Not so hot – ocean temperatures around the USA are not anywhere near record levels

While there’s wailing and gnashing of teeth over the US CONUS surface temperature being the “hottest ever” a cursory review of the sea surface temperatures in U.S.Coastal waters shows no cause for alarm, as they aren’t even close to record levels. It’s just one more reason to suspect that UHI and thermometer siting issues are a major forcing component of the surface temperature record.  – Anthony

Are July 2012 Sea Surface Temperatures for U.S. Coastal Waters Also At Record Levels?

Guest post by Bob Tisdale

The map in Figure 1 shows the July 2012 sea surface temperature anomalies, based on NOAA’s ERSST.v3b dataset, for the coordinates of 24N-50N, 130W-65W.

Figure 1

We’ll use those coordinates for the sea surface temperatures (not anomalies) of the U.S. Coastal Waters in the following two graphs. Figure 2 illustrates the July sea surface temperatures for those coordinates from 1854 to 2012, and Figure 3 shows the annual (ending in July) sea surface temperatures for U.S. Coastal Waters from 1855 to 2012. I’ve also plotted the July 2012 value in Figure 2 and the value for the period ending in July 2012 in Figure 3 to simplify your task of comparing the most recent temperatures to the earlier values.

Figure 2

HHHHHHHHHHH

Figure 3

The sea surface temperatures of U.S. Coastal Waters are nowhere close to being at record levels for the month of July 2012 or the 12-month period ending in July 2012. I’ll let you decide (speculate about) what that means with respect to the claims of unprecedented U.S. land surface temperatures in July 2012.

My priority is finishing my book about ENSO and its multiyear aftereffects. I’ve only got a few more chapters to write and then I’m done with the first draft of Who Turned on the Heat? The Unsuspected Global Warming Culprit, El Niño Southern Oscillation. Then I have to go back and read the 500+ pages to see what I wrote.

SOURCE

The map and the data presented are available through the KNMI Climate Explorer.

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Thanks, Anthony.

Steven Kopits

July UAH?

Joachim Seifert

This figure # 3 amazingly shows the 60-year Scafetta-cycle :1860-80 T-rise,
1880-1920 T-decl.,1920-40 T-rise, 1940-80 T-decl, 1980-2000 T-rise, from
2000 T-decl……
Not bad, mate, as the saying goes…This will make a good paper next year…JS

It would be instructive to actually look at the historical relationship between land temps and SST.
You will of course be surprised.
The other thing that would help you is to look at MAT
REPLY: Another incomplete crypto-comment from Mosher. -10 points for not saying what MAT is or why we should look at it.
– Anthony

Jake

Anthony, Bob,
I can’t help but think that the “unprecedented” temperatures and “record breaking” drought are related, but not in the sense that the alarmists would have us believe. Because of the drought, the actual heat content of the air is likely to be low despite the “unprecedented” temperatures. This report on the coastal SST’s seems to corroborate that we aren’t seeing much heat build up despite the temperature “extremes”.

Well, one might expect water and land temps to have some correlation? The mid west coast seems cooler in general this summer, though perhaps more variable – some very hot days (not by mid west coast standards that is – easterners and southerners put down your coffee cup before I say that hereabouts 30C is a hot day ;-).
OTOH, the oceanography center on the coast of OR told us that the ocean water nearby is colder in summer than

apachewhoknows

Mr, Watts,
Up with that is the NASA folks now, just saw on yahoo’s open page a new NWS photo put together of a huge low center storm up in the artic just now. Ya, they seem to be going to use that storm as a “sea ice killer”. A quote from a NWS guy,,”Very strong storm” it may cause damage to the ice up there due to the “current thin condition of the ice” this could be a problem.
You might see what they are up to, as when they do this they use things like yahoo and google main pages to make it look like real news.

GoodBusiness

How can we have any confidence with temperature data points over 30 years old? There would have been very few stations and what depths with what current in the place at that time. Just the California seas change season by season depending on the Japanese current and then the el nino/la nina effects which are not predictable.
No one can convince me that the 1800 and early 1900 have any accuracy during the early days they had the devil of a time just using the Gulf stream to aid shipping . . so How do they address these issues?

Climate Weenie

PDO
The middle of the Pacific warm – the edges of the Pacific cool:
http://www.osdpd.noaa.gov/data/sst/anomaly/anomnight.current.gif

apachewhoknows

Well, obviously the seas are doing their own thing(s) in line with not-always predictable patterns, depending on current and weather but I find it interesting to note that in both graphs 2 and 3 the temp. of your seas at 1895 was exactly the same as 1995. This is the 100 year cycle that I estimated from the maximum temps. (parabolic plot)
So here is an idea for your book: plot the maxima – it seems for reasons that apparently no one can explain I am the only one plotting them.
http://www.letterdash.com/henryp/global-cooling-is-here

davidmhoffer

Steven Mosher says:
August 10, 2012 at 12:35 pm
It would be instructive to actually look at the historical relationship between land temps and SST.
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
It would also be instructive to consider the physics involved.
(I could just stop writing right there, and leave you with a remark no more helpful than your’s, but that’s just not me.)
At decadal time scales natural variability will dominate long term trends. Atmosphere over land will heat up and cool off much faster than sea surface does, and with far greater variability due to the tiny heat capacity of air versus the ocean. Over the long term however, the ocean with a mass 1400 times that of the atmosphere dictates just how far atmospheric temps over land can stray. The ocean is like a large adult dragging a tiny child by one hand through the mall. It is the screaming, crying, and kicking of the child that we notice, but these have little to do with the direction of the child’s motion.

Stephen Richards

Steven Mosher says:
August 10, 2012 at 12:35 pm
It would be instructive to actually look at the historical relationship between land temps and SST.
You will of course be surprised.
The other thing that would help you is to look at MAT
Steven, you are becoming a bigger prat day by day. What on earth has happened the Mosher of 2-3yrs ago. Are you for real. For crying out loud, mon ami, pull yourself together. We miss you.

Anthony asked, “Is the Great Lakes data masked out in this analysis?”
Nope. I had the map-making feature at the KNMI Climate Explorer on the “Contour” setting because it produces a nicer looking image. Here’s the same map using the “Grid” setting. Except for a chunk of Lake Michican, ERSST.v3b appears to capture the Great Lakes.
http://i49.tinypic.com/w7kiuv.jpg
Geert Jan van Oldenborgh of KNMI explained the difference between the “contour” and “grid” settings to me a couple of years ago, but I don’t recall the specifics. Based on his email, I use the “grid” setting when I present which grids have data. Phrased another way, I use it whan I want to show how sparse the source data is.
Regards

Gerald Machnee

RE Mosher
**REPLY: from Anthony- Another incomplete crypto-comment from Mosher. -10 points for not saying what MAT is or why we should look at it.**
I suspect Mosher is suggesting that the sea temperatures lead the land temps. That would put comments such as “the heat is being hidden in the depths of the ocean” to rest. If the sea temps start dropping expect the land to do so as well.

Jimbo

And via the Hockey Schtick we have the following.
“New paper finds ocean off US West Coast has cooled significantly over past 30 years”
http://hockeyschtick.blogspot.com/2012/08/new-paper-finds-ocean-off-us-west-coast.html
The oceans around the US is what global warming looks like. 😉

Pamela Gray

I think there is a back story developing at the ENSO prediction page. I have been following the three combined predictions, dymanical, statistical, and what they call the “consensus” prediction model statistic. The consensus model prediction, over the year, has been getting closer and closer to the statistical model prediction. Have the majority of the dynamical models lost favor with the “consensus group”? Why? It should be noted that the majority of the dynamical ENSO models have a warming CO2-related fudge factor built in, probably ? from the days when scientists felt that CO2 would cause more frequent and more severe El Ninos.
hmmmm.

Stephen Richards says:
August 10, 2012 at 1:21 pm
+1

Pamela Gray

Caution: Blocking highs (a stationary high pressure system) can bring up warm temps from the South and cook us even though sea temps are below normal. These weather events make up the noise overlayed on the general patterns we get from oceanic and atmospheric oscillations.

Steven Mosher says: “It would be instructive to actually look at the historical relationship between land temps and SST.”
Sounds like a great idea for a post, Steven. You’re more than welcome to it. I, on the other hand, presented precisely what I wanted to present in the above post.
Regards

Anthony,
I have wondered, “Is it really ‘warmer’ on CONUS (Continental US), or do we have more reporting sites?”
I guess I could phrase that as, “Does ‘warmer’ compare the same reading sites to each other? Or, are they using ‘city’ sites with concrete warming obscuring the true temps?”
Ghost.

Skiphil

mods, I’m not finding anything at this link near top of post:
Are July 2012 Sea Surface Temperatures for U.S. Coastal Waters Also At Record Levels?
http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/08/10/not-hot-ocean-sst-around-the-usa-not-anywhere-near-record-levels/bobtisdale.wordpress.com/2012/08/09/are-july-2012-sea-surface-temperatures-for-u-s-coastal-waters-also-at-record-levels/
REPLY: Thanks. Learn to fix links in your browser and I will too. – A

Baa Humbug

Moshers cryptic comment is about the low SSTs during the 30s dust bowl I suspect.
No surprises there Mosh, dry ground will always be warmer than damp ground given the same insolation. CO2 has nil to do with it.

My guess for MAT is Marine Air Temperature. Its mentioned in this link:
http://www.cru.uea.ac.uk/cru/data/temperature/

Steven Mosher says: August 10, 2012 at 12:35 pm
It would be instructive to actually look at the historical relationship between land temps and SST. You will of course be surprised.
No particular surprise there Steven, natural variability in both the land and ocean, is within fraction of a degree.
http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/GSC1.htm

R.S.Brown

Think about it a second…
The flow into the Great Lakes as a collective whole comes from U.S. states
not totally within the “2012 Dought” area, but well within the region that’s
had temperatures elevated (not necessarily record highs) since June.
Increased regional land temps with moderate drain-off and increased surface
temps through insolation in shallower bodies of of water like Lake Erie yielding
higher than usual water tems just makes logical sense.
The same applies to the Eastern seaboard where the warmer drain-off from
non-drought states has yet to mix with the Atlantic waters and then head off to
the North.
The real drought and higher temperature region in the U.S. tends to
drain into the Missisppi river, so the reduced but warmer water flow has less
impact when finally mixed with the Gulf of Mexico waters.
See:
http://droughtmonitor.unl.edu/
For the recent (past 10 days) air and near-land ocean current flow around
the Atlantic seaboard see:
http://www.ssec.wisc.edu/data/comp/cmoll/cmoll.html
Things may change a bit for the “cool” waters off the west coast below central
California after the current temperature spike this weekend/next week.
“Not so hot” could be rephrased as “Just about right”.
Back to the Olympics…

Who Turned on the Heat? is a book I have been waiting for.
I think it may be that ENSO holds an important climate key.
Thanks, Bob, and godspeed!

ChE

Marble Mouth Mosher Mumbles MAT. My My.

Pamela Gray

Anybody notice the new shape of hockey sticks in the Olympics? Looks more like a question mark on the end. Now that has got to sting. Poor guy can’t catch a break.

Duster

Not positive, but MAT might stand for “Marine Air Temperature” – or Mosher Adjusted Temperatures. Hard to say.

richardscourtney

davidmhoffer:
At August 10, 2012 at 1:17 pm you write:

Over the long term however, the ocean with a mass 1400 times that of the atmosphere dictates just how far atmospheric temps over land can stray. The ocean is like a large adult dragging a tiny child by one hand through the mall. It is the screaming, crying, and kicking of the child that we notice, but these have little to do with the direction of the child’s motion.

Your analogy is brilliant. I write to ask your permission for me to use it, please.
Richard

Not suggesting heat in the pipeline.
MAT is well known.
Another interesting source of data are the bouys that take air temperature.
looking at the difference between SST, SAT and MAT is fun and instructive.

Scripts in San Diego has so much Buoy data it would take years of super computer time to make a dent in it – so how accurate is the data we do see?

Steve McIntyre

In the paleoclimate discussion, La Nina (cold eastern Pacific) is believed to be the cause of US drought. Hoerling’s excellent discussion of past droughts (well before current interest) also emphasizes cold Pacific.

Note the warm SSTs over the Atlantic downwind from the large US East conurbations, a reduced aerosol effect.
Not sure why Bob put East and West coast SSTs in the same graph. The oceanic influence will come from West coast (Pacific) waters, with some contribution from Gulf waters. East coast (Atlantic) waters will have no influence.
And West coast waters are unusually cool.
http://weather.unisys.com/surface/sfc_daily.php?plot=ssa&inv=0&t=cur

Apologies Bob.
130W-65W is West coast.

Stephen Richards says:
August 10, 2012 at 1:21 pm
Steven Mosher says:
Yeah me too. What happened to old Mosh?
As for MAT being well known, guess what a Google search shows? Or am I just a door MAT for the smart guys posting here? /sarc off
http://www.google.ca/search?client=safari&rls=en&q=MAT&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&redir_esc=&ei=aaglUOWGNMSYiAK2vICgCg
I enjoy “fun and instructive” Mr Mosher, so help me out. Assuming some of the old Mosh is still in there somewhere. Thanks.
From WJD (Just an Engineer)

Philip Bradley says: “130W-65W is West coast.”
Philip, scroll up to Figure 1. The longitudes are listed on the map. 130W-65W captures the waters for both coasts.

Interesting. Put sst, sat, and mat into a google search and now you get Mosh’s comment on WUWT popping up. Fun and instructive? Sort of.

