Who’s The Warmest of Them All?

The climatistas are already wetting their pants with the news that 2014 is supposedly on track to be the warmest year evah! The AP’s environmental “reporter” Seth Borenstein (who is really just an environmental activist with a byline, like most environmental “reporters”*) has told us so.

Not so fast, says Dr. Roy Spencer, who is, as you may recall, one of the inventors of the NASA satellite systems that give us the most accurate global temperature readings: “I claim 2014 won’t be the warmest global-average year on record. . .   With only 3 months left in the year, there is no realistic way for 2014 to set a record in the satellite data.”

Spencer explains that the claim of the hottest year on record is based on surface thermometer data and is not backed up by the satellite data:

[T]hermometers cannot measure global averages — only satellites can. The satellite instruments measure nearly every cubic kilometer – hell, every cubic inch — of the lower atmosphere on a daily basis. You can travel hundreds if not thousands of kilometers without finding a thermometer nearby. . .

[T]he alarmists will continue to use the outdated, spotty, and heavily-massaged thermometer data to support their case. For a group that trumpets the high-tech climate modeling effort used to guide energy policy — models which have failed to forecast (or even hindcast!) the lack of warming in recent years — they sure do cling bitterly to whatever will support their case.

As British economist Ronald Coase once said, “If you torture the data long enough, it will confess to anything.”

Here’s the chart of the two satellite temperature series (Spencer explains the difference and divergence between the two in the complete post if you’re interested, but the point is, both fail to validate the pants-wetters.)

Satleites copy

Spencer goes on to explain that even if 2014 does come in as the warmest year ever, it is still no reason to wet your pants:

Which brings me to my second point. If global temperatures were slowly rising at, say, a hundredth of a degree per year and we didn’t have cool La nina or warm El Nino years, then every year would be a new record warm year.

But so what?

It’s the amount of temperature rise that matters. And for a planet where all forms of life experience much wider swings in temperature than “global warming” is producing, which might be 1 deg. C so far, those life forms — including the ones who vote — really don’t care that much. We are arguing over the significance of hundredths of a degree, which no one can actually feel.

* Several years ago the Society of Environmental Journalists (SEJ) invited Robert F. Kennedy Jr. to give a keynote address at their annual meeting. The assembled environmental “journalists” gave him a standing ovation. QED. (To her credit, a New York Times reporter of my acquaintance who was in the audience did not join the ovation and told me privately that she thought the ovation was a “disgrace.”) On another occasion about 10 years ago now, the SEJ invited me to come and debate then-Rep. Mark Udall. Udall backed out at the last minute, and the SEJ rescinded its invitation to me rather than let me appear by myself.  I used the same term directly with the head of the SEJ that the Obama administration is using for Netanyahu this week.  Heh.