A Couple of Comments about the Oppenheimer and Trenberth Op-Ed in the Washington Post

Update: At the suggestion of one of the readers at the cross post at WUWT, I’ve rewritten the second paragraph after Figure 3. Thanks, richard verney.

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In response to the May 19, 2013 op-ed Overheated rhetoric on climate change doesn’t make for good policies by Lamar Smith (Chairman of the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology), the Washington Post published an op-ed by Michael Oppenheimer and Kevin Trenberth on June 6, 2013. The Oppenheimer and Trenberth op-ed was titled Climate science tells us the alarm bells are ringing. Oddly, it is chock full of overheated rhetoric, which Representative Smith was cautioning against. Unfortunately, the Oppenheimer and Trenberth op-ed is typical of the responses by many climate alarmists to Representative Smith’s op-ed, as discussed in Judith Curry’s blog post Rep. Lamar Smith on climate change.

In addition, a couple of things caught my eye in the Oppenheimer and Trenberth op-ed.

It failed to mention Balmaseda et al (2013) Distinctive climate signals in reanalysis of global ocean heat content, of which Kevin Trenberth was co-author. Instead, they linked a couple of other recent papers and webpages. Their op-ed reads:

Much has been made of a short-term reduction in the rate of atmospheric warming. But “global” warming requires looking at the entire planet. While the increase in atmospheric temperature has slowed, ocean warming rose dramatically after 2000. Excess heat is being trapped in Earth’s climate system, and observations of the Global Climate Observing System and others are increasingly able to locate it. Simplistic interpretations of cherry-picked data hide the realities.

Specifically, Oppenheimer and Trenberth linked Lyman et al (2010) Robust warming of the global upper ocean, and they linked a webpage that introduced Loeb et al (2012) Observed changes in top-of-the-atmosphere radiation and upper-ocean heating consistent within uncertainty.

Balmaseda et al (2013) is a newer paper. It was published in May 2013. Kevin Trenberth is a coauthor, yet Oppenheimer and Trenberth chose not to include it as a reference in their op-ed. Curious.

Note: After a few preliminary discussions, the uncertainties and difficulties with the Balmaseda et al (2013) paper were presented in detail in the blog post Open Letter to the Royal Meteorological Society Regarding Dr. Trenberth’s Article “Has Global Warming Stalled?”. Refer also to the cross post at WattsUpWithThat. There is also a pdf copy of the post here. The discussions including and following the heading of NORTHERN HEMISPHERE OCEAN HEAT CONTENT DATA DOES NOT SUPPORT BALMASEDA ET AL should also apply to Lyman et al (2010) and Loeb et al (2012).

Oppenheimer and Trenberth continued with more heated rhetoric (my boldface):

Contrary to Smith’s assertions, there is conclusive evidence that climate change worsened the damage caused by Superstorm Sandy. Sea levels in New York City harbors have risen by more than a foot since the beginning of the 20th century. Had the storm surge not been riding on higher seas, there would have been less flooding and less damage. Warmer air also allows storms such as Sandy to hold more moisture and dump more rainfall, exacerbating flooding.

Earlier, Oppenheimer and Trenberth complained about “cherry-picked data”, but they presented a rise in sea level since the beginning of the 20th Century. They should know very well that the IPCC claims their climate models cannot simulate the rate of warming for the last 30+ years without being forced by manmade greenhouse gases—implying that manmade greenhouse gases are responsible for global warming during the last 30+ years, while Mother Nature is responsible for the warming before then. That was the intent of Figure 9.5 in their 4th Assessment Report. Refer to Chapter 9 Understanding and Attributing Climate Change, under Heading of “9.4.1.2 Simulations of the 20th Century”, where the IPCC wrote:

“Figure 9.5 shows that simulations that incorporate anthropogenic forcings, including increasing greenhouse gas concentrations and the effects of aerosols, and that also incorporate natural external forcings provide a consistent explanation of the observed temperature record, whereas simulations that include only natural forcings do not simulate the warming observed over the last three decades.”

It appears that Oppenheimer and Trenberth presented the 12-inch-plus rise in sea level since 1900 at The Battery simply to make the assumed anthropogenic impacts appear greater. They must have felt the 6.5 inch rise in sea level since 1975 at The Battery (reference here) versus Sandy’s storm surge there of 13.88 feet or 166 inches (reference here) was not significant enough. The sea level rise of 6.5 inches since 1975 is only about 4% of the storm surge so they must’ve believed they needed to exaggerate the supposed influence of manmade global warming.

Also, a major portion of sea level rise comes from thermal expansion, but ocean heat content data and satellite-era sea surface temperature data both indicate the oceans warmed naturally. Refer to my illustrated essay “The Manmade Global Warming Challenge” [42MB].

Wisely, Oppenheimer and Trenberth avoided the subject of sea surface temperatures along Sandy’s path. The sea surface temperatures of extratropical portion of Sandy’s storm track have actually cooled since the New England Hurricane of 1938. Figure 1 is Figure 4 from the post October 2012 Sea Surface Temperatures and Anomalies Along Sandy’s Path Were NOT Unusual. I published that post within weeks of Sandy. It’s difficult for alarmists to claim manmade greenhouse gases caused the warming of the sea surface temperatures of the extratropical portion of Sandy’s storm track, when the sea surface temperatures there have cooled over the past 70+ years.

Figure 1

Figure 1

But Oppenheimer and Trenberth did make a statement with respect to hurricane Sandy that we can check with data. They wrote, “Warmer air also allows storms such as Sandy to hold more moisture and dump more rainfall, exacerbating flooding.” We’ll use RSS lower troposphere temperature anomaly data for Sandy’s storm track. It’s available on a gridded basis through the KNMI Climate Explorer. For those new to lower troposphere temperature data, they represent the temperature at about 3000 meters above sea level, as calculated from satellite measurements. Based on the linear trend, the lower troposphere temperature anomalies for Sandy’s full storm track (12N-40N, 80W-70W) haven’t warmed since 1990. See Figure 2. And for the extratropical portion (24N-40N, 80W-70W), they haven’t warmed since 1985, as shown in Figure 3.

Figure 2

Figure 2

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Figure 3

Figure 3

Note, the upward spikes in Figures 2 and 3 at January 2013 occurred after Sandy. The sharp drops occurred in November 2012. The October anomalies, leading up to Sandy, were not extraordinary. For Sandy’s full storm track, they were about 0.32 deg C. And for the extratropical portion they were approximately 0.56 deg C. Those values had been exceeded regularly before then.

If the lower troposphere temperature anomalies haven’t warmed in 2 to almost 3 decades, it’s difficult to claim “Warmer air also allows storms such as Sandy to hold more moisture and dump more rainfall, exacerbating flooding.” But, obviously, alarmists are more than willing to make claims that aren’t supported by data.

Granted, Oppenheimer and Trenberth did not state that manmade greenhouse gases caused the atmosphere to be warmer above Sandy’s storm track, when they wrote, “Warmer air also allows storms such as Sandy to hold more moisture and dump more rainfall, exacerbating flooding.” But they implied it. If the lower troposphere temperature anomalies above Sandy’s storm track haven’t warmed in 2 to almost 3 decades, it was pointless for Oppenheimer and Trenberth to write, “Warmer air also allows storms such as Sandy to hold more moisture and dump more rainfall, exacerbating flooding,” unless they wanted their readers to believe the atmosphere above was warmer.

Of course, Oppenheimer and Trenberth mentioned moisture in the air, so we need to address that as well. We’ll use the Specific Humidity and Precipitable Water from the NCEP/DOE Reanalysis-2, which are available through the NOAA NOMADS website. And we’ll use the coordinates of the extratropical portion of Sandy’s storm track (24N-40N, 80W-70W). Specific humidity in Figure 4 represents the ratio of water vapor to dry air and is expressed in kilograms of water vapor per kilogram of dry air—at 2 meters above the surface. Based on the linear trend, it hasn’t increased since 1990. The Precipitable Water in Figure 5 is the amount of water in the column of atmosphere if all the water in that column were to be precipitated as rain, and it is presented in kg per square meter. It shows no trend since 1985 for the extratropical portion of Sandy’s storm track.

Figure 4

Figure 4

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Figure 5

Figure 5

The NCEP/DOE Reanalysis-2 outputs do not agree with the claims made by Oppenheimer and Trenberth. No surprise there.

CLOSING

Oppenheimer and Trenberth made claims of “conclusive evidence” about Hurricane Sandy that are not supported by data and by the NCEP/DOE Reanalysis-2. They also complain about cherry-picking but don’t hesitate to cherry-pick a start year when it suits their needs. And I found it odd that they did not cite Balmaseda et al (2013), a paper that Kevin Trenberth coauthored. Please feel free to point out other inconsistencies or curiosities in their op-ed.

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About Bob Tisdale

Research interest: the long-term aftereffects of El Niño and La Nina events on global sea surface temperature and ocean heat content. Author of the ebook Who Turned on the Heat? and regular contributor at WattsUpWithThat.
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48 Responses to A Couple of Comments about the Oppenheimer and Trenberth Op-Ed in the Washington Post

  1. wws says:

    excellent analysis. And very polite to use the word “odd” to explain a behavior that is prima facie evidence that they’re cherry picking the papers in order to advocate for their preferred political outcomes.

  2. Harold Ambler says:

    Perpetuating the lie that sea level used to be stable is one of the purest forms of anti-science going. Trenberth et al. trade on this misperception, year in and year out, and will continue to do so until someone, somewhere, manages to call them on their ____. Sea level, for those keeping track at home, has been falling since the Eemian high stand …

  3. Bob Tisdale says:

    In her post…
    http://judithcurry.com/2013/05/31/rep-lamar-smith-on-climate-change/
    …Judith Curry wrote:

    “JC comments: The theme of Rep. Smith’s op-ed is overheated rhetoric; he selected topics to discuss where he views the rhetoric to be overheated. Rep. Smith’s statements about climate science itself are defensible, in fact support for these statements is provided in my testimony. Criticisms of the ‘science’ were either:
    – “factually incorrect (warming has continued to increase and models have predicted warming accurately)
    – “appeal to consensus (the infamous 97%)…”
    ###############
    And what do Oppenheimer and Trenberth do? They cite the nonsensical “97% consensus” paper by Cook et al.

  4. John M says:

    I’m sure Oppenheimer Trenberth can point us to the clear signal of GHG-induced sea level rise in lower Manhatten.

    http://tidesandcurrents.noaa.gov/sltrends/sltrends_station.shtml?stnid=8518750

    Of course, Margaret will come along and say my graph isn’t from the “PeerReviewedLiterature”, so we shouldn’t look at it.

  5. eburke93 says:

    They over – “cooked” this Op-Ed with that phony 97% stat. Shameless…

  6. richard verney says:

    Bob

    As usual a very interesting article.

    I do not consider that you data and analysis supports your paragraph reading:

    “If the lower troposphere temperature anomalies haven’t warmed in 2 to almost 3 decades, it’s difficult to claim “Warmer air also allows storms such as Sandy to hold more moisture and dump more rainfall, exacerbating flooding.” But, obviously, alarmists are more than willing to make claims that aren’t supported by data”

    Your point is that factually there has been no warming during the periods discussed. You have produced data which points to the correctness of that fact (ie., that there has been no warming). However, that fact is quite seperate to the proposition that “Warmer air also allows storms such as Sandy to hold more moisture and dump more rainfall, exacerbating flooding.” The correctness of that fact(s) depends upon the physics and properties of air, water and temperature, not upon whether the temperature has factually changed (or not). I consider that you should rephrase that paragraph.

