Humans cannot heat the oceans

Some people will try to persuade you that human-produced CO2 is warming the atmosphere which is warming the oceans.  This is wrong.

The energy content of the oceans is about 3 orders of magnitude (i.e. 1000x) larger than the energy content of the Earth’s atmosphere. About 5.95 x 10^21 Joules of energy are required to raise the temperature of the atmosphere one degree C. About 5.30 x 10^24 Joules of energy are required to raise the temperature of the oceans by one degree C. This means that a small, barely measurable change in the temperature of the oceans will result in a corresponding change in the temperature of the atmosphere. Also, this means that a huge (~1000x) change in the temperature of the atmosphere would be required to cause a small, barely measurable change in ocean temperature.

As a practical matter, except by some calamity like an all out nuclear war, human-contributions of any and all gases in any amount to the atmosphere cannot cause a significant change to ocean temperatures.  Do the math.  Ocean temperatures are controlling air temperatures, not vice versa. Tectonics, volcanics and the sun control ocean temperatures, but understanding how these three work is still challenging scientists.  Climate is controlled by nature, and is not controllable by man. 

You can heat the air in your bathroom by running hot water in your tub or shower. You cannot heat your bathwater by heating the air in your bathroom.


About budbromley

Bud is a retired life sciences executive. Bud's entrepreneurial leadership exceeded three decades. He was the senior business development, marketing and sales executive at four public corporations, each company a supplier of analytical and life sciences instrumentation, software, consumables and service. Prior to those positions, his 19 year career in Hewlett-Packard Company's Analytical Products Group included worldwide sales and marketing responsibility for Bioscience Products, Global Accounts and the International Olympic Committee, as well as international management assignments based in Japan and Latin America. Bud has visited and worked in more than 65 countries and lived and worked in 3 countries.
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15 Responses to Humans cannot heat the oceans

  1. We used to have earth science (as well as civics) for the young teens in our education system, something which has not been been taught for decades now. We also were taught objective research through term papers in history and science – those are gone now as well. Instead of learning how to think, our education system now tells everyone what to think. As soon as anyone who is a free-thinker arrives into any conversation, immediately the graphs, declarations, media posts, scientific reports are pulled out — yet how many actually look at images that are readily available that provide a time line of what is really happening? Instead, they ooo and ahhh at computer generated images that have nothing to do with reality save the reality those selling such stuff want you to believe. NASA has a plethora of images that provide an unequivocal time line – as do many free thinkers… Where we focus is what we defend – and today beliefs are, for the most part, based upon emotions than on real facts. People are asking questions that defined the data they have instead of asking questions that challenge the data they have – one of the first steps that used to be undertaken when we were learning objective research. The fact that someone has a degree has absolutely nothing to do with reality – most of the time it just means someone knew how to answer the questions that his peers provided, period. We have a LOT of higher education facilities full of talking heads that have studied data every which way but true – and not just in the environment, A lot of people love to claim they have an open mind – until something contrary arrives, then the gates of hell rise up and nothing is allowed to pass…

    Liked by 1 person

    • budbromley says:

      Thanks for your comments Garrett. It’s scary to imagine artifical intelligence as several theories, but not all theories, are pushing it today. They are capturing big data and extrapolating the decisions that the computer or robot should make from back propagating from the decisions that people actually made, not their intentions nor the results/satisfaction with the decision since they don’t have those data. They don’t know the result or outcome or whether it was a good or a bad decision. From that they anticipate the next thing you will want to buy or do before you think of it, or predict and shop for your future mate because the consensus is that it’s time for you to marry, or your and your kid’s genetic makeup, or the molecular configuration that is downloaded to your brain so that your body can make the antidote to your next disease. Humans have made enough mistakes. Do we need computers and robots to repeat humanity’s mistakes. Or, should the AI algorithm first figure out wisdom works, before running our lives by consensus? Maybe we should start by teaching logic, rhetoric and scientific method.


  2. Bill DeMott says:

    There is enough warming of the oceans to cause the sea level to rise. In fact, before the recent acceleration in the melting of the poles, the thermal expansion of water was the main cause of rising sea level. We are already seeing major shifts in the geographical ranges of fish species, lobster and other crustaceans due to warming seas. In the 70s there was a major lobster fishery in NY and Connecticut. Now the lobsters are essentially gone from those areas and the Canadian Maritime region is greatly benefiting. Where I am now living in central Florida, mangroves are migrating up the coast, as are snook, which includes several species that are sensitive to cold temperatures. Corals have been decimated by hot El Nino years and few scientists expect coral reefs to survive by 2050.


    • budbromley says:

      Thanks for your comments Bill. The issue is not whether or not there has been warming or cooling. The issue is whether humans and specifically human-produced CO2 causes significant warming. Human CO2 does not cause significant warming. In fact, as my post here illustrates, if humans put 100% of energy sources on the task full time, humans could not significantly heat the oceans. You can calculate that. Human caused global warming is a fraud. Nature – including those changes you mentioned – has been changing on its own and will continue to do so. Ocean migrations of lobster, cod, coral etc. has been occurring for eons; well documented. And, by the way, both poles and Greenland are getting colder and building more ice…although that also has nothing to do with humans.


