Why regression analysis fails to capture the aftereffects of El Nino events

In a study in the Journal of Geophysical Research a paper, Influence of the Southern Oscillation on tropospheric temperature,  researchers Chris de Freitas, John McLean, and Bob Carter find that the El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) is a key indicator of global atmospheric temperatures seven months later.  By their analysis they have shown that natural forces related to ocean heat cycles are the dominant influence on climate. See the WUWT post on it here and the original paper here.

This guest post by Bob Tisdale is a response of interest to both critics and supporters of the paper and  illustrates how the multiyear processes of an El Nino event such as occurred in 1998 are missed. – Anthony

Regression Analyses Do Not Capture The Multiyear Aftereffects Of Significant El Nino Events

Guest post by Bob Tisdale

INTRODUCTION

This post illustrates why regression analyses do not capture the multiyear aftereffects of significant El Nino events. To emphasize this, I’ve provided a detailed explanation of the processes that take place before, during, and after those significant El Nino events, using graphics and videos from earlier posts.

EXAMPLE OF RESULTS FROM A REGRESSION ANALYSIS

Regression analyses are used by climatologists to determine and illustrate the impact on global temperature of one or more variables, such as ENSO, Solar Irradiance, and Volcanic Aerosols. Figure 1 shows the results of one such study. It is a multi-cell illustration of “Surface Temperature Variability Components” from Lean and Rind (2008) “How Natural and Anthropogenic Influences Alter Global and Regional Surface Temperatures: 1889 to 2006” [GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH LETTERS, VOL. 35, L18701, doi:10.1029/2008GL034864, 2008].
Link to Paper:
http://pubs.giss.nasa.gov/docs/2008/2008_Lean_Rind.pdf
http://i32.tinypic.com/2lmw477.png
Figure 1

My Figure 1 is Figure 2 from Lean and Rind (2008). Under the heading of “Datasets”, Lean and Rind write, “Monthly fluctuations in ENSO, volcanic aerosols, solar irradiance and anthropogenic influences are shown in Figure 2. The multivariate ENSO index, a weighted average of the main ENSO features contained in sea-level pressure, surface wind, surface sea and air temperature, and cloudiness [Wolter and Timlin, 1998], extends from 1950 to 2006. It is augmented with an index derived from Japan Meteorologial Agency sea surface temperatures from 1868 [Meyers et al., 1999]. Volcanic aerosols in the stratosphere are compiled by [Sato et al., 1993] since 1850, updated from giss.nasa.gov to 1999 and extended to the present with zero values. The adopted solar forcing, consistent with IPCC [2007], is less than half that reported in prior IPCC assessments. Monthly irradiances since 1882 are estimate d from competing effects of sunspots and faculae in observations made by space-based radiometers, extended into the past using solar flux transport simulations [Wang et al., 2005]. The anthropogenic forcing is the net effect of eight different components, including greenhouse gases, landuse and snow albedo changes, and (admittedly uncertain) tropospheric aerosols [Hansen et al., 2007] (inset, Figure 2d).”

Lean and Rind then go on to detail the analyses they performed. Under the heading of “Amplitudes and Patterns of Natural and Anthropogenic Influences,” they state, “Natural changes cannot account for the significant long-term warming in the historical global surface temperature anomalies. Linear trends in temperature attributed to ENSO, volcanic aerosols and solar irradiance over the past 118 years (depicted by the lines in Figure 2) are, respectively, 0.002, -0.001 and 0.007 K per decade. Only by associating the surface warming with anthropogenic forcing is it possible to reconstruct the observed temperature anomalies.”

Basically, using a short-term comparison of NINO3.4 SST anomalies and Global RSS MSU TLT anomalies, my Figure 2, regression analyses like those used by Lean and Rind argue that natural variables cannot explain the upward divergence of global temperature from NINO3.4 SST anomalies. And if natural variables cannot explain the additional rise in global temperature, then the anthropogenic global warming hypothesis dictates that anthropogenic forcings must cause the rest. BUT…
http://i32.tinypic.com/2rw9pbq.png
Figure 2

REGRESSION ANALYSES TREAT ENSO AS A “FORCING”, NOT AS A PROCESS WITH MULTIYEAR AFTEREFFECTS

Regression analyses regard El Nino events as a climate forcing of varying frequency and magnitude, the same way they consider other natural forcings such as volcanic aerosols and solar irradiance. They do not consider the multiyear processes that can occur after those El Nino events. Before presenting these, I’ll first provide a detailed description of the processes that take place before, during, and after significant El Nino events.

EL NINO OVERVIEW

For those new to the process of El Nino events, Bill Kessler and David B. Enfield, both of NOAA, provide excellent descriptions of ENSO in their ENSO Q&A web pages. Link to Bill Kessler’s:
http://faculty.washington.edu/kessler/occasionally-asked-questions.html
Link to David B. Enfield’s:
http://www.aoml.noaa.gov/general/enso_faq/

I’ll expand on their descriptions.

During non-El Nino years (La Nina and ENSO-neutral years), warm water accumulates in an area of the western tropical Pacific known as the Pacific Warm Pool (PWP); also known as the Indo-Pacific Warm Pool (IPWP). Refer to Figure 3.
http://i30.tinypic.com/b3tpah.gif
Figure 3 (Source CRCES. Link to follow.)

Some of the warm water in the Pacific Warm Pool is water that returns there after El Nino events (the Equatorial Countercurrent in the Pacific relaxes after an El Nino and the North and South Equatorial Currents move the warm water back from the eastern to the western equatorial Pacific). More on that later. Some of the warm water in the Pacific Warm Pool results from solar radiation that warms the tropical Pacific and from the trade winds that push those warm surface waters from east to west in the Pacific during La Nina events and during ENSO-neutral periods. And some of the buildup of warm water in the Pacific Warm Pool occurs during the El Nino event itself, when cloud amounts over the Pacific Warm Pool drop significantly, causing a major rise in downwelling shortwave radiation (visible light). During the 1997/98 El Nino, it has been estimated that downwelling shortwave radiation rose as much as 25 watts/sq meter over the PWP. Refer to Figure 4. (This change in downwelling shortwave radiation was discussed in my post Recharging The Pacific Warm Pool Part 2.)

http://i41.tinypic.com/2435kbb.jpg
Figure 4

Figure 4 is from the Pavlakis et al (2008) paper “ENSO Surface Shortwave Radiation Forcing over the Tropical Pacific”:
http://www.atmos-chem-phys-discuss.net/8/6697/2008/acpd-8-6697-2008-print.pdf

The accumulation of warm water in the Pacific Warm Pool over months and years from trade winds pushing surface waters west, the periodic transport of the warm water out of the PWP by El Nino events, the blast of downwelling shortwave radiation during El Nino events, and the replenishment of the warm water during the subsequent La Nina all cause the size and temperature of the Pacific Warm Pool to vary.

Figure 5 illustrates the variations in area and temperature of the Pacific Warm Pool. The illustration is from the CRCES webpage “Natural decadal-multidecadal variability of the Indo-Pacific Warm Pool and its impacts on global climate” by Mehta and Mehta:
http://www.crces.org/presentations/dmv_ipwp/
http://i28.tinypic.com/6e3skg.png
Figure 5

CRCES also provides a Quicktime movie (2.7MB) of the annual variations in Indo-Pacific Warm Pool area and SST anomalies here:
http://www.crces.org/presentations/dmv_ipwp/images/SST_WP.MOV

The variability of the Pacific Warm Pool can also be seen in the Western Equatorial Pacific Warm Water Volume, Figure 6, which is from my post Equatorial Pacific Warm Water Volume.
http://i34.tinypic.com/xfyro1.jpg
Figure 6

Note how, during the 1997/98 El Nino, the Western Equatorial Pacific Warm Water Volume (light blue curve) drops as NINO3.4 SST anomalies (black curve) rise. This is one indication that the warm water is being carried away from the Pacific Warm Pool during the El Nino event. Also note how quickly the Western Equatorial Pacific Warm Water Volume replenishes itself. It has “recharged” by the second phase of the 1998/99/00 La Nina.

The direction shifts in the Pacific Equatorial Currents that are part of an El Nino show how the warm water volume of the Pacific Warm Pool is lowered during those events. The Equatorial Countercurrent increases in size and carries the warm water from the Pacific Warm Pool to the east. When the El Nino ends, the Equatorial Countercurrent ebbs, and the North and South Equatorial Currents carry the warm water back to the west, to the Pacific Warm Pool. These shifts can be seen in Video 1 “Equatorial Currents Before, During, and After The 1997/98 El Nino” from my post of the same name:
http://bobtisdale.blogspot.com/2009/02/equatorial-currents-before-during-and.html


Video 1

And there are subsurface changes that take place during an El Nino event. The warm water that was in the Pacific Warm Pool, most of it below the surface, shifts east during the El Nino, where it rises to the surface. These changes in the subsurface waters of the Pacific can be seen in my Video 2 “Cross-Sectional Views of Three Significant El Nino Events – Part 1”. Link to post:
http://bobtisdale.blogspot.com/2009/02/cross-sectional-views-of-three.html


Video 2

Though not discussed in Video 2, the rise of the thermocline at the end of the 1997/98 El Nino is visible. “Rewind” to minute 3:00 and start the video. After the commentary, the thermocline rises, further illustrating that warm water that was once below the surface of the Pacific Ocean has been brought to the surface by the El Nino.

Some BUT NOT ALL of the warm water that had sloshed east during the El Nino returns to the Pacific Warm Pool during the subsequent La Nina. And the warm water that doesn’t return to the Pacific Warm Pool is carried westward by the Equatorial Currents of the Pacific, Figure 7, to the surface of the Western Pacific and the Eastern Indian Oceans.
http://i30.tinypic.com/wvzu6r.png
Figure 7

There, the warm water raises the surface temperature of the Western Pacific and the Eastern Indian Oceans, Figure 8.
http://i29.tinypic.com/2a75q2t.png
Figure 8

The transport of this warm water and its aftereffects can be seen in Video 3 “Recharging The Pacific Warm Pool”. Link to post:
http://bobtisdale.blogspot.com/2008/11/recharging-pacific-warm-pool.html


Video 3

In other words, warm water that was below the surface of the Pacific Warm Pool (and not included in the calculation of global temperature anomaly) is redistributed around the surface of the nearby oceans by the El Nino, (and it is now included in the calculation of global temperature). Phrased yet another way, before that El Nino, the warm water was not included in surface temperature record but afterward the warm water was included in surface temperature record. This raises global temperature anomalies without any heat input. Keep in mind that the rearranging of waters during an El Nino does not in and of itself create heat; it only shifts warm water from below the surface of the Pacific Ocean to the surface where it impacts temperature measurements.

THIS CAN BE SEEN AS UPWARD STEP CHANGES IN THE SEA SURFACE TEMPERATURE OF ~25% OF THE GLOBAL OCEANS

And those upward step changes after the 1986/87/88 and 1997/98 El Nino events can be seen in the sea surface temperatures of the East Indian and West Pacific Ocean, the black curve in Figure 9. Also illustrated in Figure 9 are scaled NINO3.4 SST anomalies (purple curve) and Sato Index data (green curve), which I’ve added to illustrate the timing of explosive volcanic eruptions that impact sea surface temperature (and global temperature).
http://i31.tinypic.com/24l5rlw.png
Figure 9

The area represented by the East Indian and West Pacific Ocean SST anomalies (the black curve in Figure 9) is shown in Figure 10.
http://i39.tinypic.com/5n55as.jpg
Figure 10

Refer to my posts for further information: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 2

SEA SURFACES OUTSIDE OF THE EQUATORIAL PACIFIC ARE ALSO WARMED BY THE EL NINO THROUGH THE EXCHANGE OF HEAT FROM THE ATMOSPHERE TO THE OCEAN

During the El Nino events, heat from the surplus of warm surface waters along the equatorial Pacific is pumped into the atmosphere where it is carried around the globe. This raises land surface temperatures, (not illustrated). And the higher atmospheric temperature also raises the surface temperature of the oceans outside of the tropical Pacific. These increases in SST can be seen in Video 4 “Global SST Anomaly Animation 1996 to 2009”. Video 4 is from my post “Animations of Weekly SST Anomaly Maps from January 3, 1996 to July 1, 2009.” There is no narrative with Video 4. The description is included in the post.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1ir1w3OrR4U
Video 4

The exchange of heat from atmosphere to ocean in the East Indian and West Pacific Oceans adds to the elevated surface temperatures that are caused by the warm water that had been carried there by ocean currents, discussed earlier. The El Nino also warms the East Pacific, South Atlantic, and West Indian Oceans through the atmosphere. Those portions of ocean basins are in turn cooled by the La Nina event that follows. But there is another portion of an ocean basin where the heat from the El Nino lingers; that is, the SSTs of that ocean basin are not impacted proportionately by the La Nina. And that ocean basin is the North Atlantic.

THE SST ANOMALIES OF THE NORTH ATLANTIC ALSO HAVE UPWARD STEP CHANGES AFTER SIGNIFICANT EL NINO EVENTS

The title of the linked post “There Are Also El Nino-Induced Step Changes In The North Atlantic” explains the content. And these SST anomaly step changes in the North Atlantic correlate well with the step changes in the East Indian and West Pacific Oceans, though they result from different aftereffects of the significant El Nino events. Refer to Figure 11. Keep in mind that the North Atlantic is also impacted by the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation.

http://i39.tinypic.com/15cocop.jpg
Figure 11

Assuming the North Atlantic represents approximately 15% of the global ocean surface area, then the East Indian and West Pacific plus the North Atlantic account for approximately 40% of the global ocean surface area. In the years that follow significant El Nino events, ocean currents and atmosphere-ocean processes “mix” the lingering elevated SST anomalies of the East Indian, West Pacific and North Atlantic Oceans with the remaining 60% of the global oceans. This causes the rise in global SST anomalies that presents itself as the divergence of Global SST anomalies from NINO3.4 SST anomalies, similar to that shown in Figure 2. That natural increase in SST anomalies is mistaken for warming due to anthropogenic causes.

THESE STEP CHANGES ALSO APPEAR IN GLOBAL LOWER TROPOSPHERE TEMPERATURE (TLT) ANOMALIES

The RSS MSU Time-Latitude Plots of Global TLT illustrate the transport of heat from the tropics toward the poles that result from significant El Nino events. This is illustrated and discussed in detail in my post “RSS MSU TLT Time-Latitude Plots…Show Climate Responses That Cannot Be Easily Illustrated With Time-Series Graphs Alone”. In that post, I combined Time-Series Graphs with the Time-Latitude Plots to show the effects of the significant El Nino events. But even without the time-series graphs, the 1997/98 El Nino is easy to find in Figure 12. It appears as an area of elevated tropical TLT anomalies that begins in 1998 and ends about a year later. Note that most of the heat that had been in the tropics is transported to the mid-to-high latitudes of the Northern Hemisphere, where it lingers through the 1998/99/00 La Nina. Regression analyses cannot capture that lingering aftereffect of an El Nino.
http://i42.tinypic.com/2hfukjm.jpg
Figure 12

The Time-Latitude Plots also show the impacts of the 1986/87/88 El Nino and limited TLT response to the 1982/83 El Nino. Refer to Figure 13. The 1982/83 El Nino was counteracted by the explosive eruption of El Chichon.
http://i41.tinypic.com/2vwzmdj.jpg
Figure 13

THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN SIGNIFICANT EL NINO EVENTS AND THE OTHERS

This post primarily discussed the processes and aftereffects of the significant El Nino events of 1986/87/88 and 1997/98, using the 1997/98 El Nino as reference in many of the discussions and links. There were two other significant El Nino events since 1970, the 1972/73 and 1982/83 El Nino events. The 1982/83 El Nino was counteracted by the eruption of El Chichon, which turned it into a nonentity. As illustrated in Figure 14, there are striking similarities between the multiyear periods that followed the 1972/73, 1986/87/88, and the 1997/98 El Nino. This was discussed in detail in my post “Similarities of the Multiyear Periods Following Significant El Nino Events Since 1970.” Are these lesser El Nino events simply aftereffects of the significant El Ninos?

http://i27.tinypic.com/2gt6k5t.png
Figure 14

CLOSING

Regression analyses do not account for the multiyear aftereffects of significant El Nino events and do not account for the resulting El Nino-induced step changes in SST, TLT, and Land Surface Temperatures.

Regression analyses falsely attribute the divergence of global temperature anomalies from NINO3.4 SST anomalies to anthropogenic causes when, in fact, the divergence is caused by the lingering aftereffects of significant El Nino events.

The additional rise in global temperatures after the significant El Nino events is in reality caused by subsurface waters from the Pacific Warm Pool being transported to the surface and remaining there after the El Nino event has ended.

SOURCES

Sources of the data used in the graphs are provided in the linked posts.

