Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Will the U.N. Chill Out on Climate Change?

From NRO:
...Since Kyoto in December 1996, a very funny thing has happened to global temperatures: IPCC data clearly show that warming has stopped, even though its computer models said such a thing could not happen.According to the IPCC, the world reached its high-temperature mark in 1998, thanks to a big “El Niño,” which is a temporary warming of the tropical Pacific Ocean that occurs once or twice a decade. El Niño years are usually followed by one or two relatively cold years, as occurred in 1999 and 2000. No one knows what really causes these cycles but they have been going on sporadically for millennia.Wait a minute. Starting an argument about global warming in 1998 is a bit unfair. After all, that’s starting off with a very hot temperature, followed by two relatively cool years. Fine. Take those years out of the record and there’s still no statistically significant warming between 1997 and 2007. When a scientist tells you that some trend is not “significant,” he or she is saying that it cannot mathematically be distinguished from no trend whatsoever.More importantly, there’s not going to be any significant trend for some time. Assume, magically, that temperatures begin to warm in 2009 at the rate they were warming before the mid 1990s, and that they continue to warm at that rate. The world has to warm in such a fashion through 2020 before there’s a significant trend reestablished in the data. That’s a full quarter century for any discernable trend of global warming to emerge. (more)

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