Is Warming Really Happening? I’ve Heard that Weather Stations Give Bad Data and that the World is Actually Cooling.


The facts speak for themselves: As of 2010, the 15 warmest years on record since 1880 all occurred in the last 16 years. Moreover, the 2000s was the warmest decade followed by the 1990s and then the 1980s (see figure). The record warmth of 2010 adds to the huge body of evidence that the earth continues to warm.


A few skeptics argue that locating most weather stations in urban areas causes an artificial warming trend, but this argument cannot explain why both urban and rural stations as well as satellite data also show warming. Moreover, a recent study found that the poorly sited stations the skeptics point to actually produce artificial cooling, so if anything, these stations cause warming to be understated, not exaggerated.

Finally, some skeptical scientists recently undertook their ownanalysis of surface temperature data and got the same results that other scientists have reported. The study’s lead, Dr. Richard Muller, recently told Congress:

“In our preliminary analysis of these stations, we found a warming trend that is shown in the figure. It is very similar to that reported by the prior groups: a rise of about 0.7 degrees C since 1957.”

Source: Center for Climate and Energy Solutions


This article is part of our educational series on Climate Change. See related articles below.