2011-09-17 11:50:57Pielke and 'in the pipeline' or 'delayed' warming
grypo

gryposaurus@gmail...
173.69.6.13

This is a chat to hopefully develope a good rebut to his "NO" delayed heating.  It could be formed into a really good post and a good paper for all you scientists out there because I do not believe this talking point has been dealt with directly in the peer-reviewed literature.  It comes from one of his responses to us quoting one of our posts

A large amount of warming is delayed, and if we don’t act now we could pass tipping points

His response was

However, there is NO delayed warming when we measure in units of heat (Joules).

He sites a paper but his logic is outlined here, on his weblog, which stems from a guest post that he hosted here

 

I do not have the technical chops to attack this, but Pielke looks to be very wrong here, just taking in the logic and his idea that Hansen has the physics wrong.  Here's the Hansen paper I believe that spells it out the best.  I've seen skeptics use this line of reasoning a few times, never actually taking into account either deep ocean heat, or more importantly, the forcing imbalance from already emitted CO2.  

 

I'm hoping someone picks this up at some point.

 

This is extremely important for policy makers to realize.  Pielke seems to want to make this go away by using OHC simple models.  This along with the knowledge that CO2 accumulates and the total is irreversable seems to be the least known important aspect of the public debate.

 

2011-09-18 03:17:16
Dikran Marsupial
Gavin Cawley
gcc@cmp.uea.ac...
139.222.14.107

Prof. Pielke says: "The basic issue is whether the term “heating in the pipeline” refers to heat that is sequestered for a period of time deeper in the ocean only to reappear later in the atmosphere, or if it refers to a continuing assumed radiative imbalance until the atmosphere warms."

I don't think it actually means either of those things, unless you introduce negative heat.  AFAIU the issue is thermal inertial of the oceans.  If CO2 levels stay at the current levels, the full warming at the surface won't be realised until the air is in thermal equilibrium with the oceans and there is TOA radiative balance.

It isn't heat that is sequestered in the oceans, it is cold!

2011-09-18 03:33:45
grypo

gryposaurus@gmail...
173.69.6.13

Exactly.  The delayed heating is a result of the difference between 2 levels of atmospheric CO2 (eg 270 - 390ppm).  As long as that "forcing" imbalance remains, so will the energy imbalance, which will continue atmospheric and ocean "heating" until the Earth goes back into equilibrium.  I believe this mis-step in logic is a big deal.  Since, CO2 level is essentially irreversible at this stage in our technological advancement, this stuff should be known by all.

 

2011-09-18 04:01:07
Rob Honeycutt

robhon@mac...
98.207.62.223

I'm no expert but it would seem to me that when Pielke is talking about the upper 700m data he is still left with a potentially large element of thermal inertia.  Yes, if we had a full accounting of the temps of all the oceans we would likely have a full current picture of the heat energy on the planet.  But, as far as I can see, looking at the upper 700m is not that much better than satellite measurements being that satellite measurements can be much more detailed.  Though Pielke would obviously say otherwise. 

2011-09-18 04:29:13
grypo

gryposaurus@gmail...
173.69.6.13

Yes, to get an idea of what is being done, think of the "unrealized" warming as not existing yet.  But because of the forcing and energy imbalance, it will, unquestionably.  It's not in the ocean, atmosphere, or anywhere else.  But does that matter to people or policy makers?  No.  Does it matter to people with kids?  No.  The only thing that matters is that it WILL exist.  I think Pielke's line:

However, there is NO delayed warming when we measure in units of heat (Joules).

is flatly wrong, and, technically, is only important to people like Trenberth, scientist trying to measure the current energy budget.  It doesn't matter what you try to measure it with, it doesn't actually exist anywhere yet, except in potential. That IS important to the species.  I believe this is purposeful misdirection by Pielke.

2011-09-18 07:10:33
Rob Painting
Rob
paintingskeri@vodafone.co...
118.92.60.46

Grypo - the ocean 'cool skin' layer thermal gradient is immediately lowered with greenhouse gas forcing, and because CO2 persists for millenia so too will ocean warming. I've got a post on this topic completed, but I have been trying to create an animation to demonstrate the mechanism.

Of course, currently, we don't have a good handle on how heat finds its way down to the depths, much of it occurs in sub-tropical oceanic gyres, and the deep ocean is ventilated by the thermohaline circulation itself powered principally by the Antarctioc Circumpolar Current.

In light of that, the claim by Pielke is meaningless, in fact this has been pointed out to Pielke on his blog, by Josh Willis no less. 

2011-09-18 07:43:37
grypo

gryposaurus@gmail...
173.69.6.13

Thanks.  I've also taken a look at RC's post on the subject.

 

SO, in a sense, the only real argument against the "pipeline" heat is that the timeline in which we will experience it (for policy purposes), is very uncertain because of our inability to model how heat moves through the deep ocean (ie decades v centuries).  Is there another way in which we deduce that timeline logically through other means?  What is the consensus on that timeline?

2011-09-18 07:58:43
Rob Painting
Rob
paintingskeri@vodafone.co...
118.92.60.46

Grypo, I've been in e-mail contact with Prof Minnett, who wrote the Real Climate post here. He's given me the okay to use the graphic and text. He says he hasn't looked at this specific issue for a while, but has an undergrad who is picking up the reins.

As for studies on the timing "pipeline" delay - still working on that. I'm going to write a post on this, unless you wish to. 

2011-09-18 08:00:30
grypo

gryposaurus@gmail...
173.69.6.13

No, you go ahead.  I just wanted to get the idea on the burner while Pielke was pushing it again.