Hiding declines…or clutching at straws

Tisdale on the new “hide the decline” version of ocean heat content data

Introduction To The NODC Ocean Heat Content Anomaly Data For Depths Of 0-2000 Meters

The National Oceanographic Data Center (NODC) recently posted a new Ocean Heat Content (OHC) anomaly dataset on its website. It is available on annual and quarterlybases, along with the data for its standard and documented dataset that covers depths of 0-700 meters. I looked for but was not able to find any papers (in any state of publication) that supported the new OHC data for 0-2000 meters. We’ll just have to wait and see how the NODC intends to present this dataset.

The data for the depths of 0-700 meters is, of course, documented in the paper Levitus et al (2009) “Global ocean heat content (1955-2008) in light of recent instrumentation problems”. Refer to Manuscript. It was revised in 2010 as noted in the October 18, 2010 post Update And Changes To NODC Ocean Heat Content Data. As described in the NODC’s explanation of ocean heat content (OHC) data changes, the changes result from “data additions and data quality control,” from a switch in base climatology, and from revised Expendable Bathythermograph (XBT) bias calculations.

COMPARISON OF GLOBAL OHC ANOMALIES: 0-700 METERS VERSUS 0-2000 METERS

Figure 1 compares the quarterly NODC OHC anomaly data for the depths of 0-700 meters and 0-2000 meters on a global basis. As noted on the illustration, the most obvious divergence between the two datasets occurs during the ARGO era. This is the period when ARGO floats became the dominant means of sampling of ocean temperatures and salinity at depth.

Figure 1

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For the colour challenged like me, Bob has kindly adjusted this version of ‘hiding declines’:

Introduction To The NODC Ocean Heat Content Anomaly Data For Depths Of 0-2000 Meters

UPDATE:  I changed the color scheme of the first two illustrations at the request of a reader. The National Oceanographic Data Center (NODC) recently posted a new Ocean Heat Content (OHC) anomaly dataset on its website. It is available onContinue reading →

About Tom Harley

Amateur ecologist and horticulturalist and CEO of Kimberley Environmental Horticulture Inc. (Tom Harley)
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