Stokes and the “somehow” theory of ocean heat

A Correction – And Much More of the Answer

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Guest essay by Mike Jonas

I think this post is a big deal. It’s not quite the answer to everything but, if I’ve got it right, it solves a lot of the climate riddle. It also shows that CO2’s contribution to late 20th century global warming was very minor. So here’s a request: please can the best brains on WUWT check it all very carefully – a serious online peer-review. If I’ve stuffed up, I want to know that right away, so please get a critical comment in asap. Most of the relevant data is in the spreadsheet absorptioncalcs_upper (.xlsx see also Appendix B).

1. A Correction from Nick Stokes

What seems like a long time ago, when I saw Nick Stokes’ comment on my How Climate Works – Part 1 post, I thought it looked significant and I should check it carefully. Well, silly me, I didn’t check it until after my last post, which asked where El Niño’s heat came from. In that post, I looked into the ocean at 10-100m depth, and found enough extra energy absorption caused by a 1983-2009 cloud cover decline to match the global warming claimed for CO2. There’s enough energy for that alright, but the trouble is, when I examined it further, there’s too much water down there and not enough extra energy.

What I had been doing in the post was to check whether the extra heat going into the deep ocean was enough to match the amount claimed for CO2. All the analysis in the post was correct for the part of the ocean I was looking at, so what had I missed? [Actually, one formula I was using was wrong; I use the hopefully correct one in this post.].

I went back and checked Nick’s comment, and it supplied the answer. It showed the daily cycle of temperature in the upper ocean:

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Figure 1. The diurnal (day-night) cycle in the top few metres of the ocean. From Nick Stokes’ blog Moyhu. NB. The two panels have different scales on the x-axes (that’s not an issue at all, just be careful to see the panels correctly).

What this chart shows is that, on a daily basis, the solar energy absorbed into the top fraction of a millimetre of the ocean then mixes (conducts and convects) into the top 5-10m only, and nearly all of it stays in just the top 1m. But overnight, it is all lost, back into the atmosphere.

I was looking far too far down into the ocean. The answers are much nearer the surface. That’s the correction from Nick.

So the first clue that put me back on track was that the daily mixing was in the top 1m, not the top 10m that I had been allowing for. There’s longer-term mixing too, but that basically spreads the heat across a wider band of ocean. The heat retained from the top 1m will still be there, it will just be diluted.

The second clue, which confirmed that I had been basically on track, was that the surface skin is cooler, day and night, than the subskin. What that tells you is that the net heat flow between the skin and the subskin is one-way – upwards from subskin to skin. So no matter how much the skin may affect the rate at which the subskin warms or cools, it cannot ever give it a higher temperature than its own. If the subskin’s temperature is higher, then the subskin’s other heat sources have to be capable of providing.all of its temperature.

I’ll make one more comment on Nick’s arguments, before I move on: It is unreasonable to extrapolate, as Nick implicitly does, from a single day’s data, arguing that the net zero effect over one day applies to longer periods. The net effect over one day may simply be too small to measure, or disappear in “noise”. To see what happens over longer periods, you need to find a way to work with longer periods.

NB. While you’re reading this article, please don’t think that I’m criticising Nick. Nick’s information and ideas have been invaluable. It’s just that I have a different interpretation, and obviously it’s the differences that get most attention.

2. The CO2 argument

Nick’s argument re CO2 is simple: “On average, the surface loses heat, by evaporation and radiation (and some conduction to air). Incoming IR does not generally need to be absorbed. It simply offsets some of the emission. [] In a very technical sense, the sea is heated by sunlight rather than downwelling IR, as is the land. That’s just trivial arithmetic – the sun is the heat source. [] But downwelling IR does add joules to the sea just as effectively as SW “.

Here, Nick confirms that the sun is the heat source, but skates over the mechanism saying it’s “just trivial arithmetic“. We’ll do some of the arithmetic in a while, and see if it’s trivial.

First, I want to establish how effective CO2 is.

The IPCC say that a doubling of CO2 increases downward IR by 3.7 Wm-2, and that without feedbacks this would increase global temperature by about 1.2 deg C [at equilibrium]. I’ll use these numbers, and use average surface temperature 290 deg K, to relate temperature to radiation: for radiation R, temperature T, some k, we have R=k*T^4 so k*291.2^4-k*290^4=3.7 hence k=3.7/( 291.2^4-290^4)=3.14E-8. That’s different to the black body figure, but presumably we’re not dealing with a black body. NB. I’m not looking for extreme accuracy, just the ball-park.

From 1983 to 2009, the increased CO2 delivered a downward RF increase of +0.20 Wm-2 (see previous post Appendix A). That would raise temperature by dT where k*((290+dT)^4-290^4) = 0.2 which gives dT ~= +0.07 deg C. That’s only reached at equilibrium, and as Nick says, ““Equilibrium Climate Sensitivity. What has happened after everything has settled down, which takes a very long time.“. [my bold].

I think that +0.07 deg C at equilibrium is probably about right. And its contribution from 1983 to 2009 would have been much less.

3. The cloud effect

The argument about clouds is even simpler: Clouds affect upward and downward radiation roughly equally, so cloud changes have negligible effect on atmospheric temperature. NB. We’re looking at averages, not day vs night.

I think that’s probably about right, too. As I said in my last post, “Clouds have a minor overall effect on average atmospheric temperature“.

But does that argument extend to the ocean ?

Nick Stokes argues that solar radiation that penetrates the ocean is just re-radiated away. He puts it this way: “A large part of the insolation that penetrates the sea, to a depth of several meters, is later radiated in this way. It’s a big part of the thermal balance. Somehow, that heat is conveyed to the surface, and is emitted by the surface layer.“. And that one word that I have highlighted is the third clue – what is this “Somehow“?.

Let’s look at those “several metres” and see what goes on there:

Using all the same data as in the El Niño’s heat post , here is the absorption profile for the ITO down to 15m depth:

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Figure 2. ITO absorption to 15m depth.

Most of the solar radiation is indeed absorbed in the top 1 metre, but for the ITO virtually none is in the top 1mm. The total energy absorbed from thee ITO in the top say 5m is 88 Wm-2. That definitely doesn’t look trivial.

What we are interested in is the effect of clouds. Clouds have little net effect on IR, but for the ITO the equation is different. A reduction in cloud cover lets more ITO into the ocean well below the surface skin. There is now an additional heat source inside the ocean. Using the same figures as before, but correcting the formula (see Appendix A), the 4 percentage-point reduction in global cloud cover from 1983-2009 would see an additional 2.0 Wm-2 absorbed in top 1m, and 1.6 Wm-2 absorbed into the 1-15m band.

That’s a lot more than the +0.2 Wm-2 from CO2 over the same period. Sure, it’s going to get to the surface Somehow, but in the meantime it is going to heat the ocean below the surface. In fact, it can’t (net) release any of its heat to the surface unless it has warmed to a higher temperature. Just like the CO2 change, this extra wattage isn’t a one-day wonder, it’s coming in every day while the cloud cover stays down.

The exact equations from here onwards get difficult, because the situation in the real ocean is fluid – pun intended – ie, the water can move, horizontally or vertically, and heat conducts through it, too, so there’s a lot more going on than just radiation. But the bottom line is that the radiation balance – the “Somehow” – comes from the top few metres of the ocean getting warmer. And if the the top few metres of the ocean get warmer then the globe gets warmer. So …..

4. How much of the Late 20th Century Global Warming was Natural?

We now have the necessary data to start to calculate how much of the late 20th century global warming was natural, and how much was from CO2.

Downward RF from CO2 increased by about 0.2 Wm-2 over the 1983-2009 period. All of that went into the ocean surface skin. Nick’s data shows that it then mixed into the top 5-10m of the ocean, but mainly into the top 1m.

Over the same period, because of cloud cover changes, the ITO increased by 4.5 Wm-2. About 80% of this was absorbed into the top 15m in the following distribution (the rest went into the deeper ocean).

Depth (m) Absorbed Wm-2 Cumul.
0-1 44.7% 2.0 2.0
1-2 9.3% 0.4 2.4
2-3 5.5% 0.2 2.7
3-4 3.8% 0.2 2.8
4-5 2.9% 0.1 3.0
5-6 2.3% 0.1 3.1
6-7 1.9% 0.1 3.2
7-8 1.7% 0.1 3.2
8-9 1.5% 0.1 3.3
9-10 1.3% 0.1 3.4
10-11 1.2% 0.1 3.4
11-12 1.1% 0.0 3.5
12-13 1.0% 0.0 3.5
13-14 0.9% 0.0 3.6
14-15 0.8% 0.0 3.6

Figure 3. Where the ITO’s 1983-2009 increase of 4.5 Wm-2 was absorbed.

The greater the depth of the mixing, the greater the contribution from the ITO, as shown in column “Cumul.” in Figure 3.

If we assume mixing to 1m only, the proportion of the extra RF provided by CO2 is 9% (0.2/(0.2+2.0). For mixing to 5m it’s 6.1% (0.2/3.2), for mixing to 10m it’s 5.5%.

Those percentages for CO2 are still too high, because

· CO2 increased linearly, while the ITO increase had all occurred by 2000. The ITO then stayed high.

· The ITO is supplying some additional RF to the next depths too, while CO2 is not.

We can state with confidence that the data shows clearly that CO2 contributed less than 9%, and probably less than 6%, of the global warming that occurred from 1983-2000.

5. Discussion

The global temperature increased from 1983 to about 2000, but then stalled. This matches the pre-2000 / post-2000 pattern of the ITO as controlled by clouds. The relationship is surely worth investigating very thoroughly. The next 5 years of ISCCP cloud data is due out later this year, and that should present a testing opportunity. By contrast, the CO2 pattern was quite different, CO2 levels increased steadily over the period.

 

We have seen, above, how clouds are a major driver of ocean surface temperature, and hence of climate, though more data over a longer data period is probably needed before the process can be understood in detail. All of the ocean oscillations (ENSO, AMO, PDO, etc) have a big impact on climate over timescales that range from a year to a few decades. Solar variation appears to have a long term effect on climate, and a possible mechanism has been shown to be via GCRs and clouds. It had been thought that clouds had only a minor effect on temperature, but by looking specifically at the ocean not the atmosphere I have shown how clouds do have a significant impact.

The ocean oscillations are not, as far as I am aware, caused by clouds. Clouds can affect the temperature of the water going into the oscillations, and this I think is the likely cause of the 20th century global temperature pattern. This pattern could be seen as a ~60yr cycle on a rising trend. The cycle seemed to match reasonably well to the Atlantic and Pacific oscillations, and the rising trend related quite well to solar activity for most of the 20th century (increased solar activity => less GCRs => less clouds). The sun is not the only driver of clouds, and clouds continued to decline in the late 20th century even though the sun then started weakening. We need to find why the clouds behaved as they did, but it is clear that the late 20th century global warming was driven mainly by clouds. We know that El Niño affects clouds, so it is likely that the other ocean oscillations affect clouds too. Climate is non-linear, which adds another obstacle to analysis – the same factors can have different results at different times, depending on the state of other factors.

I would postulate that the ocean’s chief influence on the weather (periods of days, weeks) is from the top few mm. That is the layer whose heat is lost fastest into the atmosphere. CO2 would have no influence here, because it doesn’t vary on those short timescales, but clouds certainly would. Factors such as winds would be be important too. An El Niño operates on a slightly longer timescale, and winds have been identified as a (or the) major factor. An El Niño can lift local ocean surface temperature by around 10 deg C, and there is a limit to the depth of water that can be heated by that amount. It therefore seems likely that the pool of warm water that feeds El Niño is not very deep. The multi-decadal ocean oscillations, such as the AMO and PDO, change temperatures by less but over longer periods, so their pools of warm water are probably deeper, and consequently are released over a longer period. But if the pool of warm water is deeper, then the proportion attributable to CO2 over the 1983-2009 period would be at the low end of the range. Over even longer timescales, solar variation via clouds would appear to be a (or the) major factor.

Climate scientists would benefit massively, in my considered opinion, by abandoning their absurdly detailed and desperately manipulated computer models driven mainly by CO2 and the atmosphere. I have explained in previous posts why, as currently structured, they can never work. Energy in Earth’s system is basically a one-way street : sun – ocean – atmosphere – space. (Please note that the ocean surface is warmer than the atmosphere, on average, so net energy transfer is indeed from ocean to atmosphere. See here, eg.). Clouds have a major influence, as they control solar energy entering the ocean. The sun, in turn, has a long term impact on clouds. Until we learn how to predict activity of the sun, clouds and the ocean, we will not be able to predict future climate.

I need to re-write some of my earlier documents, in light of what I have learned since. This will take a while. The concepts are generally unchanged, but some of the detail has changed.

Appendices

Appendix A. Cloud Formula

It’s not very clear in the Kiehl and Trenberth energy budget diagram (Figure A.1 in the El Niño’s heat post) what the effect of a change in cloud cover on the various radiation components would be. So I’ve made some assumptions. NB. I’m not looking for extreme accuracy, just the ball-park. The assumptions:

· At 71.2% cloud cover (the 1983-2009 average), solar radiation entering the ocean is 168 Wm-2. (Figure A.1 in the El Niño’s heat post).

· At zero cloud cover, solar radiation entering the ocean would be 72.5% of total solar radiation. (Figure A.2 in the El Niño’s heat post, “70-75% transmitted“).

· Clouds’ effect is linear with cloud cover.

From this, a 1 percentage-point decrease in cloud cover would increase solar radiation entering the ocean by ~1.12 Wm-2. For a 4 percentage-point increase, it’s 4.5 Wm-2.

This formula is a correction to the one I used before. The previous one gave too high a figure.

Appendix B. A very brief guide to AbsorptionCalcs_Upper.xlsx

Download:  absorptioncalcs_upper (.xlsx)

Atmosphere and Ocean data is digitised from graphs shown in worksheets AtmosphereGraphs, OceanGraphs respectively. Atmosphere and Ocean calcs are in worksheets Atmosphere, Ocean respectively. Some energy budget data is taken fron Kiehl and Trenberth’s energy budget chart in worksheet EnergyBudget. The full combination is then calculated in worksheet 2003.

I use SORCE data for 2003. All years are almost identical.

In the SORCE data, total solar radiation is 330.5 Wm-2 based on Earth’s surface area – cell ‘2003’!D4 divided by 4. Total ITO is 236.5 Wm-2 – cell ‘2003’!E4 divided by 4. The 88 Wm-2 absorbed in the top 5m comes from cells ‘2003’!BC1:BG1. Cells ‘2003’!BC2:BQ2 give the percentagess in Table 3 above.

In the previous worksheet, absorptioncalcs (.xlsx), there was an error in a section labelled Bands for graph only: at cell ‘2003’!AD8009 (now cell ‘2003’!AZ8009). This section is not used for any calcs. The error is that the z axis in the Absorption graph in worksheet Graphs is out by a factor of 10. The section is not used anywhere else, so no calcs are affected.

Abbreviations
AMO – Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation
CO2 – Carbon Dioxide
ENSO – El Niño Southern Oscillation
GCR – Galactic Cosmic Ray
IPCC – Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change
IR – Infra-Red radiation
ISCCP – International Satellite Cloud Climatology Project
ITO – Into The Ocean [Band of Wavelengths approx 200nm to 1000nm]
PDO – Pacific Decadal Oscillation
RF – Radiative Forcing
SORCE – Solar Radiation and Climate Experiment
SST – Sea Surface Temperature
SW – Short Wave
Wm-2 or W/m2 – Watts per square metre
WUWT – wattsupwiththat.com

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270 thoughts on “Stokes and the “somehow” theory of ocean heat

  1. I think the first question that has to be answered is how does CO2 and IR between 13 and 18 microns warm the oceans? The oceans are warming due to high energy visible light, not back radiation of IR. Can someone please explain how LWIR warms the oceans? If you can’t explain how CO2 warms the oceans, you can’t explain how CO2 is causing global warming.

    Antarctica isn’t warming, but the Oceans are warming
    https://co2islife.wordpress.com/2017/01/16/climate-science-on-trial-the-forensic-files-exhibit-g/

    • No doubt Willis come along with his references to his article of Radiating the Oceans.

      One question that needs to be answered is why can’t DWLWIR burn off dew? In mid to high Northern latitudes on a still winter’s day one may see a hollow entirely covered in dew. On the sunny side of the hollow the low winter winter sun can burn off the dew in a n hour, but on the shady side of the hollow, the dew can stick around all day even though an entire day’s worth of DWLWIR is more than 1 hours worth of low solar irradiance. I have seen this many times when I was a kid growing up in the countryside.

      • That analogy is exactly what I’ve been looking for. Thanks a Million. I make a similar analogy about the frying of an egg on a side walk. Try that is the shade, where you isolate the effect of back radiation, and the egg will do nothing,

      • I’m with both you guys on this one. No one has ever convinced me that DWLWIR is nothing more than a flawed effect (and tuning knob) in a non-physical model. Even if I’m wrong here then water vapor would be the main driver. The temperature cycles in deserts behave far differently from the tropics for essentially the same CO2 levels. I think it’s been implicitly understood that the direct effects of more CO2 are fairly negligible which is why the narrative if full of tipping points and triggers.

      • The ‘back radiation’ component from GHG’s and clouds is only about 140 W/m^2 while the peak solar input exceeds 1000 W/m^2 at the equator and even the mid morning Sun exceeds 300 W/m^2 in most places across the planet. And yes, the 140 W/m^2 is offset by net surface emissions, but just because it gets offset doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. Many are confused because Trenberth claims a much higher value for ‘back radiation’. He arrives at his inflated value by conflating the radiative surface warming from GHG’s and clouds with the return of latent heat, thermals and solar energy absorbed by clouds and subsequently sent to the surface which are otherwise already accounted for by the net surface temperature and its consequential BB radiation. To me, this conflation is nothing but a slight of hand to make the GHG effect seem more important than it really is.

      • Excellent point. The physical properties of water (H2O) are quite marvelous and it is these physics that drive a spike through the AGW myth.

        The daytime figure for SST temperature gradient is staring everyone in the face. Evaporative cooling is so powerful it creates an “S” shaped curve because it draws more energy out than can be pushed back to the surface through the natural rising of heat below the surface.

        This “S” shape goes away at night not because evaporation is less powerful, but rather because the input (solar) has gone away and the natural rising takes on a more logarithmic shape by depth where output is the only variable.

        Put more simply, the “S” plot is derived from the complex multi-variable (input & output) equation whereas the nighttime plot is reduced to an output variable. Thus, DWLIR (which doesn’t change at night) has no discernible ability to demonstrate input in the night time plot.

        Further, the argument is then made that DWLIR “reduces cooling”. This is also unsupportable by the physics of evaporation. The pace of evaporation is a product of temperature, wind speed, and air/water saturation. The CO2 forcing from increased CO2 (pick your watts per meter number) is less than the evaporative power of a 2mph wind.

        CO2 forcing has less power than a puff of wind.

      • While there’s downwelling IR, there’s also upwelling IR from radiational cooling that continues unabated (and actually increases) during the day. The upwelling IR is broadband radiation, so while some of it winds up getting blocked and returned from GHGs, other wavelengths escape fine.

        Use a IR thermometer aimed at open sky, and you’ll be impressed at how cool the sky appears. While the value is semi-bogus since the sky doesn’t have a black body spectrum, the thermometer is accounting for what it’s radiating upward itself.

        Right now it 41F outside, my Kintrex IRT0421 says the sky is equivalent to -30F.

      • This seems like an important observation so I will add my observation in support. As a kid growing up on the Northern plains in Western CanadaI I often went hiking in a valley near my home.In mid May the temperatures could easily be in the 80’s but it was not unusual to see snow on the shaded side of hills. More to the point, two months later and after many days in the 80’s and 90’s there was still snow
        to be seen under overhangs where it was open to the air but protected from direct sunlight

      • why can’t DWLWIR burn off dew?
        =================
        because the object in the shade is still warmer than the atmosphere.

