Pielke Sr: No Climate Heating In “The Pipeline”

From Roger Pielke Sr’s Climate Science Website

Is There Climate Heating In “The Pipeline”?

https://i2.wp.com/farm4.static.flickr.com/3274/2731999770_f91f4815ba.jpg?w=700

A new paper has appeared (thanks to Timo Hämeranta for alerting us to it!)

Urban, Nathan M., and Klaus Keller, 2009. Complementary observational constraints on climate sensitivity. Geophys. Res. Lett., 36, L04708, doi:10.1029/2008GL036457, February 25, 2009. in press,

which provides further discussion of this question.

The abstract of this paper reads

“A persistent feature of empirical climate sensitivity estimates is their heavy tailed probability distribution indicating a sizeable probability of high sensitivities. Previous studies make general claims that this upper heavy tail is an unavoidable feature of (i) the Earth system, or of (ii) limitations in our observational capabilities. Here we show that reducing the uncertainty about (i) oceanic heat uptake and (ii) aerosol climate forcing can — in principle — cut off this heavy upper tail of climate sensitivity estimates. Observations of oceanic heat uptake result in a negatively correlated joint likelihood function of climate sensitivity and ocean vertical diffusivity. This correlation is opposite to the positive correlation resulting from observations of surface air temperatures. As a result, the two observational constraints can rule out complementary regions in the climate sensitivity-vertical diffusivity space, and cut off the heavy upper tail of the marginal climate sensitivity estimate”.

A key statement in the text of their paper reads

“Surface temperature observations permit high climate sensitivities if there is substantial unrealized “warming in the pipeline” from the oceans. However, complementary ocean heat observations can be used to test this and can potentially rule out large ocean warming. Ocean heat observations are compatible with high sensitivities if there is substantial surface warming which is penetrating poorly into the oceans. Again, complementary surface temperature observations can test this, and can potentially rule out large surface warming.”

By “unrealized warming in the pipeline”, they mean heat that is being stored within the ocean, which can subsequently be released into the ocean atmosphere. It is erroneous to consider this heat as ”unrealized warming”, if the Joules of heat are actually being stored in the ocean. The heat is “realized”; it would just not be entering the atmosphere yet.

As discussed in the Physics Today paper

Pielke Sr., R.A., 2008: A broader view of the role of humans in the climate system. Physics Today, 61, Vol. 11, 54-55,

there has been no heating of the upper ocean since mid-2003. Moreover, there has been no heating within the  troposphere (e.g. see Figure 7 of the RSS MSU data).

Thus, there is no “warming in the pipeline” using the author’s terminology, nor any heating within the atmosphere! Perhaps the heating that was observed prior to 2003 will begin again, however, it is scientifically incorrect to report that there is any heat that has not yet been realized within the climate system.

The answer to the question posted in this weblog “Is There Climate Heating In “The Pipeline”? is NO.

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200 thoughts on “Pielke Sr: No Climate Heating In “The Pipeline”

  1. Does anyone have data on seawater temperature on the ocean floor? That would, I think give the best overall indication of general climate change over time and there are no Urban Heat Island or poor siting issues involved. An array of temperature sensors that measure the temperature of the ocean at 2 miles and deeper depth would, I think, provide better data. It would be quite stable over time and trends should pop right out of the data.

  2. This seems to be broadly in line with Nir Shaviv’s paper
    Citation: Shaviv, N. J. (2008), Using the oceans as a calorimeter to quantify the solar radiative forcing, J. Geophys. Res., 113,
    A11101, doi:10.1029/2007JA012989
    “any attempt to explain historic temperature
    variations should consider that the solar forcing variations
    are almost an order of magnitude larger that just the TSI
    variations now used almost exclusively. It would imply that
    the climate sensitivity required to explain historic temperature
    variations is smaller than often concluded.”

  3. But there is a lot of political rhetoric and hyperbole masquerading as science, in the pipeline.

  4. Will it be long before the Hockey Team works its statistical magic and discovers that the oceans are actually warming dramatically?

  5. Anybody knows what just happened to CA? Down again in the middle of a very interesting debate…

  6. Crosspatch
    Deep ocean temperature history,
    Nobody seems to know, but below the thermocline the temperature is somewhere between 2 and 4 degrees even in the tropics, the deep ocean constitutes 90 % of the ocean”s water. Water has maximum density at 4 degrees so at the poles sinks, supposedly driving the ocean currents. The ocean is a cold sink not a heat sink. when the sun heats the surface water it stays on the surface till it cools down ?
    How much energy would be needed to raise the deep ocean temperature even .1 of a degree .
    70% of earth surface average depth 3,300 meters total volume 1.359 billion cubic meters a hell of a lot of energy, but how do you get to heat the deep ocean ?

  7. crosspatch (00:08:43) :
    A good proxy of sea water temperature is mean sea level, higher sea temperatures will result in thermal expansion. Of course there are other factors especially melting glaciers and land ice sheets. These are also of course indicators of increasing temperatures. Check out the updated sea level graphs below
    http://sealevel.colorado.edu/
    I have used the home page link so you can play with the adjustments your self, but whichever way you play it the sea level is rising, therefore sea temperatures are rising and/or glaciers and land ice sheets are melting.

  8. Mary
    That is the worst piece of deduction I’ve seen in a long time.
    Influences on sea level (depending on how and where it is measured) include:
    Land movement, atmospheric pressure, temperature (local and long term), sea bottom profile.
    If I read you correctly, sorry if I didn’t, you are saying :
    sea level rise = temp rise ergo global temp rise ergo heat in the pipeline !!

  9. Mary Hinge and Crosspatch
    A plot of the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation (a well documented internal mode of variability in the Atlantic Ocean, thought to be related to changes in the Thermohaline circulation and strongly correlated to such things as Hurricane Activity in the Atlantic Basin) since the late 1800’s (ocean surface temperatures recorded by ships, bouys and more recently Satellite) shown here…
    http://digitaldiatribes.files.wordpress.com/2008/12/amoraw200811.jpg
    …shows that the Satellite recorded rise in sea-level (and ocean surface temperature) since 1994 is entirelly consistent with this natural mode of climate variability
    For background on the AMO – the paper by Enfield is a good summary http://www.aoml.noaa.gov/phod/docs/enfield/enfield_etal2001.pdf

  10. @Mary Hinge (02:07:31)
    That graph can be *interpreted* as showing (virtually) no sea-level rise since 2005 or 2005. You need to ignore the straight black line that they misleadingly draw though the last few years.
    Of course, there is so much noise in the data, that the sea rise could still be there, so we will only really know after waiting a few more years. But it does seem strange that this co-indices with flat air temperatures (for a decade), and flat sea temperatures (since 2003)…

  11. A good proxy of sea water temperature is mean sea level, higher sea temperatures will result in thermal expansion.
    If sea levels decline for 2 or 3 years, does that mean that the whole global warming scare has been falsified? Or will the alarmists come up with some reason why such a decline is “consistent with” their hypothesis?

  12. I have a question on ocean temperature.
    I know that on the land the deeper one digs the higher the temperature ( magma effect)
    http://www.bullion.org.za/Education/Gold.htm
    (to chilled water used to cool down air in the mine’s depths where rock temperatures can be as high as 45’C);
    …..
    Virgin rock temperatures higher than 52°C have been recorded in South African gold mines
    …..
    On average, gold in South African mines, is found in only 5.1 parts per million from rock extracted at depths of up to 3.5 kilometres below surface
    Now the ocean bottoms are about 4 km down from the surface, so , my question is:
    is all that heat taken into account when modeling/calculating oceans?
    In my simple physicist mind the heat source (magma) must be approximately spherically distributed, thus the rock at the bottom of the ocean should have the above temperature 45 to 50 Cm maybe even more. That is a lot of heat, much more than the atmosphere heating the water on top ( it is seldom 45C). And hot water rises.
    Just curious if anybody knows.

  13. @Mary Hinge
    You write: “A good proxy of sea water temperature is mean sea level, higher sea temperatures will result in thermal expansion”
    The best measurement for ocean temperature is… ocean temperature, just as referred to in the article.
    Im not saying that sea levels are 100% useless in this context, but its a bit more complex:
    1) As you say there are meltings of ice.
    2) Measurement precision and measurement methods and adjustings.
    3) The fact – as Lindsay indicates above that water has highes density at 4 degrees C. This last fact is much more important than one might think because a HUGE fraction of the oceans water has temperatures below 4 degrees:
    http://cimss.ssec.wisc.edu/sage/oceanography/lesson4/images/sm_temperature_depth.jpg
    For this volumen, any heating will have the opposite effect: A shrinking volume.
    And the volume of ocean water around 4 degrees will hardly be affected by a little heat change.
    Therefore the sea-level proxy is way too complex for temperature use.
    But yes, if we there was no ocean temperature measurements, one might use it somehow.
    @all…
    Another thing: Why do we still not have 100% free access to the ARGO data???
    Is there a very good explanation howcome we after 6 years still are not allowed to see these data?? Should not this be changed?

  14. It would be helpful to reclassify elements back to their historical names so that we can observe clearly what is happening and not create a situation that is similar to ‘leading the witness’. The term ‘global warming gas’ is not helpful as certain gases are picked out as having the ability to warm, even though all gases can be warmed. The term ‘global warming gas’ has the potential to block understanding of the world around us. In particular water vapour is classified as a ‘Global Warming Gas’ which is a loaded term, when it should just be called Water Vapour. Water vapour has certain properties, and those include the ability to cool as well as heat. If this is not the case then the nearly 800 million road vehicles that use water cooled engines must be doing something wrong.
    My next gripe is albido. The oceans are considered dark and therefore heat absorbing. The oceans look dark but are not dark in the same way as black paint. They reflect a lot of light, perhaps most of it, because very little light gets very far. It does not take long to get to pitch black when descending in the ocean. Compare that to the atmosphere where light will make it through to the surface even with the thickest clouds. I can also attest to the reflective qualities of the Oceans having observed the calluses on two individual’s eyes who have spent several months each year sailing in the Bahamas over the last 30 years. Look at it another way. Imagine shining a light directly into a cave and it continued to look dark. Would that be odd?
    I am not a sceptic of the fact we may be changing the environment. I am a sceptic of the single idea that CO2 is driving up temperatures and nothing else matters. As long as we deal with CO2 we can carry on clearing all the forests (given the same albido as towns), carry on overfishing, etc etc.
    I overheard one sentence on the radio to do with eco friendly fridges “…CO2 is a natural refrigerant”
    And ‘Swampy’ said; ”I don’t care about the numbers it’s the symbolism”.

  15. And another thing. I don’t understand how we would be a lot colder without CO2. The min/max temp records are -50/+50. Meanwhile up on the ISS they have to deal with -150/+120. We obviously live on a fantastic air conditioned planet.

  16. There seems to be some confusion in the top article on this subject. Inspection of the Urban and Keller (U-K) paper indicates that the conclusions drawn in the top post are incorrect.
    ONE: U-K are addressing something quite specific, namely the long tail at the eigh end in possible climate sensitivities when analyses are constrained by observational evidence. Thus while a whole load of analyses support a “short tem” (decades-centuries) climate sensitivity near 3 oC of warming per doubling of atmospheric CO2, it’s difficult categorically to rule out significant likelihoods of values that are quite high (e.g. greater than 5-6 oC) based on observational evidence, largely due to uncertainties in the aerosolic contributions and especially the timescale(s) of the ocean response.
    What S-K indicate is that in the so-far notional situation that we ignore the aerosolic uncertainties and consider a “pure” system of Earth surface temperature and ocean heat content, reliably known, that a combination of the two analyses can reduce uncertainty in the tail at the high end of climate sensitivities.
    S-K don’t address the climate sensitivity in terms of assessing likely values and in fact use the evidence-based data (likely climate sensitivity near 3 oC) to model their analysis.
    TWO- Nothing in S-K (or Pielke’s) analysis indicates that there isn’t warming “in the pipeline”. That’s an essential fact of life in a world that is warming via a increase in external forcing (solar/greenhouse). The question is how much warming is “in the pipeline”. S-K indicate that this can be narrowed down according to their model. But they certainly don’t show, state, infer or imply that there isn’t warming “in the pipeline”.
    THREE-It’s worth pointing out that “warming in the pipeline” isn’t a result of heat stored in the oceans per se, although the storage of heat in the ocean is an integral part of the inertia with respect to the Earth’s surface temperature change under enhanced forcing. The “warming in the pipeline” is more easily understood in relation to the ability of the oceans to cool the Earth’s surface (or to resist surface warming), until such a time that the oceans themselves come towards equilibrium with the enhanced forcing.
    So Pielke’s notion of heat stored in the ocean and “subsequently released into the atmosphere” isn’t a very helpful one….The essential question is the rate at which the oceans come towards equilibrium with forcings. If it’s fast, the climate senstivity is low…if slow the climate sensitivity is high. That’s the question that U-K are addressing with their modeling…

  17. Mary Hinge (02:07:31) :
    crosspatch (00:08:43) :
    A good proxy of sea water temperature is mean sea level, higher sea temperatures will result in thermal expansion. Of course there are other factors especially melting glaciers and land ice sheets. These are also of course indicators of increasing temperatures. Check out the updated sea level graphs below
    http://sealevel.colorado.edu/
    I have used the home page link so you can play with the adjustments your self, but whichever way you play it the sea level is rising, therefore sea temperatures are rising and/or glaciers and land ice sheets are melting.
    Mary Hinge,
    New posting, same conclusions.
    Melting glaciers, melting and land ice sheets, rising temperatures!
    Have a look at this Dutch Study which presents “real historic data” and know that since 2005 until today no accelerated rise in sea level has occurred.
    http://www.climateaudit.org/?p=61
    This is the stuff which is put under the carpet because it’s to “inconvenient” for certain religious agenda’s.

  18. anna v (03:43:52) It seems logical to me that there would be an effect from the earth’s internal heat. From the numbers in my CRC handbook, it only works out to .082 W/m2, not much compared to the sun.

  19. anna v (03:43:52) :

    In my simple physicist mind the heat source (magma) must be approximately spherically distributed, thus the rock at the bottom of the ocean should have the above temperature 45 to 50 Cm maybe even more. That is a lot of heat, much more than the atmosphere heating the water on top ( it is seldom 45C). And hot water rises.
    Just curious if anybody knows.

    Anna, read about Picard and his bathyscaph “Trieste” or google for them
    or other deep see projects. It’s damn freaking cold down there, with the exception of a subsurface volcano here or there

  20. anna v (03:43:52)
    I was able to visit Vaal Reefs many years ago and experienced that heat.
    I think it is the rock density of the land being much less than the basalt under the sea that prevents the seas heating from the bottom up. I think there is more deep water heating from the mid-ocean ridges. Question is, how much?
    Please add my question to anna’s.

  21. Re: anna v (03:43:52) :
    An average geothermal gradient for the Earths Crust is about 25 degrees C per Km of depth, however it varies strongly depending on the type of Crust.
    For example, the crust under the Oceans is very different to that under the Continents. Typical Continental crust is about 200 km thick, relatively low in density and relatively low in thermal conductivity whereas Oceanic crust can be as thin as 100 km thick, much denser and higher in thermal conductivity. The total heat loss from the Mantle through the Earths crust is though to be about 42×10^12 W, of which 70% is through the deep oceanic crust (see http://www.agu.org/pubs/crossref/1980/RG018i001p00269.shtml)
    In the oceans, you then have the additional factor of hydrothermal vents which occur along the mid-ocean ridges. These are the locations where new oceanic crust is being formed – the crust is very thin here (on the order of a few Kms) and therefore the 600C+ Mantle is much closer to the ocean/crust boundary. Water temperatures around these hydrothermal vents has often been recorded in the 300 to 400C range. These mid-ocean ridges are a semi-permanent feature through geological time and probably account for about 90% of the heat loss through the Oceanic crust.
    With all of this in mind – there is almost certainly a Mantle heat loss component in the temperature of the worlds oceans. How does that vary with time (e.g. tidal influences and chaotic dynamics within the Earths Mantle and Core)? We don’t know. That science is still in its infancy.

  22. Steve Keohane (05:03:20) :
    anna v (03:43:52) It seems logical to me that there would be an effect from the earth’s internal heat. From the numbers in my CRC handbook, it only works out to .082 W/m2, not much compared to the sun.
    I am sorry, I am not familiar with a CRC handbook. Could you be a bit more clear? Is that for the ocean bottom at 50C? sounds too small to me. I would spend more watts to bring my kitchen hot plate to such a temperature. Maybe I should experiment with the microwave.

  23. ARGO data is available free – just need to register and requested data is extracted to FTP site you can access. Hope you can decode the data ’cause I cannot!

  24. Anna,
    The basalt at the bottom of the Ocean is denser than the continental crust. I am not sure (have not checked, but should be easy to do) what is the thermal conductivity for it, but considering that it conducts heat from Earth’s mantle to the bottom of the Ocean (which, I assume, removes it quickly) a gradient of temperature should appear on it so that the closer to the Ocean (going up from Earth’s mantle) the lower the temperature of the rock.
    IOW, If the thermal conductivity is low enough, heath will be removed from the bottom of the Ocean and the temperature at the bottom will the same as the Ocean’s bottom, i.e., 2-4 C and not 55 C.

  25. Mary Hinge , Ron de Haan etc.
    To the comment that the ice-melting contribution just shows warming.. and thus sea levels make clear sence in global warming debate.
    Besides the problem that a large volume of te ocean is below 4 degrees and therefore behaves opposite to temperature changes, there is also the differences in geological/vulcanic activity at the see floor.
    Across the world there is millions of seafloor vulcanoes and a huge network of sub seafloor water chanel where water is heated up. Therefore, any differnce in geological activity will affect sea floor water temperatures at million spots over the globe. This is likely to affect sealevels by warming, but not warming relevant for the global warming debate. natural fluctuations that even more makes sea level use in global warming debate complex.

  26. Another convenient lie exposed.
    Lemme guess the reaction: “We’ve never said there was heat still in the pipeline…”

  27. foinavon – regarding your comments, you have misunderstood the relationship between ocean heat storage change and the radiative imbalance of the climate system; e.g. see your comment below:
    “So Pielke’s notion of heat stored in the ocean and “subsequently released into the atmosphere” isn’t a very helpful one….The essential question is the rate at which the oceans come towards equilibrium with forcings.”
    However, the relationship is the following:
    the radiative imbalance = the radiative forcings plus the radiative feedbacks.
    The radiative imbalance is diagnosed by the ocean heat content changes, since this reservoir dominates. If it is near zero averaged over a year (which it has been since mid 2003), there is an equilibrium at least until the imbalance again becomes non-zero.
    Please read my paper with respect to this issue.
    Pielke Sr., R.A., 2003: Heat storage within the Earth system. Bull. Amer. Meteor. Soc., 84, 331-335.
    http://www.climatesci.org/publications/pdf/R-247.pdf

  28. I’ve looked at a lot of station data on “Sea Levels Online” (NOAA Tides and Currents). Almost all data show a linear trend with no apparent expansion effect from “stored heat”. If anything, a majority of stations show no appreciable (relative) sea level rise in the last 30 years.

  29. Ron de Haan (04:59:48) :
    Have a look at this Dutch Study which presents “real historic data” and know that since 2005 until today no accelerated rise in sea level has occurred.

    Why pick 2005? Why pick one data set? I will repeat one of the comments, it seems very appropriate: “I’ll just add the comment that I find it strange how contrarians readily accept a plot such as the one shown here with hardly any details of the original reference, the actual data points, the analysis technique or the estimated uncertainty, while at the same time putting the “hockeystick” of Mann et al. under such heavy scrutiny!”
    Also don’t forget on a local level there will always be fluctuations in sea level due to wind, currents etc and land based measurements measure their relative heights, not much good if land is rising (for example Scotland) or falling (for example southern England).

    This is the stuff which is put under the carpet because it’s to “inconvenient” for certain religious agenda’s.

    I’d be careful about the religious connection if I were you, the sceptic community, whether on this subject or evolution or even as was the case not that long ago, plate tectonics, are firmly wedded to the religious right. The belief being that God created man to basically do what he wanted to the Earth and only God can change the Earth etc. It would be more accurate to describe the contrarians of AGW, using your particular context as a cult, that is of being very much in the minority and oblivious to accepted scientific thinking.

