According to a new analysis from the U.S. National Center for Atmospheric Research, Earth’s deep oceans might absorb enough heat to flatten the rate of global warming for up to a decade, even during a longer-term warming period. The new study says ocean layers deeper than 300 meters are the main location of “missing heat” during periods like the past decade, in which global air temperatures didn’t show a major trend. The 2000s were our planet’s warmest decade in more than a century. But the year with the warmest global temperature, 1998, wasn’t matched until 2010, even though greenhouse gas emissions climbed during that decade. The new study suggests the heat may have been building up in the ocean.