The IPCC's gold-standard dataset, HadCRUT, just announced the coldest February in the last 18 years - is this the end of modern global cooling?
(click on images to enlarge)
While many Americans welcomed a balmy-like February winter, this minor regional warming in some parts of the U.S. was overwhelmed by an otherwise large global cooling. Last time February global temperatures were colder than February 2012 was in 1994 - 18 years prior.
If this February cooling trend since 1994 continues, by 2100 February temperatures will be 0.7 degrees (C) cooler.
Modern global cooling for all months over the last 10 years through February has a more prominent per century trend of minus 1.1 degrees (C) (or a minus 0.95 degrees by 2100). It has now become a unanimous consensus that the 80's and 90's warming span turned into a cooling (be it slight) phase over the last 10 years.
Back to February. By examining past February temperatures since 1850 in more detail, it becomes clear that the HadCRUT dataset does not provide any empirical evidence of accelerated warming of February temperatures - temperature change is not constantly increasing, nor even positive every year for that matter.
Instead, as the top chart reveals, temperature change from one February to the next follows a consistent pattern of negative and positive changes, going back and forth, from 1850 to present day.
Now look closer at the chart (click to enlarge). That purple line is the linear trend of February temperature changes - it's flat, indicating that global February temperatures are not unequivocally warming. Look at the red curve - that's the 30-year simple average of February temperature change.
Note how the red curve has remained within a narrow volatility band ever since 1880 and all the way through February 2012. Again, clearly global February temperatures are not exhibiting the long-predicted accelerating temperature change regime that was going to make winters disappear in the Northern Hemisphere.
Interesting to note, as CO2 levels kept up their constant growth (black dots), when were the biggest positive and negative changes in February temperatures over the last 50 years? Way back in 1973 and 1974 (back-to-back) when the globe was experiencing its previous global cooling phase, not during the warming of the 80's and 90's.
And, what would the climate change statistics look like if there were actually accelerating temperature increases? The adjacent chart shows that: the last 10 years of actual February temperature change were altered to artificially increase by +0.25 degree every February. That level of accelerated change caused the purple trend line to slope up, and caused the red 30-year average curve to break out of its narrow band of variation, significantly.
Conclusions: HadCRUT global, the IPCC's gold-standard temperature dataset, indicates that the world has experienced a modern global cooling trend over the past 10 years; in addition, the month of February has experienced a cooling trend since February of 1994; the recent past cooling does not mean either future regional and/or global warming will not happen; the "powerful" greenhouse gas, CO2, turns out not to be very powerful ('lame' comes to mind); and, zero of the multi-billion dollar "expert" climate models predicted this modern global cooling period.
For additional temperature charts, visit these 'C3' pages: Modern, regional, historical and fabricating-fake temperature charts - hey, if you only look at the above charts you'll be accused of 'cherry picking' by someone!
Note: February 2012 tied February 2008 as the coldest February since 1994.