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January 20, 2017

How About Those Record Temperatures?

Remember, there’s always more than meets the eye.

This week, just in time for Donald Trump’s inauguration, the federal government ostentatiously revealed a trifecta in annual global temperature records. It began in 2014, when Earth’s average temperature reached new heights. The trend continued in 2015. But 2016 outpaced even that year, coming in at 0.07 degrees Fahrenheit (or 0.04 Celsius) warmer by NOAA’s calculations and 0.22 degrees Fahrenheit (or 0.12 Celsius) by NASA’s estimates (the difference can be attributed to NASA’s taking into account a broader portion of the Arctic). The AP says that “scientists mostly blam[e] man-made global warming with help from a natural El Nino that’s now gone.”

“Help” is a very bereft way of putting it. El Nino, in fact, played the biggest role. Without it, global temperatures almost certainly would not have broken records. But there’s even more to consider, as laid out in a Wall Street Journal editorial: “The underreported news here is that the warming is not nearly as great as the climate-change computer models have predicted.” Nor have temperature trends dating back to the early 1990s directly corresponded with the level of CO2 in the atmosphere. For example, “[M]ore than 40% of the temperature increase since 1900 happened between 1910 and 1945, which accounts for only 10% of the increase in carbon emissions.”

“These nuances are important,” the Journal points out, “because phrases such as ‘hottest year ever’ are waved around as a pretext for political action that usually involves giving more control over the economy to governments.” Which explains why The New York Times didn’t even bother to publish the actual measurements and relied on rhetoric instead. There is more than meets the eye here. So-called skeptics acknowledge global warming but question the underlying reasons. But most climate alarmists can’t even comprehend that something other than man could be the primary driver. They should spend some time in cool reflection, perhaps in the Arctic, which still isn’t ice-free, by the way.

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