Chinese climate scientists: The so-called hiatus in global temperature is illuminating, significant and real.
Chinese climate scientists are clearly off-message. They keep referring to the global warming hiatus which so many scientists and activists – those who shout on twitter and prowl the comment sections of off-colour articles on the subject – know has been trounced and discredited again and again. They clearly ought to have a word with the emerging science powerhouse that is China.
Writing recently in “Science of The Total Environment,” Li and Zha of Nanjing Normal University, say the global hiatus has played a prominent role in their thinking and they see it reflected in China. Using satellite data they found a hiatus in China between 2001-15. They found warming in western and southern China and a 15-year cooling trend in northern China. For China as a whole they estimate that the warming rate is just -0.02°C per decade. The conclude that, “there is a regional warming hiatus, a pause or slowdown in China, and (it) implies that greenhouse gas induced warming is suppressed by other natural forcing in the early 21st century.”
There is also Li et al writing in Climate Dynamics who are a little more forceful saying, “since the late 1990s, the global warming has ground to a halt, which has sparked a rising interest among the climate scientists. The hiatus is not only observed in globally average surface air temperature, but also in the China winter air temperature trend, which turns from warming during 1979-1997 to cooling during 1998-2013.” They attribute the effect to the melting of Arctic sea ice.
Gan et al (Lanzhou University and South Dakota State University), reporting in Earth and Space Science say that the hiatus, if not cooling, is seen over the Northern Hemisphere finding that the daily temperature minimum experienced an “obvious” decline in North America during the warming slowdown period. They relate the changes in daily temperature minimum to the Atlantic Multi-decadal Oscillation.
He at al (National Science Review) note that carbon budgets in ecosystems in China are coupled with changes in climate. They point out that in the past decade China has experienced changes in the characteristics of its summer monsoon as well as “decelerated warming.” They point out that in general changes in China’s ecosystems are poorly documented.
Looking at East Asian surface temperatures Xie et al in Climate Dynamics suggest that the effect of the North Atlantic Oscillation, operating through its influence on the African-Asian multi-decadal teleconnection pattern, will mean that East Asian surface ait temperatures will remain at their current levels or slightly cooler between 2018 -2034, and will then increase.
Elsewhere in the world Wanatabe et al in Nature Scientific Reports say that the Indian Ocean Dipole – an inter-annual mode of climate variability in the Indian Ocean – has intensified with 20th century global warming. However, the data shows a global-warming hiatus between the late-1990s and 2015. They say it is presently unclear how this global warming hiatus, as they put it, will affect regional ocean parameters.
All of these interesting papers come from mainstream journals, and all are food for thought. The so-called hiatus in global temperature is illuminating, significant and real.