Geologist Dr. Sebastian Lüning’s and Prof. Fritz Vahrenholt’s website looks at the NOAA’s and NCDC’s relentless search for new climate records with which to scare the public. But as they show, despite what these alarmists conjure up, the warming is not getting faster, period.
Figure 1: Temperature development of the last 33 years based on UAH satellite data. Source: climate4you.
We keep hearing scary claims like: “May 2012 was one of the hottest the globe has seen since records began!” or “CO2 in the Arctic hits 400 ppm level!” or “2011 was the warmest year with a cooling La Nina-effect!” are just some recent examples. In the USA, the picture looks the same, where the warmest May since 1895 was recorded (see Climate Central and WUWT).
But as Lüning and Vahrenholt explain, many of these records use arbitrary startpoints in the statistical record and are thus designed to create “a record”. It’s time to get back to science, they say.
A look at the global satellite temperature series shows that May 2012 is in no way anything unusual and fits right into the ongoing temperature plateau the Earth has been stuck at for quite some time now (see Figure 1). Lüning and Vahrenholt write:
It is quite amazing how stubborn this warming stop has been. Not one of the IPCC models had predicted this plateau. Also the hyped up temperature prognoses made by Hartmut Graßl and James Hansen have been shown to be far from reality, [read here, for example.]”
Ok, one could say that the temperature plateau is only 14 years long, and shouldn’t longer periods be considered? Here often the ominous 30-year rule gets applied. Somehow that’s considered okay. But luckily we also here have a development that’s good news. With each year the temperature plateau extends, the 30-year window shifts a step out of the strong warming period of 1977-1998. As a result a greater part of the plateau enters the calculation. Year by year the warming rates decreases.
But for many, 30 years are impractical. Satellite data have been around for only 33 years, for example, and here not much can be statistically calculated. Therefore, a group led by IPCC lead author Ben Santer once checked over which intervval length actually makes sense in order to find the man-made impact on temperature. They reached the result that it has to be at least 17 years.
And lo and behold we find a world record of a completely different type: Currently we are experiencing the lowest temperature rise of a 17-year series since satellite temperature data began. At the moment the warming rate is a minsicule 0.04°C per decade; this is an absolute record low. A few years ago the figure was up to 0.26°C per decade, i.e. more than six times higher.”
Gee, I wonder if we’re going to read that in the newspaper or any NOAA press release? Don’t hold your breath.
Figure 2: Currently we are experiencing the lowest temperature increase of a 17-year series since satellite data began. Source: dh7fb.
While some places like the USA are enjoying warm weather, the opposite is true in great Britain, which has seen weeks of cool, rainy weather. Lüning and Vahrenholt write: “The forecasts project that there will not be any noteworthy warm spell until at least September. Daily Express writes ‘Summer starts in September’.”
That takes us to another new record: the most missed “barbecue summers”!
Lüning and Vahrenholt conclude:
While alarmist pseudo-records can help to fill newspaper space and attract funding, the sense behind this selective approach has to be regarded with great skepticism.”