The Ocean Really is Cooling

THERE are 3,000 free-drifting buoys in the world’s ocean; first deployed in the year 2000 they allow continuous monitoring of the temperature, salinity, and velocity of the upper ocean.

There has though been some difficulty in interpreting the data from these buoys. Initial signs of cooling were dismissed as due to technical errors subsequently corrected based on a small sample of the 3,000 buoys known as profiling floats.

Craig Loehle has analysed the data from only the profiling floats for ocean heat content from 2003 to 2008.   In a paper recently published in the journal Energy and Environment he has concluded that there has been ocean cooling over this period.  

This graphic is from figure 1 of the technical paper and shows the decline in ocean heat content (x1022J) smoothed with a 1-2-1 filter.

Dr Loehle’s findings are consistent with satellite and surface instrumental records that do not showing a warming trend over recent years.     

*************************

Notes

Craig Loehle is a senior scientist at the Illinois-based ‘National Council for Air and Stream Improvement’.

Cooling of the global ocean since 2003.  Craig Loehle, 2009.  Energy and Environment.  Volume 20.

Argo (free-floating buoys) Homepage http://www.argo.ucsd.edu/ 

Apologies to Josh Willis: Correcting Global Cooling (Part 3) http://jennifermarohasy.com/blog/2008/11/apologies-to-josh-willis-correcting-ocean-cooling-part-3/

Correcting Ocean Cooling: NASAChanges Data to Fit the Models Adjusts Data from Buoys http://jennifermarohasy.com/blog/2008/11/correcting-ocean-cooling-nasa-changes-data-to-fit-the-models/ 

Global Warming’s Missing Heat http://jennifermarohasy.com/blog/2008/03/global-warmings-missing-heat/

94 Responses to The Ocean Really is Cooling

  1. cohenite March 21, 2009 at 12:29 pm #

    If this is right then surely AGW is dead and buried; with temperature and every other indicator of AGW going the opposite way to predictions and theory [sic] requirements then the only hope was the ‘pipeline’ energy/heat stored in the ocean and waiting to come out and say “boo” when we least expect it; with a cooling ocean that last refuge of a scoundrel is exposed; not that it ever existed anyway;

    http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut3vgl/from:1994/to:2010/scale:0.1/mean:10/plot/hadsst2gl/from:1994/to:2010/scale:0.1/mean:10/plot/uah/from:1994/to:2010/scale:0.1/mean:10

  2. Will Nitschke March 21, 2009 at 1:46 pm #

    Ocean temperature should be significantly more stable than atmospheric global temperature so it is not plausible along to attribute this trend to ‘chaotic fluctuations’. This is possibly the most significant piece of evidence refuting AGW I’ve come across so far.

    Of course, the response will be to attack the credibility of the scientist or the journal, as usual.

    However, it is probably too early to rule out technical issues with the Argo measuring system just yet. Declaring AGW dead is perhaps a little premature right now. ;-)

  3. Green Davey March 21, 2009 at 2:06 pm #

    With regard to Craig Loehle’s credibility, a few years back he published a paper describing a percolation model of landscape fire. It showed that, if a third of an area is kept in a non-flammable state, big bushfires cannot happen. Those with fire experience will know that, apart from wholesale clearing, only broadscale prescribed burning can achieve such a result. To maintain a third in a non-flammable state would need a three year burning cycle. That is exactly what Aboriginal people did, and still do in the north. I regard Dr Loehle as an excellent mathematician, and I am glad to see his interest in the matter of ocean temperatures, and hence climate. Forest Ecology and Management is a premier journal. It must be – I have published in it myself.
    Loehle C. (2004) Applying landscape principles to fire hazard reduction. Forest Ecology and Management 198:261-267

  4. cohenite March 21, 2009 at 2:39 pm #

    A premature burial suits the grotesque nature of AGW; I think you are too tolerant WN; with no pipeline, no general temperature correlation and no enhanced greenhouse via increased SH and RH;

    http://www.climateaudit.org/?p=5416

    there is nowhere for AGW to go; the cockroach is in the full glare of the sun; but alas it still shelters under the shade of the toad of the media, which has yet to decide whether to eat it.

  5. kuhnkat March 21, 2009 at 3:19 pm #

    Cohenite,

    you forget that cooling IS consistent with AGW!!!!

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

  6. enough March 21, 2009 at 3:33 pm #

    Have down loaded the Craig Loehle paper. Do you know if Willis has commented?

    Thanks

  7. SJT March 21, 2009 at 3:59 pm #

    Five years during a La Nina is a trend?

  8. James Mayeau March 21, 2009 at 4:52 pm #

    Seventeen years of stasus leading up to an El Nino is a trend?

  9. janama March 21, 2009 at 5:03 pm #

    Well that’s a relief – we don’t have to save the planet :)

    and we can leave the lights on for earth day.

  10. cohenite March 21, 2009 at 5:41 pm #

    Actually James, that’s 28 years of stasis, including the 1998 event.

  11. Luke March 21, 2009 at 5:57 pm #

    E&E – hehehehehehehe LOL – NEXT !

    Cohers – all your base are belong to us http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5fV_KxVwZjU

  12. SJT March 21, 2009 at 6:24 pm #

    It’s like trying to detect a temperature trend over a week. It’s cooling, it’s warming, it’s cooling, it’s warming, it’s cooling, it’s warming…..

