Christopher Booker’s Telegraph column yesterday quoted Willis Eschenbach. Except that some trolls there didn’t like what was being said about Willis’ critical open letter to Nature – how dare he! They felt they should point out why his views are not worth a cent.
Previously he’d dared to ask questions about the adjustment process at Darwin Airport in the GHCN V2 record (here and here). But while Deltoid and other sites had attacked and ridiculed Willis over Darwin, other people looked and found perhaps he had a point. Perhaps they saw the error independently. It doesn’t matter – Willis was right to question and he was right that something wasn’t right. More fool his detractors.
Here’s what Willis was pointing out at Darwin – an adjustment that did not seem physically possible given what was known about the station history and the record at other stations in the area:
This is how Kevin’s TEKtemp version of the graph looks:
That is one hell of an adjustment for one site. But wait, that was GHCN V2 and NCDC have been rolling out the process they use for adjustment and UHI correction in the USHCN set to the rest of the world.
NCDC’s Matt Menne at a workshop in Exeter in September: Lessons learnt from US Historical Climate Network and Global Historical Climate Network most recent homogenisation cycle acknowledged critiques from what he called “non traditional scientific sources”. In September, when NCDC released GHCN V3 (Beta) it was apparent that many of the “unusual” adjustments pointed out by bloggers (including Willis) had been corrected.
And looking at Darwin, NCDC’s algorithms found no need for adjustment:
Here’s what it looks like (from TEKtemp) with the two sets overlaid (Kevin’s QC leaves out any years with missing months):
Willis responds here. He’s right – it should not be about him – but it is – it is inconvenient for some people that he is good at asking the right questions – good questions – the ones that objective scientists themselves should be asking, but too often they aren’t! Perhaps they are no longer objective.
So kudos to Willis and other bloggers with their limited resources where they do find something ‘off’. It can be like finding a needle in a haystack. The important thing in science is to get things right. More people need to do the things that Willis is very good at – seeing it straight and asking the right questions. To quote Willis:
As my story shows, some of us have studied extensively and thought long and hard about the subjects in question even if we may not have credentials and diplomas and official positions.
Who needs credentials when you’ve got a brain – and you’re not afraid to use it.
At the risk of embarassing Willis, I decided I should repost something previously written here, and not just link to it. It only begins to illustrate his effectiveness.
(to be sung to “If I only had a brain” from the “Wizard of Oz”)
I often while away the hours, calculatin’ powers
of thunderstorms and rain.
And my head I’m never scratchin’ while
my thoughts are busy hatchin’
‘cos I like to use my brain.
Oh, I can tell you why, Post Normal Science is a bore.
I’ll make you think of things you’ve never thunk before.
And then I’ll sit, and think some more.
Global warmin’s just a nothin’ or your head is full of stuffin’
but my blogs will keep you sane.
Well unless the sun is foolin’, I am sure the planet’s coolin’,
‘cos I like to use my brain.