There wasn’t a “pause” in global warming. The rate at which the plant’s surface warms because of human greenhouse gas pollution varies over time. Sometimes the warming is quicker, sometimes it is slower.
There are multiple reasons for a temporary slowdown in the temerature curve, including the temperature curve being a little inaccurate, the ocean taking heat away from the surface, atmospheric dust varying over time in how much sunlight is reflected away, and so on. I recently wrote up a detailed discussion of the latest thinking on this interesting scientific problem, based mostly on a current published commentary by Fyfe et al in Nature Climate Change. See: What is the “pause” in global warming?
Republican Representative from Texas’s 21st district, Lamar Smith has been on a crusade against science, and has been employing distinctively McCarthyistic tactics in order to intimidate researchers and damage the progress of, well, civilization, frankly.
Most recently he wrote an opinion piece that misrepresented the Fyfe et al paper. In response, one of the authors of this paper, Michael Mann, wrote this Open Letter to Smith on his Facebook page:
Dear Congressman Lamar Smith,
Please don’t misrepresent our recent Nature Climate Change commentary.
Our study does NOT support the notion of a “pause” in global warming, only a *temporary slowdown*, which was due to natural factors, and has now ended.
Our recent work, which you fail to cite, indicates that the record warmth we are now experiencing can only be explained by human-caused global warming.
Michael E. Mann
Distinguished Professor of Atmospheric Science
The Pennsylvania State University