No “pause”?

I wasn’t going to write a whole post on this, but what I thought I would do is simply provide links to those that have.

I considered adding links to Bishop-Hill and WUWT, but decided that would be silly. If anyone wants to add any other non-silly ones through the comments, feel free to do so.

I’ll make a couple of comments (because I really can’t help myself 🙂 ). I’ve never liked the terms “pause” or “hiatus” because these terms have been used to imply that global warming has stopped. There are two problems with this; firstly these terms only refer to surface temperatures, not to overall warming – which clearly has not stopped – and – secondly – even when applied to surface temperatures, it’s – at best – a slowdown, rather than a genuine pause/hiatus. Scientifically, these are just terms, and most involved understood how they were being used. That, however, doesn’t mean that they weren’t mis-used by others.

I do also think that we should still be careful as to how we incorporate this new result. It is just one paper, so we have to be careful of single study syndrome. The other issue is that it’s clear that internal variability can significantly influence surface warming on timescales of a decade or so. We don’t expect surface temperatures to simply rise at a rate that increases monotonically. We expect some variability. The impact of variability over the last decade or so may turn out to be smaller than we’ve thought, but it’s unlikely that it will play no role on these timescales. I think it’s important to be able to present a coherent argument that incorporates the role of external forcings over long time intervals (many decades) and internal variability over shorter time intervals (decade or so).

Having said that, I do think that what Tamino’s post is presenting will be how we view this in future: it’s unlikely that in future we will look at the surface temperature data, and perceive the early part of the 21st century as having been a period where surface warming paused.

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95 Responses to No “pause”?

  1. Full Forster comment is at http://www.sciencemediacentre.org/expert-reaction-to-new-study-on-the-global-warming-hiatus/ along with a wide range of other experts.

    Also Mashable has comment from Trenberth near end http://mashable.com/2015/06/04/global-warming-hiatus-study/

  2. Thanks, I hadn’t seen those.

  3. JWhite says:

    If I have an issue with the ‘pause’ argument, it’s that it seems entirely too dependent upon beginning with one outlying year. Does anyone speak of a pause beginning with 1997, or 1999?

  4. JWhite,
    Well, yes, there is that. It leads to people (i.e., current Chairperson of the Global Warming Policy Foundation Academic Advisory Board) developing techniques for supposedly finding them.

  5. Richard says:

    Maybe I am missing something, but if 93% of the extra energy (imbalance) is heating the (upper) ocean and only 1% the atmosphere, combined with existing internal variabilites, I would be surprised if there was not some periods that looked like “pauses” in atmospheric surface temperature. But the atmospheric temperature was only ever going to head in the upward direction. I think Potholer54 says it best … https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=VUk0tm47yr8

  6. Richard,
    Yes, that is right. There are a number of things to bear in mind. Many scientists regard the term “global warming” as referring to surface temperatures only. The terms “pause”/”hiatus” were also at least partly influence by “skeptic” blogs. So – I think – some of this is due to terminology that has been in use for a long time, or terminology that was accepted as it had simply come into use, and the confusion has come from these terms not quite being used in a way that you might expect if you were simply considering what the words mean, without being aware of the context in which they were being used.

    I noticed Richard Betts tweet the following, which is similar to what I think you’re suggesting

  7. MikeH says:

    The temperature record for 2014 and 2015 meant that faux-pause was pretty much dead anyway although I am sure the cranks would have done a “Weekend at Bernie’s” to try and keep the illusion alive. So the general atmosphere of hysteria and conspiracy ideation at the climate crank blogs over this paper does seem somewhat of an overreaction.

    Also Climate Central
    http://www.climatecentral.org/news/warming-hiatus-might-not-exist-19074

    & The Conversation
    https://theconversation.com/improved-data-set-shows-no-global-warming-hiatus-42807 and Peter Stott

    I thought this comment from Thomas Karl in the Guardian article was the take home point.
    “Considering all the short-term factors identified by the scientific community that acted to slow the rate of global warming over the past two decades (volcanoes, ocean heat uptake, solar decreases, predominance of La Niñas, etc.) it is likely the temperature increase would have accelerated in comparison to the late 20th Century increases. Once these factors play out, and they may have already, global temperatures could rise more rapidly than what we have seen so far.”

    And prize for creepiest and nastiest piece of conspiracy ideation so far (give it time) must go to this title from at post a Bishop Hill – “Obamas housekarls dance to his warming tune”.

  8. And prize for creepiest and nastiest piece of conspiracy ideation so far (give it time) must go to this title from at post a Bishop Hill – “Obamas housekarls dance to his warming tune”.

    Yes, as I think you know, I’ve already pointed out how stupid that post title is on Twitter. Don’t really know why I bothered, since it’s no great surprise. Worth pointing out every now and again, though.

  9. This whole ‘hiatus’ episode has been rather frustrating. For years (say 2005ish-2010)—while the ‘skeptics’ talked up the fact there had been no big peaks in surface temperatures since 1998 and that “global warming was over”, etc.—I stuck to the line while debunking denial crap that ’98 was an exceptionally hot year and since then global temperatures were continuing to rise, on trend.

    Then in 2010 we had the Phil Jones ‘no statistical warming’ fiasco. Almost immediately afterwards scientists suddenly started referring to the ‘hiatus’ and seemingly ‘admitting’ there was a slowdown they couldn’t explain. Although I found this very unhelpful I stuck to my guns, reassured by experts like Tamino and Ed Hawkins that long term there was no change to the warming trend and by Dana Nutticelli that the heat was going into the oceans, so it would be many years yet before we could say that the trend had reduced—if it had.

    Overlying all this I knew that the atmospheric CO2 rise continued unabated and so, one way or another, talk of slowdown was tosh: global warming had to continue on track otherwise the fundamentals of science could be chucked in the bin.

    And now we see that, as a group, scientists appear to have got their act together and we’re back where we were, continuing the long term upward trend, seemingly with renewed confidence. As an outsider this has all seemed to be a terrible hiatus in communication.

    So was this the ultimate example of ‘seepage’?

  10. JCH says:

    I still say the pause is alive in the General Franco sense. The pause can still fog a mirror. Well, until the May anomaly numbers are in. The pause has about 10 days left. They can go ahead and box it up and dig the hole in the puppy cemetery ’cause this dawg is 3.999% paws up.

  11. dikranmarsupial says:

    “Then in 2010 we had the Phil Jones ‘no statistical warming’ fiasco. ”

    Phil gave a straight answers to the questions, which is what a scientist should do IMHO; to describe it as a “fiasco” is unwarranted. The real problem is that few understand statistical significance sufficiently to understand what a lack of a statistically significant trend actually means (and, more importantly, what it doesn’t mean). Phil’s answers demonstrate a much better grasp of statistical concepts than the majority of comments on the apparent hiatus!

  12. John says:

    This “pause” claim was bogus from the outset. Total heat content of the climate system has continued to rise steadily during this period. How can the planet keep storing away all this heat without warming? Pielke Sr. said in the comments of a previous thread that the oceans will be a “long-term” storage for this heat. How long is long-term? Forever? I don’t think we’ll be so lucky.

  13. John Hartz says:

    Despite this new analysis, the “hiatus” meme will live forever in Deniersville just as “Climategate” has.

  14. John,

    Pielke Sr. said in the comments of a previous thread that the oceans will be a “long-term” storage for this heat. How long is long-term? Forever? I don’t think we’ll be so lucky.

    In a sense RPSr is right. That energy isn’t really going to re-emerge from the oceans. The large heat capacity of the oceans means that we warm towards equilibrium more slowly than if we didn’t have oceans with such a large heat capacity. You can see this in the land warming – land-only trends are typically 1.5 times greater than global trends. The important role of the oceans with respect to the pause/hiatus is that they can significantly modify the surface warming trends. If there is a small relative change in how much energy is going into the oceans (say 93% to 94%) this can change the rate of surface warming by many 10s of percent. When the cycle reverses, the surface warming trends will change in the other direction.

