16 More Years of Global Warming
16 More Years of Global Warming
By Kevin C / skepticalscience.com

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
What's Next
Trending Today
This Polish Ad Will Give You The Feels, For Reals
3 min · 17,146 views today · This is an ad for Allegro, a Polish company similar to eBay, and it's heartwarmingly lovely.
Ten Ways We Misunderstand Children
Jan Hunt · 15,123 views today · 1. We expect children to be able to do things before they are ready. We ask an infant to keep quiet. We ask a 2-year-old to sit still. We ask a 3-year-old to clean his room...
Time-Lapse Satellite Images Give a Startling Snapshot of Past 30 Years on Earth
2 min · 12,363 views today · Working with satellite images from NASA and the US Geological Survey, Google has created a searchable snapshot of the past 3 decades on Earth, creating startling time-lapses of...
The Problem with Hating Our Enemies
Charles Eisenstein · 11,752 views today · He who fights too long against dragons becomes a dragon himself; and if thou gaze too long into the abyss, the abyss will gaze into thee. —Nietzsche
How to Expose Trump's Dastardly Bait-And-Switch
Robert Borosage · 8,064 views today · Trump is not an economic populist, he’s just playing one on TV.
Why You Should Stop Apologizing for Doing All That You Can
Kelly Hayes · 4,073 views today · I’ve noticed lately that a lot of allies and accomplices I talk to about NoDAPL and other struggles will name what they are trying to contribute to the cause, and then promptly...
Van Jones: Only a 'Love Army' Will Conquer Trump
Tim Dickinson · 3,946 views today · Though it's important to fight Trump's policies, "it's at the values level that we need to do a reset," says Jones
The Myth of Positivity: Why Your Pain Holds a Mighty Purpose
umair haque · 3,596 views today · Of all the great myths of contemporary life, one of the most toxic is positivity. It says: there are negative and positive emotions, and only the positive ones are worth...
Have You Heard of The Great Forgetting? It Happened 10,000 Years Ago & Completely Affects Your Life
Daniel Quinn · 3,487 views today · (Excerpted from the book, The Story of B) With every audience and every individual, I have to begin by making them see that the cultural self-awareness we inherit from our...
Swanage Protectors Camp - Campaigning to Stop New Oil and Gas Exploration in Dorset, UK
7 min · 2,539 views today · The planning permission for an exploratory oil rig near Swanage ran out on 3rd December 2016. A good day all round for those campaigning against the fossil fuel industry. Hear...
Black on Black Crime Isn't a Myth
Donyae Coles · 2,243 views today · Let’s talk about Black on Black crime. Maybe you’ve heard about it on the news, specifically likely in regards to Black people murdered by other Black people. Perhaps you’ve...
David Graeber: We Need a Revolution in the Way We Think about "Work"
4 min · 1,962 views today · David Graeber on the Value of Work. Does the world really need neuroadvertisers, PR researchers and branding consultants? Renowned academic and coiner of the ‘we are the 99%’...
A Hauntingly Beautiful Short Film About Life and Death
5 min · 1,921 views today · The Life of Death is a touching handdrawn animation about the day Death fell in love with Life.
15 Easy Things You Can Do to Help When You Feel Like Shit
Maritsa Patrinos · 1,692 views today · You don’t have to tackle it all at once.
10 Stunning Images from the Wildlife Photographer of the Year People's Choice Award
Natural History Museum · 1,651 views today · These incredible images are a selection from of the 25 shortlisted by The Natural History Museum for the People's Choice Award from this year's Wildlife Photographer of the...
Sleaford Mods on Brexit Britain
4 min · 1,413 views today · In early 2014 the Guardian hailed duo Sleaford Mods as ‘the most uncompromising British protest music made in years’. Here, we go backstage at a Sleaford Mods gig in their...
The Lid Is off, The Truth Is Coming Out
Charles Eisenstein · 1,387 views today · It is getting harder to keep a secret these days. The collective shadow of our society, once safely relegated to the dark basement of the unmentionable, is now exposed to...
John Lennon's "Imagine," Made Into a Comic Strip
John Lennon. Art by Pablo Stanley · 1,317 views today · This is easily the best comic strip ever made.  Pabl
Today I Rise: This Beautiful Short Film Is Like a Love Poem For Your Heart and Soul
4 min · 1,138 views today · "The world is missing what I am ready to give: My Wisdom, My Sweetness, My Love and My hunger for Peace." "Where are you? Where are you, little girl with broken wings but full...
Trump: The Illusion of Change
Helena Norberg-Hodge · 1,054 views today · “Only by restoring the broken connections can we be healed.” — Wendell Berry
Load More
Like us on Facebook?
16 More Years of Global Warming