This 2008 article holds an important historical truth about the adjustment of ARGO data. I suggest everyone copies and pastes the original article into a text file or saves the web page complete. One day, it will disappear…
Some 3,000 scientific robots that are plying the ocean have sent home a puzzling message. These diving instruments suggest that the oceans have not warmed up at all over the past four or five years. That could mean global warming has taken a breather. Or it could mean scientists aren’t quite understanding what their robots are telling them.
This is puzzling in part because here on the surface of the Earth, the years since 2003 have been some of the hottest on record. But Josh Willis at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory says the oceans are what really matter when it comes to global warming.
In fact, 80 percent to 90 percent of global warming involves heating up ocean waters. They hold much more heat than the atmosphere can. So Willis has been studying the ocean with a fleet of robotic instruments called the Argo system. The buoys can dive 3,000 feet down and measure ocean temperature. Since the system was fully deployed in 2003, it has recorded no warming of the global oceans.
“There has been a very slight cooling, but not anything really significant,” Willis says. So the buildup of heat on Earth may be on a brief hiatus.
Willis was candid enough to admit the cooling in the March 2008 article quoted above, but had to re-tone his message by November when he was the subject of another article:
This one was published on the website of his paymasters…
The relevant papers are:-
Willis, J. K., Lyman, J. M., G. C. Johnson, and J. Gilson (2007a), Correction to “Recent cooling in the upper ocean”, 34, L16601, doi:10.1029/2007GL030323
This was followed up by:-
The important point here is that the ARGO corrections had already been done as described in the 2007a paper when Willis admitted the “slight cooling” in the NPR article in March 2008.
However, if we look at the ARGO data as it is presented in 2011 by NOAA, the “slight cooling ” from 2003 to 2007 has been replaced by a slight warming.
Ignoring the seasonal swings (removed from the Levitus graph), compare and contrast with Craig Loehle’s graph:
Of interest is Anthony Watt’s 2009 post on the comparison of Craig’s ARGO graph and co2 level rise rate, which also shows a dip over that time period.
It looks to me like ARGO suffers as many post hoc adjustments as the GISS datasets.
My thanks to Bob Tisdale and Anthony Watts for their graphics used in this post.