Unexpected ocean cooling result found to be an error; 2nd warmest October on record

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 19. marraskuuta 2008 klo 15:16 (GMT)

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Since the publication in 2006 of the paper, Recent cooling of the upper ocean, climate scientists have been scratching their heads, trying to figure out why the upper layer of the ocean had cooled from 2004-2006. Since the oceans absorb more than 80% of the heat from global warming, we should expect to see the oceans heating up if the globe is warming. Climate skeptics pointed to the result as evidence that the planet was not warming after all, although surface and satellite measurements showed that the year 2005 was the warmest or second warmest year on record for the surface of the globe.

Now, the explanation for this apparent cooling of the oceans has been resolved--key measurements made by submersible robot buoys and that indicated the ocean was cooling were found to be in error. The new, corrected data show that no cooling of the oceans occurred in 2004-2006, in agreement with what the climate models were predicting. People often malign the accuracy of climate models, but sometimes they are more trustworthy than the data! The full story of the global ocean cooling mistake is presented in an excellent NASA article that I highly recommend reading. It gives a great picture of how science moves forward to correct mistakes.


Figure 1. Ocean temperature change from 2004 to 2006 originally showed drops of over 1.5° C in the Atlantic Ocean (top). The apparent large drop in temperature was due to bad data from buoys, and it disappeared when errors in these data sets were corrected (bottom). The remaining large swings in temperature visible in these maps are due to shifting positions of ocean currents. (Maps by Robert Simmon, based on data from Josh Willis and John Lyman.)

Second warmest October on record for the globe
The planet continues to stay extremely warm this year, though no record warm months have been recorded in 2008. October 2008 came the closest--it was the 2nd warmest October for the the globe on record, according to statistics released yesterday by the National Climatic Data Center. These statistics have been corrected for a widely reported error that was discovered earlier this month. Over land areas, October 2008 was the warmest October on record. The period January through October was the 9th warmest such period on record. Records extend back 129 years, to 1880. Much of the unusual warmth occurred over Asia, Australia, and Eastern Europe (Figure 2). According to the Australian Bureau of Meteorology, October 2008 was an exceptionally dry month in central and southeastern Australia, ranking as the driest October on record for South Australia, second driest for Tasmania, and third driest for Victoria.


Figure 2. Departure of temperature from average for October 2008. Image credit: National Climatic Data Center.

For the contiguous U.S., October was pretty ordinary. It was the 44th coolest and 51st driest October since 1895. October was the 7th wettest on record for the West North Central U.S. and the 17th driest for the Northwest U.S.

October 2008 Northern Hemisphere sea ice extent was the third lowest on record for the month of October, 34% below the mean from 1979-2000, according to the National Snow and Ice Data Center. This is 9.5% below the 1979-2000 average. The record October low was set in 2007.

There is neither a La Niña nor El Niño at present, and neutral conditions now prevail in the tropical Eastern Pacific. There is no indication that this will change in coming months, and most of the computer climate models forecast a continuation of neutral conditions over the next three months.

Portlight making keynote presentation at charity funding conference
The Portlight.org charity is making the keynote presenation at a funding conference hosted by a coalition of state and federal agencies which work in the area of post-disaster relief involving people with disabilities. The presentation is Thursday morning, November 20, at 9:15 am EST. You can follow the proceedings via the portlight webcam at stormjunkie.com. The webcam will also be running most of the day today as Stormjunkie and Presslord drive up to Atlanta for the conference, and host a Q and A session from their hotel room tonight. At the conference Thursday morning, they plan to discuss the Hurricane Ike relief efforts made possible by the Weather Underground community. Thanks for everyone's support for making all this possible!

I'll have a new blog post Thursday.

Jeff Masters

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316. CaicosRetiredSailor
20. marraskuuta 2008 klo 15:02 (GMT)
Quoting theshepherd:
mornin all
Hey dog, I've got a super video of a marlin tangled up in the Atwood submersible. Can't figure out how to post it from my desktop though.



The following video shows the whole incident...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bn22jvxfHOE

Added: November 12, 2008
Marlin stuck in off shore oil rig
A marlin gets stuck in the blow out prevention stack of a subsea oil rig.
The guy operation the ROV manages to get him out though
Member Since: 12.07.2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 5984
315. gelf
20. marraskuuta 2008 klo 14:56 (GMT)
Dr. Jeff,
Hate the multiple choice poles (as the one I'm seeing on the current page).
They are ridiculous.
ie.
"A 1959 Texas law states that the goverment may seize any home that is built between the low and high tide marks. Now that Hurricane Ike has eroded away huge amounts of beach, many people who built their homes close to the coast are in violation of the law. Do you believe these people should have their homes seized and be forced to live elsewhere?" Yes. No. Notsure.

