Sea Level Rise and Solar Activity

Guest post by David Archibald

Successful prediction of levels of solar activity suggests that prediction of other phenomena driven by solar activity might also be successful, and useful. Sea level rise is a concern of some people. President Obama said in June 2008 that his nomination in the Democratic primaries was “the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow”.

The above graph shows the satellite data from the University of Colorado from late 1992. A change of trend is evident in 2004. Prior to that, sea level was rising at 4.2 mm/annum, and after 2004 at 1.5 mm/annum. 2003 was the recent peak in solar activity in terms of flares, F10.7 flux and proton flux. It is likely that the lower rate of rise post 2004 is due to lower subsequent solar activity.

The CSIRO compiled tide gauge data from 1870. The graph above shows that data with the subsequent satellite data plotted together.

The modern retreat of glaciers began in 1860. Initially sea level rose at 1.0 mm/annum. After 1930, it almost doubled to 1.9 mm/annum. This is a well-defined uptrend, now 80 years long.

Our prediction of a 2° C decline in temperature for the mid-latitudes over Solar Cycles 24 and 25 suggests that sea level will stop rising, and should start falling at some point prior to 2032.

The graph above combines the satellite data with the prior ten years of tide gauge data and shows the bounds of the long term rise at 1.9 mm/annum post 1030. Sea level could remain flat for another ten years before that trend in sea level rise is broken.

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110 Responses to Sea Level Rise and Solar Activity

  1. John A says:

    I think the correct Latin phrase is “post hoc ergo propter hoc”. And its a fallacy.

  2. TonyB says:

    Willis

    Very nice article

    When I posted this very same information (minus your very intriguing solar reference) on another site a few weeks ago I got skewered by Tamino who had not even read my material (which had been censored by the site owner anyway.)

    Sea levels are continuing to rise very gently at a similar trend to previous times in the last century.

    Sea levels globally remain generally lower today than they were during the MWP and Roman optimum a fact curiously omitted from Chapter 5 of AR4

    tonyb

  3. jim karlock says:

    is “post 1030.” in the last paragraph a typo?
    Thanks
    JK

  4. John Peter says:

    Even the Topex/Jason combined graph hints at the “breakpoint” in 20034 but also shows a steep decline in global sea levels through 2010. http://sealevel.colorado.edu/current/sl_noib_global.jpg
    But how can global sea levels fall by what looks like 10-15mm over a year in 2010? Looks impossible to me. So how accurate are these measurements?

  5. vukcevic says:

    Here is Cancun’s controversial paper
    http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/SL.pdf
    please download it if interested, I will take it down in a day or two.

  6. An Engineer says:

    I’m afraid your 2004 inflection point doesn’t even register on the larger scale graph from 1860 to 2020. I’m also sceptical of your un-substantiated claim that “It is likely that the lower rate of rise post 2004 is due to lower subsequent solar activity”. By what mechanism, backed up by empirical data, is this supposed to work?

    I’m just interested, not vested.

  7. Rational Debate says:

    It is an inriguing correlation, but what possible mechanism could tie solar changes to sudden sea level rate changes?

  8. tallbloke says:

    Interesting graph of C20th tide gauges David, thanks.
    Your first graph and mine disagree though. Did you use NoIB and no seasonal adjustment with the Colorado data?

    http://tallbloke.wordpress.com/2010/10/08/sea-level-rise-levelling-off/

  9. Juraj V. says:

    New GRACE results suggest that the global sea level rise is just 1mm/year, but dunno in which time scale. When looking for such relations, I take oceanic oscillations over the solar cycle any time.

  10. TerrySkinner says:

    Are we sure that this is a change of trend and not say a change of satellite or something similar?

  11. HelmutU says:

    latest measurements of the GRACE-Satellite, that will appear in the Journal of Geophysical Research Letters show a sea level rise of about 1mm/a.

  12. Mike McMillan says:

    tokyoboy posted a Japan tide gauge chart a while ago that showed a lumpy sin curve for sea level, with a peak around 1950 -
    http://i53.tinypic.com/6p9ef6.jpg

    The steadily increasing satellite level fits into the upswing at the recent end. The sense one gets is that the satellite data may be a misleading glimpse of a larger whole, and that sea level might turn downward again within 10 or twenty years.

    The latest s.l. chart from C.U. shows a spike the beginning of 2010, but a steep drop since then. We might have turned the corner already, much as we might have turned the corner into the next ice age in 1998.

    Or not. :-) It’s like tracking the darn stock market.

  13. Stephen Wilde says:

    Reduced solar input to the oceans as the effect of more equatorward jets (or at least ‘loopier’ jets) plus increased cloud quantities and albedo (Earthshine Project) began to bite from the late 90s ?

    However I think the beginning of the trend reversal for the whole climate system was earlier, probably in the mid 90s when the cooling trend in the stratosphere appears to have ceased. I noticed the jet stream shifting around 2000 but I expect the system took another 4 years to come down from an earlier net warming peak and only around 2003 / 2004 did the entire system turn net negative and that seems to have coincided with the cessation of the increasing trend in ocean heat content too. Note that the system includes oceans not just troposphere so recent troposphere warmth is a temporary and irrelevant issue.

    So as I pointed out elsewhere we have a whole raft of trend reversals for many different phenomena starting from the sun becoming less active after the peak of cycle 23, then the cessation of stratospheric cooling, then the equatorward shift of the jets, then increased cloudiness and albedo, then ocean heat content stops rising, then ENSO turns more negative than expected as the solar input to the oceans falls with a very strong upcoming La Nina, then eventually as oceanic warmth dissipates we see the cooling of the mid latitudes as a precursor to more generalised cooling.

    The change in the rate of sea level rise at just the right time is another piece in the jigsaw.

    So, the sun it is and we need to work out how it happens.There cannot be such a clear sequence of changes subsequent to a distinct change of solar behaviour without a direct causative element. For that see here:

    http://climaterealists.com/index.php?id=6645

    “How The Sun Could Control Earth’s Temperature”

    The reliance on the effect of solar protons may not be the full story but it is certainly some sort of solar related mechanism affecting the polar vortices from above. I now favour the general downward flux of all the reaction products from solar impacts combined on the upper atmosphere operating via the chemical characteristics of ozone.

    It looks like the net solar effect on the higher levels of the atmosphere is of the opposite sign and is overall more powerful than the generally recognised solar effects on the lower levels.

    If that were not so then the specific combination of observed phenomena that we have experienced over the past 15 years since the mid 90s could never have happened in such an ordered manner.

  14. John Marshall says:

    Sea levels are probably the most difficult measurement to get right due to the multitude of variations due to external factors. Tidal gauges only give relative level changes, which include the land movement, so are not the most reliable proxy. Satellites are better but there are different answers between the two systems out there as WUWT reported a few days ago and I will not repeat only to say that the European system of two satellites measuring gravity changes will become more accurate as time goes on because corrections will become more accurate. My guess is that with the Argo system showing a cooling ocean there will be a reverse in the expansion expected so sea levels will level out or even reverse if the cooling continues.
    Another problem, which I have not seen in any explanation of sea level changes, is that the tectonic system is increasing continental crust by an estimated 1 cubic Km per annum and as this is lighter than oceanic crust must displace some water so raising sea levels.

  15. Lawrie Ayres says:

    I notice , in Australia at least, that the Greens are in a panic. First, some members of the ruling Labor party are talking about nuclear; second, there is hardly any reporting of Cancun and ; third, the fact that is wet and cool, not dry and hot, has them raising the sea rise alarm again. People are more concerned by rising electricity costs and the Greens want to make it dearer and rising water bills because the AGW crowd convinced Labor state governments that it wasn’t going to rain anymore so they built expensive desal plants rather than dams. Lots of dumb people down here.

