More on Ocean Heat Content and recent revisions to the data

OHC Linear Trends and Recent Update of NODC OHC (0-700 Meters) Data

Guest post by Bob Tisdale

[This is a follow up post to the first one on WUWT where Bob first examined the recent OHC revision, seen below  – Anthony]


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

The National Oceanographic Data Center (NODC) presented its Ocean Heat Content (OHC) data in conjunction with the Levitus et al (2009) Paper. The NODC makes the data available to the public and maintains it at their GLOBAL OCEAN HEAT CONTENT webpage. About January 20, 2010, the NODC added its 4th quarter and annual 2009 OHC data so that it covered the period of 1955 to 2009. On January 29 and February 1, 2010, the NODC also updated its 2006-and-later data. The KNMI Climate Explorer was updated in response to the 4th quarter NODC OHC additions and, on February 1, to the 2006-and-later revisions. (Thanks to Tim and Geert Jan for the timely updates.)

This post presents:
1. A brief look at impact of the revisions (corrections) to the 2006-and-later OHC data
2. OHC Trend Comparisons for individual ocean basins and hemispheres
3. An update of the global, hemispheric, and basin OHC data through December 2009

A Note About The Data Presented In This Post: This data used in the graphs (except Figure 2) was downloaded through the KNMI Climate Explorer website, which allows users to define the coordinates of the desired data subset. The data is presented in Gigajoules per square meter (GJ/m^2), not in 10^22 Joules like the NODC. In the GJ/m^2 format, subsets are easier to compare, since adjustments for surface area do not have to be made (they’ve already been made). The NODC presents quarterly data. KNMI includes those quarterly values for each corresponding month. This “squares off” the monthly data in the graphs, since the one value is the same for three consecutive months, but it permits comparisons to other monthly datasets, such as NINO3.4 SST anomalies.

REVISIONS (Corrections) TO THE 2006-AND-LATER NODC OHC DATA

I provided a quick introduction to the revisions (corrections) to the 2006-and-later OHC data in my recent post NODC Ocean Heat Content (0-700 Meters) – 2007, 2008 & 2009 Corrections. In that post, I had not noticed that the 2006 data had also been revised.

Figure 1 is a time-series graph of the updated and revised Global OHC data. The cell in the upper right-hand corner shows an earlier version, before the revisions to the 2006-and-later data. I have found nothing in the NODC OHC web pages that discuss these new corrections. Are they more corrections for ARGO biases?
http://i49.tinypic.com/jpetf4.png
Figure 1

The revisions to the 2006-and-later data shown in Figure 1 had little impact on the overall rise in the data since 1955. To confirm this, as illustrated in Figure 4 of this post, the linear trend of the revised and updated data for January 1955 through December 2009 is 0.078 GJ/meter^2/ decade. Before the revisions to the 2006-and-later data, the linear trend for the same period (not shown) was 0.079 GJ/meter^2/ decade.

-HOWEVER-

The revisions to the recent data do impact the trend of the short-term data used to illustrate the divergence between the observations and the GISS projections. This was discussed in the post NODC Ocean Heat Content (0-700 Meters) Versus GISS Projections (Corrected). In a communication with Roger Pielke Sr., James Hansen of GISS predicted an OHC accumulation of approximately 0.98*10^22 Joules per year. But the trend of the current version of the NODC OHC data (the observations) is approximately 1.5% of that GISS projection. That is, GISS projected a significant rise, while the observations have flattened significantly in recent years. The reasons for the divergence between observations and the GISS Projection were discussed in Why Are OHC Observations (0-700m) Diverging From GISS Projections? In short, GISS appears to have based its projection on the rise in OHC from the early 1990s to the early 2000s, assuming the rise was caused by changes in manmade factors and that the effect of those anthropogenic forcings would continue unabated into the future. But GISS failed to consider that the vast majority of the rise during the early 1990s to the early 2000s was caused by natural variables such as El Nino/La Nina events, the North Atlantic Oscillation, and the like, not by manmade forcings.
http://i47.tinypic.com/20kvhwn.png
Figure 2

The earlier version of that graph…
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.

