Climate Oscillations and the Global Warming Faux Pause
No, climate change is not experiencing a hiatus. No, there is not currently a “pause” in global warming.
Despite widespread such claims in contrarian circles, human-caused warming of the globe proceeds unabated. Indeed, as reported here at The Huffington Post just last month, the most recent year (2014) was likely the warmest year on record.
It is true that Earth’s surface warmed a bit less than models predicted it to over the past decade-and-a-half or so. This doesn’t mean that the models are flawed. Instead, it points to a discrepancy that likely arose from a combination of three main factors (see the discussion my piece last year in Scientific American). These factors include the likely underestimation of the actual warming that has occurred, due to gaps in the observational data. Secondly, scientists have failed to include in model simulations some natural factors (low-level but persistent volcanic eruptions and a small dip in solar output) that had a slight cooling influence on Earth’s climate. Finally, there is the possibility that internal, natural oscillations in temperature may have masked some surface warming in recent decades, much as an outbreak of Arctic air can mask the seasonal warming of —> Read More Here