2015 SkS News Bulletin #3: NOAA Updates Global Temperature Record

This bulletin is a compilation of news articles about the recent update of the global temperature record maintained by the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The NOAA update is documented in Possible artifacts of data biases in the recent global surface warming hiatus, by Thomas R Karl et al, Science DOI: 10.1126/science.aaa5632

4 myths climate deniers can turn to now that it turns out there is no global warming “pause”

Oh man, NOAA really knows how to ruin a climate denier’s weekend, am I right?

I mean, scientists (sorry, I mean “global warming alarmists”) were already insisting that the observed “pause” in global warming in recent years doesn’t prove that man-made climate change isn’t happening, but now it looks like there was never any pause to begin with.

It’s just not fair, you know? Because climate deniers only have so many myths they can keep trotting out again and again, and meanwhile the science just keeps gettingmore science-y. How are you supposed to compete with that?

The answer, my friend, is to shout louder. Here are some places to start:

4 myths climate deniers can turn to now that it turns out there is no global warming “pause” by Lindsay Abrams, Salon, June 5, 2015 

A Hiatus on “Hiatus”

On Thursday (June 4) a new study led by the director of the leading U.S. climate data center was the latest to show evidence that global warming is—shocker—continuing. My Slate colleague Phil Plait has more, but the main point is: Talk of a “hiatus” in climate change has gotten blown way out of proportion.

From the study:

The central estimate for the rate of warming during the first 15 years of the 21st century is at least as great as the last half of the 20th century. These results do not support the notion of a “slowdown” in the increase of global surface temperature.

The study appeared in Science, one of the most prestigious scientific journals, and was accompanied by a press conference from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration—both rare for what was essentially a routine update in a widely used global temperature data set.

A Hiatus on “Hiatus” (How global warming cranks influence legitimate science.) by Eric Holthaus, Slate, June 5, 2015

Climate change not on hiatus, new research shows

“There’s no slowdown in global warming.”

That comes from Russell Vose, of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and a team of scientists from the agency’s National Centers for Environmental Information, who found that unlike reports in recent years of a “climate change hiatus,” global temperature trends are still creeping upwards. In other words, there’s been no halt. The scientists published their findings Thursday, June 4, in the journal Science.

“We are not the first ones to do any of this work,” Vose told weather.com, referring to the extensive analyses conducted by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and the accompanying reports. But, he noted, his team had a few datasets not yet available when the IPCC published its fifth — and most recent — assessment in 2013.

Climate Change Not on Hiatus, New Research Shows by Michele Berger, Weather Underground, June 4, 2015 

Global warming 'pause' didn't happen, study finds

Global warming has not undergone a ‘pause’ or ‘hiatus’, according to US government research that undermines one of the key arguments used by sceptics to question climate science.

The new study reassessed the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (Noaa) temperature record to account for changing methods of measuring the global surface temperature over the past century.

The adjustments to the data were slight, but removed a flattening of the graph this century that has led climate sceptics to claim the rise in global temperatures had stopped.

“There is no slowdown in warming, there is no hiatus,” said lead author Dr Tom Karl, who is the director of Noaa’s National Climatic Data Centre.

Dr Gavin Schmidt, a climatologist and the director of Nasa’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies said: “The fact that such small changes to the analysis make the difference between a hiatus or not merely underlines how fragile a concept it was in the first place.”

The results, published on Thursday in the journal Science, showed the rate of warming over the past 15 years (0.116C per decade) was almost exactly the same, in fact slightly higher, as the past five decades (0.113C per decade).

Global warming 'pause' didn't happen, study finds by Karl Mathiesen, Guardian, June 4, 2015

Global warming's great hiatus gets another debunking

The long-debated hiatus or pause in global warming, championed by climate denialists who tried to claim it proved scientists' projections on climate change are inaccurate or overblown, probably did not happen at all.

A new study by researchers at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration finds that the world’s warming never really stalled during the last 15 years—it was just masked by incomplete data records that have been improved and expanded in recent years.

