The global warming “hiatus,” which has been the basis for global warming skepticism, was based on readings from buoys in the world’s oceans.
A 2015 study by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration found that the buoys showed cooler readings than previous water temperatures – which had been taken in the warmer hulls of boats. It was “apples to oranges,” they found. But even that study was doubted and subjected to subpoenas from a Congressional opponent of the theory.
Now, an independent group of researchers has verified the same findings: there was no global warming hiatus at all. The paper, published today by a team from the University of California – Berkeley in the journal Science Advances, combines independent data from buoys, satellites and floats all over the world.
The world is still warming – and has been for decades, they conclude.
Zeke Hausfather, the lead author, and a graduate student in the Berkeley Energy and Resources Group, told Laboratory Equipment in an email that their findings independently back up NOAA’s adjustments.
“Our results mean that essentially NOAA got it right, that they were not cooking the books,” he said.
“I hope our work will be robust enough to convince some of the NOAA critics, since it shows that independent data from buoys, satellites, and Argo floats all agree well with their results,” Hausfather added.
The “hiatus” was originally believed to have slowed down surface temperatures from 1998 to 2012.
But the NOAA study, and now the Berkeley findings, have shown that the oceans warmed at 0.12 Celsius per decade over the last 20 years.
That is double the rate that was originally suggested by the “hiatus” readings, which had estimated 0.07 degrees warming over each of those two decades.
Traditional water measuring had been done with a thermometer stuck in a bucketful of ocean water. In the 1950s, that changed over to readings from within ships’ intakes – which are always slightly warmer. But what was 80 percent of ship-based readings in 1990 fipped to 80 percent buoy readings in 2015. The increasing buoy readings are almost always slightly cooler.
The comparison was apples to oranges, and bucked the actual warming trend that was happening from 1998 to 2012, the new study says.
Hausfather told Laboratory Equipment that they independently verified all their data. But that doesn’t mean there won’t be immediate opposition, he added.
“We seem to live in an age where people are increasingly entitled to their own facts as well as their own opinions, so we will see,” he added. “Particularly when things become so political, we feel it is really important to show that, if you look at all these other records, it seems these researchers did a good job with their corrections.”