HARD TO SEE WHAT YOU HAVE NO INTEREST TO SEE.
Naturally, a number of greenhouse deniers observe a decrease of global temps in the last 30 years. Here is the real global data:
The graph shows an increase of average global temperatures of half a degree Celsius in less than 30 years (this translates into many times that as the poles, and nearly no augmentation of temperature elsewhere; but the poles are the Earth’s icebox: demolish the icebox, and the rest will rot, with water all over you don’t want to have it).
Greenhouse deniers can look at a graph such as this one, and see a decrease. Nobody has said they were very bright. Actually, they are paid to be dumb. More exactly, they are paid more, and become more famous, the more they misinterpret the obvious.
As I explained in my post of May 31, 2009, a possible explanation for the plateau on the right is the decrease of the sun’s activity in the last 30 years, which works against the greenhouse effect. Watch the red line below:
For reasons unknown, a fluctuation of irradiance of the sun shows up as a rise of temperature 3 to 4 times greater than what one would expect from the straight input of solar energy: non linear phenomena are at work that we do not understand, but such is the fact.
Another fact, related, or not, is that, for reasons unknown, natural methane production went flat for 10 years.
After a moratorium of 10 years, methane’s density is picking up again. Methane came out of the Arctic ocean in 2007. What happened in 2007? 2007 had the warmest Arctic ocean ever.
In 2008, the ocean was a tiny bit colder, so the CH4 stayed put in the ocean, sort of, but it escaped instead from the tundra… Methane is, of course, as I explained before, the number one cause of worry: it has the potential of increasing global temperatures an inconceivable amount, in a few years.
Greenhouse deniers are well paid: they go on TV, etc. They have interest to deny the fact that the graph above is going up, from down on the left, up to the right.
The same happened when Galileo showed to his friends the cardinals, and his friend the pope, what could be seen in his telescope, namely mountains on the moon. The cardinals looked into the telescope, and they saw no mountains, no shadows of the mountains. Nothing.
The cardinals just saw a perfect sphere, as their forefathers from their institutionalized superstition had taught them the moon was. Why? Because they had a vested interest in the institution they were heading. A fortiori the same for little nobodies who would be nothing, if they did not claim absurdities as the truth.
Thus the greenhouse deniers see the graph above as slanting down, from left to right. They see what they have interest to see.
OK, there are important fluctuations in the graph above. But those are always observed, and have to be smoothed out, to observe trends. It’s the same as in the financial, or commodities markets.
Yearly fluctuations relate to sunspots (in ways not understood), or volcanic eruptions (Pinatubo, a volcano in the Philippines injected a gigantic veil of sulfates in the high atmosphere, decreasing solar heating on the ground enormously, and lowering global temps brutally by more than half a degree Celsius: volcanoes can do way, way worse; Tambora, a volcano that exploded in Indonesia in 1814, caused famine inducing frosts in Europe the following summer).
OK, back to 2009. From the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC), October 2009:
“At the end of the Arctic summer, more ice cover remained this year than during the previous record-setting low years of 2007 and 2008. However… September 2009 sea ice extent was the third lowest since the start of satellite records in 1979, and the past five years have seen the five lowest ice extents in the satellite record.
NSIDC Director and Senior Scientist Mark Serreze said, “It’s nice to see a little recovery over the past couple years, but there’s no reason to think that we’re headed back to conditions seen back in the 1970s. We still expect to see ice-free summers sometime in the next few decades.”
The average ice extent over the month of September, a reference comparison for climate studies, was 5.36 million square kilometers… 1.68 million square kilometers (649,000 square miles) below the 1979 to 2000 September average. Arctic sea ice is now declining at a rate of 11.2 percent per decade, relative to the 1979 to 2000 average.
Sea surface temperatures in the Arctic this season remained higher than normal, but slightly lower than the past two years, according to data from Mike Steele at the University of Washington in Seattle. The cooler conditions, which resulted largely from cloudy skies during late summer, slowed ice loss compared to the past two years. In addition, atmospheric patterns in August and September helped to spread out the ice pack, keeping extent higher.
… Only 19 percent of the ice cover was over 2 years old, the least in the satellite record and far below the 1981-2000 average of 52 percent. Earlier this summer, NASA researcher Ron Kwok and colleagues from the University of Washington in Seattle published satellite data showing that ice thickness declined by 0.68 meters (2.2 feet) between 2004 and 2008.”
As I pointed out in old essays on a generalization of mine of the Equipartition of Energy theorem, a rise in heat can be expressed in many other ways than heat. After all, heat which is microscopic dynamic energy, can be converted in other forms of energy.
As the heat goes up, new energy sinks can open up. This may explain why the temperature rises observed seem to plateau, with different plateaus in different places (a higher heat plateau was reached in Alaska a full decade before a similar one in Europe in 1998). In other words, although solar irradiance is enough to explain the recent global plateau in temperatures, it may not be a proof of a stagnation of the energy input from the greenhouse into the biosphere.
When in doubt, it’s best to assume the worst; that’s how our ancestors survived enough in the jungle to allow us to be around today. The worst is only natural: only fools, or the corrupt, would believe that a rise of Greenhouse Gases from 280 parts per million to 450 ppm (where we are today) is business as usual.
The block of ice known as Antarctica is unstable at 425 ppm.
P/S 1: Some will appreciate the facts and graphs above, but mourn the human touch. So here it is.
I was walking two days ago in a forest, where, as child, and that was not so long ago, there used to be a glacier. Now the glacier is an unbelievable 2 miles away, 2,000 feet up, and there are thousands of tall trees instead. Most of the heating is in the mountains, and at the poles. As the warming theory says it should be.
P/S 2: Venus, Earth and Mars surface temperatures are dominated by the evolution of their greenhouses. So it will be on all inhabitable planets. A greenhouse is as natural as an atmosphere. A problem we have now is that the only natural greenhouse gases are water vapor, H2O, CO2, and traces of CH4. Unfortunately, we have added other, much more potent, man made greenhouse gases to this mix.