Cause of hiatus found deep in the Atlantic Ocean

by Judith Curry

Rapid warming in the last three decades of the 20th century, they found, was roughly half due to global warming and half to the natural Atlantic Ocean cycle that kept more heat near the surface. When observations show the ocean cycle flipped, the current began to draw heat deeper into the ocean, working to counteract human-driven warming. – Chen and Tung

An important new paper has been published in Science, by Chen and Tung.

Excerpts from the press release (which was emailed to me by KK Tung):

Following rapid warming in the late 20th century, this century has so far seen surprisingly little increase in the average temperature at the Earth’s surface. At first this was a blip, then a trend, then a puzzle for the climate science community.

New research from the University of Washington shows that the heat absent from the surface is plunging deep in the north and south Atlantic Ocean, and is part of a naturally occurring cycle.

Subsurface ocean warming explains why global average air temperatures have flatlined since 1999, despite greenhouse gases trapping more solar heat at the Earth’s surface.

“Every week there’s a new explanation of the hiatus,” said corresponding author Ka-Kit Tung, a UW professor of applied mathematics and adjunct faculty member in atmospheric sciences. “Many of the earlier papers had necessarily focused on symptoms at the surface of the Earth, where we see many different and related phenomena. We looked at observations in the ocean to try to find the underlying cause.”

The results show that a slow-moving current in the Atlantic, which carries heat between the two poles, sped up earlier this century to draw heat down almost a mile (1,500 meters).

“The finding is a surprise, since the current theories had pointed to the Pacific Ocean as the culprit for hiding heat,” Tung said. “But the data are quite convincing and they show otherwise.”

Tung and co-author Xianyao Chen of the Ocean University of China, who was a UW visiting professor last year, used recent observations of deep-sea temperatures from Argo floats that sample the water down to 6,500 feet (2,000 meters) depth. The data show an increase in heat sinking around 1999, when the rapid warming of the 20th century stopped.

“There are recurrent cycles that are salinity-driven that can store heat deep in the Atlantic and Southern oceans,” Tung said. “After 30 years of rapid warming in the warm phase, now it’s time for the cool phase.”

Rapid warming in the last three decades of the 20th century, they found, was roughly half due to global warming and half to the natural Atlantic Ocean cycle that kept more heat near the surface. When observations show the ocean cycle flipped, the current began to draw heat deeper into the ocean, working to counteract human-driven warming.

The cycle starts when saltier, denser water at the surface northern part of the Atlantic, near Iceland, causes the water to sink. This changes the speed of the huge current in the Atlantic Ocean that circulates heat throughout the planet.

“When it’s heavy water on top of light water, it just plunges very fast and takes heat with it,” Tung said. Recent observations at the surface in the North Atlantic show record-high saltiness, Tung said, while at the same time, deeper water in the North Atlantic shows increasing amounts of heat.

The authors dug up historical data to show that the cooling in the three decades between 1945 to 1975 – which caused people to worry about the start of an Ice Age – was during a cooling phase. (It was thought to be caused by air pollution.) Earlier records in Central England show the 40- to 70-year cycle goes back centuries, and other records show it has existed for millennia. Changes in Atlantic Ocean circulation historically meant roughly 30 warmer years followed by 30 cooler years. Now that it is happening on top of global warming, however, the trend looks more like a staircase.

The temperature oscillations have a natural switch. During the warm period, faster currents cause more tropical water to travel to the North Atlantic, warming both the surface and the deep water. At the surface this warming melts ice. This eventually makes the surface water there less dense and after a few decades puts the brakes on the circulation, setting off a 30-year cooling phase.

This explanation implies that the current slowdown in global warming could last for another decade, or longer, and then rapid warming will return. But Tung emphasizes it’s hard to predict what will happen next.

A pool of freshwater from melting ice, now sitting in the Arctic Ocean, could overflow into the North Atlantic to upset the cycle.

“We are not talking about a normal situation because there are so many other things happening due to climate change,” Tung said. 

Here is information on the paper itself:

Varying planetary heat sink led to global warming slowdown and acceleration

Xianyao Chen and Ka-Kit Tung

Abstract.  A vacillating global heat sink at intermediate ocean depths is associated with different climate regimes of surface warming under anthropogenic forcing: The latter part of the 20th century saw rapid global warming as more heat stayed near the surface. In the 21st century, surface warming slowed as more heat moved into deeper oceans. In situ and reanalyzed data are used to trace the pathways of ocean heat uptake. In addition to the shallow La Niña–like patterns in the Pacific that were the previous focus, we found that the slowdown is mainly caused by heat transported to deeper layers in the Atlantic and the Southern oceans, initiated by a recurrent salinity anomaly in the subpolar North Atlantic. Cooling periods associated with the latter deeper heat-sequestration mechanism historically lasted 20 to 35 years.

Here are some excerpts that explain the mechanism:

A mechanism that can account for the speed with which heat penetrates to such great depths is deep convection caused by vertical density differences. Salinity changes at subpolar North Atlantic are known to affect deep-water formation to initiate such an ocean circulation shift. The salinity there  shifted to a positive anomaly that penetrated vertically to 1500 m very rapidly in the 21st century, reaching historically high values sincemeasurements began. This is in contrast to the negative anomaly during the prior three decades, when surface warming was rapid. Because the ocean data were less sparse in the North Atlantic, we extend the plot back to 1950 and reveal that the salinity anomaly was also positive before 1970, during another episode of surface hiatus. These salinity shifts correspond well in timing to the OHC shifts, which are also coincident with surface transitions from global-warming slowdown to rapid warming and then to the current slowdown, with intervals between shifts lasting about three decades. 

There is no accepted single theory, but theoretical explanations of these vacillating regime shifts mostly involve variations of the AMOC (Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation). Because of excessive evaporation, tropical surface water is more saline. A faster AMOC tends to transport more saline water to the North Atlantic subpolar region, where it loses some heat to the cold atmosphere and sinks. The heat from the transported tropical water tends to melt more ice, which makes the surface water in the subpolar regions less dense. These two effects oppose each other. Eventually the fresh water from ice melts wins out. The less dense water then slows the AMOC after a few years lag. A slower AMOC then transports less tropical saline water northward, and the opposing phase of the cycle commences. Other versions of the mechanism are also available. Because the record for the AMOC strength is short (only since 2004), the above scenario cannot be verified observationally. Although there is very little trend in the OHC in the subpolar North Atlantic where the salinity induced vacillation cycle dominates, there is a linear OHC trend equatorward of 45°N and °S in the Atlantic basin (including the Southern Ocean) (fig. S6), which is likely anthropogenically forced. This secular increase in OHC is not associated with a corresponding trend in salinity. It reflects mainly the increase in greenhouse heating from above and does not necessarily reflect the speed of the heat transport by the AMOC. In the Pacific, there is again very little heat-uptake trend.

Figure_6_news_1

How could the Pacific SST cool when the heat sink was located in other ocean basins? Why didn’t the Atlantic SST simply cool as heat was being subducted in its basin? The Atlantic SST and its upper layers did start to cool after its subpolar salinity peaked and then started to decrease after 2006. Before 2006, our warm salt subduction mechanism does not allow the Atlantic to cool when its subpolar salinity was increasing, because poleward transport of warm salty water and increasing subpolar subduction are parts of the same mechanism of enhanced AMOC upper-ocean transport. During this first part of the hiatus period, the heat deficit must be transferred to other ocean basins, mostly to the Pacific because it is the only other major ocean basin in the Northern Hemisphere, likely through the atmosphere. Zhang and Delworth  and Zhang et al. showed by using models that, as the northward surface heat transport by the AMOC is increased, the global atmospheric heat transport decreases in compensation (and vice versa), providing a multidecadal component to the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO). Thus, almost “synchronized” hemisphere-wide atmospheric changes are possible (30; stadium wave reference). 

JC reflections

This paper represents an important piece of the puzzle regarding the hiatus.  The other two pieces that I think are important are:

As identified in the stadium wave analysis, the Atlantic Ocean is the driver, with the Pacific being the slave – the basins are linked as per the stadium wave arguments.  The new paper provides a mechanism linking this to vacillations in the sequestration of heat in the ocean.

While Chen and Tung’s argument and mechanism is convincing, it is not at all clear to me from the paper that the amount of heat sequestered in the ocean is commensurate with the TOA radiative imbalance and the amount of heat that would be required to keep the surface temperatures from increasing in the presence of increasing anthropogenic greenhouse forcing.  I suspect that the Atlantic sequestration impact is amplified by atmospheric circulation changes that change the cloud distribution that change both the TOA and surface radiation balances.  In any event, I regard Chen and Tung’s contribution of a puzzle piece to be a keeper as we continue to work to unravel the hiatus attribution.

There are two remarkable statements in the press release:

Rapid warming in the last three decades of the 20th century, they found, was roughly half due to global warming and half to the natural Atlantic Ocean cycle that kept more heat near the surface.

The authors dug up historical data to show that the cooling in the three decades between 1945 to 1975 – which caused people to worry about the start of an Ice Age – was during a cooling phase. (It was thought to be caused by air pollution.)

I searched the paper and did not find any discussion/arguments directly related to these.  That said, these statements certainly fit in with my own understanding, and seem heretical to the IPCC consensus attribution statement.  I am wondering why these statements, and supporting analyses, did not appear in the journal article (I can certainly imagine several reasons).

So here is my summary conclusion on this paper.  The Chen and Tung paper is an important link in our understanding, and changes in the Atlantic Ocean heat storage seem to explain the shape of the global surface variations since the end of the Little Ice Age (circa 1850).  As per stadium wave analysis, prior analogue periods to the current hiatus are ~1940-1976,  and (1880) – 1915.   Explaining these previous hiatus periods in context of Atlantic Ocean circulation changes makes much more sense to me than the aerosol forcing argument.

That said, the hiatus since 1998 is warmer than the previous two hiatus periods (the so called stair step), so this brings us back to wondering about ‘coming out’ of the Little Ice Age.  Anthropogenic warming does not explain why the 21st century hiatus is warmer than the mid 20th century hiatus which is warmer than the turn of the 20th century hiatus.  The sun, or longer term ocean vacillations/oscillations are candidates, with some ‘juicing’ in the latter quarter of the 20th century by anthropogenic greenhouse warming.

The IPCC AR5 states:

It is extremely likely that more than half of the observed increase in global average surface temperature from 1951 to 2010 was caused by the anthropogenic increase in greenhouse gas concentrations and other anthropogenic forcings together. The best estimate of the human induced contribution to warming is similar to the observed warming over this period.

In the absence of a convincing explanation for warming since the mid 19th century, as well as the multi-decade hiatus periods, I find the extremely likely confidence level to be logically insupportable.

JC message to Gavin Schmidt (as per our discussion on Dan Kahan’s blog):  No I am not making things up re the 50-50 attribution argument.  I regard it as a fundamental flaw in logic to infer high confidence in attribution since 1950, without understanding the warming in the early part of the 20th century and the mid century hiatus.

UPDATE via email from KK Tung:

Dear Judy,
Thank you for the informative piece. Some replies to the questions you raised there:
“While Chen and Tung’s argument and mechanism is convincing, it is not at all clear to me from the paper that the amount of heat sequestered in the ocean is commensurate with the TOA radiative imbalance and the amount of heat that would be required to keep the surface temperatures from increasing in the presence of increasing anthropogenic greenhouse forcing.”

The first part concerning Trenberth’s “missing heat” debate, which is to reconcile the very uncertain TOA radiative imbalance measured by satellites with ocean heat content increase. See the paper by Loeb et al 2012 in Nature. http://www.nature.com/ngeo/journal/v5/n2/abs/ngeo1375.html
which basically says that there is no statistically significant inconsistency between the two given the uncertainties. Also it is not that relevant to our current problem of finding where the heat that would have warmed the surface has gone. To answer this question there is no need to use the TOA measurements. To answer the second part of your question, we addressed this in the paper as

Globally, an additional 0.69× 1023 J has been sequestered since 1999 in the 300- to 1500-m layer by 2012 (Fig. 1A), which, if absent, would have made the upper 300 m warm as fast as the upper 1500 m since 1999. Because the latter has an uninterrupted positive trend, there would have been no slowdown of the warming of the surface or the upper layers. Therefore, the enhanced ocean heat sink is the main cause for the current slowing in surface warming.

The statement of Rapid warming in the last three decades of the 20th century, they found, was roughly half due to global warming and half to the natural Atlantic Ocean cycle that kept more heat near the surface. was written by the reporter using results from our PNAS paper 2013.

“That said, the hiatus since 1998 is warmer than the previous two hiatus periods (the so called stair step), so this brings us back to wondering about ‘coming out’ of the Little Ice Age. Anthropogenic warming does not explain why the 21st century hiatus is warmer than the mid 20th century hiatus which is warmer than the turn of the 20th century hiatus. The sun, or longer term ocean vacillations/oscillations are candidates, with some ‘juicing’ in the latter quarter of the 20th century by anthropogenic greenhouse warming.”

The anthropogenic warming I think is what causes the staircases to rise. Because of global warming, the current stair step is higher than the previous step. It is not from coming out of the Little Ice Age or the Sun, as Tung and Zhou discussed in our PNAS paper.

Link to PNAS paper [here]. 

UPDATE #2 via email from KK Tung

Dear Judy,

The argument on the roughly 50-50 attribution of the forced vs unforced warming for the last two and half decades of the 20th century is actually quite simple. If one is blaming internal variability for canceling out the anthropogenically forced warming during the current hiatus, one must admit that the former is not negligible compared to the latter, and the two are probably roughly of the same magnitude. Then when the internal cycle is of the different sign in the latter part of the 20th century, it must have added to the forced response. Assuming the rate of forced warming has not changed during the period concerned, then the two combined must be roughly twice the forced warming during the last two and half decades of the 20th century.

Gavin was incorrect to say that Tung and Zhou (2013) assumed that anthropogenic warming response is linear. We did not assume that. The method uses a linear function in the intermediate step. If the actual anthropogenic warming response is not linear, the difference will remain in the residual and it was added back. In fact we repeated the calculation using many different but reasonable nonlinear functions in the intermediate step and obtained approximately the same result.

—KK

421 responses to “Cause of hiatus found deep in the Atlantic Ocean

  1. Regarding the anthropogenic aerosol forcing argument, that appears to be blown out of the water by a paper published today in JGR-Atmospheres:

    New paper finds changes in cloud cover caused global brightening & dimming, not man-made aerosols

    http://hockeyschtick.blogspot.com/2014/08/new-paper-finds-changes-in-cloud-cover.html

  2. Thanks Judy.
    We can count on you to point us to science progress in the climate arena with a dash of scepticism and common sense. Good luck with the argument w Gavin Schmidt. The accusation that you are making stuff up is unworthy of him.
    Scott

    • “The accusation that you are making stuff up is unworthy of him.” I always got the impression that Gavin himself is unconvinced but feels the need to support those he (wrongly) sees as his betters (Michael Mann). My guess is that by accusing Judith of “making things up” he is simply trying to get brownie points from Michael Mann by being tough on Judith. He could also be being rude to Judith because she has crossed the bridge he himself knows he should have crossed years ago and knows the implications of that for him. But |I don’t know that.

      Either way, these papers are good to discuss, but y’know they’re all aimed at supporting the theory, and that isn’t how science works. Science is the art of dispensing with theories to get to the truth.

    • “The accusation that you are making stuff up is unworthy of him.”

      Unworthy in what sense? He said, he owns it. Stylistically, it seems quite consistent.

  3. Is there a non-paywalled copy of the Science paper?

  4. “it is not at all clear to me from the paper that the amount of heat sequestered in the ocean is commensurate with the TOA radiative imbalance and the amount of heat that would be required to keep the surface temperatures from increasing in the presence of increasing anthropogenic greenhouse forcing.”

    FItting the 0-2000 m ocean heat content with a line, I find the slope since the data begins (March 2005) is 0.56 W/m2. That’s in the same ballpark as Loet et al, Nat Geo 2012:

    http://www.nature.com/ngeo/journal/v5/n2/abs/ngeo1375.html

    which they say is consistent with the known net TOA flux. Add whatever’s going into the deeper ocean (Balmaseda et al, GRL 2013; graph here:

    http://davidappell.blogspot.com/2013/03/missing-energy-claimed-to-be-found.html)

    and you’re getting close.

    How much heat can be stored at the surface, anyway? Strictly speaking, it’s 2-dimensional (OK, very nearly), and can’t hold much heat anyway (as RP Sr has pointed out many times).

  5. Most good libraries and almost all university libraries will have a hard copy of Science and electronic subscriptions.
    Scott

    • Thanks Scott. That’s my plan C, but it’s a bit of a drive to my university library. Not that I’m lazy … well, actually it *is* because I’m lazy.

  6. nottawa rafter

    Why is the mechanism described in the paper apply only to the Atlantic and not the Pacific? How is the Atlantic so different that it appears to be singular in transporting heat this way?

    • Its the overall salinity; higher salinity is more conducive to deep water formation. Too much precip in the Pacific makes the ocean overall fresher and more difficult to initiate deep convection in the ocean. That is the simple explanation anyways.

    • Presumably because, as the accompanying news story by Eli Knitish says,

      “A key heat storage mechanism, they say, is the ‘conveyor belt’ current that moves salty tropical water to the North Atlantic, where it sinks, carrying heat with it.”

    • The Atlantic changes have a larger impact on global surface temperature due to the land amplification in the 30N to 60N latitudes. Since the average land temperature is lower and dryer than the SST, warming and cooling anomalies are larger for a given amount of energy transfer from the oceans, latent and sensible. , This is basically the reason why global mean surface temperature is being recognized as a poor metric.

    • The Atlantic is quite narrow, therefore one would expect an increase in vertical flow due to the more vertically skewed aspect ratio of Atlantic basin vs Pacific basin. Also, the Atlantic extends unobstructed into the Arctic, therefore has a greater effect on transporting heat from the tropics to the poles and ultimately to space.

      It wasn’t until the Atlantic was closed to the Pacific at Panama that the great northern glaciers began to form, so it makes conceptual sense that the narrow basin with more north-south reach acts as a system modulator.

  7. “it is not at all clear to me from the paper that the amount of heat sequestered in the ocean is commensurate with the TOA radiative imbalance and the amount of heat that would be required to keep the surface temperatures from increasing in the presence of increasing anthropogenic greenhouse forcing.”

    Fitting the 0-2000 m ocean heat content with a line, I find the slope since the data begins (March 2005) is 0.56 W/m2. That’s in the same ballpark as Loet et al, Nat Geo 2012:

    http://www.nature.com/ngeo/journal/v5/n2/abs/ngeo1375.html

    which they say is consistent with the known net TOA flux. Add whatever’s going into the deeper ocean (Balmaseda et al, GRL 2013; graph here:

    http://davidappell.blogspot.com/2013/03/missing-energy-claimed-to-be-found.html)

    and you’re getting close.

    Anyway, much heat can be stored at the surface? Strictly speaking, it’s 2-dimensional (OK, very nearly), and can’t hold much heat anyway (as RP Sr has pointed out many times).

    • Wunsch et al give a different estimate. What do you make of that?

    • So, if the Top of the Atmosphere flux is 0.57 watts per M2, then a slight increase in surface temperature erases the flux, right? How much does the surface temperature have to increase to balance that flux, other factors being held constant? about 0.3 degrees C? I´m just checking if my computational intuition works, so please don´t laugh if I´m wrong.

  8. Not even nature has a voice in the government-education institutions. Even so, if we adjust the data to account for the impact of, exaggeration and alarmism, appeals to authority, appeals to fear, appeals to prejudice, demonizing those that disagree, name-calling, oversimplification, all of which we’ve seen coming from government scientists, we may be faced with a “decline” and “fall” in the average temperature of the Earth and not a hiatus or pause–i.e., a cooling instead of a warming globe.

    • “…a cooling instead of a warming globe.”

      If the globe is cooling,
      1) why is sea level still rising?
      2) why is ice melt accelerating?

      These are macro indicators no one can fake.

      • The seas can’t be rising. Obama took credit for the seas not rising.

        Moreover, looking further than your backyards — e.g., adding accumulation of ice in both hemispheres together — the amount of ice has been growing.

        The Left wants to remake America. Mostly we hear about the instances of someone trying to break into America for a better life and not about public school teachers managing to break America. And yet, the Left continues to use mathematical models to indulge the fiction that Americanism is the problem in the world (How accurate are these models? See–e.g., Global warming computer models confounded as Antarctic).

      • “Moreover, looking further than your backyards — e.g., adding accumulation of ice in both hemispheres together — the amount of ice has been growing.”

        Where is that data?

      • We hear a great deal about the decline in Arctic sea ice, in line with or even ahead of predictions.

        But why are environmentalists and scientists so much less keen to discuss the long-term increase in the southern hemisphere?

        In fact, across the globe, there are about one million square kilometers more sea ice than 35 years ago, which is when satellite measurements began.

        It’s fair to say that this has been something of an embarrassment for climate modelers. ~Andrew Montford

      • Andrew Montford has been proven to be not credible. You can’t reference actual evidence that the total amount of global ice is increasing because it is not true. If you actually really believe it is, I have a bridge I could sell to you.

      • Real But Exaggerated

        “where is that data?”

        Yeah – not much trend:

        Ice melt is not such a good indicator – only occurs a few months a year in the polar regions where most of it is, and sea ice is subject to motion.

        Arctic sea ice is melting faster during summer because it’s mostly young ice now, but it has been older in the past and I believe it may accumulate in the future.

      •  

        Global warming alarmists cannot simply deny the Antarctica exists because its existence is inconvenient. The latest amount of Antarctic sea ice hit a new record –i.e., the largest amount since 1979 (when accurate measurements were even possible, using satellites):

        In its authoritative Fifth Assessment Report released last year, the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change admitted that the computer models on which scientists base their projections say Antarctic ice should be in decline, not increasing. ~David Rose (see ibid)</blockquote

      • Why is the tide gauge sea level barely rising?

        Why is the satellite sea level only rising north of New Guinea (and a few nearby areas)?

        http://sealevel.colorado.edu/content/map-sea-level-trends

      • “1) why is sea level still rising?”

        That’s what happens during an interglacial, sea level rises and ice melts, until the onset of the next ice age. During the last interglacial, sea levels were 31 feet higher and Greenland was 8C warmer, even before SUVs; there is no evidence this interglacial is any different. There’s no evidence of acceleration, therefore no evidence of anthropogenic influence on sea level rise for the past 20,000 years. Sea level rise according to Cazenave et al and Chen et al and Holgate is decelerating

        http://hockeyschtick.blogspot.com/2014/03/new-paper-finds-global-sea-level-rise.html

        http://hockeyschtick.blogspot.com/2013/11/new-paper-finds-sea-level-rise-has.html

        “2) why is ice melt accelerating?”

        Worldwide glacier melt has decelerated since 1950, another inconvenient truth:

        http://hockeyschtick.blogspot.com/2014/04/new-paper-finds-worldwide-glacier.html

        “These are macro indicators no one can fake”

        Actually, there is a lot of fakery going on with temperature records, satellite altimetry, etc.

        http://hockeyschtick.blogspot.com/2013/10/satellite-sea-level-data-has-been.html

        http://hockeyschtick.blogspot.com/2012/04/analysis-finds-satellite-data-has-been.html

        http://hockeyschtick.blogspot.com/2010/03/more-ex-post-adjustments-to-satellite.html

        etc etc

      • From a purely theoretical standpoint….. it ocurred to me there´s a need to understand the volumetric behavior of water as it absorbs CO2. In other words, we know pH is dropping, which tells us dissolved CO2 is increasing. So what´s the effect on the volume of that water mass with increased CO2? Do you have the Pressure-Volume-Temperature data, or an equation of state to estimate specific volume at changing salinities?

        I must confess I´m completely ignorant of the volumetric behavior of sea water at low temperatures, all my work with CO2 and sea water, and/or brine has been done at much higher temperature and pressure.

      • 1] the rate of sea level rise is in fact decelerating [see sat data]
        2] which ice is melting? We have now seen several years of successive Antarctic sea ice records, and in the Arctic [take out the storm induced 2012 anomaly] sea ice levels turned the corner in 2007, with more and thicker [multi year] ice every year since.

      • @ Fernando Leanme

        “In other words, we know pH is dropping, which tells us dissolved CO2 is increasing.”

        The question is, how MUCH is it rising and what will the PH be in, say 100 years, if we continue to consume fossil fuels as needed, with NO consideration as to the resulting ‘carbon signature’?

        In other words, what is the maximum feasible impact on ocean PH of our fossil fuel consumption?

        Are we maintaining that we are absolutely raising the PH of the oceans, exactly like I am absolutely raising the ‘Temperature of the Earth’ by cooking a hamburger on my grill? Or are we arguing that if we don’t stop, we will have to start making ships out of ceramics to prevent them from dissolving during ocean transits, while the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets shrink to zero as my grandkids watch and stake out their claims to the rich farmland just outside the thriving suburbs of Qaanaaq?

      • @ Fernando Leanme

        Typo: “The question is, how MUCH is it rising ………”

        Replace rising with falling.

      • me | August 21, 2014 at 4:57 pm |
        Andrew Montford has been proven to be not credible.

        Can you back that up, or have you merely just shown yourself to be not credible again?

      • Bob Ludwick | August 22, 2014 at 2:12 pm |
        @ Fernando Leanme

        “In other words, we know pH is dropping, which tells us dissolved CO2 is increasing.”

        You do realize that you could dissolve 100% of the atmospheric CO2 into the oceans and you would be hard pressed to measure a change in pH, don’t you?

        Less than 3m of ocean contain more CO2 than all of the atmosphere above it, and the average depth of our oceans is 4km! Our oceans contain more than 4000x’s the concentration of CO2 than our atmosphere, and are buffered by millions of square miles of limestone and other carbon absorbing minerals. This “Ocean Acidification” nonsense is a non-starter and simply displays utter ignorance of the fools touting it.


