Cooling Deep Oceans – and the Earth’s General Background Temperature

Guest Post by Wim Röst

Introduction

Five million years ago, average temperatures were higher than they are now. During the Pliocene, the era just before the period of the Quaternary Ice Ages, ‘glacials’ did not yet exist because temperatures were too high. As cooling of the deep seas continued, temperatures became that low that large surfaces of the Northern Hemisphere became covered with snow. The earth’s albedo grew fast and large ice sheets started to develop. Only short warm interglacials separated the glacials. The emergence of the interglacials first showed a 41,000-year period (as proposed by Milankovitch) and in the last part of the Quaternary they showed a 100,000-year pattern. A difference that so far is not well understood. Here it is suggested that the continued cooling of deep sea temperatures is the cause of that diminished frequency of interglacials. Colder deep-sea temperatures resulted in lower sea surface temperatures that lowered the atmospheric temperatures. The general background temperature of the Earth became lower and lower, changing climate processes like the glacial – interglacial rhythm. As oceans cooled, atmospheric temperatures lowered and more energy was needed to get out of the glacial state. The extra energy came from combined favourable orbital circumstances, which only happens roughly once in 100,000 years.

5 Million years of ever lower temperatures

As figure 1 shows, during the last 5 million years, deep sea temperatures are falling. This cooling does not seem to be spectacular, deep sea temperatures are going down from an average of plus 2 degrees Celsius to minus 0.25 degrees Celsius, but – as will be argued – this lowering is of the utmost importance for the development of the Earth’s climate. At certain times the lowering of deep sea temperatures is important, even when the lowering is only fractional.

Figure 1: Falling deep ocean temperatures from Pliocene (to the left) into the Pleistocene (to the right in the figure). Time from left to right, in millions of years.

Source

As shown in previous posts, the deep sea is directly connected with the sea surface by a process calledocean upwelling’ sometimes shortened to simply ‘upwelling’. The ever colder deep ocean waters are welling up into the ocean surface layer in large quantities (more than a million cubic kilometres every year). This is a relatively slow process where the cold upwelling waters are warmed by the sun.

But, the lower the starting temperature of the upwelling waters, the colder the surface layer will be. The deep sea cooled more than two degrees Celsius during this period and therefore the sea surface has also cooled.

The world ocean surface comprises 71% of the Earth’s surface and it is generally accepted that the surface (air) temperatures at sea adapt to the temperature of the underlying sea surface water. Therefore, as sea surface waters cool, the atmosphere above 71% of the Earth is cooling. Colder currents will flow to the poles and colder air will be transported to poles and continents, diminishing the warming of those surfaces too. Convection will transport less and colder air upwards. In this way, the colder deep-sea temperatures end up not only in lower sea surface temperatures but also in a colder atmosphere – all other things remaining the same.

Figure 2: Estimate of global surface temperatures from the Pliocene into the Pleistocene, in degrees Celsius. In this figure, we see the same trend in figure 1.


Source

A Deep Sea / Surface temperature Amplifier

It is interesting to see that a two degree C drop in deep sea temperature (figure 1) ends up as a 5 degree C lower surface temperature as shown in figure 2. This is a drop from 17 to 12 degrees Celsius. In this period, we see a large ‘amplification factor’ of around 2.5. A deep-sea temperature that is 0.2°C lower/higher, corresponds with a 0.5°C lower/higher surface temperature. As we shall see, the existence of this ´deep sea / surface temperature amplifier´ is important.

The ‘Earth’s General Background Temperature’

All climate processes on earth are taking place in a setting of a certain background temperature. As argued here, that general background temperature is set by the deep oceans connected with the surface layer that is connected with the atmosphere. The colder deep ocean is the cause of a colder atmosphere. Fluctuations (seasonal, annual, decadal, multidecadal, centennial, millennial) all occur against this ‘background temperature’ of the deep ocean.

The warm deep oceans fifty million years ago had an average temperature of more than 12°C (see figure 3). Those warm oceans created a completely different background temperature than our present deep oceans do. The present average temperature of all our ocean water (inclusive the warm surface layer) is only 3.9°C, the deep oceans themselves are several degrees colder. A difference of around 10°C. Therefore, our present ‘general background temperature’ is very low. Our cold oceans are even allowing glacial periods – that wouldn’t have occurred when the oceans were warmer. Our cold oceans brought us, or perhaps allowed us to have our very cold Pleistocene era. Figure 3.

(Remaining question: what made sea temperatures ending that many degrees lower after 55 million years? More about a possible / probable answer: in future posts)

Figure 3: Estimated deep ocean temperature in the last 65 million years by James Hansen et. al. 2013 Deep sea temperatures were highest 55 million years ago. In the last fifteen million years there is a nearly continuous downward trend.


From here, it is but a small step to find the solution for the 41,000 – 100,000-year problem.

The 41,000 – 100,000-year interglacial problem

During the first period of the Pleistocene interglacials, there was a 41,000-year glacial/interglacial cycle but during the last million years there was only a warmer period once every 100,000 years. See figure 4.

Figure 4: Temperature development in the last five million years according to the Antarctic Vostok Ice Core. The green lines show the 41,000 and the 100,000-year periods in the Pleistocene. The left side of the graph is the warmer Pliocene, the period that was still too warm to permit ice ages.


Source

Milankovitch’ cycles played the dominant role in taking the Earth out of the glacial state. The glacial state is the normal state in the Pleistocene. Eight or nine of every 10 years in the Pleistocene were ‘glacial years’. Very cold. With rough and very changeable weather and climates, as is shown by the high variance in temperaturereflecting frequent and turbulent climate changes.

Javier explains the change in the frequency of interglacials as follows: “The 100 kyr problem is solved because there is no 100 kyr cycle, just a 41 kyr cycle that skips one or two beats.” Italics added.

The question remains: And what causes the skipping of one or two beats?

The answer is: it is the ever lower deep ocean temperature that is translated into ever lower atmospheric temperatures that makes it more difficult to come out of that ever more dominating glacial state. Renee Hannon recently: The past four glacial cycles are increasing in duration from 89 kyrs to 119 kyrs.”

In the end of the period, because of the extreme cold of the deep sea, only the most favourable (combined) orbital conditions allow a glacial to enter the warmer interglacial state, which has more stable temperatures.

Mechanism

The difference between ‘snow’ and ‘water’ might be only one or two tenths of a degree Celsius. A temperature of + 0.1 °C means ‘melt’ and ‘rain’. A temperature of – 0.1 °C means ‘snow’ and ‘ice’.

The above-mentioned amplification factor comes into mind. Deep sea temperatures relate to (surface) air temperatures but with an amplification factor of around 2.5 for surface air. A 0.2 °C lower deep sea temperature is translated into a half degree Celsius lower atmospheric temperature. Therefore, even a difference of less than one tenth of a degree of the temperature of the deep sea can make a substantial difference in the presence of ice and snow over large Northern Hemisphere land areas. Areas that are covered with ice and snow have a much higher albedo. A rising albedo will further cool the Earth.

In this way, at a certain point, a fractional lowering of deep sea temperatures results in enhanced lowering of the Earth surface temperatures. First, because of the deep sea / surface amplification factor, and second, because of the additional ice and snow albedo amplification.

Once more the development of deep sea temperatures: figure 5.

Figure 5: Glacials and falling deep ocean temperatures from Pliocene into the Pleistocene. Glacials developed from a certain low deep ocean temperature. As cooling continued, interglacials switched their cycle from once per 41,000 years to once per 100,000 years. Added in the figure: squares and the corresponding periods below in the figure.

Source

At the start of the Pleistocene, every obliquity cycle resulted in an interglacial. But later in the period the warming effects by obliquity alone were not enough to compensate the effect of the further cooling deep sea. Some help from other factors (eccentricity, precession and possibly non-orbital factors) was needed to reach that warmer and more stable ‘interglacial state’. As Renee Hannon concludes: “During the last 450 kyrs, the five major warm onsets with rapidly increasing temperatures are triggered by increases in the eccentricity, obliquity, and precession of Earth’s orbit. The nearly concurrent increase in these three astronomical forces appears a necessary component for a major warm onset”. Italics added.

The ‘Earth’s General Background Temperature’ continuously went down. The oceans cooled and processes changed.

Holocene

The oceans gained heat content during the Holocene: deep sea temperatures rose. But since the Holocene Optimum the ocean heat uptake showed a diminishing trend. During the Little Ice Age, the oceans even experienced a net loss in heat content. Important, because now we know at what average temperatures the Earth starts cooling her oceans. Figure 6.

Figure 6: Holocene reconstructions of intermediate water temperatures. (C) Changes in Intermediate Water Temperatures (IWT) at 500 m, and (D) changes in IWT at 600 to 900 m. All anomalies are calculated relative to the temperature at 1850 to 1880 CE. Shaded bands represent T1 SD. Note the different temperature scales. Source: Rosenthal et al.


Future

Only when the trend of continuously falling deep sea temperatures ends, the Earth will continue to be able to get out of a next glacial state. But, if this ever lower deep-sea temperature trend is not changed into a stable or a rising temperature, a ‘constant glacial state’ is what we can expect somewhere in the future.

Then glacials could continue without being interrupted by an interglacial and they could keep the Earth cold for a very long time – millions of years – in a barren glacial state. Which probably will be more severe than our Last Glacial Maximum, because the strong cooling during the glacial trend will not be ended by a warming climate state that could raise the deep-sea temperature to warm the Earth for a longer period.

Perhaps our Pleistocene glacial – interglacial rhythm was just a transition period to a more constant glacial state. The 41,000 → 100,000 trend might indicate such a future.

Conclusions

During the last 15 million years deep sea temperatures were continuously falling. Because of the process of oceanic upwelling the falling deep sea temperatures made sea surface temperatures fall as well. In turn, sea surface temperatures lowered atmospheric temperatures. A small decrease in deep sea temperatures resulted in an amplified surface temperature response. Surface temperatures responded 2.5 times the deep-sea response, such that a 0.2°C cooler deep sea resulted in a 0.5°C cooler surface temperature.

At a certain point, the falling deep sea temperatures resulted in atmospheric temperatures that enabled the development of large scale Northern Hemisphere snow and ice surfaces that increased the albedo of the Earth. That albedo caused a further cooling and resulted in even more snow and ice; another amplifier. Continental ice sheets developed. That was the moment the warm Pliocene terminated and the colder Pleistocene started.

Within the Pleistocene, short warmer and more stable periods – the interglacials – were alternating with glacial periods. During an interglacial the Earth reaches the more favourable ‘normal’ pre-Pleistocene state and is warmer and much more stable. Those interglacials first happened every 41,000 years, but as the deep-sea temperatures (and so atmospheric temperatures) decreased, more favourable orbital circumstances, rather than only increasing obliquity, were needed to get out of the cold glacial climate state. Because of the colder deep oceans during the last part of the Pleistocene the Earth only succeeded every 100,000 years in creating an interglacial.

If the 15-million-year trend of ever decreasing deep sea temperatures is going to continue, somewhere in the future the Earth will not be able to create a next interglacial. Millions of years of a deep and continuing glacial state might be in the future.


With regards to commenting: please adhere to the rules known for this site: quote and react, not personal.

In commenting: please remind you are on an international website: for foreigners, it is difficult to understand abbreviations. Foreigners only understand words and (within the context) easy to guess abbreviations like ’60N’ or ‘SH’.

About the author: Wim Röst studied human geography in Utrecht, the Netherlands. The above is his personal view. He is not connected to firms or foundations nor is he funded by government(s).

Andy May was so kind to read the original text and improve the English where necessary. Thanks Andy!


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191 thoughts on “Cooling Deep Oceans – and the Earth’s General Background Temperature

  1. Very interesting read.

    “If the 15-million-year trend of ever decreasing deep sea temperatures is going to continue, somewhere in the future the Earth will not be able to create a next interglacial. Millions of years of a deep and continuing glacial state might be in the future.”
    Good question.
    Yes, earth’s climatic and temperature evolution is linear. Heidi Cullen’s missing heat is not going to make a heck of difference. Heidi got the process backwards because heidi is not familiar with the fact water more dense than air. :D

    We actually do not know what the future holds on geological time scales, and the past can’t tell you what the future holds due to the linear evolution of earth’s systems.

    I would note. 15 million years ago the atmosphere was very different too, the atmosphere is also linearly evolving. Every aspect is, geological evolution, the lot.

    Our atmosphere was far shallower in the past, that would surely also affect temperature

    • The only ting that matters is the Sun’s output. Not much point looking at ANYTHING on Earth. Such observation would be cheap and make nearly all climate “science” unwanted.

