Women of Washington

Communicating America’s Founding Principles

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The Myth of Recent Hottest Years - Myth 1

By Jay Lehr and Tom Harris 

The idea that the warming of the Earth’s climate due to fossil fuel emissions is creating record heat, is among the most egregious manipulation of data in the more and more absurd debate over man caused climate change. 

Americans receive a daily barrage from the media and climate “experts”reporting that each and every day, week, month or year is the hottest on record due to global warming. The same climate experts warn that record heat is just the tip of the iceberg. We are also told that global warming is the root cause behind any and all weather that is extreme, destructive, unusual or uncomfortable.  Many say we should feel guilty over burning fossil fuels that are causing this mayhem. 

Is the Earth really experiencing weather that is hotter than ever before.  The record shows a very different picture. Upon examining actual weather records over the past 100 years we find no correlation whatever between rising carbon dioxide levels and local temperatures.

However climate change alarmists can always find somewhere on Earth where temperatures are hotter than ever. The focus is always on isolated temperatures that have reached all-time highs while ignoring reports of all-time record lows. They would like you to believe that due to fossil fuel emissions, summers are now longer and hotter while winters are shorter and milder.  The actual temperature records tell a very different story.  Did the Earth see its hottest temperature ever this year? The answer is no. The highest record temperature ever reported was 136 degrees Fahrenheit  in Libya on September 13, 1922. The record high temperature for the United States was 134 degrees Fahrenheit in Death Valley California on July 10, 1913. Fossil fuel emissions in both 1913 and 1922 were negligible  compared to what they are today. 

The coldest temperature ever reported was minus 129 degrees Fahrenheit in Vostok Antarctica on July 1983 when CO2 emissions were five times higher than in 1913 when the U.S. heat record was set. The coldest temperature for a town in the lower 48 states (excluding Alaska) of minus 64 degrees Fahrenheit was recorded recently on February 2, 1996 in Embarass, Minnesota. Did the media and climate scientists  warn that this low temperature  indicated that we are headed for another Ice Age? T

The maximum reported difference between high and low temperatures at a single location is 188 degrees Fahrenheit (from minus 90F to plus 98F) was in Verhoyansk, Siberia. In fact such record changes of record highs and record lows have occurred in 22 U.S. cities on a single  day. For example on July 2, 1989 the temperature in Alamosa, Colorado varied between a low of 35F and a high of 91F for a temperature swing of 56 degrees F.  We hope these examples, right out of the weather record books, compiled by C.C. Burt in his book Extreme Weather Changes, will help you to understand the scams alarmists are trying to put over on you. These examples all illustrate that cherry picking record high temperatures in isolated locations tells absolutely nothing about the Earth’s climate .

The strongest heat wave ever recorded occurred in July 1936, generating high temperatures in half of America’s fifty states.  In 1935, fossil fuel emissions were 25 times lower than they are today. America’s coldest year occurred in 1899 during which temperatures dropped below 0 F in all fifty states. 

The figure below is a record of high and low temperatures by decades and states reported by Christy at global warming .org in 2012.

Interesting that the figure shows the most severe historic cold wave during the past 100 years took place in February of 1936 which was the same year when the strongest heat wave took place. In terms of general behavior, the global warming alarmist prediction is that as time progresses and fossil fuel emissions increase, the number of record highs should increase and record lows should decrease.  No such trends are observed and the data dispels rather than supports the global warming hypothesis. 

Concurrently a compilation of all days since 1915 when temperatures exceeded 90F shows them decreasing with time rather than increasing in Figure 2. 

 Place JPEG with figure 6.2 here with legend explaining data comes from  RealClimateScience.com /2016.

The heat wave experienced in the 1930s and 1950s are clearly evident here. Once again the data do not support the claim that the United States is hotter than ever as a result of rising CO2 levels. 

From 1970 until 1998 there was a warming period that raised temperatures by about 0.7 F that helped spawn the global warming alarmist movement, but since 1998 as shown by satellite measurements in Figure 3 little warming has occurred while carbon dioxide emissions continued to increase. This is totally consistent with variations in the amount of heat the Earth receives from the Sun. 

These facts are completely supported by 4000 ocean floats which are programmed to take ocean temperatures at a variety of depths. This data at argo.ucsd.edu measure the oceans where climate induced temperatures occur. I

Isn’t it time to start ignoring the calamitous annual claims that this is the hottest year on record.  It just ain’t so.