The answer to the question “where the heck is global warming?” is “precisely where you would expect,” as we will see.
Wired has done some excellent reporting on one of the supposed start-dumping-your-clean-energy-stocks e-mails — the one by Kevin Trenberth, head of the Climate Analysis Section at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) in Boulder, Colorado:
Well I have my own article on where the heck is global warming? We are asking that here in Boulder where we have broken records the past two days for the coldest days on record. We had 4 inches of snow. The high the last 2 days was below 30F and the normal is 69F, and it smashed the previous records for these days by 10F. The low was about 18F and also a record low, well below the previous record low”¦.
The fact is that we can’t account for the lack of warming at the moment, and it is a travesty that we can’t. The CERES data published in the August BAMS 09 supplement on 2008 shows there should be even more warming: but the data are surely wrong. Our observing system is inadequate.
Note: No, I’m not thrilled with reprinting part of an illegally stolen e-mail, but this was in Wired and has been confirmed by the author and actually deals with the science.
This email allegedly “suggests that reality contradicts scientific claims about global warming,” at least to those who don’t understand and accept climate science. Not surprisingly, the author, one of the country’s leading experts on climate, disagrees. Let me first note that Trenberth signed the Must Read Bali Climate Declaration by Scientists, which opens:
The 2007 IPCC report, compiled by several hundred climate scientists, has unequivocally concluded that our climate is warming rapidly, and that we are now at least 90% certain that this is mostly due to human activities. The amount of carbon dioxide in our atmosphere now far exceeds the natural range of the past 650,000 years, and it is rising very quickly due to human activity. If this trend is not halted soon, many millions of people will be at risk from extreme events such as heat waves, drought, floods and storms, our coasts and cities will be threatened by rising sea levels, and many ecosystems, plants and animal species will be in serious danger of extinction.
One can only dream that we lived in a world where that important declaration by more than 200 of the world’s leading climate scientists would get even one half the media coverage of a bunch of stolen e-mails that do nothing whatsoever to change the scientific evidence or the urgent need for action. But I digress.
Trenberth says, “If you read all of these e-mails, you will be surprised at the integrity of these scientists. The unfortunate thing about this is that people can cherry pick and take things out of context.” Here is Trenberth explaining what his e-mail in fact meant in context: