Global Warming On Hold… For Now
Despite Britain basking in tropical temperatures as the longest heatwave in 18 years took hold, scientists have found that the rise in global average temperatures at the earth’s surface has been smaller in the past 15 years than in previous decades. Dr Peter Stott Head of Climate Monitoring at the Met Office is quick to point out though that the latest trend doesn?t mean the end of global warming; “Global surface temperatures remain high. Twelve of the 14 warmest years on record have occurred since 2000, the lower troposphere ? the atmosphere above the surface ? is continuing to warm in recent years, and combined with the cooling in the stratosphere this is a distinctive fingerprint of the effects of greenhouse gases on the climate system.”
It is thought that in recent years the oceans have absorbed greater amounts of heat disguising the difference at surface level. A number of volcanic eruptions since 2000 and changes in the sun?s activity could also be responsible for a slight cooling effect.
Despite recent figures the global trend in temperatures is still upward with scientists convinced the pause the earth is going through at the moment will not affect long term global warming forecasts. As Professor Rowan Sutton Director of Climate Research at the University of Reading explained the current findings are not unexpected; ?Within the field we have taken for granted that there will be variations in the rate of warming, it is totally accepted and is no surprise.?