First-Quarter 2011 Update Of NODC Ocean Heat Content (0-700Meters)


I added the word “Anomalies” to the two graphs.


The NOAA National Oceanographic Data Center (NODC) has updated its Ocean Heat Content (OHC) data (0-700Meters) for the first quarter of 2011. The quarterly data for the world oceans is now available through the NODC in spreadsheet (.csv ) form (Right Click and Save As: all months). Thanks, NODC. That’s a nice addition to your website.

This is a quick post that shows the long-term quarterly OHC data and the ARGO-era OHC data compared to GISS Projections. I’ll provide another look when the data has been uploaded to and becomes available through the KNMI Climate Explorer, and that should be toward the end of the month. It’ll be interesting to see if the tropical Pacific OHC has rebounded yet.


The NODC OHC dataset is based on the Levitus et al (2009) paper “Global ocean heat content(1955-2008) in light of recent instrumentation problems”, Geophysical Research Letters. Refer to Manuscript. It was revised in 2010 as noted in the October 18, 2010 post Update And Changes To NODC Ocean Heat Content Data. As described in the NODC’s explanation of ocean heat content (OHC) data changes, the changes result from “data additions and data quality control,” from a switch in base climatology, and from revised Expendable Bathythermograph (XBT) bias calculations.


Figure 1 shows the Global NODC data from the first quarter (Jan-Feb-Mar) of 1955 to the first quarter of 2011. There was a minor uptick in the past three month period.

Figure 1

Looking at the NODC OHC data during the ARGO era (2003 to present), Figure 2, the uptick was nowhere close to what would be required to bring the Global Ocean Heat Content back into line with GISS projections. For the source of the 0.7 Joules*10^22 GISS projection, refer to the discussion of “ARGO-ERA TREND VERSUS GISS PROJECTION” in the post ARGO-Era NODC Ocean Heat Content Data (0-700 Meters) Through December 2010.

Figure 2

And for those wishing to discuss the draft of Hansen et al (2011), please first refer to the post for Notes On Hansen et al (2011) – Earth’s Energy Imbalance and Implications. It was cross posted at WattsUpWithThat as On ocean heat content, Pinatubo, Hansen, Bulldogs, cherrypicking and all that.


As noted above the updated quarterly NODC OHC data is available through their website:

Specifically their Basin Time Series webpage:

Scroll down to the “all months” link under “World”.

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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8 Responses to First-Quarter 2011 Update Of NODC Ocean Heat Content (0-700Meters)

  1. Robert of Ottawa says:

    Interestingly th uptick starts in 2003. What would it be without the adjustments?

  2. Bob Tisdale says:

    Robert of Ottawa: I believe even the “raw” ARGO data that’s available has also been adjusted.

  3. r.m.b says:

    If they expect that heat from a warmer atmosphere will be absorbed by the ocean, they’ll be disappointed. surface tension won’t allow it. try heating a bucket of water from above using a heat gun.

  4. Pingback: El calor perdido, sigue perdido. «

  5. Pascvaks says:

    Per ARGO chart there is an awful similarity to SC24. Hummmmm….. think maybe… no, no, no.
    (Thanks again, Bob;-)

  6. Pingback: Ocean heat content…papers, data and discussion | pindanpost

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