Spiegel On 15-Year Pause: “Biggest Mystery In Climate Science” … Scientists Caught With Their Pants Down

At the online Spiegel here, science journalist Axel Bojanowski writes about the 15-year pause in global warming, which Nature here callsthe biggest mystery in climate science.”

Bojanowski describes a situation where scientists have been taken aback by the unexpected pause, and are now scrambling for a way to explain it, or to deny that it even exists. Some “sense a campaign” behind the claims of a warming pause and say the media is overhyping it. The warming continues, some scientists insist. There’s been “a breakdown in the communication” of the science, Spiegel quotes other warmist scientists.

The problem that Spiegel describes seems to be one where the observed data was allowed to speak for itself to the public before the scientists ever got the chance to repackage it to their liking.

Spiegel writes, quoting Ed Hawkins of the University of Reading:

Since 1990 in its 5 reports the UN IPCC failed somewhat to provide clear details over the possibilities of a slowdown in warming. Studies on this were ‘first published after the pause’.”

Bojanowski looks into why this is so. In a nutshell: That a slowdown in warming was possible never even occurred to the scientists. Reality caught them with their pants down.

He writes:

Climate models had never expected the pause: Only 3 of 114 climate simulations were able to reproduce the trend of the past years, the IPCC concludes in its latest report. The reason for the deviation between models and observations is unclear.”

Bojanowski then presents some of the explanations now being floated for the “pause”: volcanoes, Pacific trade winds, heat hidden deep in the ocean, PDO, solar activity, Chinese air pollution, and even “faulty” methodology for computing the global temperature (it’s warming after all).

At the end he quotes University of Colorado environmental sociologist Maxwell Boykoff, who offers climate scientists a little advice on communicating the science:

Our studies have shown which strategies promise no success: vindictive, condescending and dogmatic lecturings.”


30 responses to “Spiegel On 15-Year Pause: “Biggest Mystery In Climate Science” … Scientists Caught With Their Pants Down”

  1. Ed Caryl

    Note to Buddy.
    “Our studies have shown which strategies promise no success: vindictive, condescending and dogmatic lecturings.”

  2. Alan Henderson

    Sorry. There is no pause. A slowdown in the rate of atmospheric increase, yes.

    1. Ed Caryl

      Then why are the Climate Science crowd falling all over themselves trying to explain it?
      They don’t seem to agree with you.

    2. DirkH

      Alan, you might want to compute some trends for yourself to see that you are a victim of MSM propaganda.

    3. Doubting Rich

      A rate of zero is pretty slow, yes. I would also call it a pause. I fyou are going to contradict every temperature record held covering the Earth I suggest you bring some evidence, not just a sef-righteous assertion.

    4. Juergen Uhlemann

      The last 15 years the CO2 emission is more or less the same as the 19 years before that? In the 19 years the warming was a lot compare to the 15 years, right?
      According the Mauna Loa CO2 annual mean growth rates
      1998-2013 = 29.7 ppm CO2
      1980- 1997 = 30.13 ppm CO2
      If CO2 would drive the temperature then the difference between the temperature increase between 1998-2013 and 1980- 1997 should be much smaller. However, all of the warming was in ca. 50% of the CO2 increase. In the other ca. 50% of CO2 increase it’s basically ZERO.

      1. DirkH

        In the 70ies, CO2 was rising, temperatures were falling, which led scientists to conjecture that rising CO2 would lead to an ice age. Steve found a 1978 paper:

      2. Bart

        “The last 15 years the CO2 emission is more or less the same as the 19 years before that?”

        Actually, no. In the last 15 years, the rate of emissions has increased probably about 43%. Here, you can see that is the change from 1995 (6398MT/yr) to 2010 (9167 MT/yr).

        Meanwhile, the rate of atmospheric concentration has leveled out with temperatures to about 0.17 ppmv/month.

        It is a large divergence, and it is only going to get larger if temperatures continue their stall or start trending down. Atmospheric CO2 is not driven significantly by human burning of hydrocarbons.

        1. Bart

          May be more like 0.19 ppmv/month. I’m just evaluating it visually. The point is, it isn’t increasing anything like emissions, and it correlates with the temperature anomaly.

          1. Ed Caryl

            Specifically, the sea surface temperature.

          2. Bart

            Eh, take your pick. They’re all more or less affinely similar. But, SST does appear to provide an especially good fit, which may indicate it is primarily an oceanic phenomenon.

            That seems reasonable to me. The THC overturning takes nearly 1000 years. Who knows what’s in that pipeline which happens to be bubbling back up to the surface now?

  3. Paul in Sweden

    “Scientists Caught With Their Pants Down” O_o Don’t Look Ethel!!!

    1. Bart

      Wow, does that go back a long time! Doubt many will get it. Just wanted to let you know someone did.

