For some reason, Saint decided to include an anti-global warming rant in today’s Missing Link. It’s part of an “interview” between warming denialist Institute of Public Affairs
shill/scientist Jennifer Marohasy and denialist pundit Michael Duffy:
Duffy asked Marohasy: Is the Earth still warming?
She replied: No, actually, there has been cooling, if you take 1998 as your point of reference. If you take 2002 as your point of reference, then temperatures have plateaued. This is certainly not what youd expect if carbon dioxide is driving temperature because carbon dioxide levels have been increasing but temperatures have actually been coming down over the last 10 years.
You can see how Marohasy manages to utter at least the first two sentences with a straight face by examining the graph at right. 1998 is the peak of a very large El Nino spike, but global average temperatures kept climbing both before and after it. Picking 1998 as the commencing year is also blatantly dishonest.
You can, however, see that the last two years have registered very slight falls in average temperature. Does that mean Marohasy has a genuine point? In fact, if anything it reinforces the fact that human-generated greenhouse gases continue to exert a significant upward impact on global climate. The last two years have seen the combination of a significant La Nina event (which has a downward impact on global temperature just as an El Nino has an elevating impact) and the bottom or solar minimum of the 11 year sunspot cycle. These are two major drivers of climatic fluctuations, so you would expect to see a major fall in global average temperatures back towards the 1960s average if, as the denialists assert, increases in human-generated atmospheric greenhouse gases are having little or no impact on climate.
Instead, the fall has been tiny and the cumulative increase caused by the increasing atmospheric concentration of CO2 and the like remains starkly evident. Indeed it was the undeniable reality of the miniscule scale of the flattening and drop, when it should have fallen markedly if the denialists were right, that two or three years ago convinced me personally of the reality and scale of global warming having previously been moderately skeptical of major warming claims.
People like Marohasy, however, are unconcerned with making objective assessments of the evidence. Their game is to use whatever superficially plausible arguments they can in an attempt to mislead people who can’t or won’t examine the evidence for themselves and prefer to see the broad scientific consensus (that human-generated warming is a reality and a serious threat) as merely the self-interested exaggerations of a small group of unprincipled grant-seeking scientists being touted by a sinister conspiracy of lefties and greenies intent on undermining capitalism (or some such bizarre fantasy).