NCDC: Photoshopping the climate change report for better impact

Last week on Friday August 1st you may recall that I commented on the release of the Draft report Global Climate Change Impacts in the United States

In that post I mentioned that “The draft document reads more like a news article in many places than it does a scientific document, and unlike a scientific document, it has a number of what I would call “emotionally based graphics” in it that have nothing to do with the science.”

One of those graphics that tug at your heartstrings turns out to be a fabrication, pure and simple. Here is page 58 of the NCDC authored report:

Click for a larger image. Note the arrow pointing to this photo:

Image above taken directly from the CCSP report.

There’s been a discussion on Climate Audit about this photo, namely that it has the flood waters “photoshopped” in.

When I showed it to my graphic artist at my office he said, “no problem, I can recreate that using any house photo and a Photoshop filter.

I had contemplated having him do just that, but it turns out proving this photo to be a digital fabrication is a lot easier.

Simply go to, where you can buy this photo online:

Click image for original source location

But apparently, the lead authors of the report didn’t see the caveat that comes with the photo:

Here’s another graphical rendering of water by the same photographer/photoshopper. Doomsday in Seattle or as the caption describes it: “An apocalyptic view of Seattle sunken into Puget Sound.”

But the real question is, with so many different photos of real flooded houses available, why did they choose one that was not real? Surely they know such a report will be highly scrutinized?

As I said last week, the use of graphics in the report makes it look more like a news article than a scientific paper, and if principal National Climatic Data Center authors Dr.’s  Thomas Karl and Peterson can’t even bother to check if the photos they use are real or not, or even spot such obvious fakes, it makes one wonder just how much fact checking went into the other parts of the report.

Do you think our policy makers, for which this report is intended, would be smart enough to catch such things?

Hat tip: various contributors on this Climate Audit thread


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Warmists assert: Ve vill photoshop und powerpoint you into sub-mission, ja!

I swing from elation to despair every day at the moment.
From a bad place a voice whispers; “do what you like, we have all this media exposure and stuff”.

David Segesta

Well its a pretty good fake, complete with realistic looking reflections on the water. But if they are really using fake photos it seems to me that we should point it out to them and complain like hell about it.
Hmmm I see this is just a daft. Maybe we should let them publish the final version and then start complaining. A good fisherman always lets the fish take the bait, and then sets the hook, before he cranks in his catch.


A fabrication? This has come as something of a shock. Next thing, you’ll be telling us that Al Gore is buying his carbon credits from himself.

That also looks like the rare mid-winter flood. Notice there are no leaves of buds on the shrubs.
It’s also the rare clean water flood. No floating wood, debris, leaves, swimming animals, or anything else. Maybe real floods aren’t photogenic enough.

First Draft – Do not cite or quote.

Mike Bryant

“Physical and MENTAL health impacts due to extreme weather events are projected to increase”
OK… this caption is just as troubling to me as the fake flood. It should say,
“Mental health has been impacted by the NCDC’s misuse of Government funds to push an agenda….”

Mike Bryant

I know that this report has negatively affected MY mental health.

Fred . . .

. . . ya but the fishing will be really easy – just drop a line out the bedroom window

Mike Bryant

Hmmmm, a computer program makes the weather look however you want it to… Somehow I think we have talked about this before….

Yeah, I seem to recall someone somewhere has climate models that produce whatever output you want. How cool is that?
Where have the real scientists gone, and where do they think this leaves their reputations, and the reputation of science itself. When will it stop.
As I see it, the alarmist must think all the people in America are recent graduates from government schools.

I would assume that use of a “Stock” photo has all the proper model release and property release obtained. For editorial use of photos, the issue is not that important, but if the picture were ever used for commercial or “non-editorital use”, the property owner may hire a lawyer.
But that does not excuse the use of images that was photoshoped to create a flood in an image. This is where you get into ethics. If ends justifies the means….


Well we had cartoon polar bears tiring out in the arctic, why can’t we have cartoon floods to scare us? I’m sure cartoon droughts and cartoon tropical diseases are next.

Robert Wood

Anthony, excellent. Take them to the band-saw.
I am not American so cannot persue this, but surely a Congressman or Senator would be very interested in the fraudulant use of public funds?

Robert Wood

Henry Galt, are you related to John Galt by any chance? 🙂

Robert Wood

Tarpon, they are not “alarmists”, they are hysterics.

