Media Reports of +40% Adjustment in Ocean Warming Were Greatly Exaggerated

January 16th, 2019 by Roy W. Spencer, Ph. D.

Summary: The recently reported upward adjustment in the 1971-2010 Ocean Heat Content (OHC) increase compared to the last official estimate from the IPCC is actually 11%, not 40%. The 40% increase turns out to be relative to the average of various OHC estimates the IPCC addressed in their 2013 report, most of which were rejected. Curiously, the new estimate is almost identical to the average of 33 CMIP climate models, yet the models themselves range over a factor of 8 in their rates of ocean warming. Also curious is the warmth-enhancing nature of temperature adjustments over the years from surface thermometers, radiosondes, satellites, and now ocean heat content, with virtually all data adjustments leading to more warming rather than less.

I’ve been trying to make sense out of the recent Science paper by Cheng et al. entitled How Fast are the Oceans Warming? The news headlines I saw which jumped out at me (and several others who asked me about them) were:

World’s Oceans Warming 40% Faster than Previously Thought (EcoWatch.com),

The oceans are heating up 40% faster than scientists realized which means we should prepare for more disastrous flooding and storms (businessinsider.com)

For those who read the paper, let me warn you: The paper itself does not have enough information to figure out what the authors did, but the Supplementary Materials for the paper provide some of what is needed. I suspect this is due to editorial requirements by Science to make articles interesting without excessive fact mongering.

One of the conclusions of the paper is that Ocean Heat Content (OHC) has been rising more rapidly in the last couple decades than in previous decades, but this is not a new finding, and I will not discuss it further here.

Of more concern is the implication that this paper introduces some new OHC dataset that significantly increases our previous estimates of how much the oceans have been warming.

As far as I can tell, this is not the case.

Dazed and Confused

Most of the paper deals with just how much the global oceans from the surface to 2,000 m depth warmed during the period 1971-2010 (40 years) which was also a key period in the IPCC 5th Assessment Report (AR5).

And here’s where things get confusing, and I wasted hours figuring out how they got their numbers because the authors did not provide sufficient information.

Part of the confusion comes from the insistence of the climate community on reporting ocean warming in energy content units of zettajoules (a zettajoule is 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 Joules, which is a billion trillion Joules… also a sextillion Joules, but male authors fear calling it that), rather than in what is actually measured (degrees). This leads to confusion because almost nowhere is it ever stated what assumed area of ocean was used in the computation of OHC (which is proportional to both temperature change and the volume of seawater involved in that temperature change). I’ve looked in this paper and other papers (including Levitus), and only in the 2013 IPCC report (AR5) did I find the value 3.6 x 10^14 square meters given for ocean area. (Just because we know the area of the global oceans doesn’t mean that is what is monitored, or what was used in the computation of OHC).

Causing still further confusion is that Cheng et al. then (apparently) take the ocean area, and normalize it by the entire area of the Earth, scaling all of their computed heat fluxes by 0.7. I have no idea why, since their paper does not deal with the small increase in heat content of the land areas. This is just plain sloppy, because it complicates and adds uncertainty when others try to replicate their work.

It also raises the question of why energy content? We don’t do that for the atmosphere. Instead, we use what is measured — degrees. The only reason I can think of is that the ocean temperature changes involved are exceedingly tiny, either hundredths or thousandths of a degree C, depending upon what ocean layer is involved and over what time period. Such tiny changes would not generate the alarm that a billion-trillion Joules would (or the even scarier Hiroshima bomb-equivalents).

But I digress.

The Results

I think I finally figured out what Cheng et al. did (thanks mostly to finding the supporting data posted at Cheng’s website).

The “40%” headlines derive from this portion of the single figure in their paper, where I have added in red information which is either contained in the Supplementary Materials (3-letter dataset IDs from the authors’ names) or are my own annotations:

The five different estimates of 40-year average ocean heating rates from the AR5 report (gray bars) are around 40% below the newer estimates (blue bars), but the AR5 report did not actually use these five in their estimation — they ended up using only the highest of these (Domingues et al., 2008). As Cheng mentions, the pertiment section of the IPCC report is the “Observations: Oceans” section of Working Group 1, specifically Box 3.1 which contains the numerical facts one can factmonger with.

From the discussion in Box 3.1, one can compute that the AR5-estimated energy accumulation rate in the 0-2000 m ocean layer (NOT adjusted for total area of the Earth) during 1971-2010 corresponds to an energy flux of 0.50 Watts per sq. meter. This can then be compared to newer estimates computed from Cheng’s website data (which is stated to be the data used in the Science study) of 0.52 W/m2 (DOM), 0.51 W/m2 (ISH), and 0.555 W/m2 (CHG).

Significantly, even if we use the highest of these estimates (Cheng’s own dataset) we only get an 11% increase above what the IPCC claimed in 2013 — not 40%.

Agreement Between Models and Observations

Cheng’s website also contains the yearly 0-2000m OHC data from 33 CMIP5 models, from which I calculated the average warming rate, getting 0.549 W/m2 (again, not scaled by 0.7 to get a whole-Earth value). This is amazingly close to Cheng’s 0.555 W/m2 he gets from reanalysis of the deep-ocean temperature data.

This is pointed to as evidence that observations support the climate models which, in turn, are of course the basis for proposed energy policy changes and CO2 emissions reduction.

How good is that multi-model warming rate? Let me quote the Science article (again, these number are scaled by 0.7):

“The ensemble average of the models has a linear ocean warming trend of 0.39 +/- 0.07 W/m2 for the upper 2000 m from 1971-2010 compared with recent observations ranging from 0.36 to 0.39 W/m2.”

See that +/- 0.07 error bar on the model warming rate? That is not a confidence interval on the warming rate. It’s the estimated error in the fit of a regression line to the 33-model average warming trace during 1971-2010. It says nothing about how confident we are in the warming rate, or even the range of warming rates BETWEEN models.

And that variation between the models is where things REALLY get interesting. Here’s what those 33 models’ OHC warming profiles look like, relative to the beginning of the period (1971), which shows they range over a factor of 8X (from 0.11 W/m2 to 0.92 W/m2) for the period 1971-2010!

What do we make of a near-perfect level of agreement (between Cheng’s reanalysis of OHC warming from observational data, and the average of 33 climate models), when those models themselves disagree with each other by up to a factor of 8 (700%)?

That is a remarkable stroke of luck.

It’s Always Worse than We Thought

It is also remarkable how virtually every observational dataset — whether (1) surface temperature from thermometers, (2) deep-ocean temperature measurements, atmospheric temperature from (3) satellites, and from (4) radiosondes, when reanalyzed for the same period, always ends up with more (not less) warming? What are the chances of this? It’s like flipping a coin and almost always getting heads.

Again, a remarkable stroke of luck.


139 Responses to “Media Reports of +40% Adjustment in Ocean Warming Were Greatly Exaggerated”

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  1. RW says:

    Thanks for the detailed analysis, Roy. A lot went into it.
    Your last point (i.e. the last paragraph) is perhaps the most salient, and one that concerns me the most in that it never seems to be drawing suspicion from the public at large. When it most definitely should. A sign that our side is in trouble when it comes to gaining/swaying public opinion on all of this.

    • David L. Hagen says:

      Thanks Roy for your examination and perspective.
      Re: “2013 IPCC report (AR5) did I find the value 3.6 x 10^14 square meters given for ocean area”
      See:
      Charette, M.A. and Smith, W.H., 2010. The volume of Earth’s ocean. Oceanography, 23(2), pp.112-114. https://bit.ly/2sv6w6w or https://bit.ly/2Dds2Tp

      Area: 361.84 10^6 km^2 +/- 0.14%
      Mean Depth: 3682.2 m +/- 1.2%
      Volume: 1.3324 x 10^9 km^3 +/- 1.2%

      Cogley, J.G., 2012. Area of the ocean. Marine Geodesy, 35(4), pp.379-388. https://bit.ly/2FvBFzm

      The area of the ocean, as derived from a new analysis of two digital data sets, is near to 362.5 Mm2 (1Mm2 = 10^6 km2). The decimal digit is meaningful: uncertainty is about ±0.1 Mm2 or ±0.03%.

    • Joz Jonlin says:

      it never seems to be drawing suspicion from the public at large

      I’m not sure I agree with that statement. There’s a reason polling data consistently show climate change at the bottom of public concern. Perhaps this is why “global warming” morphs to “climate change”, “climate disruption” and such over the years, to keep the message fresh. It seems there’s only a small segment of very vocal people who’ve bought in on this. Most people already understand it’s mostly GIGO.

  2. antwanb says:

    Take everything that Spencer says with caution.

  3. ßri says:

    “fact mongering” LOL

  4. Ken says:

    Is it possible that your “cherry picking” headlines? Your always going to find websites on both sides of the debate that play fast and loose with the facts. Your makes it sound like the media as whole was reporting it this way. CNN’s headline was “The oceans are warming faster than scientists thought”. Why did you feel the need to single out “eco.watch”? I’ve never even heard of them.

    I would much rather read your take on CNN’s latest headline, “2018 was the hottest year ever recorded for the planet’s oceans”

    fact or fiction??

    • During the period 2005-2017, the oceans (0-2000m) have warmed at a rate of 0.003 C per year. The global average is just over 8 deg. C, which is cold enough to cause hypothermia in a matter of minutes.

      So, let me ask you, Ken…

      Does a warming from (say) 8.050 C in 2017 to 8.053 C in 2018 support CNN’s headline, “2018 was the hottest year ever recorded for the planets oceans?

      Or does that CNN headline itself sound cherry-picked?

      (btw, LOTS of news outlets carried the 40% number… so you just cherry-picked one of them yourself)

      • Ken says:

        LOL. I’m a laymen so I can’t tell if your setting me up. However, in response to your question, even if 2018 was only .003 C warmer then 2017, I don’t see how CNN would be cherry picking if the all the previous years were consecutively lower.Regardless, the paper the CNN article refers to expresses the OHC as joules and claims the 5 warmest years in the oceans as:

        1 2018 19.67±0.83×1022
        2 2017 18.76±0.80×1022
        3 2015 17.99±0.70×1022
        4 2016 17.47±0.76×1022
        5 2014 16.22±0.70×1022

        Do you take any issue with those numbers or claims?

      • JohnKnight says:

        I see nothing at all confusing about “warmed at a rate of 0.003 C per year. The global average is just over 8 deg. C, which is cold enough to cause hypothermia in a matter of minutes.” What is being discussed is an infinitesimal abatement of cold, and the headline fail miserably to convey that unremarkable guesstimate . . It looks to me like you’re being targeted, Mr. Spencer . .

    • Greg61 says:

      I would just say horse crap since that would require accuracy of measurements within .04 C, in 1955.
      https://wattsupwiththat.com/2019/01/11/a-small-margin-of-error/

  5. Greg61 says:

    Sorry – I was referring specifically to the , “2018 was the hottest year ever recorded for the planets oceans?” part of his comment, not to your original post. Willis covered that a few days ago – link in my first comment.

  6. ossqss says:

    I never knew we could measure the aggregate heat content within the entire ocean system to 2,000 meters at a resolution to 3 decimal points. They must be using better equipment than ARGO eh? Wait, was Karl involved here somewhere using sunken ship engine intakes this time?

    • Greg61 says:

      That’s why they report it as gazillions of joules, or bazillions of hydrogen bombs or whatever. Nobody with any sense thinks they can measure the entire ocean within .003C, but they can fool people into believing +/- 50,000 Hiroshimas.

    • Entropic man says:

      There is an alternative way of measuring changes in ocean heat content, which works just as well for the period since 1955 and does not require temperature measurements.

      Start with the rise in sea level.

      Calculate the increase in ocean volume (handy ready reckoner, 360 cubic kilometres of water adds 1mm to sea level)

      Subtract the volume of water due to other causes to get the volume increase due to thermal expansion.

      Knowing the initial and final volumes and the coefficient of thermal expansion for seawater, you can use the change in volume to calculate the amount of added energy.

  7. Alberto Zaragoza Comendador says:

    If forcing in the models is smaller than in the real world, then you shouldn’t expect models to match the real-world warming rate (whether in the atmosphere or ocean). Rather, with a smaller forcing the models should *underestimate* warming.

