President compounds New York Times false facts on Climate change
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President compounds New York Times false facts on Climate change

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January 21, 2015, 6:07 am
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It is not clear that 2014 is the hottest year on record
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Global warming, Climate Change sleight of hand

“2014 Breaks Heat Record, Challenging Global Warming Skeptics”. This is how the New York Times led with the story that 2014 was the hottest year ever, since records have been kept. The headline caught my eye. I read through the story and found that there was not even a hint as to what the actual global temperature was in the 2014. For a paper as highly regarded as the New York Times, I thought the omission glaringly strange. Why bellow about 2014 breaking the record for the hottest year on record with no mention of the actual temperature for that year? I thought the omission so curious , my skepticism compelled me to seek the information on line.

What I learned led me to conclude that the Times has an agenda and has tortured the data to bolster its point of view. Was 2014 truly the hottest year on record? “There are four major temperature series relied upon. There are two land and sea based series: The Had CRUT series produced by the Hadley centre in the UK (dating back to 1850) and the GISTEMP series produced by the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies (back to 1880). There are two lower troposphere temperature series, both dating from 1979: The UAH series produced by the University of Alabama in Huntsville and the RSS series sponsored by NOAA”

The GISTEMP series has 2014 as the hottest year with 2010, 2005 and 1998 close behind in that order. Neither the UHA nor the RSS shows 2014 as the hottest year. In fact, the UAH series has 2014 sixth behind 2007, 2009, 2005, 2010 and 1998. The RSS series (which recall is sponsored by NOAA) has 2014 fourth behind, 2005, 2010 and 1998. (Had CRUT does not give and absolute number but gives loads of raw data well beyond the limited range of this writer)

The source the Times relies on reports the average temperature for the year 2014 was 0.69°C (1.24°F), a fractional part of one degree above the 20th century average of 13.9°C (57.0°F), 0.04°C (0.07°F). The media’s publicizing one temperature series while ignoring others, and placing emphasis on something being a record when it was well inside the margin of error, is scientifically unwarranted and dishonest. What is clear is that the Times has cherry-picked its information. It is not clear whether 2014 was the hottest year on record. Both satellite temperature series – which are almost certainly more reliable that land and sea based measurements – support a different conclusion.Moreover, recorded temperatures using land and sea gauges are subject to sampling, measurement, adjustment, and compilation errors as to render reliance on small differences well within the margin of error and essentially moot.

President Obama repeated the misleading information in his state of the union address on January 20. Whether you believe in global warming/climate change, or if you are undecided, we all deserve to have the best scientific information on which to make a decision that could profoundly change the way we live on this planet. An error in reporting facts is understandable, but selective reporting and torturing information to bolster the paper’s viewpoint, as is apparent in the Times piece, is a journalistic felony.

Author: Reynold Mason
Reynold N. Mason teaches law courses at Zenover Educational Institute In Atlanta, Georgia. He has been a judge on New York City Civil Court and, a Justice on New York State Supreme Court. Mason has been an adjunct professor of law at Medgar Evers College and Monroe College in New York. He has authored several legal opinions published in New York Miscellaneous Reports and New York Official Reports as well as the New York Law Journal. He lives in Atlanta.
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