Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change

Heads Up Climate Change Combatants: Global Warming Likely To Resume This Year


Global Warming
Dreamstime: Meryll

Why? El Nino. The El Nino Southern Oscillation (ENSO) is a weather phenomenon in which hot water near Indonesia sloshes over to the coast of Peru. When this happens it dramatically boosts the average temperature of the global atmosphere. The highest global average temperature recorded in the past 150 years or so occurred during the big El Nino of 1998. On June 5, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Climate Prediction Center issued a statement predicting that there is a 70 percent chance that an El Nino will emerge this summer, rising to an 80 percent chance that it will arrive by this fall and winter.

El Nino

The U.N.'s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change 2013 Physical Sciences report issued last September acknowledged that global average temperatures during the past 16 years have not been increasing as the climate computer models projected that they should have done. Nevertheless, the IPCC report states that the current temperature slow-down will soon end and declares:

It is more likely than not that internal climate variability in the near-term will enhance and not counteract the surface warming expected to arise from the increasing anthropogenic forcing.

What sort of internal climate variability? A big El Nino would certainly do. In other words, when the warm-up resumes, IPCC predicts it will soar.

By how much? The IPCC report projects:

The global mean surface temperature change for the period 2016-2035 relative to 1986-2005 will likely be in the range of 0.3°C to 0.7°C.

This implies increases of 0.15°C to 0.35°C per decade. Keep in mind that the satellite data finds that the globe since 1979 has been warming at a rate of 0.14°C per decade.

Some climatologists speculate that a big El Nino could "flip" the Pacific Decadal Oscillation from its current cool phase to a warm phase, thus ending the temperature "hiatus." If the El Nino happens later this year, it's safe to predict that planet warming will pale in comparison to the heated rhetoric exchanged between climate "alarmists" and "deniers."

One short-term good could come of an El Nino—lots of rain for California and other parts of the parched Southwest.

NEXT: Pro-Russian Separatists Are Flying the Confederate Flag. Why?

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  1. Why, yes, it is a hot, humid day today here in Central Virginia. First really hot day this year, which is pretty good for June 11.

    1. I’ll be departing for DC from LA this Saturday for a ten week internship. I can’t say I’ve ever experienced truly hot and humid weather. I’m excited.

      1. You poor devil. We’ll see how excited you are after ten weeks of DC summer.

        1. I grew up near LA. I’ve lived near DC, and in 4H (Hazy, Hot, Humid Hampton Roads) and Central Virginia. I can attest he’s in for some things new to him. Sweat that won’t evaporate and nights that don’t feel much cooler than the shade in the day were the two biggies to me.

        2. Considering the lively DC bar scene, I’m going to try and maintain a near constant state of intoxication to help me cope with the weather.

    2. I think El Ninos tend to dry out the south.

      1. In Houston and Tallahassee, it means rain most afternoons.

        1. Which is great for Houston.

        2. Afternoon rain is the norm, Nino or not.

  2. You’d think the icebergs still in Lake Superior would act as a pretty solid temperature sink…

    Anecdotally, we are not yet back to “average”. I remain skeptical that the El Nino will be historic.

    1. Those bergs are just weather, and weather is not climate. You stupid denier.

      Now this El Nino thing, that’s a climate event. Unless it doesn’t confirm global warming. Then it’s just weather.

    2. They’re gone now. As of like yesterday or the day before.

        1. And the comments are pretty funny.

  3. If made-for-SciFi channel movies have taught me anything – it’s that crises like this (Glowball Warming/Change/Disruption) can be solved by the precise explosion of one or more, large nucular bombs.

    I await the mushroom cloud.

    1. Call a great big climate change convention for the warmists in the middle of a desert, say Nevada, and nuke it. Problem solved.

      1. Burning Man?

    2. But what about the sharknados that such a strike will create?

      1. The KOCHTOPUS should be able to keep the sharknados at bay.

    3. Nucular winter will cool things off. Hey, we’ve found the solution to global warming/change etc.

      1. It’s been a while since there was a really big volcanic event. We’re probably due for another Tambora or Krakatoa somewhere.

