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Very warm 2008 makes this the hottest decade in recorded history by far*

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"Very warm 2008 makes this the hottest decade in recorded history by far*"

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The climate story of the decade is that the 2000s are on track to be nearly 0.2°C warmer than the 1990s. And that temperature jump is especially worrisome since the 1990s were only 0.14°C warmer than the 1980s (see datasets here). Global warming is accelerating, as predicted.

http://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/graphs/Fig.A.lrg.gif

The UK’s Guardian, on the other hand, believes the big climate story is “2008 will be coolest year of the decade*.” The deniers have begun pushing this meme, as Greenfyre notes here. [Even that meme assumes the decade began in 2001 -- since 2000 was quite cool -- a view mostly shared be the few dozen people who didn't celebrate at a millennial New Year's party December 31, 1999.]

Climate is about long-term trends. Perhaps the most interesting fact is that 2008 is on track to be almost 0.1°C warmer than the decade of the 1990s as a whole – and warmer than any year of last century beside (the El-Ni±o-enhanced) 1998.

The decade of the 2000s — 2000 to 2009 — will almost certainly be the hottest decade in at least 2000 years (see “Sorry deniers, hockey stick gets longer, stronger: Earth hotter now than in past 2,000 years“):

mann1.jpg

[The asterisk in the headline stands in for the word "probably" since it is common to report on the temperature for the year based on the first 11 months. I have extended that approach in this post to report on the temperature for the whole decade based on the first 9 years.]

And yes, this post is based on the temperature data from NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies. Despite the best efforts of the deniers to discredit NASA by focusing on trivial issues (see “The hottest October on record?” and “Must read from Hansen: Stop the madness about the tiny revision in NASA’s temperature data!“), I will always use the GISS data because:

  1. I know many of the GISS scientists personally and they are researchers of the first rank. For them, like the overwhelming majority of climate scientists, nothing is more important than data integrity, reproducibility of results, and the search for the truth. That’s why, unlike the vast majority of deniers who attack them, they are completely open about what they do, admit mistakes immediately, and don’t keep repeating things that have been long debunked in the scientific literature.
  2. The NASA data probably underestimate recent warming, since as previously noted, “there are no permanent weather stations in the Arctic Ocean, the place on Earth that has been warming fastest . The UK’s Hadley Centre record simply excludes this area, whereas the NASA version assumes its surface temperature is the same as that of the nearest land-based stations.” To ignore the Arctic warming is to have a blind eye to the astonishing recent reductions in Arctic ice decades ahead of climate model forecast and to the equally astonishing recent net loss of Greenland ice mass “100 years ahead of schedule.”

That said, the Hadley data is quite solid. And even if it almost certainly underestimates recent warming, the warming signal is still unmistakable in their data, as the figure below (which includes 2008) makes clear:

Air temp

Using their data (here) also makes clear that the 2000s will easily be the hottest decade in recorded history, and that 2008 will be also be almost 0.1°C warmer than the decade of the 1990s as a whole.

The Guardian does note that 2008 is quite a warm year by historical standards. It “would have felt like a warm year” even in the 1980s and “would have been a scorcher in Charles Dickens’s time.” Still, the Guardian continues to misreport recent work on near-term warming projections:

In March, a team of climate scientists at Kiel University predicted that natural variation would mask the 0.3C warming predicted by the Intergovernment Panel on Climate Change over the next decade. They said that global temperatures would remain constant until 2015 but would then begin to accelerate.

No. No. No. How many times must I explain what the study actually said (see “Nature article on ‘cooling’ confuses media, deniers: Next decade may see rapid warming“)? With the general caveat from the authors that the study as a whole should be viewed in a very preliminary fashion and should not be used for year-by-year predictions (and the specific caveat that the study has myriad flaws), it is more accurate to say the Nature study is consistent with the following statements:

  • The “coming decade” (2010 to 2020) is poised to be the warmest on record, globally.
  • The coming decade is poised to see faster temperature rise than any decade since the authors’ calculations began in 1960.
  • The fast warming would likely begin early in the next decade — similar to the 2007 prediction by the Hadley Center in Science (see “Climate Forecast: Hot — and then Very Hot“).

