11 January 2009
GISS 2008 Global Average Temperature
The Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) determined average global temperature result for the first 11 months of 2008 is plotted with annual measurements back to 1880. GISS has the reputation of reporting the highest global temperatures of the four principal global temperature sources. Recently they reported temperatures across Russia in October which were identical to those in September, and I do not know if this data was even corrected for that error. Such an error would make the average temperature appear higher than it should be.
So far, 2008 is the coolest year since the year 2000. Note that 1999 and 2000 average global temperatures were below the trendline. Clearly 2008 is also. Examining this data without knowing what the factors are that cause changes in the earth's temperature, one might have a tendency to expect the long term trend of temperature to be upward. However, the last 8 years of data can also be viewed as indicating an end to the rise in temperature, which is consistent with observations of solar activity.
A further rise in temperature is almost certainly more good than bad for mankind barring the panicked reactions of politicians to deprive us of many of the benefits of the Industrial Revolution and take more of our freedom of choice from us. Both the warming from the early 1800s and the Industrial Revolution have made life much richer and easier for humans. This is a good thing and we should allow this beneficial combination to continue. Maybe, we will one day enjoy as warm a climate as that of the Medieval Climate Optimum or that of 500 BC when Greek civilization flowered.
The plot above gives the increase in temperature in degrees Centigrade by region over the world compared to the average temperature in the relatively cool years from 1950 to 1980. Note that the central U.S. and Canada have temperatures unchanged from that period. The coastal region temperatures of both countries are only very slightly warmer. I hardly think anyone in North America is complaining from a personal discomfort standpoint. There is also little change in South America or in Australia. In Africa, only North Africa has seen much of a temperature increase. Iran is also significantly warmed. Apparently, Allah is punishing the Muslims. There is little temperature change in India or in Southeast Asia. The largest temperature changes are in Europe and in North Asia. The further north in Europe and Asia, the greater the increase. It seems clear that this is just exactly what one would wish for. People who live in these regions should be very happy. The farmers there will have an easier time growing food and the wildlife will generally find life easier also.
What is not to like about this situation? Oh yeah, we should be mournful of the fate of the Muslims in North Africa and Iran, whose situation is perhaps worse. But then again, who are we to question Allah's will? If he wishes to reward nearly everyone who is not Muslim and punish those who are, that is his business.