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Monday, October 13, 2014

Bob Irvine at WUWT rejects ocean warming because - foil and clingwrap!

Sou | 4:02 AM Go to the first of 32 comments. Add a comment


Update: As reported by Kevin O'Neill in the comments, As a result of a "peer evaluation carried out urgently yesterday", WIT Press has removed Bob Irvine's article from it's elibrary (see here, archived here).

Sou 12:53 am 16 October 2014.

Update 2: Now at Retraction Watch. (Sou 22 October 2014)




WUWT is getting worse by the day. Today there's an article by someone called Bob Irvine (archived here). It's Anthony Watts throwing a bone to the greenhouse effect deniers. Or perhaps it's just Wondering Willis' opinion being demonstrated - if Anthony had a year to read the article, he wouldn't be able to tell if it would stand the harsh light of public exposure.

Bob Irvine has written a "guest article" about an article he wrote for some obscure engineering publication. The article is listed as "open access" but you have to register to read it. (Let's hope it's as easy to unregister.)

The weird thing is that usually when Anthony Watts posts utter nutter articles like this one, a lot of his regulars with half a brain complain how dumb it is. It doesn't seem to have happened this time, suggesting that WUWT is sloughing off all but the nuttier fruitcakes.

Bob Irvine is explaining why he thinks that climate sensitivity to greenhouse warming is less than climate sensitivity to changes in solar radiation. He invokes an "experiment" by what looks to be a sky dragon slayer and regular commenter at WUWT, who goes by the name of Konrad. You may recall Konrad whose comments have featured here from time to time. Bob also acknowledges the work of Roger Tattersal, who blogs as "Tallboke". I guess that Anthony Watts is now rethinking his decision to label Tallbloke's blog as "Transcendent Rant and way out there theory".


About the Konrad/Tallbloke experiment, apparently it's all down to clingwrap and aluminium foil. Bob Irvine writes:
Basically, two tubs of warm water, one under a clear cling wrap roof and one under a reflective foil roof, are allowed to cool. In test A they are both free to evaporate and both cool at the same rate. In test B evaporation is restricted by placing cling wrap on the surface of the water in both tubs. In test B the tub under the foil sky is significantly affected by downward long wave radiation and cools more slowly.
Test B is how the IPCC models the oceans while test A indicates that long wave radiation does not significantly affect the temperature of a water body if that water is free to evaporate. I should at this point acknowledge the work of Konrad Hartmann and Roger Tattersal in developing the experiment. I have performed this experiment myself and confirmed their results.

You don't have to download Bob Irvine's paper to read about Konrad's "proof". He's posted an updated version in the comments at WUWT.

This is just a rehash of an article that appeared at WUWT in April last year (archived here) and probably beforehand, too. Who knows. Nick Stokes  commented at the time:
April 6, 2013 at 2:40 am
stan stendera says: April 6, 2013 at 12:48 am “When [if] Mikey Mann reads this he won’t know what the post is talking about because he hasn’t done an experiment since college as an undergrad.
The problem is to do experiments that tell you about the atmosphere or ocean. If you do an experiment on a little pot of water, it tells you about a little pot of water. If you want to relate that to the ocean/atmosphere, you need some theory.
That’s where this one breaks down. The sea is constantly in motion. It has waves. These induce a turbulence structure which is the main mode of transmitting heat in the top layers. That is totally lacking here. Blowing a fan at it doesn’t cut it.
But there’s another major lack. It’s actually true that IR does not generally produce a downward heat flux in the water. That’s because the water is heated by sunlight. That heat is conveyed over time to the surface (by that turbulent transport, mostly) and emitted (day and night) mostly as IR, with some evaporation. That’s easy to quantify – it’s measured by satellites.
But downward IR is still vital. The surface is at a temperature generally from 0 to 30 °C (if not freezing). The surface temperature is maintained by heat from below and downward IR. The heat from sunlight alone is not enough to sustain the IR emission from a surface at say 10°C in midlatitude. It would freeze without IR.
None of that is covered by this experiment.


Why Greenhouse Gases Warm the Oceans


Bob mentions RealClimate.org, so let's pop over there, where a few years back there was a discussion about why greenhouse gases warm the oceans. It's not too technical and may be considered overly simplistic for some of you. Still, I think it's a nice explanation. This is the key section (my paras, with current updated links):
Observations of ocean temperatures have revealed that the ocean heat content has been increasing significantly over recent decades (Willis et al, 2004; Levitus et al, 2005; Lyman et al, 2006). This is something that has been predicted by climate models (and confirmed notably by Hansen et al, 2005), and has therefore been described as a ‘smoking gun’ for human-caused greenhouse gases.
However, some have insisted that there is a paradox here – how can a forcing driven by longwave absorption and emission impact the ocean below since the infrared radiation does not penetrate more than a few micrometers into the ocean?
Resolution of this conundrum is to be found in the recognition that the skin layer temperature gradient not only exists as a result of the ocean-atmosphere temperature difference, but also helps to control the ocean-atmosphere heat flux. (The ‘skin layer‘ is the very thin – up to 1 mm – layer at the top of ocean that is in direct contact with the atmosphere).
Reducing the size of the temperature gradient through the skin layer reduces the flux.
Thus, if the absorption of the infrared emission from atmospheric greenhouse gases reduces the gradient through the skin layer, the flow of heat from the ocean beneath will be reduced, leaving more of the heat introduced into the bulk of the upper oceanic layer by the absorption of sunlight to remain there to increase water temperature. Experimental evidence for this mechanism can be seen in at-sea measurements of the ocean skin and bulk temperatures.

Here's the diagram showing what happens, in simple terms:



The sun warms the ocean. Shortwave radiation penetrates some way below the surface. At the surface, the increased greenhouse forcing means that the there is not as great a temperature difference between the air and the ocean temperature in the water under the thin "skin" of the ocean. That means that less heat is conducted through the "skin" into the air, so more heat remains in the upper ocean.

Update: My paragraph above could be confusing. Here is a further explanation from Stefan Rahsmtorf from the comments at realclimate.org (my emphasis):
...the ocean surface is on average warmer than the overlying air, because the ocean absorbs a lot of heat from the sun, part of which it passes on to the air above. Your confusion arises simply because we are now discussing how the bulk of the ocean below the skin layer gets heated. Thus we are talking not about the gradient between sea surface and overlying air, but we are talking about the gradient through the skin - i.e., the water temperature difference between the top and bottom of the skin layer, which controls how heat flows across this layer, from the bulk of ocean water below to the surface. Obviously, if you heat the top of the skin layer, this reduces the heat flow across this layer from below. Clear? Or still confusing? -stefan

As always, the comments at realclimate.org are well worth reading. Well, some of them are, some not so much (it was before the borehole was created). They cover most questions one might think of. [Added by Sou, 13 October 2014]


Further reading

See especially text box on page 1200 of Donlon, Craig, N. Rayner, I. Robinson, D. J. S. Poulter, K. S. Casey, J. Vazquez-Cuervo, E. Armstrong et al. "The global ocean data assimilation experiment high-resolution sea surface temperature pilot project." Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society 88, no. 8 (2007): 1197-1213. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1175/BAMS-88-8-1197

Donlon, C. J., P. J. Minnett, C. Gentemann, T. J. Nightingale, I. J. Barton, B. Ward, and M. J. Murray. "Toward improved validation of satellite sea surface skin temperature measurements for climate research." Journal of Climate 15, no. 4 (2002): 353-369. doi: http://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/full/10.1175/1520-0442%282002%29015%3C0353%3ATIVOSS%3E2.0.CO%3B2

From the WUWT comments


Genghis is having trouble figuring out what's watt:
October 11, 2014 at 5:04 pm
George e. smith, I am still struggling with what watts mean exactly. I know a watt is one joule per second and a watt is a watt when it comes to heating, but I also know that a watt of SW radiation has a lot more energy and different properties than a watt of IR radiation. And it gets worse, watts has zero to do with specific heat or energy content and watts seems to have some reflective properties. It is so confusing :)

george e. smith has trouble distinguishing day from night from solar radiation averaged over the earth's surface (excerpt):
October 11, 2014 at 8:19 pm
Well watt is the SI unit of power, which is an instantaneous differential quantity, that describes the RATE of doing work using energy (measured in joule units), or rate of transport of energy. It does not measure the average rate of energy usage or conversion or transport. When the sun sets, the solar insolation on the night time earth drops to effectively zero, not to 342 W/m^2 that Kevin Trenberth et al claim. 

