Published: 2015-12-18 12:40:12
Updated: 2015-12-18 12:40:12
Posted December 18, 2015
By Greg Fishel
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.