162 thoughts on “Why regression analysis fails to capture the aftereffects of El Nino events

  1. Bob Thirsk astronaut from Canada just made a startling revelation that the ice caps appear less than when he flew 12 years ago. Lets see, last time he flew was in June, this time he flies in July. Hmm, I suspect if he goes up in January he will notice that there has been a dramatic increase in ice at the North Pole so all will be well.

  2. I have a question about a possible hypothesis. I prefer to think of myself as a skeptic, but this keeps popping up in my mind, and I’m not sure if anyone has addressed it. I’d love it Bob could add his thoughts.

    Is increased warming over the past decades (there is a trend, even if not at the model rate) causing more frequent El Ninos and step ups? Are the El Ninos and the step ups the method by which AGW could potentially drive future warming?

  3. Are these lesser El Nino events simply aftereffects of the significant El Ninos?
    This is very important. So, if we only consider significant “El Ninos”, could we relate them to an outside source of forcing, like the big deep in clouds cover during 89-92?, and, secondly, is the energy of these events already exausted?

  4. Since the “critics” main concern was the fact that the de Freitas paper had nothing to do with climate trends, and therefore nothing to do with global warming, and de Freitas and co. have already admitted this much, I am not sure what the point of this is. Is Tisdale arguing that De Freitas and co. were wrong to recant their own results? (or at least their own press release?)

  5. If El Nino is a phenomenon that has been around for ages, then why would El Nino be producing any trend beyond the temporary? Should the multiyear step increases following El Nino not be compensated for by step decreases following La Nina episodes? If there is a trend, is it not more reasonable to assume that there is another forcing event causing the overall trend (sun/AGW/lack of volcanics), and this is why there is no ‘reset’ to zero trend following the events? Also, did TSI really increase in the way shown? I think you could make that argument for sunspots, but TSI? Really?

  6. Leif Svalgaard (08:34:17) : Yeah yeah, okay, but maybe we could focus on the point of this post rather than a figure in it’s illustration (one which is not the one we are intended to focus on, incidentally). It’s your hobby horse but not the point here.

  7. John: You asked, “Is increased warming over the past decades (there is a trend, even if not at the model rate) causing more frequent El Ninos and step ups? Are the El Ninos and the step ups the method by which AGW could potentially drive future warming?”

    There are two things that can be said:
    First, global warming occurs during periods when the amplitude and frequency of El Nino events exceeds those of La Nina events, and vice versa, or
    Second, the amplitude and frequency of El Nino events exceeds those of La Nina events during periods when global warming occurs, and vice versa.

    But since global temperatures lag ENSO by three to six months, it appears to be that ENSO drives global temperature.

  8. There was a gap in cloud cover, and considering a time lag of about 6 years…
    See:

  9. If one graph is wrong, it leads to speculation about the other graphs. We should give no quarter to sloppiness, or bad choices in graphs, anywhere it occurs, on any side of the debate.

  10. The TSI values appear to come from Lean and her “ilk” or possibly Wilson, Scafetta and their “ilk” ?

    Apparently not everyone agrees with Leif.

  11. There is no observational evidence for the upward trend of TSI shown in
    Figure 1. This reduces the solar long-term forcing to zero.

    Wow!

    Bob?

  12. Bob, I’ve read/watched it and it is very, very good but I would really appreciate if you could put a simpleton’s version too. I’m only an engineer and at 58 not as fast as I was on new subjects.

  13. Nogw: You wrote, “So, if we only consider significant ‘El Ninos’, could we relate them to an outside source of forcing, like the big deep in clouds cover during 89-92?, and, secondly, is the energy of these events already exausted?”

    There was a decrease in tropical Pacific total cloud amount prior to the 1997/98 El Nino. That’s about as far as I’ve looked into that part of it. Refer to my post “Did A Decrease In Total Cloud Amount Fuel The 1997/98 El Nino?”

    http://bobtisdale.blogspot.com/2009/04/did-decrease-in-total-cloud-amount-fuel.html

    Now if you scroll up to Figure 6 above, note how the warm water volume of the Western Pacific increased from 1995 to 1997. That increase helped fuel the super El Nino of 1997/98, but the additional volume of water only took two years to create. IMO, it could only have been caused by a shift in cloud cover.

    Last, is the energy exhausted? Nope. The warm water volume of the western Pacific is still elevated. Scroll down to the bottom of the following link:

    http://www.pmel.noaa.gov/tao/elnino/wwv/

  14. Bob, so is one of your main points that by measuring only SST, the periodic sequestering and release of heat into and from sub-surface waters is much like Enron-type accounting? It takes the insolation-caused heat off the books for a while and then dumps it back in at a time point no longer connected to when it first entered the Pacific Warm Pool? And by ‘connected’ I mean in the models, not in the actual ocean.

  15. Oulu neutron monitor (“interesting readings” about interesting times):
    1991: minus 26
    Today: plus 11
    Two deeps (high solar cycle 23 peaks):
    ~ Nov 2003: minus 16
    ~ Oct 2005 : minus 10

    Just meaningful.

  16. The Lean and Rind paper is a step in the right direction, in that they point to significant differences between the latitude/warming profiles predicted by GCM’s and the actual temperature record, thus implying that all is not right in model land.

    Unfortunately, Lean and Rind stick to the GISS party line on man made aerosols producing a nearly perfect 50% reduced scale mirror image of greenhouse gas forcing, thus offsetting most of the greenhouse warming over the last century. This maintains consistency with the IPCC and with the GCM parameters, and permits extreme climate sensitivity to remain at least plausible, in spite of the very modest warming observed over the past century. Without off-setting aerosols, the true climate sensitivity must be much lower, which means ocean heat lags also have to be much less, leading to even lower estimates of climate sensitivity. The whole GCM house of cards rests on the assumptions of strong aerosol effects and extremely slow ocean heat accumulation; take either away and the whole house of cards falls.

    Absent the rather obvious aerosol ‘fig leaf’ left in place by Lean and Rind, the maximum plausible climate sensitivity would drop by half or more, and the GMC’s would look pretty poorly endowed with hind cast expertise.

  17. Very insightful essay Bob. Is is safe to say that regression per se is not the issue, but rather framing the analysis so that the right hypothesis is tested? For example, a regression might show a link between El Nino events and time lagged recharge of the Pacific Warm Pool and so on.

  18. Bob, have you published these results in a peer reviewed journal or presented them at a scientific conference?

  19. Bob Tisdale (09:42:08) : Thanks for your answers. I meant with my last question to say that, in any case, we do not have as much energy saved as before the 97-98 big el nino.

  20. Bob Tisdale
    One of the things that I note is that there were more El Ninos during 1950-2006 [about 16 ] compared with 1900-1949 [about7] So they are coming more frequently[ used to be one very 4-7 years and now almost every 2-3 years . The number of La Ninas has gone from about 9 to 12 during the same two periods. Some of this increase may be due to better record keeping too.

  21. Another question: Supposing similar amounts of saved energy, what would allow for the release of this energy?, tides?

  22. I recently looked the ELNINO and LA NINA mix as follows

    DURING NEGATIVE OR COOL PDO AND AMO PHASE [1944-1976]

    Number of La Nina’s

    STRONG 2

    MODERATE 4

    WEAK 2

    ————————

    Total 8

    Number of El Nino’s

    STRONG 1

    MODERATE 3

    WEAK 4

    ———————-

    Total 8

    DURING POSITIVE OR WARM PDO AND AMO PHASE [1977—2007]

    Number of La Nina’s

    STRONG 2

    MODERATE 2

    WEAK 3

    ————————-

    Total 7

    Number of El Nino’s

    STRONG 3

    MODERATE 2

    WEAK 8

    ————————

    Total 13

    During negative or cool phases , there are more La Nina’s and more STRONG and MODERATE La Nina’s than during the positive phases. This contributes to more cold winters and colder years .

    During positive or warm phase , there are significantly more El Nino’s and more STRONG and WEAK El Nino’s. This is why there is more warming

  23. David: You asked, “Would the same be true of La Nina?”

    I would have to say no. During periods when the frequency and magnitude of La Nina events exceed El Nino events, there are also very few significant El Nino events. I’m speculating with the following question. Does this mean that without the additional heat distribution from El Ninos that the planet is capable of dissipating heat and therefore allowing global temperatures to remain flat or to decline?

  24. matt v: You wrote, “During negative or cool phases , there are more La Nina’s and more STRONG and MODERATE La Nina’s than during the positive phases. This contributes to more cold winters and colder years…”

    Have you got any graphs those changes in the seasonal temperatures per decadal ENSO mode? And I assume you’re talking about boreal winters.

    Also, refer to the following graph for long-term cycles in NINO3.4 SST anomalies:

  25. An FYI, I edited my intro at the top to make it clearer. There’s things here both for critics and supporters of the de Freitas et al paper.

    Bob, as usual, looks at these things with a fresh view, which is why I’ve included it here. Mostly though I want the topic of ocean heat driving climate to be thoroughly discussed.

    Pielke Sr. has been saying for quite some time now that ocean heat content is the key and has a new post today on the issue which I’ll be covering here.

  26. Layman Lurker: You asked, “Is is safe to say that regression per se is not the issue, but rather framing the analysis so that the right hypothesis is tested?”

    Let me rephrase the outcome of my post. It showed that attempting to isolate the causes of global warming without considering the multiyear aftereffects of significant El Nino events provides erroneous results. It was not a comment about regression analysis.

  27. ZenGeek: You asked, “Bob, have you published these results in a peer reviewed journal or presented them at a scientific conference?”

    No. And I have no intention of doing so. I’m a blogger.

  28. Gary: You asked, “Bob, so is one of your main points that by measuring only SST, the periodic sequestering and release of heat into and from sub-surface waters is much like Enron-type accounting? It takes the insolation-caused heat off the books for a while and then dumps it back in at a time point no longer connected to when it first entered the Pacific Warm Pool? And by ‘connected’ I mean in the models, not in the actual ocean.”

    The random frequency and magnitude of ENSO events and the storage of heat over time in the PWP would make it difficult to determine the actual timing of the heat input to the system. Then you’d have to determine how much of the warm water was returned to the PWP from the prior El Nino events and how much was distributed around the West Pacific and Indian Oceans, etc. Also, most GCMs cannot model past ENSO events; those that do do it poorly.

  29. Great material Bob.

    I’ve used the AMO and the south atlantic version of the AMO in regression models (I guess instead of the ENSO multi-year impact) and it seems to work very well.

    The AMO’s cycles are (mostly) independent of the ENSO’s cycles although there are certainly times when they both move together and/or the AMO lags behind the ENSO.

    Here is a regression model of Hadcrut3 Tropics (30N to 30S) back to 1871 and one has to say it works very well and explains the tropics temps better than anything else I have seen.

  30. -There is no observational evidence for the upward trend of TSI shown in Figure 1. This reduces the solar long-term forcing to zero.

    I believe even steady solar “forcing” (no zero!!)will manifest in accumulation of solar energy in the oceans. MWP was not caused by some extremely strong solar cycles; rather row of medium cycles, but not interrupted by solar minima: http://blog.sme.sk/blog/560/195013/solanki2.jpg
    The last four solar cycles still belong among the strongest ones, looking thousand years back.

    Back to the article, the conclusion that “new (anthropogenic) forcing” has appeared exactly after 1998, when CO2 increased from some 364 to 367ppm has not much sense.

  31. Obviously Indonesia and Australia interfere with equatorial currents but could they also inhibit trade-winds/ITCZ cu-nims?
    This would reduce evaporative cooling relative to the open ocean and allow heat build-up in the warm pool area.

  32. Bob Tisdale (10:55:29) :

    “Does this mean that without the additional heat distribution from El Ninos that the planet is capable of dissipating heat and therefore allowing global temperatures to remain flat or to decline?”

    The planet would radiate heat still, but only the heat available from the surface. So El Nino would be the ocean’s way of dumping out energy which then radiates away (gradually instead of steps) when the La Ninas are dominant, right?

  33. Lief,

    On another thread you mentioned: There was no ‘ramp up’ in the beginning of the 20th Century. TSI reaches the same value at every minimum.

    Does TSI reach the same maximum at every maximum? If subsequent maximums increase, doesn’t this drive up the average?

    Ed

  34. The most important contribution of this post to me is to tell that climatologists use regression analysis to extract the parameter values to the the forcings in their models. I assume that I could read more about it in the papers referenced. Finding out how to really derive their results in something that it is not public enough.

    Climate is a system that has a large number of energy flows between sources and sinks. Because each of them has different time scales feedbacks become very complicated. So, I am surprised that anyone even tries to use regression analysis to anything but coarse checks. I have been told that climatologist use the laws of physics to create their projections.

  35. Anyone know if the Pacific Warm Pool coincides with any of the major Pacific Equatorial Magnetic anomalies?

    Some postulate that these anomilies are caused by plate tectonic movement, which could provde the ocean wth geothermal energy. There also seems to be some link between the solar cycle and earthquakes/volcanic eruptions.

    May be a complete red-herring, but could explain the longevity of major El Nino events.

  36. lulo: Lots of questions. Let me start with the last:

    You asked, “Also, did TSI really increase in the way shown? I think you could make that argument for sunspots, but TSI? Really?”

    That graph is not mine. It’s from Lean and Rind. But the current understanding of long-term TSI variability, the Svalgaard and Preminger curves in the following link, show less variability in minimum TSI levels.

    I used that graph in my post “IPCC 20th Century Simulations Get a Boost from Outdated Solar Forcings”

    http://bobtisdale.blogspot.com/2009/03/ipcc-20th-century-simulations-get-boost.html

    The data is available from Leif Svalgaard’s website:

    http://www.leif.org/research/TSI%20(Reconstructions).xls

    You asked, “If El Nino is a phenomenon that has been around for ages, then why would El Nino be producing any trend beyond the temporary?”

    There are decadal changes in the frequency and magnitudes of El Nino and La Nina events. These make one more dominant than the other. These changes can be seen in NINO3.4 SST anomalies that have been smoothed with a decade-long (121-month) filter:

    Also there is variability in ENSO frequency and magnitudes over longer time spans. These can be seen in the longer term (300 year) reconstruction of NINO3 SST. Refer to the red curve here:

    The graph is from my post “Low Frequency ENSO Oscillations:

    http://bobtisdale.blogspot.com/2009/03/low-frequency-enso-oscillations.html

    You asked, “Should the multiyear step increases following El Nino not be compensated for by step decreases following La Nina episodes?”

    La Nina events are not El Nino events in reverse. Many consider a La Nina an overreaction following an El Nino as the Pacific tries to return to an ENSO-neutral state.

    You wrote, “If there is a trend, is it not more reasonable to assume that there is another forcing event causing the overall trend (sun/AGW/lack of volcanics)…”

    Using a simple way to integrate NINO3.4 SST anomalies (a running total), I’ve reproduced the global surface temperatures with natural variables. This may indicate that the variations in global temperatures simply reflect that the oceans integrate ENSO.

    http://bobtisdale.blogspot.com/2009/01/reproducing-global-temperature.html

    “…and this is why there is no ‘reset’ to zero trend following the events?”

    Please rephrase that part of your question.

  37. OT but….yes, I know!

    SUNSPOTLESS DAY UPDATE

    After the early month active sunspot region rotated off the visible disk, we have had 16 more days without a sunspot.

    The total number of sunspotless days this protracted solar minimum now stands at 158 days this year and 669 total. With one more day, 2009 enters the list of the top dozen most spotless years, and one more week, the top ten. See plot below as of July 26, 2009.

    From Icecap.us, I think it’s not a big guess to say that the author was Joseph D’Aleo

  38. Pamela Gray: You wrote, “If one graph is wrong, it leads to speculation about the other graphs. We should give no quarter to sloppiness, or bad choices in graphs, anywhere it occurs, on any side of the debate.”

    Is this directed at one of my graphs? If so which one? Or is this a comment on the Lean and Rind TSI curve?

  39. The earth surface is still FAR from equilibrium. Even if net aerosol forcings, GHG forcings, volcanic forcings and solar forcings were now constant, the ‘memory’ of the glacial ages is still stored, near the bottom of the thermocline in an enormous volume of cold water, and it will take many millennia until that difference dissipates.

    So the effect of each El Nino/La Nina cycle is to advect warm water both downward and eastward over a large area of the Pacific during the El Nino phase, and upwell cold water rather locally during the La Nina phase. Although this raises some warm sub-surface water from the PWP and heats the atmosphere for a few years, the long-term result HAS TO BE a net cooling of surface waters – and a small global COOLING trend, in proportion to the strength the strong back and forth equatorial surface winds of ENSO lead to enhanced mixing of surface and deep waters, with net cooling of the surface and warming, at depth.

    Unfortunately, the heat contents of the oceans at depth are not well monitored, and so this isn’t easy to ‘prove’. But the logic, though oversimplified, I believe is correct.

  40. Bruce Cunningham: In response the Leif’s comment, “There is no observational evidence for the upward trend of TSI shown in Figure 1. This reduces the solar long-term forcing to zero,” you wrote, “Wow! Bob?”

