Sea level still not cooperating with predictions

The university of Colorado has recently updated their sea level graph from the TOPEX satellite data. The 60 day smoothed trend is still stalled and shows no rise over what was seen since the peak in mid 2010:

Data

Raw data (ASCII) | PDF | EPS

Here’s the same data with season variation retained, but the really interesting data is from ENVISAT, which shows no upward trend:

ScreenHunter 113 Feb. 08 19.04 Sea Level Disaster For Alarmists

(Graph from Steve Goddard). Envisat data here: ftp://ftp.aviso.oceanobs.com/

Sea level is lower than eight years ago, and according to the graph above just passed the lowest annual peak in the Envisat record.

It’s damned inconvenient.

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253 thoughts on “Sea level still not cooperating with predictions

  1. First the missing increase in temperatures over the last 15 years, then the missing ocean heat, now the missing sea level rise…what’s next? This has to be attributable to interference by aliens…there’s just no other logical explanation….

  2. The first graph above shows why I hate these silly “Trend lines” as if they mean something.

    My calibrated eyeball sees a trendline starting at about -15 at 1992 going up to about +40 in 2006, and then breaking over to a lower slope after that.

    Forget the black line; there’s a squiggly blue line that is a better trend line in my view.

    Why “they” spend a lot of taxpayer money getting actual data, and then throw it all away for some y = mx + c thing is beyond me.

    I’m sure some canned recipe produced the black line, so I’m not criticising whoever ran the numbers through that mill. I just object to ascribing any meaning whatsoever to the black line.

  3. The real danger is shrapnel from imploding warmist heads. And the longer it’s delayed, the more violent will be the detonations! Beware! Keep your distance, and avoid all involvement with associated secondary explosives like renewables and sustainable whatevers.

    You have been warned!

  4. The decease after 2010 is “unprecedented” in the past 19 years for amount and duration. Obviously we may be headed toward another Ice Age. We’re doomed, we’re all going to freeze to death.

    Sorry, couldn’t resist!

    Bill

  5. Geroge E Smith said: “…My calibrated eyeball sees a trendline starting at about -15 at 1992 going up to about +40 in 2006, and then breaking over to a lower slope after that.”

    Funy how THIS hockey stick is unseen by some.

  6. If the huge amount of missing heat that the earth is supposedly accumulating is going into the oceans, shouldn’t the oceans be rising substantially? It seems to me that the missing heat is quite clearly NOT going into the oceans. TIme for the warmists to come up with a new hand-waving theory…. maybe something like water at 39F is the most dense, so what is happening is that all of the ocean water at 34F has been warming lately due to the sinking warm water laden with the missing heat resulting in warming the 34F water up to 39F which explains why there is more heat in the ocean but yet the sea level is falling. There…. problem fixed for them.

  7. One line summary: if heat is supposedly stored in the deep ocean, then why is sea level declining instead of increasing, which should happen if more heat is in the ocean?

    Analysis: We keep hearing from some on the “AGW is dooming us” group that the increased warmth is hidden in the oceans. Well, it wasn’t in the top 700 meters, so it must be even deeper, people like Trenberth, K are wont to say.

    But….if the deep ocean is storing warmth, then thermal expansion should make the sea level rise more quickly. After all, most of the IPCC’s sea level rise projections are due to thermal expansion of a slightly warmer ocean, less due to melting of ice caps and glaciers, at least for the rest of this century.

    That is where these graphs come in handy. If there is thermal expanion, if the oceans are getting warmer, it should show up in rising sea levels. But it appears that sea levels have been falling for either 18 months (U Colo) or two years (Envisat and unadjusted data). That seems to say that oceans may be getting cooler, not warmer.

    Is there any argument against this interpretation? Steve Mosher, can you think of one? Anybody?

  8. From the first graph, what happened in 2011 is the inverse of what happened in 1998. Otherwise looks like an upward trend to this linear thinker.

  9. OK. Temperatures are not rising. Sea levels are not rising. The Great Barrier Reef is not dying. The oceans are not becoming ‘more acidic’. Storms are not increasing in frequency or severity.

    What else were we supposed to be terrified about?

  10. The net warming must have ceased. That would influence both the expansion of ocean water and the melting of glaciers.

  11. plazaeme says:
    February 14, 2012 at 1:21 pm
    Curious. If you go here:
    And choose “Envisat” plus “time serie”, you get a very different picture

    plazaeme, you have to work through and click away all adjustments then you get the same

  12. Did you all miss the little notation in the graphs that say 3.1 mm/yr? The 20 year trend line is clearly increasing. Talk about missing the forest because of a cherry tree!

  13. I see the horrifying trend of 60 mm in 20 years and calculate that as I live some 18 m above local sea level I will have to raise my house in some 6000 years – who the hell is gonna pay for this ?

  14. But what is sea level supposed to be? Here in the UK we use Newlyn in Cornwall, the problem with that being is Newlyn land is sinking.

    I guess it is supposed to mean the amount of H2O in fluid form on the planet at any one time but how do you measure that?

  15. /// SATIRE ///

    The problem is that the sea level just does not understand the importance of following the model. After all, the model takes priority over any reality.!!!!

  16. plazaeme and Ged

    Why do the “adjusted” data always show a more AGW/IPCC friendly narrative?
    For temperature, sea level what ever.

  17. Does this graph include the algorithm adjustment that adds in expanding land mass to hide the decline in sea levels?

  18. Sea levels? They mean nothing to me. I’m still pulling some very nice sea bass, red mullet and some VERY delicious crab from the sea here on the central South Coast of England (even during this sudden cold snap).
    The professional fishermen laugh with derision when I ask if they’ve noticed the sea level rising, and some of them have been going to sea for over fifty years!
    Our little spit of land here used to be cut off by the sea but now we can drive ‘inland’ without even getting our car tyres wet.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Selsey

  19. I see a few other time periods where the trend was not upward for 1.5 years. Another six months of stalling will be more interesting.

  20. The problem with people just looking at the data is that they don’t understand the big picture.

    For instance. The top graph from the University of Colorado is close to true sea levels because they have identified one reason for the measurement error. The Glacial Isostatic rebound adjustment is a good start, but clearly it still needs a little tweaking as the data still does not reflect AGW’s modeled reality. I’m sure this will be corrected in due course.

    As for the second graph, it is pure garbage since it clearly does not reflect the rising sea levels we know are occuring. It is quite possible that this dataset has been hijacked by big oil.

    /sarc if you don’t already know.

  21. From Wikipedia:
    Knowing the satellite’s precise position to within 2 centimeters (less than 1 inch) in altitude was a key component in making accurate ocean height measurements possible

    Sorry, been too long since statistics class. How do we get 0.4 mm/yr when we have positional error bars on the sat itself of 20mm. Did someone prove the positional errors cancel out with enough samples to obtain this precision?

  22. Although sea level it has been variable in the last 2 years,
    the sea level today is lower than what it was almost 2 years ago from the 2009 peak.

    Where is that accelerating sea rise up to many meters high predicted to swamp our coastal cities?

    We have been “dicked” by the predictors.
    It’s time for a castration of the catastrophe confabulation.
    Cut the warmist’s funding and where ever else that scalpel can reach…
    Payback time please.

  23. Resourceguy says: Al Gore went sailing and this is the result.

    Therein lies the paradox, his displacement ought to raise sea level. (But if his head were to ever go under water I’d think we should still prepare for a tsunami.)

  24. Carl Brannen says:
    February 14, 2012 at 1:15 pm

    So why are Envisat disagreeing with Jason-1 and Jason-2 about ocean levels?
    ============================
    Carl, Envisat’s first 22 passes showed sea levels falling…
    …they didn’t believe it, so they adjusted Envisat to match the output of Jason 2

    Which leaves you with only two conclusions….

    They launched a crap satellite….
    …they fudged the output from Envisat

    Either way, Envisat went back to showing sea levels falling even after their “adjustment”…

  25. The sea level rise is an observable mystery. The sea level is rising…but always somewhere else where you have never been.

    Where exactly have all that extra water, that’s been dumped into the ocean for the last 20 years, been amassing itself? Is there some great blob protruding from a secret place somewhere, waiting to deliver sudden flooding when doom finally strikes?

    The earth is expanding by land rise, but the water level is supposed to be rising faster, but the last part seem to be a highly localized (statistical) phenomenon indeed.

  26. The climate zones have been contracting equatorward since about 2000 with more meridional jetstreams causing longer lines of air mass mixing and greater cloudiness around the globe in both hemispheres.

    The consequence is a reduction in solar shortwave radiation getting into the oceans. That skews the ENSO balance in favour of La Nina events as against El Nino events by reducing ocean heat content when El Ninos occur but failing to achieve a full recharge when La Ninas occur.

    The longer it continues the cooler the oceans will become and tropospheric temperatures will follow.

  27. There is still a phase coherence between the sea level oscillations and the solar tide pattern of Mercury/Earth & Co.;

    http:/volker-doormann.org/images/sealevel_vs_xyz.gif

    The oscillation is also weak impressed in the GL UAH Temperature.

    Any remarks?

    V.

  28. I think it’s time for a new law. But what to call it? The law states that all linear projections will eventually fail.

  29. Here’s what I want to know…… why do people accept the idiotic conflated graph to begin with? They took 3 separate data sets, which each have 3 separate values and threw them together and no one says boo. Go to avisio and click on each one separately…… the values are entirely different. Given that methodology one can put anything together to show just about anything. Its stupid.

    For those who are wondering, Envisat shows a very slight decline in the unadjusted data since late January 2005…… according to Envisat, we’ve had 7 years of declining sea levels.

    http://suyts.wordpress.com/2012/02/10/this-is-just-an-assist

  30. The ocean level rises with thermal expansion of the water…..
    …how can Hansens missing heat be hiding in the water without a rising sea level?
    Therefore, the missing heat cannot be in the oceans….. it is said to be “in the
    pipeline”…but we can see, the pipeline does not go through the ocean….somewhere else….
    …….. Obviously to see: The existing temp plateau of the 21 Cty can also be proven
    by ocean level measurements, which show the end of ocean level expansion and the
    end of global warming, one correlating well with the other…..

  31. The largest rise in sea level occurs in these parts twice a day, it’s about 5.3 meters, 530 centimeters, 5,300 millimeters but it does vary during the month, wind direction and barometric pressure.

  32. Anything that I can think of probably already exists. Is there a thousand year old sea level data set averaged together and only from a few locations that are scattered around the world? For example they could be from England, Greece, Egypt, China, India.

  33. “1DandyTroll says:
    February 14, 2012 at 3:04 pm

    Where exactly have all that extra water, that’s been dumped into the ocean for the last 20 years, been amassing itself? Is there some great blob protruding from a secret place somewhere, waiting to deliver sudden flooding when doom finally strikes?”

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

    Very interesting graphic on all the earth’s water compared to the rest of the earth!

    http://ga.water.usgs.gov/edu/earthhowmuch.html

  34. To me, at least, the break with the trend started about 2006 where there appears to be a down step in the data, followed by a decreasing trend line.

  35. James Sexton says:
    February 14, 2012 at 3:28 pm

    Here’s what I want to know…… why do people accept the idiotic conflated graph to begin with? They took 3 separate data sets, which each have 3 separate values and threw them together and no one says boo. Go to avisio and click on each one separately…… the values are entirely different. Given that methodology one can put anything together to show just about anything. Its stupid.
    =====================================
    Was it you or Steve that showed the graph with the correct y axis plotted?

    If you start the Envisat record on the correct y axis, sea levels have been falling all along….

    ….you got that thing?

  36. I think people REALLY need to step back from this data and realize the TOPEX/Jason error bars are NOT being properly presented. For example:

    http://www.tsgc.utexas.edu/topex/activities/elnino/sld006.html

    “To get the height of the satellite above the ocean, the time for the pulse to return has to be converted to range using the speed of light. However, the speed of light is constant only in a vacuum. The radar pulse travels through the atmosphere twice, where it is refracted by air molecules, water vapor, free electrons, and is partially scattered by surface waves. The size of these errors add up to more than 3 meters. However, all of them can be measured or modeled.

    Finally, the precise location of the satellite needs to be known, since the sea-level is the difference between the satellite location above the center of the Earth and the height of the satellite above the ocean. If the satellite location were only good to one meter, then the sea-level measurement would only be good to one meter.

    But, how accurate is the image on the previous slide? The accuracy is amazing, considering all of these problems listed above: about 2 to 3 cm (1 in). ”

    That’s 20-30 mm. That means for the Topex period there was statistically no increase.

    The advertised precision is 3.3 cm (+/- 33 mm)

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/TOPEX/Poseidon#Measurements_Continue

    When I see a graph where the two end points have overlapping error bars and someone claims there is a statistical difference I cringe.

  37. “Sorry, been too long since statistics class. How do we get 0.4 mm/yr when we have positional error bars on the sat itself of 20mm. Did someone prove the positional errors cancel out with enough samples to obtain this precision?”

    This is just oversampling. You can have detect changes smaller than the individual confidence intervals if the sample is large enough. Compare for example a hypertension clinical trial measuring small changes in blood pressure, even though the measurement instrument variability and inter- and intra-patient variability are quite large.

  38. Burch says:
    February 14, 2012 at 2:45 pm
    ///////////////////////////////
    They claim this as a result of the average of large numbers.

    There is a further problem, unlike measuring the land which is static, the sea is in a constant flux:.swell, waves, tides etc There is also tectonic plate movement altering the volume of the ocean and rebound from the ice age.

    The idea that we can measure sea level changes to within a couple of mm is overly optomistic. .

  39. Alcheson says:
    February 14, 2012 at 1:34 pm
    If the huge amount of missing heat that the earth is supposedly accumulating is going into the oceans, shouldn’t the oceans be rising substantially?

    Yes they should. And they’re not. This is the single most important piece of evidence that climate warming has overturned and ended and that climate cooling has begun.

    The acrid stench of establishment desperation is most clearly in evidence at the “Correction” of 0.3 mm/year added May, 5th 2011, due to a “Glacial Isostatic Adjustment (GIA)”.

    Check out the global salinity map – the seas off Kamchatka, Alaska and California are practically fresh! Any connection with north Pacific sea ice?

    Also the colour map of sea level rise rate shows that Australia’s tectonic equator-ward dash seems to be making a bow-wave:

    while by contrast the descending north west Pacific seems to be inviting California to fall into it.

  40. Al Gored says:
    February 14, 2012 at 3:48 pm
    ///////////////////////////////////////////////////////
    I seem to recall having read rather recently that the Icelandic Authorities do not accept the GISS data for Iceland. I may be mistaken but I am fairly convinced I have seen something to that effect.

  41. James Sexton says:
    February 14, 2012 at 3:28 pm

    Here’s what I want to know…… why do people accept the idiotic conflated graph to begin with? They took 3 separate data sets, which each have 3 separate values and threw them together and no one says boo. Go to avisio and click on each one separately…… the values are entirely different. Given that methodology one can put anything together to show just about anything. Its stupid.

    For those who are wondering, Envisat shows a very slight decline in the unadjusted data since late January 2005…… according to Envisat, we’ve had 7 years of declining sea levels.

    http://suyts.wordpress.com/2012/02/10/this-is-just-an-assist

    James, you made an excellent point and then followed it up with the exact same logic you used to criticize the 3 separate data sets. You plot sea-level change from 2005-2011. Variations over such a short time period mean nothing. Why not plot from 1900 or at least 1950. From your (kind of silly) graph, from mid 2006 through 2010 there was a catastrophic increase from 47.6 to 49.4 mm. Man the lifeboats. Then from 2010 to 2011 sea level went from 49.4 right back to 47.6 mm in one year! The world is saved. Unless the trend is real and linear forever. At that rate we’ll have no oceans by 2035. Unless that was a typo.

    I read a book on Samuel de Champlain where his home town was a port in 1600 and today is located 2 km inland. With that kind of land movement, how can we even have a global sea-level (to within mm!!! updated every year – hahaha). But I liked your point about the 3 data sets meaning nothing.

  42. Update: Jason-2 data is:

    http://idn.ceos.org/portals/Metadata.do?Portal=idn_ceos&KeywordPath=|[Freetext%3D%27CNES%27]&NumericId=32577&MetadataView=Full&MetadataType=0&lbnode=mdlb1

    “The sea surface height shall be provided with a global and ultimate rms accuracy of 3.4 cm (1 sigma) over 1 second averages along JASON-1 ground-tracks for typical sea-state conditions of 2 m SWH and 11 dB sigma-naught.”

    +/- 34 mm. Call me foolish, but I see nothing but ghosts in the noise.

  43. Fresh water is densest at 4 degrees c. sea water gets denser as it cools towards it’s freezing point of about minus 2 degrees C. It is my belief that the missing ocean heat has been transmitted through the open Arctic sea water because of it’s lower than average sea ice coverage. Sea ice acts as an insulator.

  44. AJStrata says:
    February 14, 2012 at 3:52 pm

    I think people REALLY need to step back from this data and realize the TOPEX/Jason error bars are NOT being properly presented. For example:

    http://www.tsgc.utexas.edu/topex/activities/elnino/sld006.html

    “To get the height of the satellite above the ocean, the time for the pulse to return has to be converted to range using the speed of light. However, the speed of light is constant only in a vacuum. The radar pulse travels through the atmosphere twice, where it is refracted by air molecules, water vapor, free electrons, and is partially scattered by surface waves. The size of these errors add up to more than 3 meters. However, all of them can be measured or modeled.

    The 3 meter accuracy is probably in reference to the 1990s when the US military was dithering around with GPS accuracy. My $200 Garmin is probably within +/- 10 m and we have used a differential Garmin with base station correction to get to within cm. You can do better than cm but not after 3 cups of coffee.

  45. Isn’t the graph just a caveat about fitting straight lines to things that are almost definitely not linear and then trying to draw a conclusion about the slope of the line???

