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Massive Tampering With 1934 US Temperatures

February 19, 2013

By Paul Homewood

 

Fremont Messenger, July 25, 1934.

http://ww2.ohiohistory.org/etcetera/exhibits/swio/pages/albums/1934_heat/1934_heat_albumPage01.html

 

The heatwaves and droughts that affected large swathes of America in the 1930’s are a historical fact. The hottest year of the decade was 1934, but just how hot was it? NCDC insist that 2012 was 1.2F hotter, with 1934 beaten into 4th place by 2006 and 1998, but are they right?

 

image

http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/oa/climate/research/cag3/na.html

 

NCDC say that the annual mean temperature, for the CONUS, was 54.14F in 1934, compared to 55.34F last year. But what numbers were being declared at the time?

Fortunately, we can reconstruct the original figures by using the individual State Climatological Reports, that are still archived by NOAA here, (see example below).

 

image

 

Appendix A lists the annual mean temperatures for each state for 1934. These temperatures are then weighted according to geographical area, which are available from NOAA here.

 

The sum of these weighted temperatures gives the national figure of 55.37F. In other words, 1.23F higher than is now declared by NOAA for 1934, and actually slightly higher than 2012.

So why are the figures so different? It is often claimed that the mix of stations has changed over the years. So, for instance, there might be more mountain stations than there were in the past, and consequently current temperatures would be biased down. In fact, this is certainly true in Arizona, the usual example given, and possibly one or two other states. But, as Appendix B shows, nearly every State has been adjusted in the same way.

It would be ridiculous to suggest that, in every State, there are proportionally more stations in colder places. Even excluding Arizona and other outliers from the overall numbers would leave a national adjustment of well over 1.0F.

Furthermore, if proper consideration is made for station mix, then there should also be allowance made for the UHI effects of towns and airfields.

It is also worth pointing out that, back in 1934, the State Climatological Reports were already factoring in any potential effect from changing station mix. They did this by the use of climate divisions, areas that tended to be climatologically distinct, but of a similar size. Typically each State would have between six and eight divisions.

Just as now, the stations within a division were averaged together, giving a divisional average. The divisional averages were then averaged to give the State figure. The addition/deduction of stations within a particular area, therefore, would in most cases not have a significant effect on the State temperature.

Previous analysis in Alabama and Virginia also strongly suggests that changing mix could not explain NCDC adjustments. I have also carried out some more detailed analysis of New Jersey, Delaware and Iowa, which, in those states at least, rules out a changing mix as an explanation.

 

A close look at the Appendices shows that the adjustment from the original figures to today’s version is split into two stages.

1) The original figure is reduced from 55.37F to 54.51F, a drop of 0.86F, when each individual original State record is compared with NCDC’s latest version, and then a weighted average produced.

2) However, this figure of 54.51F then morphs into a national number of 54.14F, a further fall of 0.37F. In other words, the individual State temperatures don’t support the national figure.

 

Perhaps it really was as hot back in the 1930’s as they believed at the time.

 

 

APPENDIX A – ORIGINAL TEMPERATURE RECORDS

MEAN TEMP AREA WEIGHTED TEMP
AL 64.7 51610 1.09
AZ 64.4 113909 2.40
AR 62.8 53104 1.09
CA 59.9 158693 3.11
CO 49.5 104246 1.69
CT 48.5 5009 0.08
NH 42.6 9304 0.13
VT 42.6 9610 0.13
MA 47.9 8257 0.13
RI 49.3 1214 0.02
ME 41.9 66609 0.91
DE 54.7 2057 0.04
MD 53.8 10578 0.19
FL 71.3 58560 1.37
GA 64.6 58876 1.24
ID 50.0 83557 1.37
IL 54.5 56399 1.01
IN 53.9 36291 0.64
IA 51.5 56288 0.95
KS 58.5 82264 1.57
KY 57.6 40395 0.76
LA 68.2 48522 1.08
MI 45.2 58214 0.86
MN 43.1 84068 1.19
MS 65.6 47715 1.02
MO 57.4 69686 1.31
MT 46.9 147138 2.26
NE 53.4 77227 1.35
NV 54.6 110540 1.98
NJ 51.6 7836 0.13
NM 55.1 121666 2.19
NY 46.0 49576 0.75
NC 59.4 52712 1.02
ND 43.4 70665 1.00
OH 52.2 41222 0.70
OK 63.0 69920 1.44
OR 52.0 96981 1.65
PA 50.6 45334 0.75
SC 62.7 31055 0.64
SD 49.6 77047 1.25
TN 59.7 42244 0.83
TX 68.1 267340 5.96
UT 52.3 84916 1.45
VA 56.2 40816 0.75
WA 51.8 68192 1.16
WV 53.5 24180 0.42
WI 45.1 56154 0.83
WY 45.8 97914 1.47
TOTAL 3055710 55.37

 

 

