Recent Ocean Heat and MLO CO2 Trends

One of the great things about running this blog is that people send me things to look at. Sometimes I see connections between two things that were initially unrelated by the original messages. This is one of those cases.

Dr. Roger Pielke Sr. suggested back in 2003 in a peer reviewed BAMS paper, that “…it is the change in ocean heat content that provides the most effective diagnostic of global warming and cooling.” Recently at ICCC 2009, Dr. Craig Loehle did a presentation titled “1,500-Year Climate Cycles, Broken Hockey Sticks, and Ocean Cooling” (PowerPoint) which talked about the ocean heat content.

I was reminded of one of his graphs from that presentation by a recent post on Jennifer Marohasy’s blog.  For your viewing pleasure, using graphic editing tools, I created a slightly larger and  annotated version, shown below:

loehle_ocean_heat_content

The next day, on an email list I subscribe to, Alan Siddons sent along this graph with this note:

“Thought you’d like to see the Mauna Loa rate of CO2 change up to now. Kind of odd these recent years.”

I didn’t think much of Siddons’ graph initially, but as luck would have it, I happened to have Loehle’s graph open in a desktop window from Jennifer’s blog. I noticed something interesting and unexpected looking at the two.

Here is Alan Siddons’ graph of recent MLO CO2 data that shows the changes in the rate of CO2 with their measurements. I added some annotation and a title to make it clearer as to what this graph is:

mlo_co2_rateofchange_1996-2009-510

Click for a larger image

What interested me about Alan’s MLO CO2 rate of change graph was the period from 2004 to the present. There’s a noticeable downturn in the peaks. I’ve bracketed the area of interest below and added an eyeball trend line for the peaks:

mlo_co2_rateofchange_bracketed-5101

When you take the bracketed period from Alan Siddon’s MLO CO2 rate of change graph, and compare it (again using graphical editing tools) to Loehle’s Ocean Heat content graph, there appears to be some correlation:

ocean_heat_and_mlo_co2_rate_2004-20091

Top: Ocean Heat Content by Loehle Bottom: Manua Loa CO2 rate of change by Siddons

It makes sense, as the heat content of the oceans drops, CO2 solubility in seawater increases, and thus we see an absorption of CO2 and dampening of the annual peaks in the rate of change. Obviously this is just a simple visual analysis, and I don’t pretend to know everything there is to know about either of these subjects or datasets, but I thought the serendipity of these two pieces of initially independent and unrelated graphs of data was interesting and worth discussing.

Of course there will be those that argue that “the oceans have not cooled” and cite the work by Josh Willis on catching some errors in the ARGO floater data. I won’t dispute his work here since I’m not an expert on the ARGO project. I’ll leave that to Dr. Roger Pielke Sr., as he wrote in this post on his Climate Science blog:

Josh Willis is a well respected scientist and his view merit consideration. In this case, however,  Climate Science concludes that he is misinterpreting the significance of his data analysis. He agrees that

Indeed, Argo data show no warming in the upper ocean over the past four years”.

He dismisses this though by claiming that

“…but this does not contradict the climate models. In fact, many climate models simulate four to five year periods with no warming in the upper ocean from time to time. “

Where are these model results that show lack of upper ocean warming in recent years? There is an example of a model prediction of upper (3km) ocean heat content for decadal averages in Figure 1 of

Barnett, T.P., D.W. Pierce, and R. Schnur, 2001: Detection of anthropogenic climate change in the world’s oceans. Science, 292, 270-274,

but they did not present shorter time periods. Nonetheless, since Figure 1 is presumably a running 10 year average, the steady monotonic increase in the model prediction of upper ocean heat content (the grey shading) suggests that no several years (or even one year) of zero heating occurred in the model results. The layer they analyzed in the figure is also for the upper 3 km but in Figure 2 the Barnett et al study showed that most of this heating was in the uppermost levels.

Thus the lack of heating in the upper 700m over the last 4 years does conflict with at least the Barnett et al model results!

What the upper ocean data (and lack of warming) actually tells us is that if global warming occurred over the last 4 years, it was in the deeper ocean and is thus not available in the short term to the atmosphere.

Indeed, if it is in the deeper ocean, it likely more diffused and therefore could only enter the atmosphere slowly if at all. This heat could also have exited into space, although the continuation of global ocean sea level rise suggests that this is less likely unless this sea level rise can be otherwise explained.

The other heat stores in the climate system are too small (and the atmosphere has clearly not warmed over the last few years). Global sea ice cover is actually above average at present (the Antarctic sea ice is at a near record level). The continued sea level rise indicates that the heat is in the deeper ocean (which is not predicted by the models).

Finally, there is also no  “unrealized” heat in the system. This is a fallacy of using temperature trends as the surrogate for heat trends as has been reported Climate Science (e.g. see, see and see).

Josh Willis too easily dismisses the significance of his research findings.

The interesting thing about what I’ve pointed out above is that we have two independently analyzed datasets (Oceanic heat content and MLO CO2 rate of change) that appear to demonstrate the same thing: the oceans appear to have cooled in the past 5 years. That is also partially consistent with a third dataset, the RSS global temperature anomaly (or fourth if you want to count UAH same data, different method) which shows there has been a flat trend in the past few years. The graph below is both for land and ocean data:

rss_jan_09-520

Click for a larger image

RSS Data Source is here

Even Josh Willis’ own graph of corrected -vs- uncorrected ARGO data illustrating sea level change due to thermal expansion shows a flat trend during this period:

Click for a larger image

Click for a larger image

Clearly something is happening to heat content within our oceans, whether it is a flat trend or yet unrecognized loss of heat, remains to be hashed out. The year 2008 was a cooler year globally, and there is quite a bit of measured as well as anecdotal (weather event) data to support that. Our oceans are in fact the planet’s largest heat sink, and it has been routinely demonstrated that changes in that heat sink status (AMO, PDO, El Nino and La Nina) do in fact affect our weather and climate.

So to paraphrase Josh Willis in his rebuttal of his own data: “Is it me, or did the oceans cool”?

UPDATE 4:45 PM 3/21: Allan Siddons has provided two additional graphs. The first being an overlay of MLO monthly data on MSU oceans data

mlo-co2-msu-oceans1

The second is a 12 month average of MLO CO2 rate overlaid on my RSS MSU land and ocean graph posted originally. It seems clear that there is a CO2 rate of change response that mirrors global temperature.

mlo-co2-msu-oceans2

Bob Tisdale has also provided some similar graphs via many links made in the comments. Be sure to have a look. – Anthony

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Craig Loehle

Thank you Anthony! Very interesting. In case anyone did not notice, this is the data that Josh Willis got after correcting the biases in the ARGOS data. I get slightly different results because I think I did my annual detrending better by fitting the declining amplitude with time, as also seen in the CO2 data. This concordance with the CO2 data possibly implies a stronger role for ocean temperature on atmospheric CO2 levels than has been assumed to date. If the ocean continues to cool, CO2 could even come down.

But all that heat went into Hansen’s magical mystery “pipeline” tour, don’t ya know.

Ivan

“That is also partailly consistent with a third dataset, the RSS global temperature anomaly (or fourth if you want to count UAH same data, different method) which shows there has been a flat trend in the past few years.”
But, RSS and UAH data do not show “flat trend in the past few years”, but sharp global cooling in the last 7-8 years (around 0.2 deg C per decade), and lack of statistically significant warming in the last 12 or 13 years (since 1995/96).

Jørgen F.

….same thing with sea levels. The trend broke around 2005-2006
http://sealevel.colorado.edu/current/sl_noib_global_sm.jpg

If the rate of change in atmospheric CO2 level slowed, but the CO2 level still increased, then what would cool the ocean? Wouldn’t the rising CO2 “greenhouse gas” level lead to more warming, even though the rate of the rise wasn’t as great as before?

Is Mauna Loa the only place where CO2 is measured?…There are other volcanoes which would compensate figures if CO2 keeps decreasing.

Al

Both the CO2 and the ocean heat content graphs would appear to benefit from even a simplistic brute force removal of the seasonal effects.
It would be very interesting to see what the trends look like for the periods other than just the peaks.

Bill Illis

Great stuff Craig and Anthony.
Effectively, there is nowhere left for the heat to be hiding or absorbed into. I don’t think the deep oceans beyond 700M can be warming while the upper levels are cooling. And the deep oceans can not be warming at a rate that would cause cooling at the surface and in the upper ocean.
The daggers will be out now since this takes away the last remaining explanation for why the models are so far off recently.
There is no rationale for Aerosols to be the cause since the areas most affected by Aerosols have been warming a faster rate than the areas less affected (are cooling that is). The decline in solar activity is apparently not enough to cause such a discrepancy. There is no volcanic forcing to fall back on right now. UHI has been resurrected by Phil Jones. The oceans explanation obviously doesn’t work.
All that is left is computer error (and I don’t see how it can be hardware-related).

