2014: The Most Dishonest Year on Record

GWPF | 20 Jan 2015

‘Warmest Year On Record’ Claims Falling Apart Under Scrutiny 

The Nasa climate scientists who claimed 2014 set a new record for global warmth last night admitted they were only 38 per cent sure this was true.  Yesterday it emerged that GISS’s analysis – based on readings from more than 3,000 measuring stations worldwide – is subject to a margin of error. Nasa admits this means it is far from certain that 2014 set a record at all. –David Rose, Mail on Sunday, 18 January 2015

image
Last week, according to our crackerjack mainstream media, NASA announced that 2014 was the hottest year, like, ever. No, really. The New York Times began its report with: “Last year was the hottest in earth’s recorded history.” Well, not really. As we’re about to see, this is a claim that dissolves on contact with actual science. But that didn’t stop the press from running with it. –Robert Tracinsk, The Federalist, 19 January 20151) NASA: Less Than 50% Chance That 2014 Was ‘Warmest Year On Record’ – Mail on Sunday, 18 January 2015

2) ‘Hottest Year’ Claims On Dodgy Ground – Not A Lot Of People Know That, 16 January 2015

3) ‘Warmest Year On Record’ Claims Falling Apart Under Scrutiny – Inquisitr, 19 January 2015

4) 2014: The Most Dishonest Year on Record – The Federalist, 19 January 2015

5) Greenland’s Ice Sheet Defies Predictions With 4-Year High – The Daily Caller, 14 January 2015

6) And Finally: Warming Pause Over Within 10 Years, NASA Scientist Predicts – Reporting Climate Science, 19 January 2015

Despite fears that global warming is harming the Arctic region faster than the rest of the world, Greenland is defying climate scientists and currently growing at its fastest rate in four years. The Danish Meteorological Institute reports that Greenland’s ice sheet has seen more growth so far this year than in the last four years. Greenland’s growth in 2015 is also higher than the mean growth for 1990 to 2011.  –Michael Bastasch, The Daily Caller, 14 January 2015

What remains of the original description of this ‘warmest year on record’ news? Nothing but bluff, spin, and the uncritical press-release journalism that dominates mainstream reporting on the climate. It may or may not be the hottest year ever, but this is definitely in the running for the most dishonest year on record. –Robert Tracinsk, The Federalist, 19 January 2015

Regardless of which side of the man-made climate change debate you are on, one thing is clear: The claim that 2014 was the warmest year on record is shaky at best. —Inquisitr, 19 January 2015

If anybody is still in any doubt that it is UNSCIENTIFIC to make claims about hottest years, without taking into account error bars, I would advise what the World Meteorological Organisation had to say on the issue in their report on global temperatures for 2006: “All temperature values have uncertainties, which arise mainly from gaps in data coverage. The size of the uncertainties is such that the global average temperature for 2006 is statistically indistinguishable from, and could be anywhere between, the first and the eighth warmest year on record.” –Paul Homewood, Not A Lot of People Know That, 17 January 2015

Global temperatures will resume their long term growth trend within five to 10 years ending the so called pause in global warming, a leading climate scientist has predicted. The pause – which on some measures has gone on since the mid-1990s – continued into 2014 on the basis of global temperature data released last week by US space agency NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) of the US. However, the warming effect of greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide will grow sufficiently to overcome the combined impact of various natural climate cooling factors, journalists on a telephone news conference were told last week by Gavin Schmidt, director of NASA’s Goddard Institute of Space Studies. —Reporting Climate Science, 19 January 2015


(Josh’s 2015 Calendar full of climate cartoons can be ordered here)

1) NASA: Less Than 50% Chance That 2014 Was ‘Warmest Year On Record’
Mail on Sunday, 18 January 2015

David Rose

The Nasa climate scientists who claimed 2014 set a new record for global warmth last night admitted they were only 38 per cent sure this was true.

In a press release on Friday, Nasa’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) claimed its analysis of world temperatures showed ‘2014 was the warmest year on record’.

The claim made headlines around the world, but yesterday it emerged that GISS’s analysis – based on readings from more than 3,000 measuring stations worldwide – is subject to a margin of error. Nasa admits this means it is far from certain that 2014 set a record at all.