nielszoo thinks that the earth doesn't radiate energy.
October 11, 2014 at 2:28 pm
I’ve said the same thing for years as well. Until you get way up in the atmosphere where the molecules are farther apart all energy transfer is mechanical via convection and NOT radiation. If CO2 was “back radiating” energy away and water vapor was doing the same thing, devices like FLIR, based on microbolometers, would not work because the atmosphere would be this opaque, thermal soup from all that radiation bouncing around. Funny, those devices work just fine for extremely long distances. Even if both CO2 and water vapor DID emit energy via radiation the only thing that’s going to absorb those wavelengths is CO2 and water vapor and you can’t transfer heat unless you have colder matter to transfer to.
The “greenhouse” garbage really needs to be completely tossed and the actual atmospheric energy transfers, according to Gas Law (pressure, temperature and constants for each gas) and gravity need to be substituted because they actually match up with the real world.

Michael Wassil is convinced that an ice age will cometh any day now, and icicles will hang from people's nostrils:
October 11, 2014 at 2:46 pm
In other words, Arrhenius was WRONG. Atmospheric radiative forcing is non-existent. Of course, Arrhenius was proven wrong in 1909 (Wood) and his radiative GHG claims rejected for half a century as based on refuted mid-19th century theories and bad math. Big Climate (TM) doesn’t care. They will not relent until icicles hang from their nostrils as they scream at us about imminent global warming catastrophe. Even then, it will take universal derision to shame them into admitting they were wrong. Hansen, for one, will never admit it.

That's enough. It's "head in vice" material in the article as well as the comments. 

32 comments :

  1. My favourite WUWT comment was Werner Brozek at 7:52 pm. We learn that the 'correct' time period for determining temperature trends is now only 10 years. Sadly, Werner didn't have time to explain the method by which he found that 10 years was the correct time period to use.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Did they try making the tin foil into a hat? Some people swear by them.

    You gotta laugh at the deniers when they think a poorly designed experiment can overturn all those other lines of evidence.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Richard Telford also had a look. He wasn't impressed:
    http://quantpalaeo.wordpress.com/2014/10/12/bob-irvine-is-bringing-engineers-into-disrepute/

    ReplyDelete
  4. The fact that GHGs don't so much heat the ocean as reduce the rate at which it cools down has caused lots of confusion. Even an otherwise rational friend managed to convince himself that the RF from CO2 couldn't be implicated in the increase in OHC over the last several decades because water is opaque to IR. It took a while to persuade him that he was mistaken.

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  5. Actually BBD, I think the climate scientists have done a very poor job of explaining why GHG's result in additional ocean warming.

    Minnett has never defended his RC article from its plethora of blog attacks. RC has never addressed it again.

    They are trudging through it again at CE today.

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    Replies
    1. JCH

      Actually BBD, I think the climate scientists have done a very poor job of explaining why GHG's result in additional ocean warming.

      It all comes back to personal responsibility. If someone wants to talk about physical climatology, they are personally responsible for their depth of topic knowledge.

      You know, and I know, because we bothered to find out. We can't blame climate scientists for the intellectual laziness of others.

      Delete
    2. Rather than "plethora of blog attacks" (which if were in the nature of this WUWT piece, couldn't be called attacks), what specific aspects would you like covered in more detail, JCH?

      As is often the case at realclimate.org, reading through the comments to the realclimate.org article there are answers to most questions one could think of, and adds to the explanation.

      Delete
    3. In the article above, I've added some papers as further reading, which in turn have references within.

      Delete
  6. @ Sou:

    Mr Irvine's experiment was a little odd. But I'm all for home experiments. His mistake was thinking that it was worthy of a paper. You headline was a little dishonest too. He didn't seem top be rejecting ocean warming. Anyhow, if he was trying to prove that LW doesn't warm the oceans that's accepted physics anyway. He was wasting his time. If the rise in OHC ia not due to LW, then it must be something else. But it's not conduction either. Allow me to elucidate further. As ever I'm quite happy to be wrong, and if you think I am just show me your calculations:

    If we agree, and I'm sure you will that:
    Energy into the ocean = solar radiation (sw)
    Energy out of the ocean = LW radiation + conduction + latent heat

    Then we can plug in some rough numbers to see what may be causing the rise in OHC that people love to express as Hiroshima bombs, lightening bolts, or murdered kittens. As a ballpark there's a document here that gives us some rough numbers: http://eesc.columbia.edu/courses/ees/climate/lectures/o_atm.html

    Energy in = solar = 168 Wm^-2
    Energy out = LW Radiation (66 Wm^-2) + latent heat (evaporation) (78 Wm^-2) + sensible heat (conduction) (24 Wm^-2) = 168 Wm^-2

    That balances, but it's a ballpark only, we know it must be wrong somewhere as the OHC is rising. We know that we are either getting more energy in, or less out. From previous comments you don't want to consider more energy in (less clouds, or more UV/EUV), so let's first look at the other option: less energy out.

