Yet another excuse for The Pause


Age-old excuses

Age-old excuses

UPDATE: One of the other ABC reports (and there are plenty) leaves no room for any doubt:

Stronger than normal trade winds in the central Pacific are the main cause of a 13-year halt in global surface temperatures increases, an Australian study reveals.

Note: “are” the main cause. Not might be, or perhaps, but “are.” And if that weren’t enough, we have a D-word alert:

The authors reject the study gives impetus to climate change deniers and instead suggest that when the winds ease, global warming will accelerate rapidly.

The ABC really is a piece of shite.

The ABC breathlessly reports that a well-known warmist has worked out yet another reason for The Pause, and another factor that the climate models apparently didn’t know about.

Matthew England of the University of New South Wales (see here and here, for example of his impartiality on the matter) proposes a variation on the ‘Dog Ate my Warming’ excuse, accepted uncritically as usual by the ABC:

Scientists have come up with an explanation for the pause in global warming, which has long been a point of contention raised by climate change sceptics.

Over the past 15 years the rate of global warming has slowed – and more recently almost stalled.

Sceptics say the slowdown suggests warming is not as bad as first thought, while most climate scientists say it is just a natural climate variability.

Now an Australian-led team of researchers has found strong winds in the Pacific Ocean are most likely to be behind the hiatus.

The University of New South Wales (UNSW) researcher Matthew England said oceans were much more dominant in terms of their heat uptake.

“Obviously we have implications of that such as sea level rise,” Professor England said.

Professor England led a team of researchers from around the world that has come up with an explanation for why the oceans soak up the heat.

Their research, published in the journal Nature Climate Change, has found the answer lies in stronger than usual trade winds whipping across the Pacific Ocean.

It was found the winds were churning the Pacific like a washing machine, bringing the deeper colder water to the surface and pushing the warmer water below.

“The phase we’re in of accelerated trade winds particularly lasts a couple of decades,” Professor England said.

“We’re about 12 to 13 years in to the most accelerated part of the wind field.

“It’s important to point out there’s a cycle we expect to reverse and when they do reverse back to their normal levels we’d expect global warming to kick in and start to rise.” (source)

Note how the day of reckoning, when warming is set to resume, has been pushed out to some unspecified point in the future. Personally, I think it’s the Flying Spaghetti Monster that’s tinkering with the climate, reaching out with his noodly appendage to fool the warmists… no more ridiculous than the above, I would say.

Add it to the list.

Skeptical Science: heads in the sand


Un-Sk Ps-Sc on the Pause and models

Un-Sk Ps-Sc on the Pause and model accuracy

Even Nature has acknowledged that the Pause is real, and that the models are missing something:

Average global temperatures hit a record high in 1998 — and then the warming stalled. For several years, scientists wrote off the stall as noise in the climate system: the natural variations in the atmosphere, oceans and biosphere that drive warm or cool spells around the globe. But the pause has persisted, sparking a minor crisis of confidence in the field. Although there have been jumps and dips, average atmospheric temperatures have risen little since 1998, in seeming defiance of projections of climate models and the ever-increasing emissions of greenhouse gases. […]

But none of the climate simulations carried out for the IPCC produced this particular hiatus at this particular time. That has led sceptics — and some scientists — to the controversial conclusion that the models might be overestimating the effect of greenhouse gases, and that future warming might not be as strong as is feared.

But let’s take a look at the headbangers over at Un-Skeptical Pseudo-Science. To start with, the Pause. In 2008, the page read as follows:

Did global warming stop in 1998?

1998 was an unusually hot year as it featured the strongest El Nino of the century. In fact, from Jan to May, 2007 is tied with 1998 as hottest year on record. The WMO reported in August that January and April 2007 were the hottest on record.

However, when determining trends, you don’t pick one month or year out of isolation – particularly if that year features a short term weather anomaly like El Nino. By this method, based on the fact that 2005 was .17°C hotter than 2000, you could conclude that the rate of global warming doubled from 2000 to 2005.

