What should be good news about global warming, is getting environmentalists very worried. Nature magazine just released a study by German climate scientists, stating:
Our results suggest that global surface temperature may not increase over the next decade, as natural climate variations in the North Atlantic and tropical Pacific temporarily offset the projected anthropogenic warming.
The danger is that such short-term trends will be taken out of context and perceived as license to ease up on the climate fight. According to Noel Keenlyside, climate researcher at the Leibniz Institute of Marine Sciences who led the study:
“The natural variations change climate on this timescale and policymakers may either think mitigation is working or that there is no global warming at all. . . Natural changes as opposed to human causes may play a bigger role in the short term . . . This is important because policies are made in the short term. Our results show we might not have as much change in climate over the next 10 years.”
Back in January, Real Climate had a great article explaining the difference between short term and long term temperature trends, and why we should never lose sight of the reality of global warming as a long term problem. The following chart from the NASA website tells the story:
Next time a climate skeptic gives you a hard time, show him – or her – the facts . . .