I was watching Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth (2006) (something I do for laughs) just the other day, and as usual I broke up when Gore got to the part where he claims temperature record since 1880 show that the ten hottest years ever measured in the atmospheric record all occurred in the last fourteen years, and that 2005 was the warmest year on record.
Some of Gore’s claims about temperature records were rejected even by scientists supporting Anthropogenic Global Warming theories when the movie came out, but as Mark Steyn notes, the status of those temperature records is getting worse.
Something rather odd happened the other day. If you go to NASA’s Web site and look at the “U.S. surface air temperature” rankings for the lower 48 states, you might notice that something has changed.
Then again, you might not. They’re not issuing any press releases about it. But they have quietly revised their All-Time Hit Parade for U.S. temperatures. The “hottest year on record” is no longer 1998, but 1934. Another alleged swelterer, the year 2001, has now dropped out of the Top 10 altogether, and most of the rest of the 21st century â€“ 2000, 2002, 2003, 2004 â€“ plummeted even lower down the Hot 100. In fact, every supposedly hot year from the Nineties and this decade has had its temperature rating reduced. Four of America’s Top 10 hottest years turn out to be from the 1930s, that notorious decade when we all drove around in huge SUVs with the air-conditioning on full-blast. If climate change is, as Al Gore says, the most important issue anyone’s ever faced in the history of anything ever, then Franklin Roosevelt didn’t have a word to say about it.
And yet we survived.
So why is 1998 no longer America’s record-breaker? Because a very diligent fellow named Steve McIntyre of climateaudit.com (sic -should be .org) labored long and hard to prove there was a bug in NASA’s handling of the raw data. He then notified the scientists responsible and received an acknowledgment that the mistake was an “oversight” that would be corrected in the next “data refresh.” The reply was almost as cool as the revised chart listings.