The Earth has changed in “unprecedented ways” since 1950, the U.N. says, and its scientists are 95 percent certain that humans are responsible.
Yet the planet has largely stopped warming over the past 15 years, data shows — and a landmark report released Friday by the U.N.’s climate group could not explain why the mercury has stopped rising.
Global surface temperatures rose rapidly during the 70s, but have been relatively flat over the past decade and a half, rising only 0.05 degrees Celsius (0.09 degrees Fahrenheit) per decade according to data from the U.K.’s weather-watching Met Office, a trend current models of the world’s climate have been unable to predict. A draft of the report leaked in early September acknowledged that trend and put it bluntly: We simply can’t explain it.
“Models do not generally reproduce the observed reduction in surface warming trend over the last 10–15 years.”
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