Why “second hottest month ever” is meaningless

The most common claim that the planet Earth is still warming is common phrases like “this month is the second hottest ever” and today I am here to tell you why this statistic and uttering it is not only mis-leading, but rather straight out lying.  Anyone who claims such a thing is being deceitful or perhaps ignorant.  This is because we are expected to assume that this means that the planet is currently warming AND that the reason this is happening is due to mankind’s emissions of CO2.  But this statistic does not answer either question as I will explain…and that anyone making such a claim is pointing out that the sky is blue and that the reason this is so is because of man.  There is no proof of any such claim and of course the logic is faulty because as I will explain, the truth is that you can tell nothing at all from this statistic.

Let’s look at the data to show what the statistic means. First, in the graph below (from: http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut3gl/plot/hadcrut3gl/trend ) we see a number of things.  The measurements of the temperatures were taken first in (roughly) 1900 when we were still coming out of the Little Ice Age.  Since that time, it is agreed by scientists that we have warmed.  The controversy of course is whether (since (roughly) 1900) the warming was natural or not.  Scientists truly have no clue on the truth.  The theory of global warming (AGW) as we are told tells us that CO2 is causing all of this warming, yet a good portion of this warming occurred before 1950 when CO2 concentrations supposedly started their influence.

trend

But let’s go back to the example of “second hottest month ever” as claimed.  The subtle lie here is that the Earth is warming, it is due to humanity and that this statistic is proof of such.  This is far from the truth because frankly the truth is this:

The planet warmed basically slowly from  1900 to (about) 1996.  The warming has since stopped happening, but we are not cooling either meaning that temperatures today are roughly the same as they were in 1996.  Knowing this, we would actually EXPECT that current temperatures are rather high and that “the second hottest month ever” is actually expected to occur.  Since we are still at the top point of temperatures over the last 120 years, we would expect warm records to be broken rather routinely and that any year out of the last 20 should theoretically be within the top 20 of years for temperatures.  So this also applies to individual months or even this decade.  Temperatures are actually EXPECTED to be in the top 20 and that anytime this happens is “duh man, who cares?”  So anyone repeating this is like the proverbial captain obvious stating a fact that means nothing.  Saying this month is in the top 20 of all months for temperatures is like stating that the sky is blue.  It tells us nothing about whether this planet is warming or not and it most definite does not tell us why we are currently warming or anything else useful.  So repeating this is just plain lying due to the fact that the subtle lie is that we are currently warming AND that it is due to man.  The lie being of course that you can determine all of that just from one record month which we would actually expect.

Of course, this is rather common sense.  If you think about it, we climbed the “temperature mountain” if you will since 1900 and are at the top of the mountain temperature wise today.  Because of this, we would expect the highest elevations to be near the top of the temperature mountain and thusly we find it like this.  Just like the Earth, you tend to find the highest elevations up in the mountains and the statistics confirm this.  The problem here of course is that people want to mislead other people into believing that the statistic “hottest month ever” or whatever means something.

If this statistic actually meant something to the argument of whether the planet is warming, perhaps it would be meaningful to repeat it all the time.  But as it is, repeating something like this is deceitful, and rather childish since the people repeating it have no clue that it means nothing.  There can be said something for being ignorant, but once this ignorance is pointed out, a rational person would realize the truth and should stop pointing it out.  This also means that the truth is easier to tell from the graph as I showed.  You can see the second hottest month up above in the chart.  It’s there at the very end as expected and just like anything else, this simple phrase tells us nothing at all about what is happening on our planet.

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2 responses to “Why “second hottest month ever” is meaningless

  1. I have often pointed this out. A record is one point in time. It shows no trend, no cause. Several records in a row may show a trend, but still not cause. Also, the previous record that was broken by the new one did not signal horrifying future events. Why does this one? Good write-up!

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