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View Diary: Dual Deals With the Devil (16 comments)

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  •  The Economist has a new piece up which... (18+ / 0-)

    ...while qualifying its take somewhat (taking note of the plateau in (higher) temperatures for the past decade and a half), suggests that global warming while real won't be as bad as some expect.

    One of the issues it mentions without going into detail is that some scientists believe the deep oceans are getting warmer, which is more masking. The problem is that that warm eventually rises and, we have an example of the devil taking his due.

    Looking back at the historical record, numerous 10-year spans in which temperature trends declined are embedded within the longer-term increasing trend (Figure 1). While the rise in global average temperatures—the common index used to measure climate change—has indeed stalled in the last decade, it is likely not because man’s influence on the climate doesn’t exist. A better explanation, one with evidence set forth in a recent peer-review article, is that the incremental increases in energy caused by the concomitant rise in greenhouse gases (GHGs) is being stuffed at a faster rate into the deep oceans.

    The article, “Model-based evidence of deep-ocean heat uptake during surface-temperature hiatus periods,” published in the journal Nature Climate Change in September 2011, provides climate model evidence for why warming has sputtered in recent years.

    According to Meehl and his coauthors, observations show that there is currently an energy imbalance in the climate system. About 1 watt of energy more per square meter (W/m2) is entering the atmosphere than leaving. This imbalance is translated through the climate system and would amount to about 0.75 degrees C (or 1.35 degrees F) of warming, on average, across the globe if the imbalance is maintained long enough. Measurements during the past half-century show that the global average temperature has indeed warmed by about this much (Figure 1).

    Climate scientists know the energy is going somewhere other than the atmosphere because the imbalance continues and temperatures have not warmed in the last 10 years. The energy could be warming the land and/or melting ice or snow, but these sinks traditionally have played minor roles in the flow of energy.  The best candidate is the ocean, which can suck up a lot of energy in the form of heat. The deep ocean in particular is a good sink and it can accumulate heat in numerous ways, including deceased sinking of Arctic surface waters during the winter and increased mixing of tropical water that allows warm surface water to sink.

    Global average land-ocean temperature index, 1880 to present, with the base period 1951–1980. The black line is the annual mean and the solid red line is the five-year running average. The inset shows the most recent 10-yr period, 2002–2011, in which the temperature trend is zero (red dashed line). Figure modified from NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies (

    Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

    by Meteor Blades on Sun Mar 31, 2013 at 03:48:07 AM PDT

    •  A recent article about ocean warming (9+ / 0-)

      has a chart showing the warming trends since 1960 at 300m, 700m, and total depth and says:

      Completely contrary to the popular contrarian myth, global warming has accelerated, with more overall global warming in the past 15 years than the prior 15 years. This is because about 90% of overall global warming goes into heating the oceans, and the oceans have been warming dramatically....[a new study published in Geophysical Research Letters] finds that 30% of the ocean warming over the past decade has occurred in the deeper oceans below 700 meters, which they note is unprecedented over at least the past half century. Link

      The spirit of liberty is the spirit which is not too sure that it is right. -- Judge Learned Hand, May 21, 1944

      by ybruti on Sun Mar 31, 2013 at 09:00:06 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Here's a chart from a different source: (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        DBunn, side pocket, Sunspots, JekyllnHyde

         photo 2c3f35d6-8e4f-49ad-abc1-4fafa19db08c.jpg

        The warming at the surface has slowed down in recent years, but the total amount of heat going in the atmosphere/oceans/surface has continued unabated. The next big El Niño event will be able to liberate some of this stored heat back to the surface, but much of the new deep ocean heat will stay down there for hundreds of years. As far as civilization is concerned, that is a good thing, though the extra heat energy does make ocean waters expand, raising sea levels. Link

        The spirit of liberty is the spirit which is not too sure that it is right. -- Judge Learned Hand, May 21, 1944

        by ybruti on Sun Mar 31, 2013 at 12:33:30 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

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