Ocean Heat Content Variations—Satellites vs Oceanographers

Guest Post by Willis Eschenbach

I got to looking at the numbers for how much energy is exported from the tropics each month by this great heat engine we call the climate. As I discussed in The Magnificent Climate Heat Engine, at all times the tropics are receiving more energy than they are radiating to space. The excess is exported from the tropics to the poles, and radiated to space from there. Ruminating about the numbers, I realized that I could use the satellite data to check the oceanographers data regarding the flow of energy into and out of the ocean. Here’s how.

The actual situation we’re looking at is that what is exported from the tropics is equal to what is radiated back out to space from the poles, plus what goes into storage in the ocean. From the CERES data we know how much is exported from the tropics, and we also know what is radiated to space from the poles. So the difference between what is exported from the tropics and the amount received by the poles must be the change in the ocean heat storage. What was surprising to me, however, was the amount of energy that goes into and out of the ocean every year. Seeing the size of that swing in ocean heat content, I realized that we should be able to use the CERES data as an independent check on the Levitus upper ocean heat content data. Figure 1 shows the results of the analysis:

tropical exports polar imports storage ohcFigure 1. Sizes of the flows (in 1022 joules/month), and the ocean heat content (OHC) anomaly (in 1022 joules). The top panel shows the total amount of energy exported every month from the tropics, in units of 1022 joules per month . Panel 2 shows the imports of energy into the polar regions. Panel 3 shows the change in storage for that month (exports minus imports). Panel 4 shows the annual changes in ocean heat content (OHC) in units of 1022 joules (NOT joules/month). Panel 4 is calculated from the flows shown in Panel 3.

In the top two panels, we see the amount of heat being exported from the tropics, and the amount imported into the polar regions. The third panel shows the storage, calculated as the exports minus imports. And the bottom panel shows the cumulative sum of the monthly changes in OHC, which gives us the ocean heat content anomaly.

The beauty of climate science is that I’m continually being surprised. I certainly didn’t expect that there would be two cycles per year in the imports and the exports (top two panels), but only one cycle per year in the storage (bottom panel). Nothing more fun than discoveries. I also would never have guessed that the storage cycle would peak in January and bottom out in June … is this related to the earth being closer to the sun in January? Who knows. In any case, it’s the fourth panel that lets us compare satellites and oceanographers. Oh, yeah … as I’m writing this, I still don’t know what I’ll find out.

Now, there’s an oddity about this method for calculating the OHC anomaly. You can’t use it to establish the trend in the OHC data (Panel 4). This is because even a tiny systematic error in one of the three datasets (solar, upwelling longwave, and upwelling reflected solar) results in a very large trend in the ocean heat content. So while the annual changes will be valid in terms of swing and timing, and they can be compared to the adjacent years, the overall trend is meaningless. As a result, all we can see are the relative sizes of the annual swings in OHC data. Because we don’t know what the trend is, I’ve set the trend in the OHC (Fig. 1, bottom panel) to zero.

However, this calculation of OHC from the CERES data is very interesting despite its limitations. We can extract the “climatology” (the average seasonal changes) of the OHC from the data. The CERES data establishes that we should see an annual swing in OHC of about 4e+22 joules … and that is large enough that I figured it should be quite visible in the Levitus ocean heat content data. We can also see the month-by-month changes in the ocean heat content, and compare the various years.

So I went and got the Levitus OHC climatology (quarterly average actual temperature) data so I could compare the Levitus and CERES data (see note below for data sources). The Levitus data is quarterly, so I have averaged the CERES OHC anomaly data shown in Panel 4 above to convert it to quarterly data. Figure 2 shows the comparison of Levitus and CERES OHC climatologies, the average changes from quarter to quarter in the ocean heat content:

Ocean Heat Content Climatology Anomaly Levitus and CERESFigure 2. Climatology. A comparison of the average quarterly changes in ocean heat content (OHC) climatology as given by Levitus oceanographic data, and by the CERES satellite data.

Now, I have long been critical of the Levitus data for a couple of reasons. One is the steep rise from 2001 to 2004 (see Fig. 3 below), which coincides with the full introduction of the Argo floats for collecting ocean temperatures. Another reason is that I don’t think that they have the kind of accuracy that they claim, as described here. Next, the large rise that they show at the end of 2001 seems unphysical. Finally, my sense overall is that they are claiming greater changes than are actually occurring.

Figures 2 and 3 show some of those difficulties. One of the problems with the Levitus climatological data (Fig. 2 above) is the very large change in OHC from the first quarter (Q1) to the second quarter (Q2) of the year. In Fig. 2, the Levitus climatology data claims that the OHC changes by 6.9 e+22 joules/quarter. This is a change in storage of 2.3 e+22 joules per month.

But as you can see in Figure 1 (third panel), the CERES data don’t show any monthly change in ten years that is much greater than 1 e+22 J/mo. This casts doubt on the accuracy of the Levitus data.

And things only get worse when we look, not at the climatologies, but at the actual quarter by quarter measured changes in OHC reported by both Levitus and CERES. Figure 3 shows those results

Ocean Heat Content Actual Anomaly Levitus and CERESFigure 3. Measured quarterly OHC anomalies, Levitus (oceanographic) and CERES (satellite) data. I have adjusted the trend of the CERES OHC results to match the trend of the Levitus OHC data so that they can be compared. Levitus data is the sum of their anomaly data and the climatology.

Now, here’s the thing … as I mentioned above, we cannot trust the trend of the CERES OHC data. Even a tiny error in the underlying data, while not affecting the year-to-year changes, makes a huge difference in the trend of the results. However, there’s still a lot revealed by the CERES OHC data. Solely in order to be able to compare the CERES and Levitus data, I’ve adjusted the trend in the CERES actual OHC results so that the slope matches that of the Levitus data. Several issues are apparent.

The first issue is that the cycle of the CERES ocean heat content data doesn’t vary much from year to year.  There are indeed variations year to year, but the CERES OHC data swings about the same amount from year to year. The Levitus data, on the other hand, shows huge variations from one year to the next.

Here’s the problem. The largest swing per quarter in the Levitus actual data is 7.3 e+22 J/quarter at the end of 2001, or about 2.5 e+22 joules per month max over the time. But where is that energy coming from? The annual average export of energy from the tropics is only about 5 e+22 joules per month … so the Levitus data is saying that somehow, half the average export from the tropics, which is a huge number, has been sequestered in the ocean.

Now while the CERES data is admittedly only accurate to a few W/m2, which is why the CERES calculated OHC trend can’t be trusted, a 50% error in the CERES measurements seems highly unlikely. And that is what the Levitus data is claiming, that somehow half the average tropical energy export was diverted into the ocean at the end of 2001.

My conclusion? Well, my main conclusion is that the satellite data are likely better than the ocean measurements.

My second conclusion is that the jump in the last quarter of 2001 in the Levitus data is not correct.

My final conclusion is that year over year, the variations in the energy flows into and out of the ocean are nowhere near as large as the Levitus data suggests. Where would the energy be coming from?

[UPDATE] There is another graph of interest. This is the graph showing the OHC data in the normal way. This is after removal of the average seasonal swings, leaving only the anomalies.

comparison of Levitus and CERES OHC anomalies after removal climatology

 

Figure 4. OHC data from the CERES (gold) and Levitus (blue) datasets. Both datasets have had the seasonal averages subtracted from the data. The trend of the CERES data is nominal, and has been adjusted to the trend of the Levitus data.

Figure 4 is one of the clearest examples of the problem with the Levitus data. The deviations in OHC in the Levitus data represent huge swings in energy … but these claimed swings simply are not visible in the CERES data.

Onwards, the world is a magical place.

w.

 

METHODS: Unfortunately, the Levitus data doesn’t seem to contain an OHC climatology (averages for the value for each month or quarter of a year). Instead, what they provide is a temperature climatology, in 33 depth levels from 0 to 5,500 metres of depth. This means we have to take a roundabout route to get to the OHC climatology.

First we need the data about the size and thickness of each of the levels at which the variables are measured (see data list below). The Levitus climatology data measures the temperatures at depth levels of 0, 10, 20, 30, 50, 75, 100, 125, 150, metres and so on, with thicker layers as they go deeper, down to 9,000 metres. To get the volume of each layer, you need to average the area of the top and bottom depth levels that define the thickness. Then you multiply that by the thickness of the layer to get the volume. To convert that to tonnes, multiply by 62/60. To get the energy needed to raise the temperature of the layer by 1°C, multiply the tonnage by 4 e+6 joules/tonne of seawater/°C.

