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NOAA Don’t Believe The Iceland Met Office

January 23, 2012
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By Paul Homewood




According to the Iceland Met Office, 1939 and 1941 were the two hottest years of the 20thC in Reykjavik at 5.90 and 5.91C respectively (if that can be described at “hot”!). The only year since, that has been warmer, was 2003, which reached 6.06C. For some reason NOAA don’t believe this, so they reduced the figures for 1939 and 1941 by nearly 2C, and for good measure have increased the Met Office temperatures for every year since 1968 by about another half degree, as the above graph shows.

The result? The Met Office figures produce a warming trend since 1900 of about 0.2C. NOAA tell us it is about one and a half degrees. (See the red (original) and orange (adjusted) graphs).


GISS, of course, use NOAA’s GHCN numbers, and tell the same story, except all their adjustment is in the past.


Mean Temperatures – Reykjavik

Year Met Office GISS Diff
1939 5.90 4.33 -1.57
1941 5.91 4.11 -1.80
2003 6.06 6.08 +0.02


One more strange thing though. Can you see any difference between these two graphs?




The top one was downloaded last week (as can be seen on my post ) and the bottom one just today. The graph is identical except for the temperature scale; the whole scale has been lowered by about 1.0C – instead of inflating recent temperatures, which they did last week, they have reduced past temperatures even further.  Maybe just a coincidence, but it does have the effect of pushing  2010 and 2011 way up into the realms of “hottest ever”. When I reported last week, these two years had been left unadjusted and consequently appeared to be no warmer than many previous years.

I have asked GISS to comment on this. However, there is a clear suspicion that they have done this to avoid having to explain why their current temperatures are so far out of line. Now of course the current temperatures are accurate and all the adjustment is loaded back into the past. Do they think they can get away with rewriting history without people noticing?

P.S. Fortunately I printed the GISS dataset last week, so can see exactly what changes have been made. That’s what comes from being a suspicious old accountant!

  1. Paul Matthews permalink
    January 24, 2012 4:58 pm

    The GHCN graphs showing the size of the adjustments are a bit misleading, because they are all done as ‘anomalies’. In fact if you look at their unadjusted and adjusted data, there is no adjustment from 1968-present, and before that a downward adjustment that reaches a maximum of 2.2 degrees in 1939-41. Of course this does not affect trends but it can be confusing.

    In the previous version of GHCN, v3.0.0, there were no adjustments at all. So the drastic re-writing of Iceland’s temperature history by GHCN arose with the introduction of version v3.1.0 in November.

    There are many other ‘anomalies’. For example the Met Office data that you quote do not match the ‘unadjusted’ GHCN files.

    There are also the mysterious missing years. Why do GHCN delete 2008 and 2009, leading to the gap in the GISS graph?
    Looking at the unadjusted data, the monthly temperature for Feb 2008 has the same value, -0.2, as Jan 2008. This causes a ‘W’ flag in the GHCN file, and in the adjusted data the rest of 2008 and most of 2009 is replaced by 9999.

    The same thing happens in 1946: Dec 1945 and Jan 1946 have the same raw value, so GHCN decides this must be wrong and deletes all the data for 1946. Similarly in 1966 Jan and Feb have the same value so that year is deleted. But this doesn’t happen in 1926 so I don’t know why GHCN deleted that year.

    The deletions of 1946, 1966 and 2008 were also there in version v3.0.0, but not 1926.

    • January 24, 2012 6:58 pm

      Yes, it is difficult to cross check anomalies with actuals. I guess this takes us back to the GISS figures.

  2. DirkH permalink
    January 26, 2012 6:10 am

    “Do they think they can get away with rewriting history without people noticing?”

    But they got away with it for years now. Why should anyone notice now? All climate scientists around the world stay silent, and the journalists don’t even have the idea of checking the data, they trust climate scientists blind.

    The climate scientists will once again mislead the entire world. They are quite a powerful cult.

  3. Robin permalink
    January 26, 2012 10:21 pm

    Never been here before, I’m afraid. I also look closely at climate numbers as published – that is when I can find them. The manipulations of Reykjavik look very like opportunistic methods that are used to disguise something that is unpalatable. Surely the original Iceland Met Office values are the ones to use. Do you have a URL for these. I am very interested in the data for the whole of the 20th century. I believe that there was a large and widespread step change in 1922 for this area of the globe (eg Nuuk and other Greenland sites, as well as Iceland ones, eg Akureji (spelling??). Can provide graphics but only via email I’m afraid.

    • January 26, 2012 10:38 pm

      I only have what they emailed me. I’ll forward them on to you.


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