Summary: I feel sad watching the Left liquidate its credibility by denying climate scientists’ work on the pause in warming of the atmosphere since roughly 2000. Although their voices dominate the news media, we must not rely on activists to tell us about the world. We can see the cutting edge of science for ourselves. Seeing the world clearly is a requirement for our success in the 21st century.
“What we’ve got here is failure to communicate.”
— From “Cool Hand Luke” (1967), said first by a prison warden and later by the prisoner Luke (Paul Newman).
Activists have published scores of articles denying the existence of the “pause” (or “hiatus”). That’s politically convenient — the pause contradicts their narrative of imminent catastrophic warming and arouses doubt about the computer models that create the forecasts. But it displays an astonishing disregard for the work of climate scientists, and science — just like those on the Right they mock.
Here we again we see the similar behavior of Americans on both ends of the political spectrum, obvious to all who look — except the participants themselves. It’s one of the things that gives our politics that Oz-like air of absurdity.
While activists earnestly deny the pause, scores of peer-reviewed papers discuss the pause, analyze its causes and forecast its duration. We see the cutting edge of this work at the 2015 annual meeting of the American Meteorological Society, in their two sessions about the “Global Warming Hiatus”: Part I and Part II.
Global average temperature has increased by 0.80°C over the 20th century but this warming trend has slowed or even stalled for the past 15 years. This warming hiatus has caused much confusion and debate but at the same time offers a scientific opportunity to study climate change dynamics in action. Mechanisms proposed include a slowdown in net radiative forcing, and interference by natural variability.
This session showcases rapidly advancing research on the physical mechanisms and various impacts of this hiatus event. Topics of particular interest include interdecadal variability and the interaction with forced climate change, radiative forcing and related processes, and ocean heat storage as pertinent to the hiatus.
Especially note this one, an A-team climate scientist revising the consensus: Projections of a rebound in warming out of the current hiatus, Matthew H. England, University of New South Wales, Sydney, NSW, Australia. Abstract, red emphasis added:
Despite ongoing increases in atmospheric greenhouse gases, the Earth’s global average surface air temperature has remained more or less steady since 2001. Mechanisms proposed to account for this slowdown in surface warming include increased ocean heat uptake, the prolonged solar minimum and changes in atmospheric water vapour and aerosols.
While cool sea surface temperature in the east Pacific has been identified as a key component of the global hiatus, it is unclear how the ocean has remained relatively cool there in spite of ongoing increases in radiative forcing. Here we show that a pronounced strengthening in Pacific trade winds over the past two decades – unprecedented in observations/reanalysis data and not captured by climate models – is sufficient to account for the cooling of the tropical Pacific and a substantial slowdown in surface warming via increased subsurface ocean heat uptake.
The extra uptake has come about via increased subduction in the Pacific shallow overturning cells, enhancing heat convergence in the equatorial thermocline. At the same time, the accelerated trade winds have increased equatorial upwelling in the central and eastern Pacific, lowering SST there, which drives further cooling in other regions. The net effect of these anomalous winds is a cooling in the 2012 global average surface air temperature of 0.1 – 0.2°C, which can account for much of the hiatus in surface warming observed since 2001.
Simulations using coupled climate models suggest the hiatus could persist for much of the present decade if the trade wind trends continue, however a rebound of rapid warming is expected to resume once the anomalous wind trends abate.
England shows this graph of global surface temperatures compared to model projections. Note that the 5-year mean has fallen below the range of the projections in the two most recent IPCC reports. After his adjustments, it’s in the lower end of the range.
The other papers are also interesting.
- Where are we in understanding the early-2000s hiatus of global warming? (Core Science Lecture), Gerald Meehl, NCAR, Boulder, CO.
- Current Hiatus of Global Warming Tied to Equatorial Pacific Surface Cooling, Yu Kosaka, University of Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan; and S. P. Xie.
- The Recent Surface Global Warming Hiatus: The Role of Internal Forcing beyond the Tropical Pacific, Clara Deser, NCAR, Boulder, CO; and T. Fan.
