Hide The Decline

By Paul Homewood

In an attempt to downplay the recent halt in global warming, the IPCC have claimed in their Summary for Policymakers that:

As one example, the rate of warming over the past 15 years (1998–2012; 0.05  °C per decade), which begins with a strong El Niño, is smaller than the rate calculated since 1951 (1951–2012; 0.12 °C per  decade.)

Simply translated, this means that warming has slowed down to just under half what it was before. This message has been quickly picked up by the media, which, of course, was the main intention.

The dreadful Geoffrey Lean comments in the Telegraph:

The IPCC did, however, address a much more substantial sceptical point, that the temperature increase at the Earth’s surface has slowed down since 1998 to about 40 per cent of its average rate since 1951 – something it accepts it didn’t predict. One reason is that 1998, the year invariably chosen by sceptics, was one of the warmest ever.

So, at a stroke, the “pause” has become a “slowdown, but still significant” in the public’s eyes. But look deeper, and you will see this is a piece of devious trickery.

Is 1998 the best place to start?

First, let’s get rid of the 1998 red herring. The implication is that you can only get this “slowdown” by picking 1998 as the start year. The reality is that temperatures have been flat since 2001, which was a neutral ENSO year, and therefore comparable to this year. The Wood For Trees graph below shows this well.

Figure 1

http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut4gl/from:2001/to:2013/trend/plot/hadcrut4gl/from:2001/to:2013

They could also have mentioned that RSS satellite data actually shows a drop in temperature since 1998, not the small (and statistically insignificant) amount shown by HADCRUT4.

Figure 2

http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/rss/from:1998/to:2013/trend/plot/rss/from:1998/to:2013

Longer term trends

But much more important than this attempt to deflect attention form the pause, is the way the IPCC have totally misrepresented the longer term trends. Figure 3 shows HADCRUT4 numbers going back to 1941.

Figure 3

http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut4gl/from:1941/to:1979/trend/plot/hadcrut4gl/from:1941/to:2013/plot/hadcrut4gl/from:1979/to:2001/trend/plot/hadcrut4gl/from:2001/to:2013/trend

Spot what they have done? Their base period of 1951-2013, against which they have measured post 1998 trends, includes:-

  1. 28 years of cooling – 1951-79
  2. 22 years of warming – 1979-2001
  3. 12 years of cooling again – 2001-2013

So, in total, during 40 out of the 62 years there has been a cooling trend. They are comparing a statistically insignificant amount of warming since 1998, with three decades of cooling. The result is to make this small trend sound much more significant than it is.

It would surely have been more honest to have compared the post 1998 trend with the 1979-98 period. If they had have done this, of course, most people would realised that the much trumpeted global warming really had stopped for the time being. And, in the IPCC’s eyes, that was not the message they wanted people to hear.

By this dodgy use of statistics and the 1998 red herring, they have also tried to distract attention from the clear fact that temperatures really have flatlined since 2001.

How temporary is the “temporary pause”?

It is commonly argued that a short pause in warming, of a decade or so, is not unexpected, amidst all the natural variability.. Back in 2010, the UK Met Office commented:

Recent Met Office research investigated how often decades with a stable or even negative warming trend appeared in computer-modelled climate change simulations.

Jeff Knight, lead author on the research, says: “We found one in every eight decades has near-zero or negative global temperature trends in simulations. Given that we have seen fairly consistent warming since the 1970s, the odds of one in eight suggest the observed slowdown was due to happen.”

But, if you go back to 1941, you have actually got 50 years of near zero or negative trends, and only 22 years of warming.

So which is the norm, and which is the rarity?

Footnote

It appears that the IPCC’s Thomas Stocker now claims that climatic trends should not be considered in periods of less than 30 years.

I don’t remember the IPCC suggesting that after just a decade of warming, when they wrote their first report.

102 thoughts on “Hide The Decline

  1. Don’t get me wrong, my skeptical credentials are above reproach, but the breakdown of the temperature anomaly record into chunks of differing linear trends is a little dishonest if the gaps between linear segments invariably contain discreet upward jumps.

  2. “I don’t remember the IPCC suggesting that after just a decade of warming, when they wrote their first report.”

    I don’t know of any scientific basis for this. Is there one? It seems like pure heuristics.

  3. Thank you, Paul. Clearly some reporters need a kick in the pants to get them investigating properly, as many still have their CAGW blinkers firmly in place.

    As the alarmist crowd will now start insisting on a 30 year wait for confirmation, we might be wise to apply that straight back at them (every chance we get), as that first warming “trend” that triggered the first alarmist claim was so short. “You’re right,” we can say, “And that kicks out the warming meme right from the start.”

    We’ve got to teach these guys and gals that they can’t have their cake and eat it too.

  4. I still can’t get over Michael Mann calling Judith Curry a “serial climate disinformer.” Somehow the words “pots,” “kettle,” and “black” come to mind…

  5. “But look deeper, and you will see this is a piece of devious trickery.”

    Tomorrow the IPCC is set to release the report titled “The Physical Science Basis.” Namely, the report the “summary” is supposed to have summarized. The only reason not to release the two on the same day is the summary does not exactly jibe with the report (an IPCC tradition). So even deeper looks for devious trickery in the summary are likely worthwhile starting tomorrow.

  6. Tom Jones says:
    September 29, 2013 at 3:59 pm

    there is no scientific basis for that statement – and the goalposts keep getting moved!

  7. Excellent analysis. The IPPC and its hangers on couldn’t be honest if their lives depended on, its their stock and trade!

  8. Tom Jones says:
    September 29, 2013 at 3:59 pm

    “I don’t remember the IPCC suggesting that after just a decade of warming, when they wrote their first report.”

    I don’t know of any scientific basis for this. Is there one? It seems like pure heuristics.

    *

    Tom, the alarmists couldn’t wait to launch the fear-mongering. Not one of them suggested waiting ANY number of years – not 15 and certainly not 30. If and when we reach the 30-year mark, they’ll start insisting on 50 years and we all know it. They’ve just doubled up on the 15 years they first claimed to need – just how many times do they have to move the goal post before we say enough is enough? The alarmists have had their way, way too often and for way too long, with WAY too much funding. It’s more than time to draw the line.

  9. Even WUWT is being shunted onto the back foot in the fight over the term to describe the trend since 2001. The alarmists were calling it a pause or a hiatus a year ago when the Daily Mail broke the story and sceptics weren’t happy with that because it implied knowledge that the rise would continue at some future date.

    Then they started calling it a slowdown. That was a plain lie so the sceptics said it’s a pause forgetting that they had ceded part of the semantic terrain. You are now using their term, ‘pause’, a loaded term. You have no certain knowledge that the upward trend will resume in the future.

    There is only one word applicable at present. It is a halt.

    If the next year of temp data shows enough downturn to show more than the hundredths of a degree we currently see, I think you can progress to ‘downturn’.

    But right now, it is not a pause.

  10. Reblogged this on wwlee4411 and commented:
    When you have an agenda you’re trying to advance you have to be willing to do everything you can to protect it. Especially when it is being revealed to be based on lies, falsehoods, and deception. It is particularly important, and thus vulnerable, when it is affected by power and money.

  11. Anthony, how about a bet on how soon a “new Ice Age” meme will arise?.
    Just finished reading “Why the West Rules – for Now” by Ian Morris 2010. Gripping analysis of how history can be linked to archaeology to get the broad sweep. Morris shows how climate influences social development in both Asia and Europe. The response to the warm periods and cool downs are strikingly similar on both sides of Eurasia. It might have been luck that the West got past the Little Ice Age better than the East. But the threat of global cooling is real and our ability to respond to it is a worry. Morris has a chapter on future outlook but doesnt include the new ice age possibility. Maybe we are just a couple of Pinatubos away from a real bad scene.

  12. “One reason is that 1998, the year invariably chosen by sceptics, was one of the warmest ever.”

    Typical strawman. Skeptics don’t make the argument that they declare “invariable”.

    First, we don’t start at a point in the past. Our starting point is not 1998, it is 2013. Then we see how far back we can go, and still have a trend so low that it demonstrates the lack of skill of the climate models. If temps were rising as the models had predicted, we would no be able to go back very far.

    Second, we don’t end in 1998, either. Most analyses of the model-busting break in trend currently indicate ~17 years of insignificant trend. They end in 1996 or 1997 – the pre-trough or mid-rise rather than the El Nino peak in 1998. This 17 year period is longer than the NASA modelers had previously claimed was the longest period consistent with their predictions. It is as long as the period that Santer et al gave as the starting point for its soon to be continuous goal-post-moving exercise.

  13. Recent Met Office research investigated how often decades with a stable or even negative warming trend appeared in computer-modelled climate change simulations.

    Negative warming trend. Otherwise known as a cooling trend outside of the circle of activist climate pseudoscientists.

  14. I have said this before..

    My feeling is Carbon tax schemes will cause a greater threat then sub prime and CDS’s ever did in time. If the global temperatures do decline like I feel they will all hell is going to break lose.

    We are all doomed!!!

  15. i agree with scute,it is a halt ,cessation,complete stop of “warming” . though to be fair ,if the room temperature in my sitting room increased or decreased by 0.8c i would not call it warming or cooling ,i would be hard pressed to notice.it certainly cannot be described as a pause,as that implies that at some point in the near future it will resume.

    i really look forward to those with far better knowledge than i to really examine the report for errors.there is one obvious one regarding the claim of deep ocean warming in the 2000 m to 3000 m range ,and beyond 3000 m depth,where as far as i know there have been no statistically significant measurements taken. to me,this means the attribution of the heat to the deep oceans is based purely on belief and not physical measurement.

  16. Just a reminder for some, regarding the global temperature rise (happening since the late 1800s, stepwise or otherwise) and the IPCC report, Richard Lindzen recently said:

    ” in attributing warming to man, they fail to point out that the warming has been small, and totally consistent with there being nothing to be alarmed about. …”

    Very few of the so called skeptics deny this small temperature rise during that particular period.

  17. One more thing. Hiding the decline is an addiction with this lot. I tried this before with this same topic (to no avail…which is my expectation again), but we should come up with a list of inconvenient declines they would rather not discuss. I have a few to start with:

    • The decline in the rate of warming since 1980
    • The decline in the warming since 1998
    • The decline in the rate of sea-level rise
    • The decline in concern over climate change
    • The decline in deaths from extreme weather
    • The decline in major hurricanes
    • The decline in NH ACE
    • The decline in hair count on Mann’s head

  18. UnfrozenCavemanMD, in those upward gaps I think you may be seeing the signatures of the unnatural upward adjustments (or downward in the distant past). That is, can the entire Earth globally warm that fast to create those curiuos upward gaps in such charts?

  19. Its obvious that the real threat is global cooling – shorter growing seasons, unseasonal frosts, hardship and hunger.

    Humans have nothing to fear from a warmer climate, we are one of the most hot climate adapted animals on the planet. In anything except the baking tropical savannahs and jungles of our distant ancestors, we have to wear clothes to protect us from the cold.

    Why are we so well adapted to the heat? It goes back to how our ancestors used to hunt. We couldn’t run faster than an antelope, but we could run further than an antelope, in hotter weather, until the antelope ran out of steam and simply lay down and died.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Persistence_hunting

  20. when the question is “how long has it been since there has been any statistically significant warming?” its is impossible to cherry pick a start date because the start date is now

  21. JJ

    I had just that problem yesterday in the comments on this BBC article.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-24308509

    I was accused of using a start date ‘around’ a high El Niño event. I had stated ‘1997’ so this guy knew I was avoiding the 1998 peak in order not to cherry-pick. He still went for that knee jerk argument thinking I wouldn’t call him on it. I did.

    I even got accused of cherry-picking my end date (your start date), the present, because one day in the distant future the present could be in the middle of a Maunder type minimum!

    There are possibly millions reading these articles and many thousands reading the comments. And these guys are doing their best to erode the sum of human knowledge just by turning up to comment and leaving little bomblets all over the shop for me to diffuse.

    For anyone who’s interested (and I wouldn’t actually expect anyone to traipse over there and read them) it’s Scute versus Sagacity from comments 25 to 50. Plus a tag partner who fans the flames when Sagacity goes shopping.

  22. This isn’t a “hide” or a “trick” or a “downplay”.

    It’s a deliberate misrepresentation designed to extract money from others.

