(For discussion. I will delete any off-topic discussion, as I am sick and tired of the misinformation-bombing tactic of Denialists with nothing better to do with their time.)
My understanding, from the peer-reviewed literature, is that global warming trends may have momentarily paused (momentarily in a discussion about climate is a different use of the word to how us humans might view a ‘moment’). There may have even been some surprises thrown up by nature. But this in no way:-
- Contradicts what we know about the radiative forcing properties of Co2
- Reduces the risks imposed by global warming
- Gives the Denialists anything to crow about.
(I will add more videos and links summarizing the state of today’s science of global temperatures here.).
The charge against climate scientists is that, roughly speaking, global warming has completely stalled. Sometimes it expresses itself as “Didn’t global warming stop in 1998?”, an old favourite because that was a super-heated El Nino year, and if you pick your data selectively from only then, you can make a graph that looks like the temperature trends are downwards for the last decade (the hottest decade in human history!)
Anyway, 1998 has been bypassed now. Of the top 3 climate monitoring units on the planet only Hadley says 1998 was the warmest, and the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) has pointed to a cooling bias with the Hadley data.
Two of the three most powerful temperature databases on the planet confirm 1998 as the THIRD warmest year on record, even when 1998 had one of the most frighteningly powerful El Nino’s we’ve ever seen. Check it out — NOAA, NASA, then Hadley’s CRU.
The NCDC at NOAA says:
///For 2010, the combined global land and ocean surface temperature tied with 2005 as the warmest such period on record, at 0.62°C (1.12°F) above the 20th century average of 13.9°C (57.0°F). 1998 is the third warmest year-to-date on record, at 0.60°C (1.08°F) above the 20th century average.”
NASA GISTEMP confirms the same thing and says:
“Global surface temperatures in 2010 tied 2005 as the warmest on record, according to an analysis released Wednesday by researchers at NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) in New York.///
And now Phil Jones at the CRU, but don’t forget the ECMWF has had a go at this particular dataset.
///The time series shows the combined global land and marine surface temperature record from 1850 to 2010. According to the method of calculation used by CRU, the year 2010 was the equal third (see footnote) warmest on record (with 2003), exceeded by 1998 and 2005. The years 2003, 2005 and 2010 are only distinguishable in the third decimal place. The error estimate for individual years (two standard errors is about ±0.1°C, see Brohan et al., 2006) is at least ten times larger than the differences between these three years.
The period 2001-2010 (0.44°C above 1961-90 mean) was 0.20°C warmer than the 1991-2000 decade (0.24°C above 1961-90 mean). The warmest year of the entire series has been 1998, with a temperature of 0.55°C above the 1961-90 mean. After 1998, the next nine warmest years in the series are all in the decade 2001-2010. During this decade, only 2008 is not in the ten warmest years. Even though 2008 was the coldest year of the 21st century it was still the 12th warmest year of the whole record.///
But rather than argue over hundredths of a degree, which is all that seems to separate the temperatures, have a look at the 15 year trend *all* 3 agencies report. Brilliant graphic here.
Even Denialist’s are admitting it. At the 2009 Heartland Institute conference (of global warming sceptics), well known climate denialist Dr Patrick J Michaels warned against using the 1998 El Nino super-spike as some sort of ‘proof’ of a cooling trend. Take the advice of the words of a fellow Denialist.
///”Make an argument that you can get killed on and you will kill us all… If you loose credibility on this issue you lose this issue!”///
So while Denialists selectively zoom in on a few data points to try and skew the story any way they want, overall, the trend is clear.
The last decade was the hottest on record, and anyone who says otherwise is denying the best data on the planet and pushing an anti-science agenda of their own.