by Pater Tenebrarum, Acting Man:
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.
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