Climate consensus when the oceans have stripes?

Dr. Arnd Bernaerts
3 min readJan 25, 2021


“The ocean drives climate and weather, regulates temperature, absorbs much of the carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, holds 97 percent of Earth’s water and embraces 97 percent of the biosphere.”
Extract from: The World Is Blue, 2010, p. 17

According NASA: “97 percent of climate scientists agree: Climate-warming trends over the past century are extremely likely due to human activities.” (1) The Guardian is even blunter: “It’s settled: 90–100% of climate experts agree on human-caused global warming” (2) It looks compelling, but not everyone agrees. “..[t]he claim of “scientific consensus” on the causes and consequences of climate change is without merit”, object the authors Craig D. Idso et al., in a recent book publication by The Heartland Institute (3) Is one claim better than the other. No, because the problem is not “scientific consent”, but the facts used for consideration.

That applies to both sides, as both are too much fixed on atmospheric matters. Idso et al., cite Prof Judith Curry (p.37) with the notion: “None of the most consequential scientific uncertainties are going to be resolved any time soon”. What is not said in the first place, that water is the principle issue concerning climate. Only about 10 percent of the water evaporated from the oceans is transported over land and falls as precipitation. Once evaporated, a water molecule spends about 10 days in the air. That means a replace of about 50 times per year. The volume of water in the atmosphere at any one time is about 12,900 cubic kilometers (km3), which is about 0.001 percent of the total Earth’s water volume (Volume of the Baltic Sea 21,700 km3).

Also, the oceans have stripes!

A paper by Ethan Gutmann (2008) HERE explains:
“These stripes are not visible without looking very closely, but they are visible through their effect on currents, temperatures, and sea surface heights. They were first spotted in a careful analysis of the Mean Dynamic Ocean Topography (MDOT) dataset, but had to be confirmed by looking directly at ocean buoy and vertical temperature profile data”. Further details (selection):

· The stripes have velocities around 1–1.5cm/s,

· Most changes in sea surface height, velocity, and temperature occur over thousands of kilometers.

· These stripes are interesting for a number of other reasons. For one thing, they persist to at least 700 meters deep…

· the velocity within the stripes does not always follow the orientation of the stripes.

The oceans are not only the supplier of aerial vapor, but the driver of evaporation as well. Only a tiny amount of warm water ‘swims’ on a huge water body with an mean temperature of about 4 °Celsius, and an average depth of nearly 3’700 meters. Science is so far away from understanding enough details about ocean processes, how they respond to human activities at sea, and how they are going to shape our future climate, that the discussion on ‘consensus’ looks rather naïve.