the Air Vent

Because the world needs another opinion

Something New Under the Sun

Posted by Jeff Id on March 9, 2015

Michael Mann and Jeff Id agree on something.   No really, we do.   I’m rather surprised as you can imagine.  I haven’t changed a bit but methinks Micheal Mann is a budding skeptic.  here.

Our conclusion that natural cooling in the Pacific is a principal contributor to the recent slowdown in large-scale warming is consistent with some other recent studies, including a study I commented on previously showing that stronger-than-normal winds in the tropical Pacific during the past decade have lead to increased upwelling of cold deep water in the eastern equatorial Pacific. –– Real Climate
Below is a comment right from my blog.  This bit was written in a response to Glenn Tamblyn from SKS with regards to the oceans.

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 10 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 Id

Oddly enough, in recognizing the mixing of oceans, Real Climate may have just acknowledged that we can actually stuff 100% of global warming energy into the ocean for a millennia with literally zero consequence.  Of course the same peak-oil folks can’t imagine how we would have carbon for even another 200 years but that is another story.    By the second law of thermodynamics, when the heat is mixed into a 2C-ish body of water, it cannot be released in a manner which warms the greater temperature atmosphere of the Earth.   The heat is functionally lost in terms of global warming.  It literally cannot come back in droves or we need to rewrite physics. 

Summary for reporters, all of physics — big redo. 

In the linked Air Vent post, the main point is below (my bold for emphasis):

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 potentially have overwhelmed the CO2 effect without our knowing. 

In their new paper, Mann claims that the globally powerful IPCC climate model trends were inverted from a tiny change in wind mixing in the pacific.  Sounds like a pretty good copy of me!

Now make no mistake, this is heat mixed into the much colder ocean water AGAINST climate model prediction.  Shockingly, even after this situation, Real Climate STILL doesn’t feel any pressure from simple things like the “laws of physics” or “Basic Thermodynamics”.   With the quote below as the final straw, I have no idea how a scientist would wish to be associated with the Real Climate site.  Anyway, the last word should go to them and speaks for itself I think.

Given the pattern of past historical variation, this trend will likely reverse with internal variability, instead adding to anthropogenic warming in the coming decades.

34 Responses to “Something New Under the Sun”

  1. omanuel said

    The AGW debate is over. Settled – not by debate – but by unacknowledged solar forces that produced, in solar cycle #24, the lowest sunspot number recorded since 1750.

    Why unacknowledged?

    1. CHAOS and FEAR in AUG-SEPT 1945 convinced world leaders to:
    _ a.) Form the United Nations on 24 OCTOBER 1945, and
    _ b.) Hide energy that destroyed Hiroshima on 6 AUG 1945:

    2. Thanks to Climategate, they failed to hide THE FORCE OF CREATION:

    In 2002 Professors Barry Ninham, Stig Friberg and I published information on unacknowledged solar forces in climate models endorsed by the UN’s IPCC [“Super-fluidity in the solar interior: Implications for solar eruptions and climate”, Journal of Fusion Energy 21, 193-198 (2002)]:

  2. kuhnkat said

    Actually Jeff, if you ask them they will probably tell you they have been saying this all along and you have finally seen the light to agree with them!! 8>)

    • Jeff Id said

      haha, I’m sure. It is the fault of others that their beliefs didn’t get incorporated into Model code. Can you imagine the ridiculous spread of model runs if they included ‘spontaneous’ cooling (and apparently warming) due to increased and decreased oceanic mixing.

  3. Bernd Palmer said

    “including a study I commented on previously showing that stronger-than-normal winds in the tropical Pacific during the past decade have lead to increased upwelling of cold deep water in the eastern equatorial Pacific. — Real Climate”
    Since he doesn’t say “unprecedent stronger-than-normal winds” we must assume that these winds are natural variations and thus have happened in the past. Here we have it, those winds may have been the cause for the ice ages and warm periods over the whole history of the planet.

  4. M Simon said

    In 71,000 years the oceans will be boiling. We are doomed.

  5. Pouncer said

    Is not the heat-of-fusion required to melt Antarctic ice also a sink of atmospheric heat? If winds off the warm oceans blow deeper than formerly, onto the polar shores, and cause the melting of which we have been warned, does not the wind return to the ocean cooled, along with freezing cold water which cools the ocean?

    What model addresses the geography of the planet as well as the atmospherics?

  6. MikeN said

    I’ve said this before, but if Michael Mann is speaking honestly he puts a lower number on global warming. His book suggests a negative feedback in the tropics, possibly the Pacific Thermostat Hypothesis, and when he was giving a talk at MIT to scientists, he agreed that ‘warming in climate models is vastly overstated’, saying that he thinks there is a missing negative feedback.

  7. Brian H said

    IMO, proof that AGW is a scummy scam.

