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back to article Mid-Atlantic Ocean temperatures peaked in 1998

The water temperature in the subtropical Atlantic Ocean has cooled down since 1998, oceanographers report. Measurements since 1957 had shown a rise of more than ¼ of a degree up to that point, but between 1998 and 2006 the ocean stopped warming and cooled by 0.15°C in the same area. The measurements of sea temperature were …

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WTF?

Consistency?

Aye, any warming must be climate change, any cooling definitely isn't.

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nah

I thought all warming, all cooling, all wind, all cloud, all farts were all a direct result of climate change which is the reason (none other of course) why all governments in the 'developed world' are busy trebling taxes on any form of transport, heating, manufacturing...

Of course now the 'cold war' has ended and Russia is not going to invade, we've shown the terrorists from the middle east aren't a real threat there has to be something to keep the plebs in their place.... somewhere close to the sewers while the rich do what the hell they like,

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title

Well the world, and the oceans themselves, have warmed globally since 1998, so evidentally this particular subset of the oceans not warming doesn't really mean much at all. In fact subsets of cooling in small areas as the globe as a whole warms is quite normal, just as despite global population rise there are some places with falling population.

So this entire article doesn't make much sense. What's so special about "the parallel 24.5 degrees of latitude north of the equator running from the African coast to the Caribbean"? I mean it might be special if you were studying it, but it doesn't seem a relevant thing for the Register to report unless the Register is trying to falsely imply that this has relevance to the globe as a whole.

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WTF?

Heeeellpppp

Well is the globe warming up or not?

I want to know whether to pack my snowshoes or bikini for my summer holiday....

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Yes

It's warming.

Since 1880 the world has warmed-up by 0.8 degrees centigrade.

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Headmaster

'Centigrade'?

When will people stop using that word? It's 'celsius', 'fahrenheit' or, for the real hardcore, 'kelvin'.

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more idiot fuel

more fuel for those choosing to ignore the Global component of Global Warming

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Joke

The ocean's natural variability mechanisms are more significant than we thought

And also in the News, reports are coming that tomorrows weather forecast might not be 100% reliable so we are going over live to our reporter who is standing in a puddle outside the MET office.

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Megaphone

Meet the Climate Sceptics

Meet the Climate Sceptics: Storyville

Mon, Jan 31, 10:00 PM to 11:00 PM (60 mins)

BBC4

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WTF?

Same old climate delusions.

When the "evidence" supports their pet delusion of man made climate change they can't wait to ram it down our throats while happily and smugly gloating.

When the evidence says something that goes against their dogma they act like the most ignorant creationist and claim it doesn't count.

And they wonder why so many people don't trust a word they say.

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Downvotes are in denial

Norfolk is right about the effect in place. Global Climate Change (or whatever it's called this week) is not science. It's politics. The situation has been perfectly clear now that nothing about climatology is clear cut and there isn't any consistent, scientific research to back the claims of either side in the debate.

At best, we can say that we still don't know enough to make any determination whether humans are having a measurable impact on the climate of our planet.

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title

Your mistake is thinking cooling in one region goes against global warming.

If I point you at a region on Earth with a falling population will you interpret that as going against global population rise?

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title

Since when have glaciers, global temperature, CO2 levels and sea levels been politics? These things are measured to be changing.

"At best, we can say that we still don't know enough to make any determination whether humans are having a measurable impact on the climate of our planet."

We know for a fact that humans are having a measurable impact on the climate of our planet, simply because we've measured it. CO2 levels are now running at near 15 million year highs. We've measured the radiative changes induced by that. We have also measured ocean pH changes induced by the CO2 rise.

The uncertainty in the science merely prevents us from concluding the future extent of these ongoing changes will be safe. Until it can be proven safe, it's a threat. Simple as.

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That's funny...

"When the evidence says something that goes against their dogma they act like the most ignorant creationist and claim it doesn't count."

I find it ironic to see Climate Change advocates likened to Creationists, because all the Creationists I know - and I actually know quite a lot - are very strong Climate Change skeptics*.

This is partly because both Evolution and Climate Change ring "Distrust of Science" bells with these people, but it has to be said that it's also because a lot of CC research goes back over hundreds of thousands of years - and obviously Creationists don't believe the Earth is that old (I've always suspected this was at least one factor in George W Bush's unwillingness/inability to accept CC...)

* Obviously the reverse doesn't follow...

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Gamble

It's never going to be certain one way or the other, however, if we act and man made climate change is wrong then all we will have done is saved some energy, created some new sciencey industry, possibly found new fuel sources and generally increased effeciency/reduced wastage all round.

What happens if no one does anything and man made climate change turns out to be real?

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@ BraveOak

"These things are measured to be changing"

No-one is denying that. They are changing. All the climate variables you mention, and a multitude of others, have been in a state of constant fluctuation since the formation of planet Earth, but only in the last decade or two have these fluctuations become politics. And it's this fact that makes people sceptical of the whole AGW agenda and makes reasoned debate virtually impossible.

About time we got back to real science instead of trying to make hockey sticks out of every slightest little fluctuation in the numbers.

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Same old same old

"When the evidence says something that goes against their dogma they act like the most ignorant creationist and claim it doesn't count."

Actually that's what the believers in Evolution do. Curiously both CC and Evolution believers try to prevent any publication of contrary scientific research.

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Here we go again

So what sort of distortions and half truths are behind this contribution from Lewis Page?

I suppose we had better wait for the deconstruction from Peter Hadley.

I still remember the last time Page published an denialist article based on reading a press release and some dodgy maths.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/blog/2010/dec/17/register-climate-myths

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Re: Here we go again

I don't see anything "denialist" in there at all. It's a straight report from some oceanographers stating that they have seen a 0.15 degree cooling recently, which they describe as "unusual".

It does mention that previously there had been the fat end of 0.25 degrees of warming since 1957. Nowhere does it seem to mention what that was described as or attributed to (although I'll bet I can guess) and as far as I can make out, you're left to make your own mind up as to what's actually going on. For some reason you seem to have gone all warmist/defensive over this. What's the problem? Is the science on that side of the fence now so piss-poor that rhetoric and mud-slinging has to be used as a substitute?

As for quoting the Graun blog section here, that's like quoting the message boards of the Faily Heil as a reliable source of factual information in a debate on censorship. It pleases me to award you an icon for that one alone.

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title

"It's a straight report from some oceanographers stating that they have seen a 0.15 degree cooling recently"

In a specific subset of the ocean which has no obvious relevance to global warming. It's not like the entire ocean has been warming in tandem - different regions cool and warm, but global warming means overall they are on average warming. And the oceans have warmed past 1998.

So why was *this* particular report chosen out of dozens of compariable science reports in the last week (many far more interesting and relevant)? That's the $1,000,000 question. And there really is only one answer isn't there?

The reason this article has been posted is because the author thinks, or hopes readers will think that it is saying something Not The IPCC about global warming. And we can see from the comments so far that plenty of people have interpreted it thusly. Even you when you "bet" that the researchers had previously attributed the warming to we-know-what but now aren't.

"For some reason you seem to have gone all warmist/defensive over this. What's the problem? "

As explained above. It's like if a creationist had posted an article about some geological feature being "younger than we thought". Everyone would know why they posted it and it wouldn't be because it was relevant in the way they thought.

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Why the defensiveness?

Why the Defensiveness?

1) 24.5 N is just N of the Tropic of Cancer, so it is a fairly logical place to be measuring sea temperatures. Especially for Spaniards (easy access and all). And they measured across the whole N Atlantic so you can hardly claim it's "isolated".

2) Neither the article or the original study state "we can't find any link to Global Warming (or Anthropogenic Climate Change), so Global Warming is incorrect" As some commentators seem to be assuming. According to Google tranlate the original article states:

"However, scientists dismissed the hypothesis of thaw despite some water bodies, originating in the Antarctic and the Mediterranean influence in the area studied. The drop in temperature "should have been clearly observed in areas near the North Pole," said Velez Belchí. And that has not happened"

No denial of Anthropogenic Climate Change that I can see. Just saying that its not linked.

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Another nail in the coffin of MMGW.

I don't doubt we are responsible for rising CO2, but that's only one minor factor in the always changing climate.

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Boffin

Hmmmmmmm

Did they move the tropics? Surely anything in the northern hemisphere at 24.5 degrees of latitude is supertropical ;)

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FAIL

Where the hell did you study geography?

Where the hell did you study geography? To quote Wackypædia, which is accurate for this sort of thing:

"The subtropics are the geographical and climatical zone of the Earth immediately north and south of the tropical zone, which is bounded by the Tropic of Cancer and the Tropic of Capricorn, at latitudes 23.5°N and 23.5°S. The term "subtropical" describes the climatic region found adjacent to the tropics, usually between 20 and 40 degrees of latitude in both hemispheres."

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somewhere on the planet got a bit cooler..

And there was me thinking that ever increasing rates of consumption were a bad idea! Silly me, time to buy a 4x4.

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Lost credibility...

After Lewis got royally shown up last time.

Please tell us why we should pay attention?

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Megaphone

Climate Change

The average weather in one locale is not Climate.

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Sigh...

Do yourself and others a favor and read about thermohaline circulation. You'll quickly understand why the particular latitude mentioned is significant (or you'll give up, hopefully).

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Armchair science

So taking the average along one line of latitude give you the full picture? It tell's scientists something, but nothing about global climate change (man made or not).

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Boring!

Can you move all these global warming articles to a new website? They have nothing to do with IT.

I see that globalwarmingsciencedenial.com is still available, you're in luck!

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Happy

Who's in denial?

I have a pair of musical ear muffs you can borrow. No sound gets in, and they play a very pretty "Tra-La-La" song.

Perfect for the anti-denialist who's in denial.

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The missing piece of the puzzle

I lived in Wales in the Nineties and I used to go surfing quite a lot. I guess '98 was about the last year I did much of that.

Clearly I actually am so hot I raised the temperature of the whole damn ocean.

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*sigh*

raised the temperature you say?

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Alert

Packing my bags

News of sustained changes in Atlantic circulation is very alarming. As is well-known, the British Isles are only habitable because of the warm currents flowing from the tropics. If these were disturbed, our climate could become like that of Canada, and nobody wants that.

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Coat

Packing my bags

But just think of the potential for winter sports on all our lovely slopes!

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Did anybody read the article before commenting?

All they are actually saying is that this cooling should not be taken as evidence for or seen as related to any general warming. Nor as evidence against.

They're not saying Global warming is or isn't happening, or is or isn't man made... why all the jumping up and down?

Cool down everybody...

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Cherry picking data

1998 was an unusually hot year. Can you tell me what the trend is like if you chose 1997 or 1999 as your reference point?

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Cherry picking data

<quote>1998 was an unusually hot year. Can you tell me what the trend is like if you chose 1997 or 1999 as your reference point?</quote>

Read the article, jonathanb, and you'll see why no-one can give you a meaningful answer using 1997 or 1999 as the point of division.

1998 was the last year of the recent upward trend of the mean close to surface temperatures on the 24.5N parallel in the Atlantic. This steady increase (which lasted about 42 years) was followed by a decline and in the following 8 years that area of ocean lost more that half the temperature increase gained in the preceeding 42 years. You can't campare behaviour on two sides of a turning point by taking something other than the turning point as your base point, it would make no sense.

It's quite clear that the rapid decrease was not caused by global warming, but was part of the ordinary short term variation in ocean temperatures in that area caused by short term wind variations leading to slightly different current patterns. That's pointed out in the article quite straightforwardly.

All the comments about how this relates to global warming and slagging off the article as being written from a NNCC-sceptic POV are bullshit, and your reference to "cherry picking" is probably the stupidest.

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New data panic

It might just be that we got access to new data sources for temp of various parts of the planet during the past 60-odd years, and the variations in temp, not matching prior models, induced a moral panic.

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@jonathonb

Did you read the article? It says "Measurements since 1957 had shown a rise of more than ¼ of a degree up to that point". Then it began to decline.

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@johnny canuck

I did read that. Every year from 1999 to 2010 has been colder than 1998. There is no doubt about that. However I don't think you can conclude from this that the world is now entering a cooling phase. All the other factors which affect global temperature besides CO2 concentration pointed to 1998 being a hotter than average year. In 2010, all these other factors pointed to it being a colder than average year, however, for the first 11 months of the year, it was on course to be the hottest year ever, and only the cold spell in December pulled it in to 2nd place.

So, any time I see 1998 being mentioned, I wonder if a denialist is trying to manipulate statistics to his own end. That's why I ask, is there a cooling trend since 1997 or 1999? Does the 5 year moving average show a cooling trend since 1998? I think you will find the answer to these questions is no. The denialists would be very quick to point out any manipulation of statistics by scientists, and I think the denialists should be held to the same high standards that are expected of scientists.

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Go

Argo Bouys

I have a video I made launching them from the aft of a survey vessel in 2005

They are fantastic pieces of kit

All of ours were in the South Atlantic Ocean 35.5 degrees south of the equator

They are really heavy but bouyant

Activated by magnets

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Pint

Maybe it's all the icy water dribbling off Greenland

Something on the order of about 100,000,000,000 tonnes per year. All that ice splashing into the northern Atlantic ocean, which is connected to the Mid-Atlantic. So maybe that explains at least part of it. Maybe...

Then again, the ocean is pretty big.

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The IT angle

"a rise of more than ¼ of a degree". Say 0.25 degree (ignoring the "more than" part)

"cooled by 0.15°C"

Net: as any phule nose, 0.25 -0.15 = 0.1 degree warmer*.

* Fahrenheit, Celsius, Kelvin, or some hilarious Reg unit** is not specified; but no matter, as long as the same units are used

* I have no idea whether or how this may or may not be taken as evidence for/against global warming

** Is there an official Reg unit for temperature? If not, may I suggest the temperature of beer in the UK versus the USA; or perhaps Indian versus Thai curry, as units to consider.

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Anonymous Coward

the science is irrelevant

Sadly the actual science underpinning any climate change argument has become irrelevant - rather like terrorism or child protection it has become a justification for all manner of ludicrous laws and financial jiggery-pokery which have no real impact on the underlying problem or its causes, but are instead intended to empower and enrich one group at the expense of the rest.

Even the debate itself is beneficial in that it diverts attention - any attempt to question what is being done, or to challenge those making money out of nothing (which always ends well for the rest of us), is morphed into 'denialism' and an attack on the future of the human race.

From the steps actually being taken around the world I'd suggest that very few if any senior politicians, civil servants or finance experts believe there is a real threat to them or their family from climate change; they do believe there is a lot of money, influence and power to be had on the back of it.

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Joke

Global warming is definetly real though...

... it's caused by internet pornography, seriously look at the timelines. As the internet has become more saturated by perverts, and filled with more and more porn, so the climate has become more and more screwed up. It must be all the vented excess body heat.

So now we've established an IT angle for global warming we can all go on reading about these great climatic discoveries.

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Anonymous Coward

T'was me...

I moved in the UK in 1997, and moved out 7 times since then. I tend to stock heavily on ice cubes in the freezer, and have had to throw them back into the water system on each occasion. I'm sorry. I bought a house now, so that shouldn't happen anymore.

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Only one thing

is sure. The temperature goes up, the temperature goes down, the taxes will always go up and up to pay for the nonsense of a tiny amount of the normal, fluctuating temperature change.

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