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Climate Emergency? What A Crock, Part 2

Just last week, congressional Democrats were urging President Joe Biden to declare a climate emergency because some Americans were enduring a patch of hot weather. Though more than a bit meshuga, they couldn’t match the fever of Bill Weir. The CNN chief climate correspondent said, also last week, that “the fate of life on earth is at stake” because Washington isn’t doing more to cool the planet.

Yet again, pieces of a puzzle a pre-schooler could put together in a couple of minutes are missing.

One of those lost pieces is the surface temperature record that the climate alarmists tell us is evidence that man is overheating Earth. They treat the record as if it’s irrefutable fact. But it’s not quite that. The reality is the temperature record has “been substantially corrupted,” according to a new study.

“Approximately 96% of U.S. temperature stations fail to meet what the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) considers to be ‘acceptable,’ uncorrupted placement,” says former broadcast meteorologist Anthony Watts in a Heartland Institute study. “These findings strongly undermine the legitimacy and the magnitude of the official consensus on long-term climate warming trends.”

On his own site, Watts calls the study a followup the the “widespread corruption and heat biases found at NOAA stations in 2009.” 

Previously, Watts found that “many climate monitoring stations were located next to exhaust fans of air conditioning units, surrounded by asphalt parking lots and roads, located on blistering-hot rooftops, or placed near sidewalks and buildings that absorb and radiate heat.”

Somehow the “heat-bias distortion problem,” he adds, “is even worse now.”


See Also: Climate Emergency? What A Crock


The stations that Watts audited are part of the National Weather Service’s Cooperative Observer Program. According to the NWS, it is “a network of daily weather observations taken by more than 8,500 volunteers,” and records data, including “observations from the late 1800s,” considered “vital to understanding the U.S. climate.”

According to Watts:

  • “Many stations often had missing, incomplete, or erroneous data, perhaps due to the volunteer-based network of observers who could not always record or report data based upon illness, week-day only reporting, and/or vacation days.”
  • “Major gaps in the data record were ‘infilled’ with temperature data from nearby sites, compounding errors from other stations that were also non-compliant with station siting requirements.”
  • “Changes in the technology of temperature stations over time resulted in many being placed closer to buildings, as well as other heat sinks such as asphalt, concrete, and brick infrastructure. In some cases, official NWS thermometers were moved to parking lots and next to external heat-generating air conditioner units from previously cooler locations that were no longer available for thermometer placement.”
  • “The gradual introduction of the MMTS / Nimbus electronic thermometers since their inception in the mid-1980s has likely introduced a slow warming bias. This is due to thermometers being moved closer to buildings, asphalt, concrete, and other man-made influences from older Stevenson Screen and Cotton Region Shelter enclosures.”
  • “Nine of every 10 USHCN stations were likely reporting inaccurately high temperatures because they were poorly sited and in violation of NOAA/NWS published standards for thermometer placement.” 

Despite these problems and many more, the public has been asked to put its faith in the “science” that looks more everyday like fiction. It has also been asked to trust data from the 19th century, when equipment was far more primitive and the readings in many cases subjective. What looked like 72 degrees to one might look like 73 to another. Or 71. There’s no way the record isn’t distorted.

So, if we don’t know what past temperatures were, how can we know if we are now warming or cooling over the long term? We do know that there has been some warming since the late 1970s, when satellites, the only reliable measure we have, began to record temperatures. But it’s so small that it’s negligible. We also know much of the world is still warming from the Little Ice Age that ended in the late 19th or early 20th century.

We concede that there’s more to our planet than just the U.S. But the corrupted data would have an impact on the global record, because “compared to other countries, the U.S. has more stations,” reports Ars Technica, which also acknowledges there were “issues” in the past in regard to using wooden buckets to scoop up ocean water to check temperatures, “and volunteers scribbling in notebooks.” Moreover, if the U.S., the most developed nation in history, can’t get the data right, why does anyone think other nations can?

