The "heat went to the oceans" excuse and Trenberth's missing heat is AWOL – deep ocean has not warmed since 2005

The Sceptical Science kidz and Trenberth think that the deep ocean has absorbed all the heat that isn’t showing up in the atmosphere, and that’s [why] we have “the pause”. Well, that’s busted now according to ARGO data and JPL and it has NOT gone into the deep ocean.

deep_ocean_heat_argoNOTE: Graph by Bob Tisdale – not part of the NASA press release


From NASA Jet propulsion Laboratory:

The cold waters of Earth’s deep ocean have not warmed measurably since 2005, according to a new NASA study, leaving unsolved the mystery of why global warming appears to have slowed in recent years.

Scientists at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, analyzed satellite and direct ocean temperature data from 2005 to 2013 and found the ocean abyss below 1.24 miles (1,995 meters) has not warmed measurably. Study coauthor Josh Willis of JPL said these findings do not throw suspicion on climate change itself.

“The sea level is still rising,” Willis noted. “We’re just trying to understand the nitty-gritty details.”

In the 21st century, greenhouse gases have continued to accumulate in the atmosphere, just as they did in the 20th century, but global average surface air temperatures have stopped rising in tandem with the gases. The temperature of the top half of the world’s ocean — above the 1.24-mile mark — is still climbing, but not fast enough to account for the stalled air temperatures.

Many processes on land, air and sea have been invoked to explain what is happening to the “missing” heat. One of the most prominent ideas is that the bottom half of the ocean is taking up the slack, but supporting evidence is slim. This latest study is the first to test the idea using satellite observations, as well as direct temperature measurements of the upper ocean. Scientists have been taking the temperature of the top half of the ocean directly since 2005, using a network of 3,000 floating temperature probes called the Argo array.

“The deep parts of the ocean are harder to measure,” said JPL’s William Llovel, lead author of the study, published Sunday, Oct. 5 in the journal Nature Climate Change. “The combination of satellite and direct temperature data gives us a glimpse of how much sea level rise is due to deep warming. The answer is — not much.”

The study took advantage of the fact that water expands as it gets warmer. The sea level is rising because of this expansion and water added by glacier and ice sheet melt.

To arrive at their conclusion, the JPL scientists did a straightforward subtraction calculation, using data for 2005 to 2013 from the Argo buoys, NASA’s Jason-1 and Jason-2 satellites, and the agency’s Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) satellites. From the total amount of sea level rise, they subtracted the amount of rise from the expansion in the upper ocean, and the amount of rise that came from added meltwater. The remainder represented the amount of sea level rise caused by warming in the deep ocean.

The remainder was essentially zero. Deep ocean warming contributed virtually nothing to sea level rise during this period.

Coauthor Felix Landerer of JPL noted that during the same period, warming in the top half of the ocean continued unabated, an unequivocal sign that our planet is heating up. Some recent studies reporting deep-ocean warming were, in fact, referring to the warming in the upper half of the ocean but below the topmost layer, which ends about 0.4 mile (700 meters) down.

Landerer also is a coauthor of another paper in the same Nature Climate Change journal issue on ocean warming in the Southern Hemisphere from 1970 to 2005. Before Argo floats were deployed, temperature measurements in the Southern Ocean were spotty, at best. Using satellite measurements and climate simulations of sea level changes around the world, the new study found the global ocean absorbed far more heat in those 35 years than previously thought — a whopping 24 to 58 percent more than early estimates.

Both papers result from the work of the newly formed NASA Sea Level Change Team, an interdisciplinary group tasked with using NASA satellite data to improve the accuracy and scale of current and future estimates of sea level change. The Southern Hemisphere paper was led by three scientists at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in Livermore, California.

NASA monitors Earth’s vital signs from land, air and space with a fleet of satellites and ambitious airborne and ground-based observation campaigns. NASA develops new ways to observe and study Earth’s interconnected natural systems with long-term data records and computer analysis tools to better see how our planet is changing. The agency shares this unique knowledge with the global community and works with institutions in the United States and around the world that contribute to understanding and protecting our home planet.



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Mark Bofill

It’s not in the atmosphere.
It’s not in the deep oceans.
what does that leave?
Cowtan and Way find some at the poles. All? Not by a long shot.
Can we go home now?

Mark Bofill

Unless by all we mean 1.2C per century, I think, in which case we can all go home now, right?!?


The missing heat never entered the system?

Mark Bofill



Here is Judith Curry and Willis Eschenbach on the missing heat. It never went missing!!!

The case of the missing heat
Posted on January 20, 2014
JC comment: Now, no one understands the cause of the pause, but climate scientists say the heat is hiding in the ocean. My next post will be on ocean heat content, so I’m not getting into this here. The competing explanation (the ‘den**r’ one, I guess since I don’t hear mainstream climate scientists mentioning this) is that the heat never made it into the system, possibly related to changing cloud patterns or properties that reflected more solar radiation.

Stalking the Rogue Hotspot –
Willis Eschenbach / August 21, 2013
My conclusion is that Dr. Trenberth’s infamous “missing heat” is missing because it never entered the system. It was reflected away by a slight increase in the average albedo, likely caused by a slight change in the cloud onset time or thickness.

The trivial effect of four rather than three CO2 molecules per 10,000 dry air molecules is swamped out by negative feedbacks.

David A October 6, 2014 at 9:39 pm: “[Durack]…“The estimates that we had up until now have been pretty systematically underestimating the likely changes.”
…estimates underestimating likely changes… How far has science fallen? A more accurate quote would have been …”The observations we had up till now have been well under the models predictions.””
When your reality is cartoons, you can have Wile E. Coyote spin his legs over the abyss for several seconds – more if you want… and have anvils fall on his head and not kill him. “Whatever you want, we can do it, Mr Warner! – er, Mr Gore! You want missing heat adjusted? NO PROBLEM!”

William R


Joel O'Bryan

It is even worse than we think: We’re heating Mars with the reflected sunlight from Earth.
Save Mars!! (Mars average surface temp: −55 °C.) Our irresponsible increase of Earth albedo could threaten Mars with +0.01 °C over the next millennia. Deposition of solid CO2 from the air at the poles may cease, dry ice on Mars could become a thing of the past in 10 million years.

Mario Lento

@sturgishooper October 6, 2014 at 12:46 pm
The trivial effect of four rather than three CO2 molecules per 10,000 dry air molecules is swamped out by negative feedbacks.
First I am of the opinion that the CO2 is fairly saturated as to what it can do if CO2 acted as it does in the lab. That is, the logarithmic effect. However the 1 part in 10,000 dry air molecules is not trivial in the sense of the first 1 or 2 parts per 10,000. They have a significant effect according to most skeptics. That’s where it had the largest effect (according to lab results). In our atmosphere, all bets are off as to the effect of 3 to 4 parts per 10,000. That’s my take. Am I missing something?

Bob Boder

Its hiding in the earths crust

Bob Boder — I’ve often wondered about your point. Does the science concerned with measuring global warming have the means to accurately estimate the heat transfer between Earth’s crust and the atmosphere and the ocean? Does science have the means to estimate the heat transfer between the mantle and the crust? I’m not a scientist, but it seems to me that these would have to be major factors in estimating global warming.


…except that there’s a positive heat flow from the solid earth outward. I was going to facetiously suggest that the missing heat went deeper than the deep ocean and is sitting in the oceanic crust, but only because you beat me to it have I even mentioned it.


>> have the means to accurately estimate
Gerald, absolutely not.
>> it seems to me that these would have to be major factors in estimating global warming
Absolutely, they are major factors in modelling the system, apparently missing from typical AGW oriented models.
>> …except that there’s a positive heat flow from the solid earth outward.
RockyRoad, there is a small, but steady heat transfer between land and the atmosphere, because on average, the land is slightly warmer than the air.
However, the sun is much warmer than the land, so it does transfer a large amount of energy to the land. Land thermal conductivity is good, but water is better, which leads to onshore and offshore breezes as the sun rises and sets.
Bottom line: no energy is “hiding” anywhere. If for some reason, the atmosphere was heated, energy would be transferred to the land/sea. If more energy was coming from the sun, the vast majority of it would be in the land/sea. What you seem to imply as extremely unlikely is in fact, the way thermodynamics works.


They need to re-calculate!!! By using the Jason data, the sea-level rise is exaggerated by a factor of at least 2. So there is actually less expansion, and the heat retention remainder is incorrect!!!
Major fail!!!

Two Labs

To be honest, Cowtan and Way didn’t “find” heat. The did a re-analysis of satellite data using a Kreiging model to assume the Arctic had more heat content than we could measure.

There never was any missing heat. Trenberth’s energy budget is simply wrong. Fantasy physics.

Brian Macker

Deep space is warming.

Anarchist Hate Machine

Yes! It’s not in the atmosphere, nor in the deep oceans… it’s hiding in DEEP SPACE. And it will come back to get us once we’ve saturated all of deep space with our heat pollution.

Mario Lento

We need a new organisation. IPSCC Intergovernmental Panel for Space Climate Change. After all man kind is destroying space for our children! They won’t know what cold space is like! Oh the humanity!


It’s obvious. It’s in between the sofa cushions.

RoHa, you’re a genius. I had my doubts about your theory but I checked between the sofa cushions and there it was. I also found two quarters, a broken pencil, a small pocket comb with three broken teeth and some lint. It is unknown at this time if the comb, which was branded “Sunbeam” contributed to the heat retention.


It would be nice if Cowtan and Way took a look at Africa. However, if they applied similar techniques there, they might lose some.

David, UK

I can hear Trenberth now: “It’s a travesty! Travesty, I tells yer!”

Paul Martin

“Infamy! Infamy! They’ve all got it in-for-me!” (Kenneth Williams in “Carry on Cleo”)

Bill Illis

This on top of the August, 2014 study by Carl Wunsch and Patrick Heimbach that found the deepest part of ocean was likely cooling.
These two are the only studies which took a comprehensive look at the deep ocean heat content/temperature change below 2000 metres.


Figure 20 (top) of this paper is particularly striking.


“One of the most prominent ideas is that the bottom half of the ocean is taking up the slack, but supporting evidence is slim. ”
“We have absolutely no real world data that supports our claims, but we are fighting tooth and nail to keep our jobs and salvage our reputations in face of the unfair and dirty tricks that Mother Nature has stooped to in refusing to co-operate with our computer models. We stand by our computer output and our lawyers are seeking to serve cease and desist orders on Ms. Nature as soon as her residence has been located “.


Better translation: We don’t know. Maybe we can’t know. But the precautionary principle compels us to destroy civilization as quickly as possible before something bad happens to all of humanity.


