Another round of silliness in The Canberra Times. This letter appeared in the Firday 29 April 2011 edition:
The latest satellite temperature records show that the cooling trend of the last 13 years is not continuing. It is gathering pace. The warmists have not been correct in any prediction over the last 25 years and they have been spectacularly wrong in predicting temperature. Will the warmists tell us which of their predictions have come true? Or should we just accept they are right and never ask inconvenient questions?
I responded with this:
Brian Hatch (Letters, 29 April) repeats the standard climate deniers’
claim that there has been a cooling trend in global temperatures since
1998, and that it is accelerating.
All I can say is that this reveals an embarrassing ignorance of
statistics. You don’t credibly measure the underlying trend in time
series data by picking the peak of a huge, brief upward spike in
temperature (the 1998 El Nino event, the strongest in a century) as
the starting point, and the base of a large, brief downward spike (the
current La Nina event) as the end point. The underlying trend is
revealed by looking at long term averages, and how they change over
time. Whether you look at satellite data, land and ocean surface
measurements, or any number of other lines of evidence, the underlying
trend shows very clear warming taking place since the 1970s.
Brian also claims that none of the predictions made by “warmists”
(presumably he means climate scientists) over the last 25 years have
been right. A brave assertion, given that climate scientists have
correctly projected that the global surface temperature would rise at
a rate of between 0.15 and 0.2 degrees per decade; that warming would
be significantly greater in the Arctic than in the tropics; that as
the lower atmosphere warmed, the stratosphere would cool; that global
sea levels would rise as greenhouse gases increased; that the Arctic
would lose ice as CO2 rose; that warming would be relatively greater
at night than in the day; that the land would warm faster than the
ocean; that the tropical band of weather systems would expand; that we
would see more frequent extreme weather events… and the list goes
It’s amazing that these kinds of ill-informed memes have been taken
seriously by senior politicians.
A nice example of the refusal of deniers to acknowledge evidence that doesn’t fit their fixed beliefs. Brian Hatch pushed the same “no predictions have been correct” line just a few months ago, and I responded in very similar terms. Round and round we go…