NYT: Global Warming Halted Because… We're Lucky

By Michael Bastasch

The New York Times has attempted to explain the slowdown in global warming over the last fifteen years. Their answer: We’re just lucky.

“As unlikely as this may sound, we have lucked out in recent years when it comes to global warming,” writes the NYT’s Justin Gillis.

“The slowdown is a bit of a mystery to climate scientists,” Gillis continues. “True, the basic theory that predicts a warming of the planet in response to human emissions does not suggest that warming should be smooth and continuous. To the contrary, in a climate system still dominated by natural variability, there is every reason to think the warming will proceed in fits and starts.”

Read the rest at Daily Caller.

  • This just floors me. Great post Dan, BTW. I just love the straw man argument they use.

    “Gillis argues that global warming skeptics are still wrong to claim that global warming is not caused by carbon dioxide emissions.”
    “We certainly cannot conclude, as some people want to, that carbon dioxide is not actually a greenhouse gas.”

    I don’t know of anyone who says that. Anyone credible anyway. All of the people I trust on the skeptical side of the debate say that there has been some warming caused by CO2, but that it does not, or will not, cause the catastrophic warming predicted by the IPCC and others like Hansen and Mann, and will only cause a slight increase in temperatures. As far as I can tell the argument is about positive and negative feedbacks. Nobody says that CO2 is not a “greenhouse” gas! And there is always something I always like to point out, and that is the physical properties of CO2. Its properties of heat absorption, which is established scientific fact, that CO2 is incapable of absorbing more than a small number of wavelengths of IR radiation, and when those certain bandwidths reach saturation CO2 can’t absorb anymore heat. You never hear anyone on the warmist side talk about that, or even acknowledge it.

    And then, they come up with this ridiculous theory that the deep ocean is retaining the “extra heat”!!! I have stated many times that I am not a scientist, but I do work in the HVAC field as a service tech, so I do know a thing or two about the laws of thermodynamics. One of the laws of thermodynamics is that heat flows from hotter to colder. Which means that if you dump a pail of hot water into a tub of cold water the heat from the hot water will flow into the colder water by conduction, and temperature will seek equilibrium. In other words the cold water will warm up, and the hot water will cool down until the total volume of water reaches the same temperature. So, unless there is something insulating the different layers of the ocean from one another, and I don’t think they can make styrofoam sheets that big, I really don’t see how that would be possible. They may say things like salinity, or fast currents might be the reason, but neither of those things can change the fact that heat moves from hotter to colder. And after thinking about that, there is also convection to consider, i.e. heat rises. Convection is what makes air masses move up, as in thermals. It’s also what drives the thermohalene ocean currents. So even if there was “extra heat” in the deep ocean I think we would see evidence of that in the speed of the ocean currents, which I have not heard anything of the sort from anyone.

  • Come on now folks, don’t be shy. I know there are people out there looking every day. This site is here so you can say what you think, so say it.

  • Scott

    We’re lucky, huh? I suppose we are lucky too that vampires haven’t arisen from their lairs and attacked and killed the whole population. Assertions must have evidence to support. The premise of global warming had “evidence”, and unless the hypothesis can account for this cooling trend logically, you are at risk of destruction of the hypothesis. i.e. you’ve discovered that it is all BS.

    • Great Scott! No, I mean that’s great, Scott. I agree. I would submit to you though that most of the “evidence” of global warming was rendered from computer models, and therefore, in my estimation, was all conjecture to begin with.

      Note to Dan: I don’t think I like the new look, but I’m sure I’ll get used to it….. eventually.

      • By the way, Neil – you don’t have to worry so much about image size on posts anymore. The software will automatically create a thumbnail of the right size for the front page excerpt. You an use images of just about any size for the posts, as long as it isn’t some 900 pixel image that takes the whole screen width.

  • The new site design has much improved functionality. I’m sure you’ll get used to it, and then it will change again (the new design is a work in progress forced by a needed software upgrade).

    • There really is only one thing I don’t like, and that is the circular avatar. I guess I like corners!

      • I’m not loving that either, but haven’t figured out how to change it yet.

        • Oh well. It’s not that bad. “Public Menace #1” fits nicely in the circle.

  • Porky

    Neilio, you are in over your head. Nothing you have said makes a bit of sense – stick with fixing air conditioners, you’ll be less of a public menace that way.

    [Please review the site’s posting rules – http://www.globalclimatescam.com/posting-comments/ – and avoid making the discussion personal. Stick to the issues – moderator]

    • I’m a public menace? Really? If you can refute what I say, then do so. You can’t just say I’m wrong without giving reasons why you think so. So let’s hear it, Porky. How am I over my head? Why has nothing I said made any sense? I’d really like to know what you think. I am really curious.

      • Porky

        I’ll start with your lesson on thermodynamics and how that explains the circulation on the oceans currents and therefore global warming is a hoax….HUH ???

        There’s just a lot more to it than that. Global warming/climate change is not a hoax. The hoax is “green energy.” But CO2 is changing our climate, it is making the polar regions warmer particularly the Arctic. Ice is melting and it is changing the jet stream, which will and probably already has changed our climate.

        For better or worse we are running a global climate experiment and we, all of us, are the guinea pigs or lab rats if you will.

        • No, I didn’t say global warming is a hoax because of that. I’ve been saying anthropogenic global warming was a hoax long before this issue was brought up.
          And what aspect of the thermohalene circulation is not governed by the laws of thermodynamics? I think there would be some kind of noticeable, detectable effect upon the ocean currents if there was indeed a large amount of heat “trapped” deep in the ocean. Sorry.

          I’ve never said that climate change is a hoax. On the contrary. The climate is constantly changing. And it has been constantly changing ever since there was a climate. The planet itself has been constantly changing for 4 1/2 billion years. I’ve never said global warming was a hoax either. The climate has been either in a warming phase, or a cooling phase on a cyclical basis since year 1. It’s constantly global warming and then global cooling. Warming, cooling, warming, cooling, warming, cooling, warming, cooling, warming…… you get the point. You notice a pattern emerging don’t you?
          The hoax is AGW, or Anthropogenic Global Warming. The theory that Man’s release of CO2 into the atmosphere is causing catastrophic warming. If it were true we would already be seeing the global temperature rise along with the computer model predictions, which is just not the case. You do know that atmospheric concentrations of CO2 surpassed 400 ppm a couple of weeks ago, right? What you may not be aware of is the fact that CO2 could double to 800 ppm and there would only be a negligible increase in its heat trapping capabilities. That’s because CO2 only absorbs 3 narrow bandwidths of IR radiation, and when those three narrow bandwidths are absorbed it does not matter how much more CO2 you add. And that saturation point has already passed. I don’t recall the level but it was somewhere between 250-300 ppm.
          The only thing that can really warm up the Earth is the Sun, and if you look into that you’ll find that the Sun has gone quiet, prompting many scientists to theorize that we may experience global cooling in the decades to come.
          Also if you look at the Arctic, and the Antarctic, the Antarctic is growing, and the Arctic is not melting at the previously predicted levels.
          It is true that the jet stream is changing but how is that connected?

          No, the better explanation for what we are witnessing today is that the changes that we see are happening naturally. Just as they have been happening naturally for 4 1/2 billion years.
          Do you really think that in the last 50-60 years we have caused all of these things to happen? Causing changes that have occurred naturally, on their own time and time again? I don’t think so.

      • Libtard

        Er, um, you call yourself public menace do you not?!

        • No, that’s what you called me. I liked it so much I made an avatar with the slogan.

          • Libtard

            Sorry, wasn’t me.

          • No, you’re right that was not you RNH. It was Porky a few comments above. I am mistaken. I stand corrected. I have been in error on a few posts then. I have no idea why I am confusing Libtard, a.k.a. Rob N’ Hood, with Porky. Actually, I do think I know why. I have been working about 12 hours a day for the last couple of weeks, and frankly I am exhausted. I think I’m going to take a little time away from posting. I’m going to come back when things settle down at work, and I can actually respond to the correct people. I just realized I responded to a few posts thinking I was talking to one of you, but it was another. Time to take a break!

