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As unlikely as this may sound, we have lucked out in recent years when it comes to global warming.

The rise in the surface temperature of earth has been markedly slower over the last 15 years than in the 20 years before that. And that lull in warming has occurred even as greenhouse gases have accumulated in the atmosphere at a record pace.

The slowdown is a bit of a mystery to climate scientists. True, the basic theory that predicts a warming of the planet in response to human emissions does not suggest that warming should be smooth and continuous. To the contrary, in a climate system still dominated by natural variability, there is every reason to think the warming will proceed in fits and starts.

Mon Jun 10, 2013 at 11:14 PM PT: Thanks for coming.  I have to get some sleep now.  Catch ya later.

Originally posted to dov12348 on Mon Jun 10, 2013 at 10:39 PM PDT.

Also republished by DK GreenRoots and Climate Change SOS.

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Comment Preferences

  •  The calm before the warm (13+ / 0-)

    I just trademarked that. :)

    I ♥ President Barack Obama.

    by ericlewis0 on Mon Jun 10, 2013 at 10:51:07 PM PDT

  •  Later, in the Same NYT Article (12+ / 0-)

    ... when speculating as to what might happen in the future, the writer suggests

    So, if past is prologue, this current plateau will end at some point, too, and a new era of rapid global warming will begin. That will put extra energy and moisture into the atmosphere that can fuel weather extremes, like heat waves and torrential rains.

    We might one day find ourselves looking back on the crazy weather of the 2010s with a deep yearning for those halcyon days.

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  •  I saw a graph (6+ / 0-)

    linking CFC production and reduction to global warming. It matched CO2 for most of the exponential climb, but began to level off recently.  One doesn't dare hope.

    •  Needless to say, a very controversial claim that (6+ / 0-)

      flies in the face of the overall scientific consensus. But so be it. It will be interesting to see how this holds up, but it sounds as though it's highly speculative, correlative, and that he's making claims that do not bear out causally without much more evidence.

      "Government by organized money is just as dangerous as Government by organized mob." -- Franklin D. Roosevelt

      by Kombema on Mon Jun 10, 2013 at 11:26:39 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  One has to be 50x more skeptical (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        dov12348, WarrenS, sarvanan17, Kombema

        about claims like this, given the billions being spent to prevent action on global warming, and the well-oiled propaganda machine that has infiltrated much of academia.

        •  Agreed. No university, including the U of Waterloo (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          is immune to the influence of big money. Maybe the guy's onto something -- or maybe he's playing fast and loose, and that peer-reviewed journal is a little too eager to publish a controversial contrarian piece.

          The beauty of peer review, of course, is that there will be plenty of scrutiny on this one!

          "Government by organized money is just as dangerous as Government by organized mob." -- Franklin D. Roosevelt

          by Kombema on Tue Jun 11, 2013 at 06:18:16 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  there is your answer in it (10+ / 0-)

    its right in the actually not too bad article.

    So the real question is where all that heat is going, if not to warm the surface. And a prime suspect is the deep ocean. Our measurements there are not good enough to confirm it absolutely, but a growing body of research suggests this may be an important part of the answer.
    as usual this is public debate only now catching up to what scientists discuss for a while now. I think in 2010 it was that I first saw papers adressing this question, from the British Meteo´s (Keenlyside? could misremember). And yes indeed, in the recent abstracts that one can find here and there it looks like there is a common understanding growing that it is the deep-ocean that´s closing the heat budget. A blog I follow just as an example.

    There is another thing in the NYT article.

    We will not know for sure until we send up satellites that can make better measurements of particles in the air.
    that can not be emphasized enough. That is something all politcal sides should be able to agree upon - we need to know whats happening, so the insruments need to be funded.
    •  Given that 90% of the heat is going into oceans, (8+ / 0-)

      it would make perfect sense that much is being stored in the deep ocean, and that we will pay a steep price later when it disrupts the entire oceanic system. In that scary dark train tunnel, the good news is that we can finally see, because of that wonderful light that's coming toward us...

      "Government by organized money is just as dangerous as Government by organized mob." -- Franklin D. Roosevelt

      by Kombema on Mon Jun 10, 2013 at 11:11:26 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I thought the article wasn't horrible... (6+ / 0-)

      ...but it was mighty thin. At the very least he should have noted what you note—there has been an in-depth scientific discussion about this for at least three years.

      Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

      by Meteor Blades on Mon Jun 10, 2013 at 11:59:00 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  It really is horrible. (0+ / 0-)

        1. The premise is wrong; it's still warming.
        2. The NYT has a long history of AGW equivocation; this is another example.
        3.  As the article mentions, 1998 was at the time the record warm year. What they don't mention is that 2005 and 2010 were warmer, but if you start your 15 years in '98, you're getting a distorted picture of the historical trend. I.e.; 1998 was a warm outlier; you can't infer much from even 15 year time frames.
        4. There is solid research that supports that the oceans are where the "missing" heat is going:

        Warming is accelerating

    •  So, the ocean will heat more rapidly? (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      WarrenS, dov12348, marsanges

      Doesn't sound like good news at all.

    •  Which makes the title of this diary a bit off... (0+ / 0-)

      Global warming is continuing apace.  An observably enhanced ENSO cycle is helping transfer more of the global heat into the deeper oceans.  Having the deep ocean as one more reservoir, conveniently isolated from daily contact and without its own specialists, is just a temporary factor.  With only ~10% of the warming going to the atmospheric reservoir, we should be nervous as hell.
      Glad at least a few of these commenters read the real science in addition to the NYT.

      (-7.62,-7.33) Carbon footprint 12.6 metric tons. l'Enfer, c'est les autres.

      by argomd on Tue Jun 11, 2013 at 07:18:30 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  the diary, and the NYT article both (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        argomd, kickbass

        The article does include the 'possibility' of an oceanic heat sink, which has been measured and observed, so really more of an "established fact" than a 'possibility'. But it is buried in the article, while the lede states clear falsehoods.

        1. that warming is slowing; not true. it is affecting the oceans more and the atmosphere slightly less, in some places, for a short time.
        2. that this is a mystery to scientists. No, it isn't. Reading one FooW diary makes it very clear that this phenomenon is happening, is accelerating, and is showing effects worldwide, not least of which is the rapid melting of arctic sea ice from underneath.

        Recommend the diarist heavily edit this piece; it is an accurate account of an inaccurate article, and reaches a flawed conclusion.

        Last full month in which the average daily temperature did not exceed twentieth-century norms: 2/1985 - Harper's Index, 2/2013

        by kamarvt on Tue Jun 11, 2013 at 09:00:46 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Yes, indeed! (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          kamarvt, kickbass

          It's no mystery to >95% of climate scientists, if I read the literature correctly.  Have given up on NYT science over the last few months in favor of original source material.

          What's worrying is that too many of the comments to this diary were credulous.  Thanks for stating the facts so clearly.

          (-7.62,-7.33) Carbon footprint 12.6 metric tons. l'Enfer, c'est les autres.

          by argomd on Tue Jun 11, 2013 at 02:57:10 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  not so interesting (8+ / 0-)
    The World Meteorological Organization’s Statement on the Status of the Global Climate says that 2012 joined the ten previous years as one of the warmest — at ninth place — on record despite the cooling influence of a La Niña episode early in the year.

    The 2012 global land and ocean surface temperature during January–December 2012 is estimated to be 0.45°C (±0.11°C) above the 1961–1990 average of 14.0°C. This is the ninth warmest year since records began in 1850 and the 27th consecutive year that the global land and ocean temperatures were above the 1961–1990 average, according to the statement. The years 2001–2012 were all among the top 13 warmest years on record.

    The cold passion for truth hunts in no pack. -Robinson Jeffers

    by Laurence Lewis on Mon Jun 10, 2013 at 11:18:41 PM PDT

    •  Well, mostly interesting in the sense that the (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Laurence Lewis, dov12348, WarrenS

      atmospheric warming hasn't been a completely linear track with the CO2 output. The heat's going somewhere, and we'll just "buy" now and pay later.

      However, we expect ocean heat uptake efficiency to decrease in a warming world, so unless we're missing something, surface warming may soon return with a vengeance.  Consistent with comments made by Virginie Guemas and Kevin Trenberth, Watanabe et al. conclude,

          "Therefore, unless models miss effects of other forcing agents, it is likely that this [less efficient ocean heat uptake] process will occur and act to accelerate surface warming in coming decades."

      "Government by organized money is just as dangerous as Government by organized mob." -- Franklin D. Roosevelt

      by Kombema on Mon Jun 10, 2013 at 11:40:11 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Also see (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    dov12348, WarrenS

    "If Wall Street paid a tax on every “game” they run, we would get enough revenue to run the government on." ~ Will Rogers

    by Lefty Coaster on Tue Jun 11, 2013 at 12:20:35 AM PDT

  •  Globl warming alarmists are like the folk (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    checking out of the Waffle House on Friday at 03;00.

