17 Nov 2008

NASA Forced to Revise Temperature Data, But Skeptics Looking Suspicous Now Too

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As this UK Telegraph story explains, NASA had to revise its temperature records because it had failed to catch a reporting error from Russian stations. Because the records used September temperature readings for October, it originally seemed that last October was the hottest on record; that has now been changed.

However, there’s an interesting twist to this. As the Telegraph story tells it, James Hansen* held a press conference (or at least, “announced to the world”) that last October was the hottest ever; this is totally plausible, given his past history and the fact that the original, mistaken data sets said so.

Yet Gavin Schmidt claims in this “OK, you got us, big deal” post, that Hansen never made any such proclamation.

I must report, that I spent about 6 minutes using Google News’ advanced search feature (where you can filter by date), and it seems Gavin is right. I can’t find any news stories talking about the “hottest October on record,” except for those now responding to the correction!

Can anyone resurrect the good name of the deniers? It would be bad if GISS made a bonehead move, and then the Gore Haters overplayed their winning hand by inventing Hansen anecdotes.

* UPDATE: Rereading the Telegraph article, I realized that it doesn’t actually say Hansen made the announcement:

On Monday, Nasa’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS), which is run by Al Gore’s chief scientific ally, Dr James Hansen, and is one of four bodies responsible for monitoring global temperatures, announced that last month was the hottest October on record.

I still think that is a bit misleading, if Schmidt is right and NASA just released the data, without any commentary. The Telegraph story for sure leads the reader to believe that Hansen & Co. were making a big deal of this, and now have egg on their faces.

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