"The rate of temperature increase during the last half of the 20th century is virtually identical to that of the 21st century," said Tom Karl, director of NOAA's National Centers for Environmental Information and lead author of the study.

Global warming's great hiatus gets another debunking by Katherine Bagley, InsideClimate News, June 4, 2015

Here’s why the global warming hiatus might not exist

The global warming hiatus — a decade-plus slowdown in warming — could be chalked up to some buoys, a few extra years of data and a couple buckets of seawater.

That’s the finding of a new study published on Thursday in Science, which uses updated information about how temperature is recorded, particularly at sea, to take a second look at the global average temperature. The findings show a slight but notable increase in that average temperature, putting a dent in the idea that global warming has slowed over the past 15 years, a trend highlighted in the most recent Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report.

The term “ global warming hiatus” is a bit of a misnomer. It refers to a period of slower surface warming in the wake of the 1997-98 super El Niño compared to the previous decades. However, make no mistake, the globe’s average temperature has still risen over that period (including record heat in 2014) and temperatures now are the hottest they’ve been since recordkeeping began in the 1880s. So let’s call it what it really is: a slowdown, not a disappearance of global warming.

Here’s why the global warming hiatus might not exist by Brian Kahn, Climate Central, June 4, 2015

Improved data set shows no global warming ‘hiatus’

National and international studies have shown that the Earth is warming, and with this warming, other changes are occurring, such as an increasing incidence of heat waves, heavy downpours and rising sea levels.

In its Fifth Assessment Report in 2013, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change found that the temperature of the Earth increased at a rate of 0.22 Fahrenheit (0.12 Celsius) per decade from 1951-2012. It also found that the rate of warming from 1998-2012 had slowed to 0.09F (0.05C) per decade.

This slowdown in the rate of warming, called a “hiatus,” was initially perplexing to climate scientists. It was inconsistent with expectations that global temperatures would rise at similar or even greater rates than they had in the latter half of the 20th century as the concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere continued to rise.

In an article published in Science Express on June 4, my colleagues and I at NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI) presented updated findings that show no hiatus in the rate of warming. Using newly developed data sets of land and ocean temperatures and two additional years of data, we conclude that the global surface temperature increased at a rate of 0.19F (0.106C) per decade from 1998-2014, similar to the rate of 0.20F (0.113C) per decade from 1950-1999.

Improved data set shows no global warming ‘hiatus’ by Jay Lawrimore, The Conversation US, June 4, 2015

NOAA temperature record updates and the ‘hiatus’

In a new paper in Science Express, Karl et al. describe the impacts of two significant updates to the NOAA NCEI (née NCDC) global temperature series. The two updates are: 1) the adoption of ERSST v4 for the ocean temperatures (incorporating a number of corrections for biases for different methods), and 2) the use of the larger International Surface Temperature Initiative (ISTI) weather station database, instead of GHCN. This kind of update happens all the time as datasets expand through data-recovery efforts and increasing digitization, and as biases in the raw measurements are better understood. However, this update is going to be bigger news than normal because of the claim that the ‘hiatus’ is no more. To understand why this is perhaps less dramatic than it might seem, it’s worth stepping back to see a little context… 

NOAA temperature record updates and the ‘hiatus’ by Gavin Schmidt, Real Climate, June 4, 2015

Science challenges claim that global warming took a hiatus

A reported pause in global warming—a mystery that has vexed scientists and delighted contrarians—was an illusion based on inadequate data, U.S. government researchers reported Thursday.

The findings by National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) researchers that there was no warming "hiatus" over the past 15 years could reshape consensus science on recent climate change. The research undercuts an argument of pundits and politicians who oppose taking action.

In the new report, NOAA's team focused on an ever changing network of thousands of temperature-monitoring stations on land and on ships and buoys at sea around the world. The scientists replotted average annual surface temperatures since 1880 while accounting for changes and quirks in the readings, particularly anomalies from ocean ships and buoys. Their conclusion confirms that unrelenting warming has occurred since the mid-20th century, according to the study published in the journal Science.

