Guest Post by Willis Eschenbach

People have upbraided me for not doing an in-depth analysis of the paper “Earth’s Energy Imbalance and Implications“, by James Hansen et al. (hereinafter H2011). In that paper they claim that the earth has a serious energy imbalance, based on the change in oceanic heat content (OHC). Here’s my quick analysis of the paper. A more probing discussion will follow.

Figure 1. What could happen if the ocean gets warm. Dangers include increased risk of lassitude, along with augmented consumption of intoxicants and possible loss of clothing, accompanied by mosquito bites in recondite locations.

Here’s how I proceeded for a quick look at the H2011 results. The paper says that during the period 2005 – 2010, the warming of the entire global ocean, from the surface down to the abyssal depths, is the equivalent of 0.54 W/m2 of energy.

When I read that, the first thing I did was make the conversion to degrees per year of oceanic warming. I wanted to see what they were saying, but measured in meaningful units. A half watt per square metre of energy going into the global ocean means nothing to me. I wanted to know how fast the ocean was warming from this rumored imbalance. The conversion from watts per square metre to degrees Celsius ocean warming per year goes as follows.

We want to convert from watts per square metre (a continuous flow of energy) to degrees of warming per year (the annual warming due to that flow of energy). Here’s the method of the calculations. No need to follow the numbers unless you want to, if you do they are given in the appendix. The general calculation goes like this:

An energy flow of one watt per square metre (W/m2) maintained for 1 year is one watt-year per square metre (W-yr/m2). That times seconds /year (secs/yr) gives us watt-seconds per square metre (W-secs/m2). But a watt-second is a joule, so the result is joules per square metre (J/m2).

To convert that to total joules for the globe, we have to multiply by square metres of planetary surface, which gives us total joules per year (J/yr). That is the total joules per year for the entire globe resulting from the energy flow in watts per square metre.

That completes the first part of the calculation. We know how many joules of energy per year are resulting from a given number of watts per square metre of incoming energy.

All that’s left is to divide the total joules of incoming energy per year (J/yr) that we just calculated, by the number of joules required per degree of ocean warming (J/°C), to give us a resultant ocean warming in degrees per year (°C/yr).

The result of doing that math for the 0.54 W/m2 of global oceanic forcing reported in H2011 is the current rate of oceanic warming, in degrees per year. So step up and place your bets, how great is the earth’s energy imbalance according to Hansen et al., how many degrees are the global oceans warming per year?  … les jeux sont fait, my friends, drumroll please … may I have the envelope … oh, this is a surprise, there will be some losers in the betting …

The answer (if Hansen et al. are correct) is that if the ocean continues to warm at the 2005-2010 rate, by the year 2100 it will have warmed by a bit more than a tenth of a degree … and it will have warmed by one degree by the year 2641.

Now, I don’t think that the Hansen et al. analysis is correct, for two reasons. First, I don’t think their method for averaging the Argo data is as accurate as the proponents claim. They say we can currently determine the temperature of the top mile of depth of the ocean to a precision of ± eight thousandths of a degree C. I doubt that.

Second, they don’t use the right mathematical tools to do the analysis of the float data. But both of those are subjects for another post, which I’ve mostly written, and which involves the Argo floats.

In any case, whether or not H2011 is correct, if the ocean wants to change temperature by a tenth of a degree by the year 2100, I’m certainly not the man to try to stop it. I learned about that from King Canute.

w.

APPENDIX:  Some conversion factors and numbers.

One joule is one watt applied for one second. One watt applied for one year = 1 watt-year * 365.25 days/year * 24 hrs/day * 60 minutes / hour * 60 seconds / minute =  31,557,946 watt – seconds = 31.56e+6 joules.

Mass of the ocean = 1.37e+18 tonnes

It requires 3.99 megajoules (3.99e+6 joules) to raise one tonne of sea water by 1°C

Joules to raise the entire ocean one degree Celsius = tonnes/ocean * joules per tonne per degree = 5.48e+24 joules per degree of oceanic warming