  • Porky

    So true Neilio the climate does change naturally over time how stupid of me to suppose otherwise. Things like the sun, the earth’s orbit, tilt of its axis, etc. can cause the climate to change. Other things too like the natural variation of CO2 can cause a “natural climate change” and it has. Yeah CO2….chuckle…can do that. Go figure?

    And about the polar ice caps….they’re melting, yeah that’s right and most people who study these things, who know a lot about thermo, fluid dynamics, heat transfer and just plain ole physics say it’s because of…..wait for it….Carbon Dioxide.

    http://nsidc.org/arcticseaicenews/

    http://www.csmonitor.com/Environment/2013/0614/East-Antarctic-ice-shelves-melting-at-surprising-pace-study-suggests

    Speaking of heat transfer, CO2 just doesn’t absorb radiation and hold onto it forever. It passes it on to other molecules as heat that increases there motion (temperature). CO2 is a lot like the bumpers in a pin ball machine…..maybe you don’t remember them but they slow the advance of a steel ball rolling down the inclined plane of the machine. The more bumper the longer it takes them to reach the bottom.

    At sea level there are currently about 160 quadrillion CO2 bumpers in every cubic inch of air….before the industrial revolution there were 112 quadrillion. But water is also a greenhouse gas and much more prevalent but it is less so in the polar-regions. Therefore you could expect CO2 to have a greater impact there – and that seems to be the case.

    • http://wattsupwiththat.com/2008/01/22/surprise-theres-an-active-volcano-under-antarctic-ice/

      “In fact, there are a LOT of volcanoes in Antarctica as you can see in this image. Notice that many are near the edge of the ice, and there are none in the interior, which may be a lack of discovery of ancient ice buried volcanoes. Most scientific bases are near the sea, rather than inland, for supply and weather tolerance purposes and there are many places in the interior that have yet to be fully explored.”

      http://pjmedia.com/blog/noaa-warmest-june-ever-caveat-we-made-it-up/

      “GISS uses measured temperature data from lower latitudes and then extrapolates them to the Arctic. Using this method, any readings warmer than average in the lower latitudes are pushed into the Arctic by a smoothing technique. GISS uses a 1,200 kilometer smoothing for its data, meaning that the temperature reading for one thermometer is used as the temperature for a 1,200 kilometer box in all directions from that location. Where there are more thermometers, the boxes overlap, and the readings of one thermometer are averaged with others around them. This reduces the effect of each individual thermometer.”

      But in data-sparse regions, the value of one thermometer takes on a much greater value.”

      As for heat transfer, if your understanding of the process is the analogy of pinball bumpers, then your understanding is woefully inaccurate. Another analogy I’ve heard is the billiard ball analogy. While being slightly more accurate than pinball bumpers, this one is still just as inadequate.
      I think it’s more like a cube full of Ping-Pong balls shot with a BB gun. The BB strikes one ball and the energy is distributed kinetically to the balls around it. But in the case of CO2, it is the three wavelengths of 2.7, 4.3 and 15 micrometers that hit the molecule. The reaction is a re-radiation that is a small part re-emitting of 2.7, 4.3 and 15 micrometers, but most of the energy is given off as heat that warms the molecules around it through conduction. I’ve understood this for a long time. This is the “greenhouse” effect (that is really not how a greenhouse works, but that’s what they call it) that keeps our atmosphere warm enough for us to exist.
      But here’s the thing, there is a finite amount of energy from the Sun so eventually all of the 2.7, 4.3 and 15 micrometers of radiation from the Earth are absorbed. Of course there is the matter of those bandwidths being re-emitted, but that is why they call it diminishing returns, and makes the “saturation” effect logarithmic. But adding more CO2 will not increase it. Adding more radiation from the Sun will.

  • porky

    Neilio, the earth’s radiant heat transfer and balance is indeed a complicated subject. I would suggest you read the paper listed below on the subject. It refutes your “saturation theory” and your “logarithmic correlation” of temperature vs CO2 concentration.

