"The world leaders who are meeting at the United Nations to discuss climate change on Tuesday, are faced with an intricate challenge: building momentum for an international climate treaty at a time when global temperatures have been stable for a decade and may even drop in the next few years.
The plateau in temperatures has been seized upon by skeptics as evidence that the threat of global warming is overblown. And some climate experts worry that it could hamper treaty negotiations and slow the progress of legislation to curb carbon dioxide emissions in the United States.
Scientists say the last decade of climate stability -- which follows a precipitous rise in average global temperatures in the 1990s -- is a result of cyclical variations in ocean conditions and has no bearing on the long-term warming effects of greenhouse gases building up in the atmosphere.
But trying to communicate such scientific nuances to the public -- and to policy makers -- can be frustrating, they say."
"U.N. Official Sees China as New Climate Leader" (Reuters)
"UN Climate Chief Says China Poised To Take Lead" (Associated Press)
"EU's Barroso Warns Climate Talks in Dangerous State" (Reuters)
"Carbon Intensity in Focus as China's Hu Heads to U.N." (Reuters)
"Small Island Nations Urge Rich To Limit Warming" (Reuters)