Since the debate over man-made global warming is "over" and a "consensus" has been achieved, how hot was last year anyway?
NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies, headed by James Hansen who is an advisor to Al Gore, says 2007 was the second warmest year on record.
Meanwhile, the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says it was the fifth warmest.
And Britain's Meteorological Office (the MET), which does its analysis in conjunction with the University of East Anglia, and which at the start of the year predicted 2007 would likely be the warmest on record, says it was the seventh warmest.
NASA says 2005 is the warmest year on record and 2007 tied for second with 1998.
Goldstein acknowledges other data, and even offers this mature tidbit:
NASA, the NOAA and the MET agree the Earth has been steadily warming in recent decades, that the most recent decade contains the hottest years on record, that it is very likely man-made global warming is driving climate change and that the Earth is responding to these changes. But even here, a caution.
He was doing so well, up until the last sentence.
Goldstein actually acknowledges the denier camp doesn't speak for mainstream science:
This is a minority view in the scientific community, which argues such phenomena as ocean and aerosol cooling explain recent minor temperature variations.
It ends here, because Goldstein proceeds to manipulate the warming data, to show that temperature changes have remained static in the last few years, no evidence of warming. What Goldstein fails to acknowledge is the basic truth, all the recent years he cites are well above the global mean average. The Goldstein argument demands that for global warming to be real, 2007 must be warmer than 2006, 2006 must be warmer than 2005, 2005 must be warmer than 2004.... No scientist worth his salt would endorse this piecemeal approach.
Ignoring the general trends, Goldstein plays the isolation game, akin to when deniers point to a cold day, somewhere in the world, and extrapolate that irrelevant sample as proof of a hoax. Instead of following the scientific model, Goldstein makes objective warming look irrelevant.
We are already seeing papers released that suggest 2008 might not set a record for warming, due to real phenomenon like El Nino and other natural fluctuations. In fact, a British paper suggests a couple years of "relative calm" (above average), followed by more acceleration. With that in mind, we can expect people like Goldstein to continue their misguided crusade, as though they the clever ones, who see through the ruse. What a waste of energy, the search for the flat earth continues.