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August 09, 2007

Oh. My. Gaia: NASA's Temperature History *Completely Wrong*; Corrected Figures Show "Warmest Year In Earth's History" Was Not 1998, But Rather... 1934

The science is settled, huh?

NASA has now silently released corrected figures, and the changes are truly astounding. The warmest year on record is now 1934. 1998 (long trumpeted by the media as record-breaking) moves to second place. 1921 takes third. In fact, 5 of the 10 warmest years on record now all occur before World War II. Anthony Watts has put the new data in chart form, along with a more detailed summary of the events.

The effect of the correction on global temperatures is minor (some 1-2% less warming than originally thought), but the effect on the US global warming propaganda machine could be huge.

Shattered hockey-stick. And a little duct-tape and love ain't gonna fix it.

Thanks to cutaway/Purple Avenger.

Cautionary Note Added A Bit Too Late: The sourcing here isn't very strong; I'd like a link to these quietly-revised NASA figures.

FWIW, I think this is true, but without a link to NASA's new temperature records, we can't be sure.

If true, this is freaking amazing. This completely destroys fifteen years of aggressively stupid proselytizing on behalf of Mother Goddess Earth.

Cautionary Note Retracted: Blacksheep points out the numbers were linked in the article TigerHawk links to -- right here.

Assuming that's a real NASA domain and all, which I do.

Even More: Commenters assure me this explanation of how this all unfolded is crazy-delicious. I haven't had the time to read it yet; I'm throwing it up as fast as possible.

Cuffy Meiggs, who I often think of as "Drew," says "dig deeper" into that Tech blog site TigerHawk links. Here's the thing: James Hansen, who accused Bush of politicizing global warming science, is responsible for the bugged algorithms that produced the erroneous figures. Furthermore, he refused to release his algorithms so that they could be checked. The bug was discovered by someone who took the time to reverse-engineer Hansen's flawed algorithm, and then, having accurately done so, proved NASA's numbers were wrong. Thus causing the revision.

So James Hansen, who claimed Bush was politicizing Global Warming, refused to provide his algorithms to other researchers so they could simply check his work, hiding his own errors from them and distorting the science he claims to care about oh-so-much until some persistent researchers went to the great trouble of reconstructing his algorithms themselves.

Fire him. Immediately.

Update: The numbers I've seen so far only concern the 48 contiguous US states. I don't know if there are also global numbers, or if they're currently being revised and not yet available, or what exactly.

Morbo says I'm getting carried away:

They are not global temperatures; the error only applies to the US data, and the corrections apply only to the US data. Unless the bug is bigger than either Steve McIntyre or GISS have disclosed, 1998 is still the officially the hottest year on record for the global temperature, and 1934 is only officially hotter in the US. Ace, you're getting a little carried away here.

That being said, I would characterize the US network as being the most extensive and most studied; god only knows how unreliable some of the non-US data is that goes into the global record.

That being said, the real story is not a few little corrections here and there by around 0.2 degrees C. The real story is that GISS data was obviously wrong but had gone unchecked before Steve's work, firstly because the IPCC choirboys never bother to check their own data (see also the MBH98 hockey stick), and secondly because it was hard to check because the GISS software and algorithms are kept secret (despite being paid for by public money). This makes it virtually impossible to replicate and check. Replication is a cornerstone of the scientific method; its not just bad science, its not really even science at all.

I think we can argue about the "real story." Or there's room for two.

Half of Global Warming Cultists' Book of Prayers relies on temperatures rising towards the asymptote right now, so that they can extend that trendline into the future and claim future temperatures will just keep going up, up, up.

Any correction like this which shows that two of the three highest temperatures in the US occurred so much earlier in the century (1934 and 1921 -- Good lord, how many people in the world even had cars or oil heat then?) suggests not an ever-rising temperature but a cyclically rising, and falling, and rising, and falling pattern.

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