NOAA continue the trend of publishing a meaningless table with a ranking of warmest years:
Amazingly, there is no mention of the uncertainty or error associated with these numbers. The words ‘error’ or ‘uncertainty’ do not appear anywhere in the 10-page report. In one of the tables below, there are some numbers that suggest that the uncertainty is of the order of ±0.1C. This is consistent with the error bars given in the HADCRUT4 table here. The difference between the “warmest” and “coolest” year in the NOAA table is only 0.09C, less than the uncertainty, so the entire ranking of years is nonsense.
The NASA article has the vacuous headline “NASA Finds 2013 Sustained Long-Term Climate Warming Trend” – obviously, one year of data is not going to change the long-term trend. The claim in their report (that 2013 tied with 2009 and 2006) is not consistent with the numbers on their website, that show 2013 tying with 2003. The article has more daft or false comments such as “Earth continues to experience temperatures warmer than those measured several decades ago” and “2013 adds to the evidence for ongoing climate change”.
A more honest way to report the results would have been to say that the levelling off of warming over the last decade or so is continuing.
See this post from David Whitehouse making much the same point.
Update 24 Jan:
The HADCRUT4 number for 2013 has now been published. I am of course not going to quote the number, which is given to 3 figures (though their data file does include confidence intervals), or say where it come in the rankings, but here is a graph of GISS and HADCRUT4 since 1980:
The difference between the two is just because they use a different baseline. It will be interesting to see if the Met Office produce a press release with a list of ranked years!