Fox News Flash! NASA Fakes Temp Data! Obama Born in Kenya! Batboy Found in Cave!

June 25, 2014

How low are they going? This low.

The blogger who won’t even tell us his real name, even though it is now open source, Steven Goddard, has been cited as an authority on climate.
Kind of like citing Orly Taitz as an authority on Kenyan Birth certificates. Did I mention “Goddard” is a birther, too? (not unusual in denierville – see below)

Media Matters:

Fox News is reviving accusations that NASA’s peer-reviewed adjustments to temperature data are an attempt to “fak[e]” global warming, a claim that even a climate “skeptic” threw cold water on.

Tony Heller, a birthed who criticizes climate science under the pseudonym “Steven Goddard,” wrote a blog post that claimed “NASA cooled 1934 and warmed 1998, to make 1998 the hottest year in US history instead of 1934.” After the Drudge Report promoted a report of this allegation by the conservative British newspaper The Telegraph, conservative media from Breitbart to The Washington Times claimed the data was “fabricated” or “faked.” On June 24, Fox & Friends picked it up, claiming that “the U.S. has actually been cooling since the 1930s” but scientists had “faked the numbers”.

However, the libertarian magazine Reason noted that even climate “skeptic” blogger Anthony Watts said that Goddard made “major errors in his analysis” and criticized the implication that “numbers are being plucked out of thin air in a nefarious way.”

batboyI profiled Anthony a few years back for his own craziness in regard to alleged plots to distort the temp records.
Can we all agree that, if your denialist nuttery is such that even Anthony Watts can’t back you – you, my friend, are a denialist nut.

Anthony Watts quoted in Reason:

Some segments of the Internet are abuzz with the claim by climate change skeptic Steven Goddard (Tony Heller) over at his Real Science blog that NASA/NOAA have been jiggering the numbers so that they can claim that warmest years in the continental United States occurred recently, not back in the 1930s. Folks, please watch out for confirmation bias.

Via email, I asked Anthony Watts, proprietor of WattsUpWithThat, what he thinks of Goddard’s claims. He responded…

…while it is true that NOAA does a tremendous amount of adjustment to the surface temperature record, the word “fabrication” implies that numbers are being plucked out of thin air in a nefarious way when it isn’t exactly the case.

“Goddard” is wrong is his assertions of fabrication, but the fact is that NCDC isn’t paying attention to small details, and the entire process from B91’s to CONUS creates an inflated warming signal. We published a preliminary paper two years ago on this which you can read here:

About half the warming in the USA is due to adjustments. We’ received a lot of criticism for that paper, and we’ve spent two years reworking it and dealing with those criticisms. Our results are unchanged and will be published soon.

In his email, Watts also cites the strong criticisms of Goddard’s earlier claims over at the Blackboard blog:

Goddard made two major errors in his analysis, which produced results showing a large bias due to infilling that doesn’t really exist. First, he is simply averaging absolute temperatures rather than using anomalies. Absolute temperatures work fine if and only if the composition of the station network remains unchanged over time. If the composition does change, you will often find that stations dropping out will result in climatological biases in the network due to differences in elevation and average temperatures that don’t necessarily reflect any real information on month-to-month or year-to-year variability. Lucia covered this well a few years back with a toy model, so I’d suggest people who are still confused about the subject to consult her spherical cow.

His second error is to not use any form of spatial weighting (e.g. gridding) when combining station records. While the USHCN network is fairly well distributed across the U.S., its not perfectly so, and some areas of the country have considerably more stations than others. Not gridding also can exacerbate the effect of station drop-out when the stations that drop out are not randomly distributed.

My take on Watt’s own craziness from a few years back, here:

Media Matters again:

In fact, the National Climatic Data Center (NCDC) and NASA, which both maintain temperature records that use slightly different methods but show close agreement, have publicly documented the peer-reviewed adjustments they make to raw data. NCDC states that the “most important bias in the U.S. temperature record occurred with the systematic change in observing times from the afternoon, when it is warm, to morning, when it is cooler,” and so it must correct this cool bias as well as other biases that, for example, result from moving temperature stations.

NASA’s data shows that the nation has not been “cooling” since the 1930s, with several years, including 2012, ranking hotter than 1934 in the continental United States, along with a long-term warming trend. And while The Sean Hannity Show claimed that this shows the “Earth has been cooling,” the continental United States makes up less than 2 percent of the Earth’s surface — global surface temperatures have increased significantly.


