A Remarkable Lie, from Your Taxpayer-Funded NOAA

The following remarkable statement now appears on the NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) site:

For detecting climate change, the concern is not the absolute temperature -- whether a station is reading warmer or cooler than a nearby station placed on grass -- but how that temperature changes over time.

The root of the problem? NOAA’s network for measuring temperature in the United States has become corrupted by artificial heat sources and other issues. These problems introduce warm biases into the temperature measurements that are then used by the government and others to support manmade global warming. So as a reaction to criticism about these problems ... NOAA now claims that the accuracy of the measured temperature no longer matters!

Let’s take a closer look at this amazing statement to see what it actually says:

For detecting climate change, the concern is not the absolute temperature ...

Are they truly saying the accuracy of the temperature readings don’t matter? Yes, they are! But why?

The NOAA climate measuring network is so broken there is literally no way to fix it. Reacting to criticism of this annoying fact -- and to cover up its significance -- NOAA now says accuracy simply doesn't matter, the temperature reading itself is not as important as the trend. This is clearly a deceptive political statement meant to distract the reader from the truth.

Of course the accuracy of the temperature reading matters!

Remember, a warming of only one degree Fahrenheit over the last 160 years is what the warmists claim to be evidence of manmade global warming. (And of course, half of that warming occurred from 1910 to 1945, before they claim the presence of any significant human influence.)

Temperature changes of tenths of a degree are being used to justify dramatic policy directives by the Environmental Protection Agency, dictums that would profoundly alter life as we know it: taxes levied on virtually anything that produces carbon dioxide. But it’s not only the accuracy of the temperature that is in play. If the temperature readings are off by a few tenths of a degree, this could significantly affect the longer term trend as well. If the temperature trend starts from an artificially elevated reading, the end result will be an artificially inflated measure of any global warming. The slope of the trend itself could be exaggerated by inaccurate temperature measurements.

So what exactly is wrong with NOAA's temperature readings?

NOAA has five classes of climate measuring sites. The best sites, categories 1 and 2, require the site to be placed over grass or low local vegetation. According to section 2.2 of NOAA’s Climate Reference Network (CRN) Site Information Handbook:

The most desirable local surrounding landscape is a relatively large and flat open area with low local vegetation in order that the sky view is unobstructed in all directions except at the lower angles of altitude above the horizon. ...

[For categories 1 and 2 there can be] no artificial heating sources within 100 meters (330 feet). ...

[For the lower quality stations 3 to 5 there must be] no artificial heating source within 10 meters (33 feet).

The integrity of the site as a reliable climate measuring station is completely dependent on these criteria. Is the government adhering to its own standards?

In a landmark 2007 research project to determine the quality of the United States climate measuring network, meteorologist Anthony Watts set out to get some answers. He recruited more than 650 volunteers to photograph the climate stations around the country.

What they have found is astounding. A full ninety percent of the United States climate measuring sites do not meet the government's own criteria for accurate temperature measurement!

Again, that number is ninety percent.