Regarding the climatology, they say that it is from the World Ocean Atlas 2009 (WOA09), viz: ” … statistics at all standard levels and various climatological averaging periods are available at http://www.nodc.noaa.gov/OC5/WOA09F/pr_woa09f.html “In fact, the authors say how they do this in their Supplementary Material, which has not been published yet. (I guess now it's too much to wait until scientists' results are actually published before attempting to destroy them.) But a preprint version is here. The authors write:
So I went there to see what kind of numbers they have for the monthly climatology at 2000 metres depth … and I got this answer:
"The temperature monthly climatologies deeper than 1500 meters have not been calculated."
Well, that sux. How do the authors deal with that? I don’t have a clue.
"The results describing the variability of ocean heat content shown here are based on 745 gridded (1-degree latitude-longitude grid), interpolated fields at standard depth 746 measurement levels have statistical estimates of reliability associated with them."(emphasis mine). And while the the monthly climatologies below a certain depth aren't available, the quarterly climatologies are -- at least, for every depth I've checked below 1500 m.
Does it matter if quarterly climatologies are used instead of monthly climatologies? I guess it's a fair question, but it's sufficiently technical that I would be sure to first ask the people who know the nuts-and-bolts of the data and analysis before writing a few little subroutines, making a lot of assumptions, and then labeling their work with names like "goofy." (It's also exactly the kind of things that get picked through on peer review.) But then, that's why I enjoy primarily doing journalism and more in-depth writing than being a blogger, especially a blogger in a realm that is really only looking to manufacture doubt about the science rather than fairly evaluating it (which is always more complicated than a few hours work.)