In 2013, a landmark report issued by the UN described an odd occurrence in the climate change debate. Somehow, although greenhouse gases were on the rise, the temperature of the Earth’s surface was not increasing as expected.
As such, researchers have spent the following years attempting to explain this strange phenomenon that scientists were calling a “global warming hiatus”. The news, whilst confusing for the scientific community, was music to the ears of skeptics who jumped on the ‘hiatus’ train to push their political agenda’s of climate change denial. With fuel added to the political fire of ‘human driven climate change’, researchers gathered together to rethink the data and re-establish a study whereby new data, across of range of global positions, could be utilised.
The new report has suggested that the findings of the pervious UN report, were in fact incorrect projections and the ‘hiatus’ did not reflect a significance decrease in global warming – over the last 15 years – as the report had initially concluded.
Instead, the latest report directly challenges the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and their initial 2013 findings.
In utilising corrected measurements and the most recent data to determine the quality of the near-surface temperature records, the study asked whether their results prove a decline in temperatures.
The study, labelled “Possible artifacts of data biases in the recent global surface warming hiatus”, was led by Dr. Thomas Karl and his colleagues. By improving upon existing information, the researchers accounted for changes in technology, effects of human impact (i.e boats/motors in the water), recent estimates of land temperatures from multiple databases and bias in evidence selection.
Through these new pathways the authors have found that temperatures have risen at a rate of 0.106 degrees celsius per decade between 1998 and 2014 – more than twice the rate reported with older data and whilst allowing for biases.
Whilst the results are not surprising to the scientific community, many of whom took the initial report with a grain of salt, the results will have a wide range of political implications for individuals who used the UN released data, to push certain climate change agenda’s and policies.