Now that a couple of surface temperature data sets are showing 2014 was a “record warm year,” people are wondering if it means the warming pause is over, and if so, how much climate sensitivity to CO2 there really is.
Online Spiegel science journalist Axel Bojanowski (a geologist) has an analysis of 2014’s “record warm year” and asks if it means global warming has resumed after “a pause since the end of the 1990s”. He describes how climate scientists have been dumbfounded by the “unexpected warming pause”. A number of scientists blame the oceans for absorbing the heat out of the atmosphere. Japan’s meteorological services report that global surface temperature has risen 0.7°C in one hundred years, he writes.
On the significance of the warm year, the Spiegel science journalist quotes the German Climate Consortium: “The following years will allow us to judge the extent global warming at the surface of the earth has resumed.” And even the most alarmist organizations are conceding the global warming pause is real. For example the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) indirectly admits to Spiegel that the global temperature has paused, but reminds us that the 14 warmest years on record occurred over the past 15 years.
On the future of warming, Bojanowski describes a science fraught with uncertainty when it comes to future projections:
The UN IPCC continues to predict a hefty global warming should carbon dioxide emissions not be drastically reduced. But there are major uncertainties in the calculations and for this reason short-term fluctuations will remain unexplainable.”
Readers should note at this point that this too also has to apply for “short-term” warm fluctuations, such as the one from 1980-1998. That one too must have been in large part due to natural factors.
Bojanowski sums up his analysis by pointing out there is also uncertainty not only at the earth’s surface, but in the troposphere as well, writing that “satellite meaurements are astonishing” researchers:
Moreover satellite measurements for upper air levels, which have been taken since the mid 1990s, show hardly any warming. Because of this, scientists are debating if the sensitivity of air temperature with respect to greenhouse gases is possibly less than assumed.”
Bojanowski also points to conflicting scientific literature and papers when it comes to the stability of the Antarctic and Greenland ice sheets. He adds, “The uncertainties show that the decisive questions about the future cannot be answered using short-term fluctuations.” And:
A warm record here, a warming pause there – the concerns and questions surrounding climate change remain the same.”