Global warming alarmists are sounding the trumpets of victory, because 2014 is going to be the hottest year on record. Or so they say.
It all depends on which dataset you use. And which dataset you use is determined by whether or not you already believe in catastrophic manmade global warming. If you do believe in it, then naturally you’re going to use the surface temperature stations, most of which are positioned on asphalt parking lots or in close proximity to an artificial heat-generating source like an air conditioning unit, a city building, or a transformer, in violation of the National Weather Service’s own rules on surface station siting.
If you don’t subscribe to the global warming alarmist mentality, then you’ll probably view the surface temperature data as biased, considering how most of the stations are positioned in artificial “hot zones,” rendering the data totally worthless. You’ll probably refer to satellite data, which offers a much more accurate, comprehensive and global picture of the Earth’s average temperature. In spite of this method being the most technological, up-to-date means of temperature data collection, the alarmists don’t prefer it. Well, unless they’re using it to show the melting North Pole. Other than that, they have no use for it.
So, is 2014 going to be the “hottest year on record?” According to Dr. Roy Spencer (yes, he’s a climate scientist), no. A few months ago, he wrote:
I claim 2014 won’t be the warmest global-average year on record, if for no other reason than this: thermometers cannot measure global averages — only satellites can. The satellite instruments measure nearly every cubic kilometer – hell, every cubic inch — of the lower atmosphere on a daily basis. You can travel hundreds if not thousands of kilometers without finding a thermometer nearby.
(And even if 2014 or 2015 turns out to be the warmest, this is not a cause for concern…more about that later).
The two main research groups tracking global lower-tropospheric temperatures (our UAH group, and the Remote Sensing Systems [RSS] group) show 2014 lagging significantly behind 2010 and especially 1998:
In the meantime, the alarmists will continue to use the outdated, spotty, and heavily-massaged thermometer data to support their case. For a group that trumpets the high-tech climate modeling effort used to guide energy policy — models which have failed to forecast (or even hindcast!) the lack of warming in recent years — they sure do cling bitterly to whatever will support their case.
As British economist Ronald Coase once said, “If you torture the data long enough, it will confess to anything.”
So, why are the surface thermometer data used to the exclusion of our best technology — satellites — when tracking global temperatures? Because they better support the narrative of a dangerously warming planet. [Emphasis mine]
Except, as the public can tell, the changes in global temperature aren’t even on their radar screen (sorry for the metaphor).
Of course, 2015 could still set a record if the current El Nino ever gets its act together. But I’m predicting it won’t.
Which brings me to my second point. If global temperatures were slowly rising at, say, a hundredth of a degree per year and we didn’t have cool La Nina or warm El Nino years, then every year would be a new record warm year.
But so what?
It’s the amount of temperature rise that matters. And for a planet where all forms of life experience much wider swings in temperature than “global warming” is producing, which might be 1 deg. C so far, those life forms — including the ones who vote — really don’t care that much. We are arguing over the significance of hundredths of a degree, which no one can actually feel.
So, there you have it. Will 2014 be the “hottest year on record?” Well, obviously not. But you tell that to a global warming alarmist and he’ll call you a “science denier.”