The World Meteorological Organization is standing over the data recently released, which is reinforcing the message that man-made activities are contributing to adverse global climate change.
Clare Nullis, spokesperson for the WMO told Power Engineering International her organisation was not in agreement with dissent on the findings expressed by former Innogy chief Dr Fritz Vahrenholt, who claimed that El Nino was the true cause of temperature changes.
Last week Vahrenholt was dismissive of the science propelling what he believes is a disastrous energy policy, Energiewende, in his home country, Germany. Data produced by the UK Met Office, Nasa and Noaa confirmed the link between human activity and global warming.
Nullis told Power Engineering International El Niño only contributes to short term variations in the climate and the WMO asserts that long term climate warming is emanating from human activity. NASA and NOAA calculated that El Niño increased the temperature anomaly by 0.12 degrees C in 2016 but it would have been warmest on record without El Niño.
“WMO stands by the science and would again stress the urgency of climate action. We disagree with the statements that there is nothing to worry about.”
“Over the past few years we have issued many press releases all highlighting our concern. WMO-s data are based on NOAA, NASA GISS, HadCrut, and ECMWF reananlysis. Whatever dataset you use, the underlying message is the same; temperatures are rising. Each decade has been warmer than the past because of long term climate change. Long-term climate indicators back this up. And increasing numbers of scientific studies show that human induced climate change is impacting extreme weather, especially heatwaves.”
Nullis also pointed to the Greenland glacier melt, and record-breaking broken sea ice in the Arctic and Antarctic, as recently mentioned by the head of her organisation.
“Long-term indicators of human-caused climate change reached new heights in 2016. Carbon dioxide and methane concentrations surged to new records. Both contribute to climate change. The Arctic is warming twice as fast as the global average. The persistent loss of sea ice is driving weather, climate and ocean circulation patterns in other parts of the world. We also have to pay attention to the potential release of methane from melting permafrost,” said WMO Secretary-General Petteri Taalas.
The WMO was responding to statements made to PEi by Vahrenholt who had said, "The temperature increase from 2014 to 2016 was exclusively an effect of El Nino. We have to compare it with the El Nino from 1998. In all other temperature records (Hadcrut , RSS or UAH) the difference ranges from 0.02 to 0.1. If this is the effect of CO2, we will have no problems in this century."
The former CEO of RE Power Systems also took exception with the report’s findings with regard to the ‘hottest year on record’.
"I am not sure whether the bold sentence 'hottest year since whatever year' is correct. The medieval warm period was at minimum of the same temperature and possibly some time back to the Holocene period (at a) maximum."
"All this does not matter. Because if 50 per cent is of natural origin, there is no cause for alarm. The models, which cannot show the medieval warm period, are tuned from 1980 to 2000, where we had a strong influence of Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation (AMO) and the sun."
Vahrenholt believes the government’s energy policy, fuelled by the global warming agenda, is bringing unnecessary ecological and financial consequences to Germany. The government has facilitated an unprecedented capacity of renewable energies on to the national grid, while phasing out nuclear power, which had accounted for 30 per cent of the energy mix.