Tuesday, February 26, 2008

The "Coming Ice Age" returns

Meteorologist Anthony Watts has collected global temperature data from NASA/GISS, HadCRUT, RSS, and UAH, and found that all agree: global temperature has been dropping:

January 2008 capped a 12 month period of global temperature drops on all of the major well respected indicators.

Daily Tech writes about this data:
Twelve-month long drop in world temperatures wipes out a century of warming

Over the past year, anecdotal evidence for a cooling planet has exploded. China has its coldest winter in 100 years. Baghdad sees its first snow in all recorded history. North America has the most snowcover in 50 years, with places like Wisconsin the highest since record-keeping began. Record levels of Antarctic sea ice, record cold in Minnesota, Texas, Florida, Mexico, Australia, Iran, Greece, South Africa, Greenland, Argentina, Chile -- the list goes on and on.

No more than anecdotal evidence, to be sure. But now, that evidence has been supplanted by hard scientific fact. All four major global temperature tracking outlets (Hadley, NASA's GISS, UAH, RSS) have released updated data. All show that over the past year, global temperatures have dropped precipitously.

Daily Tech overstates the case a bit: temperatures have always fluctuated and, out of context, mere short term rises ("global warming") or drops ("coming ice age") mean little.

Some context is provided by the plot below which uses surface temperatures from the UK’s Hadley Climate Research Unit. It shows the much-publicized temperature peak that occurred in 1998 and highlights the temperature drop from January 2007 to January 2008:

Hat tip: Instapundit.

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