Here’s a first for the Herald — they now have an Australian comedian writing their climate alarmist stories. We’ve been laughing at their climate stories for years, but now it’s funnier. This Aussie comic makes mischief with an account of recent anomalously high temperatures in the Arctic, complete with references that explain what’s happening. It’s not actually man-made, but he claims it is and forgets to mention the other explanations. Maybe he thinks we won’t check his references, but we did.
The Herald says: “Charles Firth majored in Economic (Social Science)—which seems to be the Bachelor of Political, Economic and Social Sciences degree—at Sydney University. He is also editor of The Chaser Quarterly.” The funny part of that? It’s not obvious that economic (social science) instructs the student in the science of global warming, which is mildly funny. More importantly, the Herald seems blissfully unaware of what Wikipedia thinks is public knowledge:
Charles Henry Burgmann Firth is an Australian comedian, best known as a member of The Chaser productions CNNNN and The Chaser’s War on Everything.
In the Herald last week Charles (call me Charlie*) Firth described his sadness that global warming was destroying the North Pole, the land of Santa. Charlie went into tear-jerker mode as he claimed he couldn’t bring himself to admit to his wide-eyed 6-year-old that “Santa’s big red jacket is probably too warm, even at the North Pole.” Oh, dear, it’s climate change fear. He claimed Santa was a fantasy but climate change was not. He didn’t actually mean climate change, which is natural, very real and as old as the earth. Charlie has caught the orthodox climate bug and was referring to climate change as defined by the United Nations, which is only anthropogenic, not natural. Never mind, many see them both as fantasy.
In the Firth (sorry, the first) reference we get maximum climate change hyperbole, courtesy of the Independent.
Strange, super-hot temperatures at the Arctic mean that sea ice is melting. Strange events in the Arctic appear to suggest that something very troubling is happening with the sea ice there, scientists have said.
The North Pole is experiencing hugely unexpected hot sea temperatures, which are stopping the usual ice from forming and could be a mark that something [sic] global warming is having even more worrying effects than previously thought.
In most years, the sun goes down in mid-October and that serves as a signal that the sea ice will start coming back as the water freezes. But this year that ice is actually melting, because intense heat is stopping the usual processes from happening.
Scientists say that heat has never been seen in previous years and is “off the charts” when compared with what has happened before. Temperatures have been as much as 20C hotter than where they usually should be.
Wow! Worrying. But then:
Next, Science Alert gives us the good news:
Temperatures near the North Pole are an unheard of 36°F (20°C) warmer than average right now, researchers have reported. The Arctic is currently in the midst of polar night, where the Sun hardly ever rises. (my emphasis)
More comedy. The sun never rises during polar night — it always waits till dawn.
This takes us to that fine ol’ newspaper, the Washington Post, which continues the tabloid approach with the headline: The North Pole is an insane 36 degrees warmer than normal as winter descends. Their level-headed Energy and Environment reporters subscribe to the shock and awe doctrine, regardless of the facts:
But in fall of 2016 — which has been a zany year for the region, with multiple records set for low levels of monthly sea ice — something is totally off. The Arctic is super-hot
Gosh, level-headed science here—”zany”, “totally off”, “super-hot”. But they give us a glimpse of the reason for the shock and awe: the meteorological movement of air around the polar region.
even as a vast area of cold polar air has been displaced over Siberia.
They make the quite normal air movement (if rarely this extreme) sound extraordinary. I guess that’s why they’re journalists sitting on the beach/deck/lake jetty, while we’re hunched over our sandwiches reading their alarming stories.
To summarise, the Herald says it might be (shock, horror!) only two years before the North Pole disappears; the Independent tells us the Arctic is 20 °C hotter than it usually is, and the Washington Post exclaims breathlessly that northern temperatures are “an insane 36 degrees [Fahrenheit] warmer than normal.” Apparently, a year ago, a large storm drove Arctic temperatures 50 °F above normal. So it’s not unusual, though they ignore that when exclaiming that it’s getting worse.
The real story
The Herald’s source doesn’t get serious, doesn’t tell its readers the truth. Instead, it waffles on pretending to explore the ramifications of this serious disturbance in the force.
Science Alert does a bit better. They explain that a combination of low sea-ice extent, thin ice and high-level winds have pushed warm, moist air into the Arctic and warmed it up.
But the Washington Post finally helps us out a lot more than the others do.
Abnormally warm air has flooded the Arctic since October. Richard James, a meteorologist who pens a blog on Alaska weather, analyzed 19 weather stations surrounding the Arctic Ocean and found that the average temperature was about 4 degrees (2 Celsius) above the record set in 1998.
Since November, temperatures have risen even higher. “It is amazing to see that the warmth has become even more pronounced since the end of October,” James wrote on his blog.
Mark Serreze, who heads the National Snow and Ice Data Center in Boulder, Colo., agrees that something odd is going on. Not only are air temperatures unusually warm, but water temperatures are as well. “There are some areas in the Arctic Ocean that are as much as 25 degrees Fahrenheit above average now,” Serreze said. “It’s pretty crazy.”
What’s happening, he explains, is sort of a “double whammy.” On the one hand, there is a “very warm underlying ocean” due to the lack of sea ice forming above it. But, at the same time, kinks in the jet stream have allowed warm air to flow northward and frigid Arctic air to descend over Siberia.
Charlie claims the temperature has shown a regular pattern for the past 100,000 years but that’s bunkum. He finishes up perfectly breathless with anxiety:
But 22 degrees is different. This moment has long been theorised, and now it’s here. This is the awful moment where the feedback loops start feeding into each other in a big way.
Now he’s frightening himself with his own shadow.
There’s no need to panic over global warming. Sure, the weather events are distinctly odd and out of their normal range, but they have been given a normal explanation. Man-made climate change had nothing to do with it. The air has not warmed over the Arctic, warm air has invaded the Arctic. Air movements, wind, perfectly normal, no need to sell your SUV, no need for a carbon tax. No need to disappoint your children over Santa.
The mischief is in preferring an alarming interpretation over the scientific. Though there’s something funny about that, there’s no humour in it.
* I made up the ‘call me Charlie’ part. That’th the Firth thing. I’ve forgotten what the thecond thing ith.