Surprise Global Warming 'Hiatus' Could Have Been Forecast

Tuesday 09th Sep 2014 by theWeather Club

Image: Supercomputer (Source: Jornero via Wikimedia Commons)

A study in Nature has shown that the slowdown in the rate of global warming in the early 2000s, known as a “global warming hiatus”, could have been predicted if today’s decadal climate forecasting models and modern-day supercomputers were available in the 1990s.

Research has now shown that global warming had not stalled but was occurring in the deeper layers of the world’s oceans which were absorbing the heat and masking the rate of warming (see previous TWC article:

The Australian and US researchers applied decadal climate prediction models - which use the state of the world’s oceans and their influence on the atmosphere to predict how global climate will evolve - to past-observed conditions in the climate system, finding that the three-to-seven-year forecasts consistently simulated the ‘hiatus’ period that was observed after the year 2000.

Gerald Meehl, a senior scientist at the National Centre for Atmospheric Research in the US, said, “Because this is a brand new way of doing predictions we need to be careful as to how reliable these predictions are …But there are indications from some of the most recent model simulations that the hiatus could end in the next few years.”

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The full article can be downloaded from here >>