We often hear reports that something is occurring around the world, and then someone responds: “That’s not happening where I live.” And the rebuttal is, “Your neighborhood is not typical of the rest of the world.” In other words, the claim is: this trend is going on everywhere elsewhere despite your not observing it.
For a month now we have been reading in the media about how July was the hottest month in recorded history.
“July was Earth’s hottest month on record, NOAA says” http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-34009289
And at the same time, we read reports about how cool the summer was in Canada, in the US, in the UK, in parts of Europe and how cold was the winter in Australia.
“What a washout! A British summer to forget. In the UK July was colder than average, and we had 140% of average rainfall.” http://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2015/aug/16/washout-british-summer-witness-holiday-experts
“The July contiguous U.S. average temperature was 73.9°F, 0.2°F above the 20th century average and ranked near the middle in the 121-year period of record.” http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/sotc/national/201507
“Wetter than normal summer for most of Canada except B.C.” http://www.vancitybuzz.com/2015/08/wetter-than-normal-summer-canada-except-bc/
“A large swath stretching from eastern Scandinavia into western Siberia was cooler than average, with part of western Russia much cooler than average. Cooler than average temperatures were also observed across parts of eastern and southern Asia and scattered areas in central and northern North America.” (Source: NOAA)
So the question arises: Is there global warming unseen in most observations? How would we know what was observed in July and whether it was unusual or not?
NOAA provides this analysis of July 2015.
Continental Temperature Anomalies July 2015
|CONTINENT||ANOMALY (1910-2000)||TREND (1910-2015)||RANK|
|°C||°F||°C||°F||(OUT OF 106 YEARS)|
The table shows that no continent had the warmest July ever. Africa came close and also South America, which means a milder mid-winter than usual in the southern hemisphere. So how come they claim a record July?
The answer is provided by another NOAA analysis.
Global Analysis of July 2015
|°C||°F||(OUT OF 136 YEARS)||YEAR(S)||°C||°F|
|Land||+0.96 ± 0.18||+1.73 ± 0.32||Warmest||6th||1998||1.11||2|
|Ocean||+0.75 ± 0.07||+1.35 ± 0.13||Warmest||1st||2015||0.75||1.35|
|Land and Ocean||+0.81 ± 0.14||+1.46 ± 0.25||Warmest||1st||2015||0.81||1.46|
So there you have it. Once again the ocean is making the climate, with July SSTs higher because of the Blob and the long-developing El Nino. And we can expect that with all the heat now being released upward from the water, there will be cooling of SSTs and a La Nina in response.
Ruth Dixon has incisively and fearlessly rebutted the public position of a prominent climate alarmist. She summarizes the argument that will be asserted again many times in the weeks ahead of Paris COP. And then she stirs up the sand upon which this whole appeal is built.
The article is a review of the recent book by Nicholas Stern, a leading and longtime advocate for fossil fuel reduction treaties. “Why Are We Waiting? The Logic, Urgency, and Promise of Tackling Climate Change” by Nicholas Stern is reviewed by Ruth Dixon in the October 2015 edition of Journal of Economic Psychology. It is an important statement deserving careful reading and dissemination. An advance copy of the text is here:
In the end, the problem is with the policies themselves:
“In assessing Stern’s avowedly biased book, readers must confront their own biases. Is Stern right to be so pessimistic about climate change and the inability of nations to build up resilience through economic development? Is he right to be so optimistic about the ability of governments to predict and manage change? If he is correct, we need more than ‘communication strategies’ to meet this challenge – we need arguments that do not rely on a selective presentation of the evidence, and solutions that take into account the physical, chemical and engineering challenges that our collective demand for energy requires. Governments regularly implement costly and unpopular policies if they are convinced that they will be effective. The lack of ‘action’ suggests that such policies are not (yet) available.”
In other words, even if you think there are damages to come from future warming, these policies are not a credible response.
There’s more at her blog: “Stern’s book is not reliable on either science or policy.”
Bravo, Ruth Dixon.