Home > AGW, Climate Change, Data, Global Warming, Omniclimate, Science > RealClimate, or The Biggest Molehill In History

RealClimate, or The Biggest Molehill In History

A “molehill“, says Gavin Schmidt on a RealClimate blog regarding a giant GISS temperature error in Northeastern Russia. A “glitch“.

Too bad it was a “molehill” in need of the 1,117 words of Schmidt’s blog.

There are two very reasonable replies to such a monumental self-declared waste of an effort, in the Climate Skeptic blog’s “Sorry Dr. Schmidt, But I am Not Feeling Guilty Yet (Part 1)” and “Responses to Gavin Schmidt, Part 2“.

For my part, I can only make reference to a basic principle of mine. Whatever you need to show, you are not. There is no need for me for example to wear a tag saying “male”: it’s rather obvious from the way I look.

There is not even a need to show I’m Italian, as anybody listening to my accent will immediately find out.

So I won’t spend 1,117 words to show either of that.

And therefore, what should one make of the fact that Gavin Schmidt felt compelled instead to argue the following?

No heads will roll, no congressional investigations will be launched, no politicians (with one possible exception) will take note

Molehills truly are mountains for very little people.

UPDATE NOV 14: Nice to see Lucia at The Blackboard make a very similar point (among many others)

Gavin does seem hellbent on turning the molehill into an even bigger mountain. If he keeps this up, maybe the mountain can turn into a volcanic eruption of Krakatoa like proportions which would then lower the GMST. . .

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  1. 2008/11/21 at 20:14

    By the way…let me thank RC publicly as it’s from RC that I have learnt to keep a copy of all my comments, rather than simply leave them on websites where they can be edited or wholly deleted by people that I better leave unqualified

  2. Chris Wells
    2008/11/21 at 19:50

    Pete:
    Having read a lot of your offal on various sites, I can in fact state that you are delusional.
    But, just for discussions sake, what is the major difference between CA and RC??
    It is that Steve McI lets almost ALL comments and contributors through, and usually does not delete anyone. Whereas at RC, Gavin and the gang hold comments for review, and on more that a thousand occasions just don’t let them through. Who in these descriptions is more engaged in scientific debate?
    Be careful not to let your delusion show.
    CJW

  3. pete best
    2008/11/20 at 13:31

    It is not just Gavin who writes there and to be fair to real climate they are unlike climate audit proper peer reviewed climate scientists employed by NASA at GISS and hence are top quality scientists with science at heart and not propaganda and lobbying in terms of the CA fossil fuel burning philosophy. Climate Audit know nothing worth you putting exemplary faith in then rather than real climate.

    You have to be a little delusional to believe CA over RC in my opinion and I doubt a couple of months erroneous results nullifies the paleoclimatic data and physics and chemistry of GHG and AGW.

  4. 2008/11/14 at 07:39

    Thank you Lucia. Grazie.

    The more I read from Gavin, the more I get convinced he would make the perfect defense witness…perfect, that is, from the Prosecution’s point of view 8)

  5. 2008/11/14 at 01:56

    Maurizio,
    So, you are Italian? Who’d have guessed? 🙂

    We apply similar statistical tests to met data at some military sites. The script throws flags for suspicious data. Flagged data are then examined by humans. It saves lots of time and helps us find failing systems quickly.

    Some issues are difficult to detect. But in this case, the hold over from September would never have passed even the simplest statistical tests. It contained numerous “zero changes” and anomalies outside the range in the full data record for individual stations.

    Assuming Gavin wanted the conversation to die down, he would have been wiser not to post.

  6. 2008/11/13 at 12:21

    thank you Douglas. I am familiar with data reconciliation techniques for professional reasons. What they should have is some kind of smart comparative tool, for example throwing out exceptions if the data do not fall within a certain acceptance band. Then a human can work through those exceptions.

  7. Douglas Hoyt
    2008/11/13 at 00:34

    Another source of error in the the GISS and CRU data analysis involves transcription errors and neither one of these institutions bother to write any software to search for them. An example would be 27.3 C appearing in the input data stream whereas the real number should be 22.3 C. It is not unusual for a 7 to be typed in instead of a 2. Of course, it gives a warming so maybe they are happy with it.

    One solution would be to double type in all the data and then write programs to compare the data and resolve the differences manually. It is the normal procedure in solar physics and elsewhere, but not in climatology apparently. The errors can also be picked up in many cases by proper quality control software.

  8. geoff chambers
    2008/11/12 at 23:43

    True, but difficult to understand for anyone who does’t spend all their spare time trawling global warming sceptic blogs. For the full story, go to http://www.climateaudit.org where an anonymous correspondent alerted Steve Mcintyre to the fact that the latest NASA/GISS monthly global temperature anomaly figures were seriously compromised.
    A helpful coloured map shows half of Eurasia coloured purple, suggesting a record warming anomaly. A simple check by numerous bloggers identified the source of the error. September values had been entered for October for dozens of stations in Russia, but also in ex Soviet states, plus Ireland, Denmark, and some stations in Britain.
    Nobody at NASA spotted this elementary error, and NASA has been reduced to claiming that it wasn’t their fault, that they only attributed a quarter of a man-year of time to verifying incoming temperature data, and it would cost $500,000 to improve the system.
    Think about it. Trillions of £/€ are to be spent on counteracting global warming, and NASA devotes a quarter of a man-year – say, nine hours a week – to verifying the mean global temperature, the figure on which the whole global warming edifice is constructed.
    For more comment, go to climateskeptic or climateaudit. It”s worth it. This may well be a key moment in the story of the century.

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