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There was no pause

Filed under: — rasmus @ 22 January 2017

I think that the idea of a pause in the global warming has been a red herring ever since it was suggested, and we have commented on this several times here on RC: On how data gaps in some regions (eg. the Arctic) may explain an underestimation of the recent warming. We have also explained how natural oscillations may give the impression of a faux pause. Now, when we know the the global mean temperature for 2016, it’s even more obvious.

Easterling and Wehner (2009) explained that it is not surprising to see some brief periods with an apparent decrease in a temperature record that increases in jumps and spurts, and Foster and Rahmstorf (2012) showed in a later paper how temperature data from the most important observations show consistent global warming trends when known short-term influences such as El Niño Southern oscillation (ENSO), volcanic aerosols and solar variability are accounted for.

A recent paper by Hausfather et al. (2017) adds little new to our understanding, although it confirms that there has not been a recent “hiatus” in the global warming. However, if there are doubts about a physical condition, then further scientific research is our best option for establishing the facts. This is exactly what this recent study did.

The latest findings confirm the results of Karl et al. 2015 from the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), which Gavin described in a previous post here on RC. The NOAA analysis received unusual attention because of the harassment it drew from the chair of the US House Science Committee and the subpoena demand for emails.

Science is convincing because it builds on independent assessments, which either confirm or disagree with previous findings. A scientific consensus is established when many independent lines of evidence underpin the same conclusions.

It is important to realize that science is about universal truths, which means that you should get a consistent picture in a comprehensive analysis. The idea of a hiatus was indeed inconsistent with other indicators, such as the global sea level which continued to rise unabated (Watson et al, 2015). And there was no reason to think that changes in the cryosphere and precipitation had ceased either.

More than 70% of earth’s area is oceans, and sea surface temperatures (SSTs) carry a large weight in the global mean surface temperature estimates. Karl et al. (2015) reported a cold bias in recent SSTs due to changing observing network. This bias gave the false appearance of a slow-down in the warming of the oceans, and by taking into account artifacts from a change in the observing network, Karl et al found a more pronounced warming in the recent decade. Hausfather et al. (2017) studied these more closely, and their findings confirmed the NOAA analysis.

Rising levels of CO2 may not only result in a global mean surface warming, but it is also possible that it accelerates the turnaround of the hydrological cycle (Benestad, 2016). So even a hypothetical period could take place with a reduced warming rate, but it would be accompanied with an accelerated atmospheric vertical overturning.

References

  1. D.R. Easterling, and M.F. Wehner, "Is the climate warming or cooling?", Geophysical Research Letters, vol. 36, 2009. http://dx.doi.org/10.1029/2009GL037810
  2. G. Foster, and S. Rahmstorf, "Global temperature evolution 1979–2010", Environmental Research Letters, vol. 6, pp. 044022, 2011. http://dx.doi.org/10.1088/1748-9326/6/4/044022
  3. Z. Hausfather, K. Cowtan, D.C. Clarke, P. Jacobs, M. Richardson, and R. Rohde, "Assessing recent warming using instrumentally homogeneous sea surface temperature records", Science Advances, vol. 3, pp. e1601207, 2017. http://dx.doi.org/10.1126/sciadv.1601207
  4. T.R. Karl, A. Arguez, B. Huang, J.H. Lawrimore, J.R. McMahon, M.J. Menne, T.C. Peterson, R.S. Vose, and H. Zhang, "Possible artifacts of data biases in the recent global surface warming hiatus", Science, vol. 348, pp. 1469-1472, 2015. http://dx.doi.org/10.1126/science.aaa5632
  5. C.S. Watson, N.J. White, J.A. Church, M.A. King, R.J. Burgette, and B. Legresy, "Unabated global mean sea-level rise over the satellite altimeter era", Nature Climate Change, vol. 5, pp. 565-568, 2015. http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/nclimate2635
  6. R.E. Benestad, "A mental picture of the greenhouse effect", Theoretical and Applied Climatology, vol. 128, pp. 679-688, 2016. http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00704-016-1732-y

156 Responses to “There was no pause”

  1. 51
    MA Rodger says:

    nigelj @10.
    I was holding back on this comment hoping the absent “graph above” would show itself to clarify your “slight slowdown in surface temperatures visible in the graph above, from about 2002-2012.”

    I myself am of the view that there is a “something” lurking in the temperature record which does require explanation. It maybe what fuelled the “about 2002-2012” comment @10. I feel this lurking “something” is enough for denialists to continue their “no warming since 1997” nonsense, their “hiatus” myth, which remarkably is still alive and kicking. These folk still reckon their “hiatus” will return when the recent El Nino has run its course.

    To ignore the “something” continues to hand enough to denialists to run round screaming “hiatus!!”. The “something” needs nailing.

    A while back I fell into an interchange with Nick Stokes on Tamino’s site about the merits of Nick’s Temperature Trend Viewer. The problem I see with his colourful triangles is that they use OLS to calculate trends but ignore the Confidence Intervals which get very large when the time period is less-than-long, a situation not helped by autocorrelation corrections. Thus I reckon that his colourful triangles would end up as simple yellow triangles if this were all accounted for. (I hammed up a version of this for AR(1) autocorrelation as used by Nick. I reckon it could easily be all-yellow using ARMA(1,1). Note the X & Y showing the “something – X” requiures the Y “anti-something – Y” to exist.)
    But my view is that these calculations of linear trends make a mess and nothing more.

