In terms of "anomalies", 1998 was a banner year, with a strong El Nino driving temperatures to a huge spike. It lasted only one year, however, so it could easily be removed from the data and if that were to happen, then the longer-term picture would be much different than is being bandied today.
Revkin faces the same problem we all face: a mathematically and scientifically illiterate public which needs everything reduced to a 6th grade level of comprehension.
As a physicist, I naturally favor hard-core atomic absorption arguments, such as Gerlich and Tscheuschner's classical development HERE
. But it's doubtful Revkin is trained to that level of mathematical understanding, and I'll be the first to admit such mathematical mechanizations tend to make one's eyes glaze over within a few minutes. Yet, within the physics and mathematics lies the final nail in the coffin of Anthropogenic Global Warming... to wit, it just ain't so. But trying to prove it to the general illiterate public is like trying to discuss quantum mechanics with a pair of panty hose.
Here's the most popular graph being used by the "deniers", ( including myself).