GISS Temperature Records
for the British Isles
Why do the GISS records for world temperature
have so many anomalies on my own doorstep?
Click on each thumbnail graph for full graph. I've standardized
the format and scale so that in all graphs, the pale-blue
zone starts at 1880 and ends at 2000 CE. I downloaded most
of the British
Isles GISS record set on 3rd November this year. Blue
is the "original" data according to GISS; red
is the "homogenized" record, supposedly adjusted
for UHI etc though I have yet to find out just how. The Met
Office records for Ross-on-Wye and Braemar (just acquired)
are green - but these
are unfortunately already "adjusted", with no raw
as with GISS.
I'd trust the old record-keepers any day. In the past, Arctic
temperature records could be a matter of life and death to
the record-keeper's community. Many records here are sited
at old universities and other historical places that once
cared about longterm accuracy. The CRU records we now know
are worthless as they stand. The GISS records here look seriously
flawed; adjustments are not explained or justified. Now we
know GISS is also cutting off inconveniently high old records
and goodness knows what else.
Here is a small selection of records; click
on names below to see a bigger set (all the long records).
Most of these records, inexplicably, do not come up to
the current date. Why are so many old records truncated
around 1980? What do they reveal between 1980 and 2009? Can
anyone supply the missing data? Where did GISS get the UK
records from? I'm sure it still exists somewhere. Graphs plus
data preferred! I'm sure that these old stations have not
disappeared. We ought to be able to see the complete datasets
here, and also the "metadata" - the history of site
location changes, instrumentation changes, etc, and the coding
and reasoning for all "adjustments".
I think we need an Open Source database for
temperature records and other records and fundamentals of
the real Climate Science. And close on the temperature record
is the need to establish trustworthy, transparent, and adjustable
adjustments for the Urban Heat Island effect (not the mess
we see here, nor reliance on its downplaying by Peterson
2003), and station biases, as the Surface
Stations project has been cataloguing in the US. I
hope that, in the ongoing effects of ClimateGate, this will
start to happen. But it is not something I can do.
I've used Photoshop for visual effects only,
no direct data handling here. But even without the mathematical
handling of the data, with trends, smoothing, and metadata,
the evidence is telling. My source was http://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/station_data/.
Click on the British Isles outline here, scroll down the GISS
page to the world map, and follow instructions there, to find
the original graphs and data (if they are still there - they
may have changed and are worth checking!). I used a common
scale, so that I could overlay different versions of each
station record; this way, much was revealed. Even more has
been revealed by putting all these comparisons side-by-side,
even at this thumbnail size. Namely: THE
ADJUSTMENTS ARE SELF-EVIDENTLY SUSPECT. They all
point to arbitrary alterations that appear to have the overall
effect, not of compensating for UHI, but of hyping the UHI
and increasing the warming.
We see visually that:-
- many of the adjustments exaggerate the warming trend; this
adjustment is often done by depressing earlier measurements
(and implying our forebears kept records less accurately than
we do), whereas I would expect UHI correction at the END,
with the warming lessened, not increased.
- there is a strange and disturbing lack of common pattern,
such as is so evident in the Russian Arctic temperature records.
UHI can account for some but not all of it. Yet similar interannual
fluctuations show up.
- many of these GISS records that "start" at 1880
appear to "end" around 1980. I believe that most
of these are from still-existing weather stations, and that
it should be possible to complete them, find details of station
changes, and apply sensitive individual adjustments for UHI
etc, with a bit of careful friendly research.
- Many stations here are at airports. Airports were used originally
simply because the Royal Air Force were in charge of the Met
Office. But with AGW nonsense today, times have changed.
- There are several more GISS stations not listed here because
they are too short to be much use as they do not cover the
crucial time of temperatures "uptick", with a reasonable
past comparison; yet many of these reach up to the present
time and probably contain spurious warming owing to airport
- the adjustsments for Greenwich Maritime are, uniquely, above
the "raw" record, unlike all the other adjustments.
So I trust its "adjusted" slope but it is altogether
- Ross-on-Wye and Braemar are the only two long records that
have not been "homogenized". These might yield very
interesting information if the data up to the present time,
in raw form, can be found. I've now got the Met Office data
but this is pre-adjusted and therefore suspect. See links
Here are notes about
each of the records I've done comparative graphs for.
is an old university, but the current site is probably the
airport. The further north we go, the more important temperature
records become - hence the many excellent old Arctic records.
Also I trust the Celts' sense of history. An interested
there, keen to keep the met office there going. URL
is an old Welsh university town, so small that UHI should
impact it but little.
- comparison is irrelevant because
this valuable and important record surfaced independently
of GISS. URL
for data & details
- hey, an airport in 1880? One of
the few long records to overshoot 2000.
- on the Wirrall opposite Liverpool, UHI likely. Here are
if someone can put them into an Excel graph.
- googling led to a very interesting web page that should
be followed up. One of the two unchanged records. Too cold,
too rural, and no doubt nobody to fool! URL
- old record, probably the University, little adjustments.
Almost certainly still runs. Possibly little UHI. URL
(this wider link system is based in Cambridge
- extends beyond 2000 like Belfast. Airport again probably.
What the heck is up with their adjustments?
- huge temp range ( the colder the record, the more it tends
to extremes). Close to Eskdalemuir. Interesting
- University town, old record.
- old record. How old? Large UHI expected, from extended Midlands
- Royal Observatory of some considerable fame. Records may
still be kept there, could be a good continuous source. Current
GISS records switched to (surprise surprise) the airport.
URL to explore
- records centre, moved from Kew when they reckoned they started
getting interference with readings. Truly rural.
- interesting, has another venerable observatory. Another
long record worth chasing. Current location is no doubt the
airport though it can't have been in 1880.
- again, I suspect interesting long records,
likely to be more complete than GISS suggests.
Museum, London - again, I wonder if
records are being kept at this important historical centre.
The "homogenized" version is HIGHER than the recorded
version - until the very last records. WUWT?
- should still be running at University. Certainly there are
several weather stations in the area. I put the Brize Norton
RAF record (green) alongside Oxford. See how short it is.
- I'd trust the Navy over the Met Office.
- important agricultural research establishment, probably
was an old aristocratic seat before that, so records may go
back a long way. St Albans area, probably affected by London
- old records. Again I'd hope for Navy connections here.
- old records, university town. What the heck is happening
with their UHI adjustments? URL
I'm not a meteorologist, I only know science from
school and general interest, I cannot even turn csv lists into
Excel graphs, and I'm glad when others can do this for me! I've
just received charts for Ross-on-Wye and Braemar from a WUWT reader.
But these are from CRU data, whose preset adjustments are still
unknown. I believe that most if not all these records will be
found to extend back further, and continue forward to the present
time, if people can track them down, find friendly individuals,
amateur meteorologists, who understand the science, can lay hands
on the records, and supply details of station changes.
Updated 13th December 2009