So the next time you read about weather issues in the United States, remember that we are only a small fraction of the total area of the world,
Record warm and cold weather: but overall a standstill
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“Not even close: 2012 was hottest ever in US,” The New York Times, (1)
“2012: hottest year on record for continental US,” National Geographic Daily News, (2)
“2012 was hottest year on record,” San Francisco Chronicle, (3)
What about some other parts of the world? Have you seen these?
“Germany’s winter temperature trend in a nosedive…now falling 6 C per century!”, (4)
“Deadly cold continues to grip Asia—hundreds dead—subtropical Bangladesh sees coldest temps since the 1960s!”, (5)
“European climate institute: ‘Climate in Germany has been cooling for 15 years,’” (6)
Along with the heat in the United States and frigid weather in much of Europe and Asia, there were heat waves in Brazil and Australia. Ironically, if you average all this up, you might come up with no change—and that is precisely what a recent report shows. David Whitehouse observes, “It is incontrovertible that the global annual average temperature of the past decade and in some datasets the past 15 years has not increased. (7)
The Met Office has forecast that there will be no further warming of the planet over the next five years. This downgrading means that by 2017 there is projected to have been no global increase in temperature for almost 20 years. (8)
Whitehouse adds, “Year-on-year fluctuations, and any trend over this period, are within errors of measurement. The only justifiable statistical description of the global temperature during this period is a constant. This standstill has occurred as atmospheric CO2 has increased from 370 ppm to 390 ppm.” (7)
In their zeal to show the United States heating up, media in this country ignored other parts of the world that were not experiencing the same thing. In all three accounts headlined above, no mention was made that some parts of the world were undergoing record cold. It’s as if the world is centered in the good old US and since we experienced a ‘record year’, global warming was verified.
Germany has now had 5 relatively harsh winters in a row. And if that trend continues, things could get a lot worse.(4) The trend of colder winters was also confirmed by a new study of the Swiss Alps. (9)
Britain’s relentless big freeze has sparked fears of the highest winter death rate in five years. The brutal Arctic blast has caused temperatures to plummet amid what could be the coldest March for almost three decades. Pensioner groups warned the death rate among Britain’s elderly has already soared this winter with fears it could hit 30,000. (10)
Asia has been having one of its coldest winters in memory. And the headlines of bitter cold have not been limited to Russia. Siberia, Mongolia, and China add to the list, and also subtropical regions way down in southern Asia. People there have been dying of record cold. Bangladesh is shivering under a record cold wave. In this subtropical country, temperature have fallen to 3 C over the course of one week—the lowest in 45 years. (5)
So, while some parts of the world are seeing record heat, others are seeing record cold. And depending on which side of the global warming debate you are on, there are data to support your position.
Then along come a number of recent reports that say, overall the global temperature of the past 10-15 years has been at a standstill. So, what is one to make of this? Some folks argue that the duration of the standstill is too short to be meaningful. Thirty years is now taken to be the baseline for observing climate changes and fifteen years is too short. David Whitehouse argues that 15 years is not an insignificant period; what happened to make temperatures remain constant requires an explanation. (7)
One whopper is that one renowned IPCC scientist postpones warm winters by up to 100 years! (11) Not a bad idea; if you are going to make prediction like this, you are quite safe since very few folks living today will be around to see if you got it right.
One other point from David Whitehouse’s report, “If the standstill continues for a few more years it will mean that no one who has just reached adulthood, or younger, will have witnessed the Earth get warmer during their lifetime.
So the next time you read about weather issues in the United States, remember that we are only a small fraction of the total area of the world, even though many might think that we are the center of the universe.
- Justin Gillis, “Not even close: 2012 was hottest ever in US,” The New York Times, January 8, 2013
- Ker Than, “2012: Hottest year on record for continental US,” National Geographic Daily News, January 9, 2013
- David Perlman, “2012 was hottest year on record,” San Francisco Chronicle, January 8, 2013
- P. Gosselin, “Germany’s winter temperature trend in a nosedive…now falling 6 C per century!”, notrickszonecom, February 12, 2013
- P. Goseselin, “Deadly cold continues to grip Asia- hundred dead- subtropical Bangladesh sees coldest temps since the 1960s!”, notrickszone.com, January 13, 2013
- P. Gosselin, “European climate institute: ‘Climate in Germany has been cooling for 15 years,’”, notrickszone.com, January 16, 2013
- David Whitehouse, “The Global Warming Standstill,” Global Warming Policy Foundation, 2013
- Tom Whipple, “Global warming is over for five years, say Met Office,” Global Warming Policy Foundation, January 8, 2013
- S. C. Scherrer et al., (2013), “Snow variability in the Swiss Alps 1864-2009,” Int. J. Climatol., doi:10.1002/joc.3653
- Nathan Rao, “Deaths up by 30,000 in big freeze,” Daily Express, March 13, 2013
- P. Gosselin, “Internationally renowned IPCC scientist Prof. Mojib now postpones warm winters by up to 100 years!”, notrickszone.com, March 16, 2013