"NASA has now silently released corrected figures, and the changes are truly astounding. The warmest year on record is now 1934. 1998 (long trumpeted by the media as record-breaking) moves to second place. 1921 takes third. In fact, 5 of the 10 warmest years on record now all occur before World War II. Anthony Watts has put the new data in chart form, along with a more detailed summary of the events."
This is actually a big deal because NASA/Goddard’s GISS isn’t some oil company funded "think tank", it’s one of the world’s most respected global temperature databases and, for the most part, maintained by a group of scientists who are veteran supporters of the global climate change movement.
While it’s doubtful we’ll see this on the front page of the NYTimes tomorrow, it should be.
The other aspect of this story that is revealing is that the power of statistical analysis is hard to get around. The year 2000 bug in the database was revealed by Steve McIntyre, the Canadian statistician that found some big issues with Michael Mann’s hockey stick. McIntyre reverse engineered the algorithm used to generate the data when a lead researcher on the database refused to share the algorithm with him.
Regardless of where you come down on this issue, I would hope you can agree with me that science works best when it is open and transparent, and that means scientists who refuse to release their algorithms for peer review are as much a bad actor as politicians who attempt to tell scientists what to say.