Zeke Still Hiding Behind TOBS

Time of Observation Bias (TOBS)  is the first refuge of climate scoundrels. It is normally described by alarmists as “they used to take temperatures in the afternoon, but now they take them in the morning.”

This explanation is complete nonsense. Min/Max thermometers record the lowest minimum and highest maximum since the last time they were reset. The actual claim is that people used to be incredibly stupid and reset their thermometer only once per day near the afternoon maximum, causing double counting of warm temperatures on cold days which fell after warm days.

Even using NCDC fake data, this claim doesn’t hold up. NCDC  TOBS adjusted temperatures show no US warming over the past 25 years. All of the reported US warming over the past 25 years is due to infilling fake data. NCDC TOBS adjusted temperatures show no warming since 1990.


And TOBS is easy enough to test in the real world (as opposed to Zeke’s fake models) by simply excluding the claimed TOBS affected (afternoon) stations from the analysis. This experiment yields a result showing that TOBS has almost no effect on US temperature trends.

ScreenHunter_7214 Feb. 16 10.26

The trend for all stations (below) is nearly identical to the trend for non-TOBS affected stations.

ScreenHunter_7215 Feb. 16 10.26

Non-TOBS affected stations also show that the 1930’s were much hotter.

ScreenHunter_6638 Feb. 01 09.02

Global temperatures are not affected by TOBS, yet they do the same data tampering on global temperatures as they do on US temperatures.


TOBS is just one more way which government experts will attempt to defraud Congressmen and women in the upcoming hearings.


About stevengoddard

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55 Responses to Zeke Still Hiding Behind TOBS

  1. Neal S says:

    The TOBS thing is just an excuse. A sort of ‘plausible deniability’ for various ‘adjustments’. But even if TOBS were an actual concern, you would expect it to be adjusted for ONCE. But it seems that each succeeding year, these ‘adjustments’ to the past keep changing. The adjustments are always what supports the AGW narrative. The fact that there are multiple changes to prior years records which disagree with each other, just proves how broken and corrupt the whole thing is. The only excuse I can see for this multiplicity of changes to the historical record, is some combination of incompetence and/or lying, then and/or now.

  2. gator69 says:

    Time of Observation Bias (TOBS) is the first refuge of climate scoundrels.

    BS, of one form or another, has always been the refuge of CAGW pimps.

  3. oldfossil says:

    Zeke made a good case for homogenization of raw data. However. When you look at the graphs you would expect a sudden step-like change around 1960 when the TOBS procedure was changed. Instead you get a smooth rising curve. This seems to indicate that the TOBS effect was so small that it has been obliterated by other massive data adjustments.

  4. Jimmy Haigh says:

    Who is Zeke?

  5. Chaeremon says:

    Sorry if OT, but I’m curious whether the OCO2 image doesn’t just show areas of precipitation?


    I’d appreciate someone points to precipitation imaged for 1 Oct – 11 Nov, don’t know where to start. TIA

  6. sfx2020 says:

    “Zeke made a good case for homogenization of raw data”

    Actually, Zeke Hausfather and Robert Rohde on a realclimate post http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2014/03/new-daily-temperature-dataset-from-berkeley/ reveal how little they know, and how badly they adjusted the past temperatures.

  7. Glacierman says:

    Some pretty strong language by the BEST team on Judith Curry’s blog, including this from Mosher:

    Steven Mosher | February 22, 2015 at 3:59 pm | Reply

    Congress will hold a hearing
    No leading skeptic will stand up, swear to tell the truth, and accuse NOAA of wrong doing. Not a single one.


    • Dave N says:

      I guess it depends on his definition of “leading”. Those that most would consider “leading” probably wouldn’t because they’re not true skeptics, or haven’t really been focusing on the tampering like Tony and Paul have, or might consider it to be a waste of their time.

    • gator69 says:

      Leading skeptics like Richard Muller?

