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Dublin: 10 °C Sunday 8 December, 2019

The 'pause' in global warming could last another 10 years

… however things will start heating up rapidly after that.

Image: Robert F. BukatyAP/Press Association Images

THE GLOBAL WARMING slowdown evident over the past 15 years has been attributed to great amounts of heat being stored underwater.

It is thought that this is down to excess heat being absorbed in the Atlantic and Southern Oceans, but not in the Pacific.

However, this slow down will not go on forever. It is thought that it is part of a natural heat-sequestration mechanism due to last just 20 to 35 years.

This would give it around another 10 years before things start heating up again.

Co-authored by Professor Ka-Kit Tung at the University of Washington, the study’s findings were published in the journal Science yesterday. Speaking to the Guardianhe said:

The finding is a surprise, since the current theories had pointed to the Pacific Ocean as the culprit for hiding heat. But the data are quite convincing and they show otherwise.

“We are not downplaying the role of the Pacific. They are both going on [the oceans having an effect on temperatures]; one is short term [the Pacific], one is long term [the Atlantic].”

The slowdown in global warming has been occurring since the start of this century.

It had previously been jumped upon by climate change sceptics. A variety of theories had been put forward by experts to explain it including air pollution and volcanic emissions though none of these were thought to be be satisfactory.

Read: Met Éireann part of international study using birch trees to monitor climate change

Also: “There is no plan B”: EU targets major carbon emitters to reduce emissions

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