No, that's wrong, because, as Slate's Phil Plait insists, with all the usual insults, it is still happening. It's only the surface temperatures that have flatlined.
To those in the pixel staring audience who might have an eyebrow quizzically arched at this point, Dr. Plait (an actual scientist who has worked on satellite based astronomy) admonishes:
If you’ve been paying any attention at all to the ongoing noise about global warming, then you’ve heard of the so-called pause. This is the idea that the planet hasn’t actually been warming for the past 15 years or so.
However, this is baloney. First off, the plot used by people who would deny the Earth is warming up (and that humans are behind it) only shows the temperature of the air over land and ocean. But our atmosphere (pardon the weird metaphor) doesn’t exist in a vacuum; the extra heat retained by our planet is also warming the oceans. In fact, most of that heat is going into deep ocean waters.
A new study shows that the temperatures over the past 15 years are still on the rise. The problem, say the authors, is that the global surface temperatures have been based on incomplete data, with some regions left out (most notably over Africa, the Arctic, and Antarctica).
Wait a minute. Can anyone see the galloping epistemological error here? Seriously, stop reading and think for a minute. In two paras, he has single handedly -- well okay, this is just the latest example, and the conveniently paywalled A New Study Says is piling on -- completely demolished the pretext for CAGW and its acronymically separated siblings.
The pretext for CAGW has been that climate models sufficiently ape the actual climate system so that it is possible to see how one variable, temperature, will vary with respect to another: CO2. Four assessment reports over the last twenty-five years have confidently, and with the help of sciency looking squiggly lines, predicted a relentless increase in surface temperatures along with CO2.
However, with the actual surface temperature observations on the verge of breaking through the model's lower bound, some 'splainin needs doing.
Enter heat going into deep ocean waters, and areas of sparse coverage biasing average temperatures downwards.
Okay, fine. Let's say both are true, despite the fact that the former reeks of handwaving and the latter more than a little too convenient.
Regardless, each demolishes every climate model used to create CAGW. Their central claim has been shown to be utterly wrong. Post hoc reasoning, rather than admitting this central fact, is a sign that even, or perhaps especially, scientists are indeed very religious people. And it isn't just the models that are left with conceptual sucking chest wounds. climate sensitivity is just as firmly based upon supposedly complete and correct climate models.
Scientifically speaking, then, the whole enterprise should be on the verge of being demoted from theory to hypothesis. When observations and models disagree, it is good to remember there is no such thing as a good theory that doesn't work in practice.
Here is Dr. Plaits penultimate paragraph:
I’ll note that this is one paper, and one result. I’m sure there will be legitimate debate over it in the climate-science community. And you can bet every last dollar you have that there will be illegitimate “debate” over it in the science-denial community. As I, and many others, have pointed out time and again, all they have is noise.
Sorry, doc, but I doubt you'd recognize science if it was a signed copy of "Fundamental Ideas and Problems of the Theory of Relativity" smacking you upside the head.