This letter appeared in The Canberra Times edition of 5 January 2014:

We are being fed nonsense by global warming proponents (”Records add heat to climate debate”, online, January 4).

Canberra’s record hot day was January 18, 2013, with a record of 42 degrees at the airport. That weather station has been open only since September 19, 2008.

The previous airport weather station was used from 1939 to 2010. Its hottest day was February 1, 1968, with 42.2 degrees. Walgett did not break a record. Its hottest day on January 3, 2014, of 49.1 degrees was recorded at the weather station that has been open only since 1993. The previous station ran from 1878 to 1993, and recorded its hottest day on January 3, 1903, at 49.2 degrees.

And there is no mention the US recorded the lowest-ever temperature at minus 40 degrees in International Falls, Minnesota, a few days ago. That is on top of the more than 1200 cold records in the US four weeks ago.

Of course, hot days prove global warming and cold days are merely outliers of no relevance, as letter writers remind me.

Brian Hatch, Red Hill

I responded with this, published on 15 January:

Brian Hatch (Letters, January 5) tries to cry foul over record hot temperatures, citing some cold records in the US in recent weeks and making his usual implication that global warming is all a giant conspiracy.

Despite the cold snap, in the 30 days up to January 5, the US saw four times as many record high temperatures as record lows. Over the past decade, the US had more than twice as many record highs as record lows. The ratio has been steadily increasing since the 1970s.

In Australia, the ratio is now more like three to one. Let’s not forget that in the last year we’ve had our hottest year, hottest season, hottest month and hottest day ever recorded.

It’s about time the reality-deniers got a grip.

Matt Andrews, Aranda