I don’t get my information from the so-called “deniers.” Most of what I know on the subject comes from the NWS, NOAA and several prominent University Research Groups including the UAF Geophysical Inst. just a mile and a half from my home. The 1998 point was the apex of the rapid warming since the mid '70s, but the metrological scientists discounted that year as part of that trend because of the strong El Nino that year, so they moved it back to 1996 when they began comparing that period to the temperature trend in this century.
And if you go back and look at the context of where I first used that year, you will see it fits quite appropriately with that conversation.
While in the last 3-4 years, there appears to be another steeping of the temperature curve, in the years from 1996 to 2015 there is a clear lessening of the increase (even a slight decrease between '98 to '09) from the mid '70s to '96 (or '98, whichever you prefer.)