We decided long ago that the climate zealots would never back down, no matter that the facts say. Their fanaticism knows no bounds. So all we can do is bring the truth whenever we are able. We see no reason people should live in fear and guilt.

— Written by the I&I Editorial Board

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The Issues and Insights Editorial Board has decades of experience in journalism, commentary and public policy.

17 comments

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  • Consider me ill-informed, but…. can’t / doesn’t NASA measure Earth surface temps? rather than relying on Stonehedge-type, volunteer (re: “activist”) human-manipulated monitoring points? I realize NASA data also subject to the same “hands on manipulation”

  • The premise is basically correct, but the “Little Ice Age” started coming to en end before1700. The rise has not been constant, as there was another temperature trough around the time of our Revolution, but it resumed its previous trajectory by mid 19th-century. That’s why the alarmists date the warming to the coincident Industrial Revolution.

    Remember also that we may still be warming from the last Ice Age. Never has that warming been constant; though rising overall, within that trend there have been many overlapping up and down cycles of different periods. Did human activity of the last few centuries, or especially the last few decades, contribute to this warming? Probably, but marginally.

  • 30 years ago pictures circulated of temperature stations in the south & west on asphalt parking lots & next building AC units among other unreliable locations.

  • The climate Chicken Littles have been at it for over a century, bouncing from heat to cold forecasts over those decades. Their predictions almost never come to pass. Nothing has changed. Just remember The population Bomb from Paul Ehrlich. He lost a bet on his top 5 disaster predictions and he’s been wrong ever since. Still peddling the same old canards about the environment.

  • The climate zealots have convinced most of the Western world that carbon emissions are, at the very least, a problem, and, at worst, a climate emergency.

    Reducing CO2 emissions has had and will not have any significant impact on climate. CO2 concentrations are measured in parts per million. If it was measured as a percentage, it would comprise 0.04% of the atmosphere. The computer climate models assume that CO2 drives global temperatures, rather than solar cycles and Earth’s orbital shifts. The models have been an utter failure over the last 25 years. Their predictions have been worthless, except for generating bogus IPCC reports and panicked headlines.

    But lets get back to CO2. All life on Earth ultimately depends on CO2. If concentrations fall below 0.015%, photosynthesis stops and plant life dies out, followed shortly thereafter by animal life. Maybe early single cell organisms that don’t depend on photosynthesis will survive, but that’s about it. Hare-brained schemes to suck CO2 out of the atmosphere are potentially putting life on Earth at risk. Are you listening, Mr. Gates?

    Let’s ask another question that’s rarely asked. Where did the evil carbon in fossil fuels come from? It was all once in the atmosphere. Ancient plants and other organisms absorbed carbon from atmospheric CO2 and then got fossilized, locking that carbon away over geological time scales. The records show that CO2 levels in the ancient atmosphere were up to 10 times higher than today, yet the planet thrived.

    So, as I see it, burning fossil fuels is recycling on a grand scale. The plants love it and so should we.

  • Carbon dioxide? A compound that every living breathing creature on earth exhales and is absorbed by trees and other vegetation to produce Oxygen and the greening of earth, the lifeblood of life on earth and the more the better.
    The natural cause of climate is Mother nature over which humans have no control. Do humans’ CO2 emissions control the Sahara winds that generate hurricanes in the Americas?
    Do humans’ CO2 emissions control the jet stream which generates the weather conditions in the United States?
    Do humans’ CO2 emissins control the Pacific Ocean which generates the cyclical El Nino weather conditions in the United States?
    Let’s analyze today’s climate :
    -Drought and forest fires in the Western USA-cause climate change
    -Torrential rains, floods, tornadoes, South,Mid and Eastern USA-cause climate change
    -Torrential rains, floods in Europe-cause climate change
    -Drought in Australia- cause climate change
    -Coldest winter ever in Antarctica- cause climate change
    It is, has been and always will be Mother Nature at work and humans have no way to change it.

