>The Electric Kool-Aid Ocean Heat Content Animation

>(With Apologies To Tom Wolfe For The Post Title)

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UPDATE (Added Preview)

This animation has turned out but better than past attempts to animate NODC Ocean Heat Content data. The following is a preview .gif that limits the time period to 2003 to 2010, keeping the file size to about 2MB.
http://i53.tinypic.com/5dvryd.jpg
Preview (2003-2010)

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The post includes a YouTube link to the video titled “NODC Ocean Heat Content Animation 1990-2010”. The video presents animated maps of the National Oceanographic Data Center (NODC) Ocean Heat Content (OHC) data from 1990 to 2010. The data in each map has been “smoothed” with a 12-month filter to minimize noise and any seasonal component, much like a 12-month running-average filter smoothes noisy data in a graph.

Why “Electric Kool-Aid” in the title of this post? When my GIF Movie Gear software first previewed the animation, it reminded me of a background animation from a 1960s-era movie—looking like a flattened lava lamp. With that in mind, the music then seemed to fit. The music starts with the animation, not with the introductory comments, so don’t start turning up the volume, wondering where it is.

The video includes a statement about North Atlantic Ocean Heat Content (OHC) that some will want me to document. I suggested that viewers keep an eye out for “The Sea Level Pressure-Caused ‘Switch’ In High Latitude North Atlantic OHC In The Late 1990s.” This was illustrated and discussed in the post North Atlantic Ocean Heat Content (0-700 Meters) Is Governed By Natural Variables. That post also includes a link to Lozier et al (2008) “The Spatial Pattern and Mechanisms of Heat-Content Change in the North Atlantic”, provided again here:
http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/abstract/319/5864/800?rss=1

The paper that describes the NODC OHC dataset is Levitus et al (2009) “Global Ocean Heat Content(1955-2008) in Light of Recent Instrumentation Problems”, Geophysical Research Letters. Link to Manuscript. And the 2010 changes were discussed in the NODC’s Explanation of Ocean Heat Content (OHC) Data Changes.

The maps were created using the KNMI Climate Explorer:
http://climexp.knmi.nl/selectfield_obs.cgi?someone@somewhere

Additional discussions of the effects of natural variables on OHC:
1. ENSO Dominates NODC Ocean Heat Content (0-700 Meters) Data

2. North Pacific Ocean Heat Content Shift In The Late 1980s

There are two pulses in the animation, one around the year 1996, the other about 2000. I believe they result from the sudden appearance of positive anomalies in the Arctic Ocean, which appear at the same time as the year markers (red dots) in the upper left-hand corner of the maps.

Enough preliminaries, here’s the video:


YouTube Link:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PUONorBCcxU

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About Bob Tisdale

Research interest: the long-term aftereffects of El Niño and La Nina events on global sea surface temperature and ocean heat content. Author of the ebook Who Turned on the Heat? and regular contributor at WattsUpWithThat.
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2 Responses to >The Electric Kool-Aid Ocean Heat Content Animation

  1. >Besides the video being very interesting, the psychedelic music gave me a chuckle – nice touch.

  2. Bob Tisdale says:

    Let’s try it this way.

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