Surface area of the the planet = 5.11e14 square metres

1 W/m2 = 1.60e+22 joules annually

So the whole calculation runs like this:

```    .54 W/m2 *1.6e+22 joules/yr/(W/m2)

------------------------------------------------   =  0.0016 °C/yr

5.48e+24 Joules/°C```
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Dan
December 30, 2011 11:42 pm

Willis, I think the warming is only half of your result as the sun only heats half the globe.

December 30, 2011 11:49 pm

Then you have to factor in the angle of incidence all over the globe… which really throws the average into disarray. Polar Energy input will be vitually nil compared to torrid zone input. No pina coladas in Alert, Nunavut. So tell me, why would Hansen publish something like this, anyway?

Editor
December 30, 2011 11:55 pm

Hi Willis
As always thorough and thought-provoking.
But a question? I presume warming wil not only be for the ocean – the calculation you have as 1.37e+18 tonnes. But what about the terrestrial surface? Warming of frozen tundra? Increased heat in the deserts, better climate here in New Zealand etc. How much mass can we expect to see heated in the continents?….and to what depth??
Andy

Leon Brozyna
December 30, 2011 11:58 pm

I’m still waiting for the West Side Hwy to flood … if I stick around till it does, I may become a record-setting centarion.

December 30, 2011 11:58 pm

mmmm, took a while to drudge through the paper, littered with pops at human “smoking guns” (he actually used this term) etc and lots of inferences, models and maybes…but finally got to the money shot, so to speak, at the end regarding the explantion for aerosol impact (which became an excuse in the paper for observed cooling in the last decade and his all important energy imbalance)….”Such a mission concept has been well-defined (Hansen et al., 1992) and if carried out by the private sector without a requirement for undue government review panels it could be achieved within a cost of about \$100M….”

December 31, 2011 12:03 am

“So tell me, why would Hansen publish something like this, anyway?”
Because he’s convinced that we’re destroying the world by warming it.
Anything that looks like it supports this hypothosis, he’ll write up and get published.

Dave in L.A.
December 31, 2011 12:06 am

Don’t you also have to adjust for the fact that a lot of those joules (30%-ish) warm land, most of which has no effect on ocean heat content? Some of it also melts the Pina Coladas.

Brian H
December 31, 2011 12:10 am

Minor adjustment, 70% of the globe is ocean, not 100%. Trivial, really.
😉

Julian Braggins
December 31, 2011 12:12 am

I would like to defend poor maligned King Canute, he demonstrated his inability to stop the incoming tide to demonstrate to his sycophantic court and populace that he was not omnipotent 😉

Brian H
December 31, 2011 12:16 am

Oops, I see in your appendix you use the ocean mass, which accommodates area and volume quibbles.
As for Hansen, it’s a Truly Trenberthian Travesty that anyone still pays him any mind. Not to mention any money.

Mike McMillan
December 31, 2011 12:16 am

“Surface area of the the planet = 5.11e14 square metres”
Shouldn’t we rather use surface area of the oceans?

Richard111
December 31, 2011 12:20 am

Thanks Willis. A couple of years ago I attempted to calculate the amount of land ice that must melt to raise global sea levels by 1 metre. I arrived at the figure of 400,000 cubic kilometres (only slightly rounded). I then attempted to calculate the energy required to raise the temperature of that quantity of ice from an average of -10C to 0.01C and arrived at horrendous figures. I then attempted to use energy from the air only and gave up as no ways could I meet the target date of 2100. At this point I gave up as I found that the Australian site Dome A, now closed, was reporting sub surface ice temperatures in excess of -30C. I was unable to find any “official” report on this subject so I concluded sea levels would not rise by 1 metre by the year 2100 and all reports of sea level rise were scare mongering BS. Al Gore convinced me when he bought his sea front condominium which was at about the time I was curdling my octogenarian brain. 🙂

R.M.Barclay
December 31, 2011 12:29 am

Surface tension is the major player in this argument about heat “budgets” and it is being ignored. Try heating the surface of water in a bucket with a heat gun. Even though you are applying 450deg to the surface no heat is transferred immediately. It takes just over 10 mins of heating the surface before the surface tension is sufficiently reduced to allow the water to absorb heat. I don’t have the resourses to take this any further but the result convinces me that surface tension definitely interferes with heat transfer. I strongly suspect that the atmosphere does not have enough heat to overcome the surface tension and therefore no physical heat can be transferred from the atmosphere into the ocean. The ocean only accepts energy from the sun’s rays which penetrate the surface tension no problem. The ocean and the sun are therefore in lock step. Graphs of temperature against sun activity tend to bear me out. It also cures Trenberth’s “missing heat” problem.

Lawrie Ayres
December 31, 2011 12:30 am

I like the simplicity of maths. But doesn’t ARGO show cooling of late and envirosat shows sea level falling which would indicate to this poor fool that the oceans are losing heat. But then I’m not a NASA scientist.
Happy New Year to everyone here especially Anthony. Will 2012 be the end of the hoax? I hope so so we can get on with the real problems in the world. First step: defund the UN.

Richard111
December 31, 2011 12:32 am

Comments on surface area above made me wonder about water runoff from the land into the sea. Is there any heating effect from this?

jaymam
December 31, 2011 12:35 am

Dan says:
December 30, 2011 at 11:42 pm
“Willis, I think the warming is only half of your result as the sun only heats half the globe.”
The sun heats a quarter of the globe.

Svein S
December 31, 2011 12:40 am

What really is a travesty is that this naiive analysis does not even consider the fact that the warming of the ocean is uneven, and that most of it remains in the surface layer (since it is heated from above) where in fact the warming ocean interacts with the rest of the climate system. To argue on the basis of averaging everything over the entire ocean volume is ridiculous, and has no meaning. To argue against Hansen´s analysis one needs to do better than this futile attempt.

Jay Currie
December 31, 2011 12:45 am

Oh sure…you just do the math. How mean is that?
The heat is down there somewhere, suppressed by the echos of a twenty year old volcano.
Enough of this math business: you have to believe!
Death trains depend on you ignoring the math.

December 31, 2011 12:50 am

*So tell me, why would Hansen publish something like this, anyway?*
Is it getting near funding application time again?

December 31, 2011 12:56 am

Lawrie Ayres says:
December 31, 2011 at 12:30 am
“I like the simplicity of maths. But doesn’t ARGO show cooling of late and envirosat shows sea level falling which would indicate to this poor fool that the oceans are losing heat. But then I’m not a NASA scientist.”
Lawrie, I think sometihng is up with Envirosat as of late. Was looking yesterday for updated sea level data from it yesterday and seems its all disappearing from the web. I’m thinking the drop in sea level data it is showing is causing to much heartburn for the warmists so am expecting an “update” soon myself.

Isonomia
December 31, 2011 1:05 am

“To argue against Hansen´s analysis one needs to do better than this futile attempt.”
It’s just a bit of fun. Hansen is an idiot. Worse he is a partisan idiot. The only thing we need to see to know that this paper is worthless is his name on it.
What we are really laughing at is the people who still take him seriously.

Dan
December 31, 2011 1:09 am

Jaymam, I suppose you are thinking of the effect of twilight and dawn on the incoming radiation. However, Willis is using an average figure which takes this into account.

Richard S Courtney
December 31, 2011 1:24 am

Svein S:
I really, really want to write a refutation of your silly post at December 31, 2011 at 12:40 am. But I am constraining myself because Willis normally gives his own reply to nonsense like yours.
I await Willis’ response with as much anticipation as you should have trepidation. I will give your post a blast if Willis does not give us the pleasure of blasting you with his usual combination of charm and wit.
Richard

gnomish
December 31, 2011 1:27 am

yeah, willis!
sure has been a resurgence of really basic science around here lately.
it’s very nice.
if only it were about science, eh?
you’ll find you can’t knock em down with facts. you have a quibble but they have a cause. it’s a moral issue – sacrifice required. eventually we get to the real meat of the matter – the cannibal lunch. eventually there must be a rediscovery of morality. then we can decide not how but if we shall be prey.

crosspatch
December 31, 2011 1:28 am

To find out what the “oceans” are doing, measuring the top is silly. It is my opinion that the abyssal deep tells us what is going on overall with the oceans and we don’t measure temperatures there in any serious way. If the bottom of the ocean warms by 0.1 degrees, that is a huge amount of heat, whatever is going on at the surface notwithstanding.

December 31, 2011 1:30 am

Julian Braggins says: “I would like to defend poor maligned King Canute, he demonstrated his inability to stop the incoming tide to demonstrate to his sycophantic court and populace that he was not omnipotent”
I used to jump into that one, too, Julian; until an English chappie on the blogs advised me it depended which side of some border was used as reference. On one side they hated him and the story was that of a fool — on the other side they honoured him and the story was of a man of wisdom.
Some wandering around seemed to confirm that split of definitions, so now I lay low…

December 31, 2011 1:53 am

Please you are raising the temperature of one tonne of sea water by 1C not raise the water, something my physics teacher instilled into me at school.
All these alarmist claims seem to forget nighttime when there is no solar heating and lots of heat loss. Hansen’s claims are based on relating big numbers in the hope that these will panic people into believing him. When reality sets in there is nothing to fear.
Thanks Willis.

December 31, 2011 2:07 am

Thanks Willis for the calculations! One remark: the main warming is in the upper layer of the oceans, as the bulk of the deep oceans doesn’t warm that fast. In general, the GCM’s only consider the upper 250 m of the oceans (the “mixed layer”) as involved in temperature changes. Thus the “warming” is going faster, but at the other side, the W/m2 imbalance isn’t staying the same: at one side the theoretical forcing by CO2 is going up, but as the temperature of the ocean surface goes up, the direct radiation to space goes up with the fourth power, besides evaporation and convection towards the poles… Anyway the effect is miniscule.

Roy
December 31, 2011 2:18 am

jaymam says:
“The sun heats a quarter of the globe.”
Are you claiming that when it is daytime in one part of the world it is nighttime in three quarters of the world?

Mydogsgotnonose
December 31, 2011 2:19 am

N. Atlantic OHC: http://bobtisdale.files.wordpress.com/2011/12/figure-101.png
We have in phase for the first time since the 17th Century the cooling PDO, the cooling part of the Arctic oscillation and the 1 in 179 years’ cooling solar cycle.
By 2020 N. Atlantic OHC, which has driven global OHC by warmed melt water from the Arctic [driven by low cloud albedo], will be back to normal.

December 31, 2011 2:35 am

Yeah! but when you do the maths – it takes all the grant funding hyperbole out 🙂
Thank you!

MikeN
December 31, 2011 2:42 am

Shouldn’t you account for the ocean not covering the entire planetary surface?

Julian Flood
December 31, 2011 2:42 am

Canute bade the tide to cease next to his palace on the banks of a tidal river, the Thames. The centuries rolled by and in 2008 the Houses of Parliament passed the Climate Change Act at almost exactly the same spot — so close in fact that it may well be that the Speaker sits where Canute did all those years before.
The difference is that the King knew his order was nonsense. So much for the Enlightenment.
JF
Canute, his flattering courtiers cried
Can do what he wants with the rising tide.
But he only wetted his feet when he tried.
(Punch)

Bomber_the_Cat
December 31, 2011 2:55 am

Haven’t you got this slightly wrong Willis? You seem to have calculated the number of Joules over the entire globe, and then applied all of this to heating the mass of the ocean (as Mike McMillan said then also Brian H before he changed his mind).
The ocean is only about 70% of the surface area of the planet and energy falling on the land is not going to contribute directly to heating it. Surely your calculation should be
(0.7 ^ 0.54 * 1.6e+22 ) / 5.48e+24 kelvin per year
… which gives an answer somewhat less frightening and alarming

December 31, 2011 2:56 am

I’m an old chemical process guy. I got lost at “imbalance”. Mass and energy always balance. If you cannot balance them, you failed to adequately describe the process. If in and out don’t balance you are sent back to your room until, like a good little boy, you do your homework to get them to balance. Global mass/energy balance is a bit more difficult to measure but the process still applies. “Imbalance” and “energy budget” (whatever that is supposed to mean) simply describe inadequate measurement or understanding.

Dr Burns
December 31, 2011 3:03 am

With 3000 drifting buoys, a replacement rate of 750 buoys pa; a range of temperatures measured by a typical buoy of about 10 deg C, as they rise and fall; a huge difference in ocean depths at buoy locations; a variation of 0.1 deg C seems rather meaningless.

December 31, 2011 3:04 am

As I have written many times, the thermal expansion/contraction of the connected oceans depends on the sea temperatures as measured at all depths. The onion skin approach is invalid, as Willis rightly shows by electing to present his calculations this way. Crosspatch is correct a few posts up.

A physics
December 31, 2011 3:29 am

Willis, if you push your calculations a little further, you’ll find that Hansen’s calculations and reasoning are reasonable and self-consistent. For example, Hansen asserts three things:
(1) The deep-ocean temperature swing associated to the thawing of an ice age is about 3 degrees C (per ocean data of Hansen’s Figure 3).
(2) Earth’s present energy imbalance is about 0.75 Watts per meter^2 (per Hansen’s Section 13.4).
(3) The latter energy imbalance is sufficient to produce major changes in Earth’s climate.
To check whether Hansen’s assertions are mutually consistent, let’s calculate the time-scale on which the energy imbalance (2) can produce the deep-ocean temperature change (1), and ask: Is the time-scale for deep-ocean warming short enough to justify concern (3) regarding climate change?
Here are the associated calculations (as automated in a program called Mathematica):
—————————————————————
— Calculations —
physicsRules = {
timeToWarmTheOceans ->
iceAgeOceanTemperatureChange/rateOfOceanWarming,
rateOfOceanWarming ->
globalHeatingRate/(heatCapacityOfWater*globalOceanVolume),
globalHeatingRate ->
areaOfEarth*energyImbalanceHeatFlux
};
geophysicalData = {
iceAgeOceanTemperatureChange -> 3 K,   (* Hansen Figure 3 *)
energyImbalanceHeatFlux -> 0.75 W/m^2, (* Hansen Section 13.4 *)
areaOfEarth -> 0.51 * 10^9 km^2,
globalOceanVolume -> 1.3 * 10^9 km^3,
heatCapacityOfWater -> 4.2 J/(gm K) * 1 gm/cm^3
};
timeToWarmTheOceans//
ReplaceRepeated[#,physicsRules]&//
ReplaceRepeated[#,geophysicalData]&//
ConvertToSI[#/year]&//Round//
Print[“Time to warm the oceans = “,#,” years”]&;
— Results —
Time to warm the oceans = 1357 years
—————————————————————
Thus we verify that Hansen’s conclusions are physically reasonable: a global energy imbalance in the range 0.5-1.0 W/m^2 does suffice to warm the Earth’s deep-ocean water on a time-scale of order one thousand years; a period that is (1) short compared to CO2 residence times in the atmosphere, and (2) rapid compared to normal climatological processes.
Of course there is much more to be said — that’s why why Hansen’s article is more than fifty pages long — but at least the fundamental physics of Hansen’s argument is internally consistent and reasonable.

Pete H
December 31, 2011 3:36 am

“They say we can currently determine the temperature of the top mile of depth of the ocean to a precision of ± eight thousandths of a degree C.”
We live in truly astounding times if they really can! Then again, they have been living on the edge of reality for some time now! I simply cannot get my head around that Willis! Help me out! Do they treat the oceans/seas as a still body with no currents, waves, no varying winds, no cloud cover? The list is endless!

J Martin
December 31, 2011 3:38 am

What about the loss of heat from the oceans at night, and as the ocean temperature increases, surely the rate of heat loss at night would also increase. Also as ocean temperatures increase, more evaporation would take place also serving to hold temperatures in check.
2641 ? more like 3641
by which time there may perhaps only be one topic of conversation.

A physics
December 31, 2011 3:39 am

