Do aliens cause global warming? The data say ‘yes!’

April 15th, 2014 by Roy W. Spencer, Ph. D.

It’s been over 11 years since the late novelist Michael Crichton advanced the hypothesis that aliens cause global warming.

I decided it was time to test his claim with real data.

Well, sure enough, the monthly UFO reports in recent decades are highly correlated with the increase in global ocean heat content. In fact, the relationship is so strong, if this was an epidemiological study it would be time to regulate UFOs.

Between 1979 and 2011 the number of UFO reports has been increasing right along with the average temperature of the upper 700 meters of ocean:

Fig. 1. Time series of monthly UFO reports and global average ocean temperature anomalies from the surface to 700 m depth. Trailing 12-month averages are also shown.

Fig. 1. Time series of monthly UFO reports and global average ocean temperature anomalies from the surface to 700 m depth. Trailing 12-month averages are also shown.

The correlation between UFO reports and ocean temperature is over 0.95, clearly better than the correlation between that boring old carbon dioxide and ocean warming:

Fig. 2. Lag correlations between UFO reports vs. upper ocean temperature, and CO2 versus upper ocean temperature.

Fig. 2. Lag correlations between UFO reports vs. upper ocean temperature, and CO2 versus upper ocean temperature.

In fact, note the tendency for CO2 to follow ocean temperature , suggesting a weak tendency for warming ocean water to outgas CO2 (or reduce the uptake of atmospheric CO2). In other words, warming causes a CO2 increase, versus the common view that CO2 causes warming. In contrast, the peak correlation between UFO reports and ocean temperature is at zero time lag. UFOs visit, the ocean warms.

(And for you alien deniers out there, here’s the spreadsheet with the data and links.)

But correlation isn’t necessarily causation. We need some sort of hypothesized mechanism for how — any maybe why — aliens cause global warming.

My hypothesis is that the extraterrestrials’ spaceships have some sort of powerful heat generators which are dumping energy into the ocean. Maybe an antigravity-based thermogenic flux capacitor technology (that’s just a guess…I’m only a rocket scientist, not a nuclear physicist or movie star).

But why? Why are the aliens trying to warm our oceans?

Do they come from a warm waterworld? Do they want to colonize our ocean after it is sufficiently heated up? Or are we just the proverbial frogs in a pot of water on the stove?

Clearly, aliens like warmer weather, because there is a strong annual cycle in UFO reports, with the peak number of visitations in July, which is when global average temperatures also peak:

Fig. 3. Average number of UFO reports by calendar month, illustrating aliens' affinity for warmer weather.

Fig. 3. Average number of UFO reports by calendar month, illustrating aliens’ affinity for warmer weather.

This is also consistent with the fact that aliens are known to not have any fur, let alone any clothes, probably because their home planets are so warm:

Fig. 4. Famous aliens have no fur or clothes, suggesting their home planet(s) are quite warm.

Fig. 4. Famous aliens have no fur or clothes, suggesting their home planet(s) are quite warm.

Or, maybe they just like to people-watch. More people are out and about in the summer. That would make abductions easier, too. A two-fer.

On an unrelated matter, I’ve also been working on a new generalized theory of where straight lines come from. Since they are all perfectly correlated with one another, I believe they have a common origin…maybe a super line that extends to infinity and beyond, which generates all other, lesser lines. But the linear algebra is proving to be kinda messy. Stay tuned.

Finally, I’d like to conclude with a quote from Mark Twain:

“There is something fascinating about science. One gets such wholesale returns of conjecture out of such a trifling investment of fact.”

A Closing Thought I talked with Michael Crichton before his death about his experiences getting involved in the global warming debate through his lectures, his book State of Fear (in which John Christy and I were represented by a lady scientist), and his congressional testimony on the subject of climate change. I think he believed he was doing a public service, but the politicization of the issue (and the way he was treated in congress) took him totally by surprise. That left a bad taste in his mouth, and he said he would no longer be involved in the climate issue. This is a crazy business we work in, and most sane people choose not to get involved in the public debate.

65 Responses to “Do aliens cause global warming? The data say ‘yes!’”

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  1. brad says:

    Well, I’m convinced. Does the ICCC,know about this? It sounds like settled science to me. We can’t wait we must act;the aliens have so much to teach us or wait… maybe they are trying to cook us.

  2. Massimo PORZIO says:

    I always suspected that, finally the truth has come 🙂

  3. John LG says:

    Love it! It would have been perfect 2 weeks ago, but satire is appreciated any time.

  4. Pathway says:

    It appears that on the long interstellar flight the aliens are not doing enough upper body workouts. One on them even has man boobs. I guess they will just enslave us with a mind meld, so they won’t have to do any work.
    Love the correlation Dr. Spencer.

  5. Norman says:

    Well since wild speculation is the topic of this thread.

    I would agree with Roy that the aliens want a warmer world (to colonize the planet). But the aliens he features are the slave greys. They are the slaves of the reptillian race of alien. Cold blooded type. Hate the winter and cold planets.

    Watching “V” (when it was on). The show informed me that the reptoids use genetic manipulation to alter their surface and are humanoid in appearance. So they have infiltrated the planet with their spies.

    The original method of warming the planet, so the majority of their species still on the Mother Ship, would finally have a home planet to call their own, was to reduce cloud cover. But insightful types like Roy Spencer bring this up as a possible warming mechanism. Their spies have taken over climate science and peddle the theory CO2 is responsible for the warming to deflect humans from seeing the truth (even though the history of CO2 was 6000 PPM with still having ice ages).

    Now that Roy has uncovered the cloud reduction it is phase two. Use their USO’s to dig deep into the earth and allow magma to move close to the surface and warm the oceans from below adding heat to the Earth’s surface. Only problem with this is they might trigger more volcanoes which will cause cooling. It has to be done in a careful fashion to warm the ocean basin without triggering too many volcanoes.

    Anyway it is confirmed that the humans will not be able to figure out that phase 2 is an reptillian warming plot. It is still CO2 as the main driver.

  6. Dave Spencer says:

    This is just a crazy theory casually thrown out there.

    We all know that the pirate correlation is far more robust.

    • Hey, it’s not casual. I tried to act formal about it.

      The pirate correlation with warming is negative, and so suggests more pirates cause cooling. Was there a mechanism advanced for how that might happen?

      • ray says:

        I happened to pass Execution Dock a few days ago while cruising up the river Thames. Captain Kidd was the last pirate “turned off” there. His defence had been: “All my actions have been in the nature of a protest against global warming, and the rising water levels I have noticed in my time at sea.” Because of those said increases in tidal surges, there was no difficulty at all in getting the water over his head three times.

  7. Phyte On says:

    Is it possible that increases in CO2 emissions causes more UFO sightings? It would be interesting to see if there is a correlation.

    • Ray says:

      More likely that high temperatures “cause” result in more UFO sightings.
      Warmer weather = more people spend more time outdoors = more time to observe natural phenomena.

      • Ray says:

        Should have read:
        More likely that high temperatures “cause” more UFO sightings.
        Warmer weather = more people spend more time outdoors = more time to observe natural phenomena.

  8. lance says:

    SURELY, there is some huge grant money in this study….by big oil of course. I would gladly accept this money to further this study with you, in a warmer climate than Canada though, I would have to move lock/stock and barrel to your location…barring any alien started hurricanes…

    • Sorry, I’m keeping all of the Big Oil money for myself…even the extra I use to help start fires in my fireplace. You wouldn’t want me to freeze, would ya?

      • Doug Lampert says:

        Hey, it was snowing and sleeting lightly this morning in the Huntsville area so Roy probably needs those fires.

        Speaking of which: More unseasonable weather! Snow and sleet in Alabama in mid-April! The sky is falling! It’s global warming!

  9. Stephen Richards says:


  10. Bonzodog says:

    Does the change in temperature correspond to the increase in spotting of blue police boxes? A few years ago they were only seen in various islands on the north-west coast of Europe but in more recent times they have been visible across large parts of the world correlating with the increase in ocean temperatures.

