Global Cooling and Thermometer Denial

I’m just wondering…

It was hot today in Washington, DC—just a degree or two off the Record 103 degree temperature for this day. Does anyone suppose that Glenn Beck and the rest of the ideological thermometer denying crew will now jump all over cable and the Internet, screaming and blathercasting about the imminent melting of the planet?

They certainly were up in arms lamenting decades and centuries of thermometer data collected by thousands of scientists throughout the world when there was an unusual amount of snow in the District of Columbia back in February. Remember? That was when temperatures, which dipped into the teens, were at best midway between average lows for February (about 30 degrees) and average record lows for the month (about 0 degrees)—far from the one-day record low of negative fifteen (recorded on February 11, 1899).

Nevermind that the past decade is the hottest on record.

Believe it or not, the thermometer deniers actually use that fact to come-up with the notion that global warming is over and we are now entering a period of global cooling. How? Well, they point-out that 1998 was hotter than any year since—and that 2007 was cooler than 2006, and 2008 was cooler than 2007 (We’ll just ignore that both of those years were warmer than any recorded before 1997, and that 2009 was warmer than the previous two).

By that notion, global warming ended in the 1960s… and the 1940s… and 40 years before that… and 20 years before that… [etc., ad infinitum].

Here’s a chart of the temperature data from the British Meteorological Office:

The time series shows the combined global land and marine surface temperature record from 1850 to 2009. The year 2009 was the sixth warmest on record, exceeded by 1998, 2005, 2003, 2002, and 2004.

The time series shows the combined global land and marine surface temperature record from 1850 to 2009. The year 2009 was the sixth warmest on record, exceeded by 1998, 2005, 2003, 2002, and 2004.

Oh yeah: As of the end of May, the year 2010 is the second-hottest year on record.

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