      • Geoff, The sun indeed controls much of our temperature, perhaps not so much in the way you think it does. Old Sol oft stirs up the world in its moods creating many earth-quakes much volcanic activity, mostly hidden from view under the oceans. Most of the worlds underlying warmth comes from the sun stirring our inner planet, this is the real background heat that keeps our planet from being a frozen rock. The sunshine we have each day makes our planet have life and oxygen , not so much to warm it. Go into the desert at sun down the temp will drop from 30 to 40 C to zero in about an hour. The underlying earth is what heats the oceans from the bottom up, depending on the suns moods.

  2. Doesn’t all of this assume the accuracy of the procedure by which we date the glacial/interglacial cycles? What if the cycles themselves are relatively even, and the the “switch” to 100K year cycles is an artifact of a faulty measurement process?

    • Kurt: “Doesn’t all of this assume the accuracy of the procedure by which we date the glacial/interglacial cycles?”

      WR: For example figure 6 shows that the spacing in between the warm periods is larger as time proceeds

    • But which couldn’t this increase in spacing have come from an unanticipated slow change in the rate at which sediment is deposited on the ocean floor. I looked back at the source of your FIG. 6 and the sediment seems to have come from a channel whose width or depth could have changed over time due to ocean currents.

      • Kurt: “I looked back at the source of your FIG. 6 and the sediment seems to have come from a channel whose width or depth could have changed over time due to ocean currents.”

        WR: Sorry Kurt, my fault, I meant fig. 5.

    • I’ve been looking through the sources linked in your article, and doing some Google searching, and as best I can come up with, ocean sediments are dated on a simplistic linear assumption that “x” cm equals “y” time interval, say 1cm is 10,000 years or something like that. This assumption seems silly, I can think of all kinds of reasons why the amount of sediment dumped into the oceans would change over time, and I can also imagine that as salinity of the ocean changes, the sediment suspended in the ocean will fall at different rates.

      Also, after reading the Jim Hansen paper from which FIG. 5 is drawn, the temperature calibrations for the sediment data (based on oxygen isotope ratios) also include a large number of arm-wavy assumptions that are made, not because they are likely to be true, but because the assumption had to be made in order to proceed and get an answer – any answer.

      This kind of stuff may be perfectly acceptable in an academic environment as presenting a hypothesis of historical temperature records, but I don;t think it’s the kind of information a rational person should rely on.

      • Kurt: “I’ve been looking through the sources linked in your article, and doing some Google searching, and as best I can come up with, ocean sediments are dated on a simplistic linear assumption that “x” cm equals “y” time interval, say 1cm is 10,000 years or something like that.”

        WR: There are a lot of questions around proxies. That much, that googling a bit is not sufficient for far reaching conclusions.

      • The conclusion at the end was primarily directed to Hansen’s penchant for assuming away critical issues related to the quantitative accuracy of his graphs and equations. For example, he indicated that northern latitude sediment data as a proxy for global temperatures likely understated land warming because land temperatures fluctuate more than ocean temperatures. He also indicated that northern latitude sediment data could overstate ocean warming because of its latitude. Then he just brushed both of these questions away by assuming that they canceled each other.

        Similarly, Hansen invented the distribution of changes in the sediment proxy data to assign to the period of no glaciation and the period of glaciation (an arbitrary 2-1 ratio as I recall). No particular reason for these numbers were given, he just assumed nonlinearity and implemented it with a 2-1 distribution. You’ve got to admire this guy’s analytical rigor and attention to detail.

        I absolutely agree with you – there are a lot of questions around proxies. In all the articles I read, the only ones to bother to indicate how sediment layers are assigned dates at an individual location said that the general method is to assume an unchanging rate of sedimentation and then, if possible, try to verify that assumption using other data, which may or may not be available. And the study I read that purported to combine the sediments from multiple locations into a single chronology first wiped away all the time information in the individual chronologies by shifting and stretching all the chronologies to provide a visual match, and only then tackled the problem of how to draw the time scale on the combined chronology. Once again, there were a lot of unverifiable assumptions made in this whole procedure.

        Like I said, if your goal is to use a scientific procedure to posit a reasonable hypothesis on what past temperature change might have looked like, there is nothing wrong with this. But there’s no way to confirm it, and given the assumptions that have to be made in building these chronologies there is no logical reason why anyone should rely on them as being quantitatively accurate along either axis.

      • One more thing I noticed. If you track back the top panel of FIG. 5 to the source (Hansen) and again click on the download for it to see an enlarged version, the resolution on the time axis gets higher the further back in time you go. That’s really bizarre – I mean just look at all those dark black, closely spaced squiggles five million years ago and compare it to the present.

        That instantly sets of an alarm in the back of my head that something is wrong with the time axis – that it’s getting compressed the further back in time you go.

  3. Another great article Wim – the long term reality of where climate is going which the Climagesterium have never once commented on (AFAIK).

    What in your view are the underlying reasons for the million year scale secular ocean-driven cooling trend? I can think on the following:

    – Oceanic (deep) isolation of Antarctica;
    – Push up of the Himalayas from the India collision
    – Connection of north and South America separating the Pacific from the Atlantic
    – Contracting of the larger more open central Tethys ocean to the present smaller and enclosed Mediterranean;
    – Possibly Veizer’s hypothesis that the planet cools as it enters a volume of “dirty” space with higher cosmic particle and radiation flux, to nucleate clouds ☁️ and cool climate.

    • Thank you ptolemy2!

      All of the reasons you mention play their role in the general million scale cooling trend. And there are even more reasons. But my personal choice for the most important one of the by you mentioned options would be “Contracting of the larger more open central Tethys ocean to the present smaller and enclosed Mediterranean”.

      In the next post(s) I will explain why. Of course everyone already can make his guesses why this could be the best choice: will be interesting to read. The next post is in preparation, might take a week or so to publish.

      • One theory is that, as the space between North and South America closed, it forced ocean currents into a more north-south direction. That is thought to have had a huge effect on the climate.

        Scientists believe the formation of the Isthmus of Panama is one of the most important geologic events to happen on Earth in the last 60 million years. link

        Currently an important way the planet loses heat is by atmospheric and oceanic transport to the arctic where it is radiated to space. Because of ocean and atmospheric currents, and because it is high, Antarctica gets less heat. I wonder if glaciation could cause a similar effect in the arctic. In that scenario the planet would lose less heat through the arctic and would therefore start to warm.

      • Yes but only the equator would warm, creating more clouds reflecting more sun light, lowering total energy input into the system. Hench a steady state glacation. With warm equatorial regions and cold ice covered northern and southern regions.

      • Commie,

        The climate history of the Cenozoic Era is largely down to tectonics.

        The Early Eocene probably enjoyed highest mean annual temperatures of the Era, at about 30° C; with relatively low temperature gradients from pole to pole (equanimity) and high precipitation in an essentially ice-free world.

        Land connections existed between Antarctica and Australia, between North America and Europe via Greenland, and probably between North America and Asia across the Bering Strait, despite high sea level. It was an important time of plate boundary rearrangement, in which the patterns of spreading centers and transform faults were changed, causing significant effects on oceanic and atmospheric circulation and temperature.

        In the middle Eocene, the separation of Antarctica and Australia opened a deep water passage between those two continents, initiating the Circum-Antarctic Current. This changed oceanic circulation patterns and global heat transport, resulting in the global cooling event observed at the end of the Eocene.

        By the Late Eocene, the new ocean circulation resulted in a significantly lower mean annual temperature, with greater variability and seasonality worldwide. The lower temperatures and increased seasonality drove increased body size of mammals, and caused a shift towards increasingly open savanna-like vegetation, with a corresponding reduction in forests.

        At the Eocene-Oligocene boundary, the deep channels formed between Antarctica and both South America and Australia led to build up of ice into sheets on the now isolated continent. A passing tectonic plate in the Drake Passage during the Miocene temporarily shoaled the Southern Ocean, causing reduction of Antarctic ice. But it bounced back in the Pliocene and especially Pleistocene.

        The drying out of the world however continued in the Miocene and Pliocene, with further spread of grasslands at the expense of forests. In Africa, mammals adapted to grasslands, for example, with the evolution of ruminant artiodactyls, eg antelopes like wildebeest, at the expense of rhinos and zebras, and to ground-dwelling monkeys and apes, leading eventually to baboons and humans.

        As you note, around 3 Ma, during the Pliocene, the Inter-American Seaway closed at the Isthmus of Panama. This interrupted circum-tropic ocean current circulation, carrying moisture poleward, leading to the glacial cycle in the Northern Hemisphere.

      • I should have added that the opening of the Rift Valley also contributed to separating woodier West and Central Africa from grassier South and East. Chimps and gorillas survived west of the Rift, while bipedal hominids dominated the east and south.

      • I agree with Bill Illis below that the figure I cited of 30 degrees C is too high. But it was hot. Here is the planet at 50.2 Ma:

    • ptolemy2

      Possibly Veizer’s hypothesis that the planet cools as it enters a volume of “dirty” space with higher cosmic particle and radiation flux, to nucleate clouds ☁️ and cool climate.

      Do you have a link to this? It’s something I’ve wondered about since the 1960s and listening to a scifi drama on BBC radio about the earth entering an inter-stellar dust cloud and being invaded by Europans who could deal with deep deep cold. Basically a War of The Worlds scenario, unfortunately I can’t remember how Earth survived.

    • ptolemy2,
      Your last suggestion seems to be conflating two different hypotheses. Veizer’s hypothesis, which is relatively new, does involve cosmic rays/particles. However, there is an even older hypothesis that, as the Earth rotates around the galaxy, it encounters a region that actually has a high enough level of ‘dust’ to dim sunlight.

      • A newer and hopefully more accurate hypothesis is that global cloudiness is altered by the sun changing ozone concentrations in the stratosphere differently above poles and equator (via wavelength and particle effects on the balance of ozone creation/destruction) so as to alter the gradient of tropopause height between equator and poles when the level of solar activity varies.
        Wilde’s hypothesis :)

  4. “Deep sea temperatures relate to (surface) air temperatures but with an amplification factor of around 2.5 for surface air. A 0.2 °C lower deep sea temperature is translated into a half degree Celsius lower atmospheric temperature. Therefore, even a difference of less than one tenth of a degree of the temperature of the deep sea can make a substantial difference in the presence of ice and snow over large Northern Hemisphere land areas.”

    This doesn’t sound right. There is no reason why deep sea temperature being more or less than 0C should relate to ice and snow on land. With upwelling there is mixing and it won’t be at that temperature when it reaches the surface. And even if it were, the only thing that counts is the amount of cooling it can provide, which is determined by its sensible heat (or lack thereof). The land ice latent heat stabilizes the temperature, but that is not connected with the upwelling being above or below 0C.

    It’s worth showing the rest of Hansen’s Fig 3, which shows a dip below zero at the last glacial maximum, but a rise to 1°C now.

    .

    • Nick Stokes: “There is no reason why deep sea temperature being more or less than 0C should relate to ice and snow on land.”

      WR: The quoted words above are your words, not mine. Mine are: “Therefore, even a difference of less than one tenth of a degree of the temperature of the deep sea can make a substantial difference in the presence of ice and snow over large Northern Hemisphere land areas.”

      It is not important at which deep sea temperatures ice and snow will be formed. The only fact that is important is, that at a certain (!) deep sea temperature the surface becomes that cold that massive ice and snow formation starts. With this in mind, the whole graphic is interesting, indeed.

      • Wim,
        “The quoted words above are your words, not mine.”
        Well, your words included:
        “The difference between ‘snow’ and ‘water’ might be only one or two tenths of a degree Celsius. A temperature of + 0.1 °C means ‘melt’ and ‘rain’. A temperature of – 0.1 °C means ‘snow’ and ‘ice’.”
        If the amplification isn’t related to phase change and associated temperatures, what is it? You’ve mentioned snow albedo, but that is a feedback for any kind of warming. Where does that 2.5 factor come from?

      • I’m confused. The portion Nick Stokes quoted (in italics) is in paragraph 2 under the heading ‘Mechanism’. Am I missing something?

      • Nick Stokes August 13, 2017 at 5:12 am: “Where does that 2.5 factor come from?”

        WR: From here in the text: “It is interesting to see that a two degree C drop in deep sea temperature (figure 1) ends up as a 5 degree C lower surface temperature as shown in figure 3”.

        Deep sea temperatures are going down two degrees C during this period. The atmospheric consequence over the same period is a 5 degrees lower temperature. For this period as a whole the atmosphere reacts on the colder deep sea (and the lowering sea surface temperatures) with a 2.5 times stronger fall in average surface temperatures. Just reading the graphics.

        I see you understand my words “The difference between ‘snow’ and ‘water’ might be only one or two tenths of a degree Celsius. A temperature of + 0.1 °C means ‘melt’ and ‘rain’. A temperature of – 0.1 °C means ‘snow’ and ‘ice’.” as if I am still speaking about average temperatures on a large time scale.

        Perhaps I was not clear enough, but I just tried to explain that in daily (!) life small temperature differences at a certain point (!) might have big consequences.

        As the deep sea temperatures are related to atmospheric temperatures, in the end even a fractional lower deep sea temperature will bring the Earth to the point that the atmosphere cools that much, that ice ages (glacials) become possible. In fact the question is answered: ‘Can a fractional lower deep sea temperature have a main influence on atmospheric temperatures?’ And the answer is “Yes”. Normally because of the amplification factor the effect of cooling seas on the atmosphere will be larger than we expect. And the more this is the case as snow and ice become involved.

        Small changes in the deep ocean temperatures have important consequences for the Earth climates.

      • Nick is properly looking for a physical explanation of the observed 2.5x amplification. In the context of this paper it would be the nature of the mixing, with the cold abyssal water having a net 2.5x advantage over solar warmed surface water.

        For why the abyssal water has been cooling constantly for 55 million years and generally for a hundreed million years since the mid Cretaceous, we eagerly await the next post in this fine series.

  5. Ice ages are far from barren globally. The rising and falling of sea levels from the stadials and interstadials of the Carboniferous ice age produced the sandwich layering of huge coal deposits within alternating marine and terrestrial sediments.

    Tropical temperatures remain much the same. It is the tropical to polar temperature gradient that changes.

    • Pablo: “Ice ages are far from barren globally”

      WR: “barren” might be ‘cold’ or might be ‘dry’. During the glacials evaporation diminished strongly and the result was that deserts were covering large parts of the planet. Remaining tropical rainforest just covered small parts of the tropics. Ice sheets covered large parts, tundra and deserts covered much of the rest of the world. See for example:

      • The map above is obviously from a previous glaciation where the earth’s plants did not have access to enough CO2 to use water efficiently.

    • Yes, least we forget that humans evolved in warm climates over the last few million years without regard to “average global” temperatures.

  6. I can’t see the logic in this idea surely if cold water upwells from ocean water that is not warmed by sunlight to surface ocean water that is heated by solar radiation then that water will begin to be heated by solar radiation and the water that down wells from the surface water will cool when it is no longer heated by solar radiation the overall temperature of the ocean must depend on the amount of solar radiation entering the ocean and that is all.

    • Donald Penman “the overall temperature of the ocean must depend on the amount of solar radiation entering the ocean and that is all”.

      WR: That is what nearly everyone thinks until now, I think. But on a million year scale other factors play their role. As the last 55 million years the amount of incoming solar radiation did not change that much, other factors have to be important to explain the colder seas. See my next posts.

    • Obviously there have been massive changes on longer time scales, from hundreds of years (LIA, MWP,etc.) to thousands ( glacial, interglacial) to millions of years (long term cooling, geologic changes, solar evolution, orbital change). In that context we are still just taking baby steps toward a possible comprehensive understanding of the world’s climate and weather.
      In most such situations where we seek a deeper knowledge, we start with the big picture. Once we have a reasonable understanding of the major factors we work on the smaller pieces of the puzzle, until we begin to have confidence that we can make and test predictions.
      Climate science has very purposefully inverted this process in pursuit of political objectives. Perhaps “perverted”would be a better word. The utter failure of mainstream climate science to recognise the role of the deep oceans in modulating surface climate is just one instance of their purblind obstinance. Another is their failure to recognise that CO2 levels fell as ocean water cooled and they rise as oceans warm. This is a function of solubility but the dead minded chant of the cs Mafia is of course that everything is caused by CO2, CO2, CO2.
      I think Wim has provided a well thought out and well presented discussion of information that informs the higher order of questions regarding the science and I found it extremely enlightening and I appreciate his efforts very much!
      For my first question I apparently have an answer coming in Wim’s next post.
      Second question: How does your hypothesis explain why it is necessary to destroy Capitalism and tear world order to pieces? And how can one get elected (or rich), (your choice), by scaring the begeesus out people with this information?

  7. I’m guessing that the trigger for the cooling of the deep oceans was plate tectonics altering the oceans’ currents? Isn’t it a good job that there are humans on Earth able to create warming and avert another Iceball?

  8. Wim Röst, which parts of this are basic geology and what is your own work here?

    ‘the Earth starts cooling her oceans. Figure 6.’

    Gender of rock found? :)

    • Hugs,
      Gaia is generally considered feminine — Mother Earth and all that! Nothing new here, move on.

      • What’s wrong with ‘it’? I really find it weird to assign gender on some random words. Germans otoh are more logical. They insist everything (well but children) has a gender.

  9. Hugs: “Wim Röst, which parts of this are basic geology and what is your own work here? ‘the Earth starts cooling her oceans. Figure 6.’”

    WR: Figure 6 is about cooling oceans during the Holocene. During the Little Ice Age you can see that the green and the blue line dive below 0, which means that the deeper ocean is losing heat.

    My work was reading the graphic.

    • Hum yes, I meant which major parts of the whole story were something you came up with, and which are common knowledge. I can somewhat see that, but not well since I’m not a specialist here.

      • Hugs: “I meant which major parts of the whole story were something you came up with, and which are common knowledge”

        WR: The facts (graphics) that I demonstrate are all well known. But I think I am making many different conclusions on the same facts because I combine them in a different way.

        For example, regional (!) temperature and climate effects of cold upwelling are mentioned in the literature, but not the effects of ‘changes in upwelling’ on global temperatures and global climates. There is more attention in the literature for the role of upwelling for fishery.

        The long term cooling of the oceans is well known, but the direct and indirect effect on sea surface temperatures and on atmospheric temperatures are not described in the way as I did, at least not as far as I know. The term ‘General Background Temperature of the Earth’ as set by the deep sea temperature is mine, but perhaps something like this is hidden somewhere in the models or elsewhere, I don’t know. For me the fact that I realised that every geological period knows its average atmospheric temperatures as set by the deep oceans was important enough for me to give it a name. Processes change as the background temperature changes.

        In general: we know that the oceans play an important role in climate. But how, according to what principles and by what mechanisms is less known. Trying to find it out in my own way I discovered things I did not read about elsewhere. Those things I am writing about.

        I don’t know exactly what is described in literature. I am reading literature about subjects, but in the first place I am searching (via Google Images) for maps and figures, graphics and tables about subjects that I think that are interesting and / or important. I try to understand the facts that I find and I try to combine the different information. Where needed I start reading.

        I try to understand the oceans with my own feeling for what is logical. And most times I am checking the arising thoughts if possible. Besides that, I am using my own experience with ‘water’. Living in a country (Holland) with a lot of canals and lakes I experienced ‘water’ all my life. Fishing, swimming, sailing, rowing and skating. Building sand castles at the beach during low tide and waiting for the high tide to see them destroyed by the power of water. And not to forget I experienced water by bicycling against wind and rain. I think this all helps to imagine what is happening with water and the elements.

        So, to be honest I don’t exactly know what is 100% original mine and what is not. But for me the fact that I nowhere discovered a coherent view on the functioning of the oceans in the way that I can imagine that they do function, is the reason for me to write about it. I try to concentrate on elements that I think that are lacking in (general) knowledge. And are important for understanding ‘climate’.

      • Here is an article that you may find interesting. Whenever you read about massive ocean heating (e.g., Antarctica, the Arctic), search for the location of undersea volcanoes and vents, as well as local currents. A few years ago, I read an Icelandic oceanographer’s claim that ocean acidification due to climate change had caused codfish stocks to disappear from an area north of Iceland. Sure enough, I checked the geologic maps and the area cited was close to an area of undersea volcanic activity.

        http://www.nytimes.com/1995/04/25/science/hot-vents-in-the-sea-floor-may-drive-el-nino.html?pagewanted=all

  10. Clearly all of the money currently being used to subsidize renewable energy sources should be put into fast breeder reactors whose sole purpose is to warm deep ocean water. We’ve probably got enough time to avert the next glaciation if we start immediately. :-)

      • You are not kidding. If we start to get glaciation in North America, the thing to do would be to fly drones over the ice fields and have them deposit carbon dust all over the place.

  11. Wim, would you comment (in your next post) on the possibility that a steady decrease in the “upwelling” of magma through the thin crust of the ocean floor has contributed to steady decline of deep ocean temperatures.

    Is there any evidence of a decrease in the amount of new basalt or related rock layers formed in the last 15 million years vs. prior periods of that duration ?

    • Alternatively perhaps the number of deep sea vents spewing superheated ocean water has declined from millions to the few 100 (?) known today over the course of the last 15 million years.

      Would there be any geological evidence remaining of those defunct vents in the deep ocean trenches if that had occurred?

    • ThinAir: “Wim, would you comment (in your next post) on the possibility that a steady decrease in the “upwelling” of magma through the thin crust of the ocean floor has contributed to steady decline of deep ocean temperatures”

      WR: The above is not gonna be subject of my next post. There is a certain warming of the oceans from below, sure. Ben Wouters* calculated that it takes 5000 years to have the temperature of the oceans temperature risen with one degree C. But during that 5000 years of warming, the Earth also has 5000 years to get rid of that extra energy. The process(es) that make the oceans cool or warm are more massive. Under certain circumstances those processes have a final cooling effect, under other circumstances there will be a final warming of the oceans.

      * https://wattsupwiththat.com/2016/12/26/warming-by-less-upwelling-of-cold-ocean-water/#comment-2385507

    • ThinAir August 13, 2017 at 4:53 am

      the possibility that a steady decrease in the “upwelling” of magma through the thin crust of the ocean floor has contributed to steady decline of deep ocean temperatures.

      Imo it is the other way around.
      The deep oceans were very hot during their creation, since they were sitting on more or less bare magma. Since then their temperatures have been maintained by:
      – geothermal flux ( ~100 mW/m^2) capable of warming all ocean water 1K every ~5000 years
      – magma at spreading ridges, capable of warming all ocean water 1K every ~200.000 years
      – large magmatic events like the Ontong Java one (~100 million km^3).
      The first two are reasonably steady, and are balanced by cold water sinking to the ocean floor, presently mostly around Antarctica. The result is a VERY slow cooling apparently (1K every 2-5 million years)
      Latest warming occurred prior ~85 mya by a number of large magmatic events. Oceans have been cooling down again since then, interrupted by a few smaller warming events.
      Unless another (very) large magmatic event comes along, earth will sink away into a permanent glacial.

      So the temperature of the deep oceans is maintained by geothermal energy only, and forms the base temperature to which the sun adds its energy, increasing only the temperature of the upper 200 meters or so.

      For reference: 1 million km^3 magma cooling down in the oceans has enough energy to warm ALL ocean water 1K.

  12. “Some help from other factors (eccentricity, precession and possibly non-orbital factors) was needed to reach that warmer and more stable ‘interglacial state’. As Renee Hannon concludes: “During the last 450 kyrs, the five major warm onsets with rapidly increasing temperatures are triggered by increases in the eccentricity, obliquity, and precession of Earth’s orbit.”

    Orbital mechanics most assuredly play a major role in planetary climate, also cycles which the Sun passes through, increased and decreased output on specific wavelengths over decades long periods, would have appreciable effects. We are only now, with orbital based observation/data collection, beginning to gain an understanding of the cycles Sol herself undergoes. Our scientific database concerning Sol is exceedingly meager and her effect on Earth’s climate should not be left out. I look forward to your future posts.

  13. The oceans would get deeper if continents were colliding and forming high mountains out of seabed mantle simply because the area of the earth covered by ocean would be less and the oceans would have less volume heated by solar radiation. A world covered by shallow oceans would be warmer than today where we have the Atlantic and the pacific ocean opening because of plate tectonics.

  14. Just noting that there is a calibration problem in the Figure 3 from Hansen regarding the Eocene temperatures.

    The dO18 isotopes that Hansen’s reconstruction comes from, go back billions of years. When you extend this record past Hansen’s cut-off date, you find that the methodology falls apart and you get wildly high temperatures in the distant past for example.

    Eocene temperatures were +6.0C not +12.0C and one can see what the problem is in this chart.

    • Bill Illis: “there is a calibration problem in the Figure 3 from Hansen regarding the Eocene temperatures”

      WR: Thank you Bill. It is good to keep your correction in mind. Figures 1,2 and 5 are also from Hansen.

      Figure 5 is from Wikipedia. The correct link is the following: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geologic_temperature_record#/media/File:Five_Myr_Climate_Change.png
      And the text belonging to that figure is:
      “Reconstruction of the past 5 million years of climate history, based on oxygen isotope fractionation in deep sea sediment cores (serving as a proxy for the total global mass of glacial ice sheets), fitted to a model of orbital forcing(Lisiecki and Raymo 2005)[2] and to the temperature scale derived from Vostok ice cores following Petit et al. (1999).”

      • Zachos did it right. Hansen did it it Fake.

