Fox News is suggesting that scientists were “wrong” about global warming by using misleading graphics to obscure the long-term global temperature rise.
On his Fox News show, Neil Cavuto suggested that the recent cold weather invalidates concerns about global warming, asking weather forecaster and climate misinformer Joe Bastardi, “How did we get this so wrong?” Cavuto aired a graphic which at first glance appears to show that temperatures are dramatically cooler now than they were last March. But the graphic compares apples to oranges: the map on the left shows whether temperatures were above or below average for the month of March, while the map on the right shows absolute minimum temperatures for last Wednesday, March 20.
If the temperature scale for the map on the right were applied to the map on the left, it would mean that temperatures were over 100 degrees Fahrenheit in the upper Midwest in March 2012.
A more honest comparison would look at the same day in March 2012, showing a far less stark contrast:
But even this comparison would be flawed, as daily and regional temperature fluctuations are expected, and do not contradict the observed long-term, global temperature trends.
Once again cherry-picking data to fit its narrative, Fox News did not mention that February was the ninth warmest on record globally, that 2012 was the warmest year on record in the U.S., or that each of the 12 years since the turn of the century have ranked among the 14 warmest on record. The following chart from Skeptical Science illustrates the clear long-term warming trend, with significant year-to-year variety, and how it has been distorted by climate misinformers: