Cause of Global Warming's "Pause" Since 1998 Revealed

Cause of Global Warming's "Pause" Since 1998 Revealed

Earth

Researchers have attributed the "pause" we've observed in global warming since 1998 to natural climate fluctuations.

While global temperature has continued to rise, as of 1998, the rate at which it is rising has been slowing, despite a continued rise in the levels of greenhouses gases. This apparent "pause" in global warming has been a matter of debate, but new research led by physics professor Shaun Lovejoy of Canada's McGill University may put this debate to rest.

In a recent paper published in the journal Geophysical Research Letters, Lovejoy presents the findings of his statistical analysis of the 15-year period after 1998 during which global temperature had been projected by scientists to be higher than actually observed. His conclusion? A natural cooling fluctuation in line with what has historically been observed masked the effects of anthropogenic global warming.

"We find many examples of these variations in pre-industrial temperature reconstructions" based on proxies such as tree rings, ice cores, and lake sediment, Lovejoy says. "Being based on climate records, this approach avoids any biases that might affect the sophisticated computer models that are commonly used for understanding global warming."

Further, the 1998-2013 cooling effect "exactly follows a slightly larger pre-pause warming event, from 1992 to 1998," so that the natural cooling during the "pause" is no more than a return to the longer term natural variability, Lovejoy concludes. "The pause thus has a convincing statistical explanation."

Before anyone claims that this lends proof that global warming itself is nothing more than the result of natural fluctuations in climate, Lovejoy's previous paper, which employed the same statistical methodology, "rejected [this hypothesis] with 99.9% confidence."

Of course, science is all about pursuing knowledge in a manner that holds up to rigor, so the best way to contest an idea is to attempt to scientifically disprove it. But until someone can prove otherwise, it seems the ultimate fate of our planet is death by heat.

Source: McGill University

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Lets hope this "pause" lasts just a little while longer. I'm not looking forward to seeing what happens when the effects of the melting icecaps and the grimy surface of what remains really set in. The whole purpose of the icecaps is to reflect a good percentage of the sun's light back out. One thing that scientific models don't account for isn't that they're melting - it's that they're no longer reflective due to air currents carrying our pollution north and depositing it on the ice, making it more black and gray than white.

Before anyone claims that this lends proof that global warming itself is nothing more than the result of natural fluctuations in climate, Lovejoy's previous paper, which employed the same statistical methodology, "rejected [this hypothesis] with 99.9% confidence."

So you're saying there's a chance?

Remus:
Lets hope this "pause" lasts just a little while longer. I'm not looking forward to seeing what happens when the effects of the melting icecaps and the grimy surface of what remains really set in. The whole purpose of the icecaps is to reflect a good percentage of the sun's light back out. One thing that scientific models don't account for isn't that they're melting - it's that they're no longer reflective due to air currents carrying our pollution north and depositing it on the ice, making it more black and gray than white.

Funny you mention that -- I briefly talk about that in this week's upcoming Sci & Tech podcast. The decrease in the world's albedo (or reflectivity) can lead to a snowball effect.

hentropy:

Before anyone claims that this lends proof that global warming itself is nothing more than the result of natural fluctuations in climate, Lovejoy's previous paper, which employed the same statistical methodology, "rejected [this hypothesis] with 99.9% confidence."

So you're saying there's a chance?

Hahah, oh, you.

Remus:
Lets hope this "pause" lasts just a little while longer. I'm not looking forward to seeing what happens when the effects of the melting icecaps and the grimy surface of what remains really set in. The whole purpose of the icecaps is to reflect a good percentage of the sun's light back out. One thing that scientific models don't account for isn't that they're melting - it's that they're no longer reflective due to air currents carrying our pollution north and depositing it on the ice, making it more black and gray than white.

So what? You're saying that there's a net negative of sunlight being reflected? No, Particle pollution can help slow down global warming although has drastic consequences on weather which we see today.

I don't think anything about climate should ever refer to 1998. It was one unusually hot year. Anybody trying to claim anything about "since 1998" is probably using a single outlier to try to lie to you.

