The relentless increase of ocean heat

by Judith Curry

Ocean heat sequestration: false sense of security, or a solution to the global (surface) warming problem?

Two alarming blog posts in the last few days on the relentless increase of ocean heat:

From Romm’s post:

Let me extract the key points and figures. Back in July, scientist Dana Nuccitelli summarized a new study, “Distinctive climate signals in reanalysis of global ocean heat content“:

  • Completely contrary to the popular contrarian myth, global warming has accelerated, with more overall global warming in the past 15 years than the prior 15 years. This is because about 90% of overall global warming goes into heating the oceans, and the oceans have been warming dramatically.
  • As suspected, much of the ‘missing heat’ Kevin Trenberth previously talked about has been found in the deep oceans. Consistent with the results of Nuccitelli et al. (2012), this study finds that 30% of the ocean warming over the past decade has occurred in the deeper oceans below 700 meters, which they note is unprecedented over at least the past half century.
  • Some recent studies have concluded based on the slowed global surface warming over the past decade that the sensitivity of the climate to the increased greenhouse effect is somewhat lower than the IPCC best estimate. Those studies are fundamentally flawed because they do not account for the warming of the deep oceans.
  • The slowed surface air warming over the past decade has lulled many people into a false and unwarranted sense of security.

Well, I haven’t worried very much about this sequestered heat.  Without having done the arithmetic, I figured that the actual temperature increase when averaged over the global ocean is probably pretty small.  Further, with the 2nd law of thermodynamics, it is not easy to get much of that heat back to surface.

Well, Lubos Motl has done the arithmetic in this post Ocean heat content: relentless but negligible.  This is a good post, check it out.  The punchline of his calculations:  the heating in the layer 0-2000 m translates to 0.065 C +/- 20%.  His calculations are essentially confirmed from this ARGO page where they confirm that since the 1960s, the warming of that layer was 0.06 °C.

So, can anyone figure out why 0.06C is a big deal for the climate?  Or how all that heat that is apparently well mixed in the ocean could somehow get into the atmosphere and influence weather/temperatures/rainfall on the land?  Or is sequestering heat in the ocean a fortuitous ‘solution’ to the global (surface) warming problem?

422 responses to “The relentless increase of ocean heat

  1. These heat emissions from our energy use are taking their toll on the glaciers. The temperature rise is being retarded by the Arctic “ice box”. This should be easy to understand.

    • LOL–since it is all so simple to understand, why is it so difficult to sucessfully model the system?

      • David Springer

        Willis Eschenbach and I both did the arithmetic a year or two ago when Hansen 2011 Implications came out. We both found the 0.5W/m2 TOA imbalance called out by Hansen enough to warm the ocean basin by 0.2C in a hundred years. It’s pretty simple. That’s not saying 0.5W/m2 is accurate just if-it-were this-is-what.

      • What leads you to believe that simple to understand equals easy to model?

    • A personal view but now mostly on paper and quantified scientifically and in engineering terms.

      There has been AGW – from Asian aerosols reducing cloud albedo. It stopped in about 2000. OHC increased but has now stabilised, as shown by ARGO.

      CO2 climate sensitivity <0.1 K because the Earth's atmosphere self-regulates. The IPCC 'consensus' is juvenile junk science.

      Most CO2 emissions are natural, the 3% from humans is unimportant because natural processes are adapting to sequestrate the excess, driven by the irreversible thermodynamics of the OLR. This has been ignored by the IPCC but ultimately controls the lot.

    • It’s not the ” heat emissions from our energy” that is thought to have an effect on climate, dunderhead.

      It “should be easy to understand” but apparently you got it totally wrong. Well done, we’ve only been discussing for the last 30 years.

  2. Hmmm …

    With each post, Judith, it becomes more and more clear that the number of variables is so large that anyone can pick their favorite variable and claim that it is the key which either PROVES or DISPROVES the reality of human-induced global warming.

    I appreciate your willingness to gracefully point out those parts of the puzzle which negate the “smoking gun” hypothesis being put forth over this variable or that.

    • I like it. Always good to see someone who is capable of making logical connections that others don’t. But I don’t really see how he can say so confidently that greenhouse gases match the pattern, when clearly they don’t match the cooling / hiatus episodes. Does he have some kind of analysis of the regularity of these periods that allows him to have a reasonable opinion of what the temperature curve would look like without them?

    • As a physicist I like often what other physicists write. That applies definitely to this op-ed of Richard Muller.

      • Pekka and Curryja:

        The key problem with Muller’s argument -which is part of where Mosher is coming from as well- is that the 16+ years of flat lining is a “pause”.

        A pause, by definition, assumes/implies that whatever came before it will resume. The term hiatus does as well. The term flat lining implies no such assumption which by the way, is why I prefer to use that term. It can both be substantiated and is neutral in its implications.

        That’s important, because there is at present no basis in our understanding of the science to assume that the warming will resume as before. If as the IPCC and some its shield bearers are currently doing, natural variability is invoked to explain the ongoing flat lining, then that same variability can be invoked to explain the late 1970s through late 1990s uptick in temperatures. What goes for the goose, goes for the gander. And the proverbial sauce might be called ENSO.

      • As a geophysicist, I’m constantly amused when academics with no comprehension of real-word processes hold forth on matters totally outside their field. Not only do they lack any experiential capabilty to evaluate the reliabliity of data, but they miss the concrete context of the scientific issues. With no sense of the flimsiness and various biases of the data sets at hand and oblivious of any physical variations at time-scales beyond the available record, they proceed to pronouncements that misframe the issues.

      • “A pause, by definition, assumes/implies that whatever came before it will resume.”
        The top of roller coaster ride, could also be called a pause.
        So we could be pausing before getting cooler.
        Beside the religious fanatics of CAGW don’t believe in pauses.

        One of my forever favorites:

        It was April 1 2008 and Ted appears drunk.
        But Charlie appears to take him seriously.
        But anyhow in 10 years, no 30 years, we will be doomed.
        So by April 1 2038. [[Ted Turner will be 99 years old [assuming he survives his liver] and would be 100 on November 19, if he escapes being eaten by cannibals]]

    • Here is what Richard Muller has tosay:
      Berkeley Earth, a team of scientists I helped establish, found that the average land temperature had risen 1.5 degrees Celsius over the past 250 years. Solar variability didn’t match the pattern; greenhouse gases did.

      Oh, really? For the first century after 1750, CO2 concentrations hardly budged. In the last 15 years, they have continued to follow a rising curve and anthropogenic emissions have dumped a substantial portion (30%?) of total emissions into the atmosphere. How does temperature match that pattern?

      • This is my take away on Muller’s op-ed (everything else is baggage and secondary liability):

        “… too many people are taking it [the pause] too seriously, not just the skeptics and the media but even the greenhouse-warming advocates.

        “We don’t fully understand past variations, but there is a theorem in science: if it happens, it must be possible. The frequent rises and falls, virtually a stair-step pattern, are part of the historic record, and there is no expectation that they will stop, whatever their cause. A realistic prediction simply includes a similar variability as an unexplained component.” (The brackets and emphases are mine.)

        and finally

        “Alas, I think such optimism is premature. The current pause is consistent with numerous prior pauses. … The slow rate of warming of the recent past is consistent with the kind of variability that some of us predicted nearly a decade ago.”
        This is reasonable for a prediction in the current uncertain circumstances; and the caution (premature) is reasonable, and prudent. (The ‘problem’ has neither been demonstrated to have gone away nor to exist.) The stair analogy is weak here, hence the ellipsis (…).

      • This puts the pause in the context of the last 40 years.

        http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut4gl/from:1970/mean:12/plot/hadcrut4gl/from:1970/mean:12/trend/plot/hadcrut4gl/from:1970/mean:12/trend/offset:0.1/plot/hadcrut4gl/from:1970/mean:12/trend/offset:-0.1

        We see it fits the pattern and has not deviated outside the 0.1 C natural variability rails, so I put it down to natural variability on top of a continuing trend.

    • From the op-ed: “I think such optimism is premature.”

      This of course can not be said enough times.

      But

      as might be expected we see the all too frequent compulsive marking of conceptual territory long in the public domain by ‘celebrity’ climate stars: the “back when…I said this” thing. This probably as much a reflection of the state of affairs as it is of the individuals. Competition is fierce for shelf-space.

      ‘Science’ as a commodity can be an unseemly and risky business.

    • I Wondered if someone would appear with Muller’s latest self promotional musings from the NYT but I must admit I didn’t think it would be Steven Mosher.

      I can’t be bothered to go searching for Muller’s original quote but to paraphrase his own words just after Climategate 1, there are just some people’s work I can’t bring myself to even read.

      • There are some people whose daughter’s work I won’t read.
        ===============

      • huh?

        I find things I post them.

      • I would expect Steven (Mosher) to post. As he notes he sees things and posts them (for various reasons) and he is part of the BEST effort. And there is the sandbox angle–I thought some that was here, because he made no comment of his own. I for one appreciate the timely posting and as much as I dislike some aspects of Muller’s personal style–well, that is not relevant to what he writes.

    • Steve,
      Good point! Just so that no one claims 6C by 2050. It is good to let the grown ups argue which benefits everyone.

    • “Because of the instability of ocean flow, the best evidence of a changing climate may be the land temperature record.” – Muller.

      I understand the land data is going to by more variable, but it would seem more variable to everything. The land data is going to jump around more than the complete system data. I do think the Oceans call the tune for the most parted, granted with a variable SW intake. So wouldn’t looking at the land temperatures to at least some extent, be indirectly looking at the Oceans?

    • Steven: Should I take that as “I don’t know either” og as “I can’t or won’t summarize it”?

  3. A little typo. you wrote “translates to 0.65 C +/- 20%.” but it should read “translates to 0.065 C +/- 20%.”. Makes a big difference in the power of the argument! :)

  4. Typo? Lubos’s calculation is 0.065 C. Your text says “0.65 C”. Otherwise, thank you for addressing this!

      • Just to be sure, my calculation ultimately agreed with the results by Levitus, 2005, quoted on this official Argo page:

        http://www.argo.ucsd.edu/global_change_analysis.html

        They say 0.06 deg C for the 0-2000 m layer since the 1960s. Search for 0.06 on the page above. The zero following the decimal point is not a typo or a numerical mistake although I was surprised, too. Thanks to Paul Matthews for the URL.

      • Lubos

        Perhaps you can answer my question here?

        http://judithcurry.com/2013/09/26/the-relentless-increase-of-ocean-heat/#comment-387726

        Basically the ocean has an average depth of 4500Metres. All the calculation concern themselves with the top 2000Metres. It would be useful to calculate the ‘warming’ when spread amongst the full extent of the ocean not just the top

        tonyb

      • tony b

        Bob Tisdale has answered part of your question, but the rest remains unanswered: how much warming of the entire ocean would the 0.06C warming of the top 2000 meters cause if the heat were uniformly distributed?

        The top 2000 meters supposedly warmed by 5.00E+22 Joules, increasing its temperature by 0.06ºC.

        Sea water has an average heat capacity of about 4 Joules/gºC.

        This means the top 2000m of ocean contain an estimated:
        5.0E+22/(4*0.06) = 2.08E+23 grams or 208,000,000 Gt of sea water.

        The entire ocean is estimated to contain 1,400,000,000 Gt of sea water.

        So the entire ocean would warm by 0.6*208/1400 = 0.0089ºC.

        Has this answered your question?

        Max

    • Well, she did say “accelerating” ;-)

  5. There was no reason for Lubos to do the math. The NODC presents vertically averaged temperatures.

    http://www.nodc.noaa.gov/OC5/3M_HEAT_CONTENT/basin_avt_data.html

    I’ve posted about them here:

    http://bobtisdale.wordpress.com/2013/07/04/rough-estimate-of-the-annual-changes-in-ocean-temperatures-from-700-to-2000-meters-based-on-nodc-data/

    Judith writes: “So, can anyone figure out why 0.06C is a big deal for the climate? ”

    Nope. Just the typical alarmist nonsense.

    And to put it into another perspective, the annual variations in the ocean temperatures at depths of 700-2000 meters (where the mysterious heat is supposed to be hiding) are on the order of thousandths of a deg C per year:

    Regards

  6. A fan of *MORE* discourse

    This is a thought-provoking post Judith Curry!

    Hansen’s Climate-Change Rule  We’ll know that global energy imbalance has reversed when the seas stop rising.

    Robust Climate-Change Measures  It is striking that decadal fluctuations in the satellite-record oceanic rise-rate have *never* been observed. This is because CO2-induced radiative energy imbalance *never* ceases.

    Climate-Change Common Sense  Energy-based global measures of climate-change are robust against the politics-first denialist cherry-picking that Wendell Berry has vividly described:

    “Climate change is vulnerable. It’s still not fool proof because every time it frosts in Florida some political fool will point out that it’s going the other way.””

    Take notes, Rud Istvan and Nic Lewis and Chris Monckton!

    \scriptstyle\rule[2.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}\,\boldsymbol{\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}\,\heartsuit\,{\displaystyle\text{\bfseries!!!}}\,\heartsuit\,\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}}\ \rule[-0.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}

    • That’s as opposed to the other set of fools who claim every incidence of extreme weather is because of global warming…

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      John Plodinec deplores too “the other set of fools who claim every incidence of extreme weather is because of global warming”

      John Plodinec, you are 100% correct that there is no shortage of Berry-qualified fools on either side of the left-right political aisle!

      For forms of government
         let fools contest.
      What’s best administered
         is best.

            — Alexander Pope

      Fortunately, far-sighted science-respecting statespersons are to be found among committed conservatives *and* among committed progressives.

      That’s *terrific* news, eh John Plodinec?

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    • Haven’t they been rising for thousands of years? Did you mean the slope changes back to the base slope. That would actually make sense.

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      Bill asks “Haven’t they [the seas] been rising for thousands of years?”

      That is a good question Bill!

      The answer  No, not at the present rate of 3+ mm/year.

      How we know  Ancient structures show us plainly that in Roman times (2000+ years ago) the seas were not 20+ feet lower than at present.

      Thank you for your perceptive question, Bill!

      —————–

      FOMD posted “Fortunately, far-sighted science-respecting statespersons are to be found among committed conservatives *and* among committed progressives.”

      Erratum  Links fixed!

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      • Fanny

        Your calculation of SL rise since Roman days is goofy.

        Check the tide gauge record over the 20thC (Holgate 2007) for decadal rates of SL rise.

        This varied from -0.1 mm/year to over +5 mm/year.

        So there have been periods of much more rapid increase than today’s 3 mm/year just as recently as a few decades ago. Today’s rate is neither unprecedented nor unusual.

        And you can’t just extrapolate one of these decadal rates over thousands of years.

        Check tony b for longer term data.

        Max

      • Fanny

        For your enlightenment, here’s a picture of 20thC rates of SL rise.

        Enjoy! (And learn.)

        Max

  7. Looks to me like a constant slope from before 1970. What’s this about extra heat hiding in the deep ocean during the pause?

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      AK wonders  “What’s this about extra heat hiding in the deep ocean during the pause?”

      Grasp this AK: there has been no ‘pause’ in the Earth’s energy balance.

      AK, it is a pleasure to help clarify your appreciation of this fundamental observation of climate-change science!

      \scriptstyle\rule[2.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}\,\boldsymbol{\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}\,\heartsuit\,{\displaystyle\text{\bfseries!!!}}\,\heartsuit\,\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}}\ \rule[-0.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}

      • All right Fan, let’s take a look at the source you link: The area of the earth is approximately 5×10^14 m^2. 30 years is approximately 10^9 seconds, and their number for total energy is approximately 1.7×10^23 joules. Dividing the total energy by the total time yields ~1.7×10^14 watts, divided by the area yields about .34 watts/m^2. Do I have my numbers right?

        Now, according to Wiki, the Earth gets an average of around 340 watts/m^2 (1/4 of the solar constant of ~1366), about 1000 times the rate of heat build-up in the ocean. Clouds reflect about 20% of that, so that the amount reflected to space by the Earth’s albedo is ~200 times the rate of heat build-up in the ocean.

        Let’s suppose a change in albedo of 5% over one part of the Earth’s surface amounting to 10% of the Earth’s area. This would be in the same range. Thus, the heat build-up in the ocean could easily be explained a state-change in the weather dynamics amounting to the percentages named.

        We know the Earth went through a state change sometime around the ’70’s, and the entire build-up of heat in the ocean could easily be entirely due to that. This would, of course, require that the “feedback” from cloudy air roughly balance the effect of well-mixed GHG’s and the “feedback” from water vapor, but we don’t know that it doesn’t. In fact, we know very little about how GHG’s really affect the Earth’s energy balance.

        All we have is pontificating (heh!) by activist climate scientists.

  8. Faux pause: ocean warming, sea level rise, and polar ice melt speed up, surface warming to follow – Joe Romm at ThinkProgress

    Which pole would that be ? He forgets to mention.
    It’s not the south pole, nor the north pole , so I wonder where he’s looking.

    http://judithcurry.com/2013/09/16/inter-decadal-variation-in-northern-hemisphere-sea-ice/

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      Greg Goodman embraces doubly-wrong beliefs “It’s [ice-mass loss] not at the south pole, nor the north pole”

      It is a pleasure to assist you to a scientific appreciation of Earth’s warming energy-imbalance, Greg Goodman!

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      • Fanny

        That GRACE data you cite on Greenland and Antarctica Ice Sheet mass loss is highly doubtful for several reasons.

        GRACE still hasn’t figured out how to debug its gravity measurements of ice-mass loss for glacial isostatic adjustments, and the data series is still too short to be meaningful.

        http://theresilientearth.com/?q=content/ice-sheet-loss-cut-half

        Prior to GRACE there were continuous 24/7 measurements by satellite altimetry from 1992 to 2003. These studies showed that BOTH ice sheets gained mass over this time period: Johannessen 2004, Zwally 2005 (11 Gt/year overall mass gain for Greenland) and Wingham 2005 (27 Gt/year overall mass gain for Antarctica).

        Let’s wait until GRACE has figured out how to debug its data and have gathered a bit more of it before we jump to any conclusions that the observed past increase in ice mass at both locations has reversed itself after 2003.

        Max

  9. This also came up in the comments under the Rahmstorf post.
    Barry Woods pointed out how small the temperature rise was (comment 4) and got a daft answer from Gavin.
    Downpuppy (comment 11) innocently asked what 10^23 J was in degrees, and Gavin came up with 0.04C.

    But it looks like the IPCC Summary for policymakers is going to have the ocean heat graph plotted in scary units like 10^23 J, with no explanation of what this means in degrees C. If so, this will be a gift for the sceptics.

    • Slight miscalculation by me. But ocean warming less than 2 hundreths of a degree per decade. Or 2 thousanths of a degree per year. 0.09C rise in 55 years. The Met Office helpfully converted the joules into degrees C in a recent report. I link to it at Realclimate

      The public/media/polticians will see a ‘scary’ ocean graph. (Y-axis Joules)
      Will they feel tricked when the actual temp anomalies in deg C are pointed out?

      When atmospheric anomaly graphs have been expressed in degrees C, which makes it accesible

    • Paul M

      You make a very good point.

      I posted this on another thread, but will repost it here (with latest “data”):

      Joulie the Joule
      [In a 6th grade science classroom]

      Hi, children!

      I’m Joulie the Joule.

      You can’t see me because I’m invisible.

      I’m also an itsy-bitsy, teeny-weeny, li’l bitty ol’ thing.

      I warm things up, but I’m so tiny that I could only warm a glass of water by 0.004 degrees – can you imagine!

      In fact, I’m so small you couldn’t even feel me at all if I got into your eye.

      But I’m very important in the war on climate change and the carbon pollution that causes it, and that makes me very proud.

      Here’s why.

      Your teacher may not have told you, but global warming has stopped for a really long time. In fact it’s stopped since before any of you were even born!

      But scientists know this can’t be true because grownups are still driving cars and SUVs plus turning up the thermostats in winter and the air conditioners in summer making lots of that really bad gas, CO2 – so they know it’s really gotta be warming, even if we can’t feel or measure it.

      So the scientists figured out how this could be.

      All that heat had to be going somewhere and since it wasn’t going to the air around us, it was probably hiding in the deep blue sea!

      Nobody had really been measuring this, but scientists know it’s true anyway.

      And for the last 10 years they have even been measuring it. That’s kinda hard to do because, as we all know, the oceans and seas of the world are so very, very humongous. But anyway, the scientists now have some measurements scattered around here and there and (together with some older stuff) these show that the top 2000 meters of the ocean has warmed by a total of around 0.06 degrees C over the past 50 years.

      This doesn’t sound like much at all, so nobody gets very scared when they hear it.

      And that’s where I come in!

      The scientists have figured out that they can convert the warming to Joules – ME! – and it will sound a whole lot scarier.

      Remember that I can only warm a glass of water by around 0.004 degrees so it would take gadzillions of me to warm the whole top part of the ocean by that much.

      And to warm it around fifteen times that much, or 0.06 degrees, which scientists think they have measured over the past 50 years total, would take 50,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 of me! Scientists would call this 5.0×10^22 Joules.

      And that sure sounds a whole lot scarier than 0.06 degrees, doesn’t it, children?

      And it makes li’l bitty me very proud to play such a big and important role in the war on climate change!

      Even very small things can make a really BIG difference.

      Your li’l team-mate in the war on carbon pollution,

      Joulie the Joule

  10. Great topic. Wish I had time to comment but I do not. Just one quick thought:

    “So, can anyone figure out why 0.06C is a big deal for the climate? Or how all that heat that is apparently well mixed in the ocean could somehow get into the atmosphere and influence weather/temperatures/rainfall on the land? Or is sequestering heat in the ocean a fortuitous ‘solution’ to the global (surface) warming problem?”

    How can the heat be both “well mixed” and “sequestered?” If we say that it is well mixed then we are saying simply that (something along the lines of) the effects of radiation at the surface of the oceans, including all effects such as changes in the thermal gradient, have warmed the oceans to a greater depth. That heat, if it is there, is not sequestered.

    Sequestered heat is moved from higher layers to the deep oceans by natural processes of mixing that are peculiar to the oceans and predate any effects of increased CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere. These natural processes can create layers of warmer water that are beneath layers of colder water. That is sequestration.

    To infer from the existence of sequestered heat that “the oceans are warming” requires making the entirely unjustified assumptions that sequestered heat is uniform throughout the oceans and there is no impediment to its release caused by cooler waters above it.

    The really important point is that sequestration is a process that demands empirical investigation. Scientists must investigate empirically the myriad natural processes that can cause sequestration and the myriad effects that those processes have. Modeling is useless here.

    Finally, recognize the larger point that if heat is sequestered by the oceans then scientists are faced with the empirical questions of determining how much is sequestered and for how long. If it is sequestered for centuries then the existing method of calculating Earth’s energy budget must be revised. Oceans that sequester heat can remove energy from the energy budget whose calculation includes the radiation input to the earth from the sun, the radiation released from the earth to space, and the effects of back-radiation from atmospheric CO2.

    • Theo, more important, IMO, is that the basis of attribution and computation of 3C depends on TCS mostly becoming ECS in 50 years. If the heat is transported that deeply, ECS may occur at millennial times. Which would falsify all the “we must do something NOW!” rhetoric.

      • Absolutely. Press the point at every opportunity. (And write for the uninitiated such as journalists.) Maybe Alarmists will be embarrassed into responding.

      • It isn’t sufficient that the heat be transported “that deeply” in order to postpone global surface warming for more than a decade or so (e.g. for the PDO to remain stuck in the negative phase). There would also need to be a continuous increase in the *rate* of transport of the heat in the deep ocean in order to match the rate of increase of the top of atmosphere radiative imbalance produced by the increasing greenhouse gas concentration. So long as the surface doesn’t warm, the radiative imabalance increases.

        This is a point Judith Curry seems completely oblivious to. The main issue isn’t that the sequestered heat might come back or that the reservoir might fill up early. It’s rather that as long as the heat is transported away from the surface, there is no Plank response. And as long as there is no such response, the radiative imbalance keeps increasing. This can’t go on indefinitely. Consider also that the rate of warming of the *land* surface didn’t stall. It seems to be responding to the increasing TOA imbalance even during the “pause”. And when the ocean surface warming will eventually keep up, so will the water vapor feedback.

      • The main issue is whether the ‘sequestered’ heat is or is not to be. It seems most likely to have been albedo bounced right out of this little box.
        ========================

      • Pierre-Normand

        That’s not the main issue. That’s a different topic for another thread. That the heat has been sequestered, and might continue to be, is the common presupposition from both sides here. Else, Judith’s question about the significance of 0.06°C has no object.

      • Pierre-Normand,

        As long as there is no Planck response there are no feedbacks, since the feedbacks are due to surface warming. Since net feedbacks are positive, this is consistent with what John Pittman points out that heat going into the ocean delays achieving the ECS, which *buys time* with respect to most effects except for sea level rise.

      • Yes, Pierre, what both sides presuppose, sequestration, is a negligible side issue. What the data is slowly starting to show, is that sequestered extra heat from man is a negligible contribution, if even real. What other data is increasingly showing, is that it is not even real, but has already been radiated out.

        A greater issue(note I lose ‘main’) is the the future of climate if, in fact, that energy has been radiated out. That would suggest that AnthroCO2 has little warming effect and natural forces dominate.

        So in either case, sequestered or not, the human race need not fear catastrophic effect from the anthropogenic contribution.

        Of course it is possible to imagine scary warming scenarios but we stand near the edgy of scary cooling scenarios that are real. Consider any deep sequestered heat, from man, as a tiny increase in the thickness of the fat of a bear preparing for hibernation.

        Heh, does this CO2 make me look fat?
        ====================

      • Heh, does this CO2 make me look fat?

        Only if you sequester it. ;-)

      • Pierre, your statement “”And as long as there is no such response, the radiative imbalance keeps increasing. This can’t go on indefinitely. Consider also that the rate of warming of the *land* surface didn’t stall.”” has several intrinsic assumptions that would need investigating. ONe in particular is the mechanism where the heat is re-introduced into the yusstem. This is not trivial. As an example, assume that the present use of fossil phospahte and nitrates, combined with nitrate production continues to accellerate as fast as CO2 production. These nutrients are making their way to the ocean. You can google where severeal scientists consider this as big as issue as acidification. Whether the heat exits back at the coasts with upwelling or from mixing, the biological effect is well known: exponential growth. In other words, a millenial ECS would mean that the Bern model could be as much as an order of magnitude oversating the ultimate lifetime of carbon. That if fact there could be a bio-geophraphical balance of CO2 nutrients and heat such that the biomass expands to a new equilibrium and is a definite negatve feedback as engineers use the term.

        This is just one of many of the assumptions and interactions of our bio-geosphere that would need to be re-examined with this heat path.

        Besides the biggest, is that temperature anomalies had to be produced from heat and and mass balances. There is no confidence that if they got the heat transport wrong, that their models got the temperature correct, except by a cancellation of errors. In other words, poor science.

      • Pierre-Normand, how is LW radiation from GHGs getting “sequestered” deep in the ocean? Can’t do it. LW radiation doesn’t penetrate water more than a mm or two. Solar SW penetrates fairly well (down to where the deeps are completely dark), so some of that will be sequestered for a later time. Any added few watts at the first mm or so of the water surface isn’t going to make it down a couple dozen meters, let alone thousands.

        There’s no heat-in-the-pipeline from GHGs — only from solar SW.

      • Pierre-Normand

        beng asked: “how is LW radiation from GHGs getting “sequestered” deep in the ocean? Can’t do it. LW radiation doesn’t penetrate water more than a mm or two.” It doesn’t need to. The heat comes in as SW and out as LW, latent and sensible energy. The increased downwelling LW reduces the *net* upward LW flux. This is how more heat is retained into the oceans. It all comes in in the form of shortwave energy. The longwave flux out is reduced. This variation in net LW flux also increases the temperature of the skin layer. This also reduces the temperature gradient below the surface and hence the cooling rate of the ocean.

    • The ocean heat idea – suddenly getting a lot of press from scientists – proves what I’ve been saying all along. Even with super-computers, climate scientists didn’t anticipate the pause. And if they saw it coming early, they surely would have set our expectations so they would at least look like they had SOME understanding of the climate system. This proves THEY DON’T KNOW ENOUGH!! Until they have a much better understanding of how climate works, they should shut up until they are 95% certain they do.

      • What we can be certain is that the models are not useful. As Pierre pointed out and as I expanded, it makes a difference. In fact as several have pointed out, if it goes to the deep ocean, the basic assumptions about ECS, Bern model, temperature as a state approximation of heat at near surface, biological feedbacks, ocean feedbacks, etc., are ALL WRONG!

      • Our Wack-a-Mole game has four moles:
        1. Atmospheric warming.
        2. Ocean heating.
        3. Sea Level Rise
        4. Ocean Acidification

        The warmists will jump on any of them, whether they have anything to do with warming or not. I fear that the climate is so complex that it supplies warmists with a plethora of monsters under the bed.

  11. I’ve been thinking about this too. If the oceans have to come into equilibrium with the atmosphere, the heat exchange is actually pretty good as Trenberth and others think, and the oceans have a high specific heat compared to the atmosphere, it may well take a long time to get a C02 induced energy imbalance to do much of anything to atmospheric temperatures. Even if the imbalance is exactly as the models imply they are.

    I’m also supposing the multiplier effect due to extra H20 would take longer to take effect because that, I suppose, is on account of delta in atmospheric temperatures, which would really push out the instance of the Earth’s energy imbalance quite a ways. How far? I suppose who knows, at this point.

    • didn’t see this before I posted above. I agree…though spatial distribution of the surface warming matters a lot more for feedbacks than is usually discussed, according to some recent papers.

  12. I tell ya, you can really feel that extra 0.065C work on ya. How many years per degree is that?

    Sorry that is just the 0-700 meter temperatures which we actually have more than a decade of estimates

  13. Luci Liljegren produced this helpful overlay to the graph, showing degrees as well as Joules, just in time for the IPCC to include it in their SPM:

    • if the Met Office can convert the Ocean Heat anomaly in degrees C, you would hope that he IPCC could as well. Also the data for oceans is very sketchy historically. And even with the Argo Buoys, it is still only 1 ARGO per per how many tens of thousands of CUBIC kilometres of ocean..?

      Met Office:

      “There are much fewer observations below 700m, and the ocean below 2,000m has remained largely un-monitored. However, there is evidence of warming below 700m, and even below 2,000m. Careful processing of the available deep ocean records shows that the heat content of the upper 2,000m increased by 24 x 1022J over the 1955–2010 period (Levitus, 2012), equivalent to 0.09°C warming of this layer. To put this into context, if the same energy had warmed the lower 10km of the atmosphere, it would have warmed by 36°C! While this will not happen, it does illustrate the importance of the ocean as a heat store.”

      pg22 – section 3.1 Ocean Heat Content

      http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/media/pdf/e/f/Paper1_Observing_changes_in_the_climate_system.PDF

      from Met Office: the Recent Pause in Warming

      http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/research/news/recent-pause-in-warming

      • Conversions between temperatures and joules in climate science require a lot of context and a lot of explanation if they are not to be question begging (circular argument). One point that must be decided is whether the oceans are warming or warmer water has been sequestered beneath colder water. The latter does not imply the former. If our topic is sequestered heat in the deep oceans then all talk about the oceans warming is nonsense.

    • “The point is that the warmists keep pointing to the 10**23 joules that have gone into the ocean as evidence of global warming.”

      Well it is! jesus christ!

    • NOAA have already done that.

      You are idiots for thinking rewriting it as C instead of J makes some kind of important point.

      Are you the same fools who insist of writing 0.039% instead of 390ppm? The only people you fool are yourselves, and any of the public unlucky to be in earshot of such misleading BS.

      • Not really. If you change the average temperature of the oceans by .8 C, that is about 300 years of scary Joules, the average surface temperature of the oceans would change about the same amount. No matter how many Joules an object at 4C contains, it is still an object at 4C, so the average ocean temperature may change to 4.4C from 3.6C in 300 to 1000 years

      • You honestly believe people will or should give a crap about 0.06 deg C warming of the ocean in the last 65 years? Which is why it NEEDS to be communicated in Joules or some number of Hiroshima atomic bombs per second over 30 years, right?

      • DayHay,

        what if 0.06C warming in 50 years is the fastest the 0-2000m ocean has warmed up in millions of years?

        See just because it’s a small number does not make it insignificant. You need a frame of reference. As I have been pointing out to people a 0.06C increase in a huge body of water is completely different from a 0.06C increase in air outside your window.

      • What evidence do you have that shows the .06C warming in the past 50 years is the most in the last million years?

  14. I have the gulf stream flowing past my house.

    In winter it keeps the ocean at around 11c in late autumn and we would normally reckon not to get a frost until February, although the last few years frosts have been much earlier.

    By February the ocean temperature will have fallen to around 7 or 8 c.

    Can anyone explain to me how tiny fractions of a degree of heat supposedly hidden in the deep oceans is ever gong to be released into the surface as anything more than tiny fractions of a degree that neither myself nor my garden will notice.

    Tonyb

    • Nobody ever said it would reassemble and come back out, so why are you wasting your time suggesting that such a claim was made?

      • Didn’t Trenberth (among others) claim that the heat was hiding in the ocean but would soon come “roaring back”?

      • Yes, Trenberth has since been educated on the topic of the 2nd law of thermodynamics

      • JCH

        Lets rephrase it.

        Lets assume for the sake of discussion that the heat has managed to sneak undetected through the intermediate layers of water and has -or will-fractionally warmed the deep oceans. Bearing in mind their vastness and frigidity how does that tiny increase come back to bite us?
        tonyb

      • &deity. help us!

        How many other prominent climos don’t understand simple thermodynamics? Please tell me that Trenbeth was a oneoff and everyone else was just too embarrassed to put him right…….

        But if he wasn’t alone, then WTF do these self-appointed ‘trustworthy’ folk actually understand at all?

      • Latimer Alder | September 26, 2013 at 5:15 pm |

        Trenberth was relying on the models. They are based on the best physics (or contain the best physics?), don’t ya’ know?

      • I think Judith is now making the same mistake as the Slayers. Trenberth never was mistaken about the second law because he never postulated a *net* flow of heat from oceans to surface but only a reduction of the rate of flow into them. What may happen simply is that the dynamics of ocean circulation might change (as a result of warming) and thereby the rate of heat sequestration might diminish. This is analogous to the greenhouse gases “warming” the oceans through simply reducing the rate of energy release (which is something the Slayers can’t wrap their minds around).

      • Rates of sequestration not demonstrated empirically, and changes of rates derived imaginatively. There is evidence that what you imagine as sequestrated has been radiated out.
        ========

    • Tonyb-
      “Can anyone explain to me how tiny fractions of a degree of heat supposedly hidden in the deep oceans is ever going to be released into the surface as anything more than tiny fractions of a degree that neither myself nor my garden will notice.”

      None of the climateers will, because it can’t. If the energy imbalance is heating the deep ocean, then the problem is essentially gone. I am not convinced that the oceans from 700-2000m are doing anything, because the data uncertainty is so large. Over half of the ocean volume is below 2000m, and there is essentially ZERO data there.

      You will also never hear a climateer point out how tiny 10^23 J of added heat is compared with the absolute heat content of the oceans.

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      TonyB asks (in effect) “How will I and my garden notice the relentless increase in ocean heat?”

      TonyB, those patient folks at RealClimate have posted an essay that answers your questions “in-depth” (LOL). Study the following work carefully, TonyB!

      What ocean heating reveals about global warming

      The amount of heat stored in the oceans is one of the most important diagnostics for global warming, because […] heat absorbed by the oceans accounts for almost all of the planet’s radiative imbalance.

      See Abraham et al. A review of global ocean temperature observations: Implications for ocean heat content estimates and climate change (2013) for details.

      Kudos to TonyB for asking!

      Kudos to RealClimate (and Abraham et al.) for answering!

      \scriptstyle\rule[2.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}\,\boldsymbol{\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}\,\heartsuit\,{\displaystyle\text{\bfseries!!!}}\,\heartsuit\,\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}}\ \rule[-0.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}

      • Fan

        Thank you for the link to RC.

        Unfortunately the article does not begin to answer the reasonable question I asked. The average depth of the oceans is 4300metres. The article references studies to only 700 metres and to 2000 metres. The heat content calculations do not therefore begin to address the vast body of very cold water that lies below those levels. Here is the graphic again showing the unimaginably deep ocean

        http://www.earthperiodical.com/oceandepths/

        Have you got any information on the effects on those of us who live on the land of this fractional warming that might possibly exist in the upper levels but which have not been reliably measured below that.

        tonyb

      • I just loved Gavin’s explanation for why atmospheric CO2 can mix the upper ocean with the lower layers; like baked bean CO2 cause a might wind that increases mixing
        a) Atmosphere and wind at 300 ppm CO2
        b) Atmosphere and wind at 400 ppm CO2

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        DocMartyn wonders  “I just loved Gavin’s explanation [of upwelling and mixing]”

        Yes, but NASA’s satellite photos of chlorophyll concentration and coastal cold upwelling and also animations upwelling/mixing processes of even *BETTER*.

        Your sustained interest in the dynamical mixing of the Earth’s sustained imbalance-energy and CO2-induced ocean-acidity is much appreciated. Thank you, DocMartyn!

        \scriptstyle\rule[2.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}\,\boldsymbol{\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}\,\heartsuit\,{\displaystyle\text{\bfseries!!!}}\,\heartsuit\,\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}}\ \rule[-0.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}

      • Are you suggesting that NASA has evidence hat CO2 laden air has INCREASED upwelling you degenerate liar?

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      DocMartyn “Are you suggesting that NASA has evidence that CO2-laden air has INCREASED upwelling you [ degenerate liar  regenerate friar (?)]”

      Gosh, you forgot to hyphenate “CO2-laden”. It was my pleasure to improve your post’s clarity and quality, DocMartyn!

      Just pointing out how *very* naturally and completely (from a scientific viewpoint) the NASA upwelling data support and explain the acid-ocean failure of oyster-spawning:

      An Upwelling Crisis:
      Ocean Acidification

      A Warning to the Rest of the World

      Today, ocean acidification appears at the top of a growing list of environmental problems attributed to the rapid accumulation of human-emitted carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Feely didn’t expect that ocean acidification would show up in his own backyard so soon. Now he fears it could become a global problem with catastrophic consequences for marine life forms.

      Meanwhile, the shellfish industry is still making headlines. The oyster larvae in Willapa Bay — a region that provides one-sixth of the nation’s oysters — failed to reach maturity for the fourth summer in a row.

      Now that we know about the problem, and understand its root causes, we can monitor the situation. We can change the decisions we’re making. We can take steps to reduce our carbon dioxide emissions and take steps to protect the ocean.

      This scientific understanding is a *good* thing, eh DocMartyn?

      Hopefully your hyphenation will improve, as will your scientific appreciation of climate-change!

      Sincere best wishes are extended to you and all Climate Etc readers, DocMartyn!

      \scriptstyle\rule[2.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}\,\boldsymbol{\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}\,\heartsuit\,{\displaystyle\text{\bfseries!!!}}\,\heartsuit\,\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}}\ \rule[-0.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}

  15. If the heat keeps on going to deep ocean the rate of warming will, indeed, be very slow. That’s, however, not the the standard explanation of what we have seen over the recent decades.

    The standard interpretation is that most of the warming occurs on land and in the surface ocean. In this interpretation the recent hiatus is not due to a persistent speedup in the warming of deep ocean but to natural variability that happens to be now in the phase where it cancels the surface warming trend.

    This view may be contested but it’s perfectly logical and better arguments are needed to counter it than calculating the average warming rate of the total ocean volume.

    • The point is that the warmists keep pointing to the 10**23 joules that have gone into the ocean as evidence of global warming. This is a flawed argument, which is what i was trying to point out.

      • Judith,

        I agree that it’s not evidence, but it may be a valid excuse.

      • As far as I can tell, the rate is roughly the same since before 1970. Am I reading something wrong?

        If my eyeball is right, wouldn’t that mean that the pause really is a pause, compared to previous decades?

      • I don’t think that the measurements have been accurate enough to tell, how the rate of increase of OHC has changed.

      • It looks to me like a constant slope with a few wiggles. No dramatic changes when the “pause” started, whenever that was.

      • There is nothing flawed about the argument at all. For instance, ocean layers are involved with ENSO. If the layers that are most intimately involved with ENSO are warmer, it’s unlikely be consequence free.

        Talking about the average increase in temperature makes absolutely no sense unless your goal is self-deception.

        Well, I haven’t worried very much about this sequestered heat. Without having done the arithmetic, I figured that the actual temperature increase when averaged over the global ocean is probably pretty small. Further, with the 2nd law of thermodynamics, it is not easy to get much of that heat back to surface. …

        The above is weird. Just plain weird.

        You told me I was wrong about Trenberth and the 2nd law. So I asked him. I was not wrong. Your source was wrong. Trenberth never suggested violating the 2nd law. You have to be a fruit loop to believe that he did. He was talking about ENSO. Whether or not he’s right is another matter, and you have not addressed it. You apparently prefer to deal with something that was never said. Trenberth bashing is such great fun.

      • The Very Reverend Jebediah Hypotenuse


        This is a flawed argument, which is what i was trying to point out.

        If the global mean temperature were not rising, there would be no net energy transfer at all into the oceans. But there is.

        But since the heat capacity of water is 4 times that of air, one might be inclined to regard small increases in ocean temperature as indicative of larger increases in the atmosphere.

        Some of the energy taken up by the oceans will not even show up a temperature increase since it is converted to the latent heat of melting ice. Motl conveniently neglects this factor.

        Also – we know that land masses (even higher heat capacity) are warming as well.

        http://www.earth.lsa.umich.edu/climate/core.html

        Keep trying, Dr Curry.

      • Rev, maybe you should read Pekka’s comments on ocean IR absorption. The heat doesn’t start in the atmosphere and transfer to the ocean, it starts in the ocean, at least over the 3/4 of the earth that’s covered by water.

        And Pekka’s playing for your team.

      • And you did a good job, as always. However, with Warmists, the message has to filter through a fog of psychic defense mechanisms.

      • Some people (like Pielke, Sr., a well know skeptic) define global warming by the heat content and not the surface temperature. He should concede that global warming is happening by his definition.

      • “Jim D | September 27, 2013 at 1:15 am |

        Some people (like Pielke, Sr., a well know skeptic) define global warming by the heat content and not the surface temperature. He should concede that global warming is happening by his definition.”

        I think glaciers formed during LIA are still more or less continuing melt and probably will continue melt as long as we warmer than LIA.

        It seems the longer one is in a interglacial period the warmer the oceans get- I think it’s commonly accepted that by the end of last interglacial period, that the oceans were warmer than our ocean are now.
        So it seems as long in we in period which is warmer the glacial period, oceans should continue to warm.

        But problem is the whole nonsense called AGW has been making it’s case on air temperature, and if air temperature no longer is increasing it’s temperature, why change the story?

        So it seems to me that unless it returns to glacial temperatures, one will continue to have the ocean becoming warmer, but that is not evident that ocean is warming in any increased rate. There no evidence that the warming is “hiding in the ocean”- only evidence is some people are willing give up on using air temperature when it not longer fits their narrative.

      • Pierre-Normand

        gbaikie, how do you account for that fact that the Earth surface cooled from the Holocene Climatic Optimum (7,000 years ago) until about one century ago and then reversed to warming? How do you account for the fact that the average rate of sea level rise over the last five millennia was about 0.55mm/year and now climbed to 3mm/year?

      • Pierre-Normand, how do you account for your cooling for the best part of 7000 years? (and what would happen had this ‘cooling’ continued)
        Also, how do you account for your 0.55mm/year sea level rise over your five millennia of cooling?

      • Pierre-Normand

        The slow cooling over the last 5,000 years is easily accounted for by the Milankovitch forcing (which is still going down and didn’t reverse after the LIA). As for the small rate of sea level rise over that period, I am unsure. My guess is that is is mostly the result of continued glacial melt. That’s the same way you can account for continued snow melt past the summer solstice in high latitudes regions (and the sea ice melt in the Arctic for nearly three months past the solstice). It’s not because the forcing has stopped growing after reaching a maximum that ice won’t continue to melt for awhile. This would only happen if the Milankovitch cycles were so slow that glacial coverage would always be in equilibrium with the forcing (and also both of them synched with the slow carbon cycle). Also, if you look at Holocene sea level reconstructions, you will see that it hasn’t been 0.55mm/year for 5,000 years. That’s just the average but it decelerated sharply over the last two millennia before it accelerated again in the recent 150 years or so.

      • -Pierre-Normand | September 27, 2013 at 6:16 am |

        gbaikie, how do you account for that fact that the Earth surface cooled from the Holocene Climatic Optimum (7,000 years ago) until about one century ago and then reversed to warming?-

        The high of our interglacial is still cooler than most to the time of last billion years.
        And it’s got cooler than the warmest it’s been in Holocene, but all times during this interglacial period has warmer than the warmest during any recent glacial period.
        So since it’s warmer, the ocean warms.
        The ocean take a very long time to warm, during last few million years it’s
        never got as warm as it did in periods early. That’s what is meant by the term, an ice box climate. With an obvious characteristic of having permanent polar ice caps.

        “How do you account for the fact that the average rate of sea level rise over the last five millennia was about 0.55mm/year and now climbed to 3mm/year?”
        An excellent question.
        We could get about 1 foot rise in sea levels in a century of time. But we might not.
        The idea we going to get more than 1 meter rise by the end of century is most likely wrong. And 2 to 20 meters rise is strictly fantasy.
        But most of rise in sea level is thought to be due to thermal expansion of the ocean- meaning the ocean is getting warmer.
        And if we could have an accurate measurement record of sea level rise, this would tend to give strong clues of the degree the ocean was warming.

      • gbaikie, if you are interested in paleoclimate you would also notice that 400 ppm is the highest it has been since some time before any of the Ice Ages, and values in excess of 500 or 600 ppm have not been seen since Antarctica glaciated when it was an iceless hothouse Eocene climate. Plain science explains these climate swings easily. We could easily exceed 700 ppm by 2100.

      • “Jim D | September 27, 2013 at 9:45 pm |

        gbaikie, if you are interested in paleoclimate you would also notice that 400 ppm is the highest it has been since some time before any of the Ice Ages, and values in excess of 500 or 600 ppm have not been seen since Antarctica glaciated when it was an iceless hothouse Eocene climate. Plain science explains these climate swings easily. We could easily exceed 700 ppm by 2100.”

        First, CO2 is not a control knob. If in 87 years global CO2 were to reach 700 ppm, it does follow that Earth climate would resemble the Eocene
        period. It’s not even going resemble the warmest point in the last interglacial period, the Eemian.
        To get to conditions like the last interglacial period warmest conditions, you need a lot of time- thousands of years.
        “The warmest peak of the Eemian was around 125,000 years ago, when forests reached as far north as North Cape (which is now tundra) in northern Norway well above the Arctic Circle at 71°10′21″N 25°47′40″E. Hardwood trees like hazel and oak grew as far north as Oulu, Finland.”

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eemian

        Instead were we to 700 ppm by 2100, sea level may have risen and additional foot above present levels [at most] and global temperature will have risen by 2 C [at most].
        And such prediction is according to greenhouse theory- which I don’t have much faith in.
        Though It isn’t according to idea of wild runaway effects, which James Hansen and Al Gore have suggested.
        But it’s more than slightly challenging, to be aware of Eocene period, and imagine Hansen wild fears about Earth becoming Venus like.
        To get to Al Gore’s and James Hansens future vision, we would need to park Earth at Venus distance from the Sun. The Earth’s ocean even at Venus distance, still wouldn’t warm very quickly- a thousand years wouldn’t be enough time, but nevertheless, one could realistically expect that ice caps would melt quickly, and Earth in general would far warmer- with conditions [other than the entire ocean] being much warmer than during the Eocene period.
        Though even if Earth was at Venus distance it’s possible the only “runaway effect” is global cloud cover- giving darkness and warmth.
        And so perhaps, the lack of sunlight at the surface would be our short term doom. Btw, even at Venus distance and assuming clear skies, the ocean or even mud puddles would not boil.
        Though what happens with a solar pond, would be interesting. Since they reach over 80 C, at Earth distance at 1000 watts per square, and so at Venus distance they would seem to be able reach 100 C. But this would disrupt the heat gradient. Hmm, that would be interesting experiment.
        But back to point. Assume that by 2100 there is 700 ppm. The ocean is unable to rise by 1/2 a degree in such a short time period, nor is much chance of surface of ocean warming by much. Ice caps can’t be affected much- a large volcanic eruption under an ice cap would have much bigger effect, and lack scientific exploration regarding possible volcanic activity in this regard is much more likely cause of any short term cataclysm upon ice caps.
        And we could get air temperature increase by as much a 2 C [assuming greenhouse effect theory is valid].
        If we got a 2 C increase in global air temperature, there is good chance this highest temperature we seen in the Holocene, and equaling or more than in Eemian, but no where near air temperature of
        Eocene. You aren’t imagining the UK would be tropical conditions, do you? I imagine UK could grow grapes without the assistance greenhouses, but that’s pretty far from tropical like conditions.
        With a 2 C increase of global temperature, one could expect Canadian tending to live further north instead of most of then being crowded within 100 miles of Canadian/US border- most Canadian could start living within 1000 miles of US/Canadian border and Canada would have considerable more arable land. As would Russia.
        And most of temperature increase would be warmer nights and winters.
        And skiing in southern Californian mountains would tend to get worse.

        Meanwhile, what are humans doing in 2100? Are some of them living on Mars?

    • Matthew R Marler

      Pekka Pirilä
      The standard interpretation is that most of the warming occurs on land and in the surface ocean. In this interpretation the recent hiatus is not due to a persistent speedup in the warming of deep ocean but to natural variability that happens to be now in the phase where it cancels the surface warming trend.

      That interpretation would be more believable if there were a documented mechanism to go with it. How long with this phase happen to last? Forever? 3 centuries or 3 millennia?

  16. Relentless is one of my favorite words. Like the growth of energy demand or the amount of data we create. Relentless is not exponential though. I remember one year there was a decline in billionaires but it was just a pause.

  17. “So, can anyone figure out why 0.06C is a big deal for the climate?”

    Specific heats, how do they work? 0.06 C in water = much more than 0.06 C in air. Not to mention the difference in masses between the atmosphere and the top 2000m of ocean water!

    “Or how all that heat that is apparently well mixed in the ocean could somehow get into the atmosphere and influence weather/temperatures/rainfall on the land?”

    Not all the heat that went in the ocean will be released back in the atmosphere. But some of it will (that’s what ENSO does!) – and more importantly, the higher proportion of heat captured by the ocean in recent years is likely a fluke of internal variability. IOW, we basically got a temporary reprieve.

    Note that this fits together pretty well with the observation that ENSO-corrected trends show very little “pause”.

  18. If the oceans really are sequestering heat then the matter of the thermohaline circulation comes into play and that is 1000 to 1500 years long.

    If they are going down that route we can say that any increased ocean warming is due to changes in solar activity (hardly any human CO2 in mediaeval times) and that the warmth of the oceans now is down to the warmth of the MWP coming up through the thermohaline circulation.

    That means that the cold waters of the LIA are next en route to us.

  19. so instead of the deep oceans being super, super frigidly cold they are now just super frigidly cold? got it…

    • .006 *C changes super, super frigidly cold to super frigidly cold.
      Got it…Can’t really measure it that far down below.
      Scott

  20. Dr. Curry:
    “…how all that heat that is apparently well mixed in the ocean could somehow get into the atmosphere and influence weather/temperatures/rainfall on the land?”

    Which I read as a slow rate of return to the atmosphere. Combine that with the fast uptake by the Oceans, as some have said or suggested, we seem to have a dampening effect. Fast uptake, slow return.

    OHC data is not as reliable as we’d like it to be, and that allows for ‘I think it’s there accounting’. We aren’t able to track all the transactions, and we also cannot do an accurate count at some point in time, that is, take an inventory count. We’re still looking for a better accounting system.

  21. Steve McIntyre

    When asked about the effect of ARGO data, IPCC apparently quoted the punchline from the movie Argo.

  22. “So, can anyone figure out why 0.06C is a big deal for the climate?”

    I can. But really I shouldn’t be having to explain this to a climate scientist.

    If 0-2000m has increased by 0.06C in a century that’s a hell of a lot of heat absorbed by the Earth with consequences for the surface temperature where we live. That’s the point, the heat absorbed.

    But hey what joe public will think is that 0.06C is no different than 0C. They’ll be thinking of temperatures in their garden. Which would be wrong.

    Get a grip. Stop promoting skeptic propaganda like this. What next? Will you promote the skeptics who rewrite 390ppm as 0.039%?

    • lolwot ,

      “I can.”

      And yet you don’t.

      “If 0-2000m has increased by 0.06C in a century that’s a hell of a lot of heat absorbed by the Earth with consequences for the surface temperature where we live.”

      Such as? When starts the part where you (with much exaggerated sighing and rolling of eyes, no doubt) “explain this to a climate scientist”?

      “But hey what joe public will think is that 0.06C is no different than 0C.”

      Because for any practical purpose, it isn’t.

      • I did, I pointed out that it’s a hell of a lot of heat to add in just 50 years. Enough to have elevated surface temperatures by 0.6C (10 times as much as the cited 0-2000m average).

        Curry asking why it’s a big deal for climate is bizarre. A climate scientist should recognize such a large blob of heat being a big deal for climate!

        The Orwellian attempt by climate skeptics at rewording this as 0.06C to hide the significance of the change is to be expected. Curry’s promotion of such misleading talk, less so.

        And beyond this, the important point here anyway which you guys are clearly trying to divert attention from is that the 0-2000 data shows the uptake continues. It hasn’t stopped.

      • lowlot,

        “I did, I pointed out that it’s a hell of a lot of heat to add in just 50 years.”

        That was heat added to the oceans. Not to the surface temp. Remember, that is your new argument – that heat went into the oceans, instead of the atmosphere. Pick a story, and stick to it for at least ten minutes at a stretch.

        “Curry asking why it’s a big deal for climate is bizarre. A climate scientist should recognize such a large blob of heat being a big deal for climate!”

        You have yet to explain how heat disappearing into an infinitesimal increase in deep ocean temp could be a big deal for the climate. This failure is perhaps understandable, given that you are simultaneously claiming that the recent lack of a big deal for the climate is due to the heat going into the ocean instead. Self contradiction does make for difficult exegesis. It should prompt you to refrain from calling others “bizarre” however.

        And beyond this, the important point here anyway which you guys are clearly trying to divert attention from is that the 0-2000 data shows the uptake continues. It hasn’t stopped.

        Hasn’t stopped? My dear boy, you claim it has recently accelerated! Do tell – when has it accelerated, when has it decelerated, and when in the past did it, and when in the future would it, go the other way and give that heat back up to the climate? And by what mechanism?

        Those are the things you claim you can explain. Get after it!

      • Any of you CO2 catastrophists, provide a scientifically documented example of a single negative effect of the 0.065C increase that has occurred over the last 45 years. Computer model outputs do not count because they are not data.

      • “That was heat added to the oceans. Not to the surface temp.”

        It’s part of the same package buster. Do try to keep up.

        A 0.06C increase in 0-2000m has implications on surface temperature. Obviously. It indicates a planetary energy imbalance, making the surface temperature very relevant indeed.

      • Climate Weenie

        ” It [ocean heating] indicates a planetary energy imbalance”

        Or a change in the rate of deep water formation.
        Or a change in the mixing from even deeper waters.
        Or…

        Ocean heating is -consistent- with TOA energy imbalance and we cling to it because we evidently can’t measure what the TOA energy (im)balance actually is. But then again, we probably don’t actually know the ocean energy (im)balance, either.

      • lolwot, “And beyond this, the important point here anyway which you guys are clearly trying to divert attention from is that the 0-2000 data shows the uptake continues. It hasn’t stopped.”

        You sure about that? The NH has hit the same plateau with the expected lag within the normal uncertainty of the data. The 0-2K temperature is accurate to about 0.014C with an anomaly of about 0.065C, So the 0-2K temperature may have increased by 0.051 to 0.079C, so take a deep breath and slowly exhale.

      • lowlot:

        Enough to have elevated surface temperatures by 0.6C (10 times as much as the cited 0-2000m average)

        If it did elevate surface temperatures by 0.6C then why not just say so then? Oh hang on, isn’t that exactly what did happen?
        So why change the storyline? Is it perhaps as a feeble attempt to explain away the ‘pause’?

        …the 0-2000 data shows the uptake continues. It hasn’t stopped

        Now all you have to do is explain a mechanism by which all of that 10^23J suddenly got diverted from heating the surface to being sequestered in the depths.

    • lolwot-

      Simple question for you. Oceans 0 – 2000m have warmed by 0.06C. What is the maximum temperature that this sequestered heat can raise surface temperatures?

      • Umm.

        Lets assume that Lollie is right for a minute.

        He says that way back when the ocean temperatures would have been (say) 277.631K (or something). Now they are 0.06C hotter at (say) 277.691K.

        Maybe so. But where the logic seems to break down is in how such a small difference will somehow – at some future unknown time – cause a huge atmospheric warming effect. Why didn’t it start to happen at 277.631K, but will be truly significant at 277.691K? What ‘tipping point’ did we cross and why?

        And – maybe they’ve changed thermodynamics since I last studied it about 35 years ago, but I seem to remember that heat usually flows spontaneously from hot places to cold, not vice versa. Lollie’s idea of a future reassemblage into the air rather needs the opposite to happen. What other effect is there that will cause heat to flow up a temperature gradient?

        PS – not such a stupid question because if we can really do it then we can make a perpetual motion machine from it.

        Please explain asap.

      • I won’t fault you Latimer because you genuinely seem to believe what you wrote there.

        But I have never claimed the 0.06C change will at some future time cause a “huge atmospheric warming effect”. The point of it is that it shows the planet is warming, which is part of the package that will lead to the atmosphere continuing to warm too.

      • lolwot

        The point of it is that it shows the planet is warming, which is part of the package that will lead to the atmosphere continuing to warm too.

        So that is your “logic”. The oceans keeping the atmosphere from continuing to warm proves that the atmosphere will continue to warm.

        Brilliant. Whatever do you do for an encore?

      • What I am saying JJ is that this is a completely different situation from if OHC had deadlined.

        Asking what the 0.06C means is missing the point that – as the title points out: ocean heat content is relentlessly increasing.

        That’s greenhouse gases. And because of that the warming will continue, as greenhouse gases aren’t coming down (they are going up it further it seems).

        The idea that in the longterm the ocean can heat up so quickly without the surface warming is simply not credible.

      • Relentlessly? Ever heard of the AMO? How long is a relentless?

      • chris y – and the answer is … 0.06°C. Certainly not 36°C. Right?

      • Bernd Palmer-
        “chris y – and the answer is … 0.06°C. Certainly not 36°C. Right?”

        Yup.

        Otherwise known as not detectable with currently deployed instrumentation.

        And that assumes the 0.06C anomaly actually exists.

      • lowlot,

        What I am saying JJ is that this is a completely different situation from if OHC had deadlined.

        It is also a completely different situation from what you claim it to be.

        “Asking what the 0.06C means is missing the point that – as the title points out: ocean heat content is relentlessly increasing. “

        The 0.06C quantifies the limits of the potential effects. That is the point that you are not merely missing, but disingenuously denying. All the while claiming that you can explain how that 0.06C can be disastrous to the climate, while never actually coming up with that explanation. Put up or shut up.

        “That’s greenhouse gases.”

        That’s a non-sequitur. You have 0.00 information that attributes any of that miniscule 0.06C to greenhouse gasses. None. How much of that is GHG? 0.01C? 0.001C? You have no clue. You are operating from a non-quantified position. You should read your pal Nutticelli more carefully –

        “As suspected, much of the ‘missing heat’ Kevin Trenberth previously talked about has been found in the deep oceans”

        ‘Much’ of Trenberth’s missing heat? LOL. That dipsh!t Nutticelli parses his words to every dishonest advantage, so we know that “much” means “not much at all”. It is less that half by his estimation, or he would have started that sentence with ‘most’ and ended it with ‘97%.’

        The earth has been “relentlessly warming” since the end of the last glaciation. That it continues recovery from the Little Ice Age at depth is no more or less meaningful than the fact that it continues that recovery at the surface.

        “And because of that the warming will continue, …

        Nothing makes an argument quite so easy as assuming your conclusion, huh?

        “The idea that in the longterm the ocean can heat up so quickly without the surface warming is simply not credible.”

        Oh, really? Do tell. You have the (until very recently completely unknown) significant interaction between the surface and the depths all figured out, do you? Then you will not mind “explaining to the climate scientists” exactly how it works. Simply answer the questions that were asked of you earlier, that you have been dodging ever since:

        Regarding the partitioning of heat into the deep ocean: when has it accelerated, when has it decelerated, and when in the past did it, and when in the future will it, go the other way and give that heat back up to the climate? And by what mechanism?

        You have no clue. Neither does anyone else. No one, least of all you, knows how the current rate of ‘relentless warming’ compares to what it was say, 1940-1960. Or 1900 – 1940. Or 1850-1900. We have perhaps 40 years of absolutely crappy OHC data and about ten years of halfway decent OHC for the upper half of the ocean only. Any claims of attribution are complete BS.

      • @lolwot

        ‘The idea that in the longterm the ocean can heat up so quickly without the surface warming is simply not credible.’

        OK. Try a simple experiment.

        Put a lump of metal in the fridge. When its cold, but it in a glass of water at room temperature. Go away.

        Come back a while later and see what has happened. I bet you will find that the water has cooled down and the metal warmed up – not the other way round. heat has flowed from the warm object to the cold…not ice versa.

        Your suggestion is that the cold sea will somehow suddenly start to spontaneously warm further the warmer atmosphere.

        Or, if that is not you idea, please explain what it is.

        Handwaving stuff about ‘packages of warming’ don’t cut it for this one. Which way do you expect nett heat to flow…cold sea –> warm atmosphere? Or warmer atmosphere –> cold sea?

    • Climate Weenie

      Heat emerging from the oceans will emerge very slowly.
      The oceans are a great thermal buffer.

    • BTW. Has anyone figured the geothermal heat transfer to the abyssal ocean? And deducted that from whatever is supposed to transferred from the surface temperature while bypassing the ocean surface?

      • Nope because no one can measure the eruptions from the 40,000 mile long crest spreading ridges covering all the oceans plus individual hot spots like Iceland and Hawaii. Never seemed worth it till .06 *C at some 2000 foot deep band going over the full ocean basins. Hard to take numerous and accurate measurements down by the spreading ridges.
        Scott

      • Estimated heat transfer from the lithosphere is about 40-50 terrawatts.

      • And the radiative imbalance at the top of the atmosphere is about 300 terawatts. Consider also that this 40-50 geothermal terawatts aren’t part of the imbalance. They’re only part of the budget. The Earth had already equilibrated to this flux long before we began creating a new imbalance and maintained it through continuously increasing greenhouse gas concentrations (thus preventing transient surface warming to restore the balance). It would make essentially no difference to the rate of global warming if this geothermal flux had always been 1 or 10,000 terawatts instead. It would be just the same as if the Sun had always been 1% warmer of cooler. We would still have been in equilibrium with it before we began releasing greenhouse gases.

    • lowlot,

      “That was heat added to the oceans. Not to the surface temp.”

      It’s part of the same package buster. Do try to keep up.

      No, it isn’t. Heat in the oceans is not in the atmosphere. If you claim that the reason the atmosphere is not currently warming per alarmist expectations is that the heat is going into the oceans instead, then you can’t claim that it is in the atmosphere. You cant have your cake and heat it, too.

      “A 0.06C increase in 0-2000m has implications on surface temperature. Obviously.

      No it doesn’t, and no it isn’t. Feel free to demonstrate otherwise.

      This is the part that you repeatedly assert, without explaining. The reason that you keep dodging that explanation, is that you don’t have one. Don’t feel too bad about that. None of the other twits who are pointing to the deep ocean have one, either. And some of them are “climate scientists”. Your transgression is not that you don’t know. It is that you claim that you do, when you don’t.

    • lolwot, why don’t you give us a lucid explanation of why 390ppm is superior to 0.039%.

      • Well it’s easier to say for one thing.

        The only people who care about whether it’s expressed as % or ppm in written form are the skeptics who figure they can use it for propaganda.

      • lolwot, “Well it’s easier to say for one thing.”

        I asked for a lucid explanation and you handwaved. Right answer is that they are both correct and identical.

      • I gave you a lucid enough explanation.

        ppm, ppb, ppt is superior for the same reason grams, kilograms and tons are. Noone wants to spell it out 0.0000003% or 1000000 grams.

      • lolwot, “Well it’s easier to say for one thing.”

        Let’s test it.
        1. point zero three nine percent.
        2. three hundred ninety parts per million.

      • Guess it’s personal choice. I would say three ninety ppm. I wouldn’t remember how many zeros that was. Sort of like, 20mg diazepam

        50ppb ozone instead of point zero zero zero zero zero five percent

      • Let me help lolwot.

        CAGW is a political movement. Figures that remind voters that CO2 is a trace gas are to be avoided at all costs.

        It’s like saying “global average temperature” because if you say “the mean of measured and inferred land surface air and sea surface anomalies based on assumed, kriged, modeled and constantly adjusted data, excluding much of the deep sea and upper troposphere”, they might not think the CAGWers have an amazingly precise thermometer inserted into the climate’s rectum revealing the actual average temperature of the global climate.

        Which reminds me. With all the problems with getting an accurate land surface air temp that make me laugh at claims of tenths of a degree accuracy over the entire land surface of the planet, does anybody really believe we know the average temperature at any point of time of the global seas to within hundredths of a degree?

      • lolwot

        Think about what you just wrote for a second.

        “Warmers” (like you) prefer to talk in microscopic units, such as ppm and Joules, rather than in % or degrees C.

        Is this simply to make a very small entity look like something more significant (and even frightening)?

        Think about it before you respond.

        Max

    • What is the temperature at awakens Godzilla?
      Wake Godzilla and down town Tokyo is sure to suffer, but the ‘denialists’ just don’t care about ecological tipping points.

    • I can accept the possibility of a layer of ocean heating up by 0.06C. I can accept that it happens over a space of 50 years.

      What I have trouble understanding is when the heat entered the ocean system. It takes time to get down that deep. Surely this would be heat that entered the oceans before 1976, is it not?

      • Tom, the difference between the 0-2000 and 0-700 meter OHC is not that much when you consider that there has always been those 1300 meters that were never really thought about. A lot of the models only use 100 to 500 meter slabs like they think that is going to be accurate. Some of the newer ocean models have more than 15 layers complete with subterranean ridges, whoowho!

      • Tom Fuller

        Your point is well taken.

        And, even if we could say with any certainty that there actually has been 0.06C warming of the top 2000 meters of ocean over the past 50 years or more (which we cannot), there is absolutely no way we can turn this into a potential disaster for humanity or our environment.

        If it even exists (which is anything but certain), that heat is “gone” forever, because there is no way that a cold ocean can “release heat” to a much warmer atmosphere, thereby heating it up.

        Max

  23. First we have polar bears suffering from secondhand humanity and now we have Trenberth’s missing heat. Dr. Roy Spencer has something about the latter:

    Mainstream climate science has changed… reasons for this paradigm shift are clearly not based on science… No, the reasons for this paradigm shift are mostly political…

    [Climatists] have been pretty successful at convincing the science-savvy public that climate will only change when we fire up our SUV, or turn on our incandescent light bulbs…

    While such a “missing heat” explanation for a lack of recent warming [i.e., Trenberth’s argument that despite the lack of global warming we just cannot find the heat yet] is theoretically possible, I find it rather unsatisfying basing an unwavering belief in eventual catastrophic global warming on a deep-ocean mechanism so weak we can’t even measure it [i.e., keeping the AGW hoax alive depends solely now on the speculation that in the coldest deep oceans on the planet the waters there must actually be warmer than they should be by an unmeasurable thousandths of a degree]…

    If, say, 50% of the warming in the last 50 to 100 years has been natural, then this profoundly impacts our projections of human-caused warming in the future, slashing them by about 50%.

  24. The only place they can find the heat is where there are no thermometers?
    The heat only goes there when the surface isn’t warming?
    Makes no sense to me.

  25. ‘Global warming’ was conceived, defined, modeled and sold as a scary story to the public on the basis of global average surface temperature.

    Now that they are losing that game, they are changing the rules.

    You want to redefine ‘global warming’ to be a phenomenon of ocean heat content instead of surface temperature? Fine. Back to first principles for you. Call back in 150 years, when you have the start at sufficient OHC data to begin attribution studies. Otherwise, all you are doing is a brazen attempt at fallacious ad hoc salvage of your failed surface temperature based assertions.

    Oh, and next time, do it on your own goddam dime.

  26. So, we’re reading about Romm quoting Nuccitelli.

    Really? Are we just doing this for giggles? I mean, it’s fun, but…

    • SkS has the same alexa blog stats as Climate Etc. No accounting for taste . . .

      • They are quoted to set up lubo’s nonsensical party trick with 0.06C.

        And so the truth (which is in the post title, albeit sarcastically) is avoided through distraction.

      • The only distraction is your attempt to spin quoting as being distracting.

      • lolwot, “They are quoted to set up lubo’s nonsensical party trick with 0.06C.”

        Have you been sleeping? Even with Webster’s copper conductive diffusion model from hell it still takes hundreds of years for just a 1 degree rise in the average ocean temperature. You live on a planet, you have to consider planetary time scales and things like orbital cycles.

      • lolwot, “They are quoted to set up lubo’s nonsensical party trick with 0.06C.”
        When someone asks you what the weather will be like tomorrow, I suppose you tell them how many Joules they will experience.

      • “Have you been sleeping? Even with Webster’s copper conductive diffusion model from hell it still takes hundreds of years for just a 1 degree rise in the average ocean temperature.”

        You are one step away from grasping Lubos’s party trick. All you have to do is extend your point and ask:

        “can anyone figure out why 1C is a big deal for the climate?”

        Meanwhile everything on the surface is on fire. Because to warm the vast ocean down to 2000m by 1C in a short space of time you have to fry the surface in the process.

      • lolwot, “Meanwhile everything on the surface is on fire. Because to warm the vast ocean down to 2000m by 1C in a short space of time you have to fry the surface in the process.”

        No you don’t. Bintanji and Van der Wal have a pretty nice paleo reconstruction of the ocean north of 45 latitude. The deep oceans lag the surface pretty consistently by ~1700 years. Now that is the Northern oceans, which take about 1700 years to warm by 4 C degrees, 425 years per degree. That is right in line with the current rate of warming.

        If you just step away from the super high resolution but with a 25% margin of error ARGO data, you could have said the same thing in the 40S, or the teens. You seem to keep forgetting that there actually was a little ice age and if it took 300 years to get into it, it will take about 300 years to get out of it.

        You are like a kid that just got a new science kit, just chill, take a deep breath and actually look at the data and it limits before pronouncing that everything is on fire.

      • @CaptD “If you just step away from the super high resolution but with a 25% margin of error ARGO data, you could have said the same thing in the 40S, or the teens”

        Argo buoys give good temporal resolution but poor spatial resolution, there ain’t enough of them to fully cover 70% of the Earth’s surface.

      • Peter Davies, “Argo buoys give good temporal resolution but poor spatial resolution, there ain’t enough of them to fully cover 70% of the Earth’s surface.”

        Compared to the 40s, that is super high resolution. I am actually impressed with ARGO btw, but it still has a ~0.015 error margin for a 0.06C anomaly. Too many people just look at the smoothed curves instead of considering the actual margin of error on both ends of those curves.

    • Romm and Nuccitelli are only quoted for the purposes of distracting from their main point.

  27. If we compare the order-of-magnitudes of temperature differences driving the thermohaline circulation(s) with the temperature increase since 1970, what do we find? Could warming in the deep ocean push the thermohaline circulation over a “tipping point”?

  28. Dana Nuccitelli says:
    global warming has accelerated, with more overall global warming in the past 15 years than the prior 15 years.
    From Skeptical Science:
    ‘global warming’ refers to the long-term trend of a rising average global temperature
    So he claims the global average temperature warmed more between 1998-2013 than it did between 1983-1998. I couldn’t replicate his results with the Skeptical Science trend calculator.

    Which is wrong, data or Dana? It looks like he wants to change the definition of “global warming” but then he should change not only their own definition but a few others…
    EPA
    EIA
    NOAA
    etc etc.

  29. Pingback: Ocean Heat | Transterrestrial Musings

  30. toto:

    IOW, we basically got a temporary reprieve.

    Where temporary could be as long as “2000 years”. If it were possible to rapidly transfer large amounts of heat energy from the deep ocean to the surface, climate would be much less stable than we know it to be precisely because of the enormous heat storage capacity of the deep ocean.

    Note that this fits together pretty well with the observation that ENSO-corrected trends show very little “pause”.

    F&R were oddly quiet on the issue of what their procedure does to the uncertainty in their trend. Foster knows better, so that paper was a bit weird.

    Anyway, there isn’t any evidence I’ve seen that they reduce the uncertainty in the trend below what you would get with an OLS type analysis. At the moment, it is just an overly complicate smoothing algorithm of uncertain validity.

    I’ll note that Kevin C, Troy Masters and Steve F have separately looked at this algorithm and found it wanting for various reasons.

    Another “reconstruction” of underlying temperatures from 1979-2012 by Troy Masters.

    16 ^more years of global warming by KevinC.

    Estimating the Underlying Trend in Recent Warming by SteveF.

    See Kevin C’s warning in particular:

    Update 21/02/2013: Troy Masters is doing some interesting analysis on the methods employed here and by Foster and Rahmstorf. On the basis of his results and my latest analysis I now think that the uncertainties presented here are significantly underestimated, and that the attribution of short term temperature trends is far from settled. There remains a lot of interesting work to be done on this subject.

  31. Is Mann’s ‘hockey stick’ for Trenberth’s ‘missing heat’ hiding place shaped like a snorkel? If not there’s not much danger now that we know the ‘hockey stick’ is nothing but handle.

  32. I hope everyone takes the time to read the link Mosher put up regarding the Op-ed piece by Richard A. Muller. It was all about I..I..I. (like in me). I smell a good portion of narcissism here. For a guy who decided beforehand how he wanted his study to end he has little credibility anywhere.

  33. My two cents on OHC data: I think there’s a big tendency to selectively believe things without questioning them, when they match up with our preconceptions. That can be a dangerous thing to do.

    The OHC data is of uncertain validity, as it relies on measuring a long-term shift in temperature on the order of 0.1°C over 50 years. It’s hard to keep systematic drifts this low even in highly controlled environments.

  34. Since AGW was based on a political agenda to begin with why must all subsequent lies to maintain support of the initial be given similar deference as if we have learned nothing? Consider the sources here, they are a joke.

    http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/jamesdelingpole/100238047/global-warming-believers-are-feeling-the-heat/

  35. Here is a useful graphic that illustrates the sheer vastness of the oceans

    http://www.earthperiodical.com/oceandepths/

    How will Fractional increase in temperature in the Abyss (which we can’t even reliably measure) have any impact elsewhere?

    tonyb

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      TonyB wonders “How will heating in the abyss have any [climate-change] impact?

      That is a good question TonyB!

      The paleo data tells us that the long-term global-scale impact is *HUGE*!

      As Anthony Watts/WUWT has just posted:

      If carbon dioxide levels continue to rise, the earth will be ice-free once the climate comes into balance with the higher levels.

      Previously, many scientists have thought that doubling CO2 levels would cause earth’s temperature to increase as much as 3 degrees Celsius, or approximately 6 degrees Fahrenheit.

      However, the [recent paleo-data] are more consistent with predictions that a doubling of CO2 levels would cause the earth’s temperature could rise an average of 6 degrees Celsius, or approximately 11 degrees Fahrenheit.

      Details here. Thanks, and a tip-of-the-hat to Anthony Watts!

      It is a pleasure to join with Anthony Watts/WUWT in assisting your scientific understanding, TonyB!

      \scriptstyle\rule[2.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}\,\boldsymbol{\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}\,\heartsuit\,{\displaystyle\text{\bfseries!!!}}\,\heartsuit\,\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}}\ \rule[-0.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}

      • That paper was written by consensus deniers:

        “For years, scientists have thought that a continental ice sheet formed during the Late Cretaceous Period more than 90 million years ago when the climate was much warmer than it is today. Now, a University of Missouri researcher has found evidence suggesting that no ice sheet formed at this time.”

        The consensus being that “a continental ice sheet formed during the Late Cretaceous Period”.

        But when it gives a boost to warmista alarmism, one paper is enough to overturn a consensus of scientists.

        Nice find, fanny.

  36. Gavin and Stefan don’t seem to know the answer to this question posed by Fred Molton, at RC:

    “26
    Fred Moolten says:
    25 Sep 2013 at 2:20 PM

    Gavin or Stefan – The cited data suggest that the rate at which the Earth has been storing energy recently does not greatly exceed 0.30 W/m^2. Other OHC estimates have suggested a larger quantity. How are these data reconciled with estimates of the planetary energy imbalance from a variety of model sources that are closer to 1.0 w/m^2? This is of particular interest in relation to “effective climate sensitivity” estimates that rely heavily on OHC uptake data.”

    I wonder if any of our resident consensus dogma geniuses would care to take a crack at it.

    • Earth’s Energy Imbalance and Implications
      James Hansen, Makiko Sato, Pushker Kharecha

      http://arxiv.org/ftp/arxiv/papers/1105/1105.1140.pdf

    • That’s nice, lolly. the models have got the ocean thing wrong, so it must be aerosols. Hansen goes behind the curtain and pulls another rabbit out of his … let’s say hat.

      Next.

    • Doc, I saw another of Fred’s comments at the blackboard nearly worshiping the uncertainty monster. After years of allegiance to the concensus, he may be on the road to Damascus and a conversion.

      • Don and David – Thanks for reading my comment at RC and the longer one at The Blackboard. I didn’t intend to comment here, but since my name has been invoked, I’ll comment briefly and then bow out, probably until next year’s Groundhog Day. The models clearly overpredicted the radiative imbalance for many possible reasons, but they can be forgiven for expecting that if the Earth is continuing to gain energy (even at lower rates than estimated), that gain should show up in surface warming. If it hasn’t done that recently, it’s reasonable (but not provable) that the surface will catch up sooner or later. How soon? It could be millennia, but I think one or two decades is more reasonable, given the difficulty of postulating a mechanism for very long term driving of more and more heat into the ocean without a surface rise in temperature.

      • Sorry, I am a bit confused. I thought the issue was the planet RETAINING more energy, not gaining more. I do not think man’s actions are affecting the sun.

      • Groundhogs’ll be able to tell in 5-10 years.
        ===========

      • Thanks, Fred. The models clearly overpredicted the radiative imbalance. And as you found out at RC, the “real” climate scientists are not about to admit it.

        If it doesn’t start to get hotter soon, the pause will kill the cause.

        Please don’t stay away, Fred. We need you. Without you, there is only Pekka as a voice of reason, on the non-“skeptic” side. Judith is trying to clean the place up. Stick around.

      • “It could be millennia, but I think one or two decades is more reasonable, given the difficulty of postulating a mechanism for very long term driving of more and more heat into the ocean without a surface rise in temperature.”

        Is there less difficulty of postulating a mechanism for very short term driving of more and more heat into the ocean without a surface rise in temperature?

        What is it?

      • Good question, Gary M. Another good question was raised/implied by Judith: “Further, with the 2nd law of thermodynamics, it is not easy to get much of that heat back to surface.”

        What could be the short term mechanism for driving heat, from the still very frigid depths of the oceans back up to the much warmer surface?

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Ocean warming in ARGO is caused by less cloud.

        http://s1114.photobucket.com/user/Chief_Hydrologist/media/CERES_MODIS-1.gif.html?sort=3&o=100

        It is 0.55 W/m^2.

        ‘The top-of-atmosphere (TOA) Earth radiation budget (ERB) is determined from the difference between how much energy is absorbed and emitted by the planet. Climate forcing results in an imbalance in the TOA radiation budget that has direct implications for global climate, but the large natural variability in the Earth’s radiation budget due to fluctuations in atmospheric and ocean dynamics complicates this picture.’

        http://meteora.ucsd.edu/~jnorris/reprints/Loeb_et_al_ISSI_Surv_Geophys_2012.pdf

        Radiant imbalances from greenhouse are far from distinguishable from large natural variations.

      • R. Gates the Skeptical Warmist

        philjourdan said:|
        “Sorry, I am a bit confused. I thought the issue was the planet RETAINING more energy, not gaining more. I do not think man’s actions are affecting the sun.”
        ____
        You are exactly correct, and the proper use of terminology is important. We all have our lapses, myself included. GH gas forcing is about altering Earth’s energy balance such that the system retains energy– i.e. more energy enters the system than leaves. Right now, we are talking about somewhere around 1 w/m^2, with bulk of that energy being retained in the ocean. This is exactly why it is critical to not refer to the atmospheric greenhouse gases as “warming the ocean”. Of course they don’t– but they do allow less net energy flow from ocean to space, and so it is correct to talk about increasing GH gases as forcing the oceans to retain more net energy, raising their heat content.

    • You have to take the same time span to compare these numbers. I think the lower heat storage number is over many decades, but they only have reasonable imbalance estimates for about the last decade, when it could have accelerated. 1 W/m2 works out to be 1.e22 J/yr, so if you check the gradient on Motl’s Argo graph, it looks consistent with the recent gradient. I think the imbalance estimates are more like 0.7-0.8 W/m2.

  37. Many of the issues mentioned above have been discussed by Isaac Held in his early posts (4-8, 11, 16)

    http://www.gfdl.noaa.gov/blog/isaac-held/

  38. R. Gates the Skeptical Warmist

    Judith asks:

    “So, can anyone figure out why 0.06C is a big deal for the climate? Or how all that heat that is apparently well mixed in the ocean could somehow get into the atmosphere and influence weather/temperatures/rainfall on the land? Or is sequestering heat in the ocean a fortuitous ‘solution’ to the global (surface) warming problem?”

    _______
    This appears to be 3 distinct questions, and it’s nice to at least see that the conversation is moving to ocean heat content, which is a far more accurate metric for actual changes to Earth’s energy system from anthropogenic forcing.

    First, it is inaccurate to suggest that ocean heat content changes are simply “well mixed” across the entire ocean, as some areas and layers are seeing far larger increases then others. Moreover, some the areas with larger incresaes (such as the Greenland Sea) can have big impacts on other parts of the climate system in that we know that glaciers are metling from underneath by warmer waters. So warmer waters mean faster glacier melt which would lead to an amplifiaction or postitive feedback on the intital warmer waters.

    Warmer oceans are a big part of the enhancement of the hydrological cycle expected as CO2 increases, leading to heavier downpours as the overall atmopshere contains more moisture that has been evaporated from the warmer oceans. This is why Pielke Sr. suggestion that we begin to measure moist enthalpy of the atmosphere is a good one, as it is more indicative of the overall greater flow of energy from ocean to atmosphere as the hydrological cycle is enhanced. Living in Colorado, I now have first hand experience this summer of our “once in 500 year” flooding and this enhanced hydrological cycle that warmer oceans and more energy and moisture available in the atmosphere can bring about. This enhanced hydrological cycle is tied directly to the rock-carbon cycle and is natures natural feedback to higher CO2 levels as it can, through rock weathering, remove CO2 from the atmosphere. The problem is, this rock-weathering takes tens of thousands of years and is a slow negative feedback process that is vastly overwhelmed by the human carbon volcano.

    • …some areas and layers are seeing far larger increases then others.