    Also known as fraud!

  23. I don’t remember the IPCC suggesting that after just a decade of warming, when they wrote their first report.

    The figure proclaimed (much later) was 17 years and will no doubt become 70 if the cooling trend continues indefinitely.

    In order to separate human-caused global warming from the “noise” of purely natural climate fluctuations, temperature records must be at least 17 years long, according to climate scientists.

    And:

    Our results show that temperature records of at least 17 years in length are required for identifying human effects on global-mean tropospheric temperature.

    From our old friend Ben Santer-punch. Santer, Stocker, and then someone else off the bench to extend it if necessary. Don’t expect them to yield an inch, ever. Thus we shall never stop fighting and exposing this fraud until they are embarrassed to even broach the subject of AGW…likely not in our lifetimes.

  24. Here is a little trick. If in September 2013 the Arctic sea ice extent was back to the 1979 level the trend would be down. Same for next year too. Warmists are fighting for their tarnished reputations.

  25. Jimbo says:

    What if it cools?

    It is……
    Over the past 10,000 years the current Holocene epoch the world has cooled by about 1.0 °C.
    The latest ‘blip’ up might last a bit longer but the long term trend is down.

  26. …what is the mechanism for heat to reach the deep ocean? Warm water is less dense than cold water, so it tends to float on top of colder layers, creating the thermocline we experience in freshwater lakes. As winter approaches, our lakes “turn over” when the surface starts to freeze. http://education.nationalgeographic.com/education/media/lake-turnover/?ar_a=1

    I know that we just found miraculous, previously undiscovered whirlpools in the Atlantic, but really, this is Jules Vergne stuff! http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/09/05/a-descent-into-the-maelstrom-black-hole-whirlpools-seen-for-the-first-time-in-the-south-atlantic/

    Can anyone explain the physics of hiding heat deep in the ocean to me? And, if it is so obvious, why haven’t the climatology folks brought this up in the past & included the phenomenon in their models? My head hurts….

  27. Every time somebody pulls a tree or plant matter from underneath a receding glacier, I giggle.

    You mean it was actually this warm along time ago? How did that happen?

  28. Could someone please post a link to the latest HADCRUT4 anomaly?

    From the attached graph, it looks like the latest temperature anomaly is around 0.1C, which I don’t think is correct. I thought the latest HADCRUT4 temperature anomaly was around 0.5C.

    Could someone please clarify this?

    Thank you.

  29. A quick observation from a passerby. For years IPCC told us co2 and temp were joined at the hip forever marching upward on that 45 degree incline. Somehow, about 1998 the right side twin (temp) separated and went on his merry way ever so slightly rising, while co2 continued rising like a homesick angel. Now they’re trying to feed me some line about ‘total energy budget’ and ‘deep ocean below 2000m sequestration of heat’. I may not be the sharpest knife in the drawer, but I recognize what’s in the bowl they’re trying to give me ain’t food.

    Regards, T.

  30. wayne says:

    September 29, 2013 at 4:58 pm
    UnfrozenCavemanMD, in those upward gaps I think you may be seeing the signatures of the unnatural upward adjustments (or downward in the distant past). That is, can the entire Earth globally warm that fast to create those curiuos upward gaps in such charts?

    Wayne, it is simpler than that. The technique of lease-squares piecewise linear regression, done properly, keeps the line segment endpoints together. If the breakpoints are not constrained to be continuous, then the regression is free to calculate each line segment independently. By doing it this way, a skeptic opens himself to the correct criticism that he is obfuscating part of the rise, when it rises in the gaps.

    Obviously, a piecewise linear fit will always be closer than a simple linear fit. Accordingly, there are statistical tests for detecting if the improvement in fit is much larger than expected by the additional degrees of freedom. This can be used to motivate the hypothesis that a regime change in the process underlying the data has occurred.

  31. Mine Pippen? Geeze-Louise, I’d rather do my own root canals with a Black and Decker than be identified with those goofs.

  32. Sippen Kool-Aid says:
    September 29, 2013 at 6:53 pm
    Why is it that this post reminds me of some video gif thing over at Skeptical Science?

    That’s easy. Because you are one of the enlisted in the army of self-deluded useful idiots that march forth with a smug self-righteousness that belies the ignorance of your advocacy. Thought we covered that. The bigger question is why are you unable to accept that the cooling trends over the last 70+ years have lasted nearly twice as long as the warming trend? See answer to question one. I thought one of your IPCC mouthpieces said a trend should not be considered if less than 30 years (formerly 17 years). Any comment on that?

  33. Pippen Kool says:

    “Why is it that this post reminds me of some video gif thing over at Skeptical Science?”

    Why? Because things aren’t going your way, that’s why.

  34. Richard Hill says:
    September 29, 2013 at 4:36 pm
    Anthony, how about a bet on how soon a “new Ice Age” meme will arise?

    Exactly. Crises of our times and all. The grandchildren, climate refugees, mass extinctions. Man-Made of course.

    And thanks Paul – excellent analysis as ever. Now a question.

    Say for the sake of argument, we – Earth, are presently, today, at 0 degrees anomaly. How much colder would temperatures comprising said anomaly need to fall for the ice to again encroach upon us from the poles and the wonderful interglacial we currently enjoy, end? A range of temperatures is fine.

    I have heard, and I cannot recall where, that it is something like 8 degrees F. Does this sound about right?

    So if so, if in 2100 it’s 9 or 10 or 11 or 12 degrees to ending the interglacial instead of 8; what is the problem, precisely?

    Not meant as a thread-jack; but if indeed these are the ranges of numbers, then take a look at the recorded anomalies. Up, down, and indifferent, they are measured in fractions of a degree per half-decade without rhyme, reason or definitive direction. Plot them with the Y-Scale at our 8 degree limit to an ice-age and you see their insignificance. Ending our current, quite pleasant interglacial, will be painful. We may not survive. This minute warming is all good; the extra CO2, all good. http://www.co2science.org/video/gope2.php

    Clearly, despite 20+ years of blabbering clap-trap shouted through media megaphones from the likes of Trenberth, Mann, Hansen, et al concerning Man-Made Global warming catastrophe, there is a conspicuous lack of anything like a crises from the minute warming assigned entirely and arbitrarily to Mankind and our production of CO2.

