Friday, January 11, 2013

Reuters on the lack of global warming that allegedly threatens to kill us all: It's "an extra headache for politicians". Also, did we mention that the solar minimum is "potentially a potent force for cooling" according to James Hansen?

Global warming slows but beware complacency: Gerard Wynn - Reuters
LONDON, Jan 11 (Reuters) - The latest forecasts from a foremost climate research institute that global warming has slowed present a new challenge to policymakers on how to inject urgency into the campaign to cut emissions of greenhouse gases.
But the research indicates the rate of warming has slowed in the past decade and a half due to temporary natural factors.

Most scientists had dismissed the idea of a slowdown, citing the chaotic nature of weather which they say makes analysis of short-term trends meaningless, and an exceptional natural warming event (a strong El Nino) in 1998, which muddied the effect of rising human greenhouse gas emissions.

Warming has slowed, however, not only by comparison with 1998 but in the years since then. The new modelling from Britain's Hadley Centre, which forecasts global average temperatures to 2017, suggests the present decade may turn out to be no hotter than the last one.

That is something of a bombshell to the previous climate narrative of inexorable temperature rises decade by decade.
The basic physics of greenhouse gases still leaves no doubt that rising carbon emissions will push global temperatures up this century, and dangerously so.

But the recent slower warming trend and the influence of natural variability present an extra headache for politicians trying to agree on climate targets for the next two decades, which already fall pitifully short of solving the problem.
The solar cycle may also help explain a recent fall in the Earth's surplus heat, U.S. climate scientist James Hansen and co-authors reported in a 2011 paper, "Earth's energy imbalance and implications".
"The longevity of the recent protracted solar minimum, at least two years longer than prior minima of the satellite era, makes that solar minimum potentially a potent force for cooling," Hansen and his co-authors said.
Its forecast of a slowing warming trend may appear to buy governments more time, but that is not at all the case. The trend results from temporary natural factors, and temperatures will rebound when their effects disappear.

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