List of excuses for 'the pause' now up to 29

The last time I wrote about this, it was ten:


Updated list of 29 excuses for the 18 year ‘pause’ in global warming (thanks to The Hockey Schtick).  

“If you can’t explain the ‘pause’, you can’t explain the cause”
RSS satellite data showing the 18 year ‘pause’ of global warming

An updated list of at least 29 excuses for the 18 year ‘pause’ in global warming, including recent scientific papers, media quotes, blogs, and related debunkings: 

1) Low solar activity

2) Oceans ate the global warming [debunked] [debunked] [debunked]

3) Chinese coal use [debunked]

4) Montreal Protocol 

5) What ‘pause’? [debunked] [debunked] [debunked] [debunked]

6) Volcanic aerosols [debunked]

7) Stratospheric Water Vapor

8) Faster Pacific trade winds [debunked]

9) Stadium Waves

10) ‘Coincidence!’

11) Pine aerosols

12) It’s “not so unusual” and “no more than natural variability”

13) “Scientists looking at the wrong ‘lousy’ data”

14) Cold nights getting colder in Northern Hemisphere

15) We forgot to cherry-pick models in tune with natural variability [debunked]

16) Negative phase of Interdecadal Pacific Oscillation

17) AMOC ocean oscillation

18) “Global brightening” has stopped

19) “Ahistorical media”

20) “It’s the hottest decade ever” Decadal averages used to hide the ‘pause’ [debunked]

21) Few El Ninos since 1999

22) Temperature variations fall “roughly in the middle of the AR4 model results”

23) “Not scientifically relevant”

24) The wrong type of El Ninos

25) Slower trade winds [debunked]

26) The climate is less sensitive to CO2 than previously thought [see also]

27) PDO and AMO natural cycles and here

28) ENSO

29) Solar cycle driven ocean temperature variations


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Mike O
Jimmy Haigh.

97% of all climate scientists have their own excuse for “the pause”.

Bloke down the pub

Maybe some duplication on the list, e.g. 5 &12? Whichever way you cut it, the warmists would be embarrassed about it if it ever got into the public domain. Just as well for them that the msm are still onboard .

Point 26 makes sense. There is a strong negative feedback on the high side of temperature. That is why the tropical doldrums are so stable. On the cold side there is no negative feedback, so ice ages can form and remain stable for millennia. CO2 is a contributor to increased resiliency in the climate feedback:

30 The dog ate my global warming.


I know you are not inviting comments on the Seitz post. But really, linking to his page (how do they still let him be attributed to Harvard?) he claims 13 publications. Now, for a supposed Physicist, this is a dismal reputation. In my previous lives as an academic manager I have instituted unsatisfactory performance proceedings against such dead wood.
Anthony, these people have nothing in their armoury other than despicable ad homs. They are emblematic of the forces of ignorance promoting the AGW scam.
Keep morale high!


I’m sorry..but everyone keeps ignoring the most obvious
…it was the ban on hairspray and big hair

I find it rather interesting, that many of the signs they point to (the few that make any sense), to indicate possible reasons for lack of warming…. are actually indicative of long term cooling.


Climate Science ™ is a prime example of Pathological Science as described by Irving Langmuir,
Note especially the use of ad hoc explanations every time the data and models don’t agree.


big difference is this time there ARE fools with money and the mindset to try n cool it down…and really make life crap if we are going to the cool side naturally.


Isn’t 27 some kind of repetition of 16 and 17?


Re Other posting with no comments allowed: Hope you are realizing that in Fact SG’s attitude to AGW promoters is what is required. They are in fact FABRICATING data, not massaging or biasing. I notice you are taking a much harder line re AGW and its mentors. Thank you. Your site is invaluable. Take care and please do NOT give up.

Berényi Péter

There’s nothing mysterious about it. Al Gore’s presence went global since he has failed to win the US presidential elections, therefore it is nothing else but the Global Gore Effect at work. He is actually saving the Planet, the greatest single achievement in human history. His Nobel Prize is well deserved.
I pray you give this chance to many more presidential candidate of yours.


30. It’s Bush’s fault (one).
31. It’s Bush’s fault (the other).


How exactly has the data showing that the oceans are warming been debunked (especially at the 0-2000m level)?
And what happens if/when that heat is released to the atmosphere, in the next Pacific Ocean cycle (ENSO and/or PDO)?
And why, when we have seen similar “pauses” (or even longer, say 1955-1980) in global atmospheric temperatures, is the current pattern called “The Great Pause”?


31. Gaia is getting older (due to climate change) and it is going through menopause.
Just kidding. BTW, Didn’t Mann say something about a lag between increasing CO2 levels and increasing temperature levels? Or something similar? The explanation sounded so unphysical that I didn’t pay much attention.

