More Heat is Going into the Ocean. Really.

February 19, 2014

Simon Donner’s Maribo blog :

You may have heard climate scientists, myself included, state that “global warming” has indeed continued with little interruption over the past 10-15 years, but that more of the heat trapped in the climate system by greenhouse gases has been “going into the ocean”.

his is not the rhetoric of irrational climate alarmists. This is what the measurements show.

The human enhancement of the greenhouse effect has reduced the outgoing radiation to space and increased the energy content of the climate system, as is shown on the graph to the right.

The best known manifestation of this energy budget change is the warming of the lower atmosphere: that excess radiant energy being converted into warmer air temperatures. However, in terms of the change in total energy, the famous change in the atmosphere (purple) pales in comparison to that of the oceans (light and dark blue).

It makes physical sense: the oceans are a big deep reservoir of a liquid with high heat capacity. A change in average ocean temperatures requires a lot more heat than an equivalent change in  average surface air temperatures.

The graph shows that >90% of the excess heat generated by enhancement of the greenhouse effect has gone into the oceans. Now, suppose that decade-scale natural variability in ocean circulation marginally increases the fraction going into the ocean (dark blue), say from 92% to 93%, at the expense of the atmosphere. You’d barely see it on the above graph, because the ocean slice is so big and the atmosphere slice is so small. But it would cause a noticeable change in the rate of atmospheric temperature increase.

The ocean data suggests that has happened over the past 10-15 years. The next graph, from Trenberth and Fasullo (2013), depicts the change in ocean heat content only, expressed for the upper ocean (light blue) and the total depth of the ocean (purple).

This graph shows that in the late 1990s, right after the last strong El Nino event, ocean heat storage increased in part because ocean depths below 700 m began accumulating heat. The change in where heat is being accumulated was probably driven by the decade-scale variability in Pacific Ocean conditions.

Had this bump in ocean heat uptake happened when human activity was not warming the climate system overall, theglobal average surface air temperatures would have declined. The fact that the global surface temperature trend has been slightly positive since the late 1990s is a testament to the fact that human activity has been warming the whole climate system.

Of course, we don’t have gills. We all live on the surface. The most noticeable outcome to us air-breathers is the lack of those strong El Nino events since 1998. During a strong El Nino event, the equatorial Pacific Ocean essentially releases heat into the atmosphere (on net), driving changes in atmospheric circulation and weather around the world. In other words, as climate scientists are repeatedly trying to explain to the media, global warming has continued, but more of the heat has gone into warming the deep ocean.

It should then come as no surprise that climate scientists are so interested in when the Pacific Ocean pattern changes and/or the next strong El Nino event occurs. When that happens, maybe next year, maybe the year after, maybe four years from now, we’ll very likely to see new global surface temperature records and an end to the obsession with the supposed pause in “global” warming.

46 Responses to “More Heat is Going into the Ocean. Really.”

  1. omnologos Says:

    what if there were an El Nino without the expected increase in global temperature?

    • Like the El Ninõ we had when Mt Pinatubo erupted? Then I guess we will know yet again the cooling effect volcanoes has on atmospheric temperatures.

      Without a volcanic eruption we know there will be a substantial increase in atmospheric temperature.

      • omnologos Says:

        That’s a novel interpretation of the meaning of ‘what if’

        • Your question is really analogous to “What if the apple fell from the tree but instead of hitting Newtons head it suddenly started to float up and out into space.” (followed by, “we have to wait and observe…”)

          There are “known knowns” and “known unknowns” – why do you always look for the “unknown unknowns” like some Schrödinger? I do believe its the same idea used by creationists that the moment a scientist cant explain something in the universe it immediately makes evolution false (and obviously when scientists invent stuff that eventually becomes an iPhone they have just tamed “gods magic”).

          PS: Skeptics will no doubt question whether it is true that Newton actually got an apple in his head, but no matter what happened it doesn’t make gravity any less a fact than the fact that energy does not disappear in a black hole at the bottom of the sea.

          • omnologos Says:

            John – it’s quite sad to understand you seriously believe what you write. Nobody needs no stinkin’ multiple line of evidence to see apples falling – actually, they had been falling for millions of years before Newton came around.

            If global warming (as AGW) is the matter of multiple lines of evidence, this only makes the issue vacuous and nebulous…because it means there is not one strong, robust, evident, falsifiable-yet-unfalsified evidence that it is occurring, and especially that it is occurring in any way that should worry us. So once again we’re left with a scientific theory undermined by the multiple lines of defence built up by a large number of its supporters.

            Hence your inane refuge into diagnosis of cognitive disorders, and deeply held belief that things will go exactly as predicted by current theory.

            I’m just glad none of this happened regarding evolution. Darwin and friends built up very strong evidence, including the prediction that islands would be full of unique species, and took the anti-evolutionists head-on. Science won, apart from in America where science was hijacked by people all too eager to be inhumane and ‘improve’ humanity.

          • I believe you are mixing the motivations for certain sciences to be of more interest than others. The commercialization of e.g. medical science has certainly made humanity both able to control what evolution normally took care of before. But it doesn’t make it any less a physical reality that once the “tinkering” stops, the realities will dawn again and cull the weak just like it always has. Humanities fossil fuel superpowers certainly culls species as an increasing rates. Darwin would turn in his grave knowing what we do with our magnificent evolved brains. Same so with the fact that the planet has been happily following and adapting to a certain level of CO2 through the carbon cycle – where our “tinkering” (with the goal of profit) has completely messed it up. Science gives us tools, it doesn’t tell us what do do with them. Supposedly if our monkey-brains are evolved enough we would know when to stop “tinkering” with eco-systems and the life support of a planet.

    • I guess the answer to the “what if” question is “we’d be extremely surprised”. You can’t really change the distribution of energy in the climate system – in the way an El Nino event does – without increasing global surface temperatures. If that were not to happen, we’d have to question some really fundamental aspects of basic physics (energy conservation for example).

      I was going to add, that I really like the 92% to 93% explanation in the post. Wish more would explain it in this way as it very nicely illustrates how small changes in ocean heat uptake can have a big impact on surface temperature trends.

      • omnologos Says:

        Attp – this might finally be the elusive Popper-style falsification test for global warming…it is a clear cut prediction and perhaps could be accompanied by some numerical estimate.

        Were it not to happen, the theory would be falsified, back to square one. Were it to happen, the theory will appear much more robust

        Ps am a bit skeptical of the ‘oceans 93%’ theory because if that were true, we would see much larger swings in surface temperatures that we are seeing now. If 9 out of 10 is in A, and 1 out of 10 in B, an 11% swing in A from 9 to 8 would result in a 100% swing in B from 1 to 2.

        • Gingerbaker Says:

          Oh, please. You are arguing that energy can be destroyed if you think such a result to your “what if” will have any bearing on whether AGW is happening.

          We all know you declare to the world that AGW is logically impossible, but the rest of the universe, which resides outside of your brain pan, continues to be described by the laws of physics.. We call it reality.

          You might want to visit sometime. The weather is not so great, but the water is warm.

          • Jason Says:

            “Oh, please.”

            Pretty much. You can falsify (Popper stylee) the green house effect and any of the multitudinous physical components today. It just happens that none of it seems to be false.

            And at a very crude level it really does boil down to energy coming in faster than it’s leaving again. It’s not gonna just vanish. We can measure that directly in real time as well as infer it over time with average global temps.

            But it would be interesting if surface temps didn’t get hotter ~ especially over time. You’d definitely be wanting to scrabble around and find out why. The expectation is very definitely for a warmer world.

        • I don’t see how an El Nino not warming the surface would falsify AGW. It’s too complex a system to argue that some change in ocean cycles not producing the warming expected somehow falsifies a theory based, fundamentally, on the radiative influence of greenhouse gases.

        • andrewfez Says:

          =If 9 out of 10 is in A, and 1 out of 10 in B, an 11% swing in A from 9 to 8 would result in a 100% swing in B from 1 to 2.=

          That’s a good argument for increasing the US tax rate on the 1%.

        • “what if there were an El Nino without the expected increase in global temperature?” “this might finally be the elusive Popper-style falsification test for global warming…it is a clear cut prediction and perhaps could be accompanied by some numerical estimate. Were it not to happen, the theory would be falsified, back to square one. Were it to happen, the theory will appear much more robust.”

          Other questions that need to be considered are: What if the hypothesis was wrong? What if there are so many different elements to the hypothesis? Which one of those elements does the Popper-style falsification test refute? How can an entire theory be falsified by the refutation of one of its many elements?

          What is suggested in the above quote, if applied to Newton’s Theory of Gravity, Einstein’s Theory of Relativity and Darwin’s Theory of Evolution would’ve killed them off just after their conception. It’s an historical fact that the theories of Newton, Einstein and Darwin were not initially backed by observations and evidence.

