Over 90% of Global Warming is in the Oceans Not Surface Temp. as Contrarian Articles Contend

Focusing on surface air temperatures misses more than 90% of the overall warming of the planet

In advance of the upcoming release of the IPCC's Fifth Assessment Report (AR5) the mainstream media is awash in confusing articles about the reality of continued global warming. Contrarian organizations like The Cato Institute have recently published articles like 'The IPCC AR5 Is in Real Trouble' which have then been exaggerated and re-published over and over again by the drooling right-wing media in the hope that their audience of investors will...well continue investing and the consumers will keep consuming now that their consciences are a bit cleaner.

Every one of these contrarian articles focuses on the fact there has been a “pause” in global warming. The "summary for policymakers" that the Mail on Sunday cites, states that the world is warming at a rate of 0.12 degrees Celsius per decade since 1951, compared to a prediction of 0.13 degrees Celsius per decade since 1997. The error in that argument involves ignoring over 90% percent of the warming of the planet, most of which goes into heating the oceans. When we account for all of the data, global warming actually appears to be accelerating.

An excellent example of how this mis-information amplifies with each iteration can be understood by comparing David Rose's article in the ultra-conservative tabloid Mail a few days ago with the reaction by actual climate scientists as they take the Mail on Sunday to task at The Carbon Brief. The 'summary for policymakers' of the yet to be released AR5 report that the Mail on Sunday uses as its source states that the world is warming at a rate of 0.12 degrees Celsius per decade since 1951, compared to a prediction of 0.13 degrees Celsius per decade in their last assessment published in 2007. Remember, this overestimated .01 degree Celsius is in global mean surface temperature and 98% of the energy being trapped is going into the ocean.

As The Mud Report said some months ago this 17 year surface temp. pause is meaningless because well over 90% of Global warming happens in the oceans. As everyone who follows this blog knows i'm no fan of the IPCC itself due to the overly political nature of its process. Nor am i a fan of climate modeling in general due to their exclusion of all but the simplest criteria. But as Skeptical Science says, "Let's get real.  Global warming is (still) happening.  Humans are causing it [at least some proportion of it-ed.].  If we don't do something to stop it, the consequences are going to be very bad.  So let's stop looking for distractions and excuses to delay action, and get on with solving the problem, before we run out of time."

Of course solving the problem is another huge and very complicated matter that The Mud Report has focused on many times [and will again in the near future]. Certainly there will be plenty of disagreement with the AR5 as its 4 stages are released over the next year or so. And certainly there could be black swan events or new discoveries that totally change global warming science, but a discrepancy of .01 degree Celsius in global surface temperature isn't either a black swan or a huge discovery no matter how hard the bloviated capitalist press tries to spin it into one.

The IPCC's  Fifth Assessment Report (AR5)  will consist of three Working Group (WG) Reports and a Synthesis Report, to be completed and released in 2013 and 2014:
WG I: The Physical Science Basis – mid September 2013
WG II: Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability – mid March 2014
WG III: Mitigation of Climate Change – early April 2014
AR5 Synthesis Report (SYR) – October 2014