The Register, an occasionally accurate online IT newspaper, has been running a series of warming denial pieces, by one Steven Goddard. Goddard has been trying to cast on temperature and ice data. Unfortunately, he does a whole lot of cherry picking. For example:
A second important issue with NASA’s presentation is that they use the time period of 1951-1980 as their choice of baseline. This was a well known cold spell, as can be seen in the 1999 version of the NASA US temperature graph below.
Why use a graph of US temperatures instead of world temperatures? The “cold spell” is more pronounced in the US graph. In fact, the average for 1951-1980 is almost the same as for the 20th century so it is misleading to call it a cold spell. Goddard prefers to use satellite data, with a baseline that is significantly warmer than the 20th century average, to try to making warming seem less. He does some more cherry picking when he presents a map of GISS temperatures leaving out the sea data and using 250km smoothing (even though the NASA used 1200km smoothing for the temperature graphs) in order to make it look like there are significant gaps in NASA’s coverage. He compounds this by picking a month where this makes it look like there is a warming bias in NASA’s temperatures.
But it was Goddard who was wrong, as NSIDC’s Walt Meier explained to the Register:
He appears to derive his estimate by simply counting pixels in an image. He recognizes that this results in an error due to the distortion by the map projection, but does so anyway. Such an approach is simply not valid.
If you correct Goddard’s error, you get the same number as the NSIDC. Meier adds:
Besides this significant error, the rest of the article consists almost entirely of misleading, irrelevant, or erroneous information about Arctic sea ice that add nothing to the understanding of the significant long-term decline that is being observed.
Goddard admitted he was wrong but, as noted by Joseph Romm, Kevin Grandia and James Hrynyshyn, the numerous denialists who claimed that Goddard had shown that the ice wasn’t melting have mysteriously failed to correct things.
There are too many to list, so I’ll just point to the Australian bloggers: Jennifer Marohasy “Arctic Sea Ice Refuses to Melt”, Tim Blair “Arctic ice seems to be growing somehow.” and Andrew Bolt “Tim Blair rounds up the local anecdotes of coldening.”. No corrections from any of them.
Incidently, in the graph above, 2005 was the record melt until 2007. 2008 has already passed 2005 and whether or not it ends up setting a new record, it’s clear that the melt in 2008 is similar to 2007 rather than anything ever seen before.
Update: Bolt referred to Goddard more than once:
Steven Goddard checks those predictions that the North Pole could melt clear away this summer, and finds we can (yet again) relax.