What do sea measurements reveal about Earth’s temperature trend?

From the AGU highlights

Despite the fact that average temperatures on land have been increasing from year to year, globally averaged surface temperatures from 2000 to 2010 have shown only moderate warming. This is because sea surface temperatures over the past decade have been flat, if not slightly decreasing. In light of this, scientists are curious about whether this reduced rate of surface warming indicates a reduction of the accumulation of heat in the Earth system over the same period.

Palmer et al. use multicentury climate model simulations to study the relationships among decadal trends in top-of-atmosphere radiation balance (which controls the heat content of the Earth system), ocean heat content, and surface temperature. Consistent with previous studies, they find that all models show large variability in sea surface temperature (SST). This large internal variability in SST could easily “mask the anthropogenic warming signal for a decade or more,” the authors note. By contrast, ocean heat content more closely tracks the radiation budget at the top of the atmosphere, suggesting that measurements of ocean heat to deeper levels would help us monitor climate change more accurately.

Source: Geophysical Research Letters, doi:10.1029/2011GL047835, 2011 http://dx.doi.org/10.1029/2011GL047835

Title: Importance of the deep ocean for estimating decadal changes in Earth’s radiation balance

Authors: Matthew D. Palmer, Douglas J. McNeall and Nick J. Dunstone: Met Office Hadley Centre, FitzRoy Road, Exeter, EX1 3PB, United Kingdom.

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

GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH LETTERS, VOL. 38, L13707, 5 PP., 2011
doi:10.1029/2011GL047835

Importance of the deep ocean for estimating decadal changes in Earth’s radiation balance

Key Points

  • Decadal trends in SST place only weak constraint on TOA
  • As we measure OHC deeper, we gain increasingly good predictions of TOA
  • Trade-off between measuring longer or deeper for given uncertainty in TOA

Abstract:

We use control run data from three Met Office Hadley Centre climate models to investigate the relationship between: net top-of-atmosphere radiation balance (TOA), globally averaged sea surface temperature (SST); and globally averaged ocean heat content (OHC) on decadal timescales. All three models show substantial decadal variability in SST, which could easily mask the long-term warming associated with anthropogenic climate change over a decade. Regression analyses are used to estimate the uncertainty of TOA, given the trend in SST or OHC over the same period. We show that decadal trends in SST are only weakly indicative of changes in TOA. Trends in total OHC strongly constrain TOA, since the ocean is the primary heat store in the Earth System. Integrating OHC over increasing model levels, provides an increasingly good indication of TOA changes. To achieve a given accuracy in TOA estimated from OHC we find that there is a trade-off between measuring for longer or deeper. Our model results suggest that there is potential for substantial improvement in our ability to monitor Earth’s radiation balance by more comprehensive observation of the global ocean.

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89 Responses to What do sea measurements reveal about Earth’s temperature trend?

  1. starzmom says:

    From the abstract, it is unclear whether the researchers ever looked at actual observed temperatures, radiation balances, or measured ocean heat content. Did they or is it all based on Hadley Centre models?

  2. Bystander says:

    So yes, lots to learn/improve still but nothing here that conflicts with the evidence that we’re warming stil.

  3. Darren Parker says:

    “Our model Results suggest..” Models, Models, Models…. Why do they work backwards?

  4. John Marshall says:

    Without any positive global warming ice levels will remain fairly constant, given local weather changes that affect local melting/freezing, but the trending warming/cooling will make itself felt in the thermal expansion/contraction of the oceans. Currently sea level rise has reduced in value indicating that overall temperatures have fallen, if by a small amount, but fallen nevertheless.

  5. Borepatch says:

    Might it be that there is no Urban Heat Island in the oceans?

  6. john says:

    Waxman calls for national climate-change-education push

    http://thehill.com/blogs/e2-wire/677-e2-wire/172479-top-house-democrat-calls-for-national-climate-change-education-campaign

    Whats next…tarot card reading education too?

  7. Luther Wu says:

    Is it just me, or is it really boring to read yet another grant application?

  8. Doug in Seattle says:

    Another GCM exercise that shows the facts are wrong. Who would have guesses this could happen?

  9. Follow the energy. A slight reduction in ocean temps is a large decrease in overall energy. The specific heat capacity of water is nearly 4 times the amount of soil. If you compare the total amount of energy stored in the top 1 meter of the oceans alone, you will find that it has at least 3 times the amount of energy within it as the same square acreage as anywhere on land including dense forest.

    Far too much focus has been on Temp or Energy Pressure while ignoring the capacity of the regions being measured. A cubic meter of water at 15C contains about 1.2 Billion joules while the same volume of air just above it contains about 350,000. A cooling rate of 385W/m^2 will reduce the temp of the water 1 C over about 4 hours without any energy going back in. The same volume of air cooling at the same rate, without energy in, would reach 0K within the same period, but of course as temperature is halved, it takes twice as long to cool another half. Point is the oceans contain at least 3,000 times as much energy, per cubic meter as the same space of air and least 3 times as much as any land area on earth.

    We need to track the amount of energy in a given location not just how much pressure that area exhibits. Follow the energy.

  10. John says:

    I say, let the scientists do their science. There are enough of us now looking over their shoulder, so that any flaws in data gathering will be discovered. If they think that the deep oceans are getting warmer without our (current) knowledge, let them demonstrate the point. Let’s not prejudge, just because they get government money for their research. The facts may well demonstrate that Roy Spencer is right, that much more heat leaves the earth, at times when the earth is warming, than we previously thought, and therefore the missing heat isn’t missing in the deep ocean, it is missing because it left the planet.

    The info on the new Roy Spencer, fact based analysis of heat loss:

    http://pielkeclimatesci.wordpress.com/2011/07/26/new-paper-on-the-misdiagnosis-of-surface-temperature-feedbacks-from-variations-in-earth%E2%80%99s-radiant-energy-balance-by-spencer-and-braswell-2011/

  11. Squidly says:

    More models indicating that the “anthropogenic” is still hiding somewhere.

    HAHAHA .. Yeah, right … been here, done this … sorry, it still doesn’t work …

  12. kim says:

    Sure the deep ocean can hide a lot of heat, but heat can’t be transported there quickly. Trenberth was right years ago in his NPR interview, the ‘missing heat’ has been re-radiated to space.
    =======================================

  13. Richard S Courtney says:

    Bystander:

    At July 31, 2011 at 6:47 am you say:

    “So yes, lots to learn/improve still but nothing here that conflicts with the evidence that we’re warming stil.”

    Of course the paper contains “nothing here that conflicts with the evidence that we’re warming stil (sic).”
    1.
    All available evidence except GISS shows we have not been warming to a discernible degree for more than a decade. So, the paper could not “conflict” with “evidence” that does not exist.
    2.
    It is a model study by people making a good living from promoting the erroneous idea that “we’re warming stil.” Pay me and I will give you a model that “conflicts with the evidence that we’re warming stil”, and my model would not rely on unjustifiable ‘fiddle factors’ such as those built into the Hadley model.

