In The News

Media Outlets Touted Monday And Tuesday As Hottest Days Ever Recorded … Since 1979

Multiple news outlets ran misleading headlines which variously touted Monday and Tuesday as the hottest days ever recorded on the planet, but failed to fully acknowledge in their headlines that the U.S. National Centers for Environmental Prediction (NCEP) have only recorded global daily average temperature data since 1979.

Headlines from Bloomberg News, CNN, The Washington Post and the Associated Press each played up the record-breaking global average temperatures on Monday, which reached 62.62 degrees Fahrenheit, and Tuesday, which reached 62.92 degrees Fahrenheit, before acknowledging that the NCEP have only recorded relevant data allowing for the calculation of daily global average temperature since 1979. Scientific estimates from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) suggest that the average temperature on Earth has been higher than recent levels for most of the past 250 million years.

Bloomberg News wrote a story titled “Earth Keeps Breaking Temperature Records Due To Global Warming” and used a sub-headline that reads “[o]n Monday, the global average temperature was the highest it’s ever been. It was even hotter on Tuesday.” The article posits that this week’s heat “underscor[es] the dangers of ever-increasing greenhouse gas emissions generated from burning fossil fuels” and only once mentions that the relevant NCEP data only goes back to 1979.

CNN wrote a Wednesday headline which read “The planet saw its hottest day on record this week. The record will be broken again and again.” The article’s body acknowledges that the NCEP data covers only 1979 to 2023.

The article pointed to human activity, the start of summer and the natural occurrence of the El Niño weather pattern as reasons for this week’s heat that surpassed the previous record from August 2016. El Niño is a natural weather pattern that entails weaker Pacific winds, which in turn results in unusually long periods of warmer waters in the Pacific and more arid and hot conditions across swaths of North America, according to NOAA’s website.

The Washington Post wrote a headline for a Wednesday piece that read “This July 4 was hot. Earth’s hottest day on record, in fact.” The piece asserted that “unless action is taken to combat carbon emissions, experts agree that temperatures are likely to get even hotter,” adding that some scientists estimate Tuesday’s heat to be the most severe in 125,000 years.

The AP published a story titled “Tuesday set an unofficial record for the hottest day on Earth. Wednesday may break it.” The story does not mention the fact that the NCEP data only spans back to 1979 until the 10th paragraph.

The Washington Post, the AP and Bloomberg all did not respond immediately to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s requests for comment.

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Nick Pope

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