First - I do not know if this is the best site to pose this question. However, stack exchange does not appear to have an ecology sub-site. That said, this appears to be the most appropriate place post this question.

Consider this chart:

enter image description here

The chart was retrieved from here here.

I am curious as to whether anyone has any thoughts regarding this trend - note, however, that this is one chart among several that I came across on reputable site. All seem to depict this observed "capping" effect between roughly 2000 and 2010+. Unfortunately, I don't have much to offer right now since I am still looking into it.

Any input is appreciated.


closed as off-topic by MattDMo, terdon, Mad Scientist Sep 3 '13 at 5:26

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  • 3
    $\begingroup$ This question appears to be off-topic because it is about meteorology. $\endgroup$ – MattDMo Sep 3 '13 at 2:12
  • $\begingroup$ Like I mentioned, it does not appear that stackexchange has any sites that may be more appropriate. $\endgroup$ – Mlagma Sep 3 '13 at 2:57
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    $\begingroup$ There is a Geoscience proposal in Area51 that you might want to follow. Also, your question could maybe find a home at skeptics.stackexchange.com, where there are a couple of climate change topics. $\endgroup$ – fileunderwater Sep 3 '13 at 10:05

Not my field but I have a couple of thoughts:

  1. According to your link, the blue line represents the change in the trend and the red bars are the temperatures. These have not remained that stable, it is the bar that gives that illusion:

    enter image description here

  2. A much more important point are the grey bars extending above and below each year's value. This is the range of uncertainty, the actual values could be anywhere within the range of those bars. Notice how the uncertainty decreases the closer you get to the current date.

I think a lot of the stability you observe is probably due to the line hiding the detail and the far lower precision of the older measurements.

  • $\begingroup$ I was thinking the same - and I agree. However, a quick google search reveals many articles published in the last few months about this trend. $\endgroup$ – Mlagma Sep 3 '13 at 3:45
  • $\begingroup$ @Mlagma in that case I refer you to my first sentence, not my field :). That was my 2 cents. You might have better luck over at Physics.SE. $\endgroup$ – terdon Sep 3 '13 at 3:47
  • $\begingroup$ I do not mean to criticize - I simply wanted to bring out what I recently found. $\endgroup$ – Mlagma Sep 3 '13 at 4:30
  • $\begingroup$ @Mlagma This question is on hold so I won't put this in a true answer, but basically it's because El Nino peaked right before 2000, the Sun was at a lower point in its cycle and, because China is using lots of coal. newscientist.com/blogs/shortsharpscience/2011/07/… $\endgroup$ – Amory Sep 3 '13 at 14:15

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