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Scientists Are Still Trying To Convince Us The Global Warming ‘Hiatus’ Didn’t Happen

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A group of Chinese scientists published a new study contradicting the new consensus about the causes of the recent “hiatus” in global warming.

Researchers claim the Arctic warmed six times faster than the global average from 1998 to 2012, based on a controversial method of calculating sea surface temperature and data collected from buoys floating in the region.

“We recalculated the average global temperatures from 1998-2012 and found that the rate of global warming had continued to rise at 0.112C per decade instead of slowing down to 0.05C per decade as previously thought,” Xiangdong Zhang, a professor University of Alaska Fairbanks, said in the study’s press release.

Zhang’s study echoes a 2015 study led by National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) scientist Tom Karl. That study also eliminated the 15-year “hiatus” from temperature data by warming up readings taken from ocean buoys. Zhang analyzed the data with help from colleagues in China.

Karl’s paper stirred up the hornet’s nest, and even attracted a congressional investigation into its methods. Eventually, former NOAA scientist John Bates claimed Karl put his “thumb on the scale” to “maximize warming and minimize documentation.”

Bates said Karl didn’t properly archive his data or go through proper quality checks, and that NOAA rushed its publication to influence international climate talks. Both Bates and Karl have since left NOAA.

NOAA is reviewing the Bates’s allegations, and said it would convene an outside panel of experts to review Karl’s work.

Zhang’s paper isn’t the first to use Karl’s data, but it contradicts the new consensus in climate science that the “hiatus” in warming happened and that the models over-predicted warming during that time.

A recent paper, led by climate scientist Benjamin Santer, is the latest study to encapsulate scientific thought on the “hiatus.” Santer found “satellite-derived tropospheric warming trends were generally smaller than trends estimated from a large multi-model ensemble.”

Another study from April found the “observed trend deviated by as much as −0.17°C per decade from [model] ensemble-­mean projection —a gap two to four times the observed trend.”

“The hiatus therefore continues to challenge climate science, the study found.

Scientists were skeptical of Zhang’s work given the voluminous evidence there was, in fact, a “hiatus” in global warming.

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