Not in 27 Years

From Philip Bump:

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration summarizes October 2012:

The average temperature across land and ocean surfaces during October was 14.63°C (58.23°F). This is 0.63°C (1.13°F) above the 20th century average and ties with 2008 as the fifth warmest October on record. The record warmest October occurred in 2003 and the record coldest October occurred in 1912. This is the 332nd consecutive month with an above-average temperature.

Emphasis added. If you were born in or after April 1985, if you are right now 27 years old or younger, you have never lived through a month that was colder than average. That’s beyond astonishing.

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  • Randy Buist

    Global warming has consequences beyond ourselves: African farmers are failing to raise crops where rains once arrived regularly. Starvation is the consequence of failing to realize carbon emissions do impact our planet. If we are caretakers of creation, an honest Christian response should be coming over the horizon. But do we have the courage?

    I hope and dream that someday soon we’ll take the creation mandate seriously. Unfortunately, we’ve come be believe that being ‘producers’ and ‘job creators’ takes priority over all other things even though we damage the entire planet at times. More thoughtful conversations on this topic are so badly needed by the Christian church around the globe. This is such an opportunity for sincere Jesus followers to lead.

  • Patrick

    Took me about 10 seconds to find these obvious counter examples:

    Makes me wonder how hard these people are looking for data as opposed to advancing their narrative to take from the average to enrich the filthy rich via their carbon tax schemes& trading bourses. IF they believed this AGW idea, they’d simply outlaw the use of fossil fuels over X amount of time w/o the transfer of wealth, IMO.

  • Jeremy B.

    Patrick, NOAA is making a statistical statement about the country as a whole. Single-day data points and a “cooler than average” (note the lack of “record breaking”) are not counter-examples. They are distractions at best. I think you’re going to need more than 10 seconds to counter NOAA data unless you can pull disagreeing data from an equally as credible, competing source.

  • Ryan

    Hi Scot! I am a long-time follower of your blog…love the variety of topics and all the authors’ thoughtfulness.

    Forgive the off-topic nature of this post, but I was wondering if you could recommend a couple of good commentaries on the Old and New Testaments. I am currently a student at Bethel Seminary and would love to know what commentaries you enjoy as I am researching some to buy for my own library.



  • Patrick


    It is based on NOAA/National Weather Service data.

    Like I said, it took all of 10 seconds to access. It is October data, how hard was that for the “professional researchers” to access?

  • Mike DeLong

    Totally hype to call it “beyond astonishing”. Since the “little ice age” around AD 1600, global temperatures have been rising. ( and

  • AHH

    Jeremy @3, Patrick is even more wrong than you thought — the 332 months is not averaged across “the country as a whole” — it is averaged across the globe.
    That’s why they call it “global warming” — picking out a few places where things are colder than average for a period doesn’t disprove it any more than a couple of teams having short point guards disproves a hypothesis about basketball players on average being tall.

  • Sam

    For me i liked Richard Baukham’s advice at ETS, “stop indulging in pseudo science”. At the conference i would have loved to see some credible refuting of scientific methods used to prove global warming. The models we have are good. In fact if you were following the progress of Sandy, they were pretty accurate about where it would make landfall and the effects it would have. I also found that what people use as a data points to prove global warming come from a perspective of not really understanding global warming. For example, global warming does not deny breaking of records in either direction (hot or cold) in fact it says more of it will happen. It does not deny fewer snow storms, it actually predicts more severe snow storms, because of the increased moisture in the air. What is does affirm is that AVERAGE TEMPERATURES are increasing. The articles you point to are all about localized areas experiencing cooler temperatures. This does not disprove global warming, it still fits within the global warming models.

  • I lay it all to the wobble effect of Earth’s axis. Earth is starting to tilt away from Polaris (a cool star, obviously, because it is in the north) toward some other star, obviously a warmer one. It will do this for 13,000 years, after which it will begin to re-tilt back toward Polaris. The complete wobble-tilt phenomenon takes 26,000 years to return to the place at which the wob began. By then, the NOAA should have gathered a lot more data. Twenty-seven years is not nearly enough.

    /sarcasm off

  • Patrick


    If you simply cared to check , you’d re-check my sources above which is utilizing NOAA/National Weather Service Data.

    Pseudo science would be the thrust of the article Scot McKnight posted on his blog which is clearly and easily contradicted by the NOAA/National Weather Service published data for October, 2012 which I found within 10 seconds of reading this original nonsense.

    Hardly 27 years , it’s been less than 1 month.

    This wasn’t even a challenge.

  • Ron Spross

    There is nothing in the links Patrick cites that is not within the NOAA data; as has been pointed out, the NOAA data is world wide, and the WUWT data is for October and within just the United States. In fact a close perusal of the NOAA graphic shows that October in the U.S. was cool. Capital Climate, a blog which monitors the record highs and lows continuously, rather than just when it suits them, had this to say yesterday (Nov 18): “The number of new daily high temperature records in the contiguous 48 states of the U.S. declined below the number of low records in October for the first time in 22 months. Nevertheless, the first half of November has already rebounded to wipe out that deficit. For the month to date, heat records are outnumbering cold records by a ratio of 3.1 to 1. With only 6 weeks left in the year, the 2012 ratio to date of 5.7 to 1 is almost double the 2011 ratio.”

