Energy & Environment

Federal study: No ‘pause’ in global warming

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Federal scientists Thursday disputed the notion that the world’s temperature stopped rising 15 or so years ago.

The global warming “pause” or “hiatus” has been a main talking point for climate change skeptics who doubt the link between greenhouse gases and climate change, including Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.), chairman of the Environment and Public Works committee.

{mosads}Even the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has cited a hiatus in recent reports.

But the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) said Thursday that the last 15 years have seen warming at a pace just as fast as before, if not faster.

The study is a blow to the skeptics and others who had highlighted the pause as evidence global warming either is not real or has stopped. The research was published in the peer-reviewed journal Science.

Researchers attributed the perception of a pause to insufficient data sets throughout those years that have now been improved.

“Adding in the last two years of global surface temperature data and other improvements in the quality of the observed record provide evidence that contradict the notion of a hiatus in recent global warming trends,” Thomas Karl, director of the NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information, said in a statement.

“Our new analysis suggests that the apparent hiatus may have been largely the result of limitations in past datasets, and that the rate of warming over the first 15 years of this century has, in fact, been as fast or faster than that seen over the last half of the 20th century.”

Researchers added thousands of additional ground-level temperature readings to the previous data sets for their analysis, including readings that show that 2014 was the hottest year on record.

The scientists found specifically that adding the previous two years to data sets makes for a significantly greater temperature rise than otherwise, by a difference of about 0.02 degrees Celsius.

Tags Global warming Jim Inhofe National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

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