Global warming hiatus dominated by low-latitude temperature trends

Over the last 15 years, global mean surface temperatures exhibit only weak trends. Recent studies have attempted to attribute this so called temperature hiatus to several causes, amongst them incomplete sampling of the rapidly warming Arctic region. We here examine zonal mean temperature trends in  satellite-based tropospheric data sets (microwave sounding unit/advanced microwave sounding unit and Global Navigation Satellite Systems Radio Occultation) and in global surface temperatures (HadCRUT4). Omission of successively larger polar regions from the global mean temperature calculations, in both tropospheric and surface data sets, shows that data gaps at high latitudes cannot explain the observed differences between the hiatus and the prehiatus period. Instead, the dominating causes of the global temperature hiatus are found at low latitudes. The combined use of several independent data sets, representing completely different measurement techniques and sampling characteristics, strengthens the conclusions.

Link to paper in GRL

Surface and tropospheric temperature trends in successively wider zonal bands centered on the equator. Equatorial temperature trends on the left and global temperature trends on the right.