the Air Vent

Because the world needs another opinion

Skepticism of Anthropogenic Global Warming Doom

Posted by Jeff Id on October 28, 2014

Glenn Tamblyn left a reasonable sounding comment on the previous thread in reply to my comment that I find oceans to be very dangerous to human life in general.   My point is that oceans are very cold and very large heat sinks and that makes them powerful moderators of temperature.  Earth normally exists in an ice age, and we are lucky to be born in this particular time of warmth and comfort.  Of all natural disasters that WILL befall  Earth, the coming ice age is the one I worry about most.  As I wrote, Glenn’s reply sounds like it is reasonable and I think it represents how much of the AGW concerned population thinks.

I’ve copied his comment below and will attempt to present my side of the argument after that.   Hopefully, some will find it interesting.

Glenn Tamblyn said

Jeff

“the real monster we should be worried about is that giant body of extremely cold water that dominates our planet”

Let me put some context to that comment.

Human energy consumption is at a rate of around 17 trillion watts.
Total geothermal energy flows from within the earth at around 44 trillion watts.
Total energy accumulation in the oceans, measured by the ARGO system, is currently at around 250 trillion watts.
Total energy arriving from the Sun, after allowing for albedo is around 121,826 trillion watts.

If the energy from the sun could not be radiated out to space and all instead remained and accumulated here then result would be enough to:

– Boil Sydney Harbour dry in 12 seconds.
– Boil the oceans away in around 900 years
– Melt the entire Earth’s crust in 5,000 to 10,000 years.

Obviously that energy can escape to space. But there is still a restriction on that flow in the form of the GH effect. So I would have though that anything that involves adjusting the control valve regulating that outflow is something we would want to be very conservative about.

That 250 trillion watts accumulating in the oceans, obviously isn’t coming from anywhere here on earth; there is no energy source big enough to supply it.

And the world hasn’t stopped warming. There is still at least 250 trillion watts worth of warming. And if all that energy that is currently going into the oceans had all gone into the air instead, air temperatures would be rising at 15 C/decade. If the Earth were a desert world, with only very, very shallow seas and not huge oceans there would be absolutely no question mark about the impact of CO2 – its effect would be blatant and immediate.

Are you really that confident that the oceans are the thing we should be so worried about?

Glenn, science is all about magnitudes as you know, so I need to restate the point that CO2 in the amounts we humans can release can only slow radiation to space by some finite amount, and heat still radiates from Earth at the same rate it comes in at no matter how much CO2 you add.  My point is that the oceans are such a large sink of heat that even all those trillions of watts alleged to be received by global warming they are barely detectable with our best instrumentation.  We can discuss what would happen to air if the ocean were not there, but the oceans are there, and they are not going anywhere.

Someone left a comment here a couple of weeks ago about the oceans collecting the heat and then releasing it in the future with a vengeance.   While Glenn is not making that claim, I want to make the point that once the relatively small amount of heat is distributed into the ocean heat basin, it is functionally permanently lost with respect to atmospheric warming per thermodynamic laws.   The only caveat being that the ocean surface has less heat content so so it can warm measurably and is returned to the atmosphere.   In thermodynamics, we know that heat only flows from hot to cold and entropy doesn’t allow us to pick only the hot molecules from the ocean so there is no hot water in the oceans waiting to cook us by surprise in the future.

There is no giant ball of heat waiting for us below the surface, in fact, we have the opposite problem. –A giant ball of cold.

I wrote a post on this a long time ago.  I did a quick calculation and plot of ocean heat content and atmospheric heat content. I found the ocean had approximately 1000 times the heat capacity of the atmosphere.  If we mixed 1 degree of atmospheric warming into the whole of the ocean, it would result in 0.001 degrees of ocean temperature rise.

image2[1]

Click to enlarge

The only reason we have seen any temperature change on Earth is because the ocean surface warmed a little.   In fact, the measured ocean surface makes up most of the measurement in global average temperature.  I found this cool plot of ocean temperatures on line:

Ocean-temperature-vs-depth

I’m not sure where the reference is for it but it gives a very nice visual of a typical slice through the ocean.   Note the large area of blue-purple indicating the majority of the worlds oceans consist of waters below 5 degrees Celcius.   That is really cold water folks and it is a LOT of it.  If it were to come to the surface at a faster rate than we have seen, even by a little, the changes to global temperature would be extreme.

This body of water is a huge moderator of our climate and all of the global warming we can imagine isn’t going to warm it up much, because despite Glenn’s scary language, the magnitude of CO2 based warming simply isn’t sufficient.  Glenn uses the number 250 trillion watts for total energy accumulation rate.  I found the same number at climate progress, a widely known extremist left-wing propaganda outlet that should not be trusted by any thinking person, but we will use it uncritically here.  Two hundred fifty trillion is 2.5 x10^14 J/second.  If we have a heat capacity of 5.6×10^24 J/K  we get 2.24×10^11 seconds until the ocean were warmed one degree.  That corresponds to 710 years of heating to increase the ocean volumetric temperature by one degree which is still somewhere around zero C average temperature.   In other words, climate progresses unrealistic worst possible case doom scenario’s are not sufficient to significantly affect oceanic heat content.

No I am not claiming the ocean is well mixed but that reservoir is definitely there and only a small change in circulation can bring that monstrous body of energy sinking power those few hundred meters to the surface and eliminate even a thousand years of worst case global warming imagination.

I am claiming though that the oceanic driven cold spell —  will happen.  We call them ice ages, they are coming again and currently we do not have the power to stop them.   The cold is sitting right there off our shores, for anyone to see and measure.   It’s not an imagined monster or a projected monster like global warming, it is a real monster, as real as the next big asteroid impact or supervolcano that we all know must come again.

ice_ages2

 

Glenn also writes a hypothetical situation as to what would happen if the Sun’s energy could not be radiated into space.   While this leads to some amusing alarmist style talking points, the bottom line is that we would die.   That’s it.  Nice and simple.   Fortunately, our planet remains in a general energy balance that shifts very little over even millions of years of time.  This is due to the laws of physics so there is no danger whatsoever that it will suddenly or gradually stop radiating to space – so I hope Glenn and other readers won’t worry about that anymore. 😀

To finalize my comments, I would point out to Glenn that climate models have beyond scientific question statistically failed in their projections of temperatures.  The sensitivity atmospheric temperature to CO2 from measured data, is therefore much lower than was predicted and that includes the argo data.  Alternatively rather than a CO2 sensitivity misjudgement, all that heat that Dr. Trenberth is famously looking for, very well could be sitting in the deep ocean making too little impact over 100 years to actually measure and all it would take is a tiny bit more (or less) oceanic intermixing than models predict for that huge heatsink to be the true source of measured climate change.   It could potentiall have overwhelmed the CO2 effect without our knowing.  If it were intermixing less on a short term scale, the extra wattage the Argo floats picked up would mean even less of the energy from CO2 than the best observationally based sensitivity calculations indicate.   One should not assume uncritically that the energy all came from CO2 based warming.  The best evidence we have however shows about the atmosphere increases 1.3 C per doubling of CO2 concentration, and that is very low.

So yes Glenn, I am very sure that with respect to climate, oceans are what we should be concerned about.  They are very cold and too large for us to heat up to livable levels by CO2 emissions. So in the future, I hope you won’t concern yourself anymore about harbors boiling, sheep shrinking, extra hurricanes etc..   None of that is real, it is just propaganda which exists in the minds of alarmists.

Ice ages however….are real.

Whether you are liberal or conservative, the economy IS real too and we can all agree that from many examples around the globe, economies have shown a great deal of sensitivity to human meddling.  Costs of doing business include taxation, and a wide variety of barriers to operations.  It is also really obvious that shutting down coal plants and preventing replacement with functional energy generation is more than a little stupid.  We must be more careful in these times of high governmental economic load not commit economic suicide simply out of fear of CO2, which appears to be somewhere between a complete non-issue and an overall benefit to life on Earth.  Yet that is exactly what the anti-industrial environmental movement is trying to do.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

73 Responses to “Skepticism of Anthropogenic Global Warming Doom”

  1. patrioticduo said

    Don’t let the ocean cold content hit your ass on the way out.

  2. patrioticduo said

    Well, that’s odd. I was replying to a certain “Physicist and Climate Researcher” that had poor vocabulary but the posts appeared to disappear. What’s going on with your comments?

    • Jeff Id said

      Sorry, I’m tired of Doug. He spams blogs so much that I gave him his own thread to explain his idea. He talked himself into a contradiction and then stopped being responsive. He spamms so heavily that even writing [snip] takes too much time.

      I snipped his comments without seeing your reply.

  3. omanuel said

    Thanks, Jeff, for your well-reasoned and clear response to Glenn Tamblyn.

    The greatest threat to society today is mankind’s own selfish desire to manipulate information and take totalitarian control of society in late 1945 by establishing the UN and hiding the source of energy that made our elements, birthed the solar system, sustained the origin and evolution of life, and still exerts dominant control over every atom, life and world in the solar system – a volume of space greater than the volume of 10^19 Earths [“Solar energy,” Advances in Astronomy (submitted 1 Sept 2014)] https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/10640850/Solar_Energy.pdf

    • omanuel said

      Jeff,

      The Climategate emails that surfaced in late NOV 2009 and the most precise experimental measurements and observations reveal:

      1. BAD NEWS: Current world leaders and those taking public funds to promote consensus science show little or no respect for the scientific method, for basic human rights and/or the dignity of mankind.

      George Orwell correctly predicted our future in 1946 when he started writing “Nineteen Eighty-Four.”

      2. GOOD NEWS: Precise experimental measurements and observations confirm basic information on “the force” [1]:

      Ancient religions, spirituality and the Father of Astronomy, Richard Carrington, discovered in 1859 [2]: The Sun rules planet Earth.

      Framers of the US Declaration of Independence and Constitution and Max Planck were right about “the force” that endowed mankind with inalienable rights and created the chemical elements by holding subatomic particles together as rigid atoms.

      CONCLUSION: The force of darkness currently gripping the globe will certainly be defeated because it is aligned against “the force” [1] guided by “the conscious and intelligent Mind” Max Planck recognized [3] behind “the force” that created and sustains every atom.

      References:

      1. “The force,”
      https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/10640850/The_FORCE.pdf

      2. Stuart Clark, The Sun Kings: The Unexpected Tragedy of Richard Carrington and the Tale of How Modern Astronomy Began, Princeton University Press (2009) 224 pp: http://press.princeton.edu/titles/8370.html

      3. Max Planck’s speech in Florence, Italy on “The essence of matter” (1944): http://www.greggbraden.com/additional-resources/

  4. Peter Shaw said

    Jeff –
    Your ocean-temperature graphic provides you with further argument.
    With GHG.s above, and hot mantle below, where did all your cold water come from?
    The graphic shows the plume of frigid Antarctic Bottom Water descending. Although this is a transect of the Atlantic (the only deep connection with the Arctic basin), NH polar water hardly features. So the broad pattern is: Down around Antarctica, and Up elsewhere (which I think is what worries you). On the reasonable assumption that the rate of generation of Antarctic water increases as the perimeter of its sea ice, you have cause for concern.

    • Jeff Id said

      Peter, I don’t know enough about ocean circulation patterns to be worried about the Antarctic melting or freezing. My understanding is really more basic than that. The ocean is a very big heatsink and anything that can alter the rate of mixing, even in small ways, could really mess up our day. And it won’t be a little bit of warming we are worried about.

    • Jeff Id said

      I guess the good news is that we probably won’t be around to witness any of it.

    • Glenn Tamblyn said

      Peter.

      ” where did all your cold water come from?”

      Downwelling from the polar regions as you suggest Peter. The major source of cold water to the abyssal depths is the Antarctic with a smaller contribution from the Arctic and a trivial contribution from the Bering sea. However changes in the Antarctic sea ice extent isn’t significant to that. Unless the total volume of ice produced increases substantially the amount of chilling of the downwelling water doesn’t change much. The change in Antarctic area doesn’t necessarily reflect a significant change in the volume of the ice and as I mentioned in another comment the data available on this downwelling water suggests it has actually warmed slightly.

      Downwelling in the polar regions is only partly caused by freezing of sea ice. Much of it occurs simply because surface waters are chilled to near freezing. Water reaches it’s maximum density at around 4 deg C. This is when it will descend most strongly.

      The expansion of Antarctic sea ice is likely more strongly influenced by changes in surface salinity due to increasing melt of land ice in the Antarctic freshening the surface waters and raising the freezing point, and changes in wind patterns dispersing the ice more and allowing refreeze in the gaps in between.

      • Jeff Id said

        I don’t see the increase in Antarctic sea ice as a significant contributor to oceanic energy either. There isn’t enough wattage difference to make any dent.

      • kuhnkat said

        “The expansion of Antarctic sea ice is likely more strongly influenced by changes in surface salinity due to increasing melt of land ice in the Antarctic freshening the surface waters and raising the freezing point, and changes in wind patterns dispersing the ice more and allowing refreeze in the gaps in between.”

        tch tch tch, why are you using you assumptions rather than the facts?? oh yeah, the facts disagree with your agenda.

        There is not increased melt over the majority of the continent so cannot be a part of the increased ice extent over the majority of the sea area. In fact, the least ice is around the archipelago where there actually is increased melt…

        • Glenn Tamblyn said

          Because those are major factors that influence sea ice formation. Particularly the change in the freezing point of water with salinity.

          And your right, there isn’t increased melt over Antarctica. But there is increased mass loss, mainly in West Antarctica and the Antarctic Peninsular. Because continental ice loss in Antarctica isn’t driven by melt but rather by ice flow towards the coast where it calves as icebergs. Which then melt, releasing fresh water and changing the freezing point of the surrounding seas.And there is an increase in the divergent strength of the winds – that has been noticed for some years now.

          And my agenda is preventing global warming from harming future generations. What’s your agenda?

          • Duster said

            Glenn, Jeff did not point out that the present increase in Antarctic sea ice could cause the very problem he is discussing. The surface ice will have an effect on surface marine current circulation patterns in the Southern Ocean. That in turn could very well lead to increased mixing, and as he very cogently pointed out, the result won’t be warming. The planet has been cooling since the mid-Mesozoic and that pattern deepened with the Pleistocene. AGW is hubris disguised as people attempting to “take responsibility,” and about as rational as the Genesis Flood myth, with somewhat less foundation. It is not science and any proper study of historical geology reveals just how mistaken it is. Basing a fear upon three decades, at best, of warming of ambiguous origin is rather sad when there are 500 MY worth of contradictory data. If you want to save the world, look to save it from chilling, and a halving of the available atmospheric CO2, which quite surely result in a profound extinction event.

          • Jeff Id said

            Duster,

            There is simply too much heat capacity in the oceans for us to do anything big to temperatures with fossil fuel. If we were to save the world from warming, which is totally unnecessary as the warming we are discussing is highly beneficial, a fleet of oceanic temperature inversion machines might just do the trick. Barring that, Mother nature keeps doing on her own, creating mile thick glaciers on the spot I’m sitting on right now. I much prefer the warm.

  5. stan said

    Jeff,

    Thanks for you posts. Perhaps you might want to make one on the topic of policy and the poor quality control for academic studies.

    For some reason I can’t fathom, every comment I leave at Climate Audit goes to moderation never to be seen. I apologize for leaving them here, but if you (or your commenters) can identify some reason that these comments are so irritating to McIntyre that he can’t abide allowing them on his site it would be appreciated. Especially given some of the stuff that he does allow.

    This comment is in response to someone who thinks it a shame that the error-filled studies that the warmists rely upon can only be addressed one at a time. I wrote:

    It doesn’t necessarily need to be one by one. Anyone familiar with the work of McKitrick and McCullough, John Ioannides, the Amgen and Bayer experiences with replication (or rather non-replication of papers), and the general criticisms of people like Matt Briggs, Daniel Kahneman [in psychology] and others can see that there is a growing crisis regarding quality in academic studies. Perhaps society can adopt the arguments that McKitrick makes and begin to require quality control be observed whenever research is used to formulate public policy. http://climateaudit.org/2009/02/18/mccullough-and-mckitrick-on-due-diligence/

    Instead of putting the onus on critics to show a study is flawed, we should require those who wish to use a study to make policy to show that it is of good quality.

  6. Physicist and Climate Researcher said

     

     

    You came so close Jeff when you recognised that it is gravity that forms the temperature gradient, jacking up the surface temperature, and it is not back radiation doing so. You just needed to understand the “heat creep” process in my book, such as this physics educator realised I was right about …

    “Doug Cotton shows how simple thermodynamic physics implies that the gravitational field of a planet will establish a thermal gradient in its atmosphere. The thermal gradient, a basic property of a planet, can be used to determine the temperatures of its atmosphere, surface and sub-surface regions. The interesting concept of “heat creep” applied to diagrams of the thermal gradient is used to explain the effect of solar radiation on the temperature of a planet. The thermal gradient shows that the observed temperatures of the Earth are determined by natural processes and not by back radiation warming from greenhouse gases. Evidence is presented to show that greenhouse gases cool the Earth and do not warm it.”

    John Turner B.Sc.;Dip.Ed.;M.Ed.(Hons);Grad.Dip.Ed.Studies (retired physics educator)

    Next year Jeff I’ll set up a website responding to all the false physics still being promulgated in “luke” websites (mostly yours, WUWT, SkS and Judith Curry’s) quoting posts like this and leaving valid criticism of the false points where the world can see without the deleting by Anthony Watts, Judith Curry and yourself. I respect Roy Spencer, who doesn’t delete my comments, even though he still is gullible (like yourself) to accepting the IPCC higher radiating altitude cum back radiation false physics.

    The Second Law of Thermodynamics dictates that there shall be a density gradient in a force field.

    The Second Law of Thermodynamics also dictates that there shall be a temperature gradient in a force field, which we see in a Ranque Hilsch vortex tube and every planet’s troposphere.

    You, Jeff, just have to come to grips with why that gradient enables the “heat creep” process that does what back radiation was incorrectly assumed to do – it helps the Sun to keep us warm. You know where to read about it.

     

     

  7. Heat Creep said

     

    You came so close Jeff when you recognised that it is gravity that forms the temperature gradient, jacking up the surface temperature, and it is not back radiation doing so. You just needed to understand the “heat creep” process in my book, such as this physics educator realised I was right about …

    “Doug Cotton shows how simple thermodynamic physics implies that the gravitational field of a planet will establish a thermal gradient in its atmosphere. The thermal gradient, a basic property of a planet, can be used to determine the temperatures of its atmosphere, surface and sub-surface regions. The interesting concept of “heat creep” applied to diagrams of the thermal gradient is used to explain the effect of solar radiation on the temperature of a planet. The thermal gradient shows that the observed temperatures of the Earth are determined by natural processes and not by back radiation warming from greenhouse gases. Evidence is presented to show that greenhouse gases cool the Earth and do not warm it.”

    John Turner B.Sc.;Dip.Ed.;M.Ed.(Hons);Grad.Dip.Ed.Studies (retired physics educator)

    Next year Jeff I’ll set up a website responding to all the false physics still being promulgated in “luke” websites (mostly yours, WUWT, SkS and Judith Curry’s) quoting posts like this and leaving valid criticism of the false points where the world can see without the deleting by Anthony Watts, Judith Curry and yourself. I respect Roy Spencer, who doesn’t delete my comments, even though he still is gullible (like yourself) to accepting the IPCC higher radiating altitude cum back radiation false physics.

    The Second Law of Thermodynamics dictates that there shall be a density gradient in a force field.

    The Second Law of Thermodynamics also dictates that there shall be a temperature gradient in a force field, which we see in a Ranque Hilsch vortex tube and every planet’s troposphere.

    You, Jeff, just have to come to grips with why that gradient enables the “heat creep” process that does what back radiation was incorrectly assumed to do – it helps the Sun to keep us warm. You know where to read about it.

     

     

  8. Great post Jeff! This is one of the places I started to follow as began following up on the curious questions about AGW. I regularly check in over the last couple of years and am glad to see you writing again.

    I’m not a physics guy, but I do like math. Many AGW proponents hold out continuing increases in OHC as evidence in support of the global warming hypothesis. But as I understand the math, atmospheric CO2 ppm could halve tomorrow and OHC would continue to increase due to ocean temperature gradients at depth. It would be a change in the rate of OHC over time (ie: change in the slope of the OHC time series data) more directly related a change of forcing. Here is Gavin’s own graph depicting observed OHC over time vs the GISS ER model ensemble mean. The gap is growing so large that Gavin even crops the top of the graph before it is allowed to express the difference between observation and model! This image is a couple of years old now. I don’t think he even publishes it any more in the annual model updates at RealClimate.

    • Jeff Id said

      That is an interesting graph. I wonder just how accurately Leitus can measure the 2000 meter depth when there is so little actual change in ocean temperatures with the amount of heat we add. The data must be really noisy and might be heavily processed.

  9. “I am claiming though that the oceanic driven cold spell — will happen. We call them ice ages, they are coming again and currently we do not have the power to stop them. The cold is sitting right there off our shores, for anyone to see and measure. It’s not an imagined monster or a projected monster like global warming, it is a real monster, as real as the next big asteroid impact or supervolcano that we all know must come again.”

    Are you claiming that the cold subsurface water brought to the surface will evaporate at a rate that can provide the precipitation for building glaciers that do not melt?!?!?!

    Several smart people I have read seem to think it is a paradox. To get the moisture in the air you need warm oceans, or at least, warm surface water. To keep the snow on the ground and building to glaciers you need cold air…

    • Jeff Id said

      “Are you claiming that the cold subsurface water brought to the surface will evaporate at a rate that can provide the precipitation for building glaciers that do not melt?!?!?!”

      Nope, I’m claiming that we cannot live next to that giant pile of cold and not expect it to get really chilly here. Chilly enough for moisture to freeze and not remelt. The good news is that the long term “health” of the sea ice is in safe hands. 😉

    • Glenn Tamblyn said

      kuhnkatKuhnKat

      “Several smart people I have read seem to think it is a paradox. To get the moisture in the air you need warm oceans, or at least, warm surface water. To keep the snow on the ground and building to glaciers you need cold air…”

      It actually isn’t a paradox.

      You still get evaporation from colder water. Not as much but you still get it. Which then falls as precipitation. What matters is what form the precipitation falls as. It it falls as rain because the weather is warmer then eventually it flows back to the oceans. If it falls as snow it can remain if the local weather is cold enough. Perhaps last over many years and form glaciers etc.

      It isn’t a paradox, its a balance. If the regions nearer the poles are cold enough to create snow and let it persist AND regions close enough to the equator are still warm enough to produce significant evaporation then you can get really significant ice cover. Only when the world is so cold that evaporation nearer the equator really drops off does this slow down. And similarly if the high latitudes are warmer then less ice can remain because more falls as rain. The climate can move between substantially different degrees of ice cover with moderate changes to this balance.

    • kuhnkat said

      Jeff and Glenn, then you are worried about an ice age that take thousands of years, at the least, to develop. We seem to agree that cold water means less evaporation to feed the precip and, of course, the albedo feedback helps…

      What you seem to be missing is that weather has wide ranges. That small amount of frozen precip gets completely melted with one hot summer. Kinda like the accumulated heat from the extra CO2 radiates away with a little clearing of clouds.

      The model meme of a small amount consistently accumulating over long periods simply does not work in our real world.

      Try again.

      • Glenn Tamblyn said

        Kuhnkat

        “The model meme of a small amount consistently accumulating over long periods simply does not work in our real world.”

        Absolutely. Have a look at the ice core data. Although the warming coming out of a glacial is often quite clear and sharp, the cooling descending into a glacial is far more erratic. This character of an accumulation of of snow/ice being capable of overturned by a few years of warmer weather is likely a significant factor in why the cooling is erratic – it takes a fair bit to really seed an ice sheet, to turn a few seasons of snow into something more permanent.So lots of fits and starts along the way.

        But that doesn’t invalidate the basic fact that broadly there isn’t a paradox about how it happens, just that operating beneath the main driver is some serious variability that influences the shorter timescale behaviour.

        • kuhnkat said

          No Glenn, you waste your time on ice core data that is being hilariously misinterpreted. I have better things to do than play with stuff that was at least damaged if not completely destroyed during the anthropocene optimum.

  10. Glenn Tamblyn said

    Jeff

    You have raised several points so I would like to address each separately. It might take me a day or so – I have just been for a job interview, have to respond to a couple more and have some other stuff on my plate. But I will make a start.

    Firstly I would like to address the common misconception that the fact that the oceans are warming and this is retarding warming of the atmosphere which well accelerate later as the oceans have warmed means that at some point heat will come back out of the ocean!

    This is not the case. We don’t expect to see lots of heat coming out of the ocean in the future; we expect less heat to go into the ocean and thus be available to warm the air more instead.

    When the earth is not in a state of longer term radiative imbalance then there is no net heat accumulation within the various parts of the climate system. There are short term imbalances – the daily cycle, the seasonal cycle, ENSO, even the small amount involved in the 11 year solar cycle but these are cyclical, their long term average is no change. In this situation the oceans and air are in thermal balance. Heat exchange between the atmosphere and the oceans – via radiation, convection and evapotranspiration – is in balance.

    And this balance determines the difference between the air temperature and the ocean’s surface temperature. And also the vertical temperature profile in the atmosphere.

    Then we add a disruption such as adding CO2. The system is out of radiative balance. The earth is now losing less heat to space than it is gaining from the sun. Total heat here on earth starts to build up. The surface of the ocean warms and the atmosphere warms. But as the surface ocean warms heat is drawn down deeper into the ocean. And it takes as you said 1000’s of times more heat to heat water than air – around 3000 times as much when we compare a litre of air with a litre of water.

    So the actual temperature of the ocean changes much, much less than the air. As a result the thermal balance between the atmosphere and the air is disrupted. The air temperature rises faster than the ocean surface temperature can match. So the temperature difference between them changes. And it is the temperature difference between the air and the ocean that determines the net heat flow between them. If the air warms faster than the ocean, then where there may have been a balance before, now the net of all the heat flows between the two results in a net heat flow from the atmosphere to the ocean. This is in addition to any additional heat that may flow into it as a result of just the broad radiative imbalance.

    And as a consequence, there is a net heat flow out of the atmosphere into the ocean. Instead of the atmosphere warming as much as it would have due to absorbing heat from the external radiative imbalance alone, it actually warms less than it otherwise would because it is also losing net heat to the oceans that it wasn’t before. Once the temperature difference between the two changes by enough then potentially all the heat that the air is gaining from the imbalance it is losing to the oceans. At that point the air is unable to warm any faster than the oceans.

    Let me use an analogy. Imagine we have a local swimming centre. There is a Olympic size swimming pool and a tiny toddlers wading pool. The two are connected by a pipe so they have the same water level and there is no water flow between them. If I start adding water to the toddlers pool its level will start to rise. As it does the height difference between this and the big pool will cause some water to flow from the little pool to the big one through the pipe. Eventually it could reach a point where as fast as we add water to the little pool, it all flows across into the big pool.

    So if I want to raise the level of the toddlers pool by a certain amount I will actually have to add enough water to raise the level of the big pool by the same amount. And the level in the toddlers pool will only rise as fast as the level of the big pool.

    So when the toddlers pool eventually reaches the level I want and I can turn of the tap, the flow from the toddlers pool to the big pool will stop. The big pool has meant that it took far more water to raise the level in the toddlers pool than was needed to fill it alone. The big pool has delayed the rising of the toddlers pool substantially. But at NO TIME does water actually flow back down the pipe BACK TO THE Toddlers pool.

    In my analogy, the water is equivalent to heat. The volume of the pools is the heat capacity of the Ocean (Olympic pool) and air (toddlers), and the difference in depth of the water is the temperature difference between the air and ocean.

    So, just as in my analogy, the oceans won’t in the future start returning some amount of heat TO the air. Rather as the system re-balances they will stop drawing heat FROM the air and allow the air to warm faster.

    • Me in moderation said

      “Then we add a disruption such as adding CO2. The system is out of radiative balance. ”

      Nope – it doesn’t work that way. Sensitivity to CO2 is 0.0C.

    • timetochooseagain said

      When the system re-balances, the air (and everything else) doesn’t warm at all. That’s what it means for there to be energy balance.

      This is a point you clearly don’t understand since you seem to believe it is possible for the Earth to indefinitely not emit out to space any of the energy it receives from the sun.

      Not to mention never mentioning *once* that a body with a higher temperature will radiate out more heat!

      • Glenn Tamblyn said

        Timetochooseagain

        “When the system re-balances, the air (and everything else) doesn’t warm at all. That’s what it means for there to be energy balance.”

        No it doesn’t. Before reading the rest of my comment it might be worth reading some of the comments from Jeff’s previous post that this post originated from. Specifically about Lapse Rate and Top Of Atmosphere

        The balance for the Earth is when the energy the earth receives from the sun is balanced by the amount of energy the earth radiates to space. So no net heat gain or loss. The energy the earth radiates to space occurs primarily higher in the atmosphere; it happens at the altitude where the air column above it is thin enough that there isn’t enough GH gases present to absorb all the radiation. How much radiation is released to space at this altitude depends on the temperature of the air up there .And it is colder there than here at the surface.

        The average temperature needed as the source of the earths radiation to space to produce balance is -18C. And this is the average temperature up at the altitude where radiation to space occurs – at roughly 5 km up on average.Then the Lapse Rate mechanism propagates a temperature profile down to the surface and every where in between.

        So what happens if we add more GH gas? At that average altitude of 5 km where previously radiation could escape to space, now, with more GH gases present the air column above now has more GH gases present, enough to absorb any outbound radiation, preventing it from escaping. Energy still escapes to space but only that energy arising from higher altitudes which generally are colder still.

        So with more GH gases present less energy is radiated to space because it can only come from colder higher levels in the atmosphere. The earth is out of balance.

        So how is the balance restored? As long as the GH gas concentrations remain high the altitude from which radiation originates remains elevated. So the only thing that restores the balance is for that high altitude to warm to the temperature that the lower altitude was at to increase the energy flow to space back to what it was and restore the balance.

        So for example. Currently the average height of emissions is 5 km and its average temperature is -18C. If we add enough GH gases to raise the average height of emissions to space to, say, 5.5 km. The temperature at 5.5 km on average is -21.25 C since the Lapse Rate is 6.5 C/km and we are 1/2 a kilometer higher. So now the earth is radiating as a body on average at -21.25 C and isn’t radiating enough to release all the energy that arrives from the sun. It is unbalanced.

        What restores the balance?

        The 5.5 km level warms from -21.25 C to -18C and the flow to space is restored to its old value and balance restored. And because of the adjustment mechanism of the Lapse Rate, the 5 km level is now at -14.75 C And the surface, instead of being at +15 C is now at +18.25 C

        This is the basic mechanism of the GH effect.
        1. GH Gas concentrations determine the altitude that the Earth radiates to space from.
        2. Energy balance forces that altitude to be at -18C
        3. The Lapse Rate forces all the rest of the atmosphere including the surface to be at a temperature relative to that at the radiating altitude.

        Move the radiating altitude and the lapse rate propagates the change downwards to the surface.

        • timetochooseagain said

          None of what you said here contradicts my point. When the system is in energy balance, it doesn’t warm more. It warms to restore energy balance, and then stops.

          However, you are naive in assuming a fixed, linear lapse rate. Actually determining how the lapse rate changes is non trivial.

          I think you misunderstood my comment, but it’s good to see you now admit that taking the system out of energy balance *cannot* cause the temperature to increase indefinitely!

          • Glenn Tamblyn said

            “I think you misunderstood my comment, but it’s good to see you now admit that taking the system out of energy balance *cannot* cause the temperature to increase indefinitely!”

            I have never said it can increase indefinitely. I don’t know what gave you the impression that I said or implied that.

          • kuhnkat said

            Glenn,

            TTCA probably made a common assumption. So many warmers, and some luke warmers, are stuck on the models and tipping points that would appear to allow virtually unlimited warming. I had more than a few arguments about this years ago. It doesn’t appear too often now as more people with real intelligence and ability to evaluate the physical aspects of the system have undercut the BS, BUT, it was a key talking point in the Climate Wars at one time. Glad to hear you are not of that stripe anyway!! 8>)

            I find this talking about energy balance and taking it out of balance rather silly. The idea goes back to the tipping point BS. Just how much imbalance is a problem and what could we do about it even if it somehow became too far out of balance??

            Like arguing about angels on the head of a pin.

            The system is highly robust and flexible. None of the paleo studies have shown us anything on the warm side to worry about, only the cool side, Yet people like you continue to grind on about this. Where is your evidence that it can happen and why will it be bad?!?!?!

          • Glenn Tamblyn said

            “None of the paleo studies have shown us anything on the warm side to worry about, only the cool side,”

            Picks jaw off ground!!!!

            The End Permian Mass extinction, The End Triassic mass Extinction, The Bottomian Mass Extinction event during the Cambrian. The entire age of the Dinosaurs being significantly warmer than today. The Paleocene/Eocene Thermal Maximum. That all our major food crops and farm animal species evolved during the more recent cool climate in the last 30 million years or so rather than the warmer older world, particularly a few important grasses like wheat, corn, rice, barley etc. Multiple past ocean acidification events and the fossil record of their effect. Multiple past ocean anoxic events. That the rate of rise in CO2 levels today is 10 times faster than during the PETM. That we have enough fossil fuels to put as much CO2 into the atmosphere as appears to have occurred during the End Permian Mass Extinction and we are doing it 6 or more times faster. That CO2 levels are rising 200 times faster than during the glacial cycles.

            Can we say that thing will get that bad? No. But we sure as hell can’t say that is impossible. It isn’t even improbable. The Paleo record isn’t reassuring Kuhnkat, it’s frightening. A seriously warmer world might be nice for cold blooded critters like dinosaurs but we warm-blooded mammals prefer things a little cooler. And our crops sure do, helps them avoid the temperatures where the enzyme at the heart of photosynthesis – Rubisco – starts to break down.

          • timetochooseagain said

            Glenn, you implied it with these statements:

            “– Boil Sydney Harbour dry in 12 seconds.
            – Boil the oceans away in around 900 years
            – Melt the entire Earth’s crust in 5,000 to 10,000 years.”

            And this statement:

            “Obviously that energy can escape to space. But there is still a restriction on that flow in the form of the GH effect.”

            These read as implying you think an increase in greenhouse gases permanently decreases the rate of energy loss to space! It’s clear now you don’t, I guess, but this was really sloppy language on your part.

          • kuhnkat said

            Glenn,

            wasting you time picking up that jaw if it falls off that easily.

            Not one of those extinctions have anything to do with humans or anything we have significant control over. Are you really that stupid??

    • Jeff Id said

      Glenn,

      First I would like to address the 250 trillion Watts again just to make clear what we are measuring with ocean floats. This is a measure of upper ocean warming 2000M with most of it in the top layer where we would expect it. However, if we assumed zero net change in atmospheric input, even a slight circulation change could alter this number making it higher or lower than zero. Our assumption that the system is out of balance by this amount is erroneous. It could be significantly greater (more warming than we thought) or even less than this number. The difference in deep ocean temperatures would be undetected. This mixing could be the entire creator of the “pause” but I would think 2000M of depth would find most of the problem??

      So again in your other comment you write:

      “And your point about how long it takes to warm the ocean is right – this is the big time lag. It actually isn’t quite that high – mixing of the upper ocean down to 2000 meters or so will happen faster then there is a longer time lag before the full temperature change occurs as the abyssal ocean mixes”

      I agree that on short term timescales the upper layer of the ocean can be influenced more easily, however on 700 year timeframes it is very hard to imagine that the ocean is not well mixed. If the abyss of the ocean depths rises one C in 700 years because the imbalance in heat is as great as we say, and we have no significant change in ocean circulation, then Earth’s average temperature would shift upward probably by an additional 1C. On these timeframes, it is more than a little questionable whether CO2 will persist and I have seen no evidence that it would. I have also seen very little evidence that the oceans will allow atmospheric temperature to skyrocket as models predict on the short timescales of today’s pseudo-scientific alarmism. How can they if oceanic thermal mass won’t allow it? For massive warming to happen, we have to assume oceanic mixing is minimal and very stable. I think that with our current state of ocean current understanding, those assumptions are wholly unwarranted. Little ice age anyone, or MWP?

      My original comment though was that the oceanic cooling is far more dangerous than a little CO2 warming. We DO have a giant body of liquid cold surrounding us, and it quite regularly cuts loose on Earth such that our long-term global average temperature is more like Hoth than the Earth we are spoiled enough to live in today. The question is not a matter of if we will be frozen into an entirely different society, but rather when.

      When it happens, I cannot imagine what we will do to prevent it but from the magnitude of the numbers we are discussing, it doesn’t appear to be CO2 which will save us. Science is about magnitudes so while it is fun to consider this pool filling up with heat and warming us too much, remember that the ocean is too big for even the worst CO2 warming to bring it to a comfortable temp and a bit of circulation change can therefore easily overwhelm everything we can do to prevent it.

      However, I certainly believe that we shouldn’t be mucking around with something as demonstrably fragile as the global economy or energy production to save us from global warming. Considering the nearly unmovable mass of oceanic heat sinks that can overwhelm any effort we make without showing any significant change, it almost seems silly. However, trying to do it by “accidentally” starving our population of energy through the use of windmills and biofuel is the height of ignorance. Throw in the obvious fact that warming is likely highly beneficial on the whole and restructuring our energy production for this imagined threat is way beyond reasonable.

      • Glenn Tamblyn said

        Jeff

        “First I would like to address the 250 trillion Watts again just to make clear what we are measuring with ocean floats. This is a measure of upper ocean warming 2000M with most of it in the top layer where we would expect it. However, if we assumed zero net change in atmospheric input, even a slight circulation change could alter this number making it higher or lower than zero. Our assumption that the system is out of balance by this amount is erroneous. It could be significantly greater (more warming than we thought) or even less than this number. The difference in deep ocean temperatures would be undetected. This mixing could be the entire creator of the “pause” but I would think 2000M of depth would find most of the problem?? ”

        The point of the various numbers I quoted is their relative magnitude. What it says is lesser heat sources here on earth aren’t large enough to have supplied that heat. Even a small imbalance in the Earth’s external energy balance is more than capable of supplying it.

        What you are saying is also logically inconsistent. You are concerned that cold water will rise from below then suggest that warming above is currently arising from something coming from below where it is colder.

        As to whether there could be some movement of heat from below 2000m to above as the source, there are various forms of evidence against that argument.

        1. The average depth of the ocean is around 3800 meters so the top 2000m is slightly over half the oceans volume. So if the heat appearing in the upper ocean were coming from the abyssal ocean then the change in heat content down there would need to be of the same magnitude in terms of joules per cubic meter. The depths would need to cool by a similar amount to the warming above.
        2. Although we don’t have the level of detail in measurements that we have in the upper ocean, equally we don’t know nothing. There are regular sampling programs by oceanographic research vessels sampling water down to the sea floor. They aren’t reporting readings that would even indicate that degree of cooling down there. Sampling around the Antarctic, a major region of downwelling is showing some increases in bottom water temperatures.
        3. If the heat in the upper ocean were coming from cooling of the lower ocean, then we would see that reflected in sea level rise or rather the lack of it.If this is some sort of zero-sum situation thermodynamically then sea level shouldn’t change much – it would still rise a little since the coefficient of thermal expansion is greater for warmer water.
        4. If heat is somehow coming from the depths, what mechanism could be causing that? Something has to chill the bottom waters and move the heat to the surface. But there is no mechanism that can chill the bottom waters in situ. The only way to chill the bottom waters would be to move even colder water from a region where chilling can occur. And the only place where chilling occurs is the polar seas. During the winter polar waters are chilled substantially and descend to the depths – this is the driver for the main ocean circulation. So this requires that more heat be removed from surface polar waters so they are colder when they descend, or that the volume of water descending increases. Yet as I said, the main region of downwelling around the Antarctic is not showing colder water descending, it is showing somewhat warmer water which is what we would expect if the warming is coming from above the ocean.
        5. Warming, as you point out, is greatest closest to the surface. How is that consistent with heat rising from below?

