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Mummy, The Ocean’s Eaten My Heat!!

September 24, 2013

By Paul Homewood




I’ve been meaning to post on this for a while. We often hear the claim that all of the missing heat has been gobbled up by the oceans.

Now, let’s leave aside some of the obvious problems with this theory, such as :

  • How all of this heat has selectively and mysteriously managed to avoid land areas.
  • How warm water has managed to sink instead of rise.
  • How the water at, or near, the surface seems to have escaped this warming.

And get straight to the nub of the matter.

Water has a much higher heat capacity than air. According to NOAA,


The oceans store more heat in the uppermost 3 meters (10 feet) than the entire atmosphere (above it).



So let’s run some very simple calculations.


In the last decade, most models were predicting something of the order of 0.2C global warming. If, instead of warming the atmospheric , this extra heat has gone into the sea, its effects will be much diluted, with the result that increases in sea temperatures will be much, much less than 0.2C.

(Remember, it takes much more energy to warm a bucket of water by 1C than a bucket of air.)

The suggestion is that, as there has been no noticeable warming in the upper 100 meters, this “hidden heat” is as far as 2000 meters down.




So, ocean temperature should have increased by:-



2000 Meters Divided By 3 Meters = 666.6


0.2C Divided By 666.6 = 0.0003C



The idea that we can:

  • measure sea temperatures throughout all the oceans of the world
  • measure it throughout the whole depth down to 2000 meters and more.
  • take into account seasonal changes
  • take into account shifting ocean cycles and currents.

and still be able to measure the overall temperature to better than  three ten thousandths of a degree is patent nonsense.


So step forward Professor Ted Shepherd, a leading atmospheric scientist and recently installed as Grantham Chair in Climate Science at Reading University.

He had this to say to the Guardian.


The heat is still coming in, but it appears to have gone into the deep ocean and, frustratingly, we do not have the instruments to measure there,”



Or to put it another way, we have no idea whether it is or not, but in the meantime we’ll still cling to our theory.


Atmospheric Temperatures

One cross check we do have against claims of ocean warming, is to look at atmospheric temperature trends above the ocean. We know that even small changes in sea surface temperatures can have a substantial effect on the temperatures in the atmosphere above it.

The chart below shows temperature trends as measured by RSS. Not only are temperatures lower than the peak of 1998, the trend has been consistently downwards since 2002.



  1. mkelly permalink
    September 24, 2013 1:42 pm

    “…than a three thousandth of a degree…”

    Your math answer is three ten-thousandths of a degree.

  2. September 24, 2013 9:09 pm

    If the heat was in the depths, why was it not detected on the way down there?

  3. catweazle666 permalink
    September 24, 2013 10:45 pm

    You missed the question of how the water managed to absorb all that heat without warming up and expanding and raising the sea level, Paul!

  4. ChrisM permalink
    September 25, 2013 5:46 am

    The real graph that needs to be drawn is the one showing where the data for each point in the time series came from. That would show a merging of three data sets. If you look closely you can see the step changes that the blue line hides. They also can’t measure the ocean temperatures below 2000m. That is about a third of the ocean’s volume.
    Once someone like Steve M does the usual auditing examination, it will be seen to be yet another example of a hide the decline.

  5. October 17, 2013 3:33 am

    The dingo took my baby!

    Trenberth, in some to-be-found email, “We have to hurry up and come up with algorithms and code that back all of this up, before there is so much data and someone else shows that we pulled this out of our bugger holes. The algorithms will have to adjust the older data downward, to give the correct trend line. I DO hope those guys over at CRU have it almost ready. I don’t think I can say it with a straight face anymore.”

  6. Jason Calley permalink
    November 12, 2013 3:32 am

    The much touted figures of “25 X 10^24 joules of heat” which have supposedly been found in the oceans still suffers from the same problems you cite above. The added joules are estimated based on supposed temperature changes measured over a half century — but even that half century change is only 6/100 of a degree. Does any scientist actually believe that we know the temperature change of the oceans of the world over the last half century to 6/100 of a degree?!

    I’d like to see the error bars on that!


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