Stop the presses, huh?
The WUWT folks have been making hay out of some completely garbled nonsense as usual. They habitually (at best) don’t understand what they are looking at and proceed to interpret it to support their peculiar certainty that modern CO2 greenhouse effect somehow doesn’t work, so we can spew as much of it as we like, and of course that was always guaranteed by liberty or something.
Anyway there’s a particularly striking example up on an article by Don Easterbrook.
First, he shows a graph by Richard Alley, no less:
And then somehow jumps to:
So where do the 1934/1998/2010 warm years rank in the long-term list of warm years? Of the past 10,500 years, 9,100 were warmer than 1934/1998/2010. Thus, regardless of which year ( 1934, 1998, or 2010) turns out to be the warmest of the past century, that year will rank number 9,099 in the long-term list.
Well, this is quite silly. You aren’t exactly comparing apples to oranges, but you are comparing apples to applesauce. 1998 and 2010 are contenders for warmest year in the instrumental record. As such, they are probably the warmest yearss in the last 2000 years or so, but certainly not in the past 8000 years. Mainstream climatology ha[[ily stipulates that the period from 8000-6000 years ago was warmer than today, but not by much.
Mentioning 1934 (a contender for warmest year in the USA) is just silly beyond belief.
But the global mean is about 15 C, and the graph is centered around -31 C, so what accounts for the 50 C (90 F) difference? Well, the graph refers to a signal called the delta-O18 temperature proxy. It is a regional temperature for the region of Greenland. What’s more, this proxy is effectively a multidecadal running average, not an instantaneous temperature. And finally, the “present day” is geologists’ jargon for 1950. The last 60 years don’t show up in ice cores or in the record as shown.
So, to recapitulate:
2010 is the hottest year on record or close to it globally
2010 or 1998 is likely the hottest in thousands of years globally
6000 to 8000 years ago was a bit warmer than today. We will probably cross that threshold soon enough but we haven’t yet.
By the end of the century, unless we get a grip we will be seeing the warmest years in the last tens of millions of years, but we are not there yet.
The graph measures multidecadal running averages regionally up to 1950 and cannot be directly compared to annual global averages.
I like it better than the recent nonsense in Forbes magazine because it only makes one uninformed point rather than a dozen. But it’s noise. Noise, noise noise.
It is still pretend science and not real science. Somehow the political sector needs to learn to tell the difference. A tall order, but crucial.
Update: Gareth has more at Hot Topic.