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STUDY: Temperature Data Isn’t Accurate Enough To Find The Cause Of The ‘Hiatus’ In Global Warming

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By MICHAEL BASTASCH

New research found there was, in fact, a nearly 15-year “hiatus” in global warming in the early part of the 21st Century, suggesting it could have been caused by natural variability in the atmosphere’s energy balance.

What’s more is climate scientists with Germany’s Max Planck Institute found there’s too much uncertainty in observational data to determine the true cause of the “hiatus” in warming.

Scientists argue that “unless the uncertainty of observational estimates can be considerably reduced, the true origin of the recent hiatus may never be determined.”

“That’s an important sentence, because it demonstrates that despite many claims to the contrary, CO2 induced forcing of the planetary temperature is not the control knob, and natural variability remains in force,” veteran meteorologist Anthony Watts wrote of the Max Planck study on his blog Watts Up With That.

Max Planck scientists found hiatuses in global warming can be caused by relatively small changes in ocean energy balance, which can originate from the top of the atmosphere or the ocean.

“This is the true dilemma at the heart of the hiatus debate: the variability in ocean heat content alone has no power to explain the hiatus, and the measure that can—the surface-layer flux divergence—is dwarfed by observational uncertainty,” researchers wrote in their study, led by scientist Christopher Hedemann.

For years, scientists have debated the existence of the “hiatus” in global warming — a period from 1998 to 2012 with little to no statistically significant warming.

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