Global Warming Science -


Markey Misleads


[last update: 2010/03/09]



Rep. Ed Markey (D) Massachusetts (coauthor of the Waxman-Markey House cap-and-trade bill) is trying to mislead the public.


On the CNN Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer, he states: “Alaska is now 6 degrees warmer in the winter than it was 50 years ago.” ( at 1:10)


Six degrees! That sounds like a lot – but what does the data actually show?



Alaska – Winter Temperatures at NOAA GHCN Stations


The following figure shows the Jan-Feb average temperature for Fairbanks, Alaska from the NOAA database (plotted at Technically he is almost correct – 43 years ago it was 6 degrees colder in winter. It is also technically correct that it has cooled by 9 degrees in the last 35 years. Between 1975 and 1980 it warmed up 15 degrees and has generally been cooling for the last 30 years.




The following figure shows the Jan-Feb average temperature for Anchorage, Alaska from the NOAA database.

Technically he is almost correct – 58 years ago it was 5 degrees colder in winter. But it is also now the same winter temperature as in the 1920s, 1930s, 1960s and 1990s. Between 1975 and 1980 it warmed up 15 degrees and has been cooling for the last 30 years.



Markey is purposefully misleading (some would say lying) with his choice of statistics.




Alaska – Winter Temperatures in the CRU / IPCC Gridded Data


The following figure shows the Jan-Feb average temperature for the 4 5x5 degree grids in Alaska in the CRU database as used by the IPCC. So while technically correct, Markey’s cherry-picking is absolutely misleading – bordering on being a lie.




See also: for more information on the 1976-78 climate shift that is so evident in Alaska temperature data.




[ update: 2010/03/09]


The Energy Sector Will Need Millions of Employees


Markey wrote an article: “Jobs and Change, Communications and Energy” in which he attributes growth of the Internet to the Telecommunications Act of 1996 “Cable companies were driven to respond by switching some of their capacity from one-way video programs to high speed two-way internet access, giving rise to broadband. In response, the phone companies are now installing fiber, taking broadband to new levels of speed and lower price per bit.” []


He says that more government intervention is required: “We can get the same upside surprises if we pass a law that retools the carbon-based energy sector … In the energy sector we not only will need millions of employees, but we also know that those millions will help us achieve independence from foreign oil and an end to the pollution of the environment from carbon emissions.


He thinks these millions of employees “will result in consumers paying less for heating, cooling and lighting, and America's energy sector will be firmly based on abundant, cheap and clean fuels.


He is not talking nuclear: “Nothing will pull innovation into the energy sector more than wind farms demanding better storage technology, solar farms demanding better ways of capturing and converting sunlight into electricity, and appliances and electric vehicles that can talk to the grid if it is smart enough.


Markey misleads. Some would say he lies.


He obviously hasn’t read: