Accusations of scientific misconduct flowed from skeptics and
some news outlets last week after the Met Office revised downwards
decadal prediction of global temperature rise up to 2017.
Although the Met Office has explained why this change to their
short-term forecast doesn't affect their view of the likely
long-term warming trend, this didn't stop the Mail on Sunday
resurrecting one of its
favourite arguments - that global warming has
This is not a new claim. In the
article on Sunday, climate skeptic
journalist David Rose claimed the Met Office's new decadal forecast
proves global warming "stopped" 16 years ago -
contrary to the Met Office itself. This is a claim
making for well over a year - he dismissed the
rebuttals that followed initial
claims about the Met Office's new data as
the "Stalinist way the Green Establishment tries to stifle
Well, the argument that a slowdown in temperature rise in recent
years shows global warming has "stopped" certainly isn't new - and
has been extensively picked apart, discussed, rebutted and
critiqued many, many times online. Here, for your amusement, are a
selection of responses.
Natural climate fluctuations can slow temperature
Climate skeptics often claim that scientists ignore the effect
of natural changes on the climate - this is the "The climate has
always changed!" argument.
However, the scientific literature is full of discussion of
natural fluctuations in the climate - and scientists believe it's
such natural processes which are currently masking the full extent
of human-induced warming - making global temperature rise slower.
On Tuesday last week, the Met Office said in a
"Small year to year fluctuations such as
those that we are seeing in the shorter term five year predictions
are expected due to natural variability in the climate system, and
have no sustained impact on the long term warming."