Can El Nino Events Explain All of the Global Warming Since 1976? – Part 1

Can El Nino Events Explain All of the Global Warming Since 1976? – Part 1

A guest post by Bob Tisdale

UPDATE 1 (January 12, 2009):

In my extremely brief description of an El Nino event, I wrote, “…and a subsurface oceanic temperature boundary layer called the thermocline pushes the warm subsurface water to the surface.” My oversimplification may be misleading, and while it does not undermine the intent of this post, a better explanation is available in the following video from NASA Scientific Visualization Studio video titled “Visualizing El Nino”: http://svs.gsfc.nasa.gov/vis/a000000/a000200/a000287/a000287.mpg

If I rewrite that sentence in the future, it would read something to the effect, “During El Nino events, natural changes in atmospheric and oceanic conditions cause the warm water that was ‘contained’ by the Pacific Warm Pool to shift east along the equator. The warm subsurface water rises to the surface.”

h/t Gary for noting the poor wording.


NOTE: For those who are new to the subjects of El Nino events and sea surface temperatures, I’ve tried to make the following discussion as non-technical as possible without overlooking too many aspects critical to the discussion. It includes detailed descriptions of many of the processes that take place before, during, and after El Nino events. The period after an El Nino event is often neglected, but it holds the oceanic responses that are the most significant over multiyear periods.

INTRODUCTION

Two things have always stood out for me in a graph of Global Sea Surface Temperature (SST). The first was the Dip and Rebound in the ERSST.v2 version of the Extended Reconstructed SST data from the 1800s to the 1940s. The link above discussed it in detail.

In Figure 1, I’ve boxed SST anomaly data for the period from 1854 to 1976 to indicate that, other than the dip and rebound and the temporary rise in the early 1940s caused by a multiyear El Nino, there really wasn’t a rise of any note in SST between the late 1800s and the period from the mid-1940s to mid-1970s. The ERSST.v2 data used in this post illustrates little to no change in SST anomalies from the one period (late 1800s) to the other (mid-1940s to mid-1970s).
http://i42.tinypic.com/2ibc87o.jpg
Figure 1

Second: After 1976, Global SST anomalies appear to rise in three steps. It’s very visible if monthly SST anomaly data has been smoothed with a 37-month filter, Figure 2, or if annual data has been smoothed with a 3-year filter. Many people try to correlate those steps with variations in TSI, because they seem to coincide with solar cycles. They don’t, so those trying to make the correlation fail in their efforts.
http://i41.tinypic.com/29omma1.jpg
Figure 2

Zooming in on the period from January 1976 to present, Figure 3, and changing the filtering from 37-months to 12-months do not eliminate the appearance of steps. Why did Global SST rise in steps after 1976?
http://i41.tinypic.com/71mbd3.jpg
Figure 3

Based on the title of this post, the rising step changes were caused by El Nino events, three in particular. The NINO3.4 SST anomalies from January 1976 to November 2008 are shown in Figure 4. Most people familiar with the recent El Nino-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) record could guess correctly that the 1997/98 El Nino event was one of the El Ninos that caused a step change. If the magnitude of El Ninos was the only factor, the second logical choice would be the 1982/83 El Nino, since it ranks a close second in terms of peak NINO3.4 SST anomaly. Yet that El Nino event did not create a rising step change in global SST anomalies, because another natural event had a greater impact on global climate.
http://i44.tinypic.com/s46yhe.jpg
Figure 4

A volcanic eruption. The El Chichon eruption of 1982 interrupted the normal heat distribution processes of the 1982/83 El Nino. Many persons understand and cite this on blogs. Few realize, though, that the 1991 eruption of Mount Pinatubo also interrupted a significant series of El Nino events. The Mount Pinatubo eruption didn’t occur at the same time as a singular El Nino event with monstrously high SST anomalies, but the string of El Ninos it influenced was significant in its length. “Full-fledged” El Nino events occurred in 1991/92 and 1994/95, with a minor El Nino occurring during 1993. At minimum, two of the early-to-mid 1990s El Ninos had their heat distribution processes altered.

REFERENCE ILLUSTRATIONS

Figure 5 is a comparative graph of East Indian-West Pacific SST anomalies, scaled NINO3.4 SST anomalies, and inverted Sato Index of Stratospheric Mean Optical Thickness data (used as a reference of volcanic eruption timing and intensity). The data in Figure 5 have been smoothed with a 12-month running-average filter. The step changes in the East Indian-West Pacific SST anomalies are quite obvious. The graphs included in the following discussions are edited versions of Figure 5. In the latter graphs, I have simply limited the years in view to the periods being discussed. The three periods (January 1976 to December 1981, January 1981 to December 1995, and January 1996 to November 2008) are also shown in Figure 5. The periods were divided in this way because, working backwards in time, the first period discussed (1996 to 2008) has been covered in an earlier post and is, therefore, easiest to explain, the second period (1981 to 1995) includes the two volcanic eruptions, and the third period (1976 to 1981) is what was left over. Note that the NINO3.4 and Sato Index data are provided to illustrate timing and timing only; they have not been scaled to suggest magnitude of cause and effect. I did not want to get into a debate about scaling.
http://i44.tinypic.com/10oe6uo.jpg
Figure 5

In Figure 6, I’ve blocked off the area of the East Indian and West Pacific Oceans illustrated by the black curve in Figure 5 and in illustrations that follow. The coordinates are 60S to 65N, 80E to 180. It represents a significant portion of the world oceans, in the range of 25 to 30% of global sea surface from 60S to 65N.
http://i39.tinypic.com/5n55as.jpg
Figure 6

Figure 7 is a comparative graph of the NINO3.4 SST anomalies, inverted Sato Index, and the SST anomalies for the oceans segments not included in the East Indian-West Pacific SST anomaly dataset above. These include the East Pacific, the Atlantic, and the West Indian Oceans contained by the coordinates 60S-65N, 180-80E. The East Pacific-Atlantic-West Indian Ocean data (red curve) is overlaid onto the East Indian-West Pacific data (the black curve in Figure 5) during the discussions that follow to show the interactions between datasets.
http://i44.tinypic.com/2ljgxon.jpg
Figure 7

A final preliminary note: The filtering is used to reduce the visual impact of the noise within the datasets. It also affects (smoothes) the abruptness of the change in the Sato Index data when the volcanoes erupted. It has a minor visual impact, but it is something to consider when viewing the graphs that include the volcanic eruptions (Part 2). The impacts of the smoothing are shown in Figure 8.
http://i39.tinypic.com/be5x6a.jpg
Figure 8

A VIDEO

I illustrated the cause of the step change AFTER the 1997/98 El Nino in a video posted on the thread titled The Lingering Effects of the 1997/98 El Nino. The YouTube link is here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4uv4Xc4D0Dk


Take five minutes and watch the video. It will help to illustrate the phenomena taking place and the causes.

Note: In the graphs for the video, I used the Optimally Interpolated SST anomaly data (OI.v2). The monthly time-series data for it starts in November 1981, and since I wanted to cover the period starting in 1976 in this post, I had to switch datasets. The SST anomaly data used in the following discussion is from the Extended Reconstructed Sea Surface Temperature, Version 2 (ERSST.v2), available from the National Climatic Data Center (NCDC). It runs from January 1854 to present.

THE STEP CHANGE FROM 1996 TO PRESENT – A RECAP AND EXPANSION OF DISCUSSION

The SST anomalies for the West Indian-East Pacific Oceans from January 1996 to November 2008 are shown in Figure 9, along with scaled NINO3.4 SST anomalies and the final few years of the inverted Sato Index data. The Sato Index ends in 1999, but because there has not been an explosive volcanic eruption capable of lowering global temperatures significantly since 1991, its end in 1999 has no affect on the discussion.

Note: You may wish to click on the TinyPic link (While holding the “Control” key) to open Figure 9 in a separate window. That would eliminate the need to scroll back and forth. This discussion goes on for a full page of single-spaced text in MSWord form.
http://i43.tinypic.com/zxr6vc.jpg
Figure 9

The Pacific Warm Pool, also known as the Indo-Pacific Warm Pool, is an area in the western equatorial Pacific and eastern Indian Ocean where huge volumes of warm water collect due to a number of natural processes (normally attributed to ocean currents and trade winds). The Pacific Warm Pool is visible in SST data and in subsurface ocean temperature data; the warm pool reaches down to depths of 300 meters. Figure 10 illustrates its location. Over decadal periods of time, it expands and contracts in area and increases and decreases in volume. http://i42.tinypic.com/2hdqydy.jpg
Figure 10

During El Nino events, natural changes in atmospheric conditions cause the warm water that was “contained” by the Pacific Warm Pool to shift east along the equator, and a subsurface oceanic temperature boundary layer called the thermocline pushes the warm subsurface water to the surface. The high SST anomalies in the eastern equatorial Pacific are known as an El Nino. It is a natural process that occurs at irregular intervals and magnitudes. The eastern equatorial Pacific SST anomaly data is divided into areas for monitoring purposes. Refer to Figure 11. These areas are known as NINO1, 2, 3 and 4. Global temperature responses to El Nino events correlate best with the SST anomalies of an area that overlaps NINO3&4 areas. That area is called NINO3.4. That’s the data set used in the following discussions.
http://i44.tinypic.com/97qt08.jpg
Figure 11

Back to the discussion of Figure 9: The purple curve in Figure 9 shows the SST anomalies for the NINO3.4 area [5S-5N, 170W-120W] in the eastern Pacific. The data has been reduced in scale by a factor of 0.2 so that it doesn’t overwhelm the graph. During the 1997/98 El Nino event, NINO3.4 SST anomalies rose to their highest levels during the 20th century. Its impact is visible in the long-term and short-term Global SST anomaly data shown in Figures 2 and 3. It affected global and regional temperature and precipitation patterns in the short term afterwards.

That’s usually about the end of a discussion of the 1997/98 El Nino. The video showed, however, that other processes continue long after an El Nino event. Much of the heat that rises to the surface during the El Nino is then transported west by the equatorial ocean currents, recharging the Pacific Warm Pool for the next El Nino and heating the surface of the East Indian-West Pacific Oceans. It’s important to keep in mind that before the El Nino most of the warm water was below the surface, contained by the Pacific Warm Pool. Since it’s below the surface to depths of 300 meters, it is not a part of the calculation of global SST, or global temperature, for that matter. Then, after the El Nino, much of it is on the surface and included in the SST data. The resulting rise in the SST anomalies of the East Indian-West Pacific Oceans (the black curve in Figure 9) lags the change in NINO3.4 SST anomaly by a few months. As shown, East Indian-West Pacific Ocean SST anomalies reached their peak in 1998, but by that time, NINO3.4 SST anomalies had already dropped back to “normal” levels. Then the NINO3.4 SST anomalies dropped further, into the subsequent La Nina (Negative) levels, but the East Indian-West Pacific Ocean SST anomalies only dropped a portion of the amount they had risen, about one-half of it. And before the East Indian-West Pacific SST anomalies can slowly decrease fully to the levels they were at before the 1997/98 El Nino, NINO3.4 SST anomalies increase in 2000 and cause the East Indian-West Pacific SST anomalies to rise again. That’s the step change.

In summary, a large volume of warm water that was once below the surface of the Pacific Warm Pool was raised to the surface by the El Nino and distributed across the surface of the East Indian and West Pacific Oceans, causing SST anomalies to rise in that region. East Indian-West Pacific Ocean SST anomalies began to drop but had not had enough time to return to “normal” before the start of the next El Nino event, which swept them upwards again.

They are slowly returning to the levels they were at before the 1997/98 El Nino, but because they were “pushed” higher again and again by the El Nino events of 2002/03, 2004/05, and 2006/07, the return has taken more than a decade.

In Figure 12, I’ve added the SST anomalies for the East Pacific, Atlantic, and West Indian Oceans to the comparative graph. (It’s another graph you may want to open in a separate window.) The East Pacific-Atlantic-West Indian Ocean SST anomalies mimic the rise and fall of the NINO3.4 SST anomalies during the 1997/98 El Nino—to a point. Note how, during the La Nina that followed it, the NINO3.4 SST anomalies have dropped well below the levels they had been at before the start of the 1997/98 El Nino (highlighted with the blue line and arrows), yet the East Pacific-Atlantic-West Indian Ocean SST anomalies don’t follow the NINO3.4 SST anomalies below the level they had been at before the 1997/98 El Nino to any great extent; that’s another (but smaller) cause of the step change in Global SST anomalies after the 1997/98 El Nino. Then the East Pacific-Atlantic-West Indian Ocean SST anomalies follow the rise in NINO3.4 SST anomalies from 2000 to late 2002, the peak of the next El Nino. And, from 2003 to present, the SST anomalies for both of the major portions of the global oceans (red and black curves) “normalized” to levels near to one another, modulating back and forth as each area, at different time lags, responds to variations in NINO3.4 SST anomalies. These include the additional El Nino events of 2004/05 and 2006/07, and finally a substantial La Nina in 2007/08. Because of that La Nina, the East Pacific-Atlantic-West Indian Ocean SST anomalies (red curve) have dropped down close to the levels they had been at prior to the 1997/98 El Nino, but it has taken more than 10 years.
http://i40.tinypic.com/21o6a0z.jpg
Figure 12

In Figure 13, the Global SST anomaly curve from January 1976 to November 2008 (same graph as Figure 3) has been annotated to indicate the causes of the step change. As illustrated and discussed in the preceding, the temperature rise resulted from the significant step response of the East Indian-West Pacific SST anomalies to the 1997/98 El Nino event–that was compounded by a similar response (but of lesser magnitude) to the 2002/03 El Nino—that was then “maintained” by the El Nino events of 2004/05 and 2006/07.
http://i44.tinypic.com/hunip3.jpg
Figure 13

CLOSING TO PART 1

That’s enough for one post. In the second part, I’ll cover the two earlier periods. For a preview, simply scroll back up to Figure 5 and note the step changes during those two periods and the effects of the two volcanic eruptions. (Remember that the Sato Index data is only there to illustrate the timing of the volcanic eruptions.) I’ll also add another phenomenon that confirms the step changes caused by the El Nino events are drivers of global temperature anomalies.

SOURCES

Smith and Reynolds Extended Reconstructed SST Sea Surface Temperature Data (ERSST.v2) and the Optimally Interpolated Sea Surface Temperature Data (OI.v2) are available through the NOAA National Operational Model Archive & Distribution System (NOMADS).
http://nomads.ncdc.noaa.gov/#climatencdc

The Sato Index Data is available from GISS at:
http://data.giss.nasa.gov/modelforce/strataer/
Specifically:

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213 thoughts on “Can El Nino Events Explain All of the Global Warming Since 1976? – Part 1

  1. Is the result of several full La Nina’s similar in impact to the Climate but opposite i.e. global cooling.

    With the PDO in negative and NAO in negative and a La Nina forecast how many years of cooling will we get?

    Some say 10 or more before a change and already at global temperatures at 14deg C we are in danger of food being very scarce especially in 3rd world countries.

  2. Off topic slightly but still very relevant to the overall discussion: the Russian newspaper Pravda is predicting the beginning of another Ice Age for the Earth to begin soon.

    The article opens with: “The earth is now on the brink of entering another Ice Age, according to a large and compelling body of evidence from within the field of climate science. Many sources of data which provide our knowledge base of long-term climate change indicate that the warm, twelve thousand year-long Holocene period will rather soon be coming to an end, and then the earth will return to Ice Age conditions for the next 100,000 years.”

    http://english.pravda.ru/science/earth/106922-earth_ice_age-0

  3. Fascinating piece of work!
    Makes perfect sense,
    It fits together quite nicely but unfortunately it won’t be published in the press.
    Perhaps if El Ninos/La Ninas do drive temperatures (very likely), then climate forcasting should focus on predicting these events which in turn could give us an idea of where temperatures are heading.

  4. Yes, interesting indeed. I however have the same question as steve concerning the effects of la nina. If I get it, it looks like el nino “helps” warming by causing a stepwise increase in the temperatures. Just as if heat concentrated in oceans and then was suddenly released by bursts in the atmosphere through el ninos. Interesting, really.

    Btw; did someone else note the change in SST anomalies that took place recently? It looks like there’s some “hot” pattern appearing around the nina cold “tongue” – and the same close to tropics in the atlantic http://weather.unisys.com/surface/sst_anom.gif
    . Does anybody know what that’s suppose to mean?

  5. Bob (and Anthony) first thank you for aiming this missile at the masses as well as the guys and dolls that munch formulas for breakfast.

    I also was hooked, line and sinker when I watched TIT, on a plane some years ago but became questioning when later I could not feel it, touch it or smell it.

    The problem with “Dip and Rebound” is that the AGW sect will see it as just a Hic-hup in the onward march of temps throughout the globe.

    Bob, I have seen numerous theories on this site (and have learned much more than I ever did at high school), but the majority of the world in the immediate future will look for understandable signs of AGW and they are:

    a. Summer melt of the Arctic Ice extent.

    b. Extreme weather events – no matter how historically normal they are.

    c. Coral bleaching especially in the major reefs and no matter how biologically insignificant.

    d. Rising sea levels or reports of same in places like the Maldives.

    BTW we have just had King Tides here in OZ. I have just watched the MSM TV channels and you would have thought that the end of the world was nigh. But as it was real fact is that the tides, forecast to be the highest in 18 years, fell well short of the predicted mark:

    http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,25197,24901829-601,00.html

    That is what sceptics are facing. It is all very well having a conference in NY Mar 2009 but to win the war may well not be just waiting until we are all dead and nature proves it but the media REPORTING real scientific evidence.
    BUT, at least it looks like AW has made a fantastic start.

  6. Anthony: Thanks again for posting it (them). As I noted in my email last night, the posts use data that is available to the public from NOAA or KNMI. Anyone with a PC and a spreadsheet can duplicate what I’ve done. I also don’t believe my narrative misrepresents the data in any way. There will, of course, be those who disagree, but since GCMs (the few that try to model El Ninos) do not reproduce their historic frequency, or magnitude, or dynamics well, it will be tough to contradict the data.

  7. This is a very elaborate, very impressive study which combines climatology and oceanography. The role of the West Pacific/East Indic warm pool is highlighted.

    There may be one more ingredient to the story, that is the enormous precipitation (more than 3000 mm/year), which apart from the ocean currents also feeds the warm pool. The warm pool area has the highest precipitation of all tropic areas. As it is sweet water, it helps to feed the ‘bubble’ of light, warm water.

    The sea surface height of the warm pool area normally is approx. 1000 mm (and gets discharged sometimes as shown in the video).

    So variations in the annual precipitation, which could be fed by global warming, could trigger the EL Nino discharge nowadays more often than in earlier times.

  8. Bob,

    Thank you for this information! This is exactly the type of data and analysis I can use in our efforts to repeal California’s Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006, AB 32.

    As you may know, AB 32 was passed on the basis that reducing greenhouse gases (five of the six Kyoto GHGs are present in California), including CO2, will prevent sea level rise and melting of the Sierra snow pack.

    Keep up the good work!

    Roger E. Sowell
    Marina del Rey, California

  9. Hi,
    Thats a lot to take in before breakfast,
    I assume the energy source for El Nino comes from the sun, so where’s the connection with the solar cycle?

  10. When you state that the cause is El Nino, I suspect you are fingering an effect rather than the cause. In other words, predominate trends in El Nino/La Nina are an effect of the PDO. I believe this article should be about the PDO, not transient temps changes in the East Pacific.

    Otherwise, I love your site. Read it all the time.

  11. A great start to what I think is going to be an important piece of work.

    A possible verification of all that I have been saying since last April Here:

    http://co2sceptics.com/news.php?id=1487

    I’m content to leave discovery of the exact oceanic/solar mechanism to those with greater technical expertise such as Bob. My ideas are limited to the observable atmospheric response to the solar /oceanic driver.

  12. I wonder what Erl Happ and Harry van Loon think of this work. I’m impressed, favourably. The earth, the giant heat engine, the huge analog computer.
    =========================================

  13. Bob, Excellent piece. Look forward to part 2. Will we get some quantification of the heat energy left in the pacific warm pool at various stages of the global warming story?

  14. To illustrate my above comment, here is from Stewart’s textbook on oceanography the mean global precipitation:

    http://oceanworld.tamu.edu/resources/ocng_textbook/chapter05/Images/Fig5-5.htm

    realize the enormous rainfall ove the pacific warm pool of 3000 mm/y and more

    and here is mean sea height distribution:

    http://oceanworld.tamu.edu/resources/ocng_textbook/chapter10/Images/Fig10-5.htm

    the warm pool sea height anomaly is of order 800 mm on average
    and may get discharged (see Bob Tisdale’s video)

  15. Bob,

    I have a random theory to throw in here, but not sure how to explain it. But here goes;

    With the PDO being in it’s cool phase, this must be influencing the immediate atmospheric temperatures to also become cooler. This being the case, surely the air will condense (compact) which would throw in some other cause/effects to possibly consider
    a) As the air condenses, it draws warm air in to fill the “void”, which would itself condense.
    b) Condensed air would reduce the amount of solar IR etc getting through, with a possible cooling effect.

    Another thing that strikes me is, when the oceans absorb CO2, is there an effect that this causes the ocean to warm to a state where the PDO flips, outgases, and cools again to a point where it gets cold enough to flip and starts to absorb CO2 again?

    I realise these are “out there” theories, but am curious as to your thoughts.

    Cheers
    P

  16. Thanks for the great article. A question if you have the time. Wouldn’t El Nino/La Nina events be result of TSI at the tropics? Presumably after some period (years) of warming/cooling?

  17. Steve, you wrote, “Is the result of several full La Nina’s similar in impact to the Climate but opposite i.e. global cooling.”

    I just started to look at earlier years to see what the response is to La Ninas that aren’t the aftereffects of El Ninos. See reply to Tim L below. Right now I can’t answer your question.

    Tim L, you wrote, “And part 3 will tell us what flips this pdo amo ao io to a different state?
    old sol?”

    I started on Part 3, where I looked at the years from 1935 to 1977, but ran into a snag with the “discontinuity” at 1945. Then, when I tried the raw COADS data for the period, an earlier adjustment gave me another thought and sidetracked me for an hour. I’ll try to get back to that and finish it within the next two days. I have no plans to identify the mechanism that causes the climate shifts.

    Flanagan: You wrote, “Btw; did someone else note the change in SST anomalies that took place recently? It looks like there’s some “hot” pattern appearing around the nina cold “tongue” – and the same close to tropics in the atlantic http://weather.unisys.com/surface/sst_anom.gif
    . Does anybody know what that’s suppose to mean?

    Sorry, can’t answer that. I try not to look too closely at weekly SST snapshots. Too much weather. I prefer the animations such as:

    http://www.cdc.noaa.gov/map/clim/sst_olr/sst_anim.shtml

    And especially this one of the subsurface equatorial Pacific:

    http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/analysis_monitoring/enso_update/wkxzteq.shtml

    Dermot Carroll, you wrote, “Hi,Thats a lot to take in before breakfast, I assume the energy source for El Nino comes from the sun, so where’s the connection with the solar cycle?”

    People have been looking for a solar/ENSO connection for decades. No luck so far. With unknowns such as PWP recharge rates and the attribution thereof, PWP volume, etc., it would be tough to determine. There is an underlying trend in NINO3.4 data that seems to correlate with Southern Ocean SST anomalies, though.

    Tucker, you wrote, “When you state that the cause is El Nino, I suspect you are fingering an effect rather than the cause. In other words, predominate trends in El Nino/La Nina are an effect of the PDO. I believe this article should be about the PDO, not transient temps changes in the East Pacific.”

    There is very little difference between NINO3.4 and PDO data when viewed on a monthly basis. Also note that in the paper “ENSO-Forced Variability of the Pacific Decadal Oscillation”, Newman et al state in the conclusions, “The PDO is dependent upon ENSO on all timescales.” Refer to:

    http://bobtisdale.blogspot.com/2008/06/chicken-or-egg-pdo-or-enso.html

    Another consideration. NINO3.4 SST anomaly data is actual temperature anomaly data, but the PDO is a “manufactured” dataset originally intended to bring the ENSO signal from the North Pacific.

    http://bobtisdale.blogspot.com/2008/06/common-misunderstanding-about-pdo.html

  18. I notice in Flanagan’s link that the Ocean temperatures in the Sea of Okhotsk are negative and yet ice formation is far below normal in that area currently… could volcanic activity be the cause? or perhaps winds?

  19. The runner-up in the “Best Science” category has closed the gap somewhat. Voting ends tomorrow.

    Please take a moment to cast your vote for WUWT: click

    Thanks.

  20. Bob, great work. I’m betting we will be seeing answers to Tucker’s and others’ questions in Parts 2 and 3!

  21. This is very much in line with climatologist Dr. Spencer’s work on PDO.
    But remember this: AGW has never been about science or cliamte. AGW is a social movement that has used scientific sounding claims, and scientists, to achieve a social goal. Its social goal is power.
    It seeks the power to impose change on the world.

  22. During El Nino events, natural changes in atmospheric conditions cause the warm water that was “contained” by the Pacific Warm Pool to shift east along the equator, and a subsurface oceanic temperature boundary layer called the thermocline pushes the warm subsurface water to the surface.

    I think this misrepresents the physics of the situation. The thermocline is merely the steep gradient part of the water temperature curve. It can’t “push” anything. What actually happens in the Eastern Equatorial Pacific is that diminished trade winds greatly reduce the upwelling of deep cold water off the Peruvian coast and allow the surface waters (down to a couple of hundred meters) to heat up from local insolation. It may look like the warm water is advancing from the west, but it’s really the heating in the east “catching up” to the heating in the west.

  23. Please make sure and vote. I had an astonishingly unpleasant e-mail exchange this weekend with pzmyers, the blogger at Pharyngula this weekend. Gavin at Real Climate comes across as a gentleman by comparison.

    I have no idea how Pharyngula could be only 2,000 votes behind, but it is critical that everyone gets out and votes during the next two days.

    http://2008.weblogawards.org/polls/best-science-blog/

  24. When is NASA’s latest data on the warmest Dec in 50 years coming out? It’s always a cooker with NASA.

  25. RE: Tony Heller (05:55:50) :

    I wouldn’t worry Tony – pzmyers is an extraordinarily angry and bitter person when he’s on any subject other than pure science, so it’s not personal.

    As for the gap between WUWT and Pharyngula, that’s down to tactical voting. Happens all the time :).

  26. Beautiful work Bob, I can only imagine how much time went into it!

    When I first began studying the climate in the early ’80s, no one had any idea the Equatorial Pacific Warm Pool even existed. As you probably know from your research, the EPWP wasn’t “discovered” until the late 1990s. But in fact, it has now been traced back until at least the 1500s and possibly long before that (see http://www.epwp.com).

    After it’s “discovery,” every major Nation in the world aimed their research vessels toward the area and to date, it is estimated they have collectively spent over 100 Billion US dollars to investige the “anomoly,” many with a vision of controlling the world’s weather. This especially became apparent after Atmospheric Scientist Vikram Mehta (I believe) referred the EPWP as “The World’s Thermostat.”

    Although I haven’t anything but gut instinct to support my theory, I believe Mehta was correct: it is the world’s T-Stat. However I also believe that the sun is the controlling influence over which personality the EPWP assumes:ElNino, LaNina, or ElNino Neutral.

    Although we’ve been in uncharted territory since the “discovery of the “pool,” we are on the threshold of some of mankind’s greatest discoveries: how our climate systems interact (teleconnect) with each other and how the sun does or does not play a central, if not a governing role in earth’s climate systems!

    Thanks for all your hard work and devotion. It’ll take continued efforts like yours to unmask the simplistic pseudo scientists and their socialist, money grubbing agendas.

    Jack Koenig, Editor
    The Mysterious Climate Project
    http://www.climateclinic.com

  27. Stephen Wilde, spot on.

    THE HOT WATER BOTTLE EFFECT,

    The sun spot numbers of the last three cycles are higher than for the last 11,400 years, there does not need to be rising irradiance to achieve a rising temperature, just a high steady heat source and a heat sink, seems obvious to me, it`s the sun.
    To much science not enough common sense.

  28. Many thanks, Bob Tisdale, for this synthesis. As still a relative novice but with a strong background in scientific thinking, I can at least understand it, even though I have no specialized background from which to criticize/confirm it.

    As one of my pet peeves concerning the AGW “science” is the false idea that prior Peer Review results in the Given Truth, and that only prior Review makes an analysis worth considering, I wonder if those adhering to AGW “science” will deign to review your work here, or will simply dismiss it as not worth considering – smack in the face of their opportunity to do their own Peer Review of it right now and in public.

  29. Thanks to all who complimented.

    Tallbloke, you wrote, “Bob, Excellent piece. Look forward to part 2. Will we get some quantification of the heat energy left in the pacific warm pool at various stages of the global warming story?”

    I haven’t yet seen a study that quantifies PWP heat content over decadal periods, or yearly for that matter. I’ve run across the Indo-Pacific Warm Pool Index (IPWPI):

    http://bobtisdale.blogspot.com/2008/12/indo-pacific-warm-pool-index.html

    The Tropical Atmosphere Ocean (TAO) Project Office of NOAA Pacific has Equatorial Pacific Warm Water Volume data:

    http://bobtisdale.blogspot.com/2008/11/equatorial-pacific-warm-water-volume.html

    And the CDC has what they call the Equatorial Upper-Ocean Heat Content Anomaly data, which they clarify as “Equatorial Heat Content (average temperature in the upper 300 meters, deg C)”.

    http://bobtisdale.blogspot.com/2008/11/average-subsurface-temperature-of.html

    There’s also a lot of work on the PWP by Mehta:

    http://www.decvar.org/documents/hawaii_workshop_2007/agenda/Session_3/3m_decvar_2may07.ppt?PHPSESSID=995d2a85e37d90b501876a0fb8ab6684

    http://www.decvar.org/documents/airlie/Conference/Session_11/11.1_Mehta.ppt?PHPSESSID=796b2224c80f4f1c1b721814eab877c6

    Paul Shanahan, you wrote, “I have a random theory to throw in here, but not sure how to explain it…”

    Paul, you did a good job of explaining, but it sounds like a reversal of the AGW water vapor positive feedback theory, does it not?

    John W., you wrote, “Thanks for the great article. A question if you have the time. Wouldn’t El Nino/La Nina events be result of TSI at the tropics? Presumably after some period (years) of warming/cooling?”

    My comment to Dermot Carroll above came after yours. It read, People have been looking for a solar/ENSO connection for decades. No luck so far. There is an underlying trend in NINO3.4 data that seems to correlate with Southern Ocean SST anomalies, though.

    otowi, you wrote, “So what causes El Ninos?”

    Bill Kessler of NOAA’s Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory has a great page of “Occassionally asked questions” about El Nino events. It’ll answer yours.

    http://faculty.washington.edu/kessler/occasionally-asked-questions.html

    Alex: You wrote, “I notice in Flanagan’s link that the Ocean temperatures in the Sea of Okhotsk are negative and yet ice formation is far below normal in that area currently… could volcanic activity be the cause? or perhaps winds?”

    In my response to Flanagan, I noted that I don’t really pay attention to weekly snapshots of SST, so I can’t answer your question either. My problem with the weekly static images is I try to figure what’s causing what. Are they weather-related phenomenon, etc? Just what you’re doing. And that keeps me from looking at long-term variability.

    I did provide him links to pages that I do keep track of:

    http://www.cdc.noaa.gov/map/clim/sst_olr/sst_anim.shtml

    http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/analysis_monitoring/enso_update/wkxzteq.shtml

    Pearland Aggie, you wrote, “Bob, great work. I’m betting we will be seeing answers to Tucker’s and others’ questions in Parts 2 and 3!”

    Part 2 covers the periods from January 1981 to December 1995 and from January 1976 to December 1981, with a couple of additional notes thrown in at the end. Part 3 is still only one first-click spreadsheet. As noted above, I started on Part 3, where I looked at the years from 1935 to 1977, but ran into a snag with the “discontinuity” at 1945. Then, when I tried the raw COADS data for the period, an earlier adjustment gave me another thought and sidetracked me for an hour. I’ll try to get back to that and finish it within the next two days.

    Hunter, you wrote, “This is very much in line with climatologist Dr. Spencer’s work on PDO.”

    If the PDO is an aftereffect of ENSO events, as some propose, then, yes, we’re both discussing aftereffects of ENSO events. Other than that, I don’t see the similarities.

    Gary, you wrote, “I think this misrepresents the physics of the situation. The thermocline is merely the steep gradient part of the water temperature curve. It can’t ‘push’ anything. What actually happens…”

    Your description that follows that varies from NASA’s. Please refer to the NASA Scientific Visualization Studio video titled “Visualizing El Nino”.

    http://svs.gsfc.nasa.gov/vis/a000000/a000200/a000287/a000287.mpg

    For brevity sake I used “push” instead of “squeeze eastward where density differences causes the warm water to rise to the surface.”

    Regardless of how we explain it, the step changes result from a simple process: An El Nino event transfers subsurface water from the Pacific Warm Pool (Warm water that’s up to 300 meters below the surface of the PWP is not included in the instrument temperature record) to the East Equatorial Pacific where it rises (The El Nino), then returns much of it to the surface of the East Indian and West Pacific Oceans, not just the Pacific Warm Pool (where the warm water is now included in the instrument temperature record).

  30. Bob Tisdale,
    Thank you for this detailed work. Where is the data for cloud cover?

    It would seem that oceans can only store heat according to the amount of sunlight reaching them. Cloud dynamics are not well understood as IPCC AR4 acknowledges, and myriads of research papers support. Even if the sun were a constant heat source not unlike an incandescent light bulb, by whatever mechanism causing it, cloud cover changes would be an obvious mitigating factor in regulating SWR, hence ocean warming, and ultimately “global” warming.

    I’ve inquired on multiple occasions in various blogs how increasing CO2 levels could account for the rise in OHC from 1993-2003 (Hansen et al 2005). Alas it has gone unanswered. Further, OHC stopped increasing in 2003, dropped, and has not moved upward since. This cannot be brushed off as mere “noise”. Where is the missing heat?

    If after these ENSO events (particulary El Nino) the oceans do not accumulate more and more heat as was the case for the last several decades (save volcano eruptions), how can SST do anything but trend downward? El Nino periods will be less pronounced and La Nina more dominant. It all boils down to OHC in my view.

    NOAA’s 3 mo forecast for Dec/Jan/Feb thus far is turning out to be a total flop. Met O is no different. These reporting agencies have placed all their eggs in the CO2-drives-temperature basket when the reality is something else is going on they cannot bring themselves about to acknowledge.

    ENSO may not be linked to solar activity, but what heat source can warm the oceans other than the sun? Water in liquid form stores 1000x more heat than water vapor, and land does not to any insignificant degree. As water stores heat, it also emits it efficiently,

    Is the heat released by oceans being replenished? If not, global warming is over.

  31. otowi (05:02:43) : and others with a similar query including our knowledgeable and engaging Kim.

    So what causes El Ninos?

    First, congratulations to Bob on a great bit of detective work. I want to go through it carefully but I know already that climate change as we have seen it over the last century is written in Southern Oscillation typescript. I agree with him at the outset. Harry Van Loon has pointed out that La Nina is a solar maximum condition. Ponder the paradox. Solar Maximum is cool. How does Svensmark theory stand up to that observation?

    Conventional climate science (and Leif Svalgaard) is in denial that solar radiation directly influences atmospheric dynamics within the troposphere. But temperature change has been observed at the tropopause (100hPa) on solar rotation time scales and when you start looking, the evidence is not hard to find. Strange as it may seem, the annual maximum air temperature in the southern troposphere at 30°S is seen at elevations above 300hPa in August when surface temperatures are at a minimum. This is due to seasonal cloud loss associated with regular atmospheric heating at this time (land mass distribution between the hemispheres), a seasonal increase in outgoing long wave radiation and the excitation of ozone. The increase in temperature in the upper troposphere in mid winter weakens surface atmospheric pressure, a seasonal manifestation of atmospheric dynamics driving the El Nino Southern Oscillation phenomenon on multi-year time scales.

    Here is the explanation in brief:

    1. El Ninos and La Ninas are the Pacific manifestation of a global increase or a decrease in sea surface temperature in the tropics.

    2. Tropical sea surface temperature (20°north latitude to 20°south latitude around the globe) responds to variations in sea surface pressure in the south east Pacific at latitude 30°-40°south and 100°-120°west. Sea surface temperature rises as surface atmospheric pressure falls. Using annual data there is on most occasions a lag of six to 12 months. Surface pressure in 2008 was less than in 2007 when it reached the highest levels since 1948. It seems a reversal of the current La Nina state is likely in 2009 and possibly before March 2009. Some warming is currently apparent east of South America and the occurrence of warming in localized areas between 30°-40° of latitude is a notable feature of the map referred to by Flanagan above. The developing situation off South America is covered at http://www.met.igp.gob.pe/cpntc/sst/ANOMALIAS/archivo.html If you download the images for the 1997 -98 El Nino event you will see that it first manifested in March-May gathering force over northern hemisphere summer. That global warming event marked the start of solar cycle 23.

    3. Sea surface pressure at latitude 30°-40°south and 100°-120°west responds to change in temperature in the upper troposphere due to the excitation of ozone by short wave solar radiation and long wave radiation from the Earth producing a strong increase in air temperature wherever ozone is present.

    4. At 30°-40°south and 100°-120°west the upper atmosphere is unusually rich in ozone due to strong downdraft from the upper troposphere/lower stratosphere at that location. This is reflected in relatively cold 200hPa temperature. The air temperature between 500hPa and 1000hPa reacts to change in radiation with amplitude of change increasing with elevation. If upper troposphere temperature rises the upper air tends to ascend (its less dense) rather than descend, and surface pressure falls.

    5. When surface pressure falls at 30°-40°south and 100°-120°west the easterlies that blow across the Pacific weaken, the classic manifestation of El Nino.

    6. But all of the above is actually a sidelight, a symptom. Here is the real kicker. The rise in upper troposphere temperature in an El Nino is global but varies in intensity due to local ozone content. To the extent that temperature rises in the upper troposphere relative humidity falls and cirrus cloud evaporates. This enables more solar radiation to reach the surface of the Earth accounting for the increase in sea surface temperature. The most energetic response is seen in the Pacific but we should not fall into the trap of thinking that the cause of this phenomenon lies within the Pacific or even worse, within five degrees of the equator in the Pacific, where the ENSO monitoring effort is concentrated. The links between 200hPa temperature, cirrus cloud cover and increased radiation at the surface has been observed in South East Asia where the warm pool is located and where sea surface temperatures continue to increase during El Nino events.

    7. One should never lose sight of the fact that winter temperature pole-wards of 35° of latitude is determined by stored energy in the oceans and the strength of the downdraft over the very cold zones like Greenland, Siberia and Antarctica. Summer temperature at mid to high latitudes depends upon the extent of cloud loss in turn dependent upon the humidity of the atmosphere in turn dependent upon the energy driving evaporation in the tropics. Our weather and climate depends upon dynamics in the tropics. The PDO is just a reflection of that. As Bob Tisdale firmly points out: “The PDO is dependent upon ENSO on all timescales.”

    Many details of this explanation are laid out in various posts at http://climatechange1.wordpress.com
    See in particular the articles with these titles:
    The ENSO Driver
    The Southern Oscillation and the Sun (1)
    The Southern Oscillation and the Sun (2)

    There is more to come, especially in relation to long term changes in specific and relative humidity at different levels in the atmosphere, a topic I hope to attack soon.

    Conventional climate Science and the bastions of its practice want to maintain the notion that the cause of the Southern Oscillation is unknown. When it is acknowledged, and its ramifications and permutations explored, AGW theory will evaporate. Logic says that the Southern Oscillation has been with us since the continents assumed their current position. If the continents stay where they are the thing that influences upper troposphere temperatures to swing away from a simple annual cycle is the strength of that part of solar radiation that excites ozone. That will depend in turn on how the radiation is filtered through the atmospheric layers above the troposphere…….layers that contain just 20% of the mass of the atmosphere. Speculatively, the solar wind and the strength of the Earths own magnetic field is involved in determining the issue. We are well aware that ozone is due to the interaction of the suns radiation with the atmosphere. We need to monitor its vertical, seasonal and inter-annual changes more carefully and notice when temperatures peak at the different levels of the tenuous upper atmosphere. Ozone monitoring will tell us a great deal about the sun/earth system.

  32. As far as I can see, El Nino can explain some local lows and hight in the temperatures during the months following on an El Nino event.
    As far as I am aware this is a wether-problem and not a climate problem.
    In my opinion the article fails completely to explain the underlaying trend of increasing temperatures.

  33. G’day Bob.

    I haven’t had time to digest your full post yet but I would like to add something. UAH data is out. I was playing with the numbers WRG to RSS MSU and noticed that nearly all the warming we have seen since !979 has happened in the Northern Hemisphere. The vast majority of it happened since the 1998 El Nino.

    I’m wondering if what we have seen over the last eleven years is the pushing of the warm water into the slightly land locked waters to the north. In other words It is all one event. What effect this would have on the NAO or indeed what drives what is open for speculation.

    All numbers are the averaged above or below the relevant data sets anomaly for the entire 31 years.

    RSS MSU NH 0.14
    UAH NH 0.0981

    RSS MSU SH 0.0392
    UAH SH 0.0329

  34. Gary: “and allow the surface waters (down to a couple of hundred meters) to heat up from local insolation”
    Nowadays local insolation (i am writing from Lima, Peru, SA) is low because of a big and low cloud cover, this, in turn, apparently caused by cold pacific waters.

  35. Alex (05:04:16) :

    “I notice in Flanagan’s link that the Ocean temperatures in the Sea of Okhotsk are negative and yet ice formation is far below normal in that area currently… could volcanic activity be the cause? or perhaps winds?”

    Alex,

    If volcanic activity would warm the water the temps would not be negative!
    Therefore it must be the wind or a flaw in the presented data.

  36. Stephen Wilde (08:32:44) wrote:

    “If we are now (at last) in the realms of looking for the real world mechanisms I’ve had a recent stab at it here:”

    Thanks Stephen, I’ve been reading some of your other work (The Hot Water…) and will go through this tonight!

    Jack

  37. Bob Tisdale (08:03:39) :
    Paul, you did a good job of explaining, but it sounds like a reversal of the AGW water vapor positive feedback theory, does it not?

    Thanks for your thought. I agree to a degree, but there’s nothing to say that reverse the situation and the cause/effects also reverse. I’d prefer to think of it as cyclical as aposed to a pure positive or negative feedback theory.

  38. erlhapp (08:23:33) :
    the solar wind and the strength of the Earths own magnetic field is involved in determining the issue. We are well aware that ozone is due to the interaction of the suns radiation with the atmosphere.
    The solar wind and the Earth’s magnetic field have nothing to do with ozone production and heating of the small amount of ozone in the troposphere has no effect on the surface temperature. Surface pressure is a measure of the total weight of all the molecules of the air. The ‘physics’ of the ‘explanation’ is muddled beyond refutation.

  39. Willem de Rode, you wrote, “As far as I can see, El Nino can explain some local lows and hight in the temperatures during the months following on an El Nino event. As far as I am aware this is a wether-problem and not a climate problem. In my opinion the article fails completely to explain the underlaying trend of increasing temperatures.”

    This post illustrated the causes for the step change in temperature during the period of 1996 to 2008. Part 2 of this post illustrates the step changes that occurred during the periods of January 1981 to December 1995 and January 1976 to December 1981. Putting all three together explains the overall rise since 1976.

    MartinGAtkins, you wrote, “I’m wondering if what we have seen over the last eleven years is the pushing of the warm water into the slightly land locked waters to the north. In other words It is all one event.”

    Martin, there are those who believe that the La Nina following in an El Nino is part of the process of the equatorial Pacific returning to its “normal” state. Sometimes I look at the period of this discussion and think that the smaller El Ninos in 2002/03, 2004/05 and 2006/07 are really just aftereffects of the 97/98 El Nino.

    A few months ago, I was playing with the graphs of NINO3.4 anomaly data and came up with what looked like a saw-toothed pattern in NINO3.4 data.

    Or are there multiple out-of-phase cycles?

    I don’t consider those two graphs evidence of anything. But things like that help me think out of the box.

  40. I’ve always believed our oceans dictate our climate. Earth is essentially a water planet and the oceans act like a huge solar cell gathering and storing energy from our sun. The cycles of warm and cool climate are the natural oscillations of energy released by our oceans in step with the variation of energy from our sun. CO2 is a minor gas and has a small effect on our climate but not to the extent as claimed by the proponents of AGW by CO2.

  41. Willem de Rode (08:27:05) :

    “As far as I can see, El Nino can explain some local lows and hight in the temperatures during the months following on an El Nino event.
    As far as I am aware this is a wether-problem and not a climate problem.
    In my opinion the article fails completely to explain the underlaying trend of increasing temperatures”.

    Willem Rode,

    This article represents a serious and well documented attempt to explain the Global Warming from 1976. The reason for this detailed analysis based on the fact that it was not caused by CO2.
    When we look at the amount of warming that has taken place we talk about 0.6 degree Celsius between 1976 and 1998 which cover a period 22 years.

    Even this period is too short to establish any climate claims although ice core studies showed extreme transitions from warm to cold periods taking place within a period of 10 to 15 years.

    A period of 100 years would be more realistic but even than we can only point out slight trends.

    Despite this fact, this small rise of 0.6 degree Celcius over a 22 year period until 1998 is used (misused) by the United Nations IPCC to motivate their doctrine of the AGW/Climate Change.

    Despite scientific fact finding, studying ice cores, ocean sediments, tree rings etc. etc. and despite the current cooling phase since 2004, the AGW Public Relations machinery keeps on selling the public a hoax claiming that CO2 is catastrophic climate driver.
    CO2 will cause the atmosphere to heat up causing disaster by rising sea levels caused by melting ice and thousands of other related disasters which WILL happen unless humanity stops burning carbon fuels and returns to the Stone Age.

    The pathetic 0.6 degree Celsius warming between 1976 an 1998, corrupt climate models based on corrupt manipulated temp data is used to make their claim of disaster and force Governments World Wide to introduce legislation that will destroy their economies.

    Just for the record:

    1. IPCC claims that CO2 is a climate driver.
    The higher the CO2 levels, the higher the temperature.

    A. CO2 never has been a climate driver and never will be.
    Records show that if temperatures rise, CO2 levels rise and not the other way around.
    B. Despite rising CO2 levels between 1998 and today, temperatures have been stable between 1998 and 2004. From 2004 the temperatures are decreasing.

    Therefore the very basis of the AGW doctrine is disqualified.

    You remark that the El Nino and it’s effects must be regarded as weather events rather than climate events is correct.
    For the same reason to call the 0.6 degree Celsius increase in temperature between 1976 and 1998 is Climate Change = WRONG.

    Especially because similar conditions happened before the second World War when temperatures were higher than today with 1934 as the warmest year of the last Century.

    Unfortunately the moment an El Nino year turns up hot, the IPCC lobby calls it “Climate Change” whereas a five year long period of cooling is called “Weather masking the trend of Global Warming”.

    This kind of BIAS attitude kills any bases for an open discussion and results in the following question:

    Who are the real deniers?

    Don’t you agree?

  42. Bob,
    Thanks for your “steller” efforts. Your search for a “Scientific supported rebuttal” of the “Non-Scientific/Polictically motivated” hoax of AGW is a breath of fresh air. I’m looking forward to your updates.

  43. Pearl,

    Because it’s being done for a ‘good’ cause. Just like vandalizing a coal fired power station is not a crime, its a justifiable defense of the planet.

  44. What was the origin of those El Nino….or we are to remember Edgard Cayce´s words “when something happens in the pacific ocean area we´ll know it has begun…”

  45. Bob,
    What I guess I am seeing is that cycles of warming and cooling in the Pacific can account for basically everything the alarmists are promoting as an impending apocalypse.
    Spender sees CO2 as having a net positive temperature impact this century in the range of 1oC. He seems to believe that non-CO2 drivers dominate the global climate and that CO2 is a bit player. That appears to be far closer to reality than the carbon obsessed movements so popular today.

  46. Bob, thanks for the comprehensive reply and all the links to ‘warm pool indices’.
    Erl, stick with it, the solar-magnetic-climate connection is hiding there somewhere. Glad to see you guys talking on the same blog, I’m sure you both have the answer within your collective grasp if you can just synchronise your lines of thinking.

  47. This is all very factual and easily understood however the hearts and minds of the general public and unfortunately the they still firmly believe in AGW, particularly here in Australia. In discussion with good hearted stall holder at a local farmers market who was trying to raise interest in a community windfarm to save the planet and he was doing a brisk trade in literature promoting this nonsense. On a worse front, large corporations like Hydro Tasmania/Roaring Forties are about to receive vast taxpayer subsidies to destroy the landscape of Macedon Ranges in central Victoria with 135m tall turbines and it all being supported by locals because it wil save Kakadu, the Great Barrier Reef and the planet.

  48. Erl, I think the non-native English speakers are having a hard time with your syntax.

    For my own part, do you mean to imply that current low levels of Ionospheric heating and ozone production with low UV mean the effect of what UV there is is enhanced in tropospheric cloud production and albedo?

  49. This should be published in a journal.

    I’ve argued time and again on other sites that the temperature increase since the ’90s is not what one would expect from CO2.

    The 1979-1997 troposphere satellite temperature is nearly flat and so is the post 1998 temperature, except that the post ’98 temperature is stepped up by around 0.2 C or so. That screams El Nino to me effect to me.

    Why has the climate research world not taken more note of this?

  50. Very interesting. Here’s what I don’t understand….everyone seems to be looking for that smoking gun. Here’s a case with this study(even though it makes sense). There seemed to be a correlation with sun activity up to a point in the 70′s. Perhaps CO2 has had an effect. Isn’t it possible that there is, for lack of better terms, a collaborative effect of many different forces driving the climate warmer? No single event seems to explain everything. With the AGW crowd, they seem able to accept only one cause–man made C02, with natural forcings being a much lesser player. In fact, largely through their efforts to ‘debunk’ everything, they’ve shown me how all these variables were major forcings in the past. Their reasoning goes “it can’t be this, because, and it can’t be that because, and certainly not those because…etc.” Yet I’m wonder, well, maybe not one of those by themselves, but what about all of them together? or just a combination of a few? Admittedly, until a few months ago, I believed Al Gore told me everything I needed to know about climate change. I was scared. Just on a whim, I googled “scientific consensus”. Almost immediately, I felt hood-winked. So I’ve wasted a lot of my time visiting one snarky blog after another(this one far better than most), and my conclusion is what I said above, only slightly behind the thought–I don’t think anyone has any idea what’s really going on!?

  51. Leif Svalgaard (09:27:07) :
    And with that dismissal we see the old adage demonstrated:

    ‘You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink’.

    This is dismissal relying upon established authority that refuses to engage in discussion of the critical issues.

    Progress depends upon a spirit of goodwill, and in this case the identification of statements that are regarded as contentious and those that are not.

    What is it that renders ozone that is below the tropopause somehow immune to solar radiation while that above the tropopause is not. Why is it that, south of the equator down to 35°south, temperature at the tropopause and to a variable depth below, peaks in August and the more strongly so depending upon the coolness of the air (the strength of downdraft)?

    Talking about the weight of molecules above a point on the surface of the Earth gets us precisely nowhere in understanding the dynamics driving the strength of high pressure cells or the waxing and waning of the easterly winds that drive the ENSO phenomenon.

    Looks to me like you are batting for the other side. There is no goodwill. Any notion that the sun influences the atmosphere below the tropopause is obviously anathema and to be resisted by whatever means. The notion that ozone absorbs UVB and is heated imparting warmth to adjacent molecules is to be denied.

    The solar signal is present at the tropopause in the tropics. The tropopause in the tropics is less reactive than it is outside the tropics and in the high pressure cells of mid latitudes of the southern hemisphere in particular. This issue must be faced and faced squarely.

    There are none so blind as those who will not see.

  52. Bob
    This is a really interesting article but in interested in what has been responsible for so many recent El Ninos.

    I know some have already asked this question and I am also aware that El Ninos are supposed to be driven by natural processes. But just to ask the obvious – surely if there is more heat around generally, would it not be plausible to accept that the massive expanse of Pacific Ocean might just absorb a little more than its own fair share of that heat – and might this in turn not drive more El Nino type events?

    This is not to suggest that AGW is responsible but it might be one among many possible explanations.

    Ben

  53. In support of Dr. Spencer’s comments on the review process for scientific journals.
    ————————————————————-
    Science Fiction Down On The Farm

    http://www.worldclimatereport.com/index.php/2009/01/08/science-fiction-down-on-the-farm/

    Science reputedly is the world’s most prestigious refereed science journal in the world.

    “…it’s pretty bad science fiction. Good science fiction is at least plausible.”

    You know the paper’s going to be bad from the first sentence: “The food crisis of 2006-2008 demonstrates the fragile nature of feeding the world’s human population.”

    Never mentioned is that this “crisis” was largely due to a knee-jerk political reaction—huge ethanol mandates—in response to climate science alarmism. That crisis was caused by papers like this.

    Science has just published bad science fiction hiding as a rigorously peer-reviewed paper. No serious reviewer who is a serious student of global warming would let such document stand unless he or she wanted to for other reasons. Did we mention that the Congress is about to debate global warming legislation?

  54. It’s quite simple: if you want Global Rule, you must have a “global problem”. So “global warming” was born.

    The #1 factor for heat, has been, and always will be: the Sun.

    Right now, we are closer to the sun, so we are slightly hotter. It’s quite simple. CO2 goes up during a warming period, because life is more sustainable. For example, the Renaissance occured because of a warming period, which allowed crops to grow in more places and grow better. This led to surplus crops, which allowed a new “middle class” to spring up from services-based professions such as merchants and artists, since there were surplus crops to feed/pay them with.

    When the world heats up slightly, more life exists, and CO2 is a by-product of all living matter (including plants, though they sponge up more than they emit).

    For example, all the cows on Earth emit more CO2 than ALL transportation combined (cars, trains, boats, airplanes). So rather than shut down all cars, trains, boats, and airplanes, it would be more effective for everyone to pick up a shotgun and kill cows: it would reduce CO2 far faster. The idiocy of such an idea however, exposes the ridiculousness of their claims.

    That’s why “killing cows” is not the goal of global warming proponents, despite it being the #1 way to reduce CO2 easily.

    The real agenda is a “Global Carbon Tax” being pushed for by our elite rulers: Bush, Gore, Clinton, McCain, Obama ALL want a “global carbon tax”. All of the presidents and prime ministers of the US, UK, Germany, and France have pushed for a “global carbon tax” administered by the United Nations.

    If the United Nations can tax us, then we are their subjects.

    Global Warming, if successful in getting a “global carbon tax”, will have effectively united the world under the rule of these globalists.

    “For more than a century, ideological extremists at either end of the political spectrum have seized upon well-publicized incidents to attack the Rockefeller family for the inordinate influence they claim we wield over American political and economic institutions. Some even believe we are part of a secret cabal working against the best interests of the United States, characterizing my family and me as ‘internationalists’ and of conspiring with others around the world to build a more integrated global political and economic structure – one world, if you will.

    If that’s the charge, I stand guilty and I am proud of it. ”
    - David Rockefeller, from his autobiography “Memoirs”, page 405, admitting to treason (a secret cabal working against the best interest of the United States).

    “One world government is inevitable.” Pope John Paul II (prime candidate for leading the one world religion? the blasphemer who has 1.2 billion followers)

    “We are on the verge of a global transformation. All we need is the right major crisis and the nations will accept the New World Order.” – David Rockefeller

  55. Ben Kellett, you wrote, “This is a really interesting article but in interested in what has been responsible for so many recent El Ninos”

    I ran across a description of El Ninos a couple of years ago that read to the effect: An El Nino is a process that redistributes tropical heat that has accumulated in the Pacific Warm Pool to higher latitudes so that it can be more efficiently radiated into space. In the second half of this post, you’ll see that heat distribution processes of two significant El Ninos were suppressed by the El Chichon and Mount Pinatubo eruptions. With those two “Non Ninos” taken from the total, the ratio of El Nino to La Nina years from 1976 to present reduces from 11/7 to 9/7. And a question that I raise in Part 2 is, considering the above, would the 1997/98 El Nino have occurred if the El Chichon and Mount Pibatubo eruptions had not suppressed the El Ninos that occurred at the same time? I can’t answer the question but it’s one that’s worth investigating.

  56. gary gulrud (14:34:43) :

    Gary,
    I can’t answer your question as to why there is an apparent flux in UV impacting ozone below the tropopause and I don’t think anyone else has the answer either. If they do its a topic they don’t want to, or can’t discuss. If 200hPa temperature is to be my guide, this flux in UV occurs on ENSO timescales. Certain people in prestigious well funded organizations are responsible for exploring these questions and at there head is a person with a religious devotion to the notion of A.G.W. He will take comfort from what Leif says.

    I watch the troposphere where we have good data starting from 1948. In the last two years we have seen a return to very low 200hPa temperature and very high surface pressure in the south East Pacific. The atmosphere is very compact meaning a low level of inflation of the ionosphere/plasma sphere. Satellites are traveling close without experiencing the usual atmospheric drag. Perhaps the shorter wave lengths from the sun are more effectively filtered out when the atmosphere is more compact. Perhaps the high speed wind of coronal holes that seem to account for plasma sphere inflation on a scale of days are involved in disturbing this compact state in such a way as to account for this change in UV. I don’t know.

    What I do know is that tropical sea surface temperature follows sea level pressure in the south east Pacific (inversely) and that sea level pressure is inversely related to 200hPa temperature. So 200hPa temperature and surface temperature move together. And the former is the driver, not the latter.

    Meanwhile, the solar flux is increasing and the UV index at the surface is jumping to levels that are inconsistent with the continuation of La Nina.

    What the sun emits and what is received at the tropopause are two different things. The filter is the atmosphere above the tropopause.

    Two things from the sun are responsible for the state of the atmosphere above the tropopause. One is short wave radiation that strips molecules, atoms and electrons and the other is the solar wind that is capable of shifting the plasma so created.

    Sorry about the lousy syntax. Wish I could do it better. Its a property of the mind.

  57. Bob Tisdale,
    There are a few articles that stick in peoples minds that effect the way they think about or see things (climate in this case) after reading them.
    This is one of those articles.
    Some of the other obvious articles for climate to me include
    Dr. Glassman’s The Acquittal of CO2,
    Stephen Wilde’s The Hot Water Bottle Effect,
    Svensmarks cloud theory.
    These all seem to fit together, or at least
    are not mutually exclusive of each other.

    It seems that the sun, the oceans and, water vapour (all in various ways)
    maybe the main players after all. (Sheesh, who’d have thought it..)

    Is it possible that the so called 4th class of volcanoes
    (and “ordinary” volcanoes – there are quite a few large ones under the oceans)
    may have an effect that might be interpretted as “noise”.

    Derek.

  58. Johann

    “Oh and by the way, if the “Global Warming Tax” is passed, will they tax humans for breathing?”

    This has been proposed by a scientist in Australia.

  59. This is a really good analysis. My biggest comment is to dampen down the smoothing and filters so that one can be sure the smoothing is not causing an artifact but Bob Tisdale does really good work.

  60. Is the heat released by oceans being replenished? If not, global warming is over.

    Yes, and it seems like the atmospheric water vapor feedback hasn’t done much of anything, either.

  61. Thanks, that is a very interesting article – though I suspect a prevalence of El Ninos (or La Ninas) does not explain all decadal temperature changes. After all
    there has been a rising temperature trend for a century. The Positive Enso phases (1910-1940′s and 1976-2000), have a steeper slope than the Negative phase (1940s to 1975).

  62. I just noticed something odd, perhaps someone can explain.

    On the site : http://discover.itsc.uah.edu/amsutemps/execute.csh?amsutemps

    They have an interactive chart, if you check the boxes for :
    20 year Record high, 20 year average, and 20 year record lows, and then select
    The Daily Global Average temperature at 3,300 ft / 1.0 km / 900 mb (chLT)
    show temps in deg F

    If you select any year later than 2001, the trace for that year goes above the 20 record high. I presume that that means the “20 year record high” does not include the most recent years, but is some standard base 20 year cycle (rather than a 30 year period).

    On the front page, it lists the starting date as 1979 for the satellite data, so my presumption is that the “20 year record high” trace is computed from 1979-1999 data in this data set.

    Does anyone know the true interval used to compute this reference?
    Would it not be more appropriate to show an all time high to date, and all time low to date for the satellite data set rather than some arbitrary 20 year cycle?

    Larry

  63. Excellent so far. I look forward to parts 2 and 3.

    Despite offering no proof what-so-ever, Realclimate has already declared in a 2007 entry that climate change is influincing El Ninos, amking them more frequent and stronger. I think that anyone with half a properly functioning brain after 2008s moderate La Nina see that it is exactly the opposite: El Ninos are infuencing climate change.

    We need to find what drives ENSO and the phase switch. That’s our answer. I suspect the answer may ultimately lie with the sun.

  64. It just occurred to me that the SST slope was steeper in the “pre”industrial 1910 – 1945 period than it was in the “Industrial” 1970 – 2005 period. It’s gotta be “mostly” the sun.

    BUT, there was “some” CO2 increase even in the coldest years of the 1945 – 1975 cooling period, so I’m thinking at least “some” of the CO2 increase is from man.

    Just a layman musing . . .

  65. MattN: Thanks for bringing Part 3 up again. I need to clarify something. Part 2 is written, ready to go. Part 3, if there is a Part 3, at present is only a couple of graphs of SST anomalies (for the same areas in this post) for the period from 1935 to 1978. As I noted above, the discontinuity in the SST data at 1945 puts a real hitch in attempting to explain what happened during that period. We know the starting point of the “bucket correction”. It’s very obvious in the data, but the end point of the correction isn’t. So, as it stands, I haven’t figured out if I can work around that problem and prepare a worthwhile post. If I can, I will.

    MattN, you wrote, “We need to find what drives ENSO and the phase switch. That’s our answer. I suspect the answer may ultimately lie with the sun.”

    Or may ultimately lie in the causes of variations in solar irradiance at the surface, such as cloud cover and volcanic aerosols.

  66. The ocean is huge. Surface temperatures can change relatively quickly but it takes a long time to make changes in the ocean at a mile or two depth. At three miles deep it is even slower to change. There is a lot of CO2 down there and that water is probably still slowly warming from recovery from the little ice age. That would be one of the reasons CO2 tends to lag so much behind atmospheric temperature change. You can get the surface to give up some CO2 with some heating but it takes a long time to get the bulk of the ocean to change temperature.

    As surface currents such as the Gulf Stream cool and sink, they take their CO2 contents into the briny deep and it might be a long time before that dissolved CO2 makes it way back to the surface again.

    Argo floats go down to less than a mile in depth. The average depth of the Pacific Ocean is over 2 miles (actually closer to 3). Argo shows this upper ocean is currently cooling. We really have no idea what the bottom 2/3 of the ocean is doing. Again, we know more about what the surface of Mars is doing than we know about most of the surface of Earth.

  67. erlhapp (16:04:05) :
    In the last two years we have seen a return to very low 200hPa temperature and very high surface pressure in the south East Pacific. The atmosphere is very compact meaning a low level of inflation of the ionosphere/plasma sphere.

    Perhaps the shorter wave lengths from the sun are more effectively filtered out when the atmosphere is more compact. Perhaps the high speed wind of coronal holes that seem to account for plasma sphere inflation on a scale of days are involved in disturbing this compact state in such a way as to account for this change in UV. I don’t know.

    What I do know is that tropical sea surface temperature follows sea level pressure in the south east Pacific (inversely) and that sea level pressure is inversely related to 200hPa temperature. So 200hPa temperature and surface temperature move together. And the former is the driver, not the latter.

    Meanwhile, the solar flux is increasing and the UV index at the surface is jumping to levels that are inconsistent with the continuation of La Nina.

    What the sun emits and what is received at the tropopause are two different things. The filter is the atmosphere above the tropopause.

    Two things from the sun are responsible for the state of the atmosphere above the tropopause. One is short wave radiation that strips molecules, atoms and electrons and the other is the solar wind that is capable of shifting the plasma so created.

    Sorry about the lousy syntax. Wish I could do it better. Its a property of the mind.

    If it was only the syntax…
    There are so many errors and misconceptions in the above that it is hard to know where to begin. I have on previous occasions pointed out in detail what is wrong, but you keep barreling on regardless. Like this one: “Meanwhile, the solar flux is increasing”. From the ‘is’ one might presume you mean now, in which case everybody here knows you are in error. But perhaps, we have a syntax problem again.

    From suffering through hundreds of your posts, I think I can summarize your ideas as follows: “the solar wind compacts the atmosphere making it more difficult for UV, that heats the upper troposphere which in turn heats the surface, to penetrate and hence leads to cooling”.

  68. I believe it was Reid Bryson who said, the sun warms the oceans, the oceans warm the atmosphere.

    Regarding the growth of the warm pools, is there observational data from satellites on cloud cover that might be correlated with their locations? The only energy source is sunlight and it seems that the simplest explanation for the heating is a local reduction in clouds.

  69. SST and depth reminds me of a quaint growing up story. Wallowa Lake is a glacier/ice/snow fed, dam enhanced, body of water left over from a glacier and surrounded by a high moraine. It’s bottom consists of glacier debris and is quite deep from shore to shore with a bit of slope at the source and just before the lake turns a bit towards the little dam. It is 6 miles long and narrow with a great deal of shading from sunup to sunset. I learned how to float and then swim in that lake. In just minutes. It is only slightly warm the first 6 inches. From then on it is witch-tit cold. Once you get thrown in by grandma, you learn to float so that even your buns stay in that 6 inches. Once you have managed to catch your breath after the icy plunge, you then devise, very quickly, a way to swim back to shore. Lesson over.

  70. Paul Shanahan (04:35:16) :

    … With the PDO being in it’s cool phase, this must be influencing the immediate atmospheric temperatures to also become cooler. …

    You need to look up the PDO. The PDO might not be globally cool; I think it got its name because the cool phase has cooler water near North America, where its behavior was first noticed. And I suspect the cool phase encourages cooler North American temperatures, but that’s not oceanic temperature and the continental air flow contributes a lot.

  71. If it were my study, I would have to take into account the changing temperature sample number at 1990 when surface stations dropped out in droves. If my grass plots, each placed in fairly evenly distributed rural and urban areas, were to then suddenly be reduced by the same urban-biased percentage, I would not be able to continue the study. I would have to start all over again.

    But you want a longer term temperature sample than the satellite record, for good reason. I would, and cringe while doing it, splice the satellite temps onto the surface data temps somewhere prior to 1990 (and discard, while cringing, obviously corrupted surface temps after the splice) and run the analysis again.

    It’s not pristine which is why I cringe, but I believe anyone worth their laboratory credentials would clearly see the need to discard the potentially corrupted surface station temperature sample data after 1990.

  72. Paul Linsay (19:40:36)

    “Regarding the growth of the warm pools, is there observational data from satellites on cloud cover that might be correlated with their locations? The only energy source is sunlight and it seems that the simplest explanation for the heating is a local reduction in clouds.”

    In an interesting paper K. G. Pavlakis et al have found that changes in downward shortwave radiation (by changes in cloud cover) are a significant forcing in the enso oscillation.

    Abstract. We have studied the spatial and temporal variation of the downward shortwave radiation (DSR) at the surface of the Earth during ENSO events for a 21-year period over the tropical and subtropical Pacific Ocean (40_ S–40_ N, 90_ E–75_ W). The fluxes were computed using a deterministic model for atmospheric radiation transfer, along with satellite data from the ISCCP-D2 database, reanalysis data from NCEP/NCAR for the key atmospheric and surface input parameters,and aerosol parameters from GADS (acronyms explained in main text). A clear anti-correlation was found between the downward shortwave radiation anomaly (DSR-A) time-series, in the region 7_ S–5_ N 160_ E–160_W located west of the Ni˜no-3.4 region, and the Ni˜no-3.4 index timeseries. In this region where the highest in absolute value DSR anomalies are observed, the mean DSR anomaly values range from −45Wm−2 during El Ni˜no episodes to +40Wm−2 during La Ni˜na events. Within the Ni˜no-3.4 region no significant DSR anomalies are observed during the cold ENSO phase in contrast to the warm ENSO phase. A high correlation was also found over the western Pacific (10_ S–5_ N, 120–140_ E), where the mean DSR anomaly values range from +20Wm−2 to −20Wm−2 during El Ni˜no and La Ni˜na episodes, respectively. There is also convincing evidence that the time series of the mean downward shortwave radiation anomaly in the off-equatorial western Pacific region 7– 15_ N 150–170_ E, precedes the Ni˜no-3.4 index time-series by about 7 months and the pattern of this anomaly is indicative of ENSO operating through the mechanism of the western Pacific oscillator. Thus, the downward shortwave radiation anomaly is a complementary index to the SST anomaly for the study of ENSO events and can be used to assess whether or not El Ni˜no or La Ni˜na conditions prevail.

    Whilst this is an additional indicator,the enso oscillation is a highly coupled mechanism that is both internally driven(self organized far from equilibrium) and externally forced,both the fluctuations and inversions are a result of highly coupled feedbacks both positive(amplifying) and negative (dissipative),this is a well understood open problem for long term predictive modeling.

    http://www.atmos-chem-phys.net/8/5565/2008/acp-8-5565-2008.html

  73. For people looking for causes this might be interesting :

    http://www.nosams.whoi.edu/PDFs/papers/tsonis-grl_newtheoryforclimateshifts.pdf

    We construct a network of observed climate indices in
    the period 1900–2000 and investigate their collective
    behavior. The results indicate that this network
    synchronized several times in this period. We find that in
    those cases where the synchronous state was followed by a
    steady increase in the coupling strength between the indices,
    the synchronous state was destroyed, after which a new
    climate state emerged. These shifts are associated with
    significant changes in global temperature trend and in
    ENSO variability. The latest such event is known as the
    great climate shift of the 1970s. We also find the evidence
    for such type of behavior in two climate simulations using a
    state-of-the-art model. This is the first time that this
    mechanism, which appears consistent with the theory of
    synchronized chaos, is discovered in a physical system of
    the size and complexity of the climate system.

  74. I have thought about this long and hard. There is something I must do.

    For years I have railed against the folks who have called me “DENIER!!!!” as though I were denying Christ or their inquisition…. I have taken great pains to say to them that I deny nothing, I am skeptical of the veracity of their claims and the quality of their “science”. Now I find that I must retract that position.

    Where better to do that than here?

    So, for all the world to see, here and now, I make the public testimony that I am, in fact, a denier of the claims of AGW. They are simply wrong. A lie.

    Why the change? What I have learned in the last year. Before, I was not sure, now it is very clear to me that there is no doubt. AGW does not exist. It is at best a fraud. The present patterns of weather and solar output make it very clear to me that the sun is the big driver with ocean oscillations making the harmony. We are but fleas on the rump of the earth in comparison.

    So, from this day forward, when someone asks me if I’m a denier of AGW, my answer will be “D*mn Straight, Loud & Proud DENIER of AGW, It is a LIE! and don’t you forget it, son!”

    Heck, I may even get a T shirt made up… And smile when you say that, pardner…

  75. maksimovich (20:28:28) :
    In an interesting paper K. G. Pavlakis et al have found that changes in downward shortwave radiation (by changes in cloud cover) are a significant forcing in the enso oscillation.
    If I read this correctly, more clouds => less El Nino

  76. I’m wondering if we can splice pre-station dropout temp anomalies with satellite data over at woodfortrees. It would be nice to have that graph to play with.

  77. Note: You may wish to click on the TinyPic link (While holding the “Control” key) to open Figure 9 in a separate window. That would eliminate the need to scroll back and forth. This discussion goes on for a full page of single-spaced text in MSWord form.

    Harvesting a minor nit…. is this what I do in Safari on my Mac, or do I need to use Firefox on my Linux box to do this?

    I don’t do Micro$oft … civilized people know better …

  78. E.M.Smith (22:19:06) :
    The present patterns of weather and solar output make it very clear to me that the sun is the big driver with ocean oscillations making the harmony.
    Is your denial contingent on the solar connection? I mean, would not AGW be a lie on its own ‘merit’ without using the solar crutch? If somebody showed tomorrow that the Sun was not the primary driver, would you stop your denial?

  79. Some say 10 or more before a change and already at global temperatures at 14deg C we are in danger of food being very scarce especially in 3rd world countries.

    While I generally agree with what you say, i must point out that it takes 10 pounds of feed to make one pound of beef. A 10:1 “feed ratio”; and that 10 pound of grains was ‘dry’ while the beef is ‘wet’ (i.e. 10 pounds of dry grain become more like 40 pounds after cooked and hydrated..) Pork is a 3:1 conversion ratio as is chicken. Farmed fish are often 1:1 and sometimes even “fraction:1″ (i.e. more ‘wet’ pounds of fish per dry pound of grain fed)

    The point? While what you’ve said is true, the world could easily eat less beef and more chicken and fish during such a crisis and no one needs to go hungry. (Sadly, we probably won’t do that and folks will most likely starve as a consequence, but such is “the dismal science” of Economics…)

    I’ve said this before, and I’ll keep on saying it, there is no reason for anyone to go hungry or suffer. We have available to us effectively unlimited energy, materials, food & water. It is only because of our limited imagination and will that anyone starves. But such is the dismal science of politics…

  80. Leif Svalgaard (19:33:45) :
    “Meanwhile, the solar flux is increasing”. From the ‘is’ one might presume you mean now, in which case everybody here knows you are in error.

    No error at all. Solar flux has been increasing since October 2008. See: http://www.solen.info/solar/

    The interesting issue for me is the timing of the next warming event and the mode of causation. I think I have a better model than NOAA, the W.M.O. the BOM and a couple of dozen others. The issue is: when will 200hPa temperature rise and surface pressure fall in the South East Pacific. The news is that 2008 brought significant change from 2007 levels and past performance indicates that an increase in sea surface temperature is to be expected unless 200hPa temperatures in the south east Pacific quickly return to 2007 levels. In December, 200hPa temperature sat at close to the long term average. The next three months will tell the story. Meanwhile the clear sky UV index shows a strong increase in UV at the surface in January 2009 over 2008 levels. See http://www.temis.nl/uvradiation/world_uvi.html

    Your summary of my ideas reveals either a failure of comprehension or a strong desire to ridicule. I have read enough of your responses to have worked out that you willingly feign lack of comprehension and use ridicule as a tool to belittle and discourage.

    “the solar wind compacts the atmosphere making it more difficult for UV, that heats the upper troposphere which in turn heats the surface, to penetrate and hence leads to cooling”.

    That’s a very poor effort. It makes no sense to me at all. There is nothing very complex about what I am saying. I am sure you can do better. Why not have a go?

  81. Bobby Lane (23:22:01) :
    Off topic slightly but still very relevant to the overall discussion: the Russian newspaper Pravda is predicting the beginning of another Ice Age for the Earth to begin soon. [...]
    Many sources of data which provide our knowledge base of long-term climate change indicate that the warm, twelve thousand year-long Holocene period will rather soon be coming to an end, and then the earth will return to Ice Age conditions for the next 100,000 years.”

    Bobby, nothing personal. This has been posted a dozen times by others, you just happen to be the one that’s pushed me over the edge…

    The key word here is “soon” which I’ve bolded above. Please realize that ‘soon’ in geologic time is somewhere between now and 40,000 years from now! Honest. We might have already started entering the next ice age when the Little Ice Age began a couple of hundred years ago, or it might start 10,000 or 20,000 or even 40,000 years from now depending on what you assume about the galactic central plane crossing, the cosmic ray flux, or the Milankovitch cycles. For all practical purposes (i.e. the lifetime of my children and their children to come) it just doesn’t mean anything… Chill dude!

    To add some value to this post: If you have never tried Steinlager, the beer from New Zealand, it is a wonderful beer. A Very Hoppy lager style. A bit of a “getting used to” beer, but man, once to get used to the hops, nothing else comes close. (Yes, I’m into it a 6 pack+ at the moment… but it is one of the few truly stellar beers of the world.)

  82. Leif Svalgaard 22:21:17) :

    maksimovich (20:28:28) :
    In an interesting paper K. G. Pavlakis et al have found that changes in downward shortwave radiation (by changes in cloud cover) are a significant forcing in the enso oscillation.
    If I read this correctly, more clouds => less El Nino

    Ah if causal mechanisms were that simple.

    It provides an inverse driver(negative feedback) for the asymmetric oscillator.eg chanfes in wind direction-(and or velocity) changes in the slope of the thermacline,cold upwelling and so on.

    The important part of the paper is the 7 month frequency signal,very close to the 8 month intrasannual frequency signal found .

    The irregular periodicity in longer timescale and in other indicators such as the SOI suggest the dampening (dissipative ) mechanisms are not fully understood .

    If we do not understand first the qualitative attributes of the limit cycle of the oscillator (and its multiple attractors and variance there of) how can one a) apply causal mechanisms and b) prediction.

    Thus this an additional tool for diagnosis.

  83. DR (08:22:12) :
    ENSO may not be linked to solar activity, but what heat source can warm the oceans other than the sun? Water in liquid form stores 1000x more heat than water vapor, and land does not to any insignificant degree. As water stores heat, it also emits it efficiently,

    Not advancing a theory, just harvesting a nit… There is all that heat from U and Th decay in the planet core that shows up as mid ocean volcanic ridges. That might be a competitor to sunshine… at least, to me, a 600F vent implies some ability to make water warmer…

  84. Bob Tisdale
    “Or may ultimately lie in the causes of variations in solar irradiance at the surface, such as cloud cover and volcanic aerosols.”

    Paul Lindsay
    “The only energy source is sunlight and it seems that the simplest explanation for the heating is a local reduction in clouds.”

    Maximovich
    The Pavlakis paper is pivotal. Pavlakis uses maps to identify areas where the increase in short wave flux (sunlight) accounts for strong local heating during El Nino events. The Western Pacific loses cloud during El Nino events and warms accordingly.

    I could not agree more with the proposition that it is cloud cover that accounts for warming and cooling. This is the simplest and most obvious proposition. I wonder if it has occurred to Leif? By the look of his near incomprehensible query to Maximovich “If I read this correctly, more clouds => less El Nino” he might have the thing 180 degrees out of whack. Could this be another (deliberate) failure of comprehension.

  85. Bill Illis, you wrote, “My biggest comment is to dampen down the smoothing and filters so that one can be sure the smoothing is not causing an artifact…”

    Good thought. I’ll see what the two short-term graphs from this post and the others in part two look like with the raw data added. I can set the raw data at a low weighting with the same color as the smoothed data, making them appear like ghosts in the background. I can then refer those who are skeptical because of the smoothing to those graphs. Good idea, thanks.

    BillC, you wrote, “Thanks, that is a very interesting article – though I suspect a prevalence of El Ninos (or La Ninas) does not explain all decadal temperature changes. After all there has been a rising temperature trend for a century. The Positive Enso phases (1910-1940’s and 1976-2000), have a steeper slope than the Negative phase (1940s to 1975).”

    BillC, take a look at Part 2. Combined, I’ve covered three decades. The step changes in the East Indian-West Pacific Oceans imply that the frequency and magnitudes of ENSO events (that aren’t effected by volcanic eruptions) establish the slopes or the shape of the Global SST anomaly curve, which is why a running total of that one NINO3.4 dataset (HADSST with base years of 1950 to 1979) creates a curve that mimics the global SST anomaly curve. Refer to Figure 21.

    Kum Dollison, you wrote, “It just occurred to me that the SST slope was steeper in the ‘pre’industrial 1910 – 1945 period than it was in the ‘Industrial’ 1970 – 2005 period. It’s gotta be ‘mostly’ the sun.”

    That part of your comment reminded of this. The AGW hypothesis says that greenhouse gases should warm the skin and the mixing layer of the oceans and increase subsurface temperatures as well by locking in more heat. My skepticism about that part of the hypothesis results when I look at graphs of time-series data of global SST. Below, I’ve plotted Global SST anomalies over the term of the ERSST.v2 dataset, monthly data, smoothed with 37-month filter.

    I haven’t physically added trends to the graph because the disparity is so great. Note that the rate of rise in the early 20th century warming period far exceeds that of the last 30 years or so. But the anthropogenic greenhouse gases impact on SST, according to the AGW hypothesis, should be much more dominant in the last 30 years. I don’t see it. The El Nino around 1940 was significant but not as large as the 1997/98 El Nino, so that shouldn’t be throwing off the trend of the early warming period.

    AnonyMoose, you wrote, “You need to look up the PDO. The PDO might not be globally cool;”

    Let me reinforce that. The PDO is not a measure of the SST anomalies for the North Pacific. In some respects it reflects a pattern of SST anomalies there. The following graph is of SST anomalies for the same area of the North Pacific as the PDO (Global SST is a reference). The curve of that data bears no similarity to the PDO.

    The North Pacific Residual (North Pacific SST anomalies MINUS Global SST anomalies) also has no correlation with the PDO.

    More on that in these two posts:

    http://bobtisdale.blogspot.com/2008/06/amo-versus-mid-latitude-north-pacific.html

    http://bobtisdale.blogspot.com/2008/06/common-misunderstanding-about-pdo.html

    Pamela Gray, you wrote, “If it were my study, I would have to take into account the changing temperature sample number at 1990 when surface stations dropped out in droves.”

    I examined SST in this post, Pamela, no surface stations involved.

    E.M.Smith, you wrote, “I don’t do Micro$oft … civilized people know better …”

    Sorry, new computer, haven’t updated my browser.

  86. erlhapp (23:41:38) :
    Solar flux has been increasing since October 2008. See: http://www.solen.info/solar/
    That plot shows that the orbit is elliptical. We were closest to the Sun January 4th, and now the flux is decreasing. This happens every year.

    “the solar wind compacts the atmosphere making it more difficult for UV, that heats the upper troposphere which in turn heats the surface, to penetrate and hence leads to cooling”.
    It makes no sense to me at all.

    To me neither, but that is what your posts are saying. Perhaps you could correct it, so it better matches what you think is going on.

  87. erlhapp (00:33:44) :
    heating is a local reduction in clouds.
    loses cloud during El Nino events and warms accordingly.
    “If I read this correctly, more clouds => less El Nino” he might have the thing 180 degrees out of whack.
    It seems to me that the last statement is not 180 degrees ‘out of whack’, but fits rather well with the previous two. Let me try again: ‘less clouds => more heating’ is the same as ‘more clouds => less heating’

  88. Very interesting post, thanks Bob Tisdale for writing and thanks Anthony for posting.

    I have one question: Isn’t it true that the sun drives the oceans heat? While the connections may be hard to discover, the sun it seems, is the only viable source…

  89. Leif Svalgaard (04:35:41) :
    Erl Happ…
    Leif Svalgaard

    “the solar wind compacts the atmosphere making it more difficult for UV, that heats the upper troposphere which in turn heats the surface, to penetrate and hence leads to cooling”.
    It makes no sense to me at all.

    To me neither, but that is what your posts are saying. Perhaps you could correct it

    Come on Leif, how can you expect Erl to correct a summary of what you think his post is saying?

    Instead of this negative squabbling why not address his points in a collaborative fashion?

  90. Erl Happ

    Your summary of my ideas reveals either a failure of comprehension or a strong desire to ridicule. I have read enough of your responses to have worked out that you willingly feign lack of comprehension and use ridicule as a tool to belittle and discourage.
    Erl, I’ve come to realise that Leif reponds the way he does, because he wants to spur us into tightening our correlations and improving our theories. He also gets a kick out of winding us up, and oversteps the mark sometimes.

    Lets all stay good humoured and think the best of each other’s intentions.

  91. Tarpon, you wrote, “Isn’t it true that the sun drives the oceans heat? While the connections may be hard to discover, the sun it seems, is the only viable source…”

    I don’t disagree. Also see my reply above to Kum Dollison. The edited version is: The AGW hypothesis says that greenhouse gases should warm the skin and the mixing layer of the oceans and increase subsurface temperatures as well by locking in more heat. Except the slope of the rise in SST from 1975 to present is less than the rise from the earlier warming period, ~1910 to ~1940. That doesn’t confirm the theory for me.

  92. E.M.Smith (00:19:09)

    “There is all that heat from U and Th decay in the planet core that shows up as mid ocean volcanic ridges.”

    Don’t for get K there is much more of it the U and Th combined.

  93. “Let’s…think the best of each other’s intentions.”

    Words to live by–before your counterpart is understood.

    That being said, I believe the Lord’s entreaty to “turn the other cheek” has an overriding moral: What is impossible for man is possible for God.

    I do not find your analysis persuasive.

  94. SUPPLEMENTAL GRAPHS

    Bill Illis wrote, “…dampen down the smoothing and filters so that one can be sure the smoothing is not causing an artifact…”

    To assure that no one thinks 12-month filtering misrepresents the data in the comparative graphs, I’ve added the raw SST anomaly data for the two primary graphs in this post. Note that the vertical scaling is different due to the additional range of the data being plotted.

    Figure 9

    Figure 12

    Regards

  95. Some say 10 or more before a change and already at global temperatures at 14deg C we are in danger of food being very scarce especially in 3rd world countries.

    Some people lie a lot too. The problems with so-called third world countries are socio-political, not lack of resources.

  96. The AGW hypothesis says that greenhouse gases should warm the skin and the mixing layer of the oceans and increase subsurface temperatures as well by locking in more heat.

    Yes that’s more or less it, I think. The GHGs warm the very thin ocean skin layer which causes a reduction in the temperature gradient between the sub-surface and the skin which in turn slows the rate of cooling (i.e. the ghgs don’t heat the water.

    However, the net LW flux at the surface varies, mainly due to cloud variability, by up to ~100 w/m2 and as you note ……

    Except the slope of the rise in SST from 1975 to present is less than the rise from the earlier warming period, ~1910 to ~1940. That doesn’t confirm the theory for me.

    In 1910 when the SST rise kicked in GHGs were, within measurement error, pretty much what they were in the 19th century. Even in 1958, they were only ~315 ppm which equates to a change in forcing of ~0.5 w/m2.

    I find it all totally implausible.

  97. To add some value to this post: If you have never tried Steinlager, the beer from New Zealand, it is a wonderful beer. A Very Hoppy lager style. A bit of a “getting used to” beer, but man, once to get used to the hops, nothing else comes close. (Yes, I’m into it a 6 pack+ at the moment… but it is one of the few truly stellar beers of the world.)

    Beer?!? Yuck!!!

  98. tallbloke (06:59:03) :
    Come on Leif, how can you expect Erl to correct a summary of what you think his post is saying?
    I can certainly expect that. Alternatively, I can expect a short summary in his own words. Or I can ask you what you think about his explanation of the mechanism. What did you read in his posts? Erl tries to explain his mechanism, we read it and we extract our understanding of what he says. What is yours? It is only natural that he corrects what my understanding is if I got it wrong. I would certainly do if the situation was reversed. The various insinuations that I get a ‘kick’ out of this are just wrong and below the belt. I think my track record here [and at the 4000+ posts at CA] clearly shows my willingness [and patience] to seek understanding.
    I must confess that it has not been possible for me to extract a coherent mechanism from Erl’s postings. My summary is what it looks like to me. So again: what is your understanding? [this goes to everybody - is there somebody that can do better?]
    A recurrent point in Erl’s discussion is that clouds are important. This trivial truth is evident and nobody disputes that [although there can be some discussion of what is cause and what is effect - which may be a chicken and egg question]. The issue is to explain why the clouds vary the way they do.

  99. Leif Svalgaard (10:01:41) :
    The issue is to explain why the clouds vary the way they do.

    Clouds influence the Earth’s albedo. Here is the latest paper from Palle et al. http://www.leif.org/research/Palle_Earthshine_2008.pdf
    The important Figure is Figure 2. The spike in 1991-1992 is likely due to Pinatubo. Excluding that, the albedo data show a decline from 1984 until 1999 and a rise until today. This would translate into a warming until 1999 and a cooling since [although the error bars are large enough that you can also just call it a 'plateau' since 2001]. A 1% change in albedo [e.g. from 35% to 34%] means a temperature change of 0.25% = 0.7K.

  100. Leif Svalgaard (22:21:17) :
    maksimovich (20:28:28) :
    In an interesting paper K. G. Pavlakis et al have found that changes in downward shortwave radiation (by changes in cloud cover) are a significant forcing in the enso oscillation.
    If I read this correctly, more clouds => less El Nino

    And if I read this correctly, ‘shortwave radiation’ is UV? less UV at surface -> less El Nino? Or does shortwave include blue? Green? … (Or 2m ham band? ;-)

  101. E.M.Smith said:

    To add some value to this post: If you have never tried Steinlager, the beer from New Zealand, it is a wonderful beer. A Very Hoppy lager style. A bit of a “getting used to” beer, but man, once to get used to the hops, nothing else comes close. (Yes, I’m into it a 6 pack+ at the moment… but it is one of the few truly stellar beers of the world.)

    I bought some HarBin (China) Beer from Ranch 99 recently. It too is of that type. Reminded me of Cascade Beer from Tasmania.

    REPLY:
    Enough on beer please – Anthony

  102. Leif Svalgaard (22:47:16) :

    E.M.Smith (22:19:06) :
    The present patterns of weather and solar output make it very clear to me that the sun is the big driver with ocean oscillations making the harmony.

    Is your denial contingent on the solar connection? I mean, would not AGW be a lie on its own ‘merit’ without using the solar crutch? If somebody showed tomorrow that the Sun was not the primary driver, would you stop your denial?

    Nope. I’m not far enough along yet in learning all this to disambiguate the solar portion from the ocean portion, that’s why I’ve got them both in the same sentence together. The “planets driving solar” was left out entirely since it is at best speculative.

    What is clear to me is that between the ocean oscillations and the variable star, everything can be covered. My suspicion is that the 2400 and maybe 200 year range changes are most likely solar driven (thus the ‘big driver’ statement) while shorter term than 200 years looks like ringing in the oceans (‘harmony’) but again, that is speculation on my part. I can’t yet tease out one from the other. Maybe in another decade or two ;-)

    That the sun can go as quiet as it just has makes our part puny.
    That the ocean state can flip and Europe, Alaska, and more freeze; shows how little we impact the system.
    AGW missed both of these.

    How it all works together? Don’t know yet. But the AGW thesis doesn’t work and doesn’t fit the behaviour of the planet. I deny it.

  103. Leif Svalgaard
    Let me try again: ‘less clouds => more heating’ is the same as ‘more clouds => less heating

  104. E.M.Smith (11:15:24) :
    And if I read this correctly, ’shortwave radiation’ is UV?
    No, in the jargon of radiation science, ‘shortwave’ is visible light [including a very small portion of UV]. ‘Longwave’ is infrared [including an even smaller portion of microwaves].

    Some people often aim to confuse opponents with such jargon words.

  105. E.M.Smith (11:34:56) :
    “The present patterns of weather and solar output make it very clear to me that the sun is the big driver”
    My suspicion is that the 2400 and maybe 200 year range changes are most likely solar driven (thus the ‘big driver’ statement)

    The 2400 and 200 year ranges hardly qualify as the ‘present patterns’.

  106. It may be best to clarify some issues that have arisen here by providing some descriptions with the PDO(IPO) ENSO complex and its related interpretations into two components.

    A) The fluctuations within a persistent regime or state, and
    B) The supercritical or inverse oscillations of persistent states that are described as positive or negative (hotter or cooler)

    Here A is a subset of B, and we can find a trend within the state being positive or negative, but we cannot use a trendline between states as this has different stochastic attributes. This is a fundamental flaw with using moving mean anomalies with data between two states with inverse symmetry.ie it tends to amplify a trend

    Here B (at present) is categorized as a catastrophic inversion (ie a velocity inversion with the transformation v to –v) This is also a temporal inversion with the transformation t to -t .

    We can understand this as the systems are operating far from equilibrium and in a perpetual state of reorganization .

    Ghil et al quantifies the former

    “ As the relatively new science of climate dynamics evolved through the 1980s and 1990s, it became quite clear from observational data, both instrumental and paleoclimatic, as well as model studies that Earth’s climate never was and is unlikely to ever be in equilibrium….”

    Let’s define self organization; we will use Francis Heylighen’s description,

    Self-organization can be defined as the spontaneous creation of a globally coherent
    pattern out of local interactions. Because of its distributed character, this organization tends to be robust, resisting perturbations. The dynamics of a self-organizing system is typically non-linear, because of circular or feedback relations between the components. Positive feedback leads to an explosive growth, which ends when all components have been absorbed into the new configuration, leaving the system in a stable, negative feedback state. Non-linear systems have in general several stable states, and this number tends to increase (bifurcate) as an increasing input of energy pushes the system farther from its thermodynamic equilibrium. To adapt to a changing environment, the system needs a variety of stable states that is large enough to react to all perturbations but not so large as to make its evolution uncontrollably chaotic. The most adequate states are selected according to their fitness, either directly by the environment, or by subsystems
    that have adapted to the environment at an earlier stage. Formally, the basic mechanism underlying self-organization is the (often noise-driven) variation which explores different regions in the system’s state space until it enters an attractor. This precludes further variation outside the attractor, and thus restricts the freedom of the system’s components to behave independently. This is equivalent to the increase of coherence, or decrease of statistical entropy, that defines self organization.

    Here an interesting problem arises eg Krippendorff

    A system that exits far from thermodynamic equilibrium (see thermodynamics), hence efficiently dissipates the heat generated to sustain it, and has the capacity of changing to higher levels of orderliness (see self-organization). According to Prigogine, systems contain subsystems that continuously fluctuate. At times a single fluctuation or a combination of them may become so magnified by possible feedback, that it shatters the preexisting organization. At such revolutionary moments or “bifurcation points”, it is impossible to determine in advance whether the system will disintegrate into “chaos” or leap to a new, more differentiated, higher level of “order”. The latter case defines dissipative structures so termed because they need more energy to sustain them than the simpler structures they replace and are limited in growth by the amount of heat they are able to disperse.

    Hence we must understand the multiple mechanisms and their interactions and responses in terms of thier limit cycles before suggesting “smoking gun” attributes to any single mechanism.

  107. tarpon (06:31:17) :
    I have one question: Isn’t it true that the sun drives the oceans heat? While the connections may be hard to discover, the sun it seems, is the only viable source…

    The problem, as I see it, is that the ocean behaviour is about two things. Total heat balance AND heat distribution. There can be very important net changes in distribution that have major impacts on weather (and maybe even climate) without net heat balance changes. That is where ‘the sun did it’ as a thesis ‘has issues’… That these two things (heat balance and distribution) might have mutual feedbacks makes it all the more fiendish. (The potential for oscillating feedbacks makes my little programmer mind twitch… I wish I still had a Cray to play with…)

    My state of understanding is not yet advanced enough to disambiguate the heat in/out balance effects from the oscillating system redistributions; so I have to leave them conjoined until more enlightenment arrives…

    Sometime after that moment, I can hope to de-tangle my understanding of the half dozen or so things that seem to impact the total heat input from the sun (orbit, wobble, precession, delta albedo, solar output, spectral distribution of output, magnetosphere, GCR impacts from prior, ozone modulation from UV, whatever else I don’t know yet or have forgotten to list, etc.) and see what matters and how much.

    One can start looking at these things now (and many folks have, including me), but you end up back at the question of how much they impact the climate vs the ocean oscillations impact. That means you can admire them but not yet assign definitive causality distributions.

    Many folks jump to “the sun did it”, others jump to “the climate oscillates”, I’m in the middle at “can’t sort it out yet, both seem to matter” and can expect to take incoming from both sides ;-)

    In this thread, the author shows some of the wondrous distribution process science. I’m still working on absorbing all he has to teach me. (Third reading and still picking up bits…) Thanks!

  108. Leif Svalgaard (11:56:05)

    Don’t confuse people with how it really works. :-)

    Yes indeed.

    The change in radiative flux:DSR (positve,negative) amplifies or attenuautes the wind velocity and direction -with associated changes in the thermacline slope.

    Eg Federov

    ABSTRACT
    How unstable is the tropical ocean–atmosphere system? Are two successive El Niño events independent, or are they part of a continual (perhaps weakly damped) cycle sustained by random atmospheric disturbances?How important is energy dissipation for ENSO dynamics? These closely related questions are frequently raised in connection with several climate problems ranging from El Niño predictability to the impact of atmospheric “noise” on ENSO. One of the factors influencing the system’s stability and other relevant properties is the damping (decay) time scale for the thermocline anomalies associated with the large-scale oceanic motion. Here this time scale is estimated by considering energy balance and net energy dissipation in the tropical ocean and it is shown that there are two distinct dissipative regimes: in the interannual frequency band the damping rate is approximately (2.3 yr) 1; however, in a near-annual frequency range the damping appears to be much stronger, roughly (8 months)

    On interannual time scales, the perturbation available potential energy E is anticorrelated with sea surface temperatures in the eastern tropical Pacific so that negative values of E correspond to El Niño conditions, and positive values correspond to La Niña conditions (Fig. 1). This correlation is related to changes in the slope of the thermocline associated with El Niño and La Niña. When the thermocline slope increases (as during La Niña; Fig. 1a), the warmer and lighter water is replaced by colder and hence heavier water thus raising the center of mass of the system and increasing its gravitational potential energy..

  109. tallbloke (07:15:33) :
    Erl Happ
    I have read enough of your responses to have worked out that you willingly feign lack of comprehension and use ridicule as a tool to belittle and discourage.
    Erl, I’ve come to realise that Leif reponds the way he does, because he wants to spur us into tightening our correlations and improving our theories.

    Ah men. He’s tightened me up a couple of times (ouch!) ;-)

    I find it rather like one of my favorite teachers. He would get tired of explaining the same thing a dozen times and eventually say the moral equivalent of “You think this path (through the quicksand) is safe. Please step here (in the shallow end). Now class, what have we learned from Mr. Smith?” Had a similar experience when I asked Karate Sensei why his technique was better than some other approach… The world looks a lot different when you are laying on the floor ;-)

    It is some of the best teaching you will ever get. Don’t take it personally, just be thankful it is available to you. Leif: Thank You! Many times over.

    From kohai on the floor…

  110. Leif Svalgaard (11:59:10) :
    E.M.Smith (11:34:56) :
    “The present patterns of weather and solar output make it very clear to me that the sun is the big driver”
    My suspicion is that the 2400 and maybe 200 year range changes are most likely solar driven (thus the ‘big driver’ statement)
    The 2400 and 200 year ranges hardly qualify as the ‘present patterns’.

    (Unfortunately, English does not allow one to accurate limit the scope of modifiers. They can apply to the adjacent term only, or be distributed over the list. The writer makes one choice, often subconsciously, and the reader is left free to make a different choice. Part of why math and computer programming are better done using systems other than English…)

    To “tighten” my language:

    The [present patterns of weather and the PDO] and [the sudden change of the solar output that has gone on longer than NASA predicted, and might well be a once in 200 year event if it goes on long enough -it is not over yet] make it clear to me that [the sun drives things in the very long term, eventually it will bake the planet to a cinder, but for now it is a variable star and we ought not to ignore it if we want our models to work right in the long term; and perhaps it has some unproven short term impacts to investigate and learn about] and the oceans [undergo oscillations that clearly have a significant impact on the weather and probably account for many of the cyclicalities that we see in both weather and climate in the one year to 100 year range (maybe more?); they may be enough on their own to account for the patterns of warming / cooling we've seen; there is a speculation that the sun might help them to do this oscillation that I find interesting and worth exploring as well] which together [since I can't see a clear way to unambiguously sort the causality between the two, but it could be one, the other, or both, and maybe with some other things too that are not in the AGW thesis but not worth a canonical listing here] make it clear to me that the AGW thesis [misses too much and does not fit what the world is really doing] so I deny that AGW has it right.

    Does that make my intent clear?

    Somehow I liked the original better…

    We have a weather event that is clearly more tied to ocean changes than to the AGW thesis. The PDO flip implies it will become a 30 year climate trend. Again, the AGW thesis is found lacking.

    We also have had the sun go to darned quiet [perhaps with no causal involvement in the weather, but maybe with some (unclear as yet) impact via (long list of things from GCR to UV ozone modulation to...) causal involvement - lots of work to be done here] and this was not predicted (nor were any long term impacts that might arise from it, if any, however long it lasts) by the AGW thesis. You can’t declare that [this is settled science and can never ever ever have any importance, it is proven to be non-causal] as the AGW thesis does.

    The prediction was warming, it isn’t happening, for some set of reasons that probably includes one, maybe the other, possibly both, or maybe some other reasons too. It still says that AGW didn’t get it right. I deny the AGW thesis. It isn’t accurate and isn’t working.

    Can I stop flogging this horse now?

  111. OT but germane to the foregoing, I think there’s some natural opposition to bloggers, amateur scientists, entering the club (that of serious researchers) via a back door, coming from those already in the club. Most natural and evident where joining the club follows a hard fight over many years and the lack of an esteemed pedigree is held against them on final admission.

  112. Leif,
    I take your point in relation to the annual cycle and the expected diminution in solar flux from January,

    As to your comment on ‘how it really works’, and Maximovich’s description of oscillators I am afraid you are both mistaken.

    Oscillation = to swing between two points with a rhythmic motion

    Let’s distinguish between a cycle due to an internal dynamic like the swing of a pendulum maintained via a tiny restorative application of energy to counter the degradation due to friction and a cycle that is plainly externally forced like the appearance of new growth in spring.

    The increase in temperature in the tropical Pacific repeats each year and is driven by the distribution of land and sea, the loss of cloud cover in mid year, the difference in ocean mass between the hemispheres and the rotation of the Earth around the sun. So, the ‘cold tongue’ regularly shrinks over southern summer and is most retracted in March-May. That is the primary cycle and it has no internal dynamic. Oscillator theory is out of place in analysing this cycle.

    There is an annual cycle in the change of pressure relations between the east and the west Pacific. That is driven by the same thing. The pressure difference is about double in southern summer.

    There is cycle with a two year amplitude observable in the stratospheric winds, in the strength of the temperature peaks in the stratosphere at 1hPa in March and September and also in the Southern Oscillation Index. That cycle is also plainly externally forced (let me know if you disagree). Temperature peaks in March and September at 1 hPa are synchronized with the occurrence of a marked variability of temperature in the upper troposphere in March and September, variability not present at the surface. Temperature in the upper troposphere affects surface pressure and the strength of the easterly component of the trade winds. It also drives cirrus cloud cover by changing upper atmosphere relative humidity. This is the essence of the southern oscillation. This modifies the annual cycle to give us El Niño’s in 2003, 2005 2007 and perhaps 2009 and La Nina between times.

    There is another cycle of about 11 years called the solar cycle. Over that period the width of the cold tongue shrinks towards solar maximum and expands towards the minimum. The extent of the East Pacific Ocean where higher air pressure is maintained gradually contracts towards maximum and then expands. The same is seen in the pattern of change in 200hPa temperature, precipitable water, relative humidity and precipitation. Solar minimum brings us towards a La Nina state with a drier atmosphere reckoned in terms of specific humidity.

    The use of the word ‘oscillation’ to describe these phenomena leads some people to think that there is some mysterious ‘internal dynamic’ in the Pacific Ocean that drives all this. That is unfortunate. The warming and cooling of the tropics tracked by change in the Southern Oscillation Index is a global affair with annual, bi-annual and 11 year components in its makeup.

    Because the temperature change is quite patently across entire tropical latitudes, it owes little to hypothetical redistributive elements in terms of a ‘trapped warm pool’ suddenly being set free to roam the ocean to the east like fish from a trap that is suddenly breached. In fact the notion of a trapped warm pool is a little unphysical don’t you think?

    La Nina events are common at solar minimum and at solar maximum. But, these are events within the larger cycle. The simplistic notion that solar maximum must be warmer defies observation. The simplistic notion that that tropical warming events are due to some ‘oscillation’ reveals a poverty of observation and is not smart at all.

  113. erlhapp (16:04:00) :
    Let me focus first on this:
    There is cycle with a two year amplitude observable in the stratospheric winds

    Here is what is known about the QBO [I'm assuming that that is the cycle you mean]:
    THE QUASI-BIENNIAL OSCILLATION
    M. P. Baldwin et al. Reviews of Geophysics, 39, 2 / May 2001
    pages 179–229
    Abstract. The quasi-biennial oscillation (QBO) dominates the variability of the equatorial stratosphere (;16–50 km) and is easily seen as downward propagating easterly and westerly wind regimes, with a variable period averaging approximately 28 months. From a fluid dynamical perspective, the QBO is a fascinating example of a coherent, oscillating mean flow that is driven by propagating waves with periods unrelated to that of the
    resulting oscillation. Although the QBO is a tropical phenomenon, it affects the stratospheric flow from pole to pole by modulating the effects of extratropical waves. Indeed, study of the QBO is inseparable from the study of atmospheric wave motions that drive it and are modulated by it. The QBO affects variability in the mesosphere near 85 km by selectively filtering waves that
    propagate upward through the equatorial stratosphere, and may also affect the strength of Atlantic hurricanes.
    The effects of the QBO are not confined to atmospheric dynamics. Chemical constituents, such as ozone, water vapor, and methane, are affected by circulation changes induced by the QBO. There are also substantial QBO signals in many of the shorter-lived chemical constituents. Through modulation of extratropical wave propagation, the QBO has an effect on the breakdown of the wintertime stratospheric polar vortices and the severity
    of high-latitude ozone depletion. The polar vortex in the stratosphere affects surface weather patterns, providing a mechanism for the QBO to have an effect at the Earth’s surface.

    http://www.nwra.com/resumes/baldwin/pubs/Baldwin_et_al_2001_QBO.pdf

    From the conclusion: “The QBO is a spectacular demonstration of the role of wave, mean-flow interactions in the fluid dynamics of
    a rotating stratified atmosphere”

    The QBO is not externally driven. It is a pure coincidence that the period is close to two years. It is actually more like 28 months.

    You ‘explanation’ of the QBO is totally wrong. Study the review and learn.

    BTW: you did not answer [as is your wont] to my request for correction of my summary, or supplying one of your own.

  114. Leif,
    I stand by what I said in relation to the two year variation in the strength of the SOI namely:

    Temperature peaks in March and September at 1 hPa are synchronized with the occurrence of a marked variability of temperature in the upper troposphere in March and September, variability not present at the surface. Temperature in the upper troposphere affects surface pressure and the strength of the easterly component of the trade winds. It also drives cirrus cloud cover by changing upper atmosphere relative humidity. This is the essence of the southern oscillation. This modifies the annual cycle to give us El Niño’s in 2003, 2005 2007 and perhaps 2009 and La Nina between times.

    I am not trying to explain the Q.B.O. I am relating the strength of the temperature peaks at 1hPa in the upper stratosphere (that correspond in their timing with the period of maximal coupling of the solar wind with the Earths magnetosphere, March and September) with high temperature variability in the upper troposphere centered on those same months.

    Are you suggesting that the temperature variability in the upper troposphere in March and September is surface driven? Perhaps you could enlighten me as to how that occurs.

    Is the thrust of my comment rejected on the basis of this particular objection?

    As far as your own summary of my ideas is concerned please read it carefully and see if you can extract any sense out of it. There is a structural problem, amongst others, that renders it meaningless, at least to me.

    Rather than to attempt to correct you in 40 words I refer you to the painstaking analysis at http://climatechange1.wordpress.com and in relation to the above, figure 5 in “The Southern Oscillation and the Sun (2)”

  115. Leif,
    I suggest that some of the air movement in the stratosphere and mesosphere is due to ozone heating and the density gradients that are set up as a result. We do not understand what drives these things. The models are constantly under challenge as new observations accrue. Let’s not pretend otherwise

  116. erlhapp (16:04:00) :

    Oh tell me, designer of desert,
    Geometrician of quicksand,
    Is that true that boundless lines
    Are stronger than blowing wind?
    0 . Mandelshtam, 1933

    It seems the answer is no.

    Journal of Marine Research, 66, 1–23, 2008
    Brown and Federov2008

    ABSTRACT
    The maintenance of the ocean general circulation requires energy input from the wind. Previous studies estimate that the mean rate of wind work (or wind power) acting on the surface currents over the global ocean amounts to 1.1 TW (1 TW ! 1012 Watts), though values remain highly uncertain. By analyzing the output from a range of ocean-only models and data assimilations, we show that the
    tropical Pacific Ocean contributes around 0.2 to 0.4 TW, which is roughly half of the total tropical contribution. Not only does this wind power represent a significant fraction of the total global energy input into the ocean circulation, it is also critical in maintaining the east-west tilt of the ocean thermocline along the equator. The differences in the wind power estimates are due to discrepancies in the wind stress used to force the models and discrepancies in the surface currents the models
    simulate, particularly the North Equatorial Counter Current and the South Equatorial Current. Decadal variations in the wind power, more prominent in some models, show a distinct decrease in the wind power in the late 1970s, consistent with the climate regime shift of that time and a flattening of the equatorial thermocline. We find that most of the wind power generated in the tropics is dissipated by friction in the mixed layer and in zonal currents with strong vertical and horizontal
    shears. Roughly 10 to 20% of the wind power (depending on the model) is transferred down the water column through vertical buoyancy fluxes to maintain the thermocline slope along the equator. Ultimately, this fraction of the wind power is dissipated by a combination of vertical and horizontal diffusion, energy advection out of the tropics, and damping by surface heat fluxes. Values of wind
    power generated in the tropical Pacific by coupled general circulation models are typically larger than those generated by ocean-only models, and range from 0.3 to 0.6 TW. Even though many models simulate a ‘realistic’ climate in the tropical ocean, their energy budgets can still vary greatly from one model to the next. We argue that a correct energy balance is an essential measure of how well the
    models represent the actual ocean physics.

    From part 1
    Finally, we find that the wind power in the tropical Pacific is subject to significant
    decadal variations, especially related to the climate shift of the late 1970s (e.g. Guilderson and Schrag, 1998; Fedorov and Philander, 2000). Thus, our results indicate that accurate estimates of the global wind power, and hence of the net wind work on the ocean general circulation, require a careful consideration of the tropical ocean.

    Page 17

    The decrease in the mean wind power in the tropical Pacific over the last 50 years has resulted in a reduction of the ocean available potential energy, which indicates a reduction in the thermocline tilt over the same time interval (Fig. 5). This flattening of the thermocline occurred around the time of the climate regime-shift in the late 1970s (Guilderson and Schrag, 1998) and is associated with a weakening of the zonal winds along the equator (Vecchi et al., 2006). A flatter thermocline can lead to stronger El Nin˜o events (Fedorov and Philander, 2000, 2001).

    Interestingly enough the planet rotates the wind blows.Apart from Ezekiel I m unware of any other time that this did not happen.

  117. erlhapp (16:04:00) :

    Journal of Marine Research, 66, 1–23, 2008
    Brown and Federov2008

    ABSTRACT
    The maintenance of the ocean general circulation requires energy input from the wind. Previous studies estimate that the mean rate of wind work (or wind power) acting on the surface currents over the global ocean amounts to 1.1 TW (1 TW ! 1012 Watts), though values remain highly uncertain. By analyzing the output from a range of ocean-only models and data assimilations, we show that the
    tropical Pacific Ocean contributes around 0.2 to 0.4 TW, which is roughly half of the total tropical contribution. Not only does this wind power represent a significant fraction of the total global energy input into the ocean circulation, it is also critical in maintaining the east-west tilt of the ocean thermocline along the equator. The differences in the wind power estimates are due to discrepancies in the wind stress used to force the models and discrepancies in the surface currents the models
    simulate, particularly the North Equatorial Counter Current and the South Equatorial Current. Decadal variations in the wind power, more prominent in some models, show a distinct decrease in the wind power in the late 1970s, consistent with the climate regime shift of that time and a flattening of the equatorial thermocline. We find that most of the wind power generated in the tropics is dissipated by friction in the mixed layer and in zonal currents with strong vertical and horizontal
    shears. Roughly 10 to 20% of the wind power (depending on the model) is transferred down the water column through vertical buoyancy fluxes to maintain the thermocline slope along the equator. Ultimately, this fraction of the wind power is dissipated by a combination of vertical and horizontal diffusion, energy advection out of the tropics, and damping by surface heat fluxes. Values of wind
    power generated in the tropical Pacific by coupled general circulation models are typically larger than those generated by ocean-only models, and range from 0.3 to 0.6 TW. Even though many models simulate a ‘realistic’ climate in the tropical ocean, their energy budgets can still vary greatly from one model to the next. We argue that a correct energy balance is an essential measure of how well the
    models represent the actual ocean physics.

    From part 1
    Finally, we find that the wind power in the tropical Pacific is subject to significant
    decadal variations, especially related to the climate shift of the late 1970s (e.g. Guilderson and Schrag, 1998; Fedorov and Philander, 2000). Thus, our results indicate that accurate estimates of the global wind power, and hence of the net wind work on the ocean general circulation, require a careful consideration of the tropical ocean.

    Page 17

    The decrease in the mean wind power in the tropical Pacific over the last 50 years has resulted in a reduction of the ocean available potential energy, which indicates a reduction in the thermocline tilt over the same time interval (Fig. 5). This flattening of the thermocline occurred around the time of the climate regime-shift in the late 1970s (Guilderson and Schrag, 1998) and is associated with a weakening of the zonal winds along the equator (Vecchi et al., 2006). A flatter thermocline can lead to stronger El Nin˜o events (Fedorov and Philander, 2000, 2001).

    Interestingly enough the planet rotates the wind blows.Apart from Ezekiel I m unware of any other time that this did not happen.

    Oh tell me, designer of desert,
    Geometrician of quicksand,
    Is that true that boundless lines
    Are stronger than blowing wind?
    0 . Mandelshtam, 1933

    It seems the answer is no.

  118. erlhapp

    Journal of Marine Research, 66, 1–23, 2008
    Brown and Federov2008

    ABSTRACT
    The maintenance of the ocean general circulation requires energy input from the wind. Previous studies estimate that the mean rate of wind work (or wind power) acting on the surface currents over the global ocean amounts to 1.1 TW (1 TW ! 1012 Watts), though values remain highly uncertain. By analyzing the output from a range of ocean-only models and data assimilations, we show that the
    tropical Pacific Ocean contributes around 0.2 to 0.4 TW, which is roughly half of the total tropical contribution. Not only does this wind power represent a significant fraction of the total global energy input into the ocean circulation, it is also critical in maintaining the east-west tilt of the ocean thermocline along the equator. The differences in the wind power estimates are due to discrepancies in the wind stress used to force the models and discrepancies in the surface currents the models
    simulate, particularly the North Equatorial Counter Current and the South Equatorial Current. Decadal variations in the wind power, more prominent in some models, show a distinct decrease in the wind power in the late 1970s, consistent with the climate regime shift of that time and a flattening of the equatorial thermocline. We find that most of the wind power generated in the tropics is dissipated by friction in the mixed layer and in zonal currents with strong vertical and horizontal
    shears. Roughly 10 to 20% of the wind power (depending on the model) is transferred down the water column through vertical buoyancy fluxes to maintain the thermocline slope along the equator. Ultimately, this fraction of the wind power is dissipated by a combination of vertical and horizontal diffusion, energy advection out of the tropics, and damping by surface heat fluxes. Values of wind
    power generated in the tropical Pacific by coupled general circulation models are typically larger than those generated by ocean-only models, and range from 0.3 to 0.6 TW. Even though many models simulate a ‘realistic’ climate in the tropical ocean, their energy budgets can still vary greatly from one model to the next. We argue that a correct energy balance is an essential measure of how well the
    models represent the actual ocean physics

    From part 1
    Finally, we find that the wind power in the tropical Pacific is subject to significant
    decadal variations, especially related to the climate shift of the late 1970s (e.g. Guilderson and Schrag, 1998; Fedorov and Philander, 2000). Thus, our results indicate that accurate estimates of the global wind power, and hence of the net wind work on the ocean general circulation, require a careful consideration of the tropical ocean.

    Page 17

    The decrease in the mean wind power in the tropical Pacific over the last 50 years has resulted in a reduction of the ocean available potential energy, which indicates a reduction in the thermocline tilt over the same time interval (Fig. 5). This flattening of the thermocline occurred around the time of the climate regime-shift in the late 1970s (Guilderson and Schrag, 1998) and is associated with a weakening of the zonal winds along the equator (Vecchi et al., 2006). A flatter thermocline can lead to stronger El Nin˜o events (Fedorov and Philander, 2000, 2001).

  119. erlhapp (21:54:00) :
    I am not trying to explain the Q.B.O.
    Is your 2-yr cycle then something different from the QBO>

    I am relating the strength of the temperature peaks at 1hPa in the upper stratosphere (that correspond in their timing with the period of maximal coupling of the solar wind with the Earths magnetosphere
    These conditions occur every year, so how does that result in a 2-year cycle?

    Both the QBO and the semiannual oscillation {SAO] occur on other planets too: http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v453/n7192/full/453163a.html
    “the troposphere is a playground for a large array of westward- and eastward-propagating waves that are constantly clambering up into the stratosphere. Forty years ago, this was recognized5 as being key to the QBO mechanism. ”

    “Earth’s SAO is driven by the different response to surface heating between the ice of Antarctica and the surrounding ocean, it is not obvious what the analogy is on Saturn (although its large ring shadow probably has a role).
    The influence of the QBO and SAO on Earth’s weather cannot be overstated. They modulate seasonal activity, the behaviour of the Hadley cell (the overturning circulation that predominates in the tropics), the strength of the polar vortex, the mixing of atmospheric trace species, and even the predictability of regional patterns such as the Indian monsoon in August and September9. Because the portfolio of eastward waves is distinct from that of westward waves, the eastward and westward phases of the QBO are different. The big news is that this asymmetrical, long-period response has now been observed in the stratospheres of three planets. ”

    I am not trying to explain the Q.B.O. I am relating the strength of the temperature peaks at 1hPa in the upper stratosphere (that correspond in their timing with the period of maximal coupling of the solar wind with the Earths magnetosphere, March and September) with high temperature variability in the upper troposphere centered on those same months.
    These two variations have nothing to do with each other, they are due to different causes. In general waves [and heat for that matter] travel upwards, not downwards.

    On the ‘summary’:
    You said:
    “the atmosphere is very compact meaning a low level of inflation of the ionosphere/plasma sphere.
    Perhaps the shorter wave lengths from the sun are more effectively filtered out when the atmosphere is more compact”
    In earlier posts you said that geomagnetic activity/solar wind was compacting the atmosphere, and that heating of the atmosphere was due to absorption of UV.

    So, putting together the above:
    1) solar wind compacts atmosphere
    2) compact atmosphere filters out UV
    3) less UV, less heating

    My summary was:
    “the solar wind compacts the atmosphere making it more difficult for UV, that heats the upper troposphere which in turn heats the surface, to penetrate and hence leads to cooling”.

    I agree that it doesn’t make sense, but I also maintain it is an accurate summary of what you said.

  120. erlhapp (22:06:02) :
    We do not understand what drives these things. [...] Let’s not pretend otherwise

    It seems to me that you were very pretentious when you claimed:
    erlhapp (23:41:38) :
    “I think I have a better model than NOAA, the W.M.O. the BOM and a couple of dozen others.”

    Your ‘painstaking’ analysis and the overload of disconnected detail also came across as pretentious assertions way out of proportions.

    Your characterization of me and conventional wisdom and religious devotion and ridicule and horses that wouldn’t drink, etc were extremely pretentious.

  121. erlhapp

    ABSTRACT
    The maintenance of the ocean general circulation requires energy input from the wind. Previous studies estimate that the mean rate of wind work (or wind power) acting on the surface currents over the global ocean amounts to 1.1 TW (1 TW ! 1012 Watts), though values remain highly uncertain. By analyzing the output from a range of ocean-only models and data assimilations, we show that the
    tropical Pacific Ocean contributes around 0.2 to 0.4 TW, which is roughly half of the total tropical contribution. Not only does this wind power represent a significant fraction of the total global energy input into the ocean circulation, it is also critical in maintaining the east-west tilt of the ocean thermocline along the equator. The differences in the wind power estimates are due to discrepancies in the wind stress used to force the models and discrepancies in the surface currents the models
    simulate, particularly the North Equatorial Counter Current and the South Equatorial Current. Decadal variations in the wind power, more prominent in some models, show a distinct decrease in the wind power in the late 1970s, consistent with the climate regime shift of that time and a flattening of the equatorial thermocline. We find that most of the wind power generated in the tropics is dissipated by friction in the mixed layer and in zonal currents with strong vertical and horizontal
    shears. Roughly 10 to 20% of the wind power (depending on the model) is transferred down the water column through vertical buoyancy fluxes to maintain the thermocline slope along the equator. Ultimately, this fraction of the wind power is dissipated by a combination of vertical and horizontal diffusion, energy advection out of the tropics, and damping by surface heat fluxes. Values of wind
    power generated in the tropical Pacific by coupled general circulation models are typically larger than those generated by ocean-only models, and range from 0.3 to 0.6 TW. Even though many models simulate a ‘realistic’ climate in the tropical ocean, their energy budgets can still vary greatly from one model to the next. We argue that a correct energy balance is an essential measure of how well the
    models represent the actual ocean physics.

    From part 1
    Finally, we find that the wind power in the tropical Pacific is subject to significant
    decadal variations, especially related to the climate shift of the late 1970s (e.g. Guilderson and Schrag, 1998; Fedorov and Philander, 2000). Thus, our results indicate that accurate estimates of the global wind power, and hence of the net wind work on the ocean general circulation, require a careful consideration of the tropical ocean.

    Page 17

    The decrease in the mean wind power in the tropical Pacific over the last 50 years has resulted in a reduction of the ocean available potential energy, which indicates a reduction in the thermocline tilt over the same time interval (Fig. 5). This flattening of the thermocline occurred around the time of the climate regime-shift in the late 1970s (Guilderson and Schrag, 1998) and is associated with a weakening of the zonal winds along the equator (Vecchi et al., 2006). A flatter thermocline can lead to stronger El Nin˜o events (Fedorov and Philander, 2000, 2001).

    Journal of Marine Research, 66, 1–23, 2008
    Brown and Federov2008

  122. try again in a more abbreviated form leaving out the abstract

    From part 1
    Finally, we find that the wind power in the tropical Pacific is subject to significant
    decadal variations, especially related to the climate shift of the late 1970s (e.g. Guilderson and Schrag, 1998; Fedorov and Philander, 2000). Thus, our results indicate that accurate estimates of the global wind power, and hence of the net wind work on the ocean general circulation, require a careful consideration of the tropical ocean.

    Page 17

    The decrease in the mean wind power in the tropical Pacific over the last 50 years has resulted in a reduction of the ocean available potential energy, which indicates a reduction in the thermocline tilt over the same time interval (Fig. 5). This flattening of the thermocline occurred around the time of the climate regime-shift in the late 1970s (Guilderson and Schrag, 1998) and is associated with a weakening of the zonal winds along the equator (Vecchi et al., 2006). A flatter thermocline can lead to stronger El Nin˜o events (Fedorov and Philander, 2000, 2001).

    Journal of Marine Research, 66, 1–23, 2008
    Brown and Federov2008

    Interestingly enough the planet rotates and the wind blows

  123. Leif Svalgaard (22:00:05) :
    Here is my reaction to Camp and Tung’s paper.

    1. Looking for a clear solar signal in the Arctic is all hard work because of the number of factors involved.

    2. The general expectation that temperature should be higher at solar maximum is nonsense because the Southern Oscillation often induces a La Nina at solar maximum. This same assumption marred their earlier paper that found a slight warming at solar maximum.

    3. I dont like this
    “The variability in the solar ultraviolet wavelengths is larger (than TSI), at approximately a few percent. Energy at these wavelengths is absorbed by ozone, which is abundant in the stratosphere. It follows then that the atmosphere’s solar cycle response should be largest over the lower latitudes in the stratosphere where the solar radiation is strong.”

    It doesn’t follow. The temperature variability depends on the ozone concentration as much as the intensity and variability in the UV radiation. So far as the troposphere/lower stratosphere is concerned, the strongest response is seen between 200 hPa and 30hPa at 30°-40°S latitude, stronger than at low latitudes where the irradiance is strongest. That is why the SO is driven from 30-40°S.

    4. Quote. “Yet the largest signal is found during winter over the pole (Labitzke 2001), where the solar radiation is the least.”

    It seems quite common for people in the northern hemisphere to speak of THE POLE as if there was only one. Polar temperatures are driven by the strength of downdraft and perhaps planetary waves moving upwards from the troposphere, and perhaps also some heating very high up associated with auroral activity. The Arctic is too warm in summer to attract a downdraft but it is cool enough in winter. When warming is forced in the tropics the air ascends and this is matched by descent that is strongest, wherever the air is coolest. So, in northern winter the Arctic gets to share some downdraft with Antarctica simply because it is almost cold enough. In northern summer the entire downdraft is centered on Antarctica. To find a consistent solar signal at a pole, go to Antarctica. There you will find correlation between 200hPa temperature in the tropics and surface air temperature in Antarctica.

    5. There is a more direct impact of the solar driver and that is found in the variation in evaporation from tropical waters. A good proxy for this would be 850hPa temperature. That’s where the latent heat is released. 850 hPa temperatures is more responsive than sea surface temperature by a factor of three to one. By and large the tropics are temperature saturated. In looking at surface temperatures and warm pool bulk we are actually observing a sideshow, not the main event.

    6. The strongest variation in the climate seen on 0-20 year time scales is the Southern Oscillation. I suggest that looking for the solar signal in the troposphere and lower stratosphere via classificatory statistical means will be more productive when time periods are classified according to the extent of surface pressure difference between the South East Pacific and Indonesia. Perhaps this will happen when the inhabitants of the northern hemisphere begin to identify which pole they are talking about.

  124. Maksimovich
    “Interestingly enough the planet rotates and the wind blows”

    And when we get a massive increase in temperature in the upper troposphere in the south East Pacific as we did in 1976-8 surface pressure falls away and the east wind loses strength, the upper troposphere cloud cover falls away, humidity falls at all levels and the earth warms.

  125. Leif Svalgaard (23:04:07) :

    Is your 2-yr cycle then something different from the QBO>

    I don’t know what drives the QBO. If its internal to the planet then so be it. I am simply observing the correspondence between the two year peaks in the SOI and temperature at 1hPa which I expect is due to geomagnetic influences on the strength of UV plus ozone concentration in that place at that time. These peaks show a two year variation in strength. It could be that the peaks at 1hPa and the QBO interact in some way. I don’t know.

    Let me look at your summary of my supposed reasoning
    1) The solar wind compacts atmosphere.
    Not my understanding at all. A compact atmosphere is due to a low incidence of ionising radiation allowing the thermosphere to deflate. However my understanding is that the passage of coronal holes across the sun can be detected in changes in the upper atmosphere involving ozone, temperature and density. The wind adds energy and aids dispersion. I suspect it lowers the density of the plasmasphere over the tropics.
    Let us differentiate between the dayside and the nightside atmosphere and recognise that the distribution between the two seems to be affected by the solar wind.

    2) compact atmosphere filters out UV
    I would put it differently. A shortage of ionising radiation allows the atmosphere to compact. The atmosphere is opaque to relatively shorter wave lengths but a variable amount penetrates to the surface.

    2) less UV, less heating
    If there is less short wave radiation reaching a given level of the atmosphere where ozone is present that layer will cool. If there is water vapour present more cloud will form. When this layer is below the tropopause this temperature increase and associated fall in density affects surface pressure. Because ozone is present in different concentration from place to place surface pressure relations and wind is affected by the reaction of ozone to short wave radiation.

  126. Leif Svalgaard (23:12:44) :
    It seems to me that you were very pretentious when you claimed:
    “I think I have a better model than NOAA, the W.M.O. the BOM and a couple of dozen others.”

    Agreed. But the proof of the pudding will be in the eating. It’s a big call “El Nino manifesting by March on the basis of a decline in surface pressure in 1998 in the South East Pacific.” However, it is based on what has happened in the past. If 200hPa temperature falls between now and then, the La Nina may strengthen and I have shot myself in the foot. But there is every reason to think that the SOI will is driven by the same dynamics that drove it between 1948 and 2008.

    I heard recently of a guy who predicted the height of the next solar cycle. The science behind that prediction is a lot more complex than the science behind my prediction. Perhaps he is the ‘big head’.

    “Your ‘painstaking’ analysis and the overload of disconnected detail also came across as pretentious assertions way out of proportions”.

    Perhaps the disconnected detail needs a little more explanation before its relevance is plain? This seems to be a broad brush comment of the sort that doesn’t worry me much.

    “Your characterization of me and conventional wisdom and religious devotion and ridicule and horses that wouldn’t drink, etc were extremely pretentious.”

    Just based upon my observation that your mode is to challenge one aspect of the detail and this appears to be sufficient for rejection of the whole. This is not the way progress is made. Your continued reluctance to admit that the presence of ozone below the tropopause allows a thermal response to incoming short wave radiation is of continuing concern.

  127. ” There is a more direct impact of the solar driver and that is found in the variation in evaporation from tropical waters. ”

    Indeed.

    I’m getting a little interested in the March 09 move away from La Nina, but it’s nominally counterintuitive to me. I would agree, it’s a substantive test.

  128. “tropical Pacific Ocean contributes around 0.2 to 0.4 TW, which is roughly half of the total tropical contribution. Not only does this wind power represent a significant fraction of the total global energy input into the ocean circulation, it is also critical in maintaining the east-west tilt of the ocean thermocline ”

    A useful consideration.

  129. erlhapp (02:43:08) :
    “2) compact atmosphere filters out UV”
    I would put it differently.

    Yet in erlhapp (16:04:05) you put it this way:
    “the shorter wave lengths from the sun are more effectively filtered out when the atmosphere is more compact.”

    erlhapp (03:10:19) :
    “Just based upon my observation that your mode is to challenge one aspect of the detail and this appears to be sufficient for rejection of the whole. This is not the way progress is made.
    This is precisely how progress is made. If in a chain of arguments, a single one – any one – is shown to be false, the conclusion is false. If a suspect is caught in one lie the jury has reason not to believe the rest.
    It is also the only way to deal with a bunch of complex issues: one at a time. Once one issue has been dealt with, we move on to the next. That I start with one, does not mean that the rest is any good. We’ll come to those in due time.

    Now back to the summary. It seems that you were able to say something about each point, therefore it was not ‘meaningless’. You even agree with everything except that I got your bit about geomagnetic activity wrong. So, where in the chain does geomagnetic activity come in, if it is not related to the ‘compacting’ of the atmosphere?

  130. erlhapp (03:10:19) :
    Your continued reluctance to admit that the presence of ozone below the tropopause allows a thermal response to incoming short wave radiation is of continuing concern.

    You have the physics backwards. O3 is a tri-atomic molecule [like H2O and CO2] and is therefore a greenhouse gas. So, if anything, tropospheric O3 reduces outgoing long-wave radiation from the warm surface and thus causes heating at the surface, just like the other GHGs. But the effect is very small because the O3 concentration is so small, much smaller than CO2, for instance. But if you assume that CO2 controls the climate, perhaps one could swallow that O3 does too [although in a much smaller amount].

  131. Re Leif Svalgaard 10:04:00 above.

    Leif, I agree completely with your assertion. The ozone layer of ozone hole fame indeed has a prominent Infrared absorption line (band) at a wavelength of 9-10 microns; which is right on the peak of the earth thermal radiation emission spectrum (10.1 microns) correspnding to the 15C mean temperature.

    The ozone line is quite different from the CO2 band for several reasons. It is a thin high altitude layer; therefore it is both low in temperature, and low in ambient atmospheric pressure. So Doppler Broadening (temperature) and collision broadening (pressure) are relatively small effects.
    CO2 on the other hand has most of its (GH) effect rght at ground level, where the maximum atmospheric pressures and temperatures occur, so the nominally 14.77 micron CO2 line (molecular bend mode) is broadened out to about 13-17 microns. Also the CO2 is a thick layer, being everywhere in the atmosphere so as you get higher and colder, the CO2 has a diminished effect, because it’s line width keeps shrinking as you gain altitude, and the lower layers already grabbed much of what the CO2 can absorb at higher altitudes.

    Ozone does have important short wave effects which alter the incoming solar spectrum. The biggest difference between Air mass Zero soalr spectrum, and air mass one solar spectrum, is due to the UV-grellow region where O3 absorbs. This short wavelength solar spectrum modification is the principle reason that the apparent ground level color temperature of the sun changes seasonally and randomly. These color temperature effects were noted in the late 40s and 50s, long before there were “ozone holes”; well long before anyone looked and found them.

    Because of the photon energies concerned, I presume that the short wavelength absorptions are atomic absorptions rather than molecular. 0.6 micron radiation corresponds to about 2eV photon energy, and thaqt is about the long wavelength end of the ozone visible spectrum. The UV effects down to maybe 0.2 microns would be up to 6eV photon energy. I don’t know to hwat extent the temporary presence of atomic oxygen in the upper atmosphere affects short wave solar spectrum absorption, and I don’t have any idea what the lifetime of atomic oygen is in the upper atmosphere bfore it forms ozone.

    Optics handbooks, as well as the InfraRed Handbook (Wolfe and Zeiss) have plenty of solar spectrum and infrared molecular spoectrum data.

    Warren Smith’s “Modern Optical Engineering” has a good treatment of black body radiation; but nothing on light sources of solar spectrum. There’s also “Elements of Infrared Technology” by Kruse et al that incudes some stuff on sources and absorption spectra; but there are likely better modern books.

  132. erlhapp (02:43:08)

    You are adding too much complexity and this tends to muddy the waters so to speak.

    Firstly here we are trying to differentiate with what is natural variation and mechanisms that amplify(attenuate these variations,and what are the “external forcings” agw,solar variations etc.

    As we see there are phase transitions and phase shifts with the thermocline and we can see this in regard to historical variations (prior to agw).

    Citation: Philander, S. G., and A. V. Fedorov, Role of tropics in changing the response to Milankovich forcing some three million
    years ago, Paleoceanography, 18(2), 1045, doi:10.1029/2002PA000837, 2003.

    Throughout the Cenozoic the Earth experienced global cooling that led to the appearance of continental glaciers in high northern latitudes around 3 Ma ago. At approximately the same time, cold surface waters first appeared in regions that today have intense oceanic upwelling: the eastern equatorial Pacific and the coastal
    zones of southwestern Africa and California. There was furthermore a significant change in the Earth’s response to Milankovich forcing: obliquity signals became large, but those associated with precession and eccentricity remained the same. The latter change in the Earth’s response can be explained by hypothesizing that the global cooling during the Cenozoic affected the thermal structure of the ocean; it caused a gradual shoaling of the thermocline. Around 3 Ma the thermocline was sufficiently shallow for the winds to bring cold water from below the thermocline to the surface in certain upwelling regions. This brought into play feedbacks involving
    ocean-atmosphere interactions of the type associated with El Nin˜o and also mechanisms by which high-latitude surface conditions can influence the depth of the tropical thermocline. Those feedbacks and mechanisms can account for the amplification of the Earth’s response to periodic variations in obliquity (at a period of 41K) without altering the response to Milankovich forcing at periods of 100,000 and 23,000 years. This hypothesis is testable. If correct, then in the tropics and subtropics the response to obliquity variations is in phase with, and corresponds to, El Nin˜o conditions when tilt is large and La Nin˜a conditions when tilt is small.

    Alexander Ruzmaiken puts this quite succinctly.

    ” Linear and non-linear systems respond differently to external forcing. A classical example of a linear system response is the Hooke’s law of elasticity that states that the amount by which a material body is deformed is linearly proportional to the force causing the deformation. Earlier climate change studies used this linear approximation to evaluate the sensitivity of the global temperature change caused by external forcing. However the response of non-linear systems to external forcing is conceptually different; the issue is not a magnitude (sensitivity) of the response. Non-linear systems have internally defined preferred states (called attractors in mathematics) and variabilities driven by residence in the states and transitions between them. The question is what is the effect of an external forcing: change of the states, residence times or something else?

    Answer to this question is critical to our understanding of climate change.
    Based on the model studies mentioned above we can formulate the following, updated conjecture of the climate system response to external forcing: external effects, such as solar, the QBO and anthropogenic influences, weakly affect the climate patterns and their mean residence times but increase a probability of occurrence of long residences. In other words, under solar or anthropogenic influence the changes in mean climate values, such as the global temperature, are less important than increased duration of certain climate patterns associated say with cold conditions in some regions and warm conditions in the other regions “

  133. Leif
    “You have the physics backwards. O3 is a tri-atomic molecule [like H2O and CO2] and is therefore a greenhouse gas. So, if anything, tropospheric O3 reduces outgoing long-wave radiation from the warm surface and thus causes heating at the surface, just like the other GHGs. But the effect is very small because the O3 concentration is so small, much smaller than CO2, for instance. But if you assume that CO2 controls the climate, perhaps one could swallow that O3 does too [although in a much smaller amount].”

    I will excuse your first statement which I put down to angst. You are ducking the issue again. The issue relates to ozone absorption of incoming short wave radiation not outgoing long wave. It absorbs both.

    But on the issue of the greenhouse effect of ozone: The presence of ozone at the tropopause induces strong warming as the Earths emission of long wave radiation peaks in August each year. So far as its greenhouse effect is concerned: There is no effective transmission downwards from the tropopause. Convection moves the energy back to the tropopause as fast as it radiates downwards. Without the presence of ozone at 200hPa (very little near the equator) the temperature maximum at 200hPa occurs at the same time as at the surface, in March. There is no shift in timing. I would imagine the same force (convection) takes care of downwelling radiation from CO2. This is an observation that is very important when one is trying to assess the effect of the forces involved.

    Back to the incoming short wave effect on ozone issue: What is your reaction to this from George Smith?

    “Ozone does have important short wave effects which alter the incoming solar spectrum. The biggest difference between Air mass Zero soalr spectrum, and air mass one solar spectrum, is due to the UV-grellow region where O3 absorbs. This short wavelength solar spectrum modification is the principle reason that the apparent ground level color temperature of the sun changes seasonally and randomly.”

    As to the balance between the incoming short wave effect and the outgoing long wave effect on the temperature of ozone rich air in the upper troposphere: Perhaps someone can enlighten me as to how temperatures in the upper troposphere (South East Pacific) can lead the surface (global tropics 20°N to 20°S by 6-18 months when annual data is considered and a fairly consistent 4 months on a a five month moving average when one compares 200hPa temperature (or surface pressure which reflects the change in temperature above) with change in the ‘cold tongue index’ of the eastern tropical Pacific.

    I would assert that the change in upper troposphere temperature is first forced by short wave radiation and then amplified by outgoing long wave radiation as the cloud diminishes/ the sea warms.

    Maks The depth of warm water in the west looks impressive until you scale 300 metres of depth against the width of the Pacific in kilometres. The wind blows, the currents move, there is a circulation that feeds warm water to the poles. It doesn’t stop.

    At the end of the day the ocean will not warm unless more light gets to the surface. That, gentlemen, is what must be explained. Manifestly, it warms. The inverse relationship between cirrus cloud cover and 200hPa temperature has been established for south east Asia. This is where the greatest concentration of high altitude cirrus cloud is found. When 200hPa temperature goes up, cirrus disappears and the ocean warms. Pavlakis has documented the increase in short wave radiation (sunlight) during El Nino events at the surface in an area between Hanoi and Christchurch New Zealand.

    This is not a complicated scenario when you go to the trouble of assembling the data.

  134. Leif Svalgaard (07:58:55) :
    So, where in the chain does geomagnetic activity come in, if it is not related to the ‘compacting’ of the atmosphere?

    I will leave that to you. My case begins with observation of temperature in the upper troposphere that is plainly at odds with temperature at the surface. How and why the short wave radiation varies so as to produce the upper troposphere temperature that we observe is a question that, so far as I can see, is currently very difficult to explain.

  135. erlhapp (13:49:43) :
    Back to the incoming short wave effect on ozone issue: What is your reaction to this from George Smith?
    “Ozone does have important short wave effects which alter the incoming solar spectrum.”

    George was clearly talking about the effect of O3 in the stratosphere, there is so little in the troposphere and what is there works simply as a greenhouse gas.

    I would assert that the change in upper troposphere temperature is first forced by short wave radiation and then amplified by outgoing long wave radiation as the cloud diminishes/ the sea warms.
    The stratospheric O3 has already taken out most of the UV, there is not much left. If you want to know more about the heat balance read this http://www.atmos.washington.edu/~dennis/HartmannHoltonFu_GRL2001.pdf

    BTW, tropospheric O3 does not follow solar activity; at best there is a very weak [R^2~0.1] anti-correlation.

    The inverse relationship between cirrus cloud cover and 200hPa temperature
    This trivial statement is never in doubt: more clouds => less light to the surface => less heating of the troposphere from below

    At the end of the day the ocean will not warm unless more light gets to the surface.
    Yes it will, increase the greenhouse gases [e.g. H2O] is one way

    Perhaps someone can enlighten me as to how temperatures in the upper troposphere (South East Pacific) can lead the surface (global tropics 20°N to 20°S by 6-18 months when annual data is considered
    Show us a plot of the annual temperatures aloft and at the surface as a function of time.

  136. erlhapp (14:47:40) :
    So, where in the chain does geomagnetic activity come in, if it is not related to the ‘compacting’ of the atmosphere?
    I will leave that to you.

    So we scratch that one, because GA does not ‘compact’ the atmosphere. The number of molecules to absorb or ‘filter’ above 200 hPa is absolutely constant [the 200 hPa is the weight of these molecules].

    So, now the summary reads:
    1) compact atmosphere filters out UV
    2) less UV, less heating

    So, your thesis is simply that the climate is controlled by UV as I think the ‘compact’ deal is not really thought out. This is a far cry from knowing everything better than anybody else and having ‘kickers’ in the theory. We can now go to the ‘compact’ idea. What do you mean by compact? Just a lower temperature atmosphere that has shrunk? And how does that influence the ‘filtering out’? And what is ‘filtering out’? reflection back to space?

  137. erlhapp (14:47:40) :
    How and why the short wave radiation varies so as to produce the upper troposphere temperature that we observe is a question that, so far as I can see, is currently very difficult to explain.
    The simplest explanation is that the upper troposphere temperature is not produced by UV [you misuse 'short wave' because that is mostly visible light]. The explanation is that the light reaches the surface, then heats the troposphere, upper, middle, and lower. No mystery.

  138. Leif Svalgaard (15:17:59) :
    “The explanation is that the light reaches the surface, then heats the troposphere, upper, middle, and lower. No mystery.”

    And this statement is a simple denial of the temperature dynamics in the south east pacific that produces maxima at 200hPa in August when the surface is at its coolest and minima when the surface is warmest. If there is sufficient ozone present to result in the inversion of the temperature curve via absorption of infrared there is sufficient to absorb UVB. UVB is not all absorbed in the stratosphere. Some gets through the surface and is regularly monitored because of its effects on human skin.

    There is no basis for discussion if you deny observed phenomena.

  139. erlhapp (17:01:37) :
    There is no basis for discussion if you deny observed phenomena.
    Perhaps someone can enlighten me as to how temperatures in the upper troposphere (South East Pacific) can lead the surface (global tropics 20°N to 20°S by 6-18 months when annual data is considered
    The above is according to you an observed phenomenon, so, show us a plot of the annual temperatures aloft and at the surface as a function of time. Show us the evidence. I can then use the SE Pacific temperature as a 1-year predictor for the global tropics temperature, something that might be of immense value in forecasting the tropics a year ahead.

  140. Leif Svalgaard (18:35:39) :
    “I can then use the SE Pacific temperature as a 1-year predictor for the global tropics temperature, something that might be of immense value in forecasting the tropics a year ahead.”

    200hPa temperature and surface pressure are reciprocally related as is seen in figure 4 at http://climatechange1.wordpress.com/2008/12/29/the-southern-oscillation-and-the-sun/

    You can see the relationship between surface pressure in the south east pacific and tropical sea surface temperature 20N to 20S latitude in figure 6 at http://climatechange1.wordpress.com/2009/01/02/the-southern-oscillation-and-the-sun-2/

    The pressure is inverted so the scale is negative. The dependency is more obvious and the change points are identified more readily.

    Indeed you have your predictor.

  141. erlhapp (19:21:32) :
    “I can then use the SE Pacific temperature as a 1-year predictor for the global tropics temperature, something that might be of immense value in forecasting the tropics a year ahead.”
    Indeed you have your predictor.

    You have all the data and should be able to calculate about 60 yearly values of temperature for each area and make a plot with two curves showing these temperatures as a function of time. Do this. The correlations you show are not convincing. Maybe what you are trying to say is that it takes el Nino and la Nina about a year to work their way into the global temperature, in which case you are not saying anything special that was not already known.

  142. Leif Svalgaard (20:31:01) :
    The correlations you show are not convincing.
    You have quantity A claimed to be correlated with B and B claimed to be correlated with C, then you make the statement that C is controlled by A [or correlated with]. Going through the intermediary B [with a lag even] is much less direct than going from A to C. Your claim was A => C. You must show that directly.
    Maybe they are; show me.

  143. erlhapp (17:01:37) :
    the temperature dynamics in the south east pacific that produces maxima at 200hPa in August when the surface is at its coolest and minima when the surface is warmest. If there is sufficient ozone present to result in the inversion of the temperature curve via absorption of infrared there is sufficient to absorb UVB.

    So, now you have to show something:
    That there is significantly more O3 in the SE Pacific in August than at other times, since the surface is the coolest and hence the LW heating the smallest. So excess O3 or excess UV. UV is at a minimum in July, so there must be excess O3. Maybe there is. Show us.

    Maybe you have shown all of this already, but it must have drowned in your usual piling on.

  144. erlhapp (19:21:32) :
    We can now go to the ‘compact’ idea. What do you mean by compact? Just a lower temperature atmosphere that has shrunk? And how does that influence the ‘filtering out’? And what is ‘filtering out’? reflection back to space?

  145. Leif Svalgaard (20:31:01) :
    “You have all the data and should be able to calculate about 60 yearly values of temperature for each area and make a plot with two curves showing these temperatures as a function of time.”

    You have lost me: ‘for each area’. For which areas precisely? What temperatures?

    Bear in mind that the critical factor driving the El Nino in the Pacific is the strength of surface pressure in the east versus the west. The west varies little. Almost all the variation is in the east because that is where 200hPa temperatures are coolest the downdraft is strongest, the ozone content is greatest and the reactivity of the air to incoming and outgoing radiation is greatest. If you want advance notice go to that part where the driver manifests most strongly.

    But of course others will have their own notions of the cause of El Nino events. I am concerned with global temperature in the tropics and the phenomenon of global warming, not the vexed question of what El Nino is and what drives it. That is a can of worms. We have already seen Maximovich getting into oscillator theory, then there are others who talk about the wind piling up the water in the west, and yet others talking of the emergence of warm waters from the deep and so on. For clarity, the issue is what causes the entire tropics to warm up and supply energy to higher latitudes. Let’s not get bogged down in El Nino theory.

    You have a predictor for global tropical temperature. Now, ask yourself, why does it work? What drives surface pressure 30°-40°S , 100-120°west, off the coast of South America.

  146. erlhapp various posts

    Simplfy.Your “theory is overly complex and tends to show so may answers I do not know what the question is.We can visualize this so, on a graph with the vertical axis showing complexity and the horizontal axis showing the transformation from orderto disorder.A hockey stick soon appears.

    Repose your hypothesis as first a simple( or series) of general statements,then ask a set of appropriate binary(yes/no questions.

    For example (opening)

    “From 1985 till 2000 the gradual decrease of global cloud coverage and albedo were observed. The value of this decrease was ~ 6 % and solar energy flux reflected back to space decreased at ΔF ≈ (6) W/m2. Since 2000 the values of global cloud coverage and albedo became to increase slightly”

    (Closing)
    “Therefore we can see the change to Albedo that balances the radiative equations is in the area of 6 w/m2, the forcing response of GHG being 2.4 w/m2.”

    This Equivalent to 2% increase in solar irradiance, a factor 20 more than typical maxima to minima variations. This brings some interesting questions.
    1) Reversibility suggests natural variations.
    2 GCM do not show such variations.
    3) What is the climatic impact? Recent warming.

    This then opens logical discussion,literature citation,contrarian opinions etc and accordingly we can nodify(evolve) from there.

  147. erlhapp (21:36:23) :
    You have lost me: ‘for each area’. For which areas precisely? What temperatures?

    You said:
    erlhapp (13:49:43) :
    “Perhaps someone can enlighten me as to how temperatures in the upper troposphere (South East Pacific) can lead the surface (global tropics 20°N to 20°S by 6-18 months when annual data is considered”,

    so temps for upper troposphere SE Pacific lead surface temps for global tropics.
    Area 1: upper troposphere SE Pacific
    Area 2: global tropical

  148. erlhapp (21:36:23) :
    Let’s not get bogged down in El Nino theory.

    erlhapp (08:23:33) :
    So what causes El Ninos? [...]
    Here is the explanation in brief…

    I thought that was your whole spiel…

  149. erlhapp (21:36:23) :
    Let’s not get bogged down in El Nino theory.
    The standard explanation for El Nino sounds clear enough:
    In non-El Niño conditions the trade winds blow towards the west across the tropical Pacific. These winds pile up warm surface water in the west Pacific with tenps about 8 degrees C higher in the west, with cool temperatures off South America, due to an upwelling of cold water from deeper levels.
    During El Niño the trade winds weaken in the central and western Pacific leading to a depression of the thermocline in the eastern Pacific, and an elevation of the thermocline in the west.
    So El Nino is controlled from the west, not from the east.

    Put in different words: Kelvin waves [associated with density fluctuations inside the ocean], can be seen in the sea-level measurements made by altimeters [several tens of cm high].
    The Kelvin waves travel east and set up changes in the eastern Pacific that lead to El Niño by depressing the thermocline there.

    A nice explanation is here: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/elnino/anatomy/origins.html
    From that site:
    “There are other, more elaborate theories about what causes El Niño, but one element seems common to all of them: when you look closely, you see a dog chasing its own tail. The truth is, no one knows what really causes El Niño. It might very well be the last El Niño that starts the next one. The official scientific name for El Niño, ENSO (El Niño-Southern Oscillation) reflects an understanding of this teeter-totter nature. An oscillation is a reverberation back and forth between two states, like between summer and winter. El Niño is one extreme of a years-long oscillation in the entire pacific basin and the atmosphere above it. As the cycle unfolds, an “anti-El Niño,” dubbed La Niña, appears as El Niño disappears. Like a mirror image of El Niño, it produces extreme weather and abnormal conditions in the western Pacific similar to those El Niño produces in the east. Back and forth, east and west, this cycle has run continuously for many thousands of years.’

    The recent run of El Ninos that Bob Tisdale discussed are just the dog chasing its tail.

  150. Leif Svalgaard (15:17:59) :
    I said: How and why the short wave radiation varies so as to produce the upper troposphere temperature that we observe is a question that, so far as I can see, is currently very difficult to explain.

    You said: The simplest explanation is that the upper troposphere temperature is not produced by UV [you misuse 'short wave' because that is mostly visible light]. The explanation is that the light reaches the surface, then heats the troposphere, upper, middle, and lower. No mystery.

    BUT There is no relationship between surface temperature in the south east Pacific and 200hPa temperature. See http://i249.photobucket.com/albums/gg220/erlandlong/SSTVs200hPatempSEPacific.jpg

    Please acknowledge that 200hPa temperature is not driven by surface temperature!

    And there is an excellent relationship between 200hPa temperature and surface pressure as seen here: http://i249.photobucket.com/albums/gg220/erlandlong/200hPaandPressure30-40S240-260E.jpg

    Notice also:
    1. Massive shift in 200hPa temperature between 1976 and 1980. This was the Great Pacific Climate Shift and was it also the last turning point for the PDO?
    2. Gradually declining 200hPa temperature after 1980 while surface temperatures rose.
    3. Between 1976 and 2005 sea level pressure is mostly depressed.
    4. There was a big recovery of SLP in 2007 but it fell away in 2008.
    5. The relationship breaks down under volcanic activity.

    And is this what you are asking for, the relationship between 200hPa temperature in the south east Pacific and global temperature in the tropics between 20N and 20S.

    Notice please:
    1. 200hPa temperature peaks in the south east Pacific tend to precede global sea surface temperature peaks.
    2. The relationship between 200hPa temperature and sea surface temperature holds during the time of volcanic activity when surface pressure stayed low between 1990 and 1994. Sea surface temperature is not associated with pressure per se but upper atmosphere temperature, humidity and cloud condensation phenomena.
    3. The rise and fall in sea surface temperature is not explained by the gradual increase in CO2. It is however explained by the known relationship between upper atmosphere temperature and cirrus cloud cover.

    So far as the thermal maximum is concerned at 200hPa in August in the south Pacific I suspect that a couple of factors are involved in the increase of LWR at that time:
    1. Loss of cloud cover in the southern hemisphere in mid year allowing more radiation to reach the surface.
    2 Less heat loss by convectional decompressive process in winter tending to boost the long wave emission from the atmosphere.
    3. Angular travel of long wave from the tropics to subtropical latitudes.

    And also, as you surmise an increase in the movement of ozone towards Antarctica which is the major downdraft area in the middle of the year, the Arctic being too warm.

  151. Leif
    “The recent run of El Ninos that Bob Tisdale discussed are just the dog chasing its tail.”

    This is the sort of nonesense that the AGW crowd want to promote because it enables them to sell the idea that ENSO is temperature neutral, just the very thing that Bob Tisdale is at pains to refute. Where in the IPCC reports is there an estimation of the ENSO factor driving global temperature change?

    None of the conventional theories account for the addition to the Earth heat budget involved in tropical warming events.

    None of the conventional theories properly consider the atmospheric drivers of warming events. The atmospheric driver is plainly a loss of cloud cover. My observations explain that loss. My observations explain how the event is initiated by a rise in upper troposphere temperature due to ultraviolet radiation acting upon ozone that is heaviest in concentration in the mid latitude high pressure cells.

    There is an interesting increase in sea surface temperature currently occurring in the latitude band 20-40 degrees in both hemispheres. This is feeding warm water into the cold tongue area of the east Pacific.

    The promoters of current theories have models to predict the course of ENSO and all these models swung (in early January, see NOOA advisory) to predict La Nina conditions for the next three months just as the La Nina is breaking down in the eastern Pacific.

    No cigar for these modelers I am afraid.

    Just as an aside. The inversion of 200hPa temperature (by comparison with the surface regime) is strongest outside the tropics. This reflects increasing ozone content as one moves away from the equator but there is also a gradual diminution in OLR . How much does UV radiation influence 200hPa temperature. Well, 200hPa temperature has a seasonal rise and fall almost three times that at the surface and is very much more volatile on an interannual basis than is OLR. If OLR were the only thing driving 200hPa temperature the two would consistently rise and fall together. They don’t.

    Do we know how ozone content varies in the upper troposphere by latitude? No. Do we know how UV varies at the tropopause over time? No. Is the strong reaction of ozone to OLR recognised in climate science? No. Is the failure of that heat to propogate downwards from the upper troposphere recognised in climate science? No. Do our men of science want to know the answers to these questions. Apparently not.

  152. “Simplfy…theory is overly complex and tends to show so may answers I do not know what the question is…Repose your hypothesis…”

    I believe this follows from a sincere desire to be helpful. Clearly this is theory doubtless including many hypotheses.

    Now I don’t know a lot about clarity of expression but two principles seem reliable:

    Niklaus Wirth’s ‘Top Down’ design (which kernel programmers may not employ). Do not worry about the details at the start of an exposition, just the concepts. Drill down to the details on elaboration, and in this case via successive iterations.

    Second, from Spurgeon, “Tell them what you’re about to tell them. Tell them. Tell them what you told them.” It’s not pedantic to lead the horse by varied routes, I’m learning this with my infant daughter.

  153. erlhapp (23:35:33) :
    erlhapp (13:49:43) :
    “Perhaps someone can enlighten me as to how temperatures in the upper troposphere (South East Pacific) can lead the surface (global tropics 20°N to 20°S by 6-18 months when annual data is considered”,
    What you say is that T(global tropics, t) ~ T(200nPa SE P, t-12). This is what you should establish with a graph. If you send me the annual values [that you must have in order to make the statement you did] then I’ll be glad to make the graph for you.

  154. erlhapp (05:36:32) :
    Is the strong reaction of ozone to OLR recognised in climate science? No.
    Is the failure of that heat to propagate downwards from the upper troposphere recognized in climate science? No.

    Climate science has long recognized O3 as a greenhouse gas and measured the downward heat flux:

    TES observations of tropospheric ozone as a greenhouse gas
    Worden, H. M. et al. American Geophysical Union, Fall Meeting 2007, abstract #A51D-0735
    “We present satellite observations of the downward radiative flux from tropospheric ozone, for cloud free ocean conditions. This analysis uses infrared (IR) radiance spectra, integrated over the 9.6 micron ozone band between 985 to 1080 cm-1, and ozone profile retrievals from the Tropospheric Emission Spectrometer (TES) on EOS-Aura. We examine the sensitivity of the outgoing longwave radiation (OLR) in the 9.6 micron band to upper tropospheric ozone and water vapor by separating the data into hemispherical and sea-surface temperature (SST) ranges. For 2006 data, we estimate an annual average downward flux for upper tropospheric ozone of 0.48 ± 0.13 W/m2 with a standard deviation of 0.24 W/m2 for the latitude range between 45°S to 45°N. This estimate includes natural and anthropogenic ozone sources and is higher than the 2007 IPCC average for climate model estimates of anthropogenic tropospheric ozone radiative forcing of 0.35 W/m2. We also observe that water vapor dominates the clear-sky ocean variability of the outgoing IR radiation in the 9.6 micron ozone band for SSTs higher than 299 K, consistent with the “super greenhouse effect”. This underscores the importance of chemistry-climate coupling in forcing predictions for tropospheric ozone.”

    Do our men of science want to know the answers to these questions. Apparently not.
    we do know many of the answers.

  155. Leif Svalgaard (08:54:38) :
    erlhapp (05:36:32) :
    Is the strong reaction of ozone to OLR recognised in climate science? No.

    Yes:
    http://www.adorc.gr.jp/ozone/ozone1.pdf page 10:

    “Ozone has a powerful capacity to absorb infrared light with a wavelength of around 10 microns. Since these wavelengths do not overlap those of water vapor (H2O) and carbon dioxide (CO2), ozone in the atmosphere efficiently absorbs the infrared rays radiated from the Earth and thereby has powerful greenhouse effect. [...]
    First, let us examine the relationship between altitude and the greenhouse effect efficiency of ozone. Figure 3-1 shows the rate of change of ground-level temperature caused by increased ozone concentrations at different altitudes. As shown by the figure, the effect of warming is small at ground level. As we approach the upper troposphere, the effect becomes stronger, reaching the maximum around the tropopause, which divides the stratosphere and the troposphere, about ten kilometers above the Earth. In the lower layer of the stratosphere as well, ozone has a positive greenhouse effect. However, at an altitude above about 30 kilometers, an increase in ozone concentrations lowers the temperature at the ground level.
    The reason why the effect at ground level is nearly zero is that the ozone’s absorption and radiation of infrared rays (from the Earth) is balanced, since the air temperature is almost the same as that of the Earth’s surface and there is no net absorption. At higher altitudes, where the temperature is lower, the net of infrared absorption by ozone is larger, making the greenhouse effect more efficient. Similarly, near the tropopause where the temperature of the atmosphere is at its lowest, the greenhouse effect of ozone is at its highest. In contrast, at higher altitudes in the stratosphere where the temperature is also higher, the net absorption of infrared rays by ozone is reduced, making the greenhouse effect negative above the middle layer of the stratosphere.
    In short, ozone in the troposphere and the lower layer of the stratosphere has a positive greenhouse effect. Ozone has its strongest greenhouse effect in the upper troposphere.”

    As I said, many of the answers are known [and have been for a long time].

  156. erlhapp (05:36:32) :
    My observations explain how the event is initiated by a rise in upper troposphere temperature due to ultraviolet radiation acting upon ozone

    As you can see on page 12 of

    http://www.pmodwrc.ch/uvconf2007/presentations/speeches/session4/4_1%20Haigh%20PMODUV.pdf

    there is no excess heating due to UV or other shortwave radiation upon O3 at 200 hPa [or in the troposphere as such].
    Page 15 shows that even more explicitly [perhaps you could comment on this Figure]

    Her conclusion is that “The troposphere responds to changes in the stratosphere by a dynamical adjustment involving a feedback between the zonal wind and eddy propagation”

  157. Leif Svalgaard (11:12:57) :

    Her conclusion is that “The troposphere responds to changes in the stratosphere by a dynamical adjustment involving a feedback between the zonal wind and eddy propagation”

    Bottom line page 28

    Solar UV does affect (tropospheric) climate

    Also from page 28

    Calculations of stratospheric temperature are very sensitive to the specification of solar UV spectrum.

    Exactly.eg

    Wavelength dependence of isotope fractionation in N2O photolysis (2008)

    In previous reports on isotopic fractionation in the ultraviolet photolysis of nitrous oxide (N2O) only enrichments of heavy isotopes in the remaining N2O fraction have been found. However, most direct photolysis experiments have been performed at wavelengths far from the absorption maximum at 182 nm. Here we present high-precision measurements of the 15N and 18O fractionation constants (e) in photolysis at 185 nm. Small, but statistically robust depletions of heavy isotopes for the terminal atoms in the linear N2O molecule are found.

  158. Leif Svalgaard (08:54:38)

    “We present satellite observations of the downward radiative flux from tropospheric ozone, for cloud free ocean conditions. This analysis uses infrared (IR) radiance spectra, integrated over the 9.6 micron ozone band between 985 to 1080 cm-1, and ozone profile retrievals from the Tropospheric Emission Spectrometer (TES)…

    Whilst this is provided as an example .We can also see that it is a “steady state” and does not include dynamical responses such as convection and interchange.

    eg
    Role of Deep Cloud Convection in the Ozone Budget of the Troposphere
    Jos Lelieveld 1 and Paul J. Crutzen 2

    Convective updrafts in thunderstorms prolong the lifetime of ozone (O3) and its anthropogenic precursor NOx [nitric oxide (NO) + nitrogen dioxide (NO2)] by carrying these gases rapidly upward from the boundary layer into a regime where the O3 production efficiency is higher, chemical destruction is slower, and surface deposition is absent. On the other hand, the upper troposphere is relatively rich in O3 and NOx from natural sources such as downward transport from the stratosphere and lightning; convective overturning conveys the O3 and NOx toward the Earth’s surface where these components are more efficiently removed from the atmosphere. Simulations with a three-dimensional global model suggest that the net result of these counteractive processes is a 20 percent overall reduction in total tropospheric O3. However, the net atmospheric oxidation efficiency is enhanced by 10 to 20 percent.

    http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/abstract/264/5166/1759

    When convective is coupled with radiative emissions CO2 doubling seems less of a problem eg Ramanathan

  159. Further to previous post maksimovich (12:54:47)

    This has some interesting synergies with what Erl is suggesting.

