The “Pause” in Global Warming is finally explained. It is well known that the planet is getting hotter. The so-called pause, or hiatus, in global warming means the rate of temperature rise has slowed. The average global temperature is still going up, but in the past 10 to 15 years it hasn’t been going up as quickly as it was in the decades before.

Although the ongoing increase is trouble, a slower rate is preferable. The question is: Why did the slowdown occur—and how long will it last? We now have an answer. Three well-known climate researchers have combined actual temperature readings from 1880 to 2010 with a slew of climate models and have concluded that the slowdown is caused by the timing of two large ocean cycles, known as the Pacific multidecadal oscillation and the Atlantic multidecadal oscillation. And their analysis, published online in Science, suggests that the slowdown will end in the next few decades.

More details@ Steinman et al., Atlantic and Pacific multidecadal oscillations and Northern Hemisphere temperatures Science 347 (6225): 988-991