Surface Temperatures Plunge – the Great Pause Continues

Last year’s El Nino phenomenon temporarily provided succor to climate alarmists, who were increasingly bothered by the “Great Pause” – the fact that the tiny amount of warming experienced since the last cooling cycle ended in the late 1970s had apparently stopped. Despite trace amounts of CO2 in the atmosphere continuing to climb, mother nature decided to disobey alarmist models and temperatures went sideways for about 20 years (or even longer, depending on the data set).

 

Too bad penguins actually don’t live at the North Pole! One probably should refrain from obtaining climate information from rabidly leftist blogs. Incidentally, the same very same ice-floe has carried lost polar bears in the past, in particular the species “ursus bogus”. If one looks around a bit, there’s also a version with three penguins…

 

A raft of excuses was offered for this decidedly non-hockey stick behavior – by November 2014, there were 66 different “explanations” to choose from. So this is what “settled science” looks like: we “just know” that the economy must be burdened with onerous and expensive regulations and smothered in new taxes (including this recently proposed obscenity), in order to avert an allegedly man-made future catastrophe. And just to be safe, “climate deniers” should be jailed or killed. We know the future, but we cannot even explain what has happened in the recent past. As a reminder: not a single alarmist prediction on the climate has come true – it is a forecasting record completely unblemished by success for decades. Not even economists are that bad.

Last year the alarmists were bailed out by the El Nino phenomenon though – an extremely strong El Nino struck, quite possibly the strongest since records began. Newspaper headlines were blaring that we had just experienced the “hottest year ever” (note that the term “ever” is highly inappropriate in this context  – for most of the past 10,000 years temperatures were far warmer than today). Very few of these alarmist articles mentioned El Nino. There seemed to be a sense of great relief though – the great pause was over! Maybe there would be no need to further falsi… err, “adjust” past temperature data to create warming trends that never existed?

Alas, El Nino tends to be followed by La Nina. And this year, the steepest drop in global surface temperatures since satellite measurements began has taken place – surface temperatures have plunged by more than 1 degree centigrade (surely you remember all the breathless headlines in the mainstream media about that. No?). Note that we may still get headlines about 2016 being the “hottest year ever” though. It takes time for this massive cooling to affect the oceans, so sea temperatures will decline with a delay.

 

Mother Nature once again displays her contempt for alarmist climate models and sends surface temperatures careening lower at record speed post El Nino.

 

In short, the big pause is continuing. Note, we don’t doubt that there has been a warming trend since the end of the Little Ice Age, but the notion that human activity should be blamed for almost imperceptible climate fluctuations seems to be fundamentally flawed. The predictions of climate models forecasting rapid temperature increases have been consistently wrong as well, so maybe it is time for a rethink.

Admittedly, leads and lags are probably playing a role in this. The climate is a complex system and the time scales relevant to climate trends are undoubtedly quite large. Leads and lags represent a major problem for the “anthropogenic warming” theory though: ice core data show that CO2 levels have been leading temperatures in the past.

Mind, we are not complaining about the difficulties faced by climate scientists in attempting to forecast the climate or their failure to fully explain its  workings. After all, we aren’t complaining that physicists haven’t yet come up with the “grand unifying theory” either.

Our critique is focused on two related issues: 1. the false assertion that the science is “settled” and that no-one should be allowed to question its assertions and 2. the politicization of this branch of science, in particular the drive to impose regulations and taxes that are highly damaging to economic growth and capital accumulation, which would be dubious even if the evidence were less flimsy.

In fact, this strikes us as positively dangerous on many levels – far more dangerous than the alleged threat from rising temperatures. Inter alia it could well deprive us of the capital that may one day be needed to combat real threats. As an example, consider a large asteroid hurtling toward earth. At the moment, it is uncertain if we would be able to stop it. Only continued economic progress can get us to the point at which we can be fairly certain that such threat can be successfully met.

 

More Good News

As an aside, you may be relieved to hear that not only won’t we be burnt to a crisp anytime soon, but the number of hurricanes has plunged as well. As of  November 2016, US hurricanes are at the lowest level since 1954, continuing a trend that has been underway for quite a while. As a reminder, global tropical cyclone frequency has suffered a similar fate. So much for the much-bemoaned surge in extreme weather events due to climate change. Maybe global CO2 output should be boosted?

 

The black line shows the US tornado count of 2016 – it has just undercut the previous minimum since records began in 1954 – click to enlarge.

 

How can this be happening? We were supposed to be doomed! If this surfeit of good news on the climate continues, it will threaten to derail a major gravy train. It may even briefly interrupt the steady march toward de-civilization propagated by assorted globalist institutions, which is already under mild threat from deplorables around the world casting their votes the wrong way. Someone call George Soros, maybe he can at least buy us some bad weather (his recent purchases left a lot to be desired).

