The Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation – not quite cool yet.

atl_sst

From ICECAP

AMO, The Key Global Climate Indicator By Matt Vooro

The AMO is an ongoing series of long-duration changes in the sea surface temperature of the North Atlantic Ocean, with cool and warm phases that may last for 20-40 years at a time and a difference of about 1F between extremes. These changes are natural and have been occurring for at least the last 1,000 years. [per NOAA].

The AMO index is calculated at NOAAPSD by using the Kaplan SST data set [5×5], determining the area weighted average over the North Atlantic over 0-70N and then detrending this data. The average AMO index or the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation index went negative or cool in January 2009 The average for the first 5 months this year is about [-0.06] . It has been cooling since 2003. In the past, the very cold seasons of North America and especially the East coast happened when the annual average AMO went cool [ as low as -0.405] in the 1970’s.

It seems that this level of cool AMO may be several years off as the AMO cooling rate appears to be still slow. Back in 1964 it took about 8 years before the AMO went to [-0.3] by 1971. Review of other periods for similar rates of decline of the AMO show a spread of about 2-8 years. However the solar activity was much higher during 1964-1972 and things may cool down faster currently with extended solar minimum and anticipated low future solar cycles. If AMO does drop faster, then the cold weather like 1964-1979 may be the norm here much sooner and the East Coast will cool down as well as will the globe. The most sustained number of low AMO levels was during the cold spell of 1902 -1925 and again the 1970’s.

The graph below shows how closely Annual Global Air Temperature Anomalies [Crutem3] follow the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation Index [AMO] below.

The last interval change was 1994 or about 15 years ago and according to Enfeld et.al (2005), the probability that AMO will switch to cool in 15 years is about 80%. Based on this analysis , there is a high probability that the current cooling phase of AMO which started in 2009 is real and likely sustainable for the next 20 years at least.

The graph below shows the decline of the AMO index from warm to cool between 2005 and 2009 below.

EL NINO 2009-2010

There has been an El Nino within about 12 months after each of the last four solar minimums. The same pattern seems to be developing again now. The El Nino may be a moderate or weak and short lived [about a year]. It may have a minor effect on global temperatures, like in the period 1965-1966 when US temperatures continued to drop despite the El Nino.

AMO appears to be like a thermostat or predictor of global temperatures. ENSO events if moderate or strong seem to modify, amplify or over-ride the AMO effects. This pattern will continue to bring cool yearly temperatures and colder and snowy winters like 2008 and 2009. My best guess is that the climate of the 1960’and 1970’s will be our climate for the next several decades [2-3] at least, and inter-dispersed with periodic warm years. PDO and AMO readings are of limited value for short term use but quite useful and accurate for decadal forecasts. Currently 2009 looks something like 1971 [cool PDO, low cool/ near neutral AMO] and the rest of this decade looks like the 1970’s if you had pick one decade from the past. The 1960’s and the 1950 are also close behind.

This latest period of cooler weather is not the start of some modern ice age or new grand cold minimum but just another cool cycle of the planet that happens about after every 20-30 years more recently when AMO and PDO are both in the cool mode simultaneously. The coldest last such cycle 1902-1925 when AMO hit a single month low of -0.563 and PDO went down to -1.72 and global air temperature anomalies plummeted to -0.581C [crutem3] in 1911. Other such cool periods occurred 1964-1976 and also much earlier during the Dalton and Maunder Minimums. Read more here.

About these ads

58 thoughts on “The Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation – not quite cool yet.

  1. AMO just neutral and UK experienced coldest winter in last 30 years. Imagine if it will go cold. It is very interesting that such tiny temperature anomalies (1F, compared to PDO in whole degrees C) affect the Atlantic area so much; maybe there are changes in air circulation, causing more arctic air to go south.
    Oh, did I mention Arctic (ice)?

  2. I also think the AMO is one of the major natural climate drivers (along with the ENSO but the AMO seems to have a greater impact than the ENSO).

    In June, the AMO increased somewhat to +0.176C after a period of decline where it was as low as -0.114C a few months ago. It appears to be in a long-term downward cycle, but you never know.