Khomeini times ayatollah? All the unicorns took it to the bottom of the ocean to save us. Hello … do you see any unicorns around?

Bryan A

Unies can’t breathe under water…twas the mermaids wot done it

Of course not. They’re all at the bottom of the abyss, storing excess heat.

David A

RSS August 1998 vs RSS August 2014. Hum, it looks MUCH cooler over the oceans now compared to 1998.

David A

BTW, look at the center of Africa in the 2014 RSS image. Yet GISS shows no data for the entire region, and then later in-fills the area in red.

John West

David, obviously the missing heat must be somewhere so if there’s a region we’re not monitoring then that must be where the heat is. It’s the only logical explanation. The models are skillful, the science is settled, the world is dangerously overheating, it’s our fault, and the only way to stop it is to ditch democracy and hand over all sovereignty to the UN.
(For those that need it: /sarc)


There is one parameter we might have forgot : The Ice on the Poles now are warmer than before. Ie the Global Warming is hiding in the ice


Naaah. It deep penetrated the crust and is now hiding in the Earth’s core at millions of degrees C (as per Al Gore).


I’ve always thought the missing heat might have gone into dark matter.

Mike H.

Would that make AlGore a hot head?


Which is missing as well.
Perhaps they ran off togather?

Gary Hladik

Well, we have “dark matter” and “dark energy”. Why not “dark heat”?

Joe Prins

LOL. Must remember that one. Will use it to my letters to the various editors of MSM.


What sea level rise? See NOAA mean sea level data for the west coast and the Gulf coast.
Show zero trend.

The trend isn’t zero, bout close to it. San Francisco has the longest tide gauge record in the Western Hemisphere. In 158 years sea level at San Francisco rose only 107 millimeters (4.2 inches) or 2.7 inches per century, a tiny rate of increase. At that rate it takes over 22 centuries, not 86 years, to reach “expert” predictions of an increase of 5 feet by 2100. Only 129 years ago, the 1884 San Francisco sea level was only 1.8” lower than 2013.
Sea level fell since 1997 in San Francisco, San Diego, Los Angeles, and Seattle, plus Victoria and Vancouver in Canada, when all the “experts” agree it must rise at an accelerating rate to increase 5 feet by 2100.
All six cities had higher sea levels in both 1983 and 1997 than in 2013.


The last 15-20 years show zero trend for all west coast gauges and Gulf coast gauges except for one or two that record local uplift or subsidence.

Sea level has been rising at about the same rate since the depths of the Little Ice Age, c. 1700, with minor fluctuations. Nothing to see here.

Speaking of sea level changes, I wish that alarmists in Oz would decide whether human global activities cause drought or floods there:
The article blames the slow down in sea level rise on the rains on Antipodean plains.


I keep hearing from people that sea levels are rising. I say the sun comes up every morning. Sea level has been rising since the last de-glaciation. I have evidence showing DEceleration in recent years. Why they keep bringing up this red herring?


Abstract – 23 February 2011
Sea-level acceleration based on US tide gauges and extensions of previous global-gauge analyses
It is essential that investigations continue to address why this worldwide-temperature increase has not produced acceleration of global sea level over the past 100 years, and indeed why global sea level has possibly decelerated for at least the last 80 years.
Abstract – July 2013
Twentieth-Century Global-Mean Sea Level Rise: Is the Whole Greater than the Sum of the Parts?
………..The reconstructions account for the observation that the rate of GMSLR was not much larger during the last 50 years than during the twentieth century as a whole, despite the increasing anthropogenic forcing. Semiempirical methods for projecting GMSLR depend on the existence of a relationship between global climate change and the rate of GMSLR, but the implication of the authors’ closure of the budget is that such a relationship is weak or absent during the twentieth century.
American Meteorological Society – Volume 26, Issue 13
Abstract – January 2014
Global sea level trend during 1993–2012
GMSL started decelerated rising since 2004 with rising rate 1.8 ± 0.9 mm/yr in 2012.
Deceleration is due to slowdown of ocean thermal expansion during last decade.
• Recent ENSO events introduce large uncertainty of long-term trend estimation.]
… It is found that the GMSL rises with the rate of 3.2 ± 0.4 mm/yr during 1993–2003 and started decelerating since 2004 to a rate of 1.8 ± 0.9 mm/yr in 2012. This deceleration is mainly due to the slowdown of ocean thermal expansion in the Pacific during the last decade, as a part of the Pacific decadal-scale variability, while the land-ice melting is accelerating the rise of the global ocean mass-equivalent sea level….

Mike Smith

Oh dear. That’s awkward.
There must be a vast conspiracy of denialists holding the heat hostage in their secret bunkers.

Bill Illis

I guess a good question is did they use the Tide Gauge sea level data (of about 1.6 mm/year) or the adjusted satellite sea level rise (of about double at 3.2 mm/year) to estimate the thermostatic sea level rise.


The trick is to plot satellite data on an inclined base. For the rate of incline they selected some tidal gauges from locales undergoing subsidence and thus they can claim an observational basis for their fabrication. This trick was devised I believe by the U of Colorado and is copied now by NOAA among others. There is in fact no rise in sea level, in a general sense, worldwide.


Why do I remember Gilligan moving the the professor’s sea level stake in order to trap ? Lobsters. And the professor thinking the island was sinking…

trap “bigger” lobsters. I always thought they were cold water creatures (well at least not tropical).


Bill Illis,
After watching this short Video I have come to the conclusion that measuring Global sea level to the Millimetre is impossible.Even at the end they say to the nearest Metre.