 

Conclusion

As we have pointed out in “The End is Nigh”, predictions of imminent global doom have been with us since at least 2800 BC –  the earliest recorded instance of such a forecast, scratched into an Akkadian or Sumerian stone tablet. Predicting the end of the world on account of humanity’s sinful behavior has always been a good business (though never as well-paid as it is today).

Expert predictions have failed with alarming frequency lately. Just consider what has happened in 2016 alone. First the absolutely certain US rate hike cycle failed to materialize. Then UK citizens voted for “Brexit”, which experts assured us would never happen.

Thereafter Mr. Trump – who according to experts didn’t stand even the slightest chance of winning the election – somehow became president of the US, an event that has left snowflakes catatonic in their safe spaces across the world. And now global surface temperatures have plunged faster in a single year than at any time since satellite measurements began, taking back the El Nino spike  – and the dreaded warming pause is back.

This is getting scary. Maybe global warming has caused all these things? The Lord knows, it is responsible for nearly everything else. One wonders what horrors are going to raise their head next. Will global peace break out?

 

Charts via Wattsupwiththat

 

Addendum: A Blast from the Distant Past

While scouring the interwebs for information and links we could use in this post, we came across an AP report published by the Washington Post. At first glance it is nothing special – pretty much the usual alarmism, garnished with anecdotes and dire warnings from experts. We have highlighted the scariest parts:

 

“The Arctic Ocean is warming up, icebergs are growing scarcer and in some places the seals are finding the water too hot, according to a report to the Commerce Department yesterday from Consulate at Bergen Norway. Reports from fishermen, seal hunters and explorers all point to a radical change in climate conditions and hitherto unheard-of temperatures in the Arctic zone.

Exploration expeditions report that scarcely any ice has been met as far north as 81 degrees 29 minutes. Soundings to a depth of 3,100 meters showed the gulf stream still very warm. Great masses of ice have been replaced by moraines of earth and stones, the report continued, while at many points well known glaciers have entirely disappeared.

Very few seals and no white fish are found in the eastern Arctic, while vast shoals of herring and smelts which have never before ventured so far north, are being encountered in the old seal fishing grounds. Within a few years it is predicted that due to the ice melt the sea will rise and make most coastal cities uninhabitable.

 

(emphasis added)

So what makes this report special? Only one thing: The Washington Post published it on November 2 1922 – 94 years ago.

 

 
 

 
 

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15 Responses to “The Climate Changes Back – What Comes Next?”

  • jks:

    I see the odd anti-man, anti-mind, anti-reason religionists plug their global warming–excuse me–climate change meme on TV from time to time. They always refer to warming at Arctica while completely ignoring the record ice buildups year after year at Antarctica. They also ignore that the two phenomena tend to go hand in hand:

    https://www.nasa.gov/content/goddard/antarctic-sea-ice-reaches-new-record-maximum

  • rodney:

    Well done PT, excellent article! I *love* the comparison of the penguin picture to the ursus bogus one! It proves how full of crap this alarmists are!

    Some people like to call the skeptics a fraud. Prove it.

    They act like “climategate” never happened. Like removal of the holocene (biggest fraud I can think of) at NASA never happened.

    Poor confused minds. Clear thinking is a rarity these days.

    Keep up the good work PT. The silent majority supports your view.

  • Doly:

    And you feel so clever, don’t you? You know so much better than those silly climate change people. You are sooooo superior.

    Unfortunately, all of us that have a science background actually understand science. And we understand something else: nature doesn’t forgive. It isn’t like people, that you can convince or negotiate with. Drop something, and it will fall, and gravity doesn’t give a damn whether it’s your child that’s falling and you’d be willing to give everything you’ve got to stop this.

    So try to argue with people if you want, but remember this: the carbon dioxide in the atmosphere doesn’t give a damn about your opinions. If the laws of nature say that the planet is warming, the atmosphere doesn’t care if you believe it or not.

    It would be fun to watch the meltdown of Republicans when they realize that nature doesn’t care about their feelings, if it wasn’t because the rest of us are going to be too damn busy trying to survive to enjoy the spectacle of watching those crybabies learning the hard way that their problem wasn’t liberals, but God Himself.

    • Solon:

      Could you point out to which or whose laws of nature you are referring?

      They are typically named by famous scientist… like Newton’s Laws of Motion, which, ironically, turned out to not be Laws at all.

      Funny thing, that Science. Just when you think you’ve got it pinned down gets all shifty… Of course those of us with a Science background already know this.

      We also understand how important making accurate predictions are to the strength of one’s hypotheses. You see, not everything you drop actually falls. It depends.

      As it stands today, we have no data that shows the climate is warming. We have no data that describes what all of the effects are on climate and how much change, plus or minus, man is responsible for. And we have no data that shows that an increase in climate would be catastrophic. History does not bear this out.

      Without evidence, all you have is a meaningless rhetorical device… “nature doesn’t care.”

