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« The walrus and the ecoperson | Main | Climate models and clouds »

The Pause comes of age - Josh 295

Today is the official birthday of the pause. James Delingpole says so and he is, as we know, always right - especially when he is quoting BishopHill.

What will the Pause do next? Get a job? Go on a gap year? Maybe go to college and rack up some proper student debt. Who knows, but it's worth celebrating the good news that the planet's temperatures are not accelerating to thermageddon. 

Cartoons by Josh

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Reader Comments (39)

Gains access to its trust fund doesn't it?

Oct 1, 2014 at 10:11 AM | Unregistered CommenterLiT

It's not a pause, it's a peak goddammit.

Oct 1, 2014 at 10:16 AM | Unregistered CommenterJohn Silver

The "pause" is now old enough to vote (in Norway). Happy anniversary! :)

Oct 1, 2014 at 10:18 AM | Unregistered CommenterRoald J. Larsen

Being old enough to drink it drank September dry!

And I'm with John Silver - it's a peak. We (the polis) should be worried about the trough to come.

Oct 1, 2014 at 10:22 AM | Unregistered CommenterHarry Passfield

I remembered to turn over Josh's calendar to October first thing this morning. More good laughs. And I think this one will appear next October.

The pause will be able to vote. Which way will it go?

Oct 1, 2014 at 10:26 AM | Registered CommenterPhillip Bratby

Climate pause @ 18

All looking forward to 21

Oct 1, 2014 at 10:28 AM | Unregistered CommenterJamspid

After the age of 18, every year is your tallest year since records began!

Oct 1, 2014 at 10:50 AM | Unregistered CommenterRayJ

oops! that should have been: After the age of 18, every year is still your tallest year since records began!

Oct 1, 2014 at 10:56 AM | Unregistered CommenterRayJ

Our 17 year old youngest daughter has never lived in a warming world but she's been taught a lot about one.

Oct 1, 2014 at 11:06 AM | Unregistered CommenterDocBud

It's a peak because solar activity peaked in the last century as the sun's magnetic field doubled. Peaked as it has done a number of times over the past twelve thousand years. There is every indication the variable star that is our sun is now calming down. As the sun drives climate we know what to expect, and it isn't a repeat of the twentieth century. More like the eighteenth. And as for that extremely rare but demonised trace gas (one part in two thousand five hundred), anyone who believes that has any measurable effect on climate needs to think again. It never had in the past and there's no reason to think it ever will in the future.

Oct 1, 2014 at 11:18 AM | Unregistered CommenterMartin Reed

Being picky, he could've got a car at seventeen...

But he does remind me of my son at that age, who, on a term-time Saturday evening, would say: 'Dad, can I have twenty quid to go to the pub or else I'll call Childline..?'

Oct 1, 2014 at 11:19 AM | Unregistered Commentersherlock1

The "pause" is merely linearity. All else is drama.

Oct 1, 2014 at 11:21 AM | Unregistered CommenterNikFromNYC

If it continues to cool the warmies will say it is a result of their carbon reduction measures.

Oct 1, 2014 at 11:47 AM | Unregistered CommenterDoug Elliot

If it continues to cool the warmies will say it is a result of their carbon reduction measures.

Oct 1, 2014 at 11:47 AM | Unregistered CommenterDoug Elliot

……. or maybe the effect of all their marching feet on Earth's axial precession & Milankovitch cycles.

Oct 1, 2014 at 12:09 PM | Registered CommenterFoxgoose

Doug Elliot

"If it continues to cool the warmies will say it is a result of their carbon reduction measures."

Touble is, there has been no CO2 reduction, only a continuing increase

Oct 1, 2014 at 12:11 PM | Unregistered Commentermarchesarosa

John Christy article on the 18 year pause here.

Oct 1, 2014 at 12:27 PM | Registered CommenterPaul Matthews

But this is the warmest decade on record!!!

Proof positive that "it is worse than we thought"

Oct 1, 2014 at 12:28 PM | Unregistered CommenterDon Keiller

Does the average MP know how long "the Pause" has lasted so far? Does the average BBC interviewer or newspaper journalist? What about the average Friends of the Earth or Green Peace supporter know? Does Sam Cam (definitely not the average Green Peace supporter) know? If she does will she break the news to Dave?

Oct 1, 2014 at 2:16 PM | Unregistered CommenterRoy


"Trouble is, there has been no CO2 reduction, only a continuing increase"

Their models will no doubt say otherwise.

