Tuesday, July 28, 2009
Heat to spike soon at 150% of predicted rate
World will warm faster than predicted in next five years
New estimate based on the forthcoming upturn in solar activity and El Niño southern oscillation cycles is expected to silence global warming sceptics
The Guardian: The research to be published in Geophysical Research Letters... is the first to assess the combined impact on global temperature of four factors: human influences such as CO2 and aerosol emissions; heating from the sun; volcanic activity, and the El Niño southern oscillation, the phenomenon by which the Pacific Ocean flips between warmer and cooler states every few years.
The analysis shows the relative stability in global temperatures in the last seven years is explained primarily by the decline in incoming sunlight associated with the downward phase of the 11-year cycle, together with a lack of strong El Niño events. These trends have masked the warming caused by CO2 and other greenhouse gases.
As solar activity picks up again in the coming years, the research suggests, temperatures will shoot up at 150% of the rate predicted by the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change... The study comes within days of announcements from climatologists that the world is entering a new El Niño warm spell. This suggests that temperature rises in the next year could be even more marked.
Image source here.