Posted by: ericgrimsrud | November 24, 2015

Concerning that “hiatus”

The favorite myth of the Deniers of man-caused global warming in recent years has been their claim that global warming has not occurred during the last decade.  This period of relatively little temperature change has been called the “hiatus” and used by the Deniers to discredit the scientific communities of the world who are convinced that global warming is occurring due to the activities of mankind and will continue into the future if business-as-usual energy policies persist.

Meanwhile, the scientific community has shown that we have not, in fact, reached a point of temperature stability yet and that future temperatures will continue to climb. They have pointed out that what might appear to be a pause in temperature increase over the last decade is largely due to natural variations that have momentarily offset some the greenhouse gas warming caused by humans.  In addition, the scientists have warned that natural variations go both ways, up and down, and when they turn towards warming, the Earth will experience an unprecedented jump in global surface temperatures.

Well folks, guess what?  With only two months left in the year 2015, we can now predict with a good level of certainty what the temperature will be for 2015.  That prediction is shown as the last point on the graph shown below.

Need I say more?  Don’t think so other than to ask why the Deniers would have used these data to suggest that global warming had stopped in the year 2000.  Now that we are about to enter a new decadal era in which distinctly increased temperatures are expected to regularly set new annual records, one wonders what the Deniers will come up with next. Since I am sure that the snake-oil salesmen of the fossil fuel corporations are well aware of H.L. Menden’s encouragement to their ilk – “no one ever went broke by underestimating the intelligence of the American public” – I fear that they still might not change – in spite of the clarity of the facts.  So Senator Inhofe, Rush Limbaugh, and most of the Republican candidates for President, is there still something about the graph shown above that you don’t understand?  If not, why not finally get on board and become part of the solution.


  1. Dear Mr. Grimsrub,

    I met a man named Ratz or Bats, or something like that who teaches in a local school. He says he is a famous scientist and he says you and your “fellow travelers” are all nuts. He says that it is true that the earth is warming but the reason has to do with cloud coverage as stimulated by cosmic rays. When I searched the literature I found a lot about the greenhouse effects of carbon dioxide dating back to the mid 1800’s that even I could understand but I couldn’t find much about cosmic ray effects and I didn’t find anything about recent increases in cosmic rays that would explain the warming we are experiencing.

    Can you tell me why I should look for an explanation in cosmic rays when the explanation based on the greenhouse effects of carbon dioxide seems to explain what we are experiencing?

    I can understand that people who wish to sell us carbon based fuels might not make as much money if we switched over to other energy sources. I try to be a kind person and I would certainly feel badly if they had to find some other way to feed their families other than by selling coal.

    By the way, what is a cosmic ray? Does it affect your ability to reason?
    Yours Truly,
    I.Q. Zed

    [Response by EPG: Mr. Zed, The type of cosmic rays your friend is referring to are high energy protons and other atomic nuclei that cause a bit of ionization of our atmosphere as they enter it. They come from the very remote universe (that is, the cosmos outside our solar system). While these ions can promote cloud formation, there is no evidence that cosmic rays have had any significant effect on our climate. Nevertheless, Deniers like to claim this but always do so without any convincing evidence. ]

  2. Eric,

    Regarding the hiatus, it is not evident to any extent in radiosonde data, which provides an alternate assesment of tropospheric temps. See Tamino’s recent discussion of balloon vs satellite data at

    Also daily NCEP/NCAP global temps, updated daily a Moyhu, show and extremely warm December. See – scroll down on page


    [Response by EPG:: Owen, Thanks for adding those two references to this discussion. I, too, realize that there really has been no “hiatus” but only a slowing of surface temperature increases over the last decade.]

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