spurred along by a wobbly press release from the U.K.’s Met Office. From 2015 being the hottest year on record (it isn’t) to global warming causing California’s worst drought ever (it isn’t) to polar bears literally starving to death from lack of sea ice (they’re doing just fine), the only thing getting hotter are the headlines from a feckless and gullible media.As government agencies gear up for the U.N.-sponsored climate talks in December, the alarmist rhetoric shifted into high gear on Monday,
And now the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) are fueling the fire, predicting that 2015 will be the hottest year ever. One problem: the most precise method of measuring global temperatures, satellites (which are accurate to within .001 degrees Celsius), shows no statistical increase in temperatures since January 1997.
While it should be great news that the global warming pause reached a new record length of 18 years and 8 months, it doesn’t quite fit the catastrophic narrative and unscientific claims asserted by certain governments and a few rent-seeking scientists. That’s because this giant snowball started gaining momentum (and size) back in 1988 when Prof. James Hansen gave his controversial congressional testimony that man-made carbon dioxide would cook the Earth.* After that, it became an avalanche of misinformation fueled by speculation, computer models, and lots and lots of money.
Even so, the Met Office, which is the UK’s version of a less hysterical NOAA, inadvertently acknowledged that the global warming warming hiatus was real and happening in its latest press release. They even hinted that global warming may not return at all. But most media outlets missed it completely. That’s not surprising considering Sunday’s NY Times Op/Ed equated climate change skeptics as having an “intellectual stance that is uncomfortably close to Hitler’s.”
In the Met’s announcement, Professor Adam Scaife said, “Although we can’t say for sure that the slowdown in global warming is over, global temperatures are now rising again.” In other words, they admit that there has indeed been a slowdown in global warming, and 2015 and 2016 are “likely to be very warm globally.” Maybe. The word “likely” is an important qualifier in this context: for the first eight months of 2015 (September isn’t included for obvious reasons), the average temperature anomaly found since 1961 by the Met Office is 0.53 ±0.14 degrees Celsius.
Scaife goes on to say, “We can’t be sure this is the end of the slowdown but decadal warming rates are likely to reach late 20th century levels within two years.” All of which sounds frightening on the surface, which is entirely the point, but as with any bureaucratic agency, you only have to dig a little deeper to see the far grander picture. When the Met Office says within two years, they are basing that statement on computer models. The same computer models that said global warming would bring more desertification in Africa (it hasn’t), higher temperatures and sinking islands (still waiting), and stronger, more powerful hurricanes (another goose egg).
As reported here in June, scientists on both sides of the climate divide were stunned when NOAA announced in a new study it had eradicated the global warming pause by tweaking the data collected during much of the 20th century. By “readjusting” the sea surface dataset, NOAA all but erased the lack of warming since 1998. Except that since 1979, orbiting satellites have been measuring the atmosphere five miles up and are accurate to within .001 degrees Celsius.
This data shows that the upper atmosphere is warming far less then global surface temperatures, even though the computer models predicted the opposite would happen. Worse still, the satellite-derived measurements clearly show a global warming pause. The data is analyzed by both the U.S. firm Remote Sensing Systems (RSS) and also by the University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH).
Both the RSS and UAH datasets are unaffected by the issues that plague land-based measurements and ship- and buoy-based biases in sea surface temperatures. NOAA’s re-adjustments to the climate’s temperature record doesn’t impact satellite measurements as they are not susceptible to such distortions. Put simply, these orbiting satellites are to traditional ‘thermometers’ what the Hubble telescope is to land-based telescopes.
Combine the Met’s statistically insignificant temperature anomaly announcement, the naturally occurring El Niño** brewing in the tropical Pacific affecting weather globally, President Obama’s recent climate change campaign in Alaska (the Alaska Climate Research Center shows no trend in its state warming up), an upcoming UN-sponsored climate ‘treaty‘ in Paris that isn’t a treaty, fact-checking journalists that neither have the time nor the inclination to actually fact-check, and you have the perfect climate-change cocktail ready to serve the masses.
So as the headlines continue to gush from the usual geysers of misinformation, this column will do its best to separate the wheat from the chaff, especially with the life-altering Paris Climate Talks looming ahead. Because not only will the decisions our president make today (with his cohorts from the EPA) reverberate for years to come, it will take Congress and a willing next president to untangle us from the muck and mire we’re walking through blindfolded.
* James Hansen, who previously worked at NASA, told a select committee in Congress that over the next ten years, temperatures would increase .35 degrees Celsius. The actual increase was .11 degrees. Hansen overestimated his findings by 300 percent. Learn more here.
** El Niños are not a man-made phenomenon and have been occurring for millennia. One of the first mentions of an El Niño was by Captain Camilo Carrillo in 1892 when he addressed the geographical society congress in Lima. It was so named for the “warm north-flowing current, most noticeable around Christmas.”