back to article UK Met Office: World temperature back down to 1997 level

The UK's Met Office has unveiled preliminary figures showing that according to its global temperature database, worldwide temperatures this year have descended to the levels seen in 1997. However Met Office researchers insist that dangerous global warming is still very much underway. According to the Met Office supervised …

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Now...

...that the science is pretty much settled that there is only natural variation in the Earth's climate, and CO2 is certainly not a major driver, I think El Reg should go onto the educaional offensive a bit more.

It needs to be explained to people that warming or cooling trends are critically dependent on the start position from which you measure them. The world was in an ice age not so long ago, so if you measure the temperature starting then you will certainly get a warming trend.

People need to be told that the 20s and 30s were quite warm, the 50s 60s and 70s quite cold, and then the 80s and 90s heated up again. It now looks as if we are in for a colder 20s and 30s again. But the Met Office will try to keep measuring from the depths of the last cold spell.....

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@Dodgy Geezer

"It needs to be explained to people that warming or cooling trends are critically dependent on the start position from which you measure them. The world was in an ice age not so long ago, so if you measure the temperature starting then you will certainly get a warming trend."

Geeee - you reckon ? Fancy all those scientists not thinking about that....

"But the Met Office will try to keep measuring from the depths of the last cold spell....."

Wow - I bet *they* never realised their mistake either !! Just as well you're on the ball man.

(mmmm... where's the 'idiot' icon gone....)

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If it was just natural variation then 2011, a La Nina year, should have turned out much colder than 1997 an El Nino year.

1997 was the start of the El Nino of the century (it started in May 1997). The warmest ENSO 3.4 values ever recorded (since at least 1950) happened at the end of 1997.

In contrast 2011 started with a La Nina, briefly touched ENSO neutral and it's falling into another La Nina.

The fact that 2011, dominated by La Nina, looks like it will be as warm as 1997, dominated by El Nino, speaks volumes doesn't it?

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IT Angle

@Both of you

Well...there's still considerable debate about the extent of Man's impact on CO2 levels. Essentially our industrial era started mid-1800s and we can certainly say that the CO2 in the atmosphere has increased since then. We can also look back in the fossil record to see the CO2 levels throughout history and CO2 has been MUCH higher than it is now in the past. If you go down to the Natural History museum in London they have a full wall on the sea level changes over the aeons and it's quite clear that sea-levels have been much much higher (some 200 metres) than they are today.

The press coverage is almost always sensational focusing on short-term records: "Hottest November for 20 years" etc etc. What really matters is the long-term trends and whether or how much our activities has caused these to change. In the end that is very difficult for climate scientists to determine.

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If they *want* to show Global Warming because politicos want to push it, they they bloody get it. Even if the data needs to be modified, ekhm, fixed, to make it true!

Noticed how the vocabulary changed from global warming to climate change? The latter is happening constantly, just like sun sets and sun downs so no sane person, let alone climatologist, will disagree with it.

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FAIL

Yet another zombie argument

"Noticed how the vocabulary changed from global warming to climate change? The latter is happening constantly, just like sun sets and sun downs so no sane person, let alone climatologist, will disagree with it."

The IPCC first assessment report was completed in 1990. Any guesses what the CC part of IPCC stands for?

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"Well...there's still considerable debate about the extent of Man's impact on CO2 levels"

Maybe on the internet. In the scientific community no. CO2 levels are at their highest for hundreds of thousands of years at least.

"CO2 has been MUCH higher than it is now in the past"

Yeah tens of millions of years ago, before humans or even hominids even existed when climate was much warmer.

"If you go down to the Natural History museum in London they have a full wall on the sea level changes over the aeons and it's quite clear that sea-levels have been much much higher (some 200 metres) than they are today."

So divide that range by temperature range and you'll see how devastating even a 2C rise in global temperature could be to cities and other infrastructure which we have built at sea level for today's climate.

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If the vocabulary used to be "global warming" rather than "climate change" no-one told the Intergovernmental Panel on "Climate Change" formed in the 80s.

Why would the vocabulary change from global warming to climate change anyway when you claim they could show global warming if they wanted to?

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Sure: International Panel on Climate Corruption

Originally tasked with preventing the fearmongers of this world from yelling FIRE in the crowded climate theatre.

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Black Helicopters

Pot meet kettle

"*It is Mr Stott's job to attribute climate change to man-made and natural causes. The Met Office says he is an expert in doing this."

The complete opposite of you and Orlowski then!

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Facepalm

I thought that said 'Stobb' for a minute

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Anonymous Coward

Err...

Wasn't 1997 the last really big el ninio?

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Yes, it was a record El Niño (1997-1998) - that is, an increased-temperature Pacific oscillation . This year (well, 2010-2011) is a strong La Niña - that is, a decreased-temperature Pacific oscillation.

Slightly inconvenient to El Reg's particular bias to point that out, though...

