You’ve certainly seen the news stories trumpeting data from the National Climatic Data Center purporting to show that 2012 was the warmest year on record in the continental United States. This AP story, to note just one example, is headlined “US roasts to hottest year on record by landslide.” And news reports invariably try to link this claim with human-induced global warming, even though the U.S. represents only 2% of the Earth’s surface area. No doubt the Russians, who have endured record-smashing cold in recent months, wish they could have enjoyed a little of our warmth last year.
But was 2012 really the warmest year on record in the U.S.? It may have been, but the truth is that we don’t know. There are two reasons for this. First, the historical data sets published by NCDC and NOAA lack integrity. Those organizations, which receive many millions of government dollars to promote global warming theory, do not publish raw data. Rather, as we explained here, they first adjust the data. How do they adjust it? They depress the temperatures that were actually recorded in past decades, in order to make today’s temperatures look warmer by comparison:
Below is a copy of the national weather data summary for February 1934. If we look at, say Arizona, for the month we see that the state average temperature for that month was 52.0°F. [Ed.: This is the paper version that was published at the time.]
However, if we look at the current NCDC temperature analysis (which runs from 1895-present) we see that for Arizona in February 1934 they have a state average of 48.9°F, not the 52.0°F that was originally published.
Why do they do this? Follow the money. In another universe–a universe without Democratic Party-controlled media–this would be a major scandal.
Then there is the fact that weather stations in the U.S. are generally sited in areas that are getting warmer for reasons having nothing to do with global warming, i.e., urbanization. Moreover, Anthony Watts’s research found that no less than 89% of weather stations in the U.S. fail to comply with the National Weather Service’s own siting requirements because they are located too close to heat sources.
So, was 2012 really the warmest year on record in the U.S.? Maybe so; but we will probably never know, because our government provides massive financial incentives to the people who create, maintain, “adjust” and publish the data to promote global warming hysteria rather than engage in objective science. As a result, the data are corrupt.