Perhaps the most gratifying part of writing this series comes from the comments. Not only are the large majority of the comments favorable, but they make clear that there is an enormous reservoir of people out there who have figured out that they are being systematically lied to by the government and the mainstream media on the subject of claimed world temperature records. And indeed, as soon as you catch onto some of the real data, you quickly recognize that what comes out of the government and mainstream sources like the New York Times, Washington Post, Bloomberg, and the major television networks on this subject is insulting to your intelligence and is transparent propaganda.
In my last post in this series, on January 4, I made the following prediction:
Expect that breathless announcement from NASA [that 2016 temperatures have set a new record] within the next couple of weeks. . . . If you want to make a prediction of the future about as safe as predicting the time of tomorrow's sunrise, you can predict that every mainstream news source in the country will parrot the upcoming NASA press release without mentioning that the new supposed "record" is not supported by the far-more-accurate satellite data.
The NOAA/NASA press release of 2016 temperatures came out yesterday. Let's see how I did at predicting the future!
I'll start with just a little background to help with understanding this issue. First, as reported on January 4, the UAH satellite data had shown 2016 to be 0.02 deg C warmer than the previous record, which, although a new record, is within the measurement accuracy of the instruments, and therefore was described by Roy Spencer of UAH as a "statistical tie" with the previous record warm year (1998 in the satellite record). Next, recall from the many prior posts in this series that the NASA and NOAA data come from a different source, namely a network of ground-based thermometers -- and that the data from the thermometers have been "adjusted" over the years, somehow always to lower older temperatures and raise recent ones. What is the total of the "adjustments"? The excellent Tony Heller of the Deplorable Climate Science Blog has two charts in a brand new post from January 13. He calls the actual temperatures measured at the time "measured," and the adjusted version appearing in the latest government statistics "reported." Here are the charts:
As you can see, the total amount that the government has "adjusted" the 1890 - 2016 temperature data is about 1.5 deg F, with all adjustments prior to 2000 being to lower the temperatures, and the adjustments getting larger the farther back you go, while all adjustment post-2000 have been to raise temperatures, with the adjustments getting larger the closer you get to the present.
With that background, let us consider the NOAA/NASA announcement of 2016 temperatures came out today. Drumroll!!!!!!
During 2016, the average temperature across global land and ocean surfaces was 1.69°F (0.94°C) above the 20th century average. This was the highest among all 137 years in the 1880–2016 record, surpassing the previous record set last year by 0.07°F (0.04°C). The first eight months of the year had record high temperatures for their respective months. Since the start of the 21st century, the annual global temperature record has been broken five times (2005, 2010, 2014, 2015, and 2016). The record warmth in 2016 was broadly spread around the world.
That's right: In a record where they have made 1.5 deg F of unexplained "adjustments" all to increase the reported warming, they claim a record by 0.07 deg F! Whoopee!
But, guys, what is the measurement accuracy of your system? I mean, for starters, you are purporting to measure some kind of "average" world temperatures with a network of thermometers that are by no means evenly spaced to measure all areas equally. You have a heavy concentration of stations in the U.S. and Europe, and almost none in places like the arctic, Antarctic, oceans, Africa, Amazonia and Siberia. On top of that, you have made adjustments totaling about 1.5 deg F. Really, if you can make adjustments that large, how can you say that your measurement accuracy is any better than the whole 1.5 deg F -- and it may be even worse than that. The fact is that they have no basis for saying that 2016 was actually warmer than 2015, or for that matter, than 1998.
So let's look at that NOAA press release from yesterday and see if we can find any discussion of measurement accuracy. You guessed it -- it's not there. Nothing. Also, of course, no mention of the adjustments, or of the direction of the adjustments. Do you like the breathless claim that "average temperature . . . was 1.69 deg F . . . above the 20th century average" without even mentioning that the so-called "20th century average" was adjusted downward by them by almost that much? Hey, government: We are not idiots!
Now to the mainstream news sources. Call them the official parrots for government propaganda. New York Times, "Earth Sets a Temperature Record for the Third Straight Year", by lead climate propagandist Justin Gillis:
Marking another milestone for a changing planet, scientists reported on Wednesday that the Earth reached its highest temperature on record in 2016, trouncing a record set only a year earlier, which beat one set in 2014. It is the first time in the modern era of global warming data that temperatures have blown past the previous record three years in a row.
"Trouncing" and "blowing past" previous records? Really? Can you even mention the subjects of the quantitative amount by which the prior record was allegedly broken, measurement accuracy, adjustments to the data, or the satellite record? Of course not. This is Pravda. Insulting. The article is accompanied by a big graphic (that appears prominently on the front page of today's print edition) showing temperatures since about 1880 in the iconic hockey stick presentation -- without ever mentioning that the data have been adjusted in amounts constituting the majority of the entire vertical scale of the chart. Instapundit comments: Increase is one-hundredth of a degree. Margin of error is a tenth of a degree. So it’s all bullshit. My further comment: No way is the margin of error as little as a tenth of a degree. At best, it's a full degree.
Bloomberg News: "No Hoax: 2016 Was the Hottest Year on Record":
It’s not a hoax. There’s no conspiracy. And no exaggeration. What follows are 137 years of diligently kept scientific records that show how humans are transforming Earth’s climate. . . . To say that last year was hot is an understatement. It was 1.69 degrees Fahrenheit (0.94 Celsius) warmer than the 20th century average, according to National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration figures released on Wednesday. That may not sound like much, but on a planetary scale it’s a profound shift . . . .
I love that "137 years of diligently kept scientific records" without the slightest mention that almost all of the warming is in the unexplained government "adjustments." And of course, absolutely nothing about the quantitative size of the record, or margins of error.
Washington Post, "U.S. scientists officially declare 2016 the hottest year on record":
In a powerful testament to the warming of the planet, two leading U.S. science agencies Wednesday jointly declared 2016 the hottest year on record, surpassing the previous record set just last year — which itself had topped a record set in 2014. Average surface temperatures in 2016, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, were 0.07 degrees Fahrenheit warmer than 2015. . . .
I wonder if any reader of the Washington Post is a sufficiently critical thinker to recognize that a record supposedly set by a margin of 0.07 deg F is not a "powerful testament" to anything.
Last year was the hottest year ever recorded, marking the third year in a row that average global temperatures hit record-setting levels, NASA and NOAA said Wednesday.
I could go on with this all day, but you get the picture. Of course my prediction was absolutely right; but then, I could also predict the time of tomorrow's sunrise to within a tiny fraction of a second. To revert to my opening, I am extremely gratified that so many people have seen through the ceaseless drumbeat of government and media propaganda.