Last week, the BBC reported that seawater along the tip of Florida had exceeded "hot tub" temperatures of 37.8°C (100°F) in recent days, "making it potentially the hottest ever measured". The Guardian was in fine alarmist form noting that the Florida recording posed a threat to human food supplies and the livelihoods of those working in the water. Similar hysteria was to be found across most of the mainstream media. Alas, curiously missing from all this excitable coverage was a note that just 48 hours later the temperature plummeted to around 85°F.

The reading was taken from a buoy in Manatee Bay which is managed by the Everglades National Park, and located north of Key Largo. The upper left graph below shows that the temperature moved between 90-101°F on consecutive days, then fell away rapidly to around 85°F.

map sea

Examining the 'record' on the climate site Watts Up With That?, the former ecology lecturer Jim Steele observed that water temperatures were being driven by dynamics other than rising CO2. Steele noted that the Manatee Bay buoy measuring the water temperature was in a small embayment surrounded by landform, and this forms a natural hot tub. Low winds and a high pressure system further helped heat the bay, while muddy waters darkened the water enhancing solar heating.

Steele noted that the science of solar ponds has shown that when fresh water overlayed saltier water, heat gets trapped, and temperatures can be as much as 60°F hotter than the surface at depths between five and 10 feet.

To maintain the "crisis hoax", Steele suggests it's also important to ignore conflicting data. Southern Florida has several buoys, some measuring water temperature, some air, and some both. Just 56 miles to the south-west of Manatee Bay, the VAKF1 buoy measured water temperatures that were 10°F lower than Manatee Bay on those same days, as shown in the lower left graph (above), which then cooled to 86°F. Manatee Bay lacked air temperature data but VAKF1 reported a high air temperature of 91°F (lower right graph) which then cooled to the low 80°Fs, even dipping to 76°F. "These air temperatures don't even approach being unprecedented," said Steele.

Jim Steele has a lifetime's experience in working for environmental educations projects. For 25 years he ran the Sierra Nevada Field Campus for San Francisco State University. As part of one monitoring project, he studied the effect of regional climate change on bird populations in the Sierra Nevada.

Mainstream media is now clearly in the grip of a climate catastrophisation mania where activists scour the world for any unusual weather event or recording. Normal reporting standards seem to have been abandoned in the rush to scare populations to comply with the collectivist Net Zero agenda. Top level politicians encourage widespread panic with Al Gore ranting about "boiling oceans", while a deranged Antonio Guterres claimed earlier this week that we live in an age of "global boiling". At a stroke, the UN Secretary General seems to have retired the Guardian's 'Global Heating' invention. Last year's Nobel Physics Laureate Dr. John Clauser says the climate narrative has corrupted his beloved science. Meanwhile, global boiling is promoted as global surface temperatures are retrospectively adjusted upwards by state-funded bodies, while the accurate satellite record shows a near nine-year pause. In the U.K., the Met Office happily uses corrupted station temperature data that the World Meteorology Organisation states has a error estimate of up to 2°C. The British weather service still seems inordinately proud of its 60-second U.K. heat record last year, despite evidence that three Typhoon jets were landing around the time on the runway next to the measuring devise at RAF Coningsby.

On Wednesday, the BBC's Georgina Rannard wrote a story asking if the Gulf Stream could collapse by 2025? This is pure Day After Tomorrow sci-fi territory, promoting fears of catastrophic cooling in the northern hemisphere, with widespread impacts across the planet. Again the story was all over the mainstream media with USA Today reporting the Atlantic Ocean currents could soon collapse, adding, "how you may endure dramatic weather changes".

The story originated from a recently published scientific paper and was pure clickbait for impressionable activists. The claims are based on limited observation evidence producing computer model projections. The authors state "with high confidence" that the change will occur between 2025-2095. However, the paper does contain this massive caveat, which went unreported in any of the media coverage: this prediction is only valid "under the assumption that the model is approximately correct, and we of course, cannot rule out that other mechanisms are at play, and thus, the uncertainty is larger".

Needless to say, the story went around the world and was reported in blazing headlines. However, it seems eyebrows are starting to be raised about this sort of guff, even in alarmist circles. The climate alarmist's climate alarmist is Professor Michael 'Hockey Stick' Mann of Penn University, but rerunning the Day After Tomorrow script was not wholly to his taste. According to USA Today, he said: "I'm not sure the authors bring much to the table other than a fancy statistical method. History is littered with flawed predictions based on fancy statistical methods; sometimes they're too fancy for their own good."

Chris Morrison is the Daily Sceptic's Environment Editor.