alcheson says: Was looking yesterday for updated sea level data from it yesterday and seems its all disappearing from the web. I’m thinking the drop in sea level data it is showing is causing to much heartburn for the warmists so am expecting an “update” soon myself.

The most recent Jason-2 data update shows a return to rising sea-levels — consistent with the concluding prediction of the abstract of Hansen’s article, that prediction being “a near-term acceleration in the rate of sea level rise.” The next two decades will be very interesting in regard to Hansen’s prediction, eh?

A. C. Osborn
December 31, 2011 3:45 am

Svein S says: December 31, 2011 at 12:40 am “To argue against Hansen´s analysis one needs to do better than this futile attempt.”
You have pointed out that the warming would be less than Willis has shown, so you have shown that Hansen is even more wrong than Willis.

Area Man
December 31, 2011 4:11 am

Off topic, Willis, but since it’s the end of the year I can now say that “The Reef Abides” has officially won best blog posting title of the year for 2011. Cheers and Happy New Year!

JohnL
December 31, 2011 4:19 am

We’re finally talking about the right subject.
1. Temperature is a symptom of the more fundamental variable – heat energy.
2. The heat energy of the Earth’s biosphere is completely dominated by the heat energy in the liquid water of the oceans.
3. The heat content of the atmosphere is small by comparison, and is in turn dominated by the energy stored in water vapor. The state change from liquid to gas requires (releases when reversed) so much energy that it forms a huge stabilizing flywheel.

R Barker
December 31, 2011 4:52 am

The oceans are performing one of many of their very useful functions……acting as the world’s best heat sink, storing the excess heat until such time as the energy imbalance goes the other way and the oceans give up that stored energy. My preference is that they continue to store energy for a while to delay the onset of the next glaciation. Not that I will be around to see it.

Mydogsgotnonose
December 31, 2011 5:13 am

Geoff Sherington: the problem Hansen is that his basic physics is wrong. As well as false ‘back radiation’, an elementary mistake to anyone properly trained in heat transfer, and the 33K present GHG warming claim [it’s probably ~9K], the aerosol cooling Hansen claims, -1.6 W/m^2, is bunkum. Assuming the same median direct cooling as in AR4, it means an increase of ~50% of the indirect cooling when that has substantially fallen recently as shown by falling N. Atlantic OHC.
The explanation is that the aerosol optical physics he pioneered is wrong.
A Physic: take out the sinusoid and these data show continued fall in sea level. It’s probably caused by the fall in OHC and increased Antarctic precipitation. When the Arctic is really frozen, about 2020, sea levels will have fallen substantially.
The exact level of GHG-AGW is a moot point. I wouldn’t be surprised if it was very low indeed because you can explain all present and palaeoclimate observations by change of cloud albedo.

ozspeaksup
December 31, 2011 5:21 am

ok at the risk of making myself look goofy,
hansens calcs are all assuming everything stays constant?
and
in Nature Nothing ever is,
solar lows highs etc for starters.
Iceland just got massive snow dumps i read, off their records, switzerland also, so even as a minor event, it affects albedo for some time till it melts or not.
none of which can be factored into anything, for long term use really.

Mydogsgotnonose
December 31, 2011 5:25 am

An update for A Physic: here are the Envisat sea level data: http://indianweatherman.blogspot.com/2011/11/envisat-data-shows-global-sea-level.html
Falling consistently since 2007

cui bono
December 31, 2011 5:34 am

Thanks for the post Mr Eschenbach.
The paper shows one thing clearly. If there is one hockey-stick graph apparent in the last few decades, it’s Hansen quoting himself! 🙂
Mike Bromley the Canucklehead says (December 30, 2011 at 11:49 pm): ‘So tell me, why would Hansen publish something like this, anyway?’
(1) To give Hansen’s explanation of why there’s been little warming in the last decade top billing in AR5, by…
(2) ..dismissing Trenberth’s “missing heat” and…
(3) ..blaming aerosols, which no-one can dispute because of the paucity of data on aerosols.
Rem: http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/10/27/climate-scientists-and-their-excuses/.

Peter
December 31, 2011 5:41 am

Willis, I doubt that the oceans warm even as fast as you’ve calculated.
Virtually all of the warming takes place in the upper few hundred metres and especially at the surface. Surface warming would increase the heat loss from the surface (by radiation, convection and evaporation) which would in turn tend to reduce the imbalance, effectively reducing the amount of energy available to warm the deeper layers.

Joachim Seifert
December 31, 2011 5:47 am

What does Henson aiming at? ….. Well, he said, there is “missing heat in the pipeline”, somwhere HIDING and his pipeline is the deep oceans, where the heat disappears into it …. Therefore we have the present 21 Cty temp plateau, where temps stay flat…….because its hiding deep down in the water…..Which means AGW IS RIGHT, because GOLBAL WARMING has not stopped but is only hiding!
But hiding……nothing escapes the sharp eyes of smart Henson…he measures the MISSING HEAT down to a fraction of 0,0016 (which is 16 ten thousaunds part of 1 degree) in the water, but what
about the global AIR temp increasing by +2 C until the year 2100???
Maybe a + 0,0016 C x additional 90 years of ocean heat should be equal to + 2 C until 2100?
Question to the Henson smart A PHYSICS: Please
translate the OHC warming into the 2 C atmospheric warming until 2100 and you will be
celebrated by all of us…..! We are waiting….Happy new Year + something to do…..
JS

DirkH
December 31, 2011 5:58 am

A physics says:
December 31, 2011 at 3:39 am
“The most recent Jason-2 data update shows a return to rising sea-levels — ”
A physics, it does that every NH winter. It’s not seasonally adjusted.

Alex the skeptic
December 31, 2011 6:01 am

A physics says:
December 31, 2011 at 3:39 am
alcheson says: Was looking yesterday for updated sea level data from it yesterday and seems its all disappearing from the web. I’m thinking the drop in sea level data it is showing is causing to much heartburn for the warmists so am expecting an “update” soon myself.
The most recent Jason-2 data update shows a return to rising sea-levels — consistent with the concluding prediction of the abstract of Hansen’s article, that prediction being “a near-term acceleration in the rate of sea level rise.” The next two decades will be very interesting in regard to Hansen’s prediction, eh?
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
A physics, I opened your suggested url that’s supposed to convince us that the ocean level is again rising; it needs a lot of faith for one to belive so. The oceans seem to have stopped rising and there is more of a stasis then a rise right now. Look at the graph again.

Alex the skeptic
December 31, 2011 6:06 am

Willis,
Why is it that the energy transferred to the atmosphere by evaporation, and therefore the lowering of the ocean surface temperature, is not considered in the equation? Is it too small compared with the total energy pick up due to solar radiation? Just asking.

Joachim Seifert
December 31, 2011 6:14 am

An additional note to calculation smart “A Physics”:
The present temp plateau since 2001 means that all the “missing heat” (i.e. no more atmospheric temp increase) went into Hensons secret deep hiding place……but how does the heat comes out again from there and enters again into the atmosphere??
The IPCC AR4, wg1 answers this question: The heat comes out again at a rate of half the value of 0.2 C global temp INCREASE per DECADE, which means the missing heat comes out at at a rate of 0.1 C/decade (2001-2010). Here you have a good calculation value, since IPCC AR4 is produced by more than 40 smart climate institutes, AR4 is their combined wisdom and they will NOT admit errors on the subject…. this just to help you a bit with the numbers in case you would get lost…. why would 0.1 C/decade come out of the water when global temps stay on a flat plateau and 0.0016 C are hiding in the water?
JS

Claude Harvey
December 31, 2011 6:16 am

Assuming the calculation is correct, one tenth of one degree by 2100 sounds pretty tame. But before we get too comfortable with that picture, I suggest another “macro-calculation”. If the oceans did warm 0.10 degree C., use the solubility tables to calculate how much CO2 the oceans would puke into the atmosphere. Add that total to the continuing man-made component and then do a simple greenhouse calculation for year 2100 to see whether the temperature effect is multiplied to any alarming degree. Hansen is obsessed with “positive feedback”. Ocean puking would certainly fall into that category.

Eric (skeptic)
December 31, 2011 6:22 am

The abstract says “We conclude that most climate models mix heat too efficiently into the deep ocean and as a result underestimate the negative forcing by human-made aerosols.” In the body of the paper they explain that models are not based on primarily on physics but are based on fitting parameters like aerosols so the model output matches Hansen’s favorite Global Average Temperature index (the one that assumes that stations 1200km apart are well correlated, that island airports are representative of large swaths of ocean, that urbanization effects can be corrected by warming historical measurements, etc).
Figure 2 is the thesis of the paper, a model output or freehand drawing (doesn’t really matter which) of “relative probabilities” of aerosol forcing (gray dotted line) that “prove” that the lack of warming is due to aerosols and not deep ocean heat loss. That is important because if heat is lost to the deep ocean (which is 90% of the volume), it is not coming back since water warmed from 34F to 34.1F cannot return to warm the ocean above the thermocline. If that water does return it will cool the surface and the atmosphere. It is not correct to call that “inertia” since the heat is lost, not merely delayed.

Bill Illis
December 31, 2011 6:26 am

The IPCC AR5 will have total forcing at about +2.17 W/m2 for 2010.
If von Shuckmann 2011 and Hansen 2011 are right, there is 0.54 W/m2 going into the 0 to 1500 metre ocean and 0.07 W/m2 going into Land energy accumulation and Ice-Sheet melt.
So, that leaves 1.54 W/m2 (of direct forcing) available to warm the surface (there should be no lag in this beyond a few months). If temperatures are up 0.7C (including feedbacks), that results in 0.45 C/W/m2.
Still well below the expected 0.75 C/W/m2 that the theory is based on. There is less imbalance than Trenberth initially flagged as a travesty, but there is still energy missing.

Joules Verne
December 31, 2011 6:29 am

Faster way is not to change units I think.
BTU = energy required to raise one pound of water one degree F
average depth of ocean 12000 feet
pounds of water per cubic foot 62
energy input 0.05W/ft2
1 Watt = 3.4 BTU/hr
hours/year = 8670
0.05*3.4*8670 = BTU/YEAR/FT2 = 1474
1474/(62*12000) = TEMP in F increase/year total ocean = 0.002F
Call it enough to raise average ocean temperature by 1F in 500 years.
The real question is the mix rate. If this energy were just going into the mixed layer (top 300 feet) then it would raise the temperature 1F in just 12 years. We would have easily noticed that. So either the mixed layer is mixing downward an order of magnitude faster than credible by known means or Hansen is badly mistaken about how much extra energy is arriving. Hence Trenberth’s infamous “missing energy”.
There IS one other possibility. The extra energy is indeed falling upon the ocean’s surface. It is indeed coming from anthropogenic CO2. But it simply isn’t being entrained in the ocean. There’s a good physical explanation of why it isn’t being entrained. YOU CAN’T HEAT WATER WITH LONG WAVE INFRARED RADIATION! It doesn’t work. All it does is raise the evaporation rate. Once you realize this is true everything starts making perfect sense.

commieBob
December 31, 2011 6:34 am

A physics says:
December 31, 2011 at 3:29 am
Willis, if you push your calculations a little further, you’ll find that Hansen’s calculations and reasoning are reasonable and self-consistent.

A person with right brain damage will believe anything as long as it is self-consistent. (Iain McGilchrist, The Master and his Emissary”, Yale University Press, 2009) Actually, to be fair to Hansen, McGilchrist says the problem is with society in general and not just with people who actually have brain damage.
The fact that something is self-consistent doesn’t prove that it is right. Many fine debaters have produced wonderful self-consistent arguments about how many angels can dance on the head of a pin. 😉 Anyway, no matter what else you think about Hansen, he is a competent scientist. Any work he does will be self-consistent even if it is wrong.

December 31, 2011 6:39 am

Some people are unclear as to why 1/4 is used in the math calculations. Here is my attempt of an explanation:
If your planet was a flat circular disk that always faced the sun, you would divide by 2 (or multipy by 1/2) to calculate the average amount of sun hitting the oddly shaped planet as one half would be in constant shadow. If instead you had a half sphere planet, with a round, or half spherical part always facing the sun, you would now have a much larger surface area receiving the same amount of sun as the flat surface version. Now if you have a sphere, and that is indeed what we have, the math simply works out to multiplying by 1/4 to acount for the surfaces of the sphere that are not directly facing the sun and hence not receiving the full force one might get if the sun was directly overhead as well as the half of the planet that is in complete shadow.
One other useful representation is to consider a parallel beam flashlight (torch). While shining the light perpindicular to a surface, note the strength of the light. Now turn the flashlight so it makes an ever increasing angle away from perpindicular and you can easily see that the same amount of light “forceing” is now spread over a larger area, which is akin to the higher latitudes of the earth. Which is also a reason that less ice in the Arctic isn’t going to cause a runaway heating effect, because the angles are to great, and the entire Arctic is cast in 24 hours of darkness around the date of December 21, and the North Pole itself has 6 months of total darkness (no sunlight reaching its surface).

Owen
December 31, 2011 6:41 am

Willis, I appreciate your work, and as usual, well done, but if Hansen’s paper had crossed my desk I wouldn’t have even looked at. It would have gone straight into the garbage bin. Hansen isn’t a scientist, he’s a carnival barker and has NO credibility whatsoever.

A physicist
December 31, 2011 6:51 am

Mydogsgotnonose says: An update for A Physic: here are the Envisat sea level data … falling consistently since 2007.

Mydogsgotnonose, the link that you supplied was second-hand, out-of-date, and cherry-picked to the least-well-calibrated satellite (Envisat). An up-to-date summary of all available satellite data shows that sea-level rise resumed in the last eight months of 2011. Hansen and his coauthors predict acceleration of the observed sea-level rise; the next two decades (or so) will test this prediction.

December 31, 2011 6:54 am

A physics says:
December 31, 2011 at 3:39 am
“The next two decades will be very interesting in regard to Hansen’s prediction, eh?”

The last two were very interesting too?

1DandyTroll
December 31, 2011 6:56 am

So, essentially, the missing heat could just be that it just takes a bunch of energy to melt ice and to hinder new ice from forming. What with all the missing ice and interstellar reasoning and what not. :p

December 31, 2011 7:03 am

Willis
See Jayman “The sun heats a quarter of the globe.”
Surface of a sphere = 4 Pi R^2
Sunlight area = Pi R^2.
Thus divide you area by four – which multiplies your heat rate by four.
See: Ferdinand Engelbeen

the GCM’s only consider the upper 250 m of the oceans (the “mixed layer”) as involved in temperature changes.

So for your first order analysis, recommend using just the top 250 m rather than the whole ocean.
Roy Spencer notes:

Ten years ago Dick Lindzen used a simple climate model to look into the issue of whether the rate of ocean warming at 500 meters depth might help us better understand how sensitive the climate system is.

See: Do deep ocean temperature records verify models?Richard S. Lindzen GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH LETTERS, VOL. 29, NO. 8, 1254, 10.1029/2001GL014360, 2002
Spencer provides a simple model including diffusion. See: More Evidence that Global Warming is a False Alarm: A Model Simulation of the last 40 Years of Deep Ocean Warming

It appears that the vertical profile of ocean warming could be a key ingredient in getting a better idea of how sensitive the climate system is to our greenhouse gas emissions. The results here suggests the warming has been considerably weaker than what would be expected for a sensitive climate system.
The sensitivity number I estimate — 1.3 deg. C — arguably puts future warming in the realm of “eh, who cares?”

Steve Keohane
December 31, 2011 7:04 am

Good one Willis.Making the inconsequential a worry seems to be becoming a more desperate process.
A Happy, Healthy and Prosperous New Year to all!

Matt
December 31, 2011 7:11 am

@Mydogsgotnonose
Declining sea-levels, just like temperatures not increasing, are more proof that the earth is actually warming in the long-term… 😉
