Why global warming is increasing but the temperature isn't explained and why we need to panic even more....
Oh, heck. I knew this would happen. Sometimes we journalists get into trouble by using words that ordinary people use to grab people's attention when scientists use those same words differently. Maybe we shouldn't, but how else do you communicate complicated but interesting facts?
What ordinary people understand by global warming is the world getting hotter - average temperatures rising. And, according to the initial results of one new computer model, published in Nature this week, average global temperatures do not look like rising, let alone breaking records again until after 2015....What scientists mean by global warming, though, is the sun's radiation being trapped near the Earth's surface by greenhouse gases. This has been going on for millions of years and is now happening at a faster rate thanks to rising emissions of fossil fuels. Clearly what scientists call global warming will continue through this decade....
What the scientists from the Leibniz Institute of Marine Sciences in Kiel, Germany, are simply saying is that for the next decade or so the cooling caused by natural variability will hold warmer temperatures in check...The IPCC had said that we would get 0.3ºC of warming this decade instead of nothing at all..
Where the sceptics, such as Lord Lawson, may feel this research bears out their views is that this paper does prove that the great consensus enshrined in the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change is not always right. .. But is this a victory for Lord Lawson's view that we should ignore the worst predictions about climate change and get on with our lives? I think not.
The Met Office's Hadley Centre also modelled sea temperatures last year. .. Hadley concluded that there would be a lull lasting a decade but it said this could be followed by record warm years towards the end of the next decade.
In other words, the warming trend has not gone away and it looks likely that warmer temperatures will boomerang back.
All the same, the political task of negotiating a meaningful new climate treaty in Copenhagen next year now looks more difficult because it will not take place against a backdrop of droughts and soaring temperatures of the kind that got climate concern under way in 1988.
A man with a conviction is a hard man to change. Tell him you disagree and he turns away. Show him facts or figures and he questions your sources. Appeal to logic and he fails to see your point. But man's resourcefulness goes beyond simply protecting a belief. Suppose an individual believes something with his whole heart; suppose further that he has a commitment to this belief, that he has taken irrevocable actions because of it; finally, suppose that he is presented with evidence, unequivocal and undeniable evidence, that his belief is wrong: what will happen? The individual will frequently emerge, not only unshaken, but even more convinced of the truth of his beliefs than ever before. Indeed, he may even show a new fervor about convincing and converting other people to his view.
--Leon Festinger, When Prophecy Fails, 1956
The bottom line is that recent lack of warming, coupled with likely phase shifts usually associated with cooling, have forced an admission that anthropogenic forcing has not completely taken over from natural variability...
So how much warming is estimated to have occurred since 1977? Going by HadCRUT3, perhaps +0.4 K.
Now, it isn’t all that radical to subtract one from the other to "remove natural variability" to find possible anthropogenic (and other) effect and we’re left with 0.1 K over 3 decades, part of which is acknowleged as solar, part due to black carbon, part from changing land use… when you spread 1/3rd of one degree per century over so many drivers there really isn’t much effect left for increasing greenhouse gas, is there?
Now you know why even complete cessation of human emissions of carbon dioxide can not hope to control global climate or planetary temperature.
Can we please start looking at real problems now?