So, if heat is being stored in the deep ocean, how does it get there? Is it through the Thermohaline circulation and does that carry enough heat for the observed expansion?
Perhaps I’ll just conclude that the rising sea level reported by satellite deserves more study and skepticism. Something isn’t adding up, which is fine – it just means there is more science to be done.

Yesterday, in case you missed it, I posted this comment about sea level over on the Maldives thread.
###
For those interested, I did a post on Global Sea Levels and Sea Levels for the Atlantic, Indian, and Pacific Oceans back in December.
http://bobtisdale.blogspot.com/2008/12/sea-level-data-global-and-indian.html
Here are few updates and some additional graphs of Sea Level data from the University of Colorado.
The Global sea level rise has flattened considerably since mid-2005:
http://s5.tinypic.com/24wqyvs.jpg
The Indian Ocean sea level continues to rise:
http://s5.tinypic.com/2njlgzc.jpg
The Maldives sea level was relatively flat until 2006:
http://s5.tinypic.com/15h0pxg.jpg
But here’s a curiosity. If you enter the Maldives coordinates (3N, 73E), the smoothed curve is very similar to the Maldives data, with the exception of the peak after the 1997/98 El Nino.
http://s5.tinypic.com/259zx9t.jpg
And here’s the Indonesian Throughflow sea level, which should be representative of the Pacific Warm Pool.
http://s5.tinypic.com/28jfwvd.jpg
###
And now SST.
My most recent Monthly SST anomaly update is here:
http://bobtisdale.blogspot.com/2009/03/february-2009-sst-anomaly-update.html
Looking at the unfiltered data, global SST anomalies have been falling since sometime between 2003 and 2005.
http://s5.tinypic.com/jrwep1.jpg
The Northern Hemisphere peaked ~2005 and its SST anomalies have been dropping since:
http://s5.tinypic.com/5jy93r.jpg
Southern Hemisphere SST anomalies reached their peak early in 2002 and have been falling since then:
http://s5.tinypic.com/2ltn9tc.jpg
And in a recent post on the AMO, I noted that it finally decided to take a significant drop:
http://s5.tinypic.com/b88d1t.jpg
Will the AMO continue to drop?

Micajah (12:11:39) :

If the rate of change in atmospheric CO2 level slowed, but the CO2 level still increased, then what would cool the ocean? Wouldn’t the rising CO2 “greenhouse gas” level lead to more warming, even though the rate of the rise wasn’t as great as before?

Yes, if CO2 were the only thing that affected the Earth’s temperature. My current understanding is that the PDO is the major driver, CO2 is a minor driver, and while I used to think that solar changes were important, Leif makes a good case here that they aren’t.
What’s cooling the ocean now? After all, the PDO “just” puts water in a different place. Needs study. Might be more clouds (higher albedo), might be more warm water radiation (an average temperature is not the best measure of what’s happening, might be heat transport to levels in the ocean below where Argos goes. Or something else.

Mike Bryant

This also follows the fall in the percentage of US voters who say the environment takes priority over the economy.

Roger Clague

The oceans affect the atmosphere because they have a heat capacity which is 4000x the heat capacity of the air.

Allan M R MacRae

Anthony,
Please examine Figure 1 at
http://icecap.us/images/uploads/CO2vsTMacRae.pdf
You will see the clear relationship between rate of change of atmospheric CO2 (dCO2/dt). and temperatures (ST – Surface) & (LT – Lower Troposphere).
CO2 lags temperature by ~ 9 months.
Would like to take a few more minutes to tie all this together, but the baby is crying… … got to run.
Best, Allan

Micajah, the oceans, as you know, cool by losing heat, accumulated during past years, that is why there is a time lag of several years after some changes in the sun-earth system, like those falls in cloud cover in 1989 and 1992 , corresponding to lows in GCR. (H.Svensmark, The Chilling Stars, p.77)
And, please, for God´s sake, a trace gas in the atmosphere, or worst the whole atmosphere can never hold any heat compared with sea water.
You know, the volumetric heat capacity of water is 3,227 (three thousand two hundred and twenty seven) times the volumetric heat capacity of the air.

