JPL says: FORGET LA NINA: OSCILLATION RULES AS THE PACIFIC COOLS

While I said a couple of days a go that “La Nina is back” it appears I mistook a strong PDO cool signature for the La Nina signature. As JPL’s Patzert says in the article below “This multi-year Pacific Decadal Oscillation ‘cool’ trend can cause La Niña-like impacts around the Pacific basin,”.

This PDO shift will be longer term event, and it appears that California will see some significant changes along with the many other parts of the planet. – Anthony (h/t to Allan)


PRESS RELEASE
JPL/NASA, 9 December 2008
http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/news/news.cfm?release=2008-231

PASADENA, Calif. — The latest image of sea-surface height measurements from the U.S./French Jason-1 oceanography satellite shows the Pacific Ocean remains locked in a strong, cool phase of the Pacific Decadal Oscillation, a large, long-lived pattern of climate variability in the Pacific associated with a general cooling of Pacific waters. The image also confirms that El Niño and La Niña remain absent from the tropical Pacific.

The new image is available online at: http://www.nasa.gov/topics/earth/features/20081209.html

The image is based on the average of 10 days of data centered on Nov. 15, 2008, compared to the long-term average of observations from 1993 through 2008. In the image, places where the Pacific sea-surface height is higher (warmer) than normal are yellow and red, and places where the sea surface is lower (cooler) than normal are blue and purple. Green shows where conditions are near normal. Sea-surface height is an indicator of the heat content of the upper ocean.

The Pacific Decadal Oscillation is a long-term fluctuation of the Pacific Ocean that waxes and wanes between cool and warm phases approximately every five to 20 years. In the present cool phase, higher-than-normal sea-surface heights caused by warm water form a horseshoe pattern that connects the north, west and southern Pacific. This is in contrast to a cool wedge of lower-than-normal sea-surface heights spreading from the Americas into the eastern equatorial Pacific. During most of the 1980s and 1990s, the Pacific was locked in the oscillation’s warm phase, during which these warm and cool regions are reversed. For an explanation of the Pacific Decadal Oscillation and its present state, see: http://jisao.washington.edu/pdo/ and http://www.esr.org/pdo_index.html

Sea-surface temperature satellite data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration mirror Jason sea-surface height measurements, clearly showing a cool Pacific Decadal Oscillation pattern, as seen at: http://www.cdc.noaa.gov/map/images/sst/sst.anom.gif

“This multi-year Pacific Decadal Oscillation ‘cool’ trend can cause La Niña-like impacts around the Pacific basin,” said Bill Patzert, an oceanographer and climatologist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif. “The present cool phase of the Pacific Decadal Oscillation will have significant implications for shifts in marine ecosystems, and for land temperature and rainfall patterns around the Pacific basin.”

According to Nathan Mantua of the Climate Impacts Group at the University of Washington, Seattle, whose research contributed to the early understanding of the Pacific Decadal Oscillation, “Even with the strong La Niña event fading in the tropics last spring, the North Pacific’s sea surface temperature anomaly pattern has remained strongly negative since last fall. This cool phase will likely persist this winter and, perhaps, beyond. Historically, this situation has been associated with favorable ocean conditions for the return of U.S. west coast Coho and Chinook salmon, but it translates to low odds for abundant winter/spring precipitation in the southwest (including Southern California).”

Jason’s follow-on mission, the Ocean Surface Topography Mission/Jason-2, was successfully launched this past June and will extend to two decades the continuous data record of sea surface heights begun by Topex/Poseidon in 1992. The new mission has produced excellent data, which have recently been certified for operational use. Fully calibrated and validated data for science use will be released next spring.

JPL manages the U.S. portion of the Jason-1 mission for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate, Washington. JPL is managed for NASA by the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena.

Media contact: Alan Buis 818-354-0474
Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.

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94 thoughts on “JPL says: FORGET LA NINA: OSCILLATION RULES AS THE PACIFIC COOLS

  1. It’s sea surface height an indication of the heat content of the entire stack of water below? Granted, the lower levels don’t change temperature much, but when they warm, the sea level will rise.

  2. So the oceans are cooling, huh? Doesn’t that negate the argument by the global warming folks that the recent cooling is due to the oceans taking up the heat?

  3. Dr. Tim Ball has question.

    Pre-industrial CO2 levels were about the same as today. How and why we are told otherwise?

    http://canadafreepress.com/index.php/article/6855

    Proponents of human induced warming and climate change told us that an increase in CO2 precedes and causes temperature increases. They were wrong. They told us the late 20th century was the warmest on record. They were wrong. They told us, using the infamous “hockey stick” graph, the Medieval Warm Period (MWP) did not exist. They were wrong. They told us global temperatures would increase through 2008 as CO2 increased. They were wrong. They told us Arctic ice would continue to decrease in area through 2008. They were wrong. They told us October 2008 was the second warmest on record. They were wrong. They told us 1998 was the warmest year on record in the US. They were wrong it was 1934. They told us current atmospheric levels of CO2 are the highest on record. They are wrong. They told us pre-industrial atmospheric levels of CO2 were approximately 100 parts per million (ppm) lower than the present 385 ppm. They are wrong. This last is critical because the claim is basic to the argument that humans are causing warming and climate change by increasing the levels of atmospheric CO2 and have throughout the Industrial era. In fact, pre-industrial CO2 levels were about the same as today, but how did they conclude they were lower?

    The EPA is planning to declare CO2 a toxic substance and a pollutant. Governments are preparing to create carbon taxes and draconian restrictions that will cripple economies for a completely non-existent problem. It appears that a multitude of failed predictions, discredited assumptions and pieces of incorrect data are required before an idea loses credibility. Credibility should have collapsed but political control and insanity prevail.

  4. Sorry, mistyped above, should have been:

    Isn’t sea surface height an indication of the heat content of the entire stack of water below? Granted, the lower levels don’t change temperature much, but when they warm, the sea level will rise won’t it?

  5. Anthony,

    Cool PDO has been largely ignored until recently as a major climate driver. With PDO occuring in roughly 30 year cycles, it dives me absolutely crazy that the NWS uses a 30 year average for temperatures. When plotting the data for seasonal (winter) forecasting at my location, PDO impacts jump off the page. Temps / precip / snowfall… etc. have very close correlations with PDO here.

    P.S. – Did you see that you turned up in a senate report along with more details on PDO and Global warming blowback.

    Report: Sea Level rise ‘has stumbled since 2005′ – Meteorologist Anthony Watts – December 5, 2008 Excerpt: We’ve been waiting for the UC web page to be updated with the most recent sea level data. It finally has been updated for 2008. It looks like the steady upward trend of sea level as measured by satellite has stumbled since 2005.

    http://epw.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?FuseAction=Minority.Blogs&ContentRecord_id=2158072e-802a-23ad-45f0-274616db87e6

    I guess that means you are the man!

    Patrick Powell
    CBM

  6. Be careful how you interpret the PDO. The PDO, as stated above, is a “pattern of climate variability in the Pacific associated with a general cooling of Pacific waters.” It is not SST anomaly for the North Pacific. The following is a graph of North Pacific SST anomalies from November 1981 to November 2008.

    As you can see, overall, the North Pacific SST anomalies have been cooling since ~2005, which has a direct impact on the calculation of global temperature anomaly. The South Pacific (next graph) has been dropping “steadily” since ~2001.

    The graphs are part of my monthly updates from December 3:

    http://bobtisdale.blogspot.com/2008/12/november-2008-sst-update.html

  7. Matt N asked the best question:

    “…….what warmed up the oceans to begin with?”

    Answer that question and the GW issue can be put to rest.

  8. These thirty year-odd cycles certainly have a major impact on mountain precipitation in Europe too. Since 1978, snowfalls have been later in the year, hence staying less time and with it, more glacier melt.

    This seems to have shifted in the past few years. Last year, over a metre of snow fell in the first week of November and stayed, giving excellent winter snow. This year, we’ve already had incredible early snow in the French, Swiss and Italian Alps with good ones in Austria and Germany as well. The Pyrenees are way ahead as is the Sierra Nevada in Southern Spain. First big snowfalls end of October (melted of course), then another major one at the end of November and now a third mega fall about to happen. No shortage of snowmelt in Europe’s rivers this year I feel. And Spanish drought is also looking less terrible.

    It would be interesting to have data on sunspot minima in cool NAO phase to test the hypothesis that these are the snowiest early winters. We’d need data back 500 years and it simply doesn’t exist!

    Time will tell, but I think these multi-decadal oscillations provide the context to shorter-term variations and propensity towards La Nina (cool phase of PDO) vs El Nino (warm phase of PDO). If so, we may be in for a bout of global cooling again.

    Maybe time for Barack Obama to instigate water management programmes in California if droughts are expected in the next 30 years?

  9. If the sea level average height has dropped 2mm, and the limits of the upper atmosphere are controlled independently of the lower atmosphere/sea surface boundary, would not a 2mm drop in sea level create an additional input of volumetric cooling by operation of the gas laws?

    Hurricanes raise sea level with local low pressure, so volumetric feedbacks between the ocean and atmosphere are by no means trivial. Constant pressure volume increase results in cooling by dropping the lower boundary (unless the upper boundary is directly compensatory, but the mechanisms of the two boundaries are so radically different it is not obvious how they woudl be .

    Has anyone ever calculated that effect or whether there are compensatory mechanisms that limit its impact?

  10. So the PDO ‘cool’ phase is roughly equivalent to a 30 year long mild LaNina and the ‘warm’ phase is mild El Nino?

  11. The question is . . . how many times will you go to a fortune teller when each time you have gone before the fortune teller has predicted a wrong fortune for you? How many times does it take before you determine that the fortune teller is a fraud?

    I notice that CA state government is going to run out of money to pay its bills in either Feb or Mar, 2009. The residents of CA are going to deserve the misery they are about to get, for listening to these eco-whackos to begin with.

    CA has decidedly become a “Deal faster, I am losing.” state.

  12. joshv (07:54:30) :

    It’s sea surface height an indication of the heat content of the entire stack of water below?

    Well, no, not necessarily. Check out this ocean temperature profile:

    http://www.windows.ucar.edu/tour/link=/earth/Water/images/temperature_depth_jpg_image.html&edu=high

    With this profile, any temperature rise below 1000 meters will cause the height of the ocean to lower, as the water below 1000 meters would become more dense until it hit 4 Centigrade.

  13. Hey man, love the blog, even if I’m not really intelligent enough to understand it all!

    So is this pacific cooling caused by the lack of solar activity of late or because of global warming and the oceans melting? This probably seems like a stupid question but I kind of need it broken down to basics so my mind can deal with it! :)

  14. Forget: La-Niña … BUT…IS BACK.
    Forget: El-Niño (also)
    Forget: SUN
    Forget: GRC
    Forget: CO2
    Forget: IPCC-4 , 5, 6. and132.
    Forget: Models
    I think it’s time to study meteorology.
    Mary ; Accept a hot coffee. (Winds)

  15. Ed Scott,

    In answer to your question – I’ve been re-reading Critchton’s book “Airframe”

    In the flyleaf he quotes

    “The irony of the Information Age is that it has given new respectability to uninformed opinion.”

    Veteran report John Lawton, speaking to the American Associatio of Broadcast Journalists in 1995.

    I think he would be agast at what is happening today…

    MJB

  16. UN Blowback: More Than 650 International Scientists Dissent Over Man-Made Global Warming Claims

    http://epw.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?FuseAction=Minority.Blogs&ContentRecord_id=2158072e-802a-23ad-45f0-274616db87e6

    Set for release this week, a newly updated U.S. Senate Minority Report features the dissenting voices of over 650 international scientists, many current and former UN IPCC scientists, who have now turned against the UN.

    A hint of what the upcoming report contains:

    “I am a skeptic…Global warming has become a new religion.” – Nobel Prize Winner for Physics, Ivar Giaever.

    “Since I am no longer affiliated with any organization nor receiving any funding, I can speak quite frankly….As a scientist I remain skeptical.” – Atmospheric Scientist Dr. Joanne Simpson, the first woman in the world to receive a PhD in meteorology and formerly of NASA who has authored more than 190 studies and has been called “among the most preeminent scientists of the last 100 years.”

    Warming fears are the “worst scientific scandal in the history…When people come to know what the truth is, they will feel deceived by science and scientists.” – UN IPCC Japanese Scientist Dr. Kiminori Itoh, an award-winning PhD environmental physical chemist.

    “The IPCC has actually become a closed circuit; it doesn’t listen to others. It doesn’t have open minds… I am really amazed that the Nobel Peace Prize has been given on scientifically incorrect conclusions by people who are not geologists,” – Indian geologist Dr. Arun D. Ahluwalia at Punjab University and a board member of the UN-supported International Year of the Planet.

    “The models and forecasts of the UN IPCC “are incorrect because they only are based on mathematical models and presented results at scenarios that do not include, for example, solar activity.” – Victor Manuel Velasco Herrera, a researcher at the Institute of Geophysics of the National Autonomous University of Mexico

    “It is a blatant lie put forth in the media that makes it seem there is only a fringe of scientists who don’t buy into anthropogenic global warming.” – U.S Government Atmospheric Scientist Stanley B. Goldenberg of the Hurricane Research Division of NOAA.

    “Even doubling or tripling the amount of carbon dioxide will virtually have little impact, as water vapour and water condensed on particles as clouds dominate the worldwide scene and always will.” – . Geoffrey G. Duffy, a professor in the Department of Chemical and Materials Engineering of the University of Auckland, NZ.

    “After reading [UN IPCC chairman] Pachauri’s asinine comment [comparing skeptics to] Flat Earthers, it’s hard to remain quiet.” – Climate statistician Dr. William M. Briggs, who specializes in the statistics of forecast evaluation, serves on the American Meteorological Society’s Probability and Statistics Committee and is an Associate Editor of Monthly Weather Review.

    “For how many years must the planet cool before we begin to understand that the planet is not warming? For how many years must cooling go on?” – Geologist Dr. David Gee the chairman of the science committee of the 2008 International Geological Congress who has authored 130 plus peer reviewed papers, and is currently at Uppsala University in Sweden.

    “Gore prompted me to start delving into the science again and I quickly found myself solidly in the skeptic camp…Climate models can at best be useful for explaining climate changes after the fact.” – Meteorologist Hajo Smit of Holland, who reversed his belief in man-made warming to become a skeptic, is a former member of the Dutch UN IPCC committee.

    “Many [scientists] are now searching for a way to back out quietly (from promoting warming fears), without having their professional careers ruined.” – Atmospheric physicist James A. Peden, formerly of the Space Research and Coordination Center in Pittsburgh.

    “Creating an ideology pegged to carbon dioxide is a dangerous nonsense…The present alarm on climate change is an instrument of social control, a pretext for major businesses and political battle. It became an ideology, which is concerning.” – Environmental Scientist Professor Delgado Domingos of Portugal, the founder of the Numerical Weather Forecast group, has more than 150 published articles.

    “CO2 emissions make absolutely no difference one way or another….Every scientist knows this, but it doesn’t pay to say so…Global warming, as a political vehicle, keeps Europeans in the driver’s seat and developing nations walking barefoot.” – Dr. Takeda Kunihiko, vice-chancellor of the Institute of Science and Technology Research at Chubu University in Japan.

    “The [global warming] scaremongering has its justification in the fact that it is something that generates funds.” – Award-winning Paleontologist Dr. Eduardo Tonni, of the Committee for Scientific Research in Buenos Aires and head of the Paleontology Department at the University of La Plata.

    The chorus of scientific voices skeptical grow louder as a steady stream of peer-reviewed studies, analyses and real world data challenge the UN and former Vice President Al Gore’s claims that the “science is settled” and there is a “consensus.”

  17. … it translates to low odds for abundant winter/spring precipitation in the southwest (including Southern California).”

    Bummer. We need the rain.

  18. Ed Scott, I loved your post, but here’s a related issue (okay, related off at a tangent): if we can find viable alternatives to sending trillions of dollars to regimes in Russia, Saudi Arabia and Iran, I think perhaps we should. If this bad science cloud does have a silver lining, this will be it.

  19. We all saw, at the end of the 20th century, when the PDO was in its positive phase how it favored and seemed to strengthen El Niño events and repressed La Niña events. And perhaps that is what helped drive temperatures over land to higher levels. Now, with the PDO in its negative phase, we should see just the opposite happening with fewer and weaker El Niño events and stronger and more frequest La Niña events. Perhaps that will help bring temperatures over land down somewhat. Coupled with such weak recent solar activity we may see at least a couple decades of cooler temperatures. And it won’t be just WUWT where we’ll be seeing snow falling…

  20. joshv (07:54:30) :

    It’s sea surface height an indication of the heat content of the entire stack of water below? Granted, the lower levels don’t change temperature much, but when they warm, the sea level will rise.

    Partly, prevailing wind is also a major factor as it pushes some of the surface water away from the Americas and towards Australasia and Asia. The stronger the wind the greater the difference in sea levels from east to west.

    Jim Greig (08:10:59) :

    So the oceans are cooling, huh?

    No, they are not, a portion of the Pacific cooling (while this happens other parts of the Pacific warm) does not constitute global ocean cooling. It is a shame to see JPl still using the outdated and misleading ‘cool’ phase instead of the now accepted and more accurate ‘negative’ or ‘postive’ phase.

    Doesn’t that negate the argument by the global warming folks that the recent cooling is due to the oceans taking up the heat?

    As your take on the argument is incorrect it doesn’t.

    kim (08:35:13) :

    Interesting stuff, huh Mary?

    Very much so ;-)

  21. So let’s get this straight:

    The sea surface temps are just like a La Nina
    The SOI is just like a La Nina
    The weather impacts are just like a La Nina

    but it isn’t a La Nina.

    Pointless hair-splitting?

  22. La Nina, PDO, ENSO, WMO, AMO, any other oscillations you want to make up a name for; well they come and they go, and they may influence how some thermal energy moves around some parts of the planet.

    But just try to disconnect from that big orange ball up there at your own peril.

    I’m glad that a lot of people can make a living out of ocean currents and winds; that’s wonderful; but without that big blowtorch up there, it doesn’t mean a thing.

    If you want to call it La Nina Anthony, that’s Ok with me; who says they can’t both occur at once. But It is good that JPL jumps in with some comment. It seems that sometimes you can’t get any data from our taxpayer funded work force except by sticking your neck out, so they have to come to the rescue.

    No demerits on that one Anthony; I liked the pictures anyway. Between watching the unspotted sun, and the Pacific blues, not to mention the aborted North Polar Kayak trips, it has been a very interesting year so far, and just think, in two days or thereabouts, our President Select, may actually become our President Elect. I guess he and Algore have already decided to diss everything you’ve been noting here, and ban carbonated drinks.

  23. There are a lot of issues in this name change.
    One is that the El and La Nina’s should perhaps be seen as part of the larger PDO process.
    Another is to in effect obfuscate the failure of the Hansen & co. predictions by blaming the cooling we are likely to experience for the coming years as due to the PDO negative phase over whelming the wickedness of AGW.
    IOW, for the AGW community, there is no amount of negative feedback or natural variability that will shake their basic assertion. Warm- AGW. Cooling? AGW masked by natural variability.

  24. “it translates to low odds for abundant winter/spring precipitation”: what does he mean? Does he mean “long odds against” – i.e. that it is unlikely? Does he mean it’s “odds on” – i.e. likely?

  25. Bill Patzert needs to go back to school. Sea level does not change in this fashion due to heat content, it changes due to surface winds. He is as wrong here as he was when he was giving the Science Dude source information on the Santa Ana temperature record.

  26. Patrick Powell (09:26:52) : “With PDO occuring in roughly 30 year cycles, it dives me absolutely crazy that the NWS uses a 30 year average for temperatures.”

    A consistent feature in the entire world of AWG promotions is starting the data set at a moment in time that best supports the argument. A good standard to follow is reach back the same period of time prior to the start date to see if the arguments still hold.

  27. I don’t think you need a PhD to understand that the earth’s weather and climate is controlled in order of importance by:
    1. The sun
    2. The Oceans
    3. The Atmosphere
    There may be a lot of 12 year old’s who can’t discuss el nino, la nina, and PDO, but, if they haven’t been corrupted by Al Gore’s movie and the BS being peddled on the networks, will tell you that the sun drives it all.
    “and a little child will lead them.”

  28. Sorry to bore anyone who has heard from me on this before but for newcomers I’d just like to point out that this fits perfectly with the stuff I’ve been producing since April 2008.

    Combine sun and oceans and all observed 20th Century temperature changes are explicable without CO2.

    http://co2sceptics.com/news.php?tag=stephen+wilde

    Especially note the ‘Top five most read articles’ referred to.

  29. Robinson

    We are not “sending” trillions of dollars to the regimes in Russia, Saudi Arabia and Iran. We are buying a product which our economy requires – an exchange if you will.

    Solar, wind and ethanol have been around since the ’60s when Mother Earth News was publishing do-it-yourself articles about those energy sources. These sources of energy all require subsidies.

    It seems that electric cars will soon be mandated. Electric cars are dependent upon an external power source – gasoline and diesel cars do not.

    Alternative energy is the latest catch phrase. Who can tell you what that might be? I have not seen any fueling stations selling alternative fuel. T. Boone Pickens believes methane to be the alternative fuel of the future. Considering his vast holdings in methane, one might suspect a profit motive in his touting methane as the “alternate” fuel.

    The United States has un-tapped deposits of petroleum. Why is it being saved and for whom? The use of petroleum is not causing AGW and CO2 is not a pollutant and, in consideration of Dr. Pachauri’s concerns, neither is CH4.

  30. Robinson (12:32:18) :

    if we can find viable alternatives to sending trillions of dollars to regimes in Russia, Saudi Arabia and Iran, I think perhaps we should.

    But, Robinson, all you have to avoid that is drill for the oil in the US of A. It has been Verbotten for 30 years. Why? Those who brought in this ban should be made to ryuntreadmills to generate energy.

  31. It seems as tho earth would be large enough to maintain a temp like an anvil sitting on the wood stove, if we find it varies drasticly its only because we are not able to accurately measure its overall temperature.

    Whats the old saw about the group of blind men describing an elephant by what each could feel?

    A warm upwelling here, a dip there, sorry mother nature, bend over we need to put a thermometer where the sun don’t shine.

  32. Jim Grieg: You asked, “So the oceans are cooling, huh?”

    Mary Hinge: You replied, “No, they are not, a portion of the Pacific cooling (while this happens other parts of the Pacific warm) does not constitute global ocean cooling. It is a shame to see JPl still using the outdated and misleading ‘cool’ phase instead of the now accepted and more accurate ‘negative’ or ‘postive’ phase.”

    To both, in answer to Jim’s question, it depends on the data set. If we consider Ocean Heat Content, it has not increased in the past few years. It just appears to be cycling back and forth. But a couple of little down ticks in a few years doesn’t constitute a decrease. It’s unfortunate that the data isn’t available online for the different oceans or on a gridded basis.

    Discussed here:

    http://bobtisdale.blogspot.com/2008/11/revised-ocean-heat-content.html

    However, looking at SST, Northern Hemisphere SSTs have been cooling for 3 years.

    And Southern Hemisphere SSTs have been cooling since 2002.

    Also note, Mary, the linked graphs of the North and South Pacific SST anomalies in my comment above. Both Pacific data sets have cooled over the past few years. SST anomalies in the Pacific (and their residuals) bear little resemblance to the PDO.

    The links to most of my posts on SST are here:

    http://bobtisdale.blogspot.com/2008/06/smith-and-reynolds-sst-posts.html

    Regards

  33. Ray Reynolds (16:54:00) :

    It seems as tho earth would be large enough to maintain a temp like an anvil sitting on the wood stove, if we find it varies drasticly its only because we are not able to accurately measure its overall temperature.

    Or it’s because it actually does vary drastically.

  34. Robert Wood states:

    “With this profile, any temperature rise below 1000 meters will cause the height of the ocean to lower, as the water below 1000 meters would become more dense until it hit 4 Centigrade.”

    Mr. Wood, please check out the properties of SALT WATER as opposed to PURE WATER for expansion and density. I believe you will find that the anomalous (compared to other matter) “bottom” for volume of water at 4c disappears in salt water and drops to freezing, which is below 0c for salt water and dependent on the “saltiness” and other impurities.

  35. “Robinson (12:32:18) :

    Ed Scott, I loved your post, but here’s a related issue (okay, related off at a tangent): if we can find viable alternatives to sending trillions of dollars to regimes in Russia, Saudi Arabia and Iran, I think perhaps we should. If this bad science cloud does have a silver lining, this will be it”

    There are many alternatives. Shale oil in Wyoming? ANWR? Everytime someone tells me we can’t possible drill in ANWR, I ask them the last time they were there?…Never been?…when are you going?…no plans?…hmmmm.
    Seen pictures?…no. Damn. Any idea how big the oil field is?…no.

    I really believe that the energy situation we’re in now is all about some people wanting desperately to exert some kind of control over some OTHER people…period.

    Mary,
    Let me understand what you’re saying. The Pacific is cooling, the Arctic ice is growing larger/faster than it did last year, the Antarctic is colder…buy you say the oceans are warming?…must all be in the Atlantic then?…cuz it sure seems like every other ocean I read about is cooler…where the heck is all the heat that has to be offsetting everything else hanging out at?

    JimB

  36. As more and more of this research gets published, we are starting to see that ocean cycles have more impact on temperatures than was previously believed.

    We all know the 1997-98 El Nino produced a big temporary jump in temperatures but the warmers have been happy to leave that temporary jump in the record and let increasing CO2 get the credit for the temp increase.

    Now that the ocean cycles are starting to turn negative (everything from the 2007-08 La Nina to the returning to normal AMO to the negative PDO to the declining southern ocean temperatures), the warmers are again happy producing their 5-year moving average temp trendlines which still are moving up as long as they ignore the drop in temps in 2008.

    Eventually, there will be some crow to eat (but then the warmers will just find another explanation to keep us off track for another 10 years.)

    Just focus on the current temperature numbers and take into account the impact La Ninas or El Ninos or a negative PDO or an AMO has on the natural cycles in the climate.

  37. How many times does it take before you determine that the fortune teller is a fraud?

    Exactly, but what the AGW crowd is trying to do is just get one right regarding GW no matter what its cause, thereby “proving” the AGW hypotheses, and then hoping no one will notice the actual record – where perhaps the exception in fact proves the rule opposite to what AGW claims. This is a classic tactic used by Psychics: everyone is stunned by the one correct prediction, not the 999 incorrect guesses.

    The fact that AGW theory hasn’t gotten anything right is troubling in more ways than one, i.e., it almost looks like the atmosphere simply must be cooling – except that, of course, the fact that the ipcc “science” is not science does lessen the certainty of even this deduction.

  38. Robert Wood (16:46:29) :
    “But, Robinson, all you have to avoid that is drill for the oil in the US of A.”

    Robert …. if it were only so simple.

    I have made a career of exactly this – as an exploration geologist / geophysicist looking for new discoveries. Don’t fool yourself into thinking we have enough oil & that all we have to do is go “drill for it”. Yes, there are areas with untapped potential, but their potential compared to our demand is small. The industry is very mature & the odds of finding a new province that can supply a substantial part of our oil demand are remote – at best. As far as what’s currently off-limits, offshore California holds the best potential by far. But even in a maximum success scenario, it’s probably less than 10% of our daily consumption. Helpful, yes. A solution, no. ANWR is a pipe dream. Although spatially close to the core of North Slope production, the geology is significantly different in ANWR & is likely to be poor in oil & rich in natural gas – which has no pipeline & no market on the North Slope – and little present value to us as a country. ANWR is just a political football for politicians & environmentalists. Notice how no oil companies are involved in that debate. It’s because any company who has studied it quickly comes to the same conclusion I stated above. To an explorer, it is really pretty obvious. I can say all of this with confidence as my company is an expert on the North Slope & came up with the exploration idea for the latest North Slope discovery at Oooguruk. See links :

    http://www.adn.com/money/story/435149.html

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZWW4DbUjGVQ (A crew shift change video at the production island – I take huge pride that all these guys have jobs because we were able to make this discovery)


    I love this one because it shows how the wildlife really could give a rats arse about our operations in the area, despite enviros protests to the contrary.

    Please check these links out.

    Anyway, note from the 1st link that peak production is a minor 20,000 BOPD, compared to US daily consumption of over 20 million BOPD (1/10 of 1 %) – and this is a very significant discovery / addition to our countries production. Our gas resources are much greater than our oil resources with new technology able to unlock resources that were previously unrecoverable. So, T. Boone will make some money with the “Picken Plan” but he is actually pretty on point with it all.

    So, four key points:

    1) We really do need all the energy we can get – regardless of source. If “alternatives” can contribute, great. Bring it on. The more energy we can produce as a country, the better off we will be – again, regardless of source. Let’s drill everything we can but realize that we have to do more than that.

    2) I am sure there are plenty who read this blog who don’t “believe” in AGW & don’t “believe” in alternative energy. Well, I am here to tell you, these are two separate issues & that “belief” should have nothing to do with either – only science & scientific reasoning should be determining factors. The AGW crowd has “faith” in their religion; the skeptics have science. The scientific data says be skeptical of AGW & be skeptical of the idea that we can drill our way to energy independence. The whole point here is we are after data driven conclusions, not political or faith-based conclusions – regardless of what part of the political spectrum you reside in.

    3) No, I am not a shill for big energy. I work for a small company of 16 people. We are proud of the work we do trying to find our country new energy & the jobs that come along with it. Also, beyond my degrees in the geosciences, I took a substantial amount of course work in meteorology because as an undergrad, I was torn between getting degrees in meteorology or geology.

    4) Not everyone in oil & gas is evil. ;))

  39. JimB (19:13:42) :
    Shale oil in Wyoming?

    - forgot that one in the last post – possible, as long as you don’t mind paying at least $4 to $5 / gal at the pump. Technology is in it’s infancy. Not that we shouldn’t be pursuing it, but commercial viability is years away & only with high product prices. Even if commercialized, the rate at which the oil will come out is slow because of the low permeability of shale. Helpful, yes. A solution, no.

    “ANWR? Everytime someone tells me we can’t possible drill in ANWR, I ask them the last time they were there?…Never been?…when are you going?…no plans?”

    I HAVE been there. It’s not about ability to drill. It’s about what you will find – see previous post. Also see comment on “belief” vs science in previous post. Important so you aren’t painted with the same brush as the AGW’s that simply ignore data, because it doesn’t fit their belief system.

  40. The PDO and other ocean oscillations can not, by themselves, add heat to the ocean/atmospheric system, but they can transfer heat from one area to another. In this way, they can and do cause warming and cooling of the atmosphere in multidecadal cycles.

    If the warming crisis advocates (WCAs) use these cycles to explain the global cooling of recent years, and the lack of warming over the last 8 years, then they no longer have the argument on which their house of cards is built. Recall that the sole ‘data-related’ argument put fourth by the IPCC is that the temperature trend of the 20th century can not be explained by any natural variability, so it must be man-made.

    In the past, they have not recognized any mechanism, other than a large volcanic eruption, that could overcome the warming influence of increasing CO2 for any multi-year time span. If they now concede that the negative phase of the PDO can override the warming influence of CO2, then they must acknowledge the other side of the coin. In science, one can not pretend that only half of a cycle exists. The positive phase of the PDO must have added to the warming of the late 20th century! In fact, if the negative phase of the PDO can overide the warming effects of increasing CO2 and cause cooling, then the positive phase of the PDO should produce warming that is greater than the CO2 induced warming (same magnitued/opposite sign). This would account for the majority of the warming of the late 20th century, invalidating the IPCCs only ‘real world’ argument.

    If the WCAs do not use the ocean cycles to explain the current temperature trends, than they can not explain the trend at all and look like the do not know what they are talking about. If they invoke the ocean cycles to explain the cooling, then they must admit that the opposite part of the cycle causes warming, which largely invalidates their “we can only explain the warming with increasing greenhouse gases’ argument.

    The bottom line is that there is no looming global warming crisis. In the past, ’tilting at windmills’ was a practice confined to individuals, small groups and ocassionally…nations. Now, in this disinformation age, the whole world can attack imaginary enemies together, and suffer the slings and arrows of our own delusions in ‘global’ solidarity!

  41. The first Klotbach/Gray hurricane forecast for 2009 is out, see http://hurricane.atmos.colostate.edu/Forecasts/ . The abstract:

    Information obtained through November 2008 indicates that the 2009 Atlantic hurricane season will be somewhat more active than the average 1950-2000 season. We estimate that 2009 will have about 7 hurricanes (average is 5.9), 14 named storms (average is 9.6), 70 named storm days (average is 49.1), 30 hurricane days (average is 24.5), 3 intense (Category 3-4-5) hurricanes (average is 2.3) and 7 intense hurricane days (average is 5.0). The probability of U.S. major hurricane landfall is estimated to be about 120 percent of the long-period average. We expect Atlantic basin Net Tropical Cyclone (NTC) activity in 2009 to be about 135 percent of the long-term average. This forecast is based on a new extended-range early December statistical prediction scheme that utilizes 58 years of past data. The influences of El Niño conditions are implicit in these predictor fields, and therefore we do not utilize a specific ENSO forecast as a predictor. We currently do not expect to see El Niño conditions during the 2009 Atlantic hurricane season.

  42. Heres a question for you. The hawaiian islands sit upon the tallest mountain range in the world. Currently the volcanic activity there is building another new island from the sea floor up…. how much water does that displace?
    It really looks like the remaining warm ocean spots are active volcanic areas…. http://www.volcano.si.edu/world/find_regions.cfm

    And a second question. If Co2 is an overwhelming greenhouse gas in the small amounts man contributes, then why isnt Mars, with its higher concentrations of Co2 a very warm planet?

    heheh.

  43. Ed Scott,
    Just a quick ‘thank you’ for your excellent series of quotes from the Senate report which I have purloined, with acknowledgement, for use over at my place. I shall be interested to see how much publicity it receives in the MSM.

  44. G.R. Mead (10:09:25) :

    If the sea level average height has dropped 2mm….

    It hasn’t and is rising rapidly

    Bill Marsh (10:18:49) :

    So the PDO ‘cool’ phase is roughly equivalent to a 30 year long mild LaNina and the ‘warm’ phase is mild El Nino?

    No they aren’t, La Ninas can occur during positive phases and El Nina’s during negative phases. As discussed above the terms ‘warm’ and ‘cool’ phase are incorrect as the warm and cool anomolies switch between phases. There is no net increase or decrease in ocean temperatures though there are global effects due to changes in currents, jet streams etc.. There is more likelyhood of La Nina’s during negative phases and of El Nino’s during positive phases. It is these events that cause the global temperature changes.

    Fernando (11:10:49) :

    Forget: La-Niña … BUT…IS BACK.

    Sorry Fernando, it isn’t. Latest NINO 3 indices are at 0.0 centigrade, as neutral as you can get! Thanks for the coffe invite though ;-).

    braddles (13:10:58) :

    So let’s get this straight:

    The sea surface temps are just like a La Nina
    The SOI is just like a La Nina
    The weather impacts are just like a La Nina

    but it isn’t a La Nina.

    Pointless hair-splitting?

    No it isn’t, the SST’s look quite different during a La Nina event, contrast the lastest SST map http://www.osdpd.noaa.gov/PSB/EPS/SST/data/anomnight.12.8.2008.gif

    with one from last year when the La Nina was in full swing http://www.osdpd.noaa.gov/PSB/EPS/SST/data/anomnight.12.31.2007.gif

    You will notice the cooler waters off South America and the much colder equatorial Pacific waters. |Contrast that with the warmer waters off South America, an El Nino next SH summer is a realpossibility. Another point is that the negative PDO phase was much more defined a year ago and was a text book illustration of a negative PDO. Today it is much less defined and will probably return to a positive phase later next year.

  45. Why is Mars not that hot? Maybe that’s because it’s 50% further from the sun than earth? Or because it is a very dry place?

