Monday, May 11, 2009

No record heat since 1974

"Are Record Temperatures Abnormal?" a blogger asks. The answer is no. Statistically, even with stable temperatures, one would expect to see a record high in at least 10 of the world's 1000 weather stations on any given day. This is because record-keeping hasn't been going on that long. If media outlets and global warming advocates want to find record temperatures, they can. But it doesn't mean much.

If one wanted to note the trends of such records, it would actually be an argument against global warming (albeit a weak one). There haven't been any continental record highs in recent decades. Antarctica reached a record high of 15C (59F) in 1974. Asia reached a high of 54 (129F) in 1942.

There have, however, been some continental record lows following 1942. Namely, the world record low temperature in Antarctica of -89C (-129F) in 1983, -66C (-87F) in North America in 1954, -22C (-9F) in Australia in 1994.

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