In his enviro-propaganda flick, An Inconvenient Truth, Al Gore claims nine of the 10 hottest years on record have occurred in the last decade. That's been a common refrain for environmentalists, too, and one of the centrepieces of global warming hysteria: It's been really hot lately -- abnormally hot -- so we all need to be afraid, very afraid. The trouble is, it's no longer true.
No longer true? Say it ain't so.
Last week, NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies -- whose temperature records are a key component of the global-warming claim (and whose director, James Hansen, is a sort of godfather of global-warming alarmism) -- quietly corrected an error in its data set that had made recent temperatures seem warmer than they really were...
To NASA's credit, when McIntyre pointed out their temperature errors they quickly made corrections...
Still, the pro-warmers who dominate the Goddard Institute almost certainly recognized the impacts these changes would have on the global-warming debate, because they made no formal announcement of their recalculations.
In many cases, the changes are statistically minor, but their potential impact on the rhetoric surrounding global warming is huge.
The hottest year since 1880 becomes 1934 instead of 1998, which is now just second; 1921 is third.
Four of the 10 hottest years were in the 1930s, only three in the past decade. Claiming that man-made carbon dioxide has caused the natural disasters of recent years makes as much sense as claiming fossil-fuel burning caused the Great Depression.
The 15 hottest years since 1880 are spread over seven decades. Eight occurred before atmospheric carbon dioxide began its recent rise; seven occurred afterwards.
In other words, there is no discernible trend, no obvious warming of late.
Read 'em and weep folks.
No obvious warming of late.
Of course, the current NASA changes are only for data collected in the United States. But available surface temperature readings cover only half the planet even today. Before the Second World War, they covered less than a quarter. So U.S. readings for a period that goes as far back as 1880 are among the most reliable there are.
And yet, somehow how readings for only half the planet were enough to predict its certain demise.
Some people never learn.
Hysterical, politically charged rhetoric has no place in academic research. If you want to show the earth is heating up, get your numbers right and present a solid case backed by empirical evidence. Otherwise, I will remain a skeptic.