    The bottom line is the more CO2 you add the higher the temperature. Currently we are pouring about 65 to 70 trillion pounds of CO2 into the atmosphere every year about 60% remains there the rest is absorb mostly in the oceans.

    http://geosci.uchicago.edu/~rtp1/papers/PhysTodayRT2011.pdf

    Your comment about how the earth’s temperature is calculated was interesting. Apparently you’ve never heard of statistical inference or the calculation of multivariable correlations – they use small samples to make correlations and inferences about the overall population. Believe me it’s a common practice. It’s used in every manufacturing process, in labs, universities, by the government and yes by climatologists – no big deal, nothing to write home about.

    But even so assume they are wrong, what about the polar ice loss….what about that Neilio? Oh that’s right another theory, but on this one I had to chuckle, the one about volcanoes causing the melting of the Antarctic ice shelf. I guess that also explains the ice loss in the Arctic Ocean, Greenland and mountain glaciers.

    A NASA study (yes, I know they can’t be trusted, but whatever) found that the Antarctic ice loss from melting alone was about 2.92 quadrillion pounds a year. Assuming volcanoes caused this melting it would take about 550 volcanoes the size of Krakatoa to erupt every year to melt that amount of ice….oh well !

    http://www.nasa.gov/topics/earth/features/earth20130613.html

    http://digitaljournal.com/article/343309

  • porky

    Duplicate comment deleted.

  • Ok. I am well rested as things at work have settled back to a normal pattern. I am no longer exhausted and am less likely to confuse Porky for Libtard, A.K.A. Rob N’ Hood.

    Porky, I am willing to admit that the radiative transfer issue is one that I do no fully comprehend, and there is more to it than I thought. But the bottom line of that issue is that there is an effect that occurs while adding more CO2. Whether it is logarithmic or not does not matter. There is a diminishing return.

    We can argue about that but it does not really matter in the grand scheme of things.

    What does matter is one thing really. Is the global average temperature rising? After all, that is what everything is all about. Is it not?

    As far as the melting of the ice, I have to ask. If it is melting at such a rapid pace, why is the Arctic sea ice extent this year within 2 standard deviations of the 1981-2010 average? It has been within 2 standard deviations of the 1981-2010 average this entire year. Shouldn’t it be much lower?

    http://nsidc.org/data/seaice_index/images/daily_images/N_stddev_timeseries.png

    That just doesn’t jibe with what you’re saying. Arctic sea ice melts and reforms every year. Look at the animations here.

    http://a-sceptical-mind.com/the-arctic-is-not-melting

    You have to be careful about the studies you rely upon. Are they observational, or are they computer models? Personally I don’t believe computer models. You can make a computer model say whatever you want it to say. They are a direct reflection of the programmer’s personal opinions, biases, and predeterminations. There is nothing objective about them.

    I rely upon observational studies. And observation tells us that the computer models are wrong. They have failed. Observation tells us that not only has the world not warmed as predicted, but has actually slightly cooled. You can tout all the science you want, but in the end it can’t be relied upon to predict anything. And it won’t until science becomes honest once again. Scientists need to stop changing facts to prove the theory, and change the theory to fit the facts. That’s what needs to happen.

    Bottom line is that we have only been able to observe global temperatures since around 1850. And more accurately since the 50’s. The rest of history is all from proxy data, which has a much larger margin of error. But we know from the proxies that there have been periods that were warmer, with less CO2 than current levels, and colder, with more CO2 than current levels. But the truth is we really don’t have a complete history of the climate. What we do have, that is accurate, is not even a drop in the bucket in geologic time, the rest is just a best guess.
    I believe that we don’t know everything, and we never will know everything. And there are things that effect our climate that we are not aware of as of yet. The things that we do know are astounding like changes in Earth’s orbit, and axial shift, to variations caused by moving through the radial arm of the galaxy. It’s a very, very complex issue. But nope, it’s CO2! Whatever.

  • Porky

    As far as the melting of the ice, I have to ask. If it is melting at such a rapid pace, why is the Arctic sea ice extent this year within 2 standard deviations of the 1981-2010 average?

