On ocean heat content, Pinatubo, Hansen, Bulldogs, cherrypicking and all that

Self proclaimed “Hansen’s Bulldog” (now oddly deleted but available at the Wayback machine via this link), the blogger known as “Tamino” loves to bloviate his views about imagined cherrypicking whenever he thinks we aren’t showing everything we are supposed to, such as sea level trend lines shown clearly three times. But, when NASA’s Dr. James Hansen leaves out 25 years worth of data, such things apparently escape his notice. Fortunately for us, Bob Tisdale notices such things and then analyses them. See his note about Figure 13 below in the body of the post. Tisdale also confirms what I suspected, that Hansen’s claim of:

A recent decrease in ocean heat uptake was caused by a delayed rebound effect from Mount Pinatubo aerosols…

Is total bollocks.

On the left, Ocean heat content as Hansen presents it in his recent (non peer reviewed) paper, starting in 1980, or the right, the OHC full dataset, starting in 1955, plotted by Bob Tisdale.

Notes On Hansen et al (2011) – Earth’s Energy Imbalance and Implications

Guest post by Bob Tisdale

UPDATE (April 23, 2011): I’ve added an addition discussion of the delayed rebound effect at the end of the post.

OVERVIEW

Judith Curry’s post Earth’s Energy Imbalance is an introduction to the Hansen et al (2011) paper “Earth’s Energy Imbalance and Implications”. Anthony Watts also prepared a post that discussed the sea level rise suggested by Hansen et al (2011). Refer to the Watts Up With That? post NASA’s Hansen thinks sea level rise will be accelerating – I think not, offering a new paper and updated story on Hansen to show why.

The following are comments about the presentation of NODC Ocean Heat Content (Levitus et al 2009) data in Hansen et al (2011). The signal that causes the decadal variations in the Global Ocean Heat “Uptake” data appears to originate in the Tropical Pacific. The post also discusses their proposed “delayed rebound effect” in Ocean Heat Uptake, their failure to include Sea Level Pressure as a variable that impacts Ocean Heat Content, and their use of outdated Total Solar Irradiance data as a forcing.

INTRODUCTION

Hansen et al used NODC Ocean Content data as one of their primary data sources to illustrate Earth’s energy imbalance. The NODC OHC dataset is based on the Levitus et al (2009) paper “Global ocean heat content (1955-2008) in light of recent instrumentation problems”, Geophysical Research Letters. Refer to Manuscript. It was revised in 2010 as noted in the October 18, 2010 post Update And Changes To NODC Ocean Heat Content Data. As described in the NODC’s explanation of ocean heat content (OHC) data changes, the changes result from “data additions and data quality control,” from a switch in base climatology, and from revised Expendable Bathythermograph (XBT) bias calculations.

In their Figure 13, Hansen et al present what they called Ocean Heat Uptake. Their Figure 13 is Figure 1 in this post. We’ll concentrate on the green curve in the right-hand cell, the one identified as the “Updates of Levitus et al (2009)” dataset.

Figure 1

I’ve reproduced the Ocean Heat Uptake curve in Figure 2, using the NODC OHC data. The KNMI Climate Explorer is the source of the data, so it’s presented in Gigajoules per square meter (GJ/m^2). The curves are the same in Figures 1 and 2, but the units are different. Hansen et al also appear to use half years (1980.5, 1981.5, etc.) in their graph. Basically, what Hansen et al are illustrating with their Ocean Heat Uptake data are 6-year running trends of the Global Ocean Heat Content data. To start the data, the linear trend of the global ocean heat content for the period of 1978 to 1983 is determined and its value plotted at 1980. The 1981 data point would include the linear trend of the OHC data for 1979 to 1984, and so on, until the last point in 2007, which includes the linear trend for the period of 2005 to 2010. The graph shows that global OHC, based on 6-year trends, was dropping from 1980 to 1982/83. It rose from 1982/83 to 1990, increasing fastest in 1988. There was very little rise in Ocean Heat Content for the 6-year period centered on 1990. Then from 1990 to 2005 OHC rose at varying rates, and basically stopped rising for the 6-year period centered on 2005.

Figure 2

Hansen et al selected 1980 as a start year for their Ocean Heat Uptake graph, but the NODC OHC dataset begins in 1955. If we look at the Ocean Heat Uptake data using the full term of the data, Figure 3, we can see that 1980 was well chosen. The six-year period centered on 1980 had greatest drop in OHC since the period centered on 1965. Choosing 1980 for the start year (Figures 1 and 2) makes the increasing changes through the early 2000s seem significant. But with the entire dataset presented, the early period of positive trends from the late 1970s to the late 1980s suppresses the appearance of the recent wiggles. Highlighting “zero” also changes the perspective.

Figure 3

For those interested, Figure 4 is a comparison of annual NODC Global Ocean Heat Content data versus the Ocean Heat Uptake data, from 1955 to 2010. The OHC data has been scaled by a factor of 0.1 to help visual comparisons. Keep in mind the Ocean Heat Uptake (running 6-year trend) data is “centered” on the 3rdof 6 years, so it skews the dataset slightly.

Figure 4

ENSO DRIVES TROPICAL PACIFIC OCEAN HEAT CONTENT

Back in 2009, my first post on the NODC Ocean Heat Content data after it was included in the KNMI Climate Explorer was a discussion of the impacts of the El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) on Ocean Heat Content. Refer to the post ENSO Dominates NODC Ocean Heat Content (0-700 Meters) Data. And for those who are not familiar with ENSO, refer to the post An Introduction To ENSO, AMO, and PDO – Part 1.

Figure 5 compares Tropical Pacific (24S-24N, 120E-90W) Ocean Heat Content to scaled NINO3.4 Sea Surface Temperature (SST) anomalies. The NINO3.4 SST anomalies are a commonly used proxy for the frequency and magnitude of El Niño and La Niña events. This comparison illustrates the impact of ENSO on Tropical Pacific Ocean Heat Content.

