Trenberth's missing heat still missing: new paper shows a near flat ocean temperature trend – 0.09°C over the past 55 years

A new paper published today in Geophysical Research Letters describes how the oceans have warmed only 0.09°C over the last 55 years, from 1955-2010. Don’t let the red line fool you, read on.

Key Points

  • A strong positive linear trend in exists in world ocean heat content since 1955
  • One third of the observed warming occurs in the 700-2000 m layer of the ocean
  • The warming can only be explained by the increase in atmospheric GHGs

That last bullet point makes me cringe a bit, because I seriously doubt the resolution of this study down to hundredths of degrees seeing the sort of measurements mess we’ve seen in the surface network. Nonetheless, even if the resolution is low, there’s little trend.

At the Hockey Schtick they write about Trenberth’s missing heat:

According to the authors, this resulted in a sea level rise of 0.54 mm per year [only 2.12 inches per century] and corresponds to  0.39 Watts per square meter of the ocean surface. However,  the IPCC claims the increase in CO2 from 1955-2010 ‘should’ have warmed the oceans by 1.12 Watts per square meter [5.35*ln(389.78/312) = 1.12 W/m2].

Thus, even if one assumes all ocean warming is due to increased greenhouse gases, the IPCC has exaggerated climate sensitivity to CO2 by a factor of almost 3 times [1.12/0.39]. [This is why Trenberth can’t find his “missing heat“-it never existed in the first place]. In reality, greenhouse gases cannot warm the oceans at all because they radiate infrared which only penetrates the surface of water a few microns to cause evaporative cooling.

Here’s the paper:

World ocean heat content and thermosteric sea level change (0–2000 m), 1955–2010

GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH LETTERS, VOL. 39, L10603, 5 PP., 2012

doi:10.1029/2012GL051106

S. Levitus  – National Oceanographic Data Center, NOAA, Silver Spring, Maryland, USA
J. I. Antonov -UCAR Project Scientist, National Oceanographic Data Center, Silver Spring, Maryland, USA
T. P. Boyer -National Oceanographic Data Center, NOAA, Silver Spring, Maryland, USA
O. K. Baranova – National Oceanographic Data Center, NOAA, Silver Spring, Maryland, USA
H. E. Garcia -National Oceanographic Data Center, NOAA, Silver Spring, Maryland, USA
R. A. Locarnini – National Oceanographic Data Center, NOAA, Silver Spring, Maryland, USA
A. V. Mishonov -National Oceanographic Data Center, NOAA, Silver Spring, Maryland, USA
J. R. Reagan – National Oceanographic Data Center, NOAA, Silver Spring, Maryland, USA
D. Seidov – National Oceanographic Data Center, NOAA, Silver Spring, Maryland, USA
E. S. Yarosh – National Oceanographic Data Center, NOAA, Silver Spring, Maryland, USA
M. M. Zweng -National Oceanographic Data Center, NOAA, Silver Spring, Maryland, USA

Abstract:

We provide updated estimates of the change of ocean heat content and the thermosteric component of sea level change of the 0–700 and 0–2000 m layers of the World Ocean for 1955–2010. Our estimates are based on historical data not previously available, additional modern data, and bathythermograph data corrected for instrumental biases. We have also used Argo data corrected by the Argo DAC if available and used uncorrected Argo data if no corrections were available at the time we downloaded the Argo data. The heat content of the World Ocean for the 0–2000 m layer increased by 24.0 ± 1.9 × 1022 J (±2S.E.) corresponding to a rate of 0.39 W m−2 (per unit area of the World Ocean) and a volume mean warming of 0.09°C.

This warming corresponds to a rate of 0.27 W m−2 per unit area of earth’s surface. The heat content of the World Ocean for the 0–700 m layer increased by 16.7 ± 1.6 × 1022 J corresponding to a rate of 0.27 W m−2 (per unit area of the World Ocean) and a volume mean warming of 0.18°C. The World Ocean accounts for approximately 93% of the warming of the earth system that has occurred since 1955. The 700–2000 m ocean layer accounted for approximately one-third of the warming of the 0–2000 m layer of the World Ocean. The thermosteric component of sea level trend was 0.54 ± .05 mm yr−1 for the 0–2000 m layer and 0.41 ± .04 mm yr−1 for the 0–700 m layer of the World Ocean for 1955–2010.

Additional figures:

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Streetcred

… and there I thought that solar radiation heated the oceans … didn’t know that an almost unnoticeable bit of CO2 in the air could heat the ocean that much and to that depth ! Clearly I’m not a ‘climate scientist’ … hard logic was my science.

Richard Sharpe

Hmmm, let me see. The heat capacity of the oceans is some three orders of magnitude greater than that of the atmosphere. Yup. The tail wagging the dog.

hunter

Trenberth has not done anything to improve his self-damaged his credibility with this.

jack morrow

When do we reach a point that we ignore all these so called researchers or scientists? I am just about to that point. It’s always the case where they seem to have to say” man caused warming” or they won’t get their grants or “atta boys.” They must play along or they’re toast.
What a bunch of phoey!

frozenohio

Huh. Another one bites the dust. Seriously, isn’t it about time they just quit this nonsense?

Jim D

The Schtick is wrong to assume all the CO2 forcing has to go into ocean heat content. The amount that ends up there is a by-product of the surface heating that balances the forcing change. A non-mixing ocean could achieve equilibrium with almost no heat content increase, just a shallow warming layer. Therefore it is expected that the heat content increase is less than the forcing increase.

So during a time when solar output was high, especially concentrated in the UV that penetrates a few hundred feet into the ocean, they found more heat in the first few hundred feet of the ocean? But not much…
I’d guess that now that the sun is taking a nap and UV has fallen off a cliff the upper layers of the ocean will be cooling.
So…. about 20 years someone will ‘discover’ this and write a paper?

Werner Brozek

The heat content of the World Ocean for the 0–2000 m layer increased by 24.0 ± 1.9 × 1022 J
For people not familiar with J, 24 x 10^22 J = 24 x 10^22 J/6.3 x 10^13 J/Hiroshima unit = 3.8 x 10^9 Hiroshima units.
But 400,000 x 365.24 x 55 = 8.0 x 10^9 Hiroshima units! Is there some missing heat after all?

Two thousand meters is the greatest depth of the mixed layer in the in the oceans. The mixed layer is the inverted oceanic equivalent of the troposphere. Like the troposphere its thickness varies considerably with latitude and it thins towards the poles. Like jet streams in the atmosphere, ocean currents create shear zones that amplify the mixing.
Since IR can only penetrate water a few angstroms and UV maybe 30m (again like the atmosphere depending on silt, phytoplankton, and chemistry), warming of the oceans below 30m must be by mixing.
The critical question becomes: what is causing that molecule thick cooling of the ocean surface? Is it evaporation or radiation? Latent heat of vaporization energy could theoretically come from either the air or the water. Radiative transfer would be from water to air. Likely both but in what proportion?
Kind of a weird venturi effect affecting 70% of the earth’s surface.

The heat’s still missing? Has he tried passing our “Have You Seen This Heat?” flyers at the mall?

Levitus’ claim that “The warming can only be explained by the increase in atmospheric GHGs” is based on the presumption that the only solar effect on climate is the tiny forcing from changes in TSI. Even though ocean warming is well below their hindcasts, this warming is still bigger than can be explained by the tiny TSI effect, ergo it HAS to be due to CO2. Just ignore that mountain of evidence that Levitus and his pals keep leaving out of the IPCC reports that shows solar variation to have a much bigger effect on climate than can be accounted for by TSI.
This is why I don’t trust his very thinly sourced deep ocean data, or much else with his name on it. If he’ll cover up the most important data in one area he’ll do it anywhere.

Many sceptics have argued that the place to look for global warming – ie the only place that counts – is the ocean. Now we have a figure for the warming – less than a tenth of a degree over 55 years. At that rate, it will take over 1,000 years for Earth’s temperatures to increase by the 2 degrees that we are supposed to restrict it to. We will run out of fossil fuels long before then, so now, at last, can we say with absolute certainty that there is nothing to worry about“?

Kasuha

“In reality, greenhouse gases cannot warm the oceans at all because they radiate infrared which only penetrates the surface of water a few microns to cause evaporative cooling.”
Ocean is not still and there is enough mixing in the upper layer to prevent all of this energy being lost to evaporation. GHGs probably aren’t the whole picture but by dismissing them like that means refusing part of the reality.
Attributing the climate change to GHGs is part of the common ritual necessary to get your paper published, however unrelated your paper to GHGs is. I wouldn’t give it any but religious purposes.

pat

LOL. I wonder when snow fall and extended winters will be attributed to AGW. ……Oh wait.
So maybe sea temps are falling because the atmosphere is warming?
(Await the next brilliant paper)

Graeme No.3

E.M. Smith,
No. First they will discover that the ocean is cooling, and will issue “adjusted” figures to show continuing warming. That’s paper No.1 – it will conclude with “more research is needed”.
Paper No.2 will discover that the ocean is still cooling, and the “adjustment” can’t be stretched to obscure the drop in temperature. Instead they will blame Climate Change (or Disruption) and conclude “more research is needed”.
Paper No. 3 will agree that the oceans aren’t warming and that the exaggerated effects of carbon dioxide were plainly wrong and poor science. This will only happen after the present lot have retired (preferably from running out of money from gullible politicians) and a new lot will explain where they went wrong and conclude that “more research is needed”.
This is, of course, not a prediction, only a projection so I don’t have to sarc off.

Kasuha

I’d like to remind you of this year old article by Dr. Spencer:
http://www.drroyspencer.com/2011/07/oh-the-insensitivity-more-on-ocean-warming-1955-2010/
Dr. Spencer’s result:
“Furthermore, 30% of the total heat pumped into the ocean by the model is below 700 meters deep.”
Paper:
“One third of the observed warming occurs in the 700-2000 m layer of the ocean”
I’d call it a perfect match.

ferdberple

The warming can only be explained by the increase in atmospheric GHGs
======
That statement assumes the author knows everything there is to know about warming. That there is nothing on earth or in the heavens that affects warming that the author is not aware of.
So, tell us about clouds. What makes water vapor clump up into clouds, leaving areas of low humidity between the clouds? Why is the water not well mixed in the atmosphere? Since water droplets in the air are all like charged, they should repel each other, causing the clouds to disperse. Water should be well mixed in the atmosphere, but it isn’t. Why?
This is a very fundamental question about the behavior of water in the atmosphere. The most significant greenhouse gas by far, and climate science is unable to explain or predict the most fundamental behavior of clouds.
Yet they claim they know what caused the warming. They know it cannot be the clouds, because they don’t understand clouds, so the clouds can’t be the cause. Only something they understand can be the explanation.

Alex the skeptic

“….and a volume mean warming of 0.09°C.” This is already just insignificant, but 0.09°C +/- what? What’s the margin of error? Is this 0.09°C noise?
One climate scientist to another: What do we do nnow? Do we pack up, go home and go on the dole?

Paul80

This “missing heat” question has been raised a number of times before – 0.7 x 10^22 Joules per year. What does it represent? In terms of energy of carbon combustion or the reverse, i.e. conversion of CO2 to carbon by photosynthesis (in sunlight), this represents the combustion of 210 Gt of carbon per year, being the same figure as on page 81 of Bob Carter’s book, “Climate: the Counter Consensus,” for the annual natural carbon flux (or turnover). Apart from the much smaller fossil fuel generated CO2, the annual flux is the total CO2 produced from exhalation by animals breathing, biomass decomposition, ocean warming and other processes, and then converted back to carbon compounds in plants, etc. by photosynthesis (i.e. using sunlight), which includes phytoplankton, etc., in the oceans. .
Is this significant? Or a coincidence? It may be that the ocean biota consume much more CO2 and energy than estimated and with it the ‘missing heat’ ?

davidmhoffer

Alex the skeptic;
One climate scientist to another: What do we do nnow? Do we pack up, go home and go on the dole?
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
Of course not. We just build a model showing that the heat is a sinister, brooding, monster, collecting itz strength while hiding away somewhere secret, awaiting itz time to leap out, unannounced, to lay havoc about the entire planet. Where is this secret lair where the super villain CAGW is hiding, plotting itz attack?
We need to pick someplace where there is no way to make any measurements, no way to verify that we’re just making it up…. hey! How about in the depths of the ocean below the depth we can measure with the Argo buoys….
Oh wait, Trenberth already tried that one and looked like a fool when he couldn’t explain how it got there without going past the Argo buoys on the way. We shouldn’t make that mistake. How about itz gone into melting of ice? No, wait, the ice is recovering, that won’t work. I know! Increased storm energy. Well, no, the cyclone index is way down, not up. Like I said, we need something that can’t be verified so we can string out the gravy train another decade.
I know! We’ll claim is is in Swiss bank accounts held by Gaia. They’ll NEVER figure out how to verify that. The Swiss won’t confirm one way or the other, they are NEUTRAL! That’ll leave everyone guessing!

“The heat content of the World Ocean for the 0–700 m layer increased by 16.7 ± 1.6 × 1022 J corresponding to a rate of 0.27 W m−2 (per unit area of the World Ocean) and a volume mean warming of 0.18°C. ”
My estimate made three years ago was 0.15°C. Not bad considering the vagueness of the XBT/ARGO splice.
This study confirms that the ocean retains heat on long timescales. That confirms that the long period in the C20th when the solar activity level was higher than the long term average over the period of record from 1749 has a lot more to do with global warming than minor changes in minor atmospheric constituents.
http://tallbloke.wordpress.com/2010/07/21/nailing-the-solar-activity-global-temperature-divergence-lie/
The principle issue to be addressed is the linkage between solar activity and cloud amount in the areas that matter in terms of insolation. The reduction in low level tropical cloud measured by ISCCP from ~1980-1998 confirms that sunshine hours over the oceans are the important metric. Sunshine hours correlate with temperature far more closely than co2.
http://tallbloke.wordpress.com/2012/02/13/doug-proctor-climate-change-is-caused-by-clouds-and-sunshine/
The other issue is TOA energy balance. We need to know about energy levels leaving the planet as well as arriving at its surface.
http://tallbloke.wordpress.com/2010/12/20/working-out-where-the-energy-goes-part-2-peter-berenyi/
Conclusions.
The ‘missing heat’ is somewhere past Alpha Centauri by now.
The ARGO data is being fudged to show continued increase in ocean heat content. The Satellite altimetry is calibrated to the co2 driven theory instead of actual measurements made by tide gauges.
http://tallbloke.wordpress.com/2011/12/02/sea-level-scare-stories-simply-scandalous/

Alex Heyworth

Wake me up when the headline reads “Earth Warms Sun”.

The search for the missing heat is an epic quest. It could be hiding just about anywhere, under some rock, in the oceans, or even being misplaced by some evil industrialist inside of an ivory keyboard. Whatever the cause, never doubt for a second that it exists! Just like other famous quests, you must believe!
The quest must go on and on and on…and yes….
just like that corny song, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rfUYuIVbFg0 (Journey) You must never stop believing. So yes, Trenberth, keep on searching for your missing heat on that epic quest. Just like other fools who searched for something that did not exist and people told them that it did not exist, you will go down in history as a fool, but like I said and like that song shows you, never stop believing, because who really wants to stop their epic quest to find the holy grail or to find the fountain of youth?
Fame and glory will be yours if you find it. But if you do not, the quest will probably kill you. And in the meantime, the same old nonsense is repeated on and on over and over again.
Will the epic quest of the missing heat ever be finished? Well, one possibility I think is more likely then “deep down in the oceans” is Aerosmith. (If no one has looked at their summer tour poster, it fits with this nicely which I wrote up on my blog….) – Global warming indeed huh?
There is your missing heat, the “evil band” Aerosmith sucked it all up and is going to deliver it all this Summer on their tour. Never stop believing…..because your epic quests are always worth the time, toil and tears and heartache.
– Do I really need to add a sarc tag to this? but shrug, there it is. /Sarc

Jimmy Haigh

Bill Tuttle says:
May 16, 2012 at 10:10 pm
“The heat’s still missing? Has he tried passing our “Have You Seen This Heat?” flyers at the mall?”
that would make a good billboard for HI.

tonyb

davidmhoffer
You read it here first, but I suspect that in AR5 Trenberths missing heat in the abyssal depths will be taken as established fact. Why do I think that?
I was an ‘expert reviewer’ on the Ar5 draft.
In the chapter on sea levels and temperatures was a piece saying that research showed this abyssal warming was well established.
When I asked for this piece of research the IPCC told me I needed a citation from the draft and they would supply it. After a lot of toing and froing over what was only an assertion but not a citation (with a reference number) they said that without a citation they couldn’t supply the established research. But as it was merely an assertion without a citation I couldnt of course give the citation and correponding reference number….This went on for a month. So expect to see this abyssal warming as an established fact.
tonyb

