August 12, 2007

Excerpt of the Day: Steyn on NASA’s Temperature ‘Data Refresh’ (UPDATE: Typical Weak ‘Defense’)

Steyn skewers, as only Steyn can:

Something rather odd happened the other day. If you go to NASA’s Web site and look at the “U.S. surface air temperature” rankings for the lower 48 states, you might notice that something has changed.

Then again, you might not. They’re not issuing any press releases about it. But they have quietly revised their All-Time Hit Parade for U.S. temperatures. The “hottest year on record” is no longer 1998, but 1934. Another alleged swelterer, the year 2001, has now dropped out of the Top 10 altogether, and most of the rest of the 21st century – 2000, 2002, 2003, 2004 – plummeted even lower down the Hot 100. In fact, every supposedly hot year from the Nineties and this decade has had its temperature rating reduced. Four of America’s Top 10 hottest years turn out to be from the 1930s, that notorious decade when we all drove around in huge SUVs with the air-conditioning on full-blast. If climate change is, as Al Gore says, the most important issue anyone’s ever faced in the history of anything ever, then Franklin Roosevelt didn’t have a word to say about it.

And yet we survived.

So why is 1998 no longer America’s record-breaker? Because a very diligent fellow named Steve McIntyre of labored long and hard to prove there was a bug in NASA’s handling of the raw data. He then notified the scientists responsible and received an acknowledgment that the mistake was an “oversight” that would be corrected in the next “data refresh.” The reply was almost as cool as the revised chart listings.

Who is this man who understands American climate data so much better than NASA? Well, he’s not even American: He’s Canadian. Just another immigrant doing the jobs Americans won’t do, even when they’re federal public servants with unlimited budgets? No. Mr. McIntyre lives in Toronto. But the data smelled wrong to him, he found the error, and NASA has now corrected its findings – albeit without the fanfare that accompanied the hottest-year-on-record hysteria of almost a decade ago. Sunlight may be the best disinfectant, but, when it comes to global warming, the experts prefer to stick the thermometer where the sun don’t shine.

One is tempted to explain the error with old the computer expert’s cry: That’s not a bug, it’s a feature. To maintain public hysteria, it’s necessary for the warm-mongers to be able to demonstrate that something is happening now.

Don’t forget that NASA’s data is based on ground observations, while, as noted in a UK Telegraph column by Bob Carter in September 2006, worldwide satellite temperature data (NASA’s data is for the US) has shown no global warming since 1998. To my knowledge, no one has refuted Carter’s statement.


UPDATE: The “it’s no big deal, global warming is still happening” crowd is coming out. Here’s one very weak defense

The change has little affect (sic) on global temperature records and the average temperatures for 2001-2006 (at 0.66 ºC) is still warmer than 1930-1934 (0.63 ºC) in the United States.

More sloppiness: The author really meant 2002-2006, not 2001-2006. Anyway, we’re supposed to be losing sleep about a .03 degree difference? Surely the author jests.

Talk about the satellite data, pal, and I might start listening.

Positivity: Lifeguard Rescues Boy from Bottom of Pool

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 10:57 am

From Huntersville, North Carolina:

07:18 AM EDT on Tuesday, August 7, 2007

The parents of a 7-year-old are thankful their son is alive. He was not breathing after a lifeguard pulled him from the bottom of a Huntersville pool Sunday. Police say the lifeguard’s next actions saved his life.

Jacob Robinson, 17, was sitting in the lifeguard chair Sunday as he does nearly every day at the Hampton Ridge neighborhood pool. He’s a quiet, soft spoken young man whose quick, decisive actions Sunday afternoon saved the life of a neighborhood boy.

This is Robinson’s first year as a lifeguard and he never imagined his training would be tested so soon and so dramatically.

“He was unconscious. He wasn’t breathing. He had blue lips. He didn’t look very good,” Robinson said.

He saw Matthew Abernathy at the bottom of the pool’s deep end. The boy was motionless.

“It was very, very scary, but luckily the lifeguard had him,” the boy’s mother said.

Robinson dove into the pool, pulled the boy out of the water, and started performing rescue breaths.

“He came to (and) started throwing up a little bit,” Robinson said. “By that time the paramedics had arrived.”

Paramedics rushed the boy to Presbyterian Hospital were he spent the night in intensive care. His mother Donna Abernathy says doctors expect he will make a full recovery.

“We’re hoping one more night and that’s it,” she said. “We want to bring him home.”

Abernathy says her boy must be doing better because he’s already asking for his favorite toys from home.

Go here for the rest of the story.