View Full Version : Y2K bug for climate data

Aug 11, 2007, 03:02 PM
Daily Tech writes: (http://www.dailytech.com/Blogger%2Bfinds%2BY2K%2Bbug%2Bin%2BNASA%2BClimate%2BData/article8383.htm)

Years of bad data corrected; 1998 no longer the warmest year on record.

My earlier column this week detailed the work of a volunteer team to assess problems with US temperature data used for climate modeling. One of these people is Steve McIntyre, who operates the site climateaudit.org. While inspecting historical temperature graphs, he noticed a strange discontinuity, or "jump" in many locations, all occurring around the time of January, 2000.

These graphs were created by NASA's Reto Ruedy and James Hansen (who shot to fame when he accused the administration of trying to censor his views on climate change). Hansen refused to provide McKintyre with the algorithm used to generate graph data, so McKintyre reverse-engineered it. The result appeared to be a Y2K bug in the handling of the raw data.

McKintyre notified the pair of the bug; Ruedy replied and acknowledged the problem as an "oversight" that would be fixed in the next data refresh.

NASA has now silently released corrected figures, and the changes are truly astounding. The warmest year on record is now 1934. 1998 (long trumpeted by the media as record-breaking) moves to second place. 1921 takes third. In fact, 5 of the 10 warmest years on record now all occur before World War II. Anthony Watts has put the new data in chart form, along with a more detailed summary of the events.

The effect of the correction on global temperatures is minor (some 1-2% less warming than originally thought), but the effect on the U.S. global warming propaganda machine could be huge.

Then again -- maybe not. I strongly suspect this story will receive little to no attention from the mainstream media.

Neat. :D

Aug 11, 2007, 04:20 PM
I saw this on digg a few days ago. But I also saw this interesting comment:

Actually, the blog's author seems to be funded by the Marshall Institute a conservative policy think tank that is funded by ExxonMobile and a number of conservative foundations like the Richard Mellon Scaife foundation.

Stephen McIntyre
Stephen McIntyre has worked in mineral exploration for 30 years, much of that time as an officer or director of several public mineral exploration companies. He has also been a policy analyst at both the governments of Ontario and of Canada.


Founded in 1984, The George Marshall Institute primarily focused on defense issues, advocating funding for Reagan's Strategic Defense Initiative and Star Wars. GMI has since branched out and is one of the leading think tanks trying to debunk climate change.

GMI works on a range of issues, including civic environmentalism, climate change, national defense, bioterrorism, and missile defense. GMI publishes papers and holds "roundtables." Many of these roundtables have featured climate change skeptics such as Roger Bate, Willie Soon, Margo Thorning, and GMI's own Sallie Baliunas. In 1989, the Marshall Institute released a report arguing that "cyclical variations in the intensity of the sun would offset any climate change associated with elevated greenhouse gases." Although it was refuted by the IPCC, the report was used by the Bush Sr. Administration to argue for a more lenient climate change policy. GMI has since published numerous reports and articles attacking the Kyoto protocol and undermining the climate science. GMI is a former member of the Cooler Heads Coalition. GMI used to restrict its funding sources to private foundations and individual donars to avoid conflict of interest, but in the late nineties, then GMI President Jeffrey Salmon wrote, "when the Institute turned its attention to the science of global warming, it decided it would appeal successfully to industry for financial support." This fall, the Institute received its first-ever grant from a corporate foundation-- the Exxon Education Foundation. (http://web.archive.org/web/20020913050409/http://www.marshall.org/funding.htm) According to Media Transparency.org, the Institute received $5,757,803 since 1985 from conservative foundations including the Castle Rock Foundation (Coors), Earhart Foundation, John M. Olin Foundation, the Sarah Scaife Foundation, Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation, and the Carthage Foundation.

Also, NASA Data Still Proves Global Warming is Real (http://tech.blorge.com/Structure:%20/2007/08/10/new-nasa-data-still-proves-global-warming-is-real/)

Not to mention that this data is for the US only, and has nothing to do with global temperatures (which is what is important; global warming).

In fact, if you look at all of this guys previous blog entries, they all downplay/"disprove" global warming. He seems to consistently only use data from scientists who are funded by energy companies.

Ignoring global warming won't make it go away. In fact, the current issue of Newsweek has a big article about global warming deniers. Interesting read. (http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/20122975/site/newsweek/)