Just because the oceans seem to be behaving as if there is no Secret Heat Layer doesn’t mean it’s not there. Maybe it moves. Maybe there are really really deep heat pockets. So there. #science
Besides as we officially dump the 2 deg C target for max AGW as part of the new trend toward a concept of Climate Change unconstrained by silly metrics like temperature, the notion of an undetectable secret heat stash will fit nicely in the new broader contextual view. Heck, there is already a growing consensus that the Secret Heat Layer not only exists but it is even more dangerous than the intense rapid warming already believed to be happening up here on the surface.


We seek it here, we seek it there, we seek that warming ANYWHERE.

Anything is possible

It’s trapped in the models.

View from the Solent

The way things are going, children just won’t know what heat is.

Tom Moran

It’s hiding in their porridge

You missed the rest Trenberth I am I am ;>)

D.J. Hawkins

“Is it at the ples, or in the deepest sea, that damned elusive, OHC.”

D.J. Hawkins

Ack1 “Is it at the poles,…”

Dave in Canmore

I havn’t done the calcs myself but isn’t the heat capacity of the oceans so massive that even if extra greenhouse heat was somehow being absorbed by the oceans, wouldn’t it be so small as to be unmeasurable anyway?
Anyone have any references for this calculation?

Svend Ferdinandsen

Climate4you calculates it in J/m2, that makes it easier to find out how many W/m2 it is over some time.


Dave in Canmore, very good scientific understanding.
Ocean T = ( 1.6×10^27 (Energy-ocean@273) + 1.03×10^22(Energy-atmos@2c ) / 1.4×10 ^21 kg / 4185 (Cp) = 273.000175
In words: If for some reason, the atmosphere was heated so that it was 2 degC hotter than normal, this energy would transfer to the land & sea. If for some reason, it was only absorbed by the ocean, it would show up as a steady state increase of .000175 degC.

Dae in Canmore

Then how can working scientists calmly announce that ocean heat content data explains or could explain missing heat? I can hardly believe that such basic and non-controversial science literacy is missing in scientists and media.


1) it’s been shown that all of the so called “science” behind agw has been created by a very small group of people.
2) Almost all intellectually honest scientists work in other fields, so they don’t feel qualified to but in.
3) Others are being psychologically manipulated.
4) massive amounts of government money began pouring into US universities in the 70s. Bribery and extortion work pretty well. This is why many skeptics are foreign.

David A

BTW, concerning the RSS images. In general they do geographically match fairly well with the surface GISS readings, so a major difference in the center of Africa, where RSS shows cool, and GISS in-fills warm from surrounding warm regions, is likely part of the record divergence between GISS and RSS. I question he infilling process.

Abyssal expansion = sea level change – glacial melt – upper 2000 meter ocean expansion.
The error bars in almost every one of these measurements is large especially in the glacial melt measurement. I don’t having much confidence in this measurement.

Dave in Canmore

I was thinking the same thing, AFAIK that glacial melt figure is model based isn’t it?

All of the measurements involved require ‘model’ like adjustments. Sea level, even when measured with tidal gauges, is based on a geo model of gravity, a model of land movements up and down and requires filtering for tides. The satellite based methods require many more ‘models’.
The upper 2000 meter expansion is based on the well known expansion factor for water based on the temperature of that water. But the data requires in-fillling for areas that lack ARGO data (under ice, shallow seas), also a ‘model’ for sensor ‘issues’ on the floats themselves.
But the glacial melt has the most model based error bars. We can easily measure the sea and land extent of glaciers from satellite but the thickness is much more difficult. The Antarctic glaciers for example are ~2km thick and we are talking about a change of a few mm per year. The measurements are highly ‘model’ based even when based on gravimetric satellites, but much more so when based on glacier movement.
My fear here is all of the data is so politicized that little truth can be found. If all the components of this calculation have been adjusted to tell a necessary ‘truth’ then we really can’t say what’s happening in the abyssal deep.


So Dana is busted.


The “heat went to the oceans” excuse and Trenberth’s missing heat is AWOL – deep ocean has not warmed since 2005

This too is interesting.

Abstract – January 2014
Global sea level trend during 1993–2012
GMSL started decelerated rising since 2004 with rising rate 1.8 ± 0.9 mm/yr in 2012.
Deceleration is due to slowdown of ocean thermal expansion during last decade.
• Recent ENSO events introduce large uncertainty of long-term trend estimation.]

John West

”mystery of why global warming appears to have slowed in recent years”
It’s no mystery. The TCR to 2XCO2 is probably around 1°C and the ECS is most likely between -1 and 1 °C (+/-). That’s the significance of the pause, even if you buy into the “forcing” model of thought the climate is not warming @ 0.3 °C per decade but more like 0.3 °C per 3 decades.
The mystery is how long will it take before they admit they overestimated the anthropogenic component of global warming?


…they’ll find the missing heat first.


“The mystery is how long will it take before they admit they overestimated the anthropogenic component of global warming?”
That would depend on when governments stop funding ‘Global Climate Warming Change’ studies with our taxes. Though they’ll never admit they were wrong, they’ll just fade away, until a century from now people are asking ‘whatever happened to Global Climate Warming Change, anyway?’


Oh my, how I love watching the ‘Ocean ate the Heat’ excuse go down in flames.


Wouldn’t that heat the ocean and thus save the day for AGW?

