I was in the United States last week during the heat wave that snaked its way up from Texas and the South across the Eastern Seaboard and into central Canada. For sure, it was stinkin’ hot. One night, my family and I went to a Pittsburgh Pirates game when the humidex temperature was 41C. There wasn’t enough frozen lemonade in the stadium to make that comfortable.
From all the headlines and waitress small talk about the heat, you would have imagined the hot, muggy weather was unusual. Yet, throughout the entire week of sweltering temperatures and sizzling news stories, just 0.6% of nearly 6,000 U.S. weather stations witnessed a record daily high.
According to the climate blog Hockey Schtick
, “there were no records broken on July 17, July 18, July 19, or July 20th. A total of four stations broke records on July 21, 20 on July 22, and 10 on July 23, 2011.” And we’re not talking about all-time record highs – the highest temperature ever recorded at a specific location – but merely daily records. No U.S. weather station recorded its highest temperature ever during the heat wave of 2011, and just 34 hit historic highs for a single date.
If we were suffering the effects of global warming, wouldn’t you think there would be higher highs, that each year’s heat wave would be worse than the last? If the planet was slowly getting hotter, wouldn’t you imagine a quarter of weather stations would break daily heat records during each summer’s peak temperatures and some smaller percentage – 10% or even 5% — would see all-time highs?
If just six-tenths of one percent of communities are only breaking daily temperature records (and 99.4% are not), it is unlikely that this summer’s hot spell is proof of global warming, despite the hysterical claims of environmentalists and headline writers.
According to Pat Michaels
, a climatologist who is currently senior fellow for research and economic development at George Mason University in Virginia, “there has been no statistically significant warming trend since November of 1996 in monthly surface temperature records.” Despite the alarmist warnings of environmentalists that Earth is in the grip of dangerous global temperature rise, and claims that this or that year is the warmest ever, there simply has been no significant global warming for the past 15 years.
The alarmists themselves increasingly acknowledge this, if only in a backhanded way. For instance, in one of the emails leaked during Climategate in 2009, well-known warming alarmist Kevin Trenberth, head of the climate analysis section at the U.S. National Center for Atmospheric Research, wrote to other alarmists “the fact is we can’t account for the lack of warming at the moment and it is a travesty we can’t.”
Mr Trenberth’s favoured explanation is that the heat that should be building up in the atmosphere as a result of rising carbon dioxide concentrations is actually hiding in the deep oceans. The upper layers of oceans aren’t warming, yet somehow the heat that has been predicted has bypassed the ocean top and buried itself at 1,500 feet or below.
Even NASA’s James Hansen, the godfather of the modern global-warming alarmist school, has recently written
that the recent lack of warming is the result of particulates from Chinese pollution reflecting energy back at the sun before it reaches Earth. The warming from CO2 is still happening, according to Mr. Hansen, it’s just being masked by sulphates and other pollutants from China.
Never give up on a theory that’s made you famous (and in some cases rich). Should it become hard to maintain the theory in light of contradictory real-world evidence, simply make up unprovable excuses for why your hypothesis isn’t coming true and stick with it.
The more likely explanation is that carbon dioxide simply isn’t as capable of absorbing solar energy as first thought. According to Roy Spencer
, the scientist who has run NASA’s global weather satellites for over 30 years, the atmosphere releases more heat than we once believed
. In a new study for an upcoming issue of the peer-reviewed journal Remote Sensing, Mr. Spencer demonstrates there is a “huge discrepancy” between how UN climate computers predict the atmosphere should handle CO2 and heat and how the real atmosphere actually handles both.
Carbon dioxide simply does not trap heat as well as believed, so it cannot force up temperatures as much as projected.
This undermines forecasts of dangerous future climate change, but don’t expect alarmists to back down. They’ll just think up new excuses to explain away the data.
Follow Lorne on Twitter @lornegunter