    In that case, it can only either be less (net) LW radiation emitting from the ocean, less latent heat, or less conduction. (Are we still in agreement? :-D)

    It can't be less LW radiation for two reasons. i) it's defined as the 4th power of temperature (times the SB constant), and the sea temperature is not declining, and ii) as the above article says "Thus it is very difficult for the ocean to transmit heat by long wave radiation into the atmosphere; the greenhouse gases just kick it back, notably water vapor whose concentration is proportional to the air temperature. Net back radiation cools the ocean, on a global average by 66 watts per square meter."

    It can't be less latent heat (evaporation) either as the oceans will transpire more with increasing temperature.

    So the only possibility (for you) is lower conduction.

    Conduction of sensible heat at the ocean/atmosphere boundary, according to this paper at NOAA, follows equation 3 here: http://www.oco.noaa.gov/resources/Documents/Yu-SatFluxes.pdf, and depends upon wind speed, and the difference in sea-surface and atmospheric temperatures.

    QSH= ρ x cp x ch x W x (Ts– Ta)

    Three of those terms we can take as a rough constant:
    ρ = the density of surface air (equal approximately to 1.225 kg m-3)
    cp = is the specific heat capacity of air at constant pressure (1.01)
    ch = height dependent turbulent exchange coefficients for sensible heat (here taken as 1)

    The other three vary widely, but we'll plug in some rough numbers as a sanity check:
    Ta = the temperature at a reference height of 2m above the sea surface (we'll take the global average of 15c as a start)
    Ts = sea surface temperature (we'll take the global average of 18C as a start)
    W = the scatterometer-estimated wind speed at 10m (Will vary obviously! But an average from buoys is given as 6.64 ms-1 from here http://web.stanford.edu/group/efmh/winds/global_winds.html)

    Therefore:

    ... cont ...

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  7. ... cont ...

    QSH = 1.225 x 1.01 x 1 x 6.64 x (18 - 15) = 24.64602, which compares very nicely with the 24 Wm-2 above. Sanity check passed. (For pedants: yes the temps should be in K, but we are subtracting so it doesn't matter).

    So for conduction between the sea surface and atmosphere to have dropped, we would either need to have:

    * LOWER WIND speeds on average globally, or,
    * a LOWER DIFFERENCE between SSTs and atmospheric temperatures.

    Do either of those stack up?

    Lower wind: The IPCC chip in with: "Consideration of time series of local surface pressure gradients (Ward and Hoskins, 1996) does NOT SUPPORT the existence of any significant globally averaged trends in marine wind speeds" http://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/ar4/wg1/en/ch3s3-5-6.html. [My caps].

    Lower temperature difference: Same as above: here again is the IPCC's graph of SST and marine air temperatures: http://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/ar4/wg1/en/figure-3-4.html. No major difference there, they haven't diverged.

    So ...

    Sou ...

    You are stuck ...

    There's been no change in either factor that could explain lower conduction. None of the other factors for less heat escaping the ocean are viable candidates. So the only recourse is to think the (for you) unthinkable: mean cloud amount falling (http://oi61.tinypic.com/2ql4i90.jpg), because that's the only thing that makes sense.

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    Replies
    1. <a href="http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1029/2006GL028083/abstract2>Evan et al. (2007):</a>

      <i>The International Satellite Cloud Climatology Project (ISCCP) multi-decadal record of cloudiness exhibits a well-known global decrease in cloud amounts. This downward trend has recently been used to suggest widespread increases in surface solar heating, decreases in planetary albedo, and deficiencies in global climate models. Here we show that trends observed in the ISCCP data are satellite viewing geometry artifacts and are not related to physical changes in the atmosphere. Our results suggest that in its current form, the ISCCP data may not be appropriate for certain long-term global studies, especially those focused on trends.</i>

      * * *

      <i>Energy out of the ocean = LW radiation + conduction + latent heat</i>

      <b>All energy</b> must *conduct* across the surface skin layer in order to leave the bulk ocean and enter the atmosphere. Your argument is incorrectly defined.

