Explaining the “pause” in warming has become a “cottage industry” says Ridley:
It is now more than 15 years since global average temperature rose significantly. Indeed, the IPCC chairman Rajendra Pachauri has conceded that the “pause” already may have lasted for 17 years, depending on which data set you look at. A recent study in Nature Climate Change by Francis Zwiers and colleagues of the University of Victoria, British Columbia, found that models have overestimated warming by 100% over the past 20 years.
Explaining this failure is now a cottage industry in climate science. At first, it was hoped that an underestimate of sulfate pollution from industry (which can cool the air by reflecting heat back into space) might explain the pause, but the science has gone the other way—reducing its estimate of sulfate cooling. Now a favorite explanation is that the heat is hiding in the deep ocean. Yet the data to support this thesis come from ocean buoys and deal in hundredths of a degree of temperature change, with a measurement error far larger than that. Moreover, ocean heat uptake has been slowing over the past eight years.
The most plausible explanation has always been that the scientists have simply been wrong — that their flawed models and questionable methodologies gave the wrong answers to legitimate scientific questions. The problem is that change in the consensus won’t come overnight. In the meantime, governments will ignore this gradual walk back by the IPCC and continue to act as if the world will end unless we give them control of the world’s economies.
Others are ignoring the lowered temperature predictions and are latching on to other aspects of the report that feed the hysteria. There so many who have so much invested in the theory of catastrophic climate change that it isn’t likely the meme will disappear any time soon.
But if the IPCC keeps reducing its predictions of rising temperatures, the hysterics will find themselves on the outside looking in.