There are a couple of excellent new reports that help to respond to several canards of climate skeptics in recent years:
1. The European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecast’s recently released an analysis of global temperature rise, using surface temperature measurements, together with data from sources such as satellites, radiosondes, ships and buoys. The analysis critiques the HadCrut’s (the joint Hadley Research Centre, University of East Anglia Climate Research Unit temperature analysis) calculation of global temperature rise and concludes that its projections are likely on the lower end of likely warming. In the wake of the recent tempest in a teapot denominated “Climate Gate,” which focused on alleged manipulation of data by researchers the University of East Anglia’s CRU, this is further sobering evidence that model projections are , if anything, conservative in their conclusions;
2. Perhaps the favorite arrow in the quiver of the climate skeptics has been the argument that global temperatures stopped rising in 1998, and have been either stable, or declining, in the last decade. The problem with this argument is that the empirical evidence shows nothing of the kind. As the Earth Policy Institute recently reported, in summarizing new global temperature data released recently by NASA, the first decade of the 21st century was the warmest since recordkeeping began in 1880, with average temperatures 0.2C warmer than any previous decade. 2005 was the hottest year on record, and 2007 and 2009 tied for the second hottest. It’s also significant that while 1998 (a talismanic year for skeptics who claim it was the hottest year ever) was a strong El Nino year, 2007 was the second hottest year on record despite a strong cooling impact exerted by La Nina.