That seems to be the message coming from much of the overheated "mainstream" news in reports on the cold snap that started the winter of 2008-2009. Agence France Press (AFP) reported on January 8:
A cold front is sweeping across Europe after gripping swathes of North America last month, but the deep freeze does not mean the threat of global warming has abated, caution scientists.
"The problem is that people are confusing weather with climate," Susan Solomon, a top scientist on the UN's Intergovernmental Panel for Climate Change (IPCC), said in a recent interview.
"Weather is important locally, and from year to year. But what you really have to look at when you are interested in climate is the larger scale — the whole world — and the longer term," she said.
Even if 2008 was on balance chillier than 2007, it still ranks as the 10th warmest year on record, she pointed out.
Funny how that works. Al Gore and the UN's IPCC "consensus scientists" are keen to draw a distinction (legitimate, by the way — when used legitimately) between local, short-term weather and global, long-term climate, when it suits their agenda. However, the same folks who invoke this point to convince us to pay no attention to global cooling trends are the same ones who pounce on every local weather (and non-weather) anomaly — drought, rain, hurricanes, tornadoes, hail storms, toenail fungus, tooth decay, male pattern balding, stray cats, genocide in Sudan — as "proof" that man-made carbon dioxide is causing global warming.
But what about the last claim mentioned in the AFP report by the IPCC's Susan Soloman: "Even if 2008 was on balance chillier than 2007, it still ranks as the 10th warmest year on record"?
That is a claim being repeated in many media reports. Surely, it must be based on reputable data, yes? As it turns out, no; it is more hot air coming out of Britain's Hadley Center for Climate Prediction and Research. Like NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS), run by global-warming alarmist James Hansen, the Hadley Center is a very politicized institution, given to hand-wringing apocalyptics. The dire pronouncements and predictions coming out of Hadley are based on very skewed data sets, as statisticians and scientists 5have been pointing out for some time (for examples, click here, here, and here).
However, Hadley isn't alone in this pickle; it turns out that many of the major centers producing temperature data that is used by global-warming modelers are employing questionable data gathering methods. In this regard, meteorologist Joseph D'Aleo writes:
Well the global data bases of NOAA GHCN, NASA GISS and Hadley CRUT3v are all contaminated by urbanization, major station dropout, missing data, bad siting, instruments with known warm biases being introduced without adjustment and black box and man made adjustments designed to maximize warming (Steve McIntyre found more urban areas had their temperatures adjusted up than down). Also ocean temperatures are an issue with a change in the methods of measurement and incomplete coverage. Hadley uses their own merchant ship data and that covers some heavily traveled routes but has no coverage of the vast southern oceans (the oceans cover 70% of the world's surface).
The biggest issue that is disturbing climate scientists with regard to data is "station dropout," which is no small matter. It seems that as many as two-thirds of the world's weather stations ceased reporting around 1990. Many of those were in the rural areas of former Soviet Union (FSU), particularly Siberia. With so many colder stations no longer in the record, it is not surprising that the data would show temperatures rising. And the stations still remaining in the FSU tend to be concentrated in the urban areas, where the "urban heat island effect" produces additional bias for warmer temperatures.
This and other important information contradicting the global warming alarmist "consensus" is leaking out, even into some of the major media. A January 8 op-ed by Robert L. Bradley, for instance, entitled "Climate-change alarmism runs into a reality check," in the Houston Chronicle notes:
The new century has cooled the case for climate alarmism. Global warming has stalled — not accelerated as expected. Greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere have increased, but temperatures have been flat for the last eight years and have slightly fallen since 1998's El Nino-driven temperature spike.
Britain's Telegraph offered two important recent pieces on the great global warming crack-up: "2008 was the year man-made global warming was disproved" and "Global warming: Reasons why it might not actually exist."
Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.), in a speech delivered on the Senate floor January 8, 2009, detailed the startling recent developments that have seen prominent scientists, environmental activists, and journalists jumping off the global warming band wagon. Inhofe's speech is available here, as are links to many articles and video news clips by and about prominent converts from climate alarmism to climate realism.