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    Global temperature evolution: recent trends and some pitfalls

    Rahmstorf, Stefan and Foster, Grant and Cahill, Niamh (2017) Global temperature evolution: recent trends and some pitfalls. Environmental Research Letters, 12 (054001). ISSN 1748-9326

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    Global surface temperatures continue to rise. In most surface temperature data sets, the years 2014, 2015 and again 2016 set new global heat records since the start of regular measurements. Never before have three record years occurred in a row. We show that this recent streak of record heat does not in itself provide statistical evidence for an acceleration of global warming, nor was it preceded by a 'slowdown period' with a significantly reduced rate of warming. Rather, the data are fully consistent with a steady global warming trend since the 1970s, superimposed with random, stationary, short-term variability. All recent variations in short-term trends are well within what was to be expected, based on the observed warming trend and the observed variability from the 1970s up to the year 2000. We discuss some pitfalls of statistical analysis of global temperatures which have led to incorrect claims of an unexpected or significant warming slowdown.

    Item Type: Article
    Additional Information: Cite as: Stefan Rahmstorf et al 2017 Environ. Res. Lett. 12 054001. Original content from this work may be used under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 licence Any further distribution of this work must maintain attribution to the author(s) and the title of the work, journal citation and DOI.
    Keywords: Global temperature evolution; trends; variability; observed warming trend;
    Academic Unit: Faculty of Science and Engineering > Mathematics and Statistics
    Faculty of Science and Engineering > Research Institutes > Hamilton Institute
    Item ID: 11358
    Identification Number:
    Depositing User: Niamh Cahill
    Date Deposited: 17 Oct 2019 15:04
    Journal or Publication Title: Environmental Research Letters
    Publisher: IOP Publishing
    Refereed: Yes
    Use Licence: This item is available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike Licence (CC BY-NC-SA). Details of this licence are available here

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