Isaac Held’s 2-box model: another failed ocean-equilibration excuse for dismissing solar warming

Guest post by Alec Rawls

Dr. Isaac Held, who models fluid dynamics at NOAA, dismisses a solar explanation for late 20th century warming by invoking a 2-box model of ocean equilibration. In his model an upper upper ocean layer (100m or so deep) exhibits a rapid temperature response to any increase in radiative forcing (about 4 years), as has been observed for this part of the ocean. So far so good.

Below sits Held’s second box: the entire rest of the oceans, all modeled as having the same temperature. To see the effect of this highly unrealistic simplification, look at what would happen if an intermediate ocean layer were also modeled, say from 100 to 500 meters in depth. Following a step-up in forcing the rapid temperature response of the upper ocean layer would commence to warm the intermediate ocean layer on some intermediate time scale—from a few decades to a century perhaps—and the decreasing temperature differential between these two layers would decrease the rate of heat loss from the upper layer to the ocean below, causing the upper ocean layer to continue to warm on the decades-to-century time scale.

This is exactly what Held and others are saying will not happen. Their claim is that the 20th century’s persistent high levels of solar forcing could not have caused continued warming and hence cannot be responsible for late 20th century warming. But these claims always rest on unreliable and often unstated assumptions about ocean equilibration. Held’s assumptions are stated, making his example particularly revealing. His argument against solar warming hinges directly on what is unrealistic about his model.

Isaac Held on Raimund Muscheler

My email correspondence with Held began when I cc’d him on my critique of Raimund Muscheler, who had claimed that because the high levels of solar forcing from 1950 to 2000 were “relatively constant,” they were unlikely to cause continued warming:

Solar activity & cosmic rays were relatively constant (high solar activity, strong shielding and low cosmic rays) in the second part of the 20th century and, therefore, it is unlikely that solar activity (whatever process) was involved in causing the warming since 1970.

This statement by Muscheler was specifically in answer to the possibility of indirect solar forcings that might be much stronger than the slight variation in TSI (Total Solar Insolation). No matter the strength of the forcing Muscheler and others are saying, continued high forcing should not cause continued warming.

Do these people actually think that it is the rate of change in the level of a temperature forcing rather than the level of the forcing that does the forcing? Alternatively, they may be assuming some implausibly rapid ocean equilibration, so that by 1970 or 1980 equilibrium would have been reached, requiring continued forcing of the same magnitude just to maintain that equilibrium.

I thought Held might offer an antidote because at the same meeting that Muscheler had been quoted as dismissing the solar-warming theory, Held had noted that:

“… some 40-70 percent of the [temperature adjustment to a change in forcing] is achieved on a timescale on the order of 4 years, whereas equilibration takes centuries.”

If equilibration takes centuries then it would not have been attained by 1970. Thus continued high levels of forcing should cause continued warming, right?

No, says Held, not in the 2-box model that he was referring to, as he briefly explained to me in his reply:

Alec,

I believe that you have misunderstood my perspective on this. As I have tried to indicate in some of my blog posts, especially #3, 4 and 27, I think the forced temperature response should follow the forcing with only a small time lag (small enough that, in practice, it only affects the volcanic response), despite the existence of long oceanic time scales — the argument being that these deep reservoirs have not warmed enough to significantly affect the heat uptake.

Isaac

As Held puts it in his blog-post #4 (where he introduces his 2-box analysis) the heat capacity of the deeper ocean layer is effectively “infinite” in this model on intermediate time-scales. No matter how much heat gets pumped into the oceans, the deeper ocean layer does not warm significantly over mere decades and so there is no significant reduction in the rate of heat loss from the upper ocean layer. All of the heat that goes into the deeper ocean is regarded as simply disappearing, never to have any effect on upper ocean temperatures except on much longer time scales.

The result is a kind of psuedo-equilibrium where the only thing that will cause further change in the temperature of the upper ocean layer is further change in the level of forcing. Persistent high levels of even a strongly enhanced solar forcing would not cause continued warming of the upper ocean layer in this model. There would just be the rapid temperature response of the upper ocean layer then nothing measurable for generations.

Global Mean Atmospheric Surface Temperature (GMAST) is primarily determined by upper-ocean temperatures, thus according to Held’s 2-box model, where persistent forcing only causes brief warming, the late 20th century increase in GMAST could not have been caused by the high level of solar activity over this period. The highest levels of solar activity were reached in the 50s so the warming effect should have wound down by the 60s. But this 2-box argument turns on the known-to-be-wrong assumption that warming of the upper ocean layer does not warm the next few hundred meters of the ocean any more than it warms the abyss.

Simplified models are fine so long as the insights that are gleaned from them are not driven by the simplifications. For instance, it makes no difference that climate models do not include relativistic effects so long as they are not used to analyze relativistic phenomena, but Held takes this basic principle of science and turns it on its head. His argument that persistent enhanced solar forcing would not cause continued warming turns precisely on the unrealistic simplification that creates his 2-box model. Move just to the next simplest model, a 3-box model, and his argument evaporates. The next ocean layer will warm on intemediate time scales, decreasing the rate of heat loss from the upper layer to the deeper ocean, causing the upper layer to warm.

My second email exchange with Dr. Held

Isaac Held’s remarks to me were very brief and his blog posts are focused on a CO2 driver of late 20th century warming rather than the possibility of a solar driver. I wanted to nail down his position on the latter so I pulled together what his posts seem to imply about solar forcing and asked him to please let me know if I had his position right.

Isaac:

I got a chance to look at the blog posts of yours that you mentioned (3, 4, 6, and 27, and I read a few others too). All very interesting stuff.

On attribution for 20th century warming the focus of these posts is on WMGGs [Well Mixed Greenhouse Gases] and how, by adjusting the climate sensitivity estimate in the GCMs, variation in WMGG can be seen to account pretty well for 20th century temperature history. This doesn’t really get at my specific question, which is whether Raimund Muscheler’s statement can be supported. He was addressing the hypothesis that there might be some enhanced solar forcing effect, as by GCR or uv effects on cloud cover, and he claimed that even a persistent high level of such forcing could not cause warming [or continued warming].

You do make two comments that seem to imply a position here, but please let me know if I’ve got you right on this. First, you left a comment in your post #27 that specifically applies to the question of attribution for late 20th century warming:

“The assumption is not that the climate in 1980 is in equilibrium but that the heat uptake is proportional to the temperature anomaly from some (pre-industrial) equilibrium — ie. the system is in what I called the intermediate regime in post #3. (Actually post #4 — IH 5/17/12)”

As I understand your position, the heat capacity of the second ocean layer is effectively infinite in the intermediate regime and this regime easily persists for multiple decades and even centuries, even for quite substantial heat input into the deeper oceans. This is a direct implication of the 2-box model. Given the vast size of the second ocean layer it’s going to take a long time for this layer to warm enough to take a significant bite out of the rate of heat transfer from the upper ocean layer. As you put it to me in your email response:

“I think the forced temperature response should follow the forcing with only a small time lag (small enough that, in practice, it only affects the volcanic response), despite the existence of long oceanic time scales — the argument being that these deep reservoirs have not warmed enough to significantly affect the heat uptake.”

So with the temperature of the deep oceans essentially fixed over a broad intermediate time scale, the temperature of the upper ocean layer on this time scale is driven entirely (or virtually entirely), by forcings from above, which it responds to rapidly. Thus the only way to get continued warming of the upper ocean layer (necessary for continued warming of GMAST), is for temperature forcings to continue to rise.

CO2 forcing did continue to rise post 1970 while solar forcings were (to use Musheler’s phrase) “relatively constant.” Thus as analyzed by your 2-box model, CO2 is a viable explanation for late 20th century warming while solar-activity driven effects (no matter the mechanism) are not.

Am I understanding you correctly? Is this the argument you are making, or would make?

Sincerely,

Alec

In response, Held seemed to be satisfied with my account of his position:

It sounds like you understand

Isaac

I also understand how Held’s 2-box model fails catastrophically in this application

Add the least bit more realism—an intermediate ocean layer—and a persistent high solar forcing will cause continued warming on intermediate time scales. Isaac Held must understand this too. After all, he has a doctorate in this stuff and has spent his life studying it. Anything that is obvious at first glance to a non-scientist like myself cannot have eluded Dr. Held entirely, making it hard not to suspect that he might be treating this failing of his simplified model as feature rather than a bug. The “consensus” position that late 20th century warming was caused by CO2 depends on finding some way to dismiss the rival solar theory and Held’s hyper-symplified model provides one.

On the other hand, this application is not what Held has been using his 2-box model for. In his blog posts Isaac argues for the utility of the 2-box model entirely on the grounds that it does a remarkably good job of mimicking the behavior of the mainline GCMs, which are never used to examine what kind of behavior enhanced solar forcing might produce. These models are driven pretty much entirely by CO2. That is what Held is fixated on and I have no indication that he had ever used his 2-box model to dismiss a solar explanation for late 20th century warming until I urged him to weigh in on Raimund Muscheler’s typical/outlandish statement that a persistent high level of forcing should not cause continued warming.

All the consensus scientists are doing the same thing. The only models they look at are CO2 driven. The only hypothesis they actually try to work through, or even consider, is the CO2-warming hypothesis. When it comes to the possibility of late 20th century warming having been caused by the sun they content themselves with the most unscientific statements imaginable and simply refuse to look deeper.

I have compiled more than a dozen instances of leading IPCC scientists all making simple unconditional statements that because solar activity was not going up in the late 20th century it cannot have caused late 20th century warming. You’d think this was Newton’s Fourth Law: temperature is driven by the trend in the temperature forcing, not the level of the forcing. They all just pretend it is obvious that persistent high levels of forcing cannot cause continued warming.

Only when pressed do these scientists admit that they are making implicit assumptions about ocean equilibration, which they then try to justify with various half-considered rationales. Unfortunately, the only person who has been pressing these scientists on their unstated assumptions is me, so the unscientific statements continue to flow.

When the alternative is to hack-up an untenable excuse, avoidance is much preferred, and that’s where these guys all hang out, Held included. To make sure, I asked him about it: had the implications of his 2-box model for solar warming ever been pulled together and stated explicitly by anyone but me? Had it ever been published as a grounds for dismissing the solar-warming theory? Had it been discussed at meetings or passed around by email? Were people familiar with this argument?

Isaac just offered the modest answer that he found the 2-box model worthwhile because of how well it captures the response of the full-fledged GCMs to rising CO2. So that’s good. It means there has been no worked-out deception on Held’s part, and it means that Held’s excuse for dismissing a solar explanation for late 20th century warming is stillborn. In the first instance where Held has ventured to misapply his two-box model to the solar-warming hypothesis it now dies.

This makes FOUR off-the-cuff attempts to support the claim that persistent forcing can’t cause continued warming, all now dead and buried

1. Mike Lockwood cites Stephen Schwartz’ even more unrealistic one-box model of ocean equilibration.

2. Solanki and Schuessler argue that, since the solar-temperature correlations they have found are strongest with short time lags, rapid temperature responses are all they have evidence for and need to consider. Wrong. Rapid temperature responses of imply longer period responses (just as the solar warming of the day is evidence that the lengthening of the day will warm the season), especially in a system with large heat sinks.

3. Muscheler, Schmidt and others point to the pattern of warming. Since temperatures dipped between 1940 and 1970, the oceans must have equilibrated to the high level of solar forcing that began in the 1920s by at least 1940 they suggest, as if the mid-century wiggle in GMAST means there was a similar wiggle in ocean heat content, despite the apparent domination of GMAST by ocean oscillations.

It is perfectly possible that ocean heat content continued to rise when GMAST dipped and this is what the little heat-content data we have from the mid-20th-century suggests. There was no fall-off in the rate of sea level rise over this period and since surface temperatures were slightly down the melt-rate should not have increased, suggesting that thermal expansion remained steady.

4. Now add Isaac Held’s 2-box fail.

All four have been presented as reasons why a solar explanation for late 20th century warming can safely be dismissed as a significant possibility when in actuality not a one of these rationales stands up to the least bit of scrutiny. Besides internal variability, enhanced solar forcing is the alternative hypothesis to the CO2-warming theory, and the consensus has been falsely claiming to have ruled it out.

GCMs are multi-thousand box models

If going from 2 to 3 ocean layers changes model behavior so that persistent forcing does cause continued warming on intermediate time scales then a fortiori models with “as many as 30 [ocean] layers” will also exhibit this continued-warming behavior. In full-fledged GCMs convection, ocean currents and even ocean oscillations are all modeled. Heat that gets poured into the oceans for extended periods of time will come back out on similar time scales.

Have GCM tests with enhanced solar effects been run? There are some strong indications that they have not. In particular, if such tests had been run, and if they supported the claim that that continued strong solar forcing would not cause continued warming, then surely these tests would have been cited by the many scientists who make this claim, but no such citations are ever offered.

I’m trying to verify now whether these tests have been run and will do a full post on the subject in the future. In the meantime, if anyone has any information about whether GCM models with enhanced solar forcing have been tested and where any results might be found, please email me (alec-at-rawls-dot-org) or leave a note in the comments.