    "It was great talking to you."


  •  Robert Redford pronounces weather is wacky, (0+ / 0-)

    and time is now for President to expend political capital to address climate change. Asking what is the presidency for, Redford calls for Obama "to move beyond intellectual acknowledgment of the problem toward measurable steps that solve the environmental challenge of our time."

    I for one, believe now that Double R is ringing the bell and sounding the sirens, that the solution can't be far off.

    "If the past sits in judgment on the present, the future will be lost." Winston Churchill

    by Kvetchnrelease on Tue Jun 11, 2013 at 05:49:44 AM PDT

  •  "Science" article that quotes no actual scientists (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Glen The Plumber, kamarvt, AoT

    Most of the news that has involved quotes from actual scientists have not been so positive about their assessments.  in fact, many are alarmed at how fast the Arctic Ice is melting.  Scientists always knew that the biological systems have sinks that can absorb some of the heat and that there are forces that can temper temperatures, such as El Nino and CFCs, but to cite a NYTimes article as definitive evidence of a not so warming trend?  I think I'll wait till the real scientists weigh in.

    The only thing we have to fear is fear itself - FDR. Obama Nation. -6.13 -6.15

    by ecostar on Tue Jun 11, 2013 at 07:32:07 AM PDT

    •  they have. The article is misleading. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      AoT, kickbass

      contains false information. see my comment above.

      Last full month in which the average daily temperature did not exceed twentieth-century norms: 2/1985 - Harper's Index, 2/2013

      by kamarvt on Tue Jun 11, 2013 at 09:03:41 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  If the NYT was your only source... (0+ / 0-)

        You'd be confused about what the overwhelming majority of reputable climate sceintists think.
        Their climate/AGW coverage has been awful for at least a decade....signed off on by Exxon PR (it seems).

        Meteor Blades has it quite wrong when he says:
        "It wasn't horrible" re: this crap.


        •  I'm comparing it to what both previous... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          ...stories have said and other coverage (WaPo, for example). So, perhaps I should have said, not as horrible as it could have been given past coverage. But given the right-wing blogosphere's response to the story, you're right to blast it.

          My biggest complaint with the story is that it doesn't do justice to the scientific studies that have been going on for years, just grazes them and thus gives the

          As for the scientific consensus regarding deep ocean warming, we're closer than a couple of years ago on that, but it's still only persuasive, not wholly conclusive. I've read Balmaseda, Trenberth and Källén's study, the most recent and most persuasive. But note what they [conclude

          The deep ocean has continued to warm, while the upper 300 m OHC appears to have stabilized. The differences in recent trends among the different ocean layers are profound. The small warming in the upper 300 m is belied by the continuing warming for the ocean as a whole, with considerable warming occurring below 700 m. However, this raises the question of whether this result is simply because of the new Argo observing system? The results shown here suggest otherwise, although Argo clearly is vitally important quantitatively. Instead changes in surface winds play a major role, and although the exact nature of the wind influence still needs to be understood, the changes are consistent with the intensification of the trades in subtropical gyres. Another supporting factor is the uniqueness of the radiative forcing associated with global warming. [17]

          The magnitude of the warming trend is consistent with observational estimates, being equivalent to an average 0.470.03 W m–2 for the period 1975–2009. There is large decadal variability in the heat uptake, the latest decade being significantly higher (1.190.11 W m–2) than the preceding record. Globally this corresponds to 0.84 W m–2, consistent with earlier estimates [Trenberth et al., 2009]. In an observing system experiment where Argo is withdrawn, the ocean heating for the last decade is reduced (0.820.10 W m–2), but is still significantly higher than in previous decades. The estimation shows depths below 700 m becoming much more strongly involved in the heat uptake after 1998, and subsequently accounting for about 30% of the ocean warming. [18]

          The analysis of ORAS4 OHC shows some interesting signals. In particular, the prolonged and intense cooling events during the 1980s and 1990s are not as distinct in other observation-only analyses [BMW13], and the rapid involvement of the deep ocean starting around the 1998–1999 La Niña needs further investigation. Sensitivity experiments indicate that these features are robust, and suggest that changes in the atmospheric circulation play an important role in the heat uptake. Detecting, understanding and modeling the processes that lead to the vertical distribution of heat
          within the ocean is a key for the correct initialization of
          decadal predictions, because the trends in forecasts of the
          SST will likely depend on whether the ocean is in a recharge (low stratification) or discharge (high stratification) mode.

          Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

          by Meteor Blades on Wed Jun 12, 2013 at 11:16:23 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

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