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I'd like to discuss the global warming item a little bit. Yesterday, there were actually five groups that coordinated the release of their 2016 temperature stats: NOAA, NASA, the UK Met Office and the less prominent non-governmental group Berkeley Earth and the independent researchers Cowtan & Way. (COI notice: Berkeley Earth is my employer.) All five groups agreed that 2016 was a record, so that's not in dispute, and focusing on the big three governmental agencies is probably fine except for one minor issue. Only three of the five groups agree with the added clause "the third record-breaking year in a row". Berkeley and CW both put 2010 ahead of 2014, making this only the second record in a row. This gives a quick comparison [1]. Obviously, Berkeley and CW are smaller, so maybe it is okay to ignore them. However, lest you imagine that Berkeley and CW are completely irrelevant, I'd point out that the Met Office spent part of yesterday talking about the results from all five groups (plus ERA-Interim, which is a little different and not part of yesterday's coordinated release). [2]. Also, it's not surprising that the ranking of individual years is somewhat controversial, since each year's average comes with a degree of uncertainty attached. Even for the 2016 record, the Met Office and NOAA only put the probably that 2016 truly beat 2015 at less than 65% after accounting for their estimated uncertainties.

So, in summary, the research groups publishing yesterday all estimated that 2016 was the "warmest year in recorded history" but not everyone agrees that it was "the third record-breaking year in a row" and even among the groups that support that conclusion, the confidence is rather low. Personally, I would suggest removing the clause "the third record-breaking year in a row", as Wikipedia doesn't really need to take a position on whether it was or was not the third year to set a record. Dragons flight (talk) 08:54, 19 January 2017 (UTC)

This is a fair point. The way the Met Office phrase it is "2015 and 2016 are clearly the warmest on record with 2016 likely the warmer of the two [...] 2014 was a serious contender for warmest year, but it was not possible to say for certain whether it was or not, although it was clearly one of the top ten." On the other hand, we do need to emphasise that this isn't a one-off hot year, so perhaps a phrasing like "exceeding the previous record set in 2015" or "the latest in a run of years ranked among the hottest" (every year since 2012 is in the top 10, and every year since 2002 in the top 15). Smurrayinchester 09:34, 19 January 2017 (UTC)
Seems clear that just removing that "third year in a row" clause would resolve this. The Rambling Man (talk) 09:40, 19 January 2017 (UTC)
Sure, but it seems important to highlight - as the climate bodies linked by Dragons flight do - that this is not an isolated year but part of a trend (even if not every year becomes the number 1). Smurrayinchester 09:43, 19 January 2017 (UTC)
I think that's best served in the article, the blurb is already too long. The Rambling Man (talk) 09:47, 19 January 2017 (UTC)
Clause removed. Stephen 10:17, 19 January 2017 (UTC)

'Hottest year on record is misleading as it doesn't mention El Nino'

  • Existing wording: NASA, NOAA and the Met Office announce that 2016 was the warmest year in recorded history, due to anthropogenic climate change.
  • Suggested Rewording: NASA, NOAA and the Met Office announce that 2016 was the warmest year in recorded history, due to anthropogenic climate change and the recent El Nino.
  • Why it's misleading without it: It gives our readers (and editors) the misleading impression that we will continue to get new records every year. Indeed most of the opposition to posting this at ITN/C was based on this mistaken assumption. In fact the next record year probably won't be until after the start of the next El Nino in a few years' time. Also omitting it may be seen as POV by readers who are climate change skeptics or denialists, and thus just might unnecessarily lose us some such readers, and just might also unnecessarily earn Wikipedia some powerful enemies in the new rather denialist Trump administration.Tlhslobus (talk) 11:15, 19 January 2017 (UTC)
No, we don't need to continually re-hash this, if the reader is interested in more detail, he can click on the link to the article where the details are covered more thoroughly. This is supposed to be a "blurb" which encourages a reader to delve into the encyclopedia, not to cover all the facts on the main page. The Rambling Man (talk) 11:18, 19 January 2017 (UTC)
I've shortened it (and re-linked it and changed from 'current' to 'recent'). If a blurb is misleading (indeed arguably just plain wrong) it should be fixed. And we aren't 'continually re-hashing this' - there has seemingly been no previous mention of El Nino in our discussions.Tlhslobus (talk) 11:38, 19 January 2017 (UTC)
I've suggested further shortening below, if further shortening is needed.Tlhslobus (talk) 11:48, 19 January 2017 (UTC)
(Arguably one might also omit ' to ' from ' due to ').Tlhslobus (talk) 11:48, 19 January 2017 (UTC)
(Note: This rewording is both shorter and more accurate than what we currently have).
(Note: This rewording is also both shorter and more accurate than what we currently have).

Tlhslobus (talk) 12:06, 19 January 2017 (UTC)

  • I've added "in part" to the current blurb for accuracy. Espresso Addict (talk) 13:05, 19 January 2017 (UTC)
Great. Thanks, Espresso Addict.Tlhslobus (talk) 13:44, 19 January 2017 (UTC)
  • Espresso Addict's change of the global warming blurb to read "in part" due to climate change strikes me as unwise. I have posted at WP:ITN/C about the change, which I believe can be read as the scientific organisations doubting climate change is the main reason for warming. If the blurb is to put a caveat due to variations from El Nino, this needs to be done without casting doubt on climate change and making a statement in Wikipedia's voice that deniers can take as suggesting some (potentially large) part of warming is due to something other than anthropogenic climate change. EdChem (talk) 13:55, 19 January 2017 (UTC)

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