Conceptually there is no obstacle. Svensmark, for instance, hypothesizes that solar variance might be responsible for a 1% or 2% variation in low cloud cover. Adding this solar response to existing GCMs would be easy. To get the best fit for a given level of cloud effect climate sensitivity would have to be reduced an offsetting amount (which at the same time would reduce the warming effect of CO2). It’s just a matter of actually running the tests.

It the tests have been run, the lack of citations suggests that the results do not support the “consensus” position. There are three scandalous possibilities. 1) That contrary results were found and are being kept secret. 2) That contrary results were found and are available but are going un-cited because they contradict the statements that many scientists are making. 3) That despite over $100b in public funding for climate research the “consensus” never bothered to test the alternate hypothesis (in the “post-normal science” sense of seeing how well the hypothesis performs in model runs).

The only innocent possibility is that the IPCC has simply neglected to cite model-tests that support its otherwise unsupported claims that late 20th century warming cannot have been caused by the sun, but that really isn’t possible, not just because the “consensus” doesn’t behave this way, but because no legitimate GCM would behave this way. Persistent high levels of forcing must tend to create continued surface warming on intermediate time scales, and it must take quite some doing for a scientist to convince himself otherwise.

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133 thoughts on “Isaac Held’s 2-box model: another failed ocean-equilibration excuse for dismissing solar warming

  1. As a registered professional engineer, specializing in fluid dynamics, heat transfer, and experimental testing, and with over 20+ years experience, i will say, the greater “number of boxes” or mixing cells yield results closer to the real world, providing the simulation includes the important and encompassing physics and the pertinent initial and time varying conditions. I would not use “two boxes” to represent the ocean. However, if i decided to, there would be graphical comparisons between the 1) real world data, 2) and the predictions of the many ocean layer model, and 3) the two layer model to reveal that possibility.

  2. Just a question. Does his model take into account the temperature/density differences of water? I ask this because fresh water is at its densest at 4C and the temperature at the bottom of a deep fw lake will be 4C despite what the outside temperature is. The water will be less dense and rise as it’s temperature increases or decreases. I know that the effect is the same for salt water but I’m not sure of the temperature. This phenomenon is responsible for the creation of the thermocline, whose depth will vary depending on what climate zone it is in, the season, and even whether it is day or night. This is primarily where the heat exchange takes place and its depth (as I noted) is dynamic going down as much as 1300 meters is some places. The mixing that that causes is enough to transfer enough oxygen from the surface to depths capable of keeping fish alive through long winters when lakes are ice covered.

  3. There wasn’t much warming anyway. Temperatures only just BARELY got out of the standard deviations over time and we’re, just as predicted by every classical model before Gore’s “Go Ahead And Install My Policies in Spite of the Election’ tour,

    headed joyfully back into our cooling half-cycle.

    Magic Gas and Global Warming are a myth.
    Magic Gas and climatic impacts other than normal are a scam.
    Magic Gas is a hoax being perpetrated by a relatively, select group of power grant application writers who claimed to be trying to discover whether the rising CO2 in the air might impact the atmosphere in some strange way.
    When Al OUTED their SCAM(s – there were several people doing it when Big Al outed them) they were forced to either recant and admit fraud or plunge forward with Al Gore’s political power protecting their scamming.

    So you have people claiming science when even Al Gore’s own experiment on the internet, adding CO2 to a bottle, as re-done uninterrupted by Tony Watts, showed cooling.

    You have people claiming science when the ventilation systems of nuclear submarines have dealt with 4,000 ppm of CO2 in the atmosphere there so they don’t have to scrub it out. There aren’t any special ventilation system parts to account for Magic Gas holding heat some unusual way.

    You have people claiming they believe in CO2’s Magic Gas properties who simultaneously admit to you, they don’t think it’s possible or humanity to array the equipment, to measure whether a narrow spectrum of infrared light – some heat – is rising in our atmosphere, globally.

    Do YOU really believe, there’s no way to check to see if CO2 has magical heat handling properties?
    Pfft.

    So: anything you read that comes from government-touched data is likely to have false physics in it, because in order to invent a MAGIC GAS the scientific method has to be stretched out on railroad tracks and de-limbed, both arms and legs, by a locomotive of magic-gas research money.

  4. The real world is not in accord with these models.

    Instead of heat conduction down through the water what happens is that ocean storms mix the waters down to about 300 feet (10x 30ft winter storm wave height). It is below this turbulent mixing zone that you see conduction; and water is a very poor conductor of heat. In a stratified system all the normal heat flow is by convection, but with heat applied at the top there is very little heat flow down through the water, so you are left with poor conduction as the only heat flow method.

    Thus the cold arctic water that descends to the depths stays at roughly the same temperature even as it travels to the equator where it is forced to the surface after a 1000 year journey. As any submariner could tell you, waters below 300 feet are COLD.

  5. Off topic.
    Does any model take into account of underwater thermal activity? We know for a fact that there are underwater volcanic activities and we know that these energy release cannot go anywhere except absorbed by the sea. Given enough time this bound to have some effect. Or could it be assumed that vertical convection would transport this heat to the surface.
    Nevertheless be it a short or long term heat transfer it would be unthinkable to neglect its effect on land temperature.
    Am I dead wrong?

  6. Alec – You need to explicitly ask Isaac Held to repeat the study using the 3-box model. It’s no good communicating with him in a way that only requires him to verify that you have understood him correctly, and then sniping at him from the sidelines. Get him to address the real problem directly, and maybe everyone can progress.

  7. Nice post! 4 years? One has to ask what the implications of the 2 box model are for Foster and Ramstorf, 2011, since its now been 7 years since solar minimum arrived.

  8. Mike: I have urged Isaac to test the behavior of the 3-box model and verify whether it will support Muscheler’s position, but logically it is quite obvious that it will not. The warming of an intermediate ocean level on intermediate time scales will cause additional warming of the upper layer. How much would be a function of how the model was set up: the heat capacities of the different layers and the rate of energy transport between them.

    But obviously the tests need to acutally be run, not just the 3-box model but also the GCMs. Then not only would we have a clear demonstration that the consensus rational for dismissing the solar theory is wrong, but we could see whether enhanced solar forcing is actually able to give a better explanation for temperature history than CO2 does. That is very likely, given the difficulty that the CO2 theory has with the 21st century.

    On the charge that I am “sniping”: no, I would say I am demolishing. The 2-box model fails completely when applied to the enhanced solar forcing theory. Switch two a 3-box model and the results reverse. Persistent forcing will cause continued warming. That’s simple logic.

  9. I think Held’s model is reasonable. Not necessarily correct, but not prima-facie unreasonable. The flaw in it is not a lack of an intermediate layer, but that the depth of the top layer is held to be constant.

    As should be obvious, it takes the same amount of energy to raise the top layer – 100m deep – by .25 degrees as it does to raise 1 metre of water by 25 degrees.

    I’m not sure what the temperature difference between surface waters and deep water is, but presumably it’s about 20 or 25 degrees.

  10. 1. Multidecadal Sea Level
    2. Solar Cycle Deceleration — via:
    (a) International Sunspot Numbers
    (b) Ironed Sun Total Solar Irradiance (ISTSI) (Svalgaard)
    3. Sea Surface Temperature
    (a) Pacific Ocean
    (b) Northern Hemisphere

  11. David Hagen: Thanks for the link to that Stockwell paper on accumulated solar energy. Tallbloke has also had some success trying to integrate the net amount of solar energy deposited into the oceans year by year.

    This accumulation/integration work would fit together well with a 3-box ocean model, with accumulation of the solar energy taking place in the top layer in the short term and in the intermediate layer in the intermediate term.

  12. Yes, there are many unstated assumptions about late 20th century warming. Keep at it. This is good stuff. There is no reason why the deep ocean won’t continue to absorb heat during and after periods of high solar activity.

  13. It is good to see Alec pressing the climate professionals on this matter since it is simple common sense and logic.

    Previously raised as an issue here:

    http://climaterealists.com/index.php?id=1396&linkbox=true&position=1

    back in 2008 where I referred to TSI as a proxy for whatever might then amplify the solar effect and since then it has become increasingly likely that the amplification effect arises from global cloudiness and albedo responses to solar variations which then alter the amount of solar energy able to enter the oceans.

    “It is true that, as the alarmists say, since 1961 the average level of TSI has been approximately level if one averages out the peaks and troughs from solar cycles 19 through to 23.

    However, those solar cycles show substantially higher levels of TSI than have ever previously occurred in the historical record.

    Because of the height of the TSI level one cannot simply ignore it as the IPCC and the modellers have done.

    The critical issue is that having achieved such high levels of TSI by 1961 the sun was already producing more heat than was required to maintain a stable Earth temperature. On that basis alone the theory of AGW cannot be sustained and should now die.

    Throughout the period 1961 to about 2001, there was a steady cumulative net warming effect from the sun. The fact that the TSI was, on average, level during that period is entirely irrelevant and misleading.”

  14. Mods,

    I think a post of mine has just gone to the spam filter due to a link which I included.

    Please have a look and retrieve it for me (assuming the link is unobjectionable).

    Thanks.

  15. You know, I would actually be interested in a calculation with a 3 layer ocean to show that it does indeed change Held’s conclusion. I don’t think your post shows that in any quanatative way.

  16. What of upwelling; downwelling; non horizontal currents; turbulence between static areas, currents, and different currents at different depths?

  17. OOPS! I failed to include:
    Every time I find new details of climate models they are obviously so over simplified as to be essentially no better, possibly worse, than simple curve matching.

  18. “What of upwelling; downwelling; non horizontal currents; turbulence between static areas, currents, and different currents at different depths?”

    It will take GCM test runs of enhanced solar forcing to get an idea of how these complexities might play out. In general, these mechanisms will transport energy into and out of the oceans and should operate on intermediate time scales.

  19. Thanks Alec, this is an interesting piece. It’s nice to see someone examining someone’s experiments with a critical eye and pointing out their mistakes. This is a very complex issue and it requires more than a simplistic model to explain what is happening.

  20. Here is an interesting quote from Science, 26 October 2012:
    Detecting Causality in Complex Ecosystems
    “Identifying causality (I) in complex systems can be difficult. Contradictions arise in many scientific contexts where variables are positively at some times but at other times appear unrelated or even negatively coupled depending on the system state (movie S1).”

    This would seemingly apply to Climate Science …

  21. You’re all missing the elephant in the room here, I think. The creature of course being the natural process of ENSO. It controls the temporal and spatial distribution of, among other climatic variables such as pressure gradients and winds, cloud cover, not just in the tropical Pacific but by atmospheric teleconnections also in the Atlantic and Indian Oceans. By far the most important of all ocean basins though, when it comes to the year-to-year uptake of solar energy, is the Eastern Tropical Pacific Ocean, the West Pacific Warm Pool (in the Western Tropical Pacific Ocean) being its prime reservoir.

    It is quite easy to show how the evolution in global OHC (0-700m) since about 1970 (when it started to rise) is simply governed by ENSO. All one has to do is split the world ocean into two subsets, one ‘following’ the East Pacific (NINO) and one ‘following’ the West Pacific (WPWP). These two subsets swing in remarkable counterphase. But during the course of specific ENSO events along the time line (that is, major La Niñas, when the cloud cover above the Central and Eastern Tropical Pacific is at a minimum) there arises a skewness between energy gain in the one subset and energy loss in the other. This occasional (but at very distinctive sequential intervals) asymmetry explains the entire rise in OHC since the early 70s.

    There is no need for any increased TSI or a sustained high level of solar output to explain the net accumulation of heat in the oceans. Only specific, ENSO-driven cloud cover variations in the tropics.

    I’m not saying, though, that the Sun isn’t a factor in all this. Only that it’s probably rather a puppet master, pulling the strings through some mechanism other than direct output (although, like Stephen Wilde said, this can be used as a proxy) on the fairly regular decadal and multidecadal regime shifts that occur in Earth’s climate system (also, maybe particularly, affecting the ENSO).

  22. Alec Rawls says:
    November 15, 2012 at 10:38 pm

    “What of upwelling; downwelling; non horizontal currents; turbulence between static areas, currents, and different currents at different depths?”

    It will take GCM test runs of enhanced solar forcing to get an idea of how these complexities might play out. In general, these mechanisms will transport energy into and out of the oceans and should operate on intermediate time scales.
    ————————–
    And don’t forget the jellyfish and their ability to mix the ocean waters, apparently, as much as storms and tides.
    See –

    http://dsc.discovery.com/news/2009/07/29/jellyfish-climate-ocean.html

    http://jeb.biologists.org/content/215/6/1040.full

  23. Having only recently woken up to the idea of deep time and the existence of the world before 1850 (e.g. discovery of the Ordovician high-CO2 ice age problem), the climate community appear to have woken up to the existence of the deep ocean also. At least this is good.

    But they are still locked into a paradigm where everything is driven from the atmosphere and the newly discovered ocean is a passive player only, simply responding to atmospheric forcings. IF radiative forcings really do exist, and IF there are no opposing feedbacks (two significant ifs) then yes in the long term the amount of heat energy in the system will change.

