The most recent twist on the “global warming has stopped” meme is the citation of highly respected researchers in support of that incorrect, yet somehow persistent proposition. Once again, the charge is being led by leading climate contrarian Patrick Michaels, ably assisted by Paul “Chip” Knappenberger.
Earlier this year, Michaels’ World Climate Report cited two papers (Easterling and Wehner, 2009 and Solomon et al 2010) as demonstration of mainstream acknowledgment that there has been “no warming whatsoever over the past decade”.
But a closer examination shows that Solomon et al were actually citing the earlier Easterling and Wehner, a paper itself deeply critical of skeptic “cherrypicking” of short-term trend start points. Even worse, discussion of these two papers at World Climate Report contains some of the most egregious examples of quote mining and distortions of others’ work I have ever seen.
To be sure, Solomon et al do acknowledge that warming in the 2000s has been less than projected by the IPCC model ensemble and shows flattening relative to the previous decade (hardly controversial propositions). But their analysis of smoothed observations and decadal model projections implicitly rejects the contrarian obsession with short-term trends, and points the way towards a more compelling characterization and comparative analysis of model projections and observations.