August 5, 2011

The Lack of Recent Warming and the State of Peer Review

Over at the Cato Institute website, WCR’s Patrick Michaels has another one of his informative Current Wisdom pieces, a place where he “reviews interesting items on global warming in the scientific literature that may not have received the media attention that they deserved, or have been misinterpreted in the popular press.” The topic this time around is the recent paper in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences by Robert Kaufmann and colleagues in which they conclude that one of the primary reasons that the earth has not warmed up as advertised during the past 10 -15 years is that rapidly growing sulfur emissions from China (as a result of their increased usage of coal for power generation) have acted to offset a significant proportion of the greenhouse warming.

Pat explains why this hypothesis is, well, simply wrong.

Instead, natural variability is the primary reason, along with the possibility that the climate sensitivity (i.e., how much warming will occur as atmospheric greenhouse gas levels double) is on the low side of IPCC estimates (which range from 2.0°C – 4.5°C).

Pat also details the trials and tribulations that we encountered when trying to publish this finding several years ago.

Check out all the sordid details in the article The Current Wisdom: The Lack of Recent Warming and the State of Peer Review.

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