Missing heat is ‘in the oceans’

Though our greenhouse gas emissions have continued unchecked, 2000 to 2010 saw a pause in earth’s warming. Using a scientific model – propose a hypothesis, then test it to see if you’re wrong – but in retrospect, scientists have shown that the beginning of this slowdown can be attributed to increased heat uptake by oceans. Instead of going into the nearby layers of atmosphere, where scientists could easily measure it, some of the warming we’ve produced has ended up in the top 700 m or so of the world’s oceans, particularly in the tropical Pacific and Atlantic oceans. Water circulation in oceans means this heat will be delivered back into the atmosphere, so there is more and faster warming on the horizon.