Researchers recreating the past to predict the future of climate change

Mar 28, 2012

(PhysOrg.com) -- New findings published in Nature Climate Change, show that while current climate models have the ability to reproduce important features of the changing climate, including the greater warming experienced over land than over the ocean, comparisons against observations suggest that they tend to seriously underestimate the magnitude of the regional changes.

“This is worrying because it suggests that future regional climate changes may be larger than currently predicted,” says palaeoclimatologist Sandy Harrison, Macquarie University.

Sandy Harrison is part of the Palaeoclimate Modelling Intercomparison Project (PMIP) - an international group of the major climate modeling centres and scientists who reconstruct past climates and have been testing models over 20 years.

Harrison, along with other leading scientists from PMIP created climate simulations of the past major changes in natural climate forcing, similar to the that has been projected to occur over the next century. The group has done several palaeoclimate simulations of the Last Glacial Maximum (21,000 years ago), the Mid-Holocene (6000 years ago) and the last Millennium.

This is the first time this has been done using current modeling. Then using palaeodata collected from ice core, marine and terrestrial archives to provide information about actual environmental responses to past climate changes they compared how accurate the predictions were.

Although PMIP has confirmed the soundness of the strategy of using global climate models to simulate climates that differ from the present day, it is important to understand exactly how and why current state-of-the-art models do not show changes as large as observed in the past.

are the only credible tools we have for predicting what might happen to climate in the future. Although they have been shown to do this rather well, there is still some uncertainty about how well they will simulate a radically different ,” says Harrison. “These results are important for us to help assess the gaps in current models and determine areas that require improvement for future modelling.”

This is the ongoing aim for PMIP who will now use these results in their continued effort to improved understanding of twenty-first century climates and improve the modelling tools needed to predict the future.

“Isolating the reasons for discrepancies in current models will be our next major task so we can continue our assessment of the realism of the models used to predict the future.” says Harrison.

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Voleure
3.4 / 5 (10) Mar 28, 2012
Sounds reasonable that's how to improve the models. I imagine they may uncover new discoveries in ancient ocean currents etc as they work to close the gap.

Still they are waving a red flag for the denier posse. I am reminded of a song before they ride in.
"Send in the clowns, there ought to be clowns"
ryggesogn2
2 / 5 (11) Mar 28, 2012
That is the first step to validate any model.
It does not, however, guarantee to predict the future of an emergent system.
Doug_Huffman
2 / 5 (4) Mar 28, 2012
See Taleb's Ludic Fallacy in a fractally complex reality.

Vendicar_Decarian
0.3 / 5 (36) Mar 28, 2012
Climate isn't an "emergent system"

"emergent system." - RyggTard
kevinrtrs
Mar 28, 2012
This comment has been removed by a moderator.
djr
5 / 5 (5) Mar 28, 2012
"Since interpreting the things that occurred in the past are based more on what one believes about the past" I think that if you can distinguish between what you know, and what you believe - you may get a handle on the problem with your misunderstanding of science. Science deals with fact, not belief. So for example - what do you believe about the distance between the earth and the sun? Does your belief change the reality that it is approximately 93 million miles? Does that help you understand how silly it is to talk about belief, in the context of science?
NotParker
1 / 5 (11) Mar 28, 2012
Did they predict the global MWP that warmed the earth before SUV's?

http://climaterea...?id=9350
jet
1.4 / 5 (10) Mar 28, 2012
Careful NotParker .. you will be soon attacked by some here as the MWP according to them is only "mostly regional" an oxymoron to be honest.
ryggesogn2
1.8 / 5 (9) Mar 28, 2012
"The most interesting behavior of the climate system is emergent. That is, the large-scale phenomena are not obvious functions of the small-scale physics but result from the complexity of the system. For instance, no formula describes the Intertropical Convergence Zone of tropical rainfall, which arises through a combination of the seasonal cycle of solar radiation, the properties of moist convection, Earth's rotation, and so on. Emergent qualities make climate modeling fundamentally different from numerically solving tricky equations."
http://www.giss.n...midt_04/
Voleure
2.3 / 5 (3) Mar 28, 2012
ryggesogn2 good link thanks, for those not willing to follow his link I will put up the first part.