    However they are excluding or ignoring one important component. What if the ocean itself decides to become a player? Taking for the sake of argument Held’s 2-box ocean model, the top box is warm, the bottom box is cold. Vertical mixing between the 2 boxes will cool the top box (with an insignificant effect on the bottom box). This will cool the earth’s climate, which is influenced by the sea surface temperature, but with no change to the total energy in the system.

    So vertical ocean mixing is a mechanism for climate change without (necessarily) any forcing driven change in the system’s heat energy budget.

    So what kind of dynamics could control ocean mixing in a thermodynamically open dissipative far-from-equilibrium system ….? Anyone?

  24. Dr. Isaac Held, who models fluid dynamics at NOAA, dismisses a solar explanation for late 20th century warming by invoking a 2-box model of ocean equilibration.

    Only yesterday I was looking at files at the NOAA website and came across this,

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

    very relevant to the subject..
    Perhaps NOAA’s models would be more adequate if they examined more closely their data files.
    It appears that one side wants to exclude solar factor all together and the other is convinced that sunspot record alone are the answer.
    Oceans are the main absorber and reservoir of heat. How much solar energy is absorbed and when and how much of it is released is determined by both the sun and the Earth

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

  25. Lets remember the first rule of climate science, when the models and reality differ its reality which is in error. Once you done that can see why is right we they say ‘His argument against solar warming hinges directly on what is unrealistic about his model.’ , but wrong with what it means to Held. With reality coming a poor second to models .

  26. The warmists like it both ways though.

    All the ‘missing’ energy from the last 15 years or so is ‘hiding’ in the deep ocean where we can’t measure it they say. However, this energy magically gets there without heating any intermediate layers on the way down apparently.

    Like I say, magic. It makes you wonder how these people can look at themselves in the mirror.

    However, reality is closing in on them and most of them will have realised this. They will now have realised that their predictions and models are a fail and that they were fooled by the natural variability heating in the late 20th century adding to what looks a fairly minor CO2 effect. Heck the PDO cycle was not identified until 1996, long after most of them had leaped aboard the good ship AGW, thrown of their life jackets and nailed themselves to the mast!

    The ship is sinking but they are going to keep bailing out with everything they have got to delay the day it finally sinks beneath the waves taking them with it.

    The crafty ones amongst them will start to edge towards the life rafts and it will be interesting to see who are the first to start issuing slightly ameliorated predictions.

    Alan

  27. We often here:
    Solar output now is same as in the early 1900’s ,

    but temperatures are radically different (Svalgaard)

    So what has changed since 1900’s.
    The Earth has changed !
    You may not know it but NOAA scientists do !
    Here is the change as NOAA knows it:

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

    For the global temperature change you might say
    “It takes two to tango”
    Where the sun takes the lead and the Earth follows

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

  28. “… some 40-70 percent of the [temperature adjustment to a change in forcing] is achieved on a timescale on the order of 4 years, whereas equilibration takes centuries.”

    If 40-70 is important does its inverse 30-60 inconsequential?

  29. And if you nail a plank of wood to a block of wood in the shape of a cross you have have a simple model of an aeroplane that proves powered flight is impossible.

  30. From Stephen Wilde on November 15, 2012 at 9:09 pm:

    Previously raised as an issue here:

    http://climaterealists.com/index.php?id=1396&linkbox=true&position=1

    back in 2008 where I referred to TSI (…)

    “It is true that, as the alarmists say, since 1961 the average level of TSI has been approximately level if one averages out the peaks and troughs from solar cycles 19 through to 23.

    However, those solar cycles show substantially higher levels of TSI than have ever previously occurred in the historical record.”

    I have checked the source data you used, as given on your graph, originating from Lean J. 2000:

    http://www1.ncdc.noaa.gov/pub/data/paleo/climate_forcing/solar_variability/lean2000_irradiance.txt

    Clearly you have selected “11yrCYCLE+BKGRND” instead of “11yrCYCLE”.

    This has been superseded by the historical TSI reconstruction based on Wang, Lean, and Sheely 2005, available on the SORCE site:

    http://lasp.colorado.edu/sorce/data/tsi_data.htm

    Both show an oscillation of about 90 yrs duration. However, as Leif Svalgaard previously stated:

    The SORCE reconstruction is based on two assumptions [both likely to be false]:
    1) the Group Sunspot Number is correct
    2) there is a ‘background’ variation which is equal to the 11-year moving average of the Group Sunspot Number on which TSI rides. http://www.leif.org/research/TSI-Background-Not.png

    As shown in Leif’s recent WUWT post, the GSN has been demonstrated to be flawed, do not use it. The adding in of the made-up background variation is shown to be in error as well by the graph at “2”.

    Leif has already supplied his “best guess” of the TSI values that should be used, based on reconstructed sunspot number. They notably do not have the background variation:

    http://www.leif.org/research/TSI-Guess.xls

    http://www.leif.org/research/TSI-SSN-Guess.xls

    This result is similar to what is found in your original source of Lean 2000 if you select “11yrCYCLE”, but instead you had selected the values with the background variation added in.

    Your choice is shown to have been in error, and since your fancifully-titled “The Death Blow to Anthropogenic Global Warming” article was based on notably higher TSI levels from 1961 to 2001, which only exist with the background variation added, your article is invalidated. Lean 2000 “11yrCYCLE” shows the 1961-2000 average to be only 0.25 W/m2 higher than the 1610-1960 average, 0.018%, hardly enough to support your results.

    Although the small increase possibly could have been a contributor to late-20th century warming.

  31. I suppose ignoring the existence of slow moving, deep ocean, currents aka the Great Marine Conveyor Belt, is just another factor essential for the findings of Dr Isaac Held’s model.

    Still, we mustn’t let facts get in the way of the model’s findings – after all, if you did that, it wouldn’t be climate science.

  32. Alec,

    It sounds like you and Held are not familiar with the climate commitment studies of Wigley, et al and Meehl, et al, for an explanation of how even a continuation of an already achieved level of new forcing can take decades for most of the land temperature adjustment and sea level will continue to rise as heat is stored into the oceans for perhaps a millenia or more. If I recall correctly both studies found that the unrealized climate commitment alone will account for another 1 degree C of warming over the next century. While they claim it is due to CO2, it could just as easily apply to the high levels of forcing achieved during the recent solar grand maximum.

    I’ve never found evidence that solar forcing was seriously considered. The TAR stated that the uncertainty in solar variation was a factor of two, yet we never read of model runs where the solar variation histories of Lean, et al, were doubled to test the solar hypothesis. If the solar contribution is eventually found to be responsible for more of the recent warming, I suspect that it won’t be due to under estimating the radiative forcing, but due to the differences in solar coupling to the climate, magnetic (cosmic rays), chemical (stratospheric and tropospheric creation of ozone, a GHG), or vertical (land surface, ocean penetration) and horizontal distribution effects (tropics) on a dynamic nonlinear system.

  33. vukcevic says:
    November 16, 2012 at 2:28 am
    The Earth has changed !
    You may not know it but NOAA scientists do !
    Here is the change as NOAA knows it:

    From Rikubetsu, Hokaido [the coldest place in Japan]:
    That the Earth’s main field changes does not impact the climate one bit.

  34. This sounds like the Mr McCawber principle.
    “Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen nineteen six, result happiness. Annual income twenty pounds, expenditure twenty pounds nought and six, result misery.”
    As long as energy going in exceeds energy being lost, the temperature will go up, regardless of whether the level of energy in is up, down, or stable.

  35. Solar activity & cosmic rays were relatively constant (high solar activity, strong shielding and low cosmic rays) in the second part of the 20th century

    That “relatively constant” falsehood keeps getting repeated.

    While the Modern Maximum in the second part of the 20th century did not replicate the rise of solar activity during the first half of the century and before (and unsurprisingly, for example, average sea level rise rates dropped from 2.03 mm/yr over 1904-1953 to 1.45 mm/yr over 1954-2003 — http://www.agu.org/pubs/crossref/2007/2006GL028492.shtml ), what really happened was this:

    When solar activity relatively dropped in the 1960s relative to the mid-20th-century high, there was major global cooling, with the global cooling scare occurring for a reason as seen in the temperature graphs of the time (like http://tinyurl.com/cxo4d3l ), and only later recent revisionism for the CAGW movement rewrote historical temperature records to delete almost all of the inconvenient drop then.

    Then solar activity substantially rose, including a major 3% change in average cosmic ray deflection for solar cycles 21 and 22 of 1976 to 1996, compared to the cycle before, and that coincided with the global warming scare. Atmospheric temperatures peaked with the 1998 El Nino which released much recently-stored ocean heat back to the atmosphere.

    Finally, solar activity started to relatively go down with cycle 23 (1998-2008) and beyond, while global temperatures have not been warming but rather cooling as the trend from 1998 to now ( http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/rss/from:1998/plot/rss/from:1998/trend ).

    As the article here implies, there is also a partial time lag due to the oceans being far from zero thermal latency. That further improves the match (including making the downward slope of 1998-now slower net atmospheric cooling less than it would have been otherwise). The bulk of the picture, though, most of all just requires something few even on WUWT do: use solar and temperature data which has not been fudged in recent CAGW-convenient revisionism.

  36. Isaac, but not Newton this time.

    Up to now, no climatologist or climate model offered an explanation for North Atlantic temperature variations, which give the shape to the “global” temperature record. Model is obviously out of reality. Please Mr. Isaac, what caused the early 20th century warming? Do not say solar forcing, since it is included in the model and shows almost nothing. Until you have no answer, do not play wise over late century warming, indistinguishable from the early one. And, it ended few years ago.

  37. lsvalgaard says: November 16, 2012 at 3:34 am
    From Rikubetsu, Hokaido [the coldest place in Japan]:
    That the Earth’s main field changes does not impact the climate one bit

    Hi Doc
    (Sapporo winter Olympics?) Keep warm.
    You say:
    That the Earth’s main field changes does not impact the climate one bit.
    and likewise one could state:
    The climate change does not impact the Earth’s main field changes one bit.
    Both of the above are considered to be correct.
    However, in the old tradition, it is to some of us to question, and that is what I do.
    Thus: either of two statements or both could be also wrong .
    My link http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/NoaaD.htm was actually inspired by your visit to Japan. I will email you details assembled in a pdf file, but if Alec Rawls would like to contact me I will email it to him too (e. address is on the graph)
    Nature is full of surprises.
    .

  38. Roy Spencer has been developing an alternative diffusion model for ocean temperatures.
    Is Gore’s Missing Heat Really Hiding in the Deep Ocean?
    Deep Ocean Temperature Change Spaghetti: 15 Climate Models Versus Observations

    The following comparison between the 20th Century runs from most (15) of the IPCC AR4 climate models, and Levitus observations of ocean warming during 1955-1999, further bolsters the case for a relatively low climate sensitivity: estimated here to be about 1.3 deg. C for a future doubling of atmospheric CO2. This is quite a bit lower than the IPCC’s best estimate of 3 deg. C warming.

    On filing their paper, Spencer highlights the importance of requiring 1st law energy conservation

    We used a 1D forcing-feedback-diffusion model of ocean temperature change to 2,000 meters depth to explain ocean temperature variations measured since 1955. . . .
    The 1D model has the advantage that it conserves energy, which apparently is still a problem with the IPCC 3D models which exhibit spurious temperature trends (peer reviewed paper here). Our own analysis has shown that at least 3 of the IPCC models actually produce net (full-depth) ocean cooling despite positive radiative forcing over the 2nd half of the 20th Century.

    After all, if a climate model can’t even satisfy the 1st Law of Thermodynamics, and global warming is fundamentally a conservation of energy process (net accumulation of energy leads to warming), how then can 3D models be used to explain or predict climate change? . . .

  39. “Bill Hunter says:
    November 15, 2012 at 8:26 pm

    Nice post! 4 years? One has to ask what the implications of the 2 box model are for Foster and Ramstorf, 2011, since its now been 7 years since solar minimum arrived.”

    F&R2011 shows that solar equilibrium is reached at 1 month:

    “An interesting result is the time lags found. For volcanic
    eruptions the resulting cooling lags by about half a year,
    whereas the warming associated with El Ni˜no events lags
    the multivariate ENSO index by 2–5 months. For ENSO the
    largest lag is found in the lower troposphere, whereas for solar
    forcing the lag in the surface data is larger. This is consistent
    with ENSO forcing the climate system from below (via ocean
    heat release) while solar irradiance forces the system from the
    top. The lags found here are consistent with those from Lean
    and Rind (2008) for the longer period 1889–2006, namely 6
    months for volcanoes, 4 months for ENSO and 1 month for
    solar variations.” – F&R2011, Section 5.1

    We know from real world that this is absolutely false. The variations they’re considering were a few w/m^2. The real world, when trying to locally equalize over a season, has a much longer response time than one month (NH solar forcing starts dropping – albeit rather slowly at first- on June 22nd, but the temperatures rise for another 4-6 weeks) with a much greater forcing function (forcing between summer and winter is ~100+ w/m^2)

    I know this is just a localized phenomenon, but even so, the physics of how the oceans equilibrate doesn’t change based on the timeframe you examine. The result that F&R report – that solar equilibrium is reached in 1 month – is wrong.

