The big oscillation: Ocean heat crossing the equator explains global warming

Posted: April 10, 2012 by Rog Tallbloke in atmosphere, Energy, general circulation, government, Incompetence, Ocean dynamics, Solar physics

Bob Tisdale has a post up at WUWT which adds model trends to his regular monthly update Sea Surface Temperature (SST) graphs covering all the ocean basins. It’s a big, comprehensive survey. Great work, thanks Bob. There is so much to  digest however, that it’s easy to suffer ‘information overload’ and get sidetracked by details, so I’ve copied a smaller number of his graphs to illustrate a discussion of inter-hemispheric heat transport.

Firstly, let’s take a look at the distribution of anomalies across latitudes since 1980

A few observations:

1) The model fails at representing the changes in the Earth’s biggest and most mobile heat reservoir.
2) the lack of SST trend in the Arctic and Antarctic indicates that increased arctic melting over the period is due to warmer air above and perhaps less cloud cover in arctic summer since 1980.
3) SST at 60N increased while SST at 60S decreased
4) The equatorial SST doesn’t change much

A few inferences:

1) The model is junk.
2) Hansen’s extrapolations of north Atlantic temperatures to the arctic are are junk science, and mean his GISS global temperature ‘data’ is junk too.
3) Because the southern ocean is a lot bigger than the oceans at 60N, the small decrease in southern ocean surface temperature at 60S may well explain much of the rise in northern ocean surface temperatures at 60N
4) The equatorial region runs pretty much flat out getting rid of excess heat no matter what else is going on, but see below.

Let’s take a look now at three graphs for the Northern oceans combined, the equatorial ocean and the southern ocean.

A few observations:

1) The model predicts warming of the whole of the worlds oceans, and fails in 2 out 3 cases.
2) Because most of the Earth’s land masses are in the north, the northern oceans are smaller compared to the southern oceans plus the equatorial ocean.
3) CO2 is a well mixed gas in the atmosphere, but the distribution of temperature change in the world’s oceans obviously overwhelms any effect claimed for it.

A couple of inferences:

1) The models are junk. Did I already say that? I’ll say it again. THE MODELS ARE JUNK. Where’s that ‘blink tag’ when you need it?
2) Most of ‘global warming’ was actually a transfer of heat from the southern and equatorial region to the northern temperate latitudes where professional worriers like James Hansen and Phil Jones live.
3) The smaller northern oceans had to lose heat content to the air in order to equilibriate and so caused along with the El Ninos, a disproportionate increase in land and lower tropospheric temperatures.
4) Jim Salinger’s Phd thesis re-jigging New Zealand temperature records to show strong warming over the later C20th, done at the climate research unit under Phil Jones tutelage, are at best a demonstration of utter incompetence, or if they knew what they were doing,  a scientific fraud.

Finally, lets have a look at the Reynolds weekly data Bob Tisdale posted and consider why the global ocean SST’s have on average been decreasing since 2004 when the Sun went quiet and cloud increased:


1) ‘Global warming’ was a hemispheric phenomenon caused by the transfer of ocean heat content from the southern hemisphere to the northern hemisphere plus a reduction in cloud cover under a highly active Sun.
2) As I’ve been saying for the last four years; now that the cloud amount is increasing again, the quiet sun won’t recharge the ocean heat content as much during la Nina, and further El Ninos will deplete the OHC further. La Nina ‘recharged’ OHC while cloud  fraction was reduced, but the party is over.
3) The solar activity/cloud link is obvious, whether due to the Svensmark effect or Stephen Wilde’s latitudinal climate zone shifts. It was identified years ago by Nir Shaviv, who nailed it with his JGR paper.

Summary for policy makers:

1) Realise that the party is over, global warming is a busted flush and the public won’t tolerate having their intelligence insulted for much longer. “punchy take home messages, and a few well-crafted tables and figures” aren’t going to rebuild trust and confidence.
2) Separate climate research from political interference.
3) Remove Phil Jones, James Hansen and other incompetents from their positions as custodians of climate data.
4) Admit past mistakes and move quickly to correct climate science as it is disseminated and taught.

