Maybe they’ve found Trenberth’s missing heat

NOAA: Scientists Find 20 Years of Deep Water Warming Leading to Sea Level Rise

Sea-level rise has the potential to reshape the coastal environment.
Sea-level rise has the potential to reshape the coastal environment. Credit: NOAA)

Scientists analyzing measurements taken in the deep ocean around the globe over the past two decades find a warming trend that contributes to sea level rise, especially around Antarctica.

Greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, such as carbon dioxide, cause heating of the Earth. Over the past few decades, at least 80 percent of this heat energy has gone into the ocean, warming it in the process.

“Previous studies have shown that the upper ocean is warming, but our analysis determines how much additional heat the deep ocean is storing from warming observed all the way to the ocean floor,” said Sarah Purkey, an oceanographer at the University of Washington and lead author of the study.

This study shows that the deep ocean – below about 3,300 feet – is taking up about 16 percent of what the upper ocean is absorbing. The authors note that there are several possible causes for this deep warming: a shift in Southern Ocean winds, a change in the density of what is called Antarctic Bottom Water, or how quickly that bottom water is formed near the Antarctic, where it sinks to fill the deepest, coldest portions of the ocean around much of the globe.

The scientists found the strongest deep warming around Antarctica, weakening with distance from its source as it spreads around the globe. While the temperature increases are small (about 0.03°C per decade in the deep Southern Ocean, less elsewhere), the large volume of the ocean over which they are found and the high capacity of water to absorb heat means that this warming accounts for a huge amount of energy storage. If this deep ocean heating were going into the atmosphere instead – a physical impossibility – it would be warming at a rate of about 3°C (over 5°F) per decade.

“A warming Earth causes sea level rise in two ways,” said Gregory Johnson, a NOAA oceanographer at the Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory in Seattle, and the study’s co-author. “The warming heats the ocean, causing it to expand, and melts continental ice, adding water to the ocean. The expansion and added water both cause the sea to encroach on the land.”

Sea level has been rising at around 3 mm (1/8 of a inch) per year on average since 1993, with about half of that caused by ocean thermal expansion and the other half because of additional water added to the ocean, mostly from melting continental ice. Purkey and Johnson note that deep warming of the Southern Ocean accounts for about 1.2 mm (about 1/20th of an inch) per year of the sea level rise around Antarctica in the past few decades.

The highly accurate deep-ocean temperature observations used in this study come from ship-based instruments that measure conductivity through salinity, temperature and depth. These measurements were taken on a series of hydrographic surveys of the global ocean in the 1990s through the World Ocean Circulation Experiment and in the 2000s in support of the Climate Variability program. These surveys are now coordinated by the international Global Ship-based Hydrographic Investigations Program.

The study, “Warming of Global Abyssal and Deep Southern Ocean Waters between the 1990s and 2000s: Contributions to Global Heat and Sea Level Rise Budgets,” authored by Sarah G. Purkey and Gregory C. Johnson, will be published in an upcoming edition of the Journal of Climate.

NOAA’s mission is to understand and predict changes in the Earth’s environment, from the depths of the ocean to the surface of the sun, and to conserve and manage our coastal and marine resources. Find us on Facebook.

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Here is the abstract:

Journal of Climate 2010 ; e-View
doi: 10.1175/2010JCLI3682.1
Warming of Global Abyssal and Deep Southern Ocean Waters Between the 1990s and 2000s: Contributions to Global Heat and Sea Level Rise Budgets*
Sarah G. Purkey1,2 and Gregory C. Johnson2,1 1 School of Oceanography, University of Washington, Seattle WA 98195, USA

2 NOAA/Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory, Seattle WA 98115, USA

Abstract

We quantify abyssal global and deep Southern Ocean temperature trends between the 1990s and 2000s to assess the role of recent warming of these regions in global heat and sea level budgets. We compute warming rates with uncertainties along 28 full-depth, high-quality, hydrographic sections that have been occupied two or more times between 1980 and 2010. We divide the global ocean into 32 basins defined by the topography and climatological ocean bottom temperatures and estimate temperature trends in the 24 sampled basins. The three southernmost basins show a strong statistically significant abyssal warming trend, with that warming signal weakening to the north in the central Pacific, western Atlantic, and eastern Indian Oceans. Eastern Atlantic and western Indian Ocean basins show statistically insignificant abyssal cooling trends. Excepting the Arctic Ocean and Nordic seas, the rate of abyssal (below 4000 m) global ocean heat content change in the 1990s and 2000s is equivalent to a heat flux of 0.027 (±0.009) W m−2 applied over the entire surface of the Earth. Deep (1000–4000 m) warming south of the Sub-Antarctic Front of the Antarctic Circumpolar Current adds 0.068 (±0.062) W m−2. The abyssal warming produces a 0.053 (±0.017) mm yr−1 increase in global average sea level and the deep warming south of the Sub-Antarctic Front adds another 0.093 (±0.081) mm yr−1. Thus warming in these regions, ventilated primarily by Antarctic Bottom Water, accounts for a statistically significant fraction of the present global energy and sea level budgets.

Received: February 16, 2010; Revised: July 28, 2010; Revised: August 18, 2010

*Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory Contribution Number 3524.

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143 thoughts on “Maybe they’ve found Trenberth’s missing heat

  1. I would feel a little more comfortable with the trend numbers if there were +/- values associated with them to show the accuracy of the original readings. +0.03K +/- 1.0? +/- 0.1? +/- 0.000001? I suspect the second case is likely the closest to the “truth”. I also doubt that there are sufficient stations for a good representation, but at least this is a step up because it doesn’t state “we modelled the deep-oceanic temperatures and our models gave us the following data…”

    Baby steps, Baby steps.

  2. The abyssal warming produces a 0.053 (±0.017) mm yr−1 increase in global average sea level and the deep warming south of the Sub-Antarctic Front adds another 0.093 (±0.081) mm yr−1. Thus warming in these regions, ventilated primarily by Antarctic Bottom Water, accounts for a statistically significant fraction of the present global energy and sea level budgets.

    Is 0.053 mm per year, or even 0.093 mm per year a “a statistically significant fraction” of anything that I should be concerned about? I can’t quite see it…..

  3. Since when warm water is denser than cold water? Looks like they never did the hot/cold colored water experiment… only NOAA can make changes to the physics of things and understand why things work in reverse in their world!!!

  4. So this study started in 1990s and has been running for less than 20 years? We all agree the 1980 -2000 was a warmer period than say the 1950 – 60s, does anyone know if the water was cooling or warming during these cooler decades?

    The sea levels are going up by 1.2mm per year, that is 30 cms per century, hardly liklely to flood London or even the Tuvalu Islands in the liftimes of our grandchildren’s grandchildren, or am I missing something? It certainly leaves us time to imporve our sea walls whilst more studies check the science is correct and validate the causes.

  5. Have they put the cart before the horse? They attribute the deep ocean warming to rising atmospheric CO2. Is it not just as likely that something else caused the deep ocean warming and the CO2 rise simply represents the deep ocean de-gassing?

  6. The post reads, “Greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, such as carbon dioxide, cause heating of the Earth. Over the past few decades, at least 80 percent of this heat energy has gone into the ocean, warming it in the process.”

    Contrary to this, the Ocean Heat Content (OHC) for the top 700 meters of the oceans shows little to no signs of anthropogenic forcing. You simply need to divide the oceans into smaller subsets to see this. The majority of the rises in most of the ocean basins are tied to the significant La Niña events of 1973/74/75/76, and 1995/96, and 1998/99/00/01. Refer to:
    http://bobtisdale.blogspot.com/2009/09/enso-dominates-nodc-ocean-heat-content.html

    The North Atlantic appears to be impacted by ENSO, the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO), and AMOC. The surface area of the North Atlantic represents only 15% of the global oceans but it accounts for more than 30% of the rise in OHC since 1955. It is also where most of the drop since 2005 has been occurring.
    http://bobtisdale.blogspot.com/2009/10/north-atlantic-ocean-heat-content-0-700.html

    And the North Pacific OHC dropped from the late 1960s until the late 1980s, then suddenly rose. The rise coincides with a shift in sea level pressure in the North Pacific:
    http://bobtisdale.blogspot.com/2009/12/north-pacific-ocean-heat-content-shift.html

  7. Thank you Mr. Watts. It is kind of interesting.

    3rd warming period of the inter-glacial period we are.

    Not much concern here at the beach at the moment. I see their point though. I found in the past I have to move the beer cooler from time to time as the sea levels come up.

    Thanks for the warning. It could have been a close one.

  8. It boggles the imagination to think that oceanographers can compare temperature measurements made decades apart to within several hundredth’s of a degree C. Remember, these measurements were not made leisurely, with lots of time inside a scientific laboratory using carefully calibrated instruments, but rather thousands of feet down below the ocean surface using thermometers carried remotely by a robot submarine or dangling from a cable dropped over the side of a ship. Amazing!

  9. So far the warming has been far below the 6 ° C rate the alarmists want to use for a doubling of CO2. Since we have had 1/3 of a doubling of CO2 we should have had more than 2 ° C warming we haven’t had this. [.7 ° C is the accepted value and less than ½ of that is from CO2 in the best case.]

    To get around this alarmists have speculated that the ”missing heat” is stored in the oceans ! The problem is that since 2005 both atmosphere and the ocean have been cooling.

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

    Some have SPECULATED that the missing heat may be in the deep parts of the ocean but since they haven’t measured to test this speculation they don’t know. This article claims to have found 20 % of it.

    The most important and ignored part of the missing heat controversy is when the heat will return. ?

    Since we are only speculating where the heat has gone and have only speculation about how it got there how can we predict how long it will be until it returns ?

    Answer: We can’t ! We have a theory of CAGW which DEPENDS upon the “missing heat ” returning in the next 100 years and we don’t know where the heat is and don’t know if or when it will return. Since we cannot find it we cannot measure it so we don’t know much of it exists.

