I have no idea if this is true, but if it is—there should be a Congressional inquiry.  Powerline—a skeptical blog. to be sure—is reporting that NASA has changed its data, taking out adjustments for the “urban island effect.” and consequently, making the apparent rise in temperature during the last century appear more dramatic than it really was.  From the blog:

NOAA and NASA used to acknowledge the urban heat island effect and try to correct for it, but that didn’t produce the sort of alarming temperature increases that warmists are looking for. This is how NOAA depicted US temperatures from 1880 to 1999, as posted on NASA’s web site in 1999; click to enlarge:

ET_012811Graphic3.jpg

James Hansen, the head of NASA’s climate unit and one of the worst of the alarmists, said truthfully in 1999:

The U.S. has warmed during the past century, but the warming hardly exceeds year-to-year variability. Indeed, in the U.S. the warmest decade was the 1930s and the warmest year was 1934.

That didn’t get the warmists where they were trying to go, so they have now changed the data by eliminating or drastically reducing the urban heat island effect. NASA now shows very different data for the period 1880-1999 from what it published in 1999. This animated GIF shows how the alarmists changed their own data to create the false impression of a climate crisis:

1998uschanges.gif

Of course, the new data could be more accurate than the former data, rather than, as charged, an adjustment intended to create a false impression.

There are ways to find out.  First, call Hanson and others into a committee hearing and ask them to explain whether they made the changes, and if so, why.  As I said, it could have been because the information is more accurate, or the old method of adjusting temperatures to make up for urban temperatures was inaccurate.

Also, let independent scientists have access to the raw data so that the conclusions NASA reached can be verified.  But apparently NASA is resisting complying with requests for the information:
You probably assume that NOAA and NASA have made their raw data available to independent researchers, along with explanations of the adjustments they have made. But no—those agencies have resisted Freedom of Information Act requests for the original, raw data. One of the most important things the new Congress can do is to force these government agencies to level with the American people and explain the manipulations to which they have been subjecting weather data for years.

Considering the import of the subject and the credibility hits the global warming alarmists have taken in the last year or so, one would think that NASA and Hanson would be eager to rebut this very serious charge.

Like I said, I don’t know if this is true.  But as a layman, this sure seems worth investigating.   Then, if the charge is false, we can judge Powerline’s credibility as well.

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