Yet the Nasa press release failed to mention this, as well as the fact that the alleged ‘record’ amounted to an increase over 2010, the previous ‘warmest year’, of just two-hundredths of a degree – or 0.02C. The margin of error is said by scientists to be approximately 0.1C – several times as much.

As a result, GISS’s director Gavin Schmidt has now admitted Nasa thinks the likelihood that 2014 was the warmest year since 1880 is just 38 per cent. However, when asked by this newspaper whether he regretted that the news release did not mention this, he did not respond. Another analysis, from the Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature (BEST) project, drawn from ten times as many measuring stations as GISS, concluded that if 2014 was a record year, it was by an even tinier amount.

Its report said: ‘Numerically, our best estimate for the global temperature of 2014 puts it slightly above (by 0.01C) that of the next warmest year (2010) but by much less than the margin of uncertainty.

‘Therefore it is impossible to conclude from our analysis which of 2014, 2010, or 2005 was actually the warmest year… the Earth’s average temperature for the past decade has changed very little.’

Full story

2) ‘Hottest Year’ Claims On Dodgy Ground
Not A Lot Of People Know That, 16 January 2015

Paul Homewood

As has been suspected for a few months now, GISS have announced that 2014 was the “hottest year on record”.

Nowhere does their press release tell us that it only beat the previous record by a tiny, effectively unmeasurable 0.02C. Nor do they mention that the error bars are many times greater, or even tell us what they are.

This is all very strange because in their report on 2010 Global Temperatures, they said:

Global surface temperatures in 2010 tied 2005 as the warmest on record, according to an analysis released Wednesday by researchers at NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) in New York. The two years differed by less than 0.018 degrees Fahrenheit. The difference is smaller than the uncertainty in comparing the temperatures of recent years, putting them into a statistical tie.

Although GISS do not tell us what their error bars, or as they call them estimates of uncertainty, are, NOAA, with their similar analysis give a figure of +/- 0.09C.

image
image
Allowing for these estimates of uncertainty, all they can honestly claim is that 2014 was in a statistical tie with 13 other years. Only 1999 and 2000 can statistically be said to be cooler.The press release also makes other statements which need comment:

1) However, 2014’s record warmth occurred during an El Niño-neutral year.

This is categorically not the case.

The MEI index clearly shows moderate El Nino conditions for most of 2014, on a par with those in 2005.

ts.gif
2) NOAA scientists used much of the same raw temperature data, but a different baseline period. They also employ their own methods to estimate global temperatures.This refers to the NCDC dataset. What is interesting is their reference to “estimating global temperatures”. This is a clear admission that measuring global temperatures is not the exact art sometimes inferred, but largely guesswork.

3) This is the latest in a series of warm years, in a series of warm decades
This has, of course, been the get out clause since the pause started. But why should we be surprised that temperatures have remained stable for the last decade or so?

It simply shows that the Earth has found a new equilibrium. I would suggest that there really would be concern if global temperatures started to tumble back to 1970 levels.

As has been said elsewhere, with satellite temperatures indicating that 2014 was nowhere near a record, the divergence between actual temperatures and those scary models becomes ever greater and important.

That is why the likes of Gavin Schmidt has to resort to misrepresenting the data.

WMO Demolish NOAA/NASA Claims Of ‘Hottest Year

If anybody is still in any doubt that it is UNSCIENTIFIC to make claims about hottest years, without taking into account error bars, I would advise what the WMO had to say on the issue in their report on global temperatures for 2006: “All temperature values have uncertainties, which arise mainly from gaps in data coverage. The size of the uncertainties is such that the global average temperature for 2006 is statistically indistinguishable from, and could be anywhere between, the first and the eighth warmest year on record.”

Full post

3) ‘Warmest Year On Record’ Claims Falling Apart Under Scrutiny
Inquisitr, 19 January 2015

Late last week, the news broke that scientists at both NASA and the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) had officially confirmed that 2014 was the “warmest year on record,” underscoring the reality that climate change caused by human activity is real and needs to be dealt with sooner rather than later. Now that claim is beginning to appear on shaky ground scientifically, and even NASA itself is hedging its bets on the claim, the Daily Mail is reporting.

The claim that 2014 was the warmest year on record came from an analysis conducted by NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) of over 3,000 weather reporting stations worldwide. GISS director Gavin Schmidt confirmed that two rather important facts about that claim were somehow overlooked in the media’s reporting, and were also conveniently left out of NASA’s own coverage of the claim.