  4. Stephen Richards

    Alan Henderson 28. Februar 2014 at 20:05 | Permalink | Reply Sorry. There is no pause. A slowdown in the rate of atmospheric increase, yes. –

    So, the atmosphere is getting bigger now is it. That’s excuse no.11. I look forward to 12 on to infinity by which time the cooling will be signaled by ice in october through europe.

  5. RAH

    “Climate Depot Analysis: ‘There have been at least nine separate explanations for the standstill in global warming’ – 1) Low Solar Activity; 2) Oceans Ate Warming; 3) Chinese Coal Use; 4) Montreal Protocol; 5) Readjusted past temps to claim ‘pause’ never existed 6) Volcanoes 7) Decline in Water Vapor 8) Pacific Trade Winds 9) ‘Coincidence’”

  6. John F. Hultquist

    I thought Alan H. was just being funny and playing with words. Like this: up is down, rotten snow, cold is hot, and the “barefoot boy with shoes on” (you can look this sort of silliness up; much put to music).

    Prof. of sociology, Max Boykoff, could suggest to climate scientists that they just always tell the truth. It is easier than trying to remember your lies.

  7. Evil Denier

    97% of models run too warm? (111/114)

    Where have I heard that number before?

    BTW, one can’t “communicate” that which one doesn’t expect. Studies … ‘first published after the pause’?

    1. DirkH

      “97% of models run too warm? (111/114)”

      A misconception. Not 97% of the models; 97% of the model runs. They work like this: They initialize a model with a RANDOM state and let it run from there. So the same model can show two wildly different time series in two runs. So, Model X, with parameter set Y, might show nice warming 90% of the runs and a “pause” in 10% of the runs.

      And might show something completely different when the 100 parameters are chosen slightly differently…

      They selected all their parameters to match the warming from 1980 to 1998, of course…

  8. Mindert Eiting

    It is not Quantum Mechanics that proves to be wrong but an explanation of just one observation, a small upswing of temperatures in the late twentieth century on planet earth. One event and the explanation that this must have been caused by just one other event. Let’s make the shocking assumption that the warming event was caused by something else.

  9. Papy Boomer

    They cancelled the 1945-1975 cooling by changing the raw data. Of course the models can’t predict any slowdown. Now they are caught with 2 lies that contradict themselve.; which one will be removed while keeping the consensus: pause/cooling or changed data.

    1. AndyG55

      Well said, Papy.

      If you hindcast to match data with a counterfeited positive trend, it is almost a mathematical certainty that your projections will also contain this counterfeited trend.. no matter how good the models might be.

      If they want their models to have even the slightest chance, they need to go and use unadjusted real data.. but that would then destroy their whole little charade.

    2. mwhite

      Cancelling the 1945-1975 cooling

      GISS Reykjavik temperature records.

  10. Paul Vaughan

    SST = 82% ☼Sun☼ + 18% interannual (includes lunisolar) + nothing else

    Neither knowledge of mechanism details nor lack thereof has any relevance to the law-constrained aggregate proof.

    Alert & Clarification: The 15% of the variance I previously (August 4, 2013 & December 20, 2013) left allocated to a linear component is actually part of the solar-governed variance. I had set a parameter arbitrarily to force that leftover, knowing that militant climate discussion agents would apply extreme social force to unfairly shut down a proof that did not leave wiggle room for CO2. It was a negotiating tactic. My sense was that at best militants would be willing to budge only in baby steps and that they decisively would not be willing to jump straight to the truth. Competent parties doing careful diagnostics will discover that there’s no justification for arbitrarily forcing the 15% linear leftover. It was stolen from the solar component to engineer an olive branch, afford a face-saving climb-down, and help smooth a period of trying social transition, but it was not appreciatively received with good will, so I recently gave full disclosure and withdrew the offer of a graceful climb-down.


  11. betapug

    The “science” is just a means to an end. As EU Climate Commisioner Connie Hedegaard says;

    “Let’s say that science, some decades from now, said ‘we were wrong, it was not about climate’, would it not in any case have been good to do many of things you have to do in order to combat climate change?.”

    1. DirkH

      Without a doubt; for the bank accounts of the scientists and the politicians.

  12. Walter H. Schneider

    “Bojanowski describes a situation where scientists have been taken aback by the unexpected pause, and are now scrambling for a way to explain it, or to deny that it even exists.”

    Something that has been around for at least 15 years (some say 17 years) would be perceived and categorized as unexpected only by someone who has extraordinarily slow thought processes.

  13. Dress Richard

    In the real word of statistical modeling when a model diverges from reality at such a pace as we see with the UNIPCC model, it is discarded. It should be discarded. Only politics saves it from a well-deserved trip to the garbage can.

    You cannot pretend that this sad performance is science.

  14. Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup | Watts Up With That?
  15. Brian H

    As Steven Goddard has been scrupulously documenting, even the purported warming the models were based on prior to 2000 is a fiction. Data and trend slopes were altered drastically, and original records differ markedly from those now cited.

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