  46. As I recall, the TOPEX, Jason-1, Jason-2 chart declined from 3.2mm/year to 3.1mm/year quite some time ago. U. Colorado quietly posed the reduced number without announcement or fanfare at the time. When it dove down to 2.85mm/year in 2011, rather than posting the new numbers, U. Colorado Boulder changed their averaging formula to a “new and improved” version and added in a fudge factor (arbitrarily derived in my opinion) to account for “sea beds slumping from the added weight of water”. Between those two adjustments, the average rate of rise was magically restored to 3.2mm/year. In view of their having quietly in this most recent publication again lowered the rate to 3.1mm/year even with the changes in method and the “fudge factor” thrown in, I’d say the Envistat Unadjusted Sea Level chart comes pretty close to telling the truth.

  47. Is it possible to describe a chaotic system with a statistical model? Perhaps the statistical model could be applied to the behavioral envelope which is remarkably static over human epochs, while the behavior is subject to temporally-constrained forecasts, since it is particularly dynamic, even within the scope of hours. I also wonder how much information is lost when we assume independent multi-variate distributions.

    It is quite clear that the Earth system, including the climate subset, is best described by an ensemble of models. This is likely due to an incompletely, and the evidence would suggest insufficiently, characterized system. The inputs are characterized by subterranean, terrestrial, extraterrestrial, and conscious (e.g. human activity) effects. Not only is the system characterized by a diverse assortment of high-level features, but it is also unwieldy, which limits comprehension of its extended dynamics.

    It would seem that the use of models would increase the risk in any forecast, with the risk approaching zero with a perfect model. Is that increased risk also considered when predictions are reviewed? At what point is action, especially radical action, considered justifiable? Also, if we acknowledge the system is chaotic, it would seem inappropriate to pursue unidirectional adaptation. That would also increase the risk associated with any mitigation efforts.

  48. Why would sea level “co-operate” with carbon dioxide levels? That would require some sort of dreamed-up, shall we say, greenhouse effect. /sarc

    Anyone who thinks about these points will realise there is no greenhouse effect …

    (1) The direction of net radiative energy flow can be the opposite of the direction of heat transfer. If you have a warmer object (say 310 K) with low emissivity (say 0.2) and a cooler object (say 300 K) with much higher emissivity (say 0.9) then net radiative energy flow is from the cooler to the warmer object. Yet the Second Law says heat transfer is from hot to cold. So, there is no warming of the warmer body by any of the (net) radiative energy going into it.

    (2) Any warming of a warmer surface by radiation from a cooler atmosphere violates the Second Law of Thermodynamics. Consider the situation when the surface is being warmed by the Sun at 11am somewhere. Its temperature is rising and net radiative energy flow is into the surface. How could additional thermal energy transfer from the cooler atmosphere to make the surface warm at a faster rate?

    Clearly radiation from a cooler atmosphere cannot add thermal energy to a warmer surface. The surface molecules scatter radiation which has a peak frequency lower than the peak frequency of their own emission, and so no radiative energy is converted to thermal energy. (This was proved in Johnson’s Computational Blackbody Radiation.), So the atmospheric radiative greenhouse effect is a physical impossibility.

  49. dorlomin says:
    February 14, 2012 at 3:27 pm

    Truly an inconvenient truth.

    Looks to me like the current rate of decline is…er…”unprecedented”.

  50. I guess in the “perception is reality” category, how does one explain the smoothed red curve superimposed on the sea level data by Aviso in this plot?

    Take a real close look at the right hand side and the smoothed curve relative to the latest data points.

  51. James Sexton says:
    February 14, 2012 at 3:28 pm
    according to Envisat, we’ve had 7 years of declining sea levels.
    And y = -0.0035x

    Guess what? The temperature slope since 2005 is -0.00325098 per year

    http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/wti/from:1980/plot/wti/from:2005/trend

    #Time series (wti) from 1979 to 2012
    #Selected data from 2005
    #Least squares trend line; slope = -0.00325098 per year

    I know the units are different, however we would expect there to be a correlation between falling temperatures and falling sea levels. Now if we can only figure out the sea levels during the MWP and LIA, we can figure out how warm or cold it was then. Does anyone have any information here?

  52. James Sexton says:
    February 14, 2012 at 3:28 pm

    “I know the units are different, however we would expect there to be a correlation between falling temperatures and falling sea levels. Now if we can only figure out the sea levels during the MWP and LIA, we can figure out how warm or cold it was then. Does anyone have any information here?”

    Aren’t you forgetting there is supposedly an 800-year lag between atmospheric temperature changes and ocean responses? Wasn’t that the basis for the theory that historic CO2 variations were driven by atmospheric temperature variations rather than the other way around? (The solubility argument,)

  53. The breakpoint at 2006 with the sudden decrease in slope is interesting. I suppose the ENSO has more than a little to do with this, but it shows the hazard of blind extrapolation. My visual optical minimum mean square line drawing devices (aka an eyeballing) shows a lot higher slope through 2006 even after the seasonal stuff is retained in the second chart. The step function between the end of Jason-1 and Jason-2 merits some attention. La Nina? Or something else? I am not enough of an oceanographer to make a good conjecture. An education is welcome.

  54. Joe Bastardi says@ 2:17pm

    Actually Joe, they want to move them to show what a warm and compassionate bunch of officials they are and just to show they can.
    Great wx predications-I look at your site everyday

  55. Love it. According to IPCC’s Dr Trenberth, sea levels are the key “evidence” that man has caused global warming. What a joke !

  56. Jay: “Why do the “adjusted” data always show a more AGW/IPCC friendly narrative?
    For temperature, sea level what ever.”

    Sample bias is an obvious factor. In cases where a correction of raw data goes the other way, nobody makes a big deal about it.

  57. What is it with data these days? The data seem to have lost all sense of direction and the trend is definitely not trendy. We should all be alarmed by the declining standard but I think we have the mann to correct it.

  58. Turn the data over to Hansen. He’ll just apply a “correction” to lower the older data, and hey presto! Now the sea levels are rising again!

  59. If anyone wants to read Doug Cotton’s source, it is here: http://www.csc.kth.se/~cgjoh/blackbodyslayer.pdf The writeup proves that backradiation does not exist, but if it did exist it wouldn’t warm the surface that it hits. The writeup ignores most of the theory of quantum processes. Those can’t be directly viewed and are easy to ignore. What is not so easy to ignore is that (for example) an object appears to be darker in color from having absorbed more photons. That would be impossible to explain using temperature.

  60. If, what with all the melting glaciers, use of fossil water in agriculture, Antarctic and Greenland ice calving, the sea level is falling, then their can only be one conclusion.
    The oceans are dumping heat, raising the atmospheric temperature.
    Why do people put a liner function through Thermogeddon type plots. Also show the fit to the Keeling CO2-curve.

  61. Steve from Rockwood says:
    February 14, 2012 at 4:01 pm

    James Sexton says:
    February 14, 2012 at 3:28 pm

    James, you made an excellent point and then followed it up with the exact same logic you used to criticize……..
    =========================================
    Steve, no, the logic was entirely different and so was the purpose. I didn’t conflate any data sets, I just used one. Knowing some of the crowd that sometimes pops by, they’d say, “oh, look our sea-level is still rising!” Is it “cherry-picking’? Of course it is. Every graph shown by either side is cherry picked and purposefully illustrated. That, of course, is the point of graphs and linear trend lines. But, I’ll but mine against CU’s any day.

    You ask, “Variations over such a short time period mean nothing. Why not plot from 1900 or at least 1950?”…… I’ve tried. I’ve the entire PSMSL data set…… I thought I could at least go back to 1981…… you can’t. Not objectively. For simple comments and dialogue I’m more than happy to show my perspective. But, for the undertaking of that particular project, I was determined to find an objective view of our sea-level using the tidal gauges. Oddly, the gauges showing a decreasing trend have been discontinued as of late. http://suyts.wordpress.com/2011/09/29/18-stations-with-good-data-ended-in-2008/

    I went step by step, showing the good and bad (its on my blog in several posts)…. in the end, the coverage and continuity isn’t there. One must make several subjective determinations to assert any sea-level and the same is true for our satellites. Do the current gauges show a 30 year incline? Yep. Small wonder. But, even if they didn’t eliminate the declining stations, there still wouldn’t be enough coverage to make a definitive statement.

    I guess what I’m stating is that there is no known sea level, there never was and there isn’t today….. we’re free to make it up as we go along, because you can be damned sure that’s exactly what CU and the rest of the lunatics are doing. Topex went up and calibrated against what? As I recall the margin of error on that critter was something absurd, 3 centemeters? I’d have to look for the exact number. Then they sent Jason I up, and calibrated him to the huge margin of error….. the very next year they sent Envisat up. Scroll up and you can see where Latitude is trying to tell us Envisat kept saying the oceans were dropping….. 23 passes later and they finally got Envisat to agree with Jason…. never occurring to the morons that Jason could be wrong. Then Envisat continued to disagree….. then Jason II came by, rinse and repeat.

    There isn’t a person on this earth or in space that can give you a definative sea level or anomaly. I’ve links to papers and studies and the frustrations of the technicians to get our satellites to agree. It’s all on my blog, just search for “sea level” and start at the begining. All satellite seal level measurments are manually manipulated. And there is not continuety or coverage of the tidal gauges to tell us where we started.

  62. Everybody should contact the various sea level agencies that plot gmsl vs time and ask them why they do not plot the derivative of sea level or sea level rise vs time. The answer is simple because it would show that the rate of sea level rise has been declining since 1998. The plot can be found on the following website. The current 12 month averaged rate of sea level rise has dropped from 4 mm/yr in 1998 to zero today. Now that is rapid deceleration. Claiming that slr rise is currently 3.1 mm/yr by fitting a straight line to the altimetry data since 1993 is a brazen attempt to hide the decline in slr.

    http://www.climate4you.com/index.htm

  63. Werner Brozek says:
    February 14, 2012 at 4:24 pm

    James Sexton says:
    February 14, 2012 at 3:28 pm
    according to Envisat, we’ve had 7 years of declining sea levels.
    And y = -0.0035x

    Guess what? The temperature slope since 2005 is -0.00325098 per year

    http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/wti/from:1980/plot/wti/from:2005/trend

    #Time series (wti) from 1979 to 2012
    #Selected data from 2005
    #Least squares trend line; slope = -0.00325098 per year
    ===================================================
    Well, I wouldn’t put much into it, but it might say something towards the thermal expansion of H2O vs temps? Is there a sweet spot of time and temp to effect it in such manner? We’d have to replicate to find out…… :-(

    @ Claude Harvey …… That was Werner, not me. But,……..“Aren’t you forgetting there is supposedly an 800-year lag between atmospheric temperature changes and ocean responses? Wasn’t that the basis for the theory that historic CO2 variations were driven by atmospheric temperature variations rather than the other way around? (The solubility argument,)”

    Sorta makes one wonder why we bother with the ocean data then, doesn’t it? :-)

  64. Latitude says:
    February 14, 2012 at 3:47 pm

    Was it you or Steve that showed the graph with the correct y axis plotted?
    =============================================
    I think that was Steve’s….. I’ve never played with the y axis on these inventions….. well, not sober anyway…. maybe. ;-)

    But, I do have this http://suyts.wordpress.com/2012/01/20/6-full-years-of-dropping-sea-level/
    A look at Envisat that negates the argument of need for a seasonal adjustment. 6 full cycles.

  65. Aw, c’mon, we ought to stop this kind of faux dip-spotting. I can count at least four 2-4 month dips and levelings in the data, after which the trend resumed. Why cannot we just look at the data, and sit back?

  66. Resourceguy says:
    February 14, 2012 at 2:28 pm
    Al Gore went sailing and this is the result.
    ————————————-

    Well, when Mr Gore steps on land we can expect a 6mm decline in sea levels.

  67. Eric (skeptic) says:
    February 14, 2012 at 5:31 pm

    If anyone wants to read Doug Cotton’s source ..
    _____________________________________________

    The “source” of points (1) and (2) in the post you were responding to was original thought. Let me know when you are prepared to think about the relevant points, if ever, rather than making broad generalisations. If your mathematics is up to the level of Claes Johnson’s (he being a Professor of Applied Mathematics) then go ahead and fault his computations line by line. Then fault my points with facts if you can. Most of us prefer to talk facts on this forum.

  68. The missing heat is obviously in the “pipeline” along with the missing sea level. Now all we have to do is find that pipeline.

  69. Bathtubs have vertical sides. Unlike a bathtub, the World Ocean can cover (uncover) a great spatial extent for any rise (fall) in sea level. See:

    Thus, input of water and/or its thermal expansion (likewise the reversals) translates poorly to sea level. Making sense of “sea level” may be of hypothetical interest but seems a fool’s errand.

  70. The answer to what is happening with SLR is simple – the recent strong La Nina = more rain over land = temporarily lower sea levels.

    2010 – 2011 there was massive flooding – just wait until all that water makes it’s way back into the oceans!

    http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/news/news.cfm?release=2011-262

    “But for those who might argue that these data show us entering a long-term period of decline in global sea level, Willis cautions that sea level drops such as this one cannot last, and over the long-run, the trend remains solidly up. Water flows downhill, and the extra rain will eventually find its way back to the sea. When it does, global sea level will rise again.”

    “We’re heating up the planet, and in the end that means more sea level rise,” says Willis. “But El Niño and La Niña always take us on a rainfall rollercoaster, and in years like this they give us sea-level whiplash.”

    [snip. see sidebar. unreliable source.]

  71. I would like to “third” what BarryW and SchrNfr are saying. It looks like Jason-1 data was flat followed by a flat line in Jason-2 with a step function applied after the takeover of Jason-2. Are you sure the fudge factor for the calibration between the two was handled properly? Not sure what would go into that, but, is it possible that someone just tweaked the Jason-2 data for political reasons or perhaps an just a different method of handling sea level in one part of the world? It wouldn’t take much.

  72. It seems to me, that AGW-ism is little more than an apocalyptic secularism seeking to answer one of the huge, vast mysteries of civilization. Problem is they are so sure of their genius they actually believe they could solve it on the first try, so arrogant they could accept no challenge. Does that sound like science? I think the system too complex to be reduced to one or two variables. Ocean levels, temperatures, glaciation, solar activity, volcanic activity, weather patterns, human activity all are part of an equilibrium, each one balanced with the rest thus moderating dramatic changes and that is the point AGT-ists want to ignore.

  73. dorlomin says: February 14, 2012 at 3:27 pm

    Even if we accept the chart from SkepticalScience, so what? It only shows about 50mm (~2 in) of sea level rise in the last ~20 years. Thats only 25cm (~10 in) per CENTURY! Who can’t deal (or adapt) to that?

    I don’t know of any place that will be endangered by a mere 10 inch increase in sea level. Do you?

  74. Anthony, when will the new Temperature website be up and running? I’m sure Heartland and their Anonymous Donor would like to know their $88K is being well spent.

    And nearly $400K for the NIPCC Report. A bit pricy don’t you think when the scientists who work on the IPCC report do it Pro Bono.

    Still $144K for Craig Idso, $60K for Fred Singer, even $20K for Bob Carter down in Australia. One only needs a few nice gigs like that and you have yourself a ‘nice little earner’ as they say.

  75. Pamela Gray says:
    February 14, 2012 at 7:25 pm

    I celebrated with some fermented CO2.
    ================================================
    Well, here’s to hoping you’re still at it! We must allow ourselves some intermittent celebrations! I think we’ll be having more and more as we continue. Bad for our livers, good for humanity!

  76. It would be safe to say that sea level rise is NOT accelerating, but paused, like temps.

    This seems to be indicative, that land based total ice bottomed out and may be trending up, despite what we are presently guesstimating as total ice mass. What else can realistically override thermal expansion.

    This could be another warning flag that cooling may be imminent, and is, in fact in progress.

    Nature’s model can detect ice mass changes with greater sensitivity than our clumsy ice extent measurements. Gravity sat ice mass measurements just don’t have any history, but may start detecting ice increases, if they are not calibrated out. GK

  77. Glenn Tamblyn says:

    “One only needs a few nice gigs like that and you have yourself a ‘nice little earner’ as they say.”

    ^The ultimate in psychological projection.^

    You point to grants of thousands of dollars… while Mann collected $1.8 million to ‘study mosquito vectors’ [in addition to many, many millions more in similar payola]. Explain why someone would pay Mann, instead of a biologist or an epidemiologist, to study disease transmission. It was payola, pure and simple. And I can’t seem to find Mann’s report. Maybe you can?

    Recent Michael Mann grants:

    Development of a Northern Hemisphere Gridded Precipitation Dataset Spanning the Past Half Millennium for Analyzing Interannual and Longer-Term Variability in the Monsoons, 
$250,000

    Quantifying the influence of environmental temperature on transmission of vector-borne diseases,
 $1,884,991

    Toward Improved Projections of the Climate Response to Anthropogenic Forcing: Combining Paleoclimate Proxy and Instrumental Observations with an Earth System Model, 
$541,184

    A Framework for Probabilistic Projections of Energy-Relevant Streamflow Indices,
 $330,000

    AMS Industry/Government Graduate Fellowship,
 $23,000

    Climate Change Collective Learning and Observatory Network in Ghana, $759,928

    Analysis and testing of proxy-based climate reconstructions,
 $459,000

    Constraining the Tropical Pacific’s Role in Low-Frequency Climate Change of the Last Millennium,
 $68,065

    Acquisition of high-performance computing cluster for the Penn State Earth System Science Center (ESSC), 
$100,000

    Decadal Variability in the Tropical Indo-Pacific: Integrating Paleo & Coupled Model Results,
 $102,000

    Reconstruction and Analysis of Patterns of Climate Variability Over the Last One to Two Millennia, 
$315,000

    Remote Observations of Ice Sheet Surface Temperature: Toward Multi-Proxy Reconstruction of Antarctic Climate Variability,
 $133,000

    Paleoclimatic Reconstructions of the Arctic Oscillation,
 $14,400

    Global Multidecadal-to-Century-Scale Oscillations During the Last 1000 years, $20,775

    Resolving the Scale-wise Sensitivities in the Dynamical Coupling Between Climate and the Biosphere, 
$214,700

    Advancing predictive models of marine sediment transport,
 $20,775

    Multiproxy Climate Reconstruction: Extension in Space and Time, and Model/Data Intercomparison, 
$381,647

    The changing seasons? Detecting and understanding climatic change,
 $266,235

    Patterns of Organized Climatic Variability: Spatio-Temporal Analysis of Globally Distributed Climate Proxy Records and Long-term Model Integrations,
 $270,000

    Investigation of Patterns of Organized Large-Scale Climatic Variability During the Last Millennium, 
$78,000

    Total:
    $6,232,700

    And that’s only Mann, and an incomplete list at that. There are plenty of alarmists on the climate grant gravy train. On both sides of the Atlantic.