So for all the deniers and delayers touting the coolest year of the decade (if the decade starts in 2001) meme, I stand by my offer to bet $1000 that the decade from 2010 to 2019 will be warmer than the decade from 2000 to 2009. I’ll even give you 2-to-1 odds or spot you 0.1°C. And I’ll even agree to use the HadCRUT3 global mean surface temperature data set (but, no, I can’t agree to use the satellite data, since it covers parts of the atmosphere that are projected to cool).

Any takers?

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54 Responses to Very warm 2008 makes this the hottest decade in recorded history by far*

  1. charlie says:

    From your first paragraph, you argue that the warming trend is accelerating from at 0.14 degree/yr in the 90s to a 0.2 degrees/yr in the 00s, as predicted, but I am not sure you can really back that up. Actually the IPCC ensembles show a fairly linear trend until at least 2025 (see fig. TS.26 in the tech. summary for example). And one could easily argue that the increasing trend is most likely just an artifact of pinatubo making the 90s cooler than they otherwise would have been.

    [JR: The accelerating rise of temperatures is predicted by the science, and the IPCC has notoriously underestimated both the speed and scale of climate impacts (and emissions, for that matter). Yes, Pinatubo depressed the 1990s, but then the huge El Niño in 1998 boosted it, whereas the past year has been depressed by a big La Niña, and the bottoming out of the most recent solar cycle. Lots of things tweak warming, but barring another major volcano soon, the next decade is certainly likely to be above 0.25°C warmer than this decade.]

  2. Brian D says:

    As crazy as Matt Nisbet is, maybe a bit of framing can help get this point across.

    “2008 coolest year of the decade” is functionally equivalent to “2008 is the 10th hottest year on record”. By combining this with other denier memes from this year (specifically, the Very Little Ice Age at the start of the year (cooling La Nina influence), the Upcoming Next Maunder Minimum (delay in solar cycle 24 meant extended period of low solar activity), and the recent It’s The Oceans, Stupid (Cooling phase of PDO) memes), you get an alarming story — “Even with all of that, it’s still the 10th hottest on record out of over 150 years.”

  3. alex says:

    Joe, Did you actually read the Guardian article or just go off on one half way through the first sentence? The article is saying more or less what you are saying – that the long term trend is upwards and not to get excited by one relatively cool year. Of all the papers in the UK the Guardian has been most consistent in pushing the AGW message and has the best general environment section. If you want to attack the UK papers I would start with the Daily Telegraph, Daily Express and Daily Mail, all of which have been firmly in the deniers camp over the last decade.

  4. Rick says:

    Does Climate Progress have a post dealing with the weather station data quality criticisms that are commonly featured on skeptic sites?

  5. Joe says:

    Rick:

    No I don’t. RealClimate handles that well. There is no reason to believe weather station data quality would have any statistically significant effect on long-term temperature trends.

    The only non-global trend of any consequence is the urban heat island, which NASA, Hadley, NOAA, and everybody else in this business is well aware of and compensates for. The fastest warming isn’t near where people are — it is in the Arctic and the mountain glaciers.

  6. Joe says:

    Alex:

    I obviously read the whole story. Did you read my entire blog post? The most important part of any news story is the headline, since most people don’t get past that. It is especially important in the age of the Internet where the headline becomes the story through the hyperlinks and commentary. The Guardian is indeed a good newspaper, which is why they should know better.

  7. jre says:

    A good starting point for Rick might be this post over at SkepticalScience.

  8. WHAT IS GALILEO DOING TONIGHT?

    I find it irresistible not to at least take a moment to wonder aloud about what Galileo is doing tonight. My hope would be that the great man is resting in peace and that his head is not spinning in his grave. How, now, can Galileo possibly find peace when so many top-rank scientists refuse to speak out clearly, loudly and often regarding whatsoever they believe to be true about the distinctly human-induced, global predicament presented to the family of humanity in our time by certain unbridled “overgrowth” activities of the human species from which global challenges visibly issue now and loom ominously on the far horizon?

    Where are the thousands of scientists who have a responsibility to stand up with those who developed virtual mountains of good scientific research regarding overconsumption, overproduction and overpopulation activities of the human species that are now overspreading and threatening to engulf the Earth.

