to participate in our paper, but he declined.

The appearance of the Menne et al 2010 paper was a bit of a surprise, since I had been offered collaboration by NCDC’s director in the fall. In typed letter on 9/22/09 Tom Karl wrote to me:

“We at NOAA/NCDC seek a way forward to cooperate with you, and are interested in joint scientific inquiry. When more or better information is available, we will reanalyze and compare and contrast the results.”

“If working together cooperatively is of interest to you, please let us know.”

I discussed it with Dr. Pielke Sr. and the rest of the team, which took some time since not all were available due to travel and other obligations. It was decided to reply to NCDC on a collaboration offer.

On November 10th, 2009, I sent a reply letter via Federal Express to Mr. Karl, advising him that we would like to collaborate, and offered to include NCDC in our paper.. In that letter I also reiterated my concerns about use of the preliminary surfacestation data (43% surveyed) that they had, and spelled out very specific reasons why I didn’t think the results would be representative nor useful.

We all waited, but there was no reply from NCDC to our reply to offer of collaboration by Mr. Karl from his last letter. Not even a “thank you, but no”.

Then we discovered that Dr. Menne’s group had submitted a paper to JGR Atmospheres using my preliminary data and it was in press. This was a shock to me since I was told it was normal procedure for the person who gathered the primary data the paper was based on to have some input in the review process by the journal." http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/01/27/rumours-of-my-death-have-been-greatly-exaggerated/

Same thing happened with JohnV. They are all desperate to cook the data before it's gathered, so they can get their distortion in first.

carrot eater said...

Blather blather blather.

Where is the distortion, anonymous? What's wrong with the analysis?

Anonymous said...

MarkeyMouse says: Read the paper carrot fancier. Low Hanging Fruit. The best remote longstanding rural stations are the last remaining to be collected, and they comprise less than 10% of the total, so they nearly all have to be collected to be a representative number versus the total. Plus homogenisation problem.

carrot eater said...

By 'read the paper', you mean read a WUWT blog post?

With regards to sampling: Menne et al discusses whether they have enough 'good' stations and 'poor' stations to compute meaningful spatial averages. By their analysis, they do, and disputing that would require more than just handwaving. Keep in mind that there exist way more stations than are actually needed to compute a US mean anomaly.

With regards to possible bias, due to urban sites being surveyed by the volunteers first: I did think about that when I read Menne. It would of course be better if there were more 'good' sites included, but as above, Menne finds that they had enough of them. When Watts finally publishes his entire set (and/or if the NWS continues their own survey), we'll see if Menne et al were correct.

If anything, I'd expect that adding more good stations would support Menne's analysis, so I'm surprised Watts used that point. We'll see, sooner or later.

'Plus homogenisation problem'

Right. That has meaning. Watts blabbered about this a bit in his reply, but didn't say anything relevant to Menne et al; Menne anticipated Watt's complaint about homogenisation. Watts says he's holding back until he finally publishes. We'll see what he ultimately has to say, but I'm not holding my breath.