Global Warming Eye Test

I have an interesting global warming eye test up at Climate-Skeptic.   The two graphs below are both scaled exactly the same, and are each 51-year periods from the global temperature record of the last 150 years.  The only difference is that one period of warming is described by scientists as "natural" (1895 to 1946) and the other is described as "man-made" (1957 to present).

  Periodb       Perioda_3

Which is which?  Which is man, and which is mother nature?

Kind of makes the claim that "current warming is unprecedented" ring kind of hollow, huh?


  1. Dr. T:

    I believe the chart on the right represents 1957 to present, because it has that initial drop in temperatures that got the climatologists speculating about the coming ice age. (I remember the discussions of global cooling in the early 1970s. This didn't get much publicity, because global cooling is due to solar changes or massive volcanic eruptions and not due to man and technology. Climate calamities appeal to journalists and environmentalists only when man can be blamed.)

  2. ElamBend:

    Knowing the anecdotal info from the early 1800's, what's to say that there wasn't an equally precipitous drop just over 210 years ago. Or, that we have yet more such drops to face.

  3. Brad Warbiany:

    I'm guessing the left is 1957-current, because the recent "peak" was 1998, which (by that scale) appears to coincide with the left graph...

  4. Nigel Sedgwick:

    I'm with Brad Warbiany (Aug 26, 2008 8:36:49 PM), for the same reason.

    However, if the vertical axes in the two plots really are exactly the same, I think you are making rather a good point rather well.

    Best regards

  5. Dan:

    No comment on the charts - I'm no expert.

    However, despite all the fears of global warming expressed by one side and all the charts and graphs presented against global warming by the other, there is little question that a new ice age looms for this planet, possibly within the next 1,000 years. Probably not something we have to worry about for ourselves, but the earth is in a geological cold stage, and we're living in a short warm period between glacial events. I don't think that if you came back to earth 10,000 years from now you'd find billions of people running around.

  6. Chris:

    when/if you post the answer, can you include the intervening years?

  7. Anthony:

    The graph on the left is 1957 to present,and I say that with certainty. But I only know that for certain because I can spot the signature of the 1998 super El Nino.

    If 1998 wasn't there, it would be tough to choose.