Believing and Knowing are Two Different Things.

Russ Steele

The Pew Research Organization has the latest numbers on how Americans view Global Warming.

77% vs. 43% – The Partisan Divide on Global Warming

While 63% of Americans overall believe there is solid evidence of global warming, there is a sharp partisan and ideological divide on the issue. Nearly eight-in-ten (77%) Democrats believe that global warming is occurring compared to 43% of Republicans. Just over seven-in-ten (73%) of Democrats who describe themselves as conservative or moderate believe there is solid evidence of warming, as do 84% of liberal Democrats.

Among Republicans, only 31% of conservatives believe in global warming. An intra-party division exists, as 63% of Republicans who describe themselves as moderate or liberal believe in global warming – though but they constitute a smaller share of the party than do conservatives.

The large partisan and ideological gap over the existence of global warming is also reflected in opinions about whether it represents a serious problem. Nine-in-ten (90%) liberal Democrats say global warming is at least a somewhat serious problem, with 64% calling it “very serious.” Nearly three-quarters of conservative Republicans (73%) say global warming either is not too serious a problem or not a problem.

Tea Party affiliation is also a useful prism for understanding Republican divisions on global warming.

Among all Republicans and Republican-leaning independents who agree with the Tea Party, 30% say there is solid evidence of global warming and 11% say it is mostly caused by human activity. A majority (56%) of Republicans and GOP leaners who do not agree with the Tea Party see solid evidence of global warming, and 28% say it is mostly caused by human activity.

Looking under hood, the time period used in the survey was last two decades. (20 Years).

Now let’s look at the facts, we now have 33 year of satellite measured global temperatures as presented by Dr Roy Spencer at the University of Alabama at Huntsville.

 Dr Spencer reminds readers, the 3rd order polynomial fit to the data (courtesy of Excel) is for entertainment purposes only, and should not be construed as having any predictive value whatsoever.

Here are some thoughts from ICECAP to put  the last 33 years in perspective:

The end of November 2011 completes 33 years of satellite-based global temperature data, according to John Christy, a professor of atmospheric science and director of the Earth System Science Center (ESSC) at The University of Alabama in Huntsville. Globally averaged, Earths atmosphere has warmed about 0.45 Celsius (about 0.82 F) during the almost one-third of a century that sensors aboard NOAA and NASA satellites have measured the temperature of oxygen molecules in the air.

This is at the lower end of computer model projections of how much the atmosphere should have warmed due to the effects of extra greenhouse gases since the first Microwave Sounding Unit (MSU) went into service in Earth orbit in late November 1978, according to satellite data processed and archived at UAHuntsville’s ESSC.

“While 0.45 degrees C of warming is noticeable in climate terms, it isnt obvious that it represents an impending disaster,” said Christy. “The climate models produce some aspects of the weather reasonably well, but they have yet to demonstrate an ability to confidently predict climate change in upper air temperatures.”

The atmosphere has warmed over most of the Earth’s surface during the satellite era. Only portions of the Antarctic, two areas off the southwestern coast of South America, and a small region south of Hawaii have cooled. On average, the South Pole region has cooled by about 0.05 C per decade, or 0.16 C (0.30 F) in 33 years. The globes fastest cooling region is in the central Antarctic south of MacKenzie Bay and the Amery Ice Shelf. Temperatures in that region have cooled by an annual average of about 2.36 C (4.25 F).

The warming trend generally increases as you go north. The Southern Hemisphere warmed 0.26 C (0.46 F) in 33 years while the Northern Hemisphere (including the continental U.S.) warmed by an average of 0.65 C (1.17 F).

The greatest warming has been in the Arctic. Temperatures in the atmosphere above the Arctic Ocean warmed by an average of 1.75 C (3.15 F) in 33 years. The fastest warming spot is in the Davis Strait, between the easternmost point on Baffin Island and Greenland. Temperatures there have warmed 2.89 C (about 5.2 F).

While Earth’s climate has warmed in the last 33 years, the climb has been irregular. There was little or no warming for the first 19 years of satellite data.  Clear net warming did not occur until the El Nio Pacific Ocean “warming event of the century” in late 1997.  Since that upward jump, there has been little or no additional warming.

“Part of the upward trend is due to low temperatures early in the satellite record caused by a pair of major volcanic eruptions,” Christy said. “Because those eruptions pull temperatures down in the first part of the record, they tilt the trend upward later in the record.”

Christy and other UAHuntsville scientists have calculated the cooling effect caused by the eruptions of Mexico’s El Chichon volcano in 1982 and the Mt. Pinatubo volcano in the Philippines in 1991. When that cooling is subtracted, the long-term warming effect is reduced to 0.09 C (0.16 F) per decade, well below computer model estimates of how much global warming should have occurred.

You can read the rest HERE. It is clear that the planet is slowly warming, but there is little indication that humans have played a significant role in the process.



About Russ Steele
Freelance writer and climate change blogger. Russ spent twenty years in the Air Force as a navigator specializing in electronics warfare and digital systems. After his service he was employed for sixteen years as concept developer for TRW, an aerospace and automotive company, and then was CEO of a non-profit Internet provider for 18 months. Russ's articles have appeared in Comstock's Business, Capitol Journal, Trailer Life, Monitoring Times, and Idaho Magazine.

5 Responses to Believing and Knowing are Two Different Things.

  1. D. King says:

    “It is clear that the planet is slowly warming, but there is little indication that humans have played a significant role in the process.”

    Humans? Humans made this:

  2. Russ says:

    The modification of the temperature records is like the old days when the butcher put his thumb on the scale when weighing your meat. Only in this case they are lowering temperatures before 1950 and raising those after 1950, thus increasing the slope. What I do not understand is what are NOAA justification? If they want to produce a hack set of temperature fine, but do not mess with the raw data. I used to have great admiration for NOAA, but not any more. They have become political hacks, just like the EPA.

    To grasp the magnitude of these changes, you have to click on the link provided by David Kink.

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