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What a Warm Start to 2010

April 22, 2010

Many have written about the causes and motivations related to recent noise coming from those who are sceptical about the science of climate change.  This post is not an effort to rehash those points, which include a blend of post-Copenhagen blues, IPCC misfortune, and ill-advised language in leaked emails from researchers.

One particular aspect that I’ve been meaning to comment briefly on is the weirdly cold weather phenomena in January in locations of unusual political influence in global climate change policy.   Where did this cold snap occur?

Take a look at the graphic below.

The US, Europe, and China.  Not helpful for politicians seeking mandates to negotiate a climate deal.

But what’s of interest from the climate’s perspective? 

That’s right.  It was much, much warmer in January than usual in some seriously important places from the climate’s perspective:  The Arctic. 

January came in as a global average anomaly of plus 0.72 degrees C:  a record. 

A record, that is, if you don’t include February, 2010 – which came in at a global average anomoly of plus 0.74 degree C.

Wonder why ships can now take the North-West passage in summer?

 The localised cold spell enabled an unscientific and ridiculous assertion to be made that because it was cold, climate change must be a myth.  Whether one ascribes to the theory of anthropogenic climate change or not, this assertion and the obviously disingenuous motivation behind it must be firmly rejected:  it’s just not honest, or helpful.  The world was warmer.

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