Here’s a story about how one missing letter, an M, can wreck a whole month’s worth of climate data. It is one of the longest posts ever made on WUWT, I spent almost my entire Saturday on it. I think it might also be one of the most important because it demonstrates a serious weakness in surface data reporting.
In my last post
, we talked about the a curious temperature anomaly
that Jean S. found in the March GISS data and posted at Climate Audit:
The anomaly over Finland has an interesting signature to it, and the correction that GISS posted on their website
confirms something I’ve been looking at for a few months.
The data shown between 4/13 and 4/15 were based on data downloaded on 4/12 and included some station reports from Finland in which the minus sign may have been dropped.
With some work I started back in late December and through January, and with GISS putting stamp of approval on “missing minus signs” I can now demonstrate that missing minus signs aren’t just an odd event, they happen with regularity, and the effect is quite pronounced when it does happen. This goes to the very heart of data gathering integrity and is rooted in simple human error. The fault lies not with GISS (though now they need a new quality control feature) but mostly with NOAA/NCDC who manages the GHCN and who also needs better quality control. The error originates at the airport, likely with a guy sitting in the control tower. Readers who are pilots will understand this when they see what I’m talking about.
I’ve seen this error happen all over the world. Please read on and be patient, there is a lot of minutiae that must be discussed to properly frame the issue. I have to start at the very bottom of the climate data food-chain and work upwards.
Click source to read FULL report from Anthony Watts