Climate is a large-scale phenomenon that emerges from complicated interactions among small-scale physical systems. Yet despite the phenomenon's complexity, climate models have demonstrated some impressive successes.
ryggesogn2
1.4 / 5 (9) Mar 28, 2012
ryggesogn2 good link thanks, for those not willing to follow his link I will put up the first part.

Climate is a large-scale phenomenon that emerges from complicated interactions among small-scale physical systems. Yet despite the phenomenon's complexity, climate models have demonstrated some impressive successes.

And spectacular failures.
Vendicar_Decarian
0.5 / 5 (37) Mar 28, 2012
I can't think of any. Can you name them, Tard boy?

"And spectacular failures." - RyggTard
StarGazer2011
1.8 / 5 (5) Mar 28, 2012
I can't think of any. Can you name them, Tard boy?

"And spectacular failures." - RyggTard


What are the sucesses?
Sanescience
5 / 5 (4) Mar 29, 2012
Ug, though I am loath to weigh in on a topic that has become proxy for ideologues, I must add that the worlds geometric growth of population and the concentration of that population in poor nations is likely only fuel more environmental damage and probably will lead to wars that will greatly expand CO2 release in the future.

I've taken positions on my knowledge of software in the past and what could help clarify our understanding of atmosphere dynamics. But no one is interested because everyone's mind is made up or they get their jollies exercising their moral outrage and indignation. But I've come around to a new opinion.

We can argue as much as we want about lack of evidence and denial of evidence all we want, but it isn't going to matter. Because CO2 is an easy topic to talk about that is where we put our attention. Fixing a world that will reach it's breaking population, that is the problem that needs fixing, but it not one so easy to cast as black and white, so we dont
MarkyMark
3 / 5 (2) Mar 29, 2012
Hmm cant help feeling that this topic is about to be hijacked by the Lords Internet Army.

On topic i have to say starting from the beginning s a good way of ironing out the creases.
Egleton
3 / 5 (2) Mar 29, 2012
It is a self evident truth that reality begins not in the past but in the present moment and ends there. All else is illusion.

Anyway, exponential growth of any kind will always overwhelm a finite amount. Therefore the exponential growth of the human population will overwhelm the planet. QED

Were the continents in the same configuration in this illusion of the past?
Vendicar_Decarian
0.6 / 5 (38) Mar 29, 2012
"Did they predict the global MWP" - ParkerTard

Global Climate models generally don't have the resolution to predict regional temperature variations.
Vendicar_Decarian
0.6 / 5 (38) Mar 29, 2012
And yet according to some Libertarian Economists the earth's resources are effectively infinite.

"Therefore the exponential growth of the human population will overwhelm the planet. QED" - Egleton

jet
2 / 5 (4) Mar 29, 2012
To Egleton, your axiom is I think ultimately valid the application is not as simple as you state.
As a population has its standard of living increase (western model) due to use of resources the population rate tends to slow to a replacement or even on occasion below replacement level thus a self limiting factor in human population growth.

As far as the idea that we are nearly out resources is not very valid.. Thomas Malthus and his philosophical decedents such as Paul R. Ehrlich have been to date proved quite wrong.
NotParker
1 / 5 (3) Mar 29, 2012
"Did they predict the global MWP" - ParkerTard

Global Climate models generally don't have the resolution to predict regional temperature variations.


""A team of scientists led by geochemist Zunli Lu from Syracuse University in New York state, has found that contrary to the consensus, the Medieval Warm Period approximately 500 to 1,000 years ago wasnt just confined to Europe.

In fact, it extended all the way down to Antarctica which means that the Earth has already experience global warming without the aid of human CO2 emissions."
jet
Mar 29, 2012
This comment has been removed by a moderator.
SteveS
5 / 5 (2) Mar 29, 2012
This is from the Syracuse University website - Zunli Lu: It is unfortunate that my research, "An ikaite record of late Holocene climate at the Antarctic Peninsula" recently published in Earth and Planetary Science Letters, has been misrepresented by a number of media outlets. Several of these media articles assert that our study claims the entire Earth heated up during medieval times without human CO2 emissions. We clearly state in our paper that we studied one site at the Antarctic Peninsula. The results should not be extrapolated to make assumptions about climate conditions across the entire globe. Other statements, such as the study "throws doubt on orthodoxies around global warming" completely misrepresent our conclusions. Our study does not question the well-established anthropogenic warming trend.

