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Global warming lull down to China's coal growth

category international | environment | other press author Wednesday July 06, 2011 17:50author by The Mekon Report this post to the editors

Interesting information regarding the lull in global warming from 1998 to 2008. Full story at http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-14002264

The lull in global warming from 1998 to 2008 was mainly caused by a sharp rise in China's coal use, a study suggests. The absence of a temperature rise over that decade is often used by "climate sceptics" as grounds for denying the existence of man-made global warming. But the new study, in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, concludes that smog from the extra coal acted to mask greenhouse warming.

Piers Forster from the UK's Leeds University, who led the IPCC chapter analysing factors affecting global temperatures, said the new study was "interesting and worthwhile".

"The masking of CO2-induced global warming by short term sulphur emissions is well known - it's believed that the flattening off of global mean temperatures in the 1950s was due to European and US coal burning, and just such a mechanism could be operating today from Chinese coal," he told BBC News.

"Other natural fluctuations in the Sun's output, volcanoes and water vapour have also been proposed for causing the non-warming 'noughties', and may have contributed to a degree. It needs to be emphasised that any masking is short-lived, and the increased CO2 from the same coal will remain in the atmosphere for many decades and dominate the long-term warming over the next decades."

Related Link: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-14002264
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