    Just to see how potentially important the AMO is, have a look at the AMO versus RSS satellite temps – the correlation could just be a coincidence but if you look throughout the entire temperature record going back to the 1870s, there is a similar correlation.

  3. Why start off with a picture comparing July of one year with March of the current? It’s a bit misleading.

  4. Matt Voroo,

    Thanks for the article.
    The relative warm AMO is what keeps the Europe coastal countries relative warm although last winter was a memorable one.

    I have one question:
    “This latest period of cooler weather is not the start of some modern ice age or new grand cold minimum but just another cool cycle of the planet that happens about after every 20-30 years more recently when AMO and PDO are both in the cool mode simultaneously”.

    That said, what makes you conclude that the recent cooling weather is not a new grand cold minimum?

  5. Matt Voroo,
    You expect the return of the sixties – seventies weather for the next decades.

    I sign for that although my gut tells me it will be colder.

    The reason for this is the list of temperature minimum records, many topping cold records dating long before the sixties – seventies weather.
    The recent British winter, the braking of century old minimum records in Northern
    Europe and late start of summer.

    We already observe weather patterns that normally are associated with autumn and winter although we are in the middle of the summer.

    I know I am creating a head on collision with a long term observation and a single year of observed weather but I really think something more substantial is going on.

  6. Wow now children in the UK may see a real winter! I remember many cold winters in the 60s and 70s, can’t say that I look forward to them as much now.

  7. This is an outstanding test. If the AMO is heading negative (it certainly appears that way) and the PDO is already negative, that means if the oceans are driving teh climate train like we suspect they are, then we should see temps comparable to the 1960s and 1970s should the AMO/PDO reach similar values.

    If yes, then that should absolutely aquit CO2 as a primary driver.

    If no, then….hmmm…..

    As you’ve said several times Anthony, we live in interesting times…..

  8. Ron De Haan

    The ocean temperatures are not quite as cold as they were back during the past cold spells . This can be seen from the difference in ocean temperatures during the cold spell of 1900 -1922, 1960- 1976 and today. The sun has had an extended minimum but I am in no position to say if there will be a substantially extended minimum. So in my judgement the oceans are the prime source of our weather at the moment.

    By the way the more significant periods when AMO and PDO were both cold were:

    These are approximate periods as the records prior to 1990 are not as good.

    1856-1864
    1880-1890
    1916 -1922 [and also 1909-1911]
    1964-1976

  9. I live in the UK and have relatives in many parts of it, who confirm my thoughts; that although last winter was cold by recent standards I don’t think it was the coldest for thirty years – I would put it on a par with 1995-6. Has anyone got the actual figures?

  10. Matt Vooro: You wrote, “There has been an El Nino within about 12 months after each of the last four solar minimums.”

    Are you saying that solar minimums drive El Ninos? Because the coincidence falls apart when you go back further in time. Also, there has been an El Nino within a couple of years of the solar maximums too.

    You wrote, “It may have a minor effect on global temperatures, like in the period 1965-1966 when US temperatures continued to drop despite the El Nino.”

    I find that sentence confusing because you start with global temperatures and use US temperatures for a two year period to confirm your belief.

    Your graph of the AMO versus Global Temperature is somewhat unusual. You’re comparing detrended SST anomalies for the North Atlantic (the AMO) to Global Temperature anomalies that haven’t been detrended.

  11. “Amo
    Amas
    Amat”

    Amamus
    Amatis
    Amant

    Gotta “love it” . . . . 50 years since Father Latravrse pounded Latin into my thick skull and I can still recall the plurals.

    Now if I could just remember the name of a person 30 seconds after being introduced.

  12. matt v. (09:05:12) :

    Don’t comfort yourself with any relative reassurances of the 1850’s to early 1900’s as being colder. We too can get there and beyond.
    1856-1864 was very warm and brought torrential rains to the Western US.
    1880-1890 was not so warm for the Western US, though precip was very good.
    It’s not so much where we are right now, it’s where we are headed.

  13. According to Unisys there’s currently a nice sized purple spot sitting in the middle of the Atlantic

    http://weather.unisys.com/surface/sst_anom.html

    It looks like the AMO right now may be close to 0 or a little below looking at that map.

