Global Ocean Heat Content Is Still Flat

While there’s news of ocean heat content in the Atlantic being pumped up by “leakage” from the Indian Ocean, and NOAA proclaims that La Niña is back, Bob Tisdale finds that the global ocean heat content trend since the turn of the 21st century is flat. Worse than that, it widely diverges from climate models predicting a continued rise in OHC.

2nd Quarter 2011 NODC Global OHC Anomalies

by Bob Tisdale

The NODC updated its Ocean Heat Content Anomaly data to include the 2nd quarter 2011 data. (And they also updated their Thermosteric Sea Level Anomaly data, which is not discussed in this post)  I will provide a more detailed discussion as soon as the KNMI Climate Explorer is updated with the 2ndquarter 2011 Ocean Heat Content data, which should be later this month.

THE GRAPHS

Figure 1 is a time-series graph of the NODC Global Ocean Heat Content Anomalies from the start of the dataset (1st Quarter of 1955) to present (2nd Quarter of 2011). The quarterly data for the world oceans is available through the NODC in spreadsheet (.csv ) form (Right Click and Save As: Global OHC Data). While there was a significant increase in Global Ocean Heat Content over the term of the data, Global Ocean Heat Content has flattened in recent years.

Figure 1

And as many are aware, Climate Model Projections of Ocean Heat Content anomalies did not anticipate this flattening. Figure 2 compares the ARGO-era (2003 to present) NODC Global Ocean Heat Content anomalies to the GISS Model-E Projection of 0.7*10^22 Joules per year. The linear trend of the observations is approximately 7% of the trend projected by the model mean of the GISS Model-E.

Figure 2

The source of the 0.7*10^22 Joules per year GISS Model-E ensemble-mean trend was illustrated, clarified, and questioned in the post GISS OHC Model Trends: One Question Answered, Another Uncovered.

 HOW MANY MORE YEARS UNTIL GISS MODEL-E CAN BE FOUND TO HAVE FAILED AS A PREDICTOR OF THE IMPACTS OF ANTHROPOGENIC GREENHOUSE GASES ON OCEAN HEAT CONTENT?

I asked the above question in Figure 2. It’s a rewording of the question asked by Roger Pielke Sr., in his post 2011 Update Of The Comparison Of Upper Ocean Heat Content Changes With The GISS Model Predictions. There he notes:

Joules resulting from a positive radiative imbalance must continue to be accumulated in order for global warming to occur. In the last 7 1/2 years there has been an absence of this heating. An important research question is how many more years of this lack of agreement with the GISS model (and other model) predictions must occur before there is wide recognition that the IPCC models have failed as skillful predictions of the effect of the radiative forcing of anthropogenic inputs of greenhouse gases and aerosols.

As far as I’m concerned, they have already failed for numerous reasons. I have illustrated and discussed in past posts how:

1. ENSO is responsible for much of the rise in Ocean Heat Content for many of the ocean basins,

2. A change in sea level pressure is likely the cause of the upward shift in North Pacific Ocean Heat content during the late 1980s,

3. And ENSO, changes in Sea Level Pressure, and the AMO/AMOC are major contributors to the rise in North Atlantic Ocean Heat Content.

And as far as I know, these are natural contributors to the rise that are overlooked by the GISS Model-E. This was further illustrated and discussed in Why Are OHC Observations (0-700m) Diverging From GISS Projections?

 NOTES ABOUT THE ARGO-ERA GRAPH

There will be those who will attempt to dismiss the divergence between model projection and observations shown in Figure 2. Tamino tried to downplay the divergence in his post Favorite Denier Tricks, or How to Hide the Incline. I responded to Tamino with my post On Tamino’s Post “Favorite Denier Tricks Or How To Hide The Incline”. And there may be those who believe 2004 is a more appropriate year to use as the start of the ARGO-era OHC data, so for them, I illustrated how little difference it makes whether the ARGO-era starts in 2003 or 2004 in the post ARGO-Era Start Year: 2003 vs 2004. Note that there are two GISS Model-E projections illustrated in the sole graph in the post ARGO-Era Start Year: 2003 vs 2004. The one at 0.98*10^22 Joules per year, identified as Hansen/Pielke Sr., was found to be in error. This was discussed in the post GISS OHC Model Trends: One Question Answered, Another Uncovered.And of course, there is the fact that natural variables, which are not accounted for by the GISS Model-E, are major contributors to rise in Ocean Heat Content, as discussed in the four posts linked in the previous section.

 DATASET INTRODUCTION

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”, Geophysical Research Letters. 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.

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89 Responses to Global Ocean Heat Content Is Still Flat

  1. Joe says:

    The first bit of added heat they were expecting to find hiding in the oceans starting in 2000 was last seen zooming past Alpha Centauri five years ago.

  2. scarletmacaw says:

    So the oceans supposed heated up, up until the time the Argo buoys came online and the OHC was actually measured.

  3. HankH says:

    Come on now, there’s missing heat in the oceans. It’s hiding and that’s why we can’t see it. It’s probably hiding under very deep ocean rocks where we’re not looking. It’s a travesty, I tell you, that for all of our technology we can’t find it (it hides pretty good doesn’t it).

    The models are not falsified by our observation. Our observation is falsified by the models. Yes, that’s how it works. /sarc

  4. Joe says:

    Obviously Argo buoys cause ocean cooling. I have a robust model with high correlation to show you!

  5. SteveSadlov says:

    If you were to do a Cusum on this, it would be telling us something fundamental changed in “the process.”

    My own guess is, that something ain’t nothin’ good.

    I see a cliff up ahead.

  6. Bill Illis says:

    That is flat – flat as a pancake. I don’t care what the models say.

    Just a note about E+22 joules. 1.6E+22 joules equals 1 watt/m2 over the whole Earth surface for a full year. The Earth receives about 3.88E+24 joules of energy from the Sun each year and none of it is accumulating (a tiny amount in melting ice perhaps).

    Flat ocean heat also means Zero ocean absorption of CO2/GHG forcing (that would normally be warming the air/surface temperatures). Since air/surface temperatures are also flat, we have to assume that is NO extra CO2/GHG forcing in operation versus that of 7 years ago.

    And it also calls into question the Lag propositions that are a big part of the theory – the Lags depend on there being extra CO2/GHG forcing each year and additional ocean heat accumulation each year. The length of time that flat temperatures/ocean heat accumulation has been around means that we are, effectively, already at Equilibrium.

  7. Stephen Wilde says:

    Since the late 90s the following events have all occurred as the level of solar activity declined from the peak of cycle 23 into a very weak cycle 24:

    i) A cessation of rising ocean heat content and a pause in sea level rise.

    ii) A cessation of the cooling stratosphere with possibly a slight warming

    iii) A cessation of tropospheric warming.

    iv) More meridional excursions for the mid latitude jetstreams suggesting a net equatorward shift in the surface pressure distribution ( reversing the poleward shift that occurred whilst the sun was more active).

    v) More cold weather events in both hemispheres.

    vi) Global cloudiness now increasing after a period of decline.

    It is simply beyond belief to suggest that all the above are not linked to each other and to the less active sun.

    Meanwhile the apparent correlation with rising CO2 levels has completely broken down because CO2 in the atmosphere continues to rise.

    None of those changes were anticipated by any of the climate models.

  8. Nuke Nemesis says:

    Yes, but clouds are not suspected to be the cause.

  9. Kasuha says:

    Honestly, the progress in 1984-1994 is flat in pretty much the same way as in the last five years. And the trendline always diverges the better the higher over data you place it but I’d call that optical tricks rather than science.
    I don’t see the global heat content evolution being flat yet. It slowed down considerably and reduced its variability, yes. But it’s not flat yet.

  10. Ray says:

    Considering that the sun has been basically blank for so long and no sign of massive activity on the horizon… I think we have reached the maximum and the curve can only go down from this point. How far and fast will it go down? That is the question.

  11. Tad says:

    I hope you guys don’t mind if I get a little off-topic – is this a lot of heat or a little heat? What I mean is, if the oceanic heat content stays roughly at the average value seen in Figure 1 from 2004 onwards, will life as we know it be doomed? And if the heat content were actually at the model prediction that is about 5×10^22 J higher, would all the sea life have disappeared by now? I just don’t have a feel for how these numbers translate into my laymans understanding. Thanks.

  12. HOW MANY MORE YEARS UNTIL …

    Never if it supports the sceptics, but as short as they like if it supports the alarmists.

    This is indeed an Alice in Wonderland world where things are precisely what the alarmists want them to be … well they were!

  13. I believe that ocean heat content (if measured broadly and deeply enough) would be a far better indicator than the “Average Global Temperature” [of the lower atmosphere] in gauging “Global Warming”, whether “natural” or “man-made”.

    This seems logical, due to the far greater heat capacity of the oceans than the atmosphere.
    Plus, now there are thousands of temperature probes in the oceans, at multiple latitudes, longitudes and depths (if I understand correctly). How long has there been sufficient sensors to come up with a semi-accurate calculation of an “ocean heat content” and is there rough agreement on the values thus derived?

    Is there peer-reviewed literature on this, also comparing ocean temperature and climate?

    Which scientists are at the cutting edge of this subject?

    Kurt in Switzerland

  14. DirkH says:

    Haul ARGO into the adjustment chambers, Igor!

  15. Bruce Cobb says:

    It’s a travesty. Busts the “heat budget” all to hell.

  16. Dale says:

    Sorry Bob, the models show OHC continuing to rise till the seas boil. The observational data is wrong.

  17. David Smith says:

    Bob, does table T1 in Levitus show a temperature increase from 1955 to 2005 of 0.17C? That equates to the 15×10*22 J increase in heat content, if I understand the table.

    Surely I am misreading that. The paper discuss various adjustments of several tenths of a degree C and gaps in aerial coverage. Yet they claim that, despite the uncertainty introduced by the instruments and limited coverage, that they can detect a 0.17C increase over half a century?

    I’m not suggesting that their work is biased, just that they have ca-ca data with which to work. Do they offer error bars anywhere?

    Thanks,

    David

  18. Well, ARGO coverage went global by mid-2003 (before that time there were no buoys in the Southern ocean). Density kept increasing until 2007, but that should not introduce any systematic error, just some (decreasing) noise. Therefore it makes sense to calculate global upper 700 m OHC trend for the last 8 full years, that is, from 3rd quarter 2003 to 2nd quarter 2011, inclusive.

    It is 0.0355 ± 0.0638 × 10²² J/year, which corresponds to a 22 ± 40 mW/m² planetary imbalance for this 8 year period. This trend is statistically indistinguishable from zero, and it is significantly smaller than the geothermal flux, which is about 80 mW/m²

    On the other hand, according to Trenberth “The TOA energy imbalance can probably be most accurately determined from climate models and is estimated to be 850 ± 150 mW/m²”

    Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, March 2009
    DOI:10.1175/2008BAMS2634.1
    Earth’s Global Energy Budget
    Kevin E. Trenberth, John T. Fasullo & Jeffrey Kiehl

    Now, Trenberth’s figure is forty times larger than what was measured and the two values lay at least five sigma apart. Therefore Trenberth’s proposition is falsified for good, even if the (minuscule) fraction of heat possibly sequestered below a depth of 700 m is taken into account.

    Furthermore, if Trenberth is right in stating that computational climate models require heat accumulation at a rate of 850 ± 150 mW/m², all such models are falsified as well.

    End of story.

    Appendix:
    ARGO coverage – April 2003
    ARGO coverage – April 2004
    ARGO coverage – current
    Number of active floats

  19. richard verney says:

    scarletmacaw says:
    September 8, 2011 at 11:36 am
    //////////////////////////////////////////////////
    Precisely. It is right to be sceptical of earlier data. However, that means we only have a short period of quality data (and even ARGO is less than ideal in coverage).

  20. Andrew30 says:

    I sense another G[a]IA adjustment may be needed soon…

    Global Mean Sea Level Change Graph with a “Correction” of 0.3 mm/year added May, 5th 2011, due to a “Glacial Isostatic Adjustment (GIA)”

  21. richard verney says:

    I omitted to point out in my above post that the significance of ocean temperatures is that if they are flat there can be no global warming; the oceans holding about 99% of the total energy in the Earth system

  22. Ammonite says:

    From Bob Tisdale: “The source of the 0.7*10^22 Joules per year GISS Model-E ensemble-mean trend was illustrated, clarified, and questioned in the post GISS OHC Model Trends: One Question Answered, Another Uncovered.”

    Thank you for the post. Starting from 2003, are you able to clarify what proportion of the individual model runs (models ER and EH) that compose the ensemble mean fall above and below the 2nd Quarter 2011 endpoint? Also, what error bars are applicable to the Argo sampled data?

  23. Stephen Brown says:

    Methinks that this and other recent findings indicate that is not ere long before the Ice Man cometh.

  24. Dave Wendt says:

    The era of climate hazard from the demon CO2 is generally credited with beginning in earnest at the end of WWII. In a time span that is now more than six decades there is one sequence of 20+ years from the late 70s to the late 90s that has a dramatic rise in temps bracketed by two sequences which are now collectively double the length of the uptick where temps are either flat or declining. Most of the rest of the assumed rise in temps from the end of the LIA occurred in another spike at the beginning of the 20th century which is extremely difficult to credit to CO2 forcing. There have been a number of at least arguable alternative explanations of those two spikes put forward in recent years. And yet given all that, I still find myself on almost a daily basis confronted by a burgeoning collection of dolts who tell me I must be a mouth breathing, knuckle dragging moron because i will not wholeheartedly endorse the notion that all that has happened must be the result humanity’s use of fossil fuels. I’m sorry guys but it’s still NO SALE!

  25. Max Hugoson says:

    WHAT? Ocean heat content, all the way back to 1955?! Wow, amazing. As a person who has gone through the transition from Teletypes, to primative IBM Monitors, to 3-D, and terabyte drives… (I’m trying to get this point across in the best way possible.) To be blunt about it, to claim that there is ANY way to estimate ocean heat until the instrumentation of the ’80′s, at minimum, is completely absurd. What, temperature measurements by flunkies on ships? QUALITY CONTROL! Mostly useless.

    MAYBE some temperature data from nuclear subs, but that is dubious.

    GUYS, the LUNAR LANDER had about 40 KB (kilobyte) of “fast memory”. It had about 5 MB (mega byte) of “disk”. The machines at Mission Control were not much better.

    Typically one of the Control Data “mainframes” had about 500 KB of “core” memory, and about 100 MB of disk memory.

    These were some of the most ADVANCED data gathering systems (remote) of 1969.

    WHERE THE HECK DID THEY GET THE DATA TO MAKE THE 1955 to NOW charts from?

    I FIND NO INDICATION OF THAT METHOD, just the “magic” of having the chart.

    I remain UN-impressed.

    Complete fraud. (Or based on cherry picked, sparse data, highly interpolated, and cobbled together with a “boatload” of data integrity assumptions.)

  26. Bob Tisdale says:

    Kurt in Switzerland: In the following, I’ve copied and pasted the answers I provided to the same questions at my website

    Kurt in Switzerland says: “How long have there been sufficient sensors to come up with a semi-accurate calculation of an “ocean heat content” and is there rough agreement on the values thus derived?”

    The deployment of ARGO floats ramped up strongly in 2003 and the oceans were well covered early in 2004. To answer the second part of your question, the ARGO data is corrected by researchers to account for sensor problems and the like. The corrections are not always the same.

    You asked, “Is there peer-reviewed literature on this, also comparing ocean temperature and climate?”

    There are so many, all I can suggest is that you search Google scholar:
    http://scholar.google.com/

    You asked, “Which scientists are at the cutting edge of this subject?”

    This would help with your searches. Scientists whose papers are often referenced in other scientific studies are Willis, Levitus, and Ishii and Kimoto.

    You asked, “Also: is there some agreement between scientists studying the ocean heat content and its reflection on / ability to “predict” climate change?”

    I have found no evidence that climate model hindcasts/projections represent reality. Refer to:
    http://bobtisdale.wordpress.com/2011/04/10/part-1-%e2%80%93-satellite-era-sea-surface-temperature-versus-ipcc-hindcastprojections/
    And:
    http://bobtisdale.wordpress.com/2011/04/19/492/

  27. Mooloo says:

    Kasuha says:

    Honestly, the progress in 1984-1994 is flat in pretty much the same way as in the last five years.

    I don’t see the global heat content evolution being flat yet. It slowed down considerably and reduced its variability, yes. But it’s not flat yet.

    Yes, it will start to warm up again, some time. Perhaps soon.

    But you have to remember that the warmist case is not a consistent trend of the last century. There position is that warming is accelerating, and in an alarming fashion. A return to a small warming will not do them any good.

    It will take quite a leap to get up to the those model predictions. I think we can assume they are busted.

  28. Bob Tisdale says:

    David Smith says: “Bob, does table T1 in Levitus show a temperature increase from 1955 to 2005 of 0.17C? That equates to the 15×10*22 J increase in heat content, if I understand the table. “

    Which Levitus paper are you referring to? The numbers you’re showing do not correspond to the numbers in Table T1 in Levitus et al (2009) linked in the post.

    You wrote, “Surely I am misreading that.”

    Referring T1 in Levitus et al (2009), which showed a rise in OHC from 1955 to 2008 of 15.9*10^22 Joules equating to a temperature rise for the top 700 meters of 0.168 deg C, I don’t believe you’re misreading that. That’s my interpretation of that table, and my interpretation is based on the assumption that T1 in Levitus et al (2009) is similar to Table T1 in Levitus et al (2004), where the units and bases are identified:
    ftp://ftp.nodc.noaa.gov/pub/data.nodc/woa/PUBLICATIONS/grlheat05.pdf

    You wrote, “I’m not suggesting that their work is biased, just that they have ca-ca data with which to work. Do they offer error bars anywhere?”

    The only place I know of error data being provided by the NODC is on the data attached to their “Basin time series” webpage:
    http://www.nodc.noaa.gov/OC5/3M_HEAT_CONTENT/basin_data.html

    The third, fifth and seventh columns are Standard Errors.

  29. Athelstan. says:

    Fascinating stuff Bob [as usual], I find imho, browsing figures for OHC though of great academic interest, is not what we should be investigating more thoroughly.
    The changes in the PDO with reference to the dynamics which drive the El Nino and La Nina cycles must be understood – because these babies and their dramatic switching and consequential climatic temperature differential drive our weather nuts.
    Strewth! The Australians would appreciate a heads up on a severe La Nina but then, so would the rest of the world.

    Lastly, I have to agree with Kurt, if we were able to accurately and easily quantify the OHC, then this would enable a better understanding and measurement of world temperature fluctuations, we are a long way from that though.

  30. Bob Tisdale says:

    Ammonite says: “Starting from 2003, are you able to clarify what proportion of the individual model runs (models ER and EH) that compose the ensemble mean fall above and below the 2nd Quarter 2011 endpoint?”

    No. The GISS Model-EH and Model-ER data (hindcasts and projections) for OHC are not available in a easy-to-use format

    You asked, “Also, what error bars are applicable to the Argo sampled data?”

    I have not run across an answer to your question. You’d have to research that through the ARGO website, since the NODC OHC data continues to use other sampling methods during the ARGO era, as far as I know,

  31. Theo Goodwin says:

    Wonderful post, as usual, Mr. Tisdale. Thanks much.

  32. Philip Bradley says:

    Ocean Heat Content ‘measurements’ pre Argo aren’t worth much – buckets over the sides of ships, etc.

    If the Earth’s climate is warming, heat must be accumulating in the oceans, and it clearly isn’t. At least within reach of Argo.

    A classic case of observation (measurement) disproving theory.

  33. MikeN says:

    To answer the question, suppose we had started looking in 1977. Then it isn’t until the late 90s that we see a definite uptrend in the data. Yet we know it was warming during that time. So the answer for how long until things are falsified, is at least another 10 years, and even that doesn’t falsify. We just have some missing heat that needs to be found.

  34. Bob Tisdale says:

    Philip Bradley says: “Ocean Heat Content ‘measurements’ pre Argo aren’t worth much – buckets over the sides of ships, etc.”

    Expendable Bathythermographs (XBTs) are a little more practical than attempting to measure ocean temperature at depths of 700 meters with a bucket. The XBTs had their problems but they been in use for a good number of decades before ARGO.

  35. Bob Tisdale says:

    Athelstan. says: “The changes in the PDO with reference to the dynamics which drive the El Nino and La Nina cycles must be understood…”

    The PDO is an aftereffect of ENSO.

  36. moptop says:

    http://helios.izmiran.rssi.ru/cosray/months.htm

    Funny how if you drew trendlines tracing the troughs of the cosmic ray flux, it would correspond nicely with the upward trend, then flattening of the ocean heat content.

    Correlation, causation… I know, I know, but still…

  37. Gary Pearse says:

    Surely this is not a flattening at all. Rather it is a clear indication that the pre-Argo record is not valid. The probability that the real flattening started some years before 2003 argo has to be high 90s. What’is wrong with you scientists? If I had happily handed in that graph as showing anything significant about ocean heat my prof would have sent me down to home economics. But that was pre- post normall science. I guess we can splice the dow jones industrials to he ocean heat data and have peer reviewed discussions about it.

  38. DocMartyn says:

    It would be nice to have Figure 3 of Leuliette, E.W., and J.K. Willis. 2011. Balancing the sea level budget. Oceanography 24(2):122–129,
    doi:10.5670/oceanog.2011.32.

    This shows the sea level change over the same period using Jason’s 1 and 2

    http://www.tos.org/oceanography/archive/24-2_leuliette.pdf

    I swear there is a lag in Argos temp vs sea height.

  39. Philip Bradley says:

    Thanks Bob,

    I was aware that buckets haven’t been used since the 1940s.

    It’s a pet issue of mine that a large proportion of the widely referenced temperature change since 1880 (GISS) and CRU equivalent are based on the unreliable method of sticking a thermometer in a bucket of water hauled up the side of a ship.

    Were this more widely known, there would be rather more scepticism about claims of warming over the last century.

  40. SteveSadlov says:

    Meanwhile, in the main stream land of insanity … SECONNNNNND HOTTESSSSST SUMMMMMERRRRR EVERRRRRRR!!!

  41. rbateman says:

    2. A change in sea level pressure is likely the cause of the upward shift in North Pacific Ocean Heat content during the late 1980s,

    Is that not something that is portrayed as being ‘in tandem’ with a change in the Antarctic? In other words, when the pressure rises over Antarctica, the pressure falls over the N. Hemisphere, and vice-versa. All of which would make the upward shift in N.Pacific OHC late 80′s a natural phenomenon. Solar-induced changes would be on top of, and in addition to, this natural phenomenon, whether positive or negative.

  42. Oh, this post is crap, a vastly oversimplified view of a really complicated subject.

  43. Philip Bradley says:

    Interesting discussion in the comments at the link below. Which despite its name is a pro-AGW site.

    It gets into a issue that interests me,

    If OHC isn’t increasing, why are sea levels still rising? The 2 should move in tandem to the extent sea level rises are caused by thermal expansion.

    The theory being floated by the pro-AGW camp is that (recent) sea level rises are caused by ocean mass increases, resulting primarily from ice melt.

    Thus preserving one of the core AGW predictions, that global warming will cause dangerous sea level rises.

    A bit too ad hoc for my taste. More likely IMO is serious problems in either OHC measurements or sea level rise measurements. My money being on the latter.

    http://www.skepticalscience.com/A-broader-view-of-sea-level-rise.html

  44. My specific point is, that whenever two estimates of measure location are to be compared to one another, even in the absence of a physical model for their underlying meaning, it is critical to have available the variance for these estimates. I see a lot of discussion here of same or excessive or less or more, but no identification of variance. Can’t tell if two things are different unless and until variance is assessed. Where is it? Moreover, these models are HIGHLY non-linear, as is to be expected from physical phenomena which are essentially fluids.

    I would recommend a careful reading of the basics at http://www.realclimate.org, and a respect gains from the details of oceanographic matters, sketched at http://www.whoi.edu.

  45. @Philip Bradley,

    “Sea level rise” is not a uniform thing. It is complicated by matters like gravitational attraction of oceanic waters, Corriolis effects, glacial rebound, and so on. It is implausible, if not impossible, with this degree of hetereogeneity in physical causes, to discern effects using information available in measurements alone. Those measurements — and especially their variability — needs to be grounded in physical models.

    Moreover, specific impacts of sea-level rise, as in other phenomenological manifestations, such as ice melt, or extreme weather, are only to be experienced at the extremes, not at typical behaviors. That is a statistical phenomenon, almost independent of the physics, where extreme quantiles of a distribution exhibit and are more sensitive to population-wide forces more than the median tends to be.

  46. tallbloke says:

    Bob Tisdale says:
    September 8, 2011 at 2:59 pm

    Kurt in Switzerland says: “How long have there been sufficient sensors to come up with a semi-accurate calculation of an “ocean heat content” and is there rough agreement on the values thus derived?”

    The deployment of ARGO floats ramped up strongly in 2003 and the oceans were well covered early in 2004. To answer the second part of your question, the ARGO data is corrected by researchers to account for sensor problems and the like. The corrections are not always the same.

    The expectation of increase in OHC due to theoretical radiative imbalance at TOA is so strong, that the ‘adjustments’ conceal a bias forced by that expectation.

    As Peter Berenyi demonstrated in this post
    http://tallbloke.wordpress.com/2010/12/20/working-out-where-the-energy-goes-part-2-peter-berenyi/
    The radiative balance probably went negative several years ago. That post also demonstrates a likelihood of a bad splice in the data between XBT and ARGO in 2003. The jump in the data looks unphysical to me, given the obvious solar influence which has become more apparent since then.

    Josh Willis’ initial findings from ARGO probably did have too much of a fall, but it has likely been overcompensated for. I strongly suspect OHC has been falling slightly since 2002, not rising slightly. This is also evidenced by falling SST as measured by AMSRE. We are just over the peak of the curve, it’s downhill from here.

    The only way increased back radiation (has it been measured?) can heat the ocean is via air temperature, not by direct absorption. This is a very slow way to affect the heat content of a four mile deep body of water.

    Too slow to have been the cause of the increase in OHC in the ’90s. That would be produced by reduced low cloud over the tropics, a real empirically measured quantity, rather than a theoretically modeled hypothesis.
    http://www.climate4you.com/images/HadCRUT3%20and%20TropicalCloudCoverISCCP.gif

  47. Bob Tisdale says:

    Jan Galkowski says: “Oh, this post is crap, a vastly oversimplified view of a really complicated subject”

    Did you read the post or only look at the pictures, Jan? Try starting with the opening paragraph of my post. And since you prefer RealClimate’s discussions on the same subject matter, then you’ll have to wait for December or January, which is when they typically offer their model-data comparisons such as:
    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2009/12/updates-to-model-data-comparisons/

    Isn’t that odd, Jan? The Ocean Heat Content model-data comparison portion of that post at RealClimate is “a vastly oversimplified view of a really complicated subject” as well, yet I don’t find a comment from you on that thread advising Gavin his post is crap.

    Have a good day.

  48. Ammonite says:

    Thank you for your reply Bob Tisdale. Without assessing either the variability of individual ensemble runs or the error bars on OHC estimation it seems very difficult to determine if the discrepancy between the model ensemble mean and measured OHC is significant. Others have pointed out prior periods of “flat” OHC behaviour extending for over 8 years. My suspicion is that an 8 or 9 year timeframe is simply too short to draw valid conclusions with respect to model accuracy.

