One of the false claims that Global Warming Deniers have
been making in recent years is that “Global Warming Stopped in 1998”.
(Alternately they may pick some other year that “global warming
stopped”.) As per usual, this claim is another deliberate GWD falsehood
that can be easily debunked by looking at the actual observations.
The Actual Temperature Record
The graph above shows the actual global temperature
anomalies as compiled by NOAA/NCDC ( (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration / National Climate Data Center - http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/
1975 to 2013. Individual months, a 2-year moving average, and a least
squares trend line are shown. The graph uses data that can be seen at:
Note: NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center (NCDC) maintains the world's largest climate data archive.
One of the features that can be seen is a temperature spike that
showed up in 1998. Late 1997 / 1998 was characterized by an abnormally
strong El Nino event in the equatorial Pacific Ocean. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:1997_El_Nino_TOPEX.jpg
The equatorial Pacific Ocean covers a lot of geography with the result
that this local event skewed average world temperatures upward for
If you want to use calendar years as your measurement
tool, then the NOAA/NCDC (National Oceanic and Atmospheric
Administration /National Climatic Data Center) data shows that 2005
broke the 1998 average for record warmth. Then 2010 broke the record
again. (Data at ftp://ftp.ncdc.noaa.gov/pub/data/anomalies/annual.land_ocean.90S.90N.df_1901-2000mean.dat
) The NASA / Columbia University temperature database shows a similar pattern. http://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/tabledata_v3/GLB.Ts+dSST.txt
Thus Global Warming has continued to at least 2010.
It is interesting to note that by 2012, the major “all-time
record warmth” temperature spike that occurred in 1998 has become just
your normal “everyday” anomaly. As we go into the future, we can expect
a series of additional new all-time record warmth spikes that become
just your normal “everyday” anomalies a decade or two later.
Global Warming Deniers frequently try to misrepresent what
is happening by “Cherry Picking” data such that the time period that
they quote highlights short term random events. The purpose of the
Cherry Picking is to use short term random events to obscure longer
term trends. They selectively pick their “starting point” at a
temperature spike and compare the spike with more recent average
temperatures. They then claim that there hasn’t been any temperature
change from the spike to the current average – thus the claim “Global
Warming has stopped”
Least Squares Trend Lines
When statisticians want to discern a trend from seemingly
random data, they frequently calculate and plot trend lines along with
plotting the original data. The simplest of these is a linear
regression ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Linear_regression
trend line. There are additional calculations that can be made that
show how well the trend line fits the data and the magnitude of
possible errors, but the simplest analysis simply plots the trend line
along with the original data.
It should be noted that when longer time periods and
larger databases are used, the potential amount of error in the
calculated trend line’s coefficients is reduced. (Potential errors
could be accidental or they could be a deliberate manipulation by
people who want to misrepresent what is actually happening.)
The charts below show that even if you “Cherry Pick” the
time period for your temperature data, least squares regression
analysis is robust enough to still show that world temperatures are
continuing to rise. All the charts use data that can be seen at ftp://ftp.ncdc.noaa.gov/pub/data/anomalies/monthly.land_ocean.90S.90N.df_1901-2000mean.dat
Also please compare each “Cherry Picked” chart with the earlier chart
that shows the temperature record since 1975.
The chart above shows the temperature record and a least squares trend
line with the time period beginning in Jan. 1996. (The 1998 El Nino
event actually started in 1997. Thus 1996 is used for the chart.)
The chart above shows the temperature record and a least squares trend line with the time period beginning in Jan. 1998.
The chart above shows the temperature record and a least squares trend line with the time period beginning in Jan. 1999.
All of the above charts were generated by Microsoft’s
Excel. All of the charts show that the world’s average temperature is
rising. You can alter the slope of the trend line by selectively
picking your starting point, but the directional trend is the same. It
doesn’t make any difference whether you pick a date just before “Global
Warming Stopped in 1998”, right at “Global Warming Stopped in 1998”, or
just after “Global Warming Stopped in 1998”. The actual data shows that
Global Warming Didn’t Stop in 1998.
