United States Undergoing Decade-Long Cooling

Published July 6, 2014

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s most accurate, up-to-date temperature data confirm the United States has been cooling for at least the past decade. The NOAA temperature data are driving a stake through the heart of alarmists’ claim of accelerating global warming.

New Network Provides Accuracy
Responding to widespread criticism that its temperature station readings were corrupted by poor siting and suspect adjustments, NOAA established a network of 114 pristinely sited temperature stations spread out fairly uniformly throughout the United States. Because the network, known as the U.S. Climate Reference Network (USCRN), is so uniformly and pristinely situated, the temperature data require no adjustments to provide an accurate nationwide temperature record.

USCRN began compiling temperature data in January 2005. Now, nearly a decade later, NOAA has finally made the USCRN temperature readings available.

Cooling Since Network Established
According to the USCRN temperature readings, U.S. temperatures are not rising at all, at least not since the network became operational 10 years ago. Instead, the United States has cooled by approximately 0.4 degrees Celsius, which is more than half of the global warming that occurred during the twentieth century.

Lessons Learned
Although 10 years is hardly enough to establish a long-term trend, the cooling does present some interesting facts.

First, global warming is not so dramatic and uniform as alarmists have claimed. For example, prominent alarmist James Hansen said in 2010, “Global warming on decadal time scales is continuing without letup … effectively illustrat[ing] the monotonic and substantial warming that is occurring on decadal time scales.”

Second, for those who may point out U.S. temperatures are not global temperatures, the USCRN data are entirely consistent with—and indeed lend additional evidentiary credence to—the global warming stagnation of the past 17-plus years. Objective temperature data show there has been no global warming since late last century, and the USCRN data confirm this for the United States as well.

Third, the USCRN data debunk claims that rising U.S. temperatures caused wildfires, droughts, and other extreme weather events during the past year. It is difficult to claim global warming is causing recent U.S. droughts and wildfires when U.S. temperatures are a full 0.4 degrees Celsius colder than they were in 2005.

Even more importantly than the facts above, the USCRN provides the promise of reliable nationwide temperature data for years to come.

James M. Taylor ([email protected]) is managing editor of Environment & Climate News. This article first appeared at Forbes.com, and is reprinted with permission.