Global warming stopped in 1997 – new study

A new report written by Dr David Whitehouse and published today by the Global Warming Policy Foundation concludes that there has been no statistically significant increase in annual global temperatures since 1997.

After reviewing the scientific literature the reports concludes that the standstill is an empirical fact and a reality that challenges current climate models. During the time that the Earth’s global temperature has remained static the atmospheric composition of carbon dioxide has increased from 370 to 390 ppm.

“The standstill is a reality and is not the result of cherry-picking start and end points. Its commencement can be seen clearly in the data, and it continues to this day,” said Dr David Whitehouse, the author of the new report.

The report shows that the temperature standstill has been a much discussed topic in peer-reviewed scientific literature for years, but that this scientific debate has neither been followed by most of the media, nor acknowledged by climate campaigners, scientific societies and prominent scientists.

The report also surveys how those few journalists who have looked at the issue have been reporting the standstill, with many far too ready to dismiss it or lacking a sense of journalistic inquiry, preferring to reports squabbles rather than the science.

”If the standstill continues for a few more years it will mean that no one who has just reached adulthood, or younger, will have witnessed the Earth get warmer during their lifetime,” said the report’s author, Dr David Whitehouse.

In his foreword, Lord Turnbull, former Cabinet Secretary and Head of the Home Civil Service, commented:

“Dr Whitehouse is a man who deserves to be listened to. He has consistently followed an approach of examining observations rather than projections of large scale computer models, which are too often cited as ‘evidence’. He looks dispassionately at the data, trying to establish what message it tells us, rather than using it to confirm a pre-held view.”

Full report here

UPDATE 17 March:

A graph from the upcoming IPCC AR5 report confirms warming trend has stopped:


This from the Daily Mail this morning:

…The graph shows in incontrovertible detail how the speed of global warming has been massively overestimated. Yet those forecasts have had a ruinous impact on the bills we pay, from heating to car fuel to huge sums paid by councils to reduce carbon emissions.

The eco-debate was, in effect, hijacked by false data. The forecasts have also forced jobs abroad as manufacturers relocate to places with no emissions targets.

A version of the graph appears in a leaked draft of the IPCC’s landmark Fifth Assessment Report due out later this year. It comes as leading climate scientists begin to admit that their worst fears about global warming will not be realised. 

Academics are revising their views after acknowledging the miscalculation. Last night Myles Allen, Oxford University’s Professor of Geosystem Science, said that until recently he believed the world might be on course for a catastrophic temperature rise of more than five degrees this century.

But he now says: ‘The odds have come down,’ – adding that warming is likely to be significantly lower.
Prof Allen says higher estimates are now ‘looking iffy’.

The graph confirms there has been no statistically significant increase in the world’s average temperature since January 1997 – as this newspaper first disclosed last year. 

At the end of last year the Met Office revised its ten-year forecast predicting a succession of years breaking records for warmth. It now says the pause in warming will last until at least 2017. A glance at the graph will confirm that the world will be cooler than even the coolest scenario predicted.

…Many scientists say the pause, and new research into factors such as smoke particles and ocean cycles, has made them rethink what is termed ‘climate sensitivity’ – how much the world will warm for a given level of CO2.

Yesterday Piers Forster, Climate Change Professor at Leeds University, said: ‘The fact that global surface temperatures haven’t risen in the last 15 years, combined with good knowledge of the terms changing climate, make the high estimates unlikely.’

And Professor Judith Curry, head of climate science at the prestigious Georgia Institute of Technology, said: ‘The models are running too hot. The flat trend in global surface temperatures may continue for another decade or two.’ 

James Annan, of Frontier Research For Global Change, a prominent ‘warmist’, recently said high estimates for climate sensitivity now look ‘increasingly untenable’, with the true figure likely to be about half of the IPCC prediction in its last report in 2007.




  1. If you have a psychological need to believe the Global Warming Deniers, then just keep deluding yourself.
    If you want to see the actual evidence that the earth is continuing to warm, please see:
    The “Global Warming Stopped” Lie

    As for the claim that global warming “stopped” in 1997, the 1998 record was broken by a new record high in 2005.
    And the 2005 record was itself broken by an even higher record warmth in 2010.

