What of “The Pause”?

I have previously shown how global temperatures rose in three distinct and abrupt steps from the 70s to the 00s – one in 1979, one in 1988 and one in 1998 – and at all other times, not at all. These three steps occurred relative to the SSTa curve of the NINO3.4 region in the equatorial zone of the central-eastern part of the Pacific Ocean. Before, between and after the three steps, global temperatures appear simply obediently to follow NINO3.4 without any sign of a continued slow, but steady upward drawing away as if from a ‘steady rising background forcing’:

Warming steps

Figure 1.

My opinion on the much talked about “Pause” or “Hiatus” in ‘global warming’ still said to be going on (the considerable final, level stretch of the upper blue curve in Figure 1), is thus naturally coloured by this understanding of how global temperatures normally progress through time, as exemplified by the period from 1970 till today.

Within this perspective, the “Pause” is but one of many temperature ‘plateaus’ between sudden steps up or down (the last time it went down was back in 1964, before the ‘modern warming’). The relevant questions are: When did the last step occur? When will the next one take place? And will it go up? Or down?

At the present time, I would still maintain that the last well-established step in global temperatures happened in 1998, following directly in the wake of the mighty 1997/98 El Niño. Simply because not enough time has elapsed to be able to say anything for certain about more recent events.

But there are definitely a couple of things at work today that deserve some close attention. Continue reading

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How the world really warmed …, Part III: Steps 2 & 3

”The main tool used in this study is correlation and regression analysis that, through least squares fitting, tends to emphasize the larger events. This seems appropriate as it is in those events that the signal is clearly larger than the noise. Moreover, the method properly weights each event (unlike many composite analyses). Although it is possible to use regression to eliminate the linear portion of the global mean temperature signal associated with ENSO, the processes that contribute regionally to the global mean differ considerably, and the linear approach likely leaves an ENSO residual. We have shown here that 0.06 °C of the warming from 1950 to 1998 can be accounted for by the increased El Niño phase of ENSO. The lag of global mean temperatures behind N3.4 is 3 months, somewhat less than found in previous studies. In part, this probably relates mostly to the key ENSO index used, as the evolution of ENSO means that greater or lesser lags arise for alternative indices that also vary across the 1976/1977 climate shift.”

From Trenberth et al. 2002: “Evolution of El Niño-Southern Oscillation and global atmospheric surface temperatures.”

I want you to bear this quote in mind – especially the highlighted part – throughout this post. Because what we will do in the following, is to address and track Trenberth’s ‘ENSO residual’, the result of ENSO-related oceanic/atmospheric processes operating and contributing regionally to global mean temps outside the ‘key ENSO index’ region in the equatorial East Pacific (the NINO3.4), and that evidently (according to the data) differ considerably in their effects (contributions) from some ENSO events to others. This extra-NINO part of the ENSO process is what caused ‘global warming’ since 1980. That’s not a claim. It’s an observation. It’s right there in the freely accessible real-world data. For all to see.

If one simply cares to have a look … And knows what to look for. Continue reading