End of year alteration shenanigans at CRU

I have just added a line on Coolwire 16 to weird goings on at the CRU Climate Monitor website re deletions of 2005 gridded data images from March 2005 on.
IMHO it looks as if they wanted to see if 2005 could be a candidate for Hottest year ever. I know others have noticed this CRU habit long before this Blog.
No shame at all.
Caught out with their own date stamps. Check it out for yourself, please let me know when March 2005 on are replaced.

3 thoughts on “End of year alteration shenanigans at CRU”

  1. I know this happens with the GISS data fairly often, including this month. Some of it may just be formatting problems, but I do know that GISS at least states that preliminary data is subject to adjustment. Of course, absolutely no attention is paid to any of this stuff unless some kind of record is being discussed. Now, with a record at issue and I suspect with the CRU folks feeling in perhaps a slightly second fiddle position to GISS, it would be unsurprising to see CRU double-checking everything rather more carefully than usual but still feeling like they have to do it quickly. They will have to be answering a lot of questions about the differences between their data and GISS’s. So I wouldn’t read too much into all of this. By all means, though, check the new stuff for any actual differences with the old and ask them what happened if there are any.

  2. On 20 Dec Dr Phil Jones replied to this blog post as follows;
    I have looked at your blog. Thanks for pointing out that our Climate Monitor website has gone wrong. After each month’s update, the sequence for the last 12 months gets
    redrawn. This is because the update of the latest month might include some additional (late) data for earlier months. There is no need to read any sort of conspiracy into this. A program updates many CRU datasets every Sunday morning. Sometimes it occasionally reports errors which we then sort out. Sometimes though it thinks it has worked OK, but clearly hasn’t. We will try and find out why it hasn’t this time. Rest assured, none of
    the data for earlier months in 2005 have been altered, except for some back data for a few regions of the world.


  3. Warwick — CRU’s monthly maps are now back, updated to November, at www.cru.uea.ac.uk/cru/climon/data/tgrid/2005. You may want to check them out.

    On 15 December, CRU, the Met Office and the WMO all issued statements on the CRU data in 2005. The CRU (University of East Anglia – UEA) and Met Office statements are different although the CRU describes its as “WMO/CRU/Met. Office press release” and the Met Office describes its as “A joint statement from the Met Office and UEA”.

    Met office version here: www.metoffice.gov.uk/corporate/pressoffice/2005/climate_2005.pdf
    CRU version here: www.cru.uea.ac.uk/cru/press/2005-12-WMO.pdf

    WMO cover note here: www.wmo.int/index-en.html. This WMO note makes no mention of the fact that the data only cover until November. Nor does it mention that the data are a composite calculated by the CRU. Rather, the results are described as “according to the records maintained by Members of the World Meteorological Organization” — as if the global average was either calculated by the WMO or its members.

    The WMO says 2005 “is currently the second warmest and likely to be among the warmest four years in the temperature record since 1861.” But the Met Office says: “2005 is currently assessed to be the fourth warmest year on record using our official figures, though it is currently the second warmest year (data from January to November only) using the preliminary method of calculation used here, based on simple averages.” It is hard to make sense of this. The Met Office appears to say that 2005 is the fourth warmest year according to their real method, but if they add it up a different way they can make it look like the second warmest year, which is what the WMO claims straight out.

    The WMO says “the official figures will be available at the beginning of 2006”, while the Met Office says “Final figures will not be released until February.” Regardless of when the actual average for 2005 is calculated — which obviously cannot be done until December data are available — why do the CRU, Met Office and WMO persist in giving such publicity to preliminary estimates based on a alternative calculation method relating to only 11 months of data?

    Could a desire for publicity based on over-hyped claims have something to do with it? I hate to suggest such a base motive for the actions of taxpayer-funded institutions that have a clear obligation to provide unbiased information. Yet how else to explain the Met Office’s opening sentence in presenting the data:

    “Provisional figures for 2005 compiled by the Met Office’s Hadley Centre and the University of East Anglia (UEA) show that the northern hemisphere is experiencing its warmest ever year.” www.metoffice.gov.uk/corporate/pressoffice/2005/pr20051215.html

    Now the Northern Hemisphere is several billion years old and the Met Office has only 145 years of data. So this is pretty sensational extrapolation!

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