The dishonesty of our manipulated temperature records

James Delingpole explains the inherent dishonesty of climate change proponents and their manipulated temperature records.

How can we believe in ‘global warming’ when the temperature records providing the ‘evidence’ for that warming cannot be trusted?

It’s a big question – and one which many people, even on the sceptical side of the argument, are reluctant to ask.


[B]efore I go into technical detail about why the temperature records are suspect, let me provide an analogy which ought to make it perfectly clear to any neutral parties reading this why the problem I’m about to describe ought not to be consigned to the realms of crackpottery.

Suppose say, that for the last 100 years my family have been maintaining a weather station at the bottom of our garden, diligently recording the temperatures day by day, and that what these records show is this: that in the 1930s it was jolly hot – even hotter than in the 1980s; that since the 1940s it has been cooling.

What conclusions would you draw from this hard evidence?

Well the obvious one, I imagine, is that the dramatic Twentieth Century warming that people like Al Gore have been banging on about is a crock. At least according to this particular weather station it is.

Now how would you feel if you went and took these temperature records along to one of the world’s leading global warming experts – say Gavin Schmidt at NASA or Phil Jones at CRU or Michael Mann at Penn State – and they studied your records for a moment and said: “This isn’t right.” What if they then crossed out all your temperature measurements, did a few calculations on the back of an envelope, and scribbled in their amendments? And you studied those adjustments and you realised, to your astonishment, that the new, pretend temperature measurements told an entirely different story from the original, real temperature measurements: that where before your records showed a cooling since the 1940s they now showed a warming trend.

You’d be gobsmacked, would you not?

Yes we would.

Yet, incredible though it may seem, the scenario I’ve just described is more or less exactly analogous to what has happened to the raw data from weather stations all over the world.

Take the ones in Paraguay – a part of the world which contributed heavily to NASA GISS’s recent narrative about 2014 having been the “hottest year on record.”

If it wasn’t for the diligence of amateur investigators like retired accountant Paul Homewood, probably no one would care, not even Paraguayans, what has been going on with the Paraguayan temperature records. But Homewood has done his homework and here, revealed at his site Notalotofpeopleknowthat, is what he found.

He began by examining Paraguay’s only three genuinely rural weather stations. (ie the ones least likely to have had their readings affected over the years by urban development.)

All three – at least in the versions used by NASA GISS for their “hottest year on record” claim – show a “clear and steady” upward (warming) trend since the 1950s, with 2014 shown as the hottest year at one of the sites, Puerto Casado.

Judging by this chart all is clear: it’s getting hotter in Paraguay, just like it is everywhere else in the world.


But wait. How did the Puerto Casado chart look before the temperature data was adjusted? Rather different as you see here:


Perhaps, though, Puerto Casada was an anomaly?

How can that be…temperature is a measurably fact…except when climate scientist get their hands on the data. There are even more discrepancies and volte-face temperature records. So many it has to be a conspiracy to defraud in reality.

[J]udge for yourself. These are the actual before and after charts, reproduced from NASA’s own website.

Now the next thing the doubters among you will be thinking is: “Well these are reputable scientific institutions. They wouldn’t be making these adjustments without good reason.”

And I’d agree with you. That’s certainly what one would reasonably hope and expect.

But the odd thing is that no satisfactory explanation has been forthcoming from any of the institutions which have been making these adjustments. Not from NASA GISS. Nor from NOAA, which maintains the dataset known as the Global Historical Climate Network. Nor from the Climatic Research Unit at the University of East Anglia which, with the Met Office, maintains the third of the world’s three surface data records, known as Hadcrut.

About as close as we’ve got to an attempted justification is this piece by Zeke Hausfather –Understanding Adjustments To Temperature Data – at the website of lukewarmer Judith Curry.

The explanations he offers for the basic principles of temperature adjustments are plausible enough. They include things like the Urban Heat Island effect; weather stations which have moved locations; weather stations which appear to give false readings which need to be adjusted in line with their neighbours; changes in measuring equipment; changes in the time of day measurements are taken (formerly in the afternoon, now more usually in the morning,) and so on.

In other words it’s a case of “move along. Nothing to see here” and “trust the Experts. They know best.”

It is all horse dung…call it for what it is dishonest manipulation of data to suit a hypothesis. That isn’t science, science in the real world, not the fairyland of climate science, posits a hypothesis and the data will either prove it or disprove it. Here they manipulate the data to ‘prove it’. That isn’t science that is fraud.

