Right Opinion

Is There Anything in the Global Warming Debate That Would Convince Me I'm Wrong?

Joe Bastardi · Apr. 4, 2015

There is a constant process I go through, whether it be forecasting or training with weights. Unless challenged, you do not improve. The challenge is listed in the title above. I must always seek the right answer. I’m not getting soft, I’m simply using this methodology to either confirm or deny my idea.

So, is there anything in the global warming debate that would convince me I’m wrong?

As a matter of fact, yes.

1.) The PDO, which is tracking nicely with the 1950s, turned cold in the early and middle part of the decade, warmed late (as it is now) and then turned cold again. The AMO, which is in its warm endgame now, turned cold, but temperatures did not fall. However, since 2007 and the flip of the PDO, there has been a slight decrease in global temperatures based on NCEP CFSR data.

That’s one factor.

2.) Another is the top of the stratosphere, which has been cooling since the late 1970s. But since the Pacific flipped, it’s warming! That to me says there was an expansion in levels below it (warming). Now the question becomes: Is this warming driven by the cycles of the ocean (which I believe) that reverses as it cools, leading to stratospheric warming? (We may be starting to see that now and the result would be stronger cold invasions over the continent.) Or is it truly because of the increase in human-caused greenhouse gases? (There’s nothing we can do about nature, though one could argue that CO2 is entirely natural since it comes from plant and animal life anyway.)

From 1979 to 2008, it cooled over the Arctic region.

But over the last several winters, it is reversing and warming.

3.) I am watching the Southern Hemisphere because ice expansion in an area surrounded by water seems to be a perfect counter-balance.

Notice how total global sea ice, since the decadol shift in the Pacific around 2007, has more or less returned to normal!

4.) Finally, I am waiting for someone, somewhere, to quantify global water vapor, which I believe is the true measure of the climate system. Over the tropics, where hot spots are supposed to occur, water vapor varies directly with the ups and downs of the tropical oceans. Understanding this process and its relationship to global cloudiness would be huge.

Example: The 400 mb mixing ratios anomalies over the tropical Pacific in the warm cycle of the Pacific 1978-2007:

Since the PDO flip, it has dried out in the middle and upper levels of the tropics, and this is in direct opposition to the trapping hot spot theory.

Objective satellite-era-based measurements in conjunction with oceanic cycles would be a much better way of measuring where the climate is going. Obviously, a sustained increase in water vapor, by far the most prominent greenhouse gas, would be indicative of a change that is meaningful. The bulk of the “warming” has been where it’s dry and cold. In the long-running record highs, it’s not getting hotter. Additionally, the current hysteria that everything is the worst ever is a function of several non-scientific, highly subjective variables. Chief among them is the fact that we can observe almost everything now, and people are not acquainted with what has happened before in detail. If we want to continue to follow along with global temperatures, then it’s a simple test: Watch what they do over the next 15 to 20 years as the oceans cool.

These are things I look at that can lead me to say, “Joe, you are wrong.”

The test period is here.

For me, this debate is far from settled. And it’s the atmosphere that should settle it, not agendas.

I ask people who don’t see things my way: Is there anything that can challenge your position on this? If not, then your position is dogma – very different from what is needed to strive for the correct idea on this matter.

Joe Bastardi is chief forecaster at WeatherBELL Analytics, a meteorological consulting firm.

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