Miraculous: computer game finds missing heat

Argo buoy being deployed

From today’s Summit County Citizen’s Voice, we read Bob Berwyn’s account of Kevin Trenberth’s favourite paper so far this century.

Global warming: ‘Missing’ heat found deep in the ocean

Changes in ocean currents and circulation are capturing some of the sun’s incoming heat deep in the ocean, according to researchers with the National Center for Atmospheric Research, who said their latest computer models account for some of the global warming heat that’s “missing” from land and sea surface temperature readings.

This implied that heat was building up somewhere on Earth, according to a 2010 study published in Science by NCAR researchers Kevin Trenberth and John Fasullo.

Observations from a global network of buoys showed some warming in the upper ocean, but not enough to account for the global build-up of heat. Although scientists suspected the deep oceans were playing a role, few measurements were available to confirm that hypothesis.

To track where the heat was going, Meehl and colleagues used a powerful software tool known as the Community Climate System Model, which was developed by scientists at NCAR and the Department of Energy with colleagues at other organizations.

Well, well, who would have thought? All the missing heat, safe in the ocean deep, alive and well, having nipped through the upper reaches of the ocean without warming it. I never guessed — did you? Truly amazing.

But there’s no data, just more modelling

The computer game doesn’t care about realism, so the lack of any plausible mechanism whereby the heat might have reached more than 1000 ft (305 m) deep while leaving the upper levels unwarmed didn’t affect its findings.

When the game “found” extra heat deep in the ocean, there was nothing to say “that’s impossible.”

So, because they’re real scientists, we can expect an announcement very soon of a new study aimed at discovering how the missing heat got to where it was found.

One day they’ll get around to actually observing the climate effects they report. When they do, you can read about it here!

Just 90 yrs before we’re steaming

sea lion eating a juvenile shark

Yesterday, under the heading “Warming link to sea lion exodus” the NZ Herald carried a story about sea lions leaving their native Galapagos Islands. Apparently about 30 of them moved 1400 kilometres south-east to the island of Foca, off the coast of Peru.

The reason for the move, described as unexpected, was put down to “what may be another symptom of global warming”.

That’s a most alarming piece of news, because the sea surface temperatures around Foca Island are described as rising “over the past 10 years from an average of 17°C to 23°C”.

That’s a rise of 6°C in only 10 years! Which is the equivalent of 60 degrees over 100 years! And they think it’s caused by so-called “global warming”? I’ve never heard such nonsense, and I’ve heard some nonsense.

Even the sea lions, whose enthusiasm for warm water apparently motivates 1400-km marathon swim events, would be seriously discombobulated by sea surface temperatures quite this high.

For the Herald to uncritically re-publish this piece from The Independent is reprehensible, particularly since they must be aware that there are currently serious discussions taking place here and overseas about the inadequacies of global and local temperature records. Continue Reading →