Saturday, August 11, 2007

Nasa Revises Temperature Data

There was a big story this week all over the blogosphere regarding NASA's quiet revision of temperature data due to a programing error. A blogger breathlessly compares the before and after revision here (and no, I cannot figure out how to do a basic table):
Top 10 GISS U.S. Temperature deviation (deg C) in New Order 8/7/2007
Year Old New
1934 1.23 1.25
1998 1.24 1.23
1921 1.12 1.15
2006 1.23 1.13
1931 1.08 1.08
1999 0.94 0.93
1953 0.91 0.90
1990 0.88 0.87
1938 0.85 0.86
1939 0.84 0.85

Do you know what I say about these revisions: who cares? The data revision was 2-3 hundredths of a degree Celsius. That is 0.02 or 0.03 degrees folks. That is a smaller error than the uncertainty of the measurement itself and is therefore statistically insignificant. In other words, 1934 is indistinguishable from 1998. Besides, NASA revises the temperature data all the time. I snap shot the data only to later find it has changed by these same 0.01 or 0.02 degrees. Big frikin' deal.

In my mind, there are two bigger issues.

1) NASA need to be open with its data and any adjustment protocols. When they refuse to release the algorythms, it deminishes the ability of skeptics to check their means and methods. This leads to charges of "cover-up" when reverse engineering reveals an error.

2) Global warming proponents have now set themselves up for disappointment of Millerite proportions by making this claim:
"Global warming is forecast to set in with a vengeance after 2009, with at least half of the five following years expected to be hotter than 1998, the warmest year on record, scientists reported on Thursday."
If 2009, 2010 come and go without significant global warming, they will have their Great Disappointment. Further, if the CO2 levels continue to rise without a corresponding increase in temperature, they set themselves up for total loss of credibility.

I have created some graphs of the phenomena below:

It appears that even as the C02 concentration increases, the temperature increase has slowed cause a little cognitive dissonance. This further makes it necessary for the Global Warming Millerites to push the Apocalypse out into the future, setting themselves up for the Great Disappointment. I will be hear to watch. So will you.

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