    Imagine (cooked-up example) real-world forcing is 3w/m2, whereas model forcing is 2w/m2. Imagine as well that the models totally nail a real-world warming of 1C and radiative imbalance of 0.7w/m2. Then, assuming 3.8w/m2 of forcing for a doubling of CO2, the real-world sensitivity estimate will be:
    (3.8 / (3 – 1)) * 1 = 1.9C
    Whereas the model estimate will be:
    (3.8 / (2.5 – 1)) * 1 = 2.53C

    Just a 0.5w/m2 difference, even with absolutely spot-on temperature and radiative imbalance, leads to a 33% overestimate in sensitivity.

    This is just arithmetic. It’s obvious to anyone who has read a bit about how sensitivity is estimated – but 99% of the public don’t even know about the term “forcing”, and the people making model-observation comparisons never mention this.

    For further illustration, now imagine that models nearly nail atmospheric warming, overestimating it by just 0.1C. And they also get radiative imbalance (i.e. heat uptake) almost right, overestimating it by 0.1w/m2. The model-based sensitivity estimate would be:
    (3.8 / (2.5 – 1.1)) * 1.1 = 3C, or 57% more than in observations!

    Thus, even very small mismatches between model-estimated warming and reality can represent massive mismatches when it comes to climate sensitivity.

    One also has to mention that while the current radiative imbalance is obviously important, what matters for sensitivity is the change in the imbalance over time. That’s where things get complicated, because the further back one goes in time, the less we know about the imbalance; this very recent paper claims the imbalance in the 1920s and 30s was as high as in the 1980s and 90s. I’m not saying the paper is correct (that’s obviously beyond my means); I’m just saying the issue is not settled at all. At least before this paper I’d never heard the claim that the ocean had warmed so fast in the early XX century; I’d always heard that claim about *atmospheric* temperatures.
    https://www.pnas.org/content/early/2019/01/04/1808838115

    (If I’m reading the paper right, the radiative imbalance in 1921-1946 was about 0.4w/m2. Atmospheric temperatures were also rising quickly at the same time, which should have reduced the imbalance. Man-made forcing was very small, so obviously natural forcing must have made a major contribution).

    • Alberto Zaragoza Comendador says:

      Ok, on top of botching the model forcing, which as in the example should have been 2.5w/m2, I wrote first about a radiative imbalance of 0.7w/m2 but later used 1w/m2 in the example. It was late when I wrote…

      Re-writing the example: imagine real-world forcing of 3w/m2, model forcing of 2.5w/m2, real-world imbalance of 0.7w/m2, real-world warming of 1ºC, and forcing per doubling of CO2 of 3.8w/m2, sensitivity inferred from real-world data would be:
      (3.8 / (3 – 0.7)) * 1 = 1.65ºC

      The same formula for models, if those got real-world warming and imbalance exactly right, would give a sensitivity of:
      (3.8 / (2.5 – 0.7)) * 1 = 2.11ºC –> 28% excess versus reality

      In the case models overestimated the imbalance by 0.1w/m2 and warming by 0.1ºC, the formula gives:
      (3.8 / (2.5 – 0.8)) * 1.1 = 2.46ºC –> 49% excess versus reality

      So while the original numbers are a bit off, because I used an unrealistically high imbalance, the point remains that even very small mismatches between modelled and real warming, imbalance and forcing compound into a very big mismatch in terms of sensitivity. In other words: just because the models appear to more or less track historical temperatures and ocean heat uptake doesn’t mean they’ve got sensitivity right, or that they’ll continue to track observations in the future.

      The biggest source of confusion is the forcing mismatch. At least in the case of warming and imbalance it’s easy to know the model values so you know what observations should be compared to; in the case of forcing even climate scientists aren’t very sure what are the true model values!

  8. Alberto Zaragoza Comendador says:

    “whereas model forcing is 2w/m2”
    That should be 2.5w/m2

  9. Bindidon says:

    Thanks to Roy Spencer for this educative moment. This unostentatious head post is by far more convincing than what has been published at WUWT.

    I agree that this zettajoule syndrome is somewhat disturbing.

    It is like atmospheric pressure measured in this strange hectopascal unit instead of communicating it using mm Hg.

    But I don’t think it has to do with alarmism, because I would never suspect Japan’s Meteorology Agency, for example, of any will to manipulate us that way. And they seem to base their communication on energy too.

    Here is their OHC page:

    https://www.data.jma.go.jp/gmd/kaiyou/english/ohc/ohc_global_en.html

    It is really interesting to read their last statement in the page:

    “These long-term trends can be attributed to global warming caused by increased concentrations of anthropogenic greenhouse gases such as CO2 as well as natural variability.”

    Emphasis mine, of course. But I have learned that when people write a sequence of alternantive explanations, they often implicitly meant the last one to be in their opinion the more important one.

  10. Neville says:

    Dr Curry looks at a number of the latest so called studies on so called OHC etc.
    I think it’s clear that they are having a lend of the public when they claim a 40% increase, but hey what’s new about the MSM exaggerations as they try and manipulate public opinion ?
    BTW didn’t Cheng et al rely on Resplendy et al for their study? See Nic Lewis’s problems with that study before you believe the MSM’s 40% whopper. Here’s Dr curry’s link.

    https://judithcurry.com/2019/01/14/ocean-heat-content-surprises/#more-24627

  11. Mike Flynn says:

    The Earth has absorbed many squillions of joules of energy from the Sun in the past.

    How many millions of degrees is that?

    People actually accept money to produce and print this nonsense?

    I’m sure the taxpayers are delighted to pay for such rubbish – not.

    Cheers.

    • Myki says:

      It is obvious you don’t understand one iota of what is being discussed.
      Please follow Mr Twain’s suggestion:
      “It’s better to keep your mouth shut and appear stupid than open it and remove all doubt.”

      • MIke Flynn says:

        I didnt use the /sarc tag. Sorry. /sarc on

        Al Gore said –

        “. . .but two kilometers or so down in most places there are these incredibly hot rocks, ’cause the interior of the earth is extremely hot, several million degrees, and the crust of the earth is hot …”

        Obviously due to the squilliions of joules from the Sun, or what?

        Try using some of the pseudoscientific misleading zettajoules to make just one cup of tea!