Mike Smith

I see a hockey stick in popcorn prices.

Joe Public

Mods: minor typo in sub-heading: …and that’s way we have “the pause” ……
…..and that’s why we have “the pause” …..

Bill Illis

So, where is the direct human-induced forcing of +2.3 W/m2/year in 2013 showing up.
And where are the feedbacks (water vapour, less cloud) of another +1.8 W/m2/year showing up.
All we can find is 0.535 W/m2/year, in total.


“All we can find is 0.535 W/m2/year, in total.”
As a watt is defined in terms of joules per second, your unit of measurement does not exist.

Bill Illis

1.16 * 10^22 joules of energy absorption across the whole ocean surface over 1.0 full year = 1.0 W/m2 of energy absorption continuously over one year = 0.004C/year of increase temperature in the full 0-2000 metres of ocean.

Bill Illis

This is why this finding of no ocean warming below 2000 metres is important. There is really no other place that the missing energy can be found and the theories estimates are just way way off.
In the case of this chart, “Missing and/or Increased Emissions to Space” might also include incorrect theories about how strong the human-induced forcings are or incorrect assumptions about how strong the feedbacks are. For those interested in how much the increased emissions to space might be – Church and White 2011 stated that increased OLR should be about 0.8 W/m2, Trenberth’s CCM3 had it at about 1.4 W/m2 and CERES has it at 0.85 W/m2. That does not close the “Missing Energy” budget by very much.

Greg Woods

Someone explain to me why now? Did the heat suddenly decide to stop warming the atmosphere and seek refuge in the briny deep?
Why is there so much discussion about what should be plain facts?
And by the way, an unanswered question via Dr. Bill Cosby: Why Is There Air?

Somehow the ocean started soaking up heat, and this happened around 2005. I have filed for a joint grant from NOAA, CSIRO and the Grantham Institute to investigate this phenomenon using my climate simulation calculator. As soon as I get the grant I’ll notify my best research assistant and we will depart to investigate ocean pH and sea currents in the Bahamas.

Greg Woods

What does she look like?


Greg, with a grant like that, I’m sure an appropriate female applicant can be found.

David A

Why Is There Air? So watermelons can tax what you breath.

Leon Brozyna

Where oh where is the “missing” heat?
it’s not in the ocean …
it’s not in the air …
the heat’s got to be hiding somewhere …


Its on its way to Mars, Jupiter, Saturn and beyond, after having been reflected off the Earth at wavelengths that CO2 cannot intercept. Didn’t care to stick around here to the AGW crowd’s detriment!!!
Check out cloud coverage over the equatorial Pacific from our extended La Nina!!! And how about the record 20 million sq/km 70% reflecting floating ice around Antarctica replacing 80% absorbing ocean.

Check Sam I am.


Here is a reaction from a member of the public on the missing heat.


If the deep ocean is cooling then the heat has to go somewhere. It certainly didn’t go into the ground so it has to go up. I doubt if the other study showing the upper layer has warmed accounts for that “little” issue.


It was converted to living biomass – or a hypothesis that won’t die. Or just maybe it was wasted by propelling global warming lies around the world.


…maybe ocean acidification is an endothermic reaction.


I believe his claim was that heat went to ‘the DEEP ocean (2000 m +), not that heat ‘went to the oceans’. Even so, he appears to be wrong either way.


Was it detected on the way down?

Adam Gallon



Maybe they’ve discovered “stealth heat”. Of course, considering the characteristics, it might be just as easy to not discover it.


“leaving unsolved the mystery of why global warming appears to have slowed in recent years.”
Here’s a crazy thought: We were WRONG about how strong a GHG CO2 actually is and there simply is no extra heat?


It is truly amazing…the last sentence of the article, with the notion they share all of this information worldwide so we can “protect” mother earth. What is truly amazing is the hubris of our species to believe we can control or protect natural phenomena.


“[…] What is truly amazing is the hubris of our species to believe we can control or protect natural phenomena.”
Not only that, but our Overlord Wannabees have these Amazing 7 Simple Tricks to Control The Earth’s Climate.
1. Raise taxes
2. Raise taxes
3. Prohibit everyone else from driving
4. Raise taxes
5. Raise taxes
6. Prohibit everyone else from flying
7. Raise taxes


The Immaculate Convection always was a monumentally transparent flail. These folks are guided by faith – faith that extra CO2 in the atmosphere MUST be causing more heat to be trapped. Therefore, any reason you can come up with to explain why Nature seems not to be cooperating, no matter how far out, is immediately considered plausible.
After all, once you eliminate the impossible, whatever remains, no matter how improbable, must be the truth. And, since it is impossible that extra CO2 cannot be causing extra heat retention, whatever remains must be the truth. Or, so they believe, to the point of religious fanaticism.


“The Immaculate Convection” – OK. You win.. I fell out of my chair laughing!

Tom Moran

That was awesome!


Actually Immaculate Convection occurs during photosynthesis (an unknown scientific fact). All the missing heat is absorbed during this process and that is why the biosphere is greening. If you calculate how much the world has greened and then convert it to a heat value, you will see that it will equal exactly all the missing heat.


