Because of this so-called “global warming hiatus”, Dr Peiser says climate change is not as pressing of an issue as it once was, a fact that should be embraced by the scientific community.
“Climate change used to be a top priority but it has dropped quite significantly – other issues are more important for international meetings,” he said.
“The reality is that they are quite relieved in a way, and we should all be relieved that it isn’t such a big problem at present.“
We might have much more time than many people once told us.”However, the reason behind the current pause in rising temperatures remains a mystery, and there are said to be more than 30 theories attempting to decipher what caused this stability.
Some scientists suggest the heat may have gone into the ocean, but Dr Peiser remains unconvinced by this theory.“Something is clearly balancing out the warming effect of the CO2 [carbon dioxide],” he explained.
“It might be natural factors, it might be the ocean, no one knows for sure.“It [the warming] could start anytime – and that is an indication that we don’t fully understand the climate.
“That’s a reality that most climate scientists are reluctant to admit.”
A host of world leaders gathered last month to discuss the topic of global warming at the UN Climate Change Summit.
US President Barack Obama said it was an issue “that will define the contours of this century more dramatically than any other” – but Dr Peiser could not help but notice there were a few faces missing from the meeting.
A handful of [leaders from major] countries – including China, India and Canada – did not attend the summit, something that did not surprise Dr Peiser.
He explained that for him, the summit reaffirmed that there is no international agreement about what to do regarding climate change.
He also suspects that the lack of attendance is due to some of the countries’ growing need to continue using fossil fuels.
“That is a clear indication that reality is sinking in and the reality is that both China, India and other emerging nations have huge energy demands,” he said.
“They have huge growing economies, growing populations – their energy is going to double within the next 20 years and they cannot afford to give up on conventional fossil fuels.”