Month: June 2017

Claim: Oceans are warming rapidly, study says

Claim: Oceans are warming rapidly, study says

via Watts Up With That?

From the INSTITUTE OF ATMOSPHERIC PHYSICS, CHINESE ACADEMY OF SCIENCES and the “worse than we thought” mind of climate activist John Abraham comes this study, that frankly, isn’t very believable, especially when you invoke the word “consensus” as part of your proof.

This image shows the ocean warming rate (Ocean Heat Content 0-2000m trend) from 1960 to 2016 in unit of W/m2, calculated by IAP Gridded Data. CREDIT CHENG Lijing

Oceans are warming rapidly, study says

More than 90% of the earth’s energy imbalance (EEI) in the climate system is sequestered in the ocean and consequently the ocean heat content (OHC) is increasing. Therefore, OHC is one of the most important indicators of global warming. During the past 30 years, many independent groups worked to estimate historical OHC changes. However, large uncertainty has been found among the published global OHC time series. For example, during the current surge of research on the so-called “hiatus” or “slowdown”, different scientific studies draw quite different conclusions on the key scientific question such as “Where is the heat redistributed in the ocean?” This motivates us to give a detailed analysis about global and basin OHC changes based on multiple ocean datasets.

A just released study, led by Ph. D student WANG Gong-jie from National University of Defence Technology, cooperating with Professor LI Chong-yin and Dr. CHENG Li-jing from Institute of Atmospheric Physics (IAP)/ Chinese Academy of Sciences, Professor John P. ABRAHAM from University of St. Thomas (USA), comprehensively examined the OHC change on decadal and multi-decadal scales and at different ocean basins. Through three different objectively analyzed ocean datasets (Ishii from Japan, EN4 from Met. Office and IAP), they found that the oceans are robustly warming, regardless of which data was used. In addition, the heat among global oceans experienced a significant redistribution in the past several decades.

During 1998-2012, which was famous for global warming slowdown period, all of these basins had been accumulating heat, and there was no clear indication of which ocean basin dominates the global OHC change. In other words, below 100-m depth in the Atlantic and Southern Ocean, and between 100-300m depth in the Pacific and Indian Ocean, there was statistically significant warming and they all contributed to global ocean warming. The discrepancy results from previous studies are due to the difference of depth ranges used in calculating OHC as well as the uncertainty in subsurface temperature datasets.

Why are there substantial differences among different datasets? This study shows that Ishii analysis underestimates the heating rate in the southern hemisphere in the past century. And EN4 analysis cannot correctly reconstruct the sea surface temperature (SST) during the past 30 years and underestimates the warming rate by ~90% compared with an independent SST datasets such as ERSST and OISST. This indicates the Ishii and EN4 analyses may underestimate the ocean warming rate.

“In plain English, it will be important that we keep high-quality temperature sensors positioned throughout the oceans so in the future we will be able to predict where our climate is headed,” explains co-author ABRAHAM. “We say in science that a measurement not made is a measurement lost forever. And there are no more important measurements than of heating of the oceans.”


The press release:

The paper:

Consensuses and discrepancies of basin-scale ocean heat content changes in different ocean analyses

Inconsistent global/basin ocean heat content (OHC) changes were found in different ocean subsurface temperature analyses, especially in recent studies related to the slowdown in global surface temperature rise. This finding challenges the reliability of the ocean subsurface temperature analyses and motivates a more comprehensive inter-comparison between the analyses. Here we compare the OHC changes in three ocean analyses (Ishii, EN4 and IAP) to investigate the uncertainty in OHC in four major ocean basins from decadal to multi-decadal scales. First, all products show an increase of OHC since 1970 in each ocean basin revealing a robust warming, although the warming rates are not identical. The geographical patterns, the key modes and the vertical structure of OHC changes are consistent among the three datasets, implying that the main OHC variabilities can be robustly represented. However, large discrepancies are found in the percentage of basinal ocean heating related to the global ocean, with the largest differences in the Pacific and Southern Ocean. Meanwhile, we find a large discrepancy of ocean heat storage in different layers, especially within 300–700 m in the Pacific and Southern Oceans. Furthermore, the near surface analysis of Ishii and IAP are consistent with sea surface temperature (SST) products, but EN4 is found to underestimate the long-term trend. Compared with ocean heat storage derived from the atmospheric budget equation, all products show consistent seasonal cycles of OHC in the upper 1500 m especially during 2008 to 2012. Overall, our analyses further the understanding of the observed OHC variations, and we recommend a careful quantification of errors in the ocean analyses.

