The American Meteorological Society’s annual State of the Climate report is out with over 300 pages of peer-reviewed evidence of 2017’s changed climate, summarized by this collection of graphs and covered by Oliver Milman at the Guardian.
There were a lot of individual records broken, but the big headline: globally 2017 was the third hottest year on record. The report also confirms earlier data that 2017 was the hottest year without an El Niño boosting the temps. The two years hotter than 2017 were ‘15 and ‘16, making it painfully apparent that things are heating up.
2018, meanwhile, is shaping up to be much of the same. NOAA’s monthly State of the Climate report shows that this year is on track to be the fourth warmest, with record heat across the planet, and nowhere so far this year has broken a record for cold temperatures.
Remember when deniers (wrongly) argued that 2015 and 2016’s record heat wasn’t from climate change because of the influence of El Niño? We remember. Lots of folks were downplaying the records by pointing to the El Niño.
Now that 2017 has been deemed the warmest non-Niño year, what’s deniers’ defense? Silence, for one. But with 2018 gearing up to be the fourth hottest on record, they’re going to have to think of a new way to justify denying the obvious warming.
Denier meteorologist Joe Bastardi took to the Patriot Post to attempt to preempt 2018’s record warming coverage by blaming natural ocean cycles and water vapor for warming, as if real climate scientists don’t account for either of these basic concepts. (For the record, the AMS State of the Climate report features a whole chapter on the oceans, and talks about water vapor in dozens of places.)
Wait, what’s the Patriot Post, you ask? It’s the kind of hyper-conservative “news” outlet that has four “pants on fire” ratings from Politifact, four “False” rulings at Snopes, and four lovely entries at Media Matters. It’s the kind of outlet that would have no problem with Bastardi’s post fully ignoring the simple facts that carbon pollution is warming the oceans and water vapor, key feedbacks recognized by consensus climate science.
Apparently no one told him that both of his excuses for warming are actually evidence of it.
Bastardi’s post, then, isn’t the most scientifically sound angle for deniers to take. But it’s still better than all those years they spent hyping the faux pause, right? Those cries have only just, in the 4th year of our suffering through temperatures warmer than 1998, started to die down.
Thankfully, good ol’ Daily Caller “journalist” and lover of the pause hype Michael Bastasch offered an idea of how deniers will message around 2018 being on track to make the last four years the hottest four on the record: “in other words, there’s been a cooling trend for the past three years.”
Yes. Yes that’s exactly what it is. When it’s record hot with an El Niño, that means warming’s not a problem and not man-made (even though it still would’ve been a record hot year without El Niño). But even when it’s record hot without an El Niño, that apparently means it’s no worries. We can go back to talking about a pause in warming, because it’s supposedly cooling!
Deniers: Their logic may not be consistent, but at least their talking points sure are.
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