Allan M R MacRae: There have been a number of posts around the blogosphere about the correlation between SST and the rate of change in CO2. My version is here:
http://bobtisdale.blogspot.com/2008/09/atmospheric-co2-concentration-versus.html
Here’s a comparative graph of monthly change in CO2 versus NINO3.4 (scaled):
http://i33.tinypic.com/2uotpjb.jpg
If there’s a lag, it only appears to be a couple of months from the change in SST anomaly to the response of CO2.
Regards

For anyone wanting to do a site survey, the Google Earth coordinates of
Mauna Loa Obs. are: 19 32 10.09 N 155 34 33.96 W

It’s true that Willis made one of the most important discoveries in recent climate science history when he discovered the oceans were cooling.
Unfortunately, the facts did not jibe with the fad so he chucked his discovery out the window.

Ellie in Belfast

I saw this earlier on Jennifer Marohasy’s blog also and wondered if anyone else would pick up on it here. Great linking it with the CO2 data. So Mauna Loa CO2 is still rising, but more slowly. What would the heat trend rate of decrease need to be to completely halt the CO2 rise, or start to reverse it?
This got me thinking, but as usual questions to which I do not have an answer: – is CO2 adsorption by oceans (roughly) linear with temperature? Since CO2 could affect ocean pH, which in turn would affect CO2 solubility, my thinking is that it may not be linear, so would increased cooling result in a greater or lesser rate of CO2 absorption?

Steven Hill

The oceans are cooing from the ice melting all over the planet. Yup, that’s it!

kent

As I see it the cooling of the sea water is a result of what happens to the polar sea water during the cold season.
I don’t have the skills to figure out how much heat was lost because of the sea ice minimums in 2007/8 . (open sea water looses more energy than ice covered water, and thinner ice looses more energy than thicker ice.
The movement of multi-year sea ice into the North Atlantic may have been responsible for a change in the AMO to a negative number sooner than the experts have suggested. It wasn’t supposed to happen until 2012-14.

DR

I’ve been following this subject for two years. RPS had several conversations with Josh Willis posted on his blog, and tried to pin him down to what would falsify global warming, but Willis wouldn’t bite.
With due respect to Josh Willis, he is co-author of the Hansen et al 2005 “smoking gun”. It contained some bold claims and predictions, not to mention is weighted heavily in AR4 conclusions of “unequivocal man made global warming”. Does anyone really believe these folks are going to cave?
OHC in that paper was based on 1993-2003.
Has it been falsified? Why wouldn’t it be?
http://www.columbia.edu/~jeh1/2005/Imbalance_20050415.pdf
“This energy imbalance is the ‘smoking gun’ that we have been looking for”
and
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 W/m2 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) expectation of additional global warming of about 0.6°C without further change of atmospheric composition; (ii) 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) likelihood of acceleration of ice sheet disintegration and sea level rise.”
Confirmation? Additional warming (heat in the pipeline)? Likely acceleration?
Is it just me, or do adjustments to climate data appear to be mostly in favor of AGW?
A litmus test:
http://climatesci.org/2009/02/09/update-on-a-comparison-of-upper-ocean-heat-content-changes-with-the-giss-model-predictions/

Rhys Jaggar

Interesting thoughts.
1. Does anyone yet understand how PDO/AMO cycles flip yet? Since that presumably is crucial in understanding WHY oceanic heat distribution changes with the decades…….
2. Is there yet any knowledge as to the effect on carbon dioxide in the atmosphere of cold winters and hot summers? [Cold winters – more oceanic absorption? Warm summers – more photosynthesis?]
3. Do we have any data acquisition programmes yet on underwater volcanoes and their effect on oceanic heat content/

Raven

Craig,
Can you tell us why you publishing in E&E (a journal which the alarmists claim is not peer reviewed)? Did you try submitting to other journals? If so, what were the reasons given fro rejection?

Leon Brozyna

What a fascinating exercise in connecting the dots from different data sets. It doesn’t prove anything but it does show an interesting correlation. The next couple of decades should prove interesting in following such interesting interrelationships such as solar activing, levels of GCR’s, air temps, and, of course, SST’s.

Don

Is it perhaps time to give a little more credit to David Archibald.
His solar cycle observations and correlations are showing up pretty well for strong cooling in the immediate future. If interested please review his Solar cycle 24: Implications for the United States.
At the time he presented the paper all the AGW people put him down as some kind loose cannon.

