The supposed measuring of the global average temperature in 1850 at 13.67 C, the so called pre-industrial benchmark, had been based on thermometer readouts barely covering 5 per cent of the globe until the satellite era began 40-50 years ago. We do not know how global climate has changed in the past century, all we know is some limited regional climate changes, such as in Europe, North America and parts of Asia. This is even more true given that 71% of the earth’s surface is ocean and the only ocean data before the satellite era began in the 1970’s was limited to ship routes mainly near land north of the Equator.

No Warming March 2021

Inadequate or Missing Data

“According to overseers of the long-term instrumental temperature data, the Southern Hemisphere record is “mostly made up”. This is due to an extremely limited number of available measurements both historically and even presently from Antarctica to the equatorial regions.

In 1981, NASA’s James Hansen et al reported that “Problems in obtaining a global temperature history are due to the uneven station distribution, with the Southern Hemisphere and ocean areas poorly represented,” – – – – (Science, 28 August 1981, Volume 213, Number 4511(link))

In 1978, the New York Times reported there was too little temperature data from the Southern Hemisphere to draw any reliable conclusions. The report, prepared by German, Japanese and American specialists, appeared in the Dec. 15 issue of  Nature, the British journal and stated that “Data from the Southern Hemisphere, particularly south of latitude 30 south, are so meager that reliable conclusions are not possible,” the report says.

Ship Readouts limited in Southern Hemisphere

Attempting to compile a `global mean temperature’ from such fragmentary, disorganized, error-ridden, ever-changing and geographically unbalanced data is more guesswork than science.

“Ships travel on well-established routes so that vast areas of ocean, are simply not traversed by ships at all, and even those that do, may not return weather data on route.

The CRU scientist at the center of the Climategate scandal at East Anglia University, Phil Jones after he thought the jig was up, made a candid admission on BBC that his surface temperature data are in such disarray they probably cannot be verified or replicated, that there has been no statistically significant global warming for the last 15 years and it has cooled 0.12C/decade trend from 2002-2009.  Jones specifically disavowed the “science-is-settled” slogan.

Attempting to compile a `global mean temperature’ from such fragmentary, disorganized, error-ridden, ever-changing and geographically unbalanced data is more guesswork than science.


During recent decades there has been a migration away from old instruments read by trained observers. These instruments were generally in shelters that were properly located over grassy surfaces and away from obstacles to ventilation and heat sources. Today we have many more automated sensors (The MMTS) located on poles cabled to the electronic display in the observer’s home or office or at airports near the runway where the primary mission is aviation safety.

Pielke and Davey (2005) found a majority of stations, including climate stations in eastern Colorado, did not meet WMO requirements for proper siting. They extensively documented poor siting and land-use change issues in numerous peer-reviewed papers, many summarized in the landmark paper Unresolved issues with the assessment of multi-decadal global land surface temperature trends (2007).

In a volunteer survey project, Anthony Watts and his more than 650 volunteers found that over 900 of the first 1067 stations surveyed in the 1221 station US climate network did not come close to meeting the specifications. Only about 3% met the ideal specification for siting. (see Fall etal here).

They found stations located next to the exhaust fans of air conditioning units, surrounded by asphalt parking lots and roads, on blistering-hot rooftops, and near sidewalks and buildings that absorb and radiate heat. They found 68 stations located at wastewater treatment plants, where the process of waste digestion causes temperatures to be higher than in surrounding areas.

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