Using the fudged surface temperature sets, Un-Sk Ps-Sc was still able to claim the climate was still warming (phew). Fast forward to 2014. Another six years of no warming, and the only alternative is to… er, change the subject to ocean heat instead:

There’s also a tendency for some people just to concentrate on surface air temperatures when there are other, more useful, indicators that can perhaps 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. Here records show that the Earth has been warming at a steady rate before and since 1998 and there’s no signs of it slowing any time soon.

And the evidence for this is from a paper by one of their own – Dana Nuccitelli. Handy!

How about the accuracy of models in 2008? Un-Sk Ps-Sc used some graphs cut and pasted from the IPCC’s third assessment report (in 2001), to fool the sheep into believing that models were just perfect:

Cut and paste from 2001

Cut and paste from 2001

They then claim that observed temperatures “closely match” Hansen’s Scenario B, helped no doubt by the multiple fudge factors applied to GISS temperature data. If satellite data had been used instead, the argument would be far less compelling.

Today’s version of the page is still using those graphs from 2001, now a whole two IPCC reports out of date. It still plugs the Hansen Scenario B, despite the observed temperature series ending in 2005.

And just today, Nuccitelli, writing in his ‘97%’ column in the Guardian uses a figure which conveniently supports the same position, despite the fact that balloon and satellite data show an increasing divergence between observations and models.

Which image do Cook & Nuccitelli pick?

Which image do Cook & Nuccitelli pick?

When the usually warmist Nature concedes that something is happening to the climate system which was not forecast by the models, then you should listen.

And in fact, most ‘proper’ scientists would look at this as an opportunity to further the understanding of the drivers of climate change, both natural and anthropogenic, but the headbangers at Un-Sk Ps-Sc would much rather stick their heads in the sand and pretend nothing has changed.

It could almost be said that they were denying the reality… but that would be petty, wouldn’t it?

Twenty year hiatus in warming


Burn the heretics

Burn the heretics

Throw another heretic on the fire. Graham Lloyd explores the view, becoming more accepted by the day, that global warming has slowed or plateaued over the past 15 or so years.

It follows on from the Economist article which has caused quite a stir (see ACM here). Cue headbangers whining that even considering hypotheses that contradict the incessant alarmism of the AGW religion is part of a ‘war on science’, or some other such BS.

DEBATE about the reality of a two-decade pause in global warming and what it means has made its way from the sceptical fringe to the mainstream.

In a lengthy article this week, The Economist magazine said if climate scientists were credit-rating agencies, then climate sensitivity – the way climate reacts to changes in carbon-dioxide levels – would be on negative watch but not yet downgraded. Another paper published by leading climate scientist James Hansen, the head of NASA’s Goddard Institute for S

pace Studies, says the lower than expected temperature rise between 2000 and the present could be explained by increased emissions from burning coal.

For Hansen the pause is a fact, but it’s good news that probably won’t last.

International Panel on Climate Change chairman Rajendra Pachauri recently told The Weekend Australian the hiatus would have to last 30 to 40 years “at least” to break the long-term warming trend.

But the fact that global surface temperatures have not followed the expected global warming pattern is now widely accepted. Research by Ed Hawkins of University of Reading shows surface temperatures since 2005 are already at the low end of the range projections derived from 20 climate models and if they remain flat, they will fall outside the models’ range within a few years.

“The global temperature standstill shows that climate models are diverging from observations,” says David Whitehouse of the Global Warming Policy Foundation.

“If we have not passed it already, we are on the threshold of global observations becoming incompatible with the consensus theory of climate change,” he says. Whitehouse argues that whatever has happened to make temperatures remain constant requires an explanation because the pause in temperature rise has occurred despite a sharp increase in global carbon emissions.

The Economist says the world has added roughly 100 billion tonnes of carbon to the atmosphere between 2000 and 2010, about one-quarter of all the carbon dioxide put there by humans since 1750. This mismatch between rising greenhouse gas emissions and not-rising temperatures is among the biggest puzzles in climate science just now, The Economist article says.

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