Temperatures could rise more rapidly within the next two decades. Image Credit: CC BY-SA 2.0 Chris Lim
Scientists believe that excess heat is currently being stored in the depths of the world's oceans.
Recent data has shown that the long rise in global temperatures has evened out over the last few years, a revelation that has led to much debate amongst scientists and climate change skeptics.
Theories proposed to explain this have ranged from volcanic eruptions to sulphur from power stations in China, but now a new study published in the journal 'Science' has revealed that the ocean, in particular the Atlantic and Southern Oceans, may be trapping excess heat deep down below the surface.
"The finding is a surprise, since the current theories had pointed to the Pacific Ocean as the culprit for hiding heat," said University of Washington Professor Ka-Kit Tung.
The findings also indicate however that, far from representing a long-term reduction in global warming predictions, the recent hiatus is only temporary and will likely end within as little as 15 years.
"Most importantly, this paper is another a nail in the coffin of the idea that the hiatus is evidence that our projections of long-term climate change need revising down," said Prof Piers Forster.
"Variability in the ocean will not affect long-term climate trends but may mean we have a period of accelerated warming to look forward to."
Source: The Guardian | Comments (97)
Atlantic, Global Warming