October 16, 2012

And, No...

In yet another piece of misquoting and then twisting science into something completely unrelated to reality, The Daily Mail (and a great deal of the right side of the web) has pronounced that Global Warming Is Over and that it "ended" 16 years ago.

(I am still waiting to see this show up in the Trib, btw).

Too bad that The Daily Mail misquoted and twisted the science it's purporting to report on.

Who says?

The people they quoted, The Met Office - the UK's National Weather Service.

First the twist from The Daily Mail:
The world stopped getting warmer almost 16 years ago, according to new data released last week.

The figures, which have triggered debate among climate scientists, reveal that from the beginning of 1997 until August 2012, there was no discernible rise in aggregate global temperatures.

This means that the ‘plateau’ or ‘pause’ in global warming has now lasted for about the same time as the previous period when temperatures rose, 1980 to 1996. Before that, temperatures had been stable or declining for about 40 years.

The new data, compiled from more than 3,000 measuring points on land and sea, was issued quietly on the internet, without any media fanfare, and, until today, it has not been reported.
I think I know why the Trib isn't covering this.  Implicit in this (false) argument that Global Warming ended is the premise that it started at some point - and that's something The Trib just can't fathom.

But the Met has responded:
To address some of the points in the article published today:

Firstly, the Met Office has not issued a report on this issue. We can only assume the article is referring to the completion of work to update the HadCRUT4 global temperature dataset compiled by ourselves and the University of East Anglia’s Climate Research Unit.
And that's the least of the Daily Mail's worries.  It chose a rather limited chronological spread of the data (16 years).  In its email response to the Daily Mail, the Met Office wrote:
The linear trend from August 1997 (in the middle of an exceptionally strong El Nino) to August 2012 (coming at the tail end of a double-dip La Nina) is about 0.03°C/decade, amounting to a temperature increase of 0.05°C over that period, but equally we could calculate the linear trend from 1999, during the subsequent La Nina, and show a more substantial warming.

As we’ve stressed before, choosing a starting or end point on short-term scales can be very misleading. Climate change can only be detected from multi-decadal timescales due to the inherent variability in the climate system. If you use a longer period from HadCRUT4 the trend looks very different. For example, 1979 to 2011 shows 0.16°C/decade (or 0.15°C/decade in the NCDC dataset, 0.16°C/decade in GISS). Looking at successive decades over this period, each decade was warmer than the previous – so the 1990s were warmer than the 1980s, and the 2000s were warmer than both. Eight of the top ten warmest years have occurred in the last decade.

Over the last 140 years global surface temperatures have risen by about 0.8ÂșC. However, within this record there have been several periods lasting a decade or more during which temperatures have risen very slowly or cooled. The current period of reduced warming is not unprecedented and 15 year long periods are not unusual. [Emphasis added.]
Something the Daily Mail didn't tell you they learned from The Met Office.

And yet the right side of the web is all aflitter that Global Warming's done.

For more, go to Mediamatters.

And Global Warming is still undeniable.

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