There Is A Difference Between “Warm” And “Warming”

The National Oceanic And Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) released its State of the Climate in 2012: Highlights on August 2. The report says:

Many of the events that made 2012 such an interesting year are part of the long-term trends we see in a changing and varying climate—carbon levels are climbing, sea levels are rising, Arctic sea ice is melting, and our planet as a whole is becoming a warmer place,” said acting NOAA Administrator Kathryn D. Sullivan, Ph.D.   

The report itemizes those things from which they have developed the theme that the planet is becoming a warmer place. The first on the list was this one:

Warm temperature trends continue near Earth’s surface: Four major independent datasets show 2012 was among the 10 warmest years on record, ranking either 8th or 9th, depending upon the dataset used. The United States and Argentina had their warmest year on record.  

Now you are forgiven if you interpret that item as saying that the Earth is getting warmer, and indeed most of the media jumped to that conclusion.  But what are the facts?  Look at the HadCrut* temperature chart for the period from 1998 to 2012 that NOAA made this claim:


* HadCRUT is the dataset of monthly instrumental temperature records formed by combining the sea surface temperature records compiled by the Hadley Centre of the UK Met Office and the land surface air temperature records compiled by the Climatic Research Unit (CRU) of the University of East Anglia. (Wiki is the source of this ID.) H/T to  

Well, yes, one could make the claim that 2012 was the 8th warmest year.   But my guess is that most viewers would say the global temperature is declining.  The year 2012 was warm, but it was not warming.

Sea Ice highlights from the report were:

The Arctic continues to warm; sea ice extent reaches record low: The Arctic continued to warm at about twice the rate compared with lower latitudes. Minimum Arctic sea ice extent in September and Northern Hemisphere snow cover extent in June each reached new record lows. Arctic sea ice minimum extent (1.32 million square miles, September 16) was the lowest of the satellite era.


Antarctica sea ice extent reaches record high: The Antarctic maximum sea ice extent reached a record high of 7.51 million square miles on September 26. This is 0.5 percent higher than the previous record high extent of 7.47 million square miles that occurred in 2006 and seven percent higher than the record low maximum sea ice extent of 6.96 million square miles that occurred in 1986.

Sea ice growing in the Antarctic and declining in the Arctic.  What to make of that?  Weren’t we treated to Al Gore and others saying that all the Arctic sea ice would be gone by now.  Here is one from WUWT blog:


Oh, my how could such a prediction possibly be wrong when it is the product of those Supercomputers!!!  But alas here is the tricky part of making predictions—  they don’t mean much until the time of the prediction arrives and it is compared to the empirical data.   The Arctic sea ice in 2013 looks like it is making a significant reversal from the recent trend of decline.


Chart by:Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) – International Arctic Research Center (IARC)

The 2012 decline was the recent record, but 2013 currently has greater sea ice area than did 2012 at this same time.    There would appear to be no likelihood that it will be zero.  One more crunch by a supercomputer doomed to oblivion.

For a look at the current rate of sea level rise and what the alarmists are forecasting, click here  (Study Forecasts Sea Level Rise That Is 10X Actual Rise In Last Century.)

NOAA seems be a member of the alarmists tribe.  I think NOAA should pay more attention to the data and leave the editorializing to someone else.


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