Study: Earth Warming Faster Than Expected

A new study finds that the planet is expected to heat up faster than predicted over the next five years.

The analysis shows that in the last seven years, a decline in incoming sunlight "associated with the downward phase of the 11-year solar cycle" has helped obscure warming caused by carbon emissions, and that immediate analysis of man-made changes have been skewed accordingly. As sun activity increases again, the report suggests, temperatures will rise more quickly than was predicted by the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

The report, to be published in Geophysical Research Letters, is being jointly released by Judith Lean, of the US Naval Research Laboratory, and David Rind, of NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies.
 The study is thought to be the first to gauge the combined impacts of human-generated emissions, solar heating, volcanic activity, and "El Nino southern oscillation," on global temperature fluctuations.

Published: August 5, 2009