Ricardo French

Just look at the house on the right at the water line. The water is not level with the house as it should be unless they build houses at a slant in that location.

Paul Shanahan

This type of photoshop is really easy to do, I’ll happily show you some of my photoshop work, some with these type of water effect filters and shadows…

steven mosher

Its the Piltdown Mansion

N. O'Brain

Someone should ask Industrial Light & Fakery for a refund.


Of course a house which computers say might get flooded should first be flooded by computers.
And I note the mention that wildfires have increased in recent decades. In recent decades (after World War II) the fire suppression policies began to be overturned with a return to the original burning of outdoor spaces. I would not be surprised that official approval of management by fire (I think it’s called “fire management”) is somehow correlated with an increase in fires.

Mike Bryant

I believe there is a new mental condition called “Climate Neurosis”, so I suppose those afflicted would be Climate Neurotics. Some poor boy did not want to drink water because he felt that some other person would die because of his selfishness. Hmmm, could his parents have a case against these entities that appeal to emotions to change peoples’ behaviors?
Fighting Climate Neurosis,
Mike Bryant

Fernando Mafili (in Brazil)

of course photoshopped. penguin-shopped polar bear-shopped CO2-shopped temperatures-shopped ice-shopped maps-shopped graphics-shopped models-shopped stations-shopped please, a link to concentration of atmospheric oxygen. Jeez: You’re Welcome many brahmas, caipirinhas and chopps (no shopped). Are you waiting
Reply: Brahma yes, caipirinhas no, can’t stomach them, haven’t tried a caipiroska yet. Who knows? Maybe this year.~charles the moderator

Dodgy Geezer

Though it sounds dodgy, the use of a photoshopped stock image for illustrative purposes is hardly misleading. It’s just been purchased so that copyright issues are easy to solve.
Of far greater concern is the use, elsewhere in the document, of the hockey-stick graph which has been comprehensively disproven. See Climate Audit. This is bad science, mendacious and misleading. Citing a known incorrect item of data should be a disciplinary offence. I hope that any complaints about this paper will draw attention to the graph.

Mike Bryant

The Piltdown Man Hoax was perpetrated in 1912 and was revealed as a hoax in 1953. Meanwhile it lent legitimacy to Eugenics, which caused the deaths of millions. Fortunately WWII stopped the excesses of Eugenics (for the most part).
The Catastrophic Global Warming Hoax is very similar in that so many are working so hard to legitimize it. I hope that it doesn’t take 40+ years to put the lie to this corrosive cultist hoax.

John McDonald

Notice the other comment in the piece about “Wildfires are already increasing due to warming” making the point that wildfires are now larger, longer duration, longer season
Why blame this on global warming?
From the Forest Service’s own website and independent studies. Wildfires have become worse because:
1. Reduced cutting of trees due to enviromental regulation is increasing the amount of fuel in the forests since the 1980’s.
2. A “let it burn” policy if the fire naturally started increased the severity, duration, and size of fires. For example, Yellowstone National Park still looks like a Christmas tree farm years after they let a fire burn the park down for enviromental reasons. Don’t believe the lie that some pine cones need fire – I got a bunch of the pine cones and guess what, they open in hot weather, and they burn up completely with fire (seeds and all).
3. More environmental regulations in late 2007 are now limiting the application of fire retardant on wildfires to try to protect endangered fish. Apparently a fire burning all the vegatation next to a stream is worse than fire retardant.
4. Enviromentalist are burning our national parks intentionally. For example, I just got back from Yosemite and the front section of the park is horrible as they intentionally burned down the everything under about 10 to 20 feet killing numerous “fire-resistant” trees in the process in an attempt to favor the Sequoia. Enviromentalist think burning up a tree is righteous (increasing CO2), cutting down the same tree is evil (locking up CO2).
5. 1 or 2C increase is not enough to cause a fire or even change the intensity of a fire in a measureable way.
In summary, global warming is NOT responsible for the increased fires in the west – Enviromentalists are.

D. Overcast

On a slightly different note….does anyone else see “images” in the reflections of that water that remind you of anything? The reflection on the left looks kind of like a cartoon head and the one on the right looks to me like…”ahem”… a distorted image of a nude female body. Or am I giving my self some kind of psycho Rorcshack test? LOL. Somebody please tell me you see it too. 🙂


Dan Rather gave us “Fake, but Accurate” so no anything goes. There used to be a debate among the journalists about the ethics of photo “retouching” when it first became possible. Now everybody does it and it’s “art.” All I can say is, “Trust no one.”

