The latest Global Temperature Anomaly chart released Thursday by the Earth System Science Center (ESSC) at The University of Alabama in Huntsville shows temperatures have essentially been stable since 1998. This data is from instruments on NOAA and NASA satellites that were launched in November 1978. The instruments measure the temperature from the surface to about 8 km over almost all regions of Earth, including oceans, deserts, and rain forests where there are few, if any, surface weather observations. The 34-year database shows temperatures have risen 0.86° F since that time, but since the strong El Niño of 1998, the temperature has plateaued. That’s a whopping 15 years of basically no change in global temperature!
John Christy is the director of the ESSC and has this to say regarding the data:
“There are so many natural variations and oscillations that we just can’t say that this looks like a human fingerprint on the lower atmosphere’s climate,” said Christy. “We know that some human activities must have an impact on the climate system. But one has considerable difficulty in looking at what has happened over the past 34 years and reasonably or with scientific accuracy saying whether or by how much the change has been natural or caused by us.
“Changes of this amount over these time scales could be essentially natural. Such a hypothesis has not been proven false. Scientists would love to have these types of measurements from the past 2,000 years to see to what extent Mother Nature can cause changes over decades on her own. But the thorny question of how sensitive the climate is to extra greenhouse gases we are putting into the atmosphere is still up in the air.”