Global Warming Stopped in 1998. It’s in Davy Jones’ Locker.

The global warming crowd has a problem. Global warming has disappeared. It’s missing in action. The public is cooling toward the idea that we need intervention by governments to stop global warming.

A recent article explained that the theory’s defenders are doing their best to come up with a plausible explanation. It’s the ocean.

Huge amounts of heat – equivalent to the power of 150 billion electric kettles – are being continuously absorbed by the deep ocean, which could explain why global warming has “paused” over the past 10 to 15 years, scientists have concluded in a series of reports to explain why the Earth’s rate of warming has slowed down.

I see. The ocean is a new factor. It was never there before. But now, without warning, it is sopping up heat like a Bounty paper towel in a TV ad.

What the GW proponents need is a theory of “what’s new.” But a British newspaper reporter dutifully reports this with a straight face.

Here is the political problem facing the GW crowd.

Global average temperatures are higher now than they have ever been since modern records began. However, after a period of rapid temperature increases during the 1980s and 1990s there has been a significant slow-down since the turn of the century, leading some sceptics to claim that global warming has stopped.

A scientific assessment of the planet’s heat balance has found that the most likely explanation for the recent hiatus in global warming is the continual absorption of thermal energy by the huge “heat sink” of the deep ocean many hundreds of metres below the sea surface, according to scientists from the Met Office.

If this is the most likely explanation, they have a problem. It’s called public skepticism.

Senior climate scientists said that they had always expected periods when the rate of increase in temperatures would level off for a few years and emphasized that the last decade was still warmer than any previous decade, with 12 of the 14 hottest years on record occurring since 2000.

Who are these “senior climatic scientists”? Where and when did they go into print with this prediction, namely, that temperatures would level off for 15 years? Where, precisely, did they say that the ocean would start causing this, when it never had before? We need specifics here. We do not get any.

Professor Rowan Sutton, a climate scientist at Reading University, said the temperatures have levelled off in the past, the latest example being in the 1940s and 1950s when sulphate pollutants from the post-war boom in industrial production may have acted as a shield against incoming solar radiation.

“Some people call it a slow-down, some call it a hiatus, some people call it a pause. The global average surface temperature has not increased substantially over the last 10 to 15 years,” Professor Sutton said.

Some people call it “return to normal.”

“Climate scientists absolutely expect variations in the rate at which surface temperature will rise….but that is not to say we understand all the details of the last 10 to 15 years,” Professor Sutton said.

Is that what they expect? For how long have they expected this? How long do they expect it to last? For as long as the world’s oceans act as a heat sink? That could be a very long time.

What is the problem they face? This:

The problem for the Met Office is to explain why the rate of increase in global temperatures has declined in recent years while concentrations of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere have continued to accelerate. Sceptics claim that this shows there is not a strong link between the two, whereas climate scientists insist that rising carbon dioxide concentrations are largely responsible for the rise in global temperatures.

Skeptics are winning the argument. That’s because the global warming crowd is clearly grabbing at straws. The ocean is not a good place to find straws.

The most likely explanation for the current pause is that excess heat trapped by carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is being transferred from the atmosphere to the oceans where it is being transported down to deeper layers that cannot be monitored by satellites, Professor Belcher said.

“It looks like the Earth is continuing to accumulate energy but it looks like it is being re-arranged and hidden from view,” he said.

This energy is hiding in the ocean. Maybe Atlantis is tapping into it as a thermal energy source.

However, measurements from hundreds of ocean floats released over the last decade, which descend and drift to depths of up to 2,000 metres, show that huge amounts of heat from the sea surface is now being transferred to the deep ocean, with unknown consequences for the environment, the scientists said.

“In summary, observations of ocean heat content and of sea-level rise suggest that the Earth system has continued to absorb heat energy over the past 15 years, and that this additional heat has been absorbed in the ocean,” says the Met Office report.

Will this heat sink end? Of course it will end. As surely as global warming is true, this heat sink phenomenon will reverse. Then we’ll see that global warming is still a threat to the world.

The pause, however, is unlikely to change the predictions over the future course of global warming. Temperature increases expected by 2015 will only be delayed by a further five or ten years, the scientists said. Average surface temperatures are still on course to increase by 2C this century, with further rises expected by the end of the century if nothing is done to curb carbon dioxide emissions, they said.

They will get back to us on this. Real Soon Now.

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