Ninety percent of warming goes into heating, not the land or the atmosphere, but the ocean; two recent papers, in 2012 and earlier this year, showed that approximately 30 percent of recent ocean warming has been taken up by waters below depths of 700 meters (about 2,300 feet), where few measurements had previously taken place. That was reinforced by a European study, published earlier this week, which, according to Reuters, found "that the oceans took up more warmth from the air around 2000. That would help explain the slowdown in surface warming but would also suggest that the pause may be only temporary and brief ... Lead author Virginie Guemas of the Catalan Institute of Climate Sciences in Barcelona said the hidden heat may return to the atmosphere in the next decade, stoking warming again."
NEWS: Arctic Ice Melt Linked to Chilly Spring
Indeed, add together the net global heat content for the atmosphere, land, ice, surface ocean waters and deep ocean waters, and the total shows a continued, clear - and, in fact, rising - increase. As environmental scientist and climate blogger Dana Nuccitelli, co-author of the aforementioned 2012 paper on ocean warming, points out, this means that "the slowed warming at the surface is only temporary, and consistent with (research indicating the existence of) ‘hiatus decades' ... The global warming end result will be the same, but the pattern of surface warming over time may be different than we expect ... while many people wrongly believe global warming has stalled over the past 10–15 years, in reality that period is "the most sustained warming trend" in the past half century. Global warming has not paused, it has accelerated."