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Why Did Global Warming Stop?

Politics / Climate Change Oct 27, 2013 - 10:20 AM GMT

By: Andrew_McKillop


Have you heard the one about how global warming stopped in 1998? The warmist lobby certainly heard it, and it hurts.
They tried calling it a “pause,” a “hiatus,” a “slowdown” and then groped around to an “unknown mechanism”. Of warming, of course. Despite everything, warming goes on. Even when the figures show it isn't happening it is happening but you, the ignoramus, are unable to appreciate its subtleties. Warmists and their glove puppet friends in the media therefore made a point of ignoring NASA's most recent satellite report on the world's ice sheets.

The Antarctic ice sheet has grown to its biggest on record since regular satellite recordings started in 1979. The Arctic ice sheet has also grown, by a huge amount in the past 12 months.

NASA itself announced the news in an almost-shamefaced way. Its Aug 23 press release firstly said the Arctic ice sheet is itself growing, but only from record low levels – it then gave the figures. It expanded by a cool (excuse the pun) 34 percent in the 12 months from August 2012.

NASA said: “The ice cover of the Arctic Ocean was measured at 2.25 million square miles (5.83 million square kilometers) on Aug. 21. For comparison, the...... Arctic sea ice extent recorded in Aug 2012, was 1.67 million square miles (4.3 million square kilometers)”.  A lot further down the same press release NASA was uncomfortably forced, by facts, to add: “On the opposite side of the planet, Antarctic sea ice..... is heading toward the largest extent on record, having reached 7.45 million square miles (19.3 million square kilometers)”.

Source: US NOAA Datasets/south/daily

The simple facts are that Arctic sea ice cover increased 34 percent and Antarctic sea ice cover grew by 5.25 percent since August 2012. Antarctic land ice, we can note is much larger as well as much thicker than the Arctic's near exclusively sea ice, making it much harder to melt. If both ice sheets start growing, this is a serious or even mortal challenge to the warmist community, or conspiracy. The leading lights of the conspiracy have therefore pulled out the stops to show that you, a stupid member of the general public, must believe global warming is continuing at a terrifying pace.


For NASA, a true-warmist organization, the growth of both Arctic and Antarctic ice cover “appears counter-intuitive”. It saved face for the warmists by absurdly claiming the Arctic is shrinking faster than the Antarctic is so distressingly growing -  but as its own figures show, Arctic ice cover increased a whopping 34 percent in the 12 months since Aug 2012, although we can concede that the Aug 2012 area was the lowest-ever recorded, since 1979 but certainly not in all history.

The true warmists, always given first rank by their glove puppet media friends to the point that the growth of both north and south global ice sheets was virtually suppressed in all right-thinking media, are trying to tell us the Arctic is losing sea ice faster than Antarctic sea ice is expanding.

In fact both are increasing, and NASA supplied the numbers on Aug 21.

So the warmist camp has invented the New Twin Stories of “biomass fertilization” above ground, and “missing heat” lurking deep in the world's oceans. Above all this features the Black Demon called Coal. One thing is certain, coal has a special place in the warmist mindset – and in their handsets, due to coal producing about 40% of the world's cellphones, and 45% of the power they use.

Dr James Hansen has now officially retired, he says. One of his parting shots was to produce, with likeminded warmist colleagues, a 2012 paper titled “Climate forcing growth rates: Doubling down on our Faustian bargain”. This is a scientific-type paper but its basic goal is to explain away the “missing CO2”, that is radically increasing rates of airborne CO2 being “fixed” in biomass, and the causes of why this happened. The threat to the warmists is simple – if CO2 starts getting “fixed” or trapped (or even “sequestered”) in biomass at a much faster rate, this could well explain why global warming isn't happening the way the warmists want. Or not happening at all.

Hansen explains away the “pause” or “slowdown” in global warming by this theoretical mechanism.

Basically he says it depends on coal, due to coal emitting the most CO2 from fossil fuels. His paper written with colleagues said: “We suggest that the surge of fossil fuel use, mainly coal, since 2000 is a basic cause of the large increase of carbon uptake by the combined terrestrial and ocean carbon sinks”.

