Global temperature charts

A week ago I got into an argument with a friend about global warming, which annoyed me at first but was probably a good thing, because it led to us Googling temperature data, where I found these two charts on Wikipedia:



The take-away from these two images is:

  1. Temperatures are the highest they’ve been in 2000 years.
  2. While there’s more uncertainty on the 12,000 year time frame, it’s plausible that temperatures are the highest they’ve ever been on that time frame too.
  3. Even if temperatures aren’t the highest they’ve been in 12,000 years, when you look at things on that timescale, the trend line for the recent past looks almost vertical, which hasn’t happened before and should tell you something.

So as the result of an annoying argument with a friend, I now have my global warming equivalent of this image.

  • http://thebronzeblog.wordpress.com/ Bronze Dog

    Lots of denialists are rather fond of chopping off the vertical part of the recent past and sending the edited graph to gullible followers, who use it like a totem to ward away science-minded folk.

  • Gingerbaker

    Ask your friend, if he thinks a particular temperature measurement is not showing an increase, ask him where he thinks the extra heat IS going.

    The fact is we have satellites in space, measuring the energy impacting the Earth, and also measuring the energy leaving the Earth. They are NOT in balance – the Earth is retaining net heat, thus proving the that the Greenhouse effect is true.

    And it is a lot of heat being retained – equivalent to 1-4 Hiroshima bombs exploding every second, day in and day out. If your friend doesn’t think a particular temperature record reflects this – he needs to realize that the burden of proof is on him to explain where that extra heat is hiding.


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