Monday, May 25, 2015

The Great "Warming Pause" Lie Revealed

One of the greatest lies (and there are lots of them) the denier lobbyists make is how there has been no warming for [insert your time period of choice] years. Here is an example of one of these lies:

Source: WUWT

Why is this a lie? For the very simple reason any data base, unless it is perfectly vertical, will have periods where the average is constant (zero slope) for some period of time. All you have to do is pick your period of time and your end points. Of course, that is exactly what Anthony Watts and Christopher Monckton have done and this topic has already been discussed. The interesting thing is how they have to keep changing their endpoints to make their lie seem plausible. Take a look:

Source: WUWT
Their time period here is from August 1996 to March 2014. Now compare:

Source: WUWT
Their endpoints are now October 1996 to December 2014! What's up with that? And, compare that to the first plot above with the time period of September 1996 to September 2014. Lie exposed! They are cherry picking their endpoints to get the desired result - something you can get out of ANY database. Allowing for the possibility the non-existant 'pause' could continue, the right endpoint would change. But, if their claim was real, there would be no need to EVER change the starting point. The ONLY reason you would ever need to change the starting point is because it doesn't work out the way you want. If they continued to use the same starting point, they would not be able to get a constant average.

That makes their plots lies.

Furthermore, the claim there has been no warming is simply not true. First, the surface data clearly shows a warming trend. I addressed that topic here. Also, the record of increasingly hot years keeps getting longer and it is statistically impossible to explain this record as being random.

They are liars. We already knew that, so this isn't really news. But, the interesting thing is how they have actually PROVEN GLOBAL WARMING IS REAL! Yes, you read that correctly. Take a look at this plot made by cunudiun (click on the image for a larger version):

Source: cunudiun

What he did here was to take a larger time period and plotted the trend line, meshing the Watts plot in precisely. It is easy to see the Watts plot is actually offset IN THE POSITIVE direction from the trend line. [Note the offset labeled 'surge' in the plot.] And, notice how the trend line is actually closing in with 'no warming' average as you go from left to right.

What this means is they were able to find an flat-line average, which is a simple math exercise, but they could ONLY do it with an average that is GREATER than the trend line. If there were no warming, as they claim, if there was a 'hiatus,' their average line would have dissected the trend line, not been offset. The offset PROVES, without question, the temperature is increasing during their cherry picked period.

Watts and Monckton have succeeded in proving, without doubt, that there has absolutely been warming over the period they indicated.

So, not only is this a huge lie on the part of the deniers, but it is a monumentally stupid one at that. And, anyone that falls for this has to be massively naive. 

What's up with that?


  1. Thanks Christopher and Cunudiun,

    I have sent a link to this article to the opinion editor of the Duluth News Tribune. Since it reveals such a common deception used by deniers, I thought he might want to read it since he has been responsive to some of the other long comments I have sent to the Tribune, and may actually decide to examine it. I have decided that although 300 words allows for only a bare-bones response to deniers, I can at least make the staff of the Tribune aware of the many deceptions they use.

  2. You are the first to see Version 2 of my graph. I could still make changes if there's anything there abhorrent. I'm trying to come up with something that's a little more user-friendly. Feel free to substitute it above, or not.

  3. I am now wondering if the data actually gives a 'pause' as they claim. And, even if it does, what would you get if you stacked all of their individual 'flat lines.' It seems to me you should see a progression where each gets higher than the previous ones.

  4. It always felt to me like one could easily engineer a 'pause' with those two giant spikes to work with. Something like soup finding its level in a bowl, until the bowl springs a tremendous leak, but that may take a few years, and we can keep up appearances until then. /s Didn't the article say something about Monckton having his own computer program to cherrypick the right start month/end month combinations. Given that 1998 spike, it doesn't surprise or impress me that it's possible. My instinct would be not to waste too much time on this issue. I mean the temperature rate of increase was relatively flat. So they are right about that. They ignore the fact that this entire (partial) flatness has been and is still at a higher temperature than the trend before it (which will take until 2025 to catch up, even if future temps remain absolutely flat). Since the late '90's it's been more like a bask in the heat than a pause in global warming.