Friday, November 20, 2009

Climatologists baffled by global warming "time out"

A Sunny Mystery. Could the sun be responsible for the apparent "pause" in global warming? Perhaps. The lack of sunspots on the surface of the sun has been striking in recent years. A lack of sunspots often correlates with colder periods here on the Earth. Could there be factors beyond man-made greenhouse gases to explain what's happening on a global scale? Absolutely.

Global warming appears to have stalled. Climatologists are puzzled as to why average global temperatures have stopped rising over the last 10 years. Some attribute the trend to a lack of sunspots, while others explain it through ocean currents.

At least the weather in Copenhagen is likely to be cooperating. The Danish Meteorological Institute predicts that temperatures in December, when the city will host the United Nations Climate Change Conference, will be one degree above the long-term average.

Otherwise, however, not much is happening with global warming at the moment. The Earth's average temperatures have stopped climbing since the beginning of the millennium, and it even looks as though global warming could come to a standstill this year.

Ironically, climate change appears to have stalled in the run-up to the upcoming world summit in the Danish capital, where thousands of politicians, bureaucrats, scientists, business leaders and environmental activists plan to negotiate a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions. Billions of euros are at stake in the negotiations.

(It's true that - averaged over the entire planet - global temperatures appear to have plateaued for the first decade of the 21st century, although profound changes continue to be witnessed in far northern latitudes - from Greenland to Alaska and the depth/quality of arctic ice). To read the entire article in Germany's premier investigative news magazine, "Der Spiegel" click here.

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