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2021 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #9

Posted on 27 February 2021 by John Hartz

A chronological listing of news articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week: Sun, Feb 21, 2021 through Sat, Feb 27, 2021

Editor's Choice

Climate Change is Weakening the Ocean Currents That Shape Weather on Both Sides of the Atlantic

The change in the main ocean heat pump could bring more heat waves to Europe, increase sea level rise in North America and force fish to move farther north.

Ocean Surface

Since the end of the last ice age, a swirling system of ocean-spanning currents has churned consistently in the Atlantic, distributing heat energy along the ocean surface from the tropics toward the poles, with heavy, cold water slowly flowing back toward the equator along the bottom of the sea.

Collectively known as the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation, the currents played a key role in shaping the climate of eastern North America and Western Europe, and thus the development of civilizations there. But in the 20th century, the circulation has weakened more than at any other time during at least the last 1,000 years, new research shows.

Together with other studies showing that global warming is driving the weakening, the new findings suggest that the circulation will lose even more strength in the decades ahead. That could cause heat and cold extremes in Europe and rapid sea level rise along the East Coast of the United States. As it weakens, pools of warm water form. That can lead to ocean heat waves, with increasing evidence that overheating oceans are linked with droughts and heat waves on nearby land areas.

The overturning circulation loops like a 10,000-mile conveyor belt through the North and South  Atlantic, connecting polar regions. It brings cold water up from the deep, sends warmer water across the surface and then drops it back down thousands of miles away as it cools. 

Click here to access the entire article as originally posed on the Inside Climate News website. 

Climate Change is Weakening the Ocean Currents That Shape Weather on Both Sides of the Atlantic by Bob Berwyn, Inside Climate News, Feb 25, 2021

Articles Linked to on Facebook

Sun, Feb 21, 2021

Mon, Feb 22, 2021

Tue, Feb 23, 2021

Wed, Feb 24, 2021

Thu, Feb 25, 2021

Fri, Feb 26, 2021

Sat, Feb 27, 2021

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Comments 1 to 11:

  1. With all the concern re. ocean currents, Please consider the following  facts about the worlds oceans: 1.  oceans cover 70 percent of the earths surface. 2.  oceans rest on the earths crust, which increases in temp. all the way down to about 6.8 miles, where it is very hot.  3.  The oceans dispose of that heat by means of the evaporation process.  4.  The ocean waters contain CO2,  if the surface waters are warmed, they will release some of the disolved CO2.  5.  Underneath the seas there are volcanoes, volcanic vents etc which emit CO2, heat and I don't know what else.  6.  The heat itself will cause an additional release of CO2.

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    Moderator Response:

    [TD] In addition to Bob’s excellent responses to you, for your claim #2 see this.

  2. jamesh:

    "Facts". You use that word a lot. I do not think it means what you think it means.

    Once again, you are posting a comment on a thread, when you have not engaged in any honest dialog in other threads where people have pointed out your errors.

    As for your "facts"

    3. Evaporation is not the only way oceans transfer energy away from the surface. Radiation and sensible heat (thermal energy) area also involved.

    4. CO2 in water does not behave like most oher gases. If you want to learn more, there is an entire series of posts on ocean CO2 processes. You can start here:

    5. You can learn more about volcanoes here:

    6. You're wrong here because you're wrong in #4.


    At this point, your posting behaviour here has consisted of various "facts" that aren't, with no meaningful engagement in any discussion. You jump from thread to thread with Gish Gallops of incorrect information. Your behaviour reeks of "troll".


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  3. Jamesh @ 1: I have to disagree with Bob and classify this mini Gish gallop of yours in the "not even wrong" category. You contradict yourself and the, well, facts.

    It is a fact that the temperature profile of oceanic water shows decreasing temperature with depth. If the oceans were dissipating by convection heat communicated to them by their floor, they would show very different temperature profiles. But they don't, because the energy communicated to them that way is so small that it can't even be measured. That's only one part of everything that is wrong with your argument. It makes no sense whatsoever.

    It also shows that you could not be bothered with even the most basic effort of verification to see if what you thought held water, although there is an illimited amount of knowledge at your fingertips.

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  4. Philippe Chantreau @3,

    I would tend to agree with the "not even wrong" catagorisation.

    As well as being tiny, the heat flux from seabed into abyssal ocean is also difficult to measure because it is very variable and dependent on geology with perhaps a third of the net 30TW flux through the oceanic crust due to venting (those volcanoes the troll happily concentrates on).

    Averaged out, such a net flux would provide perhaps +0.09ºC to the sea bed, an insignificant amount at the surface but less ignorable in the abyssal ocean.

    While the effects of the resulting tiny abyssal warming will depend on the location and will always be tiny on an oceanic scale, they do play what is described as a a "non-negligible role" in eroding abyssal stratification and enhansing ocean circulation.

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  5. Another approach to the claims made-up by jamesh would be to ask what change has occurred in the planetary mechanisms they refer to that can explain the many observed changes in the planet's climate system (and explain all the other climate system observations).

    There already is a robust explanation for the observed changes in the climate system. And it continues to be fine-tuned rather than significantly altered by new investigation and observation. A viable alternative would have to be as good at explaining all the observations to date.

    A lack of a verifiable explanation would potentially make jamesh a misleading marketer or conspiracy theorist (either making up the misleading stuff or allowing themselves to be fooled into parroting it), unless they are able to present a well reasoned explanation for why they make-up the claims they do.

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  6. Phillippe, MA, and OPOF.

    I have no problem with your "not even wrong" descriptions.

    The biggest problem with jamesh's posts here is that they are glib, incomplete, vague throw-aways. It is hard to discuss his posts, or guess where they would be on-topic, because they are so devoid of any real, meaningful content.

