It’s not just that the climate is getting warmer—or not. Those who believe in the “settled science” of climate change believe that variations in climate are being caused by human activity.
Had they said that activity on the sun or some other naturally occurring phenomenon was causing the planet to warm up or cool down, it would have been one thing. Their assertion, however, is and has been that the activity of human beings, especially the burning of fossil fuels is directly causing the change.
If the latter is the case, then human beings are guilty-as-sin and must immediately repent and change their wicked ways. They must now curtail their use of fossil fuels, the better to save the planet. This is, at the very least, empowering. It says that human beings, by casting off their plastic shopping bags, can impact the earth’s future climate. Who would not feel flattered?
In the meantime, the New York Times reports a recent study that seems to debunk the second of the tenets of global warmism. This scientific study, published in a peer-reviewed journal, explains that certain changes in the weather patterns in the American northwest state have nothing to do with fossil fuels. They occur because of something that is happening naturally within the ocean.
The Times explains:
A new and most likely controversial analysis of Pacific Ocean weather patterns concludes that a century-long trend of rising temperatures in the American Northwest is largely explained by natural shifts in ocean winds, not by human activity.
The analysis, published on Monday in the prestigious peer-reviewed journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, effectively suggests that the region has warmed because ocean winds, on average, have weakened and shifted direction.
Scientists have long known that sea surface temperatures are lower when strong winds whip up ocean waves, and higher when the seas are calm. Researchers generally have assumed that the phenomenon was but one factor in that warming, and that increased levels of carbon dioxide from human activity play a major role in driving rising temperatures.
But the new analysis, which relies on wind, barometric pressure and temperature data recorded from 1900 to 2012, concludes that human activity has little impact.
“The concept of winds controlling or affecting ocean temperature in that very way is not controversial, but the strength of that relationship was quite amazing” in the northwestern Pacific, said James Johnstone, a climatologist and the study’s lead author. “It explains practically every wiggle in the ocean temperature variations. It’s a phenomenal correlation.”
As for the influence of rising levels of carbon dioxide, the Times explains:
The study cast doubt on the possibility that the wind changes were themselves caused by rising carbon-dioxide levels, noting that simulations employing the latest climate-change computer models found no such link, and that temperatures rose most sharply when carbon dioxide levels were lower.
Now, Al Gore can exhale without feeling guilty.
Credit to the New York Times for reporting on this study.