Study Examines Trends in Global Warming

A multi-institutional study has recently come out with new research that studied the temporary slowdown of rising temperatures around the Earth.

The study showed that there has been a slowing down of the rise of the Earth’s temperature. This trend began in approximately 1998 and continued into 2013. The researchers involved in the study concluded that this temporary slowdown of rising temperatures could be explained by the redistribution of heat and energy in the world’s oceans.

The Earth has absorbed some of this extra heat and energy caused by climate change. The vast oceans and their surface area are able to absorb some of this heat and energy, which takes it out of the atmosphere and keeps the global temperature rise going at a slower pace than what has previously been recorded. The ocean balances out some of the excess heat created by man and a changing climate, but this natural balance isn’t enough to stop the temperature around the globe from rising.

Researchers can use this data to learn more about how much heat the oceans are able to absorb and how this affects marine life. Understanding how heat is distributed around the world, on both land and sea, can assist researchers with creating more comprehensive climate change projections and plans in the future.

Mean surface temperature differences between 1999–2012 and 1979–1998 for NDJFM (a) and MJJAS (b) for surface temperature from the Goddard Institute for Space Studies. From Yan et. al, 2016.

Mean surface temperature differences between 1999–2012 and 1979–1998 for NDJFM (a) and MJJAS (b) for surface temperature from the Goddard Institute for Space Studies. From Yan et. al, 2016.

The slowing down of the rise in global temperature is an indication that climate change is still happening, but that there are other factors at work besides mankind’s interventions. The ocean isn’t enough to halt climate change altogether, but it is important for monitoring the effects of climate change in a variety of locations.

The researchers hope their work will promote the continued study and data collection from the world’s oceans, in addition to a continued discussion on climate change.

Maps showingThe linear SST trends (unit: °C/decade) along the world's coastlines in the warming (1982–1997 and hiatus periods (1998–2013). Maps: Yan et. al, 2016.

Maps showingThe linear SST trends (unit: °C/decade) along the world’s coastlines in the warming (1982–1997 and hiatus periods (1998–2013). Maps: Yan et. al, 2016.

More:

Yan, X. H., Boyer, T., Trenberth, K., Karl, T. R., Xie, S. P., Nieves, V., … & Roemmich, D. (2016). The global warming hiatus: Slowdown or redistribution?. Earth’s Future, 4(11), 472-482.

Study Sheds New Insights Into Global Warming Trends.  Jet Propulsion Laboratory, November 22, 2016.


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