The 1975 thru 1997 Trend Line had it Right
It is interesting to compare a future forecast that just
uses the 1975 thru 1997 data with what has actually happened since
then. If trend lines have a value, then they should be useful for
predicting the future.
Thus, the NOAA/NCDC data for just Jan. 1975 thru
Dec. 1997 was used for still another analysis. As with the other
charts, the trend line function in Microsoft’s Excel was used to
calculate a trend line. As with the other graphs, only the plotted data
was used for input to Excel’s trend line calculator. The results are
If you use the above trend line to make a temperature
anomaly forecast for the 1998 to 2012 period, what would you expect?
Would you expect temperature anomalies to cluster around the 0.60
level? Now look at the preceding charts. What actually happened?
Please compare the trend line that just uses the Jan. 1975
thru Dec. 1997 data (shown above) with the trend line that uses the
Jan. 1975 thru Jan. 2013 data (first chart). The upward slope of the
two trend lines is almost identical. About the only way that you can
tell that there is a slight difference is to compare the left portion
of the trend lines vs. the yellow 24 month moving average. (For the
periods involved, the 24 month moving average is identical for the two
The upward trend is the same whether you include the Jan.
1998 to Jan. 2013 data or whether you omit it. If the average
temperature for Jan. 1998 to Jan. 2013 had been something different
than what was forecast by the 1975 thru 1997 data, then the slope
(steepness) of the trend line would have changed. What happened was
that the average increase in temperature for Jan. 1998 thru Jan.2013
period turned out to be exactly what the trend line forecast.
Global Warming did not stop in 1998.
Land Only vs. Land/Sea Temperatures
Finally, it is interesting to compare the temperature
record for “land only” areas vs. the combination of land and ocean
areas. Traditionally, the temperature series that are used for most
global warming charts use “land/sea” temperatures, but we can get a
better understanding of what is happening if we also look at the “land
only” temperature record.
71 percent of the earth’s surface area is oceanic. Any
forcing that would tend to change the earth’s temperature is slowed by
the oceans since it takes a huge amount of heat input to produce much
change in temperature that involves the massive volume of the oceans.
It is therefore useful to look at “land only” temperatures that are
less influenced by the lag effect of the oceans.
The chart above shows the Northern Hemisphere “Land Only”
temperature record as measured by NOAA’s National Climate Data Center.
The actual data can be seen at: ftp://ftp.ncdc.noaa.gov/pub/data/anomalies/monthly.land.00N.90N.df_1901-2000mean.dat
If you compare this chart with the first chart above,
there are several noticeable differences. First, there is a much
greater month to month variation in temperatures for “land only”. This
is to be expected since inland areas such as Chicago are going to have
much larger temperature variations than an oceanic area such as Hawaii.
Of greater significance, the rate of temperature rise for
Northern Hemisphere “Land Only” is double the rate that is seen in the
land/sea chart. The lag effect of the oceans has less influence over
land areas. Thus “land only” temperatures are more “up to date” in
showing what is really happening with global warming.
Note that the rate of temperature rise as shown by the trend line is
1.45 degrees C in 45 years which is 5.8 degrees F per century.
Finally, the 24 month moving average (yellow line) shows
that the average temperature after 2006 has been warmer than what was
seen earlier in the 2000s never mind anything before year 2000.
In the last few years, there has been an increase in
mixing between warm surface water and deeper cool water in the earth’s
oceans. (Large storms such as Hurricane Sandy are really good as mixing
agents.) Mixing cools off the surface water - and the air above it.
This mixing has caused oceanic areas to lag further behind the warming
that has been observed in land areas, but once you know what has held
back the “sea” component, it becomes obvious that:
Global Warming did not stop in 1998.