Pyrian:
I don't think anything about climate should ever refer to 1998. It was one unusually hot year. Anybody trying to claim anything about "since 1998" is probably using a single outlier to try to lie to you.

Weather is different from climate.

Crackerjacks:

Pyrian:
I don't think anything about climate should ever refer to 1998. It was one unusually hot year. Anybody trying to claim anything about "since 1998" is probably using a single outlier to try to lie to you.

Weather is different from climate.

Kind of his point; a lot of "news" organizations, like Fox, conflate weather and climate to try to sell you a bunch of bullshit. kind of like comparing: an unexpectedly warm year/ the general warm trend, with an unexpectedly cold year.
e.g. disproving global warming with the polar vortex.

Rhykker:
so the best way to contest an idea is to attempt to scientifically disprove it.

Er...not quite. The burden of proof is on the one making the claim.

If someone says, "[insert person/place/thing here] is real!", it's not up to us to prove that they're wrong. The onus is on them to prove that their claim is true.

I've often wondered if as the planet heats up, liquid water evaporates into water vapor more easily and results in more clouds and rain. So I wonder if we'd become a rain planet before we'd become a desert wasteland since the water vapor certainly can't escape our atmosphere. I mean, the threat of being a rain planet isn't all that different from becoming a desert planet to be honest. I just don't know if the whole system will play out in response to this the same way any one scientist dedicated to any one field thinks it will.

Sooooo.... anyone that thinks that its something thats natural, he rejects it with 99.9% confidence. I cannot stop laughing at this.... please tell me this was meant as a joke? Really, he rejects it, so that means... we are supposed to buy it? HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA...

His 99.9% confidence doesnt add up to diddly squat for me, and yes, I DO believe its natural. Unless, that is, you WANT to go do the lemming walk off a cliff and subscribe to the whole green scam. Your choice, I suppose. Toooo funny.

Riff Moonraker:
His 99.9% confidence doesnt add up to diddly squat for me, and yes, I DO believe its natural. Unless, that is, you WANT to go do the lemming walk off a cliff and subscribe to the whole green scam. Your choice, I suppose. Toooo funny.

Pascal's wager has you on the wrong side of the equation. If they're wrong, we get renewable power sources with less pollution. If they're right then we're screwed in a few generations. Not that pascal's wager is all powerful or right. It's just a way to think of it.

Riff Moonraker:
Sooooo.... anyone that thinks that its something thats natural, he rejects it with 99.9% confidence. I cannot stop laughing at this.... please tell me this was meant as a joke? Really, he rejects it, so that means... we are supposed to buy it? HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA...

sometimes you just need to laugh.

Riff Moonraker:
Sooooo.... anyone that thinks that its something thats natural, he rejects it with 99.9% confidence. I cannot stop laughing at this.... please tell me this was meant as a joke? Really, he rejects it, so that means... we are supposed to buy it? HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA...

His 99.9% confidence doesnt add up to diddly squat for me, and yes, I DO believe its natural. Unless, that is, you WANT to go do the lemming walk off a cliff and subscribe to the whole green scam. Your choice, I suppose. Toooo funny.

Fun fact: Lemmings didn't walk off those cliffs, disney shoved/drove them off the cliffs. So sorry if I don't exactly take your other statement of global warming being a "natural occurrence" as fact. Unless I totally misunderstood what you said, I'm tired and need to get off work.

Wrong. Everyone know science is just a bunch of nerds sitting around drinking things out of test tubes claiming things about the environment and how industry is ruining the world or whatever. The real reason there is a supposed pause is because voodoo witch doctors put a curse on the planet to freeze it. But the curse is no match for the ancient Egyptian curse that will cause the world to ignite by the year 3066 CE.

If the cooling gets any stronger then the theory of global cooling might prop up again

Or, and this is just a wild assed conjecture on my part, who certainly knows far far less than all of the brilliant scientists competing for federal research welfare, the truth is the same one we have known all along. That man has far far less impact on the climate than basic regular cyclical fluctuations of the Sun. So much less that mans actual impact on climate is below the effective level of perception.

SourMilk:

Remus:
Lets hope this "pause" lasts just a little while longer. I'm not looking forward to seeing what happens when the effects of the melting icecaps and the grimy surface of what remains really set in. The whole purpose of the icecaps is to reflect a good percentage of the sun's light back out. One thing that scientific models don't account for isn't that they're melting - it's that they're no longer reflective due to air currents carrying our pollution north and depositing it on the ice, making it more black and gray than white.

So what? You're saying that there's a net negative of sunlight being reflected? No, Particle pollution can help slow down global warming although has drastic consequences on weather which we see today.

As a skeptic myself this is sound. Some countries like china don't have effective controls to prevent the release of stuff like particulate soot and it settling on a formerly pristine white section of reflective snow leads to that area being darker in colour which then leads to a net increase in solar energy absorbed in that area. It's very simple physics.

Vigormortis:

Rhykker:
so the best way to contest an idea is to attempt to scientifically disprove it.

Er...not quite. The burden of proof is on the one making the claim.

If someone says, "[insert person/place/thing here] is real!", it's not up to us to prove that they're wrong. The onus is on them to prove that their claim is true.

A good example is this; "God exists" Can you prove it? Nope. Can you disprove it? Not really. But the burden of proof is on the person making the claim that god exists.

Lightknight:

Riff Moonraker:
His 99.9% confidence doesnt add up to diddly squat for me, and yes, I DO believe its natural. Unless, that is, you WANT to go do the lemming walk off a cliff and subscribe to the whole green scam. Your choice, I suppose. Toooo funny.

Pascal's wager has you on the wrong side of the equation. If they're wrong, we get renewable power sources with less pollution. If they're right then we're screwed in a few generations. Not that pascal's wager is all powerful or right. It's just a way to think of it.

Pascal's wager is a logical falacy. And no, current renewable tech is nowhere near efficient enough in fact the only power source we have that we can rely on for this kind of venture is nuclear power. Unless we can somehow reduce our use which with the way our economies are structured will involve a large recession and the loss of many jobs even if in the long term it's a temporary thing.

We need to focus on new power sources any way for the sake of energy security, efficiency and such and those are way more marketable to people than climate change is. So if anything we need to focus on increased efficiency in our systems and energy security through things like solar farms.

All I know is that in China they have started bottling air in the countryside, bringing it into the polluted cities, and selling it as "fresh air"
http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/timstanley/100200587/man-sells-canned-fresh-air-in-china-welcome-to-yuppie-capitalism-comrades/

You may be tempted to dismiss this as a desperate but ultimately localised problem, but then understand that China's pollution is so great the smog has been recorded crossing the entire Pacific Ocean and arriving in California, in fact A Quarter of the current air pollution in the Western United States originates in China
http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/timstanley/100200587/man-sells-canned-fresh-air-in-china-welcome-to-yuppie-capitalism-comrades/

Man made pollution is getting out of control, and unless we actually make steps to pro-actively combat it, we will see a lot more "fresh air" sellers in a lot more countries, until buying a supply of air while we are outside is seen as normal as buying bottled water (remember when the idea of paying for water was absolutely ludicrous?)

vallorn:

A good example is this; "God exists" Can you prove it? Nope. Can you disprove it? Not really. But the burden of proof is on the person making the claim that god exists.

Well, unless one is asserting that a deity doesn't exist, in which case the burden of proof is on them to prove that their assertion is true.

But responding to someone saying, "[insert deity(ies) here] is real!", with, "I don't believe you." is valid and doesn't share the onus of proof.

I think anyone who is serious about understanding the climate debate owes it to themselves to read Twilight of Abundance by David Archibald. Mr. Archibald presents the most advanced version of the solar theory of global warming and cooling - e.g. that the earth's temperature is primarily controlled by the variation in the sun's solar cycles combined with our proximit to the sun, both of which vary predictably over time. Based on the solar data, Archibald predicts cooling - severe cooling, akin to the Little Ice Age.