Then from the quarterly temperature climatologies, calculate the average temperature of each of the layers as the average of the temperatures at the levels at the top and bottom of each layer. Then calculate the quarterly change in temperature for each of the layers. Multiply those layer-by-layer changes by the energy needed to change each layer by 1°, add up the energy needed for each the layers for their particular temperature change, and that’s the change in OHC over the quarter given the temperature climatology.

DATA: Levitus climatology

Levitus OHC anomaly data

Levitus depth level data

CERES data (I note that the CERES folks have added another three years to the dataset, 2010-2013. This is good news, more data is always a good thing … except for the part where I need to redo my various previous analyses … not enough time in the day.)

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70 thoughts on “Ocean Heat Content Variations—Satellites vs Oceanographers

  1. There is no mid lattitudes on the Earth then? The equator exports some of the energy from the sun and the poles import all the energy from the equater and radiates it to space?

  2. Willis

    Are you now seeing the light, namely, that due to the amount of solar irradiance received by the tropical oceans, the tropical oceans would not freeze even without DWLWIR?

    Are you now begiinning to see that the excess energy received by the tropicial ocean, which gets exported polewards, is sufficient to stop the ocean at mid latitude from freezing?

  3. About the storage cycle peaking in January – isn’t that just because there’s more ocean in the southern hemisphere?

  4. Donald

    Before the discoveries of Copernicus emerged,the conceptions of solar system structure and planetary motions had become so contrived,complicated and convoluted by adding ad hoc assumptions on top of others to save the geocentric appearances that when he introduced two simple motions of the Earth ,thereby redefining planetary motions and solar system structure ,that it blew away the few astronomers that realized what he had done.

    The point here is instructive as sometimes people have to stand way back to see what is going on and then return to a more detailed view but few people are prepared to do this and especially when discussing the astronomical inputs that define global climate. In this respect Copernicus himself has the last word for his only fear was not Church censure but from those who won’t or can’t look at the bigger picture first and then work on the details as opposed to building a picture one assertion at a time –

    “They are just like someone including in a picture hands, feet, head, and other limbs from different places, well painted indeed, but not modeled from the same body, and not in the least matching each other, so that a monster would be produced from them rather than a man. Thus in the process of their demonstrations, which they call their system, they are found either to have missed out something essential, or to have brought in something inappropriate and wholly irrelevant, which would not have happened to them if they had followed proper principles. For if the hypotheses which they assumed had not been fallacies, everything which follows from them could be independently verified.” De revolutionibus, 1543

    It is imperative that researchers get the relatively simply astronomical inputs in order and then return to climate with a stable and intelligent narrative.

  5. @donald penman

    herein lies the problem.. of course he hasn’t looked at transfers at every latitude.

    Is that even possible ??????

    Do you really think ANY of the so-called climate models include any of this latitudinal energy transfer in any way. Of course not. The climate models are totally simplistic compared to real life.

    Yet trillions of dollars have been wasted because of their output !!

    Its sheer idiocy !!!

    Willis is breaking new ground…………

    RESPECT !!!!!!

  6. The thing that keeps me nervous is the short time span of data. Get real. The usual and casual reference to short term data.

  7. (possibly OT)
    Transient ocean heat (from the equatorial to polar regions) is responsible for the British Isles having much warmer winters and cooler summers than similar locations on the N. Atlantic’s western coastal latitudes as the daily maximum/minimum temperatures in the comprehensively monitored CET area show

    http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/CET-dMm.htm

    While December 2012 was month of two halves, December 2013 was positively mild affair with both daily max & min temps above the 20 year average

  8. richard verney says:
    January 2, 2014 at 12:42 am

    Willis

    Are you now seeing the light, namely, that due to the amount of solar irradiance received by the tropical oceans, the tropical oceans would not freeze even without DWLWIR?

    Absolutely not. Average downwelling longwave in the tropics is more than half of the total downwelling radiation. At the TAO buoy on the equator at 165E, for example, the average downwelling longwave on a 24/7 basis is 400 W/m2, and the average downwelling shortwave is 270 W/m2.

    Do the numbers next time before uncapping your electronic pen, richard. It keeps one from making foolish mistakes …

    w.

  9. donald penman says:
    January 2, 2014 at 12:28 am

    There is no mid lattitudes on the Earth then? The equator exports some of the energy from the sun and the poles import all the energy from the equater and radiates it to space?

    Donald, there are two kinds of gridcells—those nearer the equator that receive more solar radiation than they radiate to space, and those nearer the poles that receive less energy than they radiate to space.

    Energy is transferred from the equatorial group polewards both north and south.

    w.

  10. This is the view of the Earth we would be seen by a hypothetical observer of the Sun apart from one really important and crucial detail that is left out. The Earth would appear to process an axial preccesion across it annual cycle where one polar latitude would come into view while the opposite polar coordinate existing at 23 1/2 degrees South or North of the face of the Earth that is always half in Sunlight would disappear from view.

    This is how the annual motion of the Earth’s polar coordinates looks like from the Sun –

    https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/4/43/Earth_precession.svg

    The energy budget across all latitudes is constant even if orbital distance from the Sun varies but latitudes experience that heat budget differently.The most important factor is the one contemporaries leave out,not inclination to the Sun organized around the Earth’s Equator but the length of time any given latitude spends in solar radiation or the orbital shadow of the Earth. You have these guys still talking about the ‘Sun overhead’ and receiving direct radiation while at the poles they receive solar radiation at an oblique angle in order to promote the idea that the Earth tilts towards and away from the Sun.If so then it should tilt towards and away from all the stars but it doesn’t !

  11. The CERES data are already adjusted based upon OHC data. They pretty much have to be since the CERES data absolute accuracy is only good to about +/- 10 W/m2. Those adjustments are for the long-term averages, since the 3-monthly changes in OHC are very noisy and imply huge and (probably) unrealistic energy fluxes.

  12. Increasing attention to annual & semiannual cycles is a step in the right direction, but one thing still missing in the recent series of wuwt articles tracing decades-old Russian & NASA knowledge of terrestrial heat engines is mention of consequent midlatitude westerly winds [http://imageshack.us/a/img850/876/f0z.gif] and their role in mixing.

    Sun-Climate 101: Solar-Terrestrial Primer

    http://tallbloke.files.wordpress.com/2013/12/sun-climate-101-solar-terrestrial-primer.pdf

    Sun-Climate 101 outlines law-constrained geometric foundations of solar-governed “internal” (a counterproductive misnomer) spatiotemporal redistribution (stirring) of terrestrial heat & water at a fixed, constant level of multidecadal solar activity.

    Those with sufficiently deep understanding will recognize this as a 4-dimensional geometric proof.

    See particularly item #5 on page 3. The lesson: There’s stirring & accumulation even with a fixed, constant level of multidecadal solar activity due to the shifts & persistence of terrestrial circulation that are an inevitable consequence of solar frequency shift.

    It’s trivial and it’s geometrically proven.

    The attractor (central limit) would be the same whether scrambled by white noise, spatiotemporal chaos, &/or lunisolar oscillations (the latter of which stand out clearly in observations).

    The utility of these fundamentals extends beyond generalizing the role of stellar frequency in planetary aggregate-circulation to assessing the vision, competence, functional numeracy, honesty, & relevance of climate discussion agents, including those abusing authority.

  13. ” As a result, all we can see are the relative sizes of the annual swings in OHC data. Because we don’t know what the trend is, I’ve set the trend in the OHC (Fig. 1, bottom panel) to zero.”

    Willis, does “’I’ve set the trend to zero” mean you’ve detrended the data? If so, what was the trend you subtracted.

    I appreciate all the caveats about the data but I’d rather been shown what the data says than be told there’s a trend but I don’t need to know what it is because it doesn’t count.

    When trying to reconcile two datasets and decide which is reliable it’s important to have the full picture.

    re Jan peak , I would say the main factor is N/S water surface , it’s more likely to follow SH summer. You could look at the relative contribution of each hemisphere and compare to surface.

    Perihelion will add to that as well.

