STUDY: Satellites show no acceleration in global warming for 23 years

Global warming has not accelerated temperature rise in the bulk atmosphere in more than two decades, according to a new study funded by the Department of Energy.

University of Alabama-Huntsville climate scientists John Christy and Richard McNider found that by removing the climate effects of volcanic eruptions early on in the satellite temperature record showed virtually no change in the rate of warming since the early 1990s.

“We indicated 23 years ago — in our 1994 Nature article — that climate models had the atmosphere’s sensitivity to CO2 much too high,” Christy said in a statement. “This recent paper bolsters that conclusion.”

Christy and McNider found the rate of warming has been 0.096 degrees Celsius per decade after “the removal of volcanic cooling in the early part of the record,” which “is essentially the same value we determined in 1994 … using only 15 years of data.”

The study is sure to be contentious. Christy has argued for years that climate models exaggerate global warming in the bulk atmosphere, which satellites have monitored since the late 1970s.

Christy, a noted skeptic of catastrophic man-made global warming, said his results reinforce his claim that climate models predict too much warming in the troposphere, the lowest five miles of the atmosphere. Models are too sensitive to increases in carbon dioxide concentrations in the atmosphere, he said.

“From our observations we calculated that value as 1.1 C (almost 2° Fahrenheit), while climate models estimate that value as 2.3 C (about 4.1° F),” Christy said.

While many scientists have acknowledged the mismatch between model predictions and actual temperature observations, few have really challenged the validity of the models themselves.

A recent study led by Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory climate scientist Ben Santer found that while the models ran hot, the “overestimation” was “partly due to systematic deficiencies in some of the post-2000 external forcings used in the model simulations.”

Christy’s removal of volcanic-driven cooling from satellite temperature data could also draw scrutiny. The study also removed El Nino and La Nina cycles, which are particularly pronounced in satellite records, but those cycles largely canceled each other out, the co-authors said.

Christy said his works shows the “climate models need to be retooled to better reflect conditions in the actual climate, while policies based on previous climate model output and predictions might need to be reconsidered.”

Two major volcanoes — El Chichon in 1982 and Pinatubo in 1991 — caused global average temperature to dip as a result of volcanic ash, soot and debris reflecting sunlight back into space.

Those eruptions meant there was more subsequent warming in the following years, making the rate of warming appear to be rising as a result of man-made emissions or other factors, Christy said.

“Those eruptions happened relatively early in our study period, which pushed down temperatures in the first part of the dataset, which caused the overall record to show an exaggerated warming trend,” Christy said.

“While volcanic eruptions are natural events, it was the timing of these that had such a noticeable effect on the trend. If the same eruptions had happened near the more recent end of the dataset, they could have pushed the overall trend into negative numbers, or a long-term cooling,” Christy said.

Follow Michael on Facebook and Twitter

This article originally appeared in The Daily Caller

Categories

About the Author: Michael Bastasch

Michael Bastasch writes on energy, climate and the environment for the Daily Caller.

  • Immortal600

    The only correlation between CO2 and temperatures is that the rise in CO2 levels FOLLOWS the rise in temperatures. The rise in CO2 isn’t warming the planet. That is a myth created to scare people. A shame that a lot of relatively smart people have bought into the farce.

    • cshorey

      You bought this! OMG, the hypocrisy. I’ll comment above to give this context.

    • cshorey

      You mean temperature of the atmosphere which involves less than 5% of the heat uptake in the climate system? Why would you look for a direct correlation there unless you are too dumb to know most of the heat is stored in the oceans, over 90% in fact. You know, facts, the things you and CFACT folks don’t deal in. Why didn’t you mention the persistent and robust correlation between CO2 and sea level rise which is a better direct measure. Why didn’t you mention the role of aerosols in atmospheric heat exchanges? Oh, I know . . . because you’re generally ignorant of the details of climate science. I love shooting your fish you put in this barrel. Dunning-Krueger folks like you fascinate me. I do actually have some agreement with your last statement, the folks disagreeing with you are definitely smart people for doing so.

  • cshorey

    Imagine if you will, someone like me arguing evidence for AGW coming to CFACT and citing an article from, not a top-tier journal, nor even a second-tier, but more like a third-tier journal like the Asia-Pacific Journal of Atmospheric Sciences (which people generally publish in when they can’t pass the more rigorous peer review of the more reputable journals), and if that paper were written by a person who’s work has had to be corrected by others, not once, not twice, but FOUR times to my knowledge, and every correction takes it back in the opposite direction of what that person was arguing, and if the paper I was citing was this guy making the same old tired argument he’s been corrected on before, and if this paper already had evidence of data tampering to get it’s conclusions . . . just imagine the uproar from the usual crowd here. You guys would go nuts over a conspiracy of data manipulation and call the author of that paper all sorts of terrible names. We have evidence of people misinterpreting their data repeatedly, and they all seem to be the ones most beloved by CFACT. One of those is John Christy. Look at the hero you have put on this pedestal. It speaks volumes to the lack of will of CFACT contributors to conduct good faith arguments.