>North Pacific Ocean Heat Content Shift In The Late 1980s

>The Ocean Heat Content (OHC) anomalies (0-700 meters) of the mid-to-high latitudes of the North Pacific Ocean shifted significantly in the late 1980s. The shift is visible in a graph of North Pacific OHC anomaly data from January 1955 to June 2009, Figure 1. The graph compares North Pacific OHC (24N-65N, 120E-110W) to arbitrarily scaled NINO3.4 SST anomalies and Sato Stratospheric Mean Optical Thickness data, with the latter datasets provided for the timing of ENSO events and explosive volcanic eruptions. Following an initial increase in the late 1950s, the North Pacific OHC data dropped for almost three decades, until the late 1980s. Then the North Pacific OHC anomalies rose significantly, with the majority occurring during the 1988/89 La Nina. Is the timing with the recharge and redistribution phase of that ENSO event a coincidence, or are the decadal changes in North Pacific OHC in synch with another variable?

http://i48.tinypic.com/731mb7.png
Figure 1

Figure 2 is a series of annual OHC anomaly maps from 1986 to 1991. It is clear that the shift in North Pacific OHC occurred east of Japan, in the western and central mid latitudes, an area known as the Kuroshio Extension.
http://i45.tinypic.com/11sgyae.png
Figure 2

KUROSHIO EXTENSION OHC DATA

Figure 3 shows the region of the Northwest Pacific that I’ve used for Kuroshio Extension data in the remainder of the graphs. The coordinates are 30N-45N, 150E-160W.
http://i49.tinypic.com/1676m3n.png
Figure 3

The OHC (0-700 meters) of the Kuroshio Extension is compared to that of the North Pacific in Figure 4. It is clear that the variability of the Kuroshio Extension OHC has a major impact on the OHC of the North Pacific.
http://i45.tinypic.com/8x7x2g.png
Figure 4

Figure 5 is a comparison graph of Kuroshio Extension OHC to arbitrarily scaled NINO3.4 SST anomalies and Sato Stratospheric Mean Optical Thickness data, again with the latter datasets provided for the timing of ENSO events and explosive volcanic eruptions. ENSO does not appear to be the primary driver of Kuroshio Extension OHC.
http://i49.tinypic.com/34pky94.png
Figure 5

THE NORTH PACIFIC INDEX EXHIBITS SIMILAR VARIATIONS

As defined by the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR) Climate & Global Dynamics (CGD) webpage…
http://www.cgd.ucar.edu/cas/jhurrell/npindex.html
…the North Pacific (NP) Index is “the area-weighted sea level pressure over the region 30N-65N, 160E-140W, available since 1899.” It also exhibits variations that are similar to those of the Kuroshio Extension OHC. Figure 6 shows the North Pacific Index data smoothed with a 37-month running-average filter.
http://i49.tinypic.com/2i9tg5k.png
Figure 6

Comparing the scaled North Pacific Index data with the OHC for the Kuroshio Extension, Figure 7, illustrates the agreement between the two datasets.
http://i47.tinypic.com/29uvpe9.png
Figure 7

As discussed in my post North Atlantic Ocean Heat Content (0-700 Meters) Is Governed By Natural Variables, Lozier et al (2008) “The Spatial Pattern and Mechanisms of Heat-Content Change in the North Atlantic” identified the North Atlantic Oscillation as the driver of decadal North Atlantic OHC variability. Link to Lozier et al (2008):

http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/abstract/319/5864/800?rss=1

Could the sea level pressure of the North Pacific also be the primary driver of decadal North Pacific OHC variability?

CLOSING COMMENT

If anthropogenic greenhouse gases had a noticeable impact on the OHC of the North Pacific, one would expect of a gradual rise in OHC. To the contrary, North Pacific OHC data declines from the late 1950s until the late 1980s. There was then a sharp rise from the late 1980s to the early 1990s, appearing to be strongly influenced by the North Pacific Index, followed by a decade-long decline until the early 2000s.