    Despite all of this “the debate is over” and we should throw ten’s of trillions of dollars at the nearest politician to make it go away.

  10. It’s NOAA, they’ve just got a little themselves a little confused again.

    “Heating” should daer read “cooling”.

  11. Hmmm. “Estimate temperature trends”. Why not “report” temperatures over 20 years or so?
    I surely would not find it surprising that some areas within the oceans are heating a bit even as the ocean as a whole undergoes a cooling trend. But I am surprised it is a narrow zone below 4,000 meters near a continental pole that has been cooling slightly for the last 50 years.
    On the other hand the absolute insignificance of this estimation is demonstrated by the fact that sea levels during the study period were abnormally stable world wide.

  12. Must chime in to agree with Mike D above. It’s refreshing to see out-in-the-field science actually being done.

  13. “The abyssal warming produces a 0.053 (±0.017) mm yr−1 increase in global average sea level and the deep warming south of the Sub-Antarctic Front adds another 0.093 (±0.081) mm yr−1.”

    How can they be certain it’s not +/- 0.0165327 mm/year? My super-calibrated ocean dipstick is reading 0.0536106 mm/year. I think they should remeasure ;o)

    Seriously, I’m glad someone is out there on a boat taking measurements instead of modeling the “expected change.”

  14. Is it surprising that the abyssal temperatures are not constant?

    If a temperature is rising, extrapolate it out 100 years. Nice and scary.

    If it is falling then the warming is just taking a hiatus. Don’t worry, it’ll start warming soon.

  15. “Answer: We can’t ! We have a theory of CAGW which DEPENDS upon the ‘missing heat’ returning in the next 100 years and we don’t know where the heat is…”

    I’ll check down the side of the couch.

  16. Mike D in Alberta says: “…at least this is a step up because it doesn’t state “we modelled the deep-oceanic temperatures and our models gave us the following data…””

    My BS detector tells me that between these “highly accurate temperature measurements” lies a model.

  17. One or two years ago the Alfred Wegener Institut in Bremen Germany published their temperature-measurements in the deep waters around the Antarctic und found a cooling of the deep waters. Somebody must be wrong.

  18. The post reads, “Greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, such as carbon dioxide, cause heating of the Earth. Over the past few decades, at least 80 percent of this heat energy has gone into the ocean, warming it in the process.”

    It should read: Greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, such as carbon dioxide, should cause heating of the Earth. Over the past few decades, at least 80 percent of this heat energy should have gone into the ocean, warming it in the process. Unfortunately, we can’t find it.

    Until now, apparantly. My first reaction was: how did they measure the temperature below the floor of the Argo system. Then I spotted that the used a ship – not a fleet of ships, just a ship – and took the temperature by – measuring differences in salinity.

    Is it me, or does this remind anyone of Parkers’ (I think) attempt to show that tropospheric temperatures agreed with surface trends by measuring – wind shear?

  19. I guess all those underwater volcanos spewing massive amounts of heat into the water have absolutely nothing to do with this. Nothing at all.

  20. @ Chris H,
    I think you may be right, the 800yr time lag shown in ice core data between raised temps, followed by raised C02 is usually explained by deep ocean warming as a result of the former causing the later.

  21. ” . . . over the past two decades find a warming trend that contributes to sea level rise, especially around Antarctica.”

    Ah, so that explains the rise in sea ice extent around Antarctica. Hmmmm . . .

  22. “The scientists found the strongest deep warming around Antarctica, weakening with distance from its source as it spreads around the globe. “

    Can someone explain in words of one syllable how Antarctica can be “the source” of deep ocean warming? The only sources of heat in that area are some volcanic activity… “Highly sensitive temperature probes moving continuously across the bottom of the volcano revealed signs of geothermal heating of seawater.”
    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/05/040527235943.htm

  23. so co2 in the atmosphere somehow heats deep ocean water

    yeah right

    anyway, even if their measurements are accurate, the ocean is rising something like 1.4×10^-6% per year.

    better start building that ark. oh, wait. you guys go ahead. i live at 7600ft.

    at .o5 mm/year i have roughly 46 million years before i need to start worrying

    ;)

  24. Considering that sea level rise practically stopped in the last years, I announce the whole article as misleading, based on non-actual data and unfounded speculations.

    Dismissed!

  25. It will be fascinating to read about their proposed mechanism for how the deep water got warmer — when the sun’s radiation hits only the top-most layer. Perhaps they will say that the Gulf Stream is warmer now, and as it reaches its sinking point near the Arctic that heat eventually reaches the ocean floor.

    However, as I recall, that flow rate is rather slow, and the timing is not at all consistent with the “man-made global warming” of the past 35 years. If the deeps are warming now, the cause was likely from hundreds of years ago.

    How about it, NOAA? Any mechanism to tell us about?

  26. evanmjones said at 9:23 am: “Could the increase in underwater volcanic activity around Antarctica have any measurable effect?”

    That’s exactly what crossed my mind as I read this article. Always assuming that there really has been a temperature rise in the deep oceans, then surely a lot more likely cause could be an increase in ocean floor volcanic venting, which could then also lead to the oceans losing some of their CO2 into the atmosphere.

    Surely that is a lot more credible than some rather tortured hypothesis based around CO2 indirectly causing the oceans to warm, particularly if this is occuring in the deep oceans rather than as a surface effect – why would atmospheric warming cause the deep oceans to warm before first raising the surface temperature?

  27. “”Greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, such as carbon dioxide, cause heating of the Earth. Over the past few decades, at least 80 percent of this heat energy has gone into the ocean, warming it in the process””
    I am beginning to wonder if NOAA release these papers to windup WUWT!
    I was under the impression downwelling infrared radiation from CO2, from the
    atmosphere no less, is completely absorbed by the first millimeter of the sea
    surface thereby increasing surface evaporation which cools the sea surface.
    But now the infrared radiation penetrates deeper into the oceans than sunlight.
    You learn something new every day since CAGW became fashionable.

  28. The deep ocean is the reason for the “underlying temperature trend”. The earth is cooler than it should be. The only thing preventing it from warming to its equilibrium temperature of 22 C is thermal inertia due to the cold reservoir in the deep oceans. The real question is, “Why did the deep oceans get so cold?”

  29. Richard111 beat me to it.
    If the measurements (so long since I could use that word insted of “models” so have to give them marks for that at least) show that deep water has warmed slightly then that is information of value. But attributing it to CO2? Nonsense. As Richard111 pointed out, CO2 radiates in the infrared spectrum which penetrates water to a paper thing depth. Being concentrated in such a thin layer, any energy absorbed by that paper thin layer results in a large temperature increase which in turn results pretty much instant evaporation. Not to mention that even if it didn’t, the average SST of the ocean being about 15 C, it is in a temperature range where warmer water would tend to rise, not sink. With no physical mechanism to move the heat content from CO2 to the depths of the oceans, all they have reported is some interesting data that has no more to do with warming from GHG than it does with the sinking of the Titanic.

  30. John said at 10:07 am
    evanmjones said at 9:23 am
    I have done several ‘back of envelope’ calculations on volcanic heating of water (a while back) and come up with quite small numbers which may actually be worth revisiting in the light of this.

  31. Representing hundredths of a Watt per Meter Squared. Wow.
    Reaching for a strong drink, the climatologist stumbles in the tangles mess of computer cables, printer paper, soda pop cans and pizza boxes, plunging headlong into the recycling bin, where they are found screaming the next day. The diagnosis is worse than previously imagined, the doctor is heard to say.

  32. Recent decadal warming and freshening of Antarctic-derived abyssal waters
    Gregory Johnson
    NOAA/Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory, Seattle, WA, USA
    IOP Conf. Series: Earth and Environmental Science 6 (2009)
    source: http://iopp.fileburst.com/ees/ees9_6_032006.pdf

    excerpts:
    “The large distances between hydrographic sections, and the fact that they are reoccupied only from decade to decade makes quantification of the contribution of the observed recent abyssal warming to the global heat budget difficult. Quantification of the contribution of the warming and freshening observed to the global sea level rise budget is difficult for the same reasons.”

    “Nevertheless, this qualitative analysis suggests that abyssal changes may play some role in global heat and sea level rise budgets.”

    [like the image used related to the NOAA story — emphasis added for effect]

    ========
    Note: if the “quantification of contribution” was difficult a year ago, what just changed?

  33. While I don’t think the results of this study are significant with respect to CAGW it is interesting and should be accepted for what it is. Namely, we have a great big ‘complex’ ocean on Earth and knowing more about it is a good thing. Further, studying its depths is difficult, time consuming, and expensive. Applause, please.

    An issue questioned in some of the comments is how warmth from the surface could get into the ocean depths, insofar as “the hot/cold colored water experiment” [Ray @ 8”46 am] (been there – done that; with added salt too) suggests this shouldn’t happen. As WUWT commenters are an inventive bunch, it should be interesting to read of possible physical mechanisms how said transfers might proceed.

    I have much to do today but will return with high expectations. Thanks, John

  34. The active sun of the late 20th century allowed the jetstreams and associated clouds to move poleward.

    That allowed more solar shortwave into the oceans. That process has now ceased but some of the injected energy is still there.

    I have proposed before that during a period of high solar input to the oceans some of that energy remains in the oceans and enters the thermohaline circulation to resurface some 1000 years later hence the climate cycling from MWP to LIA to date.

    This paper would appear to support that proposition although a number of contributors tried to tell me trhat the downward mixing of that high solar input was minimal.

    It is then somewhat of a lottery as to whether the energy coming out at the other end of that 1000 year oceanic cycling coincides with a period of high or low solar activity with the climate consequences varying accordingly.

    Anyway, that extra energy in the oceans is from that higher solar shortwave input and nothing to do with CO2 because CO2 only produces more downward infra red which is immediately negated by faster evaporation.

  35. I would be willing to bet that the amount of water pumped out of underground aquifers each year around the entire planet and added to the ocean is more than glacier retreat is adding.