  15. cgs says:

    The entire reaction at WUWT has been comical to say the least. The prior day, Watts announced that a big paper was about the be published by NOAA that aimed to remove the pause, but not to worry as we already know the ‘fatal weakness’ it contains.

    Then yesterday, four blog posts were put up almost on top of each other.

    Bishop Hill used the word ‘desperate’ to characterize the published work. If what occurred over at WUWT is not the epitome of desperation, then I don’t know what is.

  16. JCH says:

    John – there was a slight possibility that natural variation is AMO based, and that cooling was just around the corner. Okay, not really, but leave them something to salve their wounded egos. They saw patterns.

  17. cgs,
    “Projection”, “irony”, and “self-awareness” are not terms that are well understood at WUWT or BH.

  18. Thanks for your comments on the p-word and h-word. You are exactly right. From a communications perspective, every time either word is used, whether intentionally or unintentionally, it spreads the denier “meme” that there has been a p- or a h-. Word choice is really, really, really important (that is to say, it’s important :)) when attempting to convey anything to a general audience, and I think the science community, as well as many reporters, has let the public down by failing to be disciplined about the words used. (This is also true, by the way, even for clever formulations like Dr. Mann’s “faux pause.” Just don’t say the damn word.)

  19. John Hartz says:

    The following is excerpted from the daily e-bulletin of The Carbon Brief.

    US scientists: Global warming pause ‘no longer valid’

    New evidence casts doubt on the idea that global warming has slowed down in recent years says the BBC. The climate change “hiatus” disappears with new data, says Nature News. The story is the front-page splash for The Independent, which devotes a full inside page saying the “heat is on climate-change sceptics” and asking “How do you explain this, Lord Lawson?”. The New York Times says the slowdown may have been based on “incorrect data”. The Washington Post says it’s probably the biggest debate in climate science right now. But leading climate scientist Gavin Schmidt explains at RealClimate why the new research is “perhaps less dramatic than it might seem”. The Guardian says the new research “debunks” the idea “used by sceptics to undermine climate science”. Reuters, The Daily Mail, The Hill, Inside Climate News, Associated Press, Scientific American , Ars Technica all have the story. Carbon Brief also covers this very widely reported research. Helen Briggs, BBC News,

    Sorry, but I do not have the time to embed all of the links into the above.

  20. John says:

    If there is a small relative change in how much energy is going into the oceans (say 93% to 94%) this can change the rate of surface warming by many 10s of percent. When the cycle reverses, the surface warming trends will change in the other direction.

    Yes, I think I understand this, and probably could have phrased my reply better. I guess I got the impression that the contrarians believe this cycle will work in only one direction (toward the negative or cool phase), and will “save our bacon” so to speak.

  21. John,

    I guess I got the impression that the contrarians believe this cycle will work in only one direction (toward the negative or cool phase), and will “save our bacon” so to speak.

    Well, yes, there are some who try to argue that the heat capacity of the oceans are so large that it can soak up almost an infinite amount of energy and that we can warm very slowly as a result. The problem with this is that if we continue to emit CO2 the radiative imbalance will rise and the oceans will have to conintually increase the rate at which it accrues energy, and that is clearly nonsense. It also ignores that the land (where we live) already equilibrates much faster than the oceans.

  22. John Hartz says:

    From today’s edition of the daily e-bulletin of The Daily Climate:

    Science challenges claim that global warming took a hiatus.

    A reported pause in global warming—a mystery that has vexed scientists and delighted contrarians—was an illusion based on inadequate data, U.S. government researchers reported Thursday. National Geographic News

  23. Joshua says:

    JCH –

    ==> “3.999%”

    ???

    3.999%?

  24. Marco says:

    “Don’t really know why I bothered, since it’s no great surprise”

    It is worth pointing out, because echoed by Judith Curry in a response to the following comment on her blog:
    “I don’t see anything about the clear conflict of interest here with NOAA being directly administers by a government that so clearly wants this result.”

    Curry replied:
    “Well yes this thought occurred to me also.”
    http://judithcurry.com/2015/06/04/has-noaa-busted-the-pause-in-global-warming/#comment-708507

  25. @Dikran

    When I referred to the Phil Jones incident as a ‘fiasco’, I wasn’t suggesting he said anything wrong—other than it was, arguably, politically naive to fall for the trap laid for him. Instead, I was referring to the way he was set up by the “skeptics” with the question—Roger Harrabin was just reading out questions and that was a particularly loaded one—and then the way his response was contorted by contrarians over the following months and years.

    I think one thing that has arisen from this whole communication hiatus is that climate scientists generally have started to think more about how their work feeds into policy—or can be twisted by those with devious motives—and they’re thus more aware of how it’s presented. It’s a pity it all takes so long, and in the meantime the problems continue to build.

  26. JCH says:

    My Dad was a large animal veterinarian, so once in awhile he treated the rancher’s dogs, usually for free. When I was a little kid he would drag me along on calls. One day we arrived at this ranch and all the kids were bawling their heads off. It seemed cowboy Daddy mowed off 3.X paws of the kids’ dog with a sickle-bar mower. He called Dad out to put the dog down. Dad looked at the kids and looked at the dog, and he said, “Let’s give her a chance.” He sewed up the 4th paw. A few months later we went out there and the dog chased Dad’s car down the driveway all the way from the gate to the house. These smiling and laughing kids came running up to Dad and started hugging him. It was the damnedest dog you ever saw. She could run like the wind on one foot. That ain’t gonna happen to the pause. Sometimes dogs die. 4 paws up.

  27. Joshua says:

    ==> “:Many scientists regard the term “global warming” as referring to surface temperatures only.”

    I keep wanting to say that I’m amazed by developments in the climate wars. But how can I be, given that it has all been playing out in the exact same way for so long?

    That said, it just feels amazing that something so simple gets so convoluted and complicated and gets debated so endlessly in ways that make no sense.*

    If you accept the GHE theory, as I’m told is true of only but a tiny minority of “skeptics,” then it makes no logical sense to say that “global warming” has stopped, or paused of whathefuckever.

    If you accept the GHE, then you accept adding ACO2 emissions increases global warming. Why is there so much discussion over such a simple point? Argue about the rate of warming if you will. Argue about the degree of short-term slowdown in the long term rate of SAT rise if you will. That all “makes sense” to me .

    AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAArrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrgggggggggggggggggghhhhhhhhhhhhh!

    * a hat tip to my friend Brandon S.

  28. Well said, Joshua. My feelings exactly.

  29. Joshua says:

    JCH –

    ==> “My Dad was a large animal veterinarian,.. ”

    You heard this guy on the radio?

    Baxter Black (born January 10, 1945) is an American cowboy, poet, philosopher and former large-animal veterinarian

    . He is also a radio and television commentator.

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

  30. dikranmarsupial says:

    johnrussell40 “other than it was, arguably, politically naive to fall for the trap laid for him”

    I disagree; his answer was fine. Scientists should give straight answers to questions, regardless how loaded they are. Of course there are those who will misrepresent them, but a so few understand statistical significance, the only way to give an answer that couldn’t be misrepresented would be to give one that is at best itself a misrepresentation. Personally that is not something I would like to see. My approach would be to explain what statistical significance actually meant in this case, but that isn’t really feasible in an interview and would end up with an answer so long that it could easily be interpreted as evasive.

  31. anoilman says:

    My usual response to that…
    http://iopscience.iop.org/1748-9326/6/4/044022

    I also don’t recall ever reading that temperatures would monotonically increase over a short period of time. Is there a citation to back that point of view?

    I also seem to recall that every single model does show hiatuses and even multi-decade declines in surface temperatures. The model results that we see are ensemble averages of all the simulations. Hence we need to rely on what we know of error margins, or preferably factor in short term effects if we’re going to look at short term temperature graphs.

    Unless you’re one of those people who believes climate scientists predict volcanoes, ENSO, and solar variance. I’m not really sure where they get their notions.

  32. dikran,
    You highlight a fundamental point. As a scientist you should give an answer that is scientifically correct/credible. The problem is that if other don’t understand the normal scientific terminology, what you say could be scientically correct, but easily mis-represented. I’m with you, though, that scientist should stick to saying what is scientifically correct, rather than trying to second guess the motives of those asking the questions. What I will say, though, is that there is value in thinking about how you might answer questions in a way that would both be scientifically acceptable, but that would also minimise the possibility of being mis-represented. Easier said than done, though.

  33. Gingerbaker says:

    I don’t think the idea of a pause should be dismissed so cavalierly. There is, after all, so much that we don’t know about the dynamics of Earth’s climate.

    For instance, the laws of physics may occasionally wander off topic, like a tottering grandfather. There may be frosty gigantic demons in the Earth’s mantle, who intermittently gobble up enormous mouthfuls of btu’s. It’s certainly not impossible that time space infundibulums may pop into quantum existence, shunting four Hiroshima bomb-heat equivalents per second into Cloud Cuckoo Land.

    What’s important about the pause is not just to remain calm, serious, and temperate when discussing and evaluating it, but to be sure to maximize the time and energy we squander when addressing it. After all, we have all the time in the world before we actually need to begin to address how we should plan, build and deploy a new fossil-free energy system.

  34. dikranmarsupial says:

    ATTP “Easier said than done, though.” indeed, in a way the paper under discussion is part of the process (as is Foster and Rahmstorf, shame it wasn’t published until 2011 ;o). Scientists shouldn’t sacrifice correctness for expediency, arguably most of them shouldn’t be distracted by the blog “debate” on climate science and should focus on their research. There are plenty of us who do pay attention to the blog debate to point out the misrepresentations – not perfect, but probably a more or less optimal solution from a practical perspective.

  35. Dikran/ATTP

    Of course I agree that scientists should give an answer that is scientifically correct/credible! That was a given. But it would also be useful if it’s an answer that minimises the opportunity for misinterpretation. It’s not easy, I know, but with a little effort you can train yourself by thinking about how you could answer certain questions in advance. Scientists who have experience of talking to the media do this all the time (eg Richard Alley). The idea scientists should be above this is a…, dare I say it? A bit arrogant.

  36. dikranmarsupial says:

    johnrussell40 the answer Phil actually gave pretty much *was* that answer.

    “The idea scientists should be above this is a…, dare I say it? A bit arrogant.”

    It is this sort of thing that puts me off discussing anything on blogs.

  37. @Dikran My apologies if I offended you.

  38. nnoxks says:

    I’d be curious to hear what James Annan thinks of all this. He seemed to consider the pause a pretty big deal, and had harsh words for those who tried to downplay it:

    Clearly, the longer the relatively slow warming continues, the lower the estimates will go. And despite what some people might like to think, the slow warming has certainly been a surprise, as anyone who was paying attention at the time of the AR4 writing can attest. I remain deeply unimpressed by the way in which this embarrassment has been handled by the climate science insiders, and IPCC authors in particular. Their seemingly desperate attempts to denigrate anything that undermines their storyline (even though a few years ago the same people were using markedly inferior analyses of this very type to bolster it!) do them no credit.

    http://julesandjames.blogspot.com/2014/10/much-ado-about-sensitivity.html?m=1

  39. I’ll make a couple of comments (because I really can’t help myself 🙂 ). I’ve never liked the terms “pause” or “hiatus” because these terms have been used to imply that global warming has stopped. There are two problems with this; firstly these terms only refer to surface temperatures, not to overall warming – which clearly has not stopped – and – secondly – even when applied to surface temperatures, it’s – at best – a slowdown, rather than a genuine pause/hiatus.

    If you examine the data set trends from 2001 through 2014, most are negative.
    If you examine the data set trends from 2002 through 2014,
    ALL( RSS,UAH,GISSTEMP,CRU,NCDC,HadSST,NCDCSST) are negative.

    Now, they are not significant ( short term trends won’t ever be ).
    The year 2014 had above trend aomalies for all the data sets.
    And 2015 El Nino looks as if it will actually occur, which may well end the short trend.

    But since 2002, trends are in fact, negative.

  40. John Hartz says:

    My two cents…

    All climate scientists who interact with the media should take appropriate courses in public speaking and media relations.

  41. But since 2002, trends are in fact, negative.

    Mean trends, and I don’t this changes the point that – at best – we’ve experience a slowdown in surface warming.

  42. Interesting that at least some of the warming slope has been compensated by an ENSO that has been on the La Nina side for a period of time that is really unprecedented. A sloshing model of ENSO is able to detect this asymmetry :
    http://arxiv.org/abs/1411.0815

  43. Joshua says:

    ==> “But since 2002, trends are in fact, negative….”

    I notice that you speak of trends without identifying trends of what or describing the parameter you’re using to distinguish a “trend.”

    That is what I think is surprising, except it isn’t surprising.

    When does a short pattern relative to a longer term pattern become a trend? If we chart SATs for one day, can we identify trends? A week? A year? A decade?

    And why didn’t you specify that you were talking about a “trend” in SATs and why did you fail to make it clear that you were not talking about a trend in “global warming?”

    AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAArrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrggggggggggggggggggggghhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!

  44. Joshua says:

    Sorry, not SATs…surface temps.

  45. > It is this sort of thing that puts me off discussing anything on blogs.

    Then go elsewhere, and take some time off to think of an argument. Any argument would be better than a variation on Senior’s modus operandi.

  46. MikeH says:

    @nnoxks

    You do not need to wait for James Annan. Read the articles linked above or this article from Andrew Freeman that includes lots of quotes from climate scientists about whether this paper did or did not prove that a “hiatus” never happened.
    http://mashable.com/2015/06/04/global-warming-hiatus-study/

    In contrast to the claim repeated ad nauseum by the cranks that climate scientists are all guilty of “groupthink”, there is quite a variety of skeptical opinion on display across those articles.

  47. MikeH says:

    This article by Zeke Hausfather has some interesting detail.
    http://www.yaleclimateconnections.org/2015/06/new-noaa-reports-shows-no-recent-warming-slowdown-or-pause/

    While NOAA uses the ERSST ocean temperature series, other groups like the Hadley Centre in the UK have their own record, HadSST version 3. They also make adjustments for buoys in recent years and changes in ship measurement practices, but end up with a somewhat different estimate than ERSST. The figure above shows the old ERSST 3, the new version 4, and HadSST side by side. ERSST 4 and HadSST differ noticeably between 1920 and 1970, but are rather similar before 1920 and between 1970 and the late 1990s.

    Since 1998, during the period of reported slowing-down of warming, data from ERSST 3 was noticeably lower than from HadSST. The new ERSST 4 increases temperatures after 2006 to be the same as HadSST, mostly because of the new buoy corrections, but is still lower between 1998 and 2006. This difference explains why global temperature records based on HadSST tend to show flatter temperatures over the past 17 years, while the new NOAA record shows a more rapid trend.

    So if Karl et al’s analysis had resulted in SST temperatures being **warmer** between 1998 and 2006, we would not have the hysterical wailing from the cranks?

    Does anyone have some insight into why those differences exist?

