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Oceans Warmer Than Ever Before–Claim BBC

February 11, 2020

By Paul Homewood



I spotted this on the BBC Newsround site, when I picked up the Greta story.

BBC Newsround is the pretendy-serious news programme for kids. And this is the sort of garbage being rammed down their throats:



Oceans reached record temperatures last year, according to new analysis.

A team of climate experts and scientists carried out research which revealed that the temperature in 2019 was around 0.075°C above the average recorded from 1981-2010, a record high for our oceans.

Seas are now warmer than any other time in recorded human history and the increase in temperature has been directly linked to global warming.

The past five years have also seen the highest temperatures ever recorded.

Hotter than ever before! Really?

Or even “warmer than any other time in recorded human history”?

It is little wonder poor kids are so paranoid!

  1. It doesn't add up... permalink
    February 11, 2020 6:02 pm

    I recall as a child of about 10 being asked to write a story about a very hot day. My English teacher rightly upbraided me when I wrote that it was the hottest day ever. The lesson stuck with me for life.

  2. February 11, 2020 6:03 pm

    Is that true, or did you hear it on the BBC ?

  3. bobn permalink
    February 11, 2020 6:08 pm

    They are simply guessing because we have no reliable measures of the whole of the oceans – they are too vast for our puny systems. I wonder what the satelites say, because we dont have the physical means to measure ocean temps accurately. A few thousand bouys wouldnt even give a coverage of the meditereanean let alone a single ocean. Of course the satelites measure upper atmospheric temps so even they wont give anything more than a guess. Even is we could have a guesstimate now, who measured the past guess that they are comparing to? All we are doing is proving to children that ‘climate experts and scientists’ talk rubbish and should not be listened to. Not really a good outcome.

    • Broadlands permalink
      February 11, 2020 7:02 pm

      Charles Darwin spent five years aboard the HMS Beagle where the sea surface and air temperatures were measured almost every day around noon, local time. The mean values and standard deviations of the thousands of measurements are large…

      The average “global” temperatures for his entire five year voyage are: AIR 59.9, ±10.8 °F, WATER 62.4, ±2.4°F, average time of day; 1308 (1 PM). NONE of these measurements was made on land.

      It is improbable that those same locations today would all be warmer were his voyage to be repeated and the heat island effects on land included (or discounted).

  4. David permalink
    February 11, 2020 6:20 pm

    What idiot can see any significance in a variation of less than one tenth of a degree. The error factor of the measurement obviously far exceeds this. This must be the product of the “I’m no good at maths” brigade.

    • Gamecock permalink
      February 11, 2020 10:09 pm

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

  5. Barbara permalink
    February 11, 2020 6:31 pm

    Have you seen the scared and scary comments under this? as I looked at them I was informed ‘sorry you are too old to comment’ hmmm I won’t be daft enough to ask how the BBC knows that but it is still somewhat alarming when you come across this message for the first time. Come to think of it it is probably because my husband is one of those who will have to start repaying our licence fee this year.

    • Harry Passfield permalink
      February 11, 2020 6:56 pm

      Barbara, that you got a msg saying you were too old to comment is very Orwellian. I would have asked if that also applied to those who were too qualified to comment. You should make your MP aware. It’s quite shocking!

      • Harry Passfield permalink
        February 11, 2020 7:01 pm

        Just tried to comment and got same msg as Barbara. The House Rules say you have to be 15 or under. I can understand that from the point of view of young children being groomed, but isn’t that just what the BBC is doing anyway. How dare they!!

    • Barbara permalink
      February 11, 2020 7:40 pm

      Thank you Harry – Orwellian indeed!

      • martinbrumby permalink
        February 11, 2020 11:23 pm

        Seems about par for the course.
        Didn’t BBC have a maximum age of 15 for the kids Jimmy Savile had to fiddle with?

