Another week, another anomalous climate science finding in a mainstream journal. One of the major suppositions of climate science is that a lot of the CO2 going into the atmosphere—and the temperature increase that is supposed to be coming with it—is going missing in the oceans. Taking the temperature of the entire ocean is just as difficult, and maybe more difficult, than taking the air temperature for the entire planet, so the empirical basis for ocean temperature is a bit sketchy. We’ve got a lot of ocean buoys deployed right now (which really only supply data from the first couple hundred feet of the ocean) and are attempting lots of temperature reconstructions from various inventive proxies (like fossil records), but essentially we don’t know bupkis.
A new study just out in Nature take a close look at the noble gas contents of ice core samples (because we think the amount of inert noble gases are related to ocean temperatures), and the results are striking. The study not only concludes that ocean temperatures changed a lot coming out of the ice age, but that they often changed very rapidly for unknown reasons (unless ancient aliens drove around in a lot of SUVs and then left without a trace). As Nature summarizes the study:
The most surprising revelation from the temperature record is the extent of ocean warming during an event called the Younger Dryas, which occurred about 13,000–11,500 years ago. . . Bereiter and colleagues report that the mean ocean temperature (which reflects the global ocean, but is weighted towards the Southern Hemisphere) increased substantially during the Younger Dryas, much more than had been estimated: the temperature increase was a whopping 1.6 °C in only 700 years. This is about 1.7 times faster than the ocean is warming now because of global climate change. The reasons for this large warming should be investigated.
The abstract of the study itself calls this sudden warming “enigmatic.” Yet somehow we are told today that our observations of ocean temperature and other environmental change must be attributable to human activity.
Meanwhile, how much is the ocean warming in recent decades? One of the authors of the study, Jeff Severinghaus of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, explained in an online note:
“Our precision is about 0.2 ºC (0.4 ºF) now, and the warming of the past 50 years is only about 0.1 ºC.”
Wait, what? First, the estimate of recent warming is very tiny, but moreover it is within the margin of error of their technique. So do we really know anything at all about current ocean temperature trends?
The climatistas may have to go back to plagues of locusts since the boiling ocean hypothesis looks a little weak right now.
Hat tip: Chris White.