Before the argument of "petroleum industry propaganda" gets levied against the book, it should be noted that Archibald *also* believes that we have already hit peak oil and that if our civilization attempts to sustain itself on petroleum-based fuel it will find itself in quite a dire situation. He is a huge proponent of alternative energy sources, in particular cutting edge thorium reactors. Of course, since he doesn't think that the global community will do what has to be done, Archibald is extremely pessimistic about what the 21st century holds, hence the name of the book.

bdcjacko:
Wrong. Everyone know science is just a bunch of nerds sitting around drinking things out of test tubes claiming things about the environment and how industry is ruining the world or whatever. The real reason there is a supposed pause is because voodoo witch doctors put a curse on the planet to freeze it. But the curse is no match for the ancient Egyptian curse that will cause the world to ignite by the year 3066 CE.

Want to hear something funny? I read that with the voice of the Ultimate Warrior playing in my head. XD

I believe the 99.99% confidence refers to his statistical analysis, not necessarily his own opinion on the matter... So essentially, he has a really good "p" value.

So ultimately, science has declared we be screwed.

Now I know this sounds like a leap here... But can we work on a direction of instead of saying, we've done ourselves in because we acted too late, to methods of undoing the whole we're screwed factor?

Now let's bare in mind. We could in fact not be screwed. Even according to science. But shouldn't we be looking for methods to be reversing the process instead of constantly re declaring we're done for?

Let's assume you scientists who say we've done ourselves in are in fact completely correct. Why instead of reaffirming how badly we are done, have you not worked to reverse the problem.

Supposedly you almost all universally agree. Shouldn't we be working to methods to fix it now? Or are we now just complacent with world wide death and destruction?

So we slow down our greenhouse gas emission and the greenhouse effects slows down? whats next on the news? water is wet? We have effectively banned the most dangerous gases that eroded ozone and created other problems in the 90s. as old machines with those get retired, the effect of their damage slows down. this is expected. this is why we did it to begin with. if anything, you should call it success.

Remus:
I'm not looking forward to seeing what happens when the effects of the melting icecaps and the grimy surface of what remains really set in.

We already know what wonders avaits us. Giant black holes

hentropy:

Before anyone claims that this lends proof that global warming itself is nothing more than the result of natural fluctuations in climate, Lovejoy's previous paper, which employed the same statistical methodology, "rejected [this hypothesis] with 99.9% confidence."

So you're saying there's a chance?

99.9% confidence is pretty massive as far as statistics go. this is a rare find beside the very obviuos dependancies. the thing is they checked for 99.9%, not for more, so they reported on what they checked. the good thing about science is that there is ALWAYS a chance it can be wrong, and it accepts that. This however should not be confused with "its a chance ergo its all lies". The chance exists if you can prove them wrong, else, they are correct as far as the world is concerned.

Boris Goodenough:
The suns reduced solar activity is one of the reasons. http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn24512-solar-activity-heads-for-lowest-low-in-four-centuries.html

wait what? wasnt the suns activity cycle at its peak last year? or am i mixing it up with solar flair activity?

faefrost:
Or, and this is just a wild assed conjecture on my part, who certainly knows far far less than all of the brilliant scientists competing for federal research welfare, the truth is the same one we have known all along. That man has far far less impact on the climate than basic regular cyclical fluctuations of the Sun. So much less that mans actual impact on climate is below the effective level of perception.

while im not a scientist either, i disagree and provide a counterclaim that earths hot core heat radiation (the thing that does not allow underground to freeze bellow certaindepth and is used for geothermal energy production provides a counterbalance to suns outside heat and makes suns effect less effective than you claim. there is also a thing that eaths core is constantly cooling (very slowly), but the core itself is actually hotter than suns surface, its just that this heat is trapped in the middle of earth and can only go out very slowly.

ultreos2:
But shouldn't we be looking for methods to be reversing the process instead of constantly re declaring we're done for?

if you throw a snowball off a mountain and see it rolling, then you see a town bellow it, do you run after it trying to stop it? no, you warn the town to watch out because your not going to catch that snowball running after it. we have reached a treshold where the effects of global warming is causing other effects of global warming (the methane reserves being released in syberia especially). Its not a question of should we reverse it, but a question of whether we can. and it very much looks like we cant.

