Reposted from Dr. Roger Pielke Sr’s Climate Science
Climate Progress has a weblog by Joesph Romm titled “Breaking: NOAA puts out “El Niño Watch,” so record temperatures are coming and this will be the hottest decade on record“.
This is an interesting and very bold forecast of record temperatures by Joe Romm, and, if this does occurs, it would substantially support his claims on the dominance of human-caused global warming. Only time will tell, of course, if this warming will occur.
However, unfortunately, he still does not understand that i) the appropriate metric to monitor global warming involves heat in Joules, most which occurs in the oceans (e.g. see), and ii) that the accumulation Joules in the upper ocean has not occurred since 2003 (e.g. see and see). Even Jim Hansen agrees that the ocean is the dominant reservoir for heat accumulation (e. g. see).
In Joe Romm’s weblog, there is the text
“As a side note: Roger Pielke, Sr.’s “analysis” of how there supposedly hasn’t been measurable ocean warming from 2004 to 2008 is uber-lame. In the middle of a strong 50-year warming trend, any clever (but cynical) analyst can connect an El Niño-driven warm year to a La Niña-driven cool year a few years later to make it look like warming has stopped. In fact, the latest analysis shows “that ocean heat content has indeed been increasing in recent decades, just like the models said it should.”
This text shows a failure to understand the physics of global warming and cooling. There are peer reviewed analyses that document that upper ocean warming has halted since 2003 (e.g. see and see). Even the last few years of the Levitus et al 2009 paper shows this lack of wamring (see).
Joe Romm, since he disagrees with this, should present other observational analyses of the continued accumulation of heat content in Joules since 2003. He should also focus on this time period since the Argo network was established, as it is this data network which is providing us more accurate assessments of the heat content in the upper ocean than is found in the earlier data.
If he continues to use the global average surface temperature trends as the metric for global warming, he will convince us that he does not recognize i) that surface temperature, by itself, is not a meaasure of heat (e.g. see), and ii) that there are major remaining uncertainties and biases with the surface temperature data set (e.g. see, see and see).
“In the middle of a strong 50-year warming trend, any clever (but cynical) analyst can connect an El Niño-driven warm year to a La Niña-driven cool year a few years later to make it look like warming has stopped.”
He ignores that since 2003, global warming (the accumulation of Joules) has stopped. An objective scientist [as opposed to a “clever (but cynical) analyst”] would report this scientific observation.
He would find more appreciation and respect for his viewpoints if he properly presented the actual observational finding, and discussed its implications as to where we are with respect to the accumulation of Joules over time. I have proposed such an approach in my weblogs