Right Hooks

2014 Hottest Year Ever? Say It Ain't So!

Jan. 16, 2015

We’ve been anticipating this awhile, so it’s hardly a surprise.

On Friday the United States government formally declared 2014 the hottest year yet after data crunching showed a global temperature mean of 1.24 degrees Fahrenheit above average.

“This was the highest among all 135 years in the 1880-2014 record, surpassing the previous records of 2005 and 2010 by 0.07°F (0.04°C),” NOAA reports. The calculation includes both sea surface temperatures (SSTs) and land measurements – SSTs were the highest on record (1.03°F above average), while land temperatures came in fourth place (1.80°F above average).

Now for the important question: Is NOAA correct? The answer depends on which method one chooses.

Last month, The Patriot Post explained why NOAA’s impending announcement is flawed. The agency heavily relies on land-based measurements, which are vulnerable to discrepancies such as the heat island effect. Moreover, the grey coloring in the accompanying graph represents areas with missing data. At the time, satellite measurements – considered the superior technique for recording global temperatures and that include all geographic areas – did not rank last year at the top. That still appears to be the case.

The Washington Post’s Capital Weather Gang reports, “[T]he estimate of the lower atmosphere (troposphere) temperature from weather satellites (which extend back to 1979) from the University of Alabama-Huntsville, ranked 2014 as the third warmest year on record, behind 1998 and 2010.”

At best, there’s a major discrepancy that’s going unquestioned. More likely, NOAA is intentionally discrediting methods at odds with their findings. If that seems far-fetched, consider this from meteorologist Joe Bastardi: “The current methods [used by NOAA] involve ‘normalizing’ temperatures in the pre-satellite era, in many cases cooling previous warm periods, making today look warmer.” That’s hardly a way to garner trust. More…

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