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« Press Gazette does "debate" | Main | Climate scientists »

Causes for the pause

David Whitehouse has a new GWPF note out, examining all the different post-hoc explanations for the hiatus in global warming. To introduce it, there's a short film which can be seen here.

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Reader Comments (36)

As usual - excellent.

Mar 26, 2014 at 10:35 AM | Unregistered CommenterBced

Short, clear and accurate. I will forward the video link to a couple of family members who are not convinced but don't have any quick responses to believers.

Mar 26, 2014 at 10:44 AM | Unregistered CommentersandyS

Still reliance on the good old backstop, the GHE, the theory that has yet to be validated by empirical data despite the $100B or more spent so far. Despite ALL predictions made based on this theory failing to show there are these outpourings of excuses to explain the lack of warming. Models do not take into account solar fluctuations, latent heat(though it is mentioned ''in passing'') or cloud changes. Models assume a flat earth with 24/7 sunshine. So in truth the models are based on some mythical world and then climateers wonder why they are wrong.

Reality shows that a reduction of total solar irradiance will produce the effects we now experience. TSI also affects cloud cover so increasing albedo,, reduces latent heat requirements which will be feedback control on the loss of energy due to TSI reductions. There will be many more reasons in this package but preoccupation with the nonexistant GHE blinds sone scientists to what is actually going on.

Mar 26, 2014 at 11:06 AM | Unregistered CommenterJohn Marshall

Concise, clear, non-partisan. The sort of advice Governments should get from advisors. Met Office take note!

+1 to David Whitehouse

Mar 26, 2014 at 12:02 PM | Registered Commenterthinkingscientist

Here is my Ode to ‘The Pause’
(inspired by the children's poem "There was an old woman who swallowed a fly")

Some climate alarmists predicted no pause,
We all know the cause that demanded no pause,
The end times they saw.

Some climate alarmists have blamed some volcanoes,
That’s quite a trick with no change in albedos!
They blamed the volcanoes to post-hoc the pause
But we all know the cause that demanded no pause,
The end times they saw.


Some climate alarmists keep averaging farther,
To smear out the pause that’s become such a bother.
The widening window avoids filling-in,
They infill the Arctic and twiddle the past,
They twiddle the past to ignore the La Nina,
Ignorable ‘til it becomes an El Nino!
They blamed the La Nina, with vortices sparse,
They blamed the cold vortex to pass on the sun,
They blamed the dim sun for lack of volcanoes,
They blamed the volcanoes to post-hoc the pause,
But we all know the cause that demanded no pause,
The end times they saw.

Some regular folks plot the data and see,
The cycles and monsters of uncertainty.
Destroyed they must be!


Mar 26, 2014 at 12:25 PM | Unregistered Commenterchris y

Bottom line - if the science was settled they would have predicted the pause.
- If they have found an explanation then they can accurately predict when it will end, if ever and if it will come back again.

. Alarmist though focus more on attacking skeptics, rather than showing us their fantasy extrapolation of science works, so I don't news of many predictions.

Mar 26, 2014 at 12:52 PM | Registered Commenterstewgreen

By perpetuating the use of the terms "pause", "hiatus" and "slow-down" & Co. are we not tacitly admitting an expectation that temperature will rise inexorably? Would it not be preferable to use "plateau" when referring to the temperature timeline?

Mar 26, 2014 at 1:55 PM | Unregistered Commenterfilbert cobb

He nails it with the last sentence:

Natural climate variability is more important than we thought and played a role in enhancing global warming before dampening it.

Another logical fallacy of the alarmists. All of these explanations for the pause are of course equally plausible explanations for the rise.

Mar 26, 2014 at 2:00 PM | Unregistered CommenterRedbone

"When Will The Pause End"? HADCRUT5 or HADCRUT6 might torture the data enough to do it. Or maybe GISS will extrapolate a bunch of data into the deep ocean?

Mar 26, 2014 at 2:01 PM | Unregistered CommenterBruce


But the stubborn MET Office is evidently impervious to both reason and common sense.

Mar 26, 2014 at 2:03 PM | Unregistered CommenterMark Well

This is the measured way scientific research used to be delivered. Well done, David Whitehouse.

Mar 26, 2014 at 2:03 PM | Unregistered Commenterbernie1815

I enjoyed the video.

If anyone is interested the Mark Lynas piece for New Statesman is here. The one where he accuses David Whitehouse of being wrong. In fact time has proven that it is Lynas who is “wrong – completely wrong”.