    The evidence of global warming is not only the temperature record (which is noisy and subject to “cherry” picking, as demonstrated by Patrick’s links), but also the rise in both the sea level and heat content of the oceans, the disappearance of the Arctic sea ice and glaciers worldwide, the measurable (with satellites) loss of mass of both the Greenland and Antarctic ice caps, the migration of countless species to higher latitudes, and the earlier onset of the seasons. The fundamental physics of global warming, which is the enhanced greenhouse effect due to the increase in CO2 in the atmosphere, is well understood and is part of all our text books on planetary physics and climate science. In fact, given the quantitatively known increase in CO2 in the atmosphere and our understanding of quantum mechanics and radiant heat transfer, if global warming were not observed physicists would want to know why.

    The only real uncertainty in the issue is what the ultimate warming — and associated climate change — will be, and that depends both on yet to be determined human response, and known but quantitatively uncertain feedbacks, most of which will increase, rather than decrease, the warming that is forced by the greenhouse gases emitted by humans.

    The denial of the problem by our politicians and political partisans, aided by sites such as the WUWT blog whose links Patrick cites, will be condemned by our grandchildren; and at this point any humor we attempt (#9) will probably be lost on them as well.

  • Patrick


    From Scot’s article :

    “Nowhere on the surface of the planet have we seen any record cold temperatures over the course of the year so far”.

    Taking ~ 10 seconds to find countervailing evidence from the same source doesn’t count as cherry picking. Contradicting out right lies isn’t hard when you have access to a PC.

  • kierkegaard71

    “If you were born in or after April 1985, if you are right now 27 years old or younger, you have never lived through a month that was colder than average. That’s beyond astonishing.” Why is this astonishing? Can we not imagine in a universe that is billions of years old that we are in the middle of a warming trend of 27 years? His comment does not drive me to astonishment or alarm.

  • AHH

    Patrick @12,

    I see now how you are doing apples and oranges, and it is partly the part of unclear wording in the item Scot linked.

    I’m pretty sure the lack of “record cold temperatures” in the article is referring to the coldest temperature ever for a particular location (regardless of date). So, for example, that sometime in 2012 the temperature in X location got down to -20 and that is colder than ever recorded before in X location. Whereas your links are talking about date-specific records where it is for example the coldest October 10 ever recorded in some place, which is a different (and much more common) thing.

    But the lack of “record cold temperatures” mentioned in the article isn’t all that impressive and not necessary to make the point (and only indirectly relevant to a point that is about longer-term global averages). The 332 months is more impressive — while it does not tell us WHY warming is happening it at least makes the point that those who deny that the warming is even happening are full of hooey (that point will also get made when records show 2012 as the planet’s warmest year since such recordkeeping began, which will happen unless November and December are abnormally cold worldwide).

  • Mike M

    No matter who’s right about the cause of global warming, I still put my coat on one arm at a time. I too, fear polticians (like Al Gore) using science to further government control and abuse or as Paul Farmer, MD says “institutional violence.” We would be wise to revisit Jacob Brownowski’s “The Ascent of Man” and it’s warnings about the civil authorities and their conflict with intellectual leadership.

  • phil_style

    IF they believed this AGW idea, they’d simply outlaw the use of fossil fuels over X amount of time w/o the transfer of wealth, IMO.

    The people making the laws, and the people doing the science are not the same people.

  • phil_style

    Either increasing the concentration of CO2 in atmospheric gases increases its storage of heat energy or it does not. You can test this in your kitchen with the right equipment.

  • Rick

    How does this work with what M. Kruse recently wrote in a comment on another Jesus Creed post?

    “Many Climate models say that 15-17 absence of warming in the midst of anthropogenic global warming is very unlikely. This has been the position of Phil Jones director of the Climate Research Unit at the University of East Anglia. We now have 16 years of virtually no change in the global temperature, a fact that East Anglia and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration don’t dispute:
    Does this tell us that long-term global warming isn’t happening? No. The Twentieth Century warmed but there were three episodes of plateau/cooling that lasted a decade or more. Climate scientists say that unanticipated or unaccounted for natural events have caused the recent plateau. Fine. But then that means your models are not robust at predicting climate changes.”

  • Bev Mitchell


    Please don’t sidetrack this incredibly serious matter with single issue disputes. There is an entire suite of problems stemming directly from our insistence that we can grow, at increasing rates, forever in a resource limited world. Keep the big picture in mind. It’s scary, but ……….

    Have a serious look at As these folks say, we are now on Plan B. Read the PlanB book (pdf version available for free at this site). The title should be of interest to all who visit this good blog. It’s “Plan B 3.0: Mobilizing to Save Civilization”. Read it and pass it on. Check out the people listed on this site under the various Plan B lists.

