|Exactly what temperature are climatologists talking about? Where?|
The earth is a big place. Temperature (where) I may be increasing at the North Pole and decreasing at the South Pole. How do you average out the world, including altitude, in a meaningful way consistent with your equations?
There isn't any good way to measure global temperature, more specifically to the precision needed to observe the fraction of one degree being argued. The best we can actually do, is a rough estimate, of a relatively small area, at any given time, could be off a couple of whole degrees as well. This doesn't really represent the entire planet, at a specific moment in time. One side of the planet is always cooling (night), while the other half is warming (daylight), neither are happening a set rate, equally over the entire surface.
Most of the surface is water, which takes longer to warm an cool, than dry land. Not a whole lot of monitoring stations at sea...
I think that's a bit too short a dismissal. The margin of error far exceeds what is being measured in the case of the story of 1/4 or 1/2 degree.
That said temperature measurements are useful and valuable and I hope we have a lot more to work with in the future.
It's one of those things where there IS an answer it's just very hard to find accurately and even harder to verify.
What's interesting is that in all of this even the numbers arrived at so dubiously don't jive with the newspaper headlines. Mainly they show a run up in temperature way before CO2 really increased and a plateau recently.
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