    Stratospheric dryness

    “The mechanisms responsible for the extreme dryness of the stratosphere have been debated for decades. A key difficulty has been the lack of models which are able to reproduce the observations. Here we examine results from a new atmospheric chemistry general circulation model (ECHAM5/MESSy1) together with satellite observations. Our model results match observed temperatures in the tropical lower stratosphere and realistically represent recurrent features such as the semi-annual oscillation (SAO) and the quasi-biennual oscillation (QBO), indicating that dynamical and radiation processes are simulated accurately. The model reproduces the very low water vapor mixing ratios (1?2 ppmv) periodically observed at the tropical tropopause near 100 hPa, as well as the characteristic tape recorder signal up to about 10 hPa, providing evidence that the dehydration mechanism is well-captured, albeit that the model underestimates convective overshooting and consequent moistening events. Our results show that the entry of tropospheric air into the stratosphere at low latitudes is forced by large-scale wave dynamics; however, radiative cooling can regionally limit the upwelling or even cause downwelling. In the cold air above cumulonimbus anvils thin cirrus desiccates the air through the sedimentation of ice particles, similar to polar stratospheric clouds. Transport deeper into the stratosphere occurs in regions where radiative heating becomes dominant, to a large extent in the subtropics. During summer the stratosphere is moistened by the monsoon, most strongly over Southeast Asia.”

    http://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-00302265/en/

  160. Leif Svalgaard (08:36:39) :
    “What you say is that T(global tropics, t) ~ T(200nPa SE P, t-12). This is what you should establish with a graph.”

    This form of expression is lost on me. But is this the last graph in this post the one that you are after: erlhapp (23:35:33) :

    Leif Svalgaard (08:54:38) :
    Is the failure of that heat to propagate downwards from the upper troposphere recognized in climate science? No.

    In the extract you cite there is no evidence that ozone content of the upper troposphere varies strongly by latitude or that there is a failure of downward propagation of energy due to convection. Looks to me like they are inferring the downward heat flux and assuming it is surface effective. But to the extent that the energy is lost by convective decompression it is not effective in transferring heat downwards and a simple observation of the temperature curves below the heated layers reveal that it is not effective.

    Leif Svalgaard (10:03:04) :
    Sorry, that link is forcing an error in Firefox so I am unable to download.

    But this statement I would contest:
    “The reason why the effect at ground level is nearly zero is that the ozone’s absorption and radiation of infrared rays (from the Earth) is balanced, since the air temperature is almost the same as that of the Earth’s surface and there is no net absorption. At higher altitudes, where the temperature is lower, the net of infrared absorption by ozone is larger, making the greenhouse effect more efficient. Similarly, near the tropopause where the temperature of the atmosphere is at its lowest, the greenhouse effect of ozone is at its highest. In contrast, at higher altitudes in the stratosphere where the temperature is also higher, the net absorption of infrared rays by ozone is reduced, making the greenhouse effect negative above the middle layer of the stratosphere.”

    This seems to be hand waving theory that ignores the distribution of ozone by latitude and the countervailing force of convection. The energy retention time is very different in the upper troposphere to that in the stratosphere where convection is attenuated. It is worthy of note that ozone is at a maximum at 30hPa and yet the observed temperature profile shows the strongest seasonal response of air temperature to outgoing radiation is at 100hPa. The absence of convection is the condition required for transfer energy in a downward direction. There is strong attenuation below 100hPa.

    Leif Svalgaard (11:12:57) :

    First let us note that the end statement in Joanna Haigh’s presentation is that

    Solar UV does affect (tropospheric) climate. But, the author is at a loss to suggest how the solar signal is produced in the troposphere.

    Secondly, there is no analysis of ozone by latitude or apparent recognition of its likely effect.

    The other things I would note is that the study seems to be based upon a comparison between solar maximum and solar minimum. Both tend to produce La Nina conditions. No two solar minimums are the same and neither are solar maximums and the geomagnetic needle tells us that. Since we observe that 200hPa heating occurs on ENSO timescales, that timescales are a more appropriate interval for comparison of one period with another. That is elementary.

    I don’t think these studies will get very far without detailed observation of flux of UV at the tropopause. Secondly one needs to take into account the spatial variation in ozone content.

    But, the elementary observation from historical data (of which we have plenty) is that the upper troposphere is rising and falling in temperature while local humidity is falling. By inference cloud cover has declined. If the upper troposphere suffered net warming (as it manifestly did in1978, cooling slowly thereafter) and suffered a continuing loss in relative humidity, as it has, upper atmosphere cloud will be less today than it was prior to 1978.

    A point of information: The best measures of the distribution of ozone by latitude that I have seen are located at http://www.osdpd.noaa.gov/PSB/OZONE/OZONE.html The ‘TOAST’ maps are revealing.

    An interesting sidelight to the observation of ozone dynamics in the southern hemisphere is that the atmospheric circulation there continuously depletes ozone in the SH stratosphere by bringing it towards the surface more vigorously than in the northern hemisphere. The profile of 200hPa temperature between the equator and Antarctica tells us that. This makes the southern hemisphere upper troposphere more reactive to UV than the northern.

    Joanna Haigh concludes:

    “The observed response of the stratosphere to solar variability results from: direct UV heating, changes in circulation/transport and interaction with ozone.”

    In due course I think we will recognise that the word troposphere can be inserted in this statement without compromising the truth. Further, we will recognize that the dynamics in the upper troposphere due to direct UV heating give rise to the southern oscillation, the dynamic that adds heat to the ocean, or takes it away accounting for change in global temperature.

  161. erlhapp (14:34:24) :
    http://i249.photobucket.com/albums/gg220/erlandlong/240-26030-40STemperatureVsSST20N-20.jpg
    does not show the relationship to my eyes. There is a standard way of judging this: computing the cross-correlation between the two series, then move one series over one year and compute the cross-correlation again, etc. To humor me, post or email the two time series and I’ll do the calculation.

    First let us note that the end statement in Joanna Haigh’s presentation is that Solar UV does affect (tropospheric) climate. But, the author is at a loss to suggest how the solar signal is produced in the troposphere.
    She gives a detailed mechanism on page 27. And you should not quote out of context and ‘contest’ careful calculations by saying they are ‘handwaving”. Page 12 and 15 should be clear enough to you. They show directly that there is no shortwave heating of the upper troposphere due to absorption by O3. And in the papers I cited there are lots of discussion of O3′s variation with latitude. This has been known and monitored for a long time. But, I give up [without nasty comments of horses that won't drink]. I hope that I have given the general readership the information they need to make up their own mind.

  162. Leif Svalgaard (11:12:57) :
    As you can see on page 12 of

    http://www.pmodwrc.ch/uvconf2007/presentations/speeches/session4/4_1%20Haigh%20PMODUV.pdf

    there is no excess heating due to UV or other shortwave radiation upon O3 at 200 hPa [or in the troposphere as such].
    Page 15 shows that even more explicitly [perhaps you could comment on this Figure]

    My comment on that figure is that the diagram specifies no location. The only one of the three diagrams that does specify a location is on page 11. For the heating to be apparent the ozone must be present. There is much more ozone present at 30°-40°S in the troposphere than in ‘the tropics’, location unspecified.

    Ozone absorbs UVB. Some UVB gets to the surface. I suspect it is being absorbed wherever ozone is present.

    P27 The mechanism is based on a model ‘spin up’. When the modelers can explain and predict the southern oscillation, the dynamic that changes global temperature I will (cautiously) start to take notice of them.

    Anomalous heating at 200hPa is a fact of life. The consequences in terms of local cloud cover and surface pressure with knock on effects in terms of the strength of the easterlies and the location of the convection zones are the essence of the Southern Oscillation. You can contest whether UV is responsible (and I suggest it is just the initiator with the consequent increase on OLR the reinforcer) but not on the basis of the diagrams that you refer me to.

    But next time you take a flight, take a window seat, and take an interest in the cloud layers at various elevations and resist the temptation to drop the shade when you get to 8,000 metes. See how many minutes it takes to get sunburnt.

    And I guess that is where we finish up on this occasion. Thank you for your willingness to participate. Thanks to the umpire, the ball boys and the linesmen, few though they may be.

  163. maksimovich (13:00:45) :

    “In the cold air above cumulonimbus anvils thin cirrus desiccates the air through the sedimentation of ice particles, similar to polar stratospheric clouds. Transport deeper into the stratosphere occurs in regions where radiative heating becomes dominant, to a large extent in the subtropics.”

    Yes, the mount of cirrus is greatest where convective clouds feed moisture into the upper atmosphere. The humidity levels at 300hPa tend to be greater than at 400-500hPa. The surface area to volume in an ice cloud is enormous and that speeds crystallization. The same dynamic affects all crystallization reactions including tartrate in wine, that I am familiar with. So this will dry the atmosphere. But, cut off the supply of moisture as happens above the warm pool in an El Nino event or warm the upper atmosphere by whatever means and the crystallization will not occur.

  164. erlhapp (20:01:37) :
    My comment on that figure is that the diagram specifies no location. The only one of the three diagrams that does specify a location is on page 11. For the heating to be apparent the ozone must be present. There is much more ozone present at 30°-40°S in the troposphere than in ‘the tropics’, location unspecified.
    It does indirectly, as the solar zenith angle was set at 53 degrees corresponding to a mean latitude of 37 degrees. In any event, the O3 concentration does not vary that much [factor of two] with latitude, so that scale the curve on page 15 would vary by a factor of two which will not even be visible.

    Ozone absorbs UVB. Some UVB gets to the surface. I suspect it is being absorbed wherever ozone is present.
    You do not understand the simple physics: the heating depends on the product of three factors: the UV flux, the O3 concentration, and the absorption coefficient for UVB. At 200 hPa all these are small, and the product of three small quantities is very small. That is the reason for the UV heating going to near zero below 100 hPa.

    Anomalous heating at 200hPa is a fact of life.
    It is not ‘anomalous’, it is a natural consequence of the fact that O3 is a very efficient greenhouse gas

    local cloud cover and surface pressure with knock on effects in terms of the strength of the easterlies and the location of the convection zones are the essence of the Southern Oscillation.
    You mistakenly assume that this is disputed. What I show you is just that your specific mechanism for this is not at work. That is all.

    Thanks for sending the email with the temperature data. I had already simply read off the values from your graph [in millimeters without converting to degrees, which is not necessary for correlation analysis]. The result of my analysis is here: http://www.leif.org/research/200%20hPa%20versus%20SST%20in%20tropics.pdf The conclusion is that there is no lag.

  165. Leif Svalgaard (21:55:29) :
    “You do not understand the simple physics: the heating depends on the product of three factors: the UV flux, the O3 concentration, and the absorption coefficient for UVB. At 200 hPa all these are small, and the product of three small quantities is very small. That is the reason for the UV heating going to near zero below 100 hPa.”

    What varies is the ozone concentration at 200hPa and no ‘universal curve’ will be valid in this circumstance. The physics is no problem, the quantification is the problem.

    How do you explain the peak in variability in 100hPa, 150hPa and 200hPa in March and September in the historical data. This suggests to me that UV flux is greater at the equinox. That would explain the peak in temperatures at 1hPa at the same time. There can be no argument surely about what is causing that peak. How does your universal curve apply in this situation? Do you just shift it down a bit for these times. How much?

    Thanks for your analysis of 200hPa temperature in the SE Pacific versus Tropical SST Leif. You are a skilled practitioner. I am no statistician. But I have had a careful look at the data and I look at these things from a practical point of view. I see 11 occasions where the peaks unambiguously belong together. The rest I discard. Of the 11, the timing of peaks matches exactly in five cases. In the other seven cases 200hPa temperature leads TSST.

    But, if I am choosing a series to predict ENSO events I would be looking at sea surface pressure in the South East Pacific where the lead is more regular both in the upturn and the downturn.

    For the interested reader, you can see the relationship between surface pressure in the south east pacific and tropical sea surface temperature 20N to 20S latitude in figure 6 at http://climatechange1.wordpress.com/2009/01/02/the-southern-oscillation-and-the-sun-2/

  166. Like a sculptor who can feel the finished work within the marble.
    =======================================

  167. “Like a sculptor who can feel the finished work within the marble.”

    Instinct and talent and other intangibles, indeed. Was Newton greater than Michelangelo? I doubt it.

  168. Erl Happ (05:57:02) :
    What varies is the ozone concentration at 200hPa and no ‘universal curve’ will be valid in this circumstance. The physics is no problem, the quantification is the problem.
    The universal curve is valid because the laws of Physics are universal. And it is precisely the ‘quantification’ that you get wrong. There is no doubt that UV directly heats at 200hPa. The universal curve shows that. In fact, the heating is something like 0.0000001K, give or take a few zeroes.

    How do you explain the peak in variability in 100hPa, 150hPa and 200hPa in March and September in the historical data. This suggests to me that UV flux is greater at the equinox. That would explain the peak in temperatures at 1hPa at the same time. There can be no argument surely about what is causing that peak. How does your universal curve apply in this situation? Do you just shift it down a bit for these times. How much?
    We have covered this ground many times before. I’ll refer you again to the treatment of the semiannual oscillations here http://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/docs/00/31/81/45/PDF/angeo-24-2131-2006.pdf The equinoctial peaks at the low and high altitudes are not related in the sense you imagine, the phase of the maxima change steadily with altitude, see Figure 16.
    The universal curve shows very nicely where the heating occurs. If you double the concentration at any given altitude, you double the heating there, as simple as that.

  169. Here is is a little ray of sunshine from NASA’s Dr. Anthony Del Genio at http://buildeco.wordpress.com/2009/01/13/latest-info-from-nasas-dr-anthony-del-genio/
    I quote directly: two paragraphs.

    “Fortunately, by combining information about the spatial patterns of the anthropogenic and natural climate variations, it is possible to draw some conclusions. For example, an upward trend in ocean heat content from 1993-2003 has been interpreted by previous workers as a sign of anthropogenic influences that create an imbalance between the sunlight absorbed by the Earth and the heat it emits to space. At first glance the PDO shift in the mid-1990s might call such an interpretation into question. However, the spatial pattern of the PDO includes warming in some places and cooling in others; in fact, changes consistent with the PDO can be seen in the geographic pattern of observed ocean heat content changes. But in the global mean these warming and cooling changes nearly offset each other, so the overall upward trend in observed ocean heat content can only be explained by anthropogenic effects, which exhibit warming almost everywhere. On the other hand, satellite-observed changes in absorbed sunlight and emitted heat in the tropics over the period 1985-2000, which appear to have caused a strengthening of the tropical atmospheric circulation, could in principle be either anthropogenic or natural in origin.”

    “By examining the spatial pattern of both types of climate variation, the scientists found that the anthropogenic global warming signal was relatively spatially uniform over the tropical oceans and thus would not have a large effect on the atmospheric circulation, whereas the PDO shift in the 1990s consisted of warming in the tropical west Pacific and cooling in the subtropical and east tropical Pacific, which would enhance the existing sea surface temperature difference and thus intensify the circulation. Thus, it can be concluded that the observed 15-year trend in radiative imbalance of the tropics is probably a signature of natural rather than anthropogenic climate variations.”

    My comment: At last some recognition of the shift to ‘El Nino dominant’ that is strikingly apparent in the pattern of 200hPa temperature change in figure 8 at http://climatechange1.wordpress.com/2009/01/02/the-southern-oscillation-and-the-sun-2/.

    But, they have the date wrong. It starts back in 1948, and takes a leap in 1978 and has been gradually subsiding since 1978.

    If this change had an anthropogenic origin it would not leap in 1978 and it would not decline over the the thirty year period since that date.

    It’s nice to see a recognition of the “satellite-observed changes in absorbed sunlight and emitted heat in the tropics”.

    And how did 200hPa temperature make that astounding jump in 1978 without a little heating from above? All good science starts with observation. When the stuff that is observed is out of kilter with the ‘universal curve’, you have to start asking yourself if the curve reflects reality.

  170. at: http://pubs.giss.nasa.gov/abstracts/2008/Chen_etal_1.html
    Chen et al. 2008

    Chen, J., A.D. Del Genio, B.E. Carlson, and M.G. Bosilovich, 2008: The spatiotemporal structure of twentieth-century climate variations in observations and reanalyses. Part I: Long-term trend. J. Climate, 21, 2611-2633, doi:10.1175/2007JCLI2011.1.

    The dominant interannual El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) phenomenon and the short length of climate observation records make it difficult to study long-term climate variations in the spatiotemporal domain. Based on the fact that the ENSO signal spreads to remote regions and induces delayed climate variation through atmospheric teleconnections, an ENSO-removal method is developed through which the ENSO signal can be approximately removed at the grid box level from the spatiotemporal field of a climate parameter. After this signal is removed, long-term climate variations are isolated at mid- and low latitudes in the climate parameter fields from observed and reanalysis datasets. This paper addresses the long-term global warming trend (GW); a companion paper concentrates on Pacific pan-decadal variability (PDV).

    The warming that occurs in the Pacific basin (approximately 0.4 K in the twentieth century) is much weaker than in surrounding regions and the other two ocean basins (approximately 0.8 K). The modest warming in the Pacific basin is likely due to its dynamic nature on the interannual and decadal time scales and/or the leakage of upper ocean water through the Indonesian Throughflow.

    My comment: Bob Tisdale should be comforted to know that once you take the ENSO signal out of the warming trend in the Pacific there is not much left.

    On the other hand I think he will have to take into account the Indonesian Throughflow in his computations about re the Warm Pool and its dynamics.

    For the authors of this study, a few questions: Why should the Pacific warm less than the other oceans? Does this throw doubt on the process they have used to “remove ENSO from the climate signal? What about the notion that the southern oscillation is the dominant mode of climate variation for the globe? What about the notion that there are ‘teleconnections’ between the Pacific and the rest of the globe driving changes in the latter? If ENSO is so important in the Pacific how important is the anthropogenic influence there, or is it mainly operative outside the Pacific.? Oh dear!

  171. erlhapp (18:40:30) :

    My comment: Bob Tisdale should be comforted to know that once you take the ENSO signal out of the warming trend in the Pacific there is not much left.

    Just love the enthusiasm from the guys on this team….I can see a time when more evidence comes to light very soon, that us “Planetary Influence” guys will join forces with the ENSO guys and fight the cruel menace that manifests itself as AGW associated with Solar scientists. :)

  172. erlhapp (17:01:39) :
    And how did 200hPa temperature make that astounding jump in 1978 without a little heating from above?
    Since the 200hPa level is heated from below, one might surmise that there has been an astounding jump in 1978 of surface temperatures. Some people call that ‘global warming’, or ‘the great climate shift’ or some such.

  173. Leif, when people talk about a temperature shift in climate I think they should more accurately call that a weather change. Climate, to me, is dependent on physical factors that then strongly influence weather patterns. Temperate climates will always be 4-seasonal climates (as long as the physical factors remain the same ) with seasonal weather patterns that are predictable, as in Spring, Summer, Fall, and Winter. Yes, with warming, the warm could be a little warmer, and the rain could be a bit wetter, etc. But the underlying nature of a temperate climate will not change. Just the weather patterns will change. Why do they call it climate change? Greenhouse gases cannot move a continent, or cause a mountain to grow, or a desert plain to appear. They cannot change climate. They can change weather patterns. As can ENSO, etc. I think the word “climate” is misapplied in the context of warming or cooling, whatever the cause. A change in weather patterns is, in my opinion, the more accurate phrase in all of these discussions of Earth bound climates (which are stable), and weather patterns (which are more variable).

  174. Pamela Gray (10:17:35) :
    “Some people call that ‘global warming’, or ‘the great climate shift’ or some such.”
    Leif, when people talk about a temperature shift in climate I think they should more accurately call that a weather change.

    I think my ‘or some such’ in a nutshell expresses my opinion. Go tell them :-)

  175. Leif Svalgaard (08:34:57)

    Some people call that ‘global warming’, or ‘the great climate shift’ or some such.”

    And then in around 1998 the Pdo/pdv or whatever inverted again.This velocity inversion has the same effect as a time inversion. The ability for a recurrent periodic state such as the PDO or an inverse temperature “state ”is in essence a binary transformation or bifurcation. The classic Lh bifurcation with 2 possible states.As the present phase state cannot remember its future” initial position” it reverts to its past position eg prior to 1978 in this case, a hard stability loss eg Pontryagin
    and Andronov 1937.

    Hence “much ado about nothing”

  176. Leif Svalgaard (08:34:57) :

    “Since the 200hPa level is heated from below, one might surmise that there has been an astounding jump in 1978 of surface temperatures. Some people call that ‘global warming’, or ‘the great climate shift’ or some such.”

    We are referring to the south east Pacific at 30-40°S and 240-260°E between 1976 and 1980 when global tropical sea surface temperature between 20°S and 20°N rose by 0.6°, never to return again so far as the record to date is concerned.

    Let’s try and keep a sense of proportion and retain some concern for what might be cause and what effect. The “jump” in sea surface temperature in the region of interest between 1976 and 1980 was 0.3°C. The jump in 200hPa temperature in the same area was 2.7°C.

    It doesn’t matter what you call it. The important thing is to work out how/why it happened. Standing behind universal curves does not help.

    I think that this is the point where I give up. This is a bit too much like talking to three brass monkeys.

  177. Erl, you wrote, “Bob Tisdale should be comforted to know that once you take the ENSO signal out of the warming trend in the Pacific there is not much left.”

    And a good portion of the “not much left” should result from the redistribution of subsurface water from the PWP to the surface of the eastern Pacific where surface currents and trade winds cause it to accumulate on the surface of the Western Pacific (and East Indian Ocean).

  178. Courage erl; there’s got to be a pony in there somewhere. It’s just extremely well-wrapped. A Gordian Knot indeed.
    =============================================

  179. erlhapp

    Sometime life is a funny old thing.Catching up on my reading in Photochemical & Photobiological Sciences a journal of the RSC I find what Erl is telling us is indeed the “Partyline” so to speak.

    Environmental effects of ozone depletion and its interactions with climate change: Progress report, 2008

    United Nations Environment Programme, Environmental Effects Assessment Panel

    “Regional climate and hence tropospheric air quality can be influenced by both changes in stratospheric ozone and the effects of greenhouse gases”

    Ozone depleting substances and greenhouse gases can contribute to alterations in global circulation1—see section above Ozone and changes in biologically active UV radiation. Changes in these large-scale atmospheric circulation patterns have been associated with changes in regional climate, for example a reduction in rainfall in SW Australia.Such changes will also affect air quality through changes in local climate.

    URL HERE and PDF download available.

    http://www.rsc.org/delivery/_ArticleLinking/DisplayHTMLArticleforfree.cfm?JournalCode=PP&Year=2009&ManuscriptID=b820432m&Iss=1

    PS Effects are local and have differnet properties at different latitudes and heights eg fig 1

    Interesting read.

  180. Maksimovich
    My own opinion of the cause of loss of ozone and its subsequent recovery is that much is related to the change in water distribution in the atmosphere and the increased speed of the major atmospheric circulations. Since 1948 we have seen a strong increase in 850hPa temperature, a proxy for the energy driving the overturning circulation. Ozone content of the stratosphere (indeed the entire upper atmosphere) depends upon moisture content there and moisture levels have been increasing. It is no accident that the southern hemisphere has less ozone than the North. It is the Southern hemisphere that has the stronger circulation driven by the extreme cold of Antarctica in all seasons. The downdraft at mid latitudes brings ozone into the upper troposphere. You can’t keep adding moisture to the stratosphere and bringing stratospheric air into the troposphere without losing ozone. Its highly soluble.

    The ‘recovery of ozone’ is related to a reduction in energy driving the atmospheric circulation.

    Those who set up the Montreal Protocol will not want to know this. Environmental ‘science’ is a self serving industry.

    Of course, the high ozone content in the mid latitudes in the upper troposphere is the basis for the strong temperature variations there, variations that are reflected in surface pressure. This is a big element of my theory of climate change.

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