L. A. Times climate alarmist story on recent Los Angeles peak summer temperatures

Guest essay by Larry Hamlin

The L. A. Times climate alarmist article falsely claiming that recent Los Angeles monthly measured temperatures demonstrate that “climate change” can be observed in “your neighborhood” is totally absurd.


The Times offers its “evidence” by showing a graph portraying that monthly average temperatures are higher in 2017 and 2018 than “average historical” monthly temperatures.


NOAA monthly maximum temperature data for the U.S., California and Los Angeles covering the period from 1895 to 2018 for the nation and California and from 1945 to 2018 for Los Angeles documents that monthly maximum temperatures for June occurred decades ago in all cases as noted in the NOAA temperature measurement time series data and graphs shown below which can be easily obtained from their website.

For the Contiguous U.S. NOAA monthly maximum temperature data for the month of June are:


The peak June monthly U.S. maximum temperatures occurred in 1933 with 1988 second highest while 7 of the top 10 temperature years were from 30 to more than 100 years ago.

For the state of California NOAA monthly maximum temperature data for June are:


For California the maximum monthly temperature for the month of June occurred in 1918 while 7 of the top 10 highest monthly June temperatures occurred between 30 to 100 years ago.

For the city of Los Angeles NOAA maximum monthly temperature data for June are:


The NOAA peak maximum monthly temperature for the month of June in Los Angeles is in 1981 with 9 of the top 10 years occurring before the year 2000.

The L. A. Times is simply stuck in an irrational climate alarmism propaganda rut and its many politically driven alarmist articles are prime examples of the distortion, deception and dishonesty of its scientifically unsupported climate fear campaign.

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Ken Irwin
July 24, 2018 12:15 am

What a shocker coming from an organisation whose stated policy is “not to publish anything they know to be untrue” and use this to justify not publishing anything that contradicts the global warming / climate change hoax (not even letters to the Editor).
But they do have a horoscope section ?

Reply to  Ken Irwin
July 24, 2018 12:38 am

It’s an editorial algorithm. They don’t have proper editors these days. Too expensive.

Reply to  Alasdair
July 24, 2018 6:38 am

Now they are modeling editors?

Phillip Bratby
July 24, 2018 12:53 am

We get the same type of fake news (climate change propaganda) in the UK. See https://notalotofpeopleknowthat.wordpress.com/2018/07/22/bbcs-fake-heat-record-claims/#comments

As we all know, it’s just weather, which is always changing.

Reply to  Phillip Bratby
July 24, 2018 11:57 am

We all remember the Beast from the East. Because it was about four months ago.

Except for the BBC. They can’t admit that the year isn’t all hot.

But most people note that the weather has been unusually stable. Which is the opposite of the chaos that the BBC predicted.

chris riley
July 24, 2018 1:15 am

I think that this is a con that is about played out. I don’t hear anyone talking about “Global Warming” anymore. I suspect they have moved over to getting rid of Trump and importing as many low skilled people into the country as possible.

The goal has not changed , only the vehicle used to reach the dystopia.

July 24, 2018 1:40 am

It has also been claimed that LA set all-time records in the hetawave earlier this month.

But if we look at nearby rural USHCN sites, we get a totally different story:


At Fairmont, for instance, just 110km from LA, the temperature peaked at 106F this month, a full 5F less than the record. Indeed there are 29 years there when the temperature has equalled or exceeded 106F

TC in the OC
Reply to  Paul Homewood
July 24, 2018 7:48 am


As much as I dislike the LA Times and am not defending their claim you have to understand that the weather station you site is not relevant to the LA Times claim.
The site you show is on the other side of the Transverse Ranges from Los Angeles in an area locally referred to as the High Desert (around 3,000 ft above sea level). This area has a very different climate than the LA Basin and is not influenced by the Santa Ana winds, which caused the LA temperature spike that was claimed to be a record. These winds are extremely dry down slope winds (katabatic winds) that will heat the basin more than the surrounding high desert and sometimes hotter than the low desert (Palm Springs). So yes the station you referred would not show the spike in temperature that was claimed by the LA Times and yet it doesn’t invalidated the claim of highest temp. To do that you would need to show a pristine station inside the basin and I believe Anthony has shown most if not all of them to be very poorly sited.


Bloke down the pub
July 24, 2018 2:01 am

The more hysterical the alarmist claims get, the more they’ll be looked at disdainfully by the general population when shown to be a complete crock.

Reply to  Bloke down the pub
July 24, 2018 9:19 am

You mean like the public is reacting to the Trump RESISTers?

July 24, 2018 2:29 am

The historical average line in the first figure (the LA Times figure) is utterly meaningless to compare to a single year values without the sd error envelope (or 1sigma or 95%).
Junk science.

Patrick B
Reply to  Joel O’Bryan
July 24, 2018 7:16 am

Yep, a valid error analysis is needed on top of accurate data over all natural climate cycles. But don’t expect a newspaper reporter or editor to understand even basic scientific measurement procedures and statistical analysis.

July 24, 2018 3:24 am

I noticed that the Drudge Report always reports the Heat Index F which is not the actual temperature in the shade, but the “feels like” temperature. I hate that. I would rather know the actual temperature and the actually humidity.

Drudge does the same thing in the winter when there is a “cold spell”, they publish the “feels like” wind chill, rather than the actual weather temperature. and the wind speeds (with direction). I hate that too. I used to run in the cold +or-10 F degree weather and if I was going against the wind, I would leave my gloves on, but coming back with the wind I would take my gloves off cause I was hot and sweating…maybe my wool hat and other stuff too…true story. Just sayin.

Reply to  J Philip Peterson
July 24, 2018 3:48 am

Eschew Dredge click-bait. There are any number of lede accumulators now, each with a political bent so that one may find pleasing #FakeNews.

My favorite uses names so extreme that only the tolerant like-minded will look behind the Green curtain.

July 24, 2018 3:44 am

Again, tabloid science.

Johann Wundersamer
July 24, 2018 3:58 am

‘d be interesting what Schwarzenegger has to contribute.

Reply to  Johann Wundersamer
July 24, 2018 7:57 am

He has what any other washed up actor has to offer:

Reply to  hunter
July 24, 2018 9:42 am

Lol, he’s a 2 time governor, and is worth $400M. Regarding acting, almost no actors stay on top once they hit 70. I guess that’s failure in your book.

Reply to  Chris
July 24, 2018 11:25 am

Being a former governor and wealthy means that what he says is worth listening to.

It doesn’t take much to impress you.

Honest liberty
Reply to  MarkW
July 24, 2018 11:59 am

Mark- That’s what one is left with if they’ve never been right… Mental capacity of Troglodytes, aka Chris/Mosher/zazzy effect. Shiny object! Squirrel!

Low built in processing power and cognitive reasoning, ie broken hardware and software, pulls them towards junk intake which clearly once processed is junk output

Reply to  Honest liberty
July 24, 2018 3:02 pm

BTW, you will probably find this hard to believe, but when I was in college I was a anarcho-capitalists and David Freidman was one of my favorite authors.
Since then I’ve come to realize that such a political scenario isn’t stable.
All forms of government are unstable as the unscrupulous will always try to turn them into some form of tyranny for their own advantage.
Minarchism is the most stable form, but even with that you need constant vigilance.

July 24, 2018 5:53 am

Okay, let’s see the number of parking lots built in LA and the number of building permits with parking space count requirements. That includes the spaces around the LAT.

Steven Fraser
July 24, 2018 6:00 am

How is it that Weather Underground is a source of temp data for LA?

And why, if trying to make this point, does the chart end at January 2018?

I smell a picked cherry.

Reply to  Steven Fraser
July 24, 2018 6:25 am

“Hide the decline” comes to mind….

July 24, 2018 6:27 am

Propaganda is easy when your audience does not think.

July 24, 2018 6:37 am

Cue Nick to tell us that there is no reason to complain about poorly sited weather station because nobody uses them anyway.

July 24, 2018 7:08 am

I just ran across this reference and have not checked it out. Have no easy library access, might be worth a discussion before all us older guys who lived through go somewhere. It won an award from the American Historical Association and the Davis Prize from the History of Science Society.

–Hamblin, Jacob Darwin. Arming Mother Nature: The Birth of Catastrophic Environmentalism.

July 24, 2018 7:13 am

Well, I guess I have tracked and have known the so called news media for much too long up close and personal. The news media has long had its own political agenda. Jefferson complained about the newspapers during his Presidency. Jackson and his family were viciously attacked with “fake news.” Pulitzer and Hearst turned yellow journalism into an art form. They then created prizes for what they defined as “good journalism” and endowed colleges at universities to “teach” their form of journalism. In recent years Watergate changed the news media even more dramatically, with some journalism colleges actually teaching courses on the subject. Journalism colleges are some of the most far left colleges in the country where a super majority of the professors are liberal and most are leftists. The news media changed again leading up to the 2006 midterm elections when the major dailies, broadcast networks and 24-7 news cable networks threw off the cloak of any attempt toward fairness and got totally in bed, not just with the Democrats, but the left wing of the Democratic Party. When they helped elect Obama (many take full credit for doing so) they had definitely gone to the dark side. So assuming that the LA Times reporters even researched what they reported they most probably would never have produced a fair and balanced article. The good news is that the anger you see from some in the news media is because they truly believed if they could elect Obama then Hillary would be a shoe in. So their anger is now manifested in driving the Leftist agenda which as all here know means promoting the AGW orthodoxy.

Reply to  Edwin
July 24, 2018 8:14 am

Wait until Trump gets elected for a second term ! TDS on steroids ! “You ain’t seen nothin’ yet !”

Honest liberty
Reply to  Marcus
July 24, 2018 12:03 pm

I sincerely hope so, this country needs a boss like Trump. Tweeting like a boss, making lefties cry like a boss!

I’m going to actually vote again next election, for Trump. I have to. First time I’ve seen a president deliver on some items that needed attention

July 24, 2018 7:31 am

Massive Ontario forest fire sparked by wind farm construction during extreme fire ban, workers allege

Can’t invent that one…

Gunga Din
Reply to  TomRude
July 24, 2018 3:14 pm

Maybe not the event. But the headline has already been used:
“Gone With The Wind”.

July 24, 2018 9:18 am

Two critical factors are missing from the flawed data presented by the LA (Hispanic) Times:
1. Urban heat island effect
2. Density of illegal Mexican-Central American-Asians per square foot in Los Angeles. The human body gives off quite a bit of heat.

Richard Wright
July 24, 2018 10:15 am

The Los Angeles Times has forgotten the many notable heat waves and Santa Ana winds of the 1930s, 1940s and 1950s, including this literary one:

‘There was a desert wind blowing that night. It was one of those hot dry Santa Anas that come down through the mountain passes and curl your hair and make your nerves jump and your skin itch. On nights like that every booze party ends in a fight. Meek little wives feel the edge of the carving knife and study their husbands’ necks. Anything can happen. You can even get a full glass of beer at a cocktail lounge.”

“Red Wind” Raymond Chandler, 1938

Steve Reddish
July 24, 2018 10:22 am

Since the article cites 2017 as being especially hot, but not 2016, 2015,… is it claiming global warming finally kicked in? That all the emitted CO2 reached a tipping point, and is now able to affect the climate? What about other regions, such as eastern U. S., that were below average during 2017? Did atmospheric CO2 avoid that region?

For warmth in 2017 to be climate, not weather, shouldn’t the article be able to cite a warming trend over several years? For the warmth in 2017 to be global, shoudn’t it cover a wider area than just California? 2017 California heat looks like a temporary local fluctuation – perhaps related to an El Nino?


Joel Snider
July 24, 2018 12:06 pm

Meanwhile, the California government would like you to turn off your AC.

Bob Burban
Reply to  Joel Snider
July 24, 2018 1:50 pm

Sorry, but can’t turn off the aircon during a rolling black-out … no power.

Gunga Din
July 24, 2018 3:07 pm

Also keep in mind that the numbers they show now might not be the same numbers they showed “then”.
(Isn’t the internet wonderful. To change something, you don’t have to track down all the books or paper records that were previously published. Just change the number at the cyber-source everyone now sees.)

Bill G
July 24, 2018 8:35 pm

The problem that occurred with the heat in SoCal was that it was exceptionally hot and the wide use of AC brought the power grid down. This exposes people to the full impact of the heat. In the old days people lived in buildings with high ceilings – no longer – and people bake in their low ceiling apartments without the AC, especially if it doesn’t cool off substantially in the evening. Plus the way I understand the rise in temps – is that the rise is strongest in July and August, not June. I live in SF, and last August it was over 100 degrees (according to my auto thermometer) when I was crossing the Golden Gate Bridge. I have lived in CA a long time – I have never felt anything like it. Another thing that is new is that we have bouts of humidity in the summer – beginning to remind me of my days when I live in the southeast (though not that bad). All that heat help bring about those devastating fires up in Sonoma. I live near the edge of the woodland in Marin, and I thank the Lord for those big fog banks – keeps the forest somewhat moist.

Jim Whelan
Reply to  Bill G
July 25, 2018 10:29 am

I’ve lived in So Cal for 60 years. Yes it’s hot this year but it’s been really hot in other years too. Just using body feeling and memory can’t do the job. People have a tendency to forget about or exaggerate things in the past. We “old codgers” are famous for the “You think this is hot? You should have been around in 1964,” line. And others are always seeing the current situation as “the worst ever.”

One insidious aspect of the warming propaganda is the way it exaggerates the current conditions that people are actually experiencing and downplays or ignores past situations that people don’t accurately remember or never experienced (not being old enough).

Richard Wright
July 24, 2018 8:54 pm

Steve Lopez of the LA Times writes as if it is so obvious that global warming is occurring around him in his neighborhood. Yet it isn’t. The hottest temperature in downtown LA during 1955 was 110 degrees. This year’s high, so far, is only 108 degrees. And 1955 also had the longest streak of 100 degrees days in a row in the city’s history, ten days. There is a better than even chance that 2018 will not break that record this year.

In 1955, almost no one had air conditioning. Most houses were small and poorly insulated, with 1 or 1 1/2 bathrooms. People living east of downtown Los Angeles really cooked. There were no McDonalds or Starbucks to hide in during the midday heat. During the 10 day heat wave, my parents packed the family up at night and drove an hour to the beach, where thousands of families camped on the cool sand.

The professors in the LA Times story should know better. LA has always had extreme weather, and extreme winds. At least now we have better weather forecasts, and iPhones to keep us informed about the latest news.

“I went out of the bar without looking back at her, got into my car and drove west on Sunset and down all the way to the Coast Highway. Everywhere along the way gardens were full of withered and blackened leaves and flowers which the hot wind had burned.” -Red Wind

Bill G
Reply to  Richard Wright
July 24, 2018 11:52 pm

Is that your experience in LA? What is your experience with the climate of CA over the past 10 years? Have you noticed any differences or does it seem that nothing has changed?

The question isn’t about one day, it is about climate, so that would be the pattern. Living in a place you experience more the pattern, not just a single day. If it is hotter for longer stretches then the pattern does seem to be changing. I don’t know about LA – I have been there plenty, but I live in SF.

There is evidence of change in that the fire season is definitely longer. Don’t you think? Last year there were fires right into winter. That was disturbing to me.

I am not trying to change your opinion – you are welcome to it. It is just the experience of living in a place that is most telling I would think.

Richard Wright
Reply to  Bill G
July 25, 2018 8:05 pm

The hottest recorded temperature in California occurred in 1913. The past 10 years have not produced any recorded temperatures higher than that record from 105 years ago. This fact undercuts the idea that significant global warming has occurred in recent times.

The history of weather in California includes very infrequent but severe rainy seasons, and long draughts. Santa Ana winds are often at their worst in September and October. Wildfires in the hills are normal hot weather events. The swings in weather, from wet to dry, or cool to hot, appear the norm, and difficult to predict from one year to the next.

Another tricky issue is the extent of the “urban heat effect” in major metro areas. In 1955, the two major metro areas were much smaller than they are today. Also, In 1955, the major airports were home to planes like the Boeing 707. Today they are home to the European jumbo jets, the Boeing 747s and 787s. One would expect slightly higher urban temperatures, due to the growth of the urban areas, and the more intense development. However, we still haven’t seen a year that matches up well to 1955, with ten straight days over 100 degrees, and one day at 110 degrees.

If 2018 proves to be equal to, or cooler than 1955, where is the logic of claiming that Global Warming is all around?

Bill G
Reply to  Richard Wright
July 25, 2018 10:17 pm

As you know the issue is not only about the hottest temperature – it is about how many days in a row you might have above 100 degree heat. It is also about how the higher the nighttime temperatures are. And it is also about much drier it has become. And it has been really different in the past six years – at least that is my personal experience. And, just look at the impacts – heavy drought and fires. There are two arguments here – one – are things changing here, and two – is it related to the increase in heat-trapping gases. There is no argument that California is prone to drought and flood. And California is a big state – there have records broken in the recent and current heat. There is no point in arguing about whether or not this is happening somewhere else. I have seen so many of these blog arguments where people put links out for articles and it really is a waste of time. I am just saying that it is different for me, my experience where I live. And the state is having huge issues with fire. And we have been having huge issues with drought. And these conditions are worsening. And it is going to stress our grid. Do you know that Lake Mead has been coming close to levels which would mandate no water for those not on the top of the list, like Las Vegas? Do you know how more intense the fires have become? I do, because I live here – last fall the sky was filled with smoke. And the trend is alarming – why is it wrong to be alarmed when things are threatening.

Richard Wright
Reply to  Bill G
July 26, 2018 10:49 am

It is wrong to be alarmed about things that are threatening, if the threats have always been there, and when people have been gradually adapting to the threats since the founding of a region.

It is wrong for the schools and for the media to knowingly mislead people about the rich natural history of a region. History didn’t begin in 1950, or in 2000.

The LA sky has been filled with dirty smoke many times in the past. Dozens of fires have occurred in the Santa Monica Mountains over the past 100 years, from Griffith Park to Malibu. Among them were:

The deadliest fire in California history, the 1933 Griffith Park fire, which killed 29 civilians.

The 1961 Bel Air fire, which burned 484 houses and 16,900 acres in the hills north of the UCLA campus.

The 2017 Skirball fire in Bel Air that burned 6 houses and 422 acres.

It isn’t necessary for there to be Global Warming for these events to occur. They have been occurring all along.

July 25, 2018 9:55 pm

Our weather is being heavily engineered here. The sky is brown with particulate spray through the whole heat wave.

Jean Tucker
July 26, 2018 10:37 am

I have a newspaper from 1979 which shows that in November of that year we had 115 degrees in the SFV!! This occurs cyclically, and nothing any of us can do. This is another LA Times alarmist article not based on facts.

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