Wednesday, February 3, 2010

1,998 flat-earthers to screw in a lightbulb.

Surely, by now, we've all heard the one about "global temperature trends being flat since 1998."

But please tell us that you're not buying into the denial cr*pping point that 1998, of all other available starting points, was the beginning of a climate trend. We do want to respect you in the morning.
Our data show that 2009 was tied for the second warmest year in the 130 years of near‐global instrumental measurements – and the Southern Hemisphere had its warmest year in that entire period. Before discussing these data, and their reconciliation with regional cold anomalies, we must consider the time frame of comparison.
As we know, 1998 was the hottest, if not fit-to-be-tied, year since our industrial revolution started cranking out CO2 emissions like no tomorrow. So assigning that year as the start of a 12 year trend is quite arbitrary, if not deceptive. Why not 1997 or, better yet, 2000?
If we look back a century, we find cold anomalies that dwarf current ones. Figure 1 shows photos of people walking on Niagara Falls in 1911. Such an xtreme cold snap is unimaginable today. About a decade earlier, in February 1899, temperature fell to ‐2°F in Tallahassee, Florida, ‐9°F in Atlanta, Georgia ‐30°F in Erasmus, Tennessee, ‐47°F in Camp Clark, Nebraska, and ‐61°F in Fort Logan, Montana. The Mississippi River froze all the way to New Orleans, discharging ice into the Gulf of Mexico.
If you do, you're up against some pretty big climate guns.
The bottom line is this: the Earth has been in a period of rapid global warming for the past three decades. The assertion that the planet has entered a period of cooling in the past decade is without foundation. On the contrary, we find no significant deviation from the warming trend of the past three decades. NASA GISS Global Temperature Figures

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