  40. Alec
    Re: “it is unlikely that solar activity (whatever process) was involved in causing the warming since 1970.”
    That appears to include an “argument from ignorance”. e.g., the steady solar heating is assumed and dismissed because of the change in trends around 1970 – while ignoring variations in solar, the Pacific Decadal Oscillation, and changes in galactic cosmic rays/cloud cover. Each or all of those ignored features could cause the major change in trends, such as the solar heating such as shown by Stockwell. e.g. see:
    A 39-Year Survey of Cloud Changes from Land Stations Worldwide 1971-2009 Ryan Eastman, Stephen G. Warren J. Climate eview (May 2012 preprint)

    Global average trends of cloud cover suggest a small decline in total cloud cover, on the order of -0.4 % per Decade. Declining clouds in middle latitudes at high and middle levels appear responsible for this trend.

    Declining clouds = warming.

  41. lsvalgaard says:
    November 16, 2012 at 3:34 am

    From Rikubetsu, Hokaido [the coldest place in Japan]:

    You’re not w/the program at all, Dr S. You’re supposed to be holding conferences in Hawaii, Tahiti, French Riviera, Cancun, Bahamas, etc, etc. :)

  42. I agree with one aspect of Held’s story. The whole ocean probably is a near infinite heat sink.

    However, I suspect from experience with testing heat sinks for LED packages that the all important thermal settling time he is calculating depends directly on the depth he assigns to box1. Double the artificial definition of box1 to 200 meters, leave everything else in box2, and … its a miracle, the settling time doubled to 8 years!

    Volume times thermal capacitance of a uniform material. No, it is not really uniform, but whatever.

  43. “You’d think this was Newton’s Fourth Law: temperature is driven by the trend in the temperature forcing, not the level of the forcing.”

    The core error in this mis-direction is so close to my own experience in my field that I am pasting quotes into current texts (with attribution, Alec). It boils down to an even simpler error, or an error that can be stated in a simpler fashion: they are confusing temperature with heat. They are by subterfuge taking the first derivative of the temperature curve and pretending it is the temperature then saying you need an increase in heat input to keep the ‘temperature’ constant.

    What may be surprising is how few people will notice such errors of logic. If you listen to enthusiasts talk about how they have increased the heat transfer efficiency because of this or that change in temperature you soon hear this type of mistake. The rate of change in temperature and the temperature and the quantity of heat and the efficiency are not interchangeable metrics, guys! To some of them it is a big mish-mash and you lift out what you want.

    I am surprised to see a specialist in this field advising his non-specialist colleagues to use a 2-box model knowing full well it does not bear any slight resemblance to reality. The obvious ENSO-driven changes (see Bob Tisdale’s excellent animations!) and that something-or-other called the ‘overturning circulation’ for heaven’s sake show that a two box approach has to be misleading. It boils down to a cleverly hidden cover that makes it appear more likely that CO2 has been causing the 1975-1995 temperature increase.

    Of course it all ends in tears when the eggshell of increasing CO2 collides with the concrete wall of temperature stasis. It is Humpty Dumpty all over again. All of Mann’s horses and all Hansen’s men will never put Humpty together again.

  44. I check, it’s still not there, I send the comment I wrote asking asking about my lost comment… And there it is with the after-posting reload!

    Wow, that was fast work by the moderators! Thanks!

  45. Add the least bit more realism—an intermediate ocean layer—and a persistent high solar forcing will cause continued warming on intermediate time scales.

    How do you know that? It would depend on the rate constants for transfer between the layers, would it not? It would seem to me that you ought to run your model with a variety of rate constants for the various parameters and see where your models differ from his, and where they agree.

  46. In the first instance where Held has ventured to misapply his two-box model to the solar-warming hypothesis it now dies.

    Where have you shown that?

  47. All models deal poorly with cloud variations, primarily because equatorial ENSO teleconnected cloud variations cannot be predicted in the future, only hind casted or set up as dialed-in scenarios. A series of modeled La Nina events (strong and weak) reduce cloud cover. A series of modeled El Nino events (strong and weak) increase cloud cover. Further, correct model runs understand that these events do not cancel each other out and can drive a temperature trend in the ocean and over land for decades and more.

    The AGW trouble with this is that the UN doesn’t know where mother nature lives in order to send her the tax bill related to increased use of energy to heat our homes or cool our homes in response to her fickle and unpredictable ways. Enter a convenient story to blame decadent fuel-drunk industrialized nations with deep pockets of cash just waiting to be redistributed under a new world-order scheme.

  48. From vukcevic on November 16, 2012 at 1:21 am:

    Only yesterday I was looking at files at the NOAA website and came across this,

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

    very relevant to the subject..

    Relevance will only be possible when you state what is “Geophysics data”.

    It appears that one side wants to exclude solar factor all together and the other is convinced that sunspot record alone are the answer.

    TSI has barely changed. The sunspot record cited as explaining 20th century global warming is the Group Sunspot Number, but the GSN is flawed and should not be used. The corrected International/Zurich number (ISN) does not show the Sun as the cause. So it’s not the Sun, according to TSI and the acceptable sunspot record.

    Oceans are the main absorber and reservoir of heat. How much solar energy is absorbed and when and how much of it is released is determined by both the sun and the Earth

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

    Which starts with the premise:
    Earth has a magnetic ‘ripple’ originating in the core and the sun has its cycles.
    When two are in phase the oceans absorb more energy, when two are out of phase the oceans cool.

    And where do we find evidence of this “ripple”?

    request geomag data by email vukcevicu then standard (at)yahoo.com

    Oh goody, another made-up Vuk index of unknown veracity made by unknown methods working on unknown data, which is why he will not directly link to the source(s).

    Anybody here know a real measurement of Earth’s average magnetic field strength, suitable for comparison to solar data? All I keep finding are assorted indexes that are “space weather” oriented and already affected by solar influence.

  49. Th reason for distinguishing the upper layer from the lower one is that the temperature profile of the upper layer (which Held correctly puts at about 100-m thick), cleverly called the “surface layer” is well mixed by wind and surface wave motion, whereas the lower layer has a strong temperature inversion, and is only weakly mixed, mostly by ocean currents. See this. This profile in the lower layer inhibits convection, so you end up with a much longer time constant for temperature exchange in the lower layer than the upper.

    Because the time constant is much longer for the lower layer than the upper, you do get a thermal reservoir effect that depends on the mass of the deeper ocean. This is a well know result from the theory of heat diffusion, when convective motion is not possible.

    You can calculate the response time of a 1-km thick layer of ocean by solving the heat equation and putting in the know profile for temperature, density and heat of conduction with depth of ocean water. Basically put in a step function in temperature, see how long it takes the ocean basin to response. From memory, the time constant for this is in the thousands of years. The real time constant is shorter because there are exchanges of water between the upper and lower layers due ocean current-driven mixing.

    I’d invite Alec Rawls to come back once he’s made this calculation, after all you can do anything with physics when you aren’t constrained by what the mathematical relationships tell you must happen.

    Dean:

    F&R2011 shows that solar equilibrium is reached at 1 month:

    Not really. They use a model that assumes a constant solar forcing over the entire Earth, which I think would be news for most of us if this were true—the well known phenomenon of “seasons” belying this assumption, instead of breaking temperature up into zonal bands to account for the zonal nature of the forcings, and then assume a single lag constant.

    What F&R came up with is not even a physical plausible model. You need something a lot more in depth that what is frankly little more than a curve-fitting exercise run amok if you want to make any useful conclusions about solar equilibrium time scales.

  50. The 2-box model fails completely when applied to the enhanced solar forcing theory. Switch two a 3-box model and the results reverse. Persistent forcing will cause continued warming. That’s simple logic.

    I think you need to support those assertions with actual calculations. For calculations that fit the data best, the 2-box and 3-box model may be indistinguishable, or as we sometimes say, the 3-baox model may be non-identifiable or non-estimable. “Simple logic” is seldom adequate to these cases.

  51. Greetings to Alec Rawls & David Hagen,

    The informative ~1910-1940 mismatch in Stockwell’s Figure 2 ( http://vixra.org/pdf/1108.0032v1.pdf ) has been independently rediscovered countless times by countless investigators within seconds of their first look at sunspot numbers.

    What do we know about meridional vs. zonal terrestrial flow regimes during that era (for example from the Russian literature)? Would you suggest we ignore it? Or can you see a learning opportunity here? (I hope so.)

    I’m not looking for replies with written answers to these questions here & now. Rather, the questions are intended to suggest careful thinking about the role of equator-pole & continent-ocean gradients in terrestrial circulatory morphology.

    It’s the integral of circulation (cumulative poleward heat & water pumping) that gives familiar multidecadal terrestrial waves.

    Cross-ENSO terrestrial circulatory (gradient) anomaly from decadal gaussian climatology:

    Rate of change of pitch of solar-terrestrial-climate helix (a very simple calculation):

    Synthesizing insights of Wyatt, Barkin, Sidorenkov, Courtillot, & Dickey, one might begin suspecting that vukcevic has plotted stimulating graphs quite successfully, but got the speculation exactly backwards:

    Like vukcevic, Courtillot might soberly consider the wisdom of accepting Sidorenkov’s superior counsel:

    “Apart from all other reasons, the parameters of the geoid depend on the distribution of water over the planetary surface.” — Nikolay Sidorenkov

    Sidorenkov’s Antarctic ice specific mass estimates are published in the following paper:

    Sidorenkov, N.S.; Lutsenko, O.V.; Bryazgin, N.N.; Aleksandrov, E.I.; & Zakharov, V.G. (2005). Variation of the mass of the ice sheet of Antarctica and instability of the Earth’s rotation. Russian Meteorology and Hydrology 8, 1-8.

    Regards.

  52. kadaka (KD Knoebel) says:
    November 16, 2012 at 3:28 am

    ” Lean 2000 “11yrCYCLE” shows the 1961-2000 average to be only 0.25 W/m2 higher than the 1610-1960 average, 0.018%,”

    You are stating the obvious. It is well known that changes to TSI on their own do not appear sufficient tp have a significant effect on the climate.

    However, changes to TSI combined with other effects and feedbacks can combine to alter things significantly. We drift in and out of glacial cycles with minimal change to TSI.

    Heck, during about the last billion years the Suns output has gone up 10%, a huge increase in TSI, yet the Earth’s temperature has FALLEN from 22c approx to about 14c today. All this time life has been well established on land as well as the oceans.

    The Earth did it all by itself and CO2 was not a main player as CO2 has been much higher and lower than we see today with varying temperatures both higher and lower.

    That’s the trouble with the alarmist scientists, they are locked into the scenario that nearly all the temperature change of the late 20th century was due to man and yet it is obvious that climate science is still in its infancy with huge unknowns not ‘settled’, as they like people to believe.

    What is clear from the Holocene is that the Earth’s temperature is always on the move, up or down, in the medium term. It is never static for centuries on end. So, as well as the warm end of the PDO cycle, that kicked in in the late 20th century, we would have in addition the medium term climate signal. What was this? Well ,given the drop into the Little Ice Age and then the subsequent upturn it is likely that the medium term, underlying, natural climate signal was and is still up.

    The alarmists however banked on nearly everything being due to man and reality is going to give them the biggest slap ever.

    Alan

  53. My question is: where does heat leave the ocean? The ocean is a layer of cold between a surface warmed by the sun and the earth’s inner heat.

    On an additional topic, what is called the textbook number for the surface temperature of the earth is too high because temperatures of the ocean are not properly accounted for. The average surface temperature that is often used in zero dimensional climate models is usually stated as 15 degrees C. But this is not the surface temperature of the earth; it’s the combined global land and ocean surface temperature – with the deep ocean temperatures left out. This is a miscalculation that is commonly made in discussions about the magnitude of climate sensitivity.

  54. This is all very interesting, but can we formulate a testable hypothesis?
    Something like: if solar activity is the [dominate/significant] driver of global average temperature then the current reduction in solar activity should result in a [slower increase/leveling off/reduction] in global average temperature in X years.

    In other words, when you turn down the heat, the pot of water will A) continue heating if there’s still more energy coming in than out, B) reach a steady state (relatively speaking) if there’s about the same amount of energy input as outflow, or C) cool if there’s less energy coming in than going out.

    Would it coincide with Scafetta’s harmonics prediction?

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/reference-pages/research-pages/scafettas-solar-lunar-cycle-forecast-vs-global-temperature/

  55. kadaka (KD Knoebel) says:
    November 16, 2012 at 3:28 am

    kadaka, despite all Leif’s efforts at reducing the scale of variability in TSI the general shape of the pattern of historical changes in TSI remains intact with lower levels of solar activity correlating well enough with climate changes.

    Furthermore I have moved on since that article and made it very clear why raw TSI and/or sunspot numbers (and indeed cosmic rays) are merely convenient proxies for other aspects of solar output that vary more substantially such as the UV wavelengths and certain types of particles.

    It appears to be those other wavelengths and particles which change the balance of ozone destruction and creation at different heights and thereby alter the vertical temperature profile of the atmosphere thus allowing a change in the gradient of tropopause height between equator and pole.

