300 soundings from 19th century compared to Argo data

From the University of California – San Diego Scripps Institute, you gotta love the subheading in this PR. I didn’t know robots could travel back in time. Gosh, I learn something new every day. Apparently 300 soundings done by the HMS Challenger between 1872-1876 are enough to establish a “new global baseline” for the last century. The temperature rise is pretty much what we’d expect from LIA recovery. Though, for an outfit that hauls Titanic Chicken of the Sea debate ducker James Cameron to the bottom of the deepest ocean trench, I’d take this PR with a grain of sea salt, especially since it provides no supporting graphics or documentation. I’d sure like to see how the distribution of those 300 sounding looks.  - Anthony

New comparison of ocean temperatures reveals rise over the last century

Ocean robots used in Scripps-led study that traces ocean warming to late 19th century

A new study contrasting ocean temperature readings of the 1870s with temperatures of the modern seas reveals an upward trend of global ocean warming spanning at least 100 years. 

The research led by Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego physical oceanographer Dean Roemmich shows a .33-degree Celsius (.59-degree Fahrenheit) average increase in the upper portions of the ocean to 700 meters (2,300 feet) depth. The increase was largest at the ocean surface, .59-degree Celsius (1.1-degree Fahrenheit), decreasing to .12-degree Celsius (.22-degree Fahrenheit) at 900 meters (2,950 feet) depth.

The report is the first global comparison of temperature between the historic voyage of HMS Challenger (1872-1876) and modern data obtained by ocean-probing robots now continuously reporting temperatures via the global Argo program. Scientists have previously determined that nearly 90 percent of the excess heat added to Earth’s climate system since the 1960s has been stored in the oceans. The new study, published in the April 1 advance online edition of Nature Climate Change and coauthored by John Gould of the United Kingdom-based National Oceanography Centre and John Gilson of Scripps Oceanography, pushes the ocean warming trend back much earlier.

“The significance of the study is not only that we see a temperature difference that indicates warming on a global scale, but that the magnitude of the temperature change since the 1870s is twice that observed over the past 50 years,” said Roemmich, co-chairman of the International Argo Steering Team. “This implies that the time scale for the warming of the ocean is not just the last 50 years but at least the last 100 years.”

Although the Challenger data set covers only some 300 temperature soundings (measurements from the sea surface down to the deep ocean) around the world, the information sets a baseline for temperature change in the world’s oceans, which are now sampled continuously through Argo’s unprecedented global coverage. Nearly 3,500 free-drifting profiling Argo floats each collect a temperature profile every 10 days.

Roemmich believes the new findings, a piece of a larger puzzle of understanding the earth’s climate, help scientists to understand the longer record of sea-level rise, because the expansion of seawater due to warming is a significant contributor to rising sea level. Moreover, the 100-year timescale of ocean warming implies that the Earth’s climate system as a whole has been gaining heat for at least that long.

###

Launched in 2000, the Argo program collects more than 100,000 temperature-salinity profiles per year across the world’s oceans. To date, more than 1,000 research papers have been published using Argo’s data set.

The Nature Climate Change study was supported by U.S. Argo through NOAA.

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109 thoughts on “300 soundings from 19th century compared to Argo data

  1. Based on the accuracy of the older thermometers, it is more likely that the data should be used to prove that there has been no change in temperature.

  2. Here is an article on the Challenger.

    http://life.bio.sunysb.edu/marinebio/challenger.html

    It was a genuinely impresive effort, especially in comparison to the poor methodology which characterised the collecting of many SST samples. However 300 readings is neither here nor there. Having said that I don’t doubt that the oceans have probably warmed since the end of the little ice age but in truth we don’t know by how much
    tonyb

  3. To believe that 300 readings tells us anything seems something akin to either desperation or bad science.

    tonyb

    ##################

    Tony. These are historical records. You should applaud the publication of them.
    If it was a diary you found, you’d note it. If it was a record of warm month in 1720,
    you’d note it.

    Why do people who cherish data, who collect anecdotes, as you do, have a problem with
    somebody else doing the same thing. It’s data. That’s good.

  4. Tony
    ‘ Having said that I don’t doubt that the oceans have probably warmed since the end of the little ice age but in truth we don’t know by how much”

    Well, you better hope they have warmed otherwise your records of a cool LIA on land are
    a shambles.

    There is a pretty consistent relationship between the change in temps over land and those in the ocean. That’s just physics. In fact, If you have land temps you can make an estimate of ocean temps. With error bars of course. So we do have an idea of how much the SST has warmed.
    That idea, that knowledge, LIKE ALL KNOWLEDGE, comes with error bars. Sometimes tight, sometimes wide. It’s knowledge nevertheless.

  5. If we accept this data, surely it proves no anthropogenic influence. Given no increase in warming correlating with human activity growth. Oh the hypocrisy !

  6. And then over the following year, the biggest Super El Nino in history occurred and global sea surface temperatures spiked by up to +0.6C and Land temperatures by more than +1.5C in a matter of months.

    In fact, 1872-1876 was dominated by a nearly continuous La Nina.

    Where were the soundings taken?
    .

  7. Too bad they didn’t sample deeper…….maybe could have found Trenberth’s missing heat hiding in the pipeline.

  8. Given the timing of the article, is this a hoax?

    “The new study, published in the April 1 advance online edition of Nature Climate Change and coauthored by John Gould of the United Kingdom-based National Oceanography Centre and John Gilson of Scripps Oceanography, pushes the ocean warming trend back much earlier.

  9. 300 records vs argo’s hundreds of thousands of records is not even a rounding error … they should never be discussed in the same study … its not just bad science but magical thinking …

  10. Mosh

    If I had published a new diary of 300 observations covering a 4 year period as the basis for a new global record for the ocean you would have poured scorn on it and muttered the word ‘anecdotes.’

    Of course I applaud the release of new data but we need to put it into perspective. I agree with you about error bars but sometimes they are so large they have little scientific meaning as the basis for hugely important political decisions. To requote Lamb on temperatures ‘We can know the tendancy but not the precision.’ A good motto for the IPCC.

    I’ve just come across the 7 year diary of William Merle who compiled a weather diary in the 1340′s in Britain. I’ll remember your approval of small numbers of observations as the basis for a new global record if I ever come to write about them. :)
    tonyb

  11. Steven Mosher : “That idea, that knowledge, LIKE ALL KNOWLEDGE, comes with error bars. Sometimes tight, sometimes wide. ”

    Did the proof of Fermat’s Last Theorem come with error bars?

  12. H.M.S. Challenger’s voyage lasted some three or four years, so 300 temperature soundings are, jolly roughly, two a week.
    As noted by the excellent Robert Clemenzi, we do not kow whether the thermometers used were as accurate as the ones used today. I’d like to think that Queen Victoria’s Royal Navy had state of the art equipment, but rather doubt it.
    How were the sub-surface temperatures recorded? Double-walled container? Triple-walled? do we have any idea of the recovery time from 700 metres? wre the containersat least slightly open [a couple of pin-hles would allow the pressure to equalise, from 70 bar to zero (gauge), as the ontainer is recovered.
    Even if the temperatures were taken in the same location [and in the 1870s I'd guess deep-sea accuracy to well under a mile, perhaps nearer a quarter-mile, with good Sun sights alone], were they at the same date, same local recent weather, and same phase of the Moon [so tides, too].
    Without that, claiming accuracy to one hundredth of a degrre Fahrenheit, from three hundred observations [that are comparisons] may be a little doubtful. I suggest.
    [Perahps it as a third of a Kelvin, and three-fifths of a degree Fahrenheit, but it does say “.59-degree Fahrenheit”

  13. Well isn’t it amazing that “climate scientists” who asssert that Physics and Chemistry and Mathematics simply are NOT pertinent to their educational specialty, which is “climate science”, so they are experts because they can study some prehistoric mud snail and deduce the climate history of the earth; but a mere physicist is quite unable to apply rather simple basic and universal principles to figuring out what effects seem to be important.

    And in all of this appeal to authority, I have not yet encountered one single “climate scientist”; who understands even the most basic concepts of sampled data systems, or that there even is such a discipline.

    So boring a single hole at a single angle , at a single height, in a three dimensional object like a tree, and one single and not typical tree at that, is adequate to precisely determine the Temperature record of an entire climate zone.

    So I’m going to be really impressed by 300 “soundings” at quite unknown oceanic locations, in waters that meander like other rivers, from day to day or year to year.

    Well it is of course the same thing as GISSTemp or HADCRud. They may be excellent data records of GISSTempp and HADCRUd; they just don’t relate to anything else that might be interesting. So they are akin to the average telephone number in the Manhattan Telephone directory. Of no earthly use to anybody, unless that average number just happens to be your telephone number.

    And the impossibility of monitoring anything like the global ground level influence of clouds on the net solar energy captured at the surface, renders the whole exercise a farce.

    But, it could be of historical curiosity interest, to see how ancient sailors tried to gather some data on their travels. Captain Bligh’s efforts to try to get some exotic plants back to Europe comes to mind.

  14. “Ocean robots used in Scripps-led study that traces ocean warming to late 19th century”

    Did they use Mr. Peabody’s WABAC machine?

  15. “”””” Miss Grundy says:

    April 2, 2012 at 12:38 pm

    Steven Mosher : “That idea, that knowledge, LIKE ALL KNOWLEDGE, comes with error bars. Sometimes tight, sometimes wide. ”

    Did the proof of Fermat’s Last Theorem come with error bars? “””””

    Well one thing we know for sure about “the proof of Fermat’s last theorem”, is that it most certainly is NOT Fermat’s proof of Fermat’s last theorem; which evidently he considered hardly worth writing down.

  16. The paper does indeed have error bars and while the Challenger data set may be relatively small the comparison is valid – I think.
    Simple arithmetic tells us that if the rate of warming over the last 100 years was twice that of the last 50 years then the rate of ocean warming in the first 50 years (1880′s – 1930′s) was 3 times higher than in the second 50 years. And man-made carbon-dioxide then was – I do believe – somewhat lower than in the second half of the twentieth century.

  17. The real ‘usefulness ‘ of the oceans is that for alarmists great claims about ‘hiding heat’ can be made , with virtual no way to call them out as BS’ing as its not possible to measure in any meaningful way.

  18. Hey, if you add in Herodotus dipping his toe in the ocean and some Chinese data you might get a few dozen more data points. Go for it, all data is the same right? at least for publication mill purposes

  19. Maritime Museums of San Diego and Liverpool UK are full of such recordings and the old thermometers, and yes they were accurate even then (not to 100 of a degree). I find the Ocean rise in temperature quite exceptable since we are recovering from the LIA. As many here would know this is natural recovery from a cold period and yes it is mostly natural global warming, as any sane person would expect. Warm or Cool we have to live with it and as our for bearers have done, adjust or die. And NO Co2 reduction or tax will fix that.

  20. How precisely did HMS Challenger measure deep ocean temperatures?

    If memory serves, they lowered a tube, open at both ends, then when it got down to the layer they wanted to sample, they pulled a rope that snapped both ends of the tube shut and hauled the tube back to the surface where temperature data was taken.

    Possible problems.
    1) Did they give the tube time to adjust to the local temperature before sampling?
    2) How well insulated was the tube, and what was the temperature of the water the sample was hauled through on the way to the surface.
    3) How was the sample handled while it’s temperature was taken once it reached the surface?
    4) DId they use the same sampling hardware for all 300 samples?

  21. 300 samples is sufficient to give us a knowledge of the ocean’s temperature to 0.01C????

    I don’t think so.

  22. Steven Mosher says:
    April 2, 2012 at 12:11 pm

    data is a good thing.

    Good data would be even better.

  23. Personally, I think the mean telephone number in the Manhattan Telephone Directory is the most important.
    /sarc
    Sometimes the pettiness of the comments here gets in the way – we really do need more Willis, that is, thoughtful musings.

  24. Why only the 300 from HMS Challenger? Sailing Ships coming into port, leaving port, and in unfamiliar waters would take soundings, which would then be entered into the sailing master’s logbook and the captain’s logbook. This was true for merchantmen and military vessels. A quick stroll down to the Admiralty in the UK, or Navy Department would get you all of the soundings you could hope for, cross referenced by air temperature, latitude, longitude, time of day, phase of moon,and high/low tides.

  25. The awful silence was impressive: unwilling to break it I sat me down.

    “I felt her presence by its spell of might,

    Stoop o’er me from above—

    The calm majestic presence of the night,

    As of the one I love.”

    Suddenly a distant roar boomed along the water and echoed amongst the rocks: again and again I heard it, when, to my astonishment, several huge icebergs in the offing commenced to break up. A fearful plunge of some large mass would clothe the spot in spray and foam; a dull reverberating echo pealed on; and then, merely from the concussion of the still air, piece after piece detached itself from icebergs far and near, and the work of demolition was most rapid: truly did Baffin boast, that he had laid open one of Nature’s most wonderful laboratories; and I thought with Longfellow, in his Hyperion,—

    “The vast cathedral of nature is full of holy scriptures and shapes of deep mysterious meaning: all is solitary and silent there. Into this vast cathedral comes the human soul seeking its Creator, and the universal silence is changed to sound, and the sound is harmonious and has a meaning, and is comprehended and felt.”

    http://www.gutenberg.org/files/24891/24891-h/24891-h.htm

    Thursday, 27th June, 1850, found us still cruising about under canvas; northward and westward a body of dirty ice, fast decaying under a fierce sunlight, bergs in hundreds in every direction; and, dotted along the Greenland shore, a number of whalers fast in what is called “Land water,” ready to take the first opening. The barometer falling, we were ordered to make fast to icebergs, every one choosing his own. This operation is a very useful one in arctic regions, and saves much unnecessary wear and tear of men and vessel, when progress in the required direction is no longer possible.

    The bergs, from their enormous depth, are usually aground, except at spring-tides, and the seaman thus succeeds in anchoring his vessel in 200 fm. water, without any other trouble than digging a hole in the iceberg, placing an anchor in it called an ice-anchor, which one man can lift, and, with a whale-line, his ship rides out under the lee of this natural breakwater, in severe gales, and often escapes being beset in a lee pack.

  26. “The significance of the study is not only that we see a temperature difference that indicates warming on a global scale, but that the magnitude of the temperature change since the 1870s is twice that observed over the past 50 years, ” said Roemmich, co-chairman of the International Argo Steering Team. “This implies that the time scale for the warming of the ocean is not just the last 50 years but at least the last 100 years.”

    Interesting. Let’s not be too quick to reject these findings. If there was significant warming from the 1870s through until 1960, say, it suggests CO2 is not responsible. For the first 30 years or so there were no cars, no aircraft and fossil fuel burning was confined to just a few industrialised locations in the NH (not in China, India etc). Atmospheric CO2 concentrations in 1900 were supposedly only about 295 ppm which is equivalent to a forcing of ~0.2 w/m2 since 1850. If warming were the result of CO2 forcing alone it would not be detectable. In 1958 atmospheric CO2 concentration was ~315 ppm – equivalent to a forcing of ~0.5 w/m2. Again it’s doubtful if any ocean temperature increase could be detected – particularly as we’re forever being told that there is a lag before warming is fully realised.

    Accept these findings at face value then ask for an explanation as to how they fit with the increase of CO2 in the atmosphere. They don’t!

    ktwop says:
    April 2, 2012 at 1:06 pm

    I’ve just noticed your post and I think you’re more or less making the same point as me. This study does not support a significant CO2 influence.

  27. I think almost any data is better than no data. I think it is most important outcome from this study is that a non skeptical group begins to realize/recognize that our climate has been changing for a lot longer than expected. Whether or not this will lead to a new idealized baseline is yet to be determined.

  28. “Scientists have previously determined that nearly 90 percent of the excess heat added to Earth’s climate system since the 1960s has been stored in the oceans.”

    I thought they couldn’t find the missing heat. What gives?

  29. What amazes me is that the CAGW believers seem to think that if they constantly plug the line that there HAS been warming of the Earth since the industrial revolution that this will — in the end — force skeptics to concur that the warming is due preponderantly to the atmospheric CO2 increase. Their ability to change colour like chameleons is noting short staggering. They started out by talking about global warming and then switched to climate change and more recently to climate uncertainty — all because they find these switches to be useful when it comes to hoodwinking the public. And now they say that us skeptics/realists are not scientists, don’t believe there has been any warming and don’t think that there has been any climate change. How can they be so totally out of touch with reality. What calumny.

  30. John Finn says:
    April 2, 2012 at 1:38 pm

    ktwop says:
    April 2, 2012 at 1:06 pm

    Isn’t a 100 year OHC rise problematic for CAGW? – not enought anthro carbon back then.

    but that the magnitude of the temperature change since the 1870s is twice that observed over the past 50 years

    Hmmm – that’ll make it harder for them to squeeze an acceleration out of it – but no doubt they will try.

  31. “It’s data. That’s good.”

    It is not good for 0.x Cº differences. It doesn’t says us anything relevant except that in 1870 there wasn’t any Ice Age or Warmist Age. Something we already know.

    The study doesn’t support anything other than the temperatures have been stable for the generous precision and definition brackets necessary. The conclusions of the article are pure and simply a scientific fraud.

  32. we need to wait for the homogenization to give us a real steep rise.
    it may be as well to also suggest that they go and repeat the 300 sample temperature execise at the exact locations and times of year for the next 5 years to see how stable they are or not. they will have that all very precisely or else the data is simply BS. ( the old boys were very careful about this stuff)

    i dont remember but there was a bit of discussion about data errors on the 3500 units and 100,000 sample points. I forget but is std error some sort of inverse squareroot formulae and thus a 3 std dev error of 5.7% is a lot.
    i remmember when i studied physics the experiment was grade at zero if the errors were not fully calculated and discussed. that was undergrad, these folk jumped the fense to post grad while no one was looking.

  33. Putting things into perspective, these 300 readings may be of about the same statistical significance as all currently available proofs of medieval warm period being really warm and global. Of course it’s possible to pull both right and wrong conclusions out of them, but most people here can hadly decide which are which.

  34. Sorry but even though this doesn’t support the AGW meme, I call BS.
    1) There’s no way to cross calibrate
    2) The precision is ridiculous. the error bars must be over 1°C.
    3) There’s no way we know for certain the ENSO states over those four years.

    DaveE.

  35. The study seems to be saying that the warming from 100-50 years ago is the same as the last 50 years. While the data can be questioned, this is one more study that is NOT consistent with CAGW. Like the studies showing the LIA and the data showing no warming for the last 10-15 years, this study adds to the growing evidence that “the CO2 is the thermostat” hypothesis is false.

    As the warmista’s like to say, no single study proves it but there are multiple independent studies that verify that the earth’s climate changes for reasons not yet understood and CO2 is just a bit player at worst.

  36. If you had to choose between HMS Challenger’s ocean data and the new improved adjusted data from GISS et alia, which would you choose?

    Stupid question – well it would be if you are one of those who believe GISS’ increasingly large adjustments to drive down historic temperatures bear any resemblance to reality.

  37. From the voage route map shown here -

    http://oceanexplorer.noaa.gov/explorations/03mountains/background/challenger/media/route.html

    it doesn’t look like they got above 45Deg north except for into and out of England & around Newfoundland, Canada. Didn’t do much in the Indian Ocean either.

    From – http://www.fathom.com/feature/60885/index.html
    She had spent more than half of the intervening days in harbour, providing her sailors and scientists with the opportunity for exotic port calls in North and South America, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong, Japan and a series of Atlantic and Pacific islands.

    Also a first for science junket travel and you thought it was just the IPCC .

  38. Steven Mosher says:
    April 2, 2012 at 12:11 pm

    data is a good thing.

    A statistical sample size of one is a bad thing.

  39. I’ve just started reading “Late Victorian Holocausts” by Mike Davis. It details the severe famines that affected most of India, north China, Brazil , northern and southern Africa from 1876-79.

    Estimates of between 30 to 60 million starved to death. This was related to ENSO.

    Must be the earliest recorded event of the now popular “climate weirding”.

  40. “The significance of the study is not only that we see a temperature difference that indicates warming on a global scale, but that the magnitude of the temperature change since the 1870s is twice that observed over the past 50 years,” said Roemmich, co-chairman of the International Argo Steering Team. “This implies that the time scale for the warming of the ocean is not just the last 50 years but at least the last 100 years.”

    Parsing the above statement one glaring issue jumps out at me. The amount of warming in the first 50 years is the same as the warming seen in the last 50 years. Anthropogenic global warming is generally accepted as occurring only in the last 50 years. So, if the amount of warming in the first 50 years is the same as the last 50 years, doesn’t that suggest that all of the warming in the last 50 years is a continuation of the natural processes driving the warming in the first 50 years? This study seems to inadvertently imply that there’s no link between ocean warming and anthropogenic global warming.

  41. Didn’t we just go through a time where the Experts said that only modern data is useful? Okay, the Thames freezing over is “anecdotal”, but if the Challenger, now, were to say they were frozen in the Thames harbour, would that count?

    It isn’t useful data unless it is. I love tautologies.

