Warming alarmists are trying to spin recent global cooling as just a cool phase of the Pacific oscillation, "masking" ongoing global warming. This explanation is KNOWN to be false.

The geologic record proves beyond any doubt that global temperature is driven by the solar wind (or sunspot activity), and that changes in CO2 are of immeasurably little consequence. Thus the present lull in solar activity means that global temperature is now falling. If solar cycle 24 fires up strong, global temperature could rise again, but given that solar activity has been at historical highs since 1940, a long term fall off IS coming, and when it does, it WILL cause long term cooling.

Figuring in ocean oscillations

The simple relationship between global temperature and solar activity is obscured somewhat by the difference between global temperature and surface temperature. Global temperature is the average temperature of the oceans, which are the planet's primary heat sink. In comparison, the heat storage capacities of the land masses and the atmosphere are trivial.

Ocean temperatures are not evenly distributed. The Atlantic and Pacific oceans both experience oscillations, where unusually warm or cold waters take turns at the ocean surface. This surface water is a primary determinant of the earth's surface temperature, so the ocean oscillations cause surface temperature to oscillate with respect to the actual global temperature.

Our current global cooling phase, caused by the lull in solar activity, happens to coincide with the onset of a cold "la nina" phase of the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO). Thus as the earth cools, surface temperatures will cool even faster.

The warming alarmists are pretending that all the cooling is due to the ocean oscillations, which is only masking continued global warming:
Our results suggest that global surface temperature may not increase over the next decade, as natural climate variations in the North Atlantic and tropical Pacific temporarily offset the projected anthropogenic warming.
In the press they are even bolder:
However, temperatures will again be rising quickly by about 2020, they say.
But present cooling is not just cold ocean oscillations masking overall warming. It is cold oscillations on top of a fall off in solar activity that is predicted by solar cycle 25 to become serious (if it isn't already).

The warming alarmists are actively covering up the real threat, even as it becomes manifest. Thirty years of la nina, compounded by thirty years of declining solar activity, at a time when Milankovitch cycles are approaching ice age conditions, is a time to be doing everything we can to forstall the possibility of runaway global cooling. Global warming never was a threat. Warming has negative feedback effects that stop it from becoming harmful. Global cooling does not. Positive cooling feedbacks regularly descend all the way into 100,000 year long ice ages, with the next one due any century now.

20th century solar activity and ocean oscillations

It is not that ocean oscillations can't mask global warming. This isn't what is happening now, but it actually did happen in the 1940's and 50's. The comparison is instructive.

Solar activity was at that time reaching "grand maximum" levels, just as a thirty year cold phase of the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (or PDO) was starting. The intense solar activity warmed the oceans as a whole (and hence the earth), but having the colder Pacific water at the surface caused surface temperatures across the planet to fall, so it felt like the earth was cooling.

This phenomenon can be seen in the following three graphics: sunspot count, PDO, and the surface temperature record:

Sunspot Count
©Cap'n Bob
Cap'n Bob's sunspot count graphic. Solar activity reaches "grand maximum" levels in the early 1940's and stay there through the 50's and early 60's.

Pacific Decadal Oscillation
©Steven Hare
Steven Hare's Pacific Decadal Oscillation graphic. The PDO went into a cold surface water phase at the same time the sun was heating up.

Surface Temperature
©Roy Spencer
Roy Spencer's graphic of the HadCRUT3 surface temperature record. HadCRUT3 surface temperature record. The surface temperature cooled in the 40's and 50's as the cold PDO masked the warming being caused by high solar activity.

Continuing forward, the graphs show that the cold phase of the Pacific oscillation continued through the 60's, where the resulting cold surface temperatures were compounded by a weak solar cycle. By the early seventies, there was justified concern about the possible onset of the next ice age. Solar activity would be heading back down sooner or later, and it could have been sooner. What was unjustified was anti-capitalist environmentalists like Stephen Schneider blaming the cooling on human burning of fossil fuels, just so they could have an excuse for urging restrictions on fossil fuel burning and economic growth.

Shortly after Newsweek took global cooling fears mainstream in 1975, solar activity returned to "grand maximum" levels and the Pacific oscillation turned to its warming "el nino" phase. Throughout the 80's and 90's, these warming effects worked together to drive surface temperatures up. Solar activity and the Pacific oscillation both leveled out over the first five years of the 21st century, and in the last couple of years both have turned in the cooling direction.

In sum, if the surface temperature record is "corrected" for the influence of ocean oscillations (so that it tracks global temperature) the correlation to solar activity becomes much stronger.

