However the gradual rise in temperatures over the last 30 years is slowing slightly. Global warming since the 1970s has been 0.16C (0.3F) but the rise in the last decade was just 0.05C (0.09F), according to the Met Office.
Sceptics claim this as evidence man made global warming is a myth.
But in a new report the Met Office said the reduced rate of warming can be easily explained by a number of factors. And indeed the true rate of warming caused by man made greenhouse gases could be greater than ever.
One of the major factors is pollution over Asia, where the huge growth in coal-fired power stations mean aerosols like sulphur are being pumped into the air. This reflects sunlight, cooling the land surface temperature.
Dr Vicky Pope, Head of Climate Change Advice, said pollution may be causing a cooling effect.
“A possible increase in aerosol emissions from Asia in the last decade may have contributed to substantially to the recent slowdown,” she said. “Aerosols cool the climate by reflecting the sunlight.”
Another factor that has reduced the rate of warming is a prolonged minimum in the solar cycle, meaning the Earth is receiving slightly less heat from the sun.
In the long term the whole world, including Britain, is warming, according to Dr Pope.
“In the grip of a cold spell people find it difficult to understand global warming. But if you look at the long term trends we are in fact experiencing fewer freezing winters and more heatwaves,” she said.
Dr Pope also said that new technologies, that improve the accuracy of measurements, show that the rate of increasing temperatures over the last ten years could be slightly more than previously estimated.
She said that warming in Arctic is likely to be greater than the rest of the world, but statistics are not included because of the lack of weather stations in the Poles.
Dr Pope said the latest figures are the strongest evidence yet that the rise in global temperatures is being caused by the massive increase in man made greenhouse gases over recent decades.
Source: BeMoreEco (Abbrev.)
It is ironic that air pollution may be protecting us from higher global temperatures! Global warming and climate change are a reality; after the Cancun climate talks, now is the time for action. See an alternative viewpoint on how clouds affect global warming.
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