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T_Rat • 6 years ago

There are two errors in the authors initial arguments against climate change. The author correctly describes climate change as a positive feedback loop but then questions its validity because he cannot find a similar positive feedback loop in nature. The problem here is time scale and location.

Unending positive feedback loops are impossible because they would eventually change their environment and the mechanism of the feedback. But there are many short term positive feedback loops. The avalanche he mentions is at the level of the snowflakes within the fall a positive feedback loop, a layer of snowflakes slides down, which reduces friction of adjacent layer which slides, which reduces friction of adjacent layer... but, in the end, the system is exhausted as the author points out, no more snow layers, no more hill. Climate change is no different but the time span is much larger and the resources greater. A hill has only so much snow and elevation. The word has only so much CO2 and methane. The problem is that civilization and comfortable modern life is not compatible with the changes that will have occurred long before CO2 and Methane are maxed out.

The second error the author makes is the local compensation metaphor, water is heated and evaporates producing local cooling. Climate change is not a local affect, it is a global one. Thus one cannot excuse the changed of he entire system by the compensatory effects locally.

Rashid Ahmed • 7 years ago

Climate change prevention requires definite engineering solutions not endlessly overlapping techno-scientific debates which are imposing further impossibilities. There are three simultaneous actions to be dared for positive outcome. These include diversion to renewable options, carbon capture and storage, and control over stray bio-degradation. Water vapor need not be worried for action despite being dominant GHG simply because it is not outside the natural hydrological cycle while other GHG members are.

IskurBlast • 8 years ago

Its been my experience on eng-tips that despite engineers being skeptical as is the case with all such internet forums the "progressives" have weaseled their way into moderation.

Brian • 9 years ago

Good article! A well rounded and complete review of the global warming debate. Or maybe I'm supposed to call it climate change.. Tomato tomato..

Guest • 9 years ago

Arrhenius warming does not exist.
Atmosphere is warmed, not from below, but from above,
where there is more energy/molecule (kinetic+potential)

Bob The Guy Thats Bored • 9 years ago

Ah global warming, arguing and complaining at its finest. :)

IskurBlast • 9 years ago

I first started to question it when I first read about teleconnections. The claim that because a proxy like a tree in Wyoming correlates for a short calibration period to a temperature record on the other side of the world like say Shanghai. That the tree in Wyoming is really a proxy for Shanghai and can be used to reconstruct temperature for Shanghai for its whole record. This was the most unscientific crap I had ever read and I couldn't believe that it had made its way into the literature. It kind of reminded me of antipodes. It was at that point I realized that if that could make it in the climate literature any bull could.

Mark Bofill • 9 years ago

BTW all,

Regarding the "science" and doubts concerning it, I'd like to explain where and when I started seriously questioning our understanding of AGW. For those who are not familliar with AR4's SPM, Projections of Future Climate Change:

For the next two decades, a warming of about 0.2°C per decade is projected for a range of SRES emission scenarios. Even if the concentrations of all greenhouse gases and aerosols had been kept constant at year 2000 levels, a further warming of about 0.1°C per decade would be expected. {10.3, 10.7}

Since IPCC’s first report in 1990, assessed projections have suggested global average temperature increases between about 0.15°C and 0.3°C per decade for 1990 to 2005. This can now be compared with observed values of about 0.2°C per decade, strengthening confidence in near-term projections. {1.2, 3.2}
Model experiments show that even if all radiative forcing agents were held constant at year 2000 levels, a further warming trend would occur in the next two decades at a rate of about 0.1°C per decade, due mainly to the slow response of the oceans. About twice as much warming (0.2°C per decade) would be expected if emissions are within the range of the SRES scenarios. Best-estimate projections from models indicate that decadal average warming over each inhabited continent by 2030 is insensitive to the choice among SRES scenarios and is very likely to be at least twice as large as the corresponding model-estimated natural variability during the 20th century. {9.4, 10.3, 10.5, 11.2–11.7, Figure TS.29}

I've heard the excuses. Oh, the heat is going into the oceans. Oh, we underestimated natural variability. So on. All of that may well be so. But, as an engineer, I don't care what the excuses are. Either you understand the system well enough to predict it's behavior or you don't. The IPCC demonstrated that the recognized best science we had could not predict the behaviour of the system correctly. Worse, they didn't even know they couldn't ahead of time. They even went so far as to say 'Even if the concentrations..had been kept at year 2000 levels, a further warming of 0.1C per decade would be expected.'. They were ~spectacularly~ wrong.

You know, I don't need to like the results. I don't even have to understand the science to accept it. I don't like quantum physics ~at all~. Makes no sense to me. I wish it weren't so. Still, you don't find me disputing quantum physics. Why? Because it works - because it has been demonstrated that it can be used to make useful and accurate predictions about things in reality that we care about.

Get back in touch with me when the science can make predictions or projections that have been verified for a couple of decades after the fact and I will take you very seriously indeed. I REALLY mean that. I will. But it's not my fault that the IPCC shot its wad early in AR4 and made claims it shouldn't have, and I'm not about to blindly trust that those guys know what they're talking about again until they demonstrate it. If anybody thinks that makes me some sort of anti-science denier, so be it. In my view, it's called not being gullible, and it's part of my professional responsibility as an engineer to avoid being gullible, regardless of whether or not anybody likes it.

dave peters • 9 years ago

David -- You were rolling along there quite even-handedly, until paragraph #6.. As a devout warmist, I would rather put the gist of the feedback, as: Clausius-Clapeyron. Not the Mann, Bradley, Hughes tree ring assessment.

Without Clapeyron feedback, there ain't a problem. Course, there ain't no Pleistocene, neither. No Yosemite.

And, on the MBH graph, you ought realize that what we now know, but did not when it was published, is that more than a third of that "blade" evolved from the Pacific within 12 months (9/97 thru 8/98, year over year increase in anomaly of 0.55 F., as per NASA GISS). Still, it sure looks like something has changed on the Earth. Not the sun, cause we measure it to a one-permill variance, post 1979, yet an already heated surface warms faster. And all those mid-century flat decades put the knife to your dismissal of MBH. So, have you any suggestion what that abrupt reversal of nine centuries of cooling was caused by? You offer none.

Most of the rest of your writing is re-hashed Heartland riffs. The heart of the matter is Clausius Clapeyron. And the observed warming. Factually undermine the former, or find reasons for dismissing the latter, and I'm all ears.

Jeff Norman • 9 years ago

david peters,

Clausius-Clapeyron! Of course that explains everything. Not.

Perhaps you might explain what you think you are saying when you invoke this incantation. I am familiar with the Clausius-Clapeyron equation (a model of phase changes) but I am curious how you think this applies to the atmosphere.

At one point it was thought the missing heat had gone into creating more water vapor, but try as they might they could not find any evidence of this, hence the newer deep ocean idea.

And, on the MBH graph, you ought to realize that we now know, but did not when it was published, is that ALL of the blade is annual northern hemisphere temperatures based from thermometer measurements at weather stations, while ALL of the stick is alleged proxy temperature indications for the northern hemisphere averaged over decades and centuries. It is also known that these proxy indications stopped increasing in the post 1979 period but this fact was concealed by the IPCC in their assessment reports.

What percentage of the total spectrum of the Sun’s emissions do you believe has been continuously measured since 1979?

dave peters • 9 years ago

Jeff -- If you are aware of ANY published interpretation of Pleistocene glaciation, which does not rely upon the inherent amplification of a warmed atmosphere holding elevated water vapor during the interglacial epochs, and the chilled atmosphere holding far less vapor during glacial periods, please forward a citation. Perhaps you doubt that Milankovich is rather firmly established geophysics? If not, it is difficult to engineer the phase shift without BOTH vapor feedback, per Clapeyron, & CO2 + CH4 radiative assistance. By themselves, the astro cycles are too weak.

My faith that the world is warming is perversely personal. Where my Great-grandmother drove her sleigh to market in rural Ohio at Thanksgiving, in the 1890's, I experienced it to snow each winter, by New Years, and for the snow to endure until the spring thaw. That in the 1950's. By the 1980's, there was no lasting snow cover, and seldom frozen ground. Also, in 1977, my girlfriend's Dad explained how he skippered the first N-sub under the Arctic Cap in the mid-fifties--creeping carefully for days in search of rare spots near the pole where they could surface. Now, 2/3rds of that ice has melted away (PIOMAS).

You don't find the Academy believable, but place your faith in the Heartland minimalists, whole hog? Let's say that runs contrary to my experience, and folks I worked with in research, at the Department of Energy, and those they interacted with at the Academy of Sciences, who really did posses superior minds. Their perspicacity, intuition, intelligence, and lifelong curiosity distinguished them in an unmistakably obvious manner, from the likes of Fred Singer and What's Up With Watts. Sorry.

Jeff Norman • 9 years ago

dave peters,

That was an odd response. At least I assume it was a response because you addressed it to “Jeff” and as far as I know I am the only Jeff posting here so far.

I can’t and don’t and didn’t argue about warmer air potentially containing more moisture.

Thank you for witnessing your faith that the world has warmed. It was an odd choice of words. I know global temperatures have increased by all the records available to us. An expression of faith has religious overtones, not that religion is all bad.

So your father was Commander William R. Anderson? According to Wikipedia he did not have any sons named Dave or Peters. In fact he didn’t have any sons. So what is your story again?

Having witnessed your faith you then go on to attribute a “faith in the Heartland minimalists” to me. What does that even mean? I have never interacted with the Heartland minimalists. I don’t even know if they have a web site. So your attribution is incorrect. I can see why you thought the people at the DOE had superior minds. It is all relative.

Like I said, an odd response, totally non-responsive. In an attempted to revive a civil discourse, I will ask again, what percentage of the total spectrum of the Sun’s emissions do you believe has been continuously measured since 1979?

dave peters • 9 years ago

J -- All for civility on this end. Don't know what you're fishing for w/the % flux query. I assume if I've seen hundreds of such plots labeled in watts/m^2, that they represent the energy flux. I vaguely recall encountering some commentary that very far up the skew photons were missed, and they could alter stratosphere doings, and perhaps OH^- concentrations, but admit to ignorance. Why not sock it to me, (w/your point)?

By the by, not trying to be snarky here, as I deliberately use forceful language, but try to keep things non-personal. My first speel was directed at the author. Yours to me begins with a sarcastic first line, ending in "Not". [So!] Then you up that to "incantation". [A 1% hike in temp compels a 20% hike in vapor.] Which I interpreted as your disbelief. There was an excellent interchange between a deep-in-the-weeds modeler from Columbia U. i think, and a rat-full of disbelievers, on Dr. Curry's site about a month ago. I could fish for that link, if your interest is genuine.

By the time you typed "missing heat" I guess the bull just saw the red cape, and went for it. What can I say?. [I don't believe any heat has gone missing.] Engineer Simson's piece, to me is a politely couched screed of anti-science Heartland top forties. You are absolutely correct that my conflating all of that, with your quips above, your reservations with MBH, and the spectrum query--was just wrong. And, as you put, "odd". I apologize.

Warren • 9 years ago

The Clausius Clapeyron equation explains why the amount of water vapor in the atmosphere depends almost entirely on the temperature of the atmosphere.. the explanation given in the post is that as the atmosphere cools down, water vapor condenses out, and as the atmosphere warms, it absorbs more water vapor. A simplified explanation, but basically correct. The importance of this is that while water vapor accounts for the largest portion of the Greenhouse effect that elevates Earth's temperature ~60F over and above its 'no-atmosphere' calculated temp of ~0F, its effect is relatively stable since the total amount of Earth's atmospheric water vapor doesn't change, EXCEPT (and here is the key point) as the avg temp of Earth has warmed since 1880 due to a 40% increase it atmospheric CO2 which increased the CO2 portion of the Greenhouse effect, water vapor content of Earth's atmosphere has increased according to the C-C equation at the average rate of 0.7% per decade. This gradual increase in water vapor has amplified the original warming of the earth caused by CO2 increase.
So your point about the 'missing heat' going into the atmosphere's water vapor is an impossibility. The ocean's have been warming at the rate of 4 Hiroshima size bombs per second (by measurement, not speculation, as you infer) , while cyclical weather events explain the temporarily slower rate of rise of atmospheric temperatures over the last 17 years. The IPCC and other Scientists studying AGW use a 30 year minimum time fram when looking for evidence of AGW; 20 years is simply too short to be meaningful.
Finally, your point about the sun is important. Changes in the sun's output are cyclic, with about an 11 year cycle, and much smaller than the changes in the Greenhouse Effect due to CO2 increase. Furthermore, considering where we are in the sun's cycle now vs the 70s, the suns current output is slightly reduced from the 1970s; so the sun has exerted a slight cooling effect on the earth since the 1970s, and if the sun's output had been flat from the 70s till now, the earth would have warmed even more than it has.

Jeff Norman • 9 years ago


That was a great response. Thank you.

While it is true that the Earth has warmed since 1880, the 40% increase in atmospheric CO2 occurred predominantly after 1945. The temperature increase prior to 1945 is similar to the temperature increase after 1945. The IPCC is careful not to claim the warming prior to 1945 is attributable to anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions.

And my point is that the moisture content of the Earth’s atmosphere has not been increasing as modeled “according to the C-C equation” according to the radiosonde measurements and more recently the satellite measurements.

The part you missed is that the latent heat of vaporization could vastly increase the enthalpy of the atmosphere without appreciably increasing the temperature. But like I said, there has been no measured increase in the moisture content of the earth’s atmosphere.

It is not clear who you are addressing your “20 years is simply too short to be meaningful” unless you are referring the temperature increase between 1977 and 1996.

My point about the Sun was actually a question. What percentage of the total spectrum of the Sun’s emissions do you believe has been continuously measured since 1979?

Warren • 9 years ago

You say "While it is true that the Earth has warmed since 1880, the 40% increase in atmospheric CO2 occurred predominantly after 1945. The temperature increase prior to 1945 is similar to the temperature increase after 1945. The IPCC is careful not to claim the warming prior to 1945 is attributable to anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions."

My response: Agreed, except the year is 1951 rather than 1945. There is a multi-decade time lag between CO2 rise and temperature rise, due to flywheel effects -- not the least of which is the heat capacity of the oceans. So it may be that the research has not established the characteristics of this flywheel effect with enough precision to warrant attribution before 1951.

You say: "...moisture content of the Earth’s atmosphere has not been increasing .. according to the radiosonde measurements and more recently the satellite measurements."

My answer: I'd never heard this claim before, so I did some checking and found this peer-reviewed reference on skepticalscience.com: "Satellites have observed an increase in atmospheric water vapour by about 0.41 kg/m² per decade since 1988. A detection and attribution study, otherwise known as "fingerprinting", was employed to identify the cause of the rising water vapour levels (Santer 2007)." This conclusion is consistent with what I've found in other sources. If you have found contradictory conclusions from another source, I'd be interested to know it.

You say "..not sure ..about '20 years is too short to be meaningful".

My answer: The World Meteorological Organization recommends the use of 30-year periods for climate statistics. The reason is that long-cycle weather patterns can dominate in shorter periods, and so climate trends may not be evident over less than a 30 year period.

You ask " What percentage of the total spectrum of the sun's emissions has been continuously measured since 1979?"

My answer: I've seen data taken back as far as the late 1800s. Here is a link to research on the general topic of solar radiation. Hope it helps: http://www.skepticalscience...

MichaelO • 9 years ago

David, thanks for a great read. It was refreshing, and, I felt reinforced to finally hear someone besides myself say that this has become religion. Unlike so many of your very learned commenters, and I read them all as of 3:30 am, August 20th GMT, okay, I admit, I started breezing over some of warren's--but only because he was repeating his arguments and I found his attacks on the provenance of the fellow from the House of Lords distasteful. Anyway, unlike so many here, I'm not a scientist, just a lowly BSEE. Worse yet, I mostly stopped formal practice of my trade about 5 years ago, when my health degenerated significantly and it was found that I'm genetically unsuited to sitting all day in windowless offices. I do miss it, but if I'm going to be around to be a father to my son, I need to work that requires much more physical activity. Now I work on boats. The sunshine is nice; the rain is not. Winter is tough, and, the money, well, there isn't any. But, back to your commenters, thank you all! It was a great read. Some of you really nailed your points. Some of you, I think were way off, but were mostly corrected by others so, you are all spared my sophomoric attempts at debate (not that my comment will likely be read--the nature of a reddit like voting system requires one to be prompt to be heard).

Being just a lowly Control Systems Engineer, what do I know? I'm less stressed about ACC than most--fools are so often at peace, not smart enough to worry. But, I do know a little about systems. One thing I know is that the ones that have been running for a long, long time are resilient. The idea that some new circumstance will suddenly spin them into wreckage is unlikely, as history demonstrates. They are well damped. A little asteroid here, a little man-made greenhouse gas there, they'll likely find a new equilibrium, not far from the last.

I feel some simpatico with you, David. I recall making myself quite unpopular years ago, when the CEO of our parent company, at the end of my presentation on the current status of the fuel cell program I had inherited a couple years before, asked me, "do you think this technology will ever be useful to us?"

"For marketing value? Sure. As far as generating a product that is profitable and useful to our customers? No. Never."

He could have asked me to elaborate, and I could have told him about the fact that hydrogen doesn't store well, or that the methanol versions exhausted a bit of methanol, which would eventually result in blindness to the user, or that some of the material used in the construction was incredibly rare (coming from a single mine in Russia controlled by a gangster, as a NASA Phd informed me), or that the need for a compressor on the liquid fueled types would always result in a noise level that precluded use in our market, or that the military's requirement for a version that ran on some variant of diesel or jet fuel was impossible, or other arguments that escape me now. But, lucky for me, unlike you, I wasn't asked to back up my assertion. What a fool I was. I could have lied and kept the funding while continuing to produce nothing useful! We both know that's a lot less work than generating objects with utility. I'm not sure many engineers would have done what I did. Like you said in one of your replies, companies are run by people. Did you add that people tend to do what is in their own best interests? I can't recall. It was fun for cocktail parties though. Folks were quite impressed that I was developing fuel cells, and had working prototypes at my disposal. They appeared quite deflated when they asked when they'd be able to buy a fuel cell powered car and I'd reply, "in Connecticut? In the winter? Never." They really wanted to do their part to save the planet--and I was pooping on that parade.

I'm not suggesting we shouldn't be concerned about ACC. I do think it is worthy of continued research. But, I think the focus is far, far too great. And the alternatives recommended are terrible. Batteries, for instance, which seem to be an integral part, an industry where I spent a decade, are an environmental nightmare. Recycle you say? Uh-huh. And where is that happening? Did they start up that plant in Ohio yet? Because I think that will be plant numero uno here in the USA. It isn't a technology issue. It's the energy required, and worse yet, the impossible regulatory hurdles to do it, make it not actually viable. Some Africans and South Americans are doing alright smashing open car batteries with hammers and getting the lead. I understand their children are ill. Is that considered recycling? Technically, they are recycling the batteries. Battery technology does continue to improve though. I think we'll get there--eventually. Should we discuss the manufacture of photovoltaic arrays? That's not exactly environmentally benign work there. Windmills are a little better: I'm sure we'll stop making them out of amines and polystyrene soon, or did folks think those blades were made of pixie dust and good will?

I think you left yourself open in a few spots. You didn't source or prove a few points. Then again, a blog that generates dialog is far more useful than one that does not. And educated responses save a lot of front end research if writing a paper. It seems you did just fine.

That was nice work on the 97% bit. I felt that had to be malarky.

I've enjoyed the dialog on the economics. One of my siblings once said to me, "the problem with a conspiracy theory is it gives the conspirators far too much credit." But, I'm going to go out on a limb here...when in Rome and all that. A green economy is just a vote-getting proposal. Germany tried it already. I don't think it's a stretch to say, they've got some good engineers over there, and, they aren't averse to buying domestic products, nor exporting quality manufactured goods. I understand they are moving to coal now. So, I must conclude, either Harvard Law School was graduating dingbats 25 years ago, or, actively reducing the global influence of the USA will not provide the leverage to force the world to legislate required environmental changes that would allow the USA to to become an economic powerhouse of green technology, and hard product production, by manufacturing in an increasingly stiff regulatory environment with increasing energy costs. It's got all the logic of believing that not building a pipeline will better the environment by shunting oil refining to China rather than the American Middle West. I'm sure China will refine that oil in a much more environmentally sound way. Facetiousness aside, I don't think the President actually thinks this will work. I think he thinks it will tug emotions, polarize, and get votes for his party.

The boats I work on live in salt water. Every system is experiencing an accelerated deterioration due to corrosion. If I went aboard and panicked about just one, and placed all of the owner's resources into trying to make it like new as quickly as possible, I would exhaust the resources and the craft would still quickly become undependable and unsuitable. We've got a lot going on, economies, energy, the water, the air, we've got to take a balanced approach. We can't exhaust all resources in just one area.

