Without much fanfare, figures were released recently that shows global temperatures remaining flat for the past 16 years.

The world stopped getting warmer almost 16 years ago, according to new data released last week.

The figures, which have triggered debate among climate scientists, reveal that from the beginning of 1997 until August 2012, there was no discernible rise in aggregate global temperatures.

This means that the ‘plateau’ or ‘pause’ in global warming has now lasted for about the same time as the previous period when temperatures rose, 1980 to 1996. Before that, temperatures had been stable or declining for about 40 years.

Three years ago, when this trend was becoming clear, Professor Phil Jones (director of the Climate Research Unit at the University of East Anglia and who was part of the whole "Climategate" scandal which leaked e-mails among prominent climate scientists at East Anglia) said this:

Yet in 2009, when the plateau was already becoming apparent and being discussed by scientists, he told a colleague in one of the Climategate emails: ‘Bottom  line: the “no upward trend” has to  continue for a total of 15 years before we get worried.’

But although that point has now been passed, he said that he hadn’t changed his mind about the  models’ gloomy predictions:  ‘I still think that the current decade which began in 2010 will be warmer by about 0.17 degrees than the previous one, which was warmer than the Nineties.’

Only if that did not happen would he seriously begin to  wonder whether something more profound might be happening. In other words, though five years ago he seemed to be saying that 15 years without warming would make him ‘worried’, that period has now become 20 years.

Keep moving those goalposts, guys.

The article is full of opinions, on all sides of the climate change issue, saying that the climate is still not fully understood. But it’s supposedly understood enough to want to create global economic upheaval in order to "fix" something that may not be broken. Fortunately, the current global economic situation has given politicians less of a stomach for huge taxes.

Filed under: EnvironmentGlobal Warming

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