  49. David Schofield says:

    Jan Galkowski says:
    September 8, 2011 at 9:28 pm
    @Philip Bradley,

    “Sea level rise” is not a uniform thing. It is complicated by matters like gravitational attraction of oceanic waters, Corriolis effects, glacial rebound, and so on. It is implausible, if not impossible, with this degree of hetereogeneity in physical causes, to discern effects using information available in measurements alone. Those measurements — and especially their variability — needs to be grounded in physical models.”

    Wow that sounds the sort of system that one can accurately measure globally rising at 3.2mm a year and have the confidence to adjust by .03mm a year to account for isostatics ——not.

  50. Philip Bradley

    I don’t know if you ever caight my article on sea surface temperatures?

    http://judithcurry.com/2011/06/27/unknown-and-uncertain-sea-surface-temperatures/

    You are right of course, SSTs collected by bucket are nonsensical and any attempts to quantify global SSTs back to 1850 or so is pointless and are a major flaw in the IPCC reports.

    As someone above pointed out we had very little computing power even in the 1980′s and in consequence- whilst Bob may have his own ideas as to when we start to have a proper idea as to what SSTs are doing- I suspect that anything prior to the mid 1980′s should be challenged and discarded other than in very localised places and over very limited time scales. .

    Nice article as always Bob.

    Tonyb

  51. freind says:

    @max whilst they might not have powerful computers in 1955 the had something called paper which can store 500 bytes per page and they can retain the data for hundreds of years

  52. Bob Tisdale says:

    Philip Bradley says: “If OHC isn’t increasing, why are sea levels still rising? The 2 should move in tandem to the extent sea level rises are caused by thermal expansion.”

    To answer your question, let’s look at the global thermosteric sea level data (0-700 meters) from the NODC for the period of 1993 to 2010 (the sibling dataset to the NODC OHC data) versus the satellite-based total global sea level data from the University of Colorado. The Thermosteric Sea Level trend (0-700 meters) is only about 27% of the rise in total Sea Level anomalies from the University of Colorado, so if the Total Sea Level anomalies were flattening at a rate that’s similar to the thermosteric data, it would be difficult to notice.
    http://i53.tinypic.com/2eggzyd.jpg

    Let’s detrend both datasets and smooth the detrended data with 5-year running-average filters to minimize the impacts of the opposing ENSO variations:
    http://i51.tinypic.com/284l80.jpg

    It appears the rise in Total Sea Level anomalies have slowed similarly to the Thermosteric data and the two datasets are “moving in tandem”. So it’s not as complicated as Jan Galkowski would like you to believe, with his “gravitational attraction of oceanic waters, Corriolis [sic] effects, glacial rebound, and so on…”, but I’m sure he will find my reply to you is crap like he found my post to be.

    Thanks, Phillip, for the idea for a new post. I never would have looked without your question.

  53. Friend

    You hit on an interesting matter there regarding paper. It has been my experience that if material doesnt exist digitally then it doesn’t exist at all as far as many researchers go. Of course there are still people that like to go through paper records (the reading/digitising of old ships records is a good example-but our widespread ability to utilise all the data out threre which is stored in many different formats including paper- is diminishing I suspect.

    tonyb

  54. Thank you kindly, Bob.
    It would appear that the calculations of OHC prior to 2004 would be subject to a larger error band than those from 2004 onwards. Would you agree? If so, how much larger is it? (ROM only).
    Given the lack of agreement on how to calculate a “Global Mean Atmospheric Surface Temperature”, let alone the uncertainty whether the annual, decadal, or multi-decadal trend in the same is indicative of “warming” of the earth (irreversible or otherwise), wouldn’t it be better (from a scientific viewpoint) to use a running average of the OHC as a standard for gauging warming (or cooling) of the planet?

    Larger question, for everyone:

    There appears to be a problem in climate science today with researchers overstating their confidence in models’ ability to “predict” future temperatures as well as an eerie silence about uncertainties in their understanding of the forces governing climate on earth. The lack of public criticism from scientists of sweeping statements by the IPCC in its 4th Assessment Report (which appear to be based more on conjecture than on anything resembling the scientific method) is particularly telling.
    Could it be that climate scientists report what the parties funding the research grants want to hear? Could it be that the adage “Don’t bite the hand that feeds you” is the driving force in climate research today?
    Perhaps “climate science” needs to be taken to task on key questions by skeptical (and thick-skinned) scientists from the field and from related fields. Perhaps it would be a worthwhile use of time and energy to formulate these key questions, then ask them loudly and repeatedly.
    Kurt in Switzerland

  55. Bill Illis says:

    Bob has pointed out that the OHC flatness is lower than the 0.7 W/m2/yr rise projected by GISS ModelE since 2003.

    But we can actually go back to 1955 and assess whether the rise in OHC is comparable to the theory.

    The total increase is something like +12*10^22 joules which is less than 0.25 W/m2/yr in OHC accumulation.

    The theory over the period would be more like 0.4 W/m2/yr.

    ———-

    One could also describe it as a cycle, rising from 1955 to 1963 (then Agung volcano goes off). There is a decline until 1974 as aerosols also kick in). Starting in 1974, it rises again until El Chichon and Pinatubo slow it down again). It starts increasing in the mid-1990s as the volcanoes wear off and then it flatlines in 2003 (when the Argo floats kick in).

    That also matches some of the ocean cycles but overall, it is still much less than the theory would have predicted and now that we have accurate Argo floats, it is less than 10% of the theory’s predictions (at a time when there is no volcanoes).

  56. AJ says:

    Bob,

    Did the sea-level pressure over the tropics trend downward over the period 2005-2010? The reason I ask is because of an analysis I have done using the ARGO data. I calculated the temperature trends at all grid points from 60N-60S and 0M-2000M. I then averaged the longitudinal dimension and plotted a scaled image of trends by latitude and longitude.

    The resulting image looks like, to my untrained eye, a heat pump between 20-50 degrees. The poleward half of this range shows pronounced heating, while the equator-ward half shows significant cooling. The southern “heat pump” extends all the way down to 2000M while the northern pump extends down to about 1400M where it merges with a poleward pooling of heat.

    My amatuerish interpretation of this is that there was a decrease in tropical sea-level pressure, which increased the tropical upwelling, which lowered the water pressure under the pump, causing the surface heat to be sucked from the surface into the deep. In other words, the overturning rate had increased.

    This view was reinforced by a similar plot I had done of salinity trends. The sub-surface tropics shows increasing salinity, which I interpreted to be coming from the briney deep due to increased upwelling. Also the sub-surface tropics showed a slightly increasing temperature trend, which indicated to me that there is heating going on below 2000M.

    Mind you, it’s hard to draw firm conclusions about trends from 6 years of data. The picture could easily change.

    I haven’t posted this to a webpage yet (busy summer), but the plots would have a similar type look to an earlier analysis I did of seasonal variances:

    http://sites.google.com/site/climateadj/ocean_variance

  57. ferd berple says:

    SteveSadlov says:
    September 8, 2011 at 7:58 pm
    Meanwhile, in the main stream land of insanity … SECONNNNNND HOTTESSSSST SUMMMMMERRRRR EVERRRRRRR!!!

    It wasn’t in the Pacific Northwest. We didn’t get a sniff of summer until August. Snow came late last year and stayed well past normal. Skiing was open for 1-2 months longer than normal on local mountains. All summer there have been abnormal numbers of bears at lower elevations due to lack of food in the mountains. Continuing the pattern of a late winter, September is now setting high temp records, suggesting summer will be later than normal as well. A return to la nina suggest another great ski season out west.

  58. ferd berple says:

    In any other branch of science, if observed heat was accumulating at a slower rate than predicted by the models, one would conclude that either the observations were wrong or the theory was wrong. So you would install a second measuring device (read ARGO) and if the observations continued to show a problem, you would conclude the theory was likely wrong.

    Nowhere along the line would you conclude that it was a “travesty” that observations did not match theory, unless of course your objective was not to discover the truth, but rather to advance an agenda that required the models to be right. In that case you would continue to argue that the observations were wrong, that somewhere there must be an error in the measurements and until this was found, the models continued to be correct.

    Since the error could never be found as it would not exists if the models are wrong, this argument prevents the models from ever being falsified by observation. This leaves you free to use the models to continue to advance your agenda. The reason the heat is missing has nothing to do with model error.

    It is ALWAYS going to be a result of us not looking in the right place to find the missing heat if your science is agenda driven by anything other than truth. Environmentalism is just such an agenda, as it places the environment ahead of science in your list of priorities. Science is then simply a tool, to be used when it serves, and ignored otherwise.

    Thus, the models cannot be wrong, because climate scientists have way too much riding on them to ever admit the models are wrong. To do so would end many climate science careers and the perks and prestige that goes with them. It ain’t going to happen. No way, no how. The missing heat will always be due to observational error – we simply haven’t looked in the right place – it can never be due to model error. Otherwise, how long would top climate scientists remain in positions of authority, having promoted a theory of industrial economic suicide based on faulty science?

  59. Tim Clark says:

    Jan Galkowsit says:
    September 8, 2011 at 9:03 pm
    My specific point is, that whenever two estimates of measure location are to be compared to one another, even in the absence of a physical model for their underlying meaning, it is critical to have available the variance for these estimates. I see a lot of discussion here of same or excessive or less or more, but no identification of variance. Can’t tell if two things are different unless and until variance is assessed. Where is it? Moreover, these models are HIGHLY non-linear, as is to be expected from physical phenomena which are essentially fluids.

    Variance, as dutifully presented in all the calculations in the IPCC AR4? NOT
    Hyprocrits

  60. Brian H says:

    AGW data analysis summary:

    A warming globe requires the oceans to heat up.

    They didn’t, so it isn’t.

  61. Lars P says:

    Philip Bradley says: “If OHC isn’t increasing, why are sea levels still rising? The 2 should move in tandem to the extent sea level rises are caused by thermal expansion.”
    Interesting argumentation. Heat content cannot be flat as sea level is rising.
    But sea level is not rising according to the measurements – see envisat or gauge measurements:
    http://stevengoddard.wordpress.com/2011/06/19/hiding-the-decline-in-sea-level/
    http://www.abc.net.au/science/articles/2011/07/22/3276012.htm
    So it does not matter what we measure, we need to do as Jan Galkowski says:
    September 8, 2011 at 9:28 pm :”It is implausible, if not impossible, with this degree of hetereogeneity in physical causes, to discern effects using information available in measurements alone. Those measurements — and especially their variability — needs to be grounded in physical models.”
    So Philip and Jan, you believe what we measure or you believe what the model tells you?

  62. George E. Smith says:

    Bob,

    Your periodic updates on OHC, AKA Ocean Heat Content, are amongst the most important posts here at WUWT, so please keep them coming.

    I’m quite convinced that the entire global energy balance situation relates to nothing more than how cloud coverage modulation regulates the direct storage of solar energy deep in the oceans; as is plainly obvious from spectral absoptance curves for sea water.

    All of this atmospherics prestidigitation, may have consequences for local and short term weather, even for longer term weather, but it plays virtually no part in earth’s global energy balance. And more to the point, I believe the picture would be relatively unchanged, if there was no CO2 in the atmosphere. Well of course there wouldn’t be any of us either; but that’s a different story.

    A good while back, Peter Humbug reported over there on “that other” purportedly climate web site, that he had done a teracomputer (Playstation) model run, in which he removed ALL of the water molecules from the atmosphere; every last one of them; and he said in three months he got it all back. My bet would be, that he would get precisely the same end result, maybe after a different time, if he had taken out all of the CO2 as well. Well he might not get the CO2 back that fast, but the H2O would be back pronto.

    There is one mother of all forcings, if you start with zero cloud coverage, and no atmospheric H2O interception of incoming solar spectrum energy.

  63. George E smith said;;

    ‘I’m quite convinced that the entire global energy balance situation relates to nothing more than how cloud coverage modulation regulates the direct storage of solar energy deep in the oceans; as is plainly obvious from spectral absoptance curves for sea water.’

    I agree. I took numerous SSTs over a period of two weeks of very mixed weather as I am in conversation with the Met office regarding their Historic SST data and wanted observational material to back up some points.

    I was astonished as to how temperatures fluctuated in the first foot of ocean (a significant matrix in SSTs) and how this sun/cloud relationship was still noticeable very quickly down to 6/10 feet.

    The sun and clouds matter massively in building up ocean heat, then other factors come in to play that transport this water/heat around the globe.

    tonyb

  64. Bob Tisdale says:

    Kurt in Switzerland: Regarding your September 9, 2011 at 6:01 am comment, this is another repeat of the same questions you left for me at my blog. While I appreciate your commenting and asking questions, please ask your questions either at my website or at the cross post here at WattsUpWithThat. Please do not ask the same questions at both websites. My reply won’t change. If you’re looking for more readers for our questions and answers, there are many more readers here at WUWT.

    Here’s a link to the answers I’ve already provided:
    http://bobtisdale.wordpress.com/2011/09/08/2nd-quarter-2011-nodc-global-ohc-anomalies/#comment-2347

    Regards

  65. phlogiston says:

    Stephen Wilde says:
    September 8, 2011 at 11:54 am
    Since the late 90s the following events have all occurred as the level of solar activity declined from the peak of cycle 23 into a very weak cycle 24:

    You can add to those items that global sea level (and especially Pacific sea level) rise seems to have gone AWOL.

  66. Bob Tisdale says:

    I hate it when the internet connection gets goofy when you post a long comment. Luckily, I wrote this in Word and had not deleted it. Let’s try again. If it shows up as a duplicate, that’s what happened.