The Satellite Temperature Record
Satellites can measure “brightness” microwave radiation
which can be translated into temperatures. What the satellites lack in
surface detail is offset by their ability to quickly observe the whole
The University of Alabama – Huntsville uses NASA’s
satellites to monitor global temperatures. The graph below shows what
has been observed up through July, 2013.
The data source for the above graph is the “Globe” column at:
It would be of interest as to just how Global Warming Deniers define their claim that “Global Warming Stopped in 1998”.
As measured by the amount of heat going into the earth’s
oceans, it looks like global warming may have actually accelerated
since the year 2000.
The graph above shows the amount of heat energy that has
been added to the world’s oceans. The original graph can be seen as
Fig. 1 in the published paper “Distinctive climate signals in
reanalysis of global ocean heat content” which can be accessed at http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/grl.50382/full
Note: OHC stands for Ocean Heat Content
To give some idea of the amount of heat that has been added to the oceans, 1023
Joules is enough heat to warm over 67 thousand tons of water from 40
deg. F to 140 deg. F for each of the 7 billion people on planet earth.
(1,000 Joules ~= 0.94845 BTU)
The chart at the right shows the results of other studies that have
measured the increase in oceanic heat content. Thus the results of the
more recent study confirm these earlier studies. The original version
of the graph at the right can be seen at: NOAA’s 2009 “State of the
Climate” report. Downloadable from:
This earlier chart shows the “Heat Content Change” of the
top 700 meters of the world’s oceans as measured by several
researchers. As above, the unit of measure is “Joules” which is the
standard metric measure for energy. (Note: XBT stands for expendable
The vast majority of the heat imbalance due to global
warming actually goes to warming the oceans. The increase in air
temperatures and glacial melting is actually just a small component.
As noted below, the Pacific Decadal Oscillation appears to
control where the heat from thermal forcing ends up. In recent years,
ocean currents (which are subject to the PDO) are continuing to
circulate heat from the ocean’s surface down to deeper levels.
The graph above is from http://www.nodc.noaa.gov/OC5/3M_HEAT_CONTENT/
and updates Ocean Heat Content up through June 2013. The world’s oceans continue to warm at an accelerating pace.
Note: Ocean temperature measurements are made by the Argo buoy system.
It can be easily calculated that the increase in oceanic
heat from 6E22 Joules in 1998 to 19E22 Joules in 2013 is equal to the
accumulated heat content of detonating 4 Hiroshima Atomic Bombs per
second (running 24/7 = 126,000,000+ bombs per year) from 1998 to the
for the 67E12 Joules heat content of one of these bombs.)
Conclusion: Global Warming did not stop in 1998.
The PDO and the Rate of Atmospheric Temperature Rise
The rate that atmospheric temperatures rise is a complex
function that includes all possible components. One of these components
is the Pacific Decadal Oscillation. A detailed description of the
PDO can be seen here. http://jisao.washington.edu/pdo/
Ocean currents in the Pacific Ocean are known to undergo small changes
depending on the positive or negative state of the PDO.
The chart above shows the PDO Index starting with 1975. Data for the chart can be seen at: http://jisao.washington.edu/pdo/PDO.latest
Note that the PDO was mostly negative for the 30-year period before 1975.
The PDO appears to be a way of measuring the mixing rate
between surface water and deep water in the Pacific Ocean. When the PDO
Index is predominately positive, there appears to be less mixing of
surface and deep water in the Pacific Ocean. This allows rapid surface
warming. (Including the air in contact with it.)
When the PDO is positive, atmospheric temperatures rise rapidly in response to carbon dioxide forcing.
When the PDO is predominately negative, it means that the
mixing rate between surface and deep water in the Pacific Ocean is
greater. An increased amount of warm surface water sinks deeper into
the ocean and an increased amount of colder deep water rises to replace
it. (This frequently shows up as a La Nina episode.) This colder water
cools the air that is in contact with it. When the PDO is negative, global
warming as measured by atmospheric temperatures proceeds at a slower
rate because more of the carbon dioxide forced heating goes into the
deep ocean instead of the atmosphere.
