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Thursday, October 15, 2009


I’ve moved to WordPress.  This post can now be found at NODC’s CORRECTION TO OHC (0-700m) DATA
I was advised today (Thanks, Fred) that the NODC has revised their Ocean Heat Content data. A quick check of the KNMI Climate Explorer News webpage…
…reveals that it was revised on October 15, 2009 at KNMI.

And a check of the NODC data…
…shows that it was corrected on 10/15/09.

Dr. Geert Jan van Oldenborgh writes, “There was an error in the last 3-month data point of the NODC ocean heat content dataset, as anyone who made a map of the data could see. The problem has been fixed at NODC (thanks Gavin, Tim).”

Apparently the NODC hadn’t bothered to plot the data prior to posting it on September 14, 2009, or hadn't thought there was a problem until...

Here’s a gif of the correction


Thanks, Gavin and Tim.

Hmm, I’ll have to go back and update the “ENSO Dominates NODC Ocean Heat Content (0-700 Meters) Data” post to make sure the ENSO-induced step changes are still there and verify the “North Atlantic Ocean Heat Content (0-700 Meters) Is Governed By Natural Variables” hasn’t changed, too.

H/T to Fred.

UPDATE (October 15 @ 5:40PM):

After I posted the above, I found that Dr. Geert Jan van Oldenborgh had emailed me to notify me of the correction. I have received his permission to reproduce his email:

Dear Bob Tisdale,

please note that NODC discovered that they had accidentally posted the wrong version of their last file (apr-jun2009), a preliminary version with most data still missing had somehow made it to their web site. A quick look at the map for that quarter showed that there were hardly any anomalies visible and big anomalies in the North Atlantic and Pacific did not persist from the previous quarter, so the data were clearly suspicious. This mix-up has been fixed tonight (Dutch time) at NODC and in the Climate Explorer. A corrected version of the average heat content is attached, the value of apr-jun2009 is now more in line with the values of previous quarters.

Greetings from chilly Holland,

Geert Jan


John said...

Well, that's odd. How could noone plot it? I'm sure it was an innocent mistake, but it'd be nice if they'd provide a little more explanation as to exactly what the problem was - it makes it look suspect, something many will grasp on to if it it was innocent.

It still shows a small decrease for 2009 to date though, correct? I can't quite tell from the graph Still no accumulation of heat, though not as dramatic as the drop was. I'm sure this is making you busy checking your charts, but would you mind reproducing your Figure 4 from the 10/13/09 post?

Bob Tisdale said...

John: I'll be reposting all of the recent OHC posts. I'll start with that one since Roger Pielke Sr reposted it at his website.

John said...

By the way, I'm not understanding the "as anyone could see" statement the news updater is making.

Based on the historical OHC graph, it looks like there are numerous occasions where the OHC increased or decreased by similar amounts in a similar timeframe.

The "as anyone could see" seems awfully snarky and further undermines their credibility, especially when the correction was prompted by those with a vested interest in seeing OHC increase.

As I said, even if this is an innocent mistake, it just boggles the mind that these scientists would not realize what a talking point this type of situation generates. They are simply saying it was a mistake with no explanation whatsoever. I get so frustrated by this type of obfuscation.

Sorry, had to vent.

John said...

Hi Bob -

Unrelated question that you may be aware of, so I figure I'd ask.

Have you read a reason from the AGW side of things why OHC seems basically steady until 1995 and then goes so high so quickly?

Thanks. If it's too complicated, please feel free to ignore.

Bob Tisdale said...

John: Please link the graph (global, tropical Pacific)you're asking about.

John said...

Sorry Bob, I just meant globally.


It seems like from 1955 to 1995 the anomaly (eyeballed) moves from -.1 GJ/m2 to 0 GJ/m2.

Then from 1995 to 2003, it jumps from 0 to .3.

That seems like a massive jump in OHC for an 8 year period compared to the increase over the prior 40 years.

I've seen your explanations, but was wondering what other scientists might have said, if it is in your sphere of knowledge.

Bob Tisdale said...

John: The AGW crowd are touting a recent paper by von Schuckmann et al (2008) paper "Global hydrographic variability patterns during 2003-2008".


Sections 3 and 4 of von Schuckmann et al (2008) are detailed discussions of the natural variables that govern OHC in individual ocean basins; for example, North Atlantic OHC is dictated by ENSO, AMOC, and the NAO; and tropical OHC is dominated by ENSO, etc.


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