Score Another One for Steve McIntyre
Steve McIntyre has found an error in the NASA temperature data used in some of the analysis for global warming. The error he has found has resulted in 1998 no longer being the hottest year on record. Now 1934 is the hottest year in the record and also the entire data set has been reviewed and data from 2000 through 2006 gas been adjusted downwards by 0.15 degrees Celsius.
In the United States, the calendar year 1998 ranked as the hottest of them all — until someone checked the math.
After a Toronto skeptic tipped NASA this month to one flaw in its climate calculations, the U.S. agency ordered a full data review.
Days later, it put out a revised list of all-time hottest years. The Dust Bowl year of 1934 now ranks as hottest ever in the U.S. — not 1998.
More significantly, the agency reduced the mean U.S. “temperature anomalies” for the years 2000 to 2006 by 0.15 degrees Celsius.
Now this isn’t the news that some (e.g. Rush Limbaugh) are making out to be. While such a change is somewhat noteworthy it does not mean that the global warming hypothesis is false. The global warming hypothesis, crudely put, that due to rising CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere global temperatures would also be rising, i.e. we should see a trend in temperatures. A change in when the max temperature occurs would not necessarily have a significant impact on the hypothesis. Still that the data is wrong does bring up the possibility that other data could be wrong, and in a way that could (note I didn’t say must) undermine the hypothesis. So checking and re-checking the data is not something that is a complete waste of time considering that some polices for dealing with global warming could cost several trillion dollars.
See McIntyre’s post for more discussion.