Stephan Rahmstorf hatches an egg at RealClimate: What ocean heating reveals about global warming
The heat content of the oceans is growing and growing. That means that the greenhouse effect has not taken a pause and the cold sun is not noticeably slowing global warming.
If the oceans are warming up, this implies that the Earth must absorb more solar energy than it emits longwave radiation into space. This is the only possible heat source.
The only heat source? There’s also undersea volcanic activity, which we can barely track, and we are just now discovering the largest undersea volcano on Earth. Has there been an increase in global undersea volcanic activity? We simply don’t know. However, thanks to satellites, we are just beginning to see:
Now some may ask why didn’t Argos detect the upwelling deeper (1000m)? The answer is in fluid dynamics. The hot spot is very narrow above whatever thermal vents are the source of this warming. The Argo floats are not very dense in this region. So the warm column of water upwelling has to spread out as it rises, making it more likely to be detected by the Argos floats. By the time it hits the surface the warm water really spreads out over top of the cooler layers below.
As this March 2009 surface image shows there are two upwellings in the area, but the one off Costa Rica is missed at the lower depths (again likely due to the density of sensors being so low in this area). And there appears to be a 3rd upwelling off the coast of Peru.
The activity of Nicaragua and Costa Rica is right along the Cocos Plate.
Read more about this observation here: http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/02/15/do-underwater-volcanoes-have-an-effect-on-enso/
But there are other issues. Dr. Roger Pielke Sr. suggests that:
- The analysis of ocean heating should also be presented in terms of the ocean and global averaged Watts per meter squared, as this provides a measure of the climate system global average radiative imbalance. e.g. seePielke Sr., R.A., 2003: Heat storage within the Earth system. Bull. Amer. Meteor. Soc., 84, 331-335. http://pielkeclimatesci.files.wordpress.com/2009/10/r-247.pdf Pielke Sr., R.A., 2008: A broader view of the role of humans in the climate system. Physics Today, 61, Vol. 11, 54-55. http://pielkeclimatesci.files.wordpress.com/2009/10/r-334.pdf See also Ellis et al. 1978: The annual variation in the global heat balance of the Earth. J. Geophys. Res., 83, 1958-1962.http://pielkeclimatesci.files.wordpress.com/2010/12/ellis-et-al-jgr-1978.pdf
- Their claim of transport of heat into deeper layers needs to
i) discuss how this heat transfer can occur without being sampled in the upper ocean andii) the significance of this sequestered heat (if it is real) in terms of muting global warming within the atmosphere, since this heat (as I have come to realize) cannot coherently and quickly come back upwards as it would be smeared horizontally and vertically at depth. This means there is a negative feedback to surface and tropospheric global warming (i.e. which would necessarily reduce the so-called (and mislabeled) “climate sensitivity” based on the global average surface temperature trend.I discuss this issue in terms of how it affects the use of the global average surface temperature trend in my posthttp://pielkeclimatesci.wordpress.com/2011/09/20/torpedoing-of-the-use-of-the-global-average-surface-temperature-trend-as-the-diagnostic-for-global-warming/
From “stopthefrackattack.org” comes this emailed press release. I have to wonder, if they are harmed by fracking, how can they muster the strength to go protest?
Today: People Harmed by Fracking Protest Outside White House, Demand Obama’s EPA Reopen Investigations into Fracking-Related Pollution
Washington, DC – On Wednesday, September 25th, people harmed by fracking will gather in front of the White House, march to the EPA headquarters and deliver 250,000 signatures from concerned citizens across the United States. The signatures demand that the EPA reopen investigations into fracking-related pollution in Pennsylvania, Texas and Wyoming.
When: 2pm, Wednesday, September 25th
Where: Lafayette Park, Washington, D.C., EPA headquarters/Ariel Rios Building, Washington D.C.
Livestreaming of the event at: http://new.livestream.com/earthworks/investigations
Meanwhile the Union of Concerned Scientists decides to fight the EPA with a membership drive. Kenji was not impressed.
Dear UCS supporter,
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) exists to protect our environment and keep our land, water, air, and health safe.
But when the EPA’s own scientists found evidence that fracking was contaminating water, the EPA stopped or slowed down its scientists’ work in three states.1
Why would the EPA back away from its own science?
Simple. Fierce pressure from industry and politicians interfering at every step—from a former Democratic governor reportedly hired by drilling industries to pressure the agency, to a U.S. Senator delaying scientists by demanding constant financial reports, even asking how many dollars were spent on individual lab tests.2
As the fracking boom continues, the EPA can expect even more interference. We can’t sit by and watch. We’re looking for 750 new UCS members to stand up this month to help counter misinformation, demand accountability, protect whistleblowers, and defend our health.
Britain’s Energy Chaos
Shares Plunge Amid Warning Of 1970s-Style Blackouts
A promise by Britain’s opposition leader Ed Miliband to freeze gas and electricity bills provoked warnings last night of blackouts, job losses and a threat by one leading energy company to leave Britain. –Francis Elliott, The Times, 25 September 2013
Shares in leading energy firms dropped by up to five per cent today as the markets reacted to Labour’s 1970s-style plan to freeze power bills. Energy firms said capping prices would halt the investment needed to avoid blackouts and lead to gas and electricity shortages. –James Chapman and Matt Chorley, Daily Mail, 25 September 2013
In our April 2013 report ‘A Crisis in UK Energy Policy Looks Inevitable’ we argued that the inherent contradictions and implausibility of UK energy policy would eventually trigger a crisis. We pointed out that the political risk faced by the sector would undoubtedly rise as these forces played out. Yesterday those concerns crystallised with the announcement by the leader of the Labour party of a 20 month price freeze for power and gas bills across both the domestic and business sectors should Labour win the May 2015 General Election. –Peter Atherton & Mulu Sun, Liberum Capital, 25 September 2013
Centrica’s largest shareholder has accused Ed Miliband of “economic vandalism” and said that energy companies should pull investment out of the UK, putting the country at risk of the “lights going out”. Neil Woodford, the head of equities at Invesco Perpetual and one of the UK’s most influential fund managers, said that Labour plans for a price cap on energy bills would damage the investment case for the UK and block the billions of pounds of new money the Government admits it needs. “If Centrica and SSE cannot make any money supplying electricity to the retail market then they won’t supply it. The lights will go off, the economy will shut down. –Kamal Ahmed, The Daily Telegraph, 25 September 2013
Ed Miliband wants to cap gas and electricity prices for 20 months. Yet price controls have been tried thousands of times throughout history in hundreds of different markets and always fail. And what would happen were wholesale prices to shoot up, bankrupting firms? What would happen to competition? Wouldn’t companies all hike their prices on the last day before the new rules came into place? And why should firms assume that the cap wouldn’t be permanently extended? Why would anybody want to bother investing in Britain? –Allister Heath, City A.M. 25 September 2013
Germany is rethinking “green”:
Germany’s top economic adviser has called for a radical rethink of the country’s energy policies, warning that the green dream is going badly wrong as costs spiral out of control. The concerns were echoed by Germany’s powerful industry federation, the BDI, which said it can longer remain silent as green romanticism plays havoc with German power supply. The group said in a new report that the costs of the so-called “Energiewende” have already gone beyond tolerable limits. “The international competitiveness of German industry is in danger,” it said. –Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, The Daily Telegraph, 22 September 2013
Mind-blowing tweet from the Stockholm IPCC negotiations:
This seems a little late, don’t you think?
IISDRSA contact group was formed to consider drivers of climate change #IPCCAR5 http://bit.ly/1bAKK4a
h/t to Tom Nelson and Marc Morano