Santer is the Man

Santer is the Man.
by Anthony Cox
I recently wrote this response to Naomi Oreske’s panegyric about Ben Santer the scientist.

Santer had been very busy making sure the scam of AGW has the requisite ‘scientific’ evidence to keep the money pouring in. His specialty had been the Tropical Hot Spot, that mythical Holy Grail for AGW science which is yet to be found.

Now Santer has turned his attention to the heating of the oceans, Ocean Heat Content [OHC] in a new paper co-authored by him and his Australian brethren, including John Church of the CSIRO.

In interviews with the AGW friendly ABC, Dr Church makes no bones about it, this paper on OHC is:
the most comprehensive study of changes in ocean heat content to date by quite some margin.
And the new paper also:
has allowed the group to rule out that the changes are related to natural variability in the climate system.
The AGW scientists love OHC; the oceans are so big you can hide anything down there, including Trenberth’s“missing heat”, and the lack of warming in the atmosphere for the last 15 years. And the AGW models will always find it for you.
But right at the start of the new paper we see the usual lacuna between those models and reality. Santer and his buddies acknowledge:
The infilling method of DOM employs statistics of observed ocean variability estimated from altimeter data. We compare the spatially complete infilled estimates (1TIF) with subsampled 1T data (1TSS) restricted to available in situ measurements (see Methods). Not surprisingly, the 1TSS variability in Fig. 1b is greater than that of 1TIF, particularly at the times/locations of the sparsest sampling (early in the record and in the southern oceans; Supplementary Fig. S1).\

The “infilled estimates” are the models and the “subsampled data” is the real stuff; and the difference between them is greater than the alleged temperature increase! That is, the temperature variation, up and down, in the actual measured ocean, the bulk of it, the Southern Ocean, is both too sparse to base any conclusions on and inconsistent with how the models have developed trends.

The paper does concede that measurement of OHC has been subject to problems in the past. This is an understatement. In reality accurate measurement of OHC only began in 2003 with the ARGO network and even this sophisticated system, which supposedly overcame the “biases” of previous measurement regimes, is incredibly sparse and hardly representative.

The fact is that the measurement of OHC is subject to the same modelling biases as every other bit of evidence to support AGW. The temperature record of OHC saw a remarkable jump at the time of the transition to the ARGO system as this NOAA graph shows:

As is apparent there is a huge jump at the beginning of 2003 when the ARGO system was introduced. David Stockwell has calculated that this jump has a probability of being real of 0.001; in other words it is an outlier reflecting some problem with coordinating the data during the transition to the ARGO system.

Santer’s paper deals with the top 700 meters of the ocean and it is this part of the ocean which deals with most the variation in OHC. Given this it is extraordinary that the OHC since the most accurate measurement was introduced in 2003, has been basically flat and far less than the model projections:

These are the same models Santer is now using to tell us that the OHC is increasing and it’s the fault of human emissions of CO2 and there is a “human-induced fingerprint” in the oceans.

As I noted before Santer could not prove there was another fingerprint in the form of a Tropical Hot Spot. He has moved on to now prove there is a fingerprint in the OHC. As with the Tropical Hot Spot the evidence is against him.


  1. Santer admitted to having made up the IPCC summary for policy makers years ago, yet nothing was done at the time, and I guess that nothing will be done now either. These people are no better than outlaws, and snake-oil salesmen of the old wild west. When will the force of Law be brought to bear against these climate fraudsters?


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