Recently amplified arctic warming has contributed to a continual global warming trend

Last modified: 
December 16, 2019 - 11:49am
Type: Journal Article
Year of publication: 2017
Date published: 11/2017
Authors: Jianbin Huang, Xiangdong Zhang, Qiyi Zhang, Yanluan Lin, Mingju Hao, Yong Luo, Zongci Zhao, Yao Yao, Xin Chen, Lei Wang, Suping Nie, Yizhou Yin, Ying Xu, Jiansong Zhang
Journal title: Nature Climate Change
ISSN: 1758-678X

The existence and magnitude of the recently suggested global warming hiatus, or slowdown, have been strongly debated. Although various physical processes have been examined to elucidate this phenomenon, the accuracy and completeness of observational data that comprise global average surface air temperature (SAT) datasets is a concern. In particular, these datasets lack either complete geographic coverage or in situ observations over the Arctic, owing to the sparse observational network in this area. As a consequence, the contribution of Arctic warming to global SAT changes may have been underestimated, leading to an uncertainty in the hiatus debate. Here, we constructed a new Arctic SAT dataset using the most recently updated global SATs and a drifting buoys based Arctic SAT dataset through employing the ‘data interpolating empirical orthogonal functions’ method. Our estimate of global SAT rate of increase is around 0.112 °C per decade, instead of 0.05 °C per decade from IPCC AR5, for 1998–2012. Analysis of this dataset shows that the amplified Arctic warming over the past decade has significantly contributed to a continual global warming trend, rather than a hiatus or slowdown.

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