Our directory of things of interest

University Directory

'Missing heat' found

  • Written by  Harley Rustad
  • Published in Climate
Met Office weather station Met Office weather station Shutterstock
01 Jan
2014
Suggestions that global warming has slowed or even stopped are in doubt following the publication of a new study that has identified the ‘missing heat’ in the global climate system

The idea that global warming has slowed since 1997 is based on studies by the UK Met Office that used climate records from the HadCRUT4 dataset, which covers only 84 per cent of the globe.

Kevin Cowtan of the University of York and Robert Way of the University of Ottawa reconstructed ‘missing’ global temperatures using observations from satellites and surface data from weather stations and ships on the peripheries of the unsampled regions. They found a rate of warming since 1997 two and a half times greater than the Met Office’s. In the Arctic – a region excluded from the earlier study – warming is taking place at eight times the global rate.

‘There’s a perception that global warming has stopped but, in fact, our data suggest otherwise. But the reality is that 16 years is too short a period to draw a reliable conclusion. We find only weak evidence of any change in the rate of global warming,’ said Cowtan.

‘Changes in Arctic sea ice and glaciers over the past decade clearly support the results of our study,’ Way added. ‘By producing a truly global temperature record, we aim to better understand the drivers of recent climate change.’

This story was published in the January 2014 edition of Geographical Magazine

Related items

NEVER MISS A STORY - Follow Geographical on Social

Want to stay up to date with breaking Geographical stories? Join the thousands following us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram and stay informed about the world.

More articles in NATURE...

Climate

A report details how tropical storms are fuelling the rise…

Wildlife

After years of trials, talks, tweaks and test runs, EarthRanger…

Climate

Nationalism might gain political points in certain parts of the…

Geophoto

With guaranteed sunshine, bright blue skies and not a hint…

Oceans

A review of coral-saving methods is helping communities decide which…

Polar

A seven-year study of Patagonia’s ice sheets has revealed the…

Climate

The environmental impact of Bitcoin is higher than its virtual…

Geophoto

With a camera in everyone’s pocket, the once rarified world…

Climate

The idea of the Earth as a self-regulating, living organism…

Oceans

A temporary fishing ban has been imposed by the European…

Wildlife

A look at the contribution of hippos to the savannah…

Wildlife

The new app encourages young children to connect with the…

Energy

A type of panel has been invented that can generate…

Tectonics

In the 4th century BC, Aristotle proposed that earthquakes were…

Climate

The Chartered Institution of Water and Environmental Management pledges to achieve net…

Tectonics

Earthquakes from time immemorial have attracted the attention of the…

Tectonics

A planned kayaking expedition in Nepal took on a whole…

Tectonics

Scientists from Bristol University are working in conjunction with EDF…