Our directory of things of interest

University Directory

Volcanoes contributed to warming hiatus

  • Written by  Charlie Furniss
  • Published in Climate
Volcanoes contributed to warming hiatus NASA
01 Apr
2014
Volcanic eruptions that took place during the early part of the 21st century have contributed to the hiatus in global warming 

Research led by scientists at from Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California has concluded that, despite the continuing rise of atmospheric greenhouse gas levels, global mean temperatures at the surface of the planet and in the troposphere have shown relatively little warming since 1998.

The study found correlations between observations of volcanic sulphur dioxide aerosols and satellite-based estimates of lower-tropospheric temperatures and amounts of reflected sunlight.

‘In the last decade, the amount of volcanic aerosol in the stratosphere has increased, so more sunlight is being reflected back into space,’ said Benjamin Santer, the study’s lead author. ‘This has created a natural cooling of the planet and has partly offset the increase in surface and atmospheric temperatures due to human influence.’

Santer described the recent slowdown in observed warming as ‘a fascinating detective story’. ‘There isn’t a single culprit, as some scientists have claimed,’ he said. ‘Multiple factors are implicated. The real scientific challenge is to obtain hard quantitative estimates of the contributions of each of the factors in the slowdown.’

This story was published in the April 2014 edition of Geographical Magazine

Julysub 2020

geo line break v3

Free eBooks - Geographical Newsletter

geo line break v3

geo line break v3

University of Winchester

geo line break v3

EDUCATION PARTNERS

Aberystwyth University University of Greenwich The University of Derby

TRAVEL PARTNERS

Ponant

Silversea

Travel the Unknown

NEVER MISS A STORY - Follow Geographical on Social

Want to stay up to date with breaking Geographical stories? Join the thousands following us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram and stay informed about the world.

More articles in NATURE...

Wildlife

Increasing reports of seized jaguar fangs and skin suggest that…

Geophoto

Forced isolation has given many of us the chance to…

Oceans

A fifth of the ocean floor has now been mapped,…

Wildlife

Four ex-circus lions discovered in France are due to be…

Oceans

A roundup of some of the top discussions from the…

Energy

The agave plant, used to make Tequila, has proven itself…

Climate

Concerns about the ozone hole have diminished as levels of…

Wildlife

In the Eastern Cape of South Africa, Munu – a…

Geophoto

Photography competition, Earth Photo, returns for the third year with…

Oceans

A new study reveals the process behind the strange phenomenon…

Wildlife

Hunting is a topic that attracts polarised viewpoints. But as…

Oceans

A compilation of 50-years worth of data on human activity…

Wildlife

From the US to the Mediterranean, herds of goats are…

Wildlife

Meet the 2020 Whitley Award winners

Wildlife

Protecting the most famous members of the animal kingdom may…

Climate

With Milan announcing an ambitious new plan to reduce air…