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John Wheeler, WDAY, Published January 17 2013

Weather Talk: Global warming has slowed since ’80s and ’90s

Global warming appears to have slowed down. Temperatures averaged over the world were rising steadily through the 1980s and 1990s, reaching a peak in 1998 when a very strong El Niño caused record warm temperatures worldwide.

But since the turn of the millennium, the warming has gone on hold. A report from the Hadley Centre in London states that the globally averaged temperature has remained flat over the past decade and a half, showing no indication of cooling or warming. During this time, greenhouse gases in the atmosphere have continued to increase.

There is additional evidence of the slowdown in the oceans. In its 2012 “State of the Climate Report,” the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reported that the top 2,300 feet of ocean water was rising more slowly than it had been previously.

Numerous potential causes for the warming slowdown are being studied, including changes in solar energy output as well as natural cycles in ocean currents. Although no one knows for certain, the majority of climate change researchers expect the warming to resume eventually.

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