        Really? Zachos shows a temperature of ~12ºC at 50Ma, Hansen shows the same value and quotes Zachos (2001). You show ~5ºC at 50 Ma disagreeing with both Zachos and Hansen so you’ll need to come up with something better than that!

      • Phil in reaction to Bill Illis: “You show ~5ºC at 50 Ma disagreeing with both Zachos and Hansen so you’ll need to come up with something better than that!”

        WR: I am reading all remarks of Bill Illis with much attention. Why? Because he knows what he talks about, he is well informed and he is someone who is searching for the truth, also the truth behind the demonstrated data. Asking questions about the information he gives often leads to an interesting answer. But I suppose that the way the above question is formulated (“you’ll need to come up with something better than that!”) will not stimulate him to give an answer. Which is a missed chance to become better informed.

      • Interesting, I asked Illis where he had published his critique of the Zachos calibration which Hansen used, instead of ‘better informing’ us Illis came up with ‘Zachos did it right, Hansen did it Fake.’ So we are not going to get ‘an interesting answer’, he has no answer. Hansen and Zachos both get the same answer, a different one from his, without some justification by him my position is that Zachos and Hansen got it right and Illis did it Fake.

      • Phil. August 16, 2017 at 7:43 am “without some justification by him my position is that Zachos and Hansen got it right and Illis did it Fake”

        WR: Phil, without some justification you are taking the position that someone did it fake.

        That tells something about your way of working, not about that of Bill Illis.

      • Wim Röst August 16, 2017 at 8:35 am
        Phil. August 16, 2017 at 7:43 am “without some justification by him my position is that Zachos and Hansen got it right and Illis did it Fake”

        WR: Phil, without some justification you are taking the position that someone did it fake.

        That was Illis’s assertion, he said that despite Zachos and Hansen having the same results that Zachos did it right but Hansen did it fake. He refused to justify his results which differed from theirs so I see no evidence to suggest that Zachos (and Hansen) didn’t do it right.

  15. “As shown in previous posts, the deep sea is directly connected with the sea surface by a process called ‘ocean upwelling’ sometimes shortened to simply ‘upwelling’. The ever colder deep ocean waters are welling up into the ocean surface layer in large quantities (more than a million cubic kilometres every year). This is a relatively slow process where the cold upwelling waters are warmed by the sun.

    But, the lower the starting temperature of the upwelling waters, the colder the surface layer will be. The deep sea cooled more than two degrees Celsius during this period and therefore the sea surface has also cooled.”

    I’m puzzled why you ignore the equal volume of downwelling waters the effect on the surface temperature will depend on the difference between the temperatures of the downwelling and upwelling fluxes.
    A correct statement would be: the deep sea is directly connected with the sea surface by the processes of ocean upwelling and downwelling.

    • Phil: “A correct statement would be: the deep sea is directly connected with the sea surface by the processes of ocean upwelling and downwelling.”

      WR: 10 Points!

      • Phil: “So why do you ignore downwelling in your analysis?”

        WR: My analysis is written down in a series of posts. And I am not yet finished.

      • WR: My analysis is written down in a series of posts. And I am not yet finished.

        They are both parts of the same process how can you treat them separately?

    • When relatively large quantities of relatively cold water rise to the surface displace relatively large quantities of warmer surface water, it cools the atmosphere and warms the deep ocean. That should be pretty clear. He’s not getting paid by the column inch. If you want a million words of drivel pick up any paper from the “hockey team”. They actually do get paid to write drivel. And lies, I forgot lies. So you get two for the same price with them.

    • Phil
      If you are talking about upwelling and downwelling as just opposites of the same process, in a “what goes up must come down” way, it suggests that you are turning your mind to the phenomenon of oceanic deep circulation for the first time. With extraordinary naivety.
      Which I find surprising.
      Better late than never to educate yourself – with Wim’s help – that important climatic processes are driven by the ocean, not atmosphere.

      • ptolemy2 August 14, 2017 at 10:06 am
        Phil
        If you are talking about upwelling and downwelling as just opposites of the same process, in a “what goes up must come down” way, it suggests that you are turning your mind to the phenomenon of oceanic deep circulation for the first time. With extraordinary naivety.

        Far from it, it’s the Continuity equation which is a fundamental tenet of fluid mechanics, and is derived from mass conservation!


        Better late than never to educate yourself – with Wim’s help – that important climatic processes are driven by the ocean, not atmosphere.

        That continuity applies says nothing about what drives the process. The key fact is that you can not separate the upwelling from the downwelling, the net mass flow must be zero. Take the deep ocean water as your control volume, the outflow to the surface equals the inflow from the surface. Naively assuming that because the upwelling flow is colder than the surface locally does not mean that the balancing flow from say the polar region has to be warmer as Wim does. They can’t be separated.

      • Phil. August 16, 2017 at 7:27 am: “Naively assuming that because the upwelling flow is colder than the surface locally does not mean that the balancing flow from say the polar region has to be warmer as Wim does.”

        WR: “has to be warmer as Wim does”. Please quote my words when you think I have said so.

        Downwelling and upwelling equal in volume. But both processes are driven by other mechanisms. Therefore you have to look at them separately.

  16. The difference between ‘snow’ and ‘water’ might be only one or two tenths of a degree Celsius. A temperature of + 0.1 °C means ‘melt’ and ‘rain’. A temperature of – 0.1 °C means ‘snow’ and ‘ice’.

    One minor buggaboo in this statement. You forgot the Latent Heat of Fusion. It takes 144 BTUs/# to convert ice to water or water to ice for the state change. In other words once the state change has occurred it takes a lot of heat transfer to switch back, giving a significant time delay for the transition. This delay is the stability of the temperature regime.

    Second, you got to the point of recognizing that obliquity gets the earth out of the glacial once every three or four times. You dance around or rather gloss over the inferred reality, that every ice age starts when obliquity drops below 23.5 degrees as we have now. Maybe you will get to that in future discussions. Apologies if I steal your thunder. However, we have a climate emergency about to happen that civilization is NOT ready to handle due to Al Gore’s greed and stupidity.

    Looking at the figures presented on glacial and interglacial vegetation cover, the Russians and Iranians are in a terrible climatic bind within their borders. This means they will be forced to either shed population to other countries OR go to war to seize better land to feed their populations. Power = Population, dictators don’t willingly allow their populations to leave because it reduces their power. Russian scientists have already predicted a return of the LIA, so they know what is coming, Crimea was the opening foray.

    • dscott: “You dance around or rather gloss over the inferred reality, that every ice age starts when obliquity drops below 23.5 degrees as we have now. Maybe you will get to that in future discussions.”

      WR: I learned from Javier that it is the drop in obliquity that signals the ending of the interglacials, but with a time delay of 6.500 years. That means that we must ‘soon’ (in geological terms) experience the effect of cooling because of the change in obliquity.

      My personal opinion is, that LIA might be the first sign of the enhancing variability that we will see as we are heading into the direction of the next glacial. And the consequent (relatively rapid) warming after the LIA (last century) could be the second sign of a greater variability. We could be warned by that.

      • Wim

        Nice article.

        I wrote about the LIA here

        https://judithcurry.com/2015/02/19/the-intermittent-little-ice-age/

        I was surprised by two things;

        Firstly, that the LIA was intermittent rather than the one long deep freeze lasting centuries it is often typified by.

        Secondly, by the extremes during the early parts of the period which saw huge variations in temperature even during one season, but certainly over a decade.

        By contrast I would say the climate for the last century is rather benign and largely absent of these extremes.

        So whether we are seeing the variability you speak of, or whether that has now passed is open to question although in geological terms we MIGHT be on a downward path, in human terms our climate is currently rather stable.

        tonyb

      • Tony, as I wrote in my post “Warm is stable, cold is climate change” more variance (extremes) belong to colder periods. And indeed, our present climate is rather benign. It is the only climate in which we can feed our future 9 billion people: in the glacial state we absolutely could not.

        The variability of the cold LIA / Warm 20th Century I am speaking about, is the big wave of colder and warmer average (!) temperatures that is ‘more wavy’ than what we have seen during the thousands of years behind us when Holocene temperatures were higher. Looking at that (!) time scale (thousands of years), variation is augmenting in my opinion. A period of stronger cooling than before (LIA), a period of stronger warming than before (20th century).

    • dscott August 13, 2017 at 5:28 am
      ” You dance around or rather gloss over the inferred reality, that every ice age starts when obliquity drops below 23.5 degrees as we have now. Maybe you will get to that in future discussions. Apologies if I steal your thunder. However, we have a climate emergency about to happen that civilization is NOT ready to handle due to Al Gore’s greed and stupidity. ”

      While I agreed with your characterization of Algore, a change of one degree in obliquity takes about 8500 years. So I don’t think we have a climate “emergency” regarding glaciation starting, as you claim, when obliquity drops below 23.5 degrees. Plus , as Leif and others point out, eccentricity will be low for the next 40-50,000 years helping to moderate the effect of the lower obliquity and the precession cycles.

      • Tom in Florida: “Plus , as Leif and others point out, eccentricity will be low for the next 40-50,000 years helping to moderate the effect of the lower obliquity and the precession cycles.”

        WR: Tom, just a question. What about the fact that there is (1) a delay in the effect of obliquity and (2) already a cooling down of the oceans during the Little Ice Age?

        Although I agree with the thought that tomorrow we are not going to have a climate emergency because of cooling, cooling is a more serious problem than warming and it could be more near than we think, just because of that delay. The ‘deep down’ of the obliquity curve is not felt yet.

      • Why do you refer to a “delay” in the obliquity effects? According to the obliquity theory of glaciation, as I understand it, when obliquity is less than 23.5 degrees more solar energy is lost to space than is absorbed by the Earth causing cooling in the higher latitudes. When obliquity is higher than 23.5 degrees more solar energy is absorbed by the Earth than is lost to space causing warming in the higher latitudes. The cooling starts exactly when the energy out is greater than energy in. While the balance grows closer to equilibrium as obliquity nears 23.5 degrees (from both directions) until that equilibrium is met, the Earth will continue to heat or cool (again depending on the directional change). So even though the difference becomes smaller and smaller approaching the 23.5 degree mark, the actual change happens at the time the change happens.
        Regarding the LIA, there are so many factors involved, some known and some theorized. Tying the LIA to obliquity change seems quite a stretch.
        And to conclude, yes I agree that cooling will be the bigger problem than any human induced warming but not in my life time, or my kids, or their kids, or their kids. If allowed, the technology of their times will prevail so not to worry so much.

      • Tom in Florida: “Why do you refer to a “delay” in the obliquity effects” and “The cooling starts exactly when the energy out is greater than energy in”

        WR: That delay is shown in the temperature behaviour of the Earth. Javier wrote about it. Temperatures are going down around 6500 year after obliquity passed its point of highest influence. As the Earth as a whole not directly starts warming as soon as obliquity is going up, it does do the same as obliquity is going down. My guess is that warming has to be translated first in a warming (deep) ocean and second in a cooling (deep) ocean. That takes time, because the oceans are more than 1.3 billion cubic kilometres.

        Second, there is a difference in ‘climate state’. The climate state at the cold glacial maximum for example results in less evaporation and so in less clouds. The incoming solar radiation has another effect than when seas are warmer and evaporation higher: there will be more clouds, more reflection. The same sun energy will have a different result.

        The same for zonal effects. Heating one place / zone of the Earth will give a different net result in temperature as heating another place / zone of the Earth.

        Looking at the final results, Javier concluded that there is a delay of 6500 years between the downturn of obliquity and the final temperature effect.

        And about LIA: Earth changes its climate system as insolation changes. Finally, obliquity results in a climate state (cold) that is characterized by a higher variance. Looking at the temperature reconstructions for the Holocene, I think the last centuries already show that higher variance – the first steps. Down and Up.

      • Javier has been wrong about a lot of things, especially in a post not long ago where he was trying to compare the difference in climate when the orbital parameters of now and 10,000 years ago were nearly the same. He conveniently left out the direction of the change where 10,000 years ago climate was going from cold to warm and now when it is already warm. Still don’t know why you and he insist there must be a lag. It is just a matter of which is dominate, more energy in or more energy out. And we still have about 1700 years before we hit the theoretical equilibrium obliquity of 23.3 degrees. So there is no reason why the Earth should not be still warming slightly. Of course this is a very general point because there is no consideration of the effects of precession and eccentricity included.

      • The delay is due to the Latent Heat of Fusion. I.e. the change of state from water to ice. Whether it is 6500 or 8500 years, that time scale is to the bottom which is a downward trend in temperatures. Any percentage rounded in whole numbers on the trend to the bottom is going to have very bad effects. The plant hardiness zones will move very quickly toward the equator. The mild cooling of the LIA was a catastrophe in Europe.

