I wish it were true, but the earth is not cooling and there remains an upward curve in the temperature of our planet.
So next time you're at a dinner party and someone says the earth is cooling and throws some air quotes up when he says “global warming,” here's a simple way to explain it away.
Here are the average global temperature measurements up to this point as measured by NASA. You can see the red average line that has been marching up a pretty steep hill for many decades now:
There are other measurements of global temperature, for example this record is kept by the Met Office in the UK:
In fact, the Met Office also has a temperature graph that compares the global temperature measurements across the three main scientific agencies that keep such records:
It does not take a scientific eye to see that all the lines keep going up. But right now, there is an obsession amongst a small group of climate deniers (who are also not climate scientists) about the last decade of temperature change.
What they are looking at is the flattening in the average global temperatures around 2000. But this is easily explained by the big spike in temperatures in 1989 and then again in 2005, which were both very above-average hot years due to the El Nino effect. Like back in high school when a couple of students get super-high marks, those El Nino years “throw the curve” and screw up the average:
After 1998 and 2005 global temperatures were not as hot, but still on the whole still much hotter than most years prior to 1998.
So the temperature is still clearly going up globally as can be seen by the long-term upward trend over time. But like any good conspiracy theory, if you look hard and long enough you will find “proof” of your theory — and the climate deniers seem to be clinging on to this latest proof pretty hard.
Take the Heartland Institute for example, an organization that has battled both the scientific realities of climate change and the impacts of tobacco products on public health for many years now.
The Heartland Institute is claiming that temperatures in the United States over the past ten years have gone down slightly and that this should drive “a stake through the heart of alarmists claiming accelerating global warming.”
While others have taken Heartland to task over their latest misguided conclusions, I will simply point out that the United States represents a very small area of the globe — what scientists are talking about, and are concerned about is “global” warming.
And when it comes to the observed warming of the globe, the red line continues to march upward slowly but surely.