NOAA: new ocean database spans to 1800

Bill Illis and Bob Tisdale will likely make use of this. h/t to WUWT reader Chris D.

NOAA Releases Expanded World Ocean Database

Large wave breaking over bow of NOAA ship.

Large wave breaking over bow of NOAA ship.

High resolution (Credit: NOAA)

NOAA today released the World Ocean Database 2009, the largest, most comprehensive collection of scientific information about the oceans with records dating as far back as 1800. This product is part of the climate services provided by NOAA.

The 2009 database, updated from the 2005 edition, is significantly larger providing approximately 9.1 million temperature profiles and 3.5 million salinity reports.  The 2009 database also captures 29 categories of scientific information from the oceans, including oxygen levels and chemical tracers, plus information on gases and isotopes that can be used to trace the movement of ocean currents.

“There is now more data about the global oceans than ever before,” said Sydney Levitus, director of the World Data Center for Oceanography, which is part of NOAA’s National Oceanographic Data Center. “Previous databases have shown the world ocean has warmed during the last 53 years, and it’s crucial we have reliable, accurate monitoring of our oceans into the future.”

Climate scientists use the World Ocean Database to track changing conditions which adds to the international science community’s understanding of global climate change. Forecast centers, such as NOAA’s Ocean Prediction Center, also use the information for quality control of real-time oceanographic information.

The database is a crucial part of the Integrated Ocean Observing System and the Global Earth Observation System of Systems, or GEOSS, as a reliable source of oceanic information. The information was compiled by scientists at the Ocean Climate Laboratory, part of the NOAA Satellite and Information Service.

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.

Advertisements

21 thoughts on “NOAA: new ocean database spans to 1800

  1. The 2009 database, updated from the 2005 edition, is significantly larger providing approximately 9.1 million temperature profiles and 3.5 million salinity reports.

    We’ll expect a thorough analysis by the first of next week, Bill and Bob, or no turkey for you.

  2. Hmmmm, Levitus said, “Previous databases have shown the world ocean has warmed during the last 53 years, and it’s crucial we have reliable, accurate monitoring of our oceans into the future.”

    When he said the world ocean warmed over the last 53 years, he, of course, was referring to the OHC data. But he didn’t attribute the warming to anything in that quote. That’s odd.

    BTW, ICOADS has had SST and other datasets available back to 1800 for a number of years. The data before 1850 has been very sparse, very very sparse. Did they find new data to supplement it? We’ll have to find out.

  3. heh – that picture looks like it’s from a Cecille B. DeMille production, with a ship’s bow photoshopped into the picture. Shouldn’t Charlton Heston be standing on the bow commanding the waves to part?

    Strike that, I meant Al Gore!

  4. “NOAA understands and predicts changes in the Earth’s environment—from the depths of the ocean to the surface of the sun”

    And here I thought the “O” in NOAA was for Oceanic. Who knew it was really “Omniscient”? Heck, shut down the weather sats, SOHO, and all the research; NOAA already has _everything_ figured out.

  5. Sydney Levitus et al. Guess we’ll have another hockey stick.

    “Previous databases have shown the world ocean has warmed during the last 53 years, and it’s crucial we have reliable, accurate monitoring of our oceans into the future.”

    Hogwash for more alarmism.

  6. “Previous databases have shown the world ocean has warmed during the last 53 years”

    Tell me about cherry picking. They selected the deepest hole in the period after WWII, which was created artificially by shifting the SST in 1945 by 0,3 deg C downwards. It makes 0,65 deg C increase.

    http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/hadsst2gl/from:1955

    But selecting 1940s as a starting point, net increase is only 0,25 deg C.

    http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/hadsst2gl/from:1944

    It is just as stupid as making oooh about unprecedented 3 deg C increase of Arctic temperature since 1980s, not telling that even the top of present warm cycle has NOT reached the level of previous peak in 1930-40.

    Anyway I am rather skeptical, how much reliable data with decent coverage are from 1800. I feel some deeper hockey stick coming.

  7. Why can’t a scientific organisation like NOAA purports to be, actually give us some real information, rather than hype or spin?

    The Earth’s oceans cover about 335,000,000 sq km in total, with an average depth of around 4kilometers – that’s a volume of 1,340,000,000 cubic kilometers. They comprise a highly turbulent chaotic system. The granularity of the new data set is still far to low to give much meaningful information about energy flow and it’s effect on climate.

    I too am puzzled about the missing CO2 mantra???

  8. Here is the current NOAA OHC graph.

    http://www.nodc.noaa.gov/OC5/3M_HEAT_CONTENT/

    It appears from the header that they may not be including Argos Buoys data with this plot.

    “Data distribution figures, temperature anomaly fields, and heat content fields associated with Global ocean heat content(1955-2008) in light of recent instrumentation problems published in Geophysical Research Letters.
    See the manuscript below for details.”

    I haven’t checked the manuscript yet so I can’t be sure.

  9. Ron: You wrote, “It appears from the header that they may not be including Argos Buoys data with this plot.”

    They’ve corrected for the ARGO problems. They have not elminated the ARGO data.


  10. NOAA today released the World Ocean Database 2009, the largest, most comprehensive collection of scientific information about the oceans with records dating as far back as 1800. This product is part of the climate services provided by NOAA.

    Oh brother; how much of this is ex post facto ‘adjusted’ data …
    .
    .

  11. Juraj V. (12:52:51) : You wrote: “Tell me about cherry picking. They selected the deepest hole in the period after WWII, which was created artificially by shifting the SST in 1945 by 0,3 deg C downwards. It makes 0,65 deg C increase.”

    The link that follows shows a chart beginning in 1955, not 1945. Next you link to 1944. Also, you are talking about SST while Bob T. claims the statement relates to OHC.

    I’m just a bit puzzled by this.

    In general, though, it seems to me they have updated and provided a lot of data. For that I think we should thank them, not vilify them.

    Even so, their ending paragraph about being “omniscient” is almost as arrogant as it is hilarious. They ought to rethink this.

  12. Good old NOAA. Recently, NOAA scientists (who understand all) were very puzzled by unusual tides along the US east coast.

    source: http://www.charlotteobserver.com/local/story/852054.html

    Quote from the article: “Since June (2009), tides have been running from 6 inches to 2 feet above what would normally be expected, even considering seasonal and lunar fluctuations. While local tidal changes are not uncommon, researchers for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration aren’t sure they have ever recorded an event like this one, which is showing up all the way from Maine to Florida.” [bold emphasis added – RS]

    The article goes on to state that they are sure it is not due to global warming. That article about NOAA and unusual high tides (that NOAA failed to predict because they do not understand what is going on) is especially good, considering NOAA’s rather “modest” self-proclamation:

    “NOAA understands and predicts changes in the Earth’s environment, from the depths of the oceans to surface of the sun, and conserves and manages our coastal and marine resources.”

    I’m sure NOAA tries, but really, given the breadth and depth of the oceans, NOAA has barely skimmed the surface. As it were.

  13. Roger Sowell (21:24:12) :

    Tallbloke’s ‘oceans in heat release mode’ is what NOAA is getting puzzled about. Look at the cyrosphere today image or the AMSR-E ice extent and see the warm water slamming further towards Siberia from the North Atlantic than ever before. That’s a lot of energy getting up North to go flying out the poles spacewards.
    What happens when the warm water supply is exhausted?
    Figure it out, NOAA.

  14. Caption is by someone who has little experience with a ship on the ocean. A wave is not breaking over the bow. The bow is plunging into a wave or swell. Big difference. The ship’s bow is causing all that water to go up. Even if not experienced, you can see the water is being pushed away by the bow. I have spent some good time on the upper bridge of a NOAA ship watching it doing exactly this on the ocean. Probably one of the 231 foot ships like the Rainier or Mt. Mitchell.

  15. Let’s see now. Sea samples and/or sea temperatures were wanted by scientists. So an officer on board a ship, and no one knows within 50 miles or so where the ship exactly is, tells a mate to tell an ordinary seaman to toss a bucket overboard, and then, pull it back up with the sample. Oh yes, and tell the ordinary seaman to read the temperature of the water in the bucket with a mercury thermometer.

    Sounds to me a way to get data which is just FANTAStic.

    I knew a guy, long ago, who was hired by California Water Resources (or another state agency, long ago, can’t remember exactly now) to take tide samples during the summer, once each hour, beginning at 6:00 AM each morning in SoCal until dark. He and another college student on summer vacation. No supervision at all. State rented a place right on the beach for them to stay in.

    Sure they did exactly as instructed. Sure they did. There weren’t any lightly clad lasses for them to get involved with, now were there? I have seen the way data is gathered . . . by gubmints and others. I worked for gubmint for a good many years. I was not in the least impressed.

    “Data gatherers” faking (making up) the data they are supposed to be actually collecting is as common as grass in a meadow in summertime in Iowa.

  16. Now the data may well have been of the most importance to the scientists who wanted it. But to the captain of the ship? To the officer that had the duty and gave the orders to the mate? To the mate who passed the orders to the ordinary seaman? To the seaman “collecting” the data? Noting but another useless bother to all of those on board the ship. I was in the military as well.

    And yes, while I wasn’t in the Navy itself, I do understand that at times, the weather and waves can be quite dreadful. Just exactly the duty desired at times like that, taking samples of the ocean. Sir, yes sir. Or in the Navy, “Aye aye sir.”