Also, your remarks about mankind's solutions often making things worse, wasn't MTBE a failed experiment, making the fuel burn cleaner and poisoning the water supply? I shudder to think about the pilot program for ethanol in the marine environment. It was done here in my home waters. The federal government decided not to inform us the marine fuel was now 10% ethanol, and mislabeled the pumps. The fuel sucks up so much water, that before the old engines mostly all failed, I watched boater after boater dump fuel filters half full of water and half gasoline right into the sea, replace them and motor away. Yes friends, it is still going on. 1000s of gallons of raw gasoline are dumped into sea water by commercial and recreational boaters due to the ethanol and its water problems. This is not better for the environment, no matter how much that 10% ethanol spares us a temperature rise. Of course, that's just the opinion of an engineer. I'm sure my scientist friends predicted such practicality issues in their research--or maybe folks who think scientists and engineers could somehow generate good results in isolation are drunk on ethanol, high on natural gas, and spewing greenhouse gas.

Mark Bofill • 9 years ago

David Simpson,

Nice article, good summary. I enjoyed it.

CIHR • 9 years ago

I know this sounds simplistic, but it's at moments like
this my suspicions rise such that the image of a too educated community hammering on each other using accepted protocol, scientific method, empirical data and peer reviewed hypothesis amounts to little more than intellectual masturbation out behind the gym.

DFordPE • 9 years ago

I've always been a believer in "follow the money"; how much money is being spent on at least investigating the opposite of ACC. I have personally been involved in alternative energy, electric vehicles and shady energy conservation programs. Were it not for government mandates and grants, none of them would exist.

JimCA • 9 years ago

No climate scientist anywhere believes that added CO2 will trigger an unrestricted positive feedback of temperature increases. That's a weird strawman argument for you to begin with.

The Stephan-Boltzman law (emitted radiation increases as the fourth power of temperature) is the fundamental dampening mechanism that ultimately prevents such runaway increases, no matter what else is going on.

What the physics DOES show, and has been known since the 19th century (even before quantum mechanics explained how) is that added CO2 in the atmosphere traps energy at the surface. That explains Fourier's initial conjecture in the 1820's that something in the Earth's atmosphere likely accounts for its much higher temperature than the moon, which has essentially the same very high altitude insolation.

If you don't think that raising CO2 levels will increase global temperatures, you have the likely insurmountable problem of explaining why the earth's surface is already on average about 60F warmer than the moon's surface. No one has ever presented a plausible explanation that doesn't include a dominate controlling role by CO2, with H2O as the dominant feedback amplifier.

Many scientists have tried (and without exception have failed) to produce some kind of negative feedback mechanism that would allow CO2 to increase without the obvious concomitant temperature increases already predicted form the very basic 19th century theory. There is no deus ex machina to save the day.

The models you decry are mainly involved in tracking the distribution of this energy, not its existence. Yes, that is a fantastically difficult problem, especially for predictions at small temporal/regional resolution. But it doesn't mean that the large scale results are meaningless or that we can ignore them without peril. Each year they get better. but they are already far, far beyond the predictive level needed to demand our attention. Waiting for perfection is a recipe for suicide.

Jeff Norman • 9 years ago


The physics does not show what you think it shows.

Additional CO2 in the Earth’s atmosphere (almost certainly put there by burning fossil fuels) slows down the radiative heat transfer from the troposphere resulting in higher temperatures in the troposphere. This expectation was presented in the earlier assessment reports with colorful charts showing warming in the mid-tropospheric atmosphere. This was supposed to be the finger print of anthropogenic global warming.

Higher temperatures in the troposphere were then supposed to slow down the radiative, convective and conductive heat transfer from the surface. This results in higher temperatures at the Earth’s surface.

The heat energy is not trapped, the emission of heat energy is slowed down.

At least that was the hypothesis. This tropospheric heat was supposed to be the finger print of anthropogenic global warming.

Since then the mid-troposphere hot spot has failed to materialize and it has generally disappeared from the assessment reports.

Also failing to materialize is the continuous heating of the Earth’s surface. This has necessitated a change in the hypothesis of anthropogenic global warming. Now the Earth is continuing to warm but the missing heat energy (and climate scientists generally agree that it is missing) is said to have entered into the oceans.

Part of my training as an engineer was years of thermodynamics: heat and mass balances, heat transfer and fluid mechanics. I also trained in process engineering learning how to control mass and energy flows to achieve desired ends. I was also trained in the use of instrumentation for monitoring and controlling these processes.

