That’s basically how Roger Pielke Jr. describes the latest effort to erase the Pause, or Hiatus, or Slowdown.
The New Left Wing Fail this time leads the charge of the main stream media to report that:
Global warming is WORSE than we thought because the famous ‘pause’ between 1995 and 2013 never happened . . . . . .
Oh no, it’s worse than we thought! Hey, that’s new; haven’t heard that before.
But seriously, these ‘experts’, these ‘scientists’ (Mann, Rahmstorf, Risbey, Lewandowsky, Oreskes, Cowtan et al) are telling us that over 200 peer reviewed scientific papers published on the ‘alleged climate pause’ are all wrong basically because of something called ‘selection bias’, which leads to dodgy statistical analysis combined with political pressure from climate deniers and fossil fuel companies.
Here is what the authors of one of those papers say about the ‘false narrative’ which is the alleged Pause:
With the ‘pause’ (or ‘hiatus’), a false narrative about an alleged inconsistency between natural fluctuations of global temperature and ongoing global warming was inserted into climate discussion. Once the notion of a ‘pause’ was established, some of the major journals gave prominent feature to articles about it (Nature 2017). The IPCC formalised the ‘pause/hiatus’ for the climate community in its 5th assessment report by defining and accepting it as an observed fact about the climate system (Stocker et al 2013) [Box TS.3]. Many climatologists also adopted the ‘pause’ or ‘hiatus’ into their own language about climate change. The adoption of these terms by the mainstream research community gave the ‘pause’ further legitimacy, even though they often explained that it was not unusual in the context of natural variability.
In hindsight, with current GMST datasets, there is no statistical evidence for a ‘pause’. That is the case regardless of which dataset is used and even using statistical tests that inflate the significance of the results. Global warming did not pause in observations (according to any common usage of the term or in statistical terms), but clearly we need to understand how and why scientists came to the conclusion that it had in order to avoid future episodes of this kind.
So, apart from alleging that inappropriate statistical analyses, the use of ‘wrong’ datasets and not being able to foretell the future (i.e. that an entirely natural warming event – a super El Nino – would bust the Pause in 2015/16), the author’s argument also rests upon the assertion that the natural decadal fluctuations in climate were not at all unusual or unexpected and thus a 15 year ‘pause’ was entirely predictable – except it wasn’t. No models were predicting a pause of 15 years prior to it happening, nor indeed in the years after it happened, because of fluctuations in the rate of natural decadal/multidecadal warming and cooling.
I questioned Stefan Rahmstorf on this precise point on Twitter:
After which, Twitter silence was the very loud reply. It would seem that, contrary to the author’s assertions about natural variability, a Pause lasting 15 years or more was an event either not predicted by the models beforehand or extremely rare in model simulations performed after the event; certainly not ‘entirely expected’ and explicable with reference to current knowledge regarding natural decadal variability, as claimed.
This is a very interesting thread on the two Pause denial papers, with Richard Betts defending the academic integrity of colleagues who published studies on the Pause. Goes up and down from this tweet.