TREND COMPARISONS

In the numerous posts on the NODC OHC data that precede this one, I don’t believe I’ve presented linear trend comparisons. Looking at the OHC linear trends for the individual ocean basins, Figure 3, it is very evident that the North Atlantic played a major role in the rise of global OHC since the early-to-mid 1970s. The linear trends of the OHC for most ocean basins, excluding the North and South Atlantic, are between 0.047 and 0.066 GJ/meter^2/decade. The linear trend of the North Atlantic OHC (0.205 GJ/meter^2/decade), on the other hand, is approximately 3 to 4 times those values. The South Atlantic OHC trend falls in between, suggesting an influence of the North Atlantic on the South Atlantic.
http://i50.tinypic.com/2eexa8w.png
Figure 3

BIG IFS

IF the multi-decade variations in North Atlantic OHC are similar in timing to the AMO, and IF the AMO did peak in 2005, and IF (lots of big IFs) the decline in North Atlantic OHC persists for another two plus decades, will global OHC continue to remain flat (or decline) for that long, too? Many of the other ocean basins are showing recent flattening or declines, so the North Atlantic is not alone. Regardless, a long-term decline in North Atlantic OHC (if one were to occur) would definitely not help long-term projections of a monotonous rise in OHC. And since the only variables that appear to cause significant rises in the other ocean basins are multiyear La Nina events and shifts in sea level pressure, a continued drop in North Atlantic OHC would have to be counteracted by one of those other factors.

The following are links to earlier posts that illustrate and discuss how natural variables (including ENSO events and changes in sea level pressure as represented by the North Atlantic Oscillation and North Pacific Index) are responsible for most of the rise in OHC since 1955:
ENSO Dominates NODC Ocean Heat Content (0-700 Meters) Data,
AND
North Atlantic Ocean Heat Content (0-700 Meters) Is Governed By Natural Variables,
AND
North Pacific Ocean Heat Content Shift In The Late 1980s

Figures 4 through 6 are comparison graphs of global and hemispheric OHC linear trends and the OHC linear trends for the individual ocean subsets per hemisphere.
http://i47.tinypic.com/1zp1usw.png
Figure 4
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http://i48.tinypic.com/n5qzw5.png
Figure 5
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http://i46.tinypic.com/o9k9at.png
Figure 6
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GLOBAL, HEMISPHERIC, AND INDIVIDUAL BASIN OHC UPDATE THROUGH DECEMBER 2009

For those who enjoy information overload, the following are time-series graphs of OHC data (0-700 meters) for the globe, hemispheres, and the individual ocean basins.

Note: I have no plans to perform comparisons of the data for the individual basin OHC anomalies before and after the revisions to the 2006-and-later data. I have compared the graphs I have on file, and the revisions do appear to have impacted all ocean basins. For those who wish to confirm this, you would have to download all of the following graphs, and also download the graphs from the post Update NODC (Levitus et al 2009) OHC Data Through June 2009 (Corrected). The color coding for the ocean basins have remained the same, with the exception of the Southern Ocean. The sizes of the images may vary slightly, but the corrections are still visible.

One last note: As opposed to presenting the OHC for the NINO3.4 region of the equatorial Pacific, I’ve included Tropical Pacific OHC data in the update. Here are graphs of the updated data without commentary:
http://i47.tinypic.com/5vuart.png
Figure 7 – Global OHC
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http://i50.tinypic.com/33ys42h.png
Figure 8 – Northern Hemisphere OHC
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http://i46.tinypic.com/2krfps.png
Figure 9 – Southern Hemisphere OHC
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http://i49.tinypic.com/2nut183.png
Figure 10 – Tropical Pacific OHC
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http://i45.tinypic.com/nvtgef.png
Figure 11 – North Atlantic OHC
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http://i45.tinypic.com/9pp4rq.png
Figure 12 – South Atlantic OHC
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http://i45.tinypic.com/jpc3l3.png
Figure 13 – North Pacific
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http://i50.tinypic.com/qof4wk.png
Figure 14 – South Pacific
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http://i49.tinypic.com/2ihxm6r.png
Figure 15 – Indian Ocean
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http://i48.tinypic.com/n3rb47.png
Figure 16 – Arctic Ocean
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http://i50.tinypic.com/1236qlt.png
Figure 17 – Southern Ocean

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

The other graphs of NODC OHC data were created from data provided by the KNMI Climate Explorer website:
http://climexp.knmi.nl/selectfield_obs.cgi?someone@somewhere

Posted by Bob Tisdale at 8:39 AM
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47 thoughts on “More on Ocean Heat Content and recent revisions to the data

  1. Apols for going OT – BBC Populus poll shows big drop in AGW belief

    http://newsvote.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/8500443.stm

    “…Of the 75% of respondents who agreed that climate change was happening, one-in-three people felt that the potential consequences of living in a warming world had been exaggerated, up from one-in-five people in November.

    The number of people who felt the risks of climate change had been understated dropped from 38% in November to 25% in the latest poll.

    During the intervening period between the two polls, there was a series of high profile climate-related stories, some of which made grim reading for climate scientists and policymakers.

    In November, the contents of emails stolen from a leading climate science unit led to accusations that a number of researchers had manipulated data.

    And in January, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) admitted that it had made a mistake in asserting that Himalayan glaciers could disappear by 2035.

    All of this happened against the backdrop of many parts of the northern hemisphere being gripped by a prolonged period of sub-zero temperatures.

    However, 73% of the people who said that they were aware of the “science flaws” stories stated that the media coverage had not changed their views about the risks of climate change.

    “People tend to make judgements over time based on a whole range of different sources,” Mr Simmonds explained.

    He added that it was very unusual for single events to have a dramatic impact on public opinion.

    “Normally, people make their minds up over a longer period and are influenced by all the voices they hear, what they read and what people they know are talking about.”

  2. Is there a succinct explanation for why they are revising the past data? I briefly reviewed your other post on the revisions, but didn’t see there any rationale for what is being done (I note that you do ask above whether the further corrections reflect a “correction for ARGO biases”).

    Regardless of the direction of the correction, we should push for an understanding of why the numbers are being changed and the rationale that is driving those revisions (as we do when Mr. Hansen’s crew start messing with the historical surface air temperature record).

    Great post though!

  3. Why were the originals out in the first place? It seems an admission of error. Slap a Toyota brake failure on them.
    Re stats, the margin of error depicted in these errors tells us not to worry.

  4. Moderator – apologies as I posted this on a previous thread by mistake. Please delete this if it breaks the rules.

    OT but you’ll be pleased to see the results of this BBC poll on global warming, but don’t be fooled by their first graph:

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/8500443.stm

    “The findings, based on interviews carried out on 3-4 February, show that only 26% of people think “climate change is happening and is now established as largely man-made”, only 1% more than those who think there is no global warming.”

    Of interest too is the list of key stories on the right of the page – none of them positive but going back some months (the Phil Jones story was his initial stepping down last year).

    The reporter introducing the BBC’s new poll results was of course Roger Harrabin and when asked what was causing the increased scepticism replied that one factor was the IPCC getting one of their facts wrong – and mentioned Glaciergate.

    What an ace reporter! How long have the other slips been in the public domain? Even the Telegraph’s Louise Gray mentioned one or two errors yesterday.

  5. Well, since most are going off topic, I’ll do it also. WUWT and Anthony were mentioned in a Guardian article, “Detectives question climate change scientist over email leaks”:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2010/feb/04/climate-change-email-hacking-leaks

    They write, “A third blogger with whom Dennis has posted is Anthony Watts, a weatherman for a California radio station who is involved in a sometimes vituperative sceptic blog called Watts Up with That. He has had a book published by the Heartland Institute, a denialist organisation which until 2006, received funding from ExxonMobil.”

    In looking at all of these graphs, I can’t find one that’s vituperative. But what do I know?

  6. Pray tell,

    To what do informed wise folk attribute the rapid rise between 2003-2004?

    A mighty hot wind from the Goreacle?

    I’m sure there is a less incredible explanation than that…
    TL

  7. Isn’t global ocean heat content both an output and input of the IPCC’s climate models? If they’ve been calculating and using demonstrably incorrect data, then the results must also be incorrect, right?

  8. Great job Bob.

    Also OT
    Who the heck is Chesapeake Climate Leadership Alliance?
    Sounds like a leftist outfit. Anyone know their origins and funding roots?
    Another add that Anthony probably is not proud of but will take their money.

  9. Also, what fraction of the ocean volume is thought to be included in the 0-700m Ocean Heat Content value?

    What degree of ‘mixing’ with sub-700m ocean is attributed to the overall global picture?

    What relationship between SST and OHC is , dare I ask it, the ‘consensus’ view?
    Or perhaps, what ranges of the above parameters are estimated in published works?

    Sorry if this is obvious to everyone but me
    TL

  10. Bob Tisdale:

    Excellent update.

    How accurate do you think these long term trends are given the migration from BTs et. al. to Argo? Does the 2003 transition jump suggest that the previous measurements were systematically too low? If so, the slope is shallower than we thought.

    Bill DiPuccio

  11. Hey Bob,

    Before this thread gets too long in the tooth; please clarify some nomenclature.

    Your two graphs are labelled “three month average” and “yearly average.”

    Does three month average, mean 1/3(last month+this month+next month) and encompasses a total time span (of data) of three months, or is it the previous 30 days (or so) plus the next 30 days so a two month total elapsed time span.

    Same for the yearly average.

    I just figured out that Spencer’s “13 month” running average is really this month plus previous six, plus next six, and actually is a total elapsed time of just 12 full months; or one solar orbit; in which case any annual cyclic variation is properly integrated out.

    So is your three month running average a 60 day or a 90 day total elapsed time span of data.

    George

  12. Ron de Haan (09:58:42) :
    Not entirely of topic:
    Solar Magnetic variation initiates interglacials
    http://www.heliogenic.net/2010/02/04/new-paper-solar-magnetic-variation-initiates-interglacials

    OT seems fashionable today :-)

    Similar paper by Gerald E. Marsh available on the link below:-

    INTERGLACIALS, MILANKOVITCH CYCLES, AND CARBON DIOXIDE

    http://arxiv1.library.cornell.edu/pdf/1002.0597

    A pdf of the Sharma paper you found is also available here:-

    http://arxiv1.library.cornell.edu/ftp/arxiv/papers/1002/1002.0597.pdf

    Thanks for a useful article, Bob, the link between solar activity and lower global mean temperature looks more likely again.

    Did NODC explain why they had made the adjustment, as it is a significant revision?

  13. Bob Tisdale: “In looking at all of these graphs, I can’t find one that’s vituperative. But what do I know?”

    I think the Guardian writer had this sort of thing in mind:

    “Poor dear Charles has lost his marbles! You can tell just by looking at him.”

    “I’ve always thought that if there were anyone more stump-dumb than Al Gore it is Prince Charles.”

    “It’s too easy, mocking this dim bulb.”

    “I watched this buffoon on TV recently…”

    “The British royals are not know for their intellectual prowess. They are better known for being randy as goats. Even their polo ponies refuse to allow them to pass astern. I suspect Charles’ random babbling about environmental Armageddon has a objective; that objective wears silk panties and weeps for the starving polar bears.”

    “What’s the difference between Charles and Miss America?
    He’s ugly.”

    “His intellect, or rather lack of, shows clearly that he comes from the shallow end of the gene pool.”

    “This is all about in-breeding – you can’t get smart, even with a terrific education, if you’re the spawn of a highly restricted gene pool. The Royals have bred themselves into dimwittery – it seems appropriate for the age…”

    “Don’t mock the man, a simpleton who has been taken in by able fraudsters.”

    “What a complete tosser.”

    “His royal nuttiness is a monstrous carbuncle on the face of his well-loved mum.”

    “Prince Charles is a complete arse.”

    And so on…

  14. Bob Tisdale (10:29:58) :

    “Well, since most are going off topic, I’ll do it also…..”

    Bob, you usually do such a good job there is very little to discuss. You have already posted some very good articles about the OHC and the effects of La Nina, El Nino and volcanoes. In this case the only questions are:

    1. Why were the results revised?
    2. Is the total OHC headed down?
    3. If it is headed down, for how long and how low?

  15. This question has to do with an OHC calculations and temperatures in general. Wonder if someone who feels at home in thermodynamics could answer this. Have scoured books and web for days for to no avail. Can find hundreds close examples but all shy from temperature mixing or energy mixing. Why?

    Keep this as simple as possible. Assume emissivity, specific heat, density to be one. I don’t think calculating is even needed to answer this question.

    Take 4 square glasses in checker board pattern, totally insulated to make a closed system, no external input or output. Fill two diagonal glasses with 300K water. Fill the others with 280K water. Measure the radiation emitted, call it E1. Allow the temperatures to equalize. What is the new temperature and from this radiation is easily calculated, OR, measure the radiation from which you can calculate the temperature. Is it first, second, or none of the above.

    One could logically assume the temperature is exactly 290K, the simple average, therefore the radiation after mixing would be slightly lower than E1. On the other hand, you could easily assume the total energy in the before and after cases is the same so radiation is the same and the temperature after mixing is higher than half of the difference. Or neither. Entropy is higher after mixing, is that the complexity? No simple answer to this simple question?

  16. Bob Tisdale;

    Goodwork. Your new plot showing negative slope of the Heat Content for the most recent data is consistent with the conclusions of a paper that Knox and I recently publilshed. [OCEAN HEAT CONTENT AND EARTH’S RADIATION IMBALANCE . Physics Letters A 373 (2009) 3296-3300 doi:10.1016/j.physleta.2009.07.023. download at ]

    We spent a lot of time trying to figure out the difference from the Hansen GISS result. Here is what we said in section 5.4 of our paper.

    5.4. Relation to “warming commitment”
    Wetherald et al. [27] have discussed the concept of “warming
    commitment,” which is defined as the temperature rise that
    would occur if climate forcing were held constant at its current
    level. Hansen et al. [28] refer to this concept as an effect “in the
    pipeline.” They compute a value FTOA = 0.85 W/m2 and use it as
    a climate forcing to project a future temperature rise. We make a
    connection with their treatment as follows.
    A climate forcing delta F is a calculated equivalent net radiative
    flux that would produce the same result as a given climate perturbation
    with the surface temperature held fixed [29,30]. Forcing
    is brought into the heat content discussion in many publications
    (see, e.g., [31,32]). In our notation and under our assumptions,
    1/AEarth(dHO/dt) = delta F − delta T/λ , (5)
    where λ is an assumed climate sensitivity. (Climate models have
    generally found such a linear relationship between F and the
    surface temperature anomaly T under conditions of zero ocean
    heating.) Neither F nor λ is determined from observations. Using
    Eqs. (1) and (5) and ignoring Fg, we may write
    F = FTOA + T
    λ
    . (6)

  17. HelmutU (10:47:54) :

    …a new satellite SOB…

    Heh. I will assume that was somehow supposed to be short for “solar observatory.” I doubt NASA is stupid enough to let that slip through as an acronym. Well, at least for now, I may revise that opinion later.

  18. Bob Tisdale;

    Good work. The negative slope shown by the most recent data agrees withe the results of a letter published by Knox and myself. [Ocean heat content and Earth’s radiation imbalance. Physics Letters A 373 (2009) 3296–3300]. We spent a lot of time on the Hansen GISS result. Here is what we said in sect 5.4.

