It’s common for climate change denialists to seize selectively on pieces of data or simply misinterpret trends either through ignorance of the scientific method or some other confirmatory bias. The recent ‘pause’ in temperature rise (actually a slow down the rate of increase) has also been accompanied by an increase in the rate of arctic ice loss and an increase in heat retention and acidification of the oceans.
Prof Myles Allen, head of the climate dynamics group at the University of Oxford said “Comparing the expected temperature for 2013-2017 with a single exceptionally warm year (1998), as some reports have done, is just daft. 1998 was around 0.2 degrees warmer than the 1996-2000 average, largely thanks to a massive, once-a-century El Nino event. The IPCC predicted a warming of 0.1-0.2 degrees per decade due to human influence back in 2000. That means the one-off impact of that El Nino event was equivalent to about 20 years of the expected background warming trend So, unsurprisingly, 20 years later, expected temperatures have risen so that an average year is now as warm as that exceptionally hot year.
This position is also backed by this article: What has global warming done since 1998? which reminds us that 2010 is the hottest year on record, tied with 2005.
Here is a selection of extreme and unprecedented weather events to date in 2013:
- In Salt Lake City January, 2013 with the average temperature of 19.4 °F (−7.0 °C) became the coldest month on record since 1949 and the sixth coldest January since 1874.
- In Orlando, Florida the temperature lowered to 41 °F (5 °C) on March 28, 2 degrees below the record of 1955.
- On 1–3 May, a late snow storm occurred across the central United States from Arkansas to Minnesota. The storm formed from a deep upper level trough which became a cut-off low, the event was named “Achilles” by the Weather Channel. The storm broke records for depth of snow and lateness in the season, and was cited as the worst May snow since 1947.
- One of California’s largest wildfires on record burned in a national park.
Read more at http://www.wunderground.com/news/most-extreme-weather-state-2013-20130920#CkZIjCe5BydO1GUF.99
- In late May, Albuquerque had set its record driest two-year period dating to the 1890s. Read more at http://www.wunderground.com/news/most-extreme-weather-state-2013-20130920#uPqo6PX3zhlaif4Z.99
- Northern New Mexico are no strangers to severe thunderstorms. But what hit the evening of July 26, 2013 was one of the most intense, severe wind-producing thunderstorms in recent memory in the city. Read more at http://www.wunderground.com/news/most-extreme-weather-state-2013-20130920#0IjGr6yjLFTS7G1v.99
- In late June 2013, an intense heat wave struck Southwestern United States. Various places in Southern California reached up to 122 °F (50 °C). On June 30, Death Valley, California hit 129.2 °F (54.0 °C) which is the hottest temperature ever recorded on Earth during the month of June. It was five degrees shy of the highest temperature recorded in Death Valley, which was 134 °F (57 °C), recorded in July 1913.
- On March 15 an all-time low temperature was recorded in Novosibirsk, surpassing the city’s 1964 record by 0.5 °C.
- In the United Kingdom March was set to be the joint, country’s fourth coldest March since records began in 1910, with mean temperatures of 2.5°C (4.5°F) to 3°C (5.4°F) below average, and a strong cold east wind continuous from February to early April.
Australia experienced an Angry Summer for 2012 to 2013 resulting in 123 weather records being broken over a 90-day period, including the hottest day ever recorded for Australia as a whole, the hottest January on record, the hottest summer average on record, and a record seven days in row when the whole continent averaged above 39° C. See more Key Facts of the Angry Summer here:
- Sydney had its highest temperature in 155 years of records, 45.8 °C (previous record of 45.3°C, 1939).
- Grafton had a peak flood height of 8.09 m (previous record of 7.89m set in 1890).
- Hobart had its highest temperature on record 41.8 °C (previous record 40.8 °C set in 1976).
- Canberra set a record January maximum temperature of 42.0 °C on 18 January (previous
- record 41.4 °C set in 1968).
- More than 6,000 people were missing a month after flash floods ravaged large parts of its northern state of Uttarakhand. This was caused by heavy rainfall on 14-17 June 2013, which was about 37.5 percent more than the benchmark rainfall during a normal monsoon.This caused the melting of Chorabari Glacier at the height of 3800 metres, and eruption of the Mandakini River.
- In July a heat wave struck China with alerts covering nine provinces, including Anhui, Jiangsu, Hunan, Hubei, Shanghai and Chongqing. Shanghai has seen 24 days with temperatures at or above 35˚C in July. Temperatures in Shanghai reached 40.6 degrees Celsius, the highest ever temperature recorded in 140 years of weather recording in the city.
There are many more examples.