Correcting Misconceptions About ‘Global Warming’

Readers of this blog have brought to my attention certain things alleged during the (just ended) 24 hours of Al Gore. Because of all of our new readers (thank you!) let me summarize the science of some of things brought up as “major concerns” and why I do not view ‘global warming’ as a major environmental problem.

Temperatures Continue to Warm
No, they do not. Atmospheric temperatures peaked in 1998 and have showed no warming since.

The more important metric of earth’s temperature is ocean heat content. It has been stable since about 2003:

It is not correct to say that “earth’s temperatures are rising.” They are not.

Sea Levels

“sea levels are rising”

For some reason, when I go to YouTube to capture the discussion about accelerating sea levels so I can repost it here, the video skips past that part of the discussion. So, you’ll just have to take my word for it that the panel discussed a half meter rise in the next 50 years.

There is no evidence that sea level rise is accelerating.

University of Colorado

In order for sea levels to rise half a meter in the next 50 years, the rate of increase would have to more than double. There is no sign that will occur. Here is the more recent data which shows sea levels are falling.

sea level has been falling the past year (purple circle)

There is absolutely no sign of an acceleration in sea level rise. 

The Computer Models That Forecast “More Extreme Weather”
The computer models have consistently forecast too much warming over the last 20 years and have shown little or no skill at forecasting regional trends. For a discussion go here and here.

As documented on this blog on numerous occasions, hurricane numbers and intensity are trending down not up.

There is no evidence the weather is becoming more extreme and the computer models have no skill at making those types of predictions. 

So, if you are concerned about these topics due to comments made during the event, you can rest easy.

6 thoughts on “Correcting Misconceptions About ‘Global Warming’

  1. Sadly, I am not able to have a rational conversation with my brother (a trained meteorologist who was one of your classmates decades ago) because he's bought into the "consensus" and feels comfortable describing skeptics like me as "deniers".

  2. I have to express surprise at your assertions. Atmospheric temperatures are only one measure of global warming and the 1998 claim has been extensively shown to be wrong by many sources. See:, for instance.

    Also your use of a short term graph (17 years) of sea level rise is misleading since the longer term trend shows a clear acceleration in the rate of sea level rise. See:

    Computer models have also shown too little warming and too little effects from warming. As the science of climate advances the uncertainties narrow and computer models can and do become better but climate science relies on fundamental scientific principles and is not beholden to computer models as much as many people have been led to believe.

  3. Hi Sam,

    Thank you for your comment.

    Please reread my posting. There are two sea level graphs. One goes back to 1880. Your statement about "a clear acceleration in the rate of sea level rise" is scientifically false. I did read the paper you suggested at "skeptical science." The methodology in that paper, as it pertains to 'global warming' is flawed. If you read the paper, you see that it takes out the "land rise." The whole Gore/IPCC scare tactic is "flooded cities!" If the land rises at the same rate as ocean levels rise, then there is no net rise in sea levels.

    The short term graph from the University of Colorado actually overstates the amount of rise ( ) because of a nonsensical "correction" for "ocean basin size" but I present it because it is the standard with which most are familiar.

    The fact is (and it is a fact) that temperatures are outside of the IPCC's 95% confidence interval (not shown in this posting) on the cold side. I did not assign the confidence interval, the IPCC did.

    In order for something to be "science" there MUST be a falsifiable hypothesis. How many more years do temperatures have to be outside of their 95% confidence interval for the theory of global warming to be falsified? I'd say we are getting close.


  4. Comment removed due to being off topic. Political, offensive and off-topic comments are removed from this blog.

  5. Could you please tell us who you are, and what authority and educational background you have to speak on this subject as "weather experts"? Thanks.

    D.Perkins, UMASS-Amherst

  6. My name and credentials are readily available by searching back to the beginning of the blog. I'm Mike Smith, Fellow of the American Meteorological Society and board certified consulting meteorologist. I have also received the Society's award for outstanding contribution to applied meteorology.

    D. Perkins: Are you the biologist who signed the Union of Concerned Scientists' statement, "Bush-League Lysenkoism: The White House Seeks to Bend Science To Its Will" about "particular Christian fundamentalist moral codes" and the books sold at the "Grand Canyon bookstore"? Just wondering.