Global Warming Is Not Slowing Down , New Study ShowsBy Emily Marks
There are some who believe that global warming has slowed down or went on hiatus in the past years. A new study by a team of scientists from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI) has recently debunked that claim.
In a post on their official website, NOAA reported that researchers have found that global surface temperature data from the past years contradict the notion that global warming has slowed. Thomas R. Karl, director of NCEI, said that their new analysis suggested that the alleged hiatus may have been the result of limitations in past datasets.
Moreover, the rate of global warming in the first 15 years of the current century has been rising faster than the rate experienced over the last half of the 20th century. The term "hiatus" was used when the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's (IPCC) concluded in its Fifth Assessment Report that the upward global surface temperature trend from 1998 to 2012 was lower than the trend from 1951 to 2012.
Science Alert noted that the "perceived slowdown" in ocean warming was not caused by any physical or natural forces. Rather, it was a result of an "undetected bias" in the process of measuring water temperatures.
Apparently, for most of the past century, the main tool that scientists used to measure ocean temperatures was through ship-based systems. However, as technology improved, scientists shifted to using and trusting data from measurements recorded by buoys.
The publication explained that scientists were not able to immediately account for the fact that buoys actually report cooler temperatures than ships. One main factor that causes this is that water samples collected by ships can be unintentionally warmed by ship engines and pipes.
NOAA researchers clarified that previous scientists were unable to account for the "cold bias" of the buoy-derived temperature data. This resulted to data from 1998 to be thought of as less warm than they actually were.
The study was published in the journal "Science."