Bummer: Ocean Warming Has Slowed Down By 50%

Don’t you hate when people do science?

(The Hockey Schtick) The currently-favored excuse du jour for no statistically-significant global warming over the past 20 years is that the oceans “ate the man-made global warming.” However, a 2012 paper published in Nature Climate Change torpedoes this notion, finding the global oceans started warming at least 135 years ago just after the Little Ice Age, on or before the historic voyage of the HMS Challenger in the 1870’s. More importantly, the study finds that ocean warming has decelerated 50% over the past 50 years. 

If, as claimed, man-made greenhouse gases are causing the oceans to warm, the opposite would have been expected, namely an acceleration of ocean warming over the past 60 years, beginning in the ~1950’s. The fact that the oceans were warming long before CO2 levels significantly increased, and at a higher rate before 50 years ago, clearly demonstrates ocean warming is a natural recovery from the Little Ice Age, and not due to man-made CO2.

The paper is corroborated by a recent paper finding the oceans have warmed only 0.09C over the past 55 years, a rate of 0.0016C per decade, and a 34% deceleration from the rate of 0.0024 per decade over the past 135 years found by this study.

Well, the heat must have just magically disappeared into the deep ocean, right?

Further, climate alarmists claim that the “missing heat” is hiding below 1,500 meters deep, but this paper finds the oceans have instead cooled below 1,500 meters over the past 135 years [see third figure below].

Do not expect Warmists to accept this scientifically collected data: they think their computer models and talking points are more important.

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12 Responses to “Bummer: Ocean Warming Has Slowed Down By 50%”

  1. Jeffery says:

    Bummer?? It’s great news. Thank god that global warming is finally over!

    When does the natural warming from the Little Ice Age know when to stop?

  2. What caused the current pause? How about the cooling from late 1940s to late 1970s? How about all the previous warm periods during the Holocene? You say you care about science, yet you’re unwilling to even consider that nature plays the primary role.

  3. Blick says:

    If the deep oceans were absorbing the missing predicted heat would there not be a predicted change in the cold upwelling areas of the oceans? Possibly changes in the ocean circulation patterns? that amount of predicted heat must be making some predictable changes by the predicting machines. We are not talking about real heat since it has not occured. Gee, its fun to pretend.

    fun to pretend.

  4. Donald says:

    Warming 1870-2000, 0.33 degrees, 0.025 increase per decade.

    Warming 1955-2008, 0.165 degrees, 0.033 increase per decade.

    The author of this piece has made a really silly maths error.

    Yes warming is less over the last 50 years compared to the last 130, but take the period into account, and warming has accelerated.

  5. Ignore_Overpriced_Gumballs says:

    Donald, where did you get those numbers? They are not in Teach’s post or the post cited by Teach. The post Teach cited mentions:

    The paper is corroborated by a recent paper finding the oceans have warmed only 0.09C over the past 55 years, a rate of 0.0016C per decade, and a 34% deceleration from the rate of 0.0024 per decade over the past 135 years found by this study.

    Also of note:

    Moreover, comparisons with other temperature records including global SST (ref. 5), extensive subsurface data in the Atlantic as early as the 1920s (ref. 22) and global subsurface data over the past 50 years6, all indicate that the warming has occurred on the centennial timescale rather than being limited to recent decades.

    I have to say, for those who follow and value true science, this is not shocking. As we understand and recognize that climate is made to change. That our Earth has a means to balance things out and even before man arrived, the earth froze and boiled.

    Can we now put this over-burdensome climate hysteria to bed?

  6. Donald says:

    The numbers are from the 2012 paper. Your numbers are from a different paper.

    “The 0.33 °C±0.14 average temperature difference from 0 to 700 m is twice the value observed globally in that depth range over the past 50 years^6”

    The reference (6) is to Levitus (2009) which deals with heat content, so I’m assuming (and so is the blog) that the claim is correct, giving 0.165 for the past 50 years.

    The 2012 paper states that warming has occurred on the centennial timescale, however, the calim that it shows that warming has slowed down by 50% is false: the numbers actually show warming has accelerated.

  7. Ignore_Overpriced_Gumballs says:

    The paper in the posting cited by Teach referenced a 2012 paper. Could you be a bit more specific?

    Umm.. forgive me for being dense, I have no idea what your numbers refer to.