  42. It all apparently depends on whose Ox is GOREd.

    Some 300 ocean temperature readings from HMS Challenger in the 1870s are used by the Warmist Team as proof positive for thier case that the Oceans are sequestering heat. Although CERES satellites readings over 30 years are showing the Green house “blanket” IR is really pretty threadbare and leaky. Heat is readily escaping and equalling HF solar input, after certainly getting bounced around a few times by CO2 and H2O molecules, before penetrating the atmosphere and radiating back into Space.

    Georg Beck’s historical research revealed 93,000 laboratory records of atmospheric CO2 concentrations in the 18th and 19th centuries that show the average was CO2 levels were around 340ppm with volcanic inspired peaks of Tambora and Krackatoa as high as 441 ppm. That is just as former IPCC leaderand Ice core expert, Dr. Jaworowski warned.

    He warned that raw CO2 readings from ice cores are not correct, unless you include the CO2 clathrate correction, as CO2 rapidly goes into clathrate formation under very light pressure levels; and CO2 levels were never 290 ppm, as that is the clathrate equilibrium pressure only.

    The Warmnist team read him out for his heresy, and never acknowledged nor applied the clathrate corrections to ice core analyses.

  43. @Steven Mosher
    Hi Steve,
    nobody of any real science background dislikes data, per se – even bad data can be ‘useful’ with treatment – but it’s the post collection treatment that is the key to good (or bad) science. As you say, even wide error bar data can be ok – so long as that wide error margin is acknowledged and not ‘massaged’ out or statistically treated to make it meaningless or disappear (e.g. via graphical (mis) representation)!
    But, just to stretch a point – how many publications are you aware of, say using old, or perhaps less reliable data – that start off with a caveat along the lines of ‘using old unreliable data, this paper shows xxxx is potentially indicative of yyyy’ ? The point being that such a statement would of course be truthful and even then the findings MAY of course be representative – but again, how many publications add at the end ‘of course, this may not be correct and our interpretation may be wrong!’ or even ‘taking the potential error bars into account, the data could actually show the reverse!’
    Looking at it more on the AGW topic – how many global temp graphs have you seen showing the error bars above and below the prety squiggly line over the last few years? all the major datasets seem to be reproduced without the actual error margins shown – as if the actual ‘line’ has become accepted!

  44. Steven Mosher, data is indeed data provided it is fully understood and does not contain unknown adjustments. In the case of ocean temperature data, a well-defined heat and material balance is required to make any sense of the random data. Ocean currents play havoc with unknown readings. I once gathered a large amount of GOM temperature data to develop a temperature profile versus depth as part of a gas hydrate study. It soon became apparent that temperatures could vary considerably over relatively short distances. A study of currents soon revealed the source of the variations.

    I think this new data could be useful provided the analysis was done without prejudgment as to result. Based on my observations of the players in the global warming game, this may be mission impossible.

    Once data is properly adjusted for known modifiers, one must sit back and look at the overall picture to see if the data makes sense based on a heat and material balance. There could be unknown modifiers having some influence. In the case of the oceans, we know full well that earth undergoes ice ages lasting long periods, even by geologic time standards. These ice age times are long enough to cool the ocean depths. When the globe warms once again, it takes time to warm the oceans back to standard conditions. Thus one could easily find warming going on it the oceans and cooling as well.
    By claiming that heat is hidden in the oceans over a very short period requires a very well calculated heat and material balance. Perhaps Trenberth and the other Non-Deniers have done this, but if so I haven’t seen it.

    When I look at Hadcrut ocean temperature data, it moves up and down by too large amounts too quickly for me to accept that it is plausible. Perhaps you or Willis might take a quick look at one or two of the large yearly changes and see if they look realistic? I recall the Non-Deniers adjusting ocean temperature data from sailing ships due to a “bucket” factor, Was this new data adjusted in the same manner?

  45. The “Report on the scientific results of the voyage of H.M.S. Challenger during the years 1873-76 under the command of Captain George S. Nares and the late Captain Frank Tourle Thomson” is here:

    http://archive.org/stream/p1reportonscient01chaluoft/p1reportonscient01chaluoft_djvu.txt

    The Challenger had Miller-Casella protected thermometers which had a number of problems according to a summary on page 37 of “Understanding the oceans: a century of ocean exploration
    By Margaret Deacon, C. P. Summerhayes”

    http://books.google.co.uk/books?ei=ixh6T8ivBYLv8AOSrKXRDQ&id=F5agn3NSzEoC&dq=deep+sea+reversing+thermometers+problems&ots=QaLxOCH07o&q=%27protected%27+thermometers#v=snippet&q='protected'%20thermometers&f=false

  46. Just a further comment on ‘baseline’ – IMHO, there is really no such thing based on geological timescales, even glacial event timescales! Taking a nominal 15000 year interglacial time period, a 150 year span of data is only 1% of this timescale – please can someone explain where can any ‘baseline’ representation be drawn from a miniscule 1% of recorded time period data???? For flips sake, this is what really get’s my goat – the scale keeps getting forgotton……..and as for the the 30 year magic ‘climate data period’ … well, nuff said!

  47. I’m with Gav jackson. The Challenger data, sparse as it is, indicates significant warming ( about the same as for the last 50 years I gather ) yet over a time frame where anthropogenic effects are known to be minor compared to today. Ergo a very large natural component is evidenced, ergo the AGW case is.. wait for it …. alarmist.

  48. Another problem with this data. According to this page:

    http://aquarium.ucsd.edu/Education/Learning_Resources/Challenger/science3b.php

    Although the principle of the reversing thermometer had been described by scientists as early as 1845, this Negretti and Zambra thermometer was the first thermometer to accurately determine the temperature at great depth and return to the surface and retain its readings. As such, it is considered the first modern reversing thermometer. This was the reversing thermometer sent to scientists and used on the Challenger expedition.

    This thermometer was housed in a helical mounting mechanism meant to cause the reversing thermometer to flip at the required depth. A helical screw would measure the depth on the way down and release the mounting at the desired depth.

    The Challenger data collection appears to precede the concept of ‘thermometric depth’ which is designed to cope with the problem that your thermometer is never at the depth you think it is: it won’t be deeper but it is almost always shallower because of currents and/or drift of the vessel doing the cast.

    A later technique uses two thermometers: a protected one and one that is subjected to the ambient pressure. The one that is squeezed by the pressure at depth records a higher temperature. The difference between the two thermometers allows an accurate depth to be calculated – the ‘thermometric depth’.

    So apart from the fact that HMS Challenger would have been lucky to know where they were to better than 1 nautical mile they would also have over-estimated the depth of the temperature readings they were taking because theyused distance along the wire as a measure of depth, not the real depth.

  49. Way to little data. And such warming as may be inferred is consistent with the retreat of the little Ice Age, which continues.

  50. Give it up, Mosher.
    Your subtle attacks on others are irksome.
    Your incessant thread manipulation is tiresome.

  51. A sidelight to the HMS Challenger expedition was the investigation into “Bathybius” (Bathybius haeckelii). For example, see

    http://www.huntsearch.gla.ac.uk/cgi-bin/foxweb/huntsearch/DetailedResults.fwx?collection=all&searchTerm=111845&mdaCode=GLAHM&browseMode=on

    Bathybius had been discovered earlier in seawater samples and was considered to be another form of life by the settled science of the day. Bathybius turned out to be something closer to the recent polywater. For example, see:

    http://home.comcast.net/~earlwajenberg/onlinestorage/PhilosophyMuseum.html

    For Bathybius, scroll down to 5,751 Year Old Fossils. For polywater, scroll down to The Science Warehouse. For the curious, this museum also has samples of caloric and phlogiston.

