Climate: Fresh doubt over global warming 'pause'
A study that found there has been no slowdown in global warming has been supported by new research. Many researchers had accepted that the rate of global warming had slowed in the first 15 years of this century. But new analysis replicates findings that scientists have underestimated ocean temperatures over the past two decades.
With the revised data the apparent pause in temperature rises between 1998 and 2014 disappears. The idea of a pause had gained support in recent years with even the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) reporting in 2013 that the global surface temperature "has shown a much smaller increasing linear trend over the past 15 years than over the past 30 to 60 years".
But that consensus was brought into question by a number of studies, of which a report by the the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (Noaa) published in Science last year was the most significant.
Researchers from Noaa suggested that the temperatures of the oceans were being consistently underestimated by the main global climate models.
The authors showed that the ocean buoys used to measure sea temperatures tend to report slightly cooler temperatures than the older ship-based systems.
Back in the 1990s, ship measurements made up the vast majority of the data, whereas now the more accurate and consistent buoys account for 85% of measurements.