February 9, 2014
Stronger Pacific Ocean winds may help explain the slowdown in the rate of global warming since the turn of the century, scientists said.
More powerful winds in the past 20 years may be forcing warmer seas deeper and bringing cooler water to the surface, 10 researchers from the U.S. and Australia said today in the journal Nature. That has cooled the average global temperature by as much as 0.2 degree Celsius (0.36 Fahrenheit) since 2001.
Scientists have been trying to find out why the rate of global warming has eased in the past 20 years while greenhouse-gas emissions have surged to a record. Today’s paper elaborates on a theory that deep seas are absorbing more warmth by explaining how that heat could be getting there.