Lukewarm as planet heats up
Stable global temperatures are creating lukewarm feelings on climate change, but scientists say they shouldn’t.
Since temperatures rose significantly in the 1990s, they’ve been pretty stable for the past 10 years, due largely to cyclical shifts in the oceans. This is causing some climate skeptics to downplay the threat of global warming and others to question the urgency of an international climate treaty or U.S. carbon dioxide-curbing legislation. But, according to the New York Times, some climate researchers say that even though temperatures aren’t wildly fluctuating now, heat-trapping greenhouse gases are still increasing, as explained in a paper from Mojib Latif, a climate and ocean scientist from the Leibniz Institute of Marine Sciences at the University of Kiel in Germany. A decade or so of stable temperatures “has no bearing on the long-term warming effects of greenhouse gases building up in the atmosphere,” the Times reported.