Evidence of deep ocean cooling?

by Judith Curry

New research suggests that the upper layer of the ocean has warmed more than had been thought previously while the deeper ocean has cooled rather than warmed in recent years.

Context

Kevin Trenberth summed up the problem in his famous statement that it’s a “travesty” that we can’t find the missing heat.  Climate scientists have been inferring (mainly from models) that the missing heat (during the pause) is hiding in the deep ocean.  For background, see these previous Climate Etc. posts:

Two new papers have just been published in Nature Climate Change:

Deep-ocean contribution to sea level and energy budget not detectable over the past decade

W. Llovel, J. K.Willis, F.W. Landererand and I. Fukumori

Nature Climate Change. DOI: 10.1038/NCLIMATE2387 [link]

Abstract. As the dominant reservoir of heat uptake in the climate system, the world’s oceans provide a critical measure of global climate change. Here, we infer deep-ocean warming in the context of global sea-level rise and Earth’s energy budget between January 2005 and December 2013. Direct measurements of ocean warming above 2,000m depth explain about 32% of the observed annual rate of global mean sea-level rise. Over the entire water column, independent estimates of ocean warming yield a contribution of 0.77 +/- 0.28mmyr-1 in sea-level rise and agree with the upper-ocean estimate to within the estimated uncertainties. Accounting for additional possible systematic uncertainties, the deep ocean (below 2,000 m) contributes -0.13+/- 0.72mmyr-1 to global sea-level rise and -0.08 +/- 0.43Wm2 to Earth’s energy balance. The net warming of the ocean implies an energy imbalance for the Earth of 0.64 +/- 0.44Wm-2 from 2005 to 2013.

Quantifying underestimates of long-term upper-ocean warming

Paul J. Durack, Peter J. Gleckler, FelixW. Landerer and Karl E. Taylor

Nature Climate Change DOI: 10.1038/NCLIMATE2389 [link]

Abstract. The global ocean stores more than 90% of the heat associated with observed greenhouse-gas-attributed global warming. Using satellite altimetry observations and a large suite of climate models, we conclude that observed estimates of 0–700 dbar global ocean warming since 1970 are likely biased low. This underestimation is attributed to poor sampling of the Southern Hemisphere, and limitations of the analysis methods that conservatively estimate temperature changes in datasparse regions.We find that the partitioning of northern and southern hemispheric simulated sea surface height changes are consistent with precise altimeter observations,whereas the hemispheric partitioning of simulated upper-ocean warming is inconsistent with observed in-situ-based ocean heat content estimates. Relying on the close correspondence between hemispheric-scale ocean heat content and steric changes, we adjust the poorly constrained Southern Hemisphere observed warming estimates so that hemispheric ratios are consistent with the broad range of modelled results. These adjustments yield large increases (2.2–7.1 1022 J 35 yr-1) to current global upper-ocean heat content change estimates, and have important implications for sea level, the planetary energy budget and climate sensitivity assessments.

Durack has a very good web site with lots of supplemental info and diagrams.

Reporting Climate Science

Reporting Climate Science has a good article covering both papers Scientists Find Clues to Missing Energy.  Excerpts:

The implication of this is that a build up of heat in the deep oceans is not the solution to the so called missing energy mystery that has puzzled climate scientists trying to match the observed heat build up on the planet with what the theory of global warming suggests should be happening. A number of climate scientists had previously suggested that heat is accumulating in the deep oceans and that this accounts for the missing energy.

An analysis of ocean data together with satellite measurements suggests that the warming rate for the top 700m of ocean in the southern hemisphere has been underestimated – at least from 1970 until the early 2000s when an array of measurement buoys, known as Argo, began to collect data.

Separately, an analysis of satellite measurements and ocean temperature data has revealed that that the deeper half of the ocean (below 2 km depth) has, on average, not warmed from 2005 to 2013 and may have cooled – in contrast to the prevailing view, based on sparse ship-based measurements, that had suggested deep ocean warming between the 1990s and 2005.

Papers relating to both pieces of research have been published in Nature Climate Change. Both papers are important because they shed light on the debate around the so called missing energy mystery. Essentially, they imply that heat has accumulated faster than had been thought in the upper ocean but not, as many have suggested, in the deeper ocean below 2km.

A team led by Paul J. Durack of the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in the US found that models of sea level rise agree with observations but that the warming of the upper ocean predicted by these models did not agree with observations; particularly in the southern hemisphere.

They inferred from this that upper ocean warming rates in the southern hemisphere have been underestimated – that it was the previous observations that were inaccurate and that the models were correct. This would imply that the that during the period from 1970 to 2000 the Earth was absorbing between 0.04–0.13 Wm-2 more than previously estimated, they say. 

A second group led by William Llovel of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in the US used satellite radar altimetry data to determine that sea level has been rising at a global average rate of 2.78 mm yr–1from 2005 to 2013. Over that period, ocean expansion from warming in the upper 2 km has accounted for 0.9 mm yr–1of that rise, according to in situ ocean measurements, and transfer of freshwater into the ocean 2.0 mm yr–1, according to satellite measurements of Earth’s changing gravity field.

This adds up to 2.9mm yr-1 which is more than has been seen overall – implying that an offsetting decrease is taking place due to cooling in the deep oceans. The residual of those numbers implies a deep ocean cooled rather than warmed in the period from the 2005 to about 2013 and that this cooling equivalent to a decrease in sea level of −0.13 mm yr–1.

The significance of this result is that it implies that the so called missing energy is not to be found in the deep ocean as many climate scientists have suggested. The team publish their results in a paper entitled “Deep-ocean contribution to sea level and energy budget not detectable over the past decade”.

JC reflections

Both papers indeed present clues related to ocean heat content and the missing heat, but there are substantial uncertainties associated with both analyses.

I think the Lloverl paper is important, in terms of attempting to reconcile available temperature and sea level rise measurements within the uncertainties, but the uncertainties are pretty substantial.

The Durack et al. paper has implications for ocean uptake in estimates of climate sensitivity (as per the methodology used by Lewis/Curry).

The bottom line is that uncertainties in ocean heat content are very large, and there is no particularly convincing evidence that the ‘missing heat’ is hiding in the ocean.

 

 

507 responses to “Evidence of deep ocean cooling?

  1. Sampling is inadequate.

    Pure extrapolation.

    • But they did use simulation, too.

    • completely agree, the buoys (if equally spaced in a global grid) would be measuring 47k sq. miles at various depths…

      isn’t this a poorly defined issue? “Heat” in oceans without salinity/density and a modeling of transport is a silly 350org/Gore propaganda talking point (simplistic nonsense)?

      • Perhaps, uncertainties in ocean heat content exist because you’re looking for temperature rather then the consequence of relative SST change.

        The “heat” is likely stored in carbonates…?

        “Core fluid constraints on deep ocean temperature and salinity during the last glacial maximum.”
        http://schraglab.unix.fas.harvard.edu/publications/CV33.pdf

      • From MIT:
        excerpts:
        Sea surface temperatures (red) at the Bermuda Rise and a Greenland air temperature proxy (blue) 30,000 to 60,000 years ago. The very large and abrupt temperature changes suggest the climate system can respond rapidly (decades to a few centuries), and that the amplitude of this response is large in both polar and warm subtropical latitudes (Sachs and Lehman (1999), Science 286: 756-759).

        The abrupt SST changes observed at Bermuda Rise most likely occurred in response to changes in the North Atlantic thermohaline circulation, …

        source: http://paoc.mit.edu/paoc/research/abrupt.asp

      • If there is any deep ocean cooling or warming that’s unusual, wouldn’t it be immediately flagged by MOCHA?

        “MOCHA is a collaborative project, partnered with the UK RAPID Program, to measure the meridional overturning circulation (MOC) and ocean heat transport in the North Atlantic Ocean”

        Results (data is available to the public):
        http://www.rsmas.miami.edu/users/mocha/mocha_results.htm

  2. “The bottom line is that uncertainties in ocean heat content are very large, and there is no particularly convincing evidence that the ‘missing heat’ is hiding in the ocean.”

    The heat’s only missing if we make certain assumptions that may or may not be valid. But that doesn’t seem to be something they want to entertain.

    • Maybe I can help you with “missing heat”. The guys pushing this nonsense assume that ADDITIONAL heat can flow from the atmosphere int the ocean and build up. This is not true.Surface tension blocks the transfer of heat by convection through the surface of water. Try heating the surface of water using a heat gun.

      • RMB,
        I have no doubt that the physics in theory, allow the “missing heat” to hide out in the ocean. Why? Because as a layman with my share of intelligence and common sense, it’s clear enough that if it weren’t possible, credible scientists… certainly from the skeptical side… would have said as much. I don’t think I hear any scientists from either side of the debate, argue that it’s not possible.

        That said, again as that layman with my share of intelligence and common sense, it strikes me as another thus far unsupported ad hoc ass covering explanation of the dreaded pause.

      • I strongly suggest that you beg borrow or steal a heat gun and try heating the surface of water and let me know how you go.rgds

      • RMB, something being “possible” isn’t a support for arguments that failed on the face of it. Such as “human co2 is warming the earth”. The plausible reason even if you believe in radiative heat being important? Human co2 is trivial, less than 3% of total co2 and the co2 sink isn’t even understood. Then you get to the magical thinking about human co2 being compounded and accounting to “40%” of the total co2 increase which is a Party Line of Gavin Schmidt et al. Based on residency assumptions and contortions that would make Jules Verne blush.

        When we hear “deep ocean heat” (DOH) we should do a quick inventory of all the basic and huge unknowns that are strung together to make human co2 impact remotely important in the meme;

        A. Clouds that have no assigned positive or negative impact in the co2 meme.

        B. Temperature “equilibrium” of the Earth, highly unlikely in the range of discussion. They (IPCC) quotes on century basis withing .02 C with these assumption built in? Based on dogma not evidence.

        C. Residence time of co2 is unclear as is the defined sink of co2 which is also highly variable. Oceans can suck it all and even more then humans produce in a relative heart beat. So at the end of the day a warmer greener planet produced more co2 and accounts for the measured increases in co2. All within the range of natural variability. Which leads to…..

        D. There is no clear evidence that co2 and relates to global temperatures as a causal factor. There are plenty of contradictions such as;

        http://www.co2science.org/articles/V6/N26/EDIT.php

        So “deep ocean heat” joins a long list of AGW activist propaganda and filibuster claims. It shouldn’t even have to come to massive solar cycles, land use, aerosols to dismiss the current consensus outright based on a rational scientific method. They haven’t “proved” any basic claim at all. The more important question is “why” they have behaved this way. Simply look at their political associations, culture, funding and you realize it really is a greenshirt enclave by and large. They behave predictability activist or worse…..”acquiesce” due to political correctness or other rationalizations like “even is the theory is weak/false the policy (anti-carbon, rationing, statist) is generally positive from our world view.” It’s rooted in 70’s academic culture, boomers never change as a group which explains the AGW cult at the core level. Then consider the dysfunctional “millennial” population absorbing, repeating and the poor politicized science education they have received and you see what a social diseases AGW advocacy actually is.

        Since they have managed to sell their way past the first four fact points and many more beside it’s small wonder another pile of drool called “deep ocean heat” is worth running through the alarmist disinformation machine. DOH points right at the “equilibrium” rubbish on the face of it. The best you get from most of the “science” wing is some snark or more likely really wonky but respectful to the meme rebuttals. Why wasn’t DOH mentioned in importance even 10 years ago? Because they BET THE FARM on a warming trend 20 years ago and lost. They were making it up then and now on what to make a debate issue. Science moving on is really whitewashing all meme failures and inventing new ones to distract like DOH. Since they control the podium by politics they are able to get away with much of it, I’m just not going to concede it’s based on actual “science” logic. Just add DOH under letter “E.” on my list and we move on.

      • davideisenstadt

        ummm…its been done, and one can heat water by using a heat gun. why dontcha try it yourself in your kitchen with a pot of water, a heat gun, and a thermometer. you will find that you can, in fact heat water by blowing hot air accross its surface. just writing it because its true.

      • I have demonstrated this heat blocking to relatives and when I ask them to test the water after firing the gun at it they are most reluctant and very surprised when they find that the water is still cold. In fact the only way to get heat through the surface of water is to float a metal object on the surface to kill the surface tension and the water will accept the heat. Thats the experience I’m having.

      • David Springer

        I tried heating water with a heat gun. The result: you can heat water with a heat gun. Obviously then RMB didn’t actually try it.

      • Here’s my experience.Compare the difference in heat uptake between covered and uncovered water. Fire a heat gun at uncovered water for 15mins. The temperature will rise 6degsF. The rise in temperature is paltry when compared to the heat being directed. I maintain the rise in temperature is due to the fact that the gas is fan forced and the fan forcing simulates weight allowing small amounts of heat in> Now cover the water with afloating pan and apply heat to the pan, in 15mins the rise in temperature is 48degsF a vast increase in heat uptake which I maintain is due to the fact that the surface tension is cancelled beneath the floating object. The water is identical the heat applied is identical the only difference is the pan.
        Only the sun’s radiation passes through the water’ surface no ADDITIONAL heat goes in. When the sun goes quiet like now we have a “pause” There can be no build up of heat in this way.

      • David Springer

        I’m not sure what you mean by “heat gun”. I used a plastic welder and disturbed the surface in much the same way that the ocean surface is disturbed by wind. The temperature rise was rather rapid as 450F air bubbles were entrapped.

        The thing of it is this means nothing as the air above the ocean surface is rarely warmer than the ocean so the net effect of mixing air and water is cooling not warming. The ocean heats the atmosphere not the other way around.

      • I think there may be a misunderstanding going on here. I am using a heat gun which is a “gun” which expels warm air and operates in the range of 600degC.It is used by painters to strip paint. It does not radiate heat.It sounds to me that the device you are using radiates heat and that will of course penetrate the surface of water.I am applying an enormous amount of heat to the surface to check if surface tension blocks convectional transfer of heat through the surface and I find that it certainly does.
        As far as I can make out, the sun can heat co2 by radiation but that heat can not be stored in the ocean therefore no build up of heat can take place and the evaporation is not increased. Only the sun’s radiation penetrates the ocean’s surface. That’s why the models are wrong The alarmist position is that the sun’s rays are not the only heat to enter the ocean and they are wrong.rgds

    • “that doesn’t seem to be something “they” want to entertain”.

      “They” have an agenda. Actual science is very secondary, it’s the nature of the climate science field at the funded consensus levels. “missing heat” is getting attention in the meme almost as if co2 residency time, clouds or radiative impact are all settled in the warming arguments favor. None of this is verifiable.

      Each problem with the meme is most often addressed with a refreshed but inconclusive claim. There is a carefully worded “pause” to be addressed with “missing heat”. “Pause” as if the AGW temp impact was certain and a fact. Another word word pregnant with presumptions, political bartering and cryptic double meanings inside the climate war. Why hasn’t it “stopped” until the trend changes?? Reason, underlying political goals of a largely advocate science and media community. “Stop” leads to ugly hypothesis
      questions, “missing” sounds much better then “we really never knew to begin with”.

      They’ll be be no or few mea culpa(s) certainly before the election in November in the U.S.. Firing up the green left base of the DNC was a central part of AGW meme gameplan 2014. “they” behave like pawns when it suits them.

      • cwon,
        It’s the pause that dare not speak it’s name

      • What gets me is the political correctness of the language. “Missing heat” is thrown into the wind as if it has actual science backing the claim. There is nothing valid at all in the term. The media and “consensus” all nod their heads and everyone addresses the topic as if it’s cutting edge seriousness when in fact it’s another house-of-cards assumption. People get sick to death of going over all the basic pie-in-sky climate topics like radiative forcing, co2 residence time, clouds which are suddenly get assumed as “settled” or favoring the meme. “Missing heat” is simply following the long history of climate science claims to be followed up with more agenda junk science “research” to cover the tracks for decades to come. Politically is doesn’t matter as long as the total AGW meme is preserved if the actual science is inconclusive or worse for the meme itself.

        You would think most scientists in the field would be more then sarcastic or snarky at this point hearing the invention “missing heat” which is truly magical thinking without any observational support even possible at this point (which explains the invention itself). The AGW agenda always evolves to MORE UNKNOWNS to explain away past claims that were in fact never in evidence or decided by actual science results. The most basic of which is that more human co2 warms the Earth….a linear claim not backed by observation.

        The very framing of “missing heat” gets to another basic warming canard about the earth’s climate itself….”equilibrium” which is philosophically essential to the flat earth warming social culture. Again, no observational support for equilibrium within the range of temperature stats in the discussion but that would have ended the co2 meme in its tracks 40 years ago as it should have. Simple science for simple minds (political blinders) with a conspiracy theory about human industrial wrongs. Why should they be allowed to frame this talking point and most of the like minded science community plays along instead of denouncing?

      • pokerguy (aka al neipris)

        “Truly magical thinking without any observational support even possible at this point (which explains the invention itself).”

        Good point. If you’re going to come up with a bunch of ad hoc b.s., much better to do it in a way that can’t be disproved…which is enough to keep the climate ball rolling. In fact, I think it was Trenberth who proposed reversing the null hypothesis. It’s now up to the skeptics to prove them wrong. Otherwise, their job is essentially finished.

    • pokerguy (aka al neipris) on October 6, 2014 at 4:37 pm

      It’s generational decline at this point PG. “Hypothesis, Control, Test leading to Theory” is now lost on the Post Normal. Fanboy being a glaring example of the loss of critical thinking as the most basic memory of who the burden of proof lies with in “science” theory is politically engineered out of society. If you had dime for every time a smug, whiney “science is with us” warmer demanding “you can’t prove us wrong” validates their claims you would be “invented the Internet” wealthy many times over. All this while being called “anti-science” and a Holocaust Denier at the same time. Accepting climate consensus as it has been presented is accepting the loss of reason as normal. All for a political and crony insulated payoff that kills the poor of the world off at the same time. How delusional has it become?? Try this set priorities;

      http://dailycaller.com/2014/10/06/nyt-reporter-global-warming-not-isis-or-radical-islam-greatest-existential-threat-to-america-video/

      Right, junk science fantasy AGW more important then actual terrorists. As from Dr. Strangelove….”My source is the NYTimes”.

      • cwon14,

        Really enjoyed reading your notes, (though you could drop the ad hominems, and anger, even if it is good to sound out about the insanity once in a while =).

        I think this is the crux of it:

        “missing” sounds much better then “we really never knew to begin with”.

        That’s been my view from the very first day I heard about global warming 14 years ago. Earth’s climate is too complicated to say much about anything (sure, try, but let’s not push it with a green agenda, but rather a scientific one). I don’t know what increased CO2 levels will do to earth’s climate, much the same as I don’t know what many decisions I make during a day will do to my future.

        That’s where it is, in my view, and ought to be treated that way.

  3. Steven Mosher

    Judith,

    What can be done in terms of observational systems to narrow the estimates? if anything.

    • Well current ocean observations are getting pretty good. However, to figure out what was going on prior to 2005 requires indirect estimates – this is why i like the combination of sea level rise data with available ocean temp measurements. Eventually ocean data assimilation using general circulation models might be able to do it, but we are definitely not close to being there yet.

      • Steven Mosher

        ya, I was think more about the future. I dont anticipate the debate ending .

        other rather, assuming we have 10 more years of pause, what additional observation systems would help.

      • “10 more years of pause”

        Can’t disagree that the scientific debate will continue, but 30 years of stasis would most certainly be fatal to any serious policy debate,

      • @ curryja

        Awhile back I was in the midst of venting my outrage about something or other here regarding ocean heating and the effect on sea level. In the process, I decided that I needed the coefficient of thermal expansion of seawater to get my numbers right, so with the help of Google, I found this:

        http://publishing.cdlib.org/ucpressebooks/view?docId=kt167nb66r&chunk.id=d3_4_ch03&toc.id=ch03&brand=eschol%20

        Bottom line: the coefficient of expansion of seawater isn’t a number; it is a table. It varies wildly with temperature, salinity, and pressure and for some combinations can be strongly negative. I. e., more heat makes it contract. Oh, and don’t forget, the specific heat ALSO varies with all of the above, too, so unless you know a LOT about the water being heated you can’t predict how much a given injection of energy will affect its volume OR its temperature.

        So simply saying that a certain change in ocean temperature will result in a known, calculable change in sea level is naive, to say the least. SOMEONE may in fact know how to do it; it isn’t me. But that one link above, written by people who DO know a lot about seawater and how it behaves under various stimuli, taught me enough to be very suspicious when I see someone treating sea level variability as some sort of ‘thermometer’ for the oceans at large, and then treating variations in the OUTPUT of that thermometer as ‘the signature’ of ACO2.

      • How good have the high salinity, cold “deep water” current observations from polar ice formation come along?

        Just sayin,,,, that is like a tree stump that we don’t observe or understand yet.

      • Steven Mosher

        pokerguy.

        I dont much care for the policy debate. has little to do with science.