    The only TSI graph in this post is that furnished with Lean and Rind. It is Wang et al data. Why wow?

  41. Two issues causing me some puzzlement:

    1) Solar variation is small from peak to trough of each cycle and from cycle to cycle but I find it hard to accept that there is no effect from gradual changes in the power of solar cycles over hundreds of years such as from Little Ice Age to the so called Moderm Maximum. It may simply be an issue of gradually accumulating climate sensitivty to small effects over long periods of time but I cannot see how it can be denied in view of the observations of global air temperatures over such lengthy periods.

    2) Once it is accepted that oceanic phase changes from warming to cooling mode and back again have such profound effects on the air then cause and effect becomes critical. It does not seem to be accepted by either sceptics or AGW proponents that there could be oceanic variations in the rate of emission of energy to the air that are wholly independent of changes in the air. Why is that ? If it were accepted then it would logically resolve all the ‘chicken and egg’ confusion. The 30 year phase shifts in the Pacific do not correlate with ANY changes in the air but changes in the air correlate precisely with those phase shifts.

    Following on from those two simple issues:

    Combine the long term background solar changes with the multidecadal oceanic phase shifts and there is nothing left to explain.

    Even the ‘stepped’ pattern is dealt with because the oceanic variations will impose upward steps during a solar warming spell and downward steps during a solar cooling spell.

    It also fits the latitudinal shifts in the air circulation systems which always correlate with changes from a global net cooling trend to a global net warming trend and vice versa. History is replete with data on that.

    All the regional climate variability is correlated with the changing position of individual locations in relation to the main air circulation systems. During the warming spell the Sahara moved north, now it is moving south again.

    The day to day chaotic variability of weather is imposed on top of all the other changes and all these things are occurring simultaneously in a sort of Earthly ‘breathing’ process but in this case what is being breathed out at variable rates is solar energy stored in the oceans.

    Is it just so simple that no one can see it ?

  42. Ron de Haan (11:07:15) :

    While it is hot, it isn’t record hot (I’m in the middle to that heat wave area).
    The problem in my area is that the sensor went on the fritz at the Fire Weather Station 1 weekago and has been reading 5-8 degrees hotter than anything I can reproduce.
    Perfect setup.
    But what they don’t tell you is that next week it’s back to below normal temps, which is where our summer started.
    I fully expect the incessant winds to return, and continue on doing what they did here 100 to 130 years ago.
    The full story is likely to be a below normal summer with a Hot July.
    I don’t need to tell you what the official story will be.

  43. Nogw: You asked, “Another question: Supposing similar amounts of saved energy, what would allow for the release of this energy?, tides?”

    Not tides. The trade winds relax, which allows the water to slosh east. Your next question would logically be, what causes the trade winds to relax? And that’s one of Mother Nature’s best kept secrets.

  44. David: You wrote, “The planet would radiate heat still, but only the heat available from the surface. So El Nino would be the ocean’s way of dumping out energy which then radiates away (gradually instead of steps) when the La Ninas are dominant, right?”

    Correct, and since El Ninos aren’t significant in size during periods when La Ninas are dominant, they may not distribute a noticeable amount of warm water around the surfaces of the East Indian and West Pacific oceans. That appears to be where a good portion of the step changes come from.

  45. Bob Tisdale (13:34:06) :
    ..That´s where it comes Length of the Day and up above cycles some try to ignore…
    But meanwhile we have a forecast made by FAO regarding anchovy catches (which appear when water is cold)
    Years Peru Japanese Anchovy
    2005 6.7 2.5
    2010 8.6 3.0
    2015 10.5 3.1
    2020 8.5 2.6
    2025 6.8 2.0
    2030 4.6 1.0
    2035 2.6 0.7
    2040 2.4 0.4
    ftp://ftp.fao.org/docrep/fao/005/y2787e/

  46. Leif Svalgaard (08:34:17) :

    There is no observational evidence for the upward trend of TSI shown in Figure 1. This reduces the solar long-term forcing to zero.

    Only if you choose to ignore the contentions of the ACRIM team versus the PMOD team, and believe all the sunspot counts were too low in the past as you do.

    The science is not settled in this area.

  47. Bob Tisdale (13:34:06)

    Bob,

    Would you go with the proposition that the Trade Winds relax because the warmer waters (from an internal change within the oceans) speed up the hydrological cycle which changes the size and position of the major air circulation systems (slackening the Trade Winds) which in turn allows the warm water to slosh east ?

    Seems likely to me.

  48. Bob Tisdale (13:56:58) :

    So the step changes are really a result of the ocean dumping stored energy into the atmosphere, and La Nina does not have step changes because the heat is forced to leave the system the same way all other heat does, by going to space.

    Where does the ocean’s energy come from, and why does it collect in the PWP?

  49. Bob, I’ve raised elsewhere the issue of heat balance accounting in these ENSO explanations. Your theory is based on tracking warm water through various motions, passing heat to the atmosphere as it goes, causing warming. The problem with that is that the ocean must then show a loss of heat, while all the evidence over decadal periods is that it has been gaining. Now I note your explanation that the heat can be made up from increased SW downwelling following an El Nino (reduced clouds). If you look past the transfer processes to the global heat balance, this is a version of the view that global warming is a result of cloud variations changing albedo.

    Now this has been suggested before (eg Palle), but is not widely accepted. You are relying heavily on the paper by Pavlakis et al. But does not seem to be in the mainstream scientific literature. Since, as I say, you have to account for the fact that oceans have been gaining a lot of heat in recent decades, rather than losing it to the air, you need to establish a very substantial heat source. Do you have any better backing for that?

  50. Very well done Mr. Tisdale.

    Just imagine the difference that that isthmus of Panama made when it formed and blocked the flow between Pacific and Atlantic – almost within living memory, eh?

  51. Leif Svalgaard (08:34:17) :

    There is no observational evidence for the upward trend of TSI shown in Figure 1.

    Leif, could you describe for us what TSI is …. and what it is not?

    For my part, I understand TSI to be the measure of short wave radiation. Does it include UV and IR? Does it include the magnetic field’s energy? Does it include the solar wind?

    Is the effect of these other things upon the Earth’s atmospher well understood?

  52. If indeed the ENSO cycles are a major driver of climate, then wouldn’t ice core temperature proxies be off due to continental drifting changing the major currents in the oceans over long periods of time? Based on that would the past then be a bad representation of where climate is headed now?

  53. On the TSI issue, I think the more important number is the amount of energy reaching the sea surface.

    As another take, as a Scuba diver, I am very sensitive to water temperatures. Here is the local St. Lawrence River water temp http://www.ndbc.noaa.gov/station_page.php?station=aban6 – 69F. In 1998, it was 75F this time of year. This year, it probably won’t reach 70F :-(

  54. Robert Wood (15:50:29) :
    Leif, could you describe for us what TSI is …. and what it is not?

    I asked this question some time ago and the answer seemd to be it is the TOTAL solar irradiance from x rays to longwave IR and beyond.

    i.e. it is the total energy fromthe sun, excluding gravity and magnetic.

  55. One thing I don’t understand: The step-up graph seems to show that the effect of an el nino is permanent (otherwise successive steps wouldn’t get higher and higher). But if this is due to bringing deeper warm waters to the surface, there is a finite limit on how much warmer water is down there. Sooner or later it must all be brought up. Since the steps have been ramping up (at least until now), that steady state has not yet been achieved. What is the imbalance factor that produced the deviation from steady state? The AGWers will of course say it is CO2, but in fact it is more likely the rise out of the little ice age. However, whatever the cause, your results still seem to show that an imbalance exists, and would seem to be an analysis of the mechanism of the imbalance rather than an explanation that AGW is not the culprit. What have I overlooked?

  56. Tom in Florida (15:52:18) :

    “If indeed the ENSO cycles are a major driver of climate, then wouldn’t ice core temperature proxies be off due to continental drifting changing the major currents in the oceans over long periods of time? Based on that would the past then be a bad representation of where climate is headed now?”

    Depends on what period you are talking about. Trying to find out how climate responds to certain forcings by reconstructing from the past is probably not accurate. Too many differences to account for.

  57. David (16:15:05), I think radiative imbalance caused by increasing GHG is a major source. It explains why the OHC increases as the air warms. Postulating that ocean is the heat source for the air means that OHC should decrease as the air warms.

  58. Ron House: You wrote, “One thing I don’t understand: The step-up graph seems to show that the effect of an el nino is permanent (otherwise successive steps wouldn’t get higher and higher). But if this is due to bringing deeper warm waters to the surface, there is a finite limit on how much warmer water is down there. Sooner or later it must all be brought up.”

    Ron, I don’t know that I’d call the step changes in the East Indian and West Pacific Oceans permanent. After the upward steps, the SST anomalies are decreasing with time, but the temperatures haven’t decayed too much before the next significant El Nino bumps them higher.

    Also, the El Nino events are not bringing warm water from increasingly deeper levels of the Pacific Warm Pool. The Pacific Warm Pool varies in depth up to about 300 meters, along with varying in temperature and area. During a significant El Nino event, much of the warm water shifts east–sloshes is a good word for it. After the El Nino, much but not all of it sloshes back. But the warm water that hasn’t gone back is carried by surface currents to the East Indian and West Pacific Oceans. There it raises the surface temperature of the oceans in steps.

  59. Nick Stokes, you don’t get out much do you? The Sun warms the water, which warms the air. Do you have a problem with this?

    Are you suggesting the air absorbs more energy from the Sun than the oceans? Then the sky would be opaque, would it not, and the Oceans transparent? However, if you did ever get out, you would notice that the sky is transparent and the Oceans opaque.

    Next, when it gets warm, the oceans evaporate into the atmosphere; this is the transference of energy from the Oceans to the Atmosphere. As this warm air raises with its humidity, it cools, the water vapor condenses, releasing energy at higher levels into the atmosphere and then falls to the ground, cooling it with further evaporation. This is how energy is transported from the surface of the Earth to layers of the atmosphere where it is radiated out into space.

    OK That was the short one dimensional model. It gets more complex with the shifting of energy from the Equator to the Poles is brought into the decription.

    Stay behind after class and write 100 times: The Sun Warms The Oceans.

  60. Nick Stokes: You wrote, “The problem with that is that the ocean must then show a loss of heat…”

    As I presented to you in the past dicussion, the oceans do temporarily lose heat.

    Refering to the values on the spreadsheet I used to create that graph, from 1997.5 to 1998.5,
    Levitus et al dropped 0.9*10^22 Joules
    Domingues et al dropped 3.7*10^22 Joules
    Ishii & Kimoto dropped 0.1*10^22 Joules
    Wijjfels dropped 1.75*10^22 Joules

    They all showed a loss of heat. Some of the OHC reconstructions remained depressed longer than the others, but they all did drop.

  61. Robert Wood (18:08:22) : Yes, of course the Sun warms the oceans. Always has. And as Leif keeps wearily explaining, sunlight hasn’t changed. But the air has been getting warmer, and OHC has been increasing. The question is, where is the extra heat coming from?

    An answer floating around in these threads is from ENSO, ie the ocean. I’m pointing out that that doesn’t add up. I think it’s mostly from extra downwelling IR, from the greenhouse effect.

  62. rbateman (13:33:55) :

    Ron de Haan (11:07:15) :

    “While it is hot, it isn’t record hot (I’m in the middle to that heat wave area).
    The problem in my area is that the sensor went on the fritz at the Fire Weather Station 1 weekago and has been reading 5-8 degrees hotter than anything I can reproduce.
    Perfect setup.”

    Been the same way here on Vancouver island, I’ve been wondering were these hot areas are? I’ll admitt that it has been definitly warmer after two years(07/08) of almost non existent summers.
    MSM has really been pumping out the alarmism and their predicting 90 to 100 degrees, which I’d be surprised happening(though the big heat wave over a month ago was unexpected), they keep pumping out the fire warnings and catastrophic predicted temperatures. We’ll see.

    One constant in the last three years, is the cooling coming off the ocean. Inland it’s nice and warm, anywhere along the coast is sweater weather!

  63. Nick Stokes (18:24:54) : But the air has been getting warmer, and OHC has been increasing.
    Air volumetric heat capacity is 0.001297 J cm-1 K-1, Water is 4.186, 3227 times that of air.
    Would you warm your cold feet with a bottle filled with hot air or hot water?, which one do you choose?…Comprende?

  64. I read a few years back about the effects of marine Rossby waves that run East to West across the Pacific after the El Nino… They pull the the thermocline up as they move and bring warm water to the surface. This can be observed by the plankton blooms.

    Due to the waves extremely slow travel it takes years to cross the Pacific ocean. It would on occasions, harmonize with certain climate patterns and exacerbate or mitigate effects…..

    It probably bears looking at…..

    http://www.noc.soton.ac.uk/JRD/SAT/Rossby/Rossbyintro.html

  65. David: You wrote, “So the step changes are really a result of the ocean dumping stored energy into the atmosphere…”

    The step changes I presented in this post are caused by warm water that was once below the surface of the Pacific Warm Pool remaining on the surface after the El Nino. The amount of heat being pumped into the atmosphere by the El Nino is also being supplemented by the higher lingering SSTs, which help keep the TLT anomalies elevated.

    You continued, “and La Nina does not have step changes because the heat is forced to leave the system the same way all other heat does, by going to space.”

    A La Nina is not the reverse of an El Nino. During a La Nina, trade winds increase above “normal”, and this “exposes” more cool water in the eastern equatorial Pacific. It raises the thermocline there.

    Where does the ocean’s energy come from, and why does it collect in the PWP?

    The ocean’s energy ultimately comes from the sun, but in addition to changes in TSI, there are many things that cause it to vary: cloud amount is the primary one.

    Didn’t I discuss why it collects in the Pacific Warm Pool in the post? Nope, I just said it collects in the PWP. The Pacific trade winds “pile up the warm water” against Papua New Guinea and the Malay Archipelago.

  66. timetochooseagain (09:18:15) : Leif Svalgaard (08:34:17) : “Yeah yeah, okay, but maybe we could focus on the point of this post rather than a figure in it’s illustration (one which is not the one we are intended to focus on, incidentally). It’s your hobby horse but not the point here.”

    If you read carefully Figure 1 was one which the author of this abstract was proffering as being in error.

    Thus Leif was just pointing out flawed methodology [as he always does]…and pretty much stating that Figure 1 was even MORE flawed than first presented as already being in error. Get it?

    Hold your fire. He’s on your side.

    Chris
    Norfolk, VA

  67. Bob Tisdale,

    Nick Stokes made a good point regarding ocean heat.

    Actually the ’98 super El Nino caused a prompt reduction in ocean heat content, between 1998 and 1999, with a small recovery by 2000 and a subsequent large increase after that.

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

    If El Nino is the answer to surface temperature increases, because of a sea surface temperature after effect, what explains the subsequent increase in ocean heat. It must be due to a radiation forcing factor of some kind.
    From the solar irradience plot, it is clear that it is not the sun.

    It is true that simple regression analysis can miss a phenomenon. The El Nino index may not be a direct measurement of sea surface area x temperature. But how large an error is there?

    As you mentioned, the alternative to a simple regression analysis is a GCM.
    It may not be predictive but it is the best alternative tool available.

    It is also instructive that you say that higher surface temperature reduced the albedo over the ocean due to clouds. This is an argument for positive cloud feedback, which increases climate sensitivity. This agrees with the recent literature on this subject.

  68. “It is also instructive that you say that higher surface temperature reduced the albedo over the ocean due to clouds. This is an argument for positive cloud feedback, which increases climate sensitivity. This agrees with the recent literature on this subject.”

    Until you consider that higher SSTs are a result of El Nino phenomenon, and that El Nino can occur without extra heat additions. Therefore, the higher SST leads to less albedo from clouds, which causes more energy to enter the oceans, which causes a higher probability for ENSO, which causes higher SST, which causes….

    Let’s see what the next few years bring.

  69. timetochooseagain (09:18:15) :
    It’s your hobby horse but not the point here.
    If this is not the point here, what does Figure do here? What is the point of that?

    DR (09:29:08) :
    The TSI values appear to come from Lean […]
    Apparently not everyone agrees with Leif.

    When Lean has a ‘weak’ moment she concedes that “longer-term variations not yet detectable – do they occur?” see this slide from her talk at SORCE 2008:

    tallbloke (14:08:41) :
    believe all the sunspot counts were too low in the past as you do.
    I believe that the count at maxima were too low, the minimum counts are close to zero anyway and can’t be lower. This issue is about what the values were at minima.

    The science is not settled in this area.
    And so is not settled in favor of a rise either. This is what I said: there is no observational evidence for upwards trend.

    Robert Wood (15:50:29) :
    bill (16:51:03) :
    Robert Wood (15:50:29) :
    TSI is the TOTAL solar irradiance from x rays to longwave IR and beyond.
    i.e. it is the total energy from the sun, excluding gravity and magnetic.

    The ‘other’ forms of energy are 100,000 times smaller, so hardly counts. Put differently: TSI is the amount of energy that heats a body when exposed to raw solar radiation in space. This is also how TSI is measured: you simply let sunlight fall on your detector and measure how hot it gets, to see what happens when you let sunlight fall on the Earth in order to see how hot it gets.

  70. Lief,

    I was just browsing your TSI reconstructions and you are definitely the odd man out (at least as of today’s accounting, time will tell).

    What is the fundamental/primary difference between your reconstructions vs others that causes such a significant difference in overall slope since the LIA? All averaged peaks are very even (at least w/22yrs averaging).

    My apologies for being off topic…

    Ed

  71. I have worked on the percentage of hematite stained grains in sand of the Pacific coast, from the upper 2.5 cm sedimentary layer, and found a percentage of 6.25. This layer represents the last 30 years of climate, so this percentage of HSG reveals that the TSI is increasing since the last measurement of HSG percentage made by Dr. Bond and colleagues. I cannot determine how the Sun is doing this, but the proportion of HSG fluctuates proportionally with the TSI fluctuations. The formula for obtaining the trend is as follows:

    %HSG = 2.052*Ln (TSI) + 1361.5

    I must tell you that I obtained directly the proportion of HSG from sand taken from two places of the Pacific coast.

  72. Bob Tisdale (13:34:06) You wrote: what causes the trade winds to relax? And that’s one of Mother Nature’s best kept secrets.

    Stephen Wilde (14:10:43) : You wrote:
    “Would you go with the proposition that the Trade Winds relax because the warmer waters (from an internal change within the oceans) speed up the hydrological cycle which changes the size and position of the major air circulation systems (slackening the Trade Winds) which in turn allows the warm water to slosh east ?”

    Stephen, I got lost in your question. I was thinking that if the hydrological cycle speeded up the Trade Winds would have to strengthen. Yet, you came to the opposite conclusion. I trust you and Bob T. will have another go at this issue and clear up my confusion. Thanks, John

  73. Ed (21:07:53) :
    I was just browsing your TSI reconstructions and you are definitely the odd man out
    Not entirely, Preminger et al. agree closely with me. They use sunspot and facular areas rather than the uncertain counts.

    What is the fundamental/primary difference between your reconstructions vs others that causes such a significant difference in overall slope since the LIA? All averaged peaks are very even (at least w/22yrs averaging).
    There are two important differences:
    1) almost all the others are fitted to reproduce a doubling of the Sun’s open magnetic flux the past 100 years. This determines TSI at minimum. Work by several people [including the ones that proposed such a doubling in the first place] have now shown that said doubling did not happen and that the Sun’s magnetic field is now back to where it was 108 years ago.
    2) almost all the others assume that the sunspot number is a measure of the ‘extra’ TSI at solar maximum. Lots of evidence shows that the sunspot number was too low before 1945 and again even more before ~1880. This influences the maximum values of TSI. You can see the effect clearly here: http://s5.tinypic.com/mmuclk.jpg if you compare the 11-year wiggles early on with the current wiggles. Note how small they were before ~1950. This shows the second effect.

    My apologies for being off topic…

    Ed

  74. Ed (21:07:53) :
    I was just browsing your TSI reconstructions and you are definitely the odd man out

    Not entirely, Preminger et al. agree closely with me. They use sunspot and facular areas rather than the uncertain counts.

    What is the fundamental/primary difference between your reconstructions vs others that causes such a significant difference in overall slope since the LIA? All averaged peaks are very even (at least w/22yrs averaging).

    There are two important differences:
    1) almost all the others are fitted to reproduce a doubling of the Sun’s open magnetic flux the past 100 years. This determines TSI at minimum. Work by several people [including the ones that proposed such a doubling in the first place] have now shown that said doubling did not happen and that the Sun’s magnetic field is now back to where it was 108 years ago.
    2) almost all the others assume that the sunspot number is a measure of the ‘extra’ TSI at solar maximum. Lots of evidence shows that the sunspot number was too low before 1945 and again even more before ~1880. This influences the maximum values of TSI. You can see the effect clearly here: http://s5.tinypic.com/mmuclk.jpg if you compare the 11-year wiggles early on with the current wiggles. Note how small they were before ~1950. This shows the second effect.

  75. Leif Svalgaard (21:37:23) :

    Nasif Nahle (21:20:40) :
    %HSG = 2.052*Ln (TSI) + 1361.5
    is nonsense. look at it yourself, and correct it.

    Yes, I made a mistake, but it is not “nonsense”:

    TSI= 2.052*Ln (%HSG) + 1361.5

    Thanks for the observation, Leif.

  76. Leif Svalgaard (21:41:49) :

    Ed (21:07:53) :
    I was just browsing your TSI reconstructions and you are definitely the odd man out

    Not entirely, Preminger et al. agree closely with me. They use sunspot and facular areas rather than the uncertain counts.

    What is the fundamental/primary difference between your reconstructions vs others that causes such a significant difference in overall slope since the LIA? All averaged peaks are very even (at least w/22yrs averaging).

    There are two important differences:

    There are two Lean’s databases released in 2001. One of them is similar to your reconstruction, i.e. the reconstruction where Lean took only 11 years cycle of sunspots number, without considering proxies. The other one, which is quite disimilar with respect to your reconstruction was based on sunspots number and proxies.

  77. Nasif Nahle (22:02:14) :
    Yes, I made a mistake, but it is not “nonsense”:
    TSI= 2.052*Ln (%HSG) + 1361.5

    As stated it was. And even in its corrected form there is a fundamental problem. What would TSI be if %HSG was zero?

  78. Bob,
    Your discussion was food for thought. El Nino is clearly a cooling event in that the global system loses stored energy into space at a higher rate than “normal” (whatever that is) while El Nina is a heat storage event for the opposite reason. Has the heat balance for these events been calculated over their known history ? Do the last 100 years of the oscillation produce a net storage, a net loss, or no change in the heat content of the global system?

  79. Nasif Nahle (22:32:40) :
    The other one, which is quite disimilar with respect to your reconstruction was based on sunspots number and proxies.
    She knows now that that one was no good.

  80. Leif Svalgaard (22:54:25) :

    Nasif Nahle (22:02:14) :
    Yes, I made a mistake, but it is not “nonsense”:
    TSI= 2.052*Ln (%HSG) + 1361.5
    As stated it was. And even in its corrected form there is a fundamental problem. What would TSI be if %HSG was zero?

    We (a mathematician and I) have considered HSG = 0% into the formula used for extrapolations. 0 is not a valid entry for the second term (Ln (%HSG), so it is considered equal to 0. Consequently, the result would be 1361.5 W/m^2, over the corresponding maximum or minimum fluctuation. Anyway, I think there is not a sedimentary layer dragged by ice drift absent of stained grains, although it could be possible in some zones of the planet.

  81. Nasif Nahle (23:12:16) :
    We (a mathematician and I) have considered HSG = 0% into the formula used for extrapolations. 0 is not a valid entry for the second term (Ln (%HSG), so it is considered equal to 0. Consequently, the result would be 1361.5 W/m^2, over the corresponding maximum or minimum fluctuation.

    And if %HSG was 0.1 or 0.0001, those are clearly valid… Then TSI would be a lot higher than 1361.5… It is the very form with a logarithm that is not right.

  82. Regression analysis is a flexible tool. The problem is not with regression analysis, but rather with its application.

    Maybe some of the carpenters need retraining.

  83. John F. Hultquist (21:30:54)

    A strengthening of the hydrological cycle globally does not result in stronger winds everywhere although it does move the main air circulation systems poleward and changes their relative sizes and intensities.

    The initial stage is an expansion of the equatorial air masses which results in larger equatorial areas of warm air and a displacement of the Trade Winds so that they become weaker in the regions where they were initially situated.

    That then allows the warm water to ‘slosh’ eastwards.

  84. Joe: You asked, “Has the heat balance for these events been calculated over their known history ?”

    I have not run across any attempt to calculate it.

  85. Eric: You wrote, “If El Nino is the answer to surface temperature increases, because of a sea surface temperature after effect, what explains the subsequent increase in ocean heat. It must be due to a radiation forcing factor of some kind. From the solar irradience plot, it is clear that it is not the sun.”

    As Nick also mentions, cloud cover may be the driver of OHC. Unfortunately, cloud cover data is the subject of lots of debate. And then there’s the supposition about greenhouse gases but if they had any measureable effect, then one would expect that the trend in global SST for the later 20th century warming period would be higher than the early period. But they’re nearly identical. Refer to:

    http://bobtisdale.blogspot.com/2009/03/has-global-warming-accelerated.html

    You wrote, “The El Nino index may not be a direct measurement of sea surface area x temperature. But how large an error is there?”

