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Note To Weather Channel: Please Get Your Facts Right

December 7, 2016
tags:

By Paul Homewood 

 

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Global land temperatures have plummeted by one degree Celsius since the middle of this year – the biggest and steepest fall on record.

But the news has been greeted with an eerie silence by the world’s alarmist community. You’d almost imagine that when temperatures shoot up it’s catastrophic climate change which requires dramatic headlines across the mainstream media and demands for urgent action. But that when they fall even more precipitously it’s just a case of “nothing to see here”.

The cause of the fall is a La Nina event following in the wake of an unusual strong El Nino.

http://www.breitbart.com/london/2016/11/30/global-temperatures-plunge-icy-silence-climate-alarmists/

 

Last week Breitbart ran a piece about the big drop in global land temperatures this year, which seems to have upset the alarmists over at Weather Channel, and in particular their meteorologist Kait Parker, who objected to Breitbart using one of her videos.

 

 

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Global warming is not expected to end anytime soon, despite what Breitbart.com wrote in an article published last week.

Though we would prefer to focus on our usual coverage of weather and climate science, in this case we felt it important to add our two cents — especially because a video clip from weather.com (La Niña in Pacific Affects Weather in New England) was prominently featured at the top of the Breitbart article. Breitbart had the legal right to use this clip as part of a content-sharing agreement with another company, but there should be no assumption that The Weather Company endorses the article associated with it.

The Breitbart article – a prime example of cherry picking, or pulling a single item out of context to build a misleading case – includes this statement: "The last three years may eventually come to be seen as the final death rattle of the global warming scare."

In fact, thousands of researchers and scientific societies are in agreement that greenhouse gases produced by human activity are warming the planet’s climate and will keep doing so.

Along with its presence on the high-profile Breitbart site, the article drew even more attention after a link to it was retweeted by the U.S. House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology.

The Breitbart article heavily references a piece that first appeared on U.K. Daily Mail’s site.

Here’s where both articles went wrong:

CLAIM: "Global land temperatures have plummeted by one degree Celsius since the middle of this year – the biggest and steepest fall on record."

TRUTH: This number comes from one satellite-based estimate of temperatures above land areas in the lower atmosphere. Data from the other two groups that regularly publish satellite-based temperature estimates show smaller drops, more typical of the decline one would expect after a strong El Niño event.

Temperatures over land give an incomplete picture of global-scale temperature. Most of the planet – about 70 percent – is covered by water, and the land surface warms and cools more quickly than the ocean. Land-plus-ocean data from the other two satellite groups, released after the Breitbart article, show that Earth’s lower atmosphere actually set a record high in November 2016.

CLAIM: "It can be argued that without the El Niño (and the so-called "Pacific Blob") 2014-2016 would not have been record warm years." (David Whitehouse, Global Warming Policy Foundation, quoted by Breitbart)

TRUTH: NOAA data show that the 2014-16 El Niño did not even begin until October 2014. It was a borderline event until mid-2015, barely above the El Niño threshold. El Niño clearly added to the strength of the record global warmth observed since late 2015. However, if the El Niño spike is removed, 2016 is still the warmest year on record and 2015 the second warmest, according to climate scientist Zeke Hausfather (Berkeley Earth).

Global surface temperature trends for the period 1966-2015 analyzed for El Niño years (red boxes), La Niña years (blue boxes), and neutral years (black boxes), along with volcanic years (gold triangles). The three trend lines show that global temperature has been rising at a fairly consistent rate of about 0.15 – 0.17°C (0.27 – 0.31°F) once La Niña and El Niño departures are factored out. (Berkeley Earth)

 

CLAIM: "Many think that 2017 will be cooler than previous years. Myles Allen of Oxford University says that by the time of the next big United Nations climate conference, global temperatures are likely to be no warmer than the Paris COP in 2015. This would be a strange thing to happen if, as some climate scientists have claimed, recent years would have been a record even without the El Niño." (David Rose, U.K. Daily Mail, quoted by Breitbart)

TRUTH: There is nothing unusual about a drop in global surface temperatures when going from El Niño to La Nina. These ups and downs occur on top of the long-term warming trend that remains when the El Niño and La Niña signals are removed. If there were no long-term trend, then we would see global record lows occurring during the strongest La Niña events. However, the last year to see global temperatures hit a record low was 1911, and the most recent year that fell below the 20th-century average was 1976.

For an even deeper dive on the science, we recommend the blog by our experts.

Finally, to our friends at Breitbart: The next time you write a climate change article and need fact checking help, please call. We’re here for you. I’m sure we both agree this topic is too important to get wrong.

https://weather.com/news/news/breitbart-misleads-americans-climate-change?cm_ven=T_WX_CD_120616_2

 

Unfortunately, her attempt to debunk the Delingpole article is seriously flawed itself.

 

CLAIM 1 – This number comes from one satellite-based estimate of temperatures above land areas in the lower atmosphere.

