Pacific Puzzle March 2014

Pacific puzzle. Nature Climate Change, March 2014

Scientists have offered numerous explanations for the recent slowdown in global surface warming. Now, one study suggests that tropical trade winds may hold the answer.

By Olive Heffernan. Nature Climate Change, March 2014.


Back in 2009, around the time when the United Nations (UN) was convening its largest ever gathering of policymakers in Copenhagen to discuss global action on climate change, a rather inconvenient question arose. Why was it, when global warming was expected to continue to 2100 and beyond, that the average global surface temperature had remained fairly static for almost ten years? Was it simply, as many scientists claimed, a short-term blip in a much longer-term — and increasingly alarming — trend of continued climate change? Or could we conclude that warming had taken a break, or even stopped, and that we too could take a break from worrying about it?

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Pacific Puzzle March 2014

Olive Heffernan

Olive Heffernan is a London-based freelance environment writer. Olive mostly writes about climate change and its impacts, but also writes more broadly on sustainable resource use. Here you can find an archive of her recent articles, link to her Twitter feed and her blog.

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