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GISS Hottest Year Claims Not Supported By The Data

January 16, 2015

By Paul Homewood




As has been suspected for a few months now, GISS have announced that 2014 was the “hottest year on record”.

Nowhere does their press release tell us that it only beat the previous record by a tiny, effectively unmeasurable 0.02C. Nor do they mention that the error bars are many times greater, or even tell us what they are.

This is all very strange because in their report on 2010 Global Temperatures, they said:


Global surface temperatures in 2010 tied 2005 as the warmest on record, according to an analysis released Wednesday by researchers at NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) in New York.

The two years differed by less than 0.018 degrees Fahrenheit. The difference is smaller than the uncertainty in comparing the temperatures of recent years, putting them into a statistical tie.




Although GISS do not tell us what their error bars, or as they call them estimates of uncertainty, are, NOAA, with their similar analysis give a figure of +/- 0.09C.







Allowing for these estimates of uncertainty, all they can honestly claim is that 2014 was in a statistical tie with 13 other years. Only 1999, 2000 and 2008 can statistically be said to be cooler.  


The press release also makes other statements which need comment:    


1) However, 2014’s record warmth occurred during an El Niño-neutral year.

This is categorically not the case.

The MEI index clearly shows moderate El Nino conditions for most of 2014, on a par with those in 2005.




2) NOAA scientists used much of the same raw temperature data, but a different baseline period. They also employ their own methods to estimate global temperatures.

This refers to the NCDC dataset. What is interesting is their reference to “estimating global temperatures”. This is a clear admission that measuring global temperatures is not the exact art sometimes inferred, but largely guesswork.


3) This is the latest in a series of warm years, in a series of warm decades

This has, of course, been the get out clause since the pause started. But why should we be surprised that temperatures have remained stable for the last decade or so?

It simply shows that the Earth has found a new equilibrium. I would suggest that there really would be concern if global temperatures started to tumble back to 1970 levels.




As has been said elsewhere, with satellite temperatures indicating that 2014 was nowhere near a record, the divergence between actual temperatures and those scary models becomes ever greater and important.

That is why the likes of Gavin Schmidt has to resort to misrepresenting the data.

  1. myrightpenguin permalink
    January 16, 2015 7:39 pm

    Typo I think, +/- 0.9C should be +/- 0.09C (to match up with the table for NOAA data).

  2. A C Osborn permalink
    January 16, 2015 7:41 pm

    And that massive 0.02 degrees is after all the Adjustments have been made.

  3. January 16, 2015 7:50 pm

    Reblogged this on

  4. January 16, 2015 8:00 pm

    Nice succinct article.

  5. Ron C. permalink
    January 16, 2015 8:18 pm

    At least GISS succeeded to push 1998 down enough so that it is no longer the record. This contrasts with RSS and UAH, whose data show 1998 is far and away the warmest year.

  6. manicbeancounter permalink
    January 16, 2015 8:51 pm

    There are issues with the application of error bars to the GISS data set. The method of calculating the results is constantly being revised; the temperature series have adjustments within them; and spatial gaps in the data are infilled with computer modelling. Any of these methods can have built-in and unknown biases that make the true error bars much larger, but also incalculable.

  7. john cooknell permalink
    January 16, 2015 9:04 pm

    I have invested in a new warm coat.

    • January 16, 2015 11:30 pm

      Yes, they say that the chances of 2014 being the warmest on record is “more unlikely than likely”

  8. January 16, 2015 10:46 pm

    Thanks. Paul. Good article.
    I think that the slight El Niño is the probable cause of this very slight global temperature increase, masking the slight cooling trend that REMSS is showing.
    When someone hangs from slim twigs it means he has got no strong branches at hand.

  9. Andy DC permalink
    January 16, 2015 11:50 pm

    The bottom line is that there is no real noticeable change in climate since the 1940’s. The most important climatic event in our lifetime (even for us senior citizens) was the unusual cold during the 1960’s and 1970’s. if there was indeed a “climate crisis”, I would think that people who even casually follow the weather would notice it.

  10. AndyG55 permalink
    January 17, 2015 1:15 am

    If you look at the 2013-14 wft graphs, you see just how hard Gavin and Phil have been working to CREAT this “warmest ever”

    Note that Gavin took over from Jimmy in mid 2013, if you go back a few more years on the graph, you can see that is almost exactly where the trend divergence from the satellite record started.

