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Global warming not slowing down: Study

By Staff Writer (ANI) - December 6, 2011

Global warming is showing no signs of slowing down, and will increase further in the next few decades, a new study has warned.

The findings come in the wake of United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in Durban.

The Tempo Analytics and the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research study said three factors — El Niño, volcanic eruptions and variations in the Sun’s brightness — led to short-term fluctuations in global temperature.

El Niño is a natural warming of surface ocean waters in the eastern tropical Pacific, while solar variation is the change in the amount of radiation emitted by the sun, dominated by an approximately 11-year-long cycle. Volcanic eruptions have a cooling effect due to very tiny erupted particles and droplets shielding light from hitting the earth.

According to the study, global temperature has increased by 0.5°C in the past 30 years, and 2010 was the hottest year.

“The unabated warming is powerful evidence that we can expect further temperature increase in the next few decades, emphasising the urgency of confronting the human influence on the climate,” lead author of the study, Grant Foster said.

The study sought to remove discrepancies by examining leading global temperature data sets from the period between 1979 and 2010, including three surface records- NASA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the Hadley Centre/Climate Research Unit in the UK, and two lower troposphere records based on satellite microwave sensors.

The study is published the December 6 issue of a journal, Environmental Research Letters.