    Also on the ENSO front, El Nino is puttering along, but the SOI index has seen a sharp rise into positive territory, that and it seems like the winds shown on the TAO graph as arrows seem to be picking up.

  14. The exciting thing to me is that I think there really is an excellent opportunity for “the science to be settled” in the next 5-10 years, one way or the other. . . and maybe even in the next three years. There seems to be a lot of evidence piling up of the “natural variation” heading towards cold. If the AGW factors overwhelm that, then it is time to consider heading for the other camp. If they don’t, it is time for the AGWers to throw in their towels, if not in toto, then at least in serious reconsideration of the future trend line attributable to AGW.

    Yes, I know the “return with a vengeance later” crowd will make a rear-guard stand if it comes to that, but I don’t think they’ll be able to make it stick broadly. That’s voodoo not science.

  15. Bob Tisdale

    I am not saying that solar events drive El Nino’s but merely making an observation that they did occur after the last four solar minimums. I will leave the why for those who are more knowledgeable about this. Yes I was aware that prior to 1964, the same pattern did not exist. I even posted this fact on a previous WTUT track . Of the last 10 solar minmums , 5 had an El Nino within about 12 months , 3 had it within 2-3 years and 2 had none .

    With respect to the 1965-1966 El Nino and its effect on Global and US temperature anomalies , the GISS US ANNUAL SURFACE TEMPERATURE ANOMALY dropped from[ -0.11C] to [-0.25 C] and the ANNUAL GLOBAL CRUTEM3 TEMPERATURE ANOMALY changed only slightly from [-.216 C to [-0.147 C] , a minor warming only as I stated. I just wanted to note that both globally and in US, that particular El Nino, during a cool PDO and a partly cool AMO[1965 ] did not warm things a lot that time . Perhaps my words were not exactly clear.

    To compare AMO trends and global temperature anomaly trends, I used the best data available to me. I did not have access to detrended Hadley global temperatures anomaly data. You are right about the difference between the two data sets. I still think there is a pattern here as even Bill Illis’s graph earlier shows.

  16. Bob Tisdale (09:25:25) :

    Matt Vooro: You wrote, “There has been an El Nino within about 12 months after each of the last four solar minimums.”

    Are you saying that solar minimums drive El Ninos? Because the coincidence falls apart when you go back further in time. Also, there has been an El Nino within a couple of years of the solar maximums too.

    If my hypothesis is correct, a lot of those el nino’s following close behind solar minimum will be modoki el ninos. Especially in the onset of oceanic cool phases. Can you spot them in the record Bob? OLR data won’t go any further back than your graph here http://i25.tinypic.com/2035ed.png I guess, but are there other signs they can be recognised by?

  17. Rbateman

    You could be right about where we are headed. Certainly the AMO is still nowhere near the past coldest annual levels of -0.4 as in 1974 and the PDO is not down to say -1.95 to -1.8 annually as in 1955-1956, but it was down to -1.29 annually in 2008. The two indices combined [added] were close to the 1970’s level during the past winter[ 5th lowest since the 1950’s] because we had peak monthly cool PDO’S of already -1.76 last year . In 1971 we had a -2.2 monthly peak.Annual PDO’s during the 1970’s reached -1.29 IN 1971, same as 2008

    So we were near the cold PDO’s of the 1970’s already in 2008 and early 2009. That is why w have already had so much cool weather in 2008 and 2009.It is the AMO , if it cools like it did before that could cool things even more,plus the accumulative effect of cool weather of many years in a row. However the lows do not always peak at the same time , so there is still some uncertainty.

  18. Matt Vooro,

    The strength of the AMO is in a weakening state much like the tropical stratosphere is getting warmer…… A relationship I first touched base on about about four years ago in a lengthy discussion. Which many MET’s have read before.

    As far as the El Nino and solar minimum. It’s almost a given but not always, like with 1954-55. But anyone who has been heavily relying upon the sun as a ENSO forecasting mechanism should have a clue as to what factors relate to the forcing of La Ninas or El Ninos.

  19. OT, but: Fred, if you want a trick to remembering names use your existing skills. Conjugate their name as a latin verb, you will never be able to forget it. :)

  20. It’s well established that regional SST follow weather. So the cooler SST off the east coast of N America probably reflect the recent cool weather.

    However, on a global scale the oceans heat the atmosphere for the simple reason the oceans gain large amounts of heat from the sun and the only place it can go is into the atmosphere (and then out into space).

    The rate at which this happens varies over years to decades which gives us el ninos, the PDO, etc.

    It’s also important to note that almost all the heat in the Earth’s climate system is in the oceans, and cooler SST due to these cyclical variations means the oceans are losing less heat to the atmosphere. Which in turn means the Earth’s climate is getting warmer because less heat is lost to the atmosphere and then space.

    Which means atmospheric temperatures to the extent they are driven by SST are negatively correlated with global warming. Warmer atmospheric temperatures mean the Earth’s climate is cooling and visa versa.

    Pielke senior discusses climate heat gain below.

    http://www.climatesci.org/publications/pdf/R-334.pdf

  21. geo (11:22:04) :

    “The exciting thing to me is that I think there really is an excellent opportunity for “the science to be settled” in the next 5-10 years, one way or the other. . . and maybe even in the next three years. There seems to be a lot of evidence piling up of the “natural variation” heading towards cold. If the AGW factors overwhelm that, ……”

    Geo, the problem with this argument is that cold means the realists have won, warm means that AGWers have won. This is so deeply, sadly the wrong argument. Cold or warm, CO2 is not a pollutant; CO2 in Earth’s atmosphere does not bring run-away warming, even when it arrives from “natural” sources; non of the other so-called Green Houses Gases can warm or cool a “witch’s tit” (thanks Pamela) significantly.

    The AGWers are in the drivers’ seats so far in the government, academia, mass media, non-profit environmental organizations, UN, wealthy global-allegiance nuts, and many, many corporations. They may be able to hold onto enough power with their to-us-lame-excuses until the PDO and AMO switch again to warm. What came after 1907-1918 (a ~Gleissberg cycle away)? The great warmth of the 1920s to the 1930s. Duun, duun, duuuhhhhh (do you get this musically?)! 2020-2030 is not that far away.

  22. Unless it drops a lot during the latter half of the month or the NOAA satallite is experiencing a lot of diurnal drift we could end up seeing an increase for the ages for July temps. in the UAH graph despite all the cold weather stories. Though then there’s possible flaws in stitching together satallite data as well along with the problems known with GISS.

  23. Yes I noted that AMO went to +0.176 in June.
    My observation is that AMO seems to rise during and after the summer heating and by its vary nature is an extremely fluctuating index and impossible to predict on a monthly or even on yearly basis . It has been steadily declining since 2003.Decadal forecasts is its best application. I cover some of this in my article.
    Could it go back to positive for a while ?. Yes it could , as you will see from the probability graph. As the interval between regime changes gets longer the , cumulative probability rises that a regime change will take place. But even at that there is still a probability that the interval could be longer. The highest frequency of regime interval years is less than 20 years . We have gone 15 years between 1995 and 2009 so I think we have gone past the warm peak of AMO and are now heading down and will cross over to a sustained negative period during the next decade at the latest if not earlier.Personally I think it might be earlier.
    What I am trying to say is that since we are predicting many decades ahead and checking the IPCC 2100 forecast, there is a high probability that at least 2 cool phase will arrive prior to 2100 and we will have several periods global cooling instead of just straight line global warming by 2100

  24. I can’t help but notice that in both the July 2005 and March 2009 pictures the Pacific and Atlantic oceans look as if they are displaying a continual temperature pattern, even though there is a land barrier between them. Like they being influenced by the same phenomena.

  25. It seems to me (an overworked dad with a houseful of screaming kids) that Wang, Swanson, and Tsonis will come up again on this board with this paper…

    http://climateresearchnews.com/2009/02/new-paper-nao-the-pacemaker-of-major-climate-shifts/

    All these ocean oscillations moving from negative to neutral to positive and crashing into each other from time to time. All the while being cooled or heated by changes in the sun’s activities, simple albedo resulting in..how long is that lag time again? And, oh look, two major volcanic eruptions in a decade then none for a generation. And Dr. Pielke discovering endless ways that man himself contributes.

    Is this all gonna get settled before margarine vs. butter?

  26. Pyromancer76, I wouldn’t say that. I’d say warm in spite of cold natural variation fundamentals. . . or cold in spite of warm anthropegnic fundamentals. . .

    But if you don’t like that, that’s fine. Please tell us the proof the well-intentioned reasonable skeptic of today would need to see to say “Whoa, I was wrong, my bad. . . I need to become an AGW’er now”. And, alternately, the proof the well-intentioned reasonable AGWer would need to see to say “Whoa, I was wrong, my bad. . . I need to become a ‘natural variation’ guy now”.

    What I’m saying is, I think there is a high likliehood of one or the other of those reasonable well-intentioned individuals who are on opposite sides today finding themselves at the bridge of the Rubicon in the next 3-5 years.

  27. What, if anything, has to happen in the next decade to prove AGW wrong? Maybe we should predict cooling for 10-20 years followed by warming for 10-20 years (or whatever it really should be) to prove it’s natural. Maybe a best prediction for the next 20 years and see who wins, except by then it’ll all be over.

    What has to occur before the AGW’ers can claim victory? We have to really settle the science quickly or everything we despise will already be put in place. I just hope in 3 years that Obama and his Merry Crusaders are shown the plank.

  28. JUSTIN SANE
    You said
    “Maybe we should predict cooling for 10-20 years followed by warming for 10-20 years (or whatever it really should be) to prove it’s natural. ”

    A similar prediction has already been made by Prof. Don Easter brook.
    http://www.heartland.org/bin/media/newyork09/PowerPoint/Don_Easterbrook.ppt#630,38,Projected global temp to 2100

    He predicts
    Cool to about 2032
    warm 2032 -2060
    cool 2060 -2090

    I agree with this forecast as it follows the past AMO and ENSO/PDO natural earth cycles . With at least two cool cycles ahead, the probability of a 6 C rise as per IPCC forecast by 2100 is very unlikely.

  29. The Pacific can switch between warm and cool conditions and events many times during a solar cycle. Therefore it is expected that an El Nino condition would occur soon after a minimum, as would a La Nina condition. The oscillation flips have longer more variable periods that are not tied to the far more regular solar cycle. The correlation can be easily torn apart on statistics alone, and put to rest on mechanism (or lack thereof).

  30. One of the key arguments that the IPCC use to point the finger at CO2 is the thesis that changes in the past 100 years cannot be quantitatively expressed by natural processes alone, and therefore must be caused by greenhouse gas forcing. The only glitch so far is the inconvenient cooling of mid 20th century which are explained away by aerosol effects. Now, let us imagine 20 years of cooling that takes as right back to those same mid century temperatures. Would that not be the complete refutation AGW since all the previous warming would be quantifiable by natural cycles?

    The only problem is, who wants to wait 20 years?

  31. DaveF (09:11:31) :

    I live in the UK and have relatives in many parts of it, who confirm my thoughts; that although last winter was cold by recent standards I don’t think it was the coldest for thirty years – I would put it on a par with 1995-6. Has anyone got the actual figures?

    Dave

    Your thoughts are pretty close to the mark. Though 1995/96 was actually quite a bit colder than 2008/09 as was 1990/91. There were also several winters in the 1980s that were also much colder than last winter. I’ve no idea where these so-called ‘records’ come from but they seem to get repeated endlessly. The UK temperature data is given in the link below. The seasonal data is in the last few columns.

    http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/climate/uk/datasets/Tmean/date/UK.txt

  32. Stupid question: Since oceanic oscillations/SST’s and global temperatures, past and current, fit together like a hand in a glove, have a known mechanism, and have strong predictive power, why does IPCC not have a model of that? Why tortuously try to fit CO2 with temperature when a far better fit is at hand? Why are trained scientists saying that CO2 is highly predictive of future climate when they know that oceanic oscillations are far better at it?

