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  • F X
  • The one and only
Longwave oceanic heating
 Of course a topic on winter turned into the never ending global warming battle.
The problem is penetration depth and temperature gradients.  Water is effectively opaque at CO2 IR emission band frequencies and penetration depth is a few μm only.  The energy then is being deposited in a very thin skin where evaporation is the dominant thermal driver and the additional energy from downwelling radiation is carried into the atmosphere as latent heat of vapourisation.  In addition there exists a sea surface temperature gradient such that the top approximately 1 mm skin is cooler than the bulk below.



Where (a) is night and (b) daytime temperatures.

It isn't thermodynamically possible for a cooler surface layer to heat a warmer subsurface bulk via. radiation, conduction, convection or mechanical mixing.  Note that all of the downwelling IR energy is being deposited in the first few microns of that cooler surfaace layer whereas shortwave solar heating is what is driving the increased bulk ocean temperatures below during daylight hours.

This paper for which I only have the abstract confirms the cool ocean skin effect and here it is being used to demostrate a mechanism for enhanced CO2 uptake in the oceans.  As so often in modern climate science where everything is about the single parameter of carbon dioxide it simultaneously topedoes any chance of downwelling IR ocean heating.

I found a paper posted on Judith Curry's blog which attempts to make an extremely tortuous case for IR oceanic heating.  You perhaps will discount this paper out of hand since it features on a heretical blog but from my perspective it fails owing to the rueful admission

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The problem is that we don't know how the air above the ocean changes when we go from no forcing to forcing. Two extreme cases have been considered: (i) the air does not change as the ocean warms, and (ii) the air temperature above the ocean tracks the ocean surface temperature and the relative humidity remains constant as the air temperature rises. Unfortunately, the calculation turns out to be extremely sensitive to this assumption, and as a result it is impossible to make accurate quantitative estimates of ocean warming without much better data on the changes that occur in the air above the oceans.

All of which is why I say there is no consistent hypothesis for a longwave oceanic heating mechanism, let alone any supporting data.
It's not my area of study, but it's interesting.  It seems warmists think the oceans have warmed due to CO2 forcing.
"If you pick up a starving dog and make him prosperous he will not bite you. This is the principal difference between a dog and man."
― Mark Twain 🔭

Re: Longwave oceanic heating
Reply #1
It has relevance to your winter thread.  Tenuous but that is the direction it was pushed in owing to the seemingly endlessly magical properties of trace carbon dioxide to do literally anything and everything.  In this instance the argument was being made that increased NH snowfall was resulting from increased ocean temperatures which were supposedly in turn being heated by - yes you guessed - carbon dioxide.

  • F X
  • The one and only
Re: Longwave oceanic heating
Reply #2
The oceans control the atmosphere - not the other way around.
On a large scale long timeline, that is mostly true, but it certainly isn't true for practical purposes.  The two are a combined system that interact and influence each other.  In sometimes unexpected ways.
"If you pick up a starving dog and make him prosperous he will not bite you. This is the principal difference between a dog and man."
― Mark Twain 🔭

  • F X
  • The one and only
Re: Longwave oceanic heating
Reply #3
But it is certain that it is not radiation (IR) that heats the ocean, except at the surface layer.  Water absorbs so much IR that it just isn't going to happen.  On a cloudy day the warming of the ocean is very weak from the air itself. And since warm water rises, there is almost no warming of the deeper ocean from a warm atmosphere, no matter how warm it is.  Warm water simply does not descend. 

If you grew up on an ocean (which I did), you know damn well if the water is cold, no matter how hot the air gets, if it isn't sunny, the water will stay cold.
"If you pick up a starving dog and make him prosperous he will not bite you. This is the principal difference between a dog and man."
― Mark Twain 🔭

Re: Longwave oceanic heating
Reply #4
The oceans control the atmosphere - not the other way around.
On a large scale long timeline, that is mostly true, but it certainly isn't true for practical purposes.  The two are a combined system that interact and influence each other.  In sometimes unexpected ways.


Disagree.  The oceans massively dominate on any timescale.  Which is why ENSO has profound effects on the atmosphere but a continental heatwave has virtually no effect on the ocean.  There certainly are unexpected interactions in the deeply non-linear dynamical system but the overwhelming driver is the ocean.  It has to be that way since the ocean has thermal inertia which dwarfs that of the atmosphere.  If you tie a balloon to your bicycle you don't expect your bike to be dragged around by the balloon do you?

  • F X
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Re: Longwave oceanic heating
Reply #5
The oceans massively dominate on any timescale.  Which is why ENSO has profound effects on the atmosphere but a continental heatwave has virtually no effect on the ocean. 
ENSO is most likely caused by the atmosphere.  Check and mate
"If you pick up a starving dog and make him prosperous he will not bite you. This is the principal difference between a dog and man."
― Mark Twain 🔭

  • F X
  • The one and only
Re: Longwave oceanic heating
Reply #6
Both the Antarctic and Greenland cores show a profound cooling called the LIA, which other proxies confirm.  Globally the temperatures were lower, with glacier and ice cap growth reflecting this.  Did the oceans cause this?  Or the atmosphere? Of course not.

The likely cause of climate change is the sun, and volcanoes. While the exact reasons for changes are still disputed (and that is a huge understatement) nobody has put forth a recent theory that the oceans "control" the worlds climates.  There was a theory that the ice ages (global climate change) are actually caused by the worlds ocean, (through the arctic ocean), but it was discredited and most people don't even know about this.

I don't know, and most probably can't currently know if the ocean is the driver of global climate change.  While the PDO certainly influences climate, the cause of the PDO would actually be the cause of the climate change.  Since chages in the general circulation seem to be the cause of the PDO, what is causing the cycle?

The real question is what influence mankind is having on top of the natural cycles. 

"If you pick up a starving dog and make him prosperous he will not bite you. This is the principal difference between a dog and man."
― Mark Twain 🔭

  • SR-71
  • Schmewbie
Re: Longwave oceanic heating
Reply #7
Care to argue the point with Uncle Willis?

https://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/08/15/radiating-the-ocean/

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Without the heating from the DLR, there's not enough heating to explain the current liquid state of the ocean. The DLR is about two-thirds of the total downwelling radiation (solar plus DLR). Given the known heat losses of the ocean, it would be an ice-cube if it weren't being warmed by the DLR. We know the radiative losses of the ocean, which depend only on its temperature, and are about 390 w/m2. In addition there are losses of sensible heat (~ 30 w/m2) and evaporative losses (~ 70 w/m2). That's a total loss of 390 + 30 + 70 = 490 w/m2.

But the average solar input to the surface is only about 170 watts/square metre.

So if the DLR isn't heating the ocean, with heat gains of only the solar 170 w/m2 and losses of 390 w/m2 ... then why isn't the ocean an ice-cube?

Note that each of these arguments against the idea that DLR can't warm the ocean stands on its own. None of them depends on any of the others to be valid. So if you still think DLR can't warm the ocean, you have to refute not one, but all four of those arguments.

Look, folks, there's lot's of good, valid scientific objections against the AGW claims, but the idea that DLR can't heat the ocean is nonsense. Go buy an infrared lamp, put it over a pan of water, and see what happens. It only hurts the general skeptical arguments when people believe and espouse impossible things ...


He says it's a thing.


  • F X
  • The one and only
Re: Longwave oceanic heating
Reply #8
Care to argue the point with Uncle Willis?
Argue what?




"If you pick up a starving dog and make him prosperous he will not bite you. This is the principal difference between a dog and man."
― Mark Twain 🔭

  • SR-71
  • Schmewbie
Re: Longwave oceanic heating
Reply #9
First it's the eyes that go, then the hearing...

Re: Longwave oceanic heating
Reply #10
Lol so you accept everything else that Willis says do you?  You're quoting someone who says the entirety of AGW is a giant scam - in support of your anthropogenic oceanic warming argument?  Willis is an egotistical amateur scientist who doesn't really have a clue.  Having read one or two of his goofy articles I certainly won't be wasting any more time on them.  In short, he's an idiot.

  • F X
  • The one and only
Re: Longwave oceanic heating
Reply #11
Liquid water is very good at stopping IR, but water vapor is even better.  In fact, the water vapor above the ocean absorbs far more IR than the ocean does.
"If you pick up a starving dog and make him prosperous he will not bite you. This is the principal difference between a dog and man."
― Mark Twain 🔭

  • F X
  • The one and only
Re: Longwave oceanic heating
Reply #12
Quote
Greenhouse gases, such as carbon dioxide, trap heat in the atmosphere and direct part of this back toward the surface. This heat cannot penetrate into the ocean itself, but it does warm the cool skin layer, and the level of this warming ultimately controls the temperature gradient in the layer.
https://www.skepticalscience.com/How-Increasing-Carbon-Dioxide-Heats-The-Ocean.html
"If you pick up a starving dog and make him prosperous he will not bite you. This is the principal difference between a dog and man."
― Mark Twain 🔭

  • F X
  • The one and only
Re: Longwave oceanic heating
Reply #13
I wonder in what magical Universe the thin boundary layer actually exists.

Oh right, in a perfectly calm ocean with no wind or any other disturbance of the water.
"If you pick up a starving dog and make him prosperous he will not bite you. This is the principal difference between a dog and man."
― Mark Twain 🔭

Re: Longwave oceanic heating
Reply #14
Liquid water is very good at stopping IR, but water vapor is even better.

Why on earth would you say that?  Liquid water stops all of it within a few microns.