    Mike Bryant (05:11:05) :

    Wasn’t Denmark submerged under ice sheets and is still rising? Why don’t you discuss the original point, that is of a GLOBAL mean? Is it because it is easier to cherry pick than to discuss the big picture?

  30. Atolls provide good evidence of either a substantially rising sea or a sinking mountain. One of the argument for AGW is that islands are being inundated with a rising sea. Let’s look at the evidence. Certain kinds of corals only grow if sunlight can reach them. Remains of this same kind of coral will occur if it becomes too deep and sunlight no longer graces it’s branches. Drill into any atoll and you find 100’s and 1000’s of feet of coral fossil. Since sea level rise or fall can be easily determined by many pieces of evidence, the prevailing theory of atoll formation is that land sinks, regardless of what the sea level does. This then becomes a very good “tree ring” proxy of both sea level rise and fall and plate tectonics. The overwhelming evidence is that even taking into consideration ice ages, islands sink on their own, paying no attention what soever to sea level. I just thought I would mention this in case we get a post that says that volcanic islands are being devastated by rising sea levels. It was Darwin who first posited this theory. He wasn’t deemed correct until the 1950’s. The consensus was the other way around, that coral reefs and atolls formed around stable underwater mountain tops and that sea level changes caused coral to die or build. Good theory till the shear amount of the depth of coral fossil was discovered with drill cores.

  31. foinavon wrote: Nothing in S-K (or Pielke’s) analysis indicates that there isn’t warming “in the pipeline”.
    As I read it, Pielke’s point is that there is no ‘pipeline’ to store the heat. The joules are either in the earth’s system or they’re not.
    The main place for the heat to be is, of course, the ocean. Since the ocean’s heat content hasn’t changed over the last 5-6 years neither has the earth’s temperature.
    When at some point in the future the earth’s radiative balance changes and there is more heat coming in than going out the ocean’s temperature will begin to rise. The rate of that increase will be determined by the radiative imbalance at that time and not heat stored in a non-existent ‘pipeline.’

  32. Why are “rising” sea levels proof of “rising” temperatures? All that is proof of is that current temperatures are warm enough to melt glaciers. They don’t have to be warmer, and if they were would that affect the rate of melting considering the diminishing amount of glacial ice?

  33. You’ve got it all wrong! There is shed loads of heat in the pipeline to come. I have just heard this morning of yet another news storey saying something about drought in the Amazon rainforests that is a potential climate change disaster all over. Can’t remember the exact details as my mind went blank for the rest of it & my will to live rapidly diminished until the news was over. This was about the 4th or 5th AGW/CC storey pumped out by the Beeb either on web, on tv, or on radio in as many days. I am expecting many, many more of them over the coming weeks & months to keep the momentum going, “very likely” reaching a screaming crescendo in December curiously enough. The anti Third Runway at Heathrow brigade have just thrown green custard over Lord Mandelson (Environment Minister & it couldn’t have happened to a nicer chap – ha!) in protest. This is interesting, they’re only one more step away from physically assaulting somebody causing actual bodily harm ( & I feel for that poor person – really do) & then the world will finally see the type of people these guys realy are. Thanks to Dr Hansen they probably won’t even get to court over it.
    O/T. Gosh we had a real blinder of a snow storm. Just got back from seeing a client about a job & he was telling me he finished a meeting in Exeter on Wednesday evening at around 8pm, & didn’t get hone to Bideford until nearly midnight the snow was so bad, (a journey normally taking only about an hour or so). We had a liberal sprinkling ourselves too but much is still lying around up country. Again this wasn’t predicted by the Met Office until last the minute, but it does seem to tie into Piers Corbyn’s prediction!

  34. Mary, the rise is sea level (after adjustment for changes in the land) has two component, an increase in volume from melting glaciers and an increase in volume from heat expansion. Since the Argo system has been deployed to measure the top 3000 meters of ocean, there has been no heat expansion (the steric component).
    The Mystery of Global Warming’s Missing Heat
    http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=88520025
    Some 3,000 scientific robots that are plying the ocean have sent home a puzzling message. These diving instruments suggest that the oceans have not warmed up at all over the past four or five years. That could mean global warming has taken a breather. Or it could mean scientists aren’t quite understanding what their robots are telling them.
    This is puzzling in part because here on the surface of the Earth, the years since 2003 have been some of the hottest on record. But Josh Willis at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory says the oceans are what really matter when it comes to global warming.
    In fact, 80 percent to 90 percent of global warming involves heating up ocean waters. They hold much more heat than the atmosphere can. So Willis has been studying the ocean with a fleet of robotic instruments called the Argo system. The buoys can dive 3,000 feet down and measure ocean temperature. Since the system was fully deployed in 2003, it has recorded no warming of the global oceans. “There has been a very slight cooling, but not anything really significant,” Willis says.

  35. Combine this with the negative feedback the Paltridge paper supports, and it’s been a bad week for the warmers…

  36. “That is a lot of heat, much more than the atmosphere heating the water on top ( it is seldom 45C). And hot water rises. Just curious if anybody knows.”- Anna V
    “I think there is more deep water heating from the mid-ocean ridges. Question is, how much?”- Richard111
    NOAA UNDERSTANDS and predicts changes in the Earth’s environment, from the DEPTHS OF THE OCEAN to the surface of the sun, and conserves and manages our coastal and marine resources.
    Just ask NOAA. Didn’t you know the science is settled?

  37. Mary [snip],
    The Colorado graph shows the 60 day smoothing sea level peaked in 2006 and has been dropping since then.
    Baby its cold outside!

  38. OT, but there are a couple of tiny spotlets on the sun, slightly left of, and above dead center. Cycle 23 spots?
    REPLY: At that latitude, cycle 23 for sure. – Anthony

  39. sea level rise = temp rise ergo global temp rise ergo heat in the pipeline !!

    Great! Here’s another one: CO2 is a greenhouse gas and atmospheric levels are increasing, ergo, the climate must be warming!

  40. NPR seems worried Americans might balk at the idea of directing economic stimulus money to NASA and NOAA; explains why it is so very important:
    Aging Satellites Threaten Climate Research Future
    The U.S. satellites that monitor climate change are aging, and replacements are years away, thanks to more than a decade of budget cuts and squabbling about which federal agency should run the climate satellite program.
    Scientists say this means the United States will probably have to get along without some critical eyes in the sky at precisely the time it’s making multibillion-dollar decisions about how to respond to climate change

    “So you end up with two agencies, who are the primary climate agencies, having climate as the third priority,” Wielicki says. “So how are you going to get climate done? And the answer is, you’re not.”
    To address the organizational problem, Jane Lubchenco — President Obama’s pick to run NOAA — plans to create a National Climate Service.
    And to help with the money problem, the president’s stimulus package includes hundreds of millions of dollars for climate research, including new satellites.

    http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=101336630
    Isn’t it amazing that they have been able to accurately model the future climate of the world without all the necessary tools?

  41. This whole ‘hidden heat in the pipeline’ thing is a particular black beast of mine. So much so that I was visited, not so long ageo, by the, (fortunately rare), urge to wax poetical.
    I submitted the poem as a comment to one of Lucia’s haiku posts so apologies for resubmitting it here.
    The Significance of Signatures
    by Kevin B
    The hidden heat is hiding in the oceans so they say,
    Deep amongst pelagic seas it bides its time away,
    Waiting to return in its full power come the day,
    Of reckoning.
    Masked by unknown mysteries of currents warm and cold,
    The cycles of the children shroud its power, strong and bold,
    To devastate the cities of the people, so we’re told,
    By the prophets.
    “But how can we unveil these mysteries!” the people cry,
    “Where can we perceive the hidden secrets by and by,
    “Of floods and droughts and storms and devastation ‘fore we die,
    “In ignorance.”
    “There is a Sign, a Signature, a Portent in the air!
    “A Big Red Spot, that’s fearsome hot in tropic troposphere!
    “The Runes predict! Entrails descry! Seek and find it there!”
    Say the prophets.
    So they searched amongst the heavens looking for a Big Red Spot,
    With satelites and radiosondes and everything they’d got,
    High and low they searched and searched but they could find it not.
    It isn’t there!
    “Of course it’s there, you nincompoops! The sign is heaven sent!
    “Your satelites are useless and your radiosondes are bent!
    “And anyway, it matters not! That isn’t what we meant!
    “By signature!”
    And Ra looked on, his features bland, his countenance quite clear,
    And meditated to himself, “Another quiet year?
    “For I decide by fire or ice what people have to fear!
    “My Majesty.”

  42. DB2 (06:45:55) :

    foinavon wrote: Nothing in S-K (or Pielke’s) analysis indicates that there isn’t warming “in the pipeline”.
    As I read it, Pielke’s point is that there is no ‘pipeline’ to store the heat. The joules are either in the earth’s system or they’re not.
    The main place for the heat to be is, of course, the ocean. Since the ocean’s heat content hasn’t changed over the last 5-6 years neither has the earth’s temperature.

    I don’t disagree with you DB2. It’s the age-old problem of addressing an analogy too literally, and then getting mired in non-arguments over semantics! The warming “in the pipeline” that results from a response to an external forcing (solar/greenhouse) is not a consequence of heat stored in a “pipeline”, since as you say, there isn’t really a “pipeline” at all.
    The warming “in the pipeline” relates to the fact that an enhanced forcing produces a response that takes some time to achieve equilibrium. In this case the slow equilibration time relates to the massive ocean sink, and the fact that the full response of an enhanced forcing will only be realized once the oceans themselves come towards equilibrium with the forcing. It would be more precise to replace “in the pipeline” with “still to come due to the slow equilibration times of various elements of the climate system”.
    That issue is what the Urban-Keller modeling paper addresses.
    The fact/observation that the ocean heat content hasn’t changed over the last 5-6 years is a different issue altogether, and somewhat of a red-herring in consideration of the transient/equilibrium responses to enhanced forcing.

  43. “I have just heard this morning of yet another news storey saying something about drought in the Amazon rainforests that is a potential climate change disaster all over.”
    Here’s the link: http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601124&sid=aKeY2zQNK1tc&refer=home
    Snippets:
    “Hurricane Katrina, Amazonian Rain Forest Drought Caused by Warmer Atlantic”
    “The milder waters in the second-biggest ocean caused such arid conditions in the western and southern parts of the Amazon that younger trees died and growth in older ones slowed. That then turned a rain forest that normally absorbs 500 million tons of carbon dioxide a year into a net emitter of the greenhouse gas blamed for global warming, scientists said.”
    “The results … appeared in the latest edition of Science.”
    ““Now the study reveals that increasing drought due to global climate change can cause potentially irreparable damage to the Amazon jungle and its ability to function as a carbon ‘sink.””

  44. On a much less technical note RE: oceans …
    For every person on earth there are 230,000,000 tonnes of ocean water. A family of four “owns” almost one billion tonnes of ocean water. No matter how much humans are accused of affecting climate, I simply cannot accept that a family with two cars, a bungalow (etc etc) can have any affect whatsoever on “their allotment” of ocean water compared to the sun. That’s a lot of water.
    It is arrogant of us (the warmers) to think we are more influential than the sun and the masses of oceans. Utter nonsense.
    (One day I am going to write an essay about a hypothetical family on an island in a salt lake that measures 10 km by 10 km by 10 m deep … one day. ☺)
    Clive
    From the frozen Great Plains of Canada
    (Where is will be 10C° colder than average for the next few days…bah )

  45. Mary Hinge & Crosspatch:
    I would appreciate your insight.
    Willis and other scientists have used in their papers altimetry data as a proxy for heat in the upper ocean (up to 750m). Dr. Pielke Sr. on the other hand has recently written that there has been little or no heat accumulation in the upper ocean for the last four years. I understood he has for some time also suggested that such heat may be stored in the ocean deep.
    Given the potential for thermal expansion of the ocean deep with such expansion having an impact on sea level, is reliance upon altimetry data as a proxy for heat misplaced?

  46. Anthony. I think a lot can be learned by observing the “tenor” of comments. IMHO, people that are confident of their analysis, remain calm, confident that their conclusions will be born out in subsequent observations of real data. Conversely, see “Mary Hinge”, when the debate seems to be going badly, personal attacks, and adherence to ” the models show”, does more harm to their cause than they realize. In this debate, the ” undecided “, will undoubtedly come down on the side of polite, rational discourse.

  47. It’s more the heat capacity (amount of heat per mass that the solid rock can “hold” compared to same mass of water)
    +
    the heat transfer ability (of a large mass of “solid” rock firmly fixed above the molten magma below the continental crust vs ocean floor). Include in this factor relative thicknesses of ocean floor vs continental masses. Rock compared this way acts more like an insulator than a conductor, so the internal temperature below a column of rock will be hotter than below an equal column of water. (Go an equal depth below the water-rock interface, and temperatures start rising again.)
    +
    the heat transfer motion of continental rock (fixed mass vs mobile water) once heated. This seems like the above, but consider that as soon as any mass of water is heated, it moves away from the heat source by convection and current floor. The heated mass is replaced immediately by cold water. Therefore (even very close tot he ocean floor rifts, ocean water temperatures are very low. Continental rock, on the other hand, if heated, stays on top of the lower magma for millions of years – moving away only by continental drift. So, the continental rock will be hotter.
    -> this creates a virtual “insulation layer” above the magma under continents – which is where we place deep mines, which is where we notice and measure the hotter temperatures.

    Earth’s core is being heated (continuously, but at ever decreasing rates) by radioactive decay and by the initial compression of the original plasma clouds that formed the planets.
    There is much questioning about why Jupiter is “hotter” than it is supposed to be by these same “radiative balance” calculations – which are the same (coincidently also wrong?) IR balance calculations that begin the AGW greenhouse programs that Hansen is using. Some think Jupiter is “trying” to create a fusion reactor at its core from compressing H2 together – but it doesn’t seem to be big enough to do that either. If Jupiter were larger? Yes, fusion becomes possible – even probable.

  48. Mary hinge:
    you write:
    “Wasn’t Denmark submerged under ice sheets and is still rising? Why don’t you discuss the original point, that is of a GLOBAL mean?”
    Mary, this is a good point.
    However, the dataset from Denmark released from DMI HAS BEEN corrected for landrise.
    And this shows NO sealevel rise at all, almost, for 115 years.
    (DMI is definetely pro GW)
    The graph is not from one point but from 5-6 different points around Denmark.
    There has been an discussion about the methods etc of creating sealevel data. heres just a 100% true R E A L dataset that shows no sea level rise. Its not global, but its real, thats the relevanse.
    I do not hereby say that the adjustings etc done to sattelite data are wrong. i just know that these danish data are real. I know that around the world there are datasets saying many different things…

  49. “sea level is rising, therefore sea temperatures are rising and/or glaciers and land ice sheets are melting.”
    Well, some data show no sea level rise since 2006.
    And if you consider all the water pumped out of land aquifers every day and dumped into the ocean via rivers, how much impact does that have on sea level rise? Every billion gallons pumped out of the ground from deep aquifers and dumped into the ocean would have the same impact as an amount of ice melt needed to produce that same amount of water. And that pumping continues every day 24x7x365

  50. The benthic ocean is the world’s great climate flywheel. Changes in salinity caused by ice melt in the GIUK can affect North Atlantic Deep Water, which sinks and flows south along the bottom towards the equator. Eventually it emerges at the surface as coastal upwellings in various places. But this water circulation cycle operates in terms of centuries, not years or decades. It is a very LONG thermal pipeline.
    See
    http://radiocarbon.ldeo.columbia.edu/research/deepwater.htm

  51. Mary Hinge (06:34:49) :
    I’d be careful about the religious connection if I were you, the sceptic community, whether on this subject or evolution or even as was the case not that long ago, plate tectonics, are firmly wedded to the religious right. The belief being that God created man to basically do what he wanted to the Earth and only God can change the Earth etc.
    How do you define this “skeptic community”? Certainly you can’t be speaking of WUWT or CA, as I’ve never seen someone here claim that man can’t change climate because only God can? Do you have some data to suggest that there is any majority of people who believe this (specifically that man has no effect on climate because only God can change the climate)? In seeking this data, please note that if a person does not believe in grand pronouncements from government and does believe in God, this does not mean they hold the former view because of the latter. Correlation is insufficient.

  52. The key statement within the “key statement” of Urban and Keller’s paper is, I think, this: “Ocean heat observations are compatible with high sensitivities if there is substantial surface warming which is penetrating poorly into the oceans”. This implies that if the oceans happen to be mixing a bit better at the moment then we should expect a buffering of atmospheric temperature increases. Any thoughts on this?

  53. PS on the Amazon-drying story: Note the objectionable use of “global climate change” in the quote from the story:
    “increasing drought due to global climate change can cause potentially irreparable damage”
    If the global temperature-change of the earth’s oceans nets out to zero, there is no “global” oceanic temperature rising, but only some sort of short-term (decadal) local oceanic oscillation. Right? Also, if it’s decadal, then it’s happened in the past, so it’s not irreparable either.

  54. “The warming “in the pipeline” relates to the fact that an enhanced forcing produces a response that takes some time to achieve equilibrium. In this case the slow equilibration time relates to the massive ocean sink, and the fact that the full response of an enhanced forcing will only be realized once the oceans themselves come towards equilibrium with the forcing.”
    Hmmm… I thought “in the pipeline” referred to the hidden heat. Maybe all that extra heat dropped through the bottom of the ocean and into earth’s core.
    It sounds like our Canadian friends would like to find some of it about now.

  55. Frank Mosher (08:01:54)
    Calm reasoned debate is my choice. Having been in a debate over animal feeding facilities years ago and being called various names as well as having my properity damaged. I admit to a bias against people who are not rational during a debate.

  56. Could undersea volcanic activity account for previous ice ages due to heating of the oceans, releasing greenhouse gases etc?

  57. Just curious, what is the location of the image?
    Thanks
    REPLY: krafla geothermal in Iceland I think

  58. …ultimately probaly NOT O/T:
    Another (very tiny) sunspot has formed!
    HOWEVER, it is very low latitude and “backwards” polarity, so it is most likely a SC 23 left-over spot.
    see http://solarcycle24.com/
    Is it just me or is SC23 sticking around for a REALLY long time?
    Further, is there any data out there which breaks-out the “left-over” spots from the previous cycle?
    To the (solar) layman, this seems like a bad omen for SC24 cranking-up; don’t we need a strong polarity change for that? Seems like we’ve been teetering on the edge here for about 2 years.
    Reminds me of the “I’m not dead yet, I think I’ll go for a walk” sequence in Python’s “Holy Grail”.
    Leif, you out there? What does it all mean, Kemosabe?

  59. foinavon (04:26:04) :
    the long tail at the eigh end in possible climate sensitivities when analyses are constrained by observational evidence.
    You’re pontificating again. What you mean is lack of observational evidence.

  60. AKD (08:20:49) :
    Mary Hinge (06:34:49) :
    I’d be careful about the religious connection if I were you, the sceptic community, whether on this subject or evolution or even as was the case not that long ago, plate tectonics, are firmly wedded to the religious right.

    Er, uhm, no. Very firmly “no”.
    The “conventional science” and the “overwhelming opinion of scientific experts” IS what is being referred to when the “religion of global warming” is stated.
    The refusal of AGW enthusiasists/extremists/zealots to examine things scientifically and to actually look at the facts involved (the real numbers, instead of the “converted” or manipulated numbers massaged by other AGW “scientists” and politcians) ; combined with a zealotry that accepts lies and exaggerations “in the common good of forcing the RESULTS of the AGW theory to be accepted” is what is being described as “religious” in nature.
    In contrast, EVERY scientific advance (polio vaccine, plate tectonics, space-time, radioactive decay, fission, fusion, even the basic shape and definition of the atom and its nuclei has been BY REJECTING “accepted scientific knowledge” and by FIGHTING the “accepted consensus” of opinion.
    It is a “religion” if the person must be “converted” to a different opinion about the observed world, and not “convinced” by sound reason and by observed facts.
    The “religion” of the skeptics is not at issue. Has never been at issue. Is distracting and wrong. it is NOT a valid subject on this thread – or anywhere else in this site.
    The truth (or false statements) of the AGW extremists) IS what is being discussed – but not in the way you think.