          Even Popper would contend that a falsification of an element of a theory does not necessarily lead to abandoning the whole theory. Why? Because the falsification could be fallible. Science doesn’t work the way that is suggested in the above quotes. Einstein regarded his Theory of General Relativity as being a better match with the truth than Newton’s Gravitational Theory. Given its limitations, Einstein didn’t go back to square one but tried to improve on his theory up to his death.

          Those who slavishly quote Popper should read his ‘The Logic of Scientific Discovery’ in which he makes it clear that the resolution of conflicts between hypotheses and observations can only be achieved by the collective judgement of scientists. That sounds like Popperian-type Consensus to me.

          An omnoclimatologos would be more scientific if they could explain why an El Nino wouldn’t cause an increase in global surface temperatures.

          • omnologos Says:

            Nice effort George but your last sentence is evidence enough to falsify the hypothesis that you know what you’re talking about.

            As for Newton, Einstein and everybody else, in the real world of non-climate science there are still people who understand the point about falsification:

          • I repeat again, I do believe omno and many others have a chain of thought as long as their nose. Hence 2012 was “recovery” in sea ice extent, there is a “pause” in global warming, and now, if an El Ninõ happened with no significant warming – that is supposed to prove that global warming is a hoax.

            You are pointing exactly to why science works and “monkey see, monkey do” does not work. It relies on multiple lines of evidence, one failed assumption doesn’t immediately make the whole theory false as you say. There are plenty of examples where we see that the science on how fast warming happens and where it goes is not very well understood – and nothing exemplifies this better than Arctic sea ice volume. IPCC AR4 had around 2070 or so as a year where we would see ice free summer days, but in AR5 it has been revised down a decade or two. But the gut feeling (not based on science but pure observation) tells me it has its first ice free summer days within a decade. So clearly a lot of warming has gone into the Arctic basin, the latest study showing that it might be the drop in albedo that has a bigger significant part of the warming than previously thought. Although this could actually mean that GW has a tad lower sensitivity towards CO2 levels it doesn’t make it any less true that the human component has been vital into triggering this ice loss in the Arctic in the first place. Good news if CO2 levels has less of an impact but bad news if the albedo component is so much bigger considering snow cover over the whole planet is plummeting – and we know sea ice cover will as well as well as land ice given time.

          • Dang, typo, I mean 2013 was supposedly a “recovery” in ice extent. 2012 was ofc the big anomaly record minimum.

        • “Nice effort George but your last sentence is evidence enough to falsify the hypothesis that you know what you’re talking about.”

          What a nice way of getting out of demonstrating how well an omnoclimatologos knows what he’s talking about and explaining how he thinks that it’s possible to have an El Nino without a warming of surface temperatures. At the very least it would demonstrate omnoclimatologos’s mastery of climate science. At the other end of the scale, in a Popperian sense, it might trigger a climate science revolution. Perhaps, the omnoclimatologos could eschew science and use logic to explain a non-warming El Nino.

          “As for Newton, Einstein and everybody else, in the real world of non-climate science there are still people who understand the point about falsification.”

          “Nice effort” but the link provided to illustrate this “real world” point is a quantum mechanics presentation. Funny that. Einstein’s opinion of quantum mechanics is well known via his “As I said many times, God doesn’t play dice with the world.” statement. Quantum mechanics is largely based on probability. And, here’s that M-for-model word, quantum mechanics models the real world using mathematics and quantum numbers that plug into mathematical equations to explain the behaviour of atoms and their substructures.

          Back to that link. Apart from the word “falsification” on the first slide, the whole presentation is based on explaining how experimental results will be checked to see if they “violate” the quantum mechanical model i.e. it’s about “validation” of the approach taken by CERN to test one of their models by applying existing laws of momentum and well-established quantum mechanical equations. This is why either of the words “violation” or “model” appear on almost every slide. So why use the word “falsification”? Particle physicists are a bit omnohumourologos. They’d have to be to describe the different types or ‘flavours’ of quarks they study as ‘up’, ‘down’, ‘bottom’, ‘top’, ‘charm’ and ‘strange’.

          If an omnoclimatologos puts on his omnoquantumologos cap, he’ll be able to get the irony of posting a link to a presentation of a science model, the quantum mechanical model, of subatomic particles that have never been seen, can’t be seen and will never be seen. That’s the “joke” behind the character in the TV Series ‘Breaking Bad’ taking the name ‘Heisenberg’. Try getting the quantum mechanical model past the Watts echo chamber. Better still, just lose the link.

