Ocean Warming is Off the Charts

The big news in climate is that 2014 is the hottest year on record – but the bigger picture is even more disheartening: global warming trends have remained constant since 1998, and ocean warming is going off the charts.

The vast majority of global warming (over 90%) goes to the oceans, and the oceans have actually seen an acceleration in warming in recent years. In other words, our planet’s oceans are warming faster and faster. As climate expert Prof. John Abraham writes in the UK Guardian, “The oceans are warming so fast, they keep breaking scientists’ charts.”

What we are dealing with here is a matter of perception – only 2 percent of climate change goes into the atmosphere, so it’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking that climate change is not accelerating – or it’s even slowing down. But in the meantime, oceans are taking the heat – literally. Sea levels are raising faster than expected, Arctic sea ice is melting faster than expected, and so are the great ice sheets in Greenland and Antarctica. So to say that 2014 is the hottest year on record is not nearly painting the whole picture; 2014 is not a freak year, emerging as the hottest year through some strange chain of coincidences. 2014 is the result of global climate warming more and more year after year.

The rise in temperatures caused by humans hasn’t stopped – it hasn’t even slowed significantly. Sure, there are some small improvements, but when you look at the big picture, things are looking worse and worse. Dr. Gavin Schmidt, director of NASA’s Goddard Institute of Space Studies, tweeted last week.

“Is there evidence that there is a significant change of trend from 1998? (Spoiler: No.)”

He attached this chart, made with data obtained by NASA:

NASA data shows that there is no ‘hiatus’ in global warming temperatures.

So, there is no global warming hiatus! Nothing has changed, it’s just business as usual for global warming – and business as usual is bad. Our planet is warming up at alarming rates, yet some people continue to bury their heads in the sand and ignore the truth. Meanwhile, the media is missing the forest for the trees, giving the impression that 2014 was a freak year.

The lead author of one 2014 study said:

“Scientists have long suspected that extra ocean heat uptake has slowed the rise of global average temperatures, but the mechanism behind the hiatus remained unclear…. But the heat uptake is by no means permanent: when the trade wind strength returns to normal –- as it inevitably will –- our research suggests heat will quickly accumulate in the atmosphere. So global [surface] temperatures look set to rise rapidly….”

The oceans — where over 90% of global warming heat ends up — have literally warmed up off the charts of NOAA.


Yes, it’s likely going to be a kind of “anti-snowball” effect – temperatures will rise, ice will melt, the Earth’s albedo will drop, the CO2 trapped in ice will be freed and reach the atmosphere, temperatures will rise even more, and so on. We should expect more ‘hottest’ records in years to come. 2014 wasn’t an accident, it was a warming. Hopefully, we’ll be able to heed it.

Article inspired by Think Progress.

22 thoughts on “Ocean Warming is Off the Charts

  1. wdcurry

    Clearly nobody on staff here read the true analysis of NASA’s paid-for propaganda. There was a 38% CHANCE that they MIGHT be right about their hottest year claim. They had to admit, they are not even sure. In fact, the margins of error are larger than the supposed discrepancy in temps.

    What hogwash. And such a clear marker of a larger agenda by mainstream media pushing down to the little guys.

  2. harrymeadows

    Fine. Let’s assume that 2014 is not THE hottest year ever recorded.

    So T.F. what?!

    You think it makes a difference whether it is plus or minus some fraction of a degree?

    You think splitting hairs makes a difference?

    This is not the NFL. Whether you think it is a first down or not alters NOTHING. The planet’s atmospheric system is unaware of any benchmarks set by man.

    Trying to claim that 2014 is not the hottest year ever is like an alcoholic shouting an angry “NO! I DID NOT DRINK MORE TODAY THAN I DRANK YESTERDAY!!”

    Yeah, that doesn’t mean that there isn’t an oh-so obvious problem. In our case, with the climate.

    In a stable system, the frequency of new records decreases. But they keep increasing. Everywhere.

  3. harrymeadows

    No model has ever been “wrong”

    Models don’t try to predict anything, they try to model. The difference is not subtle.

    All the warming we have seen is within the ranges modeled.

    At the lower ends, granted, but at the same time the next El Nino will cause a big fat revision to the mean.

    That’s how statistics work.

    And models of statistics have to leave out the large peaks and troughs.

