By John Hinderaker
The Earth's climate is changing, as it has for millions of years. Recent changes, however, are mild and benign, as opposed–for example–to being plunged into another ice age. The most accurate record we have of modern temperatures comes from satellites. Their readings are, in fact, the only transparent, uncorrupted temperature records in existence. Surface temperature records are unreliable because of siting issues, poor coverage of the oceans, failure to recognize the urban heat island effect, and deliberate falsification by alarmist climate scientists, who constantly revise temperatures recorded decades ago to make the past look cooler. The problem with satellite temperature data, of course, is that it only goes back to 1978.
That said, we now have 37 years of satellite data. What trends to those records reveal? Anthony Wattsprovides an excellent summary:
The average temperature of Earth's atmosphere has warmed just over four tenths of a degree Celsius (almost three fourths of a degree Fahrenheit) during the past 37 years, with the greatest warming over the Arctic Ocean and Australia, said Dr. John Christy, director of the Earth System Science Center at The University of Alabama in Huntsville. Microwave sounding units on board NOAA and NASA satellites completed 37 complete years of collecting temperature data in November, giving us nearly global coverage of climate change during that time.
If that trend was to continue for another 63 years, the composite warming for the globe would be 1.1 C (about 2 degrees Fahrenheit) for the century, Christy said. That would put the average global temperature change over 100 years well under the 2.0 C (3.6 degrees F) goal set recently at the climate change summit in Paris.
Are the alarmists trying to set a low bar that will be achieved regardless of any changes in CO2 emissions, and then claim credit for saving the planet?
Watts notes that a "1.2 C or 2.2 degrees F rise over 100 years would be roughly equal to the warming seen most spring days between 10 a.m. and noon." Interestingly, however, the warming over the last 37 years has not been uniform. The North Pole and Australia have warmed the most, while other regions, like Antarctica, have cooled. Here are the basic data, expressed in average temperature change per decade:
Global average trend.: +0.11 C (about 0.20 degrees Fahrenheit) per decade since December 1978.
Northern Hemisphere: +0.14 C (about 0.25 degrees Fahrenheit) per decade since December 1978.
Southern Hemisphere: +0.09 C (about 0.16 degrees Fahrenheit) per decade since December 1978.
Tropics: +0.10 C (about 0.18 degrees Fahrenheit) per decade since December 1978.
Of course, the trends of the last 37 years may not continue. The Earth might warm more rapidly over the next century, or it might begin to cool. But the best data that we have, the satellite records, reveal only mild and benign warming.
They also conclusively refute the computer models on which the alarmist project is based; only a fraction of the warming predicted by the models has taken place. To quote, once again, the great physicist Richard Feynman:
It doesn't matter how beautiful your theory is, it doesn't matter how smart you are. If it doesn't agree with experiment, it's wrong.