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Cause of ‘the pause’ in global warming

February 5, 2014

Watts Up With That?

Guest essay byDon J. Easterbrook, Dept of Geology, Western Washington University

The absence of global warming for the past 17 years has been well documented. It has become known as “the pause.” and has been characterized as the “biggest mystery in climate science,” but, in fact, it really isn’t a mystery at all, it was predicted in 1999 on the basis of consistent, recurring patterns of the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO) and Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation (AMO) and global climate.

Perhaps the easiest way to understand the causal relationship between global warming/cooling and the PDO and AMO is to recount how these correlations were discovered. In 1999, while studying recent glacial fluctuations on Mt. Baker in the North Cascade Range, a pattern of recurring advances and retreats became apparent. In the wee hours one night, I came across a 1997 paper by Mantua, et al., “A Pacific…

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