Steve Milloy is surprised by the warming he denies
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Steve Milloy > Surprised by the warming he denies

Steve Milloy paints himself into a corner

There can be no doubt that Steve Milloy is an "influential climate science contrarian" as he describes himself.

His social media posts attract huge numbers of views - sometimes up to millions - and he features on various news media.

He also runs a website called More of that later.

On this page I want to look at how he has painted himself into a corner on a very important subject.

Global temperature anomaly from 1850 to 2022

Let's start with official NOAA data on Land and Ocean annual global temperature anomaly from 1850-2022.

You can check the source data here.

Global temperature anomaly from 1970 to 2022

To explain what Steve Milloy did I'm going to narrow it down to just the years from 1970 to 2022.

Now one feature you can already see is that the temperature doesn't generally do things in nice, neat straight lines.

Those of us who observe nature know that it doesn't go up and down in straight lines, and tend to be surprised that anybody who looks at the natural world expects it to.

We do see trends, however.

I see a trend.

Steve Milloy doesn't.

Steve does some cherry picking

Steve looks at the years from 2015 to 2022 - marked A in the chart - and sees a decline.

As far as Steve's concerned that shows undeniably that we are actually experiencing "global cooling".

I look at those years and compare them with earlier periods of a few years - like B and C - and see it's just the natural world not working in straight lines.

I wonder why anybody would think temperature has actually started falling again?

Making himself a hostage to fortune

So, he proclaimed on X that that "NOAA makes it official" and that we are experiencing "global cooling" and that "CO2 warming is a hoax".

That tweet was pinned at the top of Steve Milloy's X timeline (it's still there as I type this) and remained there throughout 2023.

During the time it has been there various people have pointed out to Steve Milloy the pattern over previous years, and even of other periods of years - such as B and C on the chart - where the irregularity of temperature increase is just natural variation within an upward trend.

But Steve Milloy appears to have remained convinced that there actually is no warming, or that at least it has come to an end.

Reality strikes, and Steve is in a corner

In January 2024 the data for 2023 were published.

Here is the updated chart.

Anybody who had been following the path of global warming with an open mind would not be surprised by the update.

But Steve tweeted "How do barely increasing emissions explain the 2024 temperature spike?"

Sorry, Steve, but the temperature record is there and anybody looking at the last few decades would not be surprised by the 2023 data.

It looks to be pretty much in line with the trend over recent decades to me.

In fact the 2023 data increased the correlation between atmospheric CO2 (NOT CO2 emission) and temperatures.

He should have checked

If Steve had looked at his own website, he would have seen this coming.

Fitting a least squares trend line to a recent version of the chart on his website clearly shows warming.