APPENDIX B – CURRENT NCDC STATE RECORDS

CURRENT CHANGE FROM
NCDC WEIGHTED ORIGINAL
AL 64.4 1.09 -0.3
AZ 61.5 2.29 -2.9
AR 62.3 1.08 -0.5
CA 60.7 3.15 0.8
CO 48.9 1.67 -0.6
CT 47.8 0.08 -0.7
NH 42.5 0.13 -0.1
VT 41.8 0.13 -0.8
MA 47.1 0.13 -0.8
RI 48.8 0.02 -0.5
ME 40.2 0.88 -1.7
DE 54.1 0.04 -0.6
MD 53.1 0.18 -0.7
FL 70.6 1.35 -0.7
GA 64.3 1.24 -0.3
ID 48.4 1.32 -1.6
IL 53.7 0.99 -0.8
IN 52.9 0.63 -1.0
IA 50.3 0.93 -1.2
KS 57.6 1.55 -0.9
KY 56.4 0.75 -1.2
LA 67.5 1.07 -0.7
MI 43.7 0.83 -1.5
MN 42 1.16 -1.1
MS 65.1 1.02 -0.5
MO 56.8 1.30 -0.6
MT 45.8 2.21 -1.1
NE 52.4 1.32 -1.0
NV 53.7 1.94 -0.9
NJ 51.2 0.13 -0.4
NM 55.4 2.21 0.3
NY 44.5 0.72 -1.5
NC 59.4 1.02 0.0
ND 42.7 0.99 -0.7
OH 51.6 0.70 -0.6
OK 61.9 1.42 -1.1
OR 51.3 1.63 -0.7
PA 49.3 0.73 -1.3
SC 62.7 0.64 0.0
SD 48.6 1.23 -1.0
TN 59 0.82 -0.7
TX 66.9 5.85 -1.2
UT 51.3 1.43 -1.0
VA 55.5 0.74 -0.7
WA 50.9 1.14 -0.9
WV 52.4 0.41 -1.1
WI 44 0.81 -1.1
WY 45 1.44 -0.8
TOTAL 54.51
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13 Comments leave one →
  1. Jeffery permalink
    February 19, 2013 1:27 pm

    Hey, the big lie has worked well elsewhere. So a few back lot folks will make some noise about the lack of support for the shift. That will quickly be forgotten and the new numbers will be the numbers since they’re backed by the full faith and confidence of a government office.

  2. February 19, 2013 5:35 pm

    Reblogged this on Real Science.

  3. February 20, 2013 10:14 am

    Reblogged this on pindanpost.

  4. February 20, 2013 6:28 pm

    Reblogged this on goobersite.

  5. Ron C. permalink
    February 20, 2013 7:56 pm

    I recently came across a graph that speaks to me, but I notice it uses NOAA/NCDC sources. I don’t find the data there, so I wonder about the validity.
    http://c3headlines.typepad.com/.a/6a010536b58035970c0168e55964fe970c-pi

    I like that it is using actual records of Tmax and Tmin rather than Tmean or anomalies. If valid, it appears to show that what little warming has occurred is mostly due to higher minimums.

    It seems to me that only hotter maximums can serve as a basis for alarm; milder overnights, and warmer and shorter winters can only be a good thing for humankind.

  6. February 21, 2013 1:02 am

    The liberal, non-technical person does not realise that the 0.9F/0.5C adjustment is 2/3 of the entire temperature rise as claimed. He thinks that us skeptics are fiddling about at the edges of the science, not that we are arguing about the fundamental level of the science.

    If you ask the general taxpayer if he has noticed an increase in temperatures, he would say he had. If you asked him if he thought he would notice a 1C rise over the course of the year over 30 years, he would say he doubted he could. The difference is that he has been told he can and has.

  7. johnmarshall permalink
    February 21, 2013 11:19 am

    Averaging the max/min figures is meaningless because there is no indication of when they happened or what the temperature did between them. Temperature alone is meaningless because heat drives weather so you need to know humidity at the same time since water content controls heat content.

  8. stopkhadredmonton1 permalink
    February 21, 2013 8:04 pm

    This is amazing – why are we even arguing about these “measures” – the Mean Temp across a complete geographic area like these are meaningless. More important is we are 1934 records as though they are up to the same standards as today! Which even if it mattered – I doubt very much. This procedure of measurement is what is determining a multi-billion$ tax hike is beyond crazy – it is criminal.

  9. Daryl permalink
    February 21, 2013 8:20 pm

    ME- Maine- doesn’t have 66,000+ square miles. More like 30,862.

    • February 21, 2013 11:14 pm

      Thanks Daryl.

      I’ve boobed slightly. The original State reports lumped all New England together in one figure, 66000+.(Which I put on my spreadsheet under “Maine”.) I subsequently split down to states, but forgot to amend the Maine figure.

      A quick calculation suggests the 1934 would be 0.15F higher, as I have overestimated the “colder” State. Therefore the warming adjustment is even greater still.

      I’ll post up the new figures tomorrow. Once again, thanks.

      Paul

  10. Manley Kjonaas permalink
    February 21, 2013 9:26 pm

    I am 96 years old and well remember the 1930′s when I lived in Minnesota. I know Minnesota did not get as warm and dry as a number of other states but I do remember that the warm summers and drought lasted for a continuous 5 years (1932 to 1937). Most of the 10,000 lakes in Minnesota dried up or dropped many feet in water levels.

  11. February 24, 2013 11:42 am

    Very descriptive post, I enjoyed that bit. Will there be a
    part 2?

Trackbacks

  1. Massive Tampering With 1934 US Temperatures – Is It Fraud? | Power To The People

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