The climate IS changing: it’s getting colder again!

Politically motivated U.S. climate policy is blind to real-world changes

By Kathleen Hartnett White

Before the oppressive heat of a hot Texas summer impairs objectivity, consider a basic fact. Global warming has ceased for 16 years. This inescapable fact contradicts the official science of the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which is the foundation of global warming alarmism.

From 1997 to 2012, global mean temperatures have flat-lined while emissions of carbon dioxide — the majority of which now derives from China and India — have surged at an unprecedented rate. National bodies like the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Agency, Britain’s Meteorological Office, and even climate change panel scientists have publicly recognized that temperature trends are either static or actually cooling. For the first time in decades, a large swath of the climate science community has begun to question whether natural forces such as cyclical oceanic and solar activity could indeed trump the greenhouse effects of increasing emissions of man-made carbon dioxide.


European officialdom and media have more fully absorbed the implications of global cooling than their counterparts in the United States. Germany and England, where aggressive decarbonization schemes already have driven energy prices 40% to 70% higher, now consider reeling back their plans. In the U.S., global warming alarmists and some politicians dismiss the cooling as a minor pause in apocalyptic warming. The major media follow their cue and that of President Barack Obama, who recently claimed that the speed of global warming is accelerating faster than the science predicted. He might check with NOAA about the matter.

Those clinging to dogmatic belief in man-made global warming now turn to “extreme weather events” as proof that the destructive impacts of carbon-rich energy are right here, now, and wreaking havoc. Whether cold, heat, snow, drought, hurricanes, tornadoes or wildfires, the warmists attribute the cause to increasing atmospheric levels of carbon dioxide. But even the International Panel on Climate Change, NOAA and the World Meteorological Organization have historical data which handily debunks these conflations of weather and climate. NOAA concludes there is no connection between tornadoes and global warming and that since the 1950s there have been fewer strong (F3 to F5) tornadoes. What has increased is the detection of weak tornadoes.

NOAA also concludes that hurricanes have been declining in the U.S. since the early 19th century. And the worst decade for major hurricanes in the U.S. was the 1940s. Contrary to the president’s remarks, the fury of Hurricane Sandy was not the result of global warming but of the coincidental alignment of a tropical storm with a land-based storm.

Blaming fossil fuel-based energy for horrific natural disasters is akin to ancient cultures blaming extreme weather on the wrath of the gods. However more sophisticated and educated modern people may be, the human tribe is apparently still susceptible to “Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds,” as Charles MacRay documented in a not-so-modern book of the mid-19th century.

The fact that global mean temperatures have not risen in conjunction with higher CO2 levels over the past 16 years is not a minor fissure in the credibility of the International Panel on Climate Change’s official science. Recall that this panel’s science is the justification for Green policies to jettison the fossil fuel-based energy systems that underlie the prosperity and extended life spans in developed countries.

While the flat temperature record, however, does not prove the panel wrong, it does reveal the inherent uncertainty in the panel’s science. This temperature record derived from empirical measurement by satellite demonstrates that the panel’s science is not so certain as to be labeled “incontrovertible” and “beyond all dispute.” And it has been in those dogmatic terms that climate science has been proffered as a policy dictate for forced transformation of economies worldwide.

The question has never been whether carbon dioxide is a gas that traps heat in the atmosphere. Of course it is. The scientific question has always been to what extent increasing concentrations of carbon dioxide will dominate the natural forces of climate such as solar activity, cyclical oceanic oscillation, water vapor, aerosols and clouds. The enshrined science of man-made warming is built on sophisticated models, all of which assign high temperature-forcing strength to carbon dioxide. But those assumptions in the models have not been validated by physical measurement. The fact of no warming for 16 years raises conflicts with these central tenets of the panel’s science.

The growing divergence between actual temperatures and the climate models of the panel show that the science is not — as is so stridently asserted — “settled.” Let sound science admit the uncertainty, answer the questions and not vilify the questioner.

Kathleen Hartnett White is the distinguished senior fellow in residence and director for the Armstrong Center for Energy and Environment at the Texas Public Policy Foundation.  This article first appeared in the Austin American-Statesman (June 10, 2013).