    Richard

  14. Pamela Gray says:

    This is basically a supporting piece calling for funding to look for the missing heat. However, I am willing to bet, since so little LW heating makes it past the ocean skin, the change in heat at the ocean bottom will be unmeasurable (smaller than the calibrated error range of the measuring instrument). The thing they seek at the bottom of the ocean is, in a word, a Lockness monster. Its predictive power is only in their imagination.

  15. Kevin Kilty says:

    And how well is all of this parameterized in these codes?

    The top of atmosphere radiation balance is that of incoming shortwave versus outgoing shortwave and thermal IR. The deep ocean has nothing to do with outgoing IR, and only a little to do with outgoing shortwave. Input to the deep ocean is by means of absorbed incoming shortwave and sinking of dense surface waters–dense because of salinity or temperature. Outgoing shortwave at top of atmosphere is affected by surface/cloud albedo, which I believe we don’t know well; and, outgoing IR results from ocean surface temperature, but also from land surface temperature and atmospheric temperature. Finally there is heat exchange between land and oceans by various means. To be more concise, there are all sorts of time scales in operation here, so over what time-scale does radiation balance at TOA track with OHC?

    Gee, I wish we could just measure all of this, but I don’t think we can measure TOA globally if for no other reason that we cannot look at outgoing shortwave over the entire visible surface from satellite, and even with buoys what is the precision we claim in knowing the OHC? Finally, can anyone tell me if by ocean heat content, do we mean the sunlight portion down to 600m or the entire bulk of the ocean?

  16. Jeff L says:

    I find it amusing how they assume AGW before even starting their study. Hard objective analysis. There is also an implication that at some point that stored energy will be released & the atmosphere will heat up. Of course, one might also assume that any extra heat will radiate down & warm the deep ocean & we will never ever see any of that extra energy expressed as increased atmospheric temps.

  17. R. Gates says:

    This current inability to measure deeper ocean heat content was exactly the point of Trenberth’s “travesty we can’t” comment, and as such is completely understandable.

  18. Joe Crawford says:

    How many of these yo-yos does the government fund each year. This must be the 10th or 15th paper I’ve seen so far this year that is based strictly on climate model runs where the model(s) used have no more tested/proven statistical accuracy than a Ouija board. I guess after passing through several levels of indirection either everyone now believes the models (pseudo-religiously) or no one really cares.

  19. Robert of Ottawa says:

    Palmer et al. use multicentury climate model simulations to study

    Could they not maybe have used real data rather than Bingo data?

  20. ferd berple says:

    “All three models show substantial decadal variability in SST, which could easily mask the long-term warming associated with anthropogenic climate change over a decade.”

    If natural variability can mask AGW, then it can also falsely exaggerate AGW. How is it that the authors only consider the former but not the latter? Is this science? Doesn’t good science require that you examine both sides of the question?

  21. Kevin Kilty says:

    I’ve gone to the link provided, and there is not much available beyond the discussion here. I find it interesting that the graphs imply (at least this is what I assume they imply) that if we look at a true decadal trend, then we could resolve a 0.1 W/m^2 radiation imbalance by looking at OHC down to 1000m, but we could resolve half of this by including water to depths of 4000m. By what means does one convey ocean heat to depths of 4000m in a decade, other than in very specific locations?

    I guess what one can take away from this, other than its potential for inspiring addition federal research grants, is that if AGW really has been operating to warm the Earth since 1998, then the missing heat could be in the deep ocean. It’s just too bad we can’t measure it.

  22. R. de Haan says:

    As long as AGU remains gung ho on “climate change”, that is, “continuing to proof our world is warming and we are to blame”, we can’t expect anything else but GIGO science and GIGO excuses to cover for crooked predictions from the past.
    Science is not politics.

    I should have quit reading after the “Despite the fact that average temperatures on land have been increasing from year to year, globally”

  23. ferd berple says:

    1. Land temperatures are increasing.
    2. Ocean temperatures are not.
    3. CO2 is will mixed over land and water
    4. Land use changes occur mostly on land
    5. Land use changes almost never occur on the Ocean

    Therefore we conclude that temperature increases on the land are driven by CO2.

  24. Let me see if I can help.

    The title:
    Importance of the deep ocean for estimating decadal changes in Earth’s radiation balance

    The study uses GCMs ( hence the importance of decadal variability) to answer some basic design questions for measurement systems.

    do we want to measure the deep ocean?
    what matters more deeper or longer?

    The only way you answer questions like this is with models. the whole argo system was deployed based on GCM modelling results.

  25. Theo Goodwin says:

    The End is FAR says:
    July 31, 2011 at 7:10 am

    I have to inform you that your comment is about empirical knowledgee and will require translation for Warmista.

  26. R. Gates says:

    Pamela Gray says:
    July 31, 2011 at 7:30 am
    This is basically a supporting piece calling for funding to look for the missing heat. However, I am willing to bet, since so little LW heating makes it past the ocean skin, the change in heat at the ocean bottom will be unmeasurable (smaller than the calibrated error range of the measuring instrument). The thing they seek at the bottom of the ocean is, in a word, a Lockness monster. Its predictive power is only in their imagination.
    ———-
    Pamela, the notion that excess heat storage in the deeper oceans is related to the downwelling LW radiation penetrating beyond the ocean skin layer is incorrect and is yet one more of those skeptics red-herring arguments. Heat flux into the deeper oceans is through other physical vertical mixing factors such as the meridional overturning current. Strongly suggest you read:

    http://tiny.cc/jicao

    http://www.aoml.noaa.gov/phod/docs/Garzoli_progressing_towards.pdf

  27. Gary Pearse says:

    Bystander …warming still.

    Please tell me though, that back in the heady pre-climategate days before papers such as the above would even have been considered necessary by Had centre, you believed that warming was a heck of a lot worse than you believe it is now. This would be a measure of the amount of cautious, healthy scepticism that has crept into your thinking. A much more thoughtful warmer than you comes with data and analysis and claims to be 75% sure of AGW (R.Gates – whom we hear from often and whom we have some respect for his knowledgeable contributions). Please tell me that by saying “warming still (meaning nonetheless)” you have modified your more extreme position on CAGW to at AGW or even GW. If not, then you don’t really have any “thinking” to modify.

  28. Steven Hales says:

    How deep do we have to go to find the missing heat? When theory collides with measurement it always we need another data set to verify the theory. It is never we need a new theory.

  29. dp says:

    What is the primary transport mechanism of energy in the sea? I can see where cloud formations over the sea that precipitate out over land would introduce a heat loss from the ocean but not from the earth’s system as it is redeposited back on earth. But cloud formation is a net loss for the sea because of reduced insolation.

    The conveyor currents in the ocean transport a huge volume of water from one place to the next but still do not change the balance of energy, and don’t describe how surface energy makes its way to the sea floor or even below 500 meters. Is the ocean sufficiently transparent to certain light frequencies to explain the transport? And if so, what is it in the ocean depths that converts light to heat?

    If energy is transported principally by convection then the light has to have already been converted to heat and carried below somehow. What is that path and what is the energy source of that downward convection? And what about those pesky thermoclines?

  30. Brian says:

    People here talk about the missing heat but where is this global cooling that the naysayers keep saying will happen?

