The myth of the global warming ‘pause’ – actually due to gaps in data on Arctic temperatures

Scientists can now explain the “pause” in global warming that sceptics have used to bolster their arguments against anthropogenic climate change. Sceptics had claimed we have nothing to fear from climate change because it has stopped being a problem. A new study has found that global temperatures have not flat-lined over the past 15 years, as weather station records have been suggesting, but have in fact continued to rise as fast as previous decades, during which we have seen an unprecedented acceleration in global warming. Two university scientists have found that the “pause” or “hiatus” in global temperatures can be largely explained by a failure of climate researchers to record the dramatic rise in Arctic temperatures over the past decade or more.They have found a way of estimating Arctic temperatures from satellite readings. Getting Arctic readings has been difficult, due to seasonal melting so fixed   stations are more difficult. When these readings are included, the so-called pause effectively disappeared. NOAA monthly temperature data on land surface, ocean surface and combined land ocean show recent years have been much warmer than previous averages.
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Updated data from NOAA showing the months of March, April, May and June 2015 to be among the hottest ever recorded.

https://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/sotc/summary-info/global/201506

and updated table showing monthly temperature records, from NOAA, over recent years.  Summaried-NOAA-data-2009-to-Oct-2013 and Apr May Jun 2015


 

Exposed: The myth of the global warming ‘pause’

Failure to record temperature rises in the Arctic explains apparent ‘flatlining’, study finds, undermining sceptics’ argument that climate change has stopped
by STEVE CONNOR, SCIENCE EDITOR  (Independent)

18 November 2013

Scientists can now explain the “pause” in global warming that sceptics have used to bolster their arguments. Sceptics had claimed we have nothing to fear from climate change because it has stopped being a problem.

A new study has found that global temperatures have not flat-lined over the past 15 years, as weather station records have been suggesting, but have in fact continued to rise as fast as previous decades, during which we have seen an unprecedented acceleration in global warming.

The findings will undermine the arguments of leading sceptics, such as the former Chancellor Lord Lawson, who have criticised scientists from the Met Office and other climate organisations for not accepting that global warming has stopped since about 1998.

Two university scientists have found that the “pause” or “hiatus” in global temperatures can be largely explained by a failure of climate researchers to record the dramatic rise in Arctic temperatures over the past decade or more.

When Kevin Cowtan of York University and Robert Way of Ottawa University found a way of estimating Arctic temperatures from satellite readings, the so-called pause effectively disappeared and the global warming signal returned as strong as before.

The paucity of surface-temperature records in the remote and inaccessible Arctic has long been recognised as a problem for global estimates, not least by the Met Office itself.

However, the scale of the Arctic warming highlighted by Dr Cowtan and Mr Way has surprised seasoned climate researchers.

“The problem with the polar areas lacking data coverage has been known for a long time, but I think this study has basically solved it,” said Stefan Rahmstorf of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research in Germany.

He added: “People will argue about the details, as is normal in science, but I think basically this will hold up to scrutiny.”

Read more: Gaps in data on Arctic temperatures account for the ‘pause’ in global warming

 

Q&A: What is the global warming ‘pause’ and does it mean we’re off the hook?

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NOAA monthly temperature data 

NOAA put together global data each month on temperature. They do global average land surface temperature, global average ocean temperature, and combined land and ocean temperatures. The NOAA global analysis, each month, can be found at http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/sotc/global

The table Summarised NOAA data 2009 to Oct 2013 shows NOAA (National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration) data on global temperatures over the past few years  (just data 2009 to October 2013 shown – put together by AirportWatch).

A section is copied below (comparing each month with the same month in earlier years):
Combined land and ocean temperatures Average ocean surface temperature  Average global land surface temperature
Oct-13 7th warmest 8th warmest 8th
Sep-13 4th warmest 4th warmest 6th
Aug-13 4th warmest joint 1st with 1998, 2003, 2005 and 2009 11th warmest
Jul-13 6th warmest 5th warmest 8th warmest
Jun-13 5th warmest 10th warmest 3rd warmest
May-13 3rd warmest 5th warmest 3rd warmest
Apr-13 13th warmest April 7th warmest April 17th warmest April
Mar-13 10th 9th 11th warmest
Feb-13 9th warmest 8th 11th warmest
Jan-13 9th warmest 8th 13th
 
All of 2012 7th warmest 10th warmest 10th warmest
Dec-12 18th 6th warmest 49th warmest  (ie. very cold)
Nov-12 5th warmest and the 10 warmest Novembers have been in the past 12 years  6th warmest 6th warmest
Oct-12 5th warmest tied 4th warmest 8th warmest
Sep-12 1st warmest tied with 1997 as 2nd warmest 3rd warmest
Aug-12 4th warmest 5th warmest 2nd warmest
Jul-12 4th warmest 7th warmest 3rd warmest
Jun-12 4th warmest 10th warmest 1st warmest
May-12 2nd warmest 10th warmest 1st warmest
Apr-12  3rd warmest 11th warmest 2nd warmest
Mar-12 16th warmest  (March 2012 is the coolest March since 1999 ) 14th warmest –        tied with March 1988 and March 1990 18th warmest
Feb-12 22nd warmest 12th warmest 37th warmest  – coolest February since 1994
Jan-12 19th warmest 17th warmest 28th warmest
 
All of 2011  tied 1997 as the 11th warmest – 35th consecutive year, since 1976, that the yearly global temperature was above average. 11th warmest 8th warmest