        1. Nuclear-triggered volcanoes! Quick, call Michael Bay.

          1. Are there any large, growing lava domes happening. A well placed nuke could probably set one off pretty well.

            Or we could go the Futurama route and use a comet as a giant ice cube to cool the ocean.

  4. Nobody expects El Ni?o!

    1. I just can’t get the clip of Chris Farley as El Nino on SNL out of my head. Hilarious

      1. If El Nino doesn’t get its shit together, it’ll end up in van down by the river.

  5. The El Nino Southern Oscillation (ENSO) is a weather phenomenon

    It’s a FUNK Phenomenon!

      1. BTW, the P-Funk stage prop mothership will be on display at the Smithsonian next year.

    1. I thought is was an ocean surface temperature phenomenon.

      Maybe it will unload some of that heat that has supposedly been going into the deep oceans, allowing for further damping of future warming. All the alarmist seem to want to ignore the fact that there seems to be a lot more negative feedback than positive in the climate system.

  6. Some climatologists speculate that a big El Nino could “flip” the Pacific Decadal Oscillation from its current cool phase to a warm phase, thus ending the temperature “hiatus.”

    I’m interested to hear how humanity plays a part in this mechanism.

      Notice there’s no P in it.
      Please help us keep it that way,
      or global warming may occur.

      1. I peed in the pacific ocean once. Off the beach in Isla Vista. It was a goal at the time, since that same summer I had already peed in the Atlantic and the Gulf.

        1. You truly live up to your handle.

          1. Is it less privileged if I tell you I had to drive to all 3 coasts?

  7. I can tell you this, we’ve had a remarkable spring in the PacNW, and the first good one in quite a few years. I embrace my global warming overlords and will enjoy a good camping and hiking season.

    1. Ours has been terrible in Wisconsin. Moar global warming, plz.

    2. Yeah, it’s been fucking cold in the East. Though having just been in Hong Kong, I’ll take it for now.

  8. All I care about is what this means for the ski seasons in Park City and the Mad River Valley.

    1. There is no such thing. In Vermont it’s just downhill ice skating.

      1. In Vermont it’s just downhill ice skating.



        1. There’s plenty of downhill. Just not for very long.

          Anyway, out west it’s just downhill snow plowing.

          1. I stand corrected. To switch to better descriptive language:

            Vermont skiing: Downhill.
            Western U.S./West Coast skiing: Downmountain.

            Anyway, out west it’s just downhill snow plowing.

            AKA Downhill knee injury.

            1. I’m the weirdo who went skiing and hurt his thumb. Not impressive to the little, blonde snow bunnies, BTW.

              1. I did that once. Cross country too.

            2. Thumb injuries are common in skiing. Depending on the type/direction of a fall, you put your hands in front of you to break the fall and bend/snap your thumb back toward the wrist. Sprains and/or breaks result.

              1. I completely lost it on an icy curve when one of my skis caught hard on something and I went (upside down and spinning) off an embankment into a bunch of tree stumps. I was frankly lucky not to do a Sunny Bono.

                1. Sprained thumb is a pretty good outcome in that case.

    2. Ski season on the west coast last winter was teh suck. I’d think that Park City, UT would be generally good. Is it ever not good?

      1. Lake effect. Always good. But bring your own pot.

    3. I made a cursory attempt to plot snowfall at the Canyons or Alta vs year to see what happened around ’98 but came up dry. Hoping to figure that out though.

    4. I think it means more snow. Tahoe could have a bonanza year.

      1. Yeah, most sites are predicting higher precipitation the farther south you go. I think it might be a good year to grab a rental in Taos or Tahoe and sublet when you can’t be there.

  9. Ronald, I love you. I really do. But global warming stuff makes me want to squirrel punch myself. Vigorously. I’m going to go mow the lawn.

    1. With a reel mower I hope.

      1. I bought a reel mower at a garage sale a couple of weeks ago. I love it. It’s light, quiet, and it cuts just as well as a gas mower. I will be keeping my gas mower in reserve for leaf pickup in the fall.