  1. Joe Lalonde says:


    Bob better watch out…the global warming police may raid his computers and take them….hey wait a second, that happened to a friend of mine… :-)

  2. adolfogiurfa says:

    Summary for policy makers:

    1.Change the name of the game.
    2.Call it “Sustainability”.
    3.Let´s get together next june at Rio de Janeiro:

  3. There is ZERO subduction of surface water temperature or surface “absorbed CO2″ into the main ocean water body. The oceans are average 3000 ft deep and average 4 C temp. There are massive pools of LIQUID “elemental CO2″ at 150 atmospheres of pressure and 0 C temp on the ocean floor, see “Volcanic CO2″ by Timothy Casey. The driving force for Earths climate is solar/galactic charged particles that set the Earth’s variable fission rate, see the “Geo-Nuclear” tab at Faux Science Slayer. Svensmark, where do the SOx molecules come from for cosmic rays to combine ? There is NO mechanism for “recycling” these cloud seeding molecules, and therefore, NO constant supply to be combined from 3 nm to 50 nm for cloud formation. All of Earth’s atmosphere is a fission by-product that is in constant erosion.

  4. Roger Andrews says:

    ‘”Global warming’ was a hemispheric phenomenon caused by the transfer of ocean heat content from the southern hemisphere to the northern hemisphere …”

  5. tallbloke says:

    Hi Joe O: I disagree with your first statement. Significant amounts of solar energy are moved deeper into the ocean by several mechanisms, including internal tides, wind patterns, thermohaline overturning to name a few.

    We know very little about the carbon cycle, but welcome your reference to Timothy Casey:
    “A brief survey of the literature concerning volcanogenic carbon dioxide emission finds that estimates of subaerial emission totals fail to account for the diversity of volcanic emissions and are unprepared for individual outliers that dominate known volcanic emissions. Deepening the apparent mystery of total volcanogenic CO2 emission, there is no magic fingerprint with which to identify industrially produced CO
    2 as there is insufficient data to distinguish the effects of volcanic CO2 from fossil fuel CO2 in the atmosphere. Molar ratios of O2 consumed to CO2 produced are, moreover, of little use due to the abundance of processes (eg. weathering, corrosion, etc) other than volcanic CO2 emission and fossil fuel consumption that are, to date, unquantified. Furthermore, the discovery of a surprising number of submarine volcanoes highlights the underestimation of global volcanism and provides a loose basis for an estimate that may partly explain ocean acidification and rising atmospheric carbon dioxide levels observed last century, as well as shedding much needed light on intensified polar spring melts. Based on this brief literature survey, we may conclude that volcanic CO2 emissions are much higher than previously estimated, and as volcanic CO2 contributions are effectively indistinguishable from industrial CO2 contributions, we cannot glibly assume that the increase of atmospheric CO2 is exclusively anthropogenic.”


    “It seems that Gerlach (2011) drew his interpretation (quoted above) from a preference for the “global” “magmatic” carbon dioxide emission estimate of Marty and Tolstikhin (1998) which was devoloped from the generalisation of isotope ratios across provinces of varied geochemistry. This multimodal generalisation, as I have shown in the example of Laki (Section 2, above), can be spectacularly inaccurate. Gerlach reports this figure in the following contrastive statement:

    “The projected 2010 anthropogenic CO2 emission rate of 35 gigatons per year is 135 times greater than the 0.26-gigaton- per-year preferred estimate for volcanoes.”

    In the units I am using here, that translates to a “preferred” estimate of worldwide volcanic carbon emission at 0.071 GtCpa. At this point, I think it worth contrasting this with a quote from Cardellini et al. (2011) who are actually engaged in some real research:

    “Quantitative estimates provided a regional CO2 flux of about 9 Gt/y affecting the region (62000 km2), an amount globally relevant, being ~ 10% of the present-day global CO2 discharge from subaerial volcanoes.”

    That 9GtCO2pa translates to 2.45 GtCpa for just one region, which is more than 34 times the latest personally “preferred” “global” estimate offered by Gerlach (2011). One may well be keen to ask how it is possible that anyone would prefer to propagate a “global” estimate which is almost 35 times smaller than only one of the many provincial figures that must be summed in order to arrive at a worldwide estimate in the first place?”

    Regarding your comments on fission: I don’t know enough about this to form a judgement, but I’ll do some reading.

    For this post, I’d like to concentrate on the obvious ‘big oscillation’ between the hemisphere’s that clearly has much to do with the increase in surface temperature in the northern hemisphere over the last 40 years.

  6. Brian H says:

    Edit notes:
    in the worlds ocean’s obviously — a two-fer: “world’s oceans”
    further El Nino’s will — El Ninos
    over, gloabl warming is — global
    Could you elaborate on the S → N heat transport implications? Since the tropics are steady, this implies any transit of heat is rather efficient, but what are the mechanisms of the “pipeline”?

  7. tallbloke says:

    Hi Roger A: Ok, where are those cardboard boxes? :)

    Looks like ICOADS and REYNOLDS have a disagreement about the SST tend in the southern hemisphere as a whole:

  8. tallbloke says:

    Brian: Thanks for the proofing.
    Mechanism, pressure mostly. Don’t forget that although the equatorial region is stable at the surface, there are a few kilometres of ocean underneath where currents can flow without mixing their heat with the near surface waters.

  9. Enthalpy. Enthalpy. Wherefore art thou, enthalphy?
    It;s a question I posed early in my blog’s life:

  10. tallbloke says:

    Bernd: absolutely. As it is though , I trust Reynolds SST as a proxy for ocean heat content more than I trust XBT/ARGO

  11. Roger Andrews says:

    “Looks like ICOADS and REYNOLDS have a disagreement about the SST tend in the southern hemisphere as a whole:”

  12. tallbloke says:

    Thanks Roger A.
    I’m still perplexed, because it look like the ICOAD’s trend on your first graph is around 0.26C from 1982 to today. But the trend on your second graph for ICOADS looks more like 0.2C

    Bob’s trend for Reynolds looks like 0.15C

  13. adolfogiurfa says:

    Here it is, from M.Vukcevic, that “equatorial crossing”:

  14. Roger Andrews says:


    I don’t think we can pick trends that closely. And I’m not sure that regression lines mean much anyway when the record is only 30 years long (which is why I don’t use Reynolds SST) and when the warming isn’t straight-line.

    And another thing :-)

    “Ocean heat crossing the Equator explains global warming”

    (which took a while to put together, indicidentally) shows, using the 1997/98 El Niño as an example, how ocean heat emerges at the Equator and spreads out regularly from there. There’s no crossing involved.

  15. tallbloke says:

    Roger Andrews says:
    April 10, 2012 at 7:46 pm


    I don’t think we can pick trends that closely.

    That’s why we have spreadsheets to calculate them for us. ;)
    It’s not hard to see your original graph has a SH trend around twice that of Bob’s graph anyway. WUWT?

    I’m not disputing the power of el Nino to spread heat both sides of the equator anyway, or the warming trend in the southern hemisphere overall (although there are clearly some issues regarding the magnitude). I’m looking at the big negative trend in the southern ocean, and the increase in southern sea ice over the last 30 years, and asking where the heat went.

  16. Roger Andrews says:


    The gradient on my original graph is 0.07C/decade and on Bob’s graph it’s 0.05C/decade. The difference occurs because I use the uncorrected ICOADS data and Bob uses the “corrected” Reynolds data. (I don’t trust “corrected” SST data sets, particulary when they show less warming than the raw data.)

    But I really don’t think a 0.02C/decade differential is significant.

    On the question of the big negative trend in the Southern Ocean, here’s ICOADS SST between 40S and 70S, where I decree the Southern Ocean to be (note that the data aren’t very good):–170E_40-70N_n_10pa.png

    And here’s ICOADS between 40N and 70N for comparison purposes:–170E_40-70N_n_10pa.png

    The Southern Ocean plot doesn’t show a big negative trend, but after about 1960 it does tend to show an antiphase relationship with the Northern Ocean plot. Maybe that means something. :-)

  17. Roger Andrews says:

    Whoops! Trying the Southern Ocean plot again.–170E_-40–70N_n_10pa.png

  18. tallbloke says:

    As far as Bob’s plot is concerned, it goes from 60S to the Antarctic coast. A big patch of water. Most of your definition falls within his ‘southern Pacific’.

  19. adolfogiurfa says:

    “In time of deepest darkness, I´ve seen him dressed in black….”
    It is encouraging to hear talking about warming, when the Grand Minimum is drawing near

  20. tallbloke says:

    Excellent, thanks Roger A.

    And there ladies and gents we have it. The great climate change of 1976. :)

  21. Stephen Wilde says:

    Time to repeat and extend something I’ve been saying for a while now.

    The ITCZ being on average north of the equator (due to disproportionate landmass distribution) there is a permanent imbalance of solar input to the oceans on either side of the equator.

    Due to cloudiness beneath the ITCZ to the north of the equator more solar energy enters the oceans to the south of the equator.

    Over time, the imbalance builds up until, periodically, there is a surge of excess energy from the southern oceans across the equator and into the northern hemisphere oceans.

    That is the basic reason for the ENSO cycle.

    However, in addition, there are changes in overall energy input to the oceans on both sides of the equator via latitudinally shifting climate zones and the effect of that is to change how far north of the equator the mean position of the ITCZ happens to be.

    That distance affects the size of the imbalance betwen the two hemispheres and thereby skews the energy input to the oceans in favour of El Nino events if it is further north of the equator (more energy entering the oceans near the equator) and towards La Nina events (less energy entering the oceans near the equator) if it is closer to the equator.

    Which fits in nicely with TBs observations and also with Bob Tisdale’s work.

    I think it also fits Roger Andrews’s ‘antiphase’ observation too.

    The thermohaline circulation produces upwelling cold water west of Peru which interacts with the excess of solar input to the Pacific Ocean south of the equator so in effect ENSO exerts a variable modifying influence on that upwelling cold water from the thermohaline circulation.

    When more energy is entering the equatorial oceans from a more northerly ITCZ then the potential cooling effect of the upwelling cold water west of Peru is mitigated or overcome for net warming of the troposphere.. When less energy is entering the equatorial oceans from a more southerly ITCZ then the cooling effect of that cold water upwelling can spread across the globe.

  22. Truthseeker says:

    Stephen Wilde says:

    April 10, 2012 at 11:46 pm

    ITCZ = ?

  23. Stephen Wilde says:

    “The ENSO (El Nino Southern Oscillation) Cycle has been heavily investigated for many years but seems to be looked at as a freestanding phenomenon that just redistributes heat around the globe, sometimes warming and sometimes cooling.

    I think that is wrong. I believe that ENSO switches from warming to cooling mode depending on whether the sun is having a net warming or net cooling effect on the Earth. Thus the sun directly drives the ENSO cycle and the ENSO cycle directly drives global temperature changes. Indeed, the effect appears to be much more rapid than anyone has previously believed with a measurable response occurring within a few years of a change in solar energy input.”

    from here:

    “Global Warming And Cooling-The Reality.”

    May 2008.

    The only change I would make is to introduce the mechanism whereby the sun changes global albedo to alter total solar energy getting into the oceans by altering jetstream meridionality and/or latitudinal positioning.

  24. Stephen Wilde says:

    ITCZ = ?

    Inter Tropical Convergence Zone.

  25. Stephen Wilde says:

    TB said:

    “As I’ve been saying for the last four years; now that the cloud amount is increasing again, the quiet sun won’t recharge the ocean heat content as much during la Nina, and further El Ninos will deplete the OHC further. La Nina ‘recharged’ OHC while cloud fraction was reduced, but the party is over.”

    I agree with that having come to much the same conclusion.

    Rog, can you refer me to when you first set out that opinion ?

    The article which contained it might be of more general interest in light of recent events and observations.

  26. Roger Andrews says:


    Actually, when you plot up the 60-90S SST record between 1960 and 2010 it comes out pretty much dead flat. (And no, I’m not going to do another tinypic. You’ll just have to take my word for it.)