  61. foinavon (07:38:03) :
    It would be more precise to replace “in the pipeline” with “still to come due to the slow equilibration times of various elements of the climate system”.
    The fact/observation that the ocean heat content hasn’t changed over the last 5-6 years is a different issue altogether, and somewhat of a red-herring in consideration of the transient/equilibrium responses to enhanced forcing.

    What enhanced forcing? The predicted extra water vapour in the upper troposphere needed to turn increased co2’s paltry addition to warming into a 3c sensitivity isn’t there. All we had is the now turned negative positive phase of the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation and some el nino’s spreading heat from the Pacific Warm Pool over the last couple of decades. Six years of static and cooling oceans is not seasonal or interannual variation.
    ‘enhanced forcing’ is a busted flush.

  62. tallbloke (09:22:10) :

    foinavon (04:26:04) : the long tail at the eigh (I meant “high”!) end in possible climate sensitivities when analyses are constrained by observational evidence.
    You’re pontificating again. What you mean is lack of observational evidence.

    Not really tallbloke. We’ve got observational evidence. Unfortunately it doesn’t constrain the high end of the range of climate sensitivities very well. The evidence on climate sensitivity from paleodata under conditions where the earth’s temperature response is expected to be nearer equilibrium with forcings, gives us a better-constrained set of estimates on climate sensitivity.
    Note that the paper that is being brought to our attention in the top blog post (Urban and Keller, 2009), is explicitly addressing the long tail at the high end of the range of climate sensitivity from observational evidence. I don’t think anyone considers that Urban Keller are “pontificating”…..
    …..in any case ad hominems are third-rate “debating” tools, and not terribly useful for addressing scientific issues.

  63. Just wondering…if the oceans act as a “sink” for heat, how does the AGW predicted rise in temperature compare to the total heat capacity of the oceans? And how much of a rise in ocean temperature would we expect to see?
    That is, if any and all increase in energy is sunk into the sea, is it trivial? Important?

  64. foinavon (07:38:03) :
    The fact/observation that the ocean heat content hasn’t changed over the last 5-6 years is a different issue altogether, and somewhat of a red-herring in consideration of the transient/equilibrium responses to enhanced forcing.

    So, help me on this. Approximately, by your own admission, in the last 5-6 years the oceans are not heating, nor are they rising. Gisstemps have plateaued (albiet at an elevated level), arctic and indeed global sea ice extent has increased in that time arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere/IMAGES/global.daily.ice.area.withtrend.jpg but atsmospheric CO2 has increased in agreement with trend. In terms of “still to come due to the slow equilibration times of various elements of the climate system”. where is the heat to come from, or, where has the heat gone?

  65. Do they teach classes in school these days on how to write the kind of gobbledegook that passes for the abstract of this paper.
    The authors should enter this one for the Bulwer-Lytton Prize for garbage writing.
    But back to the science. It seems to be a pillar of modern climatology that the oceans are a giant heat sink that continuously soaks up energy and stores it somewhere. And so far, ocean diving buoy studies can’t seem to find any of this stored energy. Would that we could access some of it and make use of it in industry.
    Last time I checked, the earth’s core temperature was reputed to be something in the range of maybe 10,000 K; they don’t really know for sure.
    So I’ll peg it at 5775-17,320K using the obligatory 3:1 climate fudge factor.
    In any case it is much hotter than any place in the oceans. Hence over climate timescales, one can surmise that the net flow of energy must be outwards towards space.
    Apparently the ocean depths, remote from volcanism sit at around +3 deg C, and that has nothing much to do with the roughly 4 deg C temperature of maximum density of fresh water at standard pressure; since salt water of normal ocean salinity has no maximum density before it freezes.
    So most of the ocean water is at around 3C and just the surface layers that are warmed by the sun, get warmer than that.
    The solar energy that is incident and almost totally absorbed in the deep oceans (about 97%) propagates deepest at the highest irradiance wavelenghts of the solar spectrum, and goes less deep for shorter and longer wavelengths; in fact the ocean absorption curve looks just like the solar spectrum turned upside down.
    Once those photons are absorbed in the ocean including some being taken up by ocean plants; seaweed and plankton for example, the rest heats up the local water, which therefore expands, since as I said above sea water has no temperature of maximum density, and it has a positive coefficient of expansion, so that sets up an upwards convectional flow, that tends to return those warmed waters back to the surface, while at the same time conducting energy in every direction, including down and up, and sideways.
    It is not a particularly fast process, but neither is stalagmite formation in dripping limestone caves.
    Infra-red radiation returned from the atmosphere, on the other hand, is absorbed in the top ten microns or so of the ocean surface and promotes quite prompt evaporation from the surface, which cools that surface layer, allowing the slowly rising convective layers to move in and displace the surface waters.
    Now I don’t have any idea what rates these various flows have, but I don’t see any simple thermal mechanism for pumping thermal energy from the surface into the deep to store it up “in the pipeline”. I see exactly the opposite; a thermal barrier to heating processes propagating downward.
    And evidently these newer buoy studies seem to confirm such a notion.
    Now this isn’t rocket science; it’s pretty much plain common sense; which unfortunately doesn’t seem to be as common as it used to be.
    So forget about this mythical ocean energy storage pipeline; it hasn’t proved its very existence as far as I can see.
    Remember the latent heat of evaporation of water at say +15 deg C (global mean) is around 590 cal per gm; ok it’s 587.6; and ranges from 595.4 at 0 deg C up to 538.7 at 100 deg C.
    I’ll leave it to the reader to convert that into SI units, or climatology units like “forcings”, “anomalies”, or “sensitivities”; your choice.
    The oceans are disgorging astronomical amounts of energy into the atmosphere in the form of latent heat of evaporation, plus the combined effects of water and atmospheric convection and conduction. Did I say that convection always trumps conduction in heat transfer (check your car’s water system) Ok so its a power assisted convection.
    Hurricanes and cyclones, and typhoons whatever they call them are some of nature’s finest refrigerators, cooling the oceans and transporting energy back out towards space.
    If there is a pieline, it is flowing outward; to balance the radiative input from the sun; which it is well known doesn’t have any effect on earth’s climate at all.
    George

  66. Decadal Temperature Trends
    “Globally averaged trends computed over latitudes from 82.5S to 82.5N (70S to 82.5N for channel TLT) are shown in the table below, and include data through January, 2009:”
    Lower Troposphere TLT 1979 to 2009-01 0.157 K/decade
    Middle Troposphere TMT 1979 to 2009-01 0.091 K/decade
    Troposphere / Stratosphere TTS 1987 2009-01 -0.029 K/decade
    Lower Stratosphere TLS 1979 to 2009-01 -0.335 K/decade
    The lower and middle troposphere temperature trends are positive while the troposphere/stratosphere and lower stratosphere temperature trends are negative.
    There is a growing increase in the temperature lapse rate.
    This suggests increasing cooling from the upper stratosphere that corresponds to the declining global relative humidity.
    Conversely the increasing lower tropospheric temperature needs to be compensated by an increasing heat loss. i.e. by increasing convection and precipitation.
    See: The new climate theory of Dr. Ferenc Miskolczi and
    Global Warming Theory in a Nutshell by Roy Spencer

  67. tallbloke (09:52:59) :

    foinavon (07:38:03) : It would be more precise to replace “in the pipeline” with “still to come due to the slow equilibration times of various elements of the climate system”.
    The fact/observation that the ocean heat content hasn’t changed over the last 5-6 years is a different issue altogether, and somewhat of a red-herring in consideration of the transient/equilibrium responses to enhanced forcing.

    What enhanced forcing? The predicted extra water vapour in the upper troposphere needed to turn increased co2’s paltry addition to warming into a 3c sensitivity isn’t there. All we had is the now turned negative positive phase of the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation and some el nino’s spreading heat from the Pacific Warm Pool over the last couple of decades. Six years of static and cooling oceans is not seasonal or interannual variation.

    I don’t think the evidence supports that, tallbloke. The moistening of the upper troposphere in response to tropospheric warming seems pretty well characterized. The 2000’s are warmer than the 1990’s. No doubt the 2010’s will be warmer than the 2000’s. One of the things that might make us stop to consider is that 2008 with a strong La Nina, negative PDO indices and a sun smack at the bottom of the solar cycle was still pretty warm (8th warmest on record, or whatever).
    As for a period of static temperatures or slight cooling in a warming trend, one only has to look at the data on the thread just below (the Tisdale solar forcing thread) to see that that’s pretty much what one might expect (see Figure 5):
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/03/05/ipcc-20th-century-simulations-get-a-boost-from-outdated-solar-forcings/#more-6046

  68. Frank Lansner (03:58:09) :
    “Why do we still not have 100% free access to the ARGO data??? Is there a very good explanation howcome we after 6 years still are not allowed to see these data?? Should not this be changed?”
    From the ARGO website:
    “A real time data delivery and quality control system has been established that delivers 90% of profiles to users via two global data centers within 24 hours. A delayed mode quality control system (DMQC) has been established and 50% of all eligible profiles have had DMQC applied.
    Argo has developed a large user community in universities, government labs and meteorological/climate analysis/forecasting centers. ”
    http://www.argo.ucsd.edu/
    Agreed. Minimally the real time data, like other publicly funded data, should be available to… the public. Is there no university publishing this?

  69. foinavon (10:25:46)
    Gulev et al JOURNAL OF CLIMATE VOLUME 20 January 2007
    ABSTRACT
    Sampling uncertainties in the voluntary observing ship (VOS)-based global ocean–atmosphere flux fields were estimated using the NCEP–NCAR reanalysis and ECMWF 40-yr Re-Analysis (ERA-40) as well as seasonal forecasts without data assimilation. Air–sea fluxes were computed from 6-hourly reanalyzed individual variables using state-of-the-art bulk formulas. Individual variables and computed fluxes were subsampled to simulate VOS-like sampling density. Random simulation of the number of VOS observations and simulation of the number of observations with contemporaneous sampling allowed for estimation of random and total sampling uncertainties respectively. Although reanalyses are dependent on VOS, constituting an important part of data assimilation input, it is assumed that the reanalysis fields adequately reproduce synoptic variability at the sea surface. Sampling errors were quantified by comparison of the regularly sampled (i.e., 6 hourly) and subsampled monthly fields of surface variables and fluxes. In poorly sampled regions random sampling errors amount to 2.5°–3°C for air temperature, 3 m s 1 for the wind speed, 2–2.5 g kg 1 for specific humidity, and 15%–20% of the total cloud cover. The highest random sampling errors in surface fluxes were found for the sensible and latent heat flux and range from 30 to 80 Wm 2. Total sampling errors in poorly sampled areas may be higher than random ones by 60%. In poorly sampled subpolar latitudes of the Northern Hemisphere and throughout much of the Southern Ocean the total sampling uncertainty in the net heat flux can amount to 80–100 W m 2. The highest values of the uncertainties associated with the interpolation/ extrapolation into unsampled grid boxes are found in subpolar latitudes of both hemispheres for the turbulent fluxes, where they can be comparable with the sampling errors. Simple dependencies of the sampling errors on the number of samples and the magnitude of synoptic variability were derived. Sampling errors estimated from different reanalyses and from seasonal forecasts yield qualitatively comparable spatial patterns, in which the actual values of uncertainties are controlled by the magnitudes of synoptic variability. Finally, estimates of sampling uncertainties are compared with the other errors in air–sea fluxes and the reliability of the estimates obtained is discussed
    Journal of Atmospheric and Oceanic Technology
    Article: pp. 476–486 Toward Estimating Climatic Trends in SST. Part II: Random Errors
    Elizabeth C. Kent and Peter G. Challenor
    ABSTRACT
    Random observational errors for sea surface temperature (SST) are estimated using merchant ship reports from the International Comprehensive Ocean–Atmosphere Data Set (ICOADS) for the period of 1970–97. A statistical technique, semivariogram analysis, is used to isolate the variance resulting from the observational error from that resulting from the spatial variability in a dataset of the differences of paired SST reports. The method is largely successful, although there is some evidence that in high-variability regions the separation of random and spatial error is not complete, which may have led to an overestimate of the random observational error in these regions. The error estimates are robust to changes in the details of the regression method used to estimate the spatial variability.
    The resulting error estimates are shown to vary with region, time, the quality control applied, the method of measurement, the recruiting country, and the source of the data. SST data measured using buckets typically contain smaller random errors than those measured using an engine-intake thermometer. Errors are larger in the 1970s, probably because of problems with data transmission in the early days of the Global Telecommunications System. The best estimate of the global average random error in ICOADS ship SST for the period of 1970–97 is 1.2°C if the estimates are weighted by ocean area and 1.3°C if the estimates are weighted by the number of observations.
    So clearly the “datasets” are questionable from a historical perspective,especially in the SH where they are essentially little more then guess work in the 19th century,
    This is an example where better observation and measurement eg Argo, show some arbitrary assumptions(axioms) were not quite correct.

  70. “Could undersea volcanic activity account for previous ice ages due to heating of the oceans, releasing greenhouse gases etc?”
    Well considering what people say the environmental result was of such events as the Deccan Traps and the Siberian Traps and Columbia River flood basalt, and considering that 70% of Earth’s surface is under sea level, it would seem reasonable that similar flood basalt events may have happened under the ocean surface.

  71. foinavon:
    The 2000’s are warmer than the 1990’s. No doubt the 2010’s will be warmer than the 2000’s

    Each time you roll the die the chances of throwing a 4 or higher is still 1/2.
    If you think your belief in AGW loads the die in your favour, fair enough. I think a look at 60 year ocean cycles loads it in mine. I have a $1000 bet riding on it in fact.
    The moistening of the upper troposphere…
    Moistening?
    Got any figures to support your qualitative assertion there foinavon?

  72. (off topic, but we have proof of global cooling and heating just miles apart< you dont have to publish this. just thought it was fun for you.
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1159929/BBC-weatherman-warns-people-Kent-prepare-temperatures-99C.html
    The BBC gaffe came weeks after viewers in the London area saw predictions of an extreme heatwave 232C (450F) in Windsor.
    Forecaster Kirsty McCabe said there would be a ‘few brighter spells’ as the map showed the the inaccurate temperatures. )

  73. I hope I’m not blowing the gaff here, but has anybody considered that maybe Mary Hinge, who blows in early, gets slaughtered and then blows back out, may be a ……… “denier” playing devil’s advocate? Even Joe Bugner (Google it) didn’t come back for punishment like that again and again and ….

  74. Tim Clark (09:59:46) :

    foinavon (07:38:03) : The fact/observation that the ocean heat content hasn’t changed over the last 5-6 years is a different issue altogether, and somewhat of a red-herring in consideration of the transient/equilibrium responses to enhanced forcing.
    So, help me on this. Approximately, by your own admission, in the last 5-6 years the oceans are not heating, nor are they rising. Gisstemps have plateaued (albiet at an elevated level), arctic and indeed global sea ice extent has increased in that time arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere/IMAGES/global.daily.ice.area.withtrend.jpg but atsmospheric CO2 has increased in agreement with trend. In terms of “still to come due to the slow equilibration times of various elements of the climate system”. where is the heat to come from, or, where has the heat gone?

    5 or 6 years is a very short time and it’s not clear if the oceans have heated or not during this period. The reported cooling from 2003 was shown recently to be an artifact from problems with some of the Argo temperature monitors [***].
    In any case, we don’t expect a monotonous warming in response to enhanced forcing as the earth tends towards a new equilibrium temperature. For example, the current plateau in warming is quite similar to what was observed in the early 1980’s, the mid 1990’s and so on (see Figure 5 in the blog thread just below:
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/03/05/ipcc-20th-century-simulations-get-a-boost-from-outdated-solar-forcings/#more-6046
    Part of the reduction in warming is due to the fact that we’ve been descending to the bottom of the solar cycle during the last 4-5 years. So the enhanced greenhouse forcing has been reducing somewhat for a bit [during the next 5-6 years the increasing solar irradiance will be supplementing (rather than opposing) enhanced greenhouse forcing].
    And whenever we have a strongish La Nina (a couple in the last several years), there is enhanced upwelling of cold waters which results in colder than average surface waters in the eastern equatorial Pacific, and the gobally-averaged surface temperature (or temperature anomaly) is decreased for a while. Presumably this is associated with enhanced mixing of warmth into the oceans.
    An analogy might be turning up the thermostat in your kitchen so that the temperature rises slowly. If someone opens the fridge and blows a fan into it for a while, the measured warming in the room will be suppressed for a time. This isn’t a perfect analogy, and it’s a better one if the fridge is turned off just before starting the “experiment”. In this case some of the warming will have “gone into ” the fridge, raising its temperature. If the fridge is left on during the “experiment” then the heat is pumped into wherever the heat exchanger of your fridge dumps excess heat, which is very likely to be the kitchen!
    [***]J.K. Willis et al (2007) Correction to “Recent cooling of the upper ocean” Geophys. Res. Lett. 34, L16601
    [1] Two systematic biases have been discovered in the ocean temperature data used in “Recent cooling of the upper ocean” by John M. Lyman, Josh K. Willis, and Gregory C. Johnson (Geophysical Research Letters, 33, L18604, doi:10.1029/2006GL027033). These biases are both substantially larger than sampling errors estimated by Lyman et al. [2006], and appear to be the cause of the rapid cooling reported in that work.
    [2] Most of the rapid decrease in globally integrated upper (0–750 m) ocean heat content anomalies (OHCA) between 2003 and 2005 reported by Lyman et al. [2006] appears to be an artifact resulting from the combination of two different instrument biases recently discovered in the in situ profile data. Although Lyman et al. [2006] carefully estimated sampling errors, they did not investigate potential biases among different instrument types. One such bias has been identified in a subset of Argo float profiles. This error will ultimately be corrected. However, until corrections have been made these data can be easily excluded from OHCA estimates (see http://www.argo.ucsd.edu/ for more details). Another bias was caused by eXpendable BathyThermograph (XBT) data that are systematically warm compared to other instruments [Gouretski and Koltermann, 2007]. Both biases appear to have contributed equally to the spurious cooling.

  75. Mary Hinge (02:07:31) :
    “I have used the home page link so you can play with the adjustments your self, but whichever way you play it the sea level is rising, therefore sea temperatures are rising and/or glaciers and land ice sheets are melting.”
    Big assumptions Mary Hinge. How about glacial rebound and other tectonic forces? Pressure differences. Squeeze your coffee cup and see what happens to the liquid level. Another interesting tid bit is the Arctic ocean’ sea level is falling the last 20 years.

  76. tallbloke (11:19:13) :

    foinavon: The 2000’s are warmer than the 1990’s. No doubt the 2010’s will be warmer than the 2000’s
    Each time you roll the die the chances of throwing a 4 or higher is still 1/2.
    If you think your belief in AGW loads the die in your favour, fair enough. I think a look at 60 year ocean cycles loads it in mine. I have a $1000 bet riding on it in fact.

    Gamblers have a tendency to base betting decision on beliefs that are less than fully rational, and on balance are out of pocket! From the scientific evidence, a warmer future is a pretty well supported likelihood.

    Moistening?
    Got any figures to support your qualitative assertion there foinavon?

