Before the deluge
Aug 23, 2014
Bishop Hill in Climate: Surface

Last night climatologist Gareth Jones tweeted that there had been two dozen papers on the pause this year. In response, I wondered how many would have been published if David Whitehouse hadn't have written his groundbreaking report on the subject. This prompted Doug McNeall to comment "About two dozen", a sentiment that was endorsed by Gavin Schmidt.

It's always nice to be challenged, so I thought I'd look into this a bit. Take a look at Google Trends:

If you look at Whitehouse's report, he surveys the literature as well as public perceptions of the pause up to that point. Mainstream climatology was still amazingly reticent on the subject. The Met Office was showing decadal averages up to the 2000s so as to hide the pause; their Chief Executive of the time was telling the public as late as October 2012 that global warming was proceeding exactly as expected. Yet a month later the Met Office referred obliquely to warming having slowed down, suggesting this might be something to do with El Nino.

But what is really interesting is that Whitehouse really doesn't seem to have identified many papers discussing the pause. Yet this was six years after Bob Carter had first been excoriated for suggesting that surface temperatures might have stopped going up.

Has Whitehouse missed some major publications on the subject? Perhaps so. Maybe Doug and Gavin can point us to the dozens of papers that were overlooked.

[I initially said that Whitehouse hadn't identified any papers on the pause. This wasn't correct]

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