London: Researchers have claimed that volcanoes have offered "temporary respite" from rising temperatures in recent years.
The impact of volcanic eruptions on global warming could provide a new explanation for the so-called "pause" used by sceptics to deny climate change is happening, scientists have said.
According to a study in the US, models for predicting the rate at which temperatures around the world would rise from 1998 onwards did not take into consideration the measurable impact volcanoes can have.
Rather than contributing to global warming, eruptions release particles into the air that reflect sunlight - causing temperatures to drop.
Experts from the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California said this phenomenon was not taken into account when predictions were made - offering an explanation for why the world seemed to stop heating up.
Powerful volcanic eruptions send small sulphur droplets, or aerosols, high into the atmosphere where they act as a mirror to reflect the sun`s rays and prevent them warming the ground.
The findings are published in the journal Nature Geoscience.