Anomalous Spike in Ocean Heat Content

Guest Post by: Craig Loehle

In the paper

Levitus S., J. I. Antonov, T. P. Boyer, R. A. Locarnini, H. E. Garcia, A. V. Mishonov (2009), Global ocean heat content 1955–2008 in light of recently revealed instrumentation problems,Geophys. Res. Lett., 36, L07608, doi:10.1029/2008GL037155

the long term trend of ocean heat content is reanalyzed to attempt to correct for bias in instrumentation, and the record is extended.  The graph below depicts the result.

 Ocean_heat_spike

The most recent period, from 2003, uses the ARGO profiling floats, whereas earlier periods use a variety of instruments with various biases.  Patching all these data together is a challenge.  I draw your attention to the strong spike in the red line from 2002 to 2003.  This line is the point at which the earlier data is joined up with the ARGO data.  The magnitude of the jump is the largest in the entire record.  The transition to the ARGO data can not be said to have been accomplished with a long cross-calibration period.  It thus looks to me like there may be an error in how the different data sets are stitched together.  I in no way am implying malfeasance here.  I have discussed this situation with Roger Pielke Sr. and Josh Willis and they agree it looks odd and merits further investigation.  Dr. Pielke points out that there is not a comparable jump in the SST data.  I think this example illustrates that if there is a big jump in the data right when you change your instrumentation, it is perhaps good to look a little closer. 

Further discussion of the paper is available at Pielke’s site:

http://climatesci.org/2009/05/18/comments-on-a-new-paper-global-ocean-heat-content-1955%e2%80%932008-in-light-of-recently-revealed-instrumentation-problems-by-levitus-et-al-2009/

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88 Responses to Anomalous Spike in Ocean Heat Content

  1. Bob Kutz says:

    HELP! ( I know this is OT)

    I have found something going on at;

    http://arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere/
    that seems extremely odd.

    Click on the archive data link, then select a date. (Or just cut and paste; http://arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere/IMAGES/ARCHIVE/20071231.jpg ) Now go change the date to 20090531 and look at the image. It is inconceivable that this is the ice image that is being archived. No wonder they don’t want anybody looking at it.

    I have found that there are daily adjustments on the ice images between when they are printed on day one, and the archive of the data the next.

    The thing is; you can only get to the archive by typing in the date manually into the URL, as archive data on the site isn’t available from 12-31-2007 on.

    You folks seem to be able to put a hammer on this kind of thing.

    Sorry to be so off topic, but I don’t have a lot of contacts for reporting these kind of shenanigans, but it’s going on a lot lately.

  2. jeff Id says:

    You bet it looks odd.

    Like always, the error is in the direction of boiling shrimp rather than cold penguin feet. I suppose this too could be right.

  3. KlausB says:

    Craig,
    I only do frequently looks onto the pacific warm water volume,
    http://www.pmel.noaa.gov/tao/elnino/wwv/data/
    and do include in a sheet the global maritime from MSU Sat,
    nothing out of ordinary:
    http://i41.tinypic.com/23kuas0.jpg

    Klausb

  4. John Boy says:

    The GW conspiracy continues its propaganda tonite with must see TV

    Must-see TV on ABC tonight — “Earth 2100: Is this the Final Century of our Civilization?”

    The tide also rises….

    The Boy of John

  5. KlausB says:

    I do frequently look on the Pacific Warm Water Volume:
    http://www.pmel.noaa.gov/tao/elnino/wwv/data/
    and do it in a graph together with the MSU global maritime, there is nothing unusual, yet:
    http://i41.tinypic.com/23kuas0.jpg

  6. Juraj V. says:

    Bob, such a ugly pic like http://arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere/IMAGES/ARCHIVE/20090531.jpg is because of dying SSMI sensor on the NOAA satellite.
    Back to OHC article – when the SST history will be revised, according to Climateuadit findings? The abrupt 0.3C drop in 1940s because of wrongly accounted change in sampling method has contaminated all global datasets. Something tells me it was not a “honest mistake” – otherwise the post 1950s temperature rise would be much flatter and playing well with other factors, as for example http://blog.sme.sk/blog/560/195013/hadsstssn.jpg

  7. George E. Smith says:

    Well I am pleased to see that the most recent data is from sensors that are presumably actually in the ocean; and actually sensing at known depths.

    My suggestion is to file the earlier data in the circular file and move on from there.

    Are these the same bouys that John Christy et al used to report in Jan 2001, that the near surface ocean water temperatures (-1 metre) and the near surface ocean air temperatures (+3 metres) are not correlated, and for the 20 years or so that they had gathered data, the air temperature sensors recorded only about 60% of the temperature rise that the water temperature sensors recorded.

    Of course that 60% factor only relates to that 20 year time frame. Since they aren’t correlated, the earlier air temperatures are not recovereable for the earlier water temperatures.

    So pretty much anything before about 1978/80 can hardly be called science, since data from 70% of the earth surface is bogus.

    I would think that thermal energy transport between the oceans and the atmosphere ought to be charactreristic of the SSTs, because the long wave IR radiation is certainly surface specific, given the almost total opaqueness of water to LWIR. Evaporation and conduction would also have to be surface specific; so what other heating connections between the oceans and the atmosphere are there besides those three ?

    As for mechanisms for the atmosphere to warm the oceans; I don’t see any major processes. The back IR from the atmosphere is absorbed in the top 10 microns, and should lead to prompt evaporation, rather than transport of energy to the ocean depths, and the ocean’s positive temperature coefficient of expansion, should maintain a permanent upward convection current.

    Trying to connect two disparate data streams is hazardous to one’s health.

    I would rather see a disconnect between these two data sources, rather than some ersatz connect process, that is only going to lead to doubts about validity.

    George

  8. George E. Smith says:

    “”” John Boy (14:49:05) :

    The GW conspiracy continues its propaganda tonite with must see TV

    Must-see TV on ABC tonight — “Earth 2100: Is this the Final Century of our Civilization?”

    The tide also rises….

    The Boy of John “””

    Well I don’t know about final century of OUR civilisation; but given the tempo in Washington, from our Teleprompter Reader in Chief; this might actually be the last year of OUR civilisation.

