Right Opinion

Some Inconvenient Man-Made Global Warming Truths

Joe Bastardi · Apr. 22, 2015

My last article went over some aspects of man-made global warming that would let me know I may have the wrong idea on the issue. But I wonder if any alarmists have stopped to look at some of their most cherished metrics going the opposite way of their forecast. People that live in the real world understand that if reality is contrary to your predictions, it means you are wrong (or at least can be).

It’s been nearly 10 years since the Oscar-winning film “An Inconvenient Truth” came out, so here’s a question we should be asking: Are we worse off today than the movie implied? Let’s look at some of those aspects.

The movie came out at a time I believe was meant to capitalize on the monster back-to-back hurricane seasons of 2004 and 2005. But it was pretty arrogant to think that peak was the new norm. Then again, arrogance is the child of ignorance — in this case ignorance of an easy to see global cycle represented nicely by the ACE (accumulated cyclonic energy) index.

Much of that peak was courtesy of the major uptick in tropical Pacific activity due to the cyclical warming of the Pacific Decadol Oscillation, meaning more frequent El Niños and higher activity in an ocean where two-thirds of global tropical activity typically occurs. The Atlantic warmed in the ‘90s (and is in the waning stages of that warm cycle now), but the Pacific cooling started in 2007. There will still be El Niño spikes, such as the upcoming hurricane season that’s off to a fast start in the Pacific. Globally, however, you can see there is nothing to support the hysteria “An Inconvenient Truth” was trying to push. The fact is, it’s been amazingly quiet relative to what it could be. In a way, the inconvenient truth is that a return to the '30s, '40s and '50s, with major hurricane hits on the U.S. coast, would create a big problem — because of the major build up of population, not CO2. (Weatherbell.com has had our hurricane forecast out since March. Here is the update of it for all to read.)

The infamous prophecies of an ice-free Arctic has a long and storied history, and this article from Real Science, which documents a lot of who said what and when, says it better than I can.

In any case, global sea ice looks like this:

Here’s the Arctic against the average:

The U.S. climate model looks too optimistic to me, but it suggests we can all breath a big sigh of relief because the Arctic isn’t likely to melt away this summer. (Notice too we are seeing less melting in the summer, but it’s still not getting winters back to normal.) This is an anomaly chart:

There also appears to be a comeback in total ice volume.

Moreover, the Southern Hemisphere ice cap continues to impress.

Now, I’ve heard many arguments as to why we shouldn’t pay attention to Antarctica, among them the idea it’s actually melting and sending fresh water into the ocean, where it’s “easier to freeze.”. But you can be darn sure if the northern ice cap was melting away completely each summer, or the southern ice cap was trending down instead of up, it would be trumpeted as a sign that alarmists were right. The problem though is that no matter what happens, they claim they’re right.

I do think as far as really quantifying the cause for variations, both up and down, water vapor is what we should be measuring. But since we keep running to the global temperature, let’s look at what the National Centers for Environmental Prediction’s (NCEP) analysis is depicting over the last 10 years:

The turn of the PDO in 2007 coincides nicely with a drop in the specific humidity over the tropics, opposite the trapping hot spot theory the EPA uses in one of its three lines of evidence for its endangerment finding.

Temperatures have trended a bit down mostly because of drops after the El Niño spikes of '07 and '10. We have another El Niño now that should fade in 2016. This time, however, the Atlantic will be cooler. So the five-year forecast from me is another spike, followed by a greater drop than the ones before.

(Side note: As far as I know, the folks over at NCEP aren’t known “deniers” of climate change. Nor am I. Quite the contrary — when the debate was referred to as global warming, I was saying it’s simply the natural back-and-forth of the climate. The term “climate change” is redundant. The design of the system with the sun, the oceans, stochastic events, the placement of land and ocean, etc., argue that all we are seeing is the constant search in nature for a balance it can never attain but will always strive for. And when there is strife, there will be plenty of back-and-forth. The climate is always in a state of change; it’ inherent in the very definition of climate. Example: Since there have been both rain forests and glaciers in the state of Wisconsin, given a long enough period of time, the climate of Wisconsin is such that both rain forests and glaciers can occur.)

I would expect the coming 15 years to see a more pronounced cooling since the Atlantic is starting to flip to its colder cycle. The waning days of the warm cycle has stacked much of the warm water against the United States — a pattern very similar, in the decadol sense, to the late 1950s!

Tornadoes: Again, the hysteria after the spike in 2011 was meant to capitalize on that, with no regard for actual facts. This part of the agenda has grown so desperate, I have seen climate hysterics refer to any tornado as a “fossil-fueled” event even with tornadoes near record lows. Someone must have stuck sand in the gas tank.

As of April 19, we are only six above the record low for the date.

Wildfires are also way below average. You can link here every time you hear how “bad” wildfires are to see exactly where we are against the averages.

As of April 17, we are at the third lowest total fires in the past 11 years, and fourth lowest in total acreage. This is big, because all these cherished metrics, and many more that were being pushed so hard 10 years ago, have not gone the way they were forecasted. Yet given the continued drumbeat from people pushing it, you would never know they even care about the facts.

I will leave you with this. As aforementioned, the EPA used model projections as one of its three lines of evidence in their endangerment finding, which was baffling to me. How can you use a future event as factual evidence? This chart, created by Dr. John Christy at the University of Alabama in Huntsville, shows without a doubt acceptance of models is folly, which is interesting given a quote out of Proverbs 19:3: “A person’s own folly leads to their ruin, yet their heart rages against the LORD.”

Those of us who bring up these issues are not God in no way, shape or form. In fact, we’re quite the opposite: We believe that is very much an open question — not exactly God-like not knowing what tomorrow will bring and actually, as I wrote last time, looking for weaknesses in our own arguments. Yet it appears that when the folly is pointed out, there is rage against us. So who are the ones acting like they think they are “God” in this matter, knowing without a doubt what tomorrow will bring? Seems like folly to me.

Yes, the truth can be inconvenient, especially when confronting people that play God about tomorrow.

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

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