The New Pause lengthens once more – Watts Up With That?

By Christopher Monckton of Brenchley

The New Pause has lengthened by another two months. Even though the brief la Niña that began in late 2020 has now ended, on the UAH dataset there has been no global warming for 6 years 6 months till July 2021. As always, the Pause is calculated as the longest period ending in the present that shows no warming trend, taken as the least-squares linear-regression trend on the UAH satellite monthly global mean surface temperature anomalies for the lower troposphere:

On the HadCRUT4 dataset, the New Pause is ten months longer, at 7 years 4 months:

As Table 1 shows, the mild la Niña that has now ended has lengthened the Pause with remarkable rapidity since I first reported it for the period to the end of December 2020. It has lengthened by an average of two months each month:

The New Pause may shorten from now on until the end of this year, when it may lengthen again if the la Niña conditions predicted for this winter indeed manifest themselves.

In last month’s column, I showed Chris Schoeneveld’s graph of the succession of Pauses which, taken together, drove the global warming of the past century or so. The graph shows that each Pause commenced with a larger-than-usual el Niño Southern Oscillation. The y axis was incorrectly represented (which was my fault). Here is the corrected version.

I hypothesized that there might be some causal connection between subsea volcanic activity in the tropical eastern Pacific (where three limbs of the mid-ocean tectonic divergence ridges meet and diverge at a rate an order of magnitude greater than anywhere else in the world) and the el Niño pattern.

John Tillman, WUWT’s resident el Niño expert, disagrees with this hypothesis. On my own, I should hesitate to question that formidable expert. However, Professor Arthur Viterito has been in touch. He has been investigating the subsea-volcanic hypothesis for some years. Here is his map of the mid-ocean divergence ridges, showing the exceptionally rapid rate of divergence in the tropical eastern Pacific, the seat of the el Niño southern oscillation:

Sure enough, Professor Viterito finds a correlation between seismic frequencies in areas of high geothermal flux and global mean surface temperatures:

It is above my pay-grade to determine the extent to which the correlation is causative. However, the sub-ocean seismicity that showed a pronounced increase from 1995 onward is now showing a decline again. If, therefore, the correlation is causative, it may contribute to less rapid warming in the coming decades. What is more, the spikes in sub-ocean seismicity in 1996-7 and 2013-4 were both followed by unusually large el Niño events:

As Ballarotta et al. (2015) point out:

“Although the ocean is largely heated and thermally driven at the surface, several recent studies suggest that ocean geothermal heating can also affect the ocean dynamic and heat budget… By applying spatially constant or variable heat flux in ocean general-circulation models forced with the present-day climate, it is shown that ocean geothermal heating is a significant forcing that can weaken the stability of the water column, warm the bottom water and strengthen the thermohaline circulation…”

As Willis Eschenbach has said in a characteristically brilliant recent column, one of the greatest falsehoods perpetrated by the Thermageddonites is that we can’t account for recent warming except by blaming it on the hated capitalist West and its sins of emission. He put it much more gently than that, for, unlike me, he is never rude, even intentionally. As Willis points out, there are many small perturbations of the climate, each of which could have a large enough influence on temperature to account for most or even all of the ~1 K observed warming in the industrial era.

For instance, the tiny reduction in albedo from 1984-2001 drove a positive forcing greater than the entire anthropogenic forcing over the period (Pinker et al. 2005; Monckton of Brenchley 2011). It was this fact that led the Chinese leadership to realize that global warming is not, after all, a problem, though they are content to exploit it as though it were.

The Stefan-Boltzmann equation (below) shows that emission temperature R0 is a function of total solar irradiance S = 1363.5 W m–2, albedo α2 = 0.294, emissivity ε = 0.94 and the Stefan-Boltzmann constant σ = 5.6704 x 10–8 K W–1 m2, so that the emission temperature R0 is equal to 259.2 K. Reducing albedo by just 0.01 to 0.284 would raise surface temperature by 1 K, after allowing for the increase in emission temperature and in its feedback response.

But has temperature risen by as much as 1 K since 1850, as HadCRUT5 would have us believe? Connolly et al. (2021), in a comprehensive and fascinating review of the temperature and solar-irradiance datasets, have concluded that the surface-temperature datasets continue to be contaminated by the urban heat-island effect. Using standard weighting, they find that rural northern-hemisphere stations show a warming of only 0.41 K/century from 1841-2018, a period northern-hemisphere trend of 0.7 K, equivalent to about 0.6 K globally, compared with 0.91 K (HadCRUT4) and 1.04 K (HadCRUT5) from 1850-2018.

What is more, by studying 16 solar irradiance datasets and identifying the best fits to northern-hemisphere temperature datasets, Connolly et al. conclude that between none (Svalgaard) and almost all (Hoyt & Schatten) of the global warming from 1850-2020 might have been caused by solar variability alone, depending on which irradiance dataset one uses:

“IPCC AR5 appears to have tried to overcome this problem by ignoring those datasets that give conflicting results. Worryingly, from Matthes et al. (2017), it appears that the CMIP6 modeling groups have been actively encouraged to consider only one estimate of TSI for the period 1850-present: i.e., the Mathes dataset. In terms of scientific objectivity, this seems to us to have been an approach that is not compatible with the results already published in the scientific literature and even unwise relative to the results highlighted by this paper and other recently-published works …

“We urge researchers … to consider a wide range of TSI estimates and not just ones that agree with the researchers’ prior beliefs or expectations; … to pay more attention to the scientific debate between the rival TSI satellite composites and to consider the competing datasets when assessing solar trends during the satellite era; … to look more carefully at the differences between the various estimates of Northern Hemisphere temperature trends … in particular, we caution that despite many claims to the contrary … the urbanization bias problem does not appear to have been satisfactorily resolved yet; … we also encourage further research into the potential Sun/climate relationships; … we encourage further research into the role of other possible natural factors which do not necessarily have a solar component on recent climate change …

“In the title of this paper, we asked How much has the Sun influenced Northern Hemisphere temperature trends? However, it should now be apparent that, despite the confidence with which many studies claim to have answered this question, it has not yet been satisfactorily answered. Given the many valid dissenting scientific opinions that remain on these issues, we argue that recent attempts to force an apparent scientific consensus (including the IPCC reports) on these scientific debates are premature and ultimately unhelpful for scientific progress. We hope that the analysis in this paper will encourage and stimulate further analysis and discussion. In the meantime, the debate continues.”

And all that is before considering the many other natural influences that may well have contributed to global warming.

One of the many commendable features of Connolly et al. is that solar physicists on both sides of the climate question co-authored it. It is a fair-minded and balanced presentation of the evidence. IPeCaC, whose latest gaseous halation is due to be published early next week, has consistently failed to achieve that.

Meanwhile, the Fagradalshraun shield volcano, the first in Iceland in about 8000 years, has emitted about a million tons of CO2 in the past four months. Tut tut!

Finally, since the ever-more-ludicrous government of Boris Johnson has abandoned every Conservative and conservative principle and has swallowed the global-warming nonsense hook, line and sinker, it is limbering up for a mighty grandstanding at the October UN gabfest in Glasgow. Here, then, is the temperature record for Glasgow over the past couple of decades: hat-tip to my distinguished co-author Alex Henney. You can be quite sure that the unspeakable BBC and the now-unreliable Economist will somehow fail to report the surely not uninteresting fact that there has been no warming in Glasgow for 22 years.

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