The New American
by Alex Newman
In a press release sent out last week, NASA claimed 2014 was the “warmest year on record,” a widely disputed allegation that made headlines worldwide almost instantly. What NASA failed to mention, though, was far more important: The agency’s own satellite temperature data for last year show that 2014 was only the sixth warmest since NASA’ Remote Sensing Systems (RSS) satellites went up less than four decades ago. Despite actually boasting of its satellites monitoring “Earth’s vital signs” in the announcement, NASA opted to highlight its dubious temperature “estimates” rather than the objective, unmanipulated, comprehensive global data collected by its own expensive taxpayer-funded technology.
In fairness, after being pressed by increasingly skeptical journalists on its data, NASA scientists claimed to be only 38 percent sure that last year was actually the warmest on record. The press release declaring 2014 to be the “warmest on record” failed to mention that fact, however. When asked by the U.K. Daily Mail whether the NASA scientists behind the data regretted not mentioning the crucial fact that the margin of error was greater than the alleged temperature difference between other years and 2014, they reportedly stopped responding to questions. The New American had a similar dialogue with NASA’s top climatologist last year that ended just as abruptly, and without real answers.
NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies director Gavin Schmidt, the climatologist behind the GISS data and the latest “warmest on record” claim, knew before sending out his press release that even based on his own dubious GISS data, 2014 was probably not the warmest on record. “That didn’t prevent them from pushing virtually all mainstream media to publish the lie — in the very title — that ‘NASA: 2014 was the warmest year’,” explained physicist Dr. Lubos Motl, a former Harvard professor, in comments published by Climate Depot, blasting the media and taxpayer-funded scientists for the deception.
“Sorry, but even your own work shows that this probably wasn’t the case and you were deliberately lying to the media — and everyone else — about the results of your work,” Motl continued, personally attacking Schmidt for allegedly seeking to deceive journalists and the public in the interests of promoting warming alarmism. “You are doing it all the time, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and 52 or 53 weeks a year.” Earlier this month, Dr. Motl, citing satellite data showing 2014 was not even close to the warmest on record, urged everyone to “please laugh out loud” whenever somebody tries to claim that 2014 was the hottest year.
Even former NASA climatologists were horrified by what was going on at the agency, the broader “climate science” community, and much of the press in terms of misleading the public about alleged man-made global-warming. Dr. Roy Spencer, who served as senior scientist for climate studies at NASA before taking his current post as principal research scientist at the University of Alabama in Huntsville, said he was “embarrassed by the scientific community’s behavior on the subject.” In a post about “why you are being misled on global temperatures,” Spencer said that after 30 years in the climate research business, “it’s been clear that politics have been driving the global warming movement.”
Commenting on the latest deception surrounding the “warmest on record” claim, Spencer said that even science itself was under assault by the politically driven warming alarmists. “Science as a methodology for getting closer to the truth has been all but abandoned,” he explained, noting that even the thermometer record did not support the 2014 record claim, much less the conspicuously ignored satellite data. “It is now just one more tool to achieve political ends.” He also suggested people were lying about severe weather getting worse (it is not), the undeniable benefits of increased carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, and a whole array of related facts that, if more widely known, would embarrass climate alarmists.
As The New American reported on January 7, similar “warmest on record” claims were hyped in the establishment press earlier this month following the release of massaged Japanese government temperature data. Experts and scientists lambasted the claim, pointing out that it was contradicted by multiple objective data sets — the RSS and UAH satellite temperature data, for example. Separately, scientists also highlighted the fact that there has still been no warming for over 18 years, or possibly even longer, depending on which data set is used. In addition to contradicting every single United Nations “climate model,” it appears that there has been no warming trend for more than half of the satellite record.
As for NASA and NOAA’s most recent claims, again, critics and scientists promptly ridiculed the press release and the “warmest on record” falsehoods contained within it. “Perhaps few public statements exemplify the willingness of certain government agencies to mislead the public as clearly as this week’s joint announcement by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA),” explained Ken Haapala, president of the Science and Environmental Policy Project (SEPP). “The press release touts a fleet of satellites yet ignores the measurements from these satellites, the most comprehensive set of global temperature ever compiled, which do not support the claim that 2014 was the warmest year on record.”
Haapala also pointed out how unscientific such scheming was — especially when perpetrated by those claiming that the “science is settled” and that humanity must promptly submit to a draconian UN “global warming” regime. “It is unfortunate that these government agencies both claim to be scientific, with one responsible for the U.S. civilian space program (NASA), and the other claims its mission is ‘to understand and predict changes in climate, weather, oceans, and coasts’ (NOAA), ignore the finest scientific temperature data available,” the SEPP chief continued. “Clearly, these agencies subordinate scientific discovery to other purposes.”
