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Oceans of Data: New Ways to Measure Global Warming

Although scientists understand that the record of Earth’s surface and atmospheric temperatures over the past century show a signature of warming correlated with rising carbon dioxide levels, there remain many doubters and deniers. One problem is that the land and atmosphere temperature data contain many sources of “noise” such as solar variability, El Niño cycles, and weather. This noise must be identified and corrected to clearly reveal the warming signal. A new, alternative approach to analyzing the data has recently been described by a team of international climate scientists led by Lijing Cheng. Their paper appears in the September 2017 issue of EOS, published by the American Geophysical Union. This alternative is based on measurements of the ocean.

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