Another “Global Warming Has Stopped” Piece

David Rose at the Daily Mail pulls out all the stops.

“The new data, compiled from more than 3,000 measuring points on land and sea, was issued ¬†quietly on the internet, without any media fanfare, and, until today, it has not been reported. This stands in sharp contrast ¬†to the release of the previous figures six months ago, which went only to the end of 2010 – a very warm year.”

Roz Pidcock at the unfortunately less prominent Carbon Brief answers cogently.

But in a rebuttal blog, the Met Office says it has not released a new report this week – “quietly on the internet” or otherwise. It has simply updated the dataset to include data for 2011 and the first eight months of 2012. So in effect, Rose is trying to use a bit of new data to make an already widely discredited argument.

“[C]hoosing a starting or end point on short-term scales can be very misleading…If you use a longer period from HadCRUT4 the trend looks very different”.


  1. This all said, it is starting to look like we are stuck in a La-Nina like configuration. There are arguments that this is not unexpected from paleodata. I would also argue that this would be the lower-entropy state given that the ocean is going to be playing catch-up with atmospheric heating for a long time - it will do a better job of this in a La Nina configuration. This would appear as a one-time suppression of temperature increase. Though the condition will persist, if this is right the temperature climb will begin soon enough. (This also conforms to the predictions of drying in the southwestern US.)

  2. What does this prolonged hiatus mean for the likely rate of future warming? (This was one of Rose's points. The Met Office's response didn't tackle it.) When El Nino returns, will warming go nuts and rise steeply enough to push the recent average back up to the pre-hiatus 0.2 deg C per decade or it will it resume at about 0.2 deg C per decade?

    If this is a one-off hiatus (why do you think that, MT?), the latter wouldn't have much effect on the global temperature in, say, 2050. But another plateau between now and then would depress the overall rate of warming quite a bit, which, as the rate of warming is the main driver behind predictions of catastrophe, would make the future look a bit rosier (geddit?) than many now paint it. Not a whole lot rosier, perhaps, but enough to be factored into policy decisions. (Another of Rose's points.)

    In short, what does a hiatus of this length say about sensitivity?

    I'm not very up on WG1 stuff and won't be offended if you say I'm talking bollocks. (Though a hint as to the nature of the bollockry would be welcome.)

  3. Not exactly. I'm speculating that it is possible that we WON'T see a return to El Nino very often, in a crude sense "because" the ocean "needs" to absorb heat, and does it better in the La Nina (cool equatorial Pacific) configuration. This agrees with Mann's paleodataa evidence.

    If this is the case it will look, in the surface record, like a one-time cooling superimposed on the warming.

    Keep in mind Tamino's demonstration that absent the ENSO signal, the warming continues apace.

    If ENSO goes back to the pre-1997 pattern, it seems likely that the warming will go back to the trend line. If it stays in the cool phase, there would be a one-time suppression in the trend line.

    None of this is proven - it just seems plausible to me.

  4. In short, what does a hiatus of this length say about sensitivity? What hiatus? It's a cherry pick. By selecting the appropriate start and end date you can make the data say what you like if you ignore all that's happened in between them. The DM article appears to have a start date of about mid 1997.

    look what happens if you start at the beginning of 1997... Suddenly you have an extra 0.3C warming.

    What reveals the true picture is the trend...

  5. Turboblocke, that is a fine and well justified rejoinder, but it is not an answer.

    The system is doing something physically. It is not a meaningless question to consider what that might be, even though some people are asking it in a confrontational and ill-informed way.

    There is extra heat going into the system. It does not appear to be warming the surface. So it makes sense to ask where it is going and why. (This is Trenberth's famous "travesty" issue by the way. If it's a good enough question for Kevin, it's good enough for me.)

    I think it would be good if we stopped thinking in terms of polemical arguments and worked toward understanding.

  6. A few days ago I played around with somebody's link to woodfortrees and came to an obvious conclusion. If you change the start date a few years at a time (beyond a decade or so), the longer the time period the bigger the increase. SkepticalScience put this to rest with their escalator.

    The question that comes to me about this, aside from noting that I was playing like an idiot in a sandpile too sophisticated for me, is why does anyone choose not to use the maximum amount of information? (Though one might quibble that this holds only up to the point where data compatibility becomes problematical, but that's not a big problem since 1980 or so, and actually quite a while before that.) One has to be suspicious when some punter chooses not to reveal all the information, hoping that the gullible audience will look no further. It is sad that the punter can count on the gullibility.

    Ten years ago whenever something like this came out, I looked hopefully at their information hoping we were about to emerge from the collective nightmare we have set up. But that boy has cried wolf too often (sorry, the metaphor is kind of backwards).

    The amount of good energy burned away by the clever distraction creators is a scandal. MT remarked elsewhere that it is sad that many discussion need a bit of sand in the oyster, but these pearls are wasted on non-issues in the real world. We are running on a treadmill created by a massive nexus of dishonesty for profit.

  7. > We are running on a treadmill created by a massive nexus of dishonesty for profit.

    Even if that were not true, that would still be a nice way to put it.

    We need to connect discussions with the real world.

    Real words for the real world.

    That's the nexus, as far as I can see.

  8. Pingback: Another Week of GW News, October 21, 2012 – A Few Things Ill Considered

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