Also to actually do something about it we need more than just scientists. we need actual political support for that. and that is nowhere to be found, because thats expenses with no profit, and why would corporations that buy politicians spend money on that right?

humans are extremely shortsighted. the rich will only start caring when their villas on the beach start flooding. and the poor are too poor to do anything about it.

Riff Moonraker:
Sooooo.... anyone that thinks that its something thats natural, he rejects it with 99.9% confidence. I cannot stop laughing at this.... please tell me this was meant as a joke? Really, he rejects it, so that means... we are supposed to buy it? HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA...

His 99.9% confidence doesnt add up to diddly squat for me, and yes, I DO believe its natural. Unless, that is, you WANT to go do the lemming walk off a cliff and subscribe to the whole green scam. Your choice, I suppose. Toooo funny.

I... uh... a lot of times... it seems that pop science articles lose track of the statistics. Which is bad. Because then readers don't get the statistics. Which is also bad. Because science is all about understanding primary research and leveling criticisms at it. But if you don't understand it, you can't exactly level a legitimate critique.

So "99.9% confidence" isn't just Mr. Lovejoy being hearty, laughing it up with his chums with a cup of tea. "Why yes, I AM 99.9% confident."

What is means is that he performed a statistical analysis with a 99.9% confidence interval.

This is what a confidence interval is: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Confidence_interval

The original article is here: http://www.physics.mcgill.ca/~gang/eprints/eprintLovejoy/neweprint/Anthropause.GRL.final.13.6.14bbis.pdf

Now, it seems the statistics he used are ones he has pioneered and published on his own. So we'll have to do some digging.

Here is a description of his method:

http://www.physics.mcgill.ca/~gang/eprints/eprintLovejoy/neweprint/Anthro.climate.dynamics.13.3.14.pdf

Now, a caveat, I am not a climate scientist nor have I been formally trained in the statistics used in this field. But tentatively, it looks like the method he is using assumes that CO2 radiative forcing is an adequate surrogate for the human impacts which were previously estimated using GCM (general circulation models). Which is interesting. So, I mean, if I/you knew enough in the field, it would be hunky-dory to question these assumptions or the rationale for these statistics.

But what I'm trying to make clear is that "99.9%" confidence interval is not just something he pulled out of nowhere, but the result of many years of statistical inquiry. And by addressing the article on those terms. THEN, we progress in science.... Tada.

faefrost:
Or, and this is just a wild assed conjecture on my part, who certainly knows far far less than all of the brilliant scientists competing for federal research welfare, the truth is the same one we have known all along. That man has far far less impact on the climate than basic regular cyclical fluctuations of the Sun. So much less that mans actual impact on climate is below the effective level of perception.

Of course you're right. Because the massive amount of research funding these scientists get greatly outweigh the amount they could get from, say, oil companies to state the opposite. I mean, we know that big business in general and oil companies in particular are a)extremely poor and b)scrupulously honest. These federal research grants also manage to make it to scientists in virtually every country in the world, even countries with entirely different political philosophies. That just goes to show how evil the American government must be, giving massive funding to those rich scientists in those huge mansions in the UK, Japan, China, India, Germany, France, Russia, Sweden, South Africa, I could go on for a long time.

I also thought it was a genius move to pretend they had a president that didn't believe it was actually happening. Masterful misdirection there. With their all powerful influence they've managed to do the same in Australia now, just to throw you off the scent.

Even if you think science has got this wrong, and as you admit, you have no expertise to demonstrate that, the research grants argument is absurd once you give it virtually any thought at all.

Didn't a big volcano erupt in the early 90's? I remember Nate Silver pointing out that statistically over the past hundred years or so it's been going steadily up, but a few events altered the year-to-year numbers.

Either way, denying global warming at this point is starting to just get a little bit silly. Arguing about how much of an effect humans have on it is one thing, arguing about its existence entirely is another.

mrdude2010:

Either way, denying global warming at this point is starting to just get a little bit silly. Arguing about how much of an effect humans have on it is one thing, arguing about its existence entirely is another.

I agree, i think this is the best standpoint to have, from the evidence it does look as if we are having a significant impact on the planets climate however possibly slightly less than expected as natural fluctuations can also enhance or lessen its effects in the short term.

