Ocean indicators suggest CO2 isn’t the strongest driver of climate

Most recent NOAA Sea surface temperatures, note the lack of oranges and reds:

From the website CO2 is Life:

The Most Powerful Evidence Climate Scientists Have of Global Warming…Rules Out CO2 as the Cause



We have mentioned countless times on this blog that the warming oceans are evidence that CO2 is not the cause of global warming. To understand the climate you must first understand the oceans. The oceans control the global climate. As the oceans warm, they warm and alter the humidity of the atmosphere above them. The problem is, as we have pointed out countless times, CO2’s only defined mechanism by which to affect climate change is through the thermalization of LWIR between 13 and 18µ.

LWIR between 13 and 18µ doesn’t penetrate or warm the oceans. Visible radiation, mainly from the high energy blue end of the spectrum does. CO2 is transparent to incoming visible radiation. The energy stored in the atmosphere and land is insignificant when compared to the oceans. The oceans contain 2,000x the energy of the atmosphere, so small changes to the oceans can mean big changes in the atmospheric temperature. The oceans also produce vast amounts of CO2 (20 x the amount man produces), and the most abundant and potent greenhouse gas, water vapor.

The warming oceans are evidence that CO2 ISN’T the cause of the recent warming. Oceans are warmed by more incoming radiation reaching them, and that is in fact what has been happening (Click Here). It is extremely easy to explain the recent warming due to natural causes, explanation that is backed by the evidence (Click Here), not just uneducated highly biased and conflicted opinions.

How does “Inside Climate News” report on the issue of the warming oceans? They claim that the warming oceans are the greatest evidence of fossil fuels caused global warming.

The Most Powerful Evidence Climate Scientists Have of Global Warming

The oceans hold the story of a planet warming as fossil fuels are burned

Clearly, they don’t understand the physics supporting the warming of the oceans and GHG effect, but, let’s have a look at how “Inside Climate News” defends such ignorance.

They claim to have all the proof in 4 charts:

Here is what scientists have discovered, in four charts.

Chart #1:


No one argues that the oceans are warming, they are. Warming oceans aren’t evidence that CO2 is causing the warming. As stated above, LWIR between 13 and 18µ doesn’t penetrate or warm the oceans. “Inside Climate News” offers no explanation as to how CO2 and LWIR between 13 and 18µ could possibly warm the oceans. As mentioned above, post-1992, cleaner air has resulted in more warming visible radiation warming of the oceans, not CO2. Funny how “Inside Climate News” forgot to mention that.


Chart #2:


This graphic validates the incoming visible radiation warms the oceans theory. CO2 is transparent to incoming warming visible radiation. While it is correct that Greenhouse gases do absorb much of the outgoing radiation, CO2 is insignificant in the lower atmosphere. The first CO2 signature is identified at an altitude of about 3 km when H2O starts to precipitate out of the atmosphere. MODTRAN demonstrates that CO2 has zero impact on the energy budget in the lower atmosphere as long as H2O is present. The following MODTRAN reports show that doubling CO2 from 400 ppm to 800 ppm results in zero change to the 407.572 W/M^2 of outgoing radiation in the lower atmosphere. A zero change. Funny how “Inside Climate News” forgot to mention that. Who do you trust more? A computer program or “Inside Climate News.”

Chart #3:


Okay, I got it, the oceans are warming…but what does that have to do with CO2? The Oceans naturally go through cycles like El Niño and La Niña, but those aren’t caused by CO2. There was a strong El Niño, and ocean temperatures are rapidly returning to normal. CO2 has nothing to do with the ocean cycles. “Inside Climate News” conveniently choose the time period leading up to the El Niño, and forgot to mention what happened after. Funny how “Inside Climate News” forgot to mention that. (H/T Real Science)


Satellite data also shows atmospheric temperatures tightly tied to ocean cycles. Note how fast temperatures are falling post-El Niño. How can CO2 explain that? CO2 can’t cause temperature spikes, nor can it cause rapid cooling. CO2 simply can’t explain the volatility in the temperature chart. Current temperatures are below the levels set in 1998, 1996, 1990, 1988 and in line with temperatures of 1983. How can CO2 explain that, given its increase over that time period?


Chart #4:


Wow, thermal expansion of the oceans also results in a rising sea level. We can kill two birds with one stone using one single “Inside Climate News” article. If CO2 can’t cause the oceans to warm, it can’t cause thermal expansion, so it isn’t causing the increase in sea level. BTW, the sea levels aren’t rising at an increasing rate, so this is a Strawman anyway. Here is the tidal chart of Battery Park at the South end of Manhatten. It shows no increase in the rate at all going way back to 1850. Sea levels have in fact paused since 1998, and the current level is below the level reached in the late 1950s. Sea levels BTW sea levels are increasing at a rate of less than 3mm/yr. Do the math, Manhatten is at no risk of sinking anytime soon. Funny how “Inside Climate News” forgot to mention that.


More on this topic

More on this topic 2

Meanwhile, ocean air temperatures are back down to levels before the most recent El Nino started:

Presently sea surface temperatures (SST) are the best available indicator of heat content gained or lost from earth’s climate system.  Enthalpy is the thermodynamic term for total heat content in a system, and humidity differences in air parcels affect enthalpy.  Measuring water temperature directly avoids distorted impressions from air measurements.  In addition, ocean covers 71% of the planet surface and thus dominates surface temperature estimates.  Eventually we will likely have reliable means of recording water temperatures at depth.

Recently, Dr. Ole Humlum reported from his research that air temperatures lag 2-3 months behind changes in SST.  He also observed that changes in CO2 atmospheric concentrations lag behind SST by 11-12 months.  This latter point is addressed in a previous post Who to Blame for Rising CO2?

The May update to HadSST3 will appear later this month, but in the meantime we can look at lower troposphere temperatures (TLT) from UAHv6 which are already posted for May. The temperature record is derived from microwave sounding units (MSU) on board satellites like the one pictured above.

The UAH dataset includes temperature results for air above the oceans, and thus should be most comparable to the SSTs. The graph below shows monthly anomalies for ocean temps since January 2015.

UAH May2018

Open image in new tab to enlarge.

The anomalies have reached the same levels as 2015.  Taking a longer view, we can look at the record since 1995, that year being an ENSO neutral year and thus a reasonable starting point for considering the past two decades.  On that basis we can see the plateau in ocean temps is persisting. Since last October all oceans have cooled, with upward bumps in Feb. 2018, now erased.

More here at Science Matters.

156 thoughts on “Ocean indicators suggest CO2 isn’t the strongest driver of climate

  1. I have a completely off-topic question here. I was reading Judith Curry’s site RHD other day and came across this:

    Actual CET data on cursory examination:
    Average temperatures:
    1658-1758 = 9.00C, rate of increase 0.6C/century
    1758-1858 = 9.1 C, rate 0.0C/century
    1858 – 1958 = 9.3C, rate 0.5C/century
    1958 – 2016 = 9.8C, rate 1.9C/century

    For the last period to be true, global temps must have risen 1.2C since 1958. Is this true? If it isn’t true, how could this person come up with this figure?

    • Hi Jimmy
      The numbers you quoted may be correct, but not necessarily representative
      In This CET Chart you can see the past 350 years . Green lines are trend extrapolations based on a periodic oscillations reconstruction. Blue line is the relative global temperature anomaly.
      note: if you wish to revisit the link, and if happens to be invisible you can highlight the relevant section, the link is there.

      • Except the MO are talking about daytime temperatures, and not CET mean temperatures.

        CET Maximum temperatures for May 2018 were 18.9°C, 2nd warmest on record (since 1885), 0.1°C cooler than May 1992.

        This compares with the MO’s temperature set showing May 2018 as being slightly warmer than 1992. Given the difference in location and number of sites, I’m not sure what claims are being destroyed here.

        • Another strawman claim:
          You should’ve read JoNova’s post.

          Warmest May “Evah”? No, That Was In 1833
          Spot the warming effect of CO2 — Not:


          The legendary data appears to have gone missing sometime in the last three weeks:

          Met Office loves their urban and airport located temperature sensors, where transient and spurious events drive record temperature events, e.g.:

          The Met Office’s claim that July 1 was the hottest July day on record has fallen flat after climate bloggers discovered that the temperature peak may have been caused by a plane landing at Heathrow.
          Early July saw Britain basking in a brief heatwave, with air temperatures across much of south and east England hitting the mid 30’s centigrade. On July 1, the Met Office announced that the UK had recorded the hottest July day on record, with temperatures hitting 36.7° centigrade at Heathrow airport.

          MetO was not following their own protocol for temperatures over time to minimize or eliminate spurious transient events. Instead they gleefully pronounced that record temperature that faded as fast as it briefly peaked.

          MetO loves their thermometer stations afflicted by UHI and local to the thermometer/thermistor instruments, heat sources.
          It’s defined as “cherry picking”.

          As Paul Homewood demonstrates on his excellent “Not a Lot of People Know That” web site;

          This makes the month only the 18th warmest on record, with the hottest May occurring in 1833:

    • I think that there are people associated with the scientific malfeasance driving the UNFCCC’s agenda of redistributing wealth under the guise of climate reparations who should be getting used to wearing orange jump suits.

  2. I’m not going to contest the claim that the oceans are warming.
    I’m going to contest the claim that we have enough data to know in the first place.
    The idea that we know what the heat content of the all the oceans, from surface to ocean floor, to within a few hundredths of a degree is ludicrous. It’s ludicrous today, it’s even more ludicrous 50 years when there was not only less data, but the data we did have was less accurate.

