I posted some of this as a comment over at Tallbloke’s site.
But I’d intended to make a posting of it (even when I first noticed it) and just had not gotten the time yet. So I’m going to make a small posting of it here and then add bits later as time permits.
On The Importance of Mud
FWIW, I got to do a trivial “experiment” along the lines of an “IR in the air vs a SW in the water” on my recent trip to Florida…
Along the way I stopped to have a “bath” in the Gulf.
Wading into the water was an enlightening experience. The air temperatures were a reasonably warm about 70F or so. The water at the surface was cool / a little cold to the skin. Where the sun was on my skin was quite warm. The shade not so much. But that top of the water caused “Goose Bumps”.
Why? A modest wind (10 mph?) blowing ashore evaporating water. As I waded out, I discovered a Very Odd Thing.
My feet were quite warm.
The sunshine was making it through the (modestly turbulent and a bit silty near the shore where the waves broke) top meter and into the darkish mud-sand at the bottom and warming it very nicely.
Between the mud and the surface the water was of intermediate temperature. The greatest temperature rise was in the few centimeters right at the mud surface.
This effect continued to my limit of immersion (which was about my armpits…) where I finished cleaning off 2 days of road time, dunked under the cool top layer, and then headed back to shore.
It became very clear to me that there was a lot going on here with Sea Surface Temperatures that had little to do with them indicating actual heat gain by the water from radiative heating. The surface had a load of radiation passing through it, yet was staying cool due to local evaporation. At depth, a load of radiation was being turned to heat, but it was not migrating upward very fast.
1) Measuring Sea Surface Temperature does not tell you much about the heat gain of a body of water.
2) Sea Surface Temperature tells you a great deal about sea surface conditions such as wind and humidity.
3) Sunshine acts in large part at some depth. The clearer the water, the deeper. And it can be very deep.
4) The deep effects are significantly decoupled from the surface effects.
5) Nothing beats a direct observation of the conditions of the data collection space…
6) As near as I can tell, the CO2 advocates ignore things like the tendency for the perimeter of water bodies to have the bottom warm a great deal under solar heating while the surface does not. They just look at SST and call it gospel.
So much from one ‘wade in the pool’…
To which I’d also add that given the way geometry works, there is one heck of a lot of ‘shallow perimeter’ to any body of water when compared to the central depths. It’s that whole Radius Squared thing… So a one unit circle has PiR^2 area and make it twice the radius you get Pi(2R)^2 of area, That makes the added perimeter area 3 times as large as the central area. So the shallows can be very very important. ( I can feel a whole slew of grants being requested to study the Specific Heat of various Mud Wallows ;-)
Especially in places like Florida, Minnesota, Canada and all those other places with a million lakes all over the place… For example, the average depth of the San Francisco Bay is about 10 feet. Call it 3 meters. So the bottom mud dominates the issue there. Measure the surface temperature and you are finding out something about the local air temperature, velocity, and humidity. But not so much about the total heat gain of the body (nor does the fact that the body has a substantial flush of all that water about 2 x a day help you find the heat gain via temperature…)
As near as I can tell, the whole issue of heat being different than temperature AND how it is not smoothly and evenly distributed between surface and subsurface layers is completely ignored in the CAGW view of things. Myopic doesn’t even come close…
OK, now think about if for a minute. There is a whole lot of bottom mud in things other than bays, lakes, and oceans.
We’ve got rivers and ponds all over the place. They are trapping and gathering heat, and in many cases are disjoint from nearby ‘air temperature’. So where is the heat gain in the Mississippi drainage basic accounted? In the air? Or in the water that dumps into the Gulf? How about in a jungle? Where is the heat budget of the tropical jungle accounted? In the Amazon River? (And all it’s flood plains…) Or in the air at the airport in Sao Paulo? How about the Congo?
So it looks to me like we’ve not only got a lakes, oceans, and bays problem. But we’ve got a Rivers and Jungles problem too…
And in the end it all stems from the initial error of confounding temperatures with heat. The fatal flaw at the heart of the AGW thesis. Temperatures are not heat. Temperature gain is not heat gain. And temperatures are a lousy proxy for heat.