Did you know that 2014 was the hottest year on record? Oops! Never mind. It turns out that after that claim was made, NASA scientists rather sheepishly admitted that there was only a 38% percent chance that was true.
Well, at least the mainstream media waited until the end of 2014 to make that silly claim but now they just can't wait because according to them, 2015 WILL BE THE HOTTEST YEAR ON RECORD. The MSM started hyping this "fact" almost out of the starting gate long before most of the stats even existed. Way back on April 15, Slate was proclaiming that 2015 Is Shaping Up to Be The Hottest Year on Record:
The first three months of 2015 were the warmest start to any year on record, according to new data released from NASA on Wednesday.
All major global temperature-tracking agencies have ranked January, February, and March 2015 as among the warmest three months on record, respectively. Collectively, those numbers mean 2015 has been record hot so far. What’s more, the last 12 months (from April 2014 to March 2015) was the warmest 12-month period on record, according to the NASA data. The previous warmest 12-month period ended just last month, so don’t write this one down in your diary in ink.
Yeah, Slate, as we saw actually only a 38% chance that was true which means 62% chance that it was not true but don't let that stop you from celebrating a new hottest year on record.
So what is the data that allows Slate and other sources to make this claim? It is data variances so tiny that it is actually half the margin of error so data showing an increase in temperature could almost as easily be showing a decrease in temperature. Tom Harris of the Washington Times explains:
The U.S. government is at it again, hyping meaningless records in a parameter that does not exist in order to frighten us about something that doesn’t matter.
NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) announced this week that according to their calculations, July 2015 was the hottest month since instrumental records began in 1880. NOAA says that the record was set by eight one-hundredths of a degree Celsius over that set in July 1998. NASA calculates that July 2015 beat what they assert was the previous warmest month (July 2011) by two one-hundredths of a degree.
But government spokespeople rarely mention the inconvenient fact that these records are being set by less than the uncertainty in the statistics. NOAA claims an uncertainty of 14 one-hundredths of a degree in its temperature averages, or near twice the amount by which they say the record was set. NASA says that their data is typically accurate to one tenth of a degree, five times the amount by which their new record was set.
So, the new temperature records are meaningless. Neither agency knows whether a record was set.
Such misrepresentations are now commonplace in NOAA and NASA announcements. They are regularly proclaiming monthly and yearly records set by less than the uncertainties in the measurements. Scientists within the agencies know that this is dishonest.
Just as dishonest as proclaiming that George Pataki is surging in the presidential primary polls if the stats were to show him increasing from .1 to .2 percent with a margin of error of 3 percent. The change is so slight compared to that margin of error that Pataki could just as easily be static or declining in the polls. Therefore no media outlet would dare to turn itself into a laughingstock by making the claim of a Pataki surge based on those stats but that is what many in the media are doing with the slight temperature data variations with a much greater margin of error.
So what is the motive for such an onslaught of "Hottest Year on Record" claims? Back in the 90s, the liberals and their MSM allies went all in with Global Warming. Their timing was poor because soon after all the warnings, temperatures did not increase. To explain this they claimed there was a "pause" which indicated it was just a temporary condition. In addition, they dropped the term "Global Warming" which made them subject to mockery over the fact that the increased temperatures they were warning about didn't happen and replaced it with "Climate Change." The latter term was much safer because climate is always changing.
However, since the public seemed as uninterested in warnings about climate change as they were about global warming, the MSM came up with a new shtick: boldly proclaim "hottest year on record" based on laughably meaningless data. Therefore we are now seeing this theme being hyped with furious frequency by the MSM. Here is an example of some entertaining "hottest year" hype care of CNN:
July saw the highest average temperatures since record-keeping began -- globally, not just in the United States -- the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reported Thursday.
Globally, the first seven months of the year also had all-time highs. The latest global temperature data make it likely that 2015 will be the hottest year on record, the agency said.
NOAA's findings follow reports by NASA and the Japan Meteorological Agency, which reached the same conclusion using their own data.
...Data from NOAA dates back to 1880, but it is possible that July was the hottest month in at least 4,000 years. Climate research suggests these are the hottest temperatures the Earth has seen since the Bronze Age.
The prediction for 2015 becoming the hottest year on record is based on observed temperatures so far, plus the coming El Niño event.
Of course, 2015 will be the "hottest year on record" until a few months from now when it will be proclaimed that "George Pataki is Surging in the Polls!"
Oops! I mean "2016 Is the Hottest Year on Record!"
...Or at least until NASA scientists later admit that there is only a 38% chance this is true.