Figure 5

El Niño events discharge heat from the tropical Pacific, and the tropical Pacific OHC drops in response. In most instances, La Niña events recharge only part of heat released during the El Niño, and the tropical Pacific OHC rebounds but not fully. The La Niña events accomplish this through the strengthening of the Pacific trade winds, which reduces cloud cover over the tropical Pacific, which in turn increases Downward Shortwave Radiations (visible light), which warms the Tropical Pacific. And some of that water that was warmed by the sun collects in the West Pacific Warm Pool until the next El Niño. Then there are the significant La Niña events that can cause the tropical Pacific to gain more heat than was released by El Niño before it. Refer again to Figure 5. The initial portion of the 1973/74/75/76 La Niña not only recharged the heat released during the major 1972/73 El Niño, it also caused an upward shift in the amount of warm waters available for upcoming El Niño events. Then Tropical Pacific Ocean Heat Content decreased from 1980 to 1995, varying in response to the individual El Niño and La Niña events. The 1995/96 La Niña had a significant effect on the tropical Pacific OHC. Note the substantial rise in OHC at that time. The explanation can be found in McPhaden (1999) “Genesis and Evolution of the 1997-98 El Niño.McPhaden writes, “For at least a year before the onset of the 1997–98 El Niño, there was a buildup of heat content in the western equatorial Pacific due to stronger than normal trade winds associated with a weak La Niña in 1995–96.” That weak La Niña caused another upward shift in Tropical Pacific OHC, which served as the fuel for the 1997/98 El Niño. The 1998/99/00/01 La Niña then recharged the Ocean Heat Content, and tropical Pacific OHC has been fluctuating at its new elevated level since then.

THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN TROPICAL PACIFIC AND GLOBAL OCEAN HEAT UPTAKE

If we compare Global Ocean Heat Uptake to Tropical Pacific Ocean Heat Uptake, Figure 6, we can see that the Tropical Pacific Ocean Heat Uptake is a major component of Global Ocean Heat Uptake. The two dataset correlate quite well. (For those interested, the correlation coefficient is approximately 0.81.)

Figure 6

If we present the OHC data in monthly format and use 73-month trends instead of 6-year trends, Figure 7, it appears the variations in Global Ocean Heat Uptake are actually responses to Tropical Pacific Ocean Heat Uptake. And since ENSO is the driver of Tropical Pacific Ocean Heat Content , would it then seem logical that variations in Global Ocean Heat Uptake are responses to ENSO? Again, refer to the post ENSO Dominates NODC Ocean Heat Content (0-700 Meters) Data. Since ENSO has a substantial footprint in most climate variables, I’m surprised Hansen et al (2011) didn’t look for the relationship between Tropical Pacific and Global Ocean Heat Uptake, or if they did, why they didn’t note the relationship.

Figure 7

A DELAYED REBOUND EFFECT FROM MOUNT PINATUBO?

Hansen et al (2011) write in the abstract, “A recent decrease in ocean heat uptake was caused by a delayed rebound effect from Mount Pinatubo aerosols and a deep prolonged solar minimum.”

First, it’s difficult to find the impact of Mount Pinatubo on the Ocean Heat Content data for many of the ocean basins. Refer once again to the post ENSO Dominates NODC Ocean Heat Content (0-700 Meters) Data. I included GISS Aerosol Optical Thickness Data (a proxy for the timing and magnitude of explosive volcanic eruptions) in many of the graphs. Only two of the ocean basins, the South Atlantic and South Indian Oceans , show clear signs of the effects from Mount Pinatubo in 1991, but they rebounded quickly, as one would expect. Refer to Figures 9 and 11 in that post. Since the Ocean Heat Content data for the basins show few signs of being impacted by Mount Pinatubo, the claim of a delayed rebound is surprising.

Second, as shown in the recent post ARGO-Era NODC Ocean Heat Content Data (0-700 Meters) Through December 2010, the recent flattening of Global OHC data is caused primarily by the significant drops in the OHC of the North Atlantic and South Pacific, Figure 8. But these are countered by the significant rises in the Indian and South Atlantic Oceans. Are Hansen et al suggesting that the “delayed rebound effect” is only impacting the North Atlantic and South Pacific basins? If Hansen et al are proposing a mechanism for the “delayed rebound effect”, I did not find it. I would have to believe it would be Meridional Overturning Circulation (MOC), and would be based on the assumptions that the cooler waters created by the Mount Pinatubo eruption would be circulated to depths below the 700 meter reach of the NODC OHC dataset and then reemerge 20-plus years later. If so, then the MOC circulation time would have be the similar in the North Atlantic and South Pacific, but not the other ocean basins. And if they are proposing MOC now in their Energy Balance Models, they should also consider that warm and cool waters distributed by ENSO would also be subducted to depths below 700 meters and then reemerge “x” decades later, with more warm water than cool being redistributed during epochs when El Niño events dominate, and vice versa when La Niña events dominate.

Figure 8

The recently negative trends in the North Atlantic and South Pacific OHC data can also be seen in the Ocean Heat Uptake data for the individual ocean basins. That is, for those ocean basins, the Ocean Heat Uptake data have dropped into negative values recently. The North Atlantic is illustrated in Figure 9. Note how the North Atlantic shows escalating trends from 1980 to 2005 but they drop very quickly to negative trends in recent years. The South Pacific is shown in Figure 13. Note how its Ocean Heat Uptake data cycles back and forth from positive to negative, indicating that a negative trend is not unusual for the South Pacific. I’ve also included the global Ocean Heat Uptake data in the graphs of the individual ocean basins as a reference.

Figure 9

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Figure 10

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Figure 11

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Figure 12

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Figure 13

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SEA LEVEL PRESSURE

I find no mention of Sea Level Pressure in Hansen et al (2011), yet changes in Sea Level Pressure can cause significant changes in Ocean Heat Content. Refer to the posts North Atlantic Ocean Heat Content (0-700 Meters) Is Governed By Natural Variables and North Pacific Ocean Heat Content Shift In The Late 1980s.

SOLAR RADIATION FORCING

Figure 14 shows the Solar Forcing data and impacts presented by Hansen et al (2011). The Total Solar Irradiance (TSI) data in the left-hand cell appears to be based on an early reconstruction by Judith Lean, including background effects, with current TSI data spliced onto the end. The Lean TSI dataset is outdated. Note the early rise in solar minimums from the 1880s to the 1940s.The current understanding of TSI variability is that the minimum TSI in 1880 should be in the vicinity of the recent solar minimums. In other words, that rise from the 1880s to the 1940s does not exist. The use of outdated TSI was discussed in the post IPCC 20th Century Simulations Get a Boost from Outdated Solar Forcings, which was also cross posted at WattsUpWithThat: IPCC 20th Century Simulations Get a Boost from Outdated Solar Forcings. Refer to the comments there by Leif Svalgaard, Solar Physicist from Stanford University. The red curve in the middle cell of Figure 14 shows the impact of the variations in TSI on Global Surface Temperatures. For the last three solar cycles, the temperature variations from solar minimum to maximum should be on the order of 0.07 to 0.1 deg C. Hansen et al (2011) are showing considerably less impact from solar variability.

Figure 14

CLOSING

Hopefully, someday, researchers investigating the causes of Ocean Heat Content variability will treat ENSO as a process instead of noise. El Niño events release heat from the Tropical Pacific, La Niña events recharge it, sometimes overcharge it, and ENSO redistributes heat within the oceans.

I’ll end the post with two animations of Ocean Heat Content from the post ARGO-Era NODC Ocean Heat Content Data (0-700 Meters) Through December 2010. The NINO3.4 SST anomalies to the right serves as a timeline and as an indicator of ENSO phase.

Animation 1

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Animation 2

Refer also to the post More Detail On The Multiyear Aftereffects Of ENSO – Part 2 – La Nina Events Recharge The Heat Released By El Nino Events AND…During Major Traditional ENSO Events, Warm Water Is Redistributed Via Ocean Currents. While it is primarily a discussion of Sea Surface Temperature, there are also discussions of Ocean Heat Content.

SOURCE

The Ocean Heat Content and Sea Surface Temperature data presented in this post are available through the KNMI Climate Explorer:

http://climexp.knmi.nl/selectfield_obs.cgi?someone@somewhere

UPDATE (April 23,2011) – ON THE REBOUND

Hansen et al describe the rebound as:

“Fig. 22e shows the effect of volcanic aerosols. Volcanoes cause a negative planetary energy imbalance during the 1-2 years that the aerosols are present in the stratosphere, followed by a rebound to a positive planetary energy imbalance. This rebound is most clearly defined after the Pinatubo eruption, being noticeable for more than a decade, because of the absence of other volcanoes in that period.”

I’ve cropped Cells e from their Figure 22 and included it as Figure 15 of this post. The “rebound” is the “overcorrection” in the Energy Imbalance data in the right-hand cell.

Figure 15

Hansen et al continue:

“The physical origin of the rebound is simple. Solar heating of Earth returns to its pre-volcano level as aerosols exit the stratosphere. However, thermal emission to space is reduced for a longer period because the ocean was cooled by the volcanic aerosols. In calculations via the response function, using equations (1) and (2), the volcanic aerosols introduce a dF/dt of one sign and within a few years a dF/dt of opposite sign. The integrated (cumulative) dF/dt due to the volcano is zero but the negative dF/dt occurred earlier, so its effect on temperature, defined by the climate response function, is greater. The effect of the temporal spacing between the negative and positive changes of F decreases as time advances subsequent to the eruption.”

The problem with the hypothesis: As discussed earlier, the Ocean Heat Content data shows little impact from Mount Pinatubo. The Global Ocean Heat Content would need to drop appreciably in order for the proposed “overcorrection” to exist.

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79 thoughts on “On ocean heat content, Pinatubo, Hansen, Bulldogs, cherrypicking and all that

  1. Would love to see Hansen and Tisdale debate this in real time.
    Bet Hansen would be completely out of his league.
    Besides the fact that he is an astronomer, yet he controls probably the most powerful scientific misinformation engine known to man, and continues to drag NASA into things oceanic and meteorologic….(SINCE WHEN was NASA supposed to be in charge of geophysics?)…why should anybody ever take him seriously?
    Where’s the data, James???
    And how the hell do you [at the borderline criminal expense of the taxpayer] continue to get away with this??
    Time to light the torches.
    Chris
    Norfolk, VA, USA

  2. Do we see this hypothesized “delayed” effect during other volcanic eruptions of similar size?? This is the first I’ve heard of it…

  3. Hansen reminds me of Jamie Dimon from GhoulMan Sachs.’ Doing Gods work.’
    Overwhelming self belief is a corrupting mechanism.
    regards

  4. Well, if I was the “esteemed” Dr. Hansen, who knew all about how the weather/climate would behave in the future, I would at this point in time have to “double down” on my predictions. After all I’ve testified to the US Congress about my ability to predict the weather for the next hundred years, or so. If the predictions seem a bit off, my next step is to find a “plausible” explanation as to why I am REALLY, REALLY, CORRECT and there is just this one little detail I “forgot” to include in my calculations. It was “the volcano that done it………..” Honest Sir, I had nothing to do with changing the PREDICTIONS, it was the VOLCANO THAT DONE IT, I SWEAR……..
    Cheers, Kevin.

  5. Hansen’s “delayed rebound effect” strikes me as perfectly equivalent to a Ptolemaic Epicycle, an added embellishment to a geocentric solar system to better explain results of newer observations.
    Hansen’s climate universe is CO2 centric. What if the real climate system not driven primarily by CO2 concentrations. Then by choosing a poor model, Hansen is forced into every increasing complexity, epicycles on epicycles, to explain observed behavior.
    It may well take a radical change of model, a Copernican view, to properly simplify the climate mental model into something more trustworthy. Maybe it will be a solar centric system, where solar output variances drive earth climate over geologic time.

  6. This is essencially how Dr. Hansen sees the overall issue of climate sensitivity. Using modern data and forcing estimates (all of which contain significant error margins and unknowns, but humor me here…) and after correcting the upward greenhouse forcing for the long-term aerosol cooling effect, the numbers (0.6C/1.6 w/m^2) still yields a sensitivity to 2xCO2 of only 1.4C. You must then include a large oceanic thermal lag time to supply between 0.4 to 0.6C extra degrees of heating, yielding 1.2C/1.6 w/m^2, or 2.8C for 2xCO2. This explanation of a long recovery due to slow ocean rebound effects is just a reflection of this idea of very large oceanic thermal lags. Take it or leave it, I am just explainign where he gets his “ideas’ from. As Tisdale showed, the data just do not support this position. Seems like they support a shorter ocean lag and an unrealized warming of closer to 0.1C, or thereabouts. This still keeps the sensitivity to 2xCO2 below the lowest IPCC estimate, which is interesting.