    AJ says: “Did the sea-level pressure over the tropics trend downward over the period 2005-2010?”

    There is a significant negative trend in Tropical Sea Level Pressure from Jan 2005 to Dec 2010. Refer to the following graph of HADSLP2 Sea Level Pressure, 20S-20N, from Jan 1979 to Jul 2011, with the data also smoothed with a 13-month filter. In it I’ve also isolated the period of Jan 2005 to Dec 2010 and provided the linear trend for that period.
    http://i52.tinypic.com/34qu5w7.jpg

    Caution, though. The HADSLP2 data is a land plus ocean SLP dataset, and there’s no way for me to mask the land data for that dataset at the KNMI Climate Explorer. I would have preferred to use the COADS data, since it is Ocean only, but that dataset ends in 2007.

    The following is the smoothed data only. Note the strong ENSO-related component in the data; that is, the big wiggles roughly coincide with ENSO events.
    http://i54.tinypic.com/21ovtzc.jpg

    Now a question for you: Are you using the software available through the ARGO website to investigate the ARGO data? If you answer yes to that, I’ve got a few more questions about its graphics/mapping capabilities, considering my interest in animating ENSO-related processes.

  67. Bob: Thank you for your reply (and your diligence). I appreciate the links.
    I’ll also avoid duplicate comments to your blog in the future.
    Interesting that there are seven different sets of data from the NOAA site calculating Ocean Heat Content Anomaly, which don’t all agree. Incidentally, I found a chart in Chapter 3 of the BAMS
    State of the Climate report (2010) released June 2011, which gives a good visual answer to my question on error band in OHC calculations pre-2003 vs post-2003.
    http://www1.ncdc.noaa.gov/pub/data/cmb/bams-sotc/2010/bams-sotc-2010-chapter3-global-oceans-lo-rez.pdf
    (see page S83, which is p. 7 from the chapter to the link).
    This chart shows three data set curves (instead of seven from the NOAA direct link). It appears quite clear that the curves flatten significantly post-2003, particularly compared with the slopes pre-2003. Discrepancy between the data sets notwithstanding (of six curves covering post-2003*, two show a slight drop, two a slight rise and two a slight fall), even those rising slightly are much flatter than the pre-2003 data. This feature is quite salient, plus it appears to be both sustained and global, but it is NOT even addressed in the text of the report. I wonder when someone there will notice. Perhaps they should read your blog.

    * http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/bams-state-of-the-climate/2009-time-series/ohc

    Kurt in Switzerland

  68. Philip Bradley says:

    Its my view that sea level rises from thermal expansion is the smoking gun of global warming. It is conclusive proof heat is accumulating in the Earth’s climate system. No other measure is so unambiguous,

    The Argo data persuades me that whatever warming occured last century, it had stopped (or substantially slowed) by 2003.

    And I find the ‘data is noisy’ argument for the lack of warming wholly unconvincing.

  69. AJ says:

    Bob… I have been writing my own R code. The link I provided earlier has another link to the source code I wrote for my variance analysis. My trend analysis was a derivation of that code. I will try to do a write up on it in the next little while, but I am full up for the next couple of weeks at least. BTW… If you look at my variance analysis, you will see that GISS-ER is arguably the worst performing model in terms of generating of reasonable likeness of the ARGO data… although I would flunk all eleven models I sampled.

  70. Bob Tisdale says:

    Kurt in Switzerland says: “Interesting that there are seven different sets of data from the NOAA site calculating Ocean Heat Content Anomaly, which don’t all agree…”

    Please provide a link to these 7 different OHC sets from the NOAA site.

  71. Stephen Wilde says:

    “There is a significant negative trend in Tropical Sea Level Pressure from Jan 2005 to Dec 2010″

    I would expect just that from a cooling system in which the intensity of the tropical high pressure cells reduces allowing a more meridional/equatorward shift of the surface pressure distribution resulting in higher global cloudiness. A warming system would show more intense and widening tropical air masses with reducing global cloudiness.

    Other comments here are coming close to supporting my contention that when the system is cooling the increase in cloudiness reduces energy input to the oceans especially in the tropics and skews the Pacific Multidecadal Oscillation (not PDO which is merely a derivative of ENSO) in favour of La Nina. The opposite when the system is warming.

    The 60 year Pacific Multidecadal Oscillation is not sufficient on its own to provide a longer term slope such as that from LIA to date (and presumably also MWP to LIA) so we need to introduce solar variability to account for the longer term background trends.

    Thus the key to the issue of ocean heat content is the net balance between solar variation and the Pacific Multidecadal Oscillation which together control the global energy budget by shifting the surface air pressure distribution latitudinally to change global cloudiness and albedo for either a warming system or a cooling system at any given time.

  72. Bob Tisdale asked,

    “Please provide a link to these 7 different OHC sets from the NOAA site.”

    Sure – same link from my last post (repeated below). This is apparently data up through 2009. The datasets are labeled as follows:
    1) Dominguez et al
    2) Ishii & Kimoto
    3) Willis et al
    4) Lyman & Johnson
    5) Palmer et al
    6) Lenitus et al
    7) Gouretski & Reseghetti

    http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/bams-state-of-the-climate/2009-time-series/ohc

    Brgds,

    Kurt in Switzerland

  73. LazyTeenager says:

    I’m not impressed by these blip at the end graph arguments. I have spent too much time staring at random noise looking for signals to be easily fooled by random variation. I set the bar for an actual signal identification to be a blip that is at least twice as much as any previous random variation visible in the time series.

    In this case we have the temperature spike from the 98 el niño possibly exaggerating the appearance of flatness at the end of the graph.

    In this case we also have the flat spot around 85 and after a while it started to trend up again. So flat spots may not be permanent.

    In addition the measurement is only for the top 700 metres. I could speculate that some temporary variation in ocean circulation causes a swap of cold deep water with warm surface water leading to an total heat content drop that is illusory.

    I am going to make a wild guess that the ocean circulation models would not take such hypothetical events properly into account.

    So Bob I don’t think your science is settled.

  74. Bob Tisdale says:

    LazyTeenager says: “In this case we have the temperature spike from the 98 el niño possibly exaggerating the appearance of flatness at the end of the graph…”

    Ocean heat content dropped during the 1997/98 El Nino. Here’s a comparison of standardized Global OHC and SST:
    http://i51.tinypic.com/64frf4.jpg

    Try again.

  75. Bob Tisdale says:

    Kurt in Switzerland: Thanks for the link.

  76. Bob Tisdale says:

    AJ says: “If you look at my variance analysis, you will see that GISS-ER is arguably the worst performing model in terms of generating of reasonable likeness of the ARGO data.”

    You’ve downloaded the GISS Model-ER ensemble members for OHC? If so, are they easy for you to work with? That is, can you look at only the top 700 or 750 meters? Can you easily create time series data on a monthly basis of individual ocean basins, or subsets of the ocean basins, similar to the ones used in the following post, for model-data comparisons?
    http://bobtisdale.wordpress.com/2009/09/05/enso-dominates-nodc-ocean-heat-content-0-700-meters-data/

  77. R. Gates says:

    Bob T.,

    Your criticism of the failure of model to predict short-term variability when it was at best designed to forecast long-term trends is at bit misplaced. It reminds me of those who were quick to jump on the bandwagon of claiming that 2007′s record low Arctic sea-ice minimum was an “outlier” event, as the supposed “recovery” in 2008 and 2009 proved. But, as this years proves, the longer-term trend always wins when it comes to climate. Come back in 20 years, and if OHC isn’t greater at that point than today, (and probably close to tracking the longer term models) then you might have something worth noting.

  78. Bob Tisdale says:

    R. Gates says: “Your criticism of the failure of model to predict short-term variability when it was at best designed to forecast long-term trends is at bit misplaced.”

    R. Gates, that was really creative. I don’t believe I’ve ever before seen an AGW proponent attempt to use that excuse. I commend you on your creativity. –But– Please advise what Hansen et al paper states that the GISS Model-ER for OHC was “designed to forecast long-term trends…” and not “predict short-term variability…” While you’re searching, you’ll likely come across Hansen et al (2005). I’ll save you some time. Here’s a link:
    http://pubs.giss.nasa.gov/docs/2005/2005_Hansen_etal_1.pdf

    Note the length of the comparison of OHC observations versus GISS Model-E ensemble members and model mean, Figure 2. It’s a whopping 11 years. The OHC model is, in reality, only hindcasting short-term [decadal plus] variability. And you’re criticizing me for only comparing 8 1/2 years? And while you’re on that page of the paper, examine Figure 3 closely. Notice how poorly the model ensemble member and model mean actually capture the zonal trends presented by the data during the decade-plus term used by Hansen et al (2005). Mysteriously, they make the following proclamation, “Yet the model runs contain essential features of observations…” Nonsense.

    Last: if you haven’t noticed, most of my discussion of observations versus models in this post dealt with fact the natural variables have had a strong impact on OHC, yet GISS failed to include these variables in their models. I provided four links to past posts to illustrate this.

  79. AJ says:

    Bob… I downloaded 10 NetCDF files of model output of Potential Temperature. Each was from a separate model and was the first time series file for that model’s SRES A1B Scenario. At the time I was looking at seasonal signals in the data and wasn’t particularly interested in trend analysis, so I didn’t download additional time series. Besides, the files are huge, with a ten year series running about 1.5GB.

    As for ease of use, that depends on what tools you use and if you know how to use them. I choose R, which I didn’t know a lick of when I first started looking at the data. So there was a learning curve. I ended up writing a function which returned a four dimensional array (longitude, latitude, depth, time) of temperature data. The parameters for this function included the east/west, north/south, upper/lower level, and start/end time bounds. So yes, what you are looking for is probably doable. Be aware though that the spatial resolution for each model is different, so if you want to compare apples to apples you will probably have to use an interpolation (spline) function.

    BTW… thanks for answering my initial question.

  80. AJ says:

    Hello again Bob… I managed to post a few plots, which illustrate my initial comments about increased upwelling, heat pumps, etc. The trends are from 2005 to 2010.

    http://sites.google.com/site/climateadj/argo-analysis

  81. Jim Petrie says:

    I don’t understand the technicalities of this so my question might be stupid.
    I have a cousin who lives near Toronto on the shores of Lake Michigan. It was in summer and very warm. We went for a swim,
    The top 5 feet of water were pleasantly warm. I was rash enough to go a little deeper and found the water unpleasantly cold.
    Now there are no currents like the gulf stream in Lake Michigan so we are not talking oceans here.
    But surely most of the heat in the oceans are in the top 100 meters or so?
    Whu do the warmists want to go down to 700 or 1000 metres?

  82. The question of “How many more years until GISS Model-E can be found to have failed as a predictor of the impacts of anthropogenic greenhouse gases on ocean heat content?” confuses the idea of a “prediction” with the idea of a “projection.” Though climatologists persistently confuse the two ideas, they are distinct. A “prediction” is an extrapolation to the outcome of a statistical event. A “projection” is a response function emanating from a model.

    To maintain a distinction between the two ideas is crucial to assessment of the logic of an inquiry or lack of same. A prediction is an example of a proposition; as such it has a “truth-value,” that is, a variable that takes on the values “true” and “false.” A projection is not an example of a proposition and does not have a truth-value.

    A model that makes predictions is falsifiable, thus lying in science. A model that makes only projections is not falsifiable, thus lying outside science. The fault of GISS Model-E is not that it has failed as a predictor, for it is not a predictor. Its fault is that it is not falsifiable, thus lying outside science.

  83. Bob Tisdale says:

    Terry Oldberg says: “Though climatologists persistently confuse the two ideas,..”

    AFAIC. Climate scientists can’t make the distinction and state the climate models are not falsifiable. To do so is to admit the models have little value.

  84. Bob Tisdale says:

    Jim Petrie: There are subsurface ocean currents and there are ocean processes such as meridional overturning circulation and thermohaline circulation that carry surface waters to depth and back toward the surface again. The coupled ocean-atmosphere process of ENSO (El Nino-Southern Oscillation) also releases and recharges ocean heat content within the tropical Pacific, It distributes warm and cool anomalies from the tropical Pacific poleward to the extratropical North and South Pacific and into the tropical Indian Ocean. And through teleconnections, ENSO causes Ocean Heat Content to vary outside of the tropical Pacific.

    Most of the variability in Ocean Heat Content takes place within the top 750 meters.

  85. AJ says:

    No problem Bob… note that there was an issue in my trend plots where I interpolated past the North/South bounds of my sample. The trends at the latitudinal edges should be about half of what was plotted. I’ll fix that later.

  86. AJ says:

    Actually the trends were pretty well right after all. I removed the interpolation from my code so I won’t confuse myself again. It wasn’t needed anyway.

  87. Brian H says:

    Jim Petrie says:
    September 11, 2011 at 4:57 am

    I don’t understand the technicalities of this so my question might be stupid.
    I have a cousin who lives near Toronto on the shores of Lake Michigan. It was in summer and very warm. We went for a swim,
    The top 5 feet of water were pleasantly warm. I was rash enough to go a little deeper and found the water unpleasantly cold.
    Now there are no currents like the gulf stream in Lake Michigan so we are not talking oceans here.
    But surely most of the heat in the oceans are in the top 100 meters or so?
    Whu do the warmists want to go down to 700 or 1000 metres?

    I knew Americans were geography-challenged, but this is ridiculous. Toronto is much of Lake Ontario, and all of Lake Erie, and then another 300-mile cross-country stroll, east of Lake Michigan. You’d have had a LOONNGG walk to get your swim.

  88. r.m.b says:

    The real “travesty” about all this is that people seem to have forgotten surface tension. the sea will not accept physical heat from the atmosphere at normal temperatures, only radiation. All the graphs back this up.

Comments are closed.