Climate scientists admit: Global warming has, in fact, slowed

Climate scientists are now admitting there has been a “pause” in global warming over the last 15 years. After being puzzled by the trend for years, it appears as though a new study has determined the cause of the slowdown. A study published in this week’s Science claims the Atlantic Ocean is to blame for the missing heat.

Tung and Xianyao Chen at Ocean University of China in Qingdao are responsible for this new data, which apparently shows a cyclical warming trend.

According to Science:

A vacillating global heat sink at intermediate ocean depths is associated with different climate regimes of surface warming under anthropogenic forcing: The latter part of the 20th century saw rapid global warming as more heat stayed near the surface. In the 21st century, surface warming slowed as more heat moved into deeper oceans. In situ and reanalyzed data are used to trace the pathways of ocean heat uptake. In addition to the shallow La Niña–like patterns in the Pacific that were the previous focus, we found that the slowdown is mainly caused by heat transported to deeper layers in the Atlantic and the Southern oceans, initiated by a recurrent salinity anomaly in the subpolar North Atlantic. Cooling periods associated with the latter deeper heat-sequestration mechanism historically lasted 20 to 35 years.

“Now, the article says at first this was a blip, then a trend, then a puzzle for the climate science community. I mean, how could it be a puzzle,” Pat asked on radio this morning. “These guys [claim to] know everything. We’re supposed to buy – hook, line, and sinker – absolutely every stinking thing they say. How can it be a puzzle to them? Are there things they don’t know?”

According to National Geographic, not all scientists are onboard with the new findings. Kevin Trenberth, a researcher at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) in Boulder, Colorado, in an email agrees there is “some heat going into the Atlantic.” But he disagrees with how it got there.

National Geographic reports:

Trenberth argues that processes in the Pacific Ocean drive changes in the North Atlantic current. The same basic mechanism that may drive heat into the Pacific—intense trade winds that pile up warm water in the western Pacific—has large ripple effects on the atmosphere.

Those ripples influence jet streams, or currents of air flowing through the atmosphere, across the U.S., and over the North Atlantic Ocean. And those atmospheric currents can drive changes in ocean currents.

Regardless of how the heat got there, you can rest assured knowing this cycle of slowed warming will soon end.

In an email to National Geographic, Gerald Meehl, a senior scientist at NCAR, said it is important to remember this pause in global warming doesn’t mean climate change doesn’t exist. “Global warming hasn’t stopped,” he said. “It has temporarily shifted to the subsurface ocean.”

Pat, however, was not convinced.

“This is why we have cyclical weather. This is why the so-called deniers have been saying this is not an issue,” Pat concluded. “This is a massive, massive hoax to spend trillions of dollars trying to fix a problem that naturally occurs and will naturally be taken care of.”

Listen to today’s radio show below:

  • tonybigs

    Oh oh, does that mean we’re heading into “global freezing”? Time to pump CO2 into the atmosphere, thank you China!

  • landofaahs

    They would tell you that global warming has slowed because Obama’s economy sucks so bad that people can’t afford gas for their cars and other carbon products. That’s how they would spin it

  • AirBaron

    Bottom line is the Earth is an ecosystem. When things heat up the ecosystem finds a way to cool things down. Been going on for eons. The climate change nonsense is simply a scam for the ecofascists to fatten the wallets of the 1% to the detriment of the rest of the world.

    • rmetler

      that makes absolutely no sense. the earth will survive, the question is whether or not the inhabitants will. Heat/energy doesn’t just disappear – the oceans acting as a heat sync means that the energy is being stored, not dissipated (closed system, think back to chemistry/physics). This is likely to cause shifts in local salinity gradients in the oceans thus the way the water flows, which disrupts this ecosystem or ‘natural cycle’ you are referring to. Once the ‘micro-cycle’, of our lifespan, is disrupted, a ‘macro-cycle’ in which things have to go through massive climate fluctuations before restabilizing is very likely occur.

      There is so much scientific evidence for this it is absurd to pretend otherwise. Any scientifically literate person understand this. Glenn Beck does not know what he is talking about. He does not do his homework. He thought that environmentalists getting stuck in arctic ice serves as evidence for global warming being a total hoax. This displays a vast misunderstanding of the issue. Pseudoscience.

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  • peoplearenodamngood

    so what happens when the oceans can’t absorb more heat or Co2. the expectation that scientists understand completely our global system is crap. i am a payperson but i work for these people and not one of them I know claim to have THE answer. the 7 day weather forecast has improved greatly over the past 10+ years. I for one want them to keep trying to understand global climate as what happens in one area affects the others. what seems to be missing from the conversation is the decrease in useable water all over the planet for agriculture and drinking. google water wars in just the us. desalinazation is not an affordable option now or over the long- term.

  • CrazyEddy

    There are three crucial elements involved in climate change. They are in no particular order solar, planetary and orbital dynamics. The sun supplies most of the heat energy available at least in the inner solar system so clearly the average temperature of any planet will vary with its distance from the sun. Each planet has or theoretically at least has had a molten core that contributes to its average temperature and in each case that core is a remnant, at least among the rocky planets, of its formation and has and will continue to cool over time. In addition, the tilt of the planet’s axis serves to localize the effects of the sun’s radiation which explains seasonal variations as the ends of the planet’s axis move relatively nearer and further from the sun as the planet orbits while of course the planet itself moves nearer or further from the sun in concert. None of these crucial elements is currently available to human meddling. Naturally enough relative amounts of atmospheric gasses vary, sometimes one way and sometimes another, with temperature variations within the atmosphere and at the earth’s surface but there is no conclusive evidence of any reliable relationship anymore than there is any conclusive, or even reliable, evidence of human causation. After all, the planet’s climates and temperatures varied for literally billions of years before mankind walked the earth and the variations have been far greater than anything we have seen. Remember, the earth was once a ball of molten rock and metals from which the moon was made as its companion and just a few hundred million years ago it was cover in ice sheets from pole to pole. One of the things these two phenomena, the cooling of the surface and the beginnings and ends of ice ages, have in common is the complete absence of mankind and his industry and technology. If such a catastrophe occurs again it will be industry and technology that keeps us alive through it and if we are determined and courageous enough it will be industry and technology that help us survive the sun’s expansion into its red dwarf phase in a few million years..
    Support your favorite Anthropogenic Climate Change hustler at you own risk.

    • peoplearenodamngood

      You’re probably way smarter than me – I’m just a paper pusher in a science college for the past 30+ years. However part of my job involves proofreading publications about the broad range of science we do and I have picked up a thing or two because I find it all fascinating and do some reading on the side.

      The Earth’s magnetic fields don’t just act as a shield against space and solar radiation, they also help moderate the Earth’s climate. Scientists speculate (that’s what every field of science does – speculate) this shift in the magnetic poles could very well be a factor in the climate change (NOT global warming, mind you) we have been experiencing. It also bugs me you paint climate scientists as hacks. Like every field, these people advance in their careers by advancing their science, and they are in hot competition with every other scientist to do so. I wish Bat Masterson would have written out the gist of the site he refers to which was this:
      “In 2012 National Science Board member James Lawrence Powell investigated the peer-reviewed literature (this is where scientists duke it out with each on the efficacy of their findings) published about climate change and found that out of 13,950 articles, 13,926 supported the reality of global warming. Then he looked at peer-reviewed articles published between November 2012 and December 2013 and out of 2,258 articles (with 9,136 authors), only one explicitly rejected global warming. If there were solid evidence that global warming didn’t exist, or that CO2 emissions weren’t the culprit, there would be papers in the journals about it. Lots of them.” I submit to you, surely scientists denying climate change would be getting rich on funding from those industries that are doomed to suffer the policy directions of this administration. Like every thing else, our citizens need to try to understand what our scientists are trying to tell us – it’s not that hard – I have no science background whatsoever but I certainly know science is not static.
      You offer primordial building blocks of planet formation as an explanation for current climate phenomena on Earth?? That’s way too simplistic dude!! In no particular order: the planets in JUST our solar system differ widely; some are “rock”, some are “ice”, some are “gas,” and their tilts and magnetic fields are no where near the same. Plus we are on a LIVING planet (carbon cycling, CO2 ups and own and all that stuff). Our atmosphere has a tremendous affect on its shape, its rotation, and its gravitational pull. Given what you said, I would assume you know our magnetic poles have shifted about every 200,000-300,00 years over the past 20 million years, the last one occurring 780,000 years ago. We’re long overdue for the next one and measurements show it is on the move again, with some speed in just the last few decades (40/miles/year).
      Personally, I think the EPA is out of control and I don’t support measures that cut off our nose to spite out face. We can address our energy problems but only over a good long period of time so we don’t destroy our current economic engines. And I agree, hope and courage are everything, but faith in our ingenuity is not sitting around on our thumbs ignoring current science in the meantime.

      • Paul Hayward

        There is no doubt that Climate Change predates Mankind… and the evidence for that is overwhelming. Concentrations of oxygen and carbon dioxide have fluctuated widely in the past and Both have been higher in the past than in present times…. AND both are thought to have been modified by populations of life forms , such as plants and algae emitting great amounts of oxygen while enjoying high concentrations of CO2 in the ancient atmosphere(s). While Technology can claim responsibility for releasing vast amounts of toxins into our environment, (which is where our first responsibility to rectify should be placed, possibly with widespread agreement) and Technology has resulted in the polluting and acidification of our Oceans, (which may hold more dire implications for our future than simple warming or cooling) Science still affords no reliable insight as to the mechanisms for absorption and release of CO2 and methane from our oceans – which may be tremendously significant in comparison to mankind’s accumulating effects. Science, for lack of historical data – currently cannot account for ONGOING normal cyclical changes such as the aforementioned changes in Earth’s magnetic fields, the Great Year Cycle, OR fluctuations in Solar Cycles!! We must call into question studies and peer review that is funded by entities that may have an agenda to promote, or that view these events from a narrow perceptive. I am personally baffled by the singular focus on CO2, with little mention of methane – when methane is known to exceed one third of worldwide atmospheric emissions AND is known to be 23 times more reactive with the protective elements of Earths atmosphere than CO2. Why this lopsided focus?? I must conclude that the taxation of swamps – and herd animals such as wildebeests and buffalo (major contributors of methane) may prove infeasible… and further conclude that any approach that is not All Encompassing will bear insignificant results. My observation would simply be that with human nature as we know it (which may be the ONLY thing that remains unchanged) ANY carbon tax imposed – will not only be a burden born mostly by those who cannot afford it, but will soon become a bureaucratic “layer of fat” to be skimmed, manipulated, bribed, coerced and stolen by those with the power to do so. It is a patently BAD idea. Sadly, it would only take one large volcanic episode on the level of Krakatoa (thought to occur MUCH more frequently than ice ages) to cause Everyone to Pray for Global Warming…

        • peoplearenodamngood

          I think I get it and applaud what you’re saying, especially pollution of our air and oceans, and mistrust of the motives of policy makers in Washington. I read of a farmer (beef, pork or both) that is using methane as his fuel source to run his farm and met a scientist/entrepreneur who seems very close to building a much bigger contraption that coverts methane into fuel with no residual stuff released into the atmosphere. I can’t comment on the focus on CO2 but can’t wait to ask exactly why. I thought we had carbon records going back to 650,000 years from ice cores. However, no way can I carry on an intelligent conversation about the fluctuations although some explanations have been offered. The climate scientists I work around here are focused on adapting to (NOT mitigation of) current conditions but to do so need to account for all the stuff in the atmosphere as that regards circulation/heat and what moisture will fall from the sky and where. In my state it is folly to try to address fallout by the “meat growing” industry, especially chicken farmers. Ditto for excess nitrogen into the waterways from crops. But at the same time, there are a lot of farmers that understand the status quo will hurt them in the end and are more willing to work with scientists to keep their operations viable. In the meantime someone has done a good job of convincing the masses (by party line) to reject out of hand what we think we know simply because it will hurt their pocketbooks – not a good enough reason. I would feel more comfortable were they to ask questions and I almost never see that. My point about scientists is that they almost seem haunted, tormented even, by the need to know why things work as they do. I don’t find them to be motivated by money, they work like slaves, and I don’t want that to stop. Industry funded research might help direct the focus of climate research but it seems non-existent, I suspect because it is very, very expensive. This one guy has a “predictive” model that so closely mirrors observations it gives me great hope, but it costs $1 mil for one basic run. The more physics he includes, the more expensive the run. May I ask where you got your information on methane emissions? I want to ask about that too. Drug research is funded by drug companies – does that make the drugs more trustworthy?

      • russellmuscle1

        The reason for people’s attitude on climate change has been the politization and polarization of the issue. People who question or have difficulty understanding climate change receive a barrage of insult and fury. People and families, like mine, are blatantly used as political sacrifice and discarded as a necessary casualty. My husband is a coal miner, we live in a town that was settled for the sole purpose of coal mining. So in other words it’s like banning fishing in a fishing village or movies in California. It’s hard for me to explain what it’s like to grow up in a place where a young man straight out of school can make 60k or more a year, thinking everything is fine just to suddenly have many people in your the country you love treat you as an enemy. Not only are we the enemy but we are ignorant trash, some feel a certain animosity to the point it seems like not only do they not care….it would actually make them happy to see us suffer. Its not like finding a new job, it’s different. This is the fall of an industry. So, the sum of your experience, your knowledge, your education, the days who went to work with a stomach virus, the years of breaking yourself down…..it means nothing. You are back to sqaure one and we have to look at our daughter and wonder if she will have to live a childhood of poverty. It’s so scary, I can’t even tell you. I have been living with this fear and hurt for years. We have a game plan but I worry about my town and my state. To add insult to injury, coal mining is still profitable….it’s just that for some reason most of the focus of the wrath has mostly been on Appalachia. This is were I think the inability to really try to understand the problem comes from…experiences such as ours. You don’t really feel like hearing somebody out when they treat you as though you are either the enemy, or simply too stupid to know what’s good for you in the face of losing everything you have worked for. I don’t hang onto false hope and I know that the industry, at least where I’m from, is going to be a thing of the past. I know that its only natural for us to find better, cleaner ways of doing things. You seem like an understanding and reasonable person and I simply wanted to try to put you in the shoes of somebody like me. This is how we grew up, the coal mines always being there. The most ironic thing? Despite our mining this place is lush and green, filled with the sounds of animals. In the past month I have rescued a hawk, a chipmunk, a salamander, seen deer, avoided a bear, dodged squirrels, heard of recent mountain lion encounters…..lol. Nature is certainly a force here, but it’s those who live in urban areas and must go to a zoo to see the animals that attack us the most. I understand and sympathize with wanting to care for the earth, but the venom and hatred has bred hatred in my heart as well. Thank you for reading, sorry it was a novel.

        • the one

          I wouldn’t count coal out until a suitable alternative is found. It’s abundance and ease of extraction makes it too attractive to abandon with ease… I understand how some will throw vitriolic attacks at those involved in any industry they see as a threat to what they hold dear. It is really intolerance from those who preach tolerance for their pet ideologies. I hope your family can make the adjustments for their livelihood.

          Peace,

        • peoplearenodamngood

          Your story is heartbreaking. People write about the conditions in Appalachia but I’ve never seen a first-hand account. As horrible as your story is, I m glad to have had benefit of you telling me. I think what is in you heart is warranted.

          In my gut I’ve never liked government bailouts of banks, the auto industry, etc. and I don’t like the subsidies going to alternative solar/wind/fuel industries either – I think they stifle our inborn ability to overcome challenges with the innovative spirit that has always been America. But what is really repulsive is for our government to decimate an industry in a relatively small area of the country without offering any recourse or relief for The People impacted. (Not that the government is any good in truly helping anyone or anything.) At minimum the coal industry should have been bailed out with funds to tide them over, or better, pay for retrofitting. I hope it makes your heart a little lighter to see that everyone here is not in lockstep with the nutjobs in Washington. I love nature more than anything and I hope you don’t have to leave your mountain. I don’t pray but you are in my heart and in my head.

  • Bat Masterson

    “The basic science of global warming is independent of party line. It doesn’t care if you’re left, right, black, white, straight, gay, pro-gun, pro-abortion rights, pro-GMO, or pro-vaccine. It’s real, and it affects all of us. Mission No. 1 is to get people to understand this, and then to get them to elect politicians who do as well.”
    https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&source=web&rct=j&ei=9yf5U56jJYW4ogSXxYGgDQ&url=http://www.slate.com/blogs/bad_astronomy/2014/01/14/climate_change_another_study_shows_they_don_t_publish_actual_papers.html&cd=5&ved=0CCgQFjAE&usg=AFQjCNGt_XhGyJ10O9ui1dQOPm7q_Ap0aw&sig2=Boy-5x8Zr6O9PdD0JCljyw

    • peoplearenodamngood

      you got me going and I hope i didn’t dillute your point which i took to be that we need to break out from party lines and push more or other buttons to get answers.

  • ArthurDBusch

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  • the one

    Here we go again. Let’s come up with some more BS to explain why the previous models are a total fail. I just want to see even one empirical experiment that demonstrates any ability of CO2 to trap heat by any means. I will not base my life style or living habits on a consensus or popular theory. I need hard facts to make proper judgements about such serious matters.

    • peoplearenodamngood

      you’re right – this is serious stuff. I am going to try to get you an answer, should there be one – hard facts when it comes to physics is difficult – when I go back to work on Weds. yea! citizen-based science, i’m so damned excited.

      • the one

        I will, patiently await your reply. I can find nothing that supports this theory anywhere. I would seem to be another consensus thing not an actual finding.
        Please inform me when you find anything resembling an actual indication of heat trapping due to CO2 that is not a simple supposition…

        • peoplearenodamngood

          will asap – couldn’t go back to work today – likely stuck at home rest of week. did talk with boss and cleared to pursue. these guys are profs too and like to teach (good ones anyway). will find one willing to invest some time should answers lead to more questions/explanation.

          • the one

            Thank you,

        • peoplearenodamngood

          Hey. Got a response from an atmospheric chemist. “The heat trapping abilities of CO2 and other green house gasses are basic physics. They are transparent toUV/visible radiation but opaque in the IR. The sun’s peak emission is in the visible and the earth’s in the IR. This is the result of ideal black body radiation physics. All this is easy to demonstrate in the lab.” I did not find that helpful at all but it did allow me to figure out the right words to search for what I think you want. (When I’m face to face with these professors I have the benefit of stopping them when they’re talking over my head or don’t understand my question so I hope you’ll excuse him – my request was in writing and had he gone deeper in person I probably wouldn’t be able to coherently spit it all back at you anyway.)

          (1) Some kid did a science fair experiment do demonstrate CO2 heat trapping abilities which drew some attention. In this link https://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20131212182918AAF7dvA there is some back and forth on its validity (hot tempers on a hot topic) but please scroll down to Mythbusters where they invited the same kid to watch a more sophisticated version of his experiment.

          (2) Since naturally occurring CO2 emissions into the atmosphere and “staying” there have been an important (though it seems not the most important) source of heat to sustain life as we know it (the sun is not enough), in this link http://www.learner.org/courses/envsci/unit/pdfs/unit2.pdf the whole earth system is explained. It’s a little long (even ignoring the pictures/graphs), the students probably had benefit of some prior chemistry, biology, and physics courses, so I had to read it a few times to hone in on what they think is causing warming and how that could play out, but I really hope you’ll find it worth the read. How water behaves and why seems critical. Any focus on just CO2 in news we get is woefully inadequate but “fixing” that will depend on people demanding more information. As Mr. Hayward pointed to, scientists are very concerned about the effects of methane (NIST is working on this) and water quality availability is also hot on their list.