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

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Original languageEnglish
Article number123008
Number of pages25
JournalEnvironmental Research Letters
Issue number12
DateAccepted/In press - 23 Nov 2018
DatePublished (current) - 19 Dec 2018


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.

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    Rights statement: This is the final published version of the article (version of record). It first appeared online via IOP at DOI: 10.1088/1748-9326/aaf372/meta. Please refer to any applicable terms of use of the publisher.

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    Licence: CC BY



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