How many times have you been told that the debate on the science of climate change is “over”? Probably almost as many times as Al Gore has traveled in private jets and limousines to urge audiences to repent of their fuelish ways.
Although tirelessly intoned by politicians, major media, advocacy groups, academics, and even some Kyoto critics, the “debate is over” mantra is just plain false. The core issues of climate-change attribution, climate sensitivity, and even anthropogenic detection remain very much in play.
The world has warmed overall during the past 130 years, as evidenced by melting glaciers, longer growing seasons, and both proxy and instrumental data. However, the main era of “anthropogenic” global warming supposedly began in the mid-1970s, and ongoing research by retired meteorologist Anthony Watts leaves no doubt that in recent decades, the U.S.…
President Obama and his administration take pains to stress that their climate and environmental policies will be informed by the best science available. And that is as it should be, but the entire task can be complicated by the fact that sometimes the best available science may not be good enough for the task at hand.
I was recently pointed to an amusing post by Joe Romm over at Climate Progress last week about the “unprecedented global warming during the past year.” Joe pointed out that the earth had apparently warmed rapidly (“20 times [greater than] what most climate models have projected we should be experiencing”) during the period January 2008 through January 2009.
It turns out that Joe was only joking—not about the temperature rise, but as to whether or not it was comment-worthy.
As I’ll show you, the global temperature behavior during the last year isn’t particularly noteworthy, but that during the past decade or so, it is starting to become interesting.…