“The decrease in upper ocean heat content from March to April was 1C – largest since 1979”

Recent Variations In Upper Ocean Heat Content – Information From Phil Klotzbach

By Dr. Roger Pielke Senior

Phil Klotzbach has graciously permitted me to post an update on upper ocean heat content in the equatorial upper ocean. He writes

“The Climate Prediction Center recently released its equatorial upper ocean heat content for April 2010. One of the primary areas that they focus on is the equatorial heat content averaged over the area from 180-100W. The decrease in upper ocean heat content from March to April was 1C, which is the largest decrease in equatorial upper ocean heat content in this area since the CPC began keeping records of this in 1979. The upwelling phase of a Kelvin wave was likely somewhat responsible for this significant cooling. It seems like just about every statistical and dynamical model is calling for ENSO to dissipate over the next month or two as well, so it’s probable that we will see a transition to neutral conditions shortly. I have attached a spreadsheet showing upper ocean heat content data from CPC since 1979. In case you’re interested, the correlation between April upper ocean heat content from 180-100W and August-October Nino 3.4 is an impressive 0.75 over the years from 1979-2009.

He has plotted the data below. An interesting question is to where this heat has gone. 

It could have moved north and south in the upper ocean, however, to the extent the sea surface temperature anomalies map to the upper ocean heat content, there is no evidence of large heat transfers except, perhaps, in the tropical Atlantic [see].

The heat could have been transferred deeper into the ocean. However, if this is true, this heat would have been seen moving to lower levels, but, so far, there is no evidence of such a large vertical heat transfer.

The heat could, of course, be lost to space. This appears to be the most likely explanation.

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189 thoughts on ““The decrease in upper ocean heat content from March to April was 1C – largest since 1979”

  1. But Hansen assured me that they were going to sink many times 10^22 joules of energy. Where’s the beef? Hansen.

  2. Considering the UAH temps are high, heat out into the atmosphere then space is quite likely.

  3. While driving to work this morning and listening to the radio, the weatherman said the low temperature in West Yellowstone last night was 8 degrees F. This is the 7th of May, for Pete’s sake! So obviously the missing heat hasn’t been found in Yellowstone.

  4. The above chart comes from the CPC and is based on weekly data. I’ve only been able to find the monthly numbers – anyone know where the weekly data can be found?

    These numbers lead the ENSO by about 1 month.

  5. I’ve often wondered that atmospheric temps are more about heat going from somewhere to somewhere, but not knowing anything about anything I just wonder.

  6. #
    RockyRoad says:
    May 7, 2010 at 11:02 am
    “. . . West Yellowstone last night was 8 degrees F. ”

    West Yellowstone is 6650 feet ASL elevation. Spring usually comes much later in the high country of Wyoming.

    In Seattle though the snow line was at 2000 feet yesterday. That’s really low for this time of year. Folks were commenting on how long the days are in December this year.

  7. I would have thought Occam’s Razor would suggest that heat went to making the March UAH anomaly high. It’ll be interesting to see if the anomaly crashes back towards 2008 levels over the course of the rest of this year.

  8. “The heat could have been transferred deeper into the ocean. However, if this is true, this heat would have been seen moving to lower levels, but, so far, there is no evidence of such a large vertical heat transfer.”

    There are currently no instruments to measure this movement to the deeper ocean, so to say there is no evidence misses the true condition which is– we don’t know. With such a large upwelling phase of the Kelvin wave, you also have to have a downwelling as well. No instruments yet to measure this, but Trenberth et. al. are working on that.

    “The heat could, of course, be lost to space. This appears to be the most likely explanation.”

    Why is this most likely? With the stratosphere showing a net continuous cooling for many decades, such heat would have to pass through the stratosphere, and THIS is what there is no evidence for. In fact, losing this heat to space is the most un-likely explanation.

  9. “”The fact is that we can’t account for the lack of warming at the moment and it is a travesty that we can’t.” “

  10. RockyRoad

    It snowed along the Front Range again last night, and I nearly froze my fingers off riding my bike this morning. Winter has been going on for so long that I hardly remember what it means to be warm. Ten years ago we typically had eight weeks of winter, now we have closer to eight months of winter.

  11. Considering the UAH temps are high, heat out into the atmosphere then space is quite likely.

    Could make for an “interesting” summer.

  12. Certainly a good chunk of the heat is lost to the atmosphere. We know that El Ninos dump heat from the ocean in this way because ocean fluctuations are the strongest determinant of global surface temperatures in the short term. A strong El Nino, like 1998, sends a spike of warming over the whole planet. That’s a huge heat dump, which must cool the ocean equivalently.

  13. The missing heat hasn’t appeared in the UK. It’s unseasonably cool here at the moment.

  14. Excellent evidence that the oceans just gave off a giant belch of heat.

    Look for cooler time ahead….

  15. More “missing heat”? So, how could it possibly have escaped into space, if that is indeed where it went, through all of that extra man made co2 which is greenhousing our planet? Are there any reliable estimates of how much co2 has been put out so far by the recent Icelandic volcanic eruption compared to how much we evil people have been puting out lately? I have seen some “no source quoted” info on this but am skeptical as to its reliability.

  16. Curious how the heat/energy would be converted into the weather across globe. Is it missing, or being used up in various ways. I’m sure some may go into the deeper ocean, and some into space. But it has to add to the weather somehow.

  17. Klotzbach says the decrease was in the “equatorial upper ocean heat”. Please excuse my ignorance, can anyone comment on how much we can generalize from the equatorial region? Is it considered a leading indicator? How large is this region, i.e., what % of total ocean area does it encompass?

  18. A layman question.
    Quote – The heat could, of course, be lost to space. This appears to be the most likely explanation.

    Is the amount of the heat too small to have been observed by satellites or were they designed to measure “something” else (Russian nukes for example – sarcasm)?

    Regards

  19. R Gates,

    Heat rises. The coolest part of 2-story house in summer is the tile floor in the first floor bathroom (since it is laid directly upon the cement foundation). The fact that the stratosphere has been cooling for a decade or two (not many decades) has to do with less aerosols in the stratosphere. With less resistance for heat to move out into space (due to less aerosols), there will be less of a temperature gradient in the stratosphere layer.

  20. I would not say something to be taken litteraly, but this scenario remembers that of “The Day After Tomorrow” ***not*** for what happens in that film but about the sudden decrease of temperature in Ocean…

    Unfortunately this climate debate is not a debate but a mask, a mask of **an ideological fight** and so this are seen falsely by distorting lens…

    Anyway it is true that, if temperature increases in Ocean, **then** Gulf Stream decreses and this is only an appearent contradiction…
    So what we are seeing now does not necessarily go against the Global Warming…

  21. Ya know buddies, all that red inkjet spent for nothing!, who’s gonna pay the bill?
    Next time you should read WUWT first!

  22. Ooops! Dr. Roy Spencer: “Strong Negative Feedback from the Latest CERES Radiation Budget Measurements Over the Global Oceans…

    …A net feedback of 6 operating on the warming caused by a doubling of atmospheric CO2 late in this century would correspond to only about 0.5 deg. C of warming. This is well below the 3.0 deg. C best estimate of the IPCC, and even below the lower limit of 1.5 deg. C of warming that the IPCC claims to be 90% certain of…”

    http://www.drroyspencer.com/2010/05/strong-negative-feedback-from-the-latest-ceres-radiation-budget-measurements-over-the-global-oceans/

  23. I remain a little confused about how heat can be, “transferred deeper into the ocean.” Warmer waters are typically less dense waters, and will rise toward the surface. So, what’s the mechanism for transferring heat against the buoyancy gradient?

  24. This is a chart of the Equatorial Ocean Heat Content numbers above versus the ENSO (updated for April’s figures including the Nino 3.4 anomaly which came in at 0.70C)

    Where did the heat go? It went into the atmosphere which is why temperatures were going up until recently (it will have now partially escaped into space with more to come later). Some of it has also moved into the Pacific Warm Pool area near Indonesia and it will then be recirculated into the northern Pacific and also downward into the subsurface Pacific counter-current.

    Bob Tisdale did this chart awhile ago showing how the upper Pacific ocean circulates over a 18 month to 2 year period.

    Here is the latest animation of the circulation. Some of the current cool anomalies are actually left-over from the 2007-08 La Nina.

  25. And all that heat is probably going way down to the next center of gravity: The moon. Surely heating up, it will welcome all mad scientists.

  26. The decline in ocean heat content appears to have been caused by two factors acting in concert:

    i) As per Bob Tisdale’s work an El Nino discharges heat retained in the oceans from earlier solar input by releasing it to the air from warmer ocean surfaces.

    ii) As per my proposals that discharged heat needs to be replaced either from the energy stored in the wider oceans or from fresh solar input. In this instance it could not be replaced by energy from the wider oceans because we are in a negative PDO phase (using the term PDO in the broader sense of periodic warm and cool cycling observed in the ocean surfaces and not in the statistical sense as a by product of ENSO as preferred by Bob). Additionally the two mid latitude jets and the Inter Tropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ) with their accompanying cloud banks are closer to the equator than they were during the second half of the 20th century and so having a greater effect on albedo due to their now being situated in regions of more powerful solar irradiation. Thus adequate fresh solar input is not available either.

    As per my New Climate Model the combination creates increased energy loss for the system as a whole whilst for a while at least some parts of the troposphere are being warmed by the outgoing energy from the oceans. Due to the negative polar oscillations with the jets more equatorward the mid latitudes do not share in that enhanced warmth.

    We face overall net system cooling for as long as the oceans are in an El Nino state and the jets remain equatorward (despite the mixed temperature signals in the troposphere).

  27. The stratosphere has been warming not cooling since the sun started to become less active from the mid 90’s:

    http://www.jstage.jst.go.jp/article/sola/5/0/53/_pdf
    “The evidence for the cooling trend in the stratosphere may need to be
    revisited. This study presents evidence that the stratosphere has been
    slightly warming since 1996.”

  28. Anybody check for changes in albedo over the oceans for the given period?

    The graph is about total heat content, a product of two dynamics – heat in minus heat out. Given the “unprecedented” drop that is described, my first guess would be to look for a drop of heat in coinciding with an increase in heat out.

  29. R. Gates,

    “There are currently no instruments to measure this movement to the deeper ocean, so to say there is no evidence misses the true condition which is– we don’t know. ”

    Well I disagree. The argo network measures temperature down to 2000 metres. Greenhouse theory predicts that the oceans will warm from the top, not from the bottom. If this extra heat is being sequestered into the deep oceans it will have to transit downwards. As it does the argo bathyscopes will register temperature anomalies at depth. Even if the warm pulse passes below the 2000 metre floor, you will still pick up the anomaly as it passes downwards before the temperature readings return to previous. Then you would have a record of the transit. This is what Dr. Pielke is saying.

    Your assertion that it cannot be lost into space is no more than a prayer. Monitoring the earths energy balance is far more complex than ocean heat anomaly. The satellite is a single point in space for one thing, and the heat is radiated in all directions. Pielke has written before on these uncertainties and doesn’t have the same confidence that you seem to have. You always claim on this blog that you are 25% sceptical, but some of your posts, like this one, sound more like a politicians spin.

  30. pgosselin says: Heat moving down? I thought warm water moved up.

    Not saying it is relevant to this topic but yes warm water can move down given that max density of water is about 4C. Its why the oceans don’t freeze from the bottom up.

  31. If the heat went deep into the oceans, it would have to go below 2000m, since project argo measures the water column temperature down to that depth. Also, warm water, just like warm air is less dense and rises. Those pesky laws of physics.

  32. I am sure that heat has been lost to evaporation =more clouds=more sunshine deflected & more rain.
    here, in Johannesburg, South Africa we have been having 218% more rain this year sofar.
    I hear of flooding elswhere as well. Mark my words. The flooding of Europe’s rivers is next when all that extra snow from the Alps starts melting.

    I made this summary for myself for future reference. Agreed that our sunshine has been fairly constant at 1360 W/m2/min. Total energy on earth is 1.73 x 10 power 14 kW/day. Let this amount be 100%.
    Energy consumed by plant life is ca. 0.023%. This falls below our accepted error and can (probably) be left out of the equation. The amount of direct heat on earth can be given by this equation:
    100 – energy deflected(ca. 30%) – energy used for evaporation (ca.23%) = (ca. 47%)
    What affects earth’s albedo?
    1) Positively: Clouds and cloud formation, mostly
    2) Positively: Volcanic activities
    3) Positively: more % Water vapor in the atmosphere,
    4) Positively or negatively, but % more or less constant: Oxygen, trace gases: ozone, methane &CO2 mostly. (I estimate that the increase in ozone of late cancels out any warming effect from the increase in CO2)
    What affects evaporation?
    1) Negatively: Clouds and cloud formation, mostly
    2) Positively: Shallow waters caused naturally or by human activities such as putting up dams in rivers and making shallow pools & reservoirs for irrigation and water consumption. Shallow water easily heats up causing more evaporation.
    3) Negatively: Wind and the sun and moon’s position relative to earth. This causes more wave action which mixes colder water in from deep sea, this will cause less evaporation)
    4) Negatively: more % water vapor in the atmosphere
    5) Positively: evaporation itself causes more evaporation (difference in pressure causes wind and wind and heat together causes more evaporation)
    What causes more heat on earth and/or prevents heat from leaving earth?
    1) Decrease in earth’s albedo
    2) Decrease in evaporation (i.e negative factors affecting evaporation)
    3) Volcanic activities on earth, e.g. hot lava & hot waters
    4) Human activities (AHF), creating heat to move or to stay warm or cold
    5) Human activities, e.g. any process to produce energy or cooling or heating (including nuclear energy but excluding hydro-, wind-, solar- & tidal energy),
    that causes more greenhouse gases: water vapor and carbon dioxide which trap long wave energy leaving earth.

  33. Could the heat be in evaporation and transpiration?
    We were predicted to get a long, dry spring like the spring of 1998 when a lot of Florida was on fire.
    This year it’s rained quite a bit through the spring.
    Do we measure global precipitation?

  34. Interesting post. Indicative of the vast voids in our knowledge and data gathering. Neither side knows how little we know, but at least most on this side are willing to admit the huge gaps in our understanding of the mechanics of climate. That is as it should be, because that is the reality. Posters here understand that mankind is nowhere near being able to say conclusively that Co2 is the cause. Climate science may no longer be in it’s infancy, but we sure aren’t out of the diaper stage yet. Take a big whiff, proponents of CAGW.

  35. Brian D

    May 7 2010 12.54 pm

    It really does seem that an active sun causes an increased upward energy flux that is greater in it’s cooling effect than the tiny increase in warming from the raw power output that accompanies it.

    A less active sun seems to cause a decrease.

    The effects appear to manifest themselves in the size and intensity of the polar oscillations of the atmosphere which in turn affect the latitudinal positions of the air circulation systems.

    Although this proposition is hotly disputed especially by Leif Svalgaard it really does have the effect of accounting for a good number of observed climate phenomena.

    A fuller discussion can be found here :

    http://climaterealists.com/attachments/database/The%20Missing%20Climate%20Link.pdf

  36. stevengoddard says:
    May 7, 2010 at 11:32 am

    RockyRoad

    It snowed along the Front Range again last night, and I nearly froze my fingers off riding my bike this morning. Winter has been going on for so long that I hardly remember what it means to be warm. Ten years ago we typically had eight weeks of winter, now we have closer to eight months of winter.

    Seriously Steve? 15 years ago when my daughter was born on April 18th, it snowed for 3 weeks straight in Nederland. It is not at all unusual to have a late spring in Colorado. And I remember another May 1st about 6 years ago when my daughter performed Hula in Denver and it snowed.

  37. I have been having very civil conversations with a young lad who had gone through “environmental studies” over the last year. Two days ago I bumped into him and he was clearly flumoxed. He said he had been thinking alot about our discussions and that he had a question. This is his question. “If the earth is warming, would that not lead to increased evaporation and thereby increase rainfall?” My response was to smile and say, “what an excellant question”, and insisted he try to find the answer for himself. He had been shown the drought scenario as being the result of global warming. It was wonderful to see the beginnings of the “critical thinking process”. He is a very bright young fellow and I never once tried to convince him of my viewpoint. I mearly answered his questions and raised some of my own. I believe that he would have come to the same conclusions on his own given time. My hope for the youth of today has been renewed.

  38. Brian D says:
    May 7, 2010 at 12:54 pm
    Would an increase in solar winds draw heat off our planet quicker? Just curious

    Kind of a connected ground line?, think instead somebody changed from cooking mode to just defrost mode.☺

  39. Regarding the detection of ocean heat “down”…

    If your taking a vertical column of the ocean and all of the water is completely still, then yes it should be fairly easy to determine if a loss in heat from high in the column is transferred to the base of the column. And indeed it would be counter-intuitive to think that hot water would suddenly “drop” to the bottom.

