free html hit counter Peak Oil Debunked: 346. THE OCEAN IS STRANGELY COOL

Thursday, April 10, 2008


Here's another interesting factoid on global warming. Apparently, as far as the oceans are concerned, global warming is currently on vacation:
They drift along in the worlds' oceans at a depth of 2,000 metres -- more than a mile deep -- constantly monitoring the temperature, salinity, pressure and velocity of the upper oceans.

Then, about once every 10 days, a bladder on the outside of these buoys inflates and raises them slowly to the surface gathering data about each strata of seawater they pass through. After an upward journey of nearly six hours, the Argo monitors bob on the waves while an onboard transmitter sends their information to a satellite that in turn retransmits it to several land-based research computers where it may be accessed by anyone who wishes to see it.

These 3,000 yellow sentinels --about the size and shape of a large fence post -- free-float the world's oceans, season in and season out, surfacing between 30 and 40 times a year, disgorging their findings, then submerging again for another fact-finding voyage.

It's fascinating to watch their progress online. (The URLs are too complex to reproduce here, but Google "Argo Buoy Movement" or "Argo Float Animation," and you will be directed to the links.)

When they were first deployed in 2003, the Argos were hailed for their ability to collect information on ocean conditions more precisely, at more places and greater depths and in more conditions than ever before. No longer would scientists have to rely on measurements mostly at the surface from older scientific buoys or inconsistent shipboard monitors.

So why are some scientists now beginning to question the buoys' findings? Because in five years, the little blighters have failed to detect any global warming. They are not reinforcing the scientific orthodoxy of the day, namely that man is causing the planet to warm dangerously. They are not proving the predetermined conclusions of their human masters. Therefore they, and not their masters' hypotheses, must be wrong.

Loved this bit:

Just look how tenaciously some scientists are prepared to cling to the climate change dogma. "It may be that we are in a period of less rapid warming," Dr. Willis told NPR.

Yeah, you know, like when you put your car into reverse you are causing it to enter a period of less rapid forward motion. Or when I gain a few pounds I am in a period of less rapid weight loss.

Does this mean global warming has stopped or reversed? Probably not, but you never know. In any case, it's quite interesting.

More info on this topic:
Ocean Cooling and Global Warming
The Mystery of Global Warming's Missing Heat

by JD


At Thursday, April 10, 2008 at 9:13:00 AM PDT, Anonymous b said...

"It is a well-established fact that human activities are heating up the planet and that global temperatures will continue to rise for decades to come. Climate change skeptics often highlight certain scientific results as a means of confusing this issue, and that appears to be the case with Mr. Gunter’s description of our recent results based on data from Argo buoys.

Indeed, Argo data show no warming in the upper ocean over the past four years, but this does not contradict the climate models. In fact, many climate models simulate four to five year periods with no warming in the upper ocean from time to time. The same is true for the warming trend observed by NASA satellites; it too is in good agreement with climate model simulations. But more important than agreement with computer models is the fact that four years with no warming in the upper ocean does not erase the 50 years of warming we’ve seen since ocean temperature measurements became widespread…."

At Thursday, April 10, 2008 at 1:50:00 PM PDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

JD was fast becoming my new hero and then he goes and becomes a global warming denier...

one of your sources was Lomberg. LOMBERG.

At Thursday, April 10, 2008 at 2:00:00 PM PDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

meanwhile, back in reality...

"Warming trends in a third of the world's large ocean regions are two to four times greater than previously reported averages, increasing the risk to marine life and fisheries, a UN-backed environmental study said."

At Thursday, April 10, 2008 at 3:28:00 PM PDT, Blogger bc said...

Oh dear, I think JD has really lost it. This is yet another of the denier's nuggets that get passed around, but is based on old science. The data has since been reviewed and found to be in error. Of course, the deniers hang onto the old data.

GW denial is like believing that the Moon landing were a hoax, or 9/11 was set up by the US government. For some people it's a trendy belief, to me it signals "gullible fool".

Oddly, there is no particular pattern, some believe PO and AGW, some neither, some one and not the other. Sadly, I am forced to conclude once again that all these people are irrational and just believe things at random, and actually I am the only truly smart person around.

At Thursday, April 10, 2008 at 3:31:00 PM PDT, Blogger bc said...

Oh, I forgot the punchline.

GW denial is not cool.

At Thursday, April 10, 2008 at 4:58:00 PM PDT, Blogger JD said...

This is yet another of the denier's nuggets that get passed around, but is based on old science. The data has since been reviewed and found to be in error.

You're confused. This is Dr. Willis writing in the National Post on March 31, 2008:

"Indeed, Argo data show no warming in the upper ocean over the past four years, but this does not contradict the climate models."

So the data was still unrefuted 11 days ago.

At Thursday, April 10, 2008 at 5:03:00 PM PDT, Blogger JD said...

Here's the Link for the above.

At Thursday, April 10, 2008 at 7:29:00 PM PDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hmm. Interesting. The solar cycle theory predicted that 2005 would be the temperature peak (more or less) and that from then until 2030 it's all downhill.

After 2030 another warming cycle starts, but that one won't be as large the last one.

Certainly this last winter was a bear. In fact, it's been below normal since last August.

At Thursday, April 10, 2008 at 8:13:00 PM PDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"So the data was still unrefuted 11 days ago"


Willis does not refute his own data.

He simply continues to say that it is one small piece in the greater data pool and by itself does not nullify climatic models.

Look at the data over time.

Stuff goes up and down in great big waves.

In between the peaks and troughs there's lots of little ups and downs.

Does this small data set foretell a major change in the climate?

Possible, but way to early to call the game.

It's only one out.

At Thursday, April 10, 2008 at 10:45:00 PM PDT, Blogger JC said...

It's not unusual for the ocean to show short term cooling during the long term warming. This page puts the ocean cooling into context:

At Friday, April 11, 2008 at 3:07:00 AM PDT, Anonymous luisdias said...

JD, I hate to say it but you lost it.

When the scientist speaks like this:

"But in fact there's a little bit of a mystery. We can't account for all of the sea level increase we've seen over the last three or four years," he says.

he is not referring to the "missing heat" that should be happening according to models, and is not. He is referring to actual warming which is not detected by the buoys, but by the rising oceans:

"That becomes clear when you consider what's happening to global sea level. Sea level rises when the oceans get warm because warmer water expands. This accounts for about half of global sea level rise. So with the oceans not warming, you would expect to see less sea level rise. Instead, sea level has risen about half an inch in the past four years. That's a lot."

What's clear in this, is not an inconsistency between data and models (and the subsequent stubburness by the models, aka "GW dogma"), but between datas and datas.

You should be more careful with scientists, JD, they don't like dogmas, they actually like even more these kind of challenges. It gives them more work to do.

At Friday, April 11, 2008 at 4:00:00 AM PDT, Blogger JD said...

It's not unusual for the ocean to show short term cooling during the long term warming.

Hi jc,
Assuming this wasn't just a drive-by to post your link, I've got a quick question:

*Why* does the ocean show periods of short term cooling? We know why it heats up: anthropogenic CO2. What is it that impedes/overrides the effect of CO2 to allow temporary ocean cooling to take place?

At Friday, April 11, 2008 at 4:47:00 AM PDT, Anonymous Morgoth said...

I hate the term "denier". It is only ever used by zealots and cult types. They are the same people who tell you "the debate is over". Anyone who says that is pursuing some other agenda. Or an idiot. The debate in never over. These are the same people who quote Al Gore as a source!
Climate science is far to complicated for the debate to be over.
Personally i am prepared to accept (not believe) AGW. But i think deforestation would be more of a culprit than C02. And i dont think the debate is over by a long shot.But what do i know.....

At Friday, April 11, 2008 at 7:08:00 AM PDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just thought I'd let you know that the EIA just released numbers showing a new production record in January for C+C. I think Stuart Staniford is waiting to apologize to you at TOD.

At Friday, April 11, 2008 at 8:47:00 AM PDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"I hate the term "denier". It is only ever used by zealots and cult types. They are the same people who tell you "the debate is over"."

That, IMHO, is an overstatement.

I think we can break the greater population down into roughly four (five?) catagories.

1. True believers.

Global warming is happening. End of discussion.

2. Probable, but withholding final judgment.

I image most climate scientists would place themselves here. Any good scientist avoids "always" and "never" positions and leaves a little escape route just in case new data appears.

Those of us who can't access the data first hand but believe in the scientific process probably put ourselves here.

3. Not likely but possible.

People who arent' yet convinced, but are keeping an open mind.

4. Deniers.

Ain't happening. Rush told me so. End of story. You're all goin' to Hell.


5. What's global warming?

I don't think there's anything wrong with being a #2 or #3. Especially if you're a #3 who recognizes that we could be in for a world of hurt and starting to take some evasive actions isn't a bad idea.

I don't think there are many #1s. If there are, they're not making a lot of noise.

But the #4s, the "deniers", are a royal PITA on the web. They shout and scream in the middle of discussions and flood forums with misinformation. They attempt to bully others into their belief system.

They post just plain weird and incorrect "facts" that do nothing but confuse the discussion.

The cherry-pick the data and when they find one outlying data point they declare global warming a lie.

The "deniers" are out there. And they're doing the rest of us a disservice.

The #5s - the clueless?

Not a problem as long as too many of our decision makers don't fall into that category.

At Friday, April 11, 2008 at 9:21:00 AM PDT, Anonymous Coupe De Ville said...

I appreciate JD for his lack of drama or dire predictions for the future of humanity when he deals with energy issues. The doomers really bug me.

But it definitely seems very premature to make a declaration that Global Warming is a non-issue. It's not hard to think that there may be cycles of temperature change. So as the temperature goes up - a well documented phenomena - there are likely to be cycles where the temperature remains the same or drops for a period. We see cycles in the natural world at all levels. So it just doesn't seem like a far fetched idea.

It also seems fairly intuitive that the sheer volume of emissions by world civilization is likely having a significant impact on the planet. It's not being shrill or irrational to consider the full costs of our activities. In fact I would say it's essential. We do need to be able to be adaptive.

At Friday, April 11, 2008 at 9:36:00 AM PDT, Anonymous GreenNeck said...

Climate is driven by several factors, atmospheric CO2 is just one of them. Looking back at the temperature trends since the late 1800s (more or less when the CO2 concentration began to increase as a result of coal, and then oil burning), we don't see a straight linear progression. There has been other episodes of cooling, most notably in the 1950-1975 period. However, the overall trend has been warming, as witnessed by clear evidence such as glaciers receding.

I would not conclude anything from the recent apparent cooling.

Even that cooling is debatable. While we had a fairly severe winter in N. America, Scandinavia had no winter to speak of. 250-year old temperature records have been broken in Sweden.,1518,540083,00.html

At Friday, April 11, 2008 at 6:22:00 PM PDT, Blogger JD said...

I would not conclude anything from the recent apparent cooling.

Nobody here is "concluding anything". Like I said, it's an interesting factoid.

As usual, everyone seems to be mostly interested in delivering boring, repetitive sermons on the evils of GW denial, even though no one here is denying GW.

As opposed to answering the important question which this factoid raises:

*Why* is the ocean cooling? Clearly there hasn't been any slackening of the CO2 concentrations/emissions.

At Friday, April 11, 2008 at 6:52:00 PM PDT, Blogger JD said...

But it definitely seems very premature to make a declaration that Global Warming is a non-issue.

I've made no declaration that GW is a non-issue, as you can easily verify by reading what I wrote. I'm making a declaration that the upper ocean has shown no warming in the last 4 years. That is a fact, attested to by Prof. Willis, who has a peer-reviewed paper coming out shortly to that effect.

