Do you hear the sound of my point going way over your head? Read the NOAA site on ENSO maybe three times (hint: relatively small fluctuations in sea temperatures can have significant impact on air temperatures). I picked 1997 to highlight because of the very strong 1997-98 El Niño, it had record high atmospheric temperatures (to that point), and because this is the cherry picked start date for "flat" temperature growth. The ocean is retaining an enormous amounts of heat. This impacts tremendously temperature for years to come and pushes the equilibrium point higher and higher. The Link If you just would admit to not understanding any of this, it would be progress. Why is this so difficult for you? Why not just defer to the National Academy of Sciences? Why rely on charlatans? I really do not get this. Do you have any idea how boring this is for me to have to explain this again and again and again like with a three year old?