      • @Bob Ludwick…

        I took a quick look at your reference, ” for some combinations can be strongly negative. I. e., more heat makes it contract” doesn’t normally apply to sea water, with a salinity of around 35. For more calculations, see…
        https://judithcurry.com/2014/01/21/ocean-heat-content-uncertainties/#comment-440929

      • Steven, it is the policy debate which is important for the vast majority of humans. If the science went on quietly as an inquiring, exploratory endeavour, fine, it would get neither the funding nor the attention, and most posters wouldn’t be here in what would be a quiet backwater.

      • Steven Mosher

        the vast majority of people are just that. Most people.
        Never actually wanted to be “most people”

      • Judith, the problem with SLR is that the design instrument drift of the most recent SLR altimetry satellite is still 1mm/yr. The documentation for Jason-2 is on line, and is cited in my new book’s essay Pseudo-Precision.
        So inferring ocean heat from steric rise is very difficult (in the idiomatic Japanese sense), compounded by uncertainty about ice cap loss contributions.
        Good that Llovel attempted to reconcile the so called closure problem (SLR=ice loss + thermosteric rise). But the three other recent papers attempting to reconcile the closure problem during the supposed era of recently slowed SLR each have wildly differeing estimates for the two components, as well as not agreeing on the SLR over the periods assessed. And thesepapers do not reference each other to reconcile the inconsistencies. Just an uncertainty monster hash.

      • Change in aquifers, too.

        H/t Steve Fitzpatrick.
        ==============

      • Steven Mosher on October 5, 2014 at 10:30 pm
        pokerguy.

        “I dont much care for the policy debate. has little to do with science.”

        Neither does the policy of course. It is the forced rationing, socialistic policy that kills and destroys economic-social freedom as well as dragging the concept of “science” into Orwellian meaning and word destruction. It’s the policy that invented climate science not the other way around.

    • mosher writes about policy…”little to do with science.”

      You can say that again…

      • barn E. rubble

        RE: Steven Mosher | October 5, 2014 at 10:30 pm |
        “I dont much care for the policy debate. has little to do with science.”

        Good one.

      • Mr. Mosher does make some interesting statements.

        It seems that people that are really interested in the policy – when told it doesn’t look like the warming is going occur respond, “Well, it doesn’t matter, we have to fix it anyway.”

        This puzzles me, this whole fascination with fixing non-problems.

      • Policy will probably be the only thing that ends up having an impact on our lives in the US. Global warming? Probably not. Policy will ultimately be the problem.

      • jim2 on October 6, 2014 at 10:27 pm
        “Policy will probably be the only thing that ends up having an impact on our lives in the US. Global warming? Probably not. Policy will ultimately be the problem.”

        The “policy” effectively steers trillions in forward malinvestment and valid growth restrictions at the same time. Those are the material losses in world where starvation and disease are common. The greater cost is the intellectual coercion of academic reason to support what is a rabid political sect among the spoiled aristocracy (collectivism) that transfers political power to the imagined inlightened through a sanctified and pompous meme. It’s worse then outright elite support of direct Marxism that has occurred in the past due to its stealth use of public service authority.

      • I will come in on this one too: “I dont much care for the policy debate. has little to do with science.” (Mosher) I could not agree more.

  4. The bottom line is that uncertainties in ocean heat content are very large, and there is no particularly convincing evidence that the ‘missing heat’ is hiding in the ocean.

    The real bottom line is that there is no evidence that the oceans have heated any differently than they have during every warming period of the past ten thousand years.

    There is no evidence that the natural variability of the past ten thousand years did stop. There is no evidence that there is any need for CO2 to provide the missing warming to keep this natural cycle on track.

  5. We are again limited by assuming that model prognostications are a substitute for observational data. False. False. False. What we have is a failure to communicate. What is happening with sea level rise without data manipulation is…a question mark. What we do with the sea level rise data is questionable. What we do with inferences about sea level rise as related to climate change is risible.

    I do not wish to diminish the efforts of noble cause scientists to parse out a perspective on global climate change. Only, my wish is to disparage their conclusions which I find unconvincing.

  6. sealevel.colorado.edu gives a sea lavel rise of 3.2 +/- 0.4 mm /year (not the 2.78 quoted for 2005-2013). The 3.2 value number is consistent with deep ocean warming.

    • Owen,
      You can download the data from the site and run your own OLS calculation over the specified period. It yields 2.78mm/year to 3 sig figs.
      You are quoting an estimate made over a longer period which included the steeper rise between 1992 and 2005.

    • Those 3.2 mm include a fictitious 0.3 mm “Global Isostatic Adjustment” based on the ICE-5G GIA model which is known to be grossly inaccurate.

  7. We have barely scratched the surface? Plenty to do!

    “The ocean covers 71 percent of the Earth’s surface and contains 97 percent of the planet’s water, yet more than 95 percent of the underwater world remains unexplored. The ocean and lakes play an integral role in many of the Earth’s systems including climate and weather.”

    http://www.noaa.gov/ocean.html

  8. There is a lot of uncertainty in how much heat is missing, which again comes down to aerosols. If the heat didn’t go into the oceans, perhaps the aerosol albedo change was stronger, meaning the forcing change was weaker, meaning that the sensitivity is higher. That’s the direction it goes. Skeptics should be careful about wishing that the heat is not found in the oceans. It implies greater sensitivity if it is not.

    • Naw, Trenberth told me via NPR in 2008 that the ‘missing heat’ may have been radiated back out to space.
      =======================

      • Yep, that would be what aerosols do – add reflection.

      • Jim D,

        Does carbon soot add reflection?

        Or does nucleation of cloud add reflection?

      • Jim can i suggest a different approach. Just pick a sensitivity you like and if the data doesn”t fully support it then imagine a scenario, based on holes in the data, that would allow you to keep hold of that sensitivity. If a new analysis comes along that suggests that scenario might be flawed then look for other holes in other data sets that might be a good place to find uncertainty and hold on to your sensitivity. Given most climate data sets seem to be beset with uncertainties you could continue to play this game for quite a while.

      • The biggest uncertainty is aerosols. The more their negative effect, the greater the transient sensitivity. Assumptions about this are the main difference between various observation-based estimates. The missing heat magnitude is within this uncertainty range. Maybe a solar lull or volcanoes could add to it too in a similar way by reducing the forcing.

      • “The biggest uncertainty is aerosols. The more their negative effect, the greater the transient sensitivity. ”

        What are the observations that let you isolate the effect of aerosols? You say that they’re are the “main difference between various observation-based estimates.”

        What does that mean?! How large uncertainties?

      • Most people agree on the temperature rise, but some might dispute baselines for that too. So the main variation is in the assumed forcing. In AR4 the other GHGs roughly canceled aerosols, leaving CO2 as the main factor. In AR5 the central estimate now has the forcing 30-40% larger than that from CO2 alone, due to a reduced aerosol effect, but AR4 is still within the error bars where these cancel. Whether these cancel as in AR4 or the net now exceeds CO2 by 40% as can be inferred for the forcing since 1950 from AR5 (as a central estimate), makes large differences of 40% in the sensitivity to forcing. By assuming faster forcing changes you can get lower sensitivities even for the same temperature variation between two estimates.

      • Jim D,

        We all agree that the temperature is increasing. The earth is in an integlacial, (metastable) pause, between glacial extents. The earth is in an ice age, other wise.

        The question is attribution. How much warming is AGW? And what would we do otherwise? Will AGW kill us before the next glacial epoch does?

        (Beyond that; how long will the temperatures continue to increase? 100 years? 1000 years? Absent AGW, how long?)

    • More likely to be changes in cloudiness, induced by circulation changes.

      • Sometimes Jim D wanders around like Polyphemus after Odysseus has dissed his vision.
        ===============

      • Right, and only one eye in his best day.

      • The biggest uncertainty in the forcing is the aerosols, not clouds per se, except through their interaction with aerosols. This is a forcing uncertainty.

      • Dr. Spencer says, “August 2014 had the lowest surface wind speed in about 25 years.”

        I would think that would have an impact on convection and evaporation.

      • “The biggest uncertainty in the forcing is the aerosols, not clouds per se, except through their interaction with aerosols. This is a forcing uncertainty.”

        So how big is that uncertainty? Is the sign plus or minus?

      • Several factors can account for reduced forcing: increased aerosol (e.g. pollutant sulfates or volcanic), or reduced sun. Aerosols can also increase cloud albedo. I predict skeptics are going to resist the idea of reduced forcing and now go for trying to find the missing heat in the ocean.

      • “Several factors can account for reduced forcing: increased aerosol (e.g. pollutant sulfates or volcanic), or reduced sun. Aerosols can also increase cloud albedo. I predict skeptics are going to resist the idea of reduced forcing and now go for trying to find the missing heat in the ocean.”

        Predictions…

        But you did not answer.

      • ” …or reduced sun.”

        No. Who says that the sun is variable? Really, who says that?

      • For example, China’s emissions have doubled since 2000, mostly coal. It could well be that this would go with a large-area aerosol haze impact that would be negative, and that might only be part of the story. Increased forest fires, reduced sun, volcanoes all could play into it. I am just pointing out what the implications of this missing heat are if it is not found in the earth system.

      • Solar cycle 24 is the weakest one in a century when accounting for the extra-long minimum just before it. It could be a factor.

      • Jim D,

        You are not saying anything at all, except that you are uncertain.

      • Is cloudiness like truthiness?

      • I am saying either the missing heat is in the ocean or it went back to space. These have different implications for sensitivity.

      • “I am saying either the missing heat is in the ocean or it went back to space. These have different implications for sensitivity.”

        We agree. Thank you, Jim D.

      • PS: If it was the sun, we still agree. (you left that out…)

      • Jim D said “I am saying either the missing heat is in the ocean or it went back to space.”

        Another possibility is that their is no missing heat.

      • RickA, the error bars cover that possibility, that the ocean didn’t warm so much because the heat never got there because there is less forcing than thought. Significant and increasing amounts of energy are also going into glacial mass loss in Greenland and Antarctica, but not enough to account for the missing heat, according to Trenberth.

      • “according to Trenberth”

        Climevangelist.

        Andrew

      • the error bars cover that possibility, that the ocean didn’t warm so much because the heat never got there because there is less forcing than thought.

        More arm-waving trying to confuse people.

    • Cloud albedo increase reflects more short wave length insolation. Sensitivity is lower than guessed. Heat is not missing.

      • ocean heat uptake could be more sensitive to sw and clouds than co2. all “forcings” may not be equal. where have i heard that before?

      • The forcing presumed to go into the earth system wasn’t getting there in the first place. Temperature change divided by forcing is transient sensitivity. Reduced forcing equals greater sensitivity. I think this is throwing skeptics for a loop.

      • Steven Mosher

        then that would show up in global records of insolation.
        or increased cloudiness.

      • Mosher,

        Insolation is inward, no. Measured looking outward, no.

        So what is the standard reflective albedo measurement? From space.

      • Jim D,

        Sensitivity to what, when the temperature is not increasing?

      • dallas,

        “forcings” for imputed flux, instead of using actual flux…

      • Jim D
        “The forcing presumed to go into the earth system wasn’t getting there in the first place. Temperature change divided by forcing is transient sensitivity. ”

        For 10 years (since September 2014) the temperature change is approximately zero. If you divide zero by some number between half a watt and one watt, that gives a very small number.

        For IPCC forcing levels that would mean very low sensitivity.

        I think this is throwing global warmers for a loop.

      • Jim D,

        Negative feedbacks are included in sensitivity calculations.

      • Jim D “The forcing presumed to go into the earth system wasn’t getting there in the first place.”

        So no missing heat.

      • WG1AR5 Ch7 Para 7.2.1.2 “The net global mean CRE of approximately -20 W/m^2 implies a net cooling effect of clouds on the current climate”

      • Yes, if the heat is not missing, but just went out to space, forcing is reduced, sensitivity is increased. It’s just mathematics.

      • Jim D,

        No. There is a numerator and a denominator.

      • The global surface temperature change is more solid than the forcing. It is the denominator that is uncertain.

      • Jim D,

        For there to be any sensitivity of any quantity to temperature, there must be a delta Temperature.

      • AGW delta T.

      • Normally you would use several decades for sensitivity, so there would be a temperature change, but any recent forcing reduction factors going with the “pause” may help revise the forcing down for the period.

      • Attributable AGW delta T.

      • For 4 billion years there has been atmosphere. And there has been global temperature.

        For fewer years there has been CO2 in the atmosphere. For those fewer years, there have been variations of temperatures and CO2 concentrations.

        When there is atmospheric CO2, plants fix carbon from atmospheric CO2. Plants die. Plants decay, and return CO2 to the atmosphere.

        Continents move, ice ages come and go.

        Humans come along. For the last one hundred years humans affect the CO2 concentration of the atmosphere. Present human contribution to CO2 turnover (recycle) is 1/100th of the natural atmospheric CO2 flux.

        Today, absent humans, there would be an atmospheric CO2 concentration. And there would be a global temperature trend. And there would be a “CO2 doubling sensitivity”. It would be an “AGW Sensivity” without the “A”. Global warming and atmospheric CO2 concentrations have existed without humans.

        So the first question is; have humans changed the the function (temp x time) in the last one hundred years?

        Absent humans, what would the ‘doubling sensitivity’ exactly be today? With humans, it is a number that is ‘perhaps’ something slightly different from the prior, non-human extant, number.

        If humans have changed the number, is that good or bad?

        What is the trend, what is the future? Glaciers will cover Chicago and Seattle, sooner or later.

        Is later better than sooner?

        Going forward, global temperatures will increase or decrease.

      • nottawa rafter

        Jim D
        Keep guessing. Just think what a wonderful life you have ahead of you. Trying to explain why things aren’t working out as they are supposed to. Can’t get any better than that. Never running out of new material. A comedy writer’s dream.

      • The forcing presumed to go into the earth system wasn’t getting there in the first place. Temperature change divided by forcing is transient sensitivity. Reduced forcing equals greater sensitivity. I think this is throwing skeptics for a loop.

        More arm-waving distraction. Now we’re supposed to forget what “forcing” means.

      • Re cloud albedo: “then that would show up in global records of insolation.
        or increased cloudiness.”

        Such variations do appear.
        This plot is net, not SW only:

        But the greater portion of the variation is from SW albedo variance.

      • Steven Mosher

        Jim do you have any evidence that cloudiness has increased or isolation measured at the surface has changed. Current evidence. Good evidence.

      • Steven, it is very speculative. We have Earthshine as a global albedo measure, which is not perfect, but shows increasing albedo since 2000 (which I may speculate is partly from Chinese aerosol increases). Like in journalism, I would like to see two independent sources for such an albedo increase. Are these recently developing changes making it into the IPCC forcing and observation-based energy budget estimates? These are the questions.

      • SM:
        http://www.drroyspencer.com/2014/09/the-curious-case-of-record-august-ocean-temperatures/
        There is this from Dr. Spencer:
        “Barring some mistake in data processing, the only explanation I have for this is the possibility I blogged about yesterday, that near-record low ocean winds are allowing excessive surface warming while transferring less energy through convection to warm the troposphere. As I also mentioned yesterday, such an excursion would be due to natural variability…not due to “extra” carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, which basically remains unchanged from one month to the next.”

      • Mosher:

        It’s not just cloud amount, but the size, shape, orientation, droplet distribution, composition ( ice/liquid ), elevation and other factors of those clouds which vary dynamically.

        This quote from Hansen is a good reminder –
        we don’t know earth’s energy balance:

        The difficulty with the satellite approach becomes clear by considering first the suggestion of measuring Earth’s re-flected sunlight and emitted heat from a satellite at the LaGrange L1 point, which is a location between the Sun and Earth at which the gravitational pulls from these bodies are equal and opposite. From this location the satellite would continually stare at the sunlit half of Earth.
        The notion that a single satellite at this point could measure Earth’s energy imbalance to 0.1 W m^2 is prima facie preposterous. Earth emits and scatters radiation in all directions, i.e., into 4π steradians. How can measurement of radiation in a single direction provide a proxy for radiation in all directions? Climate change alters the angular distribution of scattered and emitted radiation. It is implausible that changes in the angular distribution of radiation could be modeled to the needed accuracy, and the objective is to measure the imbalance, not guess at it. There is also the difficulty of maintaining sensor calibrations to accuracy 0.1 W m^2, i.e., 0.04 percent. That accuracy is beyond the state-of-the art, even for short periods, and that accuracy would need to be maintained for decades. There are many useful measurements that could be made from a mission to the Lagrange L1 point, but Earth’s radiation balance in not one of them.

        These same problems, the changing angular distribution of the scattered and emitted radiation fields and maintaining extreme precision of sensors over long periods, must be faced by Earth-orbiting satellites. Earth radiation budget satellites have progressed through several generations and improved considerably over the past half-century, and they provide valuable data, e.g., helping to define energy transport from low to high latitudes. The angular distribution problem is treated via empirical angular distribution models, which are used to convert measurements of radiation in a given direction into radiative (energy) fluxes. The precision achieved by the most advanced generation of radiation budget satellites is indicated by the planetary energy imbalance measured by the ongoing CERES (Clouds and the Earth’s Radiant Energy System) instrument (Loeb et al., 2009), which finds a measured 5-yr-mean imbalance of 6.5 W/m^2(Loeb et al., 2009). Because this result is implausible, instrumentation calibration factors were introduced to reduce the imbalance to the imbalance suggested by climate models, 0.85 W/m^2 (Loeb et al., 2009)

        The problems being addressed with this tuning probably involve the high variability and changes of the angular distribution functions for outgoing radiation and the very limited sampling of the radiation field that is possible from an orbiting satellite, as well as, perhaps, detector calibration. There can be no credible expectation that this tuning/calibration procedure can reduce the error by two orders of magnitude as required to measure changes of Earth’s energy balance to an accuracy of 0.1 W/m^2

      • Interested Bystander

        Even though this is not my field, I enjoy you guys proving you know more than me, but maybe, relative to the magnitude of the problem at hand, not that much more. I do have a question, wouldn’t a similar energy balance problem have existed when the fossil fuels we are consuming today were being formed? If so, can part of the energy balance answer be found in the natural process of energy sequestration that eventually produces oil, coal and natural gas?

      • I suspect that more energy and more carbon is going into the increased productivity of the biome than is generally acknowledged.
        ===================

      • And that more of each is being permanently(nearly) sequestered there than is suspected.
        ===============

      • The bigger objection to CERES is it is part of the “A-train”. It measures the earth at 1:30 AM and 1:30 PM.

        If it doesn’t happen at 1:30 AM or 1:30 PM, CERES might not be aware of it.

    • If the heat “didn’t go into the oceans,” nobody knows where it “went,” let alone whether it was “here” to go anywhere.

      At some point, it should dawn on even the most thick headed warmists that constantly being wrong (the “pause,” the missing “tropospheric hot spot,” the “heat is hiding in the oceans.” the disappeariong-reappearing MWP) is not evidence in support of the newest rationalization for being having been wrong.

      It is evidence that no one knows enough about the climate to model it.

      • “At some point, it should dawn on even the most thick headed warmists …”

        In a sane world we’d be at that point. Problem of course is that the scientists are into this alarmist thing up to their eyeballs, and they can’t go back. Until they do, the worshipful, credulous, weak-minded, mostly liberal believers aren’t going anywhere.

    • “There is a lot of uncertainty in how much heat is missing, which again comes down to aerosols. If the heat didn’t go into the oceans, perhaps the aerosol albedo change was stronger, meaning the forcing change was weaker, meaning that the sensitivity is higher.”

      Heat that is not measured is missing; your definition.

      Perhaps the heat didn’t go into the oceans.

      Perhaps it was reflected.

      So you can make no conclusions about sensitivity.

      • It is an energy budget. The energy thought to come in exceeded the warming seen. Either heat is missing or less energy came in.

      • “Either heat is missing or less energy came in.”

        It can’t be otherwise…

      • “The energy thought to come in exceeded the warming seen.”

        Imputations don’t match observations. Science is objective.

      • I was just summing up the missing heat problem. Maybe you think there isn’t a problem. I am not sure what you are saying.

      • What I am saying is that you must discern between observation and imputation.

        When observations don’t agree with hypothesis, something gives.

      • Carrying on, by way of missing heat, is sitting astride the horns of the dilemma.

      • Jim D,

        Your energy budget isn’t balanced.

        Is some energy falling into a crack in the bottom of the ocean?

        Or is there some shrinkage on the income side?

        Which is more likely?

      • I was just summing up the missing heat problem. Maybe you think there isn’t a problem. I am not sure what you are saying.

        No. You’re waving your arams trying to confuse people.

      • I don’t think it is any surprise that the global energy balance isn’t closed due to uncertainties, and that the biggest uncertainties are how much goes into the ocean, which is gradually being reduced as we see here, and how much is never getting to the earth in the first place. These have opposite consequences for the sensitivity. That is all I am saying.

      • the biggest uncertainties are how much goes into the ocean, which is gradually being reduced as we see here, and how much is never getting to the earth in the first place. These have opposite consequences for the sensitivity. That is all I am saying.

        The amount that is “getting to the earth in the first place” is equal to the solar constant multiplied by the intercepting area. All the energy you’re talking about is “getting to the earth in the first place.”

        The question is: how much is going into the ocean, and how much is being reflected back into space. That reflected amount is part of negative cloud “feedback”. It doesn’t count as “never getting to the earth in the first place.”