  31. Stephen Wilde says:

    Going by the heat capacity of water as compared to air and the size of the oceans I’d guess that if the energy from more CO2 in the air were ALL to get into the oceans it would be millennia before we could notice any difference to the temperature of the air.

    So, if the late 20th century warming of the air was caused by more CO2 it follows that either none or very little ever penetrated the oceans.

    They can’t have it both ways. Since the air did warm then the extra energy from more CO2 cannot have gone into the oceans. The oceans have warmed too but from a different cause namely reduced cloudiness and albedo during the warming spell leading to more solar shortwave getting into the oceans.

    It seems to be generally accepted that water temperature controls the air temperature above. There is a slight divergence on Earth because of the landmasses but not a lot.

    So if the water controls the air temperature and the air tries to get warmer then all that will happen is that more water will evaporate to cool the air back to the water surface temperature.

    The surplus energy in the air just gets converted to latent heat and is whisked away upward by increased convection for faster ejection to space.

    The ocean heat content therefore tells us nothing about AGW warming but everything about cloudiness, albedo and solar shortwave into the oceans.

    If any increase in advection of energy into the depths occurs then it has to be solely about solar shortwave input and nothing to do with CO2.

  32. Huth says:

    That would be Loch Ness, Pamela, known to the locals as Nessie.

  33. Don E says:

    I guess this means if it were not for all that other stuff going on burning fossil fuel would be warming the world. Makes perfect sense to me!

  34. Latitude says:

    Bystander says:
    July 31, 2011 at 6:47 am
    So yes, lots to learn/improve still but nothing here that conflicts with the evidence that we’re warming stil.
    ================================================================
    Other than the fact that they still can’t find it………………………….

  35. Bob Tisdale says:

    If they were to examine the SST and OHC data instead of playing with models, they could see what causes the year-to-year and multiyear and multidecadal variations in those datasets.

  36. Katherine says:

    We use control run data from three Met Office Hadley Centre climate models to investigate the relationship between: net top-of-atmosphere radiation balance (TOA), globally averaged sea surface temperature (SST); and globally averaged ocean heat content (OHC) on decadal timescales.

    But have the models been validated? What’s the use of studying models that don’t accurately simulate the real world? Until those models are validated, the only thing they can tell researchers is what’s going on in the fantasy worlds they’re based on.

  37. R. Gates says:

    Brian says:
    July 31, 2011 at 9:16 am

    People here talk about the missing heat but where is this global cooling that the naysayers keep saying will happen?
    ____

    Brian, skeptics to anthropogenic climate change look only to natural cycles of solar and ocean influence on climate, and as such, would be inclined to think a period of cooling is ahead based on these cycles only. Often they look to any evidence of it happening, sometimes even touting evidence that actually proves the opposite, like heavy snowfall events for example. (the heaviest snowfalls occur during warmer climates, and their much beloved medieval warm period saw heavier snowfalls than the little ice age did). See:

    http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/paleo/pubs/alley2000/alley2000.gif

    Currently, none of the climate data show that cooler times are coming for the planet as a whole, though this won’t discourage some skeptics from scouring the data to find some proof that we are cooling, but all indications are that the global climate models are generally correct and we are heading to warmer, not cooler decades ahead.

  38. Jeff Alberts says:

    Jeff L says:
    July 31, 2011 at 7:41 am

    I find it amusing how they assume AGW before even starting their study. Hard objective analysis. There is also an implication that at some point that stored energy will be released & the atmosphere will heat up. Of course, one might also assume that any extra heat will radiate down & warm the deep ocean & we will never ever see any of that extra energy expressed as increased atmospheric temps.

    Most of the published papers of the last 20 years supposedly showing evidence of AGW assume that AGW is the cause, and go looking for data to enforce that position.

  39. David, UK says:

    Bystander says:
    July 31, 2011 at 6:47 am

    So yes, lots to learn/improve still but nothing here that conflicts with the evidence that we’re warming stil.(sic)

    Come on, admit it Troll. You made that stupid, baseless statement just to provoke some reactions, didn’t you? Well, it won’t work with me.

    D’oh!

  40. Interstellar Bill says:

    Deserts shrink, agriculture improves, and forests thicken from the benificence of higher CO2, hopeful developments downplayed or ignored by fanatic warmistas.
    LA Times just had a story about trees having to be cut down in Yosemite, but they gave all the credit to lack of forest fires, when they should have said
    “Thicker Yosemite forests are consistent with higher CO2 levels over the last 50 years”. or
    “Computer models show that elevated CO2 was more important than reduced forest fires”.
    Oops, you’d never get funding for those kind of computer models.

  41. Gerry UK says:

    The words ‘straw’ and ‘clutching’ come to mind. I suppose it is reasonable that they want to look for their missing heat even if they are unlikely to find it down there. On the other hand, as they are funded by my taxes, I would object to them wasting my money trying to cover up why their models are useless at forecasting the climate.

  42. Eyal Porat says:

    UHI, UHI, UHI…

  43. Pamela Gray says:

    Mr. Gates, you just indirectly proved my point. For the overturning proposal you state to work at heating deeper layers of the Earth from anthropogenic sources (which AGW theory states is through increased LW re-radiation), the heating has to get past the skin in order for the current to carry this extra heat into depths that are then carried by the overturning current. If the heating stays at the surface, most of it will evaporate off. So we are back to LW anthropogenic heating, are we not?

    Your logic is entirely flawed as it ignores the beginning sequence of proposed anthropogenic ocean heating, irregardless of whether or not upper layer mixing through wind/wave agitation or the overturning current carries the heat into depths. You did not disprove my proposal. I will state it again. Only a small portion of the small amount of AGW heating will make it into depths and will likely be smaller than the calibrated error of the instrument that seeks to measure it.

  44. Sandy Rham says:

    “Currently, none of the climate data show that cooler times are coming for the planet as a whole, though this won’t discourage some skeptics from scouring the data to find some proof that we are cooling, but all indications are that the global climate models are generally correct and we are heading to warmer, not cooler decades ahead.”
    I respect your faith but not your data.
    http://stevengoddard.wordpress.com/2011/07/31/1930s-was-much-hotter/

  45. Pamela Gray says:

    Gates, you make a statement about snow fall not supported by the graph you link to.

  46. Pamela Gray says:

    We had a way above average snow event in Oregon during our La Nina winter that we don’t see during El Ninos. When temperatures rise we still get wet, but it is in the form of rain. With La Ninas, we still get wet, but it is in the form of snow. And all of that is just a known weather pattern variation that allows short term predictions, commonly provided by NOAA. Based on ENSO parameters, they predicted colder temps with above average precipitation in NE Oregon, which we got as snow. They were spot on.

  47. Katherine says:

    R. Gates wrote:
    Pamela, the notion that excess heat storage in the deeper oceans is related to the downwelling LW radiation penetrating beyond the ocean skin layer is incorrect and is yet one more of those skeptics red-herring arguments. Heat flux into the deeper oceans is through other physical vertical mixing factors such as the meridional overturning current.

    Then doesn’t that mean CO2 is off the hook? Because the heat that CO2 is supposedly responsible for is due to downwelling LW radiation, isn’t it?

