The rate at which global temperatures are rising has slowed in the past decade, scientists said today.
In a report published today, the Met Office said the slow in the rate of warming was down to a combination of natural variation in the weather and pollution.
Scientists say one of the major factors is the rise in heavy industry and pollutant ‘aerosols’, particularly in Asia.
An upsurge in industrial emissions such as sulphur which are being pumped into the atmosphere reflects sunlight and could lead to a cooling effect.
The admission will be seized upon by climate sceptics as evidence that man-made global warming has been overstated.
Since the 1970s, the long-term rate of global warming has been around 0.16C a decade but that slowed in the last 10 years to between 0.05C – 0.13C depending on which of the three major temperature record series are used.
Vicky Pope, head of climate science advice, said: ‘The warming trend has decreased slightly. There’s still a warming trend but it’s not as rapid as it was before.
‘The question is why has that happened. It’s a question that sceptics often bring up.’
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