        1. I would actually like to switch to one as well, but I have half an acre to mow.

          I have a tractor now which is probably overkill. I have thought about selling it and going down to a push/gas mower.

          1. You can get the gang reel mowers that you pull behind the tractor. They are quite nice because they actually cut the grass instead of beating it into submission.

            Half an acre’s not so bad with a powered drive push mower. Takes me half an hour or so.

            1. I have 5 acres of (mostly) clover. My primary mower system involves goats.

  10. All you are telling me Ron is that the AGW fanatics are going to lie and use El Nino as evidence for warming. El Nino’s happen. Warmer than average years happen, even during periods of cooling. The rational response to this is big fucking deal. Sadly, people stopped thinking, or at least arguing rationally about AGW a long time ago.

    To me the only even remotely relevant question is how much of a warming will this El Nino cause. If it is a mild El Nino or really anything short of a really severe one, it doesn’t help the AGW claims.

    1. Pretty much. I’d say it’s a safe prediction that the El Nino will be another spike on the temperature graph and in a few years people will be wondering where all the heat went again.

      God, I wish that people would just admit that we don’t really understand climate well at all. It’s a very interesting subject of study that has been ruined by politics.

  11. The U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change 2013 Physical Sciences report issued last September acknowledged that global average temperatures during the past 16 years have not been increasing as the climate computer models projected that they should have done. Nevertheless, the IPCC report states that the current temperature slow-down will soon end

    The End is Near! The End is Near! Apocalypse will happen on April 27th May 20th June 14th!

    1. Their models can’t account for what is happening now but we should totally believe the models when they predict things are going to start getting warmer.

      Yeah, that make sense.

      1. All that heating has just been building up and when it gets unleashed it will cause the temperature to soar up faster!

        1. I thought it had been hiding in the deep ocean or something?

  12. Mr. Bailey, if you’re still about. I swear I just read something on Weather Underground that said El Nino will make the eastern portion of the US have a cooler than normal summer. I’m guessing that’s weather and not the climate part of it’s effect.

    1. Warmer- climate change.
      Colder- climate change.
      More storms- climate change.
      Fewer storms- climate change.
      More Katy Perry music videos- climate change.
      The Cubs win the world series- climate change.

      On Saturday I heard some NPR goofballs talking about how to talk to conservatives about climate change. Basically, all republicans are stupid and if we use different words (like “death climate”) then they will support policies to combat climate change. Not for one second did they accurately represent the positions of “climate skeptics.” But they got to feel superior to conservatives, which is what it’s all about.

      1. We need a way to “prove” smugness increases global warming. They’ll still feel smug, they can’t help that, but at least they’ll feel guilty about it.

        1. Just make up a model which ‘proves’ that smug causes warming, and then when observations don’t match predictions, claim the excess smug is hiding in the ocean.

      2. if we use different words (like “death climate”)

        Death Climate sounds like a Tarrantino movie title.

  13. In other words, when the warm-up resumes, IPCC predicts it will soar.

    Their other predictions have all been so inaccurate that I’m betting nothing of the sort will happen.

    1. “These are my predictions and if you don’t like them, I have others.”


  14. Also good for El Nino: Reduced Atlantic hurricane numbers.


      But this one storm proved global warming, according to HuffPo.

      1. The dumbest thing about those arguments is that our history of hurricanes really only goes back about 40 years. Before that we didn’t have the satellite coverage or capability to know anything about storms that didn’t hit a populated area or go past a ship (that survived the passage). So to say something “IS THE STRONGEST EVER!!!” really doesn’t say much.

      2. Also would love to know what would be said about global warming if a hurricane were to, say, come up the East Coast, hit Long Island as a Category 4 hurricane, and then slam into Boston and Providence as a Category 3. Boy, that kind of storm would definitely not occur without global warming.

        (It occurred in 1635. It’s known as the Great Colonial Hurricane.)

        1. Blaming hurricanes on warming is dumb. Storms are powered by temperature differential, not absolute temperatures. Atmospheric cooling can drive bigger storms as well.

  15. The temperature goes up; the temperature goes down.

    You can’t explain that.