          “… there are still people who understand the point about falsification.” Yes there are, but omnoclimatologos doesn’t.

          Popper’s idea of falsification was originally used in the sense that the greatest advances in science have come when existing ideas are overturned in a ‘scientific revolution’ as typified by Galileo, Newton, Darwin, Einstein to name a few. Falsification is not part of the everyday work of theoretical scientists, problem solving is. In fact, the processes of science are better explained by the Kuhnian cycle of ‘normal science’, ‘crisis’ and ‘paradigm shift’.

          • omnologos Says:

            George – if my chosen moniker gets you unhinged, I suggest you stop reading what I write. The sheer stupidity of asking me for some alternative theory to explain an unlikely phenomenon that hasn’t been observed yet, simply demonstrates that you know how to spell the words, but the rest of epistemology escapes you.

          • “George – if my chosen moniker gets you unhinged, I suggest you stop reading what I write. The sheer stupidity of asking me for some alternative theory to explain an unlikely phenomenon that hasn’t been observed yet, simply demonstrates that you know how to spell the words, but the rest of epistemology escapes you”

            Back at you – ‘desinas ineptire’. If my comments get you unhinged, I suggest you stop posting comments as though you’re across all fields of climate science (quod vide “sheer stupidity”). Stick to your strengths and continue to put the ‘pis’ into epistemology.

    • “what if there were an El Nino without the expected increase in global temperature?”

      If the global average temperature doesn’t increase during a period when the surface temperature in the east-central tropical Pacific Ocean is at least 0.5°C warmer, then it’ll be interesting to see where it the surface cooled, and to follow studies on why most predictions were incorrect.

      what if there were an El Nino with the expected increase in global temperature?

    • andrewfez Says:

      I’d just look on a historical chart that lays temps over el nino’s to gather the probability.

      If you factor out volcanoes and other albedo related particulates, solar variability, and other sources of short term noise, Rahmstorf style (i.e. correcting for other noise), then you could collect probabilities for related temp spike magnitudes. You might even define correlations for SOI deviation against ocean temp departures, and global temps. The former case is pushing pretty strong (r>>0.5 (by visual inspection)), as seen on the graph at the bottom of the page:

    • Rob Kerr Says:

      What if Mike Tyson (and i mean heyday, pre jail Mike Tyson here) punched you in the face and DIDN’T knock you out? What would that say about his punch? All those kos, BAM BAM BAM, oh wait, he didn’t knock this guy out, it must be something else knocking all those other guys out when he punches them. Maybe Mike is radiating a pure hate that we have previously been unable to detect and that is knocking them out? O’logos stayed up because Mike only pities him.

      Thing is, El Nino is not some unique and separable feature just because we describe it so. It is but one aspect in a huge, complex spinning sphere of liquid and gas heated from both within and without. If you are expecting perfectly consistent answers from such an abundantly complex system, then you haven’t quite grasped the question. And when I say ‘quite’ I mean ‘at all’.

      Anyway, shouldn’t have to wait long:

      • omnologos Says:

        Rob – like too many others ’round here, you do not grasp the full meaning of your opinion.

        If we cannot expect ‘perfectly consistent answers’ it means most bets are off, and even the most informed scientist can mostly guess what it is going to happen.

        Uncertainty, like in all other statistical endeavors, guarantees capturing most outcomes as ‘consistent with’ the prediction. But it also makes the prediction just too vague to be of any use.

        • dumboldguy Says:

          “You do not grasp the full meaning of your opinion” WHAT?

        • Rob Kerr Says:

          In physics there is something called the ‘many body problem’. Blast that through wiki while I spend some more time thinking about a young, angry Mike Tyson punching you in the face. I’m picturing some comedy set up where he’s standing on your toes and you bounce back up after every punch.

          Anyway, the atmosphere is a deeply complex, multifaceted problem and no single piece of research can resolve it. Therefore no single piece of research can provide definitive, specific expectations. Meta studies and models can provide expected ranges based on particular initial conditions (which vary constantly, emissions are not constant), but without precise global measurements at initialization, then solution will contain increasing errors over time. See: Michael Fish and 1987 UK storm wrt to ensemble forecasting.