    We really have no idea who is right or who is wrong. It will take competing papers over time to flush that out.

    However, Your citation of “giving 0.165 for the past 50 years” is not to be found in the Levitus paper. The only citation of 0.165 is in reference to the S. Pacific Ocean and it is under the label of HStorage, which I assume to mean the amount of heat that the basin can store. Which if true is a ludicrous idea. the paper itself does not define that label.

    Besides that, the Levitus paper deals with ocean heat content in joules, while the papers cited by “the other post” is measured in temperature and temperature change. apples-oranges

  8. Donald says:

    “The 0.33 °C±0.14 average temperature difference from 0 to 700 m is twice the value observed globally in that depth range over the past 50 years^6″

    This is the quote from the 2012 paper which inspired the headline “warming has slowed down by 50%”.

    Half of 0.33 is 0.165. I got this by simply halving 0.33, but the actual figure is in Table 1 of the Levitus paper and is 0.168.



    Warming 1870-2000, 0.33 degrees, 0.025 increase per decade.

    Warming 1955-2008, 0.168 degrees, 0.033 increase per decade.

    This is maths: we can say absolutely who is wrong- the blog author, because he hasn’t taken the time period into account.

    It’s like saying my car used 1.6 gallons of gas this week but 3.3 last week, so it must be using less gas, ignoring the fact that you did 50 miles this week but 130 last week.

  9. Ignore_Overpriced_Gumballs says:

    Might I point everyone to these facts?

    …that temperature samples at depth did not rise above 20% coverage of the oceans in the Southern Hemisphere until the ARGO floats were introduced in the mid-2000s, and at depths below 900 meters the coverage was less than 5% before ARGO.

    The Northern Hemisphere (middle cell) was better sampled, but anything is better than nothing. Most of the sampling there was confined to depths of less than 500 meters from the late-1960s to present.

    And looking at the top cell, sampling at depths of 0-1500 meters and 0-1800 meters did not rise above 8% of the global oceans until the ARGO era. Consider that the next time you see the NODC’s ocean heat content data for 0-2000 meters extending back in time to 1955. Measurements for 0-900 meters had less than 16% coverage before ARGO. Sampling at depths of 0-700 meters did not reach 20% coverage of the global oceans until about 1990.

    To really claim that we know the temperature of the oceans is laughable. It wasn’t till ARGO came along that we started thinking about temperature profiling the ocean. And it wasn’t till the new millenium that we started sampling near 2000m. But now, these global warming fanatics claim that the missing heat is below 2000m? I laugh at your face.

  10. Donald says:

    Update: the blog author of the original post has conceded that the numbers actually show an acceleration in warming 0-700m (the source of the “50% slow down” claim), and that figures for 0-2000m from Argo are not compatible.

  11. Jeffery says:


    Since, as Donald pointed out, the author of “The Hockey Schtick” admitted his errors in his comments, admitting that ocean warming has ACCELERATED not SLOWED, are you going to retract your post?

    This is a problem with relying on non-scientific, partisan blogs for your information. A careful reading of the actual journal article would have avoided your embarrassing episode.

    So. Are you going to be an honest person? Or are you going to be a jimhoft?

  12. Ignore_Overpriced_Gumballs says:

    The blogger admitted that he mis-compared his data types and variables. The “deceleration” was not provable, however, I doubt that you can utterly prove an “acceleration”.

    8/1000th of a degree increase per decade?

    Might I suggest a read over this post by Bob Tisdale.
    The oceans have warmed, the oceans have cooled. No one can determine why, and it def is not due to CO2. To claim that SINCE the oceans are warming is proof that man is responsible for a catastrophic climate catastrophe in a few years,.. is the height of hubris and placing yourself as god.

    Men are not gods and men can not control the climate. The only way that man can make any form of impact to “save us from humanity” would be to get rid of all machinery, anything that burns or ferments or poops, and live like the stoneage people. And then, maybe.. in 50 years, we might see the climate change.

    However, again, there will be NO WAY that anyone can claim that those actions did in effect make that change. There is no control, there is no repetition to test.

    It would be like you standing on the end of a pasture. YOu see a cow. You yell at the cow. Now, did your yelling make the cow produce more or less milk? This is what CAGW’ers are trying to prove.

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