  7. Stephen Rasey says:
    April 23, 2011 at 8:44 pm
    “Hansen’s “delayed rebound effect” strikes me as perfectly equivalent to a Ptolemaic Epicycle, an added embellishment to a geocentric solar system to better explain results of newer observations. Hansen’s climate universe is CO2 centric.”
    Yes, that nails it. Endless revisions of epicycles upon epicycles, but no plausible account of what is actually happening. By “climate,” the Warmista mean “whatever can be associated with CO2 in the atmosphere.” By “planetary motion,” Ptolemy meant “whatever can be associated with perfect circles in the heavens.” There comes a time when even the most faithful must admit that epicycles or CO2 have no relationship to what humans can observe in the environment. We have yet to find our Kepler, the one who will sweep away the madness of epicycles and introduce actual physical hypotheses which explain to scientists and all intelligent persons what is going on that drives our environment. Climate science is in its infancy. Those who do not recognize that fact are as hidebound as the followers of Ptolemy. Yet the situation is worse for them. Galileo created scientific method and the followers of Ptolemy have the excuse that they had not benefited from Galileo’s work. But what is Hansen’s excuse? He has long had the opportunity to benefit from Galileo’s work.

  8. Stephen Rasey says: “Hansen’s “delayed rebound effect” strikes me as perfectly equivalent to a Ptolemaic Epicycle, an added embellishment to a geocentric solar system to better explain results of newer observations…It may well take a radical change of model, a Copernican view, to properly simplify the climate mental model into something more trustworthy. Maybe it will be a solar centric system…”
    Great simile! I guess it’s hard to be Copernicus when you think you’re a Messiah.

  9. Hopefully, someday, researchers investigating the causes of Ocean Heat Content variability will treat ENSO as a process instead of noise.
    I’m reminded of some of the previous controversies in science. Old farts generally do not age gracefully and will have to die off before what you wish for comes true. [The issue of the “channeled scablands” of Eastern Washington State is the one I know best, but there are others.] In the current case, the old farts believe in GHGs and will likely not look for other processes.
    Good post!

  10. a jones says:
    “Total bollocks Mr. Watts? What a concise and polite way of putting it.”
    A lot kinder than I would put it. [snip – reference to violence – Anthony]

  11. ” El Niño events release heat from the Tropical Pacific, La Niña events recharge it, sometimes overcharge it, and ENSO redistributes heat within the oceans.”
    Absolutely right but that only implies that ENSO dominates the rate of energy release from ocean to air.
    The other half of the equation is the rate of energy input to the oceans and I suggest that for that we must direct attention to global cloud quantities and albedo.
    For all intents and purposes simple TSI has been discounted as the most important parameter. Instead we must look at chemical changes in the atmosphere as a result of changes in the mix of wavelengths and particles from the sun which appear to affect surface pressure distribution and cloudiness.
    Solar input to the oceans is the only available fuel and ENSO merely represents the ‘burn rate’.
    Both are independently variable and capable of either supplementing or offsetting each others effects at different times.

  12. Off topic
    – from the Easter Blizzard post
    FergalR says: April 23, 2011 at 4:32 pm
    Mike McMillan says: April 23, 2011 at 8:39 pm

    Lobbyists who cleared ‘Climategate’ academics funded by taxpayers and the BBC
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/environment/climatechange/8469883/Lobbyists-who-cleared-Climategate-academics-funded-by-taxpayers-and-the-BBC.html
    Thank you,
    Also James Delingpole with 5590 comments on the Press Complaints Commission’s ruling.
    UEA: the sweet smell of napalm in the morning…
    http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/jamesdelingpole/100083071/uea-the-sweet-smell-of-napalm-in-the-morning/
    Case of Alleged Data Fabrication (Victor Ninov- see bottom of page)
    http://www.csepdf.com/element-case.html
    (thanks Willis, yclept from your Kilwa post)

  13. Respectfully.
    The model Ptlomeu. Describes something.
    Pinatubo does not describe anything.

  14. If you have an extra hour of your life which you don’t mind never getting back you might want to watch the video of Hansen’s presentation of his paper that Anthony links in his initial post. To keep from going comatose from his mostly mumbled babbling, try to keep a tally of the number of times he covers his face with his hand, including those where he is attempting to speak. Though I personally don’t place a great deal of stock in such things, people who make a study of body language are nearly unanimous in declaring such postures as strong indicators of prevarication.

  15. A widely held impression of many Europeans is that the United States is stuffed full of weird religious cults, run by fraudsters.
    Hansen and AGW just reinforce this point of view.

  16. Off Topic
    We should stop calling what Hansen posts on his website as “papers”.
    After it’s been peer-reviewed and published in the academic literature, then it’s a paper.
    Before that, it’s a blog post. Hansen can format his post as he chooses, but that doesn’t make it part of the published literature.
    (before anyone jumps on me, no i have nothing against blogs and no i am not saying anything about whether the content of a blog is true or not)

  17. Stephen Wilde says: “Absolutely right but that only implies that ENSO dominates the rate of energy release from ocean to air.”
    Read what you quoted again, Stephen: “El Niño events release heat from the Tropical Pacific, La Niña events recharge it, sometimes overcharge it, and ENSO redistributes heat within the oceans.” That’s a discussion of Ocean Heat Content, not air temperature.

  18. John F. Hultquist says: “I’m reminded of some of the previous controversies in science. Old farts generally do not age gracefully and will have to die off before what you wish for comes true.”
    Since some might consider me to be a member of the “old fart” community, I might have to rewrite the opening sentence of the Closing to, “Hopefully, someday, but probably not in my lifetime…”

  19. Its the sneering derisory tone here that is so disturbing.
    And what’s with “[snip – reference to violence – Anthony]”? Surely “[snip – total &@!!@£($*]” would be better?
    [*snip! ~jove, mod]

  20. As soon as I saw the first cherry picked start date of 1980 I was reminded of the infamous Santer et al “A discernable Human Influence on Climate”
    These people continue with their usual tricks because they were never held accountable for them. ‘Anything it takes’ seems to be their motto.

