Maybe they’ve found Trenberth’s missing heat

Maybe they’ve found Trenberth’s missing heat. Anthony Watts notes another climate press release with a class-clown giggle so he can side-step the fact that Kevin Trenberth’s honest concern about deep-ocean temperature records is being resolved. His confederacy of dunces sings along in the comments. Once again Anthony’s entire contribution is his choice of blog post title. It’s a reference to a cherry-picked statement by National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) scientist Kevin Trenberth back in the Spring:

The fact is that we can’t account for the lack of warming at the moment and it is a travesty that we can’t.

Trenberth used the word “travesty” to describe the lack of well-distributed temperature measurements from places like the deep ocean, he was not talking about a failure of climate theory. However the denialists grabbed that useful sentence fragment with both hands and tried to paint him as agreeing with them that climatology was corrupt, fraudulent, and never visits its mother. This malicious denialist meme is still widely circulating.

NOAA has a press release called Scientists Find 20 Years of Deep Water Warming Leading to Sea Level Rise. It covers a paper on this subject in the Journal of Climate titled Warming of Global Abyssal and Deep Southern Ocean Waters Between the 1990s and 2000s: Contributions to Global Heat and Sea Level Rise Budgets (abstract here, PDF here):

This study shows that the deep ocean – below about 3,300 feet – is taking up about 16 percent of what the upper ocean is absorbing. The authors note that there are several possible causes for this deep warming: a shift in Southern Ocean winds, a change in the density of what is called Antarctic Bottom Water, or how quickly that bottom water is formed near the Antarctic, where it sinks to fill the deepest, coldest portions of the ocean around much of the globe.

Anthony’s last kick at this cat is to now suggest that Trenberth is a sloppy scientist. He lost the heat! So careless.

Abyssal Heat Fluxes in the Southern Ocean. From Purkey and Johnson, 2010.

What’s really happening? Climate scientists are improving our understanding of the Earth’s climate. Uncertainties are being reduced. The honest overall picture remains the same: AGW is real. Anthony’s readers aren’t having any of that though.

3 thoughts on “Maybe they’ve found Trenberth’s missing heat

  1. I guess someone should call NOAA and remind them of the undersea volcanoes around Antartica.

    “Scientists working in the stormy and inhospitable waters off the Antarctic Peninsula have found what they believe is an active and previously unknown volcano on the sea bottom.”

    “As underwater fissures in the earth’s surface, most submarine volcanoes are located near areas of tectonic plate movement. Clusters of terrestrial volcanoes therefore point to hotbeds of underwater volcanic activity as well, like the places portrayed here around Hawaii, California, Iceland, Japan, New Zealand, the Caribbean and Antarctica.”

    Missing heat! Really. More liking missing the forest for the trees!

    [Care to guess what the impact of those volcanoes is? Hint: it rhymes with Watt. – Ben]

  2. Pingback: Are the recent floods a consequence of global warming? - Page 8 - Environment Forum

  3. Whoed ha thunk it NOAA has not heard of volcanoes yet there are capable of good weather forecasts days ahead in most parts of the world ?

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