      If some areas are seeing far larger increases than others, and the average is hardly moving, it follows that some areas must be seeing commensurate decreases.
      And by what mechanism does a fairly constant forcing from a well-mixed gas cause far larger increases in temperature in some places than others?
      You guys really seem to be making it up as you go along.

      • R. Gates aka Skeptical Warmist

        Phatboy,

        We have to look at what the data is telling us and it definitely is not telling us that the ocean is warming uniformly, nor would you expect it to be. We know that different basins and different layers in those basins are warming at different rates. No models and no actual data show homogenous uniform warming.

      • Re-read what I wrote

    • Nice try, Gates, but you still haven’t answered Judith’s question.

      Let me restate it for you (bold type by me):

      “So, can anyone figure out why 0.06C [over 50 years] is a big deal for the climate? Or how all that heat that is apparently well mixed in the ocean could somehow get into the atmosphere and influence weather/temperatures/rainfall on the land? Or is sequestering heat in the ocean a fortuitous ‘solution’ to the global (surface) warming problem?”

      Try again.

      Max

      • That’s two questions. I’ve already answered the first question.

        It’s a big deal because it represents a huge increase in heat. 0.06C wouldn’t be a big deal in the atmosphere. but in the ocean, with such a large heat capacity that 0.06C is a huge amount of heat.

        It’s a big deal for the surface where we live because to push that amount of heat into the climate system in so short an amount of time necessitates a large change at the surface too – as we have seen.

        0.06C increase 0-2000m has been alongside a 0.6C increase (10x higher) at the surface.

        Curry’s mistake is to look at the ocean heat gain in isolation as disconnected from what happens at the surface. It’s not that the ocean heat gain causes the surface increase, but that the surface increase is comes as part of the package.

      • lolwot:
        “…but in the ocean, with such a large heat capacity that 0.06C is a huge amount of heat.”

        True. Roughly equivalent to 30 C where we live, but that assumes we have the OHC correct. Such a large number has me thinking it’s SW entering the Oceans. And then the SSTs pushing some of it into the Atmosphere. If the albedo has increased in the zones that matter recently, well it would flatten, the OHC going forward.

      • R. Gates the Skeptical Warmist

        Max,

        It is a very inaccurate way to view ocean warming by suggesting that is is just going to warm homogenously by .06C over the whole ocean. The poles are begin affected unequally by the warming as the natural equator to pole advection of energy is changing those regions the earliest and the fastest.

        Judith should well know that it is not a simple homogenous warming, so I’m quite perplexed why should would simplify ocean heat content changes that way.

      • lolwot

        No. You haven’t answered the first question. 0.06C over 50 years is NO big deal, especially because we are not even sure it is real (since there are no meaningful measurements of the 0-2000m ocean over the past 50 years).

        So it is a fictive number to start off with (and these are NEVER “a big deal”).

        Then there is the question of impact. What impact does this 0.06C warming have on ocean life? Zilch.

        What impact will it have on humans or our environment? None.

        Please give me your answers to these questions and explain how you arrived at hem?

        (You won’t, because you can’t, lolwot – it’s that simple.)

        Max

      • Gates

        You’re waffling again.

        I have not suggested that it has warmed “homogenously by .06C over the whole ocean”.

        In fact, I doubt that we have meaningful data to indicate that it has warmed at all (although it seems likely to have done so a bit in view of SST temperature trends, for what these are worth).

        I’m just not at all convinced that this represents any kind of threat to our climate, to humanity or our environment (as lolwot apparently fears), and you have been unable to demonstrate that it could.

        That’s all.

        Max

    • The recent flood in Colorado was not a 500 year event.

      • R. Gates the Skeptical Warmist

        Really Frank?

        Tell me the last time we had these kinds of floods, with such heavy downpours in September?

      • Gates

        The event “was likely a 100-year flood (or more accurately: a 1% probability per year flood),” the report states, and that all-time record or near-record precipitation was recorded during the week of Sept. 9-15 across the Front Range. The Front Range is a mountain range of the Rockies that runs north-south from southern Wyoming to central Colorado and includes Denver, Boulder, Fort Collins and other cities.

        http://www.usatoday.com/story/weather/2013/09/25/colorado-flood-report/2870191/

        “100-year” event (not “500 year” – it’s “all-time record or near-record precipitation” and there’s not even 500 years of data in Colorado!

        Max

  39. However impressed I may have been with Lubos Motl in the past, his latest calculation is so misguided in applying simple principles that I have to wonder if has an agenda.

    Is there any skeptic out there that can do first order physics without completely screwing it up?

  40. Ocean heat content data false

    when Rahmstorf states that “ideologically motivated skeptics will deny the data, reject millions of stations”, you can be quite certain, there IS something wrong with the data.

    Your graph contains pendental (5 year) averages, but if you look at the unsmoothed data, there is a huge jump in 0-2000m data just around the time of the switch to ARGO.

    Such an increase of total ocean energy could only be explained by an epic decrease in cloud cover.

    But that did not happen:

    so that increase is nothing but an error.

    If that data would be true, half of the warming of the last 40 years happened in just 3 years !!! Somehow greenhouse gases “conspired” during this ARGO installation period, and opened a massive epic window.

    Another way to show how implausible the 1 E23 Joules increase during the approx. 3 years around 2003 is:

    Global ocean surface is 361 E12 m2.
    3 years have 94 E6 seconds.

    That means average heat uptake of oceans must have been

    1E23 Watt *s / (361 E12 m2 * 94 E6 s)

    = 2.8 W /m2 in the 3 years around 2003.

    Compare this with with the IPCC AR4 estimate of ocean heat uptake of 0.2 W/m2.

    In AR4, a total forcing of 1.6W/m2 translated into an ocean heat uptake of 0.2 W/m2. A 2.8 W/m2 heat uptake would then translate into a cloud cover forcing increase of 25.4 W/m2 which did not happen.

  41. Matthew R Marler

    So, can anyone figure out why 0.06C is a big deal for the climate?

    It probably affects calculations of the time necessary to get to 95% (say) of equilibrium. The faster heat is transferred to the depths from the surface, the faster we approach equilibrium.

    I don’t think equilibrium is that useful a concept, but maybe that’s it.

    If equilibrium occurs, it is the result of everything that happens in the mean time, the transient. Maybe the earth system has achieved a state such that the surface will remain at nearly the same temperature as now while the excess heat is transferred to the deeps over the next few centuries. It is sort of a silly notion, but if some mechanism has emerged to produce both the “pause” and the deep warming, there is no reason to suppose that the mechanism will not persist (or won’t persist, for that matter.)

  42. Berényi Péter

    The big question is, how heat can penetrate into the abyss. It can’t get there by conduction, because heat conductivity of water is far too small for that. It can’t get there by convection either, because the ocean is heated from above and the warmer the water the more buoyant it is.

    The only option is deep turbulent mixing, but that’s not a thermally driven process. It depends on pure mechanical energy input, provided by tides and winds and the subsequent breaking of internal waves generated by them over rugged bottom features and at shorelines.

    At the same time heat is continuously removed at depth by downwelling polar water. This process is not a negative feedback, it is a true regulator. Seawater’s density is highest just above freezing and obviously the densest water masses are chosen for downwelling. Therefore their temperature is not determined by “climate”, but the freezing point of water. At least as long as there is seawater in contact with ice anywhere on the globe.

    The upshot is, heat content of deep water masses can only increase with an ever increasing rate of mechanical energy input while it is independent of surface temperatures.

    Now, long term averege tidal input is pretty constant, therefore if abyssal heat content is increasing indeed, it can only be caused by ever increasing wind intensity, mostly over the Southern Ocean, for about 80% of deep turbulent mixing happens there.

    Is it observed?

    • “The only option is deep turbulent mixing, but that’s not a thermally driven process.”

      “Diapycnal: definition.
      In the ocean, density always increases with increasing depth. However, surfaces of constant density (called “isopycnals”) are not always level. Wind, the rotation of the Earth, and other processes cause density surface to slope. For example, a wind blowing along the coast can cause cold water which is usually deep to rise up to the surface, leading to water that is too cold to swim in, even in summer. The direction at right angles to the local isopycnal surface is called the “diapycnal” (i.e., across-isopycnal) direction. The angle between the diapycnal direction and vertical (i.e., directly out from the Earth) is always very small, a fraction of a degree at most. However, the difference between the two coordinates is very important to oceanographers, because the slope of isopycnals tells us a great deal about how the ocean is moving, and how it can interact with the coast and the atmosphere.

      Who cares? Numerical models of the ocean are used to predict how the ocean and the coupled ocean/atmosphere will change in the future. Models depend on how mixing in the ocean is represented. Mixing occurs at scales of an inch or less and on time scales of a few seconds, whereas climate models only resolve space and time scales of 10-100 miles and hours-to-days, respectively. So, we need to devise ways to include mixing in our climate models, even though it can’t be resolved. We call this process “parameterization”. The natural coordinates for mixing are diapycnal and “isopycnal” (diapycnal mixing requires energy to keep it going, whereas isopycnal mixing doesn’t), yet many models are coded in terms of the more familiar “vertical” and “horizontal” coordinates. Unless the method used to relate diapycnal/isopycnal mixing to the model’s coordinate system is accurate, the model will produce incorrect results when used to predict the future state of the ocean. ”

      It is like pouring a B52 or other layered drink. Change the rate or angle a bit and you may have well have used a mixer. The surface is always warmer than the depths, so there is no reason to think CO2 forcing has anything to do with it. AMO, PDO and SO on the other hand…

    • R. Gates aka Skeptical Warmist

      Abyssal warming in the Southern ocean:

      http://adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/2010AGUFM.G51D..08P

    • Ah Berényi, that was based on ‘old’ science, Web has a model that shows sea water has the same rate of heat transport as copper; its a computer model so it must be right.

    • Berényi Péter

      Equilibrium?

      I hope we NEVER reach “equilibrium” (no more days/nights, seasons, etc.) – what a horrible thought.

      The whole idea of “climate equilibrium” is absurd.

      (As is the whole CAGW premise, which builds on it.)

      Max

  43. Chief Hydrologist

    So here is the latest OHCA paper – Lyman, J. M. and G. C. Johnson. 2013. Estimating global ocean heat content changes in the upper 1800 m since 1950 and the influence of climatology choice. Journal of Climate, revised. – http://www.pmel.noaa.gov/people/gjohnson/OHCA_1950_2011_v3.pdf

    http://s1114.photobucket.com/user/Chief_Hydrologist/media/LymnaandJohnson2013OHCA_zps703732d0.png.html?sort=3&o=2

    I certainly don’t doubt that ocean temperature has increased in ARGO – but putting that into a context with previous data seems fraught with difficulties. Splicing seems one difficulty and the pre-ARGO coverage to 1800m was a mere sporadic 15%. So yes questioning the data is utterly reasonable.

    Nonetheless – the new OHCA from Lyman and Johnson shows no net increase in OHC since 2003. This is much more consistent with energy considerations – which should form a basis for comparative analysis. Indeed it does – have you not heard that the ‘missing heat’ was found in the oceans?

    Higher air temperature causes oceans to warm through reducing IR losses from the ocean surface. In an era where surface temperatures are not increasing – the mechanism is mechanism is moot. The mechanism for warming in ARGO is a decrease in reflected sunlight.

    e.g. http://s1114.photobucket.com/user/Chief_Hydrologist/media/CERES-BAMS-2008-with-trend-lines1.gif.html?sort=3&o=131

    It is all there in colour – for different satellites – and with trend lines. Not much in the way of IR change but a modest but obvious change in SW.

    Energy considerations show a pattern more consistent with the Lyman and Johnson OHCA. Enric Palle and Ben Laken have recently compiled a composite ISCCP-FD/MODIS cloud record – using SST to intercalibrate.

    http://s1114.photobucket.com/user/Chief_Hydrologist/media/cloud_palleandlaken2013_zps3c92a9fc.png.html?sort=3&o=29

    A decrease in cloud cover from the 80’s to the 90’s – a 2.4W/m^2 decrease in reflected SW warming the oceans and atmosphere – a change in the 1998/2001 climate shift and a modest change since.

    The shift was captured by Earthshine as well.

    http://s1114.photobucket.com/user/Chief_Hydrologist/media/ProjectEarthshine-albedo_zps87fc3b7f.png.html?sort=3&o=6

    ‘Earthshine changes in albedo shown in blue, ISCCP-FD shown in black and CERES in red. A climatologically significant change before CERES followed by a long period of insignificant change.’easily seen here.

    So yes the OHC data is questionable – and seems contradicted by some recent analysis. It is moreover inconsistent with energy considerations. It seems more likely that the world is not warming despite the noise in the blogosphere.

    • Chief,

      Very useful data, thank you.

      It is clear that the shift to more meridional jet streams has increased global cloudiness and albedo with less solar shortwave into the oceans. I prefer the idea that the cause is longer lines of air mass mixing rather than more cosmic rays as per Svensmark.

      Meanwhile past warmth is being slowly lost by the oceans in the form of outgoing longwave.

      Thus net cooling about to manifest itself once the past warmth has left the oceans.

      There is no ‘missing heat’. It never got into the oceans in the first place due to increased cloudiness.

      For the only coherent explanation that I am aware of see steps 1 to 20 in my New Climate Model:

      http://www.newclimatemodel.com/new-climate-model/

    • Still, ALL of the increase in heat content in their figure 4d (0-1800m) over 52 years (1960-2012) happened between 1998-2004.
      There is absolutely nothing to see in cloud datag that justifies such a leap. There is no other plausible explanation but cloud cover.
      It is then most certainly an error associated with the vast increase in coverage.

      • Manfred, “It is then most certainly an error associated with the vast increase in coverage.”

        Not really. Most of the rapid rise of a whopping 0.06C was coordinated with the Pacific climate shift. About the same time the rapid rise started the northern hemisphere sudden stratospheric warming events increased in magnitude. Each one of those events releases energy on the order of 10^22 Joules in just a month or two. There is always huge amounts of energy flying around. With ARGO they just were able to add a few significant digits to their calculators.

        That is the northern Hemisphere 0-2000 meter vertical temperature anomaly compared to the northern ocean SST. Nothing out of the normal there.

        Since Earth is recovering from a little ice age

        There is nothing unusual about the oceans regaining energy. The change is so small and over such a long period of time you don’t have the accuracy to blame much of anything but time.

      • How would CO2 do that ?

        During 46 of 52 years, CO2 is hiding its warming ability, not allowing oceans to heat by a single Joule.

        Then, bang, for 6 years, CO2 finds a way to recapture that missing heat of previous decades from nirvana and pumps it into the oceans.

      • Manfred, “How would CO2 do that ? ”

        I would have to say that it didn’t do very much of it. Solar probably did most of it. This is kind of neat.

        Solar was a pretty serious player until the sixties, then something strange happened to the physics we all know a love.

      • @captdallas

        Those 1E22 Joule events you mentioned still cannot not explain this 1E23 increase during 3 years.

        The increase is 14 times larger than the average heat uptake given in Ar4 for 3 straight years.
        It is an order of magnitude out of the norm, happening while the coverage of measurements was vastly extended.

        You then came up with a northern hemisphere chart only, what is not really helpful.

        Do you also have a graph with global data and the same resolution ?

        That would be good to ensure the first graph from WUWT does not suffer from coarse yearly resolution.

      • “How would CO2 do that ?

        During 46 of 52 years, CO2 is hiding its warming ability, not allowing oceans to heat by a single Joule.

        Then, bang, for 6 years, CO2 finds a way to recapture that missing heat of previous decades from nirvana and pumps it into the oceans.”

        CO2 doesn’t do that. What rising GHGs do is raise a slowly rising bar. There are fluctuations around that which would happen without the GHG rise, but with the rise all the data, including the fluctuations trend higher over time. As for what causes large jumps, dunno. There’s that big bumb in SST around 1940 too.

      • It could be the Oceans that are the slowly rising bar.

      • Manfred, “Do you also have a graph with global data and the same resolution ? ”

        And

        Using 60N-60S cuts down on some of the noise.

        Just for fun I am playing with Solar

      • lolwot

        Again you are stepping on thin ice.

        There is no robust statistical correlation between atmospheric CO2 (which has increased in a fairly smooth exponential curve) and global temperature (which has risen and fallen in 30-year multi-decadal cycles).

        And the current “pause”, despite unabated human GHG emissions and concentrations reaching record levels, is another example of no correlation.

        Face it, lolwot, CO2 is not the “climate control knob”.

        Max

    • Chief

      the new OHCA from Lyman and Johnson shows no net increase in OHC since 2003

      And that is when the first meaningful measurements started (ARGO). Everything prior to 2003 is very dicey, so (while it is logical to ASS-U-ME that the ocean warmed a bit as SST increased) there are no reliable measurements to support or quantify this.

      Isn’t that right?

      Max

  44. Can someone explain why the heat is deciding to hide in the deep ocean now? What has changed from the 1980’s and 90’s when presumably, the heat wasn’t doing this?

    Also, were any of these guys predicting 15 years ago that this would happen?

    • Because the deep oceans are the last place on earth they can use to delay everyone finding out that they were wrong about global warming. The heat will have to be sequestered on the moon next.

      • Of course it seems that way. I just thought I’d ask in the hope that one of our resident warmists might want to explain. I’m sure they have a cover story at the ready, Trenberth et al, And it must cover questions like mine.

        I’m genuinely curious.

    • “Can someone explain why the heat is deciding to hide in the deep ocean now? What has changed from the 1980′s and 90′s when presumably, the heat wasn’t doing this?”

      It isn’t really a lot of divergence. Perhaps due to more La Ninas or the PDO switch tending to bring colder water a bit higher more frequently.

      • @lolwot: “It isn’t really a lot of divergence. Perhaps due to more La Ninas or the PDO switch tending to bring colder water a bit higher more frequently.”
        You said 0.06°C corresponds to a lot of energy, now it’s not really a lot of divergence. You’re speculating: “perhaps due to more La Ninas”. Are there more? Didn’t La Ninas happen in the past? Do La Ninas last 15 years?

    • R. Gates the Skeptical Warmist

      Pokerguy intelligently asks:

      “What has changed from the 1980′s and 90′s when presumably, the heat wasn’t doing this?”
      ___
      Ocean heat content was increasing on a decadal basis during these time frames and has been doing so since about 1970. The difference is the rate of flow from ocean to atmosphere that varies because:

      1) Natural variability
      2) Alterations in GH gas concentrations.

      Simply put, we had more net energy flowing from the oceans to the atmosphere during the 80’s and 90’s, just as we have less net energy flowing now (though it is always positive and always in the direction of ocean to atmosphere).

      • @Gates: “we had more net energy flowing from the oceans to the atmosphere during the 80′s and 90′s” That’s a good explanation for the warming during that time. But were does CO2 enter into the game?

      • R. Gates the Skeptical Warmist

        There is very little doubt (almost zero, but we skeptics can’t have zero doubt), in my mind that part of the warming of the late 20th century was caused by natural variations in the rate of flow of energy from ocean to atmosphere (PDO and AMO), but there is also very little doubt that:

        1) Underlying these natural variation is a the forcing from anthropogenic causes (warming for GH gases, cooling from aerosols).
        2) There is a good chance that anthropogenic forcing will have effects on natural variability (i.e the character of cycles such as the PDO, AMO, ENSO will change as GH gases continue there “relentless” march upward.)

  45. Judith’s post and the comments thread shows the futility of direct argument yet again.
    Let’s see. It starts with Romm quoting Nucitelli about Trenberth’s already discredited (uncertainty-see previous JC posts on this, with nice references and graphics. The one I archived said energy imbalance of 0.6+/- 17w/m2.! And Pielke’s very pointed question, mechanism for transfer to depth that prevents ARGO from first seeing at upper ocean depth s without violating thermodynamics?) speculation based on a revised model.
    Then we have Lolwot sputtering about how 0.06C diffused through the ocean will magically reassemble and somehow heat the atmosphere by something C. More positive feedbacks? Not according to all established thermodynamics and statistical mechanics.
    Then we get faux born again Mueller op eding in that well known bastion of only factual reporting, the NYT.
    The whole thing is a rich parody of what is so wrong.

    • Rud

      The article says this;

      ‘Well, Lubos Motl has done the arithmetic in this post Ocean heat content: relentless but negligible. This is a good post, check it out. The punchline of his calculations: the heating in the layer 0-2000 m translates to 0.065 C +/- 20%. His calculations are essentially confirmed from this ARGO page where they confirm that since the 1960s, the warming of that layer was 0.06 °C.

      However the average depth of the ocean is 4300 metres. The amount of energy needed to heat this whole very cold mass of water by 0.06C is infinitely greater than merely heating this top layer. It would be useful to see the calculation for warming the WHOLE ocean mass by 0.06C, how long it would take and then a calculation that demonstrates what effect that tiny amount would have on those living on the land.

      tonyb

    • “Then we have Lolwot sputtering about how 0.06C diffused through the ocean will magically reassemble and somehow heat the atmosphere by something C. More positive feedbacks?”

      I didn’t remotely say anything of the kind.

      “The whole thing is a rich parody of what is so wrong.”