 

FACT

The Breitbart article correctly referred to the RSS satellite dataset:

 

rss-land

 http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/rss-land/from:1979

 

However, similar drops can also be seen in the UAH satellite data, the UEA CRUTEM surface data, and NOAA’s surface dataset:

 

uah6-land

http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/uah6-land/from:1979

 

from 1979

http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/crutem4vgl/from:1979

 

multigraph

https://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/cag/time-series/global/globe/land/1/10/1979-2016

 

 

CLAIM 2 – Land-plus-ocean data from the other two satellite groups, released after the Breitbart article, show that Earth’s lower atmosphere actually set a record high in November 2016.

 

FACT

Temperature anomalies last month, according to UAH were well below previous peaks, as was the case with RSS.

There is no “other satellite group” that produces monthly data, as is claimed.

uahfrom 1979

http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/uah6/from:1979

 

 

 

CLAIM 3 – However, if the El Niño spike is removed, 2016 is still the warmest year on record and 2015 the second warmest.

 

FACT

According to both RSS and UAH, last year finished well below both 1998 and 2010, despite strong El Nino conditions starting in April 2014:

 

image

http://data.remss.com/msu/monthly_time_series/RSS_Monthly_MSU_AMSU_Channel_TLT_Anomalies_Land_and_Ocean_v03_3.txt

 

 

image

http://www.nsstc.uah.edu/data/msu/v6.0beta/tlt/uahncdc_lt_6.0beta5.txt

 

 

This year is also running close to 1998 levels. Temperatures fell sharply towards the end of 1998, following the onset of La Nina in the summer that year.

So far this year, there has been no repeat of such La Nina conditions, which may mean that the annual temperatures ends up slightly higher than 1998.

 

CLAIM 3 – There is nothing unusual about a drop in global surface temperatures when going from El Niño to La Nina. These ups and downs occur on top of the long-term warming trend that remains when the El Niño and La Niña signals are removed.

 

And, of course, we are still waiting for La Nina to start:

 

ts.gif

http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/psd/enso/mei/

 

The reality is that we have just gone through arguably the strongest El Nino for a century or more, and yet atmospheric temperatures have barely peaked above 1998.

If we do see a strong La Nina next year, we will see global temperatures drop further still.

 

tlt_update_bar_102016

http://www.nsstc.uah.edu/climate/

 

 

Talk of trends since 1911 cannot disguise the fact that the pause has not gone away.

 

 

Perhaps in future Ms Parker might like to stick to meteorology, which hopefully might be a subject she understands a bit more about!

22 Comments leave one →
  1. Broadlands permalink
    December 7, 2016 4:07 pm

    If one does a calendar year (JAN-DEC) analysis of the ENSO 3.4 (Nino, neutral, and Nina) for the 20th century there is no trend at all.

    If one calculates the year-over-year change in ENSO 3.4 from 1959-2015 there is no trend at all. There is no correlation with Mauna Loa CO2.

    Nino 3.4 Sea surface temperatures are higher than in 1998. And La-Nina conditions (lower than minus 0.5°C) have been in effect since October.

    Source: HadlSST 1.1

    NOAA: Three month La-Nina conditions have been in effect since JAS

    http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/analysis_monitoring/ensostuff/ensoyears.shtml

  2. John Smith permalink
    December 7, 2016 4:23 pm

    For me the real problem always lies in statements like this:

    “In fact, thousands of researchers and scientific societies are in agreement that greenhouse gases produced by human activity are warming the planet’s climate and will keep doing so”.

    I would like to see a half convincing explanation of the mechanism by which this warming is being caused by CO2. The fact that The Climate is changing is irrelevant. When was it ever completely stable?

    • December 7, 2016 4:50 pm

      JS, GHG do cause warming. Been verified in the lab, and known since Tyndal in 1859. The physics involves impediment of IR radiative cooling. BUT how much is very uncertain because of feedbacks and natural variation. Perhaps that is what you meant.

      • Broadlands permalink
        December 7, 2016 5:14 pm

        John was referring to gases produced by human activity, not just CO2 per se.

        CO2 from our use of fossil fuels (to improve our lives?) has risen steadily by more than 40% since “pre-industrial” time… over 200 years. This has warmed the planet by about 0.8°C… in fits and starts. Up during the first part of the last century. Down from the late 1930s until 1975. Up from 1975 until 1997-98. Doing very little since then?

        The convincing explanation? Natural fluctuations?

      • HotScot permalink
        December 7, 2016 5:50 pm

        And with several thousand external atmospheric influences, an ancient laboratory experiment is meaningless. How was that experiment conducted, did it isolate the 0.0002% of man’s CO2 contribution to the atmosphere amongst all the other gases, including water vapour that forms 95% of all GHG’s (of which CO2 forms 3%) or was it just a general experiment to determine the properties of CO2 alone?

        Indeed, was there any meaningful investigation into man made, atmospheric CO2 at the time, somehow I doubt it as the beginning of the Industrial Revolution was almost 50 years away.

