Why GHGs Cannot Heat The Deep Oceans
By Paul Homewood
NASA have a webpage, which lists the so-called facts about climate change.
One section covers “warming oceans”:
Now, if these figures are correct, and it’s a big if, what does this imply for AGW theory?
According to NASA,
“The oceans store more heat in the uppermost 3 meters (10 feet) than the entire atmosphere (above it).”
For the sake of argument, let’s assume that the computer models are correct, and that extra GHGs should raise atmospheric temperatures by 0.2C/decade. Since 1969 this would equal about 0.9C.
However, because ocean heat content is thousands of times greater than that of the atmosphere, it also takes thousands of times more energy to raise ocean temperatures by the same amount.
Assuming that the oceans had somehow absorbed their share of AGW, we can do a simple calculation of the temperature change we should expect to see in the top 700 meters:
700 meters divided by 3 meters = 233.3
0.2C divided by 233.3 = 0.00085C
0.00085C X 4.6 decades = 0.0039C
There is a slight difference between 0.0039C and 0.302F! If oceans have warmed by 0.302C since 1969, it cannot be due to GHGs. There has to be some other explanation.
And if GHGs really have been responsible for warming the deep ocean by 0.0039C, it would be utterly impossible to measure such a microscopic amount across the world’s oceans and over several decades.
All of this presupposes that there is a proven mechanism whereby infrared radiation, emitted from GHGs, can heat up the deep ocean.
Oceanographer, Dr Robert E Stevenson, had this to say on the subject in his paper, Yes, The Ocean Has Warmed; No, It’s Not Global Warming, published in 2000:
Warming the ocean is not a simple matter, not like heating a small glass of water. The first thing to remember is that the ocean is not warmed by the overlying air.
Let’s begin with radiant energy from two sources: sunlight, and infrared radiation, the latter emitted from the “greenhouse” gases (water vapor, carbon dioxide, methane, and various others) in the lower atmosphere. Sunlight penetrates the water surface readily, and directly heats the ocean up to a certain depth. Around 3 percent of the radiation from the Sun reaches a depth of about 100 meters.
The top layer of the ocean to that depth warms up easily under sunlight. Below 100 meters, however, little radiant energy remains. The ocean becomes progressively darker and colder as the depth increases. (It is typical for the ocean temperature in Hawaii to be 26°C (78°F) at the surface, and 15°C (59°F) at a depth of 150 meters.
The infrared radiation penetrates but a few millimeters into the ocean. This means that the greenhouse radiation from the atmosphere affects only the top few millimeters of the ocean. Water just a few centimeters deep receives none of the direct effect of the infrared thermal energy from the atmosphere! Further, it is in those top few millimeters in which evaporation takes places. So whatever infrared energy may reach the ocean as a result of the greenhouse effect is soon dissipated.
This is plain, basic physics. We are constantly told that we should not deny the science, yet NASA, NOAA, and seemingly most climate scientists are quite happy to ignore this basic science because it rather spoils their own theories. Indeed, it is the elephant in the room that they are desperately hoping nobody has noticed.
What is absolutely certain though is that if oceans really have warmed up as suggested, regardless of the cause, atmospheric temperatures will also rise as a direct result.
I’ll finish with this quote from NOAA, in their article, Climate Variability:
Climate is affected by both the biological and physical processes of the oceans. In addition, physical and biological processes affect each other creating a complex system. Both the ocean and the atmosphere transport roughly equal amounts of heat from Earth’s equatorial regions – which are intensely heated by the Sun – toward the icy poles, which receive relatively little solar radiation. The atmosphere transports heat through a complex, worldwide pattern of winds; blowing across the sea surface, these winds drive corresponding patterns of ocean currents. But the ocean currents move more slowly than the winds, and have much higher heat storage capacity. The winds drive ocean circulation transporting warm water to the poles along the sea surface. As the water flows poleward, it releases heat into the atmosphere. In the far North Atlantic, some water sinks to the ocean floor. This water is eventually brought to the surface in many regions by mixing in the ocean, completing the oceanic conveyor belt (see below). Changes in the distribution of heat within the belt are measured on time scales from tens to hundreds of years. While variations close to the ocean surface may induce relatively short-term climate changes, long-term changes in the deep ocean may not be detected for many generations. The ocean is the thermal memory of the climate system.
If oceans really have got warmer, we are seeing the result of long term changes caused by natural forces.
Until science can satisfactorily explain this phenomenon, we have no idea what has caused the world to warm up since the little ice age.