Warming Evangelist Hansen Retires; Researchers Advise Panic Despite Flat Temps
April 11, 2013 7:18 AM
Critics seize on cooling; warming theorist say models may need "readjusting"
You may have noticed it's been a rather cool North American spring. The cool trend is not an isolated incident. Overall, over the last decade temperatures have leveled off. The climate shift has critics of
anthropogenic (manmade) global warming (AGW) theory
crowing and has proponents of the
computer model-based theory
racing to readjust their predictions.
I. Critics: Global Warming has Gone AWOL
Former Californian meteorologist Anthony Watts, a top warming "skeptic", reports:
While the majority of “journalists” are still awakening from their intellectual slumber regarding climate science, the latest empirical global temperature measurements (RSS atmosphere temps and CO2 chart on the left) confirm... global warming has gone AWOL and a slight cooling trend has developed over the last 10 years (a minus 0.42 degrees by 2100 if the trend persists).
This warming hiatus happened despite the loud and hysterical shrieking by the climate scientists on the public dole that current CO2 emissions would cause rapid, unequivocal, irrefutable accelerated warming.
[Image Source: Free Republic]
And Marc Morano of
adds in a
The idea that CO2 is the tail that wags the dog is no longer scientifically tenable. In the peer-reviewed literature we're finding hundreds of factors influence global temperature, everything from ocean cycles to the tilt of the earth's axis to water vapor, methane, cloud feedback, volcanic dust, all of these factors are coming together. They're now realizing it wasn't the simple story we've been told of your SUV is creating a dangerously warm planet.
In the peer-reviewed literature, they've tried to explain away this lull. In the proceedings of the National Academy of Science a year or two ago they had a study blaming Chinese coal use for the lack of global warming. So, in an ironic twist, global warming proponents are now claiming that that coal use is saving us from dangerous global warming.
Even more mainstream publications are joining in.
It may be that the climate is responding to higher concentrations of carbon dioxide in ways that had not been properly understood before. This possibility, if true, could have profound significance both for climate science and for environmental and social policy.
A March Gallup
showed that today 58 percent of Americans remain worried about warming, up slightly from the 51 percent in 2011. But that's down from the 62-72 percent response levels seen between 1999 and 2001, an era rife with strongly worded predictions of global catastrophe.
The same study also showed an increasing number of Americans believe the media is exaggerating warming impact.
II. AGW Advocates Fight Back
Meanwhile, climate researchers who spent millions in government grant money to author studies on warming -- many of which predicted doomsday scenarios -- are back to the drawing board,
refusing to admit defeat
One key global warming "evangelist"
from his post as head of the
Goddard Institute for Space Studies
in New York City, a top N
ational Aeronautics and Space Administration
(NASA) research center, in April 2013. Now working as an adjunct professor at
, the climatologist earlier this year he
acknowledged warming had flatlined
, "The 5-year mean global temperature has been flat for a decade."
AGW evangelist James Hansen, shown here arrested during a protest, retired this month.
[Image Source: Tar Sands Action]
But in the same "
" [PDF] he argued that the public shouldn't just look at the numbers, but look at more nebulous and abstract observations, which he sees as supporting his beliefs of runaway warming. He
, "The observant person who is willing to look at the past over several seasons and several years, should notice that the frequency of unusual warm anomalies has increased and the extreme anomalies."
Such hopeful sentiments are echoed by other AGW advocates.
, the senior director for strategic planning at the
Environmental Defense Fund
and a former assistant secretary at the
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
, seeming suggests that the body of climatologists supporting AGW theory is alone enough to prove global warming in the absence of other evidence.
He comments to
This is a highly complex calculation to make in the first place. The short period of time, only 10 years in which the increasing temperature has leveled, really doesn't tell us very much other than the fact that temperatures may still be rising but just not as fast as they were before. What's compelling about the climate science is that we have literally thousands of the world's leading scientists around the country pretty much saying the same thing about where we're headed, and it's not reassuring.
Actice researchers are attempting to develop new models, explaining why the Earth cooled, even as greenhouse gas levels continued to rise. A November 2012 study [abstract]
in climatology's top journal,
Nature Climate Change
, suggests that the ocean absorbed more heat than expected, dampening warming effects.
A recent study suggests oceanic dampening has slowed warming.
[Image Source: Deposit Photos]
Geophysical Research Letters
suggests that surface station data may have skewed warming predictions high. While it predicts ongoing warming with rising greenhouse gas levels, it showed that other forms of compiled data predicted a slower, milder warming trend.
The big question is whether
climate figures like Al Gore
, who literally became billionaires on the back of policies like "carbon credits", can sustain the push for
massive spending to "fight" warming
. Such approaches have yet to approve effective in halting global CO2 output; yet that hasn't stopped AGW advocates from suggesting everything from
bans on meat
to spending over
to combat warming in recent years.
Watts Up With That
"What would I do? I'd shut it down and give the money back to the shareholders." -- Michael Dell, after being asked what to do with Apple Computer in 1997
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