    But the ocean isn’t static. Yes, the bottom is colder (and denser), but it is perfectly capable of absorbing heat from the top of our imaginary column of water. Keeping things relatively simple, lets assume the upper portion of the column is static, while the lower column has a continuous current that originates outside of and continues beyond our imaginary column.

    The lower current, while cold, still absorbs heat from the upper column and carries it away. The less dense warm water does not need to sink to the cold depths for this heat transfer to occur.

    An increase in heat loss from the upper column to the lower column can also occur without any upwelling. Upwelling results in more contact between the warm and cold water. Increased contact can also occur by simply increasing the rate of the current of the lower portion of the column. By this method, you wouldn’t even detect an increase in temperature of the lower current within our imaginary column. You might actually detect a decrease in temperature at depth, if the rate of flow increases enough.

  40. Could this be the beginning of the 20 years of cooling that some predict we will endure?
    Could the oceans work some kind of cycle redistributing heat energy?
    Very interesting.

  41. If things keep on going like these I think Sarah Palin will find a warm place for Al Baby, next to her mashed potatoes, along with other endangered species.

  42. Chris

    It’s a flawed argument, I’m afraid. The ‘feeling’ of cold tiled floor comes from its’ ability to conducted heat efficiently away from your little totsies. My house is totally tiled floors. When the sun hits them they become warm very quickly but because it is local heat it dissipates rapidly through the rest of the tiles.

  43. Gates

    Just because your ‘its a travesty’ high priest says that hot water goes down it doesn’t mean that the water will defy the laws of physics in favour of your religion. The oceans have very distinct layers of water at very different temp much like the atmosphere where mixing between layers is miniscule.

  44. @ Stevengoddard

    WE HAVE STOLEN THE MISSING HEAT (sorry about that!).

    Here in the Laurentians, about 120 km north of Montreal, we had the mildest winter in memory, spring came 4-6 weeks early. I mowed the lawn today (first time ever before June 1st) and all of the plants in the rock garden are out and growing.

    Possibly some has gone to melting those glaciers, as we know that it would take a lot of heat to finish them off in 35 years or so…..lol

  45. Enneagram

    May 7 2010 12.48 pm

    The poleward and equatorward shifts in the jets and the ITCZ beyond normal seasonal variability depend on the interplay of two opposing forces.

    An increase in energy release from the ocean surfaces pushes them poleward whilst a decrease pulls them back equatorward

    and simultaneously:

    An increase in energy loss to space pulls them poleward whilst a decrease pushes them equtorward. This latter effect is a consequence of the contraction or expansion of the polar high pressure cells involved in the polar oscillations.

    The mechanism whereby solar activity levels affect the polar oscillations (if indeed they do so ) is open for investigation as per the suggestions of Vuk and others. However the most persuasive mechanism I have found so far was kindly supplied by Leif Svalgaard :

    http://www.leif.org/EOS/2009GL041845.pdf

    The essence of the article is that the diurnal coming and going of sunlight creates irregularities in the energy flow or flux from troposphere right up into the exosphere.

    It follows that similar effects must occur from any solar variability on all timescales.

  46. Yes, this year will be the fourth consecutive year of below than normal sea temperatures, it’s sooo nice come summer I’m sure.

    I’m not sure how many consecutive years of below normal sea levels we’ll have this year, but I know one thing though that a person once built a two foot high solid stone separation between the ocean and his land due to “dangerous consecutive raising sea levels” but for the last some 60 odd years there’s been about a yard and a half of beach in front of that probably very expensive project. Apparently the sea level rise is very geographically selective, it has always risen they say, but in every other place you’ve been at. Have you been in the indian ocean this year? Yes? God damnit, really angry murmur!!! How about the black sea?

  47. Roger:

    As someone who does thermodynamics for a living, I HATE seeing heat content given in units of degrees Celsius. The correct units are Joules, and somewhere in there you need a heat capacity.

  48. “The heat could, of course, be lost to space. This appears to be the most likely explanation.”

    R. Gates says:

    “Why is this most likely? With the stratosphere showing a net continuous cooling for many decades, such heat would have to pass through the stratosphere, and THIS is what there is no evidence for. In fact, losing this heat to space is the most un-likely explanation.”

    Heat RADIATING through the thin stratospheric atmosphere will not heat the stratosphere much and may be cancelled out by other factors.

  49. This may explain the high UAH numbers, as it appears the oceans continue to exhaust heat energy into space. This perfectly with how ENSO works. Both Rossby and Kelvin waves assit in the El Nino/La Nina cycles. What will be very interesting to see is if La Nina will develope next year per Bob Tisdale’s projections.

  50. Pat Franks asked:

    “I remain a little confused about how heat can be, “transferred deeper into the ocean.” Warmer waters are typically less dense waters, and will rise toward the surface. So, what’s the mechanism for transferring heat against the buoyancy gradient?”

    ——–

    The rising and falling of waters in the oceans is based on both heat and salinity gradients. In general of course warm waters rise and cold dense water falls creating a constant cycling of energy transfer in the oceans we find in large currents both laterally and horizontally. In the context of these large “mixing” currents, heat can get pulled down, not by thermo or salinity gradient, obviously, but by the kinetic motion of the cells themselves. Think of throwing a small plastic ball off of a waterfall. Though the ball might be less dense than the water, and will eventually rise up to the top, the initial kinetic energy of the all the water moving in the same direction can easily pull the ball down under water. Translate this to the very large amount of kinetic energy present in the currents of the world oceans, and you can see how that huge amount of momentum can easily work to pull warm water to deeper levels..and eventually this warmer water will find its way back to the surface and some out into the atmosphere. And of course, with the presence of greenhouse gases, much of that longwave energy that does go back into the atmosphere will once again go back to the sea and land, to start the cycle again.

  51. Isn’t R. Gates fascinating?

    The rising and falling of waters in the oceans is based on both heat and salinity gradients. In general of course warm waters rise and cold dense water falls creating a constant cycling of energy transfer in the oceans we find in large currents both laterally and horizontally.

    What is the difference between laterally and horizontally?

  52. I really don’t care where everyone thinks that the heat has gone. I’m singularly concerned that none of this ‘missing’ heat is nowhere near my garden. Almost all of my seedlings which were in the greenhouse (!) died when the frost came back during the night of 3/4 May.
    The part of England (a country which is mired in a political nightmare) where I live is famous for its benign climatic conditions which are tempered by the proximity of the supposedly warming sea. Well, the sea has changed; agriculture in the area is suffering and the local fishermen say that their usual catches have declined dramatically.
    I know, it’s just weather, not ‘Climate’. All I want is some warmth in whatever shines on my garden!

  53. The warmest water is still on top of the ocean.

    This is just a decrease from the normal temperature profile (and the El Nino temperature profile) of the equatorial Pacific which has a certain pattern/climatology throughout the year.

    The driver of this system (and there are many parts) is the Trade Winds (the Winds literally push/drag warm surface currents across the Pacific), Atmospheric Angular Momentum, the SOI and then how tropical convection storms respond to the changes. All of these factors are part of one big system and they are all inter-related.

  54. R. Gates
    Heat lossed to space thru the stratosphere undetected, impossible. Heat from upper oceans taken to the icy depths undetected, certainly. Eh?

  55. El Nino’s are an air conditioner for the oceans, They increase temperature at the ocean surface using a stored pool of warm water. This eventually results a moisture plume that condenses and blocks out the sun. the oceans cool due to lack of replacement energy since they are constantly cooling (ie every night).
    Most of the energy in oceans is lost via latent heat transfer, evaporation and convection which bypasses greenhouse gasses in the troposphere.

    As to the stratosphere, the temp seems to be driven by volcano regulated water changes. The decrease in temp is associated with loss of water vapor post pinatubo.
    SO2 is involved water droplet nucleation and could dry out the stratosphere, causing it to cool. Due to the tropopause that water cant be replace quickly.
    The lower stratospheric temp leads the tropospheric temp by about two years.
    My theory is that the stratosphere regulates the troposphere by controlling cloud amounts somehow. Stratospheric regulation also gets around the problem of fast ocean response times.

  56. Gerard Harbison says:
    May 7, 2010 at 1:41 pm
    Roger:
    As someone who does thermodynamics for a living, I HATE seeing heat content given in units of degrees Celsius. The correct units are Joules, and somewhere in there you need a heat capacity.
    ———————————————————————
    Climatologists have special physics. Convection reverses, degrees convert directly to watts, water has no phase change or enthalpy and the weather is controlled by soda pop. Low resolution measurements yield precision calculations that prove this and as long as people are debating the narrative, the narrative functions for its intended purpose of keeping people distracted from facing reality- which, after so much investment in stupidity is precisely what they wish for.
    The codependents have a deeply satisfying relationship of which their part consists of hoping for change with every new john their daddy sends to the crib. Incantations and talismans guide their decisions. They have a paper fetish. Scraps of paper are believed to influence the weather, scraps of paper are avidly traded and anything on paper is worth 100 to 1000 times reality. Scraps of paper are capable of transforming reality at the whim of the wizardly scribes.

    This is the biggest sacking in human history. It takes nobody to claim responsibility for his own actions for this to succeed, and by mutual agreement this has become an orgy of collective and individual evasion of responsibility.
    The most anybody can manage is to giggle like an idiot while Hannibal takes another slice of frontal cortex. America has been asking for it – the proof is that you’ve been happily paying for it. The proof of that is you don’t stop; the worse it gets the more you pay to discuss your hope for change.
    Now you are the system. Look at what you’ve done by not doing. Look at the results of your decision to avoid deciding. Laugh about it, cry about it, pay more and keep repeating it. It’s not working, is it? You will get the responsiblity in the end. Nature is like that and bigger than you. After demonetizing money your daddeh decerebrated science. You really have nothing left but mysticism. After the inevitable pain-for-all, your job will be to lie about how you did this to yourselves – so your kids can repeat the same act.

  57. Ed Caryl says:
    May 7, 2010 at 11:03 am
    Tell Sen. Sensenbrenner. I hope he reads this blog.

    That’s Rep. Sensenbrenner – I made that Senator mistake yesterday.

  58. R. Gates says:
    May 7, 2010 at 11:31 am

    “No instruments yet to measure this, but Trenberth et. al. are working on that.”

    I hope he isnt trying to find it in a model.

  59. “Smokey says:
    May 7, 2010 at 2:32 pm
    Isn’t R. Gates fascinating?
    […]
    What is the difference between laterally and horizontally?”

    Laterally is the OTHER horizontally.

  60. RockyRoad mentioned that West Yellowstone was 8 degrees this morning. Well it was 2 above at the Lake Yellowstone area this morning.

  61. Steve Goddard and Jeff Brown:

    I’m with Jeff on the long snow season being the norm in the Front Range. I live 5 miles up a canyon outside of Boulder. For the last 17 years we’ve had snowfall Oct-May, some years also Sept and June.

  62. R Gates
    In the context of these large “mixing” currents, heat can get pulled down, not by thermo or salinity gradient, obviously, but by the kinetic motion of the cells themselves. Think of throwing a small plastic ball off of a waterfall. Though the ball might be less dense than the water, and will eventually rise up to the top, the initial kinetic energy of the all the water moving in the same direction can easily pull the ball down under water. >>

    That of course is true. Now can you explain what physical process it is that imparts so much momentum in warm water that:

    1) it descends to depths of the oceans that we can’t measure
    2) it does so in such a narrow column that it passes between all the argo buoys doing ocean temperature measurement all over the world completely undetected
    3) it does so without causing any disturbance noticed in surface behaviour
    4) the cold water that it supposedly displaces, even temporarily, does not show up anywhere on the surface nor does it pass by the argo buoys on the way up
    5) How does this momentum overwhelm the natural downwelling processes of cold water sinking that we can in fact observe, and why is it that we can oberve them but not your warm downward currents?
    6) Why does every new piece of data suggesting that the AGW theory is hopelessly wrong based on actual measurements of actual physical processes get responded to with increasingly impossible physical processes that can’t be explained by physics, aren’t supported by observation, and are proposed as existing in only those places for which we have no measurements, moved there by processes that cannot be detected?

  63. Pat Frank says:
    May 7, 2010 at 12:16 pm

    I remain a little confused about how heat can be, “transferred deeper into the ocean.” Warmer waters are typically less dense waters, and will rise toward the surface. So, what’s the mechanism for transferring heat against the buoyancy gradient?

    It’s all in the power of salt.

    Assume that in the sea, the warm water is lying on top of colder water. As the warm water evaporates, it gets saltier and saltier. The salt makes this warm water denser and denser. At some point, the warm salty water becomes more dense than the colder less salty water, and so sinks below it.

    This drives warm water downwards.

    Of course, in order to do this, you’ve dumped X amount of heat into the atmosphere, whence it rises to radiate into space – so “losing” warm water does mean radiation into space no matter which way you slice it.

    Unless of course, you believe that cold objects heat warm ones, in which case the “back radiation” will shine back down onto the sea and boil it…

  64. Stephen Brown,
    From one avid gardener to another – I feel your pain! I’m on the Olympic Peninsula of WA in Sunny Sequim. We are known for our mild, ocean-tempered climate. Normally I can count on our last frost being around April 15 (if not earlier). I’ve awakened to a thick frost here several nights lately, including the last two. Daytime temps have been below normal as well. Thankfully, I’ve procrastinated this year and not planted my vegetable gardens yet. But the poor bees are hungry and really suffering through this cold spring. I’ve resorted to putting out melon rinds and honey on the patio, trying to give them a little sustenance. Where’s the heat??? Not here.

  65. A misleading headline – what he actually says is that the upper ocean heat content of the tropical part of the Eastern Pacific has dropped by 1C.

  66. Said Pat Frank:
    May 7, 2010 at 12:16 pm
    I remain a little confused about how heat can be, “transferred deeper into the ocean.” Warmer waters are typically less dense waters, and will rise toward the surface. So, what’s the mechanism for transferring heat against the buoyancy gradient?
    *
    *
    Have you ever heard of an ‘inversion layer?’

    It happens in the oceans all the time, just as it happens in the atmosphere.

  67. R. Gates: You quoted the post, “The heat could have been transferred deeper into the ocean. However, if this is true, this heat would have been seen moving to lower levels, but, so far, there is no evidence of such a large vertical heat transfer,” and wrote: “There are currently no instruments to measure this movement to the deeper ocean, so to say there is no evidence misses the true condition which is– we don’t know. With such a large upwelling phase of the Kelvin wave, you also have to have a downwelling as well.”

    In the tropical Pacific, the topic of this post, the greatest variations in OHC takes place in the top 300 meters. This has been measured via the TAO Project since 1979, I believe. There are also XBT in the area and have been for even more decades. Since earlier this decade, there are now ARGO floats bobbing around the tropical Pacific, sensing to 2000 meters. They’d know if ocean heat was being subducted in the tropical Pacific. The vast majority of the subduction taking place is in the high latitudes of the North Atlantic and in the Southern Ocean.

    You wrote, “No instruments yet to measure this, but Trenberth et. al. are working on that.”

    Please cite your source for this statement.

    You quoted from the post, “The heat could, of course, be lost to space. This appears to be the most likely explanation,” and commented, “Why is this most likely?….”

    I believe the “lost to space” is poorly worded and that he meant “released to the atmosphere”.

  68. Aargh says:
    May 7, 2010 at 3:08: Response: I’m afraid this poster hasn’t a clue about what mother nature is doing. This happened MINUTES from Calgary. The male is over 200lbs. and devoured a dear of equal weight in a couple of hours. The ecosystem has to be doing pretty well to support this many carnivors of that size. Even the landowner had no idea how much danger this represents to his family. Priddis area has a substantial human population and supports wild horses as well. What planet is Aargh living on? pmhttp://www.calgarysun.com/news/alberta/2010/04/29/13765476.html

  69. is it under the bed?

    is it under the rug?

    is it under the dog?

    is it under the car?

    is it under the house?

    is it under the lake?

    is it under the rain forest?

    is it under the land fill?

    Oh where oh where can that lost heat be??

    Maybe it wsn’t here in the first place??

    Naaaaahhhhhh. They couldn’t be that dumb, could they???

  70. I also think that the heat did indeed not go anywhere! It never got there in the first place. It did not come as usual from the sun because there must have been an increase in clouds and cloud formations. How else do you explain the increase in precipitation everywhere (in the world)? See also my earlier post May 7 12h48.

  71. The ‘missing heat’ is here in Broome, West Australia, and we are keeping it. We live here because we hate the cold. In the last 12 months only October was a lower than mean minimum, and only August and January had a lower than mean maximum. The April 2010 minimum was 3.3C above average. Our usual monsoon activity for the summer was almost non existent, possibly pushed by stronger Westerlies, sending moisture from evaporation eastward, allowing yachting to take place at Lake Eyre.

  72. On 2nd thought, though keeping with my assertion that the heat never got here in the first place, it seems more likely to me now that it might be related to volcanic activity.
    That is why it is great to make summaries of studies. They make you re-think. Apart from the Iceland event there was also something major going on in the pacific. I think I saw pictures of that here on WUWT. So, my explanation is:
    1) the heat never got here, 2) this must have resulted from an increase in earth’s albedo, 3) this was most likely caused by increased volcanic activities

  73. Lets see, I live on the West coast. The fruit trees in my area were two weeks late to set blossoms. My uncle lives on the East coast, he and all the neighbors lost their tomato plants to frost during a recent cold snap.

    I am not prepared to say it has been unusually cold in the context of the past couple of hundred years, but it has certainly been cold in the context of the past 15 to 20 years.

  74. stephen richards says:
    May 7, 2010 at 1:20 pm
    Gates

    Just because your ‘its a travesty’ high priest says that hot water goes down it doesn’t mean that the water will defy the laws of physics in favour of your religion. The oceans have very distinct layers of water at very different temp much like the atmosphere where mixing between layers is miniscule.

    _____________

    I think some might find the following basic concepts in ocean heat transport of interest. First, a simple diagram of how heat can (an does) go down into cooler layers of water below. Take a look at this downwelling diagram:

    Essentially, it takes energy to drive warmer water against the gravity/salinity gradients, just like it would take energy for you to hold a toy balloon under water. The energy from your muscles, which came from your food, which came ultimately from the sun must hold that balloon under water. So too with warm water to be driven down (when it wants to rise) needs energy to do so, and in the diagram above, that energy comes from wind, and wind has its primary roots of course in solar energy reaching the earth.

    But also, take a look at this nice simple general overview of how ocean circulation patterns work:

    http://earth.usc.edu/~stott/Catalina/Oceans.html

    Warm water is being tranported both horizontally and vertically throughout the oceans of the world…and despite the fact that we do have bouys to tell us the basic surface temps of the ocean, we really don’t know how much heat is being forced into the deeper ocean because we don’t have any large number of bouys for the deeper ocean. I know is quite popular on this site and other to make fun of Kevin Trenberth for his “missing heat” issue, but the deeper ocean may indeed be part of the answer for where it is going, as it most certainly is not being lost to space:

    http://www2.ucar.edu/news/missing-heat-may-affect-future-climate-change

    Meanwhile, arctic sea ice extent is now well below both 2008 and 2009’s levels:

    http://www.ijis.iarc.uaf.edu/en/home/seaice_extent.htm

    Healthy amounts of melting still going on in the Barents Sea, and the Greenland and Bering Sea now also showing some nice melt. We also continue to see a larger amount of ice passing south through the Fram Strait than we saw just a few weeks ago. Here’s a nice photo of that:

    http://ice-map.appspot.com/

    Just go to the page above and position your cursor at about 79 degrees N, by 4 degrees W, zoom in and look at all that lovely ice headed south for the summer…

  75. Bob Tisdale says:
    May 7, 2010 at 6:30 pm

    R. Gates…you wrote, (regarding heat going to the deeper ocean) “No instruments yet to measure this, but Trenberth et. al. are working on that.”

    Please cite your source for this statement.

    From the article at this NCAR/UCAR site:

    http://www2.ucar.edu/news/missing-heat-may-affect-future-climate-change

    “Trenberth and Fasullo call for additional ocean sensors, along with more systematic data analysis and new approaches to calibrating satellite instruments, to help resolve the mystery. The Argo profiling floats that researchers began deploying in 2000 to measure ocean temperatures, for example, are separated by about 185 miles (300 kilometers) and take readings only about once every 10 days from a depth of about 6,500 feet (2,000 meters) up to the surface. Plans are underway to have a subset of these floats go to greater depths.”

    —————–

    Bottom line: we know far less about heat tranport in the deeper ocean than we do in the atmosphere. I would suggest that some who are open minded enough really go back and check out the full article at the link above, and do some independent research on Kevin Trenberth and find out what his “it’s a travesty” statement was really all about when talking about the missing heat. He gives his accounting of it here:

    http://www.cgd.ucar.edu/cas/trenbert.html

    I know it’s lots of fun to make fun of Kevin Trenberth, but along the way, its also maybe healthy to really understand what he really said and the context in which it was said.

  76. It is amazing how global warming proponents continue to say heat is hidden somewhere in the earth. They just will not say the earth is cooling. I imagine we could have 12 months of winter and they’ll tell us the karma of hidden heat is going to get us. It’s the monster hiding under our beds even though we looked under the bed and saw it’s not there.

    The child still thinks it’s down there.

  77. Average Wind Speed for Honolulu

    Dec ’09 – 5.7

    Jan ’10 – 6.9

    Feb ’10 – 8.0

    Mar ’10 – 13.2

    Apr ’10 – 11.7

  78. R. Gates – There is a new paper out which tracks the deep, deep ocean heat content:

    – below 1000M in the important Antarctic Bottom Water regions – the source of the deepest ocean waters;

    – below 4000M in the rest of the world’s oceans.

    The study finds that only 0.1 watts/m2 is going into these areas so Trenberth’s missing energy is still missing and is most likely not there at all.

    http://www.pmel.noaa.gov/people/gjohnson/Recent_AABW_Warming_v1.pdf

    —-

    There was another study out recently which tracked the speed of the deep ocean currents around Antarctica and over the sunken continent, the Kerguelen Plateau, which found the currents are much faster than expected which means the deep ocean mixes / transfers energy at a faster rate than expected. It might only take the deep oceans 100 to 200 years to catch up to the surface temperatures (rather than more than 1000 years as was being bandied around lately).

    With faster deep ocean mixing, no heat accumulation in the upper 700M of the ocean recently, and only 0.1 watts/m2 going ito the deep ocean areas, it seems that the lags in the climate system have to be rewritten from the IPCC’s 30 years (and Hansen’s 1500 years) to most of the impact occuring in the first 30 days, first year or up to 7 years (with a very, very small amount occurring over the next hundred years). There will be no lag for ice-sheet melt if there is no long lags in the rest of the system.

  79. R. Gates,

    You have answered posts in a most selective manner, concentrating on those that attempt to dispute (erroneously) that heat cannot be subducted into the deep oceans. You have selectively avoided responding to those more inconvenient questions. DavidmHoffer has summed up my own questions perfectly, so I will quote him here:

    “Now can you explain what physical process it is that imparts so much momentum in warm water that:

    1) it descends to depths of the oceans that we can’t measure
    2) it does so in such a narrow column that it passes between all the argo buoys doing ocean temperature measurement all over the world completely undetected
    3) it does so without causing any disturbance noticed in surface behaviour
    4) the cold water that it supposedly displaces, even temporarily, does not show up anywhere on the surface nor does it pass by the argo buoys on the way up
    5) How does this momentum overwhelm the natural downwelling processes of cold water sinking that we can in fact observe, and why is it that we can oberve them but not your warm downward currents?”

    Please answer David’s questions if you can.

  80. Amino Acids in Meteorites says:
    May 7, 2010 at 11:34 pm
    It is amazing how global warming proponents continue to say heat is hidden somewhere in the earth. They just will not say the earth is cooling.

    What would make them think it is cooling?

  81. R. Gates
    The Argo profiling floats that researchers began deploying in 2000 to measure ocean temperatures, for example, are separated by about 185 miles (300 kilometers) and take readings only about once every 10 days from a depth of about 6,500 feet (2,000 meters) up to the surface. Plans are underway to have a subset of these floats go to greater depths.”
    Bottom line: we know far less about heat tranport in the deeper ocean than we do in the atmosphere>>

    Yup. So you are proposing large amounts of heat getting from the upper ocean layers to the lower, and skipping by the argo network undetected. 185 mile resolution isn’t enough…. how far apart are those surface stations we use for analysis? But let’s put all that aside for a moment.

    How does the AGW longwave get into the ocean in the first place? The theory is that upward bound longwave gets absorbed by CO2 and re-emitted, some of it coming back down. OK, how does it get into the ocean? Because on the way down, having been emitted from 400 ppm of CO2 it runs into an increasing concentration of water vapour. By the time you get to the ocean surface the LW is trying to bypass 40,000 ppm of water vapour. You can argue that CO2 has a stronger absorption spectrum than water vapour, but so what? Its still 400 ppm versus 40,000 PLUS there’s CO2 mixed in with the water vapour as well. So how much LW could get through to the ocean surface?

    And for what little could get through what happens to it? It penetrates a whole millimeter or so. What happens then? It could heat the water below it I suppose, and probably does to a certain extent, but mostly itz going back up into the atmosphere via evaporation. You could argue if you want that conductance from the atmosphere to the ocean could heat up the ocean, and it would, a little. But with the ocean mass being 1400 times that of the atmosphere you would need an AWFUL hot atmosphere to warm the ocean even a little, and most of that would be visible as a general UPPER ocean warming which we know isn’t happening, itz cooling.

    You also made a number of remarks about arctic warming, less ice, etc. If you want to construe that as a sign of warming you also have to take into account the gigantic negative feedback that this represents. As the ice cover retreats the amount of upward LW that gets released rises exponentially with temperature, and in an area where water vapour and ozone are at a minimum as GHG effects. So small temperature rises in the arctic are huge cooling mechanisms for the planet.

  82. In a sense, weather is what’s happening now, today, tomorrow, and the next day or two. Near Term Climate (NTC) is what’s coming soon or seasonal. Mid Term Climate (MTC) is what’s around the corner and down the street or annual. Long Term Climate (LTC) is what’s in the works or generational.

    Where did the additional or missing this or that go? Look for variation in the Global Ocean Conveyor or Thermohaline Circulation. Key in on the North Atlantic, the Indian Ocean, and the Eastern Pacific.

    http://oceanmotion.org/html/background/ocean-conveyor-belt.htm

  83. Is there anyone here who agrees with me that the missing heat probably never got here because of an increase in earth albedo?refer to my post May 7 12:48 pm.
    either that can be due to an increase in clouds and cloud formation (global cooling starting: we in Johannesburg South Africa had 218% rain so far this year) and /or it could be related to volcanic eruptions. Hopefully it is more the latter. I am not sure what we are going to do if one day we find out here on WUWT that winter is not going to end (for a lot of people).

  84. “R. Gates says:
    […]
    I know it’s lots of fun to make fun of Kevin Trenberth, but along the way, its also maybe healthy to really understand what he really said and the context in which it was said.”

    For me, his “travesty” comment expressed a certain desperation about the uncertainty around the findings of his own science – an uncertainty that they (the “climate professionals” or “climate change scientists” as they are called by our visitors from the AGW side) don’t allow themselves to express publicly. What happens when this hipocrisy breaks down you see in the case of Phil Jones: visibly aged, under medication, suicidal thoughts. So they are in a kind of “clinging on to the dogma” state even though they know it’s all flaky evidence.

    This is my honest analysis. It would be the healthiest thing to do for them to publicly admit their own doubts, but as we know, they don’t dare to.

    Even biologist James “Gaia” Lovelock came to the same conclusion in a recent Guardian interview, in my opinion the first time in his live he got something right.

  85. davidmhoffer said:

    “and most of that would be visible as a general UPPER ocean warming which we know isn’t happening, itz cooling…”

    ———
    Upper oceans are cooling? You must be talking about some very regionalized short term phenomenon, yes? Certainly we know that over the longer term, quite the opposite is true:

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

    The ENSO cycle, which is cycling back to neutral or possibly a weak La Nina later this year is superimposed on the longer term increase in ocean heat content as shown in the data and graph. This is no difference, in fact, quite the same, as the longer term increase in temperature over the last several decaded being superimposed on the solar cycles, as shown in this graph:

    http://www.climate4you.com/Sun.htm#Global temperature and sunspot number

    Talking about the “oceans cooling” because of the end of El Nino cycle, is a lot like talking about snow in Florida because of a negative AO index. These are all short term cyclical events, and of course, the whole issue of AGW is whether or not the warming we’ve seen is due to some longer term cycle (longer than any normal ENSO, PDO, solar etc cycle). I currently am of the opinion that the anthropogenic signal is there once all the other known cycles are accounted for.

    davidmhoffer also said:

    “As the ice cover retreats the amount of upward LW that gets released rises exponentially with temperature, and in an area where water vapour and ozone are at a minimum as GHG effects. So small temperature rises in the arctic are huge cooling mechanisms for the planet.”

    ———

    Please site your sources for this counter-intuitive statement– especially the last sentence.

    REPLY: Please learn to spell “cite” before admonishing others. -A

  86. Vincent says:
    May 8, 2010 at 6:14 am
    R. Gates,

    You have answered posts in a most selective manner, concentrating on those that attempt to dispute (erroneously) that heat cannot be subducted into the deep oceans. You have selectively avoided responding to those more inconvenient questions. DavidmHoffer has summed up my own questions perfectly, so I will quote him here:

    “Now can you explain what physical process it is that imparts so much momentum in warm water that:

    1) it descends to depths of the oceans that we can’t measure
    2) it does so in such a narrow column that it passes between all the argo buoys doing ocean temperature measurement all over the world completely undetected
    3) it does so without causing any disturbance noticed in surface behaviour
    4) the cold water that it supposedly displaces, even temporarily, does not show up anywhere on the surface nor does it pass by the argo buoys on the way up
    5) How does this momentum overwhelm the natural downwelling processes of cold water sinking that we can in fact observe, and why is it that we can oberve them but not your warm downward currents?”

    ——————

    Not being a scientist, I can’t possibly answer all those questions in any scientific and specific way. I think however, your facts are a bit erroneous, as we do see cold water disturbances on the surface that we can’t account for, and we do see warm water downwelling that is wind driven all over the planets oceans. Have the various wind speeds causing this downwelling been measured over a long term period? Perhaps they’ve increased. I think we are approaching the known limits of our understanding of deep ocean currents. In fact, a new current, previously unknown in extent, was recently discovered coming from Antartica:

    http://beta.thehindu.com/sci-tech/science/article410747.ece

    With ocean heat conent increasing over the past 30 years, it is possible that the speed (and therefore the downwelling force?) could be increasing in the deeper ocean currents, and the deeper ocean temps and speeds also increasing? As the newly discovered current mentioned above so illustrates, there are vast areas of deeper oceans we know nothing about. Certainly we know far more about the atmosphere, and have a lot more broadly based instruments studying the atmosphere, measuring things like outgoing LW radiation etc. It is indeed a “travesty” that we don’t know more about the deeper ocean currents, and I think that your questions are all excellent ones and could (and should) be the topics of future studies.

  87. “R. Gates says:
    May 8, 2010 at 9:13 am
    davidmhoffer said:
    […]“As the ice cover retreats the amount of upward LW that gets released rises exponentially with temperature, and in an area where water vapour and ozone are at a minimum as GHG effects. So small temperature rises in the arctic are huge cooling mechanisms for the planet.”

    ———

    Please site your sources for this counter-intuitive statement– especially the last sentence.”

    The Stefan-Boltzmann law says that the amount of radiation rises with the 4th power of the temperature. This is exactly why the theory of AGW posits that it will be the arctic regions that will show the most warming. Whether this really happens is largely unknown because we don’t have good measurements up there, only Hansen’s extrapolated gridded stuff.

    Obviously more radiation means more cooling or more transport of energy to space. This may seem counterintuitive but it is accepted science; it’s thermodynamics. For the layman, feedback mechanisms often seem counterintuitive. They seem to have problems especially with negative feedback mechanisms.

  88. “Would an increase in the trade winds have an effect on upper OHC?”

    Yes, the heat blew away through increased evaporation.

  89. R. Gates
    Upper oceans are cooling? You must be talking about some very regionalized short term phenomenon, yes? Certainly we know that over the longer term, quite the opposite is true:
    http://www.nodc.noaa.gov/OC5/3M_HEAT_CONTENT/>>

    Sir,
    For starters, your entire post completely ignored the main point of my comment which was that there is no physical mechanism for LW to enter the ocean in any significant amounts. You ALSO haven’t responded to my 5 questions in a previous comment. Now you seize on one of my comments and make a sarcastic rebuttal based on the posted link. Congratulations on ignoring 95% of what I said and picking the 5% that you think you can argue with, I guess you thought it was a cherry.

    You’ve been prattling on ad naseum about short term changes to ice coverage, but faced with short term changes to ocean heat content that don’t support your position, you suddenly want to talk long term. The last four years of ocean heat content are in decline, CO2 is at itz maximum during this period. Explain. Long term the historical record shows that ice coverage was even lower than the lowest we’ve had recently, and the temps in the arctic higher than anything we’ve had recently. So, if we go even longer term that your prescious graph based on well documented historical references, then the over all “trend” is in decline in opposition to the increase in CO2. Explain.

    You closed your comment with a complaint that I had no references to cite regarding increased negative feedback in the arctic. After ignoring my 5 questions, and ignoring my points about LW not being able to heat the ocean, your only rebuttal to this is to ask me to cite something? Is there something about discussing the physics that frightens you, you can only argue by proxy? Here are the facts do with them what you will:

    1. Equatorial temperatures have shown very little variability while arctic regions have shown the most variability over the temperature record (since 1860). Confirmed by all the major temp records broken down by latitude.
    2. CERES, ERBE and so on all show that the earth retains energy in the equatorial regions and loses it at the poles.
    3. The amount of energy radiated to space is related to the temperature in degreees K raised to the power of FOUR.
    4. As a consequence of 1,2 and 3 above, a small variation in the earth’s temperature results in a LARGE variation in energy emitted to space from the poles.
    5. Warming in an ice covered area must drive energy into the ice in order to melt it. As a consequence, any ice covered area tends to hover at the feezing point until ALL the ice is gone, and then the temperature rises quickly. See point 3 above.
    6. A major increase in radiated energy at the poles is much more likely to escape into space than at the equator due to an absence of GHG. Water vapour is THE dominant GHG, but water vapour declines with temperature and so the arctic regions being cold, there is a fraction of the amount of water vapour than exists at the equator in the air. Ozone is also depleted in the arctic regions by comparison to the equatorial, that’s why we keep on hearing about ozone holes.

    None of the above changes my original points however, which are that major amounts of energy can’t be moving from one layer of the ocean to the other without being detected in transit, and LW has no physical mechanism to warm the oceans significantly in the first place.

  90. Anthony said to R. Gates:

    “REPLY: Please learn to spell “cite” before admonishing others. -A

    ————

    Anthony, I appreciate your acting as spell checker, and I’ve admitted my spelling deficiences in the past, but my request for him to “cite” his references is hardly meant as an admonishment…but rather true curiousity.

  91. R. Gates says:
    May 8, 2010 at 10:05 am
    Anthony, I appreciate your acting as spell checker, and I’ve admitted my spelling deficiences in the past, but my request for him to “cite” his references is hardly meant as an admonishment…but rather true curiousity.>>

    If your curiousity is sincere then check out Willis’ various posts on earth’s thermostat. A gory detailed explanation of what I am getting at in regard to negative feedback in the arctic regions is here, complete with actual data and calculations:

    http://knowledgedrift.wordpress.com/theory-do-the-poles-regulate-earth-temperature/

  92. I don’t think one needs to propose substantial downwelling of heat energy into the ocean depths. All one needs is slight temperature variability along the horizontal path of the thermohaline circulation. Variations of less than 1C would be quite enough to explain all that we have directly observed so far.

    As the returning water resurfaces it would be subject to influences from surface winds and solar input and would no doubt pool into even warmer or even cooler sea surface areas showing the patterns of warming and cooling so thoroughly investigated and recorded by Bob Tisdale and others.

  93. davidmhoffer says:

    “If your curiousity is sincere…”

    ———

    Thanks for the link. I’m 100% sincere! I’ve stated many times that I’m only 75% convinced that AGWT is likely correct. Meaning I’m a 25% skeptic and so I at least give a glance to every link that someone provides. I am constantly looking for data that will shift that 75/25 split one way or another, and I do respect the knowledge of people like yourself, who might know a thing or two that would help move that percentage. If AGW is happening on a degree that some believe, then one would think the data should be increasingly easy to see and obvious. One of the great barriers to getting these facts seems to be weeding out the political smoke from the scientific fire. The more politics mixed with someone’s post or statement, the less I listen, regardless of which side they’re on.

    One thing that I’m especially keen on fully understanding is the role, nature of, and intensity of positive and negative feedback mechanisms, and if the (geologically speaking) surge of human created CO2 might not overawhelm these mechanism. I’ve read Willis’ posts on his thermostat theory, and certainly the idea seems obvious and perhaps not all that unique and provides a nice negative feedback mechanism to prevent overheating, but I sense that perhaps there are other mechanisms, both positive and negative feedback in nature, that are at play, and again, the issue to me is how much of a true “shock” to these natural feedback systems are anthropogenic GH gases, specifically CO2.

  94. The heat probably hasn’t gone anywhere – more likely it wasn’t produced in the first place. This argument is much like turning down the thermostat of your electric room heater, inputting less energy into the system, and then wondering where the heat has gone.

    Think of the Earth as a resistor in an electric circuit – less current less heat produced.

    The problem seems to be in the continued use of Victorian era gas light physics – while ignoring electricity; this will continue as long as “cosmic rays” are believed to be “cosmic rays” instead of moving electrically charged particles, AKA electricity.

    (Oh astronomers usually dismiss electricity occurring in space but then they haven’t experimented with a Geissler tube, or for that matter a cathode ray tube or TV – if they had, they would realise electricity seems to have no problem traversing “space”).

  95. R. Gates;
    One thing that I’m especially keen on fully understanding is the role, nature of, and intensity of positive and negative feedback mechanisms, and if the (geologically speaking) surge of human created CO2 might not overawhelm these mechanism. >>

    The feedbacks are well known but get lost in all the shouting about trend lines and modeling and so on. Here are, in my opinion, the biggest ones:

    1. C02 effects on longwave are logarithmic. Consider that you have several pairs of sun glasses, each which block 50% of the light. Put two in a row, do they block 100%? No. The first one blocks 50% and the second one 50% of what is left, leaving 25%. Put another pair in the row, you are now blocking all except 12.5%. CO2 has the same problem. What ever number of watts/m2 CO2 actually adds, we’ve increased CO2 levels by 100 ppm over the last century, and if we add another 100 ppm it will have HALF the impact of the first 100 ppm in terms of watts/m2.

    2. Earth Radiance increases exponentially. Stefan’s Law is that P (power) in watts per meter squared rises in proportion to temperature in degrees K raised to the power of 4.

    So consider just 1 and 2 together. For easy figuring, let’s say the first 100 ppm (which already happened) caused +2 watts/m2 which caused +0.5 degrees. The NEXT 100 ppm causes only +1 watts and only +0.1 degrees. Starting to see the problem with a tipping point?

    3. Natural processes move heat to the arctic regions. This causes stability in the equatorial regions and high variability in the arctic regions. Out of proportion (to the average) temperature increases in the arctic regions cause out of proportion increases to earth radiance, see my blog at http://knowledgedrift.wordpress.com/theory-do-the-poles-regulate-earth-temperature/

    4. Increased temperatures result in increased cloud cover, see Willis Eschenbach’s Earth Thermostat https://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/06/14/the-thermostat-hypothesis/ and keep in mind that the warmer the earth gets, the larger the area this would apply to.

    5. Atmospheric window. This one is super complicated but as earth temperature changes, the peak of the emission spectrum moves. Since the temps change in the coldest parts of the globe the most, the amount of emission in the atmospheric window (the range of wavelengths where longwave is not absorbed and so escapes into space) increases.

    I’m sure there are others, but the point is that all of these are much Much MUCH bigger than what is required to make a tipping point theory ridiculous, and the amount of CO2 we would have to add in addition to what we have already put in is just so out of proportion to our capacity to produce fossil fuels that it really is odd that there continues to be a debate.

  96. R. Gates,

    “and we do see warm water downwelling that is wind driven all over the planets oceans.”

    You seem to continually misunderstand the points raised. Yes, absolutely we see some warm water downwelling. Neither, I, David or Dr. Pielke have said otherwise. The key qualifier here is “some.” The observed downwelling is too little to account for the 0.85W/M^-2 radiative imbalance. So far there is about 10^23 joules of heat unaccounted for. Your argument seems to imply that this heat has somehow transited undetected, passing between the argo buoys. The probability of this happening is close to zero. How can you credibly claim to be 25% sceptical, genuinely to be seeking answers when you won’t even face this problem?

    I’ll ask again: how does this heat manage to transit only between the argo buoys and not through them?

  97. Henry @R.Gates

    I agree with you not being able to decide (25%) which side your are on. The first thing that struck me about CO2 is that everybody who believes in AGW knows the theory but nobody has any test results that would prove to me that CO2’s warming effect is greater than its cooling effect….
    We have the same problem (of no test results) also with ozone.

    a) we know ozone increased, due to the elimination of CFC’s. If we cannot use the antarctic data then perhaps this one?
    http://cordis.europa.eu/fetch?CALLER=EN_NEWS&ACTION=D&SESSION=&RCN=31685

    That is a 14% rise from 1995 to 2008

    b) we know that CO2 rose by 70 ppm or 0.007% during the past 50 years, that is about 6% or 7 % over the same period 1995 to 2008

    These are two gases that would trap radiation from earthshine between 13 and 15 um, causing warming, bottum up.
    Both gases have spectra showing absorptions in the 0-5 um range meaning it also causes cooling by deflecting radiation from the sun. Said cooling would probably be more noticable from the top.

    Unfortunately we have no test results that would tell us what the net effect is of the radiative cooling and warming of each gas per gram or per mole. My best guess on that would be that the ozone is cooling slightly more than warming and that CO2 is slightly warming more than cooling. The quantity of CO2 in the air is a bit more. Taken together though that could mean that the net effect of the increase in these trace gases in the atmosphere could be close to to zero.

    I admit that this is just a rough estimate – but what do you expect from me if no one did any testing?

    That brings us back to where we were with the climate, ie. the sun, the cloud formation and what drives continuing overcast conditions.

    On the current issue, see my post May 8, 7:38

  98. I think the heat is in Sydney – last month of autumn here and the days are absolutely beautiful (springlike). The nights are beginning to cool (finally) but it is unseasonably warm.

  99. Good stuff davidmhoffer (May 8)

    I had a similar discussion on Skeptical Science and prior to that with a leading climate scientist.

    The issue of climate sensitivity is critical to CO2 AGW theory. It has been explained to me in these terms:

    We have had approx 0.75 degC rise since pre-industrial times. A doubling of the CO2 from 280ppmv (pre-industrial) to 560ppmv will increase the surface tenperatures by 2-4 degC with most *models* agreeing at about 3 degC. If you use the IPCC’s own equation for the ‘forcing’ caused by doubling CO2 it is {5.35 ln (CO2b/CO2a)} or about 3.7W/sq.m.

    The current theorized forcing by CO2 (IPCC AR4 Fig 2.4) is about 1.66 W/sq.m, so the added forcing at ‘doubling’ will be about 2.05 W/sq.m.

    To radiate out to space 3.7W/sq.m using the S-B Eqan (Stefan), at an emitting temperature around 255 degK, only requires a 1.0 degK rise in emitting temperature which space sees the Earth due to the exponential power of the T^4 S-B relationship.

    So how do we get a 3 degK rise at the surface from a 1 degK rise in the emitting temperature – well according to *climate scientist* that is the ‘enhanced greenhouse’ effect caused by enhanced water vapour, extra absorption of back radiation etc etc of the atmospheric column. Other contributors have said that the S-B eqan does not quite apply because CO2GHG changes the emission spectrum and it stays changed when a new equilibrium temperature is reached.

    Of course all the above assumes that other forcings (mainly cooling) remain unchanged (ie those from IPCC AR4 for cloud & surface albedo, solar and other effects), and no surprise positive feedbacks (tundra methane etc) occur.

    As we know from Dr Trenberth’s Aug09 paper – he gets a total imbalance at TOA of 0.9W/sq.m which equates to an energy gain to the Earth of about 145E20 Joules/year. He can only find about 80 E20 Joules/year by equating the energy absorbed in melting land ice (very small) and warming oceans by sea level rise – leaving an unaccounted residual of about 65 E20 Joules/year.

    As the land and atmosphere can store little heat energy, the ‘missing heat’ must be in the oceans which change in OHC should equate to the integral WRT time of the energy flux imbalance at TOA. Dr Trenberth wonders if the missing heat is absorbed below 7-900m ie, down to 2000m.

    The only paper out there which ‘finds’ the missing heat so far is that of von Schukmann and this has been criticised for the strange bumps in its OHC curve and uniform error bars, and sparse ocean coverage by Argo down to 2000m, and none at high latitudes.

    I have calculated that the Argo floats (all 3500 odd) equate to one every 110,000 sq.km or one for a grid of ocean 330km x 33okm. There are hardly any above of below 60 deg N or S, and a much smaller number reading down to 2000m. I also have a question as to the accuracy of OHC calculations when the floats can move with ocean currents and report at differing times. For example if a float moves out of a grid ‘Tile’ of ocean from which it reported at Time 1, and no float enters that ‘grid’ to report at Time 2 – can that grid tile be measured at all?

    Would be very interested in your comments on any of the above points.

  100. Continuing with my negative feedback list, there is one that I have always wondered about but don’t recall seeing a discussion of. That is the reduced effect of CO2 forcing when water vapour rises. The classic IPCC explanation has CO2 forcing causing a temperature increase which raises water vapour levels which adds more forcing and more temperature increase. But I never see them reduce the CO2 forcing as the water vapour forcing rises, and it must, in fact be reduced.

    CO2 competes for the same absorption spectrum as water vapour. As water vapour increases, you can’t just add the forcing of the two together. The percentage chance of an upward bound photon being absorbed and re-emitted goes up, but not by the total of the two. It is logarithmic. As an over simplified example, suppose that there is a 25% chance of a photon being absorbed by CO2, and a 25% chance of being absorbed by water vapour. Is the total chance that the photon will be absorbed 50%? No, itz more like just over 40%. (You can prove this with a deck of cards. Deal yourself four spades. A flush is 5 spades. You know where 4 of the spades are, there are 9 left in the deck out of 48 cards. The percentage chance of the next card being a spade is about 19%. If you could use either of the next two cards dealt, do you have a 38% chance of hitting a flush? No you do not. More like 32%)

    The increase in water vapour can assist CO2 in theory, but in theory the effects of the two combined must statisticaly be smaller than the total of the two.

  101. “Shutdown or slowdown of the thermohaline circulation is a postulated effect of global warming.” a’la Wikipedia
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shutdown_of_thermohaline_circulation
    _________________

    Of course, the big problems with that statement are the claim itself and the reference it is found in. AGW claims everything and anything is subject to, and caused by, AGW and the folks at Wikipedia are so pro AGW that they lack all balance, some would even say integrity. You really can’t take much of what they say about climate without first swallowing a cup of salt.

    Variations in the thermohaline circulation reflect variations in the level of the earth’s store of heat in the earth’s biggest heatsink, the oceans. We’re not very close to getting a handle on THC variation. It falls in the “What We Know We Don’t Know” AND the “What We Don’t Know We Don’t Know” categories mentioned by Willis at
    https://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/05/08/climate-actually-changes-film-at-1100/#more-19303

    Were we now able to monitor variation in the THC on a global scale we would have a much better “cause and effect” picture of atmospheric weather and be able to better predict short term climate variation.

  102. Upwelling will need to be recognised as a major climate player – as will deep ocean circulation in general of which upwelling is a component. There are complexities and patterns including time patterns over decadal and century scales involving upwelling and deep-to-surface heat transfer of which at present we know next to nothing. It is likely that the various oscillatory forcing or entraining factors such as solar related, orbital and planetary/gravitational, may exert their influence on climate oscillatory behaviour on medium to long timescales via the deep ocean circulation.

    Its worth noting that for the deep ocean (temperature 0-3C) to “suck” down all the climate warmth so that temperatures at the sea surface and troposphere were nowhere more than 2C, the resultant increase in deep ocean temperature would only be about 0.4 C.

    Downwelling of warm water on a globally significant scale to join the deep circulation is of course a physical impossibility – the only water that downwells significantly to join the THC is cold arctic / antarctic water with increased salinity due to ice formation. It is amusing that AGWers are now appealing to the fiction of warm water downwelling to account for the “dude – where’s my heat?” problem.

    Climate oscillation-wise we are at the crest of the roller-coaster, its white-knuckle time, hold on to your hats.

  103. Ken Lambert;
    Following is over simplified for brevity:

    CO2 doubling = 3.7 watts = +1 degree
    But Stefan Boltzman yields +6 watts earth radiance
    Answer = CO2 absorbs LW and re-emitts it in a random direction, some up, some down, some sideways. So CO2 has to absorb about 6 to send 3.7 back.

    Water vapour feedback
    The mount of water vapour that the atmosphere can hold increases exponentially with temperature (about doubling for every 10 degree rise). So, IPCC calculates +ve feedback from expected rise in water vapour.

