The Climate Changes Back – What Comes Next?
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).
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
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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.
So what makes this report special? Only one thing: The Washington Post published it on November 2 1922 – 94 years ago.