The oceans may be lulling us into a false sense of climate security

EarthzineEarth Observation

A woman sea kayaking near a tropical beach in Fiji. Ocean cycles may have lulled us into a false sense of security by temporarily slowing global surface warming. Photograph: Alamy

A paper published last week in Science casts more light on oceans and how they may have contributed to a false sense of security about what we face in the future. The paper, coauthored by Byron Steinman, Michael Mann, and Sonya Miller, approached the problem in a new way that connected real-world observations with state-of-the-art climate models. What the authors find casts severe doubt on other work which had oversold the role of natural climate’s ability to halt global warming for the next 15 years. Instead, by correcting others’ errors, the new paper shows that things may be worse than we thought.