Here’s a small poll for you — quickly list the most important stories of the day…
I’m sure for many of you, you selected the Fiscal Cliff and the potential impact on the U.S. economy if our government gets this wrong. Many others might have selected the ongoing conflict in the Middle East with Israel once again lined up against a phalanx of Arabic & muslim special interests who redirect their own failings by attacking the successful Jewish state. Others might have selected the President’s trip to Burma and other parts of Asia.
Of course, the primary, local, daily news source in New Castle County selected a story about the World Bank’s President stating that a 7 degree rise in global temperatures over the next 100 years would be CATASTROPHIC!! Yes, that’s right. If global temperatures rise by 7 degrees over the next 100 years, that will be really, really, really, really bad. Of course, if global temperatures go down by 7 degrees over the next 100 years, that would also be really, really, really, really bad, but for different reasons (Chief among these reasons would likely be too much ice).
Yes, the most important story, today, is that The World Bank President, Jim Yong Kim, thinks that we should target 3.5 degrees of increased temperature (He was silent on a reduction of 3.5 degrees — I don’t think that he likes ice). Note, that in the U.S., we can’t even accurately target our inflation rate, but we’re supposed to target the temperature of the planet? Someone better call up the sun, and let it know…
Anyway, how is that whole global warming thing going? From a report this week in the U.K.’s Daily Mail:
The world stopped getting warmer almost 16 years ago, according to new data released last week.
The figures, which have triggered debate among climate scientists, reveal that from the beginning of 1997 until August 2012, there was no discernible rise in aggregate global temperatures.
This means that the ‘plateau’ or ‘pause’ in global warming has now lasted for about the same time as the previous period when temperatures rose, 1980 to 1996. Before that, temperatures had been stable or declining for about 40 years.
Well doesn’t that just stink! No temperature rise, no CATASTROPHE. No CATASTROPHE and Delaware survives.
The article goes on:
But according to increasing numbers of serious climate scientists, it does suggest that the computer models that have for years been predicting imminent doom, such as those used by the [British] Met Office and the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, are flawed, and that the climate is far more complex than the models assert.
‘The new data confirms the existence of a pause in global warming,’ Professor Judith Curry, chair of the School of Earth and Atmospheric Science at America’s Georgia Tech university, told me yesterday.
‘Climate models are very complex, but they are imperfect and incomplete. Natural variability [the impact of factors such as long-term temperature cycles in the oceans and the output of the sun] has been shown over the past two decades to have a magnitude that dominates the greenhouse warming effect.
‘It is becoming increasingly apparent that our attribution of warming since 1980 and future projections of climate change needs to consider natural internal variability as a factor of fundamental importance.’
Professor Phil Jones, director of the Climate Research Unit at the University of East Anglia, who found himself at the centre of the ‘Climategate’ scandal over leaked emails three years ago, would not normally be expected to agree with her. Yet on two important points, he did.
The data does suggest a plateau, he admitted, and without a major El Nino event – the sudden, dramatic warming of the southern Pacific which takes place unpredictably and always has a huge effect on global weather – ‘it [the temperature plateau] could go on for a while’.
Like Prof Curry, Prof Jones also admitted that the climate models were imperfect: ‘We don’t fully understand how to input things like changes in the oceans, and because we don’t fully understand it you could say that natural variability is now working to suppress the warming. We don’t know what natural variability is doing.’
The graph can be found below. Looks pretty flat to me, but its more fun to print headlines with “Tipping Point” and “doomsday”, than one that simply says — “Global Warming takes a hiatus”.