2010-08-16 16:09:40Basic rebuttal for 17: 1934 - hottest year on record
Jim Meador


1934 - hottest year on record

What the science says...

1934 was one of the hottest years in the US, not globally.

The year 1934 was a very hot year in the United States, ranking third behind 2006 and 1998. However, global warming¬†takes into account temperatures over the entire planet. The U.S. accounts for only 2% of the earthˇ's total land area. Despite the U.S. heat in 1934, the year was not so hot on the rest of the planet, and is¬†barely holding onto a¬†place in the¬†hottest 50 years in¬†the global rankings. (Today it ranks 47th.)

Climate change skeptics like to point to 1934 in the U.S. as proof that recent hot years are not unusual. However, this is another example of \"cherry-picking\" a single fact that supports a claim, while ignoring the rest of the data. Globally, the ten hottest years on record have all occurred since 1998, with 2007 as the hottest. Right now 2010 is on track to join the top ten, which will knock 2004 off of the list.

The fact that there were hot years in some parts of the world in the past is a weak argument against climate change. There will always be regional temperature variations as well as variations from year to year. These happened in the past, and they will continue. The problem with climate change is that on average, when looking at the entire world, the long term trend shows an unmistakable increase in global surface temperatures, in a way that is likely to dramatically alter the planet.

2010-08-16 17:33:34Small change
Graham Wayne
Hi Jim - nice clear explanation. My only comment is to suggest a small change here: "the long term surface temperature trend is moving unmistakably higher" - what about this - "the long term trend shows an unmistakable increase in global surface temperatures."
2010-08-17 15:31:58Ready to go


Amazing how this argument is such a distraction, over and over.


Nice job.

2010-08-17 15:45:34Thanks for the suggestion GP...
Jim Meador


I incorporated your suggestion, into the lead post.

2010-08-17 17:01:17Ready to rock
Graham Wayne
Thumbs up from me...
2010-08-17 21:06:52
Anne-Marie Blackburn
Anne-Marie Blackburn
Good, straight to the point - I like it.
2010-08-17 23:09:34Comment
Robert Way

Not to nitpick, I will give the thumbs up but the "and degrade the lives of our children and grandchildren." is a bit of an editorial in a sense. We all know the evidence exists but opening up another argument at the end of another one is not a good clincher. 
2010-08-18 13:13:06Agree with Robert Way
James Wight

I will give this the thumbs up as well, but I do agree with Robert about taking out the second half of the last sentence.
2010-08-18 15:12:50Just the facts, Ma'am...
Jim Meador


OK, I agree about editorlializing. Thanks for the feedback! 

2010-08-19 16:59:41Published
John Cook

This is a great rebuttal - and kudos that you worked out that it's actually the 47th hottest year on record (I'm trusting you that you worked that out correctly :-). I've updated the one-liner to "Globally, 1934 is the 47th hottest year on record". That says it all in just a few words.
2011-01-12 11:11:51


I was just reading this article and noticed this factoid:

"The U.S. accounts for only 2% of the earth's total land area."

As the 3rd/4th largest country, that figure seemed improbably small to me. And indeed, Wikipedia (getting its data from the CIA World Factbook) says that the U.S. accounts for 6.5% of the world's land area.

What I think you mean is this:

"The U.S.'s land area accounts for only 2% of the earth's total surface area."

And even that is generous, because it's actually 1.79%. Canada is 1.96%, so that rounding actually bumps the U.S. into second place! :-) Maybe we need a bit more precision.

2011-01-12 18:10:37
Glenn Tamblyn

K9 - you are a brave soul. Wanting to descend into US/Canada rivalry. Next you will start looking as Australia/NZ rivalry and the will be no end to it, NO END TO IT I TELL YOU...excuse me, I think i need to have a wee dram to settle my nerves.
2011-01-12 19:39:20
Rob Painting

Australia/NZ rivalry

What rivalry?. Didn't we crush you in every major sport last year? (Note to non Kiwis & Aussies - Cricket is not a major sport!).

2011-01-12 22:36:15Ok, I'll bite
John Cook

Rugby is only 1 sport, you realize.
2011-01-13 03:41:42


Haha! No descent intended! Just want to make sure we're as accurate as we can be. Anyway, although I'm in London, I'm actually an American. So I won't mention the Ashes either.

2011-01-13 07:47:48
Paul D


No comment about the Ashes here.

Don't have much to say, so thumbs up it is.

2011-01-13 14:10:50That's an inappropriate use of thumbs
John Cook

Thumbs are to be used solely for approving rebuttals or blog posts, not for approving of sporting results.

...unless it's Australia who wins the Ashes.

2011-01-15 06:20:40
Paul D


It was for the blog post.

Although in retrospect my incompetence with the written word could be misinterpreted.

2011-01-17 11:31:12

Looks like the live article hasn't been changed yet. Was this the right place to point out a mistake in an already-published article?
2011-01-17 11:37:31No, this is the right place
John Cook

I just made the change now - both the blog post and rebuttals. Thanks for the reminder :-)
2011-01-17 15:47:52


nice job!

is it possible to update the stats now that 2010 is shown to be tied with 2005:



2011-01-17 17:45:46Updating 1934 page
John Cook

There are probably a few rebuttals that could use an update now the 2010 data is in. I would suggest if anyone wants to write a blog post which would be an updated rebuttal, go ahead and write it and then we'll update the existing rebuttal with the latest data.
2011-01-22 10:22:41
Shirley Pulawski
I think it's well-written - clear and to the point. The only question I have is technical -  why do slashes appear before the apostrophes and quotation marks? Is it relict from cutting and pasting from a word processor, or some glitch with my browser (Google Chrome)? The slash isn't showing up in any of the replies where quotation marks are used.