While the accusations are not new, the latest scandal, sparked by an in-depth analysis of the data by independent analyst Steven Goddard at Real Science, relies on official records to suggest that federal agencies have been fudging temperature measurements to make past decades seem colder and recent years appear warmer.
Numerous scientists and experts confirmed Goddard’s explosive findings, but in separate responses to The New American, both NOAA and NASA attempted to downplay the significance of the accusations. The major problems identified by Goddard in the temperature records of federal bureaucracies relate to the U.S. Historical Climatology Network (USHCN), the official data-set covering the continental United States. While the agencies admit the records are adjusted, Goddard and multiple scientists suggested that biased methodology was used to adjust the data to show an unjustified and “spurious” warming trend.
“Bottom line is there is clearly a huge error in the USHCN adjustments which has added a non-existent one degree hockey stick warming to the official US temperature record, and I now know just where to look for it in their code,” Goddard wrote. “NOAA made a big deal about 2012 blowing away all temperature records, but the temperature they reported is the result of a huge error. This affects all NOAA and NASA U.S. temperature graphs, and is part of the cause of this famous shift.” Citing satellite data, Goddard also said that by 2008, U.S. temperatures had cooled down below 1980s and 90s levels.
The “adjustment” schemes in the official U.S. dataset are so drastic, according to Goddard’s analysis, that they managed to “turn a 90 year cooling trend into a warming trend,” he said, suggesting that there may be a “software bug” at work. “Bottom line is that the [NOAA National Climatic Data Center] U.S. temperature record is completely broken, and meaningless,” Goddard concluded. “Adjustments that used to go flat after 1990 now go up exponentially. Adjustments which are documented as positive are implemented as negative.”
Respected climatologist and NASA scientist Dr. Roy Spencer actually showed evidence of what Goddard described as early as April of 2012, saying that “virtually all of the USHCN warming since 1973 appears to be the result of adjustments NOAA has made to the data.” Commenting on the latest findings, Dr. Spencer said that his own examination of the data and corrections to account for urban heat island (UHI) effects “support Steve’s contention that there’s something funny going on in the USHCN data.” He also called the NOAA methodology for adjusting the data “opaque” and said he believes it is prone to serious errors.
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