Global temperatures during the past decade and century are significantly lower than the long-term average. For most of the past 10,000 years, global temperatures were significantly warmer than today. Temperatures only seem warm when compared with the Little Ice Age, which from 1300 to 1900 AD produced the coldest temperatures of the past 10,000 years.
My friend Art Horn, a meteorologist with the International Climate and Environmental Change Assessment Project, has written an excellent post that documents the context of current temperatures, especially in light of NOAA’s assertion that 2010 tied for the warmest year on record.
Here’s an excerpt of this must-read piece:
You would think that NOAA, the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration would be an objective and sober reviewer of temperature data. Apparently they are not. NOAA has proclaimed that 2010 was tied with 2005 as the “warmest year on record.” At first this sounds impressive. But as with all political proclamations there is always more to the story. The statement “warmest on record” means the period of time since 1880 that temperature has been measured with thermometers. To say the 2010 was tied with the warmest year on record is essentially meaningless when viewed in a true historical context.
If NOAA was truly objective in their analysis of this 130 year period of temperature they would acknowledge that 130 years of record in the long history of climate is insignificant to the extreme. The reason they do not give this record its true historical context is because their statement is really political. Their true message is that global warming is causing the warm weather and that we need to abandon fossil fuels and somehow change to “renewable” energy sources.
If one takes a serious, adult look at the variability of weather and climate over time you find amazing events. In the winter of 1249 it was so warm in England that people did not need winter clothes. They walked about in summer dress. It was so warm people thought the seasons had changed. There was no frost in England the entire winter. Can you imagine what NOAA would say if that happened next year? But it did happen, 762 years ago and burning fossil fuels had nothing to do with it.
Definitely read the whole thing.