The intent is clear: Don’t believe your lying eyes – global warming continues unabated. Ocean heat content gives us the scare we need. We don’t need no stinking surface temperatures. Maybe if surface temperatures do rise again in the future, which they well may, the warmists will use this classic misdirection again, and ocean heat content will be relegated to obscurity once more, where it will remain until it is convenient for The Cause to drag it out and place it front and centre again.
When global surface temperatures started levelling off, and then continued to plateau, it was a real blow to the alarmist cause. How could they claim that global warming was an urgent problem that needed trillions of taxpayer dollars to fix when the temperatures showed otherwise? Here’s the alarmists’ thought process: Where’s the missing heat? Our models must be right (no doubt there), so it must be hiding somewhere. Somewhere we can’t measure it. Deep in the oceans! And because of the much larger heat capacity of water compared to air, the differences in temperature would be of the order of hundredths of a degree. Which is conveniently impossible to measure accurately.