More specifically, I've seen some discussion of this article:
which claims that the observed ocean warming is explained by the ocean skin absorbing long-wavelength radiation. What I am asking is: is this mechanism necessary for ocean warming to occur? My naive understanding was that our increasing the magnitude of the greenhouse effect meant that there was less radiation escapting to space, and therefore the average temperature of the entire ocean+earth+atmosphere system will increase until it reaches a new equilibrium, where outgoing radiation again equals incoming. Is this correct? And if it is, does it not imply that the ocean must also get warmer, simply because it is a thermally coupled part of the entire warming system? I had someone tell me that the a warming atmosphere could not warm the ocean, because the atmosphere has a much lower heat capacity. But it seems to me that the constraint on the final equibilibrium temperature means that all components must warm, no matter how inefficient the means of energy transfer between them. Am I right, or have I misunderstood? To clarify, I'm talking about an idealised earth that actually can reach equilibrium, and I'm ignoring all the complexities of ocean currents and winds etc. I'm just asking about the absolute thermodynamic basics.