"Study Ties Global Warming ‘Hiatus’ to Pacific Cooldown"

"Scientists probing the mystery of the so-called 'global warming hiatus' may have made a breakthrough. According to a new study published Wednesday in the journal Nature, a persistent area of unusually cool sea surface temperatures in the tropical Pacific Ocean could explain why, despite ever-increasing amounts of manmade greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, global average surface temperatures have increased at a slower rate during the past 15 years."

"By running sophisticated computer models that looked at observed energy coming into the climate system, plus observed sea surface temperatures in the central and eastern Pacific Ocean, researchers from the Scripps Institution of Oceanography found that the decadal-scale cooling of a portion of the tropical Pacific accounts for most of the current plateau in global average surface temperatures.

That is remarkable considering that the region of ocean under scrutiny comprises just 8.2 percent of the globe’s surface, the study said. That such a small area of the planet could have such a large influence on the climate has much to do with how the Pacific Ocean helps influence global weather patterns and the transfer of heat into the air and deep oceans. For example, El Niño events, which take place in the same area of the Pacific, help boost global temperatures."

Andrew Freedman reports for Climate Central August 28, 2013.

SEE ALSO:

"A Cooler Pacific May Be Behind Recent Pause In Global Warming" (NPR)

"A Cooler Pacific Linked To Recent Global Warming Pause -- Study" (Greenwire)

Source: Climate Central, 08/29/2013