Global Warming 'Pause' Actually Didn't Happen, New Study Reveals

First Posted: Jun 04, 2015 06:41 PM EDT

There may be evidence against a global warming hiatus. An analysis using updated global surface temperature data disputes the existence of a 21st century global warming slowdown described in studies including the latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) assessment.

In the new analysis, the researchers found no discernable decrease in the rate of warming between the second half of the 20th century, a period marked by manmade warming, and the first fifteen years of the 21st century. These first fifteen years were dubbed as a global warming "hiatus."

Numerous studies have actually been conducted to explain this period of "paused" global warming. In this latest study, though, the researchers focused on aspects of the hiatus influenced by biases from temperature observation networks, which are always changing.

Using updated and correct temperature observations taken at thousands of weather observing stations over land and as many commercial ships and buoys at sea, the scientists revealed that temperatures in the 21st century did not plateau. Instead, the rate of warming during the first fifteen years of the 21st century is at least as great as that in the last half of the 20th century. This suggests that warming is continuing and not pausing.

The findings reveal that the global warming "hiatus" actually did not occur. This, in turn, reveals a bit more about the climate and shows that the warming slowdown may actually be a product of an illusion from earlier analyses.

The findings are published in the journal American Association for the Advancement of Science.

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