  13. spangled drongo March 21, 2009 at 8:15 pm #

    “all your base are belong to us”

    I think they all sweetly belong to Tim Curtin over at Deltoid at the moment.

  14. despero March 21, 2009 at 8:34 pm #

    So how does this “bury” AGW theory? I can think of a few AGW (or plain GW) processes that might cause fluctuations or rises in sea surface temperature. Most deviations from averages and normal states could be linked to GW. The hot/cold dichotomy is a nonsense in the context of complex climate systems. That game is the domain of the stupid or devious.

  15. Boudu March 21, 2009 at 10:03 pm #

    Despite the alarmists best efforts, their whips cracking ever faster and harder, the AGW horse has gone the way of the dodo. It is an ex horse. Give it up guys. At least pretend you weren’t taken in by this scam.

  16. SJT March 21, 2009 at 11:37 pm #

    “Despite the alarmists best efforts, their whips cracking ever faster and harder, the AGW horse has gone the way of the dodo. It is an ex horse. Give it up guys. At least pretend you weren’t taken in by this scam.”

    A supposed trend of five years is enough to convince you?

  17. BRIAN M FLYNN March 22, 2009 at 12:51 am #

    I recommend a read of Roger Pielke, Sr., A Broader View of the Role of Humans in the Climate System, Physics Today (November, 2008). He likewise substantiates that cooling (or lack of warming) in the upper ocean has occurred since 2003. Much of his writing is actually supported by responses from Josh Willis himself.

    I mention Dr. Pielke because he has suggested for years heat storage in the ocean deep (more than 3,000m), and the Argo floats do not provide data for depths of more than 3,000m. If Dr. Pielke is correct, then such heat likely resulted in thermal expansion of the ocean deep thereby having an impact on sea level.

    That impact on sea level likely caused misplaced reliance upon altimetry data used by a number of scientists as a proxy for heat in the upper ocean (750m), and lead to the present “surprise” that the upper ocean has been cooling (or, at least not warming) for time.

  18. Gary Plyler March 22, 2009 at 1:40 am #

    As a nuclear engineer, this reminds me of the Three Mile Island mishap. At TMI, the operators overrode the automatic safety systems because they did not believe their indications (pressure, temperature, and flow indications). The operator actions caused the fuel meltdown.

    Here we have the Argos bouys showing cooling but because that did not fit the AGW models, the data must be wrong. Many bouy responses were thrown out (the ones that showed cooling) and that was considered to be a valid data correction.

    This time, it will not be the core of one power plant that is effected. This time we will melt down the entire free-world economy. This is serious stuff. Scientists need to take great care when they decide to ignore some data in favor of other data.

  19. Craig Loehle March 22, 2009 at 3:34 am #

    A trend of five years does not refute AGW, of course. I did not say it did in the paper. BUT it shows that “it’s in the pipeline” which Hansen has said, is not possible. The recent decade of no warming can be contrasted with only 20 years of warming from 1980 to 2000 or so that has been used to imply AGW. The desire to count warming starting in 1900 is inconsistent with the IPCC’s own statements that only warming post-1950 can be attributed to AGW because before that there was too little rise in CO2. So, of course it could cool for a decade due to natural causes, but then it could have warmed in the previous 2 decades from natural causes. Natural causes is a two-edged sword and one must be careful how one wields it. You can’t say recent cooling is natural but be 90% certain that 2 decades of warming is AGW.

    As to E&E status–read the paper. Papers in Nature can be hilariously wrong and papers in E&E can be right. Taking shots at the author only shows that you don’t have very good debating skills.

  20. Sam March 22, 2009 at 3:35 am #

    “A supposed trend of five years is enough to convince you?”

    The AGW hypothesis claims that an enhanced greenhouse effect is absorbing radiation and building up latent heat in the system. When real world observations failed to show the signals of enhanced greenhouse in the atmosphere, mental giants like James Hansen claimed the latent heat was being masked and hidden away in the oceans. He called this the “smoking gun.”

    Now the ARGO buoys, which not only capture sea surface temperatures but data from layers over a mile deep, show that contrary to storing heat, the oceans are cooling.

    If AGW has any credibility left, how can it capture latent heat that no one can find. Every metric shows cooling.

    A better question is when are you going to admit your hypothesis does not describe the real world.

  21. WilliMc March 22, 2009 at 4:08 am #

    Good news indeed!! However, I doubt the beast is dead, for it has emerged from the dead several times, pulled awooden stake out, and introduced ad-hoc alterations to the original assertion.

    Willi

  22. janama March 22, 2009 at 5:26 am #

    The ARGO buoys – cool name for a band.:)

  23. Craig Loehle March 22, 2009 at 5:31 am #

    I can send reprints if anyone needs one. cloehle at ncasi.org

  24. jennifer March 22, 2009 at 8:24 am #

    Filing a couple of bits of information here:

    I asked Craig why he only plotted back to 2003 and he replied, “The corrected data supplied by Josh Willis at JPL is for these dates. I think 2000 is when they started putting the floats out but it took several years to have enough out there to be global coverage. Craig.”