      • AK, I define “getting to earth in the first place” as being reduced both by reflection and solar variation. This is an important part of the uncertainty. There is a long list of things that can affect this, some manmade, some feedbacks, some natural.

      • AK, I define “getting to earth in the first place” as being reduced both by reflection and solar variation.

        That’s part of your scam.

      • You’re waving your arms, trying to confuse people between TOA and surface absorption.

    • Or perhaps the heat was vented away by convection.There are all kinds of reasons that might explain why the models are wrong.

    • “That’s the direction it goes. Skeptics should be careful about wishing that the heat is not found in the oceans. It implies greater sensitivity if it is not.”

      I can buy that. But do you except the reverse implication which is that if heat did go into the oceans this implies lower sensitivity and more importantly that the surface temperature record is fundamentally unreliable as a measure of warming.

      So with the surface temperature record thrown out what empirical evidence is there for warming???!!!

      • Sure, if the missing heat is found, that is the status quo for the forcing because then what they think it is matches with the ocean. If more heat is found than they think is missing (unlikely) then they have to revise their forcing upwards.

      • “That’s the direction it goes. Skeptics should be careful about wishing that the heat is not found in the oceans. It implies greater sensitivity if it is not.”

        I can buy that. […]

        You just got scammed. If the energy is being reflected back to space (by clouds) it implies lower sensitivity. Due to cloud feedback.

        Watch the pea, not the magician’s scammer’s hands.

      • If the temperature is rising just as fast with more reflection than expected, that is a higher sensitivity than expected.

      • I am sure that with all the arm-waving going on with the defenders of the faith, they have very toned triceps.

      • If the temperature is rising just as fast with more reflection than expected, that is a higher sensitivity than expected.

        Or less heat going into the ocean.

      • Yes, more reflection = less missing heat

    • Matthew R Marler

      Jim D: There is a lot of uncertainty in how much heat is missing, which again comes down to aerosols. If the heat didn’t go into the oceans, perhaps the aerosol albedo change was stronger, meaning the forcing change was weaker, meaning that the sensitivity is higher. That’s the direction it goes. Skeptics should be careful about wishing that the heat is not found in the oceans. It implies greater sensitivity if it is not.

      the key message for this thread is the additional evidence for what is not known very well. I think you ought to be cautious in advising unnamed “skeptics” to be careful what to wish for. What I wish for is more complete and more accurate information relevant to all questions. Climate scientists have displayed transient apocalyptic responses to isolated extremes, even as the accumulating evidence supports less catastrophic scenarios than were popularized in the past by Hansen, Ehrlich, Gore and others. Not too long ago I read here a claim that OHC was the single most important desideratum, and OCH was increasing for sure; today the evidence is that OHC change is about 0 over recent measurements within the limits of approximation afforded by the data. N. Hemisphere and S. Hemisphere might be changing in different directions (concordant with Arctic Sea Ice loss and Antarctic Sea ice accumulations.)

      It seems to me that the message of today is “maybe”.

  9. The Llovel group at JPL seems to have alot riding on the 2.78 mm/yr number, measured for the 2005-2013 interval. 2005 was an elevated year (see sealevel.colorado.edu), making the slope for their interval lower. Since the slope in sea level has been quite consistent for many years now at aorund 3.1 to 3.2 mm/year, I think that is the value range they should have used. That value totally changes their conclusions regarding the deep ocean below 2000 m.

    • Go remind some people that the rate of sea level rise has not accelerated, and was the same even before CO2 rose.
      ====================

      • Walt Allensworth

        re:

        “kim | October 5, 2014 at 9:52 pm | Reply

        Go remind some people that the rate of sea level rise has not accelerated, and was the same even before CO2 rose.”

        Kim – this would be a valuable reference to add to my list, if you would post it. Thx!

      • Walt

        Happy to oblige, see bottom left banner of this poster from highly respected researcher Simon Holgate

        http://meteo.lcd.lu/globalwarming/Holgate/sealevel_change_poster_holgate.pdf

        In a personal email to me he confirmed that the sea level rise in the first half of the 20 th century was greater than in the second half, although the differences were not significant. So Kim is right

        Tonyb

      • Not that anyone really knows (settled science doesn’t involve much tedious knowing), but the somewhat faster rates of rise were likely in the decades prior to the 1860s.

        It’s all a continuation of the dribble of rise that’s been going on since the late 1700s, one of those things like the MWP which was never in dispute till it got in the way of the Greener Good.

        Don’t like it? Have yourself an ice age.

      • Steven Mosher

        dear god.

        “A key question in validating this approach is how well do the nine
        stations capture global sea level variability?
        If our reasoning that a single high quality sea level record from a
        region is better (or at least as good as) a regional mean of a
        number of records, then the picture of global sea level that we
        obtain from the nine stations should be similar to that obtained
        from a larger number of gauges.
        The mean of the decadal rates from the nine records provides a
        calculated from 177 tide gauges averaged into 13 regions
        (Holgate and Woodworth, 2004).
        The comparison shows that over the common period of the two
        analyses (1955-1998) there is very strong agreement between
        station set can be used to study decadal rates of global mean sea
        level change throughout the 20
        th
        century

      • So… does that mean the CO2 melted glaciers in the last half of the century increased sea level in the first half?

        Normally cause precedes effect. I guess there is nothing CO2 can’t do.

      • Contrary to IPCC claims of faster rate in sea level rise
        1993-2003.
        Research papers by J Church, N White 2006. B Douglas
        1992, S Holgate, P Woodworth 2004
        https://sites.google.com/site/globalwarmingquestions/sealevel

      • vhttp://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/joc.1771/abstract

    • Well…

      The satellite reported sea level rise is actually 2.8-2.9 mm.

      0.3 mm is GIA (the sea floor is sinking). UCS and other centers started adding GIA in 2011, because the sea level rise had stalled for a bit.
      http://sealevel.colorado.edu/content/what-glacial-isostatic-adjustment-gia-and-why-do-you-correct-it

      This converts a sea level change computation from satellite data to an estimated change in ocean depth (not the same measurement as sea level).

      Modern GMSL is actually GMESD (Global Mean Estimated Sea Depth). It reports the change in sea depth not sea level.

      • The number reported by Llovel et al (2.78 mm/yr)is very close to what I calculate from sealevel.colorado.edu data for 2005-13 (corrected for GIA or not). That data appears to be what they used. My point is that the 2.78 number, because of the short interval, is appreciably below the fairly consistent 1979-2014 longer-term value of 3.2 mm/yr. That low number (2.78) results in an apparent loss of heat in the deep ocean. The 3.2 number results in a gain in deep ocean heat.

      • I am suspicious of satellite sea level measurements for three reasons:
        1. They are higher than tidal gauge measurements.
        2. They add GIA.
        3. I tend to be suspicious.

        It would be nice to have the satellite measurements validated against geostatic (not moving up or down) tidal gauges. This simplifies the problem to, the satellites either report the same sea level change or they are wrong.

        I find no evidence that anyone has done this study and it is an obvious thing to do.

      • nottawa rafter

        As an aside, I am looking forward to CU
        updating their 5-23-2014 data and graph. Apparently, it is not done on any consistent schedule.

      • @ PA

        “It would be nice to have the satellite measurements validated against geostatic (not moving up or down) tidal gauges. ”

        Indeed it would.

        The problem is that at the ‘sub-mm/yr’ range, there is no such thing as a geostatic reference point.

        At those resolutions, the crust of the earth is squirming around like a three-year old in church, in all three dimensions.

        Do all of these ‘squirmings’ result in a zero sum game re the volume of the ocean basins? If not, do they increase or decrease the volume of the basins?

        Meanwhile, the volume is definitely being decreased by such things as silt deposition from rivers, seashore erosion, dust being blown from land onto the ocean surface and sinking, ocean life, plant and animal, dying and sinking to the ocean floor, undersea injections of hot water and hot lava, land sliding into the ocean, lava running into the ocean from surface volcanos, and probably a whole bunch of other factors that I haven’t thought about.

        As for sea temperature, the number of undersea locations where ‘hot stuff’ of various temperatures and materials are being injected has been estimated to be in the millions. I wouldn’t hazard a guess, beyond ‘a lot’. The injections occur at random locations, at random times, and with random heat content? Does anyone have a handle on the total volume and total heat content of all these injections, world wide?

        In the face of all these things that I KNOW about, I am being told that ‘the sea level is rising at 3 mm/year (more or less), it is because the oceans are heating up, the heating is the direct effect of the ACO2 that we are adding to the atmosphere as a byproduct of fossil fuel consumption, and that the sea level rise will be catastrophic if we don’t counteract it by taxing and regulating every human activity that produces a ‘carbon signature’. Said signature to be established by the governments doing the taxing and regulating.

        I, like you, am suspicious.

      • BL yup and yup.

        However – calibrating against minimally moving points since they are measuring against a reference geoid would reduce some sources of error.

        It is a tough problem because all the land (including under the ocean) is moving horizontally and vertically, the land under ice sheets is moving up or down, the shape of the geoid is constantly changing and the thick ice sheets compact with time. There are a lot of assumptions that go into any estimate.

        http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/store/10.1002/2013EF000188/asset/image_n/eft215-fig-0003.png?v=1&t=i0x6stcp&s=bbd3d71229ad1b4906b797c22d5b8e8dad4aef67

        I do wonder why all the sea level rise is in the western pacific. If the western pacific “hot spots” were removed the net sea level rise would appear to be zero.

      • Anyway the chart was figure 3 from section 2.2.1 in the following document:
        http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/2013EF000188/full

        It shows relative global sea level rise.1993-2012.

      • nottawa rafter

        Bob
        Thanks for the list of additional factors to be considered for SLR. Reading most MSM hysteria about SLR, one would conclude there is only one culprit. After doing some homework, all of a sudden it is a lot more complex. But why confuse the public with facts. All they will do is start asking questions.

      • PA

        http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/store/10.1002/2013EF000188/asset/image_n/eft215-fig-0003.png?v=1&t=i0x6stcp&s=bbd3d71229ad1b4906b797c22d5b8e8dad4a

        I received a “forbidden” notice. How did they know it was me?

        Is there another route to the same information?

      • RiHo08

        “I received a “forbidden” notice. How did they know it was me?

        Is there another route to the same information?”

        I guess your reputation precedes you…

        On a more serious note: the chart was figure 3 from section 2.2.1 in the following document:

        http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/2013EF000188/full

        It shows relative global sea level rise.1993-2012.

        “Sigh” the image can be opened from the wiley page but the saved link doesn’t work… I’ll see if I can post a permanent link tomorrow…

    • 0.3 of those 3.2 mm is a fictitious GIA adjustment based on a GIA model that is known to be quite inaccurate, particularly in the most important area, Antarctica.

    • Owen, you need more precision. The 3.1mm/yr includes a modeld GIA component of 0.3. NASA 2.8 measured over the satellite era without the model adjustment. Butmif you break thatninto two segments pre/post about 2003 (pause) it is 3.2 pre and 2.1post without GIA. There are even two easily debunked papers trying to explain the slower post SLR rate as terrestrial precipitation not yet returned to the sea. They were soundly debunked in the Blowing Smoke essay Pseudo Precision.

      • @ Rud Istvan

        Just as a matter of curiosity, where is the ‘zero reference point’ against which satellite ephemeris is measured and corrected with sub-millimeter precision? Honest question; I have no idea how satellite positions can be determined over multi-year time frames well enough to allow satellite altimetry to detect and measure altitude anomalies with sub-millimeter resolution.

      • Bob, that is explained in the Jason-2 documentation. Starts with the precision of the satellite orbit around earth, which at that altitude and speed is little affected by the known gravitmetric anomalies mapped by GRACE. Then there are corrections for waves, for atmospheric retardation of the return signal, and such. The aim is to have precision to about 3.5 cm comparing one place to another (mostly owing to grabimetric anomaly uncertainty. And average precision ( across the entire surface) to 1mm, allowing for one mm instrument drift per year. Google the Jason-2 documentation (user manual for data). It is a quite accessible document that expalins exactly how the satellite works, how all the corrections are made, and what the design end precision is.

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      kim asserts [wrongly and without evidence]  “the rate of sea level rise has not accelerated”.

      The ruler test says kim’s claim is wrong.

      How long will kim persist in error? Not even FOMD knows!

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

      • Fan

        Generally you like to quote the university Of Colorado sea level charts.

        Obviously an oversight on your part so here it is

        http://sealevel.colorado.edu/

        Since 2006 the average rise has fallen back to 2 .5 mm a year and it has flatlined the last two years. Good news eh and just one of a number of pauses. Will they continue? Not even tonyb knows

        Tonyb

      • Well…

        I believe the “El Nino” is going to be a “La Nina” next year.

        It isn’t a scientific observation – but the warm water came to the surface and the cool southern waters/AMO/whatever kept it from forming an El Nino. I suspect the hot water tank is almost empty.

        At some point the warm eastern water will run out and things will go the other way – and that has a negative effect on sea level.

      • Fan Even when given the facts Fan just merrily goes on his way humming the same old tune, oblivious to what everyone else can clearly see. CU shows a trend line of 3.2 mm just as it has for 20 years. Provide some counter evidence if Kim is wrong.

      • There is a lot fan doesn’t know. Like trying to utilize links which relate to whatever foolishness he puts forth in his posting.

        Or comprehending the fact that choosing the rate of SLR from the satellite data verses the tidal gage data still only gives us 8 – 10 inches of rise by the end of this century.

  10. So, I’ll take that as a don’t-know. (Me et alii, 2014)

  11. Abstract. The global ocean stores more than 90% of the heat associated with observed greenhouse-gas-attributed global warming. Using satellite altimetry observations and a large suite of climate models, we conclude that observed estimates of 0–700 dbar global ocean warming since 1970 are likely biased low.

    We conclude models are right and observations are wrong.

    What great science not.

    • Well, their excuse works fine until about 2003. Unobserved (robot) measurements of ocean temperature since 2003 are probably more accurate than the satellites or the models (which don’t reproduce the ocean temperature profile very well).

    • Steven Mosher

      wrong.
      they didnt argue the observations were WRONG. they argued they were biased.
      How?
      sampling bias.

      remember. There is no measurement of the whole earth. there is the data you collected. an ASSUMPTION you make about the sampling, and a MODEL you use to create the AVERAGE.

      So, the MODEL of the temperature data for the northern hemisphere matches MODEL of sea level rise for the north.
      but the MODEL of the temperature observations for the SH do not
      match the MODEL of sea level rise.

      They conclude that the SAMPLING of the south produces a BIAS in the model of the observations.

      AGAIN, there is no “observation” of the SH “average” the average is a model created from observations, assumptions and a statistical model.

      Its like this. You can never observe the average weight of all denizens.
      the average weight is created through data and a statiscal model.

      • Steven Mosher “wrong.they didn’t argue the observations were WRONG. they argued they were biased.”

        Sorry Steven, In this context we both know they are saying the observations were wrong.
        right is correct, wrong is biased.
        Wiggle as much as you want you cannot deny this.

        Worse than this they are arguing the models are right, ie unbiased and the facts, ie observations are wrong because they do not agree with the models.
        You yourself have said that all models are wrong, now you try to change.
        You collect the data , you average the data and then you can compare a model to it. The data is not a model until you Cowhide and tan it, remember.
        perhaps you could get Greg Laden to help you out by twittering this nonsense of yours with his recent effort . It is on a par.

      • Steven Mosher

        Averaging data is creating a model.
        Averaging says.. Every where I didn’t measure
        Is equal to the average or best estimated by
        The average.
        Their average is biased. Not that hard.
        If I take the average age here my average will be correct but biased

      • Averaging data is creating a model.
        Averaging says.. Every where I didn’t measure
        Is equal to the average or best estimated by

        Or it could mean that my average is the average of my measurements, and has no opinion on locations that haven’t actually been measured.

    • Well, SM this is probably true…

      But the robot ocean probes since 2003 have a reasonable density in the southern hemisphere and would appear to have at least the same relative resolution as the models (except the probes are measuring something real).

      The probes are more or less 200 miles apart. The model resolution is probably something on the 60 mile range or larger (a better number for the model grid size would be welcome).

    • So do we read “observed estimates” as “estimates based on direct observation”? And how to you measure ocean warming in dbar, which is usually an abbreviation of decibar, a unit of pressure?

  12. .We find that the partitioning of northern and southern hemispheric simulated sea surface height changes are consistent with precise altimeter observations,

    Simulations are real.

    whereas the hemispheric partitioning of simulated upper-ocean warming is inconsistent with observed in-situ-based ocean heat content estimates.

    whereas observations must be wrong

  13. The ocean heat has disappeared. I blame David Copperfield.

    With the Statue of Liberty, if I just pointed my finger at it and it disappeared,” Copperfield says, “that would be too amazing. I have to give the audience some room for doubt, to examine and question what I do.”
    [ … ]
    “I’m not making a political statement, ,” he says, “just pointing out something that we take for granted.”

    http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=932&dat=19830408&id=DKJPAAAAIBAJ&sjid=-VIDAAAAIBAJ&pg=5541,4275075

  14. “transfer of freshwater into the ocean 2.0 mm yr–1, according to satellite measurements of Earth’s changing gravity field.”
    How? how does ice on Antarctica magically transform into water in the ocean.
    Answer, impossible with an ever increasing sea ice barrier meaning the Antarctic is colder and the ice on Antarctica cannot melt on top or at the edges.
    Explanation GRACE estimates are grossly flawed or as JC musingly puts it
    ‘the uncertainties are pretty substantial.”

      • GRACE consists of two satellites that makes the data look stripy. . While GOCE by itself isn’t good enough to measure fluctuations due to ice melting.
        So you put two lousy bits of measurement with huge error bars [remember them, Jim D] and come up with an even worse metric
        To paraphrase the renegade philosopher Hannibal, I love it when science comes together.
        satellites like GOCE and GRACE are a magnitude of disasters when it comes to accurate measurement.

    • How? how does ice on Antarctica magically transform into water in the ocean.

      A good deal of it sublimates.

      • “Precipitation over Antarctica is recognized as an important climate variable. Snow accumulation or surface mass balance (SMB) on the Antarctic Plateau is the sum of precipitation, sublimation/deposition and wind-blown snow. Our results suggest that buried ice in central Beacon Valley could survive for millions of years given very minor changes in local climate conditions.
        the snow accumulation average over the last 5000 years is 26.6 kg m2 a-1
        Stake measurements and firn cores at DC confirm the about 30% increase in accumulation over the last two centuries,and the increase over the last 5000 years. An increase in accumulation was also observed at other sites;”

        AK,
        sublimation is dependent on temperature and cannot result in ice loss of the degree stated without massive warming which would have resulted in shrinking or vanished sea ice extent.
        There is no physical way such large amounts of ice could be lost in such short periods of time without any other signs of excessive warming.
        GRACE and GOCE are self defined as rubbish algorithms pushing a global warming message on models, not on data.
        Even Mosher would not have the nerve to say it is physically possible for such large amounts of ice to have been lost.
        You would have to go to Eli to spout rubbish like that with a straight face

    • http://ntrs.nasa.gov/archive/nasa/casi.ntrs.nasa.gov/20120013495.pdf

      Apparently Antarctica was gaining 49 Gt/yr from 2003-2008.

      They ought to put a pole in the ground down to bedrock near the South pole in a spot where the ice sheet isn’t moving (lots to chose from). They can measure the ice thickness change absolutely and calibrate their satellites.

  15. “The implication of this is that a build up of heat in the deep oceans is not the solution to the so called missing energy mystery that has puzzled climate scientists trying to match the observed heat build up on the planet with what the theory of global warming suggests should be happening”

    I have a temperature probe in my hand. Where do I stick it? Does it make any difference except to the person in the way?

    It seems that the oceans are a good location to put all sorts of conjectures because it is so large and has so many layers.

    Maybe, just maybe, the location of any oceanic temperature probe reflects a minute microcosm, which it seems, highly arbitrary and in concert with other randomly placed probes, does not produce a global perspective; rather, a regional account reflecting myriads of small scale factors. Homogenization of the data only leads to further errors of specificity that isn’t real nor relevant.

    What is required is a coherent system which inputs data into a regional system and not the current system of CO2 as a culprit in climate orgasms.

    I await a runway upon which various explanations are trotted out, displayed, ogled, and eventually, purchased by the elite as models of what is yet to come. Fascinating, but, tiresome in their monotony.

    To say the least, I am not impressed.

  16. Thank you, Professor Curry, for your persistence.

    Attempts to do the impossible – to control the results of cause and effect – have always failed.

    The Elboa scare seems to have arrived just as the AGW scare is vanishing.

  17. “Essentially, they imply that heat has accumulated faster than had been thought in the upper ocean but not, as many have suggested, in the deeper ocean below 2km.”
    Where is reality here, and science.
    What is the temperature of the bottom layer of the ocean? Less than 0.00 degrees.
    What is the heat accumulating in these areas at? Less than 0 degrees.
    How in the name of Thermodynamics can this cold water ever, ever, ever cause a temperature rise in and of itself of the water above it?
    The heat in the system comes from the sun, the currents from the day and night and seasonal changes in insolation to which the ocean is a mere backdrop. It can store heat but it cannot produce it.