    Problems
    1. Earth isn’t flat, it spins and it has seasons. Applying 3.7 w/m2 and calculating an average temperature rise is ridiculous. The temperature range from poles to equator is 100 degrees, the range in daily temps as much as 20 and seasonal as much as 80. +1 degree in the middle of the night in the arctic in winter at -50C is completely different from +1 degree at high noon at the eqautor at +40C.
    2. Just because the atmosphere CAN hold more water vapour doesn’t mean it WILL hold more water vapour. Itz more complicated than that and the assumption that increased capacity will be filled 100% is ridiculous. Actual measurements show that in fact this is not what happens.
    3. The earth isn’t flat, it spins, and has seasons. The change in water vapour capacity in the arctic at -40….you get the idea..
    4. Missing heat, maybe its in the oceans. I don’t know why there’s missing heat, maybe it has to do with missing measurements? But if we’re going to find it in the oceans, what has that got to do with CO2? CO2 emitts longwave, and longwave can’t penetrate more than a millimeter of water, so almost everything that longwave emitts gets pulled back up into the atmosphere via evaporation. So… if there IS missing heat, and it IS in the ocean, it is a function of natural variation not LW from CO2. In brief, the oceans can heat the atmosphere, but the atmosphere can’t heat the oceans. (someone will of course yelp about conductance to which I respond the oceans’ mass is 1400 times that of the atmosphere, so conduct away for a thousand years or so to get a 1 degree change)

    Argo buoys – now there I do share your thoughts. If they drift, there’s nothing to say that specific natural currents might bias the drift toward colder or warmer water. I’ve never really looked into it but the question did cross my mind. That said, you other point is more important I think. The bulk of the buoys are in the equatorial and temperate zones. The equatorial zones show the LEAST climate variability and the arctic zones the MOST variability, so if we want to know what is going on, I would think we would want to expend the bulk of our resources studying the variable parts, not the stable parts. But who would apply for a grant to go to Tuk tu yuk Tuk when they can get one to go to Tahiti?

  104. @hoffer
    “CO2 competes for the same absorption spectrum as water vapour. As water vapour increases, you can’t just add the forcing of the two together. The percentage chance of an upward bound photon being absorbed and re-emitted goes up, but not by the total of the two. It is logarithmic. As an over simplified example, suppose that there is a 25% chance of a photon being absorbed by CO2, and a 25% chance of being absorbed by water vapour. Is the total chance that the photon will be absorbed 50%? No, itz more like just over 40%.”

    I hope you’re also accounting for the various rotational transitions of water, which really do add up. More scary is the fact that a single molecule of a chlorofluorocarbon will have more absorptive impact than 10,000 molecules of CO2 due to the same reasons you posited here.. CFCs absorb elsewhere and exhibit linear dependence.

    The thing is, there are so many competing processes, it’s difficult to create a good model. I mean, we still assume all aerosols are sulphates in most models.

  105. Here are repeats of my posts from a week ago – nice to be ahead of the game for once. (I wonder what’s happening to sea level just now?)

    phlogiston says:
    May 3, 2010 at 12:33 pm
    There was a little noticed posting on the site “climate sanity” suggesting that “sea level rate rise leads global temperature”:

    http://climatesanity.wordpress.com/2009/10/19/sea-level-rise-rate-leads-global-temperature/

    albeit from a limited recent period. There is a plausible (speculative) basis for this – sea level rise rate (not sea level per se) could be an index of the rate of energy flow into the upper ocean. Thus the current slowdown in rate of sea level increase could reflect decreased heat input into the upper ocean. This in turn could be predictive of a downturn in tropospheric temperatures and a cooler climate. Anyway – we will find out in due course.

    phlogiston says:
    May 5, 2010 at 1:02 am
    David Middleton says:
    May 3, 2010 at 1:17 pm

    Now… What could possibly warm the oceans?

    stevengoddard says:
    May 3, 2010 at 2:48 pm
    David Middleton

    What warms the oceans is sunshine and clear skies, something which GCMs have very little skill at modeling.

    Less cooling by upwelling can count as warming, combined with – as Steve says – sunshine and clear skies. Take the east Pacific and the ENSO system as an example. Note that deep water below the thermocline is 0-3C in termperature, above the thremocline (by definition) water is a hot-tub by comparison, especially near the tropics. In a La Nina year, you get big-time upwelling of deep ocean water off the Peruvian coast – it fuels plankton blooms and a massive anchovy fishery. But in an el Nino year, the trade winds which pull the upwelling in a La Nina year are absent, so no cold upwelling and increased unemployment among Peruvian fishermen. The big warm patches on the pacific that everyone gets excited about are due to the absence of the “normal” upwelling. As Pamela Gray once pointed out, the sub-tropical sea surface in the doldrums can heat up very fast under the tropical sun.

    So the balance of downwelling and upwelling tied to the THC can cause changes in heat exchange between deep and surface ocean water, with the possibility of century-scale oscillation in this exchange due to the timescale of THC.

  106. Temperature alone seems inadequate, when it comes to a true measure of the energy budget of our amazing planet.

    For example, what holds more energy? Air at a temperature of 90F, in a dead calm, or air at a temperature of 89.9F, in a gale?

    Simple question. I haven’t any answer but common sense, which is that wind holds a lot of energy which thermometers don’t measure.

    If anything, people use the concept of “wind chill” to state wind is “colder” than calm, as if a gale holds less energy.

    I imagine there are all sorts of other ways energy changes state, moving from an area thermometers can measure to an area outside the reach of thermometers.

    Some changes can be measured by math, such as the creation of latent energy when an H2O molecule changes from liquid state to gas.

    However other changes seem to defy measurement. For example, this daybreak I look out over a landscape lush with spring greenery which wasn’t there, a month ago. The branches actually bend under the burden of new leaves.

    If, rather than gushing poetry, I attempt to become mathematical, I quail at the prospect of measuring, in numbers, the energy that went into the creation of those tons upon tons of leaves. All sorts of sunlight went into the creation of something my thermometer fails to measure.

  107. davidmhoffer May 9.

    David, I appreciate your detailed comments.

    I conducted a Question and Answer with same leading climate scientist re the CO2 doubling sensitivity and S-B and here are the Q&A’s:

    Question 1:
    “The IPCC quotes the Eqan for the extra CO2 forcing from doubling as F = 5.35 ln(2) W/sq.m = 3.71 W/sq.m. The existing figure from Fig 2.4 of AR4 is 1.66 W/sq.m. Doubling CO2 to say 560 ppmv from current levels would cause a net rise in positive forcing of 3.71 – 1.66 = 2.05 W/sq.m.”

    Answer 1:
    *Yes 3.7 W m-2 is the best accepted number for doubling CO2, but CO2 is not the only player.*

    Question 2:
    “If S-B is applied to the pre-industrial temperature of 253.9degK and OLR of 235.7 W/sq.m with a 3 degK rise the sum becomes; (256.9/253.9)^4 x 235.7 = 247.04 W/sq.m. 247.04 – 235.7 = 11.34 W/sq.m. The net rise in emitted radiation from present would be 11.34 – 2.8 = 8.54 W/sq.m.

    This effective negative feedback increase of 8.54W/sq.m would not be offset by the extra CO2 forcing of 2.05 – a rise in other positive forcings of about 6.5 W/sq.m would be needed from other GHG or other positive feedbacks (water vapour & Ice albedo etc).”

    Answer 2:
    *Yes but this is not OLR: it is the local radiative loss for such an increase in temperature, but then all the air around is radiating at the same rate as well and so more is received (the greenhouse effect), and water vapor increases. The net loss to space is more like 1.25 W m-2 per K warming or about 3.75 W m-2 for 3 deg warming. The increase in CO2 and water vapor has a much bigger effect in terms of the downwelling radiation than on the radiation to space, which is why it warms.*

    Question 3:
    “If all other forcings remained the same as present, the extra temperature rise to lift the S-B calculated radiative emission by 2.05W/sq.m above current levels would be (240.55/238.5)^0.25 x 254.65 = 255.19 degK. Increase 255.19 – 254.65 = 0.54 degK.

    Using 255 degK as the current temperature and 238.5 as current OLR the sum is (240.55/238.5)^0.25 x 255 = 255.55. Increase 0.55 degK. Add that to the 0.75 degK increase since pre-industrial era and the equivalent temp rise is 1.3 degK from a doubling of CO2.

    The 3 degC increase from doubling CO2 seems a difficult proposition if S-B applies to negative radiative feedbacks without very big increases in other positive forcings.”

    Answer 3:
    *The 3 deg C surface value is very much a consequence of increased water vapor. You can not do it the way you are trying very well. You need a 3 D atmosphere, or at least one with detailed structure with height.
    For a 1 deg C increase in temperature there is about a 7% increase in water vapor. In general at the surface, the increase in downwelling radiation from temperature increase above alone is about 4 W m-2, but the water vapor contribution is 4 to 6 (highest in tropics), while surface radiation up ranges from 0 to -4 (cooling; biggest in tropics), and the net is 4 to 6 W m-2 warming which is what amplifies evaporation and drives an increased hydrological cycle (and thus evaporative cooling).*

    David, I would be very interested in your comments on the above.

  108. Ken Lambert;
    We’re into rat hole territory now, without going into greater detail on all the numbers you presented, itz impossible to provide a meaningful response. Your friend is giving you good info, but it is a complicated subject. Does water vapour increase 7% per degree. No, capacity to HOLD water vapour does. What is the actual increase? Dunno but I can tell you the maximum capacity is rarely achieved. He goes on to mention water vapour contribution is highest in the tropics, the point being, it is lowest in the arctic regions where MOST of the temperature increase is. We can go down all the rat holes (had we the time) but it comes down to the same thing over and over again:

    CO2 forcing decreases logarithmicaly
    Cooling by the planet increases exponentially
    The combination of the two factors above means that it would take several centuries of CO2 emissions to equal the warming effect we have seen so far
    Measurement of feedbacks has shown them to be much smaller than estimated
    Natural processes far overshadow CO2 emissions

  109. Ken Lambert May 10 2010 6.05 am

    “The increase in CO2 and water vapor has a much bigger effect in terms of the downwelling radiation than on the radiation to space, which is why it warms.*”

    This is comparing apples to oranges and is inappropriate. The extra downwelling IR causes more evaporation and so results in more energy locked up in water vapour as latent heat and not in a warming of the air or anything else and that energy is not then available to increase radiation to space either. The thermal dominance of the ocean surface dictates surface air temperatures not the amount of downwelling IR.

    This is effectively admitted here:

    “which is what amplifies evaporation and drives an increased hydrological cycle (and thus evaporative cooling).*”

    In theory more downwelling IR should just speed up the hydrological cycle for a net cooling effect first of the ocean bulk as more energy is pulled upward and eventually of the air above because evaporation always has a net cooling effect such that it takes more energy out of the surroundings than is required to provoke it.

    I went into a thorough analysis of that topic here:

    http://climaterealists.com/index.php?id=4245

    Ultimately the faster hydrological cycle sends energy faster to space but there are so many other intervening and variable processes before that can happen that one would never be able to measure a direct causative relationship between variations in the amount of downwelling IR and the rate at which outgoing radiation to space varies.

    Variations in cloudiness alone are so large, unpredictable and complex that one could never seperate the downwelling IR variability arising from cloudiness and humidity changes from that miniscule contribution caused by variations in CO2.

    The speed of the hydrological cycle changes to neutralise the effect of changes in the energy budget caused by variations in the air alone. The sea surfaces are forever in control until the oceans freeze over or boil dry and extra IR from above cannot warm the oceans to change the basic equilibrium.

    Someone elsewhere said that the point of temperature equilibrium is set where the atmosphere becomes opaque to IR.

    Well that would be the top few microns of the ocean surface and I contend that for solar energy processing purposes the oceans constitute a far more important component of the ‘atmosphere’ of the Earth than the puny, thin air above.

  110. Ken Lambert says:
    May 10, 2010 at 6:05 am
    davidmhoffer May 9.
    David, I appreciate your detailed comments.
    I conducted a Question and Answer with same leading climate scientist re the CO2 doubling sensitivity and S-B and here are the Q&A’s:>>>

    Well, well, well… quite by accident I came across a “Ken Lambert” quoting a “leading climate scientist” in another blog. and another. and another. So now my radar is on. bs meter on. search tools at finger tips. So I gotta ask…

    Is your “leading climate scientist” Dr Kevin Tremberth?

  111. “Temperature” is a measurement of “motion”. Keep it simple, only measure the “motion”.

  112. davidmhoffer (May 10)

    I have not sought permission to quote ‘leading climate scientist’ by name, but I can confirm that your BS meter will detect nothing and your radar seems operational.

    The ratholes to which you refer might turn out to be wormholes to the real story of CO2GHG induced warming. I am an engineer with a passable knowledge of thermodynamics – not a climate scientist, so I try to make sense of the climate arguments in energy conservation terms – as well as basic thermal properties of air water and ice.

    I follow Skeptical Science and have contributed to blogs there trying to nut out some of the energy arguments – and of course have studied Dr Trenbeth’s Aug09 paper and others of his papers on the Earth’s energy balance. I also get more political in approriate blogs where alarmists coagulate.

    I have argued your points elsewhere about S-B outgoing radiation (rising at T^4) and CO2 forcing rising at logarithmic rate meaning that any warming will be arrested quickly; and have been countered by others claiming that CO2 and other GHG change the S-B emission spectrum and introduce a reduction factor. This involves the complexities of water vapour behaviour etc ie. one of your ratholes.

    AGW proponents also argue (and Dr Trenberth now quotes vS himself to Pielke) that von Schukmann has found the ‘missing heat’ down to 2000m from Argo analysis. Skeptical Science make great play of the von Schukmann paper as finding the missing link. The bumps in von Schukmann’s global OHC time series chart have attracted criticism as not being feasible changes in energy content over such short time periods.

    Sea level rise is also used by AGW proponents as a consistent indicator of steady rise in OHC which means that the energy flux imbalance at TOA (Dr Trenberth’s 0.9 W/sq,m) is hiding in the oceans. No convincing mechanism for getting it down there seems to be widely accepted.

    Also I have never been convinced that we know the ‘equilibrium’ TSI of the Earth system as the satellite data is high precision (year to year) but low accuracy (not good for absolute numbers). There is still (after 5 years) no explanation of the SORCE TIMS monitors having a -4.5W/sq.m lower TSI than the earlier satellites. Solar forcing is quoted by IPCC AR4 Fig 2.4 as 0.12 W/sq.m referenced to 1750AD, this overrides earlier proxy data which suggest 0.3-0.5 W/sq.m. Without a baseline ‘equilibrium’ TSI and OLR for the Earth, then how is an accurate Solar forcing number obtained?

    You know my argument on OHC. I would expect that grid ’tiling’ of the oceans (down to av. depth 3700m with tethered buoys measuring the column would be the ideal accurate system. At Time 1 – all buoys would need to report from all tiles, and the same at Time 2 to get an accurate OHC difference. ie. a snapshot at Time 1 and Time 2. How you correct for drifting buoys (moving with cool or warm currents at 4-5 knots), not reporting all at the same time or tile or from above or below 60 deg latitudes…. I don’t know. I suspect that is why OHC analyses have been conflicting and lumpy.

    Much appreciate your and Stephen Wilde’s comments.

  113. Stephen Wilde

    What is meant by “downwelling IR” – is this IR radiation from sky to land/sea surface? If so the use of the word downwelling would seem a little confusing, more appropriate for downward movement of water in the ocean. Could they use instead “down-radiating” or “down-diffusing” or something? (sorry to be pedantic!)

    In general the recent and continuing decline of OHC provides an interesting “experiment”, I find your arguments for the dominance of the oceans in climate heat persuasive and the following months and years will clarify the effects of OHC on climate. (Of course its more complex than a single factor but I’m sure there will be some signal.)

  114. Ken,

    I’m not sure where your expert gets his water vapor forcing info from but it’s probably from a defect in a gcm. 7% increase might be reasonable for a 1 deg. C rise as I did a 5 deg C rise calculation once. Absolute humidity increases by about 30% in that situation and a detailed one dimensional absorption calculation indicates around 3.1 W/m^2 additional forcing from the h2o vapor from a 1976 standard atmosphere configuration. Like the co2, h2o vapor is a log function with a doubling effect. It provides a relatively small increase in forcing per doubling. A serious ‘hint’ of trouble is that somehow one achieves 3 deg C rise with a 7% increase. Note that if co2 delivers 0.7 deg. rise for a doubling (3.7W/m^2 increase) that a 3.1 W/m^2 increase in h2o forcing (or feedback) results in less than an additional 0.7 deg. and also that with 1.5 deg C total rise, we are short by 3 1/2 deg C for my assumed 5 deg C rise. A less than 2 deg C rise total means that the co2 0.7 rise has only a tiny fraction of that in available h2o vapor feedback.
    This is also assuming the relative humidity stays constant which is a common warmer assumption. It is also before any increases in water vapor cycle, convection, conduction, or cloud cover are figured in. In short, the h2o vapor can’t function as claimed.

  115. phlogiston,

    Downwelling IR always seems to refer to IR radiating back downward from the air to the surface. Where possible I use the terminology of those whom I am addressing but I agree that the terms ‘downwelling’ and ‘upwelling’ are best reserved for internal ocean behaviour.

    I’ll probably use ‘downward IR radiation’ or something similar in future.

    Anyway it’s interesting to see how much debate there is nowadays about the oceans and the hydrological cycle. I’m sure that’s where most of the answers lie and I’ve been pushing it for over two years now.

  116. Henry@cba et all
    I see you continuously ignore (totally) the increase of ozone since 1995 and the effect and influence this has – don’t you people think the cooling forcing of the extra ozone (because it deflects sunlight in the UV region where the sun’s intensity is very high) sort of at least neutralizes any warming effect from the extra CO2 since 1995? (assuming the warming effect of Co2 is indeed greater than its cooling effect – I have not seen any test results of experiments on this).