    And from Anthony Watts:
    “I didn’t think much of Siddons’ graph initially, but as luck would have it, I happened to have Loehle’s graph open in a desktop window from Jennifer’s blog. I noticed something interesting and unexpected looking at the two…” Click here:
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/03/21/recent-ocean-heat-and-mlo-co2-trends/#more-6378

  25. Luke March 22, 2009 at 10:02 am #

    Strategically I’m not sure if publishing in E&E will even raise the pulse of the mainstream climate community – reputation for soft reviewing and partisan behaviour. Why not go for the big hit in one of the many other journals?

    But nevertheless taking the result on face value (as the darn E&E site seems “down” for maintenance) it would be useful as always to see the spatial pattern of temperatures – indeed I would remind Jen of our long term distaste for a whole Australian rainfall statistic when for example, NW WA is getting wetter and SE Australia is getting drier.

    But results do fly in the face of a warming Tasman Sea, warming eastern equatorial Pacific and Indian Ocean just as a few examples reported in the recent literature (perhaps small relative to area of cooling) – what is the spatial pattern (and vertical for that matter) – what makes up the average statistic.

    What is the explanation for the annual cycle – southern ocean being larger?

    What are the goodness of fit statistics for the regression?

    In any case these periods of stasis have happened before in the historical record (without Argo float data obviously).

    Any as someone from Hadley said the other day – individual GCM instantiations exhibit these periods of stasis. You’d need to be to 15 years of cooling or zero trend before you’d raise an eyebrow.

    Ya got nuttin Cohers !

  26. gavin March 22, 2009 at 10:03 am #

    Craig Loehle: Thanks for dropping by

    Jennifer, IMO we can’t make too much from current trends in ocean temp data. Although these buoys have been left all over the place, they were jumping up and down, , , literally.

    Graig, your work shows oscillations that I suggest are travelling in an envelope with another frequency See Alan Siddons on CO2 here. Alan shows us as usual in his most methodical approach in the above link the “serendipity” of it all.

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/03/21/recent-ocean-heat-and-mlo-co2-trends/#more-6378

    But beyond the math & graph; what do we see??? The SEA !!!

    IMO it’s still the greatest thermometer on the planet and I continue to monitor it as always, only by eye.

    Note; Bob Tisdale however with SL from data closes the grip for me on continued warming.

    http://bobtisdale.blogspot.com/2008/12/sea-level-data-global-and-indian.html

  27. gavin March 22, 2009 at 10:19 am #

    Apologies to Anthony, if I’m confused about who discovered “serendipity” and ocean temp fluctuations linked to CO2

  28. Craig Loehle March 22, 2009 at 3:01 pm #

    The goodness of fit is R2=0.87. Confidence intervals on the slope don’t include 0. The annual cycle I think is because the southern oceans are larger, because the warm peaks are in the Austral summers. As to E&E reputation: I think this paper is such a straightforward data analysis that anyone who thinks they can spot bias or agenda needs to have their glasses checked. It is what it is. You can redo the analysis if you don’t think so. It isn’t about policy or something subjective.

  29. gavin March 22, 2009 at 5:08 pm #

    “I think this paper is such a straightforward data analysis that anyone who thinks they can spot bias or agenda needs to have their glasses checked”.

    C’mon Graig, you can do better than that.

    It’s time you stepped outside your own narrow discipline with flimsy new sketches based on short data runs and had a look round this fickle globe for more support.

    I can recommend some easy jaunts like isthmus studies where you have to poke around in the dunes. Linking your case with sea levels this way will be fun compared to old tree ring analysis.

    Recall; I said there is no better thermometer on earth than the sea. There are tales in those dunes

  30. cohenite March 22, 2009 at 6:44 pm #

    Thank you Craig for your thoughtful contribution and your excellent paper.

    Luke; here is the current SST map;

    http://www.osdpd.noaa.gov/PSB/EPS/SST/data/anomnight.3.9.2009.gif

    Nothin unusual, slightly more cooling; perhaps gavin may care to eyeball it; speaking of which; gavin, it is quite amusing to hear a warmist complain of data periods given the recent Steig paper, Philipona’s efforts, everything by Santer etc; anyway here is something longer about SST;

    http://www.warwickhughes.com/sst/

  31. Luke March 22, 2009 at 7:53 pm #

    Quoting Warwick as source now Cohers. LOL.

    Pity NMAT shows same trend. NEXT…

  32. gavin March 22, 2009 at 7:58 pm #

    Cohenite:

    IMO your link to SST anomalies (current NOAA chart) fails to fix SST or SL trends either way for our readers.

    Also it’s high time you came up with an original observation or two

  33. gavin March 22, 2009 at 8:28 pm #

    Luke:

    Want to bet what our blog readers won’t see from warwickhughes.com?

    A decent article like this on current costal erosion in say QLD

    http://www.coastalwatch.com/news/article.aspx?articleId=4524&cateId=3&title=Impact%20of%20coastal%20erosion%20in%20Australia

  34. cohenite March 22, 2009 at 9:05 pm #

    No problems luke; Rainbow Bay, Greenmount and Kirra are my home away from home breaks.

    gavin; an original observation? Well, here’s an original deed; just for you;

    http://jennifermarohasy.com/blog/2009/03/introducting-the-climate-sceptics-a-new-political-party/

  35. david March 22, 2009 at 9:07 pm #

    Here the unfiltered global ocean heat content – http://www.nodc.noaa.gov/OC5/3M_HEAT_CONTENT/

  36. gavin March 22, 2009 at 9:25 pm #

    I did not see a “cohenite” in the initial roundup of the tcs party faithfull. Guess you won’t stand up there on a blog box hey

  37. jennifer March 22, 2009 at 9:45 pm #

    David,
    How good do you think the data is pre- 2003 … the data used to put together that graph of “unfiltered global ocean heat content” that you link to?
    Also, would you agree there has been cooling over the last 5 years?

  38. cohenite March 22, 2009 at 10:15 pm #

    The NOAA heat content graph is based on Levitus’s various papers with a dash of Barnett and Santer thrown in; The computer model which produced this result is the Parallel Climate Model; the model is not constrained by natural forcings such as solar and El Nino but by anthropogenic GHG forcing; the ‘observed’ data follows the usual iterative interpolations; to quote luke; zzzz.

  39. SJT March 22, 2009 at 10:28 pm #

    “gavin; an original observation? Well, here’s an original deed; just for you;”

    An alternative point of view? Well, I guess there are alternative points of view on evolution and HIV as well, so why not.

  40. CoRev March 23, 2009 at 1:49 am #

    Luke, uses his usual ridicule to attack Cohenite and the article. Gavin uses the typical change the subject approach. Coastal erosion???? SJT, is just confused and shows his typical bias and ignorance. BUT, NONE ATTACK THE PAPER’S POINTS. Why would that be?

    C’mon Fellas, y’all can do bettah than that!

    Yes, it is an ad hom attack, because that is usually all I see from you. Tsk, Tsk!

  41. Nick Stokes March 23, 2009 at 4:03 am #

    CoRev ” None attack the paper’s points. Why would that be? ” Has anyone here actually read the paper? Have you? I haven’t seen a link anywhere.

  42. david March 23, 2009 at 7:00 am #

    >How good do you think the data is pre- 2003

    Very good.

    Craig’s data is very heavily filtered and truncated. He also has a seasonal cycle which makes no sense for anomalies.

    Perhaps this example might encourage you – as a scientist – to favor peer review in future.

  43. Bill Illis March 23, 2009 at 7:39 am #

    Here is the updated (to January 2009) sea level data for all the ocean basins.

    North Atlantic

    ftp://ftp.cls.fr/pub/oceano/AVISO/indicators/msl/MSL_Serie_J1_NorthAtl_NoIB_RWT_PGR_NoAdjust.png

    Mediterranean

    ftp://ftp.cls.fr/pub/oceano/AVISO/indicators/msl/MSL_Serie_J1_Medit_NoIB_RWT_PGR_NoAdjust.png

    South Atlantic

    ftp://ftp.cls.fr/pub/oceano/AVISO/indicators/msl/MSL_Serie_J1_SouthAtl_NoIB_RWT_PGR_NoAdjust.png

    North Pacific

    ftp://ftp.cls.fr/pub/oceano/AVISO/indicators/msl/MSL_Serie_J1_NorthPac_NoIB_RWT_PGR_NoAdjust.png

    South Pacific

    ftp://ftp.cls.fr/pub/oceano/AVISO/indicators/msl/MSL_Serie_J1_SouthPac_NoIB_RWT_PGR_NoAdjust.png

    And finally the only one statistically increasing (but now probably declining), the Indian Ocean

    ftp://ftp.cls.fr/pub/oceano/AVISO/indicators/msl/MSL_Serie_J1_Indian_NoIB_RWT_PGR_NoAdjust.png

    I would see these charts as consistent with the ocean heat content not increasing in the last five years.

  44. cohenite March 23, 2009 at 7:43 am #

    Craig Loehle’s discussion is interesting;

    4.0 DISCUSSION

    It has previously been estimated by Willis et al. (2004) that from 1993 to 2003 the upper ocean gained 8.1 (~1.4) x 1022 J of heat. This study estimates a loss since then of from 0.668 to 2.48 x 1022 J, or 19.4% (up to 31%) of the gain of the prior decade. Ishii and Kimoto (In Press) also show a bias-corrected cooling from 2003 to 2006. On an annual basis, this is a cooling of 0.35 x 1022 J compared to 0.81 x 1022 J warming for 1993 to 2003 (Willis et al. 2004) and slightly less for the same period to 700 m in Ishii and Kimoto (in press). Dominguez et al. (2008) show a 700 m depth annual warming from 1961 to 2003 of 0.38 x 1022 J. Thus the estimate of cooling in the present study is not out of line with past results. It is also consistent with satellite and surface instrumental records that do not show a warming trend over recent years. Another bias-corrected estimate (Gouretski and Koltermann 2007) is based on depth profiles too different to make a comparison. By comparison, Willis et al. (2008a) do not find any significant trend (slight negative trend) for 2003 to 2006, but had a shorter record and performed their trend analysis using simple annual means. Heat loss from the ocean has been estimated to also have occurred in the 1980s (Ishii and Kimoto, In Press; Gouretski and Koltermann 2007; Levitus et al. 2001). The data also indicate an interesting damping with time of the annual fluctuations in heat gain and loss (Fig. 1b). While the current study takes advantage of a globally consistent data source, a 4.5-year period of ocean cooling is not unexpected in terms of natural fluctuations. The problem of instrumental drift and bias is quite complicated, however, (Domingues et al. 2008; Gouretski and Koltermann 2007; Wijffels et al. 2008; Willis et al. 2004, 2008a) and it remains possible that the result of the present analysis is an artifact.