    Perhaps there is something in the great and everlasting work of many silent scientists that will give Galileo a moment of peace in our time.

    What would the world we inhabit look like if scientists like Galileo adopted a code of silence, speaking only about scientific evidence which was politically convenient, economically expedient, religiously condoned and socially correct?

    Steven Earl Salmony
    AWAREness Campaign on The Human Population,
    established 2001

  9. groweg says:

    During the period from 1980 through around 2000 the earth reportedly warmed overall and where I live we could all see the evidence of warming temperatures – hotter summers and warmer winters with less snow than in the 1950′s through the 1970′s.

    However, some climate records have claimed that the heating of the earth stopped around 1998, plateued for a decade and has now started to cool. This is much more in line with what I have been experiencing and see reported from around the world. I can assure you, without looking at any temperature records, that this year has not been and will not be “warmer than any year of last century beside (the El-Niño-enhanced) 1998.”

    Nevermind that a lot of other scientific temperature data support a plateuing of temperatures over the past ten years and a decrease this past year. To call 2008 “very warm” is laughable. It makes me think you spend no time out in nature and/or are unable to interpret sensory data from the world around you. To call 2008 “very warm” makes me think you live in a bubble, not in the real world.

    [JR: Very warm is putting in mildly. It is your repetition of denier talking points without even any links to data that is laughable. That you think being outside in a few locations a few times during the year would provide any clue whatsoever as to planetary warming suggests to me it is you who live in a denial bubble.]

    Last winter was pretty severe here and last summer definately cooler than average. This fall is absolutely cooler than most years from 1975 – 2000. I am an avid x-c skier and I cannot remember ever getting such excellent late November – early December skiing conditions. Weather reports from Alaska and Europe are reporting “epic” skiing conditions. To call 2008 “very warm” indicates you have taken leave of your senses.

    [JR: Snowfall is hardly a contraindication of global warming, which predicts more water vapor and hence more precipitation of all kinds. I didn't realize you had taken up residence in the entire Arctic or in the oceans, which cover most of the area of the earth. Our senses tell us very little about planetary changes -- that's why we have science, to expand our senses, not to take leave of them or, in your case, rely on them for inappropriate judgments.]

  10. Papertiger says:

    Tree rings are useless as proxy for temperature – which means you can toss all of that graph including Brifa, Esper, Moberg, Mann, and Jones all of it belongs in the trash next to epicycles, canali and aether. There is no functional way to splice the surface temperature record to tree ring studies.

    BTW the temperature record you display as figure 1 (GISS temp) ends with 2008 at point seven (0.7), while your treecore millenium chart has the current temp rocketing off the scale past point eight (0.8) and your air temperature chart has the current temperature as point four (0.4).

    You might work on agreeing with yourself first, before trying to convince the rest of us, moron.

    [JR: I'm leaving your comment before banning you so people will see what we're up against. These are charts of temperature anomalies, not "current temp." As the links I provided make clear, the Hadley folk and GISS folk use different baselines for their anomaly calculations. But you must know all that given your comment. What you don't seem to know is the Northern Hemisphere data is not solely based on tree rings. Try reading the links before tossing out standard denier talking points.]

  11. Lamont says:

    Here’s the temperature graph with upper and lower trendlines drawn in green:

    http://www.scriptkiddie.org/Warming.png

    While we are currently towards the lower trendline, the overall trend has not been broken. If you know anyone in finance who is a technical analyst, you should ask them if the trend in this graph has been broken and if the “stock” is a good buy or not. They should tell you that having pulled back to the lower trendline that the “stock” is a buy and should go up, unless the lower trendline is violated.

    Now that is using tools designed to filter trends from noisy data (stock graphs) that have nothing particularly rational behind any given short term or intermeidate movement and instead create a fiction of sentiment or “overbought” or “oversold” conditions. In the case of the global climate the lower trendline actually corresponds to La Nina conditions and the upper tendline corresponds to El Nino conditions and is driven by the ocean-atmosphere heat transfer. The noisiness is simply that we can’t predict the ENSO conditions (or other lower-order oscillations like MJO, etc), so it appears like noise interposed on top of a trendline.

