Another index of global warming has rolled over â€“ sea level. It has been reported recently that temperatures of the ocean surface have declined in the last four years. Not only that, sea levels have stopped rising in the last two years, as the graph below shows. This shows the global mean sea level level rise by satellite altimeter, with a clear fall in sea level dating to early 2006.
Fig. Mean sea level stabilizing.
To the extent that sea level integrates a number of temperature dependent phenomena: ice extent – above average, sea temperature through thermal expansion and melting ice sheets, this reflects a change in the warming trend in many areas. The downturn at present is similar in magnitude to the downturn when temperature cooled after the large 1998 el Nino. Interestingly this downturn precedes the large surface air temperature drops until the first two months (Jan Feb ) of 2008.
Below is a list of significant evidence of climate stabilizations reported to date.
Global temperatures have been on a long bull run, strongly correlated with the DOW Jones stockmarket index. Are we nearing the end of the great bull market in temperatures? Or are the current data on declining temperatures a ‘bear-trap’?
Most climate commentators believe that temperatures will quickly rebound. What is the mind set behind this view/prediction? To believe that, one would have to believe that the present fall is a departure from an equilibrium value, and the temperature will ‘snap back’. However, is it not also possible that the last five years saw increasingly disequilibrium, and the current cooling is due to temperatures ‘snapping back’ to lower levels? I am not committed either way. But it is at least theoretically and empirically possible that the global warming models are all wrong, and CO2 has not been responsible for recent warming.
My guess is that if the current trend continues, the “temporary fluctuation”, and “global warming caused the cooling” chatter will decline, and murmuring of an unexplained factor that may have been overlooked, that more research is needed, the climate system is theory is poorly understood, will increase. That would put them in agreement with me.