Tisdale on 2011 ocean heat content and the GISS-Miss

Bob has done some very interesting work here, I call attention to figure 6 and figure 7  below where he asks:

If the observations continue to diverge from the model projection, how many years are required until the model can said to have failed?

January to March 2011 NODC Ocean Heat Content (0-700Meters) Update and Comments

by Bob Tisdale

INTRODUCTION

The National Oceanographic Data Center’s (NODC) Ocean Heat Content (OHC) anomaly data for the depths of 0-700 meters are available through the KNMI Climate Explorer Monthly observations webpage. The NODC OHC dataset is based on the Levitus et al (2009) paper “Global ocean heat content (1955-2008) in light of recent instrumentation problems”. Refer to Manuscript. It was revised in 2010 as noted in the October 18, 2010 post Update And Changes To NODC Ocean Heat Content Data. As described in the NODC’s explanation of ocean heat content (OHC) data changes, the changes result from “data additions and data quality control,” from a switch in base climatology, and from revised Expendable Bathythermograph (XBT) bias calculations.

The OHC anomaly data is provided from the NODC on a quarterly basis. There it is available globally and for the ocean basins in terms of 10^22 Joules. The KNMI Climate Explorer presents the quarterly data on a monthly basis. That is, the value for a quarter is provided for each of the three months that make up the quarter, which is why the data in the following graphs appear to have quarterly steps. Furnishing it in a monthly format allows one to compare the OHC data to other datasets that are available on a monthly basis. The data is also provided on a Gigajoules per square meter (GJ/m^2) basis through the KNMI Climate Explorer, which allows for direct comparisons of ocean basins, for example, without having to account for surface area.

This update includes the data through the quarter of January to March 2011. The Global and Tropical Pacific OHC anomalies both rose during the first quarter of 2011, as one would expect in response to a La Niña event. This relationship with ENSO is very apparent when OHC data is compared to SST data. Refer to Sea Surface Temperature Versus Ocean Heat Content Anomalies.

GLOBAL

The Global OHC data through March 2011 is shown in Figure 1. Even with the slight rise this quarter, it continues to be remarkably flat since 2003, especially when one considers the magnitude of the rise that took place during the 1980s and 1990s.

Figure 1

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TROPICAL PACIFIC

Figure 2 illustrates the Tropical Pacific OHC anomalies (24S-24N, 120E-90W). The major variations in tropical Pacific OHC are related to the El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO). Tropical Pacific OHC drops during El Niño events and rises during La Niña events. As discussed in the update for October to December 2010, the Tropical Pacific had not as of then rebounded as one would have expected during the 2010/11 La Niña event. It finally responded during the last quarter.

Figure 2

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For more information on the effects of ENSO on global Ocean Heat Content, refer to ENSO Dominates NODC Ocean Heat Content (0-700 Meters) Data and to the animations in ARGO-Era NODC Ocean Heat Content Data (0-700 Meters) Through December 2010.

BASIN TREND COMPARISONS

Figure 3 and 4 compare OHC anomaly trends for the ocean basins, with the Atlantic and Pacific Ocean also divided by hemisphere. Figure 3 covers the full term of the dataset, 1955 to present, and Figure 4 shows the ARGO-era data, starting in 2003. The basin with the greatest short-term ARGO-era trend is the Indian Ocean, but it has a long-term trend that isn’t exceptional. (The green Indian Ocean trend line is hidden by the dark blue Arctic Ocean trend line.) The basin with the greatest rise since 1955 is the North Atlantic, but it also has the largest drop during the ARGO-era. Much of the long-term rise and the short-term flattening in Global OHC are caused by the North Atlantic. If the additional long-term rise and the recent short-term decline in the North Atlantic OHC are functions of additional multidecadal variability similar to the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation, how long will the recent flattening of the Global OHC persist? A couple of decades?

Figure 3

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Figure 4

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Further discussions of the North Atlantic OHC anomaly data refer to North Atlantic Ocean Heat Content (0-700 Meters) Is Governed By Natural Variables. And if you’re looking into natural impacts on OHC, also consider North Pacific Ocean Heat Content Shift In The Late 1980s.

ARGO-ERA MODEL-DATA COMPARISON

Many of you will recall the discussions generated by the simple short-term comparison graph of the GISS climate model projection for global OHC versus the actual data, which is comparatively flat. The graph is solely intended to show that since 2003 global ocean heat content (OHC) anomalies have not risen as fast as a GISS climate model projection. Tamino, after seeing the short-term model-data comparison graph in a few posts, wrote the unjustified Favorite Denier Tricks, or How to Hide the Incline. I responded with On Tamino’s Post “Favorite Denier Tricks Or How To Hide The Incline”. And Lucia Liljegren joined the discussion with her post Ocean Heat Content Kerfuffle. Much of Tamino’s post had to do with my zeroing the model-mean trend and OHC data in 2003.

While preparing the post GISS OHC Model Trends: One Question Answered, Another Uncovered, I reread the paper that presented the GISS Ocean Heat Content model: Hansen et al (2005), “Earth’s energy imbalance: Confirmation and implications”. (PDF) Hansen et al (2005) provided a model-data comparison graph to show how well the model matched the OHC data. Figure 5 is Figure 2 from that paper. As shown, they limited the years to 1993 to 2003 even though the NODC OHC data starts in 1955. Hansen et al (2005) chose 1993 as the start year for three reasons. First, they didn’t want to show how poorly the models hindcasted the early version of the NODC OHC data in the 1970s and 1980s. The models could not recreate the hump that existed in the early version of the OHC data. Second, at that time, the OHC sampling was best over the period of 1993 to 2003. Third, there were no large volcanic eruptions to perturb the data. But what struck me was how Hansen et al (2005) presented the data in their time-series graph. They appear to have zeroed the model ensemble mean and the observations at 1993.5. The very obvious reason they zeroed the data then was so to show how well OHC models matched the data from 1993 to 2003.

Figure 5

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My ARGO-era model-data comparison graph is also zeroed at the start year, 2003, but I’ve done that to show how poorly the models now match the data. Hansen et al (2005) zeroed at 1993 to show how well the models recreated the rise in OHC from 1993 to 2003 and I’ve zeroed the data in 2003 to show how poorly the models match the data after that. I’m not sure why that’s so difficult to accept for some people. The reality is, the flattening of the Global OHC anomaly data was not anticipated by those who created the models. This of course raises many questions, one of which is, if the models did not predict the flattening of the OHC data in recent years, much of which is based on the drop in North Atlantic OHC, did the models hindcast the rise properly from 1955 to 2003?

Figure 6 compares the ARGO-era Ocean Heat Content observations to the model projection, which is an extension of the linear trend determined by Hansen et al (2005), for the period of 1993 to 2003. Over that period, the modeled OHC rose at 0.6 watt-years per year. I’ve converted the watt-years to Gigajoules using the conversion factor readily available through Google: 1 watt years = 31,556,926 joules. The model projection has risen at a rate that’s 7 times higher than the observations since 2003.

