Global Warming Pause Extends Underwhelming Warming

Global Warming Pause Extends Underwhelming Warming
August 8, 2014

James M. Taylor

James M. Taylor is senior fellow for environment and energy policy at The Heartland Institute.... (read full bio)

Climate Change Weekly #134

With global warming essentially paused for the past 17 years, much has been written and argued, from all sides in the global warming debate, about the meaning of the ongoing pause. Is a 17-year pause significant? Is a pause even occurring? Does the pause signal a longer-term halt to global warming or even a long-term cooling trend? Would a resumption of global warming to pre-pause rates end the global warming debate?

A look at recent temperatures and their appropriate context provides helpful meaning to the much-discussed global warming pause.

If we choose a starting point of mid-1998, the planet has cooled during the past 16 years. If we choose a starting point of late 1997 or early 1999, temperatures have been flat during the past 17 and 15 years. Examining the totality of the 35-year temperature record, we see approximately 1/3 of 1 degree Celsius warming during the period. Accordingly, global warming has occurred at a pace of approximately 1 degree Celsius per century over the duration of the satellite record.

So what can we glean from the temperature data? Whether the global temperature pause continues or not, temperatures have risen much more slowly than predicted by United Nations’ computer model. Even before the recent global warming pause, temperatures were warming at a relatively modest pace. The ongoing global warming pause is rendering the longer-term pace of warming still more modest.

Broom Hilda by Russell Myers

IPCC computer models dating from 1990 through the present have consistently predicted at least 2.4 degrees of global warming per century. Such warming would require approximately 0.24 degrees Celsius per decade, for which we should see at least 0.80 degrees Celsius warming since 1979. However, real-world warming since 1979 is occurring at less than half that pace. And there has been no real-world warming during the past 17 years.

Pulling this all together, we can reach the following conclusions:

  • The global warming pause is real.
  • The global warming pause is significant.
  • The global warming pause is not likely to be permanent.
  • A future resumption of global warming at pre-pause rates – or even modestly accelerated rates – would not validate IPCC global warming predictions, and would instead continue to undermine the IPCC’s predictions of very rapid twenty-first century global warming.
  • The most meaningful aspect of the global warming pause isn’t that temperatures have flattened for 17 years, but rather that the global warming pause extends and solidifies the longer-term record of smaller-than-predicted global temperature rise.



Global warming to shrink oceanic dead zones … Retreating glaciers reveal warmer climate 4,000 years ago … Billionaire’s club controls EPA … Charlie Crist flies to climate event in polluter’s private jet … Death Valley sets cool record, 15 degrees below previous record … Global warming linked to angry outbursts, profanity


Global warming should increase oxygenation of oceanic low-oxygen “dead zones,” climate modelers and oceanographers at the University of Washington report in a peer-reviewed study. The finding contradicts alarmist predictions that global warming would expand the dead zones. According to the scientists, global warming will negatively impact tropical bacteria that deplete oxygen in the dead zones. As global warming continues, the bacteria will suffer and the dead zones will shrink.

SOURCE: University of Washington


Retreating glaciers in the Swiss Alps reveal areas currently entombed under glacial ice were covered with forests 4,000 years ago. The discovery is strong evidence that temperatures 4,000 years ago were warmer than our modern warm period. Since reporting the discovery, Swiss paleoclimatologist Christian Schluchter has been viciously attacked and ostracized by alarmist scientists.

SOURCE: Watts Up With That?


Global warming activists Tom Steyer, Hank Paulson, and a small “club of billionaires” are unduly influencing the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and have hijacked EPA for their own global warming activism, a U.S. Senate report concludes. The report notes environmental activists who formerly worked for groups funded by the billionaires have attained key positions in EPA that enable them to implement extremist agendas. After gaining power and authority in EPA, the activists steer taxpayer funding back to the billionaires’ environmental activist groups.

SOURCE: U.S. Senate Committee on Environment & Public Works


Global warming activist and Florida gubernatorial candidate Charlie Crist flew to a global warming press conference in a private jet owned by a contractor who has been repeatedly fined for unlawful pollution. Crist flew aboard a private jet owned by James Finch to avoid driving from Tampa to Tallahassee. Crist scheduled the press conference in Tallahassee even though media were available in Tampa to cover the press conference. Crist has repeatedly criticized incumbent Gov. Rick Scott for allegedly not doing enough to combat global warming. Finch’s company paid fines to the Florida Department of Environmental Protection for unlawfully polluting Florida waters.

SOURCE: Miami Herald


Death Valley shattered its all-time record for coolest August 3 high temperature in history. Remarkably, Death Valley was a full 15 degrees cooler than its previous coolest August 3. The high temperature at Death Valley reached only 89 degrees, 33 degrees cooler than normal for August 3 and 15 degrees cooler than the previous record minimum high temperature of 104 degrees.

SOURCE: Environment & Climate News


CNN news anchor Bill Weir took to his Twitter account to launch a profane attack against global warming skeptics. Angered by people joking about Al Gore and Gore’s Climate Reality Project protesting global warming during unusually cool weather, Weir called people skeptical of the asserted global warming crisis “fucktards” and berated them for their skepticism. CNN’s audience continues to shrink.

SOURCE: Environment & Climate News

James M. Taylor

James M. Taylor is senior fellow for environment and energy policy at The Heartland Institute.... (read full bio)