    Don’t blame me; y’alls voted for this Jim Jones; I didn’t.

    George

  9. hunter says:

    Well, they have the answer they want, it is now just a matter of suppressing inconvenient history and fitting the lines.

  10. Craig Loehle says:

    George: I don’t think this is the data Christy used (not sure) because the ARGO bouys only were a complete network in 2003.

  11. Louis Hissink says:

    This re-writing of history bugs me a little – do they do it knowlingly, or is it from ignorance and a belief the raw data is erroroneous and needs to be edited for archival purposes?

    Or don’t they understand that the raw data, no matter what “inconsistencies” it has, is sacrosanct. If this is the case then science is indeed in a very dark age.

  12. TonyB says:

    Graphs often get taken out of context and separated from the text that explains it.

    The graph would be better with a vertical along the 2003 axis and the temperature data after that in a different colour with the legend ‘ change of measurement instruments’ clearly marking the change.

    Tonyb

  13. oms says:

    George E. Smith (15:21:26) :

    Well I am pleased to see that the most recent data is from sensors that are presumably actually in the ocean; and actually sensing at known depths.

    Please check out [ur=http://www.argo.ucsd.edu/]Argo[/url] for yourself.

    Of course that 60% factor only relates to that 20 year time frame. Since they aren’t correlated, the earlier air temperatures are not recovereable for the earlier water temperatures.
    So pretty much anything before about 1978/80 can hardly be called science, since data from 70% of the earth surface is bogus.

    In case you hadn’t noticed, the blog post by Craig Loehle is about Ocean Heat Content, not air temperatures.

    As for mechanisms for the atmosphere to warm the oceans; I don’t see any major processes.

    Since this has been brought up to you in other threads and you seem to have an abiding interest, why don’t you review a little of the literature on ocean mixing and see if there isn’t anything of interest to you that has (potentially) already been addressed.

  14. Britannic no-see-um says:

    Dont have access rights to the full paper. Is the jump discussed, as its about instumentation merge problems ?

  15. oms says:

    George E. Smith (15:21:26) :

    Well I am pleased to see that the most recent data is from sensors that are presumably actually in the ocean; and actually sensing at known depths.

    Please check out [ur=http://www.argo.ucsd.edu/]Argo[/url] for yourself.

    Of course that 60% factor only relates to that 20 year time frame. Since they aren’t correlated, the earlier air temperatures are not recovereable for the earlier water temperatures.
    So pretty much anything before about 1978/80 can hardly be called science, since data from 70% of the earth surface is bogus.

    In case you hadn’t noticed, the blog post by Craig Loehle is about Ocean Heat Content, not air temperatures.

    As for mechanisms for the atmosphere to warm the oceans; I don’t see any major processes.

    They keep on being suggested up to you and you keep dismissing them in thread after thread. Why not take a tour of the literature on ocean mixing?

  16. RW says:

    “the near surface ocean water temperatures (-1 metre) and the near surface ocean air temperatures (+3 metres) are not correlated”

    I’ve seen you make this claim before. I’ve never seen you provide a link to the data.

  17. tarpon says:

    Any time you try and spice data sets based on instrumentality changes, you are susceptible to large errors. In the past, it would seem as long as the errors pointed to the desired ‘hottness’, they were left alone.

    It really isn’t clear how you ever reconcile this. It’s just as easy to see how the offset could result in a lower temperature spike, with temperature trending flat … Is there anyway to get to the old style sea temperature data, and run them in parallel?

    I say the sunspot data suffers a similar problem, there at least we could build 1600′s era telescopes and see what the differences might be…. Only then would we know.

  18. ralph ellis says:

    Funny that all the temperature adjustments go upwards …. except, of course, if they are historical temperatures, which are all adjusted downwards. Anything to make the temperature profile look positive.

    .

  19. Bob Tisdale says:

    Craig Loehle: The anomalous spike does NOT appear in the Domingues et al (2008) or the Ishii and Kimoto (I believe it was 2008 also) OHC reconstructions:
    http://s5.tinypic.com/24v33t4.jpg
    I noted the divergence in my post “The Latest Revisions to Ocean Heat Content Data” here:
    http://bobtisdale.blogspot.com/2009/03/latest-revisions-to-ocean-heat-content.html

    Regards

  20. Mitchel44 says:

    OT, but NSIDC has a new update and has switched to a new sensor(17 in, 13 out) and placed their daily image back online.

  21. Something is “fishy” here or rather it stinks worse than the “global warming” cows´farting.
    I told you, this was going to worsen day after day, as you approach summer time.

  22. smallz79 says:

    Maybe off topic, but refering to a previous post by

    Bob Kutz (14:26:19)

    Take a look at April 15 then at April 18 2009 Big chunks begin to disappear magically, then on the 19th reappear magicaly while a hole at the pole magically appears. I believe you that this Data is bunk.
    post.http://arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere/IMAGES/ARCHIVE/20090415.jpg

  23. matt v. says:

    HADSST2GL shows no major jump in global ocean SST during jan 2002 to jan 2004. The least square trend line shows a 0.0257C / year increase. There is an increase during the latter half of 2003 but not going from 2002 to 2003. As shown on the graph , one of the two data sets is questionable .

    http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/hadsst2gl/from:2002/to:2004/plot/hadsst2gl/from:2002/to:2004/trend

  24. Bob Tisdale says:

    Hopefully no one has paid AGU for a look at the Levitus et al (2009) paper. It’s available through the National Oceanographic Data Center website here:

    ftp://ftp.nodc.noaa.gov/pub/data.nodc/woa/PUBLICATIONS/grlheat08.pdf

    Levitus et al discuss the differences between their reconstruction and the Domingues et al and Ishii and Kimoto reconstructions on 3.

  25. realitycheck says:

    Re: TonyB

    “The graph would be better with a vertical along the 2003 axis and the temperature data after that in a different colour with the legend ‘ change of measurement instruments’ clearly marking the change.”

    A simple and great idea, but be aware that this would make it “too purist” and blur the framing of the message to the general public (those silly people).