  35. It appears that much of the media did not appreciate the report not addressing the decline/temperature hiatus.

    It is almost like their “spidey sense of something is wrong here” has finally kicked in much like the feeling that got most of us into this debate in the first place. Those of us who were always science geeks but didn’t like how evidence was being ignored in favor of exaggeration and settled science decrees.

    The latest report could be the beginning of the end. But then, old climate scientists are likely to be much like old soldiers. They don’t die, they just slowly fade away.

  36. Clearly, as we look at the temp graphs and if was accept them as factual, any marginal effect the steady rise in atmospheric C02 has had on climate is complete background noise to the actual drivers of climate. How someone can see a C02 signal or think of it as the ‘planet’s thermostat’ can’t see the forest for the trees.

    And if warmists see this blog post and think we don’t see the warming trend, we do and it started a couple of hundred years ago as we came out of the LIA and we have little to do with it nor little we can do about it whether nature drives the temps up or as we swing back down to the return of the ice age.

  37. CRS, DrPH says:
    September 29, 2013 at 5:40 pm

    …what is the mechanism for heat to reach the deep ocean? Warm water is less dense than cold water, so it tends to float on top of colder layers, creating the thermocline we experience in freshwater lakes. …
    I know that we just found miraculous, previously undiscovered whirlpools in the Atlantic, but really, this is Jules Vergne stuff! …
    Can anyone explain the physics of hiding heat deep in the ocean to me?

    Well, uhm, er, ahhhhhh. No. Nobody can explain it. At least in terms of physics or heat transfer or thermodynamics.

    Several above have noted that sea water and sea water heat capacity are some 1200 times that of air at atmospheric pressure. Being that the seawater-air interface IS at atmospheric conditions, 1.0 degree warming of the air could, at most, with 100% transfer efficiency between air and water, transfer enough heat energy to warm an equivalent amount of water by 1/1200 of one degree C. So, the warmer air – if it were to stay in contact with the water and not rise up higher into the atmosphere, could warm water somewhat.

    One, no two, no three or four more questions immediately follow:

    One. Why did the solar heat coming to earth from 1890 through 1998 warm only the land? Sea water did NOT follow the late 20th century warming found by Hansen’s NASA-GISS and HADCRU much-changed land-based records. However, after 1998, we are to believe that the same solar energy is NOW warming not the surface of the seawater – which it is not warming – but the deep sea. Further, we know from above that such warming would not be the surface air’s (potential) 1/2 of one degree C increase they claim is man-caused (or 1/4 of one degree if 1/2 of the potential increase is natural warming), but rather 1/2 x 1/1200 of that one degree.

    Two. Could the solar energy NOT heating the air the past 17 years be heating the water instead? No. No ARGO buoy measurements show a comparable surface (1 -2000 meter) warming trend the past 17 years.

    Three. But then what happens if the 18 years of missing heat did go unmeasured and unaccountably to the bottom of the ocean ? That 1/2 of 1/1200 of one degree might come back from the deep ocean and warm the surface water again – in a few hundred or thousand years – but at most it could only warm the air by transferring back NOT the original heat energy of 1/12 of one degree, but the difference between 1/2 of one degree x 1/1200 of that original x whatever fraction is not lost to the sea bottom x the heat losses between future ocean surface and the air. And that surface air might be warmer or colder by tens of degrees depending on the summer or winter and the actual rising location.

    Four. The first 50 years of the past century could NOT be due to man’s CO2 influence: there simply was too little CO2 released to account for the rise in air temperature from 1890 through 1940. No deep water temperature was measured – it might have been present, but no mechanism nor cause nor symptom has been proposed for why the deep water increased in temperature, where that increase was, or how great the increase was.

    Yet when CO2 DID begin increasing from 1945-50 through 1975, air temperatures dropped while CO2 increased measurably. Regional air particle pollution did increase locally (Pittsburgh, Los Angelos, London were notable) but did not increase worldwide during this period. Again, no deep water temperature changes were measured nor proposed by any theory of any kind: Granted, deep water temperatures were not widely measured – it might have been present, but no mechanism nor cause nor symptom has been proposed for why the deep water increased in temperature, where that increase was, or how great the increase was between 1945 and 1975.

    Worse, if the far smaller CO2 increase from 1890 through 1945 DID cause a decline in air temperatures from 1890 though 1915, then an increase in air temperature from 1915 through 1945, then why does today’s 18 year far larger increase in CO2 NOT cause any increase in air temperature from 1996 through 2013 when worldwide measured air temperatures were steady, if not declining?

    If an measurable increase in man-released CO2 DID cause an increase in air temperature from 1975 through 1998, then why did that increase in CO2 NOT cause an increase in sea water deep ocean temperatures at that time? Shallow water ocean temperatures did NOT increase in the 23 year period between 1975 and 1998, nor did they measurably increase in earlier 1918 – 1945 air temperature-increase-without-CO2-increase.

    The IPCC needs to propose a specific, credible, measured method for the surface water for the 23 years between 1975 and 1998 to stay at the same temperature, while the global air temperatures slightly increased during that same period, while the deep ocean temperatures did NOT increase 1/2 x 1/1200 of one degree, while the DMI 80 north Arctic ocean air temperatures stayed the same every summer since 1959. At least they do not need to account for several years of record-setting high Antarctic sea ice levels – there were no satellites to measure Arctic or Antarctic sea ice levels!

    Next, the IPCC needs to propose a specific, credible, measured method for the surface water for the 17 years since 1998 to stay at the same temperature, while the global air temperatures slightly decrease during that same 17 year period, while the deep ocean temperatures (supposedly) increased 1/2 x 1/1200 of one degree, while the DMI 80 north Arctic ocean air temperatures stay the same every summer since 1959. And, at the same time they need to account for several years of record-setting high Antarctic sea ice levels!

