NOAA corrects ‘State of the Climate’ – offers no credit

NOAA Corrects Their 2012 State of the Climate Report – 2012 Was NOT the Warmest La Niña Year on Record

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With as little fanfare as possible, NOAA has corrected their erroneous claim in their 2012 State of the Climate Report that of 2012 as the warmest “La Niña year” on record. Refer to the January 21, 2013 blog post NOAA’s Definition and Data Contradict Their Claim That 2012 Was The Warmest La Niña Year, which was also cross posted at WattsUpWithThat here.

Revised SOTC Screen Cap

NOAA recently corrected their mistake by striking out the headline 2012 was also warmest “La Niña year” on record. See the highlighted screen cap above. They then added:

Note: On January 15, 2012, NCDC announced as part of its 2012 Global Climate Report that 2012 was the warmest La Niña year on record. While there are a variety of approaches for defining a La Niña or El Niño year, NCDC’s criteria is defined as when the first three months of a calendar year meet the La Niña or El Niño threshold as defined by NOAA Climate Prediction Center’s (CPC) Oceanic Niño Index (ONI). The list of historical La Niña years released on January 15 was based on an ONI dataset in force in early 2012 and used a 1971–2000 base period. During the course of the year, CPC introduced an ONI dataset using different base periods for determining anomalies for each year, with the most recent years (1995 to date) utilizing the 1981–2010 base period. Because of long-term warming trends in the equatorial Pacific Ocean, applying this more recent base period allows for better discernment of the temperature patterns needed to identify El Niño and La Niña years. In the most recent version of the dataset, using the newer base period methodology, 2006 and 2009 are now classified as La Niña years. The global average temperature in both 2006 and 2009 was 0.02°C (0.04°F) higher than 2012, making these two years the warmest La Niña years on record. NCDC has updated (via strikeout) our Annual Global Climate report to reflect the most current CPC ONI dataset.

With binary definitions of El Niño or La Niña, small changes in processing the data can affect the classification of weak El Niños or La Niñas. Despite these reclassifications, the general conclusions are similar from previous work: (1) global temperature anomalies for each phase (El Niño, La Niña, and neutral) have been increasing over time and (2) on average, global temperatures during El Niño years are higher than neutral years, which in turn, are higher than La Niña years.

NCDC continually examines its practices and definitions as science, datasets, and the understanding they bring improve. Thus, given the nature of our current method of classifying years as El Niño or La Niña, NCDC plans to re-examine and employ the best available definitions and datasets to robustly characterize the influence of El Niño and LaNiña on annual global temperatures.

As far as I can tell, all references to 2012 being the warmest La Niña year have been removed from the webpage.

At the end of my post linked above, which called the error to their attentions, I asked following Figure 3:

NOAA: If you make the correction to your State of the Climate report, please provide a link to this post. Thank you.

Well, it would have been nice.

I, of course, asked for the link because my earlier post also referred to my research, which has shown that NOAA’s ocean heat content data and their satellite-era sea surface temperature data do not support the hypothesis of manmade global warming. Refer to my recent essay titled “The Manmade Global Warming Challenge”, which is linked to my blog post here, and to my book which is discussed in the following.

INTERESTED IN LEARNING MORE ABOUT THE EL NIÑO AND LA NIÑA AND THEIR LONG-TERM EFFECTS ON GLOBAL SEA SURFACE TEMPERATURES?

Why should you be interested? NOAA also conveniently overlooked the fact that their own datasets indicate El Niño and La Niña events, not manmade greenhouse gases, are responsible for the warming of global sea surface temperature anomalies over the past 30 years and the warming of ocean heat content in the tropics since 1955. I’ve searched sea surface temperature records and ocean heat content data for more than 4 years (more than 3 years for the ocean heat content data), and I can find no evidence of an anthropogenic greenhouse gas signal. That is, the warming of the global oceans has been caused by Mother Nature, not anthropogenic greenhouse gases.

I’ve recently published my e-book (pdf) about the phenomena called El Niño and La Niña. It’s titled Who Turned on the Heat? with the subtitle The Unsuspected Global Warming Culprit, El Niño Southern Oscillation. It is intended for persons (with or without technical backgrounds) interested in learning about El Niño and La Niña events and in understanding the natural causes of the warming of our global oceans for the past 31 years. Because land surface air temperatures simply exaggerate the natural warming of the global oceans over annual and multidecadal time periods, the vast majority of the warming taking place on land is natural as well. The book is the product of years of research of the satellite-era sea surface temperature data that’s available to the public via the internet. It presents how the data accounts for its warming—and there are no indications the warming was caused by manmade greenhouse gases. None at all.

