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Global temperature increase not always steady

Posted December 18, 2015

A graph shows the "stair step," change in the global temperature record over the past 100 years

A recent letter in Science magazine by David Easterling of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration makes a point regarding the global warming hiatus in very common sense terms.

The image above is a graph that illustrates his point.

Now, what I have done here is a gross oversimplification of a complex system. Having said that, I think it helps to make a complex system more understandable.

The graph shows three functions.

Y=X is intended to represent the steady increase in carbon dioxide concentrations which we know to be true.

Y=SIN(X) represents the natural variability and cyclical nature to our climate system, which by the way has not gone away. It is alive and well!

When you add these two functions, the result is a "stair step," which is what we have seen in the global temperature record over the past 100 years, at least prior to the recent Karl et al update.

I am not suggesting that Karl's work is in any way suspect, as this scientist has an impeccable reputation over many decades. What I am saying is that I would be surprised if there were not periods of no warming or even slight cooling.

Finally, toward the end of his letter, Easterling says "both alarmist and denialist." Irresponsible comments are irresponsible comments. It doesn't matter what side makes them.

8 Comments

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  • Allen Jones Dec 24, 2015
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    Temperature graph going back 1,000yrs.

    http://www.iceagenow.com/Medieval%20Warm%20Period1.jpg

    Temperature graph going back 15,000yrs

    https://pressdispensary.co.uk/q991593/images/20k.jpg

  • Allen Jones Dec 23, 2015
    user avatar

    View quoted thread


    thankyou

    Can anyone explain the "Little Ice Age"

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Little_Ice_Age

    Greg? Greg?.................... Bueller

  • Greg Klayton Dec 20, 2015
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    An open minded reply to a reply:

    "1) Not at the current rate."
    We have no way of knowing that for sure either way.

    "2)The Arctic is a continent? News to me. "
    That's a distraction. Be fair. Allen is correct on his main point.

    3) There are no stupid questions. Personally, I think more CO2 causes global warming. BUT WAIT! There is evidence that more vegetation will actually output not more oxygen, put more CO2!
    http://www.nature.com/news/2010/100324/full/news.2010.147.html
    It's a cascading effect. Also, http://dge.stanford.edu/SCOPE/SCOPE_23/SCOPE_23_3.2_chapte

    4. Denying that the sun is actually Earth's number source of energy is the REAL science denial.

    5. The Sun's energy output fluctuates, but to what extent it has on the Earth, if any, is unknown.

    To all have a great day and a Merry Christmas.

  • Greg Bower Dec 20, 2015
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    1) Not at the current rate.
    2)The Arctic is a continent? News to me. 3) First answer whether or not carbon combustion creates CO2 and whether or not human activities are contributing to said combustion. 4) and 5) aren't even worth ridiculing for their inanity.

    You might be able to convince people who aren't that bright that the things you say might make sense. I'm guessing that's your real audience, and not Greg Fishel.

  • Allen Jones Dec 19, 2015
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    ......typos removed.....
    Greg.....thanks for "dumbing down" the graph for us.
    A few questions.
    1) Has the earth ever experienced warming before the evolution of humanity? .....The answer is yes......So there is such a possible event as NONmanmade global warming.
    2) When were the north and south poles reached by exploration?......Answer 1909 and 1911.........So you do not have temperature records going back to 1880 for these continents and iced areas.
    3) Does CO2 increase cause warming? OR does warming cause CO2 increase? ... 4) What is the #1 source for the earth's warmth currently?......Answer the Sun. 5) Is the Sun a constant state heat emitter.,,,,,,Answer is No.

  • Allen Jones Dec 19, 2015
    user avatar

    Greg.....thanks for "dumbing down" the graph for us.
    A few questions.
    1) Has the earth ever experienced warming before the evolution of humanity? .....The answer is yes......So there is such a possible event as NONmanmade global warming.
    2) When were the north and south poles reached by exploration?......Answer 1909 and 1911.........So you do not have temperature records going back to 1880 for 2 of the 7 continents.
    3) Does CO2 increase cause warming? OR does warming cause CO2 increase? ........ie: warming creates longer growing seasons for plants/algae which produce CO2.
    4) What is the #1 source for the earth's warmth currently?......Answer the Sun.
    5) Is the Sun a constant state heat emitter.,,,,,,Answer is No.

    Have a great day Greg.

  • Dan Carter Dec 18, 2015
    user avatar

    Yawn.

  • 5Rs Dec 18, 2015

    So many questions, only room for a few words. 1) Given "normalcy" (no lingering effects from the ice age, etc), what would the average temperature, average amount of CO2, average amount of arctic ice, sea level be? 2) What effect does having 7B people have? 3) Given a 300 foot rise in sea level in the last 15,000 years, why would anyone believe the sea level isn't going to rise 4 feet in the next 2 centuries? 4) What makes anyone think we can slow a temp rise (if any) down?