Anthropogenic ocean heating Part 1

Skeptical Science offside

Introduction

Anthropogenic attribution to sea level rise and ocean heat accumulation relies on there being a verified mechanism or process by which rising anthropogenic greenhouse gas (aGHG) emissions impute heat to the ocean. John Cook’s Skeptical Science has been promoting one such posited mechanism in particular as explaining the accumulation of heat in the ocean over the last 40 years or so, the most prominent example being How Increasing Carbon Dioxide Heats The Ocean, posted in 2011 by Rob Painting. That post adapts a 2006 Real Climate article by Professor Peter Minnett, Why greenhouse gases heat the ocean, where an enhanced ocean surface insulation effect was posited.

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…with attractive formatting and with all the references provided as working links.

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You can read the whole article here, but it lacks most of the formatting (which aids understanding) and all of the links (which are provided to assist understanding and to justify what is said). I apologise for any inconvenience this causes, but it takes a long time to convert the word document into the particular html format required by WordPress and to copy each link. So I haven’t done it yet. I’ve converted it to a “standalone” html page so you have access to the links. – RT

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Climate system as heat engine

Here’s an interesting reflection on the climate system which at a stroke highlights the complexity of climate and puts to one side (at least for a moment) the belief that it must have a single controller, such as a minor atmospheric gas.

Dr Vincent Gray explained today:

The idea that the Earth has a “radiation budget” is inherently wrong.

The climate is a heat engine. The energy comes in from the sun. The exhaust goes out to space.

The exhaust must be less than the input because in between some work must be done. This would include maintenance of all living creatures plus erosion and other changes in the surface.

A scientist comments that the concept of a budget is both sound and useful, even if not strictly applicable all of the time. The energy budget approach is at the heart of modern climatology and is not controversial.

I wonder if any papers have addressed the total work done by the climate system? Continue Reading →