The preprint version of the paper is available through the NODC website here:
http://data.nodc.noaa.gov/woa/PUBLICATIONS/grlheat12.pdf

Mydogsgotnonose

The heat capacity of the oceans [defined as the [heat] energy J needed to raise temperature by 1 K] is ~1100 times that of the atmosphere.

son of mulder

I have never owned a Ferrari and i want to know where my missing Ferrari is.

dumbvoter

When i was a little boy growing up on a farm i was well aware that the weather had a lot to do with sunshine and clouds. By the time i was about 12yrs old i understood that climate was all about the consistent presence and ratio (over time) of these two elements of nature. After hundreds of hours of reading, here and elsewhere i think i had it about right at 12 years of age.

Dodgy Geezer

@DavidMHoffer
“…We need to pick someplace where there is no way to make any measurements, no way to verify that we’re just making it up…. hey! How about in the depths of the ocean below the depth we can measure with the Argo buoys….”
In my time I have worked extensively for governments. These sophisticated bureaucracies know a lot about how to hide information. All sorts of excuses can be raised – technical, political, legal, and finally, when your back is to the wall, security.
I suggest that we go straight to ‘security’. Now that the Eastern Bloc threat is dead, and the Mid-Eastern terrorist threat is waning, I see that the military are starting to incorporate Global Warming in their justifications for new spend. Great! What we do is incorporate the climate change workers into NSA and all their research immediately becomes ‘intelligence’ – which, of course, is heavily classified.
Problem solved…

michael hart

If a specified fraction of rising sea levels is attributable to thermal expansion of the oceans, then the heat entering the oceans must be already known and quantified. By definition.
How then, could somebody [who took such a view] be also of the opinion that there must be some extra heat in the oceans? It seems like a logical self-contradiction to me. Is there something I am missing? Or does Trenberth not himself make any claims about sea-level changes?

Harold Ambler

TonyB’s comment is of note.

Bloke down the pub

If the missing heat is to be found in the deep oceans then perhaps that’s where the missing sea level rise is as well. Someone’s been pumping all the excess sea water down to the bottom, sorted.

richard vermey

Alec Rawls says:
May 16, 2012 at 10:39 pm
///////////////////////////////////////////
Yes, but also clouds.
To claim that the extra heat can ONLY be due to GHGs one would have to know the precise extent of cloud cover over the oceans. A slight change in the extent of cloud cover (including a slight change in the time of formation) could theoretically explain the observed warming.
We do not have data with sufficient resolution to rule out changes in cloud cover as an explanation for the observed warming.
In this uncertain world, how I hate seeing that this or that can ONLY be explained by X. Heck anyone would think that we know and understand everything when quite clearly we do not.

tallbloke says:
May 17, 2012 at 12:32 am
That confirms that the long period in the C20th when the solar activity level was higher than the long term average over the period of record from 1749 has a lot more to do with global warming
And especially this must hold also for the long periods of higher than average activity in the 1740s, 1780s, 1830s, 1870s, 1950s, and 1990s [ http://www.leif.org/research/Sunspots-1700-present.png ], that then would be responsible for the global warming at those times…

Ian W

gymnosperm says:
May 16, 2012 at 10:03 pm
Two thousand meters is the greatest depth of the mixed layer in the in the oceans. The mixed layer is the inverted oceanic equivalent of the troposphere. Like the troposphere its thickness varies considerably with latitude and it thins towards the poles. Like jet streams in the atmosphere, ocean currents create shear zones that amplify the mixing.
Since IR can only penetrate water a few angstroms and UV maybe 30m (again like the atmosphere depending on silt, phytoplankton, and chemistry), warming of the oceans below 30m must be by mixing.
The critical question becomes: what is causing that molecule thick cooling of the ocean surface? Is it evaporation or radiation? Latent heat of vaporization energy could theoretically come from either the air or the water. Radiative transfer would be from water to air. Likely both but in what proportion?
Kind of a weird venturi effect affecting 70% of the earth’s surface.

