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Is Global Warming Really Slowing Down?


Have temperatures really stopped rising? Not exactly. (…)

Okay, so it's clearly misleading to say the planet has stopped warming. What's actually going on? It's pretty nuanced: (…)

How significant is the surface temperature slowdown in the context of global warming as a whole? The slowdown is certainly big enough to measure—or else we wouldn't be discussing it—but not a huge deal in the context of the climate system. (…)

So what is causing the surface temperature slowdown? Scientists point to multiple causes, including more heat going into the deeper oceans, a recent minimum in solar activity, and more volcanic activity. (…)

What is the role of the Pacific Ocean? Perhaps the leading explanation for the slowdown is that the oceans, and particularly the vast Pacific, are storing more heat at depth. (…)

What about volcanoes? Scientists seem increasingly convinced that the oceans are the chief factor behind the slowdown. (…)

What about the sun? And water vapor? At least two more possible contributing factors also arise in scientific conversation. (…)

Does all of this mean that climate models are wrong? [Not exactly] (…)

What about claims that the climate is less sensitive than we thought to greenhouse gas emissions? "Climate sensitivity" is a somewhat odd measure—it refers to the amount of warming that would occur once the planet adjusts to a doubling of atmospheric carbon dioxide. (…)

Does this mean I can worry less about global warming? That's probably not a good idea. (…)
Tags: science paper

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