Who Turned on the Heat? was introduced in the blog post Everything You Ever Wanted to Know about El Niño and La Niña… …Well Just about Everything. The Updated Free Preview includes the Table of Contents; the Introduction; the beginning of Section 1, with the cartoon-like illustrations; the discussion About the Cover; and the Closing.

Please buy a copy. Credit/Debit Card through PayPal. You do NOT need to open a PayPal account. Simply scroll down to the “Don’t Have a PayPal Account” purchase option. It’s only US$8.00.

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26 thoughts on “NOAA corrects ‘State of the Climate’ – offers no credit

  1. As Emily Litella would say, never mind.

    But you never hear about these corrections, at least most people don’t. They hear the doom and gloom and never ever probe deeper than that, and it’s shame. Too much for one poor teacher to counteract in one career.

  2. It’s almost criminal that those people do not make sure that everyone is told of the fact that the 2012 La Niña year was 0.02°C lower than 2006 and 2009! I’m sure those obfuscators did this on purpose.

  3. Well done, Bob. You should n`t have to tell them…plonkers. Book ordered.
    Keep up the excellent work

  4. NOAA don’t get anything wrong … and we British don’t eat horse meat ….or is that an alternative universe ?

  5. The meme that CO2 is the culprit driving this phase of global warming is no longer a valid assumption. Yet in the rush to curtail CO2 and eliminate fossil fuels as the main source of an otherwise life-giving gas, it is now common practice to use food as fuel with the concommitant spike in fuel prices, which is devastating to millions of people living “on the edge” of existence. As a consequence of the “Killing Fields” that such a misguided policy has caused, I’ve redefined the acronym “CAGW” as:

    Catastrophic Anthropogenic Genocidal Warmistas.

    The true deniers of humanity are people who cling to the false notion that CO2 is bad and should be curtailed. They have become the “Genocidal Warmistas” and their actions are demonstrably Catastrophic to the natural livlihood of their fellow human beings–a truly sordid Anthropogenic action on humanity. These are the Catastrophic Anthropogenic Genocidal Warmistas!

  6. NOAA is also responsible, I believe, for the modeling that purports to count the fish in the sea – or in the case of cod, said to be not in the sea in sufficient numbers to support ancient fisheries, whose catch shares (determined by who else?) have been more than decimated, and who no longer have a viable option to live by “farming” the sea for the rest of us. Should we not be skeptical whenever we see these people near a computer, or fiddling with public policy? They have a determined agenda, and our welfare is not on it.

  7. Klench Mychiques, the problem is that when 2012 was believed to be marginally warmer, they DID make sure that everybody was told the fact. If they hadn’t given previously a high importance and relevance to erroneous and misleading data, there would be no need to give importance to the correction.

  8. John K. Sutherland says: “‘everything you EVERY wanted to know’? Near the bottom.”

    Thanks for noting that.

    I’m going to have to go back and fix about 30 posts at my blog. One of the hazards of cutting and pasting.

  9. But will they fix their models or are we still stuck with modelling we cannot review creating false illusions with inaccurate assumptions in order to “force a commitment to sustainable development?” That line was taken from the definition of Citizenship education in use all over the world now but originating in the UK. Then Scotland, Australia, Hong Kong, and now coming to the US. NOAA’s still part of that USCGRP group and they still intend to use education to squelch climate skepticism. Every prospective Common Core activity I have seen involves either climate or racism or oppression or other emotionally volatile issues. As Texans know with CSCOPE, once it is in cloud or a digital base, you cannot see what is being pushed everyday in the classroom to create false beliefs to guide daily future behavior.

    NOAA and NSF say this is what they are targeting and we need to take them at their word. http://www.invisibleserfscollar.com/targeting-student-values-attitudes-and-beliefs-to-control-future-behavior/ . This is what Paul Ehrlich says his Millennium Assessment of Human Behavior has been pushing globally for more than five years. The UK Citizenship docs from 2001 say this involves Agenda 21 and finding new values and attitudes to change future behavior. This is what the UN via its International Human Dimensions Programme is pushing via education globally.

    So It’s nice NOAA fixed their website but their website is not where this battle is being waged. That is explicitly occurring in the Hearts and Minds of preschoolers and K-12 and university students. And much of what they are being taught is either not so or grounded completely in emotion and aspirational desires. And NOAA is one of the institutions complicit in creating these new values, attitudes, and beliefs.

