Tuesday, February 16, 2010

NOAA’s new website climate.gov – a first day sin of omission

Anthony Watts
WattsUpWithThat -

Today NOAA officially announced www.climate.gov It didn’t take skeptics long to find a sin of omission. WUWT reader Dave N. pointed this one out to me.

Let’s start with the lecture to skeptics in the Dec 31st 2009 story “What the future may hold” which is an article about sea ice extent. The climate.gov website has been in “beta” for a couple of months. It was announced first on WUWT on December 2nd, 2009. There has been plenty of time to correct this story. The story states:

“When you’re in a court of law, you have to swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. The people who have been focusing on the ‘cooling’ have not been telling the whole truth,”

It appears right below this graphic:



This NOAA.gov story for their new “ClimateWatch magazine”, is written by Michon Scott. It leaves out some important data that is obvious to everyone, skeptical or not.

The sea ice data, cited from NSIDC, stops in 2007. 2008 and 2009 sea ice data and imagery, available to even the simplest of curiosity seekers at the publicly available NSIDC or even Cryosphere Today websites, is not included in the graphic. Mr. Scott chooses the historical satellite record minimum of 2007 as the endpoint for comparison. This leaves a reader who is “not in the know”, with the false impression that sea ice has not recovered in any way.

Sometimes I wonder if these government types have any idea of just how blazingly stupid they look when they lecture skeptics, but purposely dig their own obvious data omission hole in the same article.

Here’s the 2008 and 2009 imagery. It took me all of about a minute of work to find it.


Above: Average, 2007, 2008 and 2009 Arctic sea ice extent. From NSIDC

Or how about Cryosphere Today, showing the 2008 and 2009 minimum days side by side?

click for interactive source

You don’t need to work for NOAA to find this sea ice extent imagery.

There’s no excuse for NOAA not showing the 2008 and 2009 sea ice data or imagery in this story. None, zilch, zero, zip, nada.

Suffice it to say, this piece on www.climate.gov is propaganda with a lie of omission. It is not science because it omits a portion of the data that disagrees with the article’s premise.

So to Tom Karl, the new director of this machine, I use the again words written by your employee, Michon Scott with a single substitution.

“When you’re in a court of law, you have to swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. The people who have been focusing on the ‘warming’ have not been telling the whole truth,”

Rather than lecture us about “truth” while at the same time omitting data not in line with the premise of the article, I suggest that if NOAA is to have any credibility with this website, you should fix this omission and present the true and complete history of the sea ice record. The sooner the better.

For those that agree and wish to complain, a review of NOAA’s “Information Quality” policy might prove useful:

See it here: http://www.cio.noaa.gov/Policy_Programs/info_quality.html

For those who want to make the issue known to the newly appointed man in charge:

thomas.r.karl [at] noaa.gov

He might need a reminder that he works for us, not the other way around.