Qizx:

Riff Moonraker:
Sooooo.... anyone that thinks that its something thats natural, he rejects it with 99.9% confidence. I cannot stop laughing at this.... please tell me this was meant as a joke? Really, he rejects it, so that means... we are supposed to buy it? HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA...

His 99.9% confidence doesnt add up to diddly squat for me, and yes, I DO believe its natural. Unless, that is, you WANT to go do the lemming walk off a cliff and subscribe to the whole green scam. Your choice, I suppose. Toooo funny.

Fun fact: Lemmings didn't walk off those cliffs, disney shoved/drove them off the cliffs. So sorry if I don't exactly take your other statement of global warming being a "natural occurrence" as fact. Unless I totally misunderstood what you said, I'm tired and need to get off work.

Sorry, one thing I wasnt really clear on... what I mean by saying I think its natural, isnt saying that I think global warming is natural. I dont believe in the whole global warming thing, at all. I believe there are changes going on around the earth, and that yes... its natural. I also believe that what is more like climate shifting, is something that has been occuring looong before our time, and will continue to do so looong after us. Egypt gets snow for the first time in what... 100 years, and people blame it on GLOBAL WARMING. I question peoples sanity when they suggest silliness like that.

Riff Moonraker:

Qizx:

Riff Moonraker:
Sooooo.... anyone that thinks that its something thats natural, he rejects it with 99.9% confidence. I cannot stop laughing at this.... please tell me this was meant as a joke? Really, he rejects it, so that means... we are supposed to buy it? HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA...

His 99.9% confidence doesnt add up to diddly squat for me, and yes, I DO believe its natural. Unless, that is, you WANT to go do the lemming walk off a cliff and subscribe to the whole green scam. Your choice, I suppose. Toooo funny.

Fun fact: Lemmings didn't walk off those cliffs, disney shoved/drove them off the cliffs. So sorry if I don't exactly take your other statement of global warming being a "natural occurrence" as fact. Unless I totally misunderstood what you said, I'm tired and need to get off work.

Sorry, one thing I wasnt really clear on... what I mean by saying I think its natural, isnt saying that I think global warming is natural. I dont believe in the whole global warming thing, at all. I believe there are changes going on around the earth, and that yes... its natural. I also believe that what is more like climate shifting, is something that has been occuring looong before our time, and will continue to do so looong after us. Egypt gets snow for the first time in what... 100 years, and people blame it on GLOBAL WARMING. I question peoples sanity when they suggest silliness like that.

Yeeeeeah, you should probably read up on global climate change, it's not JUST warming, it's a change that's causing anomalies like that. This is EXACTLY why people have to refer to it now as "climate change" because otherwise people will say "SOMETHING COLD HAPPENED, IT'S OVER!!!"

Global climate change is undeniable, to do so is to spit in the faces of (nearly) every single scientist who studies it, what information do you have that proves them wrong?

Also you didn't answer/mention that you were completely wrong about the lemmings deal. On that note I return to the shadows of lurking, I can't believe I actually got involved in this >.<

vallorn:

Lightknight:

Riff Moonraker:
His 99.9% confidence doesnt add up to diddly squat for me, and yes, I DO believe its natural. Unless, that is, you WANT to go do the lemming walk off a cliff and subscribe to the whole green scam. Your choice, I suppose. Toooo funny.

Pascal's wager has you on the wrong side of the equation. If they're wrong, we get renewable power sources with less pollution. If they're right then we're screwed in a few generations. Not that pascal's wager is all powerful or right. It's just a way to think of it.

Pascal's wager is a logical fallacy.

It's not a fallacy. I mean, it's erroneous to use it to say "Therefore the safest option is the best/right option". Taking it's original use, either God exists or God does not exist. The wager itself and which bet is safest to make doesn't actually impact the truth. But it is a way to look at situations and evaluate them based on outcomes if you're unsure of the truth.

Things can only be fallacies if you're using them to disprove or prove a position in an argument. Like a red herring is a logical fallacy because you're debating something that is unrelated to the topic at hand. Pascal's wager can be used as a red herring (by trying to prove which option is safer as if proving which option is right), but is not itself a red herring.

 

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