    A similar point made in the NYT article
    http://www.nytimes.com/2015/06/05/science/noaa-research-presents-evidence-against-a-global-warming-hiatus.html

    …Russell S. Vose, chief of the climate science division at NOAA’s Asheville center, pointed out in an interview that while the corrections do eliminate the recent warming slowdown, the overall effect of the agency’s adjustments has long been to raise the reported global temperatures in the late 19th and early 20th centuries by a substantial margin. That makes the temperature increase of the past century appear less severe than it does in the raw data.

    If you just wanted to release to the American public our uncorrected data set, it would say that the world has warmed up about 2.071 degrees Fahrenheit since 1880,” Dr. Vose said. “Our corrected data set says things have warmed up about 1.65 degrees Fahrenheit. Our corrections lower the rate of warming on a global scale.

    see fig 2.B here

    (Be nice to have a preview option. With those two image links, I press post with some trepidation :-))

  48. Richard says:

    John Hartz – great idea … and maybe extend that to any scientific domain likely to excite the media’s need for quick and simplistic answers on any topic.

  49. I think it would be helpful to perhaps give a purely mathematical analog to help the average, everyday person (who has had some high school algebra) understand not only that there exists a distinction between two ways of talking about the warming – these being short-term vs. long-term – but to understand the nature of this distinction and very importantly its implications. This distinction is what Gavin seems to have had in mind when he wrote the following at Real Climate:

    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2015/06/noaa-temperature-record-updates-and-the-hiatus/

    Quote:

    “The ‘hiatus’ is no more?

    Part of the problem here is simply semantic. What do people even mean by a ‘hiatus’, ‘pause’ or ‘slowdown’? As discussed above, if by ‘hiatus’ or ‘pause’ people mean a change to the long-term trends, then the evidence for this has always been weak (see also this comment by Mike). If people use ‘slowdown’ to simply point to a short-term linear trend that is lower than the long-term trend, then this is still there in the early part of the last decade and is likely related to an interdecadal period (through at least 2012) of more La Nina-like conditions and stronger trade winds in the Pacific, with greater burial of heat beneath the ocean surface.”

    *For purely pedagogical purposes to illustrate* not only that this distinction exists but to illustrate the probable nature of this distinction and very importantly its implications, consider the graph of a function such as h(x) = 17cos(x) + x^1.9: With a graphing utility such as the Google search engine itself, enter the right side of the equation I just gave
    17cos(x) + x^1.9
    and (depending on what graphing utility is used) zoom in or out to see the shape of the graph from x = 0 to about x = 20, but assume that we are given the graph of function h only from x = 0 to about x = 14 or x = 14.5.

    Note that in function h in the “down” phase starting roughly at x = 7 we have an *actual downturn* even though in the “down” phase starting roughly at x = 13 we have a *mere slowdown*, and compare that to the global surface temperature record, where in the “down” phase starting roughly in the 1940s we have an *actual downturn* even though in the “down” phase starting roughly at 2000 we have a *mere slowdown*.

    Now note that the curve given by cyclic function h tracks upward and cycles around the positively accelerating curve given by its subfunction g(x) = x^1.9. (To see this, restrict the x-values of h to the parts of its cycles where sub-function f(x) = 17cos(x) = 0. For those values of x, function h under this restriction is exactly sub-function g.)

    That the curve given by function h tracks upward and cycles around the positively accelerating curve given by function g compares interestingly to the graphs of a 30 year running mean and the 60 year a running mean on the global surface temperature record since the 1800s. I gave these graphs here
    https://andthentheresphysics.wordpress.com/2015/05/30/hmmm-entering-a-cooling-phase/#comment-57068
    on May 30, 2015 at 2:22 pm in the thread under the post “Hmmm, entering a cooling phase?” I also gave a graph of the multi-decadal NMO oscillation of Steinman, Mann, and Miller (2015) that seems to cycle or quasi-cycle roughly 50-60 years. (I also gave the sources of these graphs directly or indirectly via links or chains of links. One of those links, a prior comment I made, contains two more graphs that project positively accelerating warming.) The curve the 30 year running mean seems to follow seems to track upward and cycle around the positively accelerating curve the 60 year running mean seems to follow. That is:

    This 30 year running mean still shows a broad multidecadal oscillation lasting up to roughly 50-60 years per cycle or quasi-cycle, and clearly follows an oscillating path related to the NMO, where these oscillations seem to be tracking upward and oscillating around a positively accelerating curve given by the 60 year running mean.

    This 60 year running mean clearly exposes this positively accelerating curve *underneath* the multidecadal oscillation of the 30 year running mean, in that it gets rid of this broad, 50-60 year multidecadal oscillation. The graph of the 60 year running mean is clearly following the path of a positively accelerating curve that shows no sign whatsoever of slowing down. And this is the case even though the end of the graph uses all the present *mere slowdown* since around 2000 and at least half of the *actual downturn* roughly 1940s to 1970s.

    (Note that per the NMO, over the next many decades we can expect this graph of the 60 year running mean to continue to positively accelerate *even if* this present *mere slowdown* were to last for the next 15 years if the NMO continues its decreasing phase only to be followed by an explosion in temperatures throughout the middle of the 21st century after the NMO goes back to its increasing phase.)

    This is important. This last “down” part in the global surface temperature record since around 2000 associated with the NMO is only a *mere slowdown*, but its last “down” part 1940s-1970s was an *actual downturn*. That is, this mere slowdown that follows an actual downturn is consistent with the nature of the oscillating behavior of such functions as h as they track upward and cycle around their underlying positively accelerating functions such as g. That is, in such increasing and cyclic functions, the “down” parts of the cycles become progressively less steep, where these “down” parts become mere slowdowns rather than actual downturns, and where mere slowdowns progressively become less and less even mere slowdowns.

    I note that all this is consistent with this article
    “No More ‘Hiatus’ – Human Emission to Completely Overwhelm Nature by 2030”
    https://robertscribbler.wordpress.com/2014/09/03/no-more-hiatus-human-emission-to-completely-overwhelm-nature-by-2030/
    that speaks of two recent studies that say that starting around 2030 or before 2030 (probably when the NMO goes back into its increasing phrase for the middle parts of the 21st century), the underlying global warming signal (shown clearly by the 60 year running mean) caused by increasing greenhouse gases will probably become strong enough to overwhelm all the multi-decadal natural oscillation (like the NMO) and we may not see even just a notable slowdown *as long as* greenhouse gases keep spewing into the atmosphere at these high rates. (Again, for a purely mathematical analog of what this says, see the graph of function h in which these mere slowdowns progressively become less and less even mere slowdowns in that function h becomes a closer and closer approximation to function g.)

  50. Willard wrote “Then go elsewhere, and take some time off to think of an argument. Any argument would be better than a variation on Senior’s modus operandi.”

    The argument was presented in the comment already, sadly in your eagerness to audit you failed to spot it (despite there being only two sentences). The point I was making was that the ubiquitous use of emotive rhetoric in place of reasoned argument becomes rather tiresome after a while. You will note the absence of a suggestion of a better response than the one Phil actually gave, which rather suggests my argument was pretty reasonable.

  51. To be specific, suggesting that scientist should give direct factually correct answers to question is not in any way arrogant or suggesting that scientists are “above” anything, it is the stretegically optimal approach. The reason that they should answer questions in this way is very practical, which is that they will loose credibility if their answers can be interpreted as evasive or inaccurate. Retaining long term credibility is rather more important than merely winning some minor skirmish in the “blog war” on climate change. Of course you do need to consider how best to communicate the information so that it will be correctly understood, and it is quite clear from Phil’s answer that that was what he was attempting to do, if you look at some of the caveats he gave.

    @johnrussell40 – no problem.

  52. Marco says:

    Sou has an interesting post up today:
    http://blog.hotwhopper.com/2015/06/the-perversity-of-deniers-and-pause.html

    Tom Peterson is hitting back at Anthony Watts.

    I also would like to cut-and-paste part of my own comment:
    http://blog.hotwhopper.com/2015/06/the-perversity-of-deniers-and-pause.html?showComment=1433592375317#c9109063467969138948
    “Any time now I expect Roger Pielke Sr to show up and admonish Anthony Watts for being uncivil. Really, I am expecting that…
    …when hell freezes over!”

  53. Jim Lovejoy says:

    Regarding a ‘better’ response to the interviewer, perhaps in hindsight it would have been better to say “15 years is too short a time for statistically significant patterns in climate. Since 1995 we have had no statistically significant warming, and no statistically significant change of the warming trend from (insert your own favorite period here)”

    Notice that I said in hindsight. Although Phil Jones had some idea of the dishonesty of the fake skeptics, I’d say he had no idea of how much his words would be twisted. Even with that change the fake skeptics would have still twisted his words, but the reality based community would have had a much easier reply.

  54. Marco,
    Interesting, I hadn’t seen that. As far as I’m concerned, people should just aim to be civil. That Watts and Montford seem incapable of doing so, just makes me think that they realise that if they did improve the tone of their blogs, they’d really would have nothing. All they have is rants about scientific studies that they regard as flawed and complaints about scientists who they regard as not behaving as scientists should (as if they’d know?). To be fair, I don’t always maintain the level of civility that I’d like, so I don’t think people should be faultless, but recognising their lapses would – at least – be a step in the right direction.

  55. John Hartz says:

    Context is everything…

    The fact that we’re even talking about this new study is a sign of the influence of global warming contrarians, according to a separate piece of recent research. That study proposes a psychological phenomenon the authors call “seepage”: Manufactured doubt, funded largely by the fossil fuel industry, has unwittingly entered the minds of well-meaning climate scientists, who then unintentionally reinforce a misleading message. In short, all this talk about a hiatus emboldens the hiatus mongers.

    That’s helped “The Pause” or “The Hiatus” become arguably the most successful climate denial meme. It’s been so successful that it even made it into the most recent Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report, the gold standard for climate science.

    Before this week’s paper was released, I spoke with a few leading climate scientists (who’ve all authored papers on “The Pause”) for their perspective on whether or not they felt their work was influenced, even unknowingly, by “seepage.”

    In general they agreed that there’s been a feedback loop between scientists’ honest investigation of this phenomenon over the past several years and the media’s willingness to indulge in the drama of whether or not a slowdown in warming was occurring.

    A Hiatus on “Hiatus” (How global warming cranks influence legitimate science.) by Eric Holthaus, Slate, June 5, 2015

  56. Willard says:

    > The argument was presented in the comment already

    This:

    Phil actually gave pretty much *was* that answer.

    is not an argument. It is pure contradiction. An argument would help substantiate that claim.

    Should I epilogue about how deliciously ironic ClimateBall becomes when an accusation of arrogance is met by a scientist arguing by assertion in a domain beyond his area of expertise?

    ***

    OK. So the PR bureau of East Anglia did its best. Fair enough. In exchange, if we could acknowledge that, from now on, it would be suboptimal to leave such important tasks to university comm depts, that would be nice.

    One does not simply meet propaganda with half baked news releases. There are consequences to such irresponsible behavior. You get the concerns you sow.

  57. Steven Mosher says:

    knowledge has its limits but stupidity is unbounded

    Shub Niggurath ‏@shubclimate 23h23 hours ago
    .@hausfath @curryja @rgrumbine This type of special-case data adj is fraud. Estimate the difference, add it to error, leave the data be.

    Brandon S? ‏@Corpus_no_Logos 19h19 hours ago
    @hausfath The red herring seems to be yours. The question was why adjust at all, not why adjust one up/down. @curryja @rgrumbine

    I thought about responding but doing science in 140 characters is.. well.. stupid.

  58. nebakhet says:

    johnrussell40 says: “And now we see that, as a group, scientists appear to have got their act together and we’re back where we were, continuing the long term upward trend, seemingly with renewed confidence. As an outsider this has all seemed to be a terrible hiatus in communication. So was this the ultimate example of ‘seepage’?”

    I think so, I thought of the pause when I read about ‘seepage’. The sceptics have been pushing the pause narrative right from when they got Phil Jones in the news “admitting” there had been no warming for 16 years. By talking about that so much with headlines they seemed to get other scientists investigating a phenomenon and the IPCC citing it without sufficient definition of what it was. Many scientists even seemed to be using a different and more valid definition of a pause, an unremarkable definition of a statistically insignificant feature in noisy data. In contrast to the sensationalist (“it’s stopped for X years!”) definition ‘skeptics’ promoted. So it hasn’t helped scientists using the same word for something different which ‘skeptics’ can then cite to lend credibility to their own claims.

    You’ve probably noticed now that if you raise the subject that the pause might not be real the ‘skeptics’ tend to now cite the scientists and the IPCC to claim it must exist, or else why would they be trying to explain it. Argument from authority, who would guess?

  59. Steven,

    I thought about responding but doing science in 140 characters is.. well.. stupid.

    Well, yes, 140 characters is stupid. However, with those two, I’m not sure there is any number of characters that would be suitable.

  60. KeefeAndAmanda, Nice to be able to talk your way through it, but at some point one just has to DO it.

    I have a multiple linear regression model called CSALT which incorporates warming impacts due to effective CO2 increases and natural variability factors such as ENSO.

    Two regions have always been problematic in arriving at a high-quality regression fit — (1) the WWII years between 1940-1945 and (2) the last decade. I have thought that the war years were mainly due to calibration issues as military personnel took over measurements from civilian during a period of time. There is also a deep and rather wide El Nino centered around 1941 that may have had a bigger and more widespread impact than the linear regression had scaled for.

    And now the Karl paper certainly provides a basis for understanding the recent calibration issues.

  61. I thought about responding but doing science in 140 characters is.. well.. stupid.

    There is an art to it. Try attaching a chart pic. Or even write a paragraph and convert that to a pic, and reuse it when necessary.

    But if you want a serious discussion, try out the Azimuth Forum. I am also doing a few things with the Weather Underground forum but weather geeks are not quite the same thing as scientists studying climate.

  62. dikranmarsupial says:

    Willard, “is not an argument. It It is pure contradiction.”

    Tiresome show-offs that can’t admit they were wrong don’t improve the signal-to-noise ratio either.

  63. Willard says:

    Dear Dikran,

    Let me remind you of what you said:

    The argument was presented in the comment already, sadly in your eagerness to audit you failed to spot it (despite there being only two sentences).

    https://andthentheresphysics.wordpress.com/2015/06/05/no-pause/#comment-57386

    This clearly indicates that you are referring to your assertion “Phil actually gave pretty much *was* that answer” as an argument. An argument usually designates two kinds of things:

    Recognizing visual (and other kinds of non-verbal) arguments significantly broadens the scope of informal argument, but does so in a manner that is motivated by the same desire that has motivated its development in the first place: the desire to have some theoretical means for understanding and assessing informal arguments (which are replete with images). For the same reason, many informal logicians now distinguish between two senses of “argument” which are commonly designated “argument-1” and “argument-2”.

    Argument-1 is argument in the traditional premise and conclusion sense. Argument-2 is argument understood as the disagreement and/or exchange in which argument-1 is typically embedded. Sometimes the difference between these two kinds of argument is expressed by describing argument-2 as process or transaction, and argument-1 as the product that results from it (see Goodwin 2001).

    http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/logic-informal/

    Your claim that Phil actually gave pretty much *was* that answer fails to meet either of these designations. You are therefore incorrect. Moreover, you repeated that claim many times, thereby satisfying what we call a proof by assertion:

    Proof by assertion, sometimes informally referred to as proof by repeated assertion, is an informal fallacy in which a proposition is repeatedly restated regardless of contradiction.