Global warming is going to continue no matter what state
the PDO is in. The PDO just controls where the heat is going.
The reason that global warming is occurring is that
human activities have modified the earth’s ability to radiate heat back
out into space. The requirement for the earth’s temperature to remain
constant is that incoming solar energy (“solar irradiance”) must be
balanced by a combination of reflection of this incoming solar
radiation and outgoing long wave heat radiation. If incoming solar
radiation is relatively constant (and it is), but outgoing heat
radiation is reduced, then the earth will warm until rising
temperatures (which increase outgoing radiation) can establish a new
Human activities have changed the earth’s ability to
radiate heat. Since the beginning of the industrial revolution,
combustion of fossil fuels (natural gas, oil, and coal) have increased
the atmospheric content of carbon dioxide by over 40%. Carbon dioxide
slows the earth’s ability to radiate heat into space. Carbon dioxide
and multiple other human generated components have altered the heat
balance that existed before the industrial revolution.
This imbalance caused by human activities is called
“Radiative Forcing”. That chart below illustrates the various
components of climate forcing, and shows the changes in the net
magnitude of this forcing since 1750.
The chart above is part of the “Summary for Policymakers”
section of the IPCC’s AR5 report. The top portion shows the various
components and the magnitude of their forcing. The bottom portion shows
the increasing amount of forcing for various years as measured against
what existed in the year 1750.
The “Solar” component is of interest. Global Warming
Deniers try to sidestep the issue by blaming the sun for global
warming. The change in irradiance from the sun is negligibly small
compared to 1750 values, and has actually decreased since the
mid-1980s. Thus Global Warming Deniers are wrong again when they claim
the sun is responsible.
Overall, forcing is increasing and, most likely, will
continue to increase for many decades into the future. Other feedback
factors such as increased water vapor in the atmosphere are only
beginning to kick in, and will become much stronger in the future. The
continuing increase in forcing supports the observation from oceanic
heating (shown earlier) that total global warming is accelerating.
Planet earth will be a much different place by the time temperatures
warm enough to reestablish thermal equilibrium.
Other Confirming Observations that Global Warming is Continuing
The chart above (compiled by the World Glacier Monitoring Service) shows what is happening to the world’s
glaciers. They are melting! Not only are the world’s
glaciers shrinking, the shrinkage rate has accelerated in recent years.
For an updated version of the graph, please see the mass balance
studies at http://www.geo.uzh.ch/microsite/wgms/
As for the false claims by the Deniers that glaciers
in the Himalayas are advancing, a detailed study that analyzed 7,090
glaciers in central Asia (including the Himalayas and Karakoram) and
that was published in 2012 ( http://www.nature.com/nclimate/journal/v2/n9/full/nclimate1580.html
) found that:
For more information (including then and now photos)
about “The Mighty Himalayan Glaciers are Vanishing”, please see http://www.glacierworks.org/
. There’s also a 75 minute video “Rivers of Ice: Vanishing Glaciers of the Greater Himalaya” at http://research.microsoft.com/apps/video/default.aspx?id=171318
Alternately, please see http://www.durangobill.com/GwdLiars/GwdLiarsChristopherMonckton.html
for a “Poster Child” example of a Global Warming Denier lying about the Himalaya’s Melting Glaciers.
Also, please see:
“Study: Mount Everest losing its cloak of ice and snow as world warms”
Also please see:
“Multi-decadal mass loss of glaciers in the Everest area (Nepal Himalaya) derived from stereo imagery”
“We reveal that the glaciers have been significantly losing mass since
at least 1970, despite thick debris cover. The specific mass loss for
1970–2007 is 0.32±0.08mw.e. a−1”
(mw.e. a-1 = meters of water equivalent per annum(year))
The world’s glaciers did not stop melting after 1998.
NASA has independently measured that the world’s glaciers
are melting. How about 4.3 trillion tons of melting from 2003 to 2010?
