Posted by: ericgrimsrud | November 15, 2013

Temperatures have, in fact, increased in last decade

In a recent post entitled “Has the Earth’s temperature stopped increasing”, I pointed out why the often heard claim of the Deniers that the Earth’s temperature has not increased in the last 16 years has to be fallacious.  We know that the Earth is now being overheated by a man-enhanced greenhouse effect that is equivalent to the explosions of two Hiroshima-sized bombs per second.  That added heat must be going somewhere and increasingly we are understanding that a large portion of it is going  deeper into the oceans rather than to the Earth’s surfaces.

Now a new paper by climate scientists Kevin Cowtan of the University of York and Robert Way of the University of Ottawa  published in the Royal Meteorological Society provides another important revelation.  A short user-friendly video conveying its essential contents can be seen at:

In my own words the gist of this paper is as follows:  In the past we have used a set of temperatures measured over about 85% of the Earth’s surface as a measure of what we call “climate change”.  These measurement stations were chosen and have been used for over 150 years because they could be reached with relative ease.  That, however, meant that about 15% or the Earth’s surface was not included in that conventional measurement of “global average temperature”.  These neglected regions included the Arctic, the Antarctic and large portions of Africa.

In the last few decades, we have been able to monitor surface temperatures over the entire world via instrument-equipped satellites. What this new paper describes is a method by which missing portions of the Earth’s temperature record can be determined and added to the total data set..

And guess what?  In doing so, the more complete data set thereby obtained reveals much greater total surface warming over recent decades including the last one.  This result is not surprising to climate scientists who have expected greater increases in the temperatures at the poles of the Earth relative to all places of lower latitude.  The significant contribution of this paper is to show how those polar changes can be rolled into that data set that previously included only 85%  of the Earth.

In any case, one can now shout “you lie!!” when you hear someone say that the Earth’s surfaces have not warmed in the last decade and refer them to the short video referred to above.

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