  48. @Theo Goodwin,

    Sorry to the Warmistas, see my translation here. http://wp.me/pB8xR-fo

    @Stephen Wilde
    Precisely. You must view Temperature as Energy Pressure and Density for each given region to understand which way it flows and at what rate over a given time. While it is possible for radiation to travel from a region of lower pressure to a region of higher pressure, the higher pressure region is moving more energy to the lower causing a net cooling effect. The AGW Advocates have this magical system where they must be treating the energy densities as equal in order to get the warming that their models show.

    The flow, direction, and rate is quite obvious when you understand that the Oceans have 3,300 times as much energy per unit volume (joules/m^3) as the air at sea level has. Move up to 6,500m it is over 7,000 times, and at the Tropopause it is more than 20,000 times due to lower temps and far lower density. A cubic meter of water having around 1.2 Billion joules/m^3 and the same volume of air around 362,000.

    Just as High temperature moves to Low temperature. High Energy Densities will naturally move towards Lower densities since they cool faster.

    The flow of energy also applies different density parcels of air. Since temps and air densities are higher near the surface, energy flow will be towards the lower temps and densities. Any backing up will simply cause that region to expand more quickly and therefore convect more quickly.

    Also, try to imagine how to get a GreenHouse Effect without the GreenHouse Cause and with Convection (lack of GreenHouse Cause) as an added means to transfer energy from an area with High Energy Pressure and Density at an average 15C (Surface) to an area of very Low Energy Pressure and Density at an average -58C (Tropopause).
    It is time we stop this internet debate and call a Convention to have each side Openly and Publicly present and then defend their understanding of the Laws of Nature and how Climate is affected.

  49. @ R. Gates

    Actually the Milankovitch Cycles show that we can expect more warming in the coming centuries and should expect cooling to begin in the next couple thousand years.

    The Precession Cycle is about to cause the NH Glacial Minimum with the NH Winter Solstice occurring on/at Perihelion in 2012. If you trace the Precession Cycle back 5 full cycles to 128,000 BC, the same conditions as today occur.

    The Obliquity Cycle is moving towards it’s minimum which causes less severe winters and summers and will reach it in about 8,000 years. Oddly if you trace that cycle back to 128,000 BC, the Obliquity is very similar to today.

    So it is not just the Models that are predicting warmer days, decades, and centuries. The Milankovitch Cycles do as well. Also, we are in an Ice Age that has lasted millions of years with several interglacials like the one we are currently in lining up as expected with the Precession, Obliquity, and Eccentricity Cycles that make up the Milankovitch.

  50. Don K says:

    “To achieve a given accuracy in TOA estimated from OHC we find that there is a trade-off between measuring for longer or deeper.”

    Can someone translate that into English? It flows nicely, but AFAICS, it makes no sense whatsoever. It seems to imply something along the line of “when we use the deepest temperature data over the longest feasible interval, we don’t like the answer we get.”

  51. “Katherine says:
    July 31, 2011 at 10:15 am

    We use control run data from three Met Office Hadley Centre climate models to investigate the relationship between: net top-of-atmosphere radiation balance (TOA), globally averaged sea surface temperature (SST); and globally averaged ocean heat content (OHC) on decadal timescales.

    But have the models been validated? What’s the use of studying models that don’t accurately simulate the real world? Until those models are validated, the only thing they can tell researchers is what’s going on in the fantasy worlds they’re based on.”

    You miss the point of the paper. When Argo was being planned they had to figure out where to deploy the bouys. They used ocean circulation models to do this. Its a typical proceedure to use when designing a vast measurement system.

    Now comes the question: is it better to measure DEEPER or for longer periods? How do you make that decision? Your only hope is to run models. Those models had better have some decadale variability ( these do). Then you look at the model results and say: the models show us that IF we want to measure OHC, we get more bang for the buck if we go deeper.

    That’s it

  52. Trevor says:

    Just watching MI3 in TV, totally unrealistic – the opening scene in the middle of the wind farm has all the vanes turning…

  53. Roger Knights says:

    Brian says:
    July 31, 2011 at 9:16 am

    People here talk about the missing heat but where is this global cooling that the naysayers keep saying will happen?

    That’s the word that should be used to characterize our side in a neutral way, not “skeptics,” which is too mild. (Or “deniers,” which is too strong.)

  54. R. Gates says:

    The End is FAR says:
    July 31, 2011 at 12:24 pm
    @ R. Gates

    Actually the Milankovitch Cycles show that we can expect more warming in the coming centuries and should expect cooling to begin in the next couple thousand years.

    ____
    Interesting, from my studies of it, I didn’t think you could see a Milankovitch forcing over a period of a few centuries, but more like several thousand years, and I thought that we were to enjoy at least another 50,000 years of interglacial warmth as during this particular interglacial we are seeing a minimum in the eccentricity of earth’s orbit which only happens every 500,000 years or so.

    See:

    http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/paleo/milankovitch.html
    http://www.sciencemag.org/content/297/5585/1287.summary
    http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/Features/Milankovitch/milankovitch_3.php

    But regardless, current and near-term future (at least for several thousand years) Milankovitch cycles don’t seem to favor any cooling, and neither does the current level of greenhouse gases. As both of these forcings are far strong in the long-term than the solar or ocean cycles, warmth is ahead…

  55. Alaskahound says:

    What, I thought the science was fully settled?
    Missing inputs to the many models used over the past 20 years = bad outputs…

  56. Bill Illis says:

    Well, let’s put out an Argo Plus system then that can measure deep, deep ocean temperatures.

    4 problems with that.

    1) We already have many measurements of deep, deep ocean ocean temperatures. They are not increasing at all really – a few hundreths of a degree since measurements were first made. Its not that the measurements are not being made, its just that there many not be enough carried out and there are not in the places where the missing heat could be accumulating (under the polar sea ice – the ocean sinking regions. We need to measure ocean temperatures right to the bottom of the Arctic Ocean and right to the bottom under the Antarctic sea ice and then track it as flows out across the very bottom of all the oceans. Tough task and big bucks.

    2) It depends who is going to be running this new system. If we leave it to the current Argo managers, I’m good. I’m not agreeing to the NCDC, NOAA, GISS or UEA managing any more climate measuring systems. The data will be adjusted for some great sounding reason so that it matches exactly what is predicted (regardless of what it shows).

    3) The deep ocean temperatures change so slowly – the system would have to run for 20 years before it could pick up enough data to show a statistical trend.

    4) Who is going to pay for this now. Governments are broke. No congressperson will approve funding for something that will take 20 years to achieve results. Take it from GISS instead? Whoah, that’s going to be a problem. Someone else. Same problem.

    I’m sure there are others.

  57. Ed Fix says:

    R. Gates says:
    …the notion that excess heat storage in the deeper oceans is related to the downwelling LW radiation penetrating beyond the ocean skin layer is incorrect and is yet one more of those skeptics red-herring arguments. Heat flux into the deeper oceans is through other physical vertical mixing factors such as the meridional overturning current.

    Actually, we get that. Incoming SW radiation warms the ocean (and land) surface, which then re-radiates LW energy. An excess of this outgoing LW radiation is trapped by anthropogenic GHG, and warms the atmosphere too much.