  16. DavidS says:

    I’m glad there has been a post on this topic. Looking at the sea level graph on the reference page it looks as if the number of data points brlow the trend line has increased in the last few years. If this trend continues ill probably be able to walk to France by the end of the century.

  17. Patrick Davis says:

    I am not convinced about the accuracy of readings with this level of granulairty from satellites. I’ve used extremely accurate measuring devices in the past in my engineering days to consider these 1.5mm measurements are accurate is false IMO.

    “Lawrie Ayres says:
    December 1, 2010 at 2:29 am”

    Sadly, you are right. The real main issue here in Aus, unlike most other countries in my experience at least, is that Aus really hasn’t “suffered” in comparison, and most Aussies have no clue where there money goes and, therefore, get rorted, they just pay up. Maybe it’s a British thing in me, I compain!

    Cost of everything…just about outstrips most other countries.

  18. Patrick Davis says:

    “Lawrie Ayres says:
    December 1, 2010 at 2:29 am”

    Additional. The “Greens” are not in panic IMO. What is going on is well placed politicing. Gay marriage is a hot topic here is Aus. Thatcher used this “distraction” great effect during the Faulklands War. I fully expect Ms Gillard WILL get her “price on carbon”…but there are some Aussies who are noticing the cold, in Aus. Forget England!

  19. John Kehr says:

    There is no basis for the solar activity to be the cause and effect here. The current warming period is the probable cause of the sea level changes. That the Earth is always fluctuating around the long-term average (which is trending down) could have some solar component, but it might not.

    I agree that the current warming period will peak in the next 20-30 years, but I suspect that the drop in temperature will be caused by changes in the ocean currents. I also think that people will wish that CO2 made a difference 100 years from now as it is going to get cold when that change happens.

    John Kehr

  20. tallbloke says:

    Stephen Wilde says:
    December 1, 2010 at 2:12 am (Edit)

    Reduced solar input to the oceans as the effect of more equatorward jets (or at least ‘loopier’ jets) plus increased cloud quantities and albedo (Earthshine Project) began to bite from the late 90s ?

    Of relevance to this is the correlation between solar activity and specific humidity near the tropopause:
    http://tallbloke.files.wordpress.com/2010/08/shumidity-ssn96.png

    Something must lie at the root of the albedo changes which coincide with solar activity and I think this is a piece of the puzzle.

  21. Grey Lensman says:

    Satellite temperature is a proxy, to which they input falsified reference temperatures. This can only last so long and is now being exposed.

    Sea level was subject to many debates until satellite measurement came along, It show negligible sea level rise

    Ocean temps ( how much must you heat the atmosphere to raise the temperature of the sea one degree) are now accurately measured with an active buoy system. They hide the results.

    So it seems on all fronts, they have lost especially when you add in the increase in Antarctic Sea ice and the non melt down of the Arctic.

    It would be sad to see them urging cuts in CO2 if it were not so sad and potentially disastrous for all.

  22. tonyb says:

    My 12.41

    I was of course testing the mods to see if they had noticed my deliberate mistake :)

    I should have said nice article David, not Willis. I remain to be convinced on the solar correlation but as climate science know nothing like as much as it thinks it does it may be possible.

    Tonyb

  23. jim karlock says:
    December 1, 2010 at 12:42 am

    Typo – should be 1930.

    John Peter says:
    December 1, 2010 at 12:52 am

    So how accurate are these measurements?

    I look at how disciplined the rise was and I get the impression that there is some basic physical process driving it and that the measurements are accurate.

    An Engineer says:
    December 1, 2010 at 1:05 am

    I have been thinking about that two. The mechanism may rely upon the fact that the ocean is very stratified and that there is very little vertical mixing. The penetration of sunlight in the open, tropical ocean is about 100 metres. If there is less cloud, there is more sunlight penetrating to that depth. Once it absorbs heat, it is difficult for it to cool down as it is still colder than the overlying column, and thus won’t convect.

    Rational Debate says:
    December 1, 2010 at 1:09 am

    One of my reasons for plotting this up was Bob Tisdale’s work on ENSO, which does not show an apparent correlation between solar cycles and temperature. Looking at this sea level data, the post-1930 rise started about 15 years after the end of the Little Ice Age. There is a correlation with Solar Cycle 19. I think that is why we happen to inhabit such a benign planet – there are so many forces at play smoothing things out.

    tallbloke says:
    December 1, 2010 at 1:09 am

    Yes. One thing that I find interesting about this data is that there are upper and lower bounds which are parallel. This is a disciplined process – it is not just flopping about.

  24. Geoff Sharp says:

    What looks to be another large unipolar region is emerging in the north. This type of activity is much lower than other forms of solar activity and has even displayed negative trends in solar output (F10.7 & EUV).

    The ratio of unipolar groups is very high for SC24….all good for a reduction in sea level rise.

  25. Enneagram says:

    tallbloke says:
    December 1, 2010 at 3:43 am
    What really happened in December 2004 it was the big earthquake and tsunami. Remember?

  26. Pascvaks says:

    I get it! “Sea Level Rise and Fall” is LIKE a thermometer! Right?

  27. JS says:

    Don’t know where the setelites have evere measured 4mm/year sea rise but it certainly wasn’t at the seashore. E.g. see data from tidegauges around UK.
    http://www.pol.ac.uk/ntslf/pdf/annual_reports/2008/2008report_gps.pdf
    It’s 1mm/year. Looks like Albion is pretty safe from the Armagedon.

  28. Dave Springer says:

    A straight line with a constant slope of 3mm/yr goes quite nicely from center of left end to center of right end of the scatterplot. It reveals a bulge of about +5mm above the centerline in 2005. Sea level varies from year to year a lot more than 5mm. During 1997 El Nino it rose by 20mm in one year and fell by 20mm the next year.

    There is nothing to see here.

  29. Steve Fitzpatrick says:

    I am a bit puzzled by the slope shown in the graph of 1.5 mm/year. Here is a graph of the satellite data from the University of Colorado, showing a post 2004 slope of 2.1 mm per year, not 1.5 mm per year (http://tinypic.com/r/24ybus5/7). 1.5 mm per year post 2004 does not seem to be correct.

    The reduction in land-locked glacial and ice-sheet mass (mostly at high altitudes and high latitudes) is likely to have contributed a substantial fraction of the measured rise in level. A reasonable expectation is that this melt contribution is roughly proportional to the increase in temperatures over the temperature where on average land-locked glaciers neither advance nor decline… perhaps a temperature comparable to some time in 18th century as the world came out of the little ice age (1.5C cooler than today?). It is also reasonable to expect expansion due to warming (mostly in the upper 700 meters, http://www.nodc.noaa.gov/OC5/3M_HEAT_CONTENT/index.htm, but with slight warming below 700 meters) contributes to rising sea level. The accumulation of heat in the upper 700 meters turned essentially flat right around 2003, which coincides with the change in slope of the satellite sea level data. This suggests that the current rate of rise is due mainly due to the contribution of ice melt; near 2 mm per year. (Sea level budget over 2003–2008: A reevaluation from GRACE space gravimetry, satellite altimetry and Argo, Cazenave, et al 2009).
    .
    The majority (~80%) of the melt contribution appears to come from high altitude glaciers, with the balance coming from ice sheets. Even if temperatures were to remain roughly constant over the next few decades, melting of ice would continue to raise sea level at a rate similar to that from 2003 to present.