      • Yup, seen the same effect. In the mountains in southern Europe, in winter we would get a few weeks of freezing nights. I recall one spot on my road where the sun never reached, and this spot alone always had ice on it, despite daytime temperatures in the sun being so mild that no other snow or ice remained.

      • I’m guessing a bit here but dew like snow and ice can be sublimated by incoming radiations as well as evaporation.

      • Solar Ovens become DWLWIR coolers or fridges at night. how can a “heat source” make an object colder than it’s surroundings.
        Ask any warmist why DWLWIR can’t do any “Work” at the surface and they explain for it to do so the working object has to be colder than where the DWLWIR comes from. QED.

    • co2islife is right.

      CO2 does not warm the oceans. The sun does. Any LWIR from CO2 to ocean is massively counterbalanced by IR radiation from oceans going the other way, plus evaporative cooling. The recent El Nino gave the atmosphere a one-time (in a score of years) injection of energy, raising temperature. Nearly all the energy was quickly lost. Irradiated to space. The temperature of surface atmosphere dropped 0.6ºC over 10 months (Feb 2016 to Dec 2016). Because the atmosphere is rubbish at holding in heat. If CO2 is 25% of the current GHG effect, and a doubling from 280 to 560 ppm contributes only 6% more to its effect then the expected climate sensitivity of CO2 = 33ºC × 0.06 × 0.25 = 0.495ºC ~ 0.5ºC.

      Extra heat held in the oceans will not increase ocean temperature much. Not by any measurable amount. Because the mass of ocean is 272 × mass of atmosphere. The heat capacity of water is 4 × that of atmosphere. So any injection of heat from the ocean to the atmosphere (like El Nino) is nothing to do with any warming (i.e. warming does not cause the oceans to get too hot), and it is quickly lost to space; so has no long-term effect.

      If the oceans are warming, the effect must be due to something else apart from CO2 in the air. Whatever is causing the oceans to warm is most certainly causing the atmosphere to warm.

      • Bingo, that is my point. To expain the warming, you have to explain how the ocean are warming, and it ain’t due to CO2. Game, set, match. No need to continue to pour trillions of dollars down the rat hole. Thanks for the comment.

    • CO2 and back radiation do not transfer heat to the ocean at all (by definition of heat transfer). They do transfer energy to the thin layer at the surface. The net effect of this added energy is a reduced net amount of radiation up (Thot^4-Tcold^4 effect), resulting in more of the absorbed solar energy being held in the water, so the surface and lower levels are warmer than otherwise. This is partially compensated by more evaporation and conduction/convection from the surface to remove the added energy, so that net energy balance is maintained over long times, but at an increased average surface and near surface temperature. The issue is not CO2 being or not being a greenhouse gas that raises the surface temperature, it is the net effect in the atmosphere, including change in water vapor concentration, cloud effects, etc., being positive or negative feedbacks, resulting in a different balance. The data appears to support some net negative feedback, so CO2 effects alone, which are small by themself, are made even smaller. While your analysis has some interesting information, it is irrelevant for the global warming issue.

      • Sorry, this is really a debate, ‘which came first, the chicken or the egg’. We base our CO2 ‘safe levels’ on conditions that was the Little Ice Age until today’s somewhat warming (compared to the Minoan super warm age).

        We suspect CO2 is always low during cold cycles. It doesn’t cause it, it is a reflection of conditions. I am assuming that during Ice Ages, CO2 was very low due to the oxygen being locked in ice which is H2O, that is, one oxygen molecule and two hydrogen.

    • Back radiation cannot add energy to the ocean. That would violate the laws of thermodynamics: heat cannot pass from a cold body (the atmosphere) to a warmer body (the ocean).

      • Back radiation cannot add energy to the ocean. That would violate the laws of thermodynamics: heat cannot pass from a cold body (the atmosphere) to a warmer body (the ocean)

        Thanks Phillip, but I don’t think it is what easy. This is a “energy being changed in form” problem. EM radiation travels through the vacuum of space and never alters its temperature. It reaches earth and is converted from EM energy to thermal energy, so in that case, energy did go from a cold vacuum to a warm earth. Chemical energy can go from a cold match head to a hot flame. Energy can go from a cold falling meteor to a flaming shooting star. In this case, a cold CO2 molecule is activated by IR radiation, and that energy is “thermalized.” My understanding is that it is the conversion of energy in form that is the issue. Any insight would be appreciated.

      • Prevent (or slow) its loss would be a more accurate way of putting it. Heat can and does flow from cold bodies to warm bodies. NET heat cannot flow from cold to warm.

      • CO2islife. You are confused about heat and energy. EM from the sun consists of photons, which are packets of E = hv, the frequency v being dependent on the temperature of the sun. The photons do not have a temperature. That energy is thermalised when it is absorbed by an atom or molecule on the earth and raises its temperature. So there is a transfer of heat from the hot sun to the cold earth. The release of chemical energy by a burning match head produces a hot flame, which can then transfer heat to its cold surroundings. There is no heat transfer from a cold match head to a hot flame – the release of chemical energy by burning manifests itself as a hot gas (the flame). A cold meteor has a lot of kinetic energy. This kinetic energy is converted to thermal energy by friction with the atmosphere raising the temperature of the air molecules. The hot air molecules then radiate energetic photons in any direction, some of which transfer heat to earth. In the case of a CO2 molecule in the air, a photon in the form of IR from the warmer earth can be absorbed by the molecule and raise its temperature (its kinetic energy), ie heat has been transferred from earth to CO2. That molecule can in turn radiate IR, but cannot transfer heat to a warmer earth. It has to remembered that all molecules are trying to attain the lowest possible energy state by radiating away EM. If they are surrounded by other molecules at the same temperature, all they will achieve is the swapping of photons, no heat transfer and continued thermal equilibrium.

      • Bindidon,
        I’m concerned that Roy’s experiment is a little too simple. It presumably takes into account emissivity and reflectivity (which, strictly speaking, will vary with wavelength) for the ‘transmitter’ and ‘receiver’, but doesn’t address the reflectivity and conductivity of the intervening solid material (not a gas that is transparent at the ‘transmitters’ wavelength’ and an absorber at the wavelength of the re-emitted energy).

        I think that one can better understand this as just throwing another blanket on the bed in a very cold bedroom and satisfyingly observing that one is no longer as cold as they were previously. Obviously, any insulator, between two objects at different temperatures will decrease the rate of energy exchange and slow down the temperature decline of the warmer object. Nothing surprising here!

    • I don’t see how LWIR from CO2 can heat the sea at all. Here’s why:

      CO2 in the Earth’s atmosphere only absorbs IRR at around 15um. Wavelength is directly proportional to temperature and 15um occurs at -80C. CO2 can only emit IRR at the same 15um so radiates very low energy photons at -80C.

      Now some simple quantum physics. Electrons orbiting a molecule can only do so at specific orbital heights. The higher the orbit, the higher the energy and the “warmer” (temperature is a measure of the kinetic energy of a substance) the molecule. When a photon hits a molecule, if it has too much energy, enough is absorbed to boost an electron to the next higher orbit and the rest is immediately radiated away.

      If there isn’t enough energy to boost an electron to the next available slot in a higher orbit, the photon’s energy is immediately re-radiated leaving the molecule with the same kinetic energy (temperature) as before.

      Radiation from a molecule at -80C therefore cannot provide enough energy in the form of photons, to warm molecules (by boosting electrons into higher, more energetic orbits) at -4C or above (seawater temperatures).
      This is my understanding of what happens and is why I don’t see how CO2 can warm the oceans (or land).

      • Yep, not only that, the -80 degree C is the black body temp. CO2 isn’t a black body. It is emitting only a fraction of the energy of a blackbody of temperature -80 degree C.

      • Rod February 18, 2017 at 1:20 pm
        I don’t see how LWIR from CO2 can heat the sea at all. Here’s why:

        CO2 in the Earth’s atmosphere only absorbs IRR at around 15um. Wavelength is directly proportional to temperature and 15um occurs at -80C. CO2 can only emit IRR at the same 15um so radiates very low energy photons at -80C.

        Sorry but this is nonsense. Emission is not ‘proportional to temperature’.
        Spectral radiance at -80ºC (220K) is ~2.0 W/m2/sr/µm
        Spectral radiance at +27ºC (300K) is ~6.7 W/m2/sr/µm
        So increase the BB temperature by 36% and you more than triple the emission of 15µm radiation.

        Now some simple quantum physics. Electrons orbiting a molecule can only do so at specific orbital heights. The higher the orbit, the higher the energy and the “warmer” (temperature is a measure of the kinetic energy of a substance) the molecule. When a photon hits a molecule, if it has too much energy, enough is absorbed to boost an electron to the next higher orbit and the rest is immediately radiated away.

        A completely wrong understanding of the QM related to vibrational spectra; electronic spectra are in the UV, the IR involved in CO2 absorption/emission is due to vibrational/rotational motion of the atoms not the electrons. The discrete energy levels can only absorb the exact wavelength corresponding to their energy separation, they don’t absorb a photon which has too much energy and then discard the excess!

  2. Solar variation appears to have a long term effect on climate, and a possible mechanism has been shown to be via GCRs and clouds.

    Words are important, and shown should more accurately be replaced by speculated.
    Similarly ‘appears‘ is just asserted without justification. The facts are that it has been very difficult to determine what the effect is over and above the expected 0.07C variation due to the cyclic variation of solar radiation. It looks to me that your assertions here are analogous to ‘and then a miracle happens’.

    • The difference between Mike and our alarmist friends is that he isn’t simultaneously reaching for your pocket while he speculates and his speculation is conservative rather than apocalyptic.

    • Mere assertions without justification? That appears to be a bit dismissive considering the theory is based on more than speculation.

      • The data do the dismissing as they do not support the speculation. So, it has not been shown that the theory works. It is speculation that the effect should be large.

      • “The data do the dismissing as they do not support the speculation. So, it has not been shown that the theory works. It is speculation that the effect should be large.”

        Ah, just like CAGW then, since the data consistently show that the speculation (models) are way off the mark, all running much hotter.

    • Yes, words matter and are often inappropriately selected to promote a point of view. A recent NYTimes article claimed that intelligence agencies “determined that President Vladimir V. Putin’s government tried to interfere with the 2016 election on Mr. Trump’s behalf” when in fact the correct word is “assessed” and the motive was far more likely to be “to Hillary Clinton’s detriment.”

    • lsvalgaard on February 18, 2017 at 5:16 am

      Thanks for the comment Leif… Each time I read things like “The sun drives the climate” or even “El Niño drives the climate” I have a quick look at this simple graph comparing surface temperatures, ENSO signal and Sun Spot Number:

      and ask me how these two lame ducks managed to push up surface temperatures.

      No idea about the role played by GHGs! But I’m sure neither ENSO nor the sun will be the two major guys here.

  3. Well I have an issue with using global average as if the sun was shining 24/7. I am sure heat losses Do change day vs night. The whole 33C warmer than otherwise is the false starting point. Secondly, surface temperature is an artifact of stratospheric pressure. Follow tge drivers of pressure and the answer will be presented. Sorry I cant be more specific.

    • I have a gas cylinder at 200 bar pressure. The temperature of the gas in the cylinder is the same as the surrounding atmosphere a 1 bar pressure. Can you explain how temperature is an artifact of pressure in the light of this?

      • Leo, I know about adiabatic. It means a system is isolated and no energy leaves or enters the system.

        From the first law of thermodynamics, Delta U = Q +W (change in internal energy = heat plus work).

        In my cylinder, we imagine work being done to pressurize the gas to 200 bar, say from a piston. Since this adds energy, the temperature will rise.

        In reality, my cylinder is not adiabatic. It exchanges energy with the surroundings. Heat is transferred from the hot gas to the cylinder walls and thence to the surroundings, which is why he temperature of the pressurised gas is the same as the surroundings.

        So we need to have an adiabatic system for the temperature to be a function of pressure. Since the Earth is not adiabatic temperature will not be a function of pressure, just like in my cylinder. Adiabatic does not help you. If we pressurised the atmosphere the temperature would rise, then simply fall again as the energy were radiated away.

        Incidentally, the adiabatic compression is isentropic – there is no entropy change. That means the process is reversible. We get back ALL the energy by expanding the gas again. Common sense tells us that this will never happen in practice, which is because no practical system is adiabatic.

      • Are you saying that gravity is constantly adding energy to the atmosphere? That is an unusual claim. The first law of thermodynamics I quoted earlier insists that in an adiabatic system total energy equals heat energy plus work energy. From this we see that gas heats when pressurised. However, in a non-adiabatic system that temperature will fall again. The only way for the temperature to remain at the high level is for energy to be added. You are suggesting that gravity is adding this energy?

      • Are you saying that gravity is constantly adding energy to the atmosphere?
        ==============================
        Gravity is removing energy, because kinetic energy (temperature) varies as linearly with height while radiation varies as the 4th power of temperature.

        For example, say convection moves two parcels of air of equal mass, one up the other down. The distance will be the same, with opposite sign. This increases the temperature of one by 2C and decreases the temperature of the other by 2C due to the conversion between PE and KE. (PE = KE = m x g x H).

        There is no net change in gravitational (kinetic) energy, because + (2) – (2) = 0. But say the average temperature of the air was 300C, the radiation change varies as:

        + (302^4) – (298^4) > 0.

        Thus, during convection, gravity is slightly decreasing the energy of the atmosphere, by changing the radiation balance in favor of more heat loss from the descending air than rising air.

      • The car is in the parking lot.

        The weight of the car is borne by the wheels. The deformation of the wheels causes an increase in the tire pressure.

        The increased tire pressure causes a hardly measurable heating of the wheels, which is immediately removed again to the environment.

        The removing of that slight warming hinders more deformation of the tires – eqilibrity.

        For a massive body such as planet earth, the ‘hardly measurable heating’ is 33 ° C.

      • For the massive body planet earth:

        surplus heat is transported to the environment – the interplanetary space.

        So a further deformation of the self bearing column of atmosphere is stopped – equilibrium.

      • seaice you said , “I have a gas cylinder at 200 bar pressure. The temperature of the gas in the cylinder is the same as the surrounding atmosphere a 1 bar pressure.”
        Would you have to take into account the amount of energy it took to fill the tank and pressurize it to 200 psi? After the tank sits isolated it will cool down to the outside temp. I have filled a few tanks and always had to very careful handling the valves they could be quite hot.

      • seaice1,
        It is all about density. The atmosphere is denser near the surface (due to gravity) and therefore can contain more heat (kinetic energy). This means that it takes longer for it to lose that heat (cool) than the less dense atmosphere at higher altitudes. In your example of the gas cylinder, try this experiment: first fill the cylinder to 1 bar, then heat the gas using a constant heat source up to a specific temperature. Then let it cool to ambient again. Try the same thing with the pressure at 200 bar. This time it will take longer to reach the same temperature, and longer to cool back down. Higher density = more mass.

    • Global surface temperature calculations already multiply incoming solar energy by a factor of 1/4, the ratio of the area of the earth’s disk to its surface area. This effectively spreads the incoming solar energy evenly over the whole surface, both the day and the night side:

  4. I have posted your fig 1 temperature profile plots a number of times on this site when arguing, particularly with Willis, the role of DWLWIR and the oceans.

    One needs to bear in mind a number of factors.

    Firsts, DWLWIR is omnidirectional. Thus DWLWIR is not perpendicular to the surface of the oceans. Much of DWLWIR will be impacting the ocean at low grazing angles, eg. less than 10deg, less than 20 deg, less than 30 deg etc. This impacts upon its vertical penetration into the depths of the ocean.

    Second, the (optical) absorption characteristics of LWIR in water is that almost all LWIR is absorbed in just 10 microns, and given the omni-directional nature of DWLWIR, about 50% of DWLWIR is fully absorbed in just 3 or 4 microns.

    Third, how much energy is thus being absorbed in 3 or 4 microns? K(T suggests the average figure for DWLWIR is 324 w/m2. If 50% of this is absorbed in just 4 microns, then some 130 w/m2 is being absorbed in that very thin layer. We do not have to consider solar irradiance since all but none of this is absorbed in the top microns (which is fortunate for us since if it were to be absorbed in the top microns, the oceans would have boiled off from the top down long ago). The point is however that 130w/m2 is a lot.

    Fourth, what is done with the energy absorbed as above? How is it dissipated and diluted before it simply drives extreme amounts of evaporation from the top micron(s) layer? Can it be sequestered to depth, and if so at what speed so that it is diluted by volume before it boils off the top microns of the oceans?

    It cannot be dissipated and diluted to depth by conduction since the energy flow is upwards, as Fig1 confirms. So unless we are wrong on our understanding of energy flow, conduction does not assist.

    Some suggest that it is the action of ocean overturning, the action of the wind, waves and swell. However these are relatively slow mechanical processes. Ocean overturning is a diurnal event, and since the average wind speed over the oceans is little more than BF4, there must be vast swathes of the oceans where the conditions for long periods are BF2 or less when there would be very little ocean/top surface mixing by wind waves or swell. I have asked Willis to explain what happens in Caldera lakes where, due to topography, for the most part there is little action by way of wind, waves and swell. Why are Caldera Lakes not boiled off by the DWLWIR being absorbed by them in the top few microns?

    There is an obvious problem with DWLWIR absorption IF this is more than a signal and is something capable of performing sensible work. On one of my exchanges with Nick, he calculated that the amount of energy absorbed in the top few microns was so much energy that it could theoretically evaporate enough water to lead to about 16m of annual rainfall! Obviously, we do not have 16m of annual rainfall so what has happened to this energy? How has it been sequestered to depth so that it has been diluted and dissipated by the sheer volume of the ocean itself. I have yet to see a sensible explanation for the processes involved. Our understanding of this is incomplete.

      • Yes, “John Harmsworth on February 18, 2017 at 11:53 am

        No this is indicated as a continuous input amount.”
        _____________________________________

        To substract from this amount are:

        1. The amount of moisture extracted from foodstuffs harvested annually from the fields which is not transported back into the atmosphere but directly into the canalisation.

        2. The amount of humidity consumed by cattle that directly goes back into the water cycle down into the ground water. And finally

        3. The amount of moisture that is carried away from the forests in timber and utility wood.

      • No this is indicated as a continuous input amount. The same amount would have to fall or the atmosphere would saturate and it would fall anyway. It means that this level of evaporation is not possible.

    • You forget that the sea-surface is at 270-300 K and radiating LWIR upwards. The net LWIR absorption is minimal or negative. The DWLWIR increases evaporation and decreases the net (upwards) LWIR, but does not really heat the surface.

    • Isn’t the obvious answer that the DWLWIR isn’t really there? If CO2 molecules in the atmosphere lose energy by collision with other atmospheric molecules then isn’t the energy thermalized so that no photon is emitted?

    • “Firsts, DWLWIR is omnidirectional. Thus DWLWIR is not perpendicular to the surface of the oceans. Much of DWLWIR will be impacting the ocean at low grazing angles, eg. less than 10deg, less than 20 deg, less than 30 deg etc. This impacts upon its vertical penetration into the depths of the ocean.”

      In physics, the mean free path is the average distance travelled by a moving particle (such as an atom, a molecule, a photon) between successive impacts (collisions),[1] which modify its direction or energy or other particle properties.

      https://s25.postimg.org/eoo3yjf3j/mfp.jpg.

      mfp =66nm at 0 altitude so escaping heat reflected from surface or moving >66nm will again get transferred on average in all directions. this occurs at every sufficiently long path length. On average 50% up 50% down

    • Richard I have spent some time measuring the surface (skin) temperature of the ocean with an IR gun, the temperature just below the surface and the air temperature just above the surface.

