Sunday, August 12, 2007

Another Inconvenient Truth

The following online discussion and debate is an example of the power of the web to bring both wide public participation and deep expertise to bear on the detailed mathematics involved in research and simulation, the public policy debates that rest on that work, and collaborative contributions by widely dispersed individuals.

According to Wikipedia, Stephen McIntyre found an error in the surface temperature record kept by the Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS). GISS has acknowledged the error and incorporated a correction in their data set. The error affects the surface temperature record from 2000 through 2007. The US Annual Mean Temperature Chart from GISS, last modified on 2007-08-07, is below.

McIntyre is the primary author at the blog, CimateAudit, which is said to be under a denial of service attack at this writing. His most recent comments, as a guest blogger, are available here.

Thanks to Daily Tech for a pointer to this online discussion, and to Anthony Watt's Watt's Up with That? blog for a historical summary and annual charts from the revised data. The mission of Watt's newest online endeavor, SurfaceStations, is the creation of a publicly available photographic database of weather stations and weather station metadata through collaboration.

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