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Man-made cooling

17 Jan 2024 | News Roundup

A recent project by Tony Heller, whose work in the archives has long commanded our admiration, has been to examine the ways in which U.S. government scientists “adjust” historical temperature readings. And one way is always down in the past, and the farther back you go, the farther down go the readings. Whenever they check them, from Colombia to the Central African Republic to Crawfordsville, Indiana, they find that the people reading thermometers in the past were prone to overstate the temperature so the graph has to be rotated counter clockwise. But then another “way” question is: what possible way could they have of knowing what the temperature “really” was in those places in, say, 1957, since they can’t go back and resample? Which brings us to the third meaning of “the ways”. In what possible way could such a systematic bias decades ago in widely scattered places possibly have crept in to begin with so as to need correcting? And as a bonus if you can think of anything that isn’t laugh-out-loud implausible, what way do they have of determining that it did? So lots of ways. But no way.

It’s certainly possible that temperature readings in the past were inaccurate, because thermometers were imprecise, because thermometers were biased, or because the people doing the readings were incompetent. But if the instruments were inaccurate or the monitors were inept, the mistakes would be random, and then any correction in any place and year would be as likely to raise as lower the figure. Instead with NOAA it’s always down down down as you go back back back. For instance, at the Cali Calipuerto station in Colombia (COXLT957271) we are asked to believe that in the last 20 years the readings were essentially accurate, but in the 1970s they were consistently about 1.5°F too high, in the 1960s 2 to 3 degrees too high and in the 1950s an astounding 5 degrees too high.

Now you may well ask, and we do, how anyone could know such a thing. What possible means exists to compare what the living breathing humans who took the readings back then claim to have seen on their thermometers with the allegedly “actual” temperature at the time? The only obvious answer, though possibly the massive U.S. government agency NOAA that does this weird stuff with data has a better one it just isn’t sharing right now, is that a computer deliberately programmed to say it’s hotter now than in the past duly generated temperature estimates for the 1950s that were 5 degrees lower than today, and then these were compared with the historical readings and the latter were then “fixed”. Which sounds a lot like fiddling the data. But it gets worse.

Suppose we accept for purposes of argument that such a thing might have happened. The question then becomes what it is about the process of reading temperatures that, in the past when “global warming” wasn’t a hot public policy question so nobody had any discernible reason to distort data, could possibly have led people to make systematic rather than random errors of this sort. And we’d love to hear from NOAA on that one.

We mentioned above the possibility that past readings were wrong because thermometers were imprecise. Which they were, especially the alcohol ones that were replaced by mercury before we went digital in this century. But of course if that were the explanation they’d be as likely to read too low as too high. And people who held that view would be most unlikely to speak of knowing how much it has warmed to two decimal places unless, crucially, they insisted that the errors did cancel each other out. Which is the exact opposite of what they claim.

Now let’s examine the hypothesis that older thermometers are biased. Again, it’s remotely conceivable that all alcohol or mercury thermometers were calibrated wrongly, or that the ones in Cali Calipuerto were. But if it were the case, they’d have been wrong by the same amount consistently until the mistake was fixed, and then accurate. To maintain this explanation, you’d have to take the view that someone noticed a problem in the late 1950s and adjusted it, but only by about two degrees, and then a couple of decades later noticed again and adjusted it by another degree or so before finally, around 2001, getting it right. Which is pretty far-fetched especially since from the invention of the “modern” bulb-and-tube thermometer around 1600 they have been calibrated, at least, to the freezing and boiling points of water and scientists were naturally concerned with the reliability of their instruments.

Finally, what about human error? It’s a huge factor in every field where people are active. So yes, the people doing the readings could have been inept for any reason from inadequate training to adequate sloth to excessive fondness for adult beverages. But again, such factors ought to create random errors unless and until they take a night course, start getting up earlier or stop coming to the office drunk. There’s no possible way such an explanation could account for errors that reliably diminish decade by decade. So what are we left with? A thermometer on a pole that is very gradually rising up from the ground so in the 1950s they were looking down at the actual temperature, but progressively less over the years? Or hiring shorter and shorter staff? Bosh.

Of course that suggestion is absurd. But until NOAA offers something more convincing, their dogmatism about the adjustments and silence about the reasons for them is at least as ridiculous. Especially since, Heller demonstrates, it’s not just this one station. In fact over in Bouar in the Central African Republic (CTM00064601) the adjustment back in the 1950s was, gosh, looky here, right about 5°F. Same as in Colombia.

