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Global warming may stop over the next decade because of natural climate cooling, scientists now claim. German scientists behind the study have warned Governments looking to save money not to use it as an excuse to cut back on preventative action.Noel Keenlyside, a climate researcher at the Leibniz Institute of Marine Sciences in Germany who led the study, said:

"The natural variations change climate on this timescale and policy makers may either think mitigation is working or that there is no global warming at all." Climate researchers have long predicted more greenhouse gases in the atmosphere would spur a general warming trend over the next 100 years. But the latest research study in the journal Nature claim natural variations will overwhelm any human warming effects in the short-term.

The German team made a computer model that takes into account natural phenomena such as sea surface temperatures and ocean circulation patterns. They checked their work by producing a set of forecasts using data recorded over the past 50 years and found the retrospective forecasts were accurate.

Mr Keenlyside said: "This is important because policies are made in the short term. "Our results show we might not have as much change in climate over the next 10 years." The findings contradict the latest United Nations climate panel report which predicted temperatures would rise between 1.8 and 4 degrees Celsius this century, in part because of fossil fuels that produce carbon dioxide, the main greenhouse gas.

Scientists say rising temperatures could cause seas to rise sharply, glaciers to melt and storms and droughts to become more intense. These in turn may force mass migrations of climate refugees. But Mr Keenlyside said one possible reason for the relative short-term cooling effect in the next decade is the predicted weakening of a system that brings warm water northward into the North Atlantic and offsets an expected rise in greenhouse gases. The findings are already being accepted by respected weather experts.

Richard Wood, an expert at the Met Office, wrote in a respected publication: "The first attempts at decadal prediction suggest that reasonably accurate forecasts of the combined effects of increasing greenhouse-gas concentrations and natural climate variations can be made."

 

 
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