    That allows the sliding latitudinally to and fro of the permanent climate zones and jetstreams beneath the tropopause so as to change the length of the lines of air mass mixing and especially the width of the subtropical high pressure cells where most solar energy enters the oceans.

    The resulting cloudiness changes then allow more energy into the oceans when the sun is active and less when it is inactive.

    My article was therefore somewhat prescient as have been a number of my subsequent articles developing the finer detail.

    However the solar induced changes must be of the opposite sign to that proposed by standard climatology because the stratosphere must cool towards the poles relative to the equator when the sun is active and warm when the sun is active.

    That is because incursions of polar air equatorward are usually associated with warming of the stratosphere at the poles and such incursions are more frequent when the sun is inactive.

    Note that the stratosphere and mesosphere did cool with reducing ozone when the sun was more active and appear to have stopped cooling with recovering ozone with the less active sun.

    Standard climatology proposes a warming of the entire atmospheric column when the sun is active and cooling of the entire column when the sun is less active.

    That did not happen. In somewhat of a panic CFCs were blamed for the reducing ozone and CO2 was blamed for the warming and poleward migration of the climate zones.

    Those assumptions are now in serious doubt.

  56. From Alan Millar on November 16, 2012 at 7:01 am:
    You are stating the obvious. It is well known that changes to TSI on their own do not appear sufficient tp have a significant effect on the climate.

    Must not be too obvious nor too well known, with Stephen Wilde pointing to TSI for the support of his 2008 article titled “The Death Blow to Anthropogenic Global Warming”. Of course he didn’t know he was using bad info. Hopefully he does now.

  57. Surely ARGOS is going to put paid to both sides of the controversy in relatively short order, so why all of the fuss? I agree that a two box model is almost certainly an oversimplification, and one that (by its selection of the two boxes) begs all questions because the vast bulk of the deepwater ocean is indeed a reservoir at a nearly constant temperature with effectively infinite heat capacity relative to the sun-warmed layer. It is doubly oversimplified, because at the thermocline the heat exchange mechanisms are very slow and involve things like turbulent turnover between moving layers at widely varying depths.

    One key failure of the model described above (if I understand it correctly) from the beginning is that by its very nature completely eliminates thermohaline circulation. If correct, I’m frankly surprised that this isn’t pointed out in any and all critical analysis of the model and hence used to immediately dismiss it, as surely THC is a first order global heating/cooling effect, hardly something one can ignore, and a model that does not admit that it happens at all or have any mechanism for describing it (as it explicitly involves transporting heat into the deep ocean actively, as well as the uplifting of ancient stored heat actively, and the redistribution of oceanic heat from the equator to the poles actively, and is quite possibly responsible for the observed asymmetry between the two poles as far as mean temperature is concerned) cannot be sufficient.

    Either way, though, replacing a smooth, empirically measured curve with a square well is just silly when the curve is readily available! For example here:

    http://www.windows2universe.org/earth/Water/temp.html

    This curve clearly indicates that in the middle latitudes (where solar heating is most important) the upper layer of warm water is only tens to a couple of hundred meters thick, followed by a long, smooth decrease to the deepwater average of 4K or less (nearly constant) starting around 1000 m across the thermocline. This curve is an “infinity box model” and is all you need to make all kinds of inferences about heat transport and probable equilibrium even as a static entity!

    ARGOS will over time eliminate even that need — to make inferences about dynamics from static averages. Why build a two box model with crude dynamics when you can watch how the ocean actually responds all the way across the thermocline with ARGOS in real time?

    I would be amazed if one cannot do this analysis rather precisely even now. Surely the buoys themselves or some other series of co-local surface observations provide a simultaneous running record of not mean insolation but actual, time dependent insolation over a buoy’s location that can be directly correlated with minimal averaging over the temperature profile as a function of depth at that location. If the buoys are free floating (I recall that they are) one does even better — one observes the heating of a given parcel of ocean as it moves around, eliminating the confounding effect of heat being absorbed here and then transported away by ocean currents that replace the warmed water with cooler water (or vice versa on the other end of the scale) at any give geographical location.

    Of course, ARGOS drives me nuts because whenever I visit the ARGOS GCOS/WMO site (including the GCOS data page where one is “supposed” to be able to access the floating and fixed buoy data) all the links are dead or appear to be behind some sort of complex gatekeeping paywall. Who pays for all of this, and if it is me (as I suspect it is) via tax dollars why can’t I get at the data?

    To conclude — a two box model is not only grotesquely oversimplified, it is completely unnecessary. Models themselves per se are unnecessary. We have at least a decade’s worth of high quality data, as well as a half century of lower quality (but still quite good) data before that. One should be able to watch the alteration of the upper ocean and the entire thermocline down to where the ocean does become moderately boring in actual time series, not model the entire upper and lower ends of this as well-mixed boxes.

    rgb

  58. kadaka, I said this in my 2008 article:

    “The influence of the sun has been discounted in the climate models as a contributor to the warming observed between 1975 and 1998. Those who support the theory of anthropogenic global warming (AGW), now known as anthropogenic climate change so that recent cooling can be included in their scenario, always deny that the sun has anything to do with recent global temperature movements.

    The reason given is that Total Solar Irradiance (TSI) varied so little over that period that it cannot explain the warming that was observed. I don’t yet accept that TSI tells the whole story because it is ill defined and speculative as regards it’s representation of all the different ways the sun could affect the Earth via the entire available range of physical processes.

    Despite the limitations of TSI as an indicator of solar influence I think there are conclusions we can draw from the records we do have”

    Therefore, even back then, I duly acknowledged the limitations of TSI alone as a diagnostic indicator.

    Your criticism is ill founded.

  59. kadaka (KD Knoebel) says: November 16, 2012 at 6:54 am
    ……..
    Oh goody, another made-up Vuk index of unknown veracity made by unknown methods working on unknown data, which is why he will not directly link to the source(s).

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

    Hi
    Not made up, all in data by Andrew Jackson – ETH- Zurich) and Jeremy Bloxham – Dept Earth and Planetary Sciences, Harvard University
    Ripple in the field originates at the core, it is not smooth change, sometimes intensity goes down a bit, sometime goes up a bit, hence a ripple.
    Whole lot (data, calculations and methods employed) emailed to Dr. Svalgaard, Dr. J.Curry, Dr. R.J.Brown and S. Mosher.
    None objected to the data, calculations or method employed. No mechanism available!
    Any one from NASA, NOAA or any well known university is welcome to contact me.

    Anybody here know a real measurement of Earth’s average magnetic field strength, suitable for comparison to solar data?
    Earth is not a bar magnet, there is dipole, but the Earth is most sensitive to the solar field at the poles, and two poles are behaving in totally different manner:
    For Antarctic field::

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

    it is decadal change in the field that should be of interest
    For Arctic field:

    http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/NFC1.htm

  60. In reply to kadaka’s comment on the insignificance of solar forcing…

    Taking 0.25W/m2 of forcing at face value, and a 100m water depth, that’s about 79,000 J/m^3 per year, which is 0.079 J/cm^3. Enough to heat the water by 0.019 Celcius.

    So, the forcing is of sufficient magnitide to heat the ocean by 0.19 degrees per decade. Since the recent run-up in LT average temperature was from about -0.1 Degrees to +0.4 degrees in 30 years, i.e. 0.17 degrees per decade, I don’t think you can dismiss solar forcing so lightly.

  61. Only a little OT – Nino 3.4 SST index is now down close to zero, has been for nearly a week, but the WUWT Nino dial is stuck at 0.5 – WUWT?

    With the building east Pacific surface and subsurface cold, we could have a La Nina brewing.

  62. From RERT on November 16, 2012 at 7:55 am:

    In reply to kadaka’s comment on the insignificance of solar forcing…

    Taking 0.25W/m2 of forcing at face value, and a 100m water depth, that’s about 79,000 J/m^3 per year, which is 0.079 J/cm^3. (…)

    But that is 0.25W/m2 Total Solar Irradiance. That’d be across the cross-sectional area of the Earth (a disk) of area pi*r^2. But it’s actually spread across the surface area of half of a sphere (half of the planet being illuminated, 2*pi*r^2) so divide it by half, for only half of a day so that value is divided by half again, so that amount of TSI gets divided by 4. Plus that value is TOA (Top of Atmosphere), and gets attenuated passing through the atmosphere. Roughly about 3/4 of that would actually make it to the ocean surface, if there are no clouds.

    So that’s 0.25W/m2 * 1/4 * 3/4
    = 0.05W/m2.

    With Watt=Joule/sec,
    365.25days/yr * 24hrs/day * 60min/hr * 60sec/min
    = 31,557,600sec/yr,
    that’s
    0.05J/(s*m2) * 31557600sec
    = 1.6MJ/m2 (megajoules per square meter)

    So with a square meter of ocean surface receiving 1.6MJ over a year, if averaging that energy over a 100m depth, that’s only 16,000 J/m3.

    How much of a temperature rise is that?

  63. There is far too much attempt to dismiss solar variation as a potential climate driver. I really don’t understand the problem. As Stephen Wilde notes above, TSI is hardly a perfect metric – and it does vary slightly anyway. It really isn’t rocket science to work out that If you have a tiny variation in something like the suns massive radiative output or ‘power’ hitting the earth – it must have a corresponding effect of the climate. A small amount of a lot is still a lot. But that of course, isn’t the real problem with any solar variation. The real problem is that any relatively small change will take a long time to be noticed. The entire planet and its biosphere will take a finite time to adjust (either up or down) to increase in incoming radiation. Similarly, it will take a finite time to adjust and to effect a change in outgoing radiation. So straightaway, any observations you take are potentially being affected from some change from a good few months or years ago. The time lag on the cause and effect would perhaps be largely undetectable for small ‘input’ or ‘output’ changes – but if they occur over a significant period of time (half a sun cycle?) – the summary effect must be considered as potentially quite significant.
    Add to this the very fact we have seasonal and of course diurnal variation, and the natural climate variation, all of which will obscure any direct measurement – how does anyone expect to measure small changes in solar effects?
    And this does not warrant dismissal of solar variation as a primary climate driver. No way! We have Petawatts of energy smacking into the earth – a 0.1% variation in that incoming radiation (however it arises – from sun/albedo, Milankovitch, etc, etc) amounts to Terawatts of variation! This is not peanuts, especially if it is happening over a reasonably long timescale.
    We know the various minimums of the recent past have occurred – and we deduce these are most likely related to ‘quiet’ sun periods – but the truth is, it doesn’t matter whether it was the suns variation, or a passing alien space shield/umbrella – it happened – and that caused a temperature change – Ergo, the incoming/outgoing energy budget was altered and the planetary temperature was changed. Period.
    I am sick to the teeth of the attempts to dismiss solar variation – in an obvious attempt to prop up AGW.
    It may be more accurate to not describe it as solar variation – but simply as ‘some mechanism’ of radiation budget alteration. There! Does that make the anti-solar folk happy? It makes not a jot of difference whether the radiation change is purely solar derived (i.e. a change in the actual output of the sun) – what matters is that the NET amount of solar net energy hitting earth is known to have altered and THAT caused the climate to vary. Where is the problem with that?
    Of course, the problem is that if the alarmists ‘allow’ any extra terrestrial influence at all then they cannot just have an anthropogenic cause – it is all to easy for the skeptics to pass off any current observations as ‘solar or radiation’ derived – but the truth cannot be denied that such variation is highly likely, if not downright certain!

  64. With the building east Pacific surface and subsurface cold, we could have a La Nina brewing.

    Which would make it a triple Nina, right? Sounds like “Climate Change” to me…

    It would also explain the midwestern drought, as Nina is correlated fairly strongly with drought conditions in the western US IIRC (as well as with global cooling).

    This third Nina, coming so soon on the heels of the last one with only a few months in Nino conditions, might actually succeed in knocking down the UAH LTT to a moderately stable negative 30 year anomaly, actual thirty year cooling, where it is currently hovering around 0.1C/decade warming. If nothing else, it will prolong the current “no discernible global warming” stretch in the UAH record for another few years, well into the downside of the current solar cycle. And then we shall see.

    rgb

  65. Martin Lewitt says to look at the commitment studies. Great minds think alike Martin. I asked Lucia Liljegren last week if she knew of any GCM tests of the claim that persistent enhanced solar forcing would not cause continued warming. She suggested that the commitment tests that have been done with the CO2 driven models at least demonstrate the general principle that a prolonged step-up in forcing will cause continued warming.

    The commitment tests are part of what I am going to discuss in the upcoming post I mentioned about the GCMs. Still looking for info there about what tests have and haven’t been run.

  66. @Stephen Wilde (November 16, 2012 at 7:10 am)

    From composite intuitive impression arising from countless exploratory analyses conducted to date, I suspect total ozone is just a loud symptom of something more fundamental. I suggest that in addition to and in concert with equator-pole gradients you carefully consider continent-ocean gradients. For example: (a) winter ocean-continent gradients from Far East Eurasia out into the Pacific Warm Pool and the North Pacific western boundary current (Kuroshio-Oyashio) and (b) parallel structures between Eastern North America and the Atlantic Warm Pool & Gulf Stream. These are the big meridional deflectors of winter midlatitude westerly flow. (For a summer equatorial easterly counterpart, consider Findlater Jet deflections.) The integral of meridional deflection (cumulative measure of sustained spatial field gradients & flows) is coherent with solar cycle deceleration, as I have advised countless times. The supporting evidence from LOD is well-constrained by conservation of angular momentum. Neutron count rates (commonly referred to as cosmic ray flux) have been widely misinterpreted and should be recognized as indicating changes in atmospheric circulatory morphology & mass distribution. Serious misunderstandings are likely to be ongoing since effectively we have a misnomer repeatedly triggering obfuscatory historical associations.