  17. Interesting and plausible suggestion for the change to ice ages on a 100,000 year timescale.
    As for the underlying background temperature that is determined at any given level of insolation and albedo by the weight of the atmosphere pressing down on the ocean surface.
    That weight determines the latent heat of evaporation and so sets the energy content that the ocean must acquire to make evaporation sufficient to balance solar shortwave energy into the oceans with energy losy by the oceans to the atmosphere.

    http://www.newclimatemodel.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/TheSettingAndMaintainingOfEarth.pdf

    • Allan wrote:
      “1. Moderate global cooling that is probably imminent, based on the reduced solar activity of SC24 and projections of another weak SC25. Ironically, the warmists have compromised our energy systems just in time for global cooling.”

      John Harmsworth wrote:
      “Here’s a scenario for us all to consider:
      Widespread hunger and food price inflation due to late spring and early fall frosts. Subsidies are removed for ethanol crops and oil prices go up. Fracking and oil sands expansion are demanded for energy security (does anybody seriously think solar or wind is going to work?).
      Massive explosion as millions of eco-Socialist heads come apart simultaneously!”

      Allan again:
      Thank you John H. Your scenario has a good chance of occurring. We made eight predictions in our debate with the Pembina Institute in 2002,and all eight have materialized in those states that embraced global warming mania. In comparison, none of the scary predictions of Pembina and the IPCC have happened – they have a perfect NEGATIVE predictive track record. Hence, nobody should believe anything they say.

      We made one more published prediction in 2002 – for moderate global cooling to start in 2020-2030. I hope to be wrong about this cooling, because humanity suffers in cooling climates. However, the weak SC24 and predicted weak SWC25 – neither of which were forecast in 2002 – could very well lead to moderate global cooling.

      Regards, Allan

  18. Posted a few days ago – seems relevant:

    https://wattsupwiththat.com/2017/08/05/volcanic-northern-winters/comment-page-1/#comment-2573629

    Imbecilic politicians and their advisors are obsessing about global warming, when they should be worried about global cooling, both:

    1. Moderate global cooling that is probably imminent, based on the reduced solar activity of SC24 and projections of another weak SC25. Ironically, the warmists have compromised our energy systems just in time for global cooling.

    2. Longer term, the expectation of another major Ice Age, since we are about 10,000 years into the current interglacial, which is typically followed by ~100,000 years of Ice Age, with continental glaciers advancing over the continents. Dusting the ice sheets with carbon black to change their albedo may actually help avert this catastrophe – no irony there for the demonizers of “carbon”.

    3. The recurrence of another major volcano like Tambora in 1815, or Laki in 1783 that would cause significant global cooling and widespread crop losses. Do we have any huge stores of grain that could feed the growing population of Earth in such a crisis? I do not think so. Maybe we could divert the huge USA corn ethanol crop to food production, but that would not be enough.

    A major global cooling crisis such as items 2 or 3 could fulfil the objectives of the radical greens to depopulate the Earth of most of humanity – one assumes that they have plans in place such that they will survive.

    Regards, Allan

    • “A major global cooling crisis such as items 2 or 3 could fulfil the objectives of the radical greens to depopulate the Earth of most of humanity – one assumes that they have plans in place such that they will survive.”

      Methinks you hit the nail squarely on the head!

    • Here’s a scenario for us all to consider:
      Widespread hunger and food price inflation due to late spring and early fall frosts. Subsidies are removed for ethanol crops and oil prices go up. Fracking and oil sands expansion are demanded for energy security (does anybody seriously think solar or wind is going to work?).
      Massive explosion as millions of eco-Socialist heads come apart simultaneously!

  19. Not just solar insolation but also cosmic rays
    the cosmic ray flux history can be reconstructed. It exhibits seven clear cycles, which coincide with the seven periods of ice-age epochs that took place over the past billion years. On longer time scales, it is possible to reconstruct the overall cosmic ray flux variations from a changed star formation rate in the Milky Way, though less reliably. The variable star formation rate can explain why ice-age epochs existed over the past billion years and between one and two billion years ago, but not in other eons.
    https://www.ias.edu/ideas/2015/shaviv-milky-way

    • Please explain how cutting CO2 emisions will save us from these events. For extra marks also explain why this means it is necessary to destroy Capitalism and go back to living in caves and supporting and obeying “the smart ones”.

  20. Alas I lack the knowledge required to critique this hypothesis and so cannot personally be confident as to it’s validity/ invalidity, but it certainly is a stunning idea… a climate ‘theory of everything’. Amazing!

    • Mr. Julian Forbes-Laird: “a climate ‘theory of everything”

      WR: Most of the readers at this website know that the ocean must play a main role in climate. Many reasons already are mentioned but the (total) role of [processes in] the deep ocean is (in my opinion) so far not well understood.

      It really is a challenge to come to a new theory in which oceans (and ‘orbit’ and other elements) get the role they deserve. The oceans absolutely are far more important than a trace gas. Sites like this one do a good work in creating this new theory, step by step. Understanding the role of the (deep) ocean in long term changes really will help us. There is more to follow.

      • Wim- I think it’s an excellent beginning at the macro level. With the oceans holding~1000 X the heat enthalpy of the atmosphere it is obvious that there must be a huge thermal effect . The masses of water that move through the deeps on time frames from tens to hundreds of years strongly indicate significant time lags.
        The most (probably the only) critical question in climate science is this: When will the next glacial period begin and how quickly will it develop?

  21. Wim I don’t think that’s a valid mechanism, because the abyssopelagic ocean temperatures at the equator are equal to those of the arctic ocean.

    A simple solution for the 100ky cycle is a simple fourier analysis. Then you see that the 41ka cycle continues as before one million years ago. However a strong 100ky cycle is added suddenly. That is probably an CO2 cycle in interaction with earth processes, independent of the Milankovitch cycles and not representing climate.

    See for instance: http://climategate.nl/2016/12/16/63447/ (Dutch) and sublinks.

    • IMO CO2 has nothing to do with the mid-Pleistocene transition.

      As the icy epoch progressed, earth got progressively colder,such that every other or just one in three 41 K cycles produced an interglacial. The others were still born.

      The average of 82 K and 123 K is about 100 K.

      • It’s not about averages. There are numerous detailed publications on local conditions during MIS 3 around 50ky that suggest temperatures comparable to today. Let me quote one out of dozens: Sirocko et al 2016; The ELSA-Vegetation-Stack: Reconstruction of Landscape Evolution Zones (LEZ) from
        laminated Eifel maar sediments of the last 60 000 years

        The most unexpected finding, but corroborated by all our maar records is the
        dominance of thermophilous tree taxa from 49 000 – 55 000 b2k (LEZ 8).

        Apparently it was warm around 50ky ago according to many local studies, and consistent with the 41ka cycle but not according to the ice core isotopes (dD and d18O) and CO2. Hence, it seems that neither represent global climate conditions accurately.

        The oldest detailed CO2 records of EPICA go back about 900ka showing a 100Ka cycle dominance. Hence it’s to be predicted that if older detailed CO2 records are to be found, they will not show the 100ky cycle.

    • Leftturnandre, from the Dutch link you mention: “(..) Dit zijn de effecten van excentriciteit en precessie deze werken elkaar dus tegen. Het effect hiervan is dat alleen de 41.000 jarige cyclus van obliquiteit dominant is voor de variatie van de sterkte van de zonne-instraling.”

      WR: In a free translation: “Those are the effects of eccentricity and precession and in this way they neutralize each other. The consequence is that only the 41,000 year obliquity cyclus is dominant for the variation of the intensity of the solar radiation”

      André, I don’t think it is that simple. We must look very precisely to the effects of each of the cycles for every zone and region at the Earth. And we must look at the cumulative effects (plural!) of the cycles. There are variations in seasonality which might be very important as well. See my comment https://wattsupwiththat.com/2017/08/13/cooling-deep-oceans-and-the-earths-general-background-temperature/comment-page-1/#comment-2580388 I think the posts of Javier and Renee Hannon (and the comments) are a must-read in understanding the role of orbit.

      Leftturnandre: “Wim I don’t think that’s a valid mechanism, because the abyssopelagic ocean temperatures at the equator are equal to those of the arctic ocean.”

      WR: It is not clear what you mean with “that’s a valid mechanism”. The (general) mechanism I mention is that the lowering of deep sea temperatures results in [enhanced] lowering of the Earth surface temperatures. I am not talking about specific temperatures at specific places, abyssopelagic or other.

      1.3 Billion cubic kilometres of ocean water are moving constantly, not only at the surface but also below, be it more slowly. Ocean (surface) temperatures are translated in atmospheric temperatures. The ocean surface and the deep ocean are strongly connected. Oceans are very dynamic: even average (!) sea surface temperatures anomaly’s change nearly every day, not to talk about daily local and regional differences.

      Oceans are dynamic and when we don’t know about their functioning, it is our omission. We must improve our knowledge of the functioning of the oceans and it is of the utmost importance to develop a good theoretical framework for that. I hope my writings will help to develop that framework and will improve insight in the functioning of oceans in relation to climate.

      Understanding long term processes will help.

  22. To reduce a gram of water requires the exothermic loss of 1 calories. To turn that gram from water into ice requires almost 80 cal of loss. This threshold effect should slow down if not put this proposed process on hold. Conversely, the state change from ice to water absorbs a lot of energy and should slow/pause a process dependent at least in part on an internal heat source.

    If we don’t see the pause, I would expect the deep water portion to be minor. Changes in external heat input would be the determinant. That would include changes in cloud cover also, of course, both ways.

  23. This is a very good post.

    Reading through Hansen et al. 2017 (H+ PYTRS A) I am amazed at Hansen’s persistence to apply curve-fitting, scaling and bogus “calibration”, as pointed out, to exemplify his prescribed notions of “sensitivity” and CO2 CH4 “forcing” in order to elevate and gratify his political agenda: “Humanity is now the dominant force driving changes in the Earth’s atmospheric composition and climate.”, “Burning all fossil fuels, we conclude, would make most of the planet uninhabitable by humans, thus calling into question strategies that emphasize adaptation to climate change.”.

    Hansen (H+ PYTRS A) is so focused on the “right end” of his plots and no doubt exaggerated in his mind, that the “left end” of his plots “in his mind” diminish to nothingness.

  24. How About That
    “Scientists discover 91 volcanoes below Antarctic ice sheet
    This is in addition to 47 already known …. Geologists say this huge region is likely to dwarf that of east Africa’s volcanic ridge, currently rated the densest concentration of volcanoes in the world. Volcanic eruptions may not reach the surface but could melt the ice from beneath and drastically destabilise it”
    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/aug/12/scientists-discover-91-volcanos-antarctica

    Climate change shift ?

  25. Wim, thank you for your effort…

    But let me show you my view point in consideration of your blog post.

    Whatever your blog post information is about, from where I stand, even when I have to accept in face value that it mainly consist with no more or less than an expression of the actual general stand of the orthodox climatology, I still have to express my point of view, which consist more or less with a point of consideration where all about the info and intellectual reasoning happens to be and consist in the end of the day only as hot air and smoke.

    You hopefully know the story of the ugly stubborn facts.

    And from where I stand there is a fact, that is not only ignored and prohibited to consideration, but also it ends up directly confused and contradicted, which makes it a very ugly one when info like in your blog post considered……and it renders it all of it as fiction rather than reality.

    This simple fact is the age of ice, the age of ice of the Antarctic ice shelf, or the age of ice of South Polar ice….

    From my point of view is a fact that can not even be ignored, let alone contradicted……
    But you see, you just done that in your blog post………

    You ignore to consider an ice fact and switch to temp signal when considering time periods in an ice content context, without regard of the problem…..
    And from there on you keep building this high tower of smoke and hot air,,,,,,, according to my point of view and my understanding….

    bizarre!

    cheers

    • Whiten, thanks for your remarks. As written elsewhere I am not yet finished so you will have to endure my writings a bit more.

      Deep sea temperatures does not seem to have a direct relationship with ‘smoke and hot air’. When we think about ‘hot air’, isn’t that more about eh…..

      • Wim Röst
        August 13, 2017 at 8:41 am

        Wim. Thank you for the reply. Appreciated.

        First understand that I am not judging you, or taking a judgmental position, I am just addressing your work, as per the blog post in question.

        Second
        No matter where are you aiming a get with it, that is not a problem,,,, the problem is at the starting point.
        It seems to be flawed as it ignores a basic fact……
        I have no problem with any hot air and smoke, unless when the argument about it consist no more than talking past each other….

        Let me ask,,,,, do you understand the point made in my previous comment, and it’s implications?

  26. Wim,
    The correlation between lower deep sea temperatures and the Vostok ice core temperatures is very intriguing. It does shed light on the timing of glacials and why the last 4-5 glacial maximums are colder. Over the past 500 kyrs the temperatures of the interglacial periods appear to be hotter. Why doesn’t the colder deep ocean also temper the temperature of the interglacial warm periods?

