UAF study shows an increase in Arctic temperatures during perceived pause

Arctic temperature data has nullified a perceived 14-year pause in global warming. Work by a University of Alaska Fairbanks researcher shows global warming did not slow between 1998 and 2012, as previously calculated. UAF atmospheric scientist Xiangdong Zhang says the falsely indicated moderation in warming resulted from a lack Arctic temperature data.

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”Our new global data includes a much improved representation of our Arctic surface air temperature,” Zhang said.

UAF’s Zhang says he and colleagues in China used readings from remote sensing buoys deployed in in the Arctic Ocean, and worldwide NOAA sea surface temperature data and calculated a continued increase in warming.

Zhang says average global air temperatures continued to rise at over a tenth of a degree per decade during the suspect 14-year time span, a trend driven by a far greater rate of warming in the Arctic.

”Through this time period, the Arctic warming rate is about six times the global average warming rate,” Zhang said.

U.S. and Chinese government agencies, including the National Science Foundation, supported the research, which is published in the Journal Nature Climate Change.

Dan Bross is a reporter at KUAC in Fairbanks.

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