NOAA’s New Normal

June 30, 2011

The National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Agency (NOAA) will release new US temperature data on friday showing that the 30 year “normal” has moved upward a notch.

LA Times:

“The climate of the 2000s is about 1.5 degree Fahrenheit warmer than the 1970s, so we would expect the updated 30-year normals to be warmer,” said Thomas R. Karl, director of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration‘s National Climatic Data Center.

That recent temperature trend was enough to drag the three-decade moving average, from 1981 to 2010, up by half a degree Fahrenheit from the 1971 to 2000 period, according to the report by NOAA.

The 30-year baseline is used by scientists to understand climate conditions and trends, including climate change. Besides providing a perspective for daily weather records, the data are widely used by utilities to project energy use, by farmers to make decisions on crop selection and planting times, and by others whose livelihoods are dependent on weather.

Jim Hurrell, a senior scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research, said the rise in temperature was attributable to a buildup in greenhouse gases. “The climate is indeed warming and this is evidence for it,” Hurrell said.

Not obvious to everyone.

In true media “He Said She Said” fashion, the Times got a “con” response from Tim Ball, the climate denying “Foxpert” so often trotted out by Sean Hannity and Glenn Beck to fog and confuse their already fogged and confused audience.

Not all scientists consider normals to be a consistent yardstick.

“The use of 30-year normals is misleading because the temperature pattern within each is different,” said Tim Ball, chairman of the Natural Resources Stewardship Project, who is currently speaking at an international conference on climate change put on by the Heartland Institute, which is skeptical of global warming. (and, I might add, also supports the tobacco industry’s freedom to addict your children to a substance that is not nearly so harmful as all those crazy doctors say.. PS)

Desmogblog’s profile of Ball.

A search of 22,000 academic journals shows that over the course of his career Ball published four pieces of original research in peer-reviewed journals on the subject of climate change. Ball has not published any new research in the last 11 years.

but never mind.

Most scientists will tell you the world is round. But one man disagrees! Film at ll.


One Response to “NOAA’s New Normal”

  1. otter17 Says:

    Wow, a one-sentence sound bite about how 30-year normals are supposedly misleading from Tim Ball, certainly newsworthy. What a weird media world.

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