    Also, considering how long the LIA lasted and how short a period since the recovery from that event, I would expect the abyssal oceans to be continuing a recovery in temperature from that event and would expect that to continue for another century or so.

  36. Several others have already commented about deep ocean volcanoes. If there actually is any measurable change in heat content 1,000 meters below the surface a more likely (and obvious) explanation would be underwater volcanism. I instinctively roll my eyes whenever I hear claims of “hidden heat” or (my favorite) “planetary thermal inertia”.

    I also have an inherent distrust of a thermometer deployed from a boat that can accurately determine temperature to 0.03 deg C of resolution and that they have 2 decades of such data. The implication is that they measured temperature (from salinity?) just as accurately 20 years ago as they do today.

    Color me skeptical. The authors’ conclusions have that distinct odor of desperation about them.

  37. evanmjones said: “Could the increase in underwater volcanic activity around Antarctica have any measurable effect?”

    Seems odd that this paper failed to mention an earlier conclusion that the missing heat could not be at depth else we would have noticed it in transit from the surface. Nor is there any discussion of why, of all places, this phenomenon should only exist in the Antarctic “weakening with distance from its source as it spreads around the globe.” As for warming that occurs at depth, but not elsewhere. who knew warm water would sink?

    Methinks Dr. Trenberth is a bit too stuck on his prior conclusion that there is some missing heat. Whether that’s true or not, it doesn’t mean that he has found it.

  38. I thought maybe they had already accounted for the missing heat. Section 5.5.3 Chapter 5 of the 4th IPCC report estimates the component of sea level rise due to thermal expansion as 1.6 mm/year (+ or – 0.5 mm) for the decade 1993 to 2003. For the period 1961 thru 2003 the estimate was 0.42 mm/ year (+ or – 0.12 mm). Aside from a mysterious change in the estimate of thermal expansion by a factor of 4 and the dismissal of other possible major contributors to sea level change, such as groundwater mining the analysts are closing the gap between estimates and observed. “Measure it with a micrometer, mark it with a grease pencil and cut it with an axe.” seems to apply.

    Reference: Bindoff, N.L., J. Willebrand, V. Artale, A, Cazenave, J. Gregory, S. Gulev, K. Hanawa, C. Le Quéré, S. Levitus, Y. Nojiri, C.K. Shum, L.D.Talley and A. Unnikrishnan, 2007: Observations: Oceanic Climate Change and Sea Level. In: Climate Change 2007: The Physical Science Basis. Contribution of Working Group I to the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change [Solomon, S., D. Qin, M. Manning, Z. Chen, M. Marquis, K.B. Averyt, M. Tignor and H.L. Miller (eds.)]. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, United Kingdom and New York, NY, USA.

  39. “Nor is there any discussion of why, of all places, this phenomenon should only exist in the Antarctic “weakening with distance from its source as it spreads around the globe.”

    I don’t have a problem with that.

    If the source of any ‘extra’ deep water energy is solar shortwave input from a period of active sun then the southern hemisphere being mostly water then I would expect the maximum effect south of the equator.

    Then the thermohaline circulation takes it for a long tour around Antarctica before moving northward again.

    Assuming their observations are correct in the first place (not guaranteed because they are desperate to find some ‘missing heat’) these findings would suit me nicely.

  40. Am I reading this correctly?
    “Scientists analyzing measurements taken in the deep ocean around the globe over the past two decades find a warming trend that contributes to sea level rise, especially around Antarctica.”
    &
    “Purkey and Johnson note that deep warming of the Southern Ocean accounts for about 1.2 mm (about 1/20th of an inch) per year of the sea level rise around Antarctica in the past few decades.”

    Sea-level is a local phenomena?

  41. Dirk

    both can be right, it has to do with the time scales. On the time scale from 1989-2010 there has been warming, even though in the period from 2005-2008 there was cooling. One step forward and two steps back or something.

    regardless, I would not attribute causation to anything in the antarctic ocean right now, the collapse of the Ross ice shelf is big enough that it should confound anyone trying to isolate causes. Until things settle down (or our understanding of the planet increases exponentially) the significance of any change in the antarctic oceans should be tempered with the realization a dramatic event is changing the terrain.

  42. I still have difficulty with the panic about rising sea levels. If you live by the sea, you know the defenses are at least 5m above the average sea level. That is what is needed to avoid getting flooded every time there is a bit of a storm surge at spring tides, and a few big waves. So 3mm a year means adding a brick every decade or so to the existing defenses. Does that constitute a crisis? Or is it really all in Al Gore’s imagination?

  43. We are talking changes in sea level rise of a single millimeter a year.
    One whole 25th of an inch.
    OMG, we are so inundated. Prepare the sacrifice to the Goreacle.

  44. I can comment on the statistics

    0.027 (±0.009) W m−2 applied over the entire surface of the Earth.
    This is according to them a 3 sigma effect. Possibly interesting, but could disappear as noise
    Deep (1000–4000 m) warming south of the Sub-Antarctic Front of the Antarctic Circumpolar Current adds 0.068 (±0.062) W m−2.
    This is barely 1 sigma, definitely noise.
    The abyssal warming produces a 0.053 (±0.017) mm yr−1 increase in global average sea level and the deep warming south of the Sub-Antarctic Front adds another 0.093 (±0.081)
    Adding noise to a weak 3 sigma putative signal , to more than double it, is not only a scientific misstep, it also betrays the authors as working on an agenda.

    What sort of peer reviews are these that do not catch so elementary scientific errors ?

  45. DCC says:
    September 26, 2010 at 10:56 am

    “Seems odd that this paper failed to mention an earlier conclusion that the missing heat could not be at depth else we would have noticed it in transit from the surface.”

    Last I checked, Trenberth was looking for a missing .5 W m−2. This study claims to have found a fraction of that.

    A bit of a difference between claiming we would have seen a bowling ball rolling down the street and we found a golf ball that we didn’t see rolling down the street.

  46. “If this deep ocean heating were going into the atmosphere instead – a physical impossibility – it would be warming at a rate of about 3°C (over 5°F) per decade.”

    So this would seem to imply that this warming is thus being driven by something other than the atmosphere. Conversely, couldn’t all atmospheric warming then be driven by the oceans ??? – I have done the math – it is entirely possible (given the relative heat capacity of the ocean vs atmosphere) So if this article is implying that this ocean warming is non GHG driven, then it could be concluded that it is entirely possible the that atmospheric warming is also not GHG driven

  47. Roger Sowell,

    while it is true that UV light can penetrate water a reasonable distance, and UV light is part of sunlight, the GHC/CO2 mechanism works on the IR end of the spectrum not the UV end. Solar ponds work on the UV end of the spectrum, not the IR end.

  48. Roger Sowell says:
    richard111 and davidmhoffer, re sunlight penetrating only the top few mm of water.
    The solar ponds show that is not the case.

    They are talking about the long wave infrared emitted from greenhouse gases, which indeed can only penetrate a few microns past the surface, all energy used up in the phase change of evaporation, with nothing left over to heat the deeper layers.
    This chart shows depth of penetration v. wavelength:

    as the chart shows, solar UV and visible radiation can penetrate to much greater depths and heat the oceans.

  49. R T Barker said:
    “Measure it with a micrometer, mark it with a grease pencil and cut it with an axe.”

    There speaks a true engineer.

    BTW I seem to remember from back in the mists of time that below the deep sound channel (1000-2000m?) the thermal structure of the ocean is essentially isothermal at +4 deg with salinity being the cause of any variations. So why are minuscule temperature variations being ascribed to CO2?

  50. Elizabeth, above, points out that the contribution to estimated sea level rise from ground water drawdown is not considered. If the drawdown is equivalent to 283 cubic kilometers per year and the area of ocean is 335 million square kilometers then my feeble brain suggests that the purported sea level rise from “global warming” may be a negative number. Also how many cubic kilometers of sediment are washed into the oceans each year?

  51. I thought it was already reasonably well established, or at least generally accepted, that global ocean average level is going up 2-3mm per year in last few decades and it was going up 1-2mm per year for the last few centuries or so with decreased confidence since tide gauges weren’t designed for that kind of resolution and the land itself where the tide gauge is anchored might have been subsiding or rising in the past with no real way to measure it. I also thought it was generally accepted that the rise is more or less an even split between thermal expansion and glacier melt.

    It doesn’t seem like there’s any significant new information in the report.

  52. pochas says:
    September 26, 2010 at 10:25 am
    ………The real question is, “Why did the deep oceans get so cold?”

    Cold water sinks and stays down there a long time.

    On other matters, IMO ,”adiabatic heating” of the ocean bottom has to be taken into consideration in all this mess of heat budgets.

  53. “The authors note that there are several possible causes for this deep warming: a shift in Southern Ocean winds, a change in the density of what is called Antarctic Bottom Water, or how quickly that bottom water is formed near the Antarctic, where it sinks to fill the deepest, coldest portions of the ocean around much of the globe.”

    Lets take a stab at figuring out why the water may be warming from this statement. I would guess that the earths crust and mantel over time would warm the ocean water from the bottom up. What keeps the deep waters cold is that the cold water at the surface continually sinking to replace the slightly warmed water with fresh cooler water. I would imagine that melting ice would cool the surface water faster, and a decrease in melting would slow the feeding of colder water into the deep ocean, thus allowing the thermal transfer of heat from the Earths crust to the bottom water, thus warming it.

  54. Stephen Wilde quoted DCC saying: “Nor is there any discussion of why, of all places, this phenomenon should only exist in the Antarctic “weakening with distance from its source as it spreads around the globe.”

    He responded:
    “I don’t have a problem with that. If the source of any ‘extra’ deep water energy is solar shortwave input from a period of active sun then the southern hemisphere being mostly water then I would expect the maximum effect south of the equator.”

    But he didn’t say the ocean warmed south of the equator at any depth, except near Antarctica. Your theory would require the sun to have an effect only closer to the pole. But it makes you a great candidate for climate scientist. First the conclusion, then the supporting arguments.

