Slate Writer: Global Warming Moving Fast, Despite Global Temperatures Remaining Stagnant for Sixteen Years

So, Slate’s Bad Astronomy blog posted today that the Earth is warming at an alarming rate.  In fact, it’s rising “faster than it has been in 11,000 years.”  Of course, this is rubbish.  Global temperatures have stagnated for the past sixteen years, and 1936 saw warmer temperatures than 2012.  The blog’s author, Phil Plait, has cited Think Progress and another so-called media watchdog group, which shall not be named, in his posts – so you know it has a left-wing tilt.

Plait added:

The rate at which the globe is warming right now is far, far faster than it ever has going back as far as they could measure, up to 11,300 years ago. In fact, over the past 5000 years, the Earth actually cooled by about 1.3°F…until the last 100 years, when our temperature spiked upwards by about the same amount.

Mind you, this is the rate of warming, how quickly the global temperature is increasing. But they also showed the actual temperature of the planet is warmer now than it has been for 70-80 percent of the past over that time period. There have been times when the Earth was warmer, but the important point isn’t the actual temperature, but what it’s doing.

And what it’s doing now is skyrocketing. Let’s revisit what the Daily Mail reported what the UK Metrological Office discovered back in January of 2013.  They said that:

…world temperatures are likely to stay around 0.43 degrees above the long-term average – as by then they will have done for 20 years.

This is hugely significant. It amounts to an admission that earlier forecasts – which have dictated years of Government policy and will cost tens of billions of pounds – were wrong. They did not, the Met Office now accepts, take sufficient account of  ‘natural variability’ – the effects of phenomena such as ocean temperature cycles – which at least for now are counteracting greenhouse gas warming.

Furthermore, the Mail aptly noted how this event is creating “Green deniers”:

There is, for example, the odious term ‘denier’. This is applied to anyone who questions the new orthodoxy about global warming. It doesn’t matter if one states that yes, CO2 does warm the planet, but the critical issues we need to address are how fast and how much: if one doesn’t anticipate catastrophe, one must be vilified, and equated with those who deny the Holocaust.

Yet the real deniers are those who don’t just claim that the pause is insignificant, but that it doesn’t exist at all. Such deniers also still insist that the ‘science is settled’. The truth is that the unexpected pause has triggered a new spate of research, in which many supposed ‘consensus’ conclusions are being questioned.

Plait’s response to this development back in January was typical:

So let this be clear: There is no scientific controversy over this. Climate change denial is purely, 100 percent made-up political and corporate-sponsored crap. When the loudest voices are fossil-fuel funded think tanks, when they don’t publish in science journals but instead write error-laden op-eds in partisan venues, when they have to manipulate the data to support their point, then what they’re doing isn’t science.

Well, 1,000 scientists have questioned manmade global warming, and they’re made up of ex-NASA personnel and Nobel laureates.  But to folks like Plait, they are just some massive conspiracy fraught with “corporate-sponsored crap.”  Slate readers deserve better than this weak sauce. It should also be noted that Andrew Revkin, writer for the NYT's now defunct Dot Earth blog, admitted that "if the current pause persists through 2015 or beyond, questions will build."

Environment Global Warming Slate Phil Plait

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