Several times over the past decade, climate change deniers have pointed to a so-called “hiatus” in global warming between 1998 and 2014 and used it to argue that climate change is a hoax. After all, the existence of a hiatus — or, more accurately, a slowdown in global mean surface temperature over the past 15 years — was acknowledged even by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change in a 2013 report.How, the denialists questioned, can scientists say human activities are causing the Earth to heat up when the data shows a clear slowdown?
The answer, according to a new analysis published Wednesday in the journal Science Advances, is that the hiatus — or even a slowdown in the rate of ocean temperature rise — never happened. The study reveals that measurements that showed the existence of such a slowdown were, in fact, the result of a “cold bias” creeping into data gathered by ocean buoys.
Remember this for when your favorite climate denier brings it up.