‘Adjustments’ to temperature record never cease — & ALWAYS in the direction of showing more warming
The fact that the global temperature record was showing a “hiatus” (was not showing any rise) was first pointed out some years ago by the late Bob Carter. Scorn and contempt was heaped on him for his pains. Warmists said it was just a “blip”. Not unreasonably, they pointed to previous hiatuses — such as the long hiatus of 1945 to 1975 (30 years!) — and noted that temperature rises re-started after that.
A 30 year temperature hiatus while CO2 levels were rising strongly did not seem to embarrass them, despite it being totally contrary to their theory. They just explained it away as due to “special” factors.
But as the current hiatus got longer and skeptics got increasingly irritating about it, they had to do something. And in the best Green/Left tradition, their first response was to lie. They started to declare that various years were warmest, warmer etc. We got such declarations annually. The fact of the matter is that the fluctuations in the 21st century were tiny, differences in hundredths of one degree only — so were statistically non-significant and hence non-existent from a scientific point of view. But who cares about science when an ideology is at risk?
Riding differences so tiny must have got irritating however, at least to the scientists among Warmists. They knew about statistical significance so ignoring it was undoubtedly embarrassing.
Then Tom Karl of NOAA rode to the rescue. He made large “corrections” to the ocean temperature record and thus erased the hiatus. That attracted such a lot of criticism, including Congressional criticism, that even the Warmist establishment in the Fyfe paper eventually disowned it and reaffirmed that there was a 21st century temperature slowdown, which they again explained as due to “special” factors.
The next attack on the hiatus was by crowing about the unusually large temperature rise in 2015. It actually amounted to 13 hundredths of one degree. Exciting! That it was just the expected effect of the El Nino weather phenomenon was pooh-poohed. But it was ENTIRELY due to El Nino and other natural causes because CO2 levels did not rise in 2015
All the fun so far had been with the surface temperature record, always a slender reed to lean on. In the background was the pesky satellite record showing no warming trend at all.
So to the 2016 erasure attempt: by Carl Mears, proprietor of RSS, one of the satellite records. As he himself admits, he has been mightily irritated by people accusing his temperature record of supporting the climate skeptics. He has in fact been expressing irritation with that for quite some years. He has declared several times that he still supports Warmism despite what his own data show.
So he finally devised a solution to his embarrassment. He “adjusted” his data. He said his old data had errors in it and he has now corrected the errors, to show some warming — a warming of 18 hundredths of one degree over nearly 20 years, no less! One hundredth of a degree per annum! If there had been errors in it, one wonders why he rode with the “erroneous” data for so long but let that be by the by.
And the explanation he gives for his adjustments is reasonable in principle, but, as always, the devil is in the details. And the details do contain devilry, as Roy Spencer has pointed out. Carl’s adjustments were so bad in fact that the paper in which he described them was rejected as unpublishable by a major climate journal, eventually being accepted by a meteorological one.
But I think that everyone can see that Mears had not done much to further his cause by talking of only a one degree rise over the next century so he has now done another adjustment. Roy Spencer in fact predicted that Mears (under pressure from the climate mafia) would corrupt his TLT data to bring it in line with the global warming prophecy. Viscount Monckton also predicted it. As Steve Goddard notes, climate is impossible to forecast, but climate fraud is extremely predictable.
So we now have news headlines saying “Major correction to satellite data shows 140% faster warming since 1998”. I reproduce the journal abstract below. It’s not for me to dissect it. The experts will do that. I simply note that what they have produced is not data. Data is what you feed in. And the data they feed in shows no systematic rise. What they report is an opinion about the data:
A satellite-derived lower tropospheric atmospheric temperature dataset using an optimized adjustment for diurnal effects
Carl A. Mears and Frank J. Wentz
Temperature sounding microwave radiometers flown on polar-orbiting weather satellites provide a long-term, global-scale record of upper-atmosphere temperatures, beginning in late 1978 and continuing to the present. The focus of this paper is a lower-tropospheric temperature product constructed using measurements made by the Microwave Sounding Unit channel 2, and the Advanced Microwave Sounding Unit channel 5. The temperature weighting functions for these channels peak in the mid to upper troposphere. By using a weighted average of measurements made at different Earth incidence angles, the effective weighting function can be lowered so that it peaks in the lower troposphere. Previous versions of this dataset used general circulation model output to remove the effects of drifting local measurement time on the measured temperatures. In this paper, we present a method to optimize these adjustments using information from the satellite measurements themselves. The new method finds a global-mean land diurnal cycle that peaks later in the afternoon, leading to improved agreement between measurements made by co-orbiting satellites. The changes result in global-scale warming (global trend (70S-80N, 1979-2016) = 0.174 C/decade), ~30% larger than our previous version of the dataset (global trend, (70S-80N, 1979-2016) = 0.134C/decade). This change is primarily due to the changes in the adjustment for drifting local measurement time. The new dataset shows more warming than most similar datasets constructed from satellites or radiosonde data. However, comparisons with total column water vapor over the oceans suggest that the new dataset may not show enough warming in the tropics.