If global warming stopped in 1998, what melted 4.3 trillion tons of ice?
Argentina’s Upsala Glacier 2003 to 2011
The Upsala Glacier is one of the larger outflow glaciers
from the Southern Patagonia Icefield. The two pictures below were
generated by Google Earth. The yellow line was generated by Google
Earth’s distance measuring tool, and is over two miles long. The small
blue squares show where people have taken photographs.
The picture above shows the Upsala Glacier as of May 11, 2003.
The picture above shows the Upsala Glacier as of Dec. 28,
2011. Icebergs and many smaller ice fragments are floating on a lake
which now occupies the former location of the glacier.
If Global Warming stopped in 1998, what caused the Upsala Glacier to melt back over 2 miles from 2003 to 2011?
Alaska’s Columbia Glacier
The first two pictures below are from Time/NASA’s time lapse video.
The first picture shows Alaska’s Columbia Glacier as of
1998. (The glacier is just to the left of the center of the picture.) Open water is
dark blue. Snow and ice are white.
This next picture shows the Columbia Glacier as of 2012.
Note how the former white area of the glacier has been replaced by dark
blue ocean water.
Finally, this third picture shows a Google Earth view of
the same area. Google Earth’s distance measuring tool has been used to
show that the glacier has melted back 11 miles. (Yellow line.)
If Global Warming stopped in 1998, what melted 11 miles of the Columbia Glacier after 1998?
Sea Level is Rising
The chart above shows what is happening to sea level. As
the world warms, sea level rises due to thermal expansion plus water
from melted glacial ice. The most recent data at
indicates this rate of sea level rise is continuing to accelerate
beyond what was observed up through 2011.
If global warming stopped in 1998, what is causing sea level to rise?
A Typical Example of a GWD “Source” for the “Stopped” Lie
On Oct. 13, 2012 a British Global Warming Denier tabloid
(the “Mail Online”) ran a story with the following headline:
“Global warming stopped 16 years ago,
reveals Met Office report quietly released...
and here is the chart to prove it”
The author of the article (David Rose) has a history
of willful misrepresentations of reality. But then again, neither David
Rose nor his tabloid audience are interested in factual evidence.
The story included the following chart:
“Firstly, the Met Office has not issued a report on this issue.”
Thus when the headline states that there was a report, it is just another Global Warming Denier lie.
The above graph (which has a “Ben Weller”
label as a source) has been widely circulated in Global Warming Denier
blogs on the Internet. The article contains no source reference for the
“temperature data” in the graph. The origin and credibility for the
chart data is unknown, and the only information we have is that the
chart was authored by “Ben Weller”.
It’s instructive to compare the graph that was
published in the Daily Mail’s “Mail Online” with the actual temperature
record as compiled by the UK’s Climate Research Unit.
The graph above shows the Hadley Climate Research Unit’s
monthly temperature anomalies from 1975 to Aug. 2012. (Same ending
month as the “Mail Online” graph) The data can be accessed and checked for accuracy at
(Note: Old versions of the table are subject to minor changes as corrections and late data become available.)
The 25 month centered moving average (yellow line) is
of interest. It shows that average temperatures beginning in Dec.
2001 have been consistently warmer than the warmest 25 month average
that was seen in 1998. If global warming stopped in 1998, why have
temperatures for the last decade averaged warmer than what was observed
In spite of what the Mail Online article claims, it is obvious that Global Warming didn’t stop in 1998.
The HadCRUTEM4 data can be easily traced to
an actual temperature database. The Daily Mail “Mail Online” graph is
attributed to “Ben Weller”.
Who or what is Ben Weller?
Google searches using
“Ben Weller” climate
“Ben Weller” meteorology
“Ben Weller” temperature
return links to various blogs/forums/websites that discuss the article,
but not to any source that would indicate that “Ben Weller” works for
any scientific organization. Conclusion: The “Ben Weller” name on the
chart does not refer to a scientific organization.
