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Jan. 16th, 2013: - johnlocke.org Manage Subscriptions

Recent news you haven't heard about global warming and 2012's "record setting" temperatures
By Dr. Roy Cordato

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Weekly John Locke Foundation research division newsletter focusing on environmental issues.

The newsletter highlights relevant analysis done by the JLF and other think tanks as well as items in the news.

Recent news you haven't heard about global warming and 2012's "record setting" temperatures

Over the past several weeks there has been a good deal of global warming news, some that focused on the year immediately passed -- 2012 -- and some that focused on years to come. But in all probability the only headline you have seen regarding any of this read something like this one from The Weather Channel "2012: Warmest Year on Record for U.S." Several weeks ago this news covered the pages of newspapers and was spread by all the networks.

But, as noted, over the past several weeks there have been other global warming related stories, and the one regarding 2012 temperature in the lower 48 states of the United States was probably the least important. After all, the issue is global warming, not warming in the US, and on that score the news was quite different.

So here's a headline you probably didn't see "2012: 9th Warmest on Record Globally Since 1979." The reason why you didn't see this or a similar headline in any major media outlet is because, as far as I've been able to tell, the story, while completely true, went unreported. But according to the satellite temperature record, which has been kept since 1979, 2012 was only the 9th warmest year on record. Here are the years since 1979 ranked by average global temperature -- warmest to coolest.

1979 through 2012, ranked from warmest to coolest:

  1. 1998
  2. 2010
  3. 2005
  4. 2002
  5. 2009
  6. 2007
  7. 2003
  8. 2006
  9. 2012
  10. 2011
  11. 2004
  12. 2001
  13. 1991
  14. 1987
  15. 1995
  16. 1988
  17. 1980
  18. 2008
  19. 1990
  20. 1981
  21. 1997
  22. 1999
  23. 1983
  24. 2000
  25. 1996
  26. 1994
  27. 1979
  28. 1989
  29. 1986
  30. 1993
  31. 1982
  32. 1992
  33. 1985
  34. 1984

But wait, there's more news that you probably missed.  Now this is a headline that did appear, but not in any venue that you are likely to have noticed: "Met Office Forecasts No Global Temperature Rise." This headline appeared on a pretty obscure website called "The Observatory." And who is the Met Office? It is the UK Met Office and Met is short for Meteorological. The UK Met Office is heavily relied upon by the IPCC for both climate data and climate forecasts. So what is the Met Office predicting? No warming for at least the next 5 years.This is on top of their own data showing that there has been no warming for the last 15 years. According to the Met Office the planet is looking at 20 years with no warming trend.

The graph below, published here by the Met Office, would have been an interesting one to spread across the front pages of newspapers around the country -- or at least on page 62. But alas not many people have gotten to see it. So here's your chance.

The Observatory interprets the graph as follows:

The UK Met Office has revised its global temperature predictions as a result of a new version of its climate model and climate simulations using it. It now believes that global temperatures up to 2017 will most likely be 0.43 deg C above the 1971 -2000 average, with an error of +/- 0.15 deg C. In reality this is a forecast of no increase in global temperatures above current levels. 

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