Op-ed disguised as a science paper: “Record-breaking ocean temperatures point to trends of global warming”

From the “don’t trust it, it’s from ‘Skeptical Science’ team operative John Abraham who’s a mechanical engineer” department comes this op-ed masquerading as a science paper at the Chinese Academy of Sciences. Trenberth still hasn’t found his missing heat.


Record-breaking ocean temperatures point to trends of global warming

2018 continues record global ocean warming

INSTITUTE OF ATMOSPHERIC PHYSICS, CHINESE ACADEMY OF SCIENCES

An international team, released the 2018 ocean heat content observations in Advances in Atmospheric Sciences on January 16, 2019. The newly available observations show that the year 2018 is the hottest year ever recorded for the global ocean, as evident in its highest ocean heat content since 1950s in the upper 2000m. Compared to the average value that was measured 1981 – 2010, the 2018 ocean heat anomaly is approximately 19.67 x 1022 Joules, a unit measure for heat. This heat increase in 2018 relative to 2017 is ~388 times more than the total electricity generation by China in 2017, and ~ 100 million times more than the Hiroshima bomb of heat. The years 2017, 2015, 2016 and 2014 came in just after 2018 in order of decreasing ocean heat content. The values are based on an ocean temperature analysis product conducted by the Institute of Atmospheric Physics (IAP) at Chinese Academy of Sciences.

The new study is shedding new light onto how much oceanic water temperatures have been changing over the years. The change in ocean heat content is considered to be one of the best – if not the best – way to measure climate change driven by greenhouse gasses emitted by human activities. This is because the global warming is driven by the Earth’s energy imbalance due to more greenhouse gasses in the air, and the vast majority (more than 90%) of global warming heat is deposited in the world’s oceans. Also, ocean heat record is less impacted by natural fluctuations and it is a robust indicator of climate change. Therefore, record-breaking ocean heat record serves as direct evidence for global warming and represents basis for adaptation to and mitigation of climate change.

“The new data, together with a rich body of literature, serve as an additional warning to both the government and the general public that we are experiencing inevitable global warming. The ocean and global warming have already taken place and caused serious damage and losses to both the economy and society,” states Dr. Lijing Cheng, the lead author of the report. He also recommends additional actions to be taken immediately in order to minimize future warming trends.

The researchers also highlight that the increases in ocean water heat, which they prognosticate will continue to rise, are causes for additional concern to both the scientific community as well as the public at large. This is because the higher temperatures result in an increase of sea level that comes with its own set of consequences. Examples of these include salt water contaminating fresh water wells which impacts the quality of drinking water, a compromised coastal infrastructure as well as increased likelihoods of storms. Along those lines, increases in ocean heat also have severe consequences for the global weather system because they result in much more intense storms and heavy rains. Other consequences of increasing ocean water temperatures include bleaching and death of corals, melting sea ice, increasing marine heat waves, or long periods of extreme war mesa surface temperatures, as well as impacts on natural variability. Ocean heating has also been connected to increased drought intensity, heatwaves as well as risk of wildlife.

The researchers’ future aims focus on a deeper understanding of the effects of warmer ocean waters. As such, the IAP and collaborators will continue to monitor trends as well as focus on understanding the climate system as well as the ocean’s role in it. By better understanding the potential dangers that increased ocean heat brings with it, the researchers hope to be a valuable economic resource to the fishing and tourism industries, for example. “These scientific activities will eventually serve the general public and government by enabling them to make informed decisions and thus create a better and more sustainable future for all,” Cheng adds.

###

Source: Eurekalert

The op-ed article, which is very short is open access and has some names we know in the author list.

2018 Continues Record Global Ocean Warming

  • Lijing Cheng Jiang Zhu John Abraham Kevin E. Trenberth John T. Fasullo Bin Zhang Fujiang Yu Liying Wan Xingrong Chen Xiangzhou Song

https://link.springer.com/content/pdf/10.1007%2Fs00376-019-8276-x.pdf

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95 thoughts on “Op-ed disguised as a science paper: “Record-breaking ocean temperatures point to trends of global warming”

  1. “don’t trust it, it’s from ‘Skeptical Science’ team operative John Abraham ”

    I find the Skeptical Science website to be one of the most anti-science websites in existence. Any commentator that doesnt kowtow the the dogma is banned. Pointing out errors in any study, pointing out any limitations on any study is absolutely forbidden.

    That is not to say that this website doesnt have its share of false claims. but it allows coherent discussions. Not so at Skeptical science.

    Areas that they are especially bad include
    Renewables – cost is cheaper than fossil fuels
    Subsidies for Fossil fuels in the trillions of $ greater than the subisidies for renewables
    SLR rise 10-20x the current rate of rise – high probability of 1-3 meter rise by end of century
    etc

    • They very kindly show that atomic bomb widget, alerting potential readers that the site is propaganda.

    • I’m banned since there December 2012 because I pointed out that they had set up a straw man.

      Censorship really is an ugly thing.

    • Anything Michael Shermer touches must be understood as state propaganda. He is a status quo apologist

    • Skeptical Science was one of the first websites that I visited in my personal search to understand global warming. It was also the first website that I marked off my list as being of absolutely no use to me. Ask an honest question and you are almost immediately rediculed. There were one or two exceptions among those commenting on that site. Refusing to address my questions proved to me that they refused to deal honestly with anyone. It is also the most cited website by those who attack me on other websites. It is so funny sometimes when I point out a quote from their own reference which supports my position. Now this does not happen often but when it does it demonstrates to me that these people are simply repeating dogma without any understanding.

      • one of the best examples of the dogma and their attack on anyone disagreeing with SK – They ran article condemning Warren at coyoteblog for his articles on positive feedbacks enhancing the catastrophic warming.

        The moderator and the article claimed that Warren simply fabricated the concept of positive feedbacks and that concept never existed among climate scientists.

        I posted my response with links to SK articles promoting the positive feedback concept. They deleted the links and admonished me to never make false claims. I got banned

  2. You know it’s bad when they can misrepresent 70 percent of the planet’s surface and some larger percent by volume.

    • Anyone who claims to have a reliable, meaningful estimation for OHC for 1957 is LYING.

      Lying as in willfully and knowingly misleading through false statements.

      Don’t need to go into more detail.

    • As they say in legal circles: if you have the evidence, pound the evidence.

      If you don’t have the evidence, pound the table.

      This is table pounding, louder and longer.

      As I’ve mentioned, the alarmists rely on the fact that the general public is innumerate. Even so, they haven’t been able to scare enough people with apocalpytic scenarios based on tenths and hundreths of degrees of warming spread over decades or centuries.

      So, roll out the Hiroshimas…

      (note: they probably don’t realize, but to Generation X and younger, they will now have to explain that Hiroshima is NOT anime…)

  3. Heat, heat content, temperature. These aren’t the same things. Convenient when your goal is to obscure rather than clarify.

  4. Doesnt this sentence contradict itself?
    ” The newly available observations show that the year 2018 is the hottest year ever recorded for the global ocean, as evident in its highest ocean heat content since 1950s in the upper 2000m. “

    • if the record only goes back to 1950s and 2018 was the “hottest”, I don’t see the contradiction.

      Claiming that we have reliable estimations of OHC for 1950s and that they are compatible and comparable with those of 2018 is an out and out lie.

  5. China would just love for hand-wringing westerners to hobble their economies by limiting fossil fuel usage. I’m surprised China doesn’t fund more of these papers.

  6. ” By better understanding the potential dangers that increased ocean heat…” Guess there’s no chance that higher heat content would have any beneficial effects on anything. Who knows since they aren’t looking. Stick to the script.

    Also a good idea to do your work in an authoritarian county. Even less questions that way.

  7. “The new data, together with a rich body of literature, serve as an additional warning to both the government and the general public that we are experiencing inevitable global warming. The ocean and global warming have already taken place and caused serious damage and losses to both the economy and society,” states Dr. Lijing Cheng, the lead author of the report. He also recommends additional actions to be taken immediately in order to minimize future warming trends.

    HadSST3 annual data says Cheng etal are wrong. 2018 SST3 was barely higher than 2014, not a record.

    2014 0.477
    2015 0.592
    2016 0.613
    2017 0.505
    2018 0.480

    And UAH LT 6.0 Ocean

    2015 0.242
    2016 0.478
    2017 0.357
    2018 0.180

    These liars have laid a massive trap for themselves. People will eventually realize that the heat they claim is there isn’t there, so the lie will be exposed, unless, and I predict this will happen, they will put pressure on all ocean data providers to conform to their latest unreality.

    The heat isn’t hiding in the deep ocean – it’s just not there as they claim.

    • Due to the massive heat capacity of water compared to air, once that heat goes into the ocean, eventually to the deep ocean at <15, it is never coming back in a meaningful way, at least not for hundreds or thousands of years.

      The cold water (the entropic heat sink of the oceans degrading the heat to lower temperatures) can never (the first law of thermo) transfer heat back to the relatively warmer air, average 17C.

      Does this make sense, is this correct?

      • I think it is. Without taking the time to do the research and calculations, I suspect that just the uncertainty in ocean temperature measurements would represent far more energy than would be required to increase near surface air temperatures by several degrees C. The oceans act as a huge damper on atmospheric temperature changes.

        Wonder why the alarmist don’t seem to realize that by blaming ocean heat gain for air temperatures failing to follow their models, they are actually saying “it’s NOT as bad as we thought”.

      • Less cold water, cools warmer surface water less.

        The average global surface water temperature is about 17.
        The average tropical surface water is about 26 C and average global surface water outside of the tropics is about 11 C.
        And average temperature of entire volume is about 3.5 C.
        If entire volume of ocean is warmer, it not going to much effect upon tropical ocean surface temperature, instead it will larger effect upon ocean surface waters outside of the tropics

        Another aspect is tropical surface water has warm layer of water +100 meter deep and outside of tropics it lacks this thick and permanent layer of warmer water.

        Or what a warmer 3.5 ocean does is causes winter ocean surface waters to warmer.
        And in earth history when average temperature of entire ocean was 10 C or warmer, one had sub-tropical conditions in polar region- or no or less freezing with night/winter air temperature.

        And essentially what global warming is, is warmer polar regions.
        And we live in an icebox climate because our ocean temperature stays within the range of 1 to 5 C.
        Or hothouse global climate is a ocean with average temperature of warmer than 10 C.
        Being not in icebox or even not being in hothouse climate, means no polar ice caps.
        And we have had ice caps for more than 1 million years- we are in ice age [which has had many glacial and interglacial periods- and people also call glacial periods, ice ages].

      • “The cold water (the entropic heat sink of the oceans degrading the heat to lower temperatures) can never (the first law of thermo) transfer heat back to the relatively warmer air, average 17C.”

        It’s the 2nd law of thermo. The only place on Earth where ocean heat can move up is the poles. It can melt sea ice that does not increase sea level and may be a good thing for Arctic navigation :-0

      • Not sure that that comforting idea works in practice. The heat in the oceans (from solar radiation) is not evenly distributed, and warmer volumes of water commonly transfer heat to the atmosphere. The Gulf Stream warms N Europe, the Blob warmed the US west coast, and El Niño periodically warms the world. The more CO2 in the atmosphere, the more heat is trapped there.

        • That’s the mixed layer in the upper 100 m. The paper is about OHC down to 2000 m. At that depth, temperature does not vary geographically.

      • JMA says:

        “The more CO2 in the atmosphere, the more heat is trapped there.”

        Care to tell us how that works JMA? Give us the evidence that supports this hypothesis. We’re not interested in mere references to so-called “authorities”.

        Allmendinger, in “A Novel Investigation about the Thermal Behaviour of Gases under the
        Influence of IR-Radiation: A Further Argument against the Greenhouse Thesis”, says “the greenhouse theory turns out to be a phantasm”.

        https://www.omicsonline.org/open-access/a-novel-investigation-about-the-thermal-behaviour-of-gases-under-theinfluence-of-irradiation-a-further-argument-against-the-greenh-2157-7617-1000393.pdf

      • Basic physics- if your heat seak(the deep ocean) is slightly warmer, then all the ocean above it will eventually be slightly warmer.

        The problem really is that the energy flows, and hence temperature, are many and none are are really explained by real equations. El Nino creates areas of significantly warmer water in the western Pacific heated by the sun(and maybe very slightly more by CO2). Those translate into major weather changes in eastern Asia(monsoons) and western North America)droughts) and more rain/snow in the east that move around huge quantities of energy.

        The Atlantic has somewhat similar changes in weather modified by a significant oscillation in both the weather and the flows of water. One extreme generates more hurricanes and westerly flows of energy near the equator. The other extreme cools the central Atlantic damping hurricanes and the Gulf Stream, warming the Arctic, and cooling the North Atlantic resulting in increased cold water falling towards the ocean bottom(which has been slightly warmed by slightly increased surface temps.

        That is a rough draft of how the climate appears to work. The details are still far from being worked out. But, if the deep ocean has warmed the ocean circulation can bring that slightly warmer water back to the surface resulting in slightly increased temperatures. The frigid deep ocean can never directly warm the surface, but it can reduce the energy needed to warm it if it already is slightly warmer than previously.

        Simple bench experiment. Fille a glass with water and measure the temperature. Fill a second glass 3/4 full. Let the hot water run until it is good and warm. Use a long stemmed funnel and fill the glass near the bottom with the hot water matching the first glass. It will be warmer. The oceans and climate can work in a similar way if the deep oceans are indeed warming. It’s likely to be a loooong slow process though, considering the huge amount of deep ocean compared the the rest of the ocean and the comparatively minor amount of heat in the atmosphere. It’s doubtful we can ever measure the deep ocean accurately enough to see any effect.

      • It makes sense if you believe the 2nd law of thermodymics.
        And energy from cold environs not being able to create work in warmer environs.

        They believe c8ld cannot warm hot in the ocean.
        And do a 180 with the miraculous ”back radiation”.

        They believe the reverse when they tell you the ice cold atmosphere is making the much warmer earth surfaces even warmer still, 33c warmer.

    • HadSST3 is an ocean *surface* temperature measure, not an ocean heat content to 2000m depth measure. UAH is a measure of the column of air above the oceans from the near surface to several kilometres into the air; again not an ocean heat content measure to 2000m depth.

      • Yes it is a surface measure. I said it this way for a reason,

        ” People will eventually realize that the heat they claim is there isn’t there…”

        because in time, ie eventually, the claimed extra OHC won’t be seen at the surface.

        Heat rises and dissipates, always. The thermocline exists because heat rises, due to more bouyant warmer water being less dense than SINKING colder water.

        The heat is continually replaced by sunshine, ie solar absorption at depth.

        A few years ago I went through 64 OHC and T datasets and found 1:1 correlations between surface temperature, OHC at various depths, and sea level.

        This 1:1 correspondence makes sense to me as the surface represents the top of whatever depth column where the stored absorbed solar radiation, OHC, is continually rising from to the surface.

        Pacific equatorial hovmoller plot indicates where the sunshine reaches and warms below the surface. The warmer water is seen as moving upwards.

        This means to me that deeper OHC just doesn’t collect and build-up in any significant amount.

        The activist scientists are easy to spot by their words. Look at what Cheng said here, self-identifying as a global warming activist with this statement: “He also recommends additional actions to be taken immediately in order to minimize future warming trends.” -my bold.

        I foresee future activist scientists creatively abusing the truth of the matter with the wrong idea that heat is building up in the deep ocean, coupled with phony carbon-budget accounting to continually promote their false man-made warming narrative. That can go on indefinitely.

  8. “A scientific or empirical skeptic is one who questions beliefs on the basis of scientific understanding …
    … scientific skepticism may discard beliefs pertaining to purported phenomena not subject to reliable observation and thus not systematic or testable empirically. Most scientists, being scientific skeptics, test the reliability of certain kinds of claims by subjecting them to a systematic investigation using some type of the scientific method …” (Wiki).
    On that basis the ‘Skeptical Science’ website is “skeptical” in the same way that the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea is democratic.

  9. Well, at least they are using Hiroshimas instead of zettajoules.
    But seriously, the ocean is hotter than ever?
    Most of the ocean is barely above freezing.
    The average surface temp is about 62 degrees F.
    6o degree water will kill an average human being in an hour or two, and maximum survival time is about 6 hours.
    How they can use the phrase “hotter than ever” to describe an increase in the temp of frigid water of a few thousandths of a degree is simply bizarre.

  10. Perhaps the Chinese academy of sciences will wake up to the fact that when blaming co2 and fictional global warming they are blaming China for the problem given their continued increases in co2. Better they should be touting the benefits China is bestowing upon the rest of the world with life giving co2 production and the fact that even though co2 is not the major cause of warming, warm is ultimately better than cold for life on our planet.

    • I have read that the Chinese consider Global Warming to a Western delusion. But they’re happy to go along with it, especially if it means that West will give them money to do things that they were going to do anyway. And if we don’t have the money they’ll be happy to loan it to us.

      But they’re not going to sacrifice any growth.

      • It’s worse than that. They and a few of the EU nations have been using “Global Warming” concerns and “calls for action” as an attempt to reduce U.S. power and influence via slowing down the U.S. economy.

        Reduced fossil fuel usage = reduced power consumption = reduced economy = reduced military and trade = reduced influence. If the U.S. were to find a 100% clean energy source tomorrow for all its needs – China and the EU would find something wrong and protest it.

      • Paul, add to that various arms of the United Nations and their constant companions the NGOs such as Greenpeace and FOE, and what we have is an ongoing attack on individual nations’ sovereignty. Its dressed up as meeting “international targets’ or “global accords” like the Paris “Agreement”. Climate change and power generation are the main weapons, but it also includes areas such as chemicals, genetics, nuclear, plastics etc. Even though these are usually “non-binding” agreements, they are increasingly connected to penalties, fines, bans and prohibitions if a nation fails to meet a target.

        Its worst in Europe, where the need for member nations to drop their sovereign rights in favour of EU rules from Brussels is now openly demanded. For the rest of the world it is just starting. What is it with Europeans wanting to impose their ideas on other nations?

      • Don’t be mislead, the Chinese are no fools. They scuppered the 2009 COP21 conference because Ohbummer tried to pull a fast one on them by doing a deal behind their backs and attempting to present them with a ‘fait acompli’ .

        They agreed to sign up to Paris because Ohbummer let them be unhindered until 2030 and agreed to hamstring the USA forthwith, massively helping the Chinese economy. Paris is about destroying the West economically while letting China race ahead.

  11. The premise of this article, oft repeated in other alarmist articles and press releases, puzzles me again.

    The second sentence of the Abstract states ” … the vast majority of global warming heat ends up deposited in the world’s oceans …”. Huh. How does that happen?

    When the satellite temperature data showed conclusively that “The Pause” had interrupted the predicted CO2-caused warming following the 1998 super El Nino, Kevin Trenberth wrote the famous e-mail to Mike Mann and many others(disclosed in Climategate), stating “The fact is that we can’t account for the lack of warming at the moment and it is a travesty that we can’t”.

    Trenberth later speculated in another e-mail that “Was it because the heat was buried in the ocean and sequestered, perhaps well below the surface?”. Huh. How does that happen?

    My understanding is that the Sun heats the ocean with radiation in the ultraviolet range. Infra-red radiation barely penetrates the ocean surface. The purported warming effect of CO2 and other GHGs is that they absorb infra-red radiation emitted from Earth’s surface and re-radiate half of it back to the surface, thus delaying radiation to space and “heating the atmosphere”.

    But the re-radiated energy is also in the infra-red spectrum, which also does not penetrate the ocean surface.

    So how does warm air heat cold ocean? Not by radiation, and the immense heat capacity of water precludes any heat transfer by conduction. Convection does not convey energy across a phase boundary (liquid-gas)

    Warm surface water cools at high latitudes and loses its heat before sinking in the thermohaline circulation system.

    Must be Unicorns

    • The average surface ocean temperature is 17 deg C, which is almost 2 deg C warmer than air temperature. If anything the oceans are causing the warming of the surface air. Water at the surface comes from deep ocean circulation and can be centuries old, also for the last century, up until recently, the sun has been its most active in a millenium.

      Still, given the enourmous heat capacity of the oceans all this supposed warming can barely increase the temperature of the ocean to a measureable degree. Like trying to heat cold bath water with a 100 watt bulb from your ceiling fixture. Good luck with that.

    • In general, a warmer ocean heats the atmosphre. Never heard about the inverse way.
      But in AGW times, all is possible…

    • GeologyJim

      My understanding is that the Sun heats the ocean with radiation in the ultraviolet range. Infra-red radiation barely penetrates the ocean surface… So how does warm air heat cold ocean?

      As far as I know they aren’t suggesting that the extra downwelling longwave radiation is heating the ocean directly; just the ‘ocean skin layer’ (the ‘skin’ that forms on all water surfaces due to surface tension). This is the interface between the ocean and atmosphere where energy transfer between the two occurs.

      The suggestion is that if the temperature *difference* between the ocean and atmosphere changes, then the rate at which heat moves between both bodies changes too. If you fill one hot water bottle with hot water and another with cold water and place them together, the rate at which the net flow of heat transfers from hot to cold will start off fast but slow down as the temperature of the cold bottle rises.

      Likewise, as the temperature of the atmosphere rises, warming the ocean skin layer, the rate at which heat transfers out of the warmer ocean to the cooler atmosphere decreases. Less heat leaves the ocean than it did before the skin layer was warmed by the atmosphere. Thus heat that entered the ocean from the sun’s shortwave radiation is increasingly accumulating in the ocean because of the warming effect of increased DLR from the atmosphere on the ocean skin layer. That I believe is the theory.

      • “The suggestion is that if the temperature *difference* between the ocean and atmosphere changes, then the rate at which heat moves between both bodies changes too. If you fill one hot water bottle with hot water and another with cold water and place them together, the rate at which the net flow of heat transfers from hot to cold will start off fast but slow down as the temperature of the cold bottle rises.”

        Yes, but the paper in question is measuring the heat content down to 2000 meters. What you are describing is merely a surface phenomenon across the boundary. The idea that an increase in global temperatures, which is driven by changes in the composition of atmospheric gasses, is best measured by changes in temperature observed in the ocean depths is silly. In order for any significant amount of the outgoing IR-heat captured by the atmosphere to have penetrated deep into the ocean, would not one first have to have been able to observe a very large and very noticeable increase in temperatures at the ocean surface, where water can actually radiate away heat when its temperature increases? Without such a large temperature increase at say the first two meters of the surface, how would heat captured in the atmosphere have penetrated beyond the surface and further into the oceans down to 2000 meters, where there is just an ungodly greater amount of water that has to be heated just to register any measurable increase in temperature?

        So if Trenberth is saying that the surface temperature measurements (including ocean temperature measurements at the surface) can’t account for the missing heat theorized to have been captured by CO2, one thing I think we can say with absolute certainty is that the missing heat is not going to be found in any part of the ocean much below the surface.

        • What you are describing is merely a surface phenomenon across the boundary.

          Yes, but the boundary layer is where the heat is exchanged by convection. If the temperature differential between the ‘skin layer’ and the ocean reduces, then the *rate* at which energy flows from the ocean to the atmosphere must also reduce. Say the top 2m of the ocean is x deg C, all the result of solar (short wave) radiation, and the ocean skin layer is y deg C, also the result of SWR but some warming from DLR too. If adding more DLR raises the skin layer by y+ deg C, then the rate of heat transfer from the ocean to the atmosphere will reduce proportionately; less of the solar heat obtained during the day will escape from the ocean at night.

          This is especially pronounced at the equator, where the ocean receives roughly equal hours of sunlight and darkness (recall that warming of the skin layer by DLR continues through the night). By raising the temperature of the ocean skin layer and thereby reducing the temperature differential between it and the top few metres of the ocean, less heat is lost from the ocean during darkness, before the sun rises and starts heating the upper layers of the ocean again. So it goes on, with a little more heat remaining in the ocean each day than there was before the temperature of the skin layer was raised by increased DLR.

          Long wave radiation does not (cannot) directly raise the temperature of the ocean; it can however reduce the rate at which heat energy obtained from the Sun is lost, which indirectly leads to ocean heat increase. That is the theory as I understand it.

          • I don’t disagree with the thrust of what you are saying, but if the “skin layer” is the very top of the ocean that interacts with air and sunlight, then raising the temperature of the atmosphere above it inhibits the ability of the skin layer to cool, raising the temperature of the skin layer. Raising the temperature of the skin layer increases the temperature differential between it and the water just below the skin layer, instead of decreasing it as you say above. Increasing that temperature differential increases the flow of heat downwards into the ocean, although this downward flow of heat is significantly alleviated by the fact that the skin layer can radiate away its heat according to the fourth power of temperature, while downward flow is linear with temperature.

            My point, though, relates to the gradient of the change in temperature, over time, with respect to depth. In the process you are describing, in order for heat to have been transferred from the air, to the very top of the ocean, and only then on to lower depths beyond say 20 meters, in an amount to have raised the temperature at such depths enough so that you can even measure that change, the temperature at the surface would have to have changed dramatically over time. This means that the vast majority of whatever heat/unit volume is absorbed by the oceans due to a very slow, gradual increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide is going to be highly concentrated at the top of the oceans.

            The top of the ocean just hasn’t warmed enough over time such that enough heat could have seeped downward to have a measurable difference in the average temperature of the ocean down to 2000 meters. There’s a post below calculating that, in order for the paper’s conclusions to be true, the average temperature change of the top 2km of the ocean would be 0.08C. What I’m saying is that if the average temperature change over that enormous depth is 0.08C, the temperature change at say the top 5 meters should be in excess of several degrees C so that by the time you get down to 2km the average would have been diluted (no pun intended) down to 0.08.

          • DWR54…The mechanism you describe for ocean warming still begins with the necessity of atmospheric warming. If the atmosphere is not warming, the ocean’s cannot warm in the way described. The only significant warming in the atmosphere we have seen this century has been during a very strong El Nino, where the ocean was heating the atmosphere. Air temperature has returned to the same level it was before the El Nino, indicating no measurable atmospheric warming from increasing C02 over the last 18 years!

            Simply put, atmospheric CO2 increases cannot heat the oceans without heating the atmosphere first. If the atmosphere is not warming, it cannot cause ocean warming. There is no physical mechanism for that to happen. The pause refutes the current AGW theory.

            It could be that the atmospheric sensitivity to increasing CO2 is much less than the current theory proclaims. It could be that natural variability in the system is much greater than the theory stipulates. It is probably a combination of both, but there can be no question that the current theory is significantly wrong!

            Anyone defending the theory at this point is simply anti-science.

          • Kurt

            … if the “skin layer” is the very top of the ocean that interacts with air and sunlight, then raising the temperature of the atmosphere above it inhibits the ability of the skin layer to cool, raising the temperature of the skin layer.

            Agreed.

            Raising the temperature of the skin layer increases the temperature differential between it and the water just below the skin layer, instead of decreasing it as you say above.

            No, it decreases it. Recall that at night the ocean is often warmer than the air directly above it, so the net flow of heat in that case is from the ocean to the atmosphere via the skin layer. The rate at which that heat flows is determined by the temperature differential between them: by how much *cooler* the skin layer is to the ocean below in this case. The cooler it is, the faster the flow; the warmer it is (the more similar their temperatures) the slower the flow. So as the skin layer is heated by DLR from the atmosphere, it warms and becomes closer in temperature to the ocean below and the rate of energy flow between the ocean and the atmosphere must reduce.

            In the process you are describing, in order for heat to have been transferred from the air, to the very top of the ocean, and only then on to lower depths beyond say 20 meters, in an amount to have raised the temperature at such depths enough so that you can even measure that change, the temperature at the surface would have to have changed dramatically over time.

            The process described does *not* say that heat is transferred from the air to the ocean depths. It simply says that DLR warms the surface layer sufficiently to make the boundary between the oceans and the atmosphere more opaque; all the extra heat in the ocean still came from solar shortwave radiation, but, the theory goes, it wouldn’t be accumulating in the way it currently seems to be if it wasn’t for this DLR warming of the skin layer effectively slowing its progress back out to the atmosphere.

          • James Clarke

            Air temperature has returned to the same level it was before the El Nino, indicating no measurable atmospheric warming from increasing C02 over the last 18 years!

            Shouldn’t we expect global air temperatures to drop off after an el Nino? And if a recent monthly anomaly is the same as one for the same month a few decades ago does that ‘really’ mean we can ignore what all else happened over the intervening period and just ‘connect the dots’ between those two Decembers?

            In any case, this is about ‘ocean heat content’ which, as this and other papers/data sets suggest, has continued to amass throughout that period.

          • DWR54

            You wrote: “Shouldn’t we expect global air temperatures to drop off after an el Nino? And if a recent monthly anomaly is the same as one for the same month a few decades ago does that ‘really’ mean we can ignore what all else happened over the intervening period and just ‘connect the dots’ between those two Decembers?”

            Indeed. The temperature did drop off after the El Nino, (which was really a double El Nino). All of 2018 was similar to the temperatures from 2001 to 2015, so aside from a few years of a super El Nino and a lessor echo, there has been no discernable trend in atmospheric temperature. I am not connecting single monthly anomalies across decades, like the warmests did in 1999, with the previous super El Nino. I am looking precisely at “…what all else happened over the intervening period…” to make my point.

            My point is that the mechanism you described to produce a steady increase in global oceanic heat content over the last 18 years was only in effect for about 24 of those 216 months, at most, and the reverse mechanism was likely in play for about 12 months over that same period. And the only reason why the atmosphere was significantly warmer over those 24 months was because the ocean was giving up more heat during strong El Nino periods.

            Your proposed mechanism for increasing oceanic heat content over the last 18 years was never turned on, except for a brief time when the oceans turned it on. If ocean heat content is increasing (and that is a huge if) increasing atmospheric CO2 is not to blame. There is no physical mechanism that takes the additional energy from the atmosphere and puts it in the oceans without warming the atmosphere first.

          • James Clarke

            There is no physical mechanism that takes the additional energy from the atmosphere and puts it in the oceans without warming the atmosphere first.

            James, as I understand the theory, the additional energy from the atmosphere is not ‘put in the oceans’. As I have tried to explain, perhaps inadequately, the theory goes that additional energy does indeed warm the atmosphere and this in turn warms the ocean skin layer. This skin layer acts as a ‘choke’ on the rate at which energy can flow from the ocean to the atmosphere.

            It’s roughly equivalent to insulating your loft. For relatively little energy outlay you increase heat retention dramatically, without the need to increase your boiler’s energy output. That’s as I understand it, but of course I may be wrong.

        • “No, it decreases it. Recall that at night the ocean is often warmer than the air directly above it, so the net flow of heat in that case is from the ocean to the atmosphere via the skin layer. The rate at which that heat flows is determined by the temperature differential between them.”

          As I understand it, the “skin layer” is the very top few micrometers of the ocean, and is not a part of the atmosphere. So the difference in temperature between the skin layer (water at the ocean surface) and the atmosphere should not impact the transfer of heat from the skin layer (water at the ocean surface) downwards as the skin layer warms over time, and therefore stores more heat due to the increase in atmospheric temperature.

          Now unless you are arguing that water temperature increases with depth, and that the water say a foot below the surface is actually warmer than the skin layer water right at the surface (and I suppose way up north where seawater freezes, that might actually be the case), then any increase in temperature of the skin layer would therefore increase the temperature differential between the water of the skin layer and the water immediately below it, since the water of the skin layer started off warmer than the water immediately below it.

          But in any event, like I said above, any time-varying influence that the atmospheric increase in CO2 has on ocean temperatures has to be highly concentrated near the surface.

          • Kurt

            What you’re saying would be right if the air was more often warmer than the water throughout the day-night cycle around the world. However it is more often the case that the water temperature exceeds the air temperature, especially at night and in winter.

            I live in Ireland and at this time of year, today in fact (20th Jan), the sea surface temperatures around the coast range from 10 – 12 deg C; whereas the air temperature is not forecast to exceed 7 C, and that’s over land, the air over the sea will be cooler. Overnight air temperatures over land are forecast to fall below 4 C and into minus figures by mid week, especially at night, but that sea surface temperature will barely change from what it is right now, day or night.

            So there will be a net flow of heat from the ocean to the air and that will continue right through the winter and at night more or less throughout the year here (we’re very grateful to the Gulf Stream in Ireland!) This is a pattern that is bound to be replicated in many ocean areas across the globe. For instance, I picked Miami at random. Accuweather says temperatures (over land) there are a steady 22 deg C day and night for the next 24 hours. Several sources say the sea surface temperature off Miami right now are over 24 deg C. Again, the net flow of heat will be from the ocean to the atmosphere.

            If the ocean skin layer is warming because of increased DLR, then the rate at which that heat transfers out of the ocean into the atmosphere should decrease, even if only slightly, because of the reduction in the temperature differential between the 2 bodies. Therefore more heat will be retained in the ocean than would otherwise be the case and the ocean heat content should be expected to increase. That’s what is actually being observed, according to these various sources.

          • I think we’re talking past each other. I don’t disagree with anything you just said. Regardless of how the very top of the ocean retains more heat over time, either through absorbing more heat from warmer air above it – air which gradually grows even more warm over decades – or by shedding less heat over time to the colder air above it as the colder air gradually warms over time, the question becomes how that surface temperature phenomenon works its way downwards such that the lower parts of the ocean start holding more heat over time.

            All I am saying is that, because the temperature gradient of ocean water below say half a meter – maybe a meter – is one in which water very gradually gets cooler with depth, and isn’t measurably influenced by surface temperature variations over a day or over a year, etc., whatever extra heat gets retained deep in the ocean as the ocean boundary layer starts retaining more heat in response to very slow air temperature trends (less than two tenths of a degree per decade) itself has to be an extraordinarily slower process than what is occurring above it. And that if we can’t yet detect all the surface temperature rise predicted by the climate models by measuring temperatures at the surface of the land and the surface of the ocean, then whatever missing heat you are looking for isn’t going to be found deeper into the ocean than the first meter.

      • According to Argo the only layers of the global oceans showing net warming since 2004 are below 700m (see climate4you -> oceans).

  12. “ocean heat record is less impacted by natural fluctuations and it is a robust indicator of climate change”

    This quote from the esteemed researchers is another example of their twisted logic.

    They are absolutely correct to say the OHC is barely affected by natural fluctuations, but then claim that human CO2 emissions, which only got up to speed about 60 years ago, are the cause of the latest rise.

    I say that the OHC is still being affected by the natural warming which has followed on from the end of the Little Ice Age, 150 years ago. It is only to be expected that a 2000m deep section of the global ocean, will take many hundreds of years to equilibrate with changes in the temperature of the thin gaseous blanket that covers it.

    And we won’t concern ourselves with the fact that the OHC was not able to be measured at all until the Argo buoys were deployed about 15 years ago, or the fact that ALL estimates of global temperatures are only a guess within a huge error range.

    • And that, given the immense differences in thermal mass, it is the atmosphere going into equilibrium with the ocean, not the other way around.

  13. “ALL estimates of global temperatures are only a guess within a huge error range”-ray

    right. Getting the concept of error ranges through to folks can be a difficult task. Also something you rarely hear about from those pushing a narrative.

  14. Current ocean temperatures do not matter if there is no AGW/CAGW.

    SS’s objective/agenda was/is to push CAGW, not solve a problem.

    The soft spot (easiest necessary logical pillar to disprove) in the AGW/CAGW paradigm is the assumption/conclusion that humans caused the CO2 rise.

    There are a dozen independent physical observations (rock solid paradoxes for the late veneer theory which AGW/CAGW requires, in addition to current case analysis), in peer reviewed papers, from three different specialities that enables anyone to slam dunk with a little happy dance disprove that assumption.

    Salby is hot on the trail however he is not aware of the observations from the other two specialities.

  15. I can’t figure out that Joules stuff but I know the Argo site run by the UC San Diego says ocean temperatures have risen by 0.06 C since the early sixties.

    • Don the joules stuff is to make the numbers look bigger. As you can see the temperature change is very small. This is all part of the deception

    • How is the statement “ocean temperatures have risen by 0.06C since the early sixties” meaningful? What, all of the ocean, everywhere, from the surface down to the abyss?

      Temperature is an intensive variable, so it cannot be averaged. It is only meaningful for a small, homogeneous piece of matter at a particular instant.

    • Prior to the Argo system, we only had a handful of attempts to measure the temperature of the oceans deeper than about 6 feet. Less than a dozen experiments over the 50 years from 1950 to 2000.

      Even the measurements that were being made, buckets thrown off the side of a ship, and later water intake temperatures were so full of holes and problems, that no serious scientist would dream of using them.

      Finally, while individual Argos probes are good, we have about 3000, but need at a bare minimum 100,000 to start getting a glimmer of an idea of what the true “thermal content” of the top 2000 meters of the oceans is.

      FInally, the bulk of the oceans mass, the water below 2000 meters is still all but unmeasured.

  16. If the heat is already in the ocean then the ocean has already expanded. SLR is happening very slowly and at the same rate as it was 100 years ago. Something does not add up. And if the science was settled they would have an unchallengeable theory on how all that heat got in to the ocean.

    • 4 Eyes, you have just made the most salient point in this discussion so far. The oceans have been rising since we came out of the last ice age; much of it due to expansion. Why shouldn’t we expect it to rise? The SLR has been fairly constant for the past 2+ thousands of years and it has been going up by a very constant rate. There has been no acceleration. James Hansens prediction of a 20′ rise in 30 years did not happen.

      And if the SL is higher this year than it was last year, that would suggest strongly that the oceans are warmer. And that is to be expected because it has been happening for so long. It is not unusual, it is not unexpected, and it is predictable.

      • Exactly, I would be very surprised if the oceans were not warming, with or without CO2. Be very worried if they begin to cool at any significant rate. An ice age will be imminent and we no the results of that. It has happened before while apparently runaway warming never has and likely never will.

  17. Willis handled this rebuttal rather well in his post “a small margin of error” . Using his data plus checking his numbers from other web sites, the volume of the top 2 km of ocean is about 6e17 cubic meters or 6e23 cc. The thermal capacity of water is 4.2 Joules/C so the thermal capacity of the top 2 km of ocean is about 2.5e24 J/C. So the total heat anomaly of 2e23 J amounts to 2/25 or 0.08 C!!! We can measure a change in temperature of 0.08 C over 50 years in 6e17 cubic meters of water. As Willis points out the best measure of ocean temperature today is the Argo buoys and there are a bit under 4000 of them. So each Argo Buoy measures the temperature of 1.5e14 cubic meters of water or 1.5e5 cubic kilometres. At 2km depth that translates to an area of 75000 sq km or a square 274 km on a side.

    Hmmm, a quick check showed ocean temperature at Sydney is about 3.5C colder than at Brisbane over a distance of 914km. That’s a change of 1.05C over 274 km not 0.08C. Then again the difference in temperature between summer and winter is claimed to be about 6C – over 26 weeks which translates to a linear change of 0.23C per week (probably more like sinusoidal which makes the peak rate of change larger). Of course this is probably surface not deeper ocean but still it shows how large the variability is with time and location. To claim the sort of accuracy they are claiming seems to be ludicrous.

    Far worse, back in the 1950-1980 period we did not have Argo buoys, instead far less accurate and reliable measures from ships, so how reliable is the base line figure?

    Another interesting point, if the total heat anomaly is 2e23 joules over 40 years over the surface of Earth, that translates to 2e23 / (area of earth surface 5e14 M^2 * 3600 seconds to hours * 24 hours her day * 365 days per year *40) =0.3 watts/sqM over the last 40 years. Now the claim is that Earth’s sensitivity is about 3 watts per sqM per C and the Earth has warmed by about 1C. So the oceans according to this number have only been absorbing about 10%, yet the claim is MOST of the heat is going into the oceans. Since when is 10% most? Where has the other 90% been going?

    • Michael Hammer January 18, 2019 at 1:46 pm said, interalia

      Where has the other 90% been going?

      Cellulose? Erosion ?

      Great post,by the way.

    • I also used Willis’ figures from his recent post.

      2,600 x 10E21 for 1C rise in top 2,000m = 260 x 10E22
      19.67 x 10E22 anomaly
      19.67/260 = 0.0765C anomaly

      If the anomaly is based in temperature measurements in the oceans then converted to joules (for the large number, “It’s worse than we thought” effect), are the measurement devices capable of discerning a signal to 0.0765C accuracy?

      (unless my high school maths is wrong, which is possible)

  18. I’d like to challenge any of these people to a 10 minute swim in the ocean – along either coast – and see if they didn’t come out with a new, improved sense of the ocean’s heat.

  19. “together with a rich body of literature, serve as an additional warning ”

    That’s about the same amount of warning that can be obtained from a “rich body” of graphic novels.

  20. CO2 heat is sneaky, Ninja Heat which doesn’t obey the laws of physics, for you see, it never studied law.

  21. It is clearly listed as a news and views, not a research article. And they are referring to the Science article that Dr Roy Spencer dissembled as junk earlier this past week.

    The whole concept of OHC in zettajoules has been created to serve an alarmist narrative, because a 1/100th of degree C change doesn’t sound scary at all even to the general public.

      • Joel, There is a word ‘dissemble’ which means to give a misleading appearance to something by hiding the truth of it behind some disguise or trickery. The false ‘opinion piece’ parading as an article in a Chinese physics journal fits it to a T.

        • Unfortunately, the way it came out was that Dr. Spencer had dissembled. It’s good that he fixed that. As far as the metric, it’s interesting that some in this thread are still referring to Joules, so

          Joules must be o.k. as long as they are kept within the family.

  22. Wunderground.com is comfortable with the connection of Global Warming
    to ‘religion’.

    Concerning ‘Global Warming’ just saw this “Church of Sol: The Solar Cycle’s Potential Impact on Weather and Climate Bob Henson · January 18, 2019, 4:27 PM EST ” on https://www.wunderground.com/cat6/Church-Sol-Solar-Cycles-Potential-Impact-Weather-and-Climate?cm_ven=cat6-widget. Then they showed a SunSpot from 2014 with the comment “One of the largest sunspots in a decade, labeled AR1944, was seen near the peak of the most recent solar cycle, in early January 2014, as captured by NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory. An image of Earth has been added for scale. Image credit: NASA/SDO.”.

  23. Ocean heat content is rising at 0.26 W/m2/year versus the climate models estimate of 0.80 W/m2/year/

    Missing. In 100 years, the actual numbers translate into something like 0.2C.

    What is also missing is the climate scientists being transparent with everyone. Its hidden in joules and big numbers to the 10^23’s.

    The warming is just not there people

  24. Trenberth seems to have come down a lot, joining in with the climate plebes from SSc! He wasnt much heard from after the Climate Blues Epidemic hit many warmer proponents as a result of the’Dreaded Pause!’ He was the first to express concern early on (in a climategate email) that “it is a travesty” they couldnt explain the ‘Pause’. That was after a pause of only 7yrs. Add 11 more ulcerating years to that and the last we heard was he was searching for hotspots in vain in the atmosphere and the deep oceans, believing they were shifting around like billiard balls. His appending his name to this silly phony article makes me feel a bit sorry for the guy.

    Its similar to the case of the “Ship of Fools” Antarctic expedition fiasco conducted by Ozzie clisci Chris Turney who had to be rescued with his “crew” (including children) locked in summer sea ice on a touristy voyage to witness global warming affects. They gave him some kind of award for scientific participation to cheer him up. He went quiet for a couple of years and then popped up with his last offering: telling the story of how he was brought to tears when he came across hundreds of frozen Adelie penguins killed by global warming. Biologists advised him that the bodies were hundreds of years old and had accummulated because of a lack of predators and scavengers. I think there could be another epidemic coming with the crescendo of angst that is ringing in the air on climate catastrophe with chimerical Nature on the sidelines.

  25. One little problem. Although they mentioned SLR, it hasn’t happened. SLR isn’t a someday thing when you add heat. Like the moving goal posts, ” well the poles will definitely melt by 2100″ type of thing. The type of heat they are alluding to isn’t tiny little millimeters, it’s centimeters. Very clear indicators. That’s why the Maldives are suppose to be under water, along with the West Side Hwy in NYC, and most of Florida.

  26. “Also, ocean heat record is less impacted by natural fluctuations and it is a robust indicator of climate change”

    There are in fact plenty of natural heat sources in the ocean as evidenced in the PETM event and other events in paleo climate.

    https://tambonthongchai.com/2018/10/28/petm/

    The other property of ocean heat content is its lumpy non uniform distribution that is difficult to explain in terms of a common and uniform heat source in the atmosphere.

    https://tambonthongchai.com/2018/10/06/ohc/

  27. the researchers hope to be a valuable economic resource to the fishing and tourism industries,
    __________________________________________________

    In fact such researchers are just another pain in the ass of e.g. fishing and tourism industries.

    Would be interesting if that kind of blackmailing works – if that “researchers” earn money of e.g. fishing and tourism industries.

  28. The difference over the four years is 3.45E22J. That equates to 0.76W/Sq.m over the period.

    This is very close to what I modelled using simple thermal inertia of the 2000m and a log function for response to CO2 increase:
    https://1drv.ms/b/s!Aq1iAj8Yo7jNgnXLo5LnjuHhohGM
    This gives a temperature rise of the top 2000m of 0.58C by 2100, or 0.4C rise over present level, for CO2 doubling to 570ppm and temperature settling around 0.8C rise , 0.6C above present level, after a few hundred years. Not too scary and a long way off.

  29. From the paper:

    Increases in ocean heat are incontrovertible proof that the Earth is warming (Fig.1).

    Cringe! Maybe it’s a translation thing, but claims of “incontrovertible proof” don’t have a good look in a serious scientific paper in my view. “Evidence supporting” perhaps.

  30. Beats me as to how this fake news stays alive. I’m no scientist but read things like UV light can penetrate many metres of ocean water but IR light barely makes a couple of millimetres. Also certain ocean temperatures seem to relate to sunspot activity cycles.

    Ah, well. The quiet sun will resolve this over the coming years.

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