Debunking The Latest Ocean Warming Scare

Debunking The Latest Ocean Warming Scare

Willis Eschenbach over at WUWT has a good summary of the latest scare story about ocean warming:

How much is a “Whole Little”? Well, it’s like a whole lot, only much, much smaller.

There’s a new paper out. As usual, it has a whole bunch of authors, fourteen to be precise.

My rule of thumb is that “The quality of research varies inversely with the square of the number of authors” … but I digress.

In this case, they’re mostly Chinese, plus some familiar western hemisphere names like Kevin Trenberth and Michael Mann. Not sure why they’re along for the ride, but it’s all good. The paper is “Record-Setting Ocean Warmth Continued in 2019“.

Here’s their money graph:

Now, that would be fairly informative … except that it’s in zettajoules. I renew my protest against the use of zettajoules for displaying or communicating this kind of ocean analysis.

It’s not that they are not accurate, they are. It’s that nobody has any idea what that actually means.

Read the full post here.

Willis makes a number of points:

Firstly, when it is expressed in terms of temperature, we find that the oceans down to 2,000m have warmed by little more than 0.1C in half a century, hardly Armageddon:

The idea that we can measure the temperature of the world’s deep oceans to such fine margins is, of course, twaddle.

As Willis points out, even ARGO buoys, only operational since 2005, only cover less than one-third of the oceans. Prior to that, we were doing little more than guesswork.

Although zettajoules sound impressive, the claimed increase is microscopic compared to the total amount of energy entering and leaving the ocean.

How can we be sure that this tiny increase, even if it was real, is due to AGW, and not a myriad of natural causes, such as clouds, thunderstorms, ENSO, and other ocean cycles?

I would add one further thought.

As the map below shows, there is a huge variation in sea surface temperature anomalies across the world, with a range of about 6C.

OK, these are just surface temperatures, and temperature anomalies at depth will be much less pronounced. Nevertheless, the natural factors causing these variations clearly dwarf the supposed impact of man-made warming.

How then can we be sure that we are actually measuring the latter?

Read more at Not A Lot Of People Know That

See also Dr. Roy’s piece on Deep Ocean temperatures and this flawed report.