Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Where's the Heat?

Insanity has, I think, been best defined as doing the same things over and over again and expecting different results. Who gets the credit for being the first to say it is, I suppose, a debate for a different day, but I think it bears repeating here. The debate may be over as the global warming community loves to say, but the data stubbornly refuses to live up to the hype:

ยท Some 3,000 scientific robots that are plying the ocean have sent home a puzzling message. These diving instruments suggest that the oceans have not warmed up at all over the past four or five years. That could mean global warming has taken a breather. Or it could mean scientists aren't quite understanding what their robots are telling them.

This is puzzling in part because here on the surface of the Earth, the years since 2003 have been some of the hottest on record. But Josh Willis at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory says the oceans are what really matter when it comes to global warming.

In fact, 80 percent to 90 percent of global warming involves heating up ocean waters. They hold much more heat than the atmosphere can. So Willis has been studying the ocean with a fleet of robotic instruments called the Argo system. The buoys can dive 3,000 feet down and measure ocean temperature. Since the system was fully deployed in 2003, it has recorded no warming of the global oceans.

"There has been a very slight cooling, but not anything really significant," Willis says. So the buildup of heat on Earth may be on a brief hiatus. "Global warming doesn't mean every year will be warmer than the last. And it may be that we are in a period of less rapid warming."

It seems the harder scientists try to prove that global warming is an undebatable scientific fact, the more reality rears it's ugly head and renders the "facts" inconclusive. The article concludes:

Trenberth and Willis agree that a few mild years have no effect on the long-term trend of global warming. But they say there are still things to learn about how our planet copes with the heat.

I find it more than a little odd that Trenbeth and Willis are in agreement that " a few mild years have no effect on the long-term trend of global warming". If that's the case, would it not also stand to reason that a few warmer than normal years do little to prove the earth is even warming at all. Maybe chasing windmills pays better than using common sense

Update: AJ Strata's takedown is here. He also makes the case that the data shows were are heading into a cooling, not a warming period due to lower than normal solar/sunspot activity.

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