"As U.N. Meets on Climate, Momentum Is Elusive"

"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."

Andrew C. Revkin reports for the New York Times September 21, 2009.

See Also:

"On Global Warming, an Ambitious Agenda" (Washington Post)

"Notes of Urgency at 'Climate Week' Kick-Off" (New York Times)

"Clean-Tech Progress More Important Than U.N. Climate Treaty -- DOE Chief"

"China Emerges as the Yin and Yang" of Climate (New York Times)

"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"

"Carbon Intensity in Focus as China's Hu Heads to U.N." (Reuters)

"Small Island Nations Urge Rich To Limit Warming" (Reuters)

"Can Obama Meet Expectations on Climate Change?" (Christian Science Monitor)

"Emerging World Looks for Climate Cash at G20" (AFP)

"Gap Holds Between Climate Stances of Rich and Poor" (Dot Earth/NY Times )

Source: NYTimes, 09/22/2009