  46. Jeff L says,
    ANWR is a pipe dream. Although spatially close to the core of North Slope production, the geology is significantly different in ANWR & is likely to be poor in oil & rich in natural gas – which has no pipeline & no market on the North Slope – and little present value to us as a country. ”

    As some one who has worked in the energy business for 45 years (not the oil upstream side), I must say that you make a lot of good points which I agree with. I am surprised however at your comment on ANWR particularly since ANWR oil is close to the existing pipeline and oil can be easily shipped. I would like your take on the numerous studies and reports that there is approximately 10 billion barrels of recoverable oil in ANWR. Several government reports are referenced below. Note that the administration was pushing this in 2003 and if they are right we could have avoided the oil price crisis this year had we acted then.

    http://www.doi.gov/news/03_News_Releases/030312.htm

    “The Administration firmly believes that we can develop energy at home while protecting the environmental values we all hold dear,” Secretary Norton said. “The Coastal Plain of ANWR’s 1002 area is the nation’s single greatest onshore oil reserve. The USGS estimates that it contains a mean expected value of 10.4 billion barrels of technically recoverable oil. To put that into context, the potential daily production from ANWR’s 1002 area is larger than the current daily onshore oil production of any of the lower 48 states.”

    http://www.oilfield.com/info/energy.shtml

    The AAPG believes that the 1002 area of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR), and the similar coastal plain area of the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska (NPRA), should be opened to exploration and development. A study recently released by the United States Geological Survey (March, 1998) cites potential economically recoverable oil resources beneath the ANWR Coastal Zone 1002 Area of 5.7 to 16 billion barrels of crude oil, with a mean expected resource of 10.3 billion BO. Mean peak production rates of 1.0 to 1.35 million BOPD are expected. The 1002 Area represents only 8% of ANWR’s 19 million acres. Less than 1 percent of the land within the 1002 area would be affected by petroleum exploration and development activities. Parts of the coastal plain of the NPRA, held back by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) from the 1999 lease sale at the instruction of the Secretary of the Interior, contain an estimated minimum of 1.5 billion barrels. ”

    A pipeline to the US is not needed to move natural gas to the lower 48. I have worked on both LNG and projects to convert gas to liquid fuels and both technologies are sufficiently developed. Several years ago one oil company studied using gas to liquid plants in Alaska to move fuels to the lower 48. The technology exists so it depends on economics especially the price of the gas.

    Also I would like to point out that the technology has existed since the 80′s to commercially recover significant oil from shale. These large scale projects were cancelled when the Arabs lowered the price of oil (from about $40/bbl) to kill development of competitive oil supply in the US. The price may be $4/gallon now but that is still a lot cheaper than trying to “grow” alternative fuels.

    The current “promise” of the “fossil carbon haters” that we can meet our liquid fuel needs from corn or cellulosic feedstocks is a diversion to mislead people into believing that in the near term there is a viable alternative and we can rid ourselves of dependence on fossil fuels. It is somewhat like the exaggerated AGW claims. There is not one commercial operating plant in the US that converts wood, grass or other cellulosic feedstock to ethanol. The first plant is scheduled to come on stream the end of next year. These remain to be demonstrated technologies and their capacity is a drop in the bucket when compared with our needs. I believe it is irresponsible to risk the security and our economy of our country on un-demonstrated technology. Even with continuing government subsidies the cost for these fuel sources will exceed the cost of oil recovered from shale. Also, don’t be fooled by the “green fuel” label the politicians put on alternative fuels. Since they are derived from the soil they have to contend with the same nasty elements that coal has to deal with including ash to collect and dispose. Lots of scrubbers and other clean up equipment will drive up the plant costs and energy consumption and of course it is never 100% removed.

  47. I’m not sure if anyone has already covered this but here it is anyway:

    There is No La NIna at present.

    From NOAA page

    “La Niña:characterized by a negative ONI less than or equal to -0.5°C. By historical standards, to be classified as a full-fledged El Niño or La Niña episode,these thresholds must be exceeded for a period of at least 5 consecutive overlapping 3-month seasons.”

    The ONI for the most recent 3 month period (i.e. Sep-Oct-Nov) is -0.1 which is still above the La NIna threshold. Now let’s suppose the ONI for Oct-Nov-Dec (OND) period is -0.5 then we still won’t have an official La Nina. That will only happen if NDJ and DJF are also less than or equal to -0.5.

    In other words we need to wait at least 3 months (and probably longer) before knowing whether we have a La Nina or not.

    You might argue that the La Nina definition is somewhat arbitrary but that’s the way it is. At the moment (last 5 months) ENSO status is almost as close to neutral as is possible.

  48. Flanagan; got it in 2; the sun and water; and that’s why AGW is just a gleam in Jimmy Hansen’s eye and padding in Al Gore’s wallet.

  49. There’s a great plot in one of the weblinks referred to by:

    Alan Cheetham (11:31:16) :

    which computes ‘PDO + AMO’ against temperature variations in the US. Below that plot is a similar one for carbon dioxide and temperature variations.

    results: PDO+AMO has a remarkable fit for 80 years, whereas carbon dioxide only fits for the post 1980 warming period.

    The only question which therefore arises is: ‘has the PDO+AMO data been fudged to fit the data curve? Or has the temperature data been fudged to fit the PDO+AMO curve?’

    If the answer to that is NO and NO, then I think, in all seriousness, we should assume, until proven otherwise, that US temperature variations are a direct function of a combination of the PDO+AMO signal.

    The logical question to follow would be: ‘what drives the PDO and AMO signals (they have similar cycle lengths but non-conjoining amplitudes and short-term variabilities) and hence US climate?’

    Any chance of THAT being discussed in Poznan, Davos or anywhere else?

    If not, why not?

  50. Does anyone know if the PDO cycle follows the sunspot intensity cycles? Is there a correlation that might point toward implied causality?

    From Robinson (12:32:18) :
    if we can find viable alternatives to sending trillions of dollars to regimes in Russia, Saudi Arabia and Iran, I think perhaps we should.
    -end quote

    Sadly, we already have those alternatives, very well established technically, and the AGW religion would forbid their use. Specifically: CTL, GTL, et. al.

    One of my hot buttons is that we have all the technology needed to kiss off OPEC oil, but we don’t use it. We do hear endlessly about the need for more research to find a solution, however… Especially into hydrogen, even though hydrogen is more of a battery than an energy source. Show me the hydrogen wells…

    The most common Coal to Liquids process is called Fischer Tropsch (FT) and provides much of the liquid fuel used in South Africa (from SASOL the South African Synthetic Oil Company – ticker SSL). There are other companies with similar technologies (Synthesis Energy Company SYMX, Syntroleum SYNM, Rentech RTK). The U.S. firms are on very hard times due to the present low oil price and Obama’s rejection of coal.

    SYMX is building facilities in China, however. (I think SSL is as well…) We can look forward to exporting our coal to China and buying it back as gasoline and Diesel oil… But we will have reduced “our” carbon footprint since the production CO2 will be in China…

    RTK has a facility in Los Angeles area turning garbage into motor fuels. They also produced the fuel used by the U.S. Air Force to demonstrate synthetic jet fuel and to certify aircraft for it. At least the USAF has clue. Hopefully it will survive the new regime.

    SSL has at least 30+ years of production experience. The technology has at least 80+ years, starting in Germany in the 1920′s. It later powered the Nazi war machine. I’d say that it’s proven…

    The same or very similar techniques can be used to run Gas To Liquids plants. These are being done by Chevron CVX, Conoco Phillips COP, and several other oil majors along with some oil minors ;-) such as MRO Marathon Oil (they have a fascinating alternative technology using bromine as a catalyst/reactant…) Anybody with excess or stranded natural gas.

  51. “Latest NINO 3 indices are at 0.0 centigrade.’

    You mean the equatorial waters in the mid-Pacific are about to freeze? I assume you mean that the index is neutral. Still, both the thirty and ninety day SOI indices remain consistently positive, between 12 and 16.

    Isn’t there a crucial difference between temperature anomalies in the tropics and those at higher latitudes? One degree at higher temperatures represents greater kinetic energy than one degree at lower temps

  52. “Why is Mars not that hot? Maybe that’s because it’s 50% further from the sun than earth? Or because it is a very dry place?”

    Also, the atmosphere is low on greenhouse gasses.

  53. “Contrast that with the warmer waters off South America, an El Nino next SH summer is a realpossibility”

    But that streak of positive anomalies stretching west from the coast of Ecuador, seems to be breaking up lately compared to how it looked last summer.

  54. Rhys Jagger:

    PDO+AMO has a remarkable fit for 80 years, whereas carbon dioxide only fits for the post 1980 warming period. Any chance of THAT being discussed in Poznan, Davos or anywhere else?

    Yes, we covered it. See here and here. This paper somehow got through the doors at the Poland meeting.

  55. Arthur
    It is partly due to distance, however without an atmosphere the Earth would also be pretty cold, perhaps frozen. Mars lacks a magnetosphere and as a result the solar wind strips away the atmosphere leaving it at a level that is 1% of the surface pressure as earth. Without atmosphere no moisture gets held in the air and thus no “greenhouse” effect. What gets missed in the discussion of globabl warming on this planet is that 90% of the Earthly green house effect is a result of water vapor and clouds. Hope that helps.

  56. Jim Clark,
    The WCA’s you refer to (I call them AGW promoters) are mostly satisfied that their social capital protects them from serious scrutiny. They will not try to explain anything. As we see already, the AGW promoters simply speak more loudly and harshly as the lack of evidence for their apocalypse piles up.

  57. “” kuhnkat (18:19:16) :

    Robert Wood states:

    “With this profile, any temperature rise below 1000 meters will cause the height of the ocean to lower, as the water below 1000 meters would become more dense until it hit 4 Centigrade.”

    Mr. Wood, please check out the properties of SALT WATER as opposed to PURE WATER for expansion and density. I believe you will find that the anomalous (compared to other matter) “bottom” for volume of water at 4c disappears in salt water and drops to freezing, which is below 0c for salt water and dependent on the “saltiness” and other impurities. “”

    The 3.98 deg C temperature of maximum water density, is a property of FRESH WATER ONLY.

    With the addition of salts of the general types present in the oceans, the temperature of maximum density falls below 4deg C, and also the freezing temperature drops, but the maximum density temperature falls faster, so when the salinity reaches 2.47%, the density reaches its maximum at the freezing point which I believe is around -2.5 deg C (I would have to look that up).

    But normal ocean salinity is very close to 3.5% virtually everywhere on earth, so ocean water has NO MAXIMUM DENSITY before it freezes. So the turnover mechanism that works in freshwater lakes does not operate in the oceans.

    Also when the salt water freezes, there is a segregation coefficient for the concentration of salts in the liquid phase versus the solid phase, that works to virtually exclude the salt from the solid phase; so as a result the ice that is formed is very pure fresh water.
    This means that the salts that were contained in the water that froze, get pushed out into the surrounding water, so the boundary layer of water in contact with the ice, is abnormally salty, which further depresses the freezing point, and also increases the density temperature gradient.

    The only place for the latent heat of freezing to go is into the atmosphere. It can’t be going down into the deeper water, because that would imply that deeper water was colder, in which case it would freeze before the surface freezes.

    So the freezing can only take place if there is a sufficient loss of heat to a colder atmosphere. That DOES NOT heat the atmosphere, but it will slow down the further cooling of the atmosphere, which is the process that started the freezing phase in the first place.

    On the other hand when floating ice melting takes place, the 80 calories per gram of latent heat required to melt the ice, must come from the surrounding warmer ocean water. (thermal conductivity to water is very much higher than to air). So the result of melting is to cool a very large amount of surrounding ocean water. Melting one gram of ice can cool 80 grams of water by 1 deg C or 10 grams of water by 8 deg C. So that would be an 80 cm column of water cooling 1 deg, or a 10 cm column cooling 8 deg C. Assuming that the temperature coefficient of expansion of water (in that temperature range) was linear, then the total reduction in column lenght would be the same. 80 cm of water cooling 1 deg shrinks examctly the same distance as does 10 cem of water cooling 8 degrees.

    It shoiuld be obvious then that it doesn’t matter what the temperature cooling distribution is, the total drop in the surface height will be independent of that distribution.

    And no; I don’t have any idea what that drop distance is; but that would be an interesting calculation for some 8th grade high school student to calculate.

  58. Mcates
    I agree. Even though Mars internal dynamo has shut down, studies have shown that there is residual magnetism locally. You can see maps of the surface of mars from the Global Surveyor where certain areas “hang on” to more of their atmosphere than other areas.

  59. Arthur Glass (06:25:32) :
    Also, the atmosphere is low on greenhouse gasses.

    The Martian atmosphere is 95% CO2, so according to “settled science” some people (not me) should really expect Mars to be warm.

    In reality, the pressure is very low and water vapor is virtually zero. Add the other reasons given here and you get the cold Mars we know.

  60. David Duff

    The U. S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works has released U.S. Senate Minority Report Update: More Than 650 International Scientists Dissent Over Man-Made Global Warming Claims.

    The report is available at: http://epw.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?FuseAction=Minority.Blogs&ContentRecord_id=2674e64f-802a-23ad-490b-bd9faf4dcdb7

    The full 231 page printable pdf report is at: http://epw.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?FuseAction=Files.View&FileStore_id=37283205-c4eb-4523-b1d3-c6e8faf14e84

  61. Dr. Spencer from NASA was on Coast-to-Coast AM Tuesday night for 30 minutes and mentioned that minority report, which host George Noory also stressed.

  62. “Jeff L (21:16:45) :

    JimB (19:13:42) :
    Shale oil in Wyoming?

    - forgot that one in the last post – possible, as long as you don’t mind paying at least $4 to $5 / gal at the pump. Technology is in it’s infancy. Not that we shouldn’t be pursuing it, but commercial viability is years away & only with high product prices. Even if commercialized, the rate at which the oil will come out is slow because of the low permeability of shale. Helpful, yes. A solution, no.”

    Jeff…thanks for your response. It’s great to have someone from the industry present some insight into some of these problems.
    What’s the difference between our shale oil and Canada’s? I know they’re going like gangbusters up there…something like 100,000 people employed, boom town, no housing available, flying people in daily on chartered jets, etc.

    JimB

  63. The coolade blogosphere has already dissed that entire 650 list. some Canadian Lawyer Kooks who claim they have no interest in debating the science; but just want to publicly destroy any and all AGW dissenters (didn’t say why though) have a list that has 15 very famous scientists on their list of experts available for you to debate with if you like. James Hansen and Michael Mann (I think) are on the list; the other thirteen are far too famous for me to have heard of, but a couple of Colorado snow and ice folks I think; well all these institutions are having problerms with getting government funding these days; why don’t they just go begging with their hat in hand to Congress, like honest deadbeats do these days. Drive that solar cell powered automobile from Colorado to Washington though so you don’t leave any carbon footprints.

