The headline was catnip to climate change deniers:
"Global Warming Stopped 16 Years Ago, Says Met Office Report Quietly Released."
It hits all the right notes: Global warming is a myth; and ‘they' know it's a myth and are trying to keep it quiet. (The ‘they' in this context – the Met Office – is Britain's national weather forecasting service. Met is an abbreviation for Meteorological.)
The article, in the London tabloid Daily Mail, goes on to state: "The world stopped getting warmer almost 16 years ago, according to new data released last week. The figures, which have triggered debate among climate scientists, reveal that from the beginning of 1997 until August 2012, there was no discernible rise in aggregate global temperatures ... The new data, compiled from more than 3,000 measuring points on land and sea, was issued quietly on the internet, without any media fanfare, and, until today, it has not been reported."
It is said that there is nothing new under the Sun, and the denialist argument that there has been no warming since 1997 or 1998 is an oft-repeated one. We've addressed it here several times, notably back in 2009 when ‘Washington Post' columnist George Will was repeating it a great deal.
It seemed to, ahem, cool down a little when 2010 moved ahead of 1998 in the medal race for World's Hottest Year – but, as John Cook of the excellent Skeptical Science blog said when I mentioned the Daily Mail article to him, "I fully expect to see this ‘global warming has stopped' myth repeated for many years to come." Indeed, David Rose, author of the ‘Daily Mail' article, has been repeating that same line for some time himself.