      • Gail Combs says:

        “I was never a skeptic” – Richard Muller, 2011

        “If Al Gore reaches more people and convinces the world that global warming is real, even if he does it through exaggeration and distortion – which he does, but he’s very effective at it – then let him fly any plane he wants.” – Richard Muller, 2008

        “There is a consensus that global warming is real. …it’s going to get much, much worse.” – Richard Muller, 2006

        “Let me be clear. My own reading of the literature and study of paleoclimate suggests strongly that carbon dioxide from burning of fossil fuels will prove to be the greatest pollutant of human history. It is likely to have severe and detrimental effects on global climate.” – Richard Muller, 2003″

    • Gail Combs says:

      Mosher is a paid propagandist so what else do you expect him to say.

    • richard says:

      That is really interesting, having now read through a lot of WMO papers I would be prepared to stand up, refer to these papers, and say that they are making up temperatures for vast regions of the world. Pretty much the whole of Africa is a complete basket case. Using the WMO’s own words – “Urban temp sites are of zero quality”. In fact just using the WMO papers is enough to question any data.

      • richard says:

        they are trying to find the money to retrieve data from the past that is tucked away and never used, if so what are you comparing todays temps against.

    • Gail Combs says:

      “…Congress will hold a hearing
      No leading skeptic will stand up, swear to tell the truth, and accuse NOAA of wrong doing. Not a single one….”
      —- Steven Mosher


      Think about WHAT Mosher is actually saying in that statement. He is saying the ‘leading skeptics’ are a controlled opposition and not true ‘skeptics’ —- Interesting HMmmm.

      We know there is tons and tons and tons of information from at least a half dozen or more true skeptics that have been screaming bloody murder for years about the misleading crap NOAA and the others publishing ‘official datasets’ have foisted on the public.

      After the vicious manner in which Organic Consumer and Food & Water Watch turned on American farmers, especially organic farmers I am very sensitive to betrayal when it comes to politics.

  8. Glacierman says:

    They beat TOB to death but never mention one word about the E code infilled (fake) data. Funny how the infilled data is capable of turning areas with no data very hot……just hot enough to get the required headline showing a record hot year to an accuracy of 0.01 deg. C.

  9. A C Osborn says:

    Here is the official Zeke graph of TOBS changes.

    Note nothing more than 0.05C cooling prior to 1950.

    • Gail Combs says:

      So why in heck are they warming the temperatures from 1960 on?
      Zeke Hausfeather states:

      ……Observation times have shifted from afternoon to morning at most stations since 1960, as part of an effort by the National Weather Service to improve precipitation measurements….

      Understanding Adjustments to Temperature Data.

      Either the correct method is to read in the morning or the correct method is to read in the afternoon.

      Also If there was a switch in reading methods Tmin and Tmax adjustments should not parallel each other.

      Those Tobs curves make absolutely no sense at all!

  10. Eliza says:

    Why is the Mosher CV link thing banned? Its not banned on the Internet.

  11. Eliza says:

    I suppose I would have to agree its quite personal not relevant really.

    • catweazle666 says:

      Apart from his utter lack of relevant qualifications or expertise, of course, something that Warmists are all too quick to vall anyone else who makes critical comments on their religion out on.

      Unless they are Indian pornographers, of course.

  12. Gail Combs says:

    Actually TOBS is the refuge of the lazy.

    Think about it.

    The claim is you are counting the same hot afternoon twice. However historical documents show there have been stations read twice daily by professionals scattered throughout each state. This gives you two choices. Either use only the professional stations or compare each of the Coop stations that read in the afternoon to the stations read twice a day. If they do not track then AND ONLY THEN toss the questionable data after checking when the time of the reading was actually done using the original records.

    We as taxpayers are paying billions for ‘Climate Science’ and that science is used to ‘Fundamentally Transform Society’ so the first order of business is to make sure the data is carefully and rigorously dealt with.

    • Andy DC says:

      It would not matter how many times you counted the high temperatures in 1936, it would still be light years hotter than any summer in the last 25 years.

  13. nielszoo says:

    TOBS adjustments make no logical sense. As long as the min/max equipment is consistently reset at the same time each day it has zero effect on temperature data just as Steven has shown numerous times. It’s not like they reset morning then evening then morning and swap every other day. As long as there is 24 hours between resets it’s moot. According to what I’ve read, the issue they’ve latched on to is the possible contraction of the detached thread of the max thermometer as it cools… which should be accounted for as part of the TOLERANCE of the measuring device as the reverse may also be true. What contracts, expands. But that’s what happens when your unicorn says you can have a 0.01°F accuracy (or better) on systems that are only capable (on their best days in known ranges right after calibration) of 0.1°F accuracy. Even IF TOBS existed, which it don’t, it ain’t even close to being above the noise floor.

    Mercury and glass’s thermal expansion and contraction happen at different rates. A short time at peak temp then quick cooling (like a front) may cause the detached thread and thermometer glass to contract (making the capillary diameter a bit larger) giving a slightly lower reading assuming that the ends of the detached thread pull back from the center of the mercury blob. A high reading that hung around for a while (stationary high pressure) may cause the detached thread to expand a bit as the glass would have time to expand making the capillary diameter smaller making a higher reading as the mercury would be squeezed a bit longer. It’s easy enough to test but in either event it’s a miniscule difference, that only happens in specific circumstances that there is no possibility of identifying or adjusting for unless you had a continuous record to adjust to… kind of a Catch 22. All of that and it’s a zero sum to boot. Warm always follows cold which follows warm. Just more arm waving and shiny objects from the bread and circuses crowd.

    • A C Osborn says:

      There has been no recognition of the problem identified with the MMTS Thermometers because they read Transient Spikes which old thermometers do not do.
      Transient Spikes are too quick to actually impact the temperature as humans experience it, so they can read extremely high by as much as 2 or 3 degrees.
      see this post over at notrickszone

      There does not seem to be any follow up to this.

      • NielsZoo says:

        MMTS use precision thermistors that are +/- 0.5°F (from NOAA http://www.srh.noaa.gov/srh/dad/coop/specs-1.html ) and they usually have response times between 1 and 3 seconds. That’s probably faster than the old ones and may indeed capture higher peak temperatures due to transients, at least as far as I can figure with available info… since I’m not sure what the old ones response times were. I remember the narrow range max thermometers we used in the lab. By procedure we gave 30 seconds to get to equilibrium in air and 15 seconds when checking a tank or bath before we’d read them, but they reacted much faster. They had a small range (10 or 15°C) and I’d surmise that a wider range device would need a bit more time just ’cause it’s moving more mass in the column. I just checked one of my old 76mm, 10°C > 50°C mercury units and it reacts faster than 1°C/sec but it’s just a plain reading unit.

  14. _Jim says:

    For Zeke, can it be summarized succinctly this way:

    . . “Its the infilling, stupid!”

    (A take-off on the phrase “It’s the economy, stupid!”

  15. slimething says:

    Everybody knows who Zeke is!

  16. Hugh K says:

    Good thinking Tony. I am so glad you put the last paragraph in your post; “TOBS is just one more way which government experts will attempt to defraud Congressmen and women in the upcoming hearings.”

    The premise of your last paragraph is exactly what I was thinking throughout your post. I certainly hope this info (graphs, etc) gets in the right hands before the hearings. If it does and the Republicans still don’t slam NASA on this issue, then Dem voters can find some relief that they are not the only ones to have been Grubered.

    If you live in any district of the following Republican Members of The House Committee On Science, Space & Technology, Please forward this post to the proper Representative listed below (web site for each individual has been provided – once at web site, look for contact info) Thanks!:

    Lamar Smith, Texas (Full Committee Chair) – http://lamarsmith.house.gov/contact/email-lamar
    F. James Sensenbrenner, Wisconsin (Chairman Emeritus) – http://sensenbrenner.house.gov/
    Dana Rohrabacher, California – http://rohrabacher.house.gov/
    Frank D. Lucas, Oklahoma (Committee Vice Chair) – http://lucas.house.gov/
    Randy Neugebauer, Texas – http://randy.house.gov/
    Michael T. McCaul, Texas – http://mccaul.house.gov/
    Steven Palazzo, Mississippi – http://palazzo.house.gov/
    Mo Brooks, Alabama – http://brooks.house.gov/
    Randy Hultgren, Illinois – http://hultgren.house.gov/
    Bill Posey, Florida – http://posey.house.gov/
    Thomas Massie, Kentucky – http://massie.house.gov/
    Jim Bridenstine, Oklahoma – http://bridenstine.house.gov/
    Randy Weber, Texas – http://weber.house.gov/
    Bill Johnson, Ohio – http://billjohnson.house.gov/
    John Moolenaar, Michigan – https://moolenaar.house.gov/
    Steve Knight, California – https://knight.house.gov/
    Brian Babin, Texas – https://babin.house.gov/
    Bruce Westerman, Arkansas – https://westerman.house.gov/
    Barbara Comstock, Virginia – https://comstock.house.gov/
    Dan Newhouse, Washington – https://newhouse.house.gov/
    Gary Palmer, Alabama – https://palmer.house.gov/
    Barry Loudermilk, Georgia – https://loudermilk.house.gov/

  17. Streetcred says:

    Zeke is pimpin’ for the climate prostitutes.

