The Top Ten Reasons global temperature hasn't warmed for the last 15 years

Explanation #10 for the pause …”coincidence” has just completed the top 10 list, thanks Gavin! Party on! Excellent!


There is a new paper by Gavin Schmidt et al that comes in as #10 in the growing list of explanations for ‘the pause’. Now that we have a top ten list, let’s review:

  1. New study claims low solar activity caused “the pause” in global temperature – but AGW will return!
  2. THE OCEANS ATE OUR GLOBAL WARMING! Trenberth and Fasullo, 2013. But the heat will come back when you least expect it.
  3. Chinese coal caused the ‘pause’, published in the proceedings of the National Academy of Science. The study blamed Chinese coal use for the lack of global warming. Global warming proponents essentially claimed that coal use is saving us from dangerous global warming. Kaufmann et al 2011.
  4. The Montreal Protocol caused the ‘pause‘, which reduced CFC’s – but warming will return soon. Estrada 2013.
  5. Cowtan and Way’s (2013) underrepresented Arctic stations get adjustment to fiddle the numbers so that ‘pause’ never existed, but not so fast. It seems all isn’t quite as it seems. Dr. Judith Curry doesn’t think much of it either.
  6. Volcanic aerosols, not pollutants, tamped down recent Earth warming, says CU study – Neely et al March 2013: A team led by the University of Colorado Boulder looking for clues about why Earth did not warm as much as scientists expected between 2000 and 2010 now thinks the culprits are hiding in plain sight — dozens of volcanoes spewing sulfur dioxide.
  7. Contributions of Stratospheric Water Vapor to Decadal Changes in the Rate of Global Warming. Solomon et al, 2010 Science Magazine.: Stratospheric water vapor concentrations decreased by about 10% after the year 2000. Here we show that this acted to slow the rate of increase in global surface temperature over 2000–2009 by about 25% compared to that which would have occurred due only to carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases.’
  8. Slower Pacific Trade winds caused the pause England Et al 2014. A paper published today in Nature Climate Change adds the eighth excuse for the ‘pause’ in global warming: strengthened Pacific trade winds, which according to the authors, were “not captured [simulated] by climate models.” On the basis of those same highly-flawed climate models, the authors predict rapid global warming will resume in a decade or so when those trade winds abate. But in 2006, we were told the opposite.
  9. Stadium Waves. Wyatt and Curry 2013. Stadium waves’ could explain lull in global warming. Not un-plausible.
  10. Coincidence, conspired to dampen warming trends” Schmidt et al 2014. NASA’s Gavin Schmidt et al says: ‘Here we argue that a combination of factors, by coincidence, conspired to dampen warming trends in the real world after about 1992. CMIP5 model simulations were based on historical estimates of external influences on the climate only to 2000 or 2005, and used scenarios (Representative Concentration Pathways, or RCPs) thereafter.’

More on #10, from Andrew Montford, who writes in The mind-boggling coincidence hypothesis:


Schmidt and his colleagues are looking at the hiatus in surface temperature rises and considers why the CMIP5 ensemble all got it so wrong. In their new paper they explain that the reason for this is not – as wild-eyed readers at BH might think – that the models are wonky. In fact it’s all down to an incredible, incredible coincidence

Here we argue that a combination of factors, by coincidence, conspired to dampen warming trends in the real world after about 1992. CMIP5 model simulations were based on historical estimates of external influences on the climate only to 2000 or 2005, and used scenarios (Representative Concentration Pathways, or RCPs) thereafter4. Any recent improvements in these estimates or updates to the present day were not taken into account in these simulations. Specifically, the influence of volcanic eruptions, aerosols in the atmosphere and solar activity all took unexpected turns over the 2000s. The climate model simulations, effectively, were run with the assumption that conditions were broadly going to continue along established trajectories.

Apparently, if you go back and rework all the forcings, taking into account new data estimates (add half a bottle of post-hoc figures) and ‘reanalyses’ of old data (add a tablespoon of computer simulation) you can bridge the gap and explain away the pause.

We conclude that use of the latest information on external influences on the climate system and adjusting for internal variability associated with ENSO can almost completely reconcile the trends in global mean surface temperature in CMIP5 models and observations. Nevertheless, attributing climate trends over relatively short periods, such as 10 to 15 years, will always be problematic, and it is inherently unsatisfying to find model–data agreement only with the benefit of hindsight.

So, with the benefit of hindsight, the climate modellers can fit their square peg into a round hole. It wasn’t that the models were running too hot, it was just that nature has got it in for climate modellers.


You can see Schmidt et al Reconciling warming trends here


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Coincidence = natural variation.
Not unplausible either.


I have been studying the Earth for at least 40 years and though I believe in many things I do not believe in coincidence.


Nice to see that the science is settled, then.

Peter Azlac

11. The chicken’s (h)entrails used to parametrize the models on the models weren’t fresh!

Ken Hall

12, Pine forests emitting that lovely pine scent.

Peter Azlac

Sorry too many models!

