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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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It's hard to take them seriously anymore...
By half_duplex on 1/16/2013 10:52:19 PM , Rating: 2
I don't have a hard time believing that warming exists, I am even be open to the idea that man made warming is occurring.

The problem is when the liberal agenda is thrown into the mix. It makes me almost totally insensitive to any of these peoples claims. I think many here who are critical of these so called climatologists would agree. I also have a hard time considering ALL of these people scientists when it seems the longevity of their careers depend on reaching favorable outcomes in their research.

While I may agree with what appears to be happening, it would be very hard for me to bring myself to act on any of it. As someone said above, at this point it will be very difficult to convince me to trust the people making these claims seeing the fudged data, cover ups, etc.

Explain La Nina, explain how data from 1900 is accurate, and explain why the suns variable output cannot be responsible for warming, and I may get back on the bandwagon.

RE: It's hard to take them seriously anymore...
By BigT383 on 1/16/2013 11:02:58 PM , Rating: 3
La Nina/El Nino are just a natural cycle that you have to take into effect. They affect global temperatures year-to-year, but they don't have a net positive or negative influence on the climate long-term.

Data from 1900:

The Sun:

As for the scientists, being able to disprove global warming and overturn the scientific consensus would be like disproving gravity. It would make them instantly rich and famous, and lead to a much longer career than toiling away as a researcher at a university. The problem is, it's just not supported by data.

By half_duplex on 1/17/2013 10:47:37 PM , Rating: 1
The website that you have referenced seems to have an agenda. Well, actually, it has the stated purpose of supplying talking points for GW proponents for use in debates such as this. I am unable to take the short points supplied there as answers to some of my questions.

As I said, I am not skeptical about climate change in the same way I'm skeptical about ghosts and aliens (the kind that will eventually invade out planet). I'm more a better safe that sorry person... but I just have a hard time taking action on climate change because everything I've heard/read/seen about it, comes across as a sales pitch. I just get the feeling I'm being sold something I don't exactly need.

Real solutions, such as ways to mechanically reduce green house gases, would go a long way for me.

"So, I think the same thing of the music industry. They can't say that they're losing money, you know what I'm saying. They just probably don't have the same surplus that they had." -- Wu-Tang Clan founder RZA

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