Did Global Warming happen in the 2000s or not? Scientists are attempting to clear up the confusion.
One of the biggest controversies regarding global warming and climate change has been reports of a “hiatus” in warming temperatures that had conservatives claiming evidence that the whole thing was a fraud — and scientists are trying desperately to dispel the notion.
The hiatus claim first popped up last year when some claimed global warming had actually slowed in the last 15 years — so the planet was still warming, but not as quickly as scientists predicted, according to a Scientific American report.
This led to a big debate between scientists and climate change skeptics, culminating in the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration posted temperature records that indicated there was no slowdown at all.
But some climate scientists are disputing NOAA’s claims in a new commentary published in Nature Climate Change. They say NOAA’s interpretation isn’t correct, and that there is indeed a slowdown.
It’s a big deal because climate models predicted that temperatures would be much higher through the 2000s than the hiatus would indicate, so that would throw into question how accurate these models are. In addition, the revelation is very costly in the public sector, where a great deal of doubt still exists over whether global warming is a real phenomenon, and politicians could seize on the report to block legislation that would seek to limit greenhouse emissions — even though almost all scientists would agree that global warming is still happening, whether there is a slowdown or not.