    Unfortunately we seem to be falling into another La Nina, so the winter is likely to be cold again and 2009 is likely to not set any measurable records in the atmosphere (although the oceans will continue to warm, but that doesn’t as directly affect humanity as the atmospheric weather).

    Also, anecdotally, back in the last 80s I remember visiting Seattle one winter when pipes were freezing and people were running their water so that the pipes wouldn’t freeze. I’ve been living in Seattle since 1989 and have never been through a winter that cold — even during the Little Ice Age of 2008 earlier this year. The winter of 2007-2008 was cold compared to other years that I recall in recent history, but it wasn’t as cold as temperatures 20 years ago, and the temperatures earlier this year were due to a very strong, cold La Nina in the pacific at that time.

    And it looks like we’re headed towards at least weakly La Nina conditions in the beginning of 2009, so we’re not likely to set any major records in 2009, either — although at some point we’re going to warm enough that even during strong La Nina phases the global climate will still be warmer than 1998 (when the lower trendline exceeds the value of the upper trendline in 1998 in the graph above).

  12. paulm says:

    Very disappointing headline by the Guardian. I don’t know what they were thinking?

  13. paulm says:

    Interesting solution…not sure about the last statement…

    Ancient skills ‘could reverse global warming’
    http://www.independent.co.uk/environment/climate-change/ancient-skills-could-reverse-global-warming-1055700.html

    Trials begin of a technique used by Amazon Indians that takes CO2 and locks it safely into soil
    …..
    Mr Sams calculates that if just two and a half per cent of the world’s productive land were used to produce biochar, carbon dioxide could be returned to pre-Industrial Revolution levels by 2050.

  14. paulm says:

    We need straightforward plans too…

    The Alternative Energy Association’s 3 Point Plan
    http://www.alternativeenergyassn.com/

  15. John Mashey says:

    Please observe that in many newspapers (I don’t know about the Guardian), the reporter does *not* choose the headline.

    As a humorous (after-the-fact) example, see How I lost 15% of my company’s market cap in an hour, in which an interview I did with the Wall Street Journal turned into a fine article, but got a bad headline.

  16. jorleh says:

    Very simple, going to warm 5 degrees in the century ahead. Because the feedbacks have just beginning to do their job.

    That means 10 C in the northern hemisphere…

  17. Commentor says:

    Decades have been beginning with 1′s since the year one.

    1, 1981, 2001, etc…

    [JR: So I take it you held off on your celebration of the new millennium until December 31, 2000. When we talk about decades we talk about the 1980s, the 1990s, etc., and those begin with 0's. Like I said, you can certainly say 2008 is on track to be the coldest year of the decade. But it does not look to be the coldest year of the 2000s. Pick your poision -- but the key is to be consistent.]

  18. erichansa says:

    10 years ago I couldn’t imagine winter without snow. We used to have at least 4 month of snow here. (I’m from central Russia)
    Now, its december, pretty warm and there is no snow at all.
    Its getting warmer every year, I CAN SEE IT!

  19. jason says:

    I really wish the global warming was hitting in Pennsylvania were its been 10 degrees below normal for the last week. Its 18 degrees F right now. I just wonder if it does get cooler over the next decade as the sunspot activity is gone what will be said then. Will we get our carbon credit refunds once we have a full fledged carbon tax if it does get cooler. This is all insane!

  20. stan says:

    Good afternoon, sir, your propaganda is ridiculous.
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/opinion/main.jhtml?xml=/opinion/2008/11/16/do1610.xml

    bye

    [JR: Wow. You certainly debunked my data-driven analysis with that denier-driven op-ed.]

  21. kanacola says:

    good afternoon to you sir!

    maybe you should read the actual stories behind the headline before jumping to conclusions.

    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2008/11/mountains-and-molehills/

  22. Bryan says:

    I wonder if it possible the Nuclear Age (1940-1980) helped to hold off the rate of warming that may have been occurring since the Industrial Revolution Era (looking at 1890-1930s). If so then one could possibly argue that by this time worldwide temperature anomaly could have been 0.4C higher on graph 1 if the nuclear testing had not occurred. I am not one from a science background, but I have a degree in history, and by no means am I suggesting that the phenomenon that I mentioned is what I believe to be fact, I am only trying to look at global warming in historical context. Very large volcano eruptions are known to cause worldwide temperatures to fall dramatically from the layer of gas, ash, and sulfuric acid that covers the earth after such eruptions, though the temperature variation only lasts 1-2 years.