    Jeff, you’d write better if you learned to distinguish plurals and possessives, and plurals and singulars.
    climate scenario’s → scenarios
    a millennia → a millennium

    • Jeff Id said

      The mistake is poor proofreading. I type quickly and don’t spend enough time on proofing. I even wrote 2.24 x 10^11 instead of 10^10 despite calculating the number of years correctly.

      I’ll try to do better.

  8. stevefitzpatrick said

    2.24×10^10 seconds, not 2.24×10^11 seconds. ( 2.24×10^10 seconds IS 710 years.)

  9. hunter said

    Jeff, great post. The most important part for me is that once the heat is lost, it is lost. I always suspected this. Can you elaborate on it more?
    One of the signs of bad science is that the proponents of bad science rely on new physical laws.
    I have always thought the CO2 thermostat, “missing heat”, not to mention “run away greenhouse” all qualify as candidates for new physicallaws if not outright magic.

    • Jeff Id said

      The heat when intermixed in the ocean water ends up being a delta T of hundredths or less of a degree C. There is no way to reverse entropy and re-release this heat to the atmosphere.

      wiki – The Second Law of Thermodynamics states that the state of entropy of the entire universe, as a closed isolated system, will always increase over time.

      TX. randomness of molecular thermal distribution cannot self organize into a hotter body. A hundredth of a degree of increased ocean temp can only result in a maximum of a hundredth of a degree of increase in air temp. For all reasonable AGW purposes the heat is lost permanently. In addition, the average temp of the ocean is a couple of degrees C which makes it far colder than the important bits of the atmosphere (where I live of course) so with increased mixing, the heat flows in, not out. Warmer water in the ocean means it flows in a tiny bit slower but the delta T of the average ocean temp to the lower troposphere is large enough that even Michael Mann can’t claim that a hundredth of a degree can make any measurable difference in atmospheric temp.

      Bob Tisdale likes the oceanic temperature study because that is really the key to how much warming we can see and it is completely dependent on oceanic mix rate.

  10. hswiseman said

    There is more to the ocean heat content issue than mere mixing of warm surface waters into the ocean proper. Ocean-atmosphere heat flux transfers (radiative and convective) are limited to very thin layers near the surface, the rate of which is highly determined by wind generated perturbation. Heat fluxes not equilibrated through this near surface process are subject to entropic dilution, with the oceans functioning as a virtual one-way heat sink. The arrow of time for these residual heat fluxes cannot be reversed and their energy content can only be re-emitted to the atmosphere in highly diluted form.

    The sequester theory is completely unphysical. Heat entering the oceans will continuously dissipate through radiative/convective transfer or entropy effects as the entire physical system seeks equilibrium.
    The basic thermodynamics of introducing heat into a fluid are impacted by external forcings which propagate thermal boundary layers disrupting idealized lapse rates. Localized wind and current conditions can concentrate anomalous warmer or colder pools, but these conditions are by definition short-lived, subjected to ocean-atmosphere boundary layer processes at or near the surface and by the thermodynamic process. Regions experiencing excess atmospheric heat exchanges will see baroclinic and convective effects. To the extent that water warmed at the surface downwells before cooling occurs, you can forget about ever seeing that heat content returned intact in a subsequent upwell.

    • Jeff Id said

      The entirety of global warming for a thousand years can be stuffed into oceans with barely detectable results. What I also haven’t seen is geological energy capture effects. Rain, usually evaporated from oceans is regularly dropped on land only to equilibriate with the ground temperatures. There is a lot of heat capacity in water per ton but there is a lot of ton’s of rock that this water filters through. I need to reread model work some more to see how this obvious and massive heatsink is taken into account.

      Oceans are very powerful moderators of any warming we might see. It seems to me that with current energy transport through the oceans, it is highly unlikely that we could increase the surface temperatures of the ocean water by 4C with CO2 in the next 5000 years. It is more likely that there are unreasonable assumptions which lead to those conclusions and that is why climate models fail.

      • j ferguson said

        Jeff, likely my view is crazy, and certainly under-informed, but i was always puzzled that none of what I have read on this subject ever addresses ‘total energy.”

        If, as I think, the alarmists assume (and maybe most of the rest of us), more energy comes than goes, there has to be an effect. Yet they do not write in these terms.

        With apologies, you appear to be saying that a significant fraction of this additional energy gets lost in the sinks. Maybe the sinks share the burden of absorbing the additional energy and it is not expressed entirely in the climate.

        I would think that if the alarmists were stipulating that all of the excess energy found its way to climate modification, it would be easy to show that they are probably overcooking it.