    Here is an alternative approach. Chose your long-term trend and plot the deviation of the temperature record from that trend. This deviation can then be plotted as YEARS AHEAD or YEARS BEHIND the base trend. So if some fool denialist insists there has been a “hiatus” or a slowdown since 1997, this can be demonstrated to be total nonsense as plotted here (usually 2 clicks to ‘dpwnload your attachment’). It is plain that short period averages simply plot out how big was my ENSO. For surface temperature records, the wobbles require at least 60-month averages to get rid of the individual ENSO peaks & troughs. And that then justifies a plot of the 60-month averages (2 clicks) which show the “something” very precisely. The “something” began in October 2003 and lasted until March 2010, a period of 6.5 years. (The exercise can be repeated for HadCRUT with similar results. Note the TLT records will require longer averaged periods as they are much more wobbly.) During this period of “something”, the 60-month averages for GSS LOTI fell back from 4 years ahead of the 1970-97 trend to become 2 years behind the trend. The “something” thus does represent a period of very little warming. But the majority of that little-warming was cancelling out a prior period of mickle-warming (as the Scots used to say). The rate of global surface warming will always be deviating from the linear. And it is both the being AHEAD and the being BEHIND that requires examination.

    So there is a “something” (2004-2009 inclusive) which has had many explanations (ENSO, less rise in positive forcings, equatorial aerosols, volcanic, etc), in truth rather too many explanations to be healthy as we could find ourselves on the receiving end of a full set of them. The “something” was 6½ years long and does not represent a slowdown from the pre-1997 warming rate. Rather it mostly represents a slowdown back down to the pre-1997 rate.

  2. 52
    nigelj says:

    Mr. Know It All @38 says:

    “They (climate scientists) can still communicate with each other, right? Should be no problems there. They just cannot spew politically correct propaganda like they used to, right?I’d like to know what the carbon footprint is of all the Trump-hating protests, marches, riots, police enforcement, burning stuff, yelling, screaming, making signs and obscene costumes, flying all over the planet to protest on Soros’ dime, etc, etc, etc.”

    This post consists of personal insults, vague generalisations, and off topic political nonsense. It’s inflammatory trolling, and a gigantic bore. I thought this website had a comments policy?

    People are also entitled to protest and I can think of about 100 reasons to protest against Trumps ideas, all of them. However it would mostly be off topic but here so I wont comment. But here are a couple related to climate that would be relevant to the topic:

    Trumps attempts to silence climate agencies genuinely has shades of Nazism or Stalinism. Talk about attempts to shoot the messenger, censor free speech and act like a dictator.

    Trumps attempts to shut down public climate science databases are deplorable. There will be no discussion of a pause because Trump clearly wants to erase the entire temperature record!

    Air travel is a challenging issue: People accuse people of being hypocrites for continuing to fly. I think this is an unreasonable criticism. If one person chooses not to fly, it would not make any significant difference to emissions so wouldn’t make sense. This is why a collective response is needed, through for example a carbon tax that affects everyone so it is not just a personal sacrifice thing and becomes a price signal issue. Or alternatively we could have better low emissions fuels or use of forestry carbon sinks as an offset for air travel.

    Automobiles are different as we do now have low emissions and electric vehicles and people are starting to buy these. Air Travel is more challenging, but there is no reason to completely stop flying, because we do have the options I outlined like alternative fuels and forestry sink offsets.

    What is stopping progress on climate policies in general is political grid lock. Politicians are captive to special interests groups, through campaign donations etc. This is a huge sticking point. The majority of the public in America want action on climate change (seen in various polls)but are often ignored by politicians. Perhaps other countries are the same.

  3. 53
    t marvell says:

    I don’t understand why climate scientists pay no little attention to the fact that temperature and CO2 are statistically cointegrated. That means that any pause absolutely has to lead to an increase. Any spike, up or down, has to lead to a reversion to the long-term trend of CO2 and temperature.

  4. 54
    Chris O'Neill says:

    #32 nigelj:

    From a science point of view you could say a true pause in temperatures only happens at some particular level. But this would be hard to define wouldn’t it?

    No. It isn’t hard at all to choose a definition of a “true” pause. e.g. a pause is a statistically significantly (at the 2 sigma level say) slower rate of global warming over a period than previously existed. Such a period has not happened since before the 1970s. Use https://www.skepticalscience.com/trend.php to find estimates of ±2 sigma confidence intervals of global warming trend for whatever period you want.

  5. 55
    Chris O'Neill says:

    #31 nigelj:

    The general public will see it as a pause or slowdown

    Did the general public see the fall in global temperature from 1998 to 1999 as a pause?

    Some did no doubt. But I guess most would think it takes longer than one or two years for something to be called a pause. Most would think that a 2 year variation is obviously “noise”. At some length of time most of the public would go from calling a stagnant temperature not a pause to calling a stagnant temperature a pause, perhaps because there is a perception of how long the “noise” could have an impact on the trend.

    The defect in most of the public’s thinking is not realising that even a 15 year variation is still “noise” just like a 2 year variation is “noise”. This should be obvious from looking at a graph for the whole modern global warming era but such information is rarely presented to the public who are much more likely to see short parts of it cherry-picked by global warming denialists.

  6. 56
    David says:

    Read this story on Science Daily recently. It says this was concluded after “after adjusting for a cold bias in buoy temperature measurements.” How is it that this was not discovered until the global temperatures didn’t fit in with the climate change narrative? How is it that in 2015 we dont know how to measure temperature correctly with all of our scientific knowledge? They adjusted by nearly half a degree C. Thats no minor mistake.The bayous and satellite data were in tandem and then the two begin separating, why the inconsistency? Take a look at the graph on the link below.

    https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/01/170104143554.htm

  7. 57
    Piotr says:

    Mr. KIA 38: “[Scientists can communicate] just cannot spew politically correct propaganda like they used to, right?”

    How would _you_ even know it is propaganda given the sheer level of ignorance about science you have shown in this group?

    I wonder if somebody here could plot you and your ideological brethren to elucidate the precise nature of the relationship between the ignorance and the arrogance&contempt for the less ignorant (“I love the poorly educated, eh?”). Linear? Logistic? Exponential?

  8. 58
    nigelj says:

    MA Rodger @51

    Woops. By graph above, I meant the NASA Giss temperature graph in the previous article on 2016 temperatures.

    There is a clear pause or slowdown in this from about 2002 – 2012. The public see it as a pause or slowdown and this should be respected, not air brushed away. That’s all I’m saying.

    I totally agree with your explanation for this pause or temporary blip. It was a non event as far as I’m concerned and just the temporary impact of the el nino la nina and pdo cycles. I never expected a perfectly linear temperature trend.

    I think the general public will now see that the pause was a temporary blip. They were told it would be temporary, and it is now clearly over. The denialists may try the same global warming has stopped (completely, over, terminated, ice age pending) thing again if things slow, but I doubt as many people will believe them a second time around.

  9. 59
    nigelj says:

    Chris O’Neill @55

    Believe me there are people who believe even one cool year means a permanent ice age is imminent! Remember the average IQ is 100.

    But you are of course right, the majority would see a couple of years as natural variation and maybe 15 years as more of a pause. You are also right that not enough has been done to show even 15 years is just noise in the system.

    I recall the IPCC predicting 10 year slow periods. I think when the period after 1998 looked like it may get above 10 years, (in some data sets), this is when people became sceptical that something unpredicted was happening and global warming might be over or something. Of course the sceptics cherry picked a start point of 1998 to make it look like nearly a 20 year pause.

    Unfortunately it’s hard to counter these sorts of misleading, nasty tricks. You and I know its invalid statistics to use 1998 as a starting point but it’s hard to explain to the public why.

    However we now have a pause that is clearly over. The public can see this pause was actually only about 10 years and was within the range of predictions. I don’t think the public will buy another attempt to claim global warming has stopped, with an ice age imminent.

    It takes time for people to accept new science, eg The theory of evolution, tobacco and disease. But people get there in the end. My main worry is will they get there soon enough?

  10. 60
    Mr. Know It All 2 says:

    Is it true that Germans, because of their high electricity costs, are using wood and coal to heat their homes and causing an air pollution problem?

    47 – Bye bye, Ray! Arrivederci! Ciao!

    37, 39, 40, 41, 42 – Thanks for the answers – the answer is 1/100 of the gain due to greenhouse warming gases.

    31 – good answer, and as a non-atmospheric scientist, just looking at the “global temperature” graphs it does appear that there was a pause – so if that was not the case, then as you say, scientists should tell the rest of us where the heat was stored that caused the appearance of a pause.

    48, 49 – I’m still here! :( So, is there a probable tolerance of the global temperature that we read about in the newspapers – like +/- 1C, or +/- 2C, etc?

  11. 61
    Mr. Know It All 2 says:

    56 – David, good catch! It’s hard to draw hard AGW conclusions based on the problems in the data which don’t fit the PC narrative. Things like the repeated end of the ice ages, the middle age warming, the 1930s warming, the recent “pause”, etc.

    That’s why there are skeptics – it’s not because we don’t believe the “science” – it’s because there are questionable events in the data.

    55 – A 15 year variation is noise? Exactly! THAT is the source of AGW skepticism: many people DO realize it is noise! We’ve collected “accurate” warming data for a very short period of time so the significance is highly questionable in the minds of many people. The skepticism is not unreasonable at all. The skepticism is even more reasonable in light of the drastic measures of many proposals to solve the “problem”. Before people spend a lot of $$ to solve a problem, it is not unreasonable to find out if there IS a problem.

  12. 62
    Victor says:

    re #56: https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/01/170104143554.htm

    If it’s now been demonstrated that earlier temp. measurements were incorrect, and that, on the basis of the corrected measurements, there has in fact never actually been a “hiatus” after all, then what does that tell us about all those earlier studies claiming to have accounted for the hiatus based on the old data? Were all these studies simply wrong? And if so, what does that tell us about the reliability of climate science generally?

  13. 63
    Vendicar Decarian says:

    44 – “Thanks for your answers on waste heat. The answer was ~1% of greenhouse gases – about 0.028 w/m^2.”

    So not only have you shown that you are incapable of performing a simple divison, you are also incapable of distinguishing between 0.028 (your number), and 0.0028 (the correct number that you attempted and failed to properly copy).

    It isn’t 1 percent boy. Try again.

  14. 64
    Marco says:

    David, there was no “climate change narrative”. The simple fact is that you often need many years of data to see that there indeed is a systematic bias, which impacts the analysis when you mix data from different sources.

    Apparently you also did not understand the figure in the link you gave. Perhaps that is understandable, because it is not explained in detail, so let me try to help you:

    The blue line that is so divergent is the old NOAA sea surface temperature (SST) reconstruction. The latter is, like the new NOAA SST reconstruction, prepared using a mix of different data sources. This is necessary, since we do not have buoys and satellite measurements for such long times, and with wide spatial coverage. What Hausfather et al did was to look at a shorter time period and then only at buoys and satellites over those parts of the ocean with shared coverage. A direct apples-to-apples comparison. And that comparison shows the same trend as the new NOAA SST reconstruction, strongly indicating that NOAA got it right.

    Perhaps you may want to be a little bit less conspirational in your skepticism.

  15. 65
    Chris O'Neill says:

    at any rate restoring agricultural soils and ecosystems can mop up vastly more carbon over decades

    So many self-deluding people around.

  16. 66
    Titus says:

    #28 Chris O’Neill says: “I wasn’t aware that the global temperature anomalies of those years (on any of the usual baselines) were negative”

    Yeah, I agree. I was referencing the “Ezequiel” baseline.

    Thanks for the ‘thanks’. Your very welcome……

  17. 67
    Tom Bond says:

    Ideological beliefs are found on both sides of the political fence.

    The political right deny global warming but paradoxically will often support nuclear as an alternative to fossil fuels.

    By contrast political left ideology just sees the objective of climate change policy as the installation of renewables not necessarily CO2 emissions reduction.

    For example Germany is seen as the world leader on climate action because it installed 95GW of renewables in just 16 years giving a total of 105GW.

    Yet in 2016 German renewables produce just 30% of their electricity, most is provided by fossil fuels when wind and solar is not available.

    German CO2 emissions have been reduced by just 20 million tonnes in 16 years to 306 million tonnes, giving a CO2 intensity of 473g/kWh, well short of the desired climate target of 100g/kWh or less.

    https://www.agora-nergiewende.de/fileadmin/Projekte/2017/Jahresauswertung_2016/Agora_Jahresauswertung-2016_WEB.pdf

    (In German but for 2016 divide 306million tonnes of CO2 by 648TWh gives 473g/kWh.)

    Annual renewables subsidies are €25 billion giving German domestic electricity prices of €0.30/kWh.

    By contrast France installed 63GW of nuclear capacity in just 20 years replacing most of their fossil fuel capacity.

    French nuclear produces 75% of their electricity.

    French electricity CO2 intensity is just 73g/kWh or 6 times less than Germany.

    http://www.rte-france.com/en/eco2mix/chiffres-cles-en

    French domestic electricity prices are €0.16/kWh or half those of Germany.

    Yet another year of real world evidence that shows renewables enjoying popular political support but not not significantly reducing CO2 emissions.

  18. 68
    MA Rodger says:

    David @56.
    To say “we dont know how to measure temperature correctly with all of our scientific knowledge” is entirely wrong.
    And while it is not entirely incorrect to say “this was not discovered until the global temperatures didn’t fit in with the climate change narrative,” this is only because the work of Karl et al (2015) was given urgency due to the existence of “residual data biases in the modern era (that) could well have muted recent warming.” Do note that there were (and are) always people proding the SST record to identify improvements.
    As for providing an SST record that requires significant adjustment, note one of the issues being faced prior to 2015 & described by Karl et al (2015) was a transition in SST measuring methods which required calibration. The level of data required for that calibration was not immediately available. It had become available by 2015.
    I am unclear as to your last point. Are you simply saying that prior to correction the global SST average was significantly lower due to the issues addressed by Karl et al (2015)? If so, the reasons for the “inconsistency” is explained by Karl et al (2015). If not, you point requires further explanation.

  19. 69

    RIE 46: It is really evident that there is a decadal cooling influence and that this may indeed evolve into a millennial cooling.

    BPL: Why would it?

  20. 70

    D 56: How is it that this was not discovered until the global temperatures didn’t fit in with the climate change narrative?

    BPL: Our orders came down from Lord Soros once the temperatures started deviating from our preplanned Climate Change Narrative(TM).

  21. 71
    zebra says:

    Tom Bond #67,

    Why do stupid people assume everyone else is just as stupid?

    Do you really not realize that you are posting this nonsense on a site where people…do quantitative analysis for a living?

    Apples, Oranges, all the way down.

    sheesh

  22. 72
    Mal Adapted says:

    Tom Bond:

    By contrast political left ideology just sees the objective of climate change policy as the installation of renewables not necessarily CO2 emissions reduction.

    Huh. Apparently I must not have a “political left” ideology, since my own objective for climate change policy is nothing more than CO2 emissions reduction by replacing fossil fuels with carbon-neutral energy sources, which potentially include modern nuclear power designs. That will be news to my coworkers who, like you, think only librulz advocate CO2 emissions reduction policies.

    It’s never been clear to me how that mistaken notion came to be so widely held, although the disinformation campaign orchestrated by the Republican party and funded by its financial backers may have had something to do with it. It’s otherwise difficult to see how, given the clear and present economic risks of unabated AGW, rational policy proposals like a revenue-neutral carbon tax became a casus belli in the culture wars.

  23. 73
    SecularAnimist says:

    Tom Bond wrote: “By contrast political left ideology just sees the objective of climate change policy as the installation of renewables not necessarily CO2 emissions reduction.”

    Nonsense.

    I guess there is no moderation of these comment pages any more. People can just post whatever idiotic drivel they like.

  24. 74
    Chris O'Neill says:

    #66: Titus:

    I was referencing the “Ezequiel” baseline.

    On the “Ezequiel” baseline, 2008 and 2011 did not have negative (-) values so those are your alternative “facts” (as well as being beside Ezequiel’s point anyway).

    Let’s all thank Titus yet again for providing us with his never-ending supply of alternative “facts”.

  25. 75
  26. 76
    Thomas says:

    Victor says And if so, what does that tell us about the reliability of climate science generally?

    That climate science generally is very strongly self-correcting over very short time periods.

    Contraindicated against entrenched corporate/political corruption and the US National Debt.

  27. 77
    Thomas says:

    German domestic electricity prices of €0.30/kWh.
    French domestic electricity prices are €0.16/kWh.

    Curious if those figures are residential retail and include supply/connection charges?

    In Australia, anecdotal retail electricity ranges around 24 cents/kWh (depends on the State & city/rural location). But then there is additional supply charges per day which could equate to and extra 20 cent/kWh for a household = 44 cents/kWh with no nuclear, minimal renewable, in Coal is Good for Humanity country.

    AUD $0.44 = 0.31 Euro

    Residential renewable feed in tariffs have also been slashed recently to well below wholesale kWh prices ( I think down to circa 25% ) Of this totally screws all those who have invested in residential solar and expected to save $ (or make $) over the long term.

  28. 78

    KIA 61: David, good catch! It’s hard to draw hard AGW conclusions based on the problems in the data which don’t fit the PC narrative. Things like the repeated end of the ice ages

    BPL: How does this “not fit the PC narrative?”

    KIA: the middle age warming

    BPL: How does this “not fit the PC narrative?”

    KIA: the 1930s warming

    BPL: How does this “not fit the PC narrative?”

    KIA: the recent “pause”, etc.

    BPL: Do you know what a “straw man argument” is?

  29. 79

    TB 67: French nuclear produces 75% of their electricity.

    BPL: Used to be 80%.

  30. 80
    Jim Eager says:

    KIA @60 wrote: “scientists should tell the rest of us where the heat was stored that caused the appearance of a pause.

    For KIA, who makes it painfully obvious every time he uses his keyboard that he doesn’t know much at all, here are a couple hints.

    Hint 1: It covers 70% of earth’s surface.

    Hint 2: It gave up the “missing” heat to bite us over the last two years.

    And remember kids, always rent a clue before you type.

  31. 81
    Tony Weddle says:

    Gosh, despite all we now know there are still some commenters here who think there was a “slowdown” and some even refer to it as a “hiatus”. Tamino has thoroughly debunked such ideas many times but I guess if one can find a suitable data set and cherry pick certain dates, they can make believe that there was a slowdown. Come on, people, there was never any slowdown, just variability on top of a remorseless increasing trend.

  32. 82
    Hank Roberts says:

    We’re getting a lot of newbies who think that picking a long-debunked claim from the Big Bin O’ Bogosities and throwing it down here somehow makes them a challenging new player in the conversation. Medieval warming, hey hey hey ….

    Boring.

  33. 83
    Titus says:

    @74 Chris O’Neill says: “2008 and 2011 did not have negative (-) values”

    From NOAA data yr anomalies:

    2007 0.61°C
    2008 0.54°C

    So, extrapolating the “Ezequiel” method you are saying that 0.61 followed by 0.54 is an increase in temperature?

    Now I know how climate science works:)

    Thanks Chris, appreciate that……..

  34. 84
    nigelj says:

    81 Tony Weddle says:

    “Gosh, despite all we now know there are still some commenters here who think there was a “slowdown” and some even refer to it as a “hiatus”. Tamino has thoroughly debunked such ideas many times but I guess if one can find a suitable data set and cherry pick certain dates, they can make believe that there was a slowdown. Come on, people, there was never any slowdown, just variability on top of a remorseless increasing trend.’

    If you look at the latest nasa giss global temperature dataset, or hadrcut, at the trend line drawn through the data points, it clearly flattens from roughly 2002 – 20012, a little bit less in the nasa dataset.

    What is this if its “not” either a “pause” or “slowdown”. Are you telling the casual observer the trend line is really going “up’ and they are having a hallucination?

    You are well meaning, but in danger of peddling an “alternative truth” and the public will laugh at you. You are damaging the climate science cause.

    Of course this pause or slowdown was always going to be temporary. It was noise, natural variation, energy sequestered temporarily in the deeper oceans so that land surface temperatures slowed for a short period. Tell that to the public, but by pretending there was no pause you make yourself look disingenuous or deceptive, with respect.

    Of course Tamino is correct at a science level and definition of a “pause”. But you need to be thinking how the public see the issue as its them you have to connect with.

    Remember climate models have always predicted “slow periods” so it’s a but late to be saying there are no “slow periods” of about 10 years. In fact the climate models have been proven accurate, and this should be demonstrated to the public.

    I thought the pause a temporary blip. It’s obvious to me we are warming the climate and this won’t stop until CO2 emissions are reduced.

    Sorry to repeat much of my own previous posts, but it’s important.

  35. 85
    Victor says:

    #76 Thomas: “Victor says And if so, what does that tell us about the reliability of climate science generally?

    That climate science generally is very strongly self-correcting over very short time periods.”

    If I didn’t know better, Thomas, I’d assume you were being facetious. Over the last several years we’ve seen one attempt after another to explain away the so-called “hiatus,” and these efforts have been offered as “overwhelming” evidence supporting AGW. With each new study, the “apparent” pause in the rate of global temperature increase has been elegantly explained away, on the basis of: the diversion of heat into the oceans; cooling of the oceans (odd as that might sound); some combination of ENSO, solar variability and volcanic (in)activity; aerosols from Chinese coal-fired power plants; slower — or faster — trade winds; misinterpretation of the statistics (ala Tamino); etc. Taken as a whole, this patchwork of usually unrelated and often contradictory theories has been presented to the world as overwhelming evidence of continued global warming, based on “the science.”

    And yes, as is often the case with science, even the most carefully executed studies can go wrong, and be corrected by subsequent studies, all directed at the common goal of solving a given problem. But that is not happened in this case, because, according to the often hyped “consensus,” there was no longer room for debate, meaning that the time for correction had ended.

    How embarrassing, then, when we learn that the data on which ALL the previous studies were based has been unreliable and in need of “correction.” If this is in fact the case, then NONE of the many calculations on which the earlier studies were based can be regarded any more as reliable. So how is it then, that all these studies (or almost all) managed to account so impressively for anomalies in the OLD data, which is no longer relevant? How is it that in not one single case did someone say, “wait a minute, this doesn’t add up, there must be something wrong with the data.”

    Looks to me as though there can only be one answer: the earlier studies were based, NOT on objective science, but confirmation bias. Assuming of course that the newly corrected data is itself reliable and not also based on the same fallacy.

  36. 86
    Thomas says:

    72 Mal Adapted It’s otherwise difficult to see how, given the clear and present economic risks of unabated AGW, rational policy proposals like a revenue-neutral carbon tax became a casus belli in the culture wars.

    Well you know I already disagree. :-) My opinion is that it is not rational or logical. More than that it aggravates the “culture wars” by putting more gas on the existing fires. (though fwiw I don’t even accept the idea of ‘culture wars’ as valid anyway)

    The solution needs to be so simple and basic that even a child would understand it. That even a poor farmer in the Nile Delta when first hearing that global warming is a problem and what is causing it, that they too would easily “get it” in double quick time.

    eg the problems with this “story”

    “revenue-neutral” – what’s that mean and why is it important?

    “carbon tax” – what’s carbon got to do with it? You just told me the causes were land use changes, fertilizers, concrete, forests destruction, and atmospheric pollution from coal oil and gas, and the acidification of the oceans.

    – a Tax is a solution? Man I already pay to much in taxes already, even as a Nile delta farmer. I bought a car recently and had to pay a huge tax just to transfer the thing into my name. There are too many bloody taxes already!

    – Fee and dividend – huh? How many fees will I have to pay each year? Give me a number in USDs please.

    – Dividend? – I don’t own shares. Do I gets shares that I own for the fees I pay?

    – Carbon price? – Price is something I have to pay to buy something. Such as I pay the $3 price and I get a can of Coke. I don;t want to buy or own any carbon (what use is it to me?), so why do I have to pay a price for it?

    – Oh so you are saying that a “price on carbon” means this will save the environment from more pollution which is causing all the global warming? So whatever price *I* am paying will save the earths climate system.

    – But my nation had a carbon tax/price but down the road 100 ton machines were still digging up coal, sending to a power station which was causing more global warming. There is something seriously wrong with this logic and phraseology – the words being used.

    – Could it make more sense if it was a “Safer Climate Price”? Or a Less Dangerous Pollution Tax”?

    – But how do these prices and taxes stop Indonesia from clear felling native rain forests, burning off the trees, killing the ecology in which Orangutans live in, and then planting Palm Oil plantations … a food that is not conducive to human health?

    – How does a carbon tax reduce the use of Concrete as Trump goes spending billions of my Tax $ on new infrastructure the next 8 years in the USA?

    Then there is the other idea of an ETS – Emissions Trading Scheme – aka Cap and Trade.

    – I hear that massive corporations are provided with free permits and buy auctioned permits to produce global warming emissions. When did a Permit to Pollute the whole earth become a rational logical or a good idea? I can get a permit to be a learner driver, that makes sense. Or a Permit to build a house according to set laws and regulations, that makes sense. But a Permit to make things worse than they already are makes no sense.

    – Then people can “trade” those Permits because they have a $$$ value? Giving other people without permits the ability to also pollute. The seller takes action to reduce emissions that pollute, and then hands over the right for someone who has done nothing to cut emissions the ability to keep on polluting. Mmmm. How so Kemosabe?

    – Now a Regulatory Cap on emissions, backed by Government Laws, now that makes sense. A Cap makes sense because it’s logical and rational. Set a Cap then progressively reduce that Cap means by the use of Maths that future emissions will be, must be, lower than before. It means a coal mine has to keep on reducing their emissions of Methane etc on site. A coal fired power station must use less Coal over time. A County a State and a Nation must produce less pulluting emissions over time, and it si this that cuts down the growth in CO2e PPM readings across the entire world.

    – And it is that rational action which will cause a pause and eventually a reduction in global warming and temperatures into the future. Now that’s Logical, and that’s scientific because it is directly Measurable and can be checked by anyone and any other nation as to it’s accuracy and validity in results – both individually from mine site to power station to county to nation and then across the globe. It’s a definable level playing field.