    No, what this new science should portray is a simple continuous line (preferably in a nice primary color) with accelerating trend and no error bars. Doesn’t matter what the variable is, as long as there is a simple continuous line with accelerating trend. See, this new science does not have error, or uncertainty – it is settled, it is obvious, it is FACT. Get the idea?

  26. crosspatch says:

    What is most interesting is that after the jump following the splice of the new data, the rise practically stops. Look at the trend from 1985 to 2004 and then look at the post-2004 trend … flat. As the earlier data are subject to various “adjustments”, I would tend to go with the current data that is based on actual observation. Bottom line is that the “rising” trend has apparently stopped since they started using actual observations and stopped torturing the old data until it told the “truth”.

  27. Adam from Kansas says:

    Bob Tisdale is reporting SST’s where it rose for the third month in a row.

    What’s interesting is that seeing his graph you’d expect a spectacular jump in temps. well into positive territory because of that by now. But apparently it’s not quite the case.
    http://discover.itsc.uah.edu/amsutemps/execute.csh?amsutemps

    While it did start rising by a major amount it did have a sudden big interruption about a week or so after, it resumed its rise but now it has an even bigger interruption where it’s starting to drop back towards the average line.

    Will the SST corralation mean the temps. will get to their highest point since 2007, or is there some covert solar influence putting a damper on it?

  28. realitycheck says:

    More seriously.

    As early as high school physics and engineering the first thing that is drummed into you is instrument error, instrument continuity and calibration. You learn that when a time series shows a jump at the point at which the measuring device changed, then that time series should be seriously questioned.

    Can you imagine an analogous curve being used in the design for a nuclear reactor for example? The chief engineer would fire you on the spot for including such analysis in your design. If that type of analysis was in a physics paper for review it would get outright rejected and the reviewer would be asked to go away and prove conclusively that the jump was NOT due to instrument changes. i.e. when confronted with such a curve, the null hypothesis would be that the instrument change caused the jump and it would be up to the scientist to prove otherwise.

    But this is climate science, where everything is backwards.

  29. Bill Illis says:

    The paper is here.

    ftp://ftp.nodc.noaa.gov/pub/data.nodc/woa/PUBLICATIONS/grlheat08.pdf

    Does the absolute value of the heat content have a particular meaning?

    Between 2002 and 2004, the ocean heat content increased from around 6.5 * 10^22 joules to about 12.5 * 10^22 joules.

    Obviously, the ocean heat content did not nearly double over two years so there is a problem with splicing two different datasets.

    They also restated the previous estimates in Levitus 2005 et al doing away with some of the up and down cycles.

    Bob Tisdale did a review of these numbers a few weeks ago.

    http://bobtisdale.blogspot.com/2009/05/levitus-et-al-2009-ocean-heat-content.html

    The Atlantic Ocean is responsible for most of the increase in the estimate between 2002 and 2004 while there was very little change in sea level in the Atlantic Ocean during those years.

  30. Chuck L says:

    How long will it be until that graph is plastered in print and in the media as more evidence of global warming?

  31. rbateman says:

    Bob Kutz (14:26:19) :

    You have struck gold, sir.
    I can see from typing in at 1 month intervals that 2009 melting in the North is 1 month behind 2008. It really was seriously colder.
    Wait until next year, then the screaming will begin.

  32. Ric Werme says:

    Bob Kutz (14:26:19) :

    > I have found something going on at;
    > http://arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere/
    > that seems extremely odd.

    Not news. See http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/05/26/nsidc-pulls-the-plug-on-artic-sea-ice-graphs/

  33. vg says:

    First post: The CT thing is very interesting. Assuming the ice borders are correct (as it appears to be so compared with streaks?) it appears to be an “WAY ABOVE” anomaly. DMI and AMSR seesm to be the only two reliable ice centers at the moment
    http://ocean.dmi.dk/arctic/icecover.uk.php
    DMI, most up to date (basically today) showing 2005 ice extent so far
    and… wow just off the press
    NORSEX have removed downtrend once again! (so basically confirms trend is way above 2008)
    http://arctic-roos.org/observations/satellite-data/sea-ice/ice-area-and-extent-in-arctic
    Maybe there waiting for the Kovenhavn conference to be over before putting the real data up

  34. Adam from Kansas says:

    Also, is there a reason why the South Atlantic has seen an astronomical jump in SST’s which nearly doubles the previous record in Tisdale’s graph or is the data wrong? The South Atlantic possibly single-handidly amounted for a decent portion of the latest peak in SST’s, and what’s even more strange is that the trend tended to be small until you just have the latest 3 months which would suggest the water would start boiling (literally) in 2020.

  35. Adam from Kansas says:

    Oh sorry, looked at the graph again, not doubling the record but still leaves the previous record in the dust.

  36. Craig Loehle says:

    Bob Tisdale: you are exactly correct, the spike does not appear in the other reconstructions you mention, nor in the SST data.

  37. Hell_is_like_newark says:

    Watching the ABC show that was mentioned in a previous post. What a massive scare fest!

  38. vg says:

    Does anybody have any idea why this
    http://www.osdpd.noaa.gov/PSB/EPS/SST/data/anomnight.6.1.2009.gif
    is so different from this
    http://weather.unisys.com/surface/sst_anom.html
    note europe asia mediterrinean etc..
    are they different satellites, buoys?

  39. Mark says:

    Re: ralph ellis (16:30:53) :

    I wonder if a certain well known NASS employe is adjusting this data?

  40. David S says:

    “Earth 2100″

    This show was undoubtedly the most outstanding example I’ve ever seen of unmitigated fear-mongering propaganda.

