Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Fake "Skeptic" or Realist?

One of the memes relied upon by those who deny the concept of Anthropological Global Warming (AGW), is that there has been no warming since some cherry-picked year. Currently, the cherry-pickers choose 1998 as their start point. 1998 was a year of extreme El Nino Southern Oscillation (ENSO) activity and the global temperature was higher than normal. Subsequently, global temperatures returned to their normal trend of slow increase from pre-1998 levels, but it was not until the late naughties that temperatures again approached the 1998 level. AGW deniers claim that there has been no warming since 1998, so Global Warming has stopped.

Nothing could be further from the truth. Not only has surface temperature continued its climbing trend, but vast amounts of heat are being stored in the oceans, dramatically increasing total global warmth.

Here are a couple of graphics from Skeptical Science (http://www.skepticalscience.com) which show how cherry-picking obscures the long term trend and how global temperature has continued along its merry way.

Realist vs Denier view of global temperature.
Figure 1: BEST land-only surface temperature data (green) with linear trends applied to the timeframes 1973 to 1980, 1980 to 1988, 1988 to 1995, 1995 to 2001, 1998 to 2005, 2002 to 2010 (blue), and 1973 to 2010 (red).  Hat-tip to Skeptical Science contributor Sphaerica for identifying all of these "cooling trends."

Where is the Heat Going?

Figure 2: Total global heat content, data from Church et al. (2011)

I leave you to draw your own conclusions as to who is telling the whole story.

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