Thursday, February 27, 2014

Global warming slowdown 'does not invalidate climate change'

Adam Vaughan in the Guardian (UK): The slowdown in rising global surface temperatures is not a sign that climate change is no longer happening, the national science academies of the US and the UK have said. Publishing a guide on the state of climate change science, the National Academy of Sciences and the Royal Society said the short-term slowdown this century did not "invalidate" the long-term trend of rising temperatures caused by man-made climate change.

"Despite the decadal slowdown in the rise of average surface temperature, a longer-term warming trend is still evident. Each of the last three decades was warmer than any other decade since widespread thermometer measurements were introduced in the 1850s," the publication, Climate Change Evidence and Causes, said.

Scientists have been investigating reasons for the slowdown in temperature rises. Peer-reviewed papers over the last year have suggested 17 sun-dimming volcanic eruptions since 2000, "unusual" trade winds in the Pacific Ocean burying surface heat deep underwater and the world's oceans absorbing greater amounts of heat in recent years may have contributed.

Thomas Stocker, the co-chair of working group one of the UN's climate science panel, said at the launch of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's landmark report last September that the recent slowdown in surface temperature rises was not significant because it was over too short a period of time. "Climate relevant trends should not be calculated for periods of less than 30 years," he said.....

A painting by Lazlo Mednyanszky (1852-1919), "Snow Landscape with Boats"

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