  17. A little insight into SST reconstruction :-o

    #1254108338
    From: Tom Wigley […]
    To: Phil Jones […]
    Subject: 1940s
    Date: Sun, 27 Sep 2009 23:25:38 -0600
    Cc: Ben Santer […]
    Phil,
    Here are some speculations on correcting SSTs to partly explain the 1940s warming blip. If you look at the attached plot you will see that theland also shows the 1940s blip (as I’m sure you know).
    So, if we could reduce the ocean blip by, say, 0.15 degC, then this would be significant for the global mean – but we’d still have to explain the land blip. I’ve chosen 0.15 here deliberately. This still leaves an ocean blip, and i think one needs to have some form of ocean blip to explain the land blip (via either some common forcing, or ocean forcing land, or vice versa, or all of these). When you look at other blips, the land blips are 1.5 to 2 times (roughly) the ocean blips — higher sensitivity plus thermal inertia effects. My 0.15 adjustment leaves things consistent with this, so you can see where I am coming from.
    Removing ENSO does not affect this.
    It would be good to remove at least part of the 1940s blip, but we are still left with “why the blip”.
    Let me go further. If you look at NH vs SH and the aerosol effect (qualitatively or with MAGICC) then with a reduced ocean blip we get continuous warming in the SH, and a cooling in the NH — just as one would expect with mainly NH aerosols.
    The other interesting thing is (as Foukal et al. note – from MAGICC) that the 1910-40 warming cannot be solar. The Sun can get at most 10% of this with Wang et al solar, less with Foukal solar. So this may well be NADW, as Sarah and I noted in 1987 (and also Schlesinger later). A reduced SST blip in the 1940s makes the 1910-40 warming larger than the SH (which it currently is not) — but not really enough.
    So … why was the SH so cold around 1910? Another SST problem? (SH/NH data also attached.)
    This stuff is in a report I am writing for EPRI, so I’d appreciate any comments you (and Ben) might have.
    Tom.

    @John, I referred to the statement from the NOAA announcement “there was SST warming for the last 53 years” as cherry-picking, since the warming is three times smaller if we say “there was SST warming for the last 65 years”.

  18. quote It would be good to remove at least part of the 1940s blip, but we are still left with “why the blip”. unquote

    Tom, I can help you there: it’s the oil on the surface of the oceans and on every cloud droplet, plus, increasingly, synthetic surfactant. About 350 million gallons of oil goes down the drains each year: 5 ml of oil, Benjamin Franklin found, smooths two acres. Add in other oil pollution — from smoke, spills, seeps etc — and the ocean gets enough to smooth it twice a month, every month, year after year. (Google NASA, seawifs, oil pollution)

    Briefly, oil smooths the surface. Albedo declines. The sea warms. Emissivity decreases. the ocean cools more slowly. Fewer waves break. Fewer CCNs form. Low level strato-cumulus amounts decrease. The ocean surface warms. Polluted droplets become more readily joined with their neighbours and rain out. Cloud amounts decrease. Ocean surface warms. Warm surface means less upwelling, means starved phytos, means more C4 metabolism, means light isotope signal as the phytos pull down undifferentiated C isotopes.

    Evidence for: WWII warming which shows nicely when the Folland/Parker correction is removed; there’s a set of graphs of windspeed variation which shows an increase of about 7m/s during the time when the war at sea was dumping lots of oil and the smoothed surface gave less wind resistance — matches nicely with the way you’d expect the oil to spread with most of the increase in the major theatres of war; it explains the reduction in Earth’s albedo; major oil pollution incidents show a clearance of cloud downwind; the arctic warming is particularly pronounced in seas which have maximum potential oil pollution — Okhotsk, Kara, Barents, north of the North Slope; polluted surfaces feed less energy to hurricanes which is why hurricane energy is reducing; oil and surfactant use increase during that difficult period from 1850 to 1910 when even the most vigorous handwaving has difficulty attributing the warming to CO2. Against: no research; no sign of warming around the big oil spill off Mexico. etc. I hope VOCALS is checking for pollution on their collected CCNs.

    Add a bit of silica increase caused by run-off from farming and we can even explain the crash of the cod population on the Grand Banks.

    Salter and Latham have already done the sums about how much you need to reduce CCNs to explain the entire warming since 1910. Why not give them a call. I’d advise using a landline and not email or mobile. You never know….

    JF
    (Actually I don’t believe the emails are all genuine, but I couldn’t resist putting forward my alternative explanation for GW, The Kriegesmarine Effect. Swivels eyes, laughs crazily.)

  19. Folks, everyone should be aware that the data before 1850 are of EXTREMELY dubious quality and this is NOT going to be the last we hear of this. I expect numerous groups will be pouring over this in the coming years to see how reliable the data really is.

Comments are closed.