      An apt description of yourself.

    • Rud –

      I think I should warn you, my friend, as Judith had this to say:

      Senseless sniping with each other is senseless and boring….After this i will start naming names, and then put people on moderation.

      And we certainly know that Judith wouldn’t be selective about senseless sniping resulting in moderation.

  46. The ARGO website tells us

    Over the past 50 years, the oceans have absorbed more than 80% of the total heat added to the air/sea/land/cyrosphere climate system.

    http://www.argo.ucsd.edu/global_change_analysis.html

    Yep. We’re told that there has been “warming of the 0 – 2000 m ocean by 0.06°C since the (pre-XBT) early 1960’s”

    This claim must be based on model estimates, since we only have meaningful observed data since ARGO measurements started in 2003. The pre-ARGO expendable XBTs were very scattered and were known to introduce a warming bias and the data before the XBTs was ever dicier. IOW, we can forget about any OHC estimates before 2003.

    But let’s go along with the game.

    0.06°C over 5 decades = 0.012°C per decade or 0.0012°C warming per year.

    IMO it is totally absurd to think we can measure this tiny amount of warming accurately over the entire ocean – even with 3,000 ARGO floats out there.

    But, for the helluvit let’s ASS-U-ME we could actually measure the warming of the top 2000 meter of ocean and this really was 0.012°C per decade.

    So what?

    Does anyone seriously believe that this represents a future problem for humanity or our environment?

    How so?

    Max

    • It’s a symptom of massive heat gain by the climate system in a short space of time.

      A symptom with a fossil fuel based illness behind it.

  47. So, is climate change ‘relentless’?

    • R. Gates the Skeptical Warmist

      The current rapid atmospheric changes going on from the human carbon volcano are likely to continue to overwhelm natural negative feedback processes (mainly the rock-carbon cycle). These changes, and the associated changes in weather, atmosphere, hydrosphere, cryosphere and biosphere are likely to be “relentless” for quite some time. Whether that relentlessness is ultimately good or bad for humans remains an open question.

      • See why I sometimes love ya? it’s a very open question, but clearly warmer sustains more total life and more diversity of life. Clearly, moderately rising CO2 is good for the plant kingdom, and thus, the animal kingdom, too.

        At this tail end of the Holocene, cooling is more likely than warming in the short, the medium, and the long term. You lays your money down, and you takes your chances.
        ============

      • R. Gates the Skeptical Warmist

        So nicely put:

        Fire and Ice

        Some say the world will end in fire,
        Some say in ice.
        From what I’ve tasted of desire
        I hold with those who favor fire.
        But if it had to perish twice,
        I think I know enough of hate
        To say that for destruction ice
        Is also great
        And would suffice.

        Robert Frost
        ____

        When we consciously begin managing this Anthropocene we’ve created…we might have our our choice.

      • Better sleep with sweet dreams of Gaia.
        ===========

  48. R. Gates the Skeptical Warmist

    Terminology and basic principles are very useful in understanding ocean heat content increases.

    1) Of course the vast majority of ocean heat comes from solar SW.
    2) The oceans gaining energy is not primarily an issue of more SW hitting the ocean, but of less energy leaving the ocean to the atmosphere.
    3) The data confirms the direct relationship between ocean to atmosphere energy transfer slowdown at the exact time that ocean heat content increases the fastest.
    4) Natural chaotic but deterministic ocean cycles and increased GH gases both cause the sequestration of more energy in the ocean, with interactions between the two, making it difficult to find exact percentage attributions for each.
    5) Increased GH gases don’t force more energy into the ocean- this is thermodynamically impossible, just as wearing a jacket doesn’t force more energy into your body.
    6) The next large El Nino is likely to be coincidental with the warmest tropospheric year on instrument record, just as the last big La Nina year was the warmest tropospheric La Nina year on record.
    7) GH gases never sleep.

    • 1) Of course the vast majority of ocean heat comes from solar SW.

      In the SH due to orbital forcing it is 2 orders of magnitude greater then the so called CO2 forcing over the instrumental period.

      • R. Gates the Skeptical Warmist

        It is not a question of where or how much the SW changes, but of the thermal gradient between ocean and space to get that energy back out of the system. If GH concentrations were not increasing, the Earth would simply radiate more or less energy back to space in complete sync with fluctuations in SW, just like your concrete sidewalk does on a summer day. If you steadily (and geologically very rapidly) increase GH gases, the thermal gradient between ocean (source) and space (sink) is altered, an energy imbalance between incoming and outgoing is created, and the ocean (source) will gain energy. The oceans are not recieving any more energy, but are losing less per unit of time.

      • Actually it is important,an a well known problem when applying global metrics (averages) to external forcings which are not invariant ie it is called error.

      • R. Gates the Skeptical Warmist

        When confirmatory but regional data from different parts of the planet start to point at the same global teleconnected cause, it starts to make a strong case that your hypothesis has some merit.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        It warms in ARGO in complete sync with cloud radiative forcing.

        http://s1114.photobucket.com/user/Chief_Hydrologist/media/CERES_MODIS-1.gif.html?sort=3&o=100

        In a time when the atmosphere is not warming this can’t result in oceans warming.

      • Gates, GHG forcing isn’t as big an issue in the SH because of the water, ACC and the Antarctic atmosphere being a near surface clone of the stratosphere. What is an issue is the ACC mixing and sending energy north in the THC. In this part of the precessional cycle you would pretty much expect ocean heat uptake to be above “normal” if it wasn’t for the BS TSI/4 grade school approximation. There are after all fairly frequent 4000 year, 1700 year,1200 year and 1000 year recurrent events associated with the precessional cycle that were dismissed by the followers of the Great and Powerful Carbon.

        As for the Greenland Sea, 50Wm-2 of unexpected forcing kinda sounds volcanic to me. We do still have a few of those laying around.

      • Chief, “It warms in ARGO in complete sync with cloud radiative forcing.”

        It warms in pretty complete sync with solar forcing.

        With the big El Nino’s hitting the troughs like thermal back wash.

      • R. Gates the Skeptical Warmist

        Chief Hydro said:

        “In a time when the atmosphere is not warming this can’t result in oceans warming.”
        _____
        Really interesting perspective considering that the net flow of energy is always from ocean to atmosphere, so that at at time when the oceans are warming is exactly when you’d expect to see the atmosphere not as much.

        You might want to estimate for yourself at any given point in time exactly what percentage of the energy in the atmosphere passed through the oceans first. It is large, and a small change in that flow makes a big difference in atmospheric temperatures– i.e. La Nina and El Ninos.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        The principle is that increased downwelling IR from a warmer atmosphere reduces IR losses from the oceans as I said. If the atmosphere is not warmer – downwelling IR is not larger and the oceans are not warming from this cause. Simple enough for you gatesy?

        The data is quite clear on the actual mechanism of warming in ARGO.

      • R. Gates the Skeptical Warmist

        Chief said:

        “The data is quite clear on the actual mechanism of warming in ARGO.”
        ______
        Me thinks you’ve created another fine hyperbole. The data is ARGO only tell us that heat content is increasing. You’ve cobbled together your own pet theory to explain that ocean heat content increase but that theory doesn’t fit the other confirmatory data that GH gas increases are altering the thermal gradient between ocean (source) and space (sink). The Earth, as a system, continues to warm “relentlessly” as GH gases never sleep and never pause in their action, and only natural variability will move (or keep) more or less energy in parts of the system over different periods. Earth energy system is set on “accumulate” so long as GH gases are set in the same direction.

      • Cobbled, eh? The shoe seems to fit.

        Better than the coopering with green or rotten barrel staves, done by the IPCC, tip of the top hat to Steve McIntyre for the ‘c’ word.
        ====================

    • Chief Hydrologist

      You suffer from some bizarre selective blindness.

      http://s1114.photobucket.com/user/Chief_Hydrologist/media/CERES_MODIS-1.gif.html?sort=3&o=100

      If the atmosphere is not warming it cannot warm the oceans. The change in cloud is the cause of ocean warming in ARGO.

      • R. Gates the Skeptical Warmist

        Chief said:

        “If the atmosphere is not warming it cannot warm the oceans.”

        ___
        It is your perspective on the basic science that I disagree with. The atmosphere only “warms” the ocean because it slows down the rate of flow of energy from ocean to space. If you instantly took away all the GH gases, the top layer of the ocean (probably down to tens of meters) would freeze all the way from equator to pole as the top layer of the ocean would give up tremendous amounts of heat rapidly and that heat would go instantly into space or go into latent heat to be precipitated out eventually as snow. Yep– ice house Earth. With atmospheric temperatures (temporarily) flattening near their highest levels, they are still high enough to continue to restrict the rate of flow of energy from ocean to space. Said in another way, you don’t have to put more and more jackets on to continue to keep your body warm (and even overheat!) on a cold day. One thicker jacket will keep you warm.

        What will you say when we hit new instrument record tropospheric temperatures when the next big El Nino hits? Do you think the energy the Earth is currently accumulating will just disappear?

      • “If the atmosphere is not warming it cannot warm the oceans.”

        That one threw me too. I think it’s that given the above, the Sun can still warm the Oceans.

      • R. Gates the Skeptical Warmist

        Ragnaar,

        It’s exactly an issue of perspective– and having the right one on a very fundamental thermodynamic basis.

        The general NET flow of solar-derived energy is thusly:

        Sun to ocean to atmosphere to space.
        SUN-OCEAN-ATMOSPHERE-SPACE

        The ocean will continue to recieve the same amount of energy regardless of GH gas concentrations, but the rate of flow out of the oceans to space is modulated greatly by GH gas concentrations in the atmospheric layer in between, just like more or less filling in your jacket modulates the rate of flow of energy from your body to the cold winter air outside that jacket– though of course, your body only gets energy through eating and not by absorbing sunlight.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Oh wow – how to misdirect.

        A non warming atmosphere cannot change the gradient across the skin so cannot further decrease the energy loss from the oceans to the atmosphere. Is there some equilibriating going on? Hard to tell because of the large natural variability in TOA radiant fluz. The ocean heat content follows this quite closely it seems.

        e.g. http://s1114.photobucket.com/user/Chief_Hydrologist/media/Wong2006figure7.gif.html?sort=3&o=142

        No greenhouse gases is simply an irrelevant hypothetical.

        ‘This study uses proxy climate records derived from paleoclimate data to investigate the long-term behaviour of the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO) and the El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO). During the past 400 years, climate shifts associated with changes in the PDO are shown to have occurred with a similar frequency to those documented in the 20th Century. Importantly, phase changes in the PDO have a propensity to coincide with changes in the relative frequency of ENSO events, where the positive phase of the PDO is associated with an enhanced frequency of El Niño events, while the negative phase is shown to be more favourable for the development of La Niña events.’ http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1029/2005GL025052/abstract

        The cool phase is associated with much less frequent and much less intense El Niño. Hanging on for the next big El Niño to prove a point seems more wishful thinking than a serious argument.

        Count it up – http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/psd/enso/mei/ts.gif

      • R. Gates the Skeptical Warmist

        Chief said:

        “No greenhouse gases is simply an irrelevant hypothetical.”

        __
        ??? If you want to see what the function of something is, the best way to tell is to remove it entirely. Greenhouse gases keep the ocean from losing heat, but they do not “heat the ocean” any more than wearing a jacket actually “heats your body”. It allows your body to retain the heat it gets from metabolizing food. Remove the jacket on a cold winter day, and your body loses heat very rapidly. Same thing would happen to the ocean without the greenhouse gas jacket. Take out CO2, and all you’d have left would be water vapor mainly, and we go to Icehouse Earth pretty rapdily, once all the atmospheric moisture condensed out. GH gases are the oceans jacket, but they don’t warm the ocean (that’s the sun’s job), but they keep that warmth in.

      • R. Gates the Skeptical Warmist

        Chief said:

        “Hanging on for the next big El Niño to prove a point seems more wishful thinking than a serious argument.”
        ___
        I don’t have to “hang on” for anything, for as an honest skeptic, I’ve got no skin in this game, and every bit of data is only an opportunity to learn. I do think it is very likely that within a few years we will have another big El Nino event, and we will see more instrument record temperatures, but if we don’t, and we go into the much (by some so-called skeptics) anticipated new Dalton minimum or super cool AMO/PDO combined with sleepy sun century long cooling period, than I and others will have a great learning oppotunity–just like the current “pause” in tropospheric temps has been.

        Though I think contined accumulation of energy and rapid climate change to a new Pliocene-like state much more likely.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        It is exactly the point that the oceans don’t receive the same amount of solar energy. This is modulated by cloud and volcano’s in the short term with quite large variation.

        Ocean warming from greenhouse gases depends on increased downwelling from a warmer atmosphere. This reduces IR losses from the oceans and the oceans nominally warm – all other things being equal. Now if the atmosphere is not warming and the downwelling is not increasing and the further reduction in losses is not occurring.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        If you want to see how something works – as opposed to quite pointless and silly thought experiments – you follow the actual physics with data.

        Removal of greenhouse gases is irrelevant.

        The planet without an atmosphere would be some 156 degrees K as the planet descended into snowball Earth. Not worth thinking about.

        You think we will have big El Nino based on? But you are not hanging out for it? I don’t you are skeptical or knowledgeable at all. I think you are a space cadet.

        I think it overwhelmingly likely we will stay in a Quaternary state – abrupt transitions between divergent states.

      • Gates, what is kinda funny is that the minimum between SC 23-24 is higher than the minimum between SC21-22, so we have seen the real solar minimum yet.

        So I was playing around with solar and the ENSO regions

        So far I can get a 90ish percent correlation with combined solar, volcanic and 0.8C CO2 forcing which is kinda funny. There even seems to be more papers on the Solar ENSO relationship during the Holocene. It is almost like retro climate science.

      • R. Gates the Skeptical Warmist

        Chief once more inaccurately said:

        “Ocean warming from greenhouse gases depends on increased downwelling from a warmer atmosphere.”
        ____
        Again, you keep stating it wrong– leading to the conclusion that that ocean warming depends on the atmosphere. No, No, No! Ocean warming depends on solar SW. That’s what warms the ocean. Always has and always will. Just like eating and metabolizing food heats your body and the jacket you wear keeps that heat in. The ocean keeping that warmth depends on the layer between the ocean and the coldness of space…which is the atmosphere. More GH means more heat stays in the ocean. The Sun heats the ocean…the sun heats the ocean…the sun heats the ocean…the sun heats the ocean…the atmosphere keeps that heat in.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        You have this idea in your head that I am saying something other than the ocean is warmed by SW. I keep posting the graphs that say that the heat in ARGO was all SW.

        The mechanism is in the first instance decreased losses in net IR from the surface of the oceans caused by increased downwelling IR from a warmer atmosphere. This is just the ordinary mechanism that everyone but webby is aware of.

        Losing the plot there gatesy?

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Btw – whenever I see jackets, metabolising or any other metaphor I turn the page.

      • R. Gates the Skeptical Warmist

        Chief Hydro said:

        “You have this idea in your head that I am saying something other than the ocean is warmed by SW. I keep posting the graphs that say that the heat in ARGO was all SW.”

        ______
        SW to the ocean surface has not increased steadily during the 40+ years that ocean heat content has been rising steadily. The only graphs that match this rise in ocean heat content is the rise in CO2, methane, and N2O concentration, which happen to be the same thing that help the ocean keep heat in. When data matches theory, I’ll take it as “95% certain”.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        http://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/ar4/wg1/en/figure-3-23.html

        ‘In summary, although there is independent evidence for decadal changes in TOA radiative fluxes over the last two decades, the evidence is equivocal. Changes in the planetary and tropical TOA radiative fluxes are consistent with independent global ocean heat-storage data, and are expected to be dominated by changes in cloud radiative forcing. To the extent that they are real, they may simply reflect natural low-frequency variability of the climate system. ‘ http://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/ar4/wg1/en/ch3s3-4-4-1.html

        http://s1114.photobucket.com/user/Chief_Hydrologist/media/cloud_palleandlaken2013_zps3c92a9fc.png.html?sort=3&o=29

        Cloud negatively correlated with cloud cover? When data matches theory – and more as time goes by – you go with it.

    • RE: “2) The oceans gaining energy is not primarily an issue of more SW hitting the ocean, but of less energy leaving the ocean to the atmosphere.”

      The amount of SW hitting the ocean is modulated by the cloud cover, and may or may not be impacted by changes in the Sun. You seem to claim that incoming SW is a constant, and that would require some proof that you cannot provide. There are no effective measures of the impact of clouds on incoming SW over the oceans.

      • R. Gates the Skeptical Warmist

        Nope, certainly SW hitting the ocean is highly variable, just as energy leaving the ocean is– though the general direction is always the same: Sun to ocean to atmosphere. And you are very correct, the amount of sunlight hitting the ocean can be modulated by many factors including solar output, clouds, aerosols, ice, etc. The very best directly measured and proxy data we have is that ocean heat content has been steadily (on a decadal basis) increasing since about 1970. The SW hitting the ocean has been measure during parts of this period, and overall has not been showing an increase or decrease, but nets to zero on a decadal basis (with the biggest impacts being from volcanic aerosols on shorter time frames). Thus, some underlying forcing is allowing the oceans to accumulate heat on a longer-term basis. The natural way that oceans retain more heat is for GH gases to increase in concentration which matches the observations over the period the oceans have been retaining more energy. There could be other factors involved, but none that seem to match the observations and theory so closely.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        The SW hitting the ocean has been measure during parts of this period, and overall has not been showing an increase or decrease, but nets to zero on a decadal basis (with the biggest impacts being from volcanic aerosols on shorter time frames).

        Did you not read AR4? AR5 will be wasted on you then.

        ‘The overall slight rise (relative heating) of global total net flux at TOA between the 1980’s and 1990’s is confirmed in the tropics by the ERBS measurements and exceeds the estimated climate forcing changes (greenhouse gases and aerosols) for this period. The most obvious explanation is the associated changes in cloudiness during this period.’ http://isccp.giss.nasa.gov/projects/browse_fc.html

        ‘With this final correction, the ERBS Nonscanner-observed decadal changes in tropical mean LW, SW, and net radiation between the 1980s and the 1990s now stand at 0.7, -2.1, and 1.4 W/m^2, respectively, which are similar to the observed decadal changes in the High-Resolution Infrared Radiometer Sounder (HIRS) Pathfinder OLR and the International Satellite Cloud Climatology Project (ISCCP) version FD record but disagree with the Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR) Pathfinder ERB record. Furthermore, the observed interannual variability of near-global ERBS WFOV Edition3_Rev1 net radiation is found to be remarkably consistent with the latest ocean heat storage record for the overlapping time period of 1993 to 1999. Both datasets show variations of roughly 1.5 W/m2 in planetary net heat balance during the 1990.’

        It takes very little to understand the quote from the IPCC above. But you come back with nothing but bald assertions that are manifestly not in accordance with the data. BTW – nobody is all that impressed with the AVHRR.

        You are full of purely invented nonsense gatesy. It typifies the ‘debate’ from space cadets – seemingly in bad faith, wild and inaccurate rationalisations and resort to being to being nasty little dweebs to divert from attention from uncomfortable facts.

        The sound you hear is the sound of sh_t hitting the fan. Let’ hope he forgets to duck.

  49. “The only thing more dangerous than ignorance is arrogance.” ~Albert Einstein

    • Like the arrogance of telling everyone that 250 million square kilometres of water warming 0.06C in 50 years is no big deal.

      • lolwot, can you touch it?
        lolwot, can you feel it?
        =============

      • I didn’t realize the ocean has an infinitesimal thickness!

      • lolwot, “Like the arrogance of telling everyone that 250 million square kilometres of water warming 0.06C in 50 years is no big deal.”

        361 million square kilometers by 2000 meters deep of the world ocean have warmed by 0.0612C degrees +/-0.015 C in the past 50 years. Film at 11:00.

        Just doesn’t sing does it?

        The world ocean heat content has increased by 0.26 thousand-billion-billion joules of energy in the past 50 years. The equivalent of nearly 4 billion Hiroshima atomic bombs. All due to the reckless burning of fossil fuels. To put this dramatic, unprecedented warming of the deep oceans in perspective, the average bathtub fart will warm a full standard size tub by an identical amount.

        Let’s lead with this one.

      • R. Gates the Skeptical Warmist

        captn. said:

        “To put this dramatic, unprecedented warming of the deep oceans in perspective, the average bathtub fart will warm a full standard size tub by an identical amount.”
        ____
        I am pretty sure you’ve measured this, leading to your family asking, “why does he keep saying “mort” to himself while in the bathtub?”

      • Pretending we’re capable of actually measuring such a small amount over such a large area is simple arrogance.

      • Hmm ….the infinitesimal thickness of being, )

      • I can’t remember the last time I had a bath, but not to worry folks, I shower fairly regularly. :)

  50. A little off subject but just for fun I goggled, “history of corn yields in the USA.” Over a 70 year span from 1870 to 1940 it stayed flat at 26 bushels an acre. From 1940 to 2012 almost on an annual basis it broke record after record until in 2012 the yield rose to 160 bushels per acre.

    1940 was the year factories were buzzing getting ready for the war effort and perhaps it was the year we began to emit greater amounts of CO2 into the atmosphere. Can you imagine if the warmists could show a straight-line upward trajectory that related to a rise in temperature of that magnitude? In fact, instead, 1940 was the year the planet underwent a 30 year cooling period.

    Of course people will come here with all kind of new methodologies in planting and tilling and more advanced fertilizers as the real reason for the explosion in corn yields and they would be correct. But not to give due credit to CO2 for some of that gain would be dishonest.

  51. On another thread a couple of days ago, someone else also posted the NOAA graph showing OHC, trying to quel the fears that the pause is actually a pause, or maybe even more.

    He noted the spike in the last year to show we skeptics are all wrong.

    Well, I’ve been really busy and wasn’t able to relay my response until now, and since it’s the same topic in this thread, well…

    Here the HUGE problem I see with the “missing heat’s been found in the deep ocean”……

    Look at the blue smoothed line in the NOAA graph. The period between 1990 and 2000 rises at a nice steep angle. 2000 to the present seems to decrease just a bit. Yes, you do have the spike in the unsmoothed data at about 2013, but we don’t know what’s coming after that since it hasn’t happened yet. AND, since the blue line represents data that has been smoothed… Well, how the heck do you justify basing a claim on data where you’re using a mix of smoothed and unsmoothed data, and the unsmoothed data shows the result you want, but if you smooth it out, that steep red line disappears… Wouldn’t that be called fraud in other fields of science????

    Plus, if the surface temp rise has indeed been in a pausing pattern, in order for the GCM’s and the balance of energy to be right, the oceans would have to be taking up MORE heat in the last 16 years than they did when the surface temps were rising between the 1890’s and 1998 which would explain where the heat actually went. Even the NOAA chart isn’t showing that.

    So again, we seem to have missing heat.

    • Are you sure you’ve been looking at the right graph?

      • Yep. That’s the one.

        Note that the slope is not increasing in heat transfer rate as you would expect if the extra heat was going into the ocean, but, in fact, as is seen on the link you show, the rate of warming has decreased a bit from the period of 95 to 2004. It’s not warming as fast.

  52. Before 2009, when I first wrote my alternative theoretical climate model (see my website underlined above) I was struck by the resemblance of the 1970 to 2000 temperature rise to the 1910 to 194o rise. In fact the later rise looked like a lagged copy of the 1910 to `940 rise. But I knew that a transport lag would look different from an inertial lag and the difference in this case tended to confirm the transport lag theory. That is why my alternative model followed that theory. The above papers tend to confirm that analogy. Thank you, Judith.

    If my theory is right, then the 1910 to 1940 rise is the only true independent rise in history. An issue the IPCC failed to explore.Why is it important? Because they failed to explain why the heating stopped so dramatically in 1940. The only explanation I could find for that was in quantum mechanics which postulates the view that temperature rises and falls in a series of ‘steps and stairs’. Following this line one can attribute pauses to either a particular step or maybe the lowest step in the troposphere’s range of temperatures

  53. R. Gates the Skeptical Warmist

    Related to the issue of the oceans gaining energy, is this bit of research from a few years ago related to a permanent La Nina like state being created the last time GH concentrations were this high in the mid-Pliocene:

    http://www.sciencemag.org/content/307/5717/1948.short

    There are several interesting side-effects of such a permanent La Nina being created in the Pacific (with an ice-free Arctic ocean being just one.) Recent data from what is currently the best source we have for NH paleoclimate data (Lake E in Siberia) would seem to confirm that the hypothesis that a permanent La Nina like state could be induced by higher GH gas levels may have some credibility.

  54. R. Gates the Skeptical Warmist

    Judith asked:

    “Or is sequestering heat in the ocean a fortuitous ‘solution’ to the global (surface) warming problem?”

    ___
    The global (surface) warming “problem” aka the “pause”, has been a huge opportunity for advancement of the science, especially in the area of understanding natural variations in ocean to atmosphere energy transfer. The recent research on the effects of a cooler Pacific are especially exciting. Sad that the wrong words were used years ago– “energy is going into the oceans”, as the research seems to be saying “energy is not coming out of the oceans” as readily, for the time being.

  55. Deep sea warming…it’s the new Arctic sea ice!

    which follows

    Arctic sea ice…it’s the new land surface temperatures!

    soon to come

    Ocean acidification..its the new deep sea warming!

    • R. Gates the Skeptical Warmist

      We don’t need a new Arctic sea ice decline as an effect of the human carbon volcano– an ice-free summer Arctic is in our (geologically speaking) near future. As the rapid build-up of GH gases has multiple effects, ocean warming, Arctic sea ice loss, Greenland and Antarctic glacial melt, rising oceans, melting permafrost, species migration. enhanced hydrological cycle, etc. are all confirmatory and simultaneous effects of the steady increase in Earth’s energy balance caused by the steadily increasing GH gas concentrations from the human carbon volcano.

      • Yeah, if it weren’t for the damned “pause” and Arctic ice recovery and Greenland not thawing fast enough and the sea not rising to any alarming extent…you’d have a point.

      • R. Gates the Skeptical Warmist

        Your carefully cherry picked perspective (very short term, by the way) could be a result of eating Tisdale psychotrophic cherries, or perhaps just too much Faux News viewing, or some combination therof?

      • Scorn, scorn, Gates’ climate porn.
        =========

  56. The view that the sceptics have positively impacted the IPCC is supported by Prof Arthur Petersen, who is a member of the Dutch government team currently examining the report.

    “The sceptics are good for the IPCC and the whole process is really flourishing because of this interaction over the past decades,” he told BBC News.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-24233643?print=true

  57. Judith’s mention of the much neglected 2nd Law of TD serves to remind us that the adjective “relentless” is not consistent with the entrophy over time that occurs with all natural phenomena. The AGW hypothesis suffers from the same problem simply because the timeframes used are far too short for entrophy to work itself out.

    • entropy, no fuh, Entropy was the name of my first boat. I live up to its name :)

      • CaptD that’s a funny name for a boat! Your first boat must have only been realised when you were comparatively old. My first boat was a plywood dinghy that my father made for my 6th birthday and I called it “Matey” which was my father kept addressing me as when he asked me to pass him various tools.

      • Peter, I don’t count the boats I built, I paid good money for Entropy. I was young enough and dumb enough to fish a 100 mile offshore and visit the Bahamas a time or two during the don’t go without a few guns period in that 20 footer.

      • You sure have had an interesting life CaptD. I bet that your life story would be a great tale of enterprise and swinging fortunes and of great fishing exploits.

      • He’s got one on his line way way bigger than his boat.
        =============

  58. If deep sea temps to within hundredths of a degree are the new CAGW savior, we need analogous to Anthony Watt’s surface stations project.

    We must measure the deep sea volcanic heat island effect!

    DSVHI doesn’t have the same ring as UHI though.

  59. “ome recent studies have concluded based on the slowed global surface warming over the past decade that the sensitivity of the climate to the increased greenhouse effect is somewhat lower than the IPCC best estimate. Those studies are fundamentally flawed because they do not account for the warming of the deep oceans.”

    This is bogus because sensitivity is defined using temperature of the surface, not the bloomin’ ocean.

  60. So, even if the highly dubious energy imbalance cartoons are right, the thermodynamics of water’s specific heat mean it’s a non-issue.

    • It really is that simple, meanwhile, the globe is cooling, for how long even everyone knows.
      ==========

      • R. Gates the Skeptical Warmist

        Exactly what is this mysterious and non-scientifically defined “globe”? Oh silly me, of course you mean the energetically miniscule (compared to the ocean) troposphere.

      • He means the earth’s core, perhaps.

    • Chief Hydrologist

      The globe is another name for planet and we mean the whole world. As I explain elsewhere.

      This comment you have made a dozen times – and it is a serial snark implying that the pause has not reached the oceans. Disputable at best – but the droppings of yet another serial pest at least.

      The planet is cooling for another decade or so at least. Because solar activity is declining, we are in a cool ocean phase and we are on the verge of Bond Event Zero.

      Warming from CO2 has been minor in the satellite record – and is more likely to precipitate cooling through MOC collapse than much more warming.

      The ideas of simple linear systems do not apply to climate. At a fundamental level the consensus climate paradigm is incorrect and cannot apprehend the network systems challenge of the real climate. The fixation on the wrong ideas is politically the kiss of death for carbon mitigation for another generation at least. The inability to focus on real solutions seems the hallmark of the cognitively dissonant space cadet. So sad – too bad.

      • R. Gates the Skeptical Warmist

        Chief Hydro said:

        “The globe is another name for planet and we mean the whole world.”
        ___
        So by “whole” you mean including the oceans. In that case, the statement is exceptionally wrong.

      • R. Gates the Skeptical Warmist

        Chief Hydro said:

        “We are on the verge of Bond Event Zero.”
        ___
        I have examined that possibility at length and can’t dismiss it, but it doesn’t detract from the effects of the human carbon volcano nor the added interesting possibility that the human carbon volcano could alter the character of the next Bond event.

  61. So, can anyone figure out why 0.06C is a big deal for the climate?

    It might be a big deal if that represents a lot of joules. Those have to go somewhere – they don’t just fall to the ocean floor and get buried by silt. It has to go back to space else accumulate. Accumulation has a down side.

    Personally I think it is a normal cyclic event and that heat will be returned to space as it always has.

    • R. Gates the Skeptical Warmist

      “Personally I think it is a normal cyclic event and that heat will be returned to space as it always has.”
      ____
      Personal opinions are great, but those based on data or research are of scientific merit. Also, there are many shades of gray. Some ocean warming can be from natural variabililty and some from anthropogenic forcing and some could be from an interaction between the two. It’s complicated.

      • All ocean warming comes from internal earth energy and energy from the sun. I’m not interested in heat – I’m interested in energy. We cannot estimate impulse energy in the ocean with thermometers. The ocean is too vast, the gradients of energy dispersal too weak to leave a thermal trail. “Experts” resort to models which are flawed to produce reports which are useless guesses. We need to stop fooling ourselves that we can use temperature as an indication of short term energy imbalance between Earth and the universe.

      • R. Gates the Skeptical Warmist

        dp said:

        “We need to stop fooling ourselves that we can use temperature as an indication of short term energy imbalance between Earth and the universe.”
        ______
        Agreed, sensible heat increase is only a proxy for the energy imbalance, and the troposphere, being the lowest thermal inertia part of the system is even worse. Once SW solar comes into the system it is instantly changed to many other forms, and so a full accounting of the actual energy imbalance would require measuring all these forms. Most people (including some even on this blog) don’t realize that measuring moist enthalpy in the atmosphere gives a much different accounting than simple sensible heat.

  62. “So, can anyone figure out why 0.06C is a big deal for the climate? Or how all that heat that is apparently well mixed in the ocean could somehow get into the atmosphere and influence weather/temperatures/rainfall on the land? Or is sequestering heat in the ocean a fortuitous ‘solution’ to the global (surface) warming problem?”

    OK, the big deal is that if this heat that goes into the ocean and doesn’t change the surface temperature, it does nothing for the energy balance. The only way to cancel the added CO2 forcing is for the surface temperature to rise, otherwise the earth is just gaining heat below the surface. The best formula for this kind of thing is

    dF=dH/dt+lambda.dT

    where dF is a change in forcing which has two types of response. dH/dt is a rate of change of heat content, and lambda.dT is a surface temperature change. with lambda the inverse equilibrium climate sensitivity. The two extremes are that the first or second term dominate. If the first term dominates, the ocean heat content just continues to rise, but the surface temperature doesn’t. The extra forcing (imbalance) remains uncancelled so dH/dt continues ad infinitum. If the second term dominates, the surface temperature response dT is immediate and dF is cancelled. The real response is between these, but there is no comfort if the heat content rises, because the whole equilibrium temperature rise is committed to happen for a given forcing change. All this can do is delay it.

    • Another way to describe this is that the more heat that the ocean absorbs the less it has available to radiate away, and the less the surface will heat up.

      The ocean surface is heating up only half the rate as the land because half of the GHG-caused imbalance is going into the ocean’s thermal reservoir and half is radiating away. On the land, essentially both halves are radiating away because the heat only absorbs very slowly into the ground.

      0.6 watts/m^2 of rate of thermal storage is correct given the CO2 levels we have.

      http://theoilconundrum.blogspot.com/2013/03/ocean-heat-content-model.html

    • “All this can do is delay it.”

      Yes and no.

      Yes, there is a delay, visible immediately in the transient climate sensitivity.

      Equilibrium sensitivity, however is only attained, once the complete ocean is “penetrated”. With the very slow progress of warming in the deeper and deep ocean, this process may take centuries. Which then leaves us in the ballpark of the dwell time of CO2 in the atmosphere. Therefore ECS is also lowered.

    • ” Which then leaves us in the ballpark of the dwell time of CO2 in the atmosphere. Therefore ECS is also lowered.”

      That is actually a very good point. Since both sequestering of CO2 and thermal sinking require diffusion, the two fat-tails will cancel to some regard. In the time it takes CO2 to sequester, the excess thermal energy has time to find a cooler sink.

      The land temperature will still experience ECS however.

  63. Besides the implausible step function (1998-2004 or 2001-2004) possibly due to coverage increase and poor estimates for previously uncovered regions, there are qualitative differencies between different estimates of 0-2000m data.

    Also, the supposed relationship of opposite trends of OHC and SST or opposite trends of OHC and PDO does not really exist.

    Levitus et al 2012 shows a pause in 1979-1991 and an almost linear increase 1991-2009. Not the expected relationship.

    http://pielkeclimatesci.files.wordpress.com/2012/04/ocean-heat-content1.jpg?w=500&h=386

    NOAA show an almost linear increase 1970-2001, an implausible jump in the following 3 years along with increase of coverage and thereafter, an increase similar to 1970-2001. Not the expected relationship.

    Lyman et al 2013 show an almost constant heat content from 1960-1998, the a sharp implausible increase 1998-2004 and again no trend thereafter.Not the expected relationship.

    This northern hemisphere heat content data aligns well with SST data. This is the opposite of the expected relationship.

  64. “So, can anyone figure out why 0.06C is a big deal for the climate?”

    One succinct answer:
     Some recent studies have concluded based on the slowed global surface warming over the past decade that the sensitivity of the climate to the increased greenhouse effect is somewhat lower than the IPCC best estimate. Those studies are fundamentally flawed because they do not account for the warming of the deep oceans.

  65. I guess there is an important document to be delivered tomorrow.

    In honor of that milestone, here are a a few model fits to the GISS temperature record.
    The first one takes a monotonically accelerating trend function and simply adds a scaled Southern Oscillation Index profile to match the wiggles in the GISS record. The main volcanic eruptions are also added with exponential declines for the estimated sulphate production.

    http://imageshack.us/a/img822/6338/f7r.gif (this is w/o volcanic)
    There are only two regions that stick out, a cooler time span between the years of 2005-2105, and two warm spikes that appear over the course of WWII.

    If we then subtract the SOI and volcanic disturbances from the original GISS record we get this corrected curve.

    Surprise, surprise, there is NO PAUSE. The pause is just an artifact of a compensating sequence of dips in the SOI over the last few years. These fluctuations in SOI will get no larger so that the warming will resume. The transient climate response (TCR) is 2C and the equilibrium climate sensitivity (ECS) is 3C estimated by comparing to the land-only record and observing that 0.6watts/m^2 i.s being absorbed by the ocean but not the land.

    Note that this is a concise description of what Kosaka and Xie found recently —
    Y. Kosaka and S.-P. Xie, “Recent global-warming hiatus tied to equatorial Pacific surface cooling,” Nature, 2013.

    Skeptics need to do this work for themselves if they want to become convinced that the pause is tied to a temporary downward cycle in a- bounded pseudo-oscillation. All the data is available so you can knock yourself out.

    • Pierre-Normand

      Very nice! Unfortunately Imageshack claims that the third image has been removed.

      • Here is the third figure which went missing for some reason:

        Note that there is no pause after the ENSO and slight volcanic disturbances are removed.

        The major media news is reporting that at least 50% of the global warming is being caused by man. I wonder what is causing the other 50%? This looks relentless.

    • Chief Hydrologist

      How amusing. ENSO accounts for most of the variation and none of the trend.

      This might be true if there were not longer term cloud radiative forcing changes.

      ‘n summary, although there is independent evidence for decadal changes in TOA radiative fluxes over the last two decades, the evidence is equivocal. Changes in the planetary and tropical TOA radiative fluxes are consistent with independent global ocean heat-storage data, and are expected to be dominated by changes in cloud radiative forcing. To the extent that they are real, they may simply reflect natural low-frequency variability of the climate system.’ http://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/ar4/wg1/en/ch3s3-4-4-1.html

      If real – webby’s curve is complete fantasy. Well to be honest – that’s not completely unexpected.

      • Seems a good moment

        Taking place in a former brewery, the talks were said to be making slow progress…

        to say thanks, Chief, for everything learned over the last few years, while the AR5 piss-up was in early stages of disintegration. Using you as proxy for so many in the climate blogosphere. Not exactly how the science-policy interface will be managed in future but not far off. Anything’s better than the Stockholm syndrome.

    • Interesting and very simple temperature curve + SOI,

      though incapable of fitting little ice age or MWP,
      ignoring OHC data and heat transfer on longer time scales,
      ignoring the low frequency tail of ENSO, like warm water pools drifting out of the ENSO region polewards and continuing to warm for years,
      implying a sensitivity not compatible with recent best estimates based on observational data
      and fitting to a temperature set with issues.

      But I think you get a better fit by reducing the temperature “trend” by approx. a factor of 2 and allowing for low frequency ENSO trends according to PDO phases.

      That should improve the fit 1910-1940 (blue an red differnces) due to additional positve trend from PDO,
      improve 1940-1976 with the negative PDO trend,
      and have no effect thereafter, when halved temperature trend + PDO sum up to about the same result.

      • ” captdallas 0.8 or less | September 27, 2013 at 5:57 am

        Wonder what causes that SOI? ”

        http://spot.colorado.edu/~koppg/TSI/

        This is the FFT of the SOI

        There is no strong periodicity but as shown in in the figure can be modelled as a semi-Markov process with a dispersion of periods smeared around 5 years. Dispersion means that there is a spectrum of periods and in this case can range from 2 to 10 years.

        The sunspot activity is much more periodic with regular intervals of 11 years.

    • Here is the third figure:

      Note that there is no pause after the ENSO and slight volcanic disturbances are removed.

    • Chief said:

      “If real – webby’s curve is complete fantasy. Well to be honest – that’s not completely unexpected.”

      Please parse for yourself what Chief has written above. He assumes the premise that my curve is real (but of course it is), but by being real, it is complete fantasy.

      That is the world that The Chief lives in — one that completely exists in his own mind. Unable to do any pen-to-paper analysis work on his own, he is left to snipe at whatever anyone else does.

      The fact is that the ENSO data — the data that comprises Chief’s beloved chaotic turbulence — is simply a noise factor that rides on top of a relentless warming factor which seems to show up everywhere. It shows up obviously in the ocean heat content data (as Stefan Rahmstorf has shown in the Real Climate post), and now starkingly clear in the global surface temperature anomaly when the pseudo-cyclical ocean upwelling influence is removed — >

      This is a remarkable result and one that is nicely timed with the IPCC study that I have heard was delivered today.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        To the extent that they are real, they may simply reflect natural low-frequency variability of the climate system.’ http://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/ar4/wg1/en/ch3s3-4-4-1.html

        If real – webby’s curve is complete fantasy. Well to be honest – that’s not completely unexpected.

        If the radiant flux data for low frequency climate variability is real – webby’s curve is complete fantasy. It is no wonder that he is a nowhere man with reading comprehension skills like that.

      • Chief said:

        “If real – webby’s curve is complete fantasy. Well to be honest – that’s not completely unexpected.

        If the radiant flux data for low frequency climate variability is real – webby’s curve is complete fantasy. It is no wonder that he is a nowhere man with reading comprehension skills like that.”

        A set of words that contradicts in every possible way.
        Here is an update for this thread:

        I know that if others work on it, this can be improved.

  66. Dear Judith, thanks for your good work – including some insisting on the integrity concerning the uncertainties etc. I saw in media recently – and thanks for your compliments. BTW the widget-free version of my article is here

    http://motls.blogspot.com/2013/09/ocean-heat-content-relentless-but.html?m=1

    What I am proudest about in this case, of course, is that you chose the same adjective “relentless” as I did before you. Such an agreement about a somewhat fancy adjective with a native speaker is flattering. ;-)

    Best regards, Lubos

  67. His calculations are essentially confirmed from this ARGO page [Levitus 2009] where they confirm [??] that since the 1960s, the warming of that layer was 0.06 °C.
    It takes 27 ZJ ( ZJ = 10^21 Joules) to raise the 0-2000m layer of ocean 0.01 deg C. So 160 ZJ will be about 0.06 deg C. That much is correct.

    What is not correct is that there has been 160 ZJ of warming since 1960. The raw data for such a statement does not and never has existed.