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  • Ben Vincent

    It is refreshing and hopeful to see the Texas flag appear above an article that contains common sense.

    • sensorsweep

      sadly common sense doesn’t always include a basic understanding of statistics.

      • susansylvia

        You’re a perfect example.

    • MorinMoss

      Perhaps you should wait till Rick Perry is out of office before conflating Texas and common sense.
      That’s my Response.

  • sensorsweep

    without even touching on anything beyond the first paragraph.. this is nothing but misinformation.

    “global warming” has NOT stopped over the last 16 years.
    you have multiple college degrees. you must understand that when you make a statement, saying something is an “inescapable fact” when in actuality it is a blatant lie based on cherry-picked data from a larger data-set showing the opposite of what you are claiming, that you are lying.

    • susansylvia

      Well, just to chime in here rather late for anyone reading this in 2014 and
      beyond, the IPCC’s own 10/13 report acknowledges the 15-year ‘hiatus’ in
      warming, despite steadily increasing levels of CO2. Ms. White has no
      need to lie, since the Holy Bible of Global Warming itself admits to the
      lack of temperature increase, and it is now routinely acknowledged by
      all scientists, whether they are Warmers or Coolers. The only difference
      between the two groups is that the Warmers are now busy figuring out an
      exit strategy from all the hysteria they’ve generated (while trying to
      preserve their jobs and grants), and the Coolers are standing by,
      smiling. In another five years, we’ll all be laughing at the Cooling
      Deniers. That you would not be aware of the lack of warming in the past
      15 years shows how out of touch you are, Sensorsweep. Time to adjust the
      sensitivity of your sensors! Oh, and you’d better check the sunspot
      supply the next time you perform a sweep. Please feel free to look at
      the IPCC report yourself. It’s all in there.

      And I quote:

      From the UN IPCC Fifth Assessment Report, Working Group I Contribution
      The IPCC Fifth Assessment Report Climate Change 2013: The Physical
      Science Basis, Chapter 9, Box 9.2: Climate Models and the Hiatus in
      Global-Mean Surface Warming of the Past 15 Years, page 31:

      (c) Model Response Error

      discrepancy between simulated and observed GMST trends during 1998–2012
      could be explained in part by a tendency for some CMIP5 models to
      simulate stronger warming in response to increases in greenhouse-gas
      concentration than is consistent with observations… In summary, the
      observed recent warming hiatus, defined as the reduction in GMST trend
      during 1998–2012 as compared to the trend during 1951–2012, is
      attributable in roughly equal measure to a cooling contribution from
      internal variability and a reduced trend in external forcing (expert
      judgment, medium confidence). The forcing trend reduction is primarily
      due to a negative forcing trend from both volcanic eruptions and the
      downward phase of the solar cycle. However, there is low confidence in
      quantifying the role of forcing trend in causing the hiatus, because of
      uncertainty in the magnitude of the volcanic forcing trend and low
      confidence in the aerosol forcing trend.”

      They also suggest
      that the discrepancy between their model projections and the historical
      data could be partially reconciled by ‘scaling down’ the models by 10%.
      In other words, “Our models were wrong, so let’s change them to match
      what is actually happening.”

      And upon this ‘science’ we spend
      billions and billions of dollars worldwide to fix a non-existent
      problem. It seems that the IPCC and their ilk want to explain the flat
      numbers by saying that all that heat went somewhere, due to various
      climate forces that occurred during this time, as if it were some kind
      of accident that the earth would not cooperate with their models. But
      the earth’s climate is highly complex, beyond what our relatively new
      science can understand, and it is capable of absorbing changes such as
      an increase in CO2 levels on the order of hundreds of parts per million
      in the atmosphere. We’re talking about tiny, tiny amounts of CO2, which
      is a naturally-occurring gas essential to the earth’s climate balance.
      If we have learned anything this last 15 years, it should be that the
      earth didn’t even notice our small contribution to the equation.

