It’s Official: No Global Warming Since 1997 – OpEd


The Daily Mail of London has reported that despite its support for global warming alarmism, Britain’s National Weather Service (U.K. Met Office) has quietly unveiled a report admitting that there has been no warming from January 1997 through August 2012. (Here also are the data sets for the report as well as an analysis from the Global Policy Warming Foundation of the findings.)

The world stopped g

etting warmer almost 16 years ago, according to new data released last week.

The figures, which have triggered debate among climate scientists, reveal that from the beginning of 1997 until August 2012, there was no discernible rise in aggregate global temperatures.

This means that the ‘plateau’ or ‘pause’ in global warming has now lasted for about the same time as the previous period when temperatures rose, 1980 to 1996. Before that, temperatures had been stable or declining for about 40 years.

The new data, compiled from more than 3,000 measuring points on land and sea, was issued quietly on the internet, without any media fanfare, and, until today, it has not been reported.

Meanwhile, the U.K. Met Office then tried to play down the report with global warming scientist Phil Jones (of Climategate fame) dismissing the results. However renowned Georgia Tech climate scientist Judith Curry has pointed out why the results are correct and that the computer models used to predict future warming are “deeply flawed”:

Some climate scientists, such as Professor Phil Jones, director of the Climatic Research Unit at the University of East Anglia, last week dismissed the significance of the plateau, saying that 15 or 16 years is too short a period from which to draw conclusions.

Others disagreed. Professor Judith Curry, who is the head of the climate science department at America’s prestigious Georgia Tech university, told The Mail on Sunday that it was clear that the computer models used to predict future warming were ‘deeply flawed’.

Even Prof Jones admitted that he and his colleagues did not understand the impact of ‘natural variability’ – factors such as long-term ocean temperature cycles and changes in the output of the sun. However, he said he was still convinced that the current decade would end up significantly warmer than the previous two.

Professor Curry further notes that:

Climate models are very complex, but they are imperfect and incomplete. Natural variability [the impact of factors such as long-term temperature cycles in the oceans and the output of the sun] has been shown over the past two decades to have a magnitude that dominates the greenhouse warming effect. It is becoming increasingly apparent that our attribution of warming since 1980 and future projections of climate change needs to consider natural internal variability as a factor of fundamental importance.

And even Professor Jones has admitted the following:

We don’t fully understand how to input things like changes in the oceans, and because we don’t fully understand it you could say that natural variability is now working to suppress the warming. We don’t know what natural variability is doing.

As the Daily Mail has noted:

Yet it has steadily become apparent since the 2008 crash that both the statistics and the modelling are extremely unreliable. To plan the future around them makes about as much sense as choosing a wedding date three months’ hence on the basis of a long-term weather forecast.

Few people would be so foolish. But decisions of far deeper and more costly significance than those derived from output figures have been and are still being made on the basis of climate predictions, not of the next three months but of the coming century – and this despite the fact that Phil Jones and his colleagues now admit they do not understand the role of ‘natural variability’.

The most depressing feature of this debate is that anyone who questions the alarmist, doomsday scenario will automatically be labelled a climate change ‘denier’, and accused of jeopardising the future of humanity.

So let’s be clear. Yes: global warming is real, and some of it at least has been caused by the CO2 emitted by fossil fuels. But the evidence is beginning to suggest that it may be happening much slower than the catastrophists have claimed – a conclusion with enormous policy implications.

Also see the following:

Hot Talk, Cold Science: Global Warming’s Unfinished Debate, by S. Fred Singer, Foreword by Frederick Seitz

New Perspectives in Climate Change: What the EPA Isn’t Telling Us, by S. Fred Singer, John R. Christy, Robert E. Davis, David R. Legates, and Wendy M. Novicoff

“Is There a Basis for Global Warming Alarm?”, by Richard S. Lindzen (Yale Center for the Study of Globalization)

“Should We Have Acted Thirty Years Ago to Prevent Climate Change?”, by Randall G. Holcombe (The Independent Review)

“After Kyoto: A Global Scramble for Advantage,” by Bruce Yandle (The Independent Review)

David J. Theroux

David J. Theroux is Founder, President and Chief Executive Officer of The Independent Institute and Publisher of The Independent Review. He received his B.S., A.B., and M.S. from the University of California, Berkeley, and his M.B.A. from the University of Chicago. Books produced by Mr. Theroux have been the recipients of the Eric Hoffer Book Award Grand Prize, Templeton Freedom Award, two Mencken Awards for Best Book, seven Sir Antony Fisher International Memorial Awards for Best Book, two Benjamin Franklin Awards, four Independent Publisher Book Awards, Peter Shaw Memorial Award, and three Choice Magazine Awards for Outstanding Book. He is Founder and President of the C.S. Lewis Society of California, and he was founding Vice President and Director of Academic Affairs for the Cato Institute and founding President of the Pacific Research Institute for Public Policy.

4 thoughts on “It’s Official: No Global Warming Since 1997 – OpEd

  • October 28, 2012 at 2:26 pm

    With all the talk of “global warming” it should not be forgotten that the elephant is the INCREASE of CO2. Since the beginning of the industrial revolution the amount of this gas in the atmosphere has nearly doubled; what is an essential item for life on our small planet is now threatening to be in an amount also life threatening. Temperature extremes in the last 1000 years have all been less than what has been estimated for the last 50,000 years.

    Ergo, regardless of cyclical temperature changes humans must stop/reverse the destruction of the capacity for natural PHOTOSYNTHESIS to (re)cycle the essential CO2 produced and expelled by ALL living cells but only reabsorbed by the PHOTOSYNTHETIC cells.

    Polluting water bodies, cutting down forests, paving over grasslands, and hybrid (lacking greenery) agro-crops, all contribute to crippling the earths ‘breath of life’ and will if not reversed, ultimately end life on this small planet.

    Incidentally the wasteful burning of fossil fuels in itself in a world where the natural PHOTOSYNTHETIC capacity which ORIGINALLY sunk all the carbon now being released was still intact, would NOT result in any significant changes; the RE-sinking would be as per the original. .

  • October 29, 2012 at 10:10 am

    >it may be happening much slower than the catastrophists have claimed – a conclusion with enormous policy implications.

    Yay! It means that we won’t be killing our children by what we do now,only our grandchildren. And maybe not even them: perhaps not even our great-grandchildren.

    Well, that’s alrighty then! Who cares about them! I’ll be alright for the rest of MY life. After all, all species go extinct sooner or later.

    Eat, drink, pollute, rape the environment, kill, destroy and be merry, for tomorrow we die!

    Making whoopee rules, OK?


    PS as a “catastrophist”, might I suggest that perhaps if they knew something about complexity science, they may be able to better discern what is going on? It could be worse news, not better.

  • October 31, 2012 at 8:10 pm

    Water vapor has a much more powerful greenhouse effect than carbon dioxide, methane, or any of the other greenhouse gasses. If any global warming exists, at least part of the blame must be placed on evaporation from EPA protected wetlands.


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