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New NOAA study throws doubt on existence of ‘global warming hiatus’

Icebergs are seen floating in the water on July 30, 2013 in Narsaq, Greenland.
Icebergs are seen floating in the water on July 30, 2013 in Narsaq, Greenland.
Joe Raedle/Getty Images

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The new study, conducted by researchers at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, was published Thursday in the journal Science.

Whether the earth experienced a break in rising temperature has been a point of contention in the debate over whether climate change is a man-made phenomenon.

The 14-year hiatus is thought to have taken place between around 1998 to 2012, when the earth experienced very little change in surface temperatures despite a rise in greenhouse gas emissions.

Analyzing new data that wasn’t previously available, the NOAA study now says the pause might not have happened at all. “The notion that there was a slowdown in global warming, or a hiatus, was based on the best information we had available at the time,” Thomas R. Karl, director of the National Centers for Environmental Information, a NOAA unit in Asheville, N.C., told the New York Times. “Science is always working to improve.”

The new results quickly drew condemnation from climate change skeptics, but also questions from climate change proponents.

Possible artifacts of data biases in the recent global surface warming hiatus


Steve Gregory, KPCC's Environment and Science Editor

William Patzert, a climatologist at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in La Cañada Flintridge