NEWSFLASH: “Climate change is not stopping”, says WMO chief

Since 2004, Michel Jarraud has served as the Secretary-General (i.e. head honcho) of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO). This UN organization is one of two “parents” of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). The other “parent”, as readers of this blog will no doubt recall, is the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP), promulgator of scary stories since 1972. Achim Steiner is the UNEP’s head honcho – and I have reported on his eloquent word salads from time to time.

In case you’ve forgotten, when the IPCC held its Press Conference on the release of the “contribution” of Working Group I (the super-science crowd) to the IPCC’s 5th Assessment Report (AR5) at the end of January, Steiner’s presence was virtual via video, while Jarraud was at the table, recycling the tenets and liturgy we’ve heard ad nauseam since the release of the 2007 “barrage of intergalactic ballistic missiles” [h/t Andrew Weaver] aka the Climate Bible. Curiously, the (long past his best-before date) IPCC Chair, Rajendra K. Pachauri (and his green tie) seemed to be have been tossed into the dustbin.

In preparation for his star turn during the March 31 Working Group II (WGII) Press Conference [almost 90 minutes including intro, a “trailer” for the “sequel” to AR5 The Movie], to facilitate the promulgation of the latest and greatest climate gospel (‘we know more than we did seven years ago: the future will be worse than we thought, so we must act urgently for the sake of future generations because our brilliant scientists and all their pretty graphs said so’), sometime on or before Feb. 11, Jarraud did a warm-up video – quite possibly because he knew he wouldn’t be able to be in two places at once on March 23 which was (as apparently it is every year) … drum-roll, please … World Meteorological Day. Did you miss it, too?! Damn! What a shame, eh?!

But no one should be deprived of Jarraud’s pearls of wisdom, prophesies of doom and pompous pronouncements of the perils ahead if we do not immediately pursue you-know-what. So, as a public service – without further ado – here’s Jarraud’s circa Feb. 11/14 five-minute (give or take a 20 secs or so) warm-up exercise:

Needless to say, there are no surprises in this warmed-over word salad. Some sound-bytes:

Human influence on the climate system is unequivocal … CO2 and other GHGs in the atmosphere is unprecedented … evil fossil fuels … by the end of the century temperature could be 4 degrees higher than pre-industrial levels … yada, yada, yada … urgent, decisive courageous action is required … IPCC’s AR5 WGII “impacts” report will be [the greatest thing since sliced bread]

Of course, in keeping with the Theme of this great day (“Weather and Climate Engaging Youth“), his terms of engagement include “No comments allowed” via the ‘Tube. But do feel free to comment below ;-)

As for what might have preoccupied Jarraud on The Big Day (March 23), perhaps he was busy perusing the WMO’s very own, oh-so-timely Annual Statement on the Status of the Climate and pondering the “final” wording of:

Press Release No. 985
For use of the information media
Not an official record

WMO Annual Climate Statement Highlights Extreme Events

Geneva, 24 March 2014 – The year 2013 once again demonstrated the dramatic impact of droughts, heat waves, floods and tropical cyclones on people and property in all parts of the planet, according to the World Meteorological Organization’s Annual Statement on the Status of the Climate. The report confirmed that 2013 tied with 2007 as the sixth warmest on record, continuing the long-term global warming trend. It provided a snapshot of regional and national temperatures and extreme events as well as details of ice cover, ocean warming, sea level rise and greenhouse gas concentrations – all inter-related and consistent indicators of our changing climate.

[…]

There is no standstill in global warming,” said Mr Jarraud. The warming of our oceans has accelerated, and at lower depths. More than 90 percent of the excess energy trapped by greenhouse gases is stored in the oceans. Levels of these greenhouse gases are at record levels, meaning that our atmosphere and oceans will continue to warm for centuries to come. The laws of physics are non-negotiable.”

[…]

WMO’s statement, which is an internationally recognized authoritative source of information, highlights the key climate events of 2013 [top of this “authoritative” alarmo-list, in case you were wondering]:

Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda), one of the strongest storms to ever make landfall, devastated parts of the central Philippines. [emphasis added -hro]

But wait, there’s more! According to a Voice of America article by Lisa Schlein, on a March 24, Jarraud declared:

2013 – Sixth Warmest Year on Record

The World Meteorological Organization reports 2013 was the sixth warmest year on record, confirming the long-term global warming is continuing. In its annual report on the Status of the Climate, WMO describes a pattern of extreme weather events across the planet.

[…]

“Since 2001, the first year of this Century, the coldest year that we have observed since 2001 is actually warmer than any year before 1998. I do not think this can be used in seeing a contradiction of the stop in climate change. Climate change is not stopping,” said Jarraud. [emphasis added -hro]

It is so reassuring to know that “Climate change is not stopping”. I’m sure that you must have been as concerned as I was that climate change might “stop”. And lest there be any doubt in your mind … during his star performance at the IPCC’s March 31 Press Conference (at which Pachauri was dusted off – along with his green tie – and at the table to do his usual schtick), in response to a question which included mention of “the pause”, Jarraud was most authoritatively emphatic in declaring that “There is no pause” [at approx 1:20:23]:

Amazing. Simply amazing.

7 thoughts on “NEWSFLASH: “Climate change is not stopping”, says WMO chief

  1. But I thought stolen emails could stop climate change? No? Have I got that wrong… did they actually inform us, back in 2009, that stolen emails did NOT stop the ice melting, the climate changing, etc.? I wish climate communicators would make their pronouncements a bit more facile. They’re much too sophisticated and nuanced for simple folk like me, whose degrees are not in climatology.

    • Thanks so much for doing this, Alex …

      What I find really interesting is that while WGI Co-Chair, Thomas Stocker had fumbled the pause and its cause ball in September (and what I had not noticed while listening to Field’s barrage of word-salads, during which he kept singing verses from his risky business song, until I read your transcript), both WGII Co-Chair, Chris Field and WMO’s Michel Jarraud seemed quite determined to toss the pause-ball into the dustbin. Here’s Field’s pick-up trick in response to Parker’s question (my bold in both excerpts from your transcript below):

      Well, I think that the first thing that’s important to recognise is that, from the earth system perspective, we haven’t seen anything like a pause. What we’ve seen is that the earth has continued to warm at a rapid rate, that over the last few years – for reasons that are only partially understood – more of that warming has been showing up in the ocean and less – a lower fraction – has been showing up in the atmosphere. And even though the atmosphere has continued to warm, we’ve had more of the global warming showing up in the ocean. So the idea of a pause is not – it’s just not correct, it’s not – it’s not what we’re seeing in the data. What we’re seeing in the data is continued rapid warming.

      And a few frames later, of course, Jarraud tosses the pause-ball into the dustbin:

      Yeah, I would like to come back to this “pause”, because I think it’s very misleading. There is. No. Pause.

      [Jumble of Jarraudian jargon]

      […] So no, there is no pause, and the global earth system – including the atmosphere, the ocean and the land surface – continues to warm

      I wonder what the ‘jewel in the crown, of British and global science’ (aka the U.K. Met Office) will do with their three pause papers from last July, now;-)

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