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

    A contradiction can be understood either by a disproof or by the act of contradicting. It is in the latter sense that I claim that you are merely contradicting John Russell.

    Now, please remind me of what you said about those who can’t admit their wrong.

    ***

    Since you insist, I will comment on this:

    > The point I was making was that the ubiquitous use of emotive rhetoric in place of reasoned argument becomes rather tiresome after a while.

    Your last comment argues in favor of that claim [1]. OTOH, I can see at least three reasons to disagree with it:

    First, it does not explain the ubiquity of emotive rhetoric. The pervasiveness of expressions such as “signal-to-noise ratio” can’t be justified by their tiresomeness. On the contrary, the popularity of such ClimateBall moves speaks for itself, even when an appearance of emotional detachment is created.

    Second, arguing is hard. It’s way more easier to simply dismiss John Russell’s “fiasco” as “unwarranted” and to throw a squirrel with “the real problem.” It’s way more fun to insult another commenter who objects to this demeaning behavior than to own it. A reasoned argument may be even more “tiring” than overbearing one’s way out of a difficult discussion.

    Third, as I said in an earlier comment, whining about other ClimateBall players is the basis of Senior’s modus operandi. This tactic is useful when one wants out of a discussion: solemnly declare that you won’t engage in such lowly brawl, imply along the way that everyone else is to be blamed.

    ***

    The most immediate result of this kind of ClimateBall exhange is what we call a food fight. Food fights have a tendency to start around troublesome topics. This time, it was Jones’ response. The last time Senior came, it was when his idea of an instantaneous radiative forcing. Interestingly, this was the very same topic that started a food fight when Senior visited John’s, i.e. SkS.

    A food fight is therefore a good indicator of a topic that stirs up trouble. Good ClimateBall players can spot these topics quite naturally. No wonder, then, that contrarians keep recursing these topics furiously.

    ***

    ClimateBall is played by the players’ free will. Each players is responsible for their own actions. Nobody makes a ClimateBall player play like he does.

    If what you want is a reasoned argument, keep calm and present reasoned arguments.

    [1]: Tony’s letter too:

  64. Rob Nicholls says:

    Turbulent Eddie said “If you examine the data set trends from 2002 through 2014,
    ALL( RSS,UAH,GISSTEMP,CRU,NCDC,HadSST,NCDCSST) are negative.”

    Not that it matters at all, but for NASA gisstemp monthly global surface temperature data from Jan 2002 to December 2014, using data I downloaded from http://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/tabledata_v3/GLB.Ts+dSST.txt on 2/6/2015, it looks like a positive (but statistically insignificant) temperature trend to me. Same for data from Jan 2002 to April 2015. (April 2015 was the last month with available data when I did the download).

    With the GISStemp data, using an ARMA (1,1) model to try to account for effects of autocorrelation (there may be more appropriate models – please let me know!), I seem to get a statistically significant upward linear temperature trend (p-values all well below 0.05) for a [start point in January of all years from 1990 up to 2000], with the end point being fixed always at April 2015 (the latest data). (Largest p value was 0.022, for start month of Jan 1998; for the trends starting in January of the other years from 1990 to 2000 (excluding 1998) the p-values were all less than 0.01). Happy to be corrected if I’ve made an error either in my assumptions or in execution of the analysis. (The p values are arguably inflated as they don’t take into account that I did multiple tests with lots of different start points).

    I think the “no warming since year x” meme has had to be modified quite a lot since I started watching these kinds of arguments in 2010. Back then “year x” was said to be 1995 (I remember Andrew Neil grilling Caroline Lucas. “Why has there been no statistically significant warming since 1995?” he asked her on the BBC news channel in early 2010), but now it appears that “year x” is at least 2000, although I have no doubt that “year x” can move backwards as well as forwards at times due to the noisy nature of average global surface temperature. “Year x” seems to me to have gone past 1998 for the time being, despite the effects of the very strong El Nino on 1998.

  65. BBD says:

    And then there’s OHC

  66. Rob Nicholls says:

    Re my last comment, I think I was wrong about the p-values being arguably inflated by not taking into account the fact that I did multiple tests.

  67. izen says:

    There are two incommensurable narrative structures that have been brought into stark focus by this recent Karl et al paper.

    The first, exemplified by Dr Tom Peterson, and others here and Gavin at real climate, is the story that it is possible for science to refine and improve the measurement of a metric, in this case the global surface temperature, by careful collection of raw data and the informed adjustment of that data to compensate for known and detectable biases. The assumption in this narrative is that the scientific method can be applied to evolve a increasingly accurate result from the raw data by homogenisation and a range of other methodologies including comparison with other metrics that are expected for good thermodynamic reasons to be strongly correlated with the metric of interest.

    The second, exemplified by Anthony Watts and Dr Curry, is rooted in the assumption that any scientific metric which is the product of government funded research will inevitably be shaped by the political and economic requirements of the funding agencies. The reference to president Eisenhower’s second warning in his farewell address about science and politics becoming hopelessly intertwined, and thus corrupted, signals this underlying assumption about the nature of scientific research.

    The result is that both sides adduce as evidence for the validity of their position on this paper completely different aspects.
    The ‘science’ camp make increasingly detailed and obscure points about the historical evolution of this most recent improvement of the metric, pointing to how it was prefigured in earlier research into the methodology of homogenisation.
    The ‘policy’ camp point to the proximity of the Paris climate conference and the perceived need to eliminate or at least reduce the evidence for a hiatus, pause or absence of any warming for the last 17 years.

    Metrics other than surface temperature do not show the slowdown in the warming trend, OHC and sea level both contradict any interpretation of the surface temperature as showing NO warming and the elusion of the slowdown into a hiatus has largely been a meme driven by a particular, and largely American commentary on this issue. The data BEFORE this modification only ever indicated that a total stop in the rise of surface temperatures could not be excluded with statistical significance as Dr Curry double negatively expressed it some time ago.

    I see that Peter Thorne, the chairman of the group charged with refining the data, and the future data network of the WMO has responded to the Antony Watts accusation of prostituting to higher-ups at the Hotwopper site –

    http://blog.hotwhopper.com/2015/06/the-perversity-of-deniers-and-pause.html?showComment=1433609227565#c5460810409140232209

    Which at least seems to recognise the basis for the objections from the ‘skeptic’ side is not the scientific methodology, but the possibility of political corruption.

    I will leave to Willard any assessment of how effective this move might be in the game of climateball.

    Before dismissing as conspiracy ideation, and therefore egregiously wrong, any accusation of such results being the outcome of funding corrupting the science, reflect that such distortion is rather commonplace in medical and nutritional science, and in the climate field there have been instances, perhaps too SOON forgotten, where that suspicion has been raised by ‘this side’ of the debate!

  68. Willard says:

    > I will leave to Willard any assessment of how effective this move might be in the game of climateball.

    On the tactical level, the worse would be to start throwing food at Tony:

    On the strategical level, I’d defer to someone who for instance ran training courses for spokespeople having to face a hostile media.

    Someone like John Russell.

  69. Eli Rabett says:

    The real question is why did Karl and Peterson go there. The new data sets by themselves are really significant, and the trend stuff is tied up in period picking (e.g. 2000-2013 is a lot lower trend than 1971 – 2000 and more than 1950-1970. 1951-2000 middles the trend, being composed of a low and high trend periods.)

  70. Joshua says:

    izen –

    ==> “…such distortion is rather commonplace in medical and nutritional science,”

    Cab you describe “rather common” more precisely?