The first problem with the claim that 2014 was the warmest year on record is the matter of just how warm the Earth supposedly got between 2010 (the previous warmest year on record) and 2014. The difference between 2010’s record and 2014’s record is two hundredths of (0.02) of a degree Celsius. Such a small number would hardly be alarming on its surface. Even more damning, however, is the fact that climate scientists expect a margin of error of 0.1 degree Celsius when calculating long-term temperature trends.

The other problem is just how sure NASA is about its own claims that 2014 was the warmest year on record. Pressed by a Daily Mail reporter about the data that lead to the claim, Schmidt admitted that.

“NASA thinks the likelihood that 2014 was the warmest year since 1880 is just 38 per cent. However, when asked by this newspaper whether he regretted that the news release did not mention this, he did not respond.”

There’s also a third problem with the claim that 2014 was the warmest year on record. The Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature (BEST) project has been analyzing temperature data – far more data from far more stations than NASA’s, according to the Register. Although the Register admits that BEST has clearly come down on the “warmist” side of the climate change debate, they’re not exactly buying NASA’s claim that 2014 was the warmest year on record.

“Our best estimate for the global temperature of 2014 puts it slightly above (by 0.01 C) that of the next warmest year (2010) but by much less than the margin of uncertainty (0.05 C). Therefore it is impossible to conclude from our analysis which of 2014, 2010, or 2005 was actually the warmest year.”

Regardless of which side of the man-made climate change debate you are on, one thing is clear: The claim that 2014 was the warmest year on record is shaky at best.

4) 2014: The Most Dishonest Year on Record
The Federalist, 19 January 2015

Robert Tracinsk

Last week, according to our crackerjack mainstream media, NASA announced that 2014 was the hottest year, like, ever.

No, really. The New York Times began its report with: “Last year was the hottest in earth’s recorded history.”

Well, not really. As we’re about to see, this is a claim that dissolves on contact with actual science. But that didn’t stop the press from running with it.

If you follow the link I gave to the New York Times piece, you will see that this opening sentence has since been rewritten, for reasons which will soon become clear. But the Times wasn’t the only paper to start with that claim, and most of the headlines are still up. The Washington Post has: “2014 Was the Hottest Year in Recorded History.” TheBoston Globe: “2014 Was Earth’s Hottest Year in Recorded History.” And so on.

You can see how misleading this is. When you read the phrase “in recorded history,” you think we’re talking about a really long time—the time dating back to the first historical records in Sumeria, circa 3500 BC. (That’s what you’ll find if you look up the phrase “recorded history.”) That’s a time frame of 5,000 to 6,000 years. But in the case of the temperature record, it actually means only 135 years.

Accurate, systematic, global thermometer measurements of surface temperatures go back only to 1880. That’s why the Times report, presumably after getting whacked for a wildly misleading opening sentence, changed it to: “Last year was the hottest on earth since record-keeping began in 1880.” Which is a whole lot less impressive.

That “recorded history” gaffe is even worse when you consider that during “recorded history,” in the 5,000-year sense of the phrase, there’s good evidence that the Earth has been warmer than it is today.

We don’t have thermometer measurements going back that far, but scientists can use “proxies”—things they can measure that tend to vary with temperature, such as the composition of ancient deposits of seashells, or the thickness of the rings in ancient, slow-growing trees—to get very rough estimates. These have usually shown warmer temperatures during Roman times and the Middle Ages, when “recorded history” describes wine grapes growing in Northern England and Newfoundland.

There have been a few attempts to write these warm periods out of existence—one of them being Michael Mann’s infamous “hockey stick” graph, which implausibly asserts that global temperatures remained totally flat in every century except the 20th—but these claims have been controversial to say the least.

That’s why the implication that this is the warmest year ever in all of human history should never have gotten by a reporter who knows the first thing about the science on this issue. It implies a claim that we’re pretty sure just isn’t true.

Now let’s move on to the corrected statement, that this is the hottest year since the thermometer record began in 1880. But this a very short time for gathering data about the climate and distinguishing new trends from natural variation. For example, about half of the warming that occurs in that time happens prior to 1940, before it could have been caused by human activity. This warming was probably a natural rebound from the Little Ice Age, a cool period that ended in the middle of the 19th century.

