Skip to content

Global Temperature Drops By 0.4°C In Three Years

November 30, 2018

By Paul Homewood



From David Whitehouse:



In a press release the World Meteorological Organisation said,

The long-term warming trend has continued in 2018, with the average global temperature set to be the fourth highest on record. The 20 warmest years on record have been in the past 22 years, with the top four in the past four years.’

The main message was echoed by others, such as the BBC.

Climate change: Last four years are ‘world’s hottest’

Likewise the Guardian:

Past four years hottest on record, data shows

It all goes to show how temperature data can be misrepresented if you don’t show the temperature data itself.

Fig 1 is the HadCRUT4 monthly global temperature from the UK Met Office.

As you can see a graph tells a very different story. The past decade has a climate change contribution but what elevates the past four years above the previous ones is an El Nino event, the strongest one on record. As we have said many time before an El Nino is not a climatic phenomenon, it is weather. What’s more, after its peak in 2016 the global temperature has fallen by around 0.4° C. The past four years being the warmest on record is true, but it has been primarily due to the 2015/16  super El Nino.

Fig 2 shows the same data with error bars from which it can be seen that 2018 is statistically equivalent to some years before the El Nino event.

The WMO statement is grossly misleading. It mixes climate with weather. For example in its ‘Highlights of the provisional statement on the state of the climate,’ it states;

‘Temperatures: 2018 started with a weak La Niña event, which continued until March. By October, however, sea-surface temperatures in the eastern Tropical Pacific were showing signs of a return to El Niño conditions, although the atmosphere as yet shows little response. If El Niño develops, 2019 is likely to be warmer than 2018.’

If 2019 develops an El Nino and is warmer than 2018 then this has nothing to do with the ‘State of the Climate,’ but everything to do with annual weather variations.

It is sad to see the WMO descend into ‘Fake News’ territory, but sadder still to see science reporters regurgitating it without any form of analysis or critical thinking. A decade ago most financial journalists did the same. Thankfully many are much better now and they would never take an alarmist report from the Bank of England, for example, at face value without digging into the figures.


I wholeheartedly agree with David’s comments, in particular the need to show graphs.

I am sometimes accused of cherry picking or coming to different conclusions to others. But what I always try to do is actually show the graph, so readers can form their own opinions.

While we are on the topic, I will put up that Woodfortrees graph, which I posted yesterday. According to Woodfortrees, the warming trend since 1950 has been 0.012C/yr, or 1.2C/C.

Yet the BBC report, referred to by Dr Whitehouse, actually states that:

If the trend continues, the WMO says temperatures may rise by 3-5C by 2100.

This claim clearly is not compatible with the historical data. So why does Matt McGrath, who wrote the BBC report, simply regurgitate the WMO claims instead of challenging them?


  1. Roy Hartwell permalink
    November 30, 2018 7:03 pm

    Am I the only one to find it ironic that in the same news programme the BBC can trumpet (yet again !) global warming propaganda and also the news that 50 000 additional deaths occurred last winter due to the cold weather !!

    • Mack permalink
      November 30, 2018 10:49 pm

      Ah yes, but they don’t do joined up thinking. As far as the BBC is concerned, 50,000 excess winter deaths isn’t really climate related, it’s down to Tory austerity and NHS underfunding and a bit of winter weather. If there were 50,000 excess summer deaths then that, of course, would be climate related. Hot=climate; cold=weather. Simples!

  2. Patsy Lacey permalink
    November 30, 2018 7:06 pm

    Do they not get round that by renaming it “climate change”?

  3. Jack Broughton permalink
    November 30, 2018 7:19 pm

    It is an inevitability that more hot days occur in recent history, as the world temperature is rising slowly (about 1 deg K/ Century) after the LIA: so the peaks will also rise. The value of the slope is debatable and whether it is simply linear also, it is physically more likely to be exponential, but if the average is rising there will be more record-high days. What is patently obvious is that the slow rise has no relationship to CO2: only over the 1990s did the two correlate well (spurious correlations again).

  4. Athelstan permalink
    November 30, 2018 7:38 pm

    lets give it some real perspective:

  5. November 30, 2018 8:51 pm

    Reblogged this on Climatism and commented:
    Mother Nature, yet again, doing her best to bury the failed global warming theory. Mainstream media silent, of course…

  6. Jeff permalink
    November 30, 2018 10:46 pm

    In the US they have had the USCRN network since 2006, which I trust.

    It shows 2018 to date as cooler than 2012 and 2016 and about the same as 2006 and 2007.

    USCRN – “Three independent measurements of temperature and precipitation are made at each station, insuring continuity of record and maintenance of well-calibrated and highly accurate observations. The stations are placed in pristine environments expected to be free of development for many decades. Stations are monitored and maintained to high standards and are calibrated on an annual basis.”

    • Athelstan permalink
      November 30, 2018 11:36 pm

      “The stations are placed in pristine environments expected to be free of development for many decades. Stations are monitored and maintained to high standards and are calibrated on an annual basis.”

      All fo that promises accurate and reliable data sets, would that we had a network designed to similar standard, away from UHI effects and here in the UK.

  7. Gamecock permalink
    December 2, 2018 12:55 am

    I decide what I’m going to wear based on the weather HERE. A mathematically derived* ‘global temperature’ is of no value to me whatsoever. Whether it is up or down doesn’t change a thing. I’m not going to wear a jacket because ‘Global Temperature Drops By 0.4°C In Three Years.’

    *It’s actually HPFMWM, Hocus Pocus Magic, With Mirrors.

  8. matthew dalby permalink
    December 3, 2018 9:32 pm

    According to the UAH data set the average temperature so far this year is 0.22 degrees (including data for November). Assuming there isn’t an increase of aprox. 0.3 degrees in December then 2018 will be 6th warmest, cooler than 1998 and 2010. Bet this won’t get reported by the BBC, Guardian etc.

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: