Pause button hit on global warming, possibly for a decade Tech Times Historical records show heat being pulled down into the ocean caused a similar warming "hiatus" from about 1945 to 1975, the researchers said, after which the cycle of currents...
A number of theories have been proposed in an attempt to explain it; now researchers are suggesting a naturally occurring cycle of Atlantic Ocean currents that takes about 30 years to complete may have hit the "pause" button on warming.
The cycle is known as the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation current.
The heat may have gone into the ocean, the researchers suggest, citing evidence that the 30-year Atlantic current cycle alternatively warms and then cools the globe by pulling large amounts of heat from the atmosphere into the ocean depths.
That suggests that global warming has not really eased, but rather is ongoing in the world's oceans while the temperature of the atmosphere has temporarily stabilized, they say.
"It's important to distinguish between whether ocean heat storage is responsible for the hiatus versus not enough heat reaching the surface of the Earth," says study co-author Ka-Kit Tung of the University of Washington. "We did find enough heat stored in the North and South Atlantic that, if it had remained on the surface, it would have resulted in rapid warming."