Manmade warming in past decade has likely been offset by cooling from natural cycles in the Pacific and Atlantic – but effect will reverse in coming decades.
Manmade global warming over the past decade has probably been partly offset by the cooling effect of natural variability in the Earth’s climate system, a team of climate researchers have concluded.
The finding could help explain the slowdown in temperature rises this century that climate sceptics have seized on as evidence climate change has stopped, even though 14 of the 15 hottest years on record have happened since 2000.
The authors of the new paper describe the slowdown, sometimes called a global warming hiatus or pause, as a “false pause”. They warn that the natural cycles in the Pacific and Atlantic that they found are currently having an overall cooling effect on temperatures will reverse in the coming decades – at which point warming will accelerate again.