  7. Dr. Bob says:

    Not knowing what the Eemian period was, I looked it up. Seems that Wikipedia says that the global temperature was warmer than it is now by 1-2°C north of the Alps and trees grew in areas that are now tundra. Many other discussion points that it was generally warmer then than now. So claims that current conditions are “unprecedented” again do not stand up to minor scrutiny.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eemian

  8. The various flat trends presented here have different start dates, and it appears to me that the start dates are not the start dates of the datasets used to generate them. Although the case here appears reasonably robust, this does get me suspicious that the various start dates were chosen to be at warm times of their datasets, for cherrypicking purposes. I see that in the many claims that the world has not warmed in 16 or 17 years.

    Meanwhile, I do agree that Sandy was not a man-made monster, but a tropical/extratropical hybrid superstorm along the lines of ones that affected northeast USA in 1991, 1973, 1954, and likely 1869. There are probably a few others.

  9. Bob Tisdale says:

    richard verney: I understand what you’re saying. Oppenheimer and Trenberth implied that manmade climate change caused atmospheric temperatures to be warmer over Sandy’s storm track, but they aren’t warmer. Let me ponder a way to rework what I’ve written.

  10. James Padgett says:

    They can’t even be consistent with their own arguments:

    “The year 2012, the hottest on record for the United States…”

    “Much has been made of a short-term reduction in the rate of atmospheric warming. But “global” warming requires looking at the entire planet.”

    “Simplistic interpretations of cherry-picked data hide the realities.”

  11. Mark Bofill says:

    One of the (several) things that bugs me about the deep ocean heating idea. I understand that deeper colder water is going to expand less than warmer water. Still, isn’t it odd that we’re speculating that there are all sorts of changes going on in the amount of energy going into the ocean and we see nothing outside of the noise level in SLR? The change coincidentally happens to break even huh. hmm.

  12. Richard M says:

    Trenberth continues to try and cover his many, many mistakes. Obviously, he thinks that when you are in a hole the solution is to keep digging. He is now moving from a poor scientist making mistakes to a liar. The planet will continue to cool with the PDO whether he likes it or not.

  13. Nik Marshall-Blank says:

    The warmists are using media hype of course. I posted at the Guardian pretending to be a disillusioned warmist about claiming the 400 ppm CO2 when Mauna Load said it was 399.77 ppm. The reply was it was as reported 400 (no decimals and rounded up). I replied saying in that case there is zero CO2 parts per thousand and nothing to worry about. The problem is that no news doesn’t sell news in newspapers, television or online. If the media constantly reported. Headline today: The planet is as warm as it was 30 years ago. The media would soon lose lots of revenue. So of course, for good business they play up all doom and gloom global warming stories and unfortunately the global warming advocates have become hooked on the drug of “media (slight) misrepresentation) to try to promote their views.

    It’s such a shame to see these scientists throw away their careers, which is what will happen in less than 10 years I would expect. The Manns, Trenberths, Cooks etc will be resigned to a wiki page about them.

    And… Breaking news. The planet is as warm as it was 30 years ago.

  14. John Moore says:

    The report does not mention the state of the tide at New York harbour when the storm struck. If it was at exactly the time of high tide it could conceivably have made a difference but at any other level none whatsoever. And was it a Spring or Neap tide? An answer would be interesting — can anyone from NY provide the information from the tide tables please?

  15. knr says:

    ‘Oddly, it is chock full of overheated rhetoric, ‘ not really that is Trenberth ‘normal ‘ pratice .
    After all what else has he got.

  16. Theo Goodwin says:

    For you youngsters, Oppenheimer is the godfather of the computer model approach to global warming scare mongering. The op-ed sounds like Oppenheimer, at least the older Oppenheimer. He is the fellow who published a peer reviewed article arguing that global warming will increase the rate of immigration across the Mexican border. That was clever Oppenheimer’s way to get the Rednecks on board with global warming.

