A decade without any global warming is more likely to happen if the climate is more sensitive to carbon dioxide emissions, new research has revealed.

A team of scientists from the University of Exeter and the Centre of Ecology and Hydrology in the UK has conducted pioneering new research into why both surges and slowdowns of warming take place.

Using sophisticated climate models the team, led by PhD student Femke Nijsse, discovered if the climate was more sensitive to CO2 concentration also displayed larger variations of warming over a decade.

When combined with information from simulations without any carbon dioxide increases, the authors were able to assess the natural variability of each climate model.

The research is published this week in Nature Climate Change.

Femke Nijsse, from the University of Exeter, said: “We were surprised to see that even when we took into account that sensitive climate models warm more over the last decades of the 20th century, these sensitive models were still more likely to have short periods of cooling.”

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