The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has once again provided fodder for its environmental goonies to push for costly and speculative climate change action. This week NOAA reported that 2010 tied with 2005 as the warmest year on record.

Headlines proclaiming that 2010 is the hottest year on record are misleading because they create the impression that the earth’s surface temperature is hotter than its ever been. What record are we talking about here, is the question that needs to be asked. NOAA only looks at temperature records going back to 1880, which falls into the period of the little ice age.

Art Horn at the International Climate and Environmental Change Assessment Project (ICECAP) offers the following perspective:

To say [that] 2010 was tied with the warmest year on record is essentially meaningless when viewed in a true historical context. …

If NOAA was truly objective in their analysis of this 130 year period of temperature they would acknowledge that 130 years of record in the long history of climate is insignificant to the extreme. The reason they do not give this record its true historical context is because their statement is really political. Their true message is that global warming is causing the warm weather and that we need to abandon fossil fuels and somehow change to “renewable” energy sources. …

[…] earth’s temperature has been rising for 200 years, rebounding from a 500 year cold period known as the “Little Ice Age.” Further examination of the ice core temperatures show that earth’s temperature peaked some 3,300 years ago in the Minoan Warm Period and has been falling ever since.

IWF’s Julie Gunlock offers some important insights into understanding why NOAA might make misleading claims about global warming and climate change. Citing a Wall Street Journal article on climategate, she advises us in her blog from December to follow the greenbacks:

In the U.S., the House intends to spend $1.3 billion on NASA’s climate efforts, $400 million on NOAA’s, and another $300 million for the National Science Foundation. …

[…] they depend on an inherently corrupting premise, namely that the hypothesis on which their livelihood depends has in fact been proved. Absent that proof, everything they represent-including the thousands of jobs they provide-vanishes. This is what’s known as a vested interest, and vested interests are an enemy of sound science. 

Climate science has indeed become increasingly politicized. For more information on the politication of climate science, please check out my piece on the topic, here.