    Because that is how statistics work.

  4. shestoohot

    Statistics and graphs are used to present a point of view. They homogenize the past data and then use the same graphs with a present data base that has not been homogenized. The result always looks like a spike of worst case scenario when in fact it most often is not. We see it in climate presentations and even worse would be to look at a fracking graph. There is misrepresentation in scale and I do believe it is deliberate. Of course if I want to hold a position and present my case, I would use the data to present my obvious statement. Lies, damn lies, and statistics.

    Thanks for reminding me of models. You are correct but the statistics are wrong or meant to misrepresent.

  5. shestoohot

    That is the problem with the “science” as it gets mired in misrepresentation and oversteps the projections. Most reports want to stress the worst case scenario when in fact it is not all doomsday. IPCC has a bad history of this type of ‘politics”.

  6. Andrei Mihai

    “Most reports want to stress the worst case scenario” – that’s simply not true. It’s just what the science says. Climate change denial has almost no credibility in science, and here’s why: only 0.17% of all peer reviewed papers on climate change reject global warming (https://dev.zmescience.com/ecology/climate/climate-change-credibility-12122012/). There’s not really much more to say… the reason why some people still think there is a debate regarding climate change is because the media is misrepresenting reality (https://dev.zmescience.com/ecology/climate/media-still-disproportionately-including-views-climate-change-skeptics/).

  7. harrymeadows

    “That is the problem with the “science” as it gets mired in misrepresentation and oversteps the projections. Most reports want to stress the worst case scenario when in fact it is not all doomsday. IPCC has a bad history of this type of ‘politics”.”


    If you commissioned scientists to write a report on whether or not it was safe to swim on a specific beach and they came back with “Yeah, it is 99% safe”

    The next day you go down to the beach and a person gets eaten by a shark. You go the scientists and say “did you know about the shark”

    “Yes” they reply.

    “Why TF didn’t you highlight it as danger?!”

    “We calculated that there was only a 1% risk of a shark attack.”


    We have continued to see warming in line with the ranges in the scenarios.

    It is now as-hot, globally, as the big El Nino years of the late 1990s, without the benefit of the El Nino to drive the heat.

    In terms of dooms-day, things don’t have to hit any of the worst case scenarios in order for millions of people to be killed-off.

    One good year-long drought across the bread-basket of Europe and the USA would take care of that.

    In statistical terms it would be a blip on the upward trajectory of the heat.

    But it is too late to do anything about the shark once it is already eating you.

    Science is not “misrepresenting” anything, you’re misunderstanding the nature of the threat.

    For dull political reasons.

  8. wdcurry

    So few are able to spend time actually thinking and researching, except those who derive revenue from this research. Think about that. Cherry-pick a few recent years and ignore our long history. We just left what is termed a mini ice-age. So if you look at a proper analysis of trends, you will see 2014 was amongst the top 3% COLDEST years on record.. and that is going back thousands of years according to ice samples.

  9. shestoohot

    We could say the same in reverse for the alarmist side. It seems to me that the temperature has been much higher than today when viewed over the past 500 years. Yet we have not heard of massive die-offs of humans. At least not by climate. Perhaps a lifeguard would have been better to ask about sharks on the beach.

  10. harrymeadows

    Derive revenue?!


    How many scientists do you know? I know quite a few. They’re all nerds, and proud. And they all love to get their nerd fix by reading stuff about science, especially from other fields, as part of what they do to relax.

    If you look at the proper analysis then you’d know all about the formation of C14, sun spots and the maunder minimum.

    You’d know that the factors that caused the start and end of the little ice age can be explained – very satisfactorily – without any reference to AGW.

    But if we take away AGW as an explanation we don’t have an explanation for the current warming.

    But it is nothing short of extraordinary what lengths some people will go to in order to explain away warming that they will also gladly claim is not happening.

  11. harrymeadows

    “Yet we have not heard of massive die-offs of humans. At least not by climate.”

    You can add history to the list of subjects you know SFA about then.

    History is littered with examples – huge ones. Whole civilizations get wiped out by changing climates (not AGW, or MMCC you’ll note).

    My personal favorite being the Plague. It only killed-off about 75 million people, but hey, that was about 1/3rd of western civilization at the time. OK, that one did not result in a whole civilization being wiped out. Next one probably won’t either. Fingers crossed!

    What is it they say about people that don’t know know history?

    I think you have some reading to do.

  12. wdcurry

    “And they all love to get their nerd fix by reading stuff about science, especially from other fields, as part of what they do to relax”

    ..indeed, and they get paid for it. Ask any one of them to look realistically at ALL the data without skimming or re-alignmments, or destroying that which doesn’t fall into line, AND THEN ask them to ask for grants, tenure or other financial support in supporting the true picture of this massive planet, and you will hear crickets chirping.

    So f’n biased are those like you and the other steeple.

    You can shout and spit all you want, but it won’t change the facts. We are not the primary cause of climate change. We are incidental. And yes, we should STILL reduce our footprints as best we can. Start personally, as i have done, and realize how much animal agriculture is contributing to our impact. If you don’t know that, you know jack-shit. Watch Conspiracy to get started in proper thinking.

  13. harrymeadows

    “..indeed, and they get paid for it”

    No, they don’t. That’s one of the things that it suits you to believe.

    There are a huge number of sciences that never have and never will get any grant money related to warming. None. Those scientists still have a genuine interest.

    Absolutely no comments about C14 or solar activity in your response. Because you got nothing but conspiracy BS. You might have hoped to distract from that with your nonsense, but I just want you to know that I know.

    Bye moron!

  14. wdcurry

    no, actually your statements ignore my truths. If you think that scientists are working outside the confines of remuneration, you are very shy on true logic.

    I have studies the sun’s influence on our planet for years. You want an example of funding drives? Try to source the amount of funding going towards simply proving the sun works via controlled nuclear explosions, the prevailing theory. Then go study the variations to the models solar “experts” jig up to explain their diminishing factual support. The models are wrong, and the few scientists brave enough to swim against the tide and suggest that electricity rules the universe, just as Telsa said, are not only woefully underfunded but are blackballed.

    You, and the likes of you, are only protected your turf. I dare say you work in an industry directly or indirectly connected to this f’n trough of money.

  15. wdcurry

    NASA purposely left out that they are only 38% certain that they MIGHT be right. The trend is the opposite, we just had the 3% coldest year going back thousands of years.

  16. shestoohot

    Well, so now the plague is a result of climate change??? Not anthropogenic. A closed mind is like a closed parachute. Someone needs more reading of a diverse nature.

  17. harrymeadows

    “Well, so now the plague is a result of climate change???”

    You sound surprised.

    And I am shocked by that. Shocked!

    Yeah. Like I said, you might what to check out what the climate was doing back then and what the implications were for those 75 million or so that would soon die of a disease carried on a flea, carried on a rat.

    What sort of population growth had preceded it, and then what sudden changes occurred.

    Spoiler alert: CC back then was caused by a series of rapid changes in solar activity.

  18. John Carter

    The real question for most of the world to answer is why cc “skeptics” and naysayers (some call deniers, although it’s not a particularly good term) are so hell bent on showing that in fact 2014 might have been 3rd warmest or 2nd or 4th instead of 1st.

    When it has NOTHING to do with the issue of climate change, but was just a short term reminder of the ongoing trend (that is relevant) of accumulating heat energy, most of which is in the oceans, and which is now leading to melting polar ice and accelerating melt at both poles.

    When most of the world – including those skeptics who are NOT zealots – answer that question, along with why for instance they take 1 year of arctic sea ice to argue that arctic sea ice is gaining, instead of again what matters – the accumulated and trend of changes over time – most of the world will see that CC skepticism is founded upon not “skepticism” but instead “Belief” that we’re not or man can’t really alter the earth in a fundamental way (usually driven by political fears or beliefs or fealty to fossil fuels which have nothing to do with the actual science of the climate change), and which belief is driven and self reinforced by massive selective information and issue misconstruction, under the guise of logic.

    Below the same commenter as above argues that 2014 is among the top 3% of coolest years going back thousands of years. In fact that is wrong too. Super wrong http://www.sciencemag.org/content/339/6124/1198.abstract

    But an actual peer reviewed vetted study of all the studies going back before modern temperature records, rather than a re concocted chart created in somebody’s office and turned into “news” by Fox – there is an answer for that as well: Dismiss the study, call it a “fraud” like everything else, that doesn’t fit with the belief.

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