  14. Per Jan peak… NH has more snow. Wonder if that matters… SH has better “ozone hole” so clearer radiative window. June SH is radiating very well, Jan not so much… (closest to sun and lots of clouds then too…)

    Nicely done, btw. I second the notion of wanting to see the bogus trend prior to removal.

  15. Gerald Kelleher,
    The issue you seem to have a hard time grappling with is that the world is round and is a three dimensional shape with a three dimensional atmosphere. Angle of incidence is created by the round earth and while the distance from different parts of the globe to the sun is trivial the angle created is not. This is demonstrated cleanly and clearly by the TAO buoys. I am not arguing with you merely pointing out the piece of information you seem to be missing.
    v/r,
    David Riser

  16. Roy Spencer says:
    January 2, 2014 at 3:22 am

    The CERES data are already adjusted based upon OHC data. They pretty much have to be since the CERES data absolute accuracy is only good to about +/- 10 W/m2.
    __________________
    Thanks. you just answered the question I was going to ask Willis.

  17. Willis Eschenbach says:
    January 2, 2014 at 2:20 am

    “At the TAO buoy on the equator at 165E, for example, the average downwelling longwave on a 24/7 basis is 400 W/m2, and the average downwelling shortwave is 270 W/m2.”

    These values cant be treated the same. It likes a 270 W/m2 gamma beam against 400 W/m2 alpha beam. Which one would you prefer to be shot at you?

    Energy W/m2 at different wavelengths are not the same thing they are at orders smaller. Let me know when you get sun burn in the shade outside, where the 400w/m2 downwelling longwave is hitting you all the time. The downwelling longwave is energy that is escaping from the atmosphere eventually, but is so weak it doesn’t penetrate anything on surface, including human skin.

    This is so obvious when you think about it, when a values is apparently higher than the downwelling shortwave. It would mean the planet is losing energy all the time taking overall input and output. The oceans would already have frozen millions of years ago is this was the case.

    “I also would never have guessed that the storage cycle would peak in January and bottom out in June ”

    It makes [sense] really when the ocean surface is much bigger in the SH than the NH and June is the SH winter where the sun is at its weakest.

  18. Willis: Thank you, another example of digging into the data rather than assuming some initial conditions and a fictional forcing and running models for centuries.
    Tell me what kind of vitamins you take for energy, I want some!

  19. @“… by this great heat engine we call the climate.”
    Should CLIMATE not be defined accordingly?
    “In the time-scale range from a few weeks to thousand years, the dynamics of climate is strongly controlled by the oceans.” Said Klaus Hasselmann, 1990,
    [“Ocean Circulation and Climate Change”, Paper presented at Bolin –
    65 Symposium, Friiberghs, Herrgard, 20-23 May, 1990,]
    But neither he nor his colleagues never talked serious about it, neither did they ever made clear that any definition of CLIMATE need to have a reference to the oceans, for example:
    “Climate is the continuation of the oceans by other means”, as done at: http://www.whatisclimate.com/ .
    Also sub-polar ocean regions store and release sun heat in great amount, in summer and winter, every hour as two examples from the Baltic Sea indicate:
    __per month : http://www.1okeah-1klimat.com/4/b/4IV-16.jpg
    __per day : http://www.1okeah-1klimat.com/4/b/4V-19.jpg

  20. -Absolutely not. Average downwelling longwave in the tropics is more than half of the total downwelling radiation. At the TAO buoy on the equator at 165E, for example, the average downwelling longwave on a 24/7 basis is 400 W/m2, and the average downwelling shortwave is 270 W/m2.-

    Well we know most of warming of ocean water from sunlight is below 1 meter. Or if put solar panel under 1 meter of water it will receive most of solar energy which is available in a given day.
    We know that any downwell long wave can not reach 1 inch below the water.
    We know that compared to sunlight, downwell long wave is constant whereas sunlight occurs only in 1/2 of 24 day. We know that most of energy of sunlight upon an ocean is not heating the surface but instead is absorbed and after it is absorbed it can be radiate back into space, but such time can be measured in days or centuries.
    We know that down welling longwave can not heat the ocean by much. As said, it does warm beneath the water, and it’s not directional light. Or it’s not sun like or spotlight source of radiant energy. Nor is there anyways of using this type of radiant energy to heat anything. Again if this energy were directed light one magnify the such energy bun paper or whatever.

    And course there negative feedback involved when warm the tropics- as Willis Eschenbach
    has written many articles about. So briefly if instead of tropics being an average temperature of
    24 C, the tropics instead had average temperature of 10 C, there would be less negative feedback. So one could get more than an average of 270 W/m2.

    Now how you determine what average temperature water is if absorbing 270 W/m2 whether of
    not it freezes?
    Or during summer in arctic, one would not get average of 270 W/m2 being absorb beneath the surface of ocean. The sunlight reach the surface at low angle. Plus sunlight passes thru large amount atmosphere. So a solar panel point at the sun doesn’t get 270 W/m2, and if not pointed at the sun, but is lying on ground it receives less. Yet the ice can melt.
    And solar pond can get about 270 W/m2 and have water below the surface above 80 C- surely that has nothing to do with down welling longwave.

  21. Happy New Year Willis!
    Good article; Digging in the data can actually shine some light on the climate misunderstanding problem. Thanks for the clarity and good work.

  22. I do not have the hard science background to answer the following questions, but maybe enough to ask them:

    1. The difference in energy input to the oceans with respect to the Earth’s distance from the Sun in June vs December should be a problem of applying the Inverse Square Law. (ie, the difference in energy flux onto the Earth’s surface should be proportional to difference between the squares of the distance from Earth to Sun at Perihelion (December?) and Aphelion (June?).)

    This calculation could give scale to the question of the contribution of the eccentricity of Earth’s orbit to Willis’s findings of annual cycles.

    2. Although the southern oceans are larger than the northern, how big is the north/south difference within the tropics, where the net insolation is greatest and presumably dominates the cycles.

    3. With larger oceans in the south than in the north perhaps the oceanic transport of heat energy is more facilitated in the south. Is this true? Does the pattern of longstanding ocean currents dominate over the actual size of the oceans in this matter? (eg, Do the Gulf stream and northern Pacific currents transport heat more rapidly than the vaster, but perhaps more languid southern ocean currents?

  23. Willis Escenbach
    I understand now.

    Gerald Kelleher
    I am not saying that your way of looking at the Earth is wrong but I look at it this way.

    http://earthsky.org/earth/can-you-explain-why-earth-has-four-seasons

    After the first really cold winter we had in the UK recently the temperatures took a long time to rise above 3 degrees centigrade daily max. in spring even though we had sunlight and clear skys from dawn to dusk, we were still getting frosts late spring so there must be more to temperature than solar radiation.

  24. E.M.Smith says:
    January 2, 2014 at 4:25 am

    Nicely done, btw. I second the notion of wanting to see the bogus trend prior to removal.

    Glad to.

    Note that the trend is about 3 times as large as the trend in the Levitus data, which is likely itself exaggerated.

    w.

  25. Dear Willis…

    Absolutely not. Average downwelling longwave in the tropics is more than half of the total downwelling radiation. At the TAO buoy on the equator at 165E, for example, the average downwelling longwave on a 24/7 basis is 400 W/m2, and the average downwelling shortwave is 270 W/m2.

    I would like some more specificity to this statement. Define “shortwave” Where does this 270 w/m2 number come from? I hate the use of averages for this as over 360 w/m2 of solar radiation is scattered before it ever gets to the surface of the ocean. What part of this 270 w/m2 comes from that, and what is from the re-emission of IR from water vapor and CO2?

    Also, I have your answer for the solar radiation difference….

    The average is ~1360 m/2 at the top of the atmosphere. This is a yearly average that masks what is actually happening… At this time in the precession cycle the peak radiative energy is about 1388 w/m2 in early January at perihelion. It is about 1328 w/m2 in early July. We see these differences very clearly in the power output profiles of solar arrays in space. Sixty watts/m2 difference is quite a lot and should be clearly evident in ocean heat data.

  26. Gerald writes: “Before the discoveries of Copernicus emerged…”

    It had been known for centuries prior to Copernicus that one could calculate planetary positions using a heliocentric concept, but it was said that only lazy astrologers-astronomers would do so, since it avoided one or two of the biggest epicycles.

    The remaining epicycles were still necessary, however, and the absence of stellar parallax (as the earth was supposed to move closer to and farther from the stars) made the concept physically unlikely.