Nobody blamed FOX News?


Next move by ipcc is going to be to say that new research shows world can handle set amount of co2, some band. And un will say it can only be produced by china,India, 3rd world to be fair. Anything above band will cause resumption of warming.


It’s just weather.

FOX is a fence-sitter. I just looked at a story on their website. The AP article said this past June sets records for max temp.
The article contained the classic saying: “This is what global warming looks like.”
I then became nauseous and came here.To WUWT.


Throw it against the wall and see what sticks; the science is settled.


30. John Holdren is out to lunch.
31. John C. Beale is in the cooler.

Jim Clarke

It may be time to begin differentiation between ‘excuses’ and ‘reasons’. When people make an excuse, they are implying that their actions were in large part correct, but something unforeseen interfered with their expectations. In the case of climate change, excuses for the pause are designed to explain the lack of warming while maintaining the overall correctness of the CAGW theory.
But many items on the list are ‘reasons’ for the pause that actually undermine the CAGW theory and throw it in the dustbin of history. The most simple and most obviously true reason is number 26: “The climate is less sensitive to CO2 than previously thought.” There are many other reasons in the list that are tied to number 26, like all the ones referencing some kind of ocean/atmospheric cycle. including ENSO, PDO, AMO and so on. Once the warmests are forced to recognize the magnitude of these natural climate cycles, they must concede that their estimate of climate sensitivity to CO2, tuned in large part to a natural warming cycle, is far too large.
There are very real reasons for the pause, which may actually be the precursor to a cooling trend, and some or all of them are on the list. The excuses on the list, however, are further from reality than “the dog ate my homework”!

That there are 29 excuses is symptomatic of violations of the principles of entropy minimization and entropy maximization. Models are being based upon more than the available information or less.

A bit off topic, but there’s a story out about how the enviro-left clamored for Pielke’s scalp on 538, since he dared to question the Holy Wisdom imparted from On High.
proving, as if any proof was needed, that any possibility of a “reasonable dialogue” with our opponents is long, long, past. Anyone who tries to engage with the Left in any way, but who commits Heresy, will be professionally destroyed for his sins.
This is now a fight to the finish, and they are our enemies. They are no longer are countrymen, and should not be thought of as such.


They can think up all manner of factors that can, in their own minds, affect the global temperature for decades at a time, NONE of which are directly represented in their models, yet they retain their blind faith in the ‘correctness’ of their models.
My suggestion: the ’cause for the pause’ a large river in Egypt… Denial.

Frank Kotler

30. The Koch brothers are paying the thermometers.

Real world facts can not be controled by liars.
Al Gore was attempting to hide the fail, meant to hit the delete button but only hit the pause button.

Ed Zuiderwijk

The simplest and only correct reason of course is: the models are wrong.

I was going to say 29 is such an odd number, we need one more. But Frank Kotler came through!

Jeff L

“Excuses” is just another name for “failures”.
If the climate models were accurate in their forecasting ability, there would be no need for “excuses”.
Until we have no need for “excuses” , there is no reason to believe CAGW.

Find the youtube song of Johnny Cash… “Ghost Riders in the Sky”. play it.
They will be up there chaseing their liar herd for all time.


Nobody has mentioned the obvious: a conspiracy of Sarah Palin, George W. Bush and Karl Rove, using the slightly-modified Dick Cheney Hurricane Machine, last used to create hurricane Katrina.

beng said:
July 30, 2014 at 7:00 am
30. It’s Bush’s fault (one).
31. It’s Bush’s fault (the other).
32. It’s Bush’s fault (the next).
…but gawd – I hope not.

OK, but what happened to:
‘It’s hiding between them where the stations are sparse, on the African continent, and over the arctic where it needs to be interpolated’ ?
I was thinking of Cowtan and Way, who hoped that new inter- and extrapolation methods there, and over the sea might find ‘the missing heat’ …
BTW Jim Clarke – Good points!

