A slowing in global warming that climate skeptics say undermines the greenhouse theory is simply a “hiatus” from higher temperatures, scientists said on Wednesday, August 28. Grasping one of the thorniest issues in climate politics, the researchers said the recent slowdown lies in a natural but temporary cooling in the tropical Pacific Ocean. Contrary to earlier predictions, warming of Earth’s surface in recent years has not occurred in lock-step with rising levels of heat-trapping gas in the atmosphere. Over the last 50 years, temperatures have risen by an average of 0.12°C (0.21°F) per decade. But over the last 15 years, the increase has slowed to a rate of 0.05°C (0.09°F) per decade, even though fossil-fuel carbon emissions continue to break new records.
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