      The skin temperature is always lower than (mostly) or equal (occasionally) to the temperature just below the surface and it is never warmer than the water below the surface.

      The air temperature close to the surface is always close to the skin temperature, depending on wind speed.

      My conclusion is that the net LWIR radiation between the ocean skin temperature and the atmosphere is zero since the skin and the air temps are apx. the same and exchange LWIR. The reason the skin temperature is lower than the subsurface temperature is due to Evaporation.

      The temperature of the water below the surface can be considerably warmer than the surface due to SW radiation penetrating during the day and it tends to stratify.

      Except for shallow water in calm conditions, it is very hard to find temperatures higher than 30˚C.

      CO2 is largely transparent to solar insolation so it is effectively always in the shade.

  5. Nearly half of the sun’s energy is in the near infrared which penetrates water to a depth of between one and one hundred centimetres and together with the rest of the solar spectrum warms the ocean very efficiently down to 100 metres. This energy is stored as heat to be moved around the globe by winds and ocean currents, also very efficiently. Evaporation together with its latent heat is the hidden means by which heat is moved from warmer places to cooler places very far from the source. Radiation in the far infrared from the air above cannot penetrate much beyond the surface skin of the ocean is therefore largely irrelevant.

    • ” also very efficiently” Is this an expression of conservation of energy? It is of course efficient in ha no energy is “lost”, but I am not sure if that is what you meant.

  6. Mike, you came up with an estimate of CO2 contribution to global warming of about 9% in this piece. In your earlier series on the Mathematics of CO2, you came up with 10%, and Willy Soon’s estimate based on changes in solar radiation intensity was 12% (I may have the last 2 figures the wrong way around). Coming at the estimate from 3 different directions gives an average of about 10%. Is that just a coincidence, or are we on to something here?

    • Needs more study to determine if it’s a coincidence or “we’re on to something”. My guess is that was your point.

  7. This is the problem the climate alarmists face, and what all of climate science should be focused on.
    What is the energy of a photon of blue light (λ = 450 nm) and of a photon of red light (λ = 700 nm) in units of eV = 1.6*10-19 J?
    Solution:
    E = hc/λ.
    Blue light: E = (6.626*10-34 Js)(3*108 m/s)/(450*10-9 m) = 4.4*10-19 J = 2.76 eV
    Red light: E = (6.626*10-34 Js)(3*108 m/s)/(700*10-9 m) = 2.8*10-19 J = 1.8 eV
    Photons have no mass, but they have energy E = hf = hc/λ. Here h = 6.626*10-34 Js is a universal constant called Planck’s constant

    CO2 traps IR between 1,300 and 1,800. Do the math. The numbers simply don’t add up.
    The specific heat of water is 1 calorie/gram °C = 4.186 joule/gram °C which is higher than any other common substance

    It takes a whole lot of incoming radiation to keep the oceans warm. Energy is inversely related to wavelength. Back radiation of IR is already absorbed by H2O above the oceans, CO2 has no impact. The other issue is that IR is very very very low energy radiation, nowhere near what you get out of blue light.

    • I do not understand what numbers you think do not add up. Each photon of IR has lower energy than a photon of blue light. This is understood by all. The energy flux is given in W/m2, not photons/m2. This presumably means that equivalent energy in IR has more photons than in blue light.

      This may not have been your point, but can you explain what doesn’t add up?

      • Look at the absorption/transmission spectra of H2O. IR between 13 and 18 microns is completely absorbed in what is called the microlayer of the surface. It doesn’t penetrate H2O, so it can’t warm the deeper oceans. In fact, it is believed to actually cool the ocean through evaporation. Second, warming H2O takes vast sums of continually incoming radiation in the blue end of the spectrum. Trapping outgoing IR is only a fraction of the heat that would be required to warm the oceans. As the recent post-El Nino collapse in temperatures proves, CO2 and the atmosphere don’t do a good job at holding in temperatures/heat. In fact, they are far better at transporting heat way from the earth, than keeping in in.
        Climate “Science” on Trial; Evidence Shows CO2 COOLS the Atmosphere
        https://co2islife.wordpress.com/2017/01/29/climate-science-on-trial-evidence-shows-co2-cools-the-atmosphere/

      • Nick’s and Mike’s articles both say that short wave radiation does most of the the heating. I don’t really see your point.

    • Back radiation of IR is already absorbed by H2O above the oceans…

      I have made this point before to Willis. When weather conditions are really rough say BF8 and above, and somewhere over the globe there are always large storms of that magnitude, one gets a divorced layer of the oceans. In really rough conditions the very top of the ocean is a divorced layer of windswept spray and spume and this divorced layer (of very fine water droplets) fully absorbs the DWLWIR and stops it entering the oceans. It acts like a parasol. A parasol blocks sunlight, this fine layer of water droplets blocks LWIR.

      In this scenario some of this divorced layer eventually reconnects with the oceans, but much of it does not. The DWLWIR simply energizes it and powers evaporation taking water vapour upwards and into the atmosphere such that much DWLWIR never reaches the oceans, but instead it is (remains) in the atmosphere above the oceans.

      I have suggested that that is material to the gross energy budget which Willis uses in support of the contentions set out in his article Radiating the Oceans. If just 1% or even just half a percent of DWLWIR never reaches the oceans because it is blocked by very fine water droplets of spray and spume and is carried upwards into the atmosphere (rather than reconnecting with the oceans), then long term (over millions of years) the gross energy budget falls out of balance.

      You might also like to consider the point I raised in my comment above at 5:37am.

      • So how does el Nino form? Heat accumulates in surface water in the Western Pacific because? A)-Cloud cover is reduced B)-Winds are reduced C)-Higher temperature water upwells D)-Upwelling is reduced or stopped E) Surface winds are reduced while winds aloft are strong enough to carry away humidity and prevent clouds and precipitation
        The occurences of el Nino seem to affect the global temperature even more than adjusting data or pretending tree rings are ancient thermometers .Unsurprisingly, no one in the pretend science of climatology main stream seems interested in determining how these massive heat events get underway .

      • There could even be a geothermal El Nino explanation?

        Fairly fundamental to try and discover the real mechanism(s) as pointed out above by John.

  8. I might help to complete he “somehow” part/
    “Somehow, that heat is conveyed to the surface, and is emitted by the surface layer.

    That pathway is a mix of turbulent advection, conduction in the top few mm, and radiation in the top microns. All those mechanisms are bi-directional. If heat can be emitted, it can be absorbed.”

  9. My nutshell thinking: The driver is a long term absorption/evaporation seasaw due to ocean heat capacity. When there is room for heat in the top ocean layers, fewer clouds form because there is less ocean surface evaporation that ordinarily leads to cloud formation (with less ocean evaporation the atmosphere over land is colder). When the top ocean layers reach heat capacity, evaporation kicks in leading to cloudier conditions (which also warms the air over land). This process takes 10s of thousands of years due to such a large body of water. Teleconnected atmospheric/oceanic/orbital systems causes rapid heat rise over land but jagged falls back to cold conditions, thus explaining the past 800,000 years of stadial/interstadial swings.

    Think of it as a round toy made up mostly of the rechargeable storage battery. When the battery is fully charged all the interesting things begin to happen. When it goes into recharge mode it doesn’t do much but sit there. As long as there is still energy left in the thing we can get out and play and enjoy the warmth supplied by the toy. Othwise we have to hunker down and try to keep warm by other means while the battery is in recharge mode.

    • Pamela: “When there is room for heat in the top ocean layers”

      WR: A very interesting way of looking at things. “When there is room for heat”. It indicates that certain ‘states of the climate’ (like an interglacial) have a bandwith within which complex dynamic interacting processes play their game. It must be something like this. With different players acting at different times. Influencing each other in an always changing pattern.

      • Yes. Which is why in my opinion, the pattern of ups and downs isn’t evenly spaced across 800,000 years that we have paleodata for. The overall pattern however clearly demonstrates heat kept in and then heat coughed out, a cycle seen on shorter ENSO oscillations and even daily time spans.

        One of my inclinations related to natural science is to think that what causes small changes needs to be ruled out as a cause of larger changes before something more exotic is proposed. In other words, more often than not, there is nothing new under the Sun. And Earth is swimming with this observation.

  10. This planet is a water world.

    The vast amount of energy entrained within the system is to be found in the oceans, not the atmosphere and yet we presently have the tail wagging the dog.

    Understanding the oceans, how they gain/lose energy and how they circulate energy in 3 directions (polewards and to depth), and how the oceans, coupled with the spinning nature of the planet, power the atmosphere is the key to understanding how our climate works.

    In my opinion, the most likely explanation for short term variations in temperature is due to changes in patterns of cloudiness coupled with changes in particulates in the atmosphere both of which alter the amount of sunlight getting through to and being absorbed by the oceans.

    Whilst I am not against solar variation playing a role, I agree with Leif that the evidence is far from convincing and there is much speculation. That said, it may be that we simply do not understand processes well enough.
    .

    • richard verney February 18, 2017 at 6:52 am
      “Oceans are only heated by sunlight”

      WR: The Glacial / Interglacial pattern seems to be connected to the total insolation at 65N/75N and the duration of the summer season on the NH. At 65N/75N there is not too much ocean water. As ‘land’ is loosing it’s energy more quickly than the ocean, a dive back into a glacial is being prepared in the same time temperatures are high on the NH ….. Oceans on the NH don’t ‘catch’ enough heat and the oceans on the SH don’t get that much insolation to catch heat either. In this way a general gradual cooling (!) of the ocean (!) system could be linked to high insolation at 65N when snow is disappearing and land warms fast.

      At some moment the balance will ‘switch to a cooling pattern’ because of the cooling ocean and the loss of insolation at 65/75N which in the end together will result in more snow and ice.

      Furthermore, as soon as ‘land’ is cooling down and seas are still relatively warm, the temperature gradient between those two rises. This must enhance ‘wind’. And as soon as this happens at ‘locations of potential [strong] upwelling’, a cooling pattern can start. First at the oceans and later for the Earth as a whole.

      Pamela said before: ‘small time segments of climate should first be ruled out as the mechanism driving longer segments of the climate’. https://wattsupwiththat.com/2017/01/28/this-is-how-climate-works-part-1/#comment-2411499
      WR: Indeed, we must look at small changes that cause big effects. It is my guess that something ‘small’ (enhanced wind) is causing a big effect by stimulating upwelling: cooling the surface of the ocean. While the reverse – no wind – causing less upwelling and so ‘warming’, is the other possibility. Small changes with big effects.

      • Do not make the mistake of disregarding fluid dynamics. Heat absorbed in one area moves to another quite readily. Also ocean discharge/recharge is a huge thing, not a small thing.

      • Pamela: “Do not make the mistake of disregarding fluid dynamics. Heat absorbed in one area moves to another quite readily. Also ocean discharge/recharge is a huge thing, not a small thing.”

        WR: Fluid dynamics are impressing. I like to look at the images of http://cci-reanalyzer.org/wx/fcst/#GFS-025deg.WORLD-CED.T2_anom , using the image slider.

        But, for understanding ‘climate’ the longer time scale is more appropriate. Understanding the way ENSO acts is important, but what can we learn from the longer (10.000 year) trend as seen in http://i.imgur.com/iTjpFQf.png ?

  11. Clouds affect upward and downward radiation roughly equally, so cloud changes have negligible effect on atmospheric temperature. NB. We’re looking at averages, not day vs night.

    That sounds plain wrong, and it doesn’t cover the case where clouds shield the ground from radiation but carry heat away and upwards in convective terms to radiate heat away beyond much of the atmosphere.

    Nor does it cater for the effect that temperature – diurnal temperature – can have on clouds.

    I think you are guilty of gross oversimplification here, which is a shame – the rest looks good

    • I agree that that the quoted statement appears erroneous.

      Oceans are only heated by sunlight (or predominantly by sunlight) and thus clouds during the day are the paramount factor. Cloudiness at night cannot and does not impact upon temperature at depth.

      • Indeed, simplistic hand waving dismissal of something as being “negligible” is usually a good way to get to one’s preconceived conclusion. I think I made similar criticism of the last post.

        This is the kind of mentality which has led climatology astray for so long. The effectsof clouds ( plural because there are many types and heights of cloud each having various effects sometime opposing each other ) can not be put to one side that lightly.

        Uncertainties in the effects of cloud are the joker in the pack Equally erroneous and unfounded assumptions fed into climate models are a major cause of the current problem.

      • “Indeed, simplistic hand waving dismissal of something as being “negligible” is usually a good way to get to one’s preconceived conclusion.”

        Excellent point, ref IPCC AR5. The IPCC assume that all changes in climate forcing since 1750 are man-made! This is stated in Figure TS.6 of the report from WG1 of AR5. The climate models and the role of CO2 are based on this assumption, ie that there has been no natural climate change since before the end of the last Little Ice Age.

        This assumption is so obviously incorrect that all their conclusions should be disregarded.

      • Oldman on February 18, 2017 at 7:52 am

        How much ocean heating is related to the earth’s core?

        The average geothermal heat flow through the earth’s crust is roughly 0.1 W/m²; the average annual solar radiation arriving at the top of the Earth’s atmosphere is roughly 1365 W/m². About 25% of this reach the surface in average.

        IOW: less than 0.1%.

  12. The parameter that tells the story is the dew point temperature, rather than air temperature. The skin surface temperature will always approach the dew point. This is true for the surface of the ocean, as well as ice crystals in the tops of thunder clouds. Much more energy is transferred via the processes of evaporation/condensation and freeze/sublimation at relative constant air temperature than can be accounted for by changes in air temperature. I remember as a kid, taking an early morning swim in a lake after a calm clear night and feeling how much colder was the water on the surface.

    • I remember learning how to float in Wallowa Lake. You couldn’t get in it till the afternoon and then if you let your butt hang you would immediately feel the cold water below the top 6″ or so. Learning how to float on your back was thus accomplished in about 10 seconds.

  13. What I find is that there is indeed a correlation between atmos CO2 and surface temperature although this correlation could be interpreted in terms of causality in either or both directions.
    https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers2.cfm?abstract_id=2861463

    but the real agenda in climate science is not to prove that atmos CO2 radiative forcing can overwhelm nature but to reduce or eliminate fossil fuel emissions and thereby migrate to renewable fuels. this agenda requires that a Lacis Control Knob type relationship must exist between emissions and warming. the required relationships for this argument are a correlation between emissions and changes in atmospheric CO2 and a correlation between emissions and surface temperature.
    neither of these correlations can be found in the data.
    https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers2.cfm?abstract_id=2862438
    https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers2.cfm?abstract_id=2845972

    the problem lies in the IPCC carbon budget. i find that it is flawed and that the truth is we can’t measure natural flows well enough to actually make a carbon budget. we con’t know where the emissions go. maybe they go very quickly to the biota and do not just accumulate in the atmosphere.
    https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers2.cfm?abstract_id=2873672

    also no evidence that they accumulate in the ocean (a process that would violate Henry’s Law if the oceans are warming)
    https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers2.cfm?abstract_id=2669930

    your comments appreciated. my email address appears at the bottom of page 1 of every paper.

  14. Mike Jonas.
    A text on Heat Transfer will show that the “somehow” is called convection.Research has determined heat transfer coefficients for convection to a water surface—for example, at a wind speed of 3m/s a value of about 400W/m^2 K has been measured.This is relatively large and results in the skin temperature being close to the subsurface value.BUT, this aside, until you perform a proper quantitative surface energy balance, you will struggle to explain the phenomena of interest to you.

  15. If there is ice on water, can far IR penetrate that ice to heat the water beneath it? Then maybe that water would sink as warmer water (39F) water is denser than 32F water. I’ve seen very thin ice form on large lakes overnight when the water is 40F and the lake is very calm and there is a full view of the night sky.

    Or maybe the same thing happens wiith cold water on still nights with little evaporation.

    • “If there is ice on water, can far IR penetrate that ice to heat the water beneath it?”

      No, but light can. The emissivity of water is >0.99, so if it is dead calm the surface can lose a lot of heat in a single night.

  16. What this chart shows is that, on a daily basis, the solar energy absorbed into the top fraction of a millimetre of the ocean then mixes (conducts and convects) into the top 5-10m only,

    As I pointed out in your last thread IIRC, this is neither conduction nor convection. Wate is a very poor conductor of heat which is why electrical immersion heaters remain hot at the top and not mixed to a uniform temperature.

    Secondly convection can only happen at night when there is the temperature inversion shown in your graphs. The mixing is mainly wind and wave driven turbulence.

  17. You mentioned not tracking the day-night cycle of clouds. I think this would be a very important aspect to investigate. Clouds form more frequently during the day (helping to block incoming radiation) and form less frequently at night (allowing more energy to reradiate back into space).

    You mentioned the correlation to heat capture and winds. With gentle winds, the energy received by the upper layers of the ocean would behave something like a boundary layer with very little mixing of ocean water between layers. The primary heat transport mechanism would be conduction / diffusion. As wind speed increased, the amount of mixing between layers and heat transport into deeper layers of the ocean would increase due to turbulent mixing. Heat transported deeper into the ocean would increase its long-term residency in the Earth’s hydrosphere *and* decrease the temperature of the surface layers of the ocean which would decrease the amount of energy available for radiated back into space.

    This may be somewhat offset though. As wind speeds continue to increase, ocean spray would separate from the surface. This effectively increases the surface area of the ocean but I do not know how to calculate its effect to determine whether this is a net increase or decrease in heat transport (larger effective surface area but lower temperature due to mixing with lower layers). My WAG is that the temperature effect would dominate. Someone has probably done research along these lines so there may be empirical data available.

    • Love it. The more diurnal focus over daily or annual average, the better. All the steady stste crap hides too many false assumptions to the point of fiction over reality.

  18. Mike Jonas Great to see your scientific exploration following Richard Feynman’s “bending over backwards to show how you’re maybe wrong” high standard of scientific integrity
    You say: “clouds are a major driver of ocean surface temperature, and hence of climate” – yet say “The ocean oscillations are not, as far as I am aware, caused by clouds”.
    Yet could they be? Here is some unquantified brainstorming.
    1) Is there quantifiable interaction between the sun’s varying magnetic fields impacting the helical heliosphere which interacts with earth’s magnetic fields to impact clouds via Henrik Svensmark’s Cosmoclimatology theory due to Galactic Cosmic Rays modulated by the solar magentic field. E.g., ftp://130.226.216.191/pub/Henrik/FB/Svensmark2009(Forbush).pdf
    2) The east/west ENSO “sloshing” of the Pacific ocean causes E/W variations in ocean temperatures and thus in regional humidity and thus in clouds which causes feedback to ocean surface temperature. Similarly the summer/winter “monsoons” (=winds) cause oscillating weather north/south which interact with the E/W pacific sloshing-temperature-humidity-cloud interactions. Both factors coupled with the heliosphere/GCM impact will change clouds which in turn affects the ocean currents.
    When the Pacific’s E/W sloshing reaches the western Pacific, I expect the Indonesian Through Flow between Indonesia – Australia – will have an “overflow” / valve type impact from the Pacific into the southern current of the Indian Ocean.

    “The Indonesian Throughflow is strongest during the South-East monsoon (June, July, August) which means, that currents can reach up to 8 knots. . . the Indonesian Throughflow consists primarily of North Pacific water flowing thru the Makassar Strait in the upper 500 metres, while water below is mostly of South Pacific origin.”

    http://www.indonesianthroughflow.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/indonesiathruflow-300×203.gif
    While nominally dissipative, could that Indonesian flowthrough further contribute to exciting the Arctic ice driven sequential Stadium Wave discovery by Wyatt and Curry?

    Such heliosphere – GCM – cloud – Indonesia – Australian flow interactions might become amplified by resonance to the Pacific E/W oscillation /stadium wave events.

    • David L. Hagen – Noted, thanks. I did contemplate the possibility, but didn’t have enough data to investigate this aspect. Worth more investigation.

  19. Regarding: “From 1983 to 2009, the increased CO2 delivered a downward RF increase of +0.20 Wm-2 (see previous post Appendix A)”:

    What Appendix A in the referenced post says is: “Mauna Loa CO2 in 1983 averaged 342.7ppm, in 2009 averaged 387.2 (Data downloaded from here in Feb 2012). That gives an RF increase of +3.7*(log2(387.2)-log2(342.7)) * (1.66/1.62) = +0.20 Wm-2.”

    That being equal to .2 W/m^2 is incorrect. The answer is .2 using log10 instead of log2. Using log2, the answer is .66 W/m^2.

  20. “I use SORCE data for 2003. All years are almost identical.”

    All years are not ‘almost identical’ in solar activity, and nowhere here is there any appreciation or analysis regarding what happens to OHC/SSTs during low solar activity vs high solar activity cycle periods.

    Year 1au SORCE TSI
    2015 1361.4321
    2014 1361.3966
    2013 1361.3587
    2012 1361.2413
    2011 1361.0752
    2003 1361.0292
    2016 1361.0073
    2004 1360.9192
    2010 1360.8027
    2017 1360.7902
    2005 1360.7518
    2006 1360.6735
    2007 1360.5710
    2009 1360.5565
    2008 1360.5382

    “…the solar energy absorbed into the top fraction of a millimetre of the ocean then mixes (conducts and convects) into the top 5-10m only, and nearly all of it stays in just the top 1m. But overnight, it is all lost, back into the atmosphere.”

    But overnight, it is all lost, back into the atmosphere. How is that known?

    A practical question is how long does it take for varying solar energy deposited at depth to resurface?

      • About that graph with 3 curves for penetration depth of solar radiation through water:

        The depth figures stated in meters in a liquid water absorption spectrum are actually centimeters. I think someone did not notice that such a graph is usually plotted with a Y scale of cm^-1, and not m^-1.

        Also, the magenta curve looks like depth at which 25% is transmitted and 75% absorbed, not 75% transmitted. And the purple curve looks like the depth at which 10% is transmitted and 90% is absorbed, not 99.9% transmitted. (If the Y scale is changed from meters to centimeters. The purple curve is the depth for 99.9% absorbed if the Y scale is meters.)

  21. “CO2 cannot heat the oceans.”
    Of course not, CO2 is not a heat source. Water vapor cannot heat the ocean. Of course not. Clouds cannot heat a desert at night. Of course not, as water vapor is no heat source. But why do you freeze in Sahara, under clear sky at night? Why have farmers for hundred of years made fires to prevent crops from freezing under clear sky in autumn nights? (it is not the heat from fires) It is about longwave radiation. Think of an answer.

    • “It is about longwave radiation” – ultimately, yes. But for the most part it’s about energy dissipation in all forms. Less of the radiative myopia please, that’s how this bunk got started in the first place. Never mind ocean thermal capacity, what about the rest of the planet? Does that not enter into the supposed equilibrium that cannot possibly exist, except within roughly characterised bounds evolving over indeterminate time periods – the very definition of climate change!? Rulers and linear bullshit are good for laying garden paths but not for characterising shifting weather patterns in an attempt to pin causality on the back of an almost infinitely complex chaotic system. Treat applied numerology with the distain it deserves and live with it.

    • But why do you freeze in Sahara, under clear sky at night?

      In the summer time, when surface temps are over 100F, you don’t. Lows may only be in the 70’s/80’s as happens in *any* desert. You can freeze in the Sahara when it is winter time & you have cold air advection blowing in colder air (and some snow for effect) ;-)

      If you are claiming summer deserts freeze at night, better back that up with some official observations & not just anecdotal climatology.

      • Operation Torch was the British-American invasion of French North Africa during the North African Campaign of the Second World War which started on 8 November 1942. Wikipedia
        And it was a freezing experience.

      • The Western Regional Climate Center in Reno NV reports “The freeze-free season varies from less than 70 days in the northwest and northeast” part of Nevada, and that “freezes begin early in the autumn and continue until late in the spring.” They were talking about night-time temperatures.

        The military of 130 countries, including the US, use these northwest and northeast regions of Nevada for training soldiers for the Iraq and Afghanistan wars because of the high desert heat during the summer day and cold at night. A US soldier who told me about this (he’d just got back from training there), and said some soldiers had died from the cold during nightime exercises. I don’t know if those cold nights were flukes but according to this soldier who experienced this firsthand, they occurred during summer nights, when the daytime temp according to him was over 100F.

      • MRW,
        I can believe the statement. The Sahara is known for daytime highs over 100 and below freezing at night.

      • well…I only know what is reported & forecasted. here are some NWS forecasts for some desert spots around the SW US.

        NWS Forecast for: 13 Miles S Furnace Creek CA
        Issued by: National Weather Service Las Vegas, NV
        Last Update: 2:38 am PDT Jun 16, 2015

        Excessive Heat Watch
        This Afternoon: Sunny and hot, with a high near 122. South wind around 8 mph.
        Tonight: Mostly clear, with a low around 93. South southwest wind 8 to 13 mph becoming light and variable after midnight.
        Wednesday: Sunny and hot, with a high near 124. Light southwest wind.
        Wednesday Night: Mostly clear, with a low around 94. South wind 3 to 7 mph.
        Thursday: Sunny and hot, with a high near 125. Light and variable wind.
        Thursday Night: Mostly clear, with a low around 94.
        Friday: Sunny and hot, with a high near 127.
        Friday Night: Mostly clear, with a low around 96.
        Saturday: Sunny and hot, with a high near 128.
        Saturday Night: Mostly clear, with a low around 97.
        Sunday: Sunny and hot, with a high near 128.
        Sunday Night: Mostly clear with a low around 97.
        Monday: Sunny and hot, with a high near 127.

        Just west of Barstow, ca.
        NWS Forecast for: 10 Miles NNW Helendale CA
        Issued by: National Weather Service Las Vegas, NV
        Last Update: 2:38 am PDT Jun 16, 2015

        Excessive Heat Watch
        This Afternoon: Sunny, with a high near 102. West southwest wind around 16 mph, with gusts as high as 23 mph.
        Tonight: Mostly clear, with a low around 68. Southwest wind 10 to 18 mph, with gusts as high as 25 mph.
        Wednesday: Sunny, with a high near 102. West southwest wind 8 to 13 mph increasing to 16 to 21 mph in the afternoon. Winds could gust as high as 29 mph.
        Wednesday Night: Mostly clear, with a low around 69. Southwest wind 14 to 18 mph, with gusts as high as 25 mph.
        Thursday: Sunny, with a high near 103. West southwest wind 11 to 17 mph, with gusts as high as 24 mph.
        Thursday Night: Partly cloudy, with a low around 69.
        Friday: Sunny, with a high near 103.
        Friday Night: Mostly clear, with a low around 70.
        Saturday: Sunny, with a high near 104.
        Saturday Night: Mostly clear, with a low around 69.
        Sunday: Sunny and hot, with a high near 105.
        Sunday Night: Mostly clear, with a low around 71.
        Monday: Sunny and hot, with a high near 105.

        Near Lake Havasu, Az.
        NWS Forecast for: 20 Miles NNE Lake Havasu City AZ
        Issued by: National Weather Service Las Vegas, NV
        Last Update: 2:38 am MST Jun 16, 2015

        Excessive Heat Watch
        This Afternoon: Sunny and hot, with a high near 110. South southwest wind around 16 mph, with gusts as high as 23 mph.
        Tonight: Mostly clear, with a low around 76. South southwest wind 5 to 13 mph becoming east southeast after midnight.
        Wednesday: Sunny and hot, with a high near 111. Southeast wind 5 to 15 mph becoming southwest in the afternoon. Winds could gust as high as 21 mph.
        Wednesday Night: Clear, with a low around 77. South southwest wind 5 to 10 mph becoming light south in the evening.
        Thursday: Sunny and hot, with a high near 113. Light and variable wind becoming west around 6 mph in the afternoon.
        Thursday Night: Partly cloudy, with a low around 79.
        Friday: Sunny and hot, with a high near 115.
        Friday Night: Mostly clear, with a low around 79.
        Saturday: Sunny and hot, with a high near 116.
        Saturday Night: Mostly clear, with a low around 81.
        Sunday: Sunny and hot, with a high near 117.
        Sunday Night: Mostly clear, with a low around 81.

        Between Phoenix & Tuscon, Az.
        NWS Forecast for: 9 Miles SE Florence AZ
        Issued by: National Weather Service Tucson, AZ
        Last Update: 2:17 am MST Jun 16, 2015

        This Afternoon: Sunny and hot, with a high near 106. West northwest wind around 9 mph.
        Tonight: Mostly clear, with a low around 77. Northwest wind 5 to 9 mph becoming east southeast after midnight.
        Wednesday: Sunny and hot, with a high near 108. South southeast wind 5 to 14 mph becoming northwest in the afternoon.
        Wednesday Night: Mostly clear, with a low around 78. Northwest wind 5 to 9 mph becoming light and variable.
        Thursday: Sunny and hot, with a high near 108. South southeast wind 6 to 14 mph becoming west northwest in the afternoon.
        Thursday Night: Mostly clear, with a low around 77.
        Friday: Sunny and hot, with a high near 109.
        Friday Night: Clear, with a low around 76.
        Saturday: Sunny and hot, with a high near 110.
        Saturday Night: Mostly clear, with a low around 77.
        Sunday: Sunny and hot, with a high near 109.
        Sunday Night: Mostly clear, with a low around 77.
        Monday: Sunny and hot, with a high near 108.
        Monday: Sunny and hot, with a high near 116.

        Northwest of Las Vegas, Nv.
        NWS Forecast for: 14 Miles NW Tonopah NV
        Issued by: National Weather Service Elko, NV
        Last Update: 12:45 am PDT Jun 16, 2015

        This Afternoon: Sunny, with a high near 94. West wind around 6 mph.
        Tonight: Mostly clear, with a low around 57. North wind 6 to 10 mph.
        Wednesday: Sunny, with a high near 94. Light and variable wind becoming west southwest around 6 mph in the morning.
        Wednesday Night: Clear, with a low around 57. Southwest wind 5 to 8 mph becoming calm in the evening.
        Thursday: Sunny, with a high near 95. Calm wind becoming south southwest 5 to 8 mph in the afternoon.
        Thursday Night: Clear, with a low around 59.
        Friday: Sunny, with a high near 94.
        Friday Night: Clear, with a low around 59.
        Saturday: Sunny, with a high near 95.
        Saturday Night: Clear, with a low around 60.
        Sunday: Sunny and hot, with a high near 96.
        Sunday Night: Clear, with a low around 60.
        Monday: Sunny and hot, with a high near 96.

      • Jkrob,

        some NWS forecasts for some desert spots around the SW US.

        Those were not normal highs and lows. An extreme heat wave hit the region during the last two weeks of June that year and the month of July, and I think, the first two weeks of August. The last time a heat wave of that calibre hit the region like that was 1994.

      • To MRW, etc.,

        Again, if you are claiming summer deserts freeze at night, better back that up with some official observations & not just anecdotal climatology. I did my part, you didn’t do yours…

        MRW –

        Those were not normal highs and lows.

        >Northwest of Las Vegas, Nv.
        >NWS Forecast for: 14 Miles NW Tonopah NV
        >Issued by: National Weather Service Elko, NV
        >Last Update: 12:45 am PDT Jun 16, 2015
        >
        >Friday: Sunny, with a high near 94.
        >Friday Night: Clear, with a low around 59.

        I disagree…

      • “If you are claiming summer deserts freeze at night, better back that up with some official observations & not just anecdotal climatology.”

        I can speak from personal experience. The coldest I have even been was sleeping in the deserts behind San Diego.
        The difference between the hottest and coldest temperature records in Death Valley is 119 degrees (134 minus 15).
        The desert averages seven nights a year of freezing weather, which can occur in December, January and February.

    • The key to your puzzle is an understanding of enthalpy. Cool moist air can contain more heat than warmer, drier air. Moisture condensing at altitude reduces the cooling of the air. This reduces heat loss at surface. At this point I am not convinced that the climate establishment understands the relevance of this either

      • As I understand it the difference in the heat capacity of moist and dry does not amount to much, as the average percentage of water vapour in air is only about 2%. 4% in the tropics.
        However evaporation removes heat from the surface to WARM the air progressively as it condenses by 3.3ºc/km. Which results in the observed lapse rate reduction from the gravitational 10ºc/km. With a tropopause at 10km high this means that the air at that height is 33ºc warmer than it should be. NASA knows this and so can say with confidence that “greenhouse gases” warm the air by 33ºc. What they forget to mention is that this warming is not by radiative means but simply by the latent heat in water vapour stolen from what would have been a warmer surface.

  22. 173,000 terra watts of solar radiation reaches the earth all the time.
    A lot of that is absorbed and stored in tropical waters as a warm layer floating on top of the cold ocean. This storing of heat and its redistribution moderates the polar to tropical gradient.
    The main obstacle to this process is cloud cover which always ultimately cools the surface. The only meaningful radiative process going on here is a slowing down of radiative cooling of the surface at night and slowing of the warming of the surface during the day by water vapour and clouds. Water in its various forms acts as parasol, storage heater, central heating and air conditioning system for the world. If CO2 is added to the mix you have the potential for life.

    • Pablo,
      173,500 terrwatts is the flux at the top of the atmosphere for a disk of the same average radius as Earth. However, much less than 30% of that reaches the surface and is available for surface heating because of scattering and absorption by the atmosphere and scattering by clouds; it is probably even lower for the oceans because of equatorial cloudiness and plankton using light for photosynthesis instead of it resulting in heating of the water. Further, the amount of sunlight reflected by the oceans is dependent on the angle of incidence and is, on average, greater than usually reported, as I have previously demonstrated here on WUWT

      • True… the point being that its a hell of a lot more incoming than the 0.1W/m2 outgoing from the core.
        The heat capacity of the ocean is 3000 times that of the atmosphere and despite all the vagaries of cloud cover, angles of incidence etc. the fact remains that it is a very efficient storage tank for solar energy and luckily for us the warmer water floats on top.

      • Pablo,

        You said, “…the point being that its a hell of a lot more incoming than the 0.1W/m2 outgoing from the core.”

        I suspect that the number being used is a lower-bound for the amount of heat released by the oceanic crust because it represents the typical surface heat loss of the great slabs of relatively cool basalt and gabbro. I doubt if the 45,000 miles of active spreading centers, hydrothermal vents, and underwater volcanoes are being evaluated adequately (probably only the Dept. of Defense knows where most of the shallower volcanoes are). With a massive linear source of high-temperature heat sources (with no similar active sources on land), and an unknown number of point sources, I seriously doubt that we have a good understanding of the heat regime of the oceans.

        Even so, Ben Wouters claims “You’re definitely looking in the right direction. Although small, the average 100 mW/m^2 flux through oceanic crust is sufficient to warm all ocean water 1K every 5000 years or so.” So, again, if what Ben claims is true, and the 0.10 to 0.15 values are a lower-bound, then it does help address the “missing heat” problem.

        When one is balancing financial books, it is common practice to try to balance to the nearest penny. I think that balancing to the nearest $100 and ignoring everything else may lead to missing someone skimming the account. That is, if we really want to understand what is going on globally, we need to take into account even small contributions and not just wave our hands and say it is negligible until such time as we can be certain the claim is valid.

  23. How does this relate to the apparently predictable and patterned air temperature change recorded since 1880 (alternating 30 year periods of warming and pause in warming)?

    • Changes in planetary motions and configurations alter the climate on Earth, as does solar activity. We are in last few hundred years of our present 11,000yr interglacial. This has given mankind the warmth and breathing space for our rapid development to the present day. The ice will return.
      The felling of forests, draining of swamps, building megacities and overgrazing with our livestock etc. does affect local climate sometimes dangerously. The clean and efficient burning of fossil fuels from centralised utilities less so I suspect.
      The demonising of CO2 is a distraction from the very real environmental challenges out there and to the credibility of science and politics in general.
      Ironically the promotion of diesel cars by our misguided European politicians, as a green alternative to petrol, has resulted in real and deadly pollution from carbon particulates and nitrous oxides.

      • If this is true it should be evident in mortality statistics. I am not aware of any figures that support your claim. The EPA rules that govern fine particulate are based on enviro-religious speculation. No better than global warming. Your assertion appears to be equally unscientific.

  24. Interesting paper by Mike Jonas and discussion. Thanks!
    I got the impression that it needs to be shown that day and night can be lumped together without effecting the result.

  25. It seems that by focusing solely on heat transfer a person might be led badly astray in this topic. For example, the ocean typically has 35 parts per thousand dissolved solids, and as water evaporates from the surface that salinity figure must rise locally. In turn this makes the surface water more dense. At some point increasing density must lead to descending fingers of saline water which could be warmer than the surroundings, thus transferring heat to depth. On the other hand, when there is a wind blowing across a water surface one can observe streets of trash or debris aligned with the wind. This indicates the presence of roll cells in the upper tens of meters that must transfer heat probably back to the surface.

    My point is that a person can’t make a credible story about energy balance without worrying also about mass balances of vapor leaving the surface and also salinity moving between the surface and depth. This is not a simple problem.

    • Yes, it is not a simple problem considering about 70% of the earth’s surface is covered by water and the heat capacity of the oceans is several orders of magnitude greater than the atmosphere. The whole concept of a CO2 knob is totally stupid considering the complexity of the earth’s circulation heat transfer system and the small amount of CO2 in the atmosphere. It’s only been a few years since researchers have started to collect detailed global ocean temperature profile and salinity data. More funds should be directed towards this type of oceanographic research. The longer people study this the more you realize the concept of reducing CO2 emissions to reduce surface warming is totally flawed. Plus on top of this, you consider all the data manipulation that GISS has nicely done over the years with historical climate data you realize the entire CO2 theory is crap. Glacials several miles thick covered most of northern North America just 18,000 years ago and in a relatively short period of time, they melted and receded. This all occurred when the earth’s human population was very low. Our climate system is too complex to simply think that if we reduce greenhouse gas emissions and like magic, the planet’s climate will be in balance. Total bullcrap.

    • It can’t be that complex! Mike “the spike” Mann and dozens of other great minds of climate science, along with the entire IPCC were able to ignore it completely. Their secret is magic tree rings that say whatever you want them to say.

      • Except when they don’t say what you want them to – in which case you simply replace them with sparse and UHI polluted thermometer data, of course. ;-D

  26. Richard Verney,6.52 a.m.
    A low cloud cover increases the sky emittance and hence “back” radiation.The surface energy balance then shows that the surface temperature increases and the convection heat loss from the ocean decreases : thus the nighttime subsurface ocean temperature does not decrease as much compared to that for a clear sky.

    5.46 a.m. and 5.37 a.m.
    Evaporation rate depends on the dew surface temperature and wind conditions. Where there is no solar radiation, thesurface energy balance shows that the back radiation is less than the heat loss due to emission,evaporation and convection.Hence the surface temperature and evaporation rate are lower .The dew will still evaporate, but at a much lower rate.
    For a similar reason, caldera lakes are not” boiled off” by back radiation.

    In general,a quantitative surface energy balance that determines the behavior of the surface temperature is required to properly discuss such heat transfer processes.

  27. Thank you, Mike Jonas for an interesting article. It is, however, imo, NOT, sorry to say, a “big deal.” It is based on so many assumptions that, at bottom, it amounts to nothing more than mere speculation.

    Assumptions:

    1.

    The IPCC say that a doubling of CO2 increases downward IR by 3.7 Wm-2, …

    There is NO evidence, no observation, proving this.

    2.

