Yes, a Drop in Global Temperatures, But...
The last two years saw a decline, but that's typical for La Niña cycles and temps are still higher overall.
A recent editorial from a typically reputable conservative publication touted a sharp global temperature drop between February 2016 and February 2018. There’s no disputing the fact that records indicate a temperature drop on a global scale during that time. However, the editorial — the purpose of which was to lambast the nefarious mainstream media for purposefully ignoring this inconvenient fact — did not explain fully what is actually happening. Here’s why:
Global temperature drops are typical after El Niños, which naturally warm the globe. La Niñas do the opposite. Moreover, the last El Niño (2015-16) was exceptionally strong — a.k.a. a Super Niño. Therefore, it only makes sense that a significant global temperature drop would follow, as we’ve just registered back-to-back La Niña years. That being the case, the fact of the matter remains that global temperatures remain above normal two years after the last El Niño and above where they were two years after other El Niños. A higher threshold is seemingly being established following each Super Niño. Before 2015-16, the last one occurred in 1997-98. A pause ensued, but that baseline was higher than the average temperature over the previous 20 years. This doesn’t prove ecofascists’ rationale (not to mention justify their “solutions”) for so-called “climate change,” but it also doesn’t do conservatives any favors to borrow from the Left’s playbook by cherry-picking statistics simply for the benefit of aiding a narrative.
The cause may have to do with the immense amounts of water vapor that are released during Super Niños. These events result in a longer-lasting effect in Arctic regions years later, as tiny amounts of water vapor most affect temperatures where they are climatologically lowest and the air is driest. A glance at temperatures where most life occurs reveals that temperatures have returned to near normal, but the warmer polar regions are leading to the above-normal global temperatures, primarily during the coldest times of the year. It’s still very cold, but even slight warming there can skew the entire global temperature a few tenths of a degree higher. Regardless, global temperatures are still higher than they were after previous El Niños.
To its credit, the editorial in question does note that the latest temperature drop could be entirely meaningless. However, a little basic research would have precluded the editorial altogether. As meteorologist Joe Bastardi said in an email to The Patriot Post, “This is like saying you scored a couple of touchdowns and instead of being down 56-0 you are now losing only 56-14.” He added, “The point is that until temperatures return to or below normal, what is all the hoopla about? The other side can rightly point to a two-year post-El Niño record high.” The mainstream media should be criticized for how it handles reporting global warming. Conservative media should avoid falling into the same trap.