    The observational evidence supports tropospheric “moistening” in response to warming. Try:
    Buehler SA (2008) An upper tropospheric humidity data set from operational satellite microwave data. J. Geophys. Res. 113, art #D14110
    Brogniez H and Pierrehumbert RT (2007) Intercomparison of tropical tropospheric humidity in GCMs with AMSU-B water vapor data. Geophys. Res. Lett. 34, art #L17912

    http://geosci.uchicago.edu/~rtp1/papers/publist.html
    Gettelman A and Fu, Q. (2008) Observed and simulated upper-tropospheric water vapor feedback . J. Climate 21, 3282-3289
    http://www.cgd.ucar.edu/cms/andrew/papers/
    Santer BD et al. (2007) Identification of human-induced changes in atmospheric moisture content. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 104, 15248-15253
    http://www.pnas.org/content/104/39/15248.abstract?sid=69de2578-60e8-45f4-80fe-032e2c5edf9b
    Soden BJ, et al (2005) The radiative signature of upper tropospheric moistening Science 310, 841-844.
    http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/abstract/310/5749/841
    ….and so on…

  77. “Mary Hinge (06:34:49) :
    Ron de Haan (04:59:48) :
    Have a look at this Dutch Study which presents “real historic data” and know that since 2005 until today no accelerated rise in sea level has occurred.
    Why pick 2005? Why pick one data set? I will repeat one of the comments, it seems very appropriate: “I’ll just add the comment that I find it strange how contrarians readily accept a plot such as the one shown here with hardly any details of the original reference, the actual data points, the analysis technique or the estimated uncertainty, while at the same time putting the “hockeystick” of Mann et al. under such heavy scrutiny!”
    Also don’t forget on a local level there will always be fluctuations in sea level due to wind, currents etc and land based measurements measure their relative heights, not much good if land is rising (for example Scotland) or falling (for example southern England).
    This is the stuff which is put under the carpet because it’s to “inconvenient” for certain religious agenda’s.
    I’d be careful about the religious connection if I were you, the sceptic community, whether on this subject or evolution or even as was the case not that long ago, plate tectonics, are firmly wedded to the religious right. The belief being that God created man to basically do what he wanted to the Earth and only God can change the Earth etc. It would be more accurate to describe the contrarians of AGW, using your particular context as a cult, that is of being very much in the minority and oblivious to accepted scientific thinking”.
    Mary Hinge,
    1. The historical data sets used for the referred publication are the most reliable data sets available on earth.
    2. Why pick 2005? Because the report was published in 2005
    3. I’ve looked at the report, where the data comes from, it’s conclusions (and in this case my personal observations over a period of 40 years) and I think it’s very accurate.
    4. The hockey stick of Mann is a proven fraud.
    5. I agree with your remarks in regard of the use of religion.
    Thanks to Religion the Age of Industrialization would have started 400 years earlier.
    I used this remark to characterize an attitude often found in religions to defend a point of view by constantly repeating a certain statement over and over again without listening to the any of the arguments outside the church.
    As you have made the same arguments in earlier postings and even provided the same answers in response to critiques I can only say that in this case it fits you
    like a glove.

  78. Since the heavy-hitters appear to be taking a breather, I would like to address a problem on this thread, and others, in which the combatants take a cursory glance a opposing data, and dismiss it with contempt, claiming “cherry-picking”.
    I’m skeptical of a lot of things, including the inference that “cherry-picking” might be easy. Then I realized that most of the younger generation don’t draw a fine line between what they have experienced, and what they think they know from television. Cherry-pickin’ ain’t for sissies, now. Here is a paradigm which has proven robust over a non-trivial fraction of a century.
    Equipment: one 8 year-old grandson, one lawn chair.
    Technique: Grampa sits in the lawn chair and says, “Don’t tell your mother I let you climb that tree by yourself.” Very important.
    Data collection: “Grampa, which cherries should I pick?” Wonderful place to explain heuristic analysis.
    Data series 1: “Pick a very red one on the south side”, (points south-ish), “and nibble the outside. There’s a hard thing inside, so don’t crunch it, just nibble. Tell me how it tastes.”
    Data series 2: “Don’t swat that bee. He’s not guarding the cherries, he wants salt. All God’s creatures gotta eat, so let him have the salt from your sweat. He just tickles.”
    Results: cherry pie. Grandson not afraid of cherry trees, sweat bees, jumping out of cherry trees after Grampa says don’t (not necessarily a good thing) or The Cherry Tree Theory Of Relativity.
    “Grandson, did you know that cherry trees get smaller with time?” “That can’t be, Grampa!” “Okay, take a hard look at this tree. Remember it real good, now. When you come back here as a grown-up man, that tree will look a lot smaller, I betcha!”
    Acknowledgements: Thanks to my Grampa, and thanks to my grandson.

  79. Frank Lansner (03:58:09) :
    3) The fact – as Lindsay indicates above that water has highes density at 4 degrees C. This last fact is much more important than one might think because a HUGE fraction of the oceans water has temperatures below 4 degrees:

    Sorry Frank, you’ve got it wrong (again). I think you are forgetting that the oceans are made up of salt water.

    DB2 (06:52:18) :
    Mary, the rise is sea level (after adjustment for changes in the land) has two component, an increase in volume from melting glaciers and an increase in volume from heat expansion. Since the Argo system has been deployed to measure the top 3000 meters of ocean, there has been no heat expansion (the steric component).

    Why don’t sceptics ever check their facts? The bouys actually measure to a depth of 2,000m, average ocean depth is around 3.8km. Here is the link to the home page so you can read up about the project. http://www.argo.net/
    Kinda leaves a lot of the oceans temperature unmeasured doesn’t it?

    Bruce (07:03:48) :
    Mary [snip],
    The Colorado graph shows the 60 day smoothing sea level peaked in 2006

    ….and prior to that? You skeptics love the cherrypickin’ don’t ya! The La Nina in 2007 and 2008 caused the cooling you see on the graph (increased wind+increased evaporation etc etc.) Do you notice how the levels are now increasing again?

  80. “The warming “in the pipeline” relates to the fact that an enhanced forcing produces a response that takes some time to achieve equilibrium. In this case the slow equilibration time relates to the massive ocean sink, and the fact that the full response of an enhanced forcing will only be realized once the oceans themselves come towards equilibrium with the forcing.”
    Show the mechanism…or are you merely invoking magic couched in academic speak?

  81. Foinavon,
    thanks for the stock in trade list of papers desperately trying to talk up local incidences of a phenomenon which isn’t happening in line with GCM predictions, but I’ll rest content with my $1000 bet thanks. I’m not normally a gambling man, but this one was too good to pass up when it was offered. The bet is running from 2005-2020 and it’s a simple one. If the temperature trend on an average of the four major indices is up from 2005-2020 I lose; if down, I win. Here’s how it’s going:
    http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/wti/from:2005/trend/plot/wti/from:2005
    As you can see, we’re down a couple of decades worth of global warming already.

  82. tallbloke (12:04:19) :

    foinavon: The reported cooling from 2003 was shown recently to be an artifact from problems with some of the Argo temperature monitors
    Incorrect. Josh Willis found the oceans were slightly cooling even after the corrections applied.
    http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/Features/OceanCooling/

    There’s nothing in the page that you linked to that indicates that the oceans were “still slightly cooling even after the corrections applied”. Did you mean to link to another web page?
    I don’t think anyone is arguing that the evidence doesn’t indicate that the ocean surface hasn’t warmed much in the last few years. There’s nothing too surprising about that, and we’ve seen temporary cooling periods right through the large warming of the last 30-odd years (see Bob Tisdale’s Figure 5 in the blog thread just below). No one expects a constant steady monotonous warming as a result of enhanced greenhouse forcing. The solar cycle and stochastic elements of the climate system (El Nino’s/La Nina’s and so on) are always going to provide some noise on any trend. One should be a bit more relaxed about the science. There’s no need to attempt to trash every last thing!

  83. Ron de Haan quotes Mary Hinge, who says:

    I’d be careful about the religious connection if I were you, the sceptic community, whether on this subject or evolution or even as was the case not that long ago, plate tectonics, are firmly wedded to the religious right.

    It is one of the supreme ironies of the modern world that those of us who would have formerly been labelled as unbelieveing heathens are now regarded as members of the religious right by those with the current religious fervers.

  84. foinavon,
    I think you misunderstand Pielke’s point.
    You are correct to say that the delayed response of the system does not mean that the energy has already entered the system. It only means that the rate at which energy can enter system is limited by the system.
    However, if the oceans are in fact limiting factor then there must be evidence of additional energy being stored in the ocean. Pielke notes that there is no evidence of this so one cannot conclude that the oceans are significantly limiting the response of the system to additional CO2.
    Pielke has actually calculated the number of joules that would have to be accumulating in the ocean in order to be consistent with the IPCC claims of CO2 sensitivity. The difference between the expected and actual accumulation is so large that it casts signicant doubts on the IPCC claims.
    As for your papers on moistening: it is clear that the humidity datasets available are so bad that it is possible to make any number of claims that appear to be compelling if one ignores the data that does not fit one’s conclusions. That is critique applies to skeptics who claim that water vapour feedback is negative. IOW – they don’t really provide much supporting evidence for the models.

  85. foinavon (11:28:57) :
    Please stop patronizing us. Are you an academic or just an academic wannabe? It doesn’t seem you have actually done any work in the field or data gathering yourself, am I correct on that? Your arguments can be addressed on their own either way, I’m just curious is all.
    “The reported cooling from 2003 was shown recently to be an artifact from problems with some of the Argo temperature monitors..”
    We actually know all about this, so don’t try to imply that we may be using false information when we state that there has been no warming and perhaps even a slight cooling over the past few years. That’s the conclusion Josh Willis himself came to AFTER he found the errors and made the adjustments. In fact he is quoted farther up in the thread saying exactly that.
    “In any case, we don’t expect a monotonous warming in response to enhanced forcing as the earth tends towards a new equilibrium temperature.”
    Tell that to the IPCC then. Their projections actually did show monotonous warming. See Lucia. And you know that, so why are you attempting to state otherwise?
    “Part of the reduction in warming is due to the fact that we’ve been descending to the bottom of the solar cycle during the last 4-5 years.”
    Oh please. It’s too late in the game for you to invoke the sun NOW. The same with La Nina. You would have to rethink your analysis of the temp trends for the entire 20th century first before you can claim any credibility with attribution NOW.
    We’ll wait.

  86. foinavon (12:07:48) said:
    The observational evidence supports tropospheric “moistening” in response to warming.
    Response:
    The latest paper [discussed elsewhere on WUWT] argues that mid- and upper- tropospheric relative humidity has been DECREASING contrary to all model predictions.
    See:
    http://www.springerlink.com/content/m2054qq6126802g8/?p=e209f4ac50044f93a421b19e0a636d4b&pi=0
    Trends in middle- and upper-level tropospheric humidity from NCEP reanalysis data
    [ Water vapor feedback in climate models is positive mainly because of their roughly constant relative humidity (i.e., increasing q) in the mid-to-upper troposphere as the planet warms. Negative trends in q as found in the NCEP data would imply that long-term water vapor feedback is negative—that it would reduce rather than amplify the response of the climate system to external forcing such as that from increasing atmospheric CO2.]
    or, on WUWT:
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/03/05/negative-feedback-in-climate-empirical-or-emotional/#more-6036

  87. foinavon (11:28:57) :
    So, help me on this. Approximately, by your own admission, in the last 5-6 years the oceans are not heating, nor are they rising. Gisstemps have plateaued (albiet at an elevated level), arctic and indeed global sea ice extent has increased in that time arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere/IMAGES/global.daily.ice.area.withtrend.jpg but atsmospheric CO2 has increased in agreement with trend. In terms of “still to come due to the slow equilibration times of various elements of the climate system”. where is the heat to come from, or, where has the heat gone?
    5 or 6 years is a very short time and it’s not clear if the oceans have heated or not during this period.

    Your argument, as I understood it, is CO2 causes heating-heating goes into sink(ocean), but when temps aren’t rising in sync with CO2, (which they aren’t)-heat stored in sink causes sea level rise (which they haven’t since late 2006). My (and apparently Pielke’s) contention is: based on your climate construction, if sea level is static (link above), and sea ice is greater now than two years ago and CO2 is rising, then the ocean must be warmer, or CO2 doesn’t cause warming. So you argument against Pielke boils down to your belief that the ocean temp data is suspect. That makes you a denier in a similar fashion to my disbelief of GassTemp. And about the suns influence, better hope Leif isn’t reading :~).

  88. Frank Mosher (08:01:54) :
    “Anthony. I think a lot can be learned by observing the “tenor” of comments. IMHO, people that are confident of their analysis, remain calm, confident that their conclusions will be born out in subsequent observations of real data. Conversely, see “Mary Hinge”, when the debate seems to be going badly, personal attacks, and adherence to ” the models show”, does more harm to their cause than they realize. In this debate, the ” undecided “, will undoubtedly come down on the side of polite, rational discourse.”
    As a non-scientist who is unable to evaluate the validity of the scientific statements made on each side by scientists I think that this statement by Frank Mosher is very true. I also think that statements made about religion don’t help the credibility of the person using them when they are trying to win over people like me who are unsure who is right. Firstly the statements made about religion are not, as a rule, polite and, secondly, they are generally based on prejudice and/or ignorance and not inclined to help rational discourse. I just wonder why, in blogs to do with science, some people feel the need to refer to religion so much. Ladies and gentleman: please keep to the science!
    Anthony Watts comes across as someone who is polite and rational. Would that that could be said about all the entries on climate science blogs. I’m not one of the very limited group of scientists who take part in these debates. Nor am I one of the committed people on either side who rail about higher taxes and increased government activity, on the one side, or go on about ‘the green agenda’, on the other side. I just represent Joe Public in the middle trying to make sense of the crossfire. So, to take up Frank Mosher’s point, I can’t make judgements about the science but I’m more likely to be on the side of those who discuss the science in a polite, rational manner – and keep to the science.
    Thank you to the many contributors who have explained things plainly and have, at least, let me see what are the main areas of debate between the scientists. I may not fully understand things like climate sensitivity but I can see that the science is anything but “settled”. The next time someone comes to the school where I teach (because someone from the local Council already has) and starts off by saying that there is a scientific consensus will get short shrift and a few very pertinent questions. Unfortunately I hadn’t read any of the contributions on WUWT before the first person came – so he got away with it. But not the next time!
    At the moment, every department in my school is being asked how they are including “sustainability” in their teaching. That stems from the visit by the man from the Council. It is taken that AGW is here and real. At least we haven’t been made to show our pupils AIT so thankful for small mercies. But it’s probably in the schools that the climate sceptics most need to get their message across.

  89. foinavon (11:28:57) :
    “In any case, we don’t expect a monotonous warming in response to enhanced forcing as the earth tends towards a new equilibrium temperature. For example, the current plateau in warming is quite similar to what was observed in the early 1980’s, the mid 1990’s and so on”
    If the net forcing increases monotonously I think “we” expect energy to be accumulated more or less monotonously – if not in the atmosphere then in the oceans. What is interesting here is that unlike the plateaus in the 80’s and 90’s the current plateau cannot be attributed to stratospheric vulcanos. See these data from GISS – dramatic dips in net forcing occur at those times:
    http://data.giss.nasa.gov/modelforce/
    The current plateau happens in a period without stratospheric volcanos…
    I would like to add another small observation of some relevance here. In a blogpost in October of last year Tamino takes account of the current understanding of TSI as almost invariant by attributing the warming in the first half of the 20’th century to a volcanic lull in the mid-century.
    But where is the warming of the present volcanic lull, then? Taminos data do not extend beyond 2003 but the continued lull since 2003 should have a large effect on temperatures according to Tamino: http://tamino.wordpress.com/2008/10/19/volcanic-lull/
    No??

  90. “”” Jim Steele (11:37:18) :
    Mary Hinge (02:07:31) :
    “I have used the home page link so you can play with the adjustments your self, but whichever way you play it the sea level is rising, therefore sea temperatures are rising and/or glaciers and land ice sheets are melting.”
    Big assumptions Mary Hinge. How about glacial rebound and other tectonic forces? Pressure differences. Squeeze your coffee cup and see what happens to the liquid level. Another interesting tid bit is the Arctic ocean’ sea level is falling the last 20 years. “””
    “”” Another interesting tid bit is the Arctic ocean’ sea level is falling the last 20 years. “””
    Yes that interesting tidbit was reported around June 2006, by a British/Dutch team of climate scientists, using a European polar satellite to gather that data. In their report; they said they were very confident of their data; but didn’t know why , and they would wait for the theoreticians to catch up to the data.
    But go to “Physics Today” Letters, for Jan 2005, in a letter about a review of Spencer Weart’s book; “The Discovery of Global Warming”, where it was predicted, that the ocean sea level should fall when the floating sea ice melts. More specifically, it was predicted by George E. Smith (moi, and written circa June 2004).
    Weart’s response essentially said; nonsense, when the ocean warms it expands and the sea level rises; quite true but bearing no relevence to the question of what happens when the floating sea ice melts; which is what I predicted fully two years before these Brits, and Dutch Scientists published their satellite study results.
    So yes the arctic ocean has been falling; which by the way, does confirm that the arctic sea ice had indeed been melting during that 20 year period. Of course sea ice real data only goes back to around 1979 when the first polar satellites were launched (roughly).
    George

  91. Henry Phipps (12:19:48) :
    “Thanks to my Grampa, and thanks to my grandson.”
    Loved it. Thank you.

  92. “”” Mary Hinge (12:28:47) :
    Frank Lansner (03:58:09) :
    3) The fact – as Lindsay indicates above that water has highes density at 4 degrees C. This last fact is much more important than one might think because a HUGE fraction of the oceans water has temperatures below 4 degrees:
    Sorry Frank, you’ve got it wrong (again). I think you are forgetting that the oceans are made up of salt water. “””
    How very true Mary; it’s amazing how often this well known property of fresh water, which greatly affects the annual turnover of freshwater lakes, is tranferred to the oceans; where it plays no part.
    For the record at ordinary atmospheric pressure, water with a salinity greater than 2.47% has no maximum density before it freezes. At 2.47% salt water freezes at its maximum density at -1.33 deg C.
    Ordinary ocean water is 3.50% salinity and freezes at around -2.5 deg C at a density of about 1.0275 g/cc.
    At 1.5% salinity, water has a maximum density at about +0.5 deg C at 1.012 g/cc but freezes at about -0.8 deg C at a lower density.
    So ordinary sea water has no temperature of maximum density higher than its freezing temperature; and upon freezing the segregation coefficients force most of the salts out of the solid phase into the liquid phase, so the ice is quite fresh water, but can entrap liquid briny water.
    George

  93. Foinavon:
    I don’t think anyone is arguing that the evidence doesn’t indicate that the ocean surface hasn’t warmed much in the last few years.

    A double negative?! You just can’t help couching cooling in terms of warming can you? It’s as if you find the concept so revolting you can’t bring yourself to utter the word. 🙂
    “There has been a very slight cooling, but not anything really significant,” – Josh Willis
    http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=88520025
    In any case, you don’t seem to understand that ARGO measures ocean temperature to a great depth, not merely the surface. You ducked out of telling me your qualifications when I told you mine. What are they?

  94. Ron de Haan (12:15:55) : “…The hockey stick of Mann is a proven fraud….”
    I beg to differ. Fraud has not yet been proven. Mann’s science is misleading, his methodology inexplicable, his programming byzantine, his statistics abysmal, and his conclusions totally erroneous, but aside from that, his paper was fine.

  95. foinavon (07:38:03) : “The warming “in the pipeline” relates to the fact that an enhanced forcing produces a response that takes some time to achieve equilibrium…
    The fact/observation that the ocean heat content hasn’t changed over the last 5-6 years is a different issue altogether, and somewhat of a red-herring in consideration of the transient/equilibrium responses to enhanced forcing.

    So on the one hand we have a alleged “red herring” and on the other we have… [picture of dead whale goes HERE.]