Funny-funny… what was I gonna say:
I kept repeating for a while that rising temps are not proof that the rise is actually attributable to mankind – but I must admit that I am not sure whether that view is still (?) justified. What’s the word on that? Actually I thought I had read something to the contratry here recentry but didn’t follow up on it. Is there a non-warmist, non-wacko take (read: sensible) on the situation as to the degree of the human contribution, anyone? I must admit that I still wouldn’t get my knickers in a twist, since there has been more warming/cooling before in history, yet we are all alive and kicking today… I just don’t wanna run around and say human contribution to warming isn’t made out if it actually is.

bacullen
December 31, 2011 7:28 am

W,
is the M^2 term the surface area of the Earth or 1/4 that number representing the area intercepting solar flux?
BC

ShrNfr
December 31, 2011 7:28 am

Roflol

December 31, 2011 7:29 am

Just assume that nothing these people (global warming alarmists) have ever written, or will ever write, is worth reading. The probability is you will be more right than wrong, and just think of all the time you’ll save.
Note to file:
Add Hansen et al to the “ignore list”.
Wattsnext?
In less than a decade, the global warming “crisis” will be utterly discredited. Earth will be naturally cooling and humankind will be very concerned about the adequacy of global food supply. There will be bitter recriminations about the trillion=plus dollars squandered on the scam of global warming. Broken wind farms will litter the landscape, with no money to decommission them. Corn ethanol for motor fuel will be considered heresy. The names of the leading global warmists will live in infamy.

cknlitl
December 31, 2011 7:36 am

R.M.Barclay says:
December 31, 2011 at 12:29 am
Surface tension is the major player in this argument about heat “budgets” and it is being ignored. Try heating the surface of water in a bucket with a heat gun. Even though you are applying 450deg to the surface no heat is transferred immediately. It takes just over 10 mins of heating the surface before the surface tension is sufficiently reduced to allow the water to absorb heat. I don’t have the resourses to take this any further but the result convinces me that surface tension definitely interferes with heat transfer. I strongly suspect that the atmosphere does not have enough heat to overcome the surface tension and therefore no physical heat can be transferred from the atmosphere into the ocean. The ocean only accepts energy from the sun’s rays which penetrate the surface tension no problem. The ocean and the sun are therefore in lock step. Graphs of temperature against sun activity tend to bear me out. It also cures Trenberth’s “missing heat” problem.
RMB,
Your point is quite valid for calm waters. I think it would be quite interesting to look at the differential in rate of heat transfer for calm vs turbulent waters. I would bet money that the equations are not linear. If the CRU folks were attempting to accurately model temps, they would have to account for clouds, wind, & wave motion. It might be a little difficult to do without any worldwide sensor/data collection network.
Good luck with that …

ChE
December 31, 2011 7:39 am

One way to do a quick check on that is to calculate the thermal expansion, and see what sea level rise would be, and compare that to actual sea level rise.

December 31, 2011 7:45 am

2.7.9 Physical properties of sea water NPL, for those interested.

kakatoa
December 31, 2011 8:03 am

So what happens to Nimo and his friends when the temperature goes up as stated. Are their more Nimo’s, less Nimo’s, bigger Nimo’s., etc. If it’s warmer does that Energy end up leading to a few more biological effects- more plankton, etc. Just wondering.

Claude Harvey
December 31, 2011 8:11 am

Re:ChE says:
December 31, 2011 at 7:39 am
“One way to do a quick check on that is to calculate the thermal expansion, and see what sea level rise would be, and compare that to actual sea level rise.”
The “true believers” and keepers of the satellite-measured sea levels at U, Colorado Boulder already cut that one off at the pass. If the actual, measured sea level rate-of-rise doesn’t give them the answer they seek, they introduce a “sea bed sinking” factor to account for the difference. I’m still chaffing over that stunt.

Pat Moffitt
December 31, 2011 8:18 am

Willis says,
“They say we can currently determine the temperature of the top mile of depth of the ocean to a precision of ± eight thousandths of a degree C. I doubt that.”
The AGW and ocean acidification hubris is birthed from the false premises based on measurement precision and accuracy. From noise they divine trend, from trend they ascribe attribution and with attribution they foretell the future.
The systemic sampling, calibration, human and equipment errors as well as the “unknown unknowns” of the real world make me reject any science based on the “willful suspension of disbelief.” There was an age not too long ago that scientists would have laughed at anyone claiming the ability to see a long term trends in global temperature or pH measured in hundredths of a unit.

December 31, 2011 8:36 am

After a bit of work I was able to get the Argo viewer working from their web-site. It is a very good viewer, but also cranky to figure out. Definitely not a user friendly install.
Anyhow, the viewer lets you slice and dice the oceans graphically to get an idea of what is going on. The color banding is quite good at shosing very small differences in temperature.
What is quite apparent looking at the data graphically is that there has been no appreciable ocean warming recorded by Argo. There is nothing that the eye can detect in the colored profiles that shows heat is moving through the top 1500 meters of ocean. I urge every reader to take the time to install the Argo viewer for themselves.
If there is heat accumulating such that it will warm the planet 1 C in 500 years according to Hansen, then that would seem consistent with what I’ve seen. However, I would also say that the 1 C project from Hansen is likely misleading. To take 5 years of data and project 500 years is to ignore the error bars.
The Argo data is not perfect. There will be some amount of error in the numbers. Projecting 500 years from 5 magnifies the error by 100 times. So, if the Argo data has an error of .01 C, which seems possible, given that they have more than once adjusted the numbers, then Hansen may simply be projecting the error rates.
If this is the case, then the most likely situation is the Argo is showing that there is no heat accumulating in the oceans. The conclusion from this is that the energy imbalance calculated from the radiation models is a model artifact. As put forward in an another paper, this could be a result of from decoupling radiation from convection when calculating the energy budget.

December 31, 2011 8:42 am

The argo viewer is available here:
ftp://kakapo.ucsd.edu/pub/argo/Global_Marine_Argo_Atlas/Global_Marine_Argo_Atlas_setup.exe
The install instructions are available here:
http://www.argo.ucsd.edu/Marine_Atlas.html
This instructions page has some sample graphs on the right side of the panel showing the color banding to give you some idea of what the viewer will provide. I highly recommend taking the time to get the viewer working.

Doug S
December 31, 2011 8:44 am

I’m intrigued by the idea that the total kinetic energy of the earth system may change over time. I’ve only recently seen this mentioned in the post on “unified climate theory”. It seems to me we need to understand how the kinetic energy of the water and gases change over time to get a grasp on the related temperature changes. Good post as always Willis and continued thanks for defending the true spirit of science.

Hunter Paalman
December 31, 2011 8:52 am

Oh yea, this is a poignant demonstration of, “The science is settled !”
Fascinating to scan down the comments to assess the ebb and flow
of the concepts and the mental energy generated in this discussion.
Could this increase global warming ?

Interstellar Bill
December 31, 2011 9:05 am

Barclay’s heat gun experiment sounds like fun,
but to make it relevant to the ocean he needs to add a bubbler
or something to churn up the surface like the real ocean.
Spray drops will get heated by the air, then fall back to the water.
Though I bet the sun is still the major influence on ocean temp.

December 31, 2011 9:09 am

cknlitl says:
December 31, 2011 at 7:36 am
therefore no physical heat can be transferred from the atmosphere into the ocean.
I spent the better part of 20 years sailing around the world on a sailboat. I never had the slightest notion that the air warmed the oceans. The air cools the oceans. The faster the air is moving, the more it cools the oceans.
Perhaps if the air was already 100 percent saturated with water, and hotter than the water, then perhaps the air could warm the water, but these conditions are not typical. Rain might under some circumstances warm the oceans, but again not likely as rain is typically colder than the oceans.
Sunshine warms the oceans. The more sunshine, the warmer they get. Near the equator, where winds are light and there is lots of sunshine, they are the warmest. As you move away from the equator winds increase and the oceans cool.

December 31, 2011 9:17 am

I’m a little puzzled on how the watts per square meter is calculated.
The actual amount of light that hits the earth is determined by the area contained by the circumference of the earth (its cross section), not its surface area. That is the area the earth blocks. This way the light is only counted once since the other side of the earth is dark. It also handles the angle of incidence problem.
Then you get to subtract the average of the cross section or shadow of the land on the area used for total energy calculation., light reflected from the frozen areas and clouds over the oceans.
Willis, was your calculation taking this into account?

A physicist
December 31, 2011 9:21 am

Let us probe more deeply into James Hansen’s reasoning and calculations.
Let us suppose that the Earth’s energy imbalance is 0.75 W/m^2 (as Hansen supposes in Section 13.4), and let this imbalance be due entirely to heating of the oceans. Let us ask, what will be the resulting rate of sea-level rise from thermal expansion?
To a very good approximation, it matters not whether the heat is absorbed via a rapid rise in temperature of the surface layers of the ocean, or by a slower rise in the deeper layers; the rate of sea-level rise is in either case is very nearly the same (but not exactly the same, because the coefficient of thermal expansion of water varies slightly with pressure).
So (according to Hansen) how fast is the ocean rising from thermal expansion only?
————————————————–
— CALCULATION —
physicsRules = {
timeToWarmTheOceans ->
iceAgeOceanTemperatureChange/rateOfOceanWarming,
rateOfOceanWarming ->
globalHeatingRate/(heatCapacityOfWater*globalOceanVolume),
globalHeatingRate ->
areaOfEarth*energyImbalanceHeatFlux,
meanSeaLevelRise ->
(globalOceanVolume/oceanArea) *
meanThermalExpansivityOfWater * iceAgeOceanTemperatureChange,
meanSeaLevelRiseRate -> meanSeaLevelRise/timeToWarmTheOceans
};
geophysicalData = {
iceAgeOceanTemperatureChange -> 3 K,   (* Hansen Figure 3 *)
energyImbalanceHeatFlux -> 0.75 W/m^2, (* Hansen Section 13.4 *)
areaOfEarth -> 0.51 * 10^9 km^2,
globalOceanVolume -> 1.3 * 10^9 km^3,
oceanArea -> 0.71 * areaOfEarth,
heatCapacityOfWater -> 4.2 J/(gm K) * 1 gm/cm^3,
meanThermalExpansivityOfWater -> 300 * 10^-6 / K
};
timeToWarmTheOceans//
ReplaceRepeated[#,physicsRules]&//
ReplaceRepeated[#,geophysicalData]&//
ConvertToSI[#/year]&//Round//
Print[”         Time to warm the deep oceans = “,#,” years”]&;
meanSeaLevelRiseRate//
ReplaceRepeated[#,physicsRules]&//
ReplaceRepeated[#,geophysicalData]&//
ConvertToSI[10*#/(mm/year)]&//Round//N//
Print[”     Mean sea level thermal rise rate = “,#/10,” mm/year”]&;
meanSeaLevelRise//
ReplaceRepeated[#,physicsRules]&//
ReplaceRepeated[#,geophysicalData]&//
ConvertToSI[10*#/m]&//Round//N//
Print[“Sea-level rise from thermal expansion = “,#/10,” meter”]&;
— RESULTS —
Time to warm the deep oceans = 1357 years
Mean sea level thermal rise rate = 2.4 mm/year
Sea-level rise from thermal expansion = 3.2 meter
————————————————–
Conclusion: Hansen’s predicted thermal expansion rise of 2.4 mm/year is a good match to satellite data showing an overall rise (thermal plus ice melting) of 3.2 mm/year. Moreover, if the associated heat imbalance of 0.75 W/m is sustained over centuries, then within approximately 1000 years the ocean temperature rise will reach levels that paleoclimatologists tell us are associated with massive melting of the polar ice caps. And finally, if it should happen that CO2 levels continue to increase, or if the negative forcing associated to aerosols should ever decrease, then there are reasons to expect that this heat imbalance will increase, and the rate of sea-level rise correspondingly accelerate, by the dual mechanisms of thermal expansion and polar ice-melting.
Hmmmm … the preceding quantitative considerations (which anyone can verify for themselves) provide solid grounds for rational skeptics to consider the proposition that James Hansen is broadly correct, both in his science and in his appreciation of the practical implications of that science.
So how about it? Does rational skepticism led WUWT to the conclusion that Hansen is correct?

Nick Shaw
December 31, 2011 9:31 am

All I can say is, after 20 years of scuba diving in the Pacific off the coast of Costa Rica, I have yet to feel any fewer freezing cold thermoclines in water that averages 80 degrees year round in depths to 100 feet. I know it’s completely anecdotal but, it sure says there ain’t a whole lot of “mixing” going on to level out or raise that top layer temperature!
In other words, my testicles would appreciate it if Hanson were right. My rational brain says he’s full of fecal matter! 😉
A Happy, Healthy and Prosperous New Year to you and yours, Willis, as well as to all those here!
I have a feeling this will be the one that a fork is stuck into AGW. It’s done!

Peter
December 31, 2011 9:35 am

Guys (and gals)
There seems yo be a widespread misconception about the watts per square metre thing.
Willis’ calculations are based on the imbalance, which is the total average incoming energy minus the total average outgoing energy. Factors such as day and night, angle of incidence, albedo etc etc are therefore already implicitly factored in.

Interstellar Bill
December 31, 2011 9:44 am

Regarding the factor of 4 for the sphere/disc area ratio:
the climate modellers simply divide the solar constant by 4
to get the global average insolation, but what direction does it come from?
That is, what is the average solar altitude angle over the sunlit hemisphere?
Its a simple integral of Theta * cos(Theta), from 0 to 90 deg,
which equals Cos(Theta) – Theta * sin(Theta),
which for the interval from 0 to 90 deg gives an average of:
90 deg – 1radian = 32.7 degrees average solar altitude above the horizon.
Of course, the global average is half that.
Is a constant sun at 32.7 deg for 12 hours over half the Earth
any kind of meaningful model of how insolation is received?
We all know it isn’t.
For example, cloud albedo will be higher at low sun angles.
By the way, at any latitude the most frequent sun angle throughout the year
is that of winter solstice noon.
Moderator: why do I no longer get e-mails notifying new posts?
[REPLY: Don’t know the answer to that one, other than be sure you’ve checked the notify box below your comment. If problem persists, drop an e-mail to Anthony using the “contact” option on the “about” drop-down menu. -REP]

David A
December 31, 2011 10:01 am

@ Aphysicist
From the article…”The answer (if Hansen et al. are correct) is that if the ocean continues to warm at the 2005-2010 rate, …”
So Aphysicist Hansen does a FIVE YEAR STUDY, which, by the way, has not risen at your 2.4 mm per year but considerably less, which you extrpolate to 1,357 YEARS!!
“”So (according to Hansen) how fast is the ocean rising from thermal expansion only? RESULTS —
Time to warm the deep oceans = 1357 years
Mean sea level thermal rise rate = 2.4 mm/year
Sea-level rise from thermal expansion = 3.2 meter””———————————————
Wow you really have boxed sceptics into a corner. I did not even bother with your math, the xercise is futile. Are you lazy teenager under another tag!! actually SST have cooled since the medieval warm period when the earth was warmer then now according to hundreds of studies. http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/12/31/ssts-cooler-now-than-in-the-medieval-warming-period/
Either way, Hansen’s tale of CAGW is DOA. Do you accept that?

Steve Keohane
December 31, 2011 10:04 am

A physicist says: December 31, 2011 at 9:21 am
Rational thought cannot conclude Hansen’s emotionally biased perceptions are correct. You left out the water that irrigation adds to the hydrosphere annually, the equivalent volume to 2.2mm/year sea level rise.

Septic Matthew
December 31, 2011 10:08 am

Svein S. : To argue on the basis of averaging everything over the entire ocean volume is ridiculous, and has no meaning.
You should direct this comment to Hansen and others who promote AGW policies on the basis of claimed equilibrium responses of a simplified global thermodynamic model. Also, a recently proposed (discussed at WUWT) correction to account for the reduced warming of the last decade was based on an analysis very like Willis’ here, namely a more rapid transfer of heat from the upper to lower layers of the ocean; thus, Willis’ approach is within the range of mainstream climate science.
