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Thread: A new way to look at that annoying question from climate denialists

  1. #1 A new way to look at that annoying question from climate denialists 
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    Nov 2011
    city of wine and roses
    The annoying question being "15 years pause" in global warming.

    Just for once, leave aside the normal responses about the hottest decade ever being 2000-2010 and all the other details. Ask another question.

    Why hasn't there been a substantial decrease in global average temperature?

    Look at the graph.

    Figure 1: Global surface temperature. NASA

    Use the graph to check these statements.

    Between about 1880 and 1890, temperatures cooled by about 0.4C.
    Between 1900 and 1910 temperatures cooled close to 0.3C.
    Between 1945 and 1950 temperatures cooled about 0.35C.
    Between 1962 and 1965 temperatures cooled about 0.3C.
    There are other examples, but these were decade-scale cooling of 0.3C to 0.4C.

    The most recent period of similar relevance starts with the extremely hot year, 1998. Since 1998, through to 2012, thetemperatures cooled by 0.03C. However you choose to view the figure you simply have to conclude that natural variability, aerosols and solar variability have caused global cooling in the past of a scale that dwarfs anything that has occurred in the last 15 years. ...

    ... Indeed, despite a suite of forcings that should have led to cooling, we still had the warmest decade in the observational record.So, the question is, given it did cool several times in the historical period under broadly parallel circumstances in terms of the forcing, why has it not cooled since 1998 by 0.3C or 0.4C, and how come we broke the records for the warmest decade?

    There has been time (its 15 years while previous cooling occurred in 10 years) for cooling of 0.3C or 0.4C to have occurred. There really is a case to argue that we should have cooled to close to the values measured in around 1990 and definitely not broken the record for the warmest decade on record.
    I'd never looked at it from this angle before. It's worth reading the whole item.

    "Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen." Winston Churchill
    "nature is like a game of Jenga; you never know which brick you pull out will cause the whole stack to collapse" Lucy Cooke
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  3. #2  
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    Yes. If warming had stopped then a 15 year period of more 'globally' cooling la Nina's(surface air temperatures, of a thin layer of air that is a few percent at most of 'global') than globally warming el Nino's would have resulted in 15 years of ... 'global' cooling. Because of underlying and ongoing warming it was unable to even produce a 15 years of not-statistically-significant cooling; instead a 15 year period of not-statistically significant warming.

    Temperatures going up, then down, then up and then down in similar measure - that is warming stopped. Temperatures going up then levelling off, up then levelling off - that is warming!

    The global average surface air temperatures continue being treated as the defining or default measure of change to the climate system (climate change) - but they are not; they've just been the most convenient because surface air temperatures have been what people have been measuring the longest. I think heat content, and ocean heat content especially, is far more directly representative of change to the climate system - more than 90% of the warming has gone there and it showed signs of slowing during the past 15 years. On the contrary, the world gained heat strongly in that period.

    Last edited by Ken Fabos; September 21st, 2013 at 06:08 PM. Reason: clarity
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  4. #3  
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    Thank you for this information.
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