It really looks like it has: What happened to global warming?
This headline may come as a bit of a surprise, so too might that fact that the warmest year recorded globally was not in 2008 or 2007, but in 1998.
But it is true. For the last 11 years we have not observed any increase in global temperatures.
And our climate models did not forecast it, even though man-made carbon dioxide, the gas thought to be responsible for warming our planet, has continued to rise.
So what on Earth is going on?
What's going on is exactly what all of us "deniers" said was going on in the first place; that the models being used to sell this "crisis" were faulty, offering a simplistic forcing mechanism that ran rough-shod over not only the scientific process, but reality itself. In positing CO2 as the primary driver of climate, the AGW crowd was always more or less insane. (It isn't even the most important of the greenhouse gases. Water vapor is.) They were basically telling us that the only important difference taking place in the world in the last half of the 20th Century was man-made CO2 concentration in the atmosphere. Every other factor (solar variability, cloud cover, ocean temperature, increased urbanization, etc.), we were told, was a complete wash. We, of course, had temperature variations in the historical record on the order of the one we experienced in the decade 1988-1998, including a substantial number that were more pronounced. Could we in fact, the "lunatic deniers" asked, be experiencing something quite precedented?
The answer was yes.
What is really interesting at the moment is what is happening to our oceans. They are the Earth's great heat stores.
According to research conducted by Professor Don Easterbrook from Western Washington University last November, the oceans and global temperatures are correlated.
The oceans, he says, have a cycle in which they warm and cool cyclically. The most important one is the Pacific decadal oscillation (PDO).
For much of the 1980s and 1990s, it was in a positive cycle, that means warmer than average. And observations have revealed that global temperatures were warm too.
But in the last few years it has been losing its warmth and has recently started to cool down.
These cycles in the past have lasted for nearly 30 years.
So could global temperatures follow? The global cooling from 1945 to 1977 coincided with one of these cold Pacific cycles.
The interesting part here, of course, is not so much the prospect of future cooling but the idea that the warming we did experience up to 1998 can be linked to a natural climate feature we would associate with warming trends. The whole point of "CO2 rah-rahism" is that it alone was "driving" climate. It was, we were assured, an "overwhelming" force. Turns out it wasn't "overwhelming overwhelming."
Mojib Latif, a member of the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) says that we may indeed be in a period of cooling worldwide temperatures that could last another 10-20 years.
Professor Latif is based at the Leibniz Institute of Marine Sciences at Kiel University in Germany and is one of the world's top climate modellers.
But he makes it clear that he has not become a sceptic; he believes that this cooling will be temporary, before the overwhelming force of man-made global warming reasserts itself.
How is this in any way the theory they have been peddling for the last 20 years? Either CO2 "overwhelms" the natural rhythms of climate, or it does not. An "overwhelming" force does not get to take a smoke break for 20-30 years while it allows other forces to rule the day until it feels like reasserting itself in the future.
It's nonsense. It's always been nonsense.
I'm intrigued by this nugget on solar variation from the BBC piece:
[O]ne solar scientist Piers Corbyn from Weatheraction, a company specialising in long range weather forecasting... claims that solar charged particles impact us far more than is currently accepted, so much so he says that they are almost entirely responsible for what happens to global temperatures.
He is so excited by what he has discovered that he plans to tell the international scientific community at a conference in London at the end of the month.
Well, I'll be interested in seeing what he has to present, although I'd be wary of simply exchanging CO2 solipsism for a solar variation solipsism. That being said, because of the general importance of the sun to our climate (duh!), it already has the benefit of being at least plausible.