More broadly, all changes in temperature that we observe today are relatively small variations within a much larger trend on a geological time scale. We know that the earth is going through a series of freezing and warming cycles on a scale of tens of thousands to hundreds of thousands of years. And it has mostly been freezing. We’re fortunate enough to live in a cozy, warm “interglacial” period between ice ages. So we’re all staring down the barrel of the next ice age, yet we’re spending our time worrying about global warming.

But let’s say we take this hyperventilation about a few relatively warm decades seriously. Even by that standard, this latest claim is ridiculously over-hyped.

If 2014 is supposed to be “hotter” than previous years, it’s important to ask: by how much?

You can spend a long time searching through press reports to get an actual number on this—which is a scandal unto itself. Just saying one year was “hotter” or “the hottest” is a vague qualitative description. It isn’t science. Science runs on numbers. You haven’t said anything that is scientifically meaningful until you state how much warmer this year was compared to previous years—and until you give the margin of error of that measurement.

The original NASA press release did not give those figures—and most press reports just ran with it anyway. This in itself says a lot. When it comes to global warming, “journalism” has come to mean: “copying press releases from government agencies.”

But a few folks decided to do some actual journalism, and Britain’s Daily Mail reports that

the NASA press release failed to mention…that the alleged ‘record’ amounted to an increase over 2010, the previous ‘warmest year’, of just two-hundredths of a degree—or 0.02C. The margin of error is said by scientists to be approximately 0.1C—several times as much.

Pause for a moment to digest that. The margin of error was plus or minus one tenth of a degree. The difference supposedly being measured here is two hundredths of a degree—five times smaller than the margin of error. The Daily Mail continues:

As a result, GISS’s director Gavin Schmidt has now admitted NASA thinks the likelihood that 2014 was the warmest year since 1880 is just 38 per cent. However, when asked by this newspaper whether he regretted that the news release did not mention this, he did not respond.

This is not exactly a high point in the employment of the scientific method.
If we take into account this margin of error, the most we can say is that 2014 was, so far as we know, just as warm as 2005 and 2010. There is no significant difference between these years. And that gives the lie to claims of runaway global warming. As the redoubtable Judith Curry recently pointed out:

The real issue that is of concern to me is the growing divergence between the observed global temperature anomalies and what was predicted by climate models. Even if 2014 is somehow unambiguously the warmest year on record, this won’t do much to alleviate the growing discrepancy between climate model predictions and the observations.

She links to this graph which shows that observed temperatures are falling at or below the low end of the range predicted by the climate models. With every year that passes, the models predict a greater and greater increase in temperature—but the actual observations remain stubbornly flat. Curry concludes that “ranking 1998, 2005, 2010, and 2014 as the ‘warmest years’ seems very consistent with a plateau in surface temperatures since 1998.”

So allow me to suggest a more accurate first sentence to sum up this story: “In the tiny little blip of geological time for which we have accurate surface temperature records, last year was pretty much the same as 2005 and 2010, continuing a plateau of global temperatures that has lasted nearly 20 years.”

What remains of the original description of this news? Nothing but bluff, spin, and the uncritical press-release journalism that dominates mainstream reporting on the climate. It may or may not be the hottest year ever, but this is definitely in the running for the most dishonest year on record.

5) Greenland’s Ice Sheet Defies Predictions With 4-Year High
The Daily Caller, 13 January 2015Michael Bastasch

Despite fears that global warming is harming the Arctic region faster than the rest of the world, Greenland is defying climate scientists and currently growing at its fastest rate in four years.

The Danish Meteorological Institute reports that Greenland’s ice sheet has seen more growth so far this year than in the last four years. Greenland’s growth in 2015 is also higher than the mean growth for 1990 to 2011.

(Courtesy of the Danish Meteorological Institute)
Greenland has been a curious case in the global warming debate. On the one hand, scientists and environmentalists have pointed to it as a prime example of a country being impacted by global temperature rises. Greenland is home to the world’s second-largest ice sheet and scientists say it’s melting at an accelerated rate.But a paper from earlier this year found that only about half the warming impacting Greenland is due to global warming, the other half is due to natural oceanic cycles originating in the tropical Pacific.