    The IPCC say that a doubling of CO2 … would increase global temperature by about 1.2 degC …

    Not only is there no observation proving this conjectured causation, there it now anti-correlation data, i.e., CO2 UP. WARMING STOPPED.

    3.

    ” ” [at equilibrium].

    This is a nonsensical assumption. Worse than unhelpful, it is misleading. When in the world has the climate been at equilibrium? (See Pamela Gray at 6:24am)

    4.

    “Clouds have a minor overall effect on average atmospheric temperature“.

    This, as stated, strikes me as a grandiose, highly implausible, claim. It would need massive evidence to prove it is so. The better tack would be to re-word it to something like: “Clouds do much to maintain the homeostasis of earth’s surface temperature, whether changes in clouds (from UV or other causes) cause climate shifts is unknown.”

    5.

    We now have the necessary data to start to calculate how much of the late 20th century global warming was natural, and how much was from CO2.

    I’m afraid not. All that calculation would be, is speculation and not very plausible speculation.

    Finally, two counter-balancing cites for context:

    1.

    “Four out of five ARGO data studies now show Ocean Heat Content declining. Readers may recall that Dr. Kevin Trenberth said this in one of the Climategate emails: The fact is that we can’t account for the lack of warming at the moment and it is a travesty that we can’t. Using the ARGO ocean buoy data from Josh Willis, Knox, and Douglass still can’t find that missing heat in this paper …

    And see the excellent comments in the accompanying thread.

    (Source: https://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/01/06/new-paper-on-argo-data-trenberths-ocean-heat-still-missing/ )

    2.

    … Climate is always changing. *** The earth is never exactly in equilibrium. The motions of the massive oceans where heat is moved between deep layers and the surface provide variability on time scales from years to centuries. Recent work (Tsonis, et al., 2007), suggests that this variability is enough to account for all climate change since the 19th Century. ***

    Richard Lindzen

    See also many other articles and lectures by Dr. Lindzen where he lucidly articulates the fact that all the “global warming” or “climate change” which is asserted to have occurred is well within the bounds of natural variation.

    (Source: https://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/01/17/richard-lindzen-a-case-against-precipitous-climate-action/ )

    • Janice – There are some techniques in play here, aimed at simplifying without corrupting. So, for example, some IPCC figures can be used, even though they might be wrong, provided they are figures that strengthen the argument for CO2 warming not weaken it. And “at equilibrium” doesn’t mean that equilibrium is ever reached, it’s just a way of seeing the figure so that it’s useful. The CAGW brigade has been successful for this long because they know that they have enough complexity to work with to allow them to obfuscate for ever. I’m trying to cut through to the essentials.

    • I think your criticisms about assumptions are fair, but perhaps a better way of looking at this post is not so much “CO2 caused x amount of warming,” but rather “CO2 COULDN’T HAVE CAUSED MORE THAN x amount of warming,” thereby invalidating the claims of catastrophe. Maybe that would have been a better way of presenting this, Mike.

  28. Hi Mike Jonas,

    Not sure if this helps you or not.

    My work suggests that The Pause would extend back to 1982, were it not for two huge volcanoes in 1982 and 1991; Bill Illis’s work suggests The Pause extends back to at least 1958.

    Since there was global cooling from about 1940 to 1975, one could conclude that there has been no net global warming since about 1940.

    Regards, Allan

    https://wattsupwiththat.com/2016/11/16/october-2016-global-surface-landocean-and-lower-troposphere-temperature-anomaly-update/comment-page-1/#comment-2342825

    NOT A WHOLE LOTTA GLOBAL WARMING GOIN’ ON!

    [excerpt} … Bill Illis has created a temperature model that actually works in the short-term (multi-decades). It shows global temperatures correlate primarily with NIno3.4 area temperatures – an area of the Pacific Ocean that is about 1% of global surface area. There are only four input parameters, with Nino3.4 being the most influential. CO2 has almost no influence. So what drives the Nino3.4 temperatures? Short term, the ENSO. Longer term, probably the integral of solar activity – see Dan Pangburn’s work.

    Bill’s post is here.
    https://wattsupwiththat.com/2016/09/23/lewandowsky-and-cook-deniers-cannot-provide-a-coherent-alternate-worldview/comment-page-1/#comment-2306066

    Bill’s equation is:
    Tropics Troposphere Temp = 0.288 * Nino 3.4 Index (of 3 months previous) + 0.499 * AMO Index + -3.22 * Aerosol Optical Depth volcano Index + 0.07 Constant + 0.4395*Ln(CO2) – 2.59 CO2 constant

    Bill’s graph is here – since 1958, not a whole lotta global warming goin’ on!

    My simpler equation using only the Nino3.4 Index Anomaly is:
    UAHLTcalc Global (Anom. in degC, ~four months later) = 0.20*Nino3.4IndexAnom + 0.15
    Data: Nino3.4IndexAnom is at: http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/data/indices/sstoi.indices

    It shows that much or all of the apparent warming since ~1982 is a natural recovery from the cooling impact of two major volcanoes – El Chichon and Pinatubo.

    Here is the plot of my equation:

    I agree with Bill’s conclusion that
    THE IMPACT OF INCREASING ATMOSPHERIC CO2 ON GLOBAL TEMPERATURE IS SO CLOSE TO ZERO AS TO BE MATERIALLY INSIGNIFICANT.

    Regards, Allan

    • Allan M.R. MacRae on February 18, 2017 at 10:44 am

      It shows that much or all of the apparent warming since ~1982 is a natural recovery from the cooling impact of two major volcanoes – El Chichon and Pinatubo.

      imho should be replaced by

      I think that much or all of the apparent warming since ~1982 might arise from a natural recovery from the cooling impact of two major volcanoes – El Chichon and Pinatubo.

      Simply because you give us here no proof of your assertion. In fact, your text contains the same level of supposition as the texts written by some warmistas concerning the role of CO2.

      Please digest all the stuff visible when accessing the link below
      http://www.globalwarmingequation.info/

      Try to falsify it, and come back here with the falsification.
      If you succeed, Allan, then be sure I will believe you.

  29. I don’t know. Every time I see someone do the intensity/4 thing to get “average radiation” I get a little squeemish. The true incoming radiation is the part integral of 12 hours of 0 plus the integral of the sun’s top of the atmosphere intensity times a reflectivity term which varies with the angle from zenith, times an atmosphere absorption term that likewise varies with the angle from zenith. It winds up looking similar to a sine curve (though it could be a sine^2 curve) that starts at 0, goes to something like 1200 w/m^2 at noon and back to 0. I know this was looking for a ball park estimate, so that kind of precision could be overkill, but radiation isn’t a linear input to the system.

    The outgoing radiation equations get very messy at night since as the surface layer radiates away its heat, its density increases until it begins to sink. This creates the overturning of the water to quite a depth before the sun comes up to recharge the whole mess. How much of the daylight energy get released each night, and how much gets pushed west by the tradewinds and submerged due to salinity density differences as it goes west? I don’t know the answers to those questions, but they look to be part of the process.

  30. This is an important paper. A summary stating sum of data and conclusions would make it a much better. Some of us need structure and must be led by the nose. Especially old decrepit farts like me. THX – GK

    • G. Karst – Point noted. I want to put together a complete well-ordered summary, but need to get my own time well-ordered first. One day …

  31. Mike,
    I have long felt that a decrease in cloudiness better explains such things as glacier retreat than the small increase in global average temperature. I have a question though. The 4% decline in cloud cover from 1983 to 2009 is presumably an average. Is there a difference between land and ocean cloud cover changes?

    • echoing clyde spencers comment i would also like to see seasonal regional variations in cloud cover. i appreciate that is a big ask on top of the huge amount of work you have already completed.

  32. When refining sugar, a super concentrated but filtered sugar solution is first created by evaporating water from the sugar solution, usually under combined heat and vacuum. The concentrated solution does not form crystals immediately in the same way that the temperature of ultra pure water can be lowered below the freezing point without immediately forming ice. Then, if a piece of dust is introduced or the glass is tapped, the super-cooled water then freezes. In refining sugar, there is a point at which crystals of pure sugar (usually grown in an alcohol solution) are introduced to the concentrated solution as seeds to begin the formation of sugar crystals.

    What is interesting is that the size of the crystals ultimately formed during the crystallization process can be controlled by how many seeds are introduced into the concentrated sugar solution. If fewer seeds are introduced, the resulting crystals will be larger than if more seeds are introduced. Thus, the size of the refined sugar crystals can be controlled to suit the requirements of the client.

    The hypothesis of cloud formation modulated by cosmic rays has always bothered me. Unlike a carefully filtered sugar solution, there will always be seeds in nature that will allow clouds to form when the cloud-forming conditions are right – usually dependent primarily on relative humidity and dew temperature. I don’t see how cosmic rays could modulate relative humidity and dew temperature. However, if solar activity affects cosmic rays, which, in turn, modulate the number of seeds available to form clouds when conditions are right, AND IF, the number of seeds controls the size of the resulting cloud droplets (as with sugar), THEN perhaps the cosmic rays could modulate NOT cloud formation but cloud lifetime on the assumption that the lifetime of a cloud would be dependent on initial droplet size.

    IF this is the case, then varying cloud lifetimes (NOT cloud formation rates) would significantly affect average cloud fraction and thus have a significant effect on climate. In other words, a rain cloud would hypothetically form when conditions are right in any event, but, when there are more cosmic rays, the cloud would not rain out until later in the day because the smaller initial droplet size would affect how long the droplets take to coalesce into the size necessary for rain to happen or something to that effect.

    Thus, the modulation of cosmic rays would not have a first order effect on cloud fraction, by modulating cloud formation, but, rather, a lag would be introduced, and the modulation of cosmic rays would have a second order or higher (and thus more subtle) effect on cloud fraction. Whether varying cloud lifetimes, rather than varying cloud formation rates, as a result of varying cosmic ray fluxes, can be measured experimentally or not would be an interesting question. Likewise, whether cloud modeling could be improved by assuming that cosmic ray fluxes modulate cloud lifetimes rather than cloud formation rates would also be interesting.

    Or maybe my thinking today is cloudy.

  33. Mike,
    Thanks for the discussion, the links and the generally kind words. I think you have helped to increase understanding of the sea surface heat movements.

    As an aside, I see that my “somehow” has received a lot of attention. It was a rhetorical device at the end of one para, leading to the explanation in the next para
    “That pathway is a mix of turbulent advection, conduction in the top few mm, and radiation in the top microns. All those mechanisms are bi-directional. If heat can be emitted, it can be absorbed.”

    Not much detail, of course – as you say, “The exact equations from here onwards get difficult, because the situation in the real ocean is fluid”. My main point, which was also the initial point of my comment that you linked, is that the mechanism is reversible. It creates a pathway, along which heat could flow both ways equally. So the sea could absorb IR, but as it happens, the net flow through that path is upward. And we know that it works for that; the 160 W/m2 does get out.

    On the main point of your article, I think it puts too much emphasis on transient effects. Yes, clouds intercept sunlight which reduces this flux ITO and OTO (out of the ocean, =ITO). But that heat isn’t lost to the climate; it just appears in a different place (clouds). As far as the sea surface is concerned, the greater down IR from the warmer atmosphere balances the reduced upflux from the reduced SW.

    • Nick writes

      Yes, clouds intercept sunlight which reduces this flux ITO and OTO (out of the ocean, =ITO). But that heat isn’t lost to the climate; it just appears in a different place (clouds).

      Apart from the sunlight that is reflected you mean?

      As far as the sea surface is concerned, the greater down IR from the warmer atmosphere balances the reduced upflux from the reduced SW.

      This isn’t a given and is potentially a source of considerable natural climate variation. We dont understand the way it works either. GCMs cant model clouds anywhere near well enough to resolve that question over long time frames.

      • TTTM,
        “Apart from the sunlight that is reflected you mean?”
        Yes. Albedo change is a recognised but separate effect.
        “This isn’t a given”
        But it needs to be allowed for. The heat isn’t lost, but appears somewhere else. It may possibly have less warming effect, but will certainly have some, even at sea surface.

      • Nick writes

        But it needs to be allowed for. The heat isn’t lost, but appears somewhere else. It may possibly have less warming effect, but will certainly have some, even at sea surface.

        SW energy and LW energy are going to have different feedbacks associated with them. GCMs cant resolve those either. So how do you propose its “allowed for”?

      • TTTM,
        I’m talking about Mike’s model. I don’t think you can just isolate the ocean surface/clouds interaction. I think Mike’s calc is based on the loss of heat to sea, or rather the gain in heat when the could go away. But the heat that didn’t immediately reach the sea still lodged in the atmosphere.

        I don’t know how you can allow for that – I don’t think this simple model will work.

    • Nick writes

      But the heat that didn’t immediately reach the sea still lodged in the atmosphere.

      I think its a mistake to think of energy in the atmosphere as being on its way to anywhere other than space. When you take your eye off the process of SW heating and LW cooling you’re risking treading the path of mathematics without due regard to thermodynamics.

    • “…Thanks for the discussion, the links and the generally kind words…”

      So you want to appear gracious but still get in a dig that the OP wasn’t completely nice to you?

      Now run along to the myriad of other sites that you post on where your references to WUWT are all about eeeeeevil and complaints of how you are severely mistreated here.

  34. You states correctly:

    From 1983 to 2009, the increased CO2 delivered a downward RF increase of +0.20 Wm-2 (see previous post Appendix A). That would raise temperature by dT where k*((290+dT)^4-290^4) = 0.2 which gives dT ~= +0.07 deg C. That’s only reached at equilibrium, and as Nick says, ““Equilibrium Climate Sensitivity. What has happened after everything has settled down, which takes a very long time

    And likewise also correctly:

    If we assume mixing to 1m only, the proportion of the extra RF provided by CO2 is 9% (0.2/(0.2+2.0).

    However, what you miss, is that the emissions before 1983 had not settled down in 1983.
    We had no climate equilibrium in 1983. The emissions before 1983 continue to have an increasing effect a long time after that year due to long time feedback cycles.

    Therefore, you have to take into account the effect the difference between the Transient and Equilibrium climate sensitivity for the emissions before 1983 have in the period you study.

    /Jan

  35. ‘We now have the necessary data to start to calculate how much of the late 20th century global warming was natural, and how much was from CO2.’

    Global data on anthropogenic aerosols is poor to non-existent, but I would content that reductions in aerosols were a significant driver of low level cloud decreases over the 1975 to 2000 period, and hence atmospheric temperatures.

    I am also sceptical of the statement that clouds have a negligible effect on atmospheric temperatures. It might be true on a global annual average basis, but I’d need some persuasive data to convince me. However, it is most assuredly not true by latitude, season and time of day, as we recently experienced here in Western Australia when many record low max temperatures were set under unseasonable cloud cover (and rain).

    • To clarify my point. If CO2 isn’t the cause, it doesn’t follow the cause(s) are natural.

      The change from ‘CO2 is the cause of global warming’ to ‘GHGs are the cause’ to ‘anthropogenic emissions are the cause’, is a recognition that humans influence the climate in other ways than CO2. Specifically by aerosol and particulate emissions.

    • ‘We now have the necessary data to start to calculate how much of the late 20th century global warming was natural, and how much was from CO2.’

      But the data, they are always a-changing.

  36. Still no mention of deep water brine currents from ice formation or the Millennium+ length deep ocean current cycles either? That plays a role, we just can’t quantify it to my knowledge.

  37. “Solar variation appears to have a long term effect on climate, and a possible mechanism has been shown to be via GCRs and clouds. ”

    Clouds form out of water vapor evaporated off the ocean, mostly within the tropical zone, and are not driven by cosmic rays via low solar activity.

    Yes, low solar activity yields higher cosmic ray counts, like today, but not clouds:

    It’s nearly at the highest counts in 53 years of records, where are all the clouds?

    It’s not coincidental that it’s cooler under the higher intensity area – there’s also low insolation at work.

    Today is a beauty in Michigan with perfectly clear skies all day with no clouds:

    All the clouds seen above started out first as water vapor evaporated from the ocean tropical zone from upwelling water warmed by incoming sunlight, and was not generated or created from the area under high cosmic ray intensity in the north where the radiation is higher. Where is the evidence that clouds originate at high latitudes and move southward?

    It all boils down to what is (or is not) warming up the water… it’s not cosmic rays, it’s what’s modulating cosmic rays!

    It’s a water world. What does water do with more or less available heat? Where does that ‘more or less’ heat come from?

    “Solar variation appears to have a long term effect on climate” is definitely an understatement!

    • There are a lot of collisions in tropical thunder clouds that are rapidly delivering energy (and surface emitted CO2) to the upper atmosphere where it is free to radiate to space rather than back to the surface.

  38. Need some help! How do I patent this newly discovered source of energy? In power plants a common form of insulating piping after the regulations preventing the use of asbestos is reflective insulation. This reflective insulation is three or four, sometimes more layers of highly polished stainless steel. Seems to me that if this DWLWIR, Back radiation, Whatever, warms the ocean , atmosphere, or anything, then the longer that a high energy, high temperature pipe was, that the hotter it would get. This would happen from all of the back radiation being reflected into the pipe making it warmer. It would only be tenths or hundredths of degrees per foot. However, over fifty – 1,000 feet, that small amount would add up, even compounding like interest on a loan, to a significantly measurable amount. Think of all of the free energy a plant could obtain. In fact a plant could even increase the superheat factor of the steam in the pipe thus making the process more efficient!

    • c’mon usurbrain, USURBRAIN! The radiative insulation around the power-plant piping reduces the amount of separately supplied thermal energy (from the fuel) to the colder ambient, resulting in higher temperatures inside the pipe for the same amount of supplied energy.

      Similarly, the radiative insulation around the earth reduces the amount of separately supplied thermal energy (from the sun) to the colder ambient of space, resulting in higher temperatures on the earth for the same amount of supplied energy.

      • Didn’t spot the sarcasm?

        The money shot in that piece is here

        However, over fifty – 1,000 feet, that small amount would add up, even compounding like interest on a loan, to a significantly measurable amount.

        How exactly do you explain the ~3x positive feedback AGW relies on for its alarming rate of warming…in terms of the pipe example?

      • TTTM: Of course I spotted the (misguided) sarcasm. usurbrain, because of his inability to do the most basic thermodynamic analysis, thinks the (poorly named) greenhouse effect is tantamount to the creation of energy. I was simply pointing out that the use of radiative insulation to lessen thermal energy losses to a cold ambient, and therefore permit higher temperatures from a given energy input, is an everyday proven technology.

        The fundamental greenhouse effect is a very different issue from any amplifying (or attenuating) feedbacks, such as water vapor or cloud changes. If absolute humidity truly increased significantly, and clouds decreased, with any CO2-induced warming, there would be some amplification. But our best evidence (which unfortunately is not that good) says that this is not happening, at least not to near the extent that most models predict.

  39. Mike,

    Regarding 2. The CO2 argument, you say:

    The IPCC say that a doubling of CO2 increases downward IR by 3.7 Wm-2, and that without feedbacks this would increase global temperature by about 1.2 deg C [at equilibrium]…

    I have two comments on that.

    First, I have never been able to verify the IPCC’s figure of 3.7 W/m² for the radiative forcing from a doubling of atmospheric CO2. All my attempts to authenticate and verify it have stalled in the inscrutable inner-workings of radiative transfer models. Therefore, it remains an unsubstantiated claim whose veracity is wide open to doubt, in my view.

    Second, even if the 3.7 W/m² figure is correct, it could not possibly produce 1.2°C of warming at the surface. Since the average surface absorptivity and emissivity is ~1 on infra-red wavelengths, the Stefan-Boltzman law deems that 3.7 W/m² of RF would yield only ~0.7°C of warming on an initial temperature anywhere in the range 6° to 19°C at the surface. I think the IPCC’s erroneous 1.2°C figure is not a sound basis for your calculations.

