Back in October 2009, my post “A Cherry-Picker’s Guide to Temperature Trends” examined the many different statements that could be made to describe the tendencies of global temperatures over the past 20 years. I concluded that anything from rapid cooling to a faster than expected warming could be supported by carefully picking through the available data.
Now, more than a year later, and after one of the “warmest years on record,” I’ve updated my analysis so that any new statements characterizing global temperature can be evaluated against the complete set of recent observations.
In general, I find that statements such as “global warming has stopped” should be tempered, at least for the time being. But I conclude that my original article’s summary remains more or less* applicable:
What I can say for certain, is that the recent behavior of global temperatures demonstrates that global warming is occurring at a much slower rate than that projected by the ensemble of climate models, and that global warming is most definitely not accelerating.
“Worldwide temperatures haven’t risen much in the past decade…. If you are a climate-change activist pointing to year after year of mounting climate crises, you might want to rethink your approach.”
– Richard Kerr, Science, May 2, 2008.
There has been a flurry of activity in recent weeks in the discussion as to the significance (scientific, political, social) of the evolution of the global average surface temperature during the past 10 years or so.
For those of you who don’t know, the surface temperature of the globe, as a whole, has not warmed-up by anyone’s calculation since at least the turn of the century (January 2001) and depending on your dataset and statistical technique of choice, perhaps as far back as January 1997. And all of this non-warming occurred over a period of time during which the global emissions of CO2 increased faster than ever before (thanks primarily to China).…
“Climate change is not an economics problem. It’s an ethics problem.”
– Stephen Schneider, Science, June 4, 2004.
Well, yes it is. And the climate-change debate brings up the energy-policy debate.
Poor people around the world need abundant, affordable, modern energy. And this points to private property and free markets–and adaptation in the face of uncertainties–and not government ownership and control of energy resources. The failure of Kyoto I should not be followed by a Kyoto II. The United States should not enact either a carbon tax or a carbon cap-and-trade program. Resource access on government lands (and waters) should be permitted. The goal is a robust supply-side strategy that respects free consumer choice to benefit one and all, and particularly the most vulnerable.
Here are some quotations on the need to eradicate energy poverty (a list that needs to be added to if folks have other quotations that can be added in the comment list).…