  21. John Brookes says: “Its the sneering derisory tone here that is so disturbing.”
    I’ve searched my post and can’t seem to find anything written in a “sneering derisory tone”. Please identify what you’re referring to in my post.

  22. Doesn’t anyone find it incredibly sad that everything that the taxpayer funded Climate Circus Clowns Cartel (C4) has to be be replicated and analysed before we can accept it. Is’nt it even more sad that nothing the C4 crowd produces is at best ever less than grossly in error and at worst deliberately biased to the point of fraud?
    Isn’t it saddest of all that my taxes will keep funding these ‘Drs’ when they should be more productively stacking shelves in my local supermarket?
    They have totally discredited my belief in the word ‘scientists’, so let me refer them to the words of Robert Townsend (1962) “If all else fails, try honesty”. Hoever, they are so committed to their myth and the money it attracts, this is not an option.

  23. Bob Tisdale writes:
    “Hopefully, someday, researchers investigating the causes of Ocean Heat Content variability will treat ENSO as a process instead of noise.”
    This is a very valuable lesson for those who think that a few statistical calculations is all that separate the Warmista from the rest of mankind. The Warmista deny that ENSO is a natural process. Is it any wonder that they fail to do the minimal empirical research necessary to understand ENSO? Their so-called science is so driven by models and their many radical simplifications that they cannot bring themselves to address ENSO as a natural process.

  24. lgl says: “Volcanoes still rule and Hansen is right about the thermal inertia of course.”
    The OHC data in your linked comparisons is from Levitus et al 2000.
    http://www.sciencemag.org/content/287/5461/2225.abstract
    Link to the supplemental material, the source of your graph.
    http://www.sciencemag.org/site/feature/data/1046907.xhtml
    That dataset has been updated three or four times since then and the curves of the old and new datasets don’t resemble one another. Try comparing the most recent OHC data for the individual ocean basins to a Volcanic Aerosol forcing dataset. Refer to:
    http://bobtisdale.wordpress.com/2009/09/05/enso-dominates-nodc-ocean-heat-content-0-700-meters-data/

  25. John Brookes says:
    April 24, 2011 at 3:05 am
    Its the sneering derisory tone here that is so disturbing.

    And so well earned.

  26. Mr. Tisdale,
    I usually look into variables ignored by the mainstream science, in the process came across a non-climatic indicator that may have some effect on ENSO.
    http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/SOI.htm
    Correlation (wiggle matching) since 1940 is indicative of a possible relationship, but 1900-1940 is very patchy.
    My data is not excellent, but I also wander about the reliability of pre 1940-50 ENSO reconstructions.

  27. Bob, I would suggest you avoid referencing this drivel as ” Hansen et al (2011)” . It is not a published, peer-reviewed paper. It is not even a “paper”. It is a discussion published as a pdf. You reference it as though it were a paper and this gives it an air of credibility that even the author does not pretend it has.
    Also I don’t see the need to go into all the “basins” and do a counter study to prove the contrary. If he puts forward an idea the onus is on him to provide the proof . Dispute his proof, if he provides any, on it own merit not by going elsewhere.
    His rebound idea is indeed bollocks since if the ocean surface temp recovered quicker because it was cooled by Pinatubo and therefore radiation less IR this would simply be negative feedback effect that would act to restore the pre-eruption equilibrium more quickly. What he is trying to imply (without saying so) is that this effect has some kind of momentum and will continue beyond the equilibrium.
    I doubt he’d even get through pall-review with M.Mann and Jones as reviewers. I really think a second article here is giving it far more air time than it merits.

  28. Bob Tisdale says:
    April 24, 2011 at 12:58 am
    “J Harlen Bretz (September 2, 1882 – February 3, 1981) was an American geologist, best known for his research that led to the acceptance of the Missoula Floods, . . .” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/J_Harlen_Bretz
    Hopefully, us old farts will live so long.

  29. Bob
    Try comparing the most recent OHC data for the individual ocean basins
    I could but I see no reason to. All global OHC data show the major pattern of recovery after the large eruptions just like Hansen says, and the reason is obvious. There’s even recovery after the two VEI4s (which is not supposed to have climatic effect) in 1986 and those right after 2000. http://virakkraft.com/OHC-change-Volcanoes.png

  30. lgl says: “I could but I see no reason to. All global OHC data show the major pattern of recovery after the large eruptions just like Hansen says, and the reason is obvious. ”
    Lgl, you provided one photoshopped comparison of an outdated OHC dataset to a smoothed volcano proxy. You provided no explanation of the data adjustments. You provided no explanation of the source of the data. And now you claim ALL global OHC data confirm your understanding? Please document this response of ALL OHC datasets to confirm your claim, including links to the source data and descriptions of the adjustments you’ve made to the data.
    Thanks.

  31. lgl, as a follow-up to my April 24, 2011 at 2:03 pm reply, in the conclusions of “Global Decadal Upper-Ocean Heat Content as Viewed in Nine Analyses”, Carton and Santorelli (2008) write, “We note, for example, that the analysis heat content estimates do not seem to reflect an impact from the Mount Pinatubo eruption of 1991.”
    Link:
    http://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/pdf/10.1175/2008JCLI2489.1
    Yet you claim ALL “global OHC data show the major pattern of recovery after the large eruptions just like Hansen says, and the reason is obvious.”
    Now, who should I believe, Carton and Santorelli, who confirm my findings in the NODC OHC data, or you, who make a claim with no documentation?

  32. Bob Tisdale says: April 24, 2011 at 2:12 pm
    ……………..
    As I understood only (ENSO) data from 1949 are based on observations, for which I think I have as good correlation as it is possible from my data.
    I was wandering what do you think of previous interannual oscillations reconstructions, since correlation becomes patchy prior to 1950.
    I am writing an article where all the info will be available on line (data, graphs, physical causes as far as I understand them etc.), but it is taking more time than I anticipated.

  33. Theo Goodwin says:
    April 24, 2011 at 8:41 am
    Bob Tisdale writes:
    “Hopefully, someday, researchers investigating the causes of Ocean Heat Content variability will treat ENSO as a process instead of noise.”
    This is a very valuable lesson for those who think that a few statistical calculations is all that separate the Warmista from the rest of mankind. The Warmista deny that ENSO is a natural process. Is it any wonder that they fail to do the minimal empirical research necessary to understand ENSO? Their so-called science is so driven by models and their many radical simplifications that they cannot bring themselves to address ENSO as a natural process.
    I agree – although warmistas do from time to time pay lip service to natural variation, their core belief system is founded solidly on an absolute refusal to recognise the possibility of any variation in the climate that might arise from internal, system oscillation. (The fact that the word “natural” is so awkward and difficult for them to deal with, or even mention, confirms the essentially other-worldly religious nature of their mind-set.)
    Does global temperature increase? This can only be due to human CO2 emissions (“what else has increased in the same period?”) Do they stabilise or fall for a period of time? This must either be a volcano, or even another category of human pollution such as sulphates and particulates.
    The assumed model behind this is absurd – “normal” climate – the total system of atmosphere and ocean – remains in total stasis in the absence of an institutionally approved forcing agents such as human activity and volcanoes. Where does one begin in analysing the total stupidity behind such a world-view? How can one choose to forcefully ignore the implications of complex system behaviour and oscillation in studying the climate and keep a blinkered focus on simple linear systems and models?
    Richard Lindzen was right to say that climate stasis would be more worrying than change / oscillation – “it would be like someone being dead”. And also that “the idea that the early twentieth century represented some sort of climate perfection is not a sign of intelligence”.

  34. Bob
    Now, who should I believe, Carton and Santorelli, who confirm my findings in the NODC OHC data, or you, who make a claim with no documentation?
    You should believe both. Pinatubo interrupted an OHC increase. You see this clearly in the NODC OHC change graph I gave you. Pinatubo didn’t make the OHC drop much, but it prevented it from rising for several years.
    My documentation is quite good. The Smithsonian knows most of what is to know about volcanoes and the NODC OHC data is among the best there is.

  35. Vuk etc. says: “As I understood only (ENSO) data from 1949 are based on observations, for which I think I have as good correlation as it is possible from my data.”
    I believe the SOI data (Tahiti and Darwin SLP data) are based on observations before 1950. But there is a significant amount of infilling in the SST data.
    You asked, “I was wandering what do you think of previous interannual oscillations reconstructions, since correlation becomes patchy prior to 1950.”
    The early to mid 1940s SST data for the NINO areas is questionable. It’s tough to say what’s what before then. Many ENSO studies use 1950 as the start year because the source data is so sparse. If you want to go further back in time than 1950, you can always qualify that period.

  36. lgl says: “Well, all the data I have seen show the dips after the large eruptions.”
    Let’s take a look at all of the OHC datasets illustrated in Levitus et al (2009). Refer to:
    http://bobtisdale.wordpress.com/2009/07/06/ohc-trends-presented-by-levitus-et-al-2009-versus-trends-presented-by-the-ohc-data/
    And we’ll narrow the eruptions to El Chichon and Mount Pinatubo. For some of the OHC datasets, the dips after Mount Pinatubo eruption are no larger than the year-to-year variations, especially the two more widely referenced OHC datasets: Levitus et al and Ishii & Kimoto.
    http://i44.tinypic.com/5uizit.png
    Referring to El Chichon, only one (Levitus) drops in 1982. The rest rise.
    You wrote, “The volcano proxy is a simple count of VEI>3 eruptions from http://www.volcano.si.edu/world/largeeruptions.cfm (3 yr avg, and I see I’ve made a mistake counting two in 92)”
    Much easier to use the GISS Stratospheric Aerosols data:
    http://data.giss.nasa.gov/modelforce/strataer/tau_line.txt

  37. I am not a climate scientist but draw attention to the paper by Lacis et al, 2005, which states “based on preliminary estimates of the Pinatubo aerosol loading, Hansen et al (1992) made general circulation model (GCM) predictions of the impact on global climate from Pinatubo aerosol. The predicted decrease in the global surface temperature […] with recovery to normal by 1995 has proven to be remarkably accurate…”
    So WTF happened?
    http://www.arm.gov/publications/proceedings/conf05/extended_abs/lacis_aa.pdf
    Was Hansen misquoted again?

  38. Bob Tisdale says:
    April 24, 2011 at 4:02 pm
    The early to mid 1940s SST data for the NINO areas is questionable. It’s tough to say what’s what before then. Many ENSO studies use 1950 as the start year because the source data is so sparse. If you want to go further back in time than 1950, you can always qualify that period.
    Thanks. That is helpful, and may explain intermittent correlation with the interannual oscillations.

  39. Vuk etc. says:
    April 24, 2011 at 3:15 pm

    As I understood only (ENSO) data from 1949 are based on observations, for which I think I have as good correlation as it is possible from my data.
    I was wandering what do you think of previous interannual oscillations reconstructions, since correlation becomes patchy prior to 1950.
    I am writing an article where all the info will be available on line (data, graphs, physical causes as far as I understand them etc.), but it is taking more time than I anticipated.

    It’s difficult without seeing the data you are plotting but one thing that catches my eye is what looks like the use of a running mean to smooth the data.
    Your graph shows all the tell-tail signs of RM distortion:
    -peak bending sideways (blue,green 1975,1989-bent together; 1955peak 1957 trough : bend in opposite directions!)
    -truncated peaks (red 1959,1967,1994,2004)
    -high frequency detail that should have been filtered out is still present. (sharp detail peaks 1949,1988,2003)
    -the mean will often be 180 out of phase with the actual data when variations are close to the window width.
    I can’t point you too that in your case without the data but if you look at Bobs figure 5 you can see a good example. There is a basic correlation between the two lines at the decadal scale but short term detail shows a strong negative correlation for most of 80s and 90s.
    Using RM is nearly always a bad idea since it has such a crappy freq response. It lets through huge amounts of stop-band signal and that is what causes these distortions.
    Especially when you are looking for correlations, as you are doing here, it absolutely is to be avoided. There many simple filters that do so much better. In fact just about *any* filter will do so much better.
    I’d suggest a gaussian weighting but there are others. It really just a case of weighting the rm window so it’s no big deal.
    You will find much better correlations between your datasets if you use a less distorting filter and you may spend less time puzzling over non-resistant anomalies.
    I’m not saying this will get rid of 1949 , in fact I suspect you will find that there is a strong negative peak has been truncated but I think you will find the result more useful.

  40. Steve from rockwood says: “Was Hansen misquoted again?”
    Nope. Surface Temperatures dropped, depending on the estimate, between 0.2 and 0.5 deg C in 1991 and had rebounded by 1995. But the topic of discussion in this post is Ocean Heat Content.

  41. Bob
    An assumption on your part.
    Is that a graph of OHC change? It appeared to me to be a graph of an out-of-date Levitus et al OHC dataset.

    Not that one, this one: http://virakkraft.com/OHC-change-Volcanoes.png
    No assumption. Forcing=dH/dt, (not H or T) so OHC change is the place you have to look. And VEI4s apparently have climatic effect and then stratospheric aerosols data can not be used, but that is an assumption on my part.

  42. “non-resistant anomalies.” I meant non-existent until my spelling checker got in there. 😉

  43. Bob Tisdale. Sorry for not completing my earlier post. A huge Easter dinner combined with a satisfactory amount of red wine is the likely culprit.
    The Lacis paper shows the response of surface temperatures to the Pinatubo aerosols. This response peaks very quickly (impulse-like) and then decays more slowly with a time constant of 2-3 years (the point at which 2/3 of the effect has disappeared using the eye-ball method). By five years the effect on surface temperatures is completely gone.
    My problem with Hansen’s proposal is that the surface temperature response (STR) and the Ocean Heat Content (OHC) should show similar changes but with a time lag and likely a longer time constant in the OHC.
    The OHC should show a strong negative drop followed by a slow return to the baseline (whatever that is) with other natural cycles superimposed.
    As I see the OHC graph (your Figure 4), OHC increases linearly from 1968 (with some bumps) with an apparent leveling off around 2005 (13 yrs after the event). In other words, there appears to be no correlation between the STR and OHC. How is this possible if they are both related to the same event? I can’t even see the Pinatubo event in the OHC graph.
    I seems too convenient that in a war of aerosols leading to an ice age versus CO2 leading to runaway global warming, where CO2 clearly won, scientists could now reintroduce aerosols to explain any lack of warming.

  44. lgl, I see absolutely no point in posting arbitrary , unreferenced graphs from unknown origins with out any data. Especially when they have such ill-defined content.
    Your last offering claims to plot “volcanoes” in red. You can not plot a volcano so what exactly is this supposed to be showing? Do you even know what it is supposed to be showing?
    Many here are interested in data of all sorts and what may be inferred from it.
    You give us pictures as though you believe this “proves” a point.
    lgl says: “You should believe both. Pinatubo interrupted an OHC increase.”
    I do not “believe” anything. I seek proof. If I don’t see any I ignore any accompanying options and beliefs.

  45. P. Solar
    I did explain the volcano graph in a response to Bob The volcano proxy is a simple count of VEI>3 eruptions from http://www.volcano.si.edu/world/largeeruptions.cfm (3 yr avg) The number of eruptions each year, can’t get simpler. I know it’s not very scientific. There is location, amount and type of material ejected and so on, but it’s good enough for the purpose, which is to show all 3 (or 4) large eruptions since 1960 had severe and major impact on heat accumulation, also Pinatubo. I have made it even clearer in this smoothed and detrended graph: http://virakkraft.com/OHC-change-detrend-Volcanoes.png

  46. lgl says: Not that one, this one: http://virakkraft.com/OHC-change-Volcanoes.png
    No assumption. Forcing=dH/dt, (not H or T) so OHC change is the place you have to look. And VEI4s apparently have climatic effect and then stratospheric aerosols data can not be used, but that is an assumption on my part.”
    Which OHC dataset? And what’s the correlation coefficient between the two curves? The two curves don’t appear to correlate that well.

  47. Bob
    NODC 0-700m from knmi
    They are not supposed to correlate well outside the VEI5&6 troughs because VEI4 is not supposed to impact OHC, and volcanoes are not the only driver. I included the VEI4s because it gives better correlation than leaving them out.

  48. lgl says:” The number of eruptions each year, can’t get simpler. I know it’s not very scientific. ”
    Well there’s one element we all can agree on. Also no y axis on volcanoes, no units on OHC derivative scale.
    There is an interesting correlation, although 1975 looks like a big problem for your theory as does post-2000.
    What kind of 3y ave you have used. The form of that line looks like you have applied some sort of spline , it does not look like any average I’ve seen from data where the numbers are in the range 1,2,3. ?? what is going on at 1998 and aroud 1960 where it looks like your volano count goes negative and you cropped it?
    How did you detrend the OHC? What was the magnitude of the trend you removed? It looks like it has been “detrended” by hand until it fitted the volcano plot.
    The fact that both plots are well below the line after 1980 makes the claim it is detrended look a bit suspicious.
    The two events that do correlate fairly well El Chinon and Mt. Pinatubo are reckoned to have left a visible trace on the record but the rest does not look very convincing at all.

  49. lgl says: I included the VEI4s because it gives better correlation than leaving them out.
    Is that just your opinion or do you have some numbers to back up the claim? If you give the same weight to a VEI3 as to a VEI6 I don’t know how you expect to get any meaningful result.
    “I know it’s not very scientific. ”
    Yup.

  50. Bob Tisdale says:
    April 24, 2011 at 3:07 pm

    lgl, as a follow-up to my April 24, 2011 at 2:03 pm reply, in the conclusions of “Global Decadal Upper-Ocean Heat Content as Viewed in Nine Analyses”, Carton and Santorelli (2008) write, “We note, for example, that the analysis heat content estimates do not seem to reflect an impact from the Mount Pinatubo eruption of 1991.”
    Link:
    http://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/pdf/10.1175/2008JCLI2489.1

    Now when I hear langauge like “seem to reflect” in climate science I know I need to look at the fine print.
    They also say: “Among the analyses are two that are independent of any numerical
    model”… “One proposed explanation for these variations is the effect of volcanic eruptions in 1963 and 1982. Examination of this hypothesis suggests that while there is an oceanic signal, it is insufficient to explain the observed heat content variations.”
    So this is yet another study based primarily on the output of computers rather real data. Whether a computer model shows the effect of a volcano depends on whether it was told to. It does not constitute proof one way or the other.
    I even recall a post here on WUWT about how the models got the magnitude of and duration of effect wrong by a fair margin.
    Can’t remember who wrote it .