I mean if the New Statesman is happy to allow an environmental activist to be it's environmental correspondent, then maybe it should use a member of Al-Qaeda write about national security. Just don't expect any balance.

Mar 26, 2014 at 2:10 PM | Unregistered CommenterAndre

If you read Mark Lynas' piece in the New Statesman he accuses David Whitehouse of lying. Disgraceful.

Mar 26, 2014 at 2:19 PM | Unregistered CommenterLucyJ

filbert cobb:

By perpetuating the use of the terms "pause", "hiatus" and "slow-down" & Co. are we not tacitly admitting an expectation that temperature will rise inexorably? Would it not be preferable to use "plateau" when referring to the temperature timeline?

I don't think it matters. Let's call it whatever the most alarmist person on the planet wants. Here's why: I don't know one alarmist or one sceptic who predicted in 1996 that globally averaged temperature anomaly would go flat for 17 years from the next year. Do you? Most important, no general circulation model predicted this.

So we're all as ignorant as the other: alarmists, sceptics, models.

The only thing we sceptics understood then and understand more clearly than anyone else now is that, given such ignorance, including our own, about how little global warming there may be in 21st century, vastly disruptive, poverty-causing policies are out of the question for the foreseeable future.

Mar 26, 2014 at 2:29 PM | Registered CommenterRichard Drake

What I am enjoying is watching half the warmists claim there is no pause and the other half trying to explain the cause of it! Love it.

Mar 26, 2014 at 2:38 PM | Unregistered CommenterDavid Schofield

That New Statesman article was posted January 2008. I wonder how Mark Lynas would have felt at the time of writing if he knew the Pause would still be an issue hundreds of millions of tonnes of CO2 emissions and 6 years further down the line?

Mar 26, 2014 at 2:43 PM | Unregistered CommenterCheshirered

Whitehouse said:

"when will the pause end?"

Silver says:

"when will the peak end?"

Mar 26, 2014 at 2:48 PM | Unregistered CommenterJohn Silver

"when will the peak end?"

I would like hear about reaching "peak subsidy"

Mar 26, 2014 at 2:54 PM | Registered CommenterGreen Sand

What a shame that people like Lynas never have to face up to their errors, deliberate or otherwise.
They get away with it time after time, never having to admit they were wrong or apologise to the people they insulted.
I'm sure that given the opportunity today, he would happily spout more BS, completely ignoring all the evidence weighing against him.
Shameless doesn't really go far enough with these people.
Let's hope that one day, justice will be served!

Mar 26, 2014 at 2:55 PM | Unregistered CommenterJohn Catley

Lynas should apologise not for being wrong but for being insulting. It is amazing to me that the Whitehouse New Statesman article was in 2007!

This must be the best example I know of investigative science journalism. Has Whitehouse won any awards for this work as it must be the best science scoop of the century so far, or have the awards gone to Harrabin, Shuckman and Damian Carrington? Wouldn't surprise me if they did.

Mar 26, 2014 at 3:30 PM | Unregistered CommenterLucyJ

I think the Green Slime Award has to be going one of pond life over at the Guardian, probably Dana with Nafeez a close second.

Mar 26, 2014 at 3:47 PM | Unregistered CommenterAndre

Shouldn't it be "what IS causing the decline ??

Mar 26, 2014 at 4:04 PM | Unregistered CommenterStephen Richards

IIRC, Mark Lynas did apologise for his earlier views on GM foods.

Mar 26, 2014 at 4:24 PM | Unregistered Commentermike fowle

Stewgreen: "[I]f the science was settled they would have predicted the pause."

Bloody succinct. Well said. I shall be quoting that, if you don't mind... :-)

Mar 26, 2014 at 4:50 PM | Unregistered CommenterHarry Passfield

One video posted on YOUTUBE worth a thousands words.

Mar 26, 2014 at 5:41 PM | Unregistered Commenterjamspid

Stewgreen: "[I]f the science was settled they would have predicted the pause."

Quite, and how come, if the science is settled, climate scientists are constantly discovering that the problem is worse than they previously thought?

Mar 26, 2014 at 5:57 PM | Unregistered CommenterNicholas Hallam

Superb, Mr Whitehouse: succinct, to the point and beautifully written and delivered.
What a shame Mr Lynas and others are so preoccupied with silly doom-mongering.

