Planetary Boundary Layer, Moist Air Envelope, Ocean Asymmetry - all things I have mentioned a few times here.
As far as heat capacity goes, you have the oceans then the moist air envelope then ice and land. The greenhouse effect and global warming start with dry air which isn't on my list, then assumes that an increase/decrease in dry air temperature will have wondrous amplifying feedback on carbon forcing. Originally, this was carbon dioxide forcing, but shifted to more carbon generic forcing most likely because things were not going quite as planned. In thermodynamics it is all about the heat which depends on the energy and energy storage capacity which really drive the bus.
The last post I had on the planetary boundary layer emphasizes the difference between being in and out of the moist air envelope. With moist air you have a thicker, deeper and higher heat capacity planetary boundary layer which decreases the temperature response to any forcing. You can heat up a potato chip or crisp a lot faster than you can a whole fresh potato. Since this particular planet has more whole potatoes in the southern hemisphere and more crisps in the northern hemisphere, they aren't going to cook uniformly.
To add to that, the thermal equator and the physical equator are different and that damn thermal equator can move. Right now the thermal equator or Inter-Tropical convergence Zone (ITCZ) is about 6 degrees north of the real equator. Climate models often indicate there should be twin ITCZs which is obviously wrong and that warming should be more uniform.
To someone with a basic knowledge of thermodynamics, the models are friggin' wrong because they don't realistically consider heat capacity. When you have an entire field of science starting with screwed up assumptions which should be obvious, you would be surprised how hard it is to get the giants in that field to listen. These asshats, er giants, want a completely new theory most likely because their collective butts are on the line.
This completely new theory should "project" all of the things they think are relevant to a superior degree of precision, because they have over simplified a problem with poor assumptions and actually believe their model. Since their model is obviously screwed up, they should have no reason to be so confident, but since they are humans you should expect flawed logic.
The sad thing about this situation is that in a multi-disciplinary approach, you have an exponential increase in the number of Prima Donnas. Prima Donna are great at pointing out the flaws in others but not so great at introspection. The normal thing to do is let these Pima Donna fade, but a false sense of urgency screws up the whole scientific process of advancing one funeral at a time.
The moist air envelope and moist air model were my attempts to get people to focus on the more significant part of the atmospheric portion of the problem. There is no ideal way to set the problem up, so you have to consider the more significant parts. If it turns out that what you consider to be more significant has issues, then you have to consider other parts that appear to be significant. Basically, quit recycling your same failing set of assumptions.
The minions of the great and powerful carbon always revert to the basic playbook the way the choir reverts to their favorite hymns. A dynamic open system with a planetary scale will likely require thinking outside of the box. A large number of simplified models designed to avoid assumption inbreeding could be considered outside of the box. Regional sensitivity and how that sensitivity changes with time, outside the box. Subsurface reference instead of lower troposphere reference, outside the box. If you keep your head inside the box, you may never realize that the box is up some idiot's butt, possibly your own.
Take clouds. Clouds are a regulating mechanism. If you focus on heat capacity instead one single likely flawed metric, Global Mean Surface Temperature, it is pretty obvious. You can convert all those individual temperatures that make up GMST into equivalent energy and you have a simple weighting method. Is that energy equivalent absolutely, perfectly accurate? No, but it is useful, especially since it is assumed that effective surface energy is directly related to effective radiant energy. You cannot convince the choir of that though.
Kimoto's equation, is that absolutely, perfectly accurate? No, but energy is fungible and if you can figure out the solution to a wicked set of partial differential equations it could be.
Energy balance estimates of sensitivity, are they perfect? No, but if you can figure out the right combination of regional energy balance estimates they could be.
As all Rednecks know there is more than one way to skin a catfish. The best way is letting someone else do the work, it is the bones you need to worry about anyway.
End of rant