If history tells us anything it says that Joanne Nova fails to learn. Her latest attempt to discredit the science is a simple repeat of her past mistakes, only use ocean data to 700 meters, not 2,000 meters, cherry pick your start date and fail to understand how thousands of measurements reduces uncertainty. Let’s examine once again.
1. Oceans do what?!?
Nova says …
If the oceans affected global temperatures after 1998, what were they doing before that?
A pretty dumb question in my opinion. Oceans have always been affecting surface temperatures and the large surface temperature peak experienced in 1998 was the result of an extremely high El Nino event. The ocean stores more than 90% of the extra heat accumulating in our system, but it ebbs and flows in and out of the atmosphere in cycles. Most famous are the ENSO cycles, El Nino and La Nina. They greatly affect surface temperatures and rainfall as heat is transferred in/out of the Pacific Ocean.
On average, our atmosphere warmed by about 0.17⁰ C per decade from 1970 to 1998, but by about 0.04⁰ C per decade from 1998 to 2012. Some scientists have suggested that the slowdown may be due to a buildup of aerosols in the atmosphere, to volcanic eruptions, or to a pronounced lull in solar activity in 2008 and 2009. The ocean also plays a part; a study published in Nature Climate Change in 2011 noted that the deep ocean stores much of the “missing heat.” Scientists have wondered whether ocean surface temperatures in the eastern equatorial Pacific—part of a decade-scale cycle of changes in rainfall, temperature, and atmosphere circulation known as the El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO)—also play a significant role.
The oceans are always affecting surface temps.
More Samples = Less Uncertainty
Nova says …
The oceans are supposedly 0.06 C warmer than 50 years ago (but we can’t really measure the global ocean temperature to a hundreth of a degree).
Nova recently got a mention on realclimate for her inability to understand simple statistics. An increase in sample size, (the number of measurements made), will increase the accuracy of the average value (decreases uncertainty).
This is really basic statistics – but I’m not surprised that Nova continues to flunk.
What’s causing the warming
Nova says …
The utterly banal again: All forms of warming cause ocean heat to rise.
Multiple studies of attribution looks at all possible sources of additional heat and they find that our greenhouse gases are mostly to blame.
Nova hides in ignorance. When asked for her opinion of what causes the warming she suggested that hydrothermal ocean vents are causing the warming, but there is no evidence of a change in heat from hydrothermal sources. Sure the centre of the Earth is hot, but that heat isn’t changing rapidly over time, and does Nova really think it started co-incidentally at the same time as our GHG emissions? The total amount of energy from the subterranean heat is far less than the change in heat we have experienced .. from Skeptical Science ….
The net increase in the amount of planetary energy flow arising from human activities (mainly the emision of carbon dioxide) since the industrial revolution is more than twenty times the steady-state heat flow from the Earth’s interior. Any small changes in the Earth’s heat flow over that time period—and there is no evidence for any change at all—would plainly be inconsequential.
Multiple studies find that the increase of heat trapping CO2 is likely to have caused the increase in heat in our system, whilst there is no evidence for a four-fold increase in hydrothermal heat over the same time period. It is strange that Nova readily accepts that CO2 has a warming effect, but at the same time wants you to believe that the warming is something other than CO2, even though there is no evidence. Try asking Joanne why the upper 700 meters is warming at a faster rate than the 700-2,000m section if the warming were from below – I suspect she’ll dodge the answer and start moderating your replies.
The ocean is deeper than 700m and older than 2003
Time and time again Nova wishes to only examine the top 700m ignoring the 1,300 meters that is also measured and she cherry picks her own start date in order to make it look as though the warming is not occurring. We’ve covered this before.
Nova likes to repeat old mistakes till she’s ocean blue in the face. The full data looks like this.