Oct 1, 2014 at 2:17 PM | Unregistered Commenterilma

From Climate Etc:

Joke of the week from John Kennedy:
Climate Scientist walks into a bar, says, “A pint of…

Barman: “Why the long pause?”
Climate Scientist: <sobs>

Oct 1, 2014 at 2:28 PM | Unregistered CommenterDaleC

DaleC, just for that joke i retract my previous comment.

Oct 1, 2014 at 3:10 PM | Unregistered CommenterJohn Silver

(joke continued)


Climate Scientist: <sobs>

A polar bear enters.

polar bear: Did someone say long paws?

climate scientist: that's not funny

polar bear: Hey, lunch!

Oct 1, 2014 at 4:09 PM | Unregistered CommenterTobiasN

Even Guido has picked up this story based on John Christy's remarks.

Oct 1, 2014 at 5:17 PM | Unregistered CommenterMagnum

What pause?

Oct 1, 2014 at 11:44 PM | Unregistered CommenterEntropic man

This pause EM

“That’s basically a fact. There’s not much to comment on”

Oct 1, 2014 at 11:58 PM | Registered CommenterGrantB

2010, GISS g!obal land/ocean anomaly 0.67C
2005, anomaly 0.66C
1998 anomaly 0.62C

Oct 2, 2014 at 12:35 AM | Unregistered CommenterEntropic man

Grant B

1) If there was a pause, the temperatures would not have risen since 1996.

2) Incidentally 1996 was 0.33C and 1997 was 0.46.

How can an increase of 0.44C in 14 years be described as a pause?

3) The period June-August 2014 has been the warmest on record . If the trend continues 2014 will be a new warmest year. A marginal El Nino year in 2014 looks likely to exceed 1998 which had the strongest El Nino on record. How is this consistent with a pause?

Oct 2, 2014 at 12:51 AM | Unregistered CommenterEntropic man

Grant B
The unadjusted data show no statistical significant warming since 1998 - Key word is "Un-adjusted"

The reason the global temperature is important is that the computer models runned by the IPCC didn’t predict the “pause”. Because, if there was admitted that there would be a long (or any) pause, they would have to admit CO2 is not a strong greenhouse gas. And that is the reason they are fabricating excuses for the “pause”, currently 52 excuses (28. September, 2014). And looking at the graph above, no sign of anything is being driven by CO2.

Oct 2, 2014 at 1:00 AM | Unregistered CommenterRoald J. Larsen

Ever heard of confidence intervals EM? Apparently not. Try skeptical science for a definition and a definition of statistical significance - "If the trend differs from some ‘null hypothesis’ by more than 2σ, then we say that the trend is statistically significant." So if the actual trend is contained within the 2σ confidence intervals, the trend is not statistically significant. Taking the null hypothesis as the true meaning of null, ie there is zero trend we get the following results from the SkS trend calculator -

GISS: 1996-2014, 0.106 ±0.111 °C/decade (2σ) (ie not statistically significant since zero slope is contained in the confidence interval)
NOAA: 1995-2014, 0.088 ±0.097 °C/decade (2σ) (ie not statistically significant)
HADCRUT4: 1995-2014, 0.093 ±0.101 °C/decade (2σ) (ie not statistically significant)

BEST: 1995-2014, 0.206 ±0.220 °C/decade (2σ) (ie not statistically significant)
NOAA: 1997-2014, 0.133 ±0.183 °C/decade (2σ) (ie not statistically significant)

RSS: 1990-2014, 0.114 ±0.125 °C/decade (2σ) (ie not statistically significant over almost 25 YEARS!!)
UAH: 1994-2014, 0.140 ±0.157 °C/decade (2σ) (ie not statistically significant)

EM, If these trends shown at SkS are incorrect you must write to them and inform them as a matter of urgency. It would be the right thing to do. Unless of course you are a "Pause Denier".

Oct 2, 2014 at 1:23 AM | Registered CommenterGrantB

RSS also shows a slight cooling trend over almost 18 years but this trend is also not statistically significant since the zero slope trend (the null hypothesis) is contained within the [-0.214,0.188] confidence interval.

