July Temperature Record Claims Based on Manipulated Data

Published August 31, 2015

Climate Change Weekly #184

“Garbage in, garbage out” is an old saying that applies perfectly to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) recent claim July 2015 was the hottest month ever recorded. The way NOAA calculated temperatures to make this claim gets to the heart of the debate over temperature manipulation. When one understands what government scientists are doing in an effort to promote climate alarmism, rather than to record and report accurate data for analysis, one must despair whether accurate data can be obtained from “official sources.”

Let’s look at just a few of the issues tending to undermine confidence in NOAA’s claim July was the warmest year on record. First, Anthony Watts’s surface station project has definitively shown numerous official land-based temperature recording stations are in locations that artificially skew the temperatures recorded upward. Such stations violate NOAA’s own standards for data quality, but NOAA continues to use the data because the data fits its alarmist goals.

Second, as reported in the May 18, 2015, Climate Change Weekly, governments around the world are routinely adjusting their raw temperature data from recent years upwards, while adjusting their temperature data from decades past downward. This makes the warming trend seem even greater than the actual record shows.

Third, the temperature measurements from the global satellite system – the most accurate temperature measuring system in existence and the one least open to bias – belie NOAA’s claim of record-setting temperatures for July. According to the satellite system data, June 2015 was warmer than July, and July was only the seventh warmest year recorded by the satellites since they began operation in 1979.

Most importantly, to understand how corrupt NOAA’s data appear to be, and thus how it came to make its record-setting claim for July’s temperature, one must understand how NOAA changed the way it began recording ocean temperature data. The result of that change made headlines in June, when NOAA claimed the nearly two-decades-long temperature pause measured by satellites, weather balloons, and every other temperature recording system on Earth had not occurred.

Although oceans take up most of Earth’s surface, ocean temperatures have historically been under represented in the record, as evidenced by the sparse coverage of buoys with temperature gauges. Governments have rapidly expanded the buoy system in recent years to improve temperature measurement, and NOAA used this laudable effort for its own perverse purposes.

NOAA’s researchers adjusted the raw data provided by the expanded ocean buoy system upward by 0.12°C to make them “homogeneous” with the longer-running temperature records taken from engine intake channels in marine vessels. However, engine intake temperature measurements were never intended to provide scientifically reliable temperature data. It is widely recognized engine intake temperature measurements are contaminated by the structure of the ship and the heat pouring off the engines. Using these measurements is like gauging temperatures for a large region by throwing out all the readings in the rural countryside uncontaminated by concrete, brick, and asphalt, only to end up using data from airport tarmacs, parking lots, and locations situated directly next to heating vents.

Adjusting good data upward to match bad data is a gross corruption of the scientific process. Concerning NOAA’s new dataset, The Daily Caller quoted Georgia Tech climate scientist Judith Curry as saying, “The global surface temperature datasets are clearly a moving target. So while I’m sure this latest analysis from NOAA will be regarded as politically useful for the Obama administration, I don’t regard it as a particularly useful contribution to our scientific understanding of what is going on.”

The July temperature record proclaimed by NOAA ignores data from weather balloons and satellites. It is instead based on the admittedly flawed (and adjusted) land-based temperature system, with its new, manipulated ocean data – which hardly inspires confidence in the claim July set a record.

— H. Sterling Burnett

SOURCES: The Washington Times; The Daily Caller; Watts Up With That; Cornwall Alliance; and Climate Change Weekly #172


EPA admits climate regs hurt the poorRenewables may be permanent money losersClimate models underestimate carbon dioxide uptakeGMO rice improves yields, cuts methaneHurricane ‘drought’ continues

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Gina McCarthy has finally admitted what many have long argued: EPA’s Clean Power Plan (CPP) will disproportionately hurt the poor, minorities, and those on fixed incomes. CPP mandates deep cuts in 47 states’ carbon dioxide emissions, consequently shifting America’s electric power sector away from cheap, reliable coal to more expensive sources of electricity. The median family spends about 5 cents of every dollar on energy. By contrast, lower-income families spend about 20 cents of every dollar on energy. Since energy is a component of everything sold, the costs for other goods and services will rise along with energy prices. The Daily Signal quotes McCarthy, who admitted lower-income Americans will suffer as a result of CPP: “We know that low-income minority communities would be hardest hit.” Upon announcing the finalized CPP, President Barack Obama lambasted its critics, saying, “Even more cynical, we’ve got critics of this plan who are actually claiming that this will harm minority and low-income communities.” The truth is now out, however, as McCarthy stated and Obama certainly knew; the CPP will hurt the poor.

SOURCE: The Daily Signal

New research by Lion Hirth, Ph.D., a former renewables analyst at Swedish utility Vattenfall, suggests renewable energy may be a perpetual money loser. According to Hirth, costs for renewable electricity sources have plummeted faster and further than expected. For example, China now sells solar panels for only 61 cents per watt of electricity generating capacity, down from $4.50 seven years ago. Despite falling costs, Hirth’s research suggests wind and solar generators will become victims of their own success because of the way power is bought and sold on wholesale markets.

Prices on the wholesale electricity markets are set by traders buying and selling power by the hour, half hour, or less. The hours when solar and wind farms produce the most electricity, such as midday for solar, are the same time periods wholesale electricity prices are lowest. As wind and solar energy sources grow as a percentage of electric production, they help to depress prices further and could eventually make it difficult to compete.

Hirth’s research is backed up by real-world experience. When hurricane-strength winds swept across Germany in March 2015, wind and solar generators produced about as much as 30 nuclear power plants at their peak one afternoon, briefly collapsing the price of wholesale electricity to $0. Hirth’s modeling suggests the value of wind power could fall by 40 percent as wind farms’ share of the market rises from zero to 30 percent, with the decline in value even steeper for solar generators because their highest producing hours are concentrated in a shorter time span, when prices are especially low. Hirth says as the share of renewable energy grows, wind and solar generators will be unable to gain or maintain profitability without continued, increased renewable subsidies.

SOURCE: Global Warming Policy Foundation

A new assessment of nine state-of-the-art climate models used by international modeling centers, published in Biogeosciences and conducted by researchers at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst, found broad disagreement concerning the amount of atmospheric carbon dioxide sequestered in tundra and boreal ecosystems of Northern Eurasia. As a group, the models underestimated the amount of carbon dioxide sequestered in the region. While the trend among the nine models shows the region’s land carbon sink has been strengthening in recent decades, driven by a net increase in carbon dioxide uptake from plant growth, lead author Michael Rawlins said, “As a group, the models tend to overestimate carbon emissions from land, particularly in autumn. They generally underestimate the present-day carbon sink, in our view. So there is good news, in that the region is likely storing more of the carbon being emitted by human activities than the models depict.”

SOURCE: Watts Up With That

Research published in Nature shows SUSIBA2, a newly developed strain of rice genetically modified to contain a single gene from barley, increases yields and starch content while simultaneously reducing methane emissions to almost zero. Rice serves as the staple food for more than half of the world’s population, while also being one of the largest manmade sources of atmospheric methane, a potent greenhouse gas. Rice paddies contribute up to 17 percent of global methane emissions. While methane represents a much smaller percentage of overall greenhouse gases than carbon dioxide, it is approximately 20 times more effective at trapping heat.

SUSIBA2 rice is the first high-starch, low-methane rice. The introduction of the barley gene resulted in a plant more efficient at feeding its grains, stems, and leaves while starving methane-producing microbes in the soil. Three years of field studies in China demonstrate SUSIBA2 delivered increased crop yields and a near elimination of methane emissions.

SOURCE: Watts Up With That

August 24, 2015, marked a record 118 months since the last major hurricane, classified as category 3 or higher, struck the continental United States, according to records kept by NOAA’s Hurricane Research Division. NOAA has records of all U.S. hurricane strikes dating back to 1851. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change claims a continued rise in carbon dioxide levels would result in an increase in powerful hurricanes, but real-world observations have shown otherwise. Hurricane Wilma, which hit Florida on October 24, 2005, was the last major hurricane to hit the United States, making President Barack Obama the first president in 122 years, since Benjamin Harrison, to hold office without seeing a major hurricane strike the United States. The second-longest stretch between major hurricanes hitting the continental United States was the eight years between 1860 and 1869. According to researchers at the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies, such a “drought” in major hurricane activity is “a rare event,” occurring just once every 177 years.

SOURCE: The Daily Caller

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