    First they warm up the audience by naming a few disasters:
    Hurricanes
    Droughts
    Swine flu
    Stock market crash (No kidding they really mentioned that)

    Then they spread some disinformation.
    Sea level rise of 6 feet by 2080. (The IPCC predicts only 1-2 feet by 2100)

    Then some wild predictions;
    New York City abandoned because of flooding.
    All power cut off because of a virus that kills thousands or millions of people. ( Apparently the virus was enabled by global warming)
    Most people living at subsistence level. (That one might actually come true if they stop energy production from fossil fuels)

  41. Nasif Nahle says:

    To know how much a 1 megaton nuclear bomb heat up the oceans, we must to know how much energy in transit is released by one 1 megaton nuclear bomb releases. The total amount of energy, including the blast, is about 4.18 x 1015 Joule. From this energy, the load of energy in transit released during the explosion is about 2.8 x 10^15 J. India and Pakistan tested about 11 nuclear bombs in the South Pacific from 1996 to 1998. The energy in transit released by those tests was ~2.2 x 10^11 J. North Korea detonated about five underground nuclear bombs the last year and recently on 25 May 2009; the less powerful was of 10 megatons and the most powerful was of 50 megatons. Are those spikes mere coincidences?

  42. Keith Minto says:

    vg (19:51:14) :

    I would guess that noaa would use the TAO/ Triton array of equatorial buoys.
    This link is worth checking http://www.pmel.noaa.gov/tao/index.shtml

    Don’t know about unisys.

  43. anna v says:

    Juraj V. (14:51:02) :

    Bob, such a ugly pic like http://arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere/IMAGES/ARCHIVE/20090531.jpg is because of dying SSMI sensor on the NOAA satellite.

    It is dead since the 7th of may, there is no change in the archived images since
    http://arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere/IMAGES/ARCHIVE/20090507.jpg

  44. F. Ross says:

    Nasif Nahle (20:54:54) :

    North Korea detonated about five underground nuclear bombs the last year and recently on 25 May 2009; the less powerful was of 10 megatons and the most powerful was of 50 megatons.

    Are you sure of those figures, 10 and 50 megatons? I was under the impression that the yields were around 3kilotons and 10kilotons.[?]

  45. rickM says:

    Nasif – not even close to the figures you use. The largest thermonuclear detonation was the Tsar bomb at around 50 megatons. Norht Korea has yet to fully master fission – fusion is a whole new order of capability they have yet to achieve.

    On topic – so we have effectively two, grafted data sets, or massaged data or both?

    I really enjoy using the woodfortrees site – a users guide (ie, which datasets etc to use would be great for it)

  46. Nasif Nahle says:

    F. Ross (21:17:48):

    Are you sure of those figures, 10 and 50 megatons? I was under the impression that the yields were around 3kilotons and 10kilotons.[?]

    Yes, you’re right… I prompted myself on finishing writing the post because of many problems with my connection. I’m sorry for the mistake.

  47. Ian Lee says:

    There are many comments on various WUWT pieces that suggest data are being manipulated to give answers that are biased toward the AGW hypothesis. Is there any way to ensure that data from the various agencies have not been so manipulated?

  48. Philip Johns says:

    Spike or no spike, Ocean Cooling is dead.

  49. oms says:

    Bill Illis (17:58:27) :

    ftp://ftp.nodc.noaa.gov/pub/data.nodc/woa/PUBLICATIONS/grlheat08.pdf

    Does the absolute value of the heat content have a particular meaning?

    From the caption for Figure S10: “Reference period is 1957-1990.”

    Between 2002 and 2004, the ocean heat content increased from around 6.5 * 10^22 joules to about 12.5 * 10^22 joules.

    Obviously, the ocean heat content did not nearly double over two years so there is a problem with splicing two different datasets.

    Ocean HC wasn’t negative either in 1970 so it is definitely “anomaly.” :)

  50. crosspatch says:

    Something’s totally borked with the weather. It’s raining in San Jose … and supposed to continue to rain for the next three days. Never seen three consecutive days of rain in June in California before. At least not South of San Francisco.

  51. ralph ellis says:

    >>Spike or no spike, Ocean Cooling is dead.

    Are you sure about that??

    http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/hadsst2gl/from:2003/to:2009/plot/hadsst2gl/from:2003/to:2009/trend

    Looks like a downward trend to me.

    .

  52. PaulM says:

    The phrase at the end of the first sentence of the paper’s abstract raised my eyebrows:
    “We provide estimates of the warming of the world ocean for 1955–2008 based on historical data not previously available, additional modern data, correcting for instrumental biases of bathythermograph data, and correcting or excluding some Argo float data.

  53. Stephen Wilde says:

    Ocean heat content is a balance between energy in from the sun and energy moving from ocean to air (rather obvious really).

    The increasing heat content effect of a strong sun can be offset by high emissivity from the oceans and the decreasing heat content effect of a weak sun can be offset by low emissivity from the oceans.

    Ocean heat content will decline despite a strong sun if the oceans are emitting energy faster. At such times the air is warming whilst the oceans are cooling.

    Ocean heat content will increase despite a weak sun if the oceans are emitting energy more slowly. At such times the air is cooling despite the oceans warming.

    Note that normally the air temperature goes in the opposite direction to the ocean heat content.

    However a strong sun and rapid ocean emissions can occur at the same time so that oceans can gain energy overall whilst still warming the air. I believe that is what was going on for most of the 20th Century.

    We now have a weak sun but the oceans are in negative mode so it is possible for oceanic heat energy to increase despite the weak sun IF the negative oceanic cycles slow down the loss of energy enough. Meanwhile the air will continue to cool.

    Nowhere else have I seen recognition of the disjunction between the heat energy trends in ocean and air seperately.

    Nor have I seen anywhere else the balance between solar input and varying oceanic energy emissivity considered as part of an overall global energy balancing act.

  54. Pierre Gosselin says:

    vg
    Good question.
    Looking at the NOAA map, the hot spot near Scandinavia has been there for as long as I can remember – unchanged – even though this winter has been much colder than the ones before.
    I’m beginning to have real serious doubts about this NOAA map, or at least parts of it. Hopefully some readers here have the background to shed some light.

  55. jh says:

    Speaking of discontinuities, the paper below is supposed to refute the role of solar forcing

    Lockwood & Frohlich, 2007
    http://www.pubs.royalsoc.ac.uk/media/proceedings_a/rspa20071880.pdf

    In their conclusions the authors state:-

    “Our results show that the observed rapid rise in global mean temperatures seen after 1985 cannot be ascribed to solar variability, whichever of the mechanisms is invoked and no matter how much the solar variation is amplified”.

