‘Global warming is now said to be hiding deep in the oceans, like The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms’

Peter Foster writes in the Financial Post:

As the battle continues over the credibility of the latest summary of climate science from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, True Believers appear to be basing their talking points on a 1953 science fiction movie, The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms. In the film, a carnivorous dinosaur is released from the Arctic depths by an ice melt induced by a nuclear bomb test. It heads (where else?) for New York City to wreak havoc, taking out a few East Coast fishermen on the way.

One of the IPCC’s explanations for the past fifteen-plus years of stable global average temperatures, contrary to virtually all official models, is that the heat is hiding deep in the ocean, like a monster waiting to gobble humanity at some future date. Then there’s the nuclear bomb angle, which has recently been applied both to human impact on climate, and its poster child, the Alberta oil sands.

Early in September, Canadian superstar Neil Young compared Fort McMurray to the devastation of Hiroshima. Then, more recently John Cook — the latest individual to promote the claim that there is a 97% consensus among scientists about the man-made nature of catastrophic global warming — made Mr. Young look positively balanced. “The result of the increased greenhouse effect,” according to Mr. Cook, “is that since 1998, our planet has been building up heat at a rate equivalent to four Hiroshima atomic bomb detonations every second.”

Grunge thinker Mr. Young’s drive-by display of motivated irrationality was based on a lengthy detour to Fort McMurray on a transcontinental drive in his ethanol and electricity powered “Lincvolt” — a 1959 Lincoln Continental that runs on ethanol and electricity. He was accompanied on his anti-oil Odyssey by Darryl Hannah, who — somewhat like Norma Desmond in Billy Wilder’s classic, Sunset Boulevard — has been desperately seeking her close up in White House demonstrations against the oil sands. The two were making a documentary promoting alternative energy.

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17 thoughts on “‘Global warming is now said to be hiding deep in the oceans, like The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms’”

  1. To heat the deep ocean, the warming must first heat the ocean surface. However, the Argo buoys are not showing surface warming. Nobody has a theory of how the heat can ‘jump past’ the surface.

  2. Howdy tadchem
    The earth’s atmosphere is not a solid like a glass wall, of course, but there’s a lot of it. It does have both an insulating effect and a distributing effect on heat.
    The term “greenhouse effect” lacks rigor but it is useful and evocative, even to climate realists like us. Understood with its limitations, it’s a good shorthand for the heat-saving properties of the atmosphere, properties necessary for life on earth at all. Even Gore and Hansen acknowledge that a “greenhouse effect” is necessary.

  3. I hadn’t considered the heat pump angle. In which case if they are using that analogy, then they are omitting the additional energy used to drive the heat pump mechanism, as well as the fact that a heat pump creates artifical conditions so that the heat transfer can occur that wouldn’t normally occur in an unforced situation.

  4. I accept your example although I am not familiar with that process. I think we can agree in the case of liquid oceans and gaseous air, that these counter-intuitive situations aren’t occuring.

  5. His reference to the ‘greenhouse effect’ is a telltale – he is scientifically ignorant. The greenhouse effect is all about providing physical barriers to convection, something currently impossible with the earth’s atmosphere.

  6. We are not discussing heat pumps. Heat capacity does not enter into the equation, although heat transfer coefficients do. Your description of ‘ejecting heat radiation’ is a two-way process, and the warmed material can provide more heat than the cooler one.

  7. I guess I’d need an example. It’s been a while since I studied heat transfer and thermodynamics but I can’t think of any instances where heat flows from a lower temperature source to higher one except in phase changes. For example freezing water will give off heat as it changes to ice. But this is an quasi-equilibrium condition. If the heat generated were to raise the temperature of the water above 32 degrees the freezing process will stop. Likewise the water cannot go below 32 degrees until it has all been solidified and stops emitting its latent heat of solidification. Then it reverts back to the straight flow of warmer to cooler and the ice can go below 32 degrees. A similiar condition occurs at the boiling point. I can’t imagine this occuring in a liquid ocean unless deep sea pressures change the dynamics of thermal exchange. in a way that I am unfamiliar with I think that would require a mixing of upper ocean layers with lower layers as the each layer would be in a thermodynamic semi-stasis with the layer above, with some convectional and conductional transfer. But not at the levels needed for this to be a major factor in determining surface temps. Of course if we continuously applied heat, the overall temperature of the ocean would eventually rise with each layer being a new somewhat higher temperature.

  8. I think this is a brilliant science fiction explaination of why there is no warming. I can just imagine the round table meeting to create some story to cover all the failures. It was a toss up. God did it. Or black holes in the ocean…………raise your hands. Ok…..it’s the black holes………

  9. I should mention water to water isn’t one of those situations, usually you have a dense material next to a rarified one. The dense material will periodically eject heat radiation (photons) in the direction of the warmer rarified material, which can then absorb those photons making it warmer – it too releases quanta of heat energy which can be absorbed by the warmer body, but since the mass is much lessit could end up getting more energy from the cooler body than visa versa.

  10. Your law of heat flow isn’t quite true. There are some counter intuitive examples where a colder body can heat a warmer one, and visa versa as long as the one body has more heat energy than the other.

    I think it would be more accurate to say that a heat energy poor mass can not transfer heat to a heat energy rich mass. Though I am no Physicist.

  11. No, but they sure help with the scare factor. And you don’t ever have to prove a tipping point. All you have to do is claim it’s out there and reaching it would be very bad. That’s why I used the term convenient, as in disingenuous.

  12. Tadchem, I had to reread the article. As you said, either Mr. Cook has a slim grasp of thermodynamics or his statements were summarized incorrectly.

    I think the premise of the “ocean ate my warming” theory is that the oceans have been absorbing heat that AGW predicted should be going into the atmosphere. Again using their convenient tipping point, the oceans will at some point reach some thermal equilbrium with the atmosphere. Once that point is reached, all the heating due to CO2 will suddenly revert back to the atmosphere causing temps to shoot up. And in the meantime the heating rate has also been rising due to the increased CO2. So when GW kicks back in, it’ll go off like a rocket. At least that’s how I understand this theory. It has enough science behind it to be plausible. But it still lacks one thing – evidence.

  13. Newton’s Law of Cooling will not allow heat to flow from a cool body to a warmer one. Any heat accumulating in the lower ocean cannot be coming through the ‘cooler’ water above it.
    Gravity drives Archimedes’ Principle. Warmer water is less dense than cooler water, and buoyancy will force the warmer water to rise (upwelling) through the layer of cooler water, so thermal inversions are inherently unstable and cannot last long. The ‘warming’ could not hide on the ocean bottom for long.

  14. So to cover for the utter failure of all their models to explain the 15 year warming hiatus, the climate community has latched on to this ocean heat sink postulate. Its only merit is that it could explain the hiatus, leaving AGW theory intact. Except that it exists in theory only, there are no confirming observations of any kind. And now I guess they are just so weaned on doomsday marketing, that they can’t help putting the apocryphal sales spin on it to get the public to buy in. In short, we have an unobserved, unpredicted, unmeasured phenomenon that will become so important that it will become Lucifer’s hammer. Even Jules Verne would have a haed time writing a novel about this.

    Again, I make the point. If this is such an important influence, how was it that it was so completely missed the first time around? And since it obviously was, what else did they miss, and why should I think they have anything approaching the right conclusion?

  15. Global warming in the depths may be more like that mythical beast from 20,000 fathoms than you said. 20,000 fathoms is 120,000 feet, but that’s 10x the average depth of the ocean and 3.5x the deepest known point in the oceans. So, like the heat, we’ve never seen it.

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