The Open Access paper is clearly written; any natural scientist should be able to follow the arguments. The most important part may be a clear explanation of the statistical fallacies that lead some people to falsely claim there was such a thing as a "hiatus" or "slowdown".
Suppose that Einstein had stood up and said: I have worked very hard and I have discovered that Newton got everything right and I have nothing to add. Would anyone ever know who Einstein was? ... The idea that we would not want to be Einstein, if we could overturn global warming ... how exiting would that be? Of the tenth of thousands of scientists there is not one who has the ego to do that? It's absurd, it is absolutely unequivocally absurd! We are people.
I have studied the "hiatus" problem hard (1, 2, 3, 4), read this new paper and I have nothing to add. Unfortunately.
Well, okay, maybe one thing. Just because a trend change is not statistically significant, does not mean you cannot study why it changed. It only means that you are likely looking at noise and thus likely will not find a reason. But if you think there may be a great reward in the result that can make high-risk research worthwhile. Looking at how small the trend differences are and knowing how uncertain short-term trends are, I am not going to do it, but anyone else is welcome.
That there was no decline in the long-term trends also does not mean that it is not interesting to study the noise around this trend. The biggest group in the World Climate Research Program studies Climate variability. That by itself shows how important it is.
This blog is called Variable Variability. I love variability. It is an intrinsic property of complex systems and its behaviour over temporal and spatial averaging scales can tell us a lot about the climate system. It also has large impacts. Droughts and floods fuelled by El Nino are just one example. It is a pity most people just want to average this away.
One man's noise may be another man's music
Now that we take the climate system into unknown territories predictions of the seasonal, annual and decadal variability have become even more important to plan ahead and protect communities. Historian Sam White suggests that the problem of the little ice age in Europe was not the cold winters, but the unpredictability of the weather. Better predictions will help a lot in coping with climate change and already produce useful results for the tropics.
Variability lovers of the world, let's stand up for the importance of our work and not try to faithlessly justify it with middle of the road research on overstudied averages.
Related readingScience Media Centre asked three scientists for a reaction to the study: expert reaction to climate hiatus statistics
Cranberry picking short-term temperature trends
Statistically significant trends - Short-term temperature trend are more uncertain than you probably think
How can the pause be both ‘false’ and caused by something?
Atmospheric warming hiatus: The peculiar debate about the 2% of the 2%