Merely stating that "cooling occurs sometimes" is not an adequate explanation. It's not an adequate explanation for the atmospheric cooling which occurred from the 1940s-70s, and climate scientists recognize this. That's why they invoke aerosols to explain that period of cooling. So... What's the explanation for the current cooling of the ocean?

At Friday, April 11, 2008 at 6:53:00 PM PDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Climate Change activists are Nazis.

Issue of changed BBC climate story starts to break into mainstream media

At Saturday, April 12, 2008 at 5:22:00 AM PDT, Blogger al fin said...

Doomers come in all varieties. Peak Oil doomers, overpopulation doomers, catastrophic anthropogenic global warming (CAGW) doomers, emerging disease doomers . . . New Scientist recently had an article talking about civilisational doom from "over-complexity."

We are doomed, one way or another, and optimists like JD who actually want to solve problems instead of whining about them all day, just cannot admit to our doom.

But that is a good thing, JD. Because if there is a way out of all this doom, it is only such optimists as yourself that will help to show the way.

Pitiful whiners, such as many who commented above, will never show the way to anything but hopelessness and futility.

At Saturday, April 12, 2008 at 7:15:00 AM PDT, Anonymous Franj said...



Haven't you seen that the new 'peak' in conventional oil was for Jan 2008 (contradicting doomer dogma that we peaked in 2005?)

Forget this Quixotic climate change BS of yours (which you are completely and embarrassingly wrong about, btw), and get back to KICKING THE DOOMERS!

At Saturday, April 12, 2008 at 7:20:00 PM PDT, Blogger JD said...

franj, I've made 3 points recently about GW:

1) The Kyoto Protocol, even if fully implemented (LOL), will have no significant effect on temperatures or sea levels etc.

2) Global temperatures haven't risen since 1998.

3) Argo data show no warming in the upper ocean over the past four years.

Those are all facts which I can substantiate with uncontroversial statistics, and peer-reviewed articles. So you can take your comment that I am "completely and embarrassingly wrong" and stick it up your fucking ass. I have no interest in compromising with confused critics like yourself.

Yes, C+C has set a new record, and that is somewhat interesting from a "sports entertainment" perspective. Yes, I could put up the obligatory post and get a string of anonymous comments saying "Yah, kick the doomers in the nuts, JD!" At this point, I can't think of anything more boring and irrelevant. Perhaps the new record marks the beginning of a material change. Perhaps it doesn't. Give it a little time. In any case, the new record, as it stands, is completely trivial. Crowing about that is what would be embarrassing and Quixotic. Sorry, but I've got bigger fish to fry at the moment.

At Sunday, April 13, 2008 at 10:31:00 PM PDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

My, what mouth. And 'Global temps haven't risen since 1998' ... hah. I think someone has even pointed out to you already on this very thread that this is cherry-picked crap. If you want to understand where you are wrong, let's see you put up or shut up against people who know what they are talking about, like at RC, or, better, you can engage Tamino at Open Mind, if he has the patience for this sort of balls: Posing about on your blog and alienating people who thought you were otherwise more or less spot on in respect of a particular issue that you actually knew something about (peak oil) is, shall we say, counter-productive.

Or just change the name of the blog so we don't waste our time here with this tosh.

Like I said, get back to doing what you (used to) do well.


At Tuesday, April 15, 2008 at 6:25:00 AM PDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Or perhaps the big ice sheets that have broken off have *melted* and kept the water cooler at the same time as making the sea level rise.

At Tuesday, April 15, 2008 at 11:06:00 AM PDT, Anonymous es said...

Die-Off PO =! AGW

JD, you have become what you detest.

At Thursday, April 24, 2008 at 8:53:00 AM PDT, Anonymous Robert said...

This reminds me of our local weatherman who, whenever a storm or snowfall he predicted fails to happen says "it missed us" and cannot say that in fact he was wrong!


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