If, as some advocates of anthropogenic climate change have claimed, the ‘science is settled’, how come their side of the argument feels impelled to fake stuff like this?
This of course is a rhetorical question.


Henry Galt, are you related to John Galt by any chance?
Who is John Galt?
Reply: Five dollars please~charles the moderator


Does anyone remember y2k complient? Global warming will be the around until something more trendy takes its place

Mike Bryant

Since I can atone for my climate sins in my next life, I am now AGW Compliant…

Mike Bryant

Too bad AGW does not have a deadline like Y2K.
Compliant Bryant

Mike Bryant

OK I see her too, but she looks more like a one-eyed fish with a spot on her tail.
I remember the cult classic book “Subliminal Seduction”, I never saw anything in those icecubes. And I was really trying too.


Statepoet: Skipping forward to the most recent outrage thread, seeing as how the last one is shut down:
I tracked down that quote via Google and that guy Ali is a hoot. Thanks for the laughs.
It’s even better than you think. The quote I cited was from “archie and mehitabel” by Don Marquis, which i highly recommend.
The “Ali” section you commented on was actually a very clever parody of the very clever original.


Make that “archy”


From the original:
expression is the need of my soul
i was once a vers libre bard
but i died and my soul went into the body of a cockroach
it has given me a new outlook upon life
i see things from the under side now
thank you for the apple peelings in the wastepaper basket
but your paste is getting so stale i cant eat it
there is a cat here called mehitabel i wish you would have
removed she nearly ate me the other night why dont she
catch rats that is what she is supposed to be fore
there is a rat here she should get without delay

Ted Annonson

Nope. The left side is a fat aliens head and the one on the right is Smokey theBear with his hat cocked over one ear.

Jim Arndt

Her here Mosh
Piltdown Slamdown. Waiting for the Piltdown Manson trail. Just be strange and everyone will think you are the one.

Jim Arndt

Oh Anthony,
BTW that is suppose to read CCCP not CCSP.LOL

Steve Keohane

John McDonald, you are absolutely correct. I cut firewood in Colorado for heating over some 20 years, $10 for a permit to have all the deadwood I could haul out. Then the enviros put a halt to it, damaging the forests and all. So now it burns anyway, in situ.

Leon Brozyna

I was rummaging through that bloated corpse know as U.S. gov when I realized that NCDC is not the agency writing this thing. It’s a multi-agency coordinated activity, the U.S. equivalent, I would guess, of the IPCC, the U.S. Climate Change Science Program. They’ve even got an organizational chart on their website.
Back in April, when you were reporting on your visit to NCDC, the final photo in one of your posts, about a powerpoint presentation, was probably a stock photo within NCDC & has also been used by CCSP as I’ve seen it in an earlier Synthesis and Assessment Product report.


My disappointment with the NCDC continues. Seems no one can convince the masses without resorting to some ficticious hollywood stunts.
Mark them off my list of “people to trust”…

Mike Bryant

uhhhh Ted I think that must be smokey the bear’s wife.

old construction worker

Fake data?
Wait untill I phone my Senator about this.
The same people who adjust the land surface temperature are the big supporters of the “CO2 drives the climate” theory.
The adjustment have never been independently validated or verified.
Conflict of interest, you bet.

dan thorne

looks like your typical flooded home in suburban coastal Jersey or Long Island during a winter tidal flood from a a nor’easter event.

Off topic, but climate-related… TV program “Nova; dimming sun”
I’ll try to ignore the possible puns from the title The program is being shown multiple times this week at 8:00 PM and 11:30 PM on PBS in Buffalo. I don’t know about other areas. It’s in HDTV if you can receive it. The blurb about the program is…
The discovery that the sunlight reaching Earth is dimming and the implications that has for global climate change, is examined. Included: how researchers used the days after 9/11, when aircraft were grounded in the U.S., to study how plane vapor trails affect the atmosphere; and how less pollution in the atmosphere may have the unintended consequence of accelerating global warming.


They have only made some small “adjustments” to improve the climate photos….


Evan, thanks for the humor links.
When er my life gets dull
something turns up droll.
When that does not the trick
some classical muse ik.