The Bright Coast

Progressive Thoughts from San Diego Alums on Law, Politics, and Culture

Statisticians Reject Global Cooling

Posted by demkid on November 3, 2009

I’ve been meaning to post this story for a little while.  The public seems to be so fickle on the global warming issue and environmental topics in general, so it’s nice to see somewhat lengthy articles like this one that tend to dismiss the nonsense coming from a select few.

Global warming skeptics base their claims on an unusually hot year in 1998. Since then, they say, temperatures have dropped — thus, a cooling trend. But it’s not that simple.

Since 1998, temperatures have dipped, soared, fallen again and are now rising once more. Records kept by the British meteorological office and satellite data used by climate skeptics still show 1998 as the hottest year. However, data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and NASA show 2005 has topped 1998. Published peer-reviewed scientific research generally cites temperatures measured by ground sensors, which are from NOAA, NASA and the British, more than the satellite data.

The recent Internet chatter about cooling led NOAA’s climate data center to re-examine its temperature data. It found no cooling trend.

“The last 10 years are the warmest 10-year period of the modern record,” said NOAA climate monitoring chief Deke Arndt. “Even if you analyze the trend during that 10 years, the trend is actually positive, which means warming.”

“To talk about global cooling at the end of the hottest decade the planet has experienced in many thousands of years is ridiculous,” said Ken Caldeira, a climate scientist at the Carnegie Institution at Stanford.

Yet, as long as there’s nonsense floating around out there, a certain section of the public will always believe it.

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