Allan M R MacRae

Bob Tisdale (13:04:14) :
Allan M R MacRae: There have been a number of posts around the blogosphere about the correlation between SST and the rate of change in CO2. My version is here:
http://bobtisdale.blogspot.com/2008/09/atmospheric-co2-concentration-versus.html
Here’s a comparative graph of monthly change in CO2 versus NINO3.4 (scaled):
http://i33.tinypic.com/2uotpjb.jpg
If there’s a lag, it only appears to be a couple of months from the change in SST anomaly to the response of CO2.
Regards
Allan’s response:
Thanks Bob,
Sorry but I’m rushed now or would sort this out myself. I think you are plotting dCO2/dt with SST. Is that correct? Please confirm (or other).
I said the ~9 month lag of atmospheric temp is with CO2, not dCO2/dt. CO2 is the integral of dCO2/dt – hence the lag.
My work shows dCO2/dt is ~contemporaneous with ST and LT – please see Fig. 1 in my paper.
There is also a spreadsheet on icecap which shows data sources and all calcs.
What is your data source for SST – is this the same as Craig’s?
Regards, Allan

Roger Knights

Rhys Jaggar (13:20:51) wrote:
“Does anyone yet understand how PDO/AMO cycles flip yet? Since that presumably is crucial in understanding WHY oceanic heat distribution changes with the decades…….”
See “Trade winds Drive the ENSO,” here:
http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/02/17/the-trade-winds-drive-the-enso/
For more, type trade winds into the search box (top right) and several threads will appear.

Robert Wood

But but but… you haven’t been following the script.
It is recognized, always has been, by all real scientists, that unexpected natural cooling cycles will conveniently mask the global warming.
All this is well described in peer-reviewed literature.

Craig Loehle

For those who keep asking, I published in E&E because it can take 2 years to publish elsewhere. I am perfectly capable of getting something published, with 115 pub papers so far I know the ropes. But timeliness seemed pretty important in this case.
REPLY: If you want to put the entire paper here (as a PDF) you are welcome to do so. It has been pointed out to me that with the traffic WUWT has, it likely reaches more people than many of the journals. And, a lot faster too!. I went looking for it and couldn’t find it.- Anthony

BarryW

One thing I haven’t seen explained is the 1998 “Super” El Nino. The temp shot up. Where did the heat come from and where did the heat go? There wasn’t a solar event or other forcing change that could account for it so aren’t we left with an oceanic heat release? The temps dropped quickly so either the heat went back into the ocean or was radiated somewhere. Stratosphere dropped almost as quickly as the lower troposphere, so it’s gone? If you plot a trend line for the data up until the event it passes through the data immediately after the event. It goes up again and then begins to decay. So are we calculating invalid trends depending on our starting point because the period from 1998 til now is anomalous?
The trend for the entire period using UAH is 0.01278 dC/year, but the trend for the time up to the El Nino is only 0.003043, a quarter of the total trend!

REPLY:
My thought was that it was a dearth of cloud cover that may have triggered it. – Anthony

Robert Wood

OK I had my fun.
I think we are beginning to see some real clues as to what’s happening. Oceanic cycles resdistributing the heat and altering the CO2 in the atmosphere. The solar input and albedo varying. All interelating and also orbital dynamics over an even greater time priod.
We simply just don’t kniow enough, don’t have enough reliable data. I suggest we put the global warming policies on hold for a thousand years, until we do.

nvw

We are looking at the end game, a few moves and it is checkmate for AGW:
It is impossible to have any credible model of global warming without the oceans demonstrably warming. It is not reasonable that the heat stored in the oceans would not show up in the upper 200 meters which should be detected by ARGOS, and so far the ARGOS data does not show warming. The silence from Willis and his ilk is deafening.
Related dataset such as the decrease in sea-level rise support the lack of warming of the oceans.
Perhaps the observed decrease in CO2 is related (as oceans cool more CO2 can be dissolved in them) but the best evidence will be direct temperature measurements.
I would like to see a guest post from the ARGOS group telling us exactly what is going on. Alternatively there clearly are people on this blog who take time to download raw data and to do their own interpretations. FIA on ARGOS would be huge. It is the one dataset that can’t be ignored or “explained” away by calibration shifts between datasets (buckets vs water intake temperatures).
My speculation is that the data is not forthcoming because it does not show any warming, and any paper that tries to use “Mannian” statistics will be shredded as fast as Steig’s Antarctic warming paper.

