Guest post by Ryan Maue
Green journalists and partisan bloggers are baffled about the lack of sufficient coverage of the “2010 hottest year ever” — and utter failure to ram through climate legislation in the 111th Congress. After scratching your head in amazement at the conundrum these journalists find themselves, something about pots, kettles, and a mirror comes to mind.
Here is a sample of headlines from the green media establishment:
Huffington Post: 2010 Hottest Year on Record: The graph that should be on the front page of every newspaper
The Hill: Frustration on global warming deepens for supporters of climate change bill
I’ll give you a very easy answer: it’s winter in the Northern Hemisphere, and so far, it’s been historically cold. And, the media should be more wary about using such vitriolic language like “denier” considering the explosive connotation that the term implies.
They are all constipated about the lack of overwhelming coverage of 2010, and the sizzling planet (we’re talking about hundredths of degrees here): Read about NASA’s press release below…
Here is NASA’s press release, which apparently wasn’t sufficiently disseminated for certain segments of the climate establishment. According to Hansen, 2010 differed from 2005 by less than 2 hundredths of a degree F (that’s 0.018F). They have to admit an inconvenient truth:
One of the problems with focusing on annual rankings, rather than the longer trend, is that the rankings of individual years often differ in the most closely watched temperature analyses — from GISS, NCDC, and the Met Office — a situation that can generate confusion.
“Certainly, it is interesting that 2010 was so warm despite the presence of a La Niña and a remarkably inactive sun, two factors that have a cooling influence on the planet, but far more important than any particular year’s ranking are the decadal trends,” Hansen said.
Wait a minute, wait a minute: a remarkably inactive sun …
“The three official records vary slightly because of subtle differences in the way we analyze the data, but they agree extraordinarily well,” said Reto Ruedy, one of Hansen’s colleagues at GISS who helps analyze global surface temperatures.
Subtle differences? Extraordinary agreement?
Invariably, a great deal of attention centers on each year’s ranking, but it is critical to focus on the decade-long trends that matter more, the GISS scientists emphasize. On that time scale, the three records are unequivocal: the last decade has been the warmest on record. “It’s not particularly important whether 2010, 2005, or 1998 was the hottest year on record,” said Hansen. “It is the underlying trend that is important.”
Well, then stop issuing press releases which tout the rankings, which are subject to change ex post facto. You never know what year is number 1 due to those “subtle differences”, which apparently aren’t that important anyways.