    • The thermodynamics is not entirely relevant in the second law sense here. Heat transfer from the surface into the ocean seems to be dominantly advective: horizontal convection driven by the north atlantic or the meridional overturning driven by winds at the southern ocean. There are other processes, like tidal internal wave breaking which causes vertical diffusion but direct thermodynamic processes cannot explain ocean dynamical phenomena (this is unrelated to ‘climate’) as they are incredibly ineffcient or impossible (second law). I have heard people repeatedly bring up the second law for the ocean, here (including Dr Curry) but it seems to stem from a lack of keeping up with ocean dynamics over the past decade.
      For a heuristic idealized view see,

      http://www.nature.com/ngeo/journal/v5/n3/abs/ngeo1391.html

      And the question of ‘storing’ heat is somewhat misleading, but should be interpreted in terms of time scales-i.e. what is the time scale of water in the meridional overturning? sequestration or storage are meaningful terms only relative to the time scale under consideration. You cannot really store things in a dynamical system, unless there are phase changes, or something to do with biomass etc.

  18. John Smith (it's my real name)

    pardon the heckling from the cheap seats

    come on, there is no “missing” heat
    isn’t this gonna get ridiculous after awhile?
    there are major flaws in the understanding of the system
    probably more than a couple

    ad hoc hypothesis
    (term learned by peasant through link on this blog site)
    missing heat
    planet Vulcan
    dark energy
    dark matter
    ghost artifacts of flawed constructs

    • John

      This might provide some useful background. It concerns my attendance at the Exeter Climate conference around 6 months ago hosted by Exeter University and the Met Office which featured a panel of IPCC reviewers. I posted this at the time here; Much of it concerns ocean heat content.

      ——- ———

      “I was allowed to ask my question on natural variability but got a poor answer (see attached link to RGates)

      https://judithcurry.com/2014/05/16/reflections-on-bengtsson-and-the-gwpf/#comment-558243

      Prof Stocker gave an interesting reply concerning ocean heat content (also in this comment link)

      Obviously the uncertainties on measurement of ocean heat are very much greater than is normally publicly stated. You may remember that I commented to you that when I was reviewing the draft of AR5 that I complained that the IPCC refused 3 times to give me a reference to back up their stated assertion that the abyssal depths were well known to be warming. Apart from Purkiss (a very limited study) there appears to be no research at all to back up this claim and this seems to have been admitted to by Prof Stocker.
      —— ——-

      The simple answer is that we often just don’t know about many aspects of the Earths climate and that uncertainty increase in places we can’t get to, like the ocean. We also have a very poor idea as to how everything interlinks. ‘I don’t know’ doesn’t seem to be in the lexicography of many climate scientists who endlessly speculate on things that get presented as facts.

      Lets repeat the take home message from the conference which is that uncertainty abounds and we DO NOT have the technology to accurately measure the deep ocean and really have no idea what is going on there.

      tonyb

      • Tonyb, do the models you use consider the geothermal heat influx? I read a reference somewhere this energy input was ignored in the analysis. Intuition tells me geothermal heating has a significant influence on the ocean turnover rate (or am I missing something?).

      • Curious George

        Fernando – a very logical question. A current estimate of geothermal heat flux is an average 0.09 W/m2 (up from 0.07 estimate of 20 years ago) but highly variable both in space and time – volcanic eruptions, hot spots, etc. Uncertainties in estimating the effects of solar energy balance are much higher than that – for example, the famous 5W/m2 discrepancy in CERES data.

      • John Smith (it's my real name)

        thanks tony
        aren’t we talking only about “predicted” heat
        if we ever find it we’ll know where it was hiding while it was “missing”

        can you are anyone give me an example in physics or nature where a massive amount of heat or energy stealthily enters a system and hides
        and sequesters that heat without observable dissipation

        there must be a perfect insulator somewhere
        hope that heckling from the cheap seats can help
        every court needs a jester

      • John Smith (it's my real name)

        on second thought …
        pardon me,
        kim and bts do a way better job of the jester thing than I could ever pretend
        kudos to them both

      • Tonyb
        I am guessing he meant that you can’t measure the deep ocean with coverage (like argo). Current meters and CTD casts with heat/conductivity sensors can do pretty well even for small temperatures at depth, however they cannot be spatially (in case of the former) or temporally (the latter) extended to the ocean.

        Fernando Leanme
        Your intuition tells you that the geothermal heating is important? This is a question of the actual values(how large is the forcing) rather than intuition or inference. Models don’t typically include the effect of geothermal heating and the forcing estimates are poor but the ‘intuition’ is unclear, and at least one paper says that it does matter for the MOC, and consequently for the climate:
        http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/grl.50640/full
        but the reasons are hardly intuitive. It has to do with the adiabatic pole to pole circulation.

      • Oceanoker, sometimes my intuition works rather well. I don´t have a concise and accurate description the procedure used to perform an ocean temperature reanalysis, nor do I have the ability to question those who perform them, therefore the process is a bit of a mistery to me. I know how I would try to do it based on my training, but I´m not an oceanographer.

        It seems to me the energy coming from below is critical because it´s coming from below, not necessarily because it´s that large (0.1 watts per m2 doesn´t sound like much until it´s applied to cold water sitting at 4000 meters). What makes me wonder is why don´t they bother to use it? It would seem to be a fairly simple exercise.

      • Fernando leanme,
        Sorry don’t have much time today, but will be brief. You are right in some sense about the below part, but it’s more so because the abyss is pretty weakly stratified and heated fluid can travel a fair distance up, though how much would depend on the actual values of the heat flux at these sources. Curiously I am currently working on some bottom boundary layer issues and I don’t care too much about geothermal fluxes, and truthfully I don’t know of observations that show them in the region of study. I am not doing climate or projections, more on the physics(GFD) side, but I could look at it at some point.
        Also I don’t know why it seems that obvious but it’s a fairly non trivial problem of rotating, convective, shear turbulence which cannot be solved by ocean models (currently impossible resolution) and must be parametrized, a difficult problem as always. I ll probably comment on it at some in future threads when I am not required to do research at 6 in the morning!
        Also resolving the bottom layer is a serious resolution choice for any global ocean/climate model, currently they just ignore it, though considering the large cottage industry of modelers who run and make projections, it could be done, I guess.

    • nottawa rafter

      Like I explained to Jim D, there is a life’s work explaining why things really aren’t as previously thought or dreaming up new assumptions and adjustments for how they should be. Dabbling in the unknown. The uncertainties are growing exponentially. Humans just refuse to admit it.

  19. In the last few years, uncertainty in climate science seems to have grown as previously established ideas keep getting brought into question. If this continues, soon we’ll know nothing at all about the climate.

    • The performance of the climate models for the last 10 years proves that what we knew was wrong.

      Global warmers are steadfastly wrong and unwilling to admit ignorance which is much worse than simply being ignorant..

      • PA, a consistent myth is that science preceded AGW alarmism as movement driver, this is nonsense. The policy meme to tax, control and redistribute concentrated carbon wealth existed long before climate science was created to assist in the rationalization. If you start with a basic disinformative premise and live by it Essential history is memory holed.

    • If others words silly wabbit, we all will be as knowledgeable on the subject as you.

  20. Tropical typhoons like Vongfong and Phanfone transfer a lot of heat from the surface of the earth to the cold, dark reaches of space…

  21. When quoting including the use of quotation marks can we actually quote?

    It’s:

    The fact is that we can’t account for the lack of warming at the moment and it is a travesty that we can’t.

    not:

    It’s a travesty that we can’t find the missing heat.

  22. The fact is that we can’t account for the lack of warming at the moment, and it is a travesty that we can’t. The CERES data published in the August BAMS 09 supplement on 2008 shows there should be even more warming: but the data are surely wrong. Our observing system is inadequate.

    It is oddest that the BAMS 09 supplement showed all the gain in SW due to cloud cover decrease – the missing heat. But this changes and there is currently no missing energy.

    Ocean heat varies naturally. A few years of data is not going to reveal much. There is some increase in the past couple of years which may associated with the peak in the Schwabe cycle.

    Salinity doesn’t seem to change much – implying that the freshwater gains are matched by evaporative losses. Water is ending up somewhere.

    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.

    It is all pretty pointless unless there is an appreciation of how things are actually changing in the global energy budget.

  23. I wonder if it´s a cultural, Nature Climate editorial practice, or just plain nerdiness which turns the abstracts from this particular journal into pure gabble. I notice the same issue in the IPCC reports. I used to get this “flavor” from engineers trained in Latin America (those from Argentina were really adept at writing extensively while conveying little information). When I suggested we had to retrain engineers so they could write compact, intelligible english sentences which conveyed the information as required, I was told I was fighting years of training in their universities. So are climatologists trained to write, or do they go on with a basic High School education and don´t get a quality technical writing course along the way?

  24. Abstract: The global ocean stores more than 90% of the heat associated with observed greenhouse-gas-attributed global warming.
    Stop right there. Does anyone else see a problem with this introductory sentence? I know Judith has written on this topic a few times but the physical processes involved exist only in the imaginations of those seeking to explain the absence of surface warming. Real Climate had a go at it but didn’t go much further than to say that heat flux from the cool skin layer becomes retarded as a result of ACO2 emissions. Fair enough. But has anyone attempted to measure and quantify this by reference to evaporation, SW heating of the surface, the effect of water vapour acting to reduce the temperature gradient of the surface and the cool skin layer etc…? Kittens sneezing into a gale comes to mind… Please help me understand where I’m going wrong in my thinking.

    • Malcolm, the short answer is yes they have, in two different ways. Short term, via ARGO. There is some warming, most distinct in the upper 700 meters. Long term, ice cores show that CO2 rises and falls withnocean temperature in accordance with Le Chatteliers principle and Henrys law, with a mixing lag of a few hundred years. There are two essays on this in the forthcoming book: Cause and Effect (long term lag) and Missing Heat (short term ARGO). Plus debunking several bad/confused/misleading papers concerning these matters. Might be worth an educational read.

      • Thanks, Rud. Have they managed to disentangle the AGW signal from the noise? Where can I see this literature? Really interested in the mechanics of it all. I’m still stuck with weird analogies in my head – like opening the bonnet of my warmed-up car on a hot sunny day and then having someone try to explain that my hot breath, as I lean over the engine, is causing the sump to stay hotter than it would otherwise be.

    • malcolm, you know how it doesn’t cool off so fast on a cloudy night as on a clear night? It’s like that. Clouds have a greenhouse effect too even being cooler than the surface.

      • Jim D,

        Clouds have several effects. What makes you think that the GH effect is the one which dominates?

      • On a calm night, radiation is the main thing driving the ground temperature, a net effect from upwards and downwards fluxes. This is why you get frost warnings more often on clear nights. It’s a major factor.

      • I’m measuring zenith temp 80, 90, 100F colder than my front sidewalk.

      • JimD,

        guess answering the question isn’t an option for you.

      • I think that there are some people who don’t understand why clear nights get really cold. The desert is a great example. Compare that with a clear night in the muggy tropics that hardly cools off at all in comparison. That’s the water vapor greenhouse effect.

      • It’s also the water vapor heat capacity effect.

      • No, it isn’t. Moist air has 0.1% more heat capacity than dry air.

      • Therefore the water vapor is insignificant? I mean, part of the mechanism that makes the heat capacity high is vibrational molecular modes. The same ones that absorb/emit IR. Hmmmm ….

      • Unfortunately for that idea, O2 and N2 also have heat capacity, and so much more mass that they dwarf the traces gases in the air’s total. However, they do almost nothing in the IR, which is why H2O and CO2 are so important.

  25. The theory i have used is that a vertical column of water left to profile itself with the most dense water at the bottom. Density is a function of both temperature and salinity and accounts for the depths of the oceans being about 4C.

    I have never placed much credence on the ‘missing heat’ theory because I never thought it was missing. This was a consequence of the failure of the IPCC to prpperly investigate the 1940 global temperature singularity. The sudden drop in global average temperature after 1940 was doe to the loss of neutrons from the CO2 molecule which reduced their ability to absorb IR (See my theiretical model underlined above).

    • You can get work out of the heat content of a vertical column of oceanic water; the gradients are steady state and not equilibrium.

    • Most carbon dioxide has Carbon-12 as the carbon isotope, if it lost a neutron it becomes Carbon-11 which decays to Boron with a half-life of 20 minutes.
      We make C-11 with a gas nitrogen target and 17 MeV protons, it does not occur naturally in significant amounts, or enough to cause the 1940 singularity, whatever that was.

      I give you 9 on a 10 point not even wrong scale.

  26. the missing heat, is a product not of good science but a results of need coming from bad science which in turn lead to claims that where poorly supported by facts. In short, there would no need for missing heat if the science had been ‘settled’ has claimed.
    And its till the case that the modals underlying assumption is that there should be heat somewhere , and why because another model claimed that increase in CO2 ‘would ‘ lead to an increase in temperature in a fixed fashion . The idea that the original claim is wrong and therefore there is no ‘missing heat ‘ is one that is still not addressed as a good scientists should do.

  27. “More likely to be changes in cloudiness…”

    “The biggest uncertainty in the forcing is the aerosols, not clouds per se …”

    Mainly on SH we have “troubles” with the cloud cover.
    We should reconsider this paper (of that year): Southern Hemisphere Cloud–Dynamics Biases in CMIP5 Models and Their Implications for Climate Projections, Grise and Polwani (http://www.columbia.edu/~lmp/paps/grise+polvani-JCLIM-2014.pdf) : „As a consequence,
    feedbacks involving clouds, particularly low clouds, are responsible for most of the spread in climate sensitivity across climate models (Soden and Held 2006; Webb et al. 2006; Dufresne and Bony 2008; Williams and Webb 2009; Webb et al. 2013).”, „Because the Southern Ocean is almost entirely covered by clouds in the present-day climatology (e.g.,Bromwich et al. 2012), any underestimate of this cloud cover by models might lead to spurious feedbacks in future climate scenarios (Trenberth and Fasullo 2010)[…]”

    Assumes now (and even higher) climate sensitivity for our greenhouse gas emissions, most likely underestimated in climate models possible changes in cloud cover – loss of heat radiated into space.

    We do not have (in the long term) verified data on changes in cloudiness of Antarctic – problem underestimation of cloud cover – mainly in winter. E.g.: “The polar cloud masks for the satellite data reviewed here are not yet accurate enough to reliably derive surface or cloud properties …” (http://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/abs/10.1175/JCLI4005.1)

    And cloud on SH is not only “aerosols per se” but westerly winds (little we know of their volatility), changing regionally cloudiness and temperature trends (Fan et al., 2014, http://www.cgd.ucar.edu/staff/cdeser/docs/fan.antarctic_seaice_trends.grl14.pdf).

    • Clouds are internal to the system, so they don’t count as ‘external forcing’, like aerosols do. The impact of clouds on the earth’s energy budget is huge, and there is substantial variability. IPCC thinks global cloud feedback is positive, but acknowledges large uncertainties. I’m placing my bets on negative cloud feedback. In any event, huge cloud shifts with El Nino/La Nino, and presumably with PDO shifts.

      • Judith, could you briefly explain why you think cloud feedback is negative? I’m entirely agnostic on this point at the moment and would welcome some information to chew over.

      • just about ready to leave for the airport for my china trip. I’ve collected tons of material for cloud posts, so there will be several in the future. Too swamped and my posts are backed up, unfortunately

      • OK, thanks. Happy travelling.

      • The use of ‘internal’ and ‘external’ with respect to ‘forcings’ makes as much sense as applying ‘Organic’ to foodstuffs.

      • In my experience, clouds make it much cooler in the summer and much warmer in the winter. But that’s just an observation, I’ll need to check a model to make sure it’s correct

      • David Springer

        jonathan – locations with highest mean annual temperatures also have the fewest clouds

        pick any two locations same altitude same latitude and the dryer one will have the higher mean annual temperature

      • David Springer

        “The use of ‘internal’ and ‘external’ with respect to ‘forcings’ makes as much sense as applying ‘Organic’ to foodstuffs.”

        My sediments exactly.

    • Don´t take your own phone and computer or tablet into China if you can avoid it, they´ll clean them out. Or do so if you dont mind. It can be useful if you want to plant confusing data they can steal. I did it once and it worked great.

  28. Physicist with 50 years experience

    Just because the oceans hold more thermal energy than the atmosphere does not mean that they control the temperature. Solar radiation mostly passes through the thin surface layer. Yes, it gets absorbed in the regions below that, but these are colder regions and so they do not transfer that thermal energy back to the warmer surface in the non-polar regions where most of the sunlight entered. Instead the thermal energy in those waters (usually colder than 10C) follows isotherms until it reaches the surface in polar regions.

    Nor does radiation from the colder atmosphere raise the temperature of the warmer surface. And the Sun’s radiation cannot explain the surface temperature of the ocean surface in the first place, so slowing of radiative cooling by water vapour and carbon dioxide (not evaporative cooling etc) does not explain the surface temperature either.

    The only phenomenon that can be explained with valid physics and which does explain the ocean surface temperature is the gravito-thermal effect, first explained by Josef Loschmidt, and never correctly rebuked because it is a direct corollary of the Second Law of Thermodynamics. The gravitationally induced temperature gradient, just like the density gradient can each be proved to exist using the Second Law of Thermodynamics.

    The back radiation conjecture depends upon a concept wherein thermodynamic equilibrium would be isothermal, but that is totally contrary to the Second Law of Thermodynamics, and hence the greenhouse conjecture depends upon an assumed violation of the Second Law, and thus it is smashed.

  29. daveandrews723

    Interesting new information.
    It leads me to conclude that anyone who claims “the science is settled” on CO2 levels and their relationship to global temperatures/climate change is a fool.
    Science has not even begun to understand the vast complexities of climate change. Those who say they have are charlatans and con artists.
    Rocket science is a piece of cake compared to climatology.

  30. A fan of *MORE* discourse

    BREAKING NEWS
    Slashdot covers climate-change!
    Hansen’s climate-change worldview affirmed AGAIN!

    Past Measurements May Have Missed
    Massive Ocean Warming

    Previous estimates of global ocean warming have been significantly underestimated due to historically sparse temperature data from the Southern Ocean, new research has found.

    From the article: “Earth’s oceans have absorbed more than 90% of the warming caused by greenhouse gases, researchers estimate, with the stored heat showing up as warmer seawater. But a new analysis suggests scientists may have underestimated the size of the heat sink in the upper ocean.”

    LoL … carbon-cabal astroturfers and ideology-first market-fundamentalists are futily frothing, needless to say.

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

  31. On Isaac Held’s blog, he once wrote that the ocean, of course, is semi-compressible and that unlike the atmosphere which bears distinct signatures of subsidence inversions, it’s not possible to distinguish diabatic from adiabatic heating ( or cooling ).

  32. stevefitzpatrick

    Judith,
    “there is no particularly convincing evidence that the ‘missing heat’ is hiding in the ocean.”

    Don’t worry, there will be a deluge of papers claiming that lots more heat is going into the oceans; these are critically needed to call into question heat balance based estimates like Lewis and Curry 2014, which are too low to support demands for immediate draconian reductions in fossil fuel use. Count as well on a bevy of arm-wave papers about the IPCC’s possible underestimate of the influence of manmade aerosols to further boost the importance of the fat tail of energy balance based estimates

    Earth’s average temperature may be difficult to predict, but the behavior of climate scientists is not: they will always work to maintain the plausibility of catastrophic warming, even in the face of strong contrary evidence. It is, unfortunately, mainly a green/left political movement, and appears only tangentially related to science, as is evident it the treatment of all apostates…. including you. Public defunding is the only solution to this problem.

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      stevefitzpatrick “[rails against climate-science]”

      In other words What have the scientists ever done for us?”

      LoL … see examples above!

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

      • Yeah, you tell them. I spent almost two days developing and writing a paper about tornado frequency increasing when global warming increases, published it, and they dare ask what have I done for them lately.

      • You should read Steve Fitzpatrick again. The cool thing is that his predicted behaviour of climate scientists will produce shoddy research that will be easy to blow up.

        Fan, you’re a mess. I know it’s easy to fool yourself, but how do you fool anyone else into thinking that you are persuasive?
        ===================

      • Field tests of published studies have shown that as few as 11% of studies are reproducible.

        So there is a lot of chaff out there (bad studies).

    • “…to call into question heat balance based estimates like Lewis and Curry 2014.”

      Except there are concerns raised about that result, such as aerosol cooling in the 20th century, and underrepresenting Arctic warming (viz. Cowtan & Way). That’s how science works — claims are put forth, and others take aim. It’s what’s science such a powerful tool over the centuries.

      • Heh, all that Arctic warming has doubled ice volume at minimum in the last two years.

        Aerosols as a fudge factor are notorious in the models. Read Steve Fitzpatrick again for clues to your future efforts at propaganda.
        =================

      • I don’t see how you could know about this year’s Arctic sea ice volume, since PIOMAS hasn’t yet published their number for September.

        In the last 12 months, Arctic sea ice volume has been 7.4% of the previous year’s. How is that “double?”

      • “Aerosols as a fudge factor are notorious in the models.”

