By JR on Tuesday, March 20, 2012
Having global warming evangelists in charge of the temperature record is a joke and their unending "adjustments" of it show vividly what a joke it is. See Anthony Watts for details of their track record.
But note something amusing: The temperature differences they talk about are so tiny that they are still statistically insignificant (i.e. are indistinguishable from random fluctuations) even after all the "adjustments". At that rate there will be more adjustments coming down the pike, I am sure
And an important logical point: If their past facts were wrong, how can we know that the latest facts are right? Constantly-changing facts lack credibility as facts at all.
Britain's Climatic Research Unit (CRU), which for years maintained that 1998 was the hottest year, has published new data showing warmer years since, further undermining a sceptic view of stalled global warming.
The findings could helpfully move the focus from whether the world is warming due to human activities - it almost certainly is - to more pressing research areas, especially about the scale and urgency of human impacts.
After adding new data, the CRU team working alongside Britain's Met Office Hadley Centre said on Monday that the hottest two years in a 150-year data record were 2005 and 2010 - previously they had said the record was 1998.
None of these findings are statistically significant given the temperature differences between the three years were and remain far smaller than the uncertainties in temperature readings.
CRU drew fire during the 2009 "Climategate" scandal which derailed UN talks in Copenhagen and tripped up efforts at a U.S. climate bill. It was sparked after leaked emails showed CRU scientists, led by Phil Jones, sniping at rivals. The CRU was criticised in subsequent public enquiries for not sharing data but exonerated of any manipulation.
Nevertheless, it was the most cautious major climate research centre, in cooperation with the Met Office Hadley Centre, holding the view that 1998 was the hottest year in an observation record dating back to around 1850.
Its peers are the U.S.-based National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies.
Both had already found that 2005 and 2010 were warmer than 1998. They used an approach which gave more weight to the Arctic, where temperatures have risen faster than the rest of the world, but where there are also fewer observations.
They expanded Arctic coverage by statistically inferring warming in areas without weather stations, using neighbouring observations.
Now the CRU-Hadley Centre team have included more than 400 extra actual Arctic observations from Russia and Canada, as these countries have made these available, leading to the change in the annual ranking, which is based on fractions of a degree.