‘Some sites show cooling’–But you can’t draw global conclusions from individual sites
(Part of the How to Talk to a Global Warming Skeptic guide)
Objection: Some stations, in the U.S. for example, show cooling trends. If there were really global warming, it would be warming everywhere.
Answer: Global warming is the long-term increase in globally and seasonally averaged surface temperatures. It is not the case, nor is it expected, that all regions on the planet, let alone all weather stations, will show the same changes in temperature or rainfall patterns. Many stations have shown cooling, and some small regions have shown modest cooling as well. This does not invalidate global warming theory; it is merely the result of regional variation, and an example of how varied and complex the climate system is.
The contrarian website CO2 Science makes this fallacious argument part of its homepage by featuring a “Station of the Week” that’s exhibited trends significantly different from the global one. Given the effort and technical content behind that website, and the fact that they prominently display this intellectual sleight of hand, I think it is safe to say they are simply being dishonest.
All of the various global temperature trend analyses show significant warming in the average temperature:
These analyses agree with the expectations of climate theory, as well as all the other lines of evidence.
More stories in this series:
(Part of the How to Talk to a Climate Skeptic guide) Objection: Despite what the computer models tell us, there is actually no evidence of significant global warming. Answer: Global warming is not an output of computer models; it is …
(Part of the How to Talk to a Global Warming Skeptic guide) Objection: CO2 levels are recorded on top of Mauna Loa … a volcano! No wonder the levels are so high. (image courtesty of Global Warming Art)
(Part of the How to Talk to a Global Warming Skeptic guide) Objection: The apparent rise of global average temperatures is actually an illusion due to the urbanization of land around weather stations, the Urban Heat Island effect.
(Part of the How to Talk to a Global Warming Skeptic guide) Objection: One hundred and some years of global surface temperatures is not long enough to draw any conclusions from or worry about anyway. Answer: The reliable instrumental record …
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