Rumor: Data shows global warming has 'paused'

A whale dives into sea off the coast of Greenland's capital Nuuk.

A leaked draft of an important climate-change report has made waves among some global-warming skeptics who say it shows the Earth is not in danger.

UNCONFIRMED: The report shows global-warming patterns slowing down over the past 10 years, but many climatologists say the overall heating trend is continuing.

A leaked comprehensive climate-change report shows a decade-long slowdown in the planet's warming pattern, and it's being spun by some as proof that global warming is a hoax. The authors of the report, and at least one researcher who spoke with MSN News, however, have dismissed the "pause" as a brief fluctuation related to issues like volcanoes and the sun, and say that the Earth is still in danger from rising temperatures.

The report in question is an early draft of the latest study by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which is a United Nations-affiliated panel of scientists often credited as the world's top authority on global warming. The bulk of the 850 scientists who contributed to the IPCC report say that the current pause is too brief to make a difference in the overall trend, which shows the planet's temperature continuing to rise at abnormal levels.

MSN News reached out to several prominent climate researchers about the pause in global warming. University of Alabama in Huntsville climate scientist John R. Christy, who has long downplayed the dangers of climate change, said the pause in global warming creates "a major problem for the greenhouse theory." On the other hand, University of Arizona professor Guy R. McPherson outright denied there was a pause at all, writing "contrary to the popular contrarian myth, global warming has accelerated, with more overall global warming in the past 15 years than the prior 15 years."

Besides finding a "near certainty" that humans are responsible for the bulk of climate change and that sea levels could rise by more than 3 feet by the end of the century, the report also notes that over the past decade the Earth's temperature has either stayed the same or increased only slightly.

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