Global Temperature Change — the Big Picture

"... the fact that global temperature really has increased in the last century, at a speed not seen in at least the last 11,300 years. We know this, thermometers have made it plain, only those in denial still deny it.

We are changing the climate rapidly — on the geologic time scale, in the blink of an eye. This is exactly the kind of rapid change which has caused extinction events in the past. What’s far more frightening is that it’s not going to stop.

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Thanks for the context that puts our current human-caused global climate destabilization in perspective, compared to the last tens of thousands of years.

Many people were mislead into thinking that Climate Change had slowed down the past decade because average surface temperatures had leveled off a few years. It turns out surface temperature is not the best measure of global temperature on a water planet. The heat was being absorbed into the ocean, especially the deep ocean.

... the most important result of this paper is the confirmation that while many people wrongly believe global warming has stalled over the past 10–15 years, in reality that period is "the most sustained warming trend" in the past half century.  Global warming has not paused, it has accelerated.

New Research Confirms Global Warming Has Accelerated

Completely contrary to the popular contrarian myth, global warming has accelerated, with more overall global warming in the past 15 years than the prior 15 years.  This is because about 90% of overall global warming goes into heating the oceans, and the oceans have been warming dramatically.

... recent warming rates of the waters below 700m appear to be unprecedented."

So the slowed warming at the surface is only temporary, and consistent with the 'hiatus decades' described by Meehl et al. (2011).  The global warming end result will be the same, but the pattern of surface warming over time may be different than we expect.

The real problem is that in the meantime, we have allowed the temporarily slowed surface warming to lull us into a false sense of security, with many people wrongly believing global warming has paused when in reality it has accelerated.

If I interpret the literature correctly, what we witness is instability. We can not predict or control weather patterns ... does that sound familiar? The way to induce learned helplessness is to take away a person's ability to predict and control outcomes. It not only applies to individuals, it applies to cultures. 

When a person is out of control of events in his or her life, one tool is to use the old Serenity Prayer  Reinhold Niebuhr[1](1892–1971) adopted by Alcoholics Anonymous and other twelve-step programs.

Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
The courage to change the things I can,
And wisdom to know the difference.

In treatment, there are different skill sets for each one of these steps: The first step is to accept what cannot be changed; courage to change what can; wisdom to know the difference. 

This article explained why more heat has been absorbed into the oceans since 2000.

Oceans may explain slowdown in climate change: study

... La Nina weather events in the Pacific around the year 2000 brought cool waters to the surface that absorbed more heat from the air. In another set of natural variations, the Atlantic also soaked up more heat.

Warmth is spreading to ever deeper ocean levels, he said, adding that pauses in surface warming could last 15-20 years.




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