When the last assessment of climate change by the world’s scientists (the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s Fifth Assessment Report 2013/14) came out, the report handed climate change deniers a gift. The report concluded that global warming had slowed down from 1998-2012.
This “hiatus” was enough for opponents of actions to curb carbon pollution to claim that the scientist’s own data shows that the earth’s temperature is cyclical and has little to do with human activity. Therefore there is no need for new EPA regulations on carbon emissions.
But now a new study released today provides better analysis of previous data and adds data from 2013 and 2014. This study was done by scientists from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
The study concludes “that the rate of global warming during the last 15 years has been as fast as or faster than that seen during the latter half of the 20th century. The study refutes the notion that there has been a slowdown or ‘hiatus’ in the rate of global warming in recent years.”
This new study demonstrates what all researchers understand. The manner in which you collect data makes a big difference if you are going to do comparisons. In the case of sea surface temperature, the data was collected from ships up until the mid-1970’s and then there has been a transition to using readings from buoys.
What difference does that make? Apparently a lot. Scientists have shown that the sea surface temperature readings from ships is always higher than the same readings taken from buoys. Therefore an adjustment for source of temperature readings must be made to have a valid comparison over time.
When the NOAA scientists made this needed adjustment, the “hiatus” in global warming disappeared.
But don’t expect the climate change deniers to admit that the “hiatus” was an aberration due to faulty data analysis. Once you hand them a report they like, they’ll never let it go.