Global warming continues to be a hot topic, and researchers are offering explanations to a couple of claims touted by global warming skeptics: that global warming has been on pause for the past 15 years, and that glaciers in the Antarctic are expanding.
Global temperatures between 1998 and 2013, while historically high, haven’t kept up with climate change models’ predictions.
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McGill University physics professor Shaun Lovejoy said that the slowed warming pattern of the last 15 years is "a pattern that is in line with variations that occur historically every 20 to 50 years," UPI reported
Understanding these trends will help scientists build shorter-term climate projections to help people manage resources and plan community and infrastructure projects, according to the Christian Science Monitor
Reports that Antarctic sea ice has expanded during the past 20 years also have been the focus of both global warming skeptics and defenders.
Scientists have been puzzled by satellite observations that found evidence that glacial ice is increasing in the Antarctic even as global temperatures warm and Arctic ice cover declines, according to a study by the Scripps Institution of Oceanography
The report said that the increase may have been exaggerated by errors in processing the data.
Some scientists, including Josefino Comiso of the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center reject that claim, The New York Times reported
“There is no credible scientific evidence that Antarctic sea ice extent is NOT increasing,” said John Turner of the British Antarctic Survey, the Times repored.
Either way, scientists still have unanswered questions to explore.
“If the trend is smaller, then there is less to explain and it increases the possibility that natural variability can explain things,” said Walt Meier of NASA, the Times reported. “However, either way the trend is statistically significantly positive. Particularly with the last couple of years. So I think there still needs to be a plausible forcing mechanism to understand what is happening.”
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