I'm not going to get into the weeds on this - there are plenty of others doing that.
Yes, some folks argue there is no climate pause. They do so even though the time series that does show a climate pause is one that was used for their alarming pronouncements in the past. At the same time, they changed the name of the threat from "global warming" to "climate change," and the IPCC lowered its lower bound forecast substantially this year."
None of this means there will be no anthropogenic warming. It does show that past forecasts and current ones disagree, which is not surprising in a field where a minimum "climate" interval is considered to be 30 years, and the field is just barely that old.
A meta-lesson is that that the assertions of the climate change alarmists are far from "settled science."
Another meta-lesson is that even scientists (on both sides) can go from science (which is murky in this area) to advocacy.
Another is that scientific truth is not determined by majority vote, and that modern bureaucratic science has perverse incentives which can slow the ultimate convergence towards reality.
Alll of this shows the folly of asserting vast and expensive policy prescriptions based on this weak science. That, and the futility (and folly) of atempting significant change through developed country CO2 emissions reduction, is all I hope to get across in this discourse.
<<On the evidence that the climate pause iis significant:>>
What climate pause? If there were a climate pause then your quote would support the idea that the models are broken. But your assumption that there is a climate pause, whilst repeated ad nauseam across the internet, is simply false.
You can dispute the paper itself all you like – just look at the raw data. In only one of the three datasets is 1998 the hottest year. To draw your conclusion, you need to ignore the other two datasets and then ignore the fact that the signals are noisy – basically you have to differentiate a noisy signal.
I also don't have time to provide sources for everything. The assertion that what I have written is contrary to "mainstream science" is simply not true. *Some* of it is contrary to popular interpretations and advocacy positions, which is very different.
But here's one...
On the evidence that the climate pause iis significant:
""Near-zero and even negative trends are common for intervals of a decade or less in the simulations, due to the model's internal climate variability. The simulations rule out (at the 95% level) zero trends for intervals of15 yr or more, suggesting that an observed absence of warming of this duration is needed to create a discrepancy with the expected present-day warming rate.""
National Climate Data Center: http://www1.ncdc.noaa.gov/pub/data/cmb/bams-sotc/climate-assessment-2008-lo-rez.pdf
This was written in 2008, when the climate pause was only 10-11 years old.
Thanks for a detailed reply, Bert (with links! :-). I haven't got time to read it now, but I agree with your point about tax: we tax the living daylights out of fuel here in the UK and as a consequence our cars are more efficient than those in the US tend to be - and so it doesn't actually cost us any more to drive a mile. My car seats 7 and does 57mpg (though at the moment it reads 54.5mpg, because I have been using it to do field trials and consequently driving in an unusual manner :-).
"You simply assert that the climate is changing at an unprecedented rate. You cite no evidence"
I note you have written thousands of words on this page stating things that are contrary to mainstream science without (as far as I can see) a single piece of evidence. Yet I say something that agrees with mainstream science and you demand evidence. I haven't got time to google now. But if you're as rigorous as you seem to think you are you'll find it easily.
Jackofmanytrades, note that CO2 isn't even the most plentiful or most effective greenhouse gas out there. Turns out, I'm sure you already knew this, that water vapor is. Water vapor content of course would be expected to rise with warming temperatures, but you'll note even NOAA, while it does repeat the orthodoxy, isn't prepared to come to any strong conclusions on some of these other gases:
So in fact, if we assume that CO2 is all there is to worry about, and that deforestation has somehow brought us too close to the edge of natural CO2 sequestration capabilitiers of the ecosystem, then a massive reforestation effort would help. It's that extra 3 percent, some would want us to believe, that we need to re-sequester annually. If that's the case, it doesn't sound beyond the reach of reforestation. (And if not, trees are nice to have anyway.)
This site also raises questions about the orthodoxy:
Bottom line: instead of feeling good just because we can sound negative, I say we plant more trees (and encourage people to ditch their trucks and obese SUVs by attacking them where it hurts: in their wallet).
"There are something like 560 billion tons of living carbon biomass. We are emitting just under 10 billion tons per year. Even if CO2 fertilization trumps desertification, a few percent swing either way in the earth's biomass only offsets a couple year's worth of emissions."
Let's get the numbers right. Several sources available online seem to agree that the annual quantity of CO2 going through the ecosystem is 750 GT. And that what humans contribute to that annual quantity is around 3 percent, 3.1 percent or so. This is annual emissions, not total mass. Let's not mix apples and oranges.
This is the crux of the matter: Why do CO2 levels continue to rise in spite of the fact that plant growth SHOULD be increasing, with CO2 concentrations greater than what is in the atmosphere now? That's the only valid question here. That web site I posted previously
shows that faster plant growth is stimulated in greenhouses from *much* higher levels of CO2 that what we have in the atmosphere now (some plants more than others). Yes, there's a level where CO2 no longer stimulates faster growth, but we aren't even close to that yet.
Some say heat stress, some say lack of rain, no one really knows. Which is why some think that CO2 levels are rising BECAUSE OF warming.
Some claim that the C13/C12 isotope ratio "proves" that all the increase in CO2 is generated by us. And there are detractors for that idea too, having to do with how this ratio is measured:
The bottom line is that the arguments made by doomsdayers always end up being based on the assumption that the ecosystem is open loop, and that it was in "unstable equilibrium" before the Industrial Revolution. I'm using the technical definition of unstable equilibrium, where any slight perturbation causes the equilibirum to be broken. I find that so simplistic that it automatically turns me off. Every time.
Some people seem to enjoy wringing their hands in despair, and thinking that this mere act makes them appear virtuous. Instead, I'd like to propose that if we did some massive reforestation, only good would come of that. For instance, it may restore rain in now-arrid areas. Can't hurt, at any rate, given that we know for sure WE are the ones who cut down the trees. And it would certainly increase the amount of photosynthesis possible. So if we are close to the edge, it would move us away from the edge. AND I'm saying, combine that with increased efficiency, nuclear power, no excuses for obese SUVs and trucks, which has the added benefit of calling our the hypocrites, plus whatever small contribution you might get from wind and solar.
Once again, a full 1/3 of the population of earth is buying up cars and electrical appliances at prodigious rates. Aside from wringing our hands in despair and feeling good about it, what "policies" should we be pushing for?
You simply assert that the climate is changing at an unprecedented rate. You cite no evidence. 1900 is of course relevant, since if the climate was changing rapidly back then, before the bulk of anthropogenic CO2 emissions, then the claim that the rapid change from 1965-1997 as a result of CO2 emissions is harder to suypport.
The failure of the lower atmosphere's temperature to change over 17 years is important because it falsifies all of the climate models which are used to assert that catastrophic warming is near. If the ocean heat capacity is so important (and it is), then either the models failed to take that into account, or they did take it into account. Either way, they're busted. The data showing the climate pause is the same dataset used by climate alarmists to calibrate their models and to assert that catastrophic warming is just around the corner.
The reason for using 17 years is to give the noise time to integrate out. Leading alarmist climatologists, a few years ago, said that a 15 year trend *in global mean temperature* would be convincing.
Ocean heat content is a better indicator of long term warming. Unfortunately, accurate ocean temperature data (top 2000m) just started to become available - the ARGO sensor array has only been fully deployed for 6 years. Also, without verified models that relate ocean thermal storage to sensible weather events, the impact of that warming is unknown.
It is true that there can be several upsides of a warming planet as you mentioned. What is usually missed in these arguments is the speed at which warming is happening and I don't claim this is not debatable but it merits attention. There is very little if any precedent of this speed of warming with 7 billion humans heavily dependent on nature for food, it seems the time we have to adapt to rapid warming is shrinking fast. Adaptation of life over slow climate change is much less painful as it can happen over many many generations and is hardly noticeable but rapid warming is a totally different story. Already the increased droughts and floods (weird weather in general, which though not proven completely linked to climate change, is in line with what is expected of a warming planet) have caused food price spikes (that have allegedly triggered conflicts including Syrian conflict) and if this continues with increasing pace, we are likely to see more stresses in society.
Signs are already there of several positive feedacks in action with negative feedbacks much less impactful than positive feedbacks, e.g the methane hydrates are bubbling up from the oceans with increasing intensity, if this sets into motion, it will be game over. Many people argue that warming has stopped from land temps but the heat/Co2 is getting sequestered into the oceans and this may actually be appearing as the hydrates melting, which could bring us dangerously close to runaway climate change. It seems we are playing ponzi accounting to make ourselves feel good. It would be a tragedy that humanity did not respond in time to at least make an attempt to avert this condition.
2 of your 9 points are false and easily verified as such, which suggests that you are simply looking for evidence to back up a conclusion you've already drawn:
1 - the climate is changing at an unprecented rate. Comparing the rate now to that in 1900 is meaningless: 1900 is well after the start of the Industrial Revolution; it's like claiming that the Dow Jones isn't high today because it was just as high yesterday.
9 - You do well not to claim that "the climate" hasn't changed in the last 15 years like many do, but you're glossing over the fact that the heat capacity of the lower atmosphere is much lower than that of the oceans and land and as a consequence this signal is noisy. But to claim that "global mean surface temperature has not increased in 17 years", you have to ignore the majority of data that contradicts your conclusion, focusing instead on a minority. You then have to misrepresent that minority by thinking that the spike in 1998 is somehow significant. What you're doing is differentiating a noisy signal and frankly, as an engineer, you should know better.