Even if one were to accept the agency’s adjusted and manipulated “warmest on record” Goddard Institute of Space Studies incomplete surface temperature data at face value, NASA’s claims about 2014 still make little sense. Numerous scientists and experts, for instance, pointed out that the margin for the “warmest on record” claim was a mere 0.02 degrees Celsius above the 2010 record. The margin of error on the data is at least 0.1 degrees above or below, meaning that even the dubious GISS “warmest on record” data showed the “warmest on record” by such a tiny margin as to be literally statistically and scientifically irrelevant. The Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature (BEST) project was at least honest enough to acknowledge that the “warmest” was “by much less than the margin of uncertainty.”
The surface temperature data, though, has been widely criticized as unreliable — and deliberately manipulated to show a warming trend. In a weekly climate-focused newsletter, the SEPP argued that, “given poor geographic coverage of the surface-air observations, the movement of observation points on the surface, and the frequent manipulation of the data by the reporting entities, not clearly publically disclosed, the margin of error is likely to be well above +/- 0.1 deg C and it is actually unknown.” On top of that, “when comparing satellite observations, which comprise volumes of air contrasting with points on the surface, the surface data is inferior.” NASA did not explain why it relied on its own “extrapolation” rather than the objective and unmanipulated data it collects.
Meanwhile, climatologist Patrick Michaels, director of the Center for the Study of Science at the Cato Institute and past president of the American Association of State Climatologists, also highlighted the growing chasm between the predictions of “climate models” and reality. “Whether or not a given year is a hundredth of a degree or so above a previous record is not the issue,” explained Michaels, who also served as a contributing author and reviewer for the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. “What IS the issue is how observed temperatures compare to what has been forecast to happen.” (Emphasis in original.)
Citing the work of Dr. John Christy and Richard McNider at the University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH), which compared climate model projections with temperatures measured independently by satellites and weather balloons, he said “the average warming predicted to have occurred since 1979 (when the satellite data starts) is approximately three times larger than what is being observed.” Numerous other experts have also pointed out that every single UN model forecasted accelerating warming, and instead, temperatures have remained stable for some two decades. Global sea-ice levels, meanwhile — especially around Antarctica — are continually smashing through previous record highs in terms of frozen area, again contradicting the forecasts and predictions of climate alarmists.
After NASA claimed last August had been the “warmest on record,” The New American reached out to top NASA climatologist Gavin Schmidt to find out why his GISS data differed so widely from the agency’s own objective RSS satellite data. Those measurements showed that August — far from being the warmest — was actually the coldest in five years and the second coldest over the last decade. “Obviously the GISTEMP [Goddard Institute for Space Studies Temperature] analysis is independent of that and records or trends in its index stand alone,” Schmidt told The New American at the time, though most of the establishment media seemingly never got the memo or bothered to ask the question.
Apparently, the discrepancy comes about because the GISS record involves a great deal of “extrapolating” temperature data where no thermometer stations or real data exists. This fact, virtually never acknowledged by the establishment press or even government scientists in their press releases, offers “climate scientists” (or the computer programs they write) an easy opportunity to fill the globe with non-existent warming that skews the average upwards (or downwards for the past). Across huge swaths of Antarctica, Africa, South America, and other areas where no data exist, for example, NASA simply added massive (and highly suspect) heat anomalies, drastically boosting the overall temperature average.
The New American asked about the methodology for determining that so many of the areas without data were so warm while much of the rest of the globe was chilly. “There is a validated procedure for extrapolating sparse data that just deals with the station data that comes in without any regard to what the values happen to be,” Schmidt explained, adding that the process of “extrapolating” data was “automated.” It was not clear how the procedue was “validated” or by whom. Either way, experts and scientists continue to lambaste the addition of non-existent warming data, as well as the machinations aimed at making the past seem colder than it actually was.
For so-called climate skeptics, the deception is getting to be too extreme and demands a congressional response. “The Feds are conning the public on 2014 being the ‘hottest year’,” explained Marc Morano, editor of Climate Depot. “We now know that both NASA and NOAA knew their ‘hottest year’ claims would not hold up to scientific scrutiny. But both agencies chose instead to loudly push the global warming narrative to a willing and compliant news media.”
The “hottest year” claims had already been exposed as “statistically meaningless and a confirmation of the 18 year plus temperature ‘pause’,” Morano continued, citing numerous scientists who “balked” at the “warmest on record” allegation. “The shameless activism shown by our federal scientists — particularly NASA GISS head Gavin Schmidt — may warrant further inspection by the new GOP Congress,” added Morano, a former staffer for current Senate Environment Committee chief Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.).
Recent polls show a solid majority of Americans reject the man-made global-warming theory pushed by Obama, the UN, and other governments desperate to impose new taxes and regulations on CO2 — a natural gas exhaled by humans and required for plants, human emissions of which make up a fraction of one percent of all the greenhouse gases present naturally in the atmosphere. Already, multiple lawmakers have said they plan to scrutinize and possibly defund much of the dubious global warming alarmism being produced by federal agencies funded by taxpayers. However, with the UN hoping to foist its planetary “climate” regime on humanity later this year in Paris, Americans who hope to preserve liberty, sovereignty, and prosperity must get educated and organized.
Alex Newman is a correspondent for The New American, covering economics, education, politics, and more. Follow him on Twitter @ALEXNEWMAN_JOU. He can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org