  55. simpleseekeraftertruth says:
    September 26, 2010 at 11:16 am

    Sea-level is a local phenomena?

    I would start by doing some searches for variations in earth’s measured gravity, irregularities in the shape of the planet, and variations in the composition (and now temperature) of seawater. I wouldn’t expect huge differences in sea levels, but I would expect some.

  56. DCC said:

    “But he didn’t say the ocean warmed south of the equator at any depth, except near Antarctica. Your theory would require the sun to have an effect only closer to the pole. But it makes you a great candidate for climate scientist. First the conclusion, then the supporting arguments”

    The article said:

    “The scientists found the strongest deep warming around Antarctica, weakening with distance from its source as it spreads around the globe.”

    So there clearly was southern hemisphere warming generally but it became concentrated around Antarctica which is consistent with the thermohaline transporting it there, carrying it around Antarctica and then distributing it northward.

    As always the conclusion is provided by the observations. One then has to try and work out how it might be so.

  57. and they are having meetings and panel discussions and committees on how to make their “message” more believable……………

  58. Excuse my ignorance but at depths of 3000ft plus the pressure is such that a 0.03 oC supposed rise in temperature will expand the water by how much?
    As I understand it, water heated at great pressure reacts differently to water heated at atmospheric pressures.
    Just how much would one square meter of water at 15000 pounds per square inch pressure expand if it were warmed by just 0.03 oC? Maybe I am missing something here but just how could a slight atmospheric warming of around 0.5 oC over the last hundred years possibly warm the deep ocean? We know how long the deep ocean takes to recycle its water content and I didnt think it was such a short time.

    “The warming heats the ocean, causing it to expand, and melts continental ice, adding water to the ocean. The expansion and added water both cause the sea to encroach on the land.”

    Are the oceans warming at all depths equally? I wonder if the authors actually realise the oceans are in fact cooling not warming.

  59. My read on sea level rise is it appears to be flattening over the past decade. An eye-ball measurement from the sea level curve suggests that over the past 5 or 6 yrs its rise has slowed to 2mm/yr. It is ridiculous to use only a linear fit as this carries your 3mm rate forward for a few decades. When the growth is zero over a few years, the linear trend over 30 years would still read some 2.8mm/yr.

  60. simpleseekeraftertruth says:
    September 26, 2010 at 11:16 am
    Sea-level is a local phenomena?

    to a much greater degree than the average global trend due to ocean oscillations, El Nino, La Nina, etc.

  61. There are a couple of scientists that might disagree.
    If any reader thinks they would be offended by hypothermia-induced Tourettes, they should forego this video, whose disclaimer appears below.

    “The following video contains language of a sort that is entirely unbecoming of any self-respecting ichthyologist, or, for that matter, any self-respecting scientist of any field or discipline. Nevertheless, in the interest of presenting an accurate portrayal of the indignities that must often be endured by scientists while in pursuit of their never-ending quest for discovery and exploration, the dialog contained in this video has not been edited in any way from its original (albeit vulgar) content.”

  62. Gordon Ford asked: “Also how many cubic kilometers of sediment are washed into the oceans each year?”

    20 billion tons at 120 #/ft3. If my decimal places are correct, that amounts to 0.03mm average depth.

  63. HockyShtick, hmmm…. infra-red radiation also is emitted by the sun.

    It is that infra-red (heat) that is absorbed by the solar ponds. Typically, those ponds are around 10 feet (3 meters) deep.

    Are you saying that the IR from atmospheric CO2 emissions is different in kind from solar IR? Different in wavelength, or amplitude?

  64. Trenberth’s missing heat is very likely just a miscalibration of the 3000 Argo floats that came online exactly when he noticed that his heat was disappearing. I don’t know where these authors are going with their Southern Ocean temperatures. If you have to look at the ocean bottom to find global warming you are in bad shape. But evidently the idea brought grant money so here we are with another paper that goes nowhere. Expect more of the same with seven billion dollars to spend on climate research and propaganda.

  65. Warming at deeper levels of the ocean could explain how the atmosphere is increasing CO2 with a lower abundance of 14C. There are at least two natural sources of CO2 where a temperature increase could shift the equilibrium between ocean and air. There seems to be an insufficient quantity of bicarbonate in the ocean to explain the CO2 rise, but the conversion of methane to CO2 may be a better explanation.

    Accumulated methane clathrates on the sea floor depend on pressure and temperature to remain stable. These methane/water ices outgas at standard temperature and pressure, and can burn. At the margins of stability, a small change in temperature could cause the release of a large volume of methane over time. Methanothophs are bacteria that consume methane and release CO2. This CO2 would be old, and would be depleted in 14C. Similarly, ancient sediments rich in organic matter are digested by methanogens, releasing methane in the process. These bacteria produce methane more efficiently at higher temperature. As the deeper waters warm, marginal areas become more hospitable to methanogens and their rate of methane production rises. Ancient sediments can similarly be depleted, or at least reduced in 14C. The falling concentration of [14C]O2 in the atmosphere is not the smoking gun of AGW, where it is claimed the only source of 14C-depleted CO2 is burning fossil fuels.

    As warmer waters reach more abundant sources of methane, the production of CO2 could accelerate. An acceleration of CO2 accumulation in the atmosphere has been observed since 1900.

    As Siegenthaler and others observed in ice cores, CO2 changes follow temperature changes by 500 to 1200 years. What was happening roughly in the range of 400 to 1100 years ago? The Medieval Warm Period. Are we then surprised by an increasing temperature of deep ocean waters? Deep ocean currents might explain the time delay. Along with physical chemistry / thermodynamics, we should also consider a biological component in models of temperature change resulting in a delayed CO2 response.

  66. Stephen Wilde wrote: The article said: “The scientists found the strongest deep warming around Antarctica, weakening with distance from its source as it spreads around the globe.”

    So there clearly was southern hemisphere warming generally but it became concentrated around Antarctica which is consistent with the thermohaline transporting it there, carrying it around Antarctica and then distributing it northward.

    So you are saying that warming surface water over the southern hemisphere causes it to expand and flow south where it is cooled and drops to great depth where it is still warmer than the water it displaces?

    Which of these currents accomplishes that?

    http://tinyurl.com/265d4t6

  67. max says:
    September 26, 2010 at 11:17 am
    “Dirk

    both can be right, it has to do with the time scales. On the time scale from 1989-2010 there has been warming, even though in the period from 2005-2008 there was cooling. One step forward and two steps back or something.”

    I had the same idea; i just wanted to provide the link for others.

    anna v says:
    September 26, 2010 at 11:27 am
    “I can comment on the statistics

    0.027 (±0.009) W m−2 applied over the entire surface of the Earth.
    This is according to them a 3 sigma effect. Possibly interesting, but could disappear as noise
    Deep (1000–4000 m) warming south of the Sub-Antarctic Front of the Antarctic Circumpolar Current adds 0.068 (±0.062) W m−2.
    This is barely 1 sigma, definitely noise.
    The abyssal warming produces a 0.053 (±0.017) mm yr−1 increase in global average sea level and the deep warming south of the Sub-Antarctic Front adds another 0.093 (±0.081)
    Adding noise to a weak 3 sigma putative signal , to more than double it, is not only a scientific misstep, it also betrays the authors as working on an agenda.

    I had such a suspicion when i read “The three southernmost basins show a strong statistically significant abyssal warming trend”
    – strong – statistically – significant – immediately made me think of Dr. Mann…
    i think that kills it. It’ll be gone from the newspapers in no time, say…

    6 months from now.

  68. DirkH says:
    “[…]i think that kills it. It’ll be gone from the newspapers in no time, say…

    6 months from now.”

    …and it’s 3 months to Cancun. IOW, this is the time to publish the right kind of paper… The kind that is easily debunked but the debunking will be published *after* Cancun is over…

  69. I aologise for not having read all comments before posting this – as always I am short of time.

    In summary:
    – they have found warming in the Antarctic equivalent to less than 0.1mm/yr sea level rise.
    – avg rate of sea-level rise over the last 21k yrs is 5.7mm/yr (IPCC).
    – they have no mechanism for the Antarctic acquiring the heat. Somehow it must have travelled there from the tropical troposphere (where AGW occurs – IPCC).
    – they don’t rule out volcanoes as the source. Thx Verity Jones, and Ian W for posting link (which I haven’t read yet!)
    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/05/040527235943.htm

    I would add that there is a lot of movement in the S ocean, with what appears to be multiple upwellings of warmer water, and much sinking of cooler water too of course. It is simply not possible for one or a small number of ships taking spot readings to determine overall heat content or trend in same.
    See the warm patches (which I think show upwellings) around the S ocean here:
    http://www.ldeo.columbia.edu/res/pi/CO2/carbondioxide/pages/air_sea_flux_2000.html

    In haste, or I would look for references to S ocean upwellings.

  70. Reply to Roger Sowell says: September 26, 2010 at 1:28 pm

    yes about 45% of incoming solar radiation is IR – there is a chart of the solar spectrum in this post:

    http://hockeyschtick.blogspot.com/2010/08/is-greenhouse-effect-is-based-on-cool.html

    The IR causes skin evaporation only (and skin cooling which uptakes more CO2 as a negative feedback on CO2 levels)

    But the more energetic solar UV and visible can penetrate & heat the oceans & solar ponds

    http://hockeyschtick.blogspot.com/2010/08/why-greenhouse-gases-wont-heat-oceans.html

  71. DCC said:

    “So you are saying that warming surface water over the southern hemisphere causes it to expand and flow south where it is cooled and drops to great depth where it is still warmer than the water it displaces? ”

    No,no,no.

    The paper starts with a discussion of unexpected warmth at lower levels which got there from an unknown mechanism. We are not discussing surface waters at all.

    Solar shortwave penetrates the ocean surface to a couple of hundred metres and they describe a finding whereby it has somehow gone even deeper. It is that deeper warmed water which is implicated in thermohaline circulation movements.