Now you are not going to convince us that the same idiot or idiots were being flown from one to the other and back to take the same readings. Or that the two stations bought the same defective thermometers and then did the same staged adjustments. So the only reasonable conclusion is that NOAA changed the numbers to the same degree in both places because both were actually showing no temperature increase and NOAA was convinced that actually the planet had warmed by roughly that amount. Which is also odd since supposedly the global increase since 1850 has been about 2°F and the poles are meant to be warming fastest leaving the “Central African Republic”, which is apparently in Central Africa or something, to warm more slowly.

12 comments on “Man-made cooling”

  1. I Can't see the "Man-Made Cooling" post, even the part included in this morning's email that started with,:
    "A recent project by Tony Heller, whose work in the archives has long commanded our admiration, has been to examine the ways in which U.S. government scientists “adjust” historical temperature readings."

  2. Agreed. This is an important topic, crucial in understanding the methodological trickeration used to foment the ridiculous climate change claim. Please post this article properly.

  3. Pretty clear to me that NOAA is tampering with data from the past.No way readings from the 50's are off by 5F degrees.And Tony Heller's oft-produced
    archived graph from 1999 shows clearly that the 1930's were significantly warmer than today,peaking around 1936 or 1937.Good luck finding that data
    on NOAA's website today.They show an "adjusted" graph,with the 1930's being cooler than today.Not true.

  4. One of Heller's most compelling arguments comes from a graph of unadjusted temperatures in western USA superimposed on a graph of NOAA's adjusted temperatures in the region, with time periods shaded gray or white depending on whether mountain glaciers were advancing or retreating. If NOAA's adjusted temperatures were accurate, glaciers should have been retreating steadily over the past 100+ years. In fact, they retreated from 1910-ish to 1950-ish, then advanced until about 1980-ish, then started retreating again. This pattern matches the unadjusted temperature graph much better than the adjusted one. It's hard to argue with observations and measurements of glacier advance and retreat...

  5. Who would trust an organization that continues to build a database with (modeled) "readings" from weather stations no longer in place. The urban heat island effect bias is bad enough.

  6. I am wondering if the NOAA results are using the “whitewash” argument again.
    I seem to remember something about old measurements were too high on the sunny days due to the whitewash that was used on the weather station cabinets of old… did this argument ever get resolved?

  7. I was kicked out of a Facebook group several years ago because I confronted members of the group over (1) How NASA managed to go back in time and added a thermometer in Australia (I've forgotten the city) to correct the temperatures published there over the past century and (2) why did the Met office in that area only agree after it got a large grant from NASA.

  8. Saying "too low" in the second paragraph is confusing. Were the actual temperatures lower than measured, or were the measurements "too low?" I think the argument is that the real temperatures were lower than the reported measured ones, so the measured ones were "too high" and had to be "adjusted" downward.

  9. Why accuse someone (something) if you don't know the whole story?
    "Adjustments" are necessary if we want long-term records. Who wants short-term records of only a decade or two (other than Berkeley which doesn't remove UHI effects, not that other methods all do?). And "adjustments" aren't adjustments but just estimates of what would have been recorded if all data was recorded with the current instruments , in the current screen at the current location. No-one knows if the new data is correct because there's nothing to compare it to; all we have are assumptions.
    We also need to know (a) why it was modified and (b) the method that was used. These are essential for the judgement of the accuracy. For example, move a weather station from an area progressively impacted by increasing UHI to a cooler location and the adjustment is typically based on the final difference in temperature, which could easily be different to 10, 20, 30 or more years ago when there was less UHI at that location. Another example: Supposed the Menne & Williams method was used, the one that looks at the relationship to neighboring weather stations. Some of those have probably also been adjusted, or they are distorted by their own local influences, so again we get false results.

  10. And this is how we get graphs of the USA that show ambiguous warming but graphs of the world over the 20th century showing unambiguous warming.

    Pure fraud.
    They call it “doing a Mann”.

  11. If "white wash" is a factor, then the temperature should be lower in the weather station, i.e., the correction should be positive. Find a wall, in parts painted white and other parts black, feel the those different parts, the black area is markedly warmer/hotter than the white where the suns rays are reflected.

  12. I don't see how you can write an article like this and still not believe in any conspiracies or collusions when it comes to governments and the foisting of climate alarmist deceptions on the common citizen.

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