Willis! Another good article.

John F. Hultquist
December 31, 2011 10:10 am

A physics says:
December 31, 2011 at 3:29 am
“Time to warm the oceans = 1357 years”
“. . . a period that is (1) short compared to CO2 residence times in the atmosphere,
. . .”
Does this mean the residence time (r.t.) of CO2 is greater than 1,000 years? Or have I missed the intent? It seems the meaning of these combined statements does not come close to other statements about CO2 r.t. that I have seen on WUWT and other sites over the past couple of years. I think the period I have seen here may be closer to 50 years.
Other charts frequently copied on WUWT show temperature of the atmosphere changing more quickly also, or just from an historical record, say the time for decline of the Greenland settlements. I can search for these numbers (if need be) but my point is 1,357 years seems to be a long time relative to these other things mentioned.

George E. Smith;
December 31, 2011 10:14 am

Well Willis, a problem that I see with this whole situation, is that TSI is NOT a measure of earth incident ENERGY to be averaged as you just did.
Watts per square metre is an areal POWER density; not an areal energy density; and it arrives at earth at the rate of 1362 Watts per square metre, and not the 340.5 number that Trenberth et al use.
Tetal claim that the surface emitted power is 390 W/m^2 corresponding to a 288 K black body radiant emittance , and if that were true, the earth would be cooling rapidly.
But when the real arriving power rate is 1362, and less atmospheric losses etc, compared to that average 390 Radiant emittance number, then it is obvious why the sun can and does heat things up very nicely.

Septic Matthew
December 31, 2011 10:22 am

A Physicist: the next two decades (or so) will test this prediction.
We should sell t-shirts and coffee mugs with that slogan! The next two decades will test all of the predictions.

George E. Smith;
December 31, 2011 10:34 am

“”””” jaymam says:
December 31, 2011 at 12:35 am
Dan says:
December 30, 2011 at 11:42 pm
“Willis, I think the warming is only half of your result as the sun only heats half the globe.”
The sun heats a quarter of the globe. “””””
Well actually, the sun heats somewhat MORE than half of the globe.
For starters, the sun is NOT a point source of radiant energy; it has an apparent angular diameter of about 1/2 degree, and the earth is egligibly small in apparent angle at the sun, so the sun would illuminate 180.5 degrees out of 360; well if the earth had no atmosphere. But since earth does have an atmosphere, which has a graded refractive index greater than 1.0, then the sunlight is refracted somewhat more than the 0.5 degree angular diameter of the sun.
When viewing the green flash at sunset at Waikiki Beach, in Oahu, the sun is already completely below the horizon, at the moment the sun disappears from view. So better add at least another half a degree giving 181 degrees of daylight to 179 degrees of night.
Well even that is not correct, because twilight can last about an hour or so; maybe only a half hour at Waikiki. At 15 degrees per hour, that must be about 7 1/2 extra degrees of illumination.
Well you better draw yourself a diagram, to put in all the factors yourself; but it is quite clear that the sun ALWAYS illuminates somewhat more than half of the earth surface; and NEVER just a quarter of it; well excepting those rare total eclipses of the sun.

Peter
December 31, 2011 10:35 am

Time to warm the deep oceans = 1357 years

What makes you think that, given the deep ocean hasn’t warmed any in billions of years?

A physicist
December 31, 2011 10:38 am

David A asks: @ Aphysicist [… rambling critique … and so] Hansen’s tale of CAGW is DOA. Do you accept that?

(1) I agree with the conclusion of Hansen’s article that there exists an urgent need to sustain/improve the quality of the ARGO program and also of the satellite temperature-measuring programs.
(2) I agree too with the earlier post by commieBob that asserted: “No matter what else you think about Hansen, he is a competent scientist. Any work he does will be self-consistent even if it is wrong.”
(3) Combining (1) with (2), it is my considered opinion that Hansen is urgently advocating more-and-better ARGO and satellite data because Hansen anticipates that this more-and-better data is likely to confirm (not disprove) Hansen’s overall picture of climate change.
In summary of points (1-3), and after having personally checked the correctness of some of Hansen’s key calculations, it seems entirely plausible (to me) that Hansen’s overall picture of climate change will be proved correct.

Septic Matthew
December 31, 2011 10:52 am

A Physicist: – RESULTS —
Time to warm the deep oceans = 1357 years
Mean sea level thermal rise rate = 2.4 mm/year
Sea-level rise from thermal expansion = 3.2 meter
————————————————–
Hmmmm … the preceding quantitative considerations (which anyone can verify for themselves) provide solid grounds for rational skeptics to consider the proposition that James Hansen is broadly correct, both in his science and in his appreciation of the practical implications of that science.

I always respect the proposition that James Hansen is broadly correct in his science. Your calculation shows that his policy prescriptions are not supported by his science. By the time the oceans have risen 720mm, there won’t be any fossil fuels left, so there isn’t any point in not using them except as a reserve to back up to solar, wind, nuclear, and biofuels. However, these are calculations from a simplified thermodynamic model; a careful review of all the detailed mechanisms of heat transfer (e.g. thermals, thunderclouds and thunderstorms), including limits on the parameter estimates and mechanisms for which rate parameters have not yet been estimated, shows that current science can not even rule out the possibility that increased CO2 will have a net cooling effect on the lower troposphere and surface. Thus, a rational skeptic should conclude that Hansen is broadly correct on the equilibrium thermodynamic analysis, but insupportable in his detailed predictions for the next 20 – 300 years.

James
December 31, 2011 11:10 am

I was eyeballing your calculation in the appendix and couldn’t figure out where the “1.60e+22 joules” in the numerator was coming from. Is that just a well accepted ‘known’ or is it a result of a calculation using previously mentioned figures in your post? If the latter, what is the correct calculation (formula) to produce the 1.60e+22 result?

A physicist
December 31, 2011 11:30 am

Willis Eschenbach says: What I said was, the warming is trivially small, so small that it will take hundreds and hundreds of years for the ocean to warm by 1°C. … My point is that the predicted temperature rise is both trivially small and glacially slow.

Willis, please let me commend to your closer attention and considered reflection Figure 3(c) of Dr. Hansen’s article, which summarizes the strong evidence from paleoclimatology that deep-ocean temperature swings of ±1.5 °C (relative to a mean value) are associated to radical alterations in the world’s climate.
If it should turn out (as Hansen has argued) that carbon-based energy economies in the 21st century can irretrievably commit our planet to climate swings of comparable magnitude, is that a “trivial” commitment?

Jim D
December 31, 2011 11:46 am

The majority of the warming is seen over land as shown fairly obviously by the BEST land record. The implication that the ocean is not capable of warming so fast makes this situation worse and has consequences for droughts and heat waves too.

A physicist
December 31, 2011 11:53 am

A physicist says: … Hansen and his coauthors predict acceleration of the observed sea-level rise; the next two decades (or so) will test this prediction.

Willis Eschenbach says: Who are you, Rip Van Winkle? Hansen and others predicted said acceleration of the observed sea-level about thirty years ago now. The last three decades tested his prediction. It failed miserably.

Please, Willis, are you able to specifically quote some of these predictions? In their exact words? From peer-reviewed sources?
A search on Google Books finds zero predictions of “sea-level rise” accompanied by the words “accelerated” or “acceleration” in any scientific book published in or before 1981.
A similar search of the Inspec publication database, of peer-reviewed articles published before 1981, mentioning the phrase “sea-level rise” accompanied by “accel*”, found no articles.
A similar search of Hansen’s publications, but without year restriction, found the first mention of sea-level rise acceleration in Hansen’s 2005 article Earth’s energy imbalance: confirmation and implications
I admit to a certain curiosity, Willis, as to the source of your confidently-stated yet possibly mistaken information. I applaud, however, your maxim “QUOTE IT”.

cui bono
December 31, 2011 12:02 pm

A physicist says (December 31, 2011 at 9:21 am):
“then within approximately 1000 years the ocean temperature rise will reach levels that paleoclimatologists tell us are associated with massive melting of the polar ice caps”.
I thought the Arctic was supposed to be ice-free 10 years from *now* (*now* being defined as whatever year the claim was made)?

Dan in California
December 31, 2011 12:12 pm

Peter says: December 31, 2011 at 10:35 am
Time to warm the deep oceans = 1357 years
———————————————————————–
It is not possible to change the temperature of the deep oceans. Radioactive decay heats the oceans from below, and surface conditions heat and cool the oceans from above, but the deep ocean temperature does not change. The reason for this is that water density is a function of temperature. Maximum density is about 4C. Warmer water is less dense, and colder water is turning to ice, which is also less dense than liquid water. You can heat surface water down to the thermocline, and you can change the depth of the thermocline, but you can not change the temperature in the deep ocean.
In other words, if you heat the deep ocean, that heat is conducted/convected upward, and if you cool the deep ocean, that chunk of postulated cold water is also conducted/convected upward. This is something submarine officers understand very well, because their lives depend on it. Climate scientists seem to have not quite figured this out yet.
And while I am being snarky, any engineer can tell you that measuring temperature to an absolute accuracy of .008 C is just plain silly. Precision, yes, accuracy, no.

December 31, 2011 12:15 pm

here is a plot of Argo showing E and W hemispheres 60N to 60S, 2004 thru 2011
http://www.flickr.com/photos/57706237@N05/6608424023/in/photostream
http://www.flickr.com/photos/57706237@N05/6608424249/in/photostream
Have a look for yourself. Do you see any trend anywhere in the Argo data?
Where is the catastrophic warming? Where is there any evidence of warming?
The oceans of the earth for the past 7 years. NO TREND

old44
December 31, 2011 12:18 pm

Is that a bunch of Warministas I see having a conference on that sandy point?

Dan in California
December 31, 2011 12:24 pm

Willis Eschenbach says: December 31, 2011 at 11:43 am
The issue I raised above is not whether that 0.009°C is “broadly correct”. It is whether it makes a scrap of difference in the real world if it is correct. I say no.
w.
——————————————————————-
Willis, I think you have summarized the entire AGW/skeptic argument. If I throw an ice cube into an Olympic swimming pool, 100% of scientists will say “It cools the water” and 97.4% of skeptics will say “It doesn’t matter!” (The other 0.6% will argue over the quantity of water in the filter system.)

December 31, 2011 12:41 pm

To explain the two plots of Argo data above:
What I did was to slice the Argo data vertically by longitude and average all the data from 60N to 60S. This then gave a single number for the average temperature of the ocean at the longitude on that date. I then plotted this with time on one axis and longitude on the other, to provide a time series analysis of average ocean temperature by longitude, to see if there was any trend in any of the oceans. As can be see from the plots, to the resolution of the human eye there is no obvious trend.
These two plots represent almost the entire dataset for Argo. The plots have different color scales so don’t be thrown by that. Also, because of the distribution of land, the oceans are not evenly distributed north and south, so they vary in temperature according to longitude.
All of this took a few mouse clicks with the Argo Global Marine Atlas.

Hamish McDougal
December 31, 2011 12:44 pm

Well written, Willis.
An anecdote:
I did a calculation (many more 10^x notations, much more ‘back of the envelope’, but still giving a result in Δ°C) when Jo Abbess crowed about an increase in ocean enthalpy (heat content to her!). I submitted it as a comment. IIRC, I ended with a sarky ‘and your point is?’. Response – reams of hand-waving. My rational (dare I say scientific?) response was met with silence and the bit-bucket.
She, if you don’t recognise the name, is the one who caused Black (of the [ho, ho] unbiased BBC) to alter a headline which admitted the possibility that cAGW might not be proceeding according to plan, by threatening ostracism.
I decided to add no further to her traffic statistics.

A physicist
December 31, 2011 12:44 pm

Dan in California says: And while I am being snarky, any engineer can tell you that measuring temperature to an absolute accuracy of .008 C is just plain silly. Precision, yes, accuracy, no.

With respect, Dan in California, your post is factually incorrect.
The ARGO floats are spec’d to an absolute accuracy of 0.002 deg C and a drift of 0.0002 deg C/year.
And you can easily verify those specs for yourself, Dan. The Sea-bird Electronics Corporation will cheerfully sell you, from their on-line store, your very own Argo float sensor module: the SBE 41/41CP CTD Module for Autonomous Profiling Floats.
That’s some mighty impressive engineering, and fun to boot ! 🙂

December 31, 2011 12:45 pm

Dan in California says:
December 31, 2011 at 12:12 pm
The reason for this is that water density is a function of temperature. Maximum density is about 4C.
Good explanation. The 4C temperature has been mentioned a few times on this site as a puzzle. This explains quite nicely the mechanism.

December 31, 2011 12:49 pm

cui bono says:
December 31, 2011 at 12:02 pm
I thought the Arctic was supposed to be ice-free 10 years from *now* (*now* being defined as whatever year the claim was made)?
Gore and Hansen must have slipped a decimal point. Even if you raise temperatures 10C, the melting time is on the order of 10,000 years. So, apparently “now” is 9990 years from now.

EternalOptimist
December 31, 2011 1:28 pm

I am no scientist. But all this stuff about the land vs water got me thinking.
If the w/m2 near the poles is zero, that means there must be a very hot zone near the equator, to balance it all out.
Now we know that the globe is tilted a few degrees on its axis, so that hot spot is not bang on the equator, but it oscillates around it during the year. Now When I looked at the globe, it was clear that the hot spot shines on the ocean for most of the year.
er.. thats it.(go easy on me, i didnt even know the sun rotates till anthony told me in September)

Peter
December 31, 2011 1:35 pm

@Dan in California December 31, 2011 at 12:12 pm,
Dan, you’ve aimed your snark at the wrong person. If you re-read my comment you’ll notice I’m actually on your side.

Kevin Kilty
December 31, 2011 2:17 pm

A physics says:
December 31, 2011 at 3:29 am

Why answer Willis’ objection with more calculations? It seems this misses the point Willis was making, and Willis can correct me if I am wrong, but one does not counter the assertion that 0.008C is not a resolvable temperature change, by engaging in more calculations about what things will be like in 1357 years, but rather in why you believe 0.008C is resolvable right now with the sensors at hand.
When you are dealing with uncertain quantities, a person ought to be able to provide a best answer, and I assume Hansen’s 0.009C is just that, but also the uncertainty involved. Did Hansen provide an uncertainty and how did he calculate it? Does the uncertainty to several sigma include 0.000C as a possibility? Often the advocates of warming to catastrophic warming do not bother to inform us about uncertainties. Does anyone know this; how are the ARGO buoys capable of maintaining calibration?
Finally, There are quite a lot of influences on sea level besides thermal expansion, some of them dynamic influences such as currents. Is someone telling me that satellites are capable of measuring the average sea level rise (the entire ocean surface I presume at one time) to a resolution of at least 2.5mm? Do we no longer have to rely on any other measures of sea level? I’d appreciate hearing from anyone on this topic.

AndyG55
December 31, 2011 2:26 pm

wow! 1400 years..
can we adapt in time !!
a very worrying scenario…
PANIC TIME !!!

A physicist
December 31, 2011 2:29 pm

Peter says: @Dan in California, you’ve aimed your snark at the wrong person. If you re-read my comment you’ll notice I’m actually on your side.

And Peter, if the mods weren’t censoring all my comments, you’d be reading polite, factual explanations (the SBE 41/41CP CTD Module for Autonomous Profiling Floatswith links!) of why Dan-in-California’s pronouncements regarding sea-water thermodynamics and temperature-measurement both are wholly mistaken.
Perhaps that’s not the kind of knowledge that Anthony and the mods want WUWT readers to have?
Gee, that practice seems like no kind of rational skepticism, eh?

AndyG55
December 31, 2011 2:47 pm

ps. ANYONE that takes short term data, fits a linear trend to it and then extrapolates out to 1300+ years, is more than a FOOL !!!

A physicist
December 31, 2011 2:49 pm

Kevin Kilty says: Does anyone know this; how are the ARGO buoys capable of maintaining calibration? [and] Is someone telling me that satellites are capable of measuring the average sea level rise (the entire ocean surface I presume at one time) to a resolution of at least 2.5mm? I’d appreciate hearing from anyone …

Kevin, you would already know the answers to your (very reasonable) questions … that is, if Anthony, Willis, and the WUWT mods wanted you to know those answers.
But Kevin, the regrettable fact is, they don’t want you to know the answers. Because WUWT’s peculiar brand of skepticism doesn’t just tolerate ignorance, it cultivates ignorance & restricts inquiry. By blocking plain factual answers to questions like yours.
One wonders, how do Anthony, Willis, the moderators, and even WUWT readers feel about a brand of skepticism that demands (in effect) loyalty to willful ignorance?
Does anyone care to comment on this? Or is this question too verboten here on WUWT?

December 31, 2011 3:59 pm

From the Hansen paper,
Forcings through 2003 (vertical line) are the same as used by Hansen et al. (2007b), except the aerosol forcing after 1990 is approximated as -0.5 times the GHG forcing.
Hansen is using aerosols as a fudge factor to reduce his GHG forcing and bring it closer to reality.
His aerosol forcing has no basis in reality. Global aerosol levels have been declining for at least 2 decades and declining aerosol levels produce a net climate warming.
Analysis of the long-term Global Aerosol Climatology Project data set reveals a likely decrease of the global optical thickness of tropospheric aerosols by as much as 0.03 during the period from 1991 to 2005. This recent trend mirrors the concurrent global increase in solar radiation fluxes at Earth’s surface and may have contributed to recent changes in surface climate.
http://www.sciencemag.org/content/315/5818/1543

Rosco
December 31, 2011 4:05 pm

This isn’t anywhere near as funny as the IPCC simplified formula for atmospheric forcing cased by CO2 – which delivers absurd results which were examined in depth on Junk Science.
Needless to say the atmospheric temperature didn’t increase by the amounts the radiative formula predicts when the result is converted to temperature forcing by well known physics.
The result is presently more than 1.77W/sqm forcing resulting in some 5 degrees per year ignoring ocean absorption. I think we might have noticed this.
As someone said Why would Hansen publish something like his paper – the same must apply to the IPCC with their simplified forcing calculation formulae – absurd results that I cannot believe pass any form of high school review let alone supposed distinguished PhD scientists.
Lets face it – High School Review is almost as entertaining.

jorgekafkazar
December 31, 2011 4:10 pm

Isonomia says: “It’s just a bit of fun. Hansen is an idiot…”
He’s not an idiot. Once someone gets a notion that he is the savior of the world, the idea can become so deeply embedded in the psyche that the unconscious blocks any information that might contradict the notion. One need not attribute all Warmist scientists’ actions to stupidity or malice.

En Passant
December 31, 2011 4:50 pm

Well done Willis!
The only way to deal with these clowns is to laugh at them
I still don’t understand why they have not bee charged with racketeering as i have been following the self-incriminating evidence of the climategate emails.

December 31, 2011 5:50 pm

A physicist is an obsessive troll who thinks Anthony and the mods conspire against him.
He uses the Real Climate trick of posting a reference which has says supports some point or explains something. When the link does no such thing, as anyone who followed his link claiming to answer the question, how are the ARGO buoys capable of maintaining calibration?, will have found.
If WordPress had an ignore feature, he’d be first on my list.

December 31, 2011 6:00 pm

A physicist said @ December 31, 2011 at 2:49 pm
“Kevin, you would already know the answers to your (very reasonable) questions … that is, if Anthony, Willis, and the WUWT mods wanted you to know those answers.
But Kevin, the regrettable fact is, they don’t want you to know the answers. Because WUWT’s peculiar brand of skepticism doesn’t just tolerate ignorance, it cultivates ignorance & restricts inquiry. By blocking plain factual answers to questions like yours.
One wonders, how do Anthony, Willis, the moderators, and even WUWT readers feel about a brand of skepticism that demands (in effect) loyalty to willful ignorance?
Does anyone care to comment on this? Or is this question too verboten here on WUWT?”
Since you have not said which of your posts have gone missing, or what the content was, there’s not much to comment on. “Censorship” here has the commenter’s words snipped and replaced with an admonishment to abide by the blog rules. That does not appear to have been done in your case. If you want us to believe you have been censored, then you will need to provide some evidence.
Colour me sceptical…..

richcar1225
December 31, 2011 6:06 pm

An excellent summary of the missing heat:
http://www.knmi.nl/publications/fulltexts/katsman_voldenborgh_grl_all.pdf
“Over the period 2003–2010, the upper ocean has not
gained any heat, despite the general expectation that the
ocean will absorb most of the Earth’s current radiative im-
balance”
Katsman and Oldenborgh.
ARGO can account for 35 % of the missing heat in water deeper than 700 meters but there is no mechanism proposed other than the overturning AMOC that can explain how the heat would transfer through the shallow non warming ocean less than 700 meters to the deeper ocean. The simple conclusion is that over the period studied there was no TOA radiative imbalance.
.

December 31, 2011 6:11 pm

Except Willis’ calculation assumes that the heat from above immediately dissipates throughout the oceans’ volume, which, of course, it does not. The thermohaline circulation takes about 1,600 years to complete. There is stratification in the ocean, and currents, that have a significant impact on heat flow.
The total extra heating from this 0.54 W/m2 forcing is 0.20 petawatts (PW), while heat exported from the tropics is 3.2 PW [Gnanadesikan, A., R. D. Slater, P. S. Swathi, and G. K. Vallis (2005). “The energetics of ocean heat transport”. Journal of Climate 18 (14): 2604–16.
http://www.princeton.edu/~gkv/papers/Gnana_etal-oceenergy05.pdf%5D.
So we are indeed talking about a fair bit of energy here — 6% of the energy transported from the tropics.
I would like to see what a professional physical oceanographer has to say about these numbers…. The difference in radiative forcing between an ice age and an interglacial is only about 4 W/m2, so again a half W/m2 is no small amount.

December 31, 2011 6:44 pm

richcar1225 says:
An excellent summary of the missing heat:
http://www.knmi.nl/publications/fulltexts/katsman_voldenborgh_grl_all.pdf

Note what Katsman and van Oldenborgh write in their abstract:
“The analysis reveals that an 8‐yr period without upper ocean warming is not exceptional. It is explained by increased radiation to space (45%), largely as a result of El Niño variability on decadal timescales, and by increased ocean warming at larger depths (35%), partly due to a decrease in the strength of the Atlantic meridional overturning circulation. Recently‐observed changes in these two large‐scale modes of climate variability point to an upcoming resumption of the upward trend in upper ocean heat content.”

richcar1225
December 31, 2011 6:51 pm

Erinome:
“The thermohaline circulation takes about 1,600 years to complete. There is stratification in the ocean, and currents, that have a significant impact on heat flow.”
In other words the added deep ocean heat from the AMOC is the result of 1600 years of acculmulated heat. I wonder what that forcing would work out to be in w/m2 ? I would guess it would be negative since 1600 years ago the oceans have cooled as the new North Atlantic foram temperature reconstruction has revealed..

Pat Moffitt
December 31, 2011 7:27 pm

A physicist says:
“Kevin, you would already know the answers to your (very reasonable) questions … that is, if Anthony, Willis, and the WUWT mods wanted you to know those answers.”
What a disingenuous response. The units have a calibrated temperature accuracy of 0.002C. What about precision? How do you account for the continued calibration and what about equipment malfunction. An example are the “Druck Micro Leaks” where oil is leaking into the pressure sensors – the last I saw this problem might be affecting 12% of the newer sensors. I am more than a little cautious about hundredths of a degree C precision until all these buoys have gone through a few of being pulled and their reliability, functioning and calibration checked. Its been my experience those that sit in an office ( above a coffee shop or not) have little sense that the real world doesn’t care a wink about how the equipment is supposed to work on paper- the field guys know intuitively it never works as well as the designer’s claim.
The 3 really difficult questions your snarky reply avoided- how many sensors do we need, where do we need them and how do you know? (This is an exceedingly difficult topic made ever more so by our poor understanding of ocean circulation)

December 31, 2011 7:28 pm

Richcar1225: Why are you applying the foram results — which were for the surface of the eastern tropical North Atlantic — to the oceans as a whole? Those results say nothing about global oceanic heat content.

Kevin Kilty
December 31, 2011 8:12 pm

A physicist says:
December 31, 2011 at 2:49 pm

Thank you for the information on the temperature sensors. It is very informative, although it doesn’t tell me everything I’d like to know, and those are quite some sensors aren’t they? It is quite difficult to measure temperature to 0.05C repeatably, and these do a great job to a 25th of that. I’d like to think about this information for a while, and perhaps post again in a few days, but by then everyone will have moved on from this thread. At present let me say that the ARGO sensors have repeatability (1 sigma) of about 0.001 to 0.0015C. This is the repeatability that one would expect from one sensor to another, stored under benign conditions, and reading the same bath. It is a minimum value of measurement uncertainty because these sensors have the usual geophysical problems–the sensors themselves have some uncertainty, they do not measure the same environment repeatably which adds more uncertainty, and they drift with time. The drift seems quite consistent–the sensors drift toward reading slightly cold by 0.001C plus or minus 0.001 in 5 years (1 sigma I’d call it again)–remarkable really.
I know you are intimating that Anthony, Willis, and the moderators are trying to keep information from me, and others, but I have never known A., W., and the Mods to be anything other than honest and pretty darned open people. There is some crazy stuff that gets presented and discussed here at WUWT, but it is wide open and I like it that way. Put the hay down in front of the cows and let them handle it themselves, as the ranchers around here might say, and that is how things ought to be–let people learn on their own and come to reasonable conclusions (or not)–don’t force feed them or force them down a particular path.

David
December 31, 2011 8:17 pm

A physicist says:
December 31, 2011 at 10:38 am
David A asks: @ Aphysicist [… rambling critique … and so] Hansen’s tale of CAGW is DOA. Do you accept that?
————————-
Rambling critiqe?? You took a five year trend, extended it to 1375 years, and declared Hansen correct. I called BS on that, and gave you a link to show you that during the recent past, the midevial warm period, the SST and probably the oceans were warmer.

Kevin Kilty
December 31, 2011 8:23 pm

Pat Moffitt says:
December 31, 2011 at 7:27 pm

I agree that the information on the site I was sent to is not the entire story on how reliably we can track ocean heat content, and I also saw the leakage problem discussed, and there are only six sensors that were pulled from their environment and recalibrated, the rest had been stored in benign conditions, but still those are pretty remarkable sensors. I like to know as much as I can about uncertainties when making claims about resolving very tiny differences. Unfortunately, and the media are partially responsible for this, the uncertainties are never quantified well, and you could even say not ever. Look at how people might still view the global temperature data sets if Anthony hadn’t been the curious character he is, wondered about the affect of coating on Stevenson screens, and started the surface stations project.

Kevin Kilty
December 31, 2011 9:13 pm

Let me play devil’s advocate for a moment and suppose that Hansen is correct in saying that there is an imbalance of 0.54 W/m^2, and that he is correct in saying this will be found in oceanic heat content if only the necessary measurements be done. It also seems that this imbalance is in LWIR downwelling from the atmosphere, for Hansen would not suggest that there is an increase in solar insolation, and so the ocean would have had to absorb this in a thin surface layer first, then somehow transport it to depth. And since there is no means to do this to any great depth except by the production of bottom water in the polar oceans, then the missing heat must be confined to the near surface, and should cause a large temperature trend. Considering how good the ARGO array is, shouldn’t this be as obvious as the nose on a man’s face? I mean, not withstanding what Katsman and van Oldenborgh write in their abstract:
“The analysis reveals that an 8‐yr period without upper ocean warming is not exceptional…
How can any recent 8-year period, with a serious ” energy imbalance” indicating anything but “not exceptional”, lack an obvious warming trend?
Something appears inconsistent here, but I really have to sleep on it. Good night, and a Happy New Year to you all.

Kevin Kilty
December 31, 2011 9:30 pm

Willis Eschenbach says:
December 31, 2011 at 9:15 pm

Thanks for your reply. The ARGO Buoys, which I new of, but knew little about, are pretty fascinating. I now know a bit more about them. Back in the days I was logging wells for heat flow or other information, I knew that getting temperatures reliably to repeat to 0.05C was difficult.
I realize that satellites can use interferometry to make very precise measurements of ocean height, but the question I asked about this being at a single time seems to me important because just having good instrumentation is only part of the battle in making repeatable measurements with high resolution. The instruments are uncertain, system being measured is uncertain (and in the case of temperature and ocean height changing in time), and the corrections and procedures needed to go from measurement to parameter value can add uncertainty. We are often told the parameter value, but rarely are told the uncertainties or how significant they are.
Happy New Year to you.

December 31, 2011 9:48 pm

A physicist says:
December 31, 2011 at 2:49 pm
.
One wonders, how do Anthony, Willis, the moderators, and even WUWT readers feel about a brand of skepticism that demands (in effect) loyalty to willful ignorance?
Does anyone care to comment on this? Or is this question too verboten here on WUWT?
xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
BUT…What you are stating – has been dis-proven by Un Dorctors
http://tinyurl.com/George-Bloment

richcar1225
December 31, 2011 9:56 pm

Eniome said:
“Richcar1225: Why are you applying the foram results — which were for the surface of the eastern tropical North Atlantic — to the oceans as a whole? Those results say nothing about global oceanic heat content.’
I agree that sst alone does not give up OHC world wide as we do not have temp vs depth profile in temp reconstructions. However I believe sst is a good indicator of oHC less than 700 meters. If you really want to see where OHC is headed watch the decline in slr. This is really the demise of AGW.
Sea level Rise has declined rapidly the last ten years
.http://www.climate4you.com/
It is now a battle between the Hansen’s steric proponents vs the land ice melting proponents for diminishing real estate..
Accelerating slr over time is the must proxy for agw.
Maybe this is just a short term trend but I would guess that everybody in the climate science community is anxiously looking at the historic solar decline and the decline of the AMO.

LazyTeenager
December 31, 2011 10:15 pm

Bob says
I’m an old chemical process guy. I got lost at “imbalance”. Mass and energy always balance.
————–
You are misunderstanding the usage of imbalance here. If you measure the heat going into a reaction vessel and the heat coming out of the reaction vessel and they are not equal, then you know there is an imbalance. Conservation of energy allows you to infer that the contents of the reaction vessel have retained the heat, possibly via an endothermic reaction or phase change.