“Immaculate Convection” both funny and true. It is one of the primary games used to model radiative gases causing near surface warming.
Radiative gases absorb energy at low altitude, decreasing the time to air mass “breakaway” (Raleigh number exceeded) from the surface boundary layer after dawn. (Willis would call this emergent phenomena.)
Radiative gases emit energy to space at higher altitude, allowing radiative subsidence of air masses. As radiative gases are the only effective energy loss mechanism at altitude, they play a critical role in the speed to tropospheric convective circulation.
What did the climastrologists do? The modelled the speed of vertical circulation as constant for increasing radiative gas concentration. Immaculate convection!
Worse some even tried to model the speed of vertical circulation slowing for increased near surface warming after dawn and increased cooling at altitude. Raleigh and Bernard would be “rolling” in their graves…


Well, I was thinking more of the process by which heat got to the lower oceans without, er, ah, penetrating the upper layers first. But, if it can be applied elsewhere, be my guest.


Ah, that would be the other “immaculate convection”, the one that defies the laws of thermodynamics and whisks “missing heat” undetected past thousands of ARGO buoys and off into the dark and mysterious Trenberthian abyss…


The missing heat is in the mind of the (policy activist) beholder.

Martin A

Isn’t the ‘missing heat’ perhaps Nature’s way of giving a hint that there may be something wrong with the assumptions underlying the ‘radiative forcing’ calculations which lead to the belief that there is missing heat to be accounted for?

Rob Dawg

Good thing the planet doesn’t have a molten core 1800°F ±300°F where fractions of a degree F could be totally obliterated in the temperature measurement record and error bar. I’d be more willing to give research money to any investigator who admits “I have, we have, no clue. We need to look at everything with no preconceptions.” as opposed to the current phlogiston peddlers.

Phlogiston was a very viable theory. It correctly postulated changes in chemical reactions, the only problem was that “phlogiston” was “negative energy”. Rather sad, because a great scientist missed out on being the discoverer of “energy”.

Time to revisit the “Small Comet” theory as a contributor (minor or major) for ocean sea-level rise? Perhaps there is even a solar component to the “Small Comet” flux?

Quote;Jimbo October 6, 2014 at 12:12 pm
Here is Judith Curry and Willis Eschenbach on the missing heat. It never went missing!!!
Changing cloud cover would explain much.
Several years ago, elsewhere, I discussed that from the early 1980’s, through the 1990’s, that I thought that mid-level clouds, – in particular, alto-stratus and alto-cumulus, were much less common than earlier.
This was of course, subjective, because my observations were local and not made routinely. But, these clouds have now become common again – imo.
And fog too.
Comments anyone?

There’s a funny thing about water. It shrinks, like most other materials, until it reaches 39F or thereabouts. Then something strange happens. Water begins to expand as it gets colder than 39F. It’s one big reason why ice floats, and why this planet isn’t a giant ice cube with only a few inches of liquid at the surface.
Soo– given this, I’m not sure just how much you can take the expansion of water as proof that it’s getting warmer, when the fact is that water near freezing expands as well. Hmmmm… might have to re-think that one.

Owen in GA

Funny thing about SALT Water as in the oceans. It continues to shrink until it freezes out the salt then pops to the surface to form nice crystals of largely salt-free water. It is almost linear all the way down to the salinity based freezing point.
Fresh water behaves as you have described.

Owen in GA

There is a very good chart of this density/temperature relationship at

Crispin in Waterloo

This is a good point and if you are right, they should give you a Nobel Prize. Well, some have mentioned it before but you can still get it on account of being noticed.
If the 4 degree water cooled to 3.9 it would indeed do exactly the same thing as 4 degree water rising to 4.1 which is to expand. In the haste to assume the deep ocean is warming, this point may have been overlooked. Colder is also bigger if it was 4 degrees C to start with (which a lot of it is).

The chart in the head post takes on a much different complexion if it has an overlay of the methods of recording the temperature converted to heat.
1990 to 2003 was the ALACE program which averaged less than 500 depth ranging floats to 1000 m.
then the data switches to ARGO, 0-1500 floats 2003-2005, 1500-3000 floats 2005-2007, and 3000-4000 floats from 2007 on. See a sample overlay chart here.
Where is the change in slope on the head chart? 2003. Right at the change in instrumentation from ALACE to ARGO! Under the circumstances, the ALACE temperature record must be looked at with a good deal of skepticism.
Virtually any chart that records ocean heat content prior 1990 for 0-1000 meters or 2003 for depths 1000-2000 meters should be looked at askance. The data is poorly sampled spatially, biased to submarine patrol areas in the North Atlantic and North Pacific. (Who do you think paid the bills?). See these charts of sample coverage in a Mar 25, 2011 post by Bob Tisdale.
There is unbelievable accuracy claims in pre 1970 data. It takes about 10 ZJ to move the 0-700 m column 0.01 deg C. 27.5 ZJ to move the 0-2000 m column 0.01 deg C. (1 ZJ=10^21 J) Who can believe, with so much ocean unsampled in 1970, we know the temperature to 0.10 deg C much less 0.05 deg C?

Viking Explorer

Stephen, I’m with you on skepticism. However, to play devil’s advocate, why is temperature measurement accuracy so unbelievable? Man has been measuring temperature since the 1700s. It’s not something that one would expect to have improved much since 1970. In this case, accuracy is helped by knowing that the subject matter has a very small range.

Mario Lento

We can do it electronically now. In the past it was thermometers using liquids in a precise tube. We know the thermodynamic expansion of the liquid – and so the measurements remain stable for a long long time. Electronic sensors degrade and require constant recalibration. The best we have today are platinum resistance temperature sensors called platinum RTDs (Resistive Temperature Detectors). The precision is what gets you repeat ability. Calibration gets you accuracy. The lack of quality of the station sites reduces the quality of what you are actually reading.


I think you mean “electrically” and not “electronically”. The principle of RTDs was discovered in 1871, and they were being constructed by 1900. As an EE starting from the early 1980s, I learned about RTDs not as something new, but as something long since known. What’s new since 1970 is the transistor and the integrated circuit, neither of which help us –measure– temperature, but they are useful for helping us report and analyze data. Computers are also useful for doing calculations from IR measurements.

Mario Lento

VikingExplorer October 13, 2014 at 7:03 am
Hi VikingExplorer: I actually meant electronically. Yes you are quite correct – the use of platinum is not new in temperature measurement. However it was rarely used because it was dearly expensive until relatively recent days. RTDs are made with the semiconductor deposition process now. Think silicon wafers that make 100’s of them on a disk which then get diced up and connected to terminals, 2, 3 and 4 wires. The 3 and 4 wire types use electronics to measure the resistance of the lead wires to remove their resistance measurement from the measurement of the detector. The original sensros used to require a long coil that was wound around form and were fairly large compared to RTD sensors today –which are considerably smaller than a match tip. The “electronics” that measure them need calibration factors, which are also done with a controller electronically to read the analog signals (tiny current and voltage readings to calculate the resistance that correlates to temperature). Todat’s RTDs are cheap and beginning to be ubiquitours where precise temperatures are required. They still need calibration and re calibration.

steve oregon

Asking where the missing heat went is like asking where the boogeyman is hiding.
Citing the recent warm decade as evidence of continued warming is like saying a drawing of a boogeyman is proof it is real.
Believing that waging a war against CO2 emissions can alter the climate is like believing your blanket can save you from the boogeyman.
AGW= the ultimate IQ test.

That made me laugh. My cat (Charlie), whenever a stranger walks into the house, runs to the bedroom and climbs up into the bed, between the blanket and bedspread. So my cat DOES believe the bedspread will save him from the bogeyman!
IQ test, indeed. It’s the one I use before voting for any politician. If a politician ‘believes’ in AGW, he is either too stupid to be in government, or too corrupt.


Anything that absorbs, will do it consistently…..the oceans did not suddenly decide to absorb another degree of “heat”…
..otherwise it would have been doing it all along….and we would be freezing our rears off

Tanks, A. Good news!
This is also at wich is more popular.


Another three years of data is available. Bob needs to include that in his graph!

I don’t bother with OHC data anymore. I’ve been presenting depth-averaged temperature data at different depths recently. OHC data are presented in terms of Joules*10^22 and that makes the warming look astronomical. Presenting it in deg C puts it into terms people understand and also shows how small (miniscule) the actual change in temperature has been.


Bob, I don’t believe in AGW. I seriously doubt that the graph represents all the oceans. It’s just one slice of the picture. However, showing this data in Joules is the only responsible way. A 2 C increase in atmospheric temperature is equivalent to .000175 deg C rise in ocean temperatures. If they said the oceans were up .000175, you would say it’s miniscule, when it’s not. The earth receives 1.5 x 10^22 J each day. So, the graph of Joules is a lot more meaningful. If it’s up 15 x10^22 J, that tells me it’s up the equivalent of 10 solar days worth of energy. Compared to the energy in the ocean, it’s an increase of .0094 %.

Viking, the only responsible way is to show both the Joules and the Temperature.
The temperature is important because you cannot estimate heat without measure temperature and the size of the temperature change is so small as to question its accuracy and validity, which I do.


Stephen, You’re right that energy data is based on temperature readings. I agree with you that temperature is important. However, my point is that from a global climate point of view, it’s total energy in the system that is most important. The global temperature profile is like a giant balloon, you push in one place, and balloons out somewhere else. It’s always shifting in 4 dimensions across 3 main components.
Saying that global warming is happening because one small area of the atmosphere got hot one summer is really saying nothing at all. I was very frustrated when all the focus was on atmospheric surface temperatures measured in cities. It’s much more productive to focus on ocean energy levels in Joules.
How accurate is the Argo data? “The temperatures in the Argo profiles are accurate to ± 0.002°C”
Like you, I’m skeptical of everything, but that accuracy seems pretty good to me.


Surely the inclusion of the graph at the top was mistake. (The only other choice seems to be intention misdirection.)
1) The headline is about “deep oceans” but the graph is for the top 700 m. Thus it has nothing to do with the body of the post.
2) The headline claims no warming since 2005, but the graph is artificially terminated 3 years ago to seemingly support this conclusion. If the last three years are included, then it is clear the data has been rising fairly steadily the whole time. (And again, this is for the top 700 m, not the deep oceans).

Man Bearpig

I see what you mean, but I find it difficult to perceive that the ‘missing heat’ has gone into the sea. The overall trend seems to be (and I haven’t checked this) a fairly straight line so there is no indication of the rise one might expect if this is where the missing heat from the last 18 years is supposed to have gone, when the previous 18 years to the ‘pause’ when the temperature was rising the sea level trend looks the same.
Looking at chart 7 on your link emphasizes that there is nothing much going on here.

Man Bearpig

I think this chart is probably more appropriate as you can see the trend clearly.

David A

Yes, with poor error bars, and still less then 1/2 of what the alarmist predicted.


“Halosteric” means related to changes in salinity. All this graph shows is that changes in salinity are not the cause of sea level changes.

