Friday, January 10, 2014

Why are alarmists denying ...er what?

Sou | 1:48 PM Go to the first of 6 comments. Add a comment

Anthony Watts has been recycling a lot of gumpf at WUWT lately.  He's been rehashing worn out protests at the latest IPCC AR5 report.  Now he's delving even further back in time, using his "quote of the week" article (archived here) to dig up some Time magazine articles from forty years ago.  Why? I don't know, but he did write this:

The mid-20th Century cooling trend is clearly present in the instrumental record, at least in the northern hemisphere…
...So, why are the warmists so obsessed with denying this? Is the mid-20th century cooling period so “inconvenient” that it has to be erased from history like the Medieval Warm Period?

Anthony gets his data from the very people he accuses of erasing it!

And from where does Anthony get his information that the northern hemisphere cooled down a bit in the middle of last century?  From the records provided by climate scientists.  Those very same climate scientists who he accuses of having "erased from history" the information he got from climate scientists!

Anthony posted this chart of northern hemisphere temperatures from 1942 to 1978 from woodfortrees.org.

Let's put the above chart of northern hemisphere temperatures in context and look at an animation comparing it to the period 1900 to 2013 - and compare it to the southern hemisphere and the entire world.  I'll leave his trendlines for 1942 to 1978 in there.

When you look at surface temperatures in context of the longer period of rising temperatures, Anthony's wails about all that "cooling" seem a tad out of proportion.  And of course, his claim of "erased from history" is nothing but histrionics.

The temperature record is hiding in plain sight for all the world to see

How about what the IPCC says about the period spanning 1942 to 1978 or thereabouts. If the temperatures of these decades are hidden, they are hidden in plain sight.

Fig 2.19 IPCC AR5 WG1
 The text of the IPCC report is also hidden in plain sight.  For example, from page 2-38 of the IPCC report:
Warming has not been linear; most warming occurred in two periods: around 1900 to around 1940 and around 1970 onwards (Figure 2.22. Shorter periods are noisier and so proportionately less of the sampled globe exhibits statistically significant trends at the grid box level (Figure 2.22). The two periods of global mean warming exhibit very distinct spatial signatures. The early 20th century warming was largely a NH mid- to highlatitude phenomenon, whereas the more recent warming is more global in nature. These distinctions may yield important information as to causes.

And has this been "erased" from page 10-16 of the IPCC report?
GMST [global mean surface temperature] warmed strongly over the period 1900–1940, followed by a period with little trend, and strong warming since the mid-1970s (Section 2.4.3, Figure 10.1). Almost all observed locations have warmed since 1901while over the satellite period since 1979 most regions have warmed while a few regions have cooled (Section 2.4.3; Figure 10.2).

While Anthony goes about un-writing history, climate scientists are more concerned with explaining  it.  Anthony Watts is going off half-cocked as usual.

From the WUWT comments

The comments are just the usual chorus, echoing Anthony Watts denial and disinformation (archived here).

lurker, passing through laughing goes for religion and doesn't understand the definition of the word "extreme":
January 9, 2014 at 9:34 am
This reminds me so much of superstitious religious fanatics: No matter what happens, it is the hand of God. A tortilla with an interesting mark: a sign from God. A cow dies? A portent. A comet passes in the sky, a message form God.
AGW is pernicious because it enables its true believers to fool themselves into thinking they are on the “side of science”, and are not simply indulging their prejudiecs and predilections.
Think on this: If extreme weather was in fact becoming more frequent, then why do we typically have to look back 20 or more years to find the prior examples?

Mike Freeman doesn't appreciate the above comment and says:
January 9, 2014 at 9:55 am
@ lurker
Any particular reason you threw in the nasty hack at people of faith or is it just because you’re a hateful bigot?

All that happens is that Mike Freeman gets attacked mercilessly by several other WUWT-ers.

Aldous gets it about right, but doesn't seem to want to accept it:
January 9, 2014 at 9:38 am
I believe the warmist argument is thus: “Well sure TIME magazine and other media sources talked about global cooling but there was never a bonafide, genuine, 100% authentic Scientific Consensus™ like there is about warming today!”

ba says:
January 9, 2014 at 3:59 pm
The initial impetus for US funding of large scale climate research of the late 1970s and 80s was to investigate the harbingers and timing of the next ice age as insurance against a catastrophic surprise onset.

Txomin hasn't looked at the actual record, and typical of a denier says:
January 9, 2014 at 5:46 pm
The record is in denial.


  1. "If extreme weather was in fact becoming more frequent, then why do we typically have to look back 20 or more years to find the prior examples?"

    That would make a great poster.

    Strange that Watts emphasizes this period. It did not refute global warming and makes the "hiatus" he loves to post about look puny and even less of a challenge.

  2. The reasons
    for the mid-20th century pause actually support the science of global warming. The Wuwtians have to ignore the physics of climate forcing in order to pretend that the science is wrong.

    Intellectual dishonesty and self-delusion are burned into their DNA.

    Bernard J.

  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

  4. and of course they don't go so far as to check the source to see what was actually being said:

    "...the rapidity with which human impacts continue to grow in the future, and increasingly to disturb the natural course of events, is a matter of concern." – 1975 NAS report

    UNDERSTANDING CLIMATE CHANGE: A program for action Review by W M Connolley

  5. This is a useful paper:

    "The Myth of the 1970s Global Cooling Scientific Consensus," W. Peterson et al, Bull. Amer. Meteor. Soc., 89, 1325–1337, 2008

  6. I've also compiled a list of some important climate science papers and reports since Fourier, showing that by 1975 plenty of people were thinking about the warming effect of CO2 emissions:



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