THE existence of a more than 15-year “pause” in average global surface temperatures has been “settled” but scientists remain split on what it means for the future.
While the level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has continued to rise, global surface temperatures have not increased at the same pace, causing speculation over what has happened to the “missing heat”.
Some leading climate scientists claim the missing heat has been absorbed by the world’s oceans and will return with rapid future warming. But new research has found the Earth’s climate is much less sensitive to carbon dioxide than previously thought.
Michael Asten from Monash University’s School of Earth Atmosphere and Environment said that, while opinions on causes differed, the existence of the pause was settled.
“Only activists dare claim the pause in global temperature does not exist,” Professor Asten said.