    McCormick, M. Patrick et al. (1995). “Atmospheric effects of the Mt Pinatubo eruption”. Nature 373: 399–404. doi:10.1038/373399a0

    So, just some thoughts to deepen the discussion perhaps.

  23. alex says:

    Joe

    I think you are making something out of nothing. The headline is factually correct – after all, one of the ten years in the decade was bound to be the coolest one. They go straight on to explain:

    “The relatively chilly temperatures compared with recent years are not evidence that global warming is slowing however, say climate scientists at the Met Office. “Absolutely not,” said Dr Peter Stott, the manager of understanding and attributing climate change at the Met Office’s Hadley Centre. “If we are going to understand climate change we need to look at long-term trends.””

    The average Guardian readship is intelligent, well educated and most likely already sympathetic to the GW cause. It would be a different story if this headline was presented to the morons who read the tabloid comics. George Monbiot and others write frequently for the Guardian so that tells you what their line on GW is.

  24. paulm says:

    More anecdotal evidence that AGW is going to affect us big time…

    City in Quebec may replace outdoor ice rinks with plastic
    http://www.cbc.ca/canada/montreal/story/2008/12/08/plastic-ice.html
    ….
    “Our blue collar workers work like dogs [to lay down an ice surface on a rink]. They just get it down and then it rains, or warms up,” said Mayor Bob Benedetti.

    Residents were invited to try skating on thin sheets of plastic Sunday, and one young expert likes the idea.

  25. Bob Wallace says:

    Bryan – someone has done the math on that question – calculated the amount of dust flung into the atmosphere by nuclear testing – and there wasn’t enough to cause the observed cooling.

    The 1940+ period when global temps took a slight downward turn is often referred to as “global dimming” which reflects lowered measured amounts of sunlight reaching the Earth’s surface.

    Here’s a good read….

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Global_dimming

  26. J. Acai says:

    Climate change deniers (conservatives and similar retards alike) are too dense to look at and understand anything with the phrase “data sets” in it. Unless it affects these morons directly they’re not going to admit anything.

  27. charlie says:

    Hi Joe-

    Thanks for the response but I still think you are overstating your case when you assert an accelerating trend in the warming since the 1980s. In the long run, sure, there’s likely to be an upward curve to the temperature trend but that depends critically on the emissions trajectory which isn’t a scientific prediction but a policy scenario. In the short run (and by short I mean a decade or two) we are nowhere near a steady-state solution and you have to consider the huge flywheel that is the ocean heat capacity.

    And I wouldn’t agree that the IPCC has “notoriously underestimated the speed and scale of climate impacts”–actually if you look at the figure I mention in my first comment (fig. TS.26 in the tech. summary) it shows that the FAR was pretty close, and that only had two models! I would argue that, on the global scale at least, if anything, the IPCC ensembles underestimate the interannual variability (which would make sense since ENSO is still not very good in most of the coupled models). It is true that the SRES scenarios all failed to anticipate the huge growth in Asian emissions and thus underestimated the global CO2 increase, but again, that’s not a scientific prediction but a scenario and it is crucial to keep those two roles separate.

    So where do you get that 0.25C number from? I assume you just pulled it out of the air, unless you know something the rest of us don’t about, say, whether the recent arctic sea ice dropoff is really an irreversible transition. Of course, it is possible that there is a positive upward curvature to the temperature trend, but you can’t fit a curve through three data points and assert that its really a curve. You just can’t.

    Point being, that it is best to not get too far ahead of ourselves. There is a lot we don’t know. The decade isn’t even over yet, and the simple fact of a positive linear trend is bad enough and a real call to action, so why is it necessary to go beyond the evidence? Its not any more honest than what the other side does, and what does it get you?

    [JR: I was being conservative. Actually, 0.3°C is probably the number, see here. You are too focused on the IPCC's temperature impacts -- I was talking about Arctic ice loss, ice sheet mass loss, expansion of the subtropics, etc. My analysis and projections are based on the scientific literature. Given the acceleration of emissions and accelerated ice loss, I stand by what I wrote.]

