Climate Change The Data

In Hotter Water

You know how the weather is : one day blowy, next day rain. The air, the atmopshere, is full of shifting, changing things like clouds, winds and pressure systems. All cyclonic and swirling and driving and stormy.

But you know, the seas are quieter, more regular and reliable, the ocean is calm and steady, deep under the surface that gets whipped up by the winds and the hurricanes and typhoons.

You would expect the atmospheric temperatures to chop and change, just as they do on the ground. But out at sea, it’s a different matter. Slowly but surely, planetary heat imbalance would warm up the whole world ocean. Like cooking soup on the camp fire.

And to use a current meme-phrase : the data’s in. After people went to the enormous trouble of dropping thousands of floating observation stations all over the world’s oceans, the picture of what’s happening to heat in the water is becoming clearer by the day.

Although there is a significant amount of variable-ness, change-able-ness-ity in the air, down below things are more certain. The oceans are heating up. And since they take up so much more heat than the air and the land, we should really be paying attention.

This is the fingerprint of Global Warming. A very large and indelible fingerprint. We need to stop warming up the planet soon, as the heat locked into the oceans will be changing the climate for millenia to come. The longer we leave things burning, the worse it will be.

4 replies on “In Hotter Water”

Seawater (all very approximate, ignoring depth/pressure)

1.37billion cubic kilometres = 1.37*10^9 cubic kilometres
= 1.37*10^9*10^9 cubic metres
= 1.37*10^18 cubic metres

Given an approximate mean density of 1,025 kg/cubic metre,
this is about 1,404*10^18 kg.
Given that the specific heat is about 3850 J/(kg C),
it therefore takes about 3,850*1,418*10^18 Joules
or 5.405*10^24 Joules to raise the temperature of the oceans
by 1 degree Celsius.

So – reading off your last graph, Domingues et al show an
increase in heat content of 16*10^22 Joules, which converted
to temperature, is about 0.03 degrees C. And this took 51 years
(1951-2003) or 0.00059 degress C per annum.

And your point is?

[ REPLY FROM JOABBESS.COM : The point was just one, but now there are two to make. I am not going to argue numbers with you, because that could become petty and unhelpful, apart from a small reference to percentages.

1. The heat content of the oceans, as a whole, is continually rising, with a very uniform signal : upwards. This is in contrast to the variability of the temperatures on land and on the “mixed layer” surface of the oceans. Some sceptics claim “Global Warming stopped in 1998”. This data about the constantly increasing heat content of the oceans shows that that claim from the sceptics simply cannot be true.

2. Let us return to basic Physics for a while, shall we ? Electromagnetic radiation, coming into contact with regular matter, can either (a) bounce off, (b) pass right through or (c) cause heating and subsequent re-radiation from the matter. We call case (a) “reflection”. This affects the speed of heat uptake of the oceans. Add in the effects of various atmospheric particles, which we call “aerosols”, and it means that the oceans do not heat up instantly, in a flash. We have to wait some time for the oceans to get warming.

Let us hear from Murphy D. M. et al. (2009) :-

“An observationally based energy balance for the Earth since 1950 …[38] A striking result of the Earth energy budget analysis presented here is the small fraction of greenhouse gas forcing that has gone into heating the Earth. Since 1950, only about 10 ± 7% of the forcing by greenhouse gases and solar radiation has gone into heating the Earth, primarily the oceans. About 20 ± 9% has been balanced by increased outgoing radiation. About 20% of the forcing by greenhouse gases and solar radiation has been offset by volcanic aerosols. The remainder, about 50%, has been balanced by the direct and indirect effects of anthropogenic aerosols…[39] The heat capacities of the atmosphere, land, and top few meters of the ocean are small compared to both the ocean to 700 m depth and the energy from years of integrated radiative forcings….”

If you care to look it up, the reference is here :-

Citation: Murphy, D. M., S. Solomon, R. W. Portmann, K. H. Rosenlof, P. M. Forster, and T. Wong (2009), An observationally based energy balance for the Earth since 1950, J. Geophys. Res., 114, D17107, doi:10.1029/2009JD012105.

Remember : this is all based on observational data, not models. We need to have some real measurements to back up the case for anthropogenic attribution of Global Warming. Climate Change sceptics don’t like computer modelling, it seems. It offends their sensibilities, and they won’t accept it. ]

I’m not arguing anything other than your posting, on which I commented. A splenetic reaction, citing all sorts of other physical phenomena, is uncalled for.

If I were you. I would not argue basic physics.

1) Any calculation of heat content of the oceans over time is horse-feathers. Too many assumptions, any of which could be time-dependent. I merely show the irrelevance of your posted graphs.
2) The calculation is (aside from being very favourable to you) approximately correct. Your alarmism (headline particularly) is unjustified.
3) Oh, the heat content of the oceans goes up & down (the last Ice Age, anyone?). A trend well within the margins of error proves nothing.
4) You seem overly dependent on CRU, Hadley & Goddard data. Is that wise?

*My* point is a simple one (and let’s leave the whole supporter/sceptic debate to one side).

You post data (graphs) which purport to show (from ‘observational data’) a significant warming of the oceans. From ‘basic Physics’ I show that it does no such thing – the purported ‘warming’ is less than the observational error, and far, far less than the uncertainties (let alone possible time-dependence) of calculation.

Just consider the positional (latitude/longitude) variation in the constants, the effect of the PDO, let alone the unknown unknowns. The present direction is irrelevant – it’s gone up and down through the (ice) ages.

You don’t do the ‘supporter’ case any favours.

Your censorship of comment, and your blocking of registration shows what?

The weakness ….. ?

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