Global temperature


There is no true global temperature possible because of the existence of the atmosphere and the oceans.

there is a global temperature in that there is an emmission of energy from the globe as a whole which can be measured from space.

temperature is the energy radiated by each component of the globe. If we start from a simple concept of a metal sphere and measure the energy being given off it is axiomatic that the size of the sphere determines the temperature at the surface.

secondly that the composition of the metal is immaterial??

thirdly that the mass of the sphere is unimportant???

how to put it The sphere must radiate back to space the energy that inputs eventually. But must a solid  sphere heat up to the same surface temp as a hollow sphere to do so. This seems wrong it implies that the energy is going into and never coming out of te sphere until it reaches a magical emmision  level so all of this sphere is suddenly holding all this energy that it is then releasing a bit like a dam filling up until it spills over the top whereas a smaller dam spills over much sooner

The sphere takes a heat amount and redistributes it such that each bit of the sphere that could radiate heat does so whereas the incoming heat has only been received by a certain number of bits

the problem for temp of any one bit of the sphere and atmosphere is that the atmosphere effectively rolls the surface area out like a giant radiator or moebious band such that the surface area is greatly increased.

ecs 2018

“There is also a puzzling peak below 1°C. These low values come from the GISS models (Fig. 7a) and if they are removed from the ensemble, the bump below 1K disappears .
We find that 15 of the 25 CMIP5 models produce estimates in agreement with the CERES
observations. If we limit the distributions to just those models , we obtain the ECS distribution in Fig. 6c (hereafter referred to as the “good” distribution).
We consider the “good ” ECS distributions to be the best estimates of ECS from this analysis.
Those ECS distributions have 17-83% confidence intervals (corresponding to the IPCC’s
likely range) of 2.4-4.4 K ”

ATTP has been running a series of articles on ECS, including a discussion of Marvel on 30/1/2018 and one discussing the “one-box energy balance model” by Clive Best by Mark Richardson 1712018 and a new one by Andrew Dessler technically Dessler and Forster) 4/2/2018.
The gist of all the articles is that ECS is most likely 3.0 or higher with an inability or unwillingness to rule out much higher figures.

ATTP says “consider climate change specifically, then the no-feedback response is about 1.2K (i.e., the no-feedback response to doubling atmospheric CO2). This is largely because the Planck response is 3.2W/m^2/K and the change in forcing due to a doubling of atmospheric CO2 is 3.7W/m^2.”

This issue is very important as shown by the time and effort put into denigrating lower estimates like Nic and Judith’s.
The current trend is to blame the observations for showing lower climate sensitivity than the models and then using the models to prove it should be higher.

Basically a lot of the AGW concern falls over if ECS is 2.0 or less hence the concerted effort to deny this..

Andrew Dessler has an interesting take on using short term observations 2000 to 2017 to achieve an estimate that fits the models.
The only problem is a Gerghis like selectivity of the models he wishes to use for his Monte Carlo runs.
2, based on GISS, suggested ECS in the 1.0 or less range.
Fortunately these were not needed for the 15 out of 25 model ensemble used showing an ECS of average 3.3.

Nonetheless for ECS fans, good reading, and an excellent counterpoise to ideas here.

Yes. The GISS models are certainly outliers is various ways. But that doesn’t necessarily mean that what they imply about ECS is wrong. It has, incidentally, always struck me how different Gavin Schmidt’s views on ECS are with the behaviour of the GCMs developed at the GISS institute that he heads.

The biggest problem with Andrew Dessler’s approach is that, as he states in the paper, “the transfer function ?_IV/ ?_4xCO2 seems the most probable place for a significant error to occur” and they “have no way to observationally validate it, nor any theory to guide us”.

That transfer function is the scaling factor they use to converting observations of short-term, mainly unforced interannual climate variability to an estimate of the response of the climate system to long-term forced warming. It is the biggest contributor to uncertainty in their ECS estimate. They estimate the transfer function using GCMs, but if GCM’s high ECS values are mainly the result of their wrongly simulating long term cloud feedbacks then is is highly probable that their values for the transfer function will also be systematically wrong.Interesting post on many levels hence the large number of comments.
Several hit nerves.
Susan mentioned the unbelievable support for Trump.
One of the mysteries that might deserve it’s own post one day in terms of whether this effort by John is helpful or not as Joshua mentioned.
The similarities in presenting 100 fallacies in Climate change and presenting 100 reasons why Trump should not have been elected share an end result.
The unbelievable happens.
Perhaps giving 100 reasons is trying a bit too hard?
The end result of trying to hard is that people suspect one of having ulterior motives?
Or as might be surmised the BS meters tend to go off.
They look at the arguments and say if they are trying so hard to convince otherwise perhaps there is something there.
It is just a thought.

I take this as a good summary of the the differences in our points of view.
By putting 100 reasons out there, in their 5 groups, all supporting each other there is a unified purpose and consensus for all to agree on.
No I will have a little bit of this and all of that.
It gives skeptics a good starting point as well to review their positions but most importantly it nails the colours to the mast.
If any one point turns out to be right for the skeptics then all points will be adjudged right for them.
Best put the other way round.
If just one of John’s premises were to fall over, the rest, even if right, become shaky and may fall.
I wonder which will be first?

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angech says:
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January 25, 2018 at 2:05 am

“James Hansen, Makiko Sato, Reto Ruedy, Gavin A. Schmidt, Ken Lo, Avi Persin
Abstract. Global surface temperature in 2017 was the second highest in the period of instrumental measurements in the Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) analysis. Relative to average temperature for 1880-1920, which we take as an appropriate estimate of “pre-industrial” temperature, 2017 was +1.17°C (~2.1°F) warmer than in the 1880-1920 base period. The high 2017 temperature, unlike the record 2016 temperature, was obtained without any boost from tropical El Niño warming.
Prospects for continued global temperature change are more interesting and important. The record 2016 temperature was abetted by the effects of both a strong El Niño and maximum warming from the solar irradiance cycle (Fig. 4). Because of the ocean thermal inertia and decadal irradiance change, the peak warming and cooling effects of solar maximum and minimum are delayed about two years after irradiance extrema. The amplitude of the solar irradiance variation is smaller than the planetary energy imbalance, which has grown to about +0.75 ± 0.25 W/m2 over the past several decades due to increasing atmospheric greenhouse gases.5,6 However, the solar variability is not negligible in comparison with the energy imbalance that drives global temperature change. Therefore, because of the combination of the strong 2016 El Niño and the phase of the solar cycle, it is plausible, if not likely, that the next 10 years of global temperature change will leave an impression of a ‘global warming hiatus’.”

Or an impression of a lower TCS and ECS, no doubt.
How does one tell the difference between an impression of a hiatus and a hiatus when one is in the middle of an impression?


Let me assure you I usually mean what I say and know what I do.” the bright girl said, not knowing the meaning of what she said when she did. [NNT]

Beauty is sometimes described as being in the eye of the beholder and also as only being skin deep. Hence it has no actual link or need for truth. It would be nice for a theory to be pleasing, to be beautiful but there is no valid reason for this to be so. Our concepts of beauty are both personal and cultural and may rely on conciseness and symmetry and evenness [flawless] but most of us know there is more beauty in a handmade, flawed piece of pottery done by someone we love than in a Venus de Milo or Winged Victory of Samothrace, though admittedly they are beautiful to me.
So science and scientific theory do not have to be beautiful, they just have to work, concise or complex, no need to care, just to appreciate.

On the theory of the discs in general, appropriating it to theory suggesting that turbulence could act to promote, rather than inhibit, this planet formation process.
If appropriate for discs in other contexts it does not imply that it must work in all disc settings or subsets but it is still of interest as to why when a lot of the basic physics is very similar.
Gets back to the gravity interactions of that mass of stellar dust thrown together in that cluster. Larger or smaller sizes presumably of different density and thermal activity materials [stars and planets] might behave differently in accumulating mass.


angech says:

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“how to frame anthropogenically-driven climate change.
In particular, should it be framed as a wicked problem? A number of people involved in the discussion had a problem with this framing. One very simple reason was that if you consider the standard definition of a wicked problem it is a problem that is difficult or impossible to solve because of incomplete, contradictory, and changing requirements that are often difficult to recognize.”
“”Those defending the wicked framing suggested that it applied only to the socio-political aspects of the problem, not to our scientific understanding (which is pretty clear).”

Joshua “wicked problems” are very, very complicated problems. The definition used here. Another meaning of wicked is evil not that that seems to be important here.

ATTP you start of addressing one wicked problem, anthropogenically-driven climate change and then move to another, how to solve it.
The wickedness of the first, scientific certainty is totally different to the psycho social problems found in trying to develop strategies to combat it, “Wicked problems are not well bounded, are framed differently by various groups and individuals, harbor large scientific to existential uncertainties and have unclear solutions and pathways to those solutions”

Either on their own is a wicked problem [very,very complicated]. Not to mention the first as a problem for the second. DM “some that argue the science is insufficiently well understood as a method of avoiding addressing the socio-political issues”.
So they could be addressed seperately to reduce one level of confusion.

Roger Jones said with possibly a touch too much confidence
“Wicked problems are solvable, but need to be addressed with a set of methods and techniques that you otherwise might not use.”
Sometimes a simple method works eg cutting the Gordian knot.
Sometimes someone comes up with a new approach, Gallileo, Einstein etc.
Other than brute force at the cutting edge or genius and luck at the other, wicked problems are that precisely because they are unsolvable or result in unsatisfactory solutions.

Call them complex if it bothers you, but Willard would say that substituting one word for another might make you sleep better but does not take away the angst as the meaning might be hidden but resides. Resident Complexity I think was the movie series.

ecs again

angech says:
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December 9, 2017 at 3:10 am

From Paul’s site
“Given your results, what do they imply for the climate sensitivity of the system at the moment. Given that the widely used figure in models is around 3C and you have found them under-
predicting, I assume the ECS from your work would be in the 3.5-4C range?
Yes our constrained central estimate of ECS is 3.7.”

The ECS he uses [I thought we just had a big discussion where you guys said you cannot work out ECS?? practically like this but….] is on average 3.7 instead of the Climate models 3.0.
Plug this into the graphs and you get a 27% higher rate of increase.

Not able to afford the paid look so what is studiously not mentioned here is what the “recent” in Earth’s recent observational energy budget refers to.
Please do not tell me that they picked the 3 most recent El Nino years and then worked out an energy budget and ECS on those 3 atypically hot years.
Or just the last 5 years.
Please tell me it refers to the budget worked out from 2000 at least.

…and Then There’s Physics says: November 29, 2017 at 4:13 pm
“We can estimate the actual change in radiative forcing and then relate that to the equivalent change in atmospheric CO2, to then produce an estimate of the TCR/ECS. This is essentially what Nic Lewis’s work does”

Presumably not only Lewis but Brown is working out ECS.
A higher ECS, as in this case, gives a greater temperature rise for a doubling of CO2.
The only difference being one uses a long term study of temps and the other a short term study of temps to determine the ECS.
I imagine this study could be done for a number of recent observational ranges.
If one was to choose the 5 years from 2007 to 2012 for comparison the ECS may well have been below 2.0.
Presuming the paper was done on the last 5 years of observation which is a very uneducated guess on my part.
Do we know which time frame the recent observations were done in?

Polar Bears decimated

Internet Blogs, Polar Bears, and Climate-Change Denial
Jeffrey A. Harvey Daphne van den Berg Jacintha Ellers Remko Kampen Thomas W. Crowther Peter Roessingh Bart Verheggen Rascha J. M. Nuijten Eric Post Stephan Lewandowsky Ian Stirling Meena Balgopal Steven C. Amstrup Michael E. Mann.

A star studded line up to attack one person, or should I say woman?
Yes. Why not, it is late 2017 after all. I guess they did the paper before Harvey.
They need to attach her.
Ragnaar says:
“I Googled this: population polar bears Crockford gets hits 2, 3 and 4.”

For what it is worth I totally agree with Joshua and Steven on this in their first comments.

The paper is a statement of the obvious. If AGW, ice all melts and polar bears die. Logic impeccable for warmists.
However, If AGW is denied, if ice melt is denied, then polar bears live. Logic impeccable for denialists.

Hence the problem, how many polar bear specialists are there? Like one does not get up real close and friendly like gorillas in the mist. How many reports on numbers are there and how reliable?
Ragnaar again
“There’s is a lack of data. I looked at a few maps, and there are large unknown areas.”

Then there is this
“A boatload of tourists in the far eastern Russian Arctic thought they were seeing clumps of ice on the shore, before the jaw-dropping realisation that some 200 polar bears were roaming on the mountain slope.”.
Perhaps it was fake news. Perhaps 1 litter of 200 babies was born in this area last year.
All I can think of is that if one extrapolates out 200 bears in 1 square kilometer then the number of Polar bears in the Arctic has been sadly and badly underestimated by everyone , including Dr S Crockford.

angech says:

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It is good to see Jeff Harvey put up his perspective on his paper.
A few comments for consideration
The article was never about the science.
It was about the *direction the planet is going in and how to save it.
Consequently the aim of the paper

“My final point. Our paper was about scientific transparency and integrity ”
“one of the major aims of the paper was to advise general readers not to take at face value what they read on blogs.”
was lost in the execution which resulted in
“Instead they accuse us of ad hominem smears of Susan Crockford and leave it at that. They can dish it out but can’t take it.”

“[I] and the other authors had the courage to show that blogs which habitually dismiss climate change-related threats to polar bears do not refer to the primary literature but to a blogger that disagrees with the primary literature, and not through scientific journals but through her blog.”

Instead of dismissing a scientist as a mere blogger the intent of the article would have been best achieved by providing the data on Polar Bear numbers, distribution and time changes, real and known firstly extrapolated secondly and then addressing the scientist bloggers extrapolations and conclusions and scientifically, with transparency and clarity, proving her wrong.
Can the paper be redone with this aim?

Who raised it first? Polar Bear numbers.
Who then linked it to global warming??
Polar Bear numbers had been in decline because of hunting and human encroachment for ages.
Eli says “The ice is shrinking at times of the year when the bears need it and more.”

May I be so bold as to ask for the quote or source?

Yet Bart’s introduction points out the obvious .
“The polar bear species has survived the previous interglacial ~125,000 years ago. even though during the previous interglacial summers were probably not completely ice-free, as is expected to happen later this century as a consequence of continuing warming.
Besides shrinking sea ice there are currently also other factors that negatively affect polar bears, such as human settlements, industrial activities, hunting, bio-accumulation of toxins, and smaller seal populations.”
[disclaimer yes I have only taken parts of the quote that I like as usual].
At WUWT this comment
“The skeptics of AGW will point to the fact the polar bear population is up to approx 26,000 vs the 10k when hunting was stopped.”
cannot be true?

Eli, I acknowledge that if the ice all went all year round the Polar Bears would be forced to evolve or perish.
How far do you go in insisting a little loss of mid summer ice would imperil them totally in the next 1000 years?


Using a sledgehammer to crack a nut in a a china shop and then finding the nut was in another building and perhaps was not a nut at all.

“We have clearly hit the target dead-on judging by the bitter response of the climate change skeptics and deniers. They are inadvertantly helping to spread the message.”

As opposed to advertently helping, I guess.

Look Arctic Ice is down on all measures since satellites were “formally”” used to measure it.
The time span is short to know anything about long term trends.
If one shows CO2 increase, and then the CO2 increase shows the warming it is predicted to, then the ice will melt over the long term.
The long term result of this in thousands of years is that Polar Bears may or may not be endangered [they may or may not adapt].
Speculation on linking the two separate calamities if they eventuate is fraught with difficulty and should never have been poster childed in the first place.

“How blogs convey and distort scientific information about polar bears and Arctic sea ice”
Starts with this lovely line
“Internet blogs have strongly contributed to this consensus gap by fomenting misunderstandings of AGW causes and consequences. Polar bears (Ursus maritimus) have become a “poster species” for AGW, making them a target of those denying AGW evidence. Here, focusing on Arctic sea ice and polar bears, we show that blogs that deny or downplay AGW disregard the overwhelming scientific evidence of Arctic sea-ice loss and polar bear vulnerability.”

Problem ?
All the blogs try to promote scientific information, some for and some against AGW. This is the money comment.

“overwhelming scientific evidence of Arctic sea-ice loss and polar bear vulnerability.”

So Bart,
what is your estimate, from the experts, of
1.The number of Polar bears in the Arctic now.
2. The number of Polar bears back when satellite records showed the decrease in Arctic ice from AGW starting.
3. How much the ice extent in feeding time has diminished
4 How the decline in Polar bear numbers over this time matches.

I would expect a paper attacking concepts of Polar bear numbers now and in the future would set these facts out in large clear scientific numbers and hence shoot Crockford down. .

. much of the public remains unconvinced of the human influence on climate, This chasm between public opinion and scientific agreement on AGW is now commonly referred to as the consensus gap
climate-change denial involves a growing labyrinthine network of Internet blogs
Watts Up With That (WUWT), which consistently denies AGW and/or threats linked to it, is described as “perhaps the most visited climate website in the world,
Many denier blogs exist described as “foot soldiers of AGW denial”
Despite the growing evidence in support of AGW, these blogs continue to aggressively deny the causes and/or the projected effects of AGW and to personally attack scientists who publish peer-reviewed research in the field with the aim of fomenting doubt to maintain the consensus gap.
science-based and science-denier blogs may draw on similar examples, they frame their claims differently. For example, scientific blogs provide context and associated evidence, whereas denier blogs often remove context or misinterpret examples
The same frame can be presented in both negative and positive ways,
A growing body of scientific research reports the wide array of negative effects of AGW on biodiversity
, when alleging sea ice recovered after 2012, Crockford downplayed the contribution of sea-ice loss to polar-bear population declines in the Beaufort Sea.
Yet habitat loss is not always immediately followed by abundance declines of species dependent on that habitat. (Kuussaari et al. 2009)
As in other ecosystems, when critical thresholds in habitat availability are passed, tipping points occur, and species dependent on that habitat suddenly experience sharp declines (Dai et al. 2012)

“1. Once again the climate science community beclowns itself

angech says:
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December 2, 2017 at 7:18 am

“1. Once again the climate science community beclowns itself by critiquing an article on non-scientific grounds”.
I did not understand, is he complaining about the article or the article reviewers views?
“I simply think that in many cases science communication is aimed more at providing information, than at influencing opinion. Critiquing the former, for not achieving the latter,”
So the problem is critiquing the science- rather than thanking the guys for putting the vital information out there.
A selection of the gist of the article
“”Ice Apocalypse ”
(A Rolling Stone feature earlier this year dubbed Thwaites “The Doomsday Glacier.”)
Next to a meteor strike, rapid sea-level rise from collapsing ice cliffs is one of the quickest ways our world can remake itself. This is about as fast as climate change gets.
Antarctica is a giant landmass — about half the size of Africa — and the ice that covers it averages more than a mile thick.
Around 3 million years ago, when global temperatures were about as warm as they’re expected to be later this century, oceans were dozens of feet higher than today.Previous models suggested that it would take hundreds or thousands of years for sea-level rise of that magnitude to occur
Pollard and DeConto are the first to admit that their model is still crude, but its results have pushed the entire scientific community into emergency mode.
the full 11 feet of ice locked in West Antarctica might be freed up, their study showed.
All this could play out in a mere 20 to 50 years — much too quickly for humanity to adapt.
“It could happen faster or slower, I don’t think we really know yet,”
– ATTP said
“scientists (well, climate scientists, at least) [seem*] incapable of communicating with a public audience and regard them as being in denial when it comes to cognitive science and narrative theory.”
Not these scientists, they have communicated the threat extremely well.
Pity about the science


“”To claim that observations can tell us something about ECS, we first have to see whether it is a meaningful test by using the best info to hand – model output ”

Or in other words ignore data. Who needs data anyway.
It is useless without models.
Now as someone once said all models are wrong.
But we can discuss a lot of physics in the models and the answers are always right.

Further proof,
“Observations therefore are not likely to usefully constrain ECS in any Bayesian assessment”
We do not need observations or data to construct highly reliable models, especially when we know what the data will be in the future without looking at it.
“Whereas by 2095, the correlation between total warming and ECS is 0.77. Correlation over the period 2006 to 2095 is 0.81. The best way to estimate climate sensitivity is to be there, not here and now.”
In fact model data gets better and better in correlation with the models as it gets further away from actually being observed.


angech says:

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“Roughly speaking, this result seems broadly consistent with the IPCC range of 1.5-4.5K (although that might be a 17-83%, rather than a 5-95%, range),”
Eyeballing the graphs roughly there appears to be little correlation with the Lewis best estimate way below the IPCC estimate.
BBD prefers 3.0 Lewis would be lucky to be 2.0.

“What would be nice would be to maybe include more physics so as to exclude regions of parameter space that we regard virtually impossible (for example, ECS values below 1K).”
If the physics is right why do we have to include “more” physics? Surely impossible results will be excluded by the physics we have, if it is right in the first place, not more of it.

no pause

Mal Adapted says:
November 21, 2017 at 11:44 pm


All the hand waving afterwards and altering of the data sets afterwards do not change the premise, at the time, on the data that was available and used, that there was a pause.

Except there was no pause, if by ‘pause’ you mean a short-term interval when the slope of the long-term statistical trend in GMST fell to zero. There was an interval between 1998 and 2012 when observed GMST appeared to the eye to rise more slowly than projections for that interval produced by an ensemble of coupled GCMs, although still within modeled lower confidence bounds. Change point analysis, more rigorous than eyeball methods, found no statistically significant change in the trend of the previous three decades. From the latter article, by Rahmstorf, Foster and Cahill earlier this year in ERL:

[T]he data are fully consistent with a steady global warming trend since the 1970s, superimposed with random, stationary, short-term variability. All recent variations in short-term trends are well within what was to be expected, based on the observed warming trend and the observed variability from the 1970s up to the year 2000. We discuss some pitfalls of statistical analysis of global temperatures which have led to incorrect claims of an unexpected or significant warming slowdown.

Although the alleged ‘pause’ was not statistically significant and was conclusively terminated in 2014, it attracted attention from climate scientists seeking to resolve ‘internal’, short-term variability to forcings. Rather than casting doubt on the AGW consensus, the short-term slowdown in observed warming led to refinement of models as well as datasets. Climate science advanced pretty much as one expects, and the consensus case for AGW grew still stronger. AGW-deniers hoping to weaken it, OTOH, found their ‘pause’ rhetoric had backfired ;^D!
angech says:
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November 22, 2017 at 2:45 am

“The problem becomes worse, in that a lot of people here dispute that there was a pause at all”
Mal Adapted says: re
“All the hand waving afterwards and altering of the data sets afterwards do not change the premise, at the time, on the data that was available and used, that there was a pause.”

“Except there was no pause, if by ‘pause’ you mean a short-term interval when the slope of the long-term statistical trend in GMST fell to zero”

Note I did say premise, not fact.
And thank you for one definition of what a pause might be.
It is difficult to discuss what one believes does not exist.
Particularly when giving proof that it did not exist because you [*Xiangdong Zhang] have found extra missing data that proves it did not exist.
angech says:
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November 22, 2017 at 3:12 am

Mal Adapted
“Except there was no pause, if by ‘pause’ you mean a short-term interval when the slope of the long-term statistical trend in GMST fell to zero”

I would be happy with a definition of a pause, in general, to be a zero slope trend for any graph with a time base over any reasonable fraction of the presented graph.
This is not a standard definition but since we are discussing unicorns this is the sort of definition I would prefer.
At Lucia’s 2 years ago she and others argued that a steady slope with no acceleration could be taken in some circles to mean a pause. I get the idea of a non changing rate being paused but in the real world I would insist on a zero slope, that is there was a rate which has now altered to a zero slope.
As for short term there is no short term in my definition if showing a single pause as the requirement is for it to be visible on the graph shown.

Commenting specifically on “[T]he data are fully consistent with a steady global warming trend since the 1970s, superimposed with random, stationary, short-term variability”
We have a graph of 47 years, the authors dispute the existence of a pause while admitting several occurred by my definition [random, stationary, short-term variability]. Karsten himself acknowledges a pause was seen and named by some people ” the inappropriately named “hiatus”. John Hart references “average global temperatures from 1998-2012 ” which would be a significant 14 years out of 47, hardly short term in the context of a 47 YO graph.

Since a lot of people here dispute that there was a pause at all.
Not to mention all authors referenced above
With good arguments.
Too short a time frame.
The graph actually went up 0.05C in the misquoted study.
Cherry picking a time after El Nino.
Definition of a pause is completely wrong.
There is no need to throw in studies showing there was a pause but….