NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Global Warming Slows to Crawl, Puzzles Scientists

April 4, 2013

For years climate scientists and environmentalists have made grim predictions about the future of humanity on a planet suffering from intense global warming. However, a two-decade pause in global warming is causing more skepticism about global warming. Some view the trend as an indication that anthropogenic (human-caused) global warming is false but others says the temporary cooling trend only makes the stakes greater in the long run, says Graham Lloyd, environment editor for The Australian.

  • A paper published by the head of the National Aeronautical and Space Administration's Goddard Institute for Space Studies says that the lower than expected rise in temperatures between 2000 and today could be explained by increased emissions from coal burning.
  • The International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) chairman said that the slowing temperature rise would have to continue for 30 years to 40 years before it would make a difference.

Research shows that temperature increases since 2005 are already at the low end of projections derived from 20 climate models. If temperatures remain flat, observed surface temperatures will fall outside the models' range. If this is the case, scientists will have serious questions about the current consensus theory on climate change.

  • Between 2000 and 2010, humans added about 100 billion tons of carbon to the atmosphere, which represents about 25 percent of all the carbon dioxide emitted by humans since 1750.
  • With such a large percentage of overall emissions occurring in a short time, scientists are puzzled by the mismatch between rising greenhouse gases and stagnant temperatures.
  • Some climate scientists are warning that the hiatus does not mean that global warming is a sham.

Source: Graham Lloyd, "Twenty-Year Hiatus in Rising Temperatures has Climate Scientists Puzzled," The Australian, March 30, 2013.


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