  3. The authors assert the following without the slightest attempt to back up their assertion:

    “LWIR between 13 and 18µ doesn’t penetrate or warm the oceans.”

    This is a common misconception. While LWIR doesn’t penetrate the oceans, that does not mean it doesn’t warm the oceans. LWIR doesn’t penetrate rocks, or the human body, yet it warms both.

    I discuss this misunderstanding in my post Radiating The Ocean. TL;DR version? The LWIR is absorbed by the ocean, and as a result the ocean ends up much warmer than it would be without the LWIR.


    • Rocks don’t evaporate when they warm up.
      (At least not in temperature ranges likely to be found on this planet.)
      My contention is that warmer air slows the rate at which energy put into the oceans by visible light can escape.

      • Mark, i think you’re spot on here. Whenever i get a cup of coffee, it never fails to cool off to the surrounding air temperature. The atmosphere sits on top of the ocean 24/7. You would think that’s plenty enough time for conductive heat transfer to do its thing. Especially when we’re talking about minute changes in temperature (on the whole) anyway. Why you’re getting this when hardly anybody else is getting it is beyond me. (maybe somebody will kindly come along and explain to the both of us where we’re going wrong)…

        • The air layer above the ocean surface is warming, because the lower atmosphere is warming. That means the ocean is cooling less. That means it’s warming. No?

    • Yes, but CO2 generated downwelling LWIR is very even, as CO2 is very well mixed. The warming of the oceans is very uneven. This unevenness is not just a matter of ocean upwelling, as large areas without upwelling show no warming.

      • “…CO2 generated downwelling LWIR is very even…”

        Doesn’t exist. It’s an instrumentation/emissivity illusion.

        “The Instruments & Measurements

        But wait, you say, upwelling (& downwelling) LWIR power flux is actually measured.

        Well, no it’s (They’re) not.

        IR instruments, e.g. pyrheliometers, radiometers, etc. don’t directly measure power flux. They measure a relative temperature compared to heated/chilled/reference thermistors or thermopiles and INFER a power flux using that comparative temperature and ASSUMING an emissivity of 1.0.

        The Apogee instrument instruction book actually warns the owner/operator about this potential error noting that ground/surface ε can be less than 1.0.

        That this warning went unheeded explains why SURFRAD upwelling LWIR with an assumed and uncorrected ε of 1.0 measures TWICE as much upwelling LWIR as incoming ISR, a rather egregious breach of energy conservation.

        This also explains why USCRN data shows that the IR (SUR_TEMP) parallels the 1.5 m air temperature, (T_HR_AVG) and not the actual ground (SOIL_TEMP_5). The actual ground is warmer than the air temperature with few exceptions, contradicting the RGHE notion that the air warms the ground.”


        • The best estimates of the emissivity of dry air are around 0.02 to 0.2. Nasif says that the emissivity of CO2 is around 0.002 . 5 different investigators found the emissivity of water vapour ~ 0.4


          Since NASA uses pyrgeometers that default to .95 or 1 as the emissivity, arent they overestimating the downward IR by a factor of 500? How can NASA justify treating air or CO2 as a blackbody?

          • I talked to an engineer of a company in Connecticutt that sells pyrgeometers and he confirmed that the default emission setting is 0.95 but on the expensive models you can set it yourself. Many companies are advertising cheap models that you cant set the emission for and are actually promoting their use in meteorology. If the setting is 0.95 and you are aiming it at the sky you will get useless results maybe 100 to 500 times the actual downward IR. Roy Spenser a meteorologist is bragging about his but if he has a cheap model and cant set the emission then he is deluding himself. But even if you can and do set the emissivity yourself; what value do you use for the emissivity of CO2. No researcher agees with any other researcher. And the value changes depending on the optical depth. I can scarcely believe that many meteorologists are making this same mistake. And nowhere in the Far IR measurement documentation of NASA do they mention emissivity. IS THIS REALLY TRUE? If so this is really Alice in Wonderland stuff. It is worse than the Wizard of OZ. At least in Oz , Toto drew back the curtain. PLEASE SOMEONE TELL ME IM WRONG.

    • Willis, it is well documented that “LWIR between 13 and 18µ doesn’t penetrate or warm the oceans.” You can test this in a lab. LWIR between 13 and 18µ is completely absorbed in the microlayer of the ocean surface and does not penetrate water. That is simply a fact. H20 is a fantastic absorber of those wavelengths, and the results is surface evaporation, which most likely cools the ocean. If you have evidence that LWIR between 13 and 18µ does penetrate water please post it. This is the first experiment Alarmists would run to prove their point, yet they remain silent. They do however run a bogus CO2 warms the air experiment done by Al Gore and Bill Nye. It is harder to rig the water warming experiment because you can shine the light directly on the water.

      Second, CO2 is irrelevant to the atmosphere above the oceans, so the oceans are already getting 100% of the back radiation of LWIR between 13 and 18µ. You can find that using MODTRAN. The air above the surface has enough H2O in it to negate any impact of CO2. You can only absorb and reradiate 100% of the energy, and H2O does that. The first you see a CO2 signature is up at 3km when H2O starts to precipitate and thin out. Once again, that can be verified using MODTRAN, or the Gas Cell calculator over at SpectralCal.

      Lastly, LWIR between 13 and 18µ is extremely low energy radiation when compared to the blue light that does penetrate and warm oceans. A simple clear day will allow more visible warming radiation to reach the oceans than LWIR between 13 and 18µ backradiation could provide in days if not weeks and months. Just look at the energy difference between blue light and LWIR. The differences are enormous.

      Thanks for the comment

      • CO2 is life, how can IR energy penetrating at any level cool the oceans? What would cause the portion of evaporation attributed to the narrow band of LW radiation to exceed the rate energy input?

      • CO2isLife

        “Willis, it is well documented that “LWIR between 13 and 18µ doesn’t penetrate or warm the oceans.” You can test this in a lab. LWIR between 13 and 18µ is completely absorbed in the microlayer of the ocean surface and does not penetrate water.”

        It doesn’t have to. Warming the surface skin layer is sufficient to reduce the rate at which the oceans lose heat to the atmosphere.

        • DW Rice

          That is a good suggested mechanism however it is incorrect in its outcome. Water is always trying to evaporate and does, to the limit of the available energy and the saturation of the air next next-gen to it. Adding energy aids the release of the molecules at the surface. They don’t immediately ‘get warm’ and heat the water immediately below.

          This only happens in the case of radiative heat transfer in the IR wavelengths, because water is opaque to IR. Visible wavelengths penetrate the water, are absorbed, and warm the water in the manner you describe.

          The increased evaporation promoted by increased IR supersaturates the air immediately above the water until a new equilibrium is established and either it moves away or gives up its heat to that air and drops back into the water. In either case, the impinging energy it transferred to the air which convects it away, not to the water below. Heat in a gas travels downwards with low efficiency.

          Note also that a supersaturated layer above the water is also opaque to IR, absorbing nearly 100% of IR energy preventing it reaching the surface at all.

        • DW Rice writes

          It doesn’t have to. Warming the surface skin layer is sufficient to reduce the rate at which the oceans lose heat to the atmosphere.

          As per Peter Minnett’s flawed experiment to attempt to show that effect?

          Comparing surface temp to 5cm depth temp and noting a relative increase in the surface temp when clouds come over (thus increasing LWIR greatly) also shows that when the DSWR decreases with clouds, the “hook” flattens (see below) and it appears that the surface temp increases relative to the 5cm depth when in fact the bulk temp is also decreasing due to reduction in energy entering the ocean.


    • Willis, tried to read your link but couldn’t get to it.

      Shouldn’t this be like the “clear skies at night don’t radiate” argument? I assumed it must be trivially true that a warming atmosphere must have a warming energy balance with the ocean (on average) due to 2LOT, but since even measuring ERBE is so fraught with uncertainty I’m not sure I would trust any hyrdrosphere/atmopshere energy balance estimates today without a long look at their methodology.

        • Thanks! That’s a pretty good article and very convincing.

          That said, I’m not sure the main thrust of this article is defeated by the error regarding DLR — the fact that DLR warms the ocean is not proof that changes in CO2 levels are significantly affecting surface ocean temps via DLR, and MODTRAN seems to suggest pretty strongly that this is not actually happening.

    • WILLIS(!), your link is taking me to the top of this page (just thought i’d let you know)…

    • “The LWIR is absorbed by the ocean, and as a result the ocean ends up much warmer than it would be without the LWIR.”
      All that is true. But LWIR also doesn’t need to penetrate to any depth. The ocean is a net emitter. The average net heat flux at the surface is upward. The down IR flux just helps to balance the very large upward flux from the warm sea water, which otherwise would rapidly cool the surface.

      If LWIR increases, the sea sea still has to emit the heat that it gets from sunlight. To do this, it has to warm further.

      • LWIR don’t penetrate water, if it cant it wan’t heat water. If you are on the beach and have a bottle of water you want to cool down, what do you do. Yoy rap the bottle with wet newspaper and leaves it in the sun. As long as you ceep the paper wet so it evaporates, it gets colder.

        • Are you sure LSIR doesn’t penetrate water? Even if it penetrates a thin surface layer, that layer is quickly mixed via turbulence. Where does the IR’s heat go then?

      • Nick said

        “If LWIR increases, the sea sea still has to emit the heat that it gets from sunlight. To do this, it has to warm further.”

        That doesnt make sense unless it is a typo with the penultimate word being replaced by the word “cool”. The heat lost from evaporation will far outweigh any LWIR hitting the surface of the oceans.

        • Alan, Nick is correct.

          To balance the added input of energy, the ocean will warm, then radiate heat per the Stefan-Boltzmann relation at a new equilibrium temperature. That is how the conservation of energy works (your suggestion would break the laws of thermodynamics).

          • You mix things together.
            Let’s say you are a golf greenkeeper and have the species creeping bent (Agrostis stolonifera) on your greens. It is summer and the soil temperature passes 20 c. You know that roots start to have problems and if the temperature reaches 25c and even higher, roots “die” and later the plant itself. What do you do.
            You start the irrigation system. We know that within the drops from the irrigation system hit the ground they have taken / received the air’s temperature. This will not cause cooling of the ground. The air temperature is usually higher than the soil temperature.
            But then evaporation begins. Soil temperature decreases, as desired.
            Do you think we break the laws of thermodynamics.

          • Conclusion, the surface of the earth (sea / land) has more than one way of getting rid of heat.

      • True enough Nick but molecules that are close to evaporating are given the energy needed to do so by the LWIR. And more of that LWIR ought to increase a molecules chances of evaporating all things otherwise being equal. In the real atmosphere and real ocean, what wins out?

      • ” The ocean is a net emitter. ”

        At the surface, certainly. The oceans as a whole have barely changed average temperature since 1950 enough to measure, to the limited extent we can measure the average temperature at all.

        The total energy balance of the ocean needs a lot more clarification before people start claiming trends in it as “evidence” of anything — the biggest contributor to “sea level rise [sic]” in the graph above is from the thing we know the least about.

        • Yes, I meant the ocean is a net emitter of IR. Overall, it stays in balance. But the SW heat from the sun cannot just accumulate, and a large fraction is emitted from the surface as IR. The surface has to be warm enough for that to happen, and down IR is part of maintaining that warmth.

    • Willis

      Your article (radiating the oceans) establishes nothing. It uses circular arguments.

      The oceans do not freeze whether one looks at gross energy flows, or at net energy flows. Hence one cannot say that since the oceans have not frozen, it must be gross energy flows that are determinative.

  4. CO2 doesn’t “drive” anything.

    “It doesn’t matter how beautiful your theory is, it doesn’t matter how smart you are. If it doesn’t agree with experiment, it’s wrong.”
    Richard P. Feynman

    For the up/down/”back” radiation of greenhouse theory’s GHG energy loop to function as advertised earth’s “surface” must radiate as an ideal black body, i.e. 16 C/289 K, 1.0 emissivity = 396 W/m^2.

    As demonstrated by my modest experiment (1 & 2) the contiguous presence of the atmospheric molecules participating in the conductive, convective and latent heat movement processes renders this ideal black body radiation impossible. Radiation’s actual share and effective emissivity is 0.16, 63/396.

    Without this GHG energy loop, radiative greenhouse theory collapses.

    Without RGHE theory, man-caused climate change does not exist.

    (1) https://principia-scientific.org/experiment-disproving-the-radiative-greenhouse-gas-effect/

    (2) http://www.writerbeat.com/articles/21036-S-B-amp-GHG-amp-LWIR-amp-RGHE-amp-CAGW

    Got science? Bring it on!!

    • I agree with is assessment. The K-T power flux is not correct…the 333 w/m2 loop is impossible. Violates the second law of thermodynamics. Sets the stage for an infinite loop of energy. The air can not heat the earth or oceans unless it’s advected energy. But that is insignificant. It’s hard to believe that the power flux diagram is not more fiercely attacked…..ghe falls apart without it

    • Often see folks here quoting Richard Feynman. Few better persons to quote, where quotes about the scientific method are concerned. Here’s another quote of his that I like:

      “The first principle is that you should not fool yourself – and you are the easiest person to fool”

      We all need to pay close attention to that observation.

  5. When the heading is misleading and incorrect that is usually an indicator that the article may follow in the same vein. (CO₂ is the primary driver and not necessarily the strongest especially when there are fast feedbacks of WV and clouds.) A quick perusal affirms that assumption to be correct with reliance on non peer reviewed and rebutted papers and a misunderstanding of the ocean skin surface and other basic errors.

    • Please provide the evidence to prove your belief that CO2 is the primary driver of climate.
      And no, models are not evidence.

      • It would be interesting to find out who believes asking for proof is worth a down vote.

      • Straw man. Nobody asserts CO2 is the primary driver (there is after all the sun, Malankovich, tectonics, water vapour etc). However they do assert that CO2 is the driver that we have some control over, and the driver that is important on the timescales relevant to our current societies. The evidence is well established, based on conservation of energy and radiation laws. That is, the evidence is based on basic 19th century physics, not models.

        • It is evidence in laboratory isolation all else being equal. I believe the discussion rests with the distinction that in the real world, all else is not equal or in isolation, and the 19th century physics does not directly apply to the larger system.

        • “Nobody asserts CO2 is the primary driver ”

          Lack of reading comprehension. SP, in the post I was responding to, did just that.

        • Perhaps you never came across any of the plethora of papers claiming and starting from the assumption that CO2 is the Earth’s planetary temperature control knob?

  6. Good piece, except for the several typos…I’ll just add once again that total “ocean heat content” is still very difficult to measure and probably not known with enough accuracy to reliably measure the post-1950s trend, let alone any trends since 2000 (let’s not even talk about claims regarding individual years).

    Also, note the last graphic is deliberately misleading ICN readers, as it ignores subsidence yet refers to “sea level” and not one of the fancy new “volume” euphemisms.

  7. Ocean water temps are declining says ARGO and from depth with influence on surface temps and ocean air temps. See not de-trended AMO, South Atlantic, Pacific indicators.

  8. LWIR between 13 and 18µ doesn’t penetrate or warm the oceans.

    That’s around the wavelength that the ocean emits. So … how do you explain how the atmosphere keeps the surface warmer than it would otherwise be?

    • Wein’s Displacement Law:
      T = 0.00289777/lambda
      T = 0.00289777/13E-06 = 222.9 K = -50.2 ℃

      Even correcting for gray body emissivity of around 0.95 only gets you up to -38.5 ℃.

      In a wet adiabatic lapse rate (tropics) △T = -5 K/Km.

      So that temperature is present at above ~7km altitude.

    • commieBob,

      “how do you explain how the atmosphere keeps the surface warmer”

      Actually, the oceans emit something very close to the Planck spectrum of an ideal black body which includes the 2.7u, 4.3u and 15u absorption bands of CO2, but also includes the broad spectrum of emissions in between.

      Relative to the GHG effect, the most significant effect on the surface is the return of photons from energized GHG molecules. The idea that this energy is ‘thermalized’ into the kinetic energy of translational motion of air molecules and that this energy is what heats the surface is incorrect. The idea of thermalization arose as a misapplication of equipartition of energy as it incorrectly assumes the complete and immediate coupling between the energy transported by photons and the energy transported by matter.

      The presumed thermalization path is when photons slightly above or below the main absorption lines combine to add or remove a small amount of energy from rotational modes. While theoretically, rotation is considered a degree of freedom, relative to the kinetic temperature and can potentially be transferred by a collision, this happens in both directions making the NET transfer of energy between vibrational modes and rotational modes approximately zero.

      The only real thermalization paths are when an energized H2O molecule condenses upon a atmospheric water droplet or when an energized CO2 molecule is absorbed by atmospheric water. The surface is heated beyond what the Sun can do alone, not by the translational energy of air molecules, but by those photons emitted by GHG’s and clouds that make it back to the surface. Note that latent heat is also returned to the water droplets that water vapor condenses upon and that Trenberth incorrectly considers the return of latent heat as a part of his bogus ‘back radiation’ term, rather then returning to the surface as rain.

      We can see the actual thermalization effect in the 13u band, where the atmosphere absorbs 100% of surface emissions and we would expect to see about a 3db attenuation of 13u photons at TOA. Instead, we see a little more than 3db attenuation and only the attenuation in excess of 3db is ‘thermalized’.

      Clouds act just like GHG’s, except that clouds are broadband absorbers and emitters of energy, while GHG’s are narrow band absorbers and emitters. This also means that GHG’s between the surface and clouds have almost no incremental effect, as the clouds would be absorbing and re-emitting those surface emissions anyway.

      • Small correction

        “Note that latent heat is also returned to the water droplets that water vapor condenses upon and that Trenberth incorrectly considers the return of latent heat as a part of his bogus ‘back radiation’ term, rather then returning to the surface as rain.”

        When H2O vapour condenses it releases latent heat into the atmosphere but not all of it. The proof of that is that the water then needs some latent heat left inside it to be able to freeze if and when necessary. Because when water freezes latent heat also escapes to the atmosphere. The whole cycle of latent heat is interesting and complicated. Ice melting puts latent heat into the water. Water evaporating puts latent heat into the water vapour. On the return trip, water vapour condensing releases latent heat into the atmosphere and water freezing puts further latent heat into the atmosphere. How much of the % of latent heat remains in the water after condensing nobody knows but it has to be at least enough to allow for a possible freezing. Evaporation both cools the oceans and cools the atmosphere at the same time. Obviously once the raindrops return to the oceans, the next cycle of evaporation must increase the amount of latent heat ( sensible heat that is taken out of the ocean) that is then transferred to the water vapour and the cycle keeps repeating ad infintum only changing a little when some of that water in the oceans freezes. There must be some net loss of sensible heat to latent heat upon evaporation versus condensation (of latent heat to sensible heat) or the oceans would boil over. So convection must play a huge role here of making sure that the latent heat that is released upon condensation is actually released to space or else the atmosphere would burn up. But dont forget that the atmosphere was left a little cooler also when evaporation happened.

    • The tropical ocean SST runs 28 ℃ to 31 ℃.
      This is a peak emission of 9.6micron to 9.52micron.

      Not coincidentally, notice where the water vapor IR transparency window is:

      (the green line is the water vapor absorption spectra)

      Sea water freezes at ~272 K.
      The world’s oceans are thus: 272 K < (SST) < 305 K.
      This puts the SS emission spectra at 10.5 micron to 9.5 micron.

      Assuming a stable 2-meter boundary layer air temperature (SAT) above the sea surface is very near thermal equilibrium with the SST, so that SAT ~ SST, then the sea surface boundary layer air emission sits right in the trough of that absorption spectra for water vapor.

      As the SST rises above 28℃ the moist boundary air layer above it rises in temperature too. But as the boundary layer air temp rises it begins to absorb more of the IR energy as the peak emission is falling from 9.6 to 9.5 microns, such that warming and buoyancy effects take-over and thus convection takes over. The boundary layer becomes unstable as surface winds pick up to replace the rising air

  9. Chart #3. “Ocean Temperature: Warm and Warmer.

    Visually, 2015 is the warmist. 2016 is less warm than 2015, and 2017 (partial year) looks to be even less warm.

    Am I getting my colors wrong?

  10. The authors do not understand the energy balance at the ocean surface.LWIR is absorbed very close to the water surface.An increase in LWIR will cause the interface temperature to rise and hence reduce the convective heat loss from the bulk ocean.Calculations show that the associated increase in evaporative heat loss is an order of magnitude less.LWIR “heats” the bulk ocean by reducing its heat loss to the atmosphere.

    • Once again, you can test this with MODTRAN. CO2 is 100% insignificant to the back radiation of the lower atmosphere, 100%. You can only absorb/emit 100% of the LWIR radiation and H2O in the atmosphere does just that. The CO2 signature isn’t visible until you get up to 3km when H2O thins and precipitates out. With or without CO2 is the lower atmosphere the energy balance is the same. You can check that with MODTRAN. Also, heat rises in the oceans. LWIR never reaches the range that is warming, it only touches the top micro-layer, and once again, that LWIR Backradiation is coming from the atmospheric H2O.

    • Because DWLWIR is omni-directional such that some of it interacts at a grazing angle of between say 1 and 10 degrees, some at 11 to 20 degrees, some at 21 to 30 degrees to the vertical, it follows that the vertical penetration into the ocean is only around 4 or 5 MICRONS. I emphasise that all DWLIR is fully absorbed within about the first 5 vertical MICRONS of the ocean.

      The top millimetres of the ocean is cooler than the bulk below. The energy flux at the top of the ocean is upward, such that there can be no transfer of energy by conduction from the top MICRONS to the bulk below.

      The action of wind, wave and swell are slow mechanical processes whereas incoming photons from DWLWIR are interacting at light speed. These slow mechanical processes cannot effectively mix the DWLWIR, absorbed in the top MICRONS, and dissipate that energy to depth at a rate faster than the energy absorbed in the top MICRONS drives evaporation.

      It is this evaporation at the top of the ocean that explains why the top millimetres are cooler than the bulk below.

      The temperature profile of the oceans is as follows:


      • Richard,
        “The energy flux at the top of the ocean is upward”
        So what carries it? The thing is, all the arguments made to say IR could not be absorbed equally say it could not be emitted. Pathways are reversible. But there certainly is emission.

        “It is this evaporation at the top of the ocean that explains why the top millimetres are cooler than the bulk below.”
        People who say this stuff need to do the arithmetic. How much evaporation would it need? The answer is, far too much. About 5m/year, which would then have to fall as rain.

        • People who say this stuff need to do the arithmetic. How much evaporation would it need? The answer is, far too much. About 5m/year, which would then have to fall as rain.

          Not all of it has to be evaporation. Some of it is, as you suggested earlier, radiated as part of the ocean surface’s requirement to radiate according to S-B. Its a question of what the net effect is on ocean energy content with additional LWIR.

          • Some years ago, Nick and I exchanged some comments on this, and Nick made a calculation on the amount of rainfall that would result from the average DWLWIR being fully absorbed in the top 10 microns. If I recall it was over 5 metres of rainfall annually, whereas we estimate that we have only about 1 to 1.5 metres of rainfall..

            I do not consider that anyone knows what is really happening at the ocean/atmosphere interface (say the bottom millimetres of the atmosphere and the first millimetres of the ocean).

            But what we do know is that DWLWIR is not carried to depth. We can see this in the night time temperature profile of the ocean where even though the ocean is being bombarded with DWLWIR, the temperature profile is cooler in the top 15 microns, and then remains constant between about 15 microns and 5 metres.

            If DWLWIR was being mixed and sequestered to depth, one would expect to see the top cm warmer than the next cm and so on gradually cooling the deeper one looks.

            See the NASA Modis data on the temperature profile of the oceans. (a) is night time temperatures, and (b) is day time temperatures. If DWLWIR was making its way down to depth, one would expect at night to see a similar profile to that of the day, but not as warm since not as much energy is being received at night.


        • Nick,

          We have had some exchanges on this some years ago. At the time, I was suggesting that perhaps DWLWIR is nothing more than a signal (that can be measured) but perhaps it is not energy capable of performing sensible work in the circumstances and the medium in which it finds itself.

          In support of that contention, I was making the point that IF DWLWIR was capable of sensible work, given the absorption characteristics of LWIR in water, there is so much energy being absorbed in the top MICRONS that perhaps one would expect to see copious evaporation/rainfall that we are not observing.

          I do not consider that anyone knows what is going on at the atmosphere/ocean interface. Perhaps, there may be some photonic exchange such that DWLWIR is not absorbed at all (and it is in effect just an accounting issue). But what we do know is that DWLWIR does not directly heat the oceans, and this is clear from the night time temperature profile of the oceans. At night when the oceans are receiving DWLWIR none of this makes its way past the evaporative top microns layer.

          You have never reverted on your interpretation of the NASA Modis data, and why the night time temperature profile does not show that the top cm is warmer than the next cm etc, gradually cooling as DWLWIR is being mixed, from the surface to depth. You have never explained why the night time temperature profile is not of a similar shape (obviously not identical in profile and certainly not as warm, but rather broadly showing more warmth near the surface and getting cooler to depth) to the daytime temperature profile, nor how DWLWIR passes between 15 microns and 5 metres undetected.

          • Richard,

            Let me just set out the conditions for heat balance at the surface. It is tightly constrained, and of course has to balance. I’ll use Trenberth’s numbers:

            -161 W/m2 SW (sunlight). measured, and penetrates, but has to come to the surface again (whhere else?).

            +396 W/m2 IR up – constrained by S-B, since SST is known

            +80 W/m2 evap – corresponds to .9-1 m rainfall; again well measured.

            +17 W/m2 thermals – the atmosphere is convectively stable

            Adds to +332 W/m2. There has to be a flux of -332 W/m2 to balance at the surface. And there is – it is DWLWIR.

            It doesn’t need to penetrate. The main flux beneath the water is most of the 161 W/m2 being transported to the surface. It just makes up a surface deficit.

            If there is more than +332 (more GHGs)then the upflux must increase. That means warmer water – more up IR and more evap.

      • The surface of the ocean on the whole is warmer than the atmosphere. Thus it only makes sense that the ocean surface is cooler than the bulk below. (it’s at the surface where the ocean, the bulk if you will, releases heat to a cooler atmosphere)…

  11. I read on Yahoo once that the co2 molecule enters the ocean and warms it, like it is some type of radioactive element. They really believe co2 warms the ocean, somehow, and no amount of science will convince them otherwise. I bet you cant get one alarmist to admit co2 doesn’t warm the ocean.

  12. too long and too complicated a post.
    chart 1
    Looks like your main explanation for the warming is more sun rays because of less pollution. Doesn’t seem unreasonable at first, but you need more that coincidence to support the claim, otherwise, you are doing no better than warmunists. And anyway, you’ll face the very same attribution problem than they do: the system being chaotic, random endogenous variation are enough to explain all what’s happening, meaning it just impossible to prove any exogenous mechanism is also at play.

    chart 2
    This one should be a nobrainer (except for the “more extreme weather”, simply not happening), why do you discuss it? nobrainer, because without any figures, while the whole controversy is all about figures (that is, if feedback are negative and dull the modest “more GHG”, or positive and amplify it to the point is matters).

    “MODTRAN demonstrates that CO2 has zero impact on the energy budget in the lower atmosphere as long as H2O is present. ” Maybe true, but it doesn’t matter. All you need for warming to happen is that Earth radiates from a higher average altitude than before, and then lapse rate will result in higher temperature on the ground. This altitude rise is a result of an increased opacity of atmosphere. And, then again, the point is not if this is happening: it is, for sure. The point is whether this altitude rise is and will be a matter of meters (irrelevant), tens, or hundreds (significant)

    actually shows COOLING from 2015 to 2017 (less red in 2017 than in 2015…). The opposite of the title.
    That’s the point you should be rising

    main fault here is mentioning “melt from antarctica”. Which simply doesn’t exist, as Antarctica actually GAINS ice

  13. I first believed this theory with a big caveat. I said that what I don’t understand is exactly all the things above. The initial IPCC reports all looked at the ocean as static and asserted that multi-decadal changes in ocean temperatures were impossible. That simply didn’t make sense to me.

    First, we had no evidence of this. Back in the early 90s we had virtually no knowledge of the ocean at all as far as temperature or long term trends. We had just discovered the El Nino phenomenon.

    But even then the idea the oceans were static seemed like a potenitally massive hole in the theory because it was obvious that because of the enormous heat capacity of the ocean incredible amounts of heat could be moving around in the ocean and dramatically affect air temperatures and we might not know anything about it because we had no knowledge.

    We also have almost no information on volcanic energy release in the ocean through fissures in the crust. It was assumed these were also constant and static. It was unclear how such an assumption could be made since we had virtually no information on these.

    What I saw was a potential theory but one that had a long long way to go to be validated and could easily be invalidated if any of the very long odds assumptions they made turned out false.

    It took virtually no time to actually prove that the theory was invalidated simply by the discovery of AMO/PDO. These long term 60 year cycle trends in ocean temperatures discovered virtually immediately after they claimed all these absurd assumptions proves that their models were horribly flawed. They couldn’t explain these phenomenon. No model reproduced them. They represented about 0.23C plus and minus temperature over the 60 year period which essentially explained more than half of all the warming in 1975-1999 and almost all temperature variation before 1975.

    It was apparent in the 1990s fully 20+ years ago that the models were horribly incomplete and were off by at least 50%.

    More important the existence of cycle of 60 years in the ocean implied there could be other cycles. What should have happened is the scientists should have scoured data and study to discover if OTHER cycles existed in the oceans. For instance, the 1000 year cycle that is seen in the historical record for at least 8,000 years. If this cycle continued it could explain ALL of the warming from 1975-2000 without any need for co2 at all and the extraordinary warming from 1915-1945 that models had no explanation for.

    In short it has been apparent for 30 years that the models are utterly invalidated. They missed the oceans.

  14. A fact that is often ignored is that at the water/air interface or the ice/air interface the temperature will always approach the measured air dew point/ frost point. That is because, with either evaporation or condensation the air is saturated at the interface. Evaporation is an indothermic process and cools the ocean surface or water droplets in clouds. Air temperature is primarily a measure of the number of molecular collisions. There are a whole lot more nitrogen-nitrogen collisions than there could possibly be with CO2 and other molecules. Another fact that is often ignored is that radiation is “line of sight, and fast as light”. So CO2 radiation in clouds is most likely absorbed by water droplets and seldom reaches the ocean surface. However, those water droplets at the bottom of clouds do radiate to the ocean surface.
    The bottom line of all this is that the water cycles of evaporation/condensation are controlling the earth’s surface temperature, not CO2.

  15. I keep reading sun is approaching or has arrived at a new solar minimum. Between solar minimums and solar maximums is there a measured difference in solar radiation being absorbed around the globe? It seems to me the scientific community keeps studying and arguing over the Solarium mostly disregarding variances in the wattage of the Sun Lamp.

    • There has been discussion here regarding the relationship of cloud formation and cosmic rays.

      Spaceweather.com has an article about the solar minimum and cosmic rays…

      “SPACE WEATHER VS. SUPERCOMPUTERS: Solar minimum is coming. Should supercomputers worry? Researchers have long known that cosmic ray neutrons and other high energy particles can cause errors and even crash supercomputers in mid-calculation. That’s worrisome because cosmic rays are intensifying with the decline of the sunspot cycle. Hewlett-Packard is even testing a supercomputer on the International Space Station to see how cosmic rays affect it. Improved shielding and error-correcting codes may yet solve the problem. Meanwhile, stay tuned for … … solar minimum.”

      • Few cosmic rays make it all the way to the surface.
        Detecting and correcting single bit errors has been SOP for computers used in airplanes and satellites for decades.
        Home and office computers have the ability to detect single bit errors, but not usually to correct them.

  16. lts little wonder that the northern Atlantic is running cool this year.
    During part of the winter and for much of the spring there has been alot of cold air coming off N America and flowing over the NW Atlantic. All thanks to the cold air and large snow extent that’s been over N America. So alot of heat has been drawn out of the Atlantic.

  17. “… The oceans contain 2,000x the energy of the atmosphere, so small changes to the oceans can mean big changes in the atmospheric temperature….”

    Maybe or maybe not. Heat is a process, not a state like energy or temperature. No matter how much energy the ocean contains, it cannot heat air (cause the air to increase in temperature presumably) when there is no temperature difference between them. A small change in ocean temperature cannot cause an arbitrarily large change in air temperature. Now if a person maintains that the ability of the ocean to absorb energy, its heat capacity, may moderate air temperatures, I would agree with them. But the importance of the enormous heat capacity of the oceans, or their stored energy, to an argument depends on things, processes, that must be explained–like evaporation as commenters here have noted. I think the failure to distinguish between common terms like using “heat” for temperature on the one hand and energy on the other, or thinking that an object contains a unique quantity of “heat”, leads to many misconceptions about rising ocean temperature, generally in the direction of increasing alarm.

  18. These incest climate fake news folks highlight many of the fakeries used by alarmists.

    Chart#1; is a perfect example where two independent utterly dissimilar data collections are forced to align and combined into a chart; through the manipulation of both left and right Y axis along with the X axis.

    That conflation fails to imply association, correlation or causation.

    Then, the authors after claiming that the chart helps to prove their CO₂ fantasy; do not explain why their ocean heat measurements fail to follow CO₂’s trend during the 1863-1984 period. A period that saw rapid increases in industry, fossil fuel electricity generation, fossil fuel vehicular use, plastics development and expansion, Acrylics development and rapid expansion, etc. etc.

    Nor should people overlook these author’s disingenuous claims for sea level rise while failing to note how such a small portion of ocean is allegedly warming a very minute amount.

    That graph line where ocean temperatures are converted to joules, ignores all error bounds for independent individual and widely varied temperature equipment. A flimflammery that should get NOAA rebuked at a minimum.

    Willis, conducted an excellent analysis back in 2013.

    NOAA’s Ocean Heat content chart to 700 meters.

    Here is where Willis converted that chart to degrees Celsius.

    Aren’t those scary numbers? 0.12°C increase since 1996; an increase well within equipment error bounds

    The chart use by the incest climate news group uses NOAA’s 0-2000 meter chart that allegedly contains temperature measurements since 1957.
    A) NOAA manages to smear an extreme paucity of temperature measurement into a global temperature to 2000 meters.
    B) Equipment that ranges over a very broad and usually coarse temperature measuring ability from thermometers in buckets to argo deployed sensors.
    C) NOAA retroactively applies laboratory accuracy and precision across all of the ocean temperature measurements; A vast majority of those sensors are incapable of maintaining accuracy measurements to hundreths of a degree.

  19. Reply to CO2 is life,6/6/18,9.31 a.m. You claim that LWIR absorption in the surface micro layer results in surface evaporation.A quantitive surface energy balance shows that a 1W/m^2 change in LWIR flux causes a change in evaporative heat flux of about only 0.025W/m^2 (for moderate winds on the tropical ocean). So what balances the rest of the absorbed energy?A very small portion goes to emission and sensible heat transfer to the atmosphere.About 95% goes to reduce the convection heat loss from the bulk ocean to the interface.This reduction of heat loss can be viewed as “heating”, but perhaps this is a matter of semantics.But please ,talk without numbers is speculation, not science.

    • “You claim that LWIR absorption in the surface micro layer results in surface evaporation.”
      The other thing wrong with that is just arithmetic. If the LWIR energy is absorbed by latent heat, it would need to evaporate about 5m pre year. That would then fall as rain. But we don’t get anywhere near that much rain.

  20. Criticism of the post seems to focus on a few comments:
    1) LWIR between 13 and 18µ doesn’t penetrate water
    2) LWIR between 13 and 18µ doesn’t warm water
    3) LWIR between 13 and 18µ back-radiated from CO2 causes the ocean to warm

    Penetration of water by EM Radiation stops about 7µ. Here is a graphic. If anyone has any information that proves otherwise, please post it.

    Here Dr. Spencer discusses the issue of IR warming the Oceans. Interestingly, he doesn’t really give an answer, demonstrating that one of the most critical questions regarding this “settled” science hasn’t been answered. His experiment, however, showed that exposure to IR cooled H2O. I address this in a couple of ways. 1) CO2 doesn’t penetrate water, and heat rises in the oceans, so LWIR can’t warm the oceans at the depth of 20 to 100 meters 2) LWIR can cause evaporation of the surface layer that would cool the surface and 3) It is irrelevant because CO2 isn’t involved. H2O traps all the LWIR between 13 and 18µ above the oceans. With or without CO2 the back radiation is the same. You can check that on MODTRAN and SpecralCalc.

    The problem is that both CO2 and H2O absorb LWIR between 13 and 18µ, and H2O is far far far more abundant than the 400 ppm of CO2 over the oceans. Using MODTRAN you can see that even doubling CO2 has zero measurable impact on the outgoing W/M^2 up to about 3km when the CO2 signature first appears once H2O thins and precipitates out of the atmosphere. Even if you accept that CO2 is a GHG, you can’t blame it for altering the W/M^2 back radiated to the oceans…unless MODTRAN is wrong.

    Lastly, LWIR between 13 and 18µ is very very low energy radiation compared to the visible warming spectrum. Small changes in cloud cover of air clarity can easily exceed any changes in LWIR between 13 and 18µ back radiation. That being said, if anyone has evidence that LWIR between 13 and 18µ can penetrate and warm water, or that CO2 actually changes the outgoing W/M^2 of the lower atmosphere, please post it. If that evidence exists we will need to re-write the Physics and Chemistry books, as well as re-program MODTRAN and SpectralCalc.

    • If LWIR did not”warm” (reduce the heat loss) from the ocean, the ocean would be a lot cooler–and I would not go to the beach for a swim! Also,the physics books are fine but irrelevant:you need to consult the heat and mass transfer literature.

      • Same way evaporation cools your skin. Evaporation is endothermic. Wind and other factors are causing surface evaporation, the LWIR just pushes it over the edge and aids evaporation. My bet is that if you take a fan and blow it over the top of a bath of water the surface will be cooler than the deeper water. Once again, that can be done in a lab.


        The wind increases the evaporation rate of the liquid water from our skin surface and accelerates the amount that’s being converted to vapor.

        • It is not like that at all. It is a question of absorption.

          As regards water, given the wavelength of LWIR and the omni-directional pattern of DWLIR grazing the ocean, with some interacting at a grazing angle of 1 to 10 degrees, some at 11 to 20 degrees, some at 21 to 30 degrees etc to the vertical, the vertical penetration of DWLIR is only about 5 MICRONS. I emphasie that all DWLWIR is fully absorbed in just about 5 MICRONS

          The top 50 or so MICRON layer of the ocean is always cooler than the bulk below because this is where evaporation takes place. See:

          Interestingly, if one accepts K&T energy budget cartoon there is approximately 2 times as much DWLWIR absorbed by the oceans as there is solar irradiance. Due to the wavelength of Solar irradiance non of it is absorbed in the top few MICRONS but instead it is absorbed at a depth between about 20 com and about 10 metres (with some penetrating beyond 150 metres). The bulk of Solar irradiance is absorbed in a a column of water of about 5 metres. The upshot of this is that the top % MICRONS of the oceans absorb twice the amount of energy from DWLWIR as does the top 5 metres absorb from sunlight.

          Thus there is about 1,000,000 times more energy being absorbed in the top MICRONS (from DWLWIR) than solar warming the depth of the ocean

          Given that photons are light speed events, and given that energy absorbed in the top MICRONS cannot be conducted to depth (since the energy flux is upwards at the very top of the ocean as per the above plot), the question is whether slow mechanical processes such as wind, waves and swell can mix the top of the ocean and sequester and dissipate the energy to depth at a rate faster than evaporation would otherwise be driven

          Further consider that since the average windspeed over the oceans is just over BF4, it means that vast areas of the oceans as we discuss matters are experiencing BF2 or less where there is all but no wind and wave mixing. Further, in extreme weather say BF9 and above the top of the ocean (ie., the the top few microns) is a divorced layer and is not in contact with the oceans. The energy from DWLWIR in these conditions never gets into the oceans but instead is swept into the atmosphere above. The divorced layer effectively acting rather akin to a parasol fully absorbing the DWLWIR before it gets to the ocean.

        • Forrest writes

          Let’s restate the theory a little. Assuming constant wind, shining IR on water will make it cool faster than if no IR is shone on the water.

          If you’re “shining an IR lamp on water” then you’re adding energy that wasn’t there before. The LWIR from the atmosphere isn’t “new” energy, it originated from the ocean some time before. That’s a big difference and why LWIR doesn’t “warm” it only slows cooling.

          And to add to and hopefully simplify Richards comments, any additional evaporation as a direct result of the LWIR is a cooling effect. So there are competing effects at play. The LWIR slows the cooling by adding its energy to the surface molecules (and subsequently radiated away again almost completely) vs increasing evaporation and cooling the surface.

    • LWIR can “warm” the ocean by reducing heat loss, yes it may increase evaporation, but that evaporation is using the energy of the LWIR, and not net cooling the ocean. Furthermore, to the extent that the LWIR induced evaporation contributes to the water vapor saturation of the air at the ocean-air interface, it reduces the evaporation that would normally cool the ocean surface. If winds and other atmospheric mixing are reducing the water vapor saturation, then total evaporation may be increased, increasing the LWIR from H2O. So the heat is from SW which can penetrate 10s of meters, but the LWIR can reduced heat loss through increased water vapor saturation and increase H2O LWIR.

  21. Excerpted from above commentary:

    Recently, Dr. Ole Humlum reported from his research that air temperatures lag 2-3 months behind changes in SST (sea surface temperatures).

    He also observed that changes in CO2 atmospheric concentrations lag behind SST (sea surface temperatures) by 11-12 months.

    This latter point is addressed in a previous post (see below) … Who to Blame for Rising CO2?

    Technically, one could claim that the air temperatures in the high latitudes of the Northern Hemisphere lag behind SST (sea surface temperatures) in the low latitudes of the Southern Hemisphere. Or that the air temperatures at 45 degree North latitude lag behind the SST (sea surface temperatures) at 10 degree North latitude.

    Who to Blame for Rising CO2?
    Source: https://rclutz.wordpress.com/2018/04/13/who-to-blame-for-rising-co2/

    Changes in global atmospheric CO2 are lagging 11–12 months behind changes in global sea surface temperature. ► Changes in global atmospheric CO2 are lagging 9.5–10 months behind changes in global air surface temperature. ► Changes in global atmospheric CO2 are lagging about 9 months behind changes in global lower troposphere temperature.

    I seem to be having trouble “correlating” the above noted CO2 ppm “lag times” of 11–12 months, …… 9.5–10 months ……. and/or about 9 months ………. with the biyearly (increase/decrease) cycling (7/5 month) as denoted by the past 60 years of the Mauna Loa CO2 Record.

    ► Changes in ocean temperatures explain a substantial part of the observed changes in atmospheric CO2 since January 1980.

    Now, the above, I can agree with. Also, changes in ocean temperatures explain the majority of all changes in atmospheric CO2 ppm quantities, officially, since at least 1958 as noted below.

    A main control on atmospheric CO2 appears to be the ocean surface temperature, and it remains a possibility that a significant part of the overall increase of atmospheric CO2 since at least 1958 (start of Mauna Loa observations) simply reflects the gradual warming of the oceans, …… (Solanki et al., 2004).

    And also, the “seasonal cycling” (average Fall &Winter 8 ppm increase, average Spring & Summer 6 ppm decrease) of atmospheric CO2 as defined by Keeling Curve Graph.

  22. I only see a black rectangle following the paragraphs that start, “The warming oceans are evidence that CO2 ISN’T the cause of the recent warming.” and ” This graphic validates the incoming visible radiation warms the oceans theory.” It might be something wrong at my end, but I get those black rectangles on Firefox and Chrome.

    • Yes, I get the same black boxes with Firefox and IE….haven’t tried Chrome.

    • There is no global warming due to AGW and the minor recent global warming that did take place is ending this year, year 2018.

      Thus far year 2018 is cooperating with overall sea surface temperatures now less then +.15c above 1981-2010 means in contrast to +.35c during the past summer.

      In addition according to satellite data the global temperatures this year are lower then a year ago through today.

      One key metric that has to be watched is the North Atlantic which is now in solid negative territory around -.60c from 1981-2010 means.

      Greenland Ice very healthy.

      As the sun continues in a prolonged solar minimum state this is going to equate to lower overall sea surface temperatures and a slightly higher albedo which in turn will equate to a colder climate.

      The weakening geo magnetic field will compound this .

      I have been saying this for years and this year 2018 , is the first year that my two solar conditions have been met in order to have the sun result in a more significant climatic impact. Those being 10+ years of sub solar activity in general(which started in year 2005) and within this sub solar activity in general a period of time of very low average value solar parameters(which started in year 2018) meaning solar reading equal to or lower in magnitude that occurs during typical solar minimums with the duration of time of these very low solar values longer then what is typical.

      It is happening this year and this is the first time since the ending of the Dalton Minimum, that my two solar conditions are occurring.

      In the meantime all the basic premises AGW theory is based on have failed to materialize while the global climate is not even close to being unique.

      The theory should have been trashed 20 years ago but has survived due to political agendas.

      • Salvatore Del Prete – June 6, 2018 1:45 pm

        As the sun continues in a prolonged solar minimum state this is going to equate to lower overall sea surface temperatures and a slightly higher albedo which in turn will equate to a colder climate.

        I have been saying this for years

        Right you are, me thinks, …… Salvatore, …… and like myself, there are quite a few others who have been saying bout the same thing, for the past 10+ years.

        And keep in mind, …… when the aforesaid “lower overall sea surface temperatures” (specifically in the Southern Hemisphere) become an accepted reality, …… the yearly “upward swing” of the Keeling Curve Graph will “stall” …. and then start a yearly “downward swing” as the sea surface temperatures continue to decrease.

  23. I live on the coast in a mid-Atlantic state. In the winter months it is always a few degrees warmer there than several miles inland. The converse situation exists in the summer. Does this suggest that ocean heat has some influence on the ambient air temperature? Experts please explain this phenomena.

    • Influence of Ocean heat on ambiant air temperature is common knowledge. It is true between season, but also between night and day.
      The basic reason is that Ocean has a larger heat capacity than land. On the heating side, Ocean resists heating with evaporation, that isn’t as strong on land, so the land heats quicker. On the cooling side, as soon as ocean surface cools, heat from below very effectively replace it, because hotter water move up; while if the land cools, heat from below very INeffectively come up, only through conduction.
      A second important mechanism is that Ocean converts its energy into water vapor, and this vapor will heat the atmosphere above nearby land by converting into liquid water or even ice.

      • So, the clearer atmosphere since the 1990s has allowed the Sun to warm the oceans more than the conditions allowed before that. Increasing GHGs have retained heat released from the ocean oscillations?
        The changes (variations) are all very subtle, but what’s the trend? No trend yet?

  24. Basic facts.
    Mass of seawater in ocean is 1400E18 kilograms
    Mass of atmosphere is 5.15E18 kilograms
    Mass ratio of ocean to atmosphere is 272
    Seawater specific heat capacity is 4000 kJ/kg per degree
    Atmosphere specific heat capacity is 1000 kJ/kg per degree
    The heat capacity ratio of ocean to atmosphere is 272 times 4 = 1088

    At the sealevel ocean surface interface, a cubic meter of seawater weighs 1030 kg.
    A cubic meter of atmosphere weighs 1.22 kg
    The mass ratio of seawater to air is 1030/1.22 = 844
    The specific heat capacity ratio of seawater to air is still 4
    For a cubic meter of air at the ocean surface, the seawater has a heat capacity of 844 times 4 = 3377

    To raise the temperature of the seawater/air interface by 1C you need 3377 kilojoules for the water and 1 kilojoule for the air

  25. No substantive comment. Just a nit. The only vowel in thee word “Manhattan” is an “a”. The word is misspelled in two places with an “e” in the last syllable.

    • Scott, watch those posted “nits” about misspelled words, to wit:

      The only vowel in thee word “Manhattan” is an “a”. The word is misspelled …….

  26. I have used a CO2 80 watt laser (set to 20watt output unfocussed beam diameter of approx. 1 cm) to warm 200ml of water in an insulated container.
    Using a thermocouple 15mm below water surface (water depth 40mm) and STILL water 5 minutes of lasing and the thermometer reads an increase of 0.1°C (19.7 to 19.8°C). Stirring the water gives a final temperature of 21°C
    Using the same water, the same laser power the same container and STIRRING the water gently gives a temperature increase of 4.5°C (21 to 25.5°C) at 15mm depth.
    So yes, the penetration depth is small as physics predicts. But add in water motion, as you get in oceans, and the surface layers mix and bulk heating occurs. So it seems to me that there is a myth build up ofCO2 not warming the moving turbulent oceans.

    As a matter of interest the beam power is still very large and explosive boiling (bubbles of steam) of the surface layer occurs removing some of the water heating power instantly. These explosions of stem presumably do not occur in oceans! The surface layer will of course evaporate when heated but will still be mixed into the ocean body

    • the explosions of steam in your experiment are 3 dimensional … I presume that the change of state in your experiment skews the total outcome opposite of the direction that you assume.

  27. As long as warmists or for that matter, anybody don’t show the perfect relationship between temperature with CO2 [climate sensitivity factor] within plus or minus 5%, there is no need to worry on global warming. At present it is plus or minus 50%, which has no meaning in science or statistics.

    Dr. S. Jeevananda Reddy

  28. This argument is bogus. Oceans mix vertically on every spatial scale. IR has no problem heating the ocean.

    • https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/c/c1/MODIS_and_AIRS_SST_comp_fig2.i.jpg

      If LWIR was capable of warming the oceans, it would be warmer in the top micron layer, where all DWLWIR is absorbed, than it is in the millimeter layer below.

      The temperature profile of the oceans shows that there is no effective mixing night (when DWLWIR is still being received ) or day when both solar and DWLWIR is being received.

      In the above plot, (a) is night and (b) is day. At night from about 15 microns down to about 5 metres it is absolutely uniform in temperature. Comapre that to the daytime profile where there is a very big temperature difference between 15 microns and 5 metres.

      Since the top micron layer, both day and night, is cooler than the millimeter layer below, it follows that there can be no effective mixing of DWLWIR. One can see from the profile that it is not being sequestered to depth since, if it was, one would expect to see a similar profile (but not of course as warm) as that seen during the day where the top is warmer, but getting cooler cm by cm right down to 5 metres.

      • Thermal energy is fungible: once the LWIR is absorbed it loses its identity.The temperature profiles are then governed by the laws of heat transfer as applied to the convective transport below the surface, and the first law of thermodynamics applied to a control volume containing the water-air interface, and the in- depth thermal boundary condition.Analysis of this heat transfer problem will show how the LWIR “heats” the ocean by raising the interface temperature, and hence reducing the convective heat loss from the bulk ocean.The analysis is not simple and requires care.

      • I think you’re confusing two different things there… the top micron has an energy balance, absorbing energy from below and emitting it above. If whatever is above radiates more IR, the top micron layer becomes warmer relative to its own previous temperature but not necessarily relative to whatever is below it.
        For example, put a metal plate between fire and a pile of snow. The metal plate radiates upward into the snow and is therefore cooler than the fire. Now take the snow away — the plate gets hotter than it was before, but not hotter than the fire.

        And, like the plate after the snow is removed, a warmer top micron layer transfers less heat from below, because the differential is smaller.

        • At night, the oceans only receive DWLWIR. As can be seen from the NASA Modis data (plot a), the temperature is absolutely uniform between about 15 MICRONS and 5 metres.

          If energy absorbed in the top MICRONS was being mixed and transported downwards to depth, the temperature profile between 15 MICRONS and 5 metres would not be uniform. It would have a profile somewhat similar to the daytime profile (plot b).

    • The source of the plot that I refer to is from Wikipedia which in turn has sourced it from NASA (MODIS).

  29. I don’t understand chart #1. How can you show such a wide variance of anomaly in he early years (at only a 95% level: at a decent scientific 99% how wide would it be?) and (i) stick a black line down the middle and (ii) calculate an average from that to calculate anomalies?

    What the chart actually shows us that is it is as likely that there was no heating between 1960 and 1995 as there was heating.

  30. I stopped reading when I came to 407.572 W/M^2. Who in his right mind thinks that everything after the decimal point has ANY significance (in this case)?
    You may use 407.572 in the MODTRAN calcs but I suspect a correct figure is 407 +/-3, more like the real number. That’s the best we can do and people are argueing 0.6 W/M^2. Give me a break!

  31. Oceans are not adding warmth as much as they are not mixing it in as much. Warmth rises. When that is allowed to happen in the ocean, it is far more the case that oceans are losing heat to the surface and then to the atmosphere. To the eyes of the satellites, it looks like oceans are adding heat. In reality, when the oceans are warm on top they are losing heat. Whether or not it is a short term or long term loss or more importantly a net loss are better questions.

    • Warmth rises.

      If you have a heater at the top of an aquarium, does heat then rise or sink?

      The oceans have a temperature gradient from top to bottom. If you raise the surface temps then a new gradient reestablishes itself from top to bottom. (thus heat can sink)…

  32. I watched Al Gore’s embedded video. He does a good job of presenting his side (for children). At the end he wraps-up by misrepresenting skeptics.

    This is by no means an easy subject though Al Gore would have you think otherwise. There are many variables and considerations that affect the earth’s climate. If you are interested in the subject and you listen to all parties, you soon learn that it’s a lot more complicated than just CO2.

    Al’s best argument are the graphs of temperature and CO2 concentrations. As skeptics pointed out a long time ago, the graphs are never superimposed. To do so might provide hints of cause and effect. The best fit of the data has temperature change preceding C02 change by several hundred years. Causes precede effects. It seems that global warming causes the release of CO2 from the oceans. Basic science as warmists like to say.

    • Even at an ECS of 3°C, the co2 warming from glacial to interglacial is only 1/3 of the total. (anyway you slice it, it’s a meaningless argument)…

  33. In ignorance, I will post a few questions (final paragraph). I’ll appreciate any constructive response.

    Gore and others treat CO2 as a “greenhouse” gas. The entire greenhouse metaphor is imprecise. For example, greenhouse ceilings are solid and prevent convection, not so CO2. Still the basic idea is that sunlight enters the atmosphere, but is not re-radiated out to space due to CO2. From the article: ” CO2’s only defined mechanism by which to affect climate change is through the thermalization of LWIR between 13 and 18µ.” Yes CO2 only operates within a band.

    Question how does that band (13 and 18µ) compare to the band of light received from the sun? What happens to the light within that band? Is it sent back to earth and re-radiated to space from a longer wave-length? Is it absorbed by land and sea as heat?

    • ChessExpert – I’ve assumed that the carbon cycle keeps the amounts of CO2 cycling in a delicate balance over the course of many centuries. The cycles in the orbit and the axis of rotation reinforce each other to cause planetary warming. This increases the available CO2 for further insulating of the planet. All things being equal there’s an acceleration in the warming. According to what little I’ve reviewed, this was repeated many times in the ice core data and CO2 was the only forcer which was consistently increasing at those times. But there’s so many other complicating factors.

  34. So suddenly now you accept the results of climate models?

    PS: Whoever did that MODTRAN calculation, it’s wrong in some way. (I can’t see the screen capture — it’s just a big black box for me, in two different browsers.)

  35. Also, the ocean surface isn’t glassy smooth, so it’s not clear that warming the top skin layer by IR doesn’t get mixed into the ocean as a whole.

    But as the lower atmosphere warms, that part just above the ocean surface is warmer, meaning the ocean cools less, meaning the ocean warms.

    • David writes

      Also, the ocean surface isn’t glassy smooth, so it’s not clear that warming the top skin layer by IR doesn’t get mixed into the ocean as a whole.

      The skin layer that receives the DLWR isn’t warm. It’s colder than the ocean directly below it. If it’s mixed down its a cooling effect.

      • Tim,(and David Appell,Richard Verney). The surface temperature is always lower than that of the bulk water below.Thermal energy is always convected/conducted from the bulk to the surface to balance the heat loss from the surface to the atmosphere by radiation emission, convection and evaporation.An increase in DLWR absorbed close to the surface means that less energy needs to be transferred from the bulk.Nature controls this by increasing the surface temperature to value determined by the 1st Law energy balance at the interface.DLWR reduces the heat loss from the ocean,which some people interpret as heating the ocean–but this is surely a matter of semantics.
        I am sorry that I cannot reply to your comments using your ideas/models of heat transfer processes. They have serious shortcomings and are inadequate. I use the heat transfer science found in standard textbooks , which I recommend you explore.

        • The point you raise is different.

          Some people argue that DWLWIR actually heats the oceans, which is the point that I am addressing. Whether DWLWIR in some way slows the rate (or indeed the amount) of cooling of the oceans, thereby indirectly leading to a warmer ocean than would otherwise be the case, is a different matter.

          • Richard: Perhaps the confusion relates to what you view as “heating” the ocean.Absorbed DWLWIR adds thermal energy to he ocean.The resulting temperature profiles are governed by the laws of heat transfer.

        • Anthony Mills writes

          An increase in DLWR absorbed close to the surface means that less energy needs to be transferred from the bulk.Nature controls this by increasing the surface temperature to value determined by the 1st Law energy balance at the interface.

          Then you have no problems with dismissing David’s ideas that DLWR warms the ocean skin and that warmth can be mixed down (into the bulk). That idea is an incorrect one.

          The ocean skin temperature is set by its requirement to radiate according to S-B (as per your condescending “I know it and you dont” description) AND the rate at which evaporation is occurring.

          You missed that vital part in your own understanding. Maybe you need to reread your text.

          Or maybe its because in the short space you didn’t put a full and complete explanation…

          • Tim: AND— I wrote “radiation emission, convection and evaporation” What did I miss??

          • Detail that matters, Anthony. Put another way, what exactly is your issue with my (and Richards) “ideas/models of heat transfer processes” ?

            Because “sorry that I cannot reply to your comments”

            and “found in standard textbooks”

            is just trolling.

    • David
      Look at the NASA Modis data (which is set out in the warmist Wikipedia):

      (a) is the night time temperature profile, when the oceans receive only DWLWIR, and (b) is the day time temperature profile, when the oceans receive both DWLWIR and Solar irradiance. Compare the profile (not the absolute temperatures). One shows migration of heat to depth, the other does not.

      It is clear that no DWLWIR makes its way past the top 15 MICRONS (the top MICRONS being the evaporative layer, and which layer is actually cooler because of evaporation).

      You will note that in plot (a), the temperature is uniform between about 15 MICRONS and 5 metres confirming that no heat is finding its way/migrating to depth. If some of the DWLWIR was being mixed and migrating its way to depth the top 1 cm would be slightly warmer than the cm below, and so forth all the way down to 50 cm, 1 m, 2m, or 3m or whatever.

      There is no way that energy/heat can suddenly get below 5 metres without leaving a trace of its path from the surface (or at any rate as from 15 MICRONS) to 5 metres.

      If DWLWIR was being mixed and carried to depth we would see a broadly similar temperature profile as seen during the day, but of course not offset by as much warmth (temperature).

      • 1.The modis “data” shown are simply rough sketches of profiles at two time instants of the 24 hour diurnal cycle.Fig. (a) is perhaps towards morning;Fig.(b) is about noon
        2.In Fig.(a) the temperature should decrease slightly from ~5m to ~1mm,but is not seen because the Fig. was never intended to be an accurate graph of measured or calculated temperatures.
        3.The temperature always decreases above ~1mm as required by thermodynamics to transfer heat to the interface to balance the losses to the atmosphere by emission,convection and evaporation.
        4.The ocean is always losing heat to the atmosphere.An increase in DWLWIR means the less heat needs to be transferred from the bulk ocean by convection/conduction to satisfy the interface energy balance.This is a first order “greenhouse” gas effect of an increase in CO2.
        6.Please, no one is claiming that DWLWIR is being is being “mixed” and ” migrating to depth” ,whatever these terms mean.

        • Anthony writes

          Please, no one is claiming that DWLWIR is being is being “mixed” and ” migrating to depth” ,whatever these terms mean.

          But David Appell wrote

          Also, the ocean surface isn’t glassy smooth, so it’s not clear that warming the top skin layer by IR doesn’t get mixed into the ocean as a whole.

          So if nobody is claiming ‘DWLWIR is being is being “mixed” and ” migrating to depth”’

          Perhaps you could interpret David’s statement for us?

          • Please change “no one is” to “I am not” in my 5.33 pm reply.I used the term “no one” too loosely in the context of the discussion.

  36. Global warming (alias “climate change”) was ended by the Montreal Protocol.

    It is, by now, understood that rapidly and steadily rising atmospheric CO2 can not be responsible for the highly irregular global temperature record of the past 50 years, during which the only clearly identifiable episode of global warming took place within the 24-year interval from 1975 to 1998.

    It is equally evident, from new research, that the forcing agent responsible for the sudden rise in temperature from 1975 to 1998 is monatomic chlorine, photodissociated from anthropogenic CFCs on polar stratospheric clouds, thinning the ozone layer and admitting increased irradiation of Earth’s surface by intense solar ultraviolet-B radiation that would otherwise be engaged in the destruction of ozone.

    This is still happening, despite the Montreal Protocol, and will continue to cause elevated temperatures throughout most of the present century because the ozone destruction reaction with chlorine is catalytic and because both CFCs and chlorine have long residence times in the atmosphere. Further global warming, however, will not occur.

    Should this interest you further, I would be happy to send you references to research into this important matter.

    David Bennett Laing
    Polymath, Dartmouth ’62, Harvard ’72

  37. This article (from Andy?) tells us that “LWIR between 13 and 18µ doesn’t penetrate or warm the oceans.”

    LWIR absorbed mostly by the top 10 um of the ocean. It is absorbed, not reflected. Therefore it heats the top 10 um of the ocean.

    The ocean also emits LWIR, usually more than it absorbs. Exactly same top 10 um of the ocean that absorb LWIR emit more LWIR than it absorbs. And evaporation occurs from an even thinner layer of water molecules at the surface. So the top 10 um of the ocean is colder than the bulk ocean just below the surface. (On the average evaporation costs 80 W/m2, OLR 390 W/m2, simple heat 20 W/m2, and DLR returns only 333 W/m2.)

    So the top layer of the ocean is colder – and denser – than the bulk ocean below. The dense surface water sinks (especially at night) and is replaced by water from below that has been warmed by SWR (which mostly penetrates past the top 10 um).

    It is nonsense to say that LWIR doesn’t “penetrate or warm” the ocean. LWIR doesn’t need to penetrate more than the top 10 um of the ocean to add energy to the ocean. If one wants to be picky about the thermodynamic term “heat”, it refers to the net flux of energy, which is always from hot to cold. The ocean is generally warmer than the atmosphere so heat flux is from the ocean to the atmosphere. But the energy in downward LWIR (averaging 333 W/m2) is absorbed by the ocean. If not, the surface of the ocean would quickly freeze from the absence of that 333 W/m2 of energy.

    The author deceptively continues: “The problem is, as we have pointed out countless times, CO2’s only defined mechanism by which to affect climate change is through the thermalization of LWIR between 13 and 18µ.”

    What is meant by “thermalization”? Thermalization means that when CO2 is excited by absorbing a photon of LWIR, that excited state is “relaxed” by collisions much faster than a photon of LWIR is emitted. The radiative energy in the photon becomes part of the kinetic energy of moving gas molecules, which is proportional to their temperature. On the average, the excited vibrational state of CO2 exists for about 1 second while about 10^9 collisions occur every second – though not all collisions will relax an excited state.

    However, the author is wrong to say the only thing CO2 does is absorb IR – which is thermalized. Collisions also produce vibrationally excited CO2 molecules, and these excited molecules emit LWIR. The fraction of excited CO2 molecules capable of emitting a photon depends on the temperature (in the troposphere and stratosphere) and not on the amount of radiation.

    The truth is that CO2 both absorbs and emits radiation. Double the number of CO2 molecules in the atmosphere and you will double the number of photons absorbed AND emitted – and cancel to a first approximation. However, LWIR traveling downward before it is absorbed is emitted from altitudes where it is colder, while LWIR traveling upward when absorbed was emitted from where it was warmer. So doubling CO2 leads to a very small decrease in LWIR escaping to space – about 3.6 W/m2 out of 240 W/m2 (1.5%).

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