Was 2012 the hottest year on record for the United States? And if so, does that offer any proof for the theory of anthropogenic (human-caused) global warming, or AGW? Happily, the answers to those questions are “no” and “no.”
But that hasn’t stopped the usual global-warming alarmists from hyperventilating and offering up the usual torrid headlines. Typical of the so-called mainstream media (MSM) response to a press release from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is the breathless January 8 video report from NBC News’ Anne Thompson, and a companion print article by NBC News’ Elizabeth Chuck. Entitled “NOAA: 2012 was warmest year ever for US, second most 'extreme,'” the Anne Thompson piece leads off with this claim: “Last year was one for the history books, as a long-term warming trend brought two record highs for each record low between 2000 and 2010. And even more concerning, in the past year there were five record highs for each low recorded.”
Elizabeth Chuck’s article reported:
2012 was the warmest year on record in the contiguous United States, according to scientists with The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
The average temperature for 2012 was 55.3 degrees Fahrenheit, 3.2 degrees above normal and a full degree higher than the previous warmest year recorded — 1998 — NOAA said in its report Tuesday. All 48 states in the contiguous U.S. had above-average annual temperatures last year, including 19 that broke annual records, from Connecticut through Utah.
“We’re taking quite a large step,” said Jake Crouch, a climate scientist from the NOAA National Climatic Data Center, which has recorded temperatures in the contiguous U.S. for the past 118 years.
It was also a historic year for "extreme" weather, scientists with the federal agency said.
“The unprecedented warm weather wasn't contained to the United States,” the NBC report continued, a little further on. “A corresponding rise in global temperatures,” it further claimed, “prompted the World Meteorological Organization to call the rate at which the Arctic sea ice was melting ‘alarming’ in its Nov. 28, 2012, report.”
To underscore its already over-the-top, lop-sided editorializing disguised as reportage, the NBC article prominently displayed and linked to an earlier NBC posting by John Roach entitled, “'Horrible' sea level rise of more than 3 feet plausible by 2100, experts say.”
How many times can they get away with crying “wolf!” and doctoring the data?
It all does indeed sound rather “horrible.” Which, of course, is the point. Those who favor a centrally-planned, United Nations-administered global regime know that in order to get the American people and the peoples of the world to surrender their sovereignty, independence, and freedoms to an international authority, they must be subjected to non-stop horrible scenarios scary enough to justify the transformation. That is precisely what UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon and UN climate czarina Christiana Figueres called for at the recently concluded UN climate summit in Doha, Qatar. As we reported here and here, Figueres openly declared, “the whole climate change process is a complete transformation of the economic structure of the world.” She averred the climate “crisis” is so severe as to require a government-mandated “guided transformation” and “centralized transformation” that would affect “the life of everyone on the planet.”
In order to justify this wrenching transformation the would-be global transformers have kept a steady avalanche of apocalyptic predictions going for the past two decades: melting polar icecaps and glaciers, rising sea levels swamping major coastal cities and countries, more and larger hurricanes and extreme weather, dying forests and oceans, droughts, floods, plagues, pestilence, etc., etc.
But what does the real science say? First off, was 2012 the hottest year ever for the United States? To arrive at the desired outcome of a record-breaking temperature year, it appears that the folks at NOAA engaged in some dodgy and deceptive “science.” That is not in the least bit surprising, since NOAA, like NASA, the Met Office, WMO, IPCC, HADCRUT, and other highly politicized institutions promoting global-warming alarmism, has been caught more than once tilting the data and tweaking the computer models, as we have reported here.
In a January 9 posting entitled, “2012 Didn’t Crack The Top Ten For Record Maximums,” Real Science blogger Steven Goddard points out:
NOAA has inflated the 2012 record maximum number by adding new stations which didn’t exist during the hot years of the 1930s. That is a completely illegitimate approach, suitable only for government workers.
An apples to apples comparison uses only the same stations. When that is done, 2012 doesn’t even crack the ten hottest years.
And he notes, in a response to a reader’s comment, that “Any station which has been added in the last 30 years will have 366 all-time records set during the last 30 years.”