          However, barring A GIANT EFFING VOLCANO, everyone who watches these things is expecting the next significant El Nino to be a record breaking global air temp because they usually are. El nino years aren’t just warm, they are usually record warm. Certainly since 1970: (

          During La Nina hot surface water is pushed to one side of the pacific (which covers half the globe) and cold water wells up in the other half, providing a heat-sink for the air. During El Nino, hot water is spread out over the entire tropical band of the pacific, warming at a lot more air at any given time and not cooling any. The physics of the process aren’t too complex, but the magnitude, because of the complexity of the atmosphere, will be near impossible to predict (see: many body problem).

          Please explain what my opinion is on this.

          • omnologos Says:

            Rob – not sure why you’re getting so agitated.

            everyone who watches these things is expecting the next significant El Nino to be a record breaking global air temp because they usually are

            Perfect then. For you it looks like a slam dunk. Your prediction is that an El Nino will bring a new “record breaking” year. If that doesn’t happen, your prediction is falsified and with it your interpretation of global warming theory. Right? Wrong?

            If it does happen, you’ll be able to say your interpretation held its ground. That will make it more robust.

            Now as I said all you need is to add some figures (how much of a record breaking year? presumable, not in the hundredths of a degree), and when it happens, your slam dunk will be even more impressive, and your interpretation more robust.

            This has zero to do with the obvious, like Tyson punching a non-boxer. It’s got also zero to do with non-perfectly-consistent answers…after all, we have chosen a phenomenon that everybody is expecting will happen, right? Not some obscure change nobody understands.

          • Rob Kerr Says:

            I’m agitated because getting folk properly warned against the coming dramas is hard when everything is questioned so endlessly.

            We’re not here for some pissing contest, the point of this is a WARNING. Whatever struggles your economy wherever you are might be having right now will get considerably worse in a warmer climate: increasingly difficult crop hydration, lack of winter frosts etc, and that’s just food security. Not maybe warmer, not warmer some vague future time, new record warmth from the end of this year. Cultivate your investments accordingly.

  2. dumboldguy Says:

    A nice little post, with good graphics, that points out some truths that have become evident to those who study the topic and understand the science. Based on his “contribution”, that does not include O-Log. Why do we insist on feeding him?

    • It’s easy to scroll past his mindless taunts such as “warmism’s” inhumanity to our fellow man. In this case, he asked an interesting question. I may have strange interests.

      • dumboldguy Says:

        It was an ignorant and nonsensical question he asked, and the numbers he chose were ridiculous—an 11% swing and an 100% change? Mathematically correct perhaps, but hyperbole to say the least, and heat transfer between air and water is not that simple. It’s likely that he just doesn’t understand what he’s talking about and is playing his fractured logic word games with us.

        PS There is some really worrisome “science” in these graphs. I for one am not looking forward to the next El Nino.

        • DOG, I was referring to Omno’s one sentence comment “what if there were an El Nino without the expected increase in global temperature?” – which I answered. I’m curious to know how he answers my inverse question “what if there were an El Nino with the expected increase in global temperature?”

          • dumboldguy Says:

            Whatever turns you on—I’m sure whatever answer he gives will be “memorable”. I myself usually try to run from the train wreck that is O-Log’s “logic”, although I can see how he might fascinate you with what you call an “interesting” question.

            I myself put O-log’s question in the same category as the question Bill Cosby’s philosophy major girlfriend asked him—“Why is there air?”. Phys Ed major Cosby replied “Everybody knows why—-for blowing up basketballs, and footballs, and volleyballs, and…..” (Omno’s brain case, perhaps?)

            An analogous question might be “Why is there science?” I invite all to tell us what they think O-Log’s answer will be—best answer gets a free pizza coupon from Chevron (no anchovies).

          • I like your comments DOG for many reasons, including because you don’t “usually try to run from the train wreck that is O-Log’s “logic”. You come across as a guy who loves putting rocks on “Contrarian” tracks.

          • omnologos Says:

            I wish that were true. Sadly doguy mostly provides content-free metacommentary around what he perceives be the malign intentions of people he’d rather see dead or disappeared.

            He’s also achieving a remarkable collection of What? responses, clogging emails the world over with proclamations about his obviously limited understanding.

            Even the lonely thoughtful pieces (eg on abortion) get drowned by his own neverending words. Rocks they aren’t.

          • dumboldguy Says:

            A classic O-Log comment here, full of O-Log’s ironic lack of self-awareness and general mindlessness.

            The person whose “content-free commentary” elicits all those “WHAT?” queries speaks of others as if they were his clones?

            “Perceptions” of malign intentions? If it looks like a duck, etc.

