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Climate change on hold due to deep ocean warming: scientists


A new climate model predicts that snowfall will decrease globally due to global warming except at the poles and the Earth's highest altitudes.


Mario Tama

There has been a recent pause in the slow increase of global temperatures, says the United Kingdom's meteorological office.

The new research has emboldened skeptics, but they risk speaking too soon as scientists say that the temperature trend remains upwardly mobile.

The slowdown in increasing global temperatures in the last five years is due to the warming of the deep oceans, say scientists.

Oceans absorb heat, which helps to cool the world — but as the deeper reaches of the ocean begin to warm, they will no longer be the powerful air conditioners they once were.

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The oceans, researchers said, have had enough of the heat.

"Global surface temperatures remain high," said Peter Stott, head of climate monitoring at the UK Met Office, which does research on weather and climate change.

"Twelve of the 14 warmest years on record have occurred since 2000, the lower troposphere — the atmosphere above the surface — is continuing to warm in recent years, and combined with the cooling in the stratosphere this is a distinctive fingerprint of the effects of greenhouse gases on the climate system."

Volcanic eruptions and changes in the activity of the Sun could have also masked the effects of global warming by reducing temperatures.

Volcanoes can have a cooling effect by spewing ash into the atmosphere and thus blocking the Sun's rays.

Temperatures may take about five years to begin rising again.

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