The NOAA has published its State of the Climate Global Analysis for October 2012, and it's resulted in the usual pearl-clutching from the left.

The left-wing media has jumped on one statement in the report that "The last below-average month was February 1985." This has been accompanied in media reports with lists of celebrities born after 1985 who, purportedly, have never experienced a month of below-average temperatures. This is indicative of how the left likes to get its news: forget about the facts... how does this affect Channing Tatum?

It also contains this oft-shared image:


The report, while certainly dramatic at first glance, fails several common-sense tests. Here are just a few:

  • "Average" can mean many things. In this case, the report never states the time period for calculating the "average." Are the average temperatures across 50 years, 60 years, 70? We don't know. If they use a more meaningful period for calculating average temperatures, say ten years (the period of time for which many people remember particular weather patterns), then the chart gets a lot more blue. We can't know if the NOAA has deliberately picked a time period to inflate the values.
  • It is implied, but never stated, that the NOAA really is taking temperature tests in the middle of the oceans. It's more likely that they are doing some averaging of their own; doing some linear calculations based on temperature readings at coastal points on either side of each ocean, and then extrapolating the temperatures at the points between them. The flaw in their science is the fact that oceans are cooler than land -- so if this were a map of actual temperatures, the oceans would be blue... and the map wouldn't be nearly so dramatic.

Also, notice that the news isn't all "bad" -- per the chart, most of Alaska, parts of Africa, and parts of China and the USSR had colder than average temperatures. This shows that there's not really a global trend toward warmer temperatures -- some areas are warmer; some are colder.

And, if you read the report, you'll see actual data that belies the global warming alarmism:

The average monthly temperature across the United Kingdom was 1.3°C (2.3°F) below the 1981–2010 average, making this the coldest October since 2003. Regionally, Scotland had its seventh coolest October since records began in 1910 and coolest since 1993.

The left has its "scientists" and "economists" and "statisticians," while we have common sense. And common sense will win every time.

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