“The pattern of the changes in the tropical Pacific that are responsible for remarkable atmospheric circulation changes and warming in Greenland and the Canadian Arctic are consistent with what we would call natural variability,”said David Battisti, co-author of the study and a professor of atmospheric sciences at the University of Washington.

On the other hand, Greenlanders themselves have benefited from a shrinking ice sheet as it’s allowed them to access natural resources and lands previously unattainable under heavy ice coverage.

“We simply refuse to go under as a culture because of climate change,”  Prime Minister Aleqa Hammond told Reuters in January 2014. “We have to adapt because the ice is disappearing and hunting is no longer the main source of income.”

“But climate change gives us a new chance to survive because our minerals become accessible so we’ll adapt,” Hammond said. “We are one of the very few countries around the world where climate change is giving us benefits.”

Greenland removed a ban on exporting uranium last year, against the wishes of Denmark, as foreign companies become more interested in pulling minerals out of the ground as more areas open up.

But it shouldn’t be too surprising that Greenland has defied dire predictions. The Arctic region as a whole has been more or less stable in recent years, stumping scientists who said it would be ice-free by now.

“The Antarctic is actually growing and all the evidence in the last few months suggests many assumptions about the poles was wrong,” Dr. Benny Peiser, director of the Global Warming Policy Forum, told the U.K. Express.

“Global sea ice is at a record high, another key indicator that something is working in the opposite direction of what was predicted,” Peiser said. “Most people think the poles are melting… they’re not. This is a huge inconvenience that reality is now catching up with climate alarmists, who were predicting that the poles would be melting fairly soon.”

Full post

6) And Finally: Warming Pause Over Within 10 Years, NASA Scientist Predicts
Reporting Climate Science, 19 January 2015

Global temperatures will resume their long term growth trend within five to 10 years ending the so called pause in global warming, a leading climate scientist has predicted.

The pause – which on some measures has gone on since the mid-1990s – continued into 2014 on the basis of global temperature data released last week by US space agency NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) of the US.

However, the warming effect of greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide will grow sufficiently to overcome the combined impact of various natural climate cooling factors, journalists on a telephone news conference were told last week by Gavin Schmidt, director of NASA’s Goddard Institute of Space Studies.

There is evidence that volcanoes and a slightly dimmer Sun have acted to cool the Earth recently and so offset the warming impact of greenhouse gases, according to Schmidt, widely seen as a strong advocate for the case that humans are causing climate change. But Schmidt said that he did not expect the global warming pause – which he referred to as the hiatus – to persist.

This is because the warming impact, or forcing, due to greenhouse gases in the atmosphere would keep growing with continuing emissions of greenhouse gases, Schmidt said, and “in five to ten years time it is changes in greenhouse gases that will dominate”.

NASA and NOAA announced last week that 2014 was the warmest year recorded since measurements began but the fact is that the margin is so small as to be statistically meaningless. NASA itself ranks the probability that 2014 was the warmest year at 38 per cent while NOAA is slightly more confident putting the probability at 48 per cent.

The difference between global mean surface temperature in 2014 and the previous warmest years on record, 2010 and 2005, is measured in just hundredths of a degree on both the NASA and NOAA analyses. This is within the margin of error of the data which means that there is no statistical difference between global temperatures in 2005, 2010 and 2014.

Independent climate research institute Berkeley Earth, sometimes seen as sympathetic to climate sceptics, put it this way: “The global surface temperature average (land and sea) for 2014 was nominally the warmest since the global instrumental record began in 1850; however,within the margin of error, it is tied with 2005 and 2010 and so we can’t be certain it set a new record.”

Furthermore, satellite measurements of the temperature of the atmosphere do not rank rank 2014 as the warmest year. The analysis of satellite data performed by the University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH) puts 2014 in third place while an analysis of data provided by US firm Remote Sensing Systems places 2014 in sixth place. Both datasets report that 1998 was the warmest year since satellite measurements began in 1979.

The existence of the pause in global warming was acknowledged by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change in its most recent report published in 2013 but there has been significant debate about the actual duration of this hiatus with some commentators alleging that the length is exaggerated by cherry-picking the start date as 1998 – a particularly warm year due to a particularly strong El Nino pacific ocean warming event.

Full story

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s