Missing Warming Found, Part 3

By June 10, 2013 July 4th, 2013 Myths, Temperature

From the Catalan Institute of Climate Sciences, one of the largest scientific institutes in southern Europe, the French National Meteorological Service and the Catalan Institution for Research and Advanced Studies (Catalonia is basically one of the 17 states in Spain).

The predominant part of the “global warming has stopped myth” is based on the concept that most climate models overestimate heat transferred to the deep oceans. The most sensitive modeling to date also does not show the “slowing” of the rate of temperature increase since the turn of the century.

The researchers work shows that none of the other alleged culprits are responsible for the slowdown either. These are the deep and prolonged solar minimum, an decrease in stratospheric water vapor, and increased heat reflection from stratospheric and tropospheric aerosols.

This research uses what is called “near-term climate modeling.” Short-term climate models are getting pretty good these days. So good in fact that these researchers have successfully recreated most of the 21st century temperature trend. Their work is good out to about five years–a far cry from the five-day forecast.

It’s a climate forecast of course, so there is really no comparison with the five-day weather forecast. We are not going to be able to predict the weather five weeks in advance, much less five years, but the breakthrough is still quite meaningful.

The authors have not solved the entire myth, and leave us with the caveat that they have recreated the beginning of the warming slowdown but cannot recreate the rest of the warming slowdown.

Now a note to skeptics that may be reading: just because they cannot reproduce the last five or so years does not mean you were right anymore this time than the last. Science goes on, it’s complicated and scientists are very certain of what they have found before they attempt to publish their work.

This is a type of certainty that most of us do not even realize exists. To give you an idea of the certainties involved, picture the calculations that NASA scientists did before Man went to the Moon. This is scientific certainty. In a few years we may have better evidence and a more detailed understanding, but no credible climate scientists who are actively publishing are presenting findings that contradict the consensus position.

The authors also remind us that this new modeling technique holds great promise for the future of near-term climate modeling.


Guemas et al., Retrospective prediction of the global warming slowdown in the past decade, Nature Climate Change, July 2013.

Abstract: http://www.nature.com/nclimate/journal/v3/n7/full/nclimate1863.html?WT.ec_id=NCLIMATE-201307