        It isn’t enough to just speculate that ‘stuff’ might be happening. We need to evaluate ideas based on the plausible mechanisms that can cause them and reject physically implausible mechanisms. Cold water doesn’t just ‘happen’ to rise into warmer water Jeff. The world around us operates on the basis of physical mechanisms not magic. Basic principle of heating a fluid. To get heat to move from the bottom of a fluid to the top you have to heat the fluid from the bottom. If you heat it from above it tends to stay there and not rise from the bottom unless you supply an external physical mechanism to pump it. Similarly when you cool a fluid from above it will descend and generate mixing but cooling from below suppresses mixing unless external pumping is supplied.

        Now. if there were significant heating being supplied at the bottom of the ocean then certainly that heat would rise. But there is no evidence of this. The observed temperature profiles in the ocean don’t match bottom heating. Major warming of upwelling currents hasn’t been measured. And geothermal heat is way too small to supply the heat – that was the point of the 44 trillion watts of geothermal heat vs 250 trillion watts of observed upper ocean heating comparison.

        • Jeff Id said

          “What you are saying is also logically inconsistent. You are concerned that cold water will rise from below then suggest that warming above is currently arising from something coming from below where it is colder.”

          No, like the flow of energy to space, oceanic energy is in continuous flux. You need to think Watts rather than Joules. If you reduce the flux from warm surface water to cold deep water through a slight current change, the warm will appear to increase. It would appear the same as any other temperature increase to argo floats which don’t measure deep temps. How do you know it didn’t happen?

          You don’t, yet you write to me as though I am missing the point. These are real scientific questions that science minded people should be able to agree on. Nothing in the Argo series tells us about flow (Watts), only the net value of increase (Joules). You have interpreted the increase in Joules in the warm layer as an increase in the input from the sky (Watts), but just like global warming, it could be a reduction in output from the warm layer to colder ocean depths. Nothing in our instrumentation would detect it.

          Hopefully this will elicit a more interesting answer.

          • Glenn Tamblyn said

            Jeff

            ” Nothing in our instrumentation would detect it.”

            Actually that isn’t true. Because we don’t just have systems to measure temperature. We also have systems that estimates flow rates. For example, the Argo floats don’t just measure temperature and salinity. They also drift with the currents down at 1000 meters for over 9 days and the distance they travel allows estimations of flow rates. Similarly various surface networks buoys give estimates of surface movements. Oceanographic surveys routinely measure water velocities at various depths. Sea bed mounted sensors also measure flow rates. Satellite measurements of sea level changes let us see when relative sea level changes occur between regions, indicating among other things changes in currents.

            Also things like studies looking at rates of diffusion of tracer elements such as CFCs dissolved in sea water or changes in the salinity gradients between different locations allow estimates of water movements. Water sampling during oceanographic surveys allows measurement of all sorts of properties of the sea water that can tell us things. A basic rule in science – when the samples you obtain of something are hard to come by, make sure you milk your samples for all the information they can possibly give you about everything.

            So the researchers are able to look for all sorts of estimates of changes in flow rate that allow us to look at watts rather than just joules.

            Secondly if what you described were happening then the patterns of warming and cooling would constitute signatures that the scientists could see. They haven’t reported that. For example if there were changes in downwelling then comparably the upwelling regions would also show changes – conservation of mass requires that. This would change patterns of nutrient supply from the depths, ocean productivity around those regions etc. There might be, for example, changes in such upwelling/downwelling in some oceans basins. But we are seeing heat accumulation across all basins. Some of these basins don’t interact with the major upwelling/downwelling regions for very long time periods but still show warming.

            Next, if there were a change in the ocean currents taking water down to the abyssal depths then to supply the heat observed nearer the surface would need a comparable decline in heat at the depths. Although our coverage of the depths is much much less detailed than at the surface, we still would expect to see at least a reasonable indication of that happening. Particularly when we look at the major regions where downwelling occurs. More cold water would need to be being moved deeper. So either that water would be colder and would show up as colder regions in the Argo type temperature data, or the flow rate downwards would need to increase in which case we would need to see reasons why that happens. And as I pointed out previously, if this is a transfer of heat between different parts of the ocean rather than an increase in the total amount of heat in the ocean then we would see very different, much less sea level rise.

            An important point to remember Jeff is the basic thermodynamics of the abyssal ocean. Heat is being added to it from below bygeothermal heat. The amount is small compared to the heat fluxes at the surface but nonetheless it is there and positive. So in order for the deep oceans to remain cold, let alone becoming colder, there must be a way of cooling them. By and large warm water doesn’t flow down to the depths, cold water does. And there are very limited regions on earth where this can occur. And the data from those regions doesn’t support your contention.

            It is easy to imagine that just simple fluid mechanics causes mixing from the top to the bottom of the ocean, like conventional vorticity. But when we are dealing with something the size of the ocean there are other factors at play; temperature and density gradients that suppress vertical movements.

            The ocean is actually highly stratified with very little vertical movement except in those regions where major ocean currents drive vertical water movements strongly enough to overcome the density gradient.

            There was actually an amazing, unintended display of the power of this stratification during the 1950’s, during the era of atomic testing. The US was testing a Depth Bomb in the North Pacific – a nuclear depth charge designed to kill a submarine in one blast. Detonated several thousand feet down it still sent shock waves that damaged ships on the surface. Several months after the blast a research vessel was sent back to the blast area to take samples and assess how far the blast products had spread. They found material had spread out horizontally over an area of around 100 km^2 from the blast site . Not too rapid a spread but the blast was likely conducted in a region with few currents. But it was the vertical spread ( actually the lack ofit) that was amazing. Within the limits of accuracy of their sampling equipment they reported that the blast remnants were only found in a layer 1 meter thick! Even after the huge disruption of an atomic blast, a very rigid stratification was reimposed.

          • Jeff Id said

            Glenn,
            I’m glad we moved away from the static energy concept to one of flow. However, nothing in our instrumentation would detect the minimal transfer of energy required to cool the system enough to have created or overturned ocean surface warming. Your assertions to the contrary are not accurate. I think you are dreaming of a far bigger event than would actually be required and our float system isn’t good enough to find low level mixing over 30 year timeframes. Very subtle changes in oceanic mixing are sufficient. I would suggest that ENSO oscillations may be sufficient themselves as they also affect deeper oceanic mixing.

            However, in the near thousand year timeframe that my original comment suggests, the oceans are in fact well mixed. You can tell that from diffusion studies. On your point that the pool will continue to fill, those are also on thousand year timeframes and again, well mixed oceans. Therefore we know the heat will diffuse throughout the water in those timeframes and it is quite likely physically impossible to see catastrophically huge increases like 10C simply through CO2 warming by fossil fuel combustion. The ocean surface controls our atmospheric temperature and if it is well mixed at 1000 years, it is too well mixed on even 100 year timeframes to support that much increase in oceanic thermal gradient. Recognize that increasing the heat of the surface of the ocean by that amount, means there was a huge increase in thermal flow, not thermal content. Therefore, I submit that AGW doom is an IPCC dream and a great talking point for envirowhackos who believe everything humans are doing is destroying the planet. It also can fool unsuspecting people into misunderstanding just how powerful of a thermal moderator we have on this planet. You simply don’t need to worry about that heat piling up on top of the oceanic water for 700 years and cooking your great ….great^9 grandkids.

            Humans may kill themselves someday but it won’t be through global warming.

            As to your comment about thermodynamics of the abyssal ocean, I read the other day that it equates to about a tenth of a watt per sq meter. With sunlight at about 10,000 times that, I think it is an effect worth ignoring for this conversation. What do you think?

            As to your atomic blast, what happened on a one year timeframe isn’t the same as what will happen in a decade or now 6 decades later. I’m sure that material from that blast is distributed all over the planet, from the deepest oceans to the highest mountains. It probably isn’t yet well mixed in the ocean or on the surface, but it is there. The ocean effects though, will become well mixed in time. However, there is a large thermal gradient on surface water, especially in the tropics and warmer latitudes, which hold water at the top layer for extended periods of time. As you know, oceanic currents will eventually transport this water to cooler regions, the gradient will drop and salinity and temperature changes will mix it into deep water over time. The engineer in me tells me that holding water still isn’t easy to do with other water, if you know what I mean.