  30. Dr. Schnare says:

    Although I suspect I know what relationship you are suggesting we examine, I’d have liked to see your specific hypothesis on the causal physical relationship between the sun and the ocean (other than the one relating to beaches and suntan oil).

  31. Steve Fitzpatrick says:

    The NOAA link didn’t appear to copy right. This is the right one: http://www.nodc.noaa.gov/OC5/3M_HEAT_CONTENT/index.html

  32. dixon says:

    Interesting post. As other commentators have pointed out (and any mariner knows), the sea-level is not easy to measure and far from being constant! Still, I’ve found the following site encouraging in that at least the scientists acknowledge the difficulty of the challenge:

    Measurements this sensitive will undoubtedly pick up any increases or decreases in the rate of change of sea-level in Australia at least. Yet more reason not to panic yet.

  33. “A change of trend is evident in 2004.”

    It is more likely the trend changed in 2002, during the TOPEX/Jason intercalibration period (from 15 January through 15 August 2002). Something was obviously messed up, I would not bet on either trend being firmly anchored in reality.

    Uncertainties in local vertical land movements and specifically in Glacial Isostatic Adjustment models are just too large.

  34. Djozar says:

    Isn’t a shift from a slope at 4.0 mm/yr to 1.5 mm/yr a pretty severe change? Did we run out of ice?

  35. Pamela Gray says:

    My thoughts.
    1. I wonder about lots of circumstantial paired events. I don’t share them unless I am willing to be taken to school.
    2. There is a false assumption that natural cold cycles and warm cycles cancel each other out. There are many things on Earth that heat and cool at different rates, on short, medium, and long term timelines. Therefore, at any given moment (IE short term), the Earth and everything on it all seem to be out of balance. Might this be a necessary component of a natural system? Will our null hypothesis be destroyed if oceans continue to rise? In my opinion, no.
    3. Picking out incredibly small pieces of a very long term phenomenon, only recently subjected to measurement, and then graphing up the data on an enlarged fraction of a rise scale, leads to false amazement.

  36. Enneagram says:

    If you search for f 10.7 here in WUWT you will find the relation: Something really happened, small but meaningful in between 2004 and 2005.

  37. Paul Coppin says:

    The lab rat in me continues to look at all of this proxy data with a jaundiced eye – I simply don’t believe a mm resolution to any of this with ANY degree of confidence. Tidal gauges fixed to the earth, are anchored in a plastic substrate that moves all over the place, and you’re measuring the slop of a liquid that jostles around over the top, to a mm? I don’t think so. Someone’s going to have to make a convincing argument to me about the reference calibration standard that in and of itself is stable enough to calibrate the rest, to a mm. In my view the trend data of the aggregate doesn’t hold water – the measuring sites are too widely spaced for the calibration standard to be consistent. Like the fractional degree measurements for temperature, I think most of this science is “blowin’ in the wind”. The alchemy of tree ring pseudoscience doesn’t help the cause to increase “confidence levels” in any of this climate silliness…. :)

  38. Solar activity is now what it was 108 years ago. SC23 was much like SC13, yet ‘sea level’ now is at 125 mm and ~1900 it was -50 mm. doesn’t seem to have anything to do with solar activity.

  39. RR Kampen says:

    John Peter says:
    December 1, 2010 at 12:52 am

    Even the Topex/Jason combined graph hints at the “breakpoint” in 20034 but also shows a steep decline in global sea levels through 2010. http://sealevel.colorado.edu/current/sl_noib_global.jpg
    But how can global sea levels fall by what looks like 10-15mm over a year in 2010? Looks impossible to me. So how accurate are these measurements?

    No ‘inflection point’ on de graph you posted. Or is there? In that case I would like to point at the dramatic sea level fall between 1998 and 2001.

    Anyway. The fluctuations in sea level appear to have a relation with El Niño/La Niña and this is not very suprising; it was already known that 2/3 or more of sea level rise over past century or so is due to expansion of warming surface layers of water.

  40. Layman Lurker says:

    @ Steve Fitzpatrick

    I checked the linear trend as well. You are correct on 2.1mm per year for the seasonally adjusted, non-Inverse Barometer data. For data with IB adjustment applied, the fit is 2.0mm per year.

  41. Michael D Smith says:

    TonyB says:
    December 1, 2010 at 12:41 am

    Sea levels are continuing to rise very gently at a similar trend to previous times in the last century.

    Sea levels globally remain generally lower today than they were during the MWP and Roman optimum a fact curiously omitted from Chapter 5 of AR4

    TonyB, do you have a link or chart for this? I was looking for this info yesterday. Thanks, Mike S.

  42. aaron says:

    Solar activity could affect ocean currents and move cold water to the surface and bury warm water, causing levels to fall. They could also affect the rate of glaciation and deglaciation by changes in precipitation patterns.

  43. Henry Bowman says:

    Cazenave & Nerem (July 2004) wrote a review paper (Present-Day Sea Level Change: Observations And Cause) in Reviews of Geophysics in which they estimated current sea-level rise to be 2.8 +/- 0.4 mm/year, though they acknowledge that this estimate is higher than the historic estimate of 1.8 mm/year. To what do you attribute the differences between their estimates and yours? And, can we really trust 19-th century estimates of sea level? How many tide guages were actually in use at that time?

  44. richcar 1225 says:

    The following paper from Caltech correlates solar activity from auroral observations with the Nile River water level records which have been kept since 622 AD.
    http://trs-new.jpl.nasa.gov/dspace/bitstream/2014/39770/1/06-1256.pdf
    It appears from the paper that the NAO index is clearly affected by solar activity. When the NAO is negative, jet streams move southward and arctic sea ice volume increases.

  45. aaron says:

    How does volcanic activity after 2004 compare with the previous century?

  46. Steve Keohane says:

    Inflection around 2004-5? Here is a step function Anthony throws up every once in a while.
    http://i53.tinypic.com/27x1mcx.jpg

  47. P. Solar says:

    The NOAA link didn’t appear to copy right. This is the right one: http://www.nodc.noaa.gov/OC5/3M_HEAT_CONTENT/index.html

    Just looked at that link above and expected to see 1998 as a peak (without really thinking). It’s trough. So is 2002 and 2005. All down as being HOT years for global mean temperature.

    That suggests fairly strongly that the heat of those hot years came primarily from the oceans, not from outta space or our runaway CO2 greenhouse.

    This is what the Met. Office call “internal variations” and they are not accounted for in the computer climate models.

    These are just short term events but if the models aren’t accounting for variations in ocean currents, longer term variations like PDO are going to be ignored as well and likely be accounted for by an arbitrarily adjusted “climate sensitivity”.

  48. kuhnkat says:

    Lawrie Ayers,

    ” Lots of dumb people down here.”

    HAH!! I live in California.

    (apologies to those Californians, like our Host, who do have some sense, You are outnumbered.)

  49. tonyb says:

    Michael D Smith

    Will you email me privately regarding your request?

    tonyb

  50. kuhnkat says:

    Leif Svalgaard,

    My freezer is about 32F and is filled with ice. My floor is dry.
    I open the door of my freezer and the ice starts to melt. My floor becomes wet.
    I close the door of my freezer and the ice melt slows to a stop. My floor is still wet.

    Does this help you understand??

    Now, consider that the LIA was when the most ice was frozen “recently” and we have generally been on a warm trend since. We would need temps colder for a long time to return that water to the glaciers and ice sheets.

  51. Steven Mosher says:

    John A says:
    December 1, 2010 at 12:25 am (Edit)

    I think the correct Latin phrase is “post hoc ergo propter hoc”. And its a fallacy.

    on top of that, he cherry picked the metric, cherry picked the index, and disregards other changes in rate.