      • Tom O permalink
        December 7, 2016 7:14 pm

        Here a nit, there a nit and everywhere a nit pick. Ristvan, you know darn well that the period of warming we have experienced is not caused by GHG, but by a whole slew of factors, many of which we Don’t even understand. And John Smith wasn’t asking for someone showing a mechanism to show how CO2 is causing the warming, but intended, in all likeliness, a mechanism that explains how humans are suddenly Godlike in their capabilities and can control an environment that does what it wants.

        And, Broadlands, no, GHG produced by mankind since the beginning of the industrial age has not produced the warming trend that we have experienced during that time. It might have in some small way contributed to it, but it is certainly not the driving force. As a parallel, I bought a copy of Windows, and in so doing Microsoft profited. I did NOT, however, make Microsoft rich. I may have contributed to that wealth, but I didn’t make the company rich. The climate is the same as Microsoft in that we may contribute to its change, but other factors, contribute far more, and human contribution to the change in climate is as miniscule as my share of Microsoft’s wealth.

      • Broadlands permalink
        December 7, 2016 7:21 pm

        HotScot… Guy Callendar studied the relationship and wrote a paper in 1938 on the greenhouse effect. “The artificial production of carbon dioxide and its influence on temperature”

        There was a correlation between CO2 and the rising temperatures at his 30 carefully selected locations… up to 1938. The irony is that 1938 was at the peak of that study and temperatures declined thereafter….until 1975. Today, at those same localities the temperatures are not statistically different. CO2, of course, kept rising.

      • Broadlands permalink
        December 7, 2016 7:26 pm

        TomO.. I think you may have misread or misunderstood the full comment I made?

      • Gerry, England permalink
        December 8, 2016 12:50 am

        Correlation does mean causation. Something that every scientist should know. You need proof. The so called Pause should be enough to end that CO2 theory as the concentration rose while temps flat-lined until the El Nino.

      • Brett Keane permalink
        December 9, 2016 7:52 am

        Rud, Tyndall understood the error of your claim when he used coolant flow inside his IR absorber, as part of one of his superbly conceived experimental demonstrator devices.. Maxwell was one of many who later published on how radiation was irrelevant in energy transfer out of the denser part of the atmosphere. He, at least, got how the Poisson relations unified the Gas Laws for instance (Theory of Heat), making GHE unphysical in an unconfined though gravity-constrained atmosphere of at least 0.1bar. The resulting Atmospheric Thermal Effect is what is common to all of these, Venus to Neptune etc.. NASA data shows this..
        Part of the error lies in getting the cart before the horse – radiation is not the cause but an effect, of ‘heat’. Yours in science, Brett

  3. December 7, 2016 4:23 pm

    Reblogged this on Climate Collections.

  4. December 7, 2016 4:52 pm

    Another whack-a-mole deconstruction of warmunist misinformation. The widespread frantic response to Rose and Delingpole shows their simple observations have really touched a nerve.

    • Gerry, England permalink
      December 8, 2016 12:52 am

      As Delingpole himself said, there is nothing quite so nice as lefty-liberal outrage to show you are on the right track. Right up there with the smell of napalm in the morning.

  5. December 7, 2016 5:03 pm

    La Niña is the evil twin of El Niño in warmist theology >:D

  6. December 7, 2016 5:12 pm

    Reblogged this on Climatism and commented:
    The very fact that warmist institutions like ‘The Weather Channel’ are frantically attempting to debunk a global ‘cooling’ event is the biggest evidence of all that AGW is a scam. Cold weather is never good news.

  7. December 7, 2016 7:16 pm

    Paul, more great work.
    Have you sent it to the morons at Weather Channel?

  8. December 7, 2016 7:37 pm

    The Renewable Energy Incentive subsidy in Norn Iron comes unglued and wees away £400 million – they won’t even say “lessons have been learned”

    there’s a program but since I don’t want a TV license … the write up is here

    The more you burn the more you earn – Patrick !! are you shure all the windows are open !

    h/t Stewgreen

  9. December 7, 2016 10:02 pm

    Great work Paul!

  10. December 7, 2016 10:36 pm

    The weather channel has made a huge mistake by trying to start a debate, the only real tool they have in a debate is fear mongering…..This is why they never allow an alternative opinion, its “you are going to die!, 97% of scientists agree, send your money”

  11. December 8, 2016 1:06 am

    Actually the RHI scheme in NI is going to wee away a billion …. a non BBC copy of the sorry tale can be watched HERE

    so all you foreigners can have a hoot at a subsidy scheme gawn seriously wrong

    I somehow doubt that BBC HQ knew this was coming down the tracks….

  12. Ian L. McQueen permalink
    December 8, 2016 2:13 am

    “In fact, thousands of researchers and scientific societies are in agreement that greenhouse gases produced by human activity are warming the planet’s climate and will keep doing so”.

    This looks a lot to me like consensus, and consensus is not the way that genuine science advances,

    Ian M

  13. ulric lyons permalink
    December 8, 2016 7:26 pm

    There was no El Nino in 1974-75 either!
    http://www.cpc.noaa.gov/products/analysis_monitoring/ensostuff/ensoyears.shtml

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