I. Forever Young Old
The "old" of the struggle against "The Young Old Sea Level Change Hoax" is generalized in the Dredd Blog series (On Thermal Expansion & Thermal Contraction, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41, 42).
The "young" in the ongoing struggle is a recent paper presented by a group I am familiar with:
"There are three main factors that affect global sea levels on timescales of decades to centuries:17,18 (1) the net loss of mass from glaciers and ice sheets to the oceans; (2) the expansion of ocean water as it warms; and (3) changes in water storage on land outside of the glaciers and ice sheets, including the balance between removal of water from groundwater aquifers versus increases in impoundment of water behind dams on rivers."
(Twenty-first century sea-level rise ..., emphasis added). That kinda reminds me of the time, during a presidential debate, when candidate and later president Ronald Reagan said "there you go again" to his opponent.
Thermal expansion ("the expansion of ocean water as it warms") when considered as "the" or "a" major cause of sea level rise is one of those sticky myths that clings to way too many people in the oceanographic and warming science commentariat communities.
Anyway, in support of their declaration that thermal expansion is a main cause of sea level rise, they cite to a paper "The causes of sea-level rise since 1900" at #17 therein, from their list of citations to other scientific works.
That paper they cite to, among other things, says:
"The rate of global-mean sea-level rise since 1900 has varied over time, but the contributing factors are still poorly understood. Previous assessments found that the summed contributions of ice-mass loss, terrestrial water storage and thermal expansion of the ocean could not be reconciled with observed changes in global-mean sea level, implying that changes in sea level or some contributions to those changes were poorly constrained. Recent improvements to observational data, our understanding of the main contributing processes to sea-level change and methods for estimating the individual contributions, mean another attempt at reconciliation is warranted. Here we present a probabilistic framework to reconstruct sea level since 1900 using independent observations and their inherent uncertainties ... Ice-mass loss—predominantly from glaciers—has caused twice as much sea-level rise since 1900 as has thermal expansion."
(Nature 584, 393–397, emphasis added). I still agree, as I have in the past, with their latter statement "Recent improvements to observational data, our understanding of the main contributing processes to sea-level change and methods for estimating the individual contributions, mean another attempt at reconciliation is warranted."
What I disagree with is calling "the same old same old" about thermal expansion "another attempt at reconciliation" because as the man said "doing the same thing over and over while expecting a different result is insanity."
So, the first order of business in this series is to submit a different, yet more convincing, look at the science versus the myth ("another attempt at reconciliation").
II. Background Knowledge
The World Ocean Database (WOD) Manual contains an Appendix (#11) which lists the maximum high and minimum low seawater temperatures and salinity values at 33 depths of the world oceans (see Dredd Blog post Quantum Oceanography - 4 at Appendix QO-1).
What I have done, among other things, in the quest for "another attempt at reconciliation" is to use that WOD manual's max + min divided by two so as to derive the median temperature at all depths in all oceans in their list.
Additionally, I have applied the GISSTEMP anomaly record to that median temperature in order to map out, in the abstract, what happens to seawater as ~93% of the temperature/heat increase in the atmosphere radiates into the oceans.
This will be a benchmark to show what happened as the heat increase in the atmosphere from 1900 to 2020 impacted the world oceans.
This combination is used as the means to determine what actually and incontrovertibly happens to seawater when the heat recorded in the GISSTEMP anomaly is applied to the world's oceans.
When we KNOW an in situ temperature, KNOW an in situ salinity, KNOW an in situ depth, KNOW an in situ latitude and KNOW an in situ longitude, we can KNOW what happens as the original in situ temperature changes over the years as actually recorded in the values of the GISSTEMP anomaly.
We can KNOW it just as surely as we can KNOW how the energy ("e") will change as the mass ("m") changes when we apply the formula e=mc2.
If we apply a changing value stream to the "m" value we will automatically derive the changing value stream for the "e" value (the "c2" value is a constant).
We can do the same thing for the maximum and minimum value median for all the oceans listed in the WOD manual at Appendix 11 therein.
There is no "we don't know" involved, no "the contributing factors are still poorly understood", and there is no "we don't know what happens" under those conditions.
