Even though NOAA has publicly stated that global warming is not behind New England’s current bout of warm winter weather, that hasn’t stopped some news outlets (and a few nit-twits) from trying to tie the two events together. Today, CBCNews/Canada reported finding a scientist who would tell them exactly what they wanted to report: El Niño plus global warming is “a taste of things to come.” Just don’t look back at those previous two years, which had the snowiest, coldest winters since recordkeeping began.
As for social media, a tweet is making the rounds presumably extolling the thoughts of thousands of people by tapping into a “lot of talk about the weather getting warmer.” Even Bette Midler, where the wind beneath her wings is just a bit too warm for liftoff, is tweeting that New England’s stretch of warmer-than-normal weather is because of those “ignorant selfish climate deniers.” That sounds like divine madness.
Wasn’t it only last winter that New England (and much of the Northern Hemisphere as seen from space) looked like an ice-catastrophe? A Snowageddon? With temperatures dipping so low that ice bergs were floating off the coast of Cape Cod and freezing the sea water? How quickly people forget that weather is not climate and, well, you know the inverse. Even President Obama took the thoroughly “debunked 97 percent of scientists believe in man-made global warming” meme and ratcheted it up to 99.5 percent. If your case is so solid, you don’t need to jigger your data.
So what exactly is going on in New England while much of the United States is covered in snow and blizzard-like conditions? Blame it on El Niño, a naturally occurring event where the Pacific waters along the tropical equator are warmer than normal. Since people began tracking them with scientific instruments roughly 40 years ago, the one affecting us now is in the top three. El Niños have been documented since sailors first sojourned across the Pacific Ocean 500-plus years ago and noticed the unusually warm sea surface temperatures.
But as a whole, the globe is neither warming at a reckless pace nor being plunged into a scorched Earth landscape. As reported here before, the most accurate record of current temperatures comes from satellites. “Their readings are, in fact, the only transparent, uncorrupted temperature records in existence,” writes John Hinderaker at PowerLine. “Surface temperature records are unreliable because of siting issues, poor coverage of the oceans, failure to recognize the urban heat island effect, and deliberate falsification by alarmist climate scientists.”
With NOAA constantly rewriting the temperature record to suit a political agenda of an alarmist president, satellite data are facts and not subject to tampering or interference. The problem, Hinderaker notes, is that they’ve only been orbiting the earth since 1979. And in that time? Our atmosphere has warmed just over four tenths of a degree Celsius since 1979. But measuring North America’s temperature is not the same as measuring Africa’s, or even Antarctica’s.
In fact, the satellite dataset “shows no ‘global warming’ for 18 1/2 years, no North Pole warming for nearly 14 years (Go Santa!), and no South Pole warming for 37 years.” Indeed, the South Polar region actually has a negative trend, showing a -0.11 degrees Celsius over 100 years (when extrapolated out). These two regions were championed as the “fingerprints of warming due to the enhanced greenhouse effect.” With the poles not warming, warmists are attacking the satellite measurements, claiming they aren’t as accurate as described by NASA.
By combining all the measurements into a giant crock pot is akin to taking the temperatures of 30 children in a classroom, and if only one has a “fever”, it would throw off the other 29 more accurate measurements, making it appear like all of them were running hot. Imagine if your doctor measured the temperatures of every patient seen that day and said you had a fever too because one patient had the flu. You’d probably get a second opinion.
What does all this mean? The temperatures from the satellite record (and land and sea) vary wildly depending on where you are on the planet. And just like in that classroom or doctor’s office, the warming during the satellite record has not been uniform across the planet. “The North Pole and Australia have warmed the most, while other regions, like Antarctica, have cooled.” Below is the basic data, expressed in average temperature change per decade (as compiled and first reported by Anthony Watts):
Global average trend: +0.11 C (about 0.20 degrees Fahrenheit) per decade since December 1978.
Northern Hemisphere: +0.14 C (about 0.25 degrees Fahrenheit) per decade since December 1978.
Southern Hemisphere: +0.09 C (about 0.16 degrees Fahrenheit) per decade since December 1978.
Tropics: +0.10 C (about 0.18 degrees Fahrenheit) per decade since December 1978.
As Hinderaker notes, “they also conclusively refute the computer models on which the alarmist projections are based; only a fraction of the warming predicted by the models has taken place.” And while much of the planet was in a frigid state during the last couple of winters, the CBC wants to remind everyone that prior cold weather doesn’t explain away global warming.