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1998 was not the warmest

I have had a few people email me asking why I didn’t make a big deal about the republishing of data on 1998 not being the warmest ever.  Keep those emails coming but I wanted to publicly comment.

There are three reasons I didn’t make a big deal about this, even though a Google search of blogs shows that others did. 

  1. It appears that it was an honest mistake. I don’t want to make a big deal about honest mistakes. More importantly, I think it is critical that scientists own up to these mistakes as soon as possible. He who is perfect should throw the first stone…
  2. It really doesn’t matter much.  So now 1998 is second. So what? It was so close to first that it was a virtual tie.
  3. I don’t trust the data that much. I have real problems with any calculations that show the average temperature of the globe anyway since:
    • there are not enough measurement points to be statistically significant.
    • the method of acquiring the temperatures is suspect (especially older than 25-50 years ago).
    • the method of calculating these averages does not appear to be thermodynamically correct and mathematically accurate.

It was warm in 1934 in certain parts of the globe and it was warm in 1998 in certain parts of the globe – that is all that is clear.

Remember, this site is about fair and balanced.

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4 Responses to “1998 was not the warmest”

  1. You have a beautiful website, little substance but pretty.
    The NASA error with their temperature data was not innocent. They knew they had and have a problem and they covered it up. That is called a lie, a confession of guilt.

    It is comparable to claiming there were weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, knowing there were not. NASA lied, James Hansen lied, and he should be held accountable. Pure and simple.

  2. […] The new model developed at the Met’s Hadley Centre in Exeter, and described in the journal Science, predicts that warming will slow during the next few years but then speed up again, and that at least half of the years after 2009 will be warmer than 1998, the warmest year on record. [Editor’s note – this article source was written before NASA republished the numbers to point out that 1998 was not the warmest year – it was the second warmest – read my comments on this here]. […]

  3. Thanks for your comment to my blog.
    I think that that the earth is always warming or cooling because of a natural cycle and we can’t stop it.

  4. The issue is about US temperatures, not global. 1934 is now the warmest year for the US–but not for the world. The US accounts for only about 2% of the Earth;s surface. This means variations in US averages should be seven times larger that world variations.. World variations from trend amounts to about a quarter degree. This means *random* US variations from trend could be as much as 1.75 degrees, which is larger than than the *trend* change in global temperature.

    We all know that *weather* can vary by tens of degrees. Look at record high/low for you own town. With phenomenon like el Nino we know that large regions can be either usually hot or cold relative to trend. Thus, the US was particularly hot in the 1930’s, but not necessarily everywhere else. In the last decade it is hot in the US *and* in a lot of other places that might not have been hot in the 1930’s.

    Some might note that the US provides a large fraction of historical temperature data. This is true, but it is weighted by its geographical size. Thus although we might had temperature data for Milwaukee, Chicago, Grand Rapids, Lansing, Detroit, Toledo,and Indianopolis, these seven data points might be averaged an then given a lesser weight than a single measurement in Micronesia, because the latter measurement covers more area.