  • At some point, you would think that experts worried about the impacts of “climate change” would consider how to deal with the “dangers” rather than the folly of reducing global CO2 emissions (impossible unless you control China and India). But of course, the politicians don’t really care about saving humanity – they like tying all disasters to Climate Change. The real goal is control and enforced poverty among the normals.

  • Considering the history of Ice Ages, it seems to me that varying outputs of energy from the Sun is responsible for the long-term cyclical warming and cooling of our planet.

  • I still haven’t seen anywhere a professional comment about the impact of magnetic pole movement, ocean surface VOC’s, undersea volcanoes, El Nino or La Nina impacts relative to the contributions of mankind.
    If there’s “consensus” it’s not science.

  • I have a number of bones to pick with the climate religionists.
    1. What is the exact, permanently correct temperature for the planet? In the relatively recent past, it has been both colder and warmer, and in the more remote past much warmer, with much higher levels of CO2 and at other times much higher levels of O2 as well. Even assuming we can measure it precisely and repeatably and reliably over time, what temperature SHOULD it be? And who decides?
    2. There is much more to climate than temperature. We are proceeding as though managing the CLIMATE for a PLANET is something we have the technology, the ability and the wisdom to do. The bimetallic thermostat was invented only about 150 years ago, but now we are so much smarter that we think we’re ready to install one on the PLANET? Really? The hubris is breathtaking.
    3. As I learned a long time ago, if you don’t know where you’re going, you don’t need a map.
    Any road will get you there. What are the aims here? Make everyplace cooler (except where I go on a winter vacation)? more rain (even in Kentucky)? bigger glaciers (how big, should they cover Ontario and Quebec again)? shallower oceans (reconnect Siberia and Alaska)? Playing God is not as easy as God makes it look.
    3. The article reminds me of the University of East Anglia scandals of about 20 years ago.. Most folks recall “hide the decline” and other email gaffes, but what I found most despicable was the inability — or unwillingness — of the global repository for temperature records to produce its raw data. Not merely unscientific, but a-scientirfic and anti-scientific. The data were “lost.” The dog ate their homework. If true it is a kind of appalling, untrustworthy incompetence that must disqualify them from playing any further role. If false, a scurrilous lie that should bar them from polite society..

  • The heat island effect is well-known and has been studied for a very long time. So many other variables exist in measuring the average temperature(or level of co2) of the earth at a single point in space and time that I think any measurements should probably be discarded. Think about it carefully for a moment-altitude, spin, tilt, presence of clouds, rainfall, season, humidity…keep adding to the list and you will see how impossible it is to reach some small level of accuracy.

  • aren’t the ‘temperatures’ irrelevant to the question of “survival”? What’s important? Health of humans(good, getting better). Hunger? Declining, with transporting food surpluses to needy areas often the issue, not the lack of food. Water? Some areas have drought, some floods, we need tech and infrastructure to get water where it’s needed and possibly disdourage further development in semi arid areas(hello California). In desert nations like Egypt, population booming. Look for real disasters. They are declining.

  • 1.6 Billion people on earth in 1900, 6.1 Billion in 2000 and 8 Billion today. At this rate – we will be around 11 Billion people by 2050 and 25 Billion by 2100. We will need 3 times as much food and energy etc. According to the Climate Change fanatics – the earths temperature has increased 1 degree celsius in the past 140 years. Maybe we are focussed on the wrong problem?

  • Any graph showing the ice ages and interglacial periods for the last 2.5 million years will demonstrate the rise and fall of temperatures and sea levels with the last interglacial having higher temperatures and sea levels.
    The history of climate change puts to rest any argument concerning AGW. The natural forces account for climate change, not the little contribution of humankind. How conceited and foolish. You call AGW sc iui once? Along with the science surrounding Covid 19/SARS2 “vaccines”, our illustrious scientists have proven themselves to be BS peddling fools

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