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Was Last Year Really The Hottest Ever In The US?

January 12, 2013
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By Paul Homewood




As we have known for some time, the NCDC have duly declared last year as the hottest on record for the CONUS, 1.0F warmer than 1998, and 1.19F hotter than than 1934.


Steve Goddard has documented how both NCDC and GISS have systematically adjusted the original temperature records, so as to cool the past.

We don’t, however, have to rely simply on the data that NCDC gives us. For instance, UAH and RSS both provide satellite measured temperature data for the CONUS. When we examine the UAH data, and compare with NCDC,  we find the following:-


Year NCDC – Fahrenheit NCDC – Centigrade UAH – Centigrade
1998 54.32 12.40 0.55
2012 55.32 12.95 0.87
Diff 1.00 0.55 0.32

[UAH temperatures are anomalies , not absolute]


So already we see a discrepancy of 0.23C between the two datasets since 1998, with NCDC showing more warming over that period. RSS figures also give a similar picture to UAH – see here.

But that is not all. In 1999, GISS issued a paper, written by James Hansen, which contained the following graph.




Note that the temperature in 1934 was approximately 0.6C higher than 1998. Now fast forward to the graph that GISS now claim to be the true record for the US.




The graph does not include 2012, but shows, at that stage, 1998 to be the hottest year, beating 1934 by about 0.1C. In other words, the adjustments made by GISS/GHCN have cooled the past/warmed the present by something of the order of 0.7C.

Let’s see then what difference all this makes to the “hottest year” claims.


Year Degree Centigrade
1934 13.00
1998 12.40
2012 12.72



Let’s run through the calculation:-

1) According to NCDC now, the US temperature in 1998 was 12.40C.

2) If 1934 was 0.60 warmer, this gives 13.00C for that year.

3) According to UAH, the 2012 temperature for the US was 0.32C than 1998, giving a figure for 2012 of 12.72C.


So rather than 2012 being 1.19F warmer than 1934, or 0.66C, using the original Hansen numbers up to 1998, and UAH figures since, it would appear that 1934 was 0.28C warmer. The adjustments made by GISS/NCDC have together added a warming trend of 0.94C, or 1.69F.

But I very much doubt if you will hear that from any official sources.

  1. January 12, 2013 1:57 pm

    Reblogged this on Real Science and commented:
    Paul Homewood’s analysis of NOAA US temperatures

  2. coldoldman permalink
    January 12, 2013 2:23 pm

    Paul, one thing that has always bugged me is this business of xyz average since (enter preferred date here). You may have seen this article but I would like your take on it as I’ve had a fight with a warmist about it.

    Fourteen Is the New Fifteen!

    Doesn’t it a make a mockery of the whole thing (looking at your 1st image) if this is true?

    • January 12, 2013 4:29 pm

      I like the comment at the end

      but the institute has since informed Worldwatch that a better base number would be 14 degrees Celsius. James Hansen, Goddard Institute for Space Studies, New York, email to author, 18 January 1998.

      Hardly scientific is it?

      My take is that they really have no idea what the temperature was in the past, so they just guess something a bit lower than now.

      • coldoldman permalink
        January 12, 2013 11:01 pm

        Thanks, Paul. The reason I raised this is as a result of doing a search on the dreaded ‘Wiki’ and found these articles. I add them as info and would like you to assess them, as well. I realise you’re still recovering and don’t wish to burden you. The text is mine when responding to trolls over at the DT (Delingpole’s threads).

        International Standard Atmosphere

        Guess what is stated as the standard temperature for the Troposphere?
        International Standard Atmosphere

        Even more on the Troposphere

  3. Rosco permalink
    January 12, 2013 9:35 pm

    The latest story we here in Australia are being fed is that they have to adjust the past records because many were recorded in the Sun.

    I do not buy this for a minute because there would potentially be a large difference between “in Sun” and “in shade” readings not just a degree or so but possibly as much as 20 as I observed once myself with 50 C registered in the Sun while 32 C was the official air temperature.

    And how do they know after all this time ?

    • Andy DC permalink
      January 13, 2014 5:47 pm

      Thermometer in the sun? Then the average max temps should be much higher relative to the mins. Also average max temp should be much higher than now.

      My gut feeling is that it is a huge cock and bull story, but it would be interesting to view the old records.

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