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A hot 2013 is likely

There is nothing particular new in this piece by Stefan Rahmstorf in New Scientist but it is clear and well-written. The year 2013 is likely to involve record high global temperatures simply because of the trend growth in temperatures (0.16 degrees C per decade over the past 30 years) and because a new El Nino is approaching.  The El Nino effects as well as volcanic activity and solar activity create short-term cycles around this rising trend that dishonest denialists have cheery-picked to seek to show that temperature increases are not continuing.  But the trend rates of temperature increase are a fact not a theory.  The accepted theory explaining these trends is the increase in Greenhouse gas emissions. Rahmstorf asks what new dishonesties will be used to justify denialism in 2013? If next year is a new record then 14 years out of the last 16 will be hottest ever recorded. One would think that strident hysterics in the denialist movement would feel some slight measure of discomfit at the self-evident lack of realism in their views.

Or will there be a new class of deceit introduced? Twists on the “climate change has always occurred” or “even if it does occur it won’t be harmful and even if it was we can’t do anything about it” lies.

Update: I have been reading the second edition of Neil Robert’s book The Holocene: An Environmental History.  This is a careful history of the global environment over the past 10,000 years.  Its very cautious on the issue of climate change causation noting that climate did display quite a bit of instability during the Holocene.  He is therefore cautious about drawing conclusions.  But he does inspect data on the connection between CO2 levels and temperature over the last full glacial-Interglacial cycle using the Vostok ice core data from Antartica which he describes as providing the “most  complete and direct record of greenhouse gases and temperatures” over this period.  His conclusion is straightforward: The data “strongly supports a link”.  Its a great read by the way and discusses at length other very long term environmental changes introduced by the development of agriculture.

6 comments to A hot 2013 is likely

  • MACK1

    There are still overwhelming problems with this theory. The observations are simply not matching the modelling. For example, the Himalayans glaciers continue to expand:
    and the rate of sea level rise is slowing:

    When you say “But the trend rates of temperature increase are a fact not a theory” it depends on the time frame. It is an inconvertible fact that there is no statistically significant increase over the last 15 years. The paper Ramsdorf quotes says “When the data are adjusted to remove the estimated impact of known factors on short-term temperature variations (El Niño/southern oscillation, volcanic aerosols and solar variability), the global warming signal becomes even more evident as noise is reduced”. The reality is that those adjustments are based on seriously shaky assumptions and the resultant errors bands are so wide that the underlying trend cannot be established. This is second rate science.

    (editor, hc) It doesn’t matter what evidence is produced wackos like this still clutch at straws to deny the obvious. I didn’t delete it because its existence confirms the argument of Ramsdorf.

  • conrad

    MACK1 can you read? Here is the abstract of the paper you just linked:”…The globally averaged mass balance of glaciers and ice caps is negative…Our measurements confirm an anomalous mass balance in the Karakoram region and …”

    And look they use computer models:”Here, we calculate the regional mass balance of glaciers in the central Karakoram between 1999 and 2008, based on the difference between two digital elevation models”

    Last time I checked, I thought most the fools thought that computer models wern’t a valid source of anything (fingers obviously are).

  • John Mashey

    HC: you might want to peruse this issue of The Holocene Much relevant research has happened since 1998.

    Of course, it is easy to know all about the Holocene by visiting it, as it is a arts & music venue+nightclub in downtown Portland, OR.

  • JB Cairns

    the incontrovertible fact is world temperatures have risen in statistically significant way as John Quiggin has shown.

    Look up Lindzen on his blog

  • NickR

    It is remarkable the number of non-scientists who dismiss mainstream climate change research as “second rate”. As if the armchair critics know enough about (i) scientific research generally and (ii) climatology in particular to come to an informed judgment. Of course such a view implies that the vast majority of scientists are either stupid (relative to their far less educated critics) or engaged in a vast conspiracy. Both of these implications are outlandish enough to dismiss the denialist argument out of hand.

    Further when denialists quote some factoid that seems to run up against conventional wisdom they are showing a shocking lack of understanding of the type of complex dynamic systems that true scientists study. Of course when you can measure the climate in a thousand different ways the results will not always be in perfect agreement. However when an overwhelming proportion of indicators point in the same direction this leads to a strong conclusion, even in the presence of some nonconforming data (e.g. Himalayan glaciers).

  • mikey

    Climate change continues to be wrapped around the neck of conservative world-view ideology. Global warming will be denied or downplayed until they untangle themselves… or choke and die (taking the rest of us with them.)

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