  72. here is something more based on proper science:
    Satellite altimetry and sea surface height analysis have recently revealed a previously unknown feature of the Antarctic Circumpolar Current, the Antarctic Circumpolar Wave. This wave propagates westward against the current but ultimately ends up traveling eastward, due to the massive size of the ACC, at a slower rate than the mean flow. The wave circles the earth every eight to nine years (White and Peterson, 1996). It has a long wavelength (wavenumber=2) resulting in two crests and two troughs at any given time. The crests and troughs are associated with massive patches or pools of warm water and cold water respectively. The areas can be thousands of kilometers long. The warm patches are 2 to 3°C warmer than the mean sea surface temperature (SST) and the cold patches are 2 to 3°C cooler than the mean SST (White and Peterson, 1996). Though it is not yet clear how these waves are triggered or maintained, they directly influence the temperature of the overlying atmosphere. While the Wave’s effects on climate are just beginning to be studied, the phase (warm pool vs. cold pool) correlates well with four to five year rainfall cycles found over areas of southern Australia and New Zealand (White and Cherry, 1998). Some scientists believe that the Antarctic Circumpolar Wave may be more important than El Niño in governing rainfall over these regions.
    http://oceancurrents.rsmas.miami.edu/southern/antarctic-cp.html

  73. anna v says:
    September 26, 2010 at 11:27 am
    I can comment on the statistics

    0.027 (±0.009) W m−2 applied over the entire surface of the Earth.
    – This is according to them a 3 sigma effect. Possibly interesting, but could disappear as noise

    Deep (1000–4000 m) warming south of the Sub-Antarctic Front of the Antarctic Circumpolar Current adds 0.068 (±0.062) W m−2.
    – This is barely 1 sigma, definitely noise.

    The abyssal warming produces a 0.053 (±0.017) mm yr−1 increase in global average sea level and the deep warming south of the Sub-Antarctic Front adds another 0.093 (±0.081)
    – Adding noise to a weak 3 sigma putative signal , to more than double it, is not only a scientific misstep, it also betrays the authors as working on an agenda.

    What sort of peer reviews are these that do not catch so elementary scientific errors ?

    ====
    It hasn’t been published yet, “… will be published in an upcoming edition of the Journal of Climate.”

    Its possible the Study hasn’t been Peer Reviewed but its been revised a couple of times.

  74. DCC,

    Some helpful material from vuk there.

    And even from your link the warm current from the Pacific circles Antarctica before heading north so one would expect an accumulation of energy around Antarctica.

  75. Their panic will probably be unfounded soon as they discover volcanic and mantle heating as a cause for deep ocean temps. Silly buggers.. ;)

  76. Verity Jones says:
    September 26, 2010 at 10:41 am

    John said at 10:07 am
    evanmjones said at 9:23 am
    I have done several ‘back of envelope’ calculations on volcanic heating of water (a while back) and come up with quite small numbers which may actually be worth revisiting in the light of this.

    I’ve always considered the role of volcanoes not to be significant in the amount of heat they generate, but rather in the fact they set up convection columns which distribute the heat much more effectively than normal.

    It’s a bit like the heat from the fan in a fan-assisted oven doesn’t really help the cooking times – but the cooking times improve out of all proportion anyway.

  77. (The morning after a wild drunkered party)

    New discovery: After detecting lipstick marks with the use of small handheld mirror, evidence was found to indicate he could kiss himself on the back of the head, with only the use of alkohol.

    In the same way, CO2 produced by man’s emissions is the most likely explanation for fractional changes to deep ocean temperatures, say the experts. Hmmmm^*(&$.

    Maybe its all one and the same thing: the effect of alkohol?

  78. “The highly accurate deep-ocean temperature observations used in this study come from ship-based instruments that measure conductivity through salinity, temperature and depth” results in “about 0.03°C per decade in the deep Southern Ocean, less elsewhere”.

    1.Ship-based instruments: How accurate were these instruments?
    2. What was the margin of error? The report does not specify this.
    3.How can one write “about 0.03C”?
    4.How can one continue with: “less elswhere”, how much less is “less” and how big is “elswhere”?

    I always suspected that someday someone would ‘discover’ Trenberth’s elusive temperature rise. Now comes a magician and finds 0.03C per decade, that is 0.003C per year but not everywhere, but somewhere, with less elswhere. LOL.

    Its worse than I thought.

  79. The oceans act as a capacitor for storing heat energy with minimal global temperature rises during (natural) global warming times, and releasing that energy during (natural) global cooling periods, thus flattening the sinusoidal temperature curve along the centuries and thankfully saving us from climate extremes. With much smaller oceans, this planet would be hell during warmings and freezing during coolings. As it is, this is a perfectly designed planet, but the alarmists want to redesign it according to their own needs. Stay off please. I like the planet as it is.

  80. I’ve referenced this paper in comments here a number of times, but it has been a while

    http://www.ocean-sci.net/5/203/2009/os-5-203-2009.pdf

    Geothermal heating, diapycnal mixing and the abyssal circulation

    J. Emile-Geay1 and G. Madec2,*

    The essential finding of this work is that geothermal heating at abyssal depths has been seriously underestimated and it likely is most influential at high latitudes in the North Pacific and most pertinent to this paper in the AABW circulation.

    “– In that sense, it is directly analogous to diapycnal mixing, both qualitatively and quantitatively. It has a similar effect on bottom water, eroding extrema of the global T- S diagram and depositing a comparable amount of heat in the abyss. On a global scale, it is in fact equivalent toa diapycnal mixing coefficient of ∼1.2×10−4 m2 s−1 at
    3500 m, i.e. the canonical value of (Munk, 1966).”

    “– A remarkable finding is that the increase in ocean heat transport was nearly constant across experiments, despite the broad range of thermal and circulation changes they encompass. The presence of a geothermal heatflow, whether spatially variable or not, means that the ocean must evacuate an additional 0.03 PW, which it does in all cases by enhancing poleward heat transport in the Southern Hemisphere, by about 10% near 50◦ S.”

    “The case is hereby made that geothermal heating is an important actor of abyssal dynamics. We recommend its inclusion in every model dealing with the long-term ocean circulation, for it substantially alters bottom water mass characteristics and generates a non-negligible circulation in the present-day climate.”

    I haven’t had time to peruse all of the paper referenced in this post, but given the relatively infinitesimal variations of ocean heat they seem to be citing, if they haven’t dealt with the geothermal component in the light of Emile-Geay and Madec’s work, they are probably overstating even the small changes they are suggesting.

  81. I am starting to realize that these ultra-microfocused studies lack an honest scientific integrator to tie them into verifiable theories or they (ultra-microfocused studies) are just not providing actually any real differentiation for the integrator to objectively deal with.

    John

  82. @ Richard111 : September 26, 2010 at 10:13 am

    Good catch Richard. What it does tend to indicate is that there was a decadal upward SW irradiance trend over this same long period and you seem right, it is the SW that has buried this deep. You also seem right that they cannot dance with the logic that this was surface LW from the top 1 mm or the air temperature, everyone in their dance would be steping all over the others!

  83. Davidmhoffer writes:
    “With no physical mechanism to move the heat content from CO2 to the depths of the oceans, all they have reported is some interesting data that has no more to do with warming from GHG than it does with the sinking of the Titanic.”

    Something tells me that Trenberth has a homey-reviewed paper titled “Down Radiation From CO2 At Sea Surface” which explains how massive amounts of CO2 collect just at the sea surface, catch radiation escaping from the water, and hurl it down into the depths of the ocean.

  84. It is a CO2 Bucket Brigade! The little CO2 critters have buckets they use to capture the warmth and pass it off toe others until they pour the warmth out on the ocean floor. Remember that CO2 critters move at almost the speed of light that is why us mortal humans rarely see them. ;)

    “The warmth disperses as it moves away from the source.”

  85. Seeing as we now have some credible science that proves that CO2 is warming the oceans, I believe it’s time for me to roll-out my new Carbon Capture and Storage business. CO2 spa and pool heaters! Not only can you charge companies for the storage of their nasty CO2 but you can also sell your own Carbon Credits that you’ll earn from shutting-off your electric or gas pool heaters! This is a no-brainer. Mabel… get David Suzuki on the line!

  86. Alan Clark of Dirty Oil-berta says:
    September 26, 2010 at 6:14 pm
    Seeing as we now have some credible science that proves that CO2 is warming the oceans, I believe it’s time for me to roll-out my new Carbon Capture and Storage business.

    ===
    Let me guess, We Be Co2 Pooper Scoopers?

  87. I. “Greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, such as carbon dioxide, cause heating of the Earth. Over the past few decades, at least 80 percent of this heat energy has gone into the ocean, warming it in the process.”

    II. “NOAA’s mission is to understand and predict changes in the Earth’s environment, from the depths of the ocean to the surface of the sun, and to conserve and manage our coastal and marine resources. ”

    ===============================

    Hey NOAA, If your mission is to freaking “understand” it, then how can you be so stupid to betray that mission by allowing such utter nonsense in paragraph I above to be published??

    Taxpayer-funded hubris!

    Chris
    Norfolk, VA, USA

  88. In all of this discussion, do keep in mind that a thermal expansion or contraction of the whole ocean mass, causing either a rise or fall in surface level, is dependent upon the whole mass of the sea undergoing temperature change. The rider is that an abundance of measurements made from surface to 700 m depth have little place in the mathematics unless they are matched by a similar sampling density at all depths.

    That is, it’s insufficient to show that there is an expanding hot spot somewhere. It is also required to show that there is no compensating cooling spot somewhere else – measured with equal micrometer precision, to borrow from the engineering quote of R T Barker above.

  89. OK, OK, OK. Now lettuce think about this fer a minute.

    Temperature (heat energy) goes from higher to lower. Never the opposite.

