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The Earth Gets A Reprieve From Global Warming, For Now

Earth 300x225 The Earth Gets A Reprieve From Global Warming, For NowClimatologists are breathing a collective sigh of relief. New data suggests that over the coming decade, the Earth will warm more slowly than previously thought. However, scientists stress that this is not a long-term reprieve – and temperatures are currently rising faster than they have been for the past 11, 000 years.

The Earth warmed very rapidly over the last half of the 20th century but the increase in temperature seemed to slow down in the last decade, most likely due to natural cycles in the climate system.

Researcher Alexander Otto at the University of Oxford and colleagues have used the latest data to determine how much fossil fuels have warmed the Earth over time. Then they examined the anticipated rise over the next few decades. What they determined is that global warming during the 21st century will be slower than previously understood.

However, Otto and his researchers stress this does not alleviate the problem and merely buys the Earth time to get CO2 emissions under control. The rise in temperatures on the planet long-term depends on how sensitive the climate is to CO2 accumulating in the atmosphere.

Even if greenhouse emissions stop, climate system delays mean that temperatures will continue to rise after CO2 concentrations double.  The 2007 report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) estimated that temperatures will stabilize between 2 °C and 4.5 °C above pre-industrial temperatures. More and more climatologists think the climate is less sensitive to CO2 than the IPCC’s best estimate, so temperatures may rise less slowly than originally anticipated.


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About the author

Leigh is a Senior Technical Communicator working in the energy sector in Dallas, Texas. Prior to her work in the energy industry, Leigh spent years specializing in life saving engineering projects for the US Department of Defense. In her spare time, Leigh pursues her passions of environmental awareness, vegan baking, dog rescue, and defending the place of art, literature, and music in a world that values science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.

Comments

1 comments
Joe Matthis
Joe Matthis

"and temperatures are currently rising faster than they have been for the past 11, 000 years." Could be that just prior to the 11000 years was an ice age? Go figure. "The Earth warmed very rapidly over the last half of the 20th century but the increase in temperature seemed to slow down in the last decade, most likely due to natural cycles in the climate system."  If natural cycles contribute to the slowing of the heating process does it not stand to reason that the reverse is true also? Meaning temperatures are on the rise due to natural cycles in the climate. From the statement quoted temperatures rose in the last half of the century, that's 50 years but seemed to slow down in the last decade, that's 10 years off of the 50 making the rise within 40 years. Here's the problem.... short of having a world wide nuclear war there is no way you could influence a system as large as the climate in such a short amount of time. 

Most of the debate over climate change or global warming is based upon making people believe we are the problem. It is not hard to sway them in this direction because it takes just a simple push into to deductive reasoning. We are adding to the problem, it can't be denied. Almost every human activity adds to the carbon cycle (life it's self adds to the carbon cycle). However the theory is flawed and only holds water if you somehow believe we exist outside of the natural order of things. The whole thing is based upon what people are willing to believe not facts or logic. Here's why...on the surface the argument can be made and supported through basic science that human activity adds greenhouse gas to the carbon cycle. This is a fact. The higher the concentrations of greenhouse gases the more potential to store heat in the air is established. This too is a fact. Here's the problem greenhouse gas concentrations have been higher prior to the introduction of fossil fuel use. The earth's climate has been in flux or constantly changing since the beginning. Just because you are present and notice something doesn't mean you caused it or have a means of controlling it. One volcanic eruption can put more greenhouse gases into the air than all of mankind has produced in it's existence. So how are we responsible for that? Our planet has a atmospheric cycle and most of it is produced by volcanic activity. This activity produces gases and life on this planet has adapted to use these gases to thrive, taking in the carbon and producing oxygen. This is 8th grade science people not rocket science. In short, people just have not been around long enough to have this great an impact on climate. All that can be proven is we are part of the carbon cycle.  

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