There is an interesting post on the significance of the Levitus et al 2012 paper
Levitus, S., et al. (2012), World ocean heat content and thermosteric sea level change (0-2000), 1955-2010, Geophys. Res. Lett.,doi:10.1029/2012GL051106, in press
that I posted on in
This new post is on Niche Modeling and is titled
While, the lower diagnosed value of radiative imbalance raises questions on the skill of the models (and the IPCC reliance on them), it is important to distinguish between the three terms radiative imbalance, radiative forcing, and radiative feedback. In terms of global averages their relationship can be written as
global radiative imbalance = global radiative forcing + global radiative feedback.
The Levitus et al 2012 data provides a measure of the global average radiative imbalance for 1955-2010 which is ~+0.3 Watts per meter squared.
If one accepts the IPCC radiative forcing values of anthropogenic radiative forcings of +1.6 (+0.6 to +2.4) Watts per meter squared and/or the solar radiative forcing of +0.12 (+0.06 to +0.30) Watts per meter squared as correct, what the Levitus et al data shows is that the global radiative feedback is negative (and this necessarily would include the water vapor, sea ice etc radiative feedbacks). That is
global radiative feedback < global radiative forcing.
Alternatively, the IPCC anthropogenic radiative forcings and/or the solar radiative forcing could be in error.
Either way, the 2007 IPCC WG1 report has a serious error in it.