Has global warming actually stopped? It would be really good news if the climate-change contrarians are correct.
Tom Fletcher, in his weekly column, claims that the IPCC has admitted that global warming has stopped in the last 16 years.
Alan Trenzek spouted the same rhetoric in a recent letter to the editor. Case closed? Not so fast!
The IPCC report does indeed show that the warming since 1998 is less projected.
However, when you pick another 15-year period (1992-2006), the actual warming exceeds the average projections. This shows that random natural variability has a significant impact on climate over the short term (15 years or less).
However, long-term trends (which average out the short-term effects) clearly support the evidence for ongoing global surface warming well within the range of IPCC projections.
The IPCC is partly to blame for the misinformation that global warming has stopped.
Last year, they leaked an early draft before it had been thoroughly checked over for errors. In that draft, they aligned projections to the year 1990, an exceptionally warm year.
They should have aligned the projections to a baseline of 10 to 15 years since projections average out the effects of natural variability. They fixed this error when the final draft was released last week.
Global warming unfortunately hasn’t stopped nor have its consequences gone unnoticed (e.g. warming and acidification of the oceans).
So what will you and I and our elected representatives do about it? Will we choose to be wise stewards of the earth rather than do little or nothing at all?
Will the likes of Al Gore adjust their extravagant lifestyles and put their money where their mouth is? The future will tell.
For more information (although not a primary source): http://www.skepticalscience.com/ipcc-model-gw-projections-done-better-than-you-think.html
Here is the link to the latest IPCC Draft: http://www.climatechange2013.org/report/.
If you would like to learn more about the science of global warming, I have found the following interactive site very helpful. It is an ongoing project by faculty (including my good friend and fellow Chemistry educator Dr. Peter Mahaffy) and students at King’s University College, a Christian Liberal Arts institution affiliated with the University of Alberta in Edmonton: http://www.kcvs.ca/site/projects/climate.html.