Get AccuWeather alerts right in your browser!
Enable Notifications


Are Global Cold Records Overtaking Warm Records?

By Jesse Ferrell, Meteorologist/Community Director
3/21/2014, 5:08:07 AM

DISCLAIMER: These are my opinions only. As I'm sure the commenters will point out, I am not a climatologist; like our Global Warming blogger, I am a meteorologist. I also like to think that I understand basic math, the weather and especially weather instrumentation, which is used to measure Climate Change).


Before I show some more maps of the continued cold this year (which, as I previously blogged, included heavy snow and a record cold March in the mid-Atlantic, plus the iciest Great Lakes in 20 years), that has now expanded from winter into spring here in the United States, I wanted to share a couple of interesting statistics that I saw in NCDC's new "Global Records" website:

Last week, I pulled the numbers and made some pie charts. To be fair, I made the "Global" pie much larger than the U.S. (though not to scale).


Here are the takeaways:

- More daily record lows than highs in the U.S. so far in 2014, and the last 365 days. - More daily record lows than highs worldwide during 2014. - During last 365 days, globally, highs have a slight advantage -- 53% to 47% (a close race).

Running the analysis again today, I noticed something even more profound... when you look at monthly records (situations where the temperature had never been lower at the station during the calendar month),lows tied highs globally, and lows won (by a landslide) in the U.S.! Let me repeat that: There have been the same number of monthly record lows and highs broken across the globe in the last year!



This is interesting because, since the 1980s, record highs have far outnumbered record lows (at least daily records, on a decadal basis), something that Global Warming proponents point to as proof that temperatures are going up (putting aside, for the moment, that instrumentation can very easily read higher than the actual temperature but almost never can read colder).

Of course, all-time record highs still won worldwide (though I'd argue that could be due to poorer instrumentation or different station histores), and a year's worth of weather records is not climatologically significant. In concert, however, with the trends of the last 20 years, could this mean that the tide has turned? We probably won't know for another decade, but many Global Warming proponents have finally admitted that global warming has slowed down and are looking for culprits, including the ocean, even though the last 12 years shows no increase in warming for lands plus oceans, no matter how you measure it (see graphs below):


Global Temp Departures From Normal 2002-2014 (Data)


Global Temp Departures From Normal 2002-2014 (Smoothed)

Even if you go back 30 years, the last decade stands out like a sore thumb. You don't have to be a statistics expert to see that the rise in global warming has leveled off, while CO2, supposedly the driver of the warmth, has not:


Global Temps 1980-2014 (Smoothed)

LOOK: I'm not saying it won't resume; I'm not saying Global Warming isn't real (although I do believe it's exaggerated by bad sensor locations); I'm not saying we shouldn't take care of the Earth better. What I'm saying is that something happened there and we need to figure out what, because it wasn't predicted by the models (as shown by the graph below, which doesn't even include the last couple years). If we could figure out what happened, it would be awesome because we could change the climate models to give an accurate prediction of the future.


And now, on to those maps I promised. Here's a look at the temperature departures so far this month, along with the snow totals in the Northeast U.S.:



The views expressed are those of the author and not necessarily those of AccuWeather, Inc. or


Comments that don't add to the conversation may be automatically or manually removed by Facebook or AccuWeather. Profanity, personal attacks, and spam will not be tolerated.