    • The interglacials of over 400 Ka and over 100 Ka (the Eemian) were hotter, but the intervening two weren’t (~300 and ~200 Ka).

    • Renee, an intriguing question as well: “Why doesn’t the colder deep ocean also temper the temperature of the interglacial warm periods?”

      It looks like you need an extra locomotive to get the more heavy train moving. But when it is moving it is more difficult to stop it because of its more heavy weight. Deep sea temperatures (figure 5) show later in the Quaternary a bigger difference between the coldest and the warmest temperatures.

      Some mechanisms might be the following:
      1. Because more cycles (obliquity, eccentricity, precession) become involved, the total energy they produce in a short period is higher. Perhaps the speed of warming is higher as well and so the speed of change.
      2. Length of season is possibly playing a role. Length of season does not get much attention but I think it is very important, especially at mid and high latitudes, in the tropics length of season does not play an important role at least not in regard to temperature. But elsewhere, because of a longer/shorter season currents can change more. Pressure areas (different in winter and summer) will vary. Winds will vary more: summer seasons at the mid latitudes show a lower average wind speed. A longer summer season means: during a longer period less wind. This be of importance for point 3.
      3. Upwelling. Upwelling is wind dependent. A longer season without wind can diminish (cold) upwelling in specific zones which has sea surface warming as result. And a shorter summer season could enhance cold upwelling and cool.
      4. Because it has been cold during a longer period and colder as before, sea levels at the start of the temperature rise are lower than before. More sea streets are closed: think about the Australia – Indonesia blockade and the not/less entering of the Gulf Stream into the Caribbean. In the first case a huge piling up of warm waters in the west of the Pacific is possible. In the second case there are other effects on salinity, strength and direction of the Gulf Stream. In both cases there might be important changes in downwelling.

      Those are the first things that come into mind. I think we must know more about zonal effects of the different orbital parameters and of specific effects of low temperatures on certain regions.

      • Wim a very interesting article, thank you very much. With regards point 3 @ Aug. 13 11:44 am
        I think your point 2 is very important. Perihelion is moving around our calendar at about 40 minutes a year. I know that’s not very fast. However we are now slowly moving away from the point where the Northern Hemisphere is not only at it’s shortest, but also takes place where we are closest to the Sun. In other words the best is now behind us and we can expect to see gradual cooling and also an increase in the rate of change of that cooling over the years.
        Although we won’t see dramatic changes in actual temperature at any one place from this variable what we will see is a lowering of the altitude where precipitation lands as snow rather than rain. Here I’m reinforcing a point you made earlier regarding how critical temperature is to weather when that temperature is close to 0 deg C.
        One of the first things I noticed when arriving in England in 2000 was that if it snows a lot before December the rest of the winter is cold. I know this is not very scientific but to me it seems snow makes its own weather!

      • Michael Keal: “Perihelion is moving around our calendar at about 40 minutes a year”

        WR: At a time scale of thousands of years, 40 minutes a year is quite a bit. The cumulative effects are huge.

        It is interesting to look at the functioning of orbit by looking at our present seasons. For example, the effects of long term ‘obliquity’ changes are (exaggerated) visible in our every year’s seasons. Every year we can experience the effects of a big change in obliquity during the year. While the angle changes, certain latitudes get more energy, others less. That during the year changing energy has huge consequences for the functioning of weather systems. And long term changes in orbital circumstances change not only weather- but also climate systems.

        To understand how systems work, we can learn more from differences between the Northern Hemisphere and the Southern Hemisphere. There are huge differences, for example a 4-5 degrees (!) Celsius lower SH average summer temperature than the NH average summer temperature. To get an idea of the importance of this fact: how much is the difference between the average global surface temperature during the Last Glacial Maximum and our present global average surface temperature?

        That 4-5 degrees difference between NH and SH is also (partly) an orbital effect. How do orbital changes during the year and over longer periods affect the NH and SH in a different way? And which part of that temperature difference between NH and SH depends on ‘other factors’? Which other factors? How?

  27. Sorry to be pedantic, but shouldn’t the end of the first sentence below Figure 2 say “Figure 2” instead of “Figure 3”? Otherwise, an interesting and well-written article. Looking forward to reading the rest of the series.

  28. Wim, Good read and interesting thoughts.

    How do you get the ocean amplification of 2.5 times?

    Also, what are your thoughts which Phil brought up about change in ocean currents caused by the closing of the isthmus of Panama? Did that bring us into the Quaternary Glaciation period?

    UIAK

    • Thank you UndercoverinAK. About your questions:

      UIAK: “How do you get the ocean amplification of 2.5 times?”

      WR: meant is the deep ocean / atmospheric amplification factor I think. I replied Nick for this question https://wattsupwiththat.com/2017/08/13/cooling-deep-oceans-and-the-earths-general-background-temperature/comment-page-1/#comment-2580275

      But perhaps you mean what the mechanisms behind the amplification factor are. For now the only important thing for me was that there is something like the amplification factor. Because of that we must pay attention even to small changes in average deep sea temperatures. For now I will leave the answer concerning the eventual mechanism(s) behind the amplification to others.

      UIAK: “Also, what are your thoughts which Phil brought up about change in ocean currents caused by the closing of the isthmus of Panama? Did that bring us into the Quaternary Glaciation period?”

      WR: I did not yet react on most of the thoughts of WUWT readers, although I read the comments with big interest. In my next post I will tell about the (simple) mechanism that was (to my opinion) cooling the deep seas. In the post after that one I will elaborate on the working of that mechanism and at least some of the possibility’s mentioned here will be treated.

      • Wim,

        Thanks. Missed that in initial read. Direct inference from the graphs. Empirical evidence. What a concept.

        I assumed it was a very complicated model costing millions of dollars. :-)

        UIAK

  29. The world ocean surface comprises 71% of the Earth’s surface and it is generally accepted that the surface (air) temperatures at sea adapt to the temperature of the underlying sea surface water. Therefore, as sea surface waters cool, the atmosphere above 71% of the Earth is cooling.

    What happened to the GHE? Is the atmosphere no longer increasing the surface temperatures some 33K above the infamous 255K?

    The warm deep oceans fifty million years ago had an average temperature of more than 12°C (see figure 3). Those warm oceans created a completely different background temperature than our present deep oceans do.

    What caused these high deep ocean temperatures?

  30. Does this earth background temperature because of the cold deep oceans make it virtually impossible for the air temperatures to rise as much as the alarmists are fearing?

    • Mike B: “Does this earth background temperature because of the cold deep oceans make it virtually impossible for the air temperatures to rise as much as the alarmists are fearing?”

      Interesting question. Short answer: yes, I think it does. There is a certain range that atmospheric temperatures can differ from the sea surface temperatures and a certain range that the average sea surface temperature can differ from deep ocean temperatures – but I don’t know which ranges exactly. I only can see that there are many stabilizing processes that keep ocean temperatures and atmospheric temperatures within a certain range. When we look at periods with rapid temperature rises in the last century (thirties and forties, eighties and nineties) we see that they are followed by cooling or ‘stabilizing’ periods. A lot of ‘missing heat’ is found back in the oceans: 90% if I remember well. But when the average surface temperatures went down during the LIA, the Ocean Heat Content was diminishing too. It all indicates that atmospheric temperature developments can’t differ too much from ocean temperature developments. As we saw in the Paleo data: if one goes down, the other goes down.

  31. Excuse my ignorance but how can we possibly know what the historical deep ocean temperatures were with any degree of accuracy?

    • Michael Carter: “how can we possibly know what the historical deep ocean temperatures were with any degree of accuracy”

      WR: Proxies are used. Remnants of sea animals (often calcerous remnants) show chemical traces that give information about the temperatures at the time the animal grew the calcerous parts. Cores of the sea bottoms contain those remnants and reveal the necessary information. As the comment of Bill Illis in this post illustrates, interpretation of the results can lead to big discussions.

  32. What is being left out in these arguments is any discussion of how much heat in the deep ocean is being contributed by the earth’s core, especially along the tectonic fault lines. As long as this quantity remains an unknown, all other discussions regarding “causes” remain inadequate at best.

  33. What is being left out in these arguments is any discussion of how much heat in the deep ocean is being contributed by the earth’s core, especially along the tectonic fault lines. As long as this quantity remains an unknown, all other discussions regarding “causes” remain inadequate at best.

  34. Very good article by Shaviv explaining effects of Star Formation Rate (SFR) (10s of Myr cycle), Passage through galactic spiral arms (~145 Myr cycle), and Oscillations perpendicular to the galactic plane (~35 Myr cycle) on changes of the environment of the Earth. We just passed a passage through a galactic spiral arm and oscillation perpendicular to the galactic plane about 2-4 Myr ago resulting in a very cold period (Quaternary Glaciation) and hopefully subsequent warming in the next few million years. Shaviv’s figure 1.9 marries up pretty well with Figure 3 above ans subsequent cooling since this time.

    http://www.phys.huji.ac.il/~shaviv/articles/ShavivChapter.pdf

  35. Funny.
    Deep ocean
    We have like zero measurements.

    Note ño skeptics objecting. Or objecting to an average deep ocean temperature or to precision of 1/100 th of a degree.

    • Steven Mosher:

      Funny.
      Deep ocean
      We have like zero measurements

      WR: Congratulations: your first Haiku!

      • Wim
        That has to be the most erudite and cultured slapdown in recent WUWT history!
        And Mosh is just the person to appreciate it.

        “Haiku” is a traditional form of Japanese poetry. Haiku poems consist of 3 lines. The first and last lines of a Haiku have 5 syllables and the middle line has 7 syllables. The lines rarely rhyme.

    • Apparently zero deep ocean measurements are enough to conclude that we are doomed by CO2 and zero is far too many already for any climate “scientist” to go after a grant to obtain more data. The oceans contain a thousand times the heat energy of the atmosphere and are DELIBERATELY IGNORED by climate science because they can’t figure out how to implicate CO2 from there.
      It’s like the house is shaking and we’re blaming the cat’s purring while they’re blasting next door to build a rocket launch pad.
      It makes me wonder what the questions would be on the reverse IQ test to get into klimit skule.

    • One sided ball busting does not become you no matter how often you do it.
      Where is Wim going with this?
      We’ll see soon enough.

    • Steven – While I consider myself a “Seeker” (of truth) I am a skeptic of any conclusion based on evidence that I consider tenuous. I have already commented above that (IMO) proxy evidence used to establish historical deep marine temperatures fall into this category. I agree with you that we haven’t even established strong constraints on the modern situation, let alone historical

      One proxy pointed out here relates to chemical composition of shell material in deep marine cores. I am not an expert in the field but I do know that the most studied organisms are foraminifera. The only forams of any use are benthic and they decrease rapidly in abundance beyond 35 m in water depth. What are these shelled organisms that live in the deep marine environment? Skeletal material may be of use if one could find it in a core, but the abundance of deep marine life is such that a good record over time in cores is highly unlikely

      Detritus can be swept into deeper water over time which muddies the ( research) waters as well

      This all looks like arm waving to me and does no good to the skeptical cause

      Regards

      M

    • “Steven Mosher August 13, 2017 at 3:13 pm

      Deep ocean
      We have like zero measurements.”

      Don’t worry Steven, Trenberth has a model you can use.

  36. A number of other factors:-
    1) plate tectonics – moving the land masses around effecting what they receive from the Sun and effecting the whole Earth climate situation.
    2) the tilt and orbit of the Earth.
    3) large meteorites causing the Earth to move away from the Sun.

  37. I’m very anxious to see Wim’s follow up to this work. Like Christmas! Actual thoughtful, original and intelligent scientific investigative hypothesis! I wonder why nobody thought of trying this before!

  38. It all feels a bit circular for my liking…

    The “general background temperature of the Earth” described here is an average over 500,000 years… longer than a glacial-interglacial cycle.

    So the comparison is:
    Late Pliocene – 0% glacial, 100% interglacial, averaged together -> 0.3C
    Early Pleistocene – 75% young glacial, 25% interglacial, averaged together -> 0.2C
    Late Pleistocene – 30% young glacial, 60% old glacial, 10% interglacial, averaged together -> -0.25C

    (All else equal, this would imply interglacial temp = 0.30C, young glacial temp = 0.17C, old glacial = -0.55C)

    How much of the decrease in this average since ~2.6Mya is merely an *expression* of glacial periods being longer?

    Or to ask the question the other way, what is:
    – the trend since 2.6 Mya of deep ocean water temperatures *specifically during interglacials*?
    – the trend during the Pleistocene of deep ocean water temperatures *in the 1st obliquity cycle of glacials*?
    (Sorry, couldn’t find the raw data)

    I note that, (from Fig 1 at a glance) during interglacials, the deep ocean still warms to 0.3C – no colder than the late Pliocene. Deep ocean cold from one glacial is not carried over into the next. Also that the 4 very cold periods since 700kya were all *at the end* of a long glacial.

