Since 1979, satellites have been continuously scanning lower tropospheric temperatures. And the data from these satellites are reported each month by two independent research groups, the University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH) and Remote Sensing Systems (RSS).
What the data from both UAH and RSS show is very interesting. Global climate is following a warming trend of only 0.136 degrees Celsius per decade. If one extrapolates that trajectory to a full century, it means a total temperature increase of 1.36 degrees Celsius by 2100.
That 1.36 degrees is rather mild. But it’s quite noteworthy since the Paris Agreement adopted in late 2015 aims to limit global warming to under 2 degrees Celsius by 2100. Or, if possible, the agreement hopes to limit warming even further — to an even stricter 1.5 degree maximum increase.
The satellite data have some very weighty implications, then, since they mean that the industrialized nations of the world could do absolutely nothing in terms of reducing fossil fuel use, yet they’d still meet the full goals of the Paris accord.
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The 38 years of the satellite temperature record happen to represent a sizable amount of all man-made carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, though. Yet the warming trend over that time is rather benign. Most tellingly, however, the satellite record also directly contradicts the computer models currently being used to justify heavy-handed CO2 mandates like those proposed under the Paris Agreement.
Significantly, climate models are now diverging further and further from actual, observed temperatures. But despite such ongoing failures, alarmists are doubling down on the Paris accord and claiming that fossil fuel restrictions should be implemented now, immediately — even though the real-world impact would be to drastically curtail human flourishing.
In the face of such sweeping, autocratic policies, one has to ask why there is no reasonable debate on global warming, and why the general public isn’t being presented with the mild warming trajectory that satellite data continue to report?
The Paris accord, if fully implemented, would represent a grievous change in living standards for much of the world’s population. And so, a serious rethink is in order, particularly given the flawed theory on which the Paris Agreement is based.
Terry Jarrett is an energy attorney and consultant who has served on both the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners and the Missouri Public Service Commission.