      • Less than 3m of ocean contain more CO2 than all of the atmosphere above it, and the average depth of our oceans is 4km! Our oceans contain more than 4000x’s the concentration of CO2 than our atmosphere

        And that’s why CO2 has a positive feedback mechanism on warming. Henry’s Law and the van ‘t Hoff equation quantify this effect.

        Nice OWN GOAL, SquidBoy.

      • squid points out
        that the oceans have 4000 times as much CO2 as the atmosphere, which rules out any danger of ocean acidification.

        WebHubTelescope replies:
        And that’s why CO2 has a positive feedback mechanism on warming. Henry’s Law and the van ‘t Hoff equation quantify this effect.
        Nice OWN GOAL, SquidBoy.

        EH?? Is there some connection between Web’s comment and the point of squid he is responding to ? Or this this just a particularly mindless pretence at point-scoring?

  9. Wait, wait a minute!! I thought the science was settled? Do they mean that the rise of ~0.5 C of that ~0.25 C was from natural cycles? Then what about the math that definitely shows that “just from co2 alone” all of the ~0.5 C can be attributed? Which makes it worse than we thought when you add in other factors like methane, and that is just the bottom of the rise in temps. Isn’t that how AGW stated with such confidence that unless we act NOW, we are facing disaster?

    delta Ts = (-288/4) (-4/240) = 1.2K ~0.5
    ——————————————————–

    Incoming 343/w/m^2
    240/w/m^2

    delta Ts = (-Ts/4) ( delta E/E)

    E(o` Ts^4) =240m^2

    (delta E) (o` Ts^4) = -4w/m^2

    delta E/E = -4/240

    Ts = 288 K

    This is the math n’ est pas?

    • On the other hand, if you go back to 1950, that 0.25 C natural variability cancels with the natural cooling in the first 30 years, and you are left with 0.7 C from 1950-now being all anthropogenic. This is the stair step they refer to. It is very consistent with the IPCC attribution since 1950.

      • you are left with 0.7 C from 1950-now being all anthropogenic.

        Which is equivalent to around 1.3 C between now and 2100. Which leaves plenty of time for remediation, and further science. No reason to kill the Industrial Revolution for “urgent mitigation”.

      • So we can have “natural cooling” but not “natural warming” ?

        You’re down to rotating a single goalpost now, Jimmy old bean

      • Natural cooling cancels natural warming, which is why they call it natural variation. Some people have lost the plot.

      • That’s not the way I understand it. Natural variability is not always 0.25. It is 0.25 because half of the warming is caused by it. In any case you are still left with increased levels of co2 and little or no warming. There are also allegations that past temperature records are being biased downward, and forward temperatures are being revised upwards. If the 0.25 was present when it was colder, and co2 levels were lower then the effect of 0.25 addition of heat would be much greater, therefore warmer. You are assuming that the 0.25 is a steady state? Oscillations aren’t in your universe? Think about what you just said.. half of the warming.. is that 0.7 in addition to the 0.25 or is it now 0.35? Total warming from then to now should be at least 0.95, it isn’t. And by your logic if half is being given back to the oceans then the temperature should have fallen by 0.25 C, making the current rise only 0.25 or 0.35, take your pick. Still the numbers don’t mesh. The math is still wrong, figure out why. It was as warm or warmer during the 1930′s, how much of that was from co2 and natural variability? IPCC is what it is, a political organization with an agenda. Your argument cannot be won on the basis of the math.

    • Curious George

      A standard warmist folly: Let’s compute a temperature of a black body at the Earth’s orbit in a radiative balance. Earth’s temperature is higher than that? It MUST be greenhouse gases.

      That’s a jump to a conclusion. There is so much wrong with that “model”: let the Earth have a finite thermal conductivity, let it rotate, give it a thermal capacity, let it cool down at night and warm up during the day. If you want to be fancy, model a flow of heat from tropics to the poles, or a sequestration of energy by green plants. Don’t serve us a stale 101 Physics stuff.

      • that’s their math not mine. I am comparing the math that AGW has created that supposedly proves the theory and this article that states half of the warming is from something else. How can that be? If true, then the math supporting the theory is flawed… which I’ve been saying for years, for other reasons, not just this one. .

      • Curious George

        I agree with you – except that the math is flawless; it is physics that they got wrong.

      • It is the physics.That’s why the math is wrong, it’s flawless. When was the incoming and outgoing radiation measured? Do you have an idea of how much the percentage of co2 has changed since they measured the outgoing and incoming? If they used the same calculation today would it reflect the reality today? They aren’t saying anything about the retention of heat anymore. It has disappeared from the conservation all together. All those brilliant explanations of UV passing thru and being converted to IR which is retained by the co2. If the amount of heat that was being retained was still rising, don’t you think they’d be screaming about it. OMG, a tipping point. This is their core argument.. Also they have no explanation for the MWP or the LIA in relation to the amount of co2. Neither event could have happened. Admitting either and the math, physics and theory go bye, bye. Which if I keep jumping up on my soap here, will be sooner rather than later. The Great Lakes freezing over is an impossibility according to this math. This ‘flawless’ math is what made them so certain.
        I wonder what they are thinking privately. Since the temps have leveled off, it means that the outgoing and incoming have balanced. And if the oceans are responsible, then what were they doing during the 1998/1999 time frame, by all accounts the warmest year on record? If half the warming is due the ocean dumping heat, then the equation is wrong, and so is the theory and , no surprise, their predictions.

  10. Haven’t read the piece, but is it true the data from the Argo floats show a change in temperature since 1999? Was there any data from any Argo floats in 1999? Is the data from different sources then, and tied together?
    If so, is there a correction factor? Isn’t this a significant error source?

    • ARGO floats were not floating until 2007, but with the proper “adjustments” that period can be extended back a decade or more.

    • Walt, you are right. The Argo buoys were fully deployed by 2003. They show the average temperature of the oceans down to 2000M has not changed.
      Note: Be careful; temperature is what is measured, heat content is derived (calculated) from it. The temperature change can be very small, within experiment error, but the calculated heat change can appear huge.

      • We did have temperature measurements before 2003, but they were a bit less frequent. In 1974 I worked on a NOAA vessel, one of my jobs was to put on a wet suit, get close to the water line and drop expendable bathythermographs as we cruised making transects in the Atlantic. The vessel had to move on a straight line, and this meant the waves could take us a bit sideways, so I used to get wet, and I didn´t drop the XBTs with perfect timing. However, what we measured was close enough. From what I recall, the XBT wires would cut before they reached 700 meters water depth.

  11. Re the gauntlet thrown down at the end there… :-)

    Two points, first, your 50% attribution argument in Curry and Webster (2011) is indeed ‘made-up’. It simply posits two end points (0 and 100%), uses no information to assess their likelihood, and then splits the difference. The same (non-) argument can be used to assign a 50% likelihood to aliens landing in Roswell (either they did or they didn’t – let’s split the difference!) or personal immortality (either I’ll live forever or I won’t – let’s assume each choice is equally likely!). The fallacy in all three cases is in not considering the prior probabilities.

    Second, your jumping on a line in a brand new press release for which there is no actual back up in the paper, smacks of confirmation bias. FYI, the statement is most probably referring to Tung and Zhou (2013): http://depts.washington.edu/amath/old_website/research/articles/Tung/journals/Tung_and_Zhou_2013_PNAS.pdf
    However, this attribution is flawed since it assumes that any anthropogenic signal has to be linear (since they are using the AMO index (linearly detrended SST) as their ‘internal variability’. Additionally, they are talking about a different time period to that considered by IPCC, so the comparison is apples to oranges in any case.

    So, we are still waiting for your actual evidence for a 50% attribution of global warming from the mid-20th C…

    • Steven Mosher

      ‘The same (non-) argument can be used to assign a 50% likelihood to aliens landing in Roswell (either they did or they didn’t – let’s split the difference!) or personal immortality (either I’ll live forever or I won’t – let’s assume each choice is equally likely!). The fallacy in all three cases is in not considering the prior probabilities.”

      what is the prior probability of personal immortality?

      also, Judith did pick a prior. guess which one.

      • stevefitzpatrick

        Mosh,
        Gavin is a bit over 50 years old I think. I give him about a 50:50 shot at 32 more years, about 10% chance of 40 more and 10% chance of less than 20 more. His probability of immortality (prior or forward) is zero.

      • Steven Mosher

        haha. I thought his “live forever” was refering to having an immortal soul. he should have been more precise

    • The argument gets lost in your arrogance yet again, Gav. Maybe try again with a bit less snottiness after you clock out of the job we’re paying you to do, thanks.

      • Ditto

      • “Ditto”

        It figures the Rush Limbaugh supporters would come out of the woodwork to trash a scientist with the wrong POV.

        Google “ditto heads”

      • Web: I always think of Lewis Carrol whenever anyone says “ditto”

        The following little ditty illuminates the endless loop “debate” between you *team* and your equally slow witted opposite numbers:

        Tweedledum and Tweedledee
        Agreed to have a battle!
        For Tweedledum said Tweedledee
        Had spoiled his nice new rattle.

        Just then flew down a monstrous crow,
        As black as a tar-barrel!
        Which frightened both the heroes so,
        They quite forgot their quarrel.’

    • “It simply posits two end points (0 and 100%), uses no information to assess their likelihood, and then splits the difference”

      The IPCC AR5 stated that the equilibrium climate sensitivity is likely in the range 1.5°C to 4.5°C, in the First Order Draft it stated that “mostly likely value” being 3.0°C.

    • Gavin,

      If there is AGW, then for the past 16 years it has been cancelled out by a natural cooling of equal magnitude. If that is the cooling phase of a natural cycle, and that cycle was in a warming phase during the late 20th century, then about half the late 20th C warming was natural, and half due to AGW.
      A simple argument, but a perfectly good one.
      And that means that everyone who thought that the late 20th C warming was nearly all AGW (which includes the IPCC and ‘consensus’ climate science, and particularly the GCMs) was overestimating by a factor of two.
      So estimates of climate sensitivity and future warming need to come down by a factor of two. When that happens, is AGW still a problem? What do you think?

      • @ Gavin

        “However, if the anthropogenic signal has mulit-decadal variability (and it does in the GCMs – for instance in Miller et al (2014), fig 7), then this process will remove that component. ”

        Well, my take from this is that if the anthropogenic signal has multi-decadal variability, the signal is not caused by the ACO2 signal, which has been rising monotonically over its entire history and is concave upward.

        If the anthropogenic signal is not being driven by ACO2, which appears likely since the anthropogenic signal does not have the same shape as the ACO2 signal, what anthropogenic driver of the ‘Temperature of the Earth’ DOES exhibit multi-decadal variability and why should I believe that taxing and regulating ‘carbon signatures’ will ‘fix’ the problem?

      • @Bob That’s not the view of the IPCC. Consult the chart for co2 and temperature, there is no multi-decadal signal. Increase in co2 equals a corresponding increase in temperature. If they changed that, I’d like to see it.

    • There are multiple lines of evidence that support the 50-50 argument, I will do an entire post on the issue soon. In the meantime, here is KK Tung’s argument (which is one line of evidence):

      Dear Judy,

      The argument on the roughly 50-50 attribution of the forced vs unforced warming for the last two and half decades of the 20th century is actually quite simple. If one is blaming internal variability for canceling out the anthropogenically forced warming during the current hiatus, one must admit that the former is not negligible compared to the latter, and the two are probably roughly of the same magnitude. Then when the internal cycle is of the different sign in the latter part of the 20th century, it must have added to the forced response. Assuming the rate of forced warming has not changed during the period concerned, then the two combined must be roughly twice the forced warming during the last two and half decades of the 20th century.

      Gavin was incorrect to say that Tung and Zhou (2013) assumed that anthropogenic warming response is linear. We did not assume that. The method uses a linear function in the intermediate step. If the actual anthropogenic warming response is not linear, the difference will remain in the residual and it was added back. In fact we repeated the calculation using many different but reasonable nonlinear functions in the intermediate step and obtained approximately the same result.

      —KK

      • Invoking the 50/50 argument at best points to the ECS closer to a 3C value rather than ECS=6C. That’s what the data says.

        See the recent paper by Huber and Knutti.

        http://www.nature.com/ngeo/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/ngeo2228.html

      • They didn’t assume it was linear, but they did conclude it was. This is from their abstract. “The underlying net anthropogenic warming rate in the industrial era is found to have been steady since 1910 at 0.07–0.08 °C/decade”

      • Well, bingo! The 50:50 attribution was the basis of my first ever post here, a couple of years ago. Of course it was not an original thought. It is what we call in these parts “bleeding obvious”. What is not obvious is why it has taken the climate science community so long to begin to accept it. And we are still not seeing a realistic downgrading of TCS, ECS and future temperature projections.

      • Apologies to KK if I misinterpreted something, but looking more closely at the paper it appears as if any multi-decadal variability is projected onto the AMO mode. This is then assumed to be internal. However, if the anthropogenic signal has mulit-decadal variability (and it does in the GCMs – for instance in Miller et al (2014), fig 7), then this process will remove that component. And given that we are talking about attributions over a century, that removal only leaves a linear trend to be attributed. So while there isn’t an explicit assumption about the linearity of the anthropogenic signal, I think it might be implicit in the method.

        This can however be resolved. I would be very interested to seeing how the Tung+Zhou procedure produces the correct answer when given a single GCM run where we know the right answer. My hunch is that it will underestimate the anthropogenic signal…?

        PS. The timescales (25 years) relevant to the argument made in the first paragraph are not relevant to the IPCC attribution statement (60 years).

      • I am looking at the period where there was actual warming (as defined by a temperature increase), which is about 25 years. There was no warming during the period 1950-1975

      • Steven Mosher

        funny.

        long ago when somebody asked what I thought the split was..
        knowing nothing.. I said 50/50.

        trying to minimize my error. so ya, that’s a uniform prior.

        Then of course.. one continues to collect information.

        I see nothing unreasonable in this approach. I see nothing illogical in this approach. I would argue that it’s reasonable and warranted. And also that other folks are not bound to accept it.
        There might be a more optimal approach.. someone needs to prove that.

      • WebHubTelescope

        The 50/50 attribution is conceptually simple to understand. I am sure somewhere on the global average Temperature versus CO2 curve you will find a 4C TCR for a restricted span of time. If 50% of this is natural variation, then the TCR=2C — which is more in-line with what Huber and Knutti find in their recent paper, a TCR=1.8C.

        Here is a math example:
        assume
        R=0.1 C/decade underlying warming trend
        and
        N=A*sin(w*t) of oscillating natural variation

        The natural variation compensation resulting in a hiatus occurs periodically whenever

        R+dN/dt=0

        or
        0.1 = -A*w*cos(wt)

        This will result in alternating max warmings of 0.2C/decade and flat regions of 0.0C/decade if the A*w factor equals 0.1.

        Now consider that the skeptics are going to the well TWICE based on not understanding (or faking) what gets “baked in” to the original analysis. They are assuming another 50/50 attribution on top of what is there already and so the Nic Lewis-fans can say that the TCR=1C.

        You really have to understand the denier mind frame, which is not to do science, but to increase FUD.

      • Web You really have to understand the denier mind frame, which is not to do science, but to increase FUD.

        Only in a closed truebeliever mindset such as your own, where any disagreement seen as FUD, and consensus is seen as science. The exact opposite of the truth of course.

      • Tuppence, I do the math, you obviously don’t.
        How far will that get you in science?

      • Web, That you may do math in no way exonerates yours blinkered notion that dissent is FUD, and your very obvious working towards a preconceived conclusion. With close to zero interest in the truth, you simply don’t unsdertand what science IS.

    • There was a period, not too long ago, when we were told by you and your oh so arrogant ilk that the science was settled: any and all warming that could be found during the 20th century – one way or the other: “adjustments” anyone?- was incontrovertibly due to human activity. Anyone questioning that settled “truth” was and still is smeared as a denier.

      So how does it feel Gavin, to now be reduced to debating on blogs other that RC -a site that has fallen off most peoples’ screens and has lost any relevance it may have had, even as a bore hole- the incontrovertible role and degree natural variability now plays at the core of the CAGW/CACC debate?

      I’m sure its hard to swallow, but the skeptics were right all along in questioning the CO2 dogma so roundly propagated at RC. The hard empirical data continue to confirm this, and whatever is left of you as a properly trained scientist should understand that.
      Eating crow, in particular, is a dish best served cold.

    • Gavin : your jumping on a line in a brand new press release for which there is no actual back up in the paper, smacks of confirmation bias.

      Can anyone, anywhere detect even a smidgen of logic in this ?

  12. 10 extra points just for taking the conclusions of what may have caused the hiatus and applying them to the prior warming period and looking at what implications it may have. It has been utterly bizarre that so many previous studies along the lines of this study have failed to do that.

    …….. And really, half the apocalypse cancelled in the blink of an eye ( I know one study doesn’t derail a gravy train)

    • “And really, half the apocalypse cancelled in the blink of an eye.”

      More heat went into the ocean. Nothing says it will stay there.

      • The heat that went into the oceans amounts to hundredths of degrees. How about explaining how a hundredth of a degree is going to spark thermogeddon?

      • Captdallas

        Your question is obviously very easy to answer and I will leave David to do so.

        Tonyb

      • If heating at the surface is dangerous to societies and ecosystems and land ice and SLR and so on and so on then instinctively it seems that deep in the ocean is a less worrying place for it. I’m open to the idea of you convincing me otherwise though.

        But the point isn’t just about where the heat resides but attribution of the earlier warming period and implications for sensitivity. Taking what Judith has said here it makes sense that this is good news if you aren’t invested in catastrophe.

      • Real But Exaggerated

        “More heat went into the ocean. Nothing says it will stay there.”

        True dat, but it will emerge much more slowly than it is stored.

      • HR, putting heat deep in the ocean just delays and doesn’t stop global warming. In the long term, the energy balance wins.

      • Cappy, movement of heat in the ocean as characterized by ENSO will cause changes in the global temperature.

        No surprise that your side loses every scientific showdown.

      • Webster, “Cappy, movement of heat in the ocean as characterized by ENSO will cause changes in the global temperature.”

        Movement of heat in the oceans isn’t very well characterized at all. Based on the current rate of ocean heat uptake and the best estimated depth of the little ice age, you are looking at events that happened 300 plus years ago still having some impact on the ocean heat movement/uptake. A number of less controversial paleo reconstructions indicate much longer term pseudo-periodic “cycles” with many indicating a pesky Bond event occurring every 1000 years or so. A longer term gradual recovery would have a similar ln(2) atmospheric response making it a bear to differentiate from GHG “forcing”.

      • Cappy,
        The variations in ENSO as characterized by SOI make a perfectly good proxy for interannual global temperature variability over the instrumental era.

        Too bad you have to resort to knee-jerk denial as your only counter-argument.

      • Webster, “The variations in ENSO as characterized by SOI make a perfectly good proxy for interannual global temperature variability over the instrumental era.”

        Interannual isn’t climate, it is weather. Climate is more on the order of centuries. The LIA for example wasn’t an interannual event.

      • Jim D:

        HR, putting heat deep in the ocean just delays and doesn’t stop global warming. In the long term, the energy balance wins.

        This argument is valid even in an approximate sense when you have a stationary (step-function like) forcing. For non-equilibrium systems, as you increase the thermal inertia of the system, you have to drive it proportionally longer to get the same “delta T”.

        Practically, more deep-ocean involvement does have an effect on equilibrium climate sensitivity, but it has a much larger effect on transient climate sensitivity (which is a more relevant parameter for discussions of anthropogenically forced climate change).

      • Intraannual is more about weather than climate. Interannual consists of periods that span years which makes it more on a climate change scale than near-term weather forecasts.

        Look up “interannual climate variation” in the encyclopaedia and you will see references to ENSO.

        Time for the dunce cap, cap. You wear it well.

      • Webster, while you have solved all the world’s problems with the Arrhenius equation, perhaps you can comment on why when a more “climate” related time period is used, “sensitivity” appears to be lower than you estimate?

        http://redneckphysics.blogspot.com/2014/08/using-co2-as-climate-reference.html

      • WebHubTelescope

        Why are you always behind the curve, cappy?

        This is SST sensitivity over the entire time period, using the CSALT model to compensate for natural variability factors.

        This gives a TCR above 1.5C and that is just SST, not including the land, which would bump it up to TCR=2C.

      • Webster, “Why are you always behind the curve, cappy?”

        Does that mean you agree with what I posted?

      • WebHubTelescope

        I am afraid that I have the upper hand here Cappy. I go by the consensus mean of TCR=2C and ECS=3C. That has always been the case. The global mean is TCR = 0.7*1.6 +0.3*3 = 2C, where 0.7 is ocean (SST) fraction and 0.3 is land fraction.

      • Webster, “I am afraid that I have the upper hand here Cappy. I go by the consensus mean of TCR=2C and ECS=3C. That has always been the case. ”

        I doubt you realize it, but the “consensus” mean has been falling and if it weren’t for scientific inertia would be back to the no feedback initial estimate.

      • It has been mean ECS=3C since the original Charney report back in 1979 and remains that. Solid science backed by solid data. Get used to it.

    • webster, “Intraannual is more about weather than climate. Interannual consists of periods that span years which makes it more on a climate change scale than near-term weather forecasts.”

      repeat after me, weather. multidecadal borders on climate and with the slow rate on ocean heat uptake, multicentury is more likely. For example ECS is nearly useless since it can take so long, but that doesn’t mean that recovery from the LIA can’t still have an influence on today’s climate changes. That should be the next shoe to drop, more evidence of longer term persistence that is also denied by most.

      • WebHubTelescope

        I told you to look it up in the encyclopedia Cappy

        I hope this helps

        http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/1449183/interannual-climate-variation

        Interannual climate variations, including droughts, floods, and other events, are caused by a complex array of factors and Earth system interactions. One important feature that plays a role in these variations is the periodic change of atmospheric and oceanic circulation patterns in the tropical Pacific region, collectively known as El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO) variation”

      • Webster, then global climate models are an obvious failure since they can’t get close to predicting ENSO. BTW have you posted your ENSO prediction for the next five years?

        In fact it is the failure of the medium range “pro/predictions” that require a little better term than “relatively long time periods” in defining “climate”. Or have you become a skeptic noting that climate is always changing?

      • I see you have lost the argument about what interannual climate change means and now want to change the topic.

        If you want to talk ENSO, put on your big-boy pants and join us at http://azimuth.mathforge.org

      • Webster said, “I see you have lost the argument about what interannual climate change means and now want to change the topic.”

        No, you seem to not understand that interannual variability is just a part of climate. Some suggested it be called macro-weather or micro-climate, but in either case GHE forced “climate change” is much longer than interannual and even multi-decadal. CO2 forcing should either somewhat stabilize intra and inter annual variability or increase the variability.

        Since you think that interannual is “climate” and that you have figured out that interannual variability, publish your projection and I am sure your Nobel certificate suitable for framing will be in the mail shortly.

        Perhaps you and JimD could collaborate on a “stable” climate theory with projections that has no interannual variability which could win a more prestigious Cli-Fi award likely to be named in your honor.

      • Scared eh, Cappy?
        Everyone knows that ENSO is unpredictable, but we are not afraid to tackle it.

      • A 30 year old delayed oscillator equation won’t do it – and ‘sloshing’ is a hopelessly inadequate theoretical framework.

        Instead of prattling and preening like a hyperactive penguin about how courageous and scientific you are – why don’t you just come back with a result?

      • webster, “Scared eh, Cappy?
        Everyone knows that ENSO is unpredictable, but we are not afraid to tackle it.”

        Not really. I have already shown you that there is a roughly 27 moth lag of ENSO response to solar and Schwartz has a pretty good estimate of the upper mixing layer settling time of about 8 years which you are trying to predict with your bath tub sloshing. The only problem is your bath tub dimensions are subject to change with shifts in westerlies and sea ice distribution among other things. Since ENSO is driven by other factors/forcings, it really isn’t a driver, so why try to predict ENSO when it is the ENSO drivers that need to be understood?

        Plenty of ENSO SOI paleo reconstructions out there Webster.

        Try this one, http://www.clim-past.net/6/1/2010/cp-6-1-2010.pdf

      • Thanks Cappy for the OWN GOAL.

        I can use that data for model evaluation. Would you be a good little boy and digitize it for me?

      • The fact that all the global warming trend can be attributed to a-GHG additions makes that less of a challenge to prove — it obviously has an ECS=3C over the last century . ENSO clearly reverts to a mean value of zero and is well bounded so the only challenge left is to try to be able to predict its behavior within those constraints.

      • It is no coincidence that shifts in ocean and atmospheric indices occur at the same time as changes in the trajectory of global surface temperature. Our ‘interest is to understand – first the natural variability of climate – and then take it from there. So we were very excited when we realized a lot of changes in the past century from warmer to cooler and then back to warmer were all natural,’ Tsonis said.

        The last 2 complete warm and cool regimes were from 1944 to 1998 – covering the period of most of the increase in CO2 in the atmosphere. The rate of change was 0.07 degrees C/decade. The total change was 0.381 degrees C – which might be attributed to CO2 if we assume that the cooling regime (194/1976) was equal to the warming (1976/1998). That is – that ENSO sums to zero over these multi-decadal periods. It gives a total increase of less than 1 degree C for a doubling of CO2 – all else being equal.

        It is of course not so – with El Nino frequency and intensity peaking in the 20th century in a 1000 year high.

        Assuming a staircase instead of a plateau is post hoc rationalisation for dimwits.

      • It does appear that ENSO reverts to the mean and that mean value is zero.

      • It appears so only to clueless twits.

      • Let’s try this one.

      • Better. High red intensity in a South American lake core is El Nino.

      • ENSO reverts to the mean and that mean value is zero.

      • webster, “The fact that all the global warming trend can be attributed to a-GHG additions makes that less of a challenge to prove.”

        Assuming that is a fact would tend to bias your results. Try looking at the “physics” involved in the Charney “estimate”.

