A story titled ‘A world rapidly warming’: The past eight years were the eight warmest on record for planet was published on the CNN website January 10 by writer Ivana Kottasová. CNN made several alarming but erroneous claims:
The last eight years have been the eight warmest on record as the growing concentration of heat-trapping gases in the atmosphere pushes global temperatures toward a dangerous tipping point, a new report shows.
An analysis by the European Union’s Copernicus Climate Change Service published on Tuesday said that 2022 was the fifth-warmest year for the planet since records began.
First, the CNN article commits a journalistic sin by not even linking to the actual Copernicus Climate Change Service report they cite, preventing anyone not in the know from finding it to read for themselves.
Second, the Copernicus report makes no mention at all of a “dangerous tipping point” related to global temperatures, that’s purely an embellishment by the writer in an attempt to make the story more urgent and scarier than it actually is. So far, throughout modern history, no climate tipping points have ever been recorded, despite continuous fears being raised about such an event. Hollywood even made a disaster movie about tipping points called “The Day After Tomorrow,” which was so bad, even climate scientists such as Dr. Gavin Schmidt of NASA panned it as “appallingly bad.”
For the facts, see Climate at a Glance: Tipping Point – 1.5 Degrees Celsius Warming.
More importantly, CNN completely ignored what has really happened, according to the data, over the last eight years, when they imply temperatures have gotten worse each year. The same data, examined critically, shows CNN to be flat wrong. It is actually getting cooler.
Using surface measured global temperature data from the Berkely Earth global temperature database, seen in Figure 1. The green line shows cooling for the past several years. You might call this a hiatus in a general warming trend.
Figure 1. Global Land + Ocean surface temperature anomaly data in °C relative to the mean from 1991 to 2020. In blue is the linear temperature trend of the series and in green is the linear trend since 2016. Data: Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature Graph: Woodfortrees, plotted by Anthony Watts
The green trend line in the chart shows that the global temperature trend has been decreasing since 2016, even though the long-term trend as shown in blue continues steadily upward.
The good news? For eight years, the planet has been cooling, but CNN won’t tell you that because it goes against their preferred climate narrative. CNN also doesn’t explain that the 2016 peak in global temperature was caused by an extreme El Nino event in the Pacific ocean, a natural event which warms the planet which and has been going on for thousands of years. El Nino events have nothing to do with so-called “human caused climate change.”
Instead of reporting the facts, CNN chose to portray good news as something scary, and did a huge disservice to their readers. It seems likely they need scare tactics to prop up support for their climate change narrative, because public opinion polls show climate change still ranks dead last as a concern.
Anthony Watts is a senior fellow for environment and climate at The Heartland Institute.
Watts has been in the weather business both in front of, and behind the camera as an on-air television meteorologist since 1978, and currently does daily radio forecasts.
He has created weather graphics presentation systems for television, specialized weather instrumentation, as well as co-authored peer-reviewed papers on climate issues.
He operates the most viewed website in the world on climate, the award-winning website wattsupwiththat.com.