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The Global Warming Hiatus Isn't Real: New Study Confirms Ocean Warming is Faster Than Ever

Jan 05, 2017 09:49 AM EST
Ocean Warming
The research corrected the ship bias for previous years, discovering that the sea temperature has actually risen by 0.22 degrees Fahrenheit per decade since 2000. (Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images)
(Photo : Matt Cardy/Getty Images)

There have been considerable buzz about the so-called climate change hiatus that supposedly saw the temperature rise slow down from 1998 onwards. In fact, when the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) released a study on the journal Science about the rapidly heating planet, the doubters became aggressive towards them.

According to a report from Live Science, a new and independent study began examining the data again and confirmed NOAA's previous research, saying the hiatus doesn't actually exist. The lead author Zeke Hausfather stated as much saying, "Our results mean that essentially NOAA got it right, that they were not cooking the books."

Hausfather is also a graduate student at the University of California, Berkeley's Energy and Resources Group.

The NOAA report pointed out that the data used to support the climate change hiatus were actually inaccurate due to measurement errors. Modern buoys measuring ocean temperature tend to produce lower temperatures compared to older ship-based methods of obtaining the temperature. This is because ships measure the ocean temperature in their engine rooms, which tend to be a heated area. Buoys measure directly from the ocean.

The research corrected the ship bias for previous years, discovering that the sea temperature has actually risen by 0.22 degrees Fahrenheit per decade since 2000. This puts the rate double of previously obtained data and matched estimates from previous decades, disproving the alleged slowdown.

The data was not received well by skeptics and the general public, so Hausfather and his team conducted an independent study using data gathered from different sources: satellites, robotic floats and buoys. In each, the warming ocean trends lined up with the data published in the NOAA study.

"In the grand scheme of things, the main implication of our study is on the hiatus, which many people have focused on, claiming that global warming has slowed greatly or even stopped," Hausfather said. "Based on our analysis, a good portion of that apparent slowdown in warming was due to biases in the ship records."

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