That’s all imbalance means and it is not hard to figure out.

December 31, 2011 10:15 pm

Kevin Kilty said @ December 31, 2011 at 9:30 pm
“The ARGO Buoys, which I knew of, but knew little about, are pretty fascinating. I now know a bit more about them. Back in the days I was logging wells for heat flow or other information, I knew that getting temperatures reliably to repeat to 0.05C was difficult.”
Looking at the Argo spec. I don’t see the range over which the claimed accuracy prevails. And if I recall correctly, the precision of the instrument would need to be 0.0001C. That is quite remarkable.

John F. Hultquist
December 31, 2011 10:20 pm

Willis,
@10:10 am I asked A physics if statements made @3:29 am implied CO2 residence times were greater than 1357 years. I got no answer and now we have posts by A physicist. This second person is claiming WUWT mods are censoring material. Sounds like the same person but who knows? Not a nice thing to do – changing names in the middle of a posting! Maybe I am mistaken. Still no answer to my question though. So,
Maybe here:
http://www.co2science.org/articles/V12/N31/EDIT.php
Or here:

LazyTeenager
December 31, 2011 10:46 pm

Most recent envisat data.
Summary: seal level measured by this instrument is heading back up again.

LazyTeenager
December 31, 2011 10:57 pm

A physicist says
but not exactly the same, because the coefficient of thermal expansion of water varies slightly with pressure
———-
The thermal expansion coefficient of water also varies with temperature with a minimum around 4C. The deep ocean is very cold ,so it is likely that this variation needs to be taken into account. It makes the calculation a whole lot more difficult.

AndyG55
December 31, 2011 11:06 pm

I vaguely recall seeing an old Chinese (or was it Japanese?) sea level measurement somewhere, (and I mean old)
Its showed a clear cyclical sea level trend of some 300 (or was it 600) year period.
I remember thinking that we were getting pretty close to the top of another peak in the cycle.
Has anyone seen the graph I’m referring to ?

LazyTeenager
December 31, 2011 11:24 pm

Willis says
The issue I raised above is not whether that 0.009°C is “broadly correct”. It is whether it makes a scrap of difference in the real world if it is correct. I say no.
————–
Willis where it makes a “scrap of difference” depends on what this calculation is applied to,
It’s important for evaluating the energy budget of the planet, since if the energy budget does not balance, we can infer there is some factor that has not been properly accounted for.
It is relevant for cross checking ocean thermal expansion theory and experiment.
Conceptually distributing the heat throughout the ocean is not directly relevant to climate change as that is affected by the surface layer temperatures and that is where that heat will really be located in any case. It’s going to take a long time to distribute the surface heat into the deep ocean.

December 31, 2011 11:26 pm

John F. Hultquist says:
December 31, 2011 at 10:20 pm
xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Maybe he didn’t want people to know what a “physic” is? physic = enema -= hydro-colonic 🙂

LazyTeenager
December 31, 2011 11:47 pm

Kevin Kilty says
How can any recent 8-year period, with a serious ” energy imbalance” indicating anything but “not exceptional”, lack an obvious warming trend?
————-
This is really hard to parse.
I think what is missing is a notion that ocean circulation varies randomly, including the vertical part of that circulation. If there is an event that exchanges warm surface waters with cold deep waters the consequence will be a temporary drop in the global average SST. And also an increase in deep ocean heat content.
So a short term drop or short term rise around a long term trend is perfectly reasonable.
The WUWT crowd get really excited by these short term drops and go really quiet when the short term rise happens. I prefer to ignore the short term variations and focus on the long term.

Joachim Seifert
January 1, 2012 4:53 am

All these studies are not official IPCC. Better look at IPCC AR4 spm or wg1 chapter 2, where it clearly says: GLOBAL WARMING is 0.2 C per decade and half of it [0.1 C] arises due to
WARMING of the oceans….. there is nothing of a flat temp plateau since 2001 for 8 years…
You read too much climate heredicts who calculate a flat temp plateau due to ocean cooling…..
this is not what the compacted wisdom of the IPCC says…..

LazyTeenager
December 31, 2011 11:56 pm

Dan in California,
And while I am being snarky, any engineer can tell you that measuring temperature to an absolute accuracy of .008 C is just plain silly. Precision, yes, accuracy, no.
————
Nominally correct but measuring temperature differences of this magnitude is routine.
I don’t know what the Argo floats do but this kind of precision and accuracy is in the ball park of platinum resistance thermometry.

LazyTeenager
January 1, 2012 1:17 am

And a link for platinum resistance thermometry calibration by the NIST, to verify my initial guess was correct.

tty
January 1, 2012 1:20 am

With heat flow figures as low as this (0.54 W/m2) the geothermal heat flow into the ocean from the ocean bottom becomes significant (it is about 0.10 W/m2). Did H2011 take this into account? It would decrease the heat flow “from the top” by about 20%.

Peter
January 1, 2012 3:58 am

@A Physicist:
You seem to think that you can extrapolate the accuracy of measuring samples of ocean water at moments in time to the average temperature of the entire ocean.
It’s like measuring the average length of a box full of elastic bands to an accuracy of 1 micron.

Peter
January 1, 2012 4:34 am

Erinome says:

Except Willis’ calculation assumes that the heat from above immediately dissipates throughout the oceans’ volume, which, of course, it does not. The thermohaline circulation takes about 1,600 years to complete. There is stratification in the ocean, and currents, that have a significant impact on heat flow.

Well let’s just assume for a moment that all the short-term heating takes place within the topmost few metres, and gradually dissipates through the rest of the ocean.
How long would you say the 0.5W/m2 imbalance would take to heat the topmost metre by 1C? That would be in the order of 1.5 years.
But hang on, if the surface was 1C warmer, it would be radiating around 3.8W/m2 more into the atmosphere, not to mention the extra energy leaving the surface by way of evaporation and convection.
So, in fact, that 0.5W/m2 imbalance would disappear within a couple of months, with a surface temperature increase of around 0.1C
Also, as this is an ongoing process, with only a relatively tiny annual increase in radiative forcing due to CO2, it’s arguable as to whether the 0.5W/m2 imbalance actually exists in the first place.

Joules Verne
January 1, 2012 6:19 am

LazyTeenager says:
December 31, 2011 at 10:57 pm

The thermal expansion coefficient of water also varies with temperature with a minimum around 4C. The deep ocean is very cold ,so it is likely that this variation needs to be taken into account. It makes the calculation a whole lot more difficult.

That’s true for water but not for seawater. Seawater keeps decreasing in density right up to its freezing point which about -2C. It makes the calculation quite easy because the deep ocean is about 3C which is way above freezing.

lazyoldman
January 1, 2012 6:27 am

LazyTeenager says:
December 31, 2011 at 10:57 pm

The thermal expansion coefficient of water also varies with temperature with a minimum around 4C. The deep ocean is very cold ,so it is likely that this variation needs to be taken into account. It makes the calculation a whole lot more difficult.

That’s true for water but not for seawater. Seawater keeps decreasing in density right up to its freezing point which about -2C. It makes the calculation quite easy because the deep ocean is about 3C which is way above freezing.

January 1, 2012 9:52 am

Joachim Seifert says:
January 1, 2012 at 4:53 am
GLOBAL WARMING is 0.2 C per decade and half of it [0.1 C] arises due to WARMING of the oceans..
Here are some new plots of Argo showing E and W hemispheres 60N to 60S, 2004 thru 2011. These were made with the latest “Global Argo Marine Atlas” viewer, downloaded from their website.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/57706237@N05/6613084529/lightbox/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/57706237@N05/6613108605/lightbox/
Spot the trend anyone? There is ZERO warming of the oceans in the Argo data. There is a very slight warming in the eastern hemisphere surface waters that is offset by a very slight cooling in the western hemisphere surface waters.

Bill H
January 1, 2012 10:00 am

This is probably a stupid observation but isn’t .0016 Deg C. within the margin of error? and thus a non factor?

January 1, 2012 10:21 am

LazyTeenager says:
Most recent envisat data.
Summary: seal level measured by this instrument is heading back up again.

Exactly. And that big decline in 2010 is due to the shift from an El Nino to strong La Nina, which took a lot of water out of the oceans and rained it onto land. (Remember the Australian floods?) NASA discusses the water transfer here:
http://grace.jpl.nasa.gov/news/index.cfm?FuseAction=ShowNews&NewsID=53

January 1, 2012 10:33 am

Peter says:
So, in fact, that 0.5W/m2 imbalance would disappear within a couple of months, with a surface temperature increase of around 0.1C
That’s not how heating works. The extra 0.54 W/m2 is continuous — it doesn’t stop and then radiate out of the water. Yes, a warmer ocean radiates more, but that just warms the air above it and the water below it, which itself radiates more and heats the ocean and so on. It reaches equilibrium and everything is warmer.
If there is an additional forcing of 0.54 W/m2, that’s an extra 0.3 PW of heating. That’s not a negligible amount — natural heat transfer from the tropics is 3.2 PW.

Pat Moffitt
January 1, 2012 10:34 am

Peter says:
@A Physicist:
“You seem to think that you can extrapolate the accuracy of measuring samples of ocean water at moments in time to the average temperature of the entire ocean.
It’s like measuring the average length of a box full of elastic bands to an accuracy of 1 micron.”
That’s a great analogy! We don’t know what percentage of the sensors are in regions where cold water is being upwelled from below sensor depth and we don’t have a handle on sensor spatial coverage where temperatures are being expanded from thermal inputs from rain, wind/atmosphere in the surface layer. And we don’t know enough about the ocean cycles (especially the longer ones we only suspect) to know whether minute delta T warming or cooling trends have anything to do with atmospheric temperatures. (One would think the top 30m would have the best chance of giving some idea but is
While most of our Argo measurements are in the 30 to 1000m the ocean is continually stretching or contracting these temperatures from the 0-30 and >1000m depths. As a result we can’t know to a fine level level of temperature precision that the Argo coverage is adequately capturing this effect.

Kevin Kilty
January 1, 2012 10:36 am

LazyTeenager says:
December 31, 2011 at 10:15 pm
Bob says
I’m an old chemical process guy. I got lost at “imbalance”. Mass and energy always balance.
————–
You are misunderstanding the usage of imbalance here. If you measure the heat going into a reaction vessel and the heat coming out of the reaction vessel and they are not equal, then you know there is an imbalance. Conservation of energy allows you to infer that the contents of the reaction vessel have retained the heat, possibly via an endothermic reaction or phase change.
That’s all imbalance means and it is not hard to figure out.

Bob the chemical process guy is right, mass and energy always balance. The imbalance in energy in versus out is simply the product of specific heat times change in temperature. Hansen et al look at this product, see that it is not zero, and conclude there is an imbalance between energy in and energy out.

Kevin Kilty
January 1, 2012 10:50 am

LazyTeenager says:
December 31, 2011 at 11:47 pm
Kevin Kilty says
How can any recent 8-year period, with a serious ” energy imbalance” indicating anything but “not exceptional”, lack an obvious warming trend?
————-
This is really hard to parse…

Well I looked at that sentence last night and said to myself, “… it is messy, but it is also late so just push the post button.” What I mean to say is that the claim that “…an eight year period without upper ocean warming is not exceptional” which you emphasized in one of your posts, rests on two pillars. One is that a “non-exceptional” lack of warming cannot occur in the midst of an exceptional energy “imbalance”; second, proof of lack of warming also rests on precision of measurement, which at one time was very poor, but now seems to be quite a lot better with this ARGO array. I’d say an eight year period of no warming in the current circumstance is exceptional.

I think what is missing is a notion that ocean circulation varies randomly, including the vertical part of that circulation. If there is an event that exchanges warm surface waters with cold deep waters the consequence will be a temporary drop in the global average SST. And also an increase in deep ocean heat content….

This is what I’ve been saying. The system you are trying to measure itself keeps changing. The distribution of buoys changes, and all sorts of other factors keep changing the distribution of temperature in the ocean. It is not enough to have high precision sensors, and then claim you can measure a bulk factor like ocean heat content to the same precision because of sensors alone.

richcar1225
January 1, 2012 10:51 am

I have seen estimates of anywhere from .3 to 1.3 mm/yr for the estimate of the steric component of sea level rise supposedly due to the radiative imbalance. But evidently the imbalance only works at selected warm pools as most of the globe has seen declining sea level over the past 18 years.
It is very interesting that the various sea level sites never plot sea level rise rate vs year. I suspect because it would revel the decline in SLR rate since 1998 and thus embarrass scientists who were predicted accelerating SLR.
The plot can be found on the following site.
http://www.climate4you.com/

Kevin Kilty
January 1, 2012 11:01 am

thepompousgit says:
December 31, 2011 at 10:15 pm
Kevin Kilty said @ December 31, 2011 at 9:30 pm
“The ARGO Buoys, which I knew of, but knew little about, are pretty fascinating. I now know a bit more about them. Back in the days I was logging wells for heat flow or other information, I knew that getting temperatures reliably to repeat to 0.05C was difficult.”
Looking at the Argo spec. I don’t see the range over which the claimed accuracy prevails. And if I recall correctly, the precision of the instrument would need to be 0.0001C. That is quite remarkable.

If you look at this site, you will notice that the calibration tests were over the range 1C to 33C. And my reading of those charts would say that repeatability of the sensor is 0.001 to 0.0015C (one sigma) , and from the re-calibration of recovered sensors, they appear to have a drift over 5 years of about -0.001C plus or minus 0.001C (one sigma again).

Peter
January 1, 2012 11:05 am

Erinome:

The extra 0.54 W/m2 is continuous…If there is an additional forcing of 0.54 W/m2, that’s an extra 0.3 PW of heating. That’s not a negligible amount — natural heat transfer from the tropics is 3.2 PW.

Yes, it is continuous, as I said, and is enough to increase the SST by 1C in about 1 and a half years, in fact every one and a half years.
But, as we all know, that isn’t happening. So what gives?
Also, how come, according to Trenberth, Hansen, etc, has this 0.5C imbalance only come about within the last few years? (hence Trenberth’s ‘missing heat’)
Think it through properly.

Dan in California
January 1, 2012 11:15 am

LazyTeenager says: January 1, 2012 at 1:17 am
And a link for platinum resistance thermometry calibration by the NIST, to verify my initial guess was correct.
——————————————————————————–
That just proves that NIST can calibrate a Platinum RTD to .01C in a molten metal bath. If Argo were using RTD’s, the entire system would have to be calibrated, not just the RTD. That includes the current source to the 4-wire device, and the voltage reader as well. Either of those analog devices can be out of calibration, and either could be effected by the environment in a reversible fashion, meaning recal after buoy retrieval must mimic the deep ocean conditions (it doesn’t). Then there is the difference between NIST using liquid metal as a reference, which has a far higher thermal conductivity than sea water. How much does that affect the calibration? The RTD is self-heating and the thermal conductivity of the measured medium affects the reading.
But even supposing all these additional factors were insignificant, even your NIST reference only claims .01C accuracy, not anywhere near sufficient to support the .008C study results claim. But all this discussion is moot if DJ in another ARGO thread is correct:
DJ says: December 31, 2011 at 9:41 pm
Ok, it looks like the buoys use a “Scientific Thermistor Model WM 103″.
—————————————————————-
This indicates the sensor is not even an RTD, it’s a thermistor. Totally different animal.

Kevin Kilty
January 1, 2012 12:22 pm