While the suggestion that the missing heat energy has gone into the oceans holds some appeal to some people, I have yet to hear a reasonable explanation of how this heat energy got into the oceans and how they think they were able to measure the fractions of degrees over numerous decades necessary to measure the change in enthalpy. Reading the papers where this is being suggested is not at all helpful. The general hand waving offered by people who accept this idea as fact only reinforces my skepticism.

JimCA • 9 years ago

Jeff, my replies keep vanishing. No idea why. If this one sticks around, I'll try again later..

JimCA • 9 years ago

One last attempt (no idea why posts keep vanishing):

Satellite measurements show that the earth is receiving 10^22 joules/year more radiation than it emits. Ocean measurements show they are heating by 10^22 joules/year. Basic theory already worked out in the 19th century predicts that the amount of CO2 we've released should heat the planet by about 10^22 joules/year.

Quibbling about the failure of models to precisely predict the movement of that heat among the atmosphere/land/ice/oceans (moving the goalposts for required precision each time the old ones are met) willfully ignores that family of elephants in the living room.

Mark Bofill • 9 years ago

Jim, I'll say this much. A heck of a lot of energy went into the oceans between say 1994 and 2003, an average of 10^22 joules per year. I think it's odd that the upper ocean heat increase leveled off. We certainly haven't seen 10^22 joules per year for the ~last~ ten years in the top 1000 meters of the ocean.

Is it really going to the bottom? Well, guess it's possible. As you've said, it's a heck of a lot of energy. It can only hide for so long at the bottom. I estimate an absolute maximum of 34 years before the bottom would start outwarming the top, which can't happen; the top would have to be warming at that point too.

The oceans and Argo will certainly give us the truth in the end. The question might be settled in my lifetime.

JimCA • 9 years ago

The heating of the upper ocean has not even slowed down.

Over the past ten years, the top 700 meters has been gaining about one half of the 10^22 joules / year going into the oceans as a whole.

Mark Bofill • 9 years ago

Which study found that?

JimCA • 9 years ago

I'm tried to answering this, just to see the posts vanish.

riverat • 9 years ago

Jim, my answer to no links allowed is to rewrite the links so they don't come through as links. I drop the http part and replace the period with "(dot)" and that seems ok.

Mark Bofill • 9 years ago

It's OK Jim. I think posts with links vanish. What I've got from the answers I've seen are good enough for me.
Don't misconstrue that I am content for agreement, lest this lead you to think of me as a 'fake denier'. I am not persuaded, but I'm content to let the conversation rest. :) I've appreciated the time you've spent discussing this with me, thank you.

JimCA • 9 years ago

Someone keeps deleting my answers.

JimCA • 9 years ago

I've replied twice -- both disappeared.

Shorter answer: google for "ocean warming" images since 2014
Then follow links to sources.

Mark Bofill • 9 years ago

BTW, I think you might be experiencing a local problem with viewing your own responses, only because ~I~ can still see (presumably all or most?) of your previous responses, like Balmaseda, Levitus, etc.

JimCA • 9 years ago

Links don't work here. And apparently posts disappear if I cite research papers. What gives???

Just search for Google images "ocean warming meters" restricted to 2014 to present. You'll be able to see various graphs and link from there.

Or see your myth (#31 I think) debunked at the skeptical science site.


JimCA • 9 years ago

Links don't work here.

Look for

Levitus et al., Geophysical Research Letters, 2012

Nuccetelli et al, Physics Letters A, 2012 -- in particular, see Figure 1 there.

Balmaseda et al., Geophysical Research Letters, 2013.


Or go to the Argo website and look for the list of publications associated with it.

Or just use Google search of images for "ocean warming meters" to locate dozens of graphs depicting what is being measured.

IskurBlast • 9 years ago

Why not go to the ARGO website and look at the actual measured data instead of following a link to a reanalysis model output that some hack is trying to call real data?

JimCA • 9 years ago

Because they in turn link to the ARGO data. Their data and methods are available for all to see.


IskurBlast • 9 years ago

That doesn't mean its real data or even correct. Its model output. The models are running hotter than the data so the reanalysis model output runs hotter than the data.

Like I said this is a pig in a poke. These reanalysises aren't intended to convince anyone who knows what a reanlaysis is. They are intended to convince people who are too ignorant to know what a reanalysis is.