  28. Peter Sinclair says:

    Isn’t it the case that, when the La Nina is splashing cool waters over the pacific, that it’s sucking heat out of the atmosphere, and IN to the ocean system?
    So, although the transient effect is atmospheric cooling, the longer term implication is, more heat in the oceanic reservoir, thereby insuring
    faster warming later on…..

  29. MAGB says:

    This is all irrelevant – the Antarctic was covered in forest 40 or 50 million years ago. Climate has varied dramatically for millennia and will continue to do so. So we will have to adapt to massive natural variation anyway. If we have to devote time and effort to this adaptation, why lower our standard of living even further by wasting time on tiny changes possibly related to CO2?

  30. Joe says:

    Yes, natural forcings drove an ice free Antarctic tens of millions of years ago. By century’s end, human-caused forcings will match those natural forcings. I’m sure our ancestors will look forward to 280 feet higher sea levels.

  31. David B. Benson says:

    Fastest warming (on land) is in the Yukon and the Antarctic Penninsula; about tied for this dubious honor.

  32. David B. Benson says:

    Err, Joe. Descendants.

    At no time during the entire existence (so far) of genus Homo has the sea level been more than 6 meters hgher than it is now.

  33. Alan D. McIntire says:

    http://www.cru.uea.ac.uk/cru/data/temperature/hadsst2gl.txt

    Year Temp
    1 2000 0.219
    2 2001 0.335
    3 2002 0.376
    4 2003 0.406
    5 2004 0.383
    6 2005 0.383
    7 2006 0.340
    8 2007 0.278
    9 2008 0.251

    Plugging into

    http://faculty.vassar.edu/lowry/corr_big.html

    Making the unreasonable assumption that the trend is linear, and the yearly temperature anomalies are independent random variables, you get a 0.23 C cooling per century, with a 95% confidence interval of between minus 2.38 C per century and plus 1.92 C per century.
    - A. McIntire

    [JR: Not sure what is the point of this comment.]

  34. Eli Rabett says:

    RPJr wants to bet. Actually he wants to prance, but he probably can be shamed into betting.

  35. Bob Wallace says:

    MAGB -

    Please describe the process by which we relocate billions of people to the polar extremes of the globe, rebuild our infrastructure, recreate agriculture, etc. in just a few decades.

    Be sure to include how it can be done with less suffering and in a less expensive way than simply changing the way we produce electricity and fuel our transportation.

    Looking forward to your guidance through the upcoming troubling times….

  36. Reference: “Six Degrees” by Mark Lynas Downloaded from:
    http://www.marklynas.org/2007/4/23/six-steps-to-hell-summary-of-six-degrees-as-published-in-the-guardian

    1ºC: Nebraska isn’t at the top of most tourists’ to-do lists. However, this dreary expanse of impossibly flat plains sits in the middle of one of the most productive agricultural systems on Earth. Beef and corn dominate the economy, and the Sand Hills region – where low, grassy hillocks rise up from the flatlands – has some of the best cattle ranching in the whole US. But scratch beneath the grass and you will find, as the name suggests, not soil but sand. These innocuous-looking hills were once desert, part of an immense system of sand dunes that spread across the Great Plains from Texas in the south to the Canadian prairies in the north. Six thousand years ago, when temperatures were about 1C warmer than today in the US, these deserts may have looked much as the Sahara does today. As global warming bites, the western US could once again be plagued by perennial drought – devastating agriculture and driving out human inhabitants on a scale far larger than the 1930s “Dustbowl” exodus.

    1ºC is 1.8 degrees Fahrenheit. Since the year 1750, we have already caused 1.3 degrees Fahrenheit of global warming. You didn’t notice it because you are not 300 years old. The rate of global warming continues to speed up. It won’t take much longer. Only another half a degree Fahrenheit and Americans stop eating. American civilization collapses and 99.99% of all Americans and Europeans die. Cannibalism happens. YOU and I will be among the dead.

    Read: “Collapse” by Jared Diamond and “The Long Summer” by Brian Fagan. Something like 2 dozen civilizations have already disappeared because of climate changes smaller than the one we have already caused. Starvation was the cause of death.

