Viral Tweet Misrepresents NOAA Report on Rising Global Temperature

Jan. 27, 2023

The warming trend in global temperature continued in 2022, which was the sixth-warmest year on record, according to a recent report from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. But a viral tweet — using just a small segment of a NOAA graph — wrongly claimed the agency had announced a “global cooling” trend.

CIMES Deputy Director Gabe Vecchi, an AOS faculty member, explains why presenting only the last eight years of climate data out of the context of the longer-term trend — and without explaining that timespan included, first, a warming period due to El Niño and then a cooling period due to La Niña — is misleading.

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