The 96-Year Pause

Much has been written (pro and con) about the “pause” in global warming climate change the synthetic reconstruction of Earth’s “average” temperature from 1997 to 2012. That pause was followed fairly quickly by a new one, which began in 2014 and is still in progress (if a pause can be said to exhibit progress).

Well, I have a better one for you, drawn from the official temperature records for Austin, Texas — the festering Blue wound in the otherwise healthy Red core of Texas. (Borrowing Winston Churchill’s formulation, Austin is the place up with which I have put for 18 years — and will soon quit, to my everlasting joy.)

There is a continuous record of temperatures in central Austin from January 1903 to the present. The following graph is derived from that record:

A brief inspection of the graph reveals the obvious fact that there was a pause in Austin’s average temperature from (at least) 1903 until sometime in 1999. Something happened in 1999 to break the pause. What was it? It couldn’t have been “global warming”, the advocates of which trace back to the late 1800s (despite some prolonged cooling periods after that).

Austin’s weather station was relocated in 1999, which might have had something to do with it. More likely, the illusory jump in Austin’s temperature was caused by the urban heat-island effect induced by the growth of Austin’s population, which increased markedly from 1999 to 2000, and has been rising rapidly ever since.

Related reading:

Paul Homewood, “Washington’s New Climate ‘Normals’ Are Hotter“, Not a Lot of People Know That, May 6, 2021 (wherein the writer shows that the rise in D.C.’s new “normal” temperatures is due to the urban heat-island effect)

H. Sterling Burnett, “Sorry, CBS, NOAA’s ‘U.S. Climate Normals’ Report Misrepresents the Science“, Climate Realism, May 7, 2021 (just what the title says)

The “Pause” Redux: The View from Austin

Christopher Monckton of Brenchley — who, contrary to Wikipedia, is not a denier of “climate change” but a learned critic of its scale and relationship to CO2 — posits a new “pause” in global warming:

At long last, following the warming effect of the El Niño of 2016, there are signs of a reasonably significant La Niña, which may well usher in another Pause in global temperature, which may even prove similar to the Great Pause that endured for 224 months from January 1997 to August 2015, during which a third of our entire industrial-era influence on global temperature drove a zero trend in global warming:

As we come close to entering the la Niña, the trend in global mean surface temperature has already been zero for 5 years 4 months:

There is not only a global pause, but a local one in a place that I know well: Austin, Texas. I have compiled the National Weather Service’s monthly records for Austin, which go back to the 1890s. More to the point here, I have also compiled daily weather records since October 1, 2014, for the NWS station at Camp Mabry, in the middle of Austin’s urban heat island. Based on those records, I have derived a regression equation that adjusts the official high-temperature readings for three significant variables: precipitation (which strongly correlates with cloud cover), wind speed, and wind direction (the combination of wind from the south has a marked, positive effect on Austin’s temperature).

Taking October 1, 2014, as a starting point, I constructed cumulative plots of the average actual and adjusted  deviations from normal:

Both averages have remained almost constant since April 2017, that is, almost four years ago. The adjusted deviation is especially significant because the hypothesized effect of CO2 on temperature doesn’t depend on other factors, such as precipitation, wind speed, or wind direction. Therefore, there has been no warming in Austin — despite some very hot spells — since April 2017.

Moreover, Austin’s population grew by about 5 percent from 2017 to 2020. According to the relationship between population and temperature presented here, that increase would have induced an temperature increase of 0.1 degrees Fahrenheit. That’s an insignificant number in the context of this analysis — though one that would have climate alarmists crying doom — but it reinforces my contention that Austin’s “real” temperature hasn’t risen for the past 3.75 years.

Related page and posts:

Climate Change
AGW in Austin?
AGW in Austin? (II)
UHI in Austin Revisited