Thursday, September 17, 2009

Air and Ocean Temperatures

In the middle months of 2009 there has been a shift of tactics by the promoters of the Climate Change agenda. This shift entailed a down playing of the air temperatures as a clear sign of proof of Climate Change to one of declaring that the oceans temperature is rising rapidly instead. Is it any wonder when the atmospheric temperatures no longer seem to be supporting their position as I showed in this earlier post, despite the best efforts of people like Dr. James Hansen.

This is demonstrated on the global front by this press release from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) called NOAA: Warmest Global Sea-Surface Temperatures for August and Summer in September 2009. Where they stated:

The world’s ocean surface temperature was the warmest for any August on record, and the warmest on record averaged for any June-August (Northern Hemisphere summer/Southern Hemisphere winter) season according to NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center in Asheville, N.C. The preliminary analysis is based on records dating back to 1880.

NCDC scientists also reported that the combined average global land and ocean surface temperature for August was second warmest on record, behind 1998. For the June-August 2009 season, the combined global land and ocean surface temperature was third warmest on record.

Just in time for the Copenhagen summit to spur some decisive action, but without enough time for there to be widespread dissection of the report.

This has been evident at a local level with the response by Climate Change Minister Penny Wong and her scientific team's (Chief Scientist Penny Sackett and Climate Scientist Will Steffen) response to the questions posed by Senator Steven Fielding, where the said:

When climate change scientists talk about global warming they mean warming of the climate system as a whole, which includes the atmosphere, the oceans, and the cryosphere (I)n terms of a single indicator of global warming, change in ocean heat content is most appropriate.

I have partially covered this topic in an earlier post on rising sea levels, but have since discovered this has become a key strategy by the supporters of Climate Change in the lead up to the Kyoto protocol's successor the Copenhagen Climate Summit in late 2009. This is where the nations of the world intend to formulate the next set of agreements and restrictions on countries use of CO2 for the future. So I thought I'd better cast some more light on it as surely an organisation like NOAA wouldn't be wrong would they? Once again it would appear that all is not as it is presented to the public:

I mentioned in that earlier post that there has been a system of over 3000 ocean buoys (the Argo system - seen above) deployed in the world to accurately measure ocean temperature since 2003. In an article by Dr David Evans he says:

Before that, ocean temperatures were gathered by various methods - usually collected by ships in popular commercial shipping lanes - that lacked uniformity, sufficient geographical coverage, and the ability to measure temperature much beneath the surface. The Argo buoy system has added uniformity and greater reliability to ocean temperature measurements.

According to Argo temperature measurements, the world’s oceans have shown a slight cooling since Argo became operational in 2003.

The Argo data contradict claims humans are causing rapid global warming, because ocean temperatures are not rising as fast as predicted by global warming alarmists. As can be seen in the figure above.

So with such an accurate system of measurement at their disposal since 2003 how did NOAA come up with the conclusion that oceans temperatures are rising when the data shows them falling? Joe D'Aleo sheds some light on it with this comment: enable them to make the case the oceans are warming, NOAA chose to remove satellite input into their global ocean estimation and not make any attempt to operationally use Argo data in the process. This resulted in a jump of 0.2C or more and ‘a new ocean warmth record’ in July. ARGO tells us this is another example of NOAA’s inexplicable decision to corrupt data to support political agendas.

Unbelievably (or maybe not) NOAA simply didn't include any data that did not suit the outcome they wanted to present prior to the Copenhagen summit. We have seen this sort of data rejection before. Dr. James Hansen's NASA GISS only using surface station data and ignoring satellite data to demonstrate their atmospheric temperature set which has become increasingly divergent from the highly accurate satellite data. This true also of the Hadley Climate Research Unit in the U.K.. Yet both of these temperature sets are quoted by the IPCC and alarmists when they make their arguments about global warming and climate change.

There have also been other peer reviewed studies conducted on the oceans temperatures and their relationship with the atmospheric temperatures, including this one by Dr.'s D.H. Douglass and R, S, Knox of the Dept. of Physics and Astronomy, University of Rochester called: Ocean heat content and Earth’s radiation imbalance released in August 2009. Extracts include:

Earth’s radiation imbalance is determined from ocean heat content data and compared with results of direct measurements. Distinct time intervals of alternating positive and negative values are found: 1960–mid-1970s (−0.15), mid-1970s–2000 (+0.15), 2001–present (−0.2 W/m2), and are consistent with prior reports. These climate shifts limit climate predictability.


A strong connection between Earth’s radiative imbalance and the heat content of the oceans has been known for some time (see, e.g., Peixoto and Oort [1]). The heat content has played an important role in recent discussions of climate change, and Pielke [2] has revived interest in its relationship with radiation. Many previous papers have emphasized the importance of heat content of the ocean, particularly the upper ocean, as a diagnostic for changes in the climate system [3–7]. In this work we analyze recent heat content data sets, compare them with corresponding data on radiative imbalance, and point out certain irregularities that can be associated with climate shifts. In Section 2 the conservation of energy is applied to the climate system and the approximations involved in making the radiation heat content connection are discussed. In Section 3 data sources are enumerated. Section 4 gives the radiation imbalance for the Earth’s climate system. In Section 5, climate shifts, radiative imbalances and other climate parameters are discussed. A summary is in Section 6.


…What is the cause of these climate shifts? We suggest that the low frequency component of the Pacific Decade Oscillation (PDO) may be involved. The PDO index changes from positive to negative near 1960; it remains negative until the mid-1970s where itbecomes positive; then it becomes negative again at about 2000. This mimics the FTOA data. The PDO index is one of the inputs in the synchronization analysis of Swanson and Tsonis [43]. One would like to be able to predict future climate. Such predictions are based upon the present initial conditions and some expectation that changes in the climate state are continuous. However, if there are abrupt changes such as reported by Swanson and Tsonis then this is not possible. These abrupt changes presumably occur because the existing state is no longer stable and there is a transition to a new stable state.


We determine Earth’s radiation imbalance by analyzing three recent independent observational ocean heat content determinations for the period 1950 to 2008 and compare the results with direct measurements by satellites. A large annual term is found in both the implied radiation imbalance and the direct measurements. Its magnitude and phase confirm earlier observations that delivery of the energy to the ocean is rapid, thus eliminating the possibility of long time constants associated with the bulk of the heat transferred.
Longer-term averages of the observed imbalance are not only many-fold smaller than theoretically derived values, but also oscillate in sign. These facts are not found among the theoretical predictions.

Three distinct time intervals of alternating positive and negative imbalance are found: 1960 to the mid 1970s, the mid 1970s to2000 and 2001 to present. The respective mean values of radiation imbalance are −0.15, +0.15, and −0.2 to −0.3. These observations are consistent with the occurrence of climate shifts at 1960, the mid-1970s, and early 2001 identified by Swanson and Tsonis. Knowledge of the complex atmospheric-ocean physical processes is not involved or required in making these findings. Global surface temperatures as a function of time are also not required to be known.

So once again we see observational data disagreeing with the predictive data of the climate computer models (which often appear to be manipulated to within an inch of their life to produce a predetermined outcome).

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