A number of scientists are projecting that global warming is over, for now, and that global average temperatures will be dropping for the next 20 to 30 years.
And what’s the cause?
The sun appears to have entered a less active period and is providing less warmth to the Earth. I discussed one symptom of this in January on Exit78 in The Sun Has Lost Its Spots — and they are still missing over a month and a half later. The sun is in an extended solar minimum that was predicted to end in March 2008 — a year ago.
Aren’t global temperatures continuing to rise, though?
Some indicators say yes and some indicators say no.
A current chart from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration appears to show global mean temperatures leveling.
A similar chart appears in a UK Met Office pamphlet, which says “The recent slight slowing of the warming is due to a shift towards more-frequent La Niña conditions in the Pacific since 1998. These bring cool water up from the depths of the Pacific Ocean, cooling global temperatures.”
However, a slightly different chart appears on the Met Office web site. It looks here like the “slowing of the warming” has turned into cooling. The Met Office, however, says, “…owing to the unusually cool global average temperature in January 2008, it looked as though smoothed global average temperatures had dropped markedly in recent years, which is misleading.”
I guess we’ll know better with a few more years of data.