Global Warming? Not Lately

Global warming hysteria marches on. It is all around us, reinforced every time it is hot somewhere, or perhaps even when it is cold (e.g., the recent record cold temperatures in Antarctica), or when it is too wet or, equally, too dry. If you didn’t know better, you would think from press accounts that global warming is an accomplished fact.

But the reality is quite different. In recent years, whatever warming was formerly going on has stopped. Satellite measurements, the only reliable means of estimating global temperatures, indicate that the Earth has not warmed in nearly seven years. That is remarkable–seven years of warming hysteria with no warming:

The New Pause has lengthened by a further month, from 6 years 8 months to 6 years 9 months. As usual, it is calculated as the longest period, up to the most recent month for which data are available, during which the trend on the UAH global mean lower-troposphere temperature dataset is zero.

Surface temperature measurements are less reliable, less transparent, and subject to frequent after-the-fact “adjustments” that reduce temperatures actually recorded in the past with thermometers. Nevertheless, for what it is worth, the main surface dataset shows no warming–in fact, a very slight cooling–for an even longer period:

HadCRUT4 has at last updated its surface-temperature record to August 2021, showing no global warming for 7 years 6 months. For almost all the period between IPCC’s 2013 and 2021 Assessment Reports, there has been no global warming at all.

History suggests that human beings are not, by nature, empiricists. There are countless instances of humans clinging to theories that by rights should have been discredited by experience. To take an extreme example, consider the current popularity of socialism in what was once a mainstream political party. A less extreme case of irrationality is Europeans’ clinging for centuries to the “four humours” template of human health, even though that theory never allowed anyone to cure any other one of anything. Global warming hysteria is heir to a long, if not honorable, tradition.