Ocean heat content and Earth’s energy balance

In Climate clippings 46 I thought the most important segment was the last, on Deep heat. I don’t think it attracted a single comment.

To recap, the world’s oceans have a total mass of 1.37 billion gigatonnes of water. A gigatonne of water equals a cubic kilometre.The average temperature is, I understand, 3.5C, so the capacity for storing energy in the oceans is truly massive.

Around 90% of heat trapped by greenhouse gases ends up in the ocean.

A post by Kevin Trenberth on the earth’s energy balance tells us of a study that will show that energy can easily be “buried” in the deep ocean for over a decade.

Skeptical Science
now has a post on this study, by Meehl (2011), including this graph showing periods of more than 10 years with the ocean heat content at 0-700m roughly static: Continue reading Ocean heat content and Earth’s energy balance