      I fail to understand how scientists cannot get this. And it’s certainly time that Warmers stop waving their hubris around like a flag, condescending to those of us who choose to decide for ourselves, rather than swallowing everything the so-called ‘consensus’ and the media are forcing down our throats. There are thousands of very, very intelligent people, scientists and otherwise, who don’t buy any of the AGW garbage.

  • Eckenhuijsen Smit

    Mr. sensorsweep, you should accept what is stated in the explicative article above.
    Anyway it would be helpful if you read the following:
    Earth’s GLOBAL CLIMATE is for at least 95% decided by our sun’s activity (solar flairs changing the earth’s magnetic field) and the quantity of cosmic rays (particles) entering the earth’s atmosphere ‒producing more or less cloud cover, which causes global temperatures respectively to fall or rise‒ and consequently is not influenced by
    whatever quantity of CO2 there might be in our atmosphere.
    CO2 ‒natural and manmade (only 0,001152% ≈ nil)‒ is an inert, colorless, tasteless,
    innocuous, very beneficial and indispensable “GREEN” gas, necessary for all life on earth to keep nature functioning as it did during eons, so there can never be “too much” manmade CO2 in the atmosphere!
    Exhausts and chimneys should even spew more CO2 unhampered!
    Politicians with some knowledge and/or insight might even understand this!
    Immediately stop wasting trillions $/€ on the worldwide construction of all those totally
    inefficient windmills!
    Instead, build as many as possible ‒graphite covered uranium‒ pebbles-fed nuclear reactors to safely deliver the electric energy needed to develop all human communities on our globe!

  • Ted Hack

    The author, Kathleen Hartnett White, works for the Texas Public Policy Foundation which is a front organization for Koch Industries and Exxon-Mobil, and as such she is no more than a shill of the fossil fuel industry. Global mean temperature has increase during the past 15 years (180 months) at a rate that is about the same as that over the past 150 years, approximately 0.06 degrees C/decade. The dampening effects of the 10-12 solar irradiance cycle and uneven El Nino/La Nina weather oscillation will within a few years return warming rates to that which we have seen over the past 4 decades. And Mr. Smit, how is it possible for global warming to occur at a rate of about 0.16 degrees C/decade since 1970 when Solar Irradiance has oscillated around the same mean or even slightly decreased over that same time period?

    • here we go again – blaming everything on the evil corporation and petroleum companies. Mr. Hack, do you drive a petroleum fueled vehicle? Do you travel by aircraft? No doubt we should endeavor to always find efficient and safe means of fueling vehicles and creating energy – but quit falling into the propaganda trap of political mumbo-jumbo. And, also, Mr. Hack, you do not know that petroleum is not a ‘fossil’ fuel, but a natural and replenished substance created underneath our feet, deep in Earth. Examine your sources Hack.

  • CFACT Ed

    That there has been no warming since the nineties is not in dispute. Climate scientists and the UNFCCC acknowledge this, even those who are fully on board with climate computer models. Only radical warming pressure groups still cling to their old narrative. How desperately they long for global warming and the power over free economies that will give them.

  • majorx

    THERE IS NO APOCALYTIC WARMING. How much longer must we put up with these deranged, environmental crazies. In their mad little World they don’t listen, reason or understand. This mania is driving the extremism. They have to believe that man is the environmental devil so they construct irrational cases to justify that end conclusion. They are doing just the opposite of science. They assume the hypothesis is true and then build the data (falsify if need be) to justify it.

  • James Matkin

    Yes, now in 2016 and the colder climate trend continues across the world, including North America and China. This year for example. one million cows froze to death again from record minus 56 C (-70F). The alarmists now argue that global warming is causing this colder trend like magic – warming makes us colder. The pitch is about the Arctic melting pushing cold air south. Fortunately this magic has been dispelled by recent research in the Journal of Climate. Cold snaps like the ones that hit the eastern United States in the past winters are not a consequence of climate change. Scientists at ETH Zurich and the California Institute of Technology have shown that global warming actually tends to reduce temperature variability .:// The research shows as temperatures moderate volatility declines, if volatility increases this is a sign the temperatures are not moderating, supporting the colder climate trend experienced by millions.