    Now, agree or disagree, a firmer conclusion is difficult to imagine. And yet just about 3 or 4 sentences earlier at the end of their discussion section they say:-

    “Finally, we note that the cosmogenic isotope record shows that a number of
    century-scale decreases and increases in cosmic ray fluxes have taken place over the past few millennia. The minima appear to be examples of grand maxima in solar activity of the type seen in recent decades. Extrapolations of solar activity trends into the future are notoriously unreliable. (For example, one might have expected the fall in solar activity seen around 1960 to continue; however, figure 4 shows that in reality it rose again to a peak near 1985.) Nevertheless, it is possible that the decline seen since 1985 marks the beginning of the end of the recent grand maximum in solar activity and the cosmogenic isotope record suggests that even if the present decline is interrupted in the near future, mean values will decline over the next century. This would reduce the solar forcing of climate, but to what extent this might counteract the effect of anthropogenic warming, if at all, is certainly not yet known. For this reason, studies of putative amplification of solar forcing over the past 150 years (Stott et al. 2003) are likely to be important for understanding future changes.”

    “Certainly not yet known!!!” This looks like a case of a discontinuity in cerebral activity.

  56. I am an artist, not a scientist, but I would have thought the convention would be that if the two sets of data come from different sources they should not be attached and the break should be marked clearly (new instruments or whatever).

    In the new section 2005 – 2008 the red line looks tighter to the black line (better instruments)? The temperature looks like it has flattened a tad after a decade of rising temperatures? It will be interesting to see if we now begin to get some cooling to confirm what we believe might be happening with the extended sun cycle? Can the sunspot cycle be picked up in this data?

    Secondly if the oceans are a heat sink and the sun is less strong than in the previous decades there should be either a slowing in the rate of heating or a gradual cooling of the oceans?

    I have often asked on this forum, I do not think it has ever been addressed, are there estimates about the amount of heat entering into the oceans from the thermal vents Is it variable and how much heat does it contribute?

  57. Bob Tisdale says:

    vg: You asked, “Does anybody have any idea why this
    http://www.osdpd.noaa.gov/PSB/EPS/SST/data/anomnight.6.1.2009.gif
    is so different from this
    http://weather.unisys.com/surface/sst_anom.html
    note europe asia mediterrinean etc..
    are they different satellites, buoys?

    To me, the biggest difference is the color coding. The brown and “hot pink” east of Korea in the Unisys graph is a negative anomaly, but it shows up as a “dark blue” negative anomaly in the NOAA graph.

  58. DennisA says:

    This link contains oceanographer Robert E. Stevenson’s assessment of Levitus et al the first time around in 2000. (Dr Stevenson is now deceased)

    http://www.21stcenturysciencetech.com/articles/ocean.html

    Yes, the Ocean Has Warmed; No, It’s Not ‘Global Warming’

    “For 15 years, modellers have tried to explain their lack of success in predicting global warming. The climate models had predicted a global temperature increase of 1.5°C by the year 2000, six times more than that which has taken place. Not discouraged, the modellers argue that the heat generated by their claimed “greenhouse warming effect” is being stored in the deep oceans, and that it will eventually come back to haunt us. They’ve needed such a boost to prop up the man-induced greenhouse warming theory, but have had no observational evidence to support it. The Levitus, et al. article is now cited as the needed support.

    How the Oceans Get Warm
    Warming the ocean is not a simple matter, not like heating a small glass of water. The first thing to remember is that the ocean is not warmed by the overlying air.

    Let’s begin with radiant energy from two sources: sunlight, and infrared radiation, the latter emitted from the “greenhouse” gases (water vapor, carbon dioxide, methane, and various others) in the lower atmosphere. Sunlight penetrates the water surface readily, and directly heats the ocean up to a certain depth. Around 3 percent of the radiation from the Sun reaches a depth of about 100 meters.

    The top layer of the ocean to that depth warms up easily under sunlight. Below 100 meters, however, little radiant energy remains. The ocean becomes progressively darker and colder as the depth increases. (It is typical for the ocean temperature in Hawaii to be 26°C (78°F) at the surface, and 15°C (59°F) at a depth of 150 meters.

    The infrared radiation penetrates but a few millimeters into the ocean. This means that the greenhouse radiation from the atmosphere affects only the top few millimeters of the ocean. Water just a few centimeters deep receives none of the direct effect of the infrared thermal energy from the atmosphere! Further, it is in those top few millimeters in which evaporation takes places. So whatever infrared energy may reach the ocean as a result of the greenhouse effect is soon dissipated.

    The concept proposed in some predictive models is that any anomalous heat in the mixed layer of the ocean (the upper 100 meters) might be lost to the deep ocean. There have been a number of studies in which this process has been addressed (Nakamura 1997; Tanimoto 1993; Trenberth 1994; Watanabi 1994; and White 1998). It is clear that solar-related variations in mixed-layer temperatures penetrate to between 80 to 160 meters, the average depth of the main pycnocline (density discontinuity) in the global ocean. Below these depths, temperature fluctuations become uncorrelated with solar signals, deeper penetration being restrained by the stratified barrier of the pycnocline.

    Consequently, anomalous heat associated with changing solar irradiance is stored in the upper 100 meters. The heat balance is maintained by heat loss to the atmosphere, not to the deep ocean.”

    The whole article is well worth reading and is very pertinent to the current discussion.

  59. tallbloke says:

    It seems that Sid Levitus has a history of this sort of thing

    I posted this on CA last July:

    July 3rd, 2008 at 9:02 am

    Steve M,
    I believe Syd Levitus was a lead IPCC Author and that the IPCC findings relied to some extent on his papers:
    1 Warming of the World Ocean. Levitus et al, Science vol 287 2000
    2 Anthropogenic warming of Earth’s Climate System. Levitus et al,
    Science v 292 2001

    I don’t know whether it’s common knowledge or old news, but it seems Levitus et al may have overestimated ocean heat retension by a factors of 25%, according to this old thread I found on the sci.geo.oceanography

    Quote:
    “Has anyone else here used the data presented in these papers? A
    colleague and I have, but we cannot reproduce the net heat gain of
    18.2 x 10^22 J in the worlds’ oceans for the period 1955-1996 which
    was mentioned in [2].