    Seriously, investigations into old thermometer readings should include investigations into the old thermometers that were used to get the readings. See for example:

    http://aquarium.ucsd.edu/Education/Learning_Resources/Challenger/science3a.php

    for a description of the reversing thermometer developed to capture the temperature at some depth without being affected by different temperatures while the thermometer was retrieved. The apparent temperature is also affected by how much the hydrostatic pressure squeezes the thermometer column. Modern oceanographic thermometers are paired, one exposed to pressure and one protected from pressure. The difference in apparent temperature provides an estimate of pressure, and therefore depth.

  52. Gotta plug this link again; a far more substantive collection, but of different data.
    Changes in total wind speed over the last 150 years; recorded by merchant fleets of many nations and collected by a UK institution. Shows continually growing average wind speed, also indicating a warming. Steven Mosher is of course right, we would expect that as we came out of the LIA.

    http://www.seafriends.org.nz/issues/global/fletcher.htm

  53. That idea, that knowledge, LIKE ALL KNOWLEDGE, comes with error bars. Sometimes tight, sometimes wide. It’s knowledge nevertheless.

    Well sure, but in this case a data set of 300 readings world wide over 4 years share an error bar with guessing.

  54. Mosher claims that all data is good. I suppose as a simple value judgment all data has some value, to somebody, perhaps.

    The real question for science, however, is whether the data “is good” (e.g., relevant, applicable, and of adequate quality and reproducibility) for its intended purpose. That’s another matter entirely.

    In this case, interestingly, the alarmists seem to put forward these “handful” of data of very questionable relevance and applicability (for comparison to modern ocean temperature measurements of orders of magnitude more frequency, substantially greater accuracy and reproducibility, and vastly greater global coverage) to support their alarmist claims, when even a superficial reading shows that these same old data in fact undermine their alarmist claims, as the bulk of increase occurred prior to meaningful man-made contributions to CO2 and its purported driving of global warming/climate change/climate uncertainty/whatever they are calling it these days.

    I expect there are a lot of “open bars” at these “climate” conferences.

  55. Steven Mosher says:
    April 2, 2012 at 12:11 pm

    data is a good thing.

    xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
    By this logic…we should be adding surface stations – not drastically cutting them.

    Data is just that – data. It should sit as a historical measurement of that time – in that place.

    Data used to defend an hypothesis – demands we don’t accept it, just for being data. It is now called evidence and scientific evidence means not just the data is suspect but also conclusions made from using that data.

    Frankly, I’m a bit surprised at your simplistic answer above.

  56. Steven Mosher says:
    April 2, 2012 at 12:11 pm
    data is a good thing

    Data is data, neither a good thing or bad thing in and of itself. Like a two edged blade of a sword or a knife, it can cut both ways without respect for the good, the bad, or the ugly. Instead, it reflects only the motives, merits, and demerits of the person or people wielding it and tugging at it in various directions for good and ill purposes.

    The HMS CHALLENGER soundings have about as much data representation of the subject as releasing 300 rawindsonde balloons into the troposphere and the stratosphere to take flawed single point observations of air temperaturewhile taking no account of the meanderings of the jet streams yet to be discovered, much less measured by comprehensive measurements over a period of sixty or more years. In other words, they are interesting peaks into water temperaures that could and did greatly only meters apart, but they are hardly more useful than the blind man exploring the elephant’s leg to determine the shape and nature of the elephant’s anterior versus posterior.

    The data is not good or bad, but the people wielding that data are.

  57. Anthony

    You want some really good soundings, and of an area of extreme interest today? Try the recordings that Nansen’s Fram expedition to the North Pole vicinity made in the 1890′s. I read Nansen’s book “Furtherest North” and in it they took readings all the time, all the way to the bottom of the Arctic. One thing that I thought particularly interesting is that they were able to detect the temperature variance of the gulf stream above 83 degrees north latitude.

    I will be impressed when that data is integrated and compared with today’s data.

    (yes this is a challenge to those who might want to do this)

  58. Miss Grundy says:
    April 2, 2012 at 12:38 pm

    Steven Mosher :

    “That idea, that knowledge, LIKE ALL KNOWLEDGE, comes with error bars. Sometimes tight, sometimes wide. ”

    Did the proof of Fermat’s Last Theorem come with error bars?

    Yes, but the margins of this blog page are too small to contain them …

    On a more serious note, Steven is right, and that’s exactly my complaint about this press release. They claim a warming of 0.33°C without stating any error bars …

    ktwop says:
    April 2, 2012 at 1:06 pm

    The paper does indeed have error bars and while the Challenger data set may be relatively small the comparison is valid – I think.

    Could be … or not. Does anyone have a copy of the actual study? ktwop, did they adjust for autocorrelation? And how large were the error bars?

    I have a few problems. The first is that the voyage took three years. Wikipedia says there were 263 temperature observations. They were 1,281 days on the voyage, almost exactly three and a half years. That makes about 6 soundings a month … for the entire ocean …

    Second, no place was sampled more than once. So not only do we have only a few samples. No location was sampled over a calendar year.

    Third, huge areas of the ocean were left unsampled in any form.

    So how accurate is their calculation of the global oceanic temperatures? Let me suggest that claiming an error less than a full degree would be hubris of the first order …

    w.

  59. “The temperature rise is pretty much what we’d expect from LIA recovery”

    What a truly remarkable sentence. What is “LIA recovery”? Who is the “we” who expects this recovery? Do you really believe that there is some equilibrium climate state to which the climate “recovers” after a perturbation? If so, what physical mechanisms determine what this equilibrium temperature is? What, indeed, is it? Are we there yet? If not, when will we get there? How will you know when we get there? What is the rise that you would expect from this so-called “LIA recovery”?

  60. The Australian Bureau of Met conveniently threw out all the great old pre-1910 temp data [which contained many temp records] on the basis that these data were collected with less than state-of-the-art tech.

    Scripps Inst use arguably even less pertinent data as a “new global baseline”.

    But of course it must depend on which direction this old data points, as to whether it can be used or not.

  61. This study assumes that temperatures measured on the expedition were accurate. That may or may not be the case……. but for the sake of argument let us assume that they were accurate.

    Now here is a whole different problem. As a geologist I am quite familiar with geochemistry, the use of standards, splits and duplicates. Whether one is attempting to sample say a glacial soil in a representative fashion, or you are measuring temp. in a representative fashion, the issues are pretty much the same. The quality control on the 1800′s readings would have been poor to non-existent. However, let us assume again that there were no quality control issues. For example that the thermometers were recalibrated after rolling around the deck in a gale, etc. Assume that they lowered two thermometer to the same depth, under identical circumstances,at the same time to get the inter-sampling error. Then of course they would have needed to lower the thermometer say 15 – 20 times to get an idea of the analytical error (temp. measurement when repeated multiple times on the same sample……….. it is starting to become a very ugly picture. But it gets far worse. Did they recognize the presence of warm or cold currents in the ocean and did they ensure that the sampling was `representative’ of the ocean as a whole? Huh!

