We are bombarded with statistics comparing the number of record lows to record highs, the number of record highs, etc. So I decided to look at what the actual numbers are in the USHCN database.
The graph below shows the number of daily record highs set per year for all USHCN stations (through 2011) which have records going back at least to 1930. The results are astonishing. 1934 and 1936 both set nearly five times as many record daily highs as 2011 did. It appears that the entire period from 1910 until 1960 was hotter than recent decades.
There have been 372,989 correctly recorded daily high temperature records in the US since 1895. 84% of them were set when CO2 was below 350ppm.
Compare the number of record highs in the 1930s to the past decade. You can see that the 1930s were consistently much hotter.
My guess is that most of the record highs we keep getting told about are from stations which don’t have records going back to the 1930s. The 1930s were much hotter in the US.
My next addition to this project will be to create the actual annual temperature graph for the US, based on the actual thermometer readings. My guess is that it won’t look anything like Hansen’s graph.