Global-warming alarmists and acolytes of the Goracle dismiss skeptics as “deniers,” asserting that the science is settled and that we have to take drastic action NOW before catastrophe strikes. They demand Congress pass the Waxman-Markey cap-and-trade bill, which would be a catastrophe in its own right, not the least for fostering a trade war during a recession. Those who stand in their way deserve to be placed on trial for treason against the planet, in their view.
Their shrill hostility arises, in part, from mounting frustration that the scientific evidence is more and more turning against them. The latest blow comes not from some mere blog or mass-market pop-science book, but from one of the most respected peer-reviewed scientific journals in the world, The Journal of Geophysical Research. In the July 23rd issue, in an article titled “Influence of the Southern Oscillation on tropospheric temperature,” researchers McLean, de Freitas, and Carter argue that the vast majority of observed temperature anomalies over the past 50 years are due to shifts in the Pacific Ocean’s temperature pattern, not greenhouse gases:
Time series for the Southern Oscillation Index (SOI) and global tropospheric temperature anomalies (GTTA) are compared for the 1958−2008 period. GTTA are represented by data from satellite microwave sensing units (MSU) for the period 1980–2008 and from radiosondes (RATPAC) for 1958–2008. After the removal from the data set of short periods of temperature perturbation that relate to near-equator volcanic eruption, we use derivatives to document the presence of a 5- to 7-month delayed close relationship between SOI and GTTA. Change in SOI accounts for 72% of the variance in GTTA for the 29-year-long MSU record and 68% of the variance in GTTA for the longer 50-year RATPAC record. Because El Niño−Southern Oscillation is known to exercise a particularly strong influence in the tropics, we also compared the SOI with tropical temperature anomalies between 20°S and 20°N. The results showed that SOI accounted for 81% of the variance in tropospheric temperature anomalies in the tropics. Overall the results suggest that the Southern Oscillation exercises a consistently dominant influence on mean global temperature, with a maximum effect in the tropics, except for periods when equatorial volcanism causes ad hoc cooling. That mean global tropospheric temperature has for the last 50 years fallen and risen in close accord with the SOI of 5–7 months earlier shows the potential of natural forcing mechanisms to account for most of the temperature variation.
I wonder when their heresy trial starts?
Meanwhile, scientists belonging to the American Chemical Society and American Physical Society are in open revolt against the leadership of their societies for trying to declare, a la Al Gore, that the fact of anthropogenic global warming is established beyond doubt and that skeptics are obstructionists.
That consensus is sure looking solid, isn’t it?
Finally, reader Porkchop forwards a link to an editorial from an article yesterday’s Boston Globe. It may not be scientific, but it asks a good question: You call this summer?