  38. I played some games a couple of years back where I took the 98 El Niño global temp data and I filled in the years after that with a temp constant, just to see how much effect it would have on the trend. Then I did the same thing with the 2 year La Niña that followed immediately after. I ran the same constant forward to the same point and back to the beginning of 98. That La Niña was much shallower that the 98 El Niño. But it lasted much longer. Then when I compared the effect on the trend of the two I found that the negative caused by El Niño was almost exactly matched by the positive of the La Niña. In other words, starting in 1998, the effect of the first two ENSO events basically cancel each other out in regards to their overall effect on the trend. That conclusion has been verified by the fact that other people ran ENSO corrected versions of the data, and the ENSO corrected data trend came out to be virtually identical to the uncorrectd trend. One of the people that ran an ENSO corrected version was Gavin Schmidt.

    So when you hear warmers complain about a cherry picked starting point, it is simply a red herring.

  39. A) I don’t like WoodForTrees’ Figure 3 because the discontinuous line segments tend to down-play the upward trend (in both cases the discontinuity is upward to the right).

    B) The misleading summaries issued by the IPCC will only work for so long. Eventually (and this is already happening) reporters will actually look at the data. Presumably those who rely heavily on global-warning grants and speaking engagements know this, and they know that when the cat is out of the bag they will have to go back to real science, so they are just trying to keep up the facade as long as possible to pay off the condo, etc.

    C) CBC (always keen on supporting the left-wing agenda) had an interview on Quirks and Quarks about the IPCC report. They interviewed two pro-IPCC scientists who made it sound like there was absolutely no problem with the models.

  40. According to figure 3, they used the coldest year as their start point. Any other reason for such an odd number of years like 62 ?

  41. galileonardo says: “The bigger question is why are you unable to accept that the cooling trends over the last 70+ years have lasted nearly twice as long as the warming trend?”

    How can this be a “bigger Q” when the temperature is warmer after 70 years? You sound like the explorer boiling in the cannibal pot saying it’s not so hot, this pot has been getting cooler for 23 of the last 24 hours.

  42. Pippen the Hater, your entire argument is based on unmeasurable assertions. That fails here at the internet’s “Best Science” site. So run along back to Pseudo-skeptical pseudo-science, they like unmeasurable assertions there.

    And FYI, the planet has been warming naturally since the LIA. Doesn’t matter if CO2 is low or high, the warming is repeated exactly. Thus, the alarmist fantasy is once again debunked.

  43. “It appears that the IPCC’s Thomas Stocker now claims that climatic trends should not be considered in periods of less than 30 years… I don’t remember the IPCC suggesting that after just a decade of warming, when they wrote their first report.”

    Has there been a period with a warming trend that was sustained for thirty or more years?

  44. Paul, the thing is the IPCC is grasping at the oddest of straws. But almost nobody gets this! Only sentient beings. Of which there are precious few these days. Of course the MSM picks up on whatever allusion the IPCC deigns to make. They are journalists, not scientists, what else can they do but respond to authority perceived to be beyond their ken? Well, they COULD do what a lot of non-scientists do here at WUWT, pay attention, and with as much “ken” as any of us can muster, expand their knowledge base.

    Very few “journalists” even bother post-Nixon. And why should they? Marx would appear to have been correct, the proletariat. If you were a low information journalist, why would you suffer the angst of attempting to inform the lower information proletariat of things you cannot be bothered with understanding, in all of its sundry detail? Probably because they consider themselves journalists, the in-the-know class. Assuming they “know” anything other than that they are told too.

    And that is the problem.

    The IPCC assessment reports are supposed to be an assessment of the state of the literature, the research. Since AR4 (or AR3 for that matter), the literati have been treated to an astonishing array of things climate which make the IPCCs “worst case” scenario (+0.59 meters sea level rise by 2099) pale in comparison to an order of magnitude plus higher than that (+6.0 meters) end extreme interglacial normal climate noise at the end of the last interglaciation.

    But how many amongst use even know what an interglaciation is?

    Sure, most all of us know to turn down the volume if someone of some authority attempts to communicate with us (wife, child, boss etc……). But how many of us? How many journalists, nowadays, could give even a layman’s cogent description of signal to noise ratio? And how many lay men and women would glom-on to it even if they could?

    Innately, we all actually do understand signal to noise. We just have not been apprised, by the cognoscenti of the import here. Because few of them get-it either.

    Whilst that may appear to be a potentially bad thing, such might be far from another potential eventuality. The sun went all quiet on us, and the PDO went negative, a few years ago now. The AMDO is likely to follow soon. And all at the half-precession (plus a few centuries and change) old Holocene. One can only hope that there is a silver-lining in each end extreme interglacial…….

    The possibility consequently exists that both those in “authority”, and those enamored of authority (maybe even their progeny) could come to the exact wrong conclusion. Regardless of whether or not CO2 is the heathen devil gas it is made out to be, the only relevant questions to be asked are:

    1) Does the possibility exist that we could extend the current interglacial by some other means than GHGs?

    or

    2) Assuming that we don’t, and there isn’t, will the version of the genus Homo that emerges from the next glacial be better at discerning the difference between fact and fiction?

    Because if we haven’t already hidden the decline, we better get very serious, and very real, about doing exactly that…………

  45. it has been COOLING SIGNIFICANTLY SINCE 2010….just three years…if it persists…the trend will fit a 30/60 year cycle…warming 1919-1950…cooling 1950-1980…warming 1980-2010…cooling since…no supercomputer needed for this model…just paper and pencil

  46. Sippen Kool-Aid says:
    September 29, 2013 at 8:25 pm
    How can this be a “bigger Q” when the temperature is warmer after 70 years? You sound like the explorer boiling in the cannibal pot saying it’s not so hot, this pot has been getting cooler for 23 of the last 24 hours.

    It’s the bigger question because that happens to be the subject of this thread and it’s something you are apparently unprepared to address. Your sad “but look it’s hotter” straw man has been put to bed countless times here. dbstealey tries to persuade you to look at the data since the LIA and shows you the historical warming trends that one of your heroes Phil Jones agreed were “not statistically significantly different from each other” but obviously none of that empirical stuff is sinking in. You have your beliefs and ego to protect. Never yield an inch.

    Now go run off to SS and gather your next thoughts about how the LIA doesn’t matter and how the former warming trend (as in the trend that ended over a decade ago) is different this time and come back for another round. Just know in advance that through the exercise you will have learned nothing other than how to beat a dead horse. I have done this more than once as of late, but here goes again since you apparently need the lesson.

