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A new paper in Nature Geoscience looks at the potential causes of the recent slowdown in global mean surface warming and identifies factors that, when combined, reconcile the long-term climate model projections with the observed short-term weather trends.

The El Niño/Southern Oscillation is responsible for a cooling trend of about –0.06°C, while aerosols and reduced solar irradiance cause a slightly bigger drop of –0.07°C. What this means, the abstract concludes, is that "there is little evidence for a systematic overestimation of the temperature response to increasing atmospheric CO2 concentrations in the CMIP5 ensemble."

In other words, once you account for observed natural variability, climate models are doing just fine.

Originally posted to Climate Hawks on Tue Aug 19, 2014 at 06:58 AM PDT.

Also republished by SciTech and Science Matters.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Other research has shown that model runs (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Most Awesome Nana, Ashaman

    that happen to match the real life el nino cycle almost perfectly match the real life temperatures.

  •  aerosol increases are primarily Asian smog (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Nowhere Man, Most Awesome Nana

    There's nothing natural about the aerosol caused cooling. They didn't get into the air from volcanic eruptions.

    “Industry does everything they can and gets away with it almost all the time, whether it’s the coal industry, not the subject of this hearing, or water or whatever. They will cut corners, and they will get away with it. " Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D, WVa

    by FishOutofWater on Tue Aug 19, 2014 at 07:51:29 AM PDT

  •  Climate sensitivity (0+ / 0-)

    The models predicted too much warming because natural negative feedback's were not properly taken into account. The 60 year solar maximum that ended in 2005 combined with the warm phase of the PDO and Super El Nino of 1998 were positive feedback's that models also underestimated and contributed to more heat than previous models accounted for. Climate scientists are now acknowledging this.

     In order to get CO2's true climate sensitivity natural variation must be given greater weight according to what has empirically been observed. Models that predicted too much warming are still out of touch with real world measurements. Including cyclical natural variation into models will bring their predictions closer to reality.

    •  huh? (0+ / 0-)

      Most of the climate models predicted too LITTLE warming. The actual effects have been far greater and more rapid than predicted by most of the models.

      In the end, reality always wins.

      by Lenny Flank on Wed Aug 20, 2014 at 05:29:23 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Reality always wins (0+ / 0-)

        I don't know how you gather information? 95% of climate model predictions have overshot what has been observed.

        The article is saying the models would be correct if you ignore what has occurred in the real world.

        Real world measurements are empirical proof that climate model output is erroneous and needs to be adjusted to account for all the feedback's in the system.

        If the negative feedback's end and warming resumes it must warm from the observed temperature. It can't magically jump to the imaginary trend line the models predicted.

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