  11. Sigmundb says:

    Oops, you caught us there Dr. Spencer:

    We heat the air going in (friction) and the oceans going out (need to hide all that energy from the low efficiency process overcoming gravity). The CO2/IPCC thing was something we set up to trow you humans off our scent. Now that we are caught we can disband the charade tell you what its all about. So there will be a fourth IPCC report coming out soon…

  12. chuckarama says:

    Sigh… Lewandowsky is going to have a field day with this… And the comments are just going to ignite his “Fury”. 😉

  13. Thanks, Dr. Spencer, for reminding of Michael Crichton.
    His novel State of Fear was an eye-opener to me, after being brain-washed by the IPCC.

  14. Peter Yates says:

    Quote: “Average number of UFO reports by calendar month, illustrating aliens’ affinity for warmer weather.”

    Well .. maybe that should be: “…warmer weather in the Northern Hemisphere”!
    Perhaps the aliens move between the Southern and Northern Hemisphere depending on the time of the year.
    A similar graph for the Southern Hemisphere should show more UFO reports during the months of Nov, Dec, Jan, Feb.

    However, more people are outside during those months because of the good weather, and would be more likely to notice Unidentified Objects in the sky which may or may not be “Flying”!

  15. Jerry Lee Davis says:

    This is an EPA issue. Obviously aliens are dumping untreated dilithum waste from their warp drives directly into the ocean. This provides the observed residual heat flow. It’s outrageous that this situation has been ignored by the MSM and our government.

  16. Chad Jessup says:

    The reason the alien spaceships are heating the oceans are quite simple – their superdooper engines require water to cool.

    The spaceships descend to 2000 meters to commence the cooling process. That is Trenberth’s missing heat and the mechanism by which that heat bypasses the layers of ocean above 2000 meters.

    For a bunch of smart guys, I thought everybody would have had that figured out already. Geez!

  17. jjs says:

    Aliens come here to shop at Wlamart – great low prices and plenty of parking. Stuff is a lot cheaper here because their dumb ass politicians forced cap and trade on them and lots of gamma ray windmills that don’t work for crap….

  18. Andy Hurley says:

    Lewandowsky must be applauded for scoring 100 goals for his team Borussia Dortmund , the Other Lewandowsky just appears to specialise in own goals.

  19. That is a great tip especially to those fresh to the blogosphere.
    Simple but very accurate information_ Thank you for sharing this one.
    A must read article!

  20. Noblesse Oblige says:

    Of course UFO reports and global warming are correlated! Both are caused by human insanity.

  21. m says:

    I know this is a joke, but its also a poor attempt to sneak in some bad science denialism.

    You correlated 12-month average ufo reports with 12-month average temperature anomolies, but for CO2 you only correlated 12-month average temperatures with the 1-month CO2 average.

    Your statement that CO2 has a low correlation with temperature anomolies is not based on any valid science.

    Assuming that your data set is actually legit, your new correlations should look like this:

    • David says:

      Correlation does not imply causation. My intentions were to use this website as a resource for arguing that climate change is occurring naturally and is not man made. Now I am having doubts in the credibility of this website. I mean seriously, aliens?

      • ray says:

        “…seriously, aliens?”

        No, not seriously.

        The data series are so boringly sideways that something has to be done to break the monotony.

        • m says:

          Its not okay to manipulate data, even if its just out of boredom.

          Spencer displays the same manipulation of data that he accuses the IPCC of. Its rather obvious what his intentions are.

  22. Steve Goreham says:

    Very cute and well done, Roy.


  23. Nick Milner says:

    That’s the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever read. Everyone knows the aliens killed Cate Blanchett, not Kate Winslet.

  24. ray says:

    If one allows for the fact that CO2 concentration has an annual cycle, the correlation between Mauna and the water temperature anomalies series is quite as high as the correlation between the alien sightings and the water temperatures. Therefore,one may perhaps say that the two theories are EQUALLY LIKELY. In the latter years of the series (2003 – 2010) both of the correlations PLUMMET to less than 0.5. The foundations of the world are rocking!

  25. David A says:

    Crichton’s book cherry picked a few locations, only, to tell the story he wanted to tell.

    It’s actually quite hilarious that anyone ever took him seriously on climate science.

  26. Mike Gale says:

    The truth is out there.

    Way out there quite often!!

  27. Psalmon says:

    “The worst thing that can happen to a good cause is, not to be skillfully attacked, but to be ineptly defended.” ― Frédéric Bastiat

    Thank you Dr. Spencer.

  28. Peter Azlac says:

    Brilliant satire but perhaps not such a crazy idea. Not that aliens cause global warming but the correlation between claimed sightings of UFOs and SST. Since there is evidence of links between solar geomagnetic flux, SST and changes in the Earth’s electric field, these sightings may well be real – not UFOs but something like lightening balls traveling along field lines!

  29. James says:

    Has anyone alerted Stephan Lewandowsky?

  30. Alex Cull says:

    Further to Peter Azlac’s comment, I’m wondering if there’s also some sort of link between purported experiences of alien communication/abduction and visions of ecological catastrophe, as the two seem to go together, in quite a few cases.

    A well-known example would be that of author Whitley Strieber who claims to have communicated with aliens on numerous occasions and also claims to have had premonitions of catastrophic global warming (he’s the co-author of the book that was used as the basis for the movie “The Day After Tomorrow”.)

  31. Ron McCarley says:

    You’re all missing the point. Everyone that saw the movie “The Arrival” with Charlie Sheen knows that the aliens have already infiltrated, and look like us because they have plasticized their bodies to look like us. They don’t sweat, and they are secretly terraforming the planet, as they want it hotter. In several places on Earth, they are sending out aggressive greenhouse gases without our knowledge.

  32. Mary Brown says:

    You have it all wrong. Leprechauns are causing global warming. The data is clear and shown here…

  33. Geert de Vries says:

    One thing is likely reassuring, we dont need to fear aliens, they are obviously sociable (likelyhood over 95%). We know this with great certainty because there is medium confidence they prefer warmth, and high confidence they mainly arrive in July. These conditions are mostly satisfied in the populous northern hemisphere where mixing with the locals is quick and easy as borne out by the many documented and undocumented reports of such encounters. This is further confirmed by the three datasets I have, which all show zero observed aliens on the nearly unpopulated southern hemisphere. Their sociability is virtually certain.

  34. James T Kirk says:

    Alien Overlords! Your attempt to claim responsibility for climate change using correlation of data is fallacious and misinformed! You present evidence of sightings of your ships from the “National UFO Reporting Center” (clearly a cover operation for your invasion), global ocean temperatures from the NOAA, as well as atmospheric CO2 concentrations from Mauna Loa. Then you state that the high correlation between the two is sufficient reason to state causation. You infer that this argument is satisfactory since correlation to causation is how scientists prove anthropogenic climate change. By doing so you present the feint of a poorly presented argument meant to lure us into a false sense of security in your non-existence. No well-informed human could ever think scientists would use correlation to infer causation! This is a straw man argument or whatever it is you use on your alien planet to protect your crops. Since you are uniformed, I will explain. On this planet our scientists sometimes use correlation to show that there are issues, such as increasing lead concentrations in the water correlating to higher cancer rates. However, they never use these techniques to prove the idea to themselves or to each other. Scientists have extremely high standards for both their evidence and the arguments they use the evidence in. You may want to get used to this if you are still planning to invade. I for one welcome our new alien overlords.

  35. Polianthus says:

    I suspected it was the E.T.’s and now after Googling it and finding this page (which cannot be a coincidence) I have invested a pseudo religious faith in the matter and will feel totally justified in completely losing my shisnit with anyone who dares to question what I now understand to be science.

  36. Ward says:

    What on Earth, Season 3 Episode 2. This episode talks about a certain area of the ocean 6 degrees warmer than usual.There is a part showing sea snakes and man talking. The next part they are on a live shot of the area and in the clouds there is a UFO. Could this UFO be warming the ocean causing havoc on our weather?

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