Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Article in Nature offers 3 natural explanations for the halt in global warming

An article published today in Nature offers a "mix of [natural] explanations" for the halt of global warming, including 


"A mix of explanations has been offered for  the recent hiatus: the minimum in solar energy output in the latest 11-year sunspot cycle lasted  longer than usual [after previously claiming such changes could not affect climate]; stratospheric water vapour,  which warms the surface, has been relatively  low since 2000 [models predicted an increase]; and the El Niño–Southern  Oscillation (ENSO) cycle of warm El Niño and  cold La Niña phases in the equatorial Pacific,  which is known to affect global mean temperature and not just the temperature of the equatorial Pacific, has favoured the La Niña phase  since the major El Niño event of 1997–98.  Empirical models that fit the observed hiatus  have generally relied on La Niña-related cooling to offset a large fraction of the greenhouse- induced warming. Consistently, analyses of  the heat being taken up by the oceans have pointed to an increase in this heat uptake,  predominantly in the Pacific, as underlying  the hiatus."


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