    Neilio, statistic is apparently not your strong point…..two standard deviations away from the average means it’s an outlier, that something extraordinary is occurring that’s elementary Neilio…..come on man !!!!!

    By the way check out this interactive model of that same data. As you click each year you can see how the minimum ice is sagging downward as the years progress.

    The polar regions are warming that is indisputable. What is disputed is whether man is causing it….it is disputed by people with no facts or knowledge or whatever.

    http://nsidc.org/arcticseaicenews/charctic-interactive-sea-ice-graph/

    • I have seen that before, to it I say so what? The sea ice melts every Summer, and comes back every Winter. 2012 appears to be the lowest sea ice extent since 1979. But is it the lowest since 1879, 1779, 1679, 1579, 1479, 1379, etc.? Do we know what the sea ice extent was 600, 700 years ago? What about 1000 years ago? What was the Arctic sea ice extent when Jesus was walking around? Do we know any of that? Do we know what the variations from year to year, or month to month were back then? No we don’t. It is ridiculous for us (humans) to look at the data we have, which isn’t even a blink of an eye to geologic time, and say anything definitively about what causes what! And even more ridiculous to claim that we have caused the climate to change!
      It’s not only ridiculous, it is the epitome of arrogance.

  • Porky

    Wow Neilio, very convincing comeback…..overwhelming in fact it really stump me, no kidding. But, oh wait I found this with just one little search on the internet and I quote.

    “Arctic sea-ice extent and volume are declining rapidly. Several studies project that the Arctic Ocean may become seasonally ice-free by the year 2040 or even earlier. Putting this into perspective requires information on the history of Arctic sea-ice conditions through the geologic past.

    This information can be provided by proxy records from the Arctic Ocean floor and from the surrounding coasts. Although existing records are far from complete, they indicate that sea ice became a feature of the Arctic by 47 Ma, following a pronounced decline in atmospheric CO2 after the Paleocene–Eocene Thermal Optimum, and consistently covered at least part of the Arctic Ocean for no less than the last 13–14 million years.

    Ice was apparently most widespread during the last 2–3 million years, in accordance with Earth’s overall cooler climate. Nevertheless, episodes of considerably reduced sea ice or even seasonally ice-free conditions occurred during warmer periods linked to orbital variations.

    The last low-ice event related to orbital forcing (high insolation) was in the early Holocene, after which the northern high latitudes cooled overall, with some superimposed shorterterm (multidecadal to millennial-scale) and lower-magnitude variability.

    The current reduction in Arctic ice cover started in the late 19th century, consistent with the rapidly warming climate, and became very pronounced over the last three decades. This ice loss appears to be unmatched over at least the last few thousand years and unexplainable by any of the known natural variabilities

    Types of paleoclimate archives and proxies for the sea-ice record. The past distribution of sea ice is recorded in sediments preserved on the seafloor and in deposits along many Arctic coasts. Indirect information on sea-ice extent can also be derived from terrestrial paleclimate archives such as the coastal vegetation and ice cores.

    Such paleoclimate information provides a context, within which the patterns and effects of current and projected future ice conditions can be evaluated.”

    http://www.geo.umass.edu/faculty/jbg/Pubs/Polyak%20etal%20seaice%20QSR10%20inpress.pdf

    Sorry Neilio but I can’t answer your question about Jesus, he could walk on water so ice shouldn’t have been a problem ?