    But this result is interesting in itself. SST in just about every other ocean has jumped up and down over the last 50 years, yet the Southern Ocean has sailed serenely on at the same temperature, apparently oblivious to changes in solar activity, planetary forcing, greenhouse gases, CFCs, volcanic eruptions, CMEs, cosmic rays, soot and aerosols from China, dust from the Sahara, ENSO events and the Antarctic Ozone Hole. Be nice to know why.

  27. Phil says:

    I look forward to the day when the AP index (good indicator of disruption to tbe geomagnetic field), the AO, and ENSO are all tied together.

    I have no doubt that it is the disturbance to the geomagnetic field or the directional IMF by solar CME/wind impacts/the solar polar fields that drives ENSO.

    When you dig into it, there are some fascinating if not spine chilling correlations operating under a 6-7 year lag, from the geomagnetic perturbation value to things like ENSO and the AO.

    The center of mass will return to the Sun’s center in 2013, while the lagged thermal-kinetic correlation to geomagnetic perturbational value suggest a heavy global temperature drop coming in 2013.

    Is it a coincidence that the barycentric cycle and the lagged geomagnetic perturbational flux both plunge in 2013? That our precession cycle ends in winter 2012-13? That the solar polar fields are expected to flip in 2013? the 25,800 year galactic orientation cycle ends in 2017…we entered the peak axial degree vector in 1980, reached the center of the peak vector in 1998, and will leave the vector in 2017.

    Looking at past precession cycles, inter-glaciation always ends on the 5th eccentricity minimum, or every 5 minimums. This occurs right from 2013-2017. Could be a good chance we enter a new glaciation cycle in 2017, we’d see a shutdown or complete reshuffling of atmospheric heat pump mechanisms..poorly achieved heat pumping to the poles = rapid polar cooling, while the resulting spacial overload of the tropical thermal profile leads to super-convection and high cloud cover in the tropics. If the geomagnetic field and the Sun are connected and both modulated via celestial/tidal/electric operations, and if these cycles really do modulate ENSO/the walker circulation, then we have a mechanism for the upcoming end-Holocene because the walker circulation & coinciding trade winds precede and modulate ENSO..proving geomagnetic modulation of atmospheric circulation.

  28. James says:

    Does this cloudiness mean that all those roofs covered in solar panels will not reward their owners with 10% interest indexed linked for the next years?

  29. Reblogged this on contrary2belief and commented:
    This harks back to a comment on this blog early in its life.

  30. tallbloke says:

    “when you plot up the 60-90S SST record between 1960 and 2010 it comes out pretty much dead flat.”

    Doesn’t look flat from where Bob and I are sat. Why 1960? We are discussing the warming period from ~ 1976 to ~2005

    1960 is in a cooling period for globally averaged surface temperature. I think you are obfuscating the debate.

  31. Tenuc says:

    adolfogiurfa says:
    April 10, 2012 at 6:23 pm
    Here it is, from M.Vukcevic, that “equatorial crossing”

    Well remembered, Adolfo, I think Vuc nailed it some time ago.

    It has always puzzeled me why the plume of hot water shoots out from the coast of Equador on the east coast of South America – apearing and disapearing like the smile on Alice In Wonderland’s Cheshire Cat…

    The magnetic field of the Earth is not the simple bar magnet field we were taught in school, it is a messy field subject to changes in solar activity and the external galactic field…

    The picture above shows a static field, however, due to the axial spin and ever changing solar charge field the magnetic flux of our planet is in constant dynamic motion.

    Finally we have Vuk’s insight about the relationship between surface field and outer atmosphere high density electric currents focused in the plasma bands…

    The plume of hot water travelling the equator from Equador is caused by a natural electrical induction heater. The position of the water circulation also changes with the intensity of the GMF over time, in response to the position of the magnetic equator and with it the location of the plasma bands.

  32. Stephen Wilde says:

    Doesn’t look flat to me either.

    More like the top of a sine wave which is now trending down as per the ‘entertainment only’ sine wave across the temperature trends at Roy Spencer’s site.