  71. izen says:

    @-Joshua
    http://www.badscience.net/
    or
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/07/31/usda-dietary-guidelines-diabetes_n_5635554.html
    or
    http://time.com/3738706/the-sugar-industry-shaped-government-advice-on-cavities-report-finds/

    When the central advice on diet, and much of the ‘evidence base’ for pharmaceutical products is affected by the funding source I would grade that as rather common.

  72. Steven Mosher says:

    wins the thread

    ‘The real question is why did Karl and Peterson go there. ”

    #######
    yup..

  73. matt says:

    Mosher, Eli

    > ‘The real question is why did Karl and Peterson go there. ” yup…

    I’m not seeing the issue. JC, BH and Watts have given their opinions. Care to share yours.

  74. matt,
    I may be misunderstanding Eli’s point, but I think he’s suggesting that Karl and Peterson did perform a kind of cherry-pick. It might have been better had they simply presented the new dataset without suggesting that it has some significance with respect to – for example – the “pause”/”hiatus”. That would have become evidence anyway.

  75. In reply to my comment on June 6, 2015 at 8:48 am, WebHubTelescope said on June 6, 2015 at 5:13 pm,

    “KeefeAndAmanda, Nice to be able to talk your way through it, but at some point one just has to DO it.”

    I agree that someone has to do it (with respect to those that do, I find the close fits in your model interesting, and I applaud this), but as someone who has had some experience teaching (or at least trying to teach, anyway) mathematics to everyday teenagers or young adults, I continue to ask myself whether there are ways to gather together and present things in more easy-to-read or easy-to-understand formats to everyday people than these complicated-looking (to everyday folk) statistical graphs we find all over, to try to help these people see that all this yakking by denialists about this slowdown does not imply what these denialists want people to believe this slowdown implies – to help people see that the implications these denialists want people to believe are false implications.

    One of the more important things that I think should be pointed out to the everyday person is that this slowdown seems not to have been severe enough to slow down even a little bit the upward acceleration of the underlying long-term global warming, that this remains so even as we speak, and how all this is so. This (in my view) is communicated in its most easy-to-read or easy-to-understand way to the everyday person by the graph of the 60 year running mean in the context of supporting information such as what I gave in my comment above as well as a few of my prior comments that can be seen by following the links I give.

    This use of a 60 year running mean is I think quite appropriate given all that past talk of 60 year oscillations by denialists and given the fact that since Chen and Tung (2014), legitimate climate scientists are now even aggressively addressing this idea of such oscillations of such duration and addressing how well the models hold up even with such assumptions – see Steinman, Mann, and Miller (2015) with their NMO and Marotzke and Forster (2015) with their 62 year runs as a couple of examples showing that the models are actually doing fine in terms of the long-term underlying global warming. (By the way, I’m quite surprised that graphs of 60 year running means aren’t cropping up all over the place, given all this talk of oscillations of up to around this duration.)

    On a more general note, another important point that I think should be made when talking to everyday people about global warming is that cause and effect can show itself in measurements that when graphed reflect nonmonotonic functions (yes, given some exposure to algebra with some explanations, what this means is accessible to everyday folk), and that all these oscillations, even the large ones of roughly 60 year duration, can be treated as random even if they are not random. (In his article I linked to in a prior comment, Mann speaks of even these roughly 50-60 year oscillations like the NMO as random.) This means that the only thing to really be concerned about is the long-term underlying cause and effect relationship, and for global warming from increasing greenhouse gasses, that 60 year running mean graph communicates this cause and effect relationship underneath all those small and large oscillations quite nicely. And very importantly, it should be communicated to people that this graph indicates that this underlying global warming is not following the path of a straight line that so many denialists want people to believe but a path that “grows faster than a straight line”, a positively accelerating curve.

    (To anticipate that there might be some who might pedantically object to certain language I use here: I think it’s acceptable to use “positively accelerating” to communicate the idea of a curve given by a convex function, since the second derivative being positive can mean positive acceleration.)

    On June 7, 2015 at 12:33 am, BBD said,

    “And then there’s OHC”

    and then gave a graph showing the massive acceleration of heat uptake by the oceans since around 2000.

    Since the NMO turning around and heading in a negative direction at around 2000 seems related to this increased heat uptake by the oceans since around 2000, it’s fair to say that during the time the NMO turns around and once again heads in a positive direction, we can expect this ocean heat uptake to slow down enough such that more heat goes into heating the atmosphere to give one big rebound to more than offset this “pause” to preserve the underlying positively accelerating curve of long-term global warming (that I think is communicated in a most easy-to-see way by that 60 year running mean graph). (The denialists seem to not appreciate the implications of their past and perhaps still present promotions of roughly 60 year cycles. Prediction: I said it before but I’ll say it again: These denialists who at first were the biggest champions of 60 year cycles will conveniently “change their minds” and become the biggest opponents of such cycles when they fully appreciate the implications of such cycles.)

  76. izen says:

    @-“The real question is why did Karl and Peterson go there.”

    The answer is that in the paper at least they mostly avoided the short term implications.
    The adjustments make a small change to the 50 year trend and a smaller change to the recent 10 year trend.

    The first of these changes probably has more significance in terms of model-observation divergence, but the second is where the popular media is focused. The press release as so often overstates the significance of the research on the ‘crucial’ issue in the popular perception of climate change, not the real significance of the results.

    Given the unhealthy desire on the part of all those involved to relate the research to the matter of most topical concern it was inevitable that from researchers to the media to the contrarian tribes the focus would be on the change to the proximate 10 year trend rather than the refinement of the metric over 50 years.

    It is a measure of how short term policy horizons are that the change in the 10 year trend is assumed to be more beneficial to those supporting action on mitigation at the Paris conference, while the trend over a human lifetime receives so little attention.

  77. Joshua says:

    izen-

    I’m still not really clear what you’re going for here, and you links don’t really add any clarity. Added to that, you’ve used both “common” and “commonplace” – and to me they have someone different connotations (common = happens frequently; commonplace = ordinary or usual).

    I have watched the reaction of “skeptics” to the new science on diet with some interest, as I think it plays out along similar lines as what I see with the science related to climate change. I agree that if we look around, it isn’t hard to find examples where funding influences the result of research. But my question is whether with a “motivated” binary mentality, people aren’t drawing overly-broad conclusions based on examples which, while the exist in the minority, confirm biases.

    I think that there is a shit ton of research into pharmaceutical products and diet-related phenomena which is not overtly influenced by funding source. Of course, more subtle pathways of influence are likely to be more prevalent, but even there I think that assertions of “commonplace” need to be well-grounded in the full context.

    There are many factors which can contribute to false research findings (just as there are many diet- and non-diet related factors which converge around the growth of obesity and diabetes in western societies). I’m skeptical when people make very broad generalizations about extremely complex phenomena if they haven’t undertaken a careful, empirical approach to asserting widespread patterns – particularly if they haven’t explicitly focused on examining the question of correlation vs.causation.

  78. Joshua says:

    ==> “Joshua says:
    Your comment is awaiting moderation.
    June 7, 2015 at 2:25 pm”

    What is this? Climate Etc.?

  79. Willard says:

    Ross has a first look at Tony’s. The take home:

    Are the new K15 adjustments correct? Obviously it is not for me to say – this is something that needs to be debated by specialists in the field.

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2015/06/04/a-first-look-at-possible-artifacts-of-data-biases-in-the-recent-global-surface-warming-hiatus-by-karl-et-al-science-4-june-2015/

    Let’s all beware of possible biases and be thankful for Ross’ concerns.