    Lets return to the soil analogy. I send my student out and tell him/her to come back with 300 samples at the end of the summer from an area of 10,000 km square. They are to be taken at a uniform depth of .5 m. I forget to mention that there are 10 different glacial tills in the area distributed in a non-uniform manner. So out they go and back with the 300 samples. (We will assume that they didn’t go to 3 gravel pits, fill all the bags and then go to the beach for the rest of the summer…. it does happen).

    The next year I send out 50 highly trained crews, they are well versed in identifying the different tills and they sample on a 1 km square grid, identifying the till type for each sample. They would have come back with 10,000 samples, hopefully not from a gravel pit or two. They of course would have standards, splits, duplicates in every batch of 20.

    Now which survey do you think would come up with the best `average composition’ of each of the 10 tills. Remember, different tills would be often physically manifest in different types of terrain, vegetation, etc. Think the students walking around would slog through the thick bush, mosquito infested swamps …… I know for $10/hr I wouldn’t.

    Does anyone actually think that one could compare the average soil composition from the 300 samples to the average composition of the different tills in the detailed survey. Then, if they didn’t compare one would look for the reason and conclude that the 10,000 samples weren’t the same because of anthropogenic contamination?

    Lets just think about that.

  62. Does anyone else smell Confirmation Bias?
    Of all the data available from the Admeralty and the US Navy, why did they pick this data set?

  63. Don,

    You can’t get your head around: if the world warmed during the MWP and cooled during the LIA to similar temps prior to the MWP that maybe the next cycle was a warm one?

  64. Actually, there is a way to make this data useful.

    Pick a time frame…..150 years, 160 years….etc.

    Exactly, on the anniversary, of when the original data was taken, take another reading using the same instrumentation etc. Then use a calibrated XBT to see what the bias is.

    Use the same XBT and thermometer for each location.

    That way you will cut the error bars per location, and be able to calibrate the temp differential.

    The results would be very interesting to read and digest.

  65. Willis Eschenbach says:
    April 2, 2012 at 5:13 pm
    =====================================================
    About 10 years or so ago I copied a text file of the record highs and lows for each day from 1900 on for my area from the national weather service. I copied them into an Excel spreadsheet and sorted by year. I don’t remember the exact numbers but over 60% of the record highs were before 1950 and about the same percentage of record lows were after 1950.
    Now, I realize that my “analysis” of those 700+ numbers alone doesn’t say much about global temperatures over the last 100 years. Why do some give such weight to HMS Challenger’s 300 numbers? At least mine were from the same location.

  66. Don, you’re either very funny or rather myopic. Most of us believe that the global temperature of the Earth has gone through a long series of increases and decreases. The periods of decreased global temperature often result in ice ages. One of these was the Little Ice Age. At the conclusion of the Little Ice Age, global temperatures began to once again increase, consistent with the long-term temperature cycle of the Earth. I would think that it’s a fairly self-evident statement to say that at the conclusion of a global cold period, global temperatures would be expected to increase (just as at the conclusion of a global warm period, the current time, we can expect global temperatures to decrease).

    None of that has anything whatever to do with some arbitrary equilibrium temperature, which I suppose you threw in there for your own purposes. Would you care to explain those purposes?

  67. A bit off topic, but it seems to me that during the 18th and 19th centuries, the RN was a major scientific research organization as well as a military force. Was this true of other navies of the time, as well?

  68. Love me some data!!! Lunatics getting worked up over things that mean absolutely nothing.

    Sure more data is good….. assuming people know how to properly apply, interpret, and relay the information. If this nuanced climatology has taught us anything, it’s taught us that the assumption, more often than not, isn’t valid.

    Worse, because we’ve been shown exactly how invalid this madness is, even if there were to be some valid knowledge to be express, there is no trust. None…. nade….. zippo…… zilch.

    Sure, I play the game like the rest of us, but, we all know this is just a game. Look at Curry’s post about SST’s…… it’s crap. It has all been crap. It’s so far down the crap line you can’t plunge it back up! Have some one tell me what the temps were in 1910. It is a lie and they are liars. Not just a lier,but a #$@#@#@# lier. Next we need to throw in an algorithm which creates dynamic and ever changing historical record. This is important, because we can then base our decisions on some vapid information, which we absolutely know will change. Which, isn’t that bad…. at least it is continuous, as opposed to the one that gives us updated versions when the data sets move beyond what they deem as acceptable. And, they’ll base that on some imaginary temps just like the dynamic temp data set.

    Data is good? No it isn’t. Not until we rid ourselves of the #%^@#%@#$% liars. Until then that’s just information to be manipulated to tell a story one way or the other.

  69. Error bars or not, how does one generate more digits of precision in the output than one has in the input? Even if it were physically possible to determine temperature (ca 1870) to 0.1 degree (which seems doubtful) the “data sets” are routinely published to 0.001 degree! Pure rubbish! The entire discussion above has no scientific value! I think significant digits are taught at about the seventh grade level!

  70. Further problems …

    The Miller-Casella thermometer was used for most of the water temperature readings during the Challenger expedition. Its U-shaped tube held mercury and two floating markers that recorded the highest and lowest water temperature through which the thermometer traveled.

    Scientists spaced these thermometers at specific distances along a line and lowered it over the side. Metal cases protected the instruments from bumps and bangs. When the rope was hauled back in, scientists read the thermometers and recorded the temperature for the depth that matched the length of the rope.

    Their method assumed that the coldest temperature was measured at the greatest depth and that the warmest water was on the surface. But soon Challenger scientists asked “What if the thermometer had gone through a cold layer of water on its way up?” They needed better thermometers that would reliably record temperature at known depths.

    Why didn’t they use the modern reversing thermometer, you ask? It wasn’t invented until 1874. Because of the importance of the Expedition, they were shipped out to meet the expedition. They were first used on 28 February 1875 … two years plus into the expedition.

    The new thermometer is the Negretti and Zambra thermometer, 1874 model. It is shown in 1874 here.

    Note that even then, it is missing two very important components shown in the next thermometer down on the page, which were added in 1878, viz:

    Negretti and Zambra thermometer, 1878 model. This instrument is the direct ancestor of most reversing thermometers used up to this time. This was the first instrument to break the column of mercury after reversing to obtain the reading. It was entirely enclosed in a double envelope of glass to eliminate pressure effects.

    So we likely don’t even have a consistent record throughout, unless they kept using the Miller-Casella thermometers. That would be some interesting data.

    But more likely, after a few comparisons they switched to the better, simpler, more accurate gear. So what we have is a two-year record from a non-pressure compensated min-max thermometer. And we also have a one-year plus record from a non-pressure compensated reversing thermometer that doesn’t break the mercury column …

    A correction to my earlier post—I thought they had not crossed their own trail, but the did do that more than once. See here for an animation of the ship’s trail.

    w.

  71. What was the temperature of the air at the surface (.01-6.0 Ft.+/-), the wind speed and the humidity reading at each location of the 300 readings? What was the method of “taking” the temp. and what was the delay between the time the device was brought to the surface and the “reading”? What was the exact location and how was the depth of the device controlled (currents? waves?) and determined? Didn’t we all just discuss the potential for errors within the “modern” ARGO system? And now “we” are comparing IT to an even less accurate method/system???

