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James Hansen puts an interesting spin on reports of the ninth warmest year on record

2012 was a kind of glass-half full, glass half-empty year in terms of global temperature.  

I. Climate Chief: Don't Worry, We're Still Doomed

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration's (NASA) in-depth analysis of satellite and other forms of climate data ruled the year was the ninth warmest on record.  The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) independent analysis of ground and sea-based climate stations reported that the year was the tenth warmest on record.

The NASA report states that the average global temperature was 58.3 degrees Fahrenheit (14.6 Celsius), which is 1.0 F (0.6 C) warmer than the mid-20th century baseline, or 1.4 F (0.6 C) warmer than the earliest comprehensive observations from the 1880s.

Still, the year marks the fifth year of a relative flatline in global temperatures after a decade in which the record was regularly broken.

Global warming proponents like James Hansen, director of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies, blame this deviation from their "doomsday" calculations on a specialized cooling phenomenon called "La Nina", which lowers temperatures in the Eastern Pacific.

Surface temperatures
Despite flat-lining surface temperatures over the last five years, some climate researchers insist we're headed to doomsday warming and should keep our fingers on the panic button.
[Image Source: GISS]

The climate official claims that aerosols, which reflect solar radiation, also had a cooling affect on temperatures.

Mr. Hansen argues that the public shouldn't just look at the numbers, but look at more nebulous and abstract observations, which he sees as supporting his beliefs of runaway warming.  He writes, "The observant person who is willing to look at the past over several seasons and several years, should notice that the frequency of unusual warm anomalies has increased and the extreme anomalies."

He and other global warming advocates have pointed to the summer's drought in central North America and high temperatures in the Rocky Mountains as such "extreme anomalies".  

II. A Hot Year for the U.S., Arctic, but a Cool One Elsewhere

2012, according to a separate NOAA report, was the hottest year on record for the U.S. The year did mark a new low for summer Arctic sea ice, according to NASA.  However, that could bring some benefits for mankind, such as opening up oil resources.

NOAA map
Parts of the globe cooled, others warmed in 2012. [Image Source: NOAA]

And temperatures for the year were actually cooler than average in several regions -- Alaska, far western Canada, central Asia, parts of the eastern and equatorial Pacific and parts of the Southern Ocean.

California meteorologist Anthony Watts, a known critic of doomsday predictions from folks like James Hansen, casts the U.S.'s record year in a different light, commenting, "If anything, U.S. temperatures are warming at a slower rate in recent decades compared to the early warming period, even with all of that lovely warm weather last year."

He points out that the recent increase (1980-2012) in U.S. surface temperatures was dwarfed by a sharp rise between 1919-1934, which was followed by a period of cooling.

In a follow-up piece, he argues the overall flatline may indicate that natural forces (including in a cooling direction) have a greater impact on global temperatures than human ones, based on his independent analysis over the last half decade.

Sources: NASA, NOAA, Jame Hansen [note]



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RE: What flatlining temperature?
By Captain Orgazmo on 1/16/2013 6:09:45 PM , Rating: 3
"Denialists"?

The type of language which would suit some member of the Spanish Inquisition disparaging any who dare question the Dogma of the Great Unquestionable Catholic Church. Or in your case the Kyoto Inquisition, and the Church of Gore.

Careful, one of your blinders is about to fall off.


RE: What flatlining temperature?
By boeush on 1/16/2013 7:36:56 PM , Rating: 2
Projecting much?

Perhaps it's science that's on trial here, once again, by the reality-distortion forces of orthodoxy and moneyed interests. I.e. the Fossil Fuel Inquisition, and the Church of Wall Street.

Careful, lest you notice your own reflection in that yonder mirror...


RE: What flatlining temperature?
By Mint on 1/16/2013 9:05:36 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah, you got me figured out. A Kyoto supporter that doesn't support action against global warming. Global warming topics sure bring out the brainless on DT...

I never said anything about cause, the IPCC, nothing. If you deny that there is a warming trend in the raw satellite data, then you are a denialist plain and simple.


RE: What flatlining temperature?
By TheEinstein on 1/17/2013 5:23:13 AM , Rating: 2
RE Denialists

Your claims are eawily refuted. Your baseline datum is incorrect. Actual temperatures in mainland USA is 1 degree cooler, on average, than reported by the NOAA. This means we are actually .4 degrees cooler than your median method would suggest.

I however will say it is still within natural variability. Show me 3 degrees in deviation over 10 years with accurate readings and no Forcings. Share the evidence, open it for peer review and then let's discuss causation.


RE: What flatlining temperature?
By Mint on 1/17/2013 8:19:38 AM , Rating: 2
Why are you cherrypicking the US? It's called GLOBAL warming for a reason.

I never quoted any NOAA-reported temperature sets. I quoted UAH, where AGW skeptics took the raw NOAA satellite radiation data to get their own temperature set.

Most natural variability has been explained already:
http://skepticalscience.com/foster-and-rahmstorf-m...

Removing the correlated components of ENSO, aerosols, and the sun brings variation down from 0.5deg to 0.2 deg, showing a clear increasing signal.


By TheEinstein on 1/17/2013 9:04:39 AM , Rating: 2
The problem is not restrained to the US alone. People i England and France have found similar problems.

Detailec Examinations of Russian based information has resulted insubstantial 'corrections' by the Russians.

I used the NOAA because usually when I hit other targets liberals fall back to certain groups such as the NOAA. I prefer to strike hard, strike fast, and make people understand the scientific falsehoods are actually falsehoods.


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