  11. Glenn Tamblyn said

    “Glenn uses the number 250 trillion watts for total energy accumulation rate. I found the same number at climate progress, a widely known extremist left-wing propaganda outlet that should not be trusted by any thinking person, but we will use it uncritically here. Two hundred fifty trillion is 2.5 x10^14 J/second. If we have a heat capacity of 5.6×10^24 J/K we get 2.24×10^11 seconds until the ocean were warmed one degree. That corresponds to 710 years of heating to increase the ocean volumetric temperature by one degree which is still somewhere around zero C average temperature. In other words, climate progresses unrealistic worst possible case doom scenario’s are not sufficient to significantly affect oceanic heat content.”

    Jeff. I don’t use numbers from blogs. The source of that number is from any of the scientific teams that study OHC – NOAA NCDC, NOAA PMEL, CSIRO, Ishii in Japan. The simplest way to get an estimate of that is by eyeball from the NCDC site here. Pick the second panel from their slide show which shows change in OHC from 0-2000 meters. Roughly I have used the pentadal numbers over several decades to come up with a rate of around 250 trillion. If you look at the more recent annual values the number is more like 300+ trillion.

    And your point about how long it takes to warm the ocean is right – this is the big time lag. It actually isn’t quite that high – mixing of the upper ocean down to 2000 meters or so will happen faster then there is a longer time lag before the full temperature change occurs as the abyssal ocean mixes.

    The point of considering this is to highlight that if we just look at what has happened to air temperatures to date we underestimate the full impact of what our changes to date will ultimately cause.

    Oh, and the reference to leftist. Who cares Jeff! Who gives a Tinkers Damn about politics, political orientations etc. These are the great irrelevancies in life.

    This discussion is about the physical processes of the world and their impact on human well being. And what actions we take to restructure our energy systems or what ever may be needed to ensure that our well being is protected by working with those physical pprocesses rather than against them.

    All the political-orientation snark is purely, perfectly and precisely irrelevant.

    More later…..

    • Jeff Id said

      I look forward to your reply Glenn. In the meantime, the reference to leftist is quite relevant in the whole of AGW. The movement has become an anti-industrial push to form global governance which is completely unrelated to science. The complete failure of climate models and their continued unfettered support by “climate scientists” is a perfect example. No mathematically competent person can realistically say that they have functioned correctly or that we can trust their predictions.

      While it would be nice just to discuss the data coldly (no pun), all evidence indicates that the political orientation is more in the center of the debate than the science is at this point, because the “science” is horribly corrupted. We have models, paleo studies, Antarctic melting, hurricanes, droughts, shrinking sheep, extreme weather, fake energy solutions, all existing simultaneously, none are reported fairly for various reasons despite being in direct contradiction to observation.


      I am happy to discuss the science with you though and leave that out of it. Maybe I will learn something new. I certainly make no claim to be an expert.

      • stan said

        The big Global Warming conference in Copenhagen in 2009 served as Mecca for true believers in the warming movement. One of the speakers was the marxist dictator Hugo Chavez. Chavez had nothing to say about science, but he delivered an over the top rant on the evils of capitalism. The attendees went bonkers with standing ovations. He got, by far, the most and loudest applause of any speaker that week. That the movers and shakers of global warming are ardent marxists with a hatred for free enterprise does not prove that they are wrong on their science. But it does go to the issue of motivation and bias. And when their “solutions” happen to coincide perfectly with the same political goals they were pushing long before global warming was an issue, it should give any rational person pause to consider.

        • Jeff Id said

          I remember that speech. I couldn’t believe how many stupid people there were in that room. It takes such a massive level of ignorance to support Chavez that it is literally incomprehensible to me.

    • hunter said

      The fallacy in your argument is that when the world was warmer ocean heat content did not in fact do anything dramatic or dangerous.
      The deception in your argument is that you rely on big numbers to distract people.
      The annoying part of your argument is that you want rely on your fallacies and deceptions and dodge points other people make.

      • Glenn Tamblyn said

        Hunter

        The fallacy in your argument is that I never mentioned “anything dramatic or dangerous” about the oceans.
        The deception in your argument is that you ignore the fact that numbers, whether large or small, are the primary tool we use to comprehend the world. Numbers aren’t distraction. Numbers measure reality. Without numbers we can’t form judgements. If we ignore numbers then we are truly distracted. Numbers illuminate. When we ignore numbers we live in the dark
        The annoying part of your argument is that you want rely on your fallacies and deceptions and dodge points other people make.

        • hunter said

          Glenn,
          A bit unoriginal on your part. But then part of being a climate kook is that it relieves one from having to think at all, much less be original.
          Your use of big numbers is to make minor small changes look scary.
          Sort like the way other climate kooks play with graph scales to make trivial changes in temperature, say 0.5 oC over X years, look much bigger than it actually is in a system that ranges more than 30 oC.
          The fallacy in your echo chamber is that you do use scary dangerous things to justify your reliance onthe precautionary principal:
          “If the energy from the sun could not be radiated out to space and all instead remained and accumulated here then result would be enough to:

          – Boil Sydney Harbour dry in 12 seconds.
          – Boil the oceans away in around 900 years
          – Melt the entire Earth’s crust in 5,000 to 10,000 years.

          Obviously that energy can escape to space. But there is still a restriction on that flow in the form of the GH effect. So I would have though that anything that involves adjusting the control valve regulating that outflow is something we would want to be very conservative about.
          That 250 trillion watts accumulating in the oceans, obviously isn’t coming from anywhere here on earth; there is no energy source big enough to supply it.
          And the world hasn’t stopped warming. There is still at least 250 trillion watts worth of warming. And if all that energy that is currently going into the oceans had all gone into the air instead, air temperatures would be rising at 15 C/decade. If the Earth were a desert world, with only very, very shallow seas and not huge oceans there would be absolutely no question mark about the impact of CO2 – its effect would be blatant and immediate.
          Are you really that confident that the oceans are the thing we should be so worried about?”

          And it is even scarier if you consider the fact that if only a billion tons of ocean water were converted all at once to pure energy then Earth would vaporize instantly.

          Your use of numbers, like the use of nearly any tool in the hands of climate kooks, increases ignorance and deepens the gloom of reactionary thoughtlessness.
          You are just dressing up a long winded sciencey sounding abuse of numbers to hide your precautionary fallacy.
          And you cannot even respond originally.
          Thanks for playing.

    • timetochooseagain said

      “Who gives a Tinkers Damn about politics, political orientations etc. These are the great irrelevancies in life.”

      “And what actions we take to restructure our energy systems”

      Just thought I’d juxtapose these statements because there inherent contradiction is apparently lost on their author.

      • Glenn Tamblyn said

        That’s not a contradiction timetochooseagain

        How we organise our societies is primarily a question of how we manage the distribution of physical resources with the basic requirement being that we do it in ways that protect our well being.

        Politics is the process by which we cloud the making those judgements with extraneous issues.

        Government and management is what we expect. Sadly politics and (reaches for barf bag) ideology is what we get

      • hunter said

        Like most fanatics Glenn is unable to admit he has ideology. From the perspective of the fanatic, they are driven by “truth”.

  12. Jeff:

    I’m not too worried about the cold any more than the warmth. The scare stories on both sides seem pretty far flung to me. There are at least a couple dozen things we should be more worried about for the future of our civilization than either global warming or a coming ice age.

    That said, your point about the ocean heat content swamping the atmospheric heat content is important and needs to be made again and again. There is simply no comparison. And the claim we occasionally hear that a warming atmosphere will heat up the ocean to any appreciable degree is silly.

    For those who doubt, think about filling a bathtub with hot water and how quickly the air in the bathroom warms up. In a matter of minutes the air temperature can rise several degrees. In contrast, next time you want to take a hot bath try this: fill the tub with cold water and then crank up your furnace and start pumping hot air in there. See how long it takes for that hot air in the bathroom to warm up the water to a comfortable temperature. (Hint: ain’t gonna happen anytime soon.)

    • Jeff Id said

      I don’t worry about cold either. It will happen though and it will be a lot worse than any warming we can create in the meantime.