  11. stevefitzpatrick said

    Hi Jeff,
    It most certainly is true that any significant change in average ocean temperature would take centuries to millennia. But this is a reflection of both the vast thermal mass of the oceans and the mechanisms involved in heating. As you know, warming any liquid from above is inherently slow because density stratification (buoyancy) keeps warm liquid at the surface. Cooling from above is by comparison very efficient because it generates convective overturning. The deep ocean will continue to be cooled by deep convection at high latitudes, and that cold deep water will continue to spread globally along the ocean floor, in spite of any modest surface warming. After all, the ocean surface at high latitudes, even when near 0C, is always (in winter) much warmer than the air. The ocean is an effective thermal trap door: heat can easily escape, while warming is inherently slow.

    So there is no possibility of rapid ocean warming, just as you note, but neither does the ocean inhibit surface warming very effectively. Trenberth’s missing heat is probably non-existent, and if existent, then irrelevant. The relatively slow surface warming of the past 15 years is fairly well screaming that GCM’s are far too sensitive to GHG forcing; I expect those screams will continue to be ignored by climate science until folks like Trenberth, who have a huge personal investment in future catastrophe, are no longer active in the field. Only their departure, and the continuing reality of slower than projected warming, will end the climate madness. When it is clear that sensitivity falls in a fairly low, narrow range, the leftist eco-loons will just move on to some other hypothetical catastrophe, just as they always have. Their’s is a game of politics, not science.

    • Jeff Id said

      “So there is no possibility of rapid ocean warming, just as you note, but neither does the ocean inhibit surface warming very effectively. ”

      We don’t often disagree but I don’t think we have the information to conclude that oceans are not effective at inhibiting warming. I think we can reasonably claim the opposite, meaning we don’t really know what the oceans will do. As you said, the missing heat seems to be non-existent but besides that individual point, long term changes in subtle oceanic mixing may be slightly less stable than modeled and short term measured information suggest. It takes very little perturbation in mix rates to overturn all of AGW warming and we don’t really have a good means of measuring the ocean to those subtle levels.

      Also, if winds increase as atmospheric temperature differentials increase, I wonder if we don’t have a powerful temperature moderating feedback. Not that I really believe that to be the case either, I just don’t know.

      • jinghis said

        Water evaporating at the surface of the tropical ocean is the powerful temperature moderating feedback Jeff.

        Downwelling atmospheric radiation does not warm the surface of the ocean. It is absorbed in the top couple of microns, but what it does is cause evaporation, which lowers the air pressure, further increasing evaporation. Moist air is less dense than dry air, and it expands the air parcels at the surface cooling them and creating convective currents like the Hadley cells.

        It really is that simple.

  12. Frederick Colbourne said

    “The heat when intermixed in the ocean water ends up being a delta T of hundredths or less of a degree C. There is no way to reverse entropy and re-release this heat to the atmosphere.”

    Jeff, I found your blog by looking up the subject of vertical heat diffusion in the oceans. My interest is related to a simple model I am working on but I want to expand it to include latitudinal mixing.

    What you are saying fits thermodynamic theory. However, we need to explain the observed oceanic oscillations, such as ENSO with warm and cool phases. Ditto the AMO,etc.

    Don’t these oscillations exchange heat with the atmosphere?

    Also observations of currents such as the Gulf Stream and the Humboldt Currents show sharp boundaries with the ocean through which the current flows, indicating lack of mixing..The Gulf Stream in particular is reputed to release heat into the atmosphere of Ireland and Scotland.

    Don’t these currents exchange heat with the atmosphere?

    It seems to me that we need somehow to reconcile the theory of entropy with the observations showing that oceans do release heat to the atmosphere.

    In my opinion the difference in temperature between the tropics and higher latitudes drives this exchange.

    • Jeff Id said


      Someone good for a reference on ocean temps is Bob Tisdale, link on the right.

      “Don’t these currents exchange heat with the atmosphere?” sure.

      Of course a lot of work has been done on heat transfer between oceans and atmosphere. What complicates it is the unknowns in calculating vertical exchange rate as the oceans are physically stable with warm less dense water sitting on top.

  13. […] And it looks like the “consensus” is in error. Take that Jerry Brown. Let us start with the oceans. The oceans are huge and the atmosphere is small. Thermal mass wise. Once the heat from the sun or […]

  14. M Simon said

    Well that is funny. The comment on thermodynamics in a gravitational field seems to have been deleted.

    Tallbloke discusses it here:

    And it has been confirmed by experiment.

    You can look up “Josef Loschmidt temperature gradient gravitation” for more results.

    One of the missing links has experimental confirmation:

    • Jeff Id said

      The comment on thermodynamics is deleted because it was from Doug Cotton and whether the effect exists or not, the rest of Doug’s conclusions are a mess. I delete all of his nonsense as he has repeatedly proven his own conclusions wrong, yet isn’t smart enough or honest enough to admit it. The same thermal gradient exists in a gas anyway by diffusion and advection.

