Right Opinion

Satellite Data Sets and Monthly Trends Defy NOAA and NASA Claims

Joseph D'Aleo · May 5, 2015

March saw the cold ease in the north, central and southeast U.S. as global anomalies fell in the NOAA analysis data (base period of 1981-2010) that goes into computer models. Despite a global anomaly of just 0.233 degrees Celsius, NOAA and NASA announced it was the warmest March in the record back to 1895.

Satellite remote sensing covers the entire globe far better than the land station and ocean data sources and can be trusted to give a more accurate data assessment. On land in the current global data sets, some 1,200 stations are used. Many are warm biased, especially at night by urban heat island contamination. Also, as the Government Accountability Office found, over 42% of U.S. stations did not meet NOAA’s own established minimum requirements for siting and had warm biases.

The situation with the oceans, which cover 71% of the globe, is no better, especially with historical data. We currently have a global buoy data set with good coverage since 2004, but before we relied on patchwork data from ships to estimate the global temperatures for the oceans.

To make matters worse, NOAA and NASA have also added adjustments to the data that enhance the apparent warming by cooling the past, perhaps to better match the climate models they run. This allows them and the media to proclaim each month and year was the warmest or among the warmest ever.

An investigation is ongoing into how much they have changed the data and what the real data says. We have old data sets and they tell us the adjustments are larger than justified and always in the same direction (more warming). But we will let the experts have their say.

RSS showed this March globally was 10th warmest in 37 years. 2014 March was 13th warmest.

UAH had March as the 11th warmest and 2014 March the 14th warmest.

New UAH data show no warming for 219 months, and for the RSS data, it’s 220 months.

Longer term, there is slow erratic rise up to about 1998, but the apparent warming is greater due to the cooling volcanic periods in the early 1980s (El Chichon and Mt. St. Helens) and early 1990s (Pinatubo and Cerro Hudson).

Next will come April where Africa, Australia, India, eastern Europe, the Middle East and western and eastern FSU and much of Antarctica was cold. Observation data compiled for the models show a cooling to just 0.097C above normal. We will see whether NCDC and NASA proclaim it the warmest April.

Joe D'Aleo is a certified Consulting Meteorologist, Fellow of the American Meteorological Society (AMS), former chair AMS Committee on Weather Analysis and Forecasting, co-founder and first Director of Meteorology at The Weather Channel and a former college professor of Meteorology and Climatology.

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