    There is no time to build anything above the Arctic circle. It will be all over before then.

  37. Lamont says:

    “I really wish the global warming was hitting in Pennsylvania were its been 10 degrees below normal for the last week. Its 18 degrees F right now. I just wonder if it does get cooler over the next decade as the sunspot activity is gone what will be said then. Will we get our carbon credit refunds once we have a full fledged carbon tax if it does get cooler. This is all insane!” — jason.

    rumors of solar activities demise have been greatly exaggerated.

    after the spotless august every month after that has had fewer days with no sunspots…

    a new maunder minimum would also only wipe out about a decade of global warming (0.2C) and its not clear how fast that would occur.

    and i’m still waiting for a winter here in seattle when the pipes freeze like they did back in the 1980s.

  38. Tom Raftery says:

    Great post Joe, thanks.

    One question, looking at the second graph above, any idea what accounts for the large temp rise from 1910 to 1940?

    [JR: Yes. Recovery from (and absence of) major volcanoes. Robock did a good paper on this I will blog on some time.]

  39. Paul says:

    I wonder what planet this is on? I like the still present long discredited hockey stick in the second graph and the first graph showing temperatures still rising when they haven’t risen a bit in a decade.

    Seriously we all have trouble seeing past our own bias, but do you ever go outside? It is brutally cold and while 2008 may not be the coldest year in the last 50 it is going to be darn close. Maybe you should try this again without the thousands of “corrections” that have been put in the data set by the NASA people. We might all learn something.

    A question for Bob,

    Do you know anyone who prefers brutal cold to warm? If warm is so bad why do so many move to Florida, California, Arizona? I have some lake front property, but no one wants to pay big bucks for it… Is it maybe because Lake Baikal is too dang cold? My old Lake Huron place didn’t fetch the big bucks either.

    Asteroid Miner three words: Little Ice Age.

    More than half of the land area in the Northern Hemisphere is North of me. Today’s weather… a foot of snow on the ground and -20 C.

    Warming would be so nice. I admit the booming polar bear populations could be a problem.

  40. Naysayers, I invite you to look at the graph above, and then tell me that everything’s OK with our environment. I’m sure you will still have a rationalization about why this is all BS.

  41. Rob says:

    What ended the little iceage and don`t tell me CO2.
    What caused the medieval warm period, don`t tell me CO2 and don`t tell me it was local, unless you mean local to this planet.

    [JR: You really should read the literature and not denier talking points. The best evidence says that the climate changed when it was forced. The little iceage may not have been global but in any case was associated with a deep sunspot minimum and volcanoes. The MWP was NOT global. Sorry. Now we are forcing the climate to change much faster than Nature ever.]

  42. Bob Wallace says:

    “Seriously we all have trouble seeing past our own bias, but do you ever go outside? It is brutally cold and while 2008 may not be the coldest year in the last 50 it is going to be darn close. Maybe you should try this again without the thousands of “corrections” that have been put in the data set by the NASA people. We might all learn something.”

    What happens in one specific location is not necessarily indicative of the overall global situation.

    Here in my part of California it has been exceptionally warm, verging on hot all fall. We had our first real snowfall last night – December 12. And we had summer flowers blooming right up until late last night.

    I’m not going to make summary statements based on either your cold fall or my hot one. I’ll wait for the global averages….

    “A question for Bob,

    Do you know anyone who prefers brutal cold to warm? If warm is so bad why do so many move to Florida, California, Arizona? I have some lake front property, but no one wants to pay big bucks for it… Is it maybe because Lake Baikal is too dang cold? My old Lake Huron place didn’t fetch the big bucks either.”

    It’s not the “brutal cold to warm” issue that we are worried about.

    It’s a brutal cold to warm to hot to very, very crowded with more people that we can feed when the non-brutally cold places become inhospitable for human existence.

    Think jambing 8 billion people in the higher elevations of Canada and Siberia. Got topsoil there? Hard to garden in rocks and swamps.

    Your lake front property? Probably will be worth much less than now when it’s a few feet under water. Along with Miami, New York, Bangkok, Florence, London,….

