After decades of rapid temperature increases, a decrement in the rate of temperature increases is providing fuel for skeptics and being touted as evidence for climate stabilization. However the fact is that this does not refute global warming. This is of course a rouse put forth by deniers. Global average temperatures will continue to increase and here are three explanations. The first involves missing data and the second and third explanations involve ocean currents.
The reason that some studies have suggested we are in the midst of a temperature hiatus is due to incomplete data sets. According to a 2013 study in the Quarterly Journal of the Royal Meteorological Society, about 16 percent of the earth’s surface was missing from the original assessments that suggested a hiatus, this includes vast areas in the Amazon, Sub-Saharan Africa, the Middle East, Central Asia, Australia, and the Antarctic.
Even if we ignore the incompleteness of the data, global warming may have appeared to be decelerating due the fact that the sea is absorbing more heat. This is the conclusion of a report by scientists at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR).
The slowdown can been attributed to a shift in ocean currents. The post-1998 Pacific Ocean tended towards La Nina conditions. The result is that the Pacific has been absorbing much of the thermal energy trapped by C02 and other greenhouse gases.
Another 2013 study suggests that the effects known as the “hiatus” are tied to cooling temperatures in the tropical or equatorial Pacific Ocean. When the tropical Pacific naturally switches back into a warm phase, the long-term trends in global warming, including more steeply rising global temperatures, will likely increase,
The fact that the heat goes into the ocean rather than the Earth’s land area does not contradict global warming and it certainly does not disprove it. Once the Pacific Ocean swings back to the El Nino or enters a warm phase, we can expect the rapid global warming to resume.
© 2014, Richard Matthews. All rights reserved.
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