Scientists: Here's Why Climate Change 'Paused'
High winds are forcing heat underwater—at least for now
By Neal Colgrass, Newser Staff
Posted Feb 10, 2014 5:23 PM CST
Inside a lagoon, a healthy and diverse coral reef grows near a group of limestone islands in the Republic of Palau.   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – Global-warming skeptics, en garde: A new study says that the recent pause in global warming is caused by strong trade winds in the Pacific Ocean that will eventually subside, the Guardian reports. According to the study, sharply higher winds in the central and eastern parts of the Pacific have pushed surface heat underwater and lowered the amount of heat that rises into the atmosphere. This accounts for the lowering of global surface temperatures by 0.2 to 0.4 degrees Fahrenheit since 2001—a change that skeptics pointed out in a Wall Street Journal letter two years ago.

In the study, Australian and US scientists say the higher winds could keep up for much of this decade but will calm down in time. "Even if the winds accelerate even further, sooner or later the impact of greenhouse gases will overwhelm the effect," said lead researcher Matthew England. "And if the winds relax, the heat will come out quickly." What caused the higher winds isn't clear, but warming in the Indian Ocean could be behind it. Meanwhile, the percentage of Americans who deny climate change entirely rose by 7% to 23% last year, and the number who say it is caused by humans has dropped, the Financial Times reports.

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Ezekiel 25:17
Feb 13, 2014 9:35 PM CST
Global Warming supporters of the world unite. We know its happening because how do you explain Native Americans seeing the Yellowstone and Great Lakes glaciers melt. What explains the Vostok Ice Core data showing four global warming/cooling cycles in 420,000 years. I believe it, we can't stop it, we can only ride out this wonderful world amusement ride. Rest assured if it follows the previous patterns, poles will melt, coastal areas will flood, and in about 1000 years the ice age will start back up and it only takes about 3000 years for it to cycle back to global warming again and it lasts a total of 120,000 years. As for the Vostok data (you remember that stuck ship with researchers? They were seeking to repeat the data), we are nearing the top of the current cycle.
Randy Owens
Feb 12, 2014 10:57 AM CST
Get over it you eco-nazis. Earths climate is dynamic and constantly changing. Just look at those idiots who sailed into the Antarctic a month ago checking on "melting ice" in the middle of the Antarctic summer. Only to be trapped in sea ice. Not only that, but a icebreaker sent to rescue them became trapped in said same sea ice as well, in summer! You are so arrogant to assume humanity can effect such major change in an eco-system that's been around since the dawn of earth's time. This planet will do as it will, with out any consideration as to your political agenda.
SGT Scientist
Feb 12, 2014 9:20 AM CST
The climate will change. Nobody denies that hypothesis. Given the fact that all scientific measurements to date have shown that the Earth's climate is constantly changing, it is easy to predict that the climate will change in the future. There is not anything we can do about it except adapt. Personally, I would rather the Earth get warmer than cooler. Another growing season in Canada and Russia is much more desirable than a two-mile-thick glacier over the same area.