Despite widespread denial among climate activists, a growing number of scientific research papers in recent months have confirmed the global warming hiatus, trying to explain its possible reasons (for the latest studies see here, here and here). The latest study claims that the Southern Ocean played a critical role in the global warming slowdown.
The post-2002 global surface warming slowdown caused by the subtropical Southern Ocean heating acceleration
Geophysical Research Letters, 27 March 2017
Abstract: The warming rate of global-mean surface temperature slowed down during 1998-2012. Previous studies pointed out role of increasing ocean heat uptake during this global warming slowdown, but its mechanism remains under discussion. Our numerical simulations, in which wind stress anomaly in the equatorial Pacific is imposed from reanalysis data, suggest sub-surface warming in the equatorial Pacific took place during initial phase of the global warming slowdown (1998–2002), as previously reported. It is newly clarified that the Ekman transport from tropics to subtropics is enhanced during the later phase of the slowdown (after 2002) and enhanced subtropical Ekman downwelling causes accelerated heat storage below depth of 700 m in the subtropical Southern Ocean, leading to the post-2002 global warming slowdown. Observational data of ocean temperature also support this scenario. This study provides clear evidence that deeper parts of the Southern Ocean play a critical role in the past-2002 warming slowdown.