As Paul Homewood reminds us here, it has been happening everywhere from Iceland, Greenland and Russia to Alice Springs in Australia. Also, it has been reported on, at least in the climate sceptical blogosphere, for quite some time. Among the first to spot the problem was Steve McIntyre who back in 2007 observed the curious fact that where NASA’s James Hansen had once acknowledged that the 1930s was the hottest decade in the US, he subsequently amended it – with the help of some conveniently adjusted records – to the 1990s. Anthony Watts of Watts Up With That? has been reporting on this for years; as have bloggers including Steven Goddard and journalists like Christopher Booker.

So why has the scandal never broken into the mainstream? Why has it never made the same splash Climategate did (not, mind you, that Climategate ever got much play in the MSM either)?

Well, one reason, I guess is that the alarmist establishment is pretty good at fobbing off criticisms with seemingly plausible scientific answers. (See Hausfather above).

It takes time and effort to counter these excuses: time and effort which few people can afford.

As an example of the kind of superficially plausible excuse-making I mean, here is climate scientist Ed Hawkins claiming that the reason for the amendments to the raw data at Puerto Casado is that the weather station has been moved.

Well, fair enough, you’d think – and take his word for it. But blogger Shub Niggurathwouldn’t and has demolished this excuse by pointing out that there is no evidence for the weather station having moved. It’s just a handy excuse, that’s all. And in any case, it doesn’t explain why similar changes were made to the records of the other stations: were they all moved too?

Time to call spades as they are.

[T]he bigger reason, of course, is this: if you make the case that all (or at least a good many) of the world’s surface temperature data records have been wantonly tampered with to the point where they are effectively useless, you are more or less accusing some of the world’s most distinguished (and lavishly funded) scientific institutions of, at best, culpable incompetence and, at worst, outright fraud.

Also, to accuse so many temperature gatekeepers of getting the details so badly wrong, you are also implying that there must be some kind of conspiracy involved, even if it is only a conspiracy of silence to cover up what a tremendous cock up they’ve made of their work over a period of years.

Finally, you are suggesting that everything we have been told about dramatic, unprecedented, man-made global warming by the alarmist establishment over the last three decades may be based on a massive lie. Think about it. The satellite records (which show no global warming for the last 18 years) only go back to the late Seventies. So for the main thesis about global warming, the scientists and policymakers who have been pushing the alarmist narrative are largely dependent on the surface temperature data (which, of course, goes back much earlier).

But if this data cannot be trusted, all bets are off. I’m not saying there has been no 2oth century global warming, I think there probably has been, but I don’t honestly know. The worrying part, though, is that neither – it would appear – do the scientists.

Unless, of course, they can come up with an excuse to explain it all. But I’m not holding my breath.

If what has happened in climate science happening in banking then there would be mass arrests and large trials with the perpetrators of such a large scale fraud going to jail for a long time.


– Breitbart


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  • Whafe

    Thoughts Russell Norman?

    Great thread, some great info… It is a travesty of the highest degree.. The money that has been funnelled into this bucket based on false data is palpable

  • Admitting “we make it up as we go” would be like killing the goose that laid the golden egg

    No warming = empty trough

  • Isherman

    The Earth’s climate like the very earth itself, is dynamic. Always has been, always will be. It goes through cycles of warmer and cooler periods. If we can all accept that a a basic truth, then some of the conclusions really have to be questioned, as there is another school of thought that would suggest we are actually in or entering a cooling cycle. That aside, lets say that we accept we are in fact warming for arguments sake. How do we differentiate the ratio between natural climate change, and the effect that man made CO2 emissions have for example? This whole debate always seems to exclude the simple fact that the climate is dynamic, and the natural phenomenon of climate change is almost regarded as a myth.

  • Kiwibabe

    Your point about what would happen to bankers if they perpetrated large scale fraud is poignant, not merely because heavy weight sectors of the industry have, but because in time with recovery from the GFC, which primarily they created, they will revert to their old ways, but moreover that governments and other vested interests will standby and allow it.
    Institutionalised dishonesty abounds unfortunately.

  • sandalwood789

    Excellent article.

  • JC

    I haven’t read the full article but one point stands out..

    When you look at long run records you find that only the records prior to the late 70s have been changed.. downwards to show the past was cooler.

