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How Sparse Is Global Temperature Data?

June 19, 2014

By Paul Homewood



Both GISS and NCDC rely on the GHCH dataset for land surface temperatures, which are in turn input to the global datasets. GHCN build these up as anomalies for grid cells 5 x 5 degrees in size.

Although there a possible 2592 such cells globally (incl ocean), many have missing data, as NCDC’s map below shows.





From this sparse data, we are expected to believe that they know the global temperature to one hundredth of a degree.


  1. June 19, 2014 9:24 am

    nobody knows what is the GLOBAL temp, to save his/her life!

    But people should know this: The troposphere is the earth’s radiator/ as on your car radiator. You don’t put truck’s radiator into a car, or car’s radiator in truck, because it wouldn’t cool enough. b] when you are in bed and is cold – you shrink in a fetus position – when you get hot, you spread arms and legs, for bigger exposure, you don’t succeed much, but it helps. Earth’s troposphere can double in size, in an instant, if warmed that much. c] imagine if you have a radiator on your car, to instantly / accordingly expand when the engine is hot and to shrink when is cold; as a piano accordion radiator; but only imagine, because if you install that kind of radiator- you will attract too much attention and cause traffic hazard.

    WELL, THE TROPOSPHERE IS LIKE PIANO ACCORDION (O2&N2) ARE EXPANDING / SHRINKING ALL THE TIME AS NECESSARY – can release twice as much heat if necessary. Reason: sun eclipse, CO2, CH4 or the sunspots cannot change the overall planet’s temperature. Unless the Skeptics realize that – they will stay as born losers, with their sunspots! (the car regulates by thermostat when is cold – and the fen speeds up when you are revving the engine more for speed – that’s mechanical and fails. The EXPANSION / SHRINKING of O2&N2 never failed – therefore: in the past, warmings / coolings were ALWAYS localized, never global all ”proxy data” is a crap!!! that’s why: if the Skeptics didn’t exist, Warmist would have invented them… Next time when you look at somebody’s car radiator, remind yourself and appreciate how more efficient is the earth’s brilliant troposphere – as ”SELF ADJUSTING MECHANISM” The ”NORMAL” laws of physics were same in the past, as they are today – and they will be same in 2100.

  2. June 19, 2014 2:28 pm

    A year and a half ago I compared the difference between 1×1 and 5×5 grid cells on the same data for Canada×5-warming-and-1×1-cooling/

    “Using 1×1 grid squares, Canada is cooling at -0.089C / decade.

    Using 5×5 grid squares, Canada is warming at 0.053C / decade.”

  3. June 19, 2014 5:59 pm

    I seem to recall reading “somewhere”, that satelites altitude was accurate to about 6 cm, yet, they measure sea level to the nearest millimeter?

    • June 20, 2014 12:25 am

      Lance, now you are talking; you hit the nail on the head. plus, higher waves doesn’t mean more water in the sea

    • David permalink
      June 21, 2014 12:24 pm

      Satellite altimetry is much more accurate than that for measuring sea levels.

      See the FAQs here (left margin):

  4. David permalink
    June 21, 2014 12:22 pm

    “From this sparse data, we are expected to believe that they know the global temperature to one hundredth of a degree.”

    That’s just the level of precision Paul, not the stated level of accuracy. The certainly aren’t claiming they “know” the average temperature to 1/100th of a degree. You could get that level of precision by averaging data from relatively few temperature stations (or anything else for that matter).

    Accuracy is expressed by the error margins stated with the NOAA data. These are quite broad. For instance, the April NOAA land figure was given as 1.35 (+/- 0.11) deg C above 20th century average. So the range is 1.24 to 1.46; which in both cases is ‘about ‘1 deg C, using normal rounding.

    As for the lack of spatial coverage: obviously we can’t cover the surface of the earth with weather stations. But as long as the data from each station is long term and is processed consistently then there’s no particular reason why it can’t provide a useful indicator of widespread change over time.

    • June 21, 2014 6:22 pm

      All true of course, David.

      But that does not stop NCDC, GISS or the rest claiming “record” this and “record” thats.

      For instance, last month, NCDC claimed

      The combined average temperature over global land and ocean surfaces for April 2014 tied with 2010 as the highest on record for the month, at 0.77°C (1.39°F) above the 20th century average of 13.7°C (56.7°F).

      Quite simply, they don’t know this at all.

      • David permalink
        June 22, 2014 8:30 am


        A truer, but less succinct, way for NOAA to put it might be:

        ‘Our best estimate for the combined average temperature over global land and ocean surfaces during April 2014, based on our limited and unevenly distributed data sources and after processing the raw data to correct for a number of known biases, was 0.77 deg C above the 20th century average. There is a 95% probability that the actual figure was between 0.85 and 0.69 deg C and a 5% probability that it was outside this range completely (high or low).’

        This is what the report actually does say, but is it reasonable to expect them to put all that in the lead in?

      • June 22, 2014 9:33 am


        Or more to the point, “it could be anywhere between 0.69 and 0.85, and possibly outside of that.It may be that it is the warmest April on record, but we really have no idea!”

    • June 23, 2014 1:32 am

      the ”probability” is that you are 101% WRONG!
      On 99,9999999999999999999999% of the planet nobody is monitoring! b] earth is NOT as human body; when is 0,5C warmer under the armpit = the whole body is warmer by that much – on the planet the temp varies on every 100m every 15 minutes – when cloudy is cooler on the ground but warmer in the upper atmosphere – all thermometers are on 2m above the ground – is the rest of the atmosphere on another globe?.

      on Antarctic 3 thermometers are monitoring for IPCC and the next thermometers are in Tasmania Hawaii and Chile – 1/3 of the planet 3 thermometers, compering in Europe clustered in every town. 3] it is monitored only for the hottest minute in 24h and the other 1439 minutes ignored, they NEVER fluctuate as the hottest minute.

      Lots of billions are getting looted from the public, based on complete lies – if it was penalties, long jail therms for lying / rip-off – would you have supported those lies?
      here is the truth, or do you prefer to waste your life in lies:

  5. Herve D permalink
    June 21, 2014 1:46 pm

    Take an atmospheric pollutant and imagin that you can instantly remove it in its totality: Thence everybody, animals and plants would feel better.
    Remove all CO² from atmosphere: no more plants, no more food, Life would disappear from this planet.
    Is CO² a pollutant? No, it is a pollutant only for unsincere stupid red tape propagandists…

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