A new study has refuted claims that global temperature increases have been slowing down in recent years. US scientists argue that the rate of global warming has been as fast, or faster, in the last 15 years when compared to the latter half of the 20th century.
Data from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) suggested that global temperature increases have slowed down since 1998. Several studies put forward theories for the trend, including the ocean absorbing additional heat, the international ban on ozone depleting chemicals and natural climate cycles, while other researchers argued the findings were wrong and were a result of gaps in data.
The latest study, from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), which has been published in the journal Science, argues that the apparent global warming hiatus is down to gaps in datasets. With improvements in the calculation of trends of global surface temperature record that includes data for 2013 and 2014, the hottest year on record, the study’s findingsindicate that there has been no slow down in global warming.
Thomas Karl, director of NOAA’s National Centres for Environmental Information, said, “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.”
He continued, “Our new analysis suggests that the apparent hiatus may have been largely the result of limitation in past datasets, and that the rate of warming over the first 15 years of this century has, in face, been as fast or faster than that seen over the last half of the 20th century.”
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