  117. Henry,

    Regarding ozone:

    My understanding is that more ozone warms the stratosphere because it is the presence of ozone reacting with solar uv that creates the temperature inversion within the stratosphere. Warmer with height instead of cooler with height.

    Logic then suggests that the weakening or strengthening of that inversion at the tropopause influences the size and position of the polar high pressure cells and thus the strength of the oscillations in the atmosphere above the poles.

    The important observation in relation to the stratosphere is that we had falling ozone quantities and a cooling stratosphere when the sun was active and now a warming stratosphere and rising ozone quantities with the sun less active.

    One has to ask why and it turns out that positive Arctic and Antarctic Oscillations such as we had during the period of active sun destroy ozone whereas negative Oscillations allow ozone quantities to recover.

    To provide a natural process giving rise to all those phenomena one only needs to propose that it is the changing solar influence on the stratosphere and the layers above that controls the atmospheric oscillations at the poles.

    All else follows logically from that and if it is true that solar activity levels influence those oscillations then you no longer need to propose either a CO2 effect on the radiation budget or a CFC effect on ozone quantities.

    The absence of a consistent CO2 signal since the mid 90’s is thus explained and the correlation with CFCs may just have been a coincidence too.

    I’m almost ready to put money on it. Real world observations for just a little longer will resolve the issue.

    An active sun allows a faster energy flux to space which cools the stratosphere reducing the inversion and making the polar oscillations more positive which reduces ozone.

    A less active sun reduces the energy flux to space which warms the stratosphere increasing the inversion and making the polar oscillations more negative which increases ozone.

    All entirely consistent with real world observations over the past 60 years.

  118. Ken Lambert says:
    May 11, 2010 at 6:28 am
    davidmhoffer (May 10)
    I have not sought permission to quote ‘leading climate scientist’ by name, but I can confirm that your BS meter will detect nothing and your radar seems operational>>

    LOL. Thanks for the diplomatic and detailed response.

    The problem with going down the rat holes is every last one of them take more time to document the assumptions, units and so on than each issue is worth. See some of the responses after your last post to see what I mean! The answers you detailed from your climate scientist all have to be gone through with a fine tooth comb… this number here, are you measuring TOA or surface? These negative feedbacks were they raw or adjusted for x and y and z. for z, was researcher A’s method used? or B? or C? It just goes on and on, and in the meantime, the big picture gets lost.

    I’m trying to put together some simple graphs showing logarithmic forcing from CO2 versus radiance to make it dead simple. This requires that I remember how to do natural log functions properly again so may take a while, but I will post here when the graphs are ready.

  119. Ken Lambert;
    Hope you are still following this thread. As promised, I put the actual graphs together so it is easy to see why I keep harping on the logarithmic effects of CO2 and the exponential cooling response of the planet making the whole argument seem oddly surreal, and why the nitpicking over rat hole details is just odd. For trying to figure out was is actually happening in our climate, those details are necessary. For putting to rest any notion that CO2 increases are a major factor, I think you will be able to see why I say that just these two factors are all one needs to consider:

    http://knowledgedrift.wordpress.com/2010/05/11/co2-is-logarithmic-explained/

  120. davidmhoffer (May11)

    Thanks David. I read your link and graphs. I made similar points in a thread on Skeptical Science (SS for short) here:

    http://www.skepticalscience.com/news.php?p=2&t=110&&n=136

    This was a response from GFW, which I did not have the knowledge to question:

    Quote:
    95.GFW at 19:27 PM on 27 March, 2010
    Ken L.
    What you’re missing is that the way greenhouse gasses work is to “take a chunk out” of the S-B emission curve. The OLR at two different temperatures can only be related by (T1/T2)^4 if both emission spectra have the same shape relative to the ideal S-B spectrum.

    In this case, the entire mechanism by which the temperature is changed is a widening and deepening of the absorption lines so that, in equilibrium the OLR at the higher temperature but with more absorption lines is actually the same as it would be at the lower temperature and a pre-industrial atmosphere.
    96.GFW at 19:31 PM on 27 March, 2010
    Well, not the “entire” mechanism of course. Albedo changes scale the entire spectra relative to the S-B spectra, and any change in solar input dictates what “equilibrium” means. But right now greenhouse gasses are the dominant mechanism.” endquote

    There is also the argument put up by warmists that the Earth’s feedbacks in geological time reinforce a 3 degC warming for a doubling of CO2.

    The claim is that S-B does not apply because ‘greenhouse gases’ take a chunk out of the S-B emission curve ie: “The OLR at two different temperatures can only be related by (T1/T2)^4 if both emission spectra have the same shape relative to the ideal S-B spectrum.”

    It that true or not??

  121. davidmhoffer May11 and my above comment:

    Interestingly enough, relevant responses of ‘leading climate scientist’ on the matter of the applicability of S-B:

    Observation:

    “However the observed surface warming of 0.75 degC if added to the
    > radiative equilibrium temperature of the planet would result in a
    > compensating increase in longwave radiation of 2.8W/sq.m (although this
    > does not translate into OLR)”

    Answer:

    “This refers to the Stefan_Boltzman law of Planck function radiation
    sigma*T^4. If the planet warms up by the observed sfc T amount then this
    is how much extra radiation would be emitted. {What was used was} the
    radiative equilibrium temp of the planet (about 255K) as the baseline
    value. The problems are of course that this is the sfc T increase;
    although it seems to apply fairly well to the troposphere also (maybe the
    latter is a bit higher), but also any emissions would be trapped by clouds
    and greenhouse gases and would not go directly to space, so all kinds of
    other feedbacks come into play. So it does not translate directly into
    OLR. One can estimate the OLR using regressions with sfc T from works
    such as Murphy et al in JGR last year.
    Murphy, D. M., S. Solomon, R. W. Portmann, K. H. Rosenlof, P. M. Forster,
    and T. Wong (2009), An observationally based energy balance for the Earth
    since 1950, J. Geophys. Res., 114, D17107, doi:10.1029/2009JD012105.

    They suggest:
    net radiatove feedback = 1.25 ± 0.5 W m2 K1 as an estimate for the
    response of net radiation to temperature variations between the 1950 and
    2004. ”

    So it seems that S-B applies to the first 0.75 degC of warming since pre-indistrial times; but not to the next tranch of warming up to doubling of Co2.

    This seems the critical point to resolve.

  122. Ken Lambert;
    The claim is that S-B does not apply because ‘greenhouse gases’ take a chunk out of the S-B emission curve ie: “The OLR at two different temperatures can only be related by (T1/T2)^4 if both emission spectra have the same shape relative to the ideal S-B spectrum.”
    It that true or not??>>

    Completely true and a total rat hole. The argument being that as the planet warms, the amount of radiance increases, but the wave length at which peak radiance occurs also changes, which means that there may be a resulting change in what percentage of OLR gets absorbed by things other than CO2. Here’s the absorption spectrum from Wikipedia:

    The blue upward graph in the 10 to 12 micron range is called the “atmospheric window” because that is the range of wave lengths where OLR can escape pretty much unubstructed. Now have a gander at the three peak radiance graphs over the window. They are calculated over a temperature range of -63C to +37C, and the ALL straddle the atmospheric window. So radiance goes up up 5.5 watts for 1 degree and the argument becomes that the peak shifts left, resulting in a different area under the curve, so efficiency of OLR escsape through the atmospheric window changes. Look at the three curves, spanning a 100 degree range, and consider the following 4 points:

    1. How much difference to OLR would moving any of those curve peaks 1/100 of their range cause?
    2. Cold stuff warms up more per watt than hot stuff. So… for really warm areas of the planet, very little change to OLR occurs in either wavelength or intensity. The cold areas (arctic regions, think -40 -60 as normal) see the largest change for a given forcing and OOOPS! they move up in intensity and their wavelength moves INTO the atmospheric window.
    3. Look at the absortion spectrum over 12 microns. Pretty much 100% and pretty much all water vapour. OOOPS! Almost no water vapour below freezing so the window is open all the way to the right anyway. OOOPS! Temperature declines with height so even in the tropics the clouds etc at a few kilometers up are ALSO cold and not much water vapour (clouds are water droplets not vapour)

    and point number 4:

    Go back and look at the graphs again. Look at the stupendous amount of CO2 required to get a tiny amount of CO2 forcing, which results in an even tinier change to temperature which results in an even tinier shift in OLR peak in comparison to the atmospheric window.

    This is what I mean about rat holes. The comment was entirely accurate and entirely meaningless once you dig into it.

  123. Ken Lambert;
    So it seems that S-B applies to the first 0.75 degC of warming since pre-indistrial times; but not to the next tranch of warming up to doubling of Co2.
    This seems the critical point to resolve.>>

    No. Rat hole. S-B applies ALL the time. The thousands of factors that govern climate determine the final temperature of the earth at any given time. Cloud cover, ocean oscillations, cosmic rays, aerosols, blah blah blah blah. Of all those factors, CO2 is one, S-B applies, logarithmic effects apply, significance is almost zero. There are thousands of factors, many of which are not as directly integrated with S-B as others, so they wave their arms. Are we talking climate and all the factors, or CO2? Because I thought the argument was CO2 is the driving factor in global warming. In which case:

    Forcing from CO2 declines logarithmicaly
    Cooling increases exponentially.

    Dont let them suck you into rat holes.

  124. Henry@Stephen

    I think you are bringing in processes that can play a role but that do not have much to do with this graph

    I am sure you are familiar with it? Now that graph is apparently on a cloudless day (or so I understand). So without the combined effects of oxygen/ozone, carbondioxide and water vapor, we would get at least 25-30% more radiation on top of us. It seems they measured the radiation on top of the atmosphere and at sea level and report the difference. Now, carefully go to left and and the bottom to see the influence of ozone. Do you not see how much sunshine is cut away by the ozone? Can you not see that percentage wise this must be biggest player in the field, because the sun’s intensity is there the highest?

  125. R Gates: Sorry for the delay in replying.

    Thanks for the link to the source of your comment, “No instruments yet to measure this, but Trenberth et. al. are working on that.”

    But “Trenberth and Fasullo call[ing] for additional ocean sensors, along with more systematic data analysis and new approaches to calibrating satellite instruments, to help resolve the mystery,” are not “working on that.” There have been discussions of increasing ARGO depths and numbers for a number of years, well before Trenberth and Fasullo (2009). Take what you read in press releases with a grain of salt.

    You concluded with, “I know it’s lots of fun to make fun of Kevin Trenberth…”

    Have I in this thread or in others made fun of Trenberth? I cite Trenberth’s work all the time in my posts.

  126. davidmhoffer (12May)

    S-B applies all the time. Well I thought so too – but did not have detailed knowledge which you claim to have with which to counter the argument that S-B does not apply because CO2 largely changes the emission spectrum.

    I think we have already agreed that for an OLR of about 240W/sq.m, only a 1 degK rise in the Earth’s ’emitting temperature’ is required to increase the S-B outgoing radiation by the 3.7W/sq.m of CO2 forcing from a doubling of CO2.

    The emitting temperature used by climate scientists is quoted as around 255 degK.

    To get to 3 degK surface rise from doubling CO2 requires the ‘enhanced greenhouse’ effect of an extra 2 degK across the atmospheric column (on average), and this theory relies on positive feedbacks from increased water vapour absorption etc etc which you say does not happen as claimed by the IPCC ‘concensus’.

    So what is the surface temperature rise according to your theory for a doubling of CO2 from 280ppm to 560ppm?

  127. Ken Lambert;
    So what is the surface temperature rise according to your theory for a doubling of CO2 from 280ppm to 560ppm?>>

    I don’t have a theory. In fact, I don’t have a clue what it should be. My point is that according to THEIR theory, once you get past about 400 PPM, the amount of additional CO2 required to make a significant difference… according to THEIR theory, is so large that we can’t possibly make it happen. That’s why when you point this out they start dragging the discussion into rat holes.

    Since CO2 is logarithmic (which they agree to), almost everything that is ever going to happen to the planet because of fossil fuel emissions is already happening, it doesn’t matter if itz 1 degree per doubling or 10 or 100, itz already happening. Since we’ve seen temp increases over the last century commensurate with natural warming from the previous, I may have no theory as to what the number should be, but I have a guestimate. Not much.

  128. Henry@ Stephen et all
    I am not getting a response on my assertion that the increase in ozone may neutralize any warming effect from the CO2 and indeed may cause considerable cooling by cutting away a large portion of the sunshine where the sun’s intensity is the highest. See my post May 12 2010 08H54. Are there any newer measurements on earth’s albedo? The last I can find is 2007. e.g.
    https://wattsupwiththat.com/2007/10/17/earths-albedo-tells-a-interesting-story/

  129. Henry:

    More ozone means a warming of the stratosphere due to impacts from uv hence the stratospheric temperature inversion.

    However uv is only a tiny part of solar input so the effect on energy arriving at the surface is negligible.

    If CO2 were causing any warming in the troposphere then in theory that causes cooling in the stratosphere which was observed during the late 20th century.

    However it seems that a more positive polar oscillation reduces ozone to also cause a cooling stratosphere and those oscillations were highly positive during the late 20th century.

    The killer fact then is that CO2 continues to increase so the stratospheric cooling should still be ongoing but it isn’t.

    In fact the stratosphere is now warming a bit with recovering ozone and at the same time the polar oscillations have gone negative.

    That also exposes the CFC idea to question as well as the CO2 theory.

  130. Henry:
    “measurements on earth’s albedo? The last I can find is 2007. e.g.
    https://wattsupwiththat.com/2007/10/17/earths-albedo-tells-a-interesting-story/

    That link is highly pertinent.

    The apparent increase in albedo coincides with the shift in the cloud masses equatorward which started around 2000.

    My view is that the greatest effect on albedo is the latitudinal positioning of the three main cloud bands namely the ITCZ and the two mid latitude jets.

    Because the ITCZ is north of the equator all three move towards or away from the equator in unison and because solar insolation is greatest at the equator the effect of their shifts on albedo probably is greater than any other factor.

  131. davidmhoffer (May13)

    “Since CO2 is logarithmic (which they agree to), almost everything that is ever going to happen to the planet because of fossil fuel emissions is already happening, it doesn’t matter if itz 1 degree per doubling or 10 or 100, itz already happening.”

    I think you have to be a bit more precise than this David. After all the 3 degK rise with doubling CO2 is predicted by AGW proponents to cause sea level rise ‘at the upper end of IPCC estimates’ (over 1m) and other nasties – Mexican lizard extinctions, Super hurricanes etc etc.

    Sea level rise is supposed to be 3.2mm per year globally (could be 1.7-2.5mm and flattening by some recent measures) indicating increasing OHC. Land ice loss from glaciers and Antarctica is supposed to be measurable and confirming AG warming.

    You need a convincing explanation for these issues.

  132. Henry@ Stephen

    I don’t have a problem with what you are thinking & saying, indeed I think you are right – I have also always thought that clouds and cloud-formation is what greatly determines earth albedo. Namely, here in Africa on a cloudy day 1) it is considerable darker & 2) considerable cooler. So where did the missing radiation go? Some inside the clouds (as warmth), but a lot also is deflected outside to space, I am sure. Point is: I was made to understand somewhere (I dont remember where) that this graph

    is from a cloudless day. Or do you think that the difference of the given range there i.e. 30-25=5% is what is caused by clouds and cloud formations?
    If you donot know, then it would indeed be interesting for us to find out what the difference is in the radiation curve from the top of the atmosphere to below at sea level a) when it is cloudless and b) when it is overcast. Any ideas on that??

  133. PS to Stephen

    Be careful with that 2007 albedo graph, I think there was an update on that in 2008 that looked different. I was hoping to see the more recent data as well.

  134. Ken Lamber;
    You need a convincing explanation for these issues.>>

    Why? Those are all things that they have predicted as a consequence of the warming they have calculated would happen from CO2 increases. Their average calc says 3 degrees for doubling which translates to 2.1 by now, which didn’t happen, 0.6 did, most of which is natural. Ice loss didnt happen. Hurricanes didnt happen. Mexican lizards? Mexican lizards? Are you kidding me? The LEAST amount of temperature variation has been in the tropics, the most in the arctic zones. So… temps have changed almost not at all in the tropics, less than 1/3 of what they predicted over all, and they want to point at dead lizards and say “see, that proves CO2 doubling = 3 degrees”?

    CO2 is logarithmic. What ever actual change we are going to see from the last century of CO2 increases, it will take SEVERAL centuries of production at the same rate to get that much change again. Since it was tiny… I’m more concerned with rogue asteroids and suicide bombers as they are both more likely to be significant.

  135. davidmhoffer (May14)

    Don’t get your point about 2.1 degrees ‘by now’. The measured increase in surface temps since pre-industrial times is about 0.75 degC (0.6 degC since 1860) or thereabouts. The concentration of CO2 has steadily risen from 280 in pre-industrial times to about 388 ppmv (now). The IPCC Eqan; F.CO2 = 5.35 ln(CO2a/CO2b) gives the theorised Forcing in W/sq.m for the difference in concentrations at Time (a )and Time (b).

    I note the following from your “Knowledge Drift Site”:

    “What is often quoted is that CO2 doubling causes an increase in radiance to earth’s surface of 3.7 watts/meter squared, which in turn raises temperatures about 1 degree Celsius. ”

    No – the 3.7W/sq.m is often quoted as raising the surface temperature 3 degC – ie from a doubling of CO2.

  136. Ken Lambert says:
    May 15, 2010 at 5:17 am
    davidmhoffer (May14)
    Don’t get your point about 2.1 degrees ‘by now’>>

    278/556 = 3.7 watts
    3.7 watts = 1 degree
    feedback = 2 degrees
    total = 3 degrees

    278/385 = 1.74 watts
    1.74 watts ~ 0.7 degrees
    feedback ~1.4
    total = 2.1

    Lindzen goes deeper into the feedback issues and actually comes up with 80% instead of just under 70%, but didn’t put enough detail in his last article to see how he got there.

  137. davidmhoffer (May15)

    CO2GHG forcings (IPCC Eqan):

    The 1900AD value would be 5.35 ln(290/280) = 0.188 W/sq.m
    The 1950AD value would be 5.35 ln(310/280) = 0.545 W/sq.m
    The 2005AD value would be 5.35 ln(380/280) = 1.634 W/sq.m
    The 2010AD value would be 5.35 ln (387/280) = 1.731 W/sq.m
    Rough and dirty averages: First 50years : 0.37W/sq.m, next 60 years: 1.14W/sq.m : Overall average: 0.87W/sq.m for the last 110 years.

    The Solar imbalance is quoted by proxy at between 0.3 and 0.5 W/sq.m (much lower in recent IPCC AR4 down to 0.12W/sq.m. which is probably wrong)

    Assuming 0.3W/sq.m for Solar and 0.87W/sq,m from CO2GHG forcing over the last 110 years has produced the 0.75 degC (or 0.6-0.7 degC depending on source) surface temperature rise and assuming other cooling forcings (clouds aerosols etc) stay constant:

    Separating the feedback from the combination of Solar and CO2GHG forcing using your 1;2 ratio would presumably only apply to the CO2GHG portion of the temperature rise. ie. in proportion to the forcings :0.87/1.17 x 0.75 degC = 0.55degC.

    Should not your sum look like this?

    278/385 = 1.74 watts (only instant value for 2010): 0.87 W/sq.m for last 110 years
    0.87 watts ~ 0.19 degrees (1 part)
    feedback ~0.36 degrees (2 parts)
    sub-total = 0.55 degrees
    Solar = 0.2 degrees
    Total = 0.75 degrees

    Actually works out pretty good if you check S-B for 255 degK and OLR of 240W/sq.m, the temp increase for 0.87W/sq.m extra emitted is:

    (240.87/240)^0.25 x 255degK = 255.23 degK or an increase of 0.23degK, which is not too far from the 0.19 degK by the rough and dirty proportioning above.

    (assume you mean that Lindzen calcs that 80% of the total temp rise is due to feedbacks)

  138. Ken Lambert;
    (assume you mean that Lindzen calcs that 80% of the total temp rise is due to feedbacks)>>

    No. I’m not trying to calculate how much of the current warming should be attributed to CO2. What I’m showing is that any additional CO2 over what we already have is so minor in terms of additional forcing that the whole idea of CAGW is a farce. Your assumption above is incorrect. Lindzen has been saying the same thing as what I’ve been showing you, which is that while CO2 is up only 38% over pre-industrial, most of what is ever going to happen because of CO2 increasing is already happening and even massive increases in the future won’t make much difference. There was an article where Lindzen went into some detail on this but I can’t locate it right now, but he refers to it here https://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/04/09/lindzen-earth-is-never-in-equilibrium/ and there’s an article by Eschenbach on this site as well that comes to similar conclusions.

  139. davidmhoffer (may16)

    Lindzen argues that feedback is negative when other (IPCC) scientists say that it is positive.

    Assume your quotation of the below:

    “278/556 = 3.7 watts
    3.7 watts = 1 degree
    feedback = 2 degrees
    total = 3 degrees

    278/385 = 1.74 watts
    1.74 watts ~ 0.7 degrees
    feedback ~1.4
    total = 2.1”

    is meant to show that both are wrong – right?

    Enlighten us with your estimate of the surface temperature rise for a doubling of CO2.

    Also please comment on the sea level rise issue.

  140. Ken Lambert;
    Lindzen argues that feedback is negative when other (IPCC) scientists say that it is positive.>>

    The articles that I pointed you at show that CO2 is logarithmic and any additional CO2 at this point would have minor additional effects. I think I said this several times.

    Ken Lambert;
    is meant to show that both are wrong – right?>>

    wrong. see above.

    Ken Lambert;
    Enlighten us with your estimate of the surface temperature rise for a doubling of CO2.>>

    I’ve already said I don’t have one. The point is that any additionalk CO2 over what we already have… see above.

    Ken Lambert;
    Also please comment on the sea level rise issue.>>

    My BS detector is back on, you’re just baiting me. We haven’t been discussing sea level, so why suddenly throw it into the mix? I’ve said several times that the point is that CO2 is logarithmic, you keep on asking for an estimate of actual temperature change or to be “enlightened” blah blah blah. Either you get it that additional CO2 versus what we already have is subject to the law of diminishing returns by now… or you don’t. No further explanation by me will help.

  141. Henry@Ken

    Sorry to butt in, but I just would like to know: where are the results of the tests of the experiments by which you got these answers? I think the values you & Lindzen and the IPCC have are really based on weigthing (comparing % of CO2 from 2005 with 1750, to global warming since 1750, this is what I got from the IPCC docs). But that is assuming that you know 100% for sure what the cause is of your problem (problem being: global warming). You can only do such a thing if you can eliminate or account for all other sources of global warming. This is where they failed terribly. This is the worst mistake any scientist can make: assume you know what is the cause of your problem (without having the direct proof) and then trying to work your way back to finding a solution…

    I repeat what I said before:

    here is the famous paper that confirms to me that CO2 is (also) cooling the atmosphere by re-radiating sunshine:
    http://www.iop.org/EJ/article/0004-637X/644/1/551/64090.web.pdf?request-id=76e1a830-4451-4c80-aa58-4728c1d646ec

    they measured this radiation as it bounced back to earth from the moon. Follow the green line in fig. 6, bottom. Note that it already starts at 1.2 um, then one peak at 1.4 um, then various peaks at 1.6 um and 3 big peaks at 2 um.
    This paper here shows that there is absorption of CO2 at between 0.21 and 0.19 um (close to 202 nm):
    http://www.nat.vu.nl/en/sec/atom/Publications/pdf/DUV-CO2.pdf
    There are other papers that I can look for again that will show that there are also absorptions of CO2 at between 0.18 and 0.135 um and between 0.125 and 0.12 um.
    We already know from the normal IR spectra that CO2 has big absorption between 4 and 5 um.

    So, to sum it up, we know that CO2 has absorption in the 14-15 um range causing some warming (by re-radiating earthshine), more noticable from the bottom, but as shown and proved above it also has a number of absorptions in the 0-5 um range causing cooling (by re-radiating sunshine). This cooling happens at all levels where the sunshine hits on the carbon dioxide same as the earthshine, obviously more noticable from the top. The way from the bottom to the top is the same as from top to the bottom. So, my question is: how much cooling and how much warming is caused by the CO2? How was the experiment done to determine this and where are the test results? (I am afraid that simple heat retention testing might not work here, we have to use real sunshine and real earthshine to determine the effect in W/m3 [0.03%- 0.06%]CO2/m2/24hours). I am also doubtful of the analysis of the spectral data, as some of the UV absorptions of CO2 have only been discovered recently. Also, for example, I think the actual heat caused by the sun’s IR at 4-5 maybe underestimated, e.g. the radiation of the sun between 4 and 5 maybe only 1% but how many watts does it cause? Here in Africa you can not stand in the sun for longer that 10 minutes, just because of the heat of the sun on your skin.

    Anyway, with so much at stake, surely, you or someone actually has to come up with some empirical testing?

    If this research has not been done, why don’t we just sue the oil companies to do this?? It is their product afterall.
    I am going to state it here quite categorically again that if no one has got these results, then how do we know for sure that CO2 is a greenhouse gas? Maybe the cooling properties are (more or less) equal to the warming properties.

    We know that Svante Arrhenius’ formula has long been proven wrong. If it had been right earth should have been a lot warmer. So I am asking: what is the correct formula? If you (Ken) are convinced that CO2 causes warming, then surely you must ask yourself the same question as I have been asking??
    I think it also very important that the experiments must be conducted in the relevant concentration range, i.e. 0.03% – 0.06%. You cannot use 100% CO2 in a test, and present that to me as a test result. Any good chemist knows that different concentration ranges in solutions may give different results in properties. In any case, those people who presented those 100% CO2 tests and results to their pupils used a simple globe lamp (representing the sun) and totally forgot about the cooling properties of CO2 (like I am claiming above here)

    I am also looking for same results for another trace gas that has been increasing off late: ozone. My best guess is that the net result of the increase in ozone and CO2 cancels each other out (in the radiation budget). But, without someone going to do some real testing, we will probably never know.

  142. davidmhoffer (May17) and prior posts:

    David, you can turn off your BS meter – I am simple asking you to answer questions about errors you have made in your declarative posts.

    You are talking to an engineer who is unconvinced by AGW theorists – as you must have gathered from my Q&A with ‘leading climate scientist’ and discusssion threads I posted on SS.

    I ‘get’ your big point about logarithmic CO2 forcing and exponential S-B cooling – in fact I have put similar arguments to LCS and done the sums.

    You seem to have a wide knowledge of the subject – so don’t get shirty when asked to explain what I think is an error in your claims. If you are a self proclaimed debunker of the AGW story you have got to get your own facts straight.

    Repeating:

    I note the following from your “Knowledge Drift Site”:

    DMH: “What is often quoted is that CO2 doubling causes an increase in radiance to earth’s surface of 3.7 watts/meter squared, which in turn raises temperatures about 1 degree Celsius. ”

    No – the 3.7W/sq.m is often quoted as raising the surface temperature 3 degC – ie from a doubling of CO2.

    You did not explain the 2.1 ‘by now’ comment and offered no counter to my calculation.

    DMH: “Their average calc says 3 degrees for doubling which translates to 2.1 by now, which didn’t happen, 0.6 did, most of which is natural. Ice loss didnt happen.”

    Land Ice loss and sea level rise are supposed to have happened according to the Trenberth Aug09 paper and other sources. The GRACE satellites are supposed to have measured total ice mass loss in Antarctica which holds 90% of the planet’s land ice. The sea level question is not a ‘bait’ – it is oft used by AGW scientists – (our CSIRO being prominent amongst them) to support the AGW story.

    So if you really know what you are talking about then you should be able to come up with a strong counter argument to the sea level and ice loss AGW stories.

  143. Ken,
    I am an amateur. When I explain something, I am not writing a PhD level paper for peer review. My base concepts are accurate, and so is my math. I sometimes generalize or estimate while making a point about the big picture. If you want my opinion, you already have it. If you want me to prove my numbers, then please understand that there are an enormous number of assumptions and calculations that must be documented in incredible detail to constitute “proven” numbers.

    Consider just one small issue. Does the IPCC quote 3 degrees temperature increase per CO2 doubling? Or do they suggest (as I claim they do) that CO2 doubling is 3.7 watts/m2? Is there a meaningful difference between these two characterizations? To justify my numbers we have to go into many details and assumptions, and document each one. Let’s just do that one issue.

    From IPCC AR4 WG1 Chapter 2 http://www.ipcc-wg1.unibe.ch/publications/wg1-ar4/ar4-wg1-chapter2.pdf the IPCC states the following:

    “Radiative forcing can be related through a linear relationship to the global mean equilibrium temperature change at the surface (ΔTs): ΔTs = λRF, where λ is the climate sensitivity parameter (e.g., Ramaswamy et al., 2001).”

    This is clearly not true. Since earth’s radiance increases with T^4 (T*T*T*T) which is exponential, it is not possible to have a linear relationship between radiative forcing and temperature. I don’t know how Ramaswamy et al came to this conclusion as I haven’t read the paper, it was behind a pay wall last I checked. Perhaps the quote is out of context, or there is some other explanation as to what they really mean by this. But the notion that Stefan-Boltzman’s laws of physics work for everything in the known universe except the temperature of earth seems like a stretch. Keeping that in mind, the report goes on to state:

    “The simple formulae for RF of the LLGHG quoted in Ramaswamy et al. (2001) are still valid. These formulae are based on global RF calculations where clouds, stratospheric adjustment and solar absorption are included, and give an RF of +3.7 W m–2 for a doubling in the CO2 mixing ratio. (The formula used for the CO2 RF calculation in this chapter is the IPCC (1990) expression as revised in the TAR. Note that for CO2, RF increases logarithmically with mixing ratio.)”

    Note two things about this statement. The first is that it quotes 3.7 w m-2 for a doubling of CO2. I will come back to that statement when we discuss sensitivity. The other thing to note is the last sentence, which is that “for CO2, RF increases logarithmically”. Consider how misleading this statement is if you don’t know what logarithmically actually means. Actually, consider how misleading this statement is even if you DO know what it means. Actually, what the heck does this even mean? I liken it to a battlefield report in which the claim is made that our forces are advancing in a rearward fashion. Say what?

    They go on in chapter 10 http://www.ipcc-wg1.unibe.ch/publications/wg1-ar4/ar4-wg1-chapter10.pdf to discuss sensitivity. They state that:

    “… indicates that the equilibrium global mean SAT warming for a doubling of atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2), or ‘equilibrium climate sensitivity’, is likely to lie in the range 2°C to 4.5°C, with a most likely value of about 3°C.”

    So let’s be clear about what they said. They said “A doubling” of CO2 from pre-industrial levels, not “PER doubling” of CO2. Read it carefully (or skim, its a few hundred pages) and you will see that their actual claim is that doubling from pre-industrial levels is 3.7 watts which results, based on the CURRENT temperature range, sensitivity of 3 degrees. Although they alluded to the logarithmic nature of CO2, they carefully avoided ANY discussion of the relationship being a non-linear curve, or that the sensitivity they propose diminishes rapidly with temperature increase as it requires an exponential increase in radiance. So, while they IMPLY the sensitivity is 3 degrees per CO2 doubling, their ACTUAL claim is 3.7 watts per CO2 doubling, they don’t mention the exponential increase in radiance AT ALL and they avoid ANY extrapolation of temperature change versus CO2 increase beyond 556 ppm. If they did, they would get a graph like mine.

    So all that discussion, plus reading through several hundred pages of AR4 report is required JUST to establish what the IPCC claim actually is. If I was writing a PhD thesis, I would document all the assumptions and math that went into my graphs. Rough guestimate, about 20 pages and likely 40 to 60 hours. Since I’m not going to do that, I can’t “prove” my numbers. That said, IPCC AR4 estimates CO2 forcing at 379 ppm to be 1.66 watts per square meter. The spreadsheet from which my graph is derived says 1.658. They calculate 3.7 watts per square meter at 556 ppm and my spreadsheet shows 3.708. In terms of forcing for a given value of CO2, my math pretty much mirrors theirs.

    All I have done is take THEIR numbers, apply the logarithmic function THEY allude to, and then adjust the sensitivity beyond the current temperature range they document for Stefan Boltzman. The result is the graph on my blog. My note about 2.1 degrees was interpolated from the graph (temp change at 385 ppm X 3). Since you challenge the number, I did the math. If I go back and do the actual calculation, I get 1.742 watts/m2 and a temperature increase from that, using 15 C as the starting point, of 0.47 degrees via direct forcing from C02 which translates to 1.41 degrees with feedbacks, not 2.1 degrees. Turns out the thickness of the lines was misleading and I was in a hurry. 2.1 degrees looked right and I got that same number from another calculation I did a long time ago and I guess that number was stuck in my head. Lindzen gets an even higher number, I think by adjusting for other GHG’s and recovery of the ozone layer. Actually now that I typed that I think that’s how I got to 2.1 a long time ago, unfortunately the computer those spreadsheets were on had a mishap involving beer. A bit embarrassing for me given that I design backup systems and didn’t have my own computer backed up.

    Bottom line is that CO2 is logarithmic, cooling response is exponential, even using 1.41 degrees we’ve seen no where near that in actual measurements (more like 0.6 which natural variability easily accounts for) and the additional CO2 required to make a significant increase in temperature over where we are now is so massive that it would take centuries. Quibble with 2.1 versus 1.47 if you want, the graph as presented (thick lines and all) is derived from THEIR claims and THEIR math and only adjusted for S-B. I made one once without adjustment for S-B and it STILL looked ridiculous. Using THEIR numbers adjusted for S-B it takes 557 ppm to get to a 1.0 degree temperature increase, and 1,126 ppm to get to 2. At +1.9 ppm/ year (THEIR number, see AR4) that’s 390 YEARS from now!