  11. neil hampshire permalink
    January 17, 2015 2:19 am

    UHA thinks 2014 is 3rd warmest – no mention by BBC
    RSS thinks 2014 is 6th. warmest – no mention by BBC
    BEST states “The global surface temperature average for 2014 was nominally the warmest since the global instrumental record began in 1850; however, within the margin of error, it is tied with 2005 and 2010 and so we can’t be certain it set a new record.” – no mention by the BBC

    Phew! At last!
    NOAA thinks 2014 is the hottest year ever!
    What’s more! They are 48% certain! – BBC shouts it from the roof tops!
    BTW from NOAA’s site “48% certainty” means “more unlikely than likely”

  12. Gail Combs permalink
    January 17, 2015 2:35 am

    Paul, just a few pieces of ammunition:
    On Thermometer resolution, and ERROR

    A comment with to links (books) from 1881 and 1918 on thermometer readings and continuous recording devices:

    1880 Instruction book for co-op observers:

    Response of thermistors:

  13. rah permalink
    January 17, 2015 3:31 am

    Why the hell would ANYONE think that .02 deg C or .04 deg F. of change of temperature of this Earths climate from year to year is in any way significant in it’s self is beyond me even if your naive enough to believe such a small fraction is measurable world wide! God let us hope it is really warming, but I suspect strongly that it isn’t. The only thing warming is the total BS being propagated in the lead up to Paris I’m afraid.

  14. January 17, 2015 6:58 am

    Reblogged this on Climate Ponderings.

  15. Tommy permalink
    January 17, 2015 8:44 am

    Honest question. What is your rebuttal to the Japanese coming to the same conclusion that 2014 was the hottest year?

  16. Joshua Studen permalink
    January 17, 2015 10:14 am

    What? The report says 2014 is .04 degrees warmer:

    . This was the highest among all 135 years in the 1880–2014 record, surpassing the previous records of 2005 and 2010 by 0.07°F (0.04°C).

    That’s right from the report:

    Yet this “blogger” says: “Nowhere does their press release tell us that it only beat the previous record by a tiny, effectively unmeasurable 0.02C.”

    He literally cut the difference in half.. just like that. What a liar.

    • January 17, 2015 11:56 am

      Please pay attention.

      The figure of 0.02C is from GISS.


      • Joshua Studen permalink
        January 17, 2015 1:41 pm

        The problem is, in the link you present in your blog, it doesn’t actually say that 2014 was only .02 degrees warmer anywhere.

        You don’t seem to know how to link to relevant literature.

      • January 17, 2015 2:56 pm


        Have you not seen that blue link below the Table “GISS Global Temperature Anomalies”?

      • Joshua Studen permalink
        January 17, 2015 5:29 pm

        No, on the page to which you linked, there is no table “GISS global temperature anomalies”

      • January 17, 2015 6:09 pm

        Are you thick or something.

        There is a graph titled “GISS global temperature anomalies”, with a link underneath:

      • Joshua Studen permalink
        January 17, 2015 8:55 pm

        Actually, I was talking about on NASA’s link — that’s why I said “to the page in which you linked”.

        Second, the data you posted shows *clearly* that the 2014 temperature anomaly is .07 higher than 1998 (your favorite year).

      • January 18, 2015 11:14 am

        You’re just rambling now.

        Any more nonsense will go in the spam box

  17. HenryP permalink
    January 17, 2015 4:16 pm

    I should let you know that I feel sorry for you. You have been converted into thinking that we can have a vote on science? Unfortunately, in real science, you only need one man to get it right. Even if we are only 5 in 100 scientists, telling you what’s what, we (5) would still be right.
    The truth is that all the believers of “man made global warming” (the other 95 in 100) are in denial. They just donot want to believe the truth in front of them. It is so simple that I think that even someone with average intelligence should be able to grasp it. That is why I will attempt to try and convince you. I know I can count on you. You are not stupid.
    All of the major international data sets show there is no global warming anymore, click here:
    These are not my results. These are the official results. Can you see that all the major indices are showing a downward trend since 2002? So, in fact, it is globally cooling, since 2002.There is no global warming, there has not been any for a long time. At least 18 years. Only people who are in denial would refuse to admit this.

    When I started my own investigations, like you, I was also convinced that there was man made global warming, looking at declining arctic ice, etc. However, when I looked at the major indices, as quoted above, I found that they even these were all still a bit biased, concentrating on certain areas on the globe (that have / satelite coverage/ measuring instruments, etc). Hence I took my own sample, balanced on latitude. (Longitude does not matter if you look at the average change in temperature per annum from the long term average. As homework, you can sit and try and puzzle out the physics behind why I say this)

    My own results are here:

    Click to access henryspooltableNEWc.pdf

    Scroll down and take some time to glance at the graphs underneath the tables and see what they are telling you? Can you see from my results that earth is cooling naturally? Think of throwing a ball, and try and draw the curve that you see happening. The curve describes the speed of the ball per second square, remember? Acceleration followed by deceleration. My curves are just the same, but they show the speed in warming per year squared. However, note the direction from past to present.

