2011 is not off to a very global warming year. For starters the average temperature of the Earth so far this year is right at the average for the past 30 years. There is no really warm spot on the Earth either. The Arctic is the only region that is running at +0.82 °C for the year so far. The rest of the Earth is pretty close to average or running a negative anomaly.
That is not a weather versus climate question either. If global warming is happening, then there should be some place on the Earth that is warmer than it should be. That is because warmth is a form of energy and it does not disappear. If the Earth is warming up, then that energy cannot just disappear. The entire concept behind global warming is that extra CO2 in the atmosphere is causing extra energy to accumulate. So the question is, where’s the warming?
If the Earth is supposed to reach that 3 °C warming by 2100 it better get moving because at the current rate of warming, it isn’t going to get close. This can be shown in many, many ways. The simplest one and most rewarding is simply going by the global temperature trend for the past decade. Depending on which source of data and the exact range I choose it is possible to get a rate of warming that is between -0.04 and 0.02 °C/decade. That high rate of warming will take until about 3500 A.D. for the Earth to warm up by 3 °C. Of course being off target by 1685% is not unreasonable.
I have been getting emails from people that have lived around the world over the past month telling me stories about snow falling much later in the year that usual. I can’t really argue with that because I have been seeing that myself. It is almost Memorial day and the nearby mountain is still snow covered. That is a very rare event for this time of year.
It isn’t just where I live.
Here is the temperature anomaly by week for the contiguous USA.
3 of the 4 past weeks have shown significantly low temperatures for this time of year.
What if this cooling persists? The past 10 years have already shown a remarkable lack of global warming. Now if anything the current trend is slightly negative. Of course that would be natural and normal behavior for the Earth’s climate. It has always been through these short term (50 year) swings in temperature. The current warming period seems to have peaked and all indicators are that another short term cooling period is in the works.
It will be interesting to see how cooling is worked into part of the dangers of CO2.