Climate change skeptics often refer to what they call the climate change “pause” as proof that global warming is a myth and that climate models cannot be trusted. However, new research has shown that this slowdown or “pause” is a natural occurrence that has no significance in the long-term trends.
As the planet has been warming significantly for the last century or more, the last 15 years have seen a slowdown in the warming process, leading many critics of the science to use this data to suggest climate scientists are unable to properly predict climate changes and their models don’t hold up against the evidence we have at hand. Most notable are right wing politicians and news shows on Fox News who frequently use this data in arguments about climate change policy measures.
Historically temperatures are higher, but between 1998 and 2013 temperatures were lower than some models had predicted. For denialists this was all the proof they needed to throw out all climate science.
These critics believe that we are simply experiencing natural climate variances, not the man made catastrophe predicted by climate scientists who are urging nations act quickly to curb carbon emissions and other environmental measures to slow or reverse this change.
Yet McGill University professor Shaun Lovejoy, who published a paper in the science journal Geophysical Research letters, showed that the last 15 years of slower warming is, "a pattern that is in line with variations that occur historically every 20 to 50 years."
Lovejoy explained that this so-called pause "exactly follows a slightly larger pre-pause warming event, from 1992 to 1998." Lovejoy said the pause argument could be put to rest as it now has a statistical explanation. If climate change denialists do this remains to be seen.