    If you are an AGW’er, show me a chart of CO2 and temp, and I will show you a chart of SST and temp that trumps it. If you are a Sun worshipper, show me a chart of any measure of the Sun and temp and I will show you the same chart of SST and temp that trumps it. Why is this so hard?

  33. Pamela Gray (10:19:17)

    The Pacific can switch between warm and cool conditions and events many times during a solar cycle. Therefore it is expected that an El Nino condition would occur soon after a minimum, as would a La Nina condition. The oscillation flips have longer more variable periods that are not tied to the far more regular solar cycle. The correlation can be easily torn apart on statistics alone, and put to rest on mechanism (or lack thereof).

    —————-

    I can recall may years back when people doubted the relationship of the qbo and solar variables with the stratospheric temperatures. But most think differently now.

    And what specifically have you looked at in regards to the solar forcing upon the ENSO to talk like this anyway ?

  34. Bob Tisdale (13:29:33) :

    tallbloke: My thoughts at present are that El Nino Modoki events are aftereffects of the more significant traditional El Nino events that precede them.

    http://bobtisdale.blogspot.com/2009/07/similarities-of-multiyear-periods.html

    And there have been some big ones after solar minimum in the last few cycles. However, I think they have been helped along by the advent of the next strong cycle, and that’s not happening this time round. All el nino’s are different, the classification we put on them is our taxonomy, not natures order. Maybe this one is a new type of el nino, as they all are in their own way.

    My prediction is for a UAH global anomaly of 0.35 in october, followed by a plateau of switchy spikes then slow decline to a deep low mid N.H. autumn next year. I think Hansen has GIStemp riding on ocean SST’s at the moment, and he’ll switch to air temps in a couple of months to ride the airwave, so the sky is the limit.

  35. There have been so many hot topic threads, I regret that this one received so few comments. Thanks to Matt Vooro for this research. Thanks also to Bob Tisdale. I read your blog faithfully and appreciate that much of your research appears on WUWT along with the many comments from which I am learning a tremendous amount.

    Pamela Gray (12:13-7/15) summarizes my conclusion after lots of reading. “Why are trained scientists saying that CO2 is highly predictive of future climate when they know that oceanic oscillations are far better at it?” I’m for more posts on oceans. As much as we know, it seems we know so little. Can a study of the oceans help us understand why we emerged from the Little Ice Age in the 19th C and have not returned as yet to a little or a big one?

  36. Pamela Gray ( 12:13:12)

    Stupid question: Since oceanic oscillations/SST’s and global temperatures, past and current, fit together like a hand in a glove, have a known mechanism, and have strong predictive power, why does IPCC not have a model of that? Why tortuously try to fit CO2 with temperature when a far better fit is at hand? Why are trained scientists saying that CO2 is highly predictive of future climate when they know that oceanic oscillations are far better at it?

    If you are an AGW’er, show me a chart of CO2 and temp, and I will show you a chart of SST and temp that trumps it. If you are a Sun worshipper, show me a chart of any measure of the Sun and temp and I will show you the same chart of SST and temp that trumps it. Why is this so hard?

    I’ve always called it the Pied Piper syndrome. Someone respected convinces someone else and then you have an avalanche of support in fear of missing the boat or challenging the mainstream opinion.

    And all you have to do is look at what has happened with global temperatures during the past decade. How many in the science community would have given this a chance to occur , for this length of time, without another new peak ? Probably less than 10 %.

  37. “And what specifically have you looked at in regards to the solar forcing upon the ENSO to talk like this anyway ?”

    Solar influences on climate have been examined and studied ad infinitum. Read any recently published book on the Sun. One can also graph all the various stuff coming from the Sun against global temps and you get nothin. No correlation. At least not one to write home to mom about.

    The event of an El Nino after/during a minimum is just a coincidence of a more frequent oscillation (El Nino) doing its thing compared to a less frequent oscillation (solar cycle) doing its thing. They have nothing in common in terms of a physical mechanism that links them. As far as I have read and understood, ENSO events are doing their own thing apart from a cycling Sun. What ever is driving the variability of ENSO is likely something else significant and non-solar. That is not to say that solar influences are absent. It is to say that solar influences are not major contributors to the variation.

  38. Pamela, The question was about the ENSO and not global temperatures. And I’m not worried about what other researchers have not found and you never gave me specifics. As in what variables they actually considered. Both here on earth or with the sun.

    And let’s not forget that we are talking about a relationship that has been researched for a better part of a century. So I have no idea why anybody would think that you would not have to think “outside the box” to find the pearl in the oyster.

    Which I have found to be quite rare in my fifteen years of dealing with many people from within the science community……..Tunnel vision.

  39. Jim Hughes (13:53:42) :
    I can recall may years back when people doubted the relationship of the qbo and solar variables with the stratospheric temperatures. But most think differently now.

    No, they don’t. It is now thought that equatorially trapped Kelvin waves provide the westerly momentum and Rossby-gravity waves provide easterly momentum to produce the QBO oscillation. That is, the QBO is produced from below by upwards traveling waves.

  40. Pamela Gray (19:03:29) :
    The event of an El Nino after/during a minimum is just a coincidence of a more frequent oscillation (El Nino) doing its thing compared to a less frequent oscillation (solar cycle) doing its thing. They have nothing in common in terms of a physical mechanism that links them.

    I disagree. There is a very obvious thermodynamic mechanism which will tie el nino’s to the solar cycle. Roughly two big un’s per cycle. It get perturbed by volcanic events, so is not a nice tight Pamela/Leif acceptable correlation, but then Leif allows the sun to be ‘messy’. Why not Earth’s climate too, which has even more variables in the mix?

  41. Leif Svalgaard (21:11:05:)

    No, they don’t. It is now thought that equatorially trapped Kelvin waves provide the westerly momentum and Rossby-gravity waves provide easterly momentum to produce the QBO oscillation. That is, the QBO is produced from below by upwards traveling waves.

    What I said and what you said can be related. And the debate is still up for how everything transpires from start to finish because things go round and round and feed off of each other…chicken – egg.

    And I’ve made “specific time frame” calls for polar warmings periods from well out. Which most thought was impossible a couple of years ago. And I’ll beat the dead horse here to Leif….Forecast results…..this is a large part of science when building new foundations.

  42. For some time some of us have been saying that global atmoshere warming and cooling episodes are caused by the presence of warming and cooling ocean SST as measured by AMO , ENSO/ PDO indices. No time is this more apparent than when these cycles simultaneously over lap as both in warm or both in cool mode. The so called global warming period was originally stated as the post 1970 period but was erroneously extended to 50 years by the Whitehouse/NOAA climate report. The last global warming period was the latest of such over laps and only lasted about 14 years from1994-2007 in my opinion. This was the only period when warming records were set.
    Previous such warming and cycle overlaps happened during 1860 to 1878 and again 1911-1941 with almost similar temperature anomaly rises [about 0.500 -0.600C]

    My own analysis showed that the global warming period of 1995-2007 had the following extra factors present:

    El Nino’s existed during 10 of these 14 years
    7 of the highest 12 ever annual AMO levels existed during this period
    3 of the 5 highest ever monthly AMO levels existed during this period
    5 of the 10 highest ever monthly PDO levels existed during this period

    I have found that it is extreme record level of the AMO that seem to be more strongly present during this latest global warming. The warm PDO was present but not at the same record levels as AMO. The frequent El Nino presence was another major factor .These cycles are thousands of years old and clearly account for the major part of our previous and the last global warming period. Carbon dioxide levels do not follow such cycles and are unable to account for the regular decadal climate swings.

  43. Jim Hughes (04:25:25) :
    Forecast results…..
    Then provide a list of forecasts: when made, where published, skill score [include forecasts that didn’t pan out; if I forecast rain every day and include in the list only days where it did rain (my forecast was correct) I would have a perfect score].

    tallbloke (23:52:08) :
    There is a very obvious thermodynamic mechanism which will tie el nino’s to the solar cycle.
    Using a big fancy word [thermodynamic] does not make it more credible [rather less if one knows a bit of thermodynamics]. And what is this ‘will tie’?

