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Oh ship

12 Jul 2023 | OP ED Watch

Boiling oceans are a perennial alarmist favourite, like the bit where all climate news is bad. And so we wanted to fish out one particular two-headed beast here. Bill McKibben, who never met a climate scare he didn’t like, wrote in May that the seething seas were a comprehensive, looming disaster and self-inflicted wound. Moreover one cause of the disaster that he puts forward is that the environment is getting cleaner. You see, “seagoing vessels have been rapidly phasing out their use of ‘bunker fuel,’ the literal bottom-of-the-barrel tarry sludge that ships have generally burned because it is very very cheap and because they are…out at sea. Research indicated that the pollution from this stuff was blowing back to port and damaging humans, so as Ryan Cooper reports it is being replaced with cleaner fuel.” Well, that one’s good at least, right? No. Never.

Thus he continues:

“Big enviro win, except that the aerosols in the choking exhaust of those ships (the stuff coming out the smoke stack) helped seed clouds as it trailed out across the main shipping routes; the air is now clearer on those routes, and hence more sunlight gets through to the ocean.”

Oh really? Are the oceans, vast, deep and complex as they are, so small and simple that removing ship exhaust will cause them to vaporize? Well, no. It’s more complex and incomprehensible and bad:

“But in a deeper sense, the oceans just seem to be heating very very fast now. A little-noticed recent study headed by Katrina von Schuckmann found that ‘over the past 15 years, the Earth has accumulated almost as much heat as it did in the previous 45 years,’ and that 89 percent of that heat has ended up in the seas.”

How do we know it ended up in the seas? Did we (gasp) measure it? Heck no. That’s for losers. Instead von Shuckmann and a suspicious 68 co-authors (is this a research project or  a career-enhancing bandwagon?) used computer models to say the planet must be absorbing a lot of heat and since it wasn’t showing up anywhere it must have gone for a swim.

Seriously? Of this massive heat surge 2% ended up in the atmosphere, 5% on the land, 4% in the cryosphere and the rest wandered off? What if it was never there?

Sabine Hossenfelder, who produces popular science videos on YouTube, sells the thing as climate breakdown before getting to the fact that it may well be a combination of non-climate stuff, including El Niño, that thing with ship aerosols and a lack of Saharan dust being blown into the air above the North Atlantic.

But the problem with these explanations is that if they are correct, then it’s not CO2. Including on the ship aerosols that if it is correct then, had they been absent in the last half-century, the oceans should have warmed quite a while ago, 30 or 40 years, before modern high concentrations of atmospheric CO2.

Never mind. Everything is proof of man-made global warming. And it’s all bad by definition. Thus McKibben says of the supposed overheating of the seas that:

“Remember, people, this is an experiment we haven’t run before, and the test tube we’re using is the whole planet. Lots of things will happen: maybe the Beaufort Gyre will release a whole lot of freshwater into the North Atlantic, further disrupting the already weakened Gulf Stream. I bet you hadn’t been worrying about the Beaufort gyre, but a new study last week… Or maybe there will be more of the Midwest drought currently forcing farmers to abandon wheat crops at a record rate. Or ocean oxygen levels will keep falling, putting pressure on lots of species (except jellyfish).”

Note how every single one of these is bad. There’s no way it’s going to be good for anyone, for instance farmers facing short growing seasons in northern countries. Nope. All bad. Even cleaning the air. We are all going to die.

4 comments on “Oh ship”

  1. On the subject of boiling oceans, some years ago I lived near St Andrews on Scotland's eastern coast, and on summer weekends we would go to the St Andrews beach. For several weeks in the summer the water would be quite warm, due I suspect to a current flowing up from the south. However, the currents could change quickly, so that the next weekend the water temperature would be at the brass monkey level. Now imagine what a climate alarmist could do with that!

  2. It's July 12th, I think it's called summer, and I just looked at the 9 day forecast for temps in Victoria. Sat and Sun it's predicted to be 21 degrees, then for the rest of the forecast period 18 -19 degrees. These are mostly normal "summer" temps here. Where exactly are the boiling oceans, I want to move there?

  3. "Or maybe there will be more of the Midwest drought currently forcing farmers to abandon wheat crops at a record rate."
    Record rate? You mean at a rate greater than that at which farmers abandoned the Midwest during the dustbowl years of the 1930s? Sometimes, having an historian on the payroll would help.

  4. @terry, well there is a 'boiling' river in south america: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shanay-Timpishka that will kill you almost instantly if you would fall in.
    For boiling oceans you'd have to go somewhere near a volcanic vent or where hot magma flows into the ocean. This water will also very likely kill you.
    All of this isn't climate though, just our wonderfully weird planet 🙂

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