    Curiously (sarc) records of the last 30 odd years are unchanged and this coincides with the advent of the new satellite records which sample the entire Earth and which show no drastic warming trend. As yet, the people running the satellites have resisted pressure to “ädjust” their earlier records.


  • metalnwood

    If so many weather stations have been moved then surely some would have needed to have their data adjusted upwards and some downwards. Wouldn’t it be easy to find where a weather station was previously as well as now and figure out if
    a) if it should have been adjusted at all
    b) should it have been adjusted upwards
    c) should it have been adjusted downwards.

    If they all mysteriously had been adjusted only one way it would be a statistical anomaly, or a deliberate act to change an outcome.

    • ex-JAFA

      In the event that a weather station was moved, a proper scientist would keep the old data as an accurate record of that location and time, and start a new set of data for the new location. Honest science doesn’t allow data adjustment to reflect an assumed change in circumstances.

  • All_on_Red

    Thanks for posting this. The ” fiddling” aka homogenisation of the data has been going on for sometime. BOM in Australia have been at it and also here in NZ. In fact pretty much all over the world. The other trick is where they infill the temp measurement for areas as large as 1200sq kms and call that accurate. They assist that by deleting temp sites from the record as well. They’ve wiped out thousands. Some weren’t accurate but most didn’t need to go.
    Also they are actively decreasing the temps measured in the 30’s and 40’s when it was also as hot as the 80’s to make the trend an increasing line.
    The subject deserves wider exposure as it makes a mockery of all the warmest year nonsense.
    They also exclude the Satellite Temps from the measurements used for the press announcements as they are showing very little warming for the past 18 years.
    It’s certainly true that the world is experiencing warming over the last 10,000 years but it goes up and down and it’s not really by much. It’s certainly not catastrophic. Same with sea levels.
    2-3 mm a year rise. Hardly scary.

    • I’m Right

      Shhhhh, you will upset the greenies and the lefties in general!!

      • HR

        It won’t be long before someone labels All on Red a tin foil hat wearing conspiracy theorist for having a dissenting view.

  • Dexq

    And the authors claim to fame? being a daily mail columnist who refuses to read peer reviewed papers on the subject and has no scientific background or knowledge. If you really believe that all these organisations and thousands and thousands of independent scientists have engaged in a vast conspiracy, then you may as well put on your tin foil hat and dispute the moon landings as well.

  • Rod

    Anyone who has kept animals and built enclosures for the purpose knows something about microclimates. Temperatures can vary dramatically within a very small area, based on the substrate and vegetation, among other factors. We have all walked on a black sand beach and noted that the sand gets very hot, and the temperature of the air just above that sand is much warmer than even a couple of metres higher up. It is quite feasible that recorded temperatures will rise at a weather station which started out in a field, but 50 years later is surrounded by high rise buildings (blocking cooling winds) and areas of tar seal reflecting heat. Recorded temperatures in cities can be expected to rise as the heat from human generated sources increases, i.e vehicle use, industrial processes, domestic heating and cooking, etc. This is however very localised and has minimal effect on the overall temperature of the planet.

  • Alexander K

    I have been following the ‘Global Warming’ thing for years and I’m pleased I decided, long ago, not to hold my breath until the climate science establishment fesses up to much really dodgy stuff. The pointer (for me) is that the satellite temp readings have not been fiddled with and show no warming. Anyone who has been following the dodgy stuff that NIWA has bluffed the legal establishment with will have had their eyes opened very widely indeed.
    Dexq, your strawman arguments don’t hold water. ‘Peer Review’ is not the font of all scientific truth, and Delingpole has merely done what every competent journalist should do – report stuff, even colourfully, after declaring his bias.
    If all the alarmist forecasts had come to pass up to now, we would at least be witnessing ice-free poles and the passing of the Polar bears, but the world now has much more ice and many more Polar bears, and that’s just for starters!

    • I’m Right

      Trouble is, if you question the data and indeed not take it as ‘from experts’ and gospel…you are tarnished with the ‘denier’ brush and IMHO it’s why people more educated and in the field say nothing as it’s a career killer to go against anything/all/something.

  • twr

    Surely an adjustment for a moved sensor would result in a one off shift in the numbers in the data from that point on (ie a move of the scale) and couldn’t possibly change the direction of a trend?