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Anonymous Coward

denier

Yet global delta T is similar for both years?

Oh yes, CO2 is definitely the main driver of climate. I repent.

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Facepalm

Can't get the staff

Who is it at El Reg that keeps letting this idiot post this guff here? I wouldn't mind so much but, unlike most things in life, global climate change is actually important.

Just to note the obvious: 1997 was a record el nino year. Temps are now as hot as as a record el nino - but without the el nino!

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Mushroom

Careful with those cherries

1998 is generally accepted as the peak of the 97-98 El Nino, 1997 wasn't that bad. Temps aren't 'as hot' as the record El Nino, which peaked around +0.6C above an arbitary 'average'. So far 2011 is +0.1538C above the 1981-2010 average. Ohnoes. We're melting. Quick, someone issue a press release to help out the Durban poisoners..

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Anonymous Coward

denier

So.... global climate change is important but it's the oceans doing it and we can counter that by ...????

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1998 was the peak, but 1997 was the start. The last 7 months of 1997 were in El Nino and the strongest El Nino months recorded were in November and December 1997. For this reason at the time 1997 became the warmest year on record.

Hardly a fair comparison to make with 2011 which has been dominated by La Nina

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Balance

"Temperature back down to 1997 level" or "2011 11th warmest on record"? Depends what message you want to send I guess. And according to the NASA and NOAA series it's either "back down to somewhere between 2001 and 2008 levels" or "back down to 2003/2004 levels".

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Anonymous Coward

Why?

"The UK's Met Office has unveiled preliminary figures showing that according to its global temperature database, worldwide temperatures this year have descended to the levels seen in 1997. However Met Office researchers insist that dangerous global warming is still very much underway."

Largely because they're educated enough to know that short term behaviour is not always representative of long term behaviour. Complex non-linear dynamical systems can be funny like that.

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Anonymous Coward

denier

Have you seen a temperature graph of the Holocene? Or this entire glacial period we are currently surviving? It is getting colder. THAT is the "long term behaviour", as it has been all the time these climatology sploogmops have been political activists not scientists.

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Temperature has fallen over the holocene because of the slowly changing orbit and tilt of the Earth. That doesn't explain the warming over the 20th century (far from it, it's still having a cooling effect), nor will it be enough to prevent future human induced warming.

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Anonymous Coward

In other words ...

... like a bunch of other very vociferous sploogmops, AC doesn't understand what a complex system is. Which is kinda depressing for an IT site.

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"Man made AND natural"??

Yeah, right.

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Anonymous Coward

Exactly, definitly hotter, except the more than 25% of the time it isn't

Ok, how much will these clowns bend their data? I for one actually buy we are in a warming trend, as the data supports that view. I won't swallow the hockey stick projections that the alarmists parade around, demanding we all give up filament bulbs and hot showers.

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it's time then

. . . . to "adjust" the historical measurements down (again) to make it look like we had even worse warming last year

well it fooled people last time & some idiot got a Nobel prize, so why not again?

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A few weeks back when the independent BEST study vindicated the warming shown in the global temperature records, skeptics were clambering to insist it was a strawman and denied that they ever denied the world was warming. "Of course we always accepted the Earth was warming" they told us.

Now here we have a skeptic claiming the warming has been faked by scientists adjusting historical measures down...

Business as usual has resumed it seems

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The data speaks for its self, man made global warming has occured.

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Anonymous Coward

Oh god, this again

Global warming means that the globe is warming over time.

It makes no difference what the transient temperature is. It make no difference what the local temperature is. It makes no difference if it's been the hottest summer in years. IT DOESN'T MAKE ANY DIFFERENCE! ARE YOU LISTENING? HELLO? HELlo HEllo hello lo lo o .

...echos fade...

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Devil

Back when

the earth was a lot hotter than now, life existed and will continue after we become extinct.....pity climate trolls only care about the human element that gets them continued funding and not the planetary evolution as a whole.

"we'll be dead in 2 million years if we continue burning fossil fuels"

doesnt sound so alarming when put as

"life existed for billions of years before us and will continue after us"

i suppose

the god botherers are safe anyway so why do they get involved? unless they have doubts as to the almighty's existence.......

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Anonymous Coward

Really?

If you really don't value human life enough to try to make sure it continues to exist, I pity you.

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Really?

You're honestly worried about the survival of the human species over this? And yours is the *reasonable* position to take on the subject?

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Ru
Facepalm

Bit of a short analysis period, innit?

Trying to infer climate change (or its absense) from a period of time that's only slightly longer than a sunspot cycle is what some people might refer to as 'a bit daft'.

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So the climate is moderating it's self ...

... regardless of all the CO2 that Al Gore and his $BIGJET spew into the atmosphere?

Huh. Go figure.

Maybe us humans aren't really all that important in the great scheme of things after all.

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Anonymous Coward

Sigh...

As you'd be the first to point out if this were a pro-gw story: A single year means nothing, it's the trend that is important.