  10. This is not the first time that NOAA has made a correction based on external input from a citizen scientist. For example, NOAA’s Dr. Pieter Tans promptly and politely responded to a problem reported by Anthony Watts (http://wattsupwiththat.com/2008/08/07/mauna-loa-to-improve-the-co2-data/). In all such cases scientific integrity demands acknowledgment, and that was certainly the position taken by Dr. Tans. NOAA’s failure to acknowledge Anthony’s post should be promptly corrected in another update to its report. That is all Anthony requested: “NOAA: If you make the correction to your State of the Climate report, please provide a link to this post. Thank you.”
    Disclosure: There is an unfortunate disconnection between what Anthony has reported and my very positive personal experiences with NOAA going back to 1990. My book “Hawaii’s Mauna Loa Observatory: Fifty Years of Monitoring the Atmosphere (University of Hawaii Press, 2012) was sponsored by NOAA and peer-reviewed by some two dozen past and present NOAA and other scientists. During this three year project NOAA scientists (including Dr. Tans) answered every question I asked and provided full access to all records I requested. Moreover, MLO leadership specifically instructed me to be open and honest in writing the full history of MLO. I am hopeful that NOAA will quickly respond to this latest correction posted by Anthony with both an acknowledgment and a statement to the effect that future corrections contributed by citizen scientists and others will be properly acknowledged.

  11. Bob T.

    I read your read your recent PDF challenge and found it very informative. However, I’m unclear as to why ocean temps remain elevated over the past 15-years. If we discount carbon forcing (as you do) what mechanism has the potential to lower ocean temps over a number ENSO cycles? Unless I’ve missed the mark completely, assigning total responsibility to ENSO cycles without some form of negative feedback leads to runaway temps. That is to say, if El Nino’s have a greater heating effect than the cooling effect of La Nina’s (as demonstrated the graphs presented) what will turn off the heat?

    Is it a case of a slow rejection of the heat distributed during the 1999 Super El Niño, or is a “Super La Niña required before temp might return to pre-Super El Niño levels?

  12. Rob Ricket says: “That is to say, if El Nino’s have a greater heating effect than the cooling effect of La Nina’s (as demonstrated the graphs presented) what will turn off the heat?”

    An absence of strong El Nino events like those in 1986/87/88 and 1997/98 and a peaking of the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation. That is:
    For the past 31 years, sea surface temperatures of the East Pacific have not warmed. So it’s a non-factor in this discussion:

    The South Atlantic-Indian-West Pacific dataset actually cools between the strong El Nino events:

    The North Atlantic has another mode of natural variability called the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation, which has caused it to warm naturally at a faster rate than the rest of the global oceans:

  13. NOAA: If you make the correction to your State of the Climate report, please provide a link to this post. Thank you. Well, it would have been nice.
    —————————————–
    You’re expecting probity and taste from them?

    De gustibus non est disputandum
    NOAA counting for taste

  14. Thanks for the reply Bob. The SST chart (second link) still shows an elevated temp, albeit it is slowly declining. I’m a skeptical layman trying to get a grip on the climate change debate. As such, I appreciate your efforts in ‘dumbing down’ the science.

    Indeed, the chart demonstrates cooling between El Niño events, but each successive El Nino seems to distribute more heat than the previous one. Since you have selected La Niña years as the basis of trend lines, it presents a limited picture of surface temp anomalies. That is to say, if you had included El Niño trend lines, they would show incline slope steeper than the decline slope drawn for La Niña cooling.

    Respectfully submittied for your clarification,

    Rob

  15. The NOAA 2012 State of the Climate Report created quite a public ‘splash’ about the ‘hottest year’ and generated much main stream media coverage. If your local radio, television, newspaper, blogs, etc participated, contact them and ask for a prime time retraction and an explanation for their rush to judgement. Reinforce that they should be more careful and balanced in their future reports on this topic.
    MtK

  16. Memo to both NOAA and NASA – identify stations contaminated by anthropogenic surface / near surface energy flux and albedo modifications, throw out their data, recalc, then come see me.

  17. Just another day in la-la land for the alarmists. What a good thing the InterWeb is. Nice to know that the truth can’t be hidden for ever.

    NOAA had a “Weather School” “Learning Lesson” web page with a CO2 experiment (it has since been removed but can still be viewed at:
    [http://web.archive.org/web/20060129154229/http://www.srh.noaa.gov/srh/jetstream/atmos/ll_gas.htm]).
    The web page is shown below (originally at: [http://www.srh.noaa.gov/srh/jetstream/atmos/ll_gas.htm] – removed in Nov. 2009) [Red highlighting added.]

