Posted by Jeff Id on September 27, 2010
More rare than the alignment of four planets or a politician actually reducing government, it appears that Phil Jones and Anthony Watts have accidentally agreed with each other – at least a little bit. By email, Anthony called my attention to a post he particularly liked by Juraj Vanovcan. It’s well written and explains a point which seems rather obvious, the surface temperature of the ocean drives air temperature, not the other way around. The total energy content of the ocean is about 1000 times greater than the atmosphere. What’s not often understood by some is that the bulk of the ocean is very cold (3C ish) and only the surface is warm. Flip the surface in exchange for cold deep water and you get at least a temporary but severe ice age.This link has an excellent layman’s description of the ocean temperatures.
Now today’s standard climate model theory expresses that aerosols (soot) suppressed past temperatures and in the 60’s and 70’s aerosol regulations cleaned the air enough to allow the full scale of global warming to begin to be realized. Below is a global temperature curve by Zeke.
Even though CO2 output and accumulation was rising for the whole time period encompassed by this graph, the temperature only rose sharply since about 1970 . The pros have often lectured us skeptical laypeople that aerosols are the only explanation. Many have replied that the oceans drive temperatures because the ocean heat content is simply too great an influence and ocean temperature shifts are dominated by natural cycles. I’ve never taken a position either way, but the aerosol explanation for the slowly rising and occasionally dropping temperatures up to 1970 never made much physical sense to me, simply because of the sudden stop in the trend followed by a strong rise. However, many climate scientists have claimed it is impossible to explain these features in the temperature curves with natural variation and without aerosols. IMO it is more likely due to ocean surface temperature changes than aerosols but is unproven. I state this only on the basis of the magnitude of the energy involved.
Well today I ran across the first paper published by Dave Thompson and coauthored by Phil Jones since Dr. Jones (and others) were caught with their hands in the climategate cookie jar. As a side note, it’s amazing that so many ‘reporters’ seem to lose their discriminatory capacity when it comes to flaws in the global warming consensus. Every news article I ran across on the subject mentions that Phil was cleared of wrongdoing. Anyway, I guess that’s why people read blogs instead of getting news from papers.
Andy Revkin has slightly less political approach – this time. His article is worth reading because he solicited quite a bit of back and forth commentary from the climate community which was very interesting, Apparently the paper highlights a four year anomaly variation between the NH an SH which can only be explained by salinity induced ocean currents which was not predicted by the models. It also seems to explain the 1960-1980 cooling trend.
If someone could send me a full copy by email, it would be appreciated. Link to the abstract is here.
In the climatologist replies at Dot Earth, several express concern over the ‘skeptics’ interpretation of this paper. I’ve read only the abstract and the news articles, but this is a tiny bit more evidence that sophisticated computer models can be tweaked to match observations to a basic level and still be wrong. We already know they overestimate the post 1970 trends by 2 to 4 times by MMH10, now it appears that the post 1980 trend may have been significantly increased by salinity induced reductions of the pre-1980 sea surface temperatures. If we smooth the temperature curves by removing this particular ocean influence, you would get a more gradual exponential style rise to the temperatures measured today. It leaves me to ask – doesn’t that mean that from the 30 year trend, atmospheric temperature sensitivity to CO2 and aerosol forcing, has been overestimated even more?