As for humans not being important - if you really believe that the only known sentient life in the universe isn't important then feel free, I choose to disagree.

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Only known sentient life?

I beg to differ, what about all the other life on this planet, most of it is sentient, not technologically advanced, but sentient all the same.

Anyway, if there Global warming is a fact, then I look forward to meeting our reptilian overlords...although some would say (me included) we have already, they occupy the Government benches in Parliament.

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Anonymous Coward

@John...

I also beg to differ:

Sense of self

Intelligence

Communicaton

Reasoning

There are very few other animals on the planet that may tick all the boxes: Higher Apes, Dolphins etc may be sentient. Although I guess it depends upon what you mean by sentience.

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Black Helicopters

But of course

He won't be under any pressure from the Gov to make anything present the way the Gov wants it, either.

Will he.

Given that it's *known* that the Gov puts huge pressure on folk reporting climate stuff to bend it towards apocalypse the only sensible interpretation is to assume the information has been spun, therefore reading everything as biased. Which, unproductively, actually lends more weight to reports denouncing or debunking man-made warming, regardless of their veracity.

The Gov lies and expects anyone depending on the Gov for their payday to reproduce/bolster the lie, regardless of the sector on which they're reporting, climate, road safety, etc, etc.

Where's the black helicopter icon when you need it?

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Anonymous Coward

Err?

Is it known? Please cite sources.

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Meh

Source

<2495> from the Climategate2 collection. Email from CRU director Phil Jones to his minions:

"I can't overstate the HUGE amount of political interest in the project as a message that the Government can give on climate change to help them tell their story. They want the story to be a very strong one and don't want to be made to look foolish."

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I simply don't believe it

and how less warm would it be without all that climate change hot air and conferences etc etc etc

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Anonymous Coward

Not much...

Let's see a few thousand people flying once a year to a conference. Compare that to the nigh on a million people (so I've heard, I can't find the source at the moment) in the air at any one time.

Also, how do you propose to run an international conference without travel? Do it on a teleconf?

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ftfy

"I simply deny it"

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Windows

It's the sun, folks

We're just coming out of a VERY quiet solar period, in which global warming stalled and reversed. In other words, we're seeing a smaller version of what happened during the Maunder Minimum.

At the same time, temperatures of Mars, Saturn, Jupiter's moons, and Uranus all increased up to about 2000 and have dropped a bit since. (Jupiter can't be used in this as it's still emitting IR radiation, as it's still compressing from its formation.)

But then, I only have a Master's in radiative transfer theory, I obviously don't know as much about this as the average ecomentalist.

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Anonymous Coward

Repeat after me

Corrolation is not causation.

You are suffering from presuming that becuase you have a masters in one subject that must enable you to understand another. Climate science is a multidisciplinary field, some of what you know probably is useful, far more useful would be to know about local (ie local to the Earth) effects such as El Ninio / La Nina. The Earth has a far more complex atmosphere than any of the other planets that you cite.

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I know that correlation and causation are not the same thing. I know it's complex, but there is a pretty tight correlation in longterm and short term solar changes, there is data supporting this over hundreds of years, and we have other planets following similar but obviously not identical patterns to the earth. In addition, CERN researchers have worked out a possible explanation for the correlation with a certain amount of evidence to back it up.

If I leap, it's certainly far less of a leap than others who are are gobbling up taxpayer money in poor if not dishonest science.

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"At the same time, temperatures of Mars, Saturn, Jupiter's moons, and Uranus all increased up to about 2000 and have dropped a bit since. (Jupiter can't be used in this as it's still emitting IR radiation, as it's still compressing from its formation.)"

Wow what a load of fabricated tosh. Go on admit you just made all of that up.

BTW all planets emit IR radiation.

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Gimp

reflection isn't emmision

Sorry Nom but planets other than Jupiter reflect IR (from the sun) only Jupiter emits IR.

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I have taken a number of air analyses over the last few years and find that there has been no change with the figure at 311 ppm. The figures used by the climatologists tend to come from NASA in Hawaii, from a site on top of an extinct volcano with Co2 continously seeping out of the porous ground and surrounded by active volcanos. Nasa figures reflect the increase in local volcanic activity, not the overall figure.

In the last year researchers have reported (almost invisibly!) that,far from Co2 staying aloft in the atmosphere for hundreds of years and accumulating, it doesn't even stay up for hundreds of weeks. Between a few months and just over a year is the real time. This is hardly surprising since Co2 is one of the heavyist molecules in the earth and always sinks down to earth when undisturbed and will even collect in low places without disturbances.

Dave

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It's not just Hawaii, there are hundreds of measuring sites all over the Earth. They all agree.

AKA it's YOUR measurements that are wrong.

And the rest of your claim about "In the last year researchers have reported...blah blah" is nonsense too. Are you related by any chance to a poster above who also makes up false claims about the temperatures of planets?

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