  2. The original article that you referenced ( ) is a measurement of what is happening at the snow surface. As stated in the introduction to the original article the components for SMB are precipitation, surface sublimation, meltwater runoff, erosion, and sublimation. The article does not consider the ice loss due to glacial flow into the ocean. Thus the article is examining Surface Mass Balance and not total Mass Balance.

    The previous InvestigateDaily article that you referenced apparently did not understand that Surface Mass Balance and total Mass Balance are not the same thing.

    Also the first InvestigateDaily article misquoted the original document. The first InvestigateDaily article quoted the SMB trend rate as a positive 3 Gt. If you check section 3.4 of the original article, the trend is a negative 3 Gt.

    Total world ice loss for the period 2003 to 2010 was 4.3 trillion tons of ice.

    As for your reference to Hansen’s alleged adjustments, please note that the GISS data has been consistent with other temperature databases both before and after the alleged adjustments. The whole “adjustments” issue is merely the widespread paranoia that common to many Global Warming Deniers.

    Finally, how are the NZ glaciers doing? I also have a web page that includes them.

  3. Bill
    I appreciate you sincerely believe what you have cropped together on your site, but with respect you need to wake up and sniff the Arabica my friend. Whilst the UN IPPC was reporting the Himalayan glaciers would be gone by 2035, it was then discovered their “peer reviewed research” was nothing more than a throwaway line they overheard in a pub.

    Then we discovered much of the “science” the IPCC bases its reports on is written not from peer-reviewed work but cobbled together from Greenpeace and WWF press releases and lobby groups, or companies associated with the green-industrial lobby who stand to make billions from taxpayer subsidised ‘green’ energy programmes if climate laws are pushed through.

    Hardly the stuff of scientific integrity.

    Even top climate scientist Judith Curry is agreeing with sceptics that the UN IPCC process is a scam.

    Worse, it turns out Himalayan glaciers have been growing, not shrinking as claimed.

    There’s a reason for this, and I covered it in the climate bestseller Air Con back in 2009. Ice sheets and glaciers are usually not responding to current temperatures when they melt. Whilst studies have shown that regions can move from temperate to ice age rapidly, within just a decade in some cases, movement the other way is much slower because the ice is dense and it takes a longer time to melt than it did to grow.

    The US National Science Foundation makes the point that really big ice sheets can be responding today to temperatures from 1000 to 100,000 years ago.

    You raised NZ’s glaciers, and I put that into perspective in Air Con:

    >So again, if the National Science Foundation is correct, then movements of smaller glaciers may be related to the warming that first began in the late 1700s and became more apparent in the 1850s, while larger glaciers may be responding to the Medieval Warm Period. And if you are unaware of all these little fishhooks, you might just look at melting glaciers as proof of catastrophic global warming – just like many TV journalists do.

    For what it’s worth, Alaska’s glaciers are growing again for the first time in 250 years. Michael Asher’s Daily Tech website notes that the expansion followed record levels of winter snowfall which, because of the cold, stayed on the ground longer in the winter of 2006/07.

    “In mid June [2008] I was surprised to see snow still at sea level in Prince William Sound,” US Geological Survey glaciologist Bruce Molnia is quoted. “In general, the weather this summer was the worst I have seen in at least 20 years. On the Juneau Icefield, there was still 20 feet (6m) of new snow on the surface in late July. At Bering Glacier, a landslide I am studying [did] not become snow free until early August.”

    Written records of glacier extents in the area date back to the mid 1700s. Meanwhile, Asher also notes the re-growth of Scandinavian glaciers last year. “After years of decline, glaciers in Norway are growing again, reports the Norwegian Water Resources and Energy Directorate.”

    The growth apparently began in 2007.

    New Zealand’s 50 South Island glaciers include some of the most accessible in the world for visitors – the Fox Glacier and Franz Josef. Despite global warming, the massive Fox terminates just 250 metres above sea level. And according to the company running daily tours on the Fox, it’s been growing since the mid 80s.

    “Glaciers constantly advance and retreat, held in delicate balance by the accumulation of snow gained in the upper glacier and ice melting in the lower part. An increase in snowfall at the nevé [snow collection points at the top of the glacier] will result in the glacier advancing. Correspondingly, a faster melt will result in the glacier retreating. Overall Fox Glacier has been advancing since 1985.”