    – Every other nation’s Government policy, regulation and law or economic activity is utterly irrelevant. Cheaters cannot cheat using sophistry and spin or their excessive abuse of international power over others. (Either psychological, or military, or economic power)

    – A Cap on emissions also means less use of coal oil and gas, by default over time. (power plant CCS & soil CCS notwithstanding) A Cap therefore tends to send signals ot the marketplace that new supply is not needed. This means sending a higher price signal for existing coal, oil, gas supplies because the total long term supply is being CUT, and not expanded.

    – Therefore any competitor of coal gas and oil gains an immediate Price advantage that it otherwise would be. Investors in alternatives see very clear signals from Govt that the end of coal oil and gas supplies is a certainty – therefore they have the confidence to invest their $$$ into alternatives and not in coal gas or oil supply. That’s Logic, and real world business and finance practice. Ask any ‘economist’ or teenage student doing Economics.

    – Later an new Price point of fossil fuels will evolve. As alternatives are increased, and demand for coal oil and gas reduces it will come to a point where obviously Supply outstrips future Demand .. and when that happens the price for coal, gas and oil will plummet due to natural business competition. That Price adjustment will further place downward pressures across all energy providers to be competitive on price.

    – Who wins? The consumer today and tomorrow, everyday people both poor and rich, and over time the environment as harmful pollution is steadily and faster than any “fee/tax or price” could achieve, permanently decreasing.

    – The only core question to answer then is what will Governments use to replace their lost taxation revenue on mining royalties, FF exploration permits, Taxes on export income from FF, Taxes on FF imports and Port Fees, and Excise income from fuels?

    I suspect this comment with be plonked by many into the 90% category of BS and crap. That’s ok by me, but a little metaphorical story (parable) that may assist a few.

    A Paleontologist accidentally tells his truth to a literal believer in their Bible and their God that the Earth is Billions of years old. This immediately pushes all the entrenched emotional buttons in the Christian who takes that as a direct attack on them, on their bible and their god. They react immediately to defend themselves and begin a counter-attack on the Paleontologist.

    In another city a committed literal Christian accidentally tells a Paleontologist their Truth about Jesus and the Bible. The Paleontologist knows they are like so wrong about the Young Earther’s Belief of it only being 8000 years old. He doesn’t take it as a personal attack, not takes it personally.

    99 times out a hundred she will just smile back and not bother to start a “culture war” over it on the street. She knows much better than that, because she is not driven by false beliefs like the Christian is, she doesn’t have hot-button issues like that still to deal with, and she knows it.

    She continues on to her work place and carries on as if nothing happened. This is the benefit of relying on proven true knowledge versus one’s own beliefs – most of which have been implanted in us by others and repeated so often that sometimes think they must be true – despite not actually being an expert in that other field.

    (smiling)

  37. 87
    Mr. Know It All 2 says:

    63 – VD

    I think you’ve solved the AGW dilemma! You discovered the error in the models by accident due to my exceptionally stupid question about the contribution of waste heat to global warming! THIS is YUGE!!!

    The models may have the wrong waste heat value! #42 above agrees with you at 1/1000 of greenhouse gas warming. BUT, #37 and #40 say it is 1/100 of greenhouse gas warming! QUICK! Check the models!!!
    :)

  38. 88
    Mr. Know It All 2 says:

    75 – Hank R.

    Your example is right on and demonstrates precisely why there is so much AGW skepticism – you used the wrong photo as data. Here’s the “corrected” data:

    http://www.cnn.com/interactive/2017/01/politics/trump-inauguration-gigapixel/

  39. 89

    V 85: Over the last several years we’ve seen one attempt after another to explain away the so-called “hiatus,”

    BPL: Nobody has to explain it away. You need 30 years to distinguish a climate trend. The “hiatus” was cherry-picked to begin with, and even if it hadn’t been, it never achieved statistical significance. I advise you to take an introductory course in statistics, or at least read a textbook on the subject–and work the problems.

  40. 90

    Th 86: I hear that massive corporations are provided with free permits and buy auctioned permits to produce global warming emissions. When did a Permit to Pollute the whole earth become a rational logical or a good idea?

    BPL: When such a program proved effective back in the 1990s to reduce the acid rain problem in the US.

  41. 91
    zebra says:

    Nigelj and others,

    How about this: Scientists should be precise in their language, and scientists (and those who support science in the case of climate) should stop letting the other guys…(he says, over and over)…control the language and frame the issue!

    Was there a “pause”? A pause in what?

    If, from the beginning long ago, climate scientists had framed this in terms of energy, this would all be moot:

    “There is no pause in the accumulation of energy by the climate system.”
    “There appears to be a pause in the rise of surface temperature, but even if it turns out to be statistically significant, that could be caused by a number of factors, like energy being stored in the deeper ocean, and so on…”

    I could probably give a sound analysis of why things happened the way they did, having to do with educational paths, professional practice, and human psychology, but who cares at this point? Stop playing the Denialist’s games!

  42. 92
    Chris O'Neill says:

    Thomas obviously doesn’t have much else to do with his time but

    I can get a permit to build a house according to set laws and regulations.

    You mean you don’t already have an infinite number of such permits without even asking for them?

    You poor deprived man.

  43. 93
    Chris O'Neill says:

    #83

    Oh dear Titus.

    Don’t tell us you thought Ezequiel was using actual global temperature anomalies in his statistics lesson.

    You poor deluded fool.