        What do you mean, you can’t? You only have to boil a cup or two water! How many joules do you need?

        /sarc off.

        What a pack of fumbling bumblers!

        Cheers.

        • Myki says:

          LOL!
          Do you still believe changing ocean basin configurations affects global mean sea level?

          • Mike Flynn says:

            M,

            If you can’t understand peer reviewed papers, the following from Penn State and others –

            “Long-Term Sea Level Change (hundreds of thousands to millions of years) is influenced by factors that modify the size and shape of ocean basins. Global or eustatic sea level can change as the result of changes in the number, size, and shape of ocean basins.”

            They have pictures in bright colours for you and the others who can’t read too well.

            Cheers.

  12. steve case says:

    Well, there’s this:

    Correcting Ocean Cooling

  13. steve case says:

    The Exective summary Chapter five IPCC AR4 2007 says, “The oceans are warming. Over the period 1961 to 2003, global ocean temperature has risen by 0.10C from the surface to a depth of 700 m” Who really believes that the IPCC authors really know that the ocean warmed a tenth of a degree over a 42 year period. There’s so much that the IPCC has claimed so often for so long that nobody knows where to begin to figure it all out.

    • Entropic man says:

      Water expands as it warms.

      You can calculate the increased energy content from the thermal expansion component of sea level rise, no need for thermometers.

      • E says:

        There are three linked values of interest here; sea level rise, energy content and temperature.

        If you measure one, you can calculate the other two.

        What impresses me is the consilience. If you start with the change in sea level, or the change in temperature, you get the same change in ocean heat content.

        That increase in ocean heat content matches the annual energy input due to the energy imbalance.

        They all converge on 0.5W/M^2.

      • steve case says:

        Entropic man says at 5:02 PM
        Water expands as it warms.

        You can calculate the increased energy content from the thermal expansion component of sea level rise, no need for thermometers.

        “The thermal expansion component of sea level rise” I have issues with how that works. The oceans are 3700 meters deep and the thermocline is 700 meters or less. The tropical oceans see the 700 meter deep thermocline and the resulting thermal expansion can affect that entire depth in mid-ocean, but at the shore line and in the higher latitudes there’s nearly no effect at all. This is one of those issues our friends on the left skip over and ignore, preferring to pretend that thermal expansion affects sea level everywhere when it probably doesn’t.

        If the water at the higher latitudes warms up then it will expand but if it’s as cold as always then no, it won’t expand. Sea level varies all over the world for a variety of reasons, and local rise due to thermal expansion is one of those reasons.

        Will the colder water below push the warm water up? Of course it will and a thin layer will expand outward but, there won’t be much of a thermal expansion effect in a thin layer, and the effect will be zero when it cools off. Think about the bulge in the middle of the equatorial Pacific and how it would have cooled off if it spread all the way to the Aleutians?

        Here’s a nice little graph that illustrates some reality:

        https://www.marinebio.net/marinescience/02ocean/swimg/ThermoclineGraphic.gif

        Thermal expansion will occur above the thermocline. As you can see, the water above the thermocline thins out in the temperate zone. It’s instructive to note that the thermocline comes right to the top in the polar regions and the thin warm layers, hence thermal expansion would be non-existent there.

        Sea level due to thermal expansion is local. Local may be large, i.e. the tropics, but it won’t affect sea level in much of the rest of the world.

  14. Event Horizon says:

    This is easy to sort out with a back of the envelope calculation.

    So the ocean took up ~300 zettajoules. This is 3*10^23 Joules.

    How much water are we talking about? Let’s assume we’re talking about half the earth’s surface (250 mil km^2) covered by 2 km of water (close enough). This gives a volume of water of approximately 500 mil km^3 of water. Or 5*10^8 km^3. Which in decimeter cubes (known as liters) is: 5*10^23 liters of water.

    This means that every liter (or 1000 grams) of ocean water absorbed an extra 3 Joules of energy in 40 years.

    This is tiny. The heat capacity of liquid water is approximately 4 J per gram per degree. In other words it takes 4000 joules to increase the temperature of one liter of water by one degree Celsius.

    So how much would 3 Joules of energy warm one liter of water? Not even one thousand of a degree Celsius.

    Yeah, this entire thing is 100%, pure BS. Anyone is welcome to check my numbers and come up with a different estimate. We’re not talking about small numbers here, but orders of magnitude of BS.

    • Mike Flynn says:

      EH,

      And thats assuming magical pseudoscientific climatological water which cannot cool down after being heated by the Sun!

      Ordinary water does.

      Cheers.

    • Entropic man says:

      Event Horizon

      May I correct your calculation.

      Since heat diffuses, you can use the full volume of the ocean.

      That is 1.3*10^9 cubic kilometres, 1.3*10^18 cubic metres, 1.3*10^21 kilograms. (not your 10^23).

      Each kilogram receives 3*10^23 / 1.3 * 10^21 = 2.3*10^2 Joules

      The specific heat of seawater is 4.0 *10^3 J/kg/C (not your 4)

      Thus the average temperature increases by 2.3*10^2 / 4.0*10^3 = 0.057 C.

      That is much closer to the values found in the literature.

      • Mike Flynn says:

        EM,

        Warm water floats on cold water as it is less dense. The floating warm water at night cools, becomes denser, and sinks, being replaced by the now warmer water below.

        No diffusion – less dense water cannot sink. No heat hidden away in the depths.

        Try some different pseudoscience. More calculations, perhaps?

        Cheers.

      • Event Horizon says:

        Thanks EM.

        You’re right (although my 4 J/g/C specific heat is correct). Needless to say, the conclusion is still correct: 0.057 deg Celsius in over 40 years is still absolutely negligible, and I would argue, nearly impossible to estimate on a global scale.

  15. Stephen P Anderson says:

    “Worse than we thought,” just amazing.

  16. Mike Flynn says:

    The specific heat of water is a bit over 4 joules per gram per cegree C.

    Start with a litre of water at 0 C. Exposed to the weather.

    Raise the temperature to 50 C. Takes about 200 joules.

    The following day, do the same thing, bearing in mind that the temperature might have dropped overnight.

    Repeat each day, and stop when you have used 100,000 joules heating 1 litre of water.

    What is the water temperature? You can surround the water container with 100% CO2, if you think the water is cooling too much each night.

    Still no GHE. Even an ocean of water won’t accumulate heat from the Sun. It hasn’t after four and a half billion years, anyway. Nor has the crust, or the atmosphere.

    Just more pseudoscientific stupidity of the climatological variety.

    Cheers.

  17. esalil says:

    Mike Flynn: 200kJ not 200J

  18. Nate says:

    ‘During the period 2005-2017, the oceans (0-2000m) have warmed at a rate of 0.003 C per year.’

    If I go for a swim right now in my area, I will get ‘hypothermia in a matter of minutes.’

    Not so in August, a swim is cool but quite refreshing.

    I looked up the annual cycle in 0-2000 m of OHC, in my latitude band.

    https://tinyurl.com/yabyobv9

    which leads to a seasonal warming of ~ 0.1 C for the 0-2000 m.

    So the delta T/year of 0-2000 m is quite a useless and rather misleading stat.

    Because 95% of that depth has teeny-tiny temperature changes.

  19. Entropic man says:

    If you think that increasing the temperature of 1.3 billion cubic kilometres by 0.057C is negligible, then you lack imagination.

  20. Event Horizon says:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sea_level#/media/File:Recent_Sea_Level_Rise.png

    Which part of the rise from 1910-present is anthropocentric? The graph shows no acceleration whatsoever in sea level rise since 1910.

    • Entropic man says:

      Event Horizon

      Why are you expecting acceleration?

      • Event Horizon says:

        Because in 1910 the sea level was rising as fast as it is rising now. This means the CO2 level has no effect on the sea level rise, which proves that the observed sea level rise is not due to climate change. So it can’t be anthropogenic.

        This is the entire premise of this thesis: sea level rises are explained by extra heat absorbed by the oceans due to higher surface temperatures with are increasing due to higher CO2 levels. But this data set invalidates this hypothesis. Am I missing something here?

        • Bindidon says:

          Event Horizon

          “Because in 1910 the sea level was rising as fast as it is rising now. ”

          Some valuable source would be welcome…

          • Event Horizon says:

            Sure, here it is:

            https://doi.org/10.1023/A:1006544227856

            “The mean trend of 9 groups made up of the newly-selected records is also 1.8 mm/yr ± 0.1 for global sea level rise over the last 100+ years. A somewhat smaller set of longer records in 8 groups (minimum 70 years, average 91) gives 1.9 mm/yr ± 0.1 for the mean trend. These values are about an order of magnitude larger than the average over the last few millennia. The recent (in historical terms) dramatic increase in the rate of global sea level rise has not been explained, and no acceleration during the last century has been detected. This situation requires additional investigation and confirmation.”

            The author of this study was from the University of Maryland and the study was sponsored by NASA.

    • Bindidon says:

      Event Horizon

      You trust in your eye-balling; I trust in data:
      https://research.csiro.au/slrwavescoast/sea-level/measurements-and-data/sea-level-data/
      http://sealevel.colorado.edu/files/2018_rel1/sl_ns_global.txt

      Wether or not the acceleration in the last decades is due to Mankind does not interest me here.

      Fact is that the raise measured by tide gauges in mm/year is as follows:

      – 1880-1920: 1.3
      – 1920-1950: 1.5
      – 1950-1980: 1.5
      – 1980-2010: 2.4

      – 1993-2013: 3.6

      – 1993-2013 (satellite): 3.2

      If that is no acceleration, what is it then?

      • Event Horizon says:

        From your first reference, page 597, beginning of the first paragraph:

        “The linear trend from 1900 to 2009 is 1.7 0.2 mm per year and from 1961 to 2009 is 1.9 0.4 mm per year.”

        I’m sorry, but that uncertainty means there is no statistically relevant acceleration.

      • Event Horizon says:

        Sorry, the post doesn’t format properly the plus minus sign.

        To repeat:

        From 1900 to 2009: 1.7 +- 0.2 mm/year rise.
        From 1961 to 2009: 1.9 +- 0.4 mm/year rise.

        Statistically identical.

  21. CO2isLife says:

    Once again, do the math. CO2 caused LWIR back radiation is about 0.94W/m^2 according to MODTRAN looking up from the surface. The 13 to 18 microns associated with CO2 don’t penetrate the oceans, so they have very very limited warming capability if at all. Visable radiation bathes the oceans with 1,050 W/m^2 on a sunny clear day. A single hour of sunlight is the W/m^2 equivalent of months of CO2 back radiation. CO2 is like adding a garden hose to the Alaskan Pipeline, its contribution is irrelevant.
    Read More:
    An Einstein Thought Experiment on Climate Change
    https://co2islife.wordpress.com/2019/01/12/an-einstein-thought-experiment-on-climate-change/

    An interesting experiment would be to measure the warming differential of visible radiation on water as compared to a CO2 laser. My bet is the visible radiation will be far far far more efficient at warming water. Do climate alarmists have this experiment to support their position? Nope, they just ignore experiments that would prove them wrong.

    • CO2isLife says:

      The above should read Anthropogenic CO2’s MARGINAL contribution, ie difference between 270 and 410 ppm CO2 is 0.94W/m^2.

    • Nate says:

      ‘The 13 to 18 microns associated with CO2 dont penetrate the oceans, so they have very very limited warming capability if at all. ‘

      Ok, so it seems CO2isLife only has short term memory. Did you forget all the discussion last week?

      And 0.94 W/m^2 is small. Small compared to 1000 W/m^2. So what?

      Warming of 1 C in 4 decades is ALSO SMALL, compared to 20 C in 12 hours.

      You have a problem with small heating causing small warming and big heating causing big warming?

      • CO2isLife says:

        “Ok, so it seems CO2isLife only has short term memory. Did you forget all the discussion last week?”

        No, and I actually found a graphic from Dr SPencer that makes my case. The surface is COOLER than the water just 1mm below the surface. The implies the wind and energy from CO2 facilitates evaporation.
        https://co2islife.files.wordpress.com/2019/01/diurnal-sea-temp.jpg

        “And 0.94 W/m^2 is small. Small compared to 1000 W/m^2. So what?”

        So what? Energy is a flux, once it leaves it has to be replaced. A simple change in cloud cover can eliminate months if not years of energy provided by CO2. CO2 is like putting a garden hose in the Alaskan Pipeline. The total flux is enormous making CO2 contribution irrelevant. BTW, do the experiment. Shine 1,000 W/m^2 of visible radiation on a body of water and 1,000 W/m^2 of LWIR between 13 and 18 micron. My bet is the visible radiation will warm the water and the LWIR won’t. Test it yourself. (Yes I know CO2 will never provide 1,000 W/m^2) Simply do the experiment so we have the proof.

        “Warming of 1 C in 4 decades is ALSO SMALL, compared to 20 C in 12 hours.”

        Not when you consider the vastness of the oceans and the energy needed to warm such a huge body of water. The specific heat of H20 is 4.186 joule/gram C

        “You have a problem with small heating causing small warming and big heating causing big warming?”

        Heating the ocean isn’t small heating, and it certainly can’t be caused by 0.94W/m^2. Once again, energy is a flux, it doesn’t get stored. After an El Nino you start from zero and repeat the cycle.

        More:
        https://co2islife.wordpress.com/2019/01/12/an-einstein-thought-experiment-on-climate-change/

        • Nate says:

          Ugghh..facts dont penetrate. Numbers dont seem to matter.

          ‘Once again, energy is a flux, it doesn’t get stored. After an El Nino you start from zero and repeat the cycle.’

          Yes, yes it is stored, because it is, by definition, extra, added on top of the normal input that is balanced by output, 240 in 240 out. now we get say 240.94 in, that is an imbalance of 0.94. First law says it heats.

          And the stored energy is observed to be increasing ~ as predicted.

          • JDHuffman says:

            Nate, the “0.94” would NOT add to solar, as you’ve indicated. Radiative fluxes do not simply add.

          • Nate says:

            JD, just stick with comic relief. You get to make up your own jokes. In science, not so much.

          • JDHuffman says:

            Nate, you are one of the main comic attractions here.

            * Radiative fluxes do not simply add, ESPECIALLY when you are talking about solar and back-radiation.

            * If you are trying to add 0.94 as energy, you are violating Laws of Thermodynamics. The energy is already in the system, so it does not get added again.

            * Even if it were extra energy to add, it would be added as 0.94/4, since the 240 has been divided by 4.

            Several “wrongs” do not make a “right”.

            But you keep trying.

          • Nate says:

            JD, you have no interest in real physics and I have no interest in made up physics. Not much to discuss.

          • JDHuffman says:

            Yes Nate, I’m aware you are unable to discuss physics. So, I wasn’t “discussing”. I was “correcting”.

  22. Entropic man says:

    Once you get above 4C the amount of expansion is proportional to the amount of energy added, so it does not matter if there are local variations. On a global scale they even out.

    You wouldn’t use the volume change technique on a local or small scale, but used with long term changes in global average sea level, youcan usefully measure the contribution of ocean heat content on global energy budgets.

  23. Entropic man says:

    Event Horizon

    Why are you expecting acceleration?

    http://blogs.reading.ac.uk/climate-lab-book/files/2016/01/EEI_Blog_Figure4.png

    The post 1990 datsets all show OHC gain of about 6*10^21Joules/year.

    There is an acceleration since 1910, but the rate in recent decades has been fairly constant.

  24. Antonio (AKA "Un físico") says:

    Hello Mr. Roy, I think we exchanged some emails about this in the past.
    In my view, typical atmospheric temperature measurements of +0.91+-0.04 K are not correct. Instead errors should be larger (accounting for the many error sources: statistical interpolations, parameter estimations like emissivity, time series noises, etc.) of something like, e.g., +0.91+-1.8 K. I believe that this “enlarged” gap, in the error side, gives more room to many statistical bias.
    Now, on this oceanic new measurements about warming could be happening the same. The wider gap in the error side, the wider one can make the warming readjustement. But if any of you has the certainty that this is not happening (i.e., that oceans’ warming temperature has a low error), please let me know by writing a link to the appropriate paper.

  25. Entropic man says:

    Antonio

    I just tried to give you the links you requested, but the site rejected it. You’need to search yourself.

    In summary, ocean heat content is based on Argo measurements accurate to 0.005C. In their service life the calibration drifts no more than 0.002C.

    Temperature datasets, including UAH, all quote uncertainties around 0.1C.

    You might care to justify why your estimate of the uncertainty in the UAH data is 18 times larger than Dr Spencer’s.

  26. Bindidon says:

    In my view, typical atmospheric temperature measurements of +0.91+-0.04 K are not correct.”

    I’m wondering all the time about all these people who simply doubt about the result of other people’s work, without providing for any proof.

    They all say: “I think you are wrong. Prove me wrong.”

    Hi fisico, what about giving us some scientifically valuable proof for your claim?

    What about considering three global temperature series, published by people working on partly different sources, using completely different algorithms?

    Here is a highly simplified but noetheless correct view:

    https://tinyurl.com/y8fc4ljz

    Do you really think that all these people are doing it so thoroughly wrong?

    Do you doubt similarly about the correctness of your own work as well?

    • Entropic man says:

      Antonio

      There is maths for this.

      The first thing is measurement accuracy, the uncertainty in individual measurements.

      To calculate a mean, add up the the individual measurements (sum X) and divide by the number of measurements ((n).

      Mean = sum X / n

      There are several different formulae for calculating uncertainty.

      I use 95% confidence limits(+/- 2 standard deviations)

      2 sigma = 2 * sum (X-mean)^2 / n

      Confidence limits get smaller as sample size increases.

      Confidence limits = accuracy of measurement/ √n

      A worked example.

      Measure a station temperature using a calibrated mercury thermometer. Accuracy is +/- 1C. Confidence limits +/- 1C.

      Measure the mean temperature of a country using the average of 100 stations. Confidence limits =1/√100 = +/-0.1C

      Measure the global annual average using 1500 stations recording twice a day. n = 1,095,000

      Confidence limits = 1/ √1,095,000 = +/- 0.0095C

      Confidence limits of that mean

      Thenfidence limits for a mean can be calculated.

      • Entropic man says:

        You claim an uncertainty of +/-1.8C.