  13. While this covers mechanisms thousands of years ago the paper just released today is interesting. How arctic sea ice influenced the Gulf Stream.

    http://phys.org/news/2014-08-arctic-sea-ice-gulf-stream.html

  14. David Appell

    1) if the Earth was cooler the sea level would still be rising.
    2) ice loss rates are debated at least in terms of the Antarctic http://hockeyschtick.blogspot.co.uk/2014/08/new-paper-finds-melt-rate-of-antarctic.html

    Back to the article:

    Ocean drives atmosphere, who would have thought.

  15. This paper does not yet settle the issue related to deep ocean warming as a contributor to the recent slowdown in surface warming, since there is evidence for both Atlantic and Pacific oceans as primary contributors. As Dr. Curry noted, the paper does not cite evidence for the somewhat ambiguous statement in the press release that “Rapid warming in the last three decades of the 20th century, they found, was roughly half due to global warming and half to the natural Atlantic Ocean cycle that kept more heat near the surface.” The cited data in the paper, like earlier data, in fact demonstrate instead that no more than a small fraction of global warming during those decades could be due to internal variability, since a larger fraction would have revealed itself as a cessation or even reversal of positive OHC uptake, which is not what was observed. An interpretation of the press release consistent with the paper itself is that internal variability, while not a major contributor, affects the rate at which the surface warms in response to external forcing, which is the major contributor. When heat stays nearer the ocean surface, forcing raises surface temperature faster than when more of the heat is distributed at lower depths.

    • Since my comment, the authors have referred to their previous (2013) paper, which I was already familiar with. The point to be made regarding that paper is similar to the one I made above: there is evidence that internal variability (to the extent it can be equated with the AMO) has affected the rate at which anthropogenic forcing has warmed the surface, but most of the warming must have been forced, with the observed positive ocean heat uptake data excluding more than a very minor role for internal variability in the warming itself with very high confidence.

    • Matthew R Marler

      Fred Moolten: The cited data in the paper, like earlier data, in fact demonstrate instead that no more than a small fraction of global warming during those decades could be due to internal variability, since a larger fraction would have revealed itself as a cessation or even reversal of positive OHC uptake, which is not what was observed.

      Glad to see you back.

      Their paper says very little directly relevant to the fractional attribution. But they display dramatically reduced heat accumulation in the Pacific Ocean recently, and little accumulation in the Indian Ocean during the warming of 1978-1998. (figures 1 and 4) Little can be concluded other than that there is no simple link among the oceans.

      In the text the authors admit to uncertainty of the magnitude of TOA imbalance: Although the magnitude of the TOA radiative imbalance is uncertain, variously estimated (1, 2, 4) at 0.5 to 1.0 W m−2, its sign is believed to be positive on multiyear time scales;

      What the paper shows is a mechanism by which the heat that was warming the surface might have been redirected to the deeper ocean. Quantitation of the flows is not adequate to any attribution of how much warming in any epoch was caused by CO2 or something else.

    • If you take it that the warming in the last 30 years is 0.5 C, and that natural variability is +/- 0.1 C, it can warm by 0.2 C in half a cycle which is 30 years, and is close to half the warming. Note also that in a full 60-year cycle, it cancels itself, and the warming left is 0.7 C by some other systematic means, probably anthropogenic. A natural variability of no more than +/- 0.1 C is invoked for this effect, which is not much in the long term expected 2-4 C or so, but it can modify shorter term decadal trends.

      • MWP and LIA, and the temperature record suggest that it’s not a perfect oscillation. Like ENSO, there seems to be periods where warming phases are stronger or weaker naturally.

  16. Professor Curry:

    Let’s posit that the IPCC has a rather aggressive style, to say the least, in presenting what it believes to be the truth. And then let’s examine what IPCC5 said: it’s extremely likely that more than half of the observed 1951-2010 increase in global average surface temperature is anthropogenic. Half is 50%. So 99% is more than half–but so is 51%. Chen and Tung say “roughly half” of the warming of the last three decades of the 20th century is anthropogenic. “Roughly half,” in most books, could be 51%. So to this extent, at least, IPCC5 and Chen and Tung might be said to be consistent. Yet while the Chen and Tung paper is “an important link in our understanding,” at least one possible interpretation of the extraordinary range IPCC5 says may be explained anthropogenically–the baby of very low values in excess of 50%–is thrown out with the bath water of higher values in excess of 50%. I see convergence here. Why do you see divergence?

    Your blog is regular reading for me. Thanks for the effort you invest in it.

    • Extremely high confidence in parsing the difference between 50 and 51% is a pretty dodgy thing to do

      • Agreed–hence my first sentence. But, dodginess aside, could the IPCC5 claim and the Chen and Tung paper be imagined to overlap, converge, etc., somehow? I’m not suggesting it was the authors’ intent–I have no idea about that. And I’m not trying to defend the IPCC –far from it. I’m just asking you to explain, to a layman, why this is not, for whatever reason, a convergence of findings.

      • Judith,

        Aren’t you doing the same??

      • Michael: Aren’t you doing the same thing?

        No, Michael. Saying it could be 50% +/- 25% and that it there are many uncertainties that remain to be investigated is not the same thing as saying you are 95% certain. Judith did not say +/- 25% here but has said or implied it with most of what she has written over the years. If you don’t understand that, you have not been paying attention.

        By the way, note that the IPCC v.5 says anthropogenic which includes soot, land use changes, etc. Not just GHG.

  17. I just added a response from KK Tung to the main post

    • Judith

      The authors talk about the CET record and that there is a clear 30 years cool and then 30 years warm cycle. here is my article in which I took the data from my reconstruction of CET to 1538 and split it into decadal and 50 year periods. See figures 3

      http://judithcurry.com/2013/06/26/noticeable-climate-change/

      Does it show such clear cycles as this? I’m not sure, although there are clear ups and downs.

      What it does show however is that this escalating staircase can be clearly seen back to the 1700′s so the idea that agw can be viewed as the escalator is stretching a point.

      The variability of the climate is astonishing as Phil jones admitted in 2006 . My current research shows a clear hot spot around 1350 and 1150 with cold episodes afterwards so it appears we reach a peak then slide down the other side. Is the current modern warming a peak and are we going to slide down the other side in the near future? Who knows. The Mwp lasted intermittently at a high level for some 400 years and we haven’t approached that record yet.

      Tonyb

  18. Matthew R Marler

    From the paper: Over the whole globe, the dominant spatial mode of variability in OHC in the upper 300 m [as shown by the first empirical orthogonal function (EOF), which explains the most variance], occurs mainly in the tropical Pacific and has the structure of ENSO variability (Fig. 4, A and B). Figure 4, E and F, shows the time series [called the principal components (PC)] associated with these EOFs. The spatial pattern of the upper 300 m resembles that associated with La Niña in the current period, because the blue PC1 changes to negative around year 2000. The leading pattern is very similar to the La Niña pattern in the SST (fig. S1A), and their PC1s are almost the same (fig. S1I). The prevalence of La Niña, with the associated shallow subduction of heat below the surface in the Pacific, has been proposed as the reason for the current hiatus (16). However, our result shows that the change in heat storage under the Pacific is not nearly enough to compensate for the surface hiatus—the entire upper 300 m is itself in a net La Niña phase. Figure 4, C and D, shows that the dominant OHC variability below 300 m occurs mainly in the Atlantic basin and the Antarctic Circumpolar Current (ACC) region. This combined warming pattern in the lower layer became positive toward the end of the 20th century, after two decades with very little heat uptake anomaly below 300 m (see the red PC1). The Atlantic initiated the heat sequestration toward the end of the 20th century below 700 m. Indian Ocean’s deeper layers warmed last and with much smaller amplitude. Figure S1 shows these results in finer vertical resolution, whereas fig. S2 reproduces these results by using ORAS4 data.

    NOT the Pacific Ocean. NOT the Indian Ocean, at least not much. The Atlantic Ocean and the Antarctic Circumpolar Current region.

    A mechanism that can account for the speed with which heat penetrates to such great depths is deep convection caused by vertical density differences. Salinity changes at subpolar North Atlantic are known to affect deep-water formation to initiate such an ocean circulation shift (25). The salinity there (Fig. 6A) shifted to a positive anomaly that penetrated vertically to 1500 m very rapidly in the 21st century, reaching historically high values since measurements began (26). This is in contrast to the negative anomaly during the prior three decades, when surface warming was rapid. Because the ocean data were less sparse in the North Atlantic, we extend the plot back to 1950 and reveal that the salinity anomaly was also positive before 1970, during another episode of surface hiatus. These salinity shifts correspond well in timing to the OHC shifts (Fig. 6B), which are also coincident with surface transitions from global-warming slowdown to rapid warming and then to the current slowdown, with intervals between shifts lasting about three decades. Curry et al. (27) reported a freshening of the subpolar North Atlantic waters from the 1950s to 1990s and cited global warming as one of the reasons.

    I thought you’d like to read that.

  19. Matthew R Marler

    Prof Curry: While Chen and Tung’s argument and mechanism is convincing, it is not at all clear to me from the paper that the amount of heat sequestered in the ocean is commensurate with the TOA radiative imbalance and the amount of heat that would be required to keep the surface temperatures from increasing in the presence of increasing anthropogenic greenhouse forcing.

    and

    That said, the hiatus since 1998 is warmer than the previous two hiatus periods (the so called stair step), so this brings us back to wondering about ‘coming out’ of the Little Ice Age. Anthropogenic warming does not explain why the 21st century hiatus is warmer than the mid 20th century hiatus which is warmer than the turn of the 20th century hiatus.

    Good comments.

    I thought that it was smart of the authors to explore the salinity hypothesis. Their forecast of a 10 year or so run of the current hiatus will bear watching, along with the future course of the salinity of the current.

  20. Paul Matthews

    I look forward to seeing what tomorrow’s explanation for the warming pause will be!

    • Steven Mosher

      when the science isnt settled you can expect even demand that explanation continue to be refined, ammended, expanded and in rare cases rejected entirely.

      In short, if you think the science ISNT settled you should expect exactly what you are seeing from scientists

      • In short, if you think the science ISNT settled you should expect exactly what you are seeing from scientists

        And as that unsettled science becomes more and more embarrassing to the “stop the Industrial Revolution” crowd, more and more scientists will be denigrated as “deniers”.

      • Agreed Steven. I enjoy seeing science getting back to a more normal situation. There are still too many papers (IMO) that start out with the idea of rescuing the GCMs and showing that it really is still warming just as much. Ultimately the data will win out but it may take decades. And I don’t claim to know what the final result will be. I suspect that the effect of doubling CO2 will be less than 2C and that much more will be learned about clouds, other aerosols, and the sun in the next 20 years.

    • Steven Mosher

      hockey stick gets replaced by rising stair case

      • Mosh

        I agree with a 300 year old rising staircase to the modern day and I suspect similar staircases existed prior to that, although of varying lengths.
        Tonyb

      • And the average of that “rising stair case” is slow enough that killing the Industrial Revolution isn’t necessary for “mitigation”. If it ever was.

      • Steven Mosher

        AK has his own settled science.

        But its not so settled.

        we have many good reasons for moving away from a carbon based energy system.

        the question is how, and how fast.

      • AK has his own settled science.

        Not at all. I’m just pointing out the implications of what the research says, if correct.

        But its not so settled.

        Indeed not.

        we have many good reasons for moving away from a carbon based energy system.

        Mostly (probably-)low-probability risks where we can’t really evaluate the risks. Risks I’ve pointed out frequently, much more than you have.

        the question is how, and how fast.

        And whether we have do it all at once, or can “borrow” on the ocean/atmosphere’s ability to buffer our contribution until we can pull it back with remediation>

      • Steven Mosher

        “And the average of that “rising stair case” is slow enough that killing the Industrial Revolution isn’t necessary for “mitigation”. If it ever was.”

        settled? or not?

      • settled? or not?

        What “settled”? According to various “authorities”, a 2°C rise in “average” temperature is the limit of what is “tolerable” (probably a paraphrase). How long to reach that given the average of that “rising stair case”? How long before improving technology makes cheap, easy, control of the atmospheric pCO2 effectively a no-brainer, technologically? (NOT politically, of course.)

        My point (assertion, given for argument) is that “solutions” that seriously impact the course of the Industrial Revolution haven’t been shown to be necessary, or sufficient, for solving the problem, if the linear assumptions behind that “rising stair case” were valid.

        But they aren’t, of course. A large number of risks exist that incent reducing atmospheric pCO2, and human emissions of fossil carbon, as quickly as possible without impacting other important considerations.

        But at no point did I claim any “settled science”. An assertion put forward for argument isn’t the same thing.

  21. Last paragraph of their reply is very confident. Not the Sun?

  22. Matthew R Marler

    KK Tung: Link to PNAS paper [here].

    Thank you for the clarification, and the link to the paper.

  23. Rapid warming in the last three decades of the 20th century, they found, was roughly half due to global warming and half to the natural Atlantic Ocean cycle that kept more heat near the surface.

    “The finding is a surprise, since the current theories had pointed to the Pacific Ocean as the culprit for hiding heat,” Tung said.

    In addition to the shallow La Niña–like patterns in the Pacific that were the previous focus, we found that the slowdown is mainly caused by heat transported to deeper layers in the Atlantic and the Southern oceans, initiated by a recurrent salinity anomaly in the subpolar North Atlantic.

    The authors dug up historical data to show that the cooling in the three decades between 1945 to 1975 – which caused people to worry about the start of an Ice Age – was during a cooling phase. (It was thought to be caused by air pollution.)

    So, half of ‘global warming’ is due to the Atlantic. Half is due to the deep Pacific. Half is due to El Nino. Another half is due to changes in air pollution. The final half (apart from the half due to the “stadium wave”) is due to solar effects, which leaves something more than half due to anthropogenic CO2, just like IPCC says. Simple.

  24. KK Tung writes: “The anthropogenic warming I think is what causes the staircases to rise.”

    Thanks for commenting here, KK Tung. Actually, as a noted in the post about Chen and Tung (2014) at my blog…

    http://bobtisdale.wordpress.com/2014/08/21/will-the-next-el-nino-bring-an-end-to-the-slowdown-in-global-surface-warming/

    …which was also cross posted at WUWT, the vast majority of the warming of the surface of the global oceans during the satellite era is associated with the upward steps (staircases) caused by the residuals from the 1986/87/88, the 1997/98 and the 2009/10 El Nino events. See the graph here:

    The graph is from my monthly SSTa update:

    http://bobtisdale.wordpress.com/2014/08/11/july-2014-sea-surface-temperature-sst-anomaly-update/

    The question now is what fuels ENSO. Answer, downward shortwave radiation, according to two Trenberth papers.

    • “The anthropogenic warming I think is what causes the staircases to rise. … It is not from coming out of the Little Ice Age or the Sun, as Tung and Zhou discussed in our PNAS paper.”

      For the longest time the modelers denied the PDO/AMO existed I assume because they couldn’t figure out how to model it they assumed it didn’t exist. When the evidence became incontrovertible I assume they’ve been struggling to figure out how to model it. Now they have a basis to do that addition to their models. Good for them. The problem is that there is clearly another big missing piece of the puzzle the modelers have denied. The 1000 year cycle that seems now better and better documented. The IPCC AR5 admitted more about the existence of the MWP. It seems to me inevitable they will eventually have to face the fact they need to model this as well. What could cause this 1000 year cycle? Another ocean current oscillation? Sun effects? Coincidence of Volcanic activity? There is evidence of this wave for at least 4,000 years from what studies I’ve seen. It seems to me the problem is that if we compute that 50% of the warming came from ENSO phenomenon then we have to wonder what %age came from 1000 year cycle contribution. Tung and Zhou seem to give credence to the contribution from that effect being non-zero. Given that the stairsteps have been going on since the LIA it is concievable that a large fraction of the remaining attribution from 1975-1998 in rising temperatures might be attributable to this. A reasonable off the cuff estimation of this contribution might come from looking at the total temperature change since 1650-1900 or so and then extrapolating that as continuing. The diificulty here is trying to come up with good numbers for these but a reasonable guess might be 1C. or maybe 0.4C for the 20th century and possibly 0.2C being contributed to the period from 1950-2000. This would account for a large fraction of the remaining heat around 50% so that anthropogenic warming is 1/4 of the contribution. I realize the AGW enthusiasts are probably guffawing at such a paltry contribution for mans evil over the last half century but I find the logic inescapable until the AGW crowd can explain these variations it seems to me to be the most plausible argument that it is 1/4 of the contribution in the latter half of the 20th century meaning of course that the total change expected this century would be possibly another 0.4C change from CO2 even if we continue on the course we are on today and double CO2 by 2100.

    • “The question now is what fuels ENSO. Answer, downward shortwave radiation, according to two Trenberth papers”

      No, that’s the wrong question. The question is why temperature doesn’t fall back down to where it was prior to those ENSO events.

      The reason is the enhanced greenhouse effect caused by man’s emissions of greenhouse gases which act as a blanket restricting the earth’s ability to cool and therefore causing a longterm warming.

      • You may be right Markus. But there was CO2 here before man and so the temperature still would not have fallen all the way back. Plus there have been events in the last few thousand years (LIA, MWP, RWP) where the earth has gone up and down a few degrees C without man’s help so there is a natural role as well.

  25. Great article and discussion. My ONLY hope is that the hysterics around AGW will, by some miracle, begin to abate. However, with the current US President commanding so much attention to AGW, it is difficult to cut through the noise with science and reason.

    • “Miracle” is just the right word. Barak Obama who promised to lead is into a new era of conciliation, has turned out to be just as divisive as his immediate predecessor.Perhaps more so. And in Obama’s case, it’s intentional. I didn’t think it possible for Obama to sink this low. I’ve never been more wrong about a human being in my life.

  26. Beta Blocker

    Presumably, the theorized massive movement of heat from shallow surface waters to deep regions of the Atlantic and Southern Oceans remains an active process.

    If an oceanographic expedition were to be immediately launched to send the appropriate research vessels and the appropriate temperature measuring equipment to the locations where this process is theorized to be happening, could the massive movement of heat be detected and confirmed?

    • It’s not a massive movement of heat, at least relative to the background ‘normal’ heat flux. Remember warming predictions over short times (like a year or two ) are pretty small changes to the background fields. Basically we need to measure anomalies, so it’s not something a single expedition can address. In any case measuring the abyssal tracer fluxes is something that oceanographers have wanted to do(and are engaged in ) for a long time, and is not a simple task. The ocean is vast, and getting spatial and temporal coverage is a constant challenge. ARGO and the satellites have been vast steps forward, but the abyss still remains pretty obscure….

      • I don´t see why they can´t drop a grid of tethered sensors. We use them to measure ocean properties in deep water prior to drilling oil wells. Given the amount they plan on spending to subsidize solar energy they ought to be able to spare an incremental $500 to $800 million per year to take better data.

  27. Following my comment at 2:54 PM, a follow up comment I made has remained “awaiting moderation”, so I’m not sure it’s available to readers. With apologies in case it’s out there and I’m repeating myself, I wanted to make a point about an earlier (2013) PNAS paper by the authors that Dr. Curry linked to after my original comment – a paper I was already familiar with. That paper, like the current one, provides evidence that internal variability (to the extent the AMO can be equated with internal variability) affects the rate at which external forcing warms the surface, but doesn’t tell us how much that variability was itself a source of warming. In contrast, the observed data on OHC show that most (far more than half) of the warming must have been forced, and excludes more than a minor role for internal variability. The relative roles can easily be computed from OHC data and data on ocean heat uptake efficiency and radiative restoring (reflected in the climate feedback parameter). As an aside, this approach is more reliable than one the IPCC emphasized – a comparison of GCM simulations with or without anthropogenic forcing. I think it was a mistake for the IPCC to focus more on the simulations, even though they yield the same ultimate conclusion.

  28. The paper documents a ‘natural’ source of climate change. I am sure there are many more natural climate change factors that out there awaiting publication.

    The authors put too much faith in the CO2 inured climate change. My bet, climate sensitivity to a doubling of CO2 is a lot less than the IPCC’s 1.1C, love to see papers published on negative feedbacks.

  29. I use a stadium wave component in my own model, scaled against the LOD changes that Dickey from JPL proposed as a temperature proxy.

    So hard to argue against this natural variability component — its either that or the aerosol variability argument.

    Yet by the same token, the 50/50 attribution argument fails whenever a full natural cycle completes. At that point the natural cycle compensates the positive and negative excursions equally and what is left is 100% forcing, likely all GHG.

    The moral is if you make your bed you must lie in it.

    • what is left is 100% forcing, likely all GHG.

      At a rate slow enough that we don’t need any urgent action for “mitigation”.

      • This is science, not policy.

        The TCR is about 2C per doubling of CO2 and ECS is 3C per doubling.

        That is the value when the modulation cancels out in the long run.

        You can now make your policy opinions known in light of this knowledge.

      • This is science, not policy.

        No. Policy preferences are implicit in every “scientific argument” we see here.

        The TCR is about 2C per doubling of CO2 and ECS is 3C per doubling.

        ECS is a myth. For that matter, so is TCR. And, given the known effect of rising temperatures on natural emission/absorption of CO2, so is “doubling”. Best evidence is there’s a complex feedback process at work.

        That is the value when the modulation cancels out in the long run.

        And if we could be sure that “value when the modulation cancels out” were correct, any action to control CO2 that had any significant cost would be contra-indicated.

        You can now make your policy opinions known in light of this knowledge.

        Useless knowledge, considering how many potential risks there are besides the assumed linear response of the system to human emissions of fossil CO2.

      • And your argument for this is exactly where?

        Citations? Long form derivations?

        Oh, I get it, you rely on assertions, that’s the ticket.

      • Matthew R Marler

        WebHubTelescope: Oh, I get it, you rely on assertions, that’s the ticket.

        Equilibrium is a baseless assertion.

      • Then why does your computer work if your suggest held water? You wouldn’t be able to comment … darn those equilibrium approximations , darn the quiescent operating conditions … waaaaah, sob, sob.

      • Matthew R Marler

        WebHubTelescope: Then why does your computer work if your suggest held water? You wouldn’t be able to comment … darn those equilibrium approximations , darn the quiescent operating conditions … waaaaah, sob, sob.

        Mockery has its place, even on the web. But, How would you like to write a proposition such as “The equilibrium approximations in climate science are demonstrably accurate enough to support policy”, and then defend it?

        Exactly what equilibrium condition is assumed in the design of a computer? Where can we read about it, and where has the error of the approximation been quantified.


      • Exactly what equilibrium condition is assumed in the design of a computer?

        You have got to be kidding me. EVERY last bit of physics is governed by quasi-equilibrium assumptions. That was drilled into every students head and it filled every textbook.

      • Matthew R Marler

        WebHubTelescope: EVERY last bit of physics is governed by quasi-equilibrium assumptions.

        “quasi”. Even with that qualifier, your statement is incorrect.


      • Matthew R Marler | August 23, 2014 at 12:20 pm |

        “quasi”. Even with that qualifier, your statement is incorrect.

        You may be a statistician but you are not a statistical mechanic. It is telling on how you dismiss physics arguments.

      • Matthew R Marler

        WebHubTelescope: It is telling on how you dismiss physics arguments.

        I have never “dismissed” an actual “physics” argument. What you wrote is that all of physics depends on quasi-equilibrium, “every last bit of physics”, and that is a false statement.

    • Matthew R Marler

      WebHubTelescope: I use a stadium wave component in my own model, scaled against the LOD changes that Dickey from JPL proposed as a temperature proxy.

      I thought for sure you would like the authors’ sea salt model.

    • Matthew R Marler

      WebHubTelesope: Yet by the same token, the 50/50 attribution argument fails whenever a full natural cycle completes. At that point the natural cycle compensates the positive and negative excursions equally and what is left is 100% forcing, likely all GHG.

      How long is a full natural cycle, and how can you tell when it has been completed? The Earth is not now as warm as it was during the Holocene Climate Optimum, so one could say that to date there is no evidence that anthropogenic CO2 has raised the global mean temperature above its cyclic maximum. Back in the late 70s, before a cycle was complete, a few scientists made an incorrect estimate of the natural cycle, and misattributed subsequent warming to CO2. Exactly how large a mistake they made probably can not be known until the next downward cycle goes at least as deep as the Little Ice Age.

      • This is how AndThenTeresPhysics explains it:

        “Simple answer. We’ve warmed by almost 1 degree since the late 1800s. There is no evidence to suggest that we were significantly out of energy balance at that time. Without our influence, an increase in temperature of 1 degree should have lead to very rapid cooling back to mid-to-late 1800s temperatures. We’re clearly not doing that, we’re still warming. The reason we’re doing so is because of the continual increase in anthropogenic forcings. Got it now?”

  30. Steven Mosher

    hockey stick gets replaced by rising stair case

    • Real But Exaggerated

    • OK., if you don’t like the word denier, how about delusional?
      An optical illusion by MC Escher is very easy to debunk. The top Escher on your side appears to be Tisdale, who takes a staircase and tries to explain it as a ratchet effect. Of course that is nonsense driven by someone wanting desperately to match patterns without resorting to real physics. Yet, to the gullible and delusional, Tisdale is treated as someone to be taken seriously.

      • You are delusional to BELIEVE you know with much accuracy the earth’s ECS to CO2. You can what the TCR has been over a given period and estimate what you think it may be over a given future period, butthere is far to little reliable information to define ECS reasonably accurately. We do not understand the interactions of a complex system sufficiently and the timescales over which ECS may be reached may well be longer than humans care about.

      • There goes Ringo with his baseless assertions. You think he would ever decide to pick up a pencil and do the analysis himself? Fat chance.

    • True – pause-deniers like Web are easily fooled.

  31. Rapid warming in the last three decades of the 20th century, they found, was roughly half due to global warming and half to the natural Atlantic Ocean cycle that kept more heat near the surface.

    Isn’t that exactly what we have all been saying for the last few years ! Half the rise observed from 1970 to 2000 was anthropogenic and half was due to the up phase of a 60 year natural ocean cycle. We are now in the down phase so there will be no warming until 2030.

