Roger Pielke Sr. on Ocean Heat Content Change
Thank you for this very interesting post! I am certainly not an expert on this, but I do get the main point and its importance. I do have a question about how the number of the Watts per meter squared that you mention compare to the numbers discussed with regard to the topic of 'climate sensitivity'? I apologize in advance if these topics have nothing to do with each other.
Thank you again for the link to the article - I almost understood this one and I particularly liked the questions framework presented at the end. Complexity confuses many people and makes it difficult, at best, to produce firm recommendations. I thought highly of the work of Howard Odum (still like his framework) and related books based on the theory of panarchy; the figure eight cycle of growth, conservation, release and re-organization. I grew less concerned about the state of things when I came to understand two things I didn't find in Odum or Hollings' work: everything is in motion and the 4-stage cycle is happening for everything at different scales (time and space). In other words, there isn't one huge release; rather there are releases all of the time, every moment! Among what we need to evaluate as we (humans) participate in this grand motion is whether trying to stop something from moving, particularly releasing, is more harmful than letting it move. Certainly economic organizations need to, and in some nations can, frequently release. Governments find it harder to release 'doing' once started. For both, the first move is to try to make the action more efficient in the course of conserving it. In general, apropos your article, I think we all could do a lot better asking good questions than we do! So much of the best thinking humans have ever done comes from questions, whether someone asks the question of themselves or another asks it. Policymakers, in particular, could stand to ask more questions. The other policy aspect I argue for is that, since we cannot avoid uncertainty and not knowing, never to assume the can do 'something' and be done. Human actions will, perforce, always be short-term and must be frequently evaluation as holistically as possible. More than you wanted to read, I'm sure. I apologize. I really just meant to say thank you for responding and please continue contributing!
Thanks for the reply! I will check out the article.
Andrew Weaver's recent comments about climate fear mongering:
Thank you for a very informative artikler. I read your blog in the early 2000's (which also lead to the treasure of Jr's blogs) and remember when you started arguing the case for OHC. I learned a lot from that.
You state that the Argo network provides a quantitative set of data that is far better than what was available prior to 2003. I agree to that, but do you think it is good enough for the task at hand? Acvording to the Argo webside they have 4000 active floats which means they have to cover 96.000 square kilometre each. That is awfully thin. And they only measure to 2000 meters, while the ocean is more than 3400 meters on average.
Is Argo good enough?
Edit: is there reason to believe that a denser Argo network would change the numbers materially in any direction?
Great explanation overall. Thank you. But I’m a little confused on two points.
You write: “Since 2003, the overall heating of the ocean was about 19.5 * 10^22 Joules (I told you it was a big number!). Using the IPCC estimate that 89% of the climate system heat accumulation goes into the oceans, the estimated total heat storage increase in the Earth system since 2003 is 10.67 *10^22 Joules per 10 years.” Why isn’t the "total heat storage increase" 21.91 * 10^22 where 21.5 = 19.5/.89?
Also, you then divide the “total heat storage” by the area at the earth’s surface, but earlier you used the area at the top of the atmosphere, which is larger. But when you divide by the area at the earth’s surface you say it “yields an estimated top of the atmosphere radiative flux”.
The ocean heat content change is a diagnostic metric. It does not explain why positive or negative heating occurs.
Nice to note current research....but how does this account for deep-historical warming/cooling epochs? What was driving these well-noted cycles?
Are we also assuming an absolutely constant input of solar energy?
Thank you for this post. My question is: what are your thoughts on Vinos’ winter gatekeeper hypothesis? Is it worthy of further evaluation? If so, to what extent would the current state of knowledge about ocean heat content (and other lines of evidence) allow it to be evaluated?
"If the ocean heat content changes over a period of time sum to zero, then no additional heat has been added to the global climate system and there is correspondingly no global warming. This is a main reason why “net-zero” carbon dioxide (or greenhouse gases) makes sense – to restore the energy balance of the planetary system."
Is that meant to be an analogy? If not, what is the relationship between ocean heat and CO2 in the atmosphere? It sounds like a non-sequitur to me.
Nice article on a crucial part of the climate puzzle: the oceans are the primary driver (89% of heat content).
My question relates to a comment that you made about the top of the atmosphere. Did you mean to say that the tropopause is where they actually make the TOA calculation? If so, how does the non-uniform height of the tropopause (lower over the polar regions higher over the tropics) affect the W/m^2 calculations?
Your calculation is listed as 0.66 +/- 0.5 in one place and 0.66 +/- 0.05 in another place. Which is correct?
I have a comment about CERES and Hansen
”The values they report are from CERES satellite measurements of the radiative imbalance”
This is garbage science, since the CERES instruments are calibrated against a previous paper from Hansen et al.
I’m not a scientist myself, but as a layman I have read plenty of papers and have found some strange things.
When calculating the Earth’s Energy Imbalance, scientists use TSI as a starting value. However it’s only valid for a planet without atmosphere. For a planet with atmosphere you have to adjust this value due to the atmospheric refraction which is acting as a lens bending the radiation and raising the intensity.
I tried to tell Loeb and Trenberth but I couldn’t get them to understand, and I hope you can understand what I’m trying to point out.
Yes. I agree there needs to be much more scrutiny of what is being reported in the media and even climate assessments.
Looks like he thinks Hansen et all have things wrong?
Is there an analysis on influence of papers by more prominent scientists as opposed to less prominent scientists. Even if wrong their conclusions are presented as accurate by a non discerning media. It becomes, as it were, an appeal to authority, not evidence based.
Complicated stuff Roger for a layman. Are you saying that current models don’t necessarily reflect reality? Or are you saying the heat is building and the consequences are concerning?