  51. P. Solar
    3 yr moving average, what else? I didn’t chop it, send your complaint to Bill Gates. Yes I detrended by hand until it looked detrended, 0.07 over the period, and yes, there is an offset so the values are not correct, and the values never were the point of this exercise. The only thing ment to be ‘convincing’ is that the only significant impact on OHC are the 3 large eruptions early 60s, 80s and 90s, and the trend of course, and then there is some strange things happening after 2000 which I do not think is real. There is no physical reason why nearly half of the OHC increase since 1980 would take place in a couple of years around 2003.
    Without the VEI4s there would be no dip around 1986, 2000 and decline at the end, so yes, call it my opinion.
    Still not scientific but this blog is not a scientific journal either.

  52. lgl says: “I included the VEI4s because it gives better correlation than leaving them out.”
    Thanks for identifying the OHC dataset. But what is the correlation coefficient? Again, the wiggles of the two datasets don’t look as though they agree very well.

  53. P, Solar says: “So this is yet another study based primarily on the output of computers rather real data.”
    Which is why the sentence I quoted pertained to the OHC estimates, not the models.

  54. Vuk etc. says:
    April 25, 2011 at 2:03 pm

    P. Solar says: April 25, 2011 at 1:41 am
    ………………
    Re: http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/SOI.htm
    Graph shows just annual values for all 3 variables and not ‘running mean’.
    The rest of your comments are appreciated, but sadly not applicable.

    Well that clearly is not the same version of the graph on which I made those very specific comments. It’s the same data without the filter. All the features which I pointed out as defects due to the filter can be seen to be truly defects of the filter and do not exist in the unsmoothed plot.
    I did not dream up the shifts in peaks and hallucinate the smoothing. I would not have picked out 3 years where there was high freq showing in the peaks if every single peak was unfiltered and spiky. So either you linked a different graph somewhere in this thread (which I can’t find now) and I confused the two or someone has changed the graph at that URL to an unsmoothed version.
    As I predicted the temporal correlation of the various events is better without the smoothing.
    Glad you found my comments useful!

  55. P. Solar says:
    April 25, 2011 at 8:58 pm
    ………………
    Re: http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/SOI.htm
    It is the same graph with exactly same values. If you are familiar with Excel than you know that default setting is ‘Smoothed line’, which can be un-ticked; here are both versions, but makes no difference to final conclusion, since there is only one value per annum for any variable.

  56. Bob,
    I’ve been looking at trends of trends in hadCrut3. I’m plotting every possible trend of a certain length over the whole record. Here is the 22y trends
    Each point represents a least sq fit to a 22 year period, so in some way it may be subject to some of the flaws of running mean that I’m always berating. However, here I’m keying into a period that has a physical meaning and is known to be in the data. This leaves the possibility of aliasing other signals but I have examined each length of window to spot oddities and this is one of the most interesting.
    Since this is a temp change / time , it is essentially a power term. It shows the cyclic long term nature of climate plus a stronger recent warming.
    You may like to compare this to OHC/t. (in fact looking at hadSST would be more applicable but it is very similar since it is a major part of hadcrut3).

  57. and finally seeing dips in the previous every 2y I did hadleySST 45y trends
    With the usual caveats about what the data processing may have done , it also gives a very simplfied form of the power absorbed by sea surface over time and shows that an increasing rate a warming is not new or unprecedented.

  58. Predictions. It’s all about predictions. Predictions that the common person knows cannot be made, ever. What is it in James Hansen’s mind that make him rise above the common man? Clearly, something, or somebody, endorses this hooey…because he is being encouraged to do so….

  59. So if I have this right, we have more “warming in the pipeline” due to the ongoing ocean warming resulting from the radiative imbalance due to CO2+feedbacks being out of balance with the radiation seen at the TOA …and at the same time an OHC rebound from over warming?
    And this is because the models can assimilate that heat into the ocean depths but the real life oceans cant actually do that and instead spit it back out.
    I cant actually grasp how Hansen (and the others) can actually believe this anymore when it doesn’t hang together as a consistent hypothesis.

  60. lgl says: “Remember these do not agree at all 2000-2005. http://virakkraft.com/OHC-Sealevel.png so OHC 0-700 probably is not a good proxy for the radiative balance at the surface over short periods.”
    Would you like to now alter your opening statement of…
    “Volcanoes still rule and Hansen is right about the thermal inertia of course.
    http://virakkraft.com/VEI-Heatcontent.jpg
    http://virakkraft.com/sealevel-VEI-4.jpg
    …since your OHC dataset is outdated and your sea level change and volcano proxy data don’t correlate that well?

  61. lgl says: “Absolutely not. I’ve done a new exercise, using sea level and aerosol data http://virakkraft.com/Sealevel-deriv-Aerosol.png and volcanoes still rule. (and the thermal inertia is basic physics so that really is nothing to discuss) But more interesting, the forcing now is only 10% higher than in the 40s and 50s.”
    You haven’t identified a dataset, again. What volcanic aerosol data are you using?
    Also, the topic of discussion on this thread is OHC. The dataset is the NODC’s OHC data used in the Hansen paper. You’ve introduced Sea Level, which has a significant mass contribution that is strongly impacted by land surface temperature. Unless you can account for the variations in mass contributions, your Sea Level comparisons have no bearing on this post.

  62. The aerosol data is from your link, thanks for the link b t w.
    Ok, then I have extended the topic from one proxy of energy imbalance (OHC) to several.
    You’ve introduced Sea Level, which has a significant mass contribution that is strongly impacted by land surface temperature.
    That variation appears to be in sync with the sea level variation so it doesn’t matter. (assuming warm ocean > warm land > ice melt) http://virakkraft.com/Sea-level-deriv-SST-deriv.png
    http://virakkraft.com/SST-deriv-Volcano.png

  63. lgl says: “That variation appears to be in sync with the sea level variation so it doesn’t matter. (assuming warm ocean > warm land > ice melt) ”
    The “warm ocean” in you comment is sea SURFACE temperature, not ocean heat content, so it makes a significant difference.

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