Wash. Times' Pruden falsely claimed that "the earth has been measurably cooling for the last decade"

››› ››› LAUREN AUERBACH

In a Washington Times column, Wesley Pruden falsely claimed that "the earth has been measurably cooling for the last decade, despite everything [former Vice President] Al [Gore] and his followers have done about it." In fact, the United Kingdom's Met (Meteorological) Office lists as a "fact" that "[t]emperatures are continuing to rise" and states that "temperature change over the latest decade (1998-2007) alone shows a continued warming of 0.1° C per decade."

In a June 17 column, former Washington Times editor-in-chief Wesley Pruden falsely claimed that "the earth has been measurably cooling for the last decade, despite everything [former Vice President] Al [Gore] and his followers have done about it." But Pruden offered no source for his assertion that "the earth has been measurably cooling for the last decade," and in fact, widely used data sets by the United Kingdom's Met (Meteorological) Office Hadley Centre and the Climatic Research Unit at the University of East Anglia show that annual global mean temperatures have increased in the past decade. The U.K. Met Office lists as a "fact" that "[t]emperatures are continuing to rise" and states that "[a] simple mathematical calculation of the temperature change over the latest decade (1998-2007) alone shows a continued warming of 0.1° C per decade."

According to the U.K. Met Office:

The rise in global surface temperature has averaged more than 0.15 °C per decade since the mid-1970s. Warming has been unprecedented in at least the last 50 years, and the 17 warmest years have all occurred in the last 20 years. This does not mean that next year will necessarily be warmer than last year, but the long-term trend is for rising temperatures.

A simple mathematical calculation of the temperature change over the latest decade (1998-2007) alone shows a continued warming of 0.1 °C per decade. The warming trend can be seen in the graph of observed global temperatures. The red bars show the global annual surface temperature, which exhibit year-to-year variability. The blue line clearly shows the upward trend, far greater than the uncertainties, which are shown as thin black bars. The recent slight slowing of the warming is due to a shift towards more-frequent La Niña conditions in the Pacific since 1998. These bring cool water up from the depths of the Pacific Ocean, cooling global temperatures.

1998 saw an exceptional El Niño event which contributed strongly to that record-breaking year. Research shows that an exceptional El Niño can warm global temperatures by about 0.2 °C in a single year, affecting both the ocean surface and air temperatures over land. Had any recent years experienced such an El Niño, it is very likely that this record would have been broken. 2005 was also an unusually warm year, the second highest in the global record, but was not associated with El Niño conditions that boosted the warmth of 1998.

According to estimates from NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS), the global mean temperature anomaly "continues the strong warming trend of the past thirty years." Moreover, the GISS states that "[t]he eight warmest years in the [global] GISS record have all occurred since 1998, and the 14 warmest years in the record have all occurred since 1990." From the GISS Surface Temperature Analysis for 2007:

The global mean temperature anomaly, 0.57°C (about 1°F) warmer than the 1951-1980 mean, continues the strong warming trend of the past thirty years that has been confidently attributed to the effect of increasing human-made greenhouse gases (GHGs) (Hansen et al. 2007). The eight warmest years in the GISS record have all occurred since 1998, and the 14 warmest years in the record have all occurred since 1990.

GISS produced this graph showing its temperature data and the continued warming trend:

The GISS further stated:

"Global warming stopped in 1998," has become a recent mantra of those who wish to deny the reality of human-caused global warming. The continued rapid increase of the five-year running mean temperature exposes this assertion as nonsense. In reality, global temperature jumped two standard deviations above the trend line in 1998 because the "El Niño of the century" coincided with the calendar year, but there has been no lessening of the underlying warming trend.

From Pruden's June 17 Washington Times column:

We're not supposed to call global warming "global warming" any more. That's so very 20th century. Now it's "climate change," just in time for the political high season, and convenient when the climate leaves the natural warming cycle and enters the cooling cycle, as it has done for millions of years. Climate change is the change that Obama, Hillary, John and the rest of us can all believe in, because changing is what the climate does best. Best of all, the hysteria so beloved by Chicken Little and his disciples is preserved, like the pickle we were never in.

In fact, the earth has been measurably cooling for the last decade, despite everything Al and his followers have done about it. The solar cycle peaked, the sun is quieter, the suns spots have faded and everybody but Al is cooling off. Even the United Nations agrees, and who could disagree with the United Nations? The director of the U.N.'s International Governmental Panel on Climate Change concedes that nature has overwhelmed everything man can do and it might even be another decade before man can rally and the warming resumes. Until then the U.N. and related bureaucracies, which have blown through billions of dollars in "research" to prove that man not nature rules the cosmos, must work hard to keep up the hysteria level.

What drives the global-warming skeptics is that the science of weather, such as it is, has been overwhelmed by the politics of the special pleaders. Richard Lindzen, the Harvard-trained Alfred P. Sloan Professor of Meterology at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), is one of the skeptics. He agrees that the planet has warmed over the last century by 0.6 degrees Celsius, as measured by the global mean temperature, but he doesn't agree that man has caused it.

Posted In
Environment & Science, Climate Change
Network/Outlet
The Washington Times
Person
Wesley Pruden
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