2 December 2016
We all knew it was coming, and this week it was delivered, just in time for Christmas. It’s the post El Nino, “The globe is cooling and climate change has stopped” myth.
First an explanation:
During an El Nino event, very warm water covers much of the Equatorial Pacific, warming the air while cooling the oceans. Because of this, the hottest years globally are almost always El Nino years, and the global temperatures almost always dip some after the El Nino dissipates. Now, it’s been a running joke in the science community that once this super El Nino fades, someone would claim the globe is cooling, and that climate change has A) stopped, or B) is a hoax.
The folks at Climate Central in Princeton anticipated this silliness many months ago and produced the graph below. Note how the temp. drops after each El Nino event, but look at the whole graph, and you see that the trend is up, and that upward trend is due to the rising greenhouse gases. There is no doubt about that scientifically, and anyone who claims otherwise cannot produce any science to back it up.
Well, our wait is over, courtesy of The Daily Mail (new home of the Whopper?), and an alt-right website. They made the absurd claim we knew was coming, and it’s a classic case of cherry picking data, telling half the truth, and only showing a partial data set. All packaged very neatly to make you believe something that’s just not true. You can read some details on the deception courtesy of Jason Samenow at the Washington Post. A more detailed summary (for my fellow geeks) is available from TAMINO showing what the Daily Mail left out (and just got plain wrong). The short of it: Yes indeed the planet is not as hot as it was in the summer, because we’ve gone from an El Nino to a weak La Nina. It’s no surprise, but we’ve been waiting for someone to imply that it is.
Here are some real facts:
1. 2016 will be the hottest year on record, beating the current holder of that record LAST YEAR, and the year before that 2014.
2.The reason that part of North America is going to get cold next week, is because WINTER IS COMING.
3. If someone is showing you satellite based temperature data, you should know that this is the least reliable data set we have on Earth’s temperatures.
4. The RAW NASA data of Earth’s temp. is HERE. See for yourself how this October compares to the previous years.
Jason Samenow ended his piece in the Post with the following: “Serious meteorologists and climate scientists across the country have a responsibility to counter such misinformation.”
He’s right, and that’s why I am writing this post and will share it widely on social media. Make no mistake, the Daily Mail story is propaganda dressed up to look like science, and our failing science standards mean that most Americans are unable to tell the difference.