I know that Sou over at HotWhopper has already covered some of this, so I won’t say much. Anthony Watts has a recent post on Watts Up With That (WUWT) called the warming plateau may extend back even further. The basic premise seems to be that if you remove various natural events (volcanoes, ENSO,…) the trend may end up being flat.
Here’s the very basic physicsy response to this idea. None of these events actually generate energy (even the volcano effect is not because it releases energy, but because it releases sunlight reflecting aerosols). All that these events do is influence how the energy is distributed.
So, if the global surface temperatures are higher now than they were in 1980, the ocean heat content greater than it was in 1980, and the polar ice volume less than it was in 1980, where did the extra energy come from? If someone can convince me that somehow these natural events lead to an increase in global energy, then maybe I’ll start to be convinced. Otherwise, all these natural events are doing is influencing the distribution of energy and something else must be causing the long-term increase in total energy. I’ll let the reader decide what I think that might be.