    • kuhnkat said

      Assuming there is something that can cause another ice age, let me suggest that it isn’t going to be as bad as we are allowed to assume. With a mile or more of ice on half of the Northern hemisphere and part of the southern, we will have a bit of sea level drop. We seem to agree on adiabatic cooling/warming. That means that the coastal levels will be warmer than the temps on the tops of the continents and, as sea levels drop less surface area for evaporation. The equator is less affected with the continental shelves of the temperate zones the new sweet spots with cool areas on the tops of the continents. We will lose land on net, but, overall not nearly as catastrophic as many think as we currently have far more land than necessary to support the population. Yeah, Canada, Siberia, Europe won’t be happy, but, the shallows between Britain, Scandinavia, and the continent should all become useable etc.

      Just think, a few LARGE nukes in the middle of the glaciers could provide power and fresh water easily!!! No worries about waste heat or radiation!! 8>)

      • Jeff Id said

        I agree that there should be plenty of livable land mass. Humanity will not die from the next ice age either, but it will probably get its a$$ seriously kicked.

      • hunter said

        How long will it take to get even a 0.25 mile continental ice sheet formed?
        I seriously doubt if any of us will be around to see a quarter mile, much less one mile.
        This is like the faux panic of the climate obsessed over a melting Greenland. The more hysterical amongst the obsessed think Greenland is melting significantly this century. If I recall correctly even if Greenland’s rate of melt accelerated significantly it would still be more than 10,000 years to melt. At the current rate I believe Greenland might melt in about ~40,000 years.
        Who rationally gives a flying fooey about 40,000 years?
        Add to the fact that history shows Greenland melting is dynamic and has melted at faster and slower rates in the past and the entire alarmist panic can be considered in the silly light it deserves.

        • Jeff Id said

          As I said, I don’t worry about it either. My point was that it is something real that is dangerous whereas dangerous global warming is not real and the amount we can see is not dangerous.

          • hunter said

            It is that last part- that the reality is there is nothing going on that is dangerously different than what has been giong on historically- that I find most interesting when I speak with true believers.
            It is as if a medieval superstitious mind was given a sciencey modern vocabulary and told that CO2 is the new evil.
            The plot lines of the climate believer story are just warmed over apocalyptic claptrap. Humans made a deal with Faust, and CO2 is the tool of Faust to wreck havoc on an innocent humanity and take the souls of technological/industrial humanity to climate hades.

          • Jeff Id said

            Just to give you comfort,] the human mind is not known to have changed in capacity in the last 2000 years.

          • Jeff Id said

            We are essentially barely out of the trees as a species. We have learned to build nice toys, to play with basic medicines and are just starting to understand the basics of the universe we live in. Then we have those telling us to burn the witches to protect what will happen.

            Why do we listen?

  13. timetochooseagain said

    You may not be interested in politics, Mr. Tamblyn, but politics is very interested in you.

    You are in good company, in a way, thinking yourself above ideology and disgusted by it. Napolean derided the idéologues who confronted him with the basic realities of economics, the Physiocrats, who had the nerve to tell him he couldn’t do this or that. But you are quite wrong to think you are without ideology, outside and apart from politics. You don’t understand the premises of politics you have unquestioningly excepted in what you regard as the very basic points of your claims.

    “How we organise our societies is primarily a question of how we manage the distribution of physical resources with the basic requirement being that we do it in ways that protect our well being.”

    This is an ideological statement, a politic statement, and you need to understand it. People like you, of your ideology, take it for granted that “we” must make decisions. But “we” is politics. Outside of politics, we don’t make decisions, we don’t design the distribution of physical resources. To insist that we must do so is the very political point under dispute.

    It is, as Hayek said, the curious task of economics is to demonstrate to men how little they really know about what they imagine they can design.

    The very point of politics is not to cloud your ability to design society, to decide how you will organize the distribution of physical resources on behalf of everyone else.

    Politics is a fight between people who don’t think you or anyone else should be allowed to do so, and a bunch of people who think someone should be allowed to do so.

  14. Genghis said

    The ocean is the greenhouse effect…. It absorbs SW radiation and cools primarily by evaporation and secondarily by LW radiation. Evaporation (latent heat) does not warm the troposphere, convection is adiabatic and the energy goes into expanding the atmosphere (work). Atmospheric downwelling LW radiation (which can only penetrate a couple of microns into the ocean) whether from clouds, CO2, water vapor, etc. causes the thermal skin layer of the ocean to evaporate, cooling it below warmer subsurface temperatures. The ocean subsurface temperature just below the surface is always warmer than the surface temperature.

    The oceans evaporation rate (cooling) is primarily governed by the wind, atmospheric LW radiation and temperature, in that order. The oceans rate of warming is governed by its absorption at depth by solar SW insolation.

    Incidentally, or not so incidentally the oceans average temperature is approximately 5˚C which just happens to be the S-B solution when emissivity = absorptivity, which it does. The oceans average surface temperature is around 22˚C which is about 7˚C warmer than the air ‘surface’ temperature.

    Yes CO2 does increase downwelling atmospheric radiation, but downwelling atmospheric radiation does not warm the ocean. The ocean energy cycle contains easily over 99% of the energy in the earths system.

    I have measured and can confirm via measurements, observations and calculations most of the above.

    • Genghis said

      Jeff,

      I have also been thinking about the atomic testing and stratification that you mentioned. I can confirm that the temperature layers are definitely stratified and that they get thicker when heated and thinner as they cool.

      I hadn’t thought about it before, but the heat flux does seem to have a horizontal flux preferential. In theory the heat flux should be in every direction, but observationally it is layered. Sometimes the layers are big if the mechanical mixing of wind and waves is present, but it is always layered.

      Got to go with the evidence, and it seems like the stratification effect increases the greenhouse effect of the ocean by further delaying heat transport to the surface.

      • Jeff Id said

        The density of the warmed water causes the stratification. Salinity gradients and currents taking water toward the poles mess it up.

  15. Gilbert K Arnold said

    Jeff: A minor quibble about your statement…” Earth normally exists in an ice age….” As geologist, I have to disagree with you. For the past 2.7 ma we have inhabited an “ice house” Earth. However for most of the past 570 ma the average global temperature has been about 24°C. The last the global temperature was this cold was approximately 380 million years ago (ma) at the end of the Ordovician age

  16. gallopingcamel said

    Tamblyn says the oceans would boil in a year if the Earth stopped radiating in the thermal Infra Red.

    Yes, and we would all shoot off into space if gravity went into reverse. Let’s stop talking nonsense and make a serious attempt to apply physics to the surface temperatures of planets and moons.

    With this in mind I applied Finite Element Analysis to explain temperatures on our moon:
    http://tallbloke.wordpress.com/2014/04/18/a-new-lunar-thermal-model-based-on-finite-element-analysis-of-regolith-physical-properties/

    As the above model looked pretty good, I used it to speculate what the temperature of an airless Earth might be:
    http://tallbloke.wordpress.com/2014/08/27/extending-a-new-lunar-thermal-model-part-ii-modelling-an-airless-earth/

    When it comes to bodies with significant atmospheres, the work of Ramanathan and Wetherald has been extended by Pierrehumbert and others. In my opinion Robinson & Catling have taken this kind of modeling to an impressive level. Their model matches observations well:
    http://diggingintheclay.wordpress.com/2014/04/27/robinson-and-catling-model-closely-matches-data-for-titans-atmosphere/

    The R&C model implies that the absorption of radiation in stratospheres is roughly proportional to pressure while in the troposphere the absorption is proportional to pressure squared. The tropopause is a transition region between these two regimes.

    Robinson & Catling can explain the negative temperature gradients for the tropospheres of all seven of the bodies in the solar system that have significant atmospheres. They can also explain the positive temperature gradients for the stratospheres of six of these bodies. They can also explain why the stratospere of Venus has an anomalous (negative) temperature gradient:
    http://www.nature.com/ngeo/journal/v7/n1/abs/ngeo2020.html

    Next month I hope to meet Tyler Robinson at Duke University to discuss the possibility of using Finite Element Analysis to improve the R&C model. For example, why not model the 100% cloud coverage on Venus or the multiple cloud layers on Earth?

  17. […] decades of repressed living under guaranteed government cash, just simple reasoning.  This bit was written in a response to Glenn Tamblyn from SKS with regards to the […]

  18. […] you know that a century of today’s worst case global warming heat can be stored in the deep oceans with only an approximate 0.1C rise in temperature and that […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

 
%d bloggers like this: