Headlines over the weekend again proclaimed “sizzling” world heat --- but never deeply explaining exactly how that conclusion is reached, notes Grumpy Editor.
The latest report warns, “Earth in February sizzled to its second hottest temperature on record, behind only last year” with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) calculating last month averaged 55.66 degrees or 1.76 degrees warmer than the 20th century average.
The New York Times on Jan. 18 played up Earth “reached its highest temperature on record in 2016, trouncing a record set only a year earlier, which beat one set in 2014. It is the first time in the modern era of global warming data that temperatures have blown past the previous record three years in a row.”
In explaining how the readings are reached, The Times should be commended for explaining, "In addition to the surface measurements, satellites are used to measure the temperature of the atmosphere within a few miles of the surface.”
Amplifying that --- and seldom included in "global warming" stories --- Grumpy Editor points out main methods to measure air temperature today are via land-based thermometers, radiosondes (instruments on weather balloons) and satellites with microwave emissions. Other readings are compiled from ships and buoys. On land, digital thermometers, periodically requiring recalibration, have replaced the long-used and accurate mercury bulb thermometers.
In tallying temperatures, however, in most cities readings can vary by several degrees. In Las Vegas, for example, while the official reading may show 104 degrees, it can be 98 in other sections.
NOAA, in its global analysis this month regarding temperatures, explains it this way:
“In the atmosphere, 500-millibar height pressure anomalies correlate well with temperatures at the Earth's surface. The average position of the upper-level ridges of high pressure and troughs of low pressure --- depicted by positive and negative 500-millibar height anomalies on the February 2017 and December-February 2017 maps --- is generally reflected by areas of positive and negative temperature anomalies at the surface, respectively.”
Earth’s radius, the distance from the planet’s center to its surface, is about 3,959 miles. Circumference of the Earth at the equator is 24,901.55 miles. Earth has mountains, jungles, oceans, deserts, wastelands, lakes, rivers and concrete-laced cities.
That’s a vast area to compile accurate temperature readings.
IN CASE YOUR FAVORITE NEWS OUTLETS MISSED THESE...
Happy first day of spring!...Whew! After weeks of media discussions and predictions on when it is going to happen, the Federal Reserve finally raised its benchmark lending rate a quarter point and projected two more increases later this year as inflation approaches its target. Look for more predictions on when the second increase is expected…Colorful “live” chatter: CNN’s Fareed Zakaria resorted to saying bullsh---ing four times on Don Lemon’s CNN Tonight program Friday evening in referring to President Donald Trump,..Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich on Fox News suggested Trump should form a “nonsense patrol” to cope with nonsensical charges…Veteran broadcast journalist Willow Bay has been named dean of the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism, effective July 1…In illustrating a story on current environment, the Las Vegas Sun ran an almost half-page photo of smog-cloaked Los Angeles using a vintage July 15, 1978 Associated Press photo...American Media, publisher of National Enquirer and Star, has agreed to buy Us Weekly, founded in 1977, from Wenner Media which has Rolling Stone and Men’s Journal in its stable.
Fortune magazine’s 20th annual list of the 100 Best Companies to Work For, puts Google in the No. 1 spot for the sixth year in a row.
In second place is Wegmans Food Markets, which Fortune says has managed to keep a family feel among its almost 47,000 employees.