Feeds

Boffins agree: YES we have had an atmospheric warming pause

It was fixing the ozone layer wot done it but we're still in strife

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup

Good news, climate sceptics: there has been a pause in the rate of atmospheric warming – more than one, in fact. A statistical analysis published in Nature demonstrates a statistical association between the rate of warming over more than a hundred years, and human activity in the same time, and suggests that the most recent “slowdown” could be attributed to the Montreal Protocol's curbs on chlorofluorocarbon (CFC) emissions.

While correlation isn't causation, the correlations this paper (abstract) highlights all come with plausible mechanisms to explain what's going on.

To look at the CFC question, for example, the authors note that the atmospheric “warming brake” observed since the late 1990s begins about a decade after governments banned substances that were dissolving the ozone. Ozone depletion allowed more solar radiation to reach earth, and the paper's lead author, Francisco Estrada, says without the Motreal Protocol, current atmospheric temperatures could be 0.1°C higher than they are.

As the paper puts it: "Paradoxically, the recent decrease in warming, presented by global warming sceptics as proof that humankind cannot affect the climate system, is shown to have a direct human origin”.

Other events, Estrada claims in Statistically derived contributions of diverse human influences to twentieth-century temperature changes, also leave a footprint in the historical rate of warming in (mostly) the 20th century.

Falling rates of economic activity in World War One, the Great Depression, and World War Two are all associated with falling rates of CO2 emissions, Estrada says, which he associates with slightly slower warming rate between 1940 and 1970.

Perhaps to forestall the predictable criticism that “you can't trust climate models”, Estrada's group didn't use climate models: their work is based entirely on a statistical analysis (which will, of course, bring criticism that they're not using climate models, probably from the same quarters).

Their conclusion is blunt: “reductions in greenhouse gas emissions are effective in slowing the rate of warming in the short term”. ®

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
Vulture 2 takes a battering in 100km/h test run
Still in one piece, but we're going to need MORE POWER
Boffins ID freakish spine-smothered prehistoric critter: The CLAW gave it away
Bizarre-looking creature actually related to velvet worms
TRIANGULAR orbits will help Rosetta to get up close with Comet 67P
Probe will be just 10km from Space Duck in October
ANU boffins demo 'tractor beam' in water
The current state of the art, apparently
China to test recoverable moon orbiter
I'll have some rocks and a moon cheese pizza please, home delivery
What does a flashmob of 1,024 robots look like? Just like this
Sorry, Harvard, did you say kilobots or KILLER BOTS?
NASA's rock'n'roll shock: ROLLING STONE FOUND ON MARS
No sign of Ziggy Stardust and his band
Why your mum was WRONG about whiffy tattooed people
They're a future source of RENEWABLE ENERGY
Vulture 2 spaceplane autopilot brain surgery a total success
LOHAN slips into some sexy bespoke mission parameters
prev story

Whitepapers

Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Solving today's distributed Big Data backup challenges
Enable IT efficiency and allow a firm to access and reuse corporate information for competitive advantage, ultimately changing business outcomes.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.