Editorial · Non-Fiction · Opinion · Science and Technology

Illusionary Hiatus

Note: This entry was originally posted on 8 February 2014.

A NEW STUDY may cast some light on the most controversial parts of the current global warming debate. The problem is frequently featured in headlines as a question, “Has Global Warming Stopped?”

The short answer is and has always been “no”, it hasn’t stopped. Not ever. It hasn’t even slowed down. Sea levels continue to rise inevitably. Artic Sea ice and Antarctic glacier covers continue to melt down. Weather patterns continue to change dramatically.

But let’s back up.

Science has shown; if CO2 emissions were causing global warming, then surface temperatures should continue to rise. Since they haven’t global warming can’t be real.

Scientists have termed this a “pause” or a “hiatus” in global warming. As recently as February 3, this anomaly in the data was publicized as evidence that climate scientists have “exaggerated” the risks of climate change. But even whilst the anomaly in the data may pose no threat to global warming models generally, its cause remained a mystery.

Recently, in a study published in the current issue of Nature Climate Change, a scientific review journal, a team of scientists led by Australian Matt England found that warmer surface water in the Pacific is being pushed westward by equatorial trade winds that are much stronger than expected. As the warm surface water hits the western continental shelf it is driven downward into the lower depths. This action of the trade winds effectively cools the observable surface temperature by mixing the heat into the deep water.

“The oceans have this amazing capacity to suck up heat,” England said in a phone interview with TheStreet.com. “The ocean absorbs 90% of the heat of the climate system, so if you’re looking for global warming that’s where you have to look.”

The answer to the question, “Has Global Warming Stopped?” still remains a mystery. Is Global Warming a great burden of the planet? Is Global Warming really a great effect on Earth’s present state? Has Global Warming paused? Or is this just an illusionary hiatus?


(featured image courtesy of huffingtonpost.com)


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