Where’s that global cooling the denialists promised?

January 20, 2010

Forgetting that the planet has seasons, climate denialists for months have been hoo-hooing  about snowfalls and cold weather.  Some of the more serious propagandists among them claim that the Earth is now in a cooling cycle, and that temperatures have been falling since the record hot year of 1998.

Really?

Head on over to Open Mind, and take a look at the facts.

NASA GISS [Goddard Institute for Space Studies] has released the estimated monthly temperature for December 2009, which closes out the year 2009, which closes out the decade of the 2000s. The result: 2005 is still the hottest calendar year, 2009 is the 2nd-hottest year ever, although it’s really in a statistical tie with 1998, 2002, 2003, 2006, and 2007.

They’ve confused weather with climate.  They’ve failed to keep score.  Perhaps they’ve spent wasted their time hacking e-mails instead of measuring climate.

RealClimate carries the news in a post by some of NASA’s top scientists, including James Hansen:

The past year, 2009, tied as the second warmest year in the 130 years of global instrumental temperature records, in the surface temperature analysis of the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS). The Southern Hemisphere set a record as the warmest year for that half of the world. Global mean temperature, as shown in Figure 1a, was 0.57°C (1.0°F) warmer than climatology (the 1951-1980 base period). Southern Hemisphere mean temperature, as shown in Figure 1b, was 0.49°C (0.88°F) warmer than in the period of climatology.

How will the critics treat this news?  And, what were they doing during the past decade when all those warm days rolled into weeks, rolled into months and years, and finally, to the warmest decade ever?

Global land  temperature mean for the decade ending 2009, plus hemispheric comparisons

Caption from RealClimate: Figure 1. (a) GISS analysis of global surface temperature change. Green vertical bar is estimated 95 percent confidence range (two standard deviations) for annual temperature change. (b) Hemispheric temperature change in GISS analysis. (Base period is 1951-1980. This base period is fixed consistently in GISS temperature analysis papers. . . Base period 1961-1990 is used for comparison with published HadCRUT analyses in Figures 3 and 4.)

Heat things up a bit, and spread the alarm:

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