The 2011 Texas drought was exacerbated by the highest temperatures since 1895 during June, July and August. Several prominent climate scientists have blamed these record highs on global warming. These claims are puzzling because, in spite of the 2011 record highs, Texas records going back more than a century show slightly more cooling than warming. So I visited the National Climatic Data Center website to review Texas temperature records. The NCDC provides monthly temperature records for 10 Texas regions going back to 1895.
It also provides the average temperature for the entire state. (Contiguous U.S.Temperature March 1895-2012
I retrieved all 12 months of data for each year since 1895 and plotted the average annual temperatures on a chart along with their trend. As shown in the chart, the average temperature of Texas barely changed between 1895 and 2011. The total warming during those 116 years was a statistically insignificant 0.046 degree Fahrenheit. If the record highs of 2011 are omitted, Texas cooled 0.055 degree from 1895 to 2010....
Forrest Mims III, an expert reviewer for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, was named one of the 50 Best Brains in Science by Discover Magazine. His science is featured at www.forrestmims.org. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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National Climatic Data Center records of the temperatures across Texas show no significant trend (straight line) from January 1895 to December 2011. Photo: Forrest M. Mims III, For The Express-News / SA