      Delete
    2. "The great tragedy of science - the slaying of a beautiful hypothesis by an ugly fact." - Thomas Huxley

      Delete
    3. "It can't be less LW radiation for two reasons."

      Yes, it can, for two reasons.

      1) The figures used in your equation are necessarily not 100% accurate (as you kinda point out). All scientific measurements have confidence or uncertainty intervals attached. Your link doesn't report those intervals but that doesn't mean those numbers have infinite accuracy.

      If the cited value is a little higher than reality (e.g merely because it was rounded up to a whole number, or within an even larger confidence interval than implied by whole number rounding), then that alone could be sufficient to explain the rate of OHC increase given the figures you started with. And if so, then you don't need to look for any changes from that "ballpark balance" to explain rising OHC, because the ballpark balance is an actual imbalance of sufficient magnitude already.

      (Hint: you don't seem to have robustly defined what you mean by "more energy in/out". More than what?)

      So you need to START by calculating a rate of ocean heat content change per square meter (complete with uncertainty/confidence intervals) and see how large that is compared to the intervals attached to the figures you cited. If they are of about the same order of magnitude (or more precisely the confidence/uncertainty intervals for all quantities involved in the equation used to relate them do not allow you to reject the hypothesis that the OHC rate of change can be explained by an imbalance consistent with the reported values) then none of the rest of your logic applies.

      2) There are two types of LW radiation at work - outgoing and incoming (modeled together in your link as "Net Back Radiation"). If you're going to talk about changes in the ocean-atmosphere system you need to account for both types, not just one. One of those types obviously changes with GHG concentration which you don't seem to have taken into account. If the back radiation increases due to GHG changes then all other things being equal the Net Back Radiation decreases. Hey presto! OHC increase (until some of those other things change enough to offset the increased back radiation. That is what BBD's comment above re: LW back radiation causing OHC rise was all about, as was the discussion about the rate of energy flow across the skin.) And I suspect that ignoring this factor has invalidated a whole bunch more of your argument.

      And then the same kind of more sophisticated considerations might apply to the other factors you talked about (and to still other considerations you didn't discuss). This all suggests that it may prove difficult to use your very simplistic ocean-atmosphere model to make inferences about OHC change due to imbalances unless the implied imbalances are rather large compared to the confidence intervals attached to the measurements used - and you haven't even calculated how large an imbalance is sufficient to explain the OHC changes.

      Delete
    4. Hi BBD, good evening.

      "Your argument is incorrectly defined."

      Nope. From Columbia university Department of Earth and Environmental sciences: http://eesc.columbia.edu/courses/ees/climate/lectures/o_atm.html

      " Heat exchange between ocean and atmosphere is a product of a number of processes: solar radiation heats the ocean; net long wave back radiation cools the ocean; heat transfer by conduction and convection between the air and water generally cools the ocean as does evaporation of water from the ocean surface."

      So this:

      "All energy must *conduct* across the surface skin layer in order to leave the bulk ocean and enter the atmosphere"

      Is wrong. You forgot radiative LW cooling and evaporation.

      Delete
    5. Hi Lotharsson,

      Thanks for the comment. Your first point seems to be that the numbers may not be accurate. You are absolutely right. They are, as I said, ballpark figures.

      a) Net LW radiation has a net cooling effect. You'll notice the Columbia University climate science link confirms this:

      "Thus it is very difficult for the ocean to transmit heat by long wave radiation into the atmosphere; the greenhouse gases just kick it back, notably water vapor whose concentration is proportional to the air temperature. Net back radiation COOLS THE OCEAN, on a global average by 66 watts per square meter."

      The thing to concentrate on is not the ballpark figure, which as you rightly say is more than likely not 100% accurate, but that after Inward and Outward LW radiation is accounted for the result is COOLING. So your opening line of "Yes, it can, for two reasons." is falsified, not by me, but by the climate science department of Columbia University.

      You say: "you don't seem to have robustly defined what you mean by "more energy in/out". More than what?"