Modernmystic
1 / 5 (3) Mar 29, 2012
...It is unfortunate that my research, "An ikaite record of late Holocene climate at the Antarctic Peninsula" recently published in Earth and Planetary Science Letters, has been misrepresented by a number of media outlets. Several of these media articles assert that our study claims the entire Earth heated up during medieval times without human CO2 emissions. We clearly state in our paper that we studied one site at the Antarctic Peninsula. The results should not be extrapolated to make assumptions about climate conditions across the entire globe. Other statements, such as the study "throws doubt on orthodoxies around global warming" completely misrepresent our conclusions. Our study does not question the well-established anthropogenic warming trend.



Yes, unfortunately for Zunli Lu one can't have one's cake and eat it...

I'm sure he's being branded a heretic as we speak and he's attempting to salvage his career for angering the high priests...
ryggesogn2
1.6 / 5 (7) Mar 29, 2012
We clearly state in our paper that we studied one site at the Antarctic Peninsula.

But the IPCC and AGWites are quite happy to use limited data sets to cover up the MWP.
MWP was global, how does the 'A' contribute? AGWites have no clue and say it doesn't matter.
jet
1 / 5 (2) Mar 29, 2012
To SteveS thank you for that quotation.

As paleoclimatic records have become more numerous, it has become apparent that "Medieval Warm Period" or "Medieval Optimum" temperatures were warmer over the Northern Hemisphere than during the subsequent "Little Ice Age", and also comparable to temperatures during the early 20th century" (http://www.ncdc.n...al.html)

and now Antarctic peninsula (according to the DATA of the study by Zunli Lu et.al_)

It is reasonable that regions nearly poles apart would represent a global perspective
NotParker
1 / 5 (5) Mar 29, 2012
"We showed that the Northern European climate events influenced climate conditions in Antarctica, Lu says. More importantly, we are extremely happy to figure out how to get a climate signal out of this peculiar mineral. A new proxy is always welcome when studying past climate changes."

http://www.outloo...mate.htm
jet
1 / 5 (3) Mar 29, 2012
From the Abstract.

"This ikaite record qualitatively supports that both the Medieval Warm Period and Little Ice Age extended to the Antarctic Peninsula."

From Greenland to Antarctica .. looks like fairly global event events.
rubberman
5 / 5 (3) Mar 29, 2012
The drivers of the MWP were increased solar radiance and decreased volcanic activity. It WAS global and the drivers easily verifiable through the study of multiple indicators of short term (less than 2000 year)climate. Ice cores, tree ring data, cave deposits and sediment cores from around the globe all verify these drivers. They aren't at play now. There are no natural variables to explain the current global trends. Nor can natural varibility account for the rate of (temperature) increase over the last 150 years. If CO2 was not a factor, the last solar minimum (extended I might add) coupled with strong La ninas in 2000, 2007, and 2010 should have caused a notable decrease in Northern Hemisperical temperatures and a rebound of the polar cap. Instead what we got was a plateau between 2 outliers (1998-2011) and a temporary increase in seasonal ice extent but continued loss of multi year ice.I wouldn't bank on farming Greenland just yet...I wouldn't bank on Oklahoma for much longer.
jet
1 / 5 (1) Mar 29, 2012
First, thank you for being polite Rubberman.

My issue with your argument is :global warming has happened before, by natural causes. The exceedingly short term of data 2000 - 2010 ex-posits that no natural source could be the cause or even part of the cause of the warming stated as you state 150 years ago (well before anthropogenic carbon was a significant value.)

And that you limit MWP to only 2 possible drivers.

and the amout of temp increase is well in debate.

Accuracy of Data (instruments and proxies)
Consistency of Data
How do "correct" for changes in data gathering points

I agree things are warmer than LIA.. and am quite thankful thereof

rubberman
5 / 5 (4) Mar 30, 2012
I am also thankful the earth came out of the little ice age, and it did it on it's own, I agree 150 years ago the human CO2 footprint was a non factor. I also don't discount natural sources of warming because obviously we wouldn't be here without them. All of the reading I have done regarding the causes of the MWP name the two drivers I did, obviously there are other factors and a few have been mentioned in various papers.

http://www.utexas...te_myth4

The amount of increase being well in debate has a low figure of .74 C over the last 150 and I have seen as high 1.8 C. Either one extended over 1000 years is simply not good. What is most concerning is the arctic, what the global rise doesn't take into account is how lopsided the increase is in the north.

http://www.adn.co...han.html

The thirty year trend between 1998-2028 will be the true indicator of where we are headed as far as the climate....
jet
1 / 5 (1) Mar 30, 2012
Rubberman. true if the earth was a linear system, but given the proved cyclical nature of the climate and the multiple feedback that occur I would discount a linear trend.

The 30 year concept seems to be common, but if you take the 30 years at the beginning of the LIA one could have predicted a new full ice age true ?
NotParker
1 / 5 (3) Mar 30, 2012
What is most concerning is the arctic, what the global rise doesn't take into account is how lopsided the increase is in the north.


There are very few thermometers in the arctic, so it is mostly a guessing game. GISS extrapolates warming from coastal regions into places without thermometers. Bogus.

And the arctic was just as warm in the 1920s.

rubberman
5 / 5 (3) Mar 30, 2012
@Jet. Here is a link that IMO best shows the cyclical nature of the last 130,000 years.

http://www.esd.or...30k.html

There have been many MWP/LIA type events intertwined with the glaciations/interglacials predicted by the Milankovich cycles. All of the warmings follow a similar pattern (climate warms-CO2 increases as well as methane-environment becomes moister and vegetaion expands) and happen quickly, just a few decades. Not much different from the present warming timeline. The difference is us. In all of these warmings CO2 never got above 280PPM and vegetation was allowed to spread. We have put the level where it is today (400 PPM and rising) and simultaneously reduced the earths ability to remove it. We are a climate forcing. Like a marble on a flat, smooth table, it takes almost nothing to get it going in one direction, but until something makes it stop, it just keeps rolling.
jet
1 / 5 (1) Mar 30, 2012
In the main AR4 WG1 report, Chapter 7, p.512 states that:
The concentration of CO2 is now 379 parts per million (ppm)

"A stomatal frequency record based on buried Tsuga heterophylla needles reveals significant centennial-scale atmospheric CO2 fluctuations during the last millennium. The record includes four CO2 minima of 260275 ppmv (ca. A.D. 860 and A.D. 1150, and less prominently, ca. A.D. 1600 and 1800). Alternating CO2 maxima of 300-320 ppmv are present at A.D. 1000, A.D. 1300, and ca. A.D. 1700. These CO2 fluctuations parallel global terrestrial air temperature changes, as well as oceanic surface temperature fluctuations in the North Atlantic. The results obtained in this study corroborate the notion of a continuous coupling of the preindustrial atmospheric CO2 regime and climate."

Geology vol. 33, 2005

First issue is comparing pixie's to collected data there will never be a 100% reliability factor.

I don't see the lack of removal, a warmer higher co2 envrio
rubberman
4 / 5 (4) Mar 30, 2012
What is most concerning is the arctic, what the global rise doesn't take into account is how lopsided the increase is in the north.


There are very few thermometers in the arctic, so it is mostly a guessing game. GISS extrapolates warming from coastal regions into places without thermometers. Bogus.

And the arctic was just as warm in the 1920s.



No...it's not...regional similarities in temperature exist between the 20's and today, but as a whole the arctic is warmer today.

"A study published in the journal Science in September 2009 determined that temperatures in the Arctic are higher presently than they have been at any time in the previous 2,000 years".

Modernmystic
1 / 5 (3) Mar 30, 2012
"A study published in the journal Science in September 2009 determined that temperatures in the Arctic are higher presently than they have been at any time in the previous 2,000 years".


What instrumentation were they using before the 1800s to collect their data?
NotParker
1 / 5 (3) Mar 30, 2012
What instrumentation were they using before the 1800s to collect their data?


Yeah!

And what satellites were up in the 1920s?

"The huge warming of the Arctic that started in the early 1920s and lasted for almost two decades is one of the most spectacular climate events of the 20th century. During the peak period 1930-1940 the annually averaged temperature anomaly for the area 60N-90N amounted to some 1.7C"

"It is interesting to note that the ongoing present warming has just reached the peak value of the 1940s"
http://www.mpimet..._345.pdf
jet
not rated yet Mar 30, 2012
oops the last of my posting was cut.. my error ..

don't see the lack of removal, a warmer higher co2 environment will cause more plant growth thus sequestering more Carbon.

and proxy not pixie
rubberman
5 / 5 (3) Mar 30, 2012
Current CO2 level as per the NOAA:
http://co2now.org/

@MM and NP: Ice cores, lake sediments and tree rings for the 2000 year reconstruct.

https://www2.ucar...-cooling

NP, your link is from 2003...the massive single year drop in ice extent was in 2007. The article I referenced was from 2009.

@Jet: 232000 square miles of Rainforest removed between 1990 and 2000
http://ecological...ain.html

Boreal forest loss:
http://landsat.gs...167.html

" a warmer higher co2 environment will cause more plant growth thus sequestering more Carbon."

As a baseline statement this is accurate, provided the other conditions required for growth follow suit. Thus far we are still experiencing a net loss in planetary vegetation.
NotParker
1 / 5 (3) Mar 31, 2012
the massive single year drop in ice extent was in 2007.


And all is well again. The ice recovered after the 1940s too.

2012 at this date is running 1.5 million sq km MORE than 2007.

http://arctic-roo...area.png

"NSIDC data indicate that ice extent in the Bering Sea for most of this winter has been between 20 to 30 percent above the 1979 to 2000 average. "

http://earthobser...id=77461
Vendicar_Decarian
0.3 / 5 (35) Mar 31, 2012
There were virtually no thermometers in the arctic in the 1920's.

"And the arctic was just as warm in the 1920s." - ParkerTard
Vendicar_Decarian
0.3 / 5 (35) Mar 31, 2012
Ice extent is still 141,000 km**2 smaller than the historical norm.

http://arctic.atm...ctic.png

The ice pack is melting and breaking up, but spreading out as it does so.

https://sites.goo...rnd6.png
Vendicar_Decarian
0.3 / 5 (35) Mar 31, 2012
None. So we are all wondering where you get your assertion that the Arctic was as warm in the 20's as it is today.

"And what satellites were up in the 1920s?" - ParkerTard

Pulling non-facts out of your ass again ParkerTard?
Vendicar_Decarian
0.3 / 5 (35) Mar 31, 2012
From Parker Tard's own reference...

"Here, we have shown that this warming was associated and presumably initiated by a major increase in the westerly to south-westerly wind north of Norway leading to enhanced atmospheric and ocean heat transport from the comparatively warm North Atlantic Current"

How this applies to the Warming Globe I am not sure.

Perhaps Parker Tard thinks that the globe is warming because of a warm wind flowing over the earth that is coming from the Moon or Mars.
Vendicar_Decarian
0.3 / 5 (36) Mar 31, 2012
Yet back here in Reality land, both are pretty much right on the mark.

Things are apparently different on planet ConservaDopia.

"Thomas Malthus and his philosophical decedents such as Paul R. Ehrlich have been to date proved quite wrong." - Jet
Vendicar_Decarian
0.3 / 5 (35) Mar 31, 2012
"The ice recovered after the 1940s too." - ParkerTard

Due to the reduction of sulfate aerosol cooling as American and European smoke stacks were cleaned of their sulfur dioxide.
NotParker
1.8 / 5 (5) Mar 31, 2012
Ice extent is still 141,000 km**2 smaller than the historical norm.