    There is another big factor affecting surface climate sensitivity to CO2 which I’m not aware of anyone having considered to date and which I think you might want to include in your model. This is the incoming energy-split between sensible heat and latent heat of evaporation that occurs in all water on the surface of the planet. Such is the huge asymmetry of this energy-split that, for water at thermal equilibrium at today’s average global surface temperature of ~15°C, some 86% of all incoming radiation would be absorbed in evaporating the water at constant temperature and only the remaining 14% would be absorbed as sensible heat to warm the water. So, if the oceans absorb 3.7 W/m² of RF from a doubling of CO2, 86% of that would be returned to the atmosphere continuously in the form of water vapour while only 14% of it (i.e. ~0.52 W/m²) would remain behind to warm the oceans. 0.52 W/m² absorbed RF yields only ~0.1°C of warming at the ocean-surface. Since the oceans cover ~70% of the planet’s surface, they would be responsible for absorbing ~60% (i.e. 70%x86%) of RF from CO2 globally in evaporating seawater, thereby effectively reducing the IPCC’s 3.7 W/m² to ~1.5 W/m² which would yield a maximum of ~0.3°C of global warming.

    So we may see that taking the Stephan-Boltzman law and the latent heat/sensible heat energy-split into account reduces the IPCC’s claimed 1.2°C of surface global warming from a doubling of atmospheric CO2 down to ~0.3°C in two simple steps. If we also take into account the surface water on the land areas as well, our figure for global climate sensitivity to CO2 will be reduced yet further. Clearly, there is no need to model the intricacies of the global climate system before we appreciate that the amount of global warming at the surface to be expected from a doubling of CO2 is almost certainly trivial.

      • Bindidon on February 19, 2017 at 3:28 am:

        I don’t exactly understand what you miss here: you didn’t explain it clearly enough.

        What I have missed, Bindidon, is any verification (or ‘proof’ if you prefer) of the IPCC’s proposition that a doubling of atmospheric CO2-concentration would produce ~3.7 W/m² of radiative forcing at the surface.

        You ask me:

        Did you have a look at this?
        1. http://www.globalwarmingequation.info/eqn%20derivation.pdf
        2. http://www.globalwarmingequation.info/temperature%20increase%20eqn%20derivation.pdf

        Thanks for these two mathematical arguments which I don’t recall seeing before but may have done. They appear flawed to me though. At the bottom of page 2 of the first paper:

        fa = 0.6 is the fraction of flux returned downward to the Earth, absorbed or re-emitted by CO2.

        That is impossible. The fraction of flux returned downward from the entire atmosphere is only ~0.4, so the fraction returned by CO2 alone must be less than that. Doesn’t this error invalidate the whole calculation?

      • RP on February 19, 2017 at 10:31 am

        That is impossible. The fraction of flux returned downward from the entire atmosphere is only ~0.4…

        Here you see the problem you create by your own: while you doubt even about the result of a correct sequence of formulas, you simply present a number coming from somewhere, without any mathematic explanation.

        So if you request from anybody to accept that the CO2 related fraction of flux returned downward to the Earth is at best 0.4 instead of the value of 0.6 calculated from step (4) to step (12), you must provide for a mathematic alternative to what is presented in § 2.1.

        Tha’s the way science works.

      • Bindidon on February 19, 2017 at 10:31 am:

        So if you request from anybody to accept that the CO2 related fraction of flux returned downward to the Earth is at best 0.4 instead of the value of 0.6 calculated from step (4) to step (12), you must provide for a mathematic alternative to what is presented in § 2.1.

        Tha’s the way science works.

        Of course, no problem. But I am surprised that you need me to explain it, since it is so elementary. Anyway, here goes……

        By the Stefan-Boltzman law,
        Radiance emitted from Earth’s surface (Rs) = σTs⁴,
        where σ is the Stefan-Boltzman constant (5.67E-08 W/m²K⁴)
        and Ts is the global mean surface temperature (15°C, = 288°K).

        Hence, Rs = 5.67E-08×288⁴ = 390.1 W/m².

        At equilibrium, radiance emerging from top of atmosphere (Rt) = insolation to surface = ¼(1 – α)Sc,
        where α is the Earth’s albedo (0.306 according to the NASA Earth Factsheet at http://nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov/planetary/factsheet/earthfact.html )
        and Sc is the solar constant (1,361.0 W/m² at same link).

        Hence Rt = ¼(1 – 0.306)x1,361 = 236.1 W/m².

        The amount of flux returned downward to the surface from the atmosphere (Rr) is the difference between Rs and Rt = 390.1 – 236.1 = 154.0 W/m².

        Therefore, fraction of flux returned downward from entire atmosphere = Rr/Rs = 154/390.1 = 0.395 = ~0.4.
        Q.E.D.

      • RP.
        One should probably not be using an average T for the whole Earth because T varies considerably over the surface of the Earth, and with time at any particular location, and the emitted radiance varies with the 4th power of T. Thus, the radiance will vary considerably. That is, one should either use extreme temperatures to bracket the expected emitted radiance, or use a global temperature map and integrate the calculated radiances over the surface of the globe to find an area-weighted average.

      • RP on February 19, 2017 at 2:55 pm

        Of course, no problem. But I am surprised that you need me to explain it, since it is so elementary. Anyway, here goes…

        You shouldn’t be so surprised, RP: I had decades ago a scientific education, but in a domain far away from this context: thus here I’m a simple layman. And that is the reason why I was not satisfied with your first reply: too many people simply replace visible computations and formulae by arbitrary chosen numbers.

        But now you gave a scientific answer: thanks for that. It’ late here now, and tomorrow I will have to digest the two paths to understand where exactly they differ. Nich Stokes probably would need 2 minutes for the job :-(

        What now concerns your question

        Doesn’t this error invalidate the whole calculation?

        I would, as a layman, answer with

        Do you see the effect of a change of Fa->g elsewhere than
        – in the end computation of the constant (5.35, firstly computed by Myhre in 1998 I guess) linking radiative forcing and CO2 concentration (now becoming 3.57)
        and hence
        – in the end computation of the radiative forcing delta resulting from CO2 doubling (now 2.47) ?

      • Clyde Spencer, February 19, 2017 at 3:19 pm:

        One should probably not be using an average T for the whole Earth because T varies considerably over the surface of the Earth, and with time at any particular location, and the emitted radiance varies with the 4th power of T….”

        That may be true in many cases, Clyde, but we’re only considering rough approximations here. So long as the global average surface temperature (Ts) lies somewhere between 10°C and 22°C, the returned fraction of outgoing flux will still be ~0.4.

      • RP,
        You said, “So long as the global average surface temperature (Ts) lies somewhere between 10°C and 22°C, the returned fraction of outgoing flux will still be ~0.4.”

        Well, that is the point I was making. Surface temperatures can vary between about -73 deg C in Antarctica to 53 deg C in deserts, a range an order of magnitude greater than your 10-22 deg C.

      • RP on February 19, 2017 at 2:55 pm (2)

        Two layman’s remarks after having read your explanation.

        1. You do not consider what is part of the calculation in the page I linked to above: the optical thickness (or vertical opacity) of the atmosphere. This factor is used in other publications.

        2. I managed to retrieve a publication (Myhre & al., 1998: New estimates of radiative forcing due to well mixed greenhouse gases) where the well known factor used to compute the CO2 flux density out of its concentration’s logarithm (5.35) was found by using line-by-line and narrow-band models on the base of data stored in the HITRAN database.

      • Bindidon on February 19, 2017 at 3:52 pm:

        You shouldn’t be so surprised, RP: I had decades ago a scientific education, but in a domain far away from this context: thus here I’m a simple layman.

        Me too. I think we must all be laymen really – even the professionals – in this fledgling field of study.

        What now concerns your question

        Doesn’t this error invalidate the whole calculation?

        I would, as a layman, answer with

        Do you see the effect of a change of Fa->g elsewhere than – in the end computation of the constant (5.35, firstly computed by Myhre in 1998 I guess) linking radiative forcing and CO2 concentration (now becoming 3.57) and hence – in the end computation of the radiative forcing delta resulting from CO2 doubling (now 2.47) ?”

        I’m afraid I do. I think the error in Kelly’s derivation of the IPCC’s formula for radiative forcing from CO2 which we were talking about was not merely numerical, but was conceptual too. His un-numbered equation at the bottom of page 2 shows that he has conflated the concept of the greenhouse effect from CO2 with the concept of the greenhouse effect from the whole atmosphere as though they were one and the same thing. That’s a fatal error, in my view, because it renders his whole mathematical argument illogical and false. Therefore, as far as I can see it provides no verification at all of the IPCC’s formula for radiative forcing from CO2.

      • @Clyde Spencer, February 19, 2017 at 7:59 pm

        I understand what you’re saying, Clyde, and I agree with you. The 4th power relationship between temperature and surface radiance could make a significant difference to our estimates of average surface temperatures and radiances. I think this could be another reason why the derivation of the IPCC’s formula for radiative forcing from CO2 offered by Bindidon is not valid, since that derivation involves the assumption that our estimate of the global mean surface temperature can be converted directly into an estimate of global mean surface radiance by a simple application of the Stefan-Boltzman formula, which you have pointed out is not necessarily true.

        Still, while it is true that we don’t know for sure that 390 W/m² is a reasonably accurate estimate of the global mean surface radiance, I don’t know that it is an unreasonably inaccurate one either. Do you?

      • RP,
        You said, “Still, while it is true that we don’t know for sure that 390 W/m² is a reasonably accurate estimate of the global mean surface radiance, I don’t know that it is an unreasonably inaccurate one either. Do you?”

        I haven’t waded through the calculations, so I can’t say that it is unreasonably inaccurate. However, when you have a function dependent on a 4th-order parameter that varies widely over time and location, it just seems to me that taking an average temperature and computing a single number doesn’t give one a good view of what is happening. As I have stated previously, I think that what should be done is look at all the climate zones defined by physical geographers and see if they are all reacting similarly, which I doubt because of what we know about the Arctic. Knowing qualitatively and quantitatively what is happening in all of the climate zones, or alternatively physiographic regions, will provide us with more information than a single number. As an example, alarmists are panicked about what is going to happen to crops and outdoor workers because of a single projected number. However, we already know that Polar Bears are going to be stressed more than humans living in mid-latitudes, which is where most humans live. However, there may be a reason behind alarmists using one number to try to make their case. It is very easy to distort what is happening when using averages without error bars.

      • Clyde Spencer February 20, 2017 at 5:09 pm

        I haven’t waded through the calculations, so I can’t say that it is unreasonably inaccurate. However, when you have a function dependent on a 4th-order parameter that varies widely over time and location, it just seems to me that taking an average temperature and computing a single number doesn’t give one a good view of what is happening….”

        I quite agree.

        As I have stated previously, I think that what should be done is look at all the climate zones defined by physical geographers and see if they are all reacting similarly, which I doubt because of what we know about the Arctic. Knowing qualitatively and quantitatively what is happening in all of the climate zones, or alternatively physiographic regions, will provide us with more information than a single number.

        That would be wonderful! But I think that solution is impractical at present because we don’t have an adequate global monitoring system that could provide us with the necessary area-specific information. Analysing the existing temperature data-sets according to their coresponding radiances might yield a little more information on the global mean radiance I suppose, but since those consist mostly of guesswork anyway I don’t think we should expect them to produce any major advances on our current state of knowledge (or state of abject ignorance, more like it). Still, far be it from me to deter you from trying it if you want to. I would be delighted to have my pessimism proved wrong in this case.

        ….However, there may be a reason behind alarmists using one number to try to make their case. It is very easy to distort what is happening when using averages without error bars.

        Isn’t it just! And when they do use error bars those are uncertain and unreliable too! It seems to me that there is always plenty of wiggle-room in the alarmists calculations for them to produce whatever numerical result is desired, with or without error bars. I guess they didn’t get to be the master-tailors of Emperors’ new green suits that only denialist fools cannot see by stinting on wiggle-room when weaving their mathemagical cloth.

    • Bindidon on February 20, 2017 at 8:54 am

      1. You do not consider what is part of the calculation in the page I linked to above: the optical thickness (or vertical opacity) of the atmosphere. This factor is used in other publications. ”

      That’s true. But are you suggesting that I should consider it? If so, why?

      2. I managed to retrieve a publication (Myhre & al., 1998: New estimates of radiative forcing due to well mixed greenhouse gases) where the well known factor used to compute the CO2 flux density out of its concentration’s logarithm (5.35) was found by using line-by-line and narrow-band models on the base of data stored in the HITRAN database.”

      Thanks, Bindidon. How can one verify that their line-by-line, narrow-banded calculations with the HITRAN database are correct and true to life? As far as I can see, that just is not possible in today’s world.

      • RP on February 21, 2017 at 10:59 am

        1. But are you suggesting that I should consider it? If so, why?

        I (diagonally) read two papers focusing on the problem and
        – in both papers this vertical opacity was considered the same way
        – in your presentation (RP on February 19, 2017 at 2:55 pm) it was not at all. What you wrote lets think that you build a ‘TOA minus surface’ value without considering what happens inbetween.

        But… I’m just a little layman as I said, and I supposed it was missing in your thoughts.

        2. Thanks, Bindidon. How can one verify that their line-by-line, narrow-banded calculations with the HITRAN database are correct and true to life?

        That was not the point RP. The point was that Myhre & al. developed 20 years ago an argument path ending with a value of 5.35 for the so called Arrhenius constant: the same value as that calculated by math in this ‘globalwarming.info’ page.

        3. As far as I can see, that just is not possible in today’s world.

        Wow a bit strange: many people use HITRAN since decades with a lot of success. But according to your isolated opinion they are all wrong? Please explain with real life examples, I’m interested.

      • Bindidon February 21, 2017 at 3:20 pmRe. 1. Optical thickness/vertical opacity, you say:

        I (diagonally) read two papers focusing on the problem and
        – in both papers this vertical opacity was considered the same way
        – in your presentation (RP on February 19, 2017 at 2:55 pm) it was not at all. What you wrote lets think that you build a ‘TOA minus surface’ value without considering what happens inbetween.

        My “presentation” in that comment was an explanation of the flaw that I had found in the derivation of the IPCC’s logarithmic formula for radiative forcing from CO2 which you had suggested I look at. The atmosphere’s “optical thickness” (or “vertical opacity”) was not relevant to that flaw and so I did not mention it.

        I did not mention “what happens in between” the surface and the TOA for the same reason.

        2. Thanks, Bindidon. How can one verify that their line-by-line, narrow-banded calculations with the HITRAN database are correct and true to life?

        That was not the point RP….

        It may not have been your point, Bindidon, but the intractable problem of verification of the IPCC’s proposed formula for radiative forcing from CO2 has been the central theme of my responses to you throughout this comment-thread. And Myhre et al’s calculations with the HITRAN database do not resolve that problem for me because I have no means of verifying that they are accurate and true themselves either. Citing Myhre et al merely displaces the answer to my question one stage backwards; it does not provide the answer.

        ….The point was that Myhre & al. developed 20 years ago an argument path ending with a value of 5.35 for the so called Arrhenius constant: the same value as that calculated by math in this ‘globalwarming.info’ page.

        All that proves is that the authors’ lines of thinking and calculation converged on the same conclusion, not that they were correct and true. Life is full of coincidences.

        3. As far as I can see, that just is not possible in today’s world.

        Wow a bit strange: many people use HITRAN since decades with a lot of success….

        “success” in doing what? Writing academic papers? What examples can you give of HITRAN accurately predicting radiative forcing from CO2 better than chance?

        ….But according to your isolated opinion they are all wrong?

        No! I said that they cannot be verified, not that they are necessarily wrong. My “opinion” is that I have no way of knowing whether they are right or wrong.

      • RP,
        You might want to browse this website: https://www.cfa.harvard.edu/hitran/

        HITRAN is widely used in the remote sensing field, particularly for doing atmospheric corrections of hyperspectral imagery. Pragmatically, it is good enough that it turns unusable imagery into something that is visually acceptable and useful computationally for identifying materials on the ground. While it may not “accurately predict[ing] radiative forcing from CO2 better than chance,” it seems improbable that it doesn’t, considering how widely it is used by by civilian and military people who are doing more than writing papers. They are doing things that are related to national security and flipping a coin wouldn’t cut it for that.

      • Clive writes

        While it may not “accurately predict[ing] radiative forcing from CO2 better than chance,” it seems improbable that it doesn’t

        Or it may be that as an instantaneous solution to radiative transfer, HITRAN is ok, but to the question of non-instantaneous energy transfer from the surface to the TOA which necessarily includes convection and transfer of energy by latent heat of vaporisation and more…then it only tells part of the story.

        When RP calculated fa using TOA and surface values for the radiative flux as 0.4 for whole of atmosphere, he was automatically taking into account these additional energy transfer mechanisms. When the IPCC does an “all else being equal, radiative transfer only via CO2” calculation then they’re only looking at part of the problem.

        But because there are massive overlaps on emission and absorption with water vapour now, and a likely case the lapse rate will change over time as well as possible convection changes, the IPCC calculation is worthless as a value to be using in later calculations.

        Plus of course there’s all the uncertainty surrounding the T^4 issue Clive raised. None of that adds to the validity of the IPCCs assertions!

        This is the IPCCs stake in the ground and it will be a very long time before there is any possibility that their well established 3.7 W/m2 and 1.2DegC values will change in the scientific community.

        The other issue I have is the way the IPCC has engineered a belief that feedbacks are definitely positive and just a question of how much. Well I happen to think they’re probably negative in the longer term even if the spike in temperatures we’re seeing now makes them look positive. I think Lindzen was right before anyone was swayed by the IPCC hype.

      • TTTM,

        HITRAN was never intended to solve feedback problems involving multiple gasses and a surface continuously changing in temperature. However, it is a tool that can help to better understand what is going on because the database has been validated by practitioners in remote sensing.

        I find it improbable that the WV/cloud feedback is positive. If it were, we would probably look like Venus after all the perturbations over the last 4.5 billion years. The concept of a “Tipping Point” is just another scare tactic intended to get people to quit thinking about the issue and get behind the ‘solutions’ proposed by the likes of Gore.

      • TTTM,
        No problem on the name. I’ve been called worse things! :-) I’m also regularly ignored by Mosher. I guess my questions are too inconvenient.

      • Clyde Spencer February 22, 2017 at 8:35 am

        Thanks for the Harvard link to the HITRAN page, Clyde.

        You say:

        HITRAN is widely used in the remote sensing field, particularly for doing atmospheric corrections of hyperspectral imagery. Pragmatically, it is good enough that it turns unusable imagery into something that is visually acceptable and useful computationally for identifying materials on the ground….

        No doubt, but HITRAN solves a different kind of problem, don’t you think? Identifying the relative absorption/emission spectra of different substances is not the same as accurately predicting the precise total downward radiative emissions from CO2-molecules existing under varying local conditions of concentration, temperature, pressure, humidity and so on, which is what we would need it to do to verify the IPCC’s famous formula for radiative forcing from CO2.

        ….While it may not “accurately predict[ing] radiative forcing from CO2 better than chance, it seems improbable that it doesn’t, considering how widely it is used by civilian and military people who are doing more than writing papers.

        We cannot judge the veracity of scientific formulae by making subjective estimations of their likelihood of being true. There is a due process of verification to be gone through and it entails taking critically-decisive real-world observations as well as calculating things. HITRAN may perform some classy calculations but we still need the real-world observations to verify that they represent reality instead of just the notions in the program-writers’ heads.

        Perhaps that has been done for HITRAN’s calculations of the absorption and emission spectra of different materials in the laboratory, but I think it cannot have been done for its calculations of CO2’s absorptions and emissions in the atmosphere because (fortunately for all life on the planet) the atmosphere cannot be placed in a laboratory. And the relevant observations cannot be taken with the atmosphere in situ because there is no global monitoring network in existence that that is capable of taking them. Consequently, as far as I can see the relevant observations cannot be taken at all, so the HITRAN calculations for atmospheric CO2 cannot be verified and they cannot verify the IPCC’s formula for radiative forcing from CO2 either.