        Aerosols are a well-known cooling factor, and unless you include them in your calculation I don’t see how you can say you’ve calculated CO2’s TCR.

      • The record minimum sea ice volume was set in September 2012 at 3,400 km3, August 2012 was 4,400 km3.

        August 2014 volume was 8,150 km3.

        But September 2014 was chilly in the Arctic. The updated September 2014 results will be interesting.

      • August 2012 was 4,964 km3, according to their monthly data. August 2014 isn’t double that.

        But you’re cherry-picking — focusing on a single data point to give the result you want, while ignoring all others.

      • Steven Mosher

        So, A few years back gavin suggested that looking at the temperature records was scientifically uninteresting. That nothing folks could find would have any impact.

        At the time I agreed with him.

        what do you think?

      • “looking at the temperature records was scientifically uninteresting”

        I guess by “scientifically uninteresting” he meant “boring”.

        Because you don’t even know what’s in them until you look at them.

        Andrew

      • Well, DA:

        I just pulled numbers from PIOMAS announcements. From the data:

        August 31, 2012 was 3.932
        August 31, 2014 was 7.220

        The ice in 2012 was melting twice as fast as a percentage (2012 had 69% more ice at the start of the month, 2014 had 32%).

        So the September minimum is still a horse race.

      • stevefitzpatrick

        David,
        As Richard Linzen (and others) have pointed out, all “corrections”, adjustments, and revisions tend to go in one direction…… toward claims of high sensitivity. Lewis and Curry used the IPCC values for their calculation. You could add another 5% to 10% if you are sure Cowtan and Way are correct, but that doesn’t change the message: a simple heat balance based on IPCC estimated ranges yields MUCH lower sensitivity than the GCM’s. There are many who are unhappy with that reality, but reality it is. You can count on the models being eventually adjusted downward, probably with adjustments in cloud parameters. In the mean time, they are approaching truly silly, as are demands for draconian, immediate reductions in FF use. That is not going to happen any time in the next couple of decades (listen to the Indians and Chinese). Give that CO2 emissions are not going to be reduced any time soon, I would imagine lower estimates of sensitivity would please you. Guess not.

  33. This is a remarkable statement

    “the warming of the upper ocean predicted by these models did not agree with observations; particularly in the southern hemisphere.They inferred from this that upper ocean warming rates in the southern hemisphere have been underestimated – that it was the previous observations that were inaccurate and that the models were correct.”

    When observations and models disagree, to accept the model is an inversion of the scientific process! This is a systemic problem with these studies. For example, in the 2006 CCSP 1.1 report

    http://data.globalchange.gov/assets/51/56/6d7da49e1f93bef673d56ff6aa6a/sap1-1-final-all.pdf

    this is what is written in the Executive Summary with respect to

    “Tropical Temperature Results (20°S to 20°N)”

    “Although the majority of observational data sets show more warming at the surface than in the troposphere, some observational data sets show the opposite behavior. Almost all model simulations show more warming in the troposphere than at the surface. This difference between models and observations may arise from errors that are common to all models, from
    errors in the observational data sets, or from a combination of these factors. The second explanation is favored, but the issue is still open.”

    Clearly, the message with that climate science community is that model results trump observations. This illustrates how absurd the discussion of climate attribution and projections has become.

    • Someone’s modeled the propagation and sustenance of narrative quite well.
      ================

      • Well both UAH and RSS corrected their data to match with radiosonde data.

        The RSS data moved down and the UAH data increased. Currently RSS is running colder than UAH.

        The GCM modelers make no attempt to correct their mistakes.

    • “When observations and models disagree, to accept the model is an inversion of the scientific process!”

      But wasn’t that what the UAH TLT saga of the ’90s and ’00s was about — fixing the observations (i.e. the data model) that didn’t agree with theory (AGW)?
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/UAH_satellite_temperature_dataset#Corrections_made

      Similarly, the claim observation of faster-than-light neutrinos wasn’t accepted because it violated special relativity, and indeed it was found to be a bad observation.

      • But special relativity has been backed up by other experimental data while the data for AGW is a tangled mess of poor observations and failed predictions. Hardly the same thing.

      • But wasn’t that what the UAH TLT saga of the ’90s and ’00s was about — fixing the observations (i.e. the data model) that didn’t agree with theory (AGW)?”

        The significance of the MSU data and raob data was and is that the models predict the tropical upper tropospheric hot spot which has not occured. Because this feature is not a direct result of radiative forcing but rather is from the general circulation, it means, predicatbly, there are other errors in model dynamics.

      • “…while the data for AGW is a tangled mess of poor observations and failed predictions.”

        I assume, then, that you dismiss the results of the Lewis and Curry paper, since it uses that very data. Yes?

      • The tropical hot-spot is part of the negative lapse rate feedback, so if that is failing to appear it is worse than we thought. A reason could be that the tropical oceans are not warming as fast and the land is warming faster than expected from the models. Tropical ocean warming would be the main provider of the hot spot.

      • The Curry and Lewis paper, as I read it, took the IPCC forcings and put tighter upper bound on climate response.

        The top end of the IPCC response implied closed loop gain greater than one (the earth would hit solar temperatures). That isn’t physically realizable so the IPCC upper bound is wrong.

      • It’s not clear that the data are good enough to show the tropical hotspot missing. Here is a very in-depth discussion:

        http://www.climatedialogue.org/the-missing-tropical-hot-spot/

        There, Carl Mears (from RSS) wrote:

        “Conclusion: Taken as a whole, the errors in the measured tropospheric data are too great to either prove or disprove the existence of the tropospheric hotspot. Some datasets are consistent (or even in good agreement) with the predicted values for the hotspot, while others are not. Some datasets even show the upper troposphere warming less rapidly than the surface.”

      • The top end of the IPCC response implied closed loop gain greater than one (the earth would hit solar temperatures).

        I doubt it. That sounds like BS to me. How about a peer-reviewed cite?

      • David Appell, as way of demonstrating that even by using the IPCC’s methods and data there is no cause for alarm, the Lewis and Curry paper was remarkably accurate.

        As a way of predicting what the climate will actually do, less so.

    • JimD:

      The tropical hot-spot is part of the negative lapse rate feedback, so if that is failing to appear it is worse than we thought.

      Or perhaps “better” than we thought.
      The failure of the hotspot means that the warming that exists has occured with a boost from positive lapse rate feedback.

      Either way, the models are boogered up.

      • If the skeptics knew it was a negative feedback, they would be rooting for the models to be right, but I suspect that they haven’t made that connection.

      • We could be rooting for discovery of the truth.

    • David Appell:

      Here is a piccy:

      I don’t see any hotspot.

      • Where are the error bars on those data? And data from other sources? Because Mears says, when you include these, you can’t tell one way or the other if the hot spot is there.

      • The plot on the lower right is the RSS MSU analysis ( linear trend since 1979 ).
        The lower left is the radiosonde ( RATPAC analysis ) and the upper right is the UAH MSU analysis. The NASA GISS model A1B scenario is on the upper left. The unobserved hotspot is quite strong in the model.

      • BTW, we should give the model its due – the model does indicate the cooling stratosphere, including the ‘golf club’ head protruding into the Antarctic lower stratosphere, as well as the Arctic warming, and the area of little change (white ) in roughly the Southern mid-latitudes.

      • Mears meant the error bars on the models, not on the data! And it’s a fallacy: If the models are to be defined as ok because their combined massive error bars manage to clip the edge of the observation error bars then by extension the worse the models are, the better they are! It’s typical muddled climate science thinking! And it was also contradictory, post-facto reasoning because the IPCC had very narrow error bars when they wanted to push their attribution arguments. Wide error bars of course mean that attribution is not possible.

      • Interestingly, I recently came across the same problem with an item of meteorological equipment I am designing. As the accuracy gets worse the probability increases of a ‘better’ (from a business case point of view) data reading. I spotted that one myself and had to propose a new method for applying an offset to the raw output to account for this.

    • Curious George

      Take an advice from an old hiker: When the terrain disagrees with your map, trust the terrain.

      • A corollary to that comes from an old pilot: when the instruments disagree with the seat of your pants, trust the instruments.

  34. I have several basic questions. 1. Which portion of the ocean has more volume: The top 700 meters or the deep oceans? (Another way of asking this question is: Does the top 700m, or do the deep oceans have more heat absorbing capability?) 2. If the oceans have much more absorption capability than the atmosphere, then doesn’t that mean that the overall heating propropensity of CO2 would be lower for the planet at least in so far as it would affect humans?

    JD

    • JD, the top 1000 meters has 17 % of the total volume (I think, I´m not sure). The mean depth is 3700 meters. The top 700 meters should absorb more heat, but that may not be the case according to some scientists. This COULD theoretically happen if a parcel of rather cold and salty water were to sink into the depths and be replaced by even colder but less salty water coming out of the deepest part of the ocean. I´m just going by what I learned when I studied physical oceanography, I´m not saying it happens, just that it could happen, theoretically speaking. If it is happening, the place to look would be the polar regions. I think. I´m not sure.

      • True and it does happen at the poles. However, there are less intuitive but seemingly far more dominant, processes which also cause effective ‘sinking’: ekman upwelling and Baroclinic instability. These are advective processes which transport heat to and from the surface and the layers ocean below. Actual convection does happen at the poles, with the dominant deep water being formed at the antartic margins and the north atlantic polar seas, but the wind stresses at the southern ocean seem like a much more dominant mechanism. This is a more recent development in physical oceanography, over the past decade, so you might have missed it in school.

      • The argument is not whether sloshing could happen but whether it could happen this ‘missing heat’ ever being detected in the top 700m. That’s the unphysical part!

      • Oceanoker, a cartoon view of the process would tell us the Southern Ocean has a current flowing from West to East. The surface water is dragged by winds circling Antarctica, this means water below the surface tends to be dragged to the left (to the North) of the East West flow. If water below the surface tends to flow away from Antarctica then something has to replace it. This means there must be a deep water upwelling closer to the Antarctic coastline.

        However, my intuition tells me the turnover caused by this process doesn´t send water down below 2000 meters (??). I bet it requires cold AND salty water to pump water into the ultradeep layers. Salinity has to play a role in the process (??).

        Let me keep thinking about this….if salinity plays a role then how do we make salty water near the poles? We make lots of surface ice, I suppose. This means the seasonal sea ice extent and volume of first year ice have an influence on the amount of salty water which is left just underneath the ice as the ice forms.

        Interestingly, this means the Arctic sea ice minimum being so low can lead to a stronger circulation if the amount of FIRST YEAR ICE is increasing(?). So is the amount of first year ice increasing? What are the near surface salinity trends in the Arctic and the Southern ocean?

        I´m sort of thinking and writing, so please feel free to laugh.

        This is purely speculative on my part. My guess is the transport caused by wind stress

      • Fernando leanme
        Very good, but it’s a more complicated, unfortunately. What you described is the ekman circulation (a direct rotation effect). As it turns out the ekman circulation is super unstable (‘Baroclinic instability’) which generates eddies that weaken the ekman part, leaving a very small residual MOC. Also the southern ocean experiences both westerly winds and easterly winds, closer to the margins, which kinda decouples the convective circulation (what you described, ‘brine rejection’) with the ekman -Baroclinic instability part. Connecting these ideas to the rate of change of sea ice is not obvious (for very specific reasons) that I ll comment on later when I understand better/have more time.

    • JD, according to the EPA discussion on OHC, the upper 700 meters accounts for just under 20 percent of the total volume. Uncertainty arises because portions of the Southern ocean bottom are not well mapped, as the Search for Malaysian Airways flight 17 has shown.

      • Fernando and Rud (& Others)
        Thanks for the info on the volume of the water in different parts of the oceans. That was useful.

        As I implied before, I think that there are more “receptacles” for heat than was previously considered. That leads me to tentatively conclude that the response of the surface atmosphere to any heat induced by CO2 would be less than previously thought by those who had focused on surface temperatures in the late 80s & 90s. (because there is a larger volume of substances to absorb the heat) Am I right or am I missing something? Thanks for any help that can be given.

        JD

      • JD, you are more right than you realize. Two very different examples.
        1. Evaporation from warming seas into tropical convection cells carries latent heat of evaporation aloft. Condensation (Tstorms) removes humidity from the atmosphere (reducing the positive humidity feedback) and releases that heat at altitude where it has an easier time escaping to space.
        2. Melting ice (glaciers, Greenland) requires absorbing that amount of heat from the atmosphere or the ocean. It is, after all, a thermal phase transition. That is how ice cubes in iced tea work.

        None of this is accurately accounted for in the coupled ocean atmosphere energy budgets. All we can observe is the net net of incoming and outgoing radiation energy at top of atmosphere as observed by satellites, and that only since 1979, and that with some sensor issues and other uncertainties like equatorial drift.

      • “It’s beamed up, Jim.”

      • ‘This paper gives an update on the observed decadal variability of the earth radiation budget (ERB) using the latest altitude-corrected Earth Radiation Budget Experiment (ERBE)/Earth Radiation Budget Satellite (ERBS) Nonscanner Wide Field of View (WFOV) instrument Edition3 dataset. The effects of the altitude correction are to modify the original reported decadal changes in tropical mean (20°N to 20°S) longwave (LW), shortwave (SW), and net radiation between the 1980s and the 1990s from 3.1, −2.4, and −0.7 to 1.6, −3.0, and 1.4 W/m2, respectively. In addition, a small SW instrument drift over the 15-yr period was discovered during the validation of the WFOV Edition3 dataset. A correction was developed and applied to the Edition3 dataset at the data user level to produce the WFOV Edition3_Rev1 dataset. With this final correction, the ERBS Nonscanner-observed decadal changes in tropical mean LW, SW, and net radiation between the 1980s and the 1990s now stand at 0.7, −2.1, and 1.4 W/m2, respectively, which are similar to the observed decadal changes in the High-Resolution Infrared Radiometer Sounder (HIRS) Pathfinder OLR and the International Satellite Cloud Climatology Project (ISCCP) version FD record but disagree with the Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR) Pathfinder ERB record. Furthermore, the observed interannual variability of near-global ERBS WFOV Edition3_Rev1 net radiation is found to be remarkably consistent with the latest ocean heat storage record for the overlapping time period of 1993 to 1999. Both datasets show variations of roughly 1.5 W/m2 in planetary net heat balance during the 1990s…

        The ERBS Nonscanner WFOV calibration stability uncertainty is an order of magnitude better than its total uncertainty and is estimated from observations to be on the order of 0.35 W/m2 over the 1985–99 time period of the Edition3 Revision 1 ERBS data. Specifically, the total channel ERBS Nonscanner WFOV active cavity radiometer, which controls the ERBS net radiation estimation, has shown stability in solar calibrations of 0.1% or 0.35 W m−2 in earth reflected SW plus emitted LW flux over the 15-yr period from November 1984 to September 1999, when compared to other solar constant satellite missions by Lee et al. (2003). This is equivalent to a stability of 0.2 W/m2 per decade for net flux.’ http://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/abs/10.1175/JCLI3838.1

        You at least consider the evidence.

      • Rud,

        Thanks for your second response. However, I do want to make sure that I am clear on what appears to be a simple proposition. Someone once described the effect of the oceans as being similar to drop of ink being placed in a gallon of water — the heat is diluted and dispersed in the water. Thus requiring a larger volume of heat to warm the surface air than was estimated in the late 80s and early 90s by people like Hansen.

        Part of the reason for my seeking simple clarity here is that there can be counter-intuitive feedbacks and I want to make sure that the effect of the oceans in absorbing heat, in a basic sense, is as simple as it seems.

        Thanks to you and others,

        JD

    • JD, to your latest to my latest (not sure about threading), the drop of ink analogy is an alliteration to Boltzmann’s statistical mechanics, itself a mathematical explanation of the second law of thermodynamics.

      You got it right. A “drop” of concentrated heat from CAGW into the oceans will spead and dilute until virtually untraceable, just like ink in a bucket of water. And it will never (probabalistically) reconcentrate to somehow re-emerge. All paint stores rely on this fact when mixing small drops of concentrated colors into a neutral base to give you a bucket of paint of your color choice. Home Depot offers a science experiment proof of this basic truth every day, multiple times. Of course, they use shakers to accelerate the mixing…

      So Trenberths pause explanation is more than an own goal. It shows he could not have passed high school physics.

      • Don’t forget that seawater has the same heat conduction properties as copper, at least that is what the finest modeler of this generation has stated.

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        DocMartyn asserts [correctly!] “Don’t forget that seawater has the same heat conduction properties as copper [in consequence of microscale turbulence], at least that is what the finest modeler of this generation [Walter Munk] has stated.”

        Your knowledge of transport physics *AND* your scholarly attribution are admirably correct DocMartyn.

        It was particularly a pleasure to see Walter Munk (at age 97 !!!) still in robust health, as the lead discussor of Naomi Oreskes’ lecture at the Vatican Workshop Sustainable Humanity, Sustainable Nature: Our Responsibility

        “I would just like to confirm her [Naomi Oreskes] conclusion, that there is a strong feeling among many of us [planetary scientists], that we would like to work very closely with the people associated with this [Vatican] meeting!”

        Needless to say, as a fifty-year member (!!!) of the US military’s foremost scientific advisory group (the JASONS), Walter Munk has enjoyed many decades of full access to the US Navy’s most classified oceanographic records.

        That is why it speaks volumes that Walter Munk and Naomi Oreskes (and the US Navy’s senior admirals) are united in appreciating the physical reality and urgent consequences of anthropogenic global warming.

        More broadly, it is a continuing pleasure — for all of us thoughtful science-minded folks here on Climate Etc — to responsibly allay skepticism by increasing scientific knowledge.

        `Good on yah, Walter Munk and Naomi Oreskes and DocMartyn!

        ——————–

        @book{Author = {Dashen, R. and Flatt{\'e}, S.M. and
        Munk, W.H. and Watson, K.M. and Zachariasen, F.},
        Publisher = {Cambridge University Press}, Series =
        {Cambridge Monographs on Mechanics and Applied
        Mathematics}, Title = {Sound Transmission Through a
        Fluctuating Ocean}, Year = {2010},note = {See Section
        1.3, ``Finestructure and microstructure''}
        

        ——————–

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

      • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seawater
        The thermal conductivity of seawater is 0.6 W/mK at 25 °C and a salinity of 35 g/kg

        http://www.engineeringtoolbox.com/thermal-conductivity-d_429.html
        The thermal conductivity of copper is 401 W/mK.

        Well, it is better than wood 0.17 W/mK.

      • Turbulent mixing is a leading finding of climate science at its most rational? FOMBS as usual is an intellectual disaster area.

  35. Climate science is the drunk holding the flashlight.

    It’s a sociological force working off of funding.

    The bits of physics that turn up ought to stand alone, not be referred to the central clearing house of climate science, and it might get more respect.

    • ‘not be referred to the central clearing house of climate
      science.’ Now what does that remind me of? Oh yes, a
      certain Ministry of Truth in Oceana.

  36. A comment on the Argo buoys might be in order. They are technological marvels, but they are far from perfect, and in particular their coverage is uneven and incomplete and this incompleteness is far from random. More than 10% of 100×100 km cells in the world Ocean have never been sampled by Argo.
    This of course includes most continental shelf areas, which is not very important in this context since the water is shallow, but there are more serious lacunae. The Arctic Ocean is almost completely unsampled and the Southern Ocean south of c. 60 S is very undersampled, with e. g. the Weddell Sea being almost completely without coverage. Most deep ocean basins srrounded by shallow water also have little or no coverage. This includes e. g. the sea of Okhotsk, the Red Sea, the Caribbean and several deep basins in Southeast Asia. Other systematically undersampled areas include areas off major river mouths and large upwelling areas. Since the Argo buoys drift with the currents they tend to quickly drift away from such areas.

  37. Minor typo
    W. Llovel, J. K.Willis, F.W. Landererand and I. Fukumori
    F.W. Landerer and I. Fukumori
    ..

  38. “W. Llovel, J. K.Willis, F.W. Landererand and I. Fukumori” have obviously found he missing heat is hiding in the climate models. There you go, the model pretend science is settled.

  39. Pingback: Nyt tiedämme, missä kadonnut lämpö ei ole | Roskasaitti

  40. Matthew R Marler

    Quantifying underestimates of long-term upper-ocean warming

    The paper is good, but the title rather begs the question.

  41. Matthew R Marler

    JC reflections: The bottom line is that uncertainties in ocean heat content are very large, and there is no particularly convincing evidence that the ‘missing heat’ is hiding in the ocean.

    I think that is a fair summary.

  42. Wasn’t Mulla Nasrudin’s cousin upset when informed too bluntly about the demise of his cat? “Where I live, we give people bad news more tactfully,” the cousin cried. “Instead of just telling me flat out that my cat was dead, you should have let me know little by little. You should have started off by telling me, ‘Your cat is acting strange,’ then later said, ‘Your cat is jumping all over the place,’ then still later told me, ‘Your cat is missing,’ and then finally broken the news and said, ‘Your cat is dead.’ Nasrudin wrote his cousin back a month later and said, “Your mother is acting strange.”

    So, I want to be tactful when talking about the HOT SPOT! It’s acting strange. It’s not where we expected to find it; not in the tropics; not anywhere. It’s missing. All of the data gathered by our satellites and balloons say it never was and that flies in the face of claims made by global warming alarmists that water vapor is a positive feedback mechanism that amplifies warming caused by humanity’s C02, which is a key assumption that has been built into all Global Circulation Models (IPCC models). Global warming is dead.

  43. Rookie question here. The heat is missing from what? Are you are referring to the difference between the model projections and the measured observational temperature? If that is the case doesn’t that show that the models are wrong?

    So aren’t the choices now abandon or modify the models?

    • As it turns out, a hypothesized ‘hot spot’ gone missing means the jig is up! The cat is dead: everyone knew by the mid ’90s that the continued claim by the Left about a consensus opinion on the validity of AGW theory was only evidence of the existence an ideologically-motivated pathological science being put forward as mainstream thought.

      “At this point, official ‘climate science’ stopped being a science. In science, empirical evidence always trumps theory, no matter how much you are in love with the theory. If theory and evidence disagree, real scientists scrap the theory. But official climate science ignored the crucial weather balloon evidence, and other subsequent evidence that backs it up, and instead clung to their carbon dioxide theory – that just happens to keep them in well-paying jobs with lavish research grants, and gives great political power to their government masters.

      There are now several independent pieces of evidence showing that the earth responds to the warming due to extra carbon dioxide by dampening the warming. Every long-lived natural system behaves this way, counteracting any disturbance. Otherwise the system would be unstable. The climate system is no exception, and now we can prove it. ~David Evans

      • While the empirical evidence part is generally true, it is not so simple in this case when the observations are equally difficult or complex, with huge engineering challenges and coverage. While claiming that climate science is settled is stupid, it’s unclear that the observations are necessarily more correct- you hope that they are but is hardly obvious in this case.

        Also the statement by David Evans about systems ‘counteracting’ disturbances is staggeringly irrelevant. It all depends on the nature of the climate dynamical system, what kind of ‘attractor’ you are in the vicinity of. For example if I normally take a small step to the right, I ll likely be close to where I stand, but not so if I am standing on the edge of a cliff: if I fall, I ll eventually reach a balance, but not something my body might adapt to.

      • With that logic you could make a case for holding your breath because each breath you take could be your last. You’re turning the precautionary principle on its head.

      • It wasn’t logic, it was a comment about understanding the dynamical system in question. Statements of catastrophe are questionable and so are statements about systems going back to equilibrium. You can’t talk about the behaviour in future unless you understand the dynamics. The analogy I made was one of principle, and not one of scale, so nice work attacking the analogy instead of the point.
        In any case, the precautionary principle is nonsensical, and so are concerns for the future of the world or whatever.
        Unfortunately that statement by David Evans is still irrlevant.

      • You can’t talk about the behavior in the future unless you understand the dynamics, you say.

        If David Evans says climate will change no matter what we do, then he must understand the dynamics of climate. It’s only logical, or principled, or the point of the debate or… whatever but hardly irrelevant.

      • He seemed to be suggesting stasis – rather than change. An automatic stabilizing mechanism. What we have is multiple equilibria and jumps between them.

      • Wagathon. Seriously?
        ”Every long-lived natural system behaves this way, counteracting any disturbance” is either tautological in which case irrelevant, or just plain wrong. systems sometimes Couteract and other times Aid the perturbation , in which case an instability manifests and grows till another different state is reached. Ecosystems collapse, ice ages form, it depends on the nature and complexity of the dynamical system and the parameters.
        It’s OK to say ‘I don’t know’!

        Rob,
        Thanks for the presentation by ghil, I hadn’t seen it before. I work in related areas sometimes (stochastic structural stability) though in an idealized atmospheric context, not climate, which I know nothing about.

      • All too often the most simple things are unfathomable. If we cannot believe that we will believe anything. We’d be irrelevant: just like the IPCC!

        The evidence must of course be empirical, meaning that it is independent of theory.

        Typical Alarmist Offerings of “Evidence” Polar Bears, Glaciers, Arctic Melt, Antarctic Ice Shelves, Storms, Droughts, Fires, Malaria, Snow Melt on Mt Kilimanjaro, Rising Sea Levels, Ocean Warming, Urban Heat Island Effect

        Although each of these issues may say something about whether or not global warming is or was occurring, none of them say anything about the causes of global warming. It would make no difference to these issues if the recent global warming was caused by CO2 or by aliens heating the planet with ray guns. ~Dr. David Evans (There is No Evidence, July 6, 2009)

    • Right, the missing heat is the difference between projections and measured warming, i.e. the “pause”, “hiatus”, “slowdown” or “standstill” in surface warming.

      http://www.nature.com/news/climate-change-the-case-of-the-missing-heat-1.14525

      Trenberth noted the “missing heat” and said it was a “travesty” that instrumentation could not ferret out where the heat was going since the models indicated there should be warming.

      These models by the way can predict actual “surface” temperature to about +/- 3 C degrees which is around +/- 17 Wm-2 and tend to get ocean current flows going in the wrong direction. Clouds and atmospheric water vapor respond to actual “surface” temperature not temperature anomaly interpolated to the nether regions of the highest of high latitudes, so unless the models can actual estimate temperatures in the wet portions of the oceans to about +/-0.1 C absolute, there are two chances of getting the internal heat balance correct, slim and none.

      • Capt’nDallas

        From your link:

        “Scientists may get to test their theories soon enough. At present, strong tropical trade winds are pushing ever more warm water westward towards Indonesia, fuelling storms such as November’s Typhoon Haiyan, and nudging up sea levels in the western Pacific; they are now roughly 20 centimetres higher than those in the eastern Pacific. Sooner or later, the trend will inevitably reverse. “You can’t keep piling up warm water in the western Pacific,” Trenberth says. “At some point, the water will get so high that it just sloshes back.” And when that happens, if scientists are on the right track, the missing heat will reappear and temperatures will spike once again.”

        This was published in January 2014.

        Forward to June 2014. The strong Easterlies were still present in Tahiti in early June and remained so in Darwin AU two weeks later. With the lack of any substantial Westerlies, the AU Met office was beginning to hedge its May 2014 bet on the appearance of a whopper of an El Nino, modified to a more moderate El Nino, and now…not so much; maybe Winter 2015 something resembling an El Nino will arrive.

        I am reminded that in the Golden Age of Sail, sailors spoke of the “downhill run to Papeete Bay”. A 20 cm height differential in the Western Pacific as compared to Eastern Pacific, and maybe even more, would be felt on a tall ship’s speed making the crossing.

        I now await Kevin Trenberth’s sloshing scenario to be quantitated. That is of course, if scientists are on the right track. They may be taking the wrong tack.

      • What is happening is very odd. The kelvin waves keep delivering warm western water to the east. The cold southern water and lack of a break in Hadley circulation chews up the warm water. El Nino conditions with no El Nino.

        Since what was predicted to be a strong El Nino has been defused… Is there going to be a strong La Nina?

    • ‘The CERES data published in the August BAMS 09 supplement on 2008 shows there should be even more warming…’ Trenberth


  44. Ocean heat content change above 2,000m depth. Curves show estimates based on data products from Scripps (blue), IPRC (red), JAMSTEC (black) and NOAA (green). The thick black curve depicts the mean among these estimates. The grey envelope denotes one standard error around this mean. Courtesy: authors and Nature Climate Change.

    • Sorry
      Wrong caption for the graph above, it should be:
      0–2,000 m (red), 0–700 m (green), 700–2,000 m (blue). The dashed black curve shows an estimate for the remainder of the ocean below 2,000 m computed by removing the 0–2,000 m estimate from the GRACE-corrected observed mean sea-level
      If possible please replace.
      Thanks

    • What´s the source for the graph?

  45. Strong equatorial oceanic Kelvin wave activity has been present since August 2013. Upwelling Kelvin waves produce cooling… and downwelling waves produce warming… An upwelling wave that was triggered in May is currently propagating across the eastern Pacific. This wave has produced a sharp drop in oceanic heat content across the central and east-central equatorial Pacific.” ~NOAA

  46. ‘The CERES data published in the August BAMS 09 supplement on 2008 shows there should be even more warming…’ Trenberth

    There continues to be a misunderstanding seemingly almost universal about the source of the missing heat. Here’s the BAMS data. It shows anomalies in W/m2 – with different CERES instruments in different colours.

    The net increase shows a change in radiative forcing – a relatively precise measure – a trend up is warming by convention. The energy that wasn’t showing up in either surface temps or the 0-700m layer. Hence missing. All of the missing energy was in shortwave from cloud changes.

    There is no longer any missing energy.

    • MODIS/CERES takes it to another level.

    • I find the chart troubling.

      It should include incoming short ware (ISW).

      The equation should be NET = ISW – OLR – RSW

      The sun isn’t a constant.

      • It is net outgoing radiation – reflected SW and emitted long wave. TSI is not considered in this. It is net energy out.

        The radiative imbalance includes the Sun – better expressed as a dynamic equation.

        d(W&H)/dt = energy in (J/s) – energy out (J/s)

        W&H is work and heat which can be approximated by ocean heat content. The big changes are in energy out.

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

    The mad, naked Emperor Moshpit was asking about clouds – I suppose with the expectation that no reliable information existed. Clouds affect emissions in both IR and SW.

    • There are direct observations in the Pacific.

      And in reflected light.

      ‘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.’

      Seems more like a concerted effort not to see the data.

      • These are data sources that range over the satellite era. Of course it is other peoples work you dimwitted excuse for a post modernist sophist. It is called peer reviewed science.

        Go away yourself mad, naked Emperor Moshpit. .

    • Steven Mosher

      past 2005, dope.
      I suggest that you get yourself to a keyboard.
      download the actual data.
      read the calibration documents
      read the ATBD.
      plow through some of the real data.

      you wont. you post plots of OPW.. other peoples work.
      cause you are too lazy and too stupid to do your own.

      go away

      • These are data sources that range over the satellite era. Of course it is other peoples work you dimwitted excuse for a post modernist sophist. It is called peer reviewed science.

        Go away yourself mad, naked Emperor Moshpit. .

      • Excellent comment, right on target and much more civil than my thought.

    • Steven Mosher

      global data clown
      to the present.

      • Plus ICOADS from the 2009 Clements et al study.

        I am not clear what this even means – but clearly meant to be insulting in the crassest possible way – and to suggest that the data is out of date. The bane of the foolish is superficiality – overweening egotism adds delusional preening to the mix.

        The data is from a number of sources. All from this century. Some plotted directly off the relevant sites with the most up to date data or with the Scripps Institute global marine atlas.

        It is called consilience. I suggest that he source all this data himself and actually try understanding some of it.

        .

      • What are you people Down Under thinking, Ellison? Any idjit knows that a real scientist never reads nor, GOD FORBID!, displays the work of others in PUBLIC! Christ! What are you thinking, man???

      • Again – your map – upside down is.

  48.  
    Is the Missing Heat really missing?
    What if it just is no€™t there?
    But, if the lost heat simply does not exist, is the AGW hypothesis wrong?
    And, if it’s all wrong, what does that mean for climate change?
    What about climatists’ temperature predictions?
    Instead of global warming could the hiatus continue?
    Will there be a cooling trend… for another 3 to 7 decades?
    Is the Earth perhaps heading into the redux of an already overdue ice age?
    What about the observational evidence about the Sun?
    Has it not been anomalously quiet?
    Was in not previously the most active in 3000 years?
    Does humanity perhaps have a rendezvous with a date made in heaven?
    Is that Nature knocking on the door?
    Is Nature bringing global warming or cooling?
    Will Nature give us a taste of what life will be like on snowball Earth?
    Will the next ice age last 90,000?

  49. D o u g  C o t t o n  

    It’s not surprising what’s happening in the oceans.

    There are serious omissions of major energy flows in all the energy diagrams which purport to explain that radiation from the cooler atmosphere causes the Earth’s surface to be “33 degrees” warmer than it otherwise would be in the absence of “greenhouse gases” like water vapour and carbon dioxide.

    Empirical evidence in world temperature records shows that more moist regions have lower mean daily maximum and minimum temperatures than drier regions at similar latitudes and altitudes. This is the exact opposite of what the IPCC would have you believe, because they say that greenhouse gases like water vapour warm the surface.

    They also imply that radiation into a planet’s surface is the primary determinant of a planet’s surface temperature. You only need to consider a region covered by cloud for a few days to realise there is something seriously wrong with this radiation conjecture. The surface still warms a little by day and cools by night even though it is not receiving any direct solar radiation because of the clouds. Now it cannot be radiation from the cooler clouds and atmosphere that is warming the surface. Basic physics tells us there would be more radiation out of the surface than into the surface. So why does the cooling stop around dawn and turn to warming? The reason is that there is a very significant supply of thermal energy into the surface which is not shown in those energy diagrams. No solar radiation reaches the base of the nominal troposphere of the planet Uranus, but it’s hotter than Earth’s surface down there.

    So the facts that water vapour cools rather than warms, and that a surface receiving no solar radiation can be warmed should shake your confidence in the greenhouse conjecture.

    Why did people like James Hansen (with limited understanding of thermodynamics) make such a huge mistake in postulating that a radiative greenhouse effect keeps us warm?

    The single most important and fundamental error in the greenhouse conjecture is their assumption that the Earth’s troposphere would be isothermal (all at the same temperature) in the absence of these radiating molecules in the so-called greenhouse gases. The Second Law of Thermodynamics tells us that would not be the case, because such a situation would have unbalanced energy potentials (more gravitational potential energy per molecule at higher altitudes) and so entropy could still increase. And it does, and some molecules fall until the effect of gravity causes there to be a density gradient, in accord with the Second Law of Thermodynamics. We can all observe this density gradient, because the air is in fact more dense at lower altitudes. Hence you can all observe that the Second Law of Thermodynamics (which is not just about temperatures) is in fact operating as we would expect, balancing out the energy potentials such that the mean sum of potential energy and kinetic energy is tending towards being homogeneous. In other words the system in calm conditions will tend towards this state of thermodynamic equilibrium with maximum entropy. Because of the gradient in potential energy there is thus a gradient in kinetic energy (temperature) and that will be maintained by thermal energy transfers in all accessible directions including downwards into the surface at night and in those cloudy conditions when there’s no direct solar radiation.

    And that is why the whole greenhouse conjecture is wrong.

    All climate change is entirely due to natural cycles, most relevant being a cycle of about 1,000 years and a superimposed cycle of about 60 years. The former has about 100 years of warming (by less than half a degree) before it turns to 500 years of cooling. The latter is declining for 30 years following the maximum in 1998. So you can expect the net slight cooling to continue until at least 2027, as I predicted in an archived statement over three years ago. The cycles are closely correlated with the inverted plot of the scalar sum of the angular momentum of the Sun and all the planets. We don’t yet know why, but they are, and so the evidence that planetary orbits regulate Earth’s natural climate cycles is very compelling.

  50. The Durack study is highlighted here.
    http://www.climatecentral.org/oceans

    • The bottom line would be that the missing heat was in the poorly sampled southern hemisphere, especially in so-called ventilation areas covering wide latitude bands in the Southern Ocean where the water subducts and carries heat with it.

      • How classic the excuses: “the missing heat [is] in the poorly sampled southern hemisphere,” where it disappears in wide “ventilation areas…where the water subducts and carries heat with it.” The fanciful notion of such physics-defying subduction of warm water below a cooler surface layer betrays complete ignorance of inversion-free thermal stratification in the open ocean.

      • Well, it is troubling that the missing heat is aways where we aren’t looking.

        This implies thermal energy plays hide-and-seek. Haven’t seen a scientific study that indicates that thermal energy plays hide-and-seek.

        It seems reasonable to drop instruments in some of these locations just to collect some data and perhaps confirm this.

      • They make a plausible case. It is not a proof.

      • It is interesting that they can infer the locations of the ventilation zones by where surface tracers (CFCs) converge. The North Atlantic is the best known one, but large parts of the Southern Ocean also have them.

      • These searches remind me of the Erskine Caldwell book.
        “Ty Ty is obsessed with finding gold on his land. Ty Ty, Buck, and Shaw spend their entire time digging holes on the farm. Ty Ty has promised to donate any profits generated by a 1-acre (4,000 m2) parcel of the farm to the church, but is terrified that gold will be found on “God’s acre”. So he keeps moving the acre around.” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/God%27s_Little_Acre

      • The full paper is linked from the associated Web site in the main post. The abstract says very little about how they did this.

      • Jim D | October 6, 2014 at 6:56 pm | Reply

        The bottom line would be that the missing heat was in the poorly sampled southern hemisphere</blockquote
        In other words… it's still missing and the southern oceans are our best new guess because the data sux there.

  51. Judith, weren’t there some other observations that said sea level rise was less than expected, and that this reinforced the observations that surface temperatures were also rising less than expected?

    Slowing sea level rise.
    Posted on April 24, 2014 |
    by Judith Curry
    https://judithcurry.com/2014/04/24/slowing-sea-level-rise/

    In that case it is dubious to conclude sea level rise is supportive of the current models.

    Bob Clark

    • Robert, to answer your question, yes.
      There are at least two issues. One, the purported changes in SLR are within the measurement error. As Judith would say, uncertainty monster. Two, the purported physical explanations for the perceived difference are frankly ridiculous.
      See my essay Pseudo-precision in the very soon forthcoming ebook Blowing Smoke: Essays on Energy and Climate. Foreward from Judith Curry herself.
      Perhaps with her permission, I will post parts of that essay here later. Better, get the whole inexpensive book on iBooks, Amazon Kindle, Google Books, B&N Nook, … Not a commercial. Blogs offer limited scope. Ebooks offer unlimited scope, plus unlimited footnotes. Judith already understands this. Hence her gracious foreward.

  52. Both papers you refer to in Nature Climate Change add to the peer reviewed literature trying to explain away the current lack of warming known as the “hiatus.” Anthony Watts has been tracking these papers and a few weeks ago his count exceeded fifty. The problem they all have with the hiatus is that there has been no warming for the last 18 (yes, 18 not 17 by now!) years. SAnd that is not possible according to their climate science. It would not be all bad if their greenhouse theory of Arrhenius had not been predicting warming and getting nothing for all these years. The worst part is that according to this greenhouse theory addition of carbon dioxide to air should cause the world to warm up but it just refuses to do so. And there is no question about whether we really are putting substantial amounts of carbon dioxide into the air because a glimpse at the Keeling curve will settle that. As a scientist, if your theory predicts warming and you get nothing for 18 years. you are not merely permitted, you are obligated to toss that theory into the waste basket of history. There is a spot there for it right next to phlogiston, another false theory of warming. At the present time, the greenhouse theory preferred by IPCC and expected to be used by anyone who wants to publish is simply invalid and these fifty-plus articles are indicative of panic. It so happens that there is a greenhouse theory, known as the Miskolczi greenhouse theory or MGT, that does accurately explain the hiatus but it has been suppressed by global warming big shots. It predicts what we see: addition of carbon dioxide to air does not warm the atmosphere. It came out in 2007, was immediately vilified on the web and blacklisted. Not one of these know-nothings had the courage to face up to it head on and write a peer reviewed article about it. It was kept out of the hands of grad students and as a result, not one of the fifty-plus articles purporting to explain away the hiatus has used it. The Miskolczi greenhouse theory differs from the Arrhenius theory in being able to handle several GHGs simultaneously absorbing in the infrared. Arrhenius can handle only one – carbon dioxide – and is incomplete. The two most important GHGs in the earth atmosphere are water vapor and carbon dioxide. According to MGT they form an optimal joint common absorption window in the IR which they control. The optical thickness of this absorption window is 1.87, determined by Miskolczi from first principles. If you now add carbon dioxide to air it will start to absorb in the IR, just as the Arrhenius theory says. But this will increase the optical thickness. And as soon as it starts, water vapor will begin to diminish, rain out, and the original optical thickness will be restored. The carbon dioxide added to air will of course keep absorbing as the Beer’s law dictates. But the reduction of water vapor has the effect of keeping total absorption constant and that makes greenhouse warming impossible. That is exactly why we have no warming today despite continuous increase of atmospheric carbon dioxide. I note that model-makers for AR5 nevertheless put their faith in carbon dioxide and have written it into CMIP5 code. As a result their million-line software strings all point up into the sky when real temperature has been horizontal for 18 years. This is really touching that they are so attached to this molecule but it isn’t science – it is pseudo-science. The absence of greenhouse warming has important consequences for climate science. Both runaway greenhouse warming and enhanced greenhouse warming are made impossible by the failure of carbon dioxide to warm the atmosphere, The absence of a runaway greenhouse warming takes care of Hansen’s argument that burning fossil fuels can lead to runaway greenhouse warming like what happened to Venus. He is wrong both about the Earth and Venus. The enhanced greenhouse effect has been touted as the cause of anthropogenic global warming or AGW. Absence of the enhanced greenhouse effect tells us that AGW simply does not exist. It is nothing more than a pseudo-scientific fantasy, invented by an over-eager climate worker to justify the greenhouse hypothesis. In the absence of AGW there are no climate emergencies to fight and all the super-expensive alternate energy, emission control, and other mitigation projects should cease forthwith.