  43. Pwrdog says:

    Lamont Says:

    December 9th, 2008 at 2:42 am

    And i’m still waiting for a winter here in seattle when the pipes freeze like they did back in the 1980s.

    I think they have been breaking for the last few day’s and will continue for another week or so…..

  44. Vernon says:

    Well, I do not think I can agree with your premise. Both RSS and UAH satellite based temperature records indicate that 2008 is one of the coldest years in the last 30. UAH has it at number 5. We now have near 30 years of satellite based temperature collection and the satellite record actually is a global one, not like the ground based stations that are few and far between over much of the earth’s surface and additionally have further problems with data quality and the whole issue of data filling for missing data.

    When you add in that there is a divergence problem, as identified by the IPPC between the instrumented readings and the proxy readings which has not been addressed. I do not see how anyone can say now is hotter than the medieval warm period or the roman warm period when we know now that the proxies do not show a temperature increase beyond a certain point.

    [JR: Why do people with your claims so rarely have links to peer-reviewed studies?]

  45. Vernon says:

    Sorry, I though that the IPPC 4th report was peer reviewed.

  46. msn nickleri says:

    Sorry, I though that the IPPC 4th report was peer reviewed.

  47. a major ASS says:

    Dear Joe

    I HAD ACCEPTED YOUR BET. (and as my 5.000€ seem too much for you I’ll take it on your 1.000 usd)

    what mail shoul I use to contact you?

    Best regards

    http://climateprogress.org/2009/01/05/anthony-watts-up-with-that-anti-science-denier-website-weblog-awards/

    January 7th, 2009 at 10:32 am
    I’ll give you better than 1 “fluke” in 20 years. I’ll bet that half of the next 10 years (starting in 2009) are warmer than 2008. Should be a no-brainer for you. And I’ll even be OK with the Hadley temperature dataset.

    If you want a shorter timeframe, propose a different bet.

    a major ASS Says:

    January 7th, 2009 at 10:48 am
    Dear Joe

    On your terms it suits me just fine.

    2009 to 2018 anyone getting the first five wins.

    I expect to colect start of 2014 (but you might think the same). worst case scenario things get settled at the start of 2019.

    Would you accept 5.000 € for our wager?

    Could you leave a link so that I can leave a private message?

    Best regards

  48. Basisrente says:

    Where is the sommer? The weather is changing. 10 years ago we had beautiful summers. Just rainy and stormy!

  49. Everybody should keep the environment clean. Those who think it is not worth any effort, musst be blind. I`ve been on holiday in Croatia. It was so beautiful there. The whole world has still such amazing places. We musst keep them for further generations.

  50. Tomzp says:

    noone can do anything against. I like hot.

  51. James -ner says:

    I like all the comments about: “I have a frigid snowy winter, global warming must not be real!” It might have been in your backyard but not mine. That is what you call local. The last 2 or 3 winters in Allentown, PA snow has been below normal. But what happens in my backyard and your backyard one year has nothing to do with the long term trends. It might just be because of weather patterns, La Nina for example, that we haven’t seen that much snow (drought). These three winters can’t solely be blamed on global warming or La Nina.
    Interesting to note that one of our least snowiest winters 1997-1998 (7.2″) was during a strong El Nino and the winter of 1982-1983 had about normal snowfall also had a powerful El Nino (34.3″), our second biggest snowstorm occurred that year too. 1993 and 1994 where also El Nino years. In our snowiest winter of 1993-1994 we had 75.2 inches of snow! Our second snowiest winter was 1995-1996 with 71.8 inches of snow, which was a La Nina year.

    http://www.wunderground.com/blog/Blizzard92/comment.html?entrynum=96&tstamp=

    The NAO phase, – or +, has an effect on cold or warm winters and on hot and cool summers.

    Sorry if I went off topic.

  52. Rob Spooner says:

    I will happily take the bet of $1000 against your statement that “the next decade is certainly likely to be above 0.25°C warmer than this decade.” The phrase “certainly likely” isn’t very mathematical but I interpret that as meaning that you have no doubt that the odds favor you in a bet at .25 C. If so, I’ll take it. If not, you should retract the statement.

    Rob Spooner, President
    Online Highways LLC