    Here is a chart of Ocean Heat content from 1955 to 2012, with an overlay of measurement program histories:

    Y axis Measured range is 120 ZetaJoules[1] and 0.05 deg C based upon 0-2000m water column). Three series: 0-100m, 100-700m, 700-2000m.
    The image is from Willis Eschenbach, May 10, 2012 (Source NOAA/NODC) where I overlaid the temp scale and the phases of ocean temperature measurement programs. The warming recorded on the chart is largely the product of attempting the merge of 5 hopelessly under-sampled measurement programs with 3 phases of under-sampled ARGO over too short a history with unrealistic precision.

    Only since 2007 have we 300 profiles a day for the entire ocean surface down to 2 km — which is barely 50% of the water column. We averaged 100 profiles per day from 2004-2007 while the ARGO fleet was growing. From 1988 to 2004 the ALACE program provided maybe 50 profiles per day down only to 1 km and its primary mission was ocean circulation, not temperature measurement. Prior to 1988, the measurement of ocean temperatures was experimental and very clustered and very biased to portions of the North Atlantic near the US Navy SOSUS submarine tracking networks. There is even a notation that in 1975, a 52 float program operating for 2 months recorded more data than acquired in the prior 17 years. Honest error bars priors prior to 2004 are gigantic and swamp any measured signal. For more infomations, see: Ocean Heat Content and History of Measurement Systems (WUWT 7/24/13)

    Even today, we ask each ARGO float to give us the average temperature of 240,000 km^3 of ocean, reporting once every 10 days. ARGO average separation is 350 km, which means the distance between ARGO profiles on any one day is about 1000 km.

    Maybe we can monitor global ocean temp changes of 0.02 deg C with ARGO since 2004. if we respect error bars. Possibly we can milk some good out of the 0-700 m layer from ALACE back to 1990. But reject the notion that we have anything like an adequate sampling of the temperatures below 1000m prior to 2004.

    Any graph of Ocean Heat Content back to 1960 is based on data little better than that one tree in Yamal that supported the Mann “Hockey Stick.”

  68. I’d be surprised if anyone can measure the temperature of the deep ocean to 0.06 C accuracy.

  69. I have a question regarding ocean heat storage and the dynamics of the “pause/flatlining etc.”.

    Why now? Why does the global temperature rise halt these particular 15 years and counting, and was the extra 0.06C in the oceans sequestered in parallel, or is it a longer process?

    Is there some critical temperature difference between atmospheres and oceans above which heat is rapidly sequestered and below which atmospheres warm?

    * I haven’t read any of the papers in case the answer is in there, so apologies in advance. My field is mountain building and tectonics…..

  70. (English is not my mother tongue, so I pre-apologyse because of the mistakes) I can’t understand how this is not well studied in the coupled models atmosphere-oceans. Many times I think it would be interesting that “skeptics” could introduce theri hypotheses in the models that are run in those giantic computers

  71. Pingback: Judith Curry and the Ocean Heat Content | Wotts Up With That Blog

  72. Maybe someone in the know could comment, a look into OHC data background references leads to this data-quality article by Ingleton & Huddleston http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0924796306002909#gr6 Especially Fig. 6 would show ocean temp with descending isotherms the last decade in line with a heat sink now. Only climbing isotherms in line with the ocean being the source of that 80s-90s warming, that’s no relentless OHC climb is it?

    And that’s your energy imbalance measure there, right, since the TOA satellites aren’t accurate enough for measuring the imbalance? Instead, it looks like the other 80s-90s imbalance then, an energy loss. And the energy released then conceivably stored during the 50-60 standstill?

  73. Chief Hydrologist

    Perhaps I could be clearer. In this late breaking – indeed seemingly not yet published study – http://www.pmel.noaa.gov/people/gjohnson/OHCA_1950_2011_v3.pdf – ocean heat content seems to have relented at about the same time as surface temperatures.

    http://s1114.photobucket.com/user/Chief_Hydrologist/media/LymnaandJohnson2013OHCA_zps703732d0.png.html?sort=3&o=2

    This makes a lot of sense from an energy perspective.

    http://s1114.photobucket.com/user/Chief_Hydrologist/media/cloud_palleandlaken2013_zps3c92a9fc.png.html?sort=3&o=29

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      Chief Hydrologist laments “Perhaps I could be clearer.”

      LOL … yes, and its striking that DocMartyn shares an avid desire for scientific clarity with you Chief!

      Your post references an (unpublished?) research note that *does* reach interesting conclusions!

      Estimating global ocean heat content changes
      in the upper 1800 m since 1950
      and the influence of climatology choice

      by John M. Lyman and Gregory C. Johnson

      For adequately sampled time periods, warming trends generally increase with increasing depth, as the surface-intensified warming signal penetrates to at least 1500 m (e.g., Levitus et al. 2012).

      In recent years, from 2004 to 2011, while the upper ocean is not warming, the ocean continues to absorb heat at depth. […]

      Changing the mapping scheme, including using different time or length scales or different mapping formalism will alter the results quantitatively, but not alter the conclusions qualitatively.

      That is a terrific result, that nicely complements and affirms James Hansen’s newest-and-greatest article in Phil. Trans. Roy. Soc., which is available on-line as Climate sensitivity, sea level and atmospheric carbon dioxide (September 2013)

      Thank you for helping so greatly. relentlessly, and sustainably to improve *everyone*’s in-depth scientific appreciation of climate-change, Chief Hydrologist!

      \scriptstyle\rule[2.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}\,\boldsymbol{\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}\,\heartsuit\,{\displaystyle\text{\bfseries!!!}}\,\heartsuit\,\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}}\ \rule[-0.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}

      • All that shows is that the past pre 2000 warming has entered the thermohaline circulation for its 1000 to 1500 year round trip.

        Meanwhile the upper layers are cooling due to increasing cloudiness caused by the less active sun.

        The surface is being cooled by BOTH the thermohaline circulation drawing down the previously warmed water AND reduced solar shortwave failing to replenish it from the top.

    • Chief Hydrologist

      Yes certainly heat content increased in ARGO. In the revised article from leading researchers in OHCA – that can be seen plainly.

      The source was however SW – http://s1114.photobucket.com/user/Chief_Hydrologist/media/CERES_MODIS-1.gif.html?sort=3&o=100

  74. The Iconoclast

    If surface temperatures were still rising, none of the alarmists would be looking twice at ocean temperatures. Since they aren’t, ocean temperature is suddenly where it’s at and oh so obvious and boy the skeptics sure are a bunch of dumb liars.

    If y’all had been saying several years ago something along the lines of wow, interesting, the models are predicting a pause and that ocean temperatures are going to increase then you would have some credibility on the issue.

    I hope ocean temperatures start to decline, as reported by your ridiculously few data samplers, not because it will mean we are in less “danger” but merely to discover what new contortions you will bend your theories into in order to keep your beliefs alive, and how quickly and with ever so much certainty you will jump to them, discarding surface temperatures and then ocean warming as old news.

    First, though, a period of “discovering” the “necessity” of making numerous adjustments to the Argo data, colder in the past, and warmer in the present. Just a guess, but after adjustment, things will be worse than we though.

  75. The heat-trapping mechanism is supposed to be that the atmosphere warms, which then causes surface and ocean temperatures to warm. If the atmosphere doesn’t warm, but the deep ocean is warming, then there must be some other mechanism (not radiation absorption by CO2) causing it. I suspect the ocean warming thing is a measurement problem, just like the top-of-the-atmosphere energy balance, which was so obviously wrong, it had to be “calibrated to match the models.”

  76. some historical data about the temperature runaway and positive feed backs:

    http://www.scienceda…30123133612.htm

    The new results show that during the Eemian period 130,000 to 115,000 years ago the climate in Greenland was around 8 degrees C warmer than today.

    it is simple; they do not exist …

  77. Tomas Milanovic

    Judith

    Did you get a paper or did you do yourself a calculation of the order of magnitude of the lower bound of time necessary to transfer the heat from surface to 2 000 m depth ?
    I did a calculation in an idealised case (Navier Stokes and pulse) but I am not sure that it is solid enough for an order of magnitude in the real ocean.
    If it is then this heat came on the surface far before the CO2 started to vary.

    • David Springer

      The heat is being added by warm runoff from the continents IMO. Certainly some portion of OHC at least because land is warming faster than ocean so there will be unavoidably warmer runoff from the land which must add some measure to OHC.

    • You have the right idea, if not the exactly right numbers. Heat works its way down the water column very slowly beyond the thermocline. This is what makes the argument of deep-ocean “sequestration” quite irrelevant to matters of climate near the surface, where the transfer mechanisms operate orders of magnitude faster. Any drop in surface temperatures shows that thermalization of insolation is not keeping up with transfer through the atmosphere to space.

    • How heat gets transferred vertically in the ocean seems to be a bit of a mystery, well the models can’t do it anyways. apparently it is associated with mesoscale eddies in certain regions.

      • Tomas Milanovic

        I guess you refer to papers like that : http://www.math.nyu.edu/caos_teaching/ocean_dynamics/reading/wunsch_ferrari04.pdf
        I quote
        Whether ocean circulation models, either simple box or full numerical ones, neither explicitly accounting for the energy input into the system nor providing for spatial variability in the mixing, have any physical relevance under changed climate conditions is at issue.

        It is always the same thing.
        Not taking seriously spatial variability leads to miss and misunderstand chaotic oceanic oscillations which are the main cause for internal variability as has been relentlessly reminded on Climate Etc.
        But I was less aware how hugely spatially heterogeneous the vertical sections are.
        Apparently the vertical energy transport is much more complex than we previously thought ;)
        But here the conséquences are even more worrying because this plays havoc not only with the dynamics but also with the energy budgets.

      • Actually I have been talking to my colleague Annalisa Bracco, ace dynamical oceanographer. Her publications are at

        http://www.o3d.org/abracco/publications.html

      • Hmmm

        You’re in a Frivolous mood this morning Judith. Shouldn’t you be going through ar5 word by word whilst shaking your head and groaning?

        Tonyb

      • Hmmmm . . . is that URL correct?

      • fixed, thanks for catching!

      • Dan

        Looks ok to me, in fact it’s one of the most sensible pieces of research I’ve seen on climate change for a long time. We need putting out of our misery…

        Tonyb

      • Who is going to sign the DNR?

      • The premise is that the dispersive effects of diffusion will swamp out all the other effects that one can imagine. So we formulate a strategy that diffusion proceeds over a range of rates, uncertainty qualified by max entropy, and then solve the heat equation. Don’t worry about Navier-Stokes because those terms will all cancel out.

        The result is this:

        http://theoilconundrum.blogspot.com/2013/03/ocean-heat-content-model.html

        This nails the principle features of the OHC observations, in terms of slopes and proportion of heat gained over different intervals. It is an outgrowth of James Hansen’s conception that he outlined in 1981.

        J. Hansen, D. Johnson, A. Lacis, S. Lebedeff, P. Lee, D. Rind, and G. Russell, “Climate impact of increasing atmospheric carbon dioxide,” Science, vol. 213 (4511), pp. 957–966, 1981.

        Then we close the circle by applying Hansen’s forcing function from the recent paper. This is the heat that enters the system using the ocean’s surface as a boundary condition.
        J. Hansen, M. Sato, P. Kharecha, and K. von Schuckmann, “Earth’s energy imbalance and implications,” Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, vol. 11, no. 24, pp. 13421–13449, Dec. 2011.

      • There’s a huge, well-known difference between the mixed layer and those below the thermocline. Super-ace dynamicist Wunsch describes the uncertainties thusly: “The coexistence in the deep ocean of a finite, stable stratification, a strong meridional overturning circulation, and mesoscale eddies raises complex questions concerning the circulation energetics. In particular, small-scale mixing processes are necessary to resupply the potential energy removed in the interior by the overturning
        and eddy-generating process. A number of lines of evidence, none complete, suggest
        that the oceanic general circulation, far from being a heat engine, is almost wholly
        governed by the forcing of the wind field and secondarily by deep water tides. In detail
        however, the budget of mechanical energy input into the ocean is poorly constrained.
        The now inescapable conclusion that over most of the ocean significant “vertical”
        mixing is confined to topographically complex boundary areas implies a potentially
        radically different interior circulation than is possible with uniform mixing.

  78. Tomas Milanovic

    Thanks for that info Judith
    Didn’t know Analisa Bracco.
    But I surely like http://www.o3d.org/abracco/climdyn2012.pdf which builds on Ghil et generalises the famous Tsonis paper.
    Perhaps too empirical like every method which only looks for spatial correlations (EOF like) but has no power to say something about the dynamics. But it is definitely better to know or suspect spatial areas of signification rather than to average everything and know nothing.

    Perhaps more interesting is http://www.o3d.org/abracco/inga_jgr.pdf.
    This definitely put at rest my investigation of a naive 1D toy model based on the heat equation. I tried it because it’s very easy to do but suspected that it was too far from the reality to give any relevant results.
    As the diffusion coefficients vary spatially by orders of magnitude and the thermohaline circulation is forced by the wind boundary conditions, Navier Stokes is necessary and the toy model leads nowhere.

    The encouraging (at least for me) result is that I discover more and more papers which acknowledge that the only right way to progress in understanding the climate is to stop averaging everything and study seriously the patterns of the spatio-temporal dynamics and their interactions at the local or meso scale level.
    Once that program is achieved it will be trivial to average the results if spatially averaged variables interested somebody.

    • Current science is running circles around Tomas.

      One tries to make connections, and if those connections are solid, you retain that information and see where it takes you. Network connectivity is the way that Tsonis proceeds with his analysis — much too mathematically pretentious but it is still connection-based.

      So all that people like Tsonis are doing is deconstructing the complexity that exists. From there, one deconstruction route is to make a connection between the global temperature record and some other behavior. If we are lucky we can remove that complexifying feature and replace it with something else that we can handle, or that we can partition off. In the latter case, it is a matter of encapsulating the complexity as a separate feature.

      The exciting prospect is to tie the temperature record to the Southern Oscillation Index, which appears to not have any long term non-stationary trend.

      All I do is a simple connection — mapping the global temperature record to the SOI record. Then add the connection to volcanic disturbances. There you have it — Tsonis simplified. And the AGW signal is exposed.

      The same thing with OHC, you simplify the model and see if it can explain the data. And it certainly can:

      http://theoilconundrum.blogspot.com/2013/03/ocean-heat-content-model.html

    • Thomas

      You said;

      ‘The encouraging (at least for me) result is that I discover more and more papers which acknowledge that the only right way to progress in understanding the climate is to stop averaging everything and study seriously the patterns of the spatio-temporal dynamics and their interactions at the local or meso scale level.”

      Do you agree that must include ‘global’ average land temperatures; global average sea levels and Global average SSTs?

      Tonyb

      • Tomas Milanovic

        Tonyb

        I am not sure to understand your question.
        If you understand correctly local dynamics, then it is a trivial matter to compute any kind of spatial or temporal averages if you find it of interest.
        The converse is of course not possible because to a given average corresponds an infinity of different dynamics having the same average.
        In some cases some averages have themselves special properties (like in statistical thermodynamics) but this is definitely not the case of Navier Stokes and more generally of non equilibrium physics which governs the climate dynamics.
        Averaging is filtering and if you average over the whole Earth surface you just filter out everything of interest.

    • If oceanography was simply a computational exercise, great expense and effort devoted to obtaining in situ measurements could be avoided. Yet what such data usually show is that computational models avoid entire dimensions of physical reality.

  79. Tomas

    That was precisely my point.

    A global average is meaningless . For example in the UK the temperature has been declining sharply for a decade but the decrease is hidden by increases elsewhere in the world. We need to look at each region and see what is occurring in each of them, perhaps using the Koppen classification

    http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/hadobs/hadcet/

    Similarly Ocean basins are each reacting to sea level Changes in different ways,, some are rising sharply whilst others are slightly falling. This is hidden by those showing a sharp increase.

    A global average HIDES all the many nuances of the global climate. We need to look more closely at each matrix

    tonyb

    • Tomas Milanovic and TonyB +1

      Global averages are artifacts with limited value for analysis and/or prediction purposes. Climate studies should be more meteorologically based and focussing on the need of agricultural regions to have access to reliable medium range weather forecasts.

  80. Here is a nice perspective of Ocean Temperature changes since 1955 (surface, 0-700 metre, 0-2000 metre) and then what they will get to in the year 2100.

    The 0-2000 metre ocean will increase from 0.065C today to 0.22C in the year 2100. It is (not quite) relentless but it is certainly negligible.

    It is being used extensively by the pro-warmers now because they can chart it as a line going up (by squeezing the X-axis scale to +/-0.05C) and it provides a certain amount of solace to the followers. But it is far lower than previously predicted and far lower than what would provide for substantial warming.

  81. Pingback: Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup | Watts Up With That?

  82. There is evidence AGAINST any missing heat. N.G. Loeb et al, Nature Geoscience 2012, DOI: 10.1038/NGEO1375 find that the heat uptake by the oceans as measured by ARGO and earlier ship bathythermometers is pretty much exactly equal to the imbalance in outgoing radiation as measured by satellites over the past 20 years. The results are somewhat dependent on assumptions in the data treatment but everything is out in the open and makes sense. So missing heat will not only need to be missing, it may even violate the First Law of Thermodynamics, having materialized wraithlike from nothing.

    Also very interesting is the fact that the measured imbalance is only 0.5 watt/square-meter, far less than the computed 2.3 watt/square-meter we are supposed to have jacked into the atmosphere. This means that, assuming the forcing calculations are correct, we have accommodated most of the forcing to date in the climate system. It further means that future atmospheric global warming from the imbalance will be about 0.4 deg C if the climate sensitivity is 3 degrees for doubling (doubling = 3.7 watt/square-meter) or about 0.1 deg C if the sensitivity is 1 degree for doubling. I would bet on the latter.

    • The imbalance isn’t the only thing the forcing changes. It also changes surface temperatures and there has been warming. So the difference between the forcing and imbalance is the added outgoing radiation from the warming (the Planck response). In equilibrium the imbalance goes to zero and the warming stops, but so far the warming is playing catch-up (the imbalance).

  83. JC : Well, Lubos Motl has done the arithmetic in this post Ocean heat content: relentless but negligible [] The punchline of his calculations: the heating in the layer 0-2000 m translates to 0.065 C +/- 20%. [over 45 years]

    So, can anyone figure out why 0.06C is a big deal for the climate?

    I asked Realclimate. When I checked the next day, my question was nowhere to be seen, but there were though three question-ducking / dismissive replies to it.

    I guess that means they have no real answer.
    And that their commitment to one-sidedness has not faltered, open debate just too scary.

    • Rene Cheront

      This suggests a public-service idea: perhaps CE could run a separate section called something like Issues RealClimate is Trying to Bury

  84. Chris Knight

    What if there’s another explanation, bringing in our old friend Arctic (and perhaps Antarctic) sea ice?

    Now I won’t do the maths here (others can check it), but at each pole, annually, the equivalent of about 5 ZettaJoules (5 * 10^21J) of energy is taken from the ocean, and lost to space as long wave IR (directly or via GHGs). That adds up to about 10ZJ per year. It could have been much more some years. It is an approximate figure because we do not know with any certainty the actual volume of ice, only the extent lost over the last 34 years. Before that we are only guessing. Our only other clue is that the atmosphere has had an apparent excess of energy which many fine people spend countless hours trying to account for.

    In the last 50 years, we have carelessly lost some of the deeper parts of both our poles’ sea ice that was fastened to the sea bed, which, instead of being fixed as shelves, has floated to a watery finish at each of the polar oceans’ surface, during the summers, as it would. Pessimists have watched with gloom and doom as the free remnants reform and diminish to ever unobserved low or high extents each year.

    This lost submerged ice is unable to cool deeper passing cold ocean currents as it once did, so these are running fractionally less cold than they were previously (to the order of about 5 ZJ/year over 40 years apparently). This has had consequences in an increased rate of sea level rise and on the energy budget of the polar regions generally, where ice caps and glaciers have lost up to about another 10 ZJ in total over the same 40 years.

    Now there is perhaps little more fast ice to lose, and another quasi-equilibrium has been established, as those deeper oceans react to their greater energetic load.

  85. Pingback: The ocean heat graph (Part 1) | The IPCC Report

  86. I find the graph at: http://oceans.pmel.noaa.gov/ explaining it all. Ever since the ARGO-buoys have been collecting data, no evident warming of the oceans (uppermost 700 m) has occurred. The earlier data is very heterogeneous due to variations in sampling methods, sampling periods and stations and therefore does not fulfil the requirements of continuous systematic sampling covering all oceans.

    What bothers me more is related to the IPCC statement that global warming has stopped because the excess energy has “decided” to vanish into deep water. I wonder what kind of process is capable of deciding that 15-16 years ago a new process was introduced.

    Furthermore, the IPCC explains that global warming is due to increase in greenhouse gases (mainly CO2), but this warming is attributed to infra-red back-radiation. I also understand that infra red does not penetrate into water beyond the very thin uppermost surface “film”, and also that this energy will obviously be used to evaporate water and will not actually increase the water temperature.

  87. Pingback: Judith Curry and the Ocean Heat Content | And Then There's Physics

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