Even the Koch-funded Berkeley study found recent surface warming “on the high end” and speeding up. And scientists have long known that the overwhelming majority of human-caused warming was expected to go into the oceans, which just keeps heating up pretty darn steadily (see graph below).
But there is certainly a lot of natural variability (aka noise) in the long-term trend for surface warming, which the deniers doggedly exploit to confuse the public. This short video by Ole Christoffer Haga is a great visual explanation of the difference between climate and weather:
There are various ways to remove the short-term “noise” of natural climate variability from the temperature record to reveal the true global warming signal.
One recent study simply calculated and removed some of the best understood sources of the noise, “the estimated impact of known factors on short-term temperature variations (El Niño/southern oscillation, volcanic aerosols and solar variability)” — see Sorry, Deniers, Study of “True Global Warming Signal” Finds “Remarkably Steady” Rate of Manmade Warming Since 1979.
If you remove the natural influences and then average the 5 major surface temperature and satellite-based lower-atmosphere estimates, you get this:
The authors of the study note the “adjusted data show clearly, both visually and when subjected to statistical analysis, that the rate of global warming due to other factors (most likely these are exclusively anthropogenic) has been remarkably steady during the 32 years from 1979 through 2010.” They conclude:
Its unabated increase is powerful evidence that we can expect further temperature increase in the next few decades, emphasizing the urgency of confronting the human influence on climate.
Sadly the noise from the deniers also continues unabated.
Finally, whatever slight slowing in global warming some groups may have observed in the past decade, not only was it driven by this “noise,” it was primarily in the surface temperature data set. The oceans kept heating up:
A 2009 NOAA-led study, “An observationally based energy balance for the Earth since 1950” concluded, “since 1950, the planet released about 20 percent of the warming influence of heat-trapping greenhouse gases to outer space as infrared energy. Volcanic emissions lingering in the stratosphere offset about 20 percent of the heating by bouncing solar radiation back to space before it reached the surface. Cooling from the lower-atmosphere aerosols produced by humans balanced 50 percent of the heating. Only the remaining 10 percent of greenhouse-gas warming actually went into heating the Earth, and almost all of it went into the ocean.”
So the warming continues just where scientists expected it.
- It’s “Extremely Likely That at Least 74% of Observed Warming Since 1950″ Was Manmade; It’s Highly Likely All of It Was