Continuing his attacks on the scientific consensus about global warming, Sean Hannity falsely claimed that "global temperatures continue to plummet year after year." In fact, several scientific organizations have concluded that 2009 was one of the warmest years on record and that the decade of 2000-2009 was the warmest on record.
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Hannity's latest climate change falsehood: "[G]lobal temperatures continue to plummet"
Hannity: "[T]hose that buy this hoax always use the phrase 'climate change' ... even as global temperatures continue to plummet year after year." From the February 9 edition of ABC Radio Networks' The Sean Hannity Show:
HANNITY: Well, you know how even the most fervent global warming hoaxers know it's a hoax? If they really believed in global warming, they'd still call it global warming. They're just not calling it that anymore. But now those that buy this hoax always use the phrase "climate change," and that way, they can claim they were right, even as global temperatures continue to plummet year after year.
Fact: 2000-2009 was warmest decade on record
WMO: "2000-2009, The Warmest Decade." In a December 8, 2009, press release, the World Meterological Organization stated, "The decade of the 2000s (2000-2009) was warmer than the decade spanning the 1990s (1990-1999), which in turn was warmer than the 1980s (1980-1989)." WMO also stated, "The year 2009 is likely to rank in the top 10 warmest on record since the beginning of instrumental climate records in 1850."
NOAA: "The 2000-2009 decade will be the warmest on record." On December 8, 2009, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) stated that according to a preliminary analysis by NOAA's National Climatic Data Center, "The 2000 -- 2009 decade will be the warmest on record, with its average global surface temperature about 0.96 degree F above the 20th century average. This will easily surpass the 1990s value of 0.65 degree F."
Met Office data also reportedly shows 2000-2009 was warmest decade on record. Bloomberg reported on December 8, 2009, "This decade is set to be the warmest on record though 2009 won't be the hottest year," and, "Of the 10 hottest years on record, nine occurred in the 2000s, according to the Met Office, which said it expected temperatures to keep rising as a result of greenhouse-gas emissions." The article further reported, "Global temperatures are expressed by the Met Office as an 'anomaly' from the long-term average. The 2000s were about 0.4 of a degree warmer than the 1961 to 1990 average, eclipsing the record 0.23-degree temperature anomaly of the 1990s, it said."
Scientists have identified a long-term warming trend that spans several decades. In a February 11, 2009, Guardian op-ed, Vicky Pope, the head of climate change advice at the U.K. Met Office Hadley Centre, explained that claims about the pace of global warming based on less than 10 years of data are unreliable, "since natural variations always occur on this timescale." She continued: "1998 was a record-breaking warm year as long-term man-made warming combined with a naturally occurring strong El Niño. In contrast, 2008 was slightly cooler than previous years partly because of a La Niña. Despite this, it was still the 10th warmest on record." According to the Met Office website, the WMO "requires the calculation of averages for consecutive periods of 30 years," which was chosen "as a period long enough to eliminate year-to-year variations."
Hannity has repeatedly used misinformation to attack global warming consensus
Hannity claimed 2009 was "one of the coldest years on record." In November 2009, Hannity repeatedly asserted that "this is one of the coldest years on record" to claim that climate change is a "hoax" or not "real." In fact, NOAA, NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS), and Britain's Met Office have stated that 2009 was among the warmest years on record.
Hannity advanced falsehood about CRU email to claim scientists were "fudging" data. On his Fox News show, Hannity falsely claimed that emails reportedly stolen from the Climatic Research Unit at the University of East Anglia (CRU) show that the scientists "were certainly fudging" climate data; as an example, Hannity read from an email from CRU scientist Phil Jones in which he employed the word "trick" to describe his methods. In fact, the word "trick" has been grossly misinterpreted and refers to unreliable tree-ring data, not actual temperature readings.
Hannity falsely claimed IPCC's Latif has "pulled the rug out" from under climate change consensus. On his radio show, Hannity asserted of Mojib Latif, a prominent climate modeler: "[O]ne of Al Gore's most prominent allies in this global warming hysterical movement has just pulled off -- pulled the rug out from the former vice president and now says the world more likely faces decades of global cooling." Citing Latif's World Climate Conference presentation, Hannity said Latif "argued that the Earth has not warmed for nearly a decade, and that we are likely entering one or even two decades during which temperatures actually cool." Hannity later added: "The science is not unchallenged; it is challenged. And even leading environmental extremists that have been, you know -- you know, sending out these dire warnings, they're now contradicting themselves." In fact, Latif asserted that contrary to common "media" misperceptions of global warming as a "monotonic process" in which "each year is warmer than the preceding year," there are significant natural climate variations within the decadal timescale that do not change the "long-term warming trend."