An international team of scientists conducted a detailed study, which indicates that the lower rates are associated with the absorption of heat by the Earth’s oceans.
Using climate models, which take into account the increase in carbon dioxide concentrations in the atmosphere, and the response of oceans and ice sheets to this increase, the authors were able to make short and long-term predictions. They estimated based on temperatures measured only in the last decade, that the increase would be only up to 2 degrees Celsius in a short run, as opposed to the 3 degrees reported by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in 2007.
According to Dr. Alexander Otto from the University of Oxford, in the next few decades, warming will be around 20% slower than initially predicted. The authors, however, also point out that the new predictions include larger uncertainties, although they seem much more optimistic.
Other leading scientists, however, are convinced that the absorption of heat by the oceans is a part of a natural cycle, which will eventually reverse.