Breaking news: Unprecedented global warming in past year

From January 2008 to January 2009, the planet warmed a remarkable 0.37°C (see data here). This is 20 times (!) the annual rate of warming in recent decades and 20 times what most climate models have projected we should be experiencing.

The N.Y. Times and WSJ have made this stunning news of accelerated human-caused global warming a lead story, and even some previously skeptical “deniers” who had been pushing the myth of global cooling have publicly wondered how they could have been so wrong…. Okay, maybe that last sentence is wishful thinking.

But I’m sure you remember how the deniers and the media spun up the global cooling meme a year ago [see “Media enable denier spin 1: A (sort of) cold January doesn’t mean climate stopped warming“]. That meme began with a misleading post by retired TV weatherman Anthony Watts, which was based in large part on the coincidence of a (relatively) cool January 2008 following on the heels of the warmest January on record (according to NASA’s dataset).

So now we have a quite warm January 2009, which ties with 1998 as the 5th warmest January in NASA’s temperature record, following on the heels of that moderately cool [OK, technically 31st warmest on record] January 2008. And that gives us the huge year-over-year warming, which should be making headlines around the online and traditional media, if they were consistent, which, of course, they are not.

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