  • SR-71
  • Schmewbie
Re: Longwave oceanic heating
Reply #15
Lol so you accept everything else that Willis says do you? (1)  You're quoting someone who says the entirety of AGW is a giant scam - in support of your anthropogenic oceanic warming argument? (2) Willis is an egotistical amateur scientist who doesn't really have a clue. (3) Having read one or two of his goofy articles I certainly won't be wasting any more time on them.  In short, he's an idiot. 

(1) Not even close.  (2) Partly just to gauge your reaction.  (3) I don't blame you.

I don't really buy the impermeable to DLR skin effect, though.  Strictly speaking, yes, LWR is filtered out in the skin.  Pretty sure that the simple answer is that warmer air is going to choke off net out/net in heat transfer from ocean to atmosphere, though.  The warmer air is from increased GHG.  This is going to cause accumulation of energy in the ocean.  Yes, there is a lot of thermal inertia in all that water, but the oceans are warming measurably, and the sun isn't shining any more intensely than usual.  Cue Willie "The Cosmic Ray" Soon, anyone? 

  • SR-71
  • Schmewbie
Re: Longwave oceanic heating
Reply #16
Liquid water is very good at stopping IR, but water vapor is even better.  In fact, the water vapor above the ocean absorbs far more IR than the ocean does.

Vapor or liquid absorption case, what happens to the LW energy when it gets "stopped"?

  • SR-71
  • Schmewbie
Re: Longwave oceanic heating
Reply #17
I wonder in what magical Universe the thin boundary layer actually exists.

Oh right, in a perfectly calm ocean with no wind or any other disturbance of the water.

Right? What happens when conditions are such that vapor pressure restricts or prohibits evaporation? 

Re: Longwave oceanic heating
Reply #18
Lol so you accept everything else that Willis says do you? (1)  You're quoting someone who says the entirety of AGW is a giant scam - in support of your anthropogenic oceanic warming argument? (2) Willis is an egotistical amateur scientist who doesn't really have a clue. (3) Having read one or two of his goofy articles I certainly won't be wasting any more time on them.  In short, he's an idiot. 

(1) Not even close.  (2) Partly just to gauge your reaction.  (3) I don't blame you.

I don't really buy the impermeable to DLR skin effect, though.  Strictly speaking, yes, LWR is filtered out in the skin.

Yes, strictly speaking the micron thin DLR barrier is a basic fact about radiation interactions with condensed matter supported by long established solid theory and observation.  There's nothing to buy or otherwise so I assume what you mean is there are other mechanisms for oceanic capture of heat energy originating with DLR.

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Pretty sure that the simple answer is that warmer air is going to choke off net out/net in heat transfer from ocean to atmosphere, though.  The warmer air is from increased GHG.  This is going to cause accumulation of energy in the ocean.

Absolutely not.  The oceans are mostly warmer than the air and for very obvious reasons.  I'm guessing that you would accept that the majority of planetary surface heating arrives via. shortwave radiation from the sun?  It is trivially true that most of the incident shortwave passes straight through the atmosphere with some scattering but little overall attenuation.  Which is why on a clear summer day it will fry your retinas and roast the flesh from your bones at the planet surface.  It is also trivially true that most of that radiation incident on the oceans is completely absorbed over the approximately hundred meters of penetration depth.

The atmosphere is then heated by ULR as a secondary effect but note that this atmospheric heating is overwhelmingly caused by water vapour which is three orders of magnitude higher percentage atmospheric composition than CO2 and particularly so over the oceans which account for 70% of the planetary surface.  Moreover water vapour is a significantly more IR active gas than is carbon dioxide.  In fact there exists a boundary layer at the ocean surface which is saturated with water vapour and it is the gradient to higher unsaturated levels which drives evaporation.

How then are you proposing to heat the massive high heat capacity warm ocean with ephemeral low heat capacity colder wet air?  Wouldn't it make more sense to think that in fact the ocean by and large controls the temperature of the atmosphere rather than the other way around?  Once you break free of the carbon dioxide religion all manner of things become accessible to rational thought.

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Yes, there is a lot of thermal inertia in all that water, but the oceans are warming measurably, and the sun isn't shining any more intensely than usual.  Cue Willie "The Cosmic Ray" Soon, anyone? 

I already alluded to the great oceanic cycles as the mediators of oceanic temperatures.  Here's the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO)



And here's the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation (AMO)



Note that both of them are currently in their warm phases.  Now these are well observed phenomena and although there is debate about the driving factors there is no doubt that they physically exist.  So as a first guess I'm going to go with oceanic cycles as the cause of observed recent oceanic warming rather than minute shifts in atmospheric trace compounds for which I can generate no sensible hypothesis as to how they might even in principle be causing the vast oceans to heat and over such very short time scales.