  72. What impresses me the most is the perseverance and courage of the scientists on board Challenger. That was no luxury cruise they went on. Any data they brought back should be greatly appreciated by us today.

  73. Dave Dodd says:
    April 2, 2012 at 6:42 pm
    “Error bars or not, how does one generate more digits of precision in the output than one has in the input? Even if it were physically possible to determine temperature (ca 1870) to 0.1 degree (which seems doubtful) the “data sets” are routinely published to 0.001 degree! Pure rubbish! The entire discussion above has no scientific value! I think significant digits are taught at about the seventh grade level!”

    You can improve your precision given that you have a large number of measurements, but it’s difficult.

    http://www.mso.anu.edu.au/pfrancis/ObsTech/Stats2.pdf

    Hansen and Schmidt have thrown out three quarters of the thermometers in the 90ies saying “We simply had more data then we needed”.

    No scientist would say that. Ever.

  74. Don says:
    April 2, 2012 at 5:30 pm

    “The temperature rise is pretty much what we’d expect from LIA recovery”
    What a truly remarkable sentence. What is “LIA recovery”?”

    The warming that was to be expected after the end of Maunder and Dalton minimum.

    ” Who is the “we” who expects this recovery? Do you really believe that there is some equilibrium climate state to which the climate “recovers” after a perturbation? If so, what physical mechanisms determine what this equilibrium temperature is?”

    Depends on what you define as the “normal” state of the sun.

    ” What, indeed, is it? Are we there yet?”

    We were at the maximum and are on the way down.

    ” If not, when will we get there? How will you know when we get there?”

    2007 Polar sea ice minimum.

    “What is the rise that you would expect from this so-called “LIA recovery”?”

    It’s already over.

  75. And again from my previous query: If the 1874 device can only be read to (at best) 1 degree of accuracy, how can the following be valid? The error bar is +/- 1 degree (NOT +/- 0.0x degree) as their results indicate, or am I missing something? I was taught, integer value in MUST be rounded to integer value out (even if converting C to F) despite the 6 or 12 digits after the decimal your calculator might show.

    “The research led by Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego physical oceanographer Dean Roemmich shows a .33-degree Celsius (.59-degree Fahrenheit) average increase in the upper portions of the ocean to 700 meters (2,300 feet) depth. The increase was largest at the ocean surface, .59-degree Celsius (1.1-degree Fahrenheit), decreasing to .12-degree Celsius (.22-degree Fahrenheit) at 900 meters (2,950 feet) depth.”

  76. I agree with Steven Mosher (12.14 pm)that publication of these old data is a very good thing. Perhaps the conclusions drawn are not as valid as the author’s claim but that is their interpretation of the data. Of course, others may have a different interpretation. This next comment on Steven Mosher’s post of 12.11 pm is picky. He states “data is a good thing”. As data is the plural a more correct phrase is ” Data are good things”

  77. DirkH says:
    April 2, 2012 at 8:16 pm

    OK Read and understood your pdf link and agree with it. 300 random data points hardly seem to fill the bill of “a large number ” of measurements, no matter how they’re weighed.. I’m an old slide-rule guy–we had to WORK for our decimal points! I stand pat that the knowledge and reasoning imparted by my old Physics teacher in HS, is probably more useful that a single tree :-) Regards…

  78. Lol kind of funny if you question data from 200 years ago from being inaccurate why dont you have any problems with current data collections installed on footpaths and near exhaust vents.

  79. To be really meaningful this data would have to be adjusted for all the errors that you’ve mentioned. Perhaps our good friends at CRU could do it for us. (tee hee).

  80. Steve Mosher:
    There is a pretty consistent relationship between the change in temps over land and those in the ocean. That’s just physics.

    The consistent relationship is that the ocean temps lead the air temps by several months. Just the data tells us that.

    Getting the physics donkey to stop pushing the AGW cart is another issue.

  81. Now that “This Paper” has “found a baseline”. Mark my words. The next “paper” will have us believe they have “found” the missing ocean “heat”.

  82. There’s surely no need for any analysis of this data until Hansen has ‘adjusted’ it to show negligible warming until 1950.

  83. Apparently 300 soundings done by the HMS Challenger

    The would be appropriate before USS but not before HMS, unless you are refering to something pertaining to the ship e.g. the HMS Challenger expedition.

  84. I would be interest to see a matching of Argo data with the Challanger data ie taken from an ARGO bouy closest to the position of a Challenger reading and at the same time of the year then comparing comparitive depth data. I dont know what methodology was used in the study, but there are ocean temp. readings in plenty from Cooks Voyages onwards available in ships journals mainly surface temps. but again it would be interesting to repeat the same sampling using the same equipment used in the original recordings along with modern equipment in the same locations, the results would be usefull.

  85. So how did they prevent the thermometer warming up as it rose through the warmer temperatures?

  86. From a purely historical perspective, I think this is a good thing. I would love to see a study of this data as it compares to any adjacent land temps (if possible). Like Steve Mosher eluded to, anything is better than nothing. I love to read old farmer diaries that give a glimpse into past weather events. The same goes for old ship records. Whether these old bouy records are precise is another thing entirely.

  87. The best source on the scientific results of the voyage of HMS Challenger is the pdf of the original report at the internet archive:

    “The instrument used for almost all the observations made on board the Challenger,
    was Six’s thermometer with a double bulb, of the pattern made by Mr. Casella for deep-sea work, and generally known as the Miller- Casella thermometer.”

    “During the course of the voyage, it became evident that the thermometers
    as supplied were wanting both in delicacy and in accuracy.
    It is true that the great source of error had been removed by the application of the
    secondary bulb, so that the indications were practically unaffected by pressure, but when
    it had been found that the great bulk of the ocean water is at a low and nearly uniform
    temperature at great depths, it became of importance to be able to distinguish accurately
    fractions of a degree. With the thermometers supplied this was impossible, because
    they were so short for the range of temperature they had to show, that the length
    occupied by one degree could not easily have been subdivided beyond a quarter, even if
    the scale had been engraved on the stem, and it was impossible to attain even that degree
    of accuracy with certainty when the scale was on a slip of glass at the side of the stem, and about a quarter of an inch away from the index, the position of which had to be determined
    in reference to it. In order to remedy this defect, Professor Wyville Thomson
    ordered two thermometers to be sent out specially constructed to show low temperatures
    with accuracy.

    “During the course of the voyage Messrs. Negretti & Zambra patented an instrument
    which promised to fulfil the conditions required of a thermometer for isolated observations.
    Staff-Commander Tizard made an extensive series of experiments with it under various
    conditions…

    “It was found in practice that the propeller being arrested, after it had turned over the thermometer, brought such a strain on the cogwheel W as to twist it off the spindle and cause its loss. This defect was remedied by Mr. Ferguson, the Chief Engineer of the Challenger, who
    applied an ingenious apparatus…Several thermometers for use in the apparatus were forwarded from time to time. A great number were found broken when they reached the ship, owing either to imperfect packing or negligence in the transport, but a sufficient number arrived in safety to admit of their having a fair trial.

