Saturday, January 25, 2014

Trenberth debunks himself: The oceans didn't eat the global warming 'missing heat'

Trenberth vs. Trenberth

Kevin "it's a travesty!" Trenberth has published a new paper today in the Journal of Climate, which shows that the rate of change of global ocean heat content has decreased since ~2001, contradicting his prior claim that the 'pause' of global warming can be explained by an increase in the rate of ocean 'missing heat' uptake. 
Fig 5 from Trenberth's new paper showing the rate of change in global ocean heat content decreased since ~2001 throughout the 'pause'
Trenberth's new paper claims the Sun is responsible for 15% of climate change on decadal timescales, but his analysis conveniently ignores hundreds of peer-reviewed published papers finding solar amplification mechanisms including via clouds and ENSO that alone can account for 95% of climate change over the past 400 years. 

Earth’s Energy Imbalance

Kevin E. Trenberth,1 John T. Fasullo,1 and Magdalena A. Balmaseda2
1 National Center for Atmospheric Research,3 Boulder, CO 80307
2 European Centre for Medium Range Weather Forecasts, Shinfield Park, Reading RG2 9AX, UK.

Climate change from increased greenhouse gases arises from a global energy imbalance at the top-of-atmosphere (TOA). TOA measurements of radiation from space can track changes over time but lack absolute accuracy. An inventory of energy storage changes shows that over 90% of the imbalance is manifested as a rise in ocean heat content (OHC). We use ORAS4 ocean reanalysis data and other OHC estimated rates of change to compare with model-based estimates of TOA energy imbalance (from CCSM4), and with TOA satellite measurements for the year 2000 onwards. Most ocean-only OHC analyses extend to only 700 m depth, have large discrepancies among the rates of change of OHC, and do not resolve interannual variability adequately to capture ENSO and volcanic eruption effects, all aspects that are improved with assimilation of multi-variate data. ORAS4 rates-of-change of OHC quantitatively agree with the radiative forcing estimates of impacts of the 3 major volcanic eruptions since 1960 (Mt. Agung 1963, El Chichón 1982, and Mt. Pinatubo 1991). The natural variability of the energy imbalance is substantial from month-to-month associated with cloud and weather variations, and interannually mainly associated with ENSO, while the Sun affects 15% of the climate change signal on decadal timescales. All estimates (OHC and TOA) show that over the past decade the energy imbalance ranges between about 0.5 and 1 W m-2. By using the full-depth ocean, there is a better overall accounting for energy, but discrepancies remain at interannual timescales between OHC and TOA-based estimates, notably in 2008-09.