    5.4. Relation to “warming commitment”
    Wetherald et al. [27] have discussed the concept of “warming
    commitment,” which is defined as the temperature rise that
    would occur if climate forcing were held constant at its current
    level. Hansen et al. [28] refer to this concept as an effect “in the
    pipeline.” They compute a value FTOA = 0.85 W/m2 and use it as
    a climate forcing to project a future temperature rise. We make a
    connection with their treatment as follows.

    A climate forcing deltaF is a calculated equivalent net radiative
    flux that would produce the same result as a given climate perturbation
    with the surface temperature held fixed [29,30]. Forcing
    is brought into the heat content discussion in many publications
    (see, e.g., [31,32]). In our notation and under our assumptions,
    1/AEarth(dHO/dt)= deltaF − deltaTλ, (5)
    where λ is an assumed climate sensitivity. (Climate models have
    generally found such a linear relationship between deltaF and the
    surface temperature anomaly deltaT under conditions of zero ocean
    heating.) Neither deltaF nor λ is determined from observations. Using
    Eqs. (1) and (5) and ignoring Fg, we may write
    deltaF = FTOA + deltaT/λ. (6)
    Thinking of deltaF as “total forcing” and deltaT /λ as “forcing already responded to,” one may call FTOA “forcing not yet responded to.” In
    this way we may understand Hansen’s “Of the 1.8 W/m2 forcing,
    0.85 W/m2 remains.” Here 1.8 W/m2 refers to the net 1880–2003
    forcing considering all sources [28]. Next, using a climate sensitivity
    0.67 C/(W/m2), the authors arrive at the “temperature in the
    pipeline,” 0.85 × 0.67 = 0.6 C. The theoretical value of FTOA used
    in this “pipeline” estimate is in conflict with the results of this
    Letter. For the period prior to 2003, it is 3.5 times the value 0.24.
    Furthermore, the theoretical values are always (except for volcanic
    eruptions) positive during the periods in which we have shown
    clearly negative values. One may therefore question whether any
    “climate is in the pipeline.”

    david douglass

  19. @ david douglass (12:19:50) :

    Right now at the end of your post I am seeing the “unknown symbol” blocks telling me (I presume) that the characters you are using are not in UTF-8 encoding for the font. These are squares, in front of the F’s and T’s, with “00” over “05”.

    What symbols should they have been?

  20. George E. Smith: The first illustration at the top of the thread is a “before and after” gif animation of the graph that is shown at the NODC website here:

    http://www.nodc.noaa.gov/OC5/3M_HEAT_CONTENT/

    The three-month average curve represents the quarterly average OHC data (J-F-M, A-M-J, etc) they provide through links at this web page that are identified as “3-month heat content from 1955 to present”:

    http://www.nodc.noaa.gov/OC5/3M_HEAT_CONTENT/basin_data.html

    The same webpage also provides links to the “Yearly heat content from 1955 to 2009″, which are the average of the four quarters for that year.

    The three graphs identified as Figures 3, 5, & 6 show a note “Data Smoothed w/ 13-Month Filter.” Those have been smoothed by me with a 13-month running-average filter (6 months before, six months after).

  21. re: ocean heat
    how much heat might be added at the mid-ocean ridges from the spreading centers?
    negligible?

