First up, a set of articles concerning the hiatus.
Article: Global warming 'pause' since 1998 reflects natural fluctuation
Article: Claim: natural variation ‘masked’ global warming, creating ‘the pause’
Statistical analysis of average global temperatures between 1998 and 2013 shows that the slowdown in global warming during this period is consistent with natural variations in temperature, according to research. The study concludes that a natural cooling fluctuation during this period largely masked the warming effects of a continued increase in human-made emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases.My problem: this is a variation of the "correlation is not causation" fallacy. A statistical anlysis shows that the slowdown is consistent with natural variations... Fine. However, neither does it prove that the slowdown down is caused by natural variations, just that it is consistent with the natural variations.
The analysis shows that the hiatus could be a natural variation, not proves it to be so.
Another problem from my point of view. The models that are used to predict global warming make it clear that this this kind of hiatus/pause should not happen. So even if the author is correct, it still does not let the climate models off the hook.
Also, yes, short-term variations up and down are, in fact, the rule in earth's climate. So are long-term variations up and down. Are we in a short-term or long-term variation?
As a commenter on the 2nd article notes, why is cooling the "natural variation," but warming is not?
As another commenter noted, the natural variation that masked the warming was exactly the same size as the warming. How likely is that?