M Courtney

Having spent time on the Guardian website I can add another excuse:
All the Governments of the world are faking data because of a global conspiracy that has them being paid by big oil.
And it’s actually very hard to disprove

Almost every weather event is a hopeful sign that co2 is causing climate change followed by the words ‘extreme’, ‘severe’, or ‘super’. When the mid west was in a drought it was an ‘extreme’ drought. An extreme drought was the dust bowl years during the 1930’s. Then CAWG moved on to the melting Arctic. Then it was some tropical hot spot. The melting of Antarctic. No mention of the volcanoes under the ice or the increasing sea ice. They aren’t saying much about California. On the one hand, an el Niño would probably make a warmer winter, then on the other, it’d probably rain in California. What a paradox. So now we have rain, and as far I can see this has been a very cool summer, in the Midwest. The Arctic which was suppose to be ice free last year, isn’t, and it looks like the ice is recovering to former levels. Greenland has disappeared from any conversations. The mystical hot spot is non existent. It worse than we thought, they can’t predict squat. I wonder when the new hockey stick graph will come out. Maybe the world ended in 1999 after all. It seems CAWG is still living in the year 2000.
This is what passes as science. What I find curious is that CAWG is 100% wrong on everything. That’s almost impossible. I can’t point to anything and say they were right about that. As a scientific body, that should raise questions with skeptics and believers alike. If you look at any of the science from before that was wrong, some of it was right, maybe not exactly, but pretty close or at least useful. How can they claim certainty and be wrong at the same time?


I write to answer the questions in your post at July 30, 2014 at 7:04 am which says in total

How exactly has the data showing that the oceans are warming been debunked (especially at the 0-2000m level)?
And what happens if/when that heat is released to the atmosphere, in the next Pacific Ocean cycle (ENSO and/or PDO)?
And why, when we have seen similar “pauses” (or even longer, say 1955-1980) in global atmospheric temperatures, is the current pattern called “The Great Pause”?

There are links to three debunking’s of “Oceans ate the global warming”. Read them and get back if you don’t understand each of them. There seems little point in writing answers you may not read until you have attempted to read the answers you have been given.
If heat in the deep ocean were magically “released” the rise in temperature would be too small to discern. If this is not obvious to you then google “Second Law of Thermodynamics”. Again, get back if such elementary science is beyond your comprehension.
I do not know anybody who calls the cessation of global warming “The Great Pause”. Such people must be warmunists because climate realists say global warming has stopped, and nobody knows if the present situation will cease with cooling or warming.
Discernible global warming having stopped nearly 18 years ago is important because it falsifies the understandings of climate change incorporated in climate models. Those models say that the cessation of global warming is impossible. The explanation for this is in IPCC AR4 (2007) Chapter 10.7 which can be read at
It says there

The multi-model average warming for all radiative forcing agents held constant at year 2000 (reported earlier for several of the models by Meehl et al., 2005c), is about 0.6°C for the period 2090 to 2099 relative to the 1980 to 1999 reference period. This is roughly the magnitude of warming simulated in the 20th century. Applying the same uncertainty assessment as for the SRES scenarios in Fig. 10.29 (–40 to +60%), the likely uncertainty range is 0.3°C to 0.9°C. Hansen et al. (2005a) calculate the current energy imbalance of the Earth to be 0.85 W m–2, implying that the unrealised global warming is about 0.6°C without any further increase in radiative forcing. The committed warming trend values show a rate of warming averaged over the first two decades of the 21st century of about 0.1°C per decade, due mainly to the slow response of the oceans. About twice as much warming (0.2°C per decade) would be expected if emissions are within the range of the SRES scenarios.

In other words, it was expected that global temperature would rise at an average rate of “0.2°C per decade” over the first two decades of this century with half of this rise being due to atmospheric GHG emissions which were already in the system.
This assertion of “committed warming” should have had large uncertainty because the Report was published in 2007 and there was then no indication of any global temperature rise over the previous 7 years. There has still not been any rise and we are now way past the half-way mark of the “first two decades of the 21st century”.
So, if this “committed warming” is to occur such as to provide a rise of 0.2°C per decade by 2020 then global temperature would need to rise over the next 6 years by about 0.4°C. And this assumes the “average” rise over the two decades is the difference between the temperatures at 2000 and 2020. If the average rise of each of the two decades is assumed to be the “average” (i.e. linear trend) over those two decades then global temperature now needs to rise before 2020 by more than it rose over the entire twentieth century. It only rose ~0.8°C over the entire twentieth century.
Simply, the “committed warming” has disappeared (perhaps it has eloped with Trenberth’s ‘missing heat’?).
This disappearance of the “committed warming” is – of itself – sufficient to falsify the AGW hypothesis as emulated by climate models. If we reach 2020 without any detection of the “committed warming” then it will be 100% certain that all projections of global warming are complete bunkum.

chris moffatt

The fact that there are so many competing explanations for the hiatus indicates to me that there is no consensus with regard to how climate works.