    Loehle is thorough, consistent with prior studies and scientifically transparent; David’s objection is typical sour grapes consistent with a pro-AGW attitude.

  45. gavin March 23, 2009 at 8:31 am #

    “I would see these charts as consistent with the ocean heat content not increasing in the last five years”

    Bill; how have things changed since this thread?

    http://jennifermarohasy.com/blog/2008/12/dip-in-global-sea-level-won%E2%80%99t-save-tuvalu/

    March 09

    “Scientists to issue stark warning over dramatic new sea level figuresRising sea levels pose a far bigger eco threat than previously thought. This week’s climate change conference in Copenhagen will sound an alarm over new floodings – enough to swamp Bangladesh, Florida, the Norfolk Broads and the Thames estuary”

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2009/mar/08/climate-change-flooding

  46. Craig Loehle March 23, 2009 at 9:32 am #

    Re: Comment from: cohenite March 23rd, 2009 at 7:43 am

    Note that the 1022 figures should be 10^22. This happens when you cut and paste from pdf.

  47. CoRev March 23, 2009 at 9:43 am #

    Gavin, the first article you reference may very well confirm Dr Loehle’s findings. The second Guardian article is just a regurgitation of the Conference Presser, issued even before the conference started. Why make it so easy??? Sheesh!!!

  48. cohenite March 23, 2009 at 11:53 am #

    Sorry Craig, I’m just a humble blogger; 10^22 does sound better; with ocean heat subsiding, probably, global temps going down and even CO2 levels declining along with sea levels, the idea of the lag or pipeline for AGW heat to accumulate was a last bastion of AGW; do you have any opinion on the pipeline concept and whether it retains any validity, bearing in mind the work of Trenberth, Tsonis, White and Cayon and Compo and Sareshmukh, all of whom in one way or other have looked at the relationship between ocean heat and global temperature with the general consensus that any variations in ocean heat/energy has minimal delay before there is a consequent effect on global temperature?

  49. Craig Loehle March 23, 2009 at 12:02 pm #

    There are two senses to “in the pipeline”. The first is that a given increase in greenhouse forcing will take a long time to lead to a new equilibrium because the lag for ocean warming is so long. This is correct. The second, is that while air temps may not be going up, the energy imbalance that Hansen thought he found in ingoing vs outgoing radiation must be ending up in the ocean instead of the air. While this is possible, it must result in increased ocean heat content, as Pielke Sr. notes. Ocean cooling invalidates this use of “in the pipeline”, though short timescales and lots of noise make this not so easy to determine for sure. It also seems to me that if the ocean is losing heat, then part of the heat in the atmosphere is coming from the ocean, and the air would be cooling even faster without this warm water bottle to keep it higher. I am not able to estimate the magnitudes, but that is the logic as I see it.

  50. gavin March 23, 2009 at 3:14 pm #

    Too narrow a field and too smooth Craig.

    Sea level has been going up for decades, so you must factor this in while looking for heat moving about the planet.

  51. Jennifer Marohasy March 23, 2009 at 3:54 pm #

    David,
    This paper has been peer reviewed.
    There is a seasonal cycle so lets acknowledge it.
    This paper is about an annual trend – additional to the seasonal cycle.
    You haven’t acknowledged the limitations of the data pre-deployment of the argo bouys: I’m disappointed.

  52. SJT March 23, 2009 at 4:33 pm #

    I’ve just peer reviewed it. Five years with a La Nina in the tail is no way to detect a trend.

  53. steve from brisbane March 23, 2009 at 9:30 pm #

    Just a minute. It would appear from Cohenite’s extract that the paper itself is equivocal as to how much can be read into it: the result is possibly an artifact, it is also too short a period to be certain of anything.

    Yet Jennifer gives the post a clearly un-equivocal title.

  54. Chris Gillham March 23, 2009 at 10:09 pm #

    For consideration of ocean temperatures, is data relevant from the 2005 CSIRO report “Building a future on knowledge from the past: what palaeo-science can reveal about climate change and its potential impacts in Australia”? ( http://www.waclimate.net/palaeo-report.pdf )

    Based on coral core isotope readings from the Great Barrier Reef, the data suggests Sea Surface Temperatures to the north and west of Australia were warmer pre-1900 than throughout the 20th century. A graph demonstrating such has been extracted from the CSIRO report at http://www.waclimate.net/imgs/csiro-palaeo-temps.jpg

    A rudimentary comparison of unregulated temperature readings at 13 locations across Western Australia from 1876-1899 and regulated readings from 1979-2008 suggests the average mean minimum increased to be .4 degrees C warmer, but the average mean maximum decreased to be .25 degrees C cooler. The comparison and documents are at http://waclimate.net

  55. Craig Loehle March 23, 2009 at 10:09 pm #

    It is indeed a short period to make any definitive conclusions. You will note that I said so in the paper. However, that is the full extent of the data (the ARGO floats) as of the time of analysis. I did factor out the seasonal cycle.
    Gavin says: “Too narrow a field and too smooth Craig” but I have no idea what this means.

