Additional info from Skeptical Science
The argument that we're simply "coming out of the Little Ice Age (LIA)" makes one of two assumptions:
1. The planet oscillates around some natural equilibrium temperature such that after it cools, it must warm to return to this temperature, and vice-versa.
2. Whatever caused the LIA cooling has reversed phase and is now causing global warming.
The first assumption demonstrates a lack of understanding regarding what causes planetary temperature changes. The second does not hold up under scrutiny of the empirical data.
Climate Change Causes
A long-term increase in the Earth's average temperature is caused by a change in the planetary energy balance (incoming vs. outgoing energy), also known as a "radiative forcing". If the amounts of incoming and outgoing energy are equal, the planet is in equilibrium and its temperature will not increase on average.
Note that over short periods of time, energy can be exchanged between the Earth's oceans and surface air through natural cycles such as the Pacific Decadal Oscillation, which can result in a short-term warming of the surface oceans and air at the expense of a cooling of the deeper oceans, or vice-versa. However, these cycles oscillate between positive and negative states, which over the long-term cancel each other out and do not cause significant temperature trends. These oscillations neither create nor retain heat; they simply move it around and thus physically cannot cause global warming or cooling. Further, if these cycles were causing the surface to warm, they would be causing the oceans to cool, which is the opposite of what we observe.
There are many different factors which can cause a planetary energy imbalance. Some of the most common examples are changes in solar activity, atmospheric greenhouse gases, volcanic activity, the Earth's overall reflectivity, and variations in the Earth's orbit around the Sun (also known as "Milankovitch cycles"). However, the key point is that the planet will not warm or cool over the long term unless there is a radiative forcing causing a planetary energy imbalance. Thus, the planet will not warm simply because it had previously cooled, and the notion that the planet is just "recovering" from the LIA makes no physical sense.
Adapted from © John Cook and Skeptical Science