McClaughry: Hottest July ever recorded?

By John McClaughry

In Nature Conservancy magazine’s winter issue I read a boxed feature labelled “July 2021 was the Hottest Month Ever Recorded on Earth.” I dug online into the meaning of that statement for about an hour.

Wikimedia Commons/Public domain

There’s an awful lot of reconstruction, adjustment and averaging done by somebody to produce this “hottest ever” report. The data adjusters at NOAA went for the most frightening headline – Hottest July ever recorded! – and literally hundreds of news outlets trumpeted that statement.

What was being measured? When the world temperature record was set in July 1913 in Death Valley, California, somebody was there with a thermometer, and I accept that reading for that one day in that one spot. But now NOAA is talking about temperature anomalies from a selected base period. July is the dead of winter in the Southern Hemisphere, and the height of summer in the Northern. As I understand it, NOAA assembles land readings from thousands of weather stations, and from thousands of weather buoys scattered over the seventy percent surface of the planet that is water.

In the fine print at the NOAA web site we are told “interpolation must be made over large, data-sparse regions, like the Sahara Desert. … This data set consists of monthly average temperature anomalies on a 5° x 5° degree grid across land and ocean surfaces. These grid boxes are then averaged to provide an average global temperature anomaly.”

There’s an awful lot of reconstruction, adjustment and averaging done by somebody to produce this “hottest ever” report. The data adjusters at NOAA went for the most frightening headline — Hottest July ever recorded! — and literally hundreds of news outlets trumpeted that statement. None of them noted that July was a minuscule one-fiftieth of a degree C hotter than July 2016, and no margin of error was given.

As Holman Jenkins wrote in September in the Wall Street Journal: “Take the U.S. government’s claim that July was the hottest month on record. Unmentioned in any news report that I could find, the margin of error in this measurement was 10 times as large as the purported difference over the previously claimed hottest month of July 2016.”

John McClaughry is vice president of the Ethan Allen Institute. Reprinted with permission from the Ethan Allen Institute Blog.

Images courtesy of Wikimedia Commons/Takver and Wikimedia Commons/Public domain

22 thoughts on “McClaughry: Hottest July ever recorded?

  1. Trending, or static, whatever it may be all have to be taken into account at some point to know whether
    or not the 4th ice age ( the one we are currently in) will manifest and the results of same. Trends are developed from major weather events throughout a 100 year period, along with other blocks of 100 year periods, going back as far as documentation will allow.

    There are many useful and very interesting displays for study at U S Army Cold Regions Lab in Hanover NH, including ice borings taken several hundred years ago. Since COVID, I am not sure what the visiting protocols are, but it is a very interesting and informative piece of real estate right in our back yard.

  2. In the last decade of the last century global temperature reading devises were illuminated in many land areas where there was not population. This screwed results heavily toward blacktop/building areas. This caused global temps to rise by the data only. Your concerns are akin to how they measure sea levels. Instead of using known geologic stable structures to measure sea level we are using unstable man made land masses. We have stable rock formations where humans have painted the ocean level as markers for centuries. Areas where the the ocean meets NYC are a case in point. This land is not stable and formulas are used to counter this settling. Ripe for manipulation.

  3. Thanks for the fact checking Mr. McClaughry. There is no doubt that fear and exaggeration have been used in regards to the issue of our changing climate and this can lead us if we are not careful into actions that are not only counterproductive and down right foolish. The estabishment of a climate council, over the vetoe of Governor Scott, with the power to mandate actions to meet impossible goals is a prime example.

    At the same time, there is no doubt that climate change is real. My brother-in-law for some 30 years has supervised the loading and transport of scientific instruments and supplies from the New York Air Naional Guard base to stations in Greenland and Antarctica. The dramatic changes at the poles of our planet he has seen and talked about, have been echoed by another friend, whose career work was as a scientist with the Army Corps of Engineers Cold Regions Labaratory in Hanover, and are irrefutable.

    Finally, the best description of climate change I have heard is “the weather on steriods”. How many record floods, hurricanes, and other climate enhanced events to do we need to connect the dots? Another friend who has moved from our area to British Columbia, but still is part of our church prayer group via zoom, described yet another record event. This time, recent torrential rains which had for a time literally cut off that provience from the rest of Canada.

    The challenge is how best to deal with the changes that are occuring. Stand alone actions in Vermont, that will make little difference but cause a great deal of harm to our state, is the wrong way to go. We can and must do better. Facts not fear are what is needed. This commentary is a step in the right direction.

