A funny thing happened on the way to determining how hot 2012 has been on a global basis: temperatures changed in 1880.
I knew NASA would occasionally update its estimates, even its historical estimates. I found that unsettling when I first heard about it. But I thought such re-estimates were rare, and transparent. There is absolutely no transparency here. If I had not kept a copy of the data taken off NASA’s web site two months ago, I would not have known it had changed. NASA does not make available previous versions of its temperature record (to my knowledge).
NASA does summarize its “updates to analysis,” but the last update it describes was in February. The data I looked at changed sometime after early July.
In short, the data that NASA makes available to the public, temperatures over the last 130 years, can change at any time, without warning and without explanation. Yes, the global temperature of January 1880 changed some time between July and September 2012.
Surprise of surprise, the change had the effect of making the long-term temperature record support conclusions of faster warming. The biggest changes were mostly pre-1963 temperatures; they were generally adjusted down. That would make the warming trend steeper, since post-1963 temperatures were adjusted slightly upward, on average. Generally, the older the data, the more adjustment.
C’mon, NASA, did you really think we wouldn’t notice?
For those who are keeping track (admittedly not easy given the numbers), we have now reached forty examples of data manipulation, errors, and other shenanigans from global warming alarmists, and that’s just from what I’ve been able to blog on this subject since Climategate broke in November of 2009 just under three years ago.
Keep this in mind the next time someone screams “hottest (day/week/month/year) on record.”
Cross-posted to Virginia Virtucon