Record warming caused by El Nino, not us

Global Warming Science Fiction cartoon

One or the other, but not both

Our warming nerve has been over-stimulated. Every time we hear of warming we get defensive and/or afraid for the future.

But there’s an important feature to the latest “record high” years we would do well to remember — humanity had nothing to do with them.

Dr Roy Spencer discusses the 2010 global average temperature on his web site, concluding that the difference between 2010 and the previous record high year, 1998, is hardly worth mentioning.

In 1998, the world experienced the greatest El Nino ever recorded, pushing temperatures to a new record.

In 2010, the world again experienced a very strong El Nino. Fuelled by that alone, 2010 might have been another record year but for the end-game intervention of a very deep La Nina, which immediately dragged temperatures down so they did not exceed the high temperatures of 1998.

But it’s rather obvious that neither record year owes anything to man-made global warming. The high temperatures were caused by the natural cycles of the ENSO.

This is non-controversial and nobody denies it.

If anyone disputes this, and says it’s all been “exacerbated” by our emissions of CO2, they must answer this:

In 2010, the global average temperature anomaly was about +0.411 °C. How much of that was caused by human emissions?

If human emissions were responsible for, say, 0.4 °C over the last hundred years (which is disputed), that’s the same as an annual increase of 0.004 °C, which was neither here nor there in determining whether 2010 set a record temperature.

Be neither guilty, nor afraid.