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Flat Warming vs. Joe Romm’s September 2017 Alarm

By Robert Bradley Jr. -- March 10, 2022

“September [2017] sets alarming global temperature record and negates a favorite denier talking point … It was also the most active month on record for North Atlantic hurricanes.”

“2017 is so unexpectedly warm it is freaking out climate scientists.”

– Joe Romm, ThinkProgress, October 5, 2017

Remember Joe Romm? Head of his own nonprofit Center for Energy and Climate Solutions (CECS) until it folded? Climate pundit at the Center for American Progress until Climate Progress folded?

Romm might be busy elsewhere on the Progressive Left, but his exaggerations remain for the record. (Thankfully, CAP has left his posts up for historical evaluation.)

Here is one. Going on five years ago, Romm highlighted a +0.54C (about one degree Fahrenheit) monthly reading above the 30-year average for September 2017. He all but went nuts, stating:

September 2017 smashed multiple climate records, alarming scientists and further negating a favorite talking point of climate science deniers…. It’s especially remarkable to see these records in the UAH satellite data….

“The signal of global warming has become so dominant that even the deniers’ own favorite cherry-picked datasets clearly now show it,” climatologist Michael Mann told ThinkProgress. For those who live in the world of real scientific analysis, rather than conservative talking points, satellite dataground-based weather stationssea-based buoys, and even weather balloons all reveal a steady long-term warming trend.

Mann added, “even the questionable UAH satellite record, which has historically underestimated the rate of global warming as a result of serial mathematical errors, can no longer obscure the anomalous warming of the planet.”

Well, welcome to today, four years and five months since Romm’s quick verdict. Now, the latest monthly reading (February 2022) is 0.00 C/F versus the 30-year average.

Global cooling? No. Global lukewarming, yes! And the ‘pause’ is nearing seven-and-a-half years.

The latest is reported here by Roy Spencer:


Romm’s alarmism during the busy 2017 season seems to have been premature too. Do not be surprised to find out that September 2017 was a peak, wherein the last four years have been more normal. Overall, the frequency and power of hurricanes of the last decades are somewhere between historically unremarkable and ambiguous.

So here is the alarmist playbook: whatever is extreme, that is the result of anthropogenic climate change (like Texas’s 2011 heatwave, trumpeted by Andrew Dessler of Texas A&M as the new normal.) What is normal or positive, that is despite climate change–and to be ignored.

It’s a PR game, folks….

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