  18. Streetcred says:

    You really have to laugh … if you’re using a max/min thermometer surely you only need to read it once a day ? … when you do is immaterial. Zeke has gone through a laborious explanation at Curry’s blog that seems to miss the point of using a max/min.

    • Streetcred says:

      For you Ezekiel … this should be plain enough, http://www.weatherforschools.me.uk/html/maxmin.html

    • Gail Combs says:

      Actually back in 1892 they used a minimum Alcohol Thermometer AND a Maximum Mercury Thermometer. two separate thermometers because the Six Min/Max was just not accurate enough. Also the error for those instruments was 0.5F for the mercury and 0.6 for the alcohol.

      ….Alcohol thermometers are not as accurate as merurial. The alcohol wetting the glas surface makes the reading unequal at different times. Even with the greatest care an accuracy of 0.6 of a degree is the best that can be attained….

      The instruction manual says:

      “…When a maximum thermometer is not read for several hours after the highest temperature has occurred and the air in the meantime has cooled down 15° or 20°, the highest temperature indicated by the top of the detached thread of mercury may be too low by half a degree from the contraction of the thread….”

      That would indicate the max thermometer should be read just after the heat of the day and any adjustment for reading at the wrong time of day should RAISE the maximum temperature not lower it! BUT only if you know how much the temperature has fallen from the heat of the day.

      Willis Isbister Milham in 1918 textbook mentions

      …At a Cooperative station the highest and lowest temperatures during a day are determined, and also the reading of the maximum thermometer just after it has been set. The purpose of taking this observation is to make sure that the maximum thermometer has been set and also to give the real air temperature at the time of observation….

      So again if you want to make adjustments you have to go back to the original records and look at each days data. Only when the temperature at the time of the setting of the thermometer has cooled down 15° or 20° can a correction be done and then only if the correction has not already been applied AND you know what the correction is for that thermometer.

      Note that in the 1982 Observers Instruction Manual there is an entire section on calibration and corrections of these thermometers.

      The ClimAstrologists keep acting like those doing science in the 1800s were ignorant pimply faced idiots. They were not. They were true men of science and heads and shoulders above the likes of Muller, Gleick, Mann and Jones.

      • Gail Combs says:

        I garbled that (I really shouldn’t post before I have had my morning cup of black tea.)

        So again if you want to make adjustments you have to go back to the original records and look at each days data. Only when the temperature at the time of the setting of the thermometer has cooled down 15° or 20° can a correction be done and then only if the correction has not already been applied AND you know what the correction is for that thermometer.

        Note that in the 1982 1892 Observers Instruction Manual there is an entire section on calibration and corrections of these thermometers.

        The ClimAstrologists keep acting like those doing science in the 1800s were ignorant pimply faced idiots. They were not. They were true men of science and heads and shoulders above the likes of Muller, Gleick, Mann and Jones.

  19. Gail Combs says:

    Speaking of accuracy, Willis Isbister Milham in 1918 textbook mentions:

    “The Ventilated thermometer which is the best instrument for determining the real air temperature, was invented by Assman at Berlin in 1887…will determine the real air temperature correctly to a tenth of a degree.” (I wonder where all the data from those instruments are?)

    So we have the data that allows us to put error bars around the readings. Interesting that the ” ignorant pimply faced idiots” in the late 1800s, early 1900s are very careful to discuss error but our brilliant ClimAstrologists of today wouldn’t know a significant figure if it bit them on the arse!

    On Thermometer resolution, and ERROR

  20. Robertv says:

    Cold in Florida.

  21. Stephen Richards says:

    Zeke Still Hiding Behind TOBS

    and Lucia’s skirt.

