Friday, January 30, 2009

NASA Rigs Data, Reports False Global Warming

James Hansen is the NASA climatologist who started the global warming hysteria in 1988 when he told a Senate committee he was 99 percent sure global warming was already underway. The news media seized upon his unsupported testimony and parlayed it into an impending planetary crisis. A new industry was born. Billions of dollars were spent, and tens of thousands of jobs were created, giving rise to growing numbers of people with vested interests in promoting the specter of global warming. James Hansen gave them ammunition. For years, as head of NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS), he has “repeatedly been caught providing erroneous temperature reports that always err on the side of claiming more warming than has occurred,” says James Taylor in the February 2009 issue of Environment & Climate News.

In 2007 it was revealed that GISS had been artificially inflating U.S. temperatures by 0.15 degrees Celsius since the year 2000. NASA had claimed that six of the ten hottest years in U.S. history had occurred since 1995. When the erroneous data was corrected, 1998 (an unusually warm year due to El Nino—not carbon dioxide) was no longer the warmest year of the past century in the U.S. It fell to second place, with 1934 now being the warmest. And third place now belonged to 1921, not 2006. The formerly high-ranking years 2000, 2002, 2003 and 2004 fell well down the leader board—behind even 1900! Four of the top ten are now from the 1930s : 1934, 1931, 1938, 1939. Since more than 80 percent of the century's increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide occurred after 1940, the warmer temperatures of earlier years can't be explained by higher carbon dioxide levels.

In April 2008 Canadian statistician Steve McIntyre ( documented that NASA has been “rewriting history time and time again.” Still, NASA continued the process. It falsely reported that October 2008 was the warmest October on record. Statistical scientists jumped on this claim, leading even NASA to admit it was wrong. The month was actually quite normal.

Now meteorologist Anthony Watts has caught GISS and Hansen doctoring data records from Santa Rosa, California, and potentially other temperature stations. The charts below show how Hansen and his underlings turned a long-term decline into a long-term temperature increase.

The top chart shows actual readings reported by the U.S. Historical Climatology Network (USHCN). GISS arrives at its numbers by taking the USHCN data and applying secret adjustments. USHCN reports a temperature decline of nearly one-half degree Celsius during the twentieth century, while GISS reports an increase of one-half a degree. Hansen has refused to explain how and why he makes these adjustments.

Hansen's secrecy raises an ethical and perhaps legal question of whether the head of an agency federally funded by U.S. taxpayers can refuse to disclose how those funds are spent. It is reminiscent of a case a few years ago involving Michael Mann and his “hockey stick” graph purportedly illustrating global warming in recent decades. It showed centuries of temperature records as a basically horizontal line (the handle of the hockey stick), to which was added a sharply rising line (resembling the blade of the hockey stick) to denote global warming in recent decades. For a long time Mann refused to disclose his methodology. Finally, faced with pressure from a Congressional committee, he relented and revealed it. His study was shown to be based on an invalid statistical procedure. One must wonder if that was the reason he refused to disclose it sooner—and if Hansen has maintained his secrecy for the same reason. Robert Ferguson, president of the Science and Public Policy Institute, has stated: “Hansen's track record for presenting false data is undeniable, and yet neither the press nor the government holds him accountable for his self-serving errors and lack of objectivity.”