    So if an air temperature (on average) over the whole globe goes up by 1/2 of one degree C, but transmits that energy into seawater and land that are 1000 more heat capable (specific heats compared of air, water, and ground/rock compared in comparable units that is) then the air or water will be able to heatup only 1/1000 as much as the air. (Energy out from the air = energy in to the ground/water)

    Fine. Makes sense. So far.

    Then, if this is “energy in the pipeline” and is so much feared by the CAGW propagandists then how will this energy be expressed?

    At best, then the final ground and water temperature will be 0.5 degree x 1/1000 = 0.0005 degree change in final temperature of the earth for today’s temperature changes.

    Then, since we expect the 2000-2030 timeframe to be even or reducing temperatures from now (based on a known and predictable 60 year climate cycle rising from the 1970 low point), what will the final temperature of the earth be at 2060?

    0.0000 from now.

    And, IF (big “if”) the Modern Warm Point peak is later (at 2060-2070, rather than today’s 2000-2010 peak) we might be a 0.0010 final temperature increase. Gee.

  90. Roger Sowell;
    I was going to go all sarcastic on you but then read the additional discussion about solar ponds and IR and decided to go a different route. You’ll find my sarcasm gene unleashed in my next comment.

    You are correct that IR from the Sun and IR from CO2 behave the same. They BOTH get absorbed in the first few microns of water and then get taken back into the atmosphere via evaporation. CO2 however ONLY radiates in the IR spectrum (at least at normal earth temperatures) while the Sun radiates IR and a broad spectrum of shorter wave lengths. It is the shorter wavelengths that penetrate water deep enough to make your solar ponds work.

  91. Cassandra King says:
    September 26, 2010 at 12:31 pm

    Are the oceans warming at all depths equally? I wonder if the authors actually realise the oceans are in fact cooling not warming.

    Just look at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Thermocline.jpg . Ask yourself, what would happen to this curve if more energy was added to the top 100 m of the oceans (warming ocean). I think you will answer that yourself. What if you remove energy from the top 1 meter of this curve (cooling ocean).

    Now look how NOAA conveniently leaves out the lower layers of the graph with its nearly vertical temperature profile. Doing that you can paint some very misleading views.
    http://oceanservice.noaa.gov/education/yos/resource/JetStream/ocean/layers_ocean.htm

    Now, apply that knowledge to this article.

  92. We quantify abyssal global and deep Southern Ocean temperature trends between the 1990s and 2000s to assess the role of recent warming of these regions in global heat and sea level budgets. We compute warming rates with uncertainties along 28 full-depth, high-quality, hydrographic sections that have been occupied two or more times between 1980 and 2010 .

    Datasets allowing for measurements made as infrequent as two or more times during a thirty year period would be considered inadequate elsewhere but in “Climate Science” it is all too common for this to be termed “ROBUST” . The sad state of affairs in “Climate Science” forces me to wonder among other things whether or not all datasets with two or more measurements over the thirty year period were even included and what other criteria was considered to qualify the data.

  93. Pochas;
    You suggested that the question should not be why are the oceans warming, but why are they so cold in the first place? I have been pondering that question for about an hour now, and I believe I may have discovered the answer, or at least a testable theory.

    I have taken the last 100 years of air temperature data and found a direct correlation with the number of politicians and climatologists pontificating on global warming. There have been frequent accusations from skeptics regarding the spewing of hot air by these two groups in particular, but to my knowledge no studies have been undertaken to attempt to quantify the volume or effect on global air temperatures.

    However, as Ponchas points out, the oceans are very cold at depth, and I could not help but observe that politicians and climatologists are nearly nonexistant in these areas. I believe a simple experiment could be conducted with various quantities of experts from these professions being weighted down and dropped in varying numbers at different points in the ocean to determine if any significant warming occurs. Alas, upon researching the details for my experiment, I learned that there is no known species of politician or climatologist that can breath sea water. I have my doubts as I have seen these subsets of humanity evolve their personal belief systems on a wide variety of issues in a matter of minutes, often in response to known evolutionary drivers such as opinion polls, and I see no reason to conclude that they cannot convert their output from hot air to hot water. I am assured however, that hot water is something politicians in particular frequently get into, but they are none the less incapable of breathing it. Climatologists on the other hand, have little or no reputation for getting into hot water, they are protected from such hazards by having themselves frequently white washed.

    I’m very upset that I cannot find a way to perform my experiment. In particular, I wanted to personaly test the results using multi-purpose specimens, these being specific members of the sample study who claim membership in both groups. It was my expectation that Al Gore, for example, would, would have a larger effect on water temperature than either a climatologist or a politician. Alas, upon investigation it turned out that Al Gore is not a real scientist, nor is he a real politician. (For the purpose of my study, “has beens” don’t count). My understanding is that Al Gore has only been posing as both, and is actually a member of a different profession known as charlatans.

    While I have not been able to come up with a way to conduct my experiment, I still believe my theory is accurate as the absence of politicians and climatologists at these ocean depth correlates exactly with not just temperature, but stability also. Having no prospect of measurements being available now or in the near future, I turned instead to computer modeling. I created 12,642 different models, one of which agreed with my theory exactly, and I have deleted the other 12,641.

    The only flaw in my model is that upon testing Al Gore, no amount of cement seemed sufficient to overcome the bouyancy due to his massive ego which seemed to be, in fact, filled with hot air. A similar effect occured when testing Michael Mann although the model showed that the bouyancy was due to an ego inflated with methane, not simple hot air. This at first confused me as I did not understand the origin of such large quantities of methane. I have now learned where methane comes from, and my supposition is that professor Mann is full of it.

  94. Just finished reading and saved to documents folder of PDF’s from WUWT total of 209 now. Great source of reference material now when I can’t get to a national reference library.

    “Thanks for all of the fish”

  95. This is a classic case of the Alarmists like the NOAA desperately trying to find an excuse for their failed hypothesis.
    THE ATMOSPHERE CANNOT WARM THE OCEANS..PERIOD.
    if it could, then since it’s been over 10,000 years since the height of the last ice age, the oceans should have warmed to the same temp. as the atmosphere by now. It hasn’t.

    Those who want the truth about this subject can do themselves a favour and read THIS from the late great John L Daly. It’ll take 3 minutes.

    I’m so tempted to call the wags at the NOAA liars and frauds, but I’ll hold fire for a while yet.

  96. Correct me if I’m wrong, but the T of deep water is around 1-2DegC.
    Below 4 DegC, water expands as it cools, ergo, it shrinks as it warms.
    So if the deep water HAS WARMED zero point something DegC, it cannot possibly add to sea level rise. If anything, it should detract from sea level rise.

    p.s. Anyone wishing to learn about why the atmosphere CANNOT warm the oceans, READ HERE. It’ll take 3 minutes.
    p.p.s. mods. Rather than delete my last comment, snipping a couple of words might have been in order. But it’s your blog.

  97. I see this article is from the Journal of Climate.
    So I presume that it is PEER reviewed.

    Remind me, someone please,
    What do the PEERS do when they do PEER review?
    Check the spellllling perhaps or wot?

    (Obviously this is not a peered reviewed blog).

  98. Ray says: September 26, 2010 at 8:46 am
    Since when warm water is denser than cold water?

    I’m afraid its true, I just looked it up. Water that is between the temperature of 3.98 °C and 0 °C exhibits this behaviour of becoming denser as it warms up. (Note that the opposite is true for temperatures outside of this range.)

    I wonder how much of the worlds oceans fall within these temperature ranges. When these cold waters warm up this would actually DECREASE sea levels.

  99. There is surely no mystery as to how surface heat is getting to the lower layers. Heat will flow from warm to cool and ocean currents, the ‘conveyor’ system, will cause mixing over time. the rest of the surface heat will radiate away when atmospheric temperatures have fallen below that of the sea’s surface, ie. at night.
    Anyway Trenberth’s heat is the heat in the mid troposphere from the GHG’s. This heat is not there because the theory of GHG’s is wrong.

  100. Ray says:
    September 26, 2010 at 8:46 am
    Since when warm water is denser than cold water? Looks like they never did the hot/cold colored water experiment… only NOAA can make changes to the physics of things and understand why things work in reverse in their world!!!
    ————————–
    Errr no. It means that the water has absorbed heat so it is LESS cold. It does NOT mean that it is warm water.

    It’s a good idea to think carefully before accusing other people of being stupid.

  101. Chris H says:
    September 26, 2010 at 8:53 am
    Have they put the cart before the horse? They attribute the deep ocean warming to rising atmospheric CO2. Is it not just as likely that something else caused the deep ocean warming and the CO2 rise simply represents the deep ocean de-gassing?
    ——————
    On the balance of evidence it’s not equally likely. Conceptually, whether the oceans are absorbing or releasing net CO2 depends on the partition coefficient for CO2 between air and sea water (which is temperature dependant) and the actual concentrations of CO2 in both air and sea water.

    I am going to make a wild guess and suggest that all of these quantities have been measured as well as related parameters such as sea water pH trends..

  102. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geoid

    Stephen Wilde says:
    September 26, 2010 at 2:23 pm
    DCC said:

    “So you are saying that warming surface water over the southern hemisphere causes it to expand and flow south where it is cooled and drops to great depth where it is still warmer than the water it displaces? ”

    No,no,no.

    The paper starts with a discussion of unexpected warmth at lower levels which got there from an unknown mechanism. We are not discussing surface waters at all.

    Solar shortwave penetrates the ocean surface to a couple of hundred metres and they describe a finding whereby it has somehow gone even deeper. It is that deeper warmed water which is implicated in thermohaline circulation movements.”

    Must be a really unknown method of heat transportation, as it by passed the argo measured dea depths, and then reappeared in the deeper ocean.

  103. “Must be a really unknown method of heat transportation, as it by passed the argo measured dea depths, and then reappeared in the deeper ocean.”

    Clearly, but if they say it’s there then either we ignore them or start looking into it.

    I’m not sure that relying on the rather limited Argo results in order to announce that energy transfer into deep waters is impossible constitutes open minded science.

