2011-07-15. Why Wasn't The Hottest Decade Hotter?

posted Nov 14, 2012, 3:07 PM by Lisa Ou   [ updated Nov 14, 2012, 3:10 PM ]
 | by Rob Painting, Skeptical Science. An article relevant to GSS Climate Change chapter 2. Excerpt: After a rapid rise in global surface air temperatures during the late 1970s to 1990s, the rate of global warming in the last decade or so has slowed. A recent scientific paper, Kaufmann (2011), suggests that once relevant factors are taken into consideration, the observed slow-down from 1998-2008 is in line with scientific understanding of the climate. Rapid industrialization in East Asia, particularly China, led to a big jump in sunlight-reflecting sulfate aerosol pollution, mainly through coal burning. This additional reflective aerosol pollution shielded the Earth from greater warming, but is only a temporary reprieve. Sulfates have a short lifetime in the atmosphere, and when East Asia stops burning so much coal, the Earth is going to get an extra nudge in warming…. Read the full article: http://www.skepticalscience.com/Why-The-Hottest-Decade-Was-Not-Hotter-.html