  80. John L says:

    ATTP says in the post that Piers Forster made a sensible comment in one of the links. I might agree with that regarding the linked short sentence. But there is a longer comment cited comment here http://www.sciencemediacentre.org/expert-reaction-to-new-study-on-the-global-warming-hiatus/ which I think is very confused and arguably a good (e.g. sad) example of seepage still seriously twisting the reasoning of scientists regarding this issue, even after there was a recent paper by Lewandovsky et al pointing it out. An excerpt:

    “Does this mean there has never been a hiatus? It depends how you look at it. Even with the corrections in this study, the observed warming has not been as large as predicted by models. Other global datasets, even when corrected for missing Arctic data, still show a decreased trend since 1998. I strongly dispute that the IPCC report got it wrong on the hiatus, and I think this is where the study really misrepresents the IPCC. The IPCC made a very cautious and preliminary assessment of the hiatus acknowledging that the change wasn’t significant. Further, I would still expect other observed datasets to have a clear hiatus. As the IPCC report bases its assessment on more than one set of observations, I would expect its conclusions to still hold up today.”

    But the point is the framing issue. And the bad “hiatus”-framing resulting in the embarrassingly bad analysis methodology of picking 1998 as starting year just like that (without motivation… just because there was an unusually extreme El Nino happening then?!).

    So science as well as science communication is not only about answering questions, you have to put the right questions as well. Bad questions tend to make you confused and the discussion stupid.

    Example of a bad scientific questions: Was there really a hiatus or not after 1998? Is/was the hiatus significant?

    Much better questions: How large are natural variability in time and space? How can natural variability be predicted? How well do GCM:s reproduce the long term trend warming? (And for the last question, this measure is very relevant: https://www.nodc.noaa.gov/OC5/3M_HEAT_CONTENT/ )

  81. Joshua says:

    willard –

    Your point notwithstanding, I thought that comment (and post) from Ross was a big improvement from what I’ve seen from him* and a big improvement from what is “commonplace” at WUWT.

    * At least he wasn’t calling anyone a “groveling, terrified coward.”
    https://noconsensus.wordpress.com/2011/09/02/345-4/#comment-54888

    Back when I still expressed “shock” at what happens in the climate wars:

  82. anoilman says:

    There’s an excellent CBC Radio (Canada) story called Science Under Seige;
    http://www.cbc.ca/radio/ideas/science-under-siege-part-1-1.3091552
    http://www.cbc.ca/radio/ideas/science-under-siege-part-2-1.3101083
    http://www.cbc.ca/radio/ideas/science-under-siege-part-3-1.3101953

    It goes into various aspects of how science is now being treated and why this is bad. FYI, Climate Science is just the poster boy here. Other avenues of research are being attacked as well. In BC Canada you can face jail time if you report disease rates in salmon publicly.

  83. Joshua,
    No idea why that ended up in moderation.

    Kevin,
    Yes, that’s a good post. Maybe those who argue we need more indpendent statisticians helping climate scientists should have a good read of that.

  84. If we can model the natural variability at a more fine grained level than decades, then why not do that instead of applying filter as wide as a 60-year mean?

  85. Joshua says:

    ==> “No idea why that ended up in moderation.”

    Are you sure it wasn’t a case of “censorship” because your were terribly afraid of the implications of my comment?

    ==> “Yes, that’s a good post. ”

    Hmmm.

    Irrespective of the technical discussion, the confident accusations of “lying” are on a par with the kind of reasoning that is commonplace among “skeptics.”

    It’s particularly ironic given the associated objections to Watts’ accusations about Karl et. al.

  86. Joshua says:

    Oh, and…

    ==> “Maybe those who argue we need more indpendent statisticians helping climate scientists should have a good read of that.”

    I’m going to go way out on a limb here, and offer speculation that it wouldn’t make one iota of difference if they did.

  87. Irrespective of the technical discussion, the confident accusations of “lying” are on a par with the kind of reasoning that is commonplace among “skeptics.”

    Yes, fair point. I found the discussion about the error on the mean very useful. Accusations of lying are not so good.

  88. I’m going to go way out on a limb here, and offer speculation that it wouldn’t make one iota of difference if they did.

    Yes, you’re probably quite right.

  89. izen says:

    @-Joshua

    I will plead guilty to making simplistic generalisations about a complex subject without suitable reference to the context. The only aspect of it I can claim to have examined in detail is the influence of the sugar industry on dietary advice, and that was over a decade ago. I must admit I was amazed when the last WHO/USDA report contradicted the last 3 decades and recommended cutting sugar in the diet.

    This is clearly ‘off topic’ with no way that I can see to link it to the Karl15 issue and the pause, so to keep it short,-
    correlation vs.causation is even worse in the medical-biological field, especially as causation is itself a problematic concept in many biological contexts.
    The distortion of dietary advice by funding, tradition and fad is both common and commonplace.
    http://www.cochrane.org/
    exists for a reason. I would be willing to discuss this in more detail at my most recent blog post if you wish. -grin-

  90. Eli Rabett says:

    ==> “Joshua says:
    Your comment is awaiting moderation.
    ——————-

    Patience

    ==> “Joshua says:
    Your comment is awaiting mediation.
    ——————-

    Hire a lawyer

  91. In reply (presumably) to my comments on June 7, 2015 at 9:46 am and my prior comment on June 6, 2015 at 8:48 am in which I spoke of and linked to graphs that include a 30 year running mean and a 60 year running mean, WebHubTelescope said on June 7, 2015 at 6:53 pm,

    “If we can model the natural variability at a more fine grained level than decades, then why not do that instead of applying filter as wide as a 60-year mean?”

    In my view, it should not be “instead”. It should be both and everything in-between, since each level of filtering gives at least one unique perspective, and taking all these perspectives together gives the most informative composite of what is actually going on as well as what we can expect in the shorter and longer term futures.

    The unique perspectives that 60 year running mean gives (in the context of that 30 year running mean and other information) are these:

    First, it is a filter that is wide enough to get rid of all that natural variation (which includes those oscillations of up to 60 years in length) to an adequate degree to uncover not just a monotonic but even a strictly increasing curve communicating the cause and effect relationship between increased greenhouse gases and global warming since the 1800s, given that such a monotonic and even strictly increasing relationship is what some denialists keep claiming should exist if there is such a cause and effect relationship in the first place. It falsifies to a satisfactory degree the claim by some of them that there is no such monotonic and even strictly increasing relationship even underneath all the natural variability.

    Second, it communicates that the underlying long term global warming is not linear. Contrary to what some denialists want people to believe, the underlying long term global warming is not increasing along the path of a straight line. It is increasing along the path of a positively accelerating curve that shows no sign of slowing down or backing off its acceleration even as we speak during this “pause” (and whose acceleration itself could perhaps be accelerating even as we speak during this “pause” – see the recent talk that climate sensitivity may not be fixed and may itself increase steadily as the world gets hotter and hotter).

    (On that function h with sub-functions g and f I gave: I presented them purely as a pedagogical tool to illustrate how all this can be true from a purely mathematical standpoint, since some may not be able to see how it could all be true without some sort of mathematical analog. That is, having continuing underlying acceleration even while there are pauses in the forms of slowdowns or even actual downturns may seem too counter-intuitive to some, and such a tool could help some see its truth even if its truth seems counter-intuitive.)

  92. Joshua says:

    izen –

    If I have the time, I’ll take it up with you over there.

  93. Michael Hauber says:

    Sensible people were convinced before this study came out. Now that the study is out crazy people have a slightly larger ‘they are fudging the data’ straw to clutch at.

  94. matt says:

    attp,

    is the “kind of cherry-pick” choosing the 1951-2000 period as a point of comparison? doesn’t seem unreasonable to me. long enough to capture trends >30yr and the 2nd half of the century is often referenced by the IPCC as being when we are sure that anthro dominates. the two other periods eli lists would surely be a bigger cherry-pick.

    > and the trend stuff is tied up in period picking (e.g. 2000-2013 is a lot lower trend than 1971 – 2000 and more than 1950-1970. 1951-2000 middles the trend, being composed of a low and high trend periods.)

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