    This process has failed to produce warming over the last decade. The deep ocean heat reservoir hypotheses is that this excess heat is transferred to the ocean through conduction and mixing, and transferred to the deep ocean without warming the atmosphere or upper ocean in the process (we’d have noticed that), and implicitly assumes this is a brand new process. And that excess heat is lurking in the depths, waiting for the right moment to burst forth and fry us all. (OK, that last was a bit over the top.)

    There is no evidence for all of this, except that there is nowhere else on earth for this purported “excess energy” to hide, and the models say it must be here. The models and modelers need it to be in the deep oceans, therefore we must go look for it there. Don’t you love it when modelers fall in love with their models?

    I can’t wait for the deep ocean sensors to get too close to a midocean ridge volcanic vent. The warmists will be saying, “We found the excess heat, and it’s worse than we thought.”

  58. Mike Jonas says:

    R Gates – if (that’s an “if”) the warming from CO2 is indeed finding its way into the deep ocean, then we will run out of fossil fuels long before they can have any noticeable effect on global temperature.

  59. R. Gates says:

    Katherine says:
    July 31, 2011 at 12:05 pm
    R. Gates wrote:
    Pamela, the notion that excess heat storage in the deeper oceans is related to the downwelling LW radiation penetrating beyond the ocean skin layer is incorrect and is yet one more of those skeptics red-herring arguments. Heat flux into the deeper oceans is through other physical vertical mixing factors such as the meridional overturning current.

    Then doesn’t that mean CO2 is off the hook? Because the heat that CO2 is supposedly responsible for is due to downwelling LW radiation, isn’t it?
    _____

    Not quite. One must remember, that in addition to evaporation, the other major way the ocean itself cools is through direct emission of LW radiation. Hold your hand over a pan of warm water and you can feel this LW radiation for yourself. As downwellng LW radiation increases from increased greenhouse gases, the net LW from the ocean will decrease. Additionally, of course, the thermal profile of the ocean skin layer is altered by having LW warming the very top of the layer, warming this layer such that less heat passes from the deeper ocean to the atmosphere. These are just some of the very complicated processes that lead to global climate models showing a net continued gain in total ocean heat content (although we are currently able to only measure down to 700m on global scale).

    Thus, simply stating that “more LW from increased CO2 can’t warm the oceans because LW can’t penetrate beyond the skin layer” is an invalid argument that doesn’t really consider the more complicated physics going on at the ocean skin boundary layer.

  60. RACookPE1978 says:

    A “minor correction is needed to the above: 8<)

    R. Gates says (talking to Brian):
    July 31, 2011 at 10:30 am

    Brian says:
    July 31, 2011 at 9:16 am

    People here talk about the missing heat but where is this global cooling that the naysayers keep saying will happen?
    ____

    Brian, skeptics to anthropogenic climate change look only to natural cycles of solar and ocean influence on climate, and as such, would be inclined to think a period of cooling is ahead based on these cycles only. …

    Currently, none of the climate data show that cooler times are coming for the planet as a whole, though this won’t discourage some skeptics from scouring the data to find some proof that we are cooling, but all indications are that the global climate models are generally correct and we are heading to warmer, not cooler decades ahead.

    You’re “almost” right.
    That last paragraph is actually:
    “Currently, [ALL of the ACTUAL] climate data [CYCLES] show that cooler to steady times are coming for the planet as a whole, though this won’t discourage some [CAGW theists] from scouring the data to find some proof that we are [warming], but all indications are that [ALL] the global climate models are generally [INCORRECT] and we are heading to [three to four] decades of cooler to steady temperatures, not [warmer] years ahead.

  61. RACookPE1978 says:

    An open question then:

    Are we (the collective community) correct in assuming that the two hemispheres are going to behave the same? Reading the early reports on global heating (then global cooling!) from the mid-1960′s and 1970′s from the Union of Concerned Scientists and NASA-GISS/NSRDC’s predecessors (etc) one regularly sees the writers conclude that the climate changes at the two poles are opposite each other (temperature trends, ice extent trends, ice buildup trends, and on and on.). What happens if you start by breaking the GCM “assumptions” in half at the equator and stop trying to use some mythical global average to solve the both hemisphere? Start with accurate ocean area and land area differences in both hemispheres. Start by assigning accurate land types to the correct latitudes and longitudes.

    If the oceans’ behavior are not behaving “in accordance to” the theories – if they are lagging in time, or if they are not heating up at the right rate, and if the ice is not melting in the Antarctic as it is “supposed to”, it is time to change the theory. You (the CAGW theists) use the retreat of the Arctic sea ice to “prove” global warming, but the temperatures where the Arctic sea ice actually is are decreasing during the only period when the ice is melting. If temperatures are going up only periodically in cyclic 60 year spurts, and if global temperatures are going up and down in long 1000 year cycles that don’t match CO2 levels, then it is time to change the theory.

  62. Slabadang says:

    CAGW “science” is an intellectual insult!

    It’s more amusing to me than you can imagine. To sum up my total control over all basic climate data I had already six years ago. I realized that no changes in the vital climatic data confirmed nor identified any un natural human impacts on climate. The wrong predictions by CAGW science started to pile up. Five years ago I realized that the only place left for CAGW alarmist to blame or search for new claims of “Global Warming” was the deep oceans.

    Because there as well as at the poles there is not a singel human being living and extremely sparce with data and thermometers. So I don’t know if to laugh, scream or cry when my five year old profecy now has become a reality.
    Oh yes of course!!! If the atmosphere the oceans surface nor the Antartica Arctic heat. Your missing tornados and hurricanes, the planet is six procent greener, five extremely cold winters in a row beating hundred year old cold records, the snow our children wouldent experience has arrived in masses causing caos… “The hockey Team” hasent scored since the eighties. The team “stars” read the Kottajarvi proxi upside down and uses tree ring proxi as a one year old drawing..an other one flipa a coin to decide what sign on the feedbacks from clouds will be…. Motting providing “peer reviewed” um .. you know..extrapolared ..11% dead.. no I meen live bears that I havent seen therefore 999% must have died thats how we do it kinda article about polarbears signed in blanco by peers with a “nice job duuuude”!!….. had enough? Just one more.. maby the best of them all.. Nature ahhhh tihs “higly respected” “Nature” the climate science flagship of “robust” “peer review” papers happens to miss 50% of the oceans phytoplancton… well thats like missing the Amazonas and the rest of the globes rainforest if your were to etimate the total forests on the planet!!! Well okey! okey! I let you breath for a moment now..We accept that your “unsertain” on allmost anyting on the planet. I mean a 50 percent more or less Hey whos counting??

    Well I will just finish with this words to all CAGW idiots. You all have something very in common with the missing heat of the planet …. that is that your allready “lost in space” as well !!!
    And I can tell you that you should think twice to follow the search for the “holy CAGW grale” into the bottom of the ocean …because there is were you gonna stay!!

    Can someone please have mercy with our intellects !! We can`t take anymore insulting BS from the CAGW “lost in space” nerds.

  63. Mooloo says:

    Brian says:

    People here talk about the missing heat but where is this global cooling that the naysayers keep saying will happen?