    • John: What you have not mentioned here is key to my points.
      That is, historical weather events between the 100 yr mark, such as the 1927 flood that was a statewide game changer for weather events, and some of the major hurricanes in this state such as 1938, 1953, the Norricane of 2007, the flood of 1973 in Southern Vermont, the very harsh snow storms and prolonged cold spells of the 30’s and 40’s, with some tapering off in the 50’s. Climate change is not a new phenonoma. Even people in VT Government refuse to look at the historical facts in wildlife population change. Example: Wild Turkeys once populated VT quite profusely, but petered out around the turn of 19th-20th century. Not all because of deforestation, but because the snow depths and cold prevented turkeys from getting their food supply. My Dad was a hunter back in the early 20th century days, and he told me this when I was a kid. He lived near the Canadian Border, which has a different brand of winter than Southern VT even. It pays to study the facts; some of these facts mentioned here, I lived and remember, which today are not preferably discussed by the warriors.

    • John Freitag sums up Vermont’s climate solution strategy near perfectly when he writes in his last paragraph:

      “The challenge is how best to deal with the changes that are occuring. Stand alone actions in Vermont, that will make little difference but cause a great deal of harm to our state, is the wrong way to go. We can and must do better. Facts not fear are what is needed. This commentary is a step in the right direction.”

      These thoughts are not John’s alone…….They are shared by many to include those in the Vermont Legislature who passed the Global Warming Solution Act……Despite knowing that Vermont could have little to no impact on mitigating climate change, the Legislature charged ahead willing to spent billions just to show they were doing something, doing anything……..A sure strategy for failure, pain and wasted scarce economic resources.

      • Peter,
        We must also not lose sight, as has been pointed out in other commentaries, of how the climate council’s decisions are being driven by those with a vested interest in the outcomes and their own financial gain irregardless of the effects on the rest of Vermont and Vermonters.

        • John……Again, your thought: “Driven by those with a vested interest……and own financial gain….” is right on target in understanding what moved climate solution through the Legislature.

          If the analysis is taken another step, one cannot ignore the slim capacity of those of the legislature to effectively deal with issues as complex as climate change especially when confronted with the immense pressure exerted by the vested interest groups.

          Its all about the money!

          • So Peter, the question becomes what is the best strategy for changing the dynamics in the legislature which now pretty much has a veto proof Democratic/Progressive majority?

            My own thoughts are that it might be best to focus on the House wher only a net gain of five seats would totally change the dynamics of what was proposed and passed. ( Of course this assumes the continuation of a Republican governor and, you can be assured there will be every effort to unseat Scott should he choose to run again).

            What might be good issues for candidates to run on? Practically speaking, the Climate Council should be on the top of the list. The framing would best be not questioning climate change itself, but the total impracticality and damage to Vermont and Vermonters this futile attempt at stand alone actions will cause.

          • John…..I will agree with you for a 3rd time today…… A need to change the legislature……Below is a message sent to GOP Chairman Paul Dame other day:

            The Democrats and Progressives have messed fired on TCI, bread and butter issues and just about everything. This is an opportunity for new Vermont GOP Chairman Paul Dame to put the “Lets go Brandon” slogan aside and get to work building a 2022 roster of Republican legislative candidates to capitalize on the mess (opportunity) that the Dems and Progs have made.

            “The Virginia, New Jersey, Minneapolis and other state election results indicate that the voters…..Republicans, Independents and moderate Democrats have had enough of the non-sensical and divisiveness peddled from the left…….It’s time to build a team of common sense Republicans to capitalize on the coming 2022 opportunity.

      • Anyone who can agree with the TNR skunk @ every conservative party and prolific purveyor of honey-coated horses**t is a card carrying Rino, a fellow traveler and hence one and the same – see my sad face. Get a room guys get a room lol 😀

    • Funny. I don’t see any references to the words ‘fear’ or ‘exaggeration’ or ‘weather on steroids” in Mr. McClaughry’s missive.

      Please stop making stuff up, John. Your habitual, maladaptive, and compulsive habit of using a discussion that cites facts, for the most part, to interject a purely emotional and misleading response is becoming our new nuisance.

      • The title of Mr. McClaughry’s commentary “Hotest Jutly Ever Recorded” speaks to the exaggeration and fear used by some climate change activists to push their agenda. Unless I have it wrong, the exaggeration and misstatement of facts seems the central point of the whole commentary.

        • The fact is that a story headline was “Hottest July Ever Recorded”. McClaughry said nothing about fear, exaggeration, or steroids – your words. He notes that there are dubious facts in support of the claim. His concern is all about the facts of the matter – nothing about motive.

