NASA Backtracks On 1998 Warmest Year Claim

NASA Corrects 120 Years Worth of Bad Data, Notes NCPA Expert


DALLAS (August 14, 2007) - The warmest year on record is no longer 1998 and not because it has been overtaken by a recent heat wave.  NASA scientist James Hansen's famous claims about 1998 being the warmest year on record in the U.S. was the result of a serious math error, according to H. Sterling Burnett, a senior fellow at the National Center for Policy Analysis (NCPA).  NASA has now corrected the error, anointing 1934 as the warmest year and 1921 as the third warmest year, not 2006 as previously claimed.

"Hansen's conclusions that the majority of the 10 hottest years occurred since 1990 are false," Burnett said.  "While Hansen's original declaration made headlines, NASA's correction has been ignored."

According to NASA's newly published data:

  • The hottest year on record is 1934, not 1998;
  • The third hottest year on record was 1921, not 2006;
  • Three of the five hottest years on record occurred before 1940; and
  • Six of the top 10 hottest years occurred before 90 percent of the growth in greenhouse gas emissions during the last century occurred. 

NASA's ground based temperature records for the past 120 years, which have been the basis for most of the claims that global warming is happening at an unprecedented rate, almost entirely due to human actions, have now been corrected to show that much of the warming occurred before CO2 emissions and concentrations began to rise significantly.

"Much of the current global warming fear has been driven by Hansen's pronouncements, and he routinely claims to have been censored by the Bush administration for his views on warming," said Burnett.  "Now that NASA, without fanfare, has cleaned up his mess, Hansen has been silent - I guess we can chalk this up to self-censorship."