In answer to your critical question:
What is causing that molecular thick cooling of the ocean surface? Evaporation. While the vapor pressure of the air is low enough water molecules will evaporate into the air without any need for external application of heat. Indeed this will even happen when it is cold – as in ‘lake effect snow’. The evaporation raises the water content of the air immediately above the water surface and, as moist air is lighter than dry air (the molecular weight of H2O is significantly less than either N2 or O2), the humid surface air will rise to be replaced by drier air). As the water molecules leave they take their energy – the latent heat of vaporization- with them. So the latent heat of vaporization comes from the water without radiative transfer. All externally applied IR will do is excite the molecules on the water surface that are close to escape energy and allow them to escape (i.e. become water vapor) earlier. Thus application of a low amount of IR at the right frequency can cool the surface layer of molecules as the surface molecules with the most energy /motion receive just enough extra energy to leave the surface and become vapor molecules, leaving behind those without sufficient energy to escape – the cooler molecules.
For people like Kashua – Importantly, this means that any IR energy will have an unmeasurable effect on the temperature of the water (energy of the molecules below the surface) as the excited molecules leave taking more energy with them than has been applied.
It would be a simple enough experiment to do expose water to very low power IR of ~3 watts/ square meter in the appropriate wavelengths and measure changes in humidity above the water and the water temperature. But climate ‘science’ prefers statistics and modeled assumptions to real world experiments

Philip Bradley

The warming can only be explained by the increase in atmospheric GHGs
It makes me cringe as well.
There are 2 primary mechanisms by which the oceans can warm.
Increased solar insolation
Decreased oceanic heat loss from the surface (this is the only way GHGs and CO2 can warm the oceans)
BobTisdale’s many post show the latter isn’t happening.
Ergo, the primary cause of ocean warming is increased solar insolation.

bluejohnmarshall

The heat is still missing because Kevin’s theories are wrong.

AJB

Estimate the number of piano tuners in New York.

Gail Combs

GEE, and here I thought that any CO2 molecule that made the mistake of wandering to close too the ocean got gobbled up either by the plant life or the water itself.
More seriously:
The graph of ocean depth vs wavelength: http://www.klimaatfraude.info/images/sverdrup.gif
Variability of the sun:

NASA : Deep Solar Minimum
…. “We’re experiencing a very deep solar minimum,” says solar physicist Dean Pesnell of the Goddard Space Flight Center.
“This is the quietest sun we’ve seen in almost a century,” agrees sunspot expert David Hathaway…
But is it supposed to be this quiet? In 2008, the sun set the following records:
since such measurements began in the 1960s. The solar wind helps keep galactic cosmic rays out of the inner solar system. With the solar wind flagging, more cosmic rays are permitted to enter, resulting in increased health hazards for astronauts. Weaker solar wind also means fewer geomagnetic storms and auroras on Earth.
A 12-year low in solar “irradiance”: Careful measurements by several NASA spacecraft show that the sun’s brightness has dropped by 0.02% at visible wavelengths and 6% at extreme UV wavelengths since the solar minimum of 1996….
http://science.nasa.gov/science-news/science-at-nasa/2009/01apr_deepsolarminimum/

This is in contrast to what was happening in the solar cycles before cycle 24.

Solar activity reaches new high – Dec 2, 2003
” Geophysicists in Finland and Germany have calculated that the Sun is more magnetically active now than it has been for over a 1000 years. Ilya Usoskin and colleagues at the University of Oulu and the Max-Planck Institute for Aeronomy say that their technique – which relies on a radioactive dating technique – is the first direct quantitative reconstruction of solar activity based on physical, rather than statistical, models (I G Usoskin et al. 2003 Phys. Rev. Lett. 91 211101)
… the Finnish team was able to extend data on solar activity back to 850 AD. The researchers found that there has been a sharp increase in the number of sunspots since the beginning of the 20th century. They calculated that the average number was about 30 per year between 850 and 1900, and then increased to 60 between 1900 and 1944, and is now at its highest ever value of 76.
“We need to understand this unprecedented level of activity,” Usoskin told PhysicsWeb.

Paper: http://cc.oulu.fi/~usoskin/personal/Sola2-PRL_published.pdf
Another article with several references.