      • woodsbp:

        ” …those of us with a Science background already know this.” Really?

        Physico-chemical laws related to gases, fluids, solids, laws of diffusion, Enthalpy, Thermodynamic Laws – silly stuff like that. Water is a mighty interesting substance. Has some nifty properties. Has a thing called Latent Heat which comes into play when water phase changes from solid to liquid and from liquid to gas (or vice versa). Where do think hurricanes get their destructive power from?

        “We also understand how important making accurate predictions are to the strength of one’s hypotheses.”

        Accurate predictions? Surely you mean obtaining observations (or readings) which the analyst can demonstrate are imprecise and inaccurate within specified statistical limits given some assumptions about the nature and distribution of the quantitative data being determined.

        Science is (or is meant to be) about attempting to refute a Null Hypothesis. Proving something true is a matter for the Almighty.

      • JohnnyZ:

        Perfectly well said!

    • JohnnyZ:

      “Unfortunately, all of us that have a science background actually understand science.”

      Hahaha! Where do I start here? Let’s see in how many ways that statement is wrong / funny / misguided, etc.

      – What is unfortunate is that your “teachers” make you think you understand science
      – It is also unfortunate that you have fallen for the above trap
      – What you “understand” is how to follow the herd and avoid thinking, particularly independently, critically and out of the box
      – What you call “science” has long been distorted and thrown off the path of the scientific method. Your “teachers” have agenda and biases and have “blinded you by science” over the last 500 years or so. These people (some of them are actually psychopaths, the rest are tools of psychopaths and sell-outs) are practicing Satanists (check the pizzagate to learn about their worship and preferences) and have been spewing fake news, fake politics, fake humanitarian concerns, fake reasons for wars, fake religion, fake culture, fake art etc.

    • JohnnyZ:

      “It would be fun to watch the meltdown of Republicans when they realize that nature doesn’t care about their feelings, if it wasn’t because the rest of us are going to be too damn busy trying to survive to enjoy the spectacle of watching those crybabies learning the hard way that their problem wasn’t liberals, but God Himself.”

      So what do we have here? Another “we are doomed” over the next 4 years prediction? Nature does not care about the feelings of the pseudo-scientists either. Besides, if you knew something about God (who tends to be somewhat different than nature with most religious beliefs), you would pull your head out of your ass and start seeing the real world, instead of using empty crybaby rhetoric.

  • pud:

    This is typical fraudulent misrepresentation of the data. Your sources are known frauds, your time period arbitrary and misleading, your tropical storm and tornado data completely warped and false.

    Atlantic basin storms require a complex combination of factors not just heat.

    Typhoons have been markedly more numerous and powerful

    Tornados also require specific circumstances not just heat and have been clustering far greater than normal

    A chart going back to the beginning of record keeping demonstrates a clear trend

    Arctic explorers at the turn of the century were not climate scientists

    Everything about your article is wrong, trash, false, misleading, disingenuous and biased in willful ignorance

    Global CO2 continues to climb unabated to nearly million year highs….it is proven to be man made and the physics and chemistry of greenhouse gas is known and factual.

    There is NO doubt that we are contributors to climate change…you sir are a liar and a fraud

    • TheLege:

      More than the penguins and polar bears it’s the extinction of climate scientists that I worry about.

    • JohnnyZ:

      The only liars and frauds are the pseudo-scientists, whose lavish budgets depend on them pretending that they say “factual” relationships between CO2 and earth temperatures. Then we have the useful idiots, who believe them, follow them and defend them against well-deserved skepticism.

      “Global CO2 continues to climb unabated to nearly million year highs….it is proven to be man made and the physics and chemistry of greenhouse gas is known and factual.”

      – Last time I checked CO2 is 0.04% of the atmosphere, whereas water vapor can be as much as 5%
      – Not all CO2 is man made
      – Even if the CO2 greenhouse properties are proven on the micro level, they are not proven so far on a whole earth level
      – Even the above were proven on a global level, there is no proof that there is no countervailing mechanism
      – All the warmist models have long breached the borders of their confidence intervals, i.e. they are bogus

    • rowingboat:

      My university professor (1980s, Earth Sciences) warned about the cooling trend to that point in the 20th Century and the potential for another ice age… emissions/pollutants reflecting radiation, interfering with the greenhouse effect and all that. It’s going to be amusing observing reaction during the next cooling cycle because we’ve become such a conceited bunch.

  • w9a9r9p:

    Dan beat me to it (had to register first); “leading” should be “lagging”.

  • Dan in Nevada:

    Re: “… ice core data show that CO2 levels have been leading temperatures in the past…”; actually it’s the other way around, which I think is what you meant to say.

    • Solon:

      Pretty sure he means “leading”. As in: CO2 increases have preceded temperature increases in the past. Which they often have. Pater is calling into question cause and effect, which has never been demonstrated on a global level.

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