    • That’s very interesting Arno. I have heard of miscolczi and that his work undermined the orthodox theory, but I hadn’t understood the broad thrust of it until now. It’s another negative feedback model then, similar to others that describe a response to increased CO2 as having no net effect.

      Do you know if he has done any work describing past climates with higher CO2 levels than now? Is he saying that the optical depth is always constant? Are there other factors that could change it? Has any work been done to measure the optical depth of the atmosphere and monitor any fluctuations in it? It’s an interesting and plausible theory and I am just wondering if there has been work done to validate it. I am wondering that it might be able to detect changes in CO2 levels and see if there is a corresponding period greater precipitation.

    • Could anyone point me in the direction of more reading on Miskolczi?
      Is he a physics crank or is there any substance to his theory?

      • Jonathan

        If you google his name you will come up with plenty of reading.

        I was very interested in his theories four or 5 years ago as they made a lot of sense.

        However there is apparently some serious mathematical concern with his equations and consequently some said his work has been debunked, so it is important to read both sides of the story.

        He has turned up here once or twice but never long enough to get a serious conversation going as there were various bun fights going on.

        To date, I am undecided as to the merits of his theory.
        tonyb

      • Thanks capt and tony, had a quick look and I think I’ll pass on Miskolczi for now. Enough mathematical problems to tell me what I wanted to know.

    • There is a spot there for it right next to phlogiston, another false theory of warming.

      The “phlogiston” idea was about fire and combustion.
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phlogiston_theory

  53. I am missing thirty thousand dollars. It was supposed to be in my bank account but it is not there. It must be in the attic, I know it’s there, because I’ve looked everywhere else and that’s the one place I can think of that I haven’t looked. Although I haven’t been up in the attic, and I can’t think of a plausible explanation of how it would have gotten there. Where did I get this missing money? Well, it was a unique business arrangement with Nigerian prince, he assured me that I would receive the money.

  54. Levitus et al. 2012 gives error bars of +/- 1.6E22 J/55yr for the 0-700m layer global OHC change. The new paper found(?) they underestimated the change by about 7E22 J/35yr (eyeballed from Fig 5). The correction is almost 7 times the error estimate of the original authors? Levitus et al. knew how sparse or dense the data was. Did they just ignore it and use expert judgement for error bars?

  55. I like the description of it that it’s like phlogiston. Or it’s like epicycles, with the explanations becoming more and more complicated to explain the discrepancy between the theory and observations.
    Thomas Kuhn wrote about such situations in science where the observations diverge from the theory. The explanations become increasingly more unlikely in attempts to rescue the theory until it is recognized the theory is unworkable and it is finally scrapped:

    The Structure of Scientific Revolutions.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Structure_of_Scientific_Revolutions

    Bob Clark

  56. Pingback: Parece que el calor que estaba escondido en el fondo del mar, no está. | PlazaMoyua.com

  57. The two papers in apposition reinforce an important general observation.
    Studies based on experimental data will tend to show mixed warming and cooling.
    Studies based on modelling will tend to show warming only.
    The study by Durack multiplies stearic model error with GCM error to end up with error squared.
    Durachok!

  58. Down to 2000m (Argo) means surface and intermediate water, but not bottom water. The average ocean depth is about 4000m. Someone somewhere had the intelligence to guess that accelerated THC and deep water formation means warmer upper and intermediate water (more poleward transport) but colder bottom water. So measuring down to 2000m will reinforce the warming narrative and hide the reciprocal cooling.

  59. A fan of *MORE* discourse

    TAKE THE CLIMATE-KNOWLEDGE QUIZ

    Question  Of the following three accounts of recent research in ocean-heating, which is the most thoughtful, comprehensive, and dispassionate?

    •  Anthony Watts/WUWT The “heat went to the oceans” excuse and Trenberth’s missing heat is AWOL

    •  Judith Curry/Climate Etc — Evidence of deep ocean cooling?

    •  Sou from Bundangawoolarangeera/HotWhopper  — A lot more heat is found in the ocean

    Answer  Sou from Bundangawoolarangeera/HotWhopper earns the laurels …; in that thoughtful readers — students especially — will learn *FAR* more from HotWhopper than from either of the other two sources. (as Climate Etc readers are invited to verify for themselves).

    Good on `yah for outstanding public service, Sou!

    Learn Sou’s lesson, Judith and Anthony!

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

    • I’ll take JC hands down. Notice the question mark and the fact that she is not a tool for warm or cold.

      • One, is “deep” is a nonspecific word. Purkey and Johnson – abyssal ocean – warming below 4000 meters.

        Wunsch – deep ocean – cooling below 3600 meters.

        New guys – cooling below 2000 meters.

        All seem to agree there is insufficient data to prove who is right, and the papers are not really necessarily in conflict.

        Where did Purkey and Johnson’s warming go? Why? Possibly upwelled by strong winds in the Pacific in the 2000’s.

    • Nice person fan, I have no doubt, but born with a tragically tin ear when it comes sorting out the truth. Interestingly, the same applies to your taste in poetry. Even more interestingly, this tin-earedness you suffer from seems an almost universal affliction among the alarmist crowd. Not a writer, or a poet, or a wit among you.

      Food for thought…

      • It’s funny how one more stack of BS sheds light on all the other piles of cow-turds accumulated along the way;

        http://hockeyschtick.blogspot.com/2014/10/new-paper-is-huge-blow-to-cagw-missing.html

        “Missing heat”, which looks like a model fantasy at this point, exposes the dogma of “energy balances” yet again. Within the range of energy we are relating to very small temperature stat fluctuations there need be no definable “balance”. It’s a static based requirement for a flat earth climate theory based on politics not science. Nothing is missing and nothing is balanced, it’s simply beyond existing technology to measure a chaotic system down to predictions/inputs even weeks from now let alone over decades. To many variables least of which is where heat happens to go or if it ever existed given the tools at hand.

        The public shouldn’t be funding this rubbish.

      • “Projection?”

        No, I don’t think so.

      • “The public shouldn’t be funding this rubbish”

        The root of the problem right there. There’s a superb essay on WUWT on the among other damaging things, the absolute absurdity of their models. I dare some of you alarmists to read it carefully and see if you can come away feeling good about the state of the “science” you’re all so enamored of.

        http://wattsupwiththat.com/2014/10/06/real-science-debates-are-not-rare/

      • “projection?”

        And let me add, your comment itself is utterly typical. That’s the best you can come up with? But of course it is. You’re an alarmist. Anything more clever would be a shock.

      • The heat was missing. There was very good agreement, and then there was a divergence. A scientist runs it down. Trenberth said that the heat either was reflected into space or went into the oceans. There is no way a scientist can leave it at that. There is absolutely no way to run down heat that has been reflected into outer space. It is possible to ferret out whether or not any/all to it went into the oceans.

        That they did not know immediately is a travesty.

        So this why I judge people by how they smear Trenberth.

      • Yes, I saw it the other day, depressing isn’t it? Not unrelated student debt hit 1.2 Trillion the other day. Another Keynesian structure “too big to fail” but clearly it has, Fanboy and populist climate science demonstrate the outcomes.

    • I would say the debate that is most dispassionate is the one in which the title has a question mark at the end. Not one that states the answer before starting the debate “A lot more heat is found in the ocean”.

      “The answer is warming now what is the question”. That’s the AGW style of “debate”.

      The skeptical debate is more along the lines of: “Does ocean vertical heat mixing explain not only the “pause” but almost all climate change?”

  60. These guys are pacing off the distance between earth and the moon, and reporting the results, in nanometers, to two decimal places.

    • Well, if they judge the distance wrong they lose a spacecraft.

      If the AGW folks are off by 200% we only lose a few trillion dollars.

  61. ordvic, Fanboy is desperate to preserve one ad hoc meme, “aco2 warms the earth” with a another leap into uncertainty, DOH. There is no long-term record so what ever comes will be exactly how the establishment will like it…..invented and spun from whole cloth. You could as easily speculate that the “missing heat” is outer space and a trivial number it is to begin with. The key word here is “speculate” because that all this “science” actually is.

    They had a hypothesis, built a hundred fool-proof model claims to rationalize their claims and it failed. DOH is life support for a cadaver showing signs of rigamortis. A dead parrot at that.

    When you don’t have reproducible, testable, empirical evidence you have opinions. Modern climate science is opinion science suitable for late night AM radio and it’s getting a very Tinfoil hat feel yet again. There is that strong silence of the humiliated academic establishment conflicted by their own political inclinations yet realizing logic eventually trumps wishful memes like blaming “big oil” and getting to punish them with a science meme like AGW. It’s shameful of course that they forfeited science standards for political lust or were cowed by political correctness but that is in fact the case. DOH whipped out of a hat should be denounced and the AGW meme should be acknowledged as DEAD. Then we should get to the more important post mortem of how we let a science enclave be taken over by green political activists at a global level and disband the IPCC at once with social rebuke.

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      MORE BREAKING NEWS

      Nobel Laureate Mario Molina: Denying Climate Change ‘Outrageous’, ‘Hugely Irrational’

      cwon14 responds: “If we stop educating young people, their concerns regarding climate-change will diminish!”

      Does carbon-cabal market-fundamentalism make *ANY* sense?

      The world wonders!

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

      • alpha2actual

        The health and uninterrupted functioning of international Fossil Fuel Markets determines the totality of life on this planet. That is the natural order of things today. That is the atomic and subatomic and galactic structure of things today! There is no America. There is no democracy. There is only Exxon Mobil, and Chevron, and BP, and Royal Dutch Shell, Peabody Energy, and BHP Billiton . Those are the nations of the world today. We no longer live in a world of nations and ideologies. The world is a college of corporations, inexorably determined by the immutable bylaws of business. The world is a business, it has been since man crawled out of the slime. And our children will live, to see that… perfect world… in which there’s no war or famine, oppression or brutality, no Anthropogenic Climate Change. Only one vast and ecumenical holding company of fossil fuel conglomerates, for whom all men will work to serve a common profit, in which all men will hold a share of stock. All necessities provided, all anxieties tranquilized, all boredom amused, all IPhone GPS tracking disabled.

  62. Steven Mosher

    After looking at this.

    The Argument used to be the heat in the ocean deep.
    Skeptics responded? How does it get there?,
    much scorn was heaped upon them for questioning.

    The argument used to be we have good coverage
    Skeptics responded, really?
    much scorn was heaped upon them for questioning.

    To be sure, sometime the questions were joined together with assertions
    of fraud and hoax and other bold assertions.

    To be sure sometimes skeptics went beyond the mere posing of doubt.
    two wrongs territory

    Today, if we believe these papers, we also have to believe

    1. Skeptics who questioned transport of heat to the depths WERE RIGHT TO QUESTION THAT.
    2. Skeptics who questioned the coverage and estimates of OHC ( in the SH) WERE RIGHT TO QUESTION THAT.

    Here is game we can play. Lets go back through discussions and see how folks handled these questions

    • Right, how did folks question this.; ARGO seems to have created an opportunity for some very savvy statisticians.

      http://redneckphysics.blogspot.com/2014/10/more-missing-heat-stuff-southern.html

      Reminds me of the Antarctic heating expedition of 2009.

    • Missing ocean heat is a “bold assertion” given where and when it came. What’s falling apart here is measured, static “equilibrium” presumptions essential to alarmist dogma. If heat loss is chaotic (likely) and can’t be measured it pretty much confirms what many skeptics said from the very beginning; too many unmeasurable variables to be predictive of the relatively small human co2 contributions. Advocates bet on predictive models and the results failed.

      If we want to consider all of the past 45 years of maneuvering of the consensus science players, the vindictive political culture, dishonesty, distortion we shouldn’t be surprised by words like “Fraud and hoax” although I find these words fall off the mark. Climate science is about political culture (deep rooted passions) and advocacy with the usual (all-be-it-extreme) results.

      Equilibrium is modeled not measured in the real world. A meme fantasy.

    • Hi Mosh

      You said;

      1. Skeptics who questioned transport of heat to the depths WERE RIGHT TO QUESTION THAT.
      2. Skeptics who questioned the coverage and estimates of OHC ( in the SH) WERE RIGHT TO QUESTION THAT

      1) Yes, I have asked that question many times here and asked what the mechanism was that caused it. I asked it of the IPCC when I was an ‘expert’ reviewer’ on AR5 and have also queried Rgates amongst others on it.

      Yesterday I repeated an earlier post I made here whereby Thomas Stocker confirmed at a climate conference I attended that we did not have the technology to measure the deep oceans.

      2) The first time I clashed with Judith was when I doubted her article on the Southern Ocean temperatures. Our coverage of this area is very poor. Our coverage of SST’s- let alone deeper temperature oceanic profiles- is very poor the further back in history you go and once you stray outside of major shipping lanes

      tonyb

      • Steven Mosher

        ya in my reviews of haddsst looking at movies of coverage over time there is definite weirdness…

        Now we sample more… guess what more data = warmer present estimates

      • Just a pity we can’t do much about increasing the amount of past data

  63. Pingback: What is the role of the deep ocean in global warming? Climate science deniers get this wrong. – Greg Laden's Blog

    • Good point.

      The skeptics have been going about this all wrong.

      We should require by law that grants be split 50/50 between skeptics and AGWers.

      The AGWers use models that don’t work but zoom off to infinity in the future as evidence of future warming.

      The skeptics could build models that don’t work and go flatly into the future as evidence there is no future warming.

      Problem solved.

      • I am assuming you are being facetious, but if there is a hint of seriousness here, well your division is silly. People who build (dynamical) models have the skills to build them, it’s unrelated to belief. The ratio of model users to model developers in the ocean and atmosphere community is probably between 100 to 1000, and probably larger in the climate community. The majority (almost all?)of the agw skeptics I see on the blogs seem like an eclectic mix of engineers, economics and lawyerly/buisness folk. Most of the meaningful discussions seem to hinge on time series analysis and statistics of observational data and model output, a difficult topic (that i am poor at) but really not directly related to the actual dynamics.
        I seriously doubt any of you have ever heard or read a paper by any actual model developers. Most climate modelers rarely work on the model core except to add fudges here and there to try and match with observations. It would be a pretty major investment of time and would require some pretty strong applied math/numerical analysis skills (this is not the same as statically analysis)

      • I seriously doubt any of you have ever heard or read a paper by any actual model developers. Most climate modelers rarely work on the model core except to add fudges here and there to try and match with observations. It would be a pretty major investment of time and would require some pretty strong applied math/numerical analysis skills (this is not the same as statically analysis)

        One of the first things I did was to go read GCM simulator core papers. It goes with my years supporting simulators and modeling.

      • Curious George

        Ocenoaker: I have tried to make modelers correct a glaring error in a model. No luck; it would be too difficult. (Most models calculate an energy transfer by a latent heat of water evaporation/condensation about 3% too high for tropical seas – where most of water evaporation happens), https://judithcurry.com/2013/06/28/open-thread-weekend-23/#comment-338257

    • Matthew R Marler

      gregladen: I don’t think this is evidence of deep ocean cooling.

      I agree with you there. It is more evidence that we lack detailed, quantitative knowledge of deep oceans. Within the limits on knowledge imposed by the limitations of the data, there do not seem to be any overall recent changes. This “knowledge” is “compatible with” almost any claim to slight warming or cooling. The possible difference in NH and SH trends “is compatible with” a slight transfer of energy from the SH to the NH, also evidenced by the increased ice cover extent in the Antarctic and decreased ice cover extent in the Arctic — another unanticipated .event that is evidence of the inadequacy of the models.

      • Well, it is more a lack of data and understanding which should be the step before models (but in the case of GCMs doesn’t quite seem to be the case).

      • Matthew Marler
        Well even the upper layers in the the polar oceans have serious measurement issues (sea ice makes argo not useful) and historical data (and many present in situ measurements) have a pretty strong summer bias. And this might be even more important owing to the what looks like a , gradual southward shift of the westerlies, which shifts the MOC closer to the continent, making observations in the region even more important.

        PA
        Theory/models and observations go hand in hand, like every other area of science. Consequent to the IPCC and the politics, there is an overabundance of people running the global ‘kitchen sink’ models, but that’s an unfortunate external forcing.

    • Brevity is said to be a sign of good writing.

      You could have shortened your comment to “I don’t think.”

    • Greg

      Thanks for stopping by

      The take home message I got from your article was this, although the percentages might be argued about;

      ‘Research done prior to 2012 (e.g. Hansen et al 2011) parceled out the energy imbalance the Earth experiences from anthropogenic global warming. The extra heat caused by AGW from 2004 to 2010 was divided among the upper ocean (71%), the deeep ocean (5%), with the rest going various other places (only 4% over land). The new paper suggests that the abyssal ocean takes up closer to zero heat. ‘

      You will appreciate that we get lots of explanations for the current land surface temperature hiatus and one of them was that the warmth was instead going into the abyss and such as Purkey was quoted. Thomas Stocker said to me (and others) at a climate conference in Exeter a few months ago that we did not have the technology to measure the deep oceans (abyssal) and when I was an ‘exert reviewer’ for AR5 the IPCC stated to me that the abyss WAS warming but could not quote which studies they were referencing in order to make this statement

      At the climate conference I asked what mechanism -and when it occurred – whereby both the land AND the seas had warmed in the past, but now the land had stopped warming yet selective parts of the ocean are seemingly absorbing ‘their’ share of the extra heat AND the heat previously going into the atmosphere.

      Perhaps you can explain the mechanism that causes this and when it started to take place?

      tonyb

    • GregLaden,

      You make a statement in one paragraph where you say heat seeming goes from the atmosphere to the ocean. I’m not necessarily doubting what you say but that is somewhat contrary to what I previously understood. I thought that the sun or reradiation from CO2 or clouds warmed the ocean. That the warmth distribution was a one way street from ocean to atmosphere. Maybe I’m just confused here.

      Also I have read JCs article several times now and it looks to me like you misrepresented her view. She only refers to Tennenberths’ missing heat in the deep ocean, I don’t think she meant that she even had a dog in the fight there. There’s a question mark in the title and in her reflection she just points to uncertainty. You point out that this is a bogus argument by skeptics from the beginning and that may be. However, JC was addressing a specific probability as proposed and provides links to previous discussion.

      • Yeah, good point about the heat, I said that clumsily. Fixed.

        Yes, there is a question mark in the title. But there really shouldn’t be And the rest of the title could be rewritten!

    • Greg, is it possible for me to somehow mark your comment as a favorite?

    • @ gregladen

      “‘Research done prior to 2012 (e.g. Hansen et al 2011) parceled out the energy imbalance the Earth experiences from anthropogenic global warming. The extra heat caused by AGW from 2004 to 2010 was divided among the upper ocean (71%), the deeep ocean (5%), with the rest going various other places (only 4% over land).”

      And exactly how was the ‘extra heat caused by AGW’ identified and quantified, prior to being divided?

  64. daveandrews723

    As a layman I would love to hear from you people with expertise in this field on whether the hypothesis that CO2 is a major “greenhouse” gas has been proven. I can’t understand how such a small trace gas in the atmosphere could have the kind of impact on temperatures that it is claimed to have. It just doesn’t seem logical, even if it has nearly doubled over the last century. What kinds of scientific studies were done to come up with that conclusion. It all seems to defy logic. Certainly the models based on the hypothesis have not been accurate.

    • With respect, the ‘trace gas’ argument died a very long time ago.
      And I’m by no means a warmist.

      • phatboy,
        Couldn’t agree more. There are so many valid skeptical arguments to choose from…low hanging, delicious fruit.
        I cringe whenever I hear “how can a trace gas necessary for life….” etc etc….

      • A good analogy I’ve just thought of is to imagine dropping a sachet of red dye into a bathtub of water.
        If you could see in the infrared region then the air above you would look like the water in the tub.

    • Matthew R Marler

      daveandrews723: I can’t understand how such a small trace gas in the atmosphere could have the kind of impact on temperatures that it is claimed to have.

      It isn’t just the concentration, it is the total amount of CO2. Calculations show that there is enough total CO2, and enough increase in the total CO2, to make the difference that is claimed, other things being equal.

      What kinds of scientific studies were done to come up with that conclusion.

      i. Studies of the absorption and emission spectra of the CO2.

      ii. Studies of the emission spectrum of the Earth surface.

      iii. Studies of the concentration and distribution of the CO2 in the atmosphere.

      It’s the “other things” and whether they will remain “equal” that are the subjects of the debate.

    • “With respect, the ‘trace gas’ argument died a very long time ago.
      And I’m by no means a warmist.”

      I would say that it’s not even an argument. It’s a description that the prevailing climate-obsessed culture doesn’t like. It’s certainly appropriate… but not conducive to the AGW sales pitch. Thus, not liked.

      Andrew

      • Wikipedia says: “Carbon dioxide (CO
        2) is an important long-lived trace gas in Earth’s atmosphere currently constituting about 0.04% (400 parts per million) of the atmosphere.”

        “A trace gas is a gas which makes up less than 1% by volume of the Earth’s atmosphere, and it includes all gases except nitrogen (78.1%) and oxygen (20.9%).”

        It is what it is.

        Andrew

      • Andrew,
        Not liked because it’s one of those appeals to “common sense” that simply do not hold water. Both sides use them of course. The difference is we don’t need to.

