Reconciling Anthropogenic Climate Change With Observed Temperature 1998-2008

Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2011 Jul 19;108(29):11790-3. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1102467108. Epub 2011 Jul 5.

Abstract

Given the widely noted increase in the warming effects of rising greenhouse gas concentrations, it has been unclear why global surface temperatures did not rise between 1998 and 2008. We find that this hiatus in warming coincides with a period of little increase in the sum of anthropogenic and natural forcings. Declining solar insolation as part of a normal eleven-year cycle, and a cyclical change from an El Nino to a La Nina dominate our measure of anthropogenic effects because rapid growth in short-lived sulfur emissions partially offsets rising greenhouse gas concentrations. As such, we find that recent global temperature records are consistent with the existing understanding of the relationship among global surface temperature, internal variability, and radiative forcing, which includes anthropogenic factors with well known warming and cooling effects.

Publication types

  • Historical Article
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Aerosols / analysis
  • Air Pollutants / analysis*
  • Air Pollutants / chemistry
  • Climate Change / history*
  • Climate Change / statistics & numerical data*
  • History, 20th Century
  • History, 21st Century
  • Models, Statistical*
  • Steam / analysis
  • Sunlight
  • Temperature*

Substances

  • Aerosols
  • Air Pollutants
  • Steam