Figure 6

I asked the question in Figure 6, If The Observations Continue To Diverge From The Model Projection, How Many Years Are Required Until The Model Can Be Said To Have Failed? It’s really a moot point. Hansen et al (2005) shows that the model mean has little-to-no basis in reality. They describe their Figure 3 (provided here as Figure 7 in modified form) as, “Figure 3 compares the latitude-depth profile of the observed ocean heat content change with the five climate model runs and the mean of the five runs. There is a large variability among the model runs, revealing the chaotic ‘ocean weather’ fluctuations that occur on such a time scale. This variability is even more apparent in maps of change in ocean heat content (fig. S2). Yet the model runs contain essential features of observations, with deep penetration of heat anomalies at middle to high latitudes and shallower anomalies in the tropics.” I’ve deleted the illustrations of the individual model runs in Figure 7 for an easier visual comparison of the observations and the model mean graphics. I see no similarities between the two. None.

Figure 7

COMPARISON OF OHC ANOMALY DATA BY HEMISPHERES

I don’t recall presenting the OHC anomalies for the Northern and Southern Hemisphere on the same graph in earlier posts, so here they are in Figure 8. As always, the Southern Hemisphere data has to be taken with more than a grain of salt. There were very few observations in the Southern Hemisphere prior to the ARGO era, especially south of the tropics. But what I found interesting was the major divergence after the 1997/98 El Niño. The Northern Hemisphere data rises significantly, but there is a minor dip and rebound in the Southern Hemisphere data at that time.

Figure 8

So I subtracted the Southern Hemisphere OHC anomaly data from the Northern Hemisphere. Refer to Figure 9. The timing of the large variations appear to coincide with El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) events. I checked and found that they did, but the results were surprising.

Figure 9

Figure 10 is a gif animation that compares inverted and scaled (-0.1) NINO3.4 SST anomalies (a commonly used proxy for the timing and magnitude of ENSO events) and the difference between Northern and Southern Hemisphere OHC anomalies. The animation presents the inverted NINO3.4 SST anomalies shifted up and down. I’ve done this to align them with the corresponding changes in the hemispheric difference for the significant 1972/73, 1982/83, and 1997/98 El Niño events. The hemispheric difference leads the NINO3.4 SST anomalies during those ENSO events.

Figure 10

I have not carried the investigation any farther. Hopefully soon.

THE HEMISPHERES AND THE OCEAN BASINS

(11) Northern Hemisphere

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(12) Southern Hemisphere

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(13) North Atlantic (0 to 75N, 78W to 10E)

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(14) South Atlantic (0 to 60S, 70W to 20E)

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(15) North Pacific (0 to 65N, 100 to 270E, where 270E=90W)

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(16) South Pacific (0 to 60S, 120E to 290E, where 290E=70W)

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(17) Indian (60S-30N, 20E-120E)

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(18) Arctic Ocean (65 to 90N)

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(19) Southern Ocean (60 to 90S)

SOURCE

All data used in this post is available through the KNMI Climate Explorer:

http://climexp.knmi.nl/selectfield_obs.cgi?someone@somewhere

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97 Responses to Tisdale on 2011 ocean heat content and the GISS-Miss

  1. Wade says:

    “If The Observations Continue To Diverge From The Model Projection, How Many Years Are Required Until The Model Can Be Said To Have Failed?”

    Obviously, the models are right and the observations are wrong. After proper homogenization and adjustments, you will see how right the models really are and how misleading the observations can be. [end sarcasm]

  2. pat says:

    The models, at least in the minds of Hansen et al., seem to have gained a sort of reality. To quote “There is a large variability among the model runs, revealing the chaotic ‘ocean weather’ fluctuations that occur on such a time scale” No Mr. Hansen. They merely demonstrate that no two models are identical. They say nothing about empirical data.

  3. H.R. says:

    Thank you, Bob. (Figure 6 is a keeper. I see why Anthony gave us the heads up.)

  4. RobB says:

    What’s going on in the Indian Ocean?

  5. Paul Vaughan says:

    There’s so much variability in the annual cycle for these data. Anomalies are sure to impede data exploration.

  6. RockyRoad says:

    Virtual reality is the new post normal reality. Applicable is the saying: “Don’t bother me with reality; what I’m looking for is a good fantasy.”

  7. Ed Barbar says:

    It seems the modelers should have a band of uncertainty, in which they state “If the measurements are outside of the band, it is X% likely my model is wrong.” They could do it in the positive way too. This is where we expect to see the data, here are the 1sd lines, the 2sd lines, etc. When things get to 3sds, it’s time to start thinking the model is missing something major.

  8. John F. Hultquist says:

    Thanks Bob. Always interesting. Your question about the models cannot be answered because of the conceptual difference between “forecast” and “scenario.” The model(s) draw a future reality that may not happen for any number of reasons. The wiggle-room is essential for the continuation of the process and future well-being of the climate change proponents. At some point new variables can be introduced that will produce a new scenario – maybe even one that shows cooling. The new-and-improved model will be even more complex; and there is more – it will require a faster computer and more funding. Unlike a weather forecast of sunny and warm for three days out when instead there is thunder and hail, the modelers are not worried about ruining your family’s picnic or the farmer cutting a timothy field the day before a steady and prolonged rain.

  9. DeNihilist says:

    Bob, graph 18, Artic, shows a steady decline in heat content since the peak of around 2007, yet it appears that the ice is not recovering. Any thoughts?

  10. Gary Pearse says:

    “the changes result from “data additions and data quality control,” from a switch in base climatology, and from revised Expendable Bathythermograph (XBT) bias calculations.”

    Am I the only one seeing these things (i.e. am I paranoid)? Everytime things start to go cool, the data sets are delayed while the data gatherers fiddle and tweak to “stop the decline”. In recent months, sealevel has had long delays while U colorado added in an isostatic value and fiddled and tweaked so that it now doesnt bear any relation to actual sealevel; UK Hadley even changed the dates of the spring season to include enough data pre-spring to make an unprecedented drought in East Anglia; just when the graph of daily lower tropo temps began to swing downwards (UAH), the satellite was deemed faulty and now there is no 2011 temp graph; a similar thing happened to satellites when the ice in the arctic began to recover a few years ago; and njow the the torquing of the data in OHC! Some say there are no coincidences, all reasonable people would say such multiple coincidences are simply not possible..

  11. Eyal Porat says:

    DeNihilist says:
    June 19, 2011 at 10:12 am
    “Bob, graph 18, Artic, shows a steady decline in heat content since the peak of around 2007, yet it appears that the ice is not recovering. Any thoughts?”

    Wind and ocean currents.

  12. R. Gates says:

    Very interesting analysis once more. Bob is the chart king!

    We still need to know what’s going on in the deeper ocean for an true understanding. Even down to 700m, we are of course, basically just skimming the surface compared to all the heat that can be stored at deeper levels. So despite the fact that there has been some flattening of the rise in OHC during the last few years, it has not fallen either, and some studies indicate that the deeper oceans may also be warming:

    http://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/pdf/10.1175/2007JCLI1879.1

    http://stephenschneider.stanford.edu/Publications/PDF_Papers/FukasawaEtAl2004.pdf

    http://darchive.mblwhoilibrary.org:8080/handle/1912/1213

    http://www.agu.org/pubs/crossref/2011/2010JC006601.shtml

    So, eventually we can hope for a new metric that measures the total ocean heat content, top to bottom. Since this would require far more senors and/or the development of new techniques to accurately measure heat content at deeper levels, I do see such a metric anytime soon.

  13. Anthony Scalzi says:

    I notice that the animated figure 10 also seems to show the 2010 el niño, althouhg it is hard to tell for sure since the data set is incomplete.

  14. R. Gates says:

    RobB says:
    June 19, 2011 at 9:40 am

    What’s going on in the Indian Ocean?
    ____
    OHC rising faster than any other basin. See this interesting article on the potential relationship to the Indian ocean heat content and global warming:

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/05/070530101024.htm

    But also be aware that what goes on in the Indian ocean can affect other ocean basins, as this recent study shows:

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/04/110427131809.htm

  15. Pamela Gray says:

    One can only be duly impressed by the amount of energy available in these oceans to drive weather pattern variations and oscillations. And with energy to spare.

  16. Brian Hall says:

    DN;
    the Arctic heat is being “used” to melt some ice. It takes quite a bit. Shortly, the ice may begin to reform, thus pumping heat back into the water.

  17. Theo Goodwin says:

    Gary Pearse says:
    June 19, 2011 at 10:21 am

    “Am I the only one seeing these things (i.e. am I paranoid)?”

    No, I see the same things. Maybe they are depressives and need to reassure themselves with increasing numbers. Maybe they are obsessive-compulsive and just cannot leave the numbers alone. Maybe, just maybe, they are cheaters who think they are subtle.

  18. Claude Harvey says:

    To paraphrase: “How many years can Hansen be wrong about most everything before Hansen is generally deemed delusional at best, dishonest at worst and irrelevant in any event?”

  19. davidsmith53 says:

    Hi, Bob.

    When I view Figure 1 I think to myself, “Wouldn’t it be great if NODC also supplied error bars with their annual estimates?”

    My guess is that, due to things like sensor and aerial coverage changes, the error bars would be rather wide.

  20. Duncan says:

    “We provide estimates of the warming of the world ocean
    for 1955–2008 based on historical data not previously
    available, additional modern data, correcting for instrumental
    biases of bathythermograph data, and correcting or excluding
    some Argo float data.”

    And even torturing the data, they can’t make it show an upward trend since Argo started reporting data.

  21. N-S Ocean Heat Content diference leads ENSO Fig 6
    North Leads South Fig8
    North is best represent by Artic Ocean Fig18
    Some Ocean current maps would be help full
    Indian Ocean Fig 17 leads Artic Fig18?

  22. Maybe this is the map for my previous post

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/03/100329132405.htm

    Atlantic Conveyor Belt

  23. r.m.b says:

    contemplate the proposition that the ocean only accepts the suns radiation and accepts no physical heat from the atmosphere. Reason, surface tension. Surface tension is very powerful, if you don’t believe me get a bucket of water and try heating it with a heat gun.

  24. DirkH says:

    Gary Pearse says:
    June 19, 2011 at 10:21 am
    ““the changes result from “data additions and data quality control,” from a switch in base climatology, and from revised Expendable Bathythermograph (XBT) bias calculations.”

    Am I the only one seeing these things (i.e. am I paranoid)? Everytime things start to go cool, the data sets are delayed while the data gatherers fiddle and tweak to “stop the decline”.”

    Well, it’s when the researchers have to check back with the financial department who have already included the expected grants depending on how many alarmist claims the researchers will be able to make next quarter. “Professor, we’ll have a liquidity gap of 2.5 Million if you can’t outdo your latest sea level prognosis, any way you can do something about it?…”

    ;-)

  25. Joshua says:

    “it continues to be remarkably flat since 2003, especially when one considers the magnitude of the rise that took place during the 1980s and 1990s.”

    Actually, when I look at figure #1 – I see a relatively flat period in the 1980s.

  26. James Sexton says:

    Theo Goodwin says:
    June 19, 2011 at 11:16 am

    Gary Pearse says:
    June 19, 2011 at 10:21 am

    “Am I the only one seeing these things (i.e. am I paranoid)?”

    No, I see the same things. Maybe they are depressives and need to reassure themselves with increasing numbers. Maybe they are obsessive-compulsive and just cannot leave the numbers alone. Maybe, just maybe, they are cheaters who think they are subtle.
    ==================================================================
    It is that when their world view conflicts with reality. They refuse to accept that their view is wrong and so they set out to skew the view of reality until it conforms with their view. They call this process “improvements”.to the data. I think some genuinely believe this is proper. Obviously, a psychological examine isn’t required to be a climatologist. I’d be really interested in the results of a group study towards that end.

  27. John B says:

    Bob,

    As you said, the big question is, “If the observations continue to diverge from the model projection, how many years are required until the model can said to have failed?” I was hoping you were going to give a stab at an answer to that.

    According to Pielke Jr., “Kudos to NOAA for being among the first to explicitly state what sort of observation would be inconsistent with model predictions — 15 years of no warming.”

    http://rogerpielkejr.blogspot.com/2009/07/noaa-explains-global-temperature.html

    The next question is, how close are we to that…

  28. Roger Knights says:

    Gary Pearse said:

    UK Hadley even changed the dates of the spring season to include enough data pre-spring to make an unprecedented drought in East Anglia;

    Not really; March 1 is the start of meteorological spring. (And Nov. 1 is the start of meteorological winter, etc.)

  29. the fritz says:

    DeNihilist says:
    June 19, 2011 at 10:12 am
    Bob, graph 18, Artic, shows a steady decline in heat content since the peak of around 2007, yet it appears that the ice is not recovering. Any thoughts?

    Stay logic, artic heat content declines , because ice is not recovering

  30. Bob Tisdale says:

    DeNihilist says: “Bob, graph 18, Artic, shows a steady decline in heat content since the peak of around 2007, yet it appears that the ice is not recovering. Any thoughts?”

    I use 65N as the southernmost latitude for the Arctic Ocean in all ocean datasets (OHC, SST, etc.) to capture the Arctic north of the Bering Strait, but that also gives us lots of high latitude North Atlantic. Much of the decline we’re seeing in the Arctic Ocean OHC should actually be in the open waters of the high latitude North Atlantic, which has been measured reasonably well for most of the term of the dataset. Here’s a comparison graph of the Arctic Ocean OHC anomalies for the area north of the North Atlantic (65N-90N, 78W-30E) versus the Rest of the Arctic (65N-90N, 30E-78W). While the Rest of the Arctic is showing some variation, it can’t be based on very many observations.

  31. Ian W says:

    But what struck me was how Hansen et al (2005) presented the data in their time-series graph. They appear to have zeroed the model ensemble mean and the observations at 1993.5. The very obvious reason they zeroed the data then was so to show how well OHC models matched the data from 1993 to 2003.

    It was Lorenz that showed how rapidly models of a chaotic system diverge when the start parameters are slightly different. Can anyone justify the ‘averaging’ of several models of chaotic systems into an ensemble? It would appear to me that judicious choice of the models and particular runs of each model and you could correlate the ensemble ‘averaged’ output with almost anything. So what does it prove?

  32. stephen richards says:

    Not really; March 1 is the start of meteorological spring. (And Nov. 1 is the start of meteorological winter, etc.)

    In the UK, yes. But in europe it’s 21st. june.

  33. rbateman says:

    How many years? Looking at Figure 6, I’d give it about 6 months to achieve a departure from prediction of 2 Sigma, which would be January 2012.
    That should suffice to write an ephitat to Hansens Dancin’, and he can join Gore and others who have succumbed to Fossa saecula saeculorum Forecast
    .

  34. Bob Tisdale says:

    RobB says: “What’s going on in the Indian Ocean?”

    I can’t answer your question, unfortunately. Some of it is likely due to the poor sampling in the pre-ARGO portion of the data–that is before 2003. Most of the Indian Ocean is in the Southern Hemisphere and there’s very little source data in the Indian Ocean before 2003. We’ll just have to watch it and try to figure out what makes it tick. Some of the warm waters comes from ENSO events. You can watch the response of the Indian Ocean in the animations toward the bottom of this post.

    http://bobtisdale.wordpress.com/2011/03/25/argo-era-nodc-ocean-heat-content-data-0-700-meters-through-december-2010/

    (They take a while to load. There are 10MB of gif animations in that post.)

  35. tucker says:

    DeNihilist says:
    June 19, 2011 at 10:12 am
    Bob, graph 18, Artic, shows a steady decline in heat content since the peak of around 2007, yet it appears that the ice is not recovering. Any thoughts?

    ******************************************************

    Definitive proof that heat content has less to do with ice loss than short and long term weather patterns methinks.

  36. Robert of Ottawa says:

    The warmistas seem to have the following view of computer modelling. If the model is run 20,000 times, in a Monte Carlo simulation, them the average of all outputs are reality.

  37. Bob Tisdale says:

    Gary Pearse: With respect to your June 19, 2011 at 10:21 am comment, the 2010 corrections to the NODC OHC data lowered the long-term trend. Yup, you read that right. The NODC dropped the long-term Global OHC trend about 9% with those corrections.

    Discussed that in the following post:

    http://bobtisdale.wordpress.com/2010/10/18/update-and-changes-to-nodc-ocean-heat-content-data/

  38. tallbloke says:

    “If The Observations Continue To Diverge From The Model Projection, How Many Years Are Required Until The Model Can Be Said To Have Failed?”

    This is the question Pielke Sr posed some while ago. He’s recently updated it, with a hat tip to Bob as well.

    http://pielkeclimatesci.wordpress.com/2011/06/14/2011-update-of-the-comparison-of-upper-ocean-heat-content-changes-with-the-giss-model-predictions/

    He highlights a new paper which says 45% of the ‘missing heat’ got radiated to space, 35% is hidden deeper in the ocean, and abnormal heating will be resumed soon. :-)

    Worthy of a WUWT post I would say.

  39. FergalR says:

    DeNihilist says:
    June 19, 2011 at 10:12 am

    Bob, graph 18, Artic, shows a steady decline in heat content since the peak of around 2007, yet it appears that the ice is not recovering. Any thoughts?
    ——————-

    Low Arctic ice extent is a negative feedback.

  40. Bob Tisdale says:

    davidsmith53 says: “When I view Figure 1 I think to myself, ‘Wouldn’t it be great if NODC also supplied error bars with their annual estimates?'”

    The NODC provides standard error estimates for the global and basin time-series data available at their website:

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

  41. jorgekafkazar says:

    DeNihilist says: “Bob, graph 18, Artic, shows a steady decline in heat content since the peak of around 2007, yet it appears that the ice is not recovering. Any thoughts?”

    Eyal Porat says: “Wind and ocean currents.”

    Low oceanic temperatures result in low humidities. Low humidity over the ice facilitates sublimation.

    Claude Harvey says: “To paraphrase: “How many years can Hansen be wrong about most everything before Hansen is generally deemed delusional at best, dishonest at worst and irrelevant in any event?”

    I’m certain Hansen is not dishonest. I’m hoping he will soon be irrelevant. No further comment.

  42. Michael Jankowski says:

    Trenberth thinks the missing warming is in the deeper ocean (700-2000m), which is what warmists claim is what he meant during climategate with his “It’s a shame we can’t explain the lack of recent warming.”

  43. kadaka (KD Knoebel) says:

    RobB said on June 19, 2011 at 9:40 am:

    What’s going on in the Indian Ocean?

    That was mentioned in a USGS press release about a soon-to-be-published article, found here. It was discussed on WUWT here, note the Indian Ocean was not the main focus of the article. A relevant press release excerpt:

    Most of the Indian Ocean warming is linked to human activities, particularly greenhouse gas and aerosol emissions. The Indian Ocean has warmed especially fast because it is quickly being encroached upon by the Tropical Warm Pool, which is an area with the warmest ocean surface temperatures of anywhere on earth.

    Got that? The Indian Ocean is warming very rapidly due to the very warm Tropical Warm Pool quickly moving into the Indian Ocean. USGS states most of the Indian Ocean warming is anthropogenic. If you find that both of those statements make sense together, then you may have a career waiting in the government-funded Climate Science™ industry. ;-)

  44. R. Gates says:

    Michael Jankowski says:
    June 19, 2011 at 2:34 pm

    Trenberth thinks the missing warming is in the deeper ocean (700-2000m), which is what warmists claim is what he meant during climategate with his “It’s a shame we can’t explain the lack of recent warming.”
    _____
    Probably best to let Dr. Trenberth speak for himself, right from his official web page on this issue:

    http://www.cgd.ucar.edu/cas/Trenberth/statement.html

  45. Latitude says:

    tallbloke says:
    June 19, 2011 at 1:51 pm

    “If The Observations Continue To Diverge From The Model Projection, How Many Years Are Required Until The Model Can Be Said To Have Failed?”

    This is the question Pielke Sr posed some while ago. He’s recently updated it, with a hat tip to Bob as well.

    http://pielkeclimatesci.wordpress.com/2011/06/14/2011-update-of-the-comparison-of-upper-ocean-heat-content-

    changes-with-the-giss-model-predictions/

    He highlights a new paper which says 45% of the ‘missing heat’ got radiated to space, 35% is hidden deeper in the ocean, and abnormal heating will be resumed soon. :-)
    ==============================================================================
    Unbelievable………………
    They believe so strongly, that they believe in something they can’t even find or know exists………..

  46. R. Gates says:

    FergalR says:
    June 19, 2011 at 1:53 pm

    DeNihilist says:
    June 19, 2011 at 10:12 am

    Bob, graph 18, Artic, shows a steady decline in heat content since the peak of around 2007, yet it appears that the ice is not recovering. Any thoughts?
    ——————-

    Low Arctic ice extent is a negative feedback

    _____

    A complete misconception to suggest that lower arctic sea ice levels will lead to a steady decline of heat content. As heat content has been rising for several decades but year-to-year sea ice declining over that same time frame, the facts wold suggest otherwise….

  47. R. Gates says:

    tucker says:
    June 19, 2011 at 1:40 pm

    DeNihilist says:
    June 19, 2011 at 10:12 am
    Bob, graph 18, Artic, shows a steady decline in heat content since the peak of around 2007, yet it appears that the ice is not recovering. Any thoughts?

    ******************************************************

    Definitive proof that heat content has less to do with ice loss than short and long term weather patterns methinks.
    _____

    To last over 30 years, would indeed be a long-term weather pattern, more akin to what we’d call climate, and besides, very detailed research would suggest that warming oceans have a lot to do with the decline in arctic sea ice. See:

    http://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/abs/10.1175/2010JPO4339.1

  48. Michael Jankowski says:

    RGates,

    Here’s one of the folks I’m specifically referring to…not a reputable fellow, and he’s come up on this site from time-to-time, and you’d be amazed at how many people use his site for talking points.

    http://www.skepticalscience.com/Kevin-Trenberth-travesty-cant-account-for-the-lack-of-warming.htm

  49. KR says:

    Keep in mind the last 5 years of low solar activity and the La Nina state. It will likely take another 5-10 years before any statistically significant trend change can be detected, given the noise in the observations. At the very least one or two ENSO cycles worth of data are going to be required to extract anything meaningful.

  50. Bob Tisdale says:

    R. Gates says: “Definitive proof that heat content has less to do with ice loss than short and long term weather patterns methinks.”

    And me thinks it’s the fact that the major variations in the Arctic Ocean OHC data that I provided are driven by the open ocean high-latitude North Atlantic OHC data that’s included in it. Refer to my June 19, 2011 at 1:28 pm to DeNihilist.

  51. Michael Jankowski says:

    RGates, I should add that Trenberth has an 09 or 10 publication where he tries to claim there’s been a substantial storage of heat in the deeper ocean.

  52. Bob Tisdale says:

    kadaka (KD Knoebel): The USGS should talk to the people from NOAA. The Pacific Warm Pool has also been known as the Indo-Pacific Warm Pool for as long as I can remember. And there are multidecadal variations in the area and temperature of the PWP/IPWP.

  53. MartinGAtkins says:

    I’ve converted the watt-years to Gigajoules using the conversion factor readily available through Google: 1 watt years = 31,556,926 joules.

    You need to account for leap years.

    1 watt years = 365.25 * 24 * 602 = 31,557,600 joules.

  54. MartinGAtkins says:

    Superscript doesn’t work.

    1 watt years = 365.25 * 24 * 60^2 = 31,557,600 joules.

  55. Pamela Gray says:

    Gates, back in the old days, climate zones were set in stone geographically and so described in elementary text books. It is only recently that the word “climate” has been co-opted by AGW’ers and morphed into what I understand as weather pattern variation.

    Maybe it’s my age, don’t know. I live on my family’s homestead ranch. With the stories I was told plus my own 50 plus years of experience, that’s over 100 years of short and long term weather pattern variations, but the climate has not changed.

    There are lots of words that have changed in meaning over time. And I don’t mind most of them. But the idea that 30 years of a weather pattern variation is now considered to be climate change is utter nonsense. No one has moved Wallowa County to a higher or lower elevation, nor has it moved longitudinally or in latitude. The Pacific Ocean is still just West of us across the state of Oregon. Our location allows us to experience both short and long term (some even longer than 30 years) weather pattern variations that cause us no fears that our “climate” is changing.

  56. LazyTeenager says:

    Robert of Ottawa says:
    June 19, 2011 at 1:49 pm
    The warmistas seem to have the following view of computer modelling. If the model is run 20,000 times, in a Monte Carlo simulation, them the average of all outputs are reality.
    —————–
    It might “seem” that way to you Robert, but I believe your interpretation is incorrect. Your point sounds suspiciously like a straw man argument.

    The ensemble mean acts like this.
    Imagine a water slide. Some kid dives down it and oscillates from side to side randomly on the way down. A A whole bunch of kids, fat and skinny, all dive down the chute.

    They all take different paths. One if these, you don’t know which one, is the real climate. The others are model runs.

    The ensemble mean of these dives down the chute tells you the general shape of the chute.

    You do not expect any kid to follow the centre of the chute all the way down. In the same way you do not expect actual climate to be similar to the ensemble mean. You would expect actual climate to vary from side to side around the ensemble mean.

    So Bob’s question amounts to : how do we decide if the real climate kid has fallen off the side of the chute.

  57. rbateman says:

    R. Gates says:
    June 19, 2011 at 3:20 pm

    Pumping warm sea water to the Arctic is along the same lines as pumping your houses heated air outside during the winter. Especially so, since the upper atmosphere over the Tropics has not warmed according to the AGW hypothesis. Earth is driving down the road with a leaky RF tire.

  58. tallbloke says:

    Bob Tisdale says:
    June 19, 2011 at 1:50 pm
    Gary Pearse: With respect to your June 19, 2011 at 10:21 am comment, the 2010 corrections to the NODC OHC data lowered the long-term trend. Yup, you read that right. The NODC dropped the long-term Global OHC trend about 9% with those corrections.

    Yet more fudging to bring the trend into line with co2 forcing values and exclude the solar input.

    They know no shame.

  59. DR says:

    @R. Gates

    It is noted the Arctic OHC is plummeting. Thanks for pointing that out.

  60. R. Gates says:

    Michael Jankowski says:
    June 19, 2011 at 3:43 pm

    RGates,

    Here’s one of the folks I’m specifically referring to…not a reputable fellow, and he’s come up on this site from time-to-time, and you’d be amazed at how many people use his site for talking points.

    http://www.skepticalscience.com/Kevin-Trenberth-travesty-cant-account-for-the-lack-of-warming.htm

    _______

    I’m well aware of that site, and even more aware of the full context of Dr. Trenberth’s comments. But since I don’t really follow the politics of this whole issue I am curious as to who runs the skepticalscience blog and why you find him/her disreputable?

  61. R. Gates says:

    Bob Tisdale says:
    June 19, 2011 at 3:46 pm

    R. Gates says: “Definitive proof that heat content has less to do with ice loss than short and long term weather patterns methinks.”

    _____
    Bob, I DID NOT say this, it was a said by Tucker, at 1:40 p.m. on this blog. My follow up to it makes it clear that I was not agreeing with it, where I said:

    “… very detailed research would suggest that warming oceans have a lot to do with the decline in arctic sea ice. See:

    http://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/abs/10.1175/2010JPO4339.1

    ____

    But I would like to know exactly your source of data OHC of the Arctic Ocean. Please provide a link to the data source if you could be so kind…

  62. R. Gates says:

    DR says:
    June 19, 2011 at 4:12 pm

    @R. Gates

    It is noted the Arctic OHC is plummeting. Thanks for pointing that out.
    ____

    I didn’t point it out, but would love to find a data source that can verify your sentiment. Anyone?

  63. R. Gates says:

    Michael Jankowski says:
    June 19, 2011 at 3:50 pm

    RGates, I should add that Trenberth has an 09 or 10 publication where he tries to claim there’s been a substantial storage of heat in the deeper ocean.
    ____
    I’ve read some of those. His famous “missing heat” is down there somewhere (at least according to him). I happen to think he’s partially correct in that we need a more accurate measurement of deeper ocean warming, and it’s a travesty that we don’t have one. :)

  64. Roger Knights says:

    stephen richards says:
    June 19, 2011 at 1:37 pm

    RK says:
    Not really; March 1 is the start of meteorological spring. (And Nov. 1 is the start of meteorological winter, etc.)

    In the UK, yes. But in europe it’s 21st. june.

    Wrong:

    “Meteorological seasons are reckoned by temperature, with summer being the hottest quarter of the year and winter the coldest quarter of the year. Using this reckoning, the Roman calendar began the year and the spring season on the first of March, with each season occupying three months. In 1780 the Societas Meteorologica Palatina, an early international organization for meteorology, defined seasons as groupings of three whole months. Ever since, professional meteorologists all over the world have used this definition. Therefore, in meteorology for the Northern hemisphere, spring begins on 1 March, summer on 1 June, autumn on 1 September, and winter on 1 December.”

    From Wikipedia at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Season#Meteorological

  65. phlogiston says:

    Bob Tisdale says:
    June 19, 2011 at 1:39 pm

    RobB says: “What’s going on in the Indian Ocean?”

    I can’t answer your question, unfortunately. Some of it is likely due to the poor sampling in the pre-ARGO portion of the data–that is before 2003. Most of the Indian Ocean is in the Southern Hemisphere and there’s very little source data in the Indian Ocean before 2003. We’ll just have to watch it and try to figure out what makes it tick. Some of the warm waters comes from ENSO events.

    Isn’t it the case that La Nina systems result in warm water along the western Pacific margin? If a significant amount of this sloshes into the Indian Ocean, then (very speculatively) a warming Indian ocean could relect predominant La Nina cycles? (Or not?)

  66. phlogiston says:

    DR says:
    June 19, 2011 at 4:12 pm

    @R. Gates

    It is noted the Arctic OHC is plummeting. Thanks for pointing that out.

    Falling Arctic OHC could mean
    (1) larger area of open water in recent years causing bigger heat loss (indeed a negative feedback as commented previously)
    (2) predictions of the death (spiral or otherwise) of Arctic ice are exaggerated.

  67. Bob Tisdale says:

    R. Gates: Excuse my misunderstanding about who wrote what. You asked, “But I would like to know exactly your source of data OHC of the Arctic Ocean. Please provide a link to the data source if you could be so kind…”

    As with most of my posts, the source is listed at the end. It’s also discussed in the introduction to the post. Here’s a link to the KNMI Climate Explorer again:

    http://climexp.knmi.nl/selectfield_obs.cgi?someone@somewhere

  68. Bob Tisdale says:

    phlogiston says: “Isn’t it the case that La Nina systems result in warm water along the western Pacific margin? If a significant amount of this sloshes into the Indian Ocean, then (very speculatively) a warming Indian ocean could relect predominant La Nina cycles? (Or not?)”

    You can see that La Nina effect on the Indian Ocean in the post I had linked earlier:

    http://bobtisdale.wordpress.com/2011/03/25/argo-era-nodc-ocean-heat-content-data-0-700-meters-through-december-2010/

    But the release of the warm water from below the surface of the PWP during the significant El Nino (before the La Nina) also has to be taken into consideration.

  69. Michael Jankowski says:

    RGates,

    It might be down there…of course, who knows how long a significant amount of heat has been down there, too. Trenberth only uses the ARGOS data, which covers less than a decade. Seems a bit apples-to-oranges to use the deep ocean for radiative balance from 2002 to present and ignore the past.

    John Cook runs that site. There used to be a link there to his background, but I can’t find it (think he has a undergrad in physics and masters degree in int’l relations or something). If you seach for him on WUWT, you’ll find him mentioned a number of times.

  70. DeNihilist says:

    Thanx all. Bob, I should know by now that you use 65*N. Will try not to be so air headed next time.

    :)

  71. Mark says:

    R. Gates says: June 19, 2011 at 3:01 pm “Probably best to let Dr. Trenberth speak for himself, right from his official web page on this issue:

    http://www.cgd.ucar.edu/cas/Trenberth/statement.html.”

    R- Thank you for the reference- I am rather new to the science being discussed here hence I enjoyed reading a referenced paper as well- Trenberth, K. E., 2009: An imperative for climate change planning: tracking Earth’s global energy. Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability, 1, 19-27, doi:10.1016/j.cosust.2009.06.001.

    My take on Dr. Trenberth comment- ” …….A climate information system that firstly determines what is taking place and then establishes why is better able to provide a sound basis for predictions and which can answer important questions such as ‘Has global warming really slowed or not?’ Decisions are being made that depend on improved information about how and why our climate system is varying and changing, and the implications.”- is that the current models are not able to answer the question- Has global warming really slowed or not?

    Living in CA I completely agree with Dr. Trenberth’s comment on decisions and I would expand his comment to note that decisions have already been made based on the models

  72. Smokey says:

    Lazy Teenager says this about climate models:

    “They all take different paths. One if these, you don’t know which one, is the real climate. The others are model runs.”

    That’s just a version of the Texas Sharpshooter fallacy: draw a circle around the bullet holes you shoot in a barn door, then shout, “Bulls-eye!”

    Let’s see the same model that happened to get closest to the actual climate accurately predict temperatures over the next 3, 5 and 10 years. No tweaking in the mean time. No 20,000 Monte Carlo runs. Make the prediction, and we’ll see if the model can accurately predict the climate.

    # # #

    Mark,

    Here’s an interesting comment by Kevin Trenberth:

    “The null hypothesis should now be reversed, thereby placing the burden of proof on showing that there is no human influence.”

    Trenberth wants to turn the scientific method on its head by putting the burden of ‘proof’ on scientific skeptics. He wants to do that because he has no evidence that human activity influences the climate. Otherwise, he would produce the evidence and leave the null hypothesis the way it’s always been.

  73. Tom Harley says:

    Thanks Bob, easily understood. The Indian ocean usually lags behind after El Ninos or La Ninas, but our temperatures along the coastal area of Western Australia have dropped rapidly, and are consistently been below average over the last 6 months, after 2 years of being above. In Broome, June to date is around 4C below last year and 2 to 2.5C below the mean.

  74. Gary Hladik says:

    Bob Tisdale: “If the observations continue to diverge from the model projection, how many years are required until the model can said to have failed?”

    Good question. How long has Paul Ehrlich been wrong about his “population bomb”? Last I checked, he has yet to be laughed out of academia.

  75. Kevin O'Neill says:

    I’ve read somewhere that the energy required to melt a given volume of ice could raise the temperature of an equal volume of water by 80F.

    In regard to arctic sea ice melt, the net short term response is to cool the oceans. The arctic ocean is essentially a huge ice bath. Until the ice is gone most of the energy it receives goes toward melt. This cold water mixes with the Atlantic or Pacific oceans.

    It would seem quite possible that what we’re witnessing is a result of a melting arctic acting as a negative feedback. But there’s not an unlimited supply of sea-ice. If it disappears all that energy that presently goes towards melting the ice will go towards warming the arctic waters.

    Has anyone read any research on how the melting arctic sea ice is affecting world ocean temperatures?

  76. kadaka (KD Knoebel) says:

    From Bob Tisdale on June 19, 2011 at 3:50 pm:

    kadaka (KD Knoebel): The USGS should talk to the people from NOAA. The Pacific Warm Pool has also been known as the Indo-Pacific Warm Pool for as long as I can remember. (…)

    The Tropical Warm Pool has a one-line Wikipedia entry, lifted from its sole reference, that USGS press release. The “See also” is Maritime Continent, “…the name given primarily by meteorologists to the region of Southeast Asia which comprises many islands, peninsulas and shallow seas.” It provides heat to the TWP. While technically that entry has no references it does have one “External link,” this 2003 paper in Journal of Climate which deals with Global Climate Models.

    So the TWP appears to be a region with dynamic boundaries defined by its particular characteristics, with such constructs used for climate modeling purposes.

    As to the Indo-Pacific Warm Pool, after Googling I found this 2008 post from some blogger dude which speaks of the IPWP as a hard-defined geographical area, referencing a 2007 PowerPoint presentation.

    Thus the TWP and IPWP are different things, defined differently for different purposes.

    (Interesting site that blogger dude has, going by that page. But pretty bare, too “just the facts.” Doesn’t even have a blogroll. Where could he put a WUWT link? It’s a basic wordpress-dot-com site, just take a minute to add one.)

  77. richard verney says:

    Michael Jankowski says:
    June 19, 2011 at 2:34 pm
    Trenberth thinks the missing warming is in the deeper ocean (700-2000m), which is what warmists claim is what he meant during climategate with his “It’s a shame we can’t explain the lack of recent warming.”

    /////////////////////////////////////////////

    If at the time, Trenberth was truly of the view that the ‘missing heat’ was in the deeper ocean (and going unmeasured), he woukd have postulated that rather than simply stating “It’s a shame we can’t explain the lack of recent warming.” He would not have said “we can’t explain the lack of recent warming” since he would have had an explanation, ie., the recent warming is in the deep ocean but unfortunately the deep ocean is not being well measured (if the deep ocean was well measured we would see the recent warming).

    I don’t accept the spin by the warmists that they now put on this statement . Given that there was no need for Trenberth to make any comment on ocean heat or say what he said, the natural inference is Trenberth meant precisely what he said at the time, ie., at that time they had had no expanation as to why there was no recent warming of the oceans seen in the observational data.

  78. kadaka (KD Knoebel) says:

    From Kevin O’Neill on June 19, 2011 at 8:52 pm:

    It would seem quite possible that what we’re witnessing is a result of a melting arctic acting as a negative feedback. (…)

    Has anyone read any research on how the melting arctic sea ice is affecting world ocean temperatures?

    Read this Feb 2011 WUWT post about a recent peer-reviewed paper in Geophysical Research Letters:
    Arctic “death spiral” actually more like “zombie ice”

    You called it right, there is a negative feedback. If the Arctic Ocean would go ice-free in summer, instead of the prophesied (C)AGW “death spiral” from decreased albedo (dark water replacing shiny ice thus increased sunlight absorption), the lack of insulating ice actually allows the waters to release more heat.

    The researchers, using a general circulation model of the global ocean and the atmosphere, find that Arctic sea ice recovers within 2 years of an imposed ice-free summer to the conditions dictated by general climate conditions during that time. Furthermore, they find that this quick recovery occurs whether the ice-free summer is triggered in 2000 or in 2060, when global temperatures are predicted to be 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) warmer.

    During the long polar winter the lack of an insulating ice sheet allows heat absorbed by the ocean during the summer to be released into the lower atmosphere. The authors find that increased atmospheric temperatures lead to more energy loss from the top of the atmosphere as well as a decrease in heat transport into the Arctic from lower latitudes. So the absence of summer sea ice, while leading to an increase in summer surface temperatures through the ice-albedo feedback loop, is also responsible for increased winter cooling. The result is a swift recovery of the Arctic summer sea ice cover from the imposed ice-free state.

    Give the Arctic Ocean more heat, it’ll end up dumping more heat. Note the following: 2007 was considered a disastrous year for the Arctic with very low sea ice extent after the summer melt season (reference). Subsequent years weren’t as bad but still rather low. Yet examine Graph 18, above in the post, the Ocean Heat Content anomalies for the Arctic. You can see a downward trend since about 2007. Less ice covering the water, more heat dumped to space.

    There will be grumbling from the frequently discontented about the period being too short (2007 to current), it’s not proof of anything, (C)AGW can still kill us all, etc. But on a preliminary basis it seems pretty clear, less Arctic sea ice results in the Arctic Ocean acting to reduce Global Ocean Heat Content.

  79. Bob Tisdale says:

    kadaka (KD Knoebel) says: “Thus the TWP and IPWP are different things, defined differently for different purposes.”

    The Pacific Warm Pool, the Indo-Pacific Warm Pool, and the Tropical Warm Pool used by the USGS in that press release all have the same general description (warmest ocean temperature on earth) and provide the same general location. If you were to google scholar “Pacific Warm Pool” in quotes, you get 7700 returns, “Indo-Pacific Warm Pool” gets 1040 returns, and “Tropical Warm Pool” gets 643 returns.

  80. richard verney says:

    Pamela Gray says:
    June 19, 2011 at 3:57 pm
    Gates, back in the old days, climate zones were set in stone geographically and so described in elementary text books. It is only recently that the word “climate” has been co-opted by AGW’ers and morphed into what I understand as weather pattern variation.

    //////////////////////////////////////////////////
    Couldn’t agree more.

    When I went to school, we were taught about the various climate types (eg., continenantal, alpine, mediterranean, artic, subartic, desert, semi-arid, tropical, tropical rainforest, monsoon etc etc). As far as I know, none of these types of climate have changed. As far as I know, presently these have not changed at all in the sense for example, the mediterranean climate having ceased to exist becoming instead say semi-arid climate.

    Quite simply, presently there is no climate change on an observational basis and to suggest that climate change is a reality is fraudulent and can only be postured by hijacking the term climate and altering its meaning. Global warming (rather than climate change) was a more accurate nomenclature for the ‘warmists’ theory, but of course this term has been dropped because there does not presently seem to be any (statistically) significant warming taking place on an observational basis. If appropriate error bars are added, it is extremely difficult to say that there has been any recent warming and what little apparent trend may be seen is nothing more than noise.

  81. SGW says:

    Kevin O’Neill says:
    “But there’s not an unlimited supply of sea-ice. If it disappears all that energy that presently goes towards melting the ice will go towards warming the arctic waters. ”

    There wil always be new sea ice formed during the long arctic winter. That cycle is not going away. There’s no warming sunlight for months each year in the arctis.

  82. LazyTeenager says:

    Smokey challenges
    —————
    Let’s see the same model that happened to get closest to the actual climate accurately predict temperatures over the next 3, 5 and 10 years. No tweaking in the mean time. No 20,000 Monte Carlo runs. Make the prediction, and we’ll see if the model can accurately predict the climate.

    ————–
    not possible. The chaos inherent in both the actual climate system and climate models means that, while there can be similarity in the general trends, there can never be an exact match, even assuming you could match the initial conditions exactly.

  83. Smokey says:

    Lazy Teenager,

    I agree, not possible. Excellent argument for de-funding government grants that pay for producing these inaccurate models. It’s a waste of good money that could be better spent elsewhwere, or left in the taxpayers’ wallets.

  84. phlogiston says:

    Bob Tisdale says:
    June 19, 2011 at 5:37 pm

    phlogiston says: “Isn’t it the case that La Nina systems result in warm water along the western Pacific margin? If a significant amount of this sloshes into the Indian Ocean, then (very speculatively) a warming Indian ocean could relect predominant La Nina cycles? (Or not?)”

    You can see that La Nina effect on the Indian Ocean in the post I had linked earlier:

    http://bobtisdale.wordpress.com/2011/03/25/argo-era-nodc-ocean-heat-content-data-0-700-meters-through-december-2010/

    But the release of the warm water from below the surface of the PWP during the significant El Nino (before the La Nina) also has to be taken into consideration.

    Yes indeed, in this animation from your post:

    during the La Nina cycle the cold tongue firing off from Peru (south east Pacific) is answered by a warm blob aroung the Phillipines (south west Pacific) and a small but significant part of this warm blob sieves through Indonesia into the Indian ocean.

  85. Stephen Wilde says:

    “As far as I know, none of these types of climate have changed. As far as I know, presently these have not changed at all in the sense for example, the mediterranean climate having ceased to exist becoming instead say semi-arid climate.”

    They do shift latitudially all the time though and I’ve suggested many times elsewhere that all observed climate changes can be accounted for by such shifting.

    The Sahara was once wet and fertile.

    The mid latitudes experience sizeable climate changes depending on their orientation one side of the mid latitude jets or the other.

    Even the ITCZ drifts northward and southward over time.

  86. Stephen Wilde says:

    In fact it is the latitudinal shifting of the climate zones that alters the rate of energy transfer from surface to space so as to always provide a negative response to system forcing.

    Furthermore the power of that negative feedback process relegates radiative physics to a minor player.

  87. Bob Tisdale says:

    phlogiston: “Blob” has a nice ring to it. I like it.

  88. Rob Potter says:

    I am as interested in the variability as much as the trend, since the changes represent enormous transfers of energy which happen over very short time periods (months) despite the relatively constant input (the sun). Having said that, what I find striking in the graphs is the reduction in variability since 2003 – I guess this is the “ARGO period’ you refer to Bob.

    What this says to me, is that the pre-ARGO variability was more a result of sampling and/or instrumentation error and – in fact – the month-to-month variability is not all that great.

    Since a great deal of the arguments on CAGW seem to rely on the speed with which energy retained by greenhouse gases results in increased global temperatures (the hidden heat) there has been much discussion of mixing rates etc. Can anyone speculate what a reduction in variability would mean to the various arguments over deep ocean mixing?

  89. M.A.Vukcevic says:

    (previously: vukcevic) Recently I came across a correlation which may give a few years of advanced winter’s weather projection (and SST) in the N. Atlantic basin.

    http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/NAOs.htm

    (note: it has been already posted elsewhere, but not on WUWT)

  90. Bob Tisdale says:

    Rob Potter says: “What this says to me, is that the pre-ARGO variability was more a result of sampling and/or instrumentation error and – in fact – the month-to-month variability is not all that great.”

    I will agree with you that the increased area of the oceans that are sampled during the ARGO era would tend to dampen the month-to-month variations, but between 1972 and 2002 there were a handfull of very strong ENSO events. ENSO events have also reduced in magnitude during the ARGO era.

  91. richard verney says:

    Stephen Wilde says:
    June 20, 2011 at 6:55 am
    “…They do shift latitudially all the time though and I’ve suggested many times elsewhere that all observed climate changes can be accounted for by such shifting…”
    //////////////////////////////////////////////////
    I do not disagree with that statement (after all one facet of this debate is the fact that climate changes and always has and always will) but the statement is not so on the timescale that we are talking about, ie., it is not so during the last 150 years. In particular, it is not so during the last 50 years of the last century which is the critical period when manmade CO2 emissions substantially increased.

  92. Stephen Wilde says:

    “In particular, it is not so during the last 50 years of the last century which is the critical period when manmade CO2 emissions substantially increased.”

    Have a look here:

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/24228037/

  93. Rob Potter says:

    Bob Tisdale says: “ENSO events have also reduced in magnitude during the ARGO era.”

    Being just a tad facetious here – but are you suggesting more comprehensive measuring has reduced the strength of ENSO events? ;-)

    I get your point though – we have only had one decent ENSO event since the ARGO buoys came on-stream so it is too early to say the previous variability was an artefact. What it does show is just how skeptical we should be of the previous data (a la tree rings) and using it to build models which we than use to predict the future. I am sure it has been said before, but the ARGO data are the equivalent of the satellite atmospheric temperature data and it will be nice when we have this data over a ‘climate relevant period”.

  94. kadaka (KD Knoebel) says:

    Re Bob Tisdale on June 20, 2011 at 1:35 am:

    I’m not defending USGS, just pointing out how for different purposes the use of different nomenclature may be warranted despite basically the same thing being discussed. We could argue about contactors and relays to the same effect.

  95. Bob Tisdale says:

    Rob Potter says: “Being just a tad facetious here – but are you suggesting more comprehensive measuring has reduced the strength of ENSO events? ;-)”

    Since you were only a tab facetious, I’ll reply. No.

  96. Bob Tisdale says:

    Thanks, Anthony.

  97. Scott Covert says:

    “Rob Potter says:
    June 20, 2011 at 10:33 am
    Bob Tisdale says: “ENSO events have also reduced in magnitude during the ARGO era.”

    Being just a tad facetious here – but are you suggesting more comprehensive measuring has reduced the strength of ENSO events? ;-) ”
    [snip]…

    LOL, Heisenberg was right all the energy absorbed by the thermocouples ate the missing heat!

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