There’s no doubt that global surface temperatures have been on the rise. There may have been a slight pause while it caught its breath in 2011 & 2012, but with the help of a record ENSO event in 2015, the linear trend for the last 10 years is almost +0.4°C per decade in the CRUTEM4 series (fig 2).
The American GISS data shows a slightly higher linear trend for the last 10 years of +0.429°C (fig 3).
So Nigel Lawson was wrong big time about global data for the last ten years, he thought the pause had been continuing, and refused to look at the latest temperature data. But was Nigel wrong about temperatures closer to home in the UK during the last 10 years?
Not a great deal of solace for Nigel from the 1910 UKMO gridded data series, the linear trend for the last 10 years is not that dissimilar to the CRUTEM4 of GISS showing warming at the rate of +0.34°C per decade (fig 4). What about the Central England Temperature series.
Even worst than ever with the CET I’m afraid Nigel, the decadal linear trend on the 12 monthly moving mean CET for the last 10 years is above 0.5°C per decade (fig 5). So the simple answer to the question I posed in the title of “did Nigel just get muddled up?” is no, he’s just an idiot, and how he ever got to be the Chancellor of the Exchequer beggars belief. To be fair to him, he should have picked a longer time period than 10 years, because even with long-term temperature series like these there are natural background fluctuations.
*There are a couple of things wrong in the titles of charts that I used for figures 2 & 3, I’ll award special bonus points to those that can spot where I ballsed up.