We haven’t published the University of Alabama’s satellite global temperature chart for a short while, so here it is for May showing that the latest pause – what the alarmists call ‘global heating’ – now stretches to 92 months. Readers will recall that the above graph, compiled by the NASA scientist Dr. Roy Spencer, has been banned by Google AdSense, is rarely mentioned in polite mainstream media and clearly shows that global warming started to run out of steam about 20 years ago.
Before the deluge of tweets and blog posts arrive suggesting the author is ophthalmically challenged since the graph shows upwards movement, let me agree about the rise. Since the early 1800s, the global temperature has probably risen by around 1°C. From the start of the satellite record in 1979, there was a small jump until the late 1990s. The pause that set in after that date is clearly visible in the above record. As we have seen, this pause has been massaged away in the major surface datasets run by the Met Office, NASA and NOAA following 30% heating boosts over the last 20 years. A particularly strong El Niño natural weather fluctuation pushed temperatures a little higher in 2016, where they have since stayed.
But one is inclined to remark – so what? All of this is margin of error stuff, footling increases picked up only by highly sensitive measuring equipment. For their part, surface datasets are incomplete, heavily affected by urban heat distortions and subject to constant revision, smoothing and modelling. Global green hysteria is sweeping the planet over marginal increases in temperature undetectable by human bodies that can adapt to live in a 40°C range. Ceiling ‘danger zone’ figures of 2°C and 1.5°C are simply plucked out of thin air, with no scientific basis, to concentrate political minds at past COP meetings. Some scientists suggest that a less chilly planet, emerging from an ice age and, in geological terms, denuded of carbon dioxide, may prosper with more warmth and CO2.
Let us consider the following graph produced by Emeritus Professor Richard Lindzen in a zoom lecture last year.
It barely moves. Panic over! Probably not, but when was the last time you saw global temperatures displayed in this way? Where is the hockey stick you might ask, as you track the barely noticeable rising thick line over the last 120 years? Instead of a few tiny part-degrees on the vertical axis, we see a larger, more realistic, spread, with the barely discernible trend set against the wide range of actual temperature measurements.
Next time mainstream media display a hockey stick temperature graph with a hugely compressed vertical – and horizontal – axis, using information from an adjusted surface temperature database, ask yourself where the information has come from, and why has it been displayed in this fashion?
Starting next Monday, the BBC green activist-in-residence Justin Rowlatt will present five short radio programmes about so-called climate tipping points. It is said Rowlatt will discuss “how global warming may trigger irreversible change to our planet”. The casual use of the word “may” suggests the programmes will owe more to the overheating of Rowlatt’s imagination than the actual science of climate change. The whole panoply of BBC argument that global warming is causing more ‘extreme’ weather events leading to ‘tipping’ points is opinion, without a scintilla of scientific proof. There is no way to prove or disprove such opinions, but alarmists vie with each other to produce increasingly improbable tales of climate Armageddon.
At the heart of all this scaremongering is an attempt by established elites to push their command-and-control Net Zero agenda. In his zoom lecture, the atmospheric scientist Professor Lindzen rails against some of the ‘settled’ science arguments that have produced widespread climate hysteria. The inconsistencies in the paleoclimatology record show that carbon dioxide is not the climate control knob. There is little if any connection to be seen over 600 million years to show that the temperature rises or falls in line with CO2 atmospheric levels. In placing the entire ‘settled’ science argument on CO2, there is little role seen for natural climate variables. In addition the sensitivity of climate models – the rise in temperature from a doubling of CO2 – is unknown. Again, as we have seen, any figure is just a guess, despite decades of work by atmospheric scientists to produce a credible figure. Guesses in, guesses out, sums up the temperature predictive value of climate models, yet these instruments lie at the heart of IPCC climate predictions.
In a ‘normal’ world, these counter arguments would be compelling, said Lindzen. The current narrative is “absurd”, yet it has universal acceptance, he noted.
Perhaps it is the trillions of dollars being diverted into every green project under the sun, the relentless propaganda from grant-dependent academics and agenda-driven, unquestioning journalists, along with the political control offered to elite groups in society by Net Zero, that currently makes it ‘not absurd’. It will be interesting to see when the ‘tipping point’ back to some form of reality will occur.
Chris Morrison is the Daily Sceptic’s Environment Editor