Posted by Sam Fenny - Memes and headline comments by David Icke Posted on 22 February 2024

What Really Made 2023 a Warm Year?

It feels as if global warming campaigners are breaking open the champagne and raising a toast to record temperatures, together with that wagging finger: “I told you so!” BBC News has reported that global temperatures breached the 1.5°C threshold for the first time between February 2023 and January 2024. That is to say, average global temperatures were 1.5°C higher in that 12 months than they were in the 1850-1900 period, according to the EU Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S). This followed an earlier EU C3S claim of 1.48°C for the calendar year 2023.

We have indeed seen some record temperatures in Europe in the last couple of years. On January 25th, a temperature of 30.7°C was reported at Calles in Spain. And in the U.K., a record maximum value of 40.3°C was measured at Coningsby on July 19th 2022. It’s possible that this peak reading was affected by aircraft movements – as discussed in the Daily Sceptic – but the hourly reported value of 39.6°C at 1400 and 1500 UTC, in a moderate southeasterly wind, was almost a degree above the previous U.K. maximum (38.7°C on July 25th 2019 in Cambridge Botanic Garden). These appear to be real records above the long-term values. But we ought to ask: what might have caused such high values, alongside the claimed record global temperatures in 2022 and 2023? A small part of the rise may be due to the urban heat island effect, or changes to instruments or screens, but that is far from the whole story. Upon closer inspection, much of this additional atmospheric heat is due to changes to oceanic sea surface temperatures (SST), which then warms the lower atmosphere. BBC News shows a rise to 21.05°C in global SST by February 3rd 2024.

El Niño

One major factor is the onset of a strong El Niño event, although this only had an impact in late 2023 as the Pacific Ocean warmed. The Oceanic Niño Index (ONI) rose to 1.6 in the Autumn (August to October 2023) and was 1.9 by the end of the year (October to December). Previous occasions when the ONI has gone above 1.5 in the last 70 years are the events in 2015-16, 2009-10, 1997-98, 1991-92, 1987, 1982-83, 1972-73 and 1965. The later events correspond with spikes in the satellite temperature data of the global lower atmosphere. El Niño events normally last 12 to 18 months – the strongest events occurred in 2015-16 and 1997-98, which peaked at 2.4 and 2.6 respectively.

Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation

A longer trend in the ocean temperature is the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation (AMO), with sea surface temperatures varying by a degree or so over many years (as measured between the equator and 70°N). The AMO is itself coupled with changes in the troposphere and stratosphere, while the stratospheric wind regime may also be affected by changes in solar activity. A declining AMO trend in the 1960s and 1970s led to fears of the return of an Ice Age, but with an increase in the 1990s and 2000s there was a recovery in northern hemisphere temperatures. The AMO index has been positive since that time and it varies by about a degree and a half (°C) over these long periods.

It is interesting to compare the AMO index with the UAH V6.0 satellite temperature dataset, which began in 1979, while the AMO index has been reconstructed back to the mid-19th century. The satellite data of the lower atmosphere have the benefit of overcoming changes to such things as the urban heat island effect. When the two datasets are plotted alongside each other, from 1979 to 2022, they show a close correlation – in fact, the trend line is close to one-to-one (see chart below). Of course, correlation doesn’t equal causation, and one would not expect a change in the North Atlantic sea surface temperature to have an equally measurable change upon the global atmospheric temperatures. The close correlation may be due to the way the index is constructed. However, it is not unreasonable to expect that there would be some physical connection between the Atlantic sea surface temperature and the temperature of the lower troposphere, particularly in Europe, which may partly explain the record high European temperatures of recent years.

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