SOURCES

The NODC OHC data and the HADISST data used for NINO3.4 SST anomalies are available through the KNMI Climate Explorer:http://climexp.knmi.nl/selectfield_obs.cgi?someone@somewhere

Monthly North Pacific Index data from January 1899 to July 2009 is available through the UCAR CGD webpage:
http://www.cgd.ucar.edu/cas/jhurrell/indices.data.html#npmon

Sato Index data is available through GISS:
http://data.giss.nasa.gov/modelforce/strataer/
Specifically:
http://data.giss.nasa.gov/modelforce/strataer/tau_line.txt

Advertisements

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.
This entry was posted in Natural Warming, OHC Update. Bookmark the permalink.

36 Responses to >North Pacific Ocean Heat Content Shift In The Late 1980s

  1. Adam says:

    >Hi Bob, Interesting analysis… and I would say that, yes, North Pacific (NP) sea level pressure probably is a primary driver of NP OHC. Although OHC wasn't analyzed, I think Trenberth and Hurrell (1994) illustrate the connection pretty convincingly. However, I must ask… why would one expect GHGs to induce a monotonic increase in NP OHC? No knowledgeable person expects natural climate variability, especially on regional scales, to cease because of global warming! Furthermore, if the NP index is the primary driver of NP OHC then why is NP OHC currently at the highest level in the record while the NP index has been higher numerous times?

  2. Bob Tisdale says:

    >Adam: You asked, “…why would one expect GHGs to induce a monotonic increase in NP OHC? No knowledgeable person expects natural climate variability, especially on regional scales, to cease because of global warming!”But that’s exactly what is projected by GCMs like the GISS Model E that do not consider natural variables such as ENSO. They assume that the rise in OHC is the result of anthropogenic forcings alone. Since GISS admits to excluding ENSO from the Model E runs used in Hansen et al (2005)…http://pubs.giss.nasa.gov/docs/2005/2005_Hansen_etal_1.pdf…can we then assume they also exclude the NPI and the NAO?In his correspondence with Roger Pielke Sr, Hansen projected a continuous rise in OHC…http://bobtisdale.blogspot.com/2009/10/why-are-ohc-observations-0-700m.html…while global OHC has flattened. Can we then include Jim Hansen in the category of “No knowledgeable person”…who…“expects natural climate variability, especially on regional scales, to cease because of global warming?” You asked, “…if the NP index is the primary driver of NP OHC then why is NP OHC currently at the highest level in the record while the NP index has been higher numerous times?”While the NPI is responsible for the greater variability in North Pacific OHC, ENSO events are still pumping warm water into the North Pacific. Refer to:http://bobtisdale.blogspot.com/2009/11/more-detail-on-multiyear-aftereffects_26.htmlAnd:http://bobtisdale.blogspot.com/2009/12/more-detail-on-multiyear-aftereffects.html

  3. Anonymous says:

    >Mr. Bob Tisdale:The Upper Ocean Heat Content (upper 700 m) is near the surface, so it is absolutely UNSURPRISING that Climate Oscillations cause a lot of variation, as the step-down or step-up changes in (Upper)OHC shown in your beautiful posts.To measure GLOBAL Warming we need GLOBAL measures, not partial ones.This issue is addressed in the K. von Schuckmann et al. paper: "Global hydrographic variability patterns during 2003–2008"Where is shown that heat penetrates very DEEP in the Oceans, specially in the Atlantic(as should be expected given the AMOC, where tropical waters sinks near the Artic).Main result: a STEADY increase in OHC down to 2000 meters, equal to:Ocean Heating rate=0.77 ±0.11 Wm^−2For interested readers, there is a nice summary on Ocean Warming at the link:http://www.skepticalscience.com/global-cooling.htmThe evidence for AGW seems really irrefutable with these MEASURED energy content increase in the Earth.But the Natural Variations patterns described in this blog are also very important, as they influnce the year-to-year and month-to-month variability.So to describe the effects we Humans suffer from Climate Change, these analysis are of great importance to predict any extreme weather event, with or without man-made Climate Change. So Bob, keep us informed about these Oceanic Patterns!(specially ENSO and SST Anomalies worldwide)

  4. Bob Tisdale says:

    >Anonymous 7:58PM: You wrote, “To measure GLOBAL Warming we need GLOBAL measures, not partial ones.”I’ve already discussed GLOBAL OHC in a number of posts. But in order to determine the causes of the variations one needs to divide the global oceans down into workable subsets. This post was a continuation of those discussions. Refer also to:http://bobtisdale.blogspot.com/2009/09/enso-dominates-nodc-ocean-heat-content.htmlandhttp://bobtisdale.blogspot.com/2009/10/north-atlantic-ocean-heat-content-0-700.htmlYou wrote, “This issue is addressed in the K. von Schuckmann et al. paper…” and you continued on this thought through “For interested readers, there is a nice summary on Ocean Warming at the link:http://www.skepticalscience.com/global-cooling.htm”You and John Cook at SkepticalScience miss an extremely obvious point in your appreciation of von Schuckmann et al. Downward shortwave radiation from greenhouse gases can only warm the top few centimeters of the oceans. How do you propose that its impact is transported from the surface to the layers of the global oceans below 700 meters without first impacting the top 700 meters? If anthropogenic greenhouse gases have no visible impact on the OHC of the upper 700 meters, they physically cannot bypass it to warm the depths below. You wrote, “The evidence for AGW seems really irrefutable with these MEASURED energy content increase in the Earth.”Only if you mistake natural variability for AGW.You wrote, “So to describe the effects we Humans suffer from Climate Change…”Climate change is not anthropogenic global warming. You’re confusing two different and independent topics.You concluded, “So Bob, keep us informed about these Oceanic Patterns!”I’ll do that.Regards.

  5. Anonymous says:

    >Mr. Bob Tisdale:You wrote:"I’ve already discussed GLOBAL OHC in a number of posts."With the world GLOBAL, I am thinking in 3D. OHC in just the upper 700 m of the Ocean is not Global, because you are missing kilometres of seawater below.My point is that when we include the missing Deep Oceans in the Global OHC, all that step changes and oscillations almost disappear, leaving a nearly straight linear Oceanic warming of 0.77 ±0.11 Wm^−2.In particular, while in the upper 700 meters there hasn't been any significant warming since 2003, the warming is evident when considering the whole ocean to 2000meters deep.This could only mean that the "missing warming" is really heat that had been transported to the Deep Oceans.You wrote:" How do you propose that its impact is transported from the surface to the layers of the global oceans below 700 meters without first impacting the top 700meters?"Obviously the heat is trasported downward by downwelling warm waters. This is confirmed by the fact that most deep warming ocurred in the Atlantic, where warm and salty waters sink in the AMOC.

  6. Bob Tisdale says:

    >Anonymous 2:51AM: You wrote, “My point is that when we include the missing Deep Oceans in the Global OHC, all that step changes and oscillations almost disappear, leaving a nearly straight linear Oceanic warming of 0.77 ±0.11 Wm^−2.”Really??? That’s pure speculation on your part. Levitus et al 2000 illustrated OHC to 300 meters and to 3,000 meters for the individual ocean basins, both hemispheres, and the deeper dataset had the same variations as the 300 meter data. The 3,000 meter data was smoother than the 300 meter data, but the variations were similar. Levitus et al 2005 presented the same thing for 300, 700, and 3000 meter depths and again the variations were similar.If and when von Schuckmann et al publish the 0-2000 meter DATA for the past 50 years and have it posted on the KNMI Climate Explorer, you would be able to document that the “step changes and oscillations almost disappear, leaving a nearly straight linear Oceanic warming.” (And I would be able to verify your claims.) Otherwise what you’ve written is speculation on your part, and your speculation does not appear to have any basis in reality. In response to my question, “How do you propose that its impact is transported from the surface to the layers of the global oceans below 700 meters without first impacting the top 700meters?" you replied, “Obviously the heat is trasported downward by downwelling warm waters. This is confirmed by the fact that most deep warming ocurred in the Atlantic, where warm and salty waters sink in the AMOC.”Thank you for confirming that the warm waters at 2000 meters came from the upper 700 meters. And as I wrote above, if anthropogenic greenhouse gases have no visible impact on the OHC of the upper 700 meters, they physically cannot bypass it to warm the depths below.

  7. Anonymous says:

    >Mr. Bob Tisdale.I wrote:"My point is that when we include the missing Deep Oceans in the Global OHC, all that step changes and oscillations almost disappear, leaving a nearly straight linear Oceanic warming of 0.77 ±0.11 Wm^−2."Excuse me. It was 2:30 AM, I should have been sleeping. So I forgot the timing , that is, 2003-2008. Now is near Noon, and I saw my mistake: there were no significant step changes since 2003 in the upper OHC data.But the point is that while the upper ocean OHC is almost FLAT since 2003, with little or no warming, the Schuckmann et al. Paper show that THE WARMING CONTINUED. So it seems that the warm waters stayed little time in the upper oceans before sinking to the Deep, so the heat could not accumulate in the upper 700 meters, giving the impression of no warming.AMOC is amazing. It sucked the heat downwards. No other explanation seems reasonable.

  8. Bob Tisdale says:

    >Anonymous 12:35PM: And in your haste to correct your error you forgot to read my two replies. Regardless of whether the warm water was subducted by AMOC or not, it was a result of natural variability, so all of your efforts to clarify was for naught. Regards

  9. Anonymous says:

    >Mr Bob Tisdale:How you explain the monotonic, nearly COSTANT warming rate of 0.77 ±0.11 Wm^−2. since 2003?If IR radiation doesn't penetrate more than a few centimenters, something else should have done it.(by the way, where did you get that info about IR warming? Please give me the reference. It is a very interesting fact by itself).Regadless of what mechanism was involved in warming the upper oceans, the data indicate little or no warming in the upper 700 m and steady warming below. The heat evidently just went trough that upper 700 metres and accumulated below. Ocean circulation evidently prevented heat accumulation in the Upper Ocean, leaving us with a nearly flat Global (Upper)OHC trend, and this in turn explain the nearly flat trend in SST anomalies since 2003.

  10. Bob Tisdale says:

    >Anonymous 3:58PM: You asked, "How you explain the monotonic, nearly COSTANT warming rate of 0.77 ±0.11 Wm^−2. since 2003?"The reason the rate is constant is because you're reading a linear trend line. If I changed the perspective of my graphs so that they were one inch high by 5 inches wide, they too would appear flat. Also, since I do not have access to their data, I can't explain it. And since I don't have access to the data in a simple format, I don't care about it. Data that lives in a research paper serves no value. If the data can't be examined, again via a website such as the KNMI Climate Explorer, then the paper is an expression of the opinions of the author and not of the data. The data that I present here is available to the public. Anyone with a spreadsheet can duplicate what I do. Have a Happy New Year.

  11. Bob Tisdale says:

    >Anonymous 3:58PM: It's been a couple of months since I read von Schuckmann et al, but if memory serves me well, there was much more to the paper than the graph you are fixated on. I believe the majority of the paper was a discussion of the multiple natural variables that impact OHC. I think they even broke the discussions down per basin. Read it. Understand it. Then if you would, please advise me how much of that rise you keep referencing is caused by anthropogenic greenhouse gases and how much is caused by natural variables.Don't forget to consider the timing of ENSO events and the AMO.Regards

  12. Anonymous says:

    >My costant warming refer to the von Schuckmann et al graph,not to your graphs. What is striking is the LOW VARIABILITY SEEN IN THE GRAPH.For the CO readers, here is the graph:http://www.skepticalscience.com/global-cooling.htmThe warming was nearly costant, each year warmer than the previous one. No big influence from ENSO is visible, so it suggest that the Climate Variability from ENSO and other oscillations don't influence much the OHC down to 2000 meters. Particularly remarcable is that there is no hint of the moderate-to-strong 2007-2008 La Niña.Next year, as the ARGO data for 2009 becomes avaivable(the paper in question uses ARGO data), we will see if the moderate-to-strong 2009 El Niño will have some impact.Happy New Year(with more data)!

