What Ocean Warming?

I don’t know the origin or back story for this graph.

I just saw it a few times in a discussion in this page at Tallbloke’s place:


And there, the discussion is about the red cycle blobs of seasonal warming, not about the overall trend. Yet when I look at it, the big feature I see is that the ocean is getting colder. The red seasonal heating is shrinking, year over year, and the deep dark blue is getting greater and colder year over year.

It is from: http://www.climate4you.com/images/ArgoTimeSeriesTemp59N.GIF

Where the name implies this is Argo data. I presume “59N” means from 59 degrees North.

Argo Data from 59N? showing ocean cooling year over year

Argo Data from 59N? showing ocean cooling year over year

So does anyone know if there is a “back story” to this about the Argo floats showing ocean cooling? Or is this a cherry pick of one slice?

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About E.M.Smith

A technical managerial sort interested in things from Stonehenge to computer science. My present "hot buttons' are the mythology of Climate Change and ancient metrology; but things change...
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20 Responses to What Ocean Warming?

  1. Bruce Ryan says:

    As recently as a month ago Joe Bastardi was having nothing to do with ocean cooling proponents.

  2. ossqss says:

    Not sure if this helps you. Dug it out of my tablet.


  3. E.M.Smith says:


    That’s going to be useful for a personal “Dig Here!” at some future time ;-)

    @Bruce: I wonder why…

    @Clay Marley:

    Ah, nice. So it is a bit of a Cherry Pick in that they are focused on cooling in the N. Atlantic while ignoring everywhere else, but the “else” could be cooling (or not or stable or…) so not a full on deliberate Cherry Pick.

  4. Steven Fraser says:

    I really love this kind of chart, it gives us a ‘slice’ of the temp profile of the Ocean. In this case, 330E to 360E at 59o N Latitude, which can be visualized in this projection at nullschool:


    This is the sea surface temp view, with the green circle on the 59o latitude/330E (30W) line. Extend your view eastward as that line proceeds to the Prime meridian (comes north out of London/Greenwich).

    The chart takes that distance and provides a vertical line, a small number of pixels wide to represent the average temp of the entire arc at shown depths. Its not obvious from the chart (but probably would be from the actual report, which likely plots Argo data 1 vertical line per buoy cycle). The sample interval seems to be fine for this purpose, as temps do not change too much sample-to-sample.

    That said, the chart displays trend, but there is a lot of noise in it. What I think it shows clearly is a decline in the size and time-persistence of the surface warm pool from 2005 each year, reaching a nadir in the winter of 2016 with a small recovery for the last 2 years. 2004 appears to be a smidge cooler than 2005.

    While the depth of the warm pool does not change much from 2005 to 2013, the time persistence does, narrowing not quite progressively year, to year through that range. Of interest is the boundary between the light blue and the light pink areas. Beginning in 2009, blue areas ‘cut in’ to the bottom of the pink areas mid-year, and the pink areas seem to develop sharper and more shallow points as the cooler water encroaches at lesser depths. This effect does not seem to correspond directly with the progressive (and noisy) rise of the deep blue and middle-blue boundaries.

    The regime changes the winter of 2014/2015, shown by a profound change in the mid-and -light blue profiles, culminating in the light blue peak reaching the surface in the winter of 2016. From then, a small recovery of the surface temps,and lowering of the 8 degree boundary occurs.

    IMO, something in the measurement or currents changed in 2013, producing a very strong correlation between the top of the mid blue region, the top of the light blue region and the bottom of the pink region. They seem to me to move in synchrony, compared with the prior years, which do not show much, if any, correlation of that character.

    Its difficult to back into causality from one arc’s worth of snapshots. However, there is the AMO to consider, and it must have physical drivers of some type. Those would be interesting to determine causality.

  5. Larry Ledwick says:

    Not sure what you are referring to here, I have tried 3 different browsers and see nothing that remotely resembles this description.

    The chart takes that distance and provides a vertical line, a small number of pixels wide to represent the average temp of the entire arc at shown depths.

    All I see is the normal null school swirly stuff and a typical sea surface colored map.

    No chart, no lines, no specified depth, you have an example screen grab you can link to so I can figure out what you are talking about?

    I can move the little circle by clicking and the data box on the lower left updates with values but noting that resembles a chart.

  6. E.M.Smith says:

    Hmmm…. NAO cooling up north, then from an earlier comment / thread, the Souther Ocean cooling:

    Methinks there’s a need to revisit that whole Ocean Warming narrative and look at actual ocean temperature trends…

    FWIW, I’m of the opinion that land temperatures are just a poor 2nd hand proxy for ocean temperature changes. The whole land temperature series is a waste of effort as it just doesn’t matter. Solar and UV changes modulate insolation and deep ocean heating (via blue / UV penetration, or not) and prompt evaporation (via IR absorption and more IR when the sun is in a funk). The rest is elaboration and time lags in the process.

    That both ends of the planet have coldening oceans is “Not Good” for man nor little children (who, unfortunately, will very much know what snow is, and likely what way to much of it looks like…)

    I think I need to make time in the next few days to revisit ocean temperatures…

  7. E.M.Smith says:

    Hmmm… Interesting that these folks animation of global SST ends in 2011… Wonder why they havn’t updated it in 8 years…


  8. E.M.Smith says:

    These folks show 2017 as cooling from 2016, then curiously 2018 is missing even though it was colder than 2017 all over the place…


  9. E.M.Smith says:

    These folks look like most stuff in “one band off zero change” in both directions. Only trivial number of hot spots and cold spots (and they are spots); but at least they have 2018 shown. Looks like you can almost see the cooling of the Souther Ocean while the NAO shift is only in evidence near N. America.

  10. E.M.Smith says:

    All this ocean temp stuff looks a lot more like wishful thinking and fudge than actual analysis / science. Then there is also the complication that a lot of it is “Surface” data, so if the IR at surface blue/UV to depth as modulating process is true, the surface doesn’t tell you what you need to know about ocean HEAT in volume…

    I sense a black hole of analysis and information near…

  11. gallopingcamel says:

    “All this ocean temp stuff looks a lot more like wishful thinking and fudge than actual analysis / science.”

    We are talking a few tenths of a degree Centigrade. My message to Al Gore and his CAGW idiots is to “Get a Life”. None of this matters yet there are real problems that are being ignored, such as the security of our southern border.

  12. H.R. says:

    If the oceans are cooling, I think there would be a slowing or perhaps a flattening in the Mauna Loa atmospheric CO2 concentration plot.

    The change in CO2 concentration could take a while to show up, since CO2 lags temperature, but the decrease or flattening would be confirmation that the oceans are cooling.

  13. Larry Ledwick says:

    There have been a few small dips and wiggles in the plot over time but so far no significant change in slope.

    Click to access co2_data_mlo.pdf


  14. H.R. says:

    @Larry – I wouldn’t expect to see any changes in atmospheric CO2 concentration for quite a few years. The ice cores have CO2 changes lagging temperature changes by about 800 years. However, the Mauna Loa graph shows that CO2 responds on a seasonal basis (the zig-zag pattern) so I think the lag would show up sooner and we wouldn’t have to wait 800 years to see if CO2 is up or down due to ocean warming or cooling.

  15. Larry Ledwick says:

    Well we know the thermohaline circulation has a period of about 800-1000 years from the time of down welling to the up welling, so it would make sense, in fact the coldest water may not have finished the trip yet, and is still doing laps around Antarctica and pouring into the pacific basin.

  16. Larry Ledwick says:

    Side note on weather – they are expecting an intense cold outbreak sliding into the midwest next week and extending all the way into the southern states.


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