Mar 26, 2014 at 7:41 PM | Unregistered CommenterAlexander K

"The Pause" does not seem to have filtered through to Channel 4 news yet. This evening Dan Snow was reporting on a visit to Greenland by the head of the UN and the Danish Prime Minister. Dan Snow was in apocalyptic mood and said that unless we act to stop Greenland's glaciers from melting the Somerset Levels and Bangladesh will become uninhabitable and he mentioned the recent floods in Somerset as proof of the dangers of climate change.

Mar 26, 2014 at 8:07 PM | Unregistered CommenterRoy

"Future of Suffolk’s Galloper wind farm uncertain after one of its backers pulls out

"The future of a planned wind farm off the Suffolk coast was uncertain today after one of its backers announced it was pulling out of the project.

"Scottish and Southern Energy (SSE) announced this morning that it would not continue its interest in the Galloper wind farm beyond the current phase of development. "

"The Galloper site is about 17 miles off the Suffolk coast and the wind farm will involve up to 140 turbines,..."

Mar 26, 2014 at 8:13 PM | Unregistered CommenterLuther Bl't

Suppose, you have a model predicting your wealth following a certain investment policy. The model says that after 17 years you will be a millionaire. But after all those investments you are as rich or poor as before. So there is a pause in your income. What is the most plausible reason for this pause? I could not find it in the GWPF note.

Mar 26, 2014 at 8:29 PM | Unregistered CommenterMindert Eiting

Thankyou for this.
+1 and a huge thumbs-up to Dr David Whitehouse for this excellent summary review and associated notes.
Recommended viewing/reading material for anyone interested in the ongoing "Climate Debate" and its "unsettled science".
Which is why my 12 y/o budding scientist daughter and her science classmates will be watching/reading this material.

She will also be considering study of the now 17+ years of pause as a possible process that is in statistical control - since the trend is virtually flat. The idea there is to see what - if anything - messrs. Dr W.A.Shewhart and Dr W Edwards Deming might have been able to tell us about it and it's outliers.
She laughed when I said to her the other day "You know all that global warming we've been having? Well, surprisingly, none of it has occurred in your lifetime - and that's according to the UK MetOffice!".

Mar 26, 2014 at 8:35 PM | Unregistered CommenterNJ Dawood

So, after the "pause", is the future prognosis a hockey stick, a hurley stick, or a dipstick?

Mar 26, 2014 at 9:57 PM | Unregistered Commenterkellydown

So, after the "pause", is the future prognosis a hockey stick, a hurley stick, or a dipstick?

No one knows, but even so, I don't think anyone should have problems calling it a "pause".
I mean, if the temperatures are in a plateau, there is relatively little average temperature change. In other words, there is a lack of change, or better described as a pause in change, as it was warming before, and GASTA* will probably change (warming or cooling) in the future.

* Global Average Surface Temperature Anomaly

Mar 26, 2014 at 10:29 PM | Registered CommenterDaniel G.

Any chance of Dr Whitehouse getting this shown on the BBC?.

Plimer may be right too - it may start cooling again. First they'll deny it - then they'll panic about man-made aerosols again. All this fuss about fractions of a degree up or down in a random walk. Meanwhile there's a Tsunami overdue. It's not us endangering the planet that is the problem so much as the planet endangering us.

Mar 27, 2014 at 12:20 AM | Unregistered CommenterJamesG

Stephen Richards asks "Shouldn't it be "what IS causing the decline ??".

Assuming CO2 has a direct affect on temperature, and CO2 has been steadily rising. Then there it must also be assumed that something is not just suppressing the rise, but actively lowering temperatures below what they otherwise would be.

Mar 27, 2014 at 1:41 AM | Unregistered CommenterGreg Cavanagh

So you did not get the money promised by your investment bank. The Investment Policy Foundation noted the following very plausible causes of the pause in your income.

1.Random fluctuations in your ever increasing profits.
2.World-wide economic depression.
3.They paid you in gold, to be shipped. By a shipwreck your wealth arrived at the bottom of a deep ocean.
4.Two economic oscillations. Within 15-20 years you will become rich.
5.Inflation exactly in the past 17 years.
6.Chinese conspiracy.
7.Decadal depression in the Pacific area.
8.Stadium waves of poverty. From 2030 you will become rich.
9.Printing errors made by your private bank obscuring you are already rich.
10.Money loss by trade with the Pacific.
11.Opposition by many small louts.
12.Models of your investment bank would have predicted the pause if more factors would have been included. Sorry.

Mar 27, 2014 at 9:25 AM | Unregistered CommenterMindert Eiting

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