16 More Years of Global Warming
16 More Years of Global Warming
By Kevin C / skepticalscience.com
Jan 13, 2013

Human greenhouse gas emissions have continued to warm the planet over the past 16 years. However, a persistent myth has emerged in the mainstream media challenging this.  Denial of this fact may have been the favorite climate contrarian myth of 2012, first invented by David Rose at The Mail on Sunday with an assist from Georgia Tech's Judith Curry, both of whom later doubled-down on the myth after we debunked it.  Despite these repeated debunkings, the myth spread throughout the media in various opinion editorials and stunts throughout 2012. The latest incarnations include this article at the Daily Mail, and a misleadingly headlined piece at the Telegraph.

As a simple illustration of where the myth goes wrong, the following video clarifies how the interplay of natural and human factors have affected the short-term temperature trends, and demonstrates that underneath the short-term noise, the long-term human-caused global warming trend remains as strong as ever.

In particular, once the short-term warming and cooling influences of volcanic eruptions, solar activity, and El Niño and La Niña events are statistically removed from the temperature record, there is no evidence of a change in the rate of greenhouse warming. This replicates the result of a study by Foster and Rahmstorf (2011) under slightly different assumptions.

The human contribution to global warming over the last 16 years is essentially the same as during the prior 16 years¹. Human-caused greenhouse warming, while partially hidden by natural variations, has continued in line with model projections². Unless greenhouse gas emissions are brought under control, we will see faster warming in the future³.

Implications:

  • The 16-year temperature trend provides no evidence to suggest that the consensus understanding of human-caused climate change is incorrect.

Further Reading:

For details of the method, see the Advanced rebuttal to the myth 'no warming in 16 years'.

The results of this analysis are consistent with a statement by WMO Secretary-General Michel Jarraud:

"Naturally occurring climate variability due to phenomena such as El Niño and La Niña impact on temperatures and precipitation on a seasonal to annual scale. But they do not alter the underlying long-term trend of rising temperatures due to climate change as a result of human activities"

Credits: Video: Kevin C. Voiceover: Daniel Bailey. Advice: The SkS team.

Teaser graphics: What happened next? Does this look like global warming?

Footnotes:
We have attempted to keep the language in this video at the same non-technical level as the media stories it refutes. As a result, it has been necessary to simplify much of the terminology. The following notes are for technically literate readers.
¹ i.e. If a change in gradient is allowed at 1997 then the change in gradient is not statistically significant (even at the 1σ level).
² i.e. Within the envelope of AR4 trend projections.
³ On the basis of both AR4 projections and that global GHG emissions are increasing.

 

3.5 ·
1
Trending Today
Revolution and American Indians: “Marxism is as Alien to My Culture as Capitalism”
Russell Means69,507 views today ·
15 Powerful Quotes From the World's Most Humble President
Hyacinth Mascarenhas16,273 views today ·
MP Says Government is Intentionally Making People Destitute to Prevent Organised Opposition
2 min11,196 views today ·
This Short Film Plays Out Like an Epic Movie That Will Shake Your Soul - But the Movie Is Real, and We are The Actors
6 min6,815 views today ·
Welcome to Marinaleda: The Spanish Anti-Capitalist Town With Equal Wage Full Employment and $19 Housing
Jade Small5,876 views today ·
Every Town Needs a Remakery
Jeremy Williams4,815 views today ·
Without Saying a Word This 6 Minute Clip From Samsara Will Make You Speechless
6 min4,310 views today ·
Why We Can and Should Abolish the Police and Prison Industrial Complex
2 min4,213 views today ·
Today I Rise: This Beautiful Short Film Is Like a Love Poem For Your Heart and Soul
4 min3,984 views today ·
Load More
New
Meet The Woman Rescuing Fruit and Feeding Her Community
2 min
Debating the British Empire's 'Legacy' Is Pointless - This Is Still an Imperial World
Ibtisam Ahmed
9 Times Video Games Were Great for Mental Health
Marijam Didzgalvyte and Jish Newham
What is Populism?
6 min
5 Things You Can Do To Help Immigrant and Muslim Neighbors
Lornet Turnbull
Why We Can and Should Abolish the Police and Prison Industrial Complex
2 min
Break the Chain - Fortnight of Action Against Fracking Supply Chain Begins
Andrew Butler
Republican Fight to Criminalize Protest Tactics
5 min
Trouble, Ep. 1 - Killing the Black Snake
30 min
Load More
What's Next
DIY Propaganda: How to Manufacture Your Own Climate Change Myth
7 min
DAMOCRACY: Debunking the Myth of Dams as 'Clean' Energy
34 min
Monumental Myths (2009)
47 min
Like us on Facebook?
16 More Years of Global Warming