    It’s the same story for the rest of them:

    “Glaciers in New Zealand’s Southern Alps gained ice mass again in the past year. Fifty glaciers are monitored annually by the National Institute of Water & Atmospheric Research (NIWA).

    “NIWA’s most recent survey of the glaciers was undertaken in March this year. Dr Jim Salinger of NIWA said today that analysis of the aerial photographs shows the glaciers had gained much more ice than they had lost during the past glacier year (March 2004 – February 2005).

    “This year’s gains are due to more snow in the Southern Alps, particularly from late winter to early summer 2004. During this five month period, more depressions (‘lows’) to the southeast of the Chatham Islands brought frequent episodes of strong cold southwesterly winds, and temperatures were 0.6°C below average, producing more snow.”

    Most of the NZ glaciers are like Fox and Franz Josef and respond very swiftly to climate, within five to 20 years, but some of the larger ones, like the lumbering Tasman glacier, are in what the National Science Foundation would call the 100 to 1000 year response time category.

    While a 2008 news release carried by every major news website around the world misleadingly suggested the Tasman is now melting in response to modern global warming, a briefing page on NIWA’s website admits the Tasman is only now giving up the ground it gained during the Little Ice Age 300 years ago:

    “Their long response times have meant that they have simply absorbed any snow gains into their shrinking masses,” wrote NIWA’s Jim Salinger, “maintaining their areas while their surfaces have lowered like sinking lids. These glaciers have kept their LIA areas for all but the last couple of decades. Most of the relatively thick ice filling their over-deepened valleys was a remnant from the LIA, insulated by mantles of rocky moraine. They lost ice only by slow surface melt, with little or no terminus retreat. Rapid glacial lake expansion and glacier calving is now changing this situation.”

    [Note: Some of the NIWA documents quoted here have been taken down after publication of the links in Air Con in 2009]

    As for the lack of statistically significant warming, Phil Jones from the University of East Anglia was the first to make this admission to the BBC back in 2010:

    “Do you agree that from 1995 to the present there has been no statistically-significant global warming?”
    “Yes, but only just.”

    Jones then concedes that from 2002 until now, temperatures have been heading downhill:

    “Do you agree that from January 2002 to the present there has been statistically significant global cooling?”
    “No. This period is even shorter than 1995-2009. The trend this time is negative (-0.12C per decade), but this trend is not statistically significant.”

    What does this tell us? That the warming trend, if any, is largely attributable to the 1998 El Nino cycle, not ongoing record warming as claimed.

    Like I said earlier, even the UN IPCC is admitting this now, you are a voice in the wilderness trying to convince yourself otherwise, Bill.

    You continue to try and claim major ice loss in Antarctica. Yet here’s what the latest data indicates:

    “The results of ICEsat measurements are in for Antarctica, and it seems those claims of ice mass loss in Antarctica have melted now that a continent wide tally has been made. This was presented in the SCAR ISMASS Workshop in Portland, OR, July 14, 2012 and was added to NASA’s Technical Reports server on September 7th, 2012. H/T to WUWT reader “Brad”. What’s interesting (besides the result) is that the report was prepared by Jay Zwally, whose “ice free Arctic by the end of summer 2012″ prediction is about to be tested in 12 days. It also puts the kibosh on GRACE studies that suggested a net loss in Antarctica. Note there’s the mention of the “climate warming, consistent with model predictions” at the end of the report. They’d say the same thing if ICEsat had measured loss instead of gain, because as we’ve seen before, almost everything is consistent with warming and models no matter which direction it goes”

  4. @Peter Neither has the head of the UN IPCC, Rajendra Pachauri, a train engineer. Or Al Gore as I recall. Or Bill McKibben. Your point?

