Heads, I win – Tails, you lose

Two of the high priests of the Global Warming Cult, James Hansen & Gavin Schmidt, have just produced another wonderful piece of “settled science” essentially claiming that Global Warming could well be continuing in spite of falling temperatures.

Obligatory photo of back-lit harmless water vapour that must accompany every article on Global Warming.

Abstract. Global surface temperature in 2017 was the second highest in the period of instrumental measurements in the Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) analysis. Relative to average temperature for 1880-1920, which we take as an appropriate estimate of “pre-industrial” temperature, 2017 was +1.17°C (~2.1°F) warmer than in the 1880-1920 base period. The high 2017 temperature, unlike the record 2016 temperature, was obtained without any boost from tropical El Niño warming.[…]

That last statement seems to be at variance with data from NOAA that shows that El Niño warming was evident during eleven weeks in the spring and summer of 2017, pushing global temperatures up accordingly. But let’s ignore this small point and move on.

[…] We take 1880-1920 as baseline, i.e., as the zero-point for temperature anomalies, because it is the earliest period with substantial global coverage of instrumental measurements and because it also has a global mean temperature that should approximate “preindustrial” temperature. […]

Clearly “preindustrial” conditions were just perfect for everything so that is the target we need to aim for.

[…] we make a more specific test of the impact of omitted regions by carrying out the GISS analysis with local measurements extrapolated only 250 km rather than 1200 km. Fig. A2 shows that this area limit also causes 2017 to be only the third warmest year. We conclude that 2017 probably was the second warmest year. However, the temperatures of 2015 and 2017 are so close that the difference is unimportant.

So it may be the third warmest, or the second warmest at a whopping 1.17°C above some arbitrary figure that we have decided is/was optimal because … well, just because – OK?

But hang on a bit “local measurements extrapolated only 250 km rather than 1200 km“.  Where we don’t have any measurements we extrapolate out 250 km (which is way more accurate than those other researchers who stretch the data out to 1200 km) and base our “warmest eva” headlines on that!

There is usually more than 1.17°C  difference between my weather station and the next nearest one a few hundred metres down the road and these wombles are basing their doomsday predictions on data that says the temperature in Auckland equals the temperature 250 km away in Taupo. (235 km, actually, but who’s counting?)

Yep, I would spend SNZ 1.4 Billion per year in carbon credits based on that sort of accuracy, absolutely!

[…] However, the solar variability is not negligible in comparison with the energy imbalance [due to increasing atmospheric greenhouse gases] that drives global temperature change. Therefore, because of the combination of the strong 2016 El Niño and the phase of the solar cycle, it is plausible, if not likely, that the next 10 years of global temperature change will leave an impression of a ‘global warming hiatus’.[…]

Now just a minute, James old man.  Are you now saying that perhaps the sun has something to do with the temperatures here on planet Earth?  Surely not, it is that evil COisn’t it?

And we could have a hiatus in global warming for the next ten years?  After years of denying that we were experiencing a hiatus, or pause, in global warming; are the high priests changing their tune?

And of course, the last paragraph:

[…] Therefore, temperature change during even the next few years is of interest, to determine whether a significant excursion above the trend line is underway. […]

The next few years may be interesting – send more money so we can breathlessly report some more rubbish.

So, temperatures could rise, stay the same or even fall (if the sun has more effect that they think) according to this paper. But regardless – real global warming, the planetary “energy imbalance”, will still be occurring under the cover of whatever happens to global temperature.

And of course – they have neatly shifted the goal posts once again, pushing the point where the lie is obvious, to even the blindest of politicians, out another ten years.


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WH is a pale, stale, male who does not believe all the doom and gloom climate nonsense so enjoys generating CO2 that the plants need to grow by driving his MG.

To read my previous articles click on my name in blue.