Tuesday, 23 September 2014

NASA’s Own Data Show August Was Not “Warmest on Record”

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With no global warming for almost two decades and record-high levels of sea ice, not to mention the failure of all of their predictions and models, increasingly desperate climate alarmists have been frantically searching for something — anything! — to keep the hysteria from melting completely. That is especially important now, with the United Nations convening its member governments and dictators in New York to map out new taxes and a global “climate” regime to impose on humanity under the guise of fighting warming. Then it happened: On September 15, the Obama administration’s scandal-plagued agencies NASA and NOAA, which have been repeatedly accused by experts of manipulating temperature data to show warming, announced that August had allegedly been (just barely) the “warmest on record.” It seems that was not actually the case, climate researchers say.

In separate press releases, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) both claimed that the globally averaged temperatures for August were the warmest since records began. The sensational doom-and-gloom headlines from the establishment press began almost immediately. Shortly thereafter, however, researchers accused NASA of quietly changing its own temperature data so that August of 2014 was no longer the “warmest on record.” Separately, NASA's own, more reliable satellite data also contradicted the claim, instead showing that August was the coldest in five years and the second coldest over the last decade, analysts said.

Nobody seems to have informed the mischaracterized “mainstream media,” which still claim on their uncorrected stories that last month was the hottest August on record. Nor did the U.S. agencies update their own public statements after NASA’s latest data showed that last month was cooler than 2011 at the very least — assuming the agency’s dubious “adjusted” temperature data can be trusted. Despite being allegedly contradicted by its own data, NASA’s website still declares that August of 2014 was the warmest on record. 

Now the narrative appears to be crumbling. The independent climate researcher behind Real Science, a whistleblower who worked on U.S. government contracts to create climate models and goes by the name Steven Goddard, seems to have been the first to notice the discrepancy. “Yesterday, [NASA climatologist] Gavin [Schmidt] told the Huffington Post that August was the hottest on record globally,” Goddard wrote, using NASA’s own maps and data to illustrate the alleged mistake (or deception, depending on one’s point of view). “He seems to have changed his mind since then, because today his map shows August was cooler than 2011 by 0.02 degrees. RSS [Remote Sensing Systems] shows that August was seventh coolest and below average since 1997.” Oops! 

According to Goddard, who has played a key role in exposing numerous climate claims, the discrepancy stems largely from temperature data in Antarctica. NASA’s Schmidt “extrapolated” warm temperature figures across a “huge area of below normal temperatures” and “massively skewed his global average anomaly using a large area of fake +6C anomaly.” Using another NASA map with temperature data, Goddard noted that “Gavin’s 1200 km extrapolations” were used “to smear the earth with non-existent warm data.”

“But it is much worse than it seems,” continued the independent climate researcher, who has degrees in geology and engineering. “None of those three stations actually have any temperature data during the 1951-1980 baseline period, so his since recanted (disproven by his own data) claim is a complete fraud. How can he know what the anomaly is, if there was no temperature data during the baseline period?... There are all kinds of other things he did wrong, including filling in Africa and South America with fake warm data, when RSS showed them cold. Problems with Australia too, which RSS showed cold.”

Summarizing his findings, Goddard concluded that Schmidt’s claim of record heat in August “has since been disproven by his own data, and was based largely on fake, cold data at the poles — which he declared to be hot.” His article contains numerous images pulled directly from NASA’s website to illustrate the problems.

The New American reached out to Schmidt for comment on the various issues raised on Real Science. “None of the claims in the [Goddard] article you mention are accurate, no adjustments have been made to the August numbers, and it remains the warmest August in the record,” he said. However, the maps posted on NASA’s website for 2011 and 2014 (see here and here) still showed, as of 3:00 p.m. ET on September 23, that the August temperature anomaly for 2011 was .70. Meanwhile, the one for 2014 was .68, meaning 2011 was warmer.

When questioned about whether the maps were wrong, Schmidt did not respond by press time. (In a followup response after the article was published, he said, “There is a discussion of this in the FAQ. Basic issue is that the graphic average is not the same as the averaging process for our analysis. Differences  are small but the values in the table are the official values.”)