      My appologies, I obviously didn't make it clear enough. If the energy in (solar SW) is more than the three outward processes, then clearly the ocean will gain heat. And the opposite is also obviously true.

      >"So you need to START by calculating a rate of ocean heat content change per square meter (complete with uncertainty/confidence intervals)"

      With respect - no I don't. What I've got here is a blog post, that's all. But saying that, for my own interest, if I find the time I might do so. It would be interesting to compare Nuccitelli's paper with my own calculations, but it's not a trivial excercise as I' sure you appreciate.

      Accuracy is important of course, but order of magnitude is more important. The variation in cloud cover I show would be of the order of tens of Wm^-2, while all of the AGHG forcings we've had would be of the order of 2 Wm^-2.

      b) your second point is about the two types of LW radiation:

      >"If the back radiation increases due to GHG changes then all other things being equal the Net Back Radiation decreases. Hey presto! OHC increase"

      Again I refer you to Columbia:

      "Thus it is very difficult for the ocean to transmit heat by long wave radiation into the atmosphere; the greenhouse gases just kick it back"

      So if GHG's increase downwards LW, which can only penetrate a few microns deep, those microns increase energy and emit it again (kirchoff law). Then the GHG kick it back. There's no gain in energy. Again as per a) the Net result is cooling.

      >"That is what BBD's comment above re: LW back radiation causing OHC rise was all about, as was the discussion about the rate of energy flow across the skin.) "

      Above BBD was saying that "All energy must *conduct* across the surface skin layer in order to leave the bulk ocean and enter the atmosphere." So there's a bit of confusion to his claim to put it mildly! The rate of energy flow across the skin in terms of conduction is described by the equation I put up. Unless the IPCC is wrong about marine temperatures or lack of wind changes my point stands.

      Thanks for your comment. But I don't think the - fairly nebulous - uncertainties you suggest invalidate my post.

      Delete
    6. RR. Perhaps if you understood Green's Theorem and Gauss's Theorem you may be able to get to a more realistic model of what is really happening. Of course it is far more complex than this but it goes a bit further than you simplistic analysis.
      The basic premise that an increase in green house gas concentration leads to less long wave IR radiation radiating into space will lead to a temperature increase of the whole Earth system is irrefutable. In order to reach equilibrium the temperature MUST rise.
      Just making up simple gedunken experiments is futile.
      Perhaps you could tell me which theorem is a subset of which?
      Bert

      Delete
    7. RR is still muttering inanities like oceans are causing global warming or clouds are causing global warming as part of his efforts to pin global warming on "anything but CO2".

      His efforts are futile. Oceans don't heat up by magic. Clouds don't suddenly behave differently for no reason.

      Simplified down, energy in the earth's system is rising and Earth is warming up. Energy on Earth is expressed as:

      energy in the system = incoming less outgoing energy.

      The main controls on this are the sun and greenhouse gases. The sun controls what comes in and the biggest control on what goes out is GHGs in the atmosphere.

      The sun isn't sending any more energy our way. In the last few decades it's been a bit less.

      GHGs have increased, so less radiation is going to space.

      Ergo - earth is getting hotter.

      Delete
    8. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

      Delete
    9. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

      Delete
    10. RR

      So this:

      "All energy must *conduct* across the surface skin layer in order to leave the bulk ocean and enter the atmosphere"

      Is wrong. You forgot radiative LW cooling and evaporation.


      Energy in the bulk ocean does not have access to a teleportation device. There is no magical point-to-point transport system. It can only leave by conduction through the skin layer and only then can it radiate from the surface.

      Energy from the bulk ocean can only be lost from the surface by evaporation after it has reached the surface by conduction across the skin layer.

      So the thermal gradient across the skin layer modulates ALL energy loss from the bulk ocean.

      Delete
    11. So if GHG's increase downwards LW, which can only penetrate a few microns deep, those microns increase energy and emit it again (kirchoff law). Then the GHG kick it back. There's no gain in energy. Again as per a) the Net result is cooling.

      No. The net result is a reduction in the thermal gradient across the skin later which reduces the rate of energy loss by conduction from the bulk ocean across the skin layer to the atmosphere.

      Though the ocean continues to cool, it does so less efficiently and the net result is an *increase* in OHC.

