Thursday, January 05, 2017

NOAA Scientists Didn’t Cook the Books on Climate Change, Study Finds

New research shows the whole global warming “hiatus” is still hogwash.

Independent buoy and satellite sea surface temperature data (in green and gold, respectively) closely match NOAA’s Extended Reconstructed Sea Surface Temperature (ERSST) dataset, shown in red. NOAA’s old analysis appears in blue, while temperature data from the United Kingdom’s Hadley Climatic Research Unit is shown in purple. (Credit: University of York) Click to Enlarge.
New research has further eroded a go-to argument from climate change deniers:  that there’s been a significant slowdown, or hiatus, in global warming. 

In June 2015, scientists from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration challenged this belief by publishing a controversial study that updated the global temperature record and significantly increased the estimated rate of global warming over the previous 15 years.

Skeptics quickly pounced on the federal agency, accusing scientists of fudging data and orchestrating a cover-up.  Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Texas), who chairs the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology and has a long history of denying mainstream climate science, subpoenaed NOAA scientists to obtain communications related to their analysis.

Now, after a year of reviewing independent climate data, researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, say they have confirmed the accuracy of NOAA’s findings.  In other words, the agency did not, as Smith claimed, manipulate data “to get the results they needed to advance [the Obama] administration’s extreme climate change agenda.”

“They weren’t cooking the books,” Zeke Hausfather, the study’s lead author and a graduate student in UC Berkeley’s Energy and Resources Group, told The Huffington Post.

The 2015 paper, led by NOAA scientist Thomas Karl and published in the journal Science, found that an apparent slowing trend in sea surface temperatures from 1998 to 2012 was the result of biased data.  In its update, the agency corrected its analysis to account for differences between ships’ measurements and those of more accurate at-sea buoys.

As InsideClimate New reported at the time, NOAA found that the planet had warmed 0.086 degrees Celsius per decade between 1998 and 2012 ― more than double the previous estimates by the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.  When factoring in 2013 and 2014, the per-decade temperature increase jumped to 0.116 degrees Celsius.

Read more at NOAA Scientists Didn’t Cook the Books on Climate Change, Study Finds

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