    According to [2], this number comes from a straight line fit to the
    5-year averaged ocean data from 1957.5 to 1994.5 (the year index
    refers to the mid-point of the 5 year averages), extrapolated out to
    cover the original 41 years 1955-1996. Ie a trend of 0.44 x 10^22 J
    per year. The data are presented in Fig 4 of [1], and available from
    the authors.

    We get a much lower answer of 13.5 x 10^22 J, ie 0.33 x 10^22 J per
    year. It’s only a least squares fit, so I don’t see what we could have
    done wrong. But our number is a long way off the published value, and
    also a long way short of the model result (which was 19.7 x 10^22 J).

    James

    > Have you contacted the authors

    Yes, I got the data from one of them in the first place, and he
    explained how they had calculated the figure (the description in the
    paper isn’t brilliant). But as soon as I pointed out the error, he
    stopped replying.”

    You can see the exchange here:
    http://groups.google.com/group/sci.geo.oceanography/browse_thread/thread/a59a3509ecef9344/34d38d81f1734eaf?hl=en&lnk=st&q=#34d38d81f1734eaf

    Apologies to Leif that this is not directly about solar issues, but I didn’t know where was the right place to put it, and I thought it may have some relevance to those trying to correlate solar insolation to oceanic heat uptake.

  60. Allen63 says:

    I flat don’t believe the Ocean Heat Content “data”. Has nothing to do with who derived it.

    Mainly its because its ‘not’ data. Rather, its a guess, fit, & fill-in-the-blanks derived from exceedingly sparse and questionable heat content proxy ‘data’.

  61. Bob Tisdale says:

    Craig Leihle noted that the 2003 spike in OHC did not appear in global SST anomaly. Here’s a graph of OHC versus Global SST anomaly.
    http://i36.tinypic.com/o70r9w.jpg
    It’s from this post:
    http://bobtisdale.blogspot.com/2008/11/revised-ocean-heat-content.html

    I haven’t attempted to duplicate the Dominges et al or the Ishii and Kimoto OHC curves to see how well they agree with Global SST anomalies.

  62. Basil says:

    ““Does anybody have any idea why this
    http://www.osdpd.noaa.gov/PSB/EPS/SST/data/anomnight.6.1.2009.gif
    is so different from this
    http://weather.unisys.com/surface/sst_anom.html
    note europe asia mediterrinean etc..
    are they different satellites, buoys?”

    Pierre, Bob, and vg,

    I believe they differ because they use different base periods. I believe the Unisys map uses a standard WMO climatology of 1971-2000. The NOAA map is a special product for coral reef watch and has a much more limited climatology: “The monthly mean SST climatologies were then derived by averaging these satellite SSTs during the time period of 1985-1993, with observations from the years 1991 and 1992 omitted due to the aerosol contamination from the eruption of Mt. Pinatubo.”

    Source: http://coralreefwatch.noaa.gov/satellite/methodology/methodology.html#clim

  63. Bob Tisdale says:

    Oops! Forgot. Keep in mind when looking at that comparison of OHC and SST that the SST data has been averaged for the calendar year but the OHC data is centered on midyear. Here’s a link to the comparison again:
    http://i36.tinypic.com/o70r9w.jpg

  64. ssquared says:

    I watched the ABC show “Earth 2100″ last night (6/2/09).

    This is the worst piece of PROPAGANDA I’ve ever seen on an American TV network!

    There were statements about the state of the environment 30 and 40 years from now!
    The people interviewed ID’s flashed so fast that they were not readable.

    We must find out who produced this TERRIBLE SHOW AND MORE IMPORTANTLY, WHO FUNDED IT.

    Complain to ABC.

    Someone contact Anthony Watts(I can’t find a way) and publicize what a riciculous presentation this was.

  65. wws says:

    I sense a massive increase in the ocean’s Bogosity Quotient.

  66. bill says:

    ralph ellis (16:30:53) :
    Funny that all the temperature adjustments go upwards …. except, of course, if they are historical temperatures, which are all adjusted downwards. Anything to make the temperature profile look positive.

    Wrong!
    It is time to stop making this comment

    I took a number of ground station places (cherry picked only on a recent and long record) and plotted the adjustments made.
    Some measurements are adjusted up, some down, some up/down, and some shaken all around.
    A possible error is that they all seem to assume that the latest measurements are more accurate and do not get adjusted:

    http://img11.imageshack.us/img11/7440/gissrawtemps.jpg

    It simply looks as if an attempt is being made to adjust for instrumentation/other bias.

    It is time to stop makeing this comment

  67. wws says:

    earth 2100 = climate porn

  68. George M says:

    How accurately do we know the volume of the earth’s oceans? No, seriously, with all the variations in bottom topography, and “new” ridges and valleys being reported regularly, plus the known (and unknown?) surface variations, do we know the volume to 10%? Or, to better than 1%? If not, then these +/-0 .1% calculations of heat content are a little fictional, not so?

    For those of you who watched the ABC show (I didn’t, as I knew what it was going to be and did not have the time to waste), complain, LOUDLY, to the SPONSORS!

  69. timbrom says:

    The spike clearly isn’t anomalous. It’s because of all those fat Yanks. Don’t believe me? See here … Fat people causing climate change

  70. The Diatribe Guy says:

    Just so I’m clear, the data that creates the chart in the post does not impact the temperature anomaly data, does it? Or is it incorporated into one set or another? It would seem that it isn’t, from the flat/cooling trends of the last 9-12 years (depending on the data set used).

    Interesting post. Why did it take so long for someone to notice that “gosh, that’s a heckuva spike.” As the post said, my comment is not intended to suggest malfeasance. Just that I think it’s symptomatic of a certain mindset or expectation of results that can help blind a person from asking obvious questions.

    Well, off topic, but I invite you all to post a quick prediction on this month’s NOAA anomaly, just for fun. As a random exercise, I posted all the May climate maps here: http://digitaldiatribes.wordpress.com/2009/06/02/the-noaa-game-guess-the-anomaly/ and have made my own prediction.

