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Global Warming has NOT stopped

GLOBAL WARMING HAS NOT STOPPED!

The fallacy "global warming has stopped" starts with a cherry-picked unusually high surface atmosphere temperature point in 1998 that resulted from a huge "El Niño", which basically transferred a lot of heat out of the ocean to the atmosphere. Following 1998, La Niña dominated, which transferred heat from the atmosphere into the ocean (and lately into the deep ocean). Looking only at the atmosphere and neglecting the heat transfer in and out of the ocean leads to the fallacy. The total warming of the planet (ocean + atmosphere) has been trending upwards. If the El Niño/La Niña noise is subtracted out, or if the Arctic region is included, the global warming trend in the surface atmosphere is clear (as shown below). The scientific consensus is that with careful analysis there has been no pause in global warming of the planet. Global warming has NOT stopped.

It is important to understand this manufactured contrarian fallacy, which is the main weapon now used by right-wing politicians and media to attack the EPA and President Obama's climate action program.

The simplest one-line response to this fallacy is that 2010 was the hottest year since global measurements started.

Rank

NASA GISS

NOAA NCDC

HadCRUT4

Cowtan & Way

1

2010

2010

2010

2010

2

2005

2005

2005

2005

3

2007

1998

1998

2007

4

2002

2013

2003

2009

5

1998

2003

2006

2013

 

HERE is a great video from Peter Sinclair and the Yale Forum on Climate Change and the Media that lays it all out:

For another great relevant video, see Dr. Kevin Trenberth HERE at 35-55 minutes.

From Realclimate.org, the reliable science site run by real climatologists, we have this analysis clearly showing that global warming has not stopped:

"Foster and Rahmstorf (2011) showed nicely that if you account for some of the obvious factors affecting the global mean temperature (such as El Niños/La Niñas, volcanoes etc.) there is a strong and continuing trend upwards. An update to that analysis using the latest data is available here – and shows the same continuing trend:"


Some analyses ignore large regions in the Arctic that have arguably been warming faster than the rest of the planet; if these regions are included there is no "hiatus" at all. HERE is the evidence:

HERE is the graph showing the Met Office temperature data (not including the Arctic) and including the Arctic via satellite data plus interpolation (marked "Global"). The difference is striking; global warming in the atmosphere is proceeding apace.

HERE is another RealClimate analysis. It says "a negative phase of the pacific decadal oscillation(PDO) may have made an imprint on the most recent years. In addition, they found that the deep ocean has warmed over the recent years, while the upper 300m of the oceans have ‘stabilised’."

A summary of these results shows close agreement between an advanced model (red) and the surface temperature data (black), once ocean effects are included. 

The purple curve and shaded areas represent earlier less advanced models.

It is also worth noting that the highest surface temperatures were actually in 2005 and 2010, resulting in a small upward temperature trend, even if no account is made of these ocean effects; see HERE.

Another possibility temporarily dampening the surface atmosphere temperature increase includes the cooling effects of small volcanic eruptions increasing aerosol production, see HERE.

 

BOTTOM LINE:

Global warming has NOT stopped. Some extra heat has been stored deep in the oceans lately, reducing the upward temperature trend in the atmosphere temporarily. However this is not expected to continue, after which we will start to see the inexorable surface temperature trend resume its fast upward climb, with increasingly likely huge impacts if we do not act seriously on climate risk mitigation.

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Glossary

Citation

(2014). Global Warming has NOT stopped. Retrieved from http://climate.uu-uno.org/view/article/522a827b0cf2ea76e4a09130