  16. So now a transitory, cyclical event (El Nino) is evidence of a long-term trend?

    Sure you want to go with that?

    And back it up with the IPCC playing the role of the stopped clock hoping that this year (unlike the past 14) it will be right?

    1. Essentially.

      One gets a sense that they’re wiping their brow that finally…finally we’ll get some global warming.

      1. We’ve had it for the past 100 years.

  17. In 2014, the January-April period is already the sixth warmest period on record, tying with 2005, with land surface temperatures 1.89?F above the 20th century average. Some had already predicted that 2014 would be among the 5 hottest years on record, without El Nino.

    Just will give deniers a new year to start measuring from, rather than 1998.

    1. In 2014, the January-April period is already the sixth warmest period on record,

      You say that like it means something. What if it were the tenth warmest, would that mean AGW was untrue? I am not sure what is funnier, how stupid your argument is or the fact that you think it is clever.

      1. Its really simple, John. We were already heading toward a very warm year, before El Nino predictions. It also seems like, if current trends and El Nino predictions are true, that it will be one of the warmest years on record, maybe the warmest. Which then ends the pause, and allows deniers to jettison 1998 as the starting point. Because if they pick 2000 instead, it will show temperature increases.

        1. It is very simple “warmest year on record” doesn’t mean what you think it does. You think it is symbolic of a greater trend. Maybe it is. But saying that it is assumes that warming is occurring. And that of course is the whole issue.

          You are doing nothing but begging the question.

          1. Not begging it at all. Warming is in fact occurring. If you look at this graph:


            Yeah, there was a pause in the past 15 or so years. Its happened before in the past 100 years. On that graph, if you and I went back in time to the year 1963, you would have said that for the past 20 years (1943) not only is the earth not warming, its cooling. A twenty year period, more than the current 15 year period.

            And then what? Temperatures went right back up again. We’ve had El Ninos and La Ninas in the past 100 years…they are all part of the overall trend, which is a rise in temperatures.

            1. It’s difficult to trust these plots when you compare them to the same type of plot from years ago. Somehow the past was warmer back then, but those past numbers had to be adjusted (for very good reasons, shut up).

    2. I’m no denier. I don’t know what is happening.
      What I do know is that there are not nearly long enough accurate records to really say anything about long term trends in climate. The proposition that people have an effect on climate is quite plausible, but I don’t think anyone knows enough to say anything useful.

      1. You need to be reeducated!

        /Alarmist Progtard

    3. Deniers? You mean like the idiots who deny that the failure of the CO2-based climate models to predict actual climate temperature trends has falsified the AGW/CO2 hypothesis? Those deniers?

      1. You referring to National Academy of Science? American Geophysical Union? American Physical Society? Those “idiots?”

        1. Most of those people probably aren’t idiots generally, but it is a bit idiotic to keep using models that have consistently failed to produce any valid predictions.

        2. Do those societies specifically endorse the computer models as accurate predictors or future climate? Correct me if I’m wrong, but I’ve never seen it.

          1. What they accept is that modeling is used in science all the time, and over time those models get refined and improved. Models are not the scientific proof of AGW, they are used to predict the future to the best of their ability. The IPCC uses and demonstrates different models showing different results. And in fact, you tend to hear about those models in the middle ground. In fact the report often demonstrates 3 different results from models…best case, worst case, and those in the middle.

            1. Yeah, academics have full 100% belief in their models…

              Those making models to make money however, live by the axiom “even the most perfect-prediction model running is wrong, I just don’t know why”.

              The reason is – all models fail and the best models can turn into oracles in users minds, leading to following models off cliffs, even when evidence the model was starting to fail should’ve been evident.

              Therefore, “my model is wrong, I don’t know why” is an axiom known by many professionals and very few academics.

              With academics, no matter how small the sample size, no matter how insignificant the results, no matter how crappy the model and stats used, every model is 100% proof of _________ (fill in with normal liberal presumptions – climate deniers stupid, republicans evil, etc, etc, etc).

              Not that you intended it – but thanks for the reminder – that while good teachers are very useful and necessary, there is a very big difference between those who have only done academic work and those who have to use those skill sets to actually produce value (& income).

