Even though global average temperatures are higher now than they have ever been, scientists concluded in a series of recent reports that global warming has “paused” during the past 10 to 15 years, Newser reported. A scientific assessment of the planet’s heat balance has revealed that the hiatus is probably because the “heat sink” of the deep ocean hundreds of feet beneath the surface is continually absorbing thermal energy. Climate scientists do warn that the past decade was still warmer than any previous decade and that 12 of the 14 hottest years on record have occurred since 2000.
“Some people call it a slow-down, some call it a hiatus, some people call it a pause," said climate scientist Professor Rowan Sutton. "The global average surface temperature has not increased substantially over the last 10 to 15 years. Climate scientists absolutely expect variations in the rate at which surface temperature will rise ... but that is not to say we understand all the details of the last 10 to 15 years.”
It is not necessarily that the heat is disappearing, it is just that it is being transported deep down in the ocean where it cannot be monitored by satellites.
“It looks like the Earth is continuing to accumulate energy but it looks like it is being re-arranged and hidden from view,” said Professor Stephen Belcher.
“In summary, observations of ocean heat content and of sea-level rise suggest that the Earth system has continued to absorb heat energy over the past 15 years, and that this additional heat has been absorbed in the ocean,” according to a report issued by Belcher’s office. “Observations of ocean heat content and of sea-level rise suggest that the additional heat from the continued rise in atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations has been absorbed in the ocean and has not been manifest as a rise in surface temperature. Radiated forcing by greenhouse gases has continued unabated; that heat is being held in the system but is not manifest as a rise in global mean surface temperature. Observations of ocean heat content and of sea-level rise suggest that this additional heat has been absorbed by the ocean.”