    Conclusion: Climate sensitivity is about half estimates which ignore this natural cycle. So TCR ~ 1.5C

    A Fit to Global Temperature Data

    • That’s not the position the IPCC and friends took at all. The certainty is based on the retention of heat. To prove that they used the incoming and out going radiation, and from there to verify the rise in temperature. Skirting around the issue and attributing other causes isn’t in the program. For instance, if the outgoing and incoming radiation are balanced at 270 ppm, then let’s guess WHAT YEAR they said the incoming radiation was 343/w/m^2 and outgoing was 103?w/m^2. then what is it now in relationship to the amount of co2 increase in the atmosphere? What should the temperature be? Yes we can calculate according the AGW when no heat will escape at how many ppm can’t we? You remember ‘tipping point’? The math is wrong and so is AGW Theory, otherwise the disasters they predicted some would have already happened and others in the process. We wouldn’t be on this board talking about how the ocean ate my heat.

      The irony is that the IPCC forgets their own arguments. You remember this one ?

    • They seem hardly likely to be cycles of warm and cool. Much more likely abrupt shifts between regimes that persist for 20 to 40 years. These occur as a result of emergent behavior in a complex and dynamic system.

      Although a significant factor in global climate on the scale of decades – the Pacific Ocean modes are part of a global climate system that is variable at many scales in time and space.

      In the words of Michael Ghil (2013) the ‘global climate system is composed of a number of subsystems – atmosphere, biosphere, cryosphere, hydrosphere and lithosphere – each of which has distinct characteristic times, from days and weeks to centuries and millennia. Each subsystem, moreover, has its own internal variability, all other things being constant, over a fairly broad range of time scales. These ranges overlap between one subsystem and another. The interactions between the subsystems thus give rise to climate variability on all time scales.’

      The theory suggests that the system is pushed by greenhouse gas changes and warming – as well as solar intensity and Earth orbital eccentricities – past a threshold at which stage the components start to interact chaotically in multiple and changing negative and positive feedbacks – as tremendous energies cascade through powerful subsystems. Some of these changes have a regularity within broad limits and the planet responds with a broad regularity in changes of ice, cloud, Atlantic thermohaline circulation and ocean and atmospheric circulation.

      Dynamic climate sensitivity implies the potential for a small push to initiate a large shift. Climate in this theory of abrupt change is an emergent property of the shift in global energies as the system settles down into a new climate state. The traditional definition of climate sensitivity as a temperature response to changes in CO2 makes sense only in periods between climate shifts – as climate changes at shifts are internally generated. Climate evolution is discontinuous at the scale of decades and longer.

      The practical outcome is that the increase in temps over the past 2 regimes – 1944 to 1988 – is some 0.381 degrees C. Some 0.07 degree C/decade.

      A tcr of 1 degree C seems a worst case scenario – as the planet loses the natural 20th century increase in the 21st. There is no guarantee that the next climate shift will be to yet warmer conditions.

  32. Not sure why my comments are not being shown. I’ll check back later.

  33. Following my comment at 2:54 PM, follow up comments have not been displayed. I’ll try one more time, with apologies if this leads to duplicates. I wanted to make a point about an earlier (2013) PNAS paper by the authors that Dr. Curry linked to after my original comment – a paper I was already familiar with. That paper, like the current one, provides evidence that internal variability (to the extent the AMO can be equated with internal variability) affects the rate at which external forcing warms the surface, but doesn’t tell us how much that variability was itself a source of warming. In contrast, the observed data on OHC show that most (far more than half) of the warming must have been forced, and excludes more than a minor role for internal variability. The relative roles can easily be computed from OHC data and data on ocean heat uptake efficiency and radiative restoring (reflected in the climate feedback parameter). As an aside, this approach is more reliable than one the IPCC emphasized – a comparison of GCM simulations with or without anthropogenic forcing. I think it was a mistake for the IPCC to focus more on the simulations, even though they yield the same ultimate conclusion.

  34.  
    Responding to and in the manner of KK Tung’s UPDATE (and, you can quote me): globally speaking the slowing of the rapidity of the warming, were it absent an enhanced hiatus compared to prior hiatuses, must at the least be interpreted as nothing more than a slowdown of the positive trend of uninterrupted global warming coming out of the Little Ice Age that has been ‘juiced’ by AGW as evidenced by rapid warming during the last three decades of the 20th Century, irrespective of the fact that, “the modern Grand maximum (which occurred during solar cycles 19–23, i.e., 1950-2009),” according to Ilya Usoskin, “was a rare or even unique event, in both magnitude and duration, in the past three millennia [that's, 3,000 years].” [Usoskin et al., Evidence for distinct modes of solar activity, A&A 562 (2014)]

  35. One more try, eliminating the introductory sentences that may have led to the non-display.

    I wanted to make a point about an earlier (2013) PNAS paper by the authors that Dr. Curry linked to after my original comment – a paper I was already familiar with. That paper, like the current one, provides evidence that internal variability (to the extent the AMO can be equated with internal variability) affects the rate at which external forcing warms the surface, but doesn’t tell us how much that variability was itself a source of warming. In contrast, the observed data on OHC show that most (far more than half) of the warming must have been forced, and excludes more than a minor role for internal variability. The relative roles can easily be computed from OHC data and data on ocean heat uptake efficiency and radiative restoring (reflected in the climate feedback parameter). As an aside, this approach is more reliable than one the IPCC emphasized – a comparison of GCM simulations with or without anthropogenic forcing. I think it was a mistake for the IPCC to focus more on the simulations, even though they yield the same ultimate conclusion.

  36. One may not need to look in the ocean to find the cause of the hiatus, because according to our best estimates, earth was losing energy at the top of the atmosphere for the 2000s, after gaining energy for the 1980s and 1990s:

    http://judithcurry.com/2013/11/28/is-earth-in-energy-deficit/

    • We also need to see the trend in OLR. If jimmy D’s claim that all warming prior to hiatus could be below TCR, there should be a big decrease in OLR relative to increasing outgoing SW.

    • Just linked back to your orginal interesting article.

      Is this apparent recdent cooling of the earth system, despite record amounts of CO2 being added, challenged by anyone ?

      • Time For An Ob

        I don’t think so because it does match the temperature record fairly well – the deficit years 2001-2008 match the cooling trend since 2001 fairly well.

        Cloud albedo is a likely agent for the net change, so it doesn’t obviate CO2, but does remind us of what natural variability can do.

  37. Does this come with a one-paper warning or are there indeed multiple lines of evidence via other papers?

    • The ‘one-paper warning’ [sic] thing I garnered from realclimate.org. Both interesting and inconsistently applied outreach I surmise.

    • freehat, every paper should age a bit, but there are a number of other papers, most from the GFLD, that indicate at that ACC and THC have the potential for much larger impacts on global climate that many include in their estimates of the range of natural variability. So I think this is a good one to bookmark.

  38. Hank Zentgraf

    Alarmism and skepticism converging?

  39. I would like it considered, by those who haven’t yet, the impact of gravity phases.

    Believed to be fact:
    Every 11 years, the sun flips magnetic poles.
    Every 11 years, the polarity of “pressure”/gravity at the North and South poles reverses in response.
    -Where the North magnetic pole was being “pushed on” becomes “pulled on”
    -Where the South magnetic pole was being “pulled on”, becomes “pushed on”
    The Earth’s magnetic and gravitational field around the equator changes very much seasonally, due to constant rotation and equally distributed exposure to the Sun’s E/M field.
    The gravitational field reversals at the poles causes “Polar Vortex Wobbles”, causes the mild glaciation the Canada and it’s North experienced this past winter. The freeze of the Great Lakes, the snow that landed in Ontario, late October and didn’t show us the ground again till late April. There were ZERO April showers, and May flowers did not show up on time.
    This is in direct contrast to winters in Canada, over the past decade. The last time winter was this bad was 2002. The Arctic Ice is reforming and growing.
    Because of our direction of travel through the cosmos, the South pole is always the trailing side in terms of motion. Our direction of motion North. Significantly.
    Our sun, with us whizzing around it, are plowing through a cloud of magnetic energy that is 5 times stronger than NASA was expecting it to be. This was found out within the last couple of years.
    The sun’s magnetic bubble, the Heliopause, is 38 billion km across. The opportunity/likelihood for this to be a large part of what drives the climate is large. The timing of accumulating this knowledge, versus our current ability to consider it’s impact is significant.
    The sun’s speed relative to this cloud, is 26km/s give or take. (coincidentally matching our orbital speed around the sun, they may or may not be related.)
    The inner workings or gravity and magnetism at the quantum level, is a current global mystery.
    The true inner workings of the core, must also be elusive, because I have yet to hear an explanation for why there is a link from the core of the Earth to the surface, creating the Hawaii chain of Islands. This chain of islands moves slowly over time. Around 45 million years ago, it’s direction of motion bent by 60 degrees. This is a global mystery. Knowing this is a global mystery, it can be deduced we are not in complete knowledge of the Earths inner workings.
    In 2009 researchers found radioactive decay rate to be variable, in response to the sun. The fact that radioactive decay rates are not constant was a surprise to the world. The mechanism is a global mystery. Again, this speaks to our knowledge of what is truly what, not being complete.
    The amount of core heat, resulting from different forcings cannot be accurate, because we do not know how the core works. We are only guessing. The surprises and new information are much more recent that the initiation of the Global Warming theory. They nave not yet been factored into it. How can we, they are global mysteries.

    The effects of everything I mention are the root cause of the disagreement between alarmists and deniers.

    The gravity pattern is the cause of the stadium wave. The El Nino’s/La Nina’s timing. The weather should be considered in 22 year cycles. The sun should be reconsidered for it’s impact on the Eartch’s climate. The impact of gravity is higher than the impact of sunlight. It is not sunlight that is the primary cause of Earth’s heat budget fluctuations. It is Magnetically influenced gravity fluctuations.

    All of this information is verifiable. Especially look at the maps from the GRACE satellite mission. Listen to the mysteries, re: Hawaii, the Heliopause, the shape of gravity, the workings of magnetism, the flow of neutrinos, the variation in radioactive decay rates, the seeming discord between polar ice accumulation and expectations.

    They aren’t part of the answer, they are THE answer, that drives the Earth’s energy budget. Climate is a result.

    CME’s are weather affecters that are only starting to be recognized. If you live in the North, you may have noticed when they occur in winter, and hit Earth, they ALWAYS cause heat waves. They ALWAYS cause melting of snow. They are under-recognized in their potential, because we have not yet clued into the importance of the gravity variations.

    Magnetism and light do not travel well through oceans.

    Gravity on the other hand, is omnipresent, and omnipotent. You cannot escape it’s effect. Even space is not zero gravity. It is BALANCED gravity.

    Gravity has polarity like light. Gravity is like the top of a pool with a bunch of kids in it, purposely slapping the water in a rythm, creating standing waves in the water. But the gravity field is in constant motion.

    Dark Energy and Dark Matter have been quantified. They are the medium that Einstein, and Michelson Morely were seeking. NASA has quantified it. Given that we now know a medium exists, the conclusions that derived Relativity need to be re-examined. They are directly derived from the failure to find an aether, and are directly built on the belief there is not an aether. Our belief in time dilation is built on the belief there is not an aether. Our understanding of the way things work, are based on calculations that are considered inaccurate, if they don’t match the belief that time dilates. And again, the necessity to believe time can dilate, is DIRECTLY in response to Einstein’s belief there is no aether. On this one, you can argue with me, but instead google “variable speed of light”, and read Einstein’s thoughts on the matter, since we believe in his equations, we should believe his other related thoughts on the matter. Especially since we have quantified the existence of an aether (at least in space).

    I don’t expect or ask you to take any of this at face value.

    Instead, check it out. If you are a paid climatologist, and you aren’t aware of the above, and refute any of it, check it out.

    If you have an interest in physics, check out Einstein, variable speed of light, aether, then check for the quantification of DE/DM.

    The verification of this information may come from the spectral analysis of lensed light coming from a single source, but presenting in multiple copies in our night sky. Sometimes 5 or 6. In a helix with two patterns of coiled high and low gravity.

    It will come more circumstantially in the form of a second very cold North American winter. (likely a couple more to tell the whole truth. But I have to live them, so I don’t like thinking about it too much).

    People who refute these facts, or their significance, are welcome to check them out.

    The GRACE mission gravity anomaly maps are the best place to start. You can see the patterns first hand. And if you can’t explain the patterns that you see, then you know that you are not aware of all the worlds knowledge.

    I am not very interested in reposnses from people who don’t take the time to check them out. Pay special attention to Greenland. And Africa, and North America. Pay special attention to the seasons. Pay special attention to the year to year same season progression. Pay attention to the flux between increasing gravity moving towards and away from the equator. Pay special attention to the “shape” of the interference pattern, to realize it is DUAL SOURCE. Inner and outer combined.

    Know that the Earth in response to the Sun’s gravitational influence, has a “tidal” wave of about one meter, at the crust level. Derive that the entire structure from surface to core stretches and relaxes per day.

    Know that barometric pressure, and water cycles are very tied to gravitational patterns.

    And know that it is gravity “phases” that cause the timing and severity of the climate. Determine through the setting of the balance point, what our global temperature will be.

    CO2 is not significant, because we have not properly analyzed past records, because we have not recognize the potency or mechanism of the suns impact on earth. CO2 responds to temperature, that has been determined.

    I don’t deny there may be warming from CO2. If there is, it gets washed away, daily, by rotation, monthly by the moon, quarterly by gravity phase changes as we round the sun, yearly due to fluctuations in solar output of light energy, and every 22 years related to Sun’s magnetic field. In longer cycles due to Milankovitch cycles, which are further evidence, in themselves, that gravity/speed/location of Earth is more important to climate than any other mechanism.

    Not recognizing that there is a relationship between magnetism, gravity, and the orbits of all the planets would be an error. The mechanism was not well enough known to explain this phenomena originally. Enough evidence has been accumulated now.

    The Hawaii Mystery??? Consider that the timing seems related to our journey around the Milky Way. The bend of 60 degrees, cannot be tectonic, but can be gravitational. The fact the emperor/hawaii chain of islands shape is a pretty exact match for the Universes “Great Attractor” , include a tilt from one end to the other, is curious, and may, but may not be related.

    I believe all of the above to be factual enough to build a compelling argument when assembled together.

    I have tried to provide some of this information to Dr Curry in an e-mail, because the pictures that can be included are very compelling. She hasn’t deigned it necessary to respond at all. This is unfortunate. But I recognize the number of people who claim to have it all figured out, is by definition, much higher than the number of people who can possibly come up with the right answer, unless they come up with the same answer. Therefor, I empathize with Dr Curry, and just hope this helps.

    Cheers,
    Alistair

    • This looks like crackpot nonsense to me.

      I have tried to provide some of this information to Dr Curry in an e-mail, because the pictures that can be included are very compelling.

      Why don’t you put in on a blog? I know it’s a little difficult to learn to use the interface for any of the major free blog sites, but if you’re smart enough to come up with something I would be interested in reading, with or without pictures, you should be smart enough to use that interface.

      Same probably goes for anybody else who looks at your comment here. Why are you linking to Facebook rather than a site where your “theories” are better explicated, with ” the pictures that can be included”?

      • that’s a fair question.

        if you have enough interest to comment, PLEASE see the raw data. and don’t listen to my assertions. consider for your own information , your own benefit.

        http://geoid.colorado.edu/grace/dataportal.html

        use smoothing radius of 25km. look at monthly anomalies.

        browse at least a few months somewhere between 2002-2011. pay attention to Greenland. Then view 2013, again pay attention to Greenland.

        Then you will want to go back and check what you are seeing through the months and years you didn’t see yet, because it will be new information to you, and you will want to make sure it is correct.

        I have posted 3 extracted pictures here. I don’t think it was powerful enough. It really should be explored first hand, so you get to choose what you look at and what you look for. Greenland is the best starting point.

        If you can’t imagine how the gravity anomalies can be acting as they do, I’ll answer any questions I can. :-)

        Sincerely,
        Alistair

      • From “Watt’s up with That” on Greenland and Antarctic ice.

        There is even considerable mention of the GRACE mission.

        NOTING, though, that they only used data up to Sept 2012. The entire time they monitor and analyze Greenland gravity (imaging the variations to be ice melt), the sun was polarized one direction.

        Look at 2013, and see the impact of the solar magnetic field reversal.

        Remember to use 25km smoothing radius, for the best detail.

      • I agree, that sure needs its own blog. The discussion about Pacific plate movements alone requires at least 10 pages with the associated graphics.

    • This must be one of the longest blogs ever written. Don’t have a clue as to what you’re alleging is correct. Far too long for me. But thanks for not saying “climate change”

  40. If Gavin has so much faith in his 90% or 95% attribution, then you should ask him to put his money where his mouth is and bet you at 10:1 or 20:1 on a 50% attribution.

    If only we could envision that we will know this answer better in 20 years than we do today.

    There is simply no downside to over-estimating confidence in this attribution, and that is its essential flaw.

  41. “There are recurrent cycles that are salinity-driven that can store heat deep in the Atlantic and Southern oceans. After 30 years of rapid warming in the warm phase, now it’s time for the cool phase.”

    Yes, we have been saying that for years but the obsessive CO2ists and with few exceptions the politicians and media wouldn’t listen.

    It may come as a surprise to these people, but “30 years of rapid warming” means 30 years of rapid warming. So the observed 30 years of rapid warming in the late 20thC was not caused by CO2.

    The “50-50″ statement is dubious, because they haven’t actually ascribed the other 50% to CO2, they have just assumed that the unaccounted-for part is due to CO2. In reality, it could be due to something else. Hopefully, it really is due to CO2, because then we can mitigate the next 30 years of cool phase by keeping CO2 levels high. If CO2 doesn’t do the other 50% then we could be in for a very unpleasant cold time.

  42. stevefitzpatrick

    It is an interesting paper, but I would suggest caution: Argo measurements of heat content, combined with earlier (and spotty) measurements, suggest there has not been a great deal of change in the rate of heat accumulation over the past 20 years.

    The suggestion that there is a long term oscillation in heat uptake which explains changes in warming rate is sensible; I just don’t think there is enough empirical support to say that explains everything. The numbers need to add up.

  43. “It came out of a computer, so it must be right.”

    There is no possibility we know the temperature profile of the world’s oceans, particularly deeper than 300 meters prior to 1990 ALACE and deeper than 1000 meters prior to ARGO in 2004, to support the conclusions of this paper.

    The Uncertainty Monster is alive and well, swimming just under the surface of this paper. 1×10^20 J (really J/m) translates to a temperature resolution of 0.07 dec C maximum scale for each meter in the OHC plots. (Rule of Thumb: 27.5 ZJ = 0.01 deg C for the 0-2000 meter water column).

    • Stephen Rasey,

      Thank you. Not only did it come out of a computer it made a pretty picture with many colors.

      I noted that between ~1995 and ~2005 the heat content of top 600 m of the world’s oceans allegedly increased by ~10^20 J. Big number but they cannot measure Joules, they measure temperatures. To achieve this they must have measured a temperature change of 0.1°C.

      I am certainty the uncertainty around that calaculation must swamp the results.

  44. Not so much of hiatus as progression of a quasi-periodic variability, the SST ‘cycles’ are trailing and not leading N. Atlantic series of the events
    (see last graph HERE)

  45. Looking at this passage:

    “Rapid warming in the last three decades of the 20th century, they found, was roughly half due to global warming and half to the natural Atlantic Ocean cycle that kept more heat near the surface.”

    This fits in pretty nicely, in a rough sort of way, with the idea that climate sensitivity is about half what the IPCC thinks , e.g., you might get 1.25 to 1.5 degrees C for a doubling of CO2 and equivalents.

  46. Oddly for this “cool phase” we find that both polar glaciers are being lost at a high and accelerating rate. I suspect we won’t see a post on this new work, so here it is.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/08/21/antarctica-greenland-melting-ice_n_5697998.html

    • But just a little earlier on, you posted:

      HR, putting heat deep in the ocean just delays and doesn’t stop global warming. In the long term, the energy balance wins.

      You can’t have it both ways.

    • Jimd

      This melting of glaciers at both poles sounds eerily similar to the 1920 to 1950 period.

      Tell me, at the current rate of depletion how long will it take for the ice to melt? You do know what fraction of a percent this all represents?

      Tonyb

      • The rate doubled in five years. At that rate of doubling they could be gone within a century.

      • Jimd

        Gone in a century? You do realise that the melt amount remains trivial and that the two warmest consecutive decades in Greenland were 1930 and 1940?

        Tonyb

    • The excuse for being unable to detect it at the surface is that it’s hiding away in the deep oceans – yet it’s melting the ice sheets!

      • It’s pretty hard to get an ice sheet surface temperature above freezing, so it melts instead. Another form of hidden heat.

      • Seriously?

      • It’s pretty hard to get an ice sheet surface temperature above freezing, so it melts instead. Another form of hidden heat.

        But the air a meter above it could be 5°C higher. Depending on the wind speed. Where are your measurements taken?

      • maybe you have a different theory for how glaciers melt during a cool phase?

      • This is an ex-parrot!

      • Sure, land warms, deep ocean warms, ice melts, all during the cool phase. These observed facts go against the grain for some and are hard to take.

      • Of course! How can i have been so stupid!

      • maybe you have a different theory for how glaciers melt during a cool phase?

        First, I seriously doubt there’s any significant melting. Most of it is probably sublimation.

        Second, looking at the paper itself, there’s a huge amount of uncertainty involved in their measurements.

        But let’s leave that aside, and look at the implications of what you’ve claimed for them (based on their press release):

        [...] both polar glaciers are being lost at a high and accelerating rate.

        Since “there’s an over two orders of magnitude (~120) difference between the amount of energy needed to add a litre to the ocean from melting ice (~334KJ) [and] thermal expansion of sea water (~40,000KJ)”, this means that sea-level rise, often offered as a “proxy” for “global warming”, is actually not important.

        Indeed, it could be taken as demonstrating that there hasn’t been any net heat flow into the oceans at all!

      • phatboy, yes, sometimes the surrounding facts just get in your way, so, best to disregard them.

      • AK, net sublimation would also have to factor in precipitation, but it is not clear that global warming reduces rather than increases precipitation, besides which Greenland’s melt rate has been rising in the areas closer to the southwest coast where most of the ice is being lost as glaciers accelerate to the sea on the melted water.

      • Steven Mosher

        Most is sublimation?
        More settled science from ak

      • @Jim D…

        AK, net sublimation would also have to factor in precipitation, but it is not clear that global warming reduces rather than increases precipitation, besides which Greenland’s melt rate has been rising in the areas closer to the southwest coast where most of the ice is being lost as glaciers accelerate to the sea on the melted water.

        I’m not sure I understand where you’re going with this mishmash. My point is that reduction in Arctic/Antarctic ice uses almost no “global” heat, while raising sea-levels orders of magnitude (~120 times) more than thermal expansion due to heat transported into the deep ocean.

        The assumption that melting/accumulation of ice, whether glacial or floating, has anything to do with “Global Warming” is totally unwarranted. It does, however, have something important to do with sea-level change.

      • Most is sublimation?
        More settled science from ak

        Steven Mosher being Steven Mosher

      • AK is correct. In fact, we have proven that melting is physically impossible and all phase transitions involve sublimation followed by condensation on the nano scale where it is impossible to detect except in our minds:

        http://www.princessipia-scientology.drk\nano-nano_x4m8ion

      • I say most is melting because they identify most ice loss where the glaciers have been sliding faster into the sea in Greenland, where they melt, but maybe some sublimation is involved coincidentally in those same areas, also some precipitation which opposes sublimation in effect.

      • So the extra heat is going into the deep oceans and melting the ice sheets, without appearing anywhere else?

      • What Jimmy D is saying is that, around ten years into the “cool phase”, the rate doubled over five years to twice what it was during the “warming phase”.
        What Jimmy D also ignores is that ice mass loss can also be due to:
        a) reduced precipitation
        b) reduced albedo due to reduced cloudiness (goes together with reduced precipitation)
        c) reduced albedo due to soot and/or volcanic ash, both of which have been seen in the last five years
        d) other local phenomena

      • Jim D, summary : the heat can’t be mesured on the surface, because it’s hiding in the deep oceans. Where it melts glaciers.

    • Jim D, rather than point to the Huffington, one could like the original paper

      http://www.the-cryosphere.net/8/1539/2014/tc-8-1539-2014.pdf

      This paper is really interesting. It tells me we do have to worry about sea level rise in the future. Maybe it´s time to stop issuing permits for construction lower than say 2 meters elevation about the high tide mark? Or maybe they should require the design allow for sea level increases?

      • So the ice loss rate in Greenland increases by a factor of 3 in five years, and you say no cause for concern. That is your take-home message?

      • Or maybe you are concerned. Sorry, I have misread what you said.

  47. 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. Loeb et al, 2012, Advances in Understanding Top-of-Atmosphere Radiation Variability from Satellite Observations

    So ocean heat content is consistent with TOA radiant flux? It should be or something is radically amiss with the data.

    src=”http://s1114.photobucket.com/user/Chief_Hydrologist/media/cloud_palleandlaken2013_zps3c92a9fc.png.html?sort=3&o=138″ width=400>

    What it all shows is that cloud change is the dominant term – by far – in the global energy budget in the satellite era.

  48. How many areas, and how many degrees have they found so far in regards to the pause. I think at last count it is approx. 10C that they have found. Empirical data isn’t showing a 10C increase in surface temperatures.

    What mystery place will they find next?

  49. Hi Judy

    KK Tung writes

    “The anthropogenic warming I think is what causes the staircases to rise.”

    IF this is true, it documents a newly appreciated sink of heat (Joules) deeper into the ocean where it would be difficult, or impossible, for it to be rapidly transferred back into the atmosphere. As a result, the projected magnitude of global warming as it affects the atmospheric part of the climate system would be about halved from what the IPCC has concluded.

    Roger Sr

    • It should end up being less than half. Water vapor feedback is purely temperature based and would be the same for natural, i.e. not easily attributed to man, as it would for anthropogenic. Since the AMO “cycle” extends well back before the magic year 1950, there are a lot more questions to be answered.