This is a classic “positive feedback mechanism”. More CO2 in the air enables land and ocean plants to grow faster, and they fix more carbon in so-called “biomass sinks”. They do this faster, but it is impossible to take Hansen's theory as the sole mechanism - several other “carbon sinks” are also operating, although the IPCC purposefully neglects and sidelines them. Or even denies they exist.


Over as little as five decades there have been massive changes in carbon balances and flows. Here are the figures. In 1960 the natural biomass sinks were sequestering about 1 billion tons of excess carbon (human CO2 emissions) annually. By 2011, this had risen to 4.5 billion tons a year. The process is growing faster than the growth of fossil fuel burning.

CO2 fertilization is real, and is an additional factor reducing the “residence time” of CO2 in the air, to be sure, but it is very far from being the only mechanism in play – despite what James Hansen likes to pretend. What this means is that CO2 levels are rising in the air, for sure, but the CO2 stays there a shorter time, and is unable to cause the warming the IPCC calls for in its “only possible theory” from “greenhouse gas” CO2 emitted by fossil fuel burning.

Given the years of uber-hysteria tirades from James Hansen on the subject of coal burning - - “death trains are coal trains” and so forth - - it is interesting to see he now thinks coal burning is reducing global warming! To enrage him a little more, here is a chart from Energy-facts .org on what coal does every 24 hours

Overall and basically, there is no way a 4.5-fold increase in CO2 fixation in 50 years can be attributed only to “biomass fertilization” due to world biomass growth fed on CO2 from coal. Scientific studies for agronomists using closed greenhouses, to build CO2 levels and speed crop growth, show that CO2 levels kept at around 1000 parts per million or 0.1% under optimum conditions can increase plant growth by 30%-40%, but our atmosphere's CO2 has in real term had a fantastically small increase of the gas, rising from about 0.03% to 0.04% through 1960-2013. To be sure, plant growth rates continue increasing, but at a slower rate, when the percentage of CO2 rises to figures like 0.5% or more, that is 12-20 times the present atmospheric concentration, described by warmists as a terrible crisis.

There have to be other mechanisms and causes – but what exactly these are isn't known. The UN FAO's studies on the subject of “biomass fertilization” by CO2 point out the non-lineraity of the effect, and the interaction of several other factors, ranging from water supply to cloud cover, species types and temperature

Unfortunately there is no need asking the IPCC about the subject because it is not “warmist friendly”, and the whole subject is verboten. It refuses to posit a “carbon sink process” due to biomass doping with CO2, but James Hansen did it for them. And then retired.


The warmists, now including a certain Mr Barack Obama tell us 97% of climate scientists agree about global warming being man-made, with 95% certainty, and  according to the IPCC's latest report are 90% sure that world average temperatures will increase by about 0.9 degrees celsius by or before 2099, compared with present day average temperatures.

Previous IPCC reports, the last full one was way back in 2007 (so we are supposed to have forgotten all about its claims), said its panel of carefully chosen well paid warmists, called “scientists”, were about 97% sure average temperatures “could” rise at least 2 degC by 2045. But they fudged the date, to also suggest 2055, or maybe 2065. Move the goalposts and win the game!

In any case, its now 2099. And the warming isn't 2 degC but 0.9 degC. Quite a climb down.

“The planet is warming,” said Kevin Trenberth, an American tested-positive warmist at the US National Center for Atmospheric Research, and a reviewer-approver of IPCC reports. Trenberth says that we didn't notice this New Warming because “The warmth just isn’t being manifested at the surface.”

The warmist U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has therefore produced a suspiciously “just in time” set of charts to show what’s going on deep beneath the ocean's surface. For water depths of 700 – 2000 metres, the NOAA claims that the water's heat content has traced a constant uptrending curve since 1980. This was exactly the date at which the IPCC's Big Heat started becoming so noticeable. To be sure we know what is being discussed, average temperatures at water depths in “abyssal zones”, often 3.75 kilometres deep are around minus 4 degC to plus 0.5 degC, we can note.