James Bull

My children used to like playing hide and seek but as they grew up they lost interest in it but it seems many “claim-it” scientists still like looking even when no ones hiding.
These have a hint of “the dog ate my homework” about them.
James Bull


The verbiage from pseudoscience seems to be exponentially increasing.
It must be caused by CO2, no other explanation!


No Gavin..
coincidence and data manipulation gave the short warming from 1970-1998 on which your whole flatulence is based.
That you have made an [ABJECT] FOOL of yourself?
No coincidence….. A natural, easily explained occurrence


Ken Hall says:
12, Pine forests emitting that lovely pine scent.
Which they only started doing this century.

Rhys Jaggar

11. Dubya got elected through hanging chads.
12. That reactionary autocrat Putin used the FSB to cause it.
13. Anthony Watts is a malware virus sent to earth by aliens to infect all weather stations and cause faulty thermometer readings.
14. Oprah’s anger management classes for Americans were just TOO GOOD!!
15. Holding the Olympics in the USA twice in 6 years caused it.

Lance Wallace

It appears that 6 or 7 of the 10 are attributed to natural variation, something the IPCC “considered” (briefly) and dismissed in all 5 reports. #3 & #4 (Chinese coal and the CFCs) are anthropogenic. #5 (Arctic stations) is “anthropogenic” (human error). I neve understood the stadium wave so don’t know how to classify it.
What is “hi” in the first reason (solar variation)? Mods: Could you explain or correct that?

David L

Wow. Gavin’s paper would not have passed peer review by my post doctoral advisor. He would say he absolutely did not believe in coincidence any time someone uttered the word. He would actually get agitated.

I’d rather listen to a scientist who believes in coincidence, than listen to a scientist who got it right – after all, the scientist who got it right didn’t win a nobble prize! 🙂


[Matthew] English concludes an article on RC as follows:
Summing up all of the documented contributions to the hiatus, spanning ocean heat uptake, reduced radiation reaching Earth’s surface, and data gaps, climate scientists have probably accounted for the hiatus twice over. Of course each effect is not linearly additive, but even so, many experts are now asking why hasn’t the past decade been one of considerable cooling in global mean air-temperatures? Or put another way, why isn’t the model-observed gap even wider? One way to explain this is that the current generation of climate models may be too low in their climate sensitivity – an argument made recently by Sherwood et al in relation to unresolved cloud physics. A perhaps completely unexpected conclusion when analysts first noticed the model-observed divergence progressing over the past decade.
So, instead of drawing the obvious conclusion that some of the explanations for the hiatus must be wrong, he assumes they are all correct and that the models underestimate sensitivity.


Apologies – It was Matthew Enland who made the above comments. I should have checked.

Bernd Palmer

That settles the science then. Move on, nothing to see.


It is becoming increasingly clear that 97% of climate pseudo scientists have 95% confidence that they deserve vicious and sustained public flogging and are desperately trying to delay the inevitable.
But they cannot escape the inevitable. Adding radiative gases to the atmosphere will not reduce the atmospheres radiative cooling ability. The shame of the pseudo scientists will burn forever on the Internet.

Lew Skannen

You missed the most obvious one – climate change.
It has been the cause of everything including a pause in itself.

David L

” The climate model simulations, effectively, were run with the assumption that conditions were broadly going to continue along established trajectories”
Therein lies the problem with model building when the science isn’t actually settled.
Honestly, it’s very hard to build a reliable model even for simple cases where the science is actually settled. Models work best to interpolate within the experimental space. Extrapolation is always difficult.

Wasn’t the original ‘pause’ paper (before it was called the ‘pause’ ) –
Foster and Rahmstorf (2011) –
Which blamed it largely on ENSO.


Now it is my turn to say it: I am losing the will to live … (I’ll get over it, though.)


In that picture, the person on the left looks like little Mikey Mann on Friday night.
The person on the right looks like little Mikey Mann on Saturday night.


To paraphrase Tallbloke:
“If the negative coincidences of natural variations are sufficiently geo-effective in the 21st century to cancel the alleged effect of extra airborne co2 on surface temperature, how much did positive coincidences contribute to the warming of the late 20th century?”


Don’t forget the LAST resort that is yet to rear its ugly head. ……the observed data is wrong and needs more adjustment and homogenization torture to fit the models.

Mindert Eiting

11. Availability of satellite data.


Regarding reason #8, the England et al paper was about Stronger trade winds causing The Pause, not weaker trade winds….
The 2006 Vecchi et al paper suggested weaker trade winds were causing The Pause…
BTW, when The Guardian ran the England et al story, I mentioned in the comment section of the article about the 2006 Vecchi et al paper, claimed the complete opposite…
The Guardian gatekeepers removed my post as “inappropriate”…
Since when is the simple truth “inappropriate”…
Jeez… These poor people are getting desperate…

Bloke down the pub

Desperation is the word that springs to mind. Gavin still fails to recognise that every excuse that is created to explain the pause, also creates a new explaination for the original rise.
‘ Nevertheless, attributing climate trends over relatively short periods, such as 10 to 15 years, will always be problematic’. That never stopped a warmist before.