    Anyway conduction, upward and downward convection and horizontal drift all conspire to shift energy around. We may be talking large amounts from the point of view of air but it’s miniscule stuff in terms of oceanic heat carrying capability.

  104. Trenberth is looking for about 0.8 watts/m2 of the projected increase in energy held in the Earth system that is not going into heating the surface.

    Either this energy is not being held in the Earth system (and is just escaping to space and hence climate theory is not correct) or it is hiding and the most likely place for that would be the deep oceans (or continental ice sheets warming up and melting that we have not observed).

    This paper measured/extrapolated the potential heat content going into the nearly the entire global ocean below 2000 metres [It doesn’t appear they measured the Arctic bottom water but the north Atlantic does not appear to have warmed so it is likely no extra heat is going into the Arctic bottom water].

    So, Table 1 in the paper shows 0.068 watts/m2 is going into the oceans below 2000 metres. Far less than the 0.8 watts/m2 Trenberth is looking for.

    http://www.pmel.noaa.gov/people/gjohnson/Recent_AABW_Warming_v3.pdf

    We also know there is no accumulation in the last 7 years in the 0-700 metre ocean – von Schuckmann 2009 found 0.77 Watts/m2 going into the 0-2000 metre ocean (although no one seems to believe these estimates since almost all of the warming they measured was in the 0-300 metre area which is contradicted by the Argo floats).

    Trenberth Missing Heat – 0.8 Watts/m2

    Going into 0-700 Metre ocean – 0.0 W/m2

    Going into 0-2000 Metre ocean – ? (but could be as high as 0.77 W/m2 but this contradicts Argo)

    Going into the 2000+ Metre Ocean – 0.068 W/m2

    Going into the 2000+ Metre Ocean from the Arctic – ? (but looks to be very low)

  105. evanmjones says:
    September 26, 2010 at 9:23 am
    “Could the increase in underwater volcanic activity around Antarctica have any measurable effect?”

    evanmjones, yes, the possibility you raise needs to be scientifically investigated.

    There is much more underwater volcanic activity than is commonly understood and its energy dynamics & contribution to the Earth’s ocean heat content and, in turn, atmosphere heat content has not been fully explored.

    There are some scientific papers on the subject, but more needs to be done.

  106. Just so we have some point of sanity checking of all of this; my Thermal Physics Text Book carries a Table detailing the “International Practical Temperature Scale of 1968. ”

    That table lists the values of the various Standard and Primary fixed point Temperatures for thermometry standardization.
    The only listed Standard temperature is the Triple point of H2O; which it states specifically should have the isotopic composition of ocean water and that Temperature is given as 273.16K or 0.01 deg C and it is exact by definition.

    Of the Primary fixed Points the most precisely known one is the boiling point of H2O which is 373.15 Kelvins wiht an uncertainty of 0.005 K.

    No other primary reference point is less uncertain than 0.01 Kelvins.

    So unless there is a newer restatement of those standards; along with a rectification of any historical difficulties if definitions have changed; I would tend to take these very low Temperature uncertainties wiht a grain of salt; that being of course a grain of salt that is typical of ocean water.

    But I have a basic distrust of the statements being made about these results. I should state, that I’m willing to accept that these researchers have done their homework and that they actually have measured what they say they have measured. Subject to peer reviews and replication of this work; I’m prepared to accept their data with that Temperature uncertainty qualification.

    But they have their work cut out for them trying to convince me that they know the cause.

    Incoming solar energy in a spectrum where 98% of the total energy lies between 250 nm and 4.0 microns wavelength, falls on the oceans and much of it penetrates deeply into the ocean to the sort of depths they are talking about well at least out to the 700-800 nm range does; but longer wavelengths are increasingly absorbed in shallower layers.

    So this is energy that is depoosited down where these researchers say they have found the warming.

    LWIR thermal emission from the atmosphere; on the other hand have a spectrum where about 98% of the energy lies between 5.0 microns and 80 .0 microns, and virtually all of that radiation is completely absorbed in the top 50 microns of the ocean surface water (down to 99% absorption or 5 times the exponential decay length.)

    That energy deposited in such a thin surface layer must of necessity be a primary source of the energy needed to cause prompt evaporation of water from the surface; which also results in removal of vast amounts of latent heat of evaporation from the ocean surface.

    So you have some conduction of surface heat down towards the deeper cooler layers; but then all that solar energy that is deposited in the deeper layers; must warm those layers, which then become bouyant compared to their immediate surroundings; so there is a natural convective transport of solar heated waters from the depth towards the surface.

    My bet says that convection always trumps conduction; so I consider it far more plausible that solar energy depostied deeper, is convecting towards the surface; rather than a much smaller LWIR return radiation from the atmosphere iws driving energy to deeper water.

    Note that the solar spectrum energy arrives nice and shiny new pristine ordered energy; is deposited deeply in the oceans; and apart from what might be absorbed in biological processes, is essentially 100% converted into low class dirty disordered heat; so it is a very efficient conversion to heat.

    On the other hand; LWIR emission from the atmosphere is at least second generation energy; either starting out as incoming solar spectrum energy that was captured and thermalized by the atmospheric gases such as O2, O3, and H2O along with third generation LWIR energy that was captured by green house gases sucha s H2O, CO2, O3 and other trace (CH4) GHGs.

    Those conversion processes come with an energy division. Solar absorbed by the atmospehre becomes LWIR after thermalization, and half of it escapes to space, and only half of it strikes the surface (ocen mostly). The earth surface; ocean and land is emitting second generation radiant energy by thermal emission from the surface; and it to after capture and thermalization by the GHG/atmosphere also results in a 50/50 split; with half escaping, and half returning to the surface.

    And thena s I pointed out a good fraction of that LWIR gets siphoned back off as latent heat.

    So I don’t buy for a minute that this deep (3,300 feet) heating is attributable to LWIR emissions from the atmosphere.

    It might be present; that is NOT my issue; but proving that it is from greeh house gas heating is s pretty tall order. Once heat is present in the oceans; it doesn’t have any isotpoic signature that identifies its origin.

  107. Wow.. sea level rise is attributed to temperature, salinity, aquaifer depletion, and land erosion. How about the corpses of all the marine plants/animals?

  108. Gary Mount says:
    September 27, 2010 at 12:26 am

    Ray says: September 26, 2010 at 8:46 am
    Since when warm water is denser than cold water?

    I’m afraid its true, I just looked it up. Water that is between the temperature of 3.98 °C and 0 °C exhibits this behaviour of becoming denser as it warms up. (Note that the opposite is true for temperatures outside of this range.)

    Pure H2O, not sea water. It’s a side effect of the geometry of the H2O molecule caused by it’s having charged local “poles”. The H2O molecules shift their inter-molecular orientation as molecular energy changes due to their peculiar geometry . Sea water has dissolved ions which give it a rather normal temperature-density curve without the hump that pure H2O does, the ions get between the H2O molecules which minimizes the need for the H2O molecules to assume special orientations to accommodate each other.

    In sea water the mechanism of variable density would be salinity changes associated with freezing. When sea water freezes it loses most of it’s salt into the surrounding water, which becomes more saline and thus denser. This is the near freezing water (at maybe -2C, dissolving salt in your water in addition to changing the temperature-density curve also changes the freezing point) which is denser than surrounding water because of the increased local salinity.

    What does this mean in terms of warm water sinking to the bathos due to global warming? Beats me, that’s oceanic convection currents, I only do the chemistry and associated physics. I note that water can remain liquid at much lower temperatures at higher pressure (the deeper under the ocean one goes) and freezing can be written off as a consideration below the surface. The difference in density would be mostly caused by salinity differences not temperature although salinity would be associated with temperature.

  109. This study brings up a related issue that I have had some comments on; and came up with Dr Judith Curry’s guest posts here. My comments also got some attention from Spehen Wilde; who explained to us his “Wilde’s Law .” from his new theory of Climate. and He and Judith talked a lot about his “speed” of the hydrological cycle.

    As it turns out Stephen and I are really talking about two different subjects; well I know I was (am); and mine had nothing to do with the Climatologicaql cycle or at least any “speed” of it. Let me elaborate; stick in the sand style.

    Renewable energy comes to earth from the sun; much like Televisions and computers come to the western world in container ships from communist Red China.

    The renewable energy comes to us as high quality shiny new energetic photons; each one carries a “Country of Origin” label, that says Made in Sol . And it carries a UPC bar code tag that tells us it has an energy of Wavelength of 619.90 nm and an energy of 2.0000 electron Volts; or some other numbers mostly in the 250 to 4000 nm wavelength range.

    Like all commercial trade channels; when these photon shipments arrive at the docks; in this case the earth’s non gaseous surface; they first of all have to pass incoming inspection in the shipping and receiving department run by Al.

    This guy Al Bedo knowsd a good photo9n when he sees one, and nothing gets through unless he inspects it. So he rejects a lot of photons; maybe 305 of the total shipments; so he stamps his “Rejected by Al Bedo.” inspection tag and puts it in the return to sender out basket. So its still has its Made in Sol Label, and its bar code tag; so it hasn’t changed; it justn’t was accepted. In fact Al Bedo has a policy to never change anything he rejects.

    The renewable energy products that he accepts get put into the system, and almost immediately get converted into some other product; like wind and waves, heat, and some of them get ingested by things like plants or solar cells that use those high quality energy photons to convert them to quite high efficiency to something useful like electricity or flowers and fruit.

    Now as always happens in any system of commerce, there are Pirates, and Highjackers who prey on photon shipments before they get the Al Bedo and his inspection crew.

    Things like O2, O3, and H2O in the atmosphere and to a lesser extent CO2, like to raid the shipmentws and grab some of the merchandise through the Molecular absorption process. Like all theives, these Pirates don’t really have a use for their booty; so they quite soon decide to fence the stuff and get rid of it to other passers by; so it gets shoved around from one fence to another in the form of molecular collisions and thermal vibrations and the like; which of course causes some damage and lowers the quality of the product; turning it into waste heat.