      Delete
    12. RR, there are numerous confusions in your recent comment but let's try and sort out a major issue first.

      I have been assuming - perhaps incorrectly - that you've been trying to (for example) rule out changes in net LW radiation over time as a factor that can cause warming. But some of your recent comment suggests a different interpretation, so let me try again. When you say:

      "In that case, it can only either be less (net) LW radiation emitting from the ocean, less latent heat, or less conduction."

      ...this clarifying question remains unanswered: less than what? Do you mean less than the current measured values, less than the current real values, less than the measured or real values at some other point in time or less than something else entirely?

      Delete
    13. Off-topic re Green's Theorem: an amusing "spot the flaw" problem which typically surfaces in undergraduate Field Theory courses involves a (mis)application of Green's Theorem to prove that magnetic fields cannot exist. The problem is similar to, although more complicated than, the old trick of using algebra to prove that 2 = 1.

      Delete
  8. First, I was reading material on RC when the Peter Minnett article was posted. RC indicated Minnett was off doing research, and hinted they would try to get him back to answer questions. That I know of, he never did. In the mean time, they tried to answer the questions. At the the time I thought Gavin's comment confused the issue, and that Rhamstorf's comment was illuminating. I don't think many people initially got what Minnett was saying. In the comments, around 24, an oceanographer named Smith appears to be taking exception with Minnett. It's clear to me he also think the oceans are warming due to increased GHG's.

    From Minnett:

    Reducing the size of the temperature gradient through the skin layer reduces the flux.

    Thus, if the absorption of the infrared emission from atmospheric greenhouse gases reduces the gradient through the skin layer, the flow of heat from the ocean beneath will be reduced, leaving more of the heat introduced into the bulk of the upper oceanic layer by the absorption of sunlight to remain there to increase water temperature. ...


    http://scienceofdoom.files.wordpress.com/2010/12/ocean-temp-profiles-2-kawai-wada-2007.png:

    I think Mennett is right, but nobody explains why, including him (that I know of). And that has left the issue fully exposed to all sorts of blog mischief, some of which just appeared here. After reading the article I concluded that increasing CO2 levels would result in lockstep increases in OHC most of the time, which has pretty much been the case. Just a layperson.

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    Replies
    1. JCH, I put up some links to other articles to help explain the process using slightly different words. I still don't know which bit you think is open to mischief or which bit is unexplained.

      I know you understand this and I think I get it too. For those who don't:

      1. The skin refers to the layer of water at the top of the ocean. It's very very thin.

      2. Short wave radiation heats the oceans to some depth below the skin (meters to tens of metres and more).

      3. Land and ocean surfaces emit long wave radiation upwards. GHGs absorb and emit this LW radiation in all directions, including downwards, heating things up more.

      4. Heat flows across the ocean "skin" depending on the gradient of heat across the height of the skin (air side to ocean side). The ocean side of the skin is generally warmer than the air side of the skin so heat flows from the ocean to the air.

      5. The air side of the skin is warmer than it would have been without GH warming. Therefore the heat flux (difference in temperature between the ocean side and the air side) is less than it would have been.

      6. Therefore less heat flows across the skin so more heat stays in the ocean. Over time this means the oceans are getting warmer than they would have just from warming by short wave radiation on its own.

      7. The oceans are also warming the air even as the oceans heat up.

      Delete
  9. I can't figure out whether these various descriptions are really even at odds with one another. Anyway, this is Bryan Sralla, a petroleum geologist and one of the more thoughtful skeptics to post at RC (I believe he has since stopped participating).

    As a starting point, the only significant external heat source is incoming shortwave. This incoming shortwave heating is balanced by ocean heat loss through back radiation (41%), evaporative heat loss (53%), and heat loss by conduction and convection (6%). The net changes in heat loss through these processes are affected by GHG’s. For example, increased well-mixed CO2 and water vapor decrease the rate of heat loss through back radiation. ... - http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2006/09/why-greenhouse-gases-heat-the-ocean/comment-page-1/#comment-18794

    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2006/09/why-greenhouse-gases-heat-the-ocean/comment-page-1/#comment-18804

    And he corrects his wording here:

    Re #36: “This incoming shortwave is balanced by *net* ocean heat loss through back radiation (41%)” The key word *net* should have been used. - Re #36: “This incoming shortwave is balanced by *net* ocean heat loss through back radiation (41%)” The key word *net* should have been used. - ... See more at: http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2006/09/why-greenhouse-gases-heat-the-ocean/comment-page-1/#comment-18804

