Why does Ocean Heat Content diverge from GISS projections?

Guest Post by Bob Tisdale:

Why Are OHC Observations (0-700m) Diverging From GISS Projections?

INTRODUCTION


My post “NODC Corrections to Ocean Heat Content (0-700m) Part 2” illustrated the divergence between observed Global Ocean Heat Content (OHC) and the GISS projected rise. Figure 1 shows that GISS models projected a rise of 0.98*10^22 Joules per year, but, since 2003, global OHC has only been rising at 0.079*10^22 Joules per year. How could there be such a significant difference between the projection and the observed OHC data?

http://i36.tinypic.com/5dscxg.png
Figure 1

GISS FAILS TO MODEL ENSO

Roger Pielke Sr discussed the disagreement between the GISS OHC projections and observations in his February 9, 2009 post ‘Update On A Comparison Of Upper Ocean Heat Content Changes With The GISS Model Predictions’. There he refers to a communication from James Hansen of GISS, a response to Pielke Sr and Christy, in which Mr. Hansen offers the GISS OHC projection. Refer to the linked response from Hansen here:
http://www.climatesci.org/publications/pdf/1116592Hansen.pdf

NOTE: In his response to Pielke Sr and Christy, Hansen writes, “Contrary to the claim of Pielke and Christy, our simulated ocean heat storage (Hansen et al., 2005) agrees closely with the observational analysis of Willis et al. (2004). All matters raised by Pielke and Christy were considered in our analysis and none of them alters our conclusions.” The Hansen et al (2005) paper is “Earth’s energy imbalance: Confirmation and implications.“ And the Willis et al (2004) paper is “Interannual Variability in Upper Ocean Heat Content, Temperature, and Thermosteric Expansion on Global Scales.” Link to abstract:
http://www.agu.org/pubs/crossref/2004/2003JC002260.shtml

Back to the topic of this post…

In his response to Pielke Sr and Christy, Hansen acknowledges that GISS does not account for ENSO in its models. He writes, “We note the absence of ENSO variability in our coarse resolution ocean model and Willis et al. note that a 10-year change in the tropics is badly aliased by ENSO variability.”

What Mr. Hansen fails to acknowledge is that ENSO also has significant impacts outside of the tropics.

SIGNIFICANT TRADITIONAL ENSO EVENTS CAUSE UPWARD STEP CHANGES IN OHC OF OCEAN BASINS

In my post “ENSO Dominates NODC Ocean Heat Content (0-700 Meters) Data”, I illustrated the upward step changes in OHC anomalies caused by significant traditional ENSO events such as those in 1972/73 and in 1997/98. This was done through simple comparison graphs of NINO3.4 SST anomalies, Sato Index data to illustrate the timing of explosive volcanic eruptions, and NODC (Levitus et al 2009) OHC anomaly data for individual ocean basins. Figures 2 through 4 are examples. In them, I’ve also highlighted the period GISS elected to model. Hansen explains the selection of those years in the response to Pielke and Christy linked above, “Our analysis focused on the past decade because: (1) this is the period when it was predicted that, in the absence of a large volcanic eruption, the increasing greenhouse effect would cause the planetary energy imbalance and ocean heat storage to rise above the level of natural variability (Hansen et al., 1997), and (2) improved ocean temperature measurements and precise satellite altimetry yield an uncertainty in the ocean heat storage, ~15% of the observed value, smaller than that of earlier times when unsampled regions of the ocean created larger uncertainty.”

But examination of the data illustrates variations that are caused primarily by natural variation, and much of these variations are apparent responses to ENSO, a variable that GISS does not model.

Figure 2 illustrates the monthly Tropical Indian and Pacific Ocean OHC anomaly data from January 1955 to June 2009. Note how the Tropical Indian and Pacific Ocean OHC anomaly data declines from the early-to-mid 1960s to 1973, then rises during the extended La Nina of 1973/74/75/76. And even though greenhouse gases (not illustrated) are rising from the late 1970s to 1999, there is a gradual decline in Tropical Indian and Pacific Ocean OHC anomalies. Some of this decline may be caused by the eruptions of El Chichon in 1982 and Mount Pinatubo in 1991, but their impacts are difficult to determine with the ENSO-related variability of the data. Then in 1998, Tropical Indian and Pacific Ocean OHC anomalies rise again during the multiyear La Nina that followed the significant 1997/98 El Nino. So regardless of the impacts of the El Chichon and Mount Pinatubo eruptions, the largest rises in OHC occurred during the two multiyear La Nina events associated with the El Nino events of 1972/73 and 1997/98. Also note that the period GISS elected to model captures one of these natural ENSO-induced upward step changes.
http://i35.tinypic.com/2j5tl4.png
Figure 2

Figure 3 illustrates the long-term OHC anomaly data for the South Pacific. The South Pacific OHC anomalies oscillate at or near 0 GJ/sq meter from 1971 to 1996 even though greenhouse gas emissions are increasing. The dip between the late 1960s and 1970 could be related to the volcanic eruption in 1963. If so, then the period of relatively flat OHC anomalies could be extended further back in time. What is certain is that there was a shift in South Pacific OHC anomalies, an upward step, in response to the 1997/98 El Nino. This happened, of course, during the period modeled by GISS.
http://i36.tinypic.com/2us7kvn.png
Figure 3

Like the Tropical Indian and Pacific Ocean OHC anomalies, the South Indian Ocean OHC anomalies decrease until the early 1970s, then rise in two steps in response to the La Nina events associated with the El Nino events of 1972/73 and 1997/98. Note the response of the South Indian Ocean OHC anomalies to the 1991 Mount Pinatubo eruption. Without that decline, the South Indian Ocean OHC anomalies are relatively flat though greenhouses gases are rising, similar to the South Pacific OHC data. And once more, the period GISS modeled captures the ENSO-induced rise associated with the 1997/98 El Nino.
http://i37.tinypic.com/2aetled.png
Figure 4

BUT ENSO RELEASES HEAT FROM THE TROPICAL PACIFIC

If ENSO events release heat from the tropical Pacific to the atmosphere, how then could they cause upward step changes in the OHC of other ocean basins?

During El Nino events, warm waters in the Pacific Warm Pool shift eastward to release heat that has been stored since the last La Nina event. Some of this warm water returns to the Pacific Warm Pool during the subsequent La Nina; some of it is transported to nearby ocean basins. This transport of warm water causes the OHC in those nearby oceans to rise. ENSO events also cause changes in Hadley and Walker circulation, changes in wind stress, and changes in cloud cover outside of the tropical Pacific. GCMs that do not model ENSO cannot account for these changes and cannot estimate their impacts on SST and OHC.

NORTH ATLANTIC OHC IS ALSO GOVERNED BY NATURAL VARIABLES

Over the past 50+ years, North Atlantic OHC anomalies rose at a rate that almost tripled the rise in global OHC anomalies. Refer to Figure 5. I discussed and illustrated the natural factors that impact the long-term North Atlantic OHC anomaly trends in the post “North Atlantic Ocean Heat Content (0-700 Meters) Is Governed By Natural Variables”. These natural variables include ENSO, the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO), and Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC). Unfortunately, the NODC OHC data only extends back to 1955. It is therefore impossible to determine how much of the excessive rise in the North Atlantic is related to AMOC.
http://i37.tinypic.com/34fche9.png
Figure 5

The Tropical North Atlantic OHC anomalies, Figure 6, show responses to ENSO events that are similar to the Tropical Indian and Pacific Ocean OHC data, Figure 2, except the tropical North Atlantic variations are imposed on what appears to be an AMOC-related positive trend. The period modeled by GISS included the response of the Tropical North Atlantic OHC anomalies to the 1997/98 El Nino.
http://i37.tinypic.com/292mwsy.png
Figure 6

Also discussed and illustrated in my post “North Atlantic Ocean Heat Content (0-700 Meters) Is Governed By Natural Variables”, Lozier et al (2008) in “The Spatial Pattern and Mechanisms of Heat-Content Change in the North Atlantic” identifies the North Atlantic Oscillation as the driver of decadal OHC variability in the high latitudes of the North Atlantic. Link:
http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/abstract/319/5864/800?rss=1

The decadal variations in the NAO (inverted and scaled) do appear to agree with the High-Latitude North Atlantic OHC anomalies, Figure 7, until the aftermath of the 1997/98 El Nino. Note again that the period that GISS elected to model captures this NAO-related rise in High-Latitude North Atlantic OHC anomalies. Did the GISS model include the NAO in its analysis of OHC? I can find no mention of it in Hansen et al (2005) “Earth’s energy imbalance: Confirmation and implications.“

http://i38.tinypic.com/2rdf3ao.png
Figure 7

It appears that the North Atlantic OHC anomalies peaked in 2005. Are they on a multidecadal decline now? If the North Atlantic OHC is, in fact, governed by the same processes that cause the multidecadal variations in North Atlantic SST anomalies known as the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation (AMO), this would have a major impact on the GISS projections. Did GISS include this natural variability in its model? I can find no reference to it in Hansen et al (2005) “Earth’s energy imbalance: Confirmation and implications.“

IN SUMMARY

It appears the reason OHC observations are diverging from the GISS projection is GISS failed to recognize the impact of natural variables such as AMOC, the NAO, and ENSO on OHC. GISS assumed the rise in OHC from 1993 to 2003 was caused by anthropogenic forcings, when, in fact, there is little evidence to support this in the OHC data of the individual ocean basins. In order for OHC anomalies to rise in agreement with the GISS projection, there would have had to have been another significant traditional El Nino followed by a multiyear La Nina, and there would have had to have been another shift in the NAO, and there would have had to have been a continued rise in North Atlantic OHC anomalies. Unfortunately for GISS (and for the IPCC who relies on GCMs that fail to model natural variables properly), these natural variables have not cooperated.

A CLOSING NOTE ABOUT THE IMPACTS OF ANTHROPOGENIC GREENHOUSE GASES ON OHC

I was once asked by a blogger at another website, “What is the source of the energy necessary to raise SSTs?” I have revised my response to include OHC.

The ultimate source of energy necessary to raise SSTs would be an increase in solar irradiance, regardless of whether the increase in solar irradiance resulted from variations in the solar cycle, or from changes in cloud cover, or from a reduction in stratospheric volcanic aerosols. The impact of shortwave radiation (visible light) on SST depends on factors such as the turbidity of the water and sea surface albedo, which in turn depend on other variables including wind speed and chlorophyll concentration. Downwelling shortwave radiation reaches ocean depths of a few hundred meters. Therefore, changes in downwelling shortwave radiation would have a significant impact on OHC.

An increase in downward longwave (infrared) radiation caused by anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions, on the other hand, can only warm the top few centimeters of the oceans. So an increase in downward longwave (infrared) radiation only warms the top few centimeters while downwelling shortwave radiation (visible light) warms the top few hundred meters.

However, it has been argued by AGW proponents that through mixing caused by waves and wind stress turbulence, the downward longwave (infrared) radiation would warm the mixed layer of the ocean. This in turn would affect the temperature gradient between the mixed layer and skin, dampening the outward flow of heat from the ocean to the atmosphere. The end result: OHC would rise due to an increase in downward longwave (infrared) radiation caused by increases in greenhouse gas emissions.

The OHC data illustrated in this post provide little support for the argument that downward longwave (infrared) radiation causes OHC to rise. OHC anomalies for the Tropical Indian and Pacific Oceans and for the South Indian and South Pacific Oceans show little upward trend from the early 1970s to the late 1990s. The only significant rises in OHC for those datasets occur in response to significant traditional ENSO events.

To emphasize this, the North Pacific OHC anomaly graph, Figure 8, illustrates a long-term decline in OHC from the late 1950s to the late 1980s, followed by a sudden upward shift. This long-term decline does not appear to be consistent with arguments that accelerating greenhouse gas emissions cause OHC to rise. The upward shift in the late 1980s appears to be associated with the 1986/87/88 El Nino. This El Nino is one of the two El Nino events since 1976 that caused upward step changes in SST anomalies of the East Indian and West Pacific Oceans and in the TLT anomalies of the Mid-To-High Latitudes of the Northern Hemisphere–the second being the 1997/98 El Nino. Why did the 1986/87/88 ENSO event cause the upward step in North Pacific OHC anomalies? Or was it caused by a shift in some other natural variable?
http://i35.tinypic.com/2czvw5l.png
Figure 8

As illustrated in this post, the impacts of natural variables such as ENSO, NAO, and AMOC dominate short-term and long-term OHC variability. ENSO events also cause upward step changes in SST and TLT anomalies, as noted above. These impacts on SST and TLT anomalies were discussed and illustrated in my posts:
1.Can El Nino Events Explain All of the Global Warming Since 1976? – Part 1
2.Can El Nino Events Explain All of the Global Warming Since 1976? – Part 2
3.RSS MSU TLT Time-Latitude Plots…Show Climate Responses That Cannot Be Easily Illustrated With Time-Series Graphs Alone

If and when GCMs like those used by GISS, and in turn by the IPCC, are capable of reproducing ENSO events and their multiyear aftereffects on SST, TLT, and OHC anomalies, they may be capable of determining “Earth’s energy imbalance: Confirmation and implications.“ At present, they are not.

SOURCES

The NINO3.4 SST anomaly data is based on HADISST data available through the KNMI Climate Explorer. The NODC OHC data is also available through Climate Explorer:
http://climexp.knmi.nl/selectfield_obs.cgi?someone@somewhere

Sato Index data is available through GISS:
http://data.giss.nasa.gov/modelforce/strataer/
Specifically:
http://data.giss.nasa.gov/modelforce/strataer/tau_line.txt

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86 thoughts on “Why does Ocean Heat Content diverge from GISS projections?

  1. > So an increase in downward longwave (infrared) radiation only warms the top few centimeters while downwelling shortwave radiation (visible light) warms the top few hundred meters.

    Adding that the thermal mass of the oceans is ~720 times larger than the thermal mass for the air, we may conclude that varying CO2 cannot impact the heat content in our world significantly but varying cloud cover can.

  2. To what degree is OHC influenced by hydrothermal systems, and other mechanisms of heat transport in the oceanic crust? It would appear that there is no consideration of that in this or any other discussions I’ve read on OHC. Looks like a huge unknown to me.

  3. Why do observations diverge from projections? Because the people making the projections really don’t know how the system works.

    Whenever your observations do not match your expectations, it is a sure sign that your hypothesis is wrong. The scientific method hasn’t changed, it’s just being ignored by people with an agenda other than learning the truth.

    Now lots of experiments don’t outcomes that don’t match the expected results. This tells the scientists involved how the world does not work. Science is advanced a much from failure as success. GISS needs to admit their errors and go back to the drawing board.

  4. John Galt (11:21:09) : Kudo’s to you John! Well spoken for this “is” the problem in the Climate Science field…”All” input, research is not included..more and more is arriving each week…and alot of it is conterdicting AGW! For what I’ve learned on AGW, I cannot and would not “trust” their results…And you wonder “why” the polls are seeing decline in Belief of AGW…It’s not to late for Science to get together and “hash” these findings out and to make sure they are “creditable”. To keep the Politicians out and make sure the Journalists tell “both” sides to the story…

  5. Seems to me that we would get a much better correlation between the warming of the oceans and cloud cover. As Svensmark observed, clouds and cosmic radiation go together. If we crank in cosmic radiation in the climate models we will find a much better correlation than with the amount of CO2. This would explain both the rapid rise in the 90’s and the slight cooling in the 2000’s. My uneducated guess is that the CO2 influence is less than 1/3 of what was predicted. Some of the rest is cosmic radiation and its associated increased cloud cover.
    One more thought. Could supernovas in our own galaxy be the trigger for ice ages?

  6. Very interesting stuff! I read “The impact of shortwave radiation (visible light) on SST depends on factors such as the turbidity of the water and sea surface albedo, which in turn depend on other variables including wind speed and chlorophyll concentration.” and thought of how turbidity again is related to algae, which consume CO2 and release O2… The oceans and the cloud system is such a fascinating complex system that as a mathematician and computer programmer I’m extremely skeptical to whether it will ever be possible to model it in enough detail to make any predictions at all.

  7. I thought IR only penetrates the ocean surface layer, and effectively causes increased evaporation. So the result is essentially no net heating of the water.

  8. I think no AGW proponent scientist would argue that downward LW radiation can warm the ocean, as that means the atmosphere would warm the ocean.
    The ocean can gain heat via the Sun radiation or, with a costant Sun, via a decrease of heat escaping through the sea surface.
    Heat goes out from the ocean via evaporation or via outgoing LW radiation.
    Evaporation is strongly influenced by wind. Outgoing LW radiation depends on how much the medium in between the source (the ocean) and the sink (the sideral space) is prone to let energy flow through it. That medium is the atmosphere that, as far as LW radiation is concerned, affects the speed of the outgoing radiation from the ocean to space.

  9. Charles,

    I apologize for being obnoxious. I thought my last “test” indicated that. I am not called a “coward” very often. I suppose the Lone Ranger was a “coward” too.

    Reply: In context I now see what you were up to and remove my recommendation for the ban. Two points. Please refer to Anthony in the future by his full name and you may want to reign in that ego. ~ charles the moderator

  10. What Mr. Hansen fails to acknowledge is that ENSO also has significant impacts outside of the tropics.

    He seems to not acknowledge the full picture of reality.

  11. DJ Meredith: You asked, “To what degree is OHC influenced by hydrothermal systems, and other mechanisms of heat transport in the oceanic crust?”

    I’ve never seen it discussed in any paper.

  12. Speaking of ENSO and Oceans I have been saying El Modoki has been ramping up as of recent, just look at the TAO site, the SOI index is currently falling at a good clip as well, I say El Modoki because this isn’t the classic El Nino and even the warmest spot isn’t a huge area like the one in 1997.

    http://www.pmel.noaa.gov/cgi-tao/cover.cgi?P1=/tao/jsdisplay/plots/gif/sst_wind_anom_5day_ps32.gif&P2=900&P3=456&script=jsdisplay/scripts/biggif_startup.csh

    What hasn’t been seen as a result yet of this event is SST’s going to higher levels when you look at the UAH site.

    Heat content in the ENSO region isn’t in an incredible amount in a large space

    http://www.pmel.noaa.gov/cgi-tao/cover.cgi?P1=heat&P2=20091021-October-23-2009&P3=month&P4=off&script=jsdisplay/scripts/lat-lon-5day-jsd.csh

    It also seems apparent low humidity in the region is making heat release easier too.

    http://www.pmel.noaa.gov/cgi-tao/cover.cgi?P1=rh&P2=20091021-October-23-2009&P3=month&P4=off&script=jsdisplay/scripts/lat-lon-5day-jsd.csh

    Then you look at air temps. the hottest spot is kind of in a small area compared to what it can do in the ENSO region.

  13. Paolo M. (12:40:02) : True but with an increasing amount of ‘heat in the pipeline’ – caused by the speed of the outgoing radiation from the ocean to space slowing down – you would expect the oceans to keep gaining heat, right? What are the implications if the oceans do not gain heat as suggested by the Argo data?

  14. What Mr. Hansen fails to acknowledge is that ENSO also has significant impacts outside of the tropics.

    Does he fail to do it intentionally?

  15. Bob
    I agree with your comments. I have found that Met Office also seems to exclude natural variables in their models and come up also with inflated warming
    *AMO effect seems to be excluded
    *NAO effect is not captured their models
    *MOC effect is assumed to weaken in response to warming from greenhouse gases by as much as 50% in some future periods
    * PDO spatial Pacific Pattern is not mentioned
    *El Nino/La Nina effects may be included but how frequently and at what amplitude is not clear .
    * Effect or inclusion of solar cycles not mentioned.

    They are currently projecting

    * 2009/2010Winter temperatures to be near or above average for Europe
    * 2009/2010 winter to be milder than last year in temperatures for UK
    * Half of the years 2010 to 2015 will be warmer than 1998 record year
    1998 global temp anomaly was 0.546.C.[ In 2008 it was 0 .326 C.] per Hadcrut3
    * Warming only for the next decade [per Vicky Pope on BBC radio] as opposed to M.Latifs [Germany] who forecasts leveling off or cooling next decade or two
    * 4C rise in 50 years[ 0.08 c/year] [a rate that is 20 times faster than the trend of the last 158 years[ 0.004/year] and 10 times faster than the trend of the last 100 years [0.0075 C/year] and 11 times faster than the trend of the last 10 years [0.00752C /year] .[hadcrut3 ]

  16. “… and you may want to reign in that ego. ~: ctm

    Sorry, but I give up on Leif’s ego. Oh, you mean mine. Does that mean I should not challenge what Leif says? I know he lends a lot of credibility to this site but outside his field he is merely mortal.

    I’ve accomplished my mission.

    Good luck.

    Tell Tony so long.

  17. Do you want us to answer that question?

    Here it is: Easy!…Those models are the toys of grown up kids who call themseves scientists.
    There are great american scientists, but you won´t find them among government employees.

  18. Bob Tisdale (12:59:33) :
    DJ Meredith: You asked, “To what degree is OHC influenced by hydrothermal systems, and other mechanisms of heat transport in the oceanic crust?”

    I’ve never seen it discussed in any paper.

    Bob
    I’ve tried to raise this paper for discussion in comments here a few times since I came across it last summer, without much success.

    http://www.ocean-sci.net/5/203/2009/os-5-203-2009.pdf

    It’s called “Geothermal heating, diapycnal mixing and the abyssal circulation”. I found it interesting because it seems to support my view that the contribution of geothermal energy to ocean heating is not very well understood and probably seriously underestimated. I don’t know if you are familiar with it, but your knowledge of ocean heat is probably much better than mine and I’d be interested to hear your views on it.

  19. Good work and a step in the right direction.

    Climate shifts seem to primarily result from changes in the rates of energy release by the oceans on several cyclical timescales.

    No models or global energy budgets cater for variable energy release from oceans. All assume that the oceanic contribution is static.

    Once one accepts that ocean energy release is variable then the significance of greenhouse gases becomes pretty much insignificant in the scale of things. The oceans keep the air warmer than it should be, not those greenhouse gases.

    Without the energy flow from the oceans GHGs count for nothing as witness the speed of cooling in dry continmental air masses over land as soon as the sun goes down. Night time downwelling infra red doesn’t help there at all. One additionally needs an inflow of humid air from the oceans to reduce the rate of energy loss to space at all.

    Downwelling infrared seems not to get more than a few microns into the ocean surface before being released back to the air as latent heat in water vapour with an enhanced cooling of the molecules below by virtue of evaporation having a net cooling effect.

    An article on the topic of downwellling IR will be available shortly at climaterealists.com.

  20. matt v: You wrote, “PDO spatial Pacific Pattern is not mentioned…” which reminded me of something I’ve noticed about the comparisons of outputs of climate models versus observations, especially when they provide them as patterns on maps or something other than a time-series graph.

    In Hansen et al (2005), they write (as an intro to the part I want to call your attention to), “Figure 3 compares the latitude-depth profile of the observed ocean heat content change with the five climate model runs and the mean of the five runs. There is a large variability among the model runs, revealing the chaotic ‘‘ocean weather’’ fluctuations that occur on such a time scale. This variability is even more apparent in maps of change in ocean heat content (fig. S2).”

    The full Figure 3 is here:

    Here’s the rest of that paragraph, (the part I find interesting): “Yet the model runs contain essential features of observations, with deep penetration of heat anomalies at middle to high latitudes and shallower anomalies in the tropics.”

    I’ve deleted the individual model runs in their Figure 3 so that we can compare the observations and the 5-run mean:

    I don’t see that the “model runs contain essential features of observations, with deep penetration of heat anomalies at middle to high latitudes and shallower anomalies in the tropics.” In fact, I see very little similarities between the model and the observations.

    Same thing holds true for a paper I was asked to comment on over at Accuweather : Vecchi et al (2006) “Weakening of tropical Pacific atmospheric circulation due to anthropogenic forcing”. Link:
    http://www.gfdl.noaa.gov/bibliography/related_files/gav0602.pdf

    To me, it shows how poorly GCMs model atmospheric processes, such as Sea Level Pressure. Refer to their Figure 1 “Spatial pattern of observed and modelled sea level pressure linear trends”, which compares Observed and GCM hindcasts of Sea Level Pressure Trends for the tropical Pacific. Visually compare Cells a “Observed” and b “All Forcings”. The only thing remotely similar is the sign of the trends, but that’s only in places. Other than that there is very little agreement between the spatial patterns of the two illustrations.

    Now let’s look at Vecchi et al (2006) Figure 3 “Observed and modelled evolution of DSLP since the nineteenth Century” to see why the spatial pattern modeling is so poor. Cell a shows the “Observed” delta SLP. Note how it fluctuates with very little trend until the late 1970s, then there’s the dip and rebound from the late 1970s to 2000. (Does the dip in the late 1970s reflect the impact of the Pacific Climate shift on SLP data? It’s an odd coincidence if it doesn’t.) Now look at the Modeled dataset in Cell b. The model outputs only cycle along a decreasing trend. There’s no evidence of the shift, no real dip and rebound that’s evident in the observed data. Visually comparing Cells a and b, there’s very little similarity between the frequency and amplitude of the variations. Does the model reflect reality? No. Not even close. There’s no shift. The wiggles don’t match. This is why they only compare trends. Pretty easy to match trends with assumed forcings that have no basis in reality.

    In short, just because the modelers say there are similarities between their models and observations, it doesn’t make it fact.

  21. To calculate how e.g. heat content in oceans is changed by changing CO2 concentration, it is needed true vertical temperature function up to middle troposphere, which covers whole sea surface. And of course it must cover different times: day and night, winter and summer. This is minimum start condition to perform calculation.

    I guess that this information is not available accurately enough at present times. And if some day it is, then you have to have correct physical model and formulas…

    So let’s go back to these projections after 1000 years. Those who present them today, make themselves only silly.

  22. Dave Wendt (14:12:13): Thanks for the link. I took one run through and noticed this: “Of course, the deep ocean is subjected to another heat source: the geothermal flux due to lithospheric cooling. Yet the latter is usually neglected in oceanographic studies, primarily because it amounts to less than 2% of surface heat fluxes.”

    DJ Meredith, there’s your answer. They also note this about a global heatflow dataset for ocean studies, “To the best of our knowledge, such a dataset does not currently exist, as the measurement of conductive heatflow in the superficial sediments are too sparse.”

  23. Anything associated with Hansen should automatically have pseudo added to it.Why aren’t REAL scientists who follow the rules of science not screaming from the roof tops about these phonies? Or is it a case of follow the money?

  24. Nice analysis, Bob.Though a layman with some scientific background-I always enjoy this site,as it is hard to contradict the facts that are presented..
    matt v. (13:47:00) : -sound like the Met office has the same modeling as NOAA.
    I think the NH is going to have one “Dickens” of a winter…

  25. Stephen Wilde (14:22:40) :
    ——————–

    Stephen, have you ever taken a stab at the exact mathematics of this? I’m talking about downwelling IR in the tropics (where, as I understand it, 85% of the energy from the sun enters the earth) and, in particular, the tropical oceans. This could be done initially using a mean value for humidity and using just ppms 368-388 of CO2 to account for the likely real anthropogenic component and taking into account all the overlapping H2O absorption bands of the high water vapor levels (for day and night).

    The fact that Joel Shore (who, whatever you think about him, is clearly a very intelligent and booksmart individual with a grasp of the primary literature) could not give a number for this, gave me another reason for thinking that this could be a very inconvenient calculation of the warmistas. Also, keying from Leone (14:53:47)’s comment – how much of this purported “extra” IR downwelling energy eventually exits above the middle troposphere (and lower even) without warming anything at all of relevance, but just takes a little longer. Taken together, I’m wondering if the combined “forcing” numbers of any relevance to ocean heat content are so small that they could even be dwarfed by TSI variation in the tropics, let alone bigger cloud cover variations, and the blasting of direct energy from the sun into deeper water.

    Since recent AGW mathematics seems to focus more on bamboozling people, e.g. the farcical (not my first choice of f-word) 1000-year CO2 half-life paper, I’m not surprised this calculation is difficult to find. Wouldn’t Lindzen have published something on this though ??

  26. Bob,
    I disagree with your assumption that ENSO causes significant heat storage and release properties. In my view, your hypothesis misses other heat exchange mechanisms such as changes in atmospheric albedo created by changes in cloud cover, changes in cold water volume that assends to the surface that is caused by trade wind variability and etc. I also noticed a lack of discussion about changes in solar activity (solar frequencies reach greater depths than IR and higher energy photons are usually not included in the AGW twisted definition of “TSI”)

  27. Downwelling shortwave radiation reaches ocean depths of a few hundred meters.

    Downwelling is also the wrong term. Downwelling refers to a convection driven effect.

    I’d say,

    ‘Shortwave radiation penetrates the ocean to depths of a few hundred meters.’

    Although, a few hundred meters would be an extreme case. The average depth for say 99% absorption of shortwave radiation would be much less. Sorry I don’t have a number for you.

    BTW, my comments (criticisms) are to help improve your product. Keep up the good work.

  28. To what degree is OHC influenced by hydrothermal systems, and other mechanisms of heat transport in the oceanic crust?

    OHC refers to the heat content of water above the thermocline. Below the thermocline all water is at 4C. For heat from the crust to warm the OHC (above the thermocline) would require convection driven overturning as warm geothermal waters rise. To the best of my knowledge this is rarely observed, which would indicate it is a minimal effect on OHC.

    Few people realize how much heat enters the oceans from sunlight. Around 90% of solar insolation penetrates the ocean and is absorbed, which means more than 60% of all the sunlight that reaches the Earth’s surface is absorbed by the oceans.

  29. Why might the climate never be adequately modeled? The answer is another question: ‘But why turbulence?’
    ===================================

  30. Philip_B (16:37:50) :

    Thanks. I meant downradiating too – in the atmosphere, not the ocean.

  31. MikeC: You wrote, “I disagree with your assumption that ENSO causes significant heat storage and release properties.”

    It’s not an assumption. The data reveals what I wrote. Refer to the following comparison of NINO3.4 SST anomalies and Tropical Pacific OHC. It illustrates that El Nino events discharge heat and La Nina events recharge it. If the La Nina lasts for more than one season, tropical Pacific OHC rises above the level it was at prior to the initiating El Nino. http://i36.tinypic.com/eqwdvl.png

    You continued, “In my view, your hypothesis misses other heat exchange mechanisms such as changes in atmospheric albedo created by changes in cloud cover, changes in cold water volume that assends to the surface that is caused by trade wind variability and etc.”

    I included in the post above a general catch-all sentence: “ENSO events also cause changes in Hadley and Walker circulation, changes in wind stress, and changes in cloud cover outside of the tropical Pacific.” I’ve gone into much more detail about the multitude of processes that take place before, during, and after ENSO events in a number of past posts, too many to list here, but those were not the points I was trying emphasize with this post. If you’re interested, there’s a search feature in the upper left-hand corner of any of my webpages that allow you to search my site.

    http://bobtisdale.blogspot.com/

    You wrote, “I also noticed a lack of discussion about changes in solar activity (solar frequencies reach greater depths than IR and higher energy photons are usually not included in the AGW twisted definition of “TSI”)”

    Did you miss the portion of the discussion under the heading of “A CLOSING NOTE ABOUT THE IMPACTS OF ANTHROPOGENIC GREENHOUSE GASES ON OHC”? Or are you asking about the solar cycle itself?

  32. Philip_B: You wrote, “OHC refers to the heat content of water above the thermocline.”

    Refer to Levitus et al (2005).
    ftp://ftp.nodc.noaa.gov/pub/data.nodc/woa/PUBLICATIONS/grlheat05.pdf

    In it, they discuss and illustrate OHC at various depths: 0-300m, 0-700m, and 0-3000m.

    Refer also to von Schuckmann et al (2008).

    http://www.ifremer.fr/docelec/doc/2009/publication-6802.pdf

    The majority of the paper (Sections 3 and 4) discusses the natural variables that impact short-term changes in OHC.

  33. Ninderthana: You asked, “But why do changes in the Earth’s rotation rate precede changes in the seas surface temperatures in the North Pacific by ~ 8 years?”

    Without links to the source of the data, all I can say is, I don’t see the “remarkable agreement between the years of the peak (absolute) deviations of the LOD from the long-term trend and the years where the phase of the PDO reconstruction is most positive.” I don’t see it at all.

  34. Ninderthana,

    Why do changes in the Earth’s rotation rate precede changes in the seas surface temperatures in the North Pacific?

    Less ocean surface evaporation = increasing SSTs + less atmospheric H2O = Decreased atmospheric mass = Faster Earth rotation

    More ocean surface evaporation = Decreasing SSTs + more atmospheric H2O = Increased atmospheric mass = Slower Earth rotation

    Not sure about the 8 years though. Bob’s better qualified to talk about the periodicity of SST effects.

  35. Ninderthana,

    It’s the ice skater phenomena. Move mass toward the center and the speed of rotation increases. Move mass away from the center and the speed of rotation decreases.

  36. Philip_B: You wrote, “Downwelling is also the wrong term. Downwelling refers to a convection driven effect.”

    The reason I’ve used downwelling in this post is because I’ve used it in the past when I was quoting from Pavlakis et al (2008) “ENSO Surface Shortwave Radiation Forcing over the Tropical Pacific”.

    http://www.atmos-chem-phys-discuss.net/8/6697/2008/acpd-8-6697-2008-print.pdf

    They use “downwelling shortwave” in the part I quoted, but looking at their use a little closer, throughout the rest of the paper they use “downward shortwave”. It appears their one use of downwelling was a mistake that I parrotted in subsequent posts. I’ll make the change to downward in the version at my website. Thanks.

  37. Thanks Bob,

    I continue to be impressed with the amount and quality of analysis you are generating. If the various periodicities you cite were included in the modeling, the model back-testing would have also have to account for the independent temperature correlations attached to each of the oceanic oscillations. It is most likely that no amount of model tuning and knob twisting could accommodate correlation to the instrumental record and incorporate these disparate temperature correlations.

  38. Paul Vaughan (18:44:29): Do you have a source for the LOD data used in the graph? Also, the North Pacific SST anomalies that you linked are not the PDO that Ninderthana linked.

  39. Philip_B (18:31:40) “Not sure about the 8 years though.”

    Interesting notes. My guess would be that integrals & derivatives are a part of the physics.

  40. Bob, I’m not sure what your point is. I was just explaining that geothermal warming of water would have to move up to the thermocline in order to effect OHC.

    If measurements are made below the thermocline, they would be irrelevant to OHC changes, since by definition all water below the thermocline is at 4C. I’m ignoring deep ocean currents and salinity effects here.

    Wikipedia explains it,

    In the ocean, the thermocline may be thought of as an invisible blanket which separates the upper mixed layer from the calm deep water below.

    The thermocline can be thought (and is) the lower limit of the Earth’s climate.

    BTW, the wikipedia article is wrong in stating (or at least implying) the thermocline is the lower limit of turbulence due to surface wave action. Sunlight will penetrate further than wave action and hence is more important in locating the thermocline.

    This is a better explanation,

    http://www.windows.ucar.edu/tour/link=/earth/Water/temp.html&edu=high

  41. Bob Tisdale (19:02:40) “Do you have a source for the LOD data [...]?”

    Length of Day (LOD) time series can be obtained as follows:

    Annual – RGO – 1623+:

    http://hpiers.obspm.fr/eop-pc/earthor/ut1lod/lod-1623.html

    Annual – Nasa JPL – 1832-1997:

    http://hpiers.obspm.fr/eoppc/series/longterm/jpl_c.eop

    Daily – IERS – 1962+:

    http://www.iers.org/products/177/11221/orig/eopc04_IAU2000.62-now

    More generally:
    Earth Orientation Parameters (EOP) series can be obtained via:

    http://hpiers.obspm.fr/eop-pc/

    Important Note:
    Measurement methods improved dramatically around 1960.

    Strongly Recommended:
    Plot the error estimates before working with the earlier data.


    Bob Tisdale (19:02:40) “[...] the North Pacific SST anomalies that you linked are not the PDO that Ninderthana linked.”

    There appears to have been a misunderstanding.
    See the August 2008 blog entry [as clarified at Ninderthana (18:11:21)].
    The direct link:

    http://astroclimateconnection.blogspot.com/search?updated-min=2008-01-01T00%3A00%3A00-08%3A00&updated-max=2009-01-01T00%3A00%3A00-08%3A00&max-results=1

    Note: There are connections between the different blog entries there. If anyone is curious, they can see here:

    http://www.sfu.ca/~plv/DRAFT_VaughanPL2009CO_TPM_SSD_LNC.htm

    Specifically:

  42. Bob thank you for this enlightening presentation.

    Question: How does the GISS model pass muster in the scientific world with such glaring limitations (ignoring ENSO).

    Then the same question could be raised about the obvious flaws in the UKMet (thanks Matt V for exposing those).

    It seems that the modelers of both are using the “garbage in, garbage out” principle…to prop up the garbage theory, that man is warming the planet.

    It seems too fantastic and corrupt to be true…that there is this type of gross negligence (and even malfeasance) …in the august halls of science.

    But the evidence is mounting…and one day this house of cards will collapse.

    The good thing is….mother nature will NOT be fooled.

    She is already making her opinion known on the subject….

    cue THUNDERCLAP….

    Chris
    Norfolk, VA, USA

  43. On thread comment;
    Dr. Hanson et al and GISS have been wrong so often they should have no credibility left among real climate scientists.

    About ocean heating;
    Water molecules are not heated all the same. Some carry more energy then others, the local temperature is the average of all the local molecules energy/density. More energetic molecules rise and less energetic ones sink, 4’C is the maximum density after which the cooler molecules also rise. This weirdness causes cold ice to form atop warmer water and warm water to stratify into hot water atop cool water. In a solar heated hot water storage tank, 100’f into the middle of the tank will stratify to 160’f on top of 70’f water in the bottom of the tank in 8 to 10 hours.
    I wonder how long it would it would take a solar heated 90’f molecule to rise 600 feet in the open ocean?

  44. Bob Tisdale (18:30:32)

    Bob,

    The surface temperature data is your own data, so I can’t help you there.
    The other data is freely available at:

    http://hpiers.obspm.fr/eop-pc/earthor/ut1lod/lod-1623.html

    I would be greatful if you would have another look and this time just look at the blue temperature curve for the Eastern half of the North Pacific.

    If you really want, I can give a cross-correlation coefficient but I have always found that an eye-ball appraisal is usually enough.

  45. Philip_B (19:12:51) :

    The thermocline can be thought (and is) the lower limit of the Earth’s climate.

    The following is from the conclusory discussion section of the paper I referenced to Bob in my comment above

    The case is hereby made that geothermal heating is an important actor of abyssal dynamics. We recommend its inclusion in every model dealing with the long-term ocean circulation, for it substantially alters bottom water mass characteristics and generates a non-negligible circulation in the present-day climate.

    Since, in their calculations and experiments for this paper the authors excluded any contributions from sea floor vents or volcanism, as did, at least from my reading of it, the paper that provides the most often quoted number for oceanic geothermal heat flux [Stein and Stein], their conclusions are, as they admit, a conservative least case.
    Since I am strictly an amateur in this area, I can’t vouch for the credentials or expertise of these authors. But they did manage to keep their paper relatively free from any extraneous CC verbiage, so I’m willing to grant them tacit superiority to Wiki in this case.

  46. Bob,

    If you want far more definitive proof that lunar tides play a role in the development of ENSO events, I can send you the pre-print of my paper off-line.
    If you are willing my email is irgeoATozemail.com.au.

    Dr. Ian WIlson

  47. Philip_B (19:12:51) :

    I am bemused that in the mixing of waters, thermocline and all, the tidal currents are not taken into account. There are tides twice a day on the thermocline level for sure, and the tidal wave will create turbulances when it hits the geography of the bottom, as it does in shallower waters, and this should create mixing.

    It is as if one is ignoring the effect of a mixer on the cake dough.

  48. savethesharks: You asked, “How does the GISS model pass muster in the scientific world with such glaring limitations (ignoring ENSO).” You then asked the same question about the Hadley Centre’s model.

    There is a misunderstanding within the climate community that the relationship between ENSO and global temperature is linear. It is not. But since they believe the relationship is linear, they treat ENSO as noise. Refer to:

    http://bobtisdale.blogspot.com/2009/09/relationship-between-enso-and-global.html

  49. Ninderthana and Paul Vaughan: Regarding my 18:30:32 comment in which I stated that I didn’t see the relationship, sorry, I missed the second note directing me to the August post. The graph in the August post, as both of you clarified, does show a clearer agreement. But I haven’t studied LOD so I have no basis from which to comment.

    Ninderthana, you wrote, “If you want far more definitive proof that lunar tides play a role in the development of ENSO events, I can send you the pre-print of my paper off-line.”

    My email is on the way.

  50. Niels A Nielsen (13:14:12): If OHC is not on the rise, as it actualy is, contrary to AGW scientist claims, I think they often forget how complex the climate system is.
    As far as the current climate system is concerned, the impact of GHGs on changig the speed of LW radiation has to be negligible and/or the ocean has other first order ways to loose or not to gain energy.

  51. “The OHC data illustrated in this post provide little support for the argument that downward longwave (infrared) radiation causes OHC to rise.”

    This post provides support for the argument that Nino events do not cause OHC to rise because the NINO SST graph shows no long term trend whereas all your OHC show a positive trend. A steplike graph is what you get if you add a sawtooth graph (ENSO) and a trend (GHGs?).

  52. Bob,

    It is great to be able to put a question to an expert in this area.

    I have heard warmists use La Nina events to account for short term drops in SST, in an attempt to explain them away. My response has been that Enso events do not alter the total ocean heat content, they only move it around. Therefore, if we could measure the entire ocean heat content instead of bits of it, there would not be any net change in ocean heat content.

    The implication of that train of thought is that a) long run climate predictions shouldn’t need to take Enso’s into account if all they do is move energy around the ocean circulation and b) based on average ocean heat content derived from Argo, there hasn’t been any new energy added to the climate since 2003.

    Is this basically correct or am I misunderstanding something?

  53. Dave Wendt (21:52:24) :

    I’m not disputing there is geothermal warming warming of the oceans. There has to be. For the simple reason the Earth is hotter than the deep oceans. So the 2nd law of thermodynamics says heat flows from the earth into the oceans.

    The issue is one of scale. How much geothermal heating is there relative to solar heating.

    I was doing the calculation, but then found wikipedia gave me the answer,

    geothermal ocean warming is about 1/10,000 of solar irradiation

    Which is less than the rounding error in OHC.

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

  54. I am bemused that in the mixing of waters, thermocline and all, the tidal currents are not taken into account.

    We are talking about the heat content of all the oceans combined. Tidal turbulence will be primarily (exclusively?) in shallow near-coastal waters, most (almost all?) of which will be above the thermocline.

    The thermocline is a general characteristic of the oceans. In some locations there may be local effects like tidal turbulence which influence it. It can also move up and down due to seasonal influences.

    But in terms of heat transfer, effects like tidal turbulence are truly tiny compared to the solar input, which along with ocean surface heat loss, determine the OHC of the oceans..

  55. lgl (02:42:19) : You wrote, “This post provides support for the argument that Nino events do not cause OHC to rise because the NINO SST graph shows no long term trend whereas all your OHC show a positive trend. A steplike graph is what you get if you add a sawtooth graph (ENSO) and a trend (GHGs?).”

    Really? Your hypothesis then requires that anthropogenic greenhouse gases only have an impact on OHC during ENSO events. Looking at the graph of tropical Indian and Pacific OHC, and at the graph of South Pacific OHC, and at the graph of South Indian Ocean OHC, where do you propose anthropogenic GHGs hide their effect from the late 1970s to the late 1990s? Likewise, looking at the graph of North Pacific OHC, where do you propose anthropogenic GHGs hide their effect from the late 1950s to the late 1980s?

  56. It is not necessary for LWR to penetrate the oceans (and be absorbed) in order for GHGs to warm the oceans.

    A wamer and wetter atmosphere will slow heat loss from the oceans and therefore warm the oceans.

    While the pre-Argo data (pre-2003) does show a steady increase in OHC, I frankly don’t trust that data, because,

    Historical observations are sparse and insufficient for understanding the history of the ocean and its circulation

    Quote from wikipedia – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ocean_Reanalysis

    In order to overcome the limitations in the data, you guessed it, models are used.

  57. Philip B,
    “geothermal ocean warming is about 1/10,000 of solar irradiation.”

    There was a previous article a few weeks ago which claimed that 98% of the earths energy budget comes from the sun, which prompted my question “where does the other 2% come from?” I assumed, as did some others, that this must come from geothermal energy. Based on your figure, only about 0.01% comes from geothermal. Therefore, the original 98% coming from the sun, must be, as I had suspected, a load of rubbish.

  58. Vincent: You wrote, “Enso events do not alter the total ocean heat content, they only move it around.”

    That might be true for some ENSO events, but as you can see in the graphs above, not all ENSO events are created equal. Significant traditional El Nino events (the 1972/73 and 1997/98 El Ninos) that are followed by multiyear La Ninas cause changes in atmospheric circulation patterns, cloud clover, etc., and these atmospheric changes in turn cause the OHC in other oceans to rise in steps. For example, the tropical Atlantic and South Atlantic Oceans are separated from ENSO events in the eastern tropical Pacific by the Americas, but in addition to the upward trend caused by the influence of the North Atlantic, the tropical Atlantic OHC…

    and the South Atlantic OHC…

    …both show the upward steps caused by those El Nino events.

    You wrote, “if we could measure the entire ocean heat content instead of bits of it, there would not be any net change in ocean heat content.”

    The problem with looking at the Global OHC data…

    …is that you can’t see the major ocean segments where the OHC remains flat (or declines) for multiple decades. You also can’t see the step changes caused by the El Nino events that cause the positive trends. This is why I divided the global dataset into segments in the post here:

    http://bobtisdale.blogspot.com/2009/09/enso-dominates-nodc-ocean-heat-content.html

    Without those step changes, the OHC rises in those ocean basins would be minimal by comparison.

    Looking at only the global data also prevents one from understanding that while the North Atlantic represents only 15% of the Global ocean surface area, the rise in the North Atlantic OHC accounts for more than 33% of the Global OHC rise. Would we expect the North Atlantic to continue at that extra pace for the next century, causing more disparity between it and the other oceans, or would we expect it to cycle back for a couple of decades like the AMO?

    I hope those answer your questions. If not, fire away.

  59. Sorry Bob, I went to bed early…
    The data you provide, Nino 3.4, is a measure of SST, not heat content. The 3.4 numbers are just as easily changed by surface winds and currents. The tropical OIHC is too limited of an area to come to the conclusion that there is heat storage and exchange during ENSO events when the water below the surface is moving N and S as well as E and W, and up and down. My point is that the heat below the surface is just as capable of moving about the ocean and the heat release being observed can just as well be a product of the evaporation process, changes in IR response to changing water vapor content, changes in cold water upwelling and changes in local cloud cover. I do not think the Pacific is a reservour of heat that is released and stored during ENSO events.

  60. Philip_B: You wrote, “A wamer and wetter atmosphere will slow heat loss from the oceans and therefore warm the oceans.”

    But what causes the warmer and wetter atmosphere?

  61. philincalifornia(16:16:22)

    phil, I’m not a mathematician and don’t have access to primary data sources so I don’t go into the precise numbers.

    All I try to do is construct a logical scenario that complies with basic physics and real world observations.

    It is pretty easy to ascertain the relative scales of various effects and processes in relation to each other from published sources and from observations.

    For example we see that the air circulation systems shift hundreds of miles latitudinally in response to the changes in the rates of oceanic energy release.

    It doesn’t need a genius to suss out that the latitudinal shift from a few ppm of extra man made GHGs would be piffling in comparison. Probably not even measurable.

  62. MikeC: Let’s address one point at a time. First, let’s qualify the ENSO events being discussed: significant traditional El Nino events like the 1997/98 and 1972/73 El Ninos.

    You wrote, “The tropical OIHC is too limited of an area to come to the conclusion that there is heat storage and exchange during ENSO events when the water below the surface is moving N and S as well as E and W, and up and down.”

    An animation from NASA illustrates the “emptying” of the Pacific Warm Pool by the transport of warm water from the western to the eastern tropical Pacific.

    http://svs.gsfc.nasa.gov/vis/a000000/a000200/a000287/a000287.mpg

    This can also be seen in the cross-sectional views of equatorial subsurface temperature anomalies. Refer to my post here:

    http://bobtisdale.blogspot.com/2009/02/cross-sectional-views-of-three.html

    Then there’s my animation of the equatorial countercurrent during El Nino events, from this post:

    http://bobtisdale.blogspot.com/2009/02/equatorial-currents-before-during-and.html

    And last, here’s an animation of SSH anomalies from JPL. Let the video run through to late in December 1996 (about 50 seconds in) when the first of two Kelvin waves makes its way from west to east along the equatorial Pacific. If “the water below the surface is moving N and S” along the equatorial Pacific during the El Nino of 1997/98, you should be able to see it. It’s not there.

  63. Philip_B (03:57:16) :

    I am bemused that in the mixing of waters, thermocline and all, the tidal currents are not taken into account.

    We are talking about the heat content of all the oceans combined. Tidal turbulence will be primarily (exclusively?) in shallow near-coastal waters, most (almost all?) of which will be above the thermocline.

    You are not correct in this assumption.

    Even the solid ground rises about 40cms with the tides. There are tidal waves down below the thermocline because gravity does not follow your assumptions. And those tidal currents, when they meet shallower ground or sea mountains will create turbulence as surely as god made little apples.

  64. Great material as always Bob.

    The important points are that Ocean Heat Content is not responding in the manner predicted by the theory and the climate models – and that GISS/the climate models treat the ocean cycles like noise in the system that can (almost) be ignored.

    With almost no change in OHC in the last five years, that would indicate there is no lagged warming-in-the-pipeline to come and we are already at equilibrium. We’ve warmed 0.6C already, about the rate that would be expected if the temperature response was 1.0C to 1.5C per doubling.

    By not taking the ocean cycles into account properly, the models have had to invent all kinds of other “external forcings” and “lags” in order to back-cast to the temperature record reasonably well.

    What new “forcing” can they come up with to explain the last 5 to 10 years of no increase in temps or OHC. I’m sure that is being worked on as we speak. One could expect some exotic Ozone or new Aerosol explanation to fill the gap again but they could surprise us and actually build in an ENSO or AMOC module. [But that would require backing off the 3.0C per doubling proposition or using the ENSO, AMOC impacts in an illogical opposite to reality manner].

  65. But what causes the warmer and wetter atmosphere?

    GreenHouse Gases

    I wasn’t saying that GHGs will cause a warmer and wetter atmosphere. I was saying, this is the mechanism by which the oceans would be warmed by GHGs, assuming GHGs cause sufficient atmospheric warming.

  66. “What new “forcing” can they come up with to explain the last 5 to 10 years of no increase in temps or OHC. I’m sure that is being worked on as we speak. One could expect some exotic Ozone or new Aerosol explanation to fill the gap again but they could surprise us and actually build in an ENSO or AMOC module. [But that would require backing off the 3.0C per doubling proposition or using the ENSO, AMOC impacts in an illogical opposite to reality manner].”

    Naw. I’m almost afraid to say it for fear of the idea being usurped and implemented. The new ‘forcing’ isn’t a forcing per se – it’s because of the increased awareness of the problem and the fact that all these lunatics ‘care’ about the ‘problem’ along with all that energy conservation being done by these loonies – nevermind the extra travel from one protest to the next.

  67. phillip b

    then why isn’t there 100% rel. humidity all the way to the tropopause?

    to ignore half the physics is to get it wrong. moist air is lighter weight – lower average molecular weight and the parcel will be inclined to rise. In fact – think of it as a hot air balloon too since that moist air is chock full of ghg power absorbing h2o molecules – further decreasing the parcel density. As that parcel rises, it loses some energy that goes into gravitation potential energy but you’ve got a solar powered hot air balloon going on too. Ultimately it’s going to reach the altitude where it will try to form a cloud, increasing albedo and reducing downward SW – which include more near IR than visible light. Note too – it conveyed a lot of energy upward to where it can radiate away – that heat of evaporation is in excess of the heat required to raise h2o liquid from 0 to 100 C for a given amount of h2o.

  68. Philip_B: You wrote. “I wasn’t saying that GHGs will cause a warmer and wetter atmosphere. I was saying, this is the mechanism by which the oceans would be warmed by GHGs, assuming GHGs cause sufficient atmospheric warming.”

    Sorry, Philip, but I did understand what you were driving at. I included a link to my post on the El Nino-induced step changes in TLT anomalies at the end of this post above, so that should dampen part of that argument. Here it is again:

    http://bobtisdale.blogspot.com/2009/06/rss-msu-tlt-time-latitude-plots.html

  69. anna v (07:31:41) :

    Philip_B (03:57:16) :

    You are not correct in this assumption.

    Even the solid ground rises about 40cms with the tides. There are tidal waves down below the thermocline because gravity does not follow your assumptions. And those tidal currents, when they meet shallower ground or sea mountains will create turbulence as surely as god made little apples.

    I stand corrected. There is deep ocean tidal turbulence.

    However, does this turbulence produced significant deep ocean/thermocline mixing on the scale of the world’s oceans?

    From what I can determine this turbulence would not significantly affect OHC above the thermocline, but I’m happy to be corrected.

  70. Philip_B (08:29:42) : forget the atmosphere. You can’t increase the atmosphere heat content. Setting aside high frequency events, you will see increasing AHC only when OHC is on the rise.
    AHC depends on OHC, not the other way around!
    Putting it in other words, the atmosphere is not warmed by GHGs. That is the ocean role!

  71. Bob Tisdale (04:01:22) :

    It didn’t hide anywhere. Without the GHGs the ocean would have cooled even more during periods of cooling and warmed less during warming periods.

  72. “Without the GHGs the ocean would have cooled even more during periods of cooling and warmed less during warming periods.”

    Let’s re-run the last 50 years of the Earth’s climate to prove the validity of this assumption.
    Water as solid/liquid/vapour is the only relevant temperature controller in the climate.
    The middle of big deserts have little or no water in the atmosphere. Hug a warm rock as the sun goes down and in the morning we’ll discuss how warm these insignificant GHGs kept you.

  73. Philip_B (03:41:04)
    The issue is one of scale. How much geothermal heating is there relative to solar heating.

    I was doing the calculation, but then found wikipedia gave me the answer,

    geothermal ocean warming is about 1/10,000 of solar irradiation

    Evidently no one has pointed out to you that Wikipedia may not be a source you want place a lot of confidence in, especially for anything related to climate. A little math,actually just arithmetic. The conventionally accepted figure for geothermal heating is 86.4mW/m2, times 10,000 gives 864,000mW/m2 or 864W/m2, not an estimate of TSI contribution that I’ve ever seen. And, as I pointed out previously, the 86.4mW/m2 figure is for generalized lithospheric cooling which makes no attempt to account for heat from volcanically active hot spots, largely, I would assume, because no one seems to have a clue what those contributions are. Additionally, since the geothermal heating seems to be expressed in spatially limited areas which represent only about 1/1000th of the area of the oceans, the effects are magnified.
    I would never claim that geothermal heating is a first order forcing, but it appears to be another in a growing line of factors that the alarmist GCMs have gotten almost completely wrong and provides more evidence, as if more was really required, that their output is BS.

  74. Effective:

    Sandy (13:43:05) “Water as solid/liquid/vapour is the only relevant temperature controller in the climate.
    The middle of big deserts have little or no water in the atmosphere. Hug a warm rock as the sun goes down and in the morning we’ll discuss how warm these insignificant GHGs kept you.”

  75. In my field of work, when the theory does not match the experimental results the theory gets modified.

    Of course, I do not rely on government grants to prove incorrect theories just to allow the government to extort money from innocent people.

  76. Melting ice cools surface temperatures?

    Freshwater is lighter than salt water and therefore floats above seawater, until it becomes saline through mixing and begins to sink cooling deeper waters.

    For an analogy, see eg. how Mediterranean water behaves in the Atlantic.

Comments are closed.