The Pause: warmaholics tie themselves in knots

Anemometers at ten paces

Anemometers at ten paces

This is the awkward result when reality confronts ideology.

According to Un-Skeptical Pseudo-Science, the Pause is just a myth:

Climate myth… It hasn’t warmed since 1998

“For the years 1998-2005, temperature did not increase. This period coincides with society’s continued pumping of more CO2 into the atmosphere.” (Bob Carter)

No, it hasn’t been cooling since 1998. Even if we ignore long term trends and just look at the record-breakers, that wasn’t the hottest year ever. Different reports show that, overall, 2005 was hotter than 1998. What’s more, globally, the hottest 12-month period ever recorded was from June 2009 to May 2010.

And in case that turns out not to be correct, there’s always a fallback position:

“There’s also a tendency for some people just to concentrate on surface air temperatures when there are other, more useful [yeah, more useful all right… more useful to plug your agenda – Ed], indicators that can give us a better idea how rapidly the world is warming. Oceans for instance — due to their immense size and heat storing capability (called ‘thermal mass’) — tend to give a much more ‘steady’ indication of the warming that is happening.  Records show that the Earth has been warming at a steady rate before and since 1998 and there is no sign of it slowing any time soon…”

The now-famous ‘dog ate my warming’ excuse. Surface temperatures? We don’t need no stinkin’ surface temperatures… Please just ignore the fact that we obsessed over surface temperatures for the last 25 years, OK?

So how come, Un-Sk Ps-Sc, a paper published in Geophysical Research Letters (a peer-reviewed journal, note) acknowledges the existence of the Pause and tries to explain it?

In his new paper, [Shaun] Lovejoy applies the same approach to the 15-year period after 1998, during which globally averaged temperatures remained high by historical standards, but were somewhat below most predictions generated by the complex computer models used by scientists to estimate the effects of greenhouse-gas emissions.

The deceleration in rising temperatures during this 15-year period is sometimes referred to as a “pause” or “hiatus” in global warming, and has raised questions about why the rate of surface warming on Earth has been markedly slower than in previous decades. Since levels of greenhouse gases have continued to rise throughout the period, some skeptics have argued that the recent pattern undercuts the theory that global warming in the industrial era has been caused largely by human-made emissions from the burning of fossil fuels.

Lovejoy’s new study concludes that there has been a natural cooling fluctuation of about 0.28 to 0.37 degrees Celsius since 1998 — a pattern that is in line with variations that occur historically every 20 to 50 years, according to the analysis.

But surely climate models were supposed to take account of natural climate variations, not just the effect of anthropogenic CO2? Why is it that the models failed to predict the Pause? Is it because the variables in the models are set such that CO2 has far too large an influence on the model output, and natural variations have been minimised? Just a thought.

In any case, just enjoy the embarrassing squirming and wriggling of the warm-mongers as they battle it out to explain (or ignore) the Pause.

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