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Temperature Standstill Continues: 2012 Just Scrapes Into Top Ten

Dr David Whitehouse

The UK Met Office and the Climatic Research Unit of the University of East Anglia have released the data for December in their Hadcrut3 and Hadcrut4 global temperature datasets. This completes the data for 2012 and allows it to be placed into context with the preceding years.

The global temperature standstill continues. 2012 was the 10th warmest year according Hadcrut3 and the 10th warmest year in Hadcrut4 (only one thousandth of a degree warmer than 2001 – statistically insignificant). 2012 stays in the top ten warmest years – by a statistical sliver.


Hadcrut3 (click on image to enlarge)



Statistically there has been no change in the average annual temperature of the globe since 1997 meaning that the standstill is now 16 years. The latest five-year average of Hadcrut3 and Hadcrut4 data shows a decline for the first time.


Hadcrut4 five-year averages ending with 2012 data

Can anyone now have any doubt that the recent warming standstill is a real event of crucial climatic importance?


When Is A Standstill Not A Standstill?

When of course, you extend the y-axis and compress the x-axis and draw a straight line through all data points. Here are the same graphs!


It is interesting to note that since the IPCC says anthropogenic influences on the climate dominate – post 1980 – the global temperature has risen by 0.3 – 0.4 degrees C in a third of a century. If this rate were sustained then by 2100 the global temperature would have risen by another 0.9 – 1.1 degrees C. This is much less than the much touted 2 degrees C safety limit. Of course many maintain that in the past 16 years natural climatic influences have been acting in the opposite direction to man-made global warming. They expect these influences to diminish and an average rate of warming of 0.2 degrees per decade to occur.