…As I reported in May 2008, for example, German climate scientists with the Leibniz Institute of Marine Sciences theorized at that time in a paper published in the prestigious scientific journal Nature that global warming had temporarily stopped due to the influence of ocean currents. They predicted global temperatures would not start rising again until at least 2015, when the underlying man-made warming would re-appear.
One problem with determining whether the Earth is warming is that it's hard to measure.
The Met says 1998 was the warmest year on record, meaning in the past 132 years for which reliable temperature data exist.
NASA, another leading global climate monitoring agency, says 2005 and 2010 tied as the warmest years.
Interpreting temperature trends obviously depends on what years you choose.
If you pick 1997-2012, as Rose did, the Earth hasn't warmed significantly for almost 16 years.
But if you compare temperatures on a decade-by-decade basis, as the Met does, they've been rising for several decades and continue to do so today.
That's why relatively long periods of time - 30 years at a minimum - are needed to credibly determine global temperature trends.
Problem is, there are huge policy implications for the public right now if it turns out natural factors are having a greater influence on climate than previously believed.
This would call into question the value of government carbon pricing schemes such as cap-and-trade and carbon taxes, as well as the massive public subsidization of green energy.
Particularly since to date, none of them has significantly lowered greenhouse gas emissions, much less cooled the planet.