“I do not advise paying much attention to a single month though since rankings like this are relatively fragile, depending on exactly what interpolation, source data etc. are used,” Schmidt added. “If you are interested in the bigger picture, you are better off focusing on the longer term trends.”

Aside from Goddard and even Schmidt, numerous independent scientists and experts were also urging global-warming theorists to cool down on their celebrations and fear-mongering surrounding the “warmest August on record” claim. Not only is the data deeply suspect after the U.S. government was repeatedly accused by experts of fudging the temperature record to show warming when none existed, both of the agencies in question have been forced to back down from similar “warmest on record” claims on multiple occasions in the past.

Even if it had in fact been the warmest August since records began, there are numerous potential explanations for such a development that have nothing to do with human emissions of the “gas of life” carbon dioxide or alleged “anthropogenic global warming.” One such explanation highlighted by multiple experts, for instance, involves the re-emergence of the natural El Niño phenomenon in the Pacific, which involves an area of the ocean becoming warmer than normal.   

Of course, neither federal agency pointed out in its press releases about August that the continuous global coverage area of its temperature records is “extremely small,” as the Science and Environmental Policy Project (SEPP) put it. “Second, the 20th century average has little to do with the cause of global warming and may be a continuation of a bias in the measurements,” SEPP continued. “Third, several times in the recent past, both NOAA and NASA-GISS have had to back down from such statements.”

Meanwhile, as The New American reported late last month, NOAA reported in its Daily Weather Records for August 23 that, during the three-week period of August 1-21, more than a thousand records were broken across the United States for “low maximum” temperatures. Essentially, a “Low Max” means that the highest temperature for the day was the lowest it has ever been. Over the 30 days preceding August 25, 2,104 “low max” records were set. By contrast, there were just 331 “high max” records.

“Going back a full year, NOAA further reports that in the last 365 days there have been 13,051 High Max records, but Low Max records (28,182) more than double that,” reported senior editor William F. Jasper. “Of course, we continue to see blazing headlines and breathless broadcasts from the establishment news media regarding every new high temperature record, but a near total blackout of the news of low temperature records.” Despite media efforts to hide the facts from the public, the house of cards appears to be crumbling.

In fact, shortly before warmists began hyping NASA’s dubious claims about the month of August, one of Obama’s own senior officials wrote a piece in the Wall Street Journal debunking myriad myths held dear by alarmists. “We often hear that there is a ‘scientific consensus’ about climate change. But as far as the computer models go, there isn't a useful consensus at the level of detail relevant to assessing human influences,” explained Steven Koonin, who served as “undersecretary for science” in the Energy Department during Obama's first term and now works as director of New York University’s Center for Urban Science.  

“A crucial measure of our knowledge of feedbacks is climate sensitivity — that is, the warming induced by a hypothetical doubling of carbon-dioxide concentration,” he continued. “Today's best estimate of the sensitivity (between 2.7 degrees Fahrenheit and 8.1 degrees Fahrenheit) is no different, and no more certain, than it was 30 years ago. And this is despite an heroic research effort costing billions of dollars.”

Any serious discussion of the changing climate, he said, “must begin by acknowledging not only the scientific certainties but also the uncertainties, especially in projecting the future. Recognizing those limits, rather than ignoring them, will lead to a more sober and ultimately more productive discussion of climate change and climate policies. To do otherwise is a great disservice to climate science itself.” Unsurprisingly, the establishment media largely ignored the explosive argument.

With UN member governments meeting in New York this week in a desperate effort to secure a planetary anti-CO2 regime, the evidence suggesting that the AGW theory is wrong continues piling up. However, that does not mean that alarmists and the establishment forces building up and exploiting the movement to centralize and expand their control over the planet have any intention of giving up. Instead, the propaganda and hysteria is being ratcheted up — even if it requires taxpayer-funded fabrications to gin up fear.

Alex Newman is a correspondent for The New American, covering economics, education, politics, the environment, and more. He can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Follow him on Twitter @ALEXNEWMAN_JOU.

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