  6. Harry Passfield permalink
    February 11, 2020 6:43 pm

    BBC needs to be pulled up on what they mean by ‘recorded human history’, given that the means of recording have only been available in the last 100 years or so (if that).

  7. February 11, 2020 6:58 pm

    All these kids need to do is head to their nearest coastline and paddle in the sea for a few seconds. See how hot it isn’t, then realise the BBC are a bunch of outrageous alarmists,

  8. Teaef permalink
    February 11, 2020 7:01 pm

    ‘Hotter than they’ve ever been before’ Is that in the last 4 billion years? Tripe!

  9. Thomas Carr permalink
    February 11, 2020 7:05 pm

    Roger Harrabin gets a hard time from Charles Moore in today’s The Telegraph. So gradually the wheel turns.

    • Harry Passfield permalink
      February 11, 2020 7:15 pm

      For clarity, the item is included with Moore’s piece on Sinn Fein.

      • Malcolm Skipper permalink
        February 11, 2020 9:24 pm


        “What really goes on in a citizens’ assembly?

        I listen intently to BBC reports from its “Environment Analyst”, Roger Harrabin, about an exciting new “citizens’ assembly” which is meeting at weekends in Birmingham to decide what it thinks about climate change.

        Mr Harrabin is keen to promote the assembly. His reports cover things like whether more people are accepting the vegan option in the canteen than when the assembly began (answer: no). In his latest dispatch, he enthuses that the assembly’s members – “advised by experts” – now believe the climate change problem is bigger than they had thought. Amanda from Kent, for example, says she had not known that bananas have a big carbon footprint if they come by plane but almost none if they travel by sea.

        Now the citizens are being won over to the idea that they (and presumably all of us) should have a “personal carbon allowance”, officially regulated, to limit what we consume and allow good people to sell their underused allowance to bad people, who will have to buy it from them.

        It would be good to know who these “experts” are, whether there are any experts present who do not agree that there is a climate emergency, what gets said in the classes, how the citizens are assembled, and who is paying. We should be told in what sense “MPs”, as Mr Harrabin put it, “commissioned the assembly”, and who runs Climate Assembly UK.

        I think one can predict with 100 per cent certainty that the “citizens” will agree with the “experts” and the reports to Parliament will hail the assemblies as a democratic triumph.”

    • johnbillscott permalink
      February 11, 2020 10:51 pm

      This is not in the DT on-line can you provide link. I wonder what else is missing.

      • Malcolm Skipper permalink
        February 12, 2020 8:46 am

        See my link above. Moore writes about 3 issues. My cut-and-paste about the climate assembly is the second issue when you scroll down.

  10. johnbillscott permalink
    February 11, 2020 7:06 pm

    When I crossed the Atlantic some years ago I noticed the circulating water temperature gauge shot up when we entered the Gulf Stream and on deck it was off with the winter Parkas and into short sleeves. So there are differences in ocean temperatures all over the globe so how is a mean temperature calculated? The Beeb use of the term “hotter” is misleading and ought to be challenged.

  11. February 11, 2020 7:09 pm

    It’s the sun wot did it.

  12. GeoffB permalink
    February 11, 2020 7:10 pm

    I would think .075C is insignificant. i remember null hypothesis theory actual can put a number on the significance level, but I do not remember the details.

  13. February 11, 2020 7:18 pm

    If the temperature is a massive 0.075°C higher than it used to be (let’s round that up to 0.1°C in case people like Diane Abbot are reading this) will kids be asking their parents to let them start swimming in the sea in winter?

  14. Kathy Marquard permalink
    February 11, 2020 7:18 pm

    I was wondering why they only went back to 1981? What happened before 1981? I suspect already know the answer, but wonder what the truth actually is…..that inconvenient truth.

  15. Joe Public permalink
    February 11, 2020 7:25 pm

    Here’s the document “Record-Setting Ocean Warmth Continued in 2019” Aunty declined to name.