        Accuracy = confidence limit * √n

        If you wrere correct, then measurement accuracy of a station thermometer is +/-

        1.8 * √1095000 = 1883C

        I know that you have a low opinion of measurement accuracy, but +/-1883C is a bit ridiculous.

      • JDHuffman says:

        What is the probability that there is a decimal point mistake?

        “Confidence limits = 1/ √1,095,000 = +/- 0.0095C”

    • Antonio (AKA "Un fsico") says:

      Hello Bindidon and Entropic man.
      Bindidon: the correctness of my own work is under ethernal doubt. I am not getting paid for my climate research. But I have to admit that I get a spetial joy in thinking about all those paid experts and in beleiving that they could be so thoroughly wrong (I include Mr. Roy Spencer inside these groups of experts).
      Entropic man: many papers show that, as long as you N-repeat periodically a measurement you get this 1/sqrt(N) factor that reduces your error. Of course, man, that I am not refering to this type of error; recall that I said “statistical interpolations, parameter estimations like emissivity, time series noises, …” which, in fact, are many types of systematic errors. Then both type of errors could be added with: sqrt((that-tend-to-0)^2 + sys^2).
      By the way, I have not proven the value +-1.8 K: it is only illustrative.

      • Bindidon says:

        Thanks fisico for being so sincere.

        But “it is only illustrative”: that is exactly the problem with ‘skeptic’s…

  27. Dr. Strangelove says:

    Dr. Spencer,

    You wrote:
    “Chengs website also contains the yearly 0-2000m OHC data from 33 CMIP5 models, from which I calculated the average warming rate, getting 0.549 W/m2 (again, not scaled by 0.7 to get a whole-Earth value). This is amazingly close to Chengs 0.555 W/m2 he gets from reanalysis of the deep-ocean temperature data.”

    Assuming 0.55 W/m^2 is correct, it has important implication for climate sensitivity. Scaled to whole Earth surface:
    0.55 x 0.7 = 0.385 W/m^2
    This is the heat that went to the ocean 1971-2010. For the same period, atmospheric CO2 increased 325 to 390 ppm. Radiative forcing:
    5.35 ln (390/325) = 0.975 W/m^2

    Difference between ocean heat intake and CO2 forcing:
    0.975 – 0.385 = 0.59 W/m^2
    Earth’s surface must warm to radiate this excess heat. How much warmer?
    dj = e o ((T + dT)^4 – T^4) = 0.59
    where: dj = change in radiative flux, e = emissivity = 0.95, o = Stefan-Boltzmann constant, dT = change in temperature, T = ave. temperature = 287 K

    Solving for dT:
    dT = 0.12 K
    This is the warming attributable to CO2 in four decades. The temperature trend in UAH satellite data is 0.13 K/decade or 0.52 K in four decades.
    0.12/0.52 = 23% of global warming may be attributed to CO2

    • Dr. Strangelove says:

      The warming attributed to CO2 may be lower since I did not consider heat transfer by evaporation, which is latent heat and does not change surface temperature.

    • JDHuffman says:

      Dr. Strangelove, I count at least 4 assumptions in your calculations.

      What if one of your assumptions were wrong?

      What if all 4 of your assumptions were wrong?

      But, why worry about reality when you have your false religion, huh?

    • Dr. Strangelove says:

      Sorry I’m not interested to discuss religion. That’s why I addressed my post to Dr. Spencer not to you

      • JDHuffman says:

        You’re not interested to discuss facts and logic, either.

        Your statement “Assuming 0.55 W/m^2 is correct, it has important implication for climate sensitivity” is incorrect. OHC is heat energy already within Earth’s system. It cannot raise the temperature of the system. Just moving heat from one place to another does not mean the system temperature increases.

        That’s just the first mistake….

        • Mike Flynn says:

          JDH,

          /sarc on

          You don’t understand. CO2 forcing creates energy. The more CO2 between the Sun and the ocean, the hotter the ocean gets. The heated water appears in the depths, and stores the heat by cunningly refusing to either rise to the surface, or cool down by being surrounded by colder water.

          This is secret climatological pseudoscience, far superior to normal science.

          Eventually, all this excess heat migrates into the core, giving rise to Al Gore’s “millions of degrees” – climatological pseudoscience allows temperatures, fluxes, and years to be added.

          This explains the Earth cooling since its creation, Trenberth’s missing heat, and Michael Mann’s missing Nobel Prize!

          /sarc off

          What a shambling collection of blithering idiots!

          Cheers.

        • Dr. Strangelove says:

          All TCR estimates are based on changes in surface temperature. 2000 m under the sea is not the surface. OHC already raised the temperature under the sea, not the surface. But radiative forcing does not differentiate where the energy goes. This asymmetry between radiative forcing and surface temperature impacts TCR.

          That’s your mistake

          • JDHuffman says:

            Dr. Strangelove., both “TCR” and “radiative forcing” are phrases used in the false religion of Institutionalized Pseudoscience. But in your comment above, you stated you were “not interested to discuss religion”.

          • Mike Flynn says:

            DS,

            There is no such thing as transient climate response.

            Give it a try – what is the TCR of the climate of California? Or Greece?

            Or maybe you could measure the TCR of the average climate of the world – except you can’t actually say what the average climate of the world is, can you?

            That’s because you are too stupid, ignorant, or gullible to realise you are demonstrating religious fervour, based on faith, not science.

            Dream on, you can’t even find a testable GHE hypothesis, can you? As I said, blind faith – no science involved. Try wishing harder – maybe a miracle will occur. Who knows?

            Cheers.

  28. Clay O Stiles says:

    There is a lot of math here. What it all boils down to is that the average man has no idea whether we are causing global warming or not. There are many “scientists” arguing both sides of this discussion. For me, it boils down to what I can observe with my own senses and who I trust in this argument. My senses tells me that if we are having any global warming in my area, it is not detectable by the means at my disposal. One year the winter is severe – the next it is not.
    I follow Dr Roy on Facebook and have followed his career in the news for years. He is his own man – that is clear.

    I trust his judgement on this issue.
    And besides, if there is global man-made caused warming what are we to do about it? None of the proposals are even remotely economically feasible.

  29. Tom Tucker says:

    As a complete layman regarding the issue, I’d like to ask a question.
    How can the infinitesimally small temperature changes in the adjacent oceans have any effect on the ice lacated in the arctic and antarctic?

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  31. JM Kirk says:

    Thanks for the sanity Dr. Roy. I am a learned man, but no climate scientist. Seems amazing when we are dealing with the intersection complex systems we don’t fully understand (micro, human, global and galactic forces) that these climate “scientists” can be so completely sure of their conclusions.

    I have always been curious how one can be so sure it is anthropogenic and not caused by other obvious contributors. For example, what about undersea volcanic activity? Could it possibly be at apogee, heating the oceans, thus heating the atmosphere? I was curious about this and did some research. I came across Dr. Maya Tolstoy from Columbia U who studied this in 2005 (good Sci Amer article on it). She theorized that such a cycle was happening due to a cyclic change in the earth’s orbit. Interestingly, she was silenced and since then she has been promoted as not looking at undersea volcanic activity, but earthquakes. Hmmm. They are now scrambling to cover this up with a narrative that clearly it is the atmosphere heating the ocean (not the other way round) and that melting icecaps are the cause of this increased volcanic activity. Oh the yarns they try to spin without so much of a shred of scientific evidence or even discovery.

    Just as flabbergasting here is that my 6th grade science class tells me that if you want to change the mix of O2 to CO2 in the air, just plant more trees! Done! Honest climate concern would have gone here first and started a massive, cheap and continuous forestation campaign over the 30-40 years. Not seeing anything like this leads the average person like me to see this for nothing more than what it really is – a mere political stunt.

    Keep up the good work Dr. Roy – we know the more they scream the more the argument itself is losing its legs.

    • JM Kirk says:

      Oh, let’s not forget that undersea volcanoes and expanding ridges not only add heat to our oceans but of course CO2 as well.

      • Svante says:

        It’s less than half a gigaton per year:
        https://tinyurl.com/ybqwrfb7

        • JDHuffman says:

          More misdirection from Svante.

          CO2 can not add new heat energy to the surface. Undersea volcanoes can.

          Svante loves to avoid reality.

          • Mike Flynn says:

            JDH,

            The reason Svante runs around in circles is due to his efforts to avoid reality.

            He cannot distinguish between reality and fantasy, and is constantly adjusting his movement to the left, in an effort to avoid the one, but being unable to establish which is which at any given moment.

            A common malady afflicting the sufferers of GHE worship.

            Sufferers of the advanced form of the disease are likely to retreat into a fantasy where they are convinced that cooling causes a rise in temperature, climatology is a science, and that civilisation, as we know it, is in imminent danger of extinction – at some unspecified time in the future, of course. “The End is Near, I Tell You!” is their clarion cry.

            I have managed to outlive the predictions of all the prophets of the End of Days so far. My precautions consist of looking both ways before crossing the road, not poking sleeping dogs with a stick, and taking an umbrella if it looks like it might rain.

            So far so good.

            Cheers.

          • Svante says:

            Thank you for your scientific contribution.

          • Mike Flynn says:

            Svante,

            You are most welcome.

            I always try to help those less capable than myself. It’s a hard job, but somebody has to do it.

            Cheers.

    • Svante says:

      Here Kirk, revised up to 47 +/-2 TW, see fig. 10(a):
      https://tinyurl.com/ycke6chg

      • JDHuffman says:

        Here Kirk are exact quotes from Svante’s pseudoscience:

        “We present a revised estimate..”

        “…more than used in previous estimates.”

        “…we estimate the average heat flow…”

        “…then produce the global estimate by multiplying…”

        “These operations and estimates are derived…”

        “These, combined with statistical estimates…”

        “Our final preferred estimate is 47 2 TW, which is greater than previous estimates.”

        And, those quotes are just from the abstract!

        • Svante says:

          Are you saying 48 +/- 1 TW?

          • Mike Flynn says:

            S,

            Are you saying you cannot comprehend plain English?

            Do you suffer from a known mental defect, or are you just pretending?

            Have you been taking lessons in pointless gotchas from David Appell?

            Do you have reason for appearing witless?

            Cheers.

          • Svante says:

            Are you thinking 50 TW from the molten core?

          • Nate says:

            MF, with his randomly strung together catch-phrases and insults, and no relevance to the discussion is clearly a Bot.

            Just ignore it.

          • Mike Flynn says:

            Svante,

            You can see what he wrote.

            If you don’t believe him, why not just provide some facts to support your disagreement?

            Are you demented enough to think that opinions are superior to fact?

            I cannot fathom the reasoning behind your pointless demand to know what someone is thinking, when they have already expressed their thoughts in written form.

            Your link doesn’t mention the GHE. Did you throw it in as some form of diversion, because you can’t define your non-existent GHE?

            Maybe you could point out that the surface of the Earth is not molten, and emits less radiation than the Sun! Do you think that will convince people that CO2 makes the Earth hotter?

            If you are not a barking mad deluded Warmist, you are doing a good impersonation. Keep up the flow of irrelevant nonsense – it’s diverting at the least. I enjoy the opportunity to laugh at you, anyway. Keep looking – maybe you can find a way to use CO2 to make something hotter. Make sure to tell Schmidt, Mann, and Santer.

            Cheers.

          • Mike Flynn says:

            Nate,

            You wrote –

            “MF, with his randomly strung together catch-phrases and insults, and no relevance to the discussion is clearly a Bot.

            Just ignore it.”

            Youll find that even foolish Warmists will take no notice of your desires. Why should they? Like you, they have no self control, and live in a fantasy world where CO2 makes things hotter.

            I hope you can bend the other foolish Warmists to your will, and then join them, in a concentrated campaign of ignorance. I appreciate your deep concern.

            Cheers.

          • Svante says:

            Nate says:
            “with his randomly strung together catch-phrases and insults, and no relevance to the discussion is clearly a Bot.”

            I know has has no deeper knowledge to offer.

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  33. Jim G says:

    The issue is the ocean temps are actually measured in degrees, and there’s no way they really know the temp of a huge chunk of ocean accurately to even half a degree, let alone a thousandth of a degree. So the error bars on the heat content are fairy tales. If they had ten times as many Argos measuring ten times as frequently I might have some faith in their measurements.

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