  22. I worked for ten years at a company that designed sensors for the weather satellites used to measure atmospheric temperatures. What these satellites actually measure directly is the heat-generated radiation coming from the relatively hot (compared to absolute zero!) atmospheric gasses as they look down at the earth from orbit. Create a list of temperature values going from the ground to the top of the earth’s atmosphere, and from it you can calculate the heat radiation you expect the satellite to see at different radiation frequencies. This what you do when you want to design a satellite instrument and you want to predict more or less what it would be seeing as it looks down at the earth. It is a tedious but straightforward calculation, done using straightforward computer programs Now, once the satellite is in orbit, what you get from it is the heat radiation at different frequencies. Can you take this heat radiation and from it calculate, using as many computers as needed, the temperature profile up through the atmosphere? It turns out this calculation is what applied mathematicians call an “ill-posed” problem, meaning that small errors in your radiation measurements — and no sensor is ever perfect — result in big, random-looking errors in your temperature measurements. The satellite people decades ago came up with a solution to this difficulty, and it involves forcing the computer programs calculating the atmospheric temperatures to take into account what we expect the atmospheric temperatures to be. The computer tries to find the closest match to the radiation data from the satellite while making small and reasonable changes away from the average “expected” atmospheric temperatures at the place and season it is looking at. By now I’m sure you can see what the problem is… if someone in a position of authority changes what the computer’s expected atmospheric temperatures are, the satellite measurements will produce different temperature estimates for the same measured heat radiation. If M&M want to keep the satellite guys honest, the way they made (eventually) the CRU scientists come clean, they should be asking for the raw sensor data coming down from the satellites, year after year, and check to see whether any trends exist in it. As long as the temperatures produced from the satellite data come from a statistical constraint on the original ill-posed problem, I would take those temperature values with a grain of salt…

  23. D. Ch. (13:31:18) :

    I worked for ten years at a company that designed sensors for the weather satellites used to measure atmospheric temperatures…..

    Sounds like you had better do an article here for WUWT giving a more in depth discussion. Also try to make sure it is understandable for the naive lay people. WUWT is getting a lot move visitors these days.

    Thanks for the info by the way. I always wondered how “safe” and un-corrupted that data was.

  24. Bill DiPuccio (10:56:16) : You asked, “How accurate do you think these long term trends are given the migration from BTs et. al. to Argo?”

    In Levitus et al (2009)…
    ftp://ftp.nodc.noaa.gov/pub/data.nodc/woa/PUBLICATIONS/grlheat08.pdf
    …they list the trends for specific periods on page 2, “The linear trends (with 95% confidence intervals) of OHC700 are 0.40*10^22 +/- 0.05 J yr-1 for 1969–2008 and is 0.27*10^22 +/- 0.04 J yr-1 for 1955–2008.”

    You asked, “Does the 2003 transition jump suggest that the previous measurements were systematically too low?”

    The following is a comparison of the four OHC datasets discussed and provided as reference in Levitus et al (2009):

    Though they diverge from one another from year to year, they are all in the same ballpark (scientific term) during the period of 1960 to 1995. Both Wijffels et al and Levitus et al have significant rises in 2002 and 2003. They are not the only two to use ARGO, though. Ishii and Kimoto also use ARGO and that curve doesn’t have the rise in 2002/03.

  25. Bob Tisdale (10:29:58) :
    Well, since most are going off topic, I’ll do it also. WUWT and Anthony were mentioned in a Guardian article, “Detectives question climate change scientist over email leaks”:

    One should expect that dealing with oceanic data requires rolling with the flow. :~D

    Thank you for keeping us informed.

  26. Tenuc (11:39:47) : You wrote, “Thanks for a useful article, Bob, the link between solar activity and lower global mean temperature looks more likely again.”

    If you were to compare global mean temperature and TSI or sunspot nuimbers, you’d have a hard time coming that conclusion.

  27. Gail Combs (11:58:05) :
    2. Is the total OHC headed down?
    3. If it is headed down, for how long and how low?

    Bob, would you like a borrow of my crystal ball?

    David Douglass, good to see you post here, let’s get the serious conversation started.

  28. I’m only a geologist, but, if we accept that CO2 lags global temperature rise – well that’s what I always thought – has anyone looked at this data and CO2? Or is that too simplistic? If ocean heat content is rising, is CO2 in sympathy?

  29. To: D. Ch. (13:31:18) :

    Really interesting to see the circularities here.

