By Michael Fumento
There has been no global warming for a long time, as I wrote recently in Forbes Online (”Show Me the Warming,” Nov. 30, 2009).
I noted that Kevin Trenberth, a lead author of the warmist bible, the 2007 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report—told Congress two years ago that evidence for manmade warming is “unequivocal.” He claimed “the planet is running a ’fever’ and the prognosis is that it is apt to get much worse.” Yet in one of the released emails he admitted that data showed there was no warming “at the moment.” I then explained:
But Trenberth’s “lack of warming at the moment” has been going on at least a decade. “There has been no [surface-measured] warming since 1997 and no statistically significant warming since 1995,” observes MIT meteorologist Richard Lindzen. “According to satellite data, global warming stopped about 10 years ago and there’s no way to know whether it’s happening now,” says Roy Spencer, former NASA senior scientist for climate studies.
The atmospheric concentration of CO2 keeps going up, yet temperatures for the last decade have been flat
The importance of this is that during the past decade, we’ve belched so-called “greenhouse gases” (GHGs) into the atmosphere at ever greater rates, from 6,510 million metric tons in 1996 to 8,230 in 2006—a 26% increase. Atmospheric concentrations have also reached the highest levels ever observed.
Now Professor Phil Jones, director the University of East Anglia Climatic Research Center and the central figure in the ‘Climategate’ affair, has conceded there’s been no ‘statistically significant’ warming. Naturally he said it was a “blip” and not a trend, and he may well prove right. But that doesn’t eliminate the problem that this “blip” has been occurring with historic GHG emissions, therefore the grossly simplistic formula of GHG emissions = warming is false.
He also made what may be the strongest admission by a major warmist that the earth could have been warmer during medieval times (about 800 - 1300) when mankind was emitting essentially no GHGs. (Viking ships did use sails, you may recall.) And he said that the debate over whether the world could have been even warmer than now during the medieval period, when there is evidence of high temperatures in northern countries, was far from settled.
Heretofore, warmists tried to dismiss this altogether or say it only applied to northern climes.
Nevertheless, “There is much debate over whether the MWP was global in extent or not,” Jones admitted, adding “The MWP is most clearly expressed in parts of North America, the North Atlantic and Europe and parts of Asia.”
He said that, “For it to be global in extent, the MWP would need to be seen clearly in more records from the tropical regions and the Southern hemisphere” and “There are very few palaeoclimatic records for these latter two regions.” Still, “If the MWP was shown to be global in extent and as warm or warmer than today, then obviously the late 20th Century warmth would not be unprecedented.”
In that case, he should be informed of a Nature magazine study last year indicating water temperatures in the area of Indonesia were the same in the MWP as they are today.
You can read some of the specific questions and answers here with annotations by Indur Goklany.
Let’s salute Phil Jones’s honesty - even if he only came by it relatively late in life.