Forgetting That Global Warming is, well, Global – and Then Making a Big Fuss…

“It is better to keep your mouth closed and let people think you are a fool than to open it and remove all doubt.”
-Mark Twain

foolsIt never ceases to amaze me how some will use phrases such as “global warming hysterics” in one breath and then proceed to get rather hysterical themselves in their denial of it.

To wit:

Last week it was reported that Steve McIntyre of (a site that I tried to access but is apparently off limits to schmos like you and me) found an anomaly in the temperature data of some U.S. reporting stations. NASA was contacted, the problem was traced to a switch in data sources between 1999 and 2000 and by Tuesday the data was corrected. An email thanking and acknowledging the data correction was sent to McIntyre and that was that.

Not so fast Kimosobe; FOX news and certain bloggers practically fell all over themselves to decry the global warming hoax and the hysterical scientists that have pushed it upon us (and Al Gore of course).  (One blog cited as particularly egregious was “opinionator” at the New York times for one – I don’t subscribe so all I can’t get to that blog without paying for it. Darn.)

Okay folks, can you spot the first problem here? I’ll bet those of you reading this outside the United States have already picked up on it. That’s right, there’s more to global warming than temperature data inside the United States.

To Fox news and others: Ooops… Gosh, science is hard. (I have to say, anyone that depends on FOX news for sound scientific reporting gets what they deserve.)

The fact is that the warmest years on record (globally) remain 1998 and 2005 respectively. In the U.S. 1934 now beats out 1998 as the warmest year by two-hundredths of a degree Celsius . Moreover, longer term averages for the US (and the world) have not changed. The data still shows a warming world. Call me a “warm-monger” if you must, but you’ll sound just a bit hysterical if you do.

Of course, many of the global warming deniers are piling on this data as proof of their position when just over a week ago they discounted this same data as meaningless. What a difference two-hundredths of a degree makes.

Do we need to regularly audit our data? You bet. Should we be open to changes in our outlook should the data warrant it? Yes indeed.

Should we listen to all those people that claim two-hundredths of a degree proves that climate change doesn’t exist?

Well, you be the judge.


Sources and Information:

Image credit: Pawal Bak, courtesy flickr

Thomas Schueneman
Thomas Schueneman
Tom is the founder and managing editor of and the PlanetWatch Group. His work appears in Triple Pundit, Slate, Cleantechnia, Planetsave, Earth911, and several other sustainability-focused publications. Tom is a member of the Society of Environmental Journalists.

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