Right Opinion

Second Warmest February in 123 Years for Contiguous U.S. — Ho Hum

Cornwall Alliance · Mar. 13, 2017

By E. Calvin Beisner

NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) eagerly reported March 8 that February was the second warmest February in the last 123 years for the contiguous U.S.

Various news media played it up. More evidence of dangerous man-made global warming! (Except that, of course, warming is only evidence of warming, not of man-made warming. And the contiguous U.S. is not equal to the globe.)

See here for the satellite data (which goes back only to 1979). On that page, read down the 3rd column, which gives you GLOBAL average temperature (as anomaly from the 1981–2010 average, so a positive number is that much warmer than that average, and a negative number is that much cooler than that average), month-by-month, from 1979 to 2017. Year is listed in 1st column, month in 2nd column, temperature in 3rd. The third-to-last column gives you the data for the 48 contiguous United States.

Below are the Februaries for the GLOBE (second column below) and for the CONTIGUOUS U.S. (3rd column). As you can see, GLOBALLY February 2017, at 0.35˚C above the 1981-2010 average, was NOT the warmest February even in the last 20 years (let alone the last 123!); it was only the fourth warmest in the last 20 (and the last 38) years. But notice also: The total spread between warmest February (0.83˚C above the 1981–2010 average) and coolest (0.47˚C below the 1981–2010 average) was only 1.7˚C (3.06˚F), which isn’t exactly enough to say the one is “hot” and the other is “cold.” Most people would barely notice the difference.

But, yes, it was the warmest for the contiguous 48 states in the 1979–2017 satellite record — to be precise, 0.41˚C warmer than 1991. But again, notice the whole spread from warmest (2.1˚C above average) to coolest (1.95˚C below average): 4.05˚C (7.29˚F), enough to be noticeable but hardly blistering compared with bone chilling. And the difference between February 2017 and the fifth warmest February in the satellite record? It’s just 2.1-1.12=0.98˚C (1.76˚F), which most people would hardly feel.

The GLOBAL data (not just for Februaries but for all months) are depicted graphically here.

So, of course, the “hottest” rhetoric is all bluster, no muster. (Just made that up! It means they can bluster, but they can’t muster the facts!)


Republished from Cornwall Alliance.

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