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The Oceans and Climate Change – David Whitehouse

November 9, 2019

By Paul Homewood



An important new paper from GWPF:


For example, while warming might be expected to be fairly uniform, measurements suggest that it is regionalised, with parts of the South Pacific, in particular, warming more than elsewhere.

As the report’s author, Dr David Whitehouse, says, it is hard to draw firm conclusions about what is happening in the seas:

“The oceans can absorb far more heat than the atmosphere, so temperatures changes are extremely small and therefore hard to measure reliably.”

“The energy that would raise the temperature of the atmosphere by 4 degrees C would only raise the ocean temperature by a thousands of a degree, barely detectable.”

“Measuring changes in the ocean heat content are at the limits of our current capability and are made with significant uncertainties and unknowns.”

A recent claim that warming of the oceans was accelerating had to be withdrawn after errors were found in its uncertainty estimates by an independent scientist.


This is the paper:




David Whitehouse covers three points, which I have been belabouring for some time:


1) The global distribution of ocean warming has been patchy to say the least. The theory claims that GHGs are directly warming the oceans, but if this was the case we should see its effect worldwide.

The fact we don’t implies that natural factors are much more powerful than the supposed effect of GHGs.

2) The heat content of the oceans is so vast that any theoretical effect from GHGs is so tiny as to be virtually unmeasurable, even with ARGO buoys. Prior to those, any measurements should be treated with the utmost circumspect.

3) Ocean cycles can have powerful climatic impacts, and are long term, slow moving events. They are also not well understood.

We cannot be certain that recent warming of the oceans is not just a part of a much longer term, natural event.

  1. November 9, 2019 7:30 pm

    Reblogged this on Climate-

  2. Stephen Lord permalink
    November 9, 2019 7:55 pm

    There is a strong possibility that the South Pacific warming is due to geothermal sources. The crust is thin in that area and may well have multiple underwater volcanoes. Much easier to heat water from the bottom with liquid rock than from the top with hot air.

  3. November 9, 2019 7:56 pm

    Reblogged this on Climate Collections.

  4. Chris Matchette-Downes permalink
    November 9, 2019 8:12 pm

    Someone illustrated this phenomenon quite well

    One does not sit in a cold bath and turn the central heating up full blast in the hope that the water would warm up in a hurry

    • Pancho Plail permalink
      November 9, 2019 8:32 pm

      As an aside, my son (who I think is a little crazy) sat in a bath of cold water earlier in the week and tells me he raised the temperature of the water (80l) by 2 degrees C and then went on to calculate the dietary calorific equivalent. Seems like a pretty unpleasant way to diet!

      • dave permalink
        November 9, 2019 11:07 pm

        “…the dietary calorific equivalent…”

        Is 160 kilocalories. About 1/3 rd of a Big Mac, without fries or a drink.

        Sometimes, I raise my arms above my head. Half a million times will drop 10 kilograms – other things being equal!

  5. Jason permalink
    November 9, 2019 8:20 pm

    David Whitehouse. The BBC’s last proper Science Corresondent.

  6. Mack permalink
    November 9, 2019 8:20 pm

    ARGO buoy temp measurements are a vast improvement on water intake/bucket measurements of old but each buoy covers a huge geographical area, each with wide varieties of temp fluxes caused by a variety of natural and unnatural phenomena, and their depth measurements are limited to the upper layers of deep ocean. In short, a useful tool but hopelessly inadequate for making definitive statements about global water temperatures. What is certain about the cause of any warming or cooling of the oceans is mankind’s uncertainty of the origins of such warming/cooling. Any ‘climate scientist’ who claims man made C02 is the driver of such global temperature changes is, evidently, talking nonsense.

  7. Jason permalink
    November 9, 2019 8:22 pm

    David Whitehouse. The BBC’s last proper Science Correspondent.

  8. Joe Public permalink
    November 9, 2019 8:33 pm

    “The heat content of the oceans is so vast that any theoretical effect from GHGs is so tiny as to be virtually unmeasurable, even with ARGO buoys. ”

    ARGO floats contain thermometers to measure temperature, not heat content.

    Today, there are 3,854 of them in our ocean volume of 1,338,000,000 cu km ) – one per 347,000 km^3). And, they oscillate down only to 2,000m yet the oceans’ average depth is about 3,688m.

    (Strangely, at Oct 201, there were 3,982 Argo floats!?)

    Consequently, the entire oceans’ heat content is calculated / guessed, by using a few floats measuring just a proportion of the upper part. The only part directly 100% affected by solar gain.

    The scaremongers resort to using anomalies of a spectacular number (10^25) of very tiny units (J), that perhaps 99.9% of folk couldn’t identify with.

    The late Prof Sir David Mackay nailed it:

    “The graph shows the ocean heat content ( of only the upper 700m) increasing by about 20 x 10^22 J in 40 years.

    = 0.19 K (or 0.19 degrees C).”

    From here:

    • Gamecock permalink
      November 11, 2019 3:03 pm

      They use a decimal point to show they have a sense of humour.

  9. November 9, 2019 11:25 pm

    Good point by Stephen Lord
    Pls see

  10. M E permalink
    November 10, 2019 3:18 am

    I read recently of an arc of submarine volcanoes leading north from New Zealand,s big fault line where one continental plate slips under or overrides the other. There are of course volcanoes in the North Island The article was focused on acidification of sea water which would affect sealife or not , depending on which researcher was reporting. I was not concerned with this but I noted with delight the views on the volcanic arc. Perhaps it is still on line. How much heat would be enough to warm enough water will be the way research would need to go.

    • Gerry, England permalink
      November 10, 2019 11:03 am

      And not that long ago they discovered a number of underwater volcanoes in of all places the Mediterranean just off the coast of Italy!!! If they don’t know about ones in such a known area then……

  11. Gerry, England permalink
    November 10, 2019 11:13 am

    And of course we had the Karl et al ‘pausebuster’ paper that had the argo data raised to match cooling water intakes and thermometers in buckets released just ahead of the Paris climate bunfight trying to say that there had been no embarrassing nearly 20 year stall in global warming.

  12. November 14, 2019 7:47 pm

    Can one say accurately that if something like Ocean Heat (or cooling) is not understood that its is not well understood? The part we think we understand…is that well understood? Kinda understood? 50% understood? 97% understood?

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