As the faithful gather around their capering shamans in Paris for the New Superstition’s annual festival of worship, the Pause lengthens yet again. One-third of Man’s entire influence on climate since the Industrial Revolution has occurred since February 1997. Yet the 225 months since then show no global warming at all (Fig. 1). With this month’s RSS temperature record, the Pause beats last month’s record and now stands at 18 years 9 months.
Figure 1. The least-squares linear-regression trend on the RSS satellite monthly global mean surface temperature anomaly dataset shows no global warming for 18 years 9 months since February 1997, though one-third of all anthropogenic forcings have occurred during the period of the Pause.
The accidental delegate from Burma provoked shrieks of fury from the congregation during the final benediction in Doha three years ago, when he said the Pause had endured for 16 years. Now, almost three years later, the Pause is almost three years longer.
It is worth understanding just how surprised the modelers ought to be by the persistence of the Pause. NOAA, in a very rare fit of honesty, admitted in its 2008 State of the Climate report that 15 years or more without global warming would demonstrate a discrepancy between prediction and observation. The reason for NOAA’s statement is that there is supposed to be a sharp and significant instantaneous response to a radiative forcing such as adding CO2 to the air.
The steepness of this predicted response can be seen in Fig. 1a, which is based on a paper on temperature feedbacks by Professor Richard Lindzen’s former student Professor Gerard Roe in 2009. The graph of Roe’s model output shows that the initial expected response to a forcing is supposed to be an immediate and rapid warming. But, despite the very substantial forcings in the 18 years 9 months since February 1997, not a flicker of warming has resulted.