  67. Hi Paul.

    I agree that there is likely to be some ocean / continent variation in tropopause height gradients too but they are small and fixed except on geological time scales.

    For climate zone shifting purposes solar or ocean induced changes in the equator / pole gradient are sufficient..

    I am doubtful that cosmic ray counts have a significant effect because there are more than enough condensation nuclei anyway.

    Changes in the length of the lines of air mass mixing are a far more likely cause of cloudiness changes.

    Just look at the huge spiral of clouds generated by Hurricane Sandy as it dithered about whilst it was prevented from joining the usual zonal flow by the expanded polar air masses (which appear to expand when the sun is quiet).

  68. rgbatduke says: November 16, 2012 at 9:33 am
    …Which would make it a triple Nina, right? Sounds like “Climate Change” to me…
    It would also explain the midwestern drought, as Nina is correlated fairly strongly with drought conditions in the western US IIRC (as well as with global cooling).

    Kuroshio current is the major current of the North Pacific, it flows along the Japan archipelago, It takes about a year to reach Canada and few months more to the California cost.
    There is likelihood that the last year tsunami has destroyed the thermocline (you talk of in your previous post) , sending volumes of cold water near or to the surface. This cold water would be flowing down the American west cost now, providing little evaporation and hence ‘drought conditions in the western US’

    shows that the first block of the colder water has moved away towards the mid Pacific, while second is on the way.

  69. vukcevic (November 16, 2012 at 7:30 am) wrote:
    “Any one from NASA, NOAA or any well known university is welcome to contact me.”

    All of your graphs can easily be nearly-reproduced in minutes using a variety of methods. They won’t need to contact you for anything if they have natural quantitative intuition & capability. (There’s also the communications chill from climategate.) As you know well from the number of page-views you’re getting from mainstream institutions, lack of contact should not be interpreted as lack of curious interest. With a handful of your most notable illustrations you’ve succeeded in raising important questions that have so far not been adequately addressed by mainstream authorities. For publicly volunteering important questions that cannot be deflected and should not be ignored, you deserve commendation. As I am very poor financially I have no money I can afford to donate to you, but I will confidently assert that the mainstream scientists who cannot answer the questions you raise are not worth infinitely more than you, as their secure salaries & pensions suggest in contrast with your unpaid volunteer work.

  70. Stephen Wilde (November 16, 2012 at 10:36 am) wrote:

    “I am doubtful that cosmic ray counts have a significant effect because there are more than enough condensation nuclei anyway.

    Changes in the length of the lines of air mass mixing are a far more likely cause of cloudiness changes.”

    We’ve had a miscommunication — severe one on the former, less severe on the latter. Let’s leave it there for now…

    All the best…

  71. Matthew Marler asks how I know that in a three box model persistent high forcing will cause continued warming:

    It would depend on the rate constants for transfer between the layers, would it not?

    Held’s model is very simple:

    The exchange of energy with the deep ocean is assumed to be proportional to the difference in the temperature perturbations between the surface and the deep layers, with constant of proportionality gamma.

    For a given amount of heat transfer per temperature difference, heat will initially be transferred to the intermediate layer in a 3-box model at the same rate that it would be transferred to the deep layer in the 2-box model, but since the heat capacity of the intermediate layer is so much smaller than the heat capacity of the deep layer in the 2-box model, the intermediate layer will warm up much faster. That in turn will decrease the heat differential with the upper ocean layer which decreases the heat loss from the upper ocean layer which warms the upper ocean layer which warms GMAST.

    You could get pretty much any rate of warming of the intermediate ocean layer that you want by specifying its depth. Of course it will in turn lose heat to the still deeper ocean, though not necessarily at the same rate per temperature difference. The rate of energy transport will depend on the mechanisms of conduction, mixing, convection and ocean currents and these vary with depth.

  72. Thanks Kev-in-UK – you have distilled my feelings quite accurately.

    All the argument about levels of sunspots, TSI etc. is very interesting but at then end of the day there is a strong correlation between sun activity and global temperatures. Now I know correlation is not causation, but I think I would be looking for what the linkage between these two is before trying to find complicated reasons to blame warming on anthropogenic CO2 emissions.

  73. Any comments about why a two box model is needed specifically for the ocean while the rest of the world gets by without this abstraction? Answering that question could provide perspective on where these boxes tie in to other elements of the system.

  74. Thank you for your reply to my post November 15, 2012 at 9:59 pm
    I agree entirely.

    Thank you:
    Rgbatduke says:
    November 16, 2012 at 7:18 am
    This is the kind of thing I meant; large scale, long term movements, not small short term ones. I was too telegraphic.

  75. commendation. As I am very poor financially I have no money I can afford to donate to you, but I will confidently assert that the mainstream scientists who cannot answer the questions you raise are not worth infinitely more than you, as their secure salaries & pensions suggest in contrast with your unpaid volunteer work.

    You do know that most “mainstream scientists” work for Universities and government organizations and have “tenure”, this thing that makes it impossible to fire them or affect their pensions in the case of Universities, difficult to fire them in the case of places like NASA or NOAA, right? You do realize that this is a generally good thing as it means that they cannot be fired for being an iconoclast, for refusing to buy into some currently politically correct idea or fad of the moment?

    And why do you assert that mainstream scientists “cannot answer the questions you raise” when Leif answers those questions all of the time. It’s just not the case that people always like the answers. Where I am not addressing whether or not his objections are correct, only that there is no lack of scientists with answers with a fair degree of foundation in empirical observation and reason.

    One of my many wishes is that people on list/blog would cease the bashing of scientists in general or even climate scientists in general. Bashing specific climate scientists for specific reasons is always welcome of course — right or wrong, one can address it. But you have just damned many people would would, I suspect, claim that they can easily answer these questions. Whether or not they can or can’t they don’t deserve the blanket condemnation.

    It’s also another square on the logical fallacy bingo sheets that I wish Anthony would link to the site, and you’d hate for somebody to win just because of your remarks, wouldn’t you?

    rgb

  76. Paul Vaughan says:
    November 16, 2012 at 11:30 am
    …….
    Hi Paul. Thanks for the kind words. In my case there is no need for donation and the monetary aspect is totally irrelevant. I enjoy digging into data with the aim to draw attention to odd correlations. One of the recent hits was from The Office of the President of the University of California, most likely the night cleaner reading the WUWT web-pages.

  77. There is likelihood that the last year tsunami has destroyed the thermocline (you talk of in your previous post) , sending volumes of cold water near or to the surface. This cold water would be flowing down the American west cost now, providing little evaporation and hence ‘drought conditions in the western US’

    shows that the first block of the colder water has moved away towards the mid Pacific, while second is on the way.

    Not implausible, offhand, although I don’t really see how a surface wave can affect the mixing of an entire layer hundreds of meters down on a global scale. But it seems equally likely (given the series of Ninas that aren’t correlated with Tsunamis) that they have some alternative cause, such as a fundamental alteration in the state of the Sun in the current solar cycle (where no, I do not have a good causal description) or something even more subtle.

    rgb

  78. John West says:
    November 16, 2012 at 7:03 am

    This is all very interesting, but can we formulate a testable hypothesis?….
    __________________________________
    SWAG – If the TSI is turned down you would see more La Niñas than El Niños. Is that what we are starting to see?

  79. rgbatduke says:
    November 16, 2012 at 9:33 am
    With the building east Pacific surface and subsurface cold, we could have a La Nina brewing.

    Which would make it a triple Nina, right? Sounds like “Climate Change” to me…

    It would also explain the midwestern drought, as Nina is correlated fairly strongly with drought conditions in the western US IIRC (as well as with global cooling).

    A few months back Bill Illis pointed out that atmospheric conditions favoured La Nina but the ocean was set for el Nino. Now the ocean has swung toward La Nina, I’m not sure if the atmosphere remains also in La Nina territory (the Pacific trades seem not to have changed much). If the two come into phase we could indeed see at least a moderate La Nina – it would be the triple dip.

  80. I should add when I say TSI and turned down I am also referring to the change in the mix of wavelengths as documented so far by SORCE

  81. Alec Rawls: For a given amount of heat transfer per temperature difference, heat will initially be transferred to the intermediate layer in a 3-box model at the same rate that it would be transferred to the deep layer in the 2-box model, but since the heat capacity of the intermediate layer is so much smaller than the heat capacity of the deep layer in the 2-box model, the intermediate layer will warm up much faster.

    ok

    I was forgetting that the rate parameters were constrained by the physical properties of the water.

  82. Douglass and Knox concluded that heat transfer to the upper 300m in response to radiative balance changes is relatively fast – in the paper that was the subject of the recently posted failed rebuttal by Nuccitella:

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/08/11/ocean-heat-content-and-earth%E2%80%99s-radiation-imbalance/

    Here is their summary:

    We determine Earth’s radiation imbalance by analyzing three recent independent observational ocean heat content determinations for the period 1950 to 2008 and compare the results with direct measurements by satellites. A large annual term is found in both the implied radiation imbalance and the direct measurements. Its magnitude and phase confirm earlier observations that delivery of the energy to the ocean is rapid, thus eliminating the possibility of long time constants associated with the bulk of the heat transferred. Longer-term averages of the observed imbalance are not only many-fold smaller than theoretically derived values, but also oscillate in sign. These facts are not found among the theoretical
    predictions.

    Three distinct time intervals of alternating positive and negative imbalance are found: 1960 to the mid 1970s, the mid 1970s to
    2000 and 2001 to present. The respective mean values of radiation imbalance are −0.15, +0.15, and −0.2 to −0.3. These observations are consistent with the occurrence of climate shifts at 1960, the mid-1970s, and early 2001 identified by Swanson and Tsonis. Knowledge of the complex atmospheric-ocean physical processes is not involved or required in making these findings. Global surface temperatures as a function of time are also not required to be known.

    In their system the phase shifts are not direct forcing of solar input of CO2 or anything else, but a nonlinear oscillation related to interaction of different oceanic oscillations.

  83. Rob Potter says:
    November 16, 2012 at 12:16 pm

    Too kind – but the point remains (curiously enough,when you think about it, this is the nub that Trenberth was trying to make in his simplistic energy budget workings to’explain’ GHG ‘forcings’!) that in order to have an actual temperature change on earth we must have either:
    1) an increase or decrease in incoming energy
    and/or
    2) an increase or decrease in outgoing energy
    there is NO other answer! even if you want to add an imaginary highly variable GHG effect, this STILL has the net effect of altering the radiation in/out budget only in a TEMPORARY fashion via some ‘time lag’ or other until re-equilibrium is reached. Great, say the warmists, that means we can still blame GHG/CO2 – but NO, we cannot discern such a distinction because the time lag is not known (given the complexity of the system) and can only actually be temporary – i.e. for a given GHG effect.once the temp has changed, the radiation budget should be re-equilibriated and temps should return to being ‘static’ after some time or other. The only way this could be proven would be if in the palaeo/proxy record, the temps had been completely static (statistically speaking) thereby illustrating that the biosphere was constantly adjusting and keeping the global temp stable. This is NOT seen – so what caused the changes?.
    Obviously, there is the biosphere, the time lags, etc, and the GHG effect to consider in amongst all this to-ing and fro-ing of energy. Sure, increased albedo might decrease temperatures, etc etc-but to try and define that incoming solar radiation is essentially static – is IMHO complete bulldust. You cannot have millenia of ‘stable’ temps and then suddenly have a massive GHG (or other) effect without some form of external ‘trigger’. Once that trigger has been pulled, the biosphere and the wonderful thing that is nature spends a few millenia or more ‘re-setting’ itself to bring us out of the excess situation. This is proven beyond doubt! Ergo, the biosphere always has a net negative feedback.
    Moving on, the logical deduction must be that whatever positive and negative effects there are wrt climate change within the biosphere – they MUST never reach a tipping point, where one completely overwhelms the other – else why are we still here? Why has there never been a situation where the earth has boiled dry? or remain encased in ice? After some 4.6 billion years, you would think that it is reasonable to assume that no such tipping point can exist WITHOUT the external influence of something – lets see now – what could that something be:
    an asteroid impact or two
    mass global volcanic activity
    or perhaps the source of the radiation – the sun!
    given that PERMANENT hot or cold earth has never happened (yeah, its been hot/cold for many millenia at a time) – even with the known volcanic activity and the presumed asteroid impacts – what does that leave us with as a reasonable explanation for the known palaeo temperature variations……..solar is the only source left (though as I said in my earlier post, more accurately would be to simply use the term ‘radiation energy’ change to keep the anti-solar folks happy!)
    As folks surely know by now- I’m only a lowly geologist and engineer – so I must apologise for only taking MACRO view!
    regards
    Kev

  84. To boil some water on my cooker i have to keep slowly turning up the hob so it boils, if i just whack it up to full blast the heat fails to warm the water. Cooking for climate scientists!

