James Hansen, one of the key originators of climate change alarmism, is back in the news. This time it is with a prediction that we may see a ten year “hiatus” in global warming. He says that alarmism is not affected. I agree with his prediction but not with his conclusion. In my view alarmism is being falsified right before our eyes.
The big difference between us lies in whose temperature record this hiatus occurs. Hansen sees it as a pause in long-term human caused warming. But I see it as a continuation of almost no warming, and what little there is, is natural. This is a bit complicated, but here goes.
Hansen created one of the leading statistical models that supposedly estimates global surface temperatures. He did this as director of NASA’s Goddard Institute of Space Studies (GISS) so the model is called the GISS Surface Temperature Analysis or GISTEMP. (Hansen is an astronomer by training.)
This computer model shows more or less steady global warming for the last 40 years or so. This supposed warming is the primary basis for climate change alarmism.
GISTEMP has some well known problems, especially the fact that it has been repeatedly adjusted to increase the long-term warming. This in itself is a science scandal, but I think the problems with these statistical models go much deeper.
I argue in my article “Fake Temperatures” that all of these statistical surface models are worthless. Their purported global warming is actually just what is called an artifact of the model, not something real.
My basis for writing off these computer models is that the satellites, which actually measure temperatures, show no such global warming. In real science observations trump computer models.
What the satellites show is explained in my article “No CO2 warming for 40 years?” Simply put the record looks like this. First there is no warming from the beginning in 1978 until 1997, a period of roughly 20 years. Then there is what is called a Super El Nino cycle, which takes several years. After that there is again a long period of no warming. Finally there is the recent Super El Nino, the cycle of which is still in progress.
However, the second long period of no warming is warmer than the first. Thus there is indeed some global warming in this record, but it looks to be caused by the Super El Nino cycle. There is no evidence of human cause in this small warming and it is the only warming in the record.
This leads to the question: what will happen after the present Super El Nino cycle ends? What is obviously most likely is that we will see another long period of no warming. This period may well be a bit warmer than the last period, just as that period was a bit warmer than its predecessor.
So in this limited respect I agree with Hansen, which is something I never expected to happen! But while he sees a coming hiatus as just a minor glitch for climate change alarmism, I see it as another big nail in the coffin.
There simply is no evidence of human caused global warming in the entire satellite record. What small warming there is looks to be entirely natural, a bit of heat left over from a Super El Nino cycle.
If this pattern continues for another ten years it will surely mean that the hypothesis of dangerous human caused global warming is finally falsified by real world observation.