It may surprise you, but according to the numbers, the greatest global two-year cooling event of the last century just occurred.
A new report finds that “From February 2016 to February 2018 (the latest month available) global average temperatures dropped 0.56°C.”
“You have to go back to 1982-84 for the next biggest two-year drop,” the report by Real Clear Markets continued.
According to Aaron Brown, the numbers also come from the same source journalists usually use when reporting on climate.
All the data in this essay come from GISTEMP Team, 2018: GISS Surface Temperature Analysis (GISTEMP). NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies (dataset accessed 2018-04-11 at https://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/). This is the standard source used in most journalistic reporting of global average temperatures.
So, according to the numbers, the period from 2016 to 2018 was “the big chill.”
The 2016-18 Big Chill was composed of two Little Chills, the biggest five month drop ever (February to June 2016) and the fourth biggest (February to June 2017). A similar event from February to June 2018 would bring global average temperatures below the 1980s average. February 2018 was colder than February 1998. If someone is tempted to argue that the reason for recent record cooling periods is that global temperatures are getting more volatile, it’s not true. The volatility of monthly global average temperatures since 2000 is only two-thirds what it was from 1880 to 1999.
Where is the media to report on this?
Apparently nowhere to be seen.
My point is that statistical cooling outliers garner no media attention. The global average temperature numbers come out monthly. If they show a new hottest year on record, that’s a big story. If they show a big increase over the previous month, or the same month in the previous year, that’s a story. If they represent a sequence of warming months or years, that’s a story. When they show cooling of any sort—and there have been more cooling months than warming months since anthropogenic warming began—there’s no story.
SAY it isn’t so!
Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston.