HADsst3 Dirty Little Adjustments

There’s an interesting, if long and complicated, article about the adjustments to the Sea Surface Temperature set done in the revision to HADsst3. The basic conclusion that there’s not a good reason for the assumptions about what kind of temperature measuring was done, and the adjustments are making the data worse (less accurate) not better.



HadSST3 contains a series of adjustments. With the exception of the war-time glitch, they are not obvious from study of the record. Their existence is based on speculation and hypothesis. Calculation of the biases involves inverting a significant portion of written record’s meta-data for the period of the principal adjustment and ignoring detailed studies on the proportion and timing of changes in data sampling methods as well a speculation as to the magnitude of the various effects.

The principal effect of these adjustments is to selectively remove the majority of the long term variation from the earlier 2/3 of the data record and to disrupt circa 10-11y patterns clearly visible in the data. These changes are fundamentally altering the character of the original data.

The strong similarity in form between the variations in the original ICOADS data and the corrections deemed necessary to correct sampling biases is remarkable. All the more so in view of the lack of documentary information on which to base the estimated magnitude and timing of the adjustments.

The analysis presented here indicates that, outside the immediate war-time period, these adjustments are distorting and degrading the data rather than improving it.

A number of different analyses suggest that a simple correction to the war-time period (as was used before the creation of the Hadley Centre) provides a more coherent and credible result.

Comparison to studies of non SST data suggest that much of the variation in ICOADS is quite possibly due to real climate signals, not instrument bias. These variations require proper investigation, not a priori removal from the climate record.

All I can say is “Ouch! That’s gotta hurt!” ;-)

One can only hope that someday a full understanding of the land temperature adjustments can similarly be made…

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About E.M.Smith

A technical managerial sort interested in things from Stonehenge to computer science. My present "hot buttons' are the mythology of Climate Change and ancient metrology; but things change...
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10 Responses to HADsst3 Dirty Little Adjustments

  1. Ian W says:

    If they proceed to ‘lose’ the original data then future generations will have nothing but fudged in all directions information to go on. This is almost as upsetting as looking at botched attempts to ‘clean’ old works of art, or painting a Chippendale chair with ‘teak look’ yacht varnish. The original data MUST be kept pristine and these people with their current fads should not be allowed to ‘make it look better’ and destroy original copies in their apostolic zeal.

  2. R. de Haan says:

    HADsst3 World, just like Giss World are well on their way South from the “Real World” for a long time now.

    In the mean time Gang Green preparing for the Rio meeting are having another party.
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/03/24/royal-blatherfest/ while their Green Hardcore alarmists are seeking diplomatic immunity.

    Someone has learned from the Neurenburg Nazi Trials.

    Fortunately they are on the brink of losing Australia.

  3. Pascvaks says:

    A long time ago, in a land not too far from here, a civilization was decimated and their records burned so as to ‘convert’ them to the one true faith of the conquerers. Come to think of it, I believe this has happened on a number of occassions and in a number of locations around the world. There must be something genetic about it. I bet it’s on the “Y” chromosome.

  4. R. de Haan says:

    About Bastardi defending himself against claims of cherry picking
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/03/25/bastardis-reply-to-tom-yulsmans-article-on-cherry-picking/ to the recycling of claims from the past about thermogeddon by 2050.

    A never ending story

  5. tckev says:

    It is truly more than sad! These people are doing this in the name of science. What type of science is this that original empirical data is treated with such contempt, and that criticism of the pet theory is viewed as blasphemy?
    Surely real science is worth more than the cheap tricks that are done in its name.

  6. Ian W says:

    @tckev Indeed – look at the vitriol that they poured on Beck for collecting all the previous CO2 measurements that show that CO2 was around current levels 100 years ago. All he did was collate existing data, but it was contrary to their ‘belief’ so he was continually belittled and attacked.

  7. gallopingcamel says:

    It was amazing that people who call themselves scientists sat quietly while the IPCC’s air brushed the LIA and MWP into oblivion in spite of the abundant historical evidence.

    Now the UEA crooks see the 11 year solar cycles as a menace so they want to air brush them too. I guess the same “experts” will fail to cry “foul” once again. A pox on all their houses!

    When the wizards of climate can’t make a case using measured data they simply “adjust” it. In their twisted minds, the end justifies the means.

  8. E.M.Smith says:


    You’ve got it! When you don’t like the facts, change them….

  9. Wayne Job says:

    The time is now for an organised campaign to contact all weather stations especialy the ones that have been dropped and copy their full data for however long they have been operating.
    Then start a data bank of all original data unfiddled or fudged.

    Give it to the blogosphere and the very many clever people out there in the ether will give a true temperature record. It can not be trusted in the hands of charlatans.

  10. E.M.Smith says:

    @Wayne Job:

    Frankly, I suspect that we’d likely get a better unfiddled data set by combing old newspaper archives for the reported weather of the day… Many of the original report documents were thought useless once the data was digitized. But the archivists forgot they were archivists first and data diddlers second… Hadley, created for the purpose of archiving the data, clearly has lost their original versions and can not recreate them.

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