Independent studies using different methods have consistently found a warming trend. Satellite data confirmthat there is a warming trend in the United States:

Fox News has tried to scandalize needed adjustments to temperature data since at least 2007, but it’s hard to see who would trust Fox News over NASA.

Moreover, its important to understand that temperature measurements, while important, are only one small indicator of a planet gaining heat.  Some years ago, a major study by NASA scientists found that, in examining a range of temperature sensitive natural processes – the migration of birds and animals, blossoming flowers, peak flow of glacial streams etc, that almost 90 percent were changing in a direction consistent with warming.


A vast array of physical and biological systems across the Earth are being affected by warming temperatures caused by human activity. These impacts include earlier leafing of trees and plants over many regions; movements of species to higher latitudes and altitudes in the Northern Hemisphere; changes in bird migrations in Europe, North America and Australia; and shifting of the oceans’ plankton and fish from cold- to warm-adapted communities. Based on an analysis of aggregated data, we recently published a study which is the first to link observed global changes in diverse systems to human-caused, or anthropogenic, climate change

Researchers from NASA GISS and from 10 other institutions across the world analyzed data from published papers on 829 physical systems and some 28,800 plant and animal systems, stretching back to 1970. The analysis shows a picture of changes on continental scales; previous studies had looked mainly at single phenomena, or smaller areas. In physical systems, 95 percent of observed changes are consistent with warming trends. These include wastage of glaciers on all continents; melting permafrost; earlier spring river runoff; and warming of water bodies. The study also found that 90 percent of documented changes among living creatures are consistent with warming.

It is unlikely that any force other than human-influenced global warming could be driving these changes; factors such as deforestation or natural climate variations could not explain it. The work builds upon the consensus of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which in 2007 declared human-made climate warming “likely” to have discernible effects on biological and physical systems.

Finally, the earth itself has its own thermometer – the oceans.

As I point out frequently to audiences – we all know what a thermometer is – a vessel of a known capacity, filled with a fluid of a known volume. When heated, for instance by placing in baby’s bottom – we see the fluid expand, fill more of the vessel, and we read that as temperature.

When the fluid that fills our oceans is heated, and 90+ percent of warming goes into the oceans, we would expect them to expand, and they do – we measure it as sea level rise.
So when Aunt Teabag or Uncle Dittohead try to tell you that the earth is not warming, just go to a computer and google “colorado, satellite, sea level”. That will take you to the Colorado Sea Level Research Group, and a reliable, satellite detected graph of sea level, which looks, currently, like this.

When that graph starts to go down, you can say the planet is cooling. Till then, or unless we invent a new physics and trash the last 300 years of science and observation, we know the planet is warming.

Its a pathetic and sad commentary on humanity that, as ice caps continue to melt, glaciers disappear, and and a majority become convinced, in spite of the Global Murdoch media 24 hour disinformation machine, that climate change is indeed happening, is caused by us, and needs a remedy – this tiny, vocal, barely-clinging-to-sanity clique still commands attention in what should be, and what we used to think of, as respectable media sources.  While even Watts hasn’t stopped clinging to the idea that rising temperatures are some kind of government plot, there’s some places even he won’t go anymore.

“Goddard” will be in attendance at the upcoming Heartland International climate conference in Vegas – a good fit for a fringe that increasingly resembles a flying saucer cult. A couple years ago, at a Heartland event in Chicago – I watched in awe as His Penultimate Pomposity Lord Monckton drew cheers and applause as
his climate denial screed veered from bogus science to President Obama’s Kenyan birth.  Starts at 4 minutes in below:

18 Responses to “Fox News Flash! NASA Fakes Temp Data! Obama Born in Kenya! Batboy Found in Cave!”

  1. I believe that Goddard had a falling out with Watts Up with That 3 or 4 years ago and started his own blog, Real Science. Not long after it started and before I realized the utter futility of responding to anything in the denialosphere, I responded to a post of his on his blog. And, guess what it was: that scientists were faking surface temp data and that 1934 was actually the hottest year on record. I had just finished Heidi Cullen’s book The Weather of the Future and had been impressed by her tables on pp. 275ff which were based on Meehl et al.’s study of the increase in high temps in the U.S. I went to his blog and described the study and happened to mention Cullen’s name. The latter caused an explosion of crazy hate talk about her. Anyway, Steven and many others responded and we went back and forth for a while. None of the responses were very intelligent and no matter what I said it was obvious that neither Steven nor any of his followers could be swayed in their paranoid beliefs by a good statistical analysis. This myth seemed to go to sleep for a while after that (as far as I could tell) but here it is back and bouncing around the denialosphere. A very good read to accompany Greenman’s is Dana Nunccitelli’s article in the Guardian where he points out the zombie nature of these myths. This one is wrong in so many ways but still it will not die.