The study was co-authored by John P. Abraham, this guy:

For those of you that don’t know, he’s part of the wrongheadedly named “skeptical science” crew of 97% consensus baiters. He’s also an activist, writing political commentary for The Guardian.

For example:

Climate change will have very long lasting consequences that we will be dealing with long after he is gone. Long after other issues like immigration, the economy, debt, jobs, terrorism, or new words like “covfefe” have passed from our minds, the implications of our climate effect will linger. Frankly, no challenge we are facing (except perhaps a potential nuclear war) presents the consequences that climate change does.

And this, sadly, will be the legacy of conservatives in my country. As we wake up to more severe weather, more droughts, heat waves, rising seas, severe storms, the world will remember that these issues could have been solved long ago but for an ideology and tribalism.


Talk about misguided, even the IPCC doesn’t think we are getting more severe weather..

He’s also not a climate scientist, nor even a meteorologist, but rather a mechanical engineer.

Just like the antics of of his buddies John Cook and Stephan Lewandowski, I don’t trust this guy to come up with accurate and unbiased science. The key red flag is the sentence in the abstract:

“Inconsistent global/basin ocean heat content (OHC) changes were found in different ocean subsurface temperature analyses…”

Abraham is playing the “order out of chaos” game, setting himself up as the unifier of all these “inconsistent”  pieces of data to fit a theory. Just reading the paper makes me think it’s another one of those “conclusions first, justifications second” type paper.

via Watts Up With That?

June 30, 2017 at 11:36AM

Trump: Paris Accord Rejection Matter Of Sovereignty…Announces “New Era Of American Energy Dominance”!

Trump: Paris Accord Rejection Matter Of Sovereignty…Announces “New Era Of American Energy Dominance”!

via NoTricksZone

President Donald Trump gave remarks at the “Unleashing American Energy” event. If there are still any lingering questions as to the president’s commitment to dumping the Paris Accord, they can now be laid to rest for good.

In his remarks at an event also attended by both energy executives and trade unionists, the President described the Paris Accord as an unfair deal designed to confiscate and keep locked up the country’s vast energy reserves and “trillions of dollars in wealth” to the full detriment of Americans. He said he wasn’t going to let it happen.

From fake predictions to “near limitless supplies”

Early in his remarks the President pointed out that the predictions of fossil fuels running out made decades ago all turned out to be false:

We now know that this was a big, beautiful myth. It was fake. […] the truth is that we have near limitless supplies in our country.”

Surrendering sovereignty “not gonna happen”

According to the President, the US has today an estimated 100 years worth of natural gas supplies and 250 years of coal. Those figures will likely get adjusted upwards. He says the US now in the driver’s seat in global energy, and added: “We don’t want to let other countries take away our sovereignty and tell us what to do and how to do it. It’s not gonna happen.”

Trump said that it was not enough to be energy independent, but that the aims of his administration is to become an exporter and the dominant player on the globe. He reminds that the vast reserves of energy do not belong to the government, but to the people of the United States of America.

On the Paris Accord, President Trump said the international agreement was “one-sided”, and thus the US had to withdraw, claiming that it really put the country “at a disadvantage”.

Number 1, we weren’t playing on the same field. It kicked in for us and it doesn’t kick in for others. The money that we had to pay was enormous. It was not even close.”

The president then said, however, that he remains open to renegotiate the terms of the Accord. “So, we’ll see what happens.”

No regrets whatsoever

The President then made clear that backing out was the right thing to do.

But I will tell you, we’re very proud of it. And when I go around, there are so many people that say thank you. You saved the sovereignty of our country. You saved our wealth because we would have a hard time getting to this new found wealth, and it’s not gonna happen with our country.”

He then announced “six brand new initiatives to propel America’s energy dominance: 1) revive the long neglected nuclear energy., 2) look at barriers to financing highly efficient overseas power plants, 3) approval of a new pipeline to Mexico, 4 and 5) sale of natural gas in foreign markets, and 6) opening up new areas for drilling.


via NoTricksZone

June 30, 2017 at 10:51AM

UN Grants Earth Another 20 Year Reprieve

UN Grants Earth Another 20 Year Reprieve

via The Deplorable Climate Science Blog

UN Grants Earth Another 20 Year Reprieve

The UN says  global warming will kill us all by the year 2020.

2020 is the deadline to avert climate catastrophe | Daily Mail Online

This sounds bad, but is actually very good news. In 1989 the UN said global warming would kill us all by the year 2000.

Mercury News: Search Results

But the news keeps getting better. In 1970, climate expert Paul Ehrlich said we would run out of food and water by 1980.

6 Oct 1970, Page 3 – Redlands Daily Facts

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via The Deplorable Climate Science Blog

June 30, 2017 at 10:44AM

The Guardian: “Climate change is an energy problem, so let’s talk honestly about nuclear”

The Guardian: “Climate change is an energy problem, so let’s talk honestly about nuclear”

via Watts Up With That?

Guest post by David Middleton

While I probably share some of the author’s views on nuclear power, I think we would have to start out by “talking honestly” about climate change…

Nuclear power

Climate change is an energy problem, so let’s talk honestly about nuclear

David Robert Grimes

Of all the hazards facing humankind, climate change is the single greatest threat we have ever faced. In a few short decades, we have altered the climate more than we ever thought possible and now, in the midst of the greatest heatwave recorded in decades in the hottest year on record, we are finally beginning to countenance the scale of problem before us.


The Guardian

“Of all the hazards facing humankind, climate change is the single greatest threat we have ever faced.”

The sentence doesn’t even make sense.

Definition of threat

  1. an expression of intention to inflict evil, injury, or damage
  2. one that threatens
  3. an indication of something impending: the sky held a threat of rain

Climate change doesn’t fit definitions 1 or 2 and it’s not really an “indication of something impending.” It’s an ongoing process.  The greatest threats we have ever faced are in no particular order:

  • Adolph Hitler and Nazi Germany
  • Attila the Hun
  • Ghengis (jen-jis according to John Kerry) Khan
  • Tamerlane
  • Vladimir Lenin, Joe Stalin and the rest of the Soviet gang

These people literally did pose threats to humankind… At least to the humans who got in their way.

“Of all the hazards facing humankind”…

Definition of hazard

1: a game of chance like craps played with two dice
2: a source of danger hazards on the roadway
3a : the effect of unpredictable and unanalyzable forces in determining events : chance, risk the hazards involved in owning your own business
men and women danced together, women danced together, men danced together, as hazard had brought them together — Charles Dickens
b : a chance event : accident
looked like a fugitive, who had escaped from something in clothes caught up at hazard — Willa Cather
4 obsolete : stake 3a
5: a golf-course obstacle (such as a bunker or a pond)

Is “climate change” at or even near the top of the list of hazards facing humankind?  Definition 2 seems to be appropriate: “a source of danger.”

Sources of danger to humankind:

  • Asteroid/comet impacts/bolides
  • Supervolcano eruptions
  • Flood basalt events
  • Pandemics
  • Nuclear war
  • Megaquakes & tsunamis
  • Carrington events (coronal mass ejections)
  • Gamma ray bursts

Does “climate change” really even make this list?  When this interglacial stage comes to an end, climate change will be a genuine hazard, maybe even an existential threat.

However, today it’s really more of a risk management issue.  Although “risk” implies that it can be clearly quantified.  Dr. Judith Curry had a very thoughtful post on this issue back in January:

So what are the words that we should use to talk about the potential harm from human caused climate change?  I think that the following phrases are appropriate:

  • potential harm
  • reasons for concern
  • possible catastrophic impacts

I think that ‘threat’ is overly alarmist, since it implies imminent harm.  ‘Risk’ is not overly alarmist, but it does imply that the harm is quantifiable and mitigable — which I have argued that it is not.

How do we deal with potential harm and possible catastrophic impacts?  This puts us in the domain of decision making under deep uncertainty — a topic I have written about many times at CE.

Climate Etc.

Back to the Grauniad…

In a few short decades, we have altered the climate more than we ever thought possible…


Source: Kottek, M., J. Grieser, C. Beck, B. Rudolf, and F. Rubel, 2006: World Map of the Köppen-Geiger climate classification updated. Meteorol. Z., 15, 259-263. DOI: 10.1127/0941-2948/2006/0130.

Back to the Grauniad:

…in the midst of the greatest heatwave recorded in decades in the hottest year on record…

I don’t think that Oxford is in Arizona, so I don’t get the heat wave connection.