    And the Copernican scheme still had the exact same errors in planetary position that the Ptolemaic system did. There was no improvement in results whatsoever offered by the Copernican scheme.

    It was Kepler’s revolutionary heliofocal system that really kicked the earth out of the centre, since “Equal area over equal time” simply doesn’t work on any sort of geofocal scheme.

    Copernicus and Galileo get far too much credit for a model that didn’t work any better than the previous ones did, whereas Kepler’s Rudolphine Tables provided predictions more accurate than the margins of error of the observing capabilities of the day.

  27. Apart from any comparison between different datasets, I find your figure 1 could easily be interpreted as result of a more radiated SH (perihelion on January 4th) and a northwards MOC’s upper branch that transports energý from SH to NH.

  28. Gerald Kelleher says:
    January 2, 2014 at 3:11 am

    The energy budget across all latitudes is constant even if orbital distance from the Sun varies but latitudes experience that heat budget differently.

    Gerald, once again I must ask you, if I agreed with you from start to finish, what difference would it make to my analysis of OHC variations? Because I see none.

    Look, I understand that you think people are conceptualizing in incorrect ways about the geometric relationship of the sun and the earth … and I suppose that may be so. And it may indeed be your job to straighten out peoples conceptualization.

    But if that doesn’t make a bit of difference to my results, why are you here bothering me, instead of you being somewhere that your objections actually do make a difference?

    So let me invite you to demonstrate that your endless complaints about terminology somehow falsify my analysis, or go peddle your story elsewhere. It’s getting tiresome, being lectured by you about something immaterial.

    And if you think it IS material, SHOW US HOW! Stop babbling about the “circle of illumination” for just one moment, and show us how your ideas point out some error in my work above.

    w.

  29. I love this series and always look forward to the next episode.

    If I may express the theme in warmist language, Gaia is warm-blooded, not cold-blooded.

    Here is an article which is interesting because it shows how stable the earth’s temperature has been over an incredible range of atmosphere compositions over the eons. About the only constant has been the existance of oceans (and clouds).

    http://www.americanthinker.com/2014/01/a_few_easy_tests_to_debunk_global_warming_hysteria.html

  30. Bear with me on this one Donald as we are actually explaining the seasons using actual imaging and the idea of variations in solar declination off the Earth’s Equator doesn’t work as a principle.

    Apart from a brief period at the Equinox,an observer looking out at the Earth from the Sun would see either one or the other polar points 23 1/2 degrees above or below the full face of the Earth illuminated by the Sun. A line running across the full face of the Earth in solar radiation along the center would create an ecliptic Equator and the North.South poles turn in a circle parallel to this ecliptic Equator . There should be images of the Earth from a distant point of view but there isn’t,even NASA won’t show images where the division of solar radiation and the orbital shadow are always directed towards the central Sun thereby showing the progression of the polar points in a circle just as the images of Uranus are shown to do.They show this hideous view –

    http://i.space.com/images/i/000/012/317/i02/seasons-from-space-11092302.jpg?1316809681

    An open thread would be the basic question – What causes the seasons ?

    For a website concerned with global temperature fluctuations 27/7 there should be a decisive answer by introducing the spectacle that our planet has two surface rotations to the central Sun in order to get rid of this idea of seasonal solar declination due to a ’tilting’ Earth off the poles/Equator when people know the Earth’s rotational orientation remains fixed in space.

    In the Western Isles of Europe,you may wish to consider that the current length of time you spend in the orbital shadow of the Earth and the meagre time in solar radiation is much more influencial than any other input but to explain why the asymmetry between solar radiation and orbital darkness across 6 months you need the orbital component of surface rotation.

  31. The curvature of the Earth dictates if the sun is visible in winter or not ,it is visible just above the horizon in the UK now but a thousand or so miles further north and it does not quite get above the horizon.

  32. David Riser

    From a heat budget point of view,the central Sun doesn’t budge therefore half the surface area of the Earth defined by an area North and South the ecliptic Equator receives the maximum amount of solar radiation at any given moment as the Earth orbits the Sun –

    The Earth’s North/South daily rotational poles maintain a fixed distance from the ecliptic axis as they turn in a circle parallel to the ecliptic Equator and pass from solar radiation into orbital darkness at the Equinox or visa versa depending on where the Earth is in its orbit.

    Remarkably,that graphic is fairly accurate as the ecliptic axis would be located in the region of Alaska/Canada on the Arctic circle insofar as the point on the surface of the Earth that is the North pole actually does turn in a circle to the central Sun hence 6 months of daylight followed by 6 months of darkness. I am forced to consider that surface point as traveling in a circle therefore I have to consider where the center of that circle is located geographically so if people have an alternative means to explain the polar day/night cycle then be my guest but they should arrive in the same conceptual place I am at.

    It is a more sophisticated point of view for why we have the seasons by virtue that is you strip the Earth of any other input like cloud cover and so on,the Arctic region receives the same solar radiation budget as the Equator but does so in a completely different manner specifically related to the motions of the Earth.

  33. Willis

    The only way this ‘global warming’ mess is ever going to be resolved is not through assertion warfare with your opposition, a discovery has to be of such importance and so obvious to high school students and interested adults that the idea of human control over planetary temperatures looks like a ridiculous indulgence and climate research almost begins from scratch.

    A new way to explain the seasons accomplishes that and the fact that it can be explained visually brings climate science and astronomy back into being an interpretative exercise first and foremost.

    As you see,I am not doing too well explaining things but all the components are there to put together and fair dues to anyone who can do better.

  34. Roy Spencer says:
    January 2, 2014 at 3:22 am

    The CERES data are already adjusted based upon OHC data. They pretty much have to be since the CERES data absolute accuracy is only good to about +/- 10 W/m2. Those adjustments are for the long-term averages, since the 3-monthly changes in OHC are very noisy and imply huge and (probably) unrealistic energy fluxes.

    Thanks, Dr. Roy, always good to hear from you. You are correct that the CERES data has been adjusted. And as you say, it has been adjusted so that the TOA imbalance is supposed to be +0.85 W/m2 (warming), the same as the long-term OHC data. (In fact, the average TOA imbalance in the 10-year CERES dataset is +1.04 W/m2, close enough I guess. I haven’t looked at the new 13-year dataset yet.)

    The first six-year dataset was not adjusted. It had a TOA imbalance of about +5 W/m2. I wish that they’d left this one alone … do you know where to find the description of exactly how they “adjusted” the data? I mean, did they increase the outgoing longwave, or increase the reflected solar, or up them both, or what? I assume the downwelling solar data is the most accurate of the lot, so they’d have changed the others …

    In any case, the inherent ~5 W/m2 imbalance in the CERES data is the reason why we can’t trust the OHC trends in the CERES data.

    Finally, you describe the 3-month changes in Levitus OHC as “very noisy”, which is true. What I’ve shown here (assuming the CERES data are internally consistent despite not being accurate) is that the Levitus data are not only very noisy, but that they are also unphysically large. The largest quarterly changes in Levitus OHC are almost three times the largest quarterly changes in CERES OHC … that means the noise in the Levitus data is twice as large as the signal. Not pretty.

    In addition, there seems to be a systematic error beyond the noise, because the range of the Levitus climatology is so much larger than that of the CERES data. The following graph shows the OHC anomalies in the usual manner, after the removal of the seasonal climatology:

    As you can see, the quarter-to-quarter changes in ocean heat content are slow … as we’d expect from the ocean, it’s huge. I’ve long argued that the size of the quarterly jumps is unphysical, and this shows it in spades. I’ll add the graph to the head post

    Anyhow, always more to do, my friend. Above, I’ve used the levitus quarterly data to look at the quarterly OHC, and downsampled the CERES data accordingly.

    However, there is also monthly climatology data from Levitus, which I can compare directly to the monthly climatology for the OHC from CERES.

    Plus, there’s three more years of CERES data now to fold into the mix, right up to February 2013, which means I can now fold in the more recent Levitus data as well. That means 30% more data, and 30% more fun … and 30% more time spent considering the implications of CERES. One clear conclusion, though … the OHC doesn’t dance around the way the Levitus data claims, whether you look at the climatologies, or the anomalies after removal of climatologies.

    All the best, keep up the good work,

    w.