Man Bearpig

Look at the trend in the second chart I posted from before the pause, does it look steeper than from between, say mid 80’s to early 00’s than it does from early 00’s to the end ?
If the heat was hiding in the ocean, it is really hiding very well, isn’t it ?


If the data are smoothed over a 5 year period, you really can’t get any closer than 2.5 years ago. In the chart from ManBearpig, the pentadal average also cuts off, but also appears to be downsampled, so that the apparent upswing could be an aliasing chimera. Perhaps Bob’s chart is simply a continuous smoothing over 5 years, which shows what is happening for overlapping intervals.
If true, the NOAA chart is deceptive.


Found this article from Bob’s site. It appears the discrepancy is between adjusted and unadjusted measurements.
Apparently, the “rise” is models all the way down.


It’s hard for them to accept the obvious… this is the way the earth works. Nothing unusual at all.

Oscar Bajner

Coauthor Felix Landerer of JPL noted that during the same period, warming in the top half of the ocean continued unabated, an unequivocal sign that our planet is heating up

The planet is heating up? You mean like, including the molten core? Sounds scary!
“Landerer also is a coauthor of another paper … on ocean warming in the Southern Hemisphere from 1970 to 2005… Using satellite measurements and climate simulations of sea level changes around the world, the new study found the global ocean absorbed far more heat in those 35 years than previously thought — a whopping 24 to 58 percent more than early estimates.”
24 to 58 percent hey! This is why I love (TM) climate ‘science’, it’s just so EXACTLY. I mean,
who wants a number when you can have a whole range.

Both papers result from the work of the newly formed NASA Sea Level Change Team,..

Yup folks, they got a team on it, changing the sea level, maybe next year they will have one
for the oceans too!
Well, it’s only right, the Stock and Bond markets have the Plunge protection teams at
the various central bankia, so why not a Hiatus protection team for ‘Climate’ “Science” (TM)

Think Progress(TM) has an article on Landerer’s paper on ocean warming in the Southern Hemisphere. The money quote (to me anyway): “If estimations for temperatures in the Southern Hemisphere are readjusted to fit better with climate models, they increase, the scientists found.” They found the “missing heat” by adjusting old guesses to fit with the new and improved guesses they get from models.

Evan Jones

Looks like you have only down to 700m. But ARGO goes down to 2000m. What does that data look like these days?

@ Tim Folkerts & evanmjones
Ocean heat content change above 2,000m depth. Curves show estimates based on data products from Scripps (blue), IPRC (red), JAMSTEC (black) and NOAA (green). The thick black curve depicts the mean among these estimates. The grey envelope denotes one standard error around this mean. Courtesy: authors and Nature Climate Change.


Back in July Jim Steele tried to track down the missing heat.

JULY 21, 2014
……..In order to support their contention that the deep ocean has been dramatically absorbing heat, Balmaseda/Trenberth must provide a mechanism and the regional observations where heat has been carried from the surface to those depths. But few are to be found. Warming at great depths and simultaneous cooling of the surface is antithetical to climate models predictions. Models had predicted global warming would store heat first in the upper layer and stratify that layer. Diffusion would require hundreds to thousands of years, so it is not the mechanism. Trenberth, Rahmstorf, and others have argued the winds could drive heat below the surface. Indeed winds can drive heat downward in a layer that oceanographers call the “mixed-layer,” but the depth where wind mixing occurs is restricted to a layer roughly 10-200 meters thick over most of the tropical and mid-latitude belts. And those depths have been cooling slightly.
The only other possible mechanism that could reasonably explain heat transfer to the deep ocean was that the winds could tilt the thermocline. The thermocline delineates a rapid transition between the ocean’s warm upper layer and cold lower layer. As illustrated above in Figure 15, during a La Nina warm waters pile up in the western Pacific and deepens the thermocline. But the tilting Pacific thermocline typically does not dip below the 700 meters, if ever…………..

And so on. It’s still missing in action. Maybe we should look into the solar system.


Could it be that the data are systematically biased as the Argo buoys get attracted by currents running from cold to warm places, and drift into warmer waters over time? In terms of temperature, the change is really very slight.

Wrong caption for the graph above, it should be:
0–2,000 m (red), 0–700 m (green), 700–2,000 m (blue). The dashed black curve shows an estimate for the remainder of the ocean below 2,000 m computed by removing the 0–2,000 m estimate from the GRACE-corrected observed mean sea-level
If possible please replace.

Anyone have an idea of the average rate of movement for ARGO Buoys?
If it’s 5 mph, they’d be able to cover ~25% of the oceans volume. But that wasn’t stopping to deliver a data upload, nor drifting around in circles because that’s the way the water is moving. I looked for a bit then stopped looking.

Climate Weenie

Should be careful about this.
Isaac Held once put forth that since water is semi-compressible, it’s possible to get adiabatic warming/cooling from compression. Subsidence inversions are pretty easy to spot in the atmosphere, but for these small variances, probably pretty difficult to distinguish between irreversible heat changes from forcing and reversible changes from compression/decompression of ocean water.


Of course we have dealt with missing things before:

Tom Currie

Has Josh Willis finally got tired of working towards the global warming ‘conclusion,’ and decided enough was enough. Regardless much thanks to him for having the courage to rock the boat. His equivocation is understandable considering the constant pressure that has been applied from ambient warming fanatics. From February, 2007 — in his own words. Scientific method being applied? You be the judge.