    Token alarmist, circa 1880:
    The decade of 1870 to 1880 has been warmer than all preceding decades since 1850 and is the warmest on record.

    Token alarmist, circa 1930:
    The decade of 1920 to 1930 has been warmer than all preceding decades since 1850 and is the warmest on record.

    Token alarmist, circa 1940:
    The decade of 1930 to 1940 has been warmer than all preceding decades since 1850 and is the warmest on record.

    Token alarmist, circa 1950:
    Each of the last three decades has been warmer than all preceding decades since 1850 and the decade of 1940 to 1950 has been the warmest on record.

    Cheers!

  47. When do we start officially calling it the “Former Warming Period” or “Recent Warming Period”? It doesn’t warrant the name “Current Warming Period” anymore. MWP will persist, but I’m afraid CWP is ready for retirement. Bring on the RWP.

  48. Latitude cited that climatic trends should not be considered in periods of less than thirty years.
    For what reason then do we need the deep-ocean explanation?
    The latter implies that something has to be explained regarding the past 17 years or so.
    Is it true that all those model simulations were done as a test of the null hypothesis that
    the deep oceans do not absorb heat?

  49. I very specifically remember warning the 0nline warmists in 1999-2000 not to use the record breaking El Nino as ‘proof’ of man made global warming. I cautioned that it would bite them in backside when the following years did not show any warming. They, of course, continued to use the El Nino heat to generate their ‘trend lines to doom’ in all the reports.

    So when they cry foul when skeptics use 1998 to define the length of the halt, just remind them that we are only following their lead and their methods. Of course, we don’t need to use 1998. All the years after that work just as well. Soon, the trend will be unmistakably down, and all of this will be a mute point.

  50. CRS, DrPH says:
    September 29, 2013 at 5:40 pm

    “…what is the mechanism for heat to reach the deep ocean?”

    It is the Immaculate Convection. Somehow, the heat was teleported to the depths without leaving any trace of its passage through the upper layers. I suspect some cowboy Captain disregarding Star Fleet orders again.

    “And, if it is so obvious, why haven’t the climatology folks brought this up in the past & included the phenomenon in their models?”

    Because, shut up. Really. That’s their answer.

    Luke Warmist says:
    September 29, 2013 at 6:32 pm

    “while co2 continued rising like a homesick angel… I recognize what’s in the bowl they’re trying to give me ain’t food.”

    Thanks for the laughs.

  51. “It appears that the IPCC’s Thomas Stocker now claims that climatic trends should not be considered in periods of less than 30 years.

    I don’t remember the IPCC suggesting that after just a decade of warming, when they wrote their first report.”

    Don’t remember? But did you read it? They did say something quite like that (FAR SPM p xxiv):
    “The observed increase could be largely due to natural variability, alternatively this variability and other man-made factors could have offset a still larger man-made greenhouse warming The unequivocal detection of the enhanced greenhouse effect from observations is not likely lor a decade or more, when the commitment to future climate change will then be considerably larger than it is today.”

  52. I am a sceptic but the third graph in this posting seems to me to give more support to the warmists than the sceptics since the amount of warming in the period 1980-2000 is obviously a lot greater than the cooling before that and the cooling in the past decade.

  53. A.D. Everard says:

    Not one of them suggested waiting ANY number of years – not 15 and certainly not 30. If and when we reach the 30-year mark, they’ll start insisting on 50 years and we all know it.

    Possibly 45 or 60… Keep moving the “goalposts”.
    Of course after those 30 years the PDO will have moved back into its warm phase, so we’ll probably see some “warming” by then anyway.

  54. Galileonardo:

    At September 29, 2013 at 9:51 pm you write in total

    When do we start officially calling it the “Former Warming Period” or “Recent Warming Period”? It doesn’t warrant the name “Current Warming Period” anymore. MWP will persist, but I’m afraid CWP is ready for retirement. Bring on the RWP.

    Respectfully, I suggest that it is correct to say
    we are in the Present Warm Period(PWP)
    that has followed recovery from the Little Ice Age (LIA)
    which most recently included the Ended Warming Period (EWP).

    This terminology cannot be rationally disputed and will enrage the irrational (e.g. Pippen Kool) because it is unarguably true.

    Richard

  55. Martin 457 says:

    Every time somebody pulls a tree or plant matter from underneath a receding glacier, I giggle.

    You mean it was actually this warm along time ago? How did that happen?

    There are the remains of buildings being found in such places. Even the odd human body!

  56. Paul, please don’t mention Geoffrey Lean in polite company. It spoiled the breakfast I was having on the train from North Wales to London!
    Good article otherwise

  57. Nick Stokes:

    Your post at September 29, 2013 at 11:34 pm is disingenuous.

    In response to a comment saying
    <blockquote <blockquote “It appears that the IPCC’s Thomas Stocker now claims that climatic trends should not be considered in periods of less than 30 years.

    I don’t remember the IPCC suggesting that after just a decade of warming, when they wrote their first report.”

    You reply

    Don’t remember? But did you read it? They did say something quite like that (FAR SPM p xxiv):

    “The observed increase could be largely due to natural variability, alternatively this variability and other man-made factors could have offset a still larger man-made greenhouse warming The unequivocal detection of the enhanced greenhouse effect from observations is not likely for a decade or more, when the commitment to future climate change will then be considerably larger than it is today.”

    The quotation does NOT say there could be a halt to warming “for a decade or more”.
    It says, “The UNEQUIVOCAL DETECTION of the enhanced greenhouse effect from observations is not likely for a decade or more” FROM THEN.

    But the “unequivocal detection” has not been obtained after more than two decades. So, you have attempted to pretend a failed IPCC prediction is a successful prediction of something else!

    Richard

  58. @UnfrozenCavemanMD: discreet jumps (step changes) in temperature are not indicitive of CO2. A real sceptic wouuld have researched this simple fact before making accusations of dishonesty. I think we can all see now who is being dishonest.

  59. richardscourtney says: September 30, 2013 at 12:15 am
    “The quotation does NOT say there could be a halt to warming “for a decade or more”.”

    I never said it did. What it does say in 1990 is that, after more than a decade of warming, we’ll still have to wait a decade or more to tell. They aren’t predicting the future temperature; they are describing the requirement for “unequivocal”. And it’s not inconsistent with Stocker’s, and made at a time of rising temperature.

