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Is global warming hiding underwater?

07 February 2014

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Satellite observations of global sea-surface temperature show that a 30-year upward trend has slowed down within the last 15 years. Climate scientists say this is not the end of global warming, but the result of a rearrangement in the energy flow of the climate system and, in particular, how the ocean stores heat.

Like flying thermometers, some satellites carry instruments that provide a global view of the surface temperature of oceans and seas. Measuring the sea-surface temperature is important for improving weather and ocean forecasting and climate change research.

Satellite and local readings show that sea-surface temperature has been rising rapidly since the 1970s, in line with the overall warming of our planet. But this increase has significantly slowed in the last 15 years.

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