Making the story more “scientific”, deep heat is claimed to be growing especially fast in the deepest waters. Trenberth claim that his research shows the oceans suddenly began taking on even more heat at another key moment for the IPCC. The date was 1998 at the same time that global warming – for the IPCC its “surface warming” - began to so distressingly “pause” or “slow” or just simply disappear.

Trenberth was too late to get this exciting stuff into the latest IPCC report because his work was published just after the cutoff date, but the Pachauri panel of “scientists” more than made up for that with extra-lurid sea level rise projections in the report’s “Summary for Policymakers”. Their new sea level rise forecasts utilise the thermal expansion of oceans to claim there will be much higher sea levels than those they forecasted for end-century in their 2007 full report, which projected a global mean sea level rise of 7.1 to 23.2 inches by 2100.

Thanks to deep ocean warming, and what the IPCC absurdly calls “the rapid melting of the Greenland ice sheet as well as portions of Antarctica” - which isn't happening according to NASA but it would be churlish to tell “Patchy' and his Panel this fact – the IPCC now says global sea levels can rise by “up to 32 inches (81 cms) by 2100”.

To be sure, they also say the sea level rise may only be 10 inches in 87 years.  Laying on the doomster rap, the latest IPCC report claims that sea levels will “probably go on rising for centuries” after 2100, even if CO2 levels drop. So why bother reducing CO2 output?

The IPCC was forced, by facts, to report that measured on a decade-long basis, world average temperatures are presently rising, if it can be called that, by 0.09 degC every 10 years, compared with 0.21 degC every 10 years in the glory days for its Warming Business, through 1980-2000.  If we happen not to use their decadal time slots, and for example used 1995-2005, the 0.09 degC-per-decade score shrinks further.

The IPCC's right-think warmist group of “scientists” attributes the slow down in temperature growth to volcanic eruptions, solar cycles, ocean heat absorbtion (of course), cloud cover, and various other factors, bundled together as “natural climate variability”.

Biomass fertilization is presently not yet IPCC-approved, but deep ocean warming is rapidly becoming so.

The by-line is that deep ocean warming “doesn’t mean that the oceans are saving us from global warming”. IPCC-friendly doomsters lick their lips in anticipation of what could happen when or if this heat slowly percolates up through the ocean layers.

They hope the Arctic and Antarctic ice sheets will of course obediently melt, flooding all coastal cities, conforming with former Nazi propagandist Gunther Schwab's prediction in his book “The Dance with the Devil” which gives a Nazi-type tweak to the tale of Humanity and the Faustian Bargain of CO2.

The warmists' real problem is the Earth's forests, grasslands and ocean plankton are gobbling carbon, while the deep ocean waters with their extreme low seafloor temperatures make it easy for this abyssal water to absorb any surplus heat that might arrive. Making it even less likely the IPCC doom-talk gravy train, now using coal, can (excuse the pun) be reheated one more time

By Andrew McKillop


Former chief policy analyst, Division A Policy, DG XVII Energy, European Commission. Andrew McKillop Biographic Highlights

Co-author 'The Doomsday Machine', Palgrave Macmillan USA, 2012

Andrew McKillop has more than 30 years experience in the energy, economic and finance domains. Trained at London UK’s University College, he has had specially long experience of energy policy, project administration and the development and financing of alternate energy. This included his role of in-house Expert on Policy and Programming at the DG XVII-Energy of the European Commission, Director of Information of the OAPEC technology transfer subsidiary, AREC and researcher for UN agencies including the ILO.

© 2013 Copyright Andrew McKillop - All Rights Reserved Disclaimer: The above is a matter of opinion provided for general information purposes only and is not intended as investment advice. Information and analysis above are derived from sources and utilising methods believed to be reliable, but we cannot accept responsibility for any losses you may incur as a result of this analysis. Individuals should consult with their personal financial advisor.

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