  60. Who are these “scientists” meeting behind closed doors in Stockholm and telling us what to think.
    Could we please have a list of delegates, after all they are there on the taxpayers dime.

  61. Fig 3. looks like a sine-wave with a slight upwards trrens to me. And we all know what happens to a sine-wave, after the peak is past.

    Can none of the IPCC ‘scientists’ see this?

  62. Nick Stokes:

    Your post at September 30, 2013 at 12:34 am simply will not do!

    My post at September 30, 2013 at 12:15 am explained how you had blatantly misrepresented the FAR SPM. You had claimed at September 29, 2013 at 11:34 pm that is said, “something like”
    “climatic trends should not be considered in periods of less than 30 years”.

    But the FAR said nothing like that.
    Indeed, the FAR was published in 1990 and four years later in 1994 the IPCC used 4-year periods to assess changes(i.e. trends) in hurricane frequency.

    Furthermore, the context of the point put to you – and you were answering – was and is that the ’30-year limit’ has been introduced to hide the halt to global warming over the most recent – at least – 16 years.

    My post explained that the quotation you provided from the FAR SPM does not suggest anything like you said. I replied

    The quotation does NOT say there could be a halt to warming “for a decade or more”.
    It says, “The UNEQUIVOCAL DETECTION of the enhanced greenhouse effect from observations is not likely for a decade or more” FROM THEN.

    But the “unequivocal detection” has not been obtained after more than two decades. So, you have attempted to pretend a failed IPCC prediction is a successful prediction of something else!

    I am replying to your response to that which is as disingenuous as your post I rebutted. That response says in total

    richardscourtney says: September 30, 2013 at 12:15 am

    “The quotation does NOT say there could be a halt to warming “for a decade or more”.”

    I never said it did. What it does say in 1990 is that, after more than a decade of warming, we’ll still have to wait a decade or more to tell. They aren’t predicting the future temperature; they are describing the requirement for “unequivocal”. And it’s not inconsistent with Stocker’s, and made at a time of rising temperature.

    You did not SAY the FAR SPM suggested there could be a halt to warming “for a decade or more”, but in context you SUGGESTED that.

    You claimed the FAR SPM suggested “something like” a need for 30-years to assess climate. IT DID NOT.

    What the IPCC said was that “unequivocal detection of the enhanced greenhouse effect” would require “a decade or more”. Well, there has been much more than two decades, and that “unequivocal detection“ has receded.

    Nick, if you continue to spin like this you will drill yourself into the ground.

    Richard

  63. richardscourtney says: September 30, 2013 at 1:33 am
    “You did not SAY the FAR SPM suggested there could be a halt to warming “for a decade or more”, but in context you SUGGESTED that.”

    Nonsense. My contention weas very simple. The head post said:
    “I don’t remember the IPCC suggesting that after just a decade of warming, when they wrote their first report.”

    and I quoted what the IPCC actually said in 1990. They in fact had a record of 14 years warming, not 10, but they said, that’s not enough to be unequivocal; we’d need at least another decade of warming to say that. That is, we need at least 24 years – Stocker prefers 30.

  64. The great sadness with people like Geoffrey Lean is that they don’t want to recognise that warming isn’t happening as they would like it. When did we last hear any warmist say, l “let us hope that the sceptics are correct and that we might not have anything to worry about after all”? For reasons best known to them, they seem to hope and pray that catastrophic warming will happen, and want to fight to the bitter end in order to persuade a gullible public that catastrophe for the world is just round the corner. Perhaps it’s all about their potential loss of income coupled with their reputations as scientists that they consider more important than admitting they have been barking up the wrong tree for so long.

  65. Nick Stokes:

    re your post at September 30, 2013 at 2:08 am.

    Having been shown to be disingenuous in your previous two posts, you now resort to a flat out lie.

    The IPCC First Assessment Report (1990) did NOT say they needed 24 years to determine “The unequivocal detection of the enhanced greenhouse effect from observations”. They then said the “unequivocal detection” would probably require “a decade or more” FROM THEN.

    Your interpretation of why they said that has no relevance to anything.

    The only pertinent point is that the IPCC First Assessment Report (1990) did NOT suggest need for a 30-year period to assess climate. Indeed, no IPCC Report prior to the AR5 has not suggested it. Clearly, your spin demonstrates that you know you were wrong to suggest otherwise.

    The previous IPCC Report (i.e. AR4) made a prediction (n.b. prediction and not ‘projection’ for “the first two decades of the 21st century” of “0.2°C per decade”.
    (ref. IPCC AR4 (2007) Chapter 10.7 which can be read at
    http://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/ar4/wg1/en/ch10s10-7.html )

    The halt to global warming has refuted that prediction in the AR4, and that refutation by reality is the reason why the AR5 has introduced the 30-year period to assess climate.

    Richard

  66. Scute

    There is only one word applicable at present. It is a halt.

    Yes, you are right.My use of the word “pause” was not intended to convey that warming would resume, merely that it seems to be the word that is in common currency now.

    Perhaps we all ought to agree on a new word!

  67. richardscourtney says: September 30, 2013 at 2:51 am
    “They then said the “unequivocal detection” would probably require “a decade or more” FROM THEN.”

    This gets tiresome. Yes, that’s what they said. And they had observed 14 years of warming. I pointed out the obvious arithmetic.

  68. The big La Nina drop in temperatures which occurred immediately after the 1998 El Nino, almost cancels out the effect of this el Nino spike on the overall temperature trend. Indeed one could choose 1999 as the start date in order to try to salvage a warming trend up to the present (but it would still not quite succeed).

    If temperatures maintain even a weak upward trend to the end of the year, then there could be a steep drop in temperatures in the start of 2014. If you look at el Nino and La Nina events, large temperature drops after an el Nino always start in Jan-Feb, and significantly reduce global temperatures. By contrast, the temperature falls after peaks in summer are always weaker (and form part of a rising trend). We are not of course in an el Nino, nor really La Nina – the ENSO status (Nina 3.4 index) has persisted around zero for an unusually long time. But if a temperature drop is going to take place, the most likely time for this to begin, for synchrony with the normal annual phase-locked ENSO cycling, is after the new year.