      • Bindidon February 24, 2017 at 11:47 am

        It gets a bit too boring for me to follow this discussion. For the simple reason that some commenters here seem to place a simple doubt a the same level as a scientific falsification.

        I’m sorry to hear that you find this discussion “boring”, Bindidon, but I think that is probably the result of your own lack of mental engagement with its contents rather than of anything in the contents themselves. I have read all the comments in this thread and I haven’t seen anyone put simple doubt on the same level as a scientific falsification. Certainly, I have not done that.

        You say:

        The end of RP’s last answer to me is so typical:

        RP: My “opinion” is that I have no way of knowing whether they are right or wrong.

        Bindidon: Maybe RP you simply should deeply go into the material you seem to know so few about, and start learning, unti you become able to express a really valuable contradiction, allowing you to clearly state ‘whether they are right or wrong’ instead of guessing.

        Bindidon, you have presented me with two proposed ways of verifying the IPCC’s formula for radiative forcing from CO2 and I have pointed out how they are both fundamentally flawed. And now your answer to that is to suggest that I should “deeply go into the material” and “start learning” as though I need to know more about the subject than I do already. Very well then, maestro, please tell me what, specifically, I need to learn that will enlighten me as to me how your proposed verifications are not fundamentally flawed after all and how the IPCC’s formula actually has been verified in truth and reality. Otherwise, I at least will think that you are just blowing smoke to hide your own ignorance and lack of an honest scientific argument.

        Decades ago, RP, I was working in hard software engineering projects, and there there was no place for doubt.

        You had to bring a repeatedly verifiable proof that your suppliers delivered something incorrect; and conversely the same held for your clients concerning the software you delivered.

        Thanks for this personal information. I appreciate that the intellectual discipline of your work was exacting and that you appreciate the critical importance of rigorous verification before a product can be sold to the public. But that is precisely the problem that I am seeing with the IPCC’s formula for radiative forcing from CO2, i.e. that has been sold to the public without its having been rigorously verified first.

    • It gets a bit too boring for me to follow this discussion. For the simple reason that some commenters here seem to place a simple doubt a the same level as a scientific falsification.

      The end of RP’s last answer to me is so typical:

      My “opinion” is that I have no way of knowing whether they are right or wrong.

      Maybe RP you simply should deeply go into the material you seem to know so few about, and start learning, unti you become able to express a really valuable contradiction, allowing you to clearly state ‘whether they are right or wrong’ instead of guessing.

      I know even less than you: but never I would allow me to simply doubt where knowledge is needed instead.

      Decades ago, RP, I was working in hard software engineering projects, and there there was no place for doubt.

      You had to bring a repeatedly verifiable proof that your suppliers delivered something incorrect; and conversely the same held for your clients concerning the software you delivered.

      A last hint: http://spectralcalc.com/info/about.php
      I think you might have a look at it, even if I of course anticipate your answer.

      • Bindidon writes

        Maybe RP you simply should deeply go into the material you seem to know so few about, and start learning, unti you become able to express a really valuable contradiction, allowing you to clearly state ‘whether they are right or wrong’ instead of guessing.

        Its not that simple. The question of whether the IPCC’s values of 3.7W/m2 and 1.2C are correct in the sense they’re useful for further calculations goes beyond whether HITRAN gets the values right in the very narrow view of radiative transfer, it describes today.

        RP has already demonstrated that CO2’s naive “view” of opacity of the atmosphere is much greater than reality. So one would expect an increase of CO2 to come with an equally “lessened” effect in reality. ie a negative feedback.

        How does that translate into using the HITRAN data in calculation of changes to CO2 concentrations? What does that mean about the HITRAN data’s usefulness describing change in our real atmosphere when AGW theory prefers positive feedbacks? There’s plenty of room for scepticism there.

      • Bindidon February 24, 2017 at 11:47 am

        It gets a bit too boring for me to follow this discussion. For the simple reason that some commenters here seem to place a simple doubt a the same level as a scientific falsification.

        I’m sorry to hear that you find this discussion “boring”, Bindidon, but I think that is probably the result of your own lack of mental engagement with its contents rather than of anything in the contents themselves. I have read all the comments in this thread and I haven’t seen anyone put simple doubt on the same level as a scientific falsification. Certainly, I have not done that.

        You say:

        The end of RP’s last answer to me is so typical:

        My “opinion” is that I have no way of knowing whether they are right or wrong.

        Maybe RP you simply should deeply go into the material you seem to know so few about, and start learning, unti you become able to express a really valuable contradiction, allowing you to clearly state ‘whether they are right or wrong’ instead of guessing.

        Bindidon, you have presented me with two proposed ways of verifying the IPCC’s formula for radiative forcing from CO2 and I have pointed out how they are both fundamentally flawed. And now your answer to that is to suggest that I should “deeply go into the material” and “start learning” as though I need to know more about the subject than I do already. Very well then, maestro, please tell me what, specifically, I need to learn that will enlighten me as to me how your proposed verifications are not fundamentally flawed after all and how the IPCC’s formula actually has been verified in truth and reality. Otherwise, I at least will think that you are just blowing smoke to hide your own ignorance and lack of an honest scientific argument.

        Decades ago, RP, I was working in hard software engineering projects, and there there was no place for doubt.

        You had to bring a repeatedly verifiable proof that your suppliers delivered something incorrect; and conversely the same held for your clients concerning the software you delivered.

        Thanks for this personal information. I appreciate that the intellectual discipline of your work was exacting and that you appreciate the critical importance of rigorous verification before a product can be sold to the public. But that is precisely the problem that I am seeing with the IPCC’s formula for radiative forcing from CO2, i.e. that has been sold to the public without its having been rigorously verified first.

        (PS: Sorry, this is a repeat post, as I put it in the wrong place above originally.)

      • TimTheToolMan on February 24, 2017 at 10:53 pm

        RP has already demonstrated that CO2’s naive “view” of opacity of the atmosphere is much greater than reality.

        Sorry, T³M: RP didn’t demonstrate anything. He was supposing a lot of things without any reference to a scientific paper.

        And one thing still remains on the table: the fact that in his comment ‘RP on February 19, 2017 at 2:55 pm’ he manifestly did not feel any necessitiy to account for the atmosphere’s vertical opacity. His calculation there looked like a calculation for the Moon.

        T³M, I would for example better understand criticisms on the formula I found in ‘globalwarming.info’, or on work dome in 1998 by Myhre et al., if those were all based not on personal meaning, but on references to real work, e.g.

        http://www.friendsofscience.org/assets/documents/E&E_21_4_2010_08-miskolczi.pdf

        By the line-by-line method, a computer program is used to analyze Earth atmospheric radiosonde data from hundreds of weather balloon observations.

        In terms of a quasi-all-sky protocol, fundamental infrared atmospheric radiative flux components are calculated: at the top boundary, the outgoing long wave radiation, the surface transmitted radiation, and the upward atmospheric emittance; at the bottom boundary, the downward atmospheric emittance.

        The partition of the outgoing long wave radiation into upward atmospheric emittance and surface transmitted radiation components is based on the accurate computation of the true greenhouse-gas optical thickness for the radiosonde data.

        New relationships among the flux components have been found and are used to construct a quasi-allsky
        model of the earth’s atmospheric energy transfer process. In the 1948-2008 time period the global average annual mean true greenhouse-gas optical thickness is found to be time-stationary.

        Simulated radiative no-feedback effects of measured actual CO2 change over the 61 years were calculated and found to be of magnitude easily detectable by the empirical data and analytical methods used.

        The data negate increase in CO2 in the atmosphere as a hypothetical cause for the apparently observed global warming. A hypothesis of significant positive feedback by water vapor effect on atmospheric infrared absorption is also negated by the observed measurements. Apparently major revision of the physics underlying the greenhouse effect is needed.

        But that good job I have read too, and was nevertheless far more impressed by the answer to the paper found two years ago in a specific ‘Science of Doom’ page:

        https://scienceofdoom.com/2011/04/22/the-mystery-of-tau-miskolczi/

        A recall: SoD is fully acknowledged by persons like Judith Curry.

        Also of interest there:

        https://scienceofdoom.com/2010/07/17/the-amazing-case-of-back-radiation/
        https://scienceofdoom.com/2010/10/24/planck-stefan-boltzmann-kirchhoff-and-lte/
        etc etc etc.

      • Bindidon writes

        Sorry, T³M: RP didn’t demonstrate anything. He was supposing a lot of things without any reference to a scientific paper.

        RP clearly placed an upper bound on the downward radiative flux produced by the entire atmosphere and it was way less than the naive view of CO2’s impact based on opacity alone (assuming your referenced paper was correct – Well I say “paper” with an implicit assumption of peer review but I really mean book).

        There was nothing fundamentally wrong with his calculation or logic as far as I could see but perhaps you noticed something?

        And one thing still remains on the table: the fact that in his comment ‘RP on February 19, 2017 at 2:55 pm’ he manifestly did not feel any necessitiy to account for the atmosphere’s vertical opacity. His calculation there looked like a calculation for the Moon.

        In that sense RP did address the issue of opacity. His calculation doesn’t care what “happens” in the atmosphere whether by opacity or otherwise, his calculation says that the net effect cant be bigger than…his calculation. Reality is that CO2’s impact on downward radiative flux can be expected to be much less than water vapour’s impact so not only is fa no bigger than 0.4 its probably very much smaller than 0.4 in reality.

        There is some really important meaning behind what RP did if you care to think it through.

      • Bindidon, February 25, 2017 at 2:20 pm

        You wrote:

        TimTheToolMan on February 24, 2017 at 10:53 pm

        RP has already demonstrated that CO2’s naive “view” of opacity of the atmosphere is much greater than reality.

        Sorry, T³M: RP didn’t demonstrate anything. He was supposing a lot of things without any reference to a scientific paper.

        That is not true. I demonstrated explicitly how your mathematical derivation of the IPCC’s formula for radiative forcing from CO2 (from http://www.globalwarmingequation.info/eqn%20derivation.pdf ) is fatally flawed in my reply to you on February 19, 2017 at 2:55 pm (here: https://wattsupwiththat.com/2017/02/18/stokes-and-the-somehow-theory-of-ocean-heat/comment-page-1/#comment-2431466 ).

        I did not suppose anything that had not already been supposed by the author of the derivation up to the point where the flaw appears. Also, I did not need to reference any other scientific papers in order to explain that flaw and it would have been superfluous and distracting for me to have done so.

        And one thing still remains on the table: the fact that in his comment ‘RP on February 19, 2017 at 2:55 pm’ he manifestly did not feel any necessitiy to account for the atmosphere’s vertical opacity….

        I have already explained to you (on February 22, 2017 at 4:31 am, here: https://wattsupwiththat.com/2017/02/18/stokes-and-the-somehow-theory-of-ocean-heat/comment-page-1/#comment-2433992 ) that in my view the atmosphere’s vertical opacity is irrelevant to the flaw in the derivation of the IPCC’s formula that I was discussing. You have yet to give any reasons for implying that it is relevant.

        ….His calculation there looked like a calculation for the Moon.

        What I calculated there was the magnitude of the fraction of the Earth’s outgoing surface energy-flux that is recycled by its atmosphere. The Moon does not even have an atmosphere, let alone one that recycles its outgoing surface energy-flux. Therefore, I think my calculation could not have been more unlike the Moon!

      • TimTheToolMan on February 26, 2017 at 3:47 pm / RP on February 26, 2017 at 4:29 pm

        I don’t wonder at all about these two comments. When the one commenter writes

        There’s plenty of room for scepticism there.
        instead of
        There’s plenty of room for scientific contradiction there.

        and the other one writes

        Also, I did not need to reference any other scientific papers in order to explain that flaw and it would have been superfluous and distracting for me to have done so.

        then I’m afraid that the discussion is definitely moving into a blind-alley. Sound skepticism, in my opinion, requests for an other approach.

        It will be a bit hard for a person having no deeper phys/math education to grasp what is behind such a lot of equations, but I now really want to understand what is correct here.

        So I will start with:

        Chamberlain, J.W., 1978. Elementary, Analytic Models of Climate: I. The Mean Global Heat Balance

        and

        Chamberlain, J.W., Hunten, D.M., 1987. Theory of Planetary Atmospheres: An Introduction to their Physics and Chemistry.

        and will try to find other similar sources.

        P.S. I aplogise for the little Moon sarcasm, due to the lack of considering things like optical thickness, atmospheric window closure etc. That our good old Moon hasn’t any atmosphere I think I remember.

  40. Oops, @5:32pm wouldn’t paste. One of those beautiful photos where a day’s winter sun could not melt frost in shade by backradiation. No such trouble in the open. Familiar to most countryfolk out of the Tropics.

  41. “…Here, Nick confirms that the sun is the heat source, but skates over the mechanism saying it’s “just trivial arithmetic“. We’ll do some of the arithmetic in a while, and see if it’s trivial…”

    Of course it’s trivial. He’s the king of all things trivial. When it comes to a skeptical posts, his critiques tend to focus on things like wording.

  42. What about the total energy amount that comes from the combined inputs from the ocean floor. This is a lot of energy and not quantified. The value would also be very dynamic over time.

    That heat moves up and out and is a contributor to ocean heat and it never gets mentioned.

    Without that initial volcanic activity on earth it would never have warmed enough for the sun to to keep it unfrozen.

    Is this what throws up the extra heat to warm us up in shorter time spells. Does this have an effect on el nino throwing in heat that the oceans periodically expel into the atmosphere?

    I cannot vouch for the accuracy of that graph, I have seen a few and they all are very similar. Just thinking aloud here.

    There is a lot of energy not accounted for. Geothermal, crust convection largely unknowns are they not globally, mainly guestimations.

    • Of course I am assuming that if there is increased activity on land volcanoes there is also with the majority of them, which are submerged
      undersea volcanic activity is a constant unlike on land’s explosive outbursts.

      The main hub of volcanic activity is an area where eruptions are undetectable. The mid-ocean ridge

    • None of this is quantified and as such I can’t take ocean heat content seriously until it puts a number on total energy input from the ocean floor

    • There are more volcanoes on the mid-ocean ridge than on land in total. It is a constant input of energy.

      ocean ridges

      • The energy from Earth’s nuclear core reaches the surface very slowly at a rate of 47 terra watts compared to the solar incoming of 173,000 terra watts. The proportion of that 47 due to gravitational compression is about 5 to 10% if I recall correctly. This underfloor heating does not warm the surface on a global scale but it must surely act as a super insulator for conduction of heat downwards. I postulate that on a cold Earth with no nuclear core any warming of the surface by the sun would slowly be conducted downwards to result in permafrost on land. The oceans would freeze solid with just a surface melt where the sun shines strongly and we would be in big trouble.

      • @Pablo Interesting, and I honestly dont have any idea. I do sys analysis on IT systems. There is no way I would ever try to come to any conclusion in an analysis with such a massive unknown in play.

        precision is needed for the policies coming out of all this. It literally is life or death, given Biofuels caused deaths for sure. It is that important. Current and future generations ARE going to suffer and die from the policies from these green lunatics

      • @Pablo

        I am mainly interested in the combined total heat input from geothermal and volcanic activity. This is heat directly into the oceans. Massive amounts of heat we cant even measure, all we have are EXTREMELY vague estimations and NO way to validate them, none. It is entirely unknown

      • @paolo “energy from Earth’s nuclear core reaches the surface very slowly at a rate of 47 terra watts”

        How was this value calculated? What is it based on? It seems like a simple average estimate, and I fail to see how it relates to how much heat is being pumped into the ocean. Time is also a factor, how much energy and when. Given the role of ocean in temperatures, this is surely a relevant question that needs some sort of answer.

      • There seems to be a norm in climate science to ignore things we can’t put a value on (natural CO2), and yet come out them other side with certainty values, which would make these values unreliable.

      • I have no climate science skills, none, but I do have plenty of experience with identifying problems with systems and processes.

        Working this problem and not tackling this issue is like analyzing a network and ignoring a servers subnet. It’s an incomplete analysis. What use are incomplete analysis of systems in working out that system? Not much to be honest.

    • Example of completely dishonest science

      Satellite tots up volcanic heat
      “Robert Wright and Luke Flynn from the University of Hawaii in Honolulu used the NASA satellite MODIS (Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer) to measure the heat emitted by the world’s 45 most active volcanoes, ”

      http://www.nature.com/news/2004/040301/full/news040301-1.html

      As can be read there, we have absolutely NO idea on this number of energy from below

    • I do note from the Nature study
      “When Mount St Helens erupted in 18 May 1980, it released more than 10^18 joules of heat at once – about 20 times the total heat flow from all the volcanoes studied in 2001”

      How often does this happen beneath the ocean on the ridges and elsewhere. This is a lot of heat not even accounted for and it doesn’t come out at once like on land

    • https://news.uchicago.edu/article/2017/01/17/heat-earths-core-could-be-underlying-force-plate-tectonics
      Heat from Earth’s core could be underlying force in plate tectonics

      Heat driving tectonics.

      “For decades, scientists have theorized that the movement of Earth’s tectonic plates is driven largely by negative buoyancy created as they cool. New research, however, shows plate dynamics are driven significantly by the additional force of heat drawn from the Earth’s core.

      The new findings also challenge the theory that underwater mountain ranges known as mid-ocean ridges are passive boundaries between moving plates. The findings show the East Pacific Rise, the Earth’s dominant mid-ocean ridge, is dynamic as heat is transferred.

      David B. Rowley, professor of geophysical sciences at the University of Chicago, and fellow researchers came to the conclusions by combining observations of the East Pacific Rise with insights from modeling of the mantle flow there. The findings were published Dec. 23 in Science Advances.

      “We see strong support for significant deep mantle contributions of heat-to-plate dynamics in the Pacific hemisphere,” said Rowley, lead author of the paper. “Heat from the base of the mantle contributes significantly to the strength of the flow of heat in the mantle and to the resultant plate tectonics.”

      The researchers estimate up to approximately 50 percent of plate dynamics are driven by heat from the Earth’s core and as much as 20 terawatts of heat flow between the core and the mantle.

      Unlike most other mid-ocean ridges, the East Pacific Rise as a whole has not moved east-west for 50 to 80 million years, even as parts of it have been spreading asymmetrically. These dynamics cannot be explained solely by the subduction—a process whereby one plate moves under another or sinks. Researchers in the new findings attribute the phenomena to buoyancy created by heat arising from deep in the Earth’s interior.

      “The East Pacific Rise is stable because the flow arising from the deep mantle has captured it,” Rowley said. “This stability is directly linked to and controlled by mantle upwelling,” or the release of heat from Earth’s core through the mantle to the surface.

      The Mid-Atlantic Ridge, particularly in the South Atlantic, also may have direct coupling with deep mantle flow, he added.

      “The consequences of this research are very important for all scientists working on the dynamics of the Earth, including plate tectonics, seismic activity and volcanism,” said Jean Braun of the German Research Centre for Geosciences, who was not involved in the research.
      The forces at work

      Convection, or the flow of mantle material transporting heat, drives plate tectonics. As envisioned in the current research, heating at the base of the mantle reduces the density of the material, giving it buoyancy and causing it to rise through the mantle and couple with the overlying plates adjacent to the East Pacific Rise. The deep mantle-derived buoyancy, together with plate cooling at the surface, creates negative buoyancy that together explain the observations along the East Pacific Rise and surrounding Pacific subduction zones.