    All in fun, (well, except for the stunning prize for the closest guess).

  71. Willem de Rode says:

    Increasing ocean heat content and yet no associated SST anomaly ? The melting ice effect ?

  72. Dave says:

    Can someone tell me if there is a contradiction between the evidence in the current article, and this earlier one?

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/05/06/the-global-warming-hypothesis-and-ocean-heat/#more-7646

    Seems to me one is saying that the oceans are warming up, and the earlier one says that they are getting cooler. Would like to know which is true.

  73. MattN says:

    As an engineer, I have concluded that there is almost virtually no such thing as a coincidence. The fact that a jump appears in 2003 and that’s the year the ARGO bouy data starts is NOT a coincidence.

  74. Craig Loehle says:

    Diatribe guy: The ocean heat content data is NOT used in the GISS or Hadley or other global anomaly data sets but IS used to test climate models. It wasn’t so long to notice the problem, the paper just came out.

  75. Ivan says:

    bill (05:45:07) :
    “It simply looks as if an attempt is being made to adjust for instrumentation/other bias.

    It is time to stop makeing this comment”

    Did you take a look at this: http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/img/climate/research/ushcn/ts.ushcn_anom25_diffs_urb-raw_pg.gif

    Still think that “some data are adjusted upward, some downward…” Hm, I don’t think so.

  76. Nasif Nahle says:

    rickM (21:37:52) :

    Nasif – not even close to the figures you use. The largest thermonuclear detonation was the Tsar bomb at around 50 megatons. Norht Korea has yet to fully master fission – fusion is a whole new order of capability they have yet to achieve.

    I know, Rick… It was my fault because I wrote the note very quickly. It’s on topic because nuclear detonations coincide with anomalous peaks on the ocean content of heat.

  77. Nasif Nahle says:

    One 50 kilotons nuclear bomb releases 2.1 x 10^14 J of energy, blast and energy in transit. The amount of energy in transit released into the ocean by a 10 kilotons nuclear explosion is 1.5 x 10^13 J, and the energy in transit released from a 50 kilotons nuclear explosion is 7.4 x 10^13 J. However, the energy of the blast converts potential energy to kinetic energy, so we have to add 1.85 x 10 ^13 J of heat released from the blast.

  78. George E. Smith says:

    “”” RW (16:12:07) :

    “the near surface ocean water temperatures (-1 metre) and the near surface ocean air temperatures (+3 metres) are not correlated”

    I’ve seen you make this claim before. I’ve never seen you provide a link to the data. “””

    I’ve never made that claim; I’ve never measured either one of those things. I have mentioned several times, that others have mnade that claim.

    I thought that you were the Google Guru; and you haven’t been able to find it.
    Try Geophysical Research Letters for Jan 2001. I say try that because I am relaying from memory. I belive Dr John Christy at UAH et al was the authorship.

    I even contacted Dr Christy, and queried him on that; funny habit I have of going to the horse’s mouth to verify stuff I read. (did that with Dr. Steig also )

    What would you people do without your computer and Google. Didn’t they ever teach you to learn anything in school; and remember it; and what is it that you will believe information from one source; but not from another source, even if both originate in the exact same place.

    I don’t make stuff up. Yes it is true that my source could end up being unreliable; I don’t have a cure for that; and most of the people who come here, have a whole lot better access to the information than I do.

    And I do this, while my computer is working on my project for my employer; to try and make a profitable product for them, so that we can both pay taxes to keep funding the research projects of all of those people who are swilling at the public trough.

    Evidently neither I, nor my employer , is getting a good return.

    How about a little plain common horse sense RW; the ocean waters move around (meander) in paths somewhat determined by the ocean bottom geography, and at speeds of at most afew knots (on one hand). Meanwhile the atmosphere above the ocean moves around in completely differrent patterns often governed by continental geographies hundreds or thousands of miles from the ocean, and it moves at speeds from near zero to triple digit speeds.
    So the air and the water are never in contact for long enough to come to any sort of equilibrium whatsoever; so why in the blazes would even an 8th grade high school science student ever imagine that somehow they are correlated; or even at the same temperature,;as has been assumed by the climate science community for several hundred years; well maybe 150 anyway.

    In any case, the ocean buoy results were reported in one of those popular press releases; either NYT, or Nature/Science/British tabloids, and referenceing the peer reviewed scientific paper. Somewhere I have both buried in a pile of papers maybe 200 feet thick. Make that 20 feet thick; I was getting a little AlGorythm glitch there.

    if I can find it I will post it.

    George

  79. apocalypsecakes says:

    This is just more proof that we’ll be eating global warming hot apple pies before too long. They look like this: http://apocalypsecakes.wordpress.com/2009/05/28/global-warming-hot-apple-pie/

  80. VinceW says:

    But wouldn’t this heat be quickly dissipated and result only in a temporary spike?

  81. Keith W says:

    Argo buoy pressure sensor problem. The problem is considered severe. The impact on data?

    http://www.argo.ucsd.edu/FrAbout_Argo.html
    http://www.argo.ucsd.edu/seabird_notice.html

    Notice 1: problem with SBE CTD pressure sensors on Argo floats, recommendation to stop float deployments and return CTDs to Sea-Bird for repair.

    Dear Argo colleagues,

    As many of you are aware, we have been working to understand the details of a problem with the Druck pressure sensors used in SBE-41 and SBE-41CP CTDs on Argo floats. The name given to the problem is “Druck micro-leaks” because in 3 instances, in the last two years, we have identified that oil from the sealed inner sensor chamber is leaking out through micro-cracks in glass-to-metal seals that bring sensor signals out through the back of the sensor. The oil leak rate is very slow, just a few micro-litres per month. As oil leaks, a flexible titanium diaphragm, that transmits ocean pressure to the oil chamber, bends into the sensor chamber to make up for the oil loss. As oil leaks, the sensor develops a progressive negative offset in measured pressure, and this becomes evident in Argo data as a negative surface pressure. With enough oil loss the diaphragm deflects far enough to contact and short out the pressure sensing element. There is evidence that the diaphragm bottoms out and does not result in a further leak of oil or ocean water through the sensor.