    If the deep ocean temperature is an indication of some other *persistent* steadily cooling “general background temperature of the Earth” (in submarine permafrost, oceanic crust, or wherever) then I would have looked at the *rate of cooling* of the deep ocean over a particular section of the first obliquity cycle of each glacial onset.

  39. Wim
    Considering the climate system as one containing chaotic/nonlinear dynamics, then the trend to larger amplitude fluctuations since the MPR, between colder glacial maxima and warmer interglacials, looks intuitively like a system becoming unstable because it is approaching a phase or state transition. So “soon” something is about to change. This could indeed hypothetically be a drop down in temperature and a transition to a colder state of uninterrupted glaciation, no longer punctuated by interglacials. Our current interglacial could even be the last.

  40. WR A great post. Thank you. I have been thinking about the effect of the Tethys Ocean on climate for some time. Here are my latest ideas:-
    A Plate Tectonic Recipe for a Warm Water World.
    The Atlantic /Arctic Ocean submarine ridge forms the basis a Meridional Ocean that dominates the plate tectonic structure of the modern world. This mid-ocean ridge stretches from its pole of rotation termination point that Tuzo Wilson (1976) identified in the Laptev Sea off the north coast of Siberia (see Continents Adrift and Continents Aground), to the antipodal point in the Weddell Sea between east and west Antarctica. Meridional Oceans are not optimally placed to intercept sunlight in the tropics, for that we need a Zonal Ocean. The Southern Ocean defines the locus of the world’s modern Zonal Ocean, but it is located in temperate latitudes and so it too is not in an optimal location to collect tropical solar energy.

    The biggest change in our understanding of the latitudinal reach of the Hadley Cell is the realisation from modelling studies of planetary rotation that it is the speed of daily rotation of the Earth that determines the locus of tropospheric down welling. This is contra to the earlier view that the cooling to space of the air that was uplifted to the tropopause, after first being dried by rain-out in the convective thunderstorms of the equatorial ITCZ, defined the locus of down welling. Earth is a fast rotating planet and so the latitudinal reach of the Hadley Cell is limited to the tropics (Del Genio & Suozzo, 1987 and Hunt, 1979). This means that the return to the surface of the down welling air will guarantee clear skies under the summer sun of the Tropic of Cancer. If the surface is land, then we have the great deserts of the Sahara and Arabia. Paradoxically these great hot deserts cool the planet because the daily solar heating is quickly vented to space by direct thermal radiation from the ground and so lost from the planet’s long-term thermal storage system, namely the oceans.

    Conversely if the Tropical of Cancer is located over a Zonal Ocean, such as the Cretaceous Tethys Ocean, then the incoming solar radiation is trapped in the surface sea water and can be stored within the ocean. Here another paradox comes into effect, evaporation causes cooling and the dry surface winds of the trade wind belt will remove water from the ocean, but seas are salt water bodies, evaporation also increases marine water salinity, warm saline water is more dense than cool less saline water and so we have the opportunity to generate, in appropriate coastal locations, warm dense deep bottom water that exports to and stores heat in the abyssal ocean. We see an example of this export process of warm saline deep water generation in our modern low carbon dioxide cold ocean world in the Persian Gulf where the warm dense saline water formed off the Emirates coast exits into the Indian Ocean as a bottom current through the Straits of Hormuz (Bower et al., 2000).

    References
    Bower, A.S., Hunt, H.D. and Price, J.F., 2000. Character and dynamics of the Red Sea and Persian Gulf outflows. Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans, 105(C3), pp.6387-6414.
    Del Genio, A.D. and Suozzo, R.J., 1987. A comparative study of rapidly and slowly rotating dynamical regimes in a terrestrial general circulation model. Journal of the atmospheric sciences, 44(6), pp.973-986.
    Hunt, B.G., 1979. The influence of the Earth’s rotation rate on the general circulation of the atmosphere. Journal of the Atmospheric Sciences, 36(8), pp.1392-1408.
    Wilson, J.T., 1976. Continents adrift and continents aground; readings from” Scientific American”. WH Freeman and Company.

    • Philip Mulholland, you only needed a half word, as we say in Holland. Well done, you will like my next post.

      • Een goed verstaander heeft maar een half woord nodig.
        I think you flatter me, but thanks anyway.
        Are you on Research Gate? If so please look me up there.

  41. Javier’s really done some great work on this over at Climate Etc. Rigorous, data-driven, and objective.

    • Forgot to add, this post is also very interesting — I hadn’t seen the deep ocean trend over this time period before. Based on the astronomical data, Javier’s pretty sure we won’t glaciate in the next 2000 years, but that next glacial period is still probably the most serious existential threat to our species.

  42. [T]he deep sea is directly connected with the sea surface by a process called ‘ocean upwelling’ sometimes shortened to simply ‘upwelling’. The ever colder deep ocean waters are welling up into the ocean surface layer in large quantities (more than a million cubic kilometres every year). This is a relatively slow process where the cold upwelling waters are warmed by the sun.

    This classic mantra of “climate science” constitutes a gross misrepresentation of fluid thermodynamics and oceanographic observations. There is no “direct” connection of the temperature of deep waters with surface temperature. Upwelling is not a global phenomenon, but is very much localized to continental shelves and margins.. Even where it’s strongest, around Antarctica, only a small fraction of the dense water parcels that sank elsewhere are spiraled up again to the surface. (see, for example: https://www.nature.com/articles/s41467-017-00197-0 ). And the sun cannot warm water below ~100 meters, especially during the long polar winter. In the words Carl Wunsch, the “great conveyor belt” of wholesale deep oceanic circulation–espoused by “climate science”–is a “fairy tale for adults.”

    • Good to see some sensible ideas ;-)
      Have to disagree on this though:

      There is no “direct” connection of the temperature of deep waters with surface temperature.

      Solar energy seems able to maintain the temperature of the mixed surface layer some 15K above the deep ocean temperature. So if the temperature of the deep oceans is much higher then today, like in the Cretaceous, the surface temperatures will also be correspondingly higher.
      These higher deep ocean temperatures can obviously (to you and me) not be caused by anything happening at the surface.

    • 1sky1: “There is no “direct” connection of the temperature of deep waters with surface temperature”

      WR: One million cubic kilometres from the deep ocean into the surface layer upwelling water isn’t a direct connection from the deep sea with the surface layer?

      1ksy1: “Upwelling is not a global phenomenon, but is very much localized to continental shelves and margins”

      WR: See map of major (!) upwelling areas:

      NOAA: “This image highlights major upwelling areas along the world’s coasts in red. Upwelling occurs when winds blowing across the ocean surface push water away from an area and subsurface water rises up from beneath the surface to replace the diverging surface water. These subsurface waters are typically colder, rich in nutrients, and biologically productive. Therefore, good fishing grounds typically are found where upwelling is common. For example, the rich fishing grounds along the west coasts of Africa and South America are supported by year-round coastal upwelling.”
      https://oceanservice.noaa.gov/education/kits/currents/03coastal4.html

      • Wim Röst August 15, 2017 at 7:24 am

        Your text is about deep oceans. Deep is generally accepted as being below the permanent thermocline, so below 1500 – 1800m.
        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deep_sea
        All your major upwelling areas seem located over a continental shelf. Depth generally maximum 150-200m.
        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Continental_shelf
        Temperatures at these depths are still under the influence of solar warming.

        So please show where the 1 million km^3 of DEEP ocean water is upwelling.

      • Ben Wouters August 15, 2017 at 1:18 pm: “Your text is about deep oceans.”

        WR: Better would be to speak about ‘below thermocline waters’. ‘Deep ocean’ is used for both Intermediate waters and for what is called the ‘deep ocean waters’.

        Ben: “So please show where the 1 million km^3 of DEEP ocean water is upwelling”

        WR: you can see the temperature effect of the upwelling even on maps on world scale, west of the continents:

        Upwelling is a process where wind is blowing the top layer away. Because of isostasy the water that is blown away has got to be replaced by other water. The only place where we can find that ‘other water’ near the coasts is: below.

      • Wim Röst August 15, 2017 at 5:44 pm

        Upwelling is a process where wind is blowing the top layer away. Because of isostasy the water that is blown away has got to be replaced by other water. The only place where we can find that ‘other water’ near the coasts is: below.

        By far the largest upwelling/downwelling event on this planet is the El Nino/La Nina one.
        https://wattsupwiththat.com/2016/12/15/do-over-the-199798-super-el-nino-via-latest-computer-animation/
        In the animation it is clear that below ~300m nothing much happens.
        All other upwelling will have even less influence depth wise.
        So all this upwelling/downwelling is just one of the many mechanisms that mixes solar energy a bit deeper into the oceans, creating the mixed surface layer.
        This is all happening ABOVE the permanent thermocline, and has no influence whatsoever on the deep oceans below the permanent thermocline.
        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thermocline

      • Ben Wouters August 16, 2017 at 1:12 am: “This is all happening ABOVE the permanent thermocline, and has no influence whatsoever on the deep oceans below the permanent thermocline.”

        WR: Please check the things you say. Because of upwelling the Thermocline raises.
        http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v461/n7263/fig_tab/461481a_F1.html

        Upwelling waters are well known fishing areas. Because deep waters are nutrient rich, from the deep upwelling waters are rich in nutrients. Therefore upwelling regions are belonging to the best fishing grounds. Because of deep water that welled up.

      • [Y]ou can see the temperature effect of the upwelling even on maps on world scale, west of the continents:

        The zones of cool surface water seen at moderate latitudes west of the continents are more the result of strong advection from high latitudes than of local upwelling.

      • 1sky1 August 16, 2017 at 1:38 pm: “The zones of cool surface water seen at moderate latitudes west of the continents are more the result of strong advection from high latitudes than of local upwelling.”

        WR: Perhaps reading a bit about the subject?

      • Perhaps reading a bit about the subject?

        That the quasi-permanent hemispheric gyres manifest cool surface currents (e.g., Humboldt, Canary) flowing equatorward along the eastern margins of the ocean basins requires no reading beyond an introductory text in descriptive oceanography for non-scientists. Googling “eastern boundary currents” should readily produce accessible explanations why they are much wider and slower than the warm western boundary currents (e.g., Gulf, Agulhas).

      • 1sky1 August 16, 2017 at 4:12 pm
        “That the quasi-permanent hemispheric gyres manifest cool surface currents (e.g., Humboldt, Canary) flowing equatorward along the eastern margins of the ocean basins requires no reading beyond an introductory text in descriptive oceanography for non-scientists.”

        WR: The fact that the existing of a current does or does not prevent upwelling is something you need to have checked before you make your statements. I am not here to continuously improve your comments. Again: read! And check your statements first if you want that I take your future comments seriously!

      • Wim Röst August 16, 2017 at 2:38 am

        WR: Please check the things you say. Because of upwelling the Thermocline raises.
        http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v461/n7263/fig_tab/461481a_F1.html

        Upwelling waters are well known fishing areas. Because deep waters are nutrient rich, from the deep upwelling waters are rich in nutrients.

        No body will dispute that upwelling occurs. You state that these upwelling waters are coming from the DEEP oceans since they are nutrient rich.
        How does the linked image show that upwelling is coming from the DEEP oceans?

      • Ben Wouters August 17, 2017 at 2:54 am: “How does the linked image show that upwelling is coming from the DEEP oceans?”

        WR: There is an upward arrow at the right, coming from below the thermocline. Your statement was: Ben Wouters August 16, 2017 at 1:12 am: “This is all happening ABOVE the permanent thermocline, and has no influence whatsoever on the deep oceans below the permanent thermocline.”

        FAO has a lot of information about upwelling where you can get it all confirmed. Google on ‘FAO’ and ‘Upwelling’

      • Wim Röst August 17, 2017 at 3:27 am

        Ben Wouters August 17, 2017 at 2:54 am: “How does the linked image show that upwelling is coming from the DEEP oceans?”

        WR: There is an upward arrow at the right, coming from below the thermocline. Your statement was: Ben Wouters August 16, 2017 at 1:12 am: “This is all happening ABOVE the permanent thermocline, and has no influence whatsoever on the deep oceans below the permanent thermocline.”

        If you blow (part of) the mixed surface layer to the west Pacific the thermocline will start a bit less deep or even at the surface. The PERMANENT thermocline will still reach down to 1000-1500 m or even deeper.

        So no ice cold deep ocean water is surfacing due to wind effects, not even during a La Nina.
        The water is coming from just below the surface and is a few degrees colder than the surface water it replaces. In the ENSO animation I linked to the temperature range for the anomaly is just 6 degrees and the entire event plays out in the upper 300m of the Pacific.

      • The fact that the existing of a current does or does not prevent upwelling is something you need to have checked before you make your statements. I am not here to continuously improve your comments. Again: read! And check your statements first if you want that I take your future comments seriously!

