2015: A Very Bad Year for the Global Warming Policy Foundation

This is a re-post from tamino at Open Mind

Desperate to hold on to the “pause” that never happened in global warming, David Whitehose has penned a piece for the Global Warming Policy Foundation(GWPF). What he really shows is that it’s a very bad year indeed for the GWPF.

He objects to this graph:


It shows global temperature year-to-date (using data from NOAA) for 2015 (that’s the one way at the top) compared to the same for the next six hottest years on record. David Whitehouse doesn’t like that — because it shows, in graphic terms, how much hotter this year has been than its predecessor, and just how likely it is that 2015 will be the new #1 hottest. A fact which even David Whitehouse admits.

His “argument” is that the “pause” (the one that never happened) hasn’t ended, mainly because not every month this year so far has been the hottest on record. To make that argument, he switches from NOAA data to NASA data. He also points out that only 5 of 9 months (so far this year) have been hotter than the same month last year (he doesn’t bother with “by how much”). He also blames the record-breaking year-to-date (in NOAA and NASA data, and HadCRUT4 to boot) on the current el Nino. It’s true that el Nino years tend to be hotter … which is why 1998 was so hot, and why deniers usually start their “no warming since” graphs with 1998. Finally, he emphasizes that there’s uncertainty in global temperature, of about 0.1 deg.C.

Which is funny, because when deniers were in “full pause mode” (the pause that never happened) they didn’t talk about uncertainty. And yes, they started their “pause” meme with 1998 and because of 1998 being such a hot year.

What’s also funny is the “not the hottest month every month” argument. Suppose you played a baseball game — nine innings — and in the first inning you only scored th 2nd-most runs in league first-inning history, in the second inning you only scored the 2nd-most runs in league second-inning history, etc. etc. After nine innings, you’ve scored the most total runs in one game in league history. But that’s worthless; I guess, according to David Whitehouse, your offensive scoring is in a “pause” (you know, the one that never happened).

What’s not funny is David Whitehouse simply denying the truth:

Despite this extensive research taking place Peter Hannam continues in his article with a very out-of-date comment. “For years, climate change sceptics relied on a spike in global temperatures that occurred during the monster 1997-98 El Nino to say the world had stopped warming because later years struggled to set a higher mark even as greenhouse gas emissions continued to rise.” This myth has been addressed so many times. The year 1998 and its strong El Nino has nothing to do with the pause. Neither “climate sceptics” nor climate scientists would fall for such an obvious aspect of the data, but it seems journalists still do!

Au contraire. Fake skeptics (a.k.a. deniers, a.k.a. climate anti-vaxxers) exploit the 1998 el Nino, have for years. And climate “skeptics” fall for it all the time.

As for the whole el Nino thing, it looks like we’ve got a strong one going on right now. The last time we had such a big one was 1998. Were those years so hot onlybecause of the el Nino? Let’s compare the two directly (2015 isn’t complete, so I’ve plotted year-to-date):


Both of the big el Nino years were hotter than nearby years. But they weren’t just hot because of el Nino, they were hot because of global warming. That’s why this year is so much hotter than the 1998 monster el Nino. That’s why 2005, 2007, 2010, 2014 all broke the 1998 record in spite of 1998 being a monsterel Nino. Because there is no “pause.” It never happened.

You can see the same thing with NASA data (again, 2015 is year-to-date):


He closes with this utterly nonsensical non-sequitur:

What the data is showing us is that over the past 15 years or so there has been little underlying change with El Ninos elevating the temperature a little and La Ninas reducing them. Is what is happening to global annual average surface temperatures all that surprising?

Surprising? Of course not. Because the globe is warming. Because of us. As for the “pause” that David Whitehouse and the GWPF so desperately cling to — it never happened.

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Posted by Guest Author on Friday, 30 October, 2015

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