To follow up on my Pause for thought? post, I thought I might highlight a video that Brigitte mentioned in one of the comments. The issue I have with using the term “pause”, when referring to the slowdown in surface warming, is what has paused? If one uses the Skpetical Science Trend Calculator, only 3 of the 7 temperature data sets show trends below zero when considering periods greater than 10 years (i.e., if one considers periods starting prior to 2004 and ending now, 4 of the 7 datasets have positive trends). Also, all 7 have positive trends if one starts prior to 2000. Of course, they all have large uncertainties, so I’m certainly not claiming that one can rule out cooling, but the evidence for any kind of pause seems weak. If one then also considers ocean heat content data, Arctic sea ice, and Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets, the evidence for any kind of pause gets even weaker.
One could argue that we’re simply defining the term “pause” to mean “slowdown”, but that would seem slightly odd, and one should then be very clear that it refers only to surface warming. A comment from BBD largely illustrates my views with regards to this terminology
Poor terminology enables pseudosceptics and should not be used in the middle of a war of misdirection and misrepresentation by those who would mislead the public and policy makers. We should not be helping them in any way whatsoever. Time people stopped arguing over the obvious. You *do not* let the pseudosceptics dictate the very language of the public discourse. It is insane – but that is exactly what is happening.
In other words, why – when there are clearly people trying to claim that global warming has stopped when it clearly hasn’t – would we choose to use a term that appears to suggest that global warming has stopped? That seems like a poor way to communicate the significance of the slowdown in surface warming. Hence, I think the video below is a much better way to communicate about the significance of the slowdown in surface warming (it’s a good thing that I double checked this post, as I almost posted a video of how to change the switch on a Dyson vacuum cleaner, rather than a video about the “pause” in global warming).