    Oh dear, we mustn’t confuse the poor dears, must we? No nasty questions. Keep the story on-message. Hope they go away and simply read the newspapers, no chance of a balanced debate there, thank the Lord.

  18. Rob Ricket says: “Since you have selected La Niña years as the basis of trend lines, it presents a limited picture of surface temp anomalies. That is to say, if you had included El Niño trend lines, they would show incline slope steeper than the decline slope drawn for La Niña cooling.”

    You are correct to say that if I had not excluded the strong El Ninos then the overall trend would show warming, but the strong El Ninos are excluded because I’m attempting to show that between those strong El Nino events, sea surface temperatures cool in the South Atlantic, Indian and West Pacific data. In other words, the only times and the only reasons the sea surface temperatures for that part of the globe warm are during and because of those strong El Nino events. It’s simply another way of presenting the impacts of those El Nino events on the sea surface temperatures for that part of the globe. I could have used this graph from “The Manmade Global Warming Challenge”:

  19. Robin says: @ February 6, 2013 at 7:57 am

    So It’s nice NOAA fixed their website but their website is not where this battle is being waged. That is explicitly occurring in the Hearts and Minds of preschoolers and K-12 and university students. And much of what they are being taught is either not so or grounded completely in emotion and aspirational desires. And NOAA is one of the institutions complicit in creating these new values, attitudes, and beliefs.
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    The US government even made sure that pre-schoolers are now targeted. Moms can no longer stay home with the kids in many cases so off to pre-school the kiddies go. But those interested in control of the minds of the young wanted that education under the control of the government and not individuals too.

    Enter Stage Left the day-care-abuse hysteria and the legislation to “Prevent” day-care-abuse and the licensing and regulation of daycares.

    This is from just one case.

    Conclusions:
    It would appear that in this case, the memories of abuse were accidentally implanted by sincere Edenton therapists who believed in the reality of Satanic ritual abuse. The out-of-town therapists, who had no such belief system, found no abuse at all: Satanic or otherwise. Any group of young children anywhere in North America, if exposed to the same questioning procedures by believers in Satanic ritual abuse, would probably eventually accuse dozens of local adults with hundreds of crimes – some provably false.

    As with other cases in North America and elsewhere where ritual abuse has been alleged, we suspect that no ritual abuse occurred in Edenton. Probably no other abuse happened either, other than the apparently accidental slapping of one boy. As in other cases, the children will be scarred for life by the memories inadvertently planted by the interviewers. There is probably little difference between a child actually being abused and a child having had false memories of abuse implanted their mind. Both will be partly disabled for life.

    http://www.religioustolerance.org/ra_edent.htm

  20. Rob Ricket says: “Indeed, the chart demonstrates cooling between El Niño events, but each successive El Nino seems to distribute more heat than the previous one.”

    That’s true for the progression of the 1986/87/88 then 1997/98 El Ninos. However, the 2009/10 El Nino was by far the weakest of the lot.

  21. It will likely need to be a cold day in hell (i.e., will take more than just the 15 years of recent cooling) to get the leftist news media and the NOAA and other culprits to back off their lies. My guess is that it will take an oncoming new ice age to get them to shut up and go away on their own. That’s much too long to wait to put a stop to these frauds. Consequently, therefore and unto, we’d better do everything we can to get the word out on our own that CAGW ain’t so and do it NOW.

    This would include: writing not only to the media and federal agencies and our representatives in Congress (or Parliament, as the case may be), but to our school boards and university boards of regents and even to individual teachers and instructors we can identify and tell them to cut the bull. They need to be reminded that indoctrination (especially with an ideology as odious as CAGW) is NOT education. And write to everyone else we know personally to tell them not to be taken in by global warming alarmist propaganda and point them to the sources of the truth – not only WUWT but the Petition Project and other worthy sites..

  22. It is simply not good enough that government agencies like NOAA can put out information into the public domain that is simply wrong or misleading. Actually, it’s down right unacceptable.

    Doesn’t NOAA have quality control procedures in place? Doesn’t NOAA have an internal audit or checking process in place to double check the validity of information it is about to publish? Doesn’t NOAA ‘kick arse’ when its employees make such unacceptable monumental blunders?

    I must admit I have got to the point where whenever I see anything coming out of NOAA, I treat it with a pinch of salt until I know various sceptics have double checked what NOAA publishes and given it the green light. It should not be that way. But such is the way things have become… and its all as a consequence of the politics of climate change science!

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