    And when he is pointed to possible topics, or his errors are pointed out, he just stops interacting and goes to a different thread with a different topic.

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  7. I have 2 final comments that I believe ot be on topic (please keep in mind that I am an engineer by training and experience and we tend to see the big picture; it's not easy to focus on individual issues)  My first comment relates to Bobs posting #2; Item #4.  The statement that "CO2 in water does not behave like most other gases"  addresses a question that has bothered me for a long time;  that is how can CO2 as an ordinary GHG force global warming.  Thank you Bob for a clear explanation.  I assume SKS on in agreement as are associated scientists.  The second comment is just an observation.  The comments above focused mainly on ocean temteratures  whereas Dr Mann's paper dated 01 April 1998 delt with measured on the ground temps in industrial areas and he did introduce the concept of climate forcing and CO2's ability to force climate change is related to it's ability to perform as a super GHG


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    Moderator Response:

    [BL] Regarding "on topic".Dr. Mann is not mentioned anywhere in the list of articles in this post, or any of the previous comments. You are continuing to place comments in locations that are not appropriate. As michael sweet has replied, I will leave your comment intact, but if you continue to do this your comments will be deleted, in part or in whole. The relevant part of the Comments policy is:

    All comments must be on topic. Comments are on topic if they draw attention to possible errors of fact or interpretation in the main article, of if they discuss the immediate implications of the facts discussed in the main article. However, general discussions of Global Warming not explicitly related to the details of the main article are always off topic. Moderation complaints are always off topic and will be deleted

    Your posting pattern continues in the same style as before, where you throw out short, erroneous statements of previously-debunked myths. The relevant part of the comments policy is:

    No sloganeering.  Comments consisting of simple assertion of a myth already debunked by one of the main articles, and which contain no relevant counter argument or evidence from the peer reviewed literature constitutes trolling rather than genuine discussion. As such they will be deleted. If you think our debunking of one of those myths is in error, you are welcome to discuss that on the relevant thread, provided you give substantial reasons for believing the debunking is in error.  It is asked that you do not clutter up threads by responding to comments that consist just of slogans.

    Comments that match the sloganeering definition are also subject to deletion, in whole or in part.

    Please note that posting comments here at SkS is a privilege, not a right.  This privilege can be rescinded if the posting individual treats adherence to the Comments Policy as optional, rather than the mandatory condition of participating in this online forum.

    Please take the time to review the policy and ensure future comments are in full compliance with it.  Thanks for your understanding and compliance in this matter.

  8. Jamesh:

    The statement "CO2 in water does not behave like most other gases" does not relate to the fact that CO2 can force global warming.  Most gasses like O2 and N2 dissolve only is very small concentrations in water.  By contrast, CO2 reacts with water to form carbonic acid H2CO3.  Carbonic acid and its derivitives (HCO3- and CO3-2) are very soluble in water.  Thus much more CO2 to dissolve in water than N2 and O2.  The formation of carbonic acid when CO2 dissolves in water causes ocean acidification and is a very serious problem all by itself.

    Increasing the concentration of greenhouse gasses in the atmosphere causes the atmosphere to warm up.  This has been known by scientists since about 1850.  Gasses that stay in the atmosphere for a very long time, like CO2, are said to force the increase in temperature since increasing CO2 forces the atmosphere to warm.  Releasing water into the atmosphere, for example from the chimney of a coal burning power plant, does not result in significant increase in atmospheric temperature.  The amount of water in the atmosphere is controlled by the temperature of the atmosphere.  Any added water simply falls as rain in a few days and the temperature is not affected.  By contrast, CO2 released today will linger in the atmosphere for centuries or much longer.

    Dr. Mann's 1998 paper uses proxies from around the world to estimate past temperatures.  Most are from remote areas.  Your statement "measured on the ground temps in industrial areas" is simply false.  The concept of climate forcing was introduced long before 1998.  If you want to keep your discussion to "the facts" you need to learn the facts first.  As I pointed out above, scientists have known since the 1850's that CO2 can force the temperature of the atmosphere to increase.

    It seems to me that you are copying your arguments from some other web site.  Can you tell us which web site you are getting your "facts" from?  They seem to be the arguments that were shown to be incorrect 20 years ago.  If you tell us where you are getting your misinformation from we probably can refer you to posts that debunk that site specifically.

    Some of the posters you are arguing with have PhD's in hard sciences (I only have a Masters degree in Chemistry).  They have decades of experience dealing with uninformed arguments against Global Warming.  Suggesting that as an engineer who appears young you know the facts better than older scientists who have been around the block is not a strong place to argue from.  I suggest that, instead of challenging other posters and suggesting you alone know the answer, you ask questions to try to find answers you do not know.

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  9. Just to let people know that the daily sea ice area and extent data from NSIDC has not been  successfully updated since Feb 19. Methinks they have a problem somewhat bigger than the odd glitch that happens from time to time.

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    Moderator Response:

    [DB] NSIDC is working on it:

    "For those following sea ice on our site: sea ice processing is currently having problems. Daily Sea Ice Index/Arctic Sea Ice News & Analysis values after February 19 are erroneous. We are investigating the issue and will correct it as soon as possible."

  10. gerontocrat @9,

    Meanwhile there is still the JAXA VISHOP web page which has in recent days  glitchless updates of Arctic SIE.

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  11. Jamesh,

    As michael sweet has suggested, claiming to be an engineer and therefore more "Open-minded" is something you should delve into a little more to be sure it is true about You, and make it truer about you.

    I am also an engineer, with an MBA, and decades of work experience. And I question your claims.

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    Moderator Response:

    [BL] Let's try not to get lost in the "what is someone's background?" question. Jamesh's statements about climate science issues can stand or fall on their merits. His claim to be an engineer is irrelevant, and let's just drop it.

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