...this is the third reason – the warming process appears to have paused.
No-one really knows why. A good guess is the gigantic cloud of sulphur emissions from Chinese power stations, which doubled their output of waste gases between 1996 and 2006: the sulphur particles have the opposite effect of the carbon emissions, and reflect back the sun's heat. But unless the laws of physics are altered, those global carbon emissions, now 33 billion tons annually and rising at six per cent a year, are going to make world temperatures rise considerably in the coming decades with potentially disastrous consequences.
Michael McCarthy, the Independent's Environment Editor, is one of Britain’s leading writers on the environment and the natural world. He has three times been Environment Journalist of the Year (1991, 2003 and 2006)