  3. Rory Austin says:

    And, just as you eloquently pointed out, that a hot water shower can heat a bathroom , but that a hot room can not heat a bathtub of cool water….. you also have the phenomenon of spring flowers being warmed, once encased in a green house…..does a tub of COOL water, with its temperature kept cool by ice cubes…… effected if the room is warmed a few degrees warmer…. 24 hours a day , 7 days a week, by a sun lamp …. in a sealed room … as the ice cubes melt?……. I don’t know , I am not a scientist…. but the earth is warming….. and the graphs of the warmer…. are almost a direct overlay, to the increase of CO2….. so while the article raises a fascinating point…. I am not so sure that it is the final word on impacts either…..


    • budbromley says:

      Thanks for your comments Rory. The density, heat capacity and mass of ocean water are so much greater than the atmosphere (orders of magnitudes or multiples of 10 times greater, not 10% but 10 times, or 1000%) that there is not enough heat energy in the atmosphere to raise the temperature of oceans by any amount we would be able to measure reproducibly. The oceans are heated by the sun directly, but the contribution to that heating due to re-emitted infrared down radiation from CO2 is trivial, unmeasurable, only heating the top few molecules of water which heat is then lost by evaporation. In your example (which is totally different from our planet which is not sealed) in a bathroom with a tub of ice water, eventually the ice in the tub will melt and the water and air temperature will slowly equilibrate and then the temperature of air and water will begin to slowly increase until it reaches the temperature of the sun lamp. After that point, I need to understand exactly what you mean by a “sealed room.”


  4. The warmist claim is that the the oceans cannot release heat as efficiently if the air is warmer, so the cool skin layer warms and eventually this warms the oceans. I doubt there is much to that, but do you have any observations?


    • budbromley says:

      Any warming of the oceans by the atmosphere is trivial, statistically insignificant. That means the entire atmosphere. (The human contribution to heating the atmosphere via CO2 is even more trivial and unmeasurably small.) It’s a density and mass function and the difference between atmosphere and oceans is huge. The atmosphere has a mass of about 5×10^18 kg. The oceans have a mass of about 1.4×10^21 kg. The heat capacity of air is about 1005 J/kg/K. The heat capacity of ocean water is about 3993 J/kg/K. So doing the math, the energy content of the atmosphere is 1005 X 5 X 10^18 kg =5 X 10^21 Joules/Degree Kelvin. Energy content of the ocean is 3993 X 1.4 X 10^21 = 5.6 X 10^24 Joules/Degree Kelvin. Calculating the global energy content of all air and all ocean shows us that total ocean energy content is about 10^3 (or 1000 times) higher than that of the total atmosphere. This is the number of Joules (energy) to raise temperature 1 degree Kelvin (which is the same as 1 degree Celsius.) In other words, the atmosphere in total (no matter its composition) cannot heat the ocean, much less the 400 ppmv that is total CO2 and even less the 10% fraction of CO2 that is human contributed. Infrared light or collision of molecules from air contacting molecules of liquid water result in vaporization/evaporation of liquid water molecules … if the impinging energy is high enough. Evaporization of water molecules results in cooling of adjacent liquid water molecules. When you sweat and the sweat evaporates, your skin is cooled, not warmed. Oceans control the temperature of the air, not the other way around. Ocean temperature is controlled by sun’s radiation and various effects of gravity, seismic, volcanic, motion. If all of humanity devoted all of its energy sources full time to directly heating the ocean, it would take more than 1000 years to raise the ocean temperature by 1 degree. In other words, tenths or hundreths of a degree warming or cooling of the oceans will instantly change the temperature of the air, but a 1 degree or 10 degree warming or cooling of the air would take many centuries to change the temperature of the ocean. I am talking about the entire ocean here, not just the surface of the ocean. You can warm the air in a bathroom by running a hot shower or filling a tub with hot water. On the other hand, your house would burn down before you could heat cold water in the bath tub by heating the air in the bathroom. If the air is warmer over the surface of the water, evaporation will increase until the ratio of the molecules in gas versus molecules in liquid reach Henry’s law relative concentrations. For molecules of a liquid to evaporate, they must be located near the surface, be moving in the proper direction, and have sufficient kinetic energy (motion) to overcome the liquid-phase intermolecular forces. The kinetic energy of a molecule is proportional to its temperature. The evaporation rate is increased at higher temperatures at the surface. As the higher energy molecules escape from liquid to gas phase, the remaining liquid molecules have lower average kinetic energy, and the temperature of the liquid decreases. This is called evaporative cooling.


    • budbromley says:

      Warmer air molecules near the surface of the oceans means those molecules have higher kinetic energy/faster motion and some may be emitting infrared radiation. When these gas molecules hit molecules on the surface of the ocean or if the infrared radiation they emit is absorbed by molecules at the surface, the kinetic energy (motion) of the liquid molecules at surface will be increased. If the increase in energy of the molecules at the surface is enough, those molecules will evaporate into the air above. In an open system such as the earth, warmer air above the ocean will increase evaporation from the surface of the ocean. Perhaps the warmists think the earth is a closed system, like a pressure cooker?


  5. budbromley says:

    ” Now, therefore, we recommend –

    That world leaders reject the views expressed by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change as well as popular, but misguided works such as “An Inconvenient Truth”.
    That all taxes, regulations, and other interventions intended to reduce emissions of CO2 be abandoned forthwith.

    The following 206 endorsers are climate science specialists or scientists in closely related fields (this is a subset extracted from the other larger lists of endorsers):”


  6. budbromley says:

    But science is not fake.


  7. True – the public is programmed to allow the imbeciles-on-parade to do their thinking for them. They’re programmed to bow down to the fake science gods while handing over their money, then they pat themselves on the back for being one of the smart ones. They don’t realize they are insane.


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