  96. Let me see if I have this right now.
    Something disturbs the energy balance, and throws the system out of whack (well it’s never in a state of equilibrium anyway), so the surface and atmosphere start to warm, and the warmign surface evaporates more water, and the warming water outgases more CO2, so the atmsopheric water and CO2 start changing, and meanwhile the temperature is still moving from where it was to some new value, and while that is going on the oceans keep outgassing more CO2 and the water keeps evaporating; and so on, and so forth until finally the temperatures get to where they were going,a nd the extra evaporation gets to where it was going, asnd the ougassed CO2 gets to where it was going; so finally you have a new temperature, and a new atmospheric water content, and a new atmospheric CO2 content; so you can write all these numbers down in a table, and when the temperature decides to change again, all those things will again readjust to some nbew values, which you can add to the tables. In this way you can build up a table of water temperatures, and atmospheric temperatures, and relative humidities and water vapor content, and CO2 content; all of which oyu can find in things like “Steam Tables” in the handbook of Chemistry and Physics (CRC Press).
    But nowhere in those books of tables do they describe any of this as “FEEDBACK” (sorry about the caps foinavon). They are simply tables of values of related variables in physical systemns; and they don’t have anything to do with any amplification process followed by feedback of some calibrated portion of the amplified output back into the signal input port of this system; and most of all they don’t take into account the fact that all amplifying systems involve time delay which translates to phase shifts in the frequency domain, and can result in oscillation behavior in any physical system that actually has real feedback.
    Well you can read all about feedback in “Vaccuum Tube Amplifiers.” by Valley and Wallman, volume 18 of the Radiation Laboratory MIT series of textbooks (Cambridge Mass) 1940-1945. Anything you want to know about feedback is in there; and what climate “scientists are calling “Feedback” simply is not feedback at all; it is merely the time changing values of some related system variables re-adjusting to new values as a result of some system change. With the often very large delays in earth system responses to changes in temperature and such; if there was any significant “Feedback” going on; they would be oscillating their fool heads off.
    Lenz’s Law, Le Chatelier’s Principle, photodiode self absorption in LEDs, etc are all examples of physical systems which readjust themselves to try and oppose any external change applied to the system. In electric motors, the rotating armature acts as a generator to produce a “back EMF” which opposes most of the applied terminal Voltage, and thereby reduces the current flowing which limits the speed the motor can get up to.
    High efficiency LEDs always act as photodiodes as well, to internally re-absorb the photons generated by the current flowing, therby generating a counter current which stops the applied Voltage from generating any more photons, thus limiting the light ouput. More efficient optical extraction of the generated photons, leads to a lowering of the photodiode generated reverse current,a nd so allows for more light generation.
    It is a general principle that physical systems react in such a way as to oppose the effect of external applied perturbations, and try to stop those changes from happening.
    The earth’s ocean/atmosphere/cloud sytem is no different, and it simply reacts to any external disturbance, whether solar, or GHG, or volcanic activity, to simply alter the balance of water vapor, versus water clouds in the system to keep the temperature within a limited range. It isd larhgely unaffected by any human intervention.
    George

  97. Mike Ryan (13:41:39)
    Very well put sir. Your thoughtful comments should be read and digested by all.

  98. Raven (13:12:30) :

    foinavon,
    Pielke has actually calculated the number of joules that would have to be accumulating in the ocean in order to be consistent with the IPCC claims of CO2 sensitivity. The difference between the expected and actual accumulation is so large that it casts signicant doubts on the IPCC claims.

    Much of the uncertainty here relates to the extremely short time period under analysis. An analysis of a parameter for a period of 4 years is simply insufficient to establish what’s happening as a long term trend. The acumulation of heat into the oceans in the long term has been in reasonable agreement with expectations from models of the ocean’s response to enhanced greenhouse forcing. But it certainly seems the case that there hasn’t been much additional warming of the oceans (at least the top 700 metres) or the Earth’s surface or troposphere for the last few years.
    But the temperature record of the past 30-odd years shows several periods of a few years when warming “stopped” or “reversed” (e.g. see Figure 5 of the blog thread linked just below). we don’t throw out everything we know about radiative physics, the greenhouse effect and energy “budgets”, on the basis of a few years worth of data, especially when we understand some of the contributors to the reduced warming during this period quite well.
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/03/05/ipcc-20th-century-simulations-get-a-boost-from-outdated-solar-forcings/#more-6046
    And Josh Willis whose data Pielke used for his analysis of ocean heat accumulation during the past four years highlights that exact point:
    “Although the historical record suggests that multiyear periods of little warming (or even cooling) are not unusual, the present analysis confirms this result with unprecedented accuracy.”
    Willis JK et al. (2008) Assessing the globally averaged sea level budget on seasonal to interannual timescales. J. Geophys. Res. Oceans 113, C06015

    As for your papers on moistening: it is clear that the humidity datasets available are so bad that it is possible to make any number of claims that appear to be compelling if one ignores the data that does not fit one’s conclusions. That is critique applies to skeptics who claim that water vapour feedback is negative. IOW – they don’t really provide much supporting evidence for the models.

    Really? The published data shows pretty uniformly that satellite measures of tropospheric water vapour content are largely consistent with models. I would have thought that does provide supporting evidence for the models…..

  99. Roger Knights (07:45:37) :
    “The milder waters in the second-biggest ocean caused such arid conditions in the western and southern parts of the Amazon that younger trees died and growth in older ones slowed. ”
    I guess no one in this study looked at Sea Surface Temperatures (SSTs)recently either
    http://www.osdpd.noaa.gov/PSB/EPS/SST/data/anomnight.3.5.2009.gif
    SSTs in equatorial regions are colder than normal (guess where the majority of heat from the Sun gets aborbed) – and the coolest I have seen in at least 5 years… Guess that’s another “trend” that has reversed direction…

  100. Well well. Heat “in the pipeline” and radiative imbalance. Published in the prestigious high impact journal Science no less 🙂
    Per Hansen et al 2005:
    http://pubs.giss.nasa.gov/docs/2005/2005_Hansen_etal_1.pdf

    “Our climate model, driven mainly by increasing human-made greenhouse gases and aerosols, among other forcings, calculates that Earth is now absorbing 0.85 +/- 0.15 watts per square meter more energy from the Sun than it is emitting to space. This imbalance is confirmed by precise measurements of increasing ocean heat content over the past 10 years. Implications include (i) the expectation of additional global warming of about 0.6-C without further change of atmospheric composition; (ii) the confirmation of the climate system’s lag in responding to forcings, implying the need for anticipatory actions to avoid any specified level of climate change; and (iii) the likelihood of acceleration of ice sheet disintegration and sea level rise.”
    “The observed 1880 to 2003 global warming is 0.6- to 0.7-C (11, 22), which is the full response to nearly 1 W/m2 of forcing. Of the 1.8 W/m2
    forcing, 0.85 W/m2 remains, i.e., additional global warming of 0.85  0.67 È 0.6-C is ‘‘in the pipeline’’ and will occur in the future even if atmospheric composition and other climate forcings remain fixed at today’s values(3, 4, 23)

  101. Syl (13:22:38) :

    foinavon (11:28:57) :
    Please stop patronizing us. Are you an academic or just an academic wannabe? It doesn’t seem you have actually done any work in the field or data gathering yourself, am I correct on that? Your arguments can be addressed on their own either way, I’m just curious is all.

    Addressing the scientific data isn’t “patronising” I hope!

    foinavon: “The reported cooling from 2003 was shown recently to be an artifact from problems with some of the Argo temperature monitors..”
    We actually know all about this, so don’t try to imply that we may be using false information when we state that there has been no warming and perhaps even a slight cooling over the past few years. That’s the conclusion Josh Willis himself came to AFTER he found the errors and made the adjustments. In fact he is quoted farther up in the thread saying exactly that.

    Fine. But the point is that several year periods of temperature statis or even cooling are not unexpected, and we’ve observed several of these during the warming of the last 30-0dd years. Since everyone feels like quoting Josh Willis, it’s worth pointing out again that Dr. Willis makes exacty that point in his recent paper:
    “Although the historical record suggests that multiyear periods of little warming (or even cooling) are not unusual, the present analysis confirms this result with unprecedented accuracy.”
    Willis JK et al. (2008) Assessing the globally averaged sea level budget on seasonal to interannual timescales. J. Geophys. Res. Oceans 113, C06015

    foinavon: “In any case, we don’t expect a monotonous warming in response to enhanced forcing as the earth tends towards a new equilibrium temperature.”
    Tell that to the IPCC then. Their projections actually did show monotonous warming. See Lucia. And you know that, so why are you attempting to state otherwise?

    I’m not sure what you’re referring to there either in relation to the IPCC or to this Lucia person (whohe?). It’s obvious that any warming response to enhanced greenhouse (or solar) forcing will have mixed into it the cyclic and stochastic elements of the climate system (solar cycle; El Nino’s, La Nina’s, PDO, AMO, volcanoes, etc.) that result in “noise” on the long term trend. That’s what Dr. Willis is stating in the quote just above, and no-one considers things to be otherwise. The notion of a steady, monotonous progressive temperature response to a change in forcing is a straw man.

    foinavon: “Part of the reduction in warming is due to the fact that we’ve been descending to the bottom of the solar cycle during the last 4-5 years.”
    Oh please. It’s too late in the game for you to invoke the sun NOW. The same with La Nina. You would have to rethink your analysis of the temp trends for the entire 20th century first before you can claim any credibility with attribution NOW.

    Careful. You need to distinguish between the solar cycle itself and any long term trends in the solar output. The solar cycle drives a truncated response in the earth’s surface temperature equivalent to perhaps 0.1 oC peak to trough. So over 5 years of slightly falling TSI, the enhanced greenhouse forcing is opposed a tad, and during the 5 or so years of the solar cycle rise, the greenhouse forcing is reinforced a tad. Likewise with La Nina’s. Just as El Nino’s raise the gloablly averaged surface temperature anomaly transiently, so La Nina’s reduce it.
    But obviously over a long term the effects of the solar cycle and La Nina’s and El Nino’s average out to effectively zero contribution to the trend. They result in noise” on the long term temperature anomaly trend. But obviously if one is addressing events over very short periods, the “noise” is a very significant consideration! So the Pielke-type analysis of 4 years of data should been done with short term contributions (that are likely averaged out in the long term), in mind….

  102. A new sunspot is on the sun right now but it would seem that it’s a SC23 spot!!! Is that confirmed?
    REPLY: Due to low latitude, yes. -Anthony

  103. Mary H, I must protest, and loudly! I am not a conservative, nor do I believe in creationism or intelligent design. AND I think people who place their scientific eggs in that religious basket are daft! How dare you paint an opposing scientific view with a religious brush like that! How dare you! You are off my reading list. I don’t care one whit what you have to say from now on. To make such a conclusion opens your other conclusions up to doubt that you have thoroughly examined the evidence yourself, questioned it, sought and studied opposing positions, etc. It sounds like you might have to paint yourself one color too. Are you closed minded? Do you have preconceived assumptions? Do you have a belief system that boarders on the same fanaticism that you rail against? But be sure, I don’t care what your answer is. You have shown your stripes by such a stupid remark.

  104. Well stated George, have you got the energy diagram for the process of sea water freezing? The freezing/salting effect has always struck me as very complex, there is a lot of energy removed from the system to go to a highly complex, ordered hydrogen bonded solid ice structured, from a disordered, ironically fractured liquid. The ‘heat’ required for this transition must be huge.

  105. Pete (13:33:57) :

    foinavon (12:07:48) said:
    The observational evidence supports tropospheric “moistening” in response to warming.

    Response:
    The latest paper [discussed elsewhere on WUWT] argues that mid- and upper- tropospheric relative humidity has been DECREASING contrary to all model predictions.

    Pete, the authors of that paper recognise that radiosonde data is hugely problematic for upper tropospheric water vapour content and qualify their analysis with numerous reminders of that point. They decided anyway to do the analysis, warts and all. That’s fine, but until there is a validation of radiosonde data for high altitude water vapour, that analysis is not much use for assessing real world phenomenon (at least for now). The authors pretty much say as much:
    “It is accepted that radiosonde-derived humidity data must be treated with great caution, particularly at altitudes above the 500 hPa pressure level.”
    “However, radiosonde humidity measurements are notoriously unreliable and are usually dismissed out-of-hand as being unsuitable for detecting trends of water vapour in the upper troposphere.”
    “Elliott and Gaffen (1991) examined problems of radiosonde humidity measurements for climate studies. They decided that data before 1973 are indeed unusable without adjustments to take account of instrumental changes and deficiencies. Since 1973, the instrumental changes have had less obvious impacts, but there are still problems with reporting practices—particularly the reporting of data from higher levels where both temperature and humidity are very low. They suggested that “data above 500 hPa, with the possible exception of the tropics, are not reliable enough to draw conclusions about upper-level humidity. Even 500 hPa data may be unreliable at high latitudes.””
    “It is of course possible that the observed humidity trends from the NCEP data are simply the result of problems with the instrumentation and operation of the global radiosonde network from which the data are derived.”
    Radiosondes weren’t designed for tropospheric temperature measurements nor water vapour measurements. The atmospheric physicists already got themselves in a pickle through confusions over radiosonde temperature data that was biased by artefacts. If the people reporting humidity data from radiosondes are accompanying their analyses with serious qualifications as to its reliability, we should wait until the problems are sorted out before considering the data to be useful.

  106. George E smith: thanks for good info as allways.
    Mary hinge,
    You write: “Sorry Frank, you’ve got it wrong (again).”
    You don’t give me an idea what this “Again” is all about, if you wish to mention something that actually relevant speak out openly what it is you are talking about, that would be the least you could do.
    Only the loosing side of a debate is tempted to try personal attacks rather than stick to sober science.
    Most debators in simple blog entries will make an error now an then, whats your point?? You make errors too (!!) and so what??

  107. I’d be careful about the religious connection if I were you, the sceptic community, whether on this subject or evolution or even as was the case not that long ago, plate tectonics, are firmly wedded to the religious right.
    Mary Hinge, plate tectonics was almost universally rejected by the mainstream scientific ‘consensus’ not to long ago. It was only embraced by a few sceptics.
    Wegener first proposed continental drift in 1915, yet it wasn’t until the 1960s it was generally accepted by geologists.
    You should be careful about denigrating climate sceptics through tenuous associations with fringe religous views. It is precisely because many of us sceptics are religous athiests that we can clearly see the religous dimension of Global Warming, Climate Change or whatever it is called this week.

  108. Anthony, this is off topic and not a follow-up, but I did want to sent you a question/comment.
    One of the signs of global warming is a cooling of the stratosphere. When I look at this graph of the lower stratosphere for the last 50 years (Figure 1)
    http://www.atmosphere.mpg.de/enid/20c.html
    the temperature is definitely lower.
    However, rather than constant cooling since the mid-70s there appear to be three plateaus with the levels ‘reset’ by two major volcanic eruptions.
    Have you read anything about this?
    Robert Pollock

  109. Tim Clark (13:39:46) :

    Your argument, as I understood it, is CO2 causes heating-heating goes into sink(ocean), but when temps aren’t rising in sync with CO2, (which they aren’t)-heat stored in sink causes sea level rise (which they haven’t since late 2006). My (and apparently Pielke’s) contention is: based on your climate construction, if sea level is static (link above), and sea ice is greater now than two years ago and CO2 is rising, then the ocean must be warmer, or CO2 doesn’t cause warming. So you argument against Pielke boils down to your belief that the ocean temp data is suspect. That makes you a denier in a similar fashion to my disbelief of GassTemp. And about the suns influence, better hope Leif isn’t reading :~).

    I don’t think that’s quite right. The most recent published analyses indicate that sea levels are still rising. However it seems that there is an increasing mass component to sea level rise (i.e. from land ice melt) and a diminished steric component (ocean expansion due to warming). One possible explanation is that in recent years a significant part of the absorption of “heat” has gone into melting ice, so that increased ocean mass is not accompanied by increased ocean warmth (see papers just below [***]). However we are talking about a very short period of time! It really isn’t worth overinterpreting a few years worth of observations.
    Re the sun: I addressed this in my comment to Syl just above. Since everyone here is addressing phenomena occurring over a very short time period (4 years), we have to consider those elements of the climate system (internal and external) that are averaged out to essentially zero in the long term trend. So whereas we don’t consider the solar cycle in relation to the long term trend in the temperature anomaly, we should consider it if we’re interested in what’s happening over a period of a few years. For the last 4 years the solar cycle has been opposing the enhanced greenhouse forcing from raised greenhouse gas levels.
    [***]
    Cazenave A et al. (2009) Sea level budget over 2003-2008: A reevaluation from GRACE space gravimetry, satellite altimetry and Argo Global Planetary Change 65, 83-88
    Willis JK et al. (2008) Assessing the globally averaged sea level budget on seasonal to interannual timescales. J. Geophys. Res. Oceans 113, C06015
    http://www.agu.org/journals/jc/jc0806/2007JC004517/

  110. foinavon,
    So there is no reliable water vapour data.
    The only data we do have shows that specific humidity is more-or-less constant and it is relative humidity that is falling at all levels of the troposphere (the models assume increasing specific humidity and constant relative humidity (+/- 1.0% at different levels)).
    But we can’t use this data.
    Can we or can we not then question the water vapour assumptions built into the models?
    Can we or can we not then question the assumptions built into the models that there should be increasing heat content in the oceans?
    Can we or can we not then question the fact that the actual temperature trends are not keeping up with the model’s predictions?
    Is there anything in the models we can question?
    (Since any data that does not conform to the model’s predictions is questionable, there must be something in the models that is questionable as well, one would think).

  111. “How dare you paint an opposing scientific view with a religious brush like that! ”
    I think maybe people are thinking of the word “religion” here in two different ways. It isn’t meant as any disrespect for religious beliefs, in the way the word “religion” got connected with the “warmers”. What it means is that in religion, certain things are (as they should be) taken for truth as a matter of faith. One does not go around “testing” or “experimenting” with religious beliefs. They are simply taken as a matter of faith.
    Now science is a different story. The conclusions MUST be testable and you must be able to reproduce experimental results and the conclusions one comes to with regard to data and the methods used for the analysis of data must also be documented and reproducible.
    What we see happening is people taking “warming” as a matter of faith and refuse to accept the data from observation that is counter to their belief. In other words, many people’s conclusions are not based on any observational reality, but in faith that the models are correct. Now believing something to be true without any physical evidence is what has been called “religion”. It isn’t meant to mean that religious people are bad or that religious people “believe in” global warming. It is meant to say that the “belief in” global warming is its own religion. As there is no evidence that the outcome predicted by the models is actually happening, any “belief” that they are correct is simply a matter of faith.
    Global warming isn’t something that one should or should no “believe in”. It is something that should or should not be able to be documented and shown to be empirically true or not true.
    So far the temperatures are not rising as the models predict. There is no warming of the oceans. There is no great melt of the icecaps. There is no warming higher up in the troposphere. There is no increase in the rate of sea level rise. So what they are talking about is the religion of “global warming” being a belief not based on science but on “faith”. Now one’s religious faith, whatever it is, should be strong and unwavering and not require physical proof. A scientific conclusion that is going to cost us all billions and possibly trillions globally *had better* be provable.
    That we are still even debating it is proof that the models are wrong because if they were correct, the changes would have been irrefutable by now rather than unobservable.
    And once someone has a belief based on faith rather than physical observation, not argument of logic can dissuade them because they have blinded themselves by simply “believing” no matter what you tell them. In fact, rather than argue the facts, they will tend to attack the deliverer of the message, suppress the message, delete comments, etc. This is because they experience an attack on their “belief” to be an attack on themselves and so they respond by “attacking” back rather than engaging in a logical argument based on fact.
    I don’t “believe” or “disbelieve” but I will say that so far I have seen no evidence that convinces me that the models so far accurately predict what is happening in our climate with regard to CO2 and so it is therefore foolish to waste money on mitigation of something that might be of no consequence or might even turn out to be beneficial in the long run.

  112. George E. Smith, Mary Hinge and Frank.
    I think the whole discussion is still a bit off on issue of salinity and temperature and density of the ocean. Frank is wrong about 4 deg C. However, there is no deep ocean thermal expansion either.
    perhaps this web site would help:
    http://www.windows.ucar.edu/tour/link=/earth/Water/deep_ocean.html&edu=high
    Warm ocean water stays on top, cold ocean water on the bottom. The bulk of the cold water is salty water that sinks in the arctic region. It goes down to the bottom of the ocean where it is as cold as 0 deg C or 32 deg F.
    There is only mixing in the top 100-400 meters. So, If there is going to be any thermal expansion it happens here. If there is going to be any hidden heat stored in the ocean, it will be here too. So, the Argos measurements going down to 2000 meters is probably sufficient. Everything below that is in layers according to temperature or salinity. Warmer waters will not penetrate down there, only cold saltier water will. Hence there is little or no hidden heat in the pipeline. Argos is measuring a no heat increase in the top part of the layer, it means there is none worth talking about below.
    FInally the only water that does pennetrate this layer comes from the Arctic. So George, we get very cold (28 deg F perhaps?) and salty water sinking down. It goes to the bottom and back fills the whole ocean. There is no hidden heat down there. It simply will not sink.
    P.S. Mary, keep the God comments out of this. I have no religion, not even atheist. I was born and raised to choose my own beliefs, and I have chosen none. I do take offense to your comment about religion and skeptics, and it reflects negatively on your arguments. In addition I find most religious people being very concerned with the environment. They are the ones that do irritating things like invite me to a park to pick up garbage…

  113. Niels A Nielsen (13:43:49) :

    foinavon (11:28:57) : “In any case, we don’t expect a monotonous warming in response to enhanced forcing as the earth tends towards a new equilibrium temperature. For example, the current plateau in warming is quite similar to what was observed in the early 1980’s, the mid 1990’s and so on”
    If the net forcing increases monotonously I think “we” expect energy to be accumulated more or less monotonously – if not in the atmosphere then in the oceans. What is interesting here is that unlike the plateaus in the 80’s and 90’s the current plateau cannot be attributed to stratospheric vulcanos.

