Global Warming: A Step by Step Look At the Key Arguments – Part 2: Are global temperatures rising?

New computer modeling suggests the Arctic Ocean may be nearly ice-free in the summertime as early as 2014″.

– Al Gore at the Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen in 2009

“What we are seeing around the world is what scientists have predicted.  They’re not telling us that we may see global climate change. We are seeing it, and we’re seeing the impacts now.”

-John Kerry in Mexico City, May 21, 2014


In the first part of this series, I delineated six statements which must all be true for the United States to justify taking severe action to combat global warming:

  • Global temperatures are rising.
  • Carbon emissions from humans are why global temperatures are rising.
  • The global warming will cause catastrophic environmental consequences.
  • It is the proper role of the United States government to enact regulations on private companies and individuals to protect the environment.
  • The actions of the United States government will effectively prevent these consequences.
  • The evidence supporting all of the above is so overwhelming that we should no longer debate or delay.

Today we will look at the first statement:  Global temperatures are rising.

In 2003 the Union of Concerned Scientists put out the following temperature projections graph:



This graph shows slowly rising temperatures in the early 2000’s which will then accelerate in the mid part of the decade.

Here is a graph from NASA showing global temperature changes since 1880:



This graph from NASA shows data since 1996.



These graphs shows that global temperatures rose steadily from approximately 1960 till shortly before 2000.  Since then, global temperatures have been flat.  ABC News reported in September 2013, “The average global temperature hasn’t risen in 15 years, a deviation from climatologists computer-simulated predictions.”   Global warming theory backers state that fifteen years isn’t long enough to judge the trend, that it needs to be at least thirty years.  Scientists also theorize that the oceans are absorbing more heat which is causing the land-based temperature readings to not reflect the full story.  This may or may not be true.  It is just a theory.  The big point is that this was reflected in the predictions.   ABC went on to say:

The researchers’ problem: Their climate models should have been able to predict the sudden flattening in the temperature curve. Offering explanations after the fact for why temperatures haven’t increased in so long only serves to raise doubts as to how reliable the forecasts really are.

The key point here isn’t to argue whether or not the last fifteen years of flat temperature disproves the global warming hypothesis or can be accommodated by this hypothesis.  I certainly don’t have the expertise to pass any judgment here.  What I can say is that the predictions were wrong and we are being told we must take significant action based upon predictions .When Gore made his ice-free Arctic prediction as early as 2014, he did use the word “may” and did not definitively predict this lack of ice would be complete by 2014, if there was any validity to his claim, then there should have been some significant progress toward arctic balminess by now.  There has been none.

When Einstein proposed his theory of relativity, he said that if his theory was correct, then certain predictions that could be observed only during an eclipse would prove valid.  If the observations did not match his predictions, then his theory was invalid.  Years later researchers mounted an expedition to Antarctica to observe an eclipse there.  The observations matched Einstein’s predictions.   When global warming predictions don’t match the observed facts, why do so many scientists choose to ignore or excuse this?

Are global temperatures rising?

I don’t think we really have any idea.





2 thoughts on “Global Warming: A Step by Step Look At the Key Arguments – Part 2: Are global temperatures rising?

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