New Paper: Human Climate Forcing ‘Below Detection’ … Deep Oceans Warm By ‘2°C Within 200 Years’ 100% Naturally

Oceans Warmed 6 Times Faster Than

Modern Rates During The Mid-Holocene

holocene-cooling-pacific-heat-content-rosenthal13-copy
Annotated graph from Rosenthal et al. (2013) illustrating the steep amplitude of natural variations in ocean heat

It has long been acknowledged by scientists that significant changes in deep ocean heat content have occurred in the past in the absence of changes or forcing from CO2.  Stott et al. (2007), for example, conclude that deep ocean temperatures rose by 2°C within a 2,000-year time span (19,000 to 17,000 years ago) about a 1,000 years before CO2 concentrations (and surface temperatures) began to rise.

Stott et al., 2007

Deep sea temperatures warmed by ~2C between 19 and 17 ka B.P., leading the rise in atmospheric CO2 and tropical surface ocean warming by ~1000 years.

Similarly,  Demezhko and Gornostaeva (2015) found that the heat energy change in the deep oceans during the climate transition from the last ice age to this current interglacial occurred “2-3 thousands of years” before the increases in surface temperature and CO2, and that “the increase of carbon dioxide may be a consequence [rather than a cause] of temperature increasing”.  The authors then acknowledge that this suggests that there was “no significant contribution of CO2 forcing to climatically caused heat flux and thus to the temperature increase during the Pleistocene-Holocene warming”.

Demezhko and Gornostaeva, 2015

Despite the substantial dispersion of CO2 estimations, a character and a chronology of CO2 concentration changes are much closer to temperature changes rather than to heat flux variations. It may mean no significant contribution of CO2 forcing to climatically caused heat flux and thus to the temperature increase during Pleistocene–Holocene warming. About 10 kyr BP the increase of carbon dioxide concentration was replaced by its fall which ended about 8 kyr BP. This local minimum [in CO2 concentration] is not consistent with either GST [ground surface temperature] or SHF [surface heat flux] histories.  … The reconstructed surface heat flux reflects impact of all possible sources of radiative forcing. In addition to solar insolation, greenhouse gases (such as CO2) can be a source of additional forcing. On the other hand the increase of carbon dioxide may be a consequence of temperature increasing. Comparing the chronology of surface flux, temperature and carbon dioxide concentration changes, we can draw some conclusions about the causes of climate change. …  The increase of carbon dioxide concentrations occurred 2–3 thousands of years later than the heat flux increase and synchronously with temperature response. 

Scientists Ellis and Palmer (2016) get right to the point and conclude CO2 plays “little or no” role in forcing the warming during interglacial periods…

Conclusion: [I]nterglacial warming is eccentricity and polar ice regrowth regulated, Great Summer forced, and dust-ice albedo amplified. And the greenhouse-gas attributes of CO2 play little or no part in this complex feedback system.

….while scientists Douglass and Knox (2014) identify the source of modern deep ocean temperature forcing that has an “unquestionably solar origin” manifested by El Niño/La Niña phenomena.

Global ocean temperature time series from the surface to depths of 2000 m since the year 2000 are found to agree in detail with those of other diverse climate indices. It is asserted that these systems are driven by a forcing unquestionably of solar origin that has two manifestations: (1) a direct phase-locked response to what is identified as a solar forcing at a frequency of 1.0 cycle/yr for the whole time series; (2) a second phase-locked response at a period of two years or three years. With these findings it is becoming clear that the entire climate system is responding to the varying incident solar radiation… The most prominent manifestations of the pattern are found in the El Niño/La Niña phenomena.

Advocates of the assumption that CO2 variations are a primary cause of changes in deep ocean heat content (i.e., those who author government-sponsored IPCC reports and activists for the anthropogenic global warming cause) have necessarily believed that past natural variations in deep ocean heat content are very slow and gradual.  They have presumed that the forcing from Milankovitch cycles (changes in solar radiation absorbed by the Earth’s surface due to orbital variations) are the cause of deep ocean changes over time, but that these changes occur only as slowly as orbital variations occur — on millennial scales (“several thousand years“), not in decades to centuries.  In this way, they can deny that the Sun plays a role in modern climate changes…despite burgeoning evidence to the contrary.  The Stott et al. (2007) finding that deep oceans warmed at a rate of 1°C/1,000 years referenced above would be consistent with these assumptions.


New Paper: Rapid variations in deep ocean temperature detected in the Holocene’


Brown University geologist Samantha Bova and her colleagues reach a different conclusion, however, in a paper just published online for the prestigious journal Geophysical Research Letters.  These scientists have found that, in the absence of any significant CO2 concentration changes or human influence during the Holocene (i.e., the last ~10,000 years), the deep oceans naturally warmed by more than 2°C in a span of just 200 years, which is several times the rate in which they are alleged to have warmed in the last ~60 years of the supposedly dominant anthropogenic influence on climate.  In fact, Bova et al. (2016) conclude that deep ocean temperature changes for the last 200 years are apparently so negligible they are “below the detection limits”.

Bova et al., 2016

The observational record of deep-ocean variability is short, which makes it difficult to attribute the recent rise in deep ocean temperatures to anthropogenic forcing. Here, we test a new proxy – the oxygen isotopic signature of individual benthic foraminifera – to detect rapid (i.e. monthly to decadal) variations in deep ocean temperature and salinity in the sedimentary record. We apply this technique at 1000 m water depth in the Eastern Equatorial Pacific during seven 200-year Holocene intervals. Variability in foraminifer δ18O over the past 200 years is below the detection limit [a change in ocean heat cannot be detected in the past 200 years], but δ18O signatures from two mid-Holocene intervals indicate temperature swings >2 °C within 200 years.

According to the IPCC (2013), 93% of the heat energy in the climate system claimed to be due to anthropogenic global warming is found in the oceans (AR5, Chapter 3).  Levitus et al. (2012) estimate that the heat energy change (converted to temperature) amounted to an increase of just +0.09°C between 1955 and 2010 in the upper 2000 meters of the ocean, or less than one-tenth of one degree over 55 years.

Levitus et al., 2012

The World Ocean accounts for approximately 93% of the warming of the earth system that has occurred since 1955. … The heat content of the World Ocean for the 0–2000 m layer increased by 24.0 ± 1.9 × 1022 J (±2S.E.) [over 1955-2010] corresponding to a rate of 0.39 W m−2 (per unit area of the World Ocean) and a volume mean warming of 0.09°C.

Again, natural variation in ocean temperatures may reach amplitudes of + or – 1°C every 100 years without any external forcing from anthropogenic CO2 emissions.  So if 93% of the change forced by the alleged human climate influence  has only produced a temperature change of hundredths to tenths of a °C in the deep oceans since 1955, or since CO2 concentrations rose by about 75 parts per million (315 ppm in 1955 to 390 ppm in 2010), this would clearly indicate that it is extremely difficult if not effectively impossible to confidently attribute the practically imperceptible change in ocean temperature to anthropogenic CO2 emissions, or to CO2 in general.

More succinctly, if deep ocean temperatures can naturally rise by 1°C in 100 years without any change in CO2, then attributing changes in ocean temperature that are already “below the detection limit” for the last 200 years (or just ~0.1°C since 1955) to anthropogenic CO2 forcing is highly presumptuous at best.

And if 93% of the heat from “global warming” cannot be attributed to humans with any degree of confidence, then there is necessarily no such conceptualization of anthropogenic global warming that could be claimed to have been affirmed scientifically.  Effectively, if we cannot detect an anthropogenic signal in deep ocean heat data, anthropogenic global warming would necessarily be characterized as a belief, not a scientifically confirmed hypothesis.

67 responses to “New Paper: Human Climate Forcing ‘Below Detection’ … Deep Oceans Warm By ‘2°C Within 200 Years’ 10067 Naturally”

  1. tom0mason

    Currently Gavin tells me we are having the hottest year ever, what he fails to acknowledge is we are in one of the colder periods in earth’s history.

    1. AndyG55

      Only in the last 10,000 years ie. the current interglacial. 🙂

      1. AndyG55

        just in case of confusion, I was replying to this statement from tom0mason

        “we are in one of the colder periods in earth’s history”

        We are, of course, only a small molehill above the COLDEST period in the whole of those 10,000 years.