    • What a superb point, Dr. Pielke. I can’t wait to read all about it in next week’s NYT’s.

    • Actually ‘difficult’ or ‘impossible’ seem like pretty arbitrary inferences to draw considering the insufficient understanding of the meridional overturning, and in fact the opposite is implied from progress in ocean dynamics over the past decade. For the longest time it was thought that the MOC was ‘thermohaline’, or sometimes referred to as horizontal convection, driven by water sinking at the North Atlantic polar regions and gradually diffusing up in various equatorward regions, which seems pretty inefficient. However recent(past decade), observational, theoretical and modeling (some idealized, others, somewhat realistic) efforts seem to point at a pretty different mechanism:

      1. The driver of the MOC seems dominantly to be the wind stress forcing at the Southern Ocean with the North Atlantic playing a much smaller role.
      2. The slow diffusion equatorward of the the NA is not that slow, and seems to happen at narrow localized spots near topographic features, mid ocean ridges, continental margins, islands etc, due to tidal internal wave breaking and other related mechanisms which remain unclear.

      Basically what I am saying is that the notion of ‘inefficient’ or ‘slow’ circulation of heat (or other tracers) by the ocean is probably not true. And this is unrelated to climate etc., its an ocean dynamics issue.

      • I think their hypothesis is plausible. I used ARGO data to animate normalized ocean tempeatures from 0 to 2000M. There appears to be an outflow of relatively warm water from the North Atlantic starting at about 1000M which reaches the Southern Ocean at about 2000M. I imagine that small variations in the rate of this circulation would lead to huge variations in the rate of deep ocean heat uptake.

        https://sites.google.com/site/climateadj/argo-animations/argo-animation-lev.gif?attredirects=0

      • If the water is moving around quickly, then there is no ‘fat-tail’ for the ‘equilibrium’ of atmospheric CO2 into the depths, suggesting that the 14C atmospheric disappearance rate is near the true oceanic ‘sink’ rate.

    • “The anthropogenic warming I think is what causes the staircases to rise.”

      More of a french duck (a canard) for attracting and repelling families with slow fast systems on the two torus.

      http://www.ams.org/distribution/mmj/vol1-1-2001/duck.pdf

    • Roger, thanks for joining the discussion. Question: how much heat (in Joules) does the ocean hold today, and how more could it absorb before it would cause the SST to rise by 1C or more?

  50. “In situ and reanalyzed data are used to trace the pathways of ocean heat uptake.”

    Reanalyzed.data. I wonder if anyone in the “climate science” community would have reanalyzed the data if the “missing heat” were so obvious in the data.

    What was the data they reanalyzed prior to 2003 when the ARGO floats became operational?

    How did they calculate ocean heat content from the sparse number of floats in the Atlantic?

    How did they calculate ocean heat content at 2000 meters below sea level, prior to start of the ARGO program?

    How did they calculate ocean salinity prior to start of the ARGO program?

    What are the error bars in calculating the heat content of an entire ocean from the sparse, unreliable (pre-ARGO) temperature data available?

    How much krigging, etc. goes into the model?

    This just appears to be more science by statistics. No new data. No addition to actual knowledge. Just a reprocessing of someone else’s data to find support for the consensus, and explain away the “pause.”

    Models; sparse, incomplete data; undisclosed assumptions; broad claims of attribution; and inflated certainty.

    It must be “:climate science.”

    • That seems like a pretty unfair assessment. It’s one thing to question whether or not the predictions, forecasts are strong enough to make epochal policy changes, but the the approach itself, especially with reference to the specific paper?

      Lots of scientific fields exist where observational data are sparse or difficult to asses. Everyone wants more data, and the effort on this front is pretty substantial, especially in recent years. What happens when you don’t have the data? Raise your hands and give up? That’s where theory comes in, the difficulty being that the theory is pretty difficult here and that brings us to models and related ideas of data assimilation and reanalysis. Reanalysis can often have issues but it’s still pretty cutting edge and represents the notion that we use all the tools available. ( observation and dynamics) Just because the models are not good enough for prediction yet means nothing about the science itself. If the whole policy issues did not exist, the ocean-atmosphere-climate physics realm is pretty good from for the scientific methodological perspective (consistent progress in observation, theory and modeling).

      • “What happens when you don’t have the data? Raise your hands and give up?…Just because the models are not good enough for prediction yet means nothing about the science itself.”

        This would be a much more convincing argument if it weren’t for the fact that the “consensus” is claiming they are certain enough to justify decarbonizing the global energy economy.

        “If the whole policy issues did not exist, the ocean-atmosphere-climate physics realm is pretty good from for the scientific methodological perspective….”

        Well, since I am not an academic, and live in the real world, the fact that the “whole policy issues” do exist, and are being implemented by deluded progressive governments as we speak based precisely on “science” like this, I find your argument irrelevant.

        I’ll make ya a deal. Every paper like this one that includes the following caveat, should be treated with respect:

        “The projections and conclusions in this paper are not sufficient to justify massive policy decisions.”

        Without such a disclaimer, they should be derided for the political activism disguised as science that they are.

        What happens when you don’t have the data? You don’t claim the right to run the global energy economy based on your unsubstantiated hunches.

  51. Conclusions drawn, or half-drawn, from mere smidgins of observation. What the hell, we’re published!

    And all mixed in with some old fashioned dogma about “climate change” and “global warming”, two deliberately sloppy expressions which can be morphed and shuffled about at one’s convenience.

    The anti-Enterprise of climate science continues to boldly not go where no man has gone.

  52. “This explanation implies that the current slowdown in global warming could last for another decade, or longer, and then rapid warming will return.”

    Chen and Tung are correct in linking the temperature of the Atlantic ocean, both at depth and surface, with global average atmospheric temperature. But the evidence before 1900 for this to be of cyclic nature is weak.Why not look a little harder at how CO2 absorbs heat? Co2, like other gases, can absorb heat in two ways: By an increase in kinetic energy and/or vibration energy. In my paper (underlined above) I have used data from the Australian BOM (my figure 2) which shows that the lowest temperature vibration mode of CO2 was approaching saturation (100% absorption). When CO2 concentration increased as it inevitably did, eartth’s heat could flow unimpeded into space.
    Because CO2 concentration can only increase, a further increase in atmospheric or ocean temperature would be very limited because the next vibration mode of CO2 is much higher than any tropospheric temperature. So I dispute that “rapid warming will return”.

  53. It’s looking more and more that global warming/cooling is not related to human activities. Eh?

  54. As usual, they explain everything after the fact, and predict nothing about the future.

  55. If this paper holds water and we give credit where credit is due, we have to say Trenberth was right. I have noticed on the salinity map, the Atlantic has some salty spots, so that’s consistent with the paper’s hypothesis.

    • What are the two major processes that increase salinity? Evaporation and freeze fractionation at a guess.
      What mechanism is there for increasing the rate of either of these with increases back-radiation? We are told that increased back-radiation should increase water vapor levels and this should make it more difficult for dense brines to form.

  56. Steve Fitzpatrick

    There is more than a little humor in the seemingly endless series of papers (in many different journals) offering explanations for ‘the pause’; this paper is a sincere effort, but just another of the many that have come before it, and the many more that will follow it. All are efforts to avoid the obvious: the GCM’s models are, on average, as well as nearly all individually, much too sensitive to GHG forcing. At some point, all the “no-model-error” type excuses will run out, and the obvious one (the models are wrong, probably due to how they treat clouds) will have to be accepted. The sooner the better; we are wasting too much time on silly excuses.

    • “There is more than a little humor in the seemingly endless series of papers (in many different journals) offering explanations for ‘the pause’; ”

      Especially amusing inasmuch as any claims that a pause was occurring would elicit indignant cries of “denier” not more than just a few years ago.

      Calling these guys “disingenuous” is too kind.

    • Most of the explanations have agreed on natural variation, perhaps with a little solar but the skeptics have not yet accepted this. Usually skeptics are happy to have natural variation mentioned, but now they seem to be cautious, like this is too obvious and perhaps some kind of trap. It’s hard to gauge how they think sometimes.

      • The problem is invertible and well posed eg Ghil 2001

        The global temperature increase through the 1990s is certainly rather unusual in terms of the instrumental record of the last 150 years or so. It does not correspond, however, to a rapidly accelerating increase in greenhouse-gas emissions or a substantial drop in aerosol emissions. How statistically significant is, therefore, this temperature rise, if the null hypothesis is not a random coincidence of small, stochastic excursions of global temperatures with all, or nearly all, the same sign?

        The presence of internally arising regularities in the climate
        system with periods of years and decades suggests the
        need for a different null hypothesis. Essentially, one needs
        to show that the behaviour of the climatic signal is distinct
        from that generated by natural climate variability in the past

      • stevefitzpatrick

        Of course they have focused on natural variability. That is the point; if it is not due to natural variability then there is nothing left but the obvious: the models are too sensitive to forcing. But while the many recent papers all hew to the ” ’twas the natral varation wat done it” meme, since that seems an effective way to defend the honor and virtue of the GCM’s, it ignores the flip side: the more rapid warming from the mid 1970′s to about 2000 was also the result of natural variation.

        Sure, natural variation is probably responsible for the relative lack of warming in the last 15 years, but also responsible for the preceding rapid warming (and the slight cooling from ~1945 to the mid 1970′s, and the rapid warming from ~1915 to 1945). The bottom line: the underlying long term trend appears to be just over half what the climate models predict, suggesting the true sensitivity is a bit more than half what the climate models diagnose.

      • The models underestimated the warming from 1984-1998, but no one said they were undersensitive for that period, because skeptics only look at the part of the record when the models were catching up. Natural variability of the type mentioned by the few skeptics who quantify it is about +/- 0.1 C, as you can see from the only ones they mention, the AMO and PDO. They haven’t yet found anything larger on decadal scales, wish that they may for it. Increasing CO2 by 40% is just a too obvious and easy an explanation, so it clearly can’t in any way be that.

      • 16 Natural variation Warmists and Skeptics united saying “we do not know!”

      • Jim D:

        I am not so sure about the .1C per decade of natural variation. It seems like it is higher than that.

        Using sea level as a proxy for natural temperature variations.

        The sea has risen 120 meters over the last 20,000 years.

        Only the last foot or so can be laid at the feet of humans.

        That is 6 cm per decade of natural sea level rise.

        At 3 mm per year or 30 mm per decade for the current rate of sea level rise (3 cm per decade).

        So the current rate of 3 cm per decade of sea level rise is only 1/2 of the background natural rate of 6 cm per decade.

        So that leads me to believe that .1C per decade is to small of a number to attribute to natural variation of the surface temperature.

        We will see.

        Lately, scientists have been relying on natural variation as a defense against the hiatus – so over time this number might increase – maybe even to .2C per decade.

        Which means that the entire warming since 1850 can be explained by natural variation (or natural variation cannot be ruled out as an explanation).

      • stevefitzpatrick

        JimD,
        That is simply not accurate. There were no CGM’s in like used by the IPCC to make projections in 1975, so much of the warming was observed before they made their first projection. AR4′s summary for policy makers stated that the first IPCC projection from AR1 (for the period 1990 to 2005) was “0.15C to 0.3C per decade”, while the observed rate was 0.2C per decade. Which they claimed confirmed the 1990 projection. The models never under-projected the rate of warming. The IPCC went on to project about 0.2C per decade for the next several decades. That one didn’t work out too well. The models have grossly overestimated warming for a long time. They are just too sensitive to GHG forcing.

      • The trend from 1984-1999 was 0.25 C per decade, which is higher than the IPCC models had for that period. No one points that out, nor that what happened since 1999 was just the models catching up with the actual trend. Usually the graphs are truncated not to show what happened in the previous 15 years to the pause, and that is for a reason that looks a lot like hoodwinking the unsuspecting.

      • I am with jimmy dee on this one. Ma nature has graciously slowed down so the GCMs can catch up. Little jimmy is smart.

      • Yes, follow the data is a good rule, and data means all the data, not just bits cut out for you.

      • Ooops! The data is killing the cause.

      • stevefitzpatrick

        JimD,

        I challenge you to produce data showing accurate average model projections for any period that the answer was not already pretty well known, outside 1990 to 2005. IPCC projections from AR1 were for warming in 1990 through 2005 of “0.15 to 0.3C per decade”. Since then, models have consistently overstated warming in their projections. The goalpost moving that is so painfully evident in AR5 (“ok, maybe it won’t warm so much in the text decade or two as we said in AR4″) would be funny if it were not so sad a commentary on the IPCC process. It is a silly effort which should long ago have ended. That you, like many of the ‘climate concerned’, refuse to acknowledge the obvious over projections of the models just means you are either a) not at all a critical thinker, or b) are only willing to believe information consistent with your pre-conceived notions. In either case, I am forced to say ‘a deus’. Life is too short to waste any more time on you.

      • stevef, the transient sensitivity since 1950 is well within the model range of 2 C per doubling. The IPCC estimate of GHG warming accounts for the 0.7 C since 1950 when aerosols are accounted for in the way the IPCC does. It is clear that the IPCC takes more than the models into account, and everyone should as a rule. Even allowing for the models predicting 0.2 C per decade when it is measured to be 0.16 C per decade is not a large error considering the uncertainties in aerosols especially and possible recent changes in solar input.

      • What on Earth are you babbling about Jimbo?

        The residual calculated rate of warming over the last cool and warm regime – 1945 to 1998 – is 0.07 degrees C/decade.

      • It is 0.16 C per decade since 1980 alone, so it must have accelerated a lot from the 35 years 1945-1980 compared to the last 35 years. Accelerating would be consistent with the forcing, however, so it is explainable that way.

      • It is no coincidence that shifts in ocean and atmospheric indices occur at the same time as changes in the trajectory of global surface temperature. Our ‘interest is to understand – first the natural variability of climate – and then take it from there. So we were very excited when we realized a lot of changes in the past century from warmer to cooler and then back to warmer were all natural,’ Tsonis said.

        It is all very simple Jimbo – at least half of the 1976 to 1998 warming was quite natural. .

      • Rob Ellison, technically correct if you end in 1998 because that El Nino was 0.5 C by itself and that is natural. In some years that natural variation is ten times the climate change. However, the longer you average the smaller these get. By the time you are averaging over 30 years it is +/- 0.1 C, and at 60 years it is pretty much gone while the climate change part remains a signal above the noise.

      • What are you babbling on about now?

        It is no coincidence that shifts in ocean and atmospheric indices occur at the same time as changes in the trajectory of global surface temperature. Our ‘interest is to understand – first the natural variability of climate – and then take it from there. So we were very excited when we realized a lot of changes in the past century from warmer to cooler and then back to warmer were all natural,’ Tsonis said.

        The last two complete regimes of natural variability were a cool one from 1944 and a warm one from 1977 to 1998. The warming from 1944 to 1998 was 0.07 degrees C/decade in the period of most CO2 increase.

        This is the residual after you average out a cool and a warm regime. Halve the warming in 1976 to 1998 and you get the same. Exclude the ENSO dragon-kings in 1976/1977 and 1998/2001 – and you get the same result.

        There seems a better chance that – instead of the 20th century pattern – the current cool mode will shift to yet cooler conditions in the next shift as the amplified effects of solar cooling kick in.

        You have lost – accept it and stop retailing utter twaddle.

      • ocean temperatures are at record levels. Not cooperating with assertions that we are in a “cool phase”

    • I don´t run climate models, but I do have experience running very large oil field dyamic models. When we run into a problem like this we “paint” the process we can´t model using parameterizations, and crank the model to tune it and then proceed to run forecasts.

      As far as I can see they could force the climate model to hide the excess flux into deep water in 30 years cycles, and then tune the other parameters until they get a TCR which matches the observations. This is a brute force approach, but I see too much emphasis in data mining the CMIP5 models rather than doing original work. Or are they doing it and failing to publish the results?

  57. catweazle666

    So, is that thirty-eight or thirty-nine separate and distinct explanations of the “pause” that we’ve got now?

    If climate scientists can’t explain the “pause” – and thirty-odd different explanations clearly demonstrate they can’t – they clearly can’t explain the cause.

    • Ah, they are still 97 and 44/100th percent sure that at least 50% is man made.

      • Capt’nDallas

        Are you saying that as Ivory Snow is flakes, that climate scientists are flakes as well? but that was 99 and 44/100th percent pure. Still a way to go for the consensus to make the great unwashed clean.

    • Like the overturning meridional circulation each new theory also overturns the last, Otherwise with 3 decades of pause when it should have been 0.6 degrees and lets say 40 theories all working we would be 24 degrees colder in a snowball earth!

  58. Quoted from the last lines of Dr Curry’s post above;

    “We are not talking about a normal situation because there are so many other things happening due to climate change,” Tung said.”

    As if none of this has ever happened before, probably times almost without number.
    And for some reason these types of comments from climate alarmism supporting scientists remind me of a bunch of pimply teen agers who think they have just become the first to discover “sex”.

  59. “That said, the hiatus since 1998 is warmer than the previous two hiatus periods (the so called stair step), so this brings us back to wondering about ‘coming out’ of the Little Ice Age. Anthropogenic warming does not explain why the 21st century hiatus is warmer than the mid 20th century hiatus which is warmer than the turn of the 20th century hiatus. The sun, or longer term ocean vacillations/oscillations are candidates, with some ‘juicing’ in the latter quarter of the 20th century by anthropogenic greenhouse warming.”

    So, we get probably at most around 1 C of warming from a doubling of CO2.
    Or 280 ppm to 560 ppm we get about 1 C of warming. From 560 to 1120 ppm we should get less than 1 C of warming.
    [We aren’t going to get to 1000 ppm within a century or foreseeable future- and changes in technology and changes in natural processes could make any present alteration of CO2 emission in terms a potential future of CO2 of +1000 ppm of global CO2, could easily make the matter fairly fruitless. Though if higher then 1000 ppm is a distant future is concern, relying greater portion of electrical generation upon nuclear energy as compared to relying on coal as source of energy would seem the most significant action one should take. Example: 80% of China’s electrical energy production is based upon burning coal. If this could within a decade or two be reduced to 50% of electrical power from coal, then this would be significant reduction in terms CO2 centuries in the future. The basic economics generally indicate China should reduce it’s coal dependency of 80% to lower amount as such 50%
    without even factoring a potential long term affect of higher global CO2. Of course having only 50% of electrical energy from Coal does not require that China somehow makes do with less electrical power [and a lower standard of living], though it could have to do with wasting less resources one useless projects of solar and wind generation, and more focus on Nuclear or other sources of energy like natural gas.]
    In 100 years, we probably will have advancement in nanotechnology which could have profound effects upon energy needs and other changes in general production and culture, that are as dramatic and going from horse drawn carriages and prior to electrical age. Other profound changes could related to further use of space environment.
    Another technological change in the future, may related to merely employing advancements of the present information age- or advancement in utilization rather than anything particular revolutionary in terms of a particular technological breakthrough. Or we currently in process transforming our civilizations as result of information age, and we will take additional decades merely “to catch up” in terms of utilization in a broader scope.
    Anyhow, 1 C from CO2 doubling and about .3 C we have already gotten from present rise to around 400 ppm [from 280 to 420 ppm will more than 1/2 of 1 C increase], leaving about .5 C increase attributable to “natural variability”. And natural variability includes recovery from Little Ice Age and other cycles in global temperature -and/or error in measurement. Or part of idea that we have had rise of about .8 C in global temperature over last century or so is inaccurate. Or one could measure global temperature in time scales of 1000 year. To say we had .8 C in century which means 8 C in 1000 years, is simply false.

  60. So, this would put the TCR below 1, would it not?

  61. Geoff Sherrington

    There seems to be an overall slow drift in general commentary from dogmatism to equivcation.
    As heard on sports radio here -
    ‘There is always doubt. There is no doubt about that.’
    ……..
    There must be some doubt about some measurements used in this paper.
    There are many comments about Argo data being too sparse in time and space to show trends. I share that concern.
    There are stationarity asssumptions from observations of ocean basins as they appear to us today. Here, the Atlantic is emphasised. A millenium ago, was it the Pacific doing similar things? What of the behavior of the vast southern oceans?
    ………
    As is seen so oftern, climate studies are long on speculation ans short of validation data compared to several of the hard sciences.

  62. As I have always understood it there are two main process that propel water into the deep oceans. The first is salinity driven and carries mostly hot saline water down into the depths from shallow equatorial atolls warming the deep ocean. The second is a temperature driven process where cold water sinks at the poles cooling the deep ocean. As I have always understood it, it is the overall balance between these two processes that determines the temperature of the deep oceans. Currently the thermal process dominates and we have a cold deep ocean.

    The Arctic process is vulnerable to disruption if the salinity of arctic waters changes. If Arctic waters become fresh this inhibits the flow of cold arctic waters to the depths warming the deep oceans. What confuses me is that the mechanism being described here seems to turn this understanding on its head. They describe salinity carrying heat down in the North Atlantic with a saline North Atlantic causing deep ocean warming. North Atlantic waters are not particularly warm to begin with, and my previous understanding was that salinity in the North Atlantic assisted the thermally driven flow from the Arctic cooling the depths.

    Can someone help reconcile the new paper with my previous understanding.

    • – Ian H | August 22, 2014 at 12:34 am | Reply

      As I have always understood it there are two main process that propel water into the deep oceans. The first is salinity driven and carries mostly hot saline water down into the depths from shallow equatorial atolls warming the deep ocean.–
      Well perhaps rather being two main processes, perhaps these two processes are instead the most commonly mentioned processes.
      Perhaps a quantification of each of these two process could lead to the conclusion that they are the two main process, and of the two of these process which is greater and how much greater.
      So how much occur from “cold water sinks at the poles”?
      I would assume it’s much greater amount than the “equatorial atolls warming” and how much more?

      As rough ballpark, it seems the flow volume of the Gulf Stream gives clue to scale of this exchange. Or it’s one effect of poleward cold water being replaced with warmer tropic waters. And being that it’s on the surface and known about and measured for centuries, one say it’s easier. [Though it seems to me it’s obvious that south pole is actually cooling and transporting greater amounts, but just taking Gulf stream as starting point.
      So Gulf Stream flow rate:
      “The Gulf Stream transports nearly four billion cubic feet of water per second, an amount greater than that carried by all of the world’s rivers combined. ”

      http://oceanservice.noaa.gov/facts/gulfstreamspeed.html

      Wiki gives meters [better]:
      “As a consequence, the resulting Gulf Stream is a strong ocean current. It transports water at a rate of 30 million cubic meters per second (30 sverdrups) through the Florida Straits. As it passes south of Newfoundland, this rate increases to 150 million cubic metres per second. The volume of the Gulf Stream dwarfs all rivers that empty into the Atlantic combined, which barely total 0.6 million cubic metres per second. It is weaker, however, than the Antarctic Circumpolar Current.”

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

      So 150 million cubic meters per second has to be replaced with 150 million cubic meter second water returning.
      And have about 31.5 million second in year. Or 4730 trillion cubic meter a year- or about 4.7 million cubic km of water a year.
      This is a flow of energy. And an energy source from the denser water falling is gravity, as is the source of energy from hydro dams is gravity. Or less gravity is causes less energy, having higher gravity results in more energy.
      Mars has 1/3 gravity as Earth, same dam on Mars as one one earth, has 1/3 the energy.
      So in terms energy driving ocean currents, one factor which varies could be how fast does denser water fall. One has also has other factors: tidal energy, wind energy, the spin of the Earth, amount of warmer more buoyant in tropic water, momentum of waters, and etc -which can also effect neutral buoyant and denser water’s speed of falling.

  63. “The above scenario cannot be verified observationally.”
    How convenient for any unprovable theory.
    The cycle starts when saltier, denser water at the surface northern part of the Atlantic, near Iceland, causes the water to sink.”
    “They forgot to mention colder, It is denser because of the salt and the low temperature from being on the surface of the Arctic for heavens sake.
    It is not hotter and denser, just saltier.
    Everyone knows heat travels very quickly compared to salt dilution in water. The salt stays the heat goes.
    Currents are due to expansion of hot water in the tropics each day as the sun passes over moving the water north and south from the path of the sun
    The cycle is a daily one of 12 hours on, 12 hours off under the path of the sun with a 365 and a 1/4 sinusoidal wave.
    The currents hit the east coast of the continents and diverge with a strong upward current to the Arctic from the semicircular North/south American shape focusing the major movement Northwards.

  64. Causes of the pause cherry picked from an article at WUWT and embellished

    1. There is no pause denial

    2. Low solar activity some skeptics

    3. The heat is in the oceans somewhere we cannot measure denial

    4. The Pacific decadal oscillation (PDO) has been mostly negative since about 2000. and? [why is it negative not answered]

    5. the 60–70-year Atlantic multidecadal oscillation may have a similar effect
    and?

    6. Stratospheric water vapor decreasing temperature over 2000–9 by about 25%
    favored by Roy Spencer, ignored by all warmists

    7. Chinese coal the increased burning of coal in China is producing aerosols that are cooling the world.
    Clive Palmer would agree

    8. The Pacific and the La Niñas the pause is part of natural climate variability, tied to a La-Niña-like decadal cooling. some Skeptics

    9. Stadium waves In this idea the extent of sea ice in the Eurasian Arctic enhances or dampens the long-term trend in rising temperature.
    JC choice?

    10. Arctic stations the pause is an artefact of poor spatial sampling? This is the suggestion from Cowtan and Way (2013).
    supreme denialism

    10. Pacific trade winds . It is contended that there has been a strengthening in Pacific trade winds over the past two decades.
    see 11

    11. Pacific trade winds scientists also suggest the opposite: that weak trade winds are responsible
    see 10

    12. Trade winds are not varying
    Anon see 10 and 11

    13. Volcanoes
    ??
    14. Aerosols other
    take your pick and guess how much as no one knows how to measure them accurately

    15. A coincidence!
    Denialism

    16 Natural variation Warmists and Skeptics united saying “we do not know!”

    I believe there would be 40 causes put forward and would be happy for others to add the ones I have missed.

    I posted above

    Like the overturning meridional circulation each new theory also overturns the last, Otherwise with 3 decades of pause when it should have been 0.6 degrees and lets say 40 theories all working we would be 24 degrees colder in a snowball earth!
    Judith this is surely worth an article in your own inimitable style. How can so many theories be right if we are not getting colder and how many have been put to bed?
    When many people claim to be right no one can be right. but when the right answer is found it should be obvious.

    • Steven Mosher

      yes the science isnt settled.

      Here is the problem.

      1. The science never promised a monotonic rise in temperatures over
      decadal regimes.
      2. the ‘average’ of all models depicts a monotonic rise.
      3. Reality bites. Ouch.
      4. Now, folks are returning to explore #1. expect a wide range
      of competing explanations. Uncertainty ensures this.

      In other words, since the science isnt settled, we are seeing exactly what we expected. the messy work of figuring out uncertainty.

    • 17 Efficiency improvements have reached a point where they exactly cancel out the UHI of growing economies. (tongue mostly in cheek)

  65. Regardless of which natural cycle brought the hiatus, I’m not seeing any reason for alarm here. All we can conclude is that there is a steady trend of 0.6K/century with a natural cycle on top (exactly as many skeptics had predicted). When the cycle is on the upswing they get panicky about manmade warming and on the downswing they get panicky about global cooling. None of this comes necessarily from fossil fuels though. Bearing in mind their previous hubris about short-term cycles being manmade, their gross, unproven assumption about CO2 as a climate driver and the fact that the signal is far less than the error bars in the noise then why would anyone think that the long-term trend is anything other than just a separate upswinging natural cycle? And even if that trend is manmade, why would anyone worry about such a trivial rise?

    The answer to those questions is rooted in the angst and zeitgeist by earth-scientists and enviro-activists (often indistinguishable from each other) over industry and the fossil fuels that drive it. They neatly ignore that those fossil fuels brought the prosperity that allows us the time to worry about such trivia rather than just our daily survival (while also saving northern forests and whales from destruction). The millions wasted on climate science could be far better spent on energy research, where our real coming crisis lies.

  66. Pingback: A “hiatus” in some people’s “skepticism”? | …and Then There's Physics

  67. These are not predictable regimes of 30 years warming and 30 years cooling superimposed on a rising trend. They are unpredictable climate shifts that happen in the proxy record at 20 to 40 year intervals. They involve changes in ocean and atmospheric circulation, ice, cloud, dust and biology.

    There is no guarantee that the pattern of the 20th century – a maximum 0.07 degree C/decade residual trend with cooler and warmer interludes – will be repeated in the 21st

    Natural variation seems set to turn to yet cooler conditions as we pass the threshold of Bond Event Zero.

  68. Pingback: Half Of Late 20th Warming Due To Natural Ocean Cycle, New Paper Finds | The Global Warming Policy Foundation (GWPF)

  69. Scott | August 21, 2014 at 2:07 pm | Reply
    Thanks Judy.
    We can count on you to point us to science progress in the climate arena with a dash of scepticism and common sense. Good luck with the argument w Gavin Schmidt. The accusation that you are making stuff up is unworthy of him.
    Scott

    Dash of scepticism toward what, logic?

    Curry, from the post above:

    Anthropogenic warming does not explain why the 21st century hiatus is warmer than the mid 20th century hiatus which is warmer than the turn of the 20th century hiatus.  The sun, or longer term ocean vacillations/oscillations are candidates, with some ‘juicing’ in the latter quarter of the 20th century by anthropogenic greenhouse warming.

    If that’s not making stuff up, what is?

    No, of course AGW does not explain it, because AGW is not really real.

    Variability might explain it. But explaining a 100 plus year long pattern (let alone lagging solidly behind increasing atmos’ gh gas levels as we would expect) – that’s tough under natural variability.

    Though for “10 year” periods where variability is several hundred times more likely to be predominant, variability is never advanced as a refuter concept, because that would get in the way of the false (not to mention largely irrelevant) “hiatus” argument. A hiatus that’s seen every one of the past 14 years but one in the top 14 for ambient global temperature; and far more relevantly, a continuation, and even increase, in net ocean warming, net ice melt at the poles, and accelerating at both ends.(Antarctic sea ice, increasing a rate about 1/10th that arctic ice is decreasing, being pushed northward by a powerful increase in the SAMs, expanding extent and masking large regional decreases, further amplified by ice sheet melt blanketing warmer lower water with cold met water – and with lower salinity – increasing ice formation (see Nature Geoscience 6,376–379 (2013)). Also see <a href="http://discussion.theguardian.com/comment-permalink/39761508"here.)

    We can’t isolate out essentially climate micro aspects in a changing, dynamic system in response to a massive external forcing, with no precedent, and no control variables; though we try, and that is part of what science is. But Curry then all but takes all of that as some sort of invalidation of much of ACC itself.

    While actual scientists are trying to piece together every little part of an otherwise almost un-piecable long term chaotic and variable system in response now to a massive increase in net lower atmospheric energy absorption and re radiation, Curry is busy – much like most of the comments on this site most of the time – trying to come up with or re-post every possible argument under the sun to all but argue against the basic concept that radically altering the atmosphere on a multi million year basis is going to affect the net energy balance of earth, which over time is going to translate into a very different climate (and ocean level) than the one we’ve comfortably come to rely on. (Or just denigrate climate scientists or the idea and people who propose it – and often in alarmist ways – to take steps to stop adding to our radical alteration of the atmosphere, another very common theme on this site.)

    Hence, Why I am Not a Climate Change Refuter, and Why You Shouldn’t be Either.

    That link has my question for Judy therein, from a recent post of hers starting with why it was important to know “both sides of a case.” For the refuter (and Curry’s) “argument” has been to simply attack Climate Change theory advancement. As if the earth’s climate wouldn’t change in response to a multi million year level change in probably the most basic component of climate long term after the sun – namely how much of the heat given off by the earth is lost, and now much is instead reintroduced to the lower atmosphere earth system. (Other things, like ice sheets, albedo, etc, while super important, are also over time reflection of that.)

    So what is the argument that the earth’s climate somehow wouldn’t dramatically shift?

    I still await an answer from Dr. Curry, who said “both sides of a case” should be understood. Attacking the basic presumption of change (let alone now reasonably corroborated by ongoing increasing if early signs of climate shift) is not a case. So what is the case that radical alteration of the atmosphere wouldn’t ultimately and significantly change things climate wise?

    • John, I´m worried about rash, and somewhat ineffective moves to control emissions based on:

      1. The paleo climate record. Once I realized the Mann hockey stick was highly questionable I began to question everything.

      2. Climate Models tuned using 20th century surface temperature changes which may have been distorted by cyclic effects, most of which aren´t properly understood.

      3. Emissions projections I find to be quite defficient. For example, at this time we are running out of oil. I realize this is a controversial subject, but the IPCC oil production projections (in their “business as usual” RCP8.5) are trash.

      4. Badly designed response strategies. The EU and USA governments are using ineffective strategies and policies which lead nowhere….they are clearly failing to decarbonize their economies, and in the process they are causing enormous waste. Their focus on CO2 seems foolish, when they could also focus on methane and soot. Their focus on local solutions also seem quite dumb (why not encourage hydropower in third world countries burning coal?).

      5. Political blindness. The political climate has degenerated to such an extent, there´s no viable civilized debate forum. I´m getting used to being insulted, called a cretin, a denier, and other choice words by columnists, scientists who ought to know better, and run of the mill sheep who follow the global warming pipers.

      I try to bring these discussions to a reasonable level, but most of the time I get treated as if I were still living in Cuba being abused by Communist Party commissars. And John, that just won´t work.

    • John, see Rob Ellison’s comments above. For ghg’s to be responsible for the higher plateau, outgoing LW would have to decrease, and much more than outgoing SW change. But, LW decreases little and outgoing SW increases by more than that. If greenhouse was the cause LW outgoing would have to decrease more than shortwave outgoing increased and the outgoing LW should decrease even more as atmospheric temps don’t rise.

      • aaron | August 22, 2014 at 9:05 am
        John, see Rob Ellison’s comments above. For ghg’s to be responsible for the higher plateau, outgoing LW would have to decrease, and much more than outgoing SW change

        Thanks Aaron. I’ve read a lot of Ellison’s ideas, and I think I will defer to the hundreds of climate scientists who professionally study the issue and who vehemently disagree with him.

        Also, while I respect his efforts and understanding, I haven’t found much that doesn’t misconstrue the basic issue, which has to be done to come to the conclusions that Ellison does, so it becomes self perpetuating and self reinforcing.

        For example, here http://judithcurry.com/2014/07/29/politicizing-the-ipcc-report/#comment-614068 where I pointed out that the issue of ambient air temperature is secondary to ongoing ocean heat energy accumulation (a largely undisputed point) Ellison dismissed it by simply claiming that the oceans aren’t warming. (And some name calling, a common tactic that suggests the very opposite of the relatively dispassionate and objective analysis necessary to evaluate the broad geologic science involved in this issue.)

        Thereby making Climate Change into something of a farce, by simply taking whatever conflicts with desire, asserting the opposite, then finding some argument to further the necessary belief that said assertion is valid. So the extensive work of leading oceanographers from Universities the world over, and work by NASA, NOAA, and multiple other leading institutions of science, thrown out the window, on a tricky but still fairly objective question of fact, by someone writing the opposite.

        The same pattern of dismissal, though with a lot more vituperation, occurs at WUWT, where climate scientists are often called “frauds,” or something similar, frequently mocked, while constantly interpreting (and usually misinterpreting) any article, any study, in a way that reinforces the already held belief. When really, all of the ongoing discovery, individually, is secondary to (if that), and all of it together only further corroborates, the basic climate change concept – a radical shift in the atmosphere’s heat re radiation will ultimately likely lead to a radical or at least major shift in global climate – and the reasons for it, which haven’t really changed for several decades.

      • John Carter, “Thanks Aaron. I’ve read a lot of Ellison’s ideas, and I think I will defer to the hundreds of climate scientists who professionally study the issue and who vehemently disagree with him.”

        Most everything he posts are quotes from real climate scientist peer reviewed papers. Must be a lot of 3%ers out there.

      • John Carter > I will defer to the hundreds of climate scientists who professionally study the issue

        These being the scientists in the pocket of big govenment, with their inbuilt bias to corrupt climate science so as to ‘conclude’ there is CAGW, thereby justifying more taxes and controls for their paymaster. As the Climategate coverups so crisply illustrated.

      • I suggest that John Carter has spent too long absorbing the memes of the Borg collective and repeating them verboten – and he calls it name calling. Go figure.

        Here’s an Argo result – 0.2mm +/- 0.8mm/year steric sea level rise. Statistically indistinguishable from zero sea level rise from warming.

        This in a period with no trend in salinity – putting into question the meme of ongoing sea level rise.

        von Schuckmann and Le Troan discussed the problems of Argo ‘climatologies’ in n earlier study.

        ‘Comparisons of global steric height trends based on different gridded fields of Argo in situ measurements show a range of 0–1mmyr−1 which can be lead back to data handling and climatology uncertainties. Our results show that GOIs derived from the Argo measurements are ideally suitable to monitor the state of the global ocean, especially after November 2007, i.e. when Argo sampling was 100% complete. They also show that there is significant interannual global variability at global scale, especially for global OFC. Before the end of 2007, error bars are too large to deliver robust short-term trends of GOIs and thus an interpretation in terms of long-term climate signals are still questionable, especially since uncertainties due to interannual fluctuations are not included in our error estimation.’

        It stands in stark contrast with what Carter fondly imagines – from his blogospheric peregrinations – fondly imagines are vehemently saying.

        A lack of ocean warming is in fact consistent with a lack of trend in TOA radiant flux.

        To be continued.

      • whoops.. toa net flux

      • ‘One important development since the TAR is the apparent unexpectedly large changes in tropical mean radiation flux reported by ERBS (Wielicki et al., 2002a,b). It appears to be related in part to changes in the nature of tropical clouds (Wielicki et al., 2002a), based on the smaller changes in the clear-sky component of the radiative fluxes (Wong et al., 2000; Allan and Slingo, 2002), and appears to be statistically distinct from the spatial signals associated with ENSO (Allan and Slingo, 2002; Chen et al., 2002). A recent reanalysis of the ERBS active-cavity broadband data corrects for a 20 km change in satellite altitude between 1985 and 1999 and changes in the SW filter dome (Wong et al., 2006). Based upon the revised (Edition 3_Rev1) ERBS record (Figure 3.23), outgoing LW radiation over the tropics appears to have increased by about 0.7 W m–2 while the reflected SW radiation decreased by roughly 2.1 W m–2 from the 1980s to 1990s’ IPCC AR4 WG1 3.4.4.1

        Let’s revisit the clouds issue. This result is consistent with the ISCCP-FD record and clearly says that clouds were the dominant cause of recent warming (1976-1998) .

        Here’s one which reconciles ISCCP-FD with CERES using tropical SST.

        One interesting feature is the step change after the turn of the millennium. This is captured as well by Project Earthshine – an utterly different method.

        http://s1114.photobucket.com/user/Chief_Hydrologist/media/ProjectEarthshine-albedo_zps87fc3b7f.png.html?sort=3&o=120

        ‘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.’

        A climatologically significant change in albedo following the 1998/2001 climate shift.

        Carter throws around acronyms like confetti – but I doubt that he has even heard of a climate shift – despite the significance for the current state and for the evolution of climate.

        e.g, http://www.geomar.de/en/news/article/klimavorhersagen-ueber-mehrere-jahre-moeglich/

        Carter’s confidence in his superficial understanding of the science is bolstered by the memes rote learned in the blogosphere – and he is offended when I spell this out. This gives him the pissant arrogance to attempt to cross examine someone like Judy Curry. Something we see time and again
        with these self appointed attack weasels when someone with real capacity crosses an imaginary line. There is little more cringe worthy then when ones of these attempts condescending instruction of someone who has forgotten 100 times more than they ever knew.

    • “So what is the case that radical alteration of the atmosphere wouldn’t ultimately and significantly change things climate wise?” Can’t follow this question. Skip the adverbs, stick to the numbers. If we radically altered the atmosphere adding 1% neon, I might well believe that it would not significantly change anything. CO2 will have an impact, because of the greenhouse effect. We can make some estimates of how much CO2 will be added, including guess on when the adding will slow (mid-century?). Now, numbers: precisely how much change will that cause? 1 degree, 3 degrees, ten degrees? Will sea level rise by 50 meters? Are you seriously suggesting that it is a distraction to wonder which of these numbers is right?

      • “50 meters?” – sorry, that should be, “less than one meter or more than fifty?”

      • “So what is the case that radical alteration of the atmosphere wouldn’t ultimately and significantly change things climate wise?” Can’t follow this question. Skip the adverbs, stick to the numbers. If we radically altered the atmosphere adding 1% neon, I might well believe that it would not significantly change anything. CO2 will have an impact, because of the greenhouse effect. We can make some estimates of how much CO2 will be added, including guess on when the adding will slow (mid-century?). Now, numbers: precisely how much change will that cause? 1 degree, 3 degrees, ten degrees? Will sea level rise by 50 meters? Are you seriously suggesting that it is a distraction to wonder which of these numbers is right?”

        As for following question, suppose what causes Earth to not act as Mars with it’s 100 C swings in temperature in it’s 24 hour day or what called “greenhouse effect” has little to do with type of gases. Or you say if added a significant amount neon- 1% of an Earth amount atmosphere to Mars [double it] it’s improvement in it’s “greenhouse effect” would be same as compared to doubling it’s existing atmosphere of mostly CO2.

        [In terms of kilograms or tons of atmosphere, Earth has 5.1 x 10^18 kg
        of atmosphere, and 1% is 5.1 x 10^16 kg or 5.1 x 10^13 tons [51 trillion tonnes]. Whereas Mars has about 25 trillion tonnes of mostly CO2. So actually it’s closer to 200% increase in Mars atmosphere.]

        Another thing is 1% is 10,000 ppm. So as per our question what effect would having global CO2 levels of 10,400 ppm CO2 in Earth atmosphere be, in terms of sea level and temperature?
        It should be noted that earth has in it’s past had atmosphere of more than 10,000 ppm of CO2. And some seem to think in distance past of having Earth have 10,000 ppm CO2 and it being a snowball Earth- both could occur in same period of time. Or cooler earth than we have now, but far more CO2 in it’s atmosphere and having condition last for thousands of years. Or Earth was saved from a frozen hell due to higher levels of CO2 which took a long time to build up, and this require a long time to warm earth.
        Personally I don’t accept hypothesis of snowball Earth. Or I think during last 10 million year and during glacial periods, Earth has experienced cool conditions rough equal to any other cold period in Earth 4.5 billion year history. So during glacial periods, Earth has average temperature of about 10 C cooler than present temperatures. So perhaps Earth has been as cool a 15 C colder than present Earth, but what mean is don’t think it’s been more than 20 C cooler [or what I would characterize a Earth which could called a snowball Earth [rather simply what could associate with a colder glacial period].

        As far as turning some magical switch and getting 50 trillion tonnes CO2 added to atmosphere. It seems to me, few people would claim this would have an immediate effect [within 10 years] and it would be dramatic in terms of temperature or sea level. Or if instead one had a non scientific people [people not measuring things like air temperature] would not notice any obvious effects- days are not noticeably warmer, nor are winters noticeably warmer- as compared to “normal” variation in having warmer days and warmer winters [or cooler days and winters]. Or one could still get snow storms in winter, if one is in region which normally gets snowstorms in winter. Or if one randomly travels 1000 miles in some direction one could get a greater variation in terms of climate temperatures.
        The argument which say there would a more dramatic effect, would include the idea that if one had such increase in CO2, one would get also get a significant increase in water vapor and such increase in water vapor is considered a much stronger effect than merely increase in CO2.
        So I am not including any significant increase in water vapor- but which few would assume is rapid response [less than 10 years] in any case.

      • Moderator, if you catch this, the comment it replaces is in moderation – not yet posted – as of 1 minute ago. Formatting errors makes it hard to follow.

        miker613 | August 22, 2014 at 1:33 pm | Reply
        ….We can make some estimates of how much CO2 will be added, including guess on when the adding will slow (mid-century?). Now, numbers: precisely how much change will that cause? 1 degree, 3 degrees, ten degrees? Will sea level rise by 50 meters? Are you seriously suggesting that it is a distraction to wonder which of these numbers is right?

        No, I’m not, but choosing “one” of them as the answer is worse than distracting. It’s backward strategically The entire assessment issue of Climate Change is about a risk range – what the likely range of ultimate response is, and what general probabilities are of each. By the nature of this problem, it is hard to precisely identify what either are – but in particular precise probabilities – and putting numbers on it only conveys a stronger sense of precision than we have.

        Most scientists who study this suggest the change will be a few to several degrees Celsius, ambient global, with larger regional changes and shifts depending on region.

        As for sea rise, A few recent studies concluded that the melt of a specific portion of the massive West Antarctic Ice Sheet is already likely irreversible. http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/IOTD/view.php?id=83672 http://www.nytimes.com/2014/05/13/science/earth/collapse-of-parts-of-west-antarctica-ice-sheet-has-begun-scientists-say.html It will add about 10 feet according to an interview with one of the scientists involved; but over a long time and fairly vague time frame, unless reinforcing processes (carbon release from melting permafrost, shallow ocean bottom warmingn in the form of methane from clathrates), a major reduction in earth’s albedo from permafrost, net ice sheet, and total sea ice, continue to increasingly accelerate the process. That’s ten feet in addition to everything else from this one portion of the W A sheet, not total.

        The climate is “relatively” stable right now (hence why most of the energy is going into ice melt and ocean warming which will, in tandem with atmospheric ghg levels, drive climate of the future), but a recent study did find that even “minor variations in the ice sheet size can be sufficient to trigger abrupt climate changes.” http://goo.gl/FsOxJR T

        Saying “by 2100″ the sea will rise one meter or three is silly, to me. Saying that Greenland’s’ ice sheet will probably melt (as it did somewhere between 450,000 and 800,000 years ago, and under conditions of less powerful forcing) , and giving the reason why, is not. (Much more of the time the news is an estimate upwards, as scientists adjust their own non geologic sense of time and change and our innate sense that changing things that seem very stable is hard. When it comes to external energy changes, as prior climate has shown, it’s not. It’s meaningless, but a function of energy upon a system. Hence: http://www.nature.com/nclimate/journal/v4/n4/full/nclimate2161.html, and Greenland’s ice loss has doubled since the early 2000s http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-28852980 and its ice melt is accelerating http://www.rtcc.org/2014/04/14/greenland-ice-melt-accelerating-say-scientists/ ) An extremely comprehensive study in 2012 found that “the pace of ice loss from Greenland is extraordinary, with nearly a five-fold increase since the mid-1990s, http://goo.gl/rkHa9J Changes in rates of increase are significant. Very, when they are increases.

        Two things have long seemed clear: Unpredictability in terms of time frames and regional changes, and great likelihood of both acceleration, and major shifting. But in a geologic sense, this would be natural when a massive input of energy is dumped into the system. (Our atmospheric change seems low, but geologically it is anything but, which seems to be continually missed, including on this site.) So chances of upper ends of even large ranges, and more quickly, are reasonable.

        Assessment is tricky; but the bottom line is that taking each range of response times its probability and adding them together (i.e, EV) produces a monstrously large impact that dwarfs anything we can conceive of in terms of present day economic evaluations. Climate Change will likely greatly re shape the world, largely against our interests, and particularly (ironically because “helping the poor” has suddenly become the new and somewhat ill founded argument against Climate Change redress the poorer people of the world. But just the reasonable changes, times this damage, convey a major expected harm.

      • miker613 | August 22, 2014 at 1:33 pm

        My comment in response, with the formatting corrected, which cut a bunch of it off, ended with the lines:

        “But just the reasonable changes, times this damage, convey a major expected harm.”

        This renders the idea of not immediately first stopping our additions to the problem, senseless. But understandable if one considers them an “addiction,” as George Bush stated in 2006, and like most addictions, anything is rationalized to continue. Hence, Climate Change “refutation.”

        That aside, though it’s part of what’s driving it, the problem is that skeptics are treating this as if something can’t be precisely enumerated, it doesn’t really exist, or is less significant, both of which are illogical. (See above paragraph, combine with economic alarmism, a great sense of solidarity, an easy issue – complex and futuristic – to do it on, and a huge tea party and right wing conservative movement predicated on the idea that markets “solve” everything even though by definition they can’t solve externalities – hence along with justice and national defense why we even need just limited government in the first place, and an implicit inherent belief in the right to pollute (here it’s really better characterized as just radical alteration against our interests, not pollution), since common area is “fair game,” and there we go. )

        And are doing so, on an issue of massive geologic scale with no control variable, representing a massive external forcing “change” upon an already dynamic, variable and highly complex system that itself has several underlying stabilizing stases systems, which, most notably, are changing. Ice sheets, and the ocean.

        It is a complex issue. That is the reality. Breaking it down into simplicity is only furthering misunderstanding and confusion on it. Which is another reason that maybe the intensity and prevalence of public opinion on this issue is wildly out of line with what the scientists who professionally study this issue say. And maybe at least defaulting to listening to the scientists who study this, rather than highly self reinforcing websites that exist to simply refute the notion of climate change itself (including this one, under the auspices of “looking at all sides” but yet remarkably always only looking at one, and repeatedly misconstruing the issue to do it), where readers and commenters are largely only exposed to views that simply reinforce or mirror their own, and give them a much broader sense of relevancy or correctness than such views really have.

    • John Carpenter

      John Carter,

      “So what is the argument that the earth’s climate somehow wouldn’t dramatically shift?”

      “So what is the case that radical alteration of the atmosphere wouldn’t ultimately and significantly change things climate wise?”

      Impossible questions to answer as one cannot prove negatives. These questions take a precautionary approach to the problem which, IMO, is based on emotive fear of change. A better question (more emotionally neutral) is, to what level of alarm does this situation pose? The answer to that question can be found in two more questions, 1) to what extent do we expect increased CO2 concentrations to change the climate? and 2) to what extent will this be harmful? The basis for the degree of alarm can be made from those two questions. The basis for alarm cannot be made from ‘how wouldn’t climate change’. A key part of understanding the ‘urgency’ with which things should be or need to be done to prevent alarming change is to agree on what would be an alarming change and what level of certainty we have that we will reach that level under BAU. IMO, you would do better asking Judy to what level is she alarmed and why.

      To argue that Judy is…

      ” trying to come up with or re-post every possible argument under the sun to all but argue against the basic concept that radically altering the atmosphere on a multi million year basis is going to affect the net energy balance of earth, which over time is going to translate into a very different climate (and ocean level) than the one we’ve comfortably come to rely on. (Or just denigrate climate scientists or the idea and people who propose it – and often in alarmist ways – to take steps to stop adding to our radical alteration of the atmosphere, another very common theme on this site.)”

      assumes entirely the idea that a changing climate is 1) a net bad thing and 2) we know the problem so well now we don’t need to study other areas of what drives climate change.

      I don’t think Judy argues there is no CO2 forcing of the climate (which would be considered a ‘denier’ argument). From what I gather, she is interested in the root of the problem which is ‘to what extent will there be change’ and ‘to what extent will it be harmful’. These are not ‘denier’ questions. These are not questions that should be pushed to the side when the impacts of what to do hold high stakes for both sides. The problem with folks getting agreement on the answers to those two questions is agreeing on the ‘to what extent’ part and what one considers ‘harmful’.

      No doubt many that comment here at CE question the idea of CO2 causing any climate change or assuming that altering the atmosphere with CO2 will be no problem. Because Judy does not, rightfully, respond to every one of the many daily comments of that sort does not mean she is in agreement with those comments or is endorsing those points of view. She does, however, offer the site to those who want to post topics that are considered non-consensus and she posts on topics (often non-consensus) she finds interesting and worth discussion. Giving other voices a chance to be heard is hardly an argument that she is simply trying to refute mainstream ideas or that she is trying to slow the advancement. It is, rather, a way to let all sides be heard and offer alternative views for scrutiny in a field where, IMO, the mainstream does not appear to want those ideas to be discussed by people at a certain level of knowledge. Scientific thinking looks at all sides and considers them for merit and discards those that don’t hold up to scrutiny. Political/propagana thinking focus’s on one side and suppresses all other view points or does not allow alternate views to be properly scrutinized. The former, IMO, is more in line with our western democratic way of debating while the latter is not. That is not to say the latter does not enjoy healthy usage within our western democratic ideals, but, IMO, over the long haul it generally fails to persuade and ideas that rely on that method fall to the side. Regardless, Judy does not always respond to questions and comments written at this site. She does respond to thoughtful examination of a topic. I think she, like most people, subscribes to the idea that poorly written questions based on bad assumptions are best left unanswered.

      • John Carpenter | August 22, 2014 at 2:25 pm | Reply
        So what is the argument that the earth’s climate somehow wouldn’t dramatically shift?”
        “So what is the case that radical alteration of the atmosphere wouldn’t ultimately and significantly change things climate wise?”
        Impossible questions to answer as one cannot prove negatives.

        Not at all asking to prove a negative. Am asking what a simple presumption, is based on. In this context it’s also not a negative. It’s a presumption that radical alteration of the atmosphere upward in terms of its thermal energy absorption and re radiation would NOT ultimately and significantly change our climate in a similarly radical, or at least major, way.
        (Or, as I more specifically stated in the original question, what is “the argument” based upon.)

        Since it seems to conflict with common sense, what is that presumption (or argument) based on?

        There is an extensive body of peer reviewed published scientific literature on the subject of why it would change in a major way; not to mention an extensive array of physics and basic earth science that support the initial presumption that it would.

        So what is the presumption that it would NOT, itself based upon? You know, the same thing that later in your comment you essentially call a stupid question, or one poorly written – so poorly written that you did not understand, “So what is the case that radical alteration of the atmosphere wouldn’t ultimately and significantly change things climate wise?“)

        Skeptics belief is based on this presumption. .

        What is even more ironic about the question is that the other thing that skepticism is based on is the false idea that the lack of being able to “prove” Climate Change – both the extent it will occur and over what time frame – is somehow refutation of the basic theory itself.

        That, and of course simply attacking the idea that Climate would significantly change any way that is possible – but yet somehow, and rather remarkably, with almost nothing substantive enough to be published in a fully vetted scientific journal. (The only one I can think of, by the only really solidly qualified contrarian, Lindzen, who also claimed that tobacco wasn’t linked to lung cancer, came up with an Iris theory that has been thoroughly repudiated (recent studies have in fact continued to strongly show increased atmospheric moisture), but his theory of a significant enough decrease to keep the earth from significantly warming at the same time this radical shift toward lack of global cloud cover (and far more drought everywhere?) would occur, made little sense, and even he backed off of it some time ago.)

        So the conspiracy to keep out “people of a certain level of knowledge,” as you put it, is not just a media’ conspiracy, but a science conspiracy as well? I don’t know, I’m not part of that conspiracy, and I see a lot of assertions on here and elsewhere by people who imply they are smart, or at least smart enough to know more on this issue than the climate scientists who actually professionally study it, who throw around large highfalutin science terms, but that repeatedly misconstrue the basic climate change issue itself, conflate the process of science with Climate Change refutation, seem to have an extensively poor understanding of the issue, and take small select bits of data as part of the ongoing total picture of increasing overall corroboration, to falsely equate that with a flaw in Climate Change theory itself, or as a referendum on it. So your theory doesn’t seem too credible.

        But more pointedly, climate change “skepticism” is based on the idea that radical alteration of the atmosphere would NOT eventually change things climate wise in a geologically major way. And yet you are asserting to me and other readers that that is somehow asking to “prove a negative,” when I didn’t ask Curry to prove anything; I just asked what the basis for this presumption – one that goes against the presumption that most scientists would make, and certainly that I would make – is based upon.

        I think it’s a very scientifically questionable to even specious presumption. And yet for skeptics, to reverse that presumption – again, the presumption being again that a radical alteration radical alteration of the long term heat trapping “quotient” of the atmosphere would not ultimately change climate, itself an expression of energy – “skeptics” require not just evidence, but proof. Which is actually the thing that is impossible,” and that you have completely flipped around, to once again avoid the issue and make it all about attacking climate change; because that is easy to do until it is “proven,” essentially after the fact, which defeats the notion of it constituting a futuristic risk assessment in the first place; means it essentially can’t be proven; and, for skeptics, makes the notion all but self perpetuating.

        Hence why I ask Dr.Curry, who, along with you in your comment, says that the “other side” is not being heard (as if there is another side to the fairly settled idea that while we don’t know the range, our atmospheric alteration is already significantly impacting our climate right now, and through accumulating changes in the lower atmosphere/earth’s energy balance is very likely to do so far more in the future), what is “the other side” based on??

        The Climate Change “side,” is based upon the presumption that such a radical atmospheric alteration would lead to increasing change for reasons that have been articulated for years, and that has even risen to the level of a theory now for many years, and has been further corroborated and strengthened by the very process of science that skeptics seek to constantly castigate and denigrate, rather than simply “show to be wrong.” which far from being “blocked,” as you all but state, is something the world WOULD MUCH RATHER HEAR. (Including most climate scientists, and myself.)

        So what, aside from the constant process of attack, denigration, conflating the process of science itself as well as uncertainty with refutation of the basic theory of Climate Change itself, and constantly picking out of context incomplete pieces of corroboration and misrepresenting them as some sort of referendum on climate change, is that theory that it wouldn’t, or at least the presumption that it wouldn’t, based upon?

      • John Carpenter | August 22, 2014 at 2:25 pm 

        ..“So what is the case that radical alteration of the atmosphere wouldn’t ultimately and significantly change things climate wise?”

        Impossible questions to answer as one cannot prove negatives.

        Since to me (and many scientists, although some wanted a lot more corroborative evidence, which they’ve also gotten) it makes absolutely no sense to presume that the earth would just go about its merry way and keep the climate nice and relatively stable for us (though this rare actual climate scientist pseudo skeptic seems to think it would, based upon some non scientific belief – see second half of this piece), when the earth changes climate easily as it is, climate is ultimately an expression of energy, it is stabilized (right now) by the oceans and ice sheets, and increasing the number of long term thermal radiation/heat energy absorbing and re radiating molecules to levels not seen on earth in several million years would add an enormous influx of energy to the lower atmosphere earth system, which would mildly warm the air and increasingly transfer energy to the earth over time, which in turn would start to alter those stabilizing systems (and which, with increasing ocean energy retention and accelerating polar ice sheet melting at both ends of the globe, is exactly what we’ve been seeing) and start to reinforce the same process until a new stases would be reached well after the atmospheric levels of ghg has stabilized.

        I thus ask Dr. Curry, what is the basis, or the theory, for the presumption that it would? That is, that the earth would essentially stay “relatively” the same, within our cushy “moderate” inter glacial temperate range, despite a geologically radical increase in the concentration of long term atmospheric thermal radiation re radiating atmospheric greenhouse gases, to levels not seen on earth for at least a few million years (likely more when we add up the GWPe’s of all the five major long term ghg categories), and according to some studies, likely longer for CO2 alone.

      • John Carpenter | August 22, 2014 at 2:25 pm |
        assumes entirely the idea that a changing climate is 1) a net bad thing and 2) we know the problem so well now we don’t need to study other areas of what drives climate change.

        I do think it will be a net bad thing, and for many people, in a huge way, and I don’t think you are fully contemplating the likely range of the change, or the fact that while climate is never “bad or good” it can be extremely advantageous or disadvantageous for us.

        Responding on this is half a book, but we and the species we relied upon evolved and settled under the general present set of conditions, and rely upon them. Massive regional changes are counter productive, and will be overwhelmingly unfair to the poor, who are already very vulnerable on the most problematic of all of this – food issues – and have far less access, and far less mobility and opportunity.

        Combined with sea level change there is a significant likelihood of enormous harm to a disproportionate number of the world’s already less advantaged peoples, not to mention, in a growing population world, the pressures over time of up to few billion refugees (a large % of the world’s people live in a coastal area that would likely be gone with just thermal expansion, some antarctic melt, and the loss of much of Greenland’s sheet), and while some regions may become more hospitable, many more will likely become extremely inhospitable, to borderline uninhabitable.

        And inhospitability to uninhabitability aside, major regional shifts – as well as precipitation pattern changes (including intensities) which again present the most threat to the world’s poor, but also do to somewhat to everybody – may also significantly conflict with major human settlements – even more problematic in a world that will likely see increasingly accelerating land area loss from rising ocean levels. Our current system of rivers and plains also evolved under the present general set of conditions and a wildly different world could present flooding, for instance, all the time, with incredible flooding routine. (Or it may not, this is less known.) This barely even begins to scratch the surface.

        The two parts of your second point are not mutually exclusive. The argument to “learn what else drives climate” is a complete red herring, as if scientists are not already figuring out everything they can (which in turn is then being repeatedly re shaped to use to try to refute Climate Change by “skeptic” websites, as is everything), and is just used as another false refutation of, or confusion on, the basic assessment and risk range that the at this point fairly well known and well substantiated general concept of Climate Change represents.

        What is happening with climate skepticism is that your second part – that we should learn more on climate, and in fact all of the ongoing points of science – are being conflated with refutation of the basic Climate Change concept or used as ways to introduce skepticism over what we do know, and over the actual and enormous risk range we are presenting to future generations in particular, into the equation.

      • John Carpenter | August 22, 2014 at 2:25 pm | 
        Giving other voices a chance to be heard is hardly an argument that she is simply trying to refute mainstream ideas or that she is trying to slow the advancement. It is, rather, a way to let all sides be heard and offer alternative views for scrutiny in a field where, IMO, the mainstream does not appear to want those ideas to be discussed by people at a certain level of knowledge.

        Let me shorten it, and ask you this. If I write a book that showed the pervasive pattern of showing only a one sided perspective that continued to repeatedly misconstrue the basic issue and reinforce the misconstrued idea of skepticism, would that convince you?

        Probably not. So I doubt a comment would. Do take note of the fact though that in the original post for my question initially, Dr. Curry started it out with John Stuart Mills quote about looking at “both sides of a case.” Then proceeded not to look at the pro Climate Change argument as to why all this skepticism is misplaced, but instead quoted from a head of Britain’s leading institution created to essentially refute climate change, about how there was not enough coverage of the claims of CC skeptics, when in fact study after study has shown that climate change skeptic claims get advanced in wildly disproportionate amount to the prevalence of actual climate change skeptic claims in the relevant scientific communities.

        But if anything, it should be covered as a part of the bigger story, and as a story in itself: all these claims, from a hodgepodge of mainly non scientists, and some scientists in other disciplines, disputing what climate scientists say – and leading to an incredibly sharp divergence between what climate scientists say, and public opinion – and how they line up with what the basic theory of climate change is, and if they are fairly representing it or greatly misrepresenting or misconstruing it, or using parts of ongoing data devoid of the big picture context to erroneously support more generalized claims.

        In other words, the claims should be heard, along with the relevant context, and not just the one sided claims in a vacuum, or “balanced” by non balancing he said/she said statements like; “climate scientists on the other hand say the earth is slowly warming and is likely to increasingly do so in the future.”

        And on that same note, since I don’t think anybody knows the “other sides’” case (the “skeptic” side), since it’s never really made, I asked what it was: more than a fair question, and a very central one, since we know what the position of climate scientists is. And it’s been subject to intense scrutiny for 15 years, by every way imaginable, and by often misconstruing what CC is, as well as conflating the process of ongoing scientific discovery and dispute, with the underlying concept of ACC itself.

        Yet there is nothing to refute on the “Climate Change is not a big deal side” since it has consisted of misconstruing climate change or conflating the process of science with refutation of it, taking small pieces and representing them as some sort of referendum on Climate Change, but no cohesive theory as to why the earth’s climate, which is ultimately a response to energy, would not majorly shift in response to a radical increase in the long term molecular “recapture” of atmospheric and in particular lower atmospheric energy radiating off of the earth’s surface. When if anything, that needs far more establishing than the opposite presumption. (Yet the opposite presumption has been well established by a growing multitude of scientific papers and broad science assessment, and in fact strengthened into a scientific theory, which means it’s considered reasonably well established. Unless other papers can come along and refute it or show it to be incorrect, which despite a mountain of world wide denigration of climate scientist and “contrary information” on Climate Change and a remarkably robust sector intent on refuting it, allegedly full or relevant scientists, nevertheless hasn’t been done, which is the most telling thing of all.)

        That is, apart from taking select cherry picked bits of information, imagining that natural variability has suddenly disappeared, that we somehow must model the exact path and extent of the climate’s change in order for ACC itself to be real or significant, conflating what we don’t know with what we do, implicitly arguing that uncertainty on some things means we can’t have relevant knowledge on others, arguing anything possible over past climate, from “the earth is not sensitive enough” (barely changes, and so hard to change) to “the earth always changes” (aka is very sensitive) so therefore “we can’t much be affecting it now,” over focusing on the short rather than long term, and on ambient air temp’ exclusively rather than earth changes, none of which refute or even lessen (unfortunately) the vitality of ACC, but that in the self reinforcing avalanche of misinformation and lot of increasing confusion on the issue (furthered by all the misinformation), as well as the constant denigration of climate scientists, science in general, and discrediting of climate scientists and climate change advocates, have been taken as such.

        Hence, since Dr Curry also mentioned in yet another recent piece that it was good that the “contrarian” position was getting some mileage, the question, on the topic of understanding “both cases,” what exactly that contrarian position was

        _________
        As for the remarkable claim that the mainstream does not appear to want those ideas to be discussed by people at a certain level of knowledge, see my earlier comment in response.

      • John Carpenter

        Are you writing all this from a different planet?

        Here on earth, the simple facts are that for 20+ years hundreds of billions of tax dolalrs have been poured into fomenting climate alarmism, outspending everyone else by numersous orders of magnitude. Year-in-year-out, we have till recently heard nothing but a steady drumbeat of alarm, and that we need more and more taxes and government controls to deal with it. A point of view provided by scientists in the pay of the very same vested interest governments. What a coincidence.

        What’s more, the said scientists have repeatedly been shown to be less than honest – hiding data, deleting evicdence of having done so, etc. Climategate may have been the act of just a few rotten apples, but the contunuing deafening silence from the bulk of the remainder of the profession, and the deeply corrupt ‘inquiries’ run by the universitiies to exonerate themselves and the Climategate crooks, show us that bias, dishonesty and working to a preconceived political agenda is what characterises politically-funded climate science.

        So as long as this situation persists, and bias is cheered on rather tnan rooted out, and efforts to silence dissent continue, government climate scientists as a whole richly deserve their reputation as charl atans.

      • Ok … Breathe!
        You’re now reading like a super-alarmist propaganda piece, and I’m not going to even attempt to address anything you’ve written, because it’s all been covered multiple times here over the years.
        Except to ask you a question:
        What makes you think that a single person here is trying to argue against basic radiative physics?

      • John Carpenter

        Are you writing all this from a different planet?

        Here on earth, the simple facts are that for 20+ years hundreds of billions of tax dolalrs have been poured into fomenting climate alarmism, outspending everyone else by numerous orders of magnitude. Year-in-year-out, we have till recently heard nothing but a steady drumbeat of alarm, and that we need more and more taxes and government controls to deal with it. A point of view provided by scientists in the pay of the very same vested interest governments. What a coincidence.

        What’s more, the said scientists have repeatedly been shown to be less than honest – hiding data, deleting evicdence of having done so, etc. Climategate may have been the act of just a few rotten apples, but the contunuing deafening silence from the bulk of the remainder of the profession, and the deeply flawed ‘inquiries’ run by the universitiies to exonerate themselves and their Climategaters, show us that bias, a lack of scruples and working to a preconceived political agenda is what characterises politically-funded climate science today.

        So as long as this situation persists, and bias is cheered on rather tnan rooted out, and efforts to silence dissent continue, government climate scientists as a whole richly deserve all the denigration they get. Only those who support the systemic skewing object to its being pointed out.

      • John Carter,

        Thanks for your three lengthy replies. Please read this part again from my reponse,

        “I don’t think Judy argues there is no CO2 forcing of the climate (which would be considered a ‘denier’ argument). From what I gather, she is interested in the root of the problem which is ‘to what extent will there be change’ and ‘to what extent will it be harmful’. These are not ‘denier’ questions. These are not questions that should be pushed to the side when the impacts of what to do hold high stakes for both sides. The problem with folks getting agreement on the answers to those two questions is agreeing on the ‘to what extent’ part and what one considers ‘harmful’.”

        Again, I don’t think you can provide evidence of Judy arguing that radiative heat transfer physics is faulty. I don’t think you can provide evidence of her refuting that CO2 forcing is not a net warming energy imbalance. Correct me if I’m wrong, but your long responses general theme seems to be based on the idea that Judy somehow does not believe this because she is open to exploring ideas beyond settled science. I am not arguing and Judy is not arguing that additional atmospheric CO2 does not create an energy imbalance. It does and it is a net warming. So wrt to your questions, Judy likely believes the climate will shift or change due to this new forcing, it has to…. To some extent. The questions you ask, other than asking one to prove a negative (i.e. ‘why wouldn’t x happen’ is asking someone to prove a negative… not to be confused with asking for proof of climate change, which is not what I am suggesting), have two other qualities that make it, IMO, poorly written. These are further corroborated by your three responses 1). It makes the false assumption that Judy does not believe in the settled science of radiative heat transfer physics. 2). It conflates this assumption with emotional, unquantifiable terms to the extent that answering the question becomes like walking through a land mine field.

        More specifically,

        Dramatically shift? Debatable term. What is a dramatic shift? How do you quantify dramatic climate change? In science we quantify things, ‘dramatic’ is not quantifiable. Dramatic is drama…. Emotionally charged. Same with ‘radical alteration’. The use of ‘significant’ offers similar quantification problems. We have to come to some sort of agreement about what these terms mean from a quantitative point of view, otherwise we just argue over different interpretations of what those terms mean. There is no correct way to respond to those types of adjectives.

        Let me put it another way, maybe it is wrong for me to simplify the debate to two sides. It’s not that simple. There are many sides to the debate with many different levels of concern, not just two. You appear to have a very high level of concern based on your lengthy replies. I have less concern, but I do have concern. I think Judy has concern as well. Given the range of concern involved, from highly concerned to no concern at all, a balance has to be struck that will move people to actions (or no actions) based on the level of concern we can agree on. I believe, and I think Judy believes, that ringing the alarm bell harder has not moved John Q Public to action. The level of concern has not increased. That appears to be your strategy. It’s not working in case you haven’t noticed. The debate over ‘the extent that’ the climate might change, i.e. TCR of 1.3 C vs 3.0 C and/or ECS of 1.5 C vs 4.5 C, is the heart of the debate. The basis for alarm/concern lies within those bounds. The current hiatus in LST’s has not helped with regard to finding agreement on TCR or ECS’s likely values other than shifting them to the lower ends of the bounds.

        Where does ‘dramatic’ or ‘radical’ fall within those bounds? As I said before, the better question to ask Judy is what is her level of concern and why. This would get beyond the settled science part of radiative heat transfer physics that most of us (including Judy) accepts and puts more emphasis into the context of ‘to what extent’ will it influence our climate over what period of time. It changes the tone of the questions from emotionally charged to neutral and removes the (wrong) assumption that she somehow does not believe in the settled science.

        Thanks for taking the time to respond, I hope this helps you focus more to the point I was making.

  70. Tung writes:
    “Rapid warming in the last three decades of the 20th century, they found, was roughly half due to global warming and half to the natural Atlantic Ocean cycle that kept more heat near the surface. When observations show the ocean cycle flipped, the current began to draw heat deeper into the ocean, working to counteract human-driven warming”

    It has not really flipped yet. A more pertinent measure of the north Atlantic temperature is the AMO, and that will stay in its warm mode for at least another solar cycle yet (max to max):

    http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/esrl-amo/mean:25/normalise/plot/sidc-ssn/from:1855/normalise

    Increased forcing of the climate gives a colder AMO, the warm AMO mode since 1995 is due to declines in solar forcing. In which case, half of the global warming in the last three decades is due to the negative feedback of increased poleward oceanic heat transport as a result of weaker solar activity. By means of a more southerly atmospheric circulation caused by increasingly negative AO/NAO conditions.

  71. All these BS is made to protect alarmists’ reputation. If missing heat is stored in lower ocean bulk (at close to -2°C) how come can it later on resurrect a GW which can occur only IF heat is provided at +15°C min?
    Thermodynamic Laws cannot be twisted, even by the best TV show…
    It deeply worries me to see western science stubbornly investing $120billions per annum in a dead end, while BRICS are more realistic and invest in the right areas: Shall this stupid ideological hoax carries over for 20years and West will be behind BRICS sciences…

  72. Are Chen and Tang two of the flat-earthers Obama refuses to acknowledge?

    Obama and Kerry and others in the administration are completely clueless about the complexities of climate.

  73. IPCC AR5 TS.6 Key Uncertainties

    This final section of the Technical Summary provides readers with a short overview of key uncertainties in the understanding of the climate system and the ability to project changes in response to anthropogenic influences. The overview is not comprehensive and does not describe in detail the basis for these findings.

    OHC:
    • Different global estimates of sub-surface ocean temperatures have variations at different times and for different periods, suggesting that sub-decadal variability in the temperature and upper heat content (0 to to 700 m) is still poorly characterized in the historical record.
    • Below ocean depths of 700 m the sampling in space and time is
    too sparse to produce annual global ocean temperature and heat
    content estimates prior to 2005.
    • Observational coverage of the ocean deeper than 2000 m is still limited and hampers more robust estimates of changes in global ocean heat content and carbon content. This also limits the quantification of the contribution of deep ocean warming to sea level
    rise.

  74. the answer lies deep within the waters

    Historical examples throughout the march of humanity to compare with the faith Western academics invest in the predictive ability of their numerical models (General Circulation Models or GCMs) would be a list of some pretty odd rituals. It looks like legend-days are not yet over. Like reading tea leaves or making a journey to the Oracle of Delphi, academia’s belief that they can represent physical processes in the atmosphere, ocean, land and poles some 50 to 100 years into the future — and, the Delphic pronouncements of Western global warming alarmists like Gore, Hansen, Mann, Alley, etc. — all have taken on an air of the macabre.

    About the very best you can say about any of these modern day Western Shamans is that being admonished at every turn by these hypocrites about dangers that never materialize only undermines the seriousness with which the world will take all Westerners. Westerners shouldn’t be taken seriously: how can anyone sake a society seriously when it pays school teachers to stab its own children in the back?

  75. Heat can’t sink if it was never transported there to begin with.

  76. Judith -

    You said the following back in January:

    ==> “All in all, I don’t see a very convincing case for deep ocean sequestration of heat. ”

    and you repeated that thought one month ago.

    In this post you say the following:

    ==> “While Chen and Tung’s argument and mechanism is convincing, it is not at all clear to me from the paper that the amount of heat sequestered in the ocean is commensurate with the TOA radiative imbalance and the amount of heat that would be required to keep the surface temperatures from increasing in the presence of increasing anthropogenic greenhouse forcing. I suspect that the Atlantic sequestration impact is amplified by atmospheric circulation changes that change the cloud distribution that change both the TOA and surface radiation balances.”

    So as near as I can tell, based on this one paper, you have revised your position. Previously, you were unconvinced that there was deep ocean sequestration of heat to any degree. Now, you seem to be taking it as a given (you speak of “the Atlantic sequestration impact” as if it is a done deal that there is one), but you aren’t certain about the amount of heat being sequestered.

    Given that turn of events, do you have any concern about Revkin’s “single-study syndrome?”

    • Also the title of this post did not have a question mark. Usually those question marks, or lack thereof, are very telling.

      • Yeah- I noticed that about the lack of question mark – decided to skip it. Some might have accused me of ankle-biting had I mentioned it. And I get so devastated when they do that.

    • This hinges on how deep is ‘deep’. Chen and Tung go down to 1500, this is generally not ‘deep’, deep is below 2000 m, which is what the Balmaseda et al are talking about. There are actually observations down to 1500 m.

      • OK.

        And do you consider those observations to be sufficient for deriving scientific conclusion? ‘Cause I often hear “skeptics” saying that Argo data are insufficient for drawing scientific conclusions, and I know that you greatly value input from “skeptics.”

        Given that you find this paper convincing, and that (from what I can tell) the conclusions are derived from Argo data – do you recommend that I just disregard the opinions of “skeptics” who discount Argo data as being meaningful?

        That could be a pretty long list.

      • And Judith -

        You might consider editing the title of this post.

        I would suggest maybe: “Cause of hiatus found kinda deep in the Atlantic Ocean”

        While you’re at it, maybe add a question mark? You know, uncertainty monster and all.

      • – Joshua | August 22, 2014 at 2:04 pm |

        OK.

        And do you consider those observations to be sufficient for deriving scientific conclusion? ‘Cause I often hear “skeptics” saying that Argo data are insufficient for drawing scientific conclusions, and I know that you greatly value input from “skeptics.”–

        The Argo data is too short to be related to global temperatures, in same way that 10 year downward trend doesn’t indicate global cooling. But no one would say you can not draw any scientific conclusions from a 10 year downward trend in temperature. Or similarly that if whether one region is warming while another region is cooling over whatever time scale.

      • Steve Fitzpatrick

        Joshua,

        I think there is plenty of reason to have some doubt about the accuracy and conclusions of the paper. For example, sea level rise has been pretty accurately monitored since the early 1990′s via satellite (calibrated against tide gauges in geologically stable locations). If there had been a large change in heat uptake during the transition from rapid warming (1990′s) to slow warming (since ~2000), we could reasonably expect to see that reflected as an increase in the rate of sea level rise near the transition. But that is not what we see. If anything, there was a slight decrease in the rate of sea level rise starting in the early 2000′s (http://sealevel.colorado.edu/content/global-mean-sea-level-time-series-seasonal-signals-removed). Now some might offer explanations for that apparent discrepancy (less melt of land supported ice compensation for greater thermal expansion, for example), but it is hard to square the many published claims of MORE rapid melt of land supported ice, and the observational evidence of no acceleration in sea level rise, with the claims in this paper of greater recent heat uptake. I am not completely discounting that the paper could be at least in part correct, but I think people should be very cautious about declaring that the ’cause for the pause’ has been identified, especially in light of apparently conflicting sea level data of pretty good quality.

        There are other plausible explanations which ought not be discounted, not the least of which is that the expected rate of warming (about 0.23C per decade for the average of the model ensemble) is just much too high. If the underlying (forced) secular trend is actually 0.12C per decade rather than 0.23C, then ‘the pause’ doesn’t represent so big a deviation from the secular trend. ENSO, slightly lower solar intensity, and shifts in the PDO/AMO can then easily account for a lack of recent warming. It is only the lack of much recent warming when compared to projections of quite rapid warming, which makes ‘the pause’ difficult to explain. Lower your expectations of warming, and you will be less surprised by a lack thereof. I lowered my expectations many years ago. ;-)

        See, I’m skeptical about most everything.

    • Good point Joshua,
      Judith has bet 1 Chen and Tung’s argument with a stadium wave. Mosher has bet a Cowtan and Way plus lower climate sensitivity range. The Chief is wagering a natural variability and clouds. Jim D is natural variablity and no pause.
      R Gates has disappeared but I will put in a deep ocean heat trap for him.
      and the winner is………
      None of the above.
      Good tries all, though.

  77. Here is my opinion: the ocean has two sources of heat, at surface from solar radiation and at ocean floor from the heat generated in the earth’s core. Salinity in a short time will be equalized at surface and ocean floor where brine overturns and can never be a driver of the thermohaline circulation. Brine temperature at surface must be equal or infinitesimally less than that of ocean floor so that brine density at surface is equal or slightly greater than that of ocean floor. Subsequently, thermohaline brine can overturn and circulate. If surface temperature rises, which is the case, brine temperature at ocean floor increases equally, Otherwise, the thermohaline circulation would cease, which is not observed. Ocean deep heat is not from surface and cannot come from surface for it is thermodynamically impossible. This heat is earth’s internal heat, and it is about equal to that accumulated at surface. Total heat to ocean is about equal to two times that accumulated at surface caused by greenhouse gases. This may support Dr. Trenberth’s missing heat hypothesis.

  78. One of the last legs of a significant ACO2GW is the period of the (significant) AGW (very roughly since 1950). Global, since the trough in 1975 it’s 0.17 K/decade, since 1960 it’s 0.13 K/decade and since 1950 it’s 0.11 K/decade. Since 1985 (30 years) it’s 0.16 K/decade. AMO itself (long term trend removed) since 1975, is 0.13 k/decade.

    http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut4gl/from:1900/plot/hadcrut4gl/from:1950/trend/plot/hadcrut4gl/from:1960/trend/plot/hadcrut4gl/from:1975/trend/plot/hadcrut4gl/from:1985/trend/plot/esrl-amo/from:1900/plot/esrl-amo/from:1975/trend

    Where’s the beef? The 30-year trend has been decreasing since ~2005 (10 years). It was about 0.19 K/decade for 1975-2005 and that was as high as it got. What if it’s less than 0.1 K/decade by ~2020?

    http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut4gl/from:1950/plot/hadcrut4gl/from:1985/trend/plot/hadcrut4gl/from:1975/to:2005/trend

  79. A polite note to
    Dr. Curry
    and
    Dr. Schmidt
    Many articles are written by experts and those with less expertise on the subject of the AMO.
    Relationship between the North Atlantic SST and the Reykjavik atmospheric pressure (the north component of the NAO, leading the AMO by number of years)

    http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/AP-SST.htm

    is currently far from being understood, whereby the origins of the atmospheric pressure variability is the important factor here.
    Without such understanding, the AGW/Natural variability attribution cannot be made with any degree of confidence.

  80. Zinjanthropus

    So “A Horse with No Name” had it right all along. The ocean really IS a desert with its life underground and a perfect disguise above.

  81. The very best thing about the deep ocean is that its deep and vast so you can claim you can finds of lots of ‘missing ‘ things in it, space ships , sunken cities , heat knowing that it’s very hard to prove you wrong. Especially when there is very little data at all about the deep ocean in the first place. But life teaches you that sometimes the reason you cannot find something is because it does not exist in the first place.

    • By the way its worth remembering that Trenberth’s “missing heat” debate, came about because of failure . That is the total failure of temperature to increase in the manner that it was claimed it would as the amount of atmospheric CO2 increased. So the ‘need’ to find the missing heat was created, not has result of good science but has a result of the shortcomings of bad science. A science which we have long and often been told is ‘settled’ and one which ‘the Team’ had tried to make unquestionable and unchallengeable by others.

  82. This would be an example of a bit of science that goes wrong in trying to connect to the big problem.

    No doubt funding figures in.

    But isn’t anybody just curious about stuff anymore?

    Just study the ocean currents for a while. There ought to be enough there that’s strange and needing an explanation.

    The connection just throws the whole thing into doubt. The answer was known in advance, so to speak.

  83. Cause of hiatus found deep in the Atlantic Ocean
    Where the sun does not shine!

    Day and night, cloudy and sun, summer and winter, the cause of hiatus is found on the surface of the land and oceans and clouds.

  84. Carbon dioxide levels started after the 2nd world war.

    So 70 odd years at a maximum residual warming of 0.07 degrees C/decade. So 0.5 degrees C – max for some 40% increase in CO2. This gives a TCR – if you can believe in such nonsense – of roughly 1.0 degree C. I say roughly because civil engineers are warned against unwarranted precision in calculation. It comes from dealing with the real world.

    It seems more likely that the natural warming of the 20th century will entirely reverse.

  85. Judith Curry opines: “As identified in the stadium wave analysis, the Atlantic Ocean is the driver, with the Pacific being the slave – the basins are linked as per the stadium wave arguments. The new paper provides a mechanism linking this to vacillations in the sequestration of heat in the ocean.”

    To anyone with serious oceanographic training, such sweeping claims are patently baseless. “Stadium wave arguments” provide nothing more than phenomenological indications based upon the temporal relationships of certain indices; they constitute an attempt at physics-free geophysics. And even in the purely phenomenological sense, the claim that the Pacific is a “slave” to the Atlantic proves demonstrably wrong. No index associated with the Atlantic manifests a cross-spectral phase that leads the PDO or Nino3.4 indices in frequency ranges of significant coherence.

    All that Chen & Tung show is that upper-layer Atlantic waters are warmer and more saline during “pauses” in GAT index. This rather trivial correlation is to be expected in light of evaporation increasing exponentially with temperature, leading eventually to greater cloudiness. It’s scarcely a heat “sequestration” mechanism!

  86. That link has my question for Judy therein, from a recent post of hers starting with why it was important to know “both sides of a case.”

    There is one consensus side and many other sides.

    In history, most consensus sides lost and one of the many other sides replaced it. One of the many other sides is more likely correct and will replace the current consensus side. It has no supporting data. It is a matter of time.

  87. “The temperature oscillations have a natural switch. During the warm period, faster currents cause more tropical water to travel to the North Atlantic, warming both the surface and the deep water. At the surface this warming melts ice. This eventually makes the surface water there less dense and after a few decades puts the brakes on the circulation, setting off a 30-year cooling phase.”

    The faster currents make sense with warmth. I think they are saying the freshened water makes the current from the South relatively heavier causing it to dive. If it didn’t dive it would push further North to give off its heat, not so much to the deeper waters. The cooling phase is not to my mind a cooling phase, it is a sequestration phase with the Earth trying to horde heat in this area.

    I guess it’s a matter of definitions. When it’s warming, the Earth tries to cool itself. During the hiatus as they say, there is breaking on this circulation. If the Arctic sea ice is rebuilding, this is more insulation, more sequestration. It’s interesting the sea ice fights back, sacrificing itself to push the heat someplace away from it. It may have a role to play beyond melting as predicted.

    Interesting choice of words, ‘a natural switch’. Everything is this or that. Not some average. They seem to be saying something consistent with there being breakpoints in what the Earth does. That the sensitivity of the circulation is not one Cardinal Number we are looking for.

    Interesting link pointing out some differences between the Northern oceans salinity averages:

  88. Heat is produced in the atmosphere by energy from the sun mainly, but also from space externally and from the earth itself and from releases of internal heat into the surface from volcanoes.
    The distribution of the heat is semi-chaotic but can be guesstimated by layered fluid model theories and use of the Coriolis force.
    Ice is weird in that it is less dense than water and the water it comes from gets colder and denser as as it gets deeper yet cannot get cold enough to form ice as it would then float to the surface.
    Hot water will always seek to rise yet reams are written on hot water going deeper into the sea on a long term basis which is anti science..
    To reiterate the coldest, densest water is always deepest except in an electric kettle.
    the measurements of where our energy comes in from and how it varies are still i8n their infancy. Until we have more long term data and scientists willing to investigate causes rather than processes we will be stuck with 2 things.
    1. Natural variability
    ie no one knows what is going on and why the heat is varying.
    2.explanation by process rather than explanation by cause ie El Nino’s, Stadium waves, sequestered deep heat which is suddenly found in data everyone has looked at and said it did not exist in before [ Chen and Tung’s argument].
    ie no one knows what is going on and why the heat is varying.

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  91. “putting heat deep in the ocean just delays and doesn’t stop global warming. In the long term, the energy balance wins. ”

    1. It seems we can’t actually measure the energy balance yet. All we have is educated guesses. Which makes everything else just idle chatter really, ALL temperature changes could well be down to natural causes. No 50/50 – could be 100/0.

    2. And how well do we know deep ocean heat content anyways?

    Is this science in any shape to be used as policy input yet ?

  92. Steven Mosher | August 21, 2014 at 5:00 pm |
    we have many good reasons for moving away from a carbon based energy system.

    Non-cagw reasons I assume you mean. Like what? Not that they are close to depletion, surely?

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  94. I wasn’t planning further comments, but the second update by Dr. Tung should probably be addressed. He says, “The argument on the roughly 50-50 attribution of the forced vs unforced warming for the last two and half decades of the 20th century is actually quite simple. If one is blaming internal variability for canceling out the anthropogenically forced warming during the current hiatus, one must admit that the former is not negligible compared to the latter, and the two are probably roughly of the same magnitude. Then when the internal cycle is of the different sign in the latter part of the 20th century, it must have added to the forced response. Assuming the rate of forced warming has not changed during the period concerned, then the two combined must be roughly twice the forced warming during the last two and half decades of the 20th century.

    The statement relies on the unwarranted assumption that any internally contributed warming during the late 20th century was equal in magnitude to internally generated cooling during the recent slowdown”. If the recent internal cooling was substantial, this assumption is almost certainly incorrect since energy budget considerations limit the earlier internal warming contribution to no more than 0.1 C and probably less. Over the long run, ups and downs are likely to be of equal magnitude, but there is no reason why the recent internal cooling might not have been unusually large.

    • Fred, ” incorrect since energy budget considerations limit the earlier internal warming contribution to no more than 0.1 C and probably less.”

      Exactly how confident are you in that 0.1C limit that was estimated long before the current hiatus? BEST noted that land temperatures in the 30N-60N latitudes are amplified much more than prior energy budget models projected. What is a realistic range for natural unforced variability is pretty much the focus of the discussion. As it stands, “surface temperature” doesn’t appear to be a very good energy proxy.

      • I agree surface temperature and energy uptake, while strongly correlated long term, often diverge in the short run. The limit on a late 20th century surface warming contribution from internal variability can be calculated from OHC data, total temperature change, and the climate feedback parameter. At any reasonable level of the latter (i.e., a plausible effective climate sensitivity value), the OHC data can’t be reconciled with more than a small contribution from internal variability. Given the substantial OHC rise during the interval, It would require an extremely high climate sensitivity to allow for more than a 0.1 C contribution, and that would itself be hard to reconcile with the total temperature rise and CO2 forcing data. If you want to review more of this, you can return to a previous discussion (in which you participated) – Nic Lewis critique of Mann. To my mind, there are elements of climate science that are considerably more uncertain than the dominant role of greenhouse gas forcing in post-1950 warming and intervals therein.

      • The substantial rise in OHC would produce about 1 C of warming in the total ocean volume in about 400 years. Since ocean mixing is not constant and the accuracy of the rate of ocean heat uptake a bit sketchy, a TCR on the order of 1 C per doubling is perfectly consistent with observations. Could it be higher? of course, but the general trend in estimates is toward the lower end even a little below the IPCC range. the isn’t much in the way of rational logic that requires immediate, potentially damaging, drastic action.

    • Matthew R Marler

      Fred Moolten: Over the long run, ups and downs are likely to be of equal magnitude, but there is no reason why the recent internal cooling might not have been unusually large.

      Any relevant evidence? A straight line plus a sine curve fits the data of 1900-1950 about as well as it fits the data of 1950-2000, does it not? Why is the hypothesis of unusually large internal warming less unwarranted than the unwarranted assumption that any internally contributed warming during the late 20th century was equal in magnitude to internally generated cooling during the recent slowdown ?

      • Matthew – I think it’s still conjectural to what extent the hiatus has resulted from internal cooling vs negative forcing influences of volcanic aerosols and changes in solar irradiance – it may well be a mixture of both. My main point was that a large internal warming contribution to late 20th century warming is unwarranted because it’s contradicted by the physical data as described above.

        Regarding the sine curves, I would probably be wise to avoid getting sidetracked, but it’s fairly certain that the contribution of internal variability to them has been overestimated. In particular, the 1950 – 1977 flat trajectory probably can’t exclusively reflect a large internal component since a major contribution to that flattening appears to come from anthropogenic aerosols. This has been documented by the data of Martin Wild and others demonstrating a reduction in “solar surface radiation” during that interval – i.e, a reduction in that fraction of sunlight incident on the TOA that reached the surface under both clear sky and all-sky conditions. I’m not sure how to divide up the relative natural and anthropogenic contributions, but the latter doesn’t seem to be negligible.

      • Matthew R Marler

        Fred Moolten: I’m not sure how to divide up the relative natural and anthropogenic contributions, but the latter doesn’t seem to be negligible.

        As time has gone by, my thoughts have tended toward smaller and smaller CO2 contributions. I try to avoid mixing anthropogenic CO2 effects with other anthropogenic contributions. But you might be right.

    • This argument– “The limit on a late 20th century surface warming contribution from internal variability can be calculated from OHC data, total temperature change, and the climate feedback parameter. At any reasonable level of the latter (i.e., a plausible effective climate sensitivity value), the OHC data can’t be reconciled with more than a small contribution from internal variability.”–is viciously circular or question-begging since it is precisely the plausible feedback number that is at issue in all this.

    • Fred is still arguing that changes in OHT can’t change the energy budget enough to explain modern warming. This despite the fact that the bulk of the literature states the opposite. His explanation for his disbelief in the literature is based I suspect by a blog post by Held. He states that he doesn’t believe in models and that he believes in math. So he takes the results from a static radiative forcing model and does some math from it to show that a heat transport model must be wrong. I can only shake my head in wonder as to how long he can convince himself he has a strong argument. Perhaps as long as he was linking the paper claiming there is no such thing as the AMO? Have we passed that time already?

  95. Fred,
    At least the science is not settled to scientists. A shame the political meme overrides the natural give and take of data and theories.
    Scott

  96. Seems to me this hiatus article really puts the CAGW side between a rock and a hard place. If we draw spme logical implications from all of this. First the data: Warming 1970-2000 0.4C, or 0.13C per decade. Warming 2000-2014 0.0C (therefore 0.0C per decade). 2nd, what the CAGW side needs at an absolute minimum to claim we have a potential catastrophe in the making: 2C temperature rise per century, or 0.2C temperature rise per decade on average. The climate scientists have been claiming that we should expect a minimum of 2C warming this century under BAU scenarios, and have been claiming that a 4C or more temperature rise is possible.

    The paper being discussed here makes the claim that the current hiatus in warming is due to the heat going into the Atlantic ocean as the Atlantic ocean is currently in the 30 year cooling phase of it’s ~60 year warming/cooling cycle. Fine let us give them that. Now lets show this mathematically.

    1970-2000:
    CO2 warming + Ocean warming = 0.4C increase in temp (warming phase of ocean)

    2000-2014 :
    CO2 warming + Ocean cooling = 0.0C increase in temp (cooling phase of ocean)

    Rearranging, we have CO2 warming = Ocean cooling, therefore CO2 warming during 1970-2000 = 0.2C. This is over a time frame of 30 years, which results in a value of 0.067 C per decade, or 0.67C per century. Time to call off the Progressive agenda…. the warming is likely to be beneficial with warming this mild.

    Versus how the CAGW side might want to analyze the data because they absolutely CANNOT have warming less than 0.2C per decade for long term warming.

    1970-2000:
    CO2 warming = 0.4C increase in temp (during the warming phase of ocean)

    2000-2014 :
    CO2 warming + Ocean cooling = 0.0C increase in temp (cooling phase of ocean)

    2030-2060:
    CO2 warming + heat stored in ocean during cooling phase = 0.8C

    Even though we have completely discounted (unrealistic) any contribution of ocean warming during the 1970-2000 phase, this results in only 1.2C warming over 90 yrs. Thus based on data alone, there is NO CAGW.

  97. Pingback: New Pause Excuse: Heat Hiding In Atlantic, Not Pacific » Pirate's Cove

  98. David Wojick

    Sorry I do not have time to read the 350 or so comments above, so this may have been addressed, but I am puzzled about this purported mechanism for removing heat from the atmosphere to create the so-called hiatus. The water sinks because it has cooled and become saltier, due to prolonged evaporation, which transfers heat to the atmosphere. It takes some heat down it it but releases a lot. If the sinking is increasing that should mean more heat is being released, not less. What am I missing?

    • I think it is sinking because it encounters lighter, fresher, less saline water. The amount of warmth left when it sinks does seem small but the graphs show it. If the soon to sink water is 1 degree above freezing, that 1 degree that would have hit the atmosphere sinks and is lost, probably for years.

      • Nah, we are talking about 0.01 degrees lost heat here not 1.0 degree. Point is if it is 1 degree warmer it will be much less dense and should float
        0.01 degree, well, hey it can go down somewhat with the extra salinity.
        Remember heat disperses pretty quickly compared to salinity and you do not find patches of 1 degree difference in heat at any reasonable depth [out of reach of the sun] unless it is sitting next to a volcano tube. The theory does not work.

      • I don’t know the temperature magnitude of the proposed theory. Though I may be wrong, if there is any heat left to lose, that is the distance above freezing, a salinity caused dive would swallow up that heat. Their theory sort of fits a general idea I have. The control variable may not be in the tropics where all the energy is. My auto engine cools with water at a distance from the heat. It’s thermostat is binary as is sea ice, it’s either there or it’s not. Their theory seems to be not too inconsistent with rebuilding Arctic sea ice in one region as the heat transport done front advances South. Now, could something the authors say explain a Stadium Wave advance East though the Kara and Laptev Seas? That is, more open water there.

    • David:

      Indeed, it requires enormous heat transfer to the atmosphere for seawater of tropical origin to cool enough to sink in high sub-polar latitudes. For sinking of a parcel to occur, its mass density MUST be lower than that of the surrounding waters. But the sigma-t density parameter is a nonlinear function of temperature and salinity, with the former being the dominant factor in the open ocean.

      By failing to determine sigma-t, C&T fail to make a persuasive case for any increased sinking and “heat sequestration.” I’d be willing to bet a case of premium Pommerol that sigma-t would not mirror the sharp temporal increase in OHC and salinity seen in their graph in recent decades. That feature, highly suggestive of the migration of a sub-polar temperature front, seems to be partly an artifact of very sparse data coverage prior to the Argo era. Their tendentious attribution to increased THC lacks serious dynamic basis.

  99. When they start looking for the lost heat on the ocean bottom I know that the warmists are really desperate. Anthony keeps track of such excuses and the current attempt by Chen and Tung to explain away the hiatus/pause is number 38 by his count. I responded to it with a comment on his blog (WUWT) and since it applies equally well here I am quoting the bulk of it below:

    “… The cause of that hiatus/pause they fear is not lost heat but lack of understanding of applicable laws of nature. More specifically, laws controlling the production of the greenhouse effect. According to the Arrhenius greenhouse theory addition of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere will cause CO2 to absorb IR and thereby warm the air. There is no doubt that the amount of atmospheric CO2 is increasing today but there is no sign of the corresponding warming it should lead to. Clearly the predictions of the Arrhenius greenhouse theory are incorrect. If a theory predicts warming and nothing happens for 17 years this theory should be rejected. There is a spot for it in the waste basket of history, right next to phlogiston, another failed theory. Of all the possible greenhouse theories the only one whose predictions are correct is the Miskolczi greenhouse theory (MGT). It predicts exactly what we see: addition of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere does not warm the air. The problem with Arrhenius theory is that there are several greenhouse gases in the atmosphere but Arrhenius theory applies to only one – carbon dioxide – and is incomplete. Not so with Miskolczi theory that can handle several greenhouse gases simultaneously absorbing in the IR. The most important GHGs in the atmosphere are water vapor and carbon dioxide. According to Miskolczi they form a joint optimal absorption window in the IR which they control. Its optical thickness in the IR is 1.87, determined from first principles by Miskolczi himself. It corresponds to an IR transmittance of 15 percent or absorbance of 85 percent. If you now add carbon dioxide to the atmosphere it will start to absorb, just as Arrhenius says. But this will increase the optical thickness. And as soon as it happens, water vapor will start to diminish, rain out, and the original optical thickness is restored. The introduced carbon dioxide will of course continue to absorb but the simultaneous reduction of water vapor will prevent this from causing any warming. This is the reason why there is no warming now despite a steady increase of atmospheric carbon dioxide. This has important consequences for climate theory. For one thing, it makes a runaway greenhouse effect that Hansen keeps babbling about entirely impossible. That is why very high carbon dioxide in geologic time did not cause any runaway warming. For another thing, it blocks the enhanced greenhouse warming alleged to be the cause of anthropogenic global warming or AGW. Hence, we can say that AGW is nothing more than a pseudo-scientific fantasy, invented by over-eager climate scientists wishing to prove that the greenhouse effect is real. The existence of the pause/hiatus proves that it is not.”
    ****************************************************
    I did not further elaborate on the Miskolczi theory but it is worth noting that his work with the NOAA radiosonde database that goes back to 1948 amounts to an independent confirmation of the hiatus/pause phenomenon. He was using that database to study the absorption of infrared radiation by the atmosphere over time and discovered that absorption was constant for 61 years. Atbthe same time, carbon dioxide increased by 21.6 percent. Constant absorption means no warming and here we have another instance of carbon dioxide increasing without causing any atmospheric temperature rise. There is one more factual matter that needs to be straightened out and that is the false temperature curve you are using. Anthony went along with it too so I got mad and wrote a sharp comment about it. I don;t feel like repeating it so I am putting its URL below so that it will bring you to the comment at WUWT:

    ******************************************************************

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2014/08/21/cause-for-the-pause-32-cause-of-global-warming-hiatus-found-deep-in-the-atlantic-ocean/#comment-1715118

    *******************************************************************

    • “There is no doubt that the amount of atmospheric CO2 is increasing today but there is no sign of the corresponding warming it should lead to.”
      There is some sign

      • Jim D | August 23, 2014 at 10:56 pm

        That temperature chart of yours is phony. There was no such temperature rise as it shows after 1980. One very simple observation that anyone can see tells it all: there is no sign of the super El Nino of 1998. It would not be so surprising in ground-based temperatures but both UAH and RSS show it clearly, and even HadCRUT3 has it even though it is distorted.. Where did you get this fake temperature curve?

      • Matthew R Marler

        Jim D: There is some sign

        That is true. If you take the running average over 11 years, the recent slowdown in warming is somewhat muted. You have a good case that the Earth “has warmed”, and that the warming of the late 20th century matches the warming of the early 20th century.

        Only by averaging across the dramatic step change from 1997 – 2000 can you make it appear that the Earth is now “warming.” Starting from 2014 and working backward, there has been no “warming” since 1998. Only time will tell which “sign” is more of a signal of what to expect in the next 10 years. The Chen and Tung paper is another in a series predicting 10 – 20 more years of no surface or tropospheric “warming.”

      • Matthew R Marler | August 24, 2014 at 12:58 pm

        No Matthew, Jim is wrong and you are mistaken to believe him. I missed that fine print in his chart and should not have complained about the super El Nino which naturally gets wiped out by that stupid 11 year rounding. Such computer-smoothed temperature curves are worthless because they destroy important information that is needed to understand what is going on. As a scientist you are obligated to use all the data available, not to hide it or distort it for ideological purposes. In this case that graph is doubly deceitful because in addition to not showing what happens it includes a fake temperature rise with it. To understand what is there and how phony that temperature rise really is click on this:

        http://wattsupwiththat.com/2014/08/21/cause-for-the-pause-32-cause-of-global-warming-hiatus-found-deep-in-the-atlantic-ocean/#comment-1715234

        It is a comment I posted to wake up Anthony to the existence of fake warming. I advise you to get my book “What Warming?” for further details.

      • Matthew R Marler

        Arno Arrak: No Matthew, Jim is wrong and you are mistaken to believe him.

        I did not say that I believe him. The phrase “some sign” merely denies the phrase “no sign.” My comment is that the “sign” he points to in the graph is very weak.

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  101. Their paper finds greater warming in the Atlantic than in the Pacific. This is as to be expected, since continued efforts to reduce atmospheric aerosols in the West have resulted in less dimming (more warming), while in the East increasing pollution has caused more dimming (less warming).

    These temperature differences are naturally reflected in the oceanic temperatures.

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  103. Pingback: Atlantic vs Pacific vs AGW | Climate Etc.

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