        It only play into the skeptics are unscientific, flat earthers stereotypes

      • ‘appeals to “common sense”

        Actually popular climate science has abandoned these.

        Andrew

      • A trace gas by volume it may be, but it’s not trace effect when it comes to absorption bands.
        Do some reading.

      • Matthew R Marler

        Bad Andrew: Actually popular climate science has abandoned these.

        Practically nothing in the world, natural or man-made, works according to common sense.

        It’s a description that the prevailing climate-obsessed culture doesn’t like.

        No. The “trace gas” argument is just another fallacious application of “common sense” in place of careful analysis, experimentation, and quantitation. There are many good reasons to doubt the “consensus” theory of AGW, but that is not one of them.

    • Well… here is the non climate scientist version.

      1. The IPCC approximation for forcing is 5.35ln(X1/X0), so doubling CO2 causes 3.7W more back radiation (usually called 4W). The theory is that more CO2 captures more of the outgoing radiation and heats up.

      2. If you plug in to Boltzmann’s law for unit areas.

      σ = 5.670373(21)×10−8 W m−2 K−4
      ε is emissivity (between 0.1 and 0.9 generally).

      The TC is the air temperature. Rather than go through the computation it is obvious if the air is approximately 1°C warmer (4 W) and the net radiation is the same – the surface is about 1°C warmer. The earth has to emit the radiation from the sun – so the net outgoing radiation has to stay the same.

      The issue is that AGW (IPCC) claims the increased evaporation from the increase in temperature multiplies the effect by a factor of 2-4 times.

      Whether the “water vapor feedback” is positive (IPCC), or negative/not there at all (skeptic) is what the argument is about.

      Only about 1/3 of heat loss is through radiation because the surface air is close to the surface temperature (most heat is lost by evaporation with some convection loss). Depending on what happens to that evaporation and convection, the feedback could be positive or negative.

      I’m sure the better informed will correct the details but that is the discussion in a nutshell.

      • I should have added that A = 1 (unit area)

      • Curious George

        I like the introduction of Tc (air temperature) into Stefan-Boltzmann’s law. Is air really black where you live?

      • Curious George, do you see in infrared?

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        Curious George wonders “Is air really black [in the infrared] where you live?”

        Question by Curious George, answer by FOMD!

        Ask an Infrared Astronomer

        Question Where can I purchase an infrared telescope for backyard use?

        Answer You can’t. Most infrared light from celestial sources is absorbed by the Earth’s atmosphere. Only a narrow window of near-infrared radiation (at wavelengths less than about 4 microns) reaches the Earth.

        It is a pleasure to help answer your climate-science questions, Curious George!

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

      • That is a racist question.

        I will decline to answer.

        On a more serious note.

        Air absorbs about 3/4 of surface thermai radiation so effectively it is a very dark grey from a thermal standpoint.

      • Curious George

        For an air temperature, do you take a surface temperature, a temperature at 5 km, 10 km, 20 km, 50 km, or 100 km? The approximation is crude enough to be meaningless. BTW, Stephan-Boltzmann law only has one temperature, not two. Your formula computes correctly a difference of radiation of two black bodies. What does it have to do with climate?

      • There are 2 surfaces because the surface radiates to something other than space from the surface.
        Try standing on it(the surface), and pointing a ir thermometer straight up on a bunch of clear days.

      • Curious George

        Mi Cro – are you sure that a subtraction operator describes this situation correctly?

      • There is a formula for a sphere(or flat surface) radiating to a hemisphere.

      • S-B gives an effective radiating temperature in the greybody approximation to the blackbody equation. This is different to the surface temperature which is some 35 degree C warmer. There is no actual physical interpretation to S-B.

        More generally a line by line calculation is used. Try this. http://climatemodels.uchicago.edu/modtran/

      • I’m measuring 80F to over 100F colder zenith temps compared to the surface.

      • D o u g  C o t t o n  

        PA.

        You wrote “Whether the “water vapor feedback” is positive (IPCC), or negative/not there at all (skeptic) is what the argument is about.”

        Empirical evidence in my published study shows with statistical significance that moist regions have lower mean daily maximum and minimum temperatures than do drier regions at similar latitudes and altitudes.

        The water vapour in Earth’s troposphere causes the temperature gradient to be less steep, and thus causes the temperature profile to rotate downwards at the surface end in order to maintain radiative balance with the Sun. So the supported surface temperatures are lower by about 10 to 12 degrees than the gravito-thermal effect would set in a nearly dry atmosphere. Carbon dioxide cools for the same reason, but only by about 0.1 degree.

        Valid physics supports what I say, and I have explained it comprehensively in comments herein and in my book.

      • DC:
        “Valid physics supports what I say, and I have explained it comprehensively in comments herein and in my book.”

        i’m dubious… but I can’t say you’re wrong.

        Climate has behaved differently than the IPCC predicts in the 21st century. I am pretty sure they are wrong.

        If you have some testable predictions from your theory that would be helpful. Anybody who claims sole CO2 forcing (no feedback) or less could be right.

        “Empirical evidence in my published study shows with statistical significance that moist regions have lower mean daily maximum and minimum temperatures than do drier regions at similar latitudes and altitudes.”

        This could be a cloud effect (ie it isn’t the forcing it’s the shading). Have to look at the book/comments and do some thinking. Don’t have an informed opinion at this point.

        The AGWers are playing with the data so much it is hard to tell what is happening let alone who is right.

      • Matthew R Marler

        Rob Ellison: There is no actual physical interpretation to S-B.

        According to Pierrehumbert, in Principles of Planetary Climate, the error in using S-B is only about 10% over a large range of temperatures. Thus the “physical interpretation” is that “as the Earth surface warms, the rate of energy radiation increases approximately proportionally to T^4.” Despite the fact that the Earth and its parts are not exactly “black bodies”, the S-B rate law and the Planck distribution law provide good approximations to the modeled quantities.

    • Our hostess put it best when she said, “If all other things remain equal, it’s clear that adding more carbon dioxide to the atmosphere will warm the planet.” She went on to say that all things are not equal. The bottom line is that until more is understood about water vapor, clouds, natural variability, the carbon cycle, etc. no one really knows if or to what extent CO2 (particularly anthropogenic CO2) is a major “greenhouse gas.”

      Note that all of the responses you got were 1 – to wave your question away (“the trace gas argument died a long time ago”), 2 – analysis (“it isn’t the concentration it is the total amount”), or 3 – calculations (“If you plug in to Boltzmann’s”). All of which may be true but none of which are proof “that CO2 is a major greenhouse gas.”

      • CO2 may warm the air but the effect of atmospheric thermal radiation on the ocean is wildly different than solar radiation.

        Solar radiation (particularly UV) penetrates to 200 meters. Thermal radiation from CO2 only penetrates nanometers into the ocean.

      • D o u g  C o t t o n  

         

        Yes PA

        You are totally correct regarding the difference in radiation from a cooler source (the troposphere) and a warmer source (the Sun.) My March 2012 paper “Radiated Energy and the Second Law of Thermodynamics” explains why every one-way passage of radiation is an independent process and entropy cannot decrease in any such process. You cannot expect the Second Law to apply to the net effect of two or more independent processes. If your version of the Second Law says this (or you think it does) then it could be used to prove that water could flow uphill to a lake at the top of a mountain provided that it flowed further down the other side. Yes, the Second Law of Thermodynamics also applies to mechanical equilibrium as that is a part of thermodynamic equilibrium.

        So back radiation from a cooler region to a warmer surface is “pseudo scattered” by the surface molecules which use its electro-magnetic energy for a part of their own quota of radiation (as per their Planck function) and these molecules never convert that electro-magnetic energy to thermal energy.

        Every one way passage of radiation obeys the Second Law and never increases the temperature of a warmer target, not even momentarily.

         
        But the Sun’s radiation cannot raise the temperature of the thin surface layer of the oceans to anywhere near to its observed temperature, because most of that radiation raises the temperature of deeper, colder regions, and then the extra energy exits near the poles. Only the gravito-thermal effect, a direct corollary of the Second Law of Thermodynamics, explains what happens on all planets. Get with it folks!

         

         

      • Hi, PMH. A couple of good comments (one at 9.38, I might have missed others), I don’t think I’ve seen you here before, I hope you return.

      • Matthew R Marler

        PHMinSC: Note that all of the responses you got were 1 – to wave your question away (“the trace gas argument died a long time ago”), 2 – analysis (“it isn’t the concentration it is the total amount”), or 3 – calculations (“If you plug in to Boltzmann’s”). All of which may be true but none of which are proof “that CO2 is a major greenhouse gas.”

        Nevertheless, it is worthwhile to point out that the “trace gas” argument is fallacious, every time that it is raised.

    • Steven Mosher

      its not a trace gas where it counts

    • David Springer

      A trace amount of black paint applied to a white car will cause the car to be much warmer on sunny days.

  65. Comparison of the Ocean below 2,000 meters to the GLOBAL Land-Ocean Temperature Index from GISS.

    Only major divergence occurred around 2008
    ( surface water > evaporation > increase in salinity > rise in specific weight > sinks to depth below 2000 m ? )

    • “surface water > evaporation > increase in salinity > rise in specific weight > sinks to depth below 2000 m ?”
      Interesting. Less clouds holding everything else constant would transport equatorial waters less far North before that water got too heavy because of faster evaporation.

    • David Springer

      Not much correlation there.

  66. Pingback: What is the role of the deep ocean in global warming? Climate science deniers get this wrong. [Greg Laden's Blog] | Gaia Gazette

  67. alpha2actual

    All due respect. If the atmosphere weighs in at between 5.3 to 5.5 Quadrillion Metric Tons and the annual net presentation to the atmosphere is 11.7 Million Metric Tons of CO2 due to Anthropogenci activity (IPCC decadal report 1990-1999), how can this possibly affect the global climate? Basic math indicates that this is trivial. I have taken into consideration that the Troposphere represents 80% of the mass of the atmosphere, allegedly where everything is happening as far as “climate variation” is concerned, yet this appears to be a trivial number on the order of 2.759433398 x 10 -15.

    • It is 30-40 Billion tonnes of CO2 annually, which is about 1% of atmospheric CO2 per year.

      • alpha2actual

        “Increase in observed net carbon dioxide uptake by land and oceans during the past 50 years”
        Nature 488, 70–72 (02 August 2012) doi:10.1038/nature11299
        Received 06 October 2011 Accepted 06 June 2012 Published online 01 August 2012. From the Abstract.

        “ Here we use global-scale atmospheric CO2 measurements, CO2 emission inventories and their full range of uncertainties to calculate changes in global CO2 sources and sinks during the past 50 years. Our mass balance analysis shows that net global carbon uptake has increased significantly by about 0.05 billion tonnes of carbon per year and that global carbon uptake doubled, from 2.4 ± 0.8 to 5.0 ± 0.9 billion tonnes per year, between 1960 and 2010. Therefore, it is very unlikely that both land and ocean carbon sinks have decreased on a global scale. Since 1959, approximately 350 billion tonnes of carbon have been emitted by humans to the atmosphere, of which about 55 per cent has moved into the land and oceans. Thus, identifying the mechanisms and locations responsible for increasing global carbon uptake remains a critical challenge in constraining the modern global carbon budget and predicting future carbon–climate interactions”. It then follows that 350X.45/50= 3.15 billion tonnes/4.32 quadrillion tons is of course trivial, beyond trace. Remember Jim, toxicity is measured by dosage.

    • Most of the atmosphere is diatomic ( Nitrogen – N2, Oxygen – O2, and some Argon ).
      Diatomic molecules lack the range of motions possible with higher order molecules ( three or more atoms ).

      Consequently, comparing CO2 with MOST of the atmosphere is misleading.
      Most of the atmosphere doesn’t radiate significantly in the infrared.
      Narrow your focus to the three atom and higher molecules.
      You’ll find, yes, water vapor – H2O is king, CO2 is number two.
      Methane CH4, and Ozone O3 follow and then some others like the big but sparse CFCs.

      Of course, clouds and other aerosols trump the gasses in the lower levels, but even bearing that in mind, yes, CO2 is significant.

      Now, I don’t believe the hysteric calamities follow, and the extent of warming appears to have been exaggerated, but yes there is a sound physical basis for expecting some warming from increased carbon dioxide.

      • I can’t quarrel with “…there is a sound physical basis for expecting some warming from increased carbon dioxide.” The problem is that data must count for something and that is what seems to be missing. As an academic exercise there is merit with a lot of the comment on this blog; but they are not ready for prime time and certainly not ready for implementation as policy.

      • Matthew R Marler

        PMHinSC: I can’t quarrel with “…there is a sound physical basis for expecting some warming from increased carbon dioxide.” The problem is that data must count for something and that is what seems to be missing. As an academic exercise there is merit with a lot of the comment on this blog; but they are not ready for prime time and certainly not ready for implementation as policy.

        So quarrel with the bad ideas and support the good ideas. It would be nice if we could bury the “trace gas” argument with a stake through its heart and concentrate on the actual scientific reasons for doubting the agw “consensus”.

      • It would be nice if we could bury the “trace gas” argument with a stake through its heart and concentrate on the actual scientific reasons for doubting the agw “consensus”.

        So, lets say the effect of Co2 on surface temps is very small, or even the doubling is a fraction of a degree, wouldn’t labeling it a trace gas be appropriate in that case?

      • Actually Solar radiation rules as measured by watts per square meter. CO2, trivial yet extremely important to the eco system. We are not talking VX or Sarin gas here. Toxicity is in the dosage,

      • Some “warming” may resolve to a trivial component of the net global temperature? And on the issue of global, is this really an issue, if all politics is local is that not also true of temperature?

  68. I was thinking about the policy vs science discussion.

    If it weren’t for the threat of heinous policy changes WRT ACO2, climate science would still be a backwater endeavor that would get zero headlines.

    Anthony Watts would be selling automated weather stations and tending his solar farm. Steve McIntyre would enjoy a much quieter retirement. Dr. Curry would be staying home a lot more than of late. BEST probably would have never happened.

    So, what’s really more important to climate scientists? The science or the policy argument?

    I have a feeling most of them would really hate to see the policy component disappear.

    • “heinous policy changes” should have been “heinous policy suggestions”

    • alpha2actual

      jim2, you missed the point as did Dr. Curry, there is Science driven policy vs Policy driven Science. Example Policy driven “Science” has murdered between 80 to 110 million inhabitants of developing countries with the restrictions and banning of DDT. 80% per cent children under the age of five and pregnant women. Feel good about that jim2?
      In Sri Lanka, malaria deaths went from 2.8 million in 1948 down to 17 in 1964 due to the use of DDT. The “intellectual elite/pseudo scientist community managed to ban DDT and by 1969, death rates were back up to 2.5 million. In addition DDT was replaced by pesticides that are often much more toxic to humans. Many environmentalists dismiss or minimize these concerns. For example, Charles Wurster, chief scientist for the Environmental Defense Fund, was asked if the DDT ban led to loss of human life. His reply was “Probably … so what? People are the causes of all the problems; we have too many of them.” He has since retracted his statement.

  69. Robert of Ottawa

    There is no “missing heat” and I challenge anyone to show it,

    • But there is missing knowledge. I think the heat is in an entangled state. Once it is found, the Ice Age will begin.

  70. Jim D presented a number of between 30 to 40 billion tons which, according to his calculations resolves to 1%. The reality is 11.7 Billion metric tons presented to the atmosphere annually and anthropogenically (IPCC from 1990 to 1999) divided by 4.24 quadrillion resolves to 2.6 Ten-thousandths of a percent. Please correct me if I’m incorrect and I did resort to a scientific notation calculator.

    Having said that, let’s move on to the 42,000 square mile Atacama Desert, Peru. This is a terrific laboratory if one wants to test the Anthropogenic Climate Change hypothesis. What makes it interesting is that it is generally considered to be the driest place on the planet (devoid of water vapor, which of course is the primary greenhouse gas) actually the humidity averages 10% per year and the average rainfall is measured in hundredths of an inch. For the past 200 years the climate has remained predictable and constant. Evidently the anthropogenic CO2 has had little if any effect on this ecosystem, go figure. Yet, globally in 2012, $359 Billion was expended on “Anthropogenic Climate Change” almost a $1 Billion a day,

    • I just go to Google and find these numbers. Here is an example, and everyone else agrees it is 30-40 Billion tonnes CO2 per year.
      http://www.energytrendsinsider.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/Global-CO2.png?00cfb7
      Regarding Peru, the wind blows, so CO2 is well mixed around the earth. Even Antarctica measures similar amounts to Hawaii.
      If so much was spent on climate change, surely we should stop climate change rather than keep having to spend that. What was that point?

      • And jimmy wonders why nobody likes him.

      • It’s just the facts they don’t like. Just the facts.

      • Seems more like a problem with a 10 minute internet expert with a meme to rationalise.

      • The Bose-Einstein debacle is a good example. Jimmy Dee will insist with utter confidence that Bose-Einstein statistics don’t work at room temperature – it reverts to Boltzmann at a little above absolute zero. They do – and it doesn’t. It relates to the characteristic energy states of the particle regardless of the temperature.

      • Geoff Sherrington

        Jim,
        So if CO2 is blown in to fill the South American desert skies, why is water vapour not blown in also?
        Geoff.

      • The point is that the $1Billion a day is spent on wind-and solar farms, which have NO effect on CO2 emissions. Electricity is less than primary energy use and on top of that the intermitency of wind- and solar energy makes causes the net fuel savings on the electricity grid to be zero for contributions of 10% and negative for higher contributions. The $1Billion a day are only good for “green” investors, supplying them with a state-guaranteed income, paid by the poor (mostly).

      • I omitted a figure, sorry: I should hav written that electricity is less than 10% of primary energy use

      • Geoff, there are satellites that have measured CO2 distributions and there are no holes. I think skeptics have the craziest ideas sometimes, but it is entertaining.

  71. Here’s the situation with greenhouse gases. It is exactly this – repeated many gazillion times in the atmosphere. More greenhouse gas molecules interact with more IR photons heating the atmosphere. Kinetic energy kicks up heating the surrounding O2 and N2 molecules. This is a pretty quick process. What changes is scattering of IR photons. Photons are remitted in all directions – including down – in a process called scattering. The IR photons at the surface make the heat gradient from the surface to the atmosphere smaller than it would otherwise be and less heat is lost from the surface. Land and oceans warm.

    It happens in theory and in the laboratory – but how about the atmosphere. The photons are retarded in the atmosphere for long enough to achieve a local thermodynamic equilibrium and then emissions step up. So the well known emission spectra can’t actually be seen at TOA. What you can see is the increased scattering by looking at the Earth through a space borne aperture. If you compare snapshots at different times – and do a brightness calculation – you get this. This is experimental proof that there is an effect in the atmosphere as theorized.

    The oceans and land continue to warm until the surface losses again balances the incoming energy. This theoretically takes some time – although it seems to clearly follow changes in net TOA radiant flux.

    • Not even sure what that movie is. It seems to have Jason Statham – so lot’s of fight scenes.

      This is what I meant –

      • Rob Ellison

        It seems that photons move pretty quick, possibly creating regional differences and that an “equilibrium” state would not be achieved. Warming and cooling would occur locally and that when looking at the “atmosphere”, the complexity would seem insurmountable. Broad spectrum observations would seem to be very difficult to interpret. Pockets of one activity may be countered/amplified by immediate adjacent pockets. Assumptions that CO2 is a well mixed gas may not be true even on a regional basis. I recall that in auditoriums with large gatherings, local CO2 concentrations could be measured at 800 and sometimes 1200 PPMv. Submariners at times encounter 8000 PPMv. 19th Century CO2 measurements suggested rural /city/factory differences of CO2 were large but this was in an era of measurement technique differences so such reports have been by and large discounted.

        It seems to me that broad strokes as GCM’s and possibly principles of physics requiring equilibrium to be true, miss the localize minutia that may be telling a very different story.

        I say all this as I have spent a career following the CO2 & other respiratory molecules around the mammalian system, from before the first breath to aged expiration. Large scale assumptions have not been all that helpful.

        I guess I am still clinging to the notion that CO2 is a trace gas and the trace gas radiative transfer model impact upon atmospheric warming should reflect its scarcity relative to water vapor.

        Again, I am a slow learner and repetition may be helpful unless there is obstinance on my part, which there seems to be.

        BTW I see why you gave me the first Ghil article as it was a prelude to #3. It helped. Thank you.

      • All you need is extra CO2 in the atmosphere and the rest follows.

    • I don’t understand the big food fight over CO2.

      Any energy absorbed by CO2 will be reradiated in a random direction regardless of whether the energy is passed to O2 or N2 or not.

      Effectively it will look like an increase in “back radiation” anyway.

  72. Two sets of tea leaf reading experts come to different conclusions. Yawn.

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  77. But Judith, isn’t your conclusion misleading? “The bottom line is there is no particularly convincing evidence that the ‘missing heat’ is hiding in the ocean.” One study suggested more heat above 2000 meters than presumed and the other suggested more heat in the Southern Ocean than presumed. The most important part of the study for me is showing the slowing evolving improvements to the precision of the methods to measure sea level and heat content. Understanding can only get better. Sure there is always uncertainty, but we are learning a lot in the meantime.

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