        And that slight warming has been HIGHLY BENEFICIAL, lifting the world out of truly desperate times..

        1. tom0mason

          I assumed that is what you meant AndyG55

    2. P Gosselin

      Gavin is lying. The Holocene had spells that were much warmer.

      1. yonason
      2. David Appell

        P Gosselin wrote:
        “The Holocene had spells that were much warmer.”

        When?

        Does it never even occur to you people that you have to PROVE what you claim??

        1. AndyG55

          Denying history and science yet again, hey rotten-appell.

        2. David Appell

          When Pierre?

          You don’t seem to have an answer.

    3. jimmy

      Don’t forget, Gavin manipulates the numbers too…just ask Tony Heller

      1. David Appell

        By your (wrong) definition, UAH “manipulates” the numbers too — their satellite data model is far more complicated than GISS;s model, in fact.

    4. David Appell

      Gavin says ‘in the record,’ dummy.

  2. Stephen Wilde

    This is the process whereby solar changes alter global cloudiness so as to change the amount of energy entering the oceans and thereby skew the balance of ENSO between El Nino warming or La Nina cooling:

    http://joannenova.com.au/2015/01/is-the-sun-driving-ozone-and-changing-the-climate/

    as impliedly envisaged in the above paper.

  3. gallopingcamel

    Defunding GISS should eliminate one bunch of liars.

    1. sod

      “Defunding GISS should eliminate one bunch of liars.”

      yes, destroying the data is a very good idea, if you just want to be a merchant of doubt.

      1. AndyG55

        GISS temperature is NOT data it is FABRICATION.

        It is a LIE, and should be removed from any pretence of being science.

      2. DirkH

        GISS takes data and homogenizes it. They are destroying information. Their product is worth less than any of the thermometers that went into it.
        Why does NASA GISS not use ONE satellite? Why is NASA doing this?
        Well you and I know the answer. Because warmunism brings in 1.2 billion USD tax money a year for NASA. So they have Gavin promote the scare.
        Nothing that he does has ANYTHING to do with data. Or science.

        1. David Appell

          DirkH wrote:
          “Why does NASA GISS not use ONE satellite? Why is NASA doing this?”

          How can satellites measure surface temperatures?

          1. David Appell

            Huh Dirk?

        2. David Appell

          DirkH says:
          “GISS takes data and homogenizes it. They are destroying information.”

          How so? Specifically?

      3. Sunsettommy

        Sod,still making dumb comments,since it is well known that GISS temperature sets,are a pile of crap.

        1. David Appell

          Really? What are your qualifications for saying so?

    2. David Appell

      GC, GISS knows far, far, far ….^100 times more than you do.

      You can’t even find the missing 150 W/m2 from the Earth’s energy balance. Ha.

  4. tom0mason

    The basic understanding that our ‘climate scientists™’ should have is water on this planet is he control knob for how much of the sun’s heat is absorbed and released and over what time period.
    CO2 just gets the plants to grow.

    1. David Appell

      tom0mason wrote:
      “The basic understanding that our ‘climate scientists™’ should have is water on this planet is he control knob for how much of the sun’s heat is absorbed and released and over what time period.”

      Prove this.

      I don’t think you can.

  5. Stephen Richards

    How did they measure deep water temperature 200yrs ago.

    1. Kenneth Richard

      They have to use very rough proxies for temperature changes…

      “Here, we test a new proxy – the oxygen isotopic signature of individual benthic foraminifera – to detect rapid (i.e. monthly to decadal) variations in deep ocean temperature and salinity in the sedimentary record”

      Even in the ARGO era (2003- ), the error bars and uncertainty ranges for our educated guesses (that’s what they are) about deep ocean heat are 10 times greater (and more) than the suggested temperature changes (hundredths of a degree) themselves. In other words, we really have no idea, making the suggestion that we are in some sort of “unprecedented” time with regard to ocean heat all the more dubious.

      1. AndyG55

        Notice that the proper science papers say approximately X degrees.

        Yet the heat content from 1955 is suddenly done to 1/100th of a degree.

        Someone is pulling their own chain.

