What missing heat?

[mathjax]As with the discussion about the “pause” in global surface temperatures, much consternation exists about the so-called “missing heat” in the earth’s energy budget.

There are three pieces of the puzzle regarding this issue, which collectively have to fit together for us to be able to make sense about the net energy flow.

  1. The surface temperature time series, see the CSALT model
  2. Heat sinking via ocean heat content diffusion, see the OHC model
  3. The land and ocean surface temperatures have an interaction where they can exchange energy

We have an excellent start on the first two but the last requires a fresh analysis.   Understanding the exchange of energy is crucial to not getting twisted up in knots trying to explain any perceived deficit in heat accounting.

Consider Figure 1 below where the energy fluxes are shown at a level of detail appropriate for book-keeping.  On the left side, we have an energy balance of incoming flux perturbation (Li)  and outgoing flux (Lo) for the land area (we don’t consider the existing balance as we assume that is already in a steady state).  On the right side we do the same for the sea or ocean area (Si and So).

The question is how do we proceed if we don’t have direct knowledge of all the parameters.  The first guess is that they have to be inferred collectively. The complicating factor is that the sea both absorbs thermal energy (heat) into the bulk shown as the OHC arrow, and that some fraction of the latent and radiative heat emitted by the sea surface transfers over to the land.  There is little doubt that this occurs as the Pacific Ocean-originating El Nino events do impact the land, while regular seasonal monsoons work to redistribute enormous amounts as rain originating from the ocean and delivered to the land as moist latent energy. So the question mark in the figure indicates where we need to estimate this split.

Fig 1: Schematic of energy flow necessary to balance the budget.

Solving this problem would make an excellent homework assignment and perfect for a class in climate science.  Let’s give it a try.


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Bakken Projections

The Dynamic Context Server features an interactive Bakken Oil model showing the Red Queen effect. The model uses historical oil well count and cumulative production to estimate average well output over time and then project that a number of months into the future.

The North Dakota Mineral Resources Department releases monthly data which we use to fit against. The start of the model is set to when the oil production statistics began and continues to the recent month 378:

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The Oil Drum post

When The Oil Drum blog ceases to exist, I will start to add a stream of regular content to the ContextEarth blog. The time frame for The Oil Drum termination is early September, which puts it at next week.

The staff at The Oil Drum were gracious enough to allow me to post a final article on my thoughts and an example of the Oil Shock Model in action. The name of the post is Modeling Bakken Oil Production: The Oil Shock Model Explained.

I used the Dynamic Context Server to generate the Bakken production model

For modeling the Bakken ala the convolution-based shock model, the inputs are two time-series.
1. The forced input is the time series of newly available wells.
2. The response input is the time series of expected decline from a single well.
The convolution function takes the forced input and applies the response input and generates the expected aggregate oil production over time.