      I have always found Loschmidts argument interesting because I cannot physically understand why the gradient would not exist in a gravitational field. I’m not that smart. I have said that several times in the comment section of this blog. What I can understand is that if it does exist as the experiment you linked seems to show, it looks like free energy to me. The fact that you can generate different gradients in different materials appears to be a perpetual motion machine is a big problem that needs to be worked out. The answer needs to be that it is not a perpetual energy source or physics has a very big re-write on the way.

      Naturally, I question the validity of the experiment first!

      • M Simon said

        OK. A lot of people seem to dislike Cotton for a number of different reasons.

        As to perpetual motion. Only if you don’t account for the temperature differentials in your supposed energy capture mechanism. Or pumping energy if you are using fluids for your heat engine.

        But think about it – the differential can only significantly exist if something is pumping energy into the system. Once that stops the energy radiates away. Which is exactly what would happen if you could capture the energy from the temperature differential at zero energy cost (no losses other than Carnot).

        The cold at the top, hot at the bottom atmosphere does not prevent radiation.

        Thermodynamics is one of the toughest courses in physics. It trips up LOTS of people. In my Naval Nuke class it washed out about 50%. I was not one of them (I got top marks in fact).

        BTW I mooted the subject to JoNova and was declined on account of a lack of significant thermodynamic expertise there. (Good move) It seems to be a common failing of the whole field. A field which DEPENDS on thermo for proper understanding.

        And don’t forget the equalizing effect of convection. But you get convection from the thermal energy in the system.

        What makes Loschmidt’s argument interesting for me is that I have come to the tentative conclusion that “greenhouse gases” are no such thing. I currently think “radiation trapping” is a fiction. Mainly because of the time scales. At best you get minutes of trapping. Loschmidt allows for much longer time scales. But I haven’t run the numbers so I’d have to say the jury is still out. And because of all the confounding factors it may be impossible to run the numbers.

        • Jeff Id said

          The problem with Cotton is not whether I like him or not, it is that he is completely incompetent in thermodynamics and seems to have a motivated rejection of fact when he contradicts himself. His arguments are scientific sounding nonsense. I got tired of pointing that out to him.

          I enjoyed all of my thermodynamics classes and use thermodynamics quite regularly in my work. “Radiation trapping” is a significant portion of radiant thermodynamics. Without it, the universe would be a very different place. I don’t understand how it could possibly ‘not’ exist with or without Loschmidt.

          Conceptually, I cannot easily understand how Loschmidt is wrong. It seems pretty obvious that moving molecules in a gravitational field would lose energy with height. I’m no expert on quantum motions though and it also seems possible that on a quantum scale, the individual interactions from like molecules could transfer their spin and vibrational energy vertically in a gravitational field without loss. That is quite possibly the mechanism by which Loshmidt was actually wrong.

          The difference in column temperatures without measured work is a big big problem. The author of the paper you linked recognized the problem and gave an alternative version to the second law of thermodynamics with no explanation of where the energy comes from. It was nice to have my comment back to you on second law violations validated by the article before I read it. I haven’t read the paper thoroughly and have only skimmed it but by default, the paper is saying that the energy is being taken directly from the gravitational field of the planet, which then implies some kind of mass conversion from somewhere else as we know E = mc^2. Kind of an interesting side effect I think.

          What I also don’t understand from your argument or Doug’s is how Loshmidt makes any effect at all on the greenhouse gas argument. The dry adiabatic lapse rate from flow of gasses in the atmosphere results in the exact same temperature gradient. It seems to make no difference whatsoever whether to the AGW argument as the same temperature profile is caused by gasses flowing vertically in a gravitational field. I am highly suspicious that the experiment of the link you sent may have allowed some form of vertical movement in the fluid. This would negate the whole thing. Again, I don’t really know what they did as I haven’t read it yet.

          Unfortunately, I have to work again this morning so I’m off to do that. I will check back from time to time today to see if there is some explanation for our differences.

          • M Simon said

            Radiation is hard to trap. OTOH converting it to motion (heat) is not so hard.

            As to gravitational thermal stratification. Tallbloke noted an experiment in a post in 2012. That was disputed mainly on account of possible experimental error. I agree with that. Note also that the experimenter had to severely retard convection.

            The centrifuge experiment seems to have confirmed the experiment Tallbloke noted.

            So is a gravitational field Maxwell’s demon? Since such an idea is apriori nonsense it has never been seriously studied. I’d like to have a better mind than mine more conversant with the field do some serious study of the matter. Me? Thinking about stepper motors occupies most of my time. A somewhat more constrained branch of reality.

          • Jeff Id said

            I can’t follow. A centrifuge creates the gradient initially by simple compression of gas, the thermal stability point is what we need to find. I never liked the centrifuge experiments because of the miniscule gradient we need to find and the turbulence which would upset it.

            Again, I don’t know why it matters to AGW. Seems moot.

Leave a Reply

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

You are commenting using your 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: