Oceans don’t warm as they lose heat

Royal Society web site banner

Keith Hunter’s statement gives another reason to believe in Anthropogenic Global Warming:

It is also clear that the oceans absorb about 85% of the excess heat resulting from this radiative forcing by greenhouse gases (as well as about 40% of the carbon dioxide). Detailed measurements of the changes in oceanic heat content, and the temperature rise that accompanies this, agree quantitatively with the predicted radiative forcing.

This is far from “clear”. It is both absurd and wrong.

  • The ARGO programme has found that the ocean has been cooling since 2003. Despite expectations of warming, temperature measurements of the upper 700 m of the ocean from the ARGO array show no increase from 2003 to 2008.
  • It is physically impossible. CO2 radiates infrared at wavelengths of about 12 microns, while the limit for sea absorption is 3 microns.

The greenhouse effect involves wavelengths greater than 3 microns (mostly around 14 for CO2), while the absorption spectra for the oceans cover wavelengths less than 3 microns (mostly in the visible light range). It is not physically possible for the oceans to absorb 85% of the energy recycled by the Greenhouse Effect – and it’s even harder if you accept the IPCC argument that the impact of an enhanced greenhouse effect occurs near the tropopause (10-15 km above the ocean surface with a CO2 optical depth of the order of 10 m).

Is Prof Hunter right? Is this a reason to believe in Anthropogenic Global Warming?