          You, on the other hand, gravitate immediately to making the discussion one of fear and exaggeration, and use terms like ‘weather on steroids’. Anything to take the emphasis away from the facts of the matter. This is your typical modus operandi.

          Hats off to Peter Y. for cleverly circumventing your deflections further while exposing yet another of your false dichotomies.

          “The framing would best be not questioning climate change itself, but the total impracticality and damage to Vermont and Vermonters this futile attempt at stand alone actions will cause.”

          Really? Try as you might to undermine McClaughry’s questioning of the climate change data, standing alone is only futile when those who do so ignore the facts.

          • Jay….. Help me understand your concern with John Freitag’s comments and my “cleverly circumventing John F’s deflections”.

            To start, I totally agree with John McClaughry’s assessment of the Nature Conservancy article…….While John Mc doesn’t use the words fear, exaggeration, or steroids, it is not unfair to assume and to say that climate advocates use these terms or tactics on a regular basis to sell climate mitigation actions.

            Remember AOC telling us a couple of years ago we have 12 years left to fix the problem or the Vermont high school kids telling us they’re afraid they’re going to die from climate change……Fear is a key component of the climate activist’s strategy.

            I agree with John Freitag’s comments as follows:

            1.“The challenge is how best to deal with the changes that are occuring. Stand alone actions in Vermont, that will make little difference but cause a great deal of harm to our state, is the wrong way to go.

            2.”the climate council’s decisions are being driven by those with a vested interest in the outcomes and their own financial gain irregardless of the effects on the rest of Vermont and Vermonters.

            3. “A need to change the legislature”

            How is agreeing on these points circumventing anything?…..I have long agreed on these points, well before John F stated them.

            I think both John Mc & John F are correct in their basic thinking I have no problem sayings so…..So where did I go wrong?

          • One lie plus one lie = two lies lol. You win this one Jay hands down keep aiding and abetting the good fight sir 😀

  4. That pesky IPCC report ( upon which the SDGs for the UN Sustainability Agenda 2030 is built, names humans as the biggest threat to global warming.
    The UN Sustainability Agenda 2030 interpreted that as “get rid of the humans”.
    Not ‘fix their addictions and behavior’ – but kill’em off.
    This is was known and noted in 2014 when this report was released, and the connections were made then: reduce the human population.
    And, all of this is built upon a computer model of ‘if this is true, then this must be true’.
    The original premise of ‘humans are the danger’ was written into the code, and that is what we are living now: the part where they get rid of the humans.

  5. Even if that statement were true, it means little, since the recording of temperature worldwide hasn’t been happening all that long!
    Fake weather and climate reporting is info-terrorism.
    It seems so scientific-ish, who could question its veracity?
    Surely scientists are super-moral people, since they deny God, so they wouldn’t lie, would they?
    Our favorite weatherman would not lie!
    Well, for a 6-figure salary, nice Mercedes and all the trappings…
    They know nothing about solar radiation management. What’s that?
    Roger Hill, what did he say about superstorm Sandy? Its track predicted to “hook inland” right around Sandy Hook…this shortly before the(redacted)
    Science and Media lost track of the line between reality and parody some time ago!
    Saturday Night Live, National Lampoon…the models for “serious” media today.
    With the right drugs, it works just fine.

    • The only accurate, unadjusted, reliable data are FORTY TWO YEARS of satellite temperature measurements.

      All the rest is adjusted data, interpolated data, or mere guesswork.

      Why is that? Very simple.

      To have an accurate WORLD TEMPERATURE ANYWHERE, there would have to be temperature sensors, one per 5 or 10 square miles, and all these sensors would have to be in service, and they would have to read accurately.

      There exists no such worldwide network.
      Hence, so-called scientists have to “wing it”
      BTW, This would never be allowed in any scientific laboratory; grounds for dismissal!!

      Some scientists do their winging differently from others, which results in about 70 squiggly graphs.

      ALL THESE GRAPHS show higher temperatures than the satellite data, which ARE the only worldwide data, based on accurate measurements.

      • Willem – here – this is what they use.
        I had an email exchange with one of the owners of the site a few years back on just how they collected the data for these maps, which you can read in real time.
        I was told that a collaboration of gov’t entities, private corporations and militaries around the world reading millions of data points from sensors, buoys, satellites, weatherstations etc – collects this data and the computer graphics make it readable.
        This is a fascinating map to learn to read in all its components because, more than the vested interests spinning the global warming narrative, it becomes clear that something isn’t right in our heavens…and the ones doing the damage are not us.

