A paper published in the journal Nature Climate Change suggests that the slowdown in surface warming and the acceleration in ocean warming has been largely driven by a phase in a natural ocean cycle called the Interdecadal Pacific Oscillation (IPO). That’s a frightfully cumbersome name, but it’s easy to break down: It’s a swing (“oscillation”) in Pacific Ocean weather that takes decades (“interdecadal”) to shift from one phase to another. Instead of switching every few years, like El Niño and La Niña, an IPO can last 20 to 30 years before flipping from one extreme to the other.
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