Comment From Someone Possibly At NCDC

I’m not sure who this is from, but looks like it is probably someone at NCDC


Steve has never contacted NCDC about their “tampering”, but if he had he might have found at least a rudimentary understanding of the changes. Yes, there are many problems, but his use of the word “tampering” with its implication of conspiracy and fraud seems uncalled for. One can still criticize their methods and their conclusions without such language.

Herewith their rationale and their attempts to make the latest changes clear.

We switched to a new dataset in March 2014. It uses a much larger base of stations than the previous dataset, especially at the state level. It incorporates the topography of each state, rather than a simple average of the stations within the state (the whole record for high-terrain states will be cooler, because those high-terrain places are now represented).

We announced this change at the July 2011 American Meteorological Society’s Applied Climatology Conference:
We published its methodologies in the Journal of Applied Meteorology and Climatology:
We provided an explanation of the change on line months in advance at:
We provided a tool, months in advance of adoption, to allow users to compare and understand differences at the state, regional and national level:
We provided a webinar in early 2014:
We notified several prominent applied climatology groups, including the American Association of State Climatologists
We provided a notification of the change on its monthly climate reports in the months before and after the transition. See:
We wrote a comprehensive “Frequently Asked Questions” about the transition with the February 2014 monthly climate report:
We included a notification of the change in the press highlights document accompanying the February 2014 report
and we provided technical updates in the weeks leading to the transition: (read from bottom up for chronology)

About stevengoddard

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74 Responses to Comment From Someone Possibly At NCDC

  1. dmmcmah says:

    So does anyone really have an idea of what the temperature is? Seems like the satellite data sets are the only ones that can be trusted.

    • … still… these guys are infilling and manipulating data.. that’s the bottom line..

      This “New” Methodology still “cools the past while warming the present”… garbage.

    • Tom says:

      Hold your horses. Many different satellites with many different measurement devices with many different algorithms all then bunched up into an “atmospheric temperature” program written by many of the same crew.

      • _Jim says:

        Think of the traceability to standards and standard techniques, such as the use of an on-board temperature ‘calibration’ standard which the IR viewer or radiometer scans either once each cycle or periodically at the beginning of taking an image … point us to something even remotely similar in ‘standard’ thermometry practiced out on the farm or other Coop observer station. Some of the newer stations, yes though …

    • The satellites are good for comparing with older satellite numbers, so you can tell if it has warmed or cooled. But that’s about it.

  2. DirkH says:

    …and after all this effort, Warming appears… (and that’s what they get paid for)

  3. R. de Haan says:

    It’s called blowing smoke.

  4. Latitude says:

    really?….so changing to a new data set causes the adjustments to get larger the further you go back?

    • Send Al to the Pole says:

      Since they were caught with their pants around their ankles they’ve been huddled in a back room dreaming up this response. There will never be an admission of guilt or error.

  5. bit chilly says:

    am i correct in saying they have now added older stations in colder regions to the past record ,which is the cause of the past cooling,but due to station drop out these no longer exist to lower the averages for more recent times ? ,from here

  6. Latitude says:

    We switched to a new dataset in March 2014….
    ..was there anyone talking about this year?….if so, I missed it

    These guys are trying every strawman they can think of……..

    • Matt L. says:

      “We switched to a new dataset in March 2014 …”

      Maybe the author is admitting the new dataset collection/interpretation process impacted historical data.

    • _Jim says:

      Do they have a ‘changelog’ page? Change notices distributed hither and yon and via press release or conference paper are not the way to do it …

  7. Kent Clizbe says:


    Here’s an approach that other concerned citizens took this week in response to out-of-control Federal actions:

    “When Lynes heard of the transfers, she gathered a couple of friends and began staging demonstrations against the transfers, as well as in support of Border Patrol agents. On Sunday, June 28, the group that joined Lynes grew to a couple dozen. Lynes also gathered about 25 people–including moms, students, and former Border Patrol agents–to meet with staff in the office of U.S. Rep. Kevin Calvert (R-CA) to voice their concern over the lack of enforcement of current immigration laws.”

    By ones, or by dozens, or by hundreds, everyone concerned can contact your Congressman.

    This can get results.

    If a Heller-High-Water-True-Temperature Army converged on your Congressman’s office, there’d be some action somewhere.

  8. It could also be one of the Rapid Response Team members, free-range or imbedded.

    • _Jim says:

      “imbedded” – It’s a brave man who is not afraid to use the alternate spelling of common words …

      • Our Founding Fathers were much braver that way …

        • _Jim says:

          That explains the errors in our founding documents’ ‘fiefdom’ was replaced with ‘freedom’, ‘alterable rights’ was replaced by ‘inalienable rights’, and the first and second amendments have been completely misinterpreted owing to spelling errs …


          /sarc (for the humor impaired and the comedy challenged; Sou/HWB, this means you)

  9. Owen says:

    ‘his use of the word “tampering” with its implication of conspiracy and fraud seems uncalled for.’

    If it’s not conspiracy and fraud – which I seriously doubt – then it’s incompetence and stupidity. In either case, you lot should be fired and real scientists hired. You people are a disgrace !

  10. Brian G Valentine says:

    Wait … Adjust for altitude in older stations at higher elevation ( adds + to adjustment)

    Does not adjust for UHI

    The only direction it could go is +


  11. emsnews says:

    Looks like you got them by the throat, Steven. They have to now argue with us but won’t do this in public but they forget about the Internet which allows us to see all their excuses and tear these apart.

    They should come clean and show us their actual computer program they are using to do all this garbage.

  12. Lawrence13 says:

    High terrains Grifter by the sounds of it. What does he mean by
    “It incorporates the topography of each state, rather than a simple average of the stations within the state (the whole record for high-terrain states will be cooler, because those high-terrain places are now represented).”

    Is he saying they’ve added new cooler region high terrain stations? Is it as simple as that?

    Let’s get this straight are these new data sets for higher elevations which are going to be cooler . Is that what he’s saying because if it is then surely adding cooler region stations unless they are matched at all times will just make things read cooler. What is he saying. Surely if they switched to a new data set with more high elevation stations added why should it be cooler if all stations represented at all times. You have to compare oranges with oranges surely?

    • Brian G Valentine says:

      When they say, “adjust for terrain,” I assume they mean that higher elevations will record systematically lower temperatures, which they would adjust by adding a correction to obtain sea level temperatures (that would be averaged in with the rest)

      • Lawrence13 says:

        why add them then if then they’re adjusted with a possible bias and why add them anyway. Surely a true way the measure now against the past is by using those known comparisons . You can’t add extra now and then get a truer record.

        I just want to see the known measurements for know station that have actually been taken with a thermometer and then stacked up against each other now, and even that wouldn’t be fair as we know of all the station bias added by urbanisation and so forth. Surely adding more station in the mix now and then through an so called adjustment get a more accurate truthful record is bizzare.

        • Brian G Valentine says:

          Why? Because global warming is there for anybody who wants to see it here.

    • It would seem that, when measuring temperatures in Colorado, the temperatures that would be relevant would be actual temperatures, not temperatures adjusted to sea level.

      Unless of course we want to change our economy around a climate model that figures all land area is at sea level.

    • Mark Albright says:

      This is a real problem, since for Washington State there were no stations above 2,000 feet in the early decades. As a result the data for grid points above 2,000 ft is not based on observations, but on some fictitious unobserved temperature instead.

  13. _Jim says:

    Dr. Don Easterbrook is among those who use the word ‘tampering’ to describe what is being done to the data … here he is back in December 2013 before a Washington State committee (h/t to Eliza for bringing his testimony to the fore):

  14. _Jim says:

    A couple of ‘common sense’ questions:

    Are ‘they’ aware that around 40% of their data is ‘made up’?

    Any reason a sanity test which looks at raw vs adjusted data seems to ALWAYS show an upward creep in temperature?


  15. Lawrence13 says:

    Its alright people possibly representing NCDC getting all uppity about accusations being made
    But add this all up with plain addition and no adjustments

    A president who clearly is lying when talking about AGW plus John Holdren and add to that Lois Lerner and the IRS now just that adding sum alone makes you realise what a calculating bunch of shit we’re dealing with.

  16. Brian G Valentine says:

    How much money has been blown to give the appearance that $200 billion or more spent on “climate change” wasn’t money thrown down the toilet

  17. None of this explains the data creep. (I don’t mean the commenter, but the actual graphs oh-so-gradually cooling the past every few months.)

    ===|==============/ Keith DeHavelle

    • Bruce of Newcastle says:

      Sorry for the HTML error, but the link seems to work OK. This is an example why you are the software guy and I am the chemist.

  18. Psalmon says:

    Why does temperature anomaly need to be updated for the past? Isn’t that the key?

  19. jimash1 says:

    This what it says at one of the links .

    “This paper describes an improved edition of the climate division dataset for the conterminous United States (i.e., version 2). The first improvement is to the input data, which now include additional station networks, quality assurance reviews, and temperature bias adjustments. The second improvement is to the suite of climatic elements, which now includes both maximum and minimum temperatures. The third improvement is to the computational approach, which now employs climatologically aided interpolation to address topographic and network variability. Version 2 exhibits substantial differences from version 1 over the period 1895–2012. For example, divisional averages in version 2 tend to be cooler and wetter, particularly in mountainous areas of the western United States. Division-level trends in temperature and precipitation display greater spatial consistency in version 2. National-scale temperature trends in version 2 are comparable to those in the U.S. Historical Climatology Network whereas version 1 exhibits less warming as a result of historical changes in observing practices. Divisional errors in version 2 are likely less than 0.5°C for temperature and 20 mm for precipitation at the start of the record, falling rapidly thereafter. Overall, these results indicate that version 2 can supersede version 1 in both operational climate monitoring and applied climatic research.’

  20. Fred from Canuckistan says:

    NOAA Scientists . . . Almost as trustworthy as a NASA/GISS scientists. But nowhere near as trustworthy as an IPCC or CRU or U Penn scientist. They are in a very special class all to themselves

  21. Windsong says:

    So, everybody could have known, somebody should known, hardly anybody did know, but nobodies (like Tony, Paul, Anthony and the Texas State Climatologist) didn’t know at all.

    Got it.

    • jimash1 says:

      There are just so many objections to the defensive dodge that it is hard to pick one.
      But that’s a good one.

  22. Alexej Buergin says:

    Over at Dr. JC’s blog on the same topic, A C Osborn has an excellent observation, that should be repeated like Reykjavik 1940 (and is easier to spell, and people know the place):

    “A C Osborn | July 2, 2014 at 2:34 pm | Reply
    You jest, BEST Summaries show Swansea on the South West Coast of Wales in the UK a half a degree C WARMER than LONDON.
    Now anybody living in the UK knows that is not correct due to location and UHI in London.
    It also shows Identical Upward Trends for both areas of over 1.0C since 1975, obviously BEST doesn’t know that the west coast Weather is controlled by the Ocean and London by European weather systems.
    So what does the Met office say about the comparison, well they show that on average Swansea is 0.6 degrees COOLER than London.

    So who do you believe, The people who live in the UK and the Met Office or BEST who have changed the values by 1.1 degrees C?”

    Seems BEST is not very good either.

  23. nickreality65 says:

    “Tampering” is sometimes referred to by some as “…torturing and molesting…” the data.

  24. omanuel says:

    Yes, they are concerned now. Pulling back the curtain on the “Wizard of Oz” for climate fraud may explain abrupt changes in the fields of physics and astronomy at the end of WWII:

    1. The internal composition of stars was changed from iron (Fe) in 1945 to hydrogen (H) in 1946.

    2. Dr. Carl von Weizsacker’s flawed concept of nuclear binding energy replaced Aston’s valid concept of nuclear packing fraction in textbooks. [Carl von Weizsacker was a theoretical that advised Hitler’s team in their unsuccessful effort to make atomic bombs.]

