The climate “pause” that didn’t refresh: Tom Toles

This month has seen a number of studies showing that the much-discussed "hiatus" or "pause" in global warming reported by the IPCC two years ago was a misreading of the data.

In the words of Nature:

“The bottom line is that the IPCC reported that the rate of warming was less in the last 15 years than it was in the previous 30–60 years,” says Tom Karl, the study's lead author and the director of the National Centers for Environmental Information in Asheville, North Carolina. “That is no longer valid according to our data.”

The analysis follows a raft of papers that seek to explain why global temperatures seemed to level off around the turn of the millennium. NOAA's updated temperature record still shows cooler observed conditions than those projected by most climate models for the same period. But Karl says that the warming trend is clear up to the end of 2014. That holds true even if researchers choose 1998, which saw extreme heat associated with an El Niño weather pattern in the tropical Pacific Ocean, as the starting point for such an analysis.

In other words, even if you cherry-pick the data, you still can't find the "pause." But Tom Toles can!


Tom Toles publishes more editorial cartoons on climate than anyone else and it's not close. 

Published by Kit Stolz

I'm a freelance reporter and writer based in Ventura County.

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