Global Warming Is 'Paused': Scientists

But don't get too excited: It'll be back, they say

By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff

Posted Jul 23, 2013 10:03 AM CDT

(Newser) – Global warming has slowed down in the past decade or so: "Some people call it a slow-down, some call it a hiatus, some people call it a pause. The global average surface temperature has not increased substantially over the last 10 to 15 years," notes a scientist. That's true even though the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere keeps speeding up. We have the deep ocean to thank, experts say: It's acting as a massive heat sink.

The heat is shifting from the atmosphere down into the ocean, where it can't be tracked, they surmise. In other words, "It looks like the Earth is continuing to accumulate energy but it looks like it is being rearranged and hidden from view," an expert tells the Independent. Despite this pause, things will keep heating up, though on a slightly delayed schedule: The temperatures forecast for 2015 may not arrive until five or 10 years later, experts say, though the rise in temperatures across the century is poised to remain the same. So is the current East Coast-Midwest heat wave due to global warming, LiveScience asks? Tough to answer, say researchers, but "as the average temperature increases, these types of events become more frequent."

In this July 10, 2008 photo, ice floes float in Baffin Bay above the arctic circle seen from the Canadian Coast Guard icebreaker Louis S. St-Laurent.
In this July 10, 2008 photo, ice floes float in Baffin Bay above the arctic circle seen from the Canadian Coast Guard icebreaker Louis S. St-Laurent.   (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Jonathan Hayward)
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