  • SR-71
  • Schmewbie
Re: Longwave oceanic heating
Reply #19
"How then are you proposing to heat the massive high heat capacity warm ocean with ephemeral low heat capacity colder wet air?"

Not heat.  Restrict thermal exchange.  Yes, net exchange is ocean to atmosphere.  If the atmosphere warms, the transfer from ocean to atmosphere slows down.  The greater the difference, the greater the exchange.  The less the difference, the less the exchange. 

As to which heats which, without the atmosphere the oceans would quickly freeze.  More specifically, with the trace GHG's removed, but leaving the non IR absorbent N2 and O2 in place, the oceans would still freeze.  Increasing the proportions of trace GHG increases the temperature of the total (open) system. 

You're getting lost in the minutiea of the magic boundary layer.

  • SR-71
  • Schmewbie
Re: Longwave oceanic heating
Reply #20
PS yes there are MDO's but they are not adding heat to the system, how could they?  They are the result of heat transfer, not the source.  They are just normal cycles.  They may be amplified by the AGW, though. 

Re: Longwave oceanic heating
Reply #21
"How then are you proposing to heat the massive high heat capacity warm ocean with ephemeral low heat capacity colder wet air?"

Not heat.  Restrict thermal exchange.  Yes, net exchange is ocean to atmosphere.  If the atmosphere warms, the transfer from ocean to atmosphere slows down.  The greater the difference, the greater the exchange.  The less the difference, the less the exchange.

Wtf do you mean - not heat?  You are proposing a temperature increase of the ocean.  Here is the equation for temperature increase

Q = M.Cv. ΔT

Where Q is the heat in Joules
M is the mass in Kg
Cv is the specific heat at constant volume in Joules/Kg Kelvin
ΔT is the temperature change in Kelvins

Without a Q there is no ΔT.  You cannot increase the temperature of something by insulating it.  I don't care if you slow down the rate of heat loss but you cannot heat it.  Propose a mechanism for Q.

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As to which heats which

Again wtf?  You just said above that it is the ocean which heats the atmosphere - which is correct - and now you're dissembling.

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without the atmosphere the oceans would quickly freeze.

Yes, and so ...

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More specifically, with the trace GHG's removed, but leaving the non IR absorbent N2 and O2 in place, the oceans would still freeze.  Increasing the proportions of trace GHG increases the temperature of the total (open) system.

No ffs how many times do I have to tell you - water vapour is the overwhelming GHG in the atmosphere.  You just talked about IR active trace compounds and the major non IR active atmospheric components whilst totally omitting the overwhelmingly major IR active component of water vapour.  All that tells me is that you are in some weird form of denial.  This is a water planet and the water cycle dominates.  Trace carbon dioxide does the thermal square root of fuck all and this is clearly demonstrated in all of the ice core data where carbon dioxide lags temperature.

Look, have a think, it seems to me that you have in mind that co2 exerts some dramatic atmospheric heating effect but a little thought should tell you that it isn't so.  That there is indeed a DLR effect is not in doubt and I've measured it roughly at my location with an optical pyrometer.  What I measured though is mostly from water vapour and you can know this from two common observations.

In any place on the Earth's surface which is in a high humidity area such as the tropics the air stays warm after sunset.  In a desert area on the other hand with low humidity, after sunset temperatures drop rapidly.  Since carbon dioxide is well mixed in the atmosphere what this tells us is that DLR is indeed largely from water vapour.  And that is what we would expect since water vapour composition of the atmosphere is typically three orders of magnitude greater than carbon dioxide and water vapour is a more IR active gas.

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You're getting lost in the minutiea of the magic boundary layer.

Lol, you mean the very ordinary physical boundary layer supported by basic physical theory and experimental data through which you are yet to advance any kind of hypothesis as to how you are going to heat the ocean from the atmosphere.  It isn't me who is lost.

Re: Longwave oceanic heating
Reply #22
PS yes there are MDO's but they are not adding heat to the system, how could they?  They are the result of heat transfer, not the source.

I didn't say that they are sources.  What I said was that they exist and they are what we are measuring.  I agree that they likely result from moving heat around from one place to another but nevertheless that is what we measure as ocean temperature.

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They are just normal cycles.

Yes.  So it would seem.  Although as I said - no one currently has all the answers as to what drives them.  Do you - seeing as you think they are so normal and everything?  You sound like you understand them so the floor is yours ...

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They may be amplified by the AGW, though.

Mechanism?  Or are we back to standard unsupported dogma "because carbon dioxide"?

  • SR-71
  • Schmewbie
Re: Longwave oceanic heating
Reply #23
double post   :/
  • Last Edit: February 04, 2018, 06:09:21 PM by SR-71

  • SR-71
  • Schmewbie
Re: Longwave oceanic heating
Reply #24
triple post  :0
  • Last Edit: February 04, 2018, 06:09:47 PM by SR-71