Henry, the deniers that trouble me are those who refute that the hiatus is the analogy for how we should deal with the problem. Warming is trapping heat as you indicate, mostly in tropical waters.
The second law of thermodynamics dictates that this heat flows to a cold heat sink and the line of least resistance is towards the poles where the icecaps are vulnerable.
The deep oceans are an equally great cold sink but as the natural tendency is for heat to rise it is a slow process for trapped heat to migrate there. A NASA study shows there has been no measurable warming of the ocean below 2000 meters over the past 8 years.
There are two explanations for the hiatus. The first is stronger than normal trade winds are driving heat into the eastern Pacific. It is pushing the thermocline down by about 50 meters but it is anticipated when these winds revert to normal the heat will rapidly return.
The second is thermohaline circulation is pulling the heat down into the Atlantic. But even if this is the case, the researchers who put forward the theory say it only gives us an additional 10 to 15 years before global warming resumes with its previous intensity.
Eco-Business points out, “One urgent question that needs answering is how much longer the water near the surface can continue to absorb the extra heat which human activities are producing. Another is what will happen when the oceans no longer absorb heat but start to release it. The answers could be disturbing.”
A heat pipe, using the phase changes of a working fluid, can overcome the natural resistance to rapid heat movement into the deep oceans. Ocean thermal energy conversion systems based on these movements can produce as much energy as is currently derived from fossil fuels.
They are a positive response to the problem of trapped heat and an adaption of the natural analogy.