    Though Trenberth has produced some bizarre sound bites, I have not known him to wallow in the pit of advocacy as he apparently does here. I guess things are getting really desperate among the 97% in the land of global warming/climate change/extreme weather events/ocean heat monster.

  17. Pamela Gray says:

    In some disciplines now entrenched at Universities we may be witnessing a subversion of pure research towards using low hanging research methods as useful political tools. Because University faculty and leaders are not voted in, there is only one recourse open to us. Funding. And the only way towards that path is through voting out all sympathetic politicians who write the checks. However, beware that path as well. Replacing one kind of political bent for another is itself very risky.

  18. ATMJ says:

    The difference in MSL at the Battery between the 1929 datum and 1978 is + 0.78 ft. Have not seen any data since ’78. Some other references based on work by the RR’S and USCGS suggested a 1879? datum of 6 in or so less than ’29. Would imagine that info would be available the authors. When the design criteria for Battery Park City was developed in the late 60’s, the water levels from the 1820’s hurricane that hit at low tide and others were used to develop the sea wall elevation. That storm is a good comparison to Sandy’s effects. Assuming no increase in height since ’78 in MSL, and saying an average of 3 in increase from 1900 till 1929, that would suggest the 12 in +/- est., used. If one were to look at the Battery Gage data for the Dec 1992 N’easter you will see that SE TO E winds for two tide cycles at avg. 20-30 kts. seem to have a lot more influence on flood heights than the datum delta.

  19. George says:

    The comments following that article just piss me off. No facts, then just call them names and quote sks.

  20. Theo Goodwin says:

    Once again, thank God for Judith Curry, the best climate scientist in the business.

    Another fine essay, Mr. Tisdale. Thanks for posting it as a timely response to Oppenheimer, Trenberth, and the 97%.

  21. Bruce Cobb says:

    Those “alarm bells” they hear are tolling not for climate, but for the Alarmoscience nonsense spewed by the likes of Oppenheimer and Trenberth. They are using every trick in the book to try to keep their hocus pocus 3-card monte snakeoil salesman manmade climate “science” alive, to no avail. Shameful.

  22. Billy Liar says:

    Oppenheimer and Trenberth say:

    The two of us have spent, in total, more than seven decades studying Earth’s climate …

    and have resorted to quoting a cartoonist from Australia. How sad.

  23. chris y says:

    Actually its worse than we thought. If T&O want to claim that CACC has impacted sea level rise at Battery Park, then they need to show that sea level rise at Battery Park has accelerated since the IPCC-blessed start date of the early 1970’s.

    Unfortunately for T&O, the sea level data from Battery Park shows no acceleration in sea level rise. That is, of the 1 foot of sea level rise since 1900, approximately 0.0 feet is attributable to anthropogenic CO2 emissions.

    Trenberth and Oppenheimer’s claim that sea level rise caused Sandy’s storm surge to be higher than without anthro CO2 emissions is specious drivel… and completely consistent with their prior utterances regarding CACC.

  24. DaveA says:

    “must’ve” is very loose speak where I come from. (and we’re loose already!)

  25. Bob Tisdale says:

    For your viewing pleasure, I just came across a YouTube video titled “Trenberth on Ocean Heat and Climate Sensitivity”.

  26. troe says:

    “Because University faculty and leaders are not voted in, there is only one recourse open to us. Funding.” Gray

    Could not agree more. I’ve posted ( probably to much) of former Tennessee Senator and White House Chief of Staff Howard Baker’s decades long involvement with the corruption of science for the benefit of East Tennessee’s premium employer: ORNL and all things nuclear. Although long since retired and living in North Carolina with his wife, former Senator Nancy Landon Kassebaum he maintains an active role in the Howard Baker Center for Public Policy. Al Gore being a board member.

