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Have a cold one

19 May 2021 | News Roundup

The Hottest Year EverTM is a bit overdue, with unusually cold spring weather in much of the northern hemisphere and an early autumn in the southern. In our globalized world, we are not surprised to have the Japanese Meteorology Agency informing us about weather in France, Ireland and Finland. But many will be surprised that the information in question is that there’s been no warming in those places in March over 30 years. Meanwhile University of Alabama Huntsville satellite data tells us globally this April is not warmer than 20 years ago or, indeed, the late 1980s. And Christopher Monckton saying there’s been no warming at all in the past six years. But then, to no one’s surprise, we’re told to pay no attention to that thermometer outside the window because “the Earth” is heating relentlessly even if its constituent parts, geographic or temporal, are lagging.

We don’t know with much precision what temperatures were like in the past. Consider for instance this map of where weather stations were located in the late 19th century or the early 20th. Notice a few gaps? And the science of temperature reconstruction is not “settled”. But as far as we can reconstruct them, temperatures have fluctuated and the modern warming is not unusual either for its extent (at least so far) or its pace. And again, the issue is not whether the world has warmed in the last 150 years, which it easily could and indeed almost certainly would have done because of a natural rebound from the Little Ice Age. It’s whether the warming is clearly largely man-made and whether it’s accelerating. And whether we know.

The New York Times thinks so. And it has just reprinted quite an impressive map of temperature in the United States in the 20th century devised by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration that uses a 30 year moving average to create a “new normal”.

The Times of course drags in extreme weather: “Updated every 10 years, the normals are used by TV meteorologists when they tell you that today’s blisteringly high temperature was 10 degrees above normal for that location and date, for instance, or that a single heavy downpour brought more rain than is typical for an entire month.” But if you watch the map with an open mind, and eye, you see that the warming has been going on since 1900, long before man-made CO2 became a significant factor or the ppms started rising. What’s more, it shows the strong mid-20th-century cooling that lasts in the southeast in particular into the 1981-2010 period. Meanwhile the precipitation map shows some increase from the 1930s on, hardly surprising, but a decrease in the most recent period.

As usual, the actual data show a very complex picture of cyclical as well as linear trends, and of great uncertainty about past data. And as usual, it’s served up as proof positive that only fools and rogues could express doubt about the urgent man-made “global heating” crisis.

6 comments on “Have a cold one”

  1. As Tony Heller points out, contemporaneous newspaper reports state that the glaciers in continental USA were melting so fast in the first half of the 20th century that they were predicted to all disappear by 1950. But they didn't disappear; they started to grow again, as temperatures plunged in the middle of the century. Hence the "Ice Age Cometh!" headlines in the 1970s. That's why there were still glaciers in North America to melt post 1980... What's funny is that the official temperature reconstructions show a fairly steady increase in temperatures throughout the century. How could glaciers be melting in the 1910-1940 period when it was so cold back then? How could they be growing from 1945-1979, when it was warmer during those decades? How could the glaciers be at the same place in 2000 as they were in 1900 if temperatures had been steadily warming? It just doesn't make up sense. The reconstructions of the 20th century temperature are inconsistent with the contemporaneous and widely reported observations of glacier melt and growth. When the theory doesn't fit the actual observations, you toss the theory - so I was told at university.

  2. Thylacine, one must realize that man-made (sorry, person-made) climate change ceased to be a science a couple of decades ago, and became a religion. Religions have dogmas, not facts. If the High Priests of the Holy Church of Climate Change say that the world is hotter that ever, then that's what true believers are required to believe. Never mind all those newspaper reports from about 1885 to 1935 concerning continental heatwaves all across the globe with temperatures well above 100F (37.8C) for weeks on end, they're just fake news by climate deniers. Ignore them! Ignore false prophets like Tony Heller who digs these reports up and displays them on his blog, he shall be thrown into a fiery pit and cancelled!

  3. This site, which may or may not be known here, appears to be an running, objective aggregator of surface temperature data (unadjusted by paid scientists - Oh, the horror!) confirming the recent decline: http://temperature.global/

  4. Wow, an article about something negative to say about global warming!? How did this get past Greta Thunberg and her censors!??

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