  52. aaron says:

    CRF changes would affect the ionization of molecules in fluids (atmosphere, ocean, and magma). This would cause pressure changes and changes to velocity of some circulation patterns. Changes in magnetic field would affect the movement of polarized molecules.

  53. kuhnkat says:
    December 1, 2010 at 9:32 am
    We would need temps colder for a long time to return that water to the glaciers and ice sheets.
    Tell that to D.A. who advocates ‘solar change’ as the cause of the slope change in 2004.

    Steven Mosher says:
    December 1, 2010 at 9:37 am
    on top of that, he cherry picked the metric, cherry picked the index, and disregards other changes in rate.
    D.A. does this all the time, and he is hardly alone in such folly.

  54. aaron says:

    Lief, I believe our concern is the derivative, not the absolute level.

  55. clearscience says:

    How does he support his assumption about temperatures during solar cycle 24 and 25…

  56. clearscience says:

    Juraj V. says:
    December 1, 2010 at 1:29 am
    HelmutU says:

    Read the article rather than making comments on things you know very little about. The article says 1mm/year from land sources such as land ice and stored water. It says nothing about thermal expansion of the oceans and doesn’t analyze that. Goddard is feeding you incorrect information and it HAS been exposed previously so there’s no need in perpetuating his error.

  57. John A says:

    To David Archibald:

    Its one thing to make an observation (and I contest that the observation means very much). It is quite another to suppose that the observation is caused by some other variable without a theory that would demonstrate cause and effect outside of the immediate dataset.

    I don’t mind that people do this sort of thing on their own, because we all have conjectures that we would like to see proven. And this is not peerreviewedlitchurchur.

    But I remain solidly unconvinced by a post hoc rationalization without theory – it remains for me a conjecture and can be ignored like many other conjectures.

    It’s not as bad as Willis’ terrible grasp of greenhouse physics, however.

  58. aaron says:
    December 1, 2010 at 10:22 am
    Lief, I believe our concern is the derivative, not the absolute level.
    Figure 2 purports to show an ‘uptrend now 80 years long’. That is in the absolute level. Also shown is an ‘inflection point’. So what the graph shows [or alleges] that there is a discontinuous jump in the slope from 1.o to 1.9 mm/yr in 1930, not a progressive uptrend. This is the misleading aspect of the graph and the ‘discussion’ of it. So either D.A. is talking about the absolute level and there is an ‘uptrend’ or he is discussing the derivative and there is no 80-yr long trend, but a jump in 1930. Or he is just being inconsistent and sloppy or ‘political’ without having the ‘facts’ straight. I took the generous interpretation.

  59. tallbloke says:

    JS says:
    December 1, 2010 at 5:34 am (Edit)
    Don’t know where the setelites have ever measured 4mm/year sea rise but it certainly wasn’t at the seashore. E.g. see data from tidegauges around UK.
    http://www.pol.ac.uk/ntslf/pdf/annual_reports/2008/2008report_gps.pdf
    It’s 1mm/year. Looks like Albion is pretty safe from the Armagedon.

    Ostensibly David has used the same data as I have. For the 1992-2003.7 decade my calc using the builtin linear regression function of open office calc shows 3.37mm/year. David’s graph shows a pasted on figure of 4mm. My calc for the 2003.7-2010 period is 2.17mm/year his pasted figure is 1.5mm/year.

    I don’t know what is responsible for the discrepancies. I asked him if he used the No inverted Barometer non-seasonally adjusted dataset, but in his response to me he didn’t address this question. It shouldn’t matter much which of the four Colorado datasets is used, they shouldn’t show a 0.6mm/year discrepancy.

    What I do know is that the forcing required to warm the ocean enough to cause the thermal expansion necessary, on top of the rise due to ice melt is around 4W/m^2. This is substantially more than the IPCC claim for the co2 forcing, and is likely due to diminished cloud cover as empirically measured by the ISCCP cloud project with the weather satellites.

  60. tallbloke says:

    Leif Svalgaard says:
    December 1, 2010 at 7:04 am
    Solar activity is now what it was 108 years ago. SC23 was much like SC13, yet ‘sea level’ now is at 125 mm and ~1900 it was -50 mm. doesn’t seem to have anything to do with solar activity.

    The oceans can accumulate and lose solar energy on long timescales, as evidenced by much warmer deep ocean temperatures during the permian and triassic eras. The tide gauge graph David Archibald provides shows a decline in sea level from the 1800′s to ~1930 and a rise since.

    The integration of sunspot number as values departing from the long term average sunspot number and approximate ocean equilibrium value also fall to ~1930 and rise afterwards. The sea surface temperature to and from ~1930 taken on longer term averages also shows the same signature. All three seem to be a reasonable proxy for ocean heat content.

    I’ve covered the method in more detail here:
    http://tallbloke.wordpress.com/2010/07/21/nailing-the-solar-activity-global-temperature-divergence-lie/

    I know you don’t like it, but the evidence is getting stronger, and David’s tide gauge graph, if correct, lends further support to my hypothesis which I’m grateful to him for.

  61. lgl says:

    tallbloke

    4W/m^2 ? How did you end up with that fantastic number? Sounds about 10 times too high.

  62. tallbloke says:
    December 1, 2010 at 12:40 pm
    The tide gauge graph David Archibald provides shows a decline in sea level from the 1800′s to ~1930 and a rise since.
    Again, because of David’s sloppiness, confusion is all over the map. The graph shows according to David, an increase of of sea level at a rate of 1.0 mm/yr, followed by an even bigger increase of 1.9 mm/yr from 1930 on. Regardless of the facts, apparently people see what they want…

  63. tallbloke says:

    lgl says:
    December 1, 2010 at 12:45 pm (Edit)
    tallbloke

    4W/m^2 ? How did you end up with that fantastic number? Sounds about 10 times too high.

    This is for 1993-2003 decade only, should have mentioned that.
    I used IPCC figures for the ratio of melt to steric rise. Leif checked my calcs as far as getting the number of Joules added to the ocean heat content. I converted that to W/m^2 later. It’s always possible I messed that calc up, but I don’t think I did.

    IPCC says the extra solar forcing from lowered cloud albedo was 2.5W/m^2, but they got to this by subtracting an inflated figure for the co2 forcing from the total.

    The figures aren’t exact, but are in the ballpark.

  64. tallbloke says:
    December 1, 2010 at 1:05 pm
    I used IPCC figures for the ratio of melt to steric rise. Leif checked my calcs as far as getting the number of Joules added to the ocean heat content. I converted that to W/m^2 later.
    The heat content [Joules] is for the ocean column and cannot be converted to W/m^2.

  65. Rational Debate says:

    The 1930 inflection point looks reasonable… the 2004 inflection point, eh, not so much. I mean, granted, it looks like an inflection point graphed on that scale. It seems to me, however, before declairing any significance to it, one would have to run throught the entire 1870-2010 graph looking for any and every roughly 15 year period that also shows an inflection point, since the 2004 inflection point is based on roughly 15 years of data. If one does this, then just roughly eyeballing it from the graph provided, it looks to me as if there are probably inflection points at roughly 1900, 1915, (1945?), 1955, 1970, 1985… add 1930 & 2004 in, and from just the eyeball vantage it looks like approx. 15 year regular cycles from inflection point to inflection point.

    Then, for every inflection point found, one would have to see if there is any major solar change such as those being correlated to the 1930 and 2004 inflection points, and if the direction of solar change also matches the direction of rate changes for 1930 and 2004. If there isn’t…. well, it would certainly decrease the likelihood of the inflection points being related to, or at least primarily caused by, solar changes.

  66. Steve Fitzpatrick says:

    Tallbloke,

    “What I do know is that the forcing required to warm the ocean enough to cause the thermal expansion necessary, on top of the rise due to ice melt is around 4W/m^2. ”

    I don’t think this is correct. If the melt contribution was ~1.8 mm/yr (before 2003) and the total was ~3.3mm/yr, then about 1.5 mm/yr was due to thermal expansion. The global imbalance (all of the Earth’s area) needed to generate this much expansion is about 0.62 watt per square meter, not 4 watts per square meter, assuming you are warming up water that averages 15C (and assuming I have done my math right). The current rate of rise that is likely due to thermal expansion is much less… about 0.2 mm/year or less, so that makes the current global imbalance about 0.083 watt/M^2, once again assuming that you are warming water that averages 15C.

    The complication is that expansion of deeper water (which is much colder) is less per watt added, so it is hard to place a solid number on the imbalance based on rise assigned to warming, unless you also know where the warming has taken place. But we do know that the current imbalance is quite low in any case.

  67. tallbloke says:

    Here’s the graph of tropical cloud cover vs temperature from the ISCCP data:
    http://tallbloke.files.wordpress.com/2010/11/isccp-temp.jpg

    I believe Roy Spencer had a ballpark figure for the solar forcing increase per 1% drop in cloud cover, but I can’t recall it. Anyone?

  68. Rational Debate says:

    re post by: Leif Svalgaard says: December 1, 2010 at 7:04 am

    Solar activity is now what it was 108 years ago. SC23 was much like SC13, yet ‘sea level’ now is at 125 mm and ~1900 it was -50 mm. doesn’t seem to have anything to do with solar activity.

    I don’t think that logic quite works. With 108 intervening years of “not like SC13 & SC23″ solar conditions, ocean levels kept creeping up – almost certainly including from causes that weren’t directly related to solar cycles. Once sea levels reached the pre-SC23 level, one can’t expect it to exhibit a massive step change taking it back to 1900 levels essentially overnight, even if solar levels are now roughly equivalent to those 108 years ago. That they have failed to exhibit a massive step change of that nature doesn’t negate an equivalent solar effect on ocean sea levels, it seems to me.

  69. tallbloke says:

    Leif Svalgaard says:
    December 1, 2010 at 12:59 pm
    tallbloke says:
    December 1, 2010 at 12:40 pm
    The tide gauge graph David Archibald provides shows a decline in sea level from the 1800′s to ~1930 and a rise since.
    Again, because of David’s sloppiness, confusion is all over the map. The graph shows according to David, an increase of of sea level at a rate of 1.0 mm/yr, followed by an even bigger increase of 1.9 mm/yr from 1930 on. Regardless of the facts, apparently people see what they want…

    Leif, apologies, my mind was racing ahead and my words were too elliptical. I’m considering the steric component of sea level rise, not the overll rise including melt. So I should have said a drop in the steric component to 1930, not a drop in the overall rise. Tricky to work out the relative magnitudes in pre-satellite era, so there is still some educated guesswork involved.

  70. Al Gored says:

    Finally, some facts on this issue:

    “Cancun climate change summit: small island states in danger of ‘extinction’

    Protect us from becoming an ‘endangered species’ say small island states as UN report shows devastation from sea level rise.”

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/environment/climatechange/8170075/Cancun-climate-change-summit-small-island-states-in-danger-of-extinction.html

    Note: this article was fully peer reviewed by this author’s peers, while on the beach at Cancun monitoring sea level rise.

  71. tallbloke says:

    Leif Svalgaard says:
    December 1, 2010 at 1:08 pm
    tallbloke says:
    December 1, 2010 at 1:05 pm
    I used IPCC figures for the ratio of melt to steric rise. Leif checked my calcs as far as getting the number of Joules added to the ocean heat content. I converted that to W/m^2 later.
    The heat content [Joules] is for the ocean column and cannot be converted to W/m^2.

    Nonetheless it’s not too difficult to work out what the additional W/m^2 forcing at the surface must have been to cause that many extra Joules to be in the ocean. So , not a direct conversion, but an equivalent.

  72. Rational Debate says:
    December 1, 2010 at 1:37 pm
    I don’t think that logic quite works. With 108 intervening years of “not like SC13 & SC23″ solar conditions, ocean levels kept creeping up – almost certainly including from causes that weren’t directly related to solar cycles.
    Solar activity was highest mid-20th century [solar cycle 19], so went up and then went down, not overnight. The solar magnetic field is often used as an indicator of solar irradiance. It is possible to measure that field using the Earth itself as the instrument. Our best reconstruction of the magnetic field [and hence solar activity in general] is perhaps shown in Figure 10 of http://www.leif.org/research/2009JA015069.pdf
    In the 1830-70s solar activity was a high as in the latter half of the 20th century. There seems to little relationship between solar activity and sea level ‘change’.

  73. tallbloke says:
    December 1, 2010 at 2:07 pm
    Leif, apologies, my mind was racing ahead and my words were too elliptical. I’m considering the steric component of sea level rise, not the overall rise including melt.
    You were directly using David’s graph as mounting ‘evidence’…

    tallbloke says:
    December 1, 2010 at 2:10 pm
    Nonetheless it’s not too difficult to work out what the additional W/m^2 forcing at the surface must have been to cause that many extra Joules to be in the ocean. So , not a direct conversion, but an equivalent.
    That is very difficult as you don’t know what depth [perhaps not even constant] to use and what the circulation was doing and what the time scales are [and were]. Just too much guess work thrown around and taken as ‘evidence’.

  74. tallbloke says:

    Steve Fitzpatrick says:
    December 1, 2010 at 1:15 pm (Edit)
    Tallbloke,

    “What I do know is that the forcing required to warm the ocean enough to cause the thermal expansion necessary, on top of the rise due to ice melt is around 4W/m^2. ”

    I don’t think this is correct. If the melt contribution was ~1.8 mm/yr (before 2003) and the total was ~3.3mm/yr, then about 1.5 mm/yr was due to thermal expansion. The global imbalance (all of the Earth’s area) needed to generate this much expansion is about 0.62 watt per square meter, not 4 watts per square meter, assuming you are warming up water that averages 15C (and assuming I have done my math right). The current rate of rise that is likely due to thermal expansion is much less… about 0.2 mm/year or less, so that makes the current global imbalance about 0.083 watt/M^2, once again assuming that you are warming water that averages 15C.

    The complication is that expansion of deeper water (which is much colder) is less per watt added, so it is hard to place a solid number on the imbalance based on rise assigned to warming, unless you also know where the warming has taken place. But we do know that the current imbalance is quite low in any case.

    Hi Steve and thanks for this. Since both you and lgl think my figure is well out I’m going to find my notes and go through it again to see where I goofed.

    The profile of the temperature falloff to the thermocline is well known, and pretty much linear below the well mixed layer. If i recall correctly (no guarantee-I was in a bad crash a few years ago) the figure I got to was 0.15C increase of the top 700 metres of ocean, giving a rise of 0.3C at the surface, which agreed well with the observed SST record. The Joules figure was in the region of 8×10^23J to heat the top 700m of the worlds oceans 0.15C. I’m trying to remember off the top of my head how I figured the W/m^2 equivalent and I’ll come back on this.

    I’m really pleased others are interested in working on this stuff so thanks again.

  75. lgl says:

    tallbloke

    “The figures aren’t exact, but are in the ballpark.”

    Don’t think so http://www.agu.org/pubs/crossref/2004/2003JC002260.shtml
    and I’m sure I have seen lower figures but can’t find them at the moment.

  76. tallbloke says:

    Leif Svalgaard says:
    December 1, 2010 at 2:16 pm
    tallbloke says:
    December 1, 2010 at 2:07 pm
    Leif, apologies, my mind was racing ahead and my words were too elliptical. I’m considering the steric component of sea level rise, not the overall rise including melt.
    You were directly using David’s graph as mounting ‘evidence’…

    Part of the evidence. One more metric with an inflection point around 1930.

  77. John A says:
    December 1, 2010 at 11:54 am

    I only get to put this sort of stuff out because I am filling a vacuum. You can displace me by doing better work yourself and offering it up for the common weal.

    We know that sea level will stop rising in the next ten years or so. Can we predict that year that will be? That is why I looked at the sea level data. I found that making a worthwhile prediction would be very difficult.

    tallbloke says:
    December 1, 2010 at 12:40 pm

    ftp://ftp.marine.csiro.au/pub/white/church_white_grl_gmsl.zip

    That is the link to the tide data at the CSIRO website.

  78. Steven Mosher says:

    tallbloke says:
    December 1, 2010 at 1:25 pm (Edit)

    Here’s the graph of tropical cloud cover vs temperature from the ISCCP data:
    http://tallbloke.files.wordpress.com/2010/11/isccp-temp.jpg

    I believe Roy Spencer had a ballpark figure for the solar forcing increase per 1% drop in cloud cover, but I can’t recall it. Anyone?

    ######

    do you accept all the physics required to produce those cloud cover data points?

  79. tallbloke says:

    lgl says:
    December 1, 2010 at 3:04 pm (Edit)
    Here 0.6 W/m2 is mentioned
    http://pielkeclimatesci.wordpress.com/2009/02/09/update-on-a-comparison-of-upper-ocean-heat-content-changes-with-the-giss-model-predictions/

    Thanks lgl. I note Pielke Sr is referring to the overall radiative imbalance rather than the forcing on the ocean. I think that given the reduced cloud cover and increased insolation at the surface, we’d also have seen increased outgoing radiation (due to less cloud cover) and so I’m not sure my 4W/m^2 additional forcing on the ocean surface is incompatible with Pielke Sr’s radiative imbalance figure. Maybe I’ve got some terminology wrong and this is what made you and Steve Fitzpatrick think i was referring to radiative balance?

    Leif might like to read that article and note that Pielke Sr doesn’t see a problem in offering a W/m^2 figure ‘corresponding’ to a Joules figure. I’ll email Pielke Sr and ask him how he made the calc.

  80. Steve Fitzpatrick says:

    Tallbloke,
    “The profile of the temperature falloff to the thermocline is well known, and pretty much linear below the well mixed layer. ”
    It approximates linear perhaps for 100 to 200 meters, but the thermocline is pretty much an exponential decay function, as was first explained by Walter Munk in 1966
    http://oceanworld.tamu.edu/resources/ocng_textbook/chapter08/chapter08_05.htm
    The (very) slow turbulent eddy down-mixing process opposes a continuous upwelling of very cold water from the abyss (the thermohaline circulation), which leads to the exponential decay shape.

  81. Rational Debate says:

    re post by; Leif Svalgaard says: December 1, 2010 at 2:11 pm

    Rational Debate says: December 1, 2010 at 1:37 pm

    I don’t think that logic quite works. With 108 intervening years of “not like SC13 & SC23″ solar conditions, ocean levels kept creeping up – almost certainly including from causes that weren’t directly related to solar cycles….

    Solar activity was highest mid-20th century [solar cycle 19], so went up and then went down, not overnight. The solar magnetic field is often used as an indicator of solar irradiance. It is possible to measure that field using the Earth itself as the instrument. Our best reconstruction of the magnetic field [and hence solar activity in general] is perhaps shown in Figure 10 of http://www.leif.org/research/2009JA015069.pdf
    In the 1830-70s solar activity was a high as in the latter half of the 20th century. There seems to little relationship between solar activity and sea level ‘change’.

    Hi Leif,

    Thanks for your reply and added info w/ link. I wasn’t arguing the main premise (e.g., solar cycles do/don’t cause inflection points in sea level rate of change), just taking issue with the logic used in that one post of yours. You’ll note that elsewhere I argued that there seem to be a number of inflection points similar to 2004 when looked at on that same time frame – and that for the correlation to be potentially meaningful, one would have to be able to show similar inflection points for similar sun cycle changes (or vice versa), along with a lack of said inflection points where there were not sun cycle changes. If that were done, then the correlation would become interesting and worth digging into – even tho it would still just be a correlation.

    Leif, if the Earth can be used to measure the Sun’s magnetism, how can variations in the Earth’s field itself be accounted for?

    Also, I was under the impression that while sun spot count could be reasonably correlated to our typical measure of irradiance, it had recently been discovered that the level of irradiance isn’t constant across all frequencies as it had been long thought to be – e.g., that while decreasing in the bands we had been typically measuring, it could actually be increasing in other bands and vice versa? Please forgive me if I’ve utterly mucked this up… but wasn’t there some research along these lines recently, with implications regarding how the amount of energy we thought we’d been receiving from the sun based on our measurements may not have been accurate?

  82. tallbloke says:
    December 1, 2010 at 3:53 pm
    “You were directly using David’s graph as mounting ‘evidence’…”
    Part of the evidence. One more metric with an inflection point around 1930

    You were saying that the heat content was decreasing from the 1800s until 1930, but David’s graph showed an increase in absolute level; hardly evidence. And solar activity, BTW, was decreasing from the 1870s until 1900s, where does that fit?

  83. tallbloke says:
    December 1, 2010 at 4:09 pm
    Leif might like to read that article and note that Pielke Sr doesn’t see a problem in offering a W/m^2 figure ‘corresponding’ to a Joules figure.
    He says: “700 meters of the ocean of 2.45 * 10**22 Joules per year, which corresponds to a radiative imbalance of ~1.50 Watts per square meter.”.
    Joules per year can be converted to Watts. Joules alone cannot. To get to the ‘per square meter’ you must make assumptions about the radiative balance [have a model for it]. I don’t see you having offered one. But perhaps the issue will get resolved once you tell us how you got the 4 W/m2.

    Rational Debate says:
    December 1, 2010 at 5:33 pm
    just taking issue with the logic used in that one post of yours.
    My logic holds under the premise of the topic, namely that a few years of solar change can bring about a significant amount of sea level change.

    Leif, if the Earth can be used to measure the Sun’s magnetism, how can variations in the Earth’s field itself be accounted for?
    They have very different time scales, so don’t interfere with each other.

    the amount of energy we thought we’d been receiving from the sun based on our measurements may not have been accurate?
    The energy we measure is measured accurately. What we have discovered is that the distribution over wavelength varies with the wavelength [one band offsettting another band] with the result that the total varies a lot less.

  84. Ulric Lyons says:

    “Our prediction of a 2° C decline in temperature for the mid-latitudes over Solar Cycles 24 and 25 suggests…”

    Sounds worse than Maunder, how did you come to that conclusion ?

  85. Ulric Lyons says:
    December 1, 2010 at 6:00 pm

    Two degrees for the US-Canadian border, one and a half for Norway for example.

    See this: http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/07/13/solar-driven-temperature-decline-predicted-for-norway-by-a-norwegian/

  86. George E. Smith says:

    “””””
    December 1, 2010 at 12:25 am
    I think the correct Latin phrase is “post hoc ergo propter hoc”. And its a fallacy. “””””

    Well I have heard:- “post hoc non propter hoc”. But I have never heard yours before.

    I have a shirt which proclaims “Nullum gratuitum prandium.” Probably some Indian friend of Pachauri.

  87. George E. Smith says:

    “”””” Rational Debate says:
    December 1, 2010 at 5:33 pm
    just taking issue with the logic used in that one post of yours.
    My logic holds under the premise of the topic, namely that a few years of solar change can bring about a significant amount of sea level change.

    Leif, if the Earth can be used to measure the Sun’s magnetism, how can variations in the Earth’s field itself be accounted for? “””””

    Don’t they measure solar magnetism, as well as that of other stars using the Zeeman effect of hyperfine splitting of spectral lines. There’s one kind that splits one line into two equispaced about the original, and the other gives you back the central line as well. The amount of split (probably frequency or wave number) is proportional to the magnetic field, and I guess which set of lines you get, depends on whether you are looking parallel to the magnetic field or perpendicular to it. I think the two satellite lines are also plane polarised perpendicular to each other.

    Well don’t quote me on that; you better look it up somewhere (other than wikipedia).

  88. George E. Smith says:
    December 1, 2010 at 7:29 pm
    Don’t they measure solar magnetism, as well as that of other stars using the Zeeman effect of hyperfine splitting of spectral lines.
    Yes, that is one way. I am co-builder of just such a solar observatory: http://www.leif.org/EOS/1977SoPh-54-353.pdf
    But there is another way: the solar wind drags the Sun’s magnetic field out into interplanetary space where it interacts with the Earth’s magnetic field. We understand the nature of this interaction and can use the response of the Earth’s magnetic field to measure this solar magnetic field, e.g. http://www.leif.org/research/IAGA2008LS-final.pdf

  89. savethesharks says:

    It would be nice to hear the input of one of the world’s most preeminent sea-level experts on this issue.

    I have emailed and alerted Nils-Axel Morner on this and hopefully he will join in this discussion!

    Chris
    Norfolk, VA, USA

  90. E.M.Smith says:

    An Engineer says:
    By what mechanism, backed up by empirical data, is this supposed to work?

    Rational Debate says:
    It is an inriguing correlation, but what possible mechanism could tie solar changes to sudden sea level rate changes?

    Try crustal deformation. The same thing that causes earthquakes and volcanoes, that also are shown to vary with the “climate cycles”…

    http://chiefio.wordpress.com/2010/12/01/of-quakes-and-climate/

    The only “hard bit” is that a lot of folks make some very good arguments for why periodic changes of earths rate of rotation (that also correlates with PDO cycles and solar cycles – paper by Ian Wilson IIRC) can’t be driven by solar motion changes…

    But that we have correlation of Length of Day, PDO, Solar cycles of motion, ENSO, volcanoes and earthquakes is pretty much being confirmed. But “correlation is not causality”…

    Until someone works out how planets and the sun can have “spin orbit coupling” just like sub atomic particles do, we are left to admire the correlations and repeat the mantra … not causality not causality not causality…

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spin–orbit_interaction

    Why it happens at sub atomic levels yet is not to be considered at macro levels is left as an exercise for the physicists among us…

  91. E.M.Smith says:
    December 1, 2010 at 9:02 pm
    Until someone works out how planets and the sun can have “spin orbit coupling” subatomic particles have because of the strength of the electromagnetic forces that ‘keep them in orbit’. Neither the Sun nor the planets are electrically charged and their gravitational forces are much too weak [the distances too large] for any spin-orbit coupling. Move the planets 100 times closer to the Sun, the spin-orbit coupling will increase a million-fold and there will be some effects. There exist planetary systems where this is happening. just not ours.

  92. tallbloke says:

    E.M.Smith says:
    December 1, 2010 at 9:02 pm
    But that we have correlation of Length of Day, PDO, Solar cycles of motion, ENSO, volcanoes and earthquakes is pretty much being confirmed. But “correlation is not causality”…

    Until someone works out how planets and the sun can have “spin orbit coupling” just like sub atomic particles do, we are left to admire the correlations and repeat the mantra … not causality not causality not causality…

    Yes. But.

    The spin orbit coupling that was proposed by he who cannot be named on this site was not between the planets and the Sun directly, but between the irregular motion of the Sun’s own orbit about centre of mass of the solar system, and it’s own spin.

    The orbit of the Sun is of course determined by the planets, mostly the gas giants.

    I won’t derail this thread with discussion of this, so if people are interested they should look through the archives here and on Geoff Sharp’s and my blogs.

  93. tallbloke says:

    Leif Svalgaard says:
    December 1, 2010 at 5:54 pm (Edit)
    tallbloke says:
    December 1, 2010 at 4:09 pm
    Leif might like to read that article and note that Pielke Sr doesn’t see a problem in offering a W/m^2 figure ‘corresponding’ to a Joules figure.
    He says: “700 meters of the ocean of 2.45 * 10**22 Joules per year, which corresponds to a radiative imbalance of ~1.50 Watts per square meter.”.
    Joules per year can be converted to Watts. Joules alone cannot. To get to the ‘per square meter’ you must make assumptions about the radiative balance [have a model for it]. I don’t see you having offered one. But perhaps the issue will get resolved once you tell us how you got the 4 W/m2.

    Thanks Leif, you have jogged my memory cell a bit. W=J/s. I remember working out the number of seconds in a decade (315576000), and dividing the ~8*10^22J increase in ocean heat content by that number. Then dividing that by the number of square metres on earth’s surface (5.1*10^14). But because the amount of energy which went into the ocean was over the whole decade 1993-2003 I’m remembering now that my figure was 8*10^23J not 8*10^22J.

    I’ve just crunched it again and I’m getting 4.97W/m^2
    I seem to remember you and I agreed 8*10^23 was a bit on the high side after we looked at the uncertainty of the ARGO/XBT data splice so I dropped it to something like 6.5*10^23J when I did the calc. This will probably explain the discrepancy between my 4W/m^2 and the 4.97W/m^2 I’ve just recalculated.

    Thanks for your hint and apologies for my post crash mental difficulties causing the confusion.

  94. tallbloke says:

    Steve Fitzpatrick says:
    December 1, 2010 at 5:18 pm (Edit)
    Tallbloke,
    “The profile of the temperature falloff to the thermocline is well known, and pretty much linear below the well mixed layer. ”
    It approximates linear perhaps for 100 to 200 meters, but the thermocline is pretty much an exponential decay function, as was first explained by Walter Munk in 1966
    http://oceanworld.tamu.edu/resources/ocng_textbook/chapter08/chapter08_05.htm
    The (very) slow turbulent eddy down-mixing process opposes a continuous upwelling of very cold water from the abyss (the thermohaline circulation), which leads to the exponential decay shape.

    Steve, thanks again. I had been going off a graphic I found along with a description on a different site that was similar to this one.
    http://marinebio.org/i/temperature/Thermocline.gif
    Using a rough engineers estimate and a thermocline depth of 1000m (not 700 as I said earlier) I came up with my 0.15C the temperature of the top 1000m must have risen to account for the amount of thermal expansion needed to get the steric sea level rise seen in the 1993-2003 decade, equating to ~0.3C increase in temp at the surface. This figure is confirmed by SST observations.

    The maths of a more accurate calc are beyond me, so if you’d like to pitch in and help I’d be very grateful.

  95. tallbloke says:

    David Archibald says:
    December 1, 2010 at 3:53 pm

    ftp://ftp.marine.csiro.au/pub/white/church_white_grl_gmsl.zip

    That is the link to the tide data at the CSIRO website.

    Thank you David.