  • http://www.worldclimatereport.com/index.php/2012/01/30/the-problem-with-proxies/
    ” “Proxies” are putative indicators of climate for which there are no direct measurements. Tree rings, for example, are wider when the summer is wet and not too hot. The actual “explained variance” between them and, say, annual temperature is complex to derive and not all that high. The same is true for most other types of proxies (e.g., corals, ice cores, lake sediments, stalagmites, boreholes, etc.). Therefore, the uncertainties in using proxies to “reconstruct” some aspect of the climate are typically large (certainly larger than typically portrayed) and making (robust) conclusions from such analyses becomes a bit tricky. Such problems are among the reasons that many people jumped all over Michael Mann’s infamous “hockey stick” reconstruction of climate, which claims to accurately represent annual temperatures on a year-to-year basis back some 1000 years. Lesson: be very careful with proxy climate data.”

    http://www8.nationalacademies.org/onpinews/newsitem.aspx?RecordID=6222006
    “Based on the analyses presented in the original papers by Mann et al. and this newer supporting evidence, the committee finds it plausible that the Northern Hemisphere was warmer during the last few decades of the 20th century than during any comparable period over the preceding millennium. However, the substantial uncertainties currently present in the quantitative assessment of large-scale surface temperature changes prior to about A.D. 1600 lower our confidence in this conclusion compared to the high level of confidence we place in the Little Ice Age cooling and 20th century warming. Even less confidence can be placed in the original conclusions by Mann et al. (1999) that “the 1990s are likely the warmest decade, and 1998 the warmest year, in at least a millennium” because the uncertainties inherent in temperature reconstructions for individual years and decades are larger than those for longer time periods, and because not all of the available proxies record temperature information on such short timescales.”

    http://www.nap.edu/openbook.php?record_id=11676&page=19
    “Although care is taken when selecting, analyzing, and interpreting proxy data, there is always the possibility that the relationship between the proxy and local surface temperature may have varied over time. Most proxies are sensitive to temperature only during certain times of year, and the proxy may reflect temperature variations on timescales longer than the calibration period.

    In the absence of a consensus as to which methods or statistical formulas are most appropriate for calibrating and validating these reconstructions, different choices made by different investigators and research groups also contribute to the differences between them. In some cases the choice of whether or not to include one or more proxy records in a reconstruction has also been a factor.”

    Sorry, but the proxy data for any given time scale can’t be viewed as an accurate model of past climate. The data is gathered and interpreted by human beings, and as such the data has the same problems that computer models have. That it can be used to present the researchers predeterminations, biases, and personal opinions. It also has the uncertainties increase with the time scale.
    Proxy data IMO can only give us a rough outline of what we think the climate might have been. It does not give us an accurate description of what the climate was.

  • Porky

    Neilio, all will agree that some proxy data and computer models can be flawed, but all of them? The proxies are just an attempt to get answers using available science and technology to prove whether or not the climate is warming and/or changing compared with the past.

    Where is your proof that it isn’t, where Neilio? All you have is skepticism, that and nothing else, big deal. In fact all your references cited say that proxies are limited in some situations but they don’t say they are completely wrong.

    In addition we were talking about the arctic ice field not temperature, the proxies for that are different. And finally ice cores are now used more as a temperature proxy than tree rings which do have a lot of problems.

    And yes, human scientists and researchers do make mistakes, but peer reviews 99% of the time resolve them. And the last time I looked Neilio humans do at least a 100% of the research – I’d be interested in what you would replace them with.

    http://www.econ.yale.edu/~nordhaus/homepage/documents/icecore_review.pdf

    • “Neilio, all will agree that some proxy data and computer models can be flawed, but all of them? The proxies are just an attempt to get answers using available science and technology to prove whether or not the climate is warming and/or changing compared with the past.”

      You said it! It is an attempt to get answers. It is not fact. It is an educated guess, at best. At worst, it is whatever the researcher wants it to mean. And as far as comparing present climate to the past, it’s like comparing a 3D hologram to a cave drawing.

      There are problems with ice core samples as well as any other type of proxy because the isotopic composition is affected by a lot of different things like changes in sea-surface temperature and composition, changes in atmospheric circulation, changes in cloud temperature, and changes in the seasonality of precipitation. And there really is no way to determine which of those factors has contributed to the isotopic composition in any given sample! I think it’s all bunk especially when the vast majority of the scientists yanking out ice core samples, and other paleo-proxies, are doing it to prove AGW. You’re dang right I’m skeptical!

      And I don’t have to prove that it isn’t, because the “proof” that it is, is thinner than rice paper, and really, once you look at it closely enough, isn’t really proof at all.

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