Has NASA distorted the data on global warming?

The Daily Mail has published some nice graphics from NASA on how the Earth’s climate has changed in recent years. The Mail says

Twenty years ago world leaders met for the first ever climate change summit but new figures show that since then the globe has become hotter and weather has become more weird.

Numbers show that carbon dioxide emissions are up, the global temperature has increased, sea levels are rising along with the earth’s population.

The statistics come as more than 190 nations opened talks on Monday at a United Nations global warming conference in Lima, Peru.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2857093/Hotter-weirder-How-climate-changed-Earth.html#ixzz3KyaTz1j9

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See if anyone can find a reason for the following.

  1. A nice graphic compares the minimum sea ice extent in 1980 with 2012 – nearly three month after the 2014 minimum. Why not use the latest data?

  2. There is a nice graphic showing the rise in global carbon emissions from 1960 to the present. Notice gradient is quite steep until the mid-70s; there is much shallower gradient to around 2000 when the gradient increases. Why do NASA not produce their temperature anomaly graph to show us all how these emissions are heating up the world?

    Data from http://cdiac.ornl.gov/GCP/.


  3. There is a simple graphic on sea level rise, derived from the satellite data. Why does the NASA graph start in 1997, when the University of Colorado data, that is available free to download, starts in 1993? http://sealevel.colorado.edu/



Some Clues

Sea Ice extent

COI | Centre for Ocean and Ice | Danmarks Meteorologiske Institut

Warming trends – GISTEMP & HADCRUT4

The black lines are an approximate fit of the warming trends.

Sea Level Rise

Graph can be obtained from the University of Colorado.


NB. This is in response to a post by Steve Goddard on Arctic Sea Ice.

Kevin Marshall

1 Comment

  1. Raff

     /  06/12/2014

    I don’t see your point here. The Arctic pictures come from the NASA Goddard Scientific Visualization Studio which holds a collection of images created at certain times. The Mail picked one of those that just happened to have been produced in 2012 and that make NASA guilt of “distorting” the data. How exactly?

    On producing a temperature anomaly graph, you showed a graph from the Global Carbon Project and ask why NASA doesn’t produce something different. How is that NASA “distorting” the data?

    And the sea level for the “missing years” seems to be a simple continuation of the years shown, nothing distorted. University of Colorado may well have data going back to 1997, further than the NASA graph, but there must be data going back before 1997 so why is that an important starting point?

    I’m also curious about your straight line warming trends. There are lots of ways of fitting curves to data and the curves have associated information on how good the fit is statistically. You appear just to have drawn some straight lines using no more than visual cues. What can you tell us of the statistical strength of your estimated trends? If you can tell us nothing on that, what are they worth?

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