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Monday, 5 December 2016

Despite Denial, Data Shows Global Temperatures Are Dropping Fast

Anthony Watts
Watts Up With That?

All global temperature data sets confirm that global temperature has fallen rapidly in recent months as the recent El Nino ended.

Guest essay by Dr David Whitehouse, The GWPF Science Editor

Over the last couple of years there have been many articles about how they have been record-breakers in global temperature. It’s often sold as a simple ‘the planet is getting warmer only because of us’ story. As I have discussed before the concurrent El Nino was dismissed by some climate scientists as having an insignificant contribution to that record. However, there is a great deal of confusion and diversity in the assessment of its contribution. Some scientists maintain that it was the recent very strong El Nino that elevated the temperature to record levels.

Nevertheless some maintain that warm records would have been broken without the El Nino (although the significant contribution made by the highly unusual warm “Pacific Blob” is usually ignored).

As the 2015/16 El Nino started to wane wiser heads said the records would fade along with it, “No El Nino, no record,” they said, showing that the El Nino was responsible for edging the years to be records.
It is obvious that the world is cooling after the El Nino and nobody knows how much it will as global temperatures bottom out. So the time is right, one would have thought, to monitor that cooling process and see what can be deduced to set the recent record warm years into their proper context.

In doing so it seems that you can write a straightforward article, clearly one that can be revisited in the coming months with new data, present some current data, discuss the caveats surrounding it, and still get criticised, especially about what the article did not say. Cut and past comments and quotes blossomed in many blogs, sloppy statistics are banded about, along with not a little hubris wrapped up in ignorance and gratuitous use of the ‘denier’ label.

David Rose’s article in the Mail on Sunday simply reported what has happened recently to the Lower Tropospheric temperature over land. This data set responds more quickly to temperature changes that other sets which follow suite later. Land temperatures heat up and cool down quicker. They show the El Nino spike very clearly and the possible return to pre El Nino temperatures.

Some have said the article is flawed because it has cherry-picked the particular data used, some have even said “extreme cherry-picking,” implying it is the only data set that shows the global temperature drop. This is nonsense.

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