Surface Temperature

An Assessment of Written Global Temperature Records

Building a model to encourage needed negotiations

The most important indicator of global warming, by far, is the land and sea surface temperature record. This has been criticized to date in several ways, including the choice of stations and the methods for correcting systematic errors.

Initiated and sponsored by Novim, a team of University of California Berkeley scientists set out to to do a comprehensive reconciliation of the global surface temperature written record in a highly rigorous manner.

Beginning with land surface records dating from 1800, the project team utilized over 39,000 unique stations, more than five times the 7,280 stations found in the Global Historical Climatology Network Monthly data set (GHCN-M) that has served as the focus of many climate studies to date.

Novim’s goal was to resolve current criticism of former temperature analyses, and to prepare an open record that would be available to researchers and the public at large. The results include not only a comprehensive normalization of the historical data, but estimates of uncertainties in the record, the complete raw and normalized data bases and all of the algorithms and techniques used by the team.

Novim’s sole directive has been to compile the most complete and accurate record of the earth’s temperature going back to the very first written historical data. It was never its intent to draw conclusions from this data. Members of the scientific community, as well as the general public are encouraged to make use of this new digital tool to inform their own opinions.

Working from the massive 600 GB output data base, another Novim team created an interactive app that displays the global temperature reporting stations and their data, month-by-month beginning in 1800. The user can vary the reporting interval, display speed, and range; moving dynamical forward or backwards as desired. Links are also provided to Wikipedia historical events for any given date.

The iPad/iPhone app is available free at the Apple Apps Store under Novim.

Economist summary of the Novim surface temperature study