  2. Desmogblog has the goods on “Steve Goddard”:

    And although I know that I’ve pitched this here previously, I have put together a (relatively) easy-to-use software package that lets you compute global-average temperature results from stations *you* select. It’s a nice visual way to debunk the popular denier claims about the global temperature record.

    It generates a plot of your results for raw and homogenized data, with the official NASA “meteorological-stations” results included for direct comparison. It computes global-average temperature estimates via a very “dumbed down” version of the NOAA anomaly gridding/averaging algorithm. (The algorithm is something that first-year programming students could be taught to code up).

    You can use it to impress your friends by debunking denier claims right before their eyes! 😉

    It features a user-friendly browser-based Google-Map interface (where you select your stations). You can also use the popup station-selector control panel to select entire classes of stations (all rural, all urban, etc.).

    The package is not much harder to install and use than, say, a Firefox plugin.

    You can download it from: (full documentation can be found on the right side of the download page). Follow the link at the bottom of the documentation notes to get the full user-manual. The manual has a “quickstart” guide to get you up and running quickly.

    It’s rather a big download, but the package includes a complete “virtual machine” with all the software and data pre-configured and ready to go.

    After downloading the package (.ova file), you will need to download/install VirtualBox ( Launch virtualbox, import the .ova file into VirtualBox via the VirtualBox File->Import Appliance dropdown memu item. Then hit the VIrtualBox “Start” button and wait for the app to start up.

    Then you will be able to experiment with it.

    After a bit of practice/experimentation, you will be able to demonstrate how incredibly robust and reliable the NASA global-temperature results are. The NASA results can be confirmed quite nicely with as few as 30 temperature stations scattered around the world (with homogenized/adjusted *or* raw temperature data).

  3. ubrew12 Says:

    “earth itself has its own thermometer – the oceans” That analogy had never occurred to me. Thanks!

  4. Isn’t that the bat child headline in 12 Monkeys? Does anybody miss Orly? Or Sarah or Michelle? Sorry. I hope no one was eating breakfast when they read that. Isn’t there something about the pope and ufos?

  5. Gingerbaker Says:

    Funny – I just stumbled across Goddard’s blog a couple of days ago and had a few things to say to him and his buddies on a couple of posts. I remember I asked him if his shipments of tin foil are so large as to require flat bed trucks.

    “Paranoia” is a very good descriptor for the mind set over there. And really sloppy science and politics.

  6. Oh my, like we didn’t see this coming. Fantasy name guy Steve Goddard, pseudo named after a NASA research facility in order to give himself fake name cred, manufactures an entirely false story about said namesake in order to smear it. Oh the misinformation propaganda goodness too sweet for Fox News to refuse!!

  7. MorinMoss Says:

    Well, Goddard / Heller may be about to cash in as it should be trivial for such an expert to prove climate change is false and scoop $10,000

  8. songhees Says:

    I would like to tell you of my latest book and documentary.
    ‘The Deliberate Corruption of Climate Science’.
    My latest documentary and video of my presentation.

    My website is
    Thank you.

    Debate between Dr Tim Ball and Elizabeth May
    Scroll down to Ian Jessop part 1

    • dumboldguy Says:

      Don’t know why Ball is posting under “sonhees”, except that it’s a Canadian tribe and he may be trying to hide his identity behind it.

      Rather than wast the time looking at Ball’s clips, go instead to desmogblog, where you can read the real goods on Ball (who is just another Heartland denier stooge).

  9. Funny how you nuts mock the truth while pushing your lies.

    • dumboldguy Says:

      This isn’t Twitter, Marv. You ought to stay there, because moronic, twitter-like posts like this one tend to be ignored by Crockers. Especially ones with ambiguous references like “you nuts” and “your lies”. Which “nuts” are you talking about and what “lies” have they told? What “truths” have been “mocked”?

      Take time to think about it, and come back to this dead thread in a year to give us your answer.

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