The Cause of the Pause

As of 2014, the rate of global mean temperature increase over the 21st century has been less than that over the last quarter of the 20th century. This relative slow-down in global warming is often referred to as ‘the pause’. Below is a compilation of possible explanations for ‘the pause’:

The pause is not surprising given the magnitude of internal variability simulated by models

The pause may be caused by an externally forced energy budget change at the top of the atmosphere

The pause may be caused by more energy being transported into the deep ocean

The pause may be caused by El-Niño/La-Niñ

The pause may be caused by the AMOC/AMO

The Pause may be caused by the North Atlantic Oscillation (through the AMO)

The pause is caused by a “climate shift”

The pause is caused by a persistent Multidecadal Variability Signal

The pause is caused by a confluence of factors

There is no pause

The pause indicates that climate sensitivity has been over estimated 

The pause could potentially be caused by unforced changes in the TOA budget (but observations don’t support this)

The pause could potentially be caused by an unforced mode in the Southern Ocean

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