  35. denniswingo says:
    January 2, 2014 at 10:37 am

    Dear Willis…

    Absolutely not. Average downwelling longwave in the tropics is more than half of the total downwelling radiation. At the TAO buoy on the equator at 165E, for example, the average downwelling longwave on a 24/7 basis is 400 W/m2, and the average downwelling shortwave is 270 W/m2.

    I would like some more specificity to this statement. Define “shortwave”

    Thanks, dennis. Specificity is good.

    Shortwave is science-speak for the solar radiation, as opposed to “longwave”, which is earthlike-temperature thermal infrared.

    Where does this 270 w/m2 number come from?

    It comes from the instruments on the Tao buoy on the equator at 165E. See here for more details.

    I hate the use of averages for this as over 360 w/m2 of solar radiation is scattered before it ever gets to the surface of the ocean.

    Not sure what you mean by “scattered”, or when and where you are talking about. And since at midnight, zero W/m2 of solar radiation is scattered, we need to use averages to compare the total solar energy in a day with the 24/7 downwelling IR.

    What part of this 270 w/m2 comes from that, and what is from the re-emission of IR from water vapor and CO2?

    The TAO solar data includes direct and indirect solar energy. None of it is from water vapor and CO2.

    Also, I have your answer for the solar radiation difference….

    The average is ~1360 m/2 at the top of the atmosphere. This is a yearly average that masks what is actually happening… At this time in the precession cycle the peak radiative energy is about 1388 w/m2 in early January at perihelion. It is about 1328 w/m2 in early July. We see these differences very clearly in the power output profiles of solar arrays in space. Sixty watts/m2 difference is quite a lot and should be clearly evident in ocean heat data.

    I mentioned this in the head post, saying:

    I also would never have guessed that the storage cycle would peak in January and bottom out in June … is this related to the earth being closer to the sun in January?

    All the best,

    w.

  36. Willis Eschenbach: “Note that the trend is about 3 times as large as the trend in the Levitus data, which is like [sic, likely?] itself exaggerated.”

    I have a question about the graph that the foregoing comment accompanied. Its fourth trace appears to suggest (incorrectly, in your view) that ocean sequestration was about 15 x 10^22 J. over ten years. Yet I read the following to say that the CERES data are so tweaked as to result in total (not just ocean) sequestration of 0.58 W/m^2 * 5.1 x 10^14 m^2 * 31,556,952 sec./yr. * 10 yrs. = 9.3 * 10^22 J.:

    http://gcmd.nasa.gov/KeywordSearch/Metadata.do?Portal=NASA&KeywordPath=%5BProject%3A+Short_Name%3D'EOSDIS'%5D&OrigMetadataNode=GCMD&EntryId=CERES_EBAF-Surface&MetadataView=Full&MetadataType=0&lbnode=mdlb6: “The Clouds and the Earth’s Radiant Energy System (CERES) Energy Balanced and Filled (EBAF) Surface product provides computed monthly mean surface radiative fluxes that are consistent with the CERES EBAF-TOA product. In the CERES EBAF-TOA product, the top-of-atmosphere (TOA) fluxes are constrained so that the global net TOA flux is consistent with our best estimate of heat storage in the Earth-atmosphere system (~0.58 Wm-2). ”

    I probably misunderstood your graph, that documentation passage, or both. Otherwise, there would seem to be a discrepancy. Specifically, it appears that you got 15 x 10^22 J into the ocean from data that I had thought were adjusted to put only about 9.3 * 10^22 J. into the whole earth.

    Can you or someone else here help me out?

  37. Matt G says:
    January 2, 2014 at 6:38 am
    Willis Eschenbach says:
    January 2, 2014 at 2:20 am

    “At the TAO buoy on the equator at 165E, for example, the average downwelling longwave on a 24/7 basis is 400 W/m2, and the average downwelling shortwave is 270 W/m2.”

    These values cant be treated the same. It likes a 270 W/m2 gamma beam against 400 W/m2 alpha beam. Which one would you prefer to be shot at you?

    Energy W/m2 at different wavelengths are not the same thing they are at orders smaller. Let me know when you get sunburn in the shade outside, where the 400w/m2 downwelling longwave is hitting you all the time. The downwelling longwave is energy that is escaping from the atmosphere eventually, but is so weak it doesn’t penetrate anything on surface, including human skin.
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    Matt:
    No, the power (W/m^2) is comparable to electromagnetic energy at all frequencies.

    Your reference to sunburn is merely a reflection of the skin’ susceptibility to UV and not a measure of it’s energy content. Energy is energy at whatever frequency it is delivered.

    From: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Irradiance

    “Irradiance is the power of EM radiation per unit area (radiative flux) incident on a surface. The SI units for all of these quantities are W/m2…. These quantities are sometimes called intensity, but this usage leads to confusion with radiant intensity, which has different units.
    All of these quantities characterise the total amount of radiation present, at all frequencies. … “

  38. Gerald Kelleher says:
    January 2, 2014 at 12:53 pm

    Willis

    The only way this ‘global warming’ mess is ever going to be resolved is not through assertion warfare with your opposition, a discovery has to be of such importance and so obvious to high school students and interested adults that the idea of human control over planetary temperatures looks like a ridiculous indulgence and climate research almost begins from scratch.

    A new way to explain the seasons accomplishes that and the fact that it can be explained visually brings climate science and astronomy back into being an interpretative exercise first and foremost.

    As you see,I am not doing too well explaining things but all the components are there to put together and fair dues to anyone who can do better.

    No, you’re not bad at explaining things, Gerald. You are good at evading my question.

    I ask again— what difference does this make to my analysis above?

    What would be changed in my analysis if I adopted your “new way to explain the seasons”? Particularly since I’m not trying to explain the seasons. Instead, I’m comparing the Levitus and CERES OHC data … so what does all your insistence on the “circle of illumination” have to do with me?

    I assure you, I understand the movement of the earth around the sun in great detail. As I said, I’ve navigated across the Pacific with a sextant by using the stars.

    And I don’t care what method you use to “reduce” your sextant sun sights to figure out your position. Over the years, there have been a number of mathematical methods developed to do just that. You can use whichever one you wish.

    Because none of that matters. All that matters is, did you get the answer right? Doesn’t matter if a navigator thinks the earth tilts toward and away from the sun … all that matters, is can he tell the captain accurately where the ship is located?

    The same thing is true here. I don’t give a rat’s okole how you describe the seasons. All I care about is a simple question: DOES IT MAKE A DIFFERENCE TO MY ANALYSIS?

    Answer the dang question, Gerald, and stop with the evasions. I’ve asked three times. Time to put up or …

    w.

  39. Joe Born says:
    January 2, 2014 at 1:18 pm

    Willis Eschenbach:

    “Note that the trend is about 3 times as large as the trend in the Levitus data, which is like [sic, likely?] itself exaggerated.”

    I have a question about the graph that the foregoing comment accompanied. Its fourth trace appears to suggest (incorrectly, in your view) that ocean sequestration was about 15 x 10^22 J. over ten years. Yet I read the following to say that the CERES data are so tweaked as to result in total (not just ocean) sequestration of 0.58 W/m^2 * 5.1 x 10^14 m^2 * 31,556,952 sec./yr. * 10 yrs. = 9.3 * 10^22 J.:

    http://gcmd.nasa.gov/KeywordSearch/Metadata.do?Portal=NASA&KeywordPath=%5BProject%3A+Short_Name%3D'EOSDIS'%5D&OrigMetadataNode=GCMD&EntryId=CERES_EBAF-Surface&MetadataView=Full&MetadataType=0&lbnode=mdlb6: “The Clouds and the Earth’s Radiant Energy System (CERES) Energy Balanced and Filled (EBAF) Surface product provides computed monthly mean surface radiative fluxes that are consistent with the CERES EBAF-TOA product. In the CERES EBAF-TOA product, the top-of-atmosphere (TOA) fluxes are constrained so that the global net TOA flux is consistent with our best estimate of heat storage in the Earth-atmosphere system (~0.58 Wm-2). ”

    Good question as always, Joe. The answer is, they claim that the average TOA flux imbalance is 0.58 Wm-2 … but when you actually average the CERES net TOA data, it is 1.04 Wm-2 …

    w.

  40. Mr. Eschenbach:

    Thanks for the response; had I seen your answer to Dr. Spencer, I probably wouldn’t have had to trouble you.

    In light of that answer, I assume you don’t have much of an idea of how they might have missed their target so badly. Or maybe you do?

    If not, perhaps Dr. Spencer or someone else would care to speculate?

  41. Hi Willis Do you see the oceans as a thick dence atmosphere ? And do you see the energy you talk about stored in the ocean is electric potential stored and carried around by the conductivity of salt water. The electric potential of the ocean is released by point charge seen as evaporation , Energy takes the path of least resistance so under a high pressure system (fair weather electric field low electric potential ) a pathway of low resistance opens up between ocean and atmosphere and the ocean releases electron energy to the atmosphere.

  42. Willis

    Please don’t try to compete,if you knew how to use external references to even out the variations in the natural noon cycle to a 24 hour average and then convert the average into constant rotation at a rate of 15 degrees per hour we could talk as navigators,astronomers,climatologists or many other disciplines that intersect at this juncture .The planetary dynamics behind the variations in the natural noon cycles is the same as the cause for temperature fluctuations between latitudes otherwise known as the seasons and involves two surface rotations to the central Sun.

    You navigate by Ra/Dec or a rotating celestial sphere which is a late 17th century concoction which tries to bundle the daily and orbital motions of the Earth off a common axis –

    No wonder you can’t interpret the two surfaces rotations of Uranus which is easily transferred to the Earth thereby allowing people to analyse the cause of annual temperature fluctuations across latitudes as the Earth moves along its orbit and turns at the same time –

    Ah,you got your own agenda going based on ‘them and us’ but there is another way that truly changes things.

  43. Willis:
    Nice clear simple definitive analysis!

    A question in my mind is whether some of the CERE’s trend might be due to transitional phase energy in melting ice? Water transitioning between liquid and solid forms could be the buffer causing up/down trends even when the long term trends is flat.

  44. TB says:
    January 2, 2014 at 1:26 pm

    The different frequencies are not comparable to all level radiation, that is what is wrong with the energy flux diagrams.. Different frequencies penetrate different matter and these make the difference between how much matter they cause to vibrate more. (warm) The W/m2 units do not include penetration calculations so treats them the same incorrectly.

    UV is of course the reason for sun burn, but that is an example of a higher frequency wavelengths that penetrates the human skin only very sightly and warms it enough to cause burns. The same would happen with x-rays (when not used correctly) and gamma wavelengths, but would be increasingly a lot worse. The higher the frequency and shorter the waves the more dangerous and increased penetration to matter.

    http://ts2.mm.bing.net/th?id=H.4852498245355681&pid=15.1

    The greater the penetration the more energy is able to warm matter when it comes in contact with it. The wavelengths penetration are orders difference between different bands.

    With LWR it wont penetrate the surface of a bucket of water in the shade outside, so doesn’t warm it. Place a bucket of water in the sun and the much shorter wavelengths penetrate the water and warm it significantly during the same day.

  45. My first light on the 13-year CERES dataset shows that the net TOA average is +0.85 W m-2. In the 10-year average, it was +1.04 … but they claimed it was +0.58.

    More to come. I’ve taken advantage of the opportunity to rewrite my code, so it is now trending towards legible, portable, and turnkey.

    w.

  46. Toto on January 2, 2014 at 11:43 am

    I love this series and always look forward to the next episode.

    If I may express the theme in warmist language, Gaia is warm-blooded, not cold-blooded.

    Indeed, although the technical biological terms are euthermic and poikilothermic respectively. Euthermic implies that the climate is self-regulating. I agree that this is the most rational and parsimonious explanation of the dim sun conundrum and climate (Lyapunov) stability over deep time.

  47. - jmorpuss says:
    January 2, 2014 at 1:52 pm

    Hi Willis Do you see the oceans as a thick dense atmosphere ? …-

    There is not much difference between ocean of air and ocean of water- to a photon.
    It’s good question.
    How about your atmosphere as ocean of water, in form of water droplets- clouds and droplets not in clouds.
    Also another aspect of oceans are they are reflection. Yes both atmosphere and ocean are reflective, but ocean has surface which reflects. It’s mirror like at a low angle. Atmosphere is sort of mirror like at low angle, but water has surface which is mirror like.
    Now interesting aspect is that mirror or reflective material have very low emissivity. Reflective material has also low absorption- emissivity is inversely related to it’s absorption.
    So in terms of radiating energy, a water surface due to it’s reflectivity at low angle, does not emit much at low angle.
    So sunlight doesn’t warm water much at a low angle- for number of number of reasons: sunlight smeared over larger area [lower solar flux per square meter], the sunlight must go thru more atmosphere [so it’s more diffused], and finally because water reflects the sunlight.
    But also water doesn’t radiate energy at such low angle and this not one direction [as sunlight reaching it] but is 360 and all the time.

    -And do you see the energy you talk about stored in the ocean is electric potential stored and carried around by the conductivity of salt water. –
    Have not heard about this aspect.

    -The electric potential of the ocean is released by point charge seen as evaporation , Energy takes the path of least resistance so under a high pressure system (fair weather electric field low electric potential ) a pathway of low resistance opens up between ocean and atmosphere and the ocean releases electron energy to the atmosphere.-

    It’s interesting point. I don’t know of any study of this possible effect..

  48. Willis,
    I have a question regarding the shape of the “wave forms” on your panel 2 graph. Why does one appear to be inverted compared to the other? is it actually ?… or is the timing of the quarter different? I understand possible differences in magnitude but not a difference in shape.
    Thanks.

  49. Gerald Kelleher says:
    January 2, 2014 at 12:36 pm

    “Remarkably,that graphic is fairly accurate as the ecliptic axis would be located in the region of Alaska/Canada on the Arctic circle insofar as the point on the surface of the Earth that is the North pole actually does turn in a circle to the central Sun hence 6 months of daylight followed by 6 months of darkness. I am forced to consider that surface point as traveling in a circle therefore I have to consider where the center of that circle is located geographically so if people have an alternative means to explain the polar day/night cycle then be my guest but they should arrive in the same conceptual place I am at.”

    Surly you are kidding! That, or your a Troll. Perhaps, you just don’t understand the very basics of celestial mechanics? A travelling surface point of rotation???… where its located???
    Try a line through the center of mass and rotation. The rest of humanity calls it the “north pole and south pole”
    Pole … like a stick. Buy yourself a globe.
    “forced to consider”? “Arrive at the same conceptual place”?

    The seasons are perfectly understood and perfectly explained …your just making this stuff up.

  50. Kirk c says:
    January 3, 2014 at 7:45 am
    Willis,
    I have a question regarding the shape of the “wave forms” on your panel 2 graph. Why does one appear to be inverted compared to the other? is it actually ?… or is the timing of the quarter different? I understand possible differences in magnitude but not a difference in shape.
    Thanks.

    Ok. so I think I answered my own question by further pondering… These are sine waves and have been reduced and sampled near the nyquist limit with only 4 points. With only a small change in starting point (phase delay) they will look opposite.

    Next question. What is the amplitude of the Sine so that areas under the curve can be exactly calculated? Is the average of the average sufficient to calculate the OHC or is it overestimated by 2x as a result. More pondering to follow..

  51. Kirk c

    You probably notice that as the Earth travels around the Sun that the sea ice at the North pole grows and diminishes in response to the orbital motion and position of our planet so the cause of sea ice growth is certainly attributable to the polar latitudes turning away from the solar radiation and into the orbital shadow of the planet as its disappearance when those latitudes turn back into solar radiation 6 months later.

    The Earth is 93 million miles from the Sun whereas Uranus is 1800 million miles so that when we look out at Uranus we may as well be looking at it from the central Sun so distant is that planet. What we see is a planet that appears to have the very motion described as axial precession as it completes its 8 decade orbit of the Sun –

    The Earth would be seen to have the exact same motion if it were seen from the Sun but unfortunately that turning of the polar coordinates to the central Sun is presently taken up by the notion axial precession –

    https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikiped…precession.svg

    Unless researchers actually introduce the surface rotation arising from orbital motion where the North/South poles act as a beacon for that second rotation then cause and effect between sea ice growth and planetary dynamics is not going to happen along with all the other seasonal differences due to the specific characteristics of both daily and orbital motion as they exist separately or in combination.

    It takes a higher intelligence a more precise interpretation and more sophisticated reasoning to look at the seasons and the dynamics behind it and would deserve a separate thread on its own in which I would Not participate in.