There is a Ben Weller freelance photographer who has
contributed work to the Daily Mail/Mail Online. The suspicion arises
that Ben Weller has widened his repertoire to include fabricating
As for the Daily Mail’s/Mail Online’s “journalistic
credibility”, you should realize that they devote a lot of attention to
“features” such as:
Over 19,000 hits at the DailyMail website.
Over 180,000 hits at the DailyMail website.
Readers should understand that the Daily Mail/Mail Online
(and most other publishers) will publish articles that are targeted
toward a specific audience - including the audience’s (willfully
ignorant) “intelligence” level.
The source data for the “Global Warming Stopped” headline
is unknown. However, Global Warming Deniers are gullible,
scientifically ignorant fools who will believe any LIE as long as it
supports what they want to believe. Thus they fabricate a mysterious
temperature record and then point to this fabricated temperature record
as if it were true.
“Red Handed” Evidence that Global Warming Deniers are Liars
The Mail Online/Daily Mail generously provides evidence that they print
lies. Here is a Print Screen copy from the Mail Online’s web page on
Sept. 19, 2013.
The Mail Online asserts “the fact that 1998 was the hottest year on record and world temperatures have not yet exceeded it”.
If we check the world’s temperature databases we find that:
1) GISS/NASA shows that 2005, 2007, and 2010 were all warmer than 1998.
2) NOAA/NCDC shows that 2005 and 2010 were warmer than 1998.
3) HadCRUT4 shows that 2005 and 2010 were warmer than 1998.
4) And the UAH satellite temperature graph (above) shows that global
temperatures have been consistently above the 1998 moving average for the
last 12 years.
The Mail Online is lying again when it states that 1998
was the warmest year on record. Then they fabricated a claim that there
is a cover-up.
The top of this web page states that Global Warming
Deniers “lie, they are willfully ignorant, and they are wrong.” The
Mail Online is a perfect example demonstrating that Global Warming
Deniers are liars.
Still Another Willful Lie by David Rose & The Daily Mail/Mail Online
On March 16, 2013 The Daily Mail/Mail Online ran the above chart.
David Rose and The Daily Mail/Mail Online claim that
temperatures are not following the predictions made by the IPCC. The
graph has been widely circulated in the Global Warming Denier
Does the Daily Mail/Mail Online chart show what the IPCC
actually said, or is the Daily Mail/Mail Online chart a fabrication of
what the IPCC really said?
The chart above shows what the IPCC really printed in their 2007 report. http://www.ipcc.ch/pdf/assessment-report/ar4/wg1/ar4-wg1-chapter1.pdf
The Daily Mail/Mail Online and David Rose willfully fabricated still another lie.
Our Best Knowledge
The best information about changes in the world’s climate can be found in our best educational institutions.
The following organizations provide evidence that:
1) Global Warming / Climate Change is real.
2) Human activities are by far the largest causative agent.
3) Global Warming / Climate Change is a continuing, ongoing phenomenon.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
“Report: Human activity fuels global warming”
Also: “The new projections are . . . the median surface warming in 2091 to 2100 is 5.1°C
California Institute of Technology
“How We Know Global Warming is Real”
“The science behind human-induced climate change”
“Global warming . . . is now well documented and accepted by scientists as fact.”
“The Greenhouse Effect and Global Warming”
“With higher CO2 concentrations come expectations of a stronger greenhouse effect and therefore warmer global temperatures.”
Atmospheric Sciences - University of Illinois - Champaign
“Evidence continues to mount that human activities are altering the Earth’s climate on a global scale.”
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
Scripps Institution of Oceanography (University of California - San Diego)
If global warming stopped in 1998, please provide an explanation
as to why our best schools and universities are providing evidence that
global warming is continuing.
The actual observations show that global warming didn’t
stop in 1998. What is happening is that a few Global Warming Deniers
fabricated a story, and the other members of the Global Warming Denier
cult continue to demonstrate their willful ignorance by repeating the
same false story.
Return to the Global Warming Deniers index page
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