  44. 94
  45. 95
    nigelj says:

    Thomas @ 86

    You are right carbon taxes and emissions trading schemes have their problems.

    You are right (in my opinion) that a regulatory cap on emissions is the ideal solution.

    However a regulatory cap has one big challenge. Politicians are probably scared of such a blunt response in case it upsets their campaign donors and the public. They also have bad memories of prohibition of alcohol which is an extreme version of a regulatory cap (not a well justified one imho). Politicians are spineless and scaredy cats in the main. We can only hope a few find the courage to do the right thing.

    A carbon tax is not a bad second best alternative. Despite the fact people are normally adverse to new taxes, the public do accept new taxes where the case is well made. For example tobacco taxes are used in some countries and have public support, and have reduced smoking rates, and the money collected went into health costs. Taxes are a “pragmatic” approach, and carbon taxes have been used in a few places in Europe.

  46. 96
    Vendicar Decarian says:

    Re – 67 “Ideological beliefs are found on both sides of the isle”

    Trump Adviser: Environmentalists are “Greatest Threat to Freedom & Prosperity in Modern World”

    A former top aide to Donald Trump says the president will “definitely” pull out of the Paris climate deal. Myron Ebell, who led Trump’s transition efforts for the Environmental Protection Agency, also said Monday that climate and environmental activists are “the greatest threat to freedom and prosperity in the modern world.”

  47. 97
    nigelj says:

    Zebra 91, exactly right. I couldn’t agree more. That’s what we should be saying.

    I said much the same several posts back. Namely science should be saying that there was a small temporary pause in surface temperatures but no pause in the fundamental forces driving the greenhouse effect. This is what we know has happened, and it’s sensible use of language everyone should be able to relate to.

    As you say, don’t let the denialists frame the debate and dictate the language.

    In fact I think what has happened goes further. I think some scientists have let the climate denialist crowd drive them almost insane them with the constant sceptical diatribe about a “pause” (it drives me insane, most of what the denialists say makes me grind my teeth)and they have reacted by saying there was no pause of any kind. That is unwise because there has clearly been some sort of pause, and you can’t expect the general public to “infer” that what is meant by a pause is related purely to quantities of energy.

    My understanding is the pause “in surface temperatures” was due to the following: The natural el nino / la nina cycle went through a temporary phase where more energy than normal was sequestered in the oceans. This led to slower warming over land surfaces. This change in energy distribution should have registered as increased ocean temperatures but the technology doesn’t measure temperatures very well at depth so it didn’t register and the net result was the global temperature record showed a slow period. I think the study by Foster and Rhamstorf also found the “pause” was partly an artifact of a low point in the sunspot cycle but that this was not as great as the ocean issue. Unfortunately this is a nightmare to explain to the public and I don’t have enough advanced physics to fully understand myself. If I have got the basic picture wrong please some expert let me know.

    But the point is climate models have always predicted rising temperatures, as a long term trend, but with a few slow periods due to the influence of natural variation. I belive most people would understand this. And surely the latest temperature record shows the models have been 100% accurate. We have had rising temperatures with a slow period around 2002 – 2010 that is now clearly over. You climate experts should be screaming this out because it reinforces the value of the model predictions.

  48. 98
    nigelj says:

    Vendicar Decarian @96

    “Trump Adviser: Environmentalists are “Greatest Threat to Freedom & Prosperity in Modern World”

    Isn’t this just such an insane statement. After a week of Trump telling business what it can and can’t do and where it can and can’t invest I would say Trump is one of the biggest threats to freedom and prosperity. And that’s before you get to the rest of Trump’s inane restrictions!

    As to prosperity, you cant measure this purely in terms of number of oil wells sunk. Our ultimate prosperity relies on taking care of the environment because it is the basis of everything.

    No people, the greatest threat to freedom and prosperity is Donald Trump himself, and his inner circle of ignorant ideological fanatics and science haters.

  49. 99
    ThomasThePersecuted :-) says:

    BPL, do keep up with learning how to be a good sci-fi writer. One day you might be as profuse and compelling as Hubbard was and start your very own religion! Very little chance you’ll amount to anything else. A small town mid-west preacher perhaps? aka a grandiose haughty fish in a very little pond. :-)

  50. 100
    Victor says:

    #89 BPL: “V 85: Over the last several years we’ve seen one attempt after another to explain away the so-called “hiatus,”

    BPL: Nobody has to explain it away. You need 30 years to distinguish a climate trend. The “hiatus” was cherry-picked to begin with, and even if it hadn’t been, it never achieved statistical significance. I advise you to take an introductory course in statistics, or at least read a textbook on the subject–and work the problems.”

    OK, then let’s forget about the “hiatus” for the moment, and just concentrate on the data per se. For a great many years all sorts of studies were done, based on a widely accepted body of data. And these studies constituted the basis for some extremely strong claims regarding the meaning of that data, to the point that any dissent was regarded as a denial of “the science.” Then, suddenly, presto chango, based on new studies, the reliability of much of that data has been called into question, and a new, “corrected” dataset has been offered as a replacement. Now what does this development tell us about the reliability of all the old studies, based on data that is now regarded as unreliable? And if these old studies can no longer be regarded as reliable, what does that tell us about the reliability of “the science” behind the earlier claims?

    If there was something wrong with the old dataset, then how do we account for the fact that all the earlier studies managed to support the same conclusion as that supported by the “corrected” dataset?