Great news: Global warming ended … sixteen years ago

posted at 2:01 pm on October 15, 2012 by Ed Morrissey

Hey, don’t take our word for it.  This news comes from a group that has pushed the anthropogenic global warming panic for years — the Meteorological  Office in the UK, which quietly released the data in a report on the Internet.  The plateau in global temperature averages now equals the length of time that temperatures increased, 16 years, after a 40-year-plus period of slight cooling:

The world stopped getting warmer almost 16 years ago, according to new data released last week. 

The figures, which have triggered debate among climate scientists, reveal that from the beginning of 1997 until August 2012, there was no discernible rise in aggregate global temperatures.

This means that the ‘plateau’ or ‘pause’ in global warming has now lasted for about the same time as the previous period when temperatures rose, 1980 to 1996. Before that, temperatures had been stable or declining for about 40 years.

Predictably, the same people who have pushed AGW panic for the last 20 years now say that a 16-year period isn’t long enough for scientific claims to be made:

Some climate scientists, such as Professor Phil Jones, director of the Climatic Research Unit at the University of East Anglia, last week dismissed the significance of the plateau, saying that 15 or 16 years is too short a period from which to draw conclusions.

Isn’t that what global-warming skeptics argued, too? Doesn’t that make Professor Jones a denier?

Not everyone in climate science agrees with Dr. Jones.  In fact, one leading researcher here in the US actually dares to compare the outcomes to the hypotheses and models, and reaches a scientific conclusion, rather than faith-based panic:

Professor Judith Curry, who is the head of the climate science department at America’s prestigious Georgia Tech university, told The Mail on Sunday that it was clear that the computer models used to predict future warming were ‘deeply flawed’.

Even Prof Jones admitted that he and his colleagues did not understand the impact of ‘natural variability’ – factors such as long-term ocean temperature cycles and changes in the output of the sun. However, he said he was still convinced that the current decade would end up significantly warmer than the previous two.

Don’t bet on it, if that’s based on the same computer modeling that predicted constant growth in temperatures over the last two decades.  The most accurate part of Dr. Jones’ response is that he and his colleagues don’t understand what’s going on, and they’re apparently not interested in revising their hypotheses in the face of contrary data.  That may be described as many things, but science isn’t among them.

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