Saturday, August 15, 2015

If global warming really did pause, the planet just pressed ‘play’ again

[Washington Post] In June, in a bombshell study in Science, federal researchers with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI) took away climate skeptics’ number one favorite argument — the notion that in recent years, global warming had slowed down or hit a “pause.”
Applying a number of corrections and adjustments to their dataset of global temperatures — one of the world’s most influential and widely used — so as to correct for lingering biases, the NOAA researchers pronounced that the “newly corrected and updated global surface temperature data…do not support the notion of a global warming ‘hiatus.’”
Not everyone, though, is convinced. And this week in Science, climate scientist Kevin Trenberth of the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Co, counters by once again making the case that there really was a global warming “hiatus” from about 1998 to 2013.
“The perception of whether or not there was a hiatus depends on how the temperature record is partitioned,” Trenberth writes. The NOAA scientists, Trenberth argues, picked 1950 as a starting year for their analysis, which happens to have been right in the middle of — that’s right — another “pause.” This, Trenberth says, reduced the trend from 1950 to 1999, and thus would have made 1998-2013 seem more comparable to it. Read More