    Feeling about all this: getting really unclear how much warming there has been, but does seem to have been some, if the biologists are right about species moving North etc etc.
    Seems that oceans absorb heat and then burp it up again later – I guess it goes to high latitudes via atmosphere and ocean currents and is then radiated away. But these cycles must surely introduce variations in temperatures not yet fully pinned down so AGW case looks thinner and thinner? Poor old CO2 is collared for crimes he didn’t commit, just because he stands out in the crowd….

  30. tallbloke (14:01:44) :

    “Gail Combs (11:58:05) :
    2. Is the total OHC headed down?
    3. If it is headed down, for how long and how low?

    Bob, would you like a borrow of my crystal ball?”

    Tallbloke, Bob, those were all rhetorical questions. I know no one really has an answer to the last two and only NODC has an answer to the first and they are not talking.

    Otherwise Bob has done a great job of explaining stuff.

  31. D. Ch. (13:31:18) :
    …The computer tries to find the closest match to the radiation data from the satellite while making small and reasonable changes away from the average “expected” atmospheric temperatures at the place and season it is looking at. By now I’m sure you can see what the problem is… if someone in a position of authority changes what the computer’s expected atmospheric temperatures are, the satellite measurements will produce different temperature estimates for the same measured heat radiation…

    Thanks for another very insightful post.

    Isn’t it strange that whatever climate temperature data set you look at, it has been massaged and homogenised to meet ‘expectation’?

    It’s no wonder the government institutions producing this data are unwilling/scared to provide full disclosure of raw observation, adjustment method and computer code. They seem to be creating their own reality, rather than looking at facts.

    unless this unscientific procedure is halted now, we will never know what’s really happening, although we will all experience the results as weather.

    No wonder

  32. Bob, Great post. I like the technical info. BTW, I think you meant “monotonic”. But that begs my question: are we seeing another step increase ala 1998? What non-linear pattern do you detect?

  33. It’s interesting to observe that the North Atlantic heat content seems to have peaked around 2005 and may now be in a downward trend, while the Arctic heat content peaked around 2007 and may now be in a downward trend. And 2007 was the year of the extremely low Arctic sea ice extent.

  34. Mike D: You asked, “…are we seeing another step increase ala 1998? What non-linear pattern do you detect?”

    Too early to tell. The shifts become evident during the La Nina phase.

  35. D. Ch. (13:31:18) :
    “if someone in a position of authority changes what the computer’s expected atmospheric temperatures are, the satellite measurements will produce different temperature..”

    Tenuc

    “It’s no wonder the government institutions producing this data are unwilling/scared to provide full disclosure of raw observation, adjustment method and computer code. They seem to be creating their own reality, rather than looking at facts.”

    This has been worrying me for a while and my concern over the integrity of these organizations increased a lot when I realized that someone rewrote the climate history of my own country.

    I feel that it is coming more and more problematic that current information monopolies exist. One place for global surface data (NCDC) and one place for all satellite data (NASA).

    If someone would decide to take control of the global temperature map (surface, ocean) and adjust it a bit randomly or accroding to a plan, that would throw hundreds or thousands experts trying to find a natural explanation to what has been “observed”.

    If your ‘enemy’ is a group of skeptical scientists, what would be more convenient way to put them to disarray than feeding them altered measurement data and they spend their days trying to find an explanation to phenomena which might not exist at all.

    This is an old tactic used in military intelligence. If you know that your enemy is watching, it might make sense to make some troop movements, run some convoys etc. just to mix up the intelligence officers scenarios on the other side and make them spend a lot of time trying to figure out what they have just seen.

    Is it really so that only satellite temperature data is from NASA? No one else (Russia, China) do not measure temperature? Or do we just have to accept that we have just one truth available?

    It seems that global warming has really ramped up during Obama administration, despite the snow and freezing weather. And yes – I’m skeptical if i have just one data source available. I guess that all people who have lived in or next to former Soviet Union remember the time of the “one truth” and are inherently skeptical to data which cannot be verified elsewhere. That’s the benefit of having 30 year experience of “information management”.

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