    Yes O.K., but we don’t expect monotonous, progressive measurements of increasing temperature or heat content or whatever, and especially shouldn’t overinterpret data over very short periods (like 4 years). The sea level data indicates that sea levels were rising at least through 2007. The heat content indicates a relatively small steric (warming) contribution to sea level rise in this period and indicates a larger mass (land ice melt) contribution. We’ve had a significant La Nina in 2008 which brought unhanced upwelling of cold waters to the eastern equatrorial Pacific. We’re smack at the bottom of the solar cycle….
    …a lot of disparate things happen in the very short term that tend to be averaged out in the longer term. It’s not worth making major interpretations of long term phenomena based on very short time periods.

  114. foinavon:

    “I’m not sure what you’re referring to there either in relation to the IPCC or to this Lucia person (whohe?).”

    You’re kidding, right? If not, you need to get out more often. If so, it’s not that funny calling Lucia ‘he’. [Her interesting site, “The Blackboard,” is listed in WUWT’s short blog roll.]
    Lucia Liljegren falsified the UN/IPCC’s AR-4 predictions with this simple and elegant chart: click
    Others have also falsified the IPCC [and once is all it takes], but Lucia’s chart does it in one easy to understand page view.

  115. tallbloke
    I love your bet. I have been searching high and low for the right structure for such a bet, and yours is the best (read: most straightforward) I’ve seen/
    Issues:
    (a) I suspect that multiple wagers at smaller amounts would be more collectible on average (that is, spread the collection risk). Be sure to write ti down, with provisions for collecting from the estate and/or heirs.
    (b) with the AGW frenzy reaching a fevered pitch, you should be getting VERY long odds; at least say 5:1. If AGW folks are only willing to go even odds, how “settled” could the “science” really be??
    (c) unfortunately, many many AGW proponents are not. how to put this politely?, er, “liquid” or even er, “solvent”. Suggest skipping the bicycle commuters and starting with overpaying Prius owners (admittedly a redundant tautology) and working backwards through Saab and Volvo owners.
    Before anybody gets PC-HUFFY about such a gross generalization, (a) we own a volvo (b) I used to own a Saab 900 turbo convert AND a 1968 Saab 95 2-stroke wagon ringa a ding ding (c) R&T reported on a study a number of years back that found that the only folks more liberal than Saab owners were people who didn’t have a driver’s license (Manhattanites, I suspect).
    I myself am going to try to get 10:1 odds PLUS make exactly the same bet you did (that is, 2005 to 2020). AGW folks are so sure of themselves that they likely won’t even look at the current data. so I’ll be starting way ahead.

  116. My experience with ocean tehrmodynamics is limited to the deep shelf, down to about 8000 feet, where my company’s drilling rigs operate. But FWIW:
    Water temps at the depths where we operate (about 300 to 6500 feet usually) is consistently just below 0 degrees C (about 31 deg F) worldwide, and I mean worldwide (North Sea, GOM, Brazil, West Africa, Australia, etc.)
    Remember that the hydrostatic pressure is around 0.4 pounds for every FOOT of water depth, so pressures are pretty high.
    There ARE currents (sometimes several knots) at depth, but apparently very little vertical mixing, at least on the shelf where we operate.
    My (limited) understanding is that the thermal statification below a couple hundred feet water depth is very severe, so that it takes a VERY long time for significant heat exchange to take place from surface to depths. That, coupled with the large thermal mass of seawater (btu/deg/lb, or if you like kcal/deg/kg) is what MAKES the deep ocean a highly effective “sink”
    FWIW.

  117. “The sea level data indicates that sea levels were rising at least through 2007.”
    Yup, at a nice steady even rate that has basically unchanged for at least half a century. No increase in rate of change. If anything the recent rate of change has decreased, not increased.

  118. And the fact that automated weather stations in Antarctica must be raised a tower section every few years should give evidence that the snow pack there is accumulating significantly.

  119. Pearland Aggie (16:43:21) :
    “algore says to debate the science of AGW is silly….”
    He also refused to debate skeptic Bjorn Lomborg saying:
    No. “The scientific community has gone through this chapter and verse. We have long since passed the time when we should pretend this is a ‘on the one hand, on the other hand’ issue,” he said. “It’s not a matter of theory or conjecture, for goodness sake,” he added.
    As an example, he pointed to a new addition to the budget for the island nation of the Maldives: “Funds to buy a new nation.”
    Jeepers! Where do you shop? And finally, since earth’s ice cap melt is due to AGW, and we know the ice on mars is melting… Wouldn’t that be proof of life on mars?

  120. David L. Hagen (10:17:59) :

    Decadal Temperature Trends
    “Globally averaged trends computed over latitudes from 82.5S to 82.5N (70S to 82.5N for channel TLT) are shown in the table below, and include data through January, 2009:”

    Lower Troposphere TLT 1979 to 2009-01 0.157 K/decade

    http://i599.photobucket.com/albums/tt74/MartinGAtkins/RSS-MSU-TMT.jpg

    Middle Troposphere TMT 1979 to 2009-01 0.091 K/decade

    http://i599.photobucket.com/albums/tt74/MartinGAtkins/RSS-MSU-TMT-1.jpg
    Lower Stratosphere TLS 1979 to 2009-01 -0.335 K/decade
    http://i599.photobucket.com/albums/tt74/MartinGAtkins/RSS-MSU-TLS.jpg

  121. anna v (03:43:52) :
    That is what I have been saying all along!
    What would snap us out of a Ice cover?
    Sun? no it is reflected. CO2? no it does not generate heat.
    Geothermal? yes it come from underneath , it is steady and works globally!
    err uhm…… well duh!
    model any one?

  122. All I can say with relation to the original story is, oh well. I was rather hoping that the cold snap was over and warming would again commence as promised. My primroses had the nerve to poke their heads out over the past 2 weeks, even with the consistent sub zero overnight temps. (We have had exactly 3 over night lows in positive territory since November. Tough plants) Now it appears that in my neck of the woods, we are about to have a March Blizzard! Haven’t had one of those since I left Thunder Bay in ’69. Next time I write from here I should be under a foot of warming! I was a bit worried that I had missed the optimum pruning window for the fruit trees. Silver lining?

  123. Notes on climate/weather
    Leif asserts that the heat from the sun has (and always has been the same) little variation.
    So why does the climate change? In fact how do we have weather? How do we have climate?
    When I was a kid, in the 50s, we used to burn paper (and our skin) with a magnifying glass. This was in Scotland where the temperatures are not that exciting (the record temp apparently in the SW Dumfries area is about 31.8C – nice summer’s day down under) and clouds are the most prominent features in the sky. We still managed to burn paper with the glass! Why?
    My theory is that the light from the sun, through the glass, pinpoints/focuses at an optimum distance from the subject eg paper, skin etc. and creates heat. It doesn’t matter what the ambient temperature is at this subject point because the glass requires sunlight to cause the heat. It was rarely a success (if at all) when the clouds were between the glass and the sun.
    The Earth spins on its axis and travels around the sun. The sun is overhead between the tropics of Cancer and Capricorn depending on the time of year. Spill light reaches to the poles, either one depends on the time of the year.
    It is not the fact that the sun is overhead in the tropics that causes the heat it is because there is more sunlight and the focus is stronger in these areas.
    The upper atmosphere is like a magnifying glass, without it we would freeze!
    The height and thickness of the upper atmosphere determines the focus of the sunlight. Where it hits ocean there is an increase in humidity, when it hits land the surface heat increases.
    The spin of the Earth moves the air currents that then pick up their influence from the land or sea conditions causing weather. If there are fluctuations with the height and depth of the upper atmosphere and the focus of sunlight is increased or decreased then weather changes. If the height and depth do not vary then the climate becomes stable.
    I sometimes think that we know too much and understand so little. My theory is simple, simplistic maybe, but I can understand it and see what is happening around us.
    Maybe others can see my POV?
    If the mods allow this to get through then please be gentle with me 😉

  124. Mike Ryan:
    I just wonder why, in blogs to do with science, some people feel the need to refer to religion so much. Ladies and gentleman: please keep to the science!
    I know what you mean, Mike, but it wasn’t me who brought up this whole line of argument, back when the AGW apostles apparently thought it was cute to call me a “denier”. It really did seem pretty stupid on their part and not “keeping to the science”, which in a way actually tells you what is being done in “Climate Science”.
    And then the AGW’s kept right on doing it, so I just decided to ask, well, what is the opposite of a “denier”, and, yes, it can turn out to be a “believer”. I didn’t think they’d like that at all, but they started it and were making a lot of propagandistic hay by this “denier” name calling, again which I think tells everyone a lot about them.
    Mike, if you start to look at the ipcc’s Climate Science as more of a massive propaganda operation, things will start to make a whole lot more sense. For example, what kind of scientist studying atmospheric temperatures never checks their thermometers?
    As to Mary H. trying to tie me and everyone who does not toe her line to the “religious right”, I’m also pretty sick of being called a “theocon” and a “racist”. I say that people who use these kind of name-calling terms and tactics simply because of a disagreement are projecting, just as the “believers” were doing in calling me a “denier”. It’s funny how that works.

  125. My understanding of why we even have weather is that the atmosphere is the mechanism to transport heat from the tropics to the poles. When you have a solar minimum then you get changes to this mechanism which opens up holes in the thermal blanket at the poles and reflects via low-lying clouds to reject more incoming. The upper atmosphere shrinks, and we just found that out. The sun’s TSI does not have to change, just the lack of solar wind to keep out the cosmic rays seems enough to get the job done: release stored heat & reject a portion of the incoming heat.
    So, the Earth cools.
    What’s the big deal?
    Does it really matter right now how it’s doing it, just as long as we understand what it doing (a la cooling)???

  126. Norm, I don’t think your “upper atmosphere/lens” theory is going to get a whole lot of traction.
    Was that gentle ??
    I did enjoy reading the post though. Perhaps if you can find evidence that anthropogenic GHGs enhance the lens effect, THEN you might be up for a nice 3 or 4 year grant.

  127. Well. I come here and lurk, or I go to CA and lurk, and I understand enough to get the big picture. This is an enormously complicated system with a lot of moving parts, isn’t it? You guys talk about the sun and cosmic rays and solar winds; you talk about PDO and El Ninos and La Ninas. You got humidity in the stratosphere and deep sea temperatures. I can’t keep track of all the variables you all talk about. Anyone who thinks he can simplify this system down to a single variable (CO2) is reasoning like a child, a very young one, who thinks food comes from the refrigerator, end of story. “Temperature comes from CO2, the way Mommy opens the fridge and brings me a cup of yogurt.”
    My husband and argued today about whether the “Climate Change” PR train has left the station. I told him, not as long as Anthony, Steve McIntyre and their friends are busy. Keep up the good work, guys.

  128. http://www.cnn.com/2009/CRIME/03/06/nasa.fund.indictment/index.html
    WASHINGTON (CNN) — A former high-ranking NASA official was indicted Friday for allegedly guiding more than $9.6 million in agency funds to one of his consulting clients.
    According to the indictment, in 2005, Stadd helped steer NASA funds from an earth science appropriation to his client.
    If convicted on all charges, Stadd faces up to 15 years in prison.
    I’m quite sure that we’ll be hearing more about this, because where there’s smoke, there’s fire.

  129. @jorgekafkazar (14:31:00) :
    “Ron de Haan (12:15:55) : “…The hockey stick of Mann is a proven fraud….”
    I beg to differ. Fraud has not yet been proven. Mann’s science is misleading, his methodology inexplicable, his programming byzantine, his statistics abysmal, and his conclusions totally erroneous, but aside from that, his paper was fine.”
    Accurate, sir.

  130. foinavan, did I read you right? You seem to suggest that weather variation in the short term could be related to the Sun’s effects. Or that we could consider some sort of Sun connection. Could you expand on your thinking? How big do you think it might be?

  131. realitycheck (05:24:53) :
    Thank you for the details and the link.
    To all who have responded to the question of heating from below: I am not doubting that the water is cold at the bottom, and convection will efficiently keep this. I am asking about the effect of having a low grade heater underneath on the temperature, how much “hotter” it is because of this gradient. This will have an effect on the volume of water. As this heating might be time dependent ( tides in the magma?, normal tides, chaotic beats in the magma?) it would affect the rise / fall of oceans.
    Though it seems, like the tide energy, that it is too small with respect to sun input.

  132. foinavon (15:52:27) :
    You cannot dismiss the current flat/down trend by merely passing it off as la nina noise plus a dash of solar then walk away as if that means nothing to the overall sensitivity of the climate to CO2. Attributions matter.
    How much of the 20th century rise in temps is attributable to ENSO events and the ocean oscillations?
    What? they cancel out? Nope, no they did not. There were two warm PDO’s (more and stronger el nino’s, weaker la nina’s) and one cool one (stronger la nina’s, weaker el nino’s) last century. That does not equal zero.
    And here we are in the next century without a volcano affecting the stratosphere and no major change in magic aerosols. Just a flipped PDO to the cool side giving us a nice la nina. Add in a pinch of solar. And we’ve overcome the heating of the still rising CO2 in the atmosphere!
    The models have to rethink their attributions for the 20th century if a PDO flip and a la nina can have such a strong effect. How much any given model credited aerosols for cooling mid-century directly affected the climate sensitivity they calculated but since ENSO effects were merely considered noise they were missed. The ocean oscillations weren’t ignored because they were considered noise, they were ignored because they occur on a sub-century timescale. Actually they were ignored because we didn’t really know much of anything about them.
    What I’m saying is that the amount of temp rise attributed to CO2 is a bigger share of the pie than deserved. What do you think the adjustment should be?
    Or do you think you can dance around the issue for another twenty years?
    As for the IPPC projections which effectively started in 2001, they sure looked monotonous to their intended audience. Were they merely propaganda? Are you saying the IPPC deals in strawmen? Lucia ( http://rankexploits.com/musings/ ) has demonstrated that so far our planet is falsifying these IPPC projections.

  133. philincalifornia (19:30:27) :
    Norm, I don’t think your “upper atmosphere/lens” theory is going to get a whole lot of traction.
    Was that gentle ??
    I did enjoy reading the post though. Perhaps if you can find evidence that anthropogenic GHGs enhance the lens effect, THEN you might be up for a nice 3 or 4 year grant.
    Thanks Phil, gracious of you.
    I don’t think there are such things as anthropogenic GHGs! I think it is a natural phenomena that nobody that I can see has looked at.

  134. kevin (19:42:24) :
    100% bologna

    How do comments like this make it through moderation? Is he commenting on on a previous comment, the post, WUWT, or his last meal?

  135. Pamela: “How dare you paint an opposing scientific view with a religious brush like that!..You are off my reading list.”
    Pamela, to be fair, Mary H was replying to this comment by Ron de Haan (04:59:48): “This is the stuff which is put under the carpet because it’s to “inconvenient” for certain religious agenda’s.”
    So the issue was not initially raised by Mary H. Ron is not only painting an opposing scientific view with a religious brush but also implying some sort of nefarious plan. (To my mind, the grocer’s apostrophe is an equally tasteless affront, but I’m guessing that English is not Ron’s first language, so I hold my fire.)
    Mary H made a more specific claim to the effect that AGW scepticism is wedded to the religious right, and I think this claim can be fairly challenged.
    However, on the more general issue of AGW and religion, the religious accusation as applied to AGW is reasonably common both at WUWT and across the AGW sceptic blogosphere.
    So if you were to be consistent and stop reading people who paint an opposing scientific view with a religious brush, you could end up with a rather thin reading list.

  136. AKD (22:04:06) :
    kevin (19:42:24) :
    100% bologna
    “How do comments like this make it through moderation? Is he commenting on on a previous comment, the post, WUWT, or his last meal?”
    They make it through because Anthony is counting on people like you who creatively ask if it was his last meal. Spit my ice cold Coors light on my puter screen. So not only have I got me kickers in a twist from an earlier outburst of mine, I now stand accused of alcohol abuse.

  137. I see foinavon ducked out of telling me his qualifications in return for me telling him mine again. Judging by the spin in this statement:
    I don’t think anyone is arguing that the evidence doesn’t indicate that the ocean surface hasn’t warmed much in the last few years.
    I think he may be qualified in political science rather than a physical science. After all, Josh Willis, the man who actually collates and interprets the ARGO data, doesn’t seem to have a problem admitting the data shows cooling over the last SIX YEARS.
    I wonder if he sees “reduced warming” rather than cooling in these two graphics of sea surface temperature from March 2005 and March 2009…
    http://www.osdpd.noaa.gov/PSB/EPS/SST/data/anomnight.3.5.2005.gif
    http://www.osdpd.noaa.gov/PSB/EPS/SST/data/anomnight.3.5.2009.gif

  138. Brendan H (22:17:51) :
    So if you were to be consistent and stop reading people who paint an opposing scientific view with a religious brush, you could end up with a rather thin reading list.
    Since the readership of this blog is so high, a poll would be interesting on the type of skeptic frequenting this site . For example I consider myself center to left and have left religion behind these last fifty years.

  139. Global Cooling in the Pipeline?
    Here is a prediction of global cooling made in 2002, based on my conversation with paleoclimatologist Dr. Tim Patterson, and published in my article in the Calgary Herald.
    Also included below is a paper by Dr. Patterson et al. Tim’s prediction was based primarily on the Gleissberg Cycle.
    Whether we fully understand the mechanism or not, there seems to be a cyclical nature to warming and cooling, and an argument for a relationship to solar activity.
    Let’s see who turns out to be more correct – the IPCC, who predicted catastrophic global warming, or Tim, who predicted cooling.
    Given the IPCC’s dismal track record of prediction, I’d bet on natural global cooling in the near future. Maybe it has already started.
    Humanity has historically fared much better under global warming than cooling conditions.
    It is regrettable that so much of recent climate “research” has obsessed with demonizing CO2, a waste of time and resources, rather than developing real predictive skills.
    If cooling is severe, we should start preparations now. Nobody farms north of us.
    Regards, Allan
    _____________________________________________________
    Excerpt from:
    Kyoto hot air can’t replace fossil fuels
    September 1, 2002; Allan M.R. MacRae; Calgary Herald
    Over the past one thousand years, global temperatures exhibited strong correlation with variations in the sun’s activity. This warming and cooling was certainly not caused by manmade variations in atmospheric CO2, because fossil fuel use was insignificant until the 20th century.
    Temperatures in the 20th century also correlate poorly with atmospheric CO2 levels, which increased throughout the century. However, much of the observed warming in the 20th century occurred before 1940, there was cooling from 1940 to 1975 and more warming after 1975. Since 80 per cent of manmade CO2 was produced after 1940, why did much of the warming occur before that time? Also, why did the cooling occur between 1940 and 1975 while CO2 levels were increasing? Again, these warming and cooling trends correlate well with variations in solar activity.
    Only since 1975 does warming correlate with increased CO2, but solar activity also increased during this period. This warming has only been measured at the earth’s surface, and satellites have measured little or no warming at altitudes of 1.5 to eight kilometres. This pattern is inconsistent with CO2 being the primary driver for warming.
    If solar activity is the main driver of surface temperature rather than CO2, we should begin the next cooling period by 2020 to 2030.
    _____________________________________________________
    http://fossil.earthsci.carleton.ca/~tpatters/pubs2/2004/patterson2004sedgeol172_67-84.pdf
    Late Holocene sedimentary response to solar and cosmic ray activity influenced climate variability in the NE Pacific,
    Patterson, R.T., Prokoph, A., Chang, A.S.
    Sedimentary Geology (2004) 172, p. 67-84.
    Marine-laminated sediments along the NE Pacific coast (Effingham inlet, Vancouver Island) provide an archive of climate variability at annual to millennial scales. A 7.75-m portion of piston core TUL99B-03 was deposited during a ≈ 3045-year interval [≈1440-4485 years before present (yBP)] under primarily anoxic conditions. Darker clay laminae were deposited under higher precipitation conditions in winter, and diatom-dominated laminae were laid down when marine productivity was higher in the spring through autumn.
    Wavelet transform and other time-series analysis methods were applied to sediment color (i.e. gray-scale values) line-scans obtained from X-ray images and compared with global records of cosmogenic nuclides 14C and 10Be, as well as the Ice Drift Index (hematite-stained grains) record to detect cycles, trends, and nonstationarities in the climate and sedimentary pattern. Our results show that the marine sedimentary record in the NE Pacific responded to abrupt changes and long-term variability in climate that can be linked to external forcing (e.g., solar and cosmic irradiance). Specifically, a strong cooling in the NE Pacific at ≈3550±160 yBP can be correlated to a weakening of high-frequency (50-150 years) pulses in sun activity at the Gleissberg cycle band, similar to what occurred at the onset of the “Little Ice Age” at ≈1630 AD.
    Three intervals of unusually low sun activity at ≈ 2350, 2750, and ≈ 3350 yBP are characterized by thick, clay-rich annual sedimentation that we interpret as representative of unusually wet conditions. These intervals of higher precipitation conditions may have been related to a regional intensification of the Aleutian Low (AL) caused by an eastward migration of the Center of Action (COA) of the AL, which occurs during intervals of solar minima. Dryer conditions in the region occur when the COA of AL migrates westward and the COA of the North Pacific High (NPH) migrates northward during intervals of solar maxima. A cyclicity of 50-85, 33-36, and 22-29 years in the sediment color record, lamination thickness, and 14C cosmogenic nuclide, characterized the relatively warm interval from 3550 to 4485 yBP. This record is similar to that of present-day low- and high-frequency variants of the Pacific Decadal Oscillation and Aleutian Low.
    _____________________________________________________