    “The first time they were used was in the Sulu Sea, where the minimum temperature is
    reached at a depth of 400 fathoms, and it was thought a good opportunity to try whether
    the water at greater depths exceeded this temperature.”

    The report includes charts of temp readings as well as comparing the Miller-Casella with the Negretti and Zambra with locations, dates, depths and readings.

    http://ia700404.us.archive.org/1/items/p1reportonscient01chaluoft/p1reportonscient01chaluoft_bw.pdf

  88. It’s too bad that this data is being used in a quantitative comparison to ARGO measurements. If it had simply been presented as a qualitative assessment of the Challenger data, with the conclusion that 300 measurements taken with 19th century equipment inferred a deep ocean temperature consistent with modern instruments, it would have been interesting. As a baseline to establish a century long trend is complete nonsense.

    If Challenger really did produce a credible, accurate measurement of the global ocean heat content using only ropes, weights and thermometers, can we get our money back for all those wildly complex and expensive Argo floats?

  89. Don says:
    April 2, 2012 at 5:30 pm

    “The temperature rise is pretty much what we’d expect from LIA recovery”
    What a truly remarkable sentence. What is “LIA recovery”?”

    The warming that was to be expected after the end of Maunder and Dalton minimum.

    Why was it to be expected? Why didn’t it keep getting colder? Why didn’t it stay as cold as it was?

    ” Who is the “we” who expects this recovery? Do you really believe that there is some equilibrium climate state to which the climate “recovers” after a perturbation? If so, what physical mechanisms determine what this equilibrium temperature is?”

    Depends on what you define as the “normal” state of the sun.

    That doesn’t answer any of the questions.

    ” What, indeed, is it? Are we there yet?”

    We were at the maximum and are on the way down.

    What determined this maximum? Why would we be “on the way down”? When will this decline that you believe has begun stop? Why won’t it stay warm? Why won’t it get warmer still? What are the physical mechanisms that determine this?

    ” If not, when will we get there? How will you know when we get there?”

    2007 Polar sea ice minimum.

    And did you predict that in advance or are you just conveniently picking a single piece of data that you think might support your belief?

    “What is the rise that you would expect from this so-called “LIA recovery”?”

    It’s already over.

    You’ve failed to offer any substantive physically meaningful justification for that claim.

  90. Camburn says:
    April 2, 2012 at 5:56 pm

    Expendable bathythermographs are not very accurate; good enough for government work (ships/submarines) but not accurate enough for scientific work. They are probably less accurate at determining their depth than a calculated ‘thermometric depth’ using 2 thermometers.

    (Citations available if required)

  91. P. Solar says:
    April 2, 2012 at 2:11 pm

    Another interesting article at Judith Curry’s site on HadSST and magic bucket syndrome.

    http://judithcurry.com/2012/03/15/on-the-adjustments-to-the-hadsst3-data-set-2/

    Note that all of Australia’s high temperature records were set in the 1940s, during the WWII drought:

    Question – does anyone know how many of those American warships which returned the anomalous temperature readings during the war years were based in the western Pacific?

    “…As in the Federation drought, dry conditions were more or less endemic during the period 1937 through 1945 over eastern Australia….”

  92. Christy et al reprted in Jan 2001 (I believe it was Geophysical Research Letters) that ocean water Temperatures, and Ocean air Temperatures (near surface for both) are NOT the same, nor are they correlated. So ocean lower troposphere Temperatures cannot be recovered from early ocean water temperature based data going back 150 years or more. Well that’s only 70+ % of the earth surface missing from the historical records; well not counting the land areas, that aren’t sampled either.

    So 300 new samples are going to be a big help ? Well I think not.

  93. P. Solar says:
    April 2, 2012 at 2:11 pm

    Another interesting article at Judith Curry’s site on HadSST and magic bucket syndrome.

    http://judithcurry.com/2012/03/15/on-the-adjustments-to-the-hadsst3-data-set-2/

    see fig 1a and fig 1b

    Note that all of Australia’s high temperature records were set in the 1940s, during the WWII drought:

    Question – does anyone know how many of those American warships which returned the anomalous temperature readings during the war years were based in the western Pacific?

    “…As in the Federation drought, dry conditions were more or less endemic during the period 1937 through 1945 over eastern Australia….”

  94. “”””” Steve Mosher:
    There is a pretty consistent relationship between the change in temps over land and those in the ocean. That’s just physics. “””””

    Well ocean currents are at most a few knots, while ocean wind speeds can differ from that by orders of magnitude.

    So why now does Physics tell us how the land responds to ocean or verse vicea ? I don’t see why air Temperatures over land in air that was earlier over some piece of ocean thousands of miles away, would in any way reflect heat stored in the ocean.

  95. “”””” Ian of Fremantle says:

    April 2, 2012 at 8:55 pm

    I agree with Steven Mosher (12.14 pm)that publication of these old data is a very good thing. Perhaps the conclusions drawn are not as valid as the author’s claim but that is their interpretation of the data. Of course, others may have a different interpretation. This next comment on Steven Mosher’s post of 12.11 pm is picky. He states “data is a good thing”. As data is the plural a more correct phrase is ” Data are good things” “””””

    A more pertinent question is :- When is data really data, and not simply noise.

    What experimenters record is “samples”. Those samples are NOT data, unless all the rules of sampled data systems are complied with; mostly the Nyquist sampling theorem. And even the average of such samples is unreliable, for just small deviations from the Nyquist criterion; just a factor of two undersampling will do it.

  96. @ Don,

    You obviously need to bone up on the basics of climate a LOT more so you can ask meaningful questions. You complain about not getting meaningful ANSWERS, but that has a lot to do with your questions not being meaningful in the first place.

    One immensely key thing about climate that you seem to miss is that although it is a pretty darn chaotic system, it tends to be very cyclical in nature and we do have at least some understanding of the duration and sign of some of the cycles. Some cycles induce a positive sign to the “temperature anomaly” whereas other cycles induce a negative sign to the “temperature anomaly”. If there wasn’t a number we could at least CONSIDER as being “NORMAL” then calculating anomalies would be meaningless.

    At any rate, the Roman Optimum, (also known as the Roman MAXIMUM) was darn warm, maybe even warmer than the “Medieval Warm Period (Medieval Maximum)”. The Dalton and Maunder MINIMUMS were pretty darn cold.

    So my recommendation would be that first you do enough research to realize that there is plenty of evidence that climate is cyclical in nature and that when it gets too warm or too cold it has a tendency to return to a midpoint of the cycle after the perturbations. That cyclical midpoint is not necessarily the same temperature that it was a Billion years ago, but for the entire time that intelligent man has been on the planet, it HAS been about the same temperature, with cyclical up and down fluctuations, some more significant than others (and several that have been more significant than our current “warming”.

    Once you have done enough research to convince yourself of the cyclical nature of the climate system, then you can probably begin to ask meaningful questions.

    “Why isn’t the earth a constant ball of ice?” and “Why doesn’t the earth heat up uncontrollably and become like Venus?” are interesting questions, to be sure, but they have been answered adequately by a few hundred years of physics research already and you need to have that basis in order to ask questions which will elicit answers which you will find “meaningful”.

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