Despite the fact that NASA tried to block him from accessing U.S. temperature data, persistent efforts by a climate change blogger forced the government to amend U.S. temperature data.
Because of the blogger’s efforts, NASA now recognizes 1934 as the hottest year in U.S. history, not 1998.
Steven McIntyre, a former mineral exploration executive and policy analyst for the governments of Ontario and Canada who blogs at ClimateAudit.org, wrote to NASA on August 4. He had found miscalculations in the NASA’s U.S. temperature recordings made after January 2000. “For Detroit Lakes, Minnesota,” McIntyre wrote “this introduced an error of 0.8 deg C.”
NASA responded on August 7 to tell McIntyre data was “changed correspondingly with an acknowledgement of your contribution.” Without any fanfare, the changes were made on the NASA website. The recalculations resulted in an overall decrease in U.S. temperatures since 2000 by 0.15 degrees centigrade. In a phone interview McIntyre said, “That doesn’t necessarily seem that much, but when the entire increase in temperature in the United States had been previously reported to be about half a degree, this .15 degree is not a small number when you are measuring half degree numbers.”
Now, the ten hottest years on record in the U.S., beginning with the hottest year, are: 1934, 1998, 1921, 2006, 1931, 1999, 1953, 1990, 1938 and 1939. Before the revision, that list read: 1998, 1934, 2006, 1921, 1931, 1999, 1953, 2001, 1990 and 1938. The re-ranking completely knocked 2001 off the top 10 list.
This U.S. temperature revision could cause problems for former Vice President Al Gore. Assisted by Hansen, Gore asserted in his global warming film “An Inconvenient Truth” that nine of the ten hottest years in U.S. history occurred since 1995.
McIntyre said he began looking at the data because he questioned the reliability of NASA’s U.S. weather stations that recorded temperature data. He said, “Some of them were in places they weren’t supposed to be….one of them was in a parking lot and the trend for the station in a parking lot was way up and a nearby station that was in a proper location in a rural area was relatively flat.”
Chris Horner, author of The Politically Incorrect Guide to Global Warming and Environmentalism, said McIntyre was able to catch the mistake because he “knew that our surface measuring stations are suspect.” Horner said the polling stations could be affected by things like the construction nearby asphalt parking lots, tar roofs, AC vents, chimneys, or even a grill restaurant.