    3. Neutrons changed from (e-, p+) pairs into (pi-, p+) pairs and repulsive forces between neutrons – that caused uranium and plutonium atoms to explode and destroy Hiroshima and Nagasaki – became attractive forces in Yukawa’s nuclear model.

    Click to access CHAOS_and_FEAR_August_1945.pdf

    On a longer time scale the scientific revolution that Copernicus started in 1543 may have ended quietly in 1945:

    Click to access Man_God_and_Sun_%281500-2100%29_%281%29.pdf

  25. catweazle666 says:

    So they told us they were going to cool the past and warm the present to keep up the good work of “Hiding the Decline”, and even told us how they were going to go about it.

    So that’s all right then.

    Jolly good.

    Carry on.

  26. Matt L. says:

    Oooo – I got it now.

    We placed thermometers at the tops of mountains in 2011. The difference between these mountain thermometer readings and the desert thermometer readings at 5pm on Tuesdays is -1.2C. And that affects the averages.

    Logic dictates had the mountain thermometers been in place in 1936 on Tuesdays at 5pm, the desert thermometer readings minus the mountain readings would have been cooler. For the sake of accuracy, It only makes sense to adjust the desert average temperatures 78 years later. Hence the estimates/guesswork. Heeelllooo people. It’s called science! Deal with it.

    Oh wait. Maybe I don’t got it. In any case, I’m off to apply for a job. I hear NOAA can use someone with my talent for reasoning.

  27. Louis Hooffstetter says:

    Yes, there are many problems, but…

    Bullshit!! Bullshit!! And More Bullshit!!

    The NCDC has been working with this data for decades! If they’re still not doing it right, it’s not incompetance, it’s FRAUD!

  28. Eliza says:

    My advice to the people at NCDC (and skeptics) is read the book or watch the movie ATLAS SCHRUGGED by Ayn Rand. Its all there about government control.It really applies to the AGW EPA story in the USA. NETFLIX has got it and a documentary about her philosophy that the USA is going down the drain with regulations and controls.

  29. Eliza says:

    Actually there is one record that is reliable rural surface data from Central England (CET) and Armagh in central Ireland where it rains every day of the year (Drizzle mainly) and temperatures vary very little between 11 and 15C every day. It shows no change since the 1700’s.

  30. Eliza says:

    On an aside what is happening with the Steyn V Mann case? This outcome should be very interesting as the media in general is defending Steyn (yes mainstream).

  31. Eliza says:

    I think the big difference between WUWT, Judith Curry, SM ect and this site, is that people on this site want something to be done about this (STOP THE FRAUD!). Start prosecutions. Something has to be done about this ect….Actually the proof is overwhelming from here, from WUWT, SM, Roy Spencer, Lindzen, Singer, Freeman Dyson ect. BEST, Mosher and ZEKE ect are probably innocent bystanders who do not realize how much they have been taken or sucked in by the AGW promoters. They will find out.pretty soon! LOL

  32. mt says:

    I’m going to guess this comment was not from someone as NCDC. Steve has been (correct me if I’m wrong) looking at USHCN. The narrative in the comment is talking about the US Climate Divisions dataset. These are two different datasets, considering the Vose 2014 abstract explicitly compares the new US Climate Divisions dataset against USHCN. It looks like USHCN is the fixed subset, while CDD is more inclusive, but changing.

    • mt says:

      Additionally there have been papers by Keim in 2003 (here and here) comparing CDD and USHCN, showing that changing latitiude, longitude, or elevation for stations can induce trends. It looks like NCDC is attempting to correct for those issues when estimating values.

  33. Stephen Richards says:

    NCDC. Tampering is when UHI causes 0.1°C change, when increased height causes +°c when past temps are reduced. That is tampering, you idiots. You are so engrossed in your little world of tampering that you have forgotten what scientists actually do.

  34. philjourdan says:

    Look at it this way – they are probably the only government workers who are actually doing what they are paid to do.

  35. talldave2 says:

    “One can still criticize their methods and their conclusions without such language.”

    I hope he’s not familiar with the rhetoric of Hansen and Mann.

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