Monday, May 27, 2013

More Tisdale Tricks....Don't Worry...

Sou | 8:32 PM Go to the first of 3 comments. Add a comment

Bob Tisdale has a post on WUWT castigating David Appell for writing on his blog about the latest ocean heat content figures.  This is what David reports:
Ocean heat content numbers are in for the first three months of 2013, and they show the 0-2000 meter layer increasing more than in any previous observed period:

David shows these charts from NODC/NOAA (click to enlarge):

It seems a minor quibble to me, but Bob Tisdale takes issue because there was one quarter - back eight years ago - when the quarterly increase was a bit higher than the amount the heat rose this past quarter.  Bob is really incensed, writing as part of the title: "...Alarmist Writes Science Fiction" and in the text::
Some might think he’s an author of science fiction after reading the opening to his post...
It could be argued that David was merely a bit lax in his expression. By "increased more" did David mean the ocean heat content is higher than ever observed before or did he mean the difference from one quarter to the next has never been greater?

Even if David did make a mistake and mean the latter, it's hardly 'science fiction' to miss a slightly higher change in a single quarter going back eight years earlier.

The oceans are heating up ... quickly

Lets look at the record. The latest quarter is the highest ever heat content in the record. The quarterly record down to 2000 meters only goes back eight years to March 2005 and the heat content has risen by about 30% of the total heat gained since the 1960s in that time. We've already got an idea of the heat content of the top two kilometres of ocean going back to the 1950s in the top chart above. The heat is accumulating at a very fast pace. (Click to enlarge.)

Don't Worry...

Bob Tisdale is well aware that WUWT-ers don't like scary stuff, so what he does is plot the difference from one quarter to the next. He then he seems to argue that because the change from this quarter to the previous one was once exceeded by the change in a previous quarter (back in December quarter 2005), there is "nothing to worry about". You can see the amount of change each quarter in this chart (click to enlarge):

Okay, the above chart doesn't look scary until you see what it is.  Once you realise it's the change in heat content from quarter to the next (non-cumulative), and that there are many more quarters in which heat content is rising than falling, it becomes more of a concern.

Let's look at this ocean heat accumulation more closely. Heat content rose by 10.4x1022 joules in only eight years. In the last quarter it rose by 2.7x1022 joules or 26% of the total amount of heat added over that period. Since the 1960s the heat content has risen by nearly 30x1022 joules.  That's a lot of Hiroshima bombs.

Certainly there are ups and downs over time - but overall the heat content of the ocean is going up, up, up.

Bob's next trick

So Bob tricks his readers by making it look like there's not much change.  What does he do next?  Well, his next trick is to show his readers some ocean areas where there hasn't been a huge change in warming - since 2005 only - the North Atlantic and the North Pacific.  (I haven't checked these but let's assume he is correct).

Then he shows the tropical Pacific and the extra-tropical North Pacific for the period since the 1950s, where there has been quite a bit of warming.  What does he write about that?  Well, true to form Bob blames it on the magical ENSO:
It’s plainly obvious that the ocean heat content of the tropical Pacific would cool over the long-term without the 1973-76 and 1995/96 La Niña events.
But Bob - why didn't it cool again with all the El Niños over that period - huh?  Thousands of WUWT readers are clamouring for the answer....well, no, not really.  They are too busy ad hom-ing David Appell to take much notice of what Bob wrote about ocean heat content and his fixation on the magical leaping and cavorting of ENSO :(

Bob's perpetual warming machine

To sum up, Bob seems to be telling his readers that a perpetual warming of the world's oceans is 'normal'. That it's of no consequence that the heat content of the top two kilometres of ocean has risen by 10.4x1022 joules in only eight years. I wonder how long he will think like that? Can you see him saying down the track: "Oceans are boiling*? Nothing to worry about, folks. The quarterly change has been higher in the past!"

B..b..but It's Natural!

What's weird is all the congratulations Bob gets for outing the scaremonger. Must be that conservative brain at work again, relieved that the numbers can't be all that scary because Bob told them "it's natural".

...be happy

* No, I don't believe the oceans are about to literally boil!


  1. "Bob Tisdale is well aware that WUWT-ers don't like scary stuff"

    Pretty much sums up climate change denial. And tobacco denial. And asbestos denial. Or is it because the climate and ciggies don't respond to a civilianised assault rifle being pointed at them? One to ponder.

  2. Don't forget the most important denial: denial denial :-).

  3. Ooh yes, they are heavily into denial denial.

    "Show me ONE skeptic who denies/" or "I have never denied (a) it's warming; (b) the greenhouse effect (c) other meme of the day...

    ...but climate science is still a hoax because I hate taxes"

    Nice to be visited by two of my favourite people :)


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