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Why Did Met Office Try To Cover Up Pause Two Years Ago?

January 28, 2014

By Paul Homewood




Last July, the Met Office published the second in a series of papers, discussing the recent pause in global warming.

On page 6, they state:

The start of the current pause is difficult to determine precisely. Although 1998 is often quoted as the start of the current pause, this was an exceptionally warm year because of the largest El Niño in the instrumental record. This was followed by a strong La Niña event and a fall in global surface temperature of around 0.2oC (Figure 1), equivalent in magnitude to the average decadal warming trend in recent decades. It is only really since 2000 that the rise in global surface temperatures has paused.


They accept that the pause is unequivocal, certainly since 2000. They also seem to accept that the pause really started in 1998, although the period 1998-2000 was complicated by El Nino/La Nina episodes. (It is worth noting here that the two La Nina years of 1999/2000 more than offset the 1998 El Nino year – the average temperature of the three years together come out lower than 1997. It is arguable, therefore, that 1998 is a fair start point).

But, regardless of the exact start point, they fully accept that the pause is real and long lasting.


So why, in January 2012, in response an article in the Mail by David Rose, did they issue a press release saying:

Today the Mail on Sunday published a story written by David Rose entitled “Forget global warming – it’s Cycle 25 we need to worry about”.

This article includes numerous errors in the reporting of published peer reviewed science undertaken by the Met Office Hadley Centre and for Mr. Rose to suggest that the latest global temperatures available show no warming in the last 15 years is entirely misleading.


Instead, they themselves fell back on the misleading “hottest decade ever” red herring.

However, what is absolutely clear is that we have continued to see a trend of warming, with the decade of 2000-2009 being clearly the warmest in the instrumental record going back to 1850.


And they were at it again a few months later in October that year. Again David Rose had published an article, pointing out the pause in global warming.

The Met Office had this to say:

An article by David Rose appears today in the Mail on Sunday under the title: ‘Global warming stopped 16 years ago, reveals Met Office report quietly released… and here is the chart to prove it’

It is the second article Mr Rose has written which contains some misleading information, after he wrote an article earlier this year on the same theme – you see our response to that one here……

The linear trend from August 1997 (in the middle of an exceptionally strong El Nino) to August 2012 (coming at the tail end of a double-dip La Nina) is about 0.03°C/decade, amounting to a temperature increase of 0.05°C over that period, but equally we could calculate the linear trend from 1999, during the subsequent La Nina, and show a more substantial warming.

As we’ve stressed before, choosing a starting or end point on short-term scales can be very misleading.


So, who is actually doing the misleading? If the Met Office now openly accept that the pause is real, and started at least 13 years ago, why did they try so hard to cover this fact up two years ago?

  1. Joe Public permalink
    January 28, 2014 3:45 pm

    Why is it called a ‘pause’, when it’s an unexplained unpredicted halt in temperature rises?

    If they can’t explain it, and, their models failed to predict it, how do they know for certain it’ll rise again?


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