      2. David Appell

        Kenneth Richard wrote:
        “Even in the ARGO era (2003- ), the error bars and uncertainty ranges for our educated guesses (that’s what they are) about deep ocean heat are 10 times greater (and more)”

        Argo doesn’t measure deep ocean heat content. It’s limited to 0-2000 m.

    2. David Appell

      “How did they measure deep water temperature 200yrs ago.”

      They didn’t.

      The ocean data starts in about 1955. Read Levitus.

    3. David Appell

      Stephen Richards said:
      “How did they measure deep water temperature 200yrs ago.”

      Who do you cite as having done this?

    4. David Appell

      No one says they did.

  6. sod

    2016 looks like a hottest year in the UAH data as well.

    After making up a “la nina” effect that co9uld keep this from happening, Roy spencer decided to change tune and now is arguing that the difference will not be big.

    Why would facts matter?

    http://www.drroyspencer.com/2016/12/uah-global-temperature-update-for-november-2016-0-45-deg-c/

    1. AndyG55

      “2016 looks like a hottest year in the UAH data as well”

      Thank goodness the RECOVERY from the LIA, the COLDEST period in the last 10,000 years still continues, even if it is ONLY caused by two El Nino events.

      Still almost certainly cooler than the REAL temperatures of around 1930-1940, and certainly cooler than the MWP and the first 3/4 or more of the current interglacial.

      This year is purely down to the TRANSIENT affect of the El Nino, and I’m sure you know that. But it is all you have, El Nino warming, so I guess your foolishness will continue.

      There will be no El Nino next year. Remember that.

      If you want it COLD..
      Move out of your inner-city greenie ghetto and move to Siberia.

      I dare you

      1. DirkH

        He could move to Northern Germany and lose 5 deg C. He’s in the hottest part of Germany. Or he could move uphill 100 m and lose 1 deg C.
        But that would be simple and cheap. We don’t want solutions that work. We want 35 billion EUR a year redistribution. In Germany alone.

        1. AndyG55

          “He’s in the hottest part of Germany.”

          By choice.. we chooses WARM,

          …. then complains about it… DOH !!!

          A clown, without a doubt.

          Siberia, sop. Go somewhere where the slight, but highly beneficial warming, will never reach you.

    2. Sunsettommy

      Another weather thinking comment from Sod,god when is he ever going see the climate more often?

  7. M E

    May I ask you learned gentlemen what ‘deep’ means in reference to oceans? Can any warming be attributed to the subduction zones at the edges of continental plates ? Would these be deep enough or are there ocean “deeps” which are lower?

    New Zealand is a tectonically active area where the plates move over or under each other. Is heat generated by these into the oceans and moved by convection. Can this be detected by proxy data to coincide perhaps with known earth movements? If a lot of movement happens is there a warm current generated.

    1. David Appell

      deep means < -2000 m generally. But different authors often use their own definitions.

    2. David Appell

      M E 2 wrote:
      “May I ask you learned gentlemen what ‘deep’ means in reference to oceans?”

      “Deep” usually means > 2000 m. Some scientists, like this summer’s paper by Greg Johnson, used > 1800 m.

    3. David Appell

      M E 2 wrote:
      “Can any warming be attributed to the subduction zones at the edges of continental plates ?”

      Good question, but, no, it’s way too small of an area. The ocean is vast!, 1,335 Mkm3.

  8. yonason

    OT – Hurricane (Cyclone) season in the Northern Hemisphere is over for the year.
    http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/

    1. David Appell

      According to my records, YTD ACE (through Nov) is 9th highest in 47 years.

      PS: ACE is a horribly metric, but one people keep insisting on.

  9. David Appell

    Why do you end comments on older threads?

  10. David Appell

    This entire post deliberately tries to hide the fact that it’s not temperature that matters, it’s change in ocean heat content. That’s what will drive future warming.

    And the OHC is increasingly enormously.

    0-700 m region of global ocean since 1Q1955: +177 ZJ (delta-T = +0.17)
    0-2000 m region of global ocean since 1Q2005: +120 ZJ (delta-T = +0.04 C).

    Didn’t you take introuctory thermodynamics, Pierre?

    * ZJ = Zettajoule = 10^21 J.