RSS: 1997-2014, -0.013 ±0.201 °C/decade (2σ) (ie not statistically significant)

Oct 2, 2014 at 1:45 AM | Registered CommenterGrantB

Entropic Man (12:51 PM) -
"1) If there was a pause, the temperatures would not have risen since 1996."
"2010, GISS global land/ocean anomaly 0.67C
2005, anomaly 0.66C
1998 anomaly 0.62C" (12:35 PM)
The OLS trend for RSS since mid-1996 is zero. If you want to argue that OLS trend isn't the best way to make such a determination, I'd agree. [Although it is very broadly used for this purpose by those of all stripes.]
If you want to argue that RSS is a cherry-picked data set, I'd agree.
But instead you want to cherry-pick a different data set, and point out that there have been some intervening years higher. And ignore the lower years. Essentially, look for noise. Not a method I'd agree with.

"3) The period June-August 2014 has been the warmest on record."
Not according to GISS. Nor RSS. Nor UAH. HadCRUT4 doesn't have an August posting, but seems unlikely. Only according to NCDC.

Oct 2, 2014 at 3:33 PM | Registered CommenterHaroldW

Correction to the last. I'd been picking up HadCRUT4 from this URL, which doesn't yet show August. However, apparently this is now the recommended URL, and it does have an August value. HadCRUT4 does not agree that JJA 2014 is the warmest on record.

Oct 2, 2014 at 4:45 PM | Registered CommenterHaroldW

@ Entropic Man

1998, GISS g!obal land/ocean anomaly 0.62C
2001 anomaly 0.53C
2008 anomaly 0.49C

It's cooling.......

Oct 2, 2014 at 5:19 PM | Unregistered CommenterAnything is possible

You see the problem, gentlemen.

One can cherry pick years or datasets to show whatever trend suits ones biases.

I prefer GISS to HadCRUT4 because the latter makes no attempt to address the rapid warming at high latitudes. It therefore underestimates rates of change in global averages.

Note that HadCRUT4 is the only global land/ocean dataset which still shows 1998 as the warmest year. GISS, NCDC and BEST all show 2010.

With the current temperatures still within the 95% confidence limits of the long term trend I see no reason to interpret the current short term reduction in warming rate as anything more than internal variation.

Oct 2, 2014 at 10:34 PM | Unregistered CommenterEntropic man


"One can cherry pick years or datasets to show whatever trend suits ones biases."

Yup, I agree.

Which only goes to show how utterly meaningless all this hyper-ventilating over changes of fractions of degrees in the short-term* really is. Are you going to stop now?

* I regard short-term as any record that encompasses less than one full oceanic cycle (60-65 years). Furthermore I was taught (by somebody who was most assuredly NOT of a skeptical persuasion) that it takes "seven-swallows to make a summer" - so that we would actually need 7 times 60-65 years of GST data before we could undertake any MEANINGFUL analysis on it.

I look forward to resuming this discussion in the middle of the 24th century...........

Oct 2, 2014 at 11:16 PM | Unregistered CommenterAnything is possible

Entropic Man -
I agree that cherry-picking is easily done. But it seems that with your earlier comment "What pause?" [Oct 1, 2014 at 11:44 PM], you wish to claim that all is as expected, and there is no need to re-think.

I refer you to James Annan, no skeptic he: "[D]espite what some people might like to think, the slow warming has certainly been a surprise, as anyone who was paying attention at the time of the AR4 writing can attest." One needn't agree with Lewis & Curry (for example) in order to accept that GCMs are in need of some maintenance.

Oct 3, 2014 at 4:01 PM | Registered CommenterHaroldW

As much as I love Josh's work, I believe he may be a bit off base here.

In climatological terms warm and volatile climates are associated with males, el Nino. It seems contradictory to me to associate a long quiet pause with a masculine climate.

Unless of course Josh's depiction is a sideways comment on English females =====>

</tongue in cheeky>

Oct 4, 2014 at 12:58 AM | Unregistered CommenterJeff Norman

Harold W

I'm still not convinced by this 18 year pause.

Four of the five datasets available on Wood for the trees give a warming trend since 1996 (2014-18=1996) irrespective of GCMs.

Oct 4, 2014 at 8:14 PM | Unregistered CommenterEntropic man

Entropic man -
As I'm sure you're well aware, only the RSS temperature series shows a zero trend going back 18 years. And that from mid-1996 (I think September) to the current date, so you should start at 1996.75 and end 2014.75 (or omit the end date).

But while a zero trend is nice fodder for rhetoric, it's really not important whether there has been zero warming or some minimal positive value. The crucial element is that the warming is far less than that predicted by GCMs, and on which the urgent need for action was predicated. You'll note that James Annan wrote of "slow warming", not "no warming."

P.S. You may enjoy this cherry-picked graph.

Oct 4, 2014 at 11:06 PM | Registered CommenterHaroldW

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