Thursday, February 10, 2005

Global Warming Reporting Par Excellence

Don't wait for the data, just report it. . . and it will be true. Global temperatures are now being predicted by NASA and Reuters:

A weak El Nino and human-made greenhouse gases could make 2005 the warmest year since records started being kept in the late 1800s, NASA scientists said this week.

Apparently both a weak El Nino and a strong El Nino cause a rise in global temperatures, and nobody in this story seems compelled to explain the apparent contradiction:

The spike in global temperatures in 1998 was associated with one of the strongest El Ninos of recent centuries and a weak El Nino contributed to the unusually high global temperatures in 2002 and 2003, NASA said.

The story goes on to reinforce the point that specific geophysical events can impact global temperature:

Short-term factors like large volcanic eruptions that launched tiny particles of sulfuric acid into the upper atmosphere in 1963, 1982 and 1991 can change climates for periods ranging from months to a few years.

But this point can't be left hanging because it de-emphasizes the impact of your SUV on CO2 levels:

While climate events like El Nino. . . affect global temperatures, the increasing role of human-made pollutants plays a big part.

And to add to the general confusion, the piece ends with

The U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said on Thursday the current weak El Nino will diminish and end during the next three months.

Does that mean warming, or cooling? Get your stories straight.