COLD WATER? The Oceans and Climate Change – Dr David Whitehouse

Posted: November 8, 2019 by oldbrew in Analysis, climate, Cycles, Ocean dynamics, Uncertainty

The full GWPF paper is here. Needless to say, it offers little comfort to ‘man-made warming’ climate dogmatists. The author concludes that what is happening to the oceans today is not unusual, in historical terms.

Executive summary

• The study of ocean heat content (OHC) is a subject struggling with inadequate data, but exposed in a public forum.

• Only since the introduction of data from the Argo array have there been convincing estimates of errors. The inhomogeneity of different data sets is a major problem.

• There is no real understanding of the difference between random and systematic errors in OHC data.

• Changes in OHC are at the limits of our ability to measure, and made with much uncertainty and many unknowns.

• It is likely that OHC has increased over the past few decades, although this is not a highly robust result. Movements in energy are typically 1022 J from year to year, with large uncertainties. For comparison, this is about the energy the Earth receives from the Sun every day and about twice the world’s energy consumption. It represents a small change in the ocean’s total heat content (about 165 × 1025 J).

• It is difficult to put these changes into a proper historical context. There is much uncertainty about long-term ocean cycles, and the OHC earlier in the Holocene seems to have been larger than today and changing on the same timescales as seen today. In addition, the timescales for change in the deep ocean are very long. This could mean that some (possibly most) of what is happening there has nothing to do with recent human activity.

• The jump in the OHC data seen at the time of the introduction of the Argo floats is a big problem. Post-Argo behavior is different to what it was before Argo. A case could be made to disregard all OHC observations made before the Argo deployment and treat Argo data on its own, and this is sometimes done; when it is, evidence for changes in OHC is much reduced.

• There are major uncertainties in our understanding of the way heat is transported from the ocean surface to the depths.

• Almost all of the ocean warming is coming from one region, 30°–50°S, in the Pacific Ocean.

  1. A C Osborn says:

    Changes in Cloud Cover.

  2. C,Alvin Scott says:

    Who paid for this report. Because in my book better to do something whilst we can if is does not work then it doesnt work if it does work then fine.

  3. oldbrew says:

    C,Alvin Scott says: November 8, 2019 at 7:04 pm
    Who paid for this report.
    – – –
    Who is paying for the supposed remedies?
    = = =
    Journal ‘Nature’ retracts ocean-warming study
    September 30, 2019

    The report used a new approach to measure the ocean’s temperature based on measuring the amount of oxygen and carbon dioxide rising off the oceans’ plants.

  4. Geoff Cruickshank says:

    Old brew: Retracted after being cited 37 times. Do the papers which cite it now correct their conclusions?

  5. tom0mason says:

    Scientists estimate that the trip from the North Atlantic to the deep water upwelling sites in the Pacific takes about 1,600 years. To balance the flow of deep water into the Indian and Pacific basins, surface water must flow back out. Warm surface waters from the Pacific flow through the Indonesian Archipelago into the Indian Ocean, where they join with other currents that have risen from the depths. This combined flow works its way westward around the southern tip of Africa into the South Atlantic.


    So the Pacific warmth now evident could have started off back in 400 AD, or the ‘Roman Warm Period, or Roman Climatic Optimum’ ( )?
    Now the Pacific is liberating the warmth to the atmosphere and cooling.

  6. Gamecock says:

    ‘Only since the introduction of data from the Argo array’

    We know nothing.

    Each Argo float represents 50,000 square miles.

    The average depth of the oceans is 12,000 feet. Argo ‘floats’ go no deeper than 2,000 feet. So we have measurements only in the top 17% of the oceans, one measurement per 130,000 sq km.

    We know nothing.

  7. Phoenix44 says:

    Calvin Scott, do you buy a new fridge just because its possible your current fridge might go wrong in the future? Do you replace the tyres on your car now because in two years you might have to? Do you spend £300,000 insuring a house worth £250,000?

    Lots of things might happen. We have economics to tell us what we should do about them.

  8. Gamecock says:

    Economics don’t apply when you are spending Other People’s Money.

  9. phil salmon says:

    and his team reviewed proxy records of intermediate wa- ter temperatures from sediment cores and corals in the equatorial Pacific and north eastern Atlantic Oceans, spanning 10,000 years beyond the instrumental record suggest that intermediate waters were 1.5–2◦C warmer during the Holocene Thermal Maxi- mum than in the last century. Intermediate water masses cooled by 0.9◦C from the Medieval Climate Anomaly to the Little Ice Age. These changes are significantly larger than the tem- perature anomalies documented in the instrumental record. One concludes that what is happening to the oceans today is not unusual.

    This addresses one of the most important climate questions. As earth surface climate where people live fails to warm, warmist-alarmists take refuge in the ocean, claiming that, although climate change is driven from the atmosphere only, all heat accrued by climate change goes primarily to the (otherwise climatically irrelevant) oceans. So data of recent and ongoing ocean warming represents their last and most important line of defence regarding warming (now “heating”) alarm.

    But if ocean heat content has fluctuated significantly over the Holocene, and it current warming is therefore understandable as recovery from the LIA, this erodes substantially the alarmist value of this warming. It makes it look more like business as usual in the oceans. And the warmist alarm, in turn, is made to look more misleading and opportunistic.

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