With great fanfare, NASA announced that 2014 was the hottest year on record. The part of the story they didn’t mention is that they are only 38% sure it was the hottest on record. They also didn’t mention that surface temperatures were used rather than satellite data and that part of their data used estimated temperatures.
Per the UK Daily Mail, “the claim made headlines around the world, but yesterday it emerged that GISS’s [NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies] analysis – based on readings from more than 3,000 measuring stations worldwide – is subject to a margin of error. NASA admits this means it is far from certain that 2014 set a record at all.
Yet the Nasa press release failed to mention this, as well as the fact that the alleged ‘record’ amounted to an increase over 2010, the previous ‘warmest year’, of just two-hundredths of a degree – or 0.02C. The margin of error is said by scientists to be approximately 0.1C – several times as much.
As a result, GISS’s director Gavin Schmidt has now admitted NASA thinks the likelihood that 2014 was the warmest year since 1880 is just 38 per cent. However, when asked by this newspaper whether he regretted that the news release did not mention this, he did not respond.
To put it another way, it was almost 2x as likely that 2014 was not the warmest year since 1880, a fact that Schmidt did not want the public to know. The fudging may even be bigger; climate blogger Steven Goddard examined the raw numbers and discovered:
Gavin quietly says that there is a 62% chance that 2014 was not the warmest year on record, but he had to give his boss a talking point for the State of the Union address this week.
So Gavin simply fabricated warm temperatures across huge areas like Greenland, where he had no actual thermometer data in December. Gavin showed much of western Greenland 1-2C above normal, when it was actually 2C below normal. It doesn’t take a lot of that sort of cheating to get temperatures up 0.02 globally.
The claim also ignores the satellite temperature data from NASA which shows that the earth hasn’t warmed in 18 years and 3 months.