“That’s basically a fact. There’s not much to comment on,” Christy said when CNSNews.com asked him to remark on the lack of global warming for nearly two decades as of October 1st.
The "plateau" is evident in the climate record Christy and former NASA scientist Roy Spencer compiled using actual raw temperature data collected from 14 instruments aboard various weather satellites.
CNSNews.com asked Christy why the United Nations’ climate models, which all predicted steeply rising temperatures over the past two decades, were all proven wrong.
“You’re going back to a fundamental question of science that when you understand a system, you are able to predict its behavior. The fact that no one predicted what’s happened in the past 18 years indicates we have a long way to go to understand the climate system,” Christy replied.
“And that the way the predictions were wrong were all to one direction, which means the predictions or the science is biased in one direction, toward overcooking the atmosphere.”
Christy added that basing government policy affecting millions of Americans on “very poor” climate models that have been shown to be inaccurate is “a fool’s errand.”
“Our ignorance is simply enormous when it comes to the climate system, and our understanding is certainly not strong and solid enough to make policy about climate because we don’t even know what it’s going to do, so how can we make a policy that says ‘I want to make the climate do something' when we don’t know what makes the climate do what it does?” he asked.
“A policy is supposed to have a goal. Well, if you don’t know how the system works, that means you don’t know how to make it go toward that goal. And that’s certainly the case now, since none of the climate models are able to tell us what the future is going to be. They’ve certainly failed in the past. And so the policy is really a fool’s errand at this point.”
However, he noted that “there is still a strong belief system that greenhouse gases control the climate, and so if that is your belief system, then it doesn’t really matter what the evidence shows.”
“I’m a climatologist, which means I’m driving the car and looking in the rearview mirror, not out the front windshield, so I don’t try to forecast,” he told CNSNews.com.
But earlier predictions that the El Nino will drive up temperatures this year were off the mark, he says.
“There was a big pulse in what was a precursor to the El Nino back in May, and so it looked like it was going to be a very strong El Nino, but that pulse of warm water in the ocean – the heat content, actually – just faded away, basically. And so this wasn’t going to be a 1997/98 El Nino again. I don’t think they’re going to see the big spike in temperature” that was originally predicted.
“But you know, El Ninos come and go, and they shouldn’t be factored in what the overall temperature does over decades.”
Christy countered claims by some climatologists that the satellite data doesn’t show an increase in surface temperature because the "missing heat" was absorbed by the oceans.
“That would require a change in wind speeds. It also means the climate models don’t have the oceans right,” he pointed out. “The other alternative is that the heat never was stored in the climate system, and that it escaped into space. That is just as plausible.”
"I predicted this in 1999," Dr. Don Easterbrook, a climate scientist and glacier expert from Washington State, said of the 18-year period with no global warming. "My prediction has now happened."
"The same year the United Nations' Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's (IPCC) models were predicting that the Earth would warm by one degree per decade, I was predicting that the Earth would cool for the next three decades," he noted. "They were way off the mark, while my prediction is still on target."
Easterbrook added that with the sun entering a period known as a Grand Minimum, "it's a sure thing it's going to get cooler. It's just difficult to tell how much. It looks like it may get one degree cooler and maybe more," he said. "That may not seem like a lot, but it only warmed up one degree during the entire last century."