    Tamblyn worries about the mote in someone else’s eye, while ignoring the beam in his own eye. A textbook case of projection.

  78. Steve from Rockwood says:
    February 14, 2012 at 1:35 pm
    From the first graph, what happened in 2011 is the inverse of what happened in 1998. Otherwise looks like an upward trend to this linear thinker.

    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    Steve agreed, it does look remarkably similar except for one point. In 1998 after the ENSO detour the level returned to a higher value than when it began. In 2011 the detour ended with SL at the same point as when it began.

    I don’t think there’s much point in arguing this. There’s been little warming over the past decade, so therefore little thermal expansion and very little SLR. It seems to make sense.

  79. So quoting documents from one of WUWT backer organisations is a breach of site policies? Interesting concept.

    [Reply: Multiple derogatory "denialist" comments was the reason. Read the site Policy. ~dbs, mod.]

  80. @ Glenn Tamblyn
    Tedious and predictable. When the science turns against you and nothing else exists to fight the truth, the AGW crowd always, and I mean always, revert to the only weapon they have anymore-ad homs and unprovable allegations. It all must be depressing to watch data point after data point and study after study destroy it all. I feel the momentum shifting toward the scientific method

  81. Erik I have to agree Doug Cotton should immediately invoke a spam filter or perhaps a lack of physics understanding alert. I am wondering if we can get him on the IPCC or at least on the AGW side because I sure as hell don’t want to be associated.

  82. Glenn Tamblyn says:
    February 14, 2012 at 7:38 pm

    Anthony, when will the new Temperature website be up and running? I’m sure Heartland and their Anonymous Donor would like to know their $88K is being well spent.

    And nearly $400K for the NIPCC Report. A bit pricy don’t you think when the scientists who work on the IPCC report do it Pro Bono.

    Still $144K for Craig Idso, $60K for Fred Singer, even $20K for Bob Carter down in Australia. One only needs a few nice gigs like that and you have yourself a ‘nice little earner’ as they say.
    ===========================================================
    LMAO!!! Pro Bono? You moron! Do you know what kind of money pit the IPCC is? They’re not doing jack “pro bono”! What Anthony does is essentially pro bono, what I do is pro bono….. and the entertainment value you’re giving is assumed pro bono…… But, the IPCC is a great vacuum of capital…… You do realize Hansen, on top of his pay is likely into 7 figures just with “gratuities”? And his is a public office for sale! Graft used to be illegal. It still is for most civil servants. Just not the Malthusian misanthropists.

    It’s hilarious when jackasses like you try to project the graft lunatic alarmists make on honest scientists. Tell you what, you ask your “Kevin Travesty, or the Muppet man, or the Mann” to get by on $80,000 and come back and talk your crap. Idiot.

  83. For those people who think the funds from Heartland are remotely comparable to a fund from, say, NSF, I ask you to provide a project proposal submission from someone like Bob Carter that discusses an outline of what he intends to research specifically- his outline of methodologies, his partitioning of funds to resources (retrieval of data, graduate students, etc), and other standard information required for the allocation of funds for a certain purpose.

    Being personally funded to be a spokesperson for a thinktank with vested interests, even if $1000 a month, is not comparable to a grant of several million dollars to spend for a legitimate scientific study that requires those expenses. Climate scientists aren’t driving around in ferraris because of grants they get, just like scientists/groups in every discipline get funds that seem large compared to, say, an individual’s salary. But more importantly than the funds, the Heartland leak shows clearly the intentions of Heartland and its affiliates. There is nothing in their about understanding science, or doing studies to improve what we know about climate; it is solely about how they can provide a forum to counter “the warmists.” They even said that dissenting voices are not good! It will be interesting to see how people here try to rationalize (or censor) this.

    Oh, by the way, if people spend 5 minutes on google scholar and spend 30 seconds of doing some critical thinking, you might see why the topic of this post features a misuse and mis-application of data to reach a conclusion that is not warranted. I won’t give anything away though. It will be a fun personal experiment for me.

  84. Amateur question: How do the satellites account for the unevenness of the surface of the ocean due to wind-induced wave action–not to mention water that is turned to potentially inches of foam? I recall the part of The Perfect Storm in which the Coast Guard rescuers had to time their drop from helicopters–due to waves approaching 100 feet–which is a fluctuation of approx. 30,480 mm–oops!
    I windsurf in Maui every now and then and noticed that the Trade Winds create some nice chaotic breaking waves; given the large portion of Earth affected by the Trades, how is this handled?

    At a certain point, it seems like anyone claiming precision of millimeters for a sloshing, churning, foamy mass of H2O may be smoking something funny. As another long-ago commenter noted, “Everest isn’t even moving and we can’t get a clean read on it.” (acknowledging tectonic uplift and that it is gauged relative to ‘sea level’–which may be the problem there).

    The water’s moving, the land is rising/falling/sliding, the Sun and Moon are pulling, and the measurement methods are all over the place. Sheesh! Watt’s up with that? ;-)

  85. Anthony, got your mail. Reply bounced. Whatever you think is best have at it. Glad to see you think it was worth some space. Enjoying valentine dinner w/ mrs strata! Would have replied sooner.

    Cheers, AJStrata

  86. Claude Harvey says:
    February 14, 2012 at 4:41 pm
    Aren’t you forgetting there is supposedly an 800-year lag between atmospheric temperature changes and ocean responses?

    You raise an excellent point and I had not thought of it. However in my opinion, that 800 year period would be the time it takes for the deepest part of the ocean to reach equilibrium with the new higher or lower temperature of the earth. It would appear logical to me that the top few metres would respond almost immediately to a sudden drop in temperature whether it be due to contraction or the absorption of more gases. According to the following, the density changes about 3.4 times as much between 20 C and 25 C as it does between 0 C and 5 C.

    http://www.kayelaby.npl.co.uk/general_physics/2_7/2_7_9.html

    As a result, the biggest changes would occur sooner rather than later. Perhaps the decrease in sea level since 2005 is a reflection of what started five years earlier.

    James Sexton says:
    February 14, 2012 at 5:50 pm
    Is there a sweet spot of time and temp to effect it in such manner?

    P.S. Part of my response above may partly address this as well.

  87. Some others have done the math but I still cannot get my head around it – 60 mm in 20 years. So isn’t that 300mm in 100 years? That’s 11 inches isn’t it? Shouldn’t we all be talking about Linsanity and not this?

  88. Ask the good people of Australia where some of that ocean water has gone. The La Ninas over he few years have not been kind. Grace satellite data shows quite well what has been happening.

  89. Chris Colose says:
    February 14, 2012 at 9:12 pm

    Chris please go back to GISS where you belong, and tell Gavin Schmidt to properly document his crappy code Model E (which, along with most GISS “products”, are a huge waste of taxpayer money). And don’t tell Jim Hansen that your colluding with people who are committing “crimes against humanity”…

  90. Chris Colose says:
    February 14, 2012 at 9:12 pm

    For those people who think the funds from Heartland are remotely comparable…….. There is nothing in their about understanding science, or doing studies to improve what we know about climate; it is solely about how they can provide a forum to counter “the warmists.” They even said that dissenting voices are not good! It will be interesting to see how people here try to rationalize (or censor) this.
    ===========================================================
    Yes, Chris, its called science. If they aren’t driving Ferrari’s, then that’s on them. I know I’ve spent enough on their crap that someone should be. Let’s not pretend we don’t know what the budgets are for the various governmental entities, and that includes the government’s bitch, academia. And then, let’s not pretend the more prominent ones, do indeed get paid. As I pointed out earlier, Hansen has received at least 7 figures in graft.

    So, some outside scientists need to eat as well? At least, they’re not selling their taxpayer paid office. At least they aren’t selling their positions in academia. At least, they aren’t preying upon our youth to pay for their asinine ideology.

    Oh, by the way, if people spend 5 minutes on google scholar and spend 30 seconds of doing some critical thinking, you might see why the topic of this post features a misuse and mis-application of data to reach a conclusion that is not warranted. I won’t give anything away though. It will be a fun personal experiment for me.

    What would be fun would be to see the rationalization of the conflated graph. That would be fun. Chris, you’re a sciency guy, ….. tell me how it’s ok to merge such data sets. Tell us how different instruments, which give us different measurements, over different time spans can be welded together to make a graph for the public. T/P, Jan 2003 measured 2.5cm msl. Jason I measured 11 cm, Jan 2003. Jan, 2009 Jason II measured 19.75 msl…… Jason I measured 12.25 msl

    You know what is a fun past time for me? To sit back and watch people uncritically believe what they are told.

  91. Now isn’t that remarkable: It’s clearly shown on this map that the ocean stopped rising on precisely the same day that Obama beat out Hillary in the Democratic Primaries in 2008.

  92. R. Gates says:
    February 14, 2012 at 9:53 pm
    Ask the good people of Australia where some of that ocean water has gone. The La Ninas over he few years have not been kind. Grace satellite data shows quite well what has been happening.
    ===================================
    R Gates, are you saying those floods lowered the oceans? Are you saying they were caused by CAGW?
    What are you saying?

  93. I can’t see the point of someone like Glenn trying to turn a scientific discussion (although admittedly full of amateur speculations) into a political conspiracy theory discussion. At best it doesn’t win one any credibility, and at worst it suggests a certain element of desperation. Glenn’s other tactic, which is to pronounce scientific sounding gobbledygook is at least a less blatant strategy (until it ends up getting deconstructed).

  94. You would think its a dip stick and a hockey.stick at the same time.

    When its a dip – the anti-warmists become loud
    What its a hockey – the AGWers become loud
    When its a trend – that’s real science understanding

    There is good reason for subtle rises and falls – its called the hydrological cycle.

    It’s called cherry picking or simply nit picking to make a point.

    That’s not science.

    Look at the trend – not the wiggle of “microns”.

    That is the gotcha in all this.

  95. Anyone else notice that UofC have “adjusted” the previous data? e.g.

    Was (version to 2011.6917)
    1992.9595 -4.889
    1992.9866 -6.913
    1993.0138 -9.165
    1993.0409 -12.178
    1993.0681 -11.172

    Now (#version_2012_rel1 includes 2011.7188 to 2011.9631)
    1992.9595 -4.783
    1992.9866 -6.859
    1993.0138 -9.163
    1993.0409 -12.222
    1993.0681 -11.252

    These 2 versions came from the same UofC ‘Raw data (ASCII)’ link, the previous version uplifted Sunday, January 22, 2012. Unfortunately I didn’t retain the version #.

    Jason-2 trend with new data tacked on to previous from peak:-
    -0.13mm/yr 2010.1714 to 2011.9631 (Envisat -0.004mm/yr 2009.796 to 2011.8626)

    T/P/J-1/J-2 trend
    3.34mm/yr 1992.9595 to 2011.9631 (using new data tacked on to previous version above).
    3.57mm/yr 1992.9595 to 2010.1714 peak (using previous version above).

    UofC never change their 3.1mm/yr – its garbage. Next chore is to redo my plots with the entire new dataset and compare trends to the previous dataset on like-for-like basis.

  96. All instruments provide an output that shows some value. That ouput value changes in a relative sense for changes in conditions measured (noise aside). To calibrate an instrument requires settings some figure in that output to be the equivalent of some external, reference source. That allows scale and offset to be determined. Noise and short sampling lengths make calibration difficult.

    I think I will wait for 6 months or so (when we will get close to the low point in the annual cyclic change in these values) to make any pronouncement about absolute sea level change.

  97. R. Gates says:
    February 14, 2012 at 9:53 pm
    Ask the good people of Australia where some of that ocean water has gone. The La Ninas over he few years have not been kind. Grace satellite data shows quite well what has been happening.
    ——-

    The Himalayan glaciers, apparently!

  98. Doug Cotton, your source, Prof Johnson says: “Pointing this instrument to a (cloudy) sky, the reading of the instrument could be 324 W /m2 , which by alarmists may be present as experimental evidence of substantial backradiation: Since the instrument shows backradiation, backradiation must exist, right?…. No, it is not so simple….”

    It is generally warmer on cloudy nights than clear nights. The generally accepted explanation for that warmth is that the clouds absorb IR and transmit roughly 50% of what they absorb back to the surface. The prof does not appear to understand that simple explanation. Perhaps he or you have an alternative explanation.

    Another way to measure IR from clouds is from above. Satellites can get a good read on cloud top temperatures by amount of IR.

    If clouds can emit IR (in all directions), why not CO2?

  99. Well, you can cherry-pick a few 2 year periods of no sea level rise in the first two graphs. You can’t claim that the trend is gone. Yet.

    And you shoudn’t even be thinking “yet” just because it suits your theory, you should just be waiting for whatever comes, then discuss it.

  100. The recent down- bubble on the graph has “La Nina” written all over it just as the easily discerned equal but opposite up-bubble in 1998 has “El Nino” written all over it.

    Now if we could only predict the timing and severity of El Nino/La Nina decades in advance we’d have something really useful to show for the money we throw at the climate boffinery.

    Anyhow, these ENSO departures from the trend don’t appear to alter the trend so this would appear to be something that’s not going to shake any AGW beliefs but prematurely labeling it as the beginning of a long term down-trend might inspire some anti-AGW belief among the less discerning types.

  101. How come the latest satellite measurement shows a reading just above the trend-line ?

    What’s up with that ?

  102. Roger wrote, “I guess what I’m stating is that there is no known sea level, there never was and there isn’t today….. we’re free to make it up as we go along, because you can be damned sure that’s exactly what CU and the rest of the lunatics are doing.”

    Thank you, Roger. I’m not a scientist but a librarian who serendipituously discovered this site the night of Climategate and has been fascinated ever since by the scientific debate that goes on here. Your comment tonight resonated with me as a layman: what are scientists talking about when they talk about sea levels? Where? When? For how long? Do they accept that sinking lands or growing deltas and coral islands affect sea levels? What are they measuring?

  103. Envisat In my eyes. Raw data seem to have no trend. Maybe even changing to downward if the next bottom will be lower than the last one. All adjustments seem make the raise even greater.

  104. It puzzles me that anyone would still link to anything from “Sceptical Science” and still expect to be taken seriously. !!

  105. Posted on February 14, 2012 by Anthony Watts

    Sea level is lower than eight years ago, and according to the graph above just passed the lowest annual peak in the Envisat record.
    It’s damned inconvenient.

    Try.
    There are several thoughts to match:
    There is a definition of a linear 2.1 mm / year sea level increase, it is NOT a hard measured fact. Nerem et al. 1997 doi: 10.1029/97GL01288. issn: 0094-8276:
    „The TOPEX/POSEIDON satellite altimeter mission has measured sea level on a global basis over the last 4 years at 10 day intervals.
    After correcting for a recently discovered error in the measurements, the estimated rate of global mean sea level change over this time period is -0.2 mm/year.
    Comparisons to tide gauge sea levels measured in spatial and temporal proximity to the satellite measurements suggest there is a residual drift in the satellite measurement system of -2.3+-1.2 mm/year, the origin of which is presently unknown.
    Application of this rate correction yields a calibrated estimate of +2.1+-1.3 mm/year for the rate of sea level rise, which agrees statistically with tide gauge observations of sea level change over the last 50 years. “

    A linear fit of the present sealevel,com data gives a linear increase of about 3.2 mm/year. It would be best to subtract 2.1 mm/year this function from the 3.2 mm/year.
    However I have subtract the hole 3.2 mm/year function from the data.
    Results:
    There are sea level oscillations which frequency is equal to the solar tide pattern of Mercury/Earth & Co.;

    The oscillation is also weak impressed in the GL UAH Temperature.

    Conclusion. A discussion on the true sea level is senseless as long scientists definean increasing level because of unexplained satellite drifts and 50 year slopes.
    Because this is a general problem also with defined global temperature levels, a better reference to understand the connection between sea level and temperature the oscillating profile could it be. And since people now speak in public load about the (cold) Sun, it may also a good job to include the solar tide function, I have discovered exact two years ago 11th February 2010. From this recognition of a phase coherence of solar function and sea level there is no need for delays anymore.

    To whom it may concern. Do not smooth or define data for the crowd without have the origin data for download.

    V.

  106. James Sexton says:
    February 14, 2012 at 10:41 pm

    Chris Colose says:
    February 14, 2012 at 9:12 pm

    James – Chris has apparently gone back to his safe haven at NASA GISS. Everytime I bring up Model E, people seem afraid to discuss it. Oh well, can’t say that I blame them.

    On the subject of the climate industry’s huge billion dollar largess, please see this. Note the double digit increases over the past three years while the rest of the economy was tanking.

    And it’s pretty easy to find the government salaries of people like Jim Hansen and Gavin Schmidt online. They make very comfortable six figure salaries (not including benfits). And of course, we know Hansen make’s MUCH more due to his connections in the climate industry. All this while they attempt to destroy the jobs of people they don’t like (like the hard working people in the oil and gas industries).

  107. The missing heat is not in the oceans. It’s heating all the dark matter, which scientists say must be there, but has yet to be detected … rather like the missing heat.

  108. What is interesting about the various satellite data sets is that they may be interpreted in a number of different ways, each depending on the belief or individual bias of the investigator. However, what isn’t being highlighted in this post and comments is that it is very difficult, regardless of bias to look at the various data sets and determine that there is an acceleration in the rate of sea level rise. This is the really important point. One can debate weather there has been a de-acceleration in the time series, but it takes models to show an acceleration …….. but of course, as I understand the recent predictions, one will need to wait to 2040ish to see the trend..??

    What is also interesting is that for Maritime Canada, i.e. the tide gauges at Charlettown (Prince Edward Island), North Sydney (Nova Scotia), Halifax (Nova Scotia), Yarmouth, Nova Scotia, and St. John (New Brunswick), there has been NO acceleration in the rate of sea level rise, none. The only acceleration in the data sets is around 1920ish, long before one can invoke CO2 forced climate change as the cause. This relationship is clearly seen in Gehrels (2005).

  109. Frank K. says:
    February 15, 2012 at 5:37 am

    James Sexton says:
    February 14, 2012 at 10:41 pm

    Chris Colose says:
    February 14, 2012 at 9:12 pm

    ………

    On the subject of the climate industry’s huge billion dollar largess, please see this. Note the double digit increases over the past three years while the rest of the economy was tanking.
    =======================================================
    No doubt. It irks me to no end when people criticize in dependent scientists for accepting money, when the govt. scientist won’t get off my teat and get a real job and do something useful with their lives. How many climate scam govt agencies do we really need? Wouldn’t one or two be enough to make libs wet themselves?

  110. A couple of charts if anybody is interested.
    Comparison of sea level (12 month moving average) with and without GIA adjustment

    Sea level annual change 5 year average using linear regression

  111. Is is entirely outside the bounds of possibility that observed sea-level change is caused by or contributed to/from..
    1. Groundwater extraction – how much water is left in the Ogallala – how are the Libyans getting on with their ‘Water from the Desert’ project – have Punjabi wheat farmers now sunk their wells below 500metres when 20 years ago 50metres was enough. Where did all that water finish up if not in The Sea?
    2. Soil erosion from farmland – how much dirt does the Yellow River carry with it – is it true that Pakistan is (far from sinking/drowning) actually increasing in area at 20 sqkm per year and what exactly do the Army Engineers do with all the stuff they dredge out of the Mississippi?

    I think we should be quite serious about these things because if the oceans are not expanding, then Global Warming is dead, presumably replaced by Global Cooling which surely means many of us and our kind are dead.
    Nero apparently fiddled while Rome burned- are we fiddling while the planet freezes?

  112. Sea level is lower than eight years ago, and according to the graph above just passed the lowest annual peak in the Envisat record.

    But………but we just came out of the hottest decade on the record. Greenland has been losing ice, the poor glaciers have been in terminal meltdown and you tell me that its lower than 8 years ago and that ENVISAT shows no upward trend. This is inconvenient truth.

    • Jimbo:
      ….. the Warmists in year 2000 (TAR and SRES reports) forecast RISING temps from the
      new Millenium year 2000 on, from year to year WITHOUT temp plateau, you can see there is no plateau being forecast in any of all scenarios….. Therefore they are wrong…..
      OK, it is the hottest decade alright, but at the same time, it is the end of global warming,
      the AGW footprint is not visible anymore after 17 years, AGW did not get
      the warming mechanism right, therefore no more rising temps……you can convince yourself
      in a few years.more time….the Skeptics are ahead of their time and AGW is outright wrong…
      …… we are the sceptical good guys and they AGW will clearly
      be the climate villains….no doubt about that….
      JS

  113. Philip Finck says:
    February 15, 2012 at 6:09 am
    However, what isn’t being highlighted in this post and comments is that it is very difficult, regardless of bias to look at the various data sets and determine that there is an acceleration in the rate of sea level rise. This is the really important point.

    It may a really important point for you. For me the point is a most complete view on all relevant relations involved.

    A rate is a dimension per time interval and its nature is a linear function with time. Knowing the dynamic of sea levels there are amplitudes of meters from tide rhythm to cm from the temperature oscillations (about ~2.3 cm per 0.1°Cel.) . Here we have level values of about ~100 cm between the temperatures in the LIA and this warm era of ~4° Cel.

    If we take the span of +2.2° Cel in 1150 AD in medivial warming and -2.2° Cel. in the LIA in 1700 AD after T. Edwards et al (Columbia Ice Field) , in total of 4.4° Cel. this would be 101.2 cm difference in sea level which is good harmony with Data from the Maldives.

    These are simple calculations using the property of water at 19°Cel., and an ocean deepness of 1000 m.

    A rate contains no physics.

    The problem we have is the problem that such rate confused the searcher for truth and leads him astray. The best picture designer show Big Ben clock half in water in photo realism. The upper class move to houses in the mountains. Evolution goes on.

    V.

  114. dorlomin says:
    February 14, 2012 at 3:27 pm
    Truly an inconvenient truth.

    Where is the acceleration you are so fond of talking about over at the Guardian? What happened to all that Greenland and global glacier ice.?

    By the way, the IPCC projections for sea level rise needs to get moving fast. A lot of catching up to do. ;O) Shorelines are being underwhelmed.

  115. Good post Dorlomin. Seems many posters here forget multiple factors influence things such as climate and sea level.

  116. It’s worth, on occasion, taking a slightly longer view, and looking at more of the available data.

    See http://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/ar4/wg1/en/faq-5-1-figure-1.html, where the little green line represents the satellite observations through 2007. And look at the red line, data from tidal gauges, which (a) has some variation in SLR on 10-20 year timeframes, with much higher variability for year-to-year, but a pretty obvious accelerating rise over the long term.

    Yes, the current (last couple of years) rate of sea level rise isn’t as high as the average over the last 20 years (tho’ the sea hasn’t stopped rising). That could be variation, also known as weather and just plain noise. The long term data, on the other hand, shows accelerating sea level rise over the last 150 years.

    Trying to draw conclusions from changes over the last year and a half (since 2010) isn’t losing sight of the forest for the trees – it’s losing sight of the forest for a leaf in your face.

  117. The data reveals that for every satellite listed, the published figures are averages over all observations. These observations, as indicated in the maps listed for them, indicate wide variations over parts of the oceans. In every case, if you compare initial observations with final observations as listed on the maps, there are wide regions with significant declines in sea level and others with significant increases, particularly in the Pacific Ocean. The area East of the Philippines shows very large increases in sea level for three of the four satellites, and a large decrease for one of them. The variations in the Atlantic are much smaller,. decreases in some areas and increases in others.
    There seems to be little observed increase or decrease near land.
    I cannot understand what significance averages over this apparently extremely variable and probably quite unreliable data can have. Yet that is what is published and considered to mean something important enough to spend trillions of dollars on.
    Amazing until one realizes that it is trillions of dollars of other people’s money, some of which may come to you.

  118. Paul Homewood says: Are there any comparisons of tide gauge trends laid alongside Topex etc? If so do they show an increasing trend?

    The short answer is “yes”. The overall method is described in a 1998 Journal of the American Meteorological article titled “Monitoring the Stability of Satellite Altimeters with Tide Gauges”, which a Google search finds on-line. Recent data using combined satellite/tide-gauge methods is found on the CSIRO web page “Historical sea level changes: the last few hundred years”

    Elevator summary: Historical tide gauge data and modern satellite data agree near-perfectly with respect to sea-level rise rates, and moreover, the satellite sea-level measurements *are* accurate to the claimed levels.

  119. Glenn Tamblyn says:
    February 14, 2012 at 7:38 pm
    ……………
    And nearly $400K for the NIPCC Report. A bit pricy don’t you think when the scientists who work on the IPCC report do it Pro Bono……………….

    And they get to chop lots of research grant monies on the side. Have you recently checked with Hansen on his earnings and tax issues. You know, the speeches, pro-bono plane rides etc.

    It’s now time to smack head first into reality.

    With tiny budgets like $310 million, $100 million, and $95 million respectively, how can lovable underdogs like Greenpeace, Sierra Club, and NRDC *ever* hope to compete with mighty Heartland’s $6.5 million?

    http://tomnelson.blogspot.com/2012/02/with-tiny-budgets-like-310-million-100.html

  120. R. Gates says:
    February 14, 2012 at 9:53 pm
    Ask the good people of Australia where some of that ocean water has gone. The La Ninas over he few years have not been kind. Grace satellite data shows quite well what has been happening.

    There’s silly me thinking all that rain water stays on the land.

  121. Antonia says:
    February 15, 2012 at 3:55 am

    Roger wrote, “I guess what I’m stating is that there is no known sea level, there never was and there isn’t today….. we’re free to make it up as we go along, because you can be damned sure that’s exactly what CU and the rest of the lunatics are doing.”

    Thank you, Roger. I’m not a scientist but a librarian who serendipituously discovered this site the night of Climategate and has been fascinated ever since by the scientific debate that goes on here. Your comment tonight resonated with me as a layman: what are scientists talking about when they talk about sea levels? Where? When? For how long? Do they accept that sinking lands or growing deltas and coral islands affect sea levels? What are they measuring?
    ======================================================
    Heh, Roger thanks you, Antonia….. to answer your question “Do they accept that sinking lands or growing deltas and coral islands affect sea levels?” Yes, they do. …. sort of….. they understand that as glaciers are removed from land surface, the land expands a bit. They call it the “Glacial Isostatic Adjustment”. The response is to simply add 0.3mm/yr to the invented sea level. Of course this is a senseless rationalization and exposes them as being intellectually vacant and morally dishonest. It could almost be rationalized if the sea levels were derived from tidal gauges, but that’s not how the satellites get their information. The satellites are reading our “geoid” via gravity measurements. The decompression of dry land has nothing to do with it.

    Coincidentally, volcanoes screw up our geoid and gravity measurements. Early satellites also had a “tailing” effect in their readings. Go here. http://www.aviso.oceanobs.com/en/news/ocean-indicators/mean-sea-level/products-images/index.html

    Where our greatest sea level increases are, also happen to be right there in the midst of the underwater “ring of fire”.

  122. A physicist says:
    February 15, 2012 at 9:37 am

    “Elevator summary: Historical tide gauge data and modern satellite data agree near-perfectly with respect to sea-level rise rates, and moreover, the satellite sea-level measurements *are* accurate to the claimed levels.”

    Consider this document

    http://www.osdpd.noaa.gov/ml/ocean/J2_handbook_v1-3_no_rev.pdf

    OSTM/Jason-2 Products Handbook

    2.3.1. Accuracy of Sea-level Measurements
    Generally speaking OSTM/Jason-2 has been specified based on the Jason-1 state of the art,
    including improvements in payload technology, data processing and algorithms or ancillary data
    (e.g: precise orbit determination and meteorological model accuracy). The sea-surface height shall be provided with a globally averaged RMS accuracy of 3.4 cm (1 sigma), or better, assuming 1 second averages

    From Section 4 which provides an overview of how the data offered is derived

    Sea Level Anomaly = Sea Surface Height – Mean Sea Surface
    – Solid Earth Tide Height
    – Geocentric Ocean Tide Height
    – Pole Tide Height
    – Inverted Barometer Height Correction
    – HF Fluctuations of the Sea Surface Topography

    Sea Surface Height = Altitude – Corrected Range

    Corrected Range = Range + Wet Troposphere Correction
    + Dry Troposphere Correction
    + Ionosphere Correction
    + Sea State Bias Correction

    Etc., etc, etc…as each of those additions and subtractions has its own similar equation. All of those correction factors are derived in large part or entirely from models and are generally annualized global means or averages which means that for any individual ranging measurement they are almost always wrong.

    I don’t know if you are familiar with the work of Claude Shannon, his paper “A Mathematical Theory of Communication” established the field of Information Theory and remains the fundamental document of that field. Although aimed at the idea of communication, the principles he enumerated also apply to the electronic metrology used by these satellites. Given the 1336 km orbital height of the satellites and the 13,3 GHz frequency of the Ku Band signal that is there primary tool deriving data to a tenth of millimeter presumes the construction of a “perfect information machine”. Although such a thing is not considered the fundamental impossibility of a perpetual motion machine, it is dangerously close

  123. When looking at the sea level rise one expects the line to change only in the future. We all look at it and ask ourselves, will the trend stay like this? It was the same end 2010 we waited and waited and the new line did not update. And then later, half a year later in May 2011 I was surprised to see the whole graph changed.
    It reminds me of the story with the GISS temp of NA from 1999 which changed. When the new years came , the previous years changed suddenly.
    Similar happened to the sea level trend, and some adjustment has been added:

    There was some debate on the internet

    http://joannenova.com.au/2011/05/10-of-sea-level-rise-is-due-to-land-rising-too-got-that/

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/05/05/new-sea-level-page-from-university-of-colorado-now-up/

    And now we all look at the new graph.
    So now when we look at it and ask ourself – will the trend stay? Maybe the trend will stay, but will the previous years stay the same? Or we will suddenly see new values for the previous years?
    Pardon me if I sound to cynic, but I have a “deja vu” feeling.

  124. From the Great Melt to present, sea level (or more correctly, the mean datum geopotential surface) described an initially parabolic curve then an asymptotic one (asymptotic to some fixed mean value). I’d imagine that with the advance of time the curve ought to continue flattening out.

  125. Silver Ralph says:
    February 14, 2012 at 11:27 pm
    Colder sea, lower sea level – is that hard to understand?

    .
    ——–
    Nope Nowhere even close. Nearly all the drop in sea level over the past few years has been due to a direct transfer of that mass of water to land areas and the dominant La Nina patterns over this period are the cause.

  126. R. Gates says:
    February 15, 2012 at 11:43 am
    Silver Ralph says:
    February 14, 2012 at 11:27 pm
    Colder sea, lower sea level – is that hard to understand?

    .
    ——–
    Nope Nowhere even close. Nearly all the drop in sea level over the past few years has been due to a direct transfer of that mass of water to land areas and the dominant La Nina patterns over this period are the cause.

    As A physicist is frequently wont to ask, do you have a cite for that?

  127. Jer0me says:

    February 14, 2012 at 1:37 pm

    OK. Temperatures are not rising. Sea levels are not rising. The Great Barrier Reef is not dying. The oceans are not becoming ‘more acidic’. Storms are not increasing in frequency or severity.

    What else were we supposed to be terrified about?

    Aliens destroying the Earth!

  128. “”””””” Eric (skeptic) says:

    February 14, 2012 at 5:31 pm

    If anyone wants to read Doug Cotton’s source, it is here: http://www.csc.kth.se/~cgjoh/blackbodyslayer.pdf The writeup proves that backradiation does not exist, but if it did exist it wouldn’t warm the surface that it hits. The writeup ignores most of the theory of quantum processes. Those can’t be directly viewed and are easy to ignore. What is not so easy to ignore is that (for example) an object appears to be darker in color from having absorbed more photons. That would be impossible to explain using temperature. “””””””

    Don’t waste your time Eric. The reference given isn’t worth the time it takes to read; it’s mostly drivel couched in terms that make it seem real. So the author may be a mathematician; he’s clearly not a physicist.

    The idea that a “Black body”, radiates a spectrum with some “cutoff” frequency given by some “Wien’s Law”, is pure BS. Wien’s Law relates the wavelength of the peak of the spectral radiant emittance of a black body to the Temperature, such that T x Lambda (pk) is constant, so the black body radiation spectrum is a fuction of the single variable T x Lambda (wavelength)

    The black body radiation spectrum has neither a minimum nor a maximum wavelength to the emitted radiation spectrum regardless of its Temperature.

  129. Jer0me says:
    February 14, 2012 at 1:37 pm
    OK. Temperatures are not rising. Sea levels are not rising. The Great Barrier Reef is not dying. The oceans are not becoming ‘more acidic’. Storms are not increasing in frequency or severity.

    What else were we supposed to be terrified about?

    I would suggest the possibility of a total global economic collapse, brought on by the entire developed world simultaneously running out of other people’s money, strongly aided and abetted by the strangulation of economic growth brought on by the “solutions” already implemented and other “solutions” still ardently demanded for the phantom “problem” of the “Demon Carbon”.

    There is also a large extraterrestrial body out there somewhere with our name on it.

  130. A physicist says:

    Elevator summary: Historical tide gauge data and modern satellite data agree near-perfectly with respect to sea-level rise rates, and moreover, the satellite sea-level measurements *are* accurate to the claimed levels.

    Dave Wendt says: I don’t know if you are familiar with the work of Claude Shannon, his paper “A Mathematical Theory of Communication” established the field of Information Theory and remains the fundamental document of that field.

    Dave, you are absolutely correct that Shannon’s theory *does* provide a solid reality check on the claimed accuracy of satellite measurements.

    Namely, what Shannon channel capacity do we need to specify a 200 km satellite altitude, to an accuracy of ± one millimeter, measured once per second? Let’s see … 200 km is one part in 2\times 10^8, so the required Shannon capacity is \log_2 (2\times 10^8) \simeq 28 \text{bits/second}. Which is not very much channel capacity!

    As several posters have noted, the main satellite altimetry challenges are associated to overall instrument stability and the overall calibration, *not* the raw measurement accuracy or channel capacity. And at the end of the day, the agreement of satellite data with tide gauge data is pretty impressive.

    The high accuracy of satellite altimetry is why James Hansen and colleagues have been focusing their predictions for the coming two decades upon acceleration in the sea-level rise — their scientific strategy is make predictions that leave no wiggle-room for cherry-picking skepticism.

    Needless to say, rational skepticism applauds this rational scientific strategy.

  131. A physicist says:
    February 15, 2012 at 1:16 pm

    The high accuracy of satellite altimetry is why James Hansen and colleagues have been focusing their predictions for the coming two decades upon acceleration in the sea-level rise

    Up to the minute with his predictions as usual, J Hansen is correct to point out that there is acceleration of sea level rise. It is however negative acceleration.

  132. Smokey says: February 14, 2012 at 8:19 pm

    [long list of individual grants each with dollar amounts]
    Total:
    $6,232,700

    And that’s only Mann, and an incomplete list at that. There are plenty of alarmists on the climate grant gravy train. On both sides of the Atlantic.

    This is the reason that universities like Penn State will never consider any request to remove Mann (or any other CAWG evangelist) from their employ.

  133. A physicist says:
    February 15, 2012 at 1:16 pm

    “Namely, what Shannon channel capacity do we need to specify a 200 km satellite altitude, to an accuracy of ± one millimeter, measured once per second? Let’s see … 200 km is one part in , so the required Shannon capacity is . Which is not very much channel capacity!”

    That would be correct except for the fact that the T/P JASON sats orbit at 1336 km, which is 1.336 Billion mms on a ranging signal of 13.3 GHz for KuBand. You are probably famaliar with Von Neumann’s famous quote about fudge factors and curve fits. The number of fudges, corrections, estimates, etc, in the GMSL anomaly is equivalent to Von N. to the power of Von N. to the power of Von N. But if you’re determined to be convinced by the technological rationalizations, dconsider for a moment the simple raw logic.
    GMSL is a measure of height. In order to measure the change in height of something over time requires a known and fixed reference to base the measurements from. Can you name anything from the actual planet that has been known and fixed at the millimeter level for the last thirty years?

  134. Dave Wendt says:
    February 15, 2012 at 12:06 pm
    R. Gates says:
    February 15, 2012 at 11:43 am
    Silver Ralph says:
    February 14, 2012 at 11:27 pm
    Colder sea, lower sea level – is that hard to understand?

    .
    ——–
    Nope Nowhere even close. Nearly all the drop in sea level over the past few years has been due to a direct transfer of that mass of water to land areas and the dominant La Nina patterns over this period are the cause.

    As A physicist is frequently wont to ask, do you have a cite for that?

    ——–

    http://www.physorg.com/news/2011-08-nasa-satellites-pothole-road-higher.html

    Grace satellite data and ground observations from flooding in the areas Grace has identified as gaining mass from water is pretty solid confirmatory evidence. The oceans aren’t falling cause they are getting cooler, but rather, because so much of that ocean water has evaporated and fallen back on land rather than back on the ocean.

  135. R. Gates says:
    February 15, 2012 at 4:39 pm

    “http://www.physorg.com/news/2011-08-nasa-satellites-pothole-road-higher.html

    Grace satellite data and ground observations from flooding in the areas Grace has identified as gaining mass from water is pretty solid confirmatory evidence. The oceans aren’t falling cause they are getting cooler, but rather, because so much of that ocean water has evaporated and fallen back on land rather than back on the ocean.”

    After a brief scan I can see several problems with this speculation. The areas on their map showing water gains appear to be, at least to my eye, somewhat larger than the areas that show a loss, but given the rather small excesses, the difference doesn’t seem capable of affecting the vastly greater surface area of the world’s oceans. Given that this is basically a one year graph. we have no basis of comparison as to what a similar map would have looked like in previous years, to gauge what the year to year change normally looks like. The map shows the north part of Greenland as one of the higher gain locations, but this site

    http://tinyurl.com/drought-monitor

    shows the same area as continually under severe to exceptional drought for the last three years.
    There are some other things, but hose are my main problems so far.

  136. R. Gates says:
    February 15, 2012 at 4:39 pm
    Nope Nowhere even close. Nearly all the drop in sea level over the past few years has been due to a direct transfer of that mass of water to land areas

    I checked out the site you mentioned. There is not that much difference in area between the dark blue (extra water) and the dark red (drought). Keep in mind that the Mercator projection really makes the northern parts look larger than they really are. As well, the temperature did drop between 2010 and 2011. According to HadCrut3, 2011 was 0.138 C colder. Why should that not have quite a large affect on sea level? After all, density changes much faster for the water between 25 C and 30 C than between 0 C and 5 C. So a lowering of the temperature makes the huge amount of hotter water near the equator contract the most.

    • Obviously, there is not only the problem of the missing heat, which is still in the
      pipeline, but now another problem of the missing water…..which may also be in
      the pipeline?
      I read, all the missing water fell onto Autralia where it is hiding deep down, because
      normally you have evaporation or river run-off……
      We have to do some drilling in Australia to detect the missing water in the ground….

  137. R. Gates says:
    February 15, 2012 at 4:39 pm

    Silver Ralph says:
    February 14, 2012 at 11:27 pm
    Colder sea, lower sea level – is that hard to understand?
    .
    Nope Nowhere even close. Nearly all the drop in sea level over the past few years has been due to a direct transfer of that mass of water to land areas and the dominant La Nina patterns over this period are the cause.

    I’m afraid its spot on. So dominant La Nina is the cause of sea level fall? Then you no doubt accept that the previously dominant el Nino was the reason for the sea level rise in recent 2-3 decades. You are therefore endorsing Bob Tisdale’s argument that the cyclical changes in global temperature (and by association sea level) are attributable to shifting phases of dominant el Nino or La Nina phases (there are also of course the two butterfly wings of the ENSO Lorenz attractor) and in no way related to CO2. Good to see you are on board at last!

  138. The “missing water” speculation at first glance is plausible, if a correlation could be established between rainfall patterns, ENSO and sea level decline. On the plus side, there was short-term sea level decline when the La Nina of ’99 kicked in.

    However, on the negative side, a confounding factor is that the short term sea level decline might be due to some temporary thermal contraction instead. There was a very powerful La Nina at the start of 2008, yet the graph shows sea level rise during this period. So the idea that La Nina’s cause see level drop by itself doesn’t hold much water. As tends to be the case, the real world is more complex than the simplistic solutions frequently offered.

  139. Dave Wendt asks: Can you name anything from the actual planet that has been known and fixed at the millimeter level for the last thirty years?

    Easy Dave! NASA satellite measurements readily track continental drift to millimeter accuracy on decadal time periods.

    Just click on a station to see the continental drift data points … that data is mighty cool, eh? It’s funny that so many WUWT folks readily accept NASA’s observations of continental drift, yet are skeptical of NASA’s observations of sea-level rise, eh?

  140. phlogiston says:
    February 15, 2012 at 6:28 pm
    R. Gates says:
    February 15, 2012 at 4:39 pm

    Silver Ralph says:
    February 14, 2012 at 11:27 pm
    Colder sea, lower sea level – is that hard to understand?
    .
    Nope Nowhere even close. Nearly all the drop in sea level over the past few years has been due to a direct transfer of that mass of water to land areas and the dominant La Nina patterns over this period are the cause.

    I’m afraid its spot on. So dominant La Nina is the cause of sea level fall? Then you no doubt accept that the previously dominant el Nino was the reason for the sea level rise in recent 2-3 decades. You are therefore endorsing Bob Tisdale’s argument that the cyclical changes in global temperature (and by association sea level) are attributable to shifting phases of dominant el Nino or La Nina phases (there are also of course the two butterfly wings of the ENSO Lorenz attractor) and in no way related to CO2. Good to see you are on board at last!

    _____
    Fortunately, the evidence makes it quite clear which is the signal and which is the noise (i.e. natural variability) riding on top of that signal. ENSO fluctuations can be seen as noise in the overall upward trend in sea level rise over the past few decades. Cherry picking short-term noise to try to make a case for your point of view on longer-term ocean changes is…amateurish at best.

    In looking at El Nino and La Nina variations, once must not just look at the SST temperature, but where the wind patterns are sending the moisture, as there can be great variations between two different El Ninos or two different La Ninas. Grace satellite data is a powerful tool for really seeing where the water has gone. Skeptics seem to hate this clear cut information. Why?

  141. A physicist says:
    February 15, 2012 at 7:15 pm
    Dave Wendt asks: Can you name anything from the actual planet that has been known and fixed at the millimeter level for the last thirty years?

    Easy Dave! NASA satellite measurements readily track continental drift to millimeter accuracy on decadal time periods.

    Just click on a station to see the continental drift data points … that data is mighty cool, eh? It’s funny that so many WUWT folks readily accept NASA’s observations of continental drift, yet are skeptical of NASA’s observations of sea-level rise, eh?

    And how are the positions of the satellites that provide those measurements verified? By referencing various ground stations. And how are the positions of those ground stations verified?By referencing the satellites. Do you begin to see the problem?

  142. Dave Wendt says:
    February 15, 2012 at 8:11 pm
    A physicist says:
    February 15, 2012 at 7:15 pm
    Dave Wendt asks: Can you name anything from the actual planet that has been known and fixed at the millimeter level for the last thirty years?

    As a further note to the above, I would point out that what I requested was something that was both known and FIXED at the millimeter level over time. On that basis I’d have to say th reference you cited fails on both counts. I didn’t sample all the sites on the map but for those that I did even the usually optimistic error bounds provided indicate they are neither known and certainly not fixed at millimeter scale. Quite a number also had records for 6 or 7 yrs which wouldn’t suffice for the task at hand.

  143. The title of the article, “Sea level still not cooperating with predictions” is inaccurate. Predictions are representations of how the data will prospectively be distributed but the straight line and 90 day moving average of the University of Colorado’s Sea Level Research Group are estimates of how the population mean retrospectively was distributed. Do a search on the predictions of the Sea Level Research Group and I suspect that you will draw a blank.

  144. “”””” Eric (skeptic) says:

    February 15, 2012 at 2:29 am

    Doug Cotton, your source, Prof Johnson says: “Pointing this instrument to a (cloudy) sky, the reading of the instrument could be 324 W /m2 , which by alarmists may be present as experimental evidence of substantial backradiation: Since the instrument shows backradiation, backradiation must exist, right?…. No, it is not so simple….”

    It is generally warmer on cloudy nights than clear nights. The generally accepted explanation for that warmth is that the clouds absorb IR and transmit roughly 50% of what they absorb back to the surface. The prof does not appear to understand that simple explanation. Perhaps he or you have an alternative explanation. “””””

    Eric you have it exactly backwards:- ‘It is generally cloudy on warmer nights than cooler nights.’.

    Regardless of the presence or absence of clouds, and regardless of the altitude that the clouds are at, or the altitude at which they are not, it WILL cool down after sunset, and be cooler still just prior to sunrise the next morning.

    It follows that it MUST be warmer just before sunset on a warmer cloudy night than it is just before sunset on a cooler cloudless night.
    It is that WARMER DAY that leads to a warmer night, and if water vapor is also present on that WARMER DAY, that will lead to cloud formation at night when the moist air drops to the dew point. And the warmer it was on that humid day just before sunset, the higher will be the dew point altitude due to the ordinary Temperature-altitude lapse rate, so the higher will be the cloud layer.

    The high clouds ARE NOT the CAUSE of the WARM NIGHT, the prior WARM DAY is the CAUSE of both the WARM NIGHT and the HIGH CLOUDS, and the WARMER THE DAY, then the WARMER THE NIGHT and also the HIGHER THE CLOUDS.

    I don’t know why people are unable to separate CAUSE from EFFECT.

    In all physical processes, CAUSE comes BEFORE EFFECT.

  145. R. Gates says:
    February 15, 2012 at 7:56 pm

    ” Skeptics seem to hate this clear cut information. Why?”

    Personally I’ve never had much in the way of emotional response to any data, but I would question calling anything provided by the Grace sat “clear cut” at this point. When the system was launched and to this date it was and is a unique technology, whose creator’s have made certain claims of capability for, but for which there exists almost nothing to either meaningfully verify or contradict those claims. The European GOCE system does the same task, but with an entirely different technology, and the data sets, while similar, aren’t really up to verifying each other yet. Especially given the brief history of both. There already any number of efforts out there claiming that the GRACE data demonstrate all kinds of wonderful things, but like most of the science in this area, what is provided rarely rises beyond the level of a possible suggestion

  146. R. Gates says:
    February 15, 2012 at 7:56 pm
    Nope Nowhere even close……Skeptics seem to hate this clear cut information. Why?

    Perhaps we do not see it as clear cut as you do.

    According to http://www.kayelaby.npl.co.uk/general_physics/2_7/2_7_9.html
    the thermal expansion coefficient for sea water at one atmosphere pressure and 20 C is 250 × 10−6 K−1. Now I know it is higher for larger temperatures and smaller for lower temperatures, but let us assume that 20 C is a good average. Further, let us assume that we are dealing with a cube of water that is 100.00000 m on each side. If we now use the UAH value of a 0.261 drop in temperature between 2010 and 2011, that comes to a factor of 250 × 10−6 K−1 x 0.261 K = 65.25 x 10-6 change. So the cube of 100.00000 m in 2010 would have a height of 99.993475 m in 2011. This is a drop of 6.5 mm. If I did not make a mistake in any calculations, and if my assumptions were not too far off and more or less cancelled each other out in the end, this is close to 6 mm from your post. (I know it may take the whole ocean about 800 years to reach equilibrium, but I am assuming the top 100 m can reach equilibrium within a year. The validity of this and any other assumption can be debated however it does not seem totally unreasonable to assume contraction has a large role in sea level drop.)

  147. @George E. Smith,

    Causes and effects can be concurrent. Speaking through a microphone can cause my voice to be heard louder than is would be if I were speaking without any amplifying device. In this case the cause — the operation of the amplifying device — is operating over the whole duration of the effect. Likewise, clothes or a blanket can cause a body to radiate heath away at a lower rate than it would without them (it also reduces convection). The effect (the lower cooling rate) also is present for the whole period over which the cause operates (e.g. while the blanket covering the body). The case of a cause occurring wholly before its effect is just a special mode of causation. My having smoked cigarettes in the past may be the cause of the present appearance of a disease. But it may also cause my shortness of breath and chronic cough while I am smoking regularly and only for as long as I am.

    Clouds or water vapour can cause the Earth to cool down (through radiating heath away) at a lower rate than it would without either of them. Because the cooling rate is reduced, from the very same initial temperature at sunset, the surface temperature could be higher at sunrise after a cloudy night than it would be after a cloudless night. If you are going to dismiss this possibility on the basis of the principle that causes must occur wholly before their effects, then you would need to also contest the possibility of the first two causal processes I mentioned above.

  148. @Werner Brozek

    You say that it isn’t unreasonable to attribute the whole of a 6mm drop to some hypothetical ocean cooling (despite some evidence of ocean warming). But isn’t it at least as reasonable to attribute it to an increase in La Nina induced raining over land?

    500,000 cubic kilometres fall down as rain in the course of a year. Of this amount, just 100,000 cubic kilometres fall over land. If none of it made it back to the oceans, sea levels would drop 30cm. While the residence time of surface and channel runoff average a few months, groundwater residence time averages as much as 150 years (shallow groundwater) to 10,000 years (deep groundwater). So, any significant increase (or decrease) in the amount of precipitations that, over a few years, join groundwater reservoirs is effectively lost (or gained) by oceans for the next few decades. I don’t know what fraction of overall land precipitations transits as groundwater, though. (Can anyone find out?). But on the basis of the previous figures, a mere 10% increase in precipitation over a La Nina year would result in in a 6mm drop in sea levels if the percentage of precipitation that goes into groundwater (and/or is trapped for over a year in lakes and other surface reservoirs) is only 20%. (That’s because 20% trapped of a 10% increase over the usual 30cm of evaporated sea water yields a 6mm variation). Just about the same would result from a mere 5% increase in precipitations lasting for two consecutive years.

  149. @Pierre-Normand

    Why don’t we see this same pattern of sea level drop during every La Nina event then?

    I suspect the problem is that if you admit the most straightforward explanation – a modest amount of thermal contraction due to some atmospheric cooling (consistent with global temperature observations) – then the “missing heat” problem arises again. Which is a position inconsistent with certain computer models… This may be why the La Nina/rainfall speculation is now required.

  150. Dave Wendt asks: Can you name anything from the actual planet that has been known and fixed at the millimeter level for the last thirty years?

    A physicist says: Easy Dave! NASA satellite measurements readily track continental drift to millimeter accuracy on decadal time periods.

    Just click on a station to see the continental drift data points … that data is mighty cool, eh? It’s funny that so many WUWT folks readily accept NASA’s observations of continental drift, yet are skeptical of NASA’s observations of sea-level rise, eh?

    Dave Wendt says: And how are the positions of the satellites that provide those measurements verified? By referencing various ground stations. And how are the positions of those ground stations verified?By referencing the satellites. Do you begin to see the problem?

    Easy Dave! There are lots of details, but the three main ideas aren’t hard.

    The problem of converting the raw data of time intervals (which satellites measure by timing the pulses of radio transmitters and receivers) into pure distances was solved by Maxwell and Einstein as follows: the speed of light is a constant of Nature (although the mathematical details of this idea are kinda subtle!).

    The problem of converting a set of pure distances (measured by satellites) to a set of three-dimensional coordinates (including angles and directions) was solved by Pythagoras and Euclid and made practical by surveyors like George Washington: it is called constructing a geodetic net.

    The problem of estimating the errors in the three-dimensional coordinates of a geodetic net was solved by the great mathematician Carl Gauss: it is called the method of least squares.

    The integration of all these methods is called satellite geodesy; nowadays your car and your cell-phone use satellite geodesy to tell you *exactly* where you are. Marvelous!

    That tight integration is why James Hansen and his colleagues are “all in” with a prediction that sea-level rise will accelerate by the end of the coming solar cycle, and will continue to accelerate throughout the coming decades of the 21st century.

    If Hansen’s predictions come true, then climate-change skeptics won’t become extinct, but they *will* become scarce, eh?

  151. New artwork in London showing where sea levels will be in 1,000 years time. Rings of blue lights on monuments.

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2101531/London-landmarks-ringed-blue-highlight-capital-sink-beneath-30m-water-3012.html

    By some weird extrapolation, the artist is marking a sea level 30m above present levels. Now that’s a genuine propaganda mission, to scare the uninformed populous. This artist should be prosecuted for misrepresentation of science and promoting social panic.

    .

  152. A physicist says: February 16, 2012 at 2:48 am

    [...]

    If Hansen’s predictions come true, then climate-change skeptics won’t become extinct, but they *will* become scarce, eh?

    What in the world are “climate-change skeptics“? Your satellite geodesy fails to impress me, as I have tried to rectify satellite images with land surveys (by satellite telemetry), and they don’t match, sometimes by hundreds of feet. Color me skeptical.

  153. Silver Ralph says: New artwork in London showing where sea levels will be in 1,000 years time. Rings of blue lights on monuments. By some weird extrapolation, the artist is marking a sea level 30m above present levels. Now that’s a genuine propaganda mission, to scare the uninformed populous. This artist should be prosecuted for misrepresentation of science and promoting social panic.

    Ralph, what the artist has in mind is not complicated; neither is it a misrepresentation of science.

    To see this, let’s start with the 20-year sea-level graph that Anthony posted.

    What the Hansen-style physics of GHG \Leftrightarrow GHE \Leftrightarrow AGW \Leftrightarrow CAGW predicts is simply that the satellite data for the next 20 years will lie substantially above Anthony’s line. And in the following 20 years, the new data will be above that new line. And in the following 20 years, above THAT new line. And so on.

    Supposing that Hansen-style scientific predictions are correct, then the artists’ “blue-light-rings” severely underestimate future sea levels. Therefore, whether regards Hansen’s science as accurate or or not, the artist *has* conservatively shown the science.

    That is why rational skepticism respects the power of “all-in” scientific prediction like Hansen’s. Because if Hansen’s near-term sea-level rise predictions are proved right during the next solar cycle, then the long-term implications of those same predictions have to be regarded seriously too, by all rational skeptics.

    All of this is just plain, rational, skeptical common sense, eh?

  154. Pierre-Normand says:
    February 16, 2012 at 12:31 am
    But isn’t it at least as reasonable to attribute it to an increase in La Nina induced raining over land?

    That may vary with different years. For this past year, I checked R. Gates mentioned site. There was not that much difference in area between the dark blue (extra water) and the dark red (drought). So for this particular year, it seemed as if the two more or less cancelled out. Now as for the groundwater issue, that also would need to be accounted for somehow. I am not insisting that contraction explains everything, but in my opinion, it certainly is not as insignificant as R. Gates would have us believe with his words: “Nope Nowhere even close.”

  155. A physicist says:
    February 16, 2012 at 2:48 am

    “The integration of all these methods is called satellite geodesy; nowadays your car and your cell-phone use satellite geodesy to tell you *exactly* where you are. Marvelous!”

    All very nice AP but, in your usual three card Monte style of dialogue, entirely beside the point. I have never questioned the possibility of satellites measuring GMSL, my challenge has always been to what “exactly” means in this context. Rather than spending your time Googling about “satellite geodesy” you might be better served by researching the difference between precision and accuracy. You seem willing to believe that satellites can ” tell you *exactly* where you are.” I and all those folks out there, whose personal GPS is telling them to hook a left into a cornfield, disagree. In my comment above
    Dave Wendt says:
    February 15, 2012 at 10:59 am
    I pointed out just a small portion of the relatively massive number of correction factors ( I haven’t done so, but I suspect that if you followed the various chains all the way down the number would be in the hundreds) involved in deriving the Sea Level Anomaly data, which still result in a RMS error claim of +/- 3.4 CENTIMETERS. BTW, in the document I referenced that +/- 3.4 cm range is described as a TBD GOAL and I don’t know that that determination has been made as yet. To assume that even these rather wide margins are actually achieved, one must also assume that each and every one of this vast assortment of fudge factors is so precisely constructed and applied that they improve the accuracy of the data without adding even a smidgen to the overall uncertainty. You seem willing to embrace that assumption, I am not.
    I’m growing weary of these increasingly pointless tete a tetes, but on the of chance that anyone else is actually following this exchange I will offer one more effort. Consider this map

    It shows the MSL trends averaged over the period from Oct ’92 to July ’11 as measuered bythe satellites. Pay special attention to that large red orange blob to the north and east of Australia, which indicates that area has experienced for almost two decades average sea level rise of 9-12mm/yr. Got that? Good! Now consider this news story

    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/sea-level-rises-are-slowing-tidal-gauge-records-show/story-fn59niix-1226099350056

    “ONE of Australia’s foremost experts on the relationship between climate change and sea levels has written a peer-reviewed paper concluding that rises in sea levels are “decelerating”.

    The analysis, by NSW principal coastal specialist Phil Watson, calls into question one of the key criteria for large-scale inundation around the Australian coast by 2100 — the assumption of an accelerating rise in sea levels because of climate change.

    Based on century-long tide gauge records at Fremantle, Western Australia (from 1897 to present), Auckland Harbour in New Zealand (1903 to present), Fort Denison in Sydney Harbour (1914 to present) and Pilot Station at Newcastle (1925 to present), the analysis finds there was a “consistent trend of weak deceleration” from 1940 to 2000.

    Mr Watson’s findings, published in the Journal of Coastal Research this year and now attracting broader attention, supports a similar analysis of long-term tide gauges in the US earlier this year. Both raise questions about the CSIRO’s sea-level predictions.”

    There is more and I would encourage you to read it all, although I have no expectation that it will do you any good.

  156. Werner Brozek says:
    February 16, 2012 at 8:32 am

    “I am not insisting that contraction explains everything, but in my opinion, it certainly is not as insignificant as R. Gates would have us believe with his words: “Nope Nowhere even close.”

    ____
    Let’s be clear about what “Nowhere even close” means. The contraction through the ocean cooling of the La Ninas over the past few years would be nowhere close to enough to account for the large drop in ocean level. It doesn’t mean that some of the drop wasn’t as a result of cooling, but the actual percentage is nowhere close to being enough of the total, especially considering that total ocean heat content did not take a similar big dip.

    In looking at Grace images like this one:

    You can’t just consider raw areas of land, but the properties of stream flows in the areas, draining, retention in the previously dry ground etc. For example, the large amount of moisture that the Australian continent has received over the past few years must to looked at relative to all these factors. How dry had Australia been previous to the sudden influx of moisture? That will dictate how much of the moisture will go toward replenishing ground water supplies (i.e be absorbed) into the ground, versus running off back to the ocean.

    The bottom line is that nowhere close to the kind of drop seen in sea level during the past few La Nina’s could be attributed to contraction from cooling alone, but rather, a large part of the ocean water was transported to land masses. Some of this water drained back to the ocean, and we saw the consequential rise in sea level, but this winter, we’ve seen another round of flooding in Australia and other regions, and hence, another small dip in sea levels. When weather patterns change again, and some of that water drains back to the ocean, you can expect sea levels to catch back up to the longer term trend line once more.

    • To R.Gates:
      Why dont you join the geoengineering climate doctors and engage in pumping
      ocean water onto Australia’s surface in order to lower the menacing increasing
      ocean levels…?
      All the water will disappear into the big black hole below Australia, all water will
      fit in “down under”, no doubt……..
      and we have resolved Hansen’s ocean level scare…..
      JS

  157. The ill knowledge of why sea levels are rising at the rate they were previously in your arguments is very apparent. I’ll give you some things to look up.

    Effects of La Nina on Sea level rise.
    ENSO index showing a very negative La Nina at the same time sea levels dropped
    What the difference between ‘unadjusted’ and ‘adjusted’ means on the Envisat webpage (linked below) and why adjustments are done.

    http://www.aviso.oceanobs.com/en/news/ocean-indicators/mean-sea-level/products-images/index.html?type=98

    select Time Serie -> Global -> Envisat -> *see below*

    From here you have 3 options to chose from regarding ‘corrections’. What is being done is selecting ‘correction not applied’. If you click on the ‘Calval’ link in the updates you will see a listing of possible corrections including instrument drift. What you are doing is taking the uncorrected data and coming to the wrong conclusions based, not on actual corrected measurements, but instead on measurements affected by contamination of other variables.

    The correction they are using is available here: http://envisat.esa.int/handbooks/ra2-mwr/CNTR2-7.htm under Ref 2.8 with the calculations under 2.7.1.9

    As you have been blogging for quite awhile now I would expect you to be more knowledgeable at this sort of stuff.

  158. R. Gates says: I’m growing weary of these increasingly pointless tete a tetes…

    R. Gates, ye can be of stout heart and good cheer!

    Because there’s a 2011 survey article by Church and White, titled Sea-Level Rise from the Late 19th to the Early 21st Century, which summarizes *both* the tide-gauge data *and* the satellite data.

    The two data-sets agree nicely. This is good news for rational skepticism, eh?

  159. R. Gates says:
    February 16, 2012 at 11:50 am

    The contraction through the ocean cooling of the La Ninas over the past few years would be nowhere close to enough to account for the large drop in ocean level.

    R. Gates says:
    February 15, 2012 at 4:39 pm

    http://www.physorg.com/news/2011-08-nasa-satellites-pothole-road-higher.html

    So approximately what percentage of ocean contraction of 6 mm over the past year on the above site that you quoted earlier do you attribute to cooler temperatures?

    How dry had Australia been previous to the sudden influx of moisture? That will dictate how much of the moisture will go toward replenishing ground water supplies

    This raises an interesting question since you say but this winter, we’ve seen another round of flooding in Australia so I can understand that a lot of moisture went into the ground water the first year of flooding. But if we have two years of flooding in a row for Australia, or anywhere else in the world for that matter, the second year would have much less water being retained as ground water. So for all those dark blue areas on your map, how many were also dark blue last year?

  160. “””””” Pierre-Normand says:

    February 15, 2012 at 11:42 pm

    @George E. Smith,

    Causes and effects can be concurrent. Speaking through a microphone can cause my voice to be heard louder than is would be if I were speaking without any amplifying device. In this case the cause — the operation of the amplifying device — is operating over the whole duration of the effect. Likewise, clothes or a blanket can cause a body to radiate heath away at a lower rate than it would without them (it also reduces convection). The effect (the lower cooling rate) also is present for the whole period over which the cause operates (e.g. while the blanket covering the body). The case of a cause occurring wholly before its effect is just a special mode of causation. My having smoked cigarettes in the past may be the cause of the present appearance of a disease. But it may also cause my shortness of breath and chronic cough while I am smoking regularly and only for as long as I am.

    Clouds or water vapour can cause the Earth to cool down (through radiating heath away) at a lower rate than it would without either of them. Because the cooling rate is reduced, from the very same initial temperature at sunset, the surface temperature could be higher at sunrise after a cloudy night than it would be after a cloudless night. If you are going to dismiss this possibility on the basis of the principle that causes must occur wholly before their effects, then you would need to also contest the possibility of the first two causal processes I mentioned above.

    Well Pierre, If you are available for work as a circuit designer, I might have a job for you.

    You may be the first person; and I’m sorry I don’t have your credentials in front of me, to be able to design a circuit having zero propagation delay (from cause to effect).

    Given that all of the really interesting things in Archeo-Physics happened in the first 10 ^ (-43) seconds after the big bang, I take that as being the upper limit of “simultaneity”.
    For ANY RESULT that happens later than 10 ^ (-43) seconds AFTER THE CAUSE; it remains true that CAUSE comes BEFORE RESULT.

    So the big bang STARTED some 15 billion years ago, and is ongoing so astronomers tell us. Just when would you expect the big bang to finish, so that some of the things it may cause can start to happen ?

    “”””” Because the cooling rate is reduced, from the very same initial temperature at sunset, the surface temperature could be higher at sunrise after a cloudy night than it would be after a cloudless night. “””””

    Nowhere have I ever contested such an assertion; so you erect a strawman to try to make some point.

    Axiom # 1 says:- It is warmer on cloudy nights, than it is on cloudless nights. Or are you waffling on that too ?

    Axiom # 2 says the sun is not above the horizon AT NIGHT. A corollary to that says that CLOUDY NIGHTS start with both CLOUDS, and NO SUN.

    As a result of Axioms 1 and 2, your strawman scenario of both a CLOUDY NIGHT and a CLOUDLESS NIGHT starting at THE SAME TEMPERATURE, is prohibited. It directly contavenes Axiom #1.

    The prevailing meteorological assertion is that THE CLOUDS CAUSE THE WARMER NIGHTS. Thet extbooks go on to say that THE HIGHER THE CLOUDS AT NIGHT, THE WARMER THEY MAKE THE NIGHT.

    Well they draw graphs showing that clouds at a certain height, neither warm nor cool the surface; clouds below that neutral height cool the surface; clouds above the neutral height warm the surface.
    The distinction is crystal clear Pierre:-

    Either the PRE_NIGHT surface conditions CAUSE the CLOUDS and the WARMER NIGHT surface conditions, or the Night time CLOUDS CAUSE the WARMER NIGHT surface conditions, and the daytime surface conditions have no effect.

    Now I know it is fashionable in climatism to have rising CO2 levels in the atmosphere cause the Surface Temperature to rise about 800 years earlier, as shown by the graphs in Al Gore’s book on climate science; but today, ANY 4-H club member can observe whether it is warmer during the day before a balmy warm cloudy night, or whether it is colder before such an event, and cloud or no cloud, they also know it will be colder before sunup than it was at sundown.

  161. I want to know two things: what is so significant about 2 inches of rise (50mm) and what is this level referenced to? I know I am only a geologist and study much greater sea level rises but what is the reference? The graph only shows 1994 to present, does this mean that the world began in 1994 or what? Sorry for the plug, but this is junk science.

  162. Werner Brozek says:
    February 16, 2012 at 2:09 pm
    R. Gates says:
    February 16, 2012 at 11:50 am

    The contraction through the ocean cooling of the La Ninas over the past few years would be nowhere close to enough to account for the large drop in ocean level.

    R. Gates says:
    February 15, 2012 at 4:39 pm

    http://www.physorg.com/news/2011-08-nasa-satellites-pothole-road-higher.html

    So approximately what percentage of ocean contraction of 6 mm over the past year on the above site that you quoted earlier do you attribute to cooler temperatures?

    How dry had Australia been previous to the sudden influx of moisture? That will dictate how much of the moisture will go toward replenishing ground water supplies

    This raises an interesting question since you say but this winter, we’ve seen another round of flooding in Australia so I can understand that a lot of moisture went into the ground water the first year of flooding. But if we have two years of flooding in a row for Australia, or anywhere else in the world for that matter, the second year would have much less water being retained as ground water. So for all those dark blue areas on your map, how many were also dark blue last year?

    ______

    A very interesting question which I have not really researched. I agree that Australias land areas should be saturated more this year than before the floods last winter, so one might expect sea levels to rise faster after this winter of flooding is over, as more water ought to run off a bit faster. This would be true of course only to the percentage that the flooding in Australia represents as a percentage of the overall transfer of water from ocean to land globally. Still, six months from now, it will be interesting to check this conjecture.

  163. Joachim Seifert says:
    February 16, 2012 at 12:10 pm
    To R.Gates:
    Why dont you join the geoengineering climate doctors and engage in pumping
    ocean water onto Australia’s surface in order to lower the menacing increasing
    ocean levels…?
    All the water will disappear into the big black hole below Australia, all water will
    fit in “down under”, no doubt……..
    and we have resolved Hansen’s ocean level scare…..
    JS

    _____
    Someday, when fusion power is a reality, exactly this kind of thing might happen because the cost in terms of energy will be meaningless. We will be able to transform the world into exactly what we want…using the wisdom and knowledge gained from studying the most minute details of how the climate, biosphere, atmosphere, hydropshere, magnetosphere, ionosphere, all interact to create a world fit for life in abundance. A true “domesticated” planet, geoengineered to the smallest detail for human comfort. We domesticated animals…why not a whole planet? Just imagine such a world…

    Or…give me something wild, unpredicatable, untamed…and yes, even dangerous. I’ll chose the later, thanks.

  164. @George E. Smith

    You charge me of constructing a straw-man when I say that “Because the cooling rate is reduced, from the very same initial temperature at sunset, the surface temperature could be higher at sunrise after a cloudy night than it would be after a cloudless night.”

    You say that you never denied such an assertion. But, in the message I was responding to, you had claimed that “Regardless of the presence or absence of clouds, and regardless of the altitude that the clouds are at, or the altitude at which they are not, it WILL cool down after sunset, and be cooler still just prior to sunrise the next morning. … It follows that it MUST be warmer just before sunset on a warmer cloudy night than it is just before sunset on a cooler cloudless night.”

    But your inference is a non sequitur. The temperature just before sunset depends on very many things. Where I live the temperature just before sunset in mid-October may be 10 degrees Celsius on a cloudy day, or on clear sky day. Mere knowledge of the temperature at that time (and date) will not enable me to infer the cloudiness of the sky. It depends on what occurred before in the surrounding meteorological system. You conclusion also denies the possibility of the antecedent of my conditional statement. Your claim entails that the temperature could not have been the same just before sunset on a warmer cloudy night than it is just before sunset on a cooler cloudless night. But this stipulation is absurd.

    As for your insistence that causes must occur before their effects, you now retort to my counterexample that the underlying process exhibits the temporal sequencing your are insisting on. But I can grand that when an ongoing condition (e.g. the presence of an amplifying device) is the cause of a concurrent cause (e.g. my voice being amplified), the fine-grained underlying mechanistic explanation of the dynamic process can have a sequential causal structure. You can indeed trace the history of finite segments of the signal across successive transduction events within components of the device. This only shows the temporal structure of some causal process to be relative to the level of description. But these considerations actually help my argument and undermine yours. You were suggesting that clouds during the night can’t cause surface temperatures to be higher at the end of the night because the real cause must rather occur before the effect, hence during the previous day. But the cause you are looking for can be found at the lower level of analysis where many photons of the dowelling radiation are traced to back to photons of the upwelling radiation that have been re-emitted back from the absorbing clouds. This explanation does not contradict the coarse grained dynamical-system level explanation in terms of a cause acting in concert with its effect. The consistency of both explanations make unnecessary your absurd suggestion that a warmer morning in a cloudy morning must necessarily be the result of the previous day having been warmer irrespective of the effects of clouds during the night.

  165. Will Nitschke said “Why don’t we see this same pattern of sea level drop during every La Nina event then?”

    We would only expect this only if every La Nina event had very similar durations and intensity, and resulted in similar geographic distribution of excess rain events, and, finally, if the ENSO cycle was the only significant determinant of ocean temperature changes. But we know that La Nina events tend to warm up the oceans and increase rainfalls. And we have direct evidence that the oceans did warm up over the last La Nina. This is sufficient to make it more plausible to attribute the drop in sea levels to increased precipitations (and land retention) rather than to thermal contraction.

  166. Jack said: “The graph only shows 1994 to present, does this mean that the world began in 1994 or what? Sorry for the plug, but this is junk science.”

    The graph doesn’t go further back because the satellite record only goes that far back. To go further back you must incorporate data from the tide gauge record. This has weaker geographical coverage and is subject to different sorts of corrections.

  167. George E. Smith said: “Either the PRE_NIGHT surface conditions CAUSE the CLOUDS and the WARMER NIGHT surface conditions, or the Night time CLOUDS CAUSE the WARMER NIGHT surface conditions, and the daytime surface conditions have no effect.”

    This is also another non sequitur. You rely on some unjustified notion of causal exclusion. It is entirely possible for two (either partly or completely) independent antecedent condition to effect the later state of a unique parameter. My wife may deposit some amount in our joint bank account during the day and I may make some withdrawal during the night. While only my wife’s action effects the account balance just before sunset, both occurrences will effect the account balance in the morning.

  168. @ Pierre-Normand

    “”””” You were suggesting that clouds during the night can’t cause surface temperatures to be higher at the end of the night because the real cause must rather occur before the effect, “””””

    Please don’t put YOUR words into MY mouth. I have made NO such “suggestion” either directly or by inference.

    If it will ease your angst, I fully agree; without reservation, that clouds at night REGARDLESS OF THEIR HEIGHT, WILL slow the escape rate of outgoing radiant emissions AT ANY WAVELENGTH.

    For the exact same reason, those same clouds in the daytime, will also slow the escape rate of the outgoing radiant emissions (which will be different from the night time emissions (because of higher surface Temperatures in daytime), and they will also SLOW THE WARMING OF THE SURFACE in the daytime, by reflecting/scattering/absorbing/Stokes shifting/radiating incoming solar spectrum radiant energy, so it fails to reach the surface of the deep oceans, where it will propagate to the depths, and so be removed from a prompt response to that energy input; which MUST lead to a cooler earth.

    We are concerned with CLIMATE; not last night’s WEATHER, and any increase in cloud cover (area/density/persistance time/whatever) that lasts over climatically meaningful times (why not 30 years) results in a cooler earth.

    Feedback controls usually control the ORIGINAL input signal; which in the climate case is THE SUN’S TSI input of solar spectrum energy; not some minor leakage path at the output.

    The reason climate models can’t properly represent cloud effects, to generate positive feedback (more clouds = more surface heating), is because there is no such positive feedback.

  169. “”””” Pierre-Normand says:

    February 16, 2012 at 5:11 pm

    @George E. Smith “””””

    You seem to be a master at cooking up “stone soup”. Does the concept of changing one parameter at a time to compare results escape you ?

    The comparison was between “cloudy warmer nights”, and “cloudless cooler nights”. The presumption was that we are NOT comparing a midsummer cloudy night to a midwinter cloudless night; how about two consecutive nights. Reasonably then a “warmer” night as predicted on the 6pm weather report, would have a higher Temperature, than the same meteorologist’s prediction of a cooler night would have; regardless of what (s)he says about the cloud conditions, on those two nights. Then absent an instantaneous Temperature drop to equality at the moment of sunset (along with the green flash) for the cloudless night, the day Temperature before sundown would necessarily be higher, for the day that has the warmer night.

    Yes if you like the cloudy night is likely to cool more slowly, I’ve never implied or asserted it won’t.
    I’m simply saying it was the surface conditions that produced both the warmer night and the clouds, and NOT the clouds that produced the warner surface conditions.

    Your position requires a belief that the higher a cloud layer is; therefore in a less dense cooler air mass, containing a lower density of water (in ANY phase), will return more surface emitted LWIR energy, than a lower denser higher water content cloud layer, despite the inverse fourth power of cloud height attenuation of that surface emitted energy. So we are to believe that it is those noctilucent clouds that really warm the earth at night.

    In more than half a century of observation, I have never observed it to warm up in the shadow zone, when a cloud passes in front of the sun. I plan on living another half century just on the off chance that such a thing occurs.

    I’ve also never observed something to happen before the cause of it happens, whether time resolved events or overlapping events, and all physical processes exhibit time lags between cause and effect.

    But you are welcome to believe whatever you like. In the end, the observations will overrule the computer models, which can’t even replicate the data that is used to construct them.

  170. Pierre-Normand says:
    February 16, 2012 at 5:33 pm
    “This is sufficient to make it more plausible to attribute the drop in sea levels to increased precipitations (and land retention) rather than to thermal contraction.”

    —–
    Exactly what the satellite data and direct observation have shown.

  171. @George E. Smith,

    You had said earlier that : “The high clouds ARE NOT the CAUSE of the WARM NIGHT, the prior WARM DAY is the CAUSE of both the WARM NIGHT and the HIGH CLOUDS, and the WARMER THE DAY, then the WARMER THE NIGHT and also the HIGHER THE CLOUDS.”

    But now you are insisting on the negative feedback effect of the clouds during the day and seem to be assuming that this effect will be stronger than the positive feedback effect around the clock. But these two arguments don’t cohere. If the clouds cause the day to be colder that it would have been without them (i.e. the negative feedback dominates), then you can’t at the same time claim that the true cause of the a warmer night when the sky is cloudy is the fact that the clouds also caused the previous day to be warmer and thus the temperature to already be higher at sunset.

  172. George E. Smith wrote: “The comparison was between “cloudy warmer nights”, and “cloudless cooler nights”. The presumption was that we are NOT comparing a midsummer cloudy night to a midwinter cloudless night; how about two consecutive nights. Reasonably then a “warmer” night as predicted on the 6pm weather report, would have a higher Temperature, than the same meteorologist’s prediction of a cooler night would have; regardless of what (s)he says about the cloud conditions, on those two nights. Then absent an instantaneous Temperature drop to equality at the moment of sunset (along with the green flash) for the cloudless night, the day Temperature before sundown would necessarily be higher, for the day that has the warmer night.”

    I can’t quite make sense of this argument. Why should the day temperature before sundown be necessarily higher before the warmer night? There need be no instantaneous drop at the moment of sunset for this to be the case. Even if the day-time temperatures were the same until sunset, the lower rate of cooling after sunset (the possibility of which you don’t deny) is quite sufficient to explain why the night will be warmer, either on average or at any given time before the next sunrise.

  173. George E. Smith wrote: “Your position requires a belief that the higher a cloud layer is; therefore in a less dense cooler air mass, containing a lower density of water (in ANY phase), will return more surface emitted LWIR energy, than a lower denser higher water content cloud layer, despite the inverse fourth power of cloud height attenuation of that surface emitted energy. So we are to believe that it is those noctilucent clouds that really warm the earth at night.”

    I don’t think my position requires this since I made no claim regarding the balance of positive and negative cloud feedback effects.

    However the fourth power law seems irrelevant here. While cloud cover altitude may effect the strength of the cloud warming effect, this has nothing to do with the fourth power law of attenuation. The warming caused by enhanced down-welling radiation depends mostly on cloud cover percentage (assuming constant cloud density and thickness). Roughly, full cloud cover will have twice the effect of half cloud cover, irrespective of altitude. That’s because it isn’t dependent on the amount of radiation emitted back from some given bit of cloud cover to some given bit of ground. The effect must be doubly integrated over the whole surface and the whole cloud cover. This double integration cancels out the fourth power attenuation.

    This is intuitively obvious when you think of it the right way. It is true that some *individual* overcast cloud only reflects back towards you some amount of the radiation *you* emit towards it that is inversely proportional to the fourth power of its altitude. Yet, altitude has no effect on the fraction of up-welling radiation emitted back towards the *whole* surface by the *whole* cloud canopy. If the could cover is 25%, say, then it absorbs 25% of the up-welling radiation and emits half of it (12.5%) back towards the ground. 100% of the down-welling radiation reaches the ground. These figures — 12.5% and 100% — result from integrations that each cancel a double square law.

  174. Werner Brozek says:
    February 16, 2012 at 7:10 pm
    Pierre-Normand says:
    February 16, 2012 at 5:33 pm
    And we have direct evidence that the oceans did warm up over the last La Nina.

    You are obviously NOT talking about the sea surface temperatures. See the 2008 and 2011 La Nina:

    http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/hadsst2gl/from:1980/plot/hadsst2gl/from:2002/trend

    For the last ten years, the slope = -0.00903442 per year.

    _____
    Apparently not understanding that the ocean heat content is different ocean surface temperatures, which actually is just measuring how much heat is leaving the ocean. That negative slope simply means less heat has been leaving the ocean, while of course, during the same period in question, ocean heat content has gone up. Pierre-Normand is exactly right– the oceans have gained energy during the past few La Nina’s (and this is typical during most La Ninas). Usually this heat would be released during the next El Nino, and some is, but more heat is being retained during La Nina’s, and hence, ocean heat content has been going up.

  175. Oh, the millimeters of it all.
    Magic millimeters, able to leap tall trend lines in a single bound.
    Egads.

  176. R. Gates says:
    February 16, 2012 at 7:27 pm

    the oceans have gained energy during the past few La Nina’s (and this is typical during most La Ninas). Usually this heat would be released during the next El Nino, and some is, but more heat is being retained during La Nina’s, and hence, ocean heat content has been going up.

    Sounds good, but … prove it. Show the measurements of warmed ocean water, and give volumes and locations. Report in Degrees Kevin, if necessary.

  177. Werner Brozek wrote: You are obviously NOT talking about the sea surface temperatures.

    No, of course not. I am taking about ocean heath content. When there is a strong La Nina, there is a stronger upwelling or cold water in the tropical Pacific. This circulation effect yields a drop in sea surface temperature. This drop in sea surface temperature cause the oceans to lose less heat (or gain more heath, depending on latitude) to space and the atmosphere. It causes them to warm up (i.e. gain heath). El Nino conditions, conversely, cause higher sea surface temperature and therefore increase the loss of heath of oceans to space and the rest of the troposphere.

    So, paradoxically, in the case ENSO variations, oceans with colder surfaces are warming up more rapidly. That’s because the cause of the warming up is endogenous, in a sense. The local circulation pattern may be partly atmosphere driven but the drive is mechanical rather than thermal. If the cause the higher sea surface temperature was directly driven by air surface temperature, then the more intuitive causal relationship would hold. But that isn’t how ENSO works.

  178. Ya know, the ever-wise, intellectual, and alarmed comments from AGWists over changes in sea level reminds me of the concern expressed by my grandmother when I was sewing my own clothes. She suggested I buy material with the stripes going up and down so I would look taller. At 4′ 11″, just how much taller would I look?????

    Nevertheless, please continue measuring the change in size of the hair on a gnat’s ass. It is ever so intertaining. Especially after a glass (or two) of sherry. Why sherry? Because I felt so guilty letting CO2 escape from my brew last night. Tonight I am being a good girl.

  179. Sherry sure makes it hard to tell whether or not “intertaining” looks more right than “entertaining”. Would someone please tell me the correct spelling of entertwined?

  180. Pierre-Normand says:
    February 16, 2012 at 7:51 pm

    No, of course not. I am taking about ocean heath content.

    Obviously my tease earlier about “heath” didn’t get thru. Look it up. It does not mean “heat”. One “h” only. Heat. Heat. Heath.

  181. Pamela Gray says:
    February 16, 2012 at 8:16 pm

    Would someone please tell me the correct spelling of entertwined?

    Sorry, there is no correct spelling of that, because it’s not a word in English. Maybe in franglais, I’m not sure. ;)

  182. Thanks Brian H.

    French is my first language. I indeed didn’t understand the tease. I appreciate the correction. I’ll remember it now: ‘Heat’. (I guess I also used to mispronounce the word as ‘heath’.)

  183. Thank you Pierre-Normand and R. Gates. Just one question for now: Exactly how far down does “sea surface” go? Thanks!

  184. George E. Smith: “In more than half a century of observation, I have never observed it to warm up in the shadow zone, when a cloud passes in front of the sun. I plan on living another half century just on the off chance that such a thing occurs.”

    Sure, but this observation doesn’t come close to establishing that the overall cooling effect of the cloud dominates over the overall warming effect of the whole planetary surface. There are two reasons for this. (1) The cooling effect within the surface area shadowed from the Sun is entirely restricted to this area (including the penumbra). The warming effect, on the other hand, is diluted over a much wider area. (Likewise, if there is a small breach in an otherwise fully cloudy sky, the shadow effect will disappear entirely when the Sun comes into line-sight, but the warming effect from the surrounding canopy will remain mostly undiminished.) (2) The cooling effect only occurs during the day while the warming effect will continue to occur at night at a just a somewhat reduced rate. (I am unsure just how much cloud temperatures typically vary around the clock).

    So, all your observation amounts to is that the cooling effect from a cloud dominates its warming effect within the restricted time-frame and surface-area where the former effect is concentrated. It enables you to conclude nothing about the total net effect when both opposite component effects are integrated over the whole planetary surface during a whole day.

  185. Werner Brozek asked: Thank you Pierre-Normand and R. Gates. Just one question for now: Exactly how far down does “sea surface” go? Thanks!

    Definitionally, that’s anywhere between 1mm and 20m depending on measurement methods. For purpose of radiative exchanges with space and the atmosphere, layers deeper than 20m are irrelevant and for purpose of latent and sensible heat fluxes only the temperature of the top skin layer counts. However because of turbulent mixing (the effect of surface waves), there tends not to be much of a temperature gradient within the top 20m or 30m layer. And the heat content gained or lost within this top turbulent layer may only accounts for a small fraction of the overall variations in heat content after, say, one intense La Nina year.

    In any case, if the fraction “lost” due to the La Nina cooling of the top layer were significant (I am unsure how small it really is) as compared with the overall gain of heat, keep in mind that it is only “lost” to the deep cold layers this water is upwelling from and not to the ocean as a whole. So, this fraction represents no loss of heat and is therefore quite irrelevant to the issue of sea level change caused by thermal dilation/contraction.

  186. R. Gates says:
    February 15, 2012 at 4:39 pm

    I’m afraid its spot on. So dominant La Nina is the cause of sea level fall? Then you no doubt accept that the previously dominant el Nino was the reason for the sea level rise in recent 2-3 decades. You are therefore endorsing Bob Tisdale’s argument that the cyclical changes in global temperature (and by association sea level) are attributable to shifting phases of dominant el Nino or La Nina phases (there are also of course the two butterfly wings of the ENSO Lorenz attractor) and in no way related to CO2. Good to see you are on board at last!

    _____
    Fortunately, the evidence makes it quite clear which is the signal and which is the noise (i.e. natural variability) riding on top of that signal. ENSO fluctuations can be seen as noise in the overall upward trend in sea level rise over the past few decades. Cherry picking short-term noise to try to make a case for your point of view on longer-term ocean changes is…amateurish at best.

    In looking at El Nino and La Nina variations, once must not just look at the SST temperature, but where the wind patterns are sending the moisture, as there can be great variations between two different El Ninos or two different La Ninas. Grace satellite data is a powerful tool for really seeing where the water has gone. Skeptics seem to hate this clear cut information. Why?

    Lets step back and look at the bigger picture: both global sea level rise and global temperature rise have levelled off and show signs of moving to decline. So all this scurrying around looking for post-hoc explanations and special pleading is clearly the new way of life that the AGW community are going to have to get used to in the years ahead. Why all this winter cold and growing snowpack? Why these declining temperatures and global signs of cooling. I think that the GRACE gravitation mapping satellite is much better used for its real purpose of fine-tuning the navigation of ICBMs than for getting dragged into the climate debate to contribute still further to the smoke-screen of obfustication, swamping the debate with marginally relevant and distracting minutiae.

    “ENSO fluctuations can be seen as noise in the overall upward trend in sea level rise over the past few decades.”

    Warmistas really hate the ENSO. Why? Because it points to the non-survivability of simplistic back-of-envelope CO2 dogma in the real, complex-chaotic world. Bob Tisdale has shown – and this is not a controversial opinion in oceanography – that ENSO is the dominant mechanism determining global climatic variations on the scale of decades. Certain large ENSO evens are associated with step changes in global temperature which Bob Tisdale has further shown are the ONLY source of significant climate change in recent decades.

    So dismissing ENSO as “noise” really is burying your head in the sand and outright denial of the complex processes of the real world. I love the ENSO. It is real and it is big, it is a real nonlinear oscillator, its been around a long time and its not going to go away.

  187. Brian H says:
    February 16, 2012 at 7:43 pm
    R. Gates says:
    February 16, 2012 at 7:27 pm

    the oceans have gained energy during the past few La Nina’s (and this is typical during most La Ninas). Usually this heat would be released during the next El Nino, and some is, but more heat is being retained during La Nina’s, and hence, ocean heat content has been going up.

    Sounds good, but … prove it. Show the measurements of warmed ocean water, and give volumes and locations. Report in Degrees Kevin, if necessary.
    ———–
    Do your own research Brian, I am not your errand boy. A few clicks of the mouse and you can get pretty much any data you want. For starters, just look at ocean heat content charts and compare them to ENSO cycles. You”ll notice the ENSO cycle fluctuations riding quite clearly on top of the general increase in ocean heat content. Despite what certain skeptics will tell you, the ocean heat content is the best metric of overall warming of the earth system, and during this past decade the ocean has gained about 10 x 10^22 Joules of energ just down to 2000 meters alone. Hardly the sign of a cooling planet. The skin layer of the ocean is affected by an increase in downwelling long-wave, reducing the thermal gradient across the skin layer, meaning that less heat flux exists across the skin layer, and thus, less heat leaves the ocean and the ocean heat content goes up. Don’t get distracted by those arguing about longwave radiation penetrating beyond the skin layer. Longwave’s effects on altering the thermal gradient of the skin layer quite sufficient to cause the ocean to warm under that skin layer, and the data quite clearly display just that.

    • R. Gates, you say:-

      “Longwave’s effects on altering the thermal gradient of the skin layer quite sufficient to cause the ocean to warm under that skin layer”

      Rubbish. there’s only a 10 micron effective penetration in the 4 – 16 micron GHG+clouds LWIR range.

      Have a think about 10 microns on a turbulent ocean surface (or even a calm surface).

      Worse, on the left scale absorption DECREASES 1000 times relative to the effective 10mm penetration of solar LWIR at 1 microm wavelength.

      Conflating conventional cool-skin warm-layer physics with Peter Minnet’s Real Climate opining won’t get you anywhere.

  188. Werner Brozek says:
    February 16, 2012 at 10:05 pm
    Thank you Pierre-Normand and R. Gates. Just one question for now: Exactly how far down does “sea surface” go? Thanks!
    ———-
    Suggest you reference this for a general overview:

    http://www.srh.noaa.gov/jetstream/ocean/layers_ocean.htm

    What are you actually try to get at by this question, as “sea surface” can be used very broadly.

  189. Pierre-Normand says:
    “We would only expect this only if every La Nina event had very similar durations and intensity, and resulted in similar geographic distribution of excess rain events, and, finally, if the ENSO cycle was the only significant determinant of ocean temperature changes.
    ======================================
    Yes Pierre, that was the point I was hinting at. The claim that La Nina’s “cause” sea level decline doesn’t really work because we didn’t see sea level decline during the 2008 La Nina. And while we did see it during the 1999 La Nina (which was very strong), one would have expected to see an accelerating sea level trend afterwards based on your hypothesis, which didn’t happen either. (Because the underlying warming trend would have to be added to the land based water returning to the oceans during the same time frame.)

    As you should know, SOI correlates well with strong flooding events in Australia and South America. So you should not blame La Nina as such, but rather discuss sustained periods in which the SOI was strongly positive…We can see 3 periods in the record where that occurred: circa 1999-2000, 2008, and now. Compare those periods to the sea level trends. As you can see they are fairly regular in their cyclical patterns and they don’t stand out when compared to other time periods.

    Sea level rise (and fall) is consistent with global temperature fluctuations, but there is no obvious or apparent correlation with SOI. So your claim boils down to asserting there is something unique or special about this *particular* La Nina which has never been observed before in the data. Sounds suspiciously like special pleading to me… Or we can just stick to the most obvious explanation–the ocean have cooled a bit. Don’t worry, I’m sure they will warm up again. They’ve been warming for thousands of years.

  190. Thank you again Pierre-Normand and R. Gates.
    From

    http://bobtisdale.wordpress.com/2012/01/26/october-to-december-2011-nodc-ocean-heat-content-anomalies-0-700meters-update-and-comments/

    “The Global OHC data through December 2011 is shown in Figure 6. Even with the recent correction and uptick in the two quarters of this year, Global Ocean Heat Content continues to be remarkably flat since 2003″

    The above quote is about the top 700 m. So IF there is a lot more heat further down to 2000 m, then the next El Nino should be huge after a double La Nina if you are correct. Time will tell.

  191. Werner Brozek says:
    February 17, 2012 at 7:57 am
    Thank you again Pierre-Normand and R. Gates.

    The above quote is about the top 700 m. So IF there is a lot more heat further down to 2000 m, then the next El Nino should be huge after a double La Nina if you are correct. Time will tell.

    This waiting for el Nino which has been going on for several years now, has a certain “waiting for Godot” ring to it.

  192. “””””” Pierre-Normand says:

    February 16, 2012 at 11:01 pm

    George E. Smith: “In more than half a century of observation, I have never observed it to warm up in the shadow zone, when a cloud passes in front of the sun. I plan on living another half century just on the off chance that such a thing occurs.”

    Sure, but this observation doesn’t come close to establishing that the overall cooling effect of the cloud dominates over the overall warming effect of the whole planetary surface. There are two reasons for this. (1) The cooling effect within the surface area shadowed from the Sun is entirely restricted to this area (including the penumbra). The warming effect, on the other hand, is diluted over a much wider area. “””””

    Well Pierre, you continue to refer to the “warming effect” of clouds at night, and you jump between a small cloud throwing a small shadow (including penumbra, to a complete cloud layer with a small hole. Evidently, the first happens only in the day time, and the latter only happens at night, in your model.
    For starters the day / night thing is about a 50 : 50 split. It is NOT the 4:1 split implied by Trenberth et al’s so called earth energy budget.

    Actually, slightly more than half of the full earth sees daylight continuously, andf slightly less sees night (absence of solar disk) continuously because of atmospheric refraction; but I’ll not quibble over the fine points.
    So clouds, anywhere on the sunlit hemisphere will reflect / scatter / absorb / down shift (Stokes loss) / radiate (LWIR) which ALWAYS results in a net loss of solar energy to the earth; it is irretrievably lost to space. OK; so the obliquity at the periphery results in a cosine (roughly) loss of solar irradiance, both above the clouds and at the surface; big deal, that may affect local peripheral Temperatures, but it has no effect on the total energy that reaches the earth surface over the whole sunlit hemisphere. If anything, the peripheral cooling effect is even greater, than for the sun at zeniith, because you go from an air mass one path to a much longer air path and cloud layer path at the periphery, so the solar energy loss increases as you move away from the zenith. The exact same thing is true of the non condensed state, of H2O, O3, and CO2 absorption of significant parts of the incoming TSI spectrum, where 98% or more of the TSE resides (about 250 nm to 4.0 microns). All of at least those three GHGs have a negative feedback cooling effect with regard to feedback to the incoming sun energy.
    Yes that absorption does result in atmospheric warming (compared to lower amounts of those GHGs), but the net result is that LESS solar energy gets stored in the deep oceans.

    And I know nowt about oceanic mixing, so I will let you chaps debate how the mixing affects the storage; and whether it is 700 metres or 2,000. Over the long haul, the LOSS of additional solar energy due to INCREASED GHGs (well H2O, O3, and CO2) for climatically meaningful time scales (30 years ? ) can hardly result in a warmer earth.
    Now because of the higher daytime Temperatures, over the sunlit half of the earth, the spectral radiant emittance from the surface is higher during daytime than during night time. The peak of that emission spectrum increases as the fifth power of the surface Temperature (roughly), and it also shifts to shorter wavelengths (Wien shift) so it further reduces the LWIR absorption effect of both CO2 and H2O (vapor). So the daytime LWIR cooling is more effective than the night time cooling. And we all know from high dry deserts, that CO2 is quite ineffective in “warming” the desert night times.

    As for your small cloud shadow, including penumbra effect, the effect in the shadow zone is a direct reduction of solar spectrum energy, at the surface, as the sun is a near point source. The axial irradiance due to a finite Lambertian source, has an error of about 1/2% for a 10 : 1 distance to source size ratio; and for the sun, that ratio is more than 100, so the deviation from a point source is entirely negligible. There will be a cosine irradiance effect if the sun is not at the zenith.
    For the outgoing, the surface source is between Lambertian and isotropic due to surface roughness, and Lambertian is the most favorable case ( for dispersion of the emission.
    In this instance, the cloud blockage will see an inverse height squared attenuation and a cosine^4 of cloud angle further reduction, so the cloud irradiance from the shadow zone loses very quickly with cloud height. The fraction of the irradiated energy at the cloud, that gets absorbed, also diminishes with hieght due to the lower H2O molecular density. The resultant LWIR emission from the cloud, is essentially isotropic, so half will be lost to space, and I’ll give you that the other half may be totally absorbed by the surface (other than surface LWIR reflectance.

    Well for the night time half of the globe (not 3/4 as in Trenberth), the solar effect is of course absent, but the solid angular capture geometry by the cloud is still fully active, and the average surface radiant emittanceis considerably lower than the daylight average.

    But all we are talking about is rearranging the energy that the earth already captured from the sun; and that ALWAYS gets less with more H2O in any phase, and also more O3 and CO2.
    And it WILL continue to cool during the night, even though you continue to talk of night time “Warming”.

    But all it takes is observational data to establish which view is correct. But somehow, I don’t seem to find any peer reviewed papers relating to Nyquist valid ground level sampling of surface solar insolation, to even establish what the solar blocking effect is for clouds or GHGs.

    Well that sort of information would likely not be supportive of the prevailing theories, and might result in curtailment of grant money, if it was widely known. Governments don’t usually spend taxpayer money to find out that nothing untoward is happening; they prefer the “sky is falling” idea.

  193. As for oceanic “surface” absorption of LWIR, the peak absorption coefficient for water is about 8,000 cm^-1 at 3.0 microns, which gives a 1/e depth of 1.25 microns, so the 99% absorption distance would be about 6.25 microns (5 times). For the entire climate interesting wavelength range, the absorption coefficient is greater than 1,000 cm^-1, so the 99% absorption depth is always less than 62.5 microns, and usually less than that. I don’t know how to post data graphs here; so folks can look it up for themselves. I’m not into Giggling, or Wikileaks; it used to be fashionable to actually learn something in school; besides http://www.whatever.com

  194. Werner Brozek says:

    The above quote is about the top 700 m. So IF there is a lot more heat further down to 2000 m, then the next El Nino should be huge after a double La Nina if you are correct.

    El Nino is a surface phenomenon, and it is localized to a specific area of the Tropical Pacific. Global OHC below 700m is irrelevant. We know that the 0-700m in this area is currently not recharging the heat given up in the last El Nino, as it typically would during a La Nina. Prayers for a huge El Nino based on mid depth ocean warmth would seem to rest on a bunch of heat sitting below 700m in that area of the eastern Pacific, and a mechanism to get it up top in a way that raises near surface temps.

    Is it there? If so, how did it get there?

  195. @George E. Smith

    “Well Pierre, you continue to refer to the “warming effect” of clouds at night, and you jump between a small cloud throwing a small shadow (including penumbra, to a complete cloud layer with a small hole. Evidently, the first happens only in the day time, and the latter only happens at night, in your model.”

    That’s not a model at all. That’s just a pair of illustrative examples. And both of them are daytime examples. In the second example there is a breach in the cloud cover that lets sunlight through as it passes overhead. So, an observer will notice a sharp increase in total radiant heat when the breach passes overhead and the Sun appears. But there will be no significant diminution in the back-radiation from the whole cloud cover when the breach moves away. The point of the example is the same as the point of the first one. In both examples you can’t infer, from the fact that when clouds block direct sunlight total radiant energy drops, the conclusion that the net effect of the cloud cover is to decrease total radiant energy over the whole surface. It only seems so in your live experience because the albedo effect is concentrated on a small area (shadow of the cloud cover) and time-frame (day-time) where it dominates the more widely diluted back-radiation effect.

    I myself drew no conclusion over which effect dominates overall in the context of climate. This may still be an unknown.

  196. deja vu all over again.Long term trend looks like sea level has topped out.

    What’s all this fuss over the noise of small changes?

  197. George E. Smith wrote: “And it WILL continue to cool during the night, even though you continue to talk of night time “Warming”.”

    Of course, no contest. The issue is whether the feedback effect of an increased cloud cover in a warming climate is positive or negative. There is a negative albedo effect and a positive back-radiation effect. When I label the second effect “warming” this denotes a positive feedback effect. It may or may not be dominated by the negative albedo effect. I am not implying that clouds will lead to night-time temperatures increasing overnight. That would be silly. The same is true of the warming effect of H2O or CO2 vapour. En enhanced greenhouse effect is a warming effect in the sense that it yields a warmer climate. Part of the cause of this effect is a reduction of the cooling *rate* at night. There is no implication that greenhouse gases cause surface temperatures to rise overnight.

    Note that it would likewise be silly to object to calling the cloud albedo effect a “cooling effect” on the ground that even on cloudy days the surface temperatures still rises between sunrise and sunset. The effect still is a cooling effect in the relevant sense just because the rate of day-time warming is smaller when the cloud cover is larger.

  198. George E. Smith wrote: “For the outgoing, the surface source is between Lambertian and isotropic due to surface roughness, and Lambertian is the most favorable case ( for dispersion of the emission.
    In this instance, the cloud blockage will see an inverse height squared attenuation and a cosine^4 of cloud angle further reduction, so the cloud irradiance from the shadow zone loses very quickly with cloud height. The fraction of the irradiated energy at the cloud, that gets absorbed, also diminishes with hieght due to the lower H2O molecular density. The resultant LWIR emission from the cloud, is essentially isotropic, so half will be lost to space, and I’ll give you that the other half may be totally absorbed by the surface (other than surface LWIR reflectance.”

    I still don’t see where you get this inverse height squared attenuation and the cosine^4 angle reduction. It still seems to me you are focusing the the effect cloud height has on the interaction between some small bit of ground and some small bit of cloud cover and you are forgetting to perform a double integration over the whole surface and cloud cover. You made no acknowledgement of my argument to that effect in my last reply.

    The inverse squared attenuation in the upwelling radiation is irrelevant because integration over the whole cloud cover cancels it fully. (I neglect boundary effects you mentioned and that I acknowledge to be negligible). If the cloud cover is 50%, say, then 50% of the upwelling radiation is being absorbed by the clouds assuming full opacity for simplicity). This is true irrespective of the solid angle emission distribution being Lambertian or isotropic or anything in between. It is also true irrespective of the fact that an individual bit or cloud cover will receive less radiation from an individual bit of ground surface when it is moved higher up. In any case, one random upwelling photon, emitted in any upward direction, will have an X% chance to hit some cloud and (1-X)% chance of missing it, assuming only an X% cloud cover. This is true for all individual photons. And, as you now acknowledge, half this energy will be radiated back to the ground (assuming a one layer thin cloud model for simplicity). So, the other component of your previous fourth power attenuation law also cancels out in the integration of back-radiation over the whole ground surface. The only point here is that your original fourth power attenuation law yields no attenuation at all after the two (upwelling and downwelling) integrations that each cancel out the separate inverse square laws that apply only to the individual pairs of interacting infinitesimal bits of ground and surface.

  199. “In any case, one random upwelling photon, emitted in any upward direction, will have an X% chance to hit some cloud and (1-X)% chance of missing it, assuming only an X% cloud cover.”

    This is false as it stands. What I meat to say is that the photon has a (1-X)% to miss every cloud — that is, to miss the cloud cover.

  200. Will Nitschke said: “Yes Pierre, that was the point I was hinting at. The claim that La Nina’s “cause” sea level decline doesn’t really work because we didn’t see sea level decline during the 2008 La Nina. And while we did see it during the 1999 La Nina (which was very strong), one would have expected to see an accelerating sea level trend afterwards based on your hypothesis, which didn’t happen either. (Because the underlying warming trend would have to be added to the land based water returning to the oceans during the same time frame.)”

    There is no expectation that the time frame be the same. As I noted earlier, the residence time of groundwater ranges from centuries to millennia. The rebound from runoff water occurs within mere months. We may only expect the other part of the rebound to be diluted over the next centuries. Also, your first sentence seems to be a non-sequitur. That’s like saying that the claim that the gunshot caused the patient to die doesn’t really work because the previous patient who was shot didn’t die. Again, different La Ninas result in different rain patterns and ENSO just is one factor in sea level variations. We ought only to expect an imperfect correlation with sea level rise.

  201. Evidently, the first happens only in the day time, and the latter only happens at night, in your model.
    For starters the day / night thing is about a 50 : 50 split. It is NOT the 4:1 split implied by Trenberth et al’s so called earth energy budget.

    I don’t understand that claim either. (And I didn’t put forth any “model”. I was considering two daytime specific and local examples. The first example was actually your own.) Also, in Trenberth’s energy budget, the total Solar incident power exactly balances the total outgoing power at top of atmosphere. I not sure what this supposedly implied 4:1 split you are mentioning corresponds to. How do you derive this specific ratio from Trenberth’s budget, and why do you think it should be 1:1 instead?

  202. @ Jerome: “What else were we supposed to be terrified about?”

    1) The “existential threat” posed by Iran, which has zero “noo-kyoo-ler weapons,” to a country that has 300+/-.

    2) Over here, Muslims under the bed–you know, “hat[ing] us for our freedoms.”

    3) The “kooky ideas” of Ron Paul, the most dangerous of which are surely liberty, peace, and prosperity. (God forbid that people anywhere should actually be allowed to live their lives as they so choose!)

    4) The potential for a serious screw-up with the voting machines that would prevent Ron Paul from having yet another caucus or primary stolen from him.

    5) Most of all, raw milk!

  203. Predictions for something like sea level rise are long term by their nature. I’m not sure how useful it is to look at such a short time frame. How about the big picture over thousands of years, from the experts in the field?

  204. otter17 says: February 19, 2012 at 1:41 pm From real experts showing a graph with a 0.6 meter y-axis for the last century to show the sea level rise. Funny how they don’t show it since the last ice age, on top of 100 meters of rise. Oh yeah, I guess you couldn’t see it. Alarmist Expert B.S.

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