  140. JOURNAL OF GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH, VOL. 113, A11101, doi:10.1029/2007JA012989, 2008
    Using the oceans as a calorimeter to quantify the solar radiative forcing
    Nir J. Shaviv
    Abstract
    Over the 11-year solar cycle, small changes in the total solar irradiance (TSI) give rise
    to small variations in the global energy budget. It was suggested, however, that different
    mechanisms could amplify solar activity variations to give large climatic effects, a
    possibility which is still a subject of debate. With this in mind, we use the oceans as a
    calorimeter to measure the radiative forcing variations associated with the solar cycle. This
    is achieved through the study of three independent records, the net heat flux into the
    oceans over 5 decades, the sea-level change rate based on tide gauge records over the 20th
    century, and the sea-surface temperature variations. Each of the records can be used to
    consistently derive the same oceanic heat flux.
    We find that the total radiative forcing associated with solar cycles
    variations is about 5 to 7 times larger than just those associated
    with the TSI variations, thus implying the necessary existence of an
    amplification mechanism, although without pointing to which one.
    Citation: Shaviv, N. J. (2008), Using the oceans as a calorimeter to quantify the solar radiative forcing, J. Geophys. Res., 113, A11101, doi:10.1029/2007JA012989.
    Received 17 December 2007; revised 20 July 2008; accepted 6 August 2008; published 4 November 2008.
    Note: This appeared in the Space Sciences Section of JGR. 13 pages.
    AFJ

  141. Pamela Gray (22:23:57) :
    AKD (22:04:06) :
    kevin (19:42:24) :
    100% bologna
    ““How do comments like this make it through moderation? Is he commenting on on a previous comment, the post, WUWT, or his last meal?”
    They make it through because Anthony is counting on people like you who creatively ask if it was his last meal. Spit my ice cold Coors light on my puter screen. So not only have I got me kickers in a twist from an earlier outburst of mine, I now stand accused of alcohol abuse”.
    Pamela Gray,
    I think we do better if we limit ourselves to the science and leave Pandora’s Box closed and locked. It’s to emotional and we don’t need it.
    Let’s have a drink and a nice slice of bologna

  142. Pamela Gray (21:30:25) :

    foinavan, did I read you right? You seem to suggest that weather variation in the short term could be related to the Sun’s effects. Or that we could consider some sort of Sun connection. Could you expand on your thinking? How big do you think it might be?

    Pamela, I am addressing what this thread seems to be (partly) about, namely a very short period where there hasn’t been a rise in the surface/tropospheric temperature of the Earth. If we’re addressing very short periods then we obviously need to consider some of the contributions to temperature changes that occur on very short periods, but are generally averaged out to near zero on the timescales of long term trends in response to enhanced forcings.
    So while any effects of the solar cycle on surface temperature average to zero (unless there is a persistent change in the solar output outwith the solar cycle), the small changes in solar irradiance during the solar cycle must contribute to “noise” on short timescales. The estimates of the peak to trough influence of the solar cycle on surface temperature is difficult to assess (since it’s small!) but it’s considered to be around 0.1 oC (a recent paper by Tung and Camp suggests that it could be as high as 0.18 oC, but this is likely to be on the large side [ Surface warming by the solar cycle as revealed by the composite mean difference projection Geophysical Research Letters, 34, L14703, (2007)].
    If the long term warming trend under enhanced greenhouse forcing is (say) 0.2 oC per decade, to give an “ideal” annual warming of 0.02 oC per year, the effect of enhanced greenhouse forcing would be pretty much canceled during the waning 5-ish period of the solar cycle and doubled during the 5-ish year waxing period. The nett effect of the solar cycle is zero, but measured over very short time periods we expect on average the earth’s temperature to be a tad reduced near the minimum of the solar cycle and a tad enhanced near the maximum.
    This doesn’t particularly stand out in the record because other contributions to “noise” (volcanic eruptions, El Nino’s/La Nina’s and so on) often make stronger contributions on short time scales.
    However a period with significant La Nina’s, negative PDO indices that coincides with the solar minimum is likely to give us about as cool as we get under given conditions. That’s why 2008 gave us quite a significant down turn in the surface temperature record. Still, even with the coincidence of a number of “cooling” contributions, 2008 was still up there in the top 10 warm years….

  143. anna v: “Since the readership of this blog is so high, a poll would be interesting on the type of skeptic frequenting this site.”
    That would be an interesting exercise. Questions could include the likes of age, sex, profession, location, nationality, political persuasion, as well as religion. I think I have as fair idea of the likely results.

  144. Bill Illis (16:41:46) :

    foinavon,
    So there is no reliable water vapour data.
    The only data we do have shows that specific humidity is more-or-less constant and it is relative humidity that is falling at all levels of the troposphere (the models assume increasing specific humidity and constant relative humidity (+/- 1.0% at different levels)).
    But we can’t use this data.

    I’m not sure what data you’re talking about Bill! I listed some of the large published data set from satellite measurements that seem to be pretty reliable since their interpretations are robust across a number of different studies [ see foinavon (12:07:48)].
    I’m not sure what data you are referring to. The published data that bears specifically on the question of the water vapour response to changes in temperature seem to indicate that the water vapour concentration in the troposphere does tend to maintain constant relative humidity on average, and within the range of temperature variation of the period 2003-2005:
    Dessler, A. E., Z. Zhang, and P. Yang (2008), Water-vapor climate feedback inferred from climate fluctuations, 2003–2008, Geophys. Res. Lett., 35, L20704
    Otherwise the a couple of people on this thread have referred to a recent paper that addresses tropospheric water vapour from radiosondes, the authors of which explicitly point out repeatedly throughout the paper that the radiosonde data is not necessarily reliably [see foinavon (16:16:45)]
    So you need to be specific about what data you are referring to.
    …and notice btw that the models do not assume constant realtive humidity.

    Is there anything in the models we can question?

    Question everything Bill. Everyone questions models since that’s the only way of determining whether our understanding of the modeled phenomena are reliably parameterized. Models are continually assessed in relation to real world analyses, and if it becomes clear that parameterizations should be altered in light of new knowledge, then this is obviously done. However there’s no point assessing models against real world measurements that the authors themselves describe as quite likely to be unreliable…

  145. whoops, that should say;
    “….and within the range of temperature variation of the period 2003-2008”

  146. a couple of people on this thread have referred to a recent paper that addresses tropospheric water vapour from radiosondes, the authors of which explicitly point out repeatedly throughout the paper that the radiosonde data is not necessarily reliably
    Question everything Bill.

    Including the equally reliable satellite derived ‘measurements’ of humidity levels in the upper troposphere foinavon?
    Or are they ‘reliably robust’ in your world?

  147. foinavon, I think you are unclear on the effects of solar output on recent temperature data (I think it has had no effect). “Tad” is not a statistic and you are unclear on the number you actually use. I believe that number is likely based on a now rejected measure of solar output.
    You actually start making sense to me further down when you get to oceanic affects. Try adding trade winds (as an affect of orbital spin) and the jet streams along with all the oscillating oceans (plus the warm and cool waves discovered in the Antarctic ocean within that oscillation). Then consider how these trends can coincide to produce marked upswings and downturns in temperatures over long stretches of time (IE 30 or more years). It is reasonable to hypothesize that these various oscillations sometimes fall into sync. Not all of them at once, but pairing or tripling is not unreasonable. However, given that these things are oscillations with various durations, a grand sync, though rare, is also not outside a reasonable hypothesis.
    Once things get into grand sync it will take a while for the oscillations to get out of grand sync. Most of the time, these oscillations occur together in smaller groups. But like all oscillations, rarely, they all get together and sing the same tune. Loud and clear. Which ones were in sync during the last century, including the last part of the century? Do you know which ones are in sync now? Do you know which ones are slowly catching up to the ones that are in sync? And which ones are slowly moving out of sync? Can you predict a grand sync based on this information? Is the next grand sync going to be cold or warm?
    Examining CO2 is like doing a proctology exam on a knat’s ass. Why do you (and others I might add on the other side of the debate) minimize these much greater and long term weather pattern variation sources? They easily wipe the tiny variation in atmospheric CO2 off the table for consideration like a bug on a windshield. As they do the Sun’s tiny variation in solar output. Yet many people on both sides of a debate described as being the Sun versus CO2, don the glove and probe the gnat’s behind.

  148. If you need more information on global oceanic oscillations, this pdf article is a great way to start. Any poster and blogger here should be, in my opinion, encouraged to download this article as a requirement for being given the privilege of adding their 2 cents worth to this most excellent blog.
    http://earth.unh.edu/esci765-865/Rahmstorf%202002.pdf

  149. Brendan H,
    “That would be an interesting exercise. Questions could include the likes of age, sex, profession, location, nationality, political persuasion, as well as religion. I think I have as fair idea of the likely results.”
    Brendan, I don’t think it’s relevant that I am 21, neutered, on welfare, in Cleveland, Welsh, communist, and a Jashinist. How could any of those things affect my world view?
    Mike Bryant
    Besides how is any of that YOUR business?

  150. Pamela Gray (07:34:53) :

    foinavon, I think you are unclear on the effects of solar output on recent temperature data (I think it has had no effect). “Tad” is not a statistic and you are unclear on the number you actually use. I believe that number is likely based on a now rejected measure of solar output.

    There’s no question that the solar cycle itself must produce a (somewhat lagged) response in the Earth’s surface temperature. I’ve used a value near 0.1 oC of temperature response at the surface from the solar max to solar min. That’s the number that has been determined by a number of analyses [***]. It’s quite small (that’s why I used the term “a tad”!), but it will obviously oppose greenhouse forcing -induced warming as the solar cycle goes from max to min over around 5 years, and will supplement greenhouse forcing as the solar cycle goes from min to max on the “upswing”.
    See for example:
    J. L. Lean & D. H. Rind (2008) How natural and anthropogenic influences alter global and regional surface temperatures: 1889 to 2006 Geophys. Res. Lett.35, L18701
    “The 13-month running mean solar cycle change is 0.11 K at one month lag, consistent with the solar cycle signal found in lower troposphere satellite data since 1979 [Douglass and Clader, 2002].”
    [***] see also (which all indicate that the earth’s surface response to the solar cycle is around 0.1 oC from max to min):
    Douglass, D. H., and B. D. Clader (2002), Climate sensitivity of the Earth to solar irradiance, Geophys. Res. Lett., 29(16), 1786, doi:10.1029/2002GL015345
    Lean, J. (2005), Living with a variable Sun, Phys. Today, 58, 32–38.
    Scafetta, N., and B. J. West (2005), Estimated solar contribution to the global surface warming using the ACRIM TSI satellite composite, Geophys. Res. Lett., 32, L18713, doi:10.1029/2005GL023849.
    You describe ocean oscillation cycles:

    Then consider how these trends can coincide to produce marked upswings and downturns in temperatures over long stretches of time (IE 30 or more years).

    Is there any evidence that these longish term oscillations can result in significant global-scale temperature changes by “getting into synch” in the manner you describe? Most of the ocean current oscillations seem to be in anti-phase I think. Otherwise one has to postulate what seem like some decidedly anti-entropic phenomena…

  151. foinavon, you reveal a common misunderstanding that one ocean oscillation feeds the other, thus they can never be in sync. My suggestion is that you improve your understanding of what causes these oscillations in each area. Our oceans are not as intricately linked as you think, given the break up and spread of land masses. Did you read the article I referred to above?

  152. Pamela Gray (12:33:34) :

    foinavon, you reveal a common misunderstanding that one ocean oscillation feeds the other, thus they can never be in sync. My suggestion is that you improve your understanding of what causes these oscillations in each area. Our oceans are not as intricately linked as you think, given the break up and spread of land masses. Did you read the article I referred to above?

    Yes, I know Rahmstorf’s Nature review quite well.
    If you read Rahmstorf, you’ll find that he is largely describing the quite good evidence for anti-phase oscillations that are largely the result of changes in the strengths of ocean currents that carry heat from the equator to the high Northern latitudes. These alterations in the merodinal overturning circulation seem to underlie the D/O, Heinrich, and Younger Dryas events that Rahmstorf describes. There is also evidence that changes in heat transport to the high Northern latitudes played a role in the so-called “Little Ice Age”, which was also largely prevelant in the high Northern latitudes.
    I really don’t think there is significant evidence that supports ideas of concerted “synchronization” of ocean currents to the extent that massive and concerted heat can “aggregate” and give significant longish term surface warmth (or cooling). I’m curious to see the evidence.

  153. Mike Bryant: “Brendan, I don’t think it’s relevant that I am 21, neutered, on welfare, in Cleveland, Welsh, communist, and a Jashinist. How could any of those things affect my world view?”
    Take the age thing. Young people tend to be more impulsive and risk-taking than older people, and have shorter time horizons. That will affect one’s worldview. As for my business, I said a survey would be interesting. But of course the results would have nothing to do with the science.

  154. Foinavon:
    I really don’t think there is significant evidence that supports ideas of concerted “synchronization” of ocean currents to the extent that massive and concerted heat can “aggregate” and give significant longish term surface warmth (or cooling). I’m curious to see the evidence.

    You need to relax about the science a bit and read around the many varied sources which provide anecdotal evidence in the recent historical past regarding large swings in climates (yes, plural) around the world. This may give you a greater appreciation of the power of nature and the curious instabilities within the overall stability of the earth’s response to energy input.

  155. I have a challenge for you. Gather information on all the oceanic oscillations that have been discovered so far. They each have names. There are at least two in the Atlantic. The Arctic Oscillation is not the same thing as the Atlantic Oscillation. Does the Indian Ocean have one? Which one circles the globe?

  156. I’ll start. The North Pacific Gyre Oscillation was only recently discovered as a naturally occurring phenomenon. Its oscillation pattern has yet to be established. But it is believed that it figures into land temperatures in major ways.

  157. foinavon (12:57:25) :
    “f you read Rahmstorf, you’ll find that he is largely describing the quite good evidence for anti-phase oscillations that are largely the result of changes in the strengths of ocean currents that carry heat from the equator to the high Northern latitudes. These alterations in the merodinal overturning circulation seem to underlie the D/O, Heinrich, and Younger Dryas events that Rahmstorf describes.”
    There is also substantial isotope evidence,that in the plaeclimatic past ocean warming occurred sometimes 2-10k “prior” to increased GHG.
    There are also other incidences of NH warming in instances of low ghg.An the interhemispheris assymetry (which is netter described as chirality) it has no mirror image.
    eg Z. T. Guo et al.: Correlation of China loess and Antarctica ice records
    MIS-13 is therefore a real case of a substantial northern hemispheric warming under relatively low concentrations of greenhouse gases. Smaller northern ice-sheets would have also occurred during MIS-11 and MIS-5e, with apparently
    a lesser hemispheric asymmetry than for MIS-13. These also suggest that the coupling of hemispheric climates at the glacial-interglacial scales was significantly unstable in the Mid-Pleistocene and that marine 18O records may not
    be always reliable indicators of northern ice-volume. These findings may also have implications for the evolution of the climate system during other periods of the Quaternary.
    Once again paradox is the rule not the exception hence there is no standard model for understanding the “past”

  158. Pamela Gray (07:47:14)
    ‘oceanic affects’? It sounds more reasonable than “CO2 drives the climate theory.”
    foinavon (12:57:25)
    ‘I’m curious to see the evidence.’
    I’m still waiting for observed evidence of the “hot spot, warming oceans, heat trapping clouds and more water vapor as stated by the “CO2 drives the climate theory.”

  159. So foinavon, found out anything yet about the possibility that various oceanic oscillations can land in bed together? Turns out it is more than just a possibility. Given the variations and noise apparent in all of them with patterns running from a few years to decades and with no correlations between oceanic oscillations strongly apparent so far, it appears mathematically plausible that these oscillations will coincide in cold or warm phases, causing various extreme trends over longish periods of time that some might mistakenly believe are related to solar affects, pollution, or the fact that someone forgot to leave a sacrifice at the goddess’ cave.

  160. The globe has another set of oscillations that occur in the air. These oscillations, added to oceanic oscillations, cause jet stream shifts, warm or cold winds, monsoons over the Indian Ocean, etc. Can you imagine what would happen if these two types of oscillations (granted, some of them couple anyway with a nearby oceanic oscillation) swung together, took a roll in the hay, shared a sheet, exchanged bodily fluids, got hot and sweaty together, played house for a while, or gawdforbid, both took a chill pill at the same time? The combinations are endless but I can understand why modeling is underway to see if, by oscillations alone, past observed temperatures can be explained without a single tail pipe or pair of sunglasses in the formula, so to speak.

  161. By the way, foinavon. What caused the warming of the first half of the 20’th century?
    TSI didn’t vary enough (IPCC still uses outdated figures to do the trick). GHG levels too low. According to you, not enough evidence to attribute it to oceanic or atmospheric oscillations including albedo changes. Taminos vulcanic lull suggestion just makes the current flat temperatures even more inexplicable.
    Well?

  162. Pamela Gray,
    The two biggest oceans are the pacific and the atlantic
    The following graphs, whilst not showing a perfect correlation, are far from anti-phase.
    http://img235.imageshack.us/img235/2899/pdo1bk7.jpg
    http://digitaldiatribes.files.wordpress.com/2008/12/amoraw200811.jpg
    If you also look at the Length of Day variation, and the atmosphere in terms of the zonal ACI, the linkage becomes clearer:
    http://www.fao.org/docrep/005/Y2787E/y2787e1l.gif
    The relationship to fish stocks is fascinating, and the logs of ships involved in the fishing industry may be a valuable resource in reconstructing a longer term series.

  163. foinavon (04:50:50) :
    “If we’re addressing very short periods then we obviously need to consider some of the contributions to temperature changes that occur on very short periods, but are generally averaged out to near zero on the timescales of long term trends in response to enhanced forcings.”
    First: “enhanced forcings” has not been proven.
    Second: The ‘zeroing’ only applies to forward projections and these factors cannot be ignored in determining attributions and climate sensitivity from the past century’s trend because in the past century the oscillations DID NOT ZERO OUT.
    Third: the factors assumed to be responsible for the cooling in the middle of the last century have NOT been present during the current decade of net cooling temperatures in which no warming has occurred since 1998. This puts into question the amount of temperature rise during the last century that can be attributed to CO2 since the opposite warming to the current cooling was not factored in.
    It will take two more decades or so to possibly accomplish a zeroing (if we’re speaking only of the PDO) in which time if current trends hold, the net long term trend which even now shows less warming from CO2 than expected from the climate sensitivity determined by the models will demonstrate even less.
    The climate models have calculated a climate sensitivity too high and the attribution of factors contributing to warming/cooling is in error. The IPPC has little confidence in their knowledge of aerosol forcing as well they should. The IPPC has also admitted its understanding of low cloud cover is so poor that even the sign of the feedback is in doubt (yest a positive feedback is assumed). Its understanding of the oceans is even less.
    Take it from there rather than repeating everything you think you’ve learned that is actually irrelevant to this issue. Studies based on the same assumptions as used in the climate models will by definition have the same errors.

