Another denier trying to baffle with BS

On Huffington Post, I was challenged by a denier going by the screen name "Shuman the Human".  You can read the exchange here.  It's incomplete as for some reason my attempts to reply to his comment keep getting zapped.  Update: Looks like HuffPost zapped his last comment as well.

Shuman the Human initially claimed that ocean temperatures had decelerated by 50% over the past 20 years.  First, while true that the rate of rise in sea surface temperatures has declined over the past 20 years compared to the previous 20 years, it's not a 50% decline.  Using HadSST3 data, I calculated the following rates:
Trend ± 95% confidence interval
1974-1994: +0.145ºC ± 0.079 per decade
1994-2014: +0.094ºC ± 0.086 per decade
 Do the math and the decline in rate is 35%, not the 50% he claimed.

Second, he ignores research that shows that the deep oceans have gained heat at an accelerating rate over the past 20 years (i.e. Nuccitelli et al. 2012, Balmaseda et al. 2013).

Figure 1 from Balmaseda et al. 2013 showing the gain in ocean heat content at various depths of the ocean.

Third, he ignores the fact that a mechanism explaining the transfer of heat from the ocean surface into the deeper portions of the ocean was recently discovered.  England et al. (2014) showed that stronger Pacific trade winds was driving upwelling of cold water to the surface in the eastern and central tropical Pacific (La Niña conditions), colder water which absorbs heat from the atmosphere.  They also showed that the stronger trade winds also strengthened the subsurface overturning cells, a circulation pattern that shuttles heat from the surface to the deeper layers of the ocean.

Confronted with that evidence, Shuman the Human's response was to cite an unspecified Nature Climate Change study which supposedly showed that ocean temperatures had only risen by 0.09ºC since 1958 (0.0016ºC per decade) and that the oceans temperature has actually cooled below 1500 ft over the last 134 years.  Both of those claims are utterly bogus.

In reality, HadSST3 shows that ocean surface temperatures have risen by a total of 0.2955ºC over the past 55 years (average surface temperature in 1958: 0.0822ºC; average in 2013: 0.3777ºC).  That is a rate of 0.0537ºC per decade, over 336x faster than the rate he claimed.  I'm not sure where he's getting his numbers but they're not coming from the actual data.

His claim about cooling below 1500 feet over the past 134 years took another exchange of responses before he arrogantly revealed that he was referring to the Challenger expedition (1872-1876).  That gave me all the clues I needed to find the Nature Climate Change study he was blathering about: Roemmich et al. 2012.  What follows is the reply that keeps getting zapped.

Unfortunately for Shuman the Human, revealing his "sources" merely reveals that he hadn't bothered READING his supposed source.  He's lying about Roemmich et al. (2012) and it's not even subtle.  Roemmich et al. plugged ocean temperature measurements from the 1872-1876 Challenger expedition into an ocean model, then used the most conservative scenario to estimate the amount of ocean temperature change between the Challenger expedition and the 2004-2010 Argos buoy data.  Most conservative, in this case, equals "most likely to underestimate the actual temperature change over the last 135 years."  Even with that caveat, Roemmich et al. found that temperatures had risen over the 135 years since the Challenger expedition:
Surface temperature change: 0.59ºC ± 0.12
336 meters (1200 feet): 0.39ºC ± 0.18
914 meters (3000 feet): 0.12ºC ± 0.07
Note that Roemmich et al. found that ocean temperatures below 1500 feet had WARMED by 0.12ºC over 135 years, not cooled as Shuman the Human claimed.  Oops.

If Shuman the Human should read this: Next time, read your claimed source.  All you've demonstrated is that you've a lot of arrogance combined with willful ignorance—the arrogance to think that I didn't know what I was talking about and the gall to try to mock me combined with complete ignorance about what your source actually said.  What, didn't think I could figure out your source and sniff out your lies?  You're just another arrogant, ignorant denier windbag hoping to baffle with BS and it doesn't work.


  1. You need some lessons on how to be a gracious loser.

    1. You need some lessons on telling the truth, Shuman. Everything you posted has been exposed as a lie—and then you call me a loser? You'd have been better off if you hadn't mentioned the Challenger expedition, as that combined with Nature Climate Change is all I needed to locate the study you were talking about and show that you were deliberately lying about it.


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