    Leif Svalgaard says:
    December 1, 2010 at 5:40 pm
    tallbloke says:
    December 1, 2010 at 3:53 pm

    Part of the evidence. One more metric with an inflection point around 1930

    You were saying that the heat content was decreasing from the 1800s until 1930, but David’s graph showed an increase in absolute level; hardly evidence. And solar activity, BTW, was decreasing from the 1870s until 1900s, where does that fit?

    I’ll let you know after I’ve crunched the data David has kindly provided. The absolute level is composed of several factors, and as long as the data is reconciled with relative land height variation, the main two are ice melt and steric changes due to changing insolation *at the surface*.

    Solar activity dropped from around 46SSN to 38SSN over the 1870-1930 period. My approximate ocean equilibrium value is around 40SSN but will be affected by cloud cover levels. Given the generally low sunspot number, and Nir Shaviv’s work on using the oceans as a calorimeter, my guess is that it was generally cloudier during that time, especially given the high number of el ninos in the late 1800′s throwing heat and water vapour into the atmosphere, increasing humidity. They will also have depleted the ocean heat content. So although SST’s were up before the ~1910 low point, this was more due to higher atmospheric temps (diminishing the differential between ocean and atmospheric temp) and high SST, than high ocean heat content.

    Getting a better grasp of these relationships will help us understand variation in atmospheric temperature and the underlying absorption of solar radiation into the ocean which drives it in a non-linear (on the decadal scale) way.

  96. tallbloke says:

    Steven Mosher says:
    December 1, 2010 at 3:59 pm (Edit)
    tallbloke says:
    December 1, 2010 at 1:25 pm (Edit)

    Here’s the graph of tropical cloud cover vs temperature from the ISCCP data:
    http://tallbloke.files.wordpress.com/2010/11/isccp-temp.jpg

    I believe Roy Spencer had a ballpark figure for the solar forcing increase per 1% drop in cloud cover, but I can’t recall it. Anyone?

    ######

    do you accept all the physics required to produce those cloud cover data points?

    Steve, I’m well aware of the problems involved with collating and integrating data from low orbit weather satellites. However, ISCCP data is in reasonably good agreement with completely different methods of calculating Earth albedo (Palle et al), so I think the diligent scientists on the ISCCP project deserve some credit, rather then the generally negative vibes they’ve had from co2 warmists who don’t like the implications of their data.

  97. lgl says:

    tallbloke

    But ~8*10^22J is for the whole decade, not one year so there’s your *10
    http://bobtisdale.blogspot.com/2009/07/ohc-trends-presented-by-levitus-et-al.html

  98. tallbloke says:

    lgl says:
    December 2, 2010 at 2:13 am
    But ~8*10^22J is for the whole decade, not one year so there’s your *10

    tallbloke says:
    December 2, 2010 at 12:19 am
    Thanks Leif, you have jogged my memory cell a bit. W=J/s. I remember working out the number of seconds in a decade (315576000), and dividing the ~8*10^22J increase in ocean heat content by that number. Then dividing that by the number of square metres on earth’s surface (5.1*10^14). But because the amount of energy which went into the ocean was over the whole decade 1993-2003 I’m remembering now that my figure was 8*10^23J not 8*10^22J.

    Levitus has been doing strange things to OHC figures for 10 years. See my comments on Bob’s earlier posts on this issue. e.g. http://bobtisdale.blogspot.com/2009/03/latest-revisions-to-ocean-heat-content.html

    Looking at the figures I’m talking of in that thread, my memory is hopelessly confused on this and I’m going to have to go through the calc from the beginning again.

  99. tallbloke says:
    December 1, 2010 at 11:49 pm
    The spin orbit coupling that was proposed by he who cannot be named on this site was not between the planets and the Sun directly, but between the irregular motion of the Sun’s own orbit about centre of mass of the solar system, and it’s own spin.
    And that motion about an immaterial point with no mass or charge has even less chance of spin-coupling, but as you said this has already been flogged to death.

  100. Ulric Lyons says:

    @David Archibald says:
    December 1, 2010 at 6:39 pm
    “Two degrees for the US-Canadian border, one and a half for Norway for example.”

    Professor Jan-Erik Solheim
    “temperature is expected to decrease by 0.6 – 1.8 degrees over the following 10-12 years, relative to the mean values for period no 23.”

    That`s some range, I still maintain that it will not really kick in till 2014.
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/07/13/solar-driven-temperature-decline-predicted-for-norway-by-a-norwegian/#comment-432456

  101. rbateman says:

    The big distraction is all the talk of sea level rise, as if it is etched in stone that it must rise.
    What I see in the range, that David has pointed out, is just how easily the start of a sea level drop could be disguised.
    Seeing that the world is totally distracted and unprepared for a sea level drop, just what do we know about how fast that can occur?
    Covering the bases for all contingenices, not just the politically Cancuncorrect one.

  102. rbateman says:
    December 2, 2010 at 5:24 pm
    The big distraction is all the talk of sea level rise, as if it is etched in stone that it must rise.
    If all the Greenland ice would melt, the sea level around Iceland would fall 60 meters….

  103. Steve Fitzpatrick says:

    rbateman,
    “The big distraction is all the talk of sea level rise, as if it is etched in stone that it must rise.”
    Leaving aside Leif’s joke about isostatic rebound…

    The sea level has been rising for the last 120 years (at least). That doesn’t make it 100% sure that it will continue to rise in the near term, but I would not bet against it if I were you. The interesting quest is not if, but how much.

  104. Steve Fitzpatrick says:
    December 2, 2010 at 6:45 pm
    Leaving aside Leif’s joke about isostatic rebound…
    No joke. No rebound; if all the Greenland ice would melt, the sea level around Iceland would fall 60 meters….

  105. rbateman says:

    Leif Svalgaard says:
    December 2, 2010 at 6:54 pm

    I’m not laughing either Leif, removing that much weight from Greenland would make a lot of crust move/warp/crack.

  106. rbateman says:
    December 2, 2010 at 7:27 pm
    I’m not laughing either Leif, removing that much weight from Greenland would make a lot of crust move/warp/crack.
    The reason is this: the gravitational force from the Greenland ice [which is mostly above sea level] lifts the ocean around Greenland. Near Iceland the displacement is about 60 meter [200 feet]. In the North Sea [being further away] perhaps only 10 meter. Melt the ice and spread the melt water over the oceans, the lifting would disappear and the sea level at Iceland would drop 60 m [ignoring the few meter of melt water]. In the North Sea, the drop would be several meters: The Netherlands might not even need its dikes anymore…

  107. Werner Brozek says:

    “tallbloke says:
    December 1, 2010 at 1:25 pm

    Here’s the graph of tropical cloud cover vs temperature from the ISCCP data:
    http://tallbloke.files.wordpress.com/2010/11/isccp-temp.jpg

    I believe Roy Spencer had a ballpark figure for the solar forcing increase per 1% drop in cloud cover, but I can’t recall it. Anyone?”

    The link below is not by Roy Spencer, but is it what you were looking for?

    It is shown in Figure 6. Clouds have a hundred times stronger effect on weather and climate than carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Under point 4, even if the atmosphere’s CO2 content doubled, its effect would be canceled out if the cloud cover expanded by 1%,
    http://www.john-daly.com/solar/solar.htm

  108. Peter Foster says:

    David
    You state or quote
    Our prediction of a 2° C decline in temperature for the mid-latitudes over Solar Cycles 24 and 25 suggests that sea level will stop rising, and should start falling at some point prior to 2032.

    Please tell me who is saying this – is this a quote from CSIRO scientists?
    Would appreciate more references as to origin of data. I see that the satellite data also shows a change in trend post 2004 – has this been calculated ?

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