  5. Here are some then and now photos of glaciers in New Zealand and Norway that show they are rapidly shrinking.

    As for the false claims by the Deniers that glaciers in the Himalayas are advancing, a detailed study published in 2012 ( ) of 7,090 glaciers in central Asia (including the Himalayas and Karakoram) found that “The total glacier area of 7,090 glaciers has decreased from 13,363.5 km2 to 12,130.7 km2 in the period between the 1970s and 2000s.” (Page 3)

  6. BIll…I don’t think you are actually reading anything here…The Franz Josef and Fox glaciers react rapidly to temperature change. Not sure about you but I’ve actually been to both of them. In the mid 1800s both were much longer at the end of the Little Ice Age…they retreated until the 70s and have been going forward and back since then. The Fox is currently growing around a metre a day and has been since 1985, the Franz is retreating after advancing rapidly until 2008…neither of them are poster children for AGW.

    As for the Himalayan glaciers, as I have previously said, they are not reacting to modern CO2…and their retreat is caused by the long response times of up to centuries or more that glaciers of such size have…meaning they too will be reacting to the end of the little ice age in the 1800s which the Earth is still warming up from. Note, the warmth that ended the LIA was natural, not CO2 driven.

    For the record, the Nature study found the Himalayas losing ice at a much lower rate than expected: “Their study shows that, between 2003 and 2008, Himalayan glaciers thinned at a rate of about 21 centimetres a year on average, significantly less than the estimated global average for glaciers and ice caps”.

    The Asian Brown Cloud is also a major factor on Himalayan ice. Soot and dust darkens the albedo of the ice, enhancing heat absorbtion and thus ice loss. Again, it has buckleighs to do with CO2.

  7. Wishart you are nothing more than an absolute F***wit. Your data is the most unscientific crap ever vomited into print. But that of course is your stock and trade as you have no real skill other than ill researched conjecture and straight out lies. In that category you are second only to the gin soaked, boggled eyed lunatic Monkton. Perhaps you should team up and skip the `Light Fandango` and give us real people something to laugh at. There are similarities with the `Monty Python Flying Circus` series but alas neither of you have a micro ounce of the talent required.
    My best suggestion to you both is go get a hair cut (preferably at the neck) and a real job, something useful like washing cars.

  8. The NOAA report frou 2008 said, that 15 years of zero warming would be a significant deviation from the modelled warming trend.

    The warming since 1997 is not zero, though. And the IPCC report shows that clearly: The measurements are still inside the 95% degree of certainty, so there is not yet a reason to believe that they are more than a random fluctuation which the models don’t take into account but which disappears in averaging.

  9. It may not have got warmer in the past few years where you are, but it has certainly got warmer up here in the Ruapehu district. In the 1890s snow fell continually from May to November. In 1893 snowbanks were 10 feet high and 20,000 sheep were killed.

    In 1906 the snow was so cold that there was even a heavy fall in Wanganui city at sea level and in the 1930s there were heavy falls down to 100 m above sea level. In the 1950s heavy snow still covered the Ruahine ranges all winter, enough for a ski field to be established behind Rangiwahia.

    But for the past few decades there has been temporary light snow on the Ruahines, Kaimanawas and Desert road only two or three times each winter. Just once last year. And now we are in the grip of an unprecedented drought here. The NIWA guys say that New Zealand temperatures have only risen by one degree overall, and yet that has been enough to cause all these changes. I have noted significant changes here in the past decade, so I guess we are still warming up here, despite what that city fellow says.

  10. Yeah, although it did have enough snow for Christmas skiing during one recent summer. It’s not that the climate isn’t warming up – it has been warming up since the end of the Little Ice Age around 1850 – but New Zealand’s climate is far more buffeted by El Nino and La Nina ocean oscillations every few years than it is by CO2-caused temperature increases.

    The question is how much of climate warming is natural and how much is anthropogenic. The AGW industry would have you believe it is mostly anthropogenic, which justifies a swathe of new levels of bureaucracy, laws and taxes. But if the majority of warming is natural, as it appears to be, then the AGW scare is simply a Trojan Horse for more political control over the public, and for certain lobby groups and business interests to cash in on the scare.

  11. Wow, the warmists are out in force with their strawman arguments

    The fact is – the IPCC came up with a series of projections on future warming. The observed facts don’t match the projections.