    Not every naysayer believes the earth will cool. Like many people I believe:
    1. the earth is warming, in the medium and long term
    2. a small part of that warming is attributable to CO2
    3. neither of the above is cause for concern because the rate is slow and constant.

    The alarmist position is not proved by continued warming. They posit catastrophic warming due to carbon, which is an entirely different position.

  64. Pamela Gray says:

    Gates, please cite peer reviewed papers regarding your proposed complicated mechanisms. I’m sure we can handle the stress on our intellect.

  65. David Falkner says:

    I still see the same old concerns about climate sensitivity. Has anyone given thought to the fact that it might be inversely related to the forcing applied to it? You can see this in the DMI temperatures. During the Arctic winter, the variation in temperature is significantly more than during the Arcitc summer, implying that there is a greater sensitivity value during the winter time. This means an inverse relationship to forcing. Less forcing, more sensitive. Then look at the summers. (And look at all the years folks.) The summers are far less variable than the winters are, suggesting that a higher forcing leads to a lower sensitivity. Don’t take my word for it, go look.

  66. R. Gates says:

    Pamela Gray says:
    July 31, 2011 at 6:42 pm

    Gates, please cite peer reviewed papers regarding your proposed complicated mechanisms. I’m sure we can handle the stress on our intellect.
    ____
    Certainly not a strain for you Pamela. Here’s a few resources for you to consider:

    http://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/abs/10.1175/2009JPO3980.1?journalCode=phoc
    http://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/abs/10.1175/2009JPO4168.1
    http://resources.metapress.com/pdf-preview.axd?code=c71423u301587q00&size=largest
    http://tiny.cc/iyg7i
    http://www.agu.org/journals/ABS/2006/2004JC002689.shtml
    http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0009261410007918
    http://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/abs/10.1175/2010JPO4491.1?journalCode=phoc

    A simple scan of these will demonstrate that the notion that simply saying, “downwelling LW can’t penetrate the ocean skin layer” and thus CO2 can’t warm the oceans is far too simplistic. The physics of what goes on at the ocean skin layer is incredibly complicated, especially when you begin to add wind and other dynamics such as salinity, yet understanding the ocean-atmosphere boundary layer in detail it is probably as important to knowing the ultimate effects of increased greenhouse gas emissions as knowing about the greenhouse effects of the gases themselves, IMO.

  67. Stephen Wilde says:

    R Gates said:

    “yet understanding the ocean-atmosphere boundary layer in detail it is probably as important to knowing the ultimate effects of increased greenhouse gas emissions as knowing about the greenhouse effects of the gases themselves, IMO.”

    Absolutely right RG, and this is why:

    http://www.irishweatheronline.com/features-2/wilde-weather/setting-and-maintaining-of-earth%e2%80%99s-equilibrium-temperature/18931.html

    I’ve had that article up for discussion for a while now but so far no indication that any part of it is fundamentally unsound.

  68. Stephen Wilde says:

    David Falkner asked:

    “Has anyone given thought to the fact that it might be inversely related to the forcing applied to it?”

    Yes indeed, that is implicit in my scenario.

    Look at it slightly differently though.

    The basic system equilibrium temperature is set by atmospheric pressure over the oceans because that sets the energy value of the latent heat of vaporisation which thereby affects the speed at which energy can leave the ocean for any given input of solar shortwave.

    If something other than changes in atmospheric density or in solar shortwave input tries to disturb that equilibrium then the system exerts an equivalent negative response by changing the speed of energy throughput. That is achieved via the speed of the water cycle which is itself achieved by a surface air pressure redistribution.

    So a small forcing results in a small system response and a large forcing results in a commensurately large system response.

    Thus a small warming results in a small cooling response and a large warming results in a large cooling response and in terms of the net effect the two processes are inversely related.

    Climate sensitivity ramps up to meet the forcing effect from whatever source. The system is more strongly sensitive to a stronger forcing.

    That is why the oceans have not boiled away or frozen solid over a period 4 billion years despite catastrophic disruptions from time to time. Equilibrium is always restored and the only means necessary is that shifting of surface air pressure distribution involving shifts in the basic climate zones which lead to what we call climate changes.

    So CO2 can make a contribution to shifts in surface pressure redistribution but vanishingly small compared to what sun and oceans cause as a matter of routine.

  69. R. Gates says:

    Ed Fix says:
    Actually, we get that. Incoming SW radiation warms the ocean (and land) surface, which then re-radiates LW energy. An excess of this outgoing LW radiation is trapped by anthropogenic GHG, and warms the atmosphere too much.

    This process has failed to produce warming over the last decade.

    ——–
    Actually, we don’t know this. We only know that there hasn’t been the large increases in global temperatures in the past decade that we saw in the 1980-2000 period. CO2 and other greenhouse gases did not decrease during this period and so continued to keep the earth warmer than it would have been without them, however other factors are obviously at play to balance out any warming effects such that the net effect is no substantial net warming…but greenhouse gases did not stop their warming of the earth during this period…thankfully!

  70. Stephen Wilde says:

    David Falkner said:

    “During the Arctic winter, the variation in temperature is significantly more than during the Arcitc summer, implying that there is a greater sensitivity value during the winter time. This means an inverse relationship to forcing. Less forcing, more sensitive. Then look at the summers. (And look at all the years folks.) The summers are far less variable than the winters are, suggesting that a higher forcing leads to a lower sensitivity.”

    That illustration relies on larger temperature differentials between Arctic and equator in winter than in summer so temperature variations are larger in winter than in summer. The larger temperature variations in winter show that more energy is flowing to and fro as part of the enhanced system response to larger differentials.

    It doesn’t say anything about global climate sensitivity to external or internal system forcings but it is an example of how a stronger differential gives rise to a stronger negative system response as per my last post.

    So likewise if an external or internal system forcing tries to disturb the equilibrium then the system will provide a commensurate level of negative response.

    It is simply the phenomenon noted by David but ramped up to global scale.

  71. Stephen Wilde says:

    R Gates said:

    “however other factors are obviously at play to balance out any warming effects such that the net effect is no substantial net warming.”

    Well yes, but how do you know that the other factors are not so large that not only are they wiping out the effects of more CO2 now but that in fact they are so large in comparison that they always have and always will render CO2 effects insignificant?

    That is the nub of the issue and given the climate changes from MWP to LIA to date I think the answer is obvious.

  72. Julian Braggins says:

    There seem to be contradictions as to whether the Earth is cooling or warming.
    Lubos Motl at http://motls.blogspot.com/2011/07/hadcrut3-30-of-stations-recorded.html
    shows with a new analysis that we are doing both.
    Also, if we do warm for the next 45 years or so, ~30% of temperature stations will still show cooling. So any abatement program such as our Australian Carbon Tax will amplify cooling.
    Bummer.

  73. phlogiston says:

    Bill Illis says:
    July 31, 2011 at 3:03 pm
    Well, let’s put out an Argo Plus system then that can measure deep, deep ocean temperatures.
    4 problems with that…

    (123)…
    4) Who is going to pay for this now. Governments are broke. No congressperson will approve funding for something that will take 20 years to achieve results. Take it from GISS instead? Whoah, that’s going to be a problem. Someone else. Same problem.

