"Scientists and statisticians reject this sort of selective use of numbers, and when they calculate the long-term temperature trends for the earth, they conclude that it continues to warm through time. Despite the recent lull, it is an open question whether the pace of that warming has undergone any lasting shift.
What to make of it all?
We certainly cannot conclude, as some people want to, that carbon dioxide is not actually a greenhouse gas. More than a century of research thoroughly disproves that claim.
In fact, scientists can calculate how much extra heat should be accumulating from the human-caused increases in greenhouse gases, and the energies involved are staggering. By a conservative estimate, current concentrations are trapping an extra amount of energy equivalent to 400,000 Hiroshima bombs exploding across the face of the earth every day.
So the real question is where all that heat is going, if not to warm the surface. And a prime suspect is the deep ocean. Our measurements there are not good enough to confirm it absolutely, but a growing body of research suggests this may be an important part of the answer.
Exactly why the ocean would have started to draw down extra heat in recent years is a mystery, and one we badly need to understand. But the main ideas have to do with possible shifts in winds and currents that are causing surface heat to be pulled down faster than before.
The deep-ocean theory is one of a half-dozen explanations that have been proffered for the warming plateau. Perhaps the answer will turn out to be some mix of all of them. And in any event, computer forecasts of climate change suggest that pauses in warming lasting a couple of decades should not surprise us.
Now, here is a crucial piece of background: It turns out we had an earlier plateau in global warming, from roughly the 1950s to the 1970s, and scientists do not fully understand that one either. A lot of evidence suggests that sunlight-blocking pollution from dirty factories may have played a role, as did natural variability in ocean circulation. The pollution was ultimately reduced by stronger clean-air laws in the West.
Today, factory pollution from China and other developing countries could be playing a similar role in blocking some sunlight. We will not know for sure until we send up satellites that can make better measurements of particles in the air.
What happened when the mid-20th-century lull came to an end? You guessed it: an extremely rapid warming of the planet.
So, if past is prologue, this current plateau will end at some point, too, and a new era of rapid global warming will begin. That will put extra energy and moisture into the atmosphere that can fuel weather extremes, like heat waves and torrential rains.
We might one day find ourselves looking back on the crazy weather of the 2010s with a deep yearning for those halcyon days."
An extract from the New York Times which I think clearly answers your objections, John.
Look at the air pollution around you in your city. You do not need to be a scientist to know there are a lot more green house gases now being produced then in the time of the Romans. And you cannot even see most of them. HFC gases which replaced CFC's gases in refrigerants are 1000 times worse as a green house gas than C02.. But we cannot see them.
Be careful leveling harsh, unfounded criticism at organisations & banks that are trying to do the right thing by humanity. Of course there are many aspects of Human Induced Accelerated Global Warming our scientists do not fully understand, such as this plateau affect, However what 98% of scientists agree is human have accelerated global warming, and this is going to have disastrous effects for all humanity especially the poor. And if we wait until we 100% understand every aspect of global warming it will be much too late to do anything about it. If you could stop banks from supporting climate change initiatives you would ultimately be condemning hundreds of millions of people, in poor nations to a future with little to no hope of a future.