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Climatologists Baffled By Lack Of Warming

From a (momentarily) dismayed Der Spiegel:

Climatologists Baffled by Global Warming Time-Out

Stagnating Temperatures

By Gerald Traufetter


Global warming appears to have stalled. Climatologists are puzzled as to why average global temperatures have stopped rising over the last 10 years. Some attribute the trend to a lack of sunspots, while others explain it through ocean currents

The Earth’s average temperatures have stopped climbing since the beginning of the millennium, and it even looks as though global warming could come to a standstill this year…

The planet’s temperature curve rose sharply for almost 30 years, as global temperatures increased by an average of 0.7 degrees Celsius (1.25 degrees Fahrenheit) from the 1970s to the late 1990s. "At present, however, the warming is taking a break," confirms meteorologist Mojib Latif of the Leibniz Institute of Marine Sciences in the northern German city of Kiel. Latif, one of Germany’s best-known climatologists, says that the temperature curve has reached a plateau. "There can be no argument about that," he says. "We have to face that fact."

Even though the temperature standstill probably has no effect on the long-term warming trend, it does raise doubts about the predictive value of climate models, and it is also a political issue. For months, climate change skeptics have been gloating over the findings on their Internet forums. This has prompted many a climatologist to treat the temperature data in public with a sense of shame, thereby damaging their own credibility…

Just a few weeks ago, Britain’s Hadley Centre for Climate Prediction and Research added more fuel to the fire with its latest calculations of global average temperatures. According to the Hadley figures, the world grew warmer by 0.07 degrees Celsius from 1999 to 2008 and not by the 0.2 degrees Celsius assumed by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. And, say the British experts, when their figure is adjusted for two naturally occurring climate phenomena, El Niño and La Niña, the resulting temperature trend is reduced to 0.0 degrees Celsius — in other words, a standstill…

The controversy sends confusing and mixed messages to the lay public. Why is there such a vigorous debate over climate change, even though it isn’t getting warmer at the moment? And how can it be that scientists cannot even arrive at a consensus on changes in temperatures, even though temperatures are constantly being measured?

Climatologists use their computer models to draw temperature curves that continue well into the future. They predict that the average global temperature will increase by about three degrees Celsius (5.4 degrees Fahrenheit) by the end of the century, unless humanity manages to drastically reduce greenhouse gas emissions. However, no one really knows what exactly the world climate will look like in the not-so-distant future, that is, in 2015, 2030 or 2050.

This is because it is not just human influence but natural factors that affect the Earth’s climate. For instance, currents in the world’s oceans are subject to certain cycles, as is solar activity. Major volcanic eruptions can also curb rising temperatures in the medium term…

The fact is that the sun is weakening slightly. Its radiation activity is currently at a minimum, as evidenced by the small number of sunspots on its surface. According to calculations performed by a group of NASA scientists led by David Rind, which were recently published in the journal Geophysical Research Letters, this reduced solar activity is the most important cause of stagnating global warming.

Latif, on the other hand, attributes the stagnation to so-called Pacific decadal oscillation (PDO). This phenomenon in the Pacific Ocean allows a larger volume of cold deep-sea water to rise to the surface at the equator. According to Latif, this has a significant cooling effect on the Earth’s atmosphere…

Despite their current findings, scientists agree that temperatures will continue to rise in the long term. The big question is: When will it start getting warmer again?

If the deep waters of the Pacific are, in fact, the most important factor holding up global warming, climate change will remain at a standstill until the middle of the next decade, says Latif. But if the cooling trend is the result of reduced solar activity, things could start getting warmer again much sooner. Based on past experience, solar activity will likely increase again in the next few years…

The Hadley Center group expects warming to resume in the coming years. "That resumption could come as a bit of a jolt," says Hadley climatologist Adam Scaife, explaining that natural cyclical warming would then be augmented by the warming effect caused by anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions…

Well, it’s not like they can predict the weather.

This article was posted by Steve Gilbert on Thursday, November 19th, 2009. Comments are currently closed.

8 Responses to “Climatologists Baffled By Lack Of Warming”

  1. …says Jochem Marotzke, director of the Max Planck Institute for Meteorology in Hamburg. “We don’t really know why this stagnation is taking place at this point.”

    And yet they know *exactly* why even the slightest upward tick in temp is related to Global Warming. Isn’t this a darned good example of cherry-picking your data points?

  2. proreason

    You have to love science.

    Like everything else it’s always evolving.

    1,000 years ago, mankind would come up with a premise, and then explain natural behavior in terms of the premise. So rocks were impelled by invisible creatures who flew the object into the ground. And the sun and stars revolved around the earth.

    Then science evolved to that quaint practice where scholars would run those silly “experiments” to find out what was happening. They came up with “gravity”, “waves”, “quantum mechanics” and all sorts of stuff that made the invisible creatures look like play toys.

    Now, we’ve come full circle. We imagine the outcome we want (global warming), and the scientists watch movies and run computer programs to explain how it happens (heavy breathing, farts, hockey sticks, etc.).

    It helps keep the scientists’ finger-nails clean, you know.

  3. Chuckk

    Maybe global warming is causing the climate to not change.

  4. wirenut

    I guess I never knew that science was a roulette wheel and a smorgasbord. Do these morons really think they can predict the will of God? These fools can only ponder what has been revealed. As if they can even get a grip on that! The rest are in it for the money. I keep rearranging the letters in the words “global warming”, and this is a sample of what I’ve come up with: slavery, algore, Satan, and dependence. Impossible you say? If warming leads to cooling and cooling leads to warming, I’m no farther off then the “scientists’ are. Do your own word jumbles and see what you come up with. It’s frightening.

  5. wirenut

    Sorry JohnMG, no ink blots but I’ve got some dried out trout with mold spots. Fresh from the spring fed creek that
    just evaporated from the heat.

    Indian head country WI.

  6. Perdido

    Wait a second here.

    “The planet’s temperature curve rose sharply for almost 30 years, as global temperatures increased by an average of 0.7 degrees Celsius (1.25 degrees Fahrenheit) from the 1970s to the late 1990s.”

    That may be factual but it doesn’t mean a damned thing. In 2005 (the year of Katrina) the oceans experienced an above average number of hurricanes and typhoons. A couple were big and scary. The oceans released nearly 30% of their retained heat through these storm mechanisms in that single season. It is a natural function that expels excess heat, and it is very efficient, very effective.

    You may recall the climatologists and hurricanologists predicting ever increasing storm frequency and ever increasing severity of those storms for the coming years. Yet, 2006 and on have been years of benign storms and truncated activity.


    No heat.

    These storms don’t “just happen”. These are climate functions that have specific effects, cause measurable changes, cannot be denied and cannot be wished away. They can, however, be ignored if ‘inconvenient’. Even if man is warming the planet by releasing stored heat by burning fossil-fuels, man cannot stop the earth from storing that heat and then at a given activation energy, expelling that excess heat through geophysical functions. The most dynamic of which are hurricanes, typhoons and tornadoes.

    So, that dangerous degree and a quarter rise will be absorbed, stored and then dissipated.

    This isn’t science to these guys, it’s religion. They can’t be satisfied with being smart, now they have to be shamans too.

  7. It is overwith as of now. Global warming has now taken a back seat because temperatures are, get this, Decreasing! Imagine that?


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