  69. Nick Stokes:

    At September 30, 2013 at 3:26 am you at last say something I can agree; viz.

    This gets tiresome.

    YES!
    And the tiresome thing is that you tried to mislead and you have been using any method you can think of to avoid admitting you tried to mislead.

    The IPCC did not say, suggest or imply that a 30-year period was needed to assess climate in any to its Reports until the AR5. Indeed, the IPCC AR4 made a 20-year prediction that has proven to be wrong. But in response to a comment saying

    “It appears that the IPCC’s Thomas Stocker now claims that climatic trends should not be considered in periods of less than 30 years.

    I don’t remember the IPCC suggesting that after just a decade of warming, when they wrote their first report.”

    Your post at September 29, 2013 at 11:34 pm claimed

    They did say something quite like that

    and you quoted from the FAR.
    Your quotation and nothing else in that or any other IPCC Report prior to AR5 says anything like you claimed.

    Admit that you were wrong or simply shut up, but don’t think I am going to stop pointing out your egregious and tiresome behaviour until you do admit you were wrong or simply shut up.

    Richard

  70. The MET office “research’ is dishonest and damage control to say consistent warming since 1970 without mentioning AMO pattern and contribution.

  71. I cannot for the life of me understand why any skeptic is even using the loony notion of linear trends at all in such noisy data as is evident from the silly conversation being passed off as debate on the matte. The ‘trend’ quantum and even sign is significantly dependent of the start/stop point of the linear ‘fit’ and frankly the ‘fit’ seems more epileptic than statistical to me. Once you apply a filter to the data, even a 2, 3 or 5 year filter what results is something with obvious cyclical components visible in the sample period and the clear suggestion of longer period components being just as possible contenders as underlying monotone increasing ones.

    It is in this swamp of fundamental irrationality that the AGW case is floundering around like the French knights at Agincourt and the band of skeptical brothers can so easily pick off these self important fools mounted on their trusty sinecures . Who needs to venture down into the swamp and start swinging a rhetorical sword by even using the language of the fools?

  72. Paul Homewood says:
    September 30, 2013 at 3:16 am
    Scute

    There is only one word applicable at present. It is a halt.

    Yes, you are right.My use of the word “pause” was not intended to convey that warming would resume, merely that it seems to be the word that is in common currency now.

    Perhaps we all ought to agree on a new word!

    Plateau.

  73. Samurai

    Could someone please post a link to the latest HADCRUT4 anomaly?

    From the attached graph, it looks like the latest temperature anomaly is around 0.1C, which I don’t think is correct. I thought the latest HADCRUT4 temperature anomaly was around 0.5C.

    The Woodfortrees system is slightly misleading. Where it says “To 2013″, it actually cuts off at Dec 2012, when the anomaly was 0.268C. It is currently 0.514C.

  74. For UnfrozenCaveman & Others

    Don’t get me wrong, my skeptical credentials are above reproach, but the breakdown of the temperature anomaly record into chunks of differing linear trends is a little dishonest if the gaps between linear segments invariably contain discreet upward jumps.

    Please note that my only purpose in showing these trends was to highlight the periods of cooling/flatlining, and not to detract from the warming that did take place between 1979 and 1998.

  75. I generally do not refer to the pause or hiatus. I reference the change in the PDO around 2005 and show that hadcru4, GISS and RSS all show cooling from that point. Hence, I state the planet is now cooling. That really gets the true believers goat.

    Also, if the alarmist are going to claim 1998 is cherry picking just show them that 1951 started as a La Niña and 2010 was an El Niño. The entire IPCC report is cherry picking a cool start point and warm end point. That is the only way they get .12C/decade.

  76. ***
    CRS, DrPH says:
    September 29, 2013 at 5:40 pm

    Can anyone explain the physics of hiding heat deep in the ocean to me?
    ***

    There is no significant mechanism for it. Just the opposite — the deep ocean is a store for cold water. The water there being well below the avg earth temp is proof.

  77. I love how any cooling is always explained as natural variability, but all warming is due to human use of fossil fuels liberating CO2. Warming is never due to natural variability.

  78. I am sure I made a comment here
    cannot remember what is was about
    but I can not think of any reason why it was not published?

    [Reply: I believe that may have been my mistake. In deleting more than a hundred spam comments, I may have overlooked a legitimate one. My apologies if that’s what happened. Best to keep a copy until you see it published. — mod.]

  79. philjourdan says:September 30, 2013 at 1:50 pm
    ” a “decade or more” is nowhere near “no less than 30 years”!!!! “

    The IPCC in 1990 had observed warming for 14 years. They said a further decade or more was required to make a an unequivocal assessment.

    • @Nick Stokes – so you cut the margin of error in half. It still does not say the same thing. Not even closing one eye and winking at it will make it say the same thing.

  80. If this warm period is to be named, please stay away from words like recent, current, etc. They will only lead to confusion in the future (e.g., ‘contemporary’ style homes in the US refers to a style that was popular fifty or so years ago. They are no longer contemporary). How about just calling it a very boring name like, the Late Twentieth Century Warming, or LTCW? That would also emphasize that it ended before the start of this century.

  81. I consider 2001 as an honest start year of the hiatus. Using 1998 appears to me as using the El Nino to overstate one’s case. Smoothed global temperature trends continued rising past 1998 and largely leveled off in 2001.

  82. As for Figure 3: Consider that 1941 was a warm time in the cyclic pattern of global temperature that shows up in HadCRUT3. Also, I would use a choice of borderline years and slope determining means that makes the line segments connect – as opposed to having upward vertical jumps from one to the next. Supporting an argument that a majority of the time it has been cooling appears to me as overstating the case of how low the manmade extent of global warming is.

  83. All of the heating they have been documenting is likely caused by the direct heating of the earth by burning fossil fuels.

    For example if I burn 1 log on the fireplace in my house every night, my house is a little warmer at night.

    If I burn 10 logs on the fireplace in my house every night, my house gets a lot warmer.

    Silly stuff.

  84. Jtom says: @ September 30, 2013 at 6:08 pm

    ….. How about just calling it a very boring name like, the Late Twentieth Century Warming, or LTCW? That would also emphasize that it ended before the start of this century.
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    Sounds good.

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