Think Progress: We’ve found some global warming!
The real question to ask these people is "hottest year on record" since when? Since the beginning of the Holocene 11,000 years ago? Or since 1979 when land surface temperatures began being measured by satellite? Because going back to the beginning of the Holocene probably provides us with some data, while the data since 1979 is minuscule/de minimus.
Satellite data is wonderfully objective, and free of the manipulation that the earth data suffers from. However, there is not enough of it to make any kind of real long term predictions in climate.
The first satellite only went into orbit in 1959, so how much data is even possible 57 years? Mon Dieu?! One cannot determine long term climate from a few decades of temp data. And that belies the fact that weather sensing satellites did not go into orbit until later.
The earth is emerging from one of the coldest points in the 11,000 year long Holocene, it is unsurprising that we would notice some mild warming. To the contrary, it would be deeply shocking to find we were not. The 1970s had such a shock when climate scientists began to believe that we would not emerge from the Little Ice Age but instead again dip back into a cold period, possibly a new ice age.
"During the Holocene Optimum, 9000 to 5000 years ago, global temperature was warmer than today. The Eemian, the previous interglacial, was warmer still – up to 8C (14F) warmer in arctic regions.
What is absent from historical records of the warmer past is evidence of “tipping points” or abrupt harmful changes driven by mild global warming. Even when Earth’s CO2 levels were four times higher than today, the climate was stable, and only 7F higher than today’s temperature."
The Holocene Thermal Optimum
In the chart below, notice how low the Little Ice Age dropped far below the Holocene average. It is now rebounding. This is indicative of a system regaining its balance after a deep decline. Further notice how over the past 4,000 years or so, the earth has been in a long term deep cooling phase. This is very different from the first half of the Holocene where the temperature routinely bounce above then below the Holocene average.
A shortened version extending only 4,000 years again shows this long term decline even more clearly. Further notice the peaks and troughs and how steep they are. The bounce back we are undergoing is well within the norm especially after such a prolonged deep period of cooling.
Climate and Human Civilization for the Past 4,000 Years
Frankly, by all evidence, the earth is emerging from a prolonged cool period, and is re-equilibrating to a new warmer, yet still sub-optimum temperature.
The climate alarmists always need to focus only on the last 50 years, or even 150 years since by doing so they allow the Little Ice Age to become the earth temperature "normal." However, the Little Ice Age was one of the longest, coldest temperature slumps during the Holocene. This would be like taking the longest coldest temperatures during late Winter, and then becoming panicked when, shockingly, in Spring, temperatures rewarm substantially.
These neo-Malthusians are silly, trivial thinkers willing to Chicken Little at any hint of change. Best to pat them on the heads, mock them, and shoo them on their way.