Page 3.14

No Rest for the Warming

Climate change denialists are apt to grasp at straws, which may explain their heralding of a global warming “hiatus” or “pause” that since 1998 has supposedly invalidated scientific consensus and its models of climate change. Clearer and more clever heads have renamed the hiatus a “faux pause,” playing off the French faux pas which means false step or blunder. For one thing, the data showed only a relative slowdown in warming, not a pause; temperatures were still increasing. As Greg Laden says, “a hiatus or a pause in global warming is at present physically impossible.” Now a new paper published in Science suggests that even the extent of the slowdown was overestimated. Furthermore, the slowdown jibes with ongoing natural variations in surface temperature, as modulated by, for example, El Niño and La Niña events, and does not contradict the long-term upward trend. Greg says that any scientist championing the “pause” is either ignorant or “willfully obfuscating the science, in an effort to distract from the reality of human caused climate change.” Meanwhile, on Stoat, William M. Connolley notes a pointed revision to the Wikipedia entry on the so-called hiatus.