Deep Six the Deep Ocean Theory?

Another week, another pile of climate change news, much of it nonsensical as usual.

You knew that Ebola would be connected to climate change, right? Actually, this immediate default theme in the media was even too much for the true believer climatistas at ClimateProgress.org:

Media Jumps to Conclusions on Ebola and Climate Change

If you read Newsweek or CNBC this week, you may be under the impression that one of the primary drivers of the Ebola outbreak in Africa is climate change. It is not.

According to three veteran epidemiologists who study how climate impacts disease spread, there is currently no scientific evidence that suggests a climate link to the current Ebola outbreak, which has so far claimed the lives of at least 1,200 people.

Yeah, but it makes for some great copy, doesn’t it? I’ll count this as progress for the ironically named ClimateProgress folks (who care for progress not at all, of course).

But that still leaves ISIS, which was caused by climate change! No, really, it was! A professor says so. And also the president of France. With Francois Hollande’s public approval ratings measured in the teens, why not? And who knew that a solution to the Israel-Palestinian problem lies in the UN climate framework?

Coming next: Climate change is causing a population explosion of bullfrogs! Scientists are alarmed:

Scientists express alarm over the invasion of American bullfrogs along the Yellowstone River in Montana. . .

Actually, no, this time it isn’t climate change:

However, the American bullfrogs are apparently not affected by climate change. Instead of being on the decline, they reproduce and spreading rapidly particularly at the Yellowstone River.

So what’s the alarm about?

But the serious climate news of the week isn’t making headlines because it comes in the form of a dry and hard-to-read paper in Nature Climate Change. Remember how the missing heat is supposedly going into the deep ocean. Well, take in this headline and abstract:

Deep-ocean contribution to sea level and energy budget not detectable over the past decade

As the dominant reservoir of heat uptake in the climate system, the world’s oceans provide a critical measure of global climate change. Here, we infer deep-ocean warming in the context of global sea-level rise and Earth’s energy budget between January 2005 and December 2013. Direct measurements of ocean warming above 2,000 m depth explain about 32% of the observed annual rate of global mean sea-level rise. Over the entire water column, independent estimates of ocean warming yield a contribution of 0.77 ± 0.28 mm yr−1 in sea-level rise and agree with the upper-ocean estimate to within the estimated uncertainties. Accounting for additional possible systematic uncertainties, the deep ocean (below 2,000 m) contributes −0.13 ± 0.72 mm yr−1 to global sea-level rise and −0.08 ± 0.43 W m−2 to Earth’s energy balance. The net warming of the ocean implies an energy imbalance for the Earth of 0.64 ± 0.44 W m−2 from 2005 to 2013.

Granted, this abstract is hard to read, but what it means is that the deep ocean hypothesis doesn’t explain very much of what is (not) going on.

Responses