Global Cooling Underway

Written by Dr Sierra Rayne

With global temperature data now available for the first three months of 2014, an interesting trend has clearly emerged: global cooling. No longer is it just a hypothesis.  For the first quarter of each calendar year since 2002, it is effectively a fact at reasonably strong statistical significance.  Here is the data:

Temp Anomalies

That downward trend since 2002 has a p-value of 0.097 (r=-0.48), which is below the p=0.10 (90%) threshold used in many climate science studies for statistical significance, and very close to the standard p=0.05 (95%) threshold generally employed across the physical and biological sciences.  The same level of statistical significance is obtained regardless of whether parametric or non-parametric trend analysis methods are employed.

Some readers may be looking at this plot and thinking that the global climate data since 1880 looks a lot like a cycle, with a stable period (of neither warming nor cooling) of, say, 140 years in length between the approximately 70-year long alternating cool and warm periods.  It certainly has that appearance.  If such is the case, we would expect a return to “normal” January-March global temperatures by 2050, give or take a decade or two.

In the United States, the January-March 2014 temperature was well below the 20th-century average.  There has been no statistically significant trend in January-March temperatures in the contiguous USA since 1980.  None, for 35 years and counting.  The same lack of trend applies for the December-February temperatures.  Depending on how you define winter, either – or both – of these timeframes is considered the wintertime period.

So there has been absolutely no change in wintertime temperatures in the United States since before Reagan was president, and yet the The Guardian is reporting that the latest National Climate Assessment finds climate change to be a “clear and present danger” and that “Americans are noticing changes all around them … Winters are generally shorter and warmer.”

There is no trend – I repeat: no trend – in wintertime temperatures in the United States since 1980.

On an annual basis ending in March, there has been no change in the contiguous U.S. temperature since 1986 (actually, probably since 1985, but we’ll give the alarmists the benefit on this).  You get the same result on a calendar-year basis.  That’s right: there has been no change in annual temperatures for the United States since Bon Jovi had a number-one hit with “You Give Love a Bad Name,” the Bangles were telling us to “Walk Like an Egyptian,” Madonna was asking her papa not to preach, and Robert Palmer was “Addicted to Love.”

According to Virginia Burkett, the chief scientist for global change at the U.S. Geological Survey, “all areas are getting hotter.”  All of them?  So bold, yet so inaccurate.  The entire Ohio Valley climate division has not seen any significant warming on an annual basis since 1896.  The entire U.S. South climate division hasn’t warmed since 1907.  Neither has the entire Southeast climate division since 1896.

The National Climate Assessment claims that “summers are longer and hotter.”  Hotter summers?  There is no trend in the average June-August temperature (aka summer) in the USA since 1930.  Same lack of trend for July and August average temperatures.

On an annual basis ending in March (allowing us to use the most complete dataset possible), global warming stopped cold in statistical terms during 1997.  And since 2002, the correlation coefficient has – in fact – turned slightly negative.  Very weak evidence for global cooling, but on the balance of probabilities, since 2002, there is more statistical evidence for global cooling than there is for global warming.  Scientists such as Don Easterbrook, a professor emeritus of geology at Western Washington University, have been making similar predictions for global temperatures.

In the Southern Hemisphere, where climate scientists are now apparently warning that the “Antarctic Ice Shelf [is] on [the] brink of unstoppable melt that could raise sea levels for 10,000 years,” the annual cooling trend since 2003 is even more probable (r=-0.22, p-value as low as 0.34 using non-parametric approaches).

The poor-quality science reporting on climate change is ubiquitous.  Over at the Daily Kos, we find a plot of “Global Temperature (meteorological stations).”  Given that oceans cover 71 percent of the planet’s surface, what possible meaning could a “global temperature” derived only from “meteorological stations” have?  The answer is none.  Any talk of a global temperature must include both land and sea data, and be properly weighted according to station type and location.  And this assumes that the data itself is correct.  Various climate skeptic websites have repeatedly shown that we need to doubt the data itself, not just the analyses.

As the countdown to the proposed climate agreement in 2015 ticks along, expect more of this hysterical nonsense not founded in the underlying data, as well as more concerted and emphatic denials of the global cooling phase we may be entering.  One can only hope that the moderately conservative leaders in Canada, Australia, and the United Kingdom will not fall prey to the hysteria, but instead take a principled scientific stand in 2015 and lead the charge to reject any international climate agreements.

Unfortunately, many crony capitalists – including a number in the fossil fuels industry itself – are starting to see greater financial benefits for themselves by going along with the hysteria, rather than fighting for reality.

Perilous times indeed.  The next couple years may not only see the end of America’s economic domination on the world stage, passing the torch instead to communist China, but also witness the final death throes of rigorous, objective science in the public interest.


