A year ago, the Global Warming Policy Forum, a web site run by anthropologist and sports sociologist Benny Peiser, Nigel Lawson of the House of Lords in the UK, engineer Edward Atkin, and economist Neil Record, published an article describing what it called “an early 21st century hiatus” in global warming. A year before that, Climate Depot claimed “no global warming at all for 18 years 9 months”.
The concept of a global warming hiatus has been popular among right wing politicians and corporate lobbyists who are trying to prevent action to control climate change. They assert that global warming has slowed down or even stopped completely in recent years. Yet, in the summer of 2015, a study by climate scientists working at the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration and the National Centers for Environmental Information concluded that the basis of the supposed hiatus was actually just the product of a statistical bias created when temperature measurement shifted from relatively warm ships’ engines to relatively cool ocean buoys.
At the time, the editors journal Science, which published the peer-reviewed article, wrote, “Previous analyses of global temperature trends during the first decade of the 21st century seemed to indicate that warming had stalled. This allowed critics of the idea of global warming to claim that concern about climate change was misplaced. Karl et al. now show that temperatures did not plateau as thought and that the supposed warming ‘hiatus’ is just an artifact of earlier analyses. Warming has continued at a pace similar to that of the last half of the 20th century, and the slowdown was just an illusion.”
Right wing opponents of action to confront climate change howled in protest that somehow, this scientific analysis must be fake. Though they couldn’t come up with any evidence of a hoax, they argued that the authors of the 2015 study had somehow distorted math itself in order to fit a political agenda.
Now, a year and a half later, a new study conducted by a separate team of researchers from the University of California, Berkley Earth, the University of York, George Mason University, and the California Institute of Technology has concluded that actually, the mathematics of the 2015 were perfectly sound. The study concurs with the 2015 analysis that those claiming a global warming hiatus have been mistaken, and have underestimated the extent of global warming.
In fact, 2016 was the hottest year ever since human beings began taking scientifically reliable measurements of temperature.