Well, yes

Besides, it all depends on the dates picked: 1998 was anomalously hot because of an exceptionally strong El Nino, which always warms up the weather. Using it as a starting point produces a very different result than choosing the much cooler 1996, 1997, 1999 or 2000. On any long-term basis, temperatures have risen fast.

Well, actually, that\’s part of the argument. If you start in 1200 a lot of people rather think that you get a different answer. So it really depends on what you consider to be \”long-term\”.

6 comments on “Well, yes

  1. Oh the irony! Environmentalist journalist says cherry picking dates is wrong and weather is not climate change. Hopefully this will mean less shrill headlines.

  2. Weather that suits environmentalists is climate; weather that doesn’t is an anomaly.

  3. Surely the first point to work out is whether the climate worldwide is getting warmer or not.
    The second is to work out what is causing whatever change has been detected in the climate.
    It would also seem sensible to determine whether the climate is improving or worsening.
    On the first point the world is clearly warmer than it was in the depth of the little ice age (not to mention the last proper one)
    What has caused this? Well when temperature was rising broadly in step with the CO2 in the atmosphere it was clearly worth investigating whether there might be a link. But since temperatures have not risen for ten years, and CO2 concentration has continued to rise, this link is to say the least becoming questionable- maybe something else was causing the warming all along?
    By the way I find it very difficult to believe that changes in ocean currents can have anything to do with the global average temperature: they move water, air and with them heat from one area to another, causing local cooling in one place matched by local warming in another. To suggest that they are responsible for variations in measured average temperature is to suggest that the average measured is biased towards one area or another- and hence that the figures indicating global warming are wrong.
    Is it a good thing- well the warming experienced so far has been (whether starting in the little ice age or the last proper one). It does not follow of course that more warming would be better still- but since the pollen buried with the stones at stonehenge was of plants currently growing in the mediteranean area, one suspects at the least that global warming would not be disasterous- ande feel confident that the world has been warmer in the past (Of course the viking age churches recently uncovered by retreating Greenland ice further support this)

  4. “By the way I find it very difficult to believe that changes in ocean currents can have anything to do with the global average temperature: they move water, air and with them heat from one area to another, causing local cooling in one place matched by local warming in another. To suggest that they are responsible for variations in measured average temperature is to suggest that the average measured is biased towards one area or another”

    I *think* that the theory is that oceanic oscillations move (relatively) warm water up from the depths or back down there. The lower portions of the oceans are not included in the temperature taking and therefore movement of heat to and from them would alter average global surface temperature.

  5. The basic point is that any simulation (a General Circulation Model, or GCM, in the jargon) which gives us predictions which are to be used as the basis upon which which to make economic decisions amounting to the re-allocation of trillions of dollars of resources must necessarily be capable of retrodiction. That is to say, in order for us to have any confidence in the validity of a computer model in forecasting, it must be robust in conforming to past conditions. If one takes the GCMs from ten years ago, feeds in the starting parameters and runs them forward, they do not behave in accordance with reality (i.e they miss the static/cooling temperature signal we actually see). This is wholly separate from the question of whether AGW exists or not, or whether it will be a good thing or a bad thing. If the mechanisms by which decisions are being made are faulty, then the decisions are likely to be faulty too. The current state of climate modelling is not robust enough to justify fundamentally re-organising the World economy, precautionary principle de damned.

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