    On the question of ice and sea level, I would refer you to the many articles on WUWT.

  144. Ooops. Just to be doubly clear, when I said I adjusted for S-B, that adjustment is across the entire graph, not just the part over 556 ppm. If I hadn’t applied S-B across the entire range I would have gotten different numbers for 379 ppm and 556 ppm from what they got. So… their numbers ALSO include adjustment for S-B, DESPITE their vague reference to a linear relationship, that’s NOT how they did the math. They did it the same way I did, and if they had the cojones to show the public what their math extrapolates to beyond 556 ppm…. a whole lot of people would be scratching their heads and wondering what the fuss is about.

    CO2 is logarithmic.
    Cooling response is exponential.
    IPCC says so.

  145. oops to my oops. Since all I was calculating at that point was the theoretical forcing, S-B wasn’t in the numbers at that point. scratch my last comment, re-wrap the tinfoil on my head and get some sleep.

  146. davidmhoffer (May18)

    David, appreciate your detailed response.

    I am doing this 1 hour a day – running a business and employing people so my late nights are full of this stuff.

    Will be out of town until Monday – so keep this thread alive so I can respond then.

    You might see some of my arguments here:

    http://www.skepticalscience.com/news.php?p=3&t=107&&n=178.

    If your main point about the ‘rathole’ of CO2 being a minor greenhouse player is correct then AGW is indeed debunked. I would like to study the spectral absorption stuff further.

    What is needed is some definitive analysis about the highest temperature which could be reached for doubling of Co2 so that the hysteria can be removed from the debate.

    Will talk more next Monday.

    Cheers

  147. Be careful with this so-called spectral analysis. That is not a real experiment. Those are calculations. For example: Am I supposed to believe that the sunshine at between 4 and 5 um is much less than the earthshine at between 14 and 15? (both 4-5 & 14-15 are big absorptions of CO2). Also, it seems nobody (but me) ever realised that CO2 also has UV absorptions and that this may affect the balance of radiation.
    I am eager to see some real test results of some real experiments that would somehow show me the net result of the cooling and warming properties of both carbon dioxide and ozone. So far, I have not seen any. It looks to me that nobody could think of a test procedure. Amazing. But true.

  148. Henry Pool;

    The 4-5 micron absorption actually lies underneath the earth shine. There’s a bump in the 2 to 3 micron range, but overlaps with water vapour. there is a small bump just under the 2 micron range where it would catch a bit of the sunshine. Interesting, never notice it before.

  149. David,
    yes, you are right but there is also radiation from the sun at between 4 and 5, in fact according to my books 0,5% of the sun’s solar constant is associated with the radiation from the sun between 4 and 5. My question is this: would earth’s radiation at between 4 and 5 or even at between 14 and 15 be of the same sort of scale? (in terms of the amount of energy). I doubt it.

    there is also overlap from water at 14-15. In fact if you look at it carefully then you would notice that only a very small corner of earth’s radiation is cut away by the presence of CO2. I think not much bigger then the bump in the sun’s radiation caused by the CO2 at around 2 um. (causing cooling). Again, if these graphs from the sun and earth are at the same sort of scale? I doubt it.

    But what this graph definitly shows very clearly is the enormous effect of ozone. On its own it seems to cut away about 15 to 20% of sunshine, because this is where the sun’s intensity is the highest.

    Assuming that the net effect of ozone is a bit more cooling rather than warming and that CO2 is slightly warming more than cooling , then my point is (and was): surely the increase in ozone over the past decade (10-14%) more than offsets the increase in CO2?

    I don’t want to sound alarmist, but perhaps if anything, should we not be getting worried about ozone going too high, causing global cooling?

  150. Henry Pool;
    I don’t want to sound alarmist, but perhaps if anything, should we not be getting worried about ozone going too high, causing global cooling?>>

    I’m not a spectroscopy guy, but I think the points you raise are pretty interesting. Will start watching for some articles. On ozone, I can put your mind to rest.

    Some of the UV spectrum destroys Ozone. Some of the UV spectrum destroys oxygen and turns it into Ozone. But Ozone acts as a filter for UV, and the Oxygen layer is below the Ozone. So… at the top of the Ozone layer, Ozone is always being destroyed. At the bottom, Ozone is always being created. When the Ozone layer thickens, it filters out more UV and so the rate of production goes down, eventually thinning the Ozone layer again. If the Ozone layer thins, the amount of UV that gets through rises, and the rate of Ozone production goes up. End result is that the Ozone layer fluctuates in a very narrow self regulating range.

    What about the holes? At a sharp inclination to the Sun over the poles, the system favours depletion. The UV has to come through the atmosphere at an angle, so the rate of destruction is a bit lower, but the rate of creation increased. As you increase in altitude, you eventually hit a spot where the UV rays pass through the ozone layer, but “over the top” of the Oxygen layer, so Ozone is being destroyed but none is being created. In summer, with the earth tilted toward the Sun, the angle changes and Ozone starts to recover. Since the earth’s orbit is eliptical, and we are farthest from the Sun during the Antarctic summer, the Antarctic has a weaker recovery and so a larger hole forms.

  151. davidmhoffer :
    May 21, 2010 at 8:49 am

    A very helpful description of the ozone cycle there.

    A short time ago Leif directed me to a link that proposed that positive polar oscillations increased ozone destruction. Can you fit that into your description ?

    I think the the cooling stratosphere and falling ozone of the late 20th century might have occurred because the positive polar oscillations caused by the active sun swung the balance towards net ozone destruction which would get CFCs off the hook.

  152. Stephen Wilde;
    A short time ago Leif directed me to a link that proposed that positive polar oscillations increased ozone destruction. Can you fit that into your description ?>>

    I would think that any polar oscillations would change inclination and hence impact rates of production and destruction. How much? No idea. The other factor would be fluctuations in UV from the Sun. Changes in intensity of either the production wavelengths or the destruction wavelengths would change the equilibrium thickness. Hmmmm… has anyone tried to relate sun spots to ozone levels?

  153. davidmhoffer May18

    I have not had time to check your calculations from IPCC sources you quote. Give me a bit of time to get to it. There are such a range of unknowns in the feedback arguments that I find it more understandable to look at the OHC discussions and the very simple proposition that for the first law to hold, energy must be conserved.

    With atmosphere and land holding small amounts of heat compared with the oceans, the integral of any TOA energy flux imbalance (if it exists) should show up in the oceans via a change in OHC. I see today’s discussion in SS involving a new article by Dr Trenberth still has not found ‘the missing heat’ – and the last 6 years or so show a flat OHC or even slightly falling, based on the best Argo analyses.
    Of course mechanisms to transfer heat into the oceans are problematic in the short run.

  154. I have proposed that shifting the main global cloud bands a few hundred miles towards or away from the equator would make a sizeable difference to global albedo and thus the amount of energy entering the oceans.

    That alone could explain the so called ‘missing heat’ because those cloud bands started shifting equatorward around 2000 and have since progressed quite some distance latitudinally.

    That would be a neat explanation for the currently declining OHC and also for the increased OHC in the late 20th century when the cloud bands were much more poleward.

  155. Henry@Stephen (& David)
    Stephen, I like that proposal, I think it has to do with the angle of incoming light? If the clouds are more towards the middle (the equator) more light is deflected than if it were more towards the poles? But what process would drive the clouds more towards the equator??
    I posed a question previously, don’t you think then it would e interesting for us to find out what the difference is in the radiation curve from the top of the atmosphere to below at sea level a) when it is cloudless and b) when it is overcast. Any ideas on that??
    Has no one any results on that?

  156. Stephen Wild;
    That alone could explain the so called ‘missing heat’ because those cloud bands started shifting equatorward around 2000 and have since progressed quite some distance latitudinally.>>

    My understanding is that Trenberth is taking incoming measurements from the sun, outgoing measurements from the earth, and then trying to figure out where the difference is being “kept” on earth. So he’s trying to add up the increase in OHC, atmosphere heat content, wind energy, etc etc to come up with a total that matches. So the “missing” heat he is looking for is not the same as the fluctuation in incoming solar, that’s already accounted for (rightly or wrongly) in his math.

    On the other hand you might be interested in this paper which shows via some rather crude instrumentation that incoming to earth surface has declined:

    http://www.astro.lu.se/~torben/earthshine/Lund_2008_MartinWildshort.ppt

  157. Ken Lambert;
    With atmosphere and land holding small amounts of heat compared with the oceans, the integral of any TOA energy flux imbalance (if it exists) should show up in the oceans via a change in OHC.>>

    Well maybe. Remember that SW penetrates as much as 300 meters of ocean while LW penetrates a millimeter or less. So you can’t treat the TOA flux as a single number. If TOA stayed the same but LW went down 20 watts and SW went up 20 watys you would get some big changes.

    Stephen,
    That would be interesting, but I haven’t seen any studies trying to approximate it, let alone measure it in that fashion.

    As for

  158. David:

    That link about global dimming and radiation imbalances is interesting but in my opinion fatally flawed.

    It looks quite clear to me that their data is derived primarily from mid latitudes where the amount of solar radiation reaching the ground would be most affected by the position of the particular recording site in relation to the mid latitude jets.

    All the data obtained would more likely be a simple natural result of the jets moving first poleward and then back equatorward across the recording sites used.

    I see that the minimal number of sites outside the mid latitudes showed opposite trends because their results depended more on the position of the sub tropical high pressure zones which is entirely consistent with my proposition but fatal for theirs.

    Henry:

    I have proposed that the latitudinal position of the three main cloud banks ( the two mid latitude jets and the ITCZ ) depends on the interplay between energy being released from the oceans to the air and the level of solar surface activity (probably operating via the solar wind) affecting the rate at which energy is lost to space.

    On average over multidecadal timescales the jets move poleward when the sun is active and equatorward when the sun is less active subject in both cases to the opposing force or lack of it from the oceans.

    Thus it seems that although a quiet sun reduces energy loss to space and so may well have a net warming effect in the short term the far larger effect is to increase global albedo by shifting the cloudbanks equatorward to reduce solar input to the oceans causing longer term cooling.

    That also provides a very neat amplification of the very small solar changes. A small solar variation causes a large albedo effect by shifting the cloud banks latitudinally and in due course that albedo effect is processed via the oceans to then effect the amount of energy released back to the air from the oceans.

    I think there are lots of things that could be done to confirm or rebut what I say but no one has ever attended to it.

    Some have noticed the latitudinal shifts of the air circulation systems beyond normal seasonal variation and some have linked it to solar surface activity and found that it works just as I say but as far as I know I am the only person so far to explore the implications.

  159. Stephen, you say:
    “On average over multidecadal timescales the jets move poleward when the sun is active and equatorward when the sun is less active subject in both cases to the opposing force or lack of it from the oceans”.

    if this is true all we have to do is to try to settle the physical process. Why would a less active sun move clouds towards the equator? As far as I know the sun’s actual energy output is the same whether active or quiet. So somehow the clouds must be affected by the sun’s magnetic force or alternatively the sun magnetic force affects earth’s, thereby changing slightly earth’s gravitational pull on the clouds?

  160. Henry:

    “Why would a less active sun move clouds towards the equator?”

    When the sun is less active the speed of upward energy transfer from the stratosphere seems to slow down giving a warming stratosphere.

    That increases the strength of the inversion layer at the tropopause allowing less energy to move from troposphere to stratosphere.

    More energy from upward convection is redirected downward in both the polar high pressure cells which intensify and migrate equatorward pushing the mid latitude jets ahead of them.

    Since the ITCZ is north of the equator due to the predominance of oceans in the southern hemisphere it too is forced equatorward.

    All three cloud bands thus get forced equatorward by the less active sun unless at the same time there is enough opposing pressure from warm ocean surfaces to oppose that movement.

    When the sun was more active the polar high pressure cells were generally weaker and the cloud banks moved poleward.

  161. davidmhoffer (May24)

    “Well maybe. Remember that SW penetrates as much as 300 meters of ocean while LW penetrates a millimeter or less. So you can’t treat the TOA flux as a single number. If TOA stayed the same but LW went down 20 watts and SW went up 20 watys you would get some big changes.”

    Well yes unless the first law (conservation of energy) is not applicable to the Earth system. (S-B applies so does the first law).

    I would have thought that a Joule of SW energy is the same as a Joule of LW energy.

    I would also expect that the ratio of SW to LW energy hitting the surface of the water would not change much over time.

    The mechanism of heat transfer to the oceans from the atmosphere has always been unconvincing. Try heating your bath with a radiant heater held above the surface or from warm air in a room. An immersion heater is a different story. Undersea volcanoes or geothermal heating would be much more efficient in heat transfer terms.

    TOA as a single number. For sure the heat transfer over the tropics is different from that over the cooler latitudes and the polar regions; but I would assume that Dr Trenberth’s 0.9W/sq.m is a total of the energy flux imbalance (Watts) divided by the surface area of the Earth to give an ‘average’ number.

  162. The mechanism of heat transfer to the oceans from the atmosphere has always been unconvincing. Try heating your bath with a radiant heater held above the surface or from warm air in a room>>

    This was essentially my point. Since SW goes 300 meters down, it must heat the whole 300 meters. Think about the time constant for 1 watts to bring 300 meters of ocean to a new equilibrium temperature. LW on the other hand only penetrates a millimeter or so, tiny time constant, and most of goes right back up into the atmosphere through evaporation. So SW is a long term deep heating thing and LW is a short term atmospheric thing. Hence my statement that you have to treat a change in ratio between LW and SW differently than a change in total flux alone.

    I have another article almost done that will put the whole logarithmic thing in better perspetive, I’ll ping this thread when it is up.

  163. Henry@Stephen

    We have to find the real proof. Or do you have it? Are there satellite pictures that prove this phenomena? I would say “seems” is not good enough for real science?
    But I know you are right. 100%!
    I think even the ancients knew about this. Or how else did Joseph (in Egypt) know (predicted) there would be 7 years of abundant crops (rain) followed by 7 years of drought. Do you know the story of Joseph? If your name is David, you must have heard that story before. To make that call, he must have observed this EXACT same thing happening before or heard it from (the experiences of) his father. His (correct) prediction earned him the position of prime minister in Egypt. . …
    14 years is the maximum of the (most) usual sun cycle!

  164. Henry@Stephen
    Sorry, you are Stephen. Not David. But Stephen is also a very biblical name to me/ Stephen was the first Christian martyr. Killed for his beliefs. So you must have heard the story of Joseph as well!

  165. Henry:

    “We have to find the real proof. Or do you have it? Are there satellite pictures that prove this phenomena?”

    We haven’t enough historical records to provide proof but there is evidence.

    When the sun was more active the stratosphere cooled and the jets moved poleward.

    It was assumed that that was the effect of more CO2 reversing what was expected from a more active sun.

    Now the sun is less active the stratosphere ia warming and the jets have moved equatorward.

    The CO2 assumption is therefore falsified because CO2 continues to increase. Also falsified is the proposition that a more active sun should warm the stratosphere and a less active sun should cool it. By a process of elimination my proposition must be taken seriously because out of the three possibilities it is the only one that fits the facts.

    Three factors shifting together approximately in unison is a good indication that something is up. If it is true then a few more years of observation will provide the proof.

  166. Henry, Stephen,
    I’ve only been half following your conversation, been trying to get my article done and frankly my eyes are starting to bleed from all the AR4 reports I’ve been scouring. In any event, you might want6 to search WUWT for articles on solar wind and magnetic field coupling between Sun and earth as both can in theory affect cloud formation. Itz been a while since I read the articles but I think they were related to what you are talking about.

    BTW there are 4 theories as to how Joseph got it right:

    1. God told him
    2. The dream was true and Joseph correctly interpreted it
    3. Jospeph made something up on the spot to buy himself some time and fluked out.
    4. The story was commited to the scrolls several hundred years after Joseph lived. Good stories get better with age.

  167. Henry@David & Stephen

    I think in those days famines were not unusual – so they may have kept some records as to how long they lasted. I am pretty sure the ancients knew about the sunspots – afterall Ra was the God of Egypt and they build the piramids. People like that were not really that stupid and they may have put a link between sunspot activity and drier periods. Might be worthwhile looking a bit up on it.

  168. Stephen,
    I think you are on the right on track with the idea of the movements of the major cloud banks (jets) being influenced by the sun. But you have to come up with a mechanism. My idea is magnetism. Namely, the water in the clouds probably does carry (a very) small amount of iron. Could it be that the (magnetic) fields of the sun and earth interact to cause the clouds sometimes to move in the direction of the equator and sometimes towards the poles (when earth’s own magnetic field seems to become the dominant factor). If yes, how come?

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