Among the issues most commonly discussed are individuality, the rights of the individual, the limits of legitimate government, morality, history, economics, government policy, science, business, education, health care, energy, and man-made global warming evaluations. My posts are aimed at thinking, intelligent individuals, whose comments are very welcome.

"No matter how vast your knowledge or how modest, it is your own mind that has to acquire it." Ayn Rand

27 August 2009

NOAA's Sea Surface Temperature Data Set in Error Since 1998

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) reported that the Sea Surface Temperatures in July 2009 were the hottest temperatures ever recorded for the month of July. Dr. Roy Spencer thought that was a suspicious claim and compared several series of Sea Surface Temperature Data Sets based on satellite TRIMM TMI data and on the NASA-Japan joint satellite Aqua AMSR-E data showing them to be very much in agreement. He then compared the longer history TRIMM TMI data set to the NOAA ERSST v3b data. Before the latter part of 2001, the NOAA sea surface temperature data was consistently lower than the TRIMM TMI temperatures, but then after that time it was consistently higher. Dr. Spencer said he did not know why the NOAA data had a sudden jump at that time, but he had done various checks on the TRIMM TMI data that indicated its likely reliability, so he was suspicious of the NOAA data. Note that this NOAA jump in temperatures had the effect of hiding some of the inconvenient temperature decrease which has occurred since 1998.

A commenter at Watts Up With That going by the name Cold Lnyx noted that the NOAA data from 1971 to 2000 had been retabulated in August 2001 with a different baseline average monthly reference temperature than the data has been referenced to since. Obviously, temperatures cannot be referenced to different monthly average temperatures and then compared! This would be completely amateurish. If this is really what NOAA has done, then this is a ridiculous error.

Coming on the heals of NASA GISS using data from Russia from September 2008 and attributing it to October 2008 as well and other consistently high temperature anomalies which I discussed in my entry of 11 January 2009 and the loss of the raw data at the Climate Research Unit in East Anglia, which I discussed on 19 August 2009, this NOAA nonsense has to make one wonder if most of the government-funded surface temperature data is unreliable, except the satellite sea surface temperature data from NASA coming out of Huntsville.

Some of you may have noted that one Ian Forrester berated me for not having a higher opinion than I do of what he calls "real scientists" in a comment to my entry on the lost data at the CRU East Anglia, but perhaps you can see why I give no blank checks to scientists, especially when they are publishing work with strong implications for government activities and they are receiving their research and academic support from that same government. Governments do not do a good job of directing funding to the best and most honest scientists in such cases. Government employed scientists are a very mixed bag, which I know from first-hand experience in working for the Department of the Navy as a scientist for 10 years in the 1980s. Generally, Department of the Navy scientists are better than NOAA scientists, yet even the Navy Department is loaded with incompetent scientists. Why should this be a surprise to anyone? The DMVs, the Post Office, Amtrak, the EPA, the CBO, the GSA, the SEC, the FCC, the FAA, the Education Department, the Labor Department, the Congress, the Interior Department, the Dept. of Agriculture, Health and Human Services Dept., and nearly every other government agency is full of incompetent employees, whom no force on Earth can remove.

If this were not bad enough, there are the university scientists and other academics with their insane, otherworldly love of socialism, government Nanny State interventions, anti-man environmentalism, anti-business biases, anti-Capitalism biases, living Constitution (it means whatever we now want it to mean), and all too often, anti-American biases. These agendas have clearly asserted themselves over and over when these academics evaluate scientific issues with public policy implications. Nowadays, they commonly assert that objectivity is not possible in academia, so they might as well be influenced in their view of their field by all such Progressive biases. We might as well discount many of their opinions therefore. In fact, we should never accept them as authorities. We must believe only what we ourselves have checked out and found to be true.

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