  44. Leif suggested to me that I read a couple of books on the Sun. I did. It was very enlightening, let alone extremely interesting. I challenge anyone here on this blog who continues to believe that the Sun is the MAJOR driver of Earth’s temperature VARIATIONS to read any book about the Sun available at any bookstore, and then continue to state that there must be some unseen/unknown solar driver that hasn’t been discovered yet (but people here who haven’t written a book about the Sun are sure they have the inside scoop on).

    Read a book. The Sun is not a good argument against AGW. It is worse than a poor one.

  45. Leif Svalgaard ( 07:15:51)
    Then provide a list of forecasts: when made, where published, skill score [include forecasts that didn’t pan out; if I forecast rain every day and include in the list only days where it did rain (my forecast was correct) I would have a perfect score].

    And if we asked you to do this for your past sunspot Cycle forecasts you would have to stay silent, right ? Now I mentioned two years ago so do the math. How many winters have we had ? So how many forecasts do you think I could have made ?

    So it’s small base but I showed promise in field that is highly lacking. When it comes to predictability from way out. Because you have to learn how to crawl before you can walk.

    Here’s a link to this past winter’s discussion and some MET’s joined in while we watched everything unfold. My February call last winter was “exactly” right, to the day. Which was made more than a month out. I originally had also made a December call the year before but I canceled it about a week out. If you want that link just ask and you shall receive.

    http://www.easternuswx.com/bb/index.php?showtopic=182573

  46. Pamela Gray ( 07:36:46)

    Leif suggested to me that I read a couple of books on the Sun. I did. It was very enlightening, let alone extremely interesting. I challenge anyone here on this blog who continues to believe that the Sun is the MAJOR driver of Earth’s temperature VARIATIONS to read any book about the Sun available at any bookstore, and then continue to state that there must be some unseen/unknown solar driver that hasn’t been discovered yet (but people here who haven’t written a book about the Sun are sure they have the inside scoop on).

    Read a book. The Sun is not a good argument against AGW. It is worse than a poor one.

    Pamela,

    Many long range professional forecasters both post and lurk at easternwx.com and one common theme has been portrayed by many of them before. But it held more weight about a year or so ago when people were willing to talk more openly about their own research and possible relationships. “You would learn more by reading and hanging around eastern then you would in any book or research journal”.

    But this also doesn’t mean that you couldn’t have been mislead about things. OTOH let’s not act like what you read in books or journals is the final conclusion, much like a pharohs demand. “Let it be said let it be written.” Because it isn’t.

  47. I found the following article instructive on modeling. When forecasting ENSO, the forecasters are measuring a dynamical model of ENSO (mechanized and mathematically calculated using super computer strength against the standard statistical model (based on historical conditions prior to a forecasted event). The dynamical model takes into account the affects of the variable but calculable (they think) atmosphere (down to the calculable affects of butterfly wings) as well as sea temperature movements. The potential is that this model can take unique circumstances and calculate the event that will happen. The statistical model assumes that there is nothing new under the Sun and what has happened before an event can be used to predict what will happen again without having to calculate it up the ying yang. This seems a good example of what AGW models are trying to do. Maybe they should go back to statistical models.

    http://iri.columbia.edu/climate/ENSO/background/prediction.html

  48. The reason why I post this now is that ENSO models are in disagreement about the forecasted Pacific El Nino. The dynamical models are predicting a hot one. The statistical models not so much and some not at all. I wonder what they have in their dynamical models that are predicting “hot and getting hotter” that the statistical models do not have? Hmmmm??????? I sure would like to get my hands on the code for the dynamical model.

  49. Pamela GRAY
    Pages 2 and 12 of the attached reference well illustrate how the period 1950-1960 had the most active solar activity in modern times but the global temperatures went down and the pdo went cool. One would expect the opposite if the sun had an immediate effect. I dont think we understand the sun /climate relationship completely yet.

    http://www.appinsys.com/globalwarming/PDO_AMO.htm

  50. It also demonstrates that a fairly fast oscillating event has a very good chance of “just happening” to occur near the moment of a slower oscillating event with no mechanism involved.

Comments are closed.