        This is a really important map to be able to read as it tells the whole story on ‘global warming’ and ‘climate change’.

      • Excerpt from:


        We all agree there has been global warming. The issue is how much.

        The global warming is NOT uniform over the entire surface of the earth; some areas have warmed more than others

        The ACCURATE satellite data regarding global warming, from 1979 onwards, is the ONLY OBJECTIVE UNALTERED data.

        All the rest, from 1850 and onward, is subjective malarkey, based on dubious temperature date and interpolated estimates, made up by various “climate experts”, mindful of their social standing, job security, getting future study grants, etc.

        I wonder, if there is a society of world temperature predictors, that holds Zoom meetings to coordinate their scribbly lines.

        Large, urban-sprawl-city complexes, and their Obama/Biden-world-mix of denizens, are responsible for most of global warming, due their HUGE, pollution-induced, “micro climates”, such as from Portland, Maine to well south of Washington DC, and from north of San Francisco to south of San Diego. Nature has been totally destroyed in these MEGA-COMPLEXES. Those complexes have many surface-temperature sensing stations that read high.

        Those surface temperatures, which read higher and higher values, due to changing/increasing urban development, are SUBJECTIVELY ADJUSTED BY THE BIASED “97% OF CLIMATE SCIENTISTS” to be “well within the model range” of about 70 computer-generated graphs.

        “97% of Climate Scientists” invent all sorts of reasons for why the graph of ACCURATE, UNALTERED, OBJECTIVE satellite data are invalid and should be ignored.
        They would be out of a job, if the satellite data were not ignored.

        They claim their, more or less, SUBJECTIVE computer graphs should not be ignored, because their graphs are based on “establishment science”. Their graphs are used as a tool to subjugate/scare-monger people, by the UN and associated entities.

        All the newfangled RE systems should be located within those MEGA-SPRAWLS, to achieve the RE mantra “Electricity generation close to the user”. What is not to love?

        With no fossil fuels, we would all be wearing jute-based clothing, and faux-leather, hand-sewn moccasins, except for the elites, who would celebrate COPs forever while enjoying 5-star hotels, yachts and private jets.

        The Dem/Prog ruling elite doesn’t want to SEE, or HEAR, the results of their society-destroying policies, designed to diversify/colorize the American masses and enrich their wealthy cronies!

        The obsequiously servile classes, such as the Media, think tanks and academia, are shilling for those policies, and get rewarded accordingly.

        The real Americans, aka, “rebellious despicables”, in rural areas are forced to live among the wind turbines and solar systems

        The 850-ft-tall offshore, 12 MW wind turbines are placed at least 30 miles offshore.
        You would not expect jet-setters, such as Barack Obama or Bill Gates to look at them through their pricey-coastal-mansion windows, do you?

        Here is my latest example of prepping for the “End of our World”, as we will fondly remember it.


        The real problem is gross over-population of the world.
        More and more opportunity seekers will come to more promising areas, such as the EU and US

        In 1800, there were 1 billion people.

        In my opinion, and in the likely opinion of people at that time, that was more than enough.
        Those people had no idea about the oncoming fossil fuel consumption and resulting population explosion.

        In 2050, there likely will be 9.5 billion; that is insane, regarding other flora and fauna

        No one is mentioning it.
        Not a word about it at Glasgow COP26
        About 400 private planes brought the privileged.

        Hypocrisy galore

        BTW, 42 years of satellite data has been the ONLY accurate, unaltered and objective data out there.
        Why are all the “scribblers” ignoring that data, and finding all sorts of reasons why THEIR “adjusted/reading-high” data is so much more trustworthy?

        As an engineer and scientist, I find THAT disturbing.

  6. If all these climate crusaders really believe this, then they should look a the major contributor’s
    countries like China, Russia, India just to name a few, as they really don’t give an Shxt about
    any type of climate issue, but Vermont’s Climate Crusaders are saving the world, what a joke !!

    I assume when I’m shoveling two feet of snow in a few months and it’s ten below, they’ll be
    reporting on this climate phenomenon……Nah.

  7. AGW/Catastrophic Global Warming is a religion. It’s dogmatic. The Truth is what they say it is, all Non-believers are heretics living in the darkness of misinformation. Refusal to debate the issues point by point, one one one is characteristic of cult religions – “because that would confuse people.” Likewise alarums of impending Armageddon, fall of the Rainbow Bridge, etc. We were confronted with an impending cataclysmic ice age in the mid seventies, too. The Warming brigade may well be right: It got warmer than now between previous ice ages. We’re still warming up from the last one – we just aren’t able to prevent that.

Comments are closed.