Just how strong IS the correlation between solar activity and temperature, once the ocean oscillations and volcanic aerosol effects are corrected for?

The correlation is almost exact, all the way down to annual time scales. In the geologic record, the correlation in the geologic record is about 90% all the way down to decadal time scales. (Fred Singer and Henrik Svensmark both amass the evidence in their landmark books.) But the geologic record doesn't account for ocean oscillations and volcanic sulfates. For the modern period over which we have measures for these further determinants of surface temperature, the residual temperature anomaly tracks solar activity practically year by year. Here is Svensmark's graph of the temperature anomaly (trend removed), once ocean oscillations and volcanic aerosol effects are accounted for:

Svensmarks graph of the temperature
Svensmark's graph of the temperature anomaly (trend removed).

Notice that Svensmark plots temperature against Galactic Cosmic Radiation (GCR), not solar activity. Higher levels of solar activity shield the earth from GCR, so GCR serves as a proxy for solar activity and vice versa. It is GCR that can be measured directly in the geologic record, and in Svensmark's theory, it is GCR that causes global cooling (by ionizing the atmosphere and seeding cloud formation).

Very impressive correlation. In contrast, there is no empirical evidence whatsoever that CO2 drives anything. The warming alarmists have a theory with NO EVIDENCE behind it, and they are willfully blind to the overwhelming evidence that temperature is driven by solar-magnetic-activity/GCR. Despite the fact that ALL THE EVIDENCE points to solar activity and GCR as the drivers of global temperature, the IPCC's General Circulation Models completely omit this competing theory.

According to cooling denier Richard Wood:
Natural variations over the next 10 years might be heading in the cold direction.

But, he adds:
If you run the model long enough, eventually global warming will win.
Yes. But not because the model is distinguishing between natural and anthropogenic warming. The model ASSUMES that CO2 drives temperature, and assumes that solar effects do not. As the IPCC climatologists admit (when pressed): these models do not produce forecasts. They are simulations that extrapolate assumptions, and the assumptions that are being extrapolated are those of environmental religionism, completely divorced from the evidence. They omit from their assumptions what there IS evidence for and assume what there is NO evidence for. Pure scientific fraud.

Environmentalist religion

CO2 has no role to play anywhere in this story. Theoretically higher levels of CO2 should have a very slight warming effect, but empirically, this effect is unmeasurable. We are NOT in a state like the 40's and 50's where a cooling PDO was masking the warming effects of high solar activity. We are in a very dangerous cooling phase where cold ocean oscillations are compounding the cooling effects of diminished solar activity. The only masking going on is from the dishonest warming alarmists, covering up the very real perils of global cooling with their hot air about CO2.

This gives them an excuse to proceed with their real agenda: placing restrictions on fossil fuel burning and economic growth. The warming alarmists are not actually concerned about global warming at all, and never were. They are environmental religionists who see economic activity as gobbling up the environment. The only thing they actually care about is securing restrictions on fossil fuel burning as a way to curtail economic activity and save the environment from human encroachment.

The alarmists don't care whether their claims about CO2 driven warming are true. In fact, they all KNOW that anthropogenic global warming is a hoax, but it gets them the policy prescription that they are driven to on religious grounds, and so they embrace it.

Error Theory

Distrust in truth is the fundamental human moral failing. In every arena, half the population imagines that it can somehow be right or in their interest to avoid or suppress the truth. The inevitable consequence of this truth avoidance is that the truth avoiders end up divorced from reality, which inevitably makes them wrong in their assumptions about what is right or in their interest.

In reality, warming is completely benign, while cooling is extraordinarily dangerous. It can easily wipe out, not just most of mankind, but most of the biosphere, as it has done like clockwork for the last 2 million years. When it comes to gobbling up flora and fauna, nothing compares to an ice age. If we want to save the planet, we ought to be pumping out greenhouse gases as fast as we can, and tailoring them to patch the infrared "holes" in our greenhouse blanket. Instead, thanks to the global warming alarmists, we are not going to do anything to warm up our greenhouse blanket, and will only be able to pray that this isn't the big one. Pretty damned stupid. Such are the wages of distrust in truth.

Jesus tried to tell us all: be a witness for truth. That is what he was doing--"I came into the world to be a witness for truth" (Jn 18:37)--and he asked us to follow him. The environmentalists think they are beyond Christianity. Fools. They don't begin to get it. If you don't trust in truth, if you just assume that curtailing fossil fuel burning is the right thing to do, regardless of what is really happening with global temperature, then you get divorced from reality and EVERYTHING you think you know will be WRONG.

These idiots will get us (or our children) killed.