In a revelation that deals a serious blow to the already-bogus claims of climate change deniers, top scientists from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) declared this week that the so-called "hiatus" in global warming—some have called it a "Faux Pause"—was never a real thing.
"Our new analysis suggests that the apparent hiatus may have been largely the result of limitations in past datasets, and that the rate of warming over the first 15 years of this century has, in fact, been as fast or faster than that seen over the last half of the 20th century," the researchers write in a paper published Thursday in the journal Science.
"These results do not support the notion of a 'slowdown' in the increase of global surface temperature," the authors said.
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The Washington Post's Chris Mooney detailed the background of the spurious claim:
Starting in at least early 2013, a number of scientific and public commentators have suggested that the rate of recent global warming has slowed or even stopped. The phenomena has been variably termed a “pause,” a “slowdown,” and a “hiatus.” Pointing to it is a favorite technique of climate change doubters — recently employed by none other than presidential candidate Ted Cruz — but it certainly doesn’t stop with them.
In its 2013 mega report, no less than the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change appeared to validate the idea of a global warming slowdown when it noted that “the rate of warming over the past 15 years [from 1998 to 2012], which begins with a strong El Niño, is smaller than the rate calculated since 1951.” Meanwhile, a bevy of scientific studies have emerged in recent years seeking to explain the slowdown with reference to various modes of natural variability within the climate system, including volcanic eruptions and — probably the most popular account — the temporary burial of heat deep within the vast Pacific ocean.
According to United Press International, a major difference in NOAA's new data, aside from including the last two years—which broke previous heat records—is a series of improvements in calculations, most notably in a correction that figures in the difference between temperatures measured by buoys and ships.