Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Some Blunt Evidence

Last week, I used this line: "...if you can 'hit them between the eyes' with evidence bluntly presented and objective, it may make a difference." That refers to how to convince people who are skeptical of whatever position they may hold. Of course, I spun it climate-wise.

Since I wrote that, The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration released State of the Climate Global Analysis June 2010. It offers some pretty blunt evidence. Here's an impressive graphic from the report:
And here's the Global Highlights that lead the page:

Global Highlights

  • The combined global land and ocean average surface temperature for June 2010 was the warmest on record at 16.2°C (61.1°F), which is 0.68°C (1.22°F) above the 20thcentury average of 15.5°C (59.9°F). The previous record for June was set in 2005.
  • June 2010 was the fourth consecutive warmest month on record (March, April, and May 2010 were also the warmest on record). This was the 304th consecutive month with a global temperature above the 20th century average. The last month with below-average temperature was February 1985.
  • The June worldwide averaged land surface temperature was 1.07°C (1.93°F) above the 20th century average of 13.3°C (55.9°F)—the warmest on record.
  • It was the warmest April–June (three-month period) on record for the global land and ocean temperature and the land-only temperature. The three-month period was the second warmest for the world's oceans, behind 1998.
  • It was the warmest June and April–June on record for the Northern Hemisphere as a whole and all land areas of the Northern Hemisphere.
  • It was the warmest January–June on record for the global land and ocean temperature. The worldwide land on average had its second warmest January–June, behind 2007. The worldwide averaged ocean temperature was the second warmest January–June, behind 1998.
  • Sea surface temperature (SST) anomalies in the central and eastern equatorial Pacific Ocean continued to decrease during June 2010. According to NOAA's Climate Prediction Center, La NiƱa conditions are likely to develop during the Northern Hemisphere summer 2010.
Blunt enough for you? Of course, four months in a row does not equal climate change. Three hundred and four? Well, something might be going on.

But, you might point out, some will say that the weather stations are surrounded by concrete and giving temperature readings that are higher than they would otherwise be. Not only is that well debunked here, but for most observers, we can tell by just paying a bit of attention to the fact that when it's hot out, the thermometers at our house or apartment are in reasonably close agreement with the closest National Weather Service station. And when it's cold out too, of course. I don't remember anyone claiming that it didn't really get up to 84° F in early April here in Buffalo, or that we didn't really break 90° F earlier this month (which is really pretty uncommon for us, as our temperatures are moderated by Lake Erie).

The evidence is blunt enough for me. But, here's an interesting quote to ponder from Max Planck (and cited by Thomas Kuhn):
"...a new scientific truth does not triumph by convincing its opponents and making them see the light, but rather because its opponents eventually die, and a new generation grows up that is familiar with it."
Sigh. Hopefully he's wrong about that. What do you think?

Again, thanks to my Facebook friends (Joe & Nicole) for giving me a bit of inspiration.

No comments: