A question of temperature

From The Viscount Monckton of Brenchley

  • A reader in Oregon has sent the following question:

In today’s The Oregonian (20 January 2010, page 2) there was an article citing the National Climate Data Center’s report that the decade from 2000 through 2009 was the warmest on record.

How can such a rise take place when temps have been either flat or declining for most of the 21st century thus far?

  • Our reply –

As our Monthly CO2 Reports show, there has been statistically-significant global cooling for nine full years, ever since the turn of the millennium on 1 January 2001.

However, it is also true that 2000-2009 were the warmest decade on the instrumental temperature record. But that record only goes back to 1850. And it is no particular surprise that, after 300 years’ “global warming”, the warmest years will occur at the end of the period. For almost all of those 300 years, we cannot have been to blame for the warming. Even in the 20 years we could have influenced – 1980-2000 – a natural reduction in cloud cover caused at least four times as much warming as all of our greenhouse-gas emissions over the period added together.