    Now I’m only interested in the prime produce that Al Bedo has approved and sent off to absorption in the variosu factories of the earth; including the deep oceans.

    Now the heating of the oceans leads as described by Wentz et al to evaporation of H2O into the atmosphere to raise the atmospheric water content, which ultimately leads to an increase in precipitable clouds, and more precipitation. In the process the clouds produce darkness, and other forms of piracy and the net effect is that more energy gets rejected by Al Bedo, and the highjackers snatch even more good photons so they never reach the surface and the waiting factories.
    As a consequence more clouds; no matter where they are or what their nature; they ultimately reduce the total number of high quality renewable energy photons that reach the surface of the earth where living things and weather reside.

    Clouds are a 100% always losing mechanism of pristine Made in Sol photons that reduce the total energy available to do everything on earth. There is no way that clouds can increase the total number of Made in Sol photons that reach the earth.

    SO CLOUDS ALWAYS REDUCE THE ENERGY INPUT.

    Now unless Leif Svalgaard knows something the rest of us don’t know about the Sol Photon Manufacturing Company; any reduction of the total number of its products that persists over climate time scales (30 years or whatever) due to ANY increase in the total global cloud covberage over such times, must result in a lowering of the total renewable energy received by the earth; and ultimately must lead to the establishment of a lower equilibrium Temperature (by how much I don’t know but likely by about 0.7% for a 1% loss of energy.”

    Now THAT is ALL that I have been talkign about with regard to the import of the paper by Wentz et al; “How Much more Rain will Global Warming Bring ?”. The only issue I have been addressing in saying that “Clouds Always Cool” is the sole issue of the total nukmber of Made in Sol photons that directly reach the earth surface.

    Now as to what happens to all the pirated photons that are cut up into variosu black market lower value products like LWIR photons and other heat products; those are something different and it is that which is involved in Stephen Wilde’s thoughts about speed of the hydological cycle; and is raised in issues like whether high clouds heat of cool, and whether the higher the cloud is, the more it warms the surface of the earth.

    Well we learn that it takes 200,000 years for a speed of light neutrino to finally escape from the center of the sun. So how long does it take for a GHG intercepted Made in Sol photon or an earth emitted thermal radiation photon to finally escape. It is during that delay time that Sol keeps shipping prisitne photons to earth that results in an increase in Temperature.

    But at night when the high clouds are supposedly delaying the cool down of the surface via the escape of LWIR; there isn’t any Sol shipments coming in, since Sol doesn’t ship to night time locations.

    So even if the clouds result in a slowdown of the cooling they still result in a net loss of soalr energy reaching the surface so they still result in cooling; ALWAYS.

    So it’s two difefrent problems.

    Teh ONLYT one I have been addressing is what happens to the original Made in Sol Photons that incoming inspector Al Bedo allows to proceed to earth’s energy consuming factories and processes; and Clouds ALWAYS reduce thsoe shipments.

    Now I don’t ignore those other black market channels in pirated merchandise; and the processes of evaporation and latent heat transport. Dr Chris de Freitas raised those same other near surface thermal processes and energy transfers here at WUWT; that area is his specailty at the University of Auckland.

    So I haven’t ignored those processes or stephen Wilde’s thoughts about his Wilde’s Law; in fact from time to time I have talked about the evaporation cycle also.

    But it is important to keep clear in the mind that my analysis regarding the observations of Wentz et al in their most important SCIENCE paper; and extension of that to say that more clouds always cool; relates ONLY to the computation of how may net “Made in Sol” photons reach the earth surface; and ALL clouds no matter where they are, always reduce that number.

  110. “”” max says:
    September 27, 2010 at 11:40 am

    Gary Mount says:
    September 27, 2010 at 12:26 am

    Ray says: September 26, 2010 at 8:46 am
    Since when warm water is denser than cold water?

    I’m afraid its true, I just looked it up. Water that is between the temperature of 3.98 °C and 0 °C exhibits this behaviour of becoming denser as it warms up. (Note that the opposite is true for temperatures outside of this range.)

    Pure H2O, not sea water. It’s a side effect of the geometry of the H2O molecule caused by it’s having charged local “poles”. The H2O molecules shift their inter-molecular orientation as molecular energy changes due to their peculiar geometry . Sea water has dissolved ions which give it a rather normal temperature-density curve without the hump that pure H2O does, the ions get between the H2O molecules which minimizes the need for the H2O molecules to assume special orientations to accommodate each other. “””

    Both of you guys have been asleep at the switch. It is very well known that the phenomenon oaf a maximum water density at 3.98 Deg C applies only to pure fresh water; it is also equally well known that ocean water with a salinity of more than 2.47% has NO maximum density before it freezes; and normal sea water is about 3.5% salinity so it always sinks when it gets colder.

    So the Temperature turnover of fresh water lakes is a lake phenomenon only; and does not occur in the oceans.

  111. “”” David L. Hagen says:
    September 27, 2010 at 3:04 pm
    George E. Smith

    Triple points of water and gallium have ITS90 temperature uncertainties of 0.1 mK and 0.25 mK. “””

    Well I cited what is listed as the International practical Temperature Scale of 1968; which does not even list the triple point of Gallium. It goes from Triple point of Hydrogen at 13.81 Kelvin to melting point of Gold at 1337.58 Kelvins. It gives an uncertainty of 10mK for Hydrogen and 200 mK for Gold with eight other things in between.

    It also states that Triple point of water is 273.16 K exactly by definition; so I don’t know how exact can be uncertain by 0.1 mK.

    I can believe we might not be able to measure it to better than 0.1 mK; but sicne 1968 unless recently changed it has been exact; as is the value of c and a couple of other Physical constant that taken together yield c.

    But yes I’m not surprised to see that measurment technology has improved.

    As I recall, in 1968 the value given for TSI due to Thekaikara et al was 1353 W/m^2; which is the value I grew up with.

    Now I am quite prepared to accept those kinds of numbers (0.1mK) as laboratory capabilities; but I’d be very surprised that you can stick any thermometer down 1300 feet in the ocean and measure the Temeprature of anything down there to 0.1 mK.

    But if YOU know that is possible or standard practice or whatever, I’d be really interested to learn that.

  112. George E. Smith says:

    Both of you guys have been asleep at the switch. It is very well known that the phenomenon oaf a maximum water density at 3.98 Deg C applies only to pure fresh water; it is also equally well known that ocean water with a salinity of more than 2.47% has NO maximum density before it freezes; and normal sea water is about 3.5% salinity so it always sinks when it gets colder.

    Unfortunately not all sea water, especially arctic and antarctic sea water is normal sea water (in terms of salinity). IIRC the salinity of antarctic sea water can drop as low as 2.0%, which does exhibit a temperature-density curve hump. I have no idea if it is true in the Antarctic, but in the Arctic there often forms a layer of colder water on the surface which doesn’t sink below the warmer water because the warmer water is more dense due to a higher salinity.

  113. This has probably been previously noted above, but the conclusion for the sub Antarctic has this confidence level, 0.093 (±0.081). Gives me a lot of confidence..not.

  114. “”” max says:
    September 27, 2010 at 9:40 pm
    George E. Smith says:

    Both of you guys have been asleep at the switch. It is very well known that the phenomenon of a maximum water density at 3.98 Deg C applies only to pure fresh water; it is also equally well known that ocean water with a salinity of more than 2.47% has NO maximum density before it freezes; and normal sea water is about 3.5% salinity so it always sinks when it gets colder.

    Unfortunately not all sea water, especially arctic and antarctic sea water is normal sea water (in terms of salinity). IIRC the salinity of antarctic sea water can drop as low as 2.0%, which does exhibit a temperature-density curve hump. I have no idea if it is true in the Antarctic, but in the Arctic there often forms a layer of colder water on the surface which doesn’t sink below the warmer water because the warmer water is more dense due to a higher salinity. “””

    Max, I don’t know that (wasn’t aware of it); but I’m perfectly happy to take your say so; in which case I would certainly agree with your statement that the less saline surface water may not sink.

    I have argued that when the sea ice freeze gets going, the expulsion of salts from the ice must make the surrounding waters even more salty, and even further lower the freezing point; so it is no wonder that when the refreeze gets going that it really gets going in a hurry since the temperature has to drop a lot lower (in the water) to freeze the saltier water.

    And of course, when the melt starts, all that fresh water dumped at the interface would lower the local salinity to create the effect you just described.

    So thank you for your input; those numbers are useful to remember.

  115. Well according to a certain law of thermodynamics, some work has to be done…but then entropy, entropy, entropy you can’t just hide that heat away until some warmist needs to discover it…

  116. I’m thinking of stealing the water density argument as an example of how science should work and the problem of theorizing with too little information.

    Colder sea water should sink to the bottom of the sea because

    1) the density of liquids increases as temperature decreases

    but wait a minute

    2) Some liquids like ammonia and water have temperature ranges where density decreases with temperature rather than increasing

    but wait a minute

    3) That range doesn’t exist for seawater instead of pure water

    but wait a minute

    Peeling away the layers of an onion to get to the truth, each time applying more obscure information, never sure there isn’t another “but wait a minute” lurking to ruin the theory that cold seawater sinks or doesn’t sink.

  117. “Sea level has been rising at around 3 mm (1/8 of a inch) per year on average since 1993, ”

    Just been looking at sea level rise around NZ.

    Bell 2000 – 1.3 mm per year
    Hannah 2004 – 1.6 mm per year
    IPCC AR4 Regional – 1.7 mm per year

    Looks like there’s a surge coming.

  118. Is there any possibility that this warming of the deep oceans could be do to increased volcanic activity in the deep ocean? My impression was that the deep oceans only cycle through to the surface, and vice-versa, over a couple of centuries, and wouldn’t warm by convection from above. Heat rises, after all. So that leaves warming from beneath the oceans as a possible source of heat. Could this explain this data (and possibly some significant amount of warming over the last century)?

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