NASA On 2014 Being The Warmest Year On Record: We’re Pretty Sure, Yeah, That’s It


Now that all “The Sky Is Falling” headlines have further cemented the idea that man-made global warming via excess carbon is actually happening, it seems that the computer model used by NASA to make that claim in the last week has a fairly large margin for error:

In a press release on Friday, Nasa’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) claimed its analysis of world temperatures showed ‘2014 was the warmest year on record’….

As a result [of the 3,000 measuring stations having a large margin of error], GISS’s director Gavin Schmidt has now admitted Nasa thinks the likelihood that 2014 was the warmest year since 1880 is just 38 per cent.

And then there was the little tidbit that this increase was two hundreths of a degree Celsius (that’s 0.02, as in it was teeny tiny), which is several times smaller than the one tenth of a degree margin of error.

The Daily Mail, the origin of the quotes above, wanted to be sure that the NASA data misrepresentation admission was yet not another smoke and mirrors incident, so they consulted a different study of similar data over the same time frame:

Another analysis, from the Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature (BEST) project, drawn from ten times as many measuring stations as GISS, concluded that if 2014 was a record year, it was by an even tinier amount. 

Its report said: ‘Numerically, our best estimate for the global temperature of 2014 puts it slightly above (by 0.01C) that of the next warmest year (2010) but by much less than the margin of uncertainty.

‘Therefore it is impossible to conclude from our analysis which of 2014, 2010, or 2005 was actually the warmest year… the Earth’s average temperature for the past decade has changed very little.’

Well, isn’t that special.  According to all the reports, “greenhouse” gas emissions have sky-rocketed and the earth’s temperature doesn’t seem to be changing.  Well, not by much anyway.  At least one scientist, though, is willing to entertain the idea that non-human variables effect the earth at a global level:

Dr Ed Hawkins, associate professor of climate science at the University of Reading, said the past 15 years had seen a slightly slower rate of warming.

But he added: ‘You have to take a longer view, because 15 years is too short a period. We expect natural fluctuations, volcanic eruptions and changes in solar output to sometimes slow and sometimes increase warming rates.’

Since the earth is several billion years old – science doesn’t particularly have a consensus on that, either – and it was a lot hotter not even a thousand years ago, and then a lot colder MANY times, it could well be non-human factors are more of a force than not.

For now, however, there is an argument on just how many hundreths of a degree the earth warmed last year.  That humans are to blame does not seem to be in doubt.

About the Author

Cultural Limits
A resident of Flyover Country, Cultural Limits is a rare creature in American Conservatism - committed to not just small government, Christianity and traditional social roles, but non-profits and high arts and culture. Watching politics, observing human behavior and writing are all long-time interests. In her other life, CL writes romance novels under her nom de plume, Patricia Holden (@PatriciaHoldenAuthor on Facebook), and crochets like a mad woman (designs can be found on Facebook @BohemianFlairCrochet and on Pinterest on the Bohemian Flair Crochet board). In religion, CL is Catholic; in work, the jill of all trades when it comes to fundraising software manipulation and event planning; in play, a classically trained soprano and proud citizen of Cardinal Nation, although, during hockey season, Bleeds Blue. She lives in the Mid-Mississippi River Valley with family and two cute and charming tyrants...make that toy dogs.