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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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By Labotomizer on 1/16/2013 9:00:47 PM , Rating: 2
Why is an articulated thought met with such a foul reaction? Do you really need to insult me to prove a point? Or perhaps you think I care, in the slightest, what your opinion of me amounts to. Because I really, really don't. As the other response to your hate-filled thread so eloquently pointed out, there hasn't been consistent temperature standards for 100 years. We didn't have solid communications on a global scale, let alone the resources to measure oceanic temperatures properly, 100 years go. There have been worse droughts than we face today, there have been worse hurricanes in the last 100 years than Katrina or Sandy. In fact, NEITHER of those storms were all that powerful on our scale for judging a Hurricane's strength. Oh, and I'm on an Emergency Response Team to restore Telecommunications to government and public safety offices in the event of a hurricane. I rode through Ike on Galveston Island. I understand what a hurricane is capable of, first hand.

If we're talking about science, the major questions are NEVER worked out. Any scientist that believes that something is 100% proven should be called a scientist. Period. There are always unaccounted for variables, always new possibilities and the "facts" change on a near daily basis. To argue that anything has been proven, up to and including such basic concepts as existence and time, is an absolute absurdity.

As for Katrina, again. Poor engineering, a city built below sea level and people ignoring mandatory evacuation orders isn't exactly something I feel all that terrible about. In fact, the only tragedy that happened with Katrina is that FEMA garnered more power and now people seem to think the government should owe them something for their own stupidity in choice of where to live. There's this thing, it's called insurance, that is supposed to cover storm damages, property loss and all that good stuff in the event of a natural disaster. Instead people now think the government, and other tax payers, should flip the bill because they had to have a beach house on the east coast. Or because they decided to live 12' below sea level on the coast of the Gulf.

But I digress. The real problem is a lack of data. If you think you can draw 100% accurate conclusions based on 100 years of climate data, which is being generous, then I don't think I should even bother with insults. It's unlikely you could appreciate them anyway.

"Young lady, in this house we obey the laws of thermodynamics!" -- Homer Simpson

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