For all the hype about global warming, it is quite easy to get the impression that we have been seeing huge amounts of warming and that it’s getting worse. Looking at the temperature record of the last hundred and fifty years however, helps to put things in perspective.
We started increasing our carbon dioxide emissions during the industrial revolution, but at this time, we weren’t releasing significant quantities. Therefore most acknowledge that we can’t have had an impact on the climate at least until the post-war economic boom. But, of course temperatures were decreasing at this point. So, our impact could only have manifested itself during the 1970s. But then, temperatures have plateaued over the last decade. So, what does that leave us? Even if we were responsible for all or some of it, we could only have caused global warming that was witnessed over thirty years (1970-2000).
How much warming is this however? Looking at the Hadley graph, we can only see 0.5C° of warming over this period. And this is surface data, which is exaggerated due to the urban heat island effect. This gives us a rate of warming of 0.16C°/decade, comparable to other time periods in the instrumental record.
So, our observations of global warming can be boiled down to only 30 years of mild warming, during a warming trend that started at the end of the little ice age. Certainly doesn’t justify this hysteria.