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From the same journal

The 'pause' in global warming in historical context: (II). Comparing models to observations

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  • Stephan Lewandowsky
  • Kevin Cowtan
  • James S. Risbey
  • Michael E. Mann
  • Byron A. Steinman
  • Naomi Oreskes
  • Stefan Rahmstorf


Publication details

JournalEnvironmental Research Letters
DateAccepted/In press - 23 Nov 2018
DatePublished (current) - 19 Dec 2018
Issue number12
Number of pages26
Original languageEnglish


We review the evidence for a putative early 21st-century divergence between global mean surface temperature (GMST) and Coupled Model Intercomparison Project Phase 5 (CMIP5) projections. We provide a systematic comparison between temperatures and projections using historical versions of GMST products and historical versions of model projections that existed at the times when claims about a divergence were made. The comparisons are conducted with a variety of statistical techniques that correct for problems in previous work, including using continuous trends and a Monte Carlo approach to simulate internal variability. The results show that there is no robust statistical evidence for a divergence between models and observations. The impression of a divergence early in the 21st century was caused by various biases in model interpretation and in the observations, and was unsupported by robust statistics.

Bibliographical note

© 2018 The Author(s).

    Research areas

  • 'pause' in global warming, climate models, climate projections

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