  52. Gerald Kelleher says:
    January 2, 2014 at 1:52 pm

    Willis

    Please don’t try to compete,if you knew how to use external references to even out the variations in the natural noon cycle to a 24 hour average and then convert the average into constant rotation at a rate of 15 degrees per hour we could talk as navigators,astronomers,climatologists or many other disciplines that intersect at this juncture .The planetary dynamics behind the variations in the natural noon cycles is the same as the cause for temperature fluctuations between latitudes otherwise known as the seasons and involves two surface rotations to the central Sun.

    SO WHAT!

    Please, Gerald. I have asked you, over and over, to point out how your cockamamie claims would make even the slightest difference to my analysis above.

    Instead of answering, you simply state (without sources or citations) that I don’t know what I’m talking about … which proves that your claims mean nothing to me. Oh, you also say, “we could talk as navigators” … really? Funny, you never mentioned you were a navigator … where have you navigated to or from, other than perhaps the liquor store before posting?

    You, sir, are what I call a “SIF”, a “single issue fanatic”. You have some idee fixee, and you think that you, and very few others, are qualified to lecture the rest of us on astronomical reality.

    And despite the fact (as you have demonstrated by refusing to answer my oft-repeated question) that your unpleasantly presented ideas HAVE NOTHING TO DO WITH ME OR MY WORK, here you still are, acting like a jerkwagon, and insisting that you have the inside track on the world of science … riiiight. Since your ideas have my anaylsis

    The funny part is, despite claiming that you’re so knowledgeable, you write like a six year old. You put spaces in front of periods, and don’t put them after commas. And impenetrable statements like “The planetary dynamics behind the variations in the natural noon cycles is the same as the cause for temperature fluctuations between latitudes …” don’t help your cause in the slightest. Not one person in a hundred would even know what you mean by “natural noon cycles” …

    So, I just wanted to tell you that people are starting to point and laugh. I showed some of your loonier claims to a friend, he cracked up, he thought your nonsense was hilarious. I don’t imagine that’s the kind of reception you are looking for … but I can assure you, as long as you are trying to peddle your nonsense here, that’s what you’ll get, people laughing at your posts. Your most recent one is funnier than Seinfeld.

    So I’d recommend you move on, Gerald. You can’t impress us with your bluster. You can’t convince us by leaving out the spaces after the commas. You can’t wear us down by repeating the same BS over and over. We’re just going to continue to laugh at your asinine claims until you take them to someone who cares.

    Don’t get me wrong, though. Likely, there is someone out there who does care about your bafflegab. Someone out there may actually be able to read one of your comment from end to end without being overcome by laughter … so I suggest you get right on finding that person, and you go comment on their blog, where they might actually be fooled by your claims of authority. Plus, people won’t be howling with laughter whenever you post more of your erudite nonsense … you’re so stuffed with newspeak that you can’t even say “where the sun is directly overhead”, instead you call it the intersection of the line of the ecliptic and the perpendicular to the circle of illumination.

    And you think we should take you seriously? Not gonna happen here, not in a thousand years.

    So that’s my request. Don’t go away mad … just go away. You are neither wanted nor needed here.

    w.

  53. Gerald Kelleher says:
    January 3, 2014 at 11:01 am

    Kirk c

    You probably notice that as the Earth travels around the Sun that the sea ice at the North pole grows and diminishes in response to the orbital motion and position of our planet so the cause of sea ice growth is certainly attributable to the polar latitudes turning away from the solar radiation and into the orbital shadow of the planet as its disappearance when those latitudes turn back into solar radiation 6 months later.

    Gosh, you mean that the ice grows when the poles are in darkness, and melts when the the poles are in sunshine? Who knew?

    Thanks for notifying us of that startling fact, Gerald, we’d be lost without your wise guidance on matters astronomical … keep up the good work, your ramblings on the celestial orbits are better than Comedy Central any day of the week.

    w.

  54. You claims my dear Willis extend to being an expert on the Earth’s motions so you should have no difficulty explaining the cause of the polar day/night cycle (6 months daylight/6 months darkness) and especially at the North polar latitude where sea ice forms in response to the Earth’s motion and position in space.

    The maximum energy input into Earth is defined by the full face of the Earth exposed to solar radiation and that is defined along the ecliptic Equator and not the rotational Equator.The North/South rotational poles act like a beacon for the fact that aside from and in addition to daily rotation,all locations on the surface of the planet turn once to the central Sun as a component of the orbital behavior of the planet.

    The numbskulls in the late 17th century decided to dump daily and orbital motions into a common axis that you would encounter as RA/Dec so they could model planetary motions using timekeeping averages. Without the two separate surface rotations to the central Sun you will never,ever be capable of explaining sea ice formation at the poles at a fundamental and dynamical level.

    Don’t bother trying to compete – there is a common pool of visual information and graphics that clearly demonstrate that axial precession as presently understood is blocking appreciation of the orbital behavior of the planet and the second surface rotation to the central Sun implied by those set of images –

    https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/4/43/Earth_precession.svg

  55. Willis,you wrote –

    “And impenetrable statements like “The planetary dynamics behind the variations in the natural noon cycles is the same as the cause for temperature fluctuations between latitudes …” don’t help your cause in the slightest. Not one person in a hundred would even know what you mean by “natural noon cycles” …”

    Variations in the natural noon cycles as opposed to the steady progression of 24 hour cycles which are also fixed by the position of the Sun at noon –

    ” Here take notice, that the Sun or the Earth passeth the 12. Signes, or makes an entire revolution in the Ecliptick in 365 days, 5 hours 49 min. or there about, and that those days, reckon’d from noon to noon,are of different lenghts; as is known to all that are vers’d in
    Astronomy” Huygens

    http://adcs.home.xs4all.nl/Huygens/06/kort-E.html

    I suppose only one in a million would be able to work through the details as to what causes the noon cycles to vary on a global scale but you can be certain it is tied to the fact that every location turns once to the Sun each 24 hours and this surface rotation is constant while the surface rotation due to orbital motion varies hence both combine to cause the observe variation.

    As there are 1461 noon cycles in the space of 4 orbital circuits of the Earth,it took John Harrison to take account of the noon cycle of Feb 29th so a modification of Huygen’s excellent work is necessary.

    Look,no point being upset and I don’t have that vindictive streak common to academics when the stakes are so low although the wider world assumes there is a fierce debate going on instead of the assertion warfare that actually exists. So you get your wish.

  56. As for latitudinal temperature fluctuations that is straightforward enough –

    The reason those temperatures move (fluctuate) North and South in latitude requires two surface rotations to the central Sun to explain but as you see,through poor descriptions and proofreading on my part,the explanation hasn’t sunk in.

    The Earth tilting towards and away from the Sun may be good enough for a different era but not this one where modelers are running amok. Grateful to the moderators here who could have easily suffocated discussion but didn’t and they deserve credit,otherwise carry on.

  57. Mr. Eschenbach,

    Please excuse this tangent from your good work here, and feel free to respond off line if you care to, but I’m curious to know if you or others have written recently on the topic of the sincerity of climate alarmists.

    I find you at your most compelling on the topic of elitism, the yearning of mainstream climate scientists to see the rest of us give up our varied enjoyment of energy in our pursuit of survival and happiness, and so I am interested in your thoughts about a related issue.

    It occurs to me of late that over and above the entertainment value of the hypocrisy of men like Al Gore jetting off to save the world from jet fumes may lie a more serious question. We are all of us hypocrites, after all — it’s the human condition — but why is it, really, that if global warming is going to return with a vengeance, and soon, that nobody does anything about it? I don’t because I don’t trust the models-science even a little, but I recognize that’s the minority view. If I were part of the so-called 97%, though, or one of the hordes of right-thinking people who truly and sincerely want to rescue our grandchildren, I would feel compelled to stop wasting time convincing others to our point of view or installing symbolic wind turbines. I would recognize with frustration the intransigence of short-term thinkers, remind myself of the bigger picture and move off the grid as fast as I could along with the hundreds of millions of people who agree we are in the process of killing our future.

    Surely, getting hundreds of millions of people out of the CO2-emission business right now, rather than wasting time nibbling at energy edges at ineffective conferences, would have a more immediate impact on the race to avoid reaching that all-important tipping point beyond which all that remains to do is watch the land sink into the ocean. To me, that there appears to be not one proposal for such an en masse energy freeze by people who profess with such vehemence to know it’s past time for action tells me all I need to know about what they actually believe, that they are not in the least bit sincere about the alarm they want us denialists to feel. What would be wrong, after all, with returning to the simple life in a minimalist society — I’m sure some right-thinking states and/or countries would volunteer their territories for the cause — if the stakes were indeed so very, very high.