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Comments (7)

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    Reading over some of the comments about effects of water /liquid/solid/vapor it is obvious that so many of the posts are from people that either have no idea that water is probably the second most important factor in weather, second only to the sun the source of our heat. There is evaporative cooling occurring 24/7/365.25 from every square inch of the surface. The amount of evaporation varies from very little in the desert to very significant over every body of water. There is sublimation from the ice in the Arctic and Antarctic, every glacier etc. There is transpiration from every plant growing and from every dead plant that has not completely dried.
    There is no credible experiment that proves that the “greenhouse gas effect exists’ There are many different experiments that prove that every supposed feature of the greenhouse gas effect do not exist. There are many of these experiments that have been done by authors here on Principal-scientific.
    One of the comments refers to an equilibrium – In a world were there is a varied input from the sun-and there is a varied output because different amounts of energy is stored in different materials on the earth ,varies with the seasons there never can be a true equilibrium.

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    Dear Charles Higley,

    If it was true that ocean dominates rain cycle why not more rain cycle now? – global warming, sea water getting warmer, sea surface area is increasing etc.- all favourable for evaporation? Since the millions of miles are covered by houses, roads, pavements all over the world in mega cities not to mention small countries, how can you get water evaporated which is primary factor for rains? No evaporation means no cooling effect. Reduced rain cycle means no shower to cool off the heated earth. Convection by dry air goes all the time but not enough for cooling the earth because air carries very little heat compared to water which has highest specific heat, water can carry maximum quantity of heat. Its cool as soon as it rains (we know rain cools the heated earth immediately) and warm too instead of snow fall. Desert cools off faster because the sands grains are not compact like in concretes, so air circulates through sands easily, thus desert cools to freezing during nights. I hope I have cleared the points you have raised. Thanks for your interest on my scientific analysis.

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    Charles Higley


    “Never, if we don’t increase the moist surface areas of the earth, global warming will continue.”

    You miss the fact that we are 71% ocean and some increased dry surface does not make a difference. It is dry air that not only makes us colder, as dry air radiates IR to space more efficiently, but the Sun also warms dry surfaces faster making for short but very hot times. This is how deserts work. However, the cold effect dominates. Anybody with a science background would know that warming would increase the rate of evaporation not decrease it, so our making more dry surfaces is a wash.

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    To all Global Warmers:

    Please tell us how CO2 can lift 300 million cubic miles of water.

    While they bend their minds around the very impossibility of CO2 ever being able to lift that amount of water, lets discuss the role of H2O.

    Water can naturally exist on earth as a solid, liquid, gas, and a vapor. This very reality is instructive. Why? Because it is a massive heat sink. It can store or release heat by changing its state of matter from solid to liquid to gas and back the other way. This is the fundamental basis for the EQUILIBRIUM of our global atmosphere. We cannot have a run-away greenhouse effect because the 300 million cubic miles of water prevents that from occurring.

    When one condition changes, the equilibrium of the atmosphere adjusts to compensate for the change. This can occur over eons, as in the slow movement of tectonic plates changing the percentage relationship of land mass being exposed to the most direct, straight line, rays of the sun. Orbital Precession (the natural change in the tilt of the earth relative to our orbit around the sun) is another example. A shorter term example could be the change in energy output from the sun itself, up or down. An even shorter term example could be the eruption of a large volcano throwing tons pulverized rock into the upper atmosphere.

    The point being here is that NOTHING mankind can do currently, is anywhere near as big or powerful as any one of those events. Nothing mankind can do is even half as large as 300 million cubic miles of water.

    Global Climate is absolutely out of mankind’s control or influence. Anyone stating that we can affect or effect it is blatantly lying. The only question to be answered is “WHY”?

    The only inexplicably unanswerable question is, “why have people bought into this BS in the first place?”

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    Joe: I get an “access forbidden” message at the link.

    A couple of notes:
    I’m happy to see someone else realizing that fossil fuels can and do benefit from the climate hype. Oil companies don’t need to finance skeptics—they just build useless wind and solar plants, lap up the subsidies and keep drilling for oil knowing wind and solar will never work. They can add renewable energy departments to make environmentalists happy. It’s all about marketing. (Oil is a business and they act like a business, making money through most available avenues. It would be nice if they stood up for oil and gas, but reality dictates that could be financial suicide.)

    The new article on Antarctic ice melt: If you actually use the time frame given (200 to 500 years or more), the rise is momumentally small. Also, if there’s nothing we can do about it, then why implement all those taxes and so forth to “save the planet”? If we’ve lost the Artarctic glaciers, one could easily suspect we really can’t do a thing about any of this weather stuff (especially since the cause of the glacier loss is highly questionable. I do wonder if global warming advocates ever realize glaciers melted and reformed before there were humans….)

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    Never, if we don’t increase the moist surface areas of the earth, global warming will continue. we are increasing the dry surface areas of the earth day by day, so global warming will go on increasing. Develop water supply net work so that every inch of the earth’s surface is always kept moist as used to be before urbanization. That way frequency of rain cycle will increase and take water back to the places where it came from – underground, mountains and poles etc. shower will cool off the warming earth. That way we can manipulate climate. present global warming is the proof that we control Climate and reverse the present climate change.

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