Villagers watch as Mount Kelud continues to spew ash at Karangrejo village, 5km (3.11 miles) from the volcano, in Blitar, Indonesia's East Java province February 18, 2014. (REUTERS/Dwi Oblo)
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Small volcanic eruptions help explain a hiatus in global warming this century by dimming sunlight and offsetting a rise in emissions of heat-trapping gases to record highs, a study showed Sunday.Eruptions of at least 17 volcanoes since 2000, including Nabro in Eritrea, Kasatochi in Alaska and Merapi in Indonesia, ejected sulphur whose sun-blocking effect had been largely ignored until now by climate scientists, it said."Volcanoes are part of the answer but there's no factor that is solely responsible for the hiatus," he told Reuters of the study by a team of U.S. and Canadian experts.Volcanoes are a wild card for climate change – they cannot be predicted and big eruptions, most recently of Mount Pinatubo in the Philippines in 1991, can dim global sunshine for years.The study suggested that volcanoes accounted for up to 15 percent of the difference between predicted and observed warming this century.
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