And even if the current 18-year trend were to end, it would still take nearly 25 years for average global temperature figures to reflect the change, said Michaels, who has a Ph.D. in ecological climatology and spent three decades as a research professor of environmental sciences at the University of Virginia.
Sooner or later, even Al Gore and the numerous scientists, academics and politicians who agree with him that “Earth has a fever” will have to admit that their climate models predicting catastrophic global warming were off by a long shot, said Michaels, who was also a contributing editor to the United Nations’ second Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report.
“It has to be admitted eventually that too much warming was forecast too fast. That just has to happen. You can’t go on and on and on,” he told CNSNews.com.
“If the surface temperature resumed the warming rate that we observed from, say 1977 through 1998, we would still go close to a quarter of a century without significant net warming because there’s such a long flat period built into the record now. “
But there’s no indication that after 18 years, global warming will resume anytime soon.
Michaels pointed to record Antarctic ice, which “is at its highest extent measured by the current microwave satellite sounding system” since 1978, according to data from the University of Illinois’ Polar Ice Research Center.
“And if you take a close look at the Arctic data, it appears the decline stopped somewhere around 2005/2006, which means we’ve almost had ten years without any net loss in Arctic ice,” he told CNSNews.com.
“The much vaunted and predicted El Nino, which would [ordinarily] spike global temperature, is not going according to plan,” Michaels pointed out. “That’s the major known oscillation in global temperature, and we can’t even get that one right in the near term.”
In an El Nino, trade winds suppress the upwelling of cold water. “But that doesn’t mean the cold water isn’t still down there,” Michaels explained. “So what happens after an El Nino suppresses the cold upwelling, all that cold water that was sitting down there, which normally would have been dispersed into the tropical Pacific, comes up and so the temperature drops pretty substantially after a major El Nino.
“In fact, you can see that in 1999. We had a very large El Nino in 1998, maybe the biggest one in the 20th century, it’s not completely clear, but it was really, really big. And the next year, the temperatures were way down.
“And so what an El Nino will do is it will give you a one-year or perhaps two-year spike [in temperature]. But the net change is not very much. Now it turns out the lack of warming has gone on for so long that even throwing in a one or two-year spike into it is not going to induce a significant warming trend in that data,” Michaels noted.
Pointing to a Pew survey earlier this year in which Americans listed global warming 19th out of a list of 20 issues they considered as top priorities, Michaels responded to Secretary of State John Kerry’s recent statement that climate change is “the biggest challenge of all that we face right now.”
“I would say that his order of needs is a little bit out of whack,” Michaels told CNSNews.com.
“Given that a cogent political analysis indicates that the loss of control of the House of Representatives by the Democratic Party was the result of their passing the unpopular cap-and-trade bill in 2009 - in the 2010 election they lost 64 seats- you would think that this is kind of a political hot potato," he continued.
“And in fact, our friends in Europe, who are certainly leftier and greenier than we tend to be as a country, are trying to back away from this issue,” he noted, adding that the major heads of state of China, India, Australia, Canada and Germany all declined to join President Obama at the United Nations’ Climate Summit held in New York this week.
“Angela Merkel, the German prime minister, wrote the Framework Convention on Climate Change when she was an East German," Michaels pointed out, but “Germany has resumed building coal-fired power plants because they can’t get enough electricity out of solar energy and windmills.
“We told you so,” he said with a laugh.
“I would also say that the administration’s pronouncement about three weeks ago that the climate agreement that the president would be seeking at the United Nations would not require a majority of two-thirds of the Senate for ratification is on very thin ice… If they are hellbent on going in this direction, they may be headed to legal hell.”