  56. Gordon Robertson March 23, 2009 at 10:12 pm #

    SJT “Five years during a La Nina is a trend”?

    I hate to be the bearer of sad tidings, but as far as I know, ENSO is not a decadal oscillation. The 1997/98 El Nino only lasted a year and El Ninos/La Ninas have alternated pretty well every year.

  57. gavin March 24, 2009 at 1:15 am #

    Craig: Your throttled curve as show here by Jennifer gives no indication of what was done and why to the original data, nor does it show in what context the work was required.

  58. sunsettommy March 24, 2009 at 1:52 am #

    So far all I see are weak replies to Dr. Loehle’s paper.

    The snide nitpicking remarks are not convincing me.How about the staggering idea of posting straightforward comments on the content of his paper instead?

    The oceans are indeed cooling as per Willis and others who have published the data.There is a website called ARGOS where you can read up on the project.

    Despite the ocean cooling in recent years.It is still warmer than 50 years ago.It takes a while for the ocean to give up accumulated heat from decades of elevated solar cycles.

  59. Jabba the Cat March 24, 2009 at 2:59 am #

    It strikes Jabba that most of those trying to shoot down Dr Loehle’s paper have not even bothered to ask him directly for a pdf copy of the full item. If they did there would be no need for half the stupid questions being asked eg. about the derivative process of the graphs.

  60. Luke March 24, 2009 at 8:22 am #

    Anyway – it’s just an IPO wiggle in a longer term trend.

  61. toby March 24, 2009 at 9:44 am #

    surely if the data from the argos is accurate, it really is sounding the death knell for AGW? 5 years of cooling in the oceans despite the growth in co2. How can the clowns at the recent copenhagen tell us that change is occuring even faster than the models preict when we have data showing sea temp falling and sea level not rising ….let alone all the other things predicted that have not occured. If you aint a bit sceptical, you clearly arent capable of thinking for yourself.

  62. Craig Loehle March 24, 2009 at 11:03 am #

    I remind everyone that I can send a copy to you. cloehle at ncasi.org

  63. kuhnkat March 24, 2009 at 2:50 pm #

    Gavin,

    “Sea level has been going up for decades, so you must factor this in while looking for heat moving about the planet.”

    DECADES gavin?? how about CENTURIES?!?!?!?! And before that it was going down, and before that is was up… Oh yeah, and the oceans have apparently been significantly HIGHER than now!!!!!

    So, what is your point again? Something like a previous invalid point about the temperature record that has also been up and down and around??

    If you want to track the heat of the ocean, give Bob Tisdale’s site a read. He has done some interesting work in that area:
    http://bobtisdale.blogspot.com/

  64. Manfred March 24, 2009 at 5:22 pm #

    Hallo Mr. Schmidt,

    i would like to ask, how do you make sure, that all your precious time spent debating the theory of AGW on various websites and moreover, the time consumed to delete critical comments at realclimate.org, does not burden NASA’s and finally the taxpayer’s budget ?

  65. gavin March 24, 2009 at 7:27 pm #

    Kunhnkat: “So, what is your point again?”

    Earlier in this thread, back on page 3, I wrote

    1. Graig, your work shows oscillations that I suggest are travelling in an envelope with another frequency See Alan Siddons on CO2 here. Alan shows us as usual in his most methodical approach in the above link the “serendipity” of it all.

    http://jennifermarohasy.com/blog/?p=4554&cp=3#comment-90481

    then after linking to a discussion on Watts up with that

    Bob Tisdale however with SL from data closes the grip for me on continued warming
    http://bobtisdale.blogspot.com/2008/12/sea-level-data-global-and-indian.html
    From Kunhnkat’s link above: Reading Bob’s comments on ocean heat content starting here –

    http://s5.tinypic.com/2qdbs68.jpg

    further drives the point that post industrial CO2, SST and Sea Level are interlinked. IMO the AGW case is proved conclusively there.

  66. gavin March 24, 2009 at 7:32 pm #

    If you don’t know the difference between an Aussie downunder on Jen’s and the big boys on RC, I suggest you piss off home now

  67. cohenite March 24, 2009 at 10:08 pm #

    gavin; I think you misunderstand Bob’s reasoning; his point about ocean heat content is that it is consistent with El Nino climate patterns and the studies have major inconsistencies; as well, and despite the 2nd point, all the studies show the same decline that Craig has found;

    http://s5.tinypic.com/24v33t4.jpg

    That being the case there is no heat storage because if you accept the various studies, or cherry-pick the one most favourable to AGW, Levitus, [although none are favourable for the 1st reason above], in respect of when ocean heat content was increasing, you must accept the decrease as being caused by the same natural factors; IPO, as luke mischievously stated above somewhere lost in the mists of reminisce; I’ll leave you to it.

  68. gavin March 24, 2009 at 10:32 pm #

    Cohenite: “all the studies show the same decline that Craig has found”

    Unless I’m reading from the horozontal; these graphs over at least 50 years all show an increase in whatever ocean trend takes your fancy

  69. SJT March 24, 2009 at 10:44 pm #

    Thanks for that graph, Cohenite. Over the long term, a trend is clearly obvious, and there are several periods of five years or so where cooling is apparent, before the overall warming trend takes over.

  70. cohenite March 24, 2009 at 10:46 pm #

    There are none so blind as those who will not see.

  71. Bill Illis March 24, 2009 at 10:57 pm #

    Bob Tisdale’s page says he is using a 35 point filter/averaging.

    So sea level rise from earlier years is being averaged into the record.

    The AVISO data I linked to above shows the raw unfiltered data.

    So there was warming, there was sea level rise before but that trend upward stopped some time ago.

  72. gavin March 25, 2009 at 8:10 am #

    Cohenite: If others can see the sea this way, why can’t your lot?

    http://maps.grida.no/go/graphic/trends-in-sea-level-1870-2006

    BTW I’ve been to the coast recently looking for the latest SL impacts and found many place where its up and still rising. This observation can easily be confirmed by playing with the images here

    http://tidesandcurrents.noaa.gov/sltrends/sltrends.shtml

    Shifting to familiar places like the coast of Tasmania and zooming in on the isthmus between north and south Bruny Island easily shows the difference between sand beaches on sheltered and open waters. Compare these with wild places around Strahan, Port Davey, estuaries and man made hydro lakes.

    BTW the red patches in the steep scrub on the isthmus are fairy penguin rookeries.

    My best pictorial evidence however came from a recent introduction to Browlee Island Reserve below Batemans Bay on the coast of NSW. Above the isthmus at the end of the long beach is a perpendicular shape where the hight tides have been into the island on the sheltered side.

  73. gavin March 25, 2009 at 8:28 am #

    I forgot to mention that with this great tide tool above; we can actually see changing colour in the canopy of older forest on the lee side of Broulee Is as salt slowly kills root syetems of large trees.

  74. Agamemnon March 25, 2009 at 10:55 am #

    gavin: “If you don’t know the difference between an Aussie downunder on Jen’s and the big boys on RC, I suggest you piss off home now.”

    Heh. gavin actually thinks he’s one of the “big boys”?!?

    Looky here, gavin. Read ‘em and weep:

    http://2008.weblogawards.org/polls/best-science-blog

    Your government-subsidized, George Soros-subsidized site got ONE-TENTH the number of votes of Anthony Watts’ “BEST SCIENCE” site. How’s that for ‘consensus’?

    See, gavin only posts at other sites so enough people read his propaganda. Realclimate doesn’t generate enough hits by itself to satisfy gavin’s leashmaster, Mr. Soros [and it IS "Mister" Soros, isn't it? And you DO have your hat in your hand when you say, "Yes Sir, MISTER Soros, Sir."]

    See gavin? Two can play at your snide game. So man-up for a change, and admit the AGW/CO2 hypothesis is spiraling down in flames.

  75. Bill Illis March 25, 2009 at 11:23 am #

    Give us some credit here gavin.

    You link to an old chart from the United Nations Environment Program website.

    And then you give us one which doesn’t account for land subsidence or glacial rebound.

    How about Juneau Alaska sea level from your link. Looks like sea level has been falling drastically for about 70 years now.

    http://tidesandcurrents.noaa.gov/sltrends/sltrends_station.shtml?stnid=9452210

    How about Tuktoyaktuk, Canada where sea level has fallen 20 metres in the last 4,000 years.

  76. toby March 25, 2009 at 11:56 am #

    Gavin, anything to do with the recent king tides that were at 25 year highs in january?

    have you asked the locals to verify your findings? my experience is they would probably laugh at you. the coast line and sand dunes are constantly changing, at broullee island the rock platforms are the same as i remember them from 30 years ago when i first started diving there.
    i have no doubt you believe what you are “seeing”….but is it your bias that leads you to find ” proof” alongf the coast lines, and from planes etc?…you can of course equally throw this back in my face…hence i ask have you asked the locals? the ones i talk to are pretty sceptical.

  77. DG March 25, 2009 at 1:44 pm #

    The argument can be settled quite easily really. IPCC AR4 weighted its conclusions heavily on ocean heat content as the telltale sign for human induced global warming, and that only on 10 years of data.

    What makes some think OHC should ever diminish for any period of time? It should continue upward year after year if the CO2 AGW hypothesis is correct, particularly since humans have supposedly overridden ‘natural variation’.

    Is the following statement (the ubiquitous “smoking gun”) true or false? A very simple yes or no will do. No more obfuscation.
    http://pubs.giss.nasa.gov/docs/2005/2005_Hansen_etal_1.pdf

    “Our climate model, driven mainly by increasing human-made greenhouse
    gases and aerosols, among other forcings, calculates that Earth is now absorbing
    0.85 +/- 0.15 watts per square meter more energy from the Sun than it
    is emitting to space. This imbalance is confirmed by precise measurements of
    increasing ocean heat content over the past 10 years. Implications include (i) the
    expectation of additional global warming of about 0.6-C without further change
    of atmospheric composition; (ii) the confirmation of the climate system’s lag
    in responding to forcings, implying the need for anticipatory actions to avoid
    any specified level of climate change; and (iii) the likelihood of acceleration of
    ice sheet disintegration and sea level rise.”

    Sorry Luke & friends, there is no “heat in the pipeline”.

  78. gavin March 25, 2009 at 2:07 pm #

    Toby; “have you asked the locals? the ones i talk to are pretty sceptical”

    From experience; any conversation regarding the concept of rising sea levels is quite difficult, particularly with those still working in the marine industry. However not treading on the toes of young salts is my speciality. The best this year was when a tourist boat opperator at Akaroa in NZ claimed the storm surges (up tp 1M) keep damaging his landing platforms. Another in the Anakiwa area on the north coast claimed the inlet rose up through their boat house recently. Note, it’s hardly open sea anywhere in the Queen Charlotte Sound.

    With other interests I’m generally pretty keen to get all the oral and writen history that I can. Searching for extra clues is something I do almost every day with old wares, hand tools, instruments, vintage toys, sewing machines, kitchen ware and so on. I take the same approach with old mills, power stations, breweries, railways, motor transport, aircraft, ships and jettys. It’s this time frame I explore most.

    Beware though, probing the living memory requires a few tricks and lots of other references before developing any sort of accuracy. A good example is having a prior idea of which generation in the family actually played with a particular meccano or clockwork train set for the first time.

    Toby; I suggest you look up soon, any written history on the most likely instalation date for that piece of rusty old jetty rail on Broulee Is that still juts horizontally from the middens just above the high water mark. By my calculations the whole structure was most unlikely to have been built to suffer from periodic wave bashings back then.

    cheers

  79. toby March 26, 2009 at 11:57 am #

    Thx Gavin I will have a look…but erosion is substantial along the coast and storms and sea spray will of course cause rust. Also i would think they would build teh rail line on flat land…much of the island is not flat!

  80. John Watson March 26, 2009 at 12:40 pm #

    Re leaving the lights on during earth hour . I have always thought it was in poor taste to sit in our first world luxury in the dark for an hour as if to mock the third world who do not have access to cheap electricity like we do

  81. gary gulrud March 28, 2009 at 4:32 am #

    “If this is right then surely AGW is dead and buried’

    Along with Communism, the innate good in men, government as competent servant, and other empirical failures.

    Guess we’re on Zombie Time then.

  82. nanodrv7 April 19, 2009 at 7:47 pm #

    I live on a hill in Seattle. I have never seen so much snow on the mountains we call the Cascades to the east.
    Why we are entering a cooling phase according to Theodore Landscheidt, who died in 2004, and predicted all this.
    1. We have no sunspots, Teddy predicted this would happen.
    2. Sunspots create what is called a solar wind.
    3. Solar wind knocks away cosmic rays. Cosmic rays come from outer space. Things like supernova. They are actually atoms without the electrons.
    4. Cosmic rays seed clouds and makes rain.
    5. No clouds clear sky. Sun warms earth and especially the ocean. Because the ocean is dark and has what is called a low albedo. Ocean albdo about 10%.
    6. If you have dark clouds, believe it or not. The other side of that cloud is a bright white. (rocket science?). This bright white is reflecting the suns energy into space. The earth gets only so much energy a year. If we don’t get it from sunshine we go to the bank (eg. the ocean) and get it from there.
    7. The ocean is really big in scientific terms.
    8. If the ocean loses heat the earth loses heat. (more rocket science).
    9. We and our plants get cold. Our plants get cold, we get hungry.
    10. If the earth gets cold and warm clouds come in we have storms. If it is cold enough it snows. If the sun doesn’t melt the snow. The snow stays where it is. unless you get off your lazy bum and shovel it away.
    11. Like the other side of clouds, snow is very white and has a high albedo. More energy is reflected into outer space and warms up the martians, but we and our plants and oceans get colder.
    12. We go to the bank some more, but pretty soon everybody on earth is cold.
    13. Teddy warned us this would happen. Is it what you want?
    14. If the Russians get cold they have what are called nuclear weapons. They produce a lot of heat. If they are hungry they would probably ask for food. If we don’t give it to them. We should probably think this out. What would you do if you were hungry?
    15. All this thinking because you are too lazy to shovel a little snow.

  83. Roland Storbeck June 24, 2012 at 4:33 am #

    Anyone with a rudimentary grasp of thermodynamics knows that the oceans can absorb vast amounts of heat and not change significantly. The rate of evaporation is totally being overlooked by these buoys in addition to most people in the global warming debate. Those who argue that there is no AGW as evidenced by increased snowfall in Calgary or even increased glacier growth are missing the point entirely. Scientists tell us that during the last ice age sea levels were as much as 200 feet below current levels worldwide and glaciers were up to 2 miles thick. Now, how can all that moisture leave the oceans to form 2 mile thick glaciers since we can all agree that water can’t flow uphill? Anyone?? Yes boys and girls, global warming can and will trigger an ice age. Please get away from this “Global Warming” smokescreen and concentrate on “Climate Change” for proper perspective. Sea level temperatures are totally irrelevant.

  84. uninformedLuddite June 24, 2012 at 11:38 am #

    I’m no expert Gavin but when water ‘rises’ up through a boat it’s often because the boat is sinking.

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