Twisting words.

According to the UN World Mereorological Organization, 2006 is the "sixth warmest year since records began 150 years ago". What they don’t mention is that except for a deviation in 2005, each year is actually colder than the previous one.

Lubos Motl notes that there actually seems to be a cooling trend:

According to the most recent data from the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), the year 2006 is set to be

  • colder than 2005
  • colder than 2004
  • colder than 2003
  • colder than 2002
  • … and, most obviously, …
  • colder than 1998,

despite the new El Nino that has been warming the Earth again for a couple of months at the end of 2006 and that will probably continue in 2007. Yes, right now it seems that 2006 will become the coldest year among the most recent five years, and it will belong to the colder half of the years in the last decade.

The phrase "sixth warmest year" creates an impression. But it doesn’t tell the whole story. Wouldn’t more information be useful in making educated decisions?

Tip of the hat to small dead animals.

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