Is there actually a global warming hiatus? Some of the world’s top climate scientists have just released a report in the journal Nature Climate Change, saying ‘absolutely’.
In the U.N’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s AR5 report from 2013, an interesting anomaly was brought to light – namely that the rate of warming during the period from 1998 through 2012 was “smaller than the rate calculated since 1951” despite the obvious increase in carbon emissions from human activity.
However, a study from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in 2015 claimed to have removed biases from previous data and found that there was no evidence of a global warming hiatus.
Now, new research led by John Fyfe of the Canadian Centre for Climate Modelling and Analysis at the University of Victoria, and including noted climate researchers Gerald Meehl of the National Center for Atmospheric Research, Benjamin Santer of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, and Michael Mann of Penn State University, argues against these findings.
According to the paper’s intoduction;
It has been claimed that the early-2000s global warming slowdown or hiatus, characterized by a reduced rate of global surface warming, has been overstated, lacks sound scientific basis, or is unsupported by observations. The evidence presented (in the paper) contradicts these claims.
Furthermore, the paper is clear that there is not yet a clear explanation for the entirety of the pause and further study is needed;
This raises interesting scientific questions: are we living in a world less sensitive to GHG forcing than previously thought, or are negative forces playing a larger role than expected? Or is the recent slowdown a natural decadal modulation of the long-term GMST trend?
However, there will still be some people who will claim that the global warming hiatus is simply a matter of observational biases;