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The Sciences

Where's George Will When You Need Him?

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Remember that awful George Will column from 2009 claiming that " according to the U.N. World Meteorological Organization, there has been no recorded global warming for more than a decade, or one-third of the span since the global cooling scare"? At the time, I rebutted it here:

The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) is one of many respected scientific institutions that support the consensus that humans are driving global warming. Will probably meant that since 1998 was the warmest year on record according to the WMO -- NASA, in contrast, believes that that honor goes to 2005 -- we haven't had any global warming since. Yet such sleight of hand would lead to the conclusion that "global cooling" sets in immediately after every new record temperature year, no matter how frequently those hot years arrive or the hotness of the years surrounding them. Climate scientists, knowing that any single year may trend warmer or cooler for a variety of reasons -- 1998, for instance, featured an extremely strong El Niño -- study globally averaged temperatures over time. To them, it's far more relevant that out of the 10 warmest years on record, at least seven have occurred in the 2000s -- again, according to the WMO.

But as if that isn't a strong enough critique, now comes the WMO with the message that 2010 is tied for with 1998 and 2005 for the world's hottest year on record:

“The 2010 data confirm the Earth’s significant long-term warming trend,” said WMO Secretary-General Michel Jarraud. “The ten warmest years on record have all occurred since 1998.” Over the ten years from 2001 to 2010, global temperatures have averaged 0.46°C (0.83°F) above the 1961-1990 average, and are the highest ever recorded for a 10-year period since the beginning of instrumental climate records.

I wonder what Will will have to say about this? I'd say he owes the WMO an apology.

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