Ouch. It seems the upward trend in global temperatures as reported in statistics provided by NASA is in fact a result of human activity. The greenies have said this for years, and I’ve been converted … I believe it.

One example of this calamity took place in Detroit Lakes, Minnesota in 1999. Two air conditioner units were moved from the roof of a building to the ground beside the building. It just happens that an automated climate monitoring station is right beside the new location of these two industrial air conditioners. See? Human activity is directly responsible for the rise in the temperature at the Detroit Lakes climate monitoring station.

In an even worse example of how we’re affecting temperatures, Steve McIntyre had a close look at the numbers published by NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies. He was astounded to learn NASA does not publish the means by which they generate their graphs and statistics. Go get to the heart of the matter he did what few would do. He took the results and tried to reverse engineer the source data, in an attempt to understand the process.

What he found was the temperatures seemed to jump a degree at the year 2000 for no apparent reason. Perhaps a Y2K problem? Certainly a programming error. He contacted NASA and not only did they issue corrected statistics, but they noted the correction and attributed the discovery of the error to McIntyre.

As a result, the hottest year on record in the United States is not 1998, as was previously reported. The corrected numbers show 1934 as the hottest year. The top ten are, from highest to lowest: 1934, 1998, 1921, 2006, 1931, 1999, 1953, 1990, 1938, and 1939. It’s interesting to note that only three years from the last decade appear.

This just goes to show why transparency is so important. Perhaps if NASA would’ve made their source code available, this error would’ve been caught a long time ago. Despite how global warming seems to have taken on the status of a religion based on the fervour of its more enthusiastic adherents, challenging the accepted dogma is rarely a bad thing.