Watts Up With That?
April 6, 2013
Some stories this week that show global warming aka climate change is beginning to fade away as an issue.
From the 3C Headlines blog:
Global satellite temperatures confirm hiatus of global warming, while the general public and mainstream press are beginning to recognise what climate sceptics long ago identified…global temperatures are trending towards cooling, not accelerating higher.
Per The Economist magazine and other major mainstream media outlets, it’s now obvious the conventional, “consensus” global warming meme promulgated by taxpayer-funded researchers is no longer robust – even for the MSM press-release puppets it would appear.
The graph on the right is a depiction of global temperatures as reported by The Economist (pink CO2 curve superimposed by ‘C3′). And The Economist and their mainstream press brethern are not alone in challenging the failed AGW orthodoxy: here and here.
While the majority of “journalists” are still awakening from their intellectual slumber regarding climate science, the latest empirical global temperature measurements (RSS atmosphere temps and CO2 chart on the left) confirm what The Economist is essentially reporting – global warming has gone AWOL and a slight cooling trend has developed over the last 10 years (a minus 0.42 degrees by 2100 if the trend persists).
This warming hiatus happened despite the loud and hysterical shrieking by the climate scientists on the public dole that current CO2 emissions would cause rapid, unequivocal, irrefutable accelerated warming.
And not only are the falling temperatures invalidating the IPCC’s AGW hypothesis, a new Pew poll reports the public support of the global warming hysteria is dropping like a rock – down to only 33%.
1. Global warming has gone AWOL over last 10 years, per the satellite record
2. Cumulating CO2 emissions in the atmosphere have had a minor impact on global temperatures over the last 20 years
3. The mainstream press, as represented by The Economist, and other proponents of convential climate orthodoxy are moving closer to the AGW skeptics’ (lukewarmers’) position
4. The publics (per Pew) belief in catastrophic AGW predictions is plummeting
The End Of An Illusion
Robert Tracinski, Real Clear Politics
We’re reaching the point where climate predictions have been around long enough to allow for significant comparison against the actual data, and we are now able to say definitively that the predictions were horribly exaggerated.
Many years ago, I remember thinking that it would take many years to refute the panicked claims about global warming. Unlike most political movements, which content themselves with making promises about, say, what the unemployment rate will be in two years if we pass a giant stimulus bill—claims that are proven wrong (and how!) relatively quickly—the environmentalists had successfully managed to put their claims so far off into the future that it would take decades to test them against reality.
But guess what? The decades are finally here.
At Forbes, Harry Binswanger dates the beginning of the campaign to 1979 and puts it in an amusing perspective.
“Remember 1979? That was the year of ‘We Are Family’ by Sister Sledge, of ‘The Dukes of Hazard’ on TV, and of Kramer vs. Kramer on the silver screen. It was the year the Shah was forced out of Iran. It was before the web, before the personal computer, before the cell phone, before voicemail and answering machines. But not before the global warming campaign.
“In January of 1979, a New York Times article was headlined: ‘Experts Tell How Antarctic Ice Could Cause Widespread Floods.’…
“So where’s the warming? Where are the gondolas pulling up to the Capitol? Where are the encroaching seas in Florida? Or anywhere? Where is the climate change which, for 33 years, has been just around the corner?”
He concludes that “I’ve grown old waiting for the promised global warming.” Literally: “I was 35 when predictions of a looming ice age were supplanted by warmmongering. Now I’m 68, and there’s still no sign of warmer weather.”
He puts the issue in terms of common-sense observation. But it can also be measured in terms of hard data. We’re reaching the point where the predictions have been around long enough to allow for significant comparison against the actual data, and we are now able to say definitively that the predictions were horribly exaggerated.
Steven Hayward points to signs that even advocates of the global warming hysteria are starting to backtrack.
“The new issue of The Economist has a long feature on the declining confidence in the high estimates of climate sensitivity. That this appears in The Economist is significant, because this august British news organ has been fully on board with climate alarmism for years now. A Washington-based Economist correspondent admitted to me privately several years ago that the senior editors in London had mandated consistent and regular alarmist climate coverage in its pages.
“The problem for the climateers is increasingly dire. As The Economist shows in its first chart (Figure 1 here), the recent temperature record is now falling distinctly to the very low end of its predicted range and may soon fall out of it, which means the models are wrong, or, at the very least, that there’s something going on that supposedly ‘settled’ science hasn’t been able to settle.”
See a better version of that graph here, which makes it clear that the actual predictions in the graph date only to about 2006—and they are already being proven wrong.
You know, you can really manipulate a graph to spin the data, for example, by manipulating the scale to “zoom in” and make something look bigger or “zoom out” to make it look smaller. We’re used to seeing the zoomed-in version of global temperature measurements, so it’s nice to see this zoomed-out version:
Rather than narrowing in to measure minor variations from the long-term average, which makes annual variations of a few tenths of a degree look enormous, this one zooms out to show us the data in terms of absolute temperature measurements, in which the annual variations over the past 15 years look as insignificant as they really are.
So basically, all that the global warming advocates really have, as the evidentiary basis for their theory, is that global temperatures were a little higher than usual in the late 1990s. That’s it. Which proves nothing. The climate varies, just as weather varies, and as far as we can tell, this is all well within the normal range.
That has been one of my complaints about the global warming scare since the very beginning. We only have systematic global temperature measurements going back about 150 years, which on the relevant timescale—a geological time-scale—is a blink of an eye. Moreover, the measurement methods for these global temperatures have been not been entirely consistent, making them susceptible to changes due to everything from a different paint used on the outside of the weather station to the “urban heat island” effect that happens when a weather station in the middle of a field is surrounded over the years by parking lots. And somehow, among all the billions spent on global warming research, not much money seems to have made its way to the enormous international effort that would be required to ensure the accurate and consistent measurement of global temperatures.
So we have not been able to establish what ought to be the starting point for any theory about global temperatures: a baseline for what is a normal global temperature and what is a natural variation in temperature.
In an effort to fill in this gap—without ever admitting what a fundamental problem it is—the alarmists have made several attempts to patch together a much longer record of global temperatures, going back thousands of years. Michael Mann set the tone for this with his infamous “hockey stick” graph purporting to show temperatures going back 1,000 years, with recent temperatures spiking up ominously like the blade on a hockey stick.
But Mann’s hockey stick came under withering fire for its dodgy statistical methods and selective use of data and has since been pretty much abandoned. But that hasn’t kept the warmists from trying again, this time with a new graph, named after lead study author Shaun Marcott, purporting to show global temperatures over the past 11,300 years, this time with a new, even bigger “blade” to the hockey stick showing the supposed upward thrust of temperatures in the past 100 years.
Except that the whole thing is dissolving in another fiasco.
From the POWERLINE blog:
‘As The Economist shows in its first chart, the recent temperature record is now falling distinctly to the very low end of its predicted range and may soon fall out of it, which means the models are wrong, or, at the very least, that there’s something going on that supposedly “settled” science hasn’t been able to settle. Equally problematic for the theory, one place where the warmth might be hiding—the oceans—is not cooperating with the story line. Recent data show that ocean warming has noticeably slowed, too, as shown’
This article was posted: Saturday, April 6, 2013 at 4:56 am