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The Hadley Centre/Climate Research Unit in the U.K. has joined NASA, NOAA, and Berkeley Earth, in reporting 2018 as the 4th-hottest year on record, with the five hottest years being the last five years.
David Whitehouse of the “Global Warming Policy Foundation” wants us all to hear about global cooling.
Evidently, Roy Spencer was so mightily annoyed at Australians and their Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) that he has made his dissatisfaction clear.
He objects to their using the word “record” so often, when talking about the hot temperatures this January. He definitely objects to talk about how heat waves are related to man-made climate change, with distaste for the phrase “Australia’s Extreme Heat is a Sign of Things to Come” when used as part of the title of an article in the Guardian. And, he complains about “alarmists” not knowing the difference between climate and weather.
In my opinion, the most revealing part of Roy’s post is this sentence about records:
Question: How does a dumb claim go from just a dumb claim, to accepted canon by the climate change denialati?
Yes, keep repeating it. If it’s contradicted by evidence, ignore that or insult that. Repeat it again. If you’re asked for evidence, ignore that or insult that, just keep repeating it. That’s how things get burned into brains.
The question arises: how might temperature variation have changed? We all know (if you don’t already, then read this blog!) that things like temperature show a combination of trend and fluctuation. We almost always focus on the trend, because that’s what shows the most obvious changes over time. But those fluctuations … the “noise” that we add to “signal” to get “data” … the “variation” we add to “average” to get the “weather” … are they changing too? Or are they just doing the same old same old kind of fluctuation they’ve been doing all along? This is a very different question than we usually hear about in discussion of climate change, not about a change in the average temperature, but whether or not the fluctuations have somehow changed.
They’re prominent in today’s news on two continents. The great plains of the USA are shivering through some of their coldest temperatures on record as the “polar vortex” invades from the north. Meanwhile, Australians suffer through their hottest month and worst heat waves ever, hell on earth for a place already known for it’s heat.
But mainly, it’s that polar vortex thing. Some have suggested that the rapid warming of the Arctic compared to the rest of the world, plus the dramatic decline of Arctic sea ice, have changed things in a fundamental way. It has thrown a monkey wrench into the jet stream, and during winter it can cause the polar vortex to fragment, part of it diving southward and bringing the deep freeze with it.
A certain David Weissman asked a question on twitter:
The first few answers (listed above) didn’t seem very helpful. Not to worry, David. I’m here for you.