    I’m sure there are others.

    So the real picture concerning bottom level ocean temperatures, including in the important polar and downwelling areas, will remain essentially unavailable for the forseeable future.

    This means that the temptation for the CAGW team to shovel all the posited global warming and excess energy, into this unmeasurable region, will prove irresistable.

    This is classic Popperophobia – terror of and aversion to making any predictions that can be practically tested, a key characteristic of pseudo-science.

    In fishery management, when a region of ocean is declared a sanctuary and fishing banned in that region, fish are remarkably good at learning this and moving to that place. Pseudo-scientists have an equally sensitive instinct for crafting hypotheses whose critical testable elements are safely located in hard-to-impossible to test regions.

  74. 2hotel9 says:

    “What do sea measurements reveal about Earth’s temperature trend?” That the Earth is not warming? And spare me the endless screeching without end about 0.0003 temperature “increase”.

  75. Richard S Courtney says:

    Friends:

    At this point I think it reasonable to remind that Trenberth’s “missing heat” equates to the IPCC’s missing “committed warming” and, therefore, it is not surprising that the “committed warming” has vanished when Trenberth’s “missing heat” exists: they are the same thing.

    But Trenberth’s “missing heat” is not really “missing”. It has left the planet (as Roy Spencer has recently shown see
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/07/26/pielke-sr-on-new-spencer-and-braswell-paper/ )
    and, therefore, AGW is a non-problem.

    For the benefit of some, I provide the following explanation of why Trenberth’s “missing heat” equates to the IPCC’s missing “committed warming”.

    Section 10.7.1 titled ‘Climate Change Commitment to Year 2300 Based on AOGCMs’
    in the Report from WG1 (i.e. the “science” Working Group) of the most recent IPCC Report (AR4) can be read at
    http://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/ar4/wg1/en/ch10s10-7.html

    It says:
    “The multi-model average warming for all radiative forcing agents held constant at year 2000 (reported earlier for several of the models by Meehl et al., 2005c), is about 0.6°C for the period 2090 to 2099 relative to the 1980 to 1999 reference period. This is roughly the magnitude of warming simulated in the 20th century. Applying the same uncertainty assessment as for the SRES scenarios in Fig. 10.29 (–40 to +60%), the likely uncertainty range is 0.3°C to 0.9°C. Hansen et al. (2005a) calculate the current energy imbalance of the Earth to be 0.85 W m–2, implying that the unrealised global warming is about 0.6°C without any further increase in radiative forcing. The committed warming trend values show a rate of warming averaged over the first two decades of the 21st century of about 0.1°C per decade, due mainly to the slow response of the oceans. About twice as much warming (0.2°C per decade) would be expected if emissions are within the range of the SRES scenarios.”

    So, the IPCC says,
    “The committed warming trend values show a rate of warming averaged over the first two decades of the 21st century of about 0.1°C per decade”.
    n.b. That is “committed warming” which THE IPCC SAYS WILL OCCUR BECAUSE OF EFFECTS IN THE PAST.

    And the effect of increase to atmospheric CO2 since 2000 is expected to double that rate of warming to “About twice as much warming (0.2°C per decade)”.

    But there has NOT been a rise in global temperature of “0.2°C per decade” or of “0.1°C per decade” for the first of half of “the first two decades of the 21st century”. Indeed, there has been no discernible rise and probably a slight fall.

    A RISE OF 0.2°C OVER THE LAST 10 YEARS WOULD HAVE BEEN OBVIOUS FROM THE DATA.

    So, for the IPCC prediction to be true then the global temperature must rise by a staggering 0.4°C now and stay at that level for the next 10 years. This would be more than half the total rise over the previous century, and only a member of the cult of AGW could think this is a reasonable expectation.

    Indeed, if one accepts the lower limit of the “uncertainty assessment” of “-40%” then the required immediate rise rise needed to be sustained over the next 10 years is at least an incredible 0.24°C.

    And to meet the IPCC prediction at a linear rate then the required rise over the next ten years is 0.8°C (or 0.48°C at very minimum).

    Clearly, THE IPCC ASSERTION OF “COMMITTED WARMING” IS WRONG, this warming was NOT “in the pipeline” as e.g. James Hansen asserted it was to the US Congress.

    Importantly, there is a fundamental relationship between Trenberth’s “missing heat” and the IPCC’s assertion of “committed warming”.
    .
    The AGW hypothesis says increased atmospheric GHG concentration increases IR back radiation to the surface. The hypothesis asserts that this back radiation causes surface warming which has two effects; viz.
    Effect 1.
    The warmed surface warms the air
    and
    Effect 2.
    The warmed ocean surface warms the oceans.

    Effect 1 is almost instantaneous (the GH effect occurs at the speed of light). Hence, it cannot discernibly contribute to “committed warming” from one year to subsequent years.

    Effect 2 is probably wrong and is certainly overstated by the IPCC, but here I am considering the IPCC version of what they think is reality.

    The ocean warming of Effect 2 establishes a new thermal equilibrium between air and ocean.

    There is a lag (of several years) to obtain this equilibrium because net energy (from back radiation) is absorbed in the oceans until equilibrium is achieved. Upon achievement of the equilibrium then the air temperature is raised and, importantly, the air/and oceans obtain zero net energy exchange as a result of the increased atmospheric GHG concentration.

    So, until equilibrium is achieved the oceans absorb more energy from the air and this is why there is “committed warming”. When equilibrium is achieved then the oceans continue to absorb more energy but they also emit more energy back to the air: in other words, “committed warming” is increase to energy from the oceans in response to previous IR back radiation to the surface.

    Simplisticly, “committed warming” is heat of the IR back radiation to the surface that is stored in the ocean until it is later released to the air.

    Trenberth’s “missing heat” equates to missing “committed warming” and, therefore, it is not surprising that the “committed warming” has vanished when Trenberth’s “missing heat” exists: they are the same thing.

    In summation, there is no “missing heat”. The heat stored in the oceans that is assumed by the AGW hypothesis does not get stored but, instead, it radiates to space as observed by Lindzen&Choy and Spencer&Braswell.

    Richard

  76. Pamela Gray says:

    Gates, most of your links are behind paywalls. The ones that are not have nothing to do with whether or not anthropogenic LW heating at the skin layer (actually a misnomer because LW radiation and evaporation from the ocean surface actually cools the skin), gets into and is measureably stored at deeper levels to be significantly discharged at a later time and place to warm the air by a measurable and catastrophic amount.

    You have not stated your case well at all.

  77. Pamela Gray says:

    …and correct me if I am wrong, but your case is that increased anthropogenic LW radiation above the ocean somehow (in complicated ways) tranfers most of its heat into ocean layers beneath the skin and can lead to significant anthropogenic warming of the planet. Correct?

  78. Theo Goodwin says:

    The End is FAR says:
    July 31, 2011 at 12:08 pm
    @Theo Goodwin,
    “Sorry to the Warmistas, see my translation here. http://wp.me/pB8xR-fo

    You exceeded the Warmista attention span. Otherwise, your work is admirable.