Grand maxima of solar activity
The modern episode of active sun
We have been presently living in a period of very high sun activity with a level of activity that is unprecedentedly high for the last few centuries covered by direct solar observation. The sunspot number was growing rapidly between 1900 and 1940, with more than a doubling average group sunspot number, and has remained at that high level until recently (see Figure 1). Note that growth comes entirely from raising the cycle maximum amplitude, while sunspot activity always returns to a very low level around solar cycle minima. While the average group sunspot number for the period 1750 – 1900 was 35 ± 9 (39 ± 6, if the Dalton minimum in 1797 – 1828 is not counted), it stands high at the level of 75 ± 3 since 1950. Therefore the modern active sun episode, which started in the 1940s, can be regarded as the modern grand maximum of solar activity, as opposed to a grand minimum (Wilson, 1988b).
http://solarphysics.livingreviews.org/open?pubNo=lrsp-2008-3&page=articlesu16.html

References for above article: http://solarphysics.livingreviews.org/Articles/lrsp-2008-3/refs.html
In 2010 Bob Tisdale found more recent ocean heat content is flat or dropping http://bobtisdale.blogspot.com/2010/06/january-to-march-2010-nodc-ocean-heat.html
When you ignore all the information that does not fit the “Political Correct” conclusion it isn’t science it is Lysenkoism.

Alex

Isn’t there an old story about knights in shining armor looking for the holy heat?

Jimmy Haigh says:
May 17, 2012 at 12:49 am
Bill Tuttle says:
May 16, 2012 at 10:10 pm
“The heat’s still missing? Has he tried passing our “Have You Seen This Heat?” flyers at the mall?”
that would make a good billboard for HI.
—————————————————————–
Gents, these are good ideas, yes. But I think “Have you seen this heat” with a graph of reality overlaid on modelled predictions from the alarmists.
On the side of a milk carton.

wayne Job

The quest for the missing heat is a religious endeavour much like the quest for the holy grail.
I see some thing more akin to a Monty Python quest in all this and satire ,sarcasm, ridicule and innuendo is a better approach than trying to disprove their belief in fairies and unicorns.
It will hurt them more than trying to use science to disprove a theory that is based on belief and not facts.

David A

SL rise, since well before this study is pretty much linear, and likely declining since 2005. SL rise is caused by thermal expansion due to warming, and melting ice. If the rate of SL rise is not increasing, but more recent SL rise is due to thermal expansion, then the rate of SL rise from melting ice must be slowing. If less ice is melting, then how is more heat getting into the oceans?
The missing heat must have not only bypassed the first 700 m of oceans, but must of bypassed all the ice above the surface, or else SL rise would be accerating, not declining.
Did climate scientist, yet again, produce a graph with no error bars? If they did produce a graph with error bars, how would they change over the couse of the study as methods of measuring changed?
If the rate of rise from 1955 to 1963 was, (as the graph shows) steeper then the rise from 1968 on, then why (among many other reasons) are they so certain CO2 was the only cause? When did the rise in OHC already occuring prior in 1955 begin?

Rick K

@ Bill Tuttle
Bill Tuttle says:
May 16, 2012 at 10:10 pm
The heat’s still missing? Has he tried passing our “Have You Seen This Heat?” flyers at the mall?
—————
Good idea! Perhaps Josh could come up with a milk carton asking the same…

Wait, is the heat actually missing
if it didn’t exist in the first place?
Just askin’.

Ian W

This is all very amusing – however, this should be taken very seriously. This paper and Trenberth’s ‘heat in the abyssal depths’ assumption (excuse) will (as TonyB says above) end up in AR5 which will then be used as the delivered wisdom of “thousands of the worlds top scientists and Nobel laureates”, by the politicians. This is an end-run around science and the scientific method.

Richdo

“We hope to acquire additional deep ocean data from research cruises so we have opted to present results for the 0-2000 m layer.”
Perhaps this explains why there are 11 (eleven!) authors on this paper. Wonder if they’ll get to take spouses on the cruise?

Kaboom

I stand by my suspicion that the Koch brothers are secretly hoarding the heat, the missing sea level rise and are sneaking about widening tree rings behind the Ural mountains.

Alex Heyworth

If all the heat ends up in the deep ocean, wtf is all the fuss about? How is that going to make the climate worse?