Britain’s Met Office says it is a 50-50 call that one of the next five years will see global temperatures leap by almost half a degree centigrade to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels. The tidings were of course faithfully reported by mainstream media, keen, as always, to support the political messaging behind Net Zero. But curiously missing from the coverage was the fact that the absurd prediction relies on a base of heavily adjusted past temperature records, and the future occurrence of one of the most powerful natural El Niño weather fluctuations ever observed.
It is on El Niño that the bet mostly relies. A powerful fluctuation in 2016 ended a lengthy temperature pause and raised the reading temporarily by up to 0.2°C. El Niños are natural weather fluctuations that draw heat from the eastern tropical Pacific Ocean and distribute it around the atmosphere. There was also a powerful El Niño spike in 1998 and since that date, global warming has run out of steam.
Not at the Met Office of course. As we have reported, the Met Office removed an off-message pause from around 1998 by two major adjustments in 2013 and 2020 to its HadCRUT global temperature database. In total, the adjustments added about 30% more recent warming. This trend was exacerbated by cooling the temperatures recorded earlier in the 20th century. Similar adjustments were made by other important global temperature datasets. All surface datasets are complex blends of reported temperatures, proxies, estimates and modelled data.
A recent essay in the Watts Up With That climate science site run by the American meteorologist Anthony Watts clearly shows the adjustments. First we look at the satellite data, generally considered the most accurate representation of global temperature.