      A debate about the origin of the driving forces of plate tectonics dates back to the early 1970s. Scientists have asked: Does the buoyancy that drives plates primarily derive from plate cooling at the surface, analogous with cooling and overturning of lakes in the winter? Or, is there also a source of positive buoyancy arising from heat at the base of the mantle associated with heat extracted from the core and, if so, how much does it contribute to plate motions? The latter theory is analogous to cooking oatmeal: Heat at the bottom causes the oatmeal to rise, and heat loss along the top surface cools the oatmeal, causing it to sink.

      Until now, most assessments have favored the first scenario, with little or no contribution from buoyancy arising from heat at the base. The new findings suggest that the second scenario is required to account for the observations, and that there is an approximately equal contribution from both sources of the buoyancy driving the plates, at least in the Pacific basin.

      “Based on our models of mantle convection, the mantle may be removing as much as half of Earth’s total convective heat budget from the core,” Rowley said.

      Much work has been performed over the past four decades to represent mantle convection by computer simulation. Now the models will have to be revised to account for mantle upwelling, according to the researchers.

      “The implication of our work is that textbooks will need to be rewritten,” Rowley said.

      The research could have broader implications for understanding the formation of the Earth, Braun said. “It has important consequences for the thermal budget of the Earth and the so-called ‘secular cooling’ of the core. If heat coming from the core is more important than we thought, this implies that the total heat originally stored in the core is much larger than we thought.

      “Also, the magnetic field of the Earth is generated by flow in the liquid core, so the findings of Rowley and co-authors are likely to have implications for our understanding of the existence, character and amplitude of the Earth’s magnetic field and its evolution through geological time,” Braun added.

      • Mark – Helsinki on February 19, 2017 at 12:23 am

        Nobody really knows what you intended with this comment. Did you mean Earht’s core as a valuable heat source?

        The average geothermal heat flow through the earth’s crust is roughly 0.1 W/m²; the average annual solar radiation arriving at the top of the Earth’s atmosphere is roughly 1365 W/m².

        But maybe you thought of somewhat else?

      • Right at the start I said total energy output from ocean floor. I asked Roger Pielke sr about this, he said it’s a good question but didn’t know and said Geologists would better answer the question.

        My point is it that we have a lot of heat going into the ocean and it is not quantified which matters if we are trying to work ocean heat content.

      • Accounting for energy balance, and heat exchange would demand identifying and quantifying all inputs\outputs.

        I don’t see an issue with looking for precision, or as much precision as we can hope for when dealing with this topic. Ignoring elements of the problem is not good science, an example of this is the IPCC ignoring natural change and CO2.

        Now we try work out ocean heat without looking at a massive source of heat. Like with natural CO2, ocean floor heat is not measurable at present due to technical and logistical limitations.

        So should be just ignore something because we can’t currently quantify it?

      • Mark – Helsinki on February 19, 2017 at 6:03 am

        Ignoring elements of the problem is not good science, an example of this is the IPCC ignoring natural change and CO2.

        Please, Mark, manage to a least perform some diagonal lecture of this document:
        https://www.ipcc.ch/pdf/assessment-report/ar5/wg1/WG1AR5_Chapter08_FINAL.pdf

        You might at the end still have another opinion than those reflected by the persons having contributed to the document’s elaboration; but that is then a different attitude :-)

  43. Just an experience note in passing.

    On the one hand, swimming in dredger ponds in summer confirmed strongly that sunlight doesn’t heat very far down. There would be a significant thermocline at about 5-8 feet, where water went from bathtub warm to pleasant cold. Then another at about 15 feet where it became “don’t like it cold”. But that was in ponds maybe 50 meters across.

    Sailing, you find yourself bobbing up and down even when there is little local wind (waves travel a long ways). With wave heights up to 100 feet, and constant crashing on shores around the world, and with many cyclonic storms at any one time whipping things up to 150 km/hr, the notion that “mixing” is limited to the first few meters is a bit daft. Submarines hide under thermoclines a couple of hundred feet down… where did they come from?

    I think the issue of ocean mixing “needs work” just from the ignoring of cyclonic storms and long distance waves, if nothing else. Then there are places like the Drake Passage where a dramatic circumpolar current whacks into a narrow gap. This shoots a cold current right up the back of South America, and makes a nozzle jet on the other side of the strait that turns the whole south Atlantic gyre. I suspect there’s a lot of mixing and moving happening there, too.

    Is any of that enough to really matter? Instinct says so… but it would need more real data to say.

  44. Hello Mike – I don’t know if you can get my 2009 book ‘Chill: a reassessment of global warming theory’ Clairview, UK. in your part of the world, but I came to the same conclusions as you have with regard to the driving force of the warming. The ISCCP data can be combined with various sources of surface insolation data, plus a model from NASA (entitled ‘FD’), and a roughly 4 watt/square metre input figure derived for the surface of the oceans due to the 4% reduction in cloud cover. I compared this to the input calculated for CO2 but found a higher figure of about 1 watt/square metre compared to your 0.07 (but that is incremental). I am not sure the incremental value is the correct one – because the cumulative CO2 effect has not necessarily reached equilibrium. Thus, I came to about 20% as the CO2 driving force. There are appendices with data available on my website. If you can’t source the book itself – mail me (also on the website) and I would be happy to send you an e-version of the relevant chapters. The book contains all references to the science and monitoring data.

    Recently there has been some data produced for the spectrally differentiated CO2 downwelling of IR….over a ten year period, during which concentration in the atmosphere increased by 22ppmv. The increment was 0.2 watt/square metre. If that is roughly right for the 100ppmv since pre-industrial times, then it comes to about 1 watt. Interestingly the TOTAL IR downwelling – mainly water vapour, increased by 10x this amount (ie 2 watts)!!! That is way more than any model of feedback – and I have not yet had the time to investigate this little documented observation.

    As you know, cloud cover rebounded by 2% around 2001 – and that year witnessed a number of climate shifts, heralding as it did the ‘pause’. The next tranche of ISCCP data will be most useful in tracking the changes.

    You state that cloud cover changes are unlikely to drive ocean oscillations – and you may be right, and it is a carts-and-horses thing, with oscillations driving cloud cover. The Arctic Oscillation with its major rising arm from 1990-2010 was accompanied by a 14% increase in cloud cover over the Arctic – but here, cloud insulates and warms the surface! We are still ignorant of what drives longer term variation of ENSO patterns, the PDO/AMO and the long cycle from the Medieval Warm Period through the Little Ice Age to the Current Warm Period. My feeling on the latter, is that solar magnetic cycles affect far-UV/stratospheric/jetstream patterns and the long-term heat storage of the oceans; and that the former shorter cycles may be a stochastic resonance phenomenon entrained in the long term pattern.

    • Pablo,
      Taking into account your 50% figure above, and the relative area of the oceans (71%), ‘back of the envelope’ calculations suggest that the oceans receive about 37 terrawatts of internal heat. The sun provides about 36,960 terrawatts [probably an upper-bound] to the oceans. Thus, about 1/1000 of the ocean heating comes from internal heat. It is an unstated assumption that the heat from spreading centers is constant. Considering that volcanic eruptions on land are episodic, that is probably an unsupportable assumption.

      While I’m comfortable with the heat flow measurements on land, I doubt that the measurements of oceanic crust are as reliable.

    • Yes Pablo, but… this is exactly what I wrote: 100 mW is the same as 0.1 W.
      Even if you add 50% to that, you move at best up to 0.15 W/m².

      Clyde Spencer wrote the rest.

      • Just checking. LOL
        We agree its a tiny amount.
        The point is that a positive small outward flow puts a stop to any downward conduction of heat at a certain depth that is beyond the solar influence of daily/seasonal warming and cooling of the surface.
        1m for the ocean, 10m for mid-latitude land and 1m for tropical land maybe. That makes those volumes the storage heaters for the Earth which can only cool to the base temperatures set at those depths by the core’s insulation.

      • @Pablo February 20, 2017 at 12:41 am
        You’re definitely looking in the right direction. Although small, the average 100 mW/m^2 flux through oceanic crust is sufficient to warm all ocean water 1K every 5000 years or so.
        Since the seasonal warming / cooling of the oceans by the sun is restricted to the upper ~200 meters, the warm surface layer is the place where all solar energy is absorbed, to be released to the atmosphere again at the surface. This creates an effective barrier preventing bottom warmed water from reaching the surface (unless you believe in back-conduction of course ;-)
        Cooling of the deep oceans is only possible at high latitudes.

      • Ben Wouters,
        At the link you provided you state, “magma erupting continuously at plate boundaries, a small but reasonably steady flux” Considering that there is something like 45,000 miles of spreading centers, erupting over a width of a few miles, and that the temperature of the magma is very high, I’m curious how you came to the conclusion that it was a “small” flux. Have you made any calculations to estimate just what the magnitude is?

      • @Clyde Spencer February 20, 2017 at 9:05 am
        The numbers I found for magma erupting at spreading ridges are in the 2-5 km^3 range per year range.
        1 km^3 magma will warm ~1500 km^3 water 1K when cooling down to deep ocean water temperatures so
        it takes roughly 1 million km^3 magma to warm all ocean water 1K.
        Using 5 km^3/year it takes ~200.000 years to do what the geothermal flux can do in just ~5000 years.

        To me this makes it part of the continuous flux of geothermal energy that more or less maintains the deep oceans temperatures. It takes additional events like the Ontong Java one to substantially increase the deep ocean temperatures.

      • Ben,
        Assuming a spreading rate of about 2.5 cm per year, I get a surface area of about 2 km^2 of hot rocks. To get to your figure of 2 km^3 would require the assumption that water is circulating to a depth of about 1 km. That seems high to me, but I accept that it is at least in the ball park. However, the 1500:1 ratio resulting from the temperature difference apparently doesn’t take into account the difference in heat capacity of water compared to rock. Thus, I have to conclude that your statement about the contribution from spreading centers is small, as stated.

      • @Clyde Spencer February 20, 2017 at 3:06 pm
        I believe the 1500:1 ratio is correct, since I’m using volumes iso weights.
        Density of basalt is 3 times higher than that of water.
        The 1500:1 ratio comes in handy when estimating the potential effect of large magma eruptions, where the volumes are given in millions km^3.
        Volume of all ocean water is ~1400 million km^3, so 1 million km^3 magma can potentially warm all ocean water 1K.
        This makes the Ontong Java event a major driver of the temperatures in the Cretaceous imo.
        Possibly 100 million km^3 erupting in a relatively short period.
        But the geothermal flux is small but very relevant imo. It can potentially warm all ocean water from freezing to boiling in just half a million years.
        Just realize that the solar heated surface layer prevents bottom warmed water from reaching the surface, except at (very) high latitudes.

        (if you want the calculation for the 1500:1 ratio you can contact me: ben at wtrs dot nl )

      • Ben,
        OK, there may be a few loose ends on the details of the calculations. I had assumed that the 1500:1 ratio was the result of rounding up of the average temperatures of a basaltic lava or intrusive gabbroic magma. Maybe you had something else in mind. Also, as I think about it, while the average rate of spreading at spreading ridges may only be about 2.5 cm per year, individual flows may well cover much larger areas. Lastly, the specific heat of water, as I remember, is about 3X that of most rocks, meaning for equal volumes, the water will only increase its temperature 1/3 as much as a rock conducting heat away from an adjacent hot rock. How does all this come together in your analysis.

      • Clyde,
        I’m not really interested in the finer details. Mostly in ballpark numbers like 5000 years/K or the 1500:1 ratio.
        But here we go:
        Cp’s (J/kg/K): water 4200, magma 1000, basalt 1400
        Latent heat magma > basalt 400.000 J/kg

        Kg magma 1300C > 1200C: 100.000J
        Latent heat: 400.000J
        Basalt 1200C > 0C: 1.680.000J

        Total 2.180.000J for 1kg magma at 1300C cooling down to 1kg basalt at 0C.
        Can warm 519 kg water 1K.
        Density basalt 3 times that of water: 1557 m^3 water can be warmed 1K by 1m^3 magma cooling down.

        My main point is that the temperatures of the deep oceans have been and still are completely caused by geothermal energy in all its forms.
        This means that solar radiation does not have to warm a “black body” from 0K to some radiative balance temperature, but only warms a shallow layer of ocean water a bit above the deep ocean temperature.
        The resulting surface temperature then decides the energy loss via the atmosphere to space.
        The role of the atmosphere is the same as that of an isolation blanket: reducing energy loss.
        Since we arrived at the current “balanced” situation coming from much higher temperatures, the atmosphere (isolation blanket) is NOT increasing the surface temperatures.

        So no GHE.

      • Clyde Spencer February 21, 2017 at 12:55 pm
        “Also, as I think about it, while the average rate of spreading at spreading ridges may only be about 2.5 cm per year, individual flows may well cover much larger areas.”
        That’s why I make the distinction between “base warming” (geothermal flux and spreading ridges) that operates continuously and isolated events like the Ontong Java one.
        The base warming seems unable to maintain the deep ocean temperatures. We see cooling for the last 84 million years. Only large, isolated events in the million(s) km^3 range seem to increase the deep ocean (and thus surface) temperatures.

  45. Comment on your text:

    1. Most author place the definition in parenthesis when the abbreviation is first used.
    2. In discussing energy flux to and from the sea surface we would expect some mention of wavelength up front, distinguishing between visible and infrared or SW anf LW.
    3. Then you could mention some non-radiative factors, such as wind speed (cooling effect) and evaporation/rainfall (cooling/warming effect), clouds and sun angle.
    4. Now you are in a position to say that you will focus on penetration of solar radiation into the ocean and the loss of heat from the surface layer to the atmosphere and to the lower depths of the ocean.
    5. You may have to tell your readers which zones you are interested in: the mixed upper layer of the ocean (epipelagic zone) to colder deep water in the thermocline (mesopelagic zone).

    That is to set the stage. You show us the penetration of visible light by using a 3D graphic. This is familiar territory for anyone who has looked over the side of a boat in clear water: you can see things down below. This proves not only does visible light enter the water, but also it can be reflected back out of the water, one way that solar energy can leave the ocean. The other way is as thermal energy, which I discuss below.

    My own experiments were with ASTER ((Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer) datasets from a Japanese instrument fflown by NASA aboard TERRA. An ASTER dataset contains 14 spectral bands from the visible to the thermal infrared (TIR).

    I used one of the middle infrared bands to define the coastlines I was interested in because ASTER registers no middle IR from the oceans. The middle wavelengths are not emitted.

    I used TIR to define effluent from rivers where they entered the oceans because ASTER does record thermal infrared emissions. I expect there are lots of other similar uses of the TIR band.

    I regret that I cannot assess your model but hope these comments might help a little.

  46. Mike wrote: “The exact equations from here onwards get difficult, because the situation in the real ocean is fluid – pun intended – ie, the water can move, horizontally or vertically, and heat conducts through it, too, so there’s a lot more going on than just radiation. But the bottom line is that the radiation balance – the “Somehow” – comes from the top few metres of the ocean getting warmer. And if the the top few metres of the ocean get warmer then the globe gets warmer.”

    Your explanation needs to take into account the fact that seasonal warming of ocean (due to more radiation in the summer and less in the winter) extends down to about 100 m, with an average penetration depth of about 50 meters. This is called the mixed layer and it is turbulently mixed by surface winds. The mixing time is approximately a month or so. To a first approximation, all of the heat from radiative forcing is going into this layer. Using heat capacity, it is trivial to calculate that a 1 W/m2 radiative imbalance can only warm the mixed layer at an initial rate of 0.2 K/yr. However as the mixed layer warms, it starts radiating more heat to the atmosphere and then space, so a 1 W/m2 radiative FORCING soon becomes a 0.5 W/m2 IMBALANCE, then a 0.25 W/m2 imbalance etc. Heat is ALSO slowly transferred into the bulk of the ocean below the mixed layer. That is being monitored by ARGO. Right now about 0.5-0.7 W/m2 of heat from the surface is continuously leaving the mixed layer because the deep ocean hasn’t caught up with the warming that has occurred on the surface.

    When you are applying the S-B equation, you are ASSUMING radiative equilibrium – how much warming is needed to completely correct a radiative imbalance. However, an imbalance isn’t corrected instantaneously – which is what you are always wrongly assuming. Temperature change is determined in the short run by energy in minus energy out divided by HEAT CAPACITY. You live on a planet with a massive heat capacity that takes CENTURIES to warm up enough for equilibrium between incoming and outgoing radiation to be established. You and many other naively assume that such a radiative equilibrium is present after any period you choose. This is grossly flawed.

    How can ARGO show 0.5-0.7 W/m2 of heat going into the ocean – if the recent radiative forcing from rising CO2 over the last few decades is only 0.2 W/m2??????????????? To say anything sensible, you need to understand the answer to this question. The total current radiative forcing from man is supposedly about 2.2 W/m2, but the warming from this forcing is lagging several decades behind. It took a century of tiny annual increases in radiative forcing to reach 2.2 W/m2, but the earth hasn’t warmed enough to emit an extra 2.2 W/m2 (to space), because some (currently 0.5 W/m2) is going into the deep ocean. AFTER a century, we are about 75% of the way to equilibrium warming for the current forcing. The Earth’s temperature is not in equilibrium with incoming radiation – but the mixed layer and atmosphere are. We know they equilibrate with the seasons every year.

    In the case of El Nino, there is a slowing in upwelling of cold water from the deep ocean and downwelling of warm water from the surface. El Ninos are caused by a change in how existing heat in the system is distributed. This is UNFORCED variability, which is typical in systems exhibiting chaotic behavior. You can’t explain it in terms of external forcing. These chaotic fluctuation make it difficult to measure the rate at which warming from forcing occurs.

  47. Good post and very much on the right track. The oceans control everything related to global temperature and energy distribution (just look at impact of Gulf stream) ….. and unless they are understood, there is not much point worrying about CO2.

    One of the key questions is how did they achieve such a huge energy input in a short period of time to allow the world to warm 8-10 degrees to move into interglacial periods. Given the volume and specific heat capacity of water and the short time period (a couple of thousand years max), where did that energy come from.

    I think you need to look below the ocean for this answer. There are 70,000km of mid ocean ridges and enormous potential for vast heat injections via increased magmatism. Just because we can;t see it now, doesn’t mean it doesn’t happen that way. Consider a world where such magmatism occurs in pulses. Remenant magmatism of the latest pulse is what may explain the El Nino phenomena.

  48. Ben
    There are a couple of adds to this ….

    1) indeed I am talking about large scale episodic magmatic eruptions. We need to think orders of magnitude bigger than any current observable events.

    2) You have correctly calculated the amount of magma required to heat the oceanic temperature on average by 1K. But I don’t think there is any need for the whole ocean column to change T to explain difference between glacial and interglacial periods.

    Create a temperature profile for high, medium and equatorial latitudes and you can imagine that during glacial periods there is less variation between the deep and shallow layers. All that is needed is a heat transport mechanism between the deep (where the magma is erupted) and the surface layers (which control the global air temperature). Warmer water rises !

    My idea is that the majority of the water column of the oceans remains unchanged. But the transfer of heat upwards at the end of the glacial period caused by the large scale magmatic episode temporarily increases the surface water energy (top few hundred meters). That’s what starts an interglacial. Once the magmatism ceases the energy is gradually lost (with declining global temperature) until equilibrium is reached again (8 degrees colder than today). This also explains the shape of the historical global temperature plots (straight up to start an interglacial, but then following natural cooling curve downwards over much longer periods back to glacial equilibrium).

    • @ImranCan February 26, 2017 at 4:51 am

      2) The temperature of the DEEP oceans does have a direct effect on the surface temperatures, being the “base temperature” on which the sun does its warming magic.
      In the Cretaceaous the deep oceans were up to 15K warmer then today, so no ice age with its glacials/ interglacials cycles. Only with deep ocean temperatures low enough we see the start of an ice age.
      I think I have the mechanism for the glacial/interglacial cycles figured out.
      Will try to post here or someplace else.

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