Recent Global Temperatures – more lies, damn lies and statistics

Global temperature from the six leading data series June 2015 - June 2020
Global temperature from the six leading data series
June 2015 – June 2020

In the last five years estimates of global temp have been in a bit of a hiatus with temperatures still recovering from a decline since the record warm year of 2016. In fact if you look at a linear trend from 2015 to 2020, three of the six leading global temperature series would be showing a fall in anomalies during that period. That’s why organisations such as the Met Office are so keen to see 2020 overtake 2016 as being the warmest year on record, after all doesn’t global heating promise continual increases in global temperatures rather than cooling? That’s why they’ve been forced to switch to the alternative statistic – the last five years have been are the five warmest ever – desperately trying to ignore the fact that 2016 is still the warmest.
Of course it would be totally misleading of me to just show the last five years of global temperatures, so here’s a bar chart of monthly temperatures from each of the world’s leading global temperature series over the last ten years. If you examine the linear trends now you’ll see that they are all showing strong warming by as much as 0.5°C per decade in the case of the CERA Copernicus data, that would be a rise of over 5°C if it kept that rate up.
This is the reason I used lies, damn lies and statistics in my title, a phrase popularised by Mark Twain, and often mistakenly attributed to Benjamin Disraeli.

Global temperature from the six leading data series June 2010 - June 2020
Global temperature from the six leading data series
June 2010 – June 2020

There is a definite slowing in the recent bounce back in temperatures from the cooling that occurred after the record warmest year of 2016. That cooling after 2016 took around 0.2°C of the 12 month moving average anomalies and ended towards the end of 2017. That’s when the bounce back started, but in recent months there are signs, to me at least, that this has now started to slow, and that’s why the chances of 2020 overtaking 2016 as the warmest year are only 50-50 or even less.

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