- A Link Between the Hiatus in Global Warming and North American Drought, Thomas L. Delworth, NOAA/GFDL, Princeton, NJ; and F. Zeng, A. Rosati, G. Vecchi, and A. T. Wittenberg.
- Sources of contrasting temperature extreme behavior during the recent global warming hiatus, Nat Johnson, CICS/Princeton University, Princeton, NJ; and Y. Kosaka and S. P. Xie.
- Contribution of Natural Decadal Variability to Global-Warming Acceleration and Hiatus, Masahiro Watanabe, Atmosphere and Ocean Research Institute, The University of Tokyo, Kashiwa-shi, Chiba, Japan; and H. Shiogama, H. Tatebe, M. Hayashi, M. Ishii, and M. Kimoto.
- Tropical modulations of global mean temperature, Shang-Ping Xie, University of California, La Jolla, CA; and C. Y. Wang.
For More Information.
(a) Reference Pages about climate on the FM sites:
- The important things to know about global warming.
- My posts.
- Studies & reports, by subject.
- The history of climate fears.
(b) About the pause:
- Still good news: global temperatures remain stable, at least for now., 14 October 2012 — Scientists analyze the pause.
- Scientists explore causes of the pause in warming, perhaps the most important research of the decade, 17 January 2014.
- One of the most important questions we face: when will the pause in global warming end?, 25 August 2013.
- Possible political effects of the pause in global warming, 26 August 2013.
- 2014 will be the hottest year on record! Except for the details, which ruin that narrative., 4 December 2014.
- The record closes on 2014. Was it the warmest year on record?, 7 January 2015.
(c) About Left’s propaganda about climate change. It’s increasingly distant from the science.
- More attempts to control the climate science debate using smears and swarming, 19 October 2009.
- The hidden history of the global warming crusade, 19 February 2010.
- A real-time example of the birth and spread of climate propaganda, 9 March 2010.
- Lies told under the influence of the Green religion to save the world, 30 July 2010.
- Puncturing the false picture of a scientific consensus about the causes and effects of global warming, 20 September 2010.
- Mother Jones sounds the alarm about global warming! This time about the north pole., 10 December 2012.
- Lessons the Left can learn from the Right when writing about climate change, 12 December 2012 — Propagandist Phil Plait.
- Fierce words about those “wacky professional climate change deniers”, 20 January 2013 — More by propagandist Phil Plait.
- We can see our true selves in the propaganda used against us, 14 May 2013 — Skillful inaccurate article in The Guardian.
- A powerful story about global warming in Alaska that’s set Twitter aflame, 23 June 2013.
- Climate lies are the tool of choice by both sides to influence your opinion. Why is that?, 11 July 2013.
- The North Pole is now a lake! Are you afraid yet?, 3 August 2013.
- Climate science deniers on the Left, captured for viewing, 29 September 2013.
- A behind-the-scenes look at the making of propaganda, the kind that paints the world we see, 22 December 2013.
- Climate change sinks the Left, while scientists unravel mysteries we must solve, 24 January 2014.
- Watch the Left burn away more of its credibility, then wonder why the Right wins, 29 January 2014.
- Apocalyptic thinking on the Left about climate change risks burning their credibility, 4 February 2014.
- “Climate change is slowly but steadily cooking the world’s oceans”, 5 February 2014.
- Why the Left is losing: another example of incompetent marketing, 26 February 2014.
- The Left sees “Climate buffoons” and “deniers”. What do they see in the mirror?, 7 March 2014.
- This is what defeat looks like for the Left, and perhaps also for environmentalists, 17 March 2014.
- The Left stages a two minute hate on Nate Silver, Roger Pielke Jr (& me), 29 March 2014.
- Facts are the enemy of both Left and Right in our America, 12 May 2014.
- The debate about climate change takes a new form. One familiar yet disturbing., 8 August 2014.
- Nine years after Katrina, climate activists have earned their reward. We might pay dearly for it, 2 December 2014.