crosspatch

It is extremely difficult to do in a technological sense but we really should be measuring long-term temperature trends on the abyssal plains.
Trying to use air temperature is sort of like suspending a thermometer slightly away from someone’s forehead and attempting to determine body core temperature. To get the most accurate measurement you need to measure where the heat is. The same should be true with Earth. Something close to 100% of Earth’s climate heat is stored in the oceans, not in the atmosphere.
Also, if I were going to use the atmosphere to attempt to measure climate, I would use temperature readings from locations at least 100 miles from the nearest land and use only data taken in hours of darkness. This eliminates variations due to changes in solar radiation and should provide more consistent results over the long term in giving the actual temperature of the climate system. So … a measurement device (an anchored buoy?) on the surface above the abyssal plain with a measurement device several feet above the ocean floor and one sheltered from precipitation. One or two daily measurements from the one on the ocean floor and hourly data points from the surface device taken during the period sunset+1hr to sunrise-1hr.
That should give data needing NO adjustments that provide a very stable profile of the heat in the ocean and the atmosphere. Greenhouse warming should be readily apparent in the surface readings.
There is just too much noise in surface measurements and there is no possible way that the amount of heat in the climatic system can be measured accurately by measuring the temperature of the atmosphere over land.
Also, one should expect slow sea level rise because every rainstorm washes more of the continental land mass into the ocean. Every muddy river dumping into the sea or winds blowing dirt/sand, volcanic ash from even land-based volcanoes and the amount of lava dumped into the ocean every year will cause a very steady rise in ocean levels. As the continents erode and volcanoes erupt into the sea, sea levels will always be in a relentless rise, all other factors being equal.

BarryW

REPLY: My thought was that it was a dearth of cloud cover that may have triggered it. – Anthony

Sounds reasonable, but a quick look at this paper’s conclusion doesn’t seem to confirm. Have to look at some more stuff.
cloud cover

E.M.Smith

Al (12:32:59) : Both the CO2 and the ocean heat content graphs would appear to benefit from even a simplistic brute force removal of the seasonal effects.
It would be very interesting to see what the trends look like for the periods other than just the peaks.

Interesting, yes, more useful? Maybe not. Fitting a trend line to the peaks (tops or bottoms) is a very common and very useful technique in reading a stock chart. It is a standard built in function of many stock trading stations and stock charting services; for a reason.
The first place that an effect shows up is in a “failure to advance” of the peaks (in whatever direction you have been going). All the averaging of averages of means of average or… just takes away that useful information and introduces a lag in the response of the indicator. (Stock traders care a lot more about lag time in an indicator than climate guys… but maybe not more than the weatherman who must make quick calls now and be right…)
I spend many hours each week (and sometimes each day) “eyeballing” stock charts. The first thing I do is to imagine a trend line connecting the peaks (or valleys) and looking for a breakdown of the trend. The second thing I do is to look at the moving averages for a smoothed confirmation (and usually a slightly too late to be as useful confirmation…). After that, I look at the other indictors with more complicated math and interpretation.
Those two charts with a negative slope trend line on the peaks scream “SELL” at me. It’s a clear “failure to advance” and the trend to the upside is broken.
Does this interpretation apply to 30 year weather? Maybe… The method is helpful with stocks since people have herd behaviour and prices have “momentum” in a direction once established due to this herd behaviour. Once the trend breaks, the herd stampedes the other way. This would be true of other oscillating system as well. To the extent that there are long cycles in the 30 year weather system, the method ought to have merit. (Which further implies that the MACD and Slow Stochastic would have some utility in predicting weather cycles as well…)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MACD
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stochastic_oscillator

E.M.Smith

Ellie in Belfast (13:16:18) : This got me thinking, but as usual questions to which I do not have an answer: – is CO2 adsorption by oceans (roughly) linear with temperature?
I think there is another complicating factor. We have precipitation. I believe that it’s the colder rain and snow that acts as a counter current “stripper” taking CO2 from the air. Once that precipitation hits the ocean, then the question becomes does the CO2 stay or not. A colder ocean would imply:
1) It stays more than before.
2) The precipitation falling into it will be colder, so stripping more CO2.

The Siddon graph as shown with the arrow is highly misleading [the arrow is]. The arrow is above the first maximum, is below the third one, and the last maximum is incomplete [curve still going up] so the arrow should not be drawn to a point that is surely below the peak. Please, we do not combat the bad science of AGW with even worse statistics or wrong curve fitting or arrow tweaking. Any AGWr worth his alt would dismiss this nonsense out of hand, and rightly.
REPLY: Leif you are correct, thanks for pointing it out. I’d given some thought to changing the crude “eyeball line” I drew, and with your comment I have done so, replacing those areas with a dashed line and question mark. However as a forecaster, I’ll point out that persistence suggests the peak CO2 rate this year may be at or below the imagined end of that trend line. I could be wrong. But if indeed we are losing heat in the ocean system persistence forecasting would tend to bear out the trend line. – Anthony

E.M.Smith

Rhys Jaggar (13:20:51) :
1. Does anyone yet understand how PDO/AMO cycles flip yet? Since that presumably is crucial in understanding WHY oceanic heat distribution changes with the decades…….

I think this paper has clue:
http://users.beagle.com.au/geoffsharp/wilsonforum2008.pdf
and explains a fair number of the correlations for which causality is missing. A couple of us have been discussing the earthquake / spin-orbit coupling relationship here:
http://chiefio.wordpress.com/2009/03/09/are-we-quaking/
and Geoff brought up that paper in the comments section (and made it available on his site).
Maybe not a smoking gun yet, but getting there…

Fernando

Adolfo Giurfa:
The enthalpy of adsorption/desorption is 25 kJ per mole of CO2
desorption is an endothermic process.
adsorption is an exothermic process.
The system is not in equilibrium. I have two different kinetics.
Link; Help…
salute

John F. Hultquist

First, on these time scales of 4 to 10 years I think CO2 can be dismissed. Until someone comes up with a large positive feedback for CO2, the declining (logarithmic) influence of GHGs lets all the bloat out of that balloon.
Second, there was a great loss of heat in the ocean over the last couple of years as warm currents pushed under the Arctic ice pack and melted a lot of it. That phase change takes heat.
Third, how does the deep ocean warm unless it all warms? (Dismiss the geothermal heat here.) Is warm-salty water denser than cold-salty water? Is it not the warm current flowing pole-ward that gets chilled at the surface, then sinks? It gets cold, then goes down. Not the other way around.
Fourth, seems to me changes in sea level(s) (plural) require several mechanisms. A warmer atmospheric temperature will produce more evaporation, movement, and precipitation. Note “movement.” One example, moisture from the Pacific Ocean condenses over North America and runs into the Gulf of Mexico. When this is extreme, say 1993, why not expect a rise in the Gulf waters? At the same time there is a lot of sediment being carried there – contributing to raising the bottom and pushing the surface up. There are lots of possibilities for making this a complicated issue.
Fifth, Anthony has gotten a bit gun-shy after that graph business on the Akasofu posting. I had to chuckle when I read the intro to this piece.

Here is an up-to-date graph of detrended Mauna Loa CO2:
http://www.leif.org/research/Mauna%20Loa%20CO2%20detrended%202004-2009.png

Barry W: You wrote and asked, “One thing I haven’t seen explained is the 1998 “Super” El Nino. The temp shot up. Where did the heat come from and where did the heat go?”
The quick answer to the first of your two part question is, the heat came from the Pacific Warm Pool. There was an anomalous buildup of heat there for a few years prior to the 1997/98 El Nino. It can be seen in the Sea Level data for the Indonesian Throughflow I posted above. Here’s the link again.
http://s5.tinypic.com/28jfwvd.jpg
Note also how the sea level in Indonesia dropped during the 97/98 El Nino, indicating that the heat had moved eastward into the eastern Pacific, but then rose higher immediately after the 1997/98 El Nino. Some of that is from the warm water sloshing back into the Pacific Warm Pool and some of it is caused by the significant drop in cloud cover over the Pacific Warm Pool during that El Nino. Downward shortwave radiation jumped 25 watts/meter^2 in the Pacific Warm Pool during the 97/98 El Nino. I discussed that in two posts:
“Recharging The Pacific Warm Pool Part 2”
http://bobtisdale.blogspot.com/2009/02/recharging-pacific-warm-pool-part-2.html
and “What Causes Sea Surface Temperature (SST) To Rise”.
http://bobtisdale.blogspot.com/2009/02/what-causes-sea-surface-temperature-sst.html
There are multiple answers to the second part of your question. El Ninos function to redistribute heat from the tropics toward the poles so that the heat can be emitted into space more efficiently. So some of the heat was released that way. After the 1997/98 El Nino, much of the heat was redistributed across the East Indian and West Pacific Oceans raising the SST there in a step. Anthony was kind enough to post a two-part discussion on that a few months ago. My versions are here (I cleaned up the mislabeling problems in the graphs in my version):
http://bobtisdale.blogspot.com/2009/01/can-el-nino-events-explain-all-of.html
http://bobtisdale.blogspot.com/2009/01/can-el-nino-events-explain-all-of_11.html
And as noted above, some of the heat was simply returned to the Pacific Warm Pool. This added more fuel to the minor El Ninos that occurred in 2002/03, 2004/05, and 2006/07.
You asked, “So are we calculating invalid trends depending on our starting point because the period from 1998 til now is anomalous?”
Though the recent years may be anomalous, they exist in the data, so the trends aren’t invalid. However, attributing the warm spell after the 1997/98 El Nino to anthropogenic causes IS invalid.

klausb

BarryW (13:40:56) :
One thing I haven’t seen explained is the 1998 “Super” El Nino. The temp shot up.
Where did the heat come from and where did the heat go?
and Anthony’s reply:
My thought was that it was a dearth of cloud cover that may have triggered it. – Anthony
—————-
Much more simple:
the heat came from the oceans, primarely pacific, take that data:
http://www.pmel.noaa.gov/tao/elnino/wwv/data/wwv.dat
if you add to that, MSU Satellite Lower Troposphere Temps
from here:
http://vortex.nsstc.uah.edu/data/msu/t2lt/uahncdc.lt
.. and take the 3rd data row (global maritime)
Between 1997/11 and 1998/07, the pacific lost nearly 25% of its warm water volume. That the stored heat did appear in the atmosphere, who is surprised?
Klaus

E.M.Smith

crosspatch (14:05:50) : As the continents erode and volcanoes erupt into the sea, sea levels will always be in a relentless rise, all other factors being equal.
I agree with all the temperature gathering ideas.
The continental erosion has a problem: All other factors are not equal.
That’s why we still have land after 4.5 Billion years of erosion. We have isostatic rebound, plate subduction / uplift, vulcanism moving land to above water, etc. all moving rocks “up” off the sea bottom. Oh, and with India whacking into Asia we got sea bed lifted into some of the highest mountains on earth… Something similar happened to create the lifted land that is now surrounding the Grand Canyon (that was sea bottom…)
What the “islands sinking” folks forget is that on a geologic time scale, the ocean floor is a bucking heaving bouncing thin film and the continental margins are getting reformed by “collision damage” and ocean plates sliding their feet under the continents and lifting mountain ranges…
You can make no prediction about which way “sea level” will go in that context. Each place on the planet will be having it’s own motion and all you can say with certainty is that the water will slop around and find it’s own level. Tide gauges are great in the short run for calling, well, tides, but they are useless for geologic / climate time scale changes since on that scale the land moves more than the water.
Basically, the shape and size of the ocean basin is not a constant in geological time scales, nor is the size and shape of continental land masses.

Dave Wendt

It looks like another trend may be turning. It appears that the TOTUS is preparing to slink down the anchor chain of the good ship ALGORE. http://blogs.abcnews.com/george/2009/03/scorpions-in-a.html
Barry has evidently decided that melting icecaps aren’t a political winner, although you don’t really need to be a genius to recognize that doubling energy costs as the winters get longer and colder is an A ticket ride to a one term presidency.

John F. Hultquist

BarryW (14:11:17) : The “cloud cover” article you reference uses data that ends in 2001 (1979-2001), although published in 2004. That’s mostly the reference period used by the AGW theories. I think we need cloud studies refined for periods of time that might show contrasting situations. In another post Don Easterbrook used the analogy of standing with one foot in a bucket of ice water and another in hot coals. “On average” you feel fine. So we are still looking for more stuff.

Neil O'Rourke

Bill Illis (12:34:48) :
All that is left is computer error

Unless all the simulations were done on a Pentium CPU with the FDIV bug, it’s can’t be computer error. The programmers or modeller may have got it wrong, however…

Roger Clague (12:48:14) sez: “The oceans affect the atmosphere because they have a heat capacity which is 4000x the heat capacity of the air.”
More like 1200x on a kJ per °K basis.
Which reminds me: the ordinate on the Siddons graph is just ppm. If it’s a derivative, the units should be stones per kilopood per fortnight or something similar.