Aaron Huertas, a spokesman for the Union of Concerned Scientists, argued that the debate over the adjustments misses the bigger picture.
“Since we broke the [temperature] record by a full degree Fahrenheit [relative to 1998] this year, the adjustments are relatively minor in comparison,”
“I think climate contrarians are doing what Johnny Cochran did for O.J. Simpson — finding anything to object to, even if it obscures the big picture. It’s like they keep finding new ways to say the ‘glove doesn’t fit’ while ignoring the DNA evidence.”
Nothing could be further from the truth. As of 1999, NASA showed that 1934 was more than one degree (Fahrenheit) warmer than 1998, and that 1921, 1931 and 1953 were all warmer than 1998.
(The GISS website is dead – use the link below for an archived version)
They now show that 1934 is about 0.1C or 0.2F cooler than 1998. In other words, the total downwards adjustment of 1934 is almost 1.3 degrees Fahrenheit relative to 1998.
The current NOAA claim is that 2012 is 1.0 degrees Fahrenheit warmer than 1998, but 1934 used to be 1.1 degrees Fahrenheit warmer than 1998. This means that prior to adjustment, 1934 was hotter than 2012.
The blink comparator below shows the huge changes which have been made to the US temperature record since 1999. The past has been massively cooled, and the present has been massively warmed. A cooling trend has been turned into a warming trend, by adjusting the data.
NOAA makes bold press releases based on hugely altered data, and makes no mention that the data is altered. Then when called out, they claim that the adjustments are small, when in fact the adjustments are larger than the trend. The 1930s used to be by far the hottest decade, before the data was adjusted.
In engineering, this would be known as a signal to noise ratio of less than 1.0, which would be considered by any legitimate scientist to be almost useless data.
James Hansen of NASA wrote this in 1999.
Empirical evidence does not lend much support to the notion that climate is headed precipitately toward more extreme heat and drought. The drought of 1999 covered a smaller area than the 1988 drought, when the Mississippi almost dried up. And 1988 was a temporary inconvenience as compared with repeated droughts during the 1930s “Dust Bowl” that caused an exodus from the prairies, as chronicled in Steinbeck’s Grapes of Wrath.
in the U.S. there has been little temperature change in the past 50 years, the time of rapidly increasing greenhouse gases — in fact, there was a slight cooling throughout much of the country
The EPA has also published data showing that the 1930s was by far the hottest decade.
Why are NOAA and NASA trying to change the story now? Why don’t they tell us that they are altering the data? Why don’t they tell us that prior to altering the data, thermometers show that 1934 was just as warm as 2012?
Even if they believe that their adjustments are legitimate, it is extremely unethical for them to publish press releases which don’t acknowledge that the thermometer data shows no warming in the US.