    From this link , we learn:

    “the 2019 ocean temperature is about 0.075 degrees Celsius above the 1981-2010 average. To reach this temperature, the ocean would have taken in 228,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 (228 Sextillion) Joules of heat.

    To reach this temperature, the ocean would have taken in 228,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 (228 Sextillion) Joules of heat.

    “That’s a lot of zeros indeed. To make it easier to understand, I did a calculation. The Hiroshima atom-bomb exploded with an energy of about 63,000,000,000,000 Joules. The amount of heat we have put in the world’s oceans in the past 25 years equals to 3.6 billion Hiroshima atom-bomb explosions.”

    However, 3.6 billion Hiroshima atom-bomb explosions over 25 years equals just 4.6 Hiroshima atom-bomb explosions per second.

    That’s one hell of a reduction since that paragon of climate-science integrity Skeptical Science, informed:

    “In 2013 ocean warming rapidly escalated, rising to a rate in excess of 12 Hiroshima bombs per second”

    • It doesn't add up... permalink
      February 12, 2020 12:26 pm

      Perhaps they are thinking that letting off a few Hiroshima bombs in the ocean won’t warm the planet, even if they create tsunamis to “justify” their sea level rise predictions. By-product would be nuclear winter, solving the climate and extinction of mankind too.

    • Chaswarnertoo permalink
      February 12, 2020 12:55 pm

      They can’t even keep their lies straight.

  16. Harry Passfield permalink
    February 11, 2020 8:15 pm

    I am so annoyed by this report that I have written the following to my MP:

    To: xxxxxxxxxx MP

    Dear Sir,

    I write with reference to a recent BBC Newsround programme which is aimed at children below the age of 16. It can be found here:

    In this program the BBC reports that:

    “[The World’s] Oceans reached record temperatures last year, according to new analysis.
    A team of climate experts and scientists carried out research which revealed that the temperature in 2019 was around 0.075°C above the average recorded from 1981-2010, a record high for our oceans.

    “Seas are now warmer than any other time in recorded human history and the increase in temperature has been directly linked to global warming.

    “The past five years have also seen the highest temperatures ever recorded.”

    There are many things wrong with this story, not least being that the degree of change in average temperature reported is smaller than the statistical errors in readings. It is also a value to note that this level of change is impossible to determine by human touch.

    All that said, I wanted to add a comment to the effect on the BBC website so that there was a balanced view. However, the BBC in its attempt, I assume, to protect young viewers and stop them being groomed, prevented me from commenting, saying I was too old to comment – an age variable that I assume it retrieved from my BBC logon details.

    Certain things disturb me in this:

    Young viewers are being fed what the BBC wants them to hear rather than a balanced view from other adults who might know better.
    The BBC do not reveal who the ‘experts’ and ‘scientists’ were – assuming, no doubt that children don’t need to know.
    If grooming by older people (in comments) is a concern for the BBC then so is the fact that their reporters (much older than the children being protected) are grooming children with regards to Climate Change worries me.
    The BBC headline, which states that the oceans are hotter than at any time in recorded human history, is not qualified – inasmuch as what is meant by ‘recorded’ and ‘human history’: children will not be equipped to parse this nuance so the BBC is taking advantage of them. Reading the comments (by children) on the report leads me to suspect this is the truth.
    There are many more reasons for this item to be complained about, not least the appearance that it seems extremely Orwellian. for all these, I would like to think that you would share this conclusion with me and bring it to the attention of Lord Hall, DG BBC, and ask, just what is the point of brain-washing young minds in this way?

    Kind regards

    • Broadlands permalink
      February 11, 2020 9:40 pm

      “The BBC do not reveal who the ‘experts’ and ‘scientists’ were – assuming, no doubt that children don’t need to know.”

      That’s exactly how the teenager, little St. Greta behaves… her ‘experts’ who tell her what to say are not revealed. There is no need to know…the science is settled?

