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posted: 1/19/2013 5:00 AM

'Hottest year' not necessarily so

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The article, Hottest Year in History, Jan. 9, was misleading, and probably wrong.

The UK Met Office, official UK organization for world temperature records, agrees that temperatures worldwide have not risen for 15 years, and it projects that they won't rise for the next 5 years.

If temperatures have remained unchanged for 15 years, and possibly 20 years, while atmospheric CO2 has been steadily rising, it indicates there is little if any linkage between atmospheric CO2 and temperature. The trend lines are diverging.

It's important to note that the monthly temperatures reported by NOAA lack input from the stations that are recorded manually, and sent to NOAA by mail. When these are entered, the actual temperature for the month is nearly always lower. For example, the originally reported temperature for July, 2012, supposedly the hottest on record, was 77.6 degrees; but, with all the stations reported it was 0.7 degrees lower, at 76.9 degrees.

Contrary to news headlines, the hottest July on record therefore, was July, 1936 at 77.4 degrees.

It's correct that world temperatures have risen about 1.3 degrees over the past century, so any reading today would probably be higher than in prior years. Using the phraseology "the highest on record", is intended to sensationalize the report, since the temperature will almost assuredly be higher than in prior years over the past century.

It's also important to note that temperatures in 1100 AD were as high, or higher than today, and there were no coal-fired power plants emitting CO2.

The issue isn't whether temperatures have risen, but rather what's causing the increase. It's fairly clear that CO2 is not the primary reason for temperature rise, scare articles to the contrary.

Donn Dears


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