    Qualitative observations of glacial melt and other factors are not especially helpful unless they tie into a theory that can be described using scientific methodology

  12. According to Skeptical Science t6here has been no statistically significant warming for between 16-23 years. The record does show warming, but it is so tiny that it falls within the error margins and is considered the same as zero as a result – it’s meaningless. Take Nasa’s GISS for example – change the dates to 1997-2013 and do the same for the ‘autocor’ under advanced functions.

    The warming trend is 0.081C/decade but the error margin of +/- 0.099C/decade is larger thereby rendering the warming trend statistically insignificant or no different from no trend. The data and the error bars are taken from the sources of GISTEMP, NOAA, HADCRUT, RSS, UAH, BEST. GISS shows the shortest period (16yrs) and since this is the 17th year with no warming this is no doubt where the IPCC’s Pachauri got his ’17 yrs of no warming’.

    The failure of a tropospheric hot spot to appear in over 40 yrs of searching by 2 satellites and over 30,000,000 weather balloons also proves that there is no evidence for positive feedback from water vapour, and that as a result the absolute maximum that it can warm is 1.2C per doubling of total (not just man’s) atmospheric CO2. Feedbacks are supposed to triple the minor effects of CO2, and the vast majority of these feedbacks come from water vapour. No tropospheric hot spot = no positive feedback from water vapour = no AGW, as seen by the lack of warming over the last 16-23 yrs.

    In addition to this the effects of man’s effect on the warming was only supposed to become obvious from the early 1980’s onwards, prior to that it was indistinguishable for natural causes. Therefore, 1980-1997 gives us a maximum of 17 yrs of supposedly anthropogenic warming, followed by between 16-23 yrs of no warming – and timespan equal to or more than likely larger than the actual warming. The case for AGW is incredibly weak.

  13. Do you re-call a few years ago iceburgs were sighted of the South Island coast, it had been ’70 years’ since such a sighting. What’s even more interesting is those sightings tied in with the USA Mid-West dust bowl ’70 years’ previously & that ‘dust bowl’ was the cause of the Great Depression in the USA. Sometimes it just makes more sense to talk to some really old farmers from different continents to piece together droughts, rainy times and cycles

  14. @David Bull Gee, what happened to you? Get another “menacing dog” ticket from the council or is the building trade not working out?

  15. So typical. The “believers” don’t offer any real rebuttals when presented with all the facts that refute of both the existence and cause of global warming. Instead, they resort to nothing more than hate-filled insults and name-calling

    You ought to be ashamed of yourselves.

    The jig is up. Your false religion of AGW has been exposed.

  16. Most of the recent warming has gone into the oceans. Atmospheric measurements won’t capture this.

    Most of the world’s climate scientists accept AGW.
    How is this agreement explained?
    Either AGW is real, or there is a massive conspiracy involving most of the world’s climate scientists.
    There is no independent evidence for a conspiracy.
    The consensus on AGW is best explained by the hypothesis that AGW is real.

  17. Derek, as Einstein once famously said:

    “Unthinking respect for authority is the greatest enemy of truth”

    And from Britannica:

    “One Hundred Authors Against Einstein was published in 1931. When asked to comment on this denunciation of relativity by so many scientists, Einstein replied that to defeat relativity one did not need the word of 100 scientists, just one fact.”

    Quite. Consensus is not how science is done. Don’t want opinions, just need facts. Sadly, because of the huge sums of money floating around to fund “favourable” climate studies, climate scientists have found that towing the party line pays better than challenging it.

  18. I was at Beef + Lamb woolshed meeting recently where a NIWA boffin showed us the mean annual temps in NZ over the last 100 years, and you were indeed correct Ian, the El Nino and La Nina warming and cooling do mask the overall global heating trend. This could be one of the reasons no significant change has been noted in air temperatures since 1997.

    A quick check of the ENSO records shows that El Nino was occurring up to 1997, with a million square kilometers of heated water upwelling from the depths of the Pacific. Since then La Nina has been predominant, upwelling colder water.

    And last night I tossed a couple of ice cubes into my lemon and lime, held the glass in my hand and realized that although heat from my hand was being added to my drink, it was staying at the same temperature, with the added heat being absorbed by the melting of the ice. You may find it interesting to compare the volumes of ice at the north pole between 1978 and March 2013. (Not the surface areas seen in satellite photos in mid-winter, but the volumes)

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