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Perlwitz J., M. P. Hoerling, J. K. Eischeid, T. Xu and A. Kumar (December 2009): A strong bout of natural cooling in 2008. Geophys. Res. Lett., 36, L23706. doi:10.1029/2009GL041188

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A precipitous drop in North American temperature in 2008, commingled with a decade-long fall in global mean temperatures, are generating opinions contrary to the inferences drawn from the science of climate change. We use an extensive suite of model simulations and appraise factors contributing to 2008 temperature conditions over North America. We demonstrate that the anthropogenic impact in 2008 was to warm the region's temperatures, but that it was overwhelmed by a particularly strong bout of naturally-induced cooling resulting from the continent's sensitivity to widespread coolness of the tropical and northeastern Pacific sea surface temperatures. The implication is that the pace of North American warming is likely to resume in coming years, and that climate is unlikely embarking upon a prolonged cooling.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: PSD Publications
Divisions: Physical Sciences Division
DOI: 10.1029/2009GL041188