The Mystery of Global Warming's Missing Heat

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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.
http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=88520025

Interesting, especially when you consider that this winter has been the coldest in over 100 years in many places around the globe.
 

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chroot
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Again, people are looking for a tiny, feeble signal in an incredibly noisy system. The smaller the signal-to-noise ratio, the longer you must observe the system to detect the signal. I'm not convinced that anyone has measured a legitimate signal yet.

- Warren
 
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Also a luke warm climate conference here. Recommending to hear out the video below the text.
 
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Gobal oceanic warming?

Based upon the retreat of glaciers worldwide, and opening of the Arctic ocean, and Greenland's hastened dissolution, global atmospheric warming would seem to be with us. But has there been any global oceanic warming? None yet definitively detectable by thermal expansion of the oceans (i.e. proxy of sea surface rise). http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sea_level_rise

The specific heat of water is much greater (4x) than that of the atmosphere. And heat capacity is just specific heat x volume. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Specific_heat_capacity

So has the total enthalpy (heat) of coupled oceanic-atmospheric system changed significantly, in a fractional sense? The enormous heat capacity of the oceans would seem to serve as a buffer for increased heating of the planet. If one assumed an extreme scenario of tropical waters to 200 meters for most of planet, what would be the consequences? Has the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum, about 55 million years ago, already conducted such extreme experiment? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paleoce...hermal_Maximum [Broken]
 
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Ivan Seeking
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One of the strongest indicators may be species migration.

For example, until recently many American Inuit had never seen a robin, in fact they didn't even have a word for it in their native language, but the Inuits are now rich in robins.

While debate about warming continues [actually I think the IPCC report says that there is no credible debate], the shipping companies are charting the new Northern Passage.
 
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Evo
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One of the strongest indicators may be species migration.
Indicators of ocean cooling, which is what this thread is about?

The climate is changing, right now it seems to be cooling, but it's hard to say what changes we'll see in different areas. Nothing that hasn't happened before though.
 
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From the link in the OP

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 lack of temperature trend the past four or five years would be reflected in the lower troposphere temperatures ( http://www.nsstc.uah.edu/data/msu/t2lt/tltglhmam_5.2 [Broken] ); See uploaded graphs. Note that the slight downward trend is meaningless, due to start/end point bias, but it illustrates the lack of warming.

Furthermore it seems that the earlier ocean warming was corrected downwards significantly
 

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vanesch
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Again, people are looking for a tiny, feeble signal in an incredibly noisy system. The smaller the signal-to-noise ratio, the longer you must observe the system to detect the signal. I'm not convinced that anyone has measured a legitimate signal yet.
This is also my idea. It is not that I'm an AGW believer, or an AGW sceptic, but I am sceptic about the science claims. I've been browsing through (parts of, it's huge) the IPCC reports, and other places, and I've not yet seen a convincing deduction, starting from known laws of physics, and undeniable observations, that leads to the irrefutable conclusion that there is AGW of significance. I've not seen the opposite either. It is true that there are *plausible scenario's*, and that there is *suggestive data* that points towards AGW. This, by itself, is probably sufficient, policy-wise, to be cautious, and to be "better safe than sorry".

In other words, as of now - it might be a problem of presentation, which tries to simplify things soo much "for the layman" that they become useless - I haven't found an understandable closed-case deduction which would satisfy a scientist like me who doesn't know the literature, but whom you can't send off in the field with a few handwaving arguments either. As was discussed in another thread, no qualitative arguments can do, because what one needs to know is quantitative information with some precision:

- upon CO2 doubling, HOW MUCH is the temperature going to rise - if it rises, and is not undone by negative contributions ? Is it 1 degree, half a degree, 5 degrees, 20 degrees ? And how irrefutable is that prediction ? Are all hypotheses in its deduction water-proof ?

- how much of a hypothetical CO2 doubling is going to be of human origin, and how is it related to human activities such as fossile fuel burning or land modification ? Is it 10%, 50%, 90% ? And again, how irrefutable is that prediction ?

I think that if someone could present me with a deduction from A to B, I could be convinced. But I haven't seen any such deduction. Only a jumping back and fro of "data from the past", "modeling", "recent observations of trends and correlations" etc...
Is it possible for this entire set of elements to be cast in a deductive scheme ?
 
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Ivan Seeking
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Indicators of ocean cooling, which is what this thread is about?
No, just GW. I was speaking to the previous post.
 
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Ivan Seeking
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Although presumably this wouldn't have immediate global effects on ocean temps, has anyone calculated the energy lost to melting ice at the poles? Also, what about evaporation of water? Has there been a significant increase in rainfall globally?
 
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vanesch
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Although presumably this wouldn't have immediate global effects on ocean temps, has anyone calculated the energy lost to melting ice at the poles?
Indeed, it is a priori not impossible that an increased melting of the ice caps brings more cold water into the ocean, which might diminish the *water* temperature (while the overall internal energy has increased). That said, the volume ratios are probably so large that this would be unnoticeable...
 
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This, by itself, is probably sufficient, policy-wise, to be cautious, and to be "better safe than sorry".
Perhaps that the oceanic and atmospheric cooling helps to realize that we should not put our eggs in one basket, what if it is the wrong one.

The current idea is http://www.ilovemycarbondioxide.com/pdf/Manhattan_Conference_on_Global_Warming.pdf [Broken]

...Forbes claimed that the nations of the world should follow a “No Regrets Policy” which yields dividends no matter what the future climate holds.

“We should abandon all policies that assume either warming or cooling, because there is no clear evidence on what the future holds.

“We should be strengthening our ability to adapt our lifestyle and our economy to whatever climate the future holds for us. We can be certain that climate will change, perhaps dramatically, but no one is yet competent to predict it, and man is powerless to have significant effect on it.

“A “No Regrets” policy means exposing all people to the full cost of their actions, and allowing the climate and the market to deter silly practices and encourage sensible ones...
 
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Interesting, especially when you consider that this winter has been the coldest in over 100 years in many places around the globe.
That would be probably mostly due to it being a la ninja year. Which tends to cause lower temperatures in your region and many others on average. However in our neck of the woods it's positively tropical for the season.

Here's another article that seems to be making conclusions based on anecdotal evidence, evidence for AGW? I think not.

Not that I'm anti AGW, but lets not confuse things eh?

http://www.independent.co.uk/environment/climate-change/how-the-blurring-of-the-seasons-is-a-harbinger-of-climate-calamity-798379.html"

How the blurring of the seasons is a harbinger of climate calamity

Martin Warren

A red admiral, normally seen in Britain in summer, was photographed in February among snowdrops

Spring, which officially starts today, is starting to dissolve as a distinct season as climate change takes hold.

According to documented observations throughout 2007 and 2008, events in the natural world that used to be key spring indicators, from the blooming of flowers to the appearance of insects, are now increasingly happening in what used to be thought of as mid-winter, as Britain's temperatures steadily rise.

Although many people may see the changes as quaint or charming – butterflies certainly brighten up a January day – they are actually among the first concrete signs that the world is indeed set on a global warming course which is likely to prove disastrous if not checked.

In fact, the blurring of the seasons in Britain is now as serious a piece of evidence of climate change as the rapidly increasing melting of ice across the globe, in glaciers and in the land-based and marine ice sheets of the Arctic and the Antarctic.

The phenomenon shows that a whole range of organisms is already responding actively to the greatest environmental change in human history, in a way that people – and especially politicians – are not.

Last month, that shift produced its most remarkable image yet – a photograph, taken in Dorset, of a red admiral, an archetypal British summer butterfly, feeding on a snowdrop, an archetypal British winter flower.

Although that is not an event likely to cause alarm among the public, it was quite inconceivable until very recently. It is undeniable confirmation that a profound alteration in the environment, the consequences of which are likely to prove catastrophic, is already under way.

It is happening so quickly, and without people realising its true significance, because, in Britain, the major effects of climate change are initially being felt as less cold winters, rather than as hotter summers.

That has produced a startling rise in winter temperatures in recent years, clearly visible when current monthly means are compared to the average for 1961 to 1990.

To take the figures for last winter from the Central England Temperature Record, the world's oldest, which dates back to 1659: January 2007 was 3.2C warmer than the 1961-90 average, February was 2.0C warmer, March was 1.5C warmer, and April was 3.3C warmer. So far this year, January has been 2.8C above the 1961-90 average for the month, and February, 1.6C

Those are substantial rises. Although there is always natural variation in temperatures, recent winters taken together show a remarkable warming trend.

It has meant that many of what used to be thought of as the traditional signs of spring are happening very much earlier, causing primroses, for example, spring flowers par excellence, to bloom in some parts of the country as early as November. Other traditional spring plants, such as dog's mercury and the lesser celandine (a favourite of Wordsworth's) can be seen in January rather than March.

And in what is perhaps an even more vivid change, dandelions and daisies, which used to come into flower in spring on lawns (where they were permitted), now flower in many places all winter long.
 
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Evo
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That's really funny considering how many years we've been hearing from climate scientists that England was going to get colder.

Britain faces big chill as ocean current slows

CLIMATE change researchers have detected the first signs of a slowdown in the Gulf Stream — the mighty ocean current that keeps Britain and Europe from freezing.
They have found that one of the “engines” driving the Gulf Stream — the sinking of supercooled water in the Greenland Sea — has weakened to less than a quarter of its former strength.

The weakening, apparently caused by global warming, could herald big changes in the current over the next few years or decades. Paradoxically, it could lead to Britain and northwestern and Europe undergoing a sharp drop in temperatures.

Such a change has long been predicted by scientists but the new research is among the first to show clear experimental evidence of the phenomenon.
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/article520013.ece

But the thread is about the oceans getting colder.
 
That's what we'd expect from a la La Niña year anyway. After all all it is a cool current flowing up from the South pole, which has dramatic implications for the planets weather systems. That said though there may be other factors at play such as decreasing solar flares and so on. Needless to say I wouldn't make any more of a judgement over this than I would several years of heating. It's interesting atm, but that's about all you can say I think.

Something like this.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:La_Nina_regional_impacts.gif

As you can see the prevalent conditions over the gulf stream are warm, thus England is warm. It's what they predicted anyway, they said this last year.

It's not so much of a mystery in this case, again anecdotal and pretty simply explained.
 
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