When the data doesnt math the theory EXACTLY ( always the case ) you are faced with
The choices are.
1. Call the difference “un important” when its really small you can attribute it to measurement error
or “uncertainty” which is really a description of your knowledge– not the world
2. Question the data. Maybe its bad, maybe its biased, collect some more or correct what you have
3. Question the theory. maybe some part is wrong, maybe some part is missing,
4. Some combination of 1,2,3
5. Propose a modification to the theory.
In short. Data will never match a theory EXACTLY. there is always some residual difference between theory and data. This residual ranges from tiny to huge. When it’s tiny ( how tiny?) the choice people tend to make is the pragmatic one. They declare that the difference is within
the limits of uncertainty or measurment accuracy and they accept the theory.
in other cases, where the difference is larger, the options are more varied and there is no real logic that governs your response. Some people will keep the theory and question the data. They might choose to collect more data or re examine the data. Other people may question the theory and look for the parts of it that need correction. Other people may try to throw the whole theory out and rebuild everything from scratch. Some people will combine various options, re examine the data and the theory. Some people may suggest various modifications.
In short seeing 20 or 30 or 100 suggestions about how to reconcile theory and data is absolutely normal science.

Steven Mosher:
Thanks for sharing. Contrary to your current understanding it is possible for the data to match the theory EXACTLY. The innovation that makes this possible is the formation of abstracted states, that is, states that are abstracted from selected details in a description of the associated system. The “macrostate” of thermodynamics is an example of one of them.
One forms an abstracted state by placing states that describe the system at a microscopic level of detail in an inclusive disjunction of the form S1 OR S2 OR…OR SN where the elements of the sequence S1, S2,…, SN are states that describe the associated system at a microscopic level of detail. In climatology, for example, S1 could be a specified value for the temporal and spatial average of the global temperature in a specified period in time while S2 could be a different value such that each value lying between specified bounds was an element in the the sequence S1, S2,…, SN.
An alternative to the formation of an abstracted state is an equivocation such as “the state is approximately S1.” This alternative is, however, unsatisfactory for by rule it is logically illicit to draw a conclusion from an equivocation. Thus, for example, it is logically illicit to draw the conclusion that “the state is S1” from the premise that “the state is approximately S1.”
Given the opportunity to choose from between these alternatives, global warming climatologists have usually opted for equivocation not realizing, perhaps, this made the conclusions that they drew from their arguments logically illicit.


The cause of the pause is a pause for the cause.

Abram McCalment

Many of these point to “the climate is less sensitive to CO2 than we previously thought”


Anyone know what the physical driver is for coincidence? How to measure its magnitude, sign, and duration?

M Courtney

Steven Mosher says at July 30, 2014 at 8:35 am

In short seeing 20 or 30 or 100 suggestions about how to reconcile theory and data is absolutely normal science.

But not settled science.
How many suggestions are there to reconcile the theory of relativity and data?
That’s because the theory of relativity isn’t debunked (yet)

When I was at university in the seventies one excellent lecturer told us that the best way to diagnose medical or dental disease, was to look at the signs, listen to the symptoms and then go through the most common conditions that the signs and symptoms could indicate the disease process is to make a diagnosis. He said never start off with the disease that is as rare as rocking horse droppings and progress to the common ailments.
I have used this process all of my professional life, it works, it is logical and scientific. Contrast this process, with the 29 “excuses” above, where the simple and only logical answer is that the models are wrong!

Bob Diaz

(30) It’s Bush’s fault !!! ;-))


Mr. Mosher – You are correct about models never matching the data. And you are correct in that there are usually multiple suggestions on how to reconcile theory and data. However, in a situation like the one being discussed, scientists would have an increasing level of uncertainty. Especially since most of the suggestions basically boil down to “natural variation is more important than we thought”. I would have more sympathy if folks said “Well maybe CO2 levels drive about 25% of the changes in climate with natural variation driving the rest.”

stan stendera

#30: It’s Anthony Watts’ fault. He is using up so much energy debunking gorebull warming that the earth has stopped heating. sarc off. There is an element of truth here . I don’t know how Anthony Watts does what he does; I just hope he keeps doing it. That he’s over the target is proven by the amount of flak (particularly recently) he’s taking.


paullinsay says:
July 30, 2014 at 6:34 am
“Climate Science ™ is a prime example of Pathological Science as described by Irving Langmuir,
Also note the appeals to consensus in the Wiki article:
“Langmuir said a pathological science is an area of research that simply will not “go away”—long after it was given up on as “false” by the majority of scientists in the field.”
“The theories and conclusions behind all of these examples are currently rejected or disregarded by the majority of scientists.”
Such theories and conclusions fail because they don’t hold up to scrutiny under the scientific method. The amount of scientists who agree or disagree is wholly irrelevant. Funny they don’t mention that. This is Wikipedia though.

Evan Jones

But, on the flip side, also means that 30-year warming during positive PDO is at least half natural. What goes up must come down.