The Duck of Minerva

The Duck Quacks at Twilight

It’s hot out there…

August 2, 2010

Actually, it’s a beautiful day up here in Massachusetts. A nice, cool morning which, according to a meteorologist on a local AM radio station, could only mean one thing — that global warming is a hoax. Just before I changed stations, however, I caught this little claim — something to the effect “there’s no consensus on global warming. There are a huge number of leading climate scientists who dispute it….”

Hmmm? Of course, such a claim would require something called EVIDENCE. So, what does the evidence show about the current state of thinking/consensus within the climate science community? This paper in PNAS in June is a start on this research question and the early findings are that “97–98% of the climate researchers most actively publishing in the field support the tenets of ACC outlined by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.” In other words, only 2% to 3% of the climate researchers most actively publishing in the field are skeptics? Wow, that is a lot….

And, by the way, here is some of the latest data reported in NOAA’s most recent “State of the Climate Global Analysis” in June 2010:
The text of the Executive Summary seems to state the obvious:

June 2010 was the fourth consecutive month with reported warmest averaged global land and ocean temperature on record (March, April, and May 2010 were also the warmest on record). When averaging the last three months, the combined global land and ocean surface temperature during April–June 2010 (three-month period) ranked as the warmest April–June on record, with an anomaly of 0.70°C (1.26°F) above the 20th century average. The previous April–June record was set in 1998, which had an anomaly of 0.66°C (1.19°F) above the 20th century average.

During this three-month period, warmer-than-average temperatures enveloped much of world’s land surface, with the most notable warm anomalies in Canada, the eastern half of the contiguous U.S., northern Africa, and western Asia. The worldwide land surface temperature during April–June 2010 was 1.12°C (2.02°F) above the 20th century average—the warmest on record.

Oh, and for the record, the local meteorologist predicted afternoon thunderstorms. There weren’t any.

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Jon Western has spent the last fifteen years teaching IR in liberal arts colleges at Mount Holyoke College and the Five Colleges in western Massachusetts. He has an eclectic range of intellectual interests but often writes on international security, U.S. foreign policy, military intervention, and human rights. He occasionally shares his thoughts about professional life in liberal arts colleges. In his spare time he coaches middle school soccer, mentors the local high school robotics team, skis, and sails.