OxBlog

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

# Posted 1:17 PM by Ariel David Adesnik  

NO GLOBAL WARMING SINCE 1998? The Weekly Standard blog links to a BBC article which reports,
For the last 11 years we have not observed any increase in global temperatures.

Naturally, the Standard reminds us that the BBC is not exactly a "bastion of right-wing extremism." Fair enough.

But the facts are a little more complicated. As I noted back in July, 1998 was an unusually hot year, whereas 1999 was relatively cool. Use 1998 as your benchmark, and it looks like temperatures have remained the same. Use 1999, it looks like they've gone up a bit.

But the real issue is how much we can tell from only ten years of temperature data. If you look at the graph below, you'll notice that you can have thirty years of cooling in a century of rising temperatures:A century of temperature change

But this is a political debate, so neither side is going to wait for decades. Skeptics will say there's been no warming for a decade. Activists will say that most of the hottest years in history all occurred in the last decade.

I guess if we're really lucky, we can find some policies that make long-term sense regardless of how they're justified.

Cross-posted at Conventional Folly
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