"Warming Hole Delayed Climate Change Over Eastern United States," declares the headline at Science Daily, describing the results of new studies from the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS). It seems that particulate pollution in the late 20th century created a regional "warming hole," a/k/a a cold patch, a/k/a a place where the global warming model was an abject failure for many decades.
It seems to me you could as easily say "we found a large area where global warming didn't happen, thus confounding our expectations and making us question our causation theory." Or you might say "particulate pollution appears to be a stronger driver of climate change than the oft-reviled CO2, and in the opposite direction, so now we're really confused about that positive-feedback assumption on which most of our alarming predictions are based." You might even say "particulate pollution paradoxically acts as a benign umbrella to protect industrialized regions from global warming," but what fun would that be? A "Warming Hole" sounds a lot scarier and more interesting. Who wants to crucify industry barons who are only spreading a lovely parasol? And what respectable science journal wants to run a story about counter-evidence for global warming causation theories?
Like most of the announcements in this area, the new report is based on re-jiggered models, in this case a "combination of two complex models of Earth systems." That's terrific. The only thing that inspires more confidence than a complex model is two of them jammed together.