Ice Area is above the satellite era average.

http://arctic-roo...area.png

Ice Extent is still slightly below. 1%.
NotParker
1 / 5 (4) Mar 31, 2012
"The ice recovered after the 1940s too." - ParkerTard

Due to the reduction of sulfate aerosol cooling as American and European smoke stacks were cleaned of their sulfur dioxide.


Reduction in cooling caused more ice?
Vendicar_Decarian
0.3 / 5 (36) Mar 31, 2012
Really? Why does the data tell a different story?

See link below.

"It is interesting to note that the ongoing present warming has just reached the peak value of the 1940s" - ParkerTard

http://www.arctic...e/a1.jpg

"The Arctic was just as warm in the 1920's" - Parker Tard.

No it wasn't. In the 1920's the average arctic temperature was -0.5'C.

Currently it is 2.0'C A change of 2.5'C

Why do you persist in lying Parker Tard? Do you really think you won't continue to get caught?

Vendicar_Decarian
0.3 / 5 (36) Mar 31, 2012
No Tard Boy... There was no 1940's recovery of ice area from a 1920's melt as you have dishonestly and repeatedly claimed.

"Reduction in cooling caused more ice?" - Parker Tard

http://www.rtcc.o...ig-1.gif

Do you intend to remain a congenital liar for the rest of your life, Tard Boy?

http://www.arctic...ere.html
http://www.rtcc.o...oup.html

NotParker
1 / 5 (3) Mar 31, 2012
""The huge warming of the Arctic that started in the early 1920s and lasted for almost two decades is one of the most spectacular climate events of the 20th century. During the peak period 1930-1940 the annually averaged temperature anomaly for the area 60N-90N amounted to some 1.7C""
Vendicar_Decarian
0.2 / 5 (36) Apr 01, 2012
Parker Tard's "Huge warming" started at a local temperature minimum of -1'C. Current temperatures are now 3'C warmer than that.

http://www.arctic...e/a1.jpg

"During the peak period 1930-1940 the annually averaged temperature anomaly for the area 60N-90N amounted to some 1.7C" - ParkerTard

In fact, ParkerTard has claimed that the 1920's arctic was as warm as today, when in fact it was a full 3'C colder than today.

He is a congenital liar.
jet
1 / 5 (1) Apr 01, 2012
http://www.wired...._pr.html

On the fallacy of "Thomas Malthus and his philosophical decedents such as Paul R. Ehrlich.
Vendicar_Decarian
0.3 / 5 (36) Apr 01, 2012
Your wired article is from 1994-2003 and Julean Simon is long dead.

So are his ideas, which didn't even survive as long as he did.

Only fools believe that the earth has infinite resources as Julian Simon did.

I can think of several high profile fools who did believe this.

Alan Greenspan - the Protege of Ayn Rand responsible for bring the U.S. to the brink of depression 4 years ago was one of them.

You see, when you live your life as a self-deluded Libertarian/Randite fool, you believe any kind of nonsense that supports your childish Libertarian/Randite ideology.

We have a gaggle of such fools posting here regularly.
NotParker
2.3 / 5 (6) Apr 01, 2012
Parker Tard's "Huge warming"


HADSST2 ocean temepratures

1910 -0.615
1941 0.136

Notice - Sea temperatures rose .751C from 1910 to 1941

1955 -0.307

Then they dropped .443C in just 14 years.

1969 0.055

Then up again

1975 -0.206

Then down again.

And as of Jan 2012, Sea temperatures are a miniscule .065C warmer than 1941.

http://www.cru.ue...t2gl.txt

Thats CRU data, the most evil pro-AGW group. And their data says all the warming happened from 1910 to the 1940s. Which is the last time the Arctic warmed. And it was massive warming. Just no satellites to notice.
Vendicar_Decarian
0.3 / 5 (36) Apr 01, 2012
http://www.woodfo.../mean:12

The Median ocean temperature anomaly was around -.1'C until approximately 1910 and since then it has increased to 0.4'C, a change of 0.5'C

Given the huge heat capacity of water compared to air, this represents an absolutely massive absorption of energy by the ocean, and is one reason why the observed surface warming of the earth is slow.

ParkerTard fixates on two cherry picked dates in order to lie about the amount of ocean warming.

Denialists are invariably liars.