“Post-truth” is the the Oxford Dictionaries word of the year for 2016. The definition reads as follows:
post-truth – an adjective defined as ‘relating to or denoting circumstances in which objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief’.
and according to Oxford Dictionaries:
The concept of post-truth has been in existence for the past decade, but Oxford Dictionaries has seen a spike in frequency this year in the context of the EU referendum in the United Kingdom and the presidential election in the United States. It has also become associated with a particular noun, in the phrase post-truth politics.
Post-truth has gone from being a peripheral term to being a mainstay in political commentary, now often being used by major publications without the need for clarification or definition in their headlines.
Our old friend David Rose has been remarkably quiet on the topic of Arctic sea ice recently. Presumably the objective facts from the Arctic are impossible to spin to his satisfaction even for a man of David’s talents? However that didn’t stop him from penning an article for The Mail on Sunday at the end of November on the topic of the recent “record highs in global temperatures“:
Global average temperatures over land have plummeted by more than 1C since the middle of this year – their biggest and steepest fall on record.
The news comes amid mounting evidence that the recent run of world record high temperatures is about to end. The fall, revealed by Nasa satellite measurements of the lower atmosphere, has been caused by the end of El Niño – the warming of surface waters in a vast area of the Pacific west of Central America.
The Mail article helpfully included this one year old video from the World Meteorological Organization, explaining the basics of the El Niño phenomenon:
According to the commentary:
This phenomenon affects weather conditions across the equatorial Pacific, with potential knock on effects in other parts of the world.
We’ll get on to the “potential knock on effects” in the Arctic eventually, but let’s start with a snippet of Mr. Rose’s “post-truth politics”:
Some scientists, including Dr Gavin Schmidt, head of Nasa’s climate division, have claimed that the recent highs were mainly the result of long-term global warming.
Last year, Dr Schmidt said 2015 would have been a record hot year even without El Nino. ‘The reason why this is such a warm record year is because of the long-term underlying trend, the cumulative effect of the long-term warming trend of our Earth,’ he said. This was ‘mainly caused’ by the emission of greenhouse gases by humans.
Other experts have also disputed Dr Schmidt’s claims. Professor Judith Curry, of the Georgia Institute of Technology, and president of the Climate Forecast Applications Network, said yesterday: ‘I disagree with Gavin. The record warm years of 2015 and 2016 were primarily caused by the super El Nino.’ The slowdown in warming was, she added, real, and all the evidence suggested that since 1998, the rate of global warming has been much slower than predicted by computer models – about 1C per century.
David Whitehouse, a scientist who works with Lord Lawson’s sceptic Global Warming Policy Foundation, said the massive fall in temperatures following the end of El Nino meant the warming hiatus or slowdown may be coming back. ‘According to the satellites, the late 2016 temperatures are returning to the levels they were at after the 1998 El Nino. The data clearly shows El Nino for what it was – a short-term weather event,’ he said.
In case you’re wondering where the politics is in all of this, you need look no further than here:
— Sci,Space,&Tech Cmte (@HouseScience) December 1, 2016
The Twitter account of the United States’ House of Representatives Committee on Science, Space, and Technology quotes a Breitbart article by another old friend of ours, James Delingpole, which quotes David Rose’s article in the Mail on Sunday:
The last three years may eventually come to be seen as the final death rattle of the global warming scare. Thanks [sic] what’s now recognised as an unusually strong El Nino, global temperatures were driven to sufficiently high levels to revive the alarmist narrative – after an unhelpful pause period of nearly 20 years – that the world had got hotter than ever before.
In case you’re also wondering about the objective facts of the matter David Rose quotes with approval “the authoritative Met Office ‘Hadcrut4’ surface record” in his latest article in the Mail on Sunday this very morning:
New official data issued by the Met Office confirms that world average temperatures have plummeted since the middle of the year at a faster and steeper rate than at any time in the recent past.
The huge fall follows a report by this newspaper that temperatures had cooled after a record spike. Our story showed that these record high temperatures were triggered by naturally occurring but freak conditions caused by El Nino – and not, as had been previously suggested, by the cumulative effects of man-made global warming.
The Mail on Sunday’s report was picked up around the world and widely attacked by green propagandists as being ‘cherry-picked’ and based on ‘misinformation’. The report was, in fact, based on Nasa satellite measurements of temperatures in the lower atmosphere over land – which tend to show worldwide changes first, because the sea retains heat for longer.
There were claims – now exploded by the Met Office data shown here – that our report was ‘misleading’ and ‘cherry-picked’.
Yet bizarrely, the fiercest criticism was reserved for claims we never made – that there isn’t a long-term warming trend, mainly caused by human emissions.
This just wasn’t in our report – which presumably, critics hadn’t even read.
We’ve explained all this to David before, yet bizzarely we obviously need to do so again. Here’s the Mail’s version of the latest HADCRUT 4 data from the Met Office:
and here’s ours:
Can you spot any “cumulative effects of man-made global warming”?
Messrs Smith, Rose, Delingpole, Whitehouse et al. may well be unaware of the fact that the satellite temperature data they’re so fond of cherry picking doesn’t include data from the lower troposphere between 80 degrees North and the North Pole. Just in case they fancy spinning the latest objective facts from the Arctic in the near future, here’s the long term autumnal temperature trend:
and here’s the long term November Arctic sea ice extent trend: