NODC revises ocean heat content data – it’s now dropping slightly

NODC Ocean Heat Content (0-700 Meters) – 2007, 2008 & 2009 Corrections

Guest post by Bob Tisdale

The National Oceanographic Data Center (NODC) recently updated its 4th quarter and annual 2009 Ocean Heat Content (OHC) data. The data that was presented in conjunction with the Levitus et al (2009) Paper now covers the period of 1955 to 2009. There have been changes that some might find significant.

This post presents:
1. A brief look at the revisions (corrections) to the data in 2007 and 2008 OHC data
2. A comparison of the NODC OHC data for the period of 2003 to 2009 versus the GISS projection

REVISIONS (Corrections) TO THE 2007 AND 2008 NODC OHC DATA

Figure 1 is a gif animation of two Ocean Heat Content graphs posted on the NODC GLOBAL OCEAN HEAT CONTENT webpage. It shows the differences between the current (January 2010) version and one that appears to include data through June or September 2009. So this is an “Official” correction (not more incompletely updated data posted on the NODC website discussed in NODC’s CORRECTION TO OHC (0-700m) DATA, which required me to make corrections to a handful of posts). I have found nothing in the NODC OHC web pages that discuss these new corrections. Due to the years involved, is it safe to assume these are more corrections for ARGO biases? As of this writing, I have not gone through the individual ocean basins to determine if the corrections were to one ocean basin, a group of basins, or if they’re global; I’ll put aside the multipart post I’ve been working on for the past few weeks and try to take a look over the next few days.

http://i48.tinypic.com/14e6wjn.gif
Figure 1

NODC OHC OBSERVATIONS VERSUS GISS PROJECTION (2003-2009)

One of the posts that needed to be corrected back in October was NODC Ocean Heat Content (0-700 Meters) Versus GISS Projections (Corrected). The final graph in that post was a comparison of global ocean heat content observations for the period of 2003 through year-to-date 2009 versus the projection made by James Hansen of GISS of an approximate accumulation of 0.98*10^22 Joules per year. Figure 2 is an updated version of that comparison. Annual Global OHC data was downloaded from the NODC website (not through KNMI). The trend of the current version of the NODC OHC data is approximately 1.5% of the GISS projection. That is, GISS projected a significant rise, while the observations have flattened significantly in recent years. The apparent basis for the divergence between observations and the GISS Projection was discussed in the appropriately titled post Why Are OHC Observations (0-700m) Diverging From GISS Projections?
http://i47.tinypic.com/20kvhwn.png
Figure 2

Note: The earlier version of that graph (with the NODC’s October 15, 2009 correction)…
http://i37.tinypic.com/i6xtnl.png
…shows a linear trend of ~0.08*10^22 Joules/year. The current linear trend is ~0.015*10^22 Joules/year. Some might consider that decrease to be significant.

NOTE: I DELETED THE THIRD AND FOURTH PARTS OF THIS POST…
3. GLOBAL, HEMISPHERIC, AND INDIVIDUAL BASIN OHC UPDATE THROUGH DECEMBER 2009, AND
4. TREND COMPARISONS
…UNTIL I TRACK DOWN DISCREPANCIES I CAN’T EXPLAIN. I WILL REPOST THOSE SECTIONS IN A NEW POST. I BELIEVE I UNDERSTAND THE DIFFERENCES, BUT I NEED TO CHECK WITH KNMI.

SOURCES

NODC Annual Global OHC data used in Figure 2 is available here:
ftp://ftp.nodc.noaa.gov/pub/data.nodc/woa/DATA_ANALYSIS/3M_HEAT_CONTENT/DATA/basin/yearly/h22-w0-700m.dat

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174 thoughts on “NODC revises ocean heat content data – it’s now dropping slightly

  1. I am just reading James Hansen`book “The Storms of my Grand Children”. He is competely sure about his conclusions that CO2 emissions are the main climate forcing agent. Most of the rest is a very emotional appeal for measures to be adopted to prevent the unavoidable catastrophe. He worries a lot, how to communicate his “truth” efectively.

    It strikes me that he doesn`t express not a hint of any doubt!

  2. Just an opinion, but in my mind the CRUmail release has been a tectonic shift point in climate science.

    Maybe I am just projecting, but it seems that since the release, more data/papers are coming out that are dampening down the hysteria of GW. There seems to be more calls to work with sceptical scientists and trash the trashtalk. Maybe this release has finally freed the science?

  3. That’s one of the first adjustments I’ve seen going down for sure.

    Currently SST-wise there’s been a very significant rise in SST’s in the Southern Hemisphere (according to Unisys) and the daily SOI has dropped by nearly -30 today (hinting at a new ENSO peak if it continues at that level even as the models say otherwise.)

    What it means for the Summer though, Joe D’Aleo talked in an article on Intellicast showing that some of the hot summers like 1998 was due to El Nino having decayed to La Nina by the summer, if I remember right if there’s still El Nino conditions by Summer there shouldn’t be blockbuster heat in the U.S according to his analysis.

  4. Could someone do me a favor. I know what looks like a big jump between 2003 and 2005 is also when the Argo buoy data became the basis of the ocean heat content rather than a more dispersed surface measurement. Would it be possible to put some shading in the period covered which showed which were Argo, which were determined from a different data sets and different analytica methods.

  5. Are they finally getting honesty worked back into the science?

    Are we going from “hide the decline” to “decline the hide”?

  6. Could it be some agencies are starting to realize there’s someone looking over their shoulders? It’s getting harder to publish results that don’t match observations. Now if we could backtrack and verify previous data and plot trendlines based on observations rather than corrected data……

  7. I still would like them to correct the obvious and incorrect jump in the data when ARGO went active in 2003.

  8. So, the Sun’s total energy output is down as evinced by a lack of Sunspots and evinced by decreased solar magnetic flux (and has been for a while).

    Now, this is starting to show up in ocean heat content data.

    Lag times are common in Nature: The hottest time of the Summer is late July and early August, the coldest time of the Winter is often late January and early February.

    It seems reasonable that a lag time exists, too, for Ocean heat content.

    Should this quiet Sun and low magnetic flux continue unabated into next Winter, expect this Winter to look like a tropical picnic and to freeze your rear end in the Northern Hemisphere next Winter…as if we haven’t already done so this Winter!

    The Sun controls Earth’s temperature and thus climate.

    It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure that out…

  9. Although this graph shows the heat content it’s obvious from the shape that it also follows the temperature. As we should expect.

    Since the oceans cover about 71 percent of the earth:s surface it will have a major impact on global mean temperature anomalies. I suspect that GISS temperature will soon have a downward trend for the last 8 years like the CRU-temp curve did. It does not matter if they include the poles, cherry picks stations or do usual corrections.

  10. In previous threads the work of David Douglass at Rochester, who found a recent change to negative in ocean thermal budget, was visciously rubbished by AGW posters. They said it never should have been published. Douglass himself posted on the long struggle to publish in the International Journal of Climate.

    Refer to this thread:

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/12/21/gaming-the-peer-review-system-ipcc-scientists-behaving-badly/

    This post shows how hard they tried to obstruct Douglass from publication. (Jones and Wigley even discuss the topic of getting Douglass to lose his job.) Now there is a hint that part of the establishments attack on his work was modification of the OHC data to conceal the truth of his finding? Or is this conspiracy paranoia? In any case, the data adjustment reported in today’s posting vindicates Douglass and Knox 2009.

    I’m not sure of the International Journal of Climate paper ref but here is another by the same group:

    DH Douglass, RS Knox, Ocean heat content and Earth’s radiation imbalance. Physics Letters A, Volume 373, Issue 36, 31 August 2009, Pages 3296-3300.

  11. I’ve always thought you had to be a top notch scientist to make it into NASA.

    James Hansen has proven me wrong.

  12. Kadaka,

    “Are they finally getting honesty worked back into the science?”

    Temperatures have been trending up and trending down since the dawn of time…roughly 30 years up followed by 30 years down..along with some longer cycles.

    To be fair…if the only reliable data one has is from the ‘uptrend’. Quantifying how much is man manmade is almost impossible.

    One needs to wait for the down trend. We are now in the downtrend.
    We haven’t decreased out CO2 emissions, yet the temperature is trending down.

  13. Good post, science is making a comeback. Now NASA will study the sun for effects on earth as if they could do something about it!

  14. Well knock me over with peer reviewed paper.

    What’s next?

    Gore admitting he’s not a scientist?

    Or Gavin Schmidt admitting he’s not Al Gore?

    Or how about James Hansen admitting he likes Romance Novels?

    Or Jane Lubchenco admitting she hates seawater?

    One more,

    Joe Romm admitting he is sort of an angry dude.

  15. Dr. Bob (12:03:07) :

    Does this mean the NASA GISS “2009 2nd warmest year on record” will be changed?

    ===============================================

    No. But if any change is made it will be alterations in the data so the result will make 2009 the warmest year, not the 2nd warmest, on record.

  16. hmmmmm
    Now there has to be some tricky, sneaky way this current administration can take credit for this downturn?

  17. I notice a huge jump in heat content circa 2003. Would that by any chance correspond to NODC’s initial correction of the ARGO “bias?”

  18. A bit off topic, but: Just watched a report on Davos (on Al Jazeera … seems to be the only place to get unbiased news these days :-( ).

    The fanatics have not given up. They are trying to get the legal binding agreements that failed in Copenhagen done at Davos.

    Watch for back-door deals!

  19. I was just looking at http://www.argo.ucsd.edu/global_change_analysis.html
    and noted again the following comments to Ocean temperature and heat content,
    namely “For the upper 700m, the increase in heat content was 16 x 1022 J since 1961. This is consistent with the comparison by Roemmich and Gilson (2009) of Argo data with the global temperature time-series of Levitus et al (2005), finding a warming of the 0 – 2000 m ocean by 0.06°C since the (pre-XBT) early 1960’s.”
    Looking at Figure 1 above the 16×1022 J seems to be reproduced there as well (1961-2009) so would it be right to conclude that Figure 1 actually represents a heating of the ocean since 1961 of 0.6 degrees C?????.
    If that is indeed the case I must admit I am slightly “underwhelmed” by the impact of AGW on ocean temperatures down to 700 metres. (Perhaps I have misunderstood the whole thing). If that warming is correct then I would say that figure 1 distorts the “warming picture” by having the X axis compressed in relation to Y, but perhaps that is how you “frighten” the uninitiated.

  20. “aMINO aCIDS iN mETEORITES (12:16:35) :

    I’ve always thought you had to be a top notch scientist to make it into NASA.

    James Hansen has proven me wrong.

    I hear they get out of the astronaut business. I suggest they concentrate on Hansen style work some more and change their name to

    N ational
    A gency for
    S caremongering and
    A larmism

  21. James F. Evans (11:56:26) :

    So, the Sun’s total energy output is down….this is starting to show up in ocean heat content data.

    ===============================================

    This was in an earlier thread at WattUpWithThat

    A calorimeter is a device which measures the amount of heat given off in a chemical or physical reaction. It turns out that one can use the Earth’s oceans as one giant calorimeter to measure the amount of heat Earth absorbs and reemits every solar cycle.

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/04/15/the-oceans-as-a-calorimeter/

    from here

    http://www.sciencebits.com/calorimeter

  22. Sean (11:44:01) :

    It sure does look out-of-place, that 2002-3 jump.
    What say we ‘remove’ the jump and examine what things might look like?
    Be right back.

  23. Dr. Bob. You have my thanks too.

    I must admit I stopped at Fig. 1 for a moment and wondered how the oceans could have negative heat content before about 1987.

    And wondering what negative heat content could mean.

  24. phlogiston (12:12:27) wrote: “Or is this conspiracy paranoia?”

    It’s pretty clear from the Climategate emails that individuals in certain groups got together and discussed how to refuse Freedom of Information requests and how to keep contradicting scientific papers out of peer-reviewed publications and likely how to manipulate data to “hide the decline”.

    Conspire: To join in an a secret agreement to do an unlawful or wrongful act or to use such means to accomplish a lawful end.

    People are prosecuted and convicted for conspiracy on a regular basis.

    When people try and smear others by labeling them “conspiracy theorists”, they often do so to keep those people’s evidence from being seriously considered and to block investigation into the people working in agreement to achieve a wrongful objective.

    The Climate Change fiasco is littered with such examples.

  25. Maybe it really should look like this:

    Where the progression from 1998 to present is similar but on a higher plane than 1977 to 1997. And that makes more sense to me if the 1998 El Nino shot the ocean temps up and they stabilzed there after the El Nino dissipated.

  26. Dr. Hansen is a religious zealot and totally immune to any opinions or evidence that questions his belief system.

    For that reason attempting to debate with him is a total waste of time and energy.

  27. I’m very curious about the origin of the correction; I know the company that makes the temperature sensors in ARGO floats – they are one of my competitors. I believe it highly unlikely that there is any significant performance or calibration change in those sensors since they were introduced. They are good. Very very good. We are talking a couple of millidegrees over that time frame – to understand what that means, think of the temperature change you would introduce by sticking your finger in a bucket of tap water for 5 seconds. That would be about 5 millidegrees or so.

    My point is that any modifiction to the data is highly unlikely to come from a manufacturer’s “whoops -we made a mistake” moment. And measuring in the sea is a lot more immune to external factors than air – no need for screens, no UHI effect. And as I said, if this company’s sensor says the temperaure is X°C, then it is X°C ±0.001°C (ish). So what manner of data tweaking is going on?

  28. Leo G and others re effect of climategate on shifting climate papers of late:

    Two things are happening – scientists. coerced by AGW-biased institutional employers have been liberated and the too deeply commited are fighting their own personal Alamos. On the one hand real science is trying to re-emerge and on the other scientists are circling the wagons, protesting that, yes a few errors have been made but the ipcc science remains “robust” (a fine word forever to be associated with the end of the world economy ipcc manifesto). Oh and on the third hand, there will be the ‘tweeners’ who will be attempting to bend their curves gradually back to match the real trends.. I’m not sure whether nodc is #s 1 or 3.

  29. Couldn’t wrap my head around 10^22 joules. If Wikipedia is right and my sums are too, then that’s the energy equivalent of 166,666,667 Hiroshima-sized atomic bombs. Kind of puts in perspective the heat capacity of the oceans.

  30. You have to wonder how much professional embarrassment one organisation can take before major internal changes happen to try to get out of the hole they’ve dug.

    Could the real scientists be begining to take control?

  31. From : http://www.nodc.noaa.gov/OC5/WOD/bt_bias_notes.html

    “As of November, 2, 2009, the WOD09 standard depth level data for the expendable bathythermograph (XBT) and mechanical bathythermograph (MBT) datasets will include adjustment for documented time-dependent temperature biases as described by Levitus et al. (2009). This is in addition to the correction of depths to the Hanawa et al. (1995) fall-rate for all XBT data which can be corrected. OBSERVED LEVEL DATA DO NOT HAVE ANY ADJUSTMENTS. The corrected standard level data are the data as they were used to calculate the World Ocean Atlas 2009 temperature climatologies. Those XBT data with a second-header 33 (depth_correction) value of -1 (not enough information on fall-rate used) do not have any fall-rate correction applied, they do have the temperature bias correction applied. These XBT data without sufficient fall-rate information were not used in the World Ocean Atlas temperature climatology. This subset of data consists of XBT only for years 1996-present, the period when the Sippican and TSK XBT software included two choices for fall-rate for T4, T6, T7, and Deep Blue XBTs. Prior to this period, when a probe type and fall-rate were not identified in the data, if the maximum depth of measurement was <= 840 meters, the depths were adjusted to the Hanawa fall-rate equation. Until the Deep Blue was manufactured to reach depths deeper than 900 meters, the only probe type which measured below 840 meters was the T5. Data for T5s have either no adjustment (Sippican) or a small adjustment (for TSK models) (Kizu et al., 2005). Information on the decision made on depth adjustment is included for each XBT in second-header 54 (depth_fix).

    The bias adjustment (and fall-rate equation) is an area of current study, and may change in the future. The addition of more XBT and CTD data to the World Ocean Database may also cause adjustments in the temperature bias calculation. The temperature bias data provided by Levitus et al. 2009 along with other temperature bias/ fall-rate recalculations are available on XBT bias page. The XBT temperature bias and MBT temperature bias adjustments for World Ocean Database 2009 are slightly different from Levitus et al., 2009, especially for recent years, due to the addition of more XBT (MBT)/CTD data.”

    And for reference: http://www.nodc.noaa.gov/OC5/WOD/bt_bias_notes.html

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

    Mike Ramsey

  32. ED to ME.

    From: Ed Miliband (info@email-new.labour.org.uk)

    Sent: 22 January 2010 13:05:37
    To: xxxxxx@live.co.uk

    Rob,

    Earlier this week, I was shocked to read that a survey of Conservative candidates placed climate change at the very bottom of their list of priorities.

    I believe we need people in parliament who really care about these issues if we are to see any progress.

    To do this you can now use our website to find out what your MP or candidate really thinks about climate change.

    Send a message to your MP and/or candidates to find out their views on climate change

    You and I are committed to pushing further than the Copenhagen deal.

    But for this to happen we need committed people in Parliament.

    We deserve to know the views of those who seek to represent us

    Working together over the past few months, this campaign has shown that we can put real pressure on the climate change sceptics.

    Make MPs and candidates talk about OUR issue by sending them a message they can’t ignore

    Let’s campaign on our beliefs – and force them to campaign on theirs.

    Thank you

    Ed

    ED provided the links, I reworded the email and sent as instructed.

  33. The Times Online (UK) has discovered the SDO.

    Nasa mission to unravel sun’s threat to Earth
    A new probe could help scientists predict the solar storms that cause chaos for us

    Among the interesting tidbits:

    Scientists have long been aware that disturbances on the sun can trigger dangerous x-rays, charged particles and magnetic fields that can disrupt power supplies, communication signals and aircraft navigation systems on Earth.

    Therefore the Sun always has disturbances. Now if they had said those disturbances trigger excessive amounts of

    Barbara Thompson, project scientist, said: “It is Nasa’s first weather mission and it aims to characterise everything on the sun that can impact on the Earth and near Earth.

    First solar weather mission? So SOHO was only for taking pretty pictures?

  34. The fact that ocean heat anomaly since 2003 is approximately zero, was pointed out by Roger Pielke sr in his climate science blog, and is imo, the single greatest piece of evidence against the AGW hypothesis.

    About ten years ago James Hansen made a prediction that CO2 forcing causes a radiative imbalance averaging about 0.85 watts/metre squared which would “melt the ice, heat the atmosphere and warm the oceans.” Obviously, this must be true: if the greenhouse theory is true, there must be a radiative imbalance and it must cause this to happen.

    Then, about a year ago, Roger Pielke posted on his site, the fact that whereas Hansen’s prediction required an ocean heat accumulation of about 10^22 joules per year, the Argo dataset showed no heat accumulation at all. Nobody can account for this missing heat, and I suppose, if you were of a particular mindset, you would consider this to be “a travesty.”

    This latest revision, if anything, seems to confirm Pielke and refute Hansen’s claim. Surely, there can be little doubt, that without being able to locate this ocean heat accumulation, AGW just ain’t happening – “it’s global warming Jim, but not as we know it!”

  35. John Peter: You wrote, “so would it be right to conclude that Figure 1 actually represents a heating of the ocean since 1961 of 0.6 degrees C?????.”

    Are you sure you didn’t mean 0.06 deg C? The discussion of Figure 1 on the link you provided…

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

    …reads, “This is consistent with the comparison by Roemmich and Gilson (2009) of Argo data with the global temperature time-series of Levitus et al (2005), finding a warming of the 0 – 2000 m ocean by 0.06°C since the (pre-XBT) early 1960’s.”

    This is consistent with the Abstract of an earlier Levitus et al paper, one from 2005, “The Warming Of The World Ocean: 1955 to 2003”. It states, “During 1955–1998 world ocean heat content (0–3000 m) increased 14.5 × 10^22 J corresponding to a mean temperature increase of 0.037°C at a rate of 0.20 Wm−2 (per unit area of Earth’s total surface area).”

    http://www.agu.org/pubs/crossref/2005/2004GL021592.shtml

    I discussed this in an earlier post, where I listed the rise in OHC in terms of Deg C:

    http://bobtisdale.blogspot.com/2010/01/warming-of-world-oceans-0-700-meters-in.html

    Regards

  36. The Lyman et al 2006 paper “ Recent Cooling of the Upper Ocean” (http://www.pmel.noaa.gov/people/lyman/Pdf/heat_2006.pdf) suggested the oceans began cooling in 2003. The 2 arguments against their conclusion was 1) a few Argo floats in just the Carribiean showed a cooling bias due to incorrect depth correlations. To access Lyman paper online the links always led to the paper but with the rebuttal preceding it, even before the rebuttal was accepted. Clearly politically motivated damage control. I wonder how many Argo floats they adjusted upwards? Did they use the cooling bias of the Carribean outliers to upwardly adjust all the Argo floats?

    The second argument against Lyman’s warming was the Gouretski & Koltermann 2007 paper documenting a warming bias in the XBT’s. It was interesting that the G&K paper contradicted with Hansen’s “smoking gun analysis” that the Hansen model’s missing heat was in the ocean, and thus the XBT warm bias suggested the heat was still missing. But instead the team’s focus was to use the G&K paper to show the OHC was still rising by just dropping those back end temperatures and not mentioning it’s effect on Hansen’s claim , The big step jump in Levitus’ NODC graph happens when they made “adjustments” to account for those 2 problems. Such jump sure seem suspicious. I also find it interesting that the adjustments are similar to those employed by land surface temperatures, like Darwin, where the older temperatures are “adjusted” lowered thus creating a steeper trend.

    I couldn’t determine exactly how Levitus’ paper made their adjustments, but it was interesting that they needed to use “median” vs “mean” XBT temperatures in order to drop those back end temperatures and eliminate this recent cooling. And would you be surprised that all those “outliers” were warm biased?

    I think just like these recent adjustments we will soon see that 2003 step jump was more a function of politically biased adjustments to “hide the decline”.

  37. Ocean heat content should be a function of two parameters:

    i) Input from solar energy getting past the evaporative layer which is governed mainly by shortwave quantities. Longwave fails to get past the evaporative layer. Shortwave depends on solar variability and also on global albedo which is mainly cloudiness dependant.

    ii) Output as energy is released by sea surface temperatures to the air above.

    One problem is that each ocean basin is doing it’s own thing at any given time so ascertaining net energy output to the air globally is somewhat difficult.

    Another problem is that the effect of solar variability on the input side of the equation is heavily dependent on global albedo, even more so than on solar energy output variability which, as Leif says, is very small.

    During the late 20th century warming we had both a high solar input to the oceans from the solar Modern Maximum and a high output from the oceans to the troposphere from all those strong El Ninos so I have to assume that the El Ninos were reducing overall low level cloudiness by warming the air above the oceans to increase the vapour carrying capability of the air. That allowed more solar energy in to supplement the strong solar activity and add more to the oceans than the El Ninos were releasing.

    Now we have less solar input plus more low level cloudiness from cooler ocean surfaces as the vapour carrying ability of the air is reduced. The cooling ocean surface is in a negative PDO phase despite the current El Nino whilst the 2007 La Nina is still cooling the other oceans and the air above them.

    So we should (as observed) have a levelling off of ocean heat content with perhaps another 30 years of that to follow.

    The issue I wish to resolve is whether the oceanic changes in the rate of energy release to the air are governed by the behaviour of the sun and air or whether the oceans themselves have their own internal cycles that dominate the system with changes in the sun and air merely modifying the oceanic influences.

    I discern from my readings so far that Bob Tisdale, Svensmark, Erl Happ and others consider that the oceanic influences are sun and air driven but at the moment I beg to differ.

    Can that issue be definitively resolved by any currently available observational evidence?

    I’d hate to keep wasting my time on a false premise.

  38. Sean: You asked, “Would it be possible to put some shading in the period covered which showed which were Argo, which were determined from a different data sets and different analytica methods.”

    Sorry. I don’t do shading.

  39. Max (12:32:15) :

    I notice a huge jump in heat content circa 2003. Would that by any chance correspond to NODC’s initial correction of the ARGO “bias?”

    http://pielkeclimatesci.wordpress.com/2009/12/29/comment-from-josh-willis-on-the-upper-ocean-heat-content-data-posted-on-real-climate/

    “There is still a good deal of uncertainty in observational estimates of ocean heat content during the 1990s and into the early part of the 2000s. This is because of known biases in the XBT data set, which are the dominant source of ocean temperature data up until 2003 or 2004. Numerous authors have attempted to correct these biases, but substantial difference remain in the “corrected” data.”

  40. the summer water temperature in northern Australia in 1968-1970 were higher than these chart figures indicate, relative to the current water temperature.
    I suspect the chart above is for North America due to El Nino or similar effects.

  41. “DirkH (12:36:46) :
    [...]
    I hear they get out of the astronaut business. I suggest they concentrate on Hansen style work some more and change their name to

    N ational
    A gency for
    S caremongering and
    A larmism”

    I see that they already have taken my advice to heart:

    http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/Features/OceanCooling/

    NASA – the BBC amongst the space agencies.
    NASA – we know how to generate funding. Why build complicated rockets when biased writeups do just fine?

  42. Wish I were a cartoonist: I’d draw Buster the Robust climate probe adjustment.
    Buster is a data-reprogramming specialist. His specialty is CYA models.

  43. James F. Evans (11:56:26) : wrote

    “So, the Sun’s total energy output is down as evinced by a lack of Sunspots and evinced by decreased solar magnetic flux (and has been for a while).

    Now, this is starting to show up in ocean heat content data.

    Lag times are common in Nature: The hottest time of the Summer is late July and early August, the coldest time of the Winter is often late January and early February.

    It seems reasonable that a lag time exists, too, for Ocean heat content.

    Should this quiet Sun and low magnetic flux continue unabated into next Winter, expect this Winter to look like a tropical picnic and to freeze your rear end in the Northern Hemisphere next Winter…as if we haven’t already done so this Winter!

    The Sun controls Earth’s temperature and thus climate.

    It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure that out…”

    I’ve been hinting at this effect for a while.
    The affect is cumulative. I don’t know why nobody gets it.

  44. kadaka (13:49:37) :

    Would there even need be a burst like 1859 to take out every mobile phone, laptop, cell tower, electronic ignition, etc. ?
    Moore’s Law may turn out to be a liability for the end user, but a boon for sales. Just don’t be in motion when it hits.

  45. Dan in California (11:54:55) :

    “Could it be some agencies are starting to realize there’s someone looking over their shoulders? It’s getting harder to publish results that don’t match observations.”

    Indeed you’ve made a good observation. I suspect agencies of warming are going to be very careful from now on about fiddling data and spewing deceptions; particularyly with the MSM now taking a closer look. :o)

  46. Michael (14:38:14) quotes James F. Evans (11:56:26) :

    “So, the Sun’s total energy output is down as evinced by a lack of Sunspots and evinced by decreased solar magnetic flux (and has been for a while). . . .

    The Sun controls Earth’s temperature and thus climate.

    It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure that out…”

    and adds, “I’ve been hinting at this effect for a while.

    The affect is cumulative. I don’t know why nobody gets it.”

    Almost nobody “gets it” because almost everybody “gets paid” to ignore the obvious fact that “The Sun controls Earth’s temperature and thus climate.”

    Scientists are not stupid, but they cannot get positions, promotions, or tenure if they cannot get grant funds.

    The National Academy of Sciences (NAS) controls the purse strings of federal research agencies. US’s research agencies have been transformed into propaganda generators, just line the UN’s IPCC.

    What a sad state for science!
    What a sad state of the world!
    What a sad state for democracy!

    Oliver K. Manuel,
    Emeritus Professor of
    Nuclear & Space Sciences
    Former NASA PI for Apollo

  47. Michael (14:38:14) :

    I get it, and a lot more besides just me get it.
    What I see is a Buster minimalist movement that leads to paralysis in not being able to adapt. There will be but one final ‘heads up’ in the coming S. Hemisphere’s winter.

  48. O/T but in the “if a tree falls in the forest …” department, Bagla’s extended interview with Pachauri in Science Magazine (Jan. 29/10) contains the following:

    http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/full/327/5965/510/DC1

    “[...]I mean, let’s face it, that the whole subject of climate change having become so important is largely driven by the work of the IPCC. If the IPCC wasn’t there, why would anyone be worried about climate change?[...]“

  49. GaryPearse (13:17:48) :

    I can’t speak directly to the scientific papers, but with all the different items coming out in one fashion or another which have destroyed the credibility of AGW, I can say this:

    The tide has turned: A sea change has happened in the last four months:

    Putting out mushy scientific papers in support of AGW has become dicey:

    And nobody wants to go down in a sinking ship and sacrifice their professional career — that’s how bad it’s gotten for AGW.

  50. Maybe related. The BBC flagship weather forecast is on a Sunday. It’s part of the “country file” programme for farmers, and immensely popular with the general public too, came up with a startling revelation, IMHO.
    Scotland has had its coldest December and January since, at least, 1914!
    I knew I was cold. Now I can put a number to it!

  51. Michael (14:38:14) :
    I for one get it. Others good in general science and math will get it too if they would just stop and calculate the numbers.

    Keep in mind, the top 700m of the oceans has a mass ~50 times that of the total atmosphere. Also water has a specific heat ~4 times that of air. That makes the oceans top 700m able to hold ~200 times the heat (energy) as all of the atmosphere. Ponder on that! One two hundreth of a degree in ocean (top 700m) temperature can raise the temperature of all of the air one degree. Yea, it’s influence is huge.

  52. As commented on earlier, it’s nice to see WUWT get back on track with real science again and away from the steamy TMI fantasy that has railroaded recent threads.
    If it had gone on any longer, I would gave been forced to yield to temptation and play the Elvis card with Patchy Choo Choo.
    “Love me Tender”
    Thank goodness, I resisted the temptation.

  53. jack morrow (15:33:31) :

    The AGW’s S.O.S. is drowned out by the public’s economic S.O.S.
    Discretionary spending freeze means AGW is too much of a sinking burden to tow.

  54. End of Jan 2010 finds the World’s Oldest Temperature Record finding it hard to come up to scratch! Maybe it does not know it is January?

    http://www.netweather.tv/index.cgi?action=cet;sess=

    70-00 Jan Ave 4.62c
    2010 Jan Ave 1.66c

    A wonderful -2.96c deg of warming. Reminds me of the good old days when corporations never made a loss but did occasionally report a negative profit.

    Sorry, cheap shot, I should know better, weather is not climate, weather is not climate, whether its cold or not, weather is not climate!

    Green Sand, proud to be one of the great leader’s “Flat Earther’s”. A claim I will enjoy making to my grand children!

  55. Re: Matt (13:11:42)

    Matt, IIRC, the problem is not with the temperature sensor, it is the pressure sensor that is problematic. The pressure readings are used to estimate the float’s depth, and if it is off a little bit, it affects the estimates of the HC of that column of ocean sampled.

  56. Stephen Wilde: You wrote, “I discern from my readings so far that Bob Tisdale, Svensmark, Erl Happ and others consider that the oceanic influences are sun and air driven but at the moment I beg to differ.”

    First, please expand on your comparison of my work to Svensmark, Erl Happ and others. I find them different.

    Second, I can’t speak for Svensmark, Erl Happ and others, but I will respond for myself. You can beg to differ all you like, but I have illustrated the correlation between ENSO and variations in OHC and between variations in sea level pressure and the variations in OHC in three posts:

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

    AND:

    http://bobtisdale.blogspot.com/2009/10/north-atlantic-ocean-heat-content-0-700.html

    AND:

    http://bobtisdale.blogspot.com/2009/12/north-pacific-ocean-heat-content-shift.html

    And to counter the correlation-is-not-causation argument, I’ve illustrated and discussed how these variables can and do cause changes in SST and OHC in a number of posts, including:

    http://bobtisdale.blogspot.com/2009/11/more-detail-on-multiyear-aftereffects.html

    AND:

    http://bobtisdale.blogspot.com/2009/11/more-detail-on-multiyear-aftereffects_26.html

    AND:

    http://bobtisdale.blogspot.com/2009/12/more-detail-on-multiyear-aftereffects.html

    I’ve created almost two dozen videos to illustrate oceanic processes that agree with the preceding, including variations in tropical Pacific Ocean currents:

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

    and variations in tropical Pacific sea level anomalies:

    http://bobtisdale.blogspot.com/2009/12/animations-of-aviso-tropical-pacific.html

    and the variations in the equatorial Pacific cross-sectional temperature profiles during EL Nino events in two posts:

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

    AND:

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

    As I’ve replied to you before, Stephen, unless your hypotheses can be backed by data that YOU present in some form (graphs preferably) that YOU create and include in your posts and comments, you present conjecture.

  57. Thanks to climategate and the contributors to blogs like these they are now starting to have to put science forward they can justify without political pressure. I note the FT had an article suggesting that the scientific advisor suggested including sceptics in the discussion, but the FT was of the opinion that they would having trouble finding sceptical scientists (presumably climate scientists). Presumably that would be true because the majority of funding for climate science is government backed to support the consensus. One has to wonder how happy scientists working in other areas at these institutions and universities are having their reputation tarred with the same brush. Their may be some interesting conversations going on in the background here. It is a shame that there can’t be some kind of differentiation made in the debate between physical science and parts of climate science. Nobody would give the same credibility to a physics scientific report as a social sciences report, and it might allow parts of the scientific community to regain their reputations – and to narrow their predictions to what can be deduced from their field.

  58. Vincent: You wrote, “…Hansen’s prediction required an ocean heat accumulation of about 10^22 joules per year…”

    Aren’t you missing a number in your statement? Shouldn’t it read 1*10^22 Joules per year?

  59. You know, on second thought, if the sun is what has been cooling the stratosphere, and this ‘cold-point’ is moving lower, then couldn’t this be a mechanism that amplifies the effect of TSI?

  60. I should slow down, but I also thought, couldn’t this make El Nino occur more often if the water in the hydrological cycle has less space to recycle, it would theoretically be warmer when it goes back into the ocean? Not so much stabbing in the dark as shooting wildly with a machine gun, but these all seem possible to me. Am I wrong?

  61. As usual, correct without announcing, hoping to hide the hiding. Now, did this use the Argo buoys and are the corrections pre or post the previous corrections?

    I must admit, I am a little confused. If, in my profession, a project manager was coming back to me weekly with new dates for project milestones, I would fire him, or her.

  62. Leo G (11:39:48) :

    Just an opinion, but in my mind the CRUmail release has been a tectonic shift point in climate science

    Its certainly been more than a quantuum leap :-)

    I look forward to the announcement that the leak came from within, from a very senior person :-) Of course, I don’t expect to hear that.

  63. A pressure sensor error will be less than 1% (or some other number), absolute, at atmospheric pressure. At 100 foot, 4 atmosphers, that error will be one quarter as a percentage. This makes pressure sensor errors insignificant for these probes.

  64. Lucijan Rejec (11:34:58) :

    I am just reading James Hansen`book “The Storms of my Grand Children”. He is competely sure about his conclusions that CO2 emissions are the main climate forcing agent. Most of the rest is a very emotional appeal for measures to be adopted to prevent the unavoidable catastrophe. He worries a lot, how to communicate his “truth” efectively

    David Harington (13:08:02) :

    Dr. Hansen is a religious zealot and totally immune to any opinions or evidence that questions his belief system.

    For that reason attempting to debate with him is a total waste of time and energy

    ………..Choo choo Pacu sells porn

    Hansen sells science fiction

    Joe Romm has a sci fi book out.

    Palin sells 2 million books. Calling it the way you see it sells bertter than fiction.

  65. The fact that teh top 700 meters of the ocean contain 200 times teh heat of teh atmosphere does not mean, as stated above that a 1/200th degree change in the temperature of the ocean can change the temp of the air by 1 degree–the direction of heat flow is governed by the temperature difference, not the heat content difference.

    What is does mean is that if the bottom of the atmosphere gets out of equilibrium with the top of the ocean, the ocean will almost immediately drag the atmosphere right back to the ocean temperature with almost no affect on the ocean. The ocean adds an immense amount of “thermal inertia” to the system. That’s why many of us are so skeptical about the role of CO2…it would have to heat the atmosphere by an immense amount to overcome the thermal inertia of the oceans.

  66. GaryPearse said “on the third hand”
    Dude, the proper idiom is “on the gripping hand”
    See Nivien&Pournelle ‘The Mote in Gods Eye’

  67. Re: Robert of Ottawa (17:22:59) :

    “A pressure sensor error will be less than 1% (or some other number), absolute, at atmospheric pressure. At 100 foot, 4 atmosphers, that error will be one quarter as a percentage. This makes pressure sensor errors insignificant for these probes.”

    Robert, the folks at ARGO disagree with you. Please see the following:

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

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

    http://www.seabird.com/technical_bulletins/ReturningArgoCTDInstructions.htm

  68. Just wondering… since “NODC revises ocean heat content data – it’s now dropping slightly” can we expect to see some of those famous foggy days in London town? Don’t you just miss those old movies?

    If the “real” enemy are the wackos at “The National Academy of Sciences (which) controls the purse strings of federal research agencies” and “US’s research agencies have been transformed into propaganda generators, just like the UN’s IPCC.”, shouldn’t more attention go toward the NAS – or is that too big a can of worms?

  69. Henry chance (17:30:37) :

    So, the Earth, according to Hansen, is warmed out of the Ice Ages by massive population explosions of animals and volcanoes. Upon being hit by an asteroid, the extinction of land animals is the tipping point and back to the Ice Age we go.
    So, that’s what’s wrong with the Ice Cores. They are upside down. Pancake flipped by the last asteroid hit.

  70. Bob Tisdale (14:17:26) :

    Sean: You asked, “Would it be possible to put some shading in the period covered which showed which were Argo, which were determined from a different data sets and different analytica methods.”

    Sorry. I don’t do shading.

    HOW ’bout a line then? give us a break eah?

  71. MrCPhysics (17:34:49) :
    Between the lines: the energy necessary to raise the top 700m of the oceans 1/200th of a degree is approximately equal to energy necessary to raise the temperature of the atmosphere one degree. Better?

  72. James F. Evans (11:56:26) :
    So, the Sun’s total energy output is down as evinced by a lack of Sunspots and evinced by decreased solar magnetic flux (and has been for a while).
    The total solar energy output is given almost exclusively by TSI, which varies very little [0.1%] . The energy in the solar wind and the magnetic field is a million times smaller and has therefore no discernible influence on the total energy output, and therefore very little to do with the weather. Why do people not get this?

  73. Leif Svalgaard (20:14:36) :

    But Lief, I think they do get it, though not may years have gone by at this reduced TSI and the effects are just starting to be felt. Some are jumping the gun a bit. 1366 TSI time 0.1% is 1.366 W/M^2. And If the sun’s activity stays relatively low, the impacts (cooling) will have it’s effect over the years and decades. Let’s hope that doesn’t happen, and hope that the sun will kick back up by 2011-2012. Otherwise, I think, the sun is then basically in a skipping-cycle mode (a minimum, showing only as small bumps on the long term graphs). For 1.366 W/m^2 over a year is ~5.5e+24 joules and around half of that is now no longer being received as it was in period of 1970-2000 when the sun was frothing. Just my view.

  74. wayne (20:50:45) :
    But Leif, I think they do get it, though not may years have gone by at this reduced TSI and the effects are just starting to be felt.
    The 0.1% reduction drops the temperature 0.07K or so, but once. It does not keep dropping, because TSI does not keep falling. Think of it this way: for a million years TSI was 1361.0, that resulted in temperature T, for the next million years TSI is 1360.0, and the temperature will be T-0.07K. There may be lags etc, but that just means that the 0.07K decrease will take so many years [pick your own number: 1, 10, 100, 1000, ...] to play out.

  75. wayne (20:50:45) :
    For 1.366 W/m^2 over a year is ~5.5e+24 joules and around half of that is now no longer being received as it was in period of 1970-2000 when the sun was frothing. Just my view.
    So, in my example over a million years you think we will be missing half of 5.5e+30 joules. Over a billion years: 5.5e+33 joules.

  76. Bob Tisdale (16:51:00)

    Thank you Bob, I’ll browse through those links.

    However on first glance I don’t see anything that directly addresses my point.

    Are you able to exclude internal variations within the oceans as a driver of the events in the atmosphere above that you analyse in such admirable detail ?

    I’m not so concerned about the ENSO cycle but rather the PDO phase changes (admittedly an ENSO artifact but a real world phenomenon nevertheless) and also the possibility of a longer term oceanic cycle sufficient to have driven the ITCZ nearer the equator during the depths of the Little Ice Age.

    The only comparison between your work and the work of others that I commented on was the apparent conclusion that the variations in sea surface temperatures are driven by events in the air and not by events within the oceans.

    It is that issue which I am trying to resolve.

    The oceans being as large and mobile as they are I find it difficult to exclude them as a climate driver in their own independent right.

  77. Leif Svalgaard (21:01:56) :
    So, in my example over a million years you think we will be missing half of 5.5e+30 joules. Over a billion years: 5.5e+33 joules.

    If TSI stayed at 1364.6… compared to 1366 for a million years, yes, mathematically yes. Of coarse, very slowly, equilibrium would be reached between ocean/air temperatures and new radiative balance would be reached. But the air’s temperature will vary greater than the oceans temperature. Air is feably comared to water in heat storage, on the plus side or minus side. So, in releation to TSI, with focus is on ocean temperature, not the air’s temperature. And, yes, it will take many years to equalize if the above scenario occurs.
    And (20+273)*0.001=~0.3K which equals many, many years with air temp being magnified slightly (~ 1-2 degC).
    We saw this happen from ~1960-2000 only going the other way.

  78. wayne (21:37:48) :
    And (20+273)*0.001=~0.3K which equals many, many years
    No, 0.3/4=0.07K, because radiation~temperature to the 4th power, so a relative change in radiation is accomplished by a quarter of that change in temperature. We did not see that happen, because that change is too small to see.

  79. Lief, first I respect you. Just wanted you to have an alternate view, but very real to me (so far). Still calculating myself through aspects of this. I was using the 0.3K as actual delta temperature of water in example, not as radiative equivalent (though 0.15K is closer to reality). Will let you know later if I find myself wrong (it happens). Trying to always keep an open mind on all aspects of this deep subject.

    REPLY: Might want to check his name spelling – Anthony

  80. wayne (22:18:55) :
    I was using the 0.3K as actual delta temperature of water in example,
    It looked to me that you were saying that a 1/1000 change in TSI would equal a (20+273)/1000= 0.3K change in temperature. This is not correct calculation. The temperature change will be 1/4 of that or 0.07K. Water or air, makes no difference.

  81. Leif Svalgaard (22:25:43) :
    It looked to me that you were saying that a 1/1000 change in TSI would equal a (20+273)/1000= 0.3K change in temperature.

    That is over many years.

    I was taking a watt, to be a watt, to be a watt no matter where it comes from, radiation, conduction, etc. Are you saying TSI (W/m^2) has to be reduced (I know the dT^4 law). That was already corrected if TSI is calculated from the sun’s temperature. Don’t understand why you are applying it again.

  82. Leif, for Anthony’s sake don’t want to carry this further. You should have a good base of my view whether it be right or wrong. Later.

  83. .

    >>>Actually showing the decline for a change. Smart move.

    Well, people don’t believe you after a while, so there is no point lying anymore.

    Its like our education results in the UK. They are still trying to convince us that results have increased every year for the last 26 years, while employers are saying that UK education is dire. (97% of students now pass). They have hidden the decline for 26 years.

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1044773/A-level-pass-rate-rockets-highest-level-test-chiefs-herald-unfailable-exam.html

    Apparently, 20% in an exam now represents a ‘pass’. The result of all this lying? – Nobody believes the exam results anymore. Unless you get an A+++ in a subject, employers assume you have failed the exam.

    .

    Here’s a thought. Could someone set up a WUWT for UK education??

    .

  84. >>>Great job on the Ocean Heaving Content- voluptuous even….

    Oh, oh, ooohhh, ooooooohhhhh, – where is my red silk hanky????

    Damn.

    .

  85. whenever i see results published by the warmists, their data is always “corrected” or “biased” or “smoothed”.

    I’m not a scientist but surely if your measuring stations are so persistently inaccurate you need to take a long hard look at your methodology?

  86. Obviously the missing heat is hiding “in the pipe-line”.

    Personally, I suspect the only pipe big enough to hide all that energy is the one smoked by Mr H.

    Cheers

    Mark

  87. Bob Tidsdale,

    “Aren’t you missing a number in your statement? Shouldn’t it read 1*10^22 Joules per year?”

    Thanks. I confess that I left it out because I thought the 1 was redundant.

  88. Stephen Wilde: You asked, “Are you able to exclude internal variations within the oceans as a driver of the events in the atmosphere above that you analyse in such admirable detail ?”

    No. Unfortunately, subsurface temperature readings are few and far between prior to ARGO. And ARGO has problems of its own.

    You wrote, “I’m not so concerned about the ENSO cycle but rather the PDO phase changes (admittedly an ENSO artifact but a real world phenomenon nevertheless) and also the possibility of a longer term oceanic cycle sufficient to have driven the ITCZ nearer the equator during the depths of the Little Ice Age.”

    But the PDO is an indicator of the pattern of SST and not a measure of SST itself. So are you now suggesting that the location of the ITCZ is a function of the pattern of SST of the North Pacific North of 20N (the PDO) and not tropical tropospheric temperature and/or tropical SST?

    You wrote, “The only comparison between your work and the work of others that I commented on was the apparent conclusion that the variations in sea surface temperatures are driven by events in the air and not by events within the oceans.”

    I believe if you were to read the posts I linked for you above you’d find that I describe ENSO as a coupled ocean-atmosphere process and that SST outside of the tropical Pacific reacts to ENSO through changes in atmospheric circulation, again more coupled ocean-atmosphere processes.

    And you continued, “It is that issue which I am trying to resolve.”

    And without long-term high-resolution global subsurface data how do you plan on doing that?

  89. Fluffy Clouds (Tim L):

    You wrote, “HOW ’bout a line then? give us a break eah?”

    And where would you like me to place that line? When the ARGO project started? When they reached specific coverages of specific oceans, 10% in the Atlantic, 50% in the Pacific? There’s nothing stopping you, if a subject interests so you, from marking up my graphs from any of my posts in any way you’d like.

    Regards

  90. wayne (22:48:15) :


    Leif Svalgaard (22:25:43) :
    It looked to me that you were saying that a 1/1000 change in TSI would equal a (20+273)/1000= 0.3K change in temperature.

    That is over many years.

    I was taking a watt, to be a watt, to be a watt no matter where it comes from, radiation, conduction, etc. Are you saying TSI (W/m^2) has to be reduced (I know the dT^4 law). That was already corrected if TSI is calculated from the sun’s temperature. Don’t understand why you are applying it again.

    I’ve not followed the discussion too closely, so I could be on the track altogether, but is it possible that you are not considering the earth’s geometry in your calculation.

    A 0.1% increase/reduction in TSI does not mean the earth receives 1.36 w/m2 more/less. Averaged over the surface of the earth it is only a 1/4 of this figure. You also need to take into account albedo which reduces it still further. Whichever approach you take Leif’s figure is the correct one.

  91. To Bob Tisdale.

    I’m an old fisherman, not a scientist. !
    I appreciate your knowledge sharing with “The uneducated masses on the internet who are growing in number daily”—
    The graph that I was referring to above is yours from NODC period 1955 to 2009. The dip in the chart about 1968 is contary to my observations in Northern Australia. Nothing specific to it, but a gut feeling over 70 years.
    The MSM won’t tell us anything of value.

  92. Hah! Thanks Bob.

    It’d be interesting to do a comparison of the 2003-2008 data with Loehle’s reconstruction. ;-)

    Nice to see the powers that be tinkering around the edges. I wonder when (or if) they’ll address the big step change between the XBT data and the ARGO data at 2002.

  93. James F. Evans (13:00:48)

    You dont need to persuade me, I agree there is evidence of real conspiracy. It is indeed on record in the CRU emails, and well documented by this site – Yamal, Darwin Zero, IPCC hockey sticks, dodgy figures and references, the Wiki-purge, the list goes on. Scientific communities and their modus operandi make themselves highly susceptible to it.

  94. Bob Tisdale (14:34:34) :

    Thanks for the extra information. I’m a sceptic, so my point wasn’t that there was anything extraordinary about the OHC content in terms of units of 10^22 joules.

    It was just that I needed something I could relate to that would help me grasp how enormous the OHC is on a human scale.

    I thank you for helping me see that, enormous as that amount of energy is, 16 times more only gave rise to a 0.17 deg. C rise in ocean temperature over 40 years. As you point out on your blog, maybe the big numbers are used to scare us!

  95. Bob Tisdale (01:44:46)

    I’m inclined to the judgement that the location of the ITCZ and all the other air circulation systems is a consequence of the average global SST for all the oceans combined at any given moment.

    Also that more likely than not there are movements within the oceans that influence the SSTs independently of events in the air such as the Trade Wind effect on the ENSO cycle.

    Proving it is of course another matter but my purpose is to look at what data we do have already and try to work out a scenario that fits as many observations as possible.

    Testing such a scenario can only be done with new data as it arises over time.

    I don’t think we can square any of our current climate theories with observations unless one allows for independent variability from within the oceans leading to SST changes and we also have to recognise variability from stratosphere to space.

    Just assuming that the oceans are inert with all changes driven from above doesn’t work. I see that you accept an ocean atmosphere interaction but so far you seem to shy away from giving much practical weight to a variable oceanic energy flow independent of events in the air on the reasonable basis that we don’t have enough evidence yet.

    Just assuming that the Earth radiates like a black body with a rate of energy loss to space solely dictated by temperature doesn’t work either.

    To get any idea of what happens within the troposphere we need a much better grip on energy flow rate variations from oceans to the air above and from troposphere to stratosphere and thence to space.

    Linking all the components involves a number of separate areas of scientific enquiry none of which are adequate on their own.

  96. JohnRS (13:23:03) :

    “Could the real scientists be begining to take control?”

    Yes, I have been wondering about this myself. I’m not given to conspiracy theory; it’s probably more a case of scientific folk needing, like the rest of us, to put bread on the table. I daresay we’ve all “played the game” in our workplaces and simply done/said whatever was necessary to keep the moolah roling in. In many cases, I’m sure, that has taken the form of scientists just keeping their heads down without rocking the boat.

    However, now that other forces are threatening shipwreck, the only way to restore equilibrium may be by an attitudinal sea-change, to extend the metaphor. The “science” can’t carry on as it has been doing without falling into total collapse. The only remedy is a return to sanity, which means that those who’ve been lying low and weathering the storm must now be allowed to come to the fore.

  97. Reading through the discussion something curious came to mind. Hope this doesn’t prove to be the exception to the saying that there’s no such thing as a stupid question…

    Does a high concentration of water vapor in the atmosphere act as a lens for solar radiation? Does high humidity in the atmosphere at various regions on the globe ‘magnify’ solar heat beneath the lens more so than areas with far less humidity?

    Be kind..

  98. Leif Svalgaard (20:14:36) :

    “The total solar energy output is given almost exclusively by TSI, which varies very little [0.1%] . The energy in the solar wind and the magnetic field is a million times smaller and has therefore no discernible influence on the total energy output, and therefore very little to do with the weather. Why do people not get this?”

    Hey, I’m just a layman interested in the climate debate, but my mind turns to valves and transistors, where a small control signal can effect large changes in current flow: an amplification effect.

    I’m not saying that Henrik Svenmark’s ideas are as yet indisputably proven, but it seems to me that they illustrates at least the possibility of some kind of control mechanism, in this example by the effect of the solar magnetic field on shielding the earth from cosmic rays. Via that and the effects on cloud formation, the amount of solar irradiation of the earth might be significantly influenced.

    There are many examples in natural systems where a seemingly very small signal can have large effects – hormones in the body, for example. These are often involved in homeostatic feedback mechanisms that maintain equilibrium.

    It seems to me that you are excluding all sorts of possiblities when you concentrate on relative magnitudes. For all we know, there could be a number of as-yet-unknown homeostatic feedback mechanisms involved in weather and climate, whereby relatively tiny signals can have very significant control effects.

  99. John Finn (02:01:44) :

    A 0.1% increase/reduction in TSI does not mean the earth receives 1.36 w/m2 more/less. Averaged over the surface of the earth it is only a 1/4 of this figure. You also need to take into account albedo which reduces it still further.

    Unless albedo changes amplify the signal as shown by Nir Shaviv in his article about usings the oceans as a calorimeter. He found a 7-10x terrestrial amplification to the solar signal.

  100. John Finn (02:01:44) :

    Yes, every point you made is correct but only in a particular view you are calculating or speaking in. And yes, albedo of ~0.31needs to be accounted. Thats why I said less than half, I was speaking very roughly. If you want you can divide by four to average the intensity over the whole sphere if you keep all factors in that frame of reference. Or, put yourself on the moon looking on a closed system, the earth, you are not really able to tell if it is a sphere or just a flat disk with the sun shining on it without prior knowledge. If all factors are kept correct in that frame of reference, all answers will be identical (but somewhat easier to calculate and in some cases much clearer to visualize).

    Having done a lot of work in planetary gravitation where, when simplifying, you let all constants go to one so you don’t have to deal with them at all, as graviational constant, radius of earths orbit, the mass of the sun, they all go to one so you can completely dropped them from all complex equations for simplicity.

    But you made it clear to me, I should pay more attention to clearly state the reference frame I am speaking in or others likely can’t follow my points. The previous posts were given in a flat disk-like frame using the cross-section of the earth.

  101. wayne (05:40:54) :

    Having done a lot of work in planetary gravitation where, when simplifying, you let all constants go to one so you don’t have to deal with them at all, as graviational constant, radius of earths orbit, the mass of the sun, they all go to one so you can completely dropped them from all complex equations for simplicity.

    Why not use Matlab to help handle complex calculations? Slide rulers are fun but there are better ways. :-)

    Mike Ramsey

  102. tallbloke (05:38:11) :

    Please tell more about this ‘amplification’. Don’t know about 7-10x, doesn’t sound real at first, but 30% or so I can see. Might not be for same reason but would like to read about his viewpoint. Do you have a link?

  103. Statistical correlation is a key component to any proposed hypothesis. Small triggers resulting in big changes still have to be correlated with data. To say that the mechanism is there but to not be able to measure or observe it , let alone produce it in the lab, means that you must consider, at the very least, that some other trigger is overwhelming your supposed “tiny trigger, amplified affect” mechanism.

    The AGW hypothesis is a case in point. It is hard for its proponents to consider that a larger trigger (and one mundane, innocently natural, easily mechanized, and non-earth shattering) produces the larger share of climate variability. Plus one does not gain notoriety for discovering things that are mundane, innocently natural, easily mechanized, and non-earth shattering. They gain notoriety by finding secrets and break throughs, and the tinier the trigger, the better. No one will win a Nobel Peace Prize by “discovering” the mechanism behind the observation that babies cry when they are hungry and poop after they eat.

    It seems that both sides of this debate want the breaking of wind from the tiny gnat’s behind to trigger the tornado.

  104. I seriously doubt the ability to measure OHC since 1955 — the required instrumentation (ARGO) wasn’t in place until after 2000. Data before that are so sparse & unreliable that massaging it can give you whatever you want.

    Fig2 above shows ARGO results. It’s the way to go for real OHC measurement. Even that data needs to be monitored by independent analyzers to prevent the usual government-sponsored massaging biases.

  105. tallbloke (05:38:11) :
    Nir Shaviv in his article about usings the oceans as a calorimeter. He found a 7-10x terrestrial amplification to the solar signal.
    Which still leaves the mechanism in doubt. Would you be as enthusiastic if he had found a 700-1000x amplification?

  106. Stephen Wilde (03:55:52): Thanks for the summary of your beliefs, but as I’ve written before, unless you download data you feel represents your hypotheses, plot that data, post the data, and provide links to the data so others can reproduce your graphs and examine the same data for alternate explanations, what you write here is conjecture.

  107. Anyone know of whether the daily SOI index of below -50 as of today and the westerlies almost off the charts in the ENSO region were even predicted (according to the TAO site)? I wonder if even Tallbloke expected that (considering his model is more accurate than many)

    Starting to look likely there could be a 2nd peak which was not even seen in the models, especially if those SOI values don’t start going up real soon.

  108. The recent post by Willis E. on floating islands showed the sea level rise curve inflecting downwards around 2004-2005. Exactly the same time that the above adjusted ocean heat content graph from NODC shows the downturn.

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/01/27/

    Correlation? Causation? Coincidence?

  109. Pamela Gray (06:39:32) :

    “It seems that both sides of this debate want the breaking of wind from the tiny gnat’s behind to trigger the tornado.”

    I’m an ardent sceptic, and although I’m a layman when it comes to climate science, I have some scientific background in zoology. There are many negative feedback loops in organic systems that help maintain a stable equilibrium. Note: the emphasis is on stability, not instability.

    The earth isn’t an organism, but it is a highly complex system that has existed for billions of years, and so it’s not entirely unreasonable to hypothesise that there could be negative feedback control loops. If there weren’t, then I’d imagine it would have long ago destabilised.

    This is one good reason why I don’t buy into positive, runaway feedbacks. CO2 might for all I know be involved in some feedback loop or other, but if so, I’d bet my bottom dollar it’s negative rather than positive.

    I don’t “want” anything to be other that what it actually is, but it strikes me that if one concentrates on the big and impressive factors and ignores all possibility of subtle, possibly interacting negative feedback loops, then one could be missing a trick. I’m just saying, keep an open mind.

    Many things that weren’t at one time measurable in relation to biological systems are now routinely measured and seen as crucial in maintaining stability. For a long time they weren’t observable, as much because no one had thought to look for them, as because they weren’t there.

  110. Michael Larkin (08:20:01) :
    There are many negative feedback loops in organic systems that help maintain a stable equilibrium. Note: the emphasis is on stability, not instability.
    I will agree with the above, yet it seems to me that this emphasis on stability is a bit inconsistent with treating the system as something tottering on the brink waiting to be triggered by the tiniest perturbation [which you seem to be thinking: "whereby relatively tiny signals can have very significant control effects"].

  111. Bob Tisdale (01:44:46) :

    Stephen Wilde: You asked, “Are you able to exclude internal variations within the oceans as a driver of the events in the atmosphere above that you analyse in such admirable detail ?

    … And you continued, “It is that issue which I am trying to resolve.”

    And without long-term high-resolution global subsurface data how do you plan on doing that?”

    Could the question be framed another way: is the ocean surface interaction between ocean and atmosphere plus sun, the only route of heat entry to and exit from the ocean upper layer? What are the alternatives? There is one that is rarely mentioned – heat exchange between the deep ocean and the upper ocean. At the thermocline for instance. Heat movement at the thermocline must be generally downward due to colder deeper water – at least in tropical and mid latitutes. However in a steady state, a reduction in the rate of loss would be “as good as” a gain in heat.

    “What goes down must come up”. The ocean below the thermocline and the deep circulation does have most of the heat of the atmosphere-ocean system. It is hard to imagine that the complex century-scale deep circulation patterns do not result in fluctuation and (speculatively) periodic oscillation on a global scale in the rate of heat exchange at the thermocline.

    There are indeed no measurement systems to observe this: however it could be calculated indirectly. Look at the total ocean heat content above a certain depth, e.g 700m. Look at how it changes with time, how much heat must be leaving or entering. Then assess whether all this heat exchange can be accounted for by air-ocean exchange or solar input variation (Leif Svalgaard should help you there – arguing for negligible solar variation).

    According to the graph in the article by Bob Tisdale at the top of this thread, OHC can change in one year by around 1*10^22j Can this be accounted for?

    I watched the very nice video from one of Bob Tisdale’s above links to the animated ocean temp crossections during the el Nino events. The question was raised – why did some el Ninos cause a step up in (surface) OHC, others not? The answer as far as I could summarise was in terms of Mt Pinotubo’s eruption and ocean surface currents.

    In deep ocean the surface and deep currents are quite separate and can be going in different even opposite directions. Unless I missed it there was no mention of deep to surface ocean heat exchange.

  112. phlogiston (09:09:59)

    Thanks phlogiston, thats the sort of track that seems to me to be logically unavoidable.

    I’m not expressing mere beliefs because there is real data behind each of my suggestions. All I am doing is applying logic and basic physical principles to observed events in a way that is different from the routine approach.

    As new data comes to light gaps get filled in and in due course if some predictive ability arises or if significantly consistent explanatory
    power is seen then that would be the time to do as Bob suggests and ‘write a book’.

    At the moment construction is in progress and I know not where it will lead.

    Given the smallness of solar variability and the huge thermal inertia of the oceans none of the ideas relying exclusively on ocean surface interactions with sun and air seem to do the business and that is made all too apparent by the continuing lack of predictive skill.

  113. phlogiston (09:09:59) : There are many things Stephen could do. To account for the deep water temperature variations you raised, he could use satellite-based sea level altimetry data and remove the mass contributions (from glacial runoff, etc) and variations in salinity. The result is thermosteric sea level, which represents the temperature variations from surface to ocean floor. It has been done before. The data and methodologies are available.

  114. wayne (06:14:18) :

    tallbloke (05:38:11) :

    Please tell more about this ‘amplification’. Don’t know about 7-10x, doesn’t sound real at first, but 30% or so I can see. Might not be for same reason but would like to read about his viewpoint. Do you have a link?

    Link here:

    http://www.sciencebits.com/calorimeter

    Leif Svalgaard (07:40:42) :

    Which still leaves the mechanism in doubt. Would you be as enthusiastic if he had found a 700-1000x amplification?

    Well, Nir Shaviv managed to convince the Journal of Geophysical Research to publish the paper, so perhaps they were sufficiently impressed with the empirical aspects of the study.

    The second half of your comment looks like inflatio ad absurdum, so I’ll leave it be.

  115. tallbloke (14:37:46) :
    Well, Nir Shaviv managed to convince the Journal of Geophysical Research to publish the paper, so perhaps they were sufficiently impressed with the empirical aspects of the study.

    I don’t think you understand how science [and journals] work. What was accepted was that an amplification of 7-10x wold be needed to explain the correlations by causations, not that such causations were established. In fact, the higher the amplification [and that was the second part of my comment] the less likely the purported causation.

  116. Leif Svalgaard (15:06:18) :

    tallbloke (14:37:46) :
    The second half of your comment looks like inflatio ad absurdum, so I’ll leave it be.
    Trying to avoid inconvenient questions…

    Trying to avoid unnecessary argument. The data says 7-10x. Why discuss anything but the actual data and it’s error ranges?

    I don’t think you understand how science [and journals] work.

    I have a degree in understanding how science works. (BA Phil/Hist Sci Joint Hons Leeds 1988)

    Your thinker needs oiling.

  117. tallbloke (15:45:09) :
    I have a degree in understanding how science works. (BA Phil/Hist Sci Joint Hons Leeds 1988)
    Not actually doing science…

    The data says 7-10x.
    No, the data says, that if the causation is real, then a 7-10x times amplification is needed, not that it actually happens.

  118. Leif Svalgaard (17:11:47) :

    tallbloke (15:45:09) :
    I have a degree in understanding how science works. (BA Phil/Hist Sci Joint Hons Leeds 1988)

    Not actually doing science…

    You are long on insults but short on ideas.

    the data says, that if the causation is real, then a 7-10x times amplification is needed, not that it actually happens.

    Through the calculations I did and presented on this blog, which you examined and verified, I identified an energy gain in the ocean from empirical satellite data equivalent to ~3W/m^2 solar forcing on the ocean heat content between 1993-2003 during solar cycle
    23. 3W/m^2=20-30 x the 0.1-0.15W/m^2 you were admitting to when I was keeping a closer eye on you.

    There’s the amplification due to reduced cloud/increased solar activity. Exceptional in the case of solar cycle 23 according to SST data. More usually around 7-10 times, exactly as Nir Shaviv tells us.

    But you keep going back to your old dogma even when it’s been demonstrated to you that the data says otherwise.

    And you tell me I don’t understand how to do actual science, while averting your eyes from it and wiping it from your memory on a regular basis. No wonder you don’t remember the history or understand the philosophy of science.

  119. Leif, tallbloke,

    I’d like to see that issue resolved because it is at the heart of whether internal ocean variability is needed to explain periodic SST shifts or whether events in the air and involving solar input/albedo changes are sufficient on their own.

    Note that one has to accommodate not only ENSO variability but also PDO phase shifts and the longer term cycling from MWP to LIA to Modern Maximum.

    On the basis of what Leif says one really does need internal ocean variability affecting rates of energy release from ocean to air. On tallblokes account maybe still so but not nearly so much.

  120. Bob Tisdale (14:11:24)

    I’d love to do just that and lots more besides but I’d need enough funding to ditch my legal practice and devote the time to it.

    In the meantime I’ll just work from data that is already available.

  121. Stephen,
    What causes ‘internal ocean variability’? During geological timescale epochs, plate tectonics and sea level has caused changes in the relative temperature of big slices of ocean from bottom to top. Are we to believe these work out an equilibrium on such a long timescale that they account for all ocean energy release variability.

    I think the solar cause is mediated in the oecean effect at all timescales myself.

    If we have steric sea level rise, as evidenced by satellite altimetry, this in itself is proof that energy is being stored into the ocean at decadal timescales. It cannot simply be a readjustment of the heat-energy already in the ocean. Since longwave radiation doesn’t penetrate the surface, and the magnitude of the forcing is beyond what co2 can do anyway, it’s the Sun’s variation and cloud levels, QED.

  122. tallbloke (02:47:37)

    I’m sure that whatever does happen is supplemented or even offset by solar effects but solar on it’s own even if amplified by other factors such as cloudiness driven albedo changes doesn’t seem large enough to account for all the observed variability. For one thing the timings are way out of sync more particularly beyond the standard ENSO timetable of a year or two and according to Leif and others the solar variability is way too small to have such large effects on bodies of water as big as our oceans.

    It also seems to me that changes in sea surface temperatures are more likely to cause cloudiness changes than vice versa. Warmer water will heat the air above so that it can hold more water as vapour and low level cloud will dissipate letting more solar energy in only to be followed a little later by more middle and upper clouds as convection increases and then less solar energy coming in.

    I cannot see how the changes in cloudiness can be decoupled from sea surface temperatures to get the low level clouds to dissipate before the sea surface warms. Perhaps it can happen locally from the descending air in high pressure cells but then that is itself back to more convection providing the descending air so it’s back to the ocean as driver again.

    As for mechanisms within the oceans I would guess a link to the thermohaline circulation as phlogiston mentioned in an earlier post.

    It’s unlikely that water throughout that circulation maintains a constant temperature profile along it’s entire track. Small temperature variations in the surface waters rising from below would be enough on their own without changes in solar input to have a large effect on the air above because the thermal capacity of water is so much greater than that of air. If upwelling cold water becomes just a little less cold then in terms of the overall energy budget that results in a warming of the troposphere if solar input remains virtually constant as Leif says it more or less does.

    So I think the oceans deliver the initial variability in sea surface temperatures themselves independently of current events involving the sun and the air but are then supplemented or offset by current events involving the sun and the air.

    Where sun and air could have a primary effect is setting up those temperature variations along the track of the thermohaline circulation in the first place but of course that circulation takes about 1000 years so the recent solar maximum in conjunction with albedo changes could well be transmitted along the THC for centuries only to surface again in another 1000 years.

    Of course that could then neatly give us that 1000 year cycle couldn’t it ?

    Thus the recent El Nino peaks and the CO2 outgassing would be a consequence of the MWP warming as it surfaced after it’s 1000 year journey.

    Now the solar cycles need not necessarily be in phase with the oceanic circulation as they are now. Over millennia I expect shifts to occur with solar and oceanic cycles moving out of phase for long periods of time and I have explained the possible effects of that elsewhere.

  123. Thus the recent El Nino peaks and the CO2 outgassing would be a consequence of the MWP warming as it surfaced after it’s 1000 year journey.

    So after all you now agree with me that solar energy can be forced down into the ocean during runs of high solar cycles and resurface considerable lengths of time later in the form of sensible heat.

    Good.

  124. tallbloke (07:38:54)

    Yes but :)

    That sort of energy processing is over a very long slow cycle and just provides a background trend behind climate variations on shorter timescales.

    As regards those shorter timescales (decadal and multidecadal) I think it is the returning of the much earlier solar and albedo effects coming back from their long undersea journey that primarily dictates observed climate changes and not contemporaneous solar events or albedo variations.

    Actually that’s a rather neat and logical way of squaring the circle isn’t it ?

    The oceans, driven by long past solar and albedo variations, effect current climate changes and then, separately, the current state of solar and albedo influences can either supplement or offset that background influence depending on the phasing of the solar and oceanic cycles at the time.

    That then feeds back into the long term oceanic circulation for a subtly different climate outcome on the next turn of the longer term cycle.

  125. Actually that’s a rather neat and logical way of squaring the circle isn’t it ?

    Well, maybe. :-)

    The ocean is certainly a very big and very complex energy store, which is doing things at lots of different timescales. However, if we trust the empirical satellite altimetry, then the ocean was expanding due to energy input from when the satellite data got going in 1993 until 2003 when the sunspot number fell below 40. This post from Bob shows that the powers that be have had a rethink about trying to deny the undeniable, and we see ocean heat content has indeed fallen since then.

    And if the ocean was expanding due to heat, it was gaining energy overall. QED

    So even if some of the heat coming out of it had been swilling around for 900 years since the medieval warm period, it was more than being replaced by the high solar cycles (As measured by ACRIM) and low cloud (As measured by ISCCP satellites).

    The cause and effect of long term cloud cover change and ocean surface temperature is complex, but if you step away and look at the facts of the overall input to the system, it looks to me like ol’ Sol is right in the frame. If Miscolczi is right and the greenhouse effect is saturated, it explains why Earth’s temperature is so stable despite big changes in it’s atmospheric makeup over geological timescales. It also means surface temperature change is largely due to extra-terrestrial causes, because deep diving ARGO buoys don’t find temperature section profiles which go cold-warm-cold-warm to any great degree as depth increases. There can be layering and inversions, but I on’t know of studies which show it on a big scale. Maybe you do?

    I’ll meet you halfway at centennial scales of up to a couple of hundred years. This is a bit of a WAG at this stage though.

  126. Yes we need a bit of time to see how it pans out now that so many are looking at such stuff with far greater resources than I can command.

    As for the period 1993 to 2003 I agree that any gain in ocean heat content would be because of the El Ninos of that period not releasing energy to the air fast enough to offset the incoming solar input from the more active sun.

    However that does not imply that the more active sun caused the EL Ninos to be so strong. In my view it is more likely that the El Ninos were stronger because of a warming effect from less cold upwelling water combined with the warming effect of more solar input but on the basis of what Leif says the solar component would be the lesser player unless vastly amplified by some other cause.

    One can suggest that the amplifying cause would be reduced cloudiness but there is still the problem that reduced low level cloudiness requires the sea surfaces to warm first before the low cloud can dissipate and the sun get into the water.

    Again it seems that the oceans must act first then the sun and air follows and may either supplement or offset the initial oceanic forcing.

    I agree that there must be a particular level of solar input at which there is a balance and I’m sure you have good reasons to select a sunspot number of 40.

    Have you considered that that number could itself be variable depending on what the oceans are doing ?

    If the oceans are contributing more then the number could be lower and vice versa.

  127. “If the oceans are contributing more then the number could be lower and vice versa.”

    Not clear so I’ll clarify.

    If the oceans are releasing energy more slowly as seems to have been happening since 2003 then ocean heat content could nevertheless increase at a sunspot number of less than 40 and vice versa.

    Ocean heat content is currently not going up despite the oceans holding more energy back from the air because the sunspot number has been much less than 40 for some time and so the sun is failing to replace what the oceans are losing to the air despite the slower rate of energy loss.

    If we now have a very low sunspot number and a low rate of energy release from the oceans then that would suggest rapid cooling of the troposphere as the oceans denied energy to the air and the sun was less able to warm air and oceans.

    However the troposphere overall is not cooling all that fast as yet and there one needs to consider my proposition expressed elsewhere that a less active sun actually reduces the rate of energy loss to space and so helps to mitigate the tropospheric cooling effect of less warm ocean surfaces – but that’s for another day.

  128. I’m sure you have good reasons to select a sunspot number of 40.
    Have you considered that that number could itself be variable depending on what the oceans are doing ?

    Yes, it’s not an exact science, it’s my best estimate based on looking at a dataset spanning 150 years.

    Ocean heat content is currently not going up despite the oceans holding more energy back from the air

    They are? Howcome the SST’s are so high then? Seems to me energy is coming out of the ocean all over the world, just as I predicted, and escaping to space because the humidity isn’t very high due to low air temps, and the fact that the el nino isn’t locally concentrated in the east Pacific.

  129. talbloke

    ” It also means surface temperature change is largely due to extra-terrestrial causes, because deep diving ARGO buoys don’t find temperature section profiles which go cold-warm-cold-warm to any great degree as depth increases.”

    Ocean circulation is indeed complex. However I dont think it is necessary to find significant vertical temperature structure in the deep ocean to prove a variable effect of deep circulation on climate. Deep circulation is driven by downwelling such as at the Norwegian sea. Cooling and increased salinity causes water to descend, then it meets an obstacle – the bottom – after which is moves sideways, to the south, giving the North Atlantic Deep Water southgoing stream. Note that at the surface the “gulf stream” of warmer water from the Carribbean to Europe goes in the opposite direction, and the two currents are likely a linked circulation system.

    Downwelled water wont vary much in its temperature – it has to be cold to downwell: thus the way that climatic related variation in the heating of oceans from the surface will affect deep circulation is more likely to be a kinetic effect – changing the rate of downwelling. This could have complex downstream effects on the pattern and rate of deep circulation. So I dont think it is a case of warm pockets of water hiding in the deep waiting to resurface centuries later. (You cant push warm water down into colder water!)

    A clue to this was given in a post some months back on surprisingly large measured variation in Barents Sea temperatures in the 100-150m layer – by up to 4C over a 30 year cycle synchronous with the AMO. Such a huge variation in heat energy in the Barents sea would be difficult to attribute to surface heat exchange. A speculative alternative would be that the AMO is driven by cyclical variations in the strength and volume of the North Atlantic Drift. The Barents is at the tail end of the North Atlantic Drift thus might be more sensitively affected by its variation.

    The North Atlantic Drift variations could in turn be driven by variation in volume and rate of Norwegian Sea downwelling. The two might be separated by a time delay.

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/10/08/new-paper-barents-sea-temperature-correlated-to-the-amo-as-much-as-4%C2%B0c/#more-11592

    This would be one relatively short term example – other longer term deep circulation variations could be caused by variation in downwelling strength. Other interactions with the deep circulation system other than downwelling kinetics may also exist.

  130. tallbloke (11:57:51)

    SSTs are for the short term higher in some equatorial regions due to the current El Nino. As for other oceans they have cooled from what they were as the 2007 La Nina works poleward through them.

    PDO went negative around 2003 and so we are only seeing an El Nino spike within the negative phase.

    Energy is always coming out of the oceans all over the world. All that changes is the speed of release and it varies from ocean to ocean at any given time.

    One has to consider the netted out global rate of energy release and not just one or two regions.

    Apparently the stratosphere has been warming since the late 90’s which tends to strengthen the stratospheric inversion and reduce the rate of energy loss to space.

    Has humidity fallen ? Presumably not above those warmer sea surfaces. Doesn’t the variable speed of the hydrological cycle keep global humidity pretty stable ?

    Anyway I don’t want to seem to be ‘attacking’ anything you say. I’m more interested in finding areas where we are in agreement.

    Stephen.

  131. Leif Svalgaard (22:25:43) :

    Leif, said I would report back if I were wrong, well, missed a decimal point above. So, my reference frame, viewing the earth as a flat disk, absorbing the sun’s radiation (to simplify the energy calculation):

    Earth’s cross section time seconds in 1955-2010 period is 2.2e+23 m2•s, times (100%-31%) for albedo times 71% for oceans percent coverage times 1366*0.1% W/m2 is 14.7e+22 J which is more than the energy in the oceans to 700m accumulated between 1955 and present by the graph in Bob’s post at the top.

    Very simply, that was the point I attempted above. The ocean’s temperature change is very tiny (yes, to the fourth power) so very little excess gets radiated out above that of 1955 level. It accumulates.

    I am going further so you see my view clearly. NASA says in their ‘Climate Change Evidence’ page
    “The oceans have absorbed much of this increased heat, with the top 700 meters (about 2,300 feet) of ocean showing warming of 0.18 degrees Fahrenheit since 1955.”. That’s 0.1ºC, and per year is 0.0018 ºC/yr. The first year the additional radiation rate would be ~(293.0018K^4 / 293K^4)=1.0000245 (other parameters cancelled & dropped) which is 0.00245% increase in radiation to space from the oceans, first year. Not near enough to counter additional energy gained, beside, visible wavelength radiation buries deep as absorbed. Energy accumulates. Year by year the energy goes up and the radiation to space goes up but the radiation increase is still too small to balance. Somewhere around one degree rise, the oceans now radiate enough to balance the excess energy being received. A balance is hit and it’s stable again. Yes, it’s an exponential relation and would have to numerically integrated to get a more exact answer but the point is made if you can visualize without the numbers.

    If the sun goes quiet or at least back to normal levels before one degree rise is hit, the above process is truncated immediately (as ~2007).

    To save space here I won’t calculate, but I can knock that down further by many other factors but around half still remains. Some say 0.2%, not 0.1%, due to linear slope of TSI prior to this period. That would strength this view.

    That is my general view on the subject. Thanks Bob for the tip. The drop was expected by myself because I think the mighty sun is not invariant and in it’s imperceptible interactions, is at least half of the 1955-2010 effect seen in the oceans.

  132. Phlogiston, nice post, thanks. Stuff to think about there.

    Stephen, I think we agree more than not, but anyway I don’t take offence from honest truth seekers easily, so don’t worry about challenging my half baked ideas.

    One has to consider the netted out global rate of energy release and not just one or two regions.

    Yes, and global SST is up, which along with the quiet sun, is why OHC has gone down. However, I can see that overall windiness probably comes into this too, less wind – less evaporation. Less wave height, less spray – less heat transfer area.

    The climate is quiet out there tonight Tonto, too darned quiet. Something’s brewing in the depths.

  133. tallbloke (14:03:44)

    Thanks.

    I think the difference is in our perspective.

    Global SSTs are higher than they were in 2007 but I’m thinking in terms of the period 1979 to 2003 when they were on average higher than today.

    I think continuing observations will reveal what we need to know. Clearly all of us here are nearer the truth than the climate establishment and we just need to get the scale and timing of the various components right then the overall concept will become clearer.

    I think we have to recognise variability in both rates of energy flow into and out of the oceans which affects the troposphere from below and an additional variability in the rate of energy flow from stratosphere to space which affects the troposphere from above. It is that interplay which controls the position of the global climate bands, their vigour and persistence.

    One even gets a new climate band when the Arctic Oscillation is intensely negative because the polar high pressure cells migrate equatorward to create lower pressure around the poles. That has a profound cooling effect on the northern continental interiors as we have seen this winter.

    The stratosphere sometimes warms and sometimes cools but the AGW brigade are fixated on a continuous cooling of the stratosphere (plus warming of the troposphere) from extra GHGs.

    Whatever they say all the current evidence is that everything they relied upon to support AGW has been going in the opposite direction for ten years despite increasing CO2 in the air.

  134. tallbloke (08:54:00) :

    The ocean is certainly a very big and very complex energy store, which is doing things at lots of different timescales. However, if we trust the empirical satellite altimetry, then the ocean was expanding due to energy input from when the satellite data got going in 1993 until 2003 ….

    Has it not been expanding since? Not at the same rate perhaps but increasing nonetheless.

  135. So if the ocean “heat content” has been slowly declining recently; is it safe to assume that the ocean mean temperature has also been declining ?

  136. John Finn (15:57:43) :

    tallbloke (08:54:00) :
    the ocean was expanding due to energy input from when the satellite data got going in 1993 until 2003 ….

    Has it not been expanding since? Not at the same rate perhaps but increasing nonetheless.

    The rate of sea level rise seems to have approximately halved since 2005 according to the satellites. Earlier, the IPCC said roughly half of the sea level rise was due to thermal expansion. Calibrating these things isn’t easy. If ocean energy content is dropping, I would have thought continuing thermal expansion is unlikely.

  137. George E. Smith (17:00:56) :

    So if the ocean “heat content” has been slowly declining recently; is it safe to assume that the ocean mean temperature has also been declining ?

    Less Joules means less excited molecules as far as I know. More cloud since 1998 according to various ways of measuring cloud cover. Less active Sun, lower TSI.

    More co2.

  138. Stephen Wilde (15:22:04)

    I think we have to recognise variability in both rates of energy flow into and out of the oceans which affects the troposphere from below and an additional variability in the rate of energy flow from stratosphere to space which affects the troposphere from above. It is that interplay which controls the position of the global climate bands, their vigour and persistence.

    Absolutely. I think the latter might affect the flow of energy out of the ocean too, but this doesn’t mean I think more co2 will inhibit ocean energy release, because I think Miscolczi is probably right that the greenhouse effect is in equilibrium internally.

  139. There are sound analyses of certain demonstrable physical properties of matter but the way that translates to a climate response, if at all, is a mess and the heart of the problem is not the planet’s radiative balance as a whole but the radiative balance between individual layered components of the Earth system.

    It is becoming increasingly obvious that the rate of energy transfer varies all the time between ocean and air, air and space and between different layers in the oceans and air.

    That is what we need to get a grip on to diagnose changes in the energy content of the troposphere.

    The observed climate is just the equilibrium response to such variations with the positions of the air circulation systems and the speed of the hydrological cycle always adjusting to bring energy variations above and below the troposphere back towards equilibrium (Wilde’s Law ?).

  140. Stephen Wilde: You wrote, “Global SSTs are higher than they were in 2007 but I’m thinking in terms of the period 1979 to 2003 when they were on average higher than today.”

    I will strongly suggest that you start downloading data so that you can verify a claim before you make it. The average Global SST anomaly from Nov 1981 to Dec 2003 was 0.06 deg C, and since SST anomalies were lower between 1979 and 2003, that will not help your claim. Now for the bad news. The average SST anomaly for 2009 was 0.16 deg C higher at 0.22 deg. So whatever argument you were trying to make (I didn’t bother to read the rest) was flawed from the get go.

  141. Here is some data:

    The highest SST anomaly was of course 1998, then a dip, a rise to a plateau, another dip and now a 2009 spike.

    The PDO phase change is alleged to have occurred around 2005 and since then we have had a trough and a spike giving an indication that we are turning down from the peak of a late 20th century rise in SSTs which arose from a sequence of powerful El Ninos during the positive PDO phase.

    Thus we are probably just past a peak and on the way down which is essentially what I was trying to say.

    My error lay in not realising that the long period of rising SSTs leading up to the peak was in fact lower than not only the current peak but the plateau between 2002 and 2005.

    I should simply have pointed out that the average SST anomaly from the PDO phase change in 2005 to date is lower than the period of peak SSTs from 1998 to 2005.

    My initial statement was this:
    “Ocean heat content is currently not going up despite the oceans holding more energy back from the air.”

    In relation to the period 1998 to date that assertion is correct if an average for the period 1998 to 2005 is taken and compared with the period 2005 to 2009 .

    Since 2005 notwithstanding the current peak in SSTs the oceans have indeed been holding more energy back from the air as compared with the period 1998 to 2005 yet despite that the ocean heat content seems also to have hit a plateau.

    So the weakness of the solar input has resulted in ocean heat content failing to rise following the reduction in energy loss to the air.

  142. Stephen Wilde: You replied, “Here is some data,” and presented one of my graphs from 1990 to present, then continued, “The highest SST anomaly was of course 1998, then a dip, a rise to a plateau, another dip and now a 2009 spike.”

    Why are you referring to a graph from 1990 to present when your statement was about the average SST anomaly of the period from 1979 to 2003 versus the current SST anomaly? Nice try. You stated in the earlier comment, “Global SSTs are higher than they were in 2007 but I’m thinking in terms of the period 1979 to 2003 when they were on average higher than today.” The graph of 1990 to present doesn’t work for that period. Here’s a longer-term version:

    It shows how wrong your comment was. And as I responded above, since SST anomalies were lower between 1979 and 2003, that will not help your claim,

    You wrote, “The PDO phase change is alleged to have occurred around 2005 and since then we have had a trough and a spike giving an indication that we are turning down from the peak of a late 20th century rise in SSTs which arose from a sequence of powerful El Ninos during the positive PDO phase.”

    The PDO has no direct effect on global SST. It is not a measure of the SST anomalies of the North Pacific, only the pattern. Here’s a comparison graph of the PDO and the SST anomalies of the same portion of the North Pacific. Do you see any similarity?

    And here’s a comparison of detrended SST anomalies of the North Pacific versus the PDO. No similarity:

    The PDO does not represent the difference between North Pacific SST anomalies and Global temperature anomalies. Here’s a graph of the PDO versus North Pacific SST anomalies minus Global LST+SST anomalies. There’s no similarity there, either:

    Your continued attempts to perpetuate the myths about the PDO are being countered by the instrument temperature record, Stephen.

    I have no intent of disputing each sentence in your reply, Stephen. There is no need to bother. Your argument fell apart at the beginning.

  143. Bob Tisdale (13:12:18)

    I conceded an error in referring to the period prior to 1998.

    The fact is that on your own data the average global SSTs were higher from 1998 to 2005 than they were from 2005 to date notwithstanding the current spike.

    Thus my assertion was correct.

    My initial statement was this:

    “Ocean heat content is currently not going up despite the oceans holding more energy back from the air.”

    You pointed out that ocean heat content has not risen over recent years. Your data shows that SSTs are lower since 2005 than they were from 1998 to 2005. Accordingly the oceans have on average released less energy to the air since 2005 than they did from 1998 to 2005.

    The issue of the PDO is a distraction. I regard it as a real phenomenon notwithstanding that technically it is a mere artifact of ENSO statistics.

    A statistical artifact can be a clue to the presence of a real world phenomenon and that is clearly the case here. One can just rename that phenomenon but most are using it in the sense that I do so a renaming may be unnecessary or unhelpful or both.

    If you wish to rename the observed phenomenon of a phase shift then please do and maybe it will enter common usage.

  144. Stephen Wilde: You replied, “The fact is that on your own data the average global SSTs were higher from 1998 to 2005 than they were from 2005 to date notwithstanding the current spike. Thus my assertion was correct.”

    Stephen, the statement I referred to was the one I quoted, nothing more, nothing less. You wrote, ““Global SSTs are higher than they were in 2007 but I’m thinking in terms of the period 1979 to 2003 when they were on average higher than today.” And it was factually incorrect. You can’t spin it away.

    You repied to me, “My initial statement was this:”, and “Ocean heat content is currently not going up despite the oceans holding more energy back from the air,” and, “You pointed out that ocean heat content has not risen over recent years…”

    Wrong. Actually, that was part of a conversation you were having with tallbloke, and it was he who disagreed with your statement. He replied to you, “They are? Howcome the SST’s are so high then? Seems to me energy is coming out of the ocean all over the world, just as I predicted, and escaping to space because the humidity isn’t very high due to low air temps, and the fact that the el nino isn’t locally concentrated in the east Pacific.”

    I reacted to your incorrect statement, “Global SSTs are higher than they were in 2007 but I’m thinking in terms of the period 1979 to 2003 when they were on average higher than today.”

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