            “Rather see dead or disappeared”? Is that a faulty perception on O-Log’s part of malign intent on my part? Source, please?

            O-Log accuses someone else of “obviously limited understanding”?.

            The “piece” on abortion was THOUGHTFUL rather than propaganda and BS?
            O-Log speaks to us of others’ “neverending words”?.

            Lord love a duck, but there aren’t enough rocks in the world to derail that kind of thinking any more “off the tracks” than it already is.

  3. omnologos Says:

    To summarize: following Trenberth and Fasullo, next El Nino should increase the global temperature. However, if the temperature doesn’t increase, this doesn’t mean that Trenberth, Fasullo, and the idea that the heat is going into the oceans are wrong.

    Why? “It’s too complex a system”. Well, if it’s too complex if and when it doesn’t warm as expected, it’s also too complex if and when it warms as expected or even more.

    In other words, by building an apparently protective shield against the falsification of global warming (using the “too complex a system” defence) the end result is to show that all projections and forecasts are more or less baseless.

    This is exactly what I described in the “AGW is logically impossible” page: AGW made logically impossible by its own proponents.


    This logical absurdity (cognate to the “it just cannot happen” responses) hasn’t been pushed by Charles Zeller. It’s sad really to see his science-based attitude (“if it doesn’t work, let’s figure out where and why”) only among a minute minority.

    So Charles asked, what if there were an El Nino with the expected increase in global temperature?

    As I already said, the theory will appear much more robust. And this especially if somebody took the pain of estimating now the expected increase, instead of after-the-fact.

    • dumboldguy Says:

      O-Log continues to chase his tail and wants us to watch. The theory is the theory, and it is based on past observations and somewhat incomplete understandings—-why does O-Log keep insisting that someone make an estimate/prediction beyond “An El Nino will likely cause an increase in temperature, and conditions are such that it’s likely to be rather large”?

      I am willing to wait to see what happens, and it seems that the scientists are also. Why is O-log not?

      • I do believe many people sceptical of AGW have a congitive disorder due to the fact that an El Ninõ was very much part of the temperature spike in 1998 which is essential in order to cherry pick the time for the “pause”. So its important now to spread doubt that it was in fact the El Ninõ event that did this in the “hope” that the next El Ninõ suddenly cools the planet instead which again strengthens their idea that the warming in 1998 is some kind of natural cycle we do not know of yet (natural in the form of space lizards zapping earth from a distant planet, or equal hypothesis – mind you, I had to make one up as they certainly never come with any competing hypothesis of any significance).

        • dumboldguy Says:

          Sounds logical (at least in the context of “denier non-logic-world”)—so O-Log will embrace it (without openly admitting it) and likely go chasing space lizards?

          What’s going on weather-wise in Norway? Your countrymen are doing well at the Olympics—-are you making plans to take up surfing and sand castle building when you no longer have enough snow for “nordic events”?

          • Well actually its really just the west and north of Norway that is lacking snow while the southern part has substantial lots of it. Some places got 2 to 3 meters in a fairly short time, and more is expected. Actually to the point of roofs caving in and cabin owners are rather distressed about this. You can try to google translate this one. 🙂


            And people being warned about poking their ski poles up in the powerlines which are rather low compared to the new ground level. 🙂


            Western Norway where I am has been hovering around 0 degrees lately although that is about to change back to some +5C this weekend. Can’t say there has been much winter around this year.

    • Omno, Granted. You has already answered my question. If I had read your other comments, I would not have asked. So many comments, so little time.

      You are evidently viewing the change in global average temperature after the next El Nino as the definitive test of the greenhouse gas theory – or more precisely you asymmetrically view it as an experiment that could falsify or increase robustness. There would also be a higher probability of you deciding that the AGW theory is more robust if scientists predict the value of the temperature increase. What would be your acceptable error range?

      • dumboldguy Says:

        (And you accuse ME of putting rocks on O-Log’s tracks?) LOL

      • omnologos Says:

        Charles – I’m a bit shooting in the dark here. Let’s say the robustness will be strongly demonstrated by a decidedly outstanding change in world temperature.

        IIRC HadCrutv4 is showing .2C/decade for the last few years. I’d say, if the el Nino will increase world temperature by as much but in a single year, that will be impressive enough.

        And an error range of a tenth of the expected change will be the icing on the cake.

        The last thing AGW needs is another fiddly-fiddly perhaps-maybe statistically-indistinguishable observation of a record-breaking global temperature.

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