    Hiding in plain site Baker, Gore, et al have for many decades lavished federal funds on NCAR and others in pursuit of evidence that fossil fuel burning was causing catastrophic climate change. Their goal is simple: more nuclear powered electricity generation for Baker and more “alternatives” for Gore. Pulling this Thing into the light of day for de-funding isn’t going to be easy. Another board member is John Siegenthaler who’s Christmas Card list includes most of the senior people in the MSM.

    The Skeptic camp has fought courageously and well on the science. We have yet to muster the political will to de-construct the bipartisan sludge that is keeping the Thing going.

  27. Monique says:

    “Kevin Trenberth is a coauthor, yet Oppenheimer and Trenberth chose not to include it as a reference in their op-ed. Curious.”

    Heh. More cherry-picking. We’ll have to set up a Twelve Step program for these folks.

    “My name is Kevin and I’m a data cherry-picker.”

    [Support group] “Hi, Kevin …”

  28. Bill H says:

    The so called “Super Storm Sandy” was little more than a disintegrating tropical depression when it made landfall. Was is unusual? No… The area has seen these before over and over again every 60-100+ years.

    I find it ODD that they would use a weather pattern which has repeated itself over and over to make their point of Catastrophic Anthropogenic Warming. The fact that the sheep were unprepared is a government failure and a community failure. The ignorance of history is damming all by itself,,

    But they use the uninformed public’s ignorance to further a lie and agenda.. The people who believe the bunk are as PT Barnum noted “there are suckers born every minute”. We are over due for a major storm to pass through Texas too. I wonder how many remember the 1900 hurricane season? Galveston had better remember as many of the same flows and warm water patterns have again emerged.

  29. sagi says:

    Fossil water, mined for drinking or irrigation from deep aquifers that get little or no recharge, all ends up in the sea.

    It appears to be responsible for roughly a quarter of the observed sea level rise,

    Also, one may speculate that land subsidence because of this pumping may give false sea level readings in some involved areas.

  30. PMHinSC says:

    Pamela Gray’s (June 9, 2013 at 7:56 am) comment
    “Because University faculty and leaders are not voted in, there is only one recourse open to us. Funding” does point out that science has become a business where, in many cases, profit and loss are as important as the quality of the product. It does make one wonder whether organizations such as the Royal Society and the American Physical Society are primarily marketing department for their members. The biggest tragedy may be that science has lost it’s way and in the process its credibility.

  31. RayG says:

    Bob, would it be possible for you to distill your response to Oppenheimer/Trenberth into a length and format suitable for a letter to the editor at the WaPo?

  32. Berényi Péter says:

    What about the Norfolk and Long Island hurricane of 1821? It has brought a 13 feet storm surge to Battery Park, at low tide, flooding lower Manhattan completely up to Canal Street. Should a similar disaster struck today, at high tide, as tropical storm Sandy did, it would be some 18 feet high, well above the less than 14 feet level experienced last year.

    Anyway, for the fine folks of that distant time it must have felt like an anticipatory punishment for abominable carbon sins of their late progeny.

  33. troe says:

    Robert Oppenheimer- “We knew the world would not be the same. Few people laughed, few people cried, most people were silent. I remembered the line from the Hindu scripture, the Bhagavad-Gita. Vishnu is trying to persuade the Prince that he should do his duty and to impress him takes on his multi-armed form and says, ‘Now I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds.’ I suppose we all thought that, one way or another.”

    Out of the same event which inspired this famous quote has grown the corrupting influence known as anthropogenic global warming and it’s many branches. If the good of the nuclear industry has to go with the bad then let it be on the heads of it’s proponents who chose this path. For to long those profiting from the corruption of science have played us for fools with our own money. Mounting a serious challenge to one of their grandees, Lamar Alexander would be a good place to start the political rollback. Think we’ll call it The Vishnu Project.

  34. eyesonu says:

    John Moore says:
    June 9, 2013 at 7:42 am

    The report does not mention the state of the tide at New York harbour when the storm struck. If it was at exactly the time of high tide it could conceivably have made a difference but at any other level none whatsoever. And was it a Spring or Neap tide? An answer would be interesting — can anyone from NY provide the information from the tide tables please?

