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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 Ammohunt on 1/23/2013 4:20:51 PM , Rating: 2
Deference to authority is exactly what is taught in universities. Its not a exclusive club; in your post you have obviously succumbed to exactly that. What was lost on you as part of my post was the philosophical aspect of what I am saying; not religion but the human condition and our nature. Human nature dictates the path of least resistance as you demonstrated my point exactly you defer to scientist as your authority to define your opinion on topics that concern you not unlike religious people defer to God and church as their authority. No one can prove the other wrong so at the same time it validates both beliefs i.e. no one opinion is more correct. I believe it all derives from a deep seated need in the human psyche for superstition beliefs e.g. 911 truthers, Obamas birth certificate.
You may feel Conservatism is anti-science an opinion you are entitled to. Any conservative with any sense knows that the religious right is only one tiny part of the conservative movement and not the main platform thrust. I to lament things such as abortion and gay marriage being attached to any serious political discussion it distracts from the real issues.
In my opinion the Climate change debate is being driven by base Marxists spun out form the counter culture movement of the 60ies those that despise capitalism as an economic system and the consumerism that it breeds. Long ago they realized that a direct approach against capitalism was not workable they did however shrewdly figure out that you can attack and potentially destroy it by creating a mythos that portrays it as destroying something everyone has a stake in the “Environment”. Since this movement originated in universities and colleges worldwide they had direct access to the human capital needed such as research Scientists at major universities along with students to create and maintain whatever lie they wanted. All they had to do it stick with a narrative disseminate it as fact to impressionable students along with indoctrinating them with base deference to authority and we have what we have now generations of anti-capitalist environmentalists automatons. They believe in Climate Change because the authorities they trust believe in climate change.
So to recap applying the aforementioned critical thinking skills based we come up with a simple question “How can we be certain that we are warming the earth when the earth is 4 billion years old and we posses only the last 50-60 years of that 4 billion years climate data?”
Answer: Superstition and deference to authority.

By itzmec on 1/23/2013 9:38:08 PM , Rating: 2

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