Regarding “the hottest year on record” meme…


Globally, 2016 edged out 1998 by +0.02 C to become the warmest year in the 38-year satellite temperature record, according to Dr. John Christy, director of the Earth System Science Center at The University of Alabama in Huntsville. Because the margin of error is about 0.10 C, this would technically be a statistical tie, with a higher probability that 2016 was warmer than 1998. The main difference was the extra warmth in the Northern Hemisphere in 2016 compared to 1998.

“The question is, does 2016’s record warmth mean anything scientifically?” Christy said. “I suppose the answer is, not really. Both 1998 and 2016 are anomalies, outliers, and in both cases we have an easily identifiable cause for that anomaly: A powerful El Niño Pacific Ocean warming event. While El Niños are natural climatic events, they also are transient. In the study of climate, we are more concerned with accurately identifying long-term temperature trends than we are with short-term spikes and dips, especially when those spikes and dips have easily identified natural causes.

Science Daily

The warming observed in the instrumental temperature record doesn’t significantly deviate from the pre-existing Holocene pattern of climate change…


Northern Hemisphere Climate Reconstruction (Ljungqvist, 2010) and HadCRUT4 NH.  Older is to the left.

Over the past 2,000 years, the average temperature of the northern hemisphere has exceeded natural variability* (+/-2 std dev) 3 times: The Medieval Warm Period, the Little Ice Age and the modern warming. Humans didn’t cause at least two of the three and the current one only exceeds natural variability only by about 0.2 °C. And this is a maximum, because the instrumental data have much higher resolution than the proxy data.

*Natural variability does not imply that excursions from it are unnatural.

Taking the climate back through the rest of the Holocene, we can see that “the hottest year on record” might not be so hot…

Now that we’ve actually “talked honestly” about climate change, we can talk honestly about nuclear power.  And Dr. Grimes does talk honestly about nuclear power:

Fears about nuclear energy run deep: the 1986 Chernobyl disaster remains a towering linchpin in anti-nuclear narratives, presented as an irrefutable case that nuclear energy is inherently unsafe. These claims are so profoundly entrenched that it is almost accepted as common knowledge that the Chernobyl disaster killed thousands.

Yet, as I’ve written here before, these claims do not stand up to scrutiny and persist in the face of report after report to the contrary. Years of subsequent investigation place the death toll of the disaster at approximately 43 people, with deleterious health effects failing to materialise at any appreciable rate. That this information is surprising to many is indicative of quite how polarised the discussion on such a vital topic has been.

Much of the reason for this is ideological – Greenpeace is but one organisation that has been criticised for releasing misleading anti-nuclear information, claiming that up to 200,000 deaths are attributable to Chernobyl. This figure has been roundly debunked, but predictably strikes fear into the public conscience, encouraging panic in place of reason.

The more recent 2011 Fukushima disaster has been become a similar focus for nuclear panic, despite the fact that no one has died nor is ever likely to from this event. The spectre of the plant looms so large in the public consciousness that we have seemingly forgotten that the cause of the meltdown was a massive tsunami that claimed about 16,000 lives, itself potentially exacerbated by climate change. There is a dark irony then in the fact that the ensuing kneejerk reaction led to the closure of Germany’s nuclear plants and their replacement with heavily polluting coal plants.


Yet simply dismissing concerns about nuclear energy as unfounded is not productive, nor is it honest. Nuclear energy may be the most efficient and clean source we have, but it is complicated and like any energy source, it is not devoid of complications. Nuclear waste is one aspect of this – nuclear byproducts and legacy waste can remain radioactive for centuries, and have to be carefully stored and managed to avoid any potential contamination. And while the risk to human health is generally low to nonexistent, safely storing such materials is a challenging engineering problem and legitimate concern. These challenges are not insurmountable, but nor should they be glossed over.


The Guardian

It’s nice that we can find agreement on a solution, even when we disagree about the problem we need to solve.  Reminds me of a scene from The Outlaw Josey Wales...



As a geologist/geophysicist with 36 years experience in oil & gas exploration, I have no vested interest in coal, nuclear or wind power (except as a utility customer), yet I support all three of those energy sources (well, I support wind where it works) because I like to know that the lights will come on when I flip a switch and I like to pay less than $0.12/kWh for electricity.  I also support natural gas from both sides of the equation.  Hydroelectric and geothermal are also great, where they work.

Featured Image Source.

via Watts Up With That?

June 30, 2017 at 10:40AM