The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has posted a press release titled, “It’s official: July was Earth’s hottest month on record.” The media have run rampant with the press release, with articles on the topic dominating the top of Google News search results for “climate change.” The objective data, however, show no such record heat. The only records being set in July were NOAA’s propensity to doctor the temperature record to justify its bloated budget and the media’s uncritical hyping of the phony temperature claims.

As documented in Climate at a Glance: U.S. Temperatures, NOAA deliberately uses flawed and doctored temperature data to produce its temperature reports. For example, U.S. temperatures measured by weather stations were higher in the 1930s than in any recent years or decades, yet NOAA has doctored down the 1930s data to make present temperatures appear warmer. Also, temperature measurements taken at the most accurate U.S. weather stations show no warming since at least 2005, yet NOAA claims ongoing recent warming.

The most damning evidence for NOAA’s claims of record global heat in July 2021 are objective global temperature data measured by NOAA instruments aboard NASA satellites. As presented by climate scientist Dr. Roy Spencer at, the NOAA/NASA satellite data show July was actually a below-average temperature month compared to the past five years, and nowhere near a record.

Moreover, even if and when a “record” warm month is achieved, the time period of “record” is only the past 100 years or so. As the Earth continues its gradual recovery from the Little Ice Age – which was the coldest period of the past 10,000 years, ending just over a century ago – new “records” are expected to be set. However, these records are still much cooler than temperatures that predominated throughout most of the history of human civilization (see, for example, pg. 4 of the Science and Public Policy Foundation study, “Nature, Not Human Activity, Rules the Climate”). It is not too difficult to set the “hottest month on record” when NOAA’s sampling period is so small and NOAA is starting with such a cold baseline.

“This new record adds to the disturbing and disruptive path that climate change has set for the globe,” claims the NOAA press release.

The only records set in July were NOAA’s bloated budget, which grew by nearly 40 percent this year, justified largely by climate alarmism, and NOAA’s propensity for doctoring temperature data.

[Image courtesy of NOAA]

James Taylor is the President of the Heartland Institute. Taylor is also director of Heartland's Arthur B. Robinson Center for Climate and Environmental Policy. Taylor is the former managing editor (2001-2014) of Environment & Climate News, a national monthly publication devoted to sound science and free-market environmentalism.


  1. There is a Weather service requirement that. temperature instruments meet the following standards:
    Over level terrain (earth or sod) typical of the area around the temperature measurement station ( not concrete or rock surrounding gauge in picture).
    The height above surface requirement is also 4 to 6 feet above the surface.
    This proves incorrect temperature data is being recorded.


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