The latest paper on climate in New Scientist (below) acknowledges the claim that warming stopped in 1998 and tries to pooh pooh it. They ignore that there has been no statistically significant temperature variation since at least 1975. Lack of statistical significance means that the observed variations could have arisen by chance alone. They also fail to look at the pattern over the entire 20th century, which is one of oscillating rises and falls. Combine that with the fact that the warming across the entire 20th century was a totally trivial .6 of one degree (approx.) and all indicators show that we are in fact in the midst of a period of unusual climate stability -- with just random ups and downs occurring from time to time. Ignoring that, the "New Scientists" once again put their faith in guesswork: "models"
According to some records of past temperatures there has been no significant surface warming between 1998 and 2008. "Now the world is COOLING!" the bloggers scream. As if this means we can all stop worrying about global warming.
I am not sure how anyone who takes even a brief look at records of past surface air temperatures for themselves can jump to such conclusions. It's blindingly obvious that even when there's a long-term warming trend, over shorter periods temperatures may fall.
There was also no significant warming trend from between 1977 and 1985, or between 1981 and 1989 - and those periods certainly weren't the end of global warming. Now, as if more evidence were needed, two climate scientists have produced more data showing that the current lull in no way contradicts the fact that human emissions of greenhouse gases are causing long-term warming.
David Easterling of the National Climatic Data Center in Asheville, North Carolina and Michael Wehner of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in Berkeley in California looked at both at observed temperature records and at climate model predictions for the 20th and 21st centuries. Their paper is in press in Geophysical Research Letters. Their conclusion?
"We show that the climate over the 21st century can and likely will produce periods of a decade or two where the globally averaged surface air temperature shows no trend or even slight cooling in the presence of longer-term warming."
It'd be nice to think their contribution would make a difference. But I doubt it will change the minds of those who dismiss the idea of climate change despite the key evidence from physics and chemistry, despite the evidence from past climate changes and despite dramatic changes such as collapsing ice shelves in Antarctica, the shrinking of summer sea ice in the Arctic and the retreat of glaciers all around the world.
I suspect that claims such as "Global warming stopped in 1998" will give way to claims such as "Global warming stopped in 2017" and "Global warming stopped in 2033", even as the long-term warming trend becomes ever clearer
Posted by John Ray. For a daily critique of Leftist activities, see DISSECTING LEFTISM. For a daily survey of Australian politics, see AUSTRALIAN POLITICS Also, don't forget your daily roundup of pro-environment but anti-Greenie news and commentary at GREENIE WATCH . Email me (John Ray) here