    What are the holes, do you believe, in this argument? Are we or are we not about to cause a climate catastrophe, and if I’m tempted to believe in the certainty that it’s the former, why should should I listen to anyone who has yet to move his or her laptop to the wind farm? I have great appreciation for the science being done in this realm — who doesn’t want to be able to predict the future more accurately? — but after reading about all this stuff for two decades now, I find Mencken’s warnings far more compelling than anything coming out of the CAGW camp.

  58. Wilis – Re: why is there an annual OHC cycle..I think:

    1. The ocean is weighted to the South. So there is more incident TSI in the southern summer.
    2. Perihelion is in very early January, reinforcing this effect.

    As we know, average insolation is 0.25 TSI by area, (pi*r^2)/(4*pi*r^2). Because of eccentricity, the annual range is 0.242 to 0.259 for the earth as a whole. For ocean weighted (ignoring sea ice), the numbers are 0.225 to 0.282. Sorry, no reference, these are my (earlier, lengthy) calculations based on orbital params and a download of ocean percent by latitude.

    If I read your charts right, OHC is rising fastest in December, consistent with this hypothesis.

    Cheers,

    R.

  59. Thank you Willis,
    I have been following your take on our unplumbed heat activated air conditioning system called Earth. Your explanation of the self regulating heat input at the tropics and the self regulating heat output at the poles seems self evident.
    My take on the fine adjustment of our planet occurs in the temperate zones where small percentage changes in cloud cover and wind either add or subtract to the heat heading poleward.
    I would like very much for your take on our temperate zones. Regards.

  60. Gerald Kelleher says:
    January 3, 2014 at 12:26 pm

    … The maximum energy input into Earth is defined by the full face of the Earth exposed to solar radiation and that is defined along the ecliptic Equator and not the rotational Equator.The North/South rotational poles act like a beacon for the fact that aside from and in addition to daily rotation,all locations on the surface of the planet turn once to the central Sun as a component of the orbital behavior of the planet.

    The numbskulls in the late 17th century decided to dump daily and orbital motions into a common axis that you would encounter as RA/Dec so they could model planetary motions using timekeeping averages. Without the two separate surface rotations to the central Sun you will never,ever be capable of explaining sea ice formation at the poles at a fundamental and dynamical level.

    Don’t bother trying to compete – there is a common pool of visual information and graphics that clearly demonstrate that axial precession as presently understood is blocking appreciation of the orbital behavior of the planet and the second surface rotation to the central Sun implied by those set of images -

    Gerald, you still haven’t found the blanquillos necessary to answer my question. Instead, you continue with your bafflegab, like “The North/South rotational poles act like a beacon for the fact that … blah, blah, blah …” and “the second surface rotation”.

    The poles “act like a beacon” for a fact? They act like a fact beacon? And what is the “second surface” when it is at home, and how does it rotate differently than the “first surface”, whatever that might be?

    And you think we have odd theories about the earth’s rotation?

    When are you going to stop wanking and answer my question, Gerald? Here it is again, to save you the trouble of looking it up:

    WHAT DIFFERENCE DO ANY OF YOUR CLAIMS MAKE TO MY ANALYSIS ABOVE?

    Apparently, given that you are running away from the question faster than a cockroach running from the kitchen light at midnight, the answer is, your cockamamie theories make no difference at all to what I wrote. If they did, you’d have pointed it out long ago.

    That being the case, how about you pick up your suitcase full of bafflegab and head for the door. Note that your suitcase has two poles, and the poles act like a beacon for the fact that from and in addition to daily rotation nonsense, all locations on the surface of your brain turn once to the line of the ecliptic and the center of the circle of illumination, not forgetting its effect on the RA/Dec …

    So please, compress your rotational poles and insert them up your fundamental orifice, and take them far away. You have not established that they make even the slightest difference to the topic of this post.

    w.

    PS—I see no evidence in what you wrote that the results of your calculations are any different than the results of those of us using the old out-moded ideas that you so disparage. My understanding of celestial motions was good enough to let me celestially navigate across the Pacific without getting lost … so where is the advantage in your method? What does it improve? What does it help us understand?

    By that I mean, what can you explain that nobody else can explain, and what does that have to to do with my analysis above?

    Because as we used to say back on the ranch where I grew up, so far as a cowboy you’re all hat and no cattle …

  61. Willis

    Whatever the fuss over climate,it is a basic human right to teach children that the Earth turns every 24 hours and keeps in step with those 1461 days it takes to complete 4 orbital circuits of the Earth. The definitive astronomical event which defines the Earth’s orbital position in space was and remains the appearance of the great star Sirius just far enough to one side of the Sun to be identified one morning due to the fact that the apparent motion of Sirius is due to the orbital motion of the Earth and minus stellar circumpolar motion –

    http://danmary.org/tiki/show_image.php?id=30

    The fools in the late 17th century did something drastic by putting Sirius in stellar circumpolar motion and destroyed the ancient reference which fixes the Earth’s orbital position in space,the number of rotations to complete an orbital circuit and the averaging process which converts the average 24 hour AM/PM cycle into constant rotation via the ‘Lat/Long’ system.

    Here is how it effects everyone here – when a time comes when a society cannot accept that all the effects within a 24 hour cycle,including the massive temperature fluctuations within that period is due to the rotation of the planet then we do not like in a dysfunctional society but a dystopian one.

    You want to consider yourself an expert on the Earth’s motions indeed ! but I assure you there isn’t a single rational person around when the mainstream policy is the following one –

    ” It is a fact not generally known that,owing to the difference between solar and sidereal time,the Earth rotates upon its axis once more often than there are days in the year” NASA /Harvard

    http://adsabs.harvard.edu/full/1904PA…..12..649B

    That mainstream statement is an obvious breach of human rights and none of you can see it. I would not give this website credibility as the reception for non aggressive facts demonstrated visually is no better or worse than those unfortunate people who propose human control over planetary temperatures.

  62. Willis

    ” It is a fact not generally known that,owing to the difference between solar and sidereal time,the Earth rotates upon its axis once more often than there are days in the year” NASA /Harvard

    What do you think of these unfortunate people who believe the Earth doesn’t turn once in 24 hours thereby losing cause and effect between daily rotation and why the temperatures goes up and down daily ?.

    That’s right you are an expert on planetary motions and its effects on surface temperatures so you should have no problem explaining how the purported 1465 rotations in 1461 twenty four hour days meshes with experience of daily temperature fluctuations.

    If our era could look any more stupid,ridiculous and vacuous I wouldn’t know how but I assure you,if any of you had followed the proper principles which connects dynamics to terrestrial effects this world and its inhabitants would not be mired in overheated, mindnumbing garbage of modelers on both sides of this assertional warfare.

  63. A few key physical considerations should clarify the significant differences in OHC estimates that Willis highlights here as “satellites vs oceanographers.”

    CERES data, which is truly global, but has large uncertainty bands, cannot be relied upon for fully trustworthy estimation of OHC variations. Aside from what LWIR radiation passes through the atmosphere in certain well-known spectral windows, it shows largely ATMOSPHERIC emissions. The Levitus data, on the other hand, constitutes “ground truth”–but only where such data coverage is adequate. Assuming that the manifest import-export difference of CERES data constitutes oceanic heat storage is risky, at best.

    The physical mechanism for poleward heat transport is provided by the geostrophic winds and wind-driven currents. The resulting hemispheric anti-cyclonic gyres are scarcely a “heat-engine” in the ordinary sense of the phrase or even a thermohaline circulation. And at any depth the oceans are heated by almost exclusively by insolation, which invariably reaches well above 1000W/m^2 at the tropics in daytime. Night-and-day backradiation, on the other hand, is absorbed entirely by the surface skin of the oceans and figures strongly only in the enthalpy of evaporation

  64. Very interesting post and good to see the comparison.
    I understand the objections that CERES data has large uncertainty bands (and I still consider it is a pity it is adjusted to fit the Levitus data) – however I think the 2001 swing is a good catch. If I correctly remember I also saw Bob Tisdale questioning the veracity of that swing.

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