        Once again, the well-known oceanographic point I’m making about the origin of broad zones of cool water along the eastern boundaries of oceans is being totally missed, while falsely turning my statement into an ostensible claim that currents “prevent upwelling.” Such uncomprehending argumentation is lamentable!

        What’s missing here is any professional awareness that upwelling is recognized most definitively not so much by cool temperatures–which can be due to several factors–as by chlorophyll concentrations. The latter provide sharp delineations of very-much-narrower zones typically lying close inshore parallel to the coast. An example of such is seen here: http://oceanmotion.org/western-boundary-sst.htm

    • 1sky1
      The existence of the deep ocean is yet another thing that warmist alarmists have to deny, in order to keep the dystopian faith.

      If the deepest ocean was not in constant circulation (albeit with a centuries timescale) with the surface, then it would be anoxic.

      The deep is not anoxic. This is sufficient proof that the THC conveyerbelt is real. It accounts for all climate change.

      For the deep to be ventilated (the correct oceanographic term for this) and not anoxic depends on cold downwelling at the poles. Thus for instance in the Jurassic, with no polar ice and downwelling, the deep was anoxic.

      Oceanic polar ice driven conveyerbelt circulation which ventilates the deep ocean also by virtue of upwelling, sustains the huge productivity of today’s oceans. That’s why we have whales now but there weren’t whales in the Jurassic.

      • The deep is not anoxic. This is sufficient proof that the THC conveyerbelt is real. It accounts for all climate change.

        In fact, there are large anoxic zones of deep water scattered around the globe. The entire Black Sea is one. For others see: https://www.accessscience.com/content/anoxic-zones/037400. Your sense of “deep” is very different from that of oceanographers.

        While upwelling and THC indeed occur in certain places and certain conditions, that is simply not the same as the “wholesale deep ocean circulation” envisioned by the “great conveyor belt” meme, which often portrays super-dense deep water fancifully rising to the surface in the tropical Indian Ocean. The notion that it accounts for “all climate change” is as wrong-headed as the original Ptolemy’s geocentric theory.

      • Here are some anoxic basins:

        Bannock Basin in Levantine Sea, eastern Mediterranean Sea;
        Black Sea Basin, off eastern Europe, below 50 meters (150 feet);
        Caspian Sea Basin, below 100 meters (300 feet);
        Cariaco Basin, off north central Venezuela;
        Gotland Deep, in the Baltic off Sweden;
        L’Atalante basin, eastern Mediterranean Sea;
        Mariager Fjord, off Denmark;
        Orca Basin, northeast Gulf of Mexico, and
        Saanich Inlet, off Vancouver Island, Canada.

        Granted, not all are in deep water.

      • 1sky1 August 16, 2017 at 3:56 pm: “All I do is simply take your wholly unreferenced claim of a million cubic kilometers of upwelled water (…)”

        WR: Again: read first. That million cubic kilometres is explained in the first post on upwelling: https://wattsupwiththat.com/2016/12/26/warming-by-less-upwelling-of-cold-ocean-water/

        1sky1: ” What does need to be said is that, generally being denser, it can’t remain near the surface very long, as some may assume.”

        WR: once more: read first about the subject. As the upwelling seawater warms, the density is lowered fast, because of the expanding of the water.

      • Again: read first.

        What a splendid idea for someone who plainly has never assimilated an oceanographic text, provides no source here, and references his own previous WUWT posting, as if that settles the issue.

        In fact, what that previous posting reveals is a conversion of total transport rates in a three-tiered ocean estimated by Ganaschaud and Wunsch (2000) into a volume based arbitrarily on a year’s transport. That “upwelled water” mass, which was claimed to cool the entire globe significantly, is now said to have its density “lowered fast” by surface warming. In reality, the very high heat capacity of water prevents “fast” warming, as this view of cool temperatures extending hundreds of kilometers off Sumatra during the SE monsoon clearly shows: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Upwelling#/media/File:Sstanom_199711_krig.jpg.

    • The condition found overwhelmingly throughout the oceans is quasi-permanent stratification, with temperatures declining gradually from the surface to the seasonal thermocline (marking the extent of the well-mixed layer) and even faster to the permanent thermocline, typically several hundred meters down. It is below that level where the deep ocean begins.

      There simply are no measurements that show any coherence between surface temperature variations and those in the deep ocean over human lifetimes. Nor are there any known mechanisms that can preserve the temperature of water parcels as they migrate at snail’s pace through the water column, with the bottom waters being continually replaced by thermohaline circulation. Turbulent mixing along the way is what precludes any direct connection between the deep-water temperatures and those at the surface. While the mass volumes involved in upwelling over continental shelves and marginal seas may appear large to novices, they are dwarfed by the global volume of the oceans. Comparisons of Cretaceous and Holocene temperatures that fail to take into account the strikingly different states of planetary cooling are a red herring.

      • 1sky1: “While the mass volumes involved in upwelling over continental shelves and marginal seas may appear large to novices, they are dwarfed by the global volume of the oceans.”

        WR: You are trying to dwarf the effect of more than one million cubic kilometres (!) in the warm surface layer upwelling ice cold water.

        Good luck!

      • A million cubic kilometers is a cube of 100km on each side. If we take 5km for the average depth of the ocean, this amounts to 20 areas of 10000km^2 each. The resulting 200000km^2 indeed is dwarfed by the ~360 million square kilometers of global ocean. Furthermore, the upwelling water is by no means “ice cold,” except around Antarctica. To be sure, this has a profound effect LOCALLY during the season of upwelling winds. On a global basis, however, the effect is minor.

      • 1sky1 August 16, 2017 at 1:27 pm: “A million cubic kilometers is a cube of 100km on each side.”

        WR: Wrong comparison. Deep water is upwelling into the surface layer, see my comment Wim Röst August 16, 2017 at 2:46 am (and the posts about this subject). That surface layer is a relatively thin layer, not 100 km deep. For that, the effects of 1 million cubic kilometres upwelling cold water are huge. You need to count for the effects on that surface layer, the layer that is important for surface temperatures and for processes at the surface.

        It is perhaps a good idea first to read what is written?

      • That surface layer is a relatively thin layer, not 100 km deep.

        Nowhere do I make that preposterous claim! All I do is simply take your wholly unreferenced claim of a million cubic kilometers of upwelled water and compare it to the total volume of the oceans. The latter is greater by a factor of ~1800. That the upwelled water is near the surface goes without saying. What does need to be said is that, generally being denser, it can’t remain near the surface very long, as some may assume.

  43. The mechanism depressing sea surface temperatures by the cold unheated ocean below could be by conduction rather than convection and would happen slowly.

  44. Wim this is a bit off-topic but does involve warm intrusions into the Arctic Ocean in 1990 -93, 2004-07 below the ice causing a loss of ice. According to the hypothesis changes in the lunar orbit affect gravitational attraction and results in a 72 year cycle which gives two 9 year pulses of warm water under the Arctic Ice causing ice loss. Hope you don’t mind but I thought you might find it interesting as I think it might have some bearing on what you’re working on.
    The source on this is former NOAA Meteorologist David Dilly.

    If you put this together with the effects of the Sun taking a nap right now it looks as if we may be in for a bit of a double whammy. Assuming the information is correct of course.

  45. I noticed and probably thousands of others have noticed previously the gradual cooling of the oceans and the world. And from that it was an obvious hypothesis that the longer periods between ice ages were due to the gradual cooling of the oceans. Therefore, it takes more energy to bring the world out of the ice age.

    What is not obvious though is whether or not the temperature during interglacials will stabilize so that we will remain in the ~ 100k year between interglacials or not or the world will enter into a permanent ice age condition.

    One of your conclusions that is not obvious to me is this one: “It is interesting to see that a two degree C drop in deep sea temperature (figure 1) ends up as a 5 degree C lower surface temperature as shown in figure 2. This is a drop from 17 to 12 degrees Celsius. In this period, we see a large ‘amplification factor’ of around 2.5. A deep-sea temperature that is 0.2°C lower/higher, corresponds with a 0.5°C lower/higher surface temperature. As we shall see, the existence of this ´deep sea / surface temperature amplifier´ is important.”

    Is the ‘amplification factor’ real and does it exist at all temperature conditions such as the current one in this interglacial? I don’t see any real evidence one way or another in your paper.

    • BobG: “Is the ‘amplification factor’ real and does it exist at all temperature conditions such as the current one in this interglacial?”

      WR: I must rely on the correctness of the data of figure 1 and 2. If those data are correct, the averages show the amplification factor.

      There is a possible explanation for the amplification as well, your question made me think about that. It is an interesting option that could be the correct one. It seems logical. The explanation is the following.

      It is easiest to tell what happens as the sea warms. As the deep sea warms with one degree, the amplification factor says the surface is warming with 2.5 degrees. So what could be the reason.

      We all know that CO2 is just a minor greenhouse gas. The main greenhouse gas is water vapour. 75-90% of the total greenhouse effect is said to be the result of water vapour. WHERE is that effect visible?

      As the surface of the oceans warms, the oceans are evaporating more. The air will contain more water vapour. Because water vapour enhances convection as well, the content of water vapour in the whole atmosphere will raise even more. Water vapour will be brought to greater height and it will be spread better over the whole Earth, especially poleward.

      Water vapour is our main greenhouse gas, so extra water vapour MUST add extra temperature to the one degree of sensible heat that already is going to be added by the warmer ocean. And that ‘extra temperature’ will enhance evaporation etc.

      When my guess is right than this would be the theoretical base for the amplification factor as observed for the last 5 million years: the effect of our main greenhouse gas ‘water vapour’. I suppose this will be the explanation for at least a part of that amplification factor.

      • “WR: I must rely on the correctness of the data of figure 1 and 2. If those data are correct, the averages show the amplification factor. ”

        The data shows that there is a correlation that could be an amplification factor. But could also be due to something else entirely.

        About 2.8 million years ago, the Isthmus of Panama closed changing ocean circulation patterns. Prior to this, the oceans were gradually cooling due to the break up of the super-continent Godwana and due to the drift of the continental plate holding Antarctica to the Southern polar region.

  46. Wim this may be slightly off-topic as it involves warm intrusions into the Arctic Ocean in 1990 -93, 2004-07 below the ice causing a loss of ice. According to the hypothesis changes in the lunar orbit affect gravitational attraction and results in a 72 year cycle which gives two 9 year pulses of warm water under the Arctic Ice causing ice loss.

    The point is that, according to the hypothesis, cooling follows these pulses.

    The source on this is former NOAA Meteorologist David Dilly.

    If you put this together with the effects of the Sun taking a nap right now it looks as if we may be in for a bit of a double whammy. Assuming the hypothesis is correct of course.

    • Michael, I don’t know about the 72 year cycle you describe, but I know there have been two massive warm water pulses from the Atlantic into the Arctic basin, that raised the temperature of the intermediate waters below the top layer with one degree. An important degree, when the average temperture was + 2 degree Celsius and after the warm pulses became + 3 °C. The ice melt we have seen might well be caused (for a large part) by this extra oceanic energy. After about ten years the heat of the warm water pulses is released and the effect will be gone. When you are correct that we only have to expect two warm water pulses, cooling indeed can follow in the Arctic.

  47. A very persuasive presentation of the hypothesis explaining lengthened glaciations during the current regime.
    Note that Laki may again be rousing at the outset of a grand minimum.

  48. Since no more reaction seems to be coming I assume you accept that upwelling waters do not come from the DEEP oceans.
    Leaves two questions I posed a while back unanswered:
    https://wattsupwiththat.com/2017/08/13/cooling-deep-oceans-and-the-earths-general-background-temperature/comment-page-1/#comment-2580423
    According the GHE the atmosphere increases the surface temperatures some 33K above the 255K Effective temperature. How does that energy travel down to the deep oceans below the permanent thermocline?
    Note the deep ocean temperatures are some 15-20K above the 255K the sun is supposedly causing.

    (see http://oceanmotion.org/html/background/ocean-vertical-structure.htm
    especially

    The ocean’s three-layer structure is an example of how gravity separates a fluid into layers such that the density of each layer is less than the density of the layer below it. More dense fluids sink and less dense fluids rise. The ocean’s pycnocline is very stable thus suppressing mixing between the mixed layer and deep layer; that is, the pycnocline acts as a barrier to vertical motion within the ocean.

    Furthermore in your text you state

    The world ocean surface comprises 71% of the Earth’s surface and it is generally accepted that the surface (air) temperatures at sea adapt to the temperature of the underlying sea surface water.

    How does this square with the GHE?

    • Ben Wouters: “Since no more reaction seems to be coming I assume you accept that upwelling waters do not come from the DEEP oceans.”

      WR: Wrong! I am not obliged to give a reaction. No reaction could also mean that I am busy or that I think I already have spent too mucht time in reacting on statements that missed a good basis.

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