There was something vaguely familiar about the BBC’s Matt McGrath reporting that our “overheating” world was set to break the 1.5°C threshold within the next five years, meaning average global temperatures would be 1.5°C warmer than they were in the second half of the 19th Century. At the same time last year, McGrath told us there was a 50-50 chance the world would hit 1.5°C “over the next five years”. And the year before that, BBC Science Editor David Shukman reported it was likely that the key 1.5°C “global temperature limit” would be broken – yes you guessed it – “in one of the next five years”.
But it might not surprise you to learn that this particular alarmist song has been around for even longer than its recent reappearance in the charts. In early 2019, the Guardian reported that “within five years”, global temperatures could temporarily climb to 1.5°C above 19th Century levels. The Guardian noted the view of the Met Office that previous results had “demonstrated the accuracy of such decadal reports”, which were said to cover the ground between short-term weather forecasts and long-range climate models. For its part, the Met Office stated as far back as 2017 there was a 39% chance of one month at 1.5°C within – you guessed it – five years.
Missing from all these stories is the admission that the 1.5°C threshold has no basis in science and is just a political invention designed to hasten the implementation of Net Zero. Suggestions that the planet will encounter ‘tipping points’ are pseudoscientific fear-mongering produced by climate models fed with improbable climate data. As we have noted, the recently published Clintel report –The Frozen Climate Views of the IPCC – showed that about half the work produced by the IPCC and the wider scientific community is corrupted by incorporating predictions of up to 5°C warming within 80 years. It is a fair comment to say that almost nobody now believes these predictions are remotely plausible.
The other major problem in promoting Thermogeddon is that global warming ran out of steam 25 years ago. The high point of the small jump in temperatures from 1980 occurred in 1998, and current readings are similar to this day. Two inconvenient long pauses during the current century were separated by a small uptick in warmth caused by a very powerful El Nino natural oscillation around 2016.
There may well be some warming caused by humans burning fossil fuel during this period but it seems you need a vivid imagination and a well-prompted climate model to spot it. It can be argued that surface temperatures measurers have done their best to get them through the heat drought with large retrospective additions of warming, poor siting of measuring devices – airport runways an obvious cause of concern – and big boosts from growing urban heat distortions. But there is a feeling that the gig is up on global warming unless some proper heat makes a long overdue appearance.
In fact, the current linear temperature pause – which is about nine years old – could be broken since an El Nino is likely to become apparent in the Pacific ocean in the next few months. The alarmists and their trusted messengers are in two minds about how to play this. McGrath reports that the chances of temperature movement are rising “due to emissions from human activities and a change in weather patterns expected this summer”. Of course, El Nino, which transfers huge amounts of heat around the planet, is a natural recurring event. Getting rid of the pesky pause, as in 2016, will be welcome, but drawing too much attention to El Nino will suggest temperature movement is largely a product of natural influences.
This of course opens the Pandora’s Box that has been firmly sealed by the ‘settled’ science community as far as the important role played by natural influences is concerned. On page 59 of its latest Sixth Assessment Report, the IPCC’s “best estimate” for warming since 1850-1900 is 1.06°C. It attributes between –0.1°C to +0.1°C to natural causes – give or take zero, in other words. The suggestion that all the warming over the last 120 years is down to the activities of humans is relentlessly promoted as a settled gospel truth. It is an interesting position to hold that all the changes in the climate before the 20th century were caused by natural influences, and yet they somehow ceased playing a part from that date onwards.
There are many scientists who dispute that it is only humans controlling the climate thermostat. Heat exchanges from the tropics to the poles, ocean currents of countless durations and size, changing amounts of heat from the sun, all operate in a chaotic non-linear manner to make climate modelling a largely fruitless, if politically necessary, activity.
Recent findings from six top international scientists revealed that the Northern hemisphere may be entering a temperature cooling phase until the 2050s, with a decline of up to 0.3°C. Led by Nour-Eddine Omrani of the Norwegian Bjerknes Centre for Climate Research, the scientists say that the North Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation (AMO), an important current that has been pumping warmer water into the Arctic, is weakening, and that’s leading to a cooler North Atlantic area and lower temperatures, as was observed in the period 1950-1970.
Observational evidence seems to lend some credence to the Omrani findings that puts the AMO at the centre of changes in the Arctic’s short-term weather and longer term climate. Over the last few years, the extent of summer sea ice has made a small recovery, while the vast Greenland ice sheet last year could, within a reasonable margin of measurement error, have increased in size.
Chris Morrison is the Daily Sceptic’s Environment Editor.
Stop Press: Net Zero could push British energy bills up by £120 a year to fund the development of hydrogen gas, reports the Telegraph.