In other words they are intended to fool you Jim, and they worked.

JimCA • 9 years ago

Once it has passed peer-review the presumption is that it IS real and correct.

If you want to claim otherwise, the burden is on *YOU* to prove otherwise. If you have an actual case to make that would support your conspiracy theory, publish it. The fact that *NO ONE* is doing so speaks volumes.

As they say in the vernacular, "Put up or shut up".

IskurBlast • 9 years ago

Your argument about peer-review while hopelessly wrong is a moot point. Nothing in any paper says this is real data. This is a reanalysis. Model output initialized with data. You have no idea what you are talking about.

JimCA • 9 years ago

I give up. You're right. This is all a vast conspiracy started nearly 200 years ago by European scientists, and has now grown to include every scientific organization on the planet, representing millions of scientists, based on the incredibly flimsy base of thermodynamics, quantum mechanics, and tens of thousands of research projects and reports summarizing billions of data points.

How foolish of me to be taken in by all that.

IskurBlast • 9 years ago

Who said anything about a vast conspiracy. Science advances one funeral at a time and has always been subject to group think. You don't need a conspiracy just big egos winch academics have in spades.

JimCA • 9 years ago

If you're going to quote Planck you might stop to consider that the scientists expressing doubt about AGW are disproportionally octogenarians or older. The paradigm shift is TOWARDS recognition of AGW.

IskurBlast • 9 years ago

Modern education is indoctrination.

JimCA • 9 years ago


I'm torn between pointing out that

(a) YOU are the one that endorsed the notion of generational paradigm shifts,
which you now denigrate when it doesn't suit your agenda,


(b) you just recently asked "Who said anything about a vast conspiracy?",
yet you now claim one.

Do you ever stop to listen to what you are saying?

IskurBlast • 9 years ago

It doesn't take a conspiracy for a professor to be an egotistical dick. Most profs are egotistical dicks who reward those who parrot them.

JimCA • 9 years ago

So how does that translate to virtually all new scientists worldwide coming to accept the reality of AGW?

If you think it's not because they're simply looking honestly at the evidence, and if you also believe it's not some kind of conspiracy, what would account for it?

IskurBlast • 9 years ago

Says who? I haven't seen a vote of scientists. Just activists counting papers or the politically appointed boards of scientific bodies issuing statements that their membership has no say in. Fox and hen house if you ask me. You did know that the boards of most "scientific academies" are political appointees right?

The national academy of science was founded to provide politicians with scientific cover against Darwinism. Views and issues of the day may have changed but the purpose of the "scientific academies" remain the same.

If you have ever had the misfortune of doing project work for a local government you would know full well that every state and local government has a division of the state university whos job it is to review projects. You will quickly find that they will always reach the conclusion that the legislature wants them to reach. I once sent data that would take at least a month probably 2 to process to one such body. They returned their recommendation to the legislature in less than a week. Guess what? It was the exact recommendation the legislature wanted. Now it was no skin of my back it was what we wanted but it was clear that his body was simply a rubber stamp for the legislature. As are all such bodies.

You obviously have no professional experience. If you don't understand just how corrupt the real world is.

Mark Bofill • 9 years ago

Whoa, wait. I wasn't remembering that right.

Why is it that on the argo page I read this?


Domingues et al (2008) and Levitus et al (2009) have
recently estimated the multi-decadal upper ocean heat content using best-known corrections to systematic errors in the fall rate of
expendable bathythermographs (Wijffels et al, 2008). For the upper 700m, the increase in heat content was 16 x 1022 J since 1961. This is consistent with the comparison by Roemmich and Gilson (2009) of Argo data with the global temperature time-series of Levitus et al (2005), finding a warming of the 0 - 2000 m ocean by 0.06°C since the (pre-XBT) early 1960's.

It's late and I'm not recomputing right now, but I think the 10^22 joules we were talking about are required to get 0.06C warming of the upper 700m of the ocean; that'd be 50 years not 10.
Gah I'll look at it again tomorrow or next time I'm feeling bored.

Mark Bofill • 9 years ago

Okay, and yet 'Robust warming of the global upper ocean' claims a heck of a lot more warming than that, from 94-03.

Well, all of these studies can't be right, that's all I can say. They aren't consistent.

~sigh~ whatever. In the end, ARGO will give us the truth.