      2. I’ve noticed that a lot of smart scientific sort of people that I know who would have been all aboard on climate change several years ago are now using a lot more “if”s when talking about global warming. The “denier” epithet is going to get harder to use on anyone who doesn’t buy the catastrophic predictions without looking silly.

        1. Well, I’m all ears, Zeb. Which of those science organizations is “iffing” anything these days?

          Here is another example, The American Association for the Advancement of Science, the largest general science organization in the world. They said this just this year:

          “The overwhelming evidence of human-caused climate change documents both current impacts with significant costs and extraordinary future risks to society and natural systems.”

          Not much equivocation there.

          1. There is no equivocating: they are wrong and they like you have their heads up their asses. There is no evidence that AGW is going to a serious problem, period.

            1. That settles it.

              1. I doesn’t settle anything, but I, at least, want to see some real evidence that it will be a major problem before spending a shit load of money to solve a supposed problem.
                AGW is almost certainly real to some degree. But how much trouble it will cause and whether any of the proposed solutions are worth the cost is not at all clear.

          2. I don’t know them. I’m talking about individuals, not organizations who have gone all in for catastrophic climate change.

            As I’ve often said, I don’t doubt that humans have some contribution to climate change. But until someone makes some valid predictions, I’m not going to take their word just because they are scientists. I need to see some evidence that anyone has a clue about how climate works first.

            1. Fair enough.

              In case you are interested, National Academy of Sciences and Royal Society, the two most prestigious science organizations in America and the UK, did put out a report on climate change and the evidence behind it. Maybe it will convince you, maybe not.


              1. History is full of examples of very smart and able scientists having too much confidence in the correctness of their conclusions. When the subject becomes highly politicized, I think it is even more likely for scientists to overestimate the state of their knowledge.

              2. Don’t have to read it – you’ve convinced me.

                What is your proposal to stop the warming and get the global temperature back to what it should be, ie right after the Medieval Warming Period?

                1. It seems the best we can do at this point is to hold temperature increases to 2 degrees C, although that too seems to rapidly be going by the boards, so getting global temperatures back to anything is a fantasy. We’re only looking to hold at this point.

                  But there is lots we can do. Some things have started, like fuel efficiency standards, investment in renewable energy, etc. We need to do more. I for one would like to see a price put on carbon, which could be cap and trade, or a carbon tax.

                  1. I think the fantasy is looking at random fluctuations within the long term average yearly variation and calling it an unstoppable trend.

                  2. Actually, we could set off the world’s entire nuclear arsenal in a single day and stop global warming cold in its tracks.

                    Do you dare deny TTAPS?

              3. Only top men command so much prestige.

              4. the two most prestigious science organizations in America and the UK

                Appeal to authority much?

                1. Nah, but to science? Yeah.

                  1. Appealing to the official opinions of government-founded academies is a blatant appeal to authority.

                    1. Government funded? They’re not.

                      But does the government fund studies? Of course, in a number of areas. You will then have to explain to me why all of these science organizations were saying the exact same thing when Bush was President, and Republicans controlled both houses. If funding was why they came to a conclusion, their conclusion back then would have been, “Global warming? Nothing to be worried about here, move along.”

                    2. If I recall correctly, Bush wasn’t much of a global warming skeptic. And where government grants go is mostly decided by lower level people who don’t change with administrations so much.

  18. “The U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change 2013 Physical Sciences report issued last September acknowledged that global average temperatures during the past 16 years have not been increasing as the climate computer models projected that they should have done. Nevertheless, the IPCC report states that the current temperature slow-down will soon end…”

    So our models have been wrong for the past 16 years but are about to finally become right. So you should completely trust us when we tell you how the global economy should be run. Broken clocks really are right twice a day.

  19. I suppose I am one of those less-common folks here that actually does believe that the climate is changing, that it is changing at a perhaps unprecedented rate, that a large part of the change can be attributed to Man, and that the climate change is probably going to have some pretty severe negative impacts on us.

