New sea level dataset now available – still flat

NEW NODC DATASET: THERMOSTERIC SEA LEVEL ANOMALIES

Posted by Bob Tisdale

Just a quick one-graph post.

The NOAA National Oceanographic Data Center (NODC) has added Thermosteric Sea Level Anomaly data to its GLOBAL OCEAN HEAT CONTENT webpage. The NODC describes the data as, “The time series of yearly and 3-month thermosteric sea level anomaly are presented for the 0-700 meters layer. There is one file of yearly and four files of 3-month thermosteric sea level anomaly for each of four major oceanic basins: the World Ocean, the Pacific Ocean, the Atlantic Ocean (which includes the entire Arctic Ocean), and the Indian Ocean. Each file contains the integral for the entire basin (OB), the northern hemisphere part of the basin (NHPB), and the southern hemisphere part of the basin (SHPB).”

The following graph compares the Global and North Atlantic+Arctic Ocean Thermosteric Sea Level anomalies. I suspect that much of the flattening in the global data since 2003 is caused by the significant drop in the North Atlantic+Arctic Ocean data.

To Be Continued

(Yippee, a new dataset to play with.)

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75 Responses to New sea level dataset now available – still flat

  1. James says:

    20mm in 55 years?

  2. Art Sprunger, PhD says:

    Looking forward to extended data

  3. M D Bergeron says:

    So half an inch of rise in 50 years, at that rate it will be a few millenia until my favorite beaches are underwater all of the time. My question is has anyone ever actually noticed this change.

  4. richard verney says:

    It is interesting to see such a difference between the Global on the one hand and the Atlantic Plus Artic on the other. The latter shows a sharp rise between the early 1980s and 2003 whereas the former shows a significantly flatter rise. Post 2003, as you state, the Global is flat. However, the Atlantic Plus Artic is showing a fall. It will be interesting to see whether those trends continue over the coming decade.

  5. tallbloke says:

    Hi Bob, and thanks for drawing attention to this new dataset. It’s interesting that this shows a 14mm rise from 1993 to 2003, the decade I made a detailed study of. The overall sea level rise in this period was ~33mm according to the TOPEX/JASON satellite altimetry. According to the IPCC, half of the sea level rise then was due to thermal expansion. This creates a discrepancy of around 17% – quite a lot. I have a suspicion this is a further effort to try to match the steric component of sea level rise to the alleged forcing of co2 of around 1.7W/m^2, and further downplay the solar contribution due to the reduction in tropical cloud cover and the peak of cycle 23.

    Since no-one has a published methodology for assessing the amount of runoff from glacier melt globally, I’m going to take the calibration of this dataset with a pinch of salt.

  6. Patrick Davis says:

    It’s no wonder Al Gore likes beach front property, at ~0.3mm per year I would not be too bothered about sea level rises either. If this is truely a global measure it is pretty much consistent with no significant sea level rises in coastal areas in the UK like Emsworth, Havant, Portsmouth, Gosport, Exeter and Plymouth, the latter being a very very old naval port.

  7. View from the Solent says:

    Re :Patrick Davis says:
    June 11, 2011 at 2:07 am

    Hey! Not so fast. “very, very old naval port”? Plymouth (more properly Devonport) became a naval base in 1690. It was King John in the early 1200s who founded his naval base at Pompey (localese for Portsmouth).

  8. HR says:

    The Thermosteric Sea Level Anomaly data is derived from the OHC data?

    Any word from Josh Willis on the final update of the ARGO data?

  9. HR says:

    M D Bergeron says:
    June 11, 2011 at 12:41 am
    So half an inch of rise in 50 years

    This is just the contribution due to heat expansion there is another portion from melting ice.

  10. Alexander K says:

    Has anyone alerted the Australian authorities to this? Kinda makes their forecasts of Sydney waterfront properties being swamped and their other catastrophic claims look a bit dodgy, but they are attempting to sell a Carbon Tax!

  11. MattN says:

    Are we sure the North Atlantic/Arctic data is correct?

  12. Bernie says:

    Bob:
    Can you briefly explain how they measure Thermosteric Sea Level Anomaly and what the error is in that measurement process?
    Thanks

  13. Patrick Davis says:

    “View from the Solent says:
    June 11, 2011 at 2:42 am”

    I lived in Pompey too, Clanfield in fact. My post still stands, to the wider audience who may not be equiped with a record of English Naval history. And if you go down to “Old Portsmouth”, there is no significant indication of sea level rises…even since the early 1200′s, as in Plymouth (GUZZ), Emsworth, Havant etc all along the south coast. That is my point.

    “Alexander K says:
    June 11, 2011 at 2:54 am”

    The carbon tax will save us. Trust me, says Gillard.

  14. Jimbo says:

    So, after over 30 years of global warming:
    the hottest decade on the record;
    the hottest years on the record;
    melting Greenland glaciers;
    melting glaciers worldwide;
    melting ice sheets in W. Antarctica;
    water abstraction;
    ‘thermal expansion’……………………it’s worse than we thought! Head for the hills, evacuate the Maldives…..Ahhhhhh!

  15. Bob Tisdale says:

    HR says: “The Thermosteric Sea Level Anomaly data is derived from the OHC data?”

    I assume the same temperature profiles are used for the NODC thermosteric sea level.

  16. Bob Tisdale says:

    tallbloke says: “Since no-one has a published methodology for assessing the amount of runoff from glacier melt globally, I’m going to take the calibration of this dataset with a pinch of salt.”

    Since (I assume) it’s based on the same profiles used for OHC data, it has few observations in the Southern Hemisphere before ARGO, so maybe two pinches of salt should be used, maybe more.

  17. Steve Allen says:

    I am probably just missing something obvious, but could someone explain NOAA’s NODC chart, as well as Geophsical Letters’ L07608 chart? These charts are labeled “0-700m Global Ocean Heat Content”, but they appear as an anomally charts, (can’t have negative heat content), right?

  18. rbateman says:

    Millimeters. 25.4 of them to the inch. Wow.
    Just think about it: The rise of sea levels is going at the pace of a glaciated snail.
    Reminds me of one of those geological studies where they could see dirt & rock slowly creeping down a canyon into a stream over decades of still photos.
    I’m not even sure that anyone bothered to take time-lapse photos of rising sea levels, the pace is so excruciatingly lethargic. Too late now: Rigor Mortis has set into sea level rise.

  19. Geoff Sherrington says:

    In theory, one cannot calculate thermal expansion of an ocean with numbers from the top 700m. If there is to be ocean level rise from heating, the whole volume of the ocean has, on average, to heat (except that some different things happen in the 0-4 deg C range). Since there is a sparse data set from places like the deep South Pacific, where there is also ocean floor spreading with heat and volcanos, and since there is a far greater volume of water below 700m than above, the assertion is flawed. Besides, there is some intermixing of water over the 700m interface that complicates calculations that assume the heat source is only from the surface down.
    The slow processes like isostativc rebound and tectonic shift make it near impossible to recreate ocean level changes to a few mm from data strings shorter than 100 years.
    The whole topic has ripe cherries on it.

  20. Ian W says:

    MattN says:
    June 11, 2011 at 3:08 am
    Are we sure the North Atlantic/Arctic data is correct?

    Why aren’t you querying the Pacific and Indian ocean data Matt?

  21. HR says:

    /Bob Tisdale says:
    June 11, 2011 at 3:28 am
    HR says: “The Thermosteric Sea Level Anomaly data is derived from the OHC data?”

    I assume the same temperature profiles are used for the NODC thermosteric sea level./

    Thanks for the answer, I had a go at answering my own question.
    Graphed the OHC and TSLA for the N.Atlantic to see the comparison.

    http://i51.tinypic.com/xpal3p.jpg
    (OHC is X10 to bring both in line)

    They are similar but with some small differences. I’m guessing to do with SLP or some other factor.

  22. R. Gates says:

    Hey Bob, very interesting, but even with the flattening We are not returning to 1990′s, 80′s, or 70′s, levels. Why? Because there is more heat in the oceans. Now some would say that heat is residual heat from ENSO events, but over such a long time frame, ENSO by itself, which is a balancing of heat or thermostat for the oceans, would not be adding so much heat to the oceans. It seems something else seems to be adding heat over a longer time frame. Of course, there is one theory as to what that something is, and that theory gets corroborating evidence from measurements of deeper arctic waters and the longer term decline of arctic sea ice that’s been going on. The 40% increase in CO2 since the 1700′s when factored into global climate models would explain this long term rise in ocean heat content as well as the long term decline in arctic sea ice, which, is melted from both solar insolation as well as warm water from below. The warmest waters in 2000 years have been found flowing into the arctic. Hard to not wonder as to the cause.

  23. starzmom says:

    I just came home from a week long trip to Ireland. We spent a few days in the ancient harbor town of Youghal, an ancestral home. The old piers and quays from the early 1800s are still there and still in active use–not flooded out yet–and at low tide, many small boats are beached as they sit tied to the quay. Even better, the ancient Water Gate, which allowed boat owners to bring their boats into a walled gated protected area, and dates from about the 1400s, is now about 100 yards inland. Even allowing for some fill, it begs the question–what sea level rise?

  24. G. Karst says:

    “Climate warming since 1995 is now statistically significant, according to Phil Jones, the UK scientist targeted in the “ClimateGate” affair.”

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-13719510

    “HadCRUT shows a warming 1995-2010 of 0.19C – consistent with the other major records, which all use slightly different ways of analysing the data in order to compensate for issues such as the dearth of measuring stations in polar regions.”

    I particularly notice Phil’s unilateral declaration that:

    “Since then, nothing has emerged through mainstream science to challenge the IPCC’s basic picture of a world warming through greenhouse gas emissions.”

    So it is obvious, that Sea Level will commence a disastrous rise shortly. After-all, we can’t have significant rising temperatures and a flattening seal level… Can we?? GK

  25. Bob Tisdale says:

    MattN says: “Are we sure the North Atlantic/Arctic data is correct?”

    It’s the same relationship with OHC:
    http://i56.tinypic.com/2m2hq1v.jpg
    The OHC graph is from this post
    http://bobtisdale.wordpress.com/2010/10/18/update-and-changes-to-nodc-ocean-heat-content-data/

  26. geo says:

    If we’re talking about the Arctic and North Atlantic. . . how does sea ice play into this record? Would a reduction in sea ice produce a fall in sea level for the purpose of this record?

  27. Bob Tisdale says:

    Bernie says: “Can you briefly explain how they measure Thermosteric Sea Level Anomaly and what the error is in that measurement process?”

    Thermosteric sea level anomaly data is calculated from ocean temperature measurements–for this dataset, to depths of 700 meters. Antonov et al (2005) “Thermosteric sea level rise, 1955–2003″ provides further info:
    http://www.nodc.noaa.gov/OC5/3M_HEAT_CONTENT/basin_tsl_data.html
    I would have expected an update of that paper to accompany the newly released data. They must’ve released the data early.

    Like OHC data, most of the sampling for the thermosteric sea level data before the ARGO era took place in the Northern Hemisphere,

    If you’re looking for error data, the NODC lists standard errors for each of the basins (yearly and quarterly data) in the links attached to the following:
    http://www.nodc.noaa.gov/OC5/3M_HEAT_CONTENT/basin_tsl_data.html

  28. Bob Tisdale says:

    HR says: “They are similar but with some small differences. I’m guessing to do with SLP or some other factor.”

    The factor is salinity, I believe.

  29. DirkH says:

    R. Gates says:
    June 11, 2011 at 5:45 am
    “The 40% increase in CO2 since the 1700′s when factored into global climate models would explain this long term rise in ocean heat content as well as the long term decline in arctic sea”

    Your (IPCC consensus) “theory” doesn’t explain the MWP.

  30. DirkH says:

    DirkH says:
    (to R. Gates) “Your (IPCC consensus) “theory” doesn’t explain the MWP.”

    I put “theory” in quotes because the IPCC consensus “theory” doesn’t make a testable prediction (only untestable projections and scenarios, so it’s not a scientific theory.)

  31. Bob Tisdale says:

    R. Gates says: “Hey Bob, very interesting, but even with the flattening We are not returning to 1990′s, 80′s, or 70′s, levels. Why? Because there is more heat in the oceans. Now some would say that heat is residual heat from ENSO events, but over such a long time frame, ENSO by itself, which is a balancing of heat or thermostat for the oceans, would not be adding so much heat to the oceans…”

    Apparently you haven’t studied La Nina events. The model projections are rising, but the OHC data is not. Trenberth and Hansen acknowledge this. Trenberth is still looking for the missing heat and Hansen came up with a baseless volcanic aerosol rebound effect to explain the recent flattening.

  32. Kev-in-Uk says:

    G. Karst says:
    June 11, 2011 at 6:32 am

    Jones is probably just trying to salvage some basis for respect ? – but frankly he will never gain it from the real science community. He’ll just have to stick to playing with his psycophantic buddies on the ‘Team’.

  33. Mycroft says:

    Patrick Davis says:
    June 11, 2011 at 2:07 am
    It’s no wonder Al Gore likes beach front property, at ~0.3mm per year I would not be too bothered about sea level rises either. If this is truely a global measure it is pretty much consistent with no significant sea level rises in coastal areas in the UK like Emsworth, Havant, Portsmouth, Gosport, Exeter and Plymouth, the latter being a very very old naval port.

    The city of Exeter is not danger if sea levels rose, most of it is built on hills/higher land.Only the western side of the city would be affected…plus it is over 5miles from the coastal resorts of Exmouth and Dawlish Warren.

  34. John F. Hultquist says:

    It is nice to have actual data and charts to look at. Thanks. As I understand this, the data are an attempt to describe an anomaly caused by a temperature change rather than a change in the mass of water. Further, the source of the temperature change is not considered. All interesting but in my mind a rather difficult thing to measure.
    ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
    The juxtaposition of this and the previous post caught my attention: “Massive drifts and late-melting snowpack” indicates there is much ex-sea water piled on the mountains of western North America. It is a good sized patch of snow; not now moving, just waiting. There is a lot of water in North American rivers, much now classed as flood water, on its way to the ocean. It is muddy dark water sitting in shallow layers under an intense sun – warming on its slow descent to the sea. There is still more slow moving water. Saturated crop land has been a national issue in the US corn, soy bean, sun flower growing areas. All this has happened before. One of the first movies I saw was a black and white one (with serious music); a Corps of Engineers compilation of the Mississippi flood of 1927
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Mississippi_Flood_of_1927
    and then there was the non-stop TV coverage of the 1993 repeat
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Flood_of_1993

    By late summer a lot of warm fresh water will have floated out over the salty sea. There may be a bit of bump up in sea level.

  35. R. Gates says:

    DirkH says:
    June 11, 2011 at 7:42 am

    R. Gates says:
    June 11, 2011 at 5:45 am
    “The 40% increase in CO2 since the 1700′s when factored into global climate models would explain this long term rise in ocean heat content as well as the long term decline in arctic sea”

    Your (IPCC consensus) “theory” doesn’t explain the MWP.
    _____
    Dirk, you suffer from the mistaken thought that all similar effects must have the same cause. The cause or causes of the MWP, don’t have to be the same as the cause or causes of the late 20th century warming.

  36. R. Gates says:

    Bob Tisdale says:
    June 11, 2011 at 7:52 am

    R. Gates says: “Hey Bob, very interesting, but even with the flattening We are not returning to 1990′s, 80′s, or 70′s, levels. Why? Because there is more heat in the oceans. Now some would say that heat is residual heat from ENSO events, but over such a long time frame, ENSO by itself, which is a balancing of heat or thermostat for the oceans, would not be adding so much heat to the oceans…”

    Apparently you haven’t studied La Nina events. The model projections are rising, but the OHC data is not. Trenberth and Hansen acknowledge this. Trenberth is still looking for the missing heat and Hansen came up with a baseless volcanic aerosol rebound effect to explain the recent flattening.

    ______

    Respectfully, I still feel you are side-stepping my point. The ocean heat content currently is greater than 40 years ago, regardless of whether or not it has increased in the past 10 years. ENSO events serve to keep the upper ocean within a range over the long term, during the charging (La Nina) and discharging (El Nino) cycles. The current record warm waters at even deeper levels below 700m has nothing to do with ENSO, and the warming of these deeper waters is implicated in both the warming of the western Antarctic as well as the Arctic with the associated mass loss in the western Antarctic glacial ice and the year-to-year reduction of Arctic sea ice. The 40% increase in CO2 and related forcing provides a viable explanation for the warming of the Arctic and long-term reduction of sea ice while short-term ocean cycles such as ENSO do not.

    Ten years from now, if ocean heat content falls back to where it was in the 70′s, (and I fully admit there is a chance it could, as slight as it might be) then we’d have to look at other influences that a greater than the forcing from CO2. If this happens, I would look to the solar cycle GCR/cloud relationship for starters. But as it stand right now, a mere flattening from the increase in OHC does not in any way negate the possible forcing from CO2, but certainly might cause a refinement in the models to show that some other influence over the past 10 years served to counter the forcing from CO2, and need to be included in future global climate models.

  37. Doug Proctor says:

    The difference between the North Atlantic and the Global sea level is over 1 cm. How is that sustainable? Or does this variations reflect complex tidal changes due to oscilations in the moon’s position? Are there variations in sea level worldwide attributable to moon-earth interactions?

  38. John M says:

    R. Gates

    Dirk, you suffer from the mistaken thought that all similar effects must have the same cause. The cause or causes of the MWP, don’t have to be the same as the cause or causes of the late 20th century warming.

    One wonders then why it’s so important to show that the MWP never existed.

    Possibly because if it did exist, there is no explanation as to why it existed, which weakens the “we can’t think of anything else, so it must be CO2″ argument to explain current warming.

    BTW, shouldn’t you be over on the “Chutspah” thread mocking those climate scientists that just published a paper explaining how AGW causes less snow?

  39. DirkH says:

    R. Gates says:
    June 11, 2011 at 9:06 am
    “DirkH says:
    June 11, 2011 at 7:42 am
    Your (IPCC consensus) “theory” doesn’t explain the MWP.
    _____
    Dirk, you suffer from the mistaken thought that all similar effects must have the same cause. The cause or causes of the MWP, don’t have to be the same as the cause or causes of the late 20th century warming.”

    No, i don’t – i expect the climatologists to be able to explain the MWP WITH THEIR GCMs – after all, they are the ones who get billions in funding for development of their science and their models. The failure to explain the MWP shows that their “theory” is lacking and will stay a “theory” and not become a theory without quotation marks in the foreseeable future. If the GCMs don’t manage this, how could they be trusted to get anything right?

  40. Matt G says:

    R. Gates says:
    June 11, 2011 at 9:18 am

    “Ten years from now, if ocean heat content falls back to where it was in the 70′s, (and I fully admit there is a chance it could, as slight as it might be) then we’d have to look at other influences that a greater than the forcing from CO2.”

    Still not sure why you assume it is CO2 that caused the rise in the OHC in the first place. There is still no observed scientific evidence that it can warm the depths of the ocean. This is something you automatically put two and two together and come up with four. Yet, completely ignore the no increase in the OHC over a period longer than 20 years up intil the late 1970′s, where there was a significant increase in CO2 gases. (also at a time of the well known great Pacific change) If cloud albedo increases over the next 10 years the OHC will decrease, but if it stays stable why should there be a increase or decrease unless until reaching equilibrium. The OHC matches the change and non-change in global cloud albedo much better than CO2 has.

  41. R. Gates says:

    Matt G says:
    June 11, 2011 at 10:02 am

    R. Gates says:
    June 11, 2011 at 9:18 am

    “Ten years from now, if ocean heat content falls back to where it was in the 70′s, (and I fully admit there is a chance it could, as slight as it might be) then we’d have to look at other influences that a greater than the forcing from CO2.”

    Still not sure why you assume it is CO2 that caused the rise in the OHC in the first place. There is still no observed scientific evidence that it can warm the depths of the ocean. This is something you automatically put two and two together and come up with four. Yet, completely ignore the no increase in the OHC over a period longer than 20 years up intil the late 1970′s, where there was a significant increase in CO2 gases. (also at a time of the well known great Pacific change) If cloud albedo increases over the next 10 years the OHC will decrease, but if it stays stable why should there be a increase or decrease unless until reaching equilibrium. The OHC matches the change and non-change in global cloud albedo much better than CO2 has.
    ________

    I assume nothing about CO2 and it’s relationship to OHC, but merely observe that at the basic long-term trend of OHC and the reduction of Arctic sea ice on a year-to-year basis, and the reduction of glacial mass in western Antarctica is consistent with what the global climate models say should happen with the additional forcing from the 40% increase in CO2 since the 1700′s. This does not in any way preclude the existence other influences that are not yet factored into GCM, such as potential GCR/cloud effects, etc. that could mitigate, mask, or otherwise combine with the forcing effects of CO2.

  42. Andrew30 says:

    DirkH says: “I put “theory” in quotes because the IPCC consensus…”
    DirkH, I think that the word you are looking for is conjecture.

    As in: “The IPCC conjecture doesn’t explain the MWP.”

  43. Tom_R says:

    >> R. Gates says:
    June 11, 2011 at 9:18 am
    Respectfully, I still feel you are side-stepping my point. The ocean heat content currently is greater than 40 years ago, regardless of whether or not it has increased in the past 10 years. <<

    How can anyone even pretend to know the OHC from 40 years ago?

  44. Ken in the Keys says:

    My old geophysics professor, the late Sir Edward Bullard, would probably be puzzled why so little attention is paid by “climate scientists” to the role of plate tectonics in changing the shape, and thus the volume, of ocean trenches. Sea levels are directly affected, of course, by changes in the shape of the ocean floor. Tectonic movements at the mid-ocean ridge system, in particular, are immense. Moreover, they generate enormous amounts of heat. [Bullard E. 1954a. The Flow of Heat Through the Floor of the Atlantic Ocean, Proceedings of the Royal Society of London, Series A, mathematical and Physical Sciences, v. 222, n. 1150, A Discussion on the Floor of the Atlantic Ocean (Mar. 18th, 1954), p. 408-429.] Yet tectonics seem to be underplayed in most calculations of either sea level or ocean heat content.
    “Teddy” Bullard would also be jealous of the power of the computer on which this posting is being composed. It is a big step ahead of the EDSAC 2 which he (and I) were using in 1960.

  45. R. Gates says:

    Tom_R says:
    June 11, 2011 at 10:58 am
    >> R. Gates says:
    June 11, 2011 at 9:18 am
    Respectfully, I still feel you are side-stepping my point. The ocean heat content currently is greater than 40 years ago, regardless of whether or not it has increased in the past 10 years. <<

    How can anyone even pretend to know the OHC from 40 years ago?

    _____
    Yes, I know, in your mind climate scientists know nothing and all the data is made up. It's all a crap shoot and the global climate models are nothing but crap. On the other hand, if you want to know more about ocean heat content, go here:

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

    Within a high degree of confidence we can be sure that the ocean heat content of today is higher than it was 40 years ago…much higher. ENSO cycles do not explain this trend, as over the same period, the heat charging (La Nina) and heat discharging (El Nino) of the ENSO cycle should come out even. The only current know forcing that can account for the overall increase of OHC over the past 40 years is the forcing from the 40% increase in CO2. This certanly doesn't preclude some other unknown forcing from being out there and either adding to or subtracting from the effects of CO2, and likely there is some other unknown forcing going on that would account for the flat OHC over the past 10 years. I suspect it has something to do with galactic cosmic rays and clouds, but it's also possible that it's something else. We'll know a whole lot more by 2020 as we'll find out if OHC will continue to rise, stay flat, or perhaps even decline. What an exciting tine to be alive!

  46. Werner Brozek says:

    Now I am really confused. The article talks about “the significant drop in the North Atlantic+Arctic Ocean data”

    How can the above statement be reconciled with the comments below?

    R. Gates says:
    June 11, 2011 at 5:45 am: “The warmest waters in 2000 years have been found flowing into the arctic.”

    And as we have been told, the Arctic was supposed to heat up much faster than the rest of the earth.

  47. R. Gates says:

    Werner Brozek says:
    June 11, 2011 at 12:19 pm
    Now I am really confused. The article talks about “the significant drop in the North Atlantic+Arctic Ocean data”

    How can the above statement be reconciled with the comments below?

    R. Gates says:
    June 11, 2011 at 5:45 am: “The warmest waters in 2000 years have been found flowing into the arctic.”

    And as we have been told, the Arctic was supposed to heat up much faster than the rest of the earth.

    ______
    And indeed it is. Despite the attempts of some to convince us that another glacial period is coming and the planet is rapidly cooling, the Arctic continues to warm as displayed in so many different ways. From reduced year-to-year sea ice extent, area, and volume, to melting permafrost and warmer waters in the Arctic, we are seeing signs exactly consistent with the forcing expected from the 40% increase in CO2 since the 1700′s. As for the warmer waters in the Arctic issue, see:

    http://www.colorado.edu/news/r/9059018f4606597f20dc4965fa9c9104.html

    http://content.usatoday.com/communities/greenhouse/post/2011/01/arctic-waters-warmest-2000-years/1

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-1352197/Water-flowing-Arctic-Ocean-warmest-2-000-years.html

    The rise in OHC since the 1970′s is exactly consistent with the increase in water temps in the Arctic.

  48. John M says:

    We’ll know a whole lot more by 2020 as we’ll find out if OHC will continue to rise, stay flat, or perhaps even decline. What an exciting tine (sic) to be alive!

    Fine. Just don’t force us down the wrong “fork” in the road while we’re waiting to find out.

  49. Dave Springer says:

    @R.Gates

    So ya think we have enough CO2 in the atmosphere so that the Holocene interglacial won’t end anytime soon or do we need more?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Ice_Age_Temperature.png

    The global ocean is a basically a 3C bucket of near-icewater with a thin warmer layer (10% of its volume) riding on top. Any sane informed person fears a cooling world not a warming one. Ice sucks. Write that down.

  50. Dave Springer says:

    Geoff Sherrington says:
    June 11, 2011 at 4:40 am

    In theory, one cannot calculate thermal expansion of an ocean with numbers from the top 700m. If there is to be ocean level rise from heating, the whole volume of the ocean has, on average, to heat (except that some different things happen in the 0-4 deg C range)

    The only interesting thing that happens in the 0-4 deg C range is people exhibit their lack of knowledge of basic properties of materials. Unlike freshwater, seawater keeps right on increasing in density right up to it’s freezing point of -2C.

    Write that down.

  51. Bob Tisdale says:

    R. Gates says: “The current record warm waters at even deeper levels below 700m has nothing to do with ENSO…”

    Do greenhouse gases bypass the upper 700 meters of the ocean to warm deeper levels in your world?

    You wrote, “Ten years from now, if ocean heat content falls back to where it was in the 70′s…”

    What mechanism are you proposing that would cause the Global OHC to drop that much in 10 years? In order to do that, there would need to be a monstrous release of heat from the oceans into the atmosphere, and since the oceans release most of their heat through evaporation, the results would not be pleasant.

    R. Gates, I believe I’ve linked my OHC posts for you in the past that illustrate the impacts of ENSO, Sea Level Pressure, and AMOC on Global OHC. In the event I haven’t, here they are:
    http://bobtisdale.wordpress.com/2009/09/05/enso-dominates-nodc-ocean-heat-content-0-700-meters-data/
    AND:
    http://bobtisdale.wordpress.com/2009/12/30/north-pacific-ocean-heat-content-shift-in-the-late-1980s/
    AND:
    http://bobtisdale.wordpress.com/2009/10/04/north-atlantic-ocean-heat-content-0-700-meters-is-governed-by-natural-variables/
    You’ve been around WUWT long enough that you may have even commented on the cross posts here at WUWT.

    You obviously accept the models, which have little to no basis in reality for SST. Refer to:
    http://bobtisdale.wordpress.com/2011/04/10/part-1-%e2%80%93-satellite-era-sea-surface-temperature-versus-ipcc-hindcastprojections/
    And:
    http://bobtisdale.wordpress.com/2011/04/19/492/

    So I can’t imagine the models would represent reality any better for OHC.

    On the other hand, some of us accept what the data portrays, which is that much of the rise in Lower Troposphere Temperature, Surface Temperature, Sea Surface Temperature and Ocean Heat Content can be explained without anthropogenic forcings.

    It is unlikely that you’ll ever agree with my point of view, and I doubt I’ll find a significant anthropogenic component in any of those datasets. So, is there any reason for us to continue this discussion?

  52. Matt G says:

    R. Gates says:
    June 11, 2011 at 10:31 am

    “——-merely observe that at the basic long-term trend of OHC and the reduction of Arctic sea ice on a year-to-year basis, and the reduction of glacial mass in western Antarctica is consistent with what the global climate models say should happen with the additional forcing from the 40% increase in CO2 since the 1700′s.”

    “The rise in OHC since the 1970′s is exactly consistent with the increase in water temps in the Arctic.”

    Change in global cloud levels of ~5 percent can easily significantly alter those obsevations mentioned here.

  53. Matt G says:

    “ENSO cycles do not explain this trend, as over the same period, the heat charging (La Nina) and heat discharging (El Nino) of the ENSO cycle should come out even.”

    El Ninos depend on how much shortwave energy from the sun reaches the surface during La Nina’s. Therefore when there is a global cloud albedo decline of around 5 percent since the early 1980′s this can explain at least some of the ENSO cycle trend. Hence, the ENSO cycle will not come out even when the global cloud albedo hasn’t stayed equal over the same period. Once the global cloud albedo has increased back to earlier levels then this ENSO cycle should have then come out even, but not until then.

  54. phlogiston says:

    rbateman

    Millimeters. 25.4 of them to the inch…

    Ken in the Keys

    My old geophysics professor, sir Edward Bullard …

    Sea level rise of millimeters over decades is comparable to, and even slower than, the rates of tectonic drift (about the speed that fingernails grow).

    Oh – that’s a thought…

  55. tallbloke says:

    Steve Allen says:
    June 11, 2011 at 4:11 am
    I am probably just missing something obvious, but could someone explain NOAA’s NODC chart, as well as Geophsical Letters’ L07608 chart? These charts are labeled “0-700m Global Ocean Heat Content”, but they appear as an anomally charts, (can’t have negative heat content), right?

    ‘Anomaly’ charts is all they can do, because no-one knows exactly how much heat the ocean contains

  56. Ross says:

    I simply want someone to explain to me why CO2 with a specific heat of less than 1 joule/gram and approximately 0.06 % of the atmosphere by weight is more important to climate than water which has a latent heat ~2500 joule/gram and water vapour with specific heat of ~ 2 joule/gram and whidh is ~60 to 70 times more in concentration ?

    For 0.06% of something to heat up the rest of the 99.04 % doesn’t it have to get really really hot – the tiny bars in my electric furnace have to get really hot to give off the small heat that you feel at less than 2 metres distant. Or am I wrong and I am simply wasting gas by boiling the kettle ?

    Surely the answer can’t be the slow build up of energy continually reinforcing more heating because that sounds to me like our energy problems solved – a runaway thermal greenhouse effect in a sealed vessel rather than an open one like the atmosphere – pump in CO2 and water vapour from a coal power station for a few years, add sunlihjt and when the thermal runaway greenhouse effecr kicks in shut down the nasty beastie – the coal power station I mean..

    Finally it seems to me that the IPCC crowd think it is all about radiation when it is not. Convection plays a much larger part in energy transfer in our atmosphere – otherwise why do they create fan forced ovens, fan forced space heaters etc etc? Conversly why do we use convection to cool down hot things we don’t want to overheat.

    Where are the allowances for the work done in our atmosphere and oceans – the energy absorbed by biomass.

    And last but not least the ridiculous notion that without greenhouse gases the earth’s blackbody temperature would be minus 18 C – I mean c’mon !

    So the paltry sun, with a solar conatant of 1366 W/sq metre just above the earth’s atmosphere can only heat us to minus 18 C and “gtrrnhouse gases” can provide the extra energy ro heat some areas of the globe by another ~ 60 – 70 C. Temperatures above 40 C are common place – above 50 C are recorded.

    I mean – c’mon !!

  57. phlogiston says:

    R Gates

    Hi – I notice you are still getting mileage from the “warmest in 2000 years water somewhere in the Arctic” data. What you consistently fail to mention is that this is from sediment proxy data. Conveniently I guess since we all know the limits to the precision of proxies on decadal scales, plus problems with the last few decades to the present of proxy data, such as declines that need hiding. Thus proxy data aren’t really appropriate to put alongside instrumental data of the last half century. But if there is a recent increase from proxy data helpful for your argument you trumpet it loudly, while failing to mention that it is proxy data so that the reader gets the impression that you are referring to instrumental data. Smoke and mirrors!

    “Ladies and gentlemen – the great magician R Gates!” (drum roll……. cymbals!)

    BTW there was a thread some time back about different proxy data from the Arctic (Siberian coast) showimg that Arctic sea temperatures had been higher than now for most of the Holocene. But the AGW crowd chimed (I think you joined in) that this was local data only, not relevant to the whole Arctic. But here you make no mention of your “2000 year” data being local, nor even fess up to its being proxy sediment data.

    Dirk, you suffer from the mistaken thought that similar effects must have the same cause.

    O R! Really this is dangerously close to hypocrisy. The most rigid dogmatic restriction with which CAGW culture has shackled climate research is the rejection of, the refusal even to consider, ANY proposed cause of historic climate change at any time, other than atmospheric carbon or particulates. Its quite audacious of you to turn this argument around against skeptics such as DirkH. Who is it exploring roles in climate of solar variations, magnetic fields, cosmic rays, internal nonlinear oscillation of the ocean-atmosphere system, cloud dynamics, planetary orbital gravitation effects, etc, etc.? Is it skeptical sites like WUWT or the AGW mainstream?

    Its us, not you.

  58. NikFromNYC says:

    “New sea level dataset now available – still flat”

    The Earth itself is getting flatter, according to NASA:

    http://oi55.tinypic.com/2whqjr8.jpg

  59. G. E. Morton says:

    R. Gates wrote,

    “Within a high degree of confidence we can be sure that the ocean heat content of today is higher than it was 40 years ago…much higher.”

    What is the source of that confidence, given that prior to the Argo buoys measurements of OHC via XBT and CTD are uneven, sporadic, controversial with respect to the corrections needed, and in the case of the Southern Hemisphere, almost non-existent?

  60. G. E. Morton says:

    R. Gates wrote,

    “The rise in OHC since the 1970′s is exactly consistent with the increase in water temps in the Arctic.”

    The commenter was not referring to the overall (presumed) rise since the ’70s; he was referring to the decline in Arctic TSL since 2003 — precisely when Arctic warming appears to be greatest.

  61. D. J. Hawkins says:

    R. Gates says:
    June 11, 2011 at 9:06 am
    DirkH says:
    June 11, 2011 at 7:42 am

    R. Gates says:
    June 11, 2011 at 5:45 am
    “The 40% increase in CO2 since the 1700′s when factored into global climate models would explain this long term rise in ocean heat content as well as the long term decline in arctic sea”

    Your (IPCC consensus) “theory” doesn’t explain the MWP.
    _____
    Dirk, you suffer from the mistaken thought that all similar effects must have the same cause.
    The cause or causes of the MWP, don’t have to be the same as the cause or causes of the late 20th century warming.

    Scored an “own goal” there Mr. Gates, and you didn’t even notice. If AGW proponents can’t explain the MWP and show exactly how those factors don’t apply today, then sceptics are perfectly justified in saying, “It’s happened before, and it’s happening again. Big deal”. Burden of proof lies with those making the claim “It’s different now!” Simple forensic principle; the affirmative team always has the burden of proof. Merely showing that it could be the reason doesn’t get you the win.

    And let’s say that you were right, that AGW or CAGW were true, what then? The warmanistas have gotten so shrill that now it seems that even if we shut down every motor vehicle and fossil fuel power plant the exces CO2 would stay in the atmosphere for 1,000 years, slow-roasting the planet. Instead of spending trillions to no good use, wouldn’t we be better served putting aside the windmill subsidies to ameliorate the effects? Otherwise we’ll have pissed away the money, not affected the outcome, and will now be in no position to deal with the consequences.

  62. Tom_R says:

    >> R. Gates says:
    June 11, 2011 at 11:46 am

    Yes, I know, in your mind climate scientists know nothing and all the data is made up. It’s all a crap shoot and the global climate models are nothing but crap. On the other hand, if you want to know more about ocean heat content, go here:

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

    1. Your link took me to an error message.
    2. Where exactly did the OHC measurements in 1970 come from? How many temperature measurements were taken below (say) 10 meters? How many in the southern ocean?
    3. In MY mind, most climate 'scientists' are prostitutes who will do anything for grants, and the honest ones who don't follow the dogma are quickly weeded out. I've seen a lot of evidence that that is so, and I've seen it in other fields, although the huge amount of grant money in climate 'science' is far more than any other field.

  63. Gary Pearse says:

    With data sets not going the right way, they are breaking them down into fanasy data sets (gravitational isostatic rebound added a factor last month). Thermosteric, huh. Calculated from ocean heat content huh. Soon actual, real, observable sea level rise will be considered irrelevant. We will be using cartoon sealevel rise to compensate nations flooded by calculated sea level rises that leave them high and dry. Anyway, if thermisteric sealevel rise of 10mm were to occur, it wouldn’t actually rise as much as calculated because of bevelled coastlnes and with isostatic rebound, it might even go down!

  64. F. Ross says:

    “Dave Springer says:
    June 11, 2011 at 1:23 pm

    Any sane informed person fears a cooling world not a warming one. Ice sucks. Write that down.”

    Good one!

  65. R Gates is an invader.
    He hijacks threads with nothing to do with the subject that he hijacks….to advance his agenda.
    It really, really gets old.
    And believe me, R, you might think you can just overwhelm with volume, but your posts are vacuous.
    There are many of us who find it as entertaining.
    But “entertaining” is the end of it…nothing more.
    Chris

  66. scepticalwombat says:

    Garry Pearce
    “Thermosteric, huh. Calculated from ocean heat content huh. Soon actual, real, observable sea level rise will be considered irrelevant. ”

    Gary calculations of Thermosteric Sea Level rise are not intended to replace observations of actual sea level rise. They are intended to isolate the amount of sea level rise that has been caused by increased upper ocean heat content. By subtracting this from observed sea level rise you can estimate the amount of the rise from other sources such as melting ice sheets and glaciers.

    Doug Proctor

    “The difference between the North Atlantic and the Global sea level is over 1 cm. How is that sustainable? Or does this variations reflect complex tidal changes due to oscilations in the moon’s position? Are there variations in sea level worldwide attributable to moon-earth interactions?”

    The difference in heights of the Pacific and Atlantic oceans are mainly maintained by differences in evaporation and precipitation. Put simply more water evaporates from the Atlantic than enters it through precipitation and rivers and the reverse is true for the Pacific. The result is a difference in sea levels and a massive surface current around the tip of South America.

  67. Venter says:

    R.Rates’s statement about OHC dropping to levels of 70″s [ whatever that number is ] shows his complete ignorance of OHC and hear release physics mechanisms. Bob Tisdale’s reply to him on that was spot on. It is obvious to a schoolboy.

  68. Patrick Davis says:

    “Mycroft says:
    June 11, 2011 at 8:34 am”

    River Exe was tidal and navigable up to the city walls enabling it, at one time, to be a bussiest port in the country. So, while not technically coastal, the port, and other waterways, canals etc, would be affecetd by sea level rises, or at least there would be some eveidence of rises, but there isn’t any evidence of the sort.

  69. Geoff Sherrington says:

    Dave Springer says “The only interesting thing that happens in the 0-4 deg C range is people exhibit their lack of knowledge of basic properties of materials. Unlike freshwater, seawater keeps right on increasing in density right up to it’s freezing point of -2C.”
    ……………………………………….
    Please don’t try to talk down to me. Remember that the half of the alleged ocean level rise that is said to be due to water melting is from fresh water ice. People could have critcised my comment if I had not included the 4 deg caveat in a broad consideration of heat, energy, temperature and volume.
    Do you agree that the WHOLE ocean mass has to warm, on average, before a thermal expansion can happen? Do you agree that too little is known about deep temperatures to calculate whole ocean averages to the required accuracy to derive expansion or contraction? Do you concede that it is not valid to make global assumptions derived from the top 700m of the oceans?

  70. Bill Illis says:

    I note that the Envisat European satellite is currently showing no change in sea level since 2004.

    If the components are:

    - +0.3 mm/yr for the glacial isostatic rebound;
    - +1.7 mm/yr from glacial melt;
    - net thermostatic residual.

    Then Envisat is showing that the global oceans are cooling by -2.0 mm/yr .

    Jason2 would be showing 0.3 mm/yr of thermostatic rise since 2009;

    and Jason1 would be 0.7 mm/yr of thermostatic rise since 2003.

    Something as simple as how the satellites measurements are adjusted and which land-based sea level gauges they are calibrated to, will affect the thermostatic number by quite a bit. Envisat has a negative value, especially in the last 2 years.

  71. Dave Springer says:

    Geoff Sherrington says:
    June 12, 2011 at 1:38 am

    “Remember that the half of the alleged ocean level rise that is said to be due to water melting is from fresh water ice.”

    The volume of meltwater on an annual basis is currently insignificant with regard to average salinity of the ocean. The amount of fresh water entering the ocean versus the amount leaving it is out of balance by something on the order of 2 millimeters per year. Given the average depth of the ocean is 4000 meters the excess of fresh water is less than a millionth of the total ocean volume. This has no practical effect whatsoever on thermal expansion or contraction. If all the ice in the world melted and sea level rose by 100 meters it still wouldn’t lower salinity enough to matter. Seawater would still get denser all the way to its freezing point and the freezing point would still be very close to -2C.

    “People could have critcised my comment if I had not included the 4 deg caveat in a broad consideration of heat, energy, temperature and volume.”

    Not as easily as they could criticize it when it included a flaw in the first statement..

    “Do you agree that the WHOLE ocean mass has to warm, on average, before a thermal expansion can happen?”

    Yes, I agree, but “whole ocean mass” is redundant. The ocean has to warm, on average, for thermal expansion. Adding the redundant “whole mass” is confusing since “average” must by definition include the entire volume.

    “Do you agree that too little is known about deep temperatures to calculate whole ocean averages to the required accuracy to derive expansion or contraction?”

    I don’t agree or disagree. There are things we know, things we know we don’t know, and things we don’t know we don’t know. How do we know when we know enough in this case? This is where prediction and repeatability come into play in science. Science is about best explanations with an acknowledgment that something we didn’t know we didn’t know may come to light at any time rendering our best explanation a wrong explanation.

    Given that caveat there is little observed variance in ocean temperature below the thermocline except in the case of conveyor belt currents and undersea volcanoes. In the former it shouldn’t effect the average temperature and in the latter there is no evidence that deep sea vulcanism varies in level of activity enough to influence the average temperature one way or another. Internal heat of the planet (heat of formation from gravitational contraction billions of years ago and heat generated by radioactive decay) escapes very slowly due to how well the crust insulates the mantle and core. The rate of internal heat loss is on the order of 3 milliwatts per square meter of surface. That figure would have to be wrong by two orders of magnitude before it approaches significance in surface temperature. The Venusian surface is blazingingly hot mostly because the atmosphere at the surface is 80 bar and those few milliwatts of internal heat at the surface of the crust still have a heavy layer of insulation to traverse by conduction and convection before it gets to clear sky where it can escape radiatively. This is not the case on the earth.
    .
    “Do you concede that it is not valid to make global assumptions derived from the top 700m of the oceans?”

    No. The Argo fleet dives to a depth of 2000 meters. Only the top 700m shows any significant temperature variance from year to year. It appears to me it’s reasonable to assume that year-over-year thermal expansion or contraction of ocean volume can be derived from average temperature of the water above the thermocline.

    Now I’ve got a question for you. Do you concede the point that there is nothing “interesting” that happens at or around 4C seawater temperature? It seems you clearly made the common mistake of assuming that saltwater begins to expand near 4C like fresh water does and you’re now just waving your hands about trying to cover up your ignorance of that fact.

  72. Bob Tisdale says:

    Bill Illis says: “I note that the Envisat European satellite is currently showing no change in sea level since 2004.”

    Like ARGO, the new fangled technology spoils the rising trends.

  73. Richard111 says:

    My understanding is that when you melt ice in water the temperature of the water remains constant until ALL the ice has melted. Just how does the Arctic water temperature rise when the Arctic ice is melting?

  74. chris y says:

    Seawater at 15C, 1 atm has a CTE = 150 ppm/C. At 31C, this increases to 335 ppm/C, and at 4C, drops to 50 ppm/C. High pressure increases the CTE. The deep oceans, at 3 – 4 C and high pressure, still have a sizable CTE of about 200 ppm/C. With an average depth of 4300m, sea level should rise about 0.85 meter if the entire ocean temperature increases by 1 C. This is clearly not happening.

    The total ocean mass is 1.36 x 10^21 kg. Raising the total ocean temperature by 1C requires 1.36 x 10^24 Joules of extra energy. The current energy anomaly, based on ARGO data since about 2005, is zero. This is a travesty…

  75. R. Gates:

    Since you have claimed present sea surface temperatures are higher than at any time over the past 2000 years, explain the cooling trend of the Sargasso Sea over the past 3000 years:

    http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_nOY5jaKJXHM/TGtnnzGAlvI/AAAAAAAABQ0/aqY0zbKkpsU/s1600/sargasso.jpg

    and the Nordic Sea over the past 7000 years (a remarkable 5-6C!):

    http://hockeyschtick.blogspot.com/2011/06/new-paper-shows-much-higher-sea-surface.html

    and many other proxy studies showing the opposite of your claim.

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