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Blogger Finds Y2K Bug in NASA Climate Data

Discussion in 'Political Zone' started by AtlCB, Aug 10, 2007.

  1. AtlCB

    AtlCB Active Member

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    http://www.dailytech.com/Blogger finds Y2K bug in NASA Climate Data/article8383.htm


    Blog: Science
    Blogger Finds Y2K Bug in NASA Climate Data
    Michael Asher (Blog) - August 9, 2007 11:49 AM

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    An example of the Y2K discontinuity in action (Source: NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies)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 US 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.


    Corrected figures from NASA:

    http://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/graphs/Fig.D.txt
  2. Jarv

    Jarv Loud pipes saves lives.

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    Nice find and interesting. Actually I think you hit the nail on the head in saying that what is more interesting is seeing if the mainstream media even picks this up.
  3. AtlCB

    AtlCB Active Member

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    I'm actually surprised that nobody has picked this up yet. This story is big news in the climate change debate, and NASA has admitted and corrected the mistake.
  4. joseephuss

    joseephuss Well-Known Member

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    That is a big screw up.

    What is Global Warming exactly? Seems like most things I hear about in the mainstream media only focus on average temperature. I don't think that is the best way to evaluate climate changes or shifts.

    The average temperature can go down, but you could still have issues. If the high temperatures go down while the low temperatures go up, the average may not change, but that is going to affect the climate or the polar caps or fragile species that depend on a certain temperature range.

    The mainstream media does an injustice if they only report changes in average temperature. Studies and reports on more specific items and how they may or may not correlate to the climate are more informative, but rarely make mainstream news.

    Global Warming, which I always thought was a poor description, is much more complex than tracking average temperatures. It is too complex at this point to draw any conclusions whether man has had any affect to cause "problems" or can affect it enough to create solutions. It is that same complexity that makes it necessary to study it more. It is also good to take general precautions in case some of it is man made.
  5. AtlCB

    AtlCB Active Member

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    I think most of this money spent on studying climate change could be spent on research on new energy sources. Even though I don't believe in AGW, I know that oil and coal emissions contain pollutants like carbon monoxide and sulfur dioxide. I also like the idea of building more nuclear plants. Taking these actions will also reduce our dependancy on foreign oil.
  6. Mavs Man

    Mavs Man All outta bubble gum

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    Well said.

    This issue has been very oversimplified by the national media coverage. I believe more study is needed, but as AtlCB suggested, this money would be better spent doing research on newer, more efficient energy sources.

    At which point both sides would be satisfied.
  7. joseephuss

    joseephuss Well-Known Member

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    I agree. There are so many benefits outside of any tie in to possible Global Warming.

    I wonder what is the exact budget going to climate change as opposed to new energy sources. I wonder what it is compared to tax breaks to oil companies?

    My problem with the Bush administration is not that they aren't gung ho about climate change. If they want to take a wait and see approach while new studies and reports provide more information, that is fine. Evaluate both sides of the discussion, but that is not what they do. They had a guy that intentionally threw out reports that were "global warming is a problem" and kept mostly reports that were "global warming is not a problem". If there are two sides, then you have to study both sides. In the end you may not agree with one side, but you at least have to go through the reports.
  8. AtlCB

    AtlCB Active Member

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    Unfortunately, both side are doing this. When science become politicized, it becomes difficult to find the actual truth. The pro-climate change crowd argues that "denialists" are funded or influenced by the oil companies, and the anti-climate change crowd argues that the "alarmists" are funded and influence by government interests and special interest groups.
  9. Mavs Man

    Mavs Man All outta bubble gum

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    And, ultimately, who pays them? :eek:
  10. ABQCOWBOY

    ABQCOWBOY Moderator Staff Member

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    I agree. Glacial Melt is an alarming sign of echo change IMO. This revision of data is interesting but there is no way to deny the fact that Polar Caps and Glaciers are melting at an unprecidented rate of speed. Things are definatly changing.
  11. Jarv

    Jarv Loud pipes saves lives.

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    Funny you say that, I took the original post and sent it to a buddy of mine (Great friend, totally opposite opinion most political issues I have...lol, go figure).

    His reply is below...

    Means little to nothing. The GW hype was never about ONLY USA temps anyway. In fact the USA and the Southeast USA have not been warming, they've been cooling. The exception...I believe....is Alaska which IS warming.

    http://science.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=07/08/10/1530251&from=rss
  12. AtlCB

    AtlCB Active Member

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    That is debatable. The Artic is melting, but the Antarctic is growing. Currently, the sea level is rising 2mm per year. If the current trend continues, you will see a sea level rise of about five inches by 2100. I would hardly call this an unprecedented rate. Based on the temperature date, it appears the heating and cooling are on a cyclical pattern. It would appear that we should have a 30-40 year cooling pattern sometime this century.
  13. ABQCOWBOY

    ABQCOWBOY Moderator Staff Member

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    I don't know enough about Artic melt to speak definatively on it but I do know that Glaciers are melting at an unprecidented rate.

    .



    Here are a couple of articles that speak on the subject.

    http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2002/08/0821_020821_wireglaciers.html

    http://www.terradaily.com/news/arctic-05i.html

    http://www.spacedaily.com/2004/040513024807.6xzk3jf5.html
  14. AtlCB

    AtlCB Active Member

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    None of these articles prove that glaciers are "melting at an unprecedented rate." That comment would lead the reader to the assumption that glaciers are receeding faster than any time in history. The science isn't to the point where any scientist could honestly make this sort of claim.
  15. ABQCOWBOY

    ABQCOWBOY Moderator Staff Member

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    So then, would it be fair to say that Glaciers are receeding faster then any time in mans recorded history?
  16. jman

    jman Active Member

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    I think I'll celebrate by spraying an entire can of hair spray into the ozone.
  17. Ben_n_austin

    Ben_n_austin Benched

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    I think that is a fair statement to make at this juncture.
  18. ABQCOWBOY

    ABQCOWBOY Moderator Staff Member

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  19. Sasquatch

    Sasquatch Lost in the Woods

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    But how can you be sure that the water pouring into this boat that is currently at neck level is an ontological reality... gurgle, gurgle, gurgle? ;)
  20. ABQCOWBOY

    ABQCOWBOY Moderator Staff Member

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    :laugh2:

    You sound like a guy I once new named The Jackal.

    :D

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