As a rule, climate scientists were previously very confident that the planet would be warmer than it is by now, and no one knows for sure why it isn’t. This isn’t a crisis for climate science. This is just the way science goes. But it is a crisis for climate-policy advocates who based their arguments on the authority of scientific consensus.
But [Cohn’s] attempt to minimise the political relevance of [the pause] is unconvincing. He writes:
But the “consensus” never extended to the intricacies of the climate system, just the core belief that additional greenhouse gas emissions would warm the planet.
If this is true, then the public has been systematically deceived. As it has been presented to the public, the scientific consensus extended precisely to that which is now seems to be in question: the sensitivity of global temperature to increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide. Indeed, if the consensus had been only that greenhouse gases have some warming effect, there would have been no obvious policy implications at all.
From The Economist. More here. Regrettably for the field of Climate Science the majority of climate scientists made it a regular practice to combine and even confuse science with advocacy.
Judith Curry notes:
We’ve lost decades in climate science by failing to pay adequate attention to natural climate variability.
One of many reasons this matters:
Taxpayers hosed for $48 Billion subsidizing failed efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissionshttp://junkscience.com/2013/06/20/report-taxpayers-lost-48-billion-trying-and-failing-to-reduce-greenhouse-gas-emissions