David Whitehouse: The Climate Coincidence: Why is the temperature unchanging?

It seems probable that 2010 will be in terms of global annual average temperature statistically identical to the annual temperatures of the past decade. Some eminent climatologists, such as Professor Phil Jones of the University of East Anglia’s Climatic Research Unit, suggest the global annual average temperatures haven’t changed for the past 15 years. We are reaching the point where the temperature standstill is becoming the major feature of the recent global warm period that began in 1980. In brief, the global temperature has remained constant for longer than it has increased. Perhaps this should not be surprising as in the seven decades since 1940 the world has gotten warmer in only two of them, and if one considers each decade individually the increase in temperature in each has barely been statistically significant. Only when the warming in the 1980’s is added to that of the first half of the 1990’s does the change exceed the noise in the system.

But what does this 10-15 year temperature standstill mean? 

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