Steven Mosher says: “MAT is well known.”
And as far as I know, the Hadley Centre’s Marine Air Temperature dataset, MOHMAT, has not been updated since 2007.

Arno Arrak

Bob – Sea surface temperature in general has very little to do with continental interiors with the exception of the SST in the Eastern Equatorial Pacific. That is because the El Nino wave makes landfall there and spreads out. This warms the air above it, warm air rises, interferes with trade winds, mixes with prevailing westerlies, and thereby raises global air temperature. When that El Nino wave then falls back ocean level behind it drops by half a meter, cold water from below rises up behind it, westerlies are cooled, and a La Nina begins. It is ENSO that is globally a prime mover of temperature and its workings are laid bare in that part of the world.

Eugene WR Gallun

Reply to Mosher’s cryptic comments —
Psychiatrists don’t try to puzzle out a patients’s cryptic comments — they just note it as a symptom — one usually associated with megalomania. Being something of a cruel person I am tempted to send you a “Freedom Of Information” request demanding that you explain your comments — because I am positive such an action would serve to validate your deluded opinions about yourself and escalate your symptoms further — surely leading to a quicker and longer hospitalization.
Eugene WR Gallun

Steven Mosher said (August 10, 2012 at 3:52 pm)
Not suggesting heat in the pipeline.
MAT is well known.
Another interesting source of data are the bouys that take air temperature.
looking at the difference between SST, SAT and MAT is fun and instructive…”
As others have said, a mention of the acronym’s meaning or a link would be helpful.
Otherwise, one could spend hours trying to find a link between Supersonic Transports, Scholastic Aptitude Tests and the Miller Analogies Test (a high-level mental ability test requiring the solution of problems stated as analogies).
Cryptic answers are cryptic…

Bob Tisdale:
According to Hadley, the current version of the dataset is MOHMAT4.
MOHMAT4 has been updated to produce MOHMAT43N and HadMAT1, both of which are available here:
http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/hadobs/mohmat/data/download.html
From them: “…Up to 1996 the measurements used are those in the U.K. Marine Data Bank; more recent years use data coming in through the GTS. MOHMAT is no longer updated.
After gridding the anomalies, bias corrections are applied to remove spurious trends caused by changes in ship deck heights and various unusual operational practices, and the data are smoothed to reduce noise.
An optimal interpolated version of this dataset, HadMAT1, is also available. It has been shown to be better than the non optimally interpolated NMAT data when it exists for very many applications…”

davidmhoffer

richardscourtney
of course. (almost missed it, still reeling from the REP news)

Pamela Gray

Arno, those of us in the interior portions of West coast states, and states just to our East, readily feel the ocean’s influence. Analogue years, years that mimic current oceanic conditions, are used to forecast the next three months for agriculatural purposes. Both temperature and precipitation amounts and type from these analogue years help farmers and ranchers make all kinds of risky decisions, made less risky by the predilection of our zonal climates to follow what the ocean is telling them to do.

Venter

And Mr. cryptic comment high and mighty Mosher who doesn’t discuss anything and only pontificates with ” I’m smarter than you, nya nya nya ” type of comments has the gall to state at Judith Curry’s blog that ” Discussion is not possible at WUWT “. It is is one his comments in this below thread
http://judithcurry.com/2012/08/03/post-normal-science-deadlines/#comments
He has no problems discussing with dozens of crappy and downright wacky trolls.
But he can’t discuss at WUWT!!
Utterly hypocritical behaviour.

davidmhoffer says:
August 10, 2012 at 1:17 pm
…the ocean with a mass 1400 times that of the atmosphere dictates just how far atmospheric temps over land can stray.
Exactly, despite meddling with data. Even in landmass dominated Northern Hemisphere natural variability is within a fraction of a degree.

Venter says: August 10, 2012 at 11:53 pm
And Mr. cryptic comment high and mighty Mosher who doesn’t discuss anything and only pontificates with ” I’m smarter than you,…
Steven lives in a convoluted subroutines of many computer programming languages.
Analog thinking process causes crush in his undutiful capacious processing intelligence.
Otherwise he isn’t a bad guy.

Here is an interesting unpublished paper on aerosol, clouds and temperatures over the USA from 1985.
It is scandalous that papers on these topics never get published.
http://www.google.com.au/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=7&ved=0CFMQFjAG&url=http%3A%2F%2Fvigor.wustl.edu%2FCAPITA%2FCapitaReports%2FClimatic%2520Trends%2FClimatic%2520Trends.doc&ei=pRMmUMfeDo2RiQf3ioHQAQ&usg=AFQjCNGZKS0yp7KAA_TxphALlAREKsJ_Kw