    The proposed mechanism for AGW implies that more GHG would cause a delay in radiation being able to escape from earth, which then causes a delay in cooling, from earth to space, resulting in a warming effect. It followed naturally, that if more carbon dioxide (CO2) or more water (H2O) or more other GHG’s were to be blamed for extra warming we should see minimum temperatures (minima) rising faster, pushing up the average temperature (means) on earth. I found / you will find that if we take the speed of warming over the longest period (i.e. from 1973/1974) for which we have very reliable records, we find the results of the speed of warming, maxima : means: minima at 0.034 : 0.012 : 0.004 in degrees C/annum. That is ca. 8:3:1. So it was maxima pushing up minima and means and not the other way around. Anyone can duplicate this experiment and check this trend in their own backyard or at the weather station nearest to you.

    more specifically: I find the following trends in minimum temperature records over time: 0.004K/annum (from 1974), 0.007K/annum (from 1980), 0.004K/annum (from 1990) and -0.009K/annum (from 2000). Putting these values out against the time periods indicated, i.e. 40, 34, 24 and 14 years respectively, you get the acceleration/deceleration of warming. I was astonished to find an absolute perfect curve, a quadratic function, with Rsquare=1. That means 100% correlation. That means that at any point in the past 40 years I can tell you exactly what the speed of warming was, as far as minimum temperatures are concerned. If there were any man made warming at all, one would expect to see some chaos in that curve…..(i.e. somewhat less than 100% correlation). Note that the theory of AGW implies rising minimum temperatures, pushing up the mean average temperature. It simply is not happening…..

    Conclusion: there is no man made global warming. Admittedly, the figures are small. But undeniably they are telling us the truth.

    There is no man made global warming. There is ony natural global cooling.

    Maybe you get it. Maybe you simply donot want to get it?

    Best wishes to you for 2015 anyway,

    • HenryP permalink
      January 17, 2015 4:19 pm

      Is my previous comment in moderation?
      I just wonder why?

    • Joshua Studen permalink
      January 17, 2015 8:48 pm

      What you just did, is by definition, called cherry picking. You’ve taken one date set, out of the many used to determine whether or not the climate is warming, and ignored the rest.

      Second, the link you posted also contains RSS satellite inferences. Satellites don’t measure temperatures. They infer temperatures from radiance (a proxy). The RSS data you use comes from Carl Mears, who even acknowledges that satellite data isn’t as reliable as actual instruments. Here’s his statement on it:

      “A similar, but stronger case can be made using surface temperature datasets, which I consider to be more reliable than satellite datasets (they certainly agree with each other better than the various satellite datasets do!).”– Carl Mears, RSS; the producer of the data in your graph.

      Next, your HadCRUT data is a lie. Here’s a chart directly from their source:

      Click to access HadCRUT4.pdf

      See that red bar on the end? That’s for 2014 — warmer than the previous years.

      So many lies from denialists.

      • HenryP permalink
        January 17, 2015 9:11 pm

        You are kidding me. I quoted you 4 data sets. Just left out UAH because I know it has issues. But I give you some points for trying to bring an argument. .Now show me some of your own results that prove that there is any man made global warming?
        In addition, I have my own 3 data sets.
        By taking a random sample as described here,

        you should be getting the same results as I have.
        There is no man made global warming. It is only getting cooler. Naturally.
        Live with it.

      • AndyG55 permalink
        January 17, 2015 9:25 pm

        “HadCRUT data is a lie”

        Yes, almost certainly. !

  18. vonborks permalink
    January 19, 2015 1:10 am

    Let us stop pussyfooting around the issue! If the problem is all about too many people generating too much CO2, and it is “probably already too late to prevent an apocalypse”, then why are the AGW people not demanding the obvious solution as advocated by the Club of Rome and supported by more prominent high profile people than you would ever imagine: It’s called “Population Control”. Could it be that the Muslim jihad terrorist’s goal is really an effort to reduce world’s population? Like eradicating billions of Christians, that action would reduce world population by maybe half thus reducing CO2 emissions by a bunch. Is it possible that we Christians just misunderstand their goals? That maybe these guys are simply misinformed environmentalists believing they are following Allah’s wishes to save the planet? When it gets right down to the nitty-gritty there is not much difference between a environmental activists and a jihadist terrorists, the environmental activists wants to prevent billions of dirt poor hungry disadvantaged people from the immediate benefits of fossil fuel generated heat, electricity and transportation; essentially saying they are not deserving thus sentencing them to short hard lives. And that is a reality the AGW folks will never admit as they wrap themselves in green silk scarfs sipping Kool Aid gushing over the hourly Google News/NASA environmental doom and gloom reports. At least the jihadists are up-front about their goals; they just want to kill all the Christians, no double-speak there. If you are poor, hungry, uneducated and cold who should you fear the most? And who will you support? With the Pope now supporting AGW the world may see billions of third and fourth world populations converting to Islam. Something to think about…

  19. January 20, 2015 4:31 pm

    Reblogged this on Sierra Foothill Commentary and commented:
    This is how citizens lose trust in their government. The Internet makes it easy to check the facts.


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