  13. Anonymous says:

    >I said:"My costant warming refer to the von Schuckmann et al graph,not to your graphs." Please delete that sentence, I read wrong your reply, so this sentence is nonsense. Sorry for the inconvenient.(please don't pushish this comment. It is an erratum to correct my previous comment and so may be fastidious for the other readers)

  14. Bob Tisdale says:

    >Anonymous(8:10PM&8:19PM): Regarding request in the latter comment, I cannot edit your writings. I can only publish or delete. I’ve published both.You wrote, referring to the von Schuckmann graph, “The warming was nearly costant, each year warmer than the previous one. No big influence from ENSO is visible, so it suggest that the Climate Variability from ENSO and other oscillations don't influence much the OHC down to 2000 meters.”The only reason the von Schuckmann data appears so linear is because of the aspect ratio of the graph. In the following, I’ve changed the aspect ratio of the von Schuckmann et al graph so that wiggles are noticeable. http://i48.tinypic.com/2yukcif.gifCan you see the year-to-year variations now? The von Schuckmann wiggles are much greater then you are claiming. Did their OHC rise in response to the 2007/08 La Nina? Of course it did. Did it drop in response to the 2006/07 El Nino? Of course, it did. Global response to natural variables does not change because you’re looking at a dataset with greater depth. The greater depth might dampen the variations but they’re still there.And of course, you’re looking at a short-term GLOBAL dataset. As I wrote above, If and when von Schuckmann et al publish the 0-2000 meter DATA for the past 50 years and have it posted on the KNMI Climate Explorer, you would be able to document that the “step changes and oscillations almost disappear, leaving a nearly straight linear Oceanic warming.” (And I would be able to verify your claims.) Otherwise what you’ve written is speculation on your part, and your speculation does not appear to have any basis in reality. Also, you still have not answered my question above, How do you propose that its impact is transported from the surface to the layers of the global oceans below 700 meters without first impacting the top 700meters?The answer you provided was “Obviously the heat is trasported downward by downwelling warm waters.” If the heat is transported downward, and if the heat was originally in the upper 700 meters, and if the OHC in the upper 700 meters shows no sign of anthropogenic influence, I’m not sure what point you’re trying to make. All you are doing is confirming what I’ve written to you already.Regards.

  15. Anonymous says:

    >Bob: "Also, you still have not answered my question above, How do you propose that its impact is transported from the surface to the layers of the global oceans below 700 meters without first impacting the top 700meters?"Pretty much the same way you never answer my question to you about why you seem to ignore the fact that the oceans can only heat up with an increase in solar energy the atmosphere allows to get through. The additional heat in the top 700 meters of the ocean would not be there if the atmosphere above it did not change to allow more heat to reach the ocean surface. In other words, less cloud cover due to a warming atmosphere allowing more incoming short-wave energy.What scenario can happen first, a changed ocean or a changed atmosphere? If you say the ocean, then how can the ocean absorb more heat energy without some initial change in the incoming solar radiation first? If you don't agree, then what physical change can you point to in the ocean that allowed it to gain more heat before some physical change in the atmosphere allowed more solar insolation to reach the ocean?Dennis H.

  16. Bob Tisdale says:

    >Dennis H: You wrote, "What scenario can happen first, a changed ocean or a changed atmosphere?"Neither. They're coupled. ENSO is a coupled ocean-atmosphere process. During La Nina and ENSO-neutral periods, the convection and cloud cover and precipitation over the Pacific Warm Pool are responses to higher western tropical Pacific SST which is a response to the trade winds, but the trade winds are a response to the convection and higher SST in the Western tropical Pacific. And just relocate the warm spot for the EL Nino phase.Happy New Year, Dennis.

  17. Anonymous says:

    >Bob,So being a coupled ocean-atmosphere process, if the atmosphere begins to warm due to some external forces outside of any initial ocean forces, wouldn't the ocean then react by also warming due to this same coupling process?Why do you discount the albedo and back scattering changes due to the melting glaciers, black dust falling on the arctic and glacial ice, declining forest land, an increase in atmospheric particulates during the booming 1950-1960's, a reduction in atmospheric particulates since the 1970's, urban sprawl and urban heat island creation, the even a general longer-term reduction in volcanic dust in the atmosphere as catastrophic volcanic activity has also diminished? Do all of these physical changes on the land and overlying atmosphere have some underlying ENSO causes or relationship too? How does the way the land is being heated and able to store more heat energy directly tried to the ocean cycles? Does the influence of man and how we change the natural environment on land and it's relationship with the atmosphere work in tandem with ENSO cycles somehow? Did all of the acid rain, and smog events of the cloudier and cooler 1950-1970 period cause the ENSO pattern to change or was it the other way around? Did ENSO have this overriding influence on man's behavior or how volcanoes erupt to physically change how the atmosphere was also changing and reacting to the increased pollution at that time?Did the cleaner atmosphere due to the reduction in particulates after the Clean Air Act of 1970 was passed have some coincidental relationship with a given ENSO cycle that was going to happen anyway? Did ENSO create the series of events that led to an increase of ozone in the lower atmosphere as the amount of particulates were decreased and created regional ozone and smog alerts? These changes in the atmosphere and the amount of solar radiation reaching the surface were somehow can all be directly tied to ENSO cycles and we just happen to create events that perfectly matched their cyclical periods?That is really some remarkable belief system you are trying to perpetuate here.Dennis H.

  18. Bob Tisdale says:

    >Dennis: You asked, "So being a coupled ocean-atmosphere process, if the atmosphere begins to warm due to some external forces outside of any initial ocean forces, wouldn't the ocean then react by also warming due to this same coupling process?"No. The atmosphere warms the top few centiometers of the ocean via longwave radiation. There is no evidence that any increase in downward longwave radiation associated with greenhouse gases has any impact on OHC.Haven't we been through this, Dennis?

  19. Anonymous says:

    >Bob,Why are you getting hung up on this long wave radiation coming back to heat the oceans. Is this the latest mantra of responses that the skeptics like to use to confuse the public with? I notice you are having the same discussion on the other blog posting.I think I was very clear earlier that a warming atmosphere tends to lead to a decreasing cloud cover which then allows more short-wave radiation to reach and ultimately heat the ocean surface. Is this concept of a changing atmosphere above the ocean just to vague for you or do you just want to change the topic because all of your ENSO arguments cannot be verified through this process?Just because you cannot find a one time event in the atmosphere like a major volcano, does not mean that the atmosphere cannot change over a long period of time through an accumulation of pollutants and ultimately change how much solar radiation comes down and heats the upper layers of the ocean. It's just that you can't find this one time event to be able to time your ENSO cycles with, so you would rather ignore those facts.Dennis H.

  20. Bob Tisdale says:

    >Dennis: You asked, “Why are you getting hung up on this long wave radiation coming back to heat the oceans.”I’m not. I responded to a statement you made. You wrote, “I think I was very clear earlier that a warming atmosphere tends to lead to a decreasing cloud cover which then allows more short-wave radiation to reach and ultimately heat the ocean surface.”You’re assuming the warming of the atmosphere reduced cloud cover. Big assumption. I've shown you how the reduction in cloud cover correlates with ENSO events, or don't you recall?You wrote, “Is this concept of a changing atmosphere above the ocean just to [sic] vague for you or do you just want to change the topic because all of your ENSO arguments cannot be verified through this process?”Actually, Dennis, I read and responded to your opening sentence. Would you like me to respond to the rest now? You continue to have trouble grasping the implications of that response. Are you sure you want me to add to it?You wrote, “Just because you cannot find a one time [sic] event in the atmosphere like a major volcano…”In case you aren’t aware, the Sato Index data that appears in many of my OHC posts, this one for example…http://bobtisdale.blogspot.com/2009/09/enso-dominates-nodc-ocean-heat-content.html…is provided to indicate the timing of volcanic eruptions.

  21. Anonymous says:

    >Bob: "You’re assuming the warming of the atmosphere reduced cloud cover. Big assumption. I've shown you how the reduction in cloud cover correlates with ENSO events, or don't you recall?"Bob, in the recent past you yourself said that the only way the ocean surface layers can be heated is by it gaining extra heat energy through an increase in short-wave radiation. So if the top 700 meters of the world's oceans are being heated (as your show in your recent graphs), one can safely conclude that this extra heat content in the ocean top layers is due to an increase in short-wave radiation, which can only happen if there is less cloud cover. What other explanation is there? Is the ocean changing physically to absorb more heat energy?In regards to ENSO causing a variation in cloud cover, yes you can find that relationship in the short-term cyclical time periods as you said before since there is an ocean-atmosphere dynamic connection. You would expect to see that type of short-term interrelationship. In the same regards, ENSO cycles in the short-term can react to the physical changes that first occurred in the atmosphere due to a volcanic eruption it it's pollution in the form of particulates and gases. There is not doubt. Your ENSO cycles shows that response to that physical change in the atmosphere.But if the solar radiation window above the ocean layers, called the atmosphere, is slowly changed over time due to an increase in another type of pollutant (also in the form of particulates and gases) so that it is warmer and not as friendly to cloud development (you need some basic understanding of interaction of temperature and moisture profiles and cloud condensation nuclei in the troposphere), and cloud cover is reduced, then the oceans will begin to heat up. An increase in ENSO cycles over that longer time period that confirm the increase in heat content is merely a manifestation of the gradual changes in the atmosphere due to that increase in specific pollutants allowing the atmosphere to retain the heat energy longer.You seemed to purposely misconstrue my longer-term analogy I was trying to convey, so I will try to explain it to you better. While the volcanic activity typically happens on a short-term and easily definable time period. However, the long term changes and timeline of an ever increasing pollutant that is emitted over various regions of the globe and from multiple sources cannot be explicitly be clearly defined as the short term, periodic volcanic event. You tend to ignore these long-term (hard to define) timing events because it is so much easier for you to concentrate on the more definable, periodic short-term releases to correlate with your ENSO cycles. The same thing happens when people concentrate on a big plane accident killing hundreds of passengers, while ignoring the fact that more people die on a yearly basis from lightning strikes. The plane accident provides a convenient time and place to work in dramatic reports of death and destruction into a nice time period. But the rather innocuous one or two deaths at a time for each lightning event over a full year does not make it newsworthy and is very hard to place a definable time period and magnitude to the overall event and is not usually newsworthy. Just like lightning deaths increase with increasing population, the increase in pollution that can affect the atmosphere, causes only a gradual increase in the physical changes in the atmosphere. What you are doing here is you are ignoring the long-term gradual changes in the atmosphere because they are undefinable in time and magnitude and will not match up well with your short-term ENSO cycles. But the volcanic eruptions and other short-term events give you those conveniently timed events so you can use them to show how ENSO is affected over those periods. It's a nice story, but does not give the true picture of what is really happening.Dennis H.

  22. Bob Tisdale says:

    >Dennis: I read the opening sentence to your latest (9:13PM) reply and stopped there. Since the first sentence was in error, there was no need to read beyond it.You wrote, “Bob, in the recent past you yourself said that the only way the ocean surface layers can be heated is by it gaining extra heat energy through an increase in short-wave radiation.”The only way? I wrote that? I believe you’re mistaken, Dennis. I’ve written that there is no evidence of any impact from longwave radiation. That does not mean that only shortwave radiation can warm the “ocean surface layers”. In fact, I’ve written three long posts with references to papers, lots of illustrations, that discuss the multiple ways ENSO events vary surface temperatures within the tropical Pacific AND remote to it. I suggest you go back, read those three posts, and then reconsider what you’ve written in your opening sentence. Here are the addresses of those posts…again:http://bobtisdale.blogspot.com/2009/11/more-detail-on-multiyear-aftereffects.htmlAND:http://bobtisdale.blogspot.com/2009/11/more-detail-on-multiyear-aftereffects_26.htmlAND:http://bobtisdale.blogspot.com/2009/12/more-detail-on-multiyear-aftereffects.html

