PerspectiveClimate Change

Has there been a hiatus?

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Science  14 Aug 2015:
Vol. 349, Issue 6249, pp. 691-692
DOI: 10.1126/science.aac9225


Every decade since the 1960s has been warmer than the one before, with 2000 to 2009 by far the warmest decade on record (see the figure). However, the role of human-induced climate change has been discounted by some, owing to a markedly reduced increase in global mean surface temperature (GMST) from 1998 through 2013, known as the hiatus (13). The upward trend has resumed in 2014, now the warmest year on record, with 2015 temperatures on course for another record-hot year. Although Earth's climate is undoubtedly warming, weather-related and internal natural climate variability can temporarily overwhelm global warming in any given year or even decade, especially locally.

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