    At the very least, have a look at the November 7, 2012 “Full Planet, Empty Plates: Quick Facts”


    I followed and used the Lester Brown annually published “State of the World” my entire academic career. Always fact filled, often ignored. His new thrust at “Earth Policy Institute” is even more urgent. I see there is even a “Plan B 4.0: Mobilizing to Save Civilization” out now.

    Also check out:

    Meadows, Donella, Randers, Jorgen and Meadows, Dennis, Chelsea Green Publishing (2004) “Limits to Growth: The 30-year Update”. The 1974 book was influential but unfortunately not influential enough. This update clearly reveals how truly stubborn we are. If anyone doubts that life on earth exists in the face of very serious limitations, read this.

    Bardi, Ugo (2011) Springer. “Limits to Growth Revisited” If you want a completely up to date and rigorously scientific review of the matter read this. Springer is one of the world’s best scientific publishing houses. Unfortunately, the conclusions are the same as in the more popular presentations.

  • BradK

    “If you were born in or after April 1985, if you are right now 27 years old or younger, you have never lived through a month that was colder than average. That’s beyond astonishing.”

    Is it really? If I read the data correctly, if one was born in or after 1945, if one was 30 years old or younger in 1975, one had never lived through a year that was warmer than the year in which they were born. Is that equally astonishing? Sure doesn’t seem like it. Also, if one is 17 years old (or thereabouts) one has never experienced a year that was warmer than the year in which they were born. Is this also a cause for astonishment?

    Bev, can you point to any single prominent personality or policy-maker who actually insists “that we can grow, at increasing rates, forever in a resource limited world”? Nobody actually believes this straw man.

    Btw, I accept that the earth seems to have been in a general warming trend and that humans are likely responsible for some (or even much) of that warming. But there seems to be little reason to be astonished or to panic or necessarily even for significant policy change as a result of this. Most of the things that are often proposed to “solve” the world’s climate change “problem” would seem to possibly cause as many problems as they would cure.

  • Bev Mitchell

    It’s not what anyone says, it’s how we act. Overall, our behaviour in the west (and now elsewhere), and seemingly our attitudes, lead to resource exploitation that will require far more of everything than what is available. In many ways, we are already over the limit. To not see severe limits to growth, when growth translates directly into overuse of non-renewable resources, is a truly sad blindness.

  • Bev Mitchell

    P.S. to all,

    For a brief discussion of food shortages, resource overexploitation, including mention of a strong link to global warming have a look at the video on this page.

  • BradK

    Bev, how we *act* in the West is that we are not “grow[ing], at increasing rates, forever in a resource limited world.” For example, in the West, population growth is pretty much zero or negative, right? And in the past there have often been claims that we are at or over the limit of necessary resources like food. And then someone figures out how to expand those resources. We produce more food in the West than we consume, right? Isn’t it equally sad and blind to assume that nothing will change and that we humans will never do anything differently from how they do it now? Claims like “resource exploitation” and “overuse of non-renewable resources” are highly subjective, are they not?

  • Bev Mitchell

    No, sadly, they are not speculative but measurable – take world wide fisheries as just one example. Yes, we are, thankfully, reducing the birth rate in the west. Our problem here is gross over-consumption not high birth rate. We have lots of cash, relatively speaking, and we should use more of it to support more studies on sustainable living, to educate, to share, to redress the sinful imbalance of wealth etc. On the other hand, high birth rates are a big problem in many parts of the world, for many reasons. This must be addressed in an equitable manner. “Be fruitful and multiply” sometimes seems to be the one commandment we really get ‘right’.

    If you have not done so, please read some of the material at #19. If you have already done so, what parts did you not understand?

  • BradK

    Bev, I said it was subjective, not speculative. This was in reference to the use of terms such as “exploit” and “overuse.” And (at least as far as how you appear to be using them) these terms certainly are subjective, as they are based on or influenced by personal feelings, tastes, or opinions. Exploitation (as one would assume you are using the term) of resources would mean that they are being unfairly used to some advantage. Who determines what is the fair use of resources? That is where the subjectivity comes into play. Likewise for the term “overuse,” who determines how much use is appropriate or too much and how do they determine that? Again, this is subjective.

    As far as the material you reference in #19, it is not that I don’t understand it but that I don’t accept your stated premise that “[t]here is an entire suite of problems stemming directly from our insistence that we can grow, at increasing rates, forever in a resource limited world.” That is a straw man. Nobody believes or insists or acts as if we can grow, at increasing rates forever in a resource limited world. None of the bullet points at that site, which you seem to see as some kind of neo-Malthusian inevitability, provides any evidence that they do.

  • Doug Allen

    “If you were born in or after April 1985, if you are right now 27 years old or younger, you have never lived through a month that was colder than average. That’s beyond astonishing.” After 300 hundred years of uneven global warming since the little ice age when instrumental temperature records began, it’s not astonishing that record high temperatures are much more common than record lows. It’s also entirely correct and accurate to say that 12 of the last 15 years have recorded the highest global temperatures on record AND that there hasn’t been any additional warming these past 15 years. Temperatures have flat-lined since since 1998 and those 20 years of significant warming from 1978-1998. Our 15 year old adolescents and younger have never experienced global warming. Now that, given all the hype, is astonishing.