    In early March 2009 an expanded analysis of Argo surface pressures, done by Dana Swift of University of Washington, revealed an increase in the occurrence rate of floats exhibiting negative surface pressures from floats deployed in 2007 and later. The jump in occurrence rate is alarming, from low 3% of floats pre-2007 to about 12% of the floats analyzed from the 2007 deployment. With a recent analysis from Scripps, data from a total of 500 floats has been scrutinized. The best recent statistics are that floats deployed in 2008 are showing an even higher occurrence rate, greater than 10% and perhaps up to 30%. One caution is that it can take up to 500 days at 1000 dbars for an Argo float to exhibit a sufficient negative pressure offset to distinguish it from healthy sensors. Therefore, the occurrence rate for Druck microleaks in 2008 and early 2009 floats may take another year to establish.

    Regardless of exact statistics, the pressure problem and its consequences are severe. At Sea-Bird, we have stopped shipping any CTDs for Argo floats until we can identify and use pressure sensors that will operate properly for float lifetimes.

    We strongly recommend that float manufacturers stop shipping floats to customers, and return CTDs to Sea-Bird for evaluation and repair.

    And we strongly recommend that the Argo community stop deploying floats, and consult with the float manufacturers about the logistics for getting CTDs returned and repaired.

    The urgency to return floats and CTDs immediately for the repair work is not high, however, because we do not have an immediate stock of pressure sensors suitable for replacement. We are working on 3 solutions:

    1) create a test procedure in the laboratory that can accelerate the microleak failure and consequently separate Druck sensors into the two distinct categories observed in Argo float data: the bad sensors (micro-leakers) and the good sensors that don’t drift at all for 5+ years. Despite very focused effort at Druck Ltd, in the UK and at Sea-Bird we have not been able to develop a reliable test yet. We are working on several test methods, and one test that could potentially be done by Argo scientists at their own facility, allowing the bad sensors to be identified and leaving good sensors and floats available to be deployed without further delay or a return to the US.

    2) we have a stock of about 100 pressure transducers from Paine that could be used for programs that must deploy floats soon. The Sea-Bird SBE-41 and 41CP CTDs were equipped with Paine pressure sensors until early 2000. The Paine sensors exhibit a positive drift with time but less than +10 dbars over the life of a float. The sensors also exhibit a span change (slope in pressure calibration) that has a magnitude of about 10% of the offset drift.

    3) finally, we have been working with a Swiss company, Kistler, to develop an alternative to the Druck sensor. Five years of effort and evaluation have produced a very promising sensor. That sensor is in the final stages of testing at Sea-Bird, but has passed all the design criteria in testing at Kistler and the first production batch of 100 sensors suitable for Argo floats is in the pipeline. That option should be available in one month.

    A report with more details of the microleak problem, field units, lab testing, etc is being prepared. We are also developing the details of the warranty relief that Sea-Bird will offer for this situation. The Argo community can expect these two reports very soon.

    While we are still in the initial phases of understanding the problem and the potential remedies, we welcome your questions and will do our best to answer them completely.

    Sincerely,

  82. Tim Clark says:

    rickM (21:39:56) :
    http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/hadsst2gl/from:1988/to:2008/plot/hadsst2gl/from:2002/to:2004/trend/plot/none
    Kind of interesting when viewed as just a cherry picked 20 year plot

    Even more interesting when the years cherry picked are 2001-2008.

  83. bill says:

    Ivan (08:30:20) :
    Did you take a look at this: http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/img/climate/research/ushcn/ts.ushcn_anom25_diffs_urb-raw_pg.gif
    Still think that “some data are adjusted upward, some downward…” Hm, I don’t think so

    Yes some are adjusted up some down just as my plots showed.
    http://img11.imageshack.us/img11/7440/gissrawtemps.jpg

    Perhaps instead of picking just one plot off the NASA page you should have referenced the whole page with explanations of the adjustments made.

    Quality Control, Homogeneity Testing, and Adjustment Procedures.
    http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/oa/climate/research/ushcn/ushcn.html

  84. jmrSudbury says:

    OT. RSS is down again.
    2009 4 0.202
    2009 5 0.090
    John M Reynolds

  85. hes name says:

    I’ve seen this chart of heat content the most lately, but this is the first about the change in documentation, so I’m guessing five years before they tell anyoen or let people know the graphs aren’t as accurate as they claimed? they did the same thing with the US( maybe world or both) temperature charts from Y2K or something they blamed it on (took five or so years to figure it out they said). So again Y2K mess continues, and Global Cooling from 1980′s jumped to conclusions too fast. And still… they can’t get the weather forcasts that great, they’re pretty acrurate but weather math involves Chaos, so slight mistakes early on only multiply and quickly make furthur out inaccurate, so predict weather/ temps 5 times 365 days out seems grain of salt matterial. also, I read bangledesh has gained land over last decades despite rising ocean levels, but saltwater may be an issue yet, but bigger issue might be: 3-5% annual population rise there despite severe poverty, or 11,000 people living on an island 6 feet above sea level, or quarter million people living 6ft above to 18 feet below sea level in Lousiana, just perspective rant, that’s why were learning more stuff because what we think just few years ago keeps getting proved wrong and stuff, just common sense and own experience keep getting proven.

    response to earlier post:
    http://arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere/IMAGES/ARCHIVE/20071231.jpg

    is december image, the 2007 video with big hole on one side is a summer image from 2007: http://arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere/IMAGES/ARCHIVE/20070821.jpg
    is what I’ve seen it looks like, after that point it probably refreezes for the year,
    compare july and august of 2007 and 08 and see it spread out from 07 to 08, between july august it melts alot both years,

    jump around http://arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere/IMAGES/ARCHIVE/ going by the dates on jpg’s

  86. BernieL says:

    Could this graph (Levitas et al) be the one that Dr Will Steffen gave to Australian Senator Steve Fielding last night (Monday 15/6) to convince him that Carbon emmissions is still driving global warming? Bob Carter was there, so perhap he can tell us.

    Story and audio here:
    http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2009/06/16/2599244.htm?section=australia

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