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Hey, Ben, happy balloon day!

Thanks DB2!

If one looks at RSS satellite data, the trend from 1979 to 1994 is only 0.03°C/decade, a slope which is not significantly different from zero. Similarly, the TLT trend over the last 17 years is not significantly different from zero. Hence, a 'step function' in the mid '90s.

Global temperature data is noisy. This noise overwhelms the signal of human warming on shorter time scales. That is why the IPCC says we need "several decades" of data for detection and attribution studies.

I see no reason to speculate about a step change of unknown (I guess) origin when the time series is explained superbly well by the known forcings of greenhouse gas increase, ocean current changes like El Nino, solar changes, and volcanoes.
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