Thursday, January 20, 2011

2010 Was Warm, Should We Care?

2010 is in a 3-way tie for hottest year on record but there is no panic in the streets. Why?

First, it was only tied with 2003 and 1998. That suggests that warming has plateaued.

Second, if you were paying attention then you know that there was a major el Nino event going on during most of the year. This reversed the cooling of the preceding years. It would be amazing if it was not officially a warm year. Late last Fall the el Nino event ended and a strong la Nina began. I expect to see world temperature for 2011 drop because of this. If it does not then I will start to worry. Otherwise we are seeing normal climate variation.

But the biggest reason that people do not seem to care is the track record of the predictors. It is not enough to cry "global warming". There are three related questions that have to be answered.

1) How much warming are talking about? There is a big difference between one and ten degrees per century. Temperature increases seem to have slowed over the last 10-12 years.

2) How much of it is a natural cycle and how much is caused by humans? We are still fighting about this one.

3) How will it affect us? Global warming believers keep insisting that warming will be terrible. Back around the year 2000 they were predicting that people in England and Washington DC would never see snow by 2010. The oceans were supposed to have risen several feet. Crops were supposed to fail but poison ivy and other pests were supposed to be thriving. All manner of ills were supposed to have happened by now.

The warmists overplayed their hand. People were not taking them seriously enough so they stepped up the rhetoric. Nothing good could come from global warming. Phrases like "save the planet" became common. But here we are, years later, and the world is not much different. In fact, winters have gotten harsher, returning to the type of winter we had in decades ago.

No comments: