From today’s Summit County Citizen’s Voice, we read Bob Berwyn’s account of Kevin Trenberth’s favourite paper so far this century.
Global warming: ‘Missing’ heat found deep in the ocean
Changes in ocean currents and circulation are capturing some of the sun’s incoming heat deep in the ocean, according to researchers with the National Center for Atmospheric Research, who said their latest computer models account for some of the global warming heat that’s “missing” from land and sea surface temperature readings.
This implied that heat was building up somewhere on Earth, according to a 2010 study published in Science by NCAR researchers Kevin Trenberth and John Fasullo.
Observations from a global network of buoys showed some warming in the upper ocean, but not enough to account for the global build-up of heat. Although scientists suspected the deep oceans were playing a role, few measurements were available to confirm that hypothesis.
To track where the heat was going, Meehl and colleagues used a powerful software tool known as the Community Climate System Model, which was developed by scientists at NCAR and the Department of Energy with colleagues at other organizations.
Well, well, who would have thought? All the missing heat, safe in the ocean deep, alive and well, having nipped through the upper reaches of the ocean without warming it. I never guessed — did you? Truly amazing.
But there’s no data, just more modelling
The computer game doesn’t care about realism, so the lack of any plausible mechanism whereby the heat might have reached more than 1000 ft (305 m) deep while leaving the upper levels unwarmed didn’t affect its findings.
When the game “found” extra heat deep in the ocean, there was nothing to say “that’s impossible.”
So, because they’re real scientists, we can expect an announcement very soon of a new study aimed at discovering how the missing heat got to where it was found.
One day they’ll get around to actually observing the climate effects they report. When they do, you can read about it here!