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

    The surge peaked at high tide and a full moon. The so called 13.88 feet storm surge was measured from the point of mean low tide. Only in this case/instance has such a thing been done. The reality is that the high tide level and the full moon would have accounted for about for about 8 feet of this supposedly 13.88 foot surge by this dubious measuring system. By their reasoning there would have been an almost 8 foot surge if no storm and dead calm winds! I believe that about 3 feet was actual storm surge due to low atmospheric pressure and another 2 feet due wind pushing seas into a narrow funnel at The Battery. The so called 13.88 foot storm surge is a flat out lie. I can find the graph and be much more precise by reviewing the graphs when I have more time if need be.

    To Bob Tinsdale, if you wish to verify these facts please have Anthony contact me through email and I will send screen cap of my source of info.

  35. Jimbo says:

    Theo Goodwin says:
    June 9, 2013 at 7:56 am

    For you youngsters, Oppenheimer is the godfather of the computer model approach to global warming scare mongering. The op-ed sounds like Oppenheimer, at least the older Oppenheimer. He is the fellow who published a peer reviewed article arguing that global warming will increase the rate of immigration across the Mexican border…..

    And how well did he do?

    Pew Research Center – May 3, 2012
    Net Migration from Mexico Falls to Zero—and Perhaps Less

    and it gets better:

    April 4, 2013
    Report: Immigration From Mexico Won’t Go Back to Peak Levels

    Elrich and Oppenheim are like two peas in a pod. The more they fail the more they want to fail.

  36. Baa Humbug says:

    What aggravates me is that mongrels like Trenberth spew their utter nonsense all the while believing that us unwashed plebs will fall for it. He believes we are dumb enough to do so.

    Take his bullchit about heat going missing in the deep ocean. SO WHAT IF IT HAS? That deep ocean is less than 4DegC. Whenever and wherever it might surface, it will always cool the surface. It can never be reconcentrated to manifest itself in higher temps than the surface.
    e.g. If I boil a kettle of water and pour it into a swimming pool, once that hot water mixes with the cooler pool water, that energy from the boiling water can never be reconcentrated to be boiling again.

    So, energy going missing in the deep oceans is a good thing. It’ll take many tens of thousands of years of missing energy accumulation to make a skerrick of difference to surface temperatures.
    the globe has been warming for over ten thousand years. In all that time, the deep ocean has reached the grand max of 4DegC. No matter what changes humans make to the composition of the atmosphere, the resulting postulated changes in deep ocean temps will always be irrelevant.

    that’s my understanding until convinced otherwise.

  37. Baa Humbug says:

    Correction to my post at 11:07am

    The second last sentence should begin “Since the last full on ice age, the globe has been warming etc”.

  38. “Oppenheimer and Trenberth” … It is sad to see two names that were once respected become the cue to shake one’s head in disbelief and a certain amount of sadness. I guess it is hard for those sitting on the deck of a ship with a hole in it to do anything but keep steaming toward their original berth even if another is at hand since it takes time to change all that inertia and overcome the disbelief that your invincible ship could be struck.

  39. Mike Jonas says:

    (OT) Richard M “The planet will continue to cool with the PDO …“. Willis’ last post was about the PDO, and its usefulness or otherwise as a predictor. I noted that while Willis’ graph of cumulative [PDO] pressure generally correlated well with global temperature, it was way out from 1910-1925. Many think we’re headed for cooling and that the PDO is a factor, but IMHO we’re going to have to wait and see.