  164. foinavon,
    You keep pointing to the Dessler water vapour study when the actual data does not support the global warming case. It was spun that way but the data does not support it.
    The relative humidity results are exactly opposite to that predicted by the climate models.
    In fact, Dessler’s numbers are virtually the same as the NCEP data over the period (for all levels and for both specific and relative humidity).
    I guess the study is trying to say that since there was “any” feedback at all, the models must be right (even though the signs were backwards).
    Dessler’s Relative Humidity profile for “declining” temperatures.
    http://img9.imageshack.us/img9/8483/2008gl035333o03.gif
    GISS Model E Relative Humidity profile for “increasing” temperatures.
    http://data.giss.nasa.gov/work/modelEt/lat_height/work/tmp.3_E3Af8aeM20_1_0112_1999_2003_1951_1980_-L3AaeoM20D_lin/mean.gif
    GISS Model E Relative Humidity profile for “decreasing” temperatures.
    http://data.giss.nasa.gov/work/modelEt/lat_height/work/tmp.3_E3Af8aeM20_1_0112_1960_1965_1951_1980_-L3AaeoM20D_lin/mean.gif
    I guess since NASA (GISS I presume considering the acknowlegments) funded the study, that was to be expected.
    The study just shows there are changes in humidity levels that we do not understand right now.

  165. Both the PDO and AMO have sub-oscillations in different parts of these large bodies of water that may need to be considered separately in order to determine if these sub oscillations oscillate together or not, with the big one. If they oscillate together, the larger measure can be used as a proxy in models. If they don’t oscillate together but cycle in and out of phase, they each need to be treated separately in model development. That is true of the Antarctic oscillation with its embedded 2-cycle warm/cool waves. However, it seems reasonable, and has been reported in the literature to be the prevailing case, that the two big oscillations, the PDO and AMO, are not intricately linked in that one directly causes the other with some predictable lag time. There seems very little such direct evidence. But that they do, and have, coincided and correlate with temperature trends, is not disputed.

  166. Brendan H:

    …I said a survey would be interesting. But of course the results would have nothing to do with the science.

    I’m not sure I’d agree.
    The results of a poll of the general public would have nothing to do with science. I’d agree with that. But a poll of the rank-and-file dues paying membership of a professional organization like, for example, the American Meteorological Society, would certainly have plenty to do with science related to the climate and the weather.
    That’s the primary reason that the AMS directors do not, and will not, allow a poll of their membership on the question of whether or not human activity is a significant cause of climate change.

  167. Smokey: “But a poll of the rank-and-file dues paying membership of a professional organization like, for example, the American Meteorological Society, would certainly have plenty to do with science related to the climate and the weather.”
    A poll of scientists on scientific issues would have greater force than a poll of the general public, but since science is not done by surveys such a poll would still not have the force of actual scientific work.

  168. Pamela Gray (18:22:33) :
    Pamela Gray (08:34:43)
    The question of entropically-unlikely coordination of ocean currents to give globally persistent warming or cooling of much significance can really only be addressed by analysis rather than supposition.
    You cited one paper (a review by Rahmstorf). However Rahmstorf’s review, to the extent that it addressed ocean oscillations, described the major anti-phase oscillations between currents in the N and S hemisphere (these seem likely to be the cause of the Heinrich and D/O events that Rahmstorf describes).
    And the anti-phase nature of ocean current oscillations seems to be prevalent where this has been analyzed. In fact the possibility that ocean currents per se might give significant global-scale changes in surface temperature have been addressed in the science.
    e.g. recent evidence suggests that the major Pacific (PDO) and Atlantic ocean (AMO) oscillations with long periods are part of the same cycle with long (anti-phase) lead/lag times:
    d’Orgeville M and Peltier WR (2007) On the Pacific Decadal Oscillation and the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation: Might they be related? Geophys. Res. Lett. L23705
    Abstract: The nature of the Pacific Decadal Oscillation ( PDO) is investigated based upon analyses of sea surface temperature observations over the last century. The PDO is suggested to be comprised of a 20 year quasi-periodic oscillation and a lower frequency component with a characteristic timescale of 60 years. The 20 year quasi-periodic oscillation is clearly identified as a phase locked signal at the eastern boundary of the Pacific basin, which could be interpreted as the signature of an ocean basin mode. We demonstrate that the 60 year component of the PDO is strongly time-lag correlated with the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation (AMO). On this timescale the AMO is shown to lead the PDO by approximately 13 years or to lag the PDO by 17 years. This relation suggests that the AMO and the 60 year component of the PDO are signatures of the same oscillation cycle.
    and more detailed analysis of the thermodynamics of ocean heat transfer indicates that ocean oscillations per se are unlikely to be significant contributors to large changes in the Earth’s temperature as measured at the surface:
    Hoerling M et al. (2008) What is causing the variability in global mean land temperature? Geophys. Res. Lett. 35, L23712
    Abstract: Diagnosis of climate models reveals that most of the observed variability of global mean land temperature during 1880-2007 is caused by variations in global sea surface temperatures (SSTs). Further, most of the variability in global SSTs have themselves resulted from external radiative forcing due to greenhouse gas, aerosol, solar and volcanic variations, especially on multidecadal time scales. Our results indicate that natural variations internal to the Earth’s climate system have had a relatively small impact on the low frequency variations in global mean land temperature. It is therefore extremely unlikely that the recent trajectory of terrestrial warming can be overwhelmed (and become colder than normal) as a consequence of natural variability.

  169. Niels A Nielsen (01:54:40) :

    By the way, foinavon. What caused the warming of the first half of the 20′th century?
    TSI didn’t vary enough (IPCC still uses outdated figures to do the trick). GHG levels too low. According to you, not enough evidence to attribute it to oceanic or atmospheric oscillations including albedo changes. Taminos vulcanic lull suggestion just makes the current flat temperatures even more inexplicable.

    GHG levels weren’t really too low I think. If one inspects, say, the Hadcrut temperature record:
    http://www.cru.uea.ac.uk/cru/data/temperature/
    The temperature anomaly was around -0.3 in the mid-19th century up towards the end of the 19th century when there was quite a flurry of significant volcanic eruptions that temporarily drove the anomaly towards -0.5 oC. The anomaly reached zero in that odd bump around 1940, and settled around -0.1
    It’s pretty likely that there was a bit of recovery from the temperature reduction from the volcanic activity at the end of the 19th century. The CO2 levels were 286 ppm in the mid 19th century and reached around 309 ppm by 1940. Within the mid-value of climate sensitivity (3 oC of warming per doubling of CO2), we expect around 0.35 oC of warming at equilibrium from that rise in CO2.
    So we had around 0.3 oC of warming in the early 20th century, nearly all of which could be accounted for by the raised CO2 levels. Of course things aren’t so simple and a full analysis can only be achieved by modeling with the best estimates of the parameterizations and known amplitudes of the various contributions.
    This has already been done of course. But if we wanted to make “back of the envelope” estimates we could get the 0.3 oC of early-mid 20th century warming from 0.3 oC of greenhouse forcing (somewhat delayed by the effects of volcanic activity), 0.05 oC of solar warming, and -0.1 oC of aerosolic “cooling” and 0.05 oC of ocean oscillations, if we were determined to include a bit of the latter..something like that seems in accordance with what we know.
    The point is that GHG levels weren’t really too low…

  170. Bill Illis (06:46:36) :
    foinavon,

    You keep pointing to the Dessler water vapour study when the actual data does not support the global warming case. It was spun that way but the data does not support it.
    The relative humidity results are exactly opposite to that predicted by the climate models.

    Not sure where you’re getting that interpretation from Bill (and your NASA links don’t work btw).
    In Figure 3 of Dessler et al (2008), the absolute humidity (q) rises with increasing temperature as expected. The upper troposphere (low pressure) has a somewhat higher specific humidity and thus a somewhat higher relative humidity (RH) than expected. However averaged over the whole troposphere, the areas of lower and higher RH pretty much average, and so the global average tropsopheric RH stays pretty constant as the temperature varies.
    So this study was a “snapshot” encompassing data covering 5 years. However it seems pretty consistent with what we already know (that atmospheric water vapour concentration rises as the tropospheric temperature rises much as basic atmospheric physics, and models (!) predict).The study also indicates that globally averaged, and within the temperature range covered by tropospheric temperature variations between 2003-2008, the tropospheric relative humidity tends to stay fairly constant. That’s also observed in models…

  171. foinavon (14:21:24)
    The Spatiotemporal Structure of Twentieth-Century Climate Variations in Observations and Reanalyses. Part II: Pacific Pan-Decadal Variability
    Chen et al
    The spatiotemporal structure of Pacific pan-decadal variability (PDV) is isolated in global long-term surface temperature (ST) datasets and reanalysis atmospheric parameter fields from which El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO) effects have been removed. Empirical orthogonal function (EOF) and combined EOF analysis of the resulting time series identify PDV as one of two primary modes of long-term variability, the other being a global warming (GW) trend, which is addressed in a companion paper (Part I).In this study, it is shown that one of several PDV interdecadal regime shifts occurred during the 1990s.
    This significant change in the Pacific basin is comparable but antiphase to the well-known 1976 climate regime shift and is consistent with the observed changes in biosystems and ocean circulation. A comprehensive picture of PDV as manifested in the troposphere and at the surface is described. In general, the PDV spatial patterns in different parameter fields share some similarities with the patterns associated with ENSO, but important differences exist. First, the PDV circulation pattern is shifted westward by about 20° and is less zonally extended than that for ENSO. The westward shift of the PDV wave train produces a different North American teleconnection pattern that is more west–east oriented. The lack of a strong PDV surface temperature (ST) signal in the west equatorial Pacific and the relatively strong ST signal in the subtropical regions are consistent with an atmospheric overturning circulation response that differs from the one associated with ENSO. The analysis also suggests that PDV is a combination of decadal and/or interdecadal oscillations interacting through teleconnections.
    Bottom line
    “Our results therefore appear to be consistent with the conclusion of Chen et al.
    (2002) that the observed top-of-atmosphere tropical radiative flux trend over this time is probably due to natural variability rather than external forcing”
    egt Pontryagin and Andronov 1937
    “Poincare bifurcation theory was elaborated by the Russian mathematicians Pontryagin and Andronov already in the 20’s and in the 30’s (due to the need to apply these bifurcations to radiophysics). Andronov published (with all the proofs) the theory of the birth of a periodic motion of a dynamical system under the generic loss of stability of an equilibrium position, in the case when two eigenvalues of the linearised system cross the imaginary axis, moving from the stable to the unstable complex half-plane.
    Andronov’s theorem claims that (depending on the sign of some higher term of the Taylor series) exactly two generic cases may occur: Either the stability of the equilibrium position is inherited by the new-born limit cycle (whose radius grows like the square root of the difference between the new value of the parameter and the value at the stability loss), or else the radius of the attraction domain, diminishing like the square root of the difference between the growing parameter value and the future value, at which the stability will be destroyed, disappears at the stability loss moment.
    The first case is called the mild stability loss, the new-born periodic motion-attractor describes a small oscillation near the old stationary regime. The second case is called the hard stability loss, the behaviour of the system after this stability loss being very far from the equilibrium, loosing its stability. The proofs of these results of Andronov on the phase portraits bifurcations were based on the Pontryagin’s extension of Poincare’s results in the holomorphic case to that of the smooth systems of differential equations.”
    http://www.scholarpedia.org/article/Structural_stability

  172. foinavon: I believe the current consensus among researchers in the AGW camp is that the PDO, and by your extention, the AMO, WILL overcome AGW, in the short term (meaning potentially as much as 60 years or more based on your references), possibly reducing us to pre-AGW levels. That means that the rise you think is coming, once started again, will, by your own references, eventually once again be overcome by oceanic oscillations. Tell me where or when your runaway greenhouse warming occurs in this sequence then.

  173. Syl (05:35:33) :

    First: “enhanced forcings” has not been proven.

    Perhaps…..if we’re taking a philosophical line, where in reality nothing is ever “proven”. But we know that raised greenhouse gas levels constitute an enhanced forcing, and the evidence supports a significant enhanced forcing near 3 oC ish at equilibrium for a doubling of atmospheric CO2.

    …..because in the past century the oscillations DID NOT ZERO OUT.

    I don’t think the evidence supports that interpretation (not even with capital letters!). That’s not only something that “hasn’t been proven”, but also something for which the evidence indicates specifically is unlikely to be the case (see papers/abstracts in [foinavon (14:21:24)]).
    Of course I might be wrong. However a skeptic would like to see some evidence for that assertion (i.e. that ocean currents don’t average out to near zero in their effects on measured surface temperature). And not just a picture of some individual ocean oscillation record, but an analysis that considers the nett effect of ocean oscillations en masse. In my understanding, where this is done, there isn’t very much of a nett ocean current contribution to medium term surface temperature variations (e.g. see abstracts in [foinavon (14:21:24)]).

    Third: the factors assumed to be responsible for the cooling in the middle of the last century have NOT been present during the current decade of net cooling temperatures in which no warming has occurred since 1998.

    I think you’re confusing the issue by selecting a highly anomalous start year Syl! 1998 was lifted around 0.2 oC above the long term trend by the strongest El Nino of the 20th century. Since global warming is not occurring right now at a rate greater than 0.2 oC per decade, the fact that recent years (2005,2007) were close to 1998 without the benefit of a strong El Nino, indicates that we have warmed quite a bit comparing the decade 2000-now, with 1990-1999. The fact that we haven’t warmed in the past few years is nothing particulalry remarkable. 2008 had a coincidence of “cooling” contributions (La Nina, negative PDO indices, sun right at the bottom of the solar cycle). There will always be periods of temperature statis/cooling on a rising temperature trend where natural variations that can easily combine to give a temporary interannual rise drop of 0.1-0.2 oC provide noise on a temperature trend that may be rising by no more than 0.02 oC per year. We only have to look at the historical record to realize that..

    It will take two more decades or so to possibly accomplish a zeroing (if we’re speaking only of the PDO)….

    That’s the problem Syl. The PDO is only one ocean current. One can’t base the entire ocean contribution to short/medium term surface temperature by selecting a single ocean oscillation.

    The climate models have calculated a climate sensitivity too high and the attribution of factors contributing to warming/cooling is in error.

    I don’t think that’s an interpretation that is supported by the evidence. One certainly can’t base such an interpretation on a few years of surface temperature measurements.

  174. maksimovich (15:25:50) :
    The paper you cite [***] is a good example of the point at issue, namely that the influence of the ocean oscillations (in this case the PDO, given the nomenclature of Pacific Decadal Variability, “PDV”, to cover the entire Pacific), is small, since the effects are out of phase (as they pretty much have to be) in different regions of the oceans.
    The authors of your paper show explicitly that:
    (a) the nett effects are very small because:
    (b) different parts of the oceans are in anti-phase with respect to surface heat distribution.
    So Chen et al state, for example:
    (p. 2648) “Our PDV mode in both ST datasets has an extremely small global mean amplitude (~0.02K) because of cancellation between regional positive and negative anomalies, and in fact is of opposite sign in GISTEMP and ERSST.V, indicating that its global mean impact is negligible. For comparison, a typical ENSO event has a global mean temperature impact around +/- 0.1K.”
    and:
    (p. 2636) “As shown in Fig 1, because the PDV signals in high and low latitudes are out of phase and thus offset each other, the global mean temperature change (Fig 1, top) associated with the PDV phenomenon is in the range of +/- 0.02 K, which is negligible compared with the approximately 0.8-K value of GW trend mode and the approximately +/- 0.2-K value of the ENSO phenomenon”
    Chen, Y. et al (2008) The spatiotemporal structure of twentieth-century climate variations in observations and reanalysis. Part II: Pacific Pan-Decadal Variability J. Climate 21, 2634-2650

  175. Pamela Gray (15:42:34) :

    foinavon: I believe the current consensus among researchers in the AGW camp is that the PDO, and by your extention, the AMO, WILL overcome AGW, in the short term (meaning potentially as much as 60 years or more based on your references), possibly reducing us to pre-AGW levels.

    Not really Pamela. Have a read of the paper that maksimovich brought to our attention just above, for example. The analyses of ocean currents seems to indicate that the nett effects on global temperature are small. So in the short term we might have a few years where greenhouse-induced warming is countered by some ocean oscillations, and when combined with the sun at its solar minimum, there’s no reason to be surprised at a few years where the temperatures don’t change much or even fall a tad. However, we should be careful not to let these lull us into thinking that global warming might not be as the science indicates. Because remember that those smallish effects that temporarily oppose the warming trend will in a few years likely be supplementing it.

  176. foinavon, please don’t put solar minimum affects into your argument. It just won’t make a difference that comes anywhere near rising above the error bars, and, in my opinion, takes away from your appreciated effort to debate your side.
    You site papers. I site papers. Who is correct? Both sides in published literature related to oceanic oscillations give decent tries at analysis and come to reasoned conclusions. On the bright side, your cogent posts have improved your standing with me. Have you changed my mind? No. Have you made me think? Yep.

  177. foinavon (16:22:44) :
    Indeed it does,hence zonal climatology eg Cess 1976 . Monin 1984 Raspopov 2008
    Thus we can state with some certainty(highly likely) that the datasets eg GISS and hadcru are inhomogeneous ie they are not representative ensembles in the ‘Gibbs’ sense of a global representation historically (before the satellite error) or enhanced observation (as present ) with regard to SST.
    This was especially the case in ICOADS Worley et al 2005 when compared to high-quality meteorological data collected in the Northwest Atlantic during the period 1980–92 (russian demilitarized datasets) ie substantive samplig error.

  178. foinavon (15:16:54)
    “So this study was a “snapshot” encompassing data covering 5 years. However it seems pretty consistent with what we already know (that atmospheric water vapour concentration rises as the tropospheric temperature rises much as basic atmospheric physics, and models (!) predict)”
    This is also consistent with ch4 methane photo disassociation as is observed with increased tropospheric uvb eg UNEP expert assesment 2002,2006,2008
    and would be a negative feedback ipcc

  179. foinavon wrote:
    “”A poll of scientists on scientific issues would have greater force than a poll of the general public, but since science is not done by surveys such a poll would still not have the force of actual scientific work.”
    Sure, but it would have enough force to discredit the common criticism that CAGW skepticism amounts to uninformed (and even biased) opinion.

  180. fouinavon said: “…The warming “in the pipeline” relates to the fact that an enhanced forcing produces a response that takes some time to achieve equilibrium. In this case the slow equilibration time relates to the massive ocean sink, and the fact that the full response of an enhanced forcing will only be realized once the oceans themselves come towards equilibrium with the forcing.
    So, what you’re saying is that no global state can be safely regarded as at equilibrium: at any particular time, there may be enhanced forcings that have not fully revealed themselves by equilibration.

  181. Roger Knights (20:36:04) :

    foinavon wrote: “………”

    No foinavon didn’t write…!
    Someone else must have written that Roger…not me!

  182. jorgekafkazar (22:18:54)

    So, what you’re saying is that no global state can be safely regarded as at equilibrium: at any particular time, there may be enhanced forcings that have not fully revealed themselves by equilibration.

    Yes, more or less. Of course one needs to be careful to define what one means by “equilibrium”. So for example, if the Earth’s temperature is at equilibrium with external forcings, that doesn’t mean that the temperature won’t fluctuate around the equilibrium temperature as a result of stochastic/cyclic oscillations inherent in the climate system. In that sense the Earth’s surface temperature can be at equilibrium with respect to forcings. We’d have to be clear that we are definig “equilibrium” in that manner (i.e. no temperature trend but fluctuations around a steady temperature…). On the other hand one could insist that equilibrium is defined much more strictly, and then one could assert that the Earth’s temperature is never really truly at equilibrium since it is continuously fluctuating…
    I wouldn’t quite say that “there are enhanced forcings that have not fully revealed themselves by equilibration”. The forcings may well be apparent (“have revealed themselves”!), but the “inertias” inherent in the climate system mean that the various elements (troposphere, surface, oceans) haven’t come to equilibrium. That would be the situation with enhanced greenhouse forcing, for example, where the forcing is apparent…however the “strength” of the forcing is uncertain and so far can only be defined within a range of likelihoods on the basis of a load of observational evidence.

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