    Well a couple of lawyers wouldn’t recognise the truth if it ran them down in the street. Imagine having to post a notice of intent to perform measurment experiments out in your backyard, before reading your owl box thermometer.

    Straw man debating is passe now; first crucify the persons bringing the news; then accuse them of not standing up for their beliefs.

  64. edward (08:00:47) :
    Arthur
    It is partly due to distance, however without an atmosphere the Earth would also be pretty cold, perhaps frozen.

    It would be like the moon, hot on the sunny side, extremely cold on the dark side.

    pkatt (22:00:57) :

    Heres a question for you. The hawaiian islands sit upon the tallest mountain range in the world. Currently the volcanic activity there is building another new island from the sea floor up…. how much water does that displace?

    A minute amount that is balanced by subduction.

    It really looks like the remaining warm ocean spots are active volcanic areas…. http://www.volcano.si.edu/world/find_regions.cfm

    Are you suggesting that the active volcanic areas move around the sea bed? Check temperature anomolies from last year to see how the anomolies shift.

    And a second question. If Co2 is an overwhelming greenhouse gas in the small amounts man contributes, then why isnt Mars, with its higher concentrations of Co2 a very warm planet?

    Distance from the sun and very low atmospheric pressure make it cold but it is still very much warmer than the surface of Phobus (180C or so more) so there is still a pronounced greenhous effect.
    What about Venus? 97% CO2 and very hot!! Off course the pressure is about 93 times more than the earth and it is closer to the sun.

    George E. Smith (11:05:44) :

    An excellent piece on the properties of salt water. If there was one plausible argument for creationism, it would be the properties of water. It really is amazing stuff.

  65. JimB (16:04:15) :
    What’s the difference between our shale oil and Canada’s? I know they’re going like gangbusters up there…something like 100,000 people employed, boom town, no housing available, flying people in daily on chartered jets, etc.

    Canada’s stuff is often called tar sands. More bitumin in less (and looser) fill. Our oil shale is just that, mostly shale (very fine structure bound together) with the bitumen in it. Less “good stuff” and more rock. This is all a gross generalization since there are many different deposits of many different sorts in both countries, but it’s OK as a generalization.

    I’ve handled some of our oil shale. It will burn in a fire, but not too well, and smells somewhat of oil. It still looked and acted far more like shale than anything else… like you had spilled a bit of motor oil on a chunk of fine sandstone or mudstone and it had soaked in.

    These difference contribute to the different break evan points for extraction. Some of the Canadian works at about $25/bbl equivalent (I think IMO Imperial Oil and SU Suncor each have some of that). While the U.S. stuff takes more like $50/bbl to $90/bbl to break even (more heat is wasted heating rock, just to be thrown away). The exact figures vary with the individual deposits. Israel has some deposits too, as does Jordan. I think the Jordanian was break even at about $20/bbl.

    Many of the synthetic oils from coal and trash are cost competitive in the $50 to $80/bbl range. Can you guess why OPEC is having “trouble” restricting supply enough to get the oil price back above $50/bbl?… Usually it takes them about 6 months to a year. Just about the time it takes to bankrupt the alternatives companies that crop up during the oil price spikes…

    Extraction of oil from sands and shales is very water and heat (usually from natural gas) intensive. The expansion of production is water limited and constrained by the price of natural gas. I’d vote for using GTL rather than burning the nat gas to cook rocks, but that’s just me… Nuclear process heat would be a better alternative in some ways.

  66. “The Martian atmosphere is 95% CO2, so according to “settled science” some people (not me) should really expect Mars to be warm.”

    Absolutely right; it is the overall thinness of the Martian atmosphere, as well as the distance from the sun that is key to the low temps.

  67. George E. Smith wrote: “The coolade blogosphere has already dissed that entire 650 list. some Canadian Lawyer Kooks … have a list that has 15 very famous scientists on their list of experts available for you to debate with if you like. James Hansen and Michael Mann (I think) are on the list.”

    What I think ought to be suggested by our side is not merely a three-hour-or-so debate before the public or a scientific conference of mildly interested observers, but a really intense and thorough (week-long, video-recorded) debate by a panel of a half-dozen experts on both sides before a prestigious 40-member panel of judges. (E.g., from the NAS, NSF, and editorial boards of relevant scientific journals.) A condensed version of the justifications of each member for his/her decision will be permanently posted on a website devoted to recording their judgment for posterity. I think this would concentrate their minds.

    Such a debate would allow dissenters to bring out the full wobbliness of the hotheads case and the fishiness of some of their behavior before a panel of judges wise in the subterfuges of scientists on a mission. And putting the judges in the position of rendering a formal, considered, permanently publicized opinion on the AGW claim (as opposed to offering a horseback opinion of it with no real “due diligence” and no real downside to their being wrong) will encourage them to look at this controversy from every angle and make a more responsible judgment. Even if they waffle and say “more studies are needed” and “better data sharing is needed” and “the case is unproven,” that will take the steam out of the hotheads’ crusade and knock them off their high-horse about “the science is settled,” etc.

    OTOH, if Official Science IS willing to endorse the alarmists, then that will be, in time, a fatal blow to scientism. (“Science, and only science, can speak with authority about truth.”) That debunking will almost be worth the expense and disruption the hotheads will create in the interim. (Will Rogers said, “It’s almost worth the Depression to see how little our bigshots really knew.”)

  68. Ed Scott (11:33:43) :

    UN Blowback: More Than 650 International Scientists Dissent Over Man-Made Global Warming Claims

    Ed, you missed my personal favorite:

    Norway: Geologist/Geochemist Dr. Tom V. Segalstad, a professor and head of the Geological Museum at the University of Oslo and formerly an expert reviewer with the UN IPCC: “It is a search for a mythical CO2 sink to explain an immeasurable CO2 lifetime to fit a hypothetical CO2 computer model that purports to show that an impossible amount of fossil fuel burning is heating the atmosphere. It is all a fiction.”

    Seems like all Nordic people(s) with last names beginning with S are proficient in English ;<).

  69. Apparently, none of the pre-2000 atmospheric warming was attributed to the PDO, but all the post-2000 cooling will be.

  70. I am perplexed about how the PDO impacts global temperatures. As Mary mentioned the terms warm phase and cool phase should be phased out.
    The warm phase was meant to refer to temperatures along the Pacific Coast of North America, and is not a description of any kind of global effect on the Pacific Ocean.
    If you check out the maps of the so called warm phase, versus the cold phase, you can see that the cold phase seems to have a larger or at least equal area of warm water than the cold phase.

    http://jisao.washington.edu/pdo/

    After looking at the map, I am puzzled about how the PDO warm phase versus cool phase can explain global temperatures. It seems like a buzz word that really has little meaning when you look into it.

    On the other hand the ENSO oscillation has a real effect on global temperatures because there is a real change in the temperature of the South Pacific Ocean.

  71. Eric (19:50:26) :
    I am perplexed about how the PDO impacts global temperatures.

    Perhaps because the thermometers are not evenly distributed over the earth surface so local changes become ‘global’ once ‘averaged’… Part of why I think the satellite data are the way to go.

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