Climate-change alarmists are constantly telling us that weather is not the same as climate, and that we cannot judge whether the Earth is warming or not based simply on anecdotal weather evidence. Just because it is especially cold or snowy, as it has been in the eastern United States this winter, we cannot infer that warming is not taking place. But if that’s the case, why do they feel the need to adjust the raw data to show that temperatures were warmer than they actually were?
Paul Homewood of the blog Not a Lot of People Know That has found that the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is adjusting temperatures upward in order to show warming. In this case, temperature data at collection points in New York have been adjusted upward to show that January of this year was warmer than it actually was.
NOAA has reported that this year’s average temperature for New York’s Central Lakes climate division was 20.8ºF last month. In January of 1943, another cold year, the average temperature, reported by the Monthly Climatology Report for New York State, was 18.7ºF. So this January was 2.1ºF warmer than January of 1943. But an in-depth look at the actual data tells a different story.
Homewood compared the raw data from 1943 and this year from the temperature reporting sites at Ithaca, Auburn, and Geneva, all stations in the Central Lakes climate division. The raw data, which can be seen here, shows that average temperatures for this January were cooler than 1943 by 1.0º, 1.7º, and 1.3ºF respectively.
So, the raw data shows that temperatures were actually cooler last month than in 1943 even though NOAA reported this January was 2.1 degrees warmer. If we take even the smallest discrepancy, it shows that NOAA is over-reporting the temperature of this January by 3ºF.
And this is not the first time that NOAA has been accused of falsifying data. Homewood conducted a similar study of the same climate division, comparing 2014 temperatures — another cold January — to those of 1943. NOAA reported that January of 2014 was 0.9ºF cooler than January of 1943. However, a check of the raw data shows that January of 2014 was 3.3ºF cooler than January of 1943. The 2014 data can be seen here.
Back in 2015, former NOAA scientist Dr. John Bates accused NOAA and climate scientist Thomas Karl, the former head of a major NOAA technical center, of holding back key information when producing “The Karl Study.” This study appeared to refute the observation of a warming “hiatus” from 1998 until 2013. Bates questioned the study’s methodologies, readiness, and politicization.
According to Bates, the Karl Study was used “to discredit the notion of a global warming hiatus and rushed to time the publication of the paper to influence national and international deliberations on climate policy.” Those deliberations would take place at the Paris Climate Summit in 2015.
Congressional hearings into the Karl Study were held in 2015 and 2016 by the Committee on Science, Space and Technology, a timeline of those hearings can be read here. Much of the hearings consisted of NOAA stonewalling the committee and claiming that Congress was not authorized to request communications from federal scientists.
Why is all of this a big deal?
Because United States policy has been made citing reports such as the Karl Study, which was used as a main reason that the United States signed the Paris Climate Accords in 2015. Even if the data was correct, NOAA used sloppy methodology and rushed the study to publication for political reasons. That’s not science; it's politics. Because it calls into question NOAA’s claims about years such as 2017 being among the “warmest on record.” NOAA reported earlier this year that 2017 was the third warmest year on record. But it is difficult to trust these scientists when their finger is on the scale, so to speak. Any year can be said to be the warmest on record if the data is being tilted upward arbitrarily.
It’s long past time to get politics out of science. Too much of science — especially climate science — is done with nods and winks when funding is handed out, because that funding is often tied to politically expedient conclusions. Science used to be defined as a systematic study of the physical and natural world. It was a search for truth, accomplished with observation and testing. Facts were king; and consensus meant nothing. We have to get back to that.