      • dennisambler permalink
        February 12, 2020 11:11 am

        One of her experts is arch-warmer Kevin Anderson:–how-big-is-the-influence-of-your-mentor-.S1bXoGcuV.html

        He claims she writes all her own stuff but gives the game away:
        Kevin Anderson: What you hear from Greta Thunberg’s mouth is what Greta Thunberg is thinking about and what she writes down. It is not the mouthpiece of her parents, a public relations campaign or any of us scientists. Although some people do not want to admit it – especially some older white men. (The usual ad hominem).

        SPIEGEL ONLINE: But what is your role?

        Anderson: Greta sometimes sends me manuscripts and asks me to check if everything is correct. Of course, sometimes we both discuss issues as well.

        SPIEGEL ONLINE: How did you get in contact with each other?

        Anderson: I also research and teach in Sweden, at the University of Uppsala. The Thunberg family approached me some time ago. Greta was already very interested in climate change. Since she started the strike, we are in regular contact.

        Anderson raised the idea of “carbon credit cards for citizens” in 2005, a “new” idea now apparently re-surfacing in the disgraceful citizen’s assembly.

        A description is here, from Oxford Environmental Change Institute:

        Key features:
        Equal allowances for all individuals
        Tradable allowances
        Energy used in the household and for personal transport are both included
        Year-on-year reduction of the annual allowance, signalled well in advance
        Mandatory Carbon Allowance Card

      • Gerry, England permalink
        February 12, 2020 2:00 pm

        Given that St Greta of Truancy is totally lost when she it taken off script, I can’t see how she knows anything about the subject. If I gave a speech on my job or something else I know about, I would be perfectly capable of answering questions afterwards because i would know my subject. Don’t forget we know she doesn’t write her facebook page.

    • Mack permalink
      February 11, 2020 10:49 pm

      Well said Harry.

  17. Knutsen permalink
    February 11, 2020 8:58 pm

    Should be many long temperature proxy series showing that this fake news.

  18. CheshireRed permalink
    February 11, 2020 9:08 pm

    ‘Hotter’ is a wilfully pejorative misuse of the English language. The seas aren’t ‘hotter’ anything.

    If one of those BBC experts would kindly jump off Blackpool pier they’d find the sea so ‘hot’ that by the time emergency services get to them they’d be dead from hypothermia.

    • Joseph Sharp permalink
      February 12, 2020 10:27 am

      Yes, it’s on a par with claiming oceans are more acidic, when they may be slightly less alkaline.

  19. February 11, 2020 10:03 pm

    Philip Klotzbach: July 1917 Atlantic Temperature coldest since 1948! July SST fromNCEP/NCAR analysis

    • David Ashton permalink
      February 12, 2020 7:53 am

      Do you mean 2017?

  20. February 12, 2020 1:19 am

    The oceans are now so hot that they too have heat waves – called Marine Heat Waves.

  21. bobn permalink
    February 12, 2020 1:21 am

    A cursory dig into the ‘science’ report making these claims shows the usual tissue of invention. The new report uses the data from a previous report by Cheng et al. (2017).
    Cheng’s data is compiled as follows: Quotes from reports –

    “The primary input data are bias-corrected XBT (Expendable Bathythermo-graph) and other availablemeasurements (i.e. Argo, moorings, gliders, CTD, bottle, MBT etc.) from World Oceanic Data (WOD). Model simulations were used to guide thegap-filling method from point measurements to the grid, while sampling error was estimated by sub-sampling the Argo dataat the locations of the earlier observations [a full description of the method can be found in Cheng et al. (2017)]”
    So the primary readings are random, patchy and variable (gliders? bottle! moorings!). Then they are BIAS-corrected (falsified to goal seek). Then because there is so little data and full of gaps a MODEL SIMULATION was used to make up the majority of fake-data. Then ERROR was ESTIMATED (to fit the narrative) and at the end of this totally unscientific make-believe process they pop out a faked conclusion. Utter unscientific bullpoo.

