David Appell’s not around to do this, so I guess it’s my job to point out that October 2005 was the second-warmest globally in history. The three warmest Octobers in history have come in the last three years. It’s not that I think that a single global number is useless. I agree with Roger Pielke Sr. that it misses a lot of what’s important, but that does not mean it’s unimportant, especially as one tool in explaining to the public the change that’s underway.
For those of you living in Albuquerque, October temperatures were just a hair above average overall, but the devil is in the details. Daytime highs were cooler than average, while overnight lows were the fifth warmest in history, continuing a trend of remarkably warm overnight temperatures. I haven’t run the numbers yet (Danger! Danger! Journalist doing math!), but I’ll be surprised if 2005 doesn’t end up the warmest, in terms of overnight temps, in the city’s history. Our diurnal temperature range is shrinking. (Albuquerque 2005 numbers from the National Weather Service, long-term data from the Western Regional Climate Center.)