  40. I have uploaded an image from an archived web page of the Sandy Tide Gauges for
    Battery, NY and Kings Point, NY as of 10/29/2012 21:42 EDT
    Chart starts from 10/28/2012 00:00 with predicted tide levels through 10/30/2012 23:59

    Battery, NY: Predicted high tide: 4.52 ft (the weaker peak of the spring tide, about a foot lower than the stronger high tide at 09:00). Recorded high tide: 13.63 ft, Residual (surge): 9.11 ft.
    The image is from what appears to be peak water level

    Kings Point, NY. The tide at Kings Point at this time is at 5.03 ft, rising to a predicted ~7.8 ft at about 10/30 00:45 +/- 0:15. Noteable here is that the greatest residual happened at about 10/29 19:00 near the LOW tide, predicted 0.0 ft, observed about 12.5 ft, so at 19:00 there is a residual of 12.5 ft. But by 21:42, the observed tide rose another two feet to 14.18 ft, but the predicted tide was 5.03 ft on the way to 7.8 ft. So at 21:42, the residual dropped to 9.15 ft.

    Image http://i44.tinypic.com/2qdcwg7.jpg

  41. There is still the live page for the Eastern seaboard Tide Gauges for Sandy:
    http://tidesandcurrents.noaa.gov/quicklook/data/SANDY.html

    The page is a bit of a mess. It say it is as of 10/30/2012 12:00 EDT.
    Many tide gauges are, however, from 6/6/2013 00:00 with 6/8/2013 00:00 and predictions through 6/9/2013 00:00. (TS Andrea)

    The following stations are still showing Sandy from 10/29/2012 12:00
    Bishops Head, MD
    Philadelphia, PA
    The Battery, NY
    Kings Point, NY
    New Haven, CT
    New London, CT
    Providence, RI
    Boston, MA
    Wells, ME

  42. Bob Tisdale says:

    Stephen Rasey, thanks for the links to the tide graphs.

  43. herkimer says:

    Bob
    If Trenberth said “While the increase in atmospheric temperature has slowed, ocean warming rose dramatically after 2000.”

    W.Brozek recently reported on June 9th in his post ARE WE IN A PAUSE OR DECLINE
    “For Hadsst2, the slope is flat since March 1, 1997 or 16 years, 2 months. (goes to April 30, 2013).”

  44. eyesonu says:

    Stephen Rasey says:
    June 9, 2013 at 4:20 pm

    Thank you for the summary and the link to the tide chart for The Battery, NY. You are correct the expected tide level should be about 4 1/2 feet and not 8 feet as I noted in an earlier comment. I have a screen copy of a different graphic than the one I liked below that come from NOAA or the NHC and showed different levels and was current as of 10:00 pm on 10/30/2012 which was about 14 hours after Sandy’s max surge. I made a quick internet search and found the link below. Not going to bother with it now.

    I wrote the earlier post from memory and just now had time to dig it up. The main point I was making is that the talking points of a nearly 14 foot storm surge is misleading at best. Surge should be expressed as that above the expected tide level at the time. To be more realistic the surge level would be expressed as that above high tide level but that is another animal.

    http://tidesandcurrents.noaa.gov/cgi-bin-mp/data_plot.cgi?mins=&datum=6&unit=1&stn=8518750&bdate=20121028&edate=20121103&data_type=wl&relative=&type=Historic%20Tide%20Data&shift=g&plot_size=large&relative=&wl_sensor_hist=W2&plot_backup=

  45. eyesonu says:

    From my comment above:
    “To be more realistic the surge level would be expressed as that above high tide level but that is another animal.” This type of surge level reporting would be best for general media reporting, not technical analysis. When the media reports a given storm surge that happens to occur at low tide and people escape flooding and the next storm is reporting the same or less surge but occurs at high tide some of those people are going to get caught in a flood. The general population ain’t very bright and shouldn’t have to review the tide tables to decipher the forecast surge.

  46. Bob Tisdale says:

    herkimer says: “If Trenberth said ‘While the increase in atmospheric temperature has slowed, ocean warming rose dramatically after 2000.'”

    Trenberth acknowledges that the warming of sea surface temperatures and the oceans at depths to 700 meters has slowed to a crawl. He’s claiming that the warming is taking place below 700 meters.

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