    [Response: Actually, downward LW (~350 W/m2) is about twice as large as absorbed SW (~175 W/m2) as a heat input into the ocean. -gavin] - See more at: http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2006/09/why-greenhouse-gases-heat-the-ocean/comment-page-1/#comment-18774

    He's trying expand the comment of JA Smith, an oceanographer:

    I think a major aspect of the balance has been glossed over: the ocean is heated mainly by the visible part of the spectrum, the energetic part of the sun’s glare. This penetrates several meters (blue-green can penetrate several 10′s of meters, particularly in the clear water found away from coasts). In contrast, the only paths for heat LOSS from the ocean are infrared (blackbody) radiation and latent heat (evaporation). The sun heats the uppermost few meters; this has to find its way to the actual very thin surface layer to be lost. In equilibrium, then, there is a significan flux toward the surface a few cm under, and the sense of flux from infrared alone has to be significantly upward. Given this, it is quite clear that any reduction in the efficiency of upward radiation (by, say, reflecting it right back down again), will have to be compensated for by increasing the air/sea (skin) temperature difference, hence having a warmer subsurface temperature.

    This still leaves aside the latent heat flux, which in general accounts for something like half the upward heat flux.

    The balance is NOT, as portrayed here, between up and down infrared; rather it is downward “visible” (including ultraviolet, even), versus upward NET infrared and latent heat fluxes.

    Once trapped in the mixed layer, any excess heat makes its way down into the interior via much larger scale processes, including lateral advection and mixed-layer deepening due to wind and wave induced motions. This large-scale vertical redistribution takes a while- decades to hundreds of years- before equilibrium is re-established. The fact that we can already see this is quite remarkable.


    - See more at: http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2006/09/why-greenhouse-gases-heat-the-ocean/comment-page-1/#comment-18774

    And at Science of Doom this is discussed extensively in the comments to his detailed articles, four in all, on the subject. Look for SoD, Ned, Leonard Weinstein.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I don't see any contradiction on first reading.

      One way to look at this is to imagine that there was no new impediment to heat loss from the ocean. It would lose heat to the atmosphere the same way and to the same extent as it's always lost it. Since there is no increase in short wave radiation coming down, the oceans would therefore not be heating up. The ocean would be losing the same amount (as LW radiation plus evaporation etc) as it is gaining (from SW radiation).

      But that's not happening. What is happening is that the oceans are heating up. Therefore something is causing the ocean to retain more heat than it is losing.

      That "something" is the change in gradient at the surface. The top of the skin is warmer than it was before the increase in GHGs. The difference in heat between the top of the skin and the ocean underneath is less than it would otherwise have been. Therefore less heat goes up through the skin layer than would otherwise have happened.

      Delete
  10. There is a very old saying 'God made all the solids and the Devil designed all the surfaces'. To correctly model what is happening at the 'surface' of all the oceans is not trivial. A simple linear model has no relationship to the three dimensional reality. A linear model is only correct for an infinite flat plane.
    The real situation is far more complex and the favourite play ground of the people who wish to sow doubt. Just fixate on any process of choice and then misinform by simplistic hand waving arguments.
    Sou and JCH and others have already pointed to the many processes occurring at the ocean's surface. It is another matter to claim that there is no warming of anything due to a process that is cherry picked and ignoring all others. Bert

    ReplyDelete
  11. If you visit WIT Press you'll now find: REMOVED - A Comparison Of The Efficacy Of Greenhouse Gas Forcing And Solar Forcing

    I queried WIT Press on peer review for this paper and received the following response:

    "Dear Kevin

    I have now received the result of a peer evaluation carried out urgently yesterday on the paper you brought into question, and have decided to withdraw it from our eLibrary.

    We appreciate you bringing the matter to our attention."


    Obviously we'd all like to see peer review *before* a paper is published, but they did act very promptly to my inquiry.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Good work, Kevin. The journal might be trying to maintain a reputation. Bob Irvine probably will not be pleased. I doubt we'll see word of it at WUWT, unless they complain that warmists are preventing (fake) sceptics from publishing pseudo-science.

      Delete
    2. A commenter at RW found Bob Irvine.

      Delete

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