New data may suggest that global temperatures are, in fact, experiencing a cooling trend.

“State of the Climate in 2012,” a report recently released by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, stated that “worldwide, 2012 was among the 10 warmest years on record.” But climate blogger Pierre Gosselin points out that the report is misleading, and “fails to mention [2012] was one of the coolest of the decade, and thus confirms the cooling trend.”

“To no one’s surprise, the report gives the reader the impression that warming is galloping ahead out of control,” Gosselin wrote. “But their data shows just the opposite.”

For example, Gosselin points to the report’s claim that “the Arctic continues to warm” and sea ice has reached record lows as one area in which discrepancies exist between the NOAA’s data and its analysis, as the report also states that Antarctic sea ice reached a record high of square miles in 2012.

Recent data also suggests that icemelt in the Arctic has slowed down this summer, and North Pole temperatures are currently below average.

However, many continue to disagree with Gosselin’s assessment. Robert Hunziker of UK Progressive argues that the increase in discussion about global cooling may be less about the data and more about interpretation.

“In real life, the confusion is not with the science; the problem is public perception and its impact for climate-policy advocates who base their positions on the authority of scientific consensus that global warming is an issue,” he wrote.

The NOAA report further stated that “average lower stratospheric temperature, about six to ten miles above the Earth’s surface, for 2012 was record or near-record cold, depending on the dataset.” Hunziker suggested that this fact could perhaps be one source of interpretive confusion, as, he claims, lower stratospheric temperatures do not necessarily equate to lower global surface temperatures.

Sources: CNS News, UK Progressive