The laws of thermodynamics are irrefutable scientific laws, and Josiah Gibbs gave us the formulas for KNOWING exactly what did and will happen, just as we do when we compute e=mc2 using a stream of variables for the "m" value (we can calculate "e" precisely backward and forward in time).
No one doubts Einstein and the e=mc2 formula, and no one doubts that when you have a mass of 9 grams then you can calculate the energy ("e") in joules (energy=9*speed-of-light-squared).
Nor should anyone doubt what Einstein said about Gibbs:
"Josiah Willard Gibbs (1839-1903) was an American mathematical physicist whose work in statistical mechanics laid the basis for the development of physical chemistry as a science. On April 20, 2007, APS presented a plaque to the Yale physics department in his honor.
Albert Einstein called him "the greatest mind in American history" ... Gibbs’s studies of thermodynamics and discoveries in statistical mechanics paved the way for many of Einstein’s later discoveries. Gibbs is also known as the "father of vector analysis", or the formal study of vectors in math, and is largely responsible for the widespread use of vectors in physics, replacing the quaternions that William Rowan Hamilton had earlier discovered."
(Sloane Physics Laboratory, Yale University). There is no valid reason not to know what seawater will do under known conditions.
The Gibbs formulas have been converted into software libraries that represent the world standard for seawater physics (TEOS-10 Software).
We KNOW what seawater does under KNOWN conditions.
There is no mystery in any of that science.
III. Application of the Knowledge
When I know ocean conditions I can utilize the world standard oceanographic software (TEOS-10) to generate a test case for thermodynamic expansion and contraction, just as Einstein could calculate test cases concerning energy quantities with his formula e=mc2.
Thus, anyone using the TEOS-10 library can calculate thermal expansion and contraction with the following sequence:
z = gsw_z_from_p (depth, lat);
p = gsw_p_from_z (z, lat);
sa = gsw_sa_from_sp (sp, p, lon, lat);
ct = gsw_ct_from_t (sa, t, p);
tec = gsw_alpha (sa, ct, p)
vc = mu * (1 + (tec * (ct - prev_ct)))
Where depth = meters below surface, "z" is the "height" (geoid) (depth value as a negative value, e.g. if depth is 10m "z" (height) is about -10m), p = pressure, lat = latitude, lon = longitude, sp = practical salinity (in situ salinity), sa = absolute salinity, ct = conservative temperature, t = in situ seawater temperature, tec = thermal expansion coefficient, vc = seawater volume change, mu = mass unit of seawater, prev_ct = the previous seawater temperature at the same locus (e.g. last year's ct).
When vc and mu are calculated and expressed in terms of cubic kilometers (km3), to convert vc into millimeters of sea level change (SLC), we divide vc by 361.841, which is the number of cubic kilometers per millimeter of SLC in mass units of the ocean's seawater (see e.g. Build Your Own Thermosteric Computational System).
Anyway, this leads to the benchmark test application results using the boundary values in the WOD Manual, Appendix 11.
IV. Graphs Generated From The Benchmark Data
There are four types of graphs for today's post.
1) The Conservative Temperature (CT) graphs show how the WOD manual maximum and minimum values converted to median values and then modified by GISSTEMP anomalies would play out during the years 1900 to 2020 at four depth levels (10m, 300m, 1,000m, and 3,000m).
2) The Potential Enthalpy (hO) graphs show the same as the CT graphs except of course that the hO graphs are of "heat content" in the oceans graphed.
3) The Depth Level Thermosterics (tsSLC) graphs show thermal expansion and contraction at the four depth levels mentioned in #1 above (note that this type graphs is very "saw toothed" because the individual depth values are not combined with all depth levels as they are in total SLC graphs described in #4 below).
4) The Total Thermal Expansion & Contraction (ttsSLC) graphs are the combination of the thermal expansion and contraction at all 33 WOD depth levels (not just the 4 levels in the current graphs) over the years 1900 thru 2020.
In future posts the other 29 depths (33-4) will be graphed as these were (all of the 33 depths won't fit coherently on a single graph).
The following menu links to the appendices:
IV. Closing Comments
Remember that these graphs are nothing but real in the sense that they, like e=mc2, accurately reflect the laws of physics.
They accurately portray the path of thermal expansion and contraction over a period of a hundred and twenty years.
That path shows us that thermal expansion has never been, and never will be a major cause of sea level change.
The next post in this series is here.