    I used to be more skeptical of the global warming alarmists, but a couple years ago when Ronald Bailey said that, as far as he was concerned, the scientific evidence was pretty clear that settled the issue for me. I’m no expert on the subject, but I trust that Mr. Bailey knows more than I do.

    With that being said, I don’t doubt for a second that a large part of the climate change hysteria is driven by people who have other agendas – the anti-human, Mother Gaia freaks who insist that the only way for us to combat the catastrophic climate change that threatens to destroy our industrial civilization and kill off half the human race is to go back to a pre-industrial society and allow about half the human race to die off. They really have no interest in any solution to climate change, they just want half the people on this planet dead and the rest to ‘live in harmony with nature’ by living naked in caves and eating tree bark.

    1. After reading so many articles here at Reason and the attended comments, I would be happy with what you said, but you are right that you are in the minority.

      I look forward to the day that I see here something like, “The science is clear, the evidence is in, man is effecting the climate in ways that will prove harmful. But we Libertarians have the best solutions through the free market, and here they are….”

      But we’re not even at problem recognition here yet, no less competing solutions.

      1. Show me the data. I don’t see any global average temperature rise in the past century outside the normal annual variation.

        Even if global warm were occurring, what exactly could be done to stop it, and at what cost? The Earth has warmed before, with generally positive consequences for life.

        1. Natural variation has not explained the rise in temperatures we have had in the past 100 years. That is the point. Its happening, and its happening at a speed with which we have not seen, even going back thousands of years, with the only explanation the unprecedented CO2 added to the atmoshpher. Here was a study done by 2 Stanford climate scientists saying over the next 100 years it will be 10 times faster than anything in the past 65M years.

          Sorry, page did not let me post the link, but you can find it at

          1. That is the point. Its happening, and its happening at a speed with which we have not seen, even going back thousands of years

            No. The Younger Dryas came in with drops of 3-12 degrees in average temp, depending on location, over the course of only about a century and then 1300 years later departed with equal rises in temps over the course of a few decades.

            1. I said the RISE in temperatures is occurring at a speed that we have not seen in thousands of years, even though 2 Stanford climate scientists are saying it will faster than anything we have seen in millions of years.

  20. If CO2 buildup is already so bad that we are seeing negative effects, isn’t merely reducing CO2 emissions insufficient to save us? Don’t we need to actually start actively removing CO2 from the atmosphere? And if we can effectively start removing CO2 from the atmosphere – who gives a shit how much CO2 our factories and powerplants and automobiles pump into the atmosphere as long as we can just take it back out again?

    Try asking Al Gore that, and he’ll turn purple in the face trying to explain to you why, even if you make industrial activity completely harmless, industrial activity in and of itself is still evil and must be stopped. Al Gore doesn’t want to save the planet – he just wants to make people suffer.

  21. If the El Nino happens later this year

    The El Nino? Doesn’t “el” mean “the”?

    Isn’t that like a roast beef sandwich “with au jus”?

    1. Yeah, but what are you going to do? Words borrowed from other languages work like that a lot.

      hoi polloi means the people in Greek, but people say “the hoi polloi” all the time.

  22. Measurements since before 1900 indicate that, ENSO increase for 2014 will not exceed PDO decrease by more than 0.05 K and 2015 average global temperature will be cooler.

    Search using keywords AGW unveiled to discover the two drivers that explain measured average global temperatures since before 1900 with 95% correlation and credible values back to 1610.

    CO2 change is not one of the drivers.

  23. measurements since before 1900 indicate ENSO will not exceed PDO by more than 0.05 K.

    Search using keywords AGW unveiled to discover the two drivers that explain measured average global temperatures since before 1900 with 95% correlation and credible values back to 1610.

    CO2 change is not one of the drivers.

  24. Hey Ronald, last week you questioned whether one country starting efforts on reducing carbon can boomerang to other countries. Finland is the latest to admit its time to do something, and set as a goal an 80% reduction by 2050 through cap and trade and restrictions in housing, traffic, agriculture, etc.

    “The Government has today approved the proposal for an act on climate change. The Climate Change Act will require an emissions reduction target of 80% by 2050.”…..oid=417971

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