NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis


February 8, 2006

The state of Tennessee and its cities are getting hotter, concludes the Clear the Air organization. However, Clear the Air's mission is to convince the masses that global warming does exist and that it is probably caused by people driving around in SUVs. That's why their study was limited to 1961-1990, even when figures from as early as 1871 and as late as 2004 were available, says Dustin Hawkins, editor of Capital Hill Journal.

According to Clear the Air:

  • In 2005, the average 11-month temperature for Nashville was 72.9 degrees, compared to a 71.5 degree average in the study period.
  • This increase of 1.4 degrees provides evidence that Nashville is indeed warming.

Yet, if all relevant data is included, the results are less staggering, says Hawkins:

  • Between 1952 and 1956, the average high temperature in Nashville was 73.9 degrees, making that five-year period one degree hotter than 2005 and 2.4 degrees hotter than the 1961-1900 period, all before global warming really started to kick in.
  • Since then, no five-year period has even come close to being as hot.
  • The 10 hottest summers for Nashville all occurred before 1961, and 5 of the hottest summers came in the 1800s.
  • While 2005 did indeed see Nashville's 14th hottest summer on record, it came in a tie with 1921, which is hardly an indication of long-term heating patterns.
  • Comparably, 2004 registered one of the coolest summers to date, ranking 122nd out of the 135-year test period; 2003 popped in at 109, also one of the coolest summers in Nashville's history.

Source: Dustin Hawkins, "Is Tennessee Melting?" Junk Science, December 2005; based upon: Clear the Air, "Local Temperature Anomalies for 2005" Clear the Air and National Climatic Data Center, December 2005.


Browse more articles on Environment Issues