Henry Galt

Give me strength. With every pissant excuse these streaks of piss offer up they are pissing away more of my children’s future prosperity. They are pissing all over us. I am more pissed off with them by the day. I wish they would just piss off as they are starting to make me inarticulate.


It is also a coincidence that the Earth is in the center of the Universe.


In other words, the models were based on a uniformitarian assumption. To apply to a planetary system of climate that undergoes constant seasonal, cyclic and often unpredictable changes. An unshakeable premise for long term predictions then.

Mike T

Haven’t you guys heard of the perfectly normal English word “implausible”? Where did “un-plausible” come from?

Joe Public

But what if ‘coincidence’ also caused the previous temperature rise?


reckon #1 should be
we were bullshitting all along


If only we had the CMIP5 models back in the day. It could have been used to good effect. Did the oceans eat the global warming back then too?
[Hypothetical date]

Here we argue that a combination of factors, by coincidence, conspired to dampen warming trends in the real world after about 1940.


[Since when is the simple truth “inappropriate”…]
They should have said “inconvenient.”

Brad R

Or, perhaps this is what they should have said:
“Here we argue that an unanticipated factor, by coincidence, conspired to dampen warming trends in the real world after about 1992. CMIP5 model simulations were based on historical estimates of canine-free climate only to 2000 or 2005, and used projections thereafter. Any recent canine acquisitions to the present day were not taken into account in these simulations. Specifically, the acquisition of one or more dogs, and their unanticipated appetite for global warming, all took unexpected turns over the 2000s. The climate model simulations, effectively, were run with the assumption that the dog was not going to eat the global warming, an assumption we now believe not to be the case.”

James Allison

A coincidence brought together a combination of factors and they conspired to dampen the warming trend. Nice one Gav!

Louis Hooffstetter

This is the same logic used by witch doctors.


as i posted on joanne nova’s site –
28 Feb: International Business Times: Investments in Renewable Energy Being Questioned Following Hiatus of Global Warming
by Esther Tanquintic-Misa:
With the world now experiencing a slowing global warming, sceptics have started questioning the importance and necessity of the investments made into renewable energy by all member nations of planet Earth. But science bodies in the U.S. and UK assured the investments remain well in track as the warming hiatus is just temporary…
While there has been a short-term slowdown in the warming of Earth’s surface since the exceptionally warm 1998, that “does not invalidate our understanding of long-term changes in global temperature arising from human-induced changes in greenhouse gases,” according to a report by Britain’s Royal Society and the U.S. National Academy of Sciences.
Scientists continue to find the case for the warming hiatus. Some attributed it to the shifts in the oceans that are absorbing more heat from the atmosphere. Others suggested the sun-dimming volcanic eruptions or a lower output from the sun contribute to the slowdown.
If the Pacific winds were to be believed, the current hiatus could persist until nearly 2020…
Thirteen out of the 14 warmest years on record had been since 2000.
“I would not call that a pause in global temperature increases,” Michel Jarraud, head of the WMO, said.

So, if we have a curve-fitted model that doesn’t follow observations, and we re-fit it to the new observations, it will then fit the new observations better.
No shit, Sherlock?

listen guys we being too hard. They know they right they just need more time for to ‘get the evidence’. Lets just view it as therapy for the Munch Screamers as they ‘come down’ from the hysteria of trying to solve a problem that doesn’t exist except in their heads.
The Munch Scream Feedback Code
1 unvalidated model—->predictions—–>hysteria
2 more unvalidated models-more predictions-more hysteria


So all Gav is admitting is that after all the billions spent, they have no f**king idea of predicting climate. They can only describe it after the fact.


Schimidt et al are just tweaking the model parameters (solar variance, aerosols, ENSO) until the models “almost” fit observations. It’s so silly it’s laughable. Anything, anything! but accept that TCR is lower than expected.

george e. smith

Co-incidence is when two things coincide. Well there are also parallel multi-incidences, where n-things coincide. ( dn. dt <= h/2pi ). Happens everywhere all the time. Nothing to see here, move along.

Peter Miller

My personal belief is that Mother Nature does not like people pretending to be scientists and then trying to mimic her through their dodgy simplistic models. Complex, chaotic bitches can be like that.
These people’s efforts are an affront to her dignity and this is her way of giving these ‘scientists’ the finger.
Makes more sense than any of Gavin’s ‘reasons’.

Gavin Schmidt is saying we have no idea what makes the surface temperatures go up and then down on planet earth as the temps have been doing for millions of years. Perhaps it is time to stop “adjusting” the temperature record and adding to the sea level measurements. Perhaps it is time to report honest data so we can honestly look for the causes.
The first step is observation. We must be able to look for patterns in the ups and downs so we can form theories about might be causing these swings. We don’t even know what causes a 1/2 degree C swing in the average temperatures — and we have no hope at present of explaining what causes glaciers advance to the extent that the north east U.S. is under perhaps 5km of ice.
Honest data Gavin! We need the team to start demanding all government agencies produce honest data!

Where have all these counterwarming elements been for the past so many years? Reminds me
of weather forecasters who blame “unexpected wind currents” for recent forecast failures.