  33. Ulric Lyons says:

    Stephen Wilde says:
    April 11, 2012 at 12:05 am

    Phil says:
    April 11, 2012 at 1:49 am

    El Nino reponse to falling/lower solar wind speed is within months, look at the big 1997/8 and 2009/10 events:

  34. Stephen Wilde says:

    Ulric, could you superimpose the SOI on that chart ?

  35. Tenuc says:

    Further to my last post, building on Vuk’s ideas, just came across this picture of the magnetospher electrical connections, which clear shows the equitorial ring current,,,

    HT to Tim, and his comment on the ‘Earth’s atmosphere before the age of dinosaurs’ thread.

  36. Roger Andrews says:


    I’m sorry you think I’m obfuscating the debate, but what I’m actually doing is something called data analysis.

    You don’t like my use of the 1960-2010 period. So here’s a comparison of 60-90N (Arctic) and 60-90S (Antarctic) SSTs since 1976. Note that SSTs in the Antarctic are measurable only during the ice-free summer, so to make the comparison apples-to-apples I’ve plotted only summer values for the Arctic.

    We see slight overall cooling in the Antarctic since 1976, but almost all of it occurred after 2006. In the Arctic, on the other hand, we see at least a degree of warming since 1993.

    Now let me pose the question I raised earlier in another form. Why are SST responses in the Arctic and the Antarctic so different?

  37. tallbloke says:

    Roger A: “Note that SSTs in the Antarctic are measurable only during the ice-free summer”

    Pack ice doesn’t extend to 60S in Antarctic winter, or anywhere near it.

  38. Roger Andrews says:

    TB: I think it does :-)

  39. Tenuc says:

    Rog, after having numerous problems using my WordPress login to post a comment on the Talkshop, now the new ‘expandable’ comment box keeps disappearing on me and losing my comment.

    Do you know WTF is going on? I’m using Firefox 11 on a Win7 PC. Now using Notepad and cut&paste to enter comments, but no spell checker.

  40. Brian H says:

    Tenuc says:
    April 11, 2012 at 10:07 pm

    Rog, after having numerous problems using my WordPress login to post a comment on the Talkshop, now the new ‘expandable’ comment box keeps disappearing on me and loosing[sic] my comment.

    Do you know WTF is going on? I’m using Firefox 11 on a Win7 PC. Now using Notepad and cut&paste to enter comments, but no spell checker.

    Install the Lazarus add-on. You will not lose [note sp.] a single comment.
    But spell checker won’t help when you use the wrong word, however spelled. :)

  41. tallbloke says:

    Tenuc: I’m having trouble with it too. Write your reply in a text editor and then just paste’n’post.

  42. Brian H says:

    Seriously gize, install the Lararus add-on. You do know how to install add-ons, don’t you? Here’s a direct link if you don’t:
    In its Options page, under Security, you can opt to have the data base contents expire in a given number of minutes, hours, days, or weeks. Or leave them indefinitely.
    Restoring a vanished comment is as easy as right-click, and select ‘Recover Text’. Done.
    And the entries can be searched, so you can get back previous comments you’ve made; the icon on the right of the lines in the list dumps the contents into Clipboard for pasting if you want to put it into a Word Processor, etc. Or click the source URL to go back directly to the page you were making the entry on.


    One of the top 2 or 3 all time Add-Ons, IMO.

    Reply] Very snazzy. Doesn’t work on Ubuntu linux 9.2′s latest installable version of mozilla Firefox unfortunately.

  43. Wayne Job says:

    Climate of our planet is entirely controlled by external forces and influences, what we have to contend with is weather. This is the reaction of an unplumbed chaotic heat pump trying by chasing its tail to reach stability. The warmth in the oceans crossing the equator and dumping heat is a natural process. Not a lot we can do about weather but the rather clever scientists posting on this wonderful site may help us understand the implications of the external influences that give us our climate. A warming future is looking some what remote.

  44. Bob Tisdale says:

    Roger: If you link to my website, I’ll get a pingback and will know you’re discussing one of my posts. I’ll be happy to join the conversation, while it’s fresh.

    [Reply] Hi Bob, very remiss of me not to link to your wordpress blog, apologies, I’ll make sure we do in future. I did update your blog link in our blog list bottom left.