The Seabird Electronics page shows the calibration “standard” for the ARGO sensors as being ITS-90, but this is a temperature scale and not really a calibration standard. Dan in California has raised the perfectly reasonable issue of drift and stability of the current source and voltage measuring system. It looks like we don’t know for sure what sensors are being used, RTDs or Thermistors. I wonder if anyone ever put together an uncertainty budget for the devices and environment of this array? If this idea is unknown to anyone, I would suggest looking at an actual system and measurement as an example, see for instance Schwarz et al., Science, 282, 2230-2234, 18 Dec 1998.
I know that they call this a “Lagrangian” array, but these buoys cannot participate completely in all ocean circulation (they are buoys after all) and so they cannot remain with a single parcel of water forever.

January 1, 2012 1:32 pm

Peter says:
Yes, it is continuous, as I said, and is enough to increase the SST by 1C in about 1 and a half years, in fact every one and a half years.
But, as we all know, that isn’t happening. So what gives?

Come on. The heat isn’t confined to the top meter, so your calculation is based on false assumptions. The heat isn’t confined at all, but spreads through the water and air in a complex environment, subject to currents, stratification in salinity, evaporation, the hydro cycle, etc. The oceans *are* warming, with the top 700 m holding about 10e22 J more heat in the last 30 years:
http://www.nodc.noaa.gov/OC5/3M_HEAT_CONTENT/
That’s a huge amount of heat — equivalent to what the entire Earth receives in about a week.
Also, how come, according to Trenberth, Hansen, etc, has this 0.5C imbalance only come about within the last few years? (hence Trenberth’s ‘missing heat’)
No one knows — that’s what they’re trying to figure out. It’s pretty remarkable if you think about the numbers: the Earth receives an average of 340 W/m2, and they’re down to accounting for a missing 0.5 W/m2 — 1 part in 600. It’s as if you had \$1,000 in your checking account and can’t account for \$1.50. This is the way all sciences go — you keep honing in on more and more precision, trying to figure out what you’re missing.

Peter
January 1, 2012 2:26 pm

Erinome,
1) That’s just the forcing we’re talking about, not the whole bondoogle.
2) Yes, I know it’s not confined to the top metre, but what’s actually happening is still orders of magnitude off from what one might expect. Besides, I did start by saying, “…let’s just assume for a moment that all the short-term heating takes place within the topmost few metres, and gradually dissipates through the rest of the ocean.”
3) No, the fact that the error is only 1 part in 600 is not remarkable at all, when taken in context. After all, the total temperature increase over the last century is only 1 part in 400.

Peter
January 1, 2012 3:00 pm

Erinome,
Sorry, left a few bits out:
4) When a body of water is heated from the top, which part warms the quickest and the most?
5) And which part constitutes the effective radiating surface?
6) The way I see it, you have two options. Either the oceans are warming significantly and the imbalance is tiny or reducing, or the imbalance is large and not reducing but the oceans are inexplicably not warming significantly. Which is it? You can’t have it both ways.

January 1, 2012 3:56 pm

Peter says:
2) Yes, I know it’s not confined to the top metre, but what’s actually happening is still orders of magnitude off from what one might expect.
No, it is not — professional scientists don’t go to sleep when errors of many orders of magnitude appear in their calculation.
First, change in ocean heat content ~ 10e22 J in 30 yrs ~ 0.1 PW
(http://www.nodc.noaa.gov/OC5/3M_HEAT_CONTENT/)
Average that over the ocean’s surface area and you get a forcing ~ 0.3 W/m2. (I’m ignoring sea ice and all that.)
Now look at Hansen’s Figure 1: the net forcing (anomaly) for 1980 to 2000 is about 1 W/m2.
(http://www.columbia.edu/~jeh1/mailings/2011/20110415_EnergyImbalancePaper.pdf) So these are already in the same ballpark. That forcing heats not just the ocean but the air above too, and land where there is no ocean, and melts ice and all that. This is where, obviously, you have to get into the details, but from an energy balance viewpoint the disagreement certainly isn’t orders of magnitude.
Now, if oceans are receiving an extra 0.3 W/m2 what does that mean for the SST, and does it agree with observations (http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/ersst/)? I don’t know, but I don’t think it’s a simple problem given the size, depth, and dynamics of the oceans. Do you?
Let’s assume the heat is confined to the top 700 meters, to compare it to the ocean heat content link above. Then I find a rate of temperature change of ~ 0.3 K/century, in order of magnitude agreement with observations.
This is, admittedly, all back-of-the-envelope. But I don’t see errors of orders of magnitude that have you concerned.

AndyG55
January 2, 2012 12:08 am

what was the rate of change in ocean temperature between 1940 and 1970 ? (ish)

AndyG55
January 2, 2012 12:30 am

or between 1910 and 1940 ?

Peter
January 2, 2012 6:44 am

Erinome,
I’m prepared to concede the orders of magnitude bit – I didn’t take into account that we’re not dealing with a 0.5W/m2 step change in forcing – in which case the error would have been orders of magnitude.
However, it doesn’t alter the fact that the top few cm absorbs most of the incoming sun’s energy, and from which it’s mixed into the deeper layers down to the thermocline, at a rate dependent on turbulence etc. (water being a quite a poor conductor of heat) This means that a) the added energy is virtually wholly contained within the upper hundred metres or so, on average, and b) the topmost few cm will be disproportionately warmer than the rest, particularly during daytimes.
That said, it’s all rather complicated and there are a lot of things which don’t quite add up.
Unfortunately, now my break is over and I’m back to work, so I will no longer be able to devote much time to trying to make sense of it all. (at least until my next break)

chris y
January 2, 2012 8:28 am

Erinome says- “First, change in ocean heat content ~ 10e22 J in 30 yrs”
There is no measure of ocean heat content before about 2003, when ARGO was deployed. Even ARGO is a tragically sparse spatio-temporal sampling of OHC.
A claimed 3 decade change in OHC is a guess.
There is no measure of the claimed 0.5 W/m^2 intensity imbalance.
Its a guess.

AndyG55
January 2, 2012 12:38 pm

“Then I find a rate of temperature change of ~ 0.3 K/century”
Woo, that sounds scary.. !!

January 2, 2012 1:18 pm

AndyG55 says:
“Then I find a rate of temperature change of ~ 0.3 K/century”
Woo, that sounds scary.. !!

I suggest you retake high school physics…. Why don’t you tell us how much heat the upper ocean (700 m) will gain if it warms by, say, 0.3 K? Compare that to what the Earth receives from the Sun in a day, and what is transported from the tropics. Estimate how much the atmosphere will warm if that heat escapes into it. Finally, compare the assumed rate of SST warming to the observed rate.

January 2, 2012 2:03 pm

chris y says:
There is no measure of ocean heat content before about 2003, when ARGO was deployed
Yes, it’s reconstructed. Like the MWP SST results that were highlighted on this blog a few days ago.

January 2, 2012 2:29 pm

chris y says:
There is no measure of the claimed 0.5 W/m^2 intensity imbalance.
Its a guess.

There are measures of the imbalance, such as Harries et al, Nature 2001, Griggs et at Proc SPIE 2004, Chen et al 2007, etc:
http://agwobserver.wordpress.com/2009/08/02/papers-on-changes-in-olr-due-to-ghgs/
The extra forcing isn’t a “guess” — it is deduced via science, and subject to the same meaning and uncertainty that we rely on for a vast number of other scientific results.

January 2, 2012 2:31 pm

AndyG55 says:
what was the rate of change in ocean temperature between 1940 and 1970 ? (ish)
NOAA’s reconstructed SSTs are here:

January 2, 2012 2:51 pm

Peter says:
That said, it’s all rather complicated and there are a lot of things which don’t quite add up.
Unfortunately, now my break is over and I’m back to work, so I will no longer be able to devote much time to trying to make sense of it all. (at least until my next break)

Yes, obviously it’s complicated. Very complicated. People are spending their careers trying to figure out the details. But I don’t see what you think “doesn’t add up.” It seems to me that, based on the back-of-the-envelope numbers I gave above, it all *does* add up to within half an order of magnitude or so (and then you need the details).
Also, I don’t see why added heat is constrained to the upper hundred meters (or so).

EFS_Junior
January 2, 2012 3:42 pm

http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/12/30/losing-your-imbalance/#comment-848913
“Over the six-yer recent period covered by Hansen (2005-2010), he reports a warming of 0.009°C.”
Where exactly in the paper does Hansen report “a warming of 0.009°C”, becauee I can’t find that number here;
http://www.columbia.edu/~jeh1/mailings/2011/20110415_EnergyImbalancePaper.pdf
or here;
http://pubs.giss.nasa.gov/docs/2011/2011_Hansen_etal.pdf
or here;
http://www.atmos-chem-phys-discuss.net/11/27031/2011/acpd-11-27031-2011.pdf
or here;
http://www.atmos-chem-phys.net/11/13421/2011/acp-11-13421-2011.pdf
Zero for four, someone around here isn’t telling the truth, and it sure isn’t Hansen.
Of course, if one were to assume that the ENTIRE ocean volume were to heat up, on AVERAGE, by 1°C, and that the heating can only come from one place, the surface, one would also want to know what the temperature/salinity/density distribution with depth would look like.
I mean do I really need to quote from Hansen’s own paper? As in the deep abyssal ocean is not warming at anywhere near the same rate as the upper 700 meters.
One thing we can say with certainty, is that the ENTIRE ocean would not heat up uniformly, therefore we can catagorically state, that any hypothetical calculation that ASSUMED a uniform temperature increase over the ENTIRE ocean in the same amount of time, would be TOTALLY bogus.
Then to top it all off, do an extrapolation from six years of data, in a linear fashion no less, all the way out to the year 2461. Four significant digits? You Betcha!

AndyG55
January 2, 2012 4:42 pm

hmm, so the rate between 1910-1940 was faster than between 1970 -2000. then it was slower (maybe zero) for a while between 1940-1970 .. must be because of the massive increase of CO2 in 1910, but stopped in 1940,

AndyG55
January 2, 2012 5:42 pm

take a short term linear appoximate trend , and extrapolate out to 100 years !! DOH !!!!

chris y
January 2, 2012 10:36 pm

Erinome-
You say there is a measure of ocean heat content before 2003. You state that it is reconstructed.
I rest my case.
Remarkably, you claim that the 0.5 W/m^2 measurement has been made. You list some papers on measurements of outgoing spectra to infer changes in CO2 concentrations, forcings, etc. That is not a measurement of the 0.5 W/m^2 intensity forcing. You need to integrate total incoming intensity over the entire Earth’s surface, subtract the total outgoing intensity over the entire Earth’s surface, and then integrate over some length of time to smooth out the wild variations in both of these values, perhaps over several years. That is then a single data point. The measurement requires a repeatability of <0.1 W/m^2, to provide some confidence in the 0.5 W/m^2 imbalance being tossed about. And, of course, this measurement must be available at a variety of different CO2 concentrations to see if it has anything to do with CO2. 100 years of data would be a good start, to cover at least one complete cycle of some of the known natural climate cycles that exist.
As I said, the 0.5 W/m^2 number is a guess. Or, if you wish a more technical term, a hypothesis.

Peter
January 3, 2012 12:26 pm

Erinome says:

Also, I don’t see why added heat is constrained to the upper hundred meters (or so).

Look up ‘thermocline’.

Joules Verne
January 4, 2012 5:31 am

Peter says:
January 2, 2012 at 6:44 am
“However, it doesn’t alter the fact that the top few cm absorbs most of the incoming sun’s energy,”
You’re entitled to your own opinions Peter but not your own facts. Most solar radiation is NOT absorbed in the first few centimeters of the ocean. You’re off by a factor of 100. 40-60% of the energy is absorbed in the first few meters. It’s up to 100 meters before it’s 99.9% extinguished.
Below is a simple graph breaking down penetration depth by wavelength.
http://www.nature.com/nrmicro/journal/v5/n10/images/nrmicro1746-i1.jpg

January 4, 2012 7:58 am

Chris Y: All science is hypothesis.

Peter
January 4, 2012 11:26 am

Joules Verne: It’s not my opinion.
I’m not saying they’re right but, amongst others, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thermocline :

Most of the heat energy of sunlight is absorbed in the first few centimeters at the ocean’s surface

Perhaps that’s supposed to be metres.
Having said that, IR back-radiation definitely does not penetrate far.

January 4, 2012 1:08 pm

The thermocline graph on Wikipedia shows even better that all the numbers do indeed “add up.” Let’s assume, per that graph, that any additional heat stays in the top 150 meters. Then the heat content numbers I gave above (change ~ 10e22 J in 30 yrs ~ 0.1 PW) would imply a temperature change of ~ 1.5 K/century, which is very much in the ball park.

Peter
January 4, 2012 3:32 pm

Erinome:
OK, here’s my back-of-an-envelope calculation.
Assuming a 150m depth, a 1m2 surface area * 150m depth = 150m3 column of water beneath every 1m2 area of surface.
0.5W/m2 extra incoming amounts to ~500MJ/m2 over 30 years
Assuming even heating, 500MJ would heat 150m3 of water by ~0.8C.
If the surface heats by 0.8C it will radiate ~3W/m2 more. (*note 1) And that’s before we’ve even considered evaporative and convective losses.
So now that 1m2 of ocean is losing much more energy than it’s gaining. And that’s, on average, repeated over each and every m2 of ocean surface.
That’s just one example of the numbers not adding up.
*note 1) The original 0.5W/m2 is the difference between total energy in and total energy out, meaning that back-radiation has already been factored in. Therefore a substantial part of any resultant extra surface loss has to reduce the total imbalance. Suggesting that it doesn’t amounts to double-counting. For example, even if half of the extra 3W/m2 is returned by back-radiation, that’s still ~1.5W/m2 more net radiation from the surface.

January 4, 2012 3:43 pm

Peter says:
So now that 1m2 of ocean is losing much more energy than it’s gaining. And that’s, on average, repeated over each and every m2 of ocean surface.
Peter, does that make sense to you — heating water makes it cool down?? Come on….

Peter
January 5, 2012 12:36 am

Erinome says:

Peter, does that make sense to you — heating water makes it cool down?? Come on…

No, you come on!
Of course it doesn’t make sense, because it can’t happen – the surface cannot heat up by that much, because if it did it would have to cool down, which doesn’t make sense.
That’s why I say the numbers don’t add up!
Do I have to spell it out for you?

Peter
January 5, 2012 5:05 am

Erinome,
Putting it another way – if your assumptions lead to an impossible scenario, then it’s a safe bet that at least one of your assumptions is wrong.

January 5, 2012 10:44 am

Peter says:
Of course it doesn’t make sense, because it can’t happen – the surface cannot heat up by that much, because if it did it would have to cool down, which doesn’t make sense.
Peter, your argument obviously makes no physical sense. An object radiates more when its temperature increases, but that does not mean it cools down. It is still warmer, because the energy source of its temperature increase is continuous.
If heat is continually put into the ocean it radiates more, but it does not cool down. Its temperature is higher. Moreover, it radiates to the atmosphere, which also heats up and radiates more, and *its* temperature is higher. Part of that atmospheric radiation heats the ocean, and so on and so on, until the system quickly comes to equilibrium. At that point, everything has a higher temperature.
Hansen et al find a total Earth energy imbalance of 0.5 W/m2, and this includes all the re-radiations and back radiations and feedbacks and everything. That is the net addition of energy to the Earth system. Adding energy to a system heats it up. The distribution of the heat depends on the details, but we have agreed to set those aside.
You are getting all tangled up in arguments about back radiation and what you think has been accounted for and what hasn’t, but you are losing sight that your conclusions obviously make no intuitive sense.

Peter
January 5, 2012 11:27 am

Erinome, there’s obviously a huge chasm between what I’m saying and what you’re hearing, and I don’t know what to do about that, so I give up.
Perhaps you can find someone else to explain it to you.

January 5, 2012 12:34 pm

Peter, I don’t need someone to explain to me that heating a system increases its temperature…. Its surprising to me that you can’t agree with that simple statement. Unless you think that the Earth system isn’t getting warmer, which I would find surprising too in light of all the evidence.
If there is an imbalance of 0.5 W/m2, inward to the Earth system, do you think *anything* is getting warmer? If so, what?

mkelly
January 5, 2012 12:58 pm

Willis, I just looked at your spread sheet on 3C blog and it shows your B2 cell defining 1 Joule = 1 Watt per second. I believe you have that backwards. 1 Watt = 1 Joule per second.
A small quibble I know sorry.