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For years, a discrepancy in global climate data has fuelled debate over global warming. Temperatures in the troposphere, the first 11 km of atmosphere, have been rising slower than models predict given the rate of increase in temperature on the Earth's surface.

But polar orbiting satellites show that cooling in the stratosphere — the next layer of the atmosphere — explains the inconsistency, according to research published in Nature.

Once the effects of this stratospheric cooling have been taken into account, the scientists found that statistical analyses produced temperature trends consistent with observed surface warming and the predictions of climate change models.

Link to full news story in Nature  

Link to full paper in Nature

Reference: Nature 429, 7 (2004) / Nature 429, 55 (2004)