Global Temperature Nonsense

February 13, 2015 Updated: March 14, 2016

Dear Editor,

The EPA is speaking nonsense when they talk about “global temperature.” It makes no more sense to calculate an average temperature for a whole planet than it does to calculate the average telephone numbers in a phone book. Temperature, like viscosity and density, and of course phone numbers, is not something that can be meaningfully averaged.

If enough accurate surface temperature measurements existed to ensure reasonable planetary coverage (they don’t), it is however theoretically possible to get some sort of temperature statistic (though interpreting its significance would be a challenge).

But what averaging rule would you use to handle the data from the roughly 6,000 temperature sensing station that are currently used? Mean, mode, median, root mean square, what? Science does not tell us. In fact, for some groups of close temperature measures, one method of calculating an average can lead to a determination of warming while another can lead to a conclusion of cooling.

Even if you could calculate some sort of meaningful global temperature statistic, the statistic would be unimportant. No one and nothing would experience it directly since we all live in regions, not the globe. There is no super-being straddling the planet feeling global averages.

The public has a right to ask why we are spending hundreds of billions of dollars trying to stop minute changes in phenomena that we don’t even know how to calculate, or if they even mean anything at all.


Tom Harris
Executive Director, International Climate Science Coalition (ICSC)
Ottawa, Canada

Note: ICSC is not right wing (its participants come from across the political spectrum), is not funded by “big oil,” and there are no lobbyists or “shills” for industry of any sort. Tom Harris has never worked as a lobbyist or PR rep for any company or sector.

Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.