  22. markstoval says:

    Tony, you need to hammer this topic over and over. This is a very imporant point and deserves a series of posts.


  23. Svend Ferdinandsen says:

    TOB’s gives a change in the readings. I was also in doubt, but took Boulder hourly temperatures for 2014 and checked how different resetting times would affect it. It did really with the largest difference between morning and afternoon of 0.7C. Both minimum and maximum changed with the resetting but not in the same way. I can’t really explain what happens, but takes Zekes explanation as quite possible.
    How to use it and when is an other question, and i feel discomfort in the way that old results changes all the time. Wonder what would happen if they repeatedly ran their homogenizing several times a day on the result from last run. Would it stabilise or continue to change.

    • Neal S says:

      Just for the sake of argument lets say that TOBS does have an effect. Why do the PAST temperature records that were published in 1981, 1999, and 2014 all disagree with each other and show increasing cooling of the past. Surely the necessary amount of adjustment for TOBS has not changed simply due to the march of time.

      There is no ethical reasonable and plausible explanation for this. It is clearly some combination of number fudging (lying) and/or gross incompetence. You can try sewing all the fig leaves over it that you can get your hands on, but the ugly naked truth is that we are being lied to.

    • Gail Combs says:

      “… took Boulder hourly temperatures for 2014 and checked how different resetting times would affect it….”

      Pray tell how did you go back in time and do that? Or did you make ASSumptions (or take Zeke’s) and apply them to the temperatures already recorded?

      The only thing that counts is to DO the experiments in real time. It is called independent validation/verification. Using intellectual assumptions WITHOUT physical observations is the same as discussing how many angels dance on the head of a pin.

    • _Jim says:

      Svend Ferdinandsen says February 24, 2015 at 8:39 pm

      TOB’s gives a change in the readings.

      You are not really specific as to which ‘change in reading’ is taking place. You say you “took Boulder hourly temperatures for 2014 and checked how different resetting times would affect it.

      It is difficult to understand in your post if A) the recorded min/max reading for a particular day was different or if B) computed (calculated) average temperature (t avg) values for a string of days was different.

      And, you mention ‘resetting’, did you actually reset a physical min-max thermometer, or was this strictly a paper exercise? It sounds as if this was an hourly-data-recording and ‘paper’ exercise (no actual thermometer was reset) with regard to your reference to ‘resetting’.


      • Svend Ferdinandsen says:

        For clarification i took the hourly measurements (24 a day) and found the max and min for a 24hour period starting any time of the day.
        The results were averaged over a year and gave different average max or min dependent on the time of reset. The morning reset gave the lowest average and the afternoon gave the highest average for the max temperature. The difference was up to 0.7C.
        I did the same for an Oregon site which gave a lower difference between the reset time giving max and the reset time giving min of the yearly averages of these results.
        I found the measurements at http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/crn/qcdatasets.html.
        For the test, it doesn’t matter how the measurements eventually could be corrected. The main point is that it is some real measurements taken each hour over a whole year
        I did it in excel even if it took some time to find the functions to exstrakt these 24 measurements at a time for all the days.
        I can not explain it with formulas, but to take max or min readings over time intervals close to the timing of the variations in the data could give some differences based on a sort of undersampling. Boulder has very large variations daily, weekly and so on, so it is a sort of worst case.
        I believe the timing change would be smaller if you sampled max and min twice a day. I could try it.
        I hope you can see what i did, which is very much like reading a max/min temperature equipment at some specifik time every day and then average all the 365 daily results.
        It should be possible to prove it out of pure statistics of the temperature and its daily and yearly variations. I wonder why Zeke did not do that.

  24. Mark Gilbert says:

    The difference in time of reset seems pretty obvious. You don’t even need math. The reset introduces some human interruption, and in the morning the temperature is rising so the recorded temperature will lag lower, and in the afternoon the temperature is falling so the recorded temperature will lag higher. At any rate, it is obvious looking at the sign and the trend of the corrections that it is willful deception. I hope at some point please hucksters will go to jail. Since politics are involved it’s unlikely, but if we embarrass the politicians and soundly enough they will throw them under the bus and we might get some justice. The hilarious thing is the so-called skeptics have no power or money and therefore can’t commit fraud. That is the opposite case of the climastrologists

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