I'm happy to announce to BEST has finally released some results it gets without adjustments. It's not a full release, but it's still a significant step forward, so for today I'll try not to be snarky. I'll try not to dwell on why they've waited years to release this data, why they falsely told the media they had already released the data, why they refused to correct their false statements or why they now still don't talk about it. I've talked about all that before.
So instead of dwelling on the past, let's instead... look at the past. Yeah, it's not really the best of transitions. Still, an interesting to look at the post I wrote almost exactly one year ago. It began:
Recently, while discussing the Berkeley Earth temperature record (BEST), I made the comment it seemed every station showed a similar warming trend in recent times. I decided to test that idea by looking at the last 50 years or so. To do so, I created a map of linear trends from for the 1960-2013 period:
You'll note, the scale of the map begins at 0. That's because there isn't a single point on it below zero. According to BEST, not a single location on the planet has cooled since 1960.
Since I wrote that almost exactly a year before I gained access to this new set of results, ones generated without adjusting the data, obviously I have to try doing the same thing with them.
I couldn't find my old code, but it didn't take very long to recreate it. I was even able to almost perfectly reproduce the above image. I just couldn't get the color scheme to match up quite right. I figured that wasn't important, so I just went ahead and made a higher quality version of it:
It could obviously be improved, but it'll do for now. The important thing is having code to make it means having code to make a similar graph for the unadjusted dataset. Again, this is a really crude first attempt at it, and the color schemes don't match perfectly, but the differences are striking:
Before I get to that though, I want to point out these images line up with one of the images BEST has published showing unadjusted result, which is always a good sign.
As for the differences, this shows BEST is not simply adding a bunch of warming to its record willy-nilly. As everyone should have already known, global warming is not purely some artifact of adjustments. On the other hand, the difference in spatial resolution between these two images is remarkable. The rate of warming in the unadjusted results varies quite a bit across continents, but in the adjusted data results, it is far more constant.
For now, I'm not going to argue about which is right. I'm just going to leave this post as an interesting update on where we are, a year later. In that vein, I want to briefly revisit one of my first posts about BEST which led to me discussing this gridded data. That post, titled "Is Best Really the Best?" compared BEST's temperature for the area I lived in to that given by another group, GISS:
Naturally, I decided to update that comparison as well. Here is what I got:
It seems I may have been right when I said:
It’s amazing. From month to month and year to year, GISS and BEST look nearly identical. The high frenquency components of their graphs are indistinguishable. The only meaningful differences between the GISS and BEST estimates for my area is BEST adds a huge warming trend.
To be clear, I don’t think this means BEST is fraudulently adjusting the data. I’m not Steven Goddard. I suspect what’s actually happening is BEST is smearing warming from other areas into mine. That is, warming in other states is causing Illinois to seem like it’s warming far more than it actually is. That’s not fraud. That’s just low resolution in the estimates.
But here’s the thing. BEST is supposed to be the best temperature record. It has a website encouraging people to look at data on as fine a scale as individual cities. WHY?! If BEST can’t come close to getting things right for the state of Illinois, why should anyone care at what it says about the city of Springfield, Illinois?
In any event, I'll be looking at this data more in the days to come. I'm not posting a direct link to it though, as it stored in a location with some data for an unpublished paper, and I was asked not to access that data. I'd feel wrong if I gave a link to this data and someone wound up accessing the other data because of it. I'm still baffled they haven't released this data publicly despite all their promises, but... as I said, laying off the snark for today.
Anyway, until the data is publicly available, if there's anything you'd like me to look into, feel free to let me know. One thing I'm particularly interested in right now is how adjustments vary over time. I'm happy to look at other things though.