Science challenges claim that global warming took a hiatus by Marianne Lavelle, National Geographic, June 4. 2015

Science publishes new NOAA analysis: Data show no recent slowdown in global warming

new study published online today in the journal Science finds 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.

The study is the work of a team of scientists from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) National Centers for Environmental Information* (NCEI) using the latest global surface temperature data.

"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," said Thomas R. Karl, L.H.D., Director, NOAA's National Centers for Environmental Information. "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." 

Science publishes new NOAA analysis: Data show no recent slowdown in global warming, NOAA News Release, June 4, 2015 

Slow-down’ in climate change never happened, says major review

A major review of global temperatures by a leading US Government agency has failed to find support for the view that global warming has slowed down since 1998, as many climate sceptics have repeatedly claimed over the past two decades.

The prestigious US National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has re-evaluated its surface temperature records over land and sea and concluded that the rate of global warming has been just as fast at the start of this century as it was at the end of the last.

NOAA scientists believe that the global warming “hiatus” highlighted in the last report of the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) – and exploited by sceptics to undermine climate change policy – is nothing more than an illusion resulting from artefacts in the data.

‘Slow-down’ in climate change never happened, says major review by Steve Connor, The Independent, June 4, 2015

Study dismisses "hiatus" in global warming, says temperatures up

An apparent slowdown in the pace of global warming in recent years may be an illusion based on skewed data, according to a study on Thursday that found no break in a trend of rising temperatures.

In 2013, the U.N. panel of climate experts reported a "hiatus" in warming since about 1998, despite rising man-made emissions of greenhouse gases. That heartened sceptics who say the risks of climate change have been exaggerated.

The new U.S. study in the journal Science, based on a re-analysis of worldwide temperature data, found no pause in the warming blamed by most climate experts for producing heatwaves, downpours and higher sea levels. 

Study dismisses "hiatus" in global warming, says temperatures up by Alister Doyle, Reuters, June 4, 2015

What you need to know about the NOAA global warming faux pause paper

Last week, a paper out of NOAA concluded that contrary to the popular myth, there’s been no pause in global warming. The study made headlines across the world, including widely-read Guardian stories by John Abraham and Karl Mathiesen. In fact, there may have been information overload associated with the paper, but the key points are relatively straightforward and important.

What you need to know about the NOAA global warming faux pause paper by Dana Nuccitelli, Climate Consensus - the 97%, Guardian, June 8, 2015

Whither the pause? NOAA reports no recent slowdown in warming

Mountains of ink have been spilled in recent years on whether or not global warming has paused or slowed down. We’ve discussed it on this site extensively in the past, and numerous studies have examined whether the apparent pause might have been caused by additional ocean heat uptake, small volcanoes, a weak solar cycle,poor arctic coverage in existing datasets, and\or a whole host of other possible explanations.

A new high-profile paper just released in Science by Tom Karl and colleagues at NOAA argues that any slowdown in warming ended (if it ever really existed in the first place) as a result of two simple factors: correctly dealing with temperature readings from buoys, and the passage of time.

In a newly released estimate of global temperatures, they argue that the rate of warming over the past 17 years is no different than that for the prior 50 years, and that there is no apparent pause or slowdown in warming.

Whither the pause? NOAA reports no recent slowdown in warming by Zeke Hausfather, Yale Climate Connections, june 5, 2025

Yeah, about that global warming hiatus…

It’s been a rough week for climate change deniers.

First, a paper came out basically destroying claims by a group of deniers that climate models “ran hot”, that is, always overestimated the amount the world is warming. It turns out the claim was fundamentally flawed in numerous ways, which isn’t terribly surprising. You can read all about it at that link.

But the bigger news is that a new paper has been published showing that the global warming “hiatus” or “pause” or whatever you want to call it doesn’t exist.

Yeah, About That Global Warming Hiatus… by Phil Plait, Bad Astronomy, Slate, June 5, 2015

Posted by John Hartz on Monday, 8 June, 2015

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