The previous day, January 8, Goddard posted an equally important blog entitled, “The Big Lie Becomes Official At NOAA,” which notes that the alarmists are continually revising the records to make them say whatever fits the political expediencies of the moment. He reproduces a graph from a 1999 article by NASA’s AGW alarmist-in-chief James Hansen that flatly contradicts NOAA’s assertion (as reported above by NBC) that 1998 was the warmest year on record. In fact, it was only the fifth warmest year recorded, well below the heat-wave years of 1921 and 1934. Goddard writes:
In an article which NASA published in 1999, Hansen showed that 1998 was only the fifth warmest year, after 1934, 1921, 1931 and 1953. In fact, 1998 was 0.6C cooler than 1934.
Goddard reproduces Hansen’s 1999 NASA graph of U.S. Annual Mean Temperatures and U.S. 5-Year Mean Temperatures, which pictorially contradicts the alarmist meme that the past century has seen planet Earth in the grip of a deadly fever, with a steady and alarming rise in temperatures. Goddard concludes:
Over the past decade, NASA and NOAA have continuously altered the temperature record to cool the past and warm the present. Their claims are straight out of Orwell’s 1984, and have nothing to do with science.
Cooking the Books: Standard Operating Procedure at NOAA, NASA, Met, IPCC
The latest wave of “hottest year on record” stories demonstrates once again the hand-in-hand complicity of the major media with the climate alarmist “scientists” who repeatedly have been caught in flagrante delicto cooking the data. When confronted with requests for access to their raw data to address the errors, deception, and egregious breeches of scientific procedure in their research, the climate alarmists have resorted (à la Climategate) to stonewalling, destroying the data, and/or the equivalent of “the dog ate it” or “it got lost” excuses. With all the history of cooking of the data and the “secret recipe” excuses for not sharing the data with other scientists and the public for independent analysis, the climate pronouncements from NOAA, NASA, the Met Office, and similar institutions should be featured on the Food Channel or Comedy Central rather than MSM news programs. However, the MSM lapdogs at NBC, ABC, CNN, AP, Reuters, New York Times, Los Angeles Times, etc. can be counted on to bark and yap in unison every time a new climate alarmist press release is issued.
The watchdogs of the independent media, though, continue to make major headway in discrediting the alarmists and their MSM lapdog choir. One of the most tenacious watchdogs dreaded by the alarmists is meteorologist Anthony Watts, who has caught the alarmists in numerous errors, fabrications, exaggerations, misrepresentations, and lies.
Anticipating NOAA’s release of its “hottest year” propaganda, on January 6 Watts released the results of his own very significant investigation of NOAA’s database and its regular practice of releasing incomplete and biased data to feed the MSM alarmist frenzy.
His blog post entitled, "Does NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center (NCDC) keep two separate sets of climate books for the USA?" is another of the climate debate game changers for which he has become justly famous. Again, it is no surprise that the usual suspects have been caught again in duplicitous manipulation and fabrication of data to further a political agenda. The good news is that calamitous scenarios the alarmists are all in a tizzy over are, well, not worth getting tizzied over.
About Those Three-foot Sea Level Rises
For those in a panic over the claims of catastrophic rising sea levels, there is also good news. As reported here recently, a new study by Professor Nils-Axel Mörner, one of the world’s top experts on sea levels, should allay unwarranted anxieties about coastal real estate sinking under rising oceans. In the study, issued on December 7 with the unequivocal title, “Sea level is not rising,” Dr. Mörner says the constant fright peddling about non-existent rising of global sea levels constitutes a “very grave, unethical ‘sea-level-gate’” scandal.
Among the many stunning revelations Professor Mörner makes concerning this ongoing alarmist scandal are these:
• At most, global average sea level is rising at a rate equivalent to 2-3 inches per century. It is probably not rising at all.
• Sea level is measured by both tide gauges and, since 1992, satellite altimetry. One of the keepers of the satellite record told Professor Mörner that the record had been interfered with to show sea level rising, because the raw data from the satellites showed no increase in global sea level at all.
• Sea level is not rising at all in the Maldives, the Laccadives, Tuvalu, India, Bangladesh, French Guyana, Venice, Cuxhaven, Korsør, Saint Paul Island, Qatar, etc.
Marc Morano at ClimateDepot.com has assembled a large assortment of commentaries by scientists on NOAA’s “hottest year” controversy, as well as the latest admissions by alarmists and MSM that there has been no measurable global warming since 1998.