I lived on the Gulf coast for 9 years. Yes the state may seize private property due to coastline proximity. They will do so based on a significant percentage of personal property storm dammage incurred. They should. The property becomes virtully useless. After all, you could rebuild the storm dammaged property but who would be stupid enough to protect the investment?
Homes constructed in unprotected coastline areas are built on "stilts". If the coastline erodes and you have to take a row to get to where your car is parked, the state could care less.
There are commercial properties in Galveston built on piers.

Popular opinion (and everybody has one...)poles generaly lack enough information to formulate logical conclusions.
They seem to be used most often as a propaganda tool.
edit, That is, To train us to make snap judgements based on emotion rather than to take the the difficult path of seeking truth.

PS: In hurricane seasons between 1973 and 1982 I heard Houston local news reporters state many times "New Orleans dodged another bullet...". What does that tell you concerning Katrina?

Why is the general public so willing to be mis-lead?
314. StormJunkie
20. marraskuuta 2008 klo 14:53 (GMT)
presslord to speak on disaster response and people with disabilities in 5 to 10 minutes...
Member Since: 17.08.2005 Posts: 26 Comments: 15472
313. streamtracker
20. marraskuuta 2008 klo 14:26 (GMT)
Quoting theshepherd:
310 stream
Mucho thanky, amigo
That nails it for me.
I guess you just can't beat the old fashion methods of sticking a thermometer in a bottle.
Panstackingly slow, but reliable.


One of the issues with all of these modern sampling techniques is that the data are available in real-time and the default is to put this data up in real-time. I think it would be better if they let the data age for a few months and during that interval errors would be caught before they are put up on the web. On the other hand this is only an issue because some folks think the provisional real-time data is the last word. It's not and error catching and fixing is a normal part of science. It doesn't mean the science is suspect, it means that it is progressing as it should.
Member Since: 24.10.2005 Posts: 12 Comments: 1730
312. theshepherd
20. marraskuuta 2008 klo 13:58 (GMT)
310 stream
Mucho thanky, amigo
That nails it for me.
I guess you just can't beat the old fashion methods of sticking a thermometer in a bottle.
Panstackingly slow, but reliable.
Member Since: 11.09.2008 Posts: 9 Comments: 10030
311. Bonedog
20. marraskuuta 2008 klo 13:53 (GMT)
!!!!!!!!!! NEW BLOG !!!!!!!!!!!
Member Since: 14.07.2005 Posts: 14 Comments: 7418
310. streamtracker
20. marraskuuta 2008 klo 13:39 (GMT)
Quoting theshepherd:

Thanks, but that doesn't answer my question.
What was wrong with the device?
What was the malfunction?


You'll find links to technical references at the link below.
(Source)The news this week though is that all of that 'cooling' was actually due to combination of a faulty pressure reading on a subset of the floats and a switch between differently-biased observing systems (Update: slight change in wording to better reflect the paper). The pressure error meant that the temperatures were being associated with a point higher in the ocean column than they should have been, and this (given that the ocean cools with depth) introduced a spurious cooling trend when compared to earlier data.
Member Since: 24.10.2005 Posts: 12 Comments: 1730
309. Bonedog
20. marraskuuta 2008 klo 13:38 (GMT)
thanks shep. it was tangled int he ROV for the rig!!



side view schematic

top view schematic
Member Since: 14.07.2005 Posts: 14 Comments: 7418
308. Bonedog
20. marraskuuta 2008 klo 13:34 (GMT)
just looked NWS showing a classic Miller B system for next tuesday. Might be just what the doctor ordered :)

Member Since: 14.07.2005 Posts: 14 Comments: 7418
307. theshepherd
20. marraskuuta 2008 klo 13:32 (GMT)
Hey dog.
Can't edit as well as I find fish.
Google the phrase, marlin attwood eagle.
Member Since: 11.09.2008 Posts: 9 Comments: 10030
306. Bonedog
20. marraskuuta 2008 klo 13:29 (GMT)
theshepherd you've got mail
Member Since: 14.07.2005 Posts: 14 Comments: 7418
305. theshepherd
20. marraskuuta 2008 klo 13:27 (GMT)
No dog, I don't. Came to me on windows media.
WU mail me your email add and I'll try to edit it to shorten it a bit and send you the capture and rescue scenes.
Member Since: 11.09.2008 Posts: 9 Comments: 10030
304. Bonedog
20. marraskuuta 2008 klo 13:21 (GMT)
shep do you have a link to a pic of the submersable. I googled it and all I got were a bunch of oil rigs
Member Since: 14.07.2005 Posts: 14 Comments: 7418
303. theshepherd
20. marraskuuta 2008 klo 13:21 (GMT)
302
Dr Masters confirmed Russian data was legit. Good enough for me.
Skyepony sold me on the tossing out of the XBT too warm data.
Now my only question is the tossing out of the Argo Float too cool data.
Member Since: 11.09.2008 Posts: 9 Comments: 10030
302. natureobs
20. marraskuuta 2008 klo 13:12 (GMT)
Hi, just a lowly lurker here, with some comment on GW....

I have no problem with someone saying that GW is occuring. I have a BIG problem with the CONCLUSION that it's bad and needs to be fixed. Google "little climate optimum" with the quotation marks. Read the boring scientific studies and come to your own conclusions.

A few years ago, a team of scientists from Boston made a $10,000 bet with a team of scientists in Russia. The Russians believe GW is due to sun spot activity, which should begin to decrease around the year 2016. The Boston team of course believes GW is due to greenhouse gases.

It's one thing to state a fact, it's another to present a conclusion as fact. It's like saying that hurricanes are "bad." Yeah, they are bad if you live in a glass house on the shoreline of a hurricane prone area. But from the point of view of the Earth, it may actualy be "good."

I read an article (sorry, can't remember cite) that said the NASA error was caused by reporting the temps from Aug. as being the temps for Sept. and Oct.
Member Since: 25.08.2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 19
301. MissNadia
20. marraskuuta 2008 klo 13:12 (GMT)
Quoting theshepherd:
292
It's a big star wars looking thingy they use to explore the ocean depths.

Thanks...all the submersibles I have seen just look small subs! Thanks again
Member Since: 27.07.2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 2870
300. RTLSNK
20. marraskuuta 2008 klo 13:11 (GMT)
Macon Ga hit 30*F this morning at 0200, back up to 36 now, rec low was 19 in 1914, and rec high was 81 in 1991, bet that was an odd Nov.
Member Since: 3.09.2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 19515
299. Bonedog
20. marraskuuta 2008 klo 13:09 (GMT)
sounds good surfmom. we have alot of good winter weather bloggers here and on their respective blogs.

I feel winter storms are a little easier to forecast and track then tropical ones BUT figuring out when and where is alot more tricky. Gets real sciencey when it comes to forecasting snow/rain lines and related profiles.
Member Since: 14.07.2005 Posts: 14 Comments: 7418
298. theshepherd
20. marraskuuta 2008 klo 13:08 (GMT)
292
It's a big star wars looking thingy they use to explore the ocean depths.
Member Since: 11.09.2008 Posts: 9 Comments: 10030
297. conchygirl
20. marraskuuta 2008 klo 13:07 (GMT)
Quoting surfmom:
Morning Conchy!!! -- Tried to get out and run b/4 the house woke this AM -- but the cold was too much ... gotta warm up the muscle groups first -- going in just a bit and I'm running against traffic LOL
Morning Bone and Surfmom - agree too cold to run early - I'll go after work, but at 6 pm starting to cool again but I so prefer it to the heat and definitely against traffic.
Member Since: 11.06.2008 Posts: 24 Comments: 5910
296. surfmom
20. marraskuuta 2008 klo 13:05 (GMT)
Morning Conchy!!! -- Tried to get out and run b/4 the house woke this AM -- but the cold was too much ... gotta warm up the muscle groups first -- going in just a bit and I'm running against traffic LOL
Member Since: 18.07.2007 Posts: 30 Comments: 26536
295. Bonedog
20. marraskuuta 2008 klo 13:04 (GMT)
morning conchy.

sounds awsome shep. I dont know how to post video either so Im no help LOL.

Member Since: 14.07.2005 Posts: 14 Comments: 7418
294. surfmom
20. marraskuuta 2008 klo 13:03 (GMT)
When I was growing up was too clueless about weather to ever hear the word -- last year I didn't really check in here that much in the fall/winter -- now with the new surfboard, I can get more coldfront waves... & I'm even more curious about the "workings of weather" not just 'canes --plus well, guess I enjoy the company.....
Member Since: 18.07.2007 Posts: 30 Comments: 26536
293. conchygirl
20. marraskuuta 2008 klo 13:02 (GMT)
Morning All - A beautiful 40 degrees here in Melbourne when I left for work. Hope we have a peaceful day on the blog - work calls today so will be lurking most of the day!
Member Since: 11.06.2008 Posts: 24 Comments: 5910
292. MissNadia
20. marraskuuta 2008 klo 13:01 (GMT)
Quoting theshepherd:
mornin all
Hey dog, I've got a super video of a marlin tangled up in the Atwood submersible. Can't figure out how to post it from my desktop though.

What is an Atwood Submersible? ...have never seen one...thanks.
Member Since: 27.07.2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 2870
291. theshepherd
20. marraskuuta 2008 klo 12:57 (GMT)
mornin all
Hey dog, I've got a super video of a marlin tangled up in the Atwood submersible. Can't figure out how to post it from my desktop though.
Member Since: 11.09.2008 Posts: 9 Comments: 10030
290. Bonedog
20. marraskuuta 2008 klo 12:49 (GMT)
... Record low temperature tied at Kennedy NY...

A record low temperature of 27 degrees was tied at Kennedy NY at 659
am (lst) today. This ties the old record of 27 set in 1997.
Member Since: 14.07.2005 Posts: 14 Comments: 7418
289. Bonedog
20. marraskuuta 2008 klo 12:48 (GMT)
25 °F
Overcast
Windchill: 25 °F
Humidity: 82%
Dew Point: 19 °F
Wind: Calm

snow shower has stoped just cloudy now.
Member Since: 14.07.2005 Posts: 14 Comments: 7418
288. Bonedog
20. marraskuuta 2008 klo 12:46 (GMT)
no problem surfmom. I know the visuals help :)

It is a term us northerners are used to hearing. I swear the news guys say it every other day LOL

Member Since: 14.07.2005 Posts: 14 Comments: 7418
287. theshepherd
20. marraskuuta 2008 klo 12:44 (GMT)
33F
88%
winds calm
ears cold
Member Since: 11.09.2008 Posts: 9 Comments: 10030
286. surfmom
20. marraskuuta 2008 klo 12:41 (GMT)
Going through the coffee like water this morning --- Love my "jackmeup" juice first thing in the AM....seems especially good with Chilly weather outside.....
Member Since: 18.07.2007 Posts: 30 Comments: 26536
285. surfmom
20. marraskuuta 2008 klo 12:40 (GMT)
Thanks Guys, I got my "factoid" for the day -- appreciate the visual Bonedog - best way for me to "get it"
Member Since: 18.07.2007 Posts: 30 Comments: 26536
284. StormJunkie
20. marraskuuta 2008 klo 12:18 (GMT)
Morning all

Portlight presentation at 9:15 EST. Hope y'all will join in.
Member Since: 17.08.2005 Posts: 26 Comments: 15472
283. RTLSNK
20. marraskuuta 2008 klo 12:13 (GMT)


Have been trying to get this photo to download since 0630 hrs, worked fine when my geek Son-In-Law showed me how to do it yesterday, must have forgotten one of the steps! LOL
Member Since: 3.09.2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 19515
282. Bonedog
20. marraskuuta 2008 klo 11:57 (GMT)
morning MissNadia


surfmom a cliper is usually a Low pressure system moving out of Alberta Canada and "clipping" the Northern States. Sometimes they drop low enough into the US to cause a secondary low to form off the coast and cause a Nor'Easter.

For the MidAtlantic north twords New England Alberta Clippers usually cause a nice snowfall but if they drop low enough they can cause a headache for the I-95 corridor.



Member Since: 14.07.2005 Posts: 14 Comments: 7418
281. sullivanweather
20. marraskuuta 2008 klo 11:49 (GMT)
Good morning!

It's 19°F here and snowing lightly in the Great White North...lol
Member Since: 8.03.2007 Posts: 273 Comments: 12612
280. sullivanweather
20. marraskuuta 2008 klo 11:46 (GMT)
It's a fast moving northern stream disturbance that we typically see during the winter.

Also called Saskatchewan screamers, they usually deliver a solid 2-6" snowfall to the north of the surface low track. Sometimes they slow down upon reaching the coast, forming Miller type-B nor'easters.
Member Since: 8.03.2007 Posts: 273 Comments: 12612
279. MissNadia
20. marraskuuta 2008 klo 11:46 (GMT)
Good Morning..Bone..Sulli and Mom
36F with clear skies and no wind here in "The Old North State"
Member Since: 27.07.2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 2870
277. surfmom
20. marraskuuta 2008 klo 11:42 (GMT)
Morning vocab word pls - What is a "clipper?"
Member Since: 18.07.2007 Posts: 30 Comments: 26536
276. sullivanweather
20. marraskuuta 2008 klo 11:42 (GMT)
Two down, one BIG one to go, Christmas...

I'm hoping for the big three in the year, Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas to be white. A good ol' fashioned arctic holiday season...lol
Member Since: 8.03.2007 Posts: 273 Comments: 12612
275. Bonedog
20. marraskuuta 2008 klo 11:42 (GMT)
Morning surfmom. Hope your keeping warm. Yea it is amazing how certain folks need the cold just as others need the warmth.

Amazing to hear how cold it is getting in SRQ even before Thanksgiving, usually here about those temps in January or at least late December.
Member Since: 14.07.2005 Posts: 14 Comments: 7418
274. Bonedog
20. marraskuuta 2008 klo 11:39 (GMT)
yea sulli I was just looking at the models looks like tuesday is the day. From what I noticed appears to be an Alberta Clipper that generates a secondary Low off Delmarva and tracks Northward. We stay on the cold side and QPF readings are decent for a few inches. Hopefully we have the two-fer =)
Member Since: 14.07.2005 Posts: 14 Comments: 7418
273. surfmom
20. marraskuuta 2008 klo 11:29 (GMT)
Good Morning!!! 45 degrees in SWFL & and they call this the tropics???? Somehow I just want to mainline my coffee - mea culpa - I turned the heat on for just an hour -- can't walk around with the cat wrapped around my neck as a body warmer.

It has been interesting to see how some of us humans thrive on the chilly weather, suffer the heat and then there are others who are suffering and groaning w/these cold temps & thrive in the heat. The beauty of Diversity
Member Since: 18.07.2007 Posts: 30 Comments: 26536
272. sullivanweather
20. marraskuuta 2008 klo 11:29 (GMT)
Good morning, Bone!

It's certainly looking like someone is going to get clocked!
Member Since: 8.03.2007 Posts: 273 Comments: 12612
271. Bonedog
20. marraskuuta 2008 klo 11:23 (GMT)
Morning Folks.

25 here in NJ calm winds some snow showers.

Glad to hear sulli talking about possible 2 for 2 =) would love a good snow. These showers just aint cutting it for me.
Member Since: 14.07.2005 Posts: 14 Comments: 7418
270. BahaHurican
20. marraskuuta 2008 klo 11:00 (GMT)
Nassau, BS (Airport)
Updated: 2 sec ago
68 °F / 20 °C
Scattered Clouds
Humidity: 60%
Dew Point: 54 °F / 12 °C
Pressure: 30.09 in / 1019 hPa (Steady)

Pretty cool evening / early morning. (as a point of reference, a day with a 68 degree high is like, DEPTH of winter here . . . .lol)

I'm gone for the day. If I get a chance, I'll check in this afternoon. However, since the tropics seems so quiet (at last!) I may only skim and not post. Have a great one, everybody!

Member Since: 25.10.2005 Posts: 19 Comments: 20729
269. BahaHurican
20. marraskuuta 2008 klo 10:45 (GMT)
Quoting futuremet:
cold here in fl
Here too. I'm actually thinking about wearing a cap this morning. I may actually need my winter clothes this weekend.
Member Since: 25.10.2005 Posts: 19 Comments: 20729
268. sullivanweather
20. marraskuuta 2008 klo 10:44 (GMT)
Potential nor'easter next week. All the city folks heading north into the mountains for the holiday, be prepared! Having a good set of snow tires would be a good start.
Member Since: 8.03.2007 Posts: 273 Comments: 12612
267. BahaHurican
20. marraskuuta 2008 klo 10:36 (GMT)
Morning everybody.

Interesting to see the GW debate "heating up" again. . . . lol

I do want to say that the US is about the only country of any size (aside from maybe China?) where there's still a debate as to whether there actually is GW going on. . . . most of the rest of the world that's discussing it has moved on to causes, potential effects, and what adjustments need to be made to cope.
Member Since: 25.10.2005 Posts: 19 Comments: 20729
266. futuremet
20. marraskuuta 2008 klo 10:17 (GMT)
cold here in fl
Member Since: 19.07.2008 Posts: 43 Comments: 4051

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About JeffMasters

Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.

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