  79. RACookPE1978 says:

    Stephen Wilde says:
    July 31, 2011 at 11:52 pm (Edit)

    David Falkner said:

    “During the Arctic winter, the variation in temperature is significantly more than during the Arcitc summer, implying that there is a greater sensitivity value during the winter time. This means an inverse relationship to forcing. Less forcing, more sensitive. Then look at the summers. (And look at all the years folks.) The summers are far less variable than the winters are, suggesting that a higher forcing leads to a lower sensitivity.”

    That illustration relies on larger temperature differentials between Arctic and equator in winter than in summer so temperature variations are larger in winter than in summer. The larger temperature variations in winter show that more energy is flowing to and fro as part of the enhanced system response to larger differentials.

    It doesn’t say anything about global climate sensitivity to external or internal system forcings but it is an example of how a stronger differential gives rise to a stronger negative system response as per my last post.

    So likewise if an external or internal system forcing tries to disturb the equilibrium then the system will provide a commensurate level of negative response.

    It is simply the phenomenon noted by David but ramped up to global scale.

    I disagree, but not with the observation of either above, but with the CAGW “evidence” the supposedly warming Arctic provides the theist community.

    If, in the high Arctic winter, there are great changes in daily temperature (+/- 8 degrees in temperature as one standard deviation at 80 north latitude!), and if it is such that only with the most extreme extrapolations of temperature from very remote location (over 1000 km from station to region) NASA-GISS can only find 3 or 4 degrees of temperature increase (not even one standard deviation), then the Arctic is NOT “proving” CAGW theory.

    Further, in the winter, when the only warming is claimed to occur by NASA-GISS adherents, the claimed temperature changes occur ONLY during a period when there is no sunlight. Hence, there can be NO re-radiated warmth present to heat the surfaces of the high Arctic as CAGW theory requires. Could the CAGW energy supplied at lower latitudes in winter be moved from lower those latitudes up north to where Hansen claims he is measuring it? Sure. It most definitely is moved north. Regularly and often. But then NASA-GISS must explain why the only Arctic shows temperature changes during winter from CAGW effects, but the area where the warming must be does not regular warming.

    In the summer, the only period when sunlight does occur that high, there is no warming and a very, very small standard deviation. (Temp’s vary by less than 1/4 of one degree. Variation of even one degree are rare across all years and all days since 1958.) So it can be absolutely stated that CAGW is not measured where it is claimed to be worst case.

  80. Theo Goodwin says:

    steven mosher says:
    July 31, 2011 at 1:08 pm

    “Now comes the question: is it better to measure DEEPER or for longer periods? How do you make that decision? Your only hope is to run models.”

    Why don’t you do both? Climate science does not require Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle. This is just another case of Warmista treating actual observations as not worthy of attention.

  81. Theo Goodwin says:

    R. Gates says:
    July 31, 2011 at 3:43 pm
    “As downwellng LW radiation increases from increased greenhouse gases, the net LW from the ocean will decrease. Additionally, of course, the thermal profile of the ocean skin layer is altered by having LW warming the very top of the layer, warming this layer such that less heat passes from the deeper ocean to the atmosphere. These are just some of the very complicated processes that lead to global climate models showing a net continued gain in total ocean heat content (although we are currently able to only measure down to 700m on global scale).”

    Naughty, naughty. One must not present an explanation about what happens at the surface of the ocean and then conclude that it supports the claim that GCMs show a net gain in total ocean heat content. Ya’ left out a few steps of inference and explanation.

    If you are not a hardcore Phd Warmista, you could play one on TV.

  82. LazyTeenager says:

    Pamela Gray says
    ———
    sources (which AGW theory states is through increased LW re-radiation), the heating has to get past the skin in order for the current to carry this extra heat into depths that are then carried by the overturning current. I
    ———
    Seems to me this is pure speculation. You should be able to perform an experiment at home to verify that a downward facing IR source is unable to heat a body of water.

    In any case the argument maybe wrong since the heat carried by radiation near the surface of the water is small compared to that transferred by all the other processes. Big oversight is to assume the rate of heat transfer by IR is the same at all heights.

  83. Bill Illis says:

    Water will eventually equilibrate with the air temperature above it. It is not going to take long regardless of any absorption or non-absorption of long-wave radiation.

    Collisional energy exchange actually happens at a faster rate (8 billion collisions per second for an atmospheric molecule at the ocean surface). And energy will flow out of the water more slowly if the back-radiating air above it is warmer (first three laws of thermodynamics and the Stefan-Boltzmann equations).

    Put a bowl, tub, swimming pool of cool water in a dark room where there is no short-wave visible light radiation. It will be at room temperature in a matter of hours. Put an ocean of cold water 700 metres deep in a dark room … well it will take several years.

  84. Ed Fix says:

    R. Gates says:
    July 31, 2011 at 11:23 pm
    …however other factors are obviously at play to balance out any warming effects such that the net effect is no substantial net warming…but greenhouse gases did not stop their warming of the earth during this period…thankfully!

    I agree. But, if the models are right, these “other factors” only started operating in the 21st century. Every twitch and wiggle of the 19th and 20th century temperature record is accounted for by the models, so whatever is happening now is brand new. Either the excess heat that CO2 traps in the atmosphere is transported to the deep ocean (apparently without warming the ocean surface on the way), or the models are wrong.

    Let’s go look in the ocean.

  85. Brian H says:

    Pamela;
    Is “a Lockness monster” a cousin of a Loch Ness monster? Where do they live? How big are they?
    ;)
    ;pPpPp

  86. RACookPE1978 says:

    Brian:

    In climate science, you must always ask the right question:
    Which came first?
    Pamela’s Lock Nest monster or its egg? 8<)

  87. Richard S Courtney says:

    Friends:

    This talk about the Loch Ness Monster is too late because global warming has killed the beast: see
    http://www.celsias.com/article/global-warming-killed-the-loch-ness-monster/

    This disaster is one of the many species extinctions that some think global warming has caused, and the demise of Nessie has more supporting evidence than most of the other extinctions.

    Richard

    PS This post is sarcasm but the link is worth a look for amusement.

  88. David Falkner says:

    Thanks for the interesting comments Stephen Wilde and RACook. Stephen, just for clarity, is your hypothesis saying that the residence time of water vapor in the atmosphere will change in response to forcing changes?

    Oh, and a moment of silence for poor Nessie. ;)

  89. Stephen Wilde says:

    “Stephen, just for clarity, is your hypothesis saying that the residence time of water vapor in the atmosphere will change in response to forcing changes?”

    Not necessarily. The required effect could be equally well achieved by more evaporation matched by more condensation with the residence time of each molecule of water vapour the same as before. Rather like a broad river flowing at the same speed as a narrow river where both are of the same depth. The individual water molecules reach the ocean in the same length of time in both rivers but more water is transported and in the case of the atmosphere it is more latent heat which is transported along with the extra vapour.

    During a warming process one would expect to see evaporation run ahead of condensation a little because the carrying capacity of air increases with temperature. The opposite during a cooling spell.

    An interesting feature of real world observations is that as far as we can tell global humidity doesn’t seem to change much and that fits in well with Miskolczi’s comments about optical depth of the atmosphere.

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