Thursday, March 20, 2008


From the “I can't decide whether to laugh or cry” pile:
Some 3,000 scientific robots that are plying the ocean have sent home a puzzling message. These diving instruments suggest that the oceans have not warmed up at all over the past four or five years. That could mean global warming has taken a breather. Or it could mean scientists aren't quite understanding what their robots are telling them.

This is puzzling in part because here on the surface of the Earth, the years since 2003 have been some of the hottest on record. But Josh Willis at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory says the oceans are what really matter when it comes to global warming.

In fact, 80 percent to 90 percent of global warming involves heating up ocean waters. They hold much more heat than the atmosphere can. So Willis has been studying the ocean with a fleet of robotic instruments called the Argo system. The buoys can dive 3,000 feet down and measure ocean temperature. Since the system was fully deployed in 2003, it has recorded no warming of the global oceans. we have an elaborate attempt to actually measure global warming; an experiment lauded because it would be immune to all the distortions of atmospheric temperature measurement that global warming skeptics have been complaining about. And the measurement shows (drum roll please) no warming trend.

What's a Goreacle Groupie™ to do? Why, blame it on a slight “breather” in global warming, or question the data, of course!

Based on past experience (i.e., ignoring satellite temperature measurement data, as it doesn't show any global warming trend), I predict this data will quietly disappear. The scientists who gathered it will all get large grants to produce more computer models instead of gathering that pesky real data...