    It uses:
    “background information from several climate models that include a comprehensive ocean model is used.”
    Those ever so accurate invented models again!!
    and more:
    “the influence of eachobservation has been extended over a larger area, recognizing the relative homogeneity of the vast open expanses of thesouthern oceans.”
    So one reading of one thermometer at one point in the ocean is assumed to be representative for how many thousand sq miles? Of course we can assume the reading off Auckland is the same as off Tahiti !! and:
    “The quality flags provided by WOD were used to remove erroneous profiles and measurements.”
    So you removed data you didnt like, such as cold readings perchance?!?

    “The method works well back to the late 1950s, but prior tothen there are too few observations to make reliable oceanstate estimates”
    So this antiscience report, with its unreliable data, is only making conjectures back 60yrs. Of course there are too few observations even now to make this sort of assessment but that doesnt stop the science fakers publishing fantasies. Their study actually runs 1960 to 2015. These are just a few picks of assumptions and estimates in this worthless pulp fiction.

    No surprise to see that the new fantasy report has many co-authors including Trenberth (climategate fame) and Michael Mann (the master of fakes and fantasies).

    Of course the BBC didnt check to see they were reporting fairy tales and not science. The fairy tale docs are at links below with all their estimations.

  22. Dibnah permalink
    February 12, 2020 7:00 am

    There was a time when the BBC could generally be trusted, it has now reached the point where it needs to be dismantled. This can be achieved by removing its statutory financial support: the licence fee

  23. Chaswarnertoo permalink
    February 12, 2020 8:36 am

    How is this not child abuse by the State?

  24. Phoenix44 permalink
    February 12, 2020 9:33 am

    There is simply no way the estimate is that accurate. So it’s a lie. Complain en Massey to the BBC.

  25. Dave Pattison permalink
    February 12, 2020 11:50 am

    “Our oceans absorb more than 90% of the heat trapped by greenhouse gases”.

    This is impossible. CO2 absorbs and re-emits LWIR, which penetrates only the surface layer, causing evaporation. So cooling, not heating. If the oceans are warming, it can only be because of reduced cloud cover by day. Increased short-wave radiation from the Sun penetrates to a depth of a few metres, causing warming.

    And once again we have the implied conflation of the words “average” and “normal”. Some temperatures will be above, some below, average. That’s what an average is! All perfectly normal.

  26. john cooknell permalink
    February 12, 2020 10:20 pm

    0.075°C truly amazing unbelievable unreproducible science, they can measure the worlds oceans to that level of accuracy, what are they using “Witchcraft”. In a environmentally controlled lab with calibrated thermocouples you would be lucky to get anywhere near that and then reproduce the results the next time you tried.

    Of course it is a model, that fits all the other models it is in IPCC AR5 etc 0.1 deg C total temp rise over 50 years produced by two very different historical data sets, with all sorts of corrections and adjustments and a great big unexplained discontinuity in the middle. But why worry about these things it shows the world is coming to an end, so lets go!

  27. Malcolm Chapman permalink
    February 14, 2020 11:09 am

    Interesting stuff. I don’t want to waste any more time than I have to on despising BBC information on climate matters, but I was surprised here to find that ‘comments’ were allowed on this children’s information item. I have often wanted to comment on the BBC, something to the effect: “you, sir, are a damned liar; let me show you the following facts” (many of my facts, coming, of course, via excellent websites like Paul’s here), but found that the BBC was careful to allow of no reader feedback whatsoever. Is this children stuff a portal through which discontented feedback can flow? If so, can we find a way in for the grown ups?

  28. February 17, 2020 11:15 am

    Too right ! I made a comment (obviously a bit adverse) and have received a short note telling me that I am ‘not of the right age to participate’. Too damn right, because I am an adult. But what poisonous sort of ageist censorship is that ?

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