Most everyone who still bothers to follow the climate change cabal knows that 2016 was the second-warmest year in the modern temperature record, but occurred during a strong El Nino year, which has always driven temperature spikes in the past, especially 1998, the previous big El Nino year and the previous warmest year in the record. (Need I remind everyone that the temperature record we’re using for these claims goes all the way back to . . . 1880.)
NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies is just out with its finding that 2017 comes in as the third warmest year in its instrumental temperature series (that goes back to . . . 1979), and emphasizes that this temperature reading came without benefit of an El Nino to juice it:
Global surface temperature in 2017 was the second highest in the period of instrumental measurements in the Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) analysis. Relative to average temperature for 1880-1920, which we take as an appropriate estimate of “pre-industrial” temperature, 2017 was +1.17°C (~2.1°F) warmer than in the 1880-1920 base period. The high 2017 temperature, unlike the record 2016 temperature, was obtained without any boost from tropical El Niño warming.
Annnnnd here’s their chart:
Looks pretty scary! (Note: although the abstract quoted above says 2017 is the second-warmest year, later in the report they clarify that much of their data indicate 2017 is the third-warmest year, but they’re going to go with second-warmest anyway.)
But funny thing. As you read down toward the end, the climatistas who wrote this report, including James Hansen, appear to be hedging their bets, predicting the possibility that there might be another “pause” in warming, though they are quick to reassure everyone that this “pause” will be phony:
However, the solar variability is not negligible in comparison with the energy imbalance that drives global temperature change. Therefore, because of the combination of the strong 2016 El Niño and the phase of the solar cycle, it is plausible, if not likely, that the next 10 years of global temperature change will leave an impression of a ‘global warming hiatus’.
In other words, no matter what happens, the climatistas can say, “We told you so—we expected this all along!”