  85. It looks like just about all of the criticisms of Isaac Held’s model are missing the point. Looking at Held’s pages, which are linked in the e-mails above, you can see that he’s using his two-compartment model as a way of simplifying and comprehending the output of other models–not as a way of coming up with anything new. For example, he compared it to output from a model called CM2.1, and used that model to tune his simple little two-compartment model. Once he saw that they matched, he used the two-compartment model to try and comprehend the output from CM2.1, not to generate new model results. So, it doesn’t make sense to criticize it for being too simplistic to predict anything, or to model things in detail, because that’s not its purpose.

    As for having a third box that stretches the time scale out to decades, Matthew Marler is correct: the idea doesn’t mean anything without numbers. But really, if you’re skeptical of a 2-compartment model, it’s hard to say why a 3-compartment model would necessarily be much better. This is actually a case of transient heat conduction in one dimension. The techniques for this are well-known but formidable; I couldn’t find a solved problem that was analogous to the ocean temperature/change of heat input problem, although some were close. I’m not up for doing a week or two’s worth of homework to learn how to do this. Perhaps some Mechanical Engineer here has already done so. That would give an idea of whether there’s really a bunch of cooler water ready to hold down surface temps for decades. I’m doubtful, though. In the end, a solution to the transient heat conduction problem would still be a gross oversimplification; you’d really need a complex model, e.g., a GCM, to get a realistic result. (That’s if the model is realistic, which is another topic entirely.)

    Isaac Held and others actually did consider warming with a fast-acting and a slow-acting component, at least for surface air temperature, in a paper that’s linked from one of the ones referenced in e-mail. They didn’t use a three compartment model, instead they used a two-compartment model, with two heat-transfer processes operating on different time scales. Based on the same model as above (CM2.1), they found one component to warming that seems to react quickly (205 years) and another that seems to build up slowly and die down slowly. They call it the “recalcitrant” component. It seems to have little effect by 2100 AD, somewhat more by 2300 AD, but in either case, significantly less than the faster component. The way that it works makes it look like it could drag out a temperature increase due to some forcing process (sun, GHGs, both, etc.) but it doesn’t look like it could [really] store heat underwater and then release it later for delayed warming. We don’t know if that represents reality, but it would explain why Held doesn’t buy into the idea.

    The paper is actually kind of interesting, in the way that they tease this out. It gives a good example of why he would want to use these simplistic models, to digest the output of the “real” models. Here’s the link:

    http://www.gfdl.noaa.gov/bibliography/related_files/ih1001.pdf

  86. rgbatduke says:
    November 16, 2012 at 2:01 pm
    Not implausible, offhand, although I don’t really see how a surface wave can affect the mixing of an entire layer hundreds of meters down on a global scale.

    May be not the single tsunami but prolong shaking of the ocean floor (vibrations would affect whole depth range over large area) might impact on the integrity of the oceans temperature layers.

    Wikipedia earthquakes: lists Japan’s M8+ earthquakes

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

    01 September 1, 1923 – M8.3
    March 2, 1933 – M8.4 ………….Major drought 1934
    December 20, 1946 – M8.1
    March 4, 1952 – M8.1…………. Major drought 1953-4
    May 16, 1968 – M8.2
    September 25, 2003 – M8.3
    March 11, 2011 – M9.0…………. Major drought 2012

    All of March (spring equinox time) Japan’s major earthquake could have a high probability of causing major drought in the USA, considering it takes about 15 months for waters of Kuroshio-Oyashio currents to reach the USA west coast.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/may/01/tsunami-japan-debris-us-canada

    For the two September quakes (autumn equinox) currents would reach USA in mid winter.
    Speculative ? Yes, but worth of a note.

  87. RE: kadaka

    I’m aware of the factor of 4 for insolation. That’s why I said, ‘Taking 0.25W/m^2 at face value’.

    If you multiply the input by 3/16, you multiply the output by 3/16. Even that level of temperature change is material: 0.11 degrees in 30 years. You can just as easily multiply the 100m water column by 3/16 and get back where you started, especially since the mixing layer is about that deep.

    The point is that roughly this level of input is somewhere between material and highly significant depending on the assumptions you want to make. To dismiss it as irrelevant doesn’t make sense.

  88. vukcevic says:
    November 17, 2012 at 12:40 am

    I don’t see how a wave passing through a liquid can cause excessive mixing either. Taking it as a simple sine wave of pressure – the liquid doesn’t exactly get mixed up does it? just moved backwards and forwards a bit!
    Earthquakes don’t mix up the subsoils/strata very much as the pressure wave passes through! (sure they crack rocks etc, but don’t exactly churn them up do they?)

  89. vukcevic says:
    November 17, 2012 at 1:22 am
    That’s an interesting correlation – but, correct me of I’m wrong here – on recalling elementary physics, a warmer molecule has more movement, yes? Isn’t movement of molecules related to magnetic flux generation – I’m not sure but it seems to me that warmer air or whatever will find it easier to align to a magnetic field than colder air? So, a rising magnetic flux reading might be expected?
    Is this the reason you seem to detect a 10 year lag?

  90. Kev-in-Uk says:
    November 17, 2012 at 6:34 am
    ……………
    Hi Kevin
    I don’t think anyone knows how natural variability works or what the extent of it is; if so than even less can be concluded for the AGW.
    But let’s have a shot at it.
    On the http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/NoaaD.htm illustrations map show tectonic fault (red line) and two major currents of the North Pacific, Kuroshio (warm current) and Oyashio (cold current). Relative strength of these currents determines if the N. Pacific and the lands of surrounding continents where lot of the glob temps come from, are warmer or colder. One could suggest that the tectonic movements have some effect on these currents.
    So far so good.
    Now, for the magnetic field. Its generation and changes of its intensity deep inside the Earth’s (outer) core are even bigger mystery than the climate change.
    Movement of the tectonic plates (subduction see http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/a/a4/SubZone.jpg ) interferes with magma flow further down. These disturbances in the flow propagate slowly through the dense magma affecting thermal convection. http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/b/b4/Outer_core_convection_rolls.jpg
    which is assumed to be the generator of the magnetic field.
    What about the 15 year delay?
    In the last wiki link there are some cylinders depicted. This appear to be very complex subject, if so inclined look up article by a JPL-NASA scientist and an Oxford professor

    http://trs-new.jpl.nasa.gov/dspace/bitstream/2014/19162/1/98-0417.pdf

    which considers mechanical disturbances propagation between the Earth’s core and lithosphere at various latitudes.
    Thus
    1. Tectonic movements affect balance of the two major n. Pacific currents (Kuroshio warm and Oyashio cold) and in doing so changes temperature across N. Hemisphere.
    2. The same tectonic movements affect magma flow, which propagates slowly further down, where magnetic field is generated, and changes in the MF are observed on the surface.
    There are number of experts and the ‘experts’ from many fields of science, which may disagree, offer different more plausible ideas, or declare correlation spurious and the whole charabanc a nonsense.

  91. Kev-in-Uk says:
    November 17, 2012 at 6:18 am
    …………..
    I had in mind rapid vibrations (shaking)

    not a slow moving up/down tsunami wave.
    Such vibrations ‘may’ change or obliterate thermal structure or possibly alter balance of the two North Pacific’s major currents (Kuroshio/Oyashio) etc.

  92. I wonder if anyone has found any useful data from the temperature/density layer information found in the war patrol reports of US submarines in WW2. Naturally it is small slice of fairly shallow water. Would it be of any use in ocean temperature discussions?
    AD

  93. vukcevic says:
    November 17, 2012 at 8:10 am
    rapid shaking? I don’t think the speed of the wave pulse will be high enough to make any difference – surely, the hydraulic mode of movement through a fluid does not preclude the movement of the fluid per se, more that it is the transference of hydraulic pressure from one side to the other. this is of course completely different to convective or stream currents, etc.
    (just thinking out loud really!)

  94. Without taking into account changing TSI reaching the surface of the ocean this model will be greatly incomplete and missing the main input of solar energy over the period. A 4 percent increase in global low cloud levels will put the Earth back to global temperatures of the 1970’s. Dismissing solar warming without even considering this important observation of the period is complete ignorance. Deliberately done to continue the pseudoscience that climate science mainly represents.

  95. vukcevic says:
    November 17, 2012 at 10:16 am

    my fluid dynamics is ancient history – but my point is that pressure waves through fluid (as opposed to at the surface) do not cause much actual movement.
    re your earlier post – I will have to read through the links and get back to you. I can see problems regarding magma movement – it is a slow process – I find it difficult to see how EM flux can vary with temperature. I may be a geologist , but the last time I read up on that kind of stuff was some 30+ years ago!

  96. vukcevic says:
    November 17, 2012 at 7:53 am
    can’t get the pdf link to work – dns error.
    Never mind, I think I get the general picture. You suspect that at a subduction zone and/or rdge zone, that the movement of the lithosphere/athenosphere can generate magnetic field variations via some kind of dynamo type effect?
    I think that whilst this is not impossible, and again from recollection of EM physics – that in order to generate a mag field one requires a dipole of some description? It is considered (or was, last time I read about it!) that the magnetic field is generated by our molten iron core and mantle rotating/moving in some way. I personally consider that the core and mantle probably work by some kind of magneto/stator arrangement (similar to a generator in a bike engine) to produce a combined magnetic field. in a bike stator/magneto generator, the stator (it’s static) plate contains a circle of independent coils, and the magnets are provided in the outer rotating flywheel. This works by generating electricity in each of the coils as the magnets whizz past.
    now transfer this to the earths core – which is probably iron (and may be rotating – but not important) and the molten mantle which perhaps has natural convective ‘eddys’ in it. The convective eddys are the coils on the stator plate – and the core is the moving magnet. However, it actually works (whether ist the convective currents moving or the core), we know that reverse shifts take place, where the magnetic poles ‘swap’ over. In order for such flips to occur, we must have something that can change in an instant (geologically speaking). If we have several large eddy ‘cells’ around the core that are generally working ‘together’ to produce the net magnetic field – in geological terms, we could have one of more of these cells disrupted by volcanic eruptions, magma extrusions, seafloor spreading, etc. When one of more of these cells get disrupted, the mag field in that cell gets changed/weakened. I would suggest that at that time, the overall mag field is weaker and some trigger can make it flip into reverse. It could be something as simple as the loss of ‘movement’ within one or more cells causing the convective movements to ‘halt’ – or it could be from an external source (solar flare? or other EM ‘pulse’).
    So, I can see a probable mechanism for mag field generation – but I cannot see how subduction zones or plate boundaries will seriously alter a mag field. we are talking small movements here in the order of several millimetres to a couple of centimetres per year – so I don’t see those directly affecting magnetic field properties. At plate boundaries, we will have magma chambers and magmatic ‘movements’ or convections which may well cause local mag field perturbations – but I don’t see how these can be correlated to temperatures as in your interesting graph.
    As I said, I’d need to read a bit and get myself up to speed on current core/mantle/PT theory to comment with any real value but from a macro view, I’m struggling to understand why there is a possible link between temps and magnetic field – and a timelagged one at that!

  97. Kevin, I think you may have misunderstood, I was suggesting two independent processes driven by the same cause – the tectonic plates movement.
    1. tectonic plates movement affects the warm/cold currents balance in the area and this is reflected in the atmospheric temperatures.
    At the same time
    2. tectonic plates movement (subduction) affects magma flow, this disturbance eventually reaches geomagnetic dynamo changing intensity of the flux which is more or less instantly registered by geomagnetic stations around the world.
    15 years delay may be a bit of a problem but JPL-NASA link in the previous post says:”The total CAM (core angular momentum) exhibits a principal maximum at a 15-year lead with respect to LOD” (length of day) which is the rotation rate of the lithosphere.
    Hence two processes the atmospheric temperature change and the MF flux change are independent of each other, but having the same cause there is strong mutual correlation.
    Your guess is as good as mine, so here I am tempted to give up.

  98. vukcevic says:
    November 17, 2012 at 2:42 pm
    Ok,
    wrt 1) I don’t see PT movements causing significant thermal changes in water currents just by movement alone – though I accept that geothermal heat may be a factor at crustal thinning zones or volcanic zones, for example?
    wrt 2) I need to see that paper to comment – but it is indeed still strange to see such a correlation, and I would say it is sufficiently close to warrant investigation. Are there any similar correlations at other PT boundaries?