  23. Anonymous says:

    >Bob,I have seen many times (and not just with me) where you conveniently use the excuse of not wanting to read an entire post from someone because you purposely find some "error" in the first sentence. If someone's point of view doesn't match yours or puts your point of view in a negative light, you seem to go out of your way to find some small technicality so that you can use it to ignore the rest of the person's comments? Is that the example you want to give your readers by suggesting they should just ignore the rest of your posting if they don't agree with your first sentence?Why not at least read the rest and respond to those other points that are not associated with this "error"? It's a nice dodge game you play when you don't want to really respond to mine or someone else's points of view, but it is not a constructive way at getting to the real issues at hand. Let's also not play this game of just referring me to your previous posts because they often do not really answer my questions in the other parts of my comments that you conveniently ignore since you may or may not have any answers to.The last time I looked, there are only two types of radiation that can ultimately affect earth's temperatures, short-wave and long-wave:http://www.physicalgeography.net/fundamentals/7i.htmlIf the oceans are not heated by the long-wave radiation (again I never stated that obvious skeptic screw ball you keep trying to throw), the only remaining radiation to ultimately heat the ocean is in the short-wave radiation (directly from the sun). Sure there are other ways where one part of the ocean can transport heat to other parts of the ocean, but the ultimate heat energy being gained comes from the initial short-wave energy from the sun reaching the ocean surface through the atmosphere before being transported to other areas of the ocean.The only way that initial increase in short-wave radiation and heat energy can occur in the ocean is if the atmosphere above the ocean changes to allow that to happen through a reduction in cloud cover, particulates, or some other physical matter that reflects sunlight, none of which requires a dependency on the ENSO cycles to occur. You cannot be suggesting that the "almighty" ENSO creates a situation where volcanic activity responds to an ENSO cycle to reinforce it's natural cycle? Yes there is a short-term cyclical nature with ENSO, but how do you know that the ENSO cycle is not responding to a change in the atmosphere first? In the long-term, through other external forces not directly tied to ENSO, other outside factors can also ultimately affect how the much the atmosphere allows more short-wave energy to reach the ocean. Through the ocean-atmosphere connection, ENSO responds accordingly to the changes going on in the atmosphere above it with the initial forces having nothing to do with ENSO causing that initial change.As the atmosphere is able to retain more heat energy due to the physical changes not dependent or related to ENSO or other ocean factors, the heat differential will be less between the oceans and the atmosphere and the ocean will also lose less heat (the long-wave radiation) at night. The ultimate result is a gradual increase in overall ocean heat content as your Levitus et al, 2009 graph shows.Dennis H.

  24. Bob Tisdale says:

    >Dennis: You began your most recent comment with, “I have seen many times (and not just with me) where you conveniently use the excuse of not wanting to read an entire post from someone because you purposely find some ‘error’ in the first sentence.”Lengthy blog comments (which are interlinked multiphase arguments) are like chains. If there is an error in any part of the argument or comment, akin to a broken link in the chain, the entire argument is falsified. The chain only needs one broken link. You asked, “Why not at least read the rest and respond to those other points that are not associated with this ‘error’?”Time. You wrote in your closing paragraph, “As the atmosphere is able to retain more heat energy due to the physical changes not dependent or related to ENSO or other ocean factors…”Show me the dataset that illustrates this retention of heat, please.

  25. Pingback: Notes On Hansen et al (2011) – Earth’s Energy Imbalance and Implications | Bob Tisdale – Climate Observations

  26. Pingback: On ocean heat content, Pinatubo, Hansen, Bulldogs, cherrypicking and all that | Watts Up With That?

  27. Pingback: January to March 2011 NODC Ocean Heat Content (0-700Meters) Update and Comments | Bob Tisdale – Climate Observations

  28. Pingback: Tisdale on 2011 ocean heat content and the GISS-Miss | Watts Up With That?

  29. Pingback: 2nd Quarter 2011 NODC Global OHC Anomalies | Bob Tisdale – Climate Observations

  30. Pingback: Global Ocean Heat Content Is Still Flat | Watts Up With That?

  31. Pingback: April to June 2011 NODC Ocean Heat Content Anomalies (0-700Meters) Update and Comments | Bob Tisdale – Climate Observations

  32. Pingback: Tisdale on Ocean Heat Content Anomalies | Watts Up With That?

  33. Pingback: July to September 2011 NODC Ocean Heat Content Anomalies (0-700Meters) Update and Comments | Bob Tisdale – Climate Observations

  34. Pingback: October to December 2011 NODC Ocean Heat Content Anomalies (0-700Meters) Update and Comments | Bob Tisdale – Climate Observations

  35. Pingback: October to December 2011 NODC Ocean Heat Content Anomalies (0-700Meters) Update and Comments | Watts Up With That?

  36. Pingback: October to December 2011 NODC Ocean Heat Content Anomalies (0-700Meters) Update and Comments | My Blog

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s