  99. Gail Combs says:
    November 17, 2012 at 3:17 pm

    Sorry Gail, my point was about pressure waves (not surface waves or currents) – as in the type you get from earthquakes (p and s waves). Forget the Tsunami type surface waves – which of course can cause mixing and forget about Currents, which are actual physical movements of fluid through the fluid (if that makes sense). Instead, think about a hydraulic ram system – whereby the pressure applied at one end of the system moves only a small amount of fluid (along the pipe a little) to produce a corresponding movement of fluid at the other end of the system – it doesn’t flow – it’s the hydraulic property of non compression that ‘transfers’ the pressure through the fluid. does my point of little/no mixing make more sense now?
    During an earthquake, the tsunami is made by a sudden elevation change in the seabed, which literally lifts or drops the seafloor a signifcant amount over a certain area. this has the effect of instantly producing a ‘cliff’ of water – which then wants to move to a ‘level’ position. A pressure pulse can also be formed, but it is not a turbulent ‘surface wave’ – its more like a sound wave passing through the air – just juggling the air as it passes through but not actually moving/mixing the fluid much.
    as I said my FD knowledge is really rusty and old (like me) – but I’m sure a low frequency pressure wave through a fluid doesn’t cause much mixing!
    I quickly scanned that vid and I think Bob was on about current mixing at some point in it – which is not what I was referring too – just my bad communication I guess!

  100. I had in mind rapid vibrations (shaking)

    not a slow moving up/down tsunami wave.
    Such vibrations ‘may’ change or obliterate thermal structure or possibly alter balance of the two North Pacific’s major currents (Kuroshio/Oyashio) etc.

    Why? The net average displacement of molecules in a sound wave is precisely zero. For that matter, when waves move over deep water the net displacement of water in a wave is zero (relative to any currents that might be present). A wave moving from deep water to shallow water builds up a speed differential that causes the water to pile up and overtop, so at the shore there is plenty of mixing, sure, but the shore is a tiny, tiny fraction of the volume and far, far away from midocean.

    The expected displacement or disruption of the thermocline or anything else mid ocean after the tsunami wave (which is tiny — order of a meter or two, mid-ocean) has passed is — zero.

    The problem with water is that it is incredibly incompressible. So incompressible that at the bottom of the ocean trenches it has only changed density by a few percent relative to the surface. Consequently, it satisfies a pretty rigorous conservation equation for differential flow everywhere else. This makes it rather difficult for transient wave phenomena to mix water. To mix it you have to stir it, and waves do not stir.

    rgb

  101. vukcevic says:
    November 17, 2012 at 3:25 pm
    Hmmm – I need to understand how and why these apparent correlations exist and to start with, how these graphs have been constructed and what the actual measurements are! is there any methodology statements in your pages?

  102. rgbatduke says:
    November 17, 2012 at 3:56 pm
    …………..
    Hi Dr. Brown
    Well, you shot down both the rabbit and the fox. It just looked logical that either kind of wave may have some effect either on the direct heat exchange between the layers or cause break down in the structure.
    On the other hand if you recon it is out of question, there is always second possibility that the balance between two currents (Kuroshio-warm and Oyashio-cold) was affected. Another wild guess?

    However the other case

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

    which is strongly backed up by data, I find far more fascinated, and your judgment would be not only welcome, but an important contribution to understanding this unusual phenomenon.

    Apparently magma in the core circulates at 1mm/sec i.e. 86m/day http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/07/120729142156.htm
    but 15 years for 3000km gives 22m/day in the radial direction, which would suggest the trajectory is indeed a spiral (Coriolis force etc). Although magma is very dense, I am a bit surprised that information could be locked in for a such long period. Apparently does happen in the other direction too, from the core to the surface http://trs-new.jpl.nasa.gov/dspace/bitstream/2014/19162/1/98-0417.pdf
    Any ideas ?

  103. Alec,

    I find this a very strange post. I don’t have the technical skills to assess your argument. But as a regular reader of Isaac Held’s blog, he is hardly an alarmist. His posts are frank and thoughtful.

    Yet it appears to me that Prof. Held has kindly volunteered his time in liaising with you via email and you have returned the favour by writing this rather nasty post that publicly accuses him of dishonesty and sloppy science. Have I got that right? Did you have his permission to reproduce his emails here? Did you give him the opportunity to provide any feedback on this? Or was it just a surprise attack, as it appears?

    Alex Harvey

  104. John West says: @ November 18, 2012 at 6:00 am

    At least it is verifiable in a fairly short time span and there is a bit of science backing it up.
    The change in the solar spectrum: WUWT: SORCE’s Solar Spectral Surprise – UV declined, TSI constant
    The TSI composite graph

    And the effect of solar radiation on the oceans. Solar Radiation Graph, TOA, Surface, Ocean @ 10m and Solar radiation at various ocean depths

    I think of it as similar to a kid on a swing. You do not need much energy to change the swinging once the kid is in motion. ENSO is the swing. Whether El Niño (heating) dominates the cycle or La Niña (cooling) is probably dependent on a lot of factors such as how much energy is available to enter the oceans when the cloud cover is less during the La Niña phase.

    (Don’t miss Bob Tisdale’s presentations http://www.youtube.com/user/BobTisdale1)

    And Yeah it is a SWAG Dr. S.

  105. Notice El Nino’s roughly got stronger during the period while global low cloud albedo was declining. Since 2006 low global cloud has stopped declining therefore based on the ENSO knowledge so far future El Nino’s will not be stronger than the 1997/98 one unless a further decrease in global low cloud albedo occurs in future. Therefore based on what’s been happening recently El Nino’s should become stable/ weaker and any increases in global low cloud albedo in future will further weaker them. The process of ENSO moving warm surface water around the globe towards the pole will be reduced and therefore rises in global temperatures also reduced. This will then lead to peaks and troughs in the ENSO swings at lower levels than compared over the recent warm period.

  106. Gail Combs
    ( SWAG ? http://www.acronymfinder.com/Slang/SWAG.html number 1 ? )

    The video is good presentation and very informative.
    Some two years ago I collected geological data, mixture of major earthquakes and volcanic eruptions, around the Equatorial pacific (centered on 5 degree S parallel + & – 10 degrees) from Sumatra to and including Andes mountains.
    When normalized, plotted and compared to the Southern Oscillation Index and ENSO the correlation becomes obvious.

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

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

    Is there link between two apparently non related types of events?
    Looks like that it could be.
    If so, then tectonics is more likely to be the cause rather then the effect.
    If so then as always, the mechanism appears to be illusive.

  107. Some of you are getting it.

    High solar activity intensifies the polar vortices vertically but contracts them horizontally for shrinking polar air masses at the surface (positive AO and AAO). That is achieved by the change in the mix of wavelengths and particles altering the vertical temperature profile of the atmosphere by changing the balance of ozone destruction and creation differentially at different levels. Ozone decreases in the mesosphere and stratosphere which both cool and the ozone hole over Antarctica gets larger.

    The climate zones shift poleward and the subtropical high pressure cells expand.

    Global cloudiness reduces, more energy enters the oceans in the subtropics, El Nino comes to dominate over La Nina and the troposphere warms.

    The additional sunlight into the subtropical oceans warms the top 200 metres or so producing CO2 outgassing and tropospheric CO2 increases.

    The opposite when solar activity is low.

    Meanwhile the timing of all the consequences of solar variability is modulated by internal ocean oscillations for multiple periods of time overlapping each other (due to each ocean basin responding separately) for 1000 years or more as the thermohaline circulation runs its course.

    The average response time for the oceanic system as a whole being about 800 years as revealed by the temperature / CO2 lag in the various proxy records.

    All as per actual observations.

  108. One other observation regarding the solar/ocean mechanism and why a TSI stable period doesn’t show up soon as the sun cycle does.

    This is because when the solar activity reached an increased level during the 1950’s the trade winds were generally strong over this period right through to mid 1970’s. These resulted in plenty of upwelling ocean water and warming ocean water from the sun was piled towards the western side of the Pacific ocean circling to greater depths. This resulted in energy not calculated in surface temperatures because it was below the surface and not allowed to spread East over the ENSO surface region. Data during this period in the ocean depths were very limited so missed this increased energy around the western areas of the Pacific ocean.

    Post 1970’s the trade winds declined for longer periods especially beginning with the Pacific shift and moderate/strong El Nino in the early 1980’s . This resulted in the warmed sub-ocean water that had not been calculated over the recent decades surface temperatures (1950/1960’s etc) surfacing across the central and eastern Pacific and warming global temperatures in it’s wake. This process delayed the warming from the increased solar cycle until the trade winds become weak and allowed warmer water to form much more over the surface and be eventually lost by the atmosphere. Suddenly this warmed the planet from the tropics to the poles via the process of ENSO.

  109. vukcevic says:
    November 18, 2012 at 9:34 am

    Gail Combs
    ( SWAG ? http://www.acronymfinder.com/Slang/SWAG.html number 1 ? )
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    Actually I was thinking of number three, but I like #1 better since it was a ‘technical term’ we used in industry when brainstorming.
    ——————————————————————
    Stephen Wilde says: @ November 18, 2012 at 10:58 am

    SWAG

    The definition I prefer is Super Wild(e)-Ass Guess
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    Darn there goes my tea all over the screen again. Good one.

  110. Stephen Wilde says:
    November 18, 2012 at 9:42 am
    Some of you are getting it.

    High solar activity intensifies the polar vortices vertically but contracts them horizontally …

    The climate zones shift poleward and the subtropical high pressure cells expand.

    Global cloudiness reduces, more energy enters the oceans in the subtropics, El Nino comes to dominate over La Nina and the troposphere warms.

    Your proposed solar-ENSO paradigm is interesting, and if you season it with a little Bob Tisdale ENSO theory, you have an answer to the problem of why rising 20th century temperatures dont exactly match the solar intensity (the “do I have to keep turning up the gas to boil a kettle” problem).

    In your system – if I get it, that is – the solar phase loads the ENSO dice. So essentially, high solar phase favours el Nino, low solar phase La Nina. However, during a high solar phase, ENSO imposes its own oscillatory dynamics. You dont have constant el Nino, instead you have a period during which you have more el Ninos than La Ninas and some of the el Ninos are super-el Ninos which lift global temperatures to a higher level (this is the Bob Tisdale part. Bob has elegantly shown that most or all recent global temperature change can be attributed to discreet ENSO shifts.) Thus during a phase of even constant high solar intensity, temperatures will not jump up immediately but will only do so under the saltatory, intermittent effect of the ENSO nonlinear oscillator. Likewise under reduced solar intensity, a La Nina dominated phase ensues, but this will also cause cooling in an intermittent, jerky manner, driven by ENSO nonlinear dynamics, no instant jump.

    It makes sense. Using the expectation of an exact, immediate response of global temperatures to solar changes – and the absence of such a direct correlation for an argument against solar effect, is just a shallow argumentum ad ignorantium.

  111. Matt G says:
    November 18, 2012 at 11:52 am
    One other observation regarding the solar/ocean mechanism and why a TSI stable period doesn’t show up soon as the sun cycle does…

    My last post is maybe another way of saying what you just said.

  112. Alex Harvey says:

    It appears to me that Prof. Held has kindly volunteered his time in liaising with you via email and you have returned the favour by writing this rather nasty post that publicly accuses him of dishonesty and sloppy science. Have I got that right?

    No, you do not have it right. In my first communication with Dr. Held I linked to my post about my email exchanges with Raimund Muscheler. I fully explained my criticism of Muscheler’s position and I explained how important I thought it was that such unscientific and ill-thought-out positions not be allowed to stand as rationales for dismissing a solar explanation for late 20th century warming when they did no such thing. I was completely up front with him about what I was after and that I was posting about my exchanges on this subject.

    When he responded with yet another patently untenable rationale for dismissing a solar explanation for late 20th century warming–misapplying his 2-box model to the solar warming question–I had a responsibility to expose him. At that point I did entrap him a bit by articulating the position he seemed to be arguing and asking him if I had his position right without explaining how clearly I understood that position to be egregiously wrong. But I did NOT call him dishonest. Just the opposite, I stated clearly that I thought he WAS being honest, but was blinded by his exclusive focus on the CO2-warming theory. It seems that misapplication of his 2-box model to solar-warming only came into being when I asked him to weigh in on Muscheler’s statement, and that is what I said. It was indeed a highly embarrassing mistake for Held to have made, but I do not believe that there was any planned deception in it, and I said so.

    I don’t think there is anything “nasty” in exposing the unscientific grounds that our publicly funded climate scientists are using to wrongly dismiss a solar explanation for late 20th century warming. It HAS to be done, and I do it as fairly as I can.

    Now here is a question for you Alex. Why do you read Isaac’s blog? Do you read it because you are interested in climate science and care about its implications for the world? If so, then you ought to care when one of the founding stones of the “consensus” position, their claims that they can rule out a solar explanation for late 20th century warming, are utterly without merit. But it seems you don’t want that exposed. You think it is not nice of me to point out the egregiousness of Held’s position. So how nice does that make you, if you are so unconcerned about the truth?

  113. phlogiston.

    Yes that is how I see it.

    Upward stepping from LIA to date and downward stepping from MWP to LIA as I suggested to Bob Tisdale some time ago.

  114. Michael Tremblay says:
    November 15, 2012 at 7:39 pm

    Just a question. Does his model take into account the temperature/density differences of water? I ask this because fresh water is at its densest at 4C and the temperature at the bottom of a deep fw lake will be 4C despite what the outside temperature is. The water will be less dense and rise as it’s temperature increases or decreases. I know that the effect is the same for salt water but I’m not sure of the temperature.

    Apparently not. Seawater is colder “all the way down”. Observe:

    http://www.ebaumsworld.com/video/watch/82037540/

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