    I can’t answer your question. I don’t keep track of it. The error would increase the further back in time you went. Prior to 1914 and the opening of the Panama Canal, the SST measurements in the tropical Pacific were very sparse. The ship-based data is being studied again for the 1940s through 1960s due to the discontinuity in 1945. But keep in mind that, more recently, the tropical Pacific is widely studied. TOA Project buoys have been in place since the late 1970s. The OI.v2 SST data is satellite based and it’s been available since November 1981. Most of the bias correction they perform on satellite based SST data is at high latitudes.

    You wrote, “As you mentioned, the alternative to a simple regression analysis is a GCM.
    It may not be predictive but it is the best alternative tool available.”

    Did I mention that? Very few GCMs model ENSO, and those that do model it don’t model it well.

  86. Stephen Wilde: You asked, “Would you go with the proposition that the Trade Winds relax because the warmer waters (from an internal change within the oceans) speed up the hydrological cycle which changes the size and position of the major air circulation systems (slackening the Trade Winds) which in turn allows the warm water to slosh east ?”

    The question I have is, what “internal change within the oceans?”

  87. This is an extract from the initial post:

    “SEA SURFACES OUTSIDE OF THE EQUATORIAL PACIFIC ARE ALSO WARMED BY THE EL NINO THROUGH THE EXCHANGE OF HEAT FROM THE ATMOSPHERE TO THE OCEAN

    During the El Nino events, heat from the surplus of warm surface waters along the equatorial Pacific is pumped into the atmosphere where it is carried around the globe. This raises land surface temperatures, (not illustrated). And the higher atmospheric temperature also raises the surface temperature of the oceans outside of the tropical Pacific. These increases in SST can be seen in Video 4 “Global SST Anomaly Animation 1996 to 2009”. Video 4 is from my post “Animations of Weekly SST Anomaly Maps from January 3, 1996 to July 1, 2009.” There is no narrative with Video 4. The description is included in the post.


    Video 4

    The exchange of heat from atmosphere to ocean in the East Indian and West Pacific Oceans adds to the elevated surface temperatures that are caused by the warm water that had been carried there by ocean currents, discussed earlier.”

    I’m puzzled by the assumption that there is any significant transfer of energy from air to water in the face of increased evaporation, radiation, convection and conduction from surface to space as a result of the increased temperature differential between surface and space.

    It doesn’t seem necessary to include the concept in any event. The simple progression of warm water around the globe is enough to validate the thesis without the embellishment of an air to water flow of energy.

    Nor am I aware of any serious attempt to seperate out and quantify any waming effect of air on water outside the tropics to differentiate it out from the warming effect of water on the air above around the entire globe. Usually the cooler water just cools the air for no significant increase in water temperature and such energy as is extracted from the air is just lost immediately by an increase in the rate of evaporation.

    How does energy in the air get past the thermal barrier of the evaporation process in order to warm the water ?

  88. Nick Stokes: You wrote, “Postulating that ocean is the heat source for the air means that OHC should decrease as the air warms.”

    It does from year to year, as discussed earlier. But over decadal periods, if El Nino events are releasing the build-up of tropical Pacific heat, shouldn’t the frequency and magnitude of El Nino events exceed La Nina events while OHC is rising and vice versa? From 1955 to 1975, OHC declined, and the frequency and magnitude of La Nina events were higher then El Ninos. And from 1975 to 2003, OHC rose, and the frequency and magnitude of El Nino events were greater than La Ninas. In the following graph, I didn’t want to be accused of selecting an OHC dataset that agreed with that, so I averaged the four that are available.

  89. Bob Tisdale (03:57:08)

    “The question I have is, what “internal change within the oceans?”

    We observe approximately 30 year phase shifts in the Pacific ocean when the rate of energy release to the air alters.

    We observe similar phase shifts in other oceans.

    How likely is it that such a large constantly moving liquid with it’s own internal circulations will always maintain a stable rate of energy release to the air above it ?

    No one has so far suggested changes outside the oceans that correlate at all to 30 year intervals.

    The logic demands that one at least considers the possibility that those changes are internal to the oceans or at least caused by some factor which does not involve the air.

    The interesting feature of that proposal is that once the rate of energy release from the oceans is taken to be the primary climate driver for the air then a great number of other observed phenomena fall into place and the problems of ‘chicken and egg’ largely disappear.

  90. Bob Tisdale (04:51:47)

    It does not need to follow that a spell of predominant El Nino is a reflection of higher ocean heat content and a spell of predominant La Nina a reflection of lower ocean heat content. We are back to the ‘chicken and egg’ problem yet again.

    The background energy flow through the entire Earth system is sun to sea to air to space. Put the ocean in it’s rightful driving seat and the observations and logic both follow.

    The oceans sometimes slow down the transmission of energy through the entire system (La Nina) when energy is denied to the air which cools but ocean heat content will increase UNLESS the solar input is too weak to take advantage of the reduced rate of energy release from the oceans (as at present).

    The oceans sometimes speed up the transmission of energy through the entire system (El Nino) when energy is released faster to the air which warms but ocean heat content will decrease UNLESS the solar input is large enough to more than offset the increased rate of energy loss to the air (as from 1975 to 2000).

    Often solar output and ocean rates of energy release are out of phase. We are now in the position where a period of both being positive has been quickly followed by a period where both are negative. A good time to observe the difference. When both are in phase the fastest temperature trends will be observed whether upwards or downwards.

    From 1950 to 1975 they were out of phase so a strong sun and negative oceans just gave a shallow temperature trend (downwards as it happened).

    Time to watch and learn but so far my suggestion is being validated. We shall see.

  91. Where does Nick get all this heat from that the ocean is supposed to have swallowed. Is it from the SST data obtained from throwing a bucket over the side, which AFAIK is still in abeyance because the bucket to engine inlet correction was discovered to be flawed – by Jones indeed (after McI). Or is he referring back to the land index which has 0.4 of the trend coming straight from seemingly bogus TOBS adjustments.

    As far as I can tell (via Pielke snr), the only reliable SST measurement is from the ARGOS buoys and they have shown flat trends (or even cooling) for 6 years. No doubt there was some heating before that via the natural cyclic effect that De Freitas discussed and we are therefore starting the down cycle. If we don’t go down then that’s the point to say maybe there is missing heat. At this point the only missing heat is that which we are supposed to have experienced by GHG warming and which is supposed to be hiding like a bogeyman in the currently non-warming sea.

    Meanwhile BigCityLib, try reading the second paragraph of De Frietas’s comment. And try to realize that determining a nonlinear cycle and determining a linear trend are two different things. If you are still on the upward part of the cycle, then yes there is a linear trend there but it’s utterly pointless to measure it until the postulated cycle is over because the linear trend will then disappear. Clear?

  92. http://www.cru.uea.ac.uk/cru/info/warming/

    http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/analysis_monitoring/ensostuff/ensoyears.shtml

    If one goes back 100 years in our global climate history, The common factors present during the warmer than normal global temperature periods like, 1860-1880, 1926-1944, 1995-2008 is, the presence of a warm AMO, a warm PDO/ENSO, the presence of El Ninos. The opposite happens [we have La Nina’s and cool AMO and PDO/ENSO] when we have cold periods like 1855-1865, 1900-1926, 1964-1976. The one factor that seems to have changed is that since about 1976 , the frequency of La Ninas and El Ninos seemed to have changed for more frequent El Ninos and less frequent La Ninas , which results in gradually higher temperature build up and the warmer than previous global warming periods like 1995-2008 since the warming exceeds the cooling. I think the answer lies in research, why the frequency change in LA NINAS and El NINOS?

    1943-1975

    # OF EL NINO’S 6
    # OF LA NINA’S 9

    1976-2008

    # OF EL NINOS 10
    # OF LA NINA’S 5

  93. A new paper by Bo Nordell and Bruno Gervet of:
    Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering
    Luleå University of Technology
    SE-97187 Luleå, Sweden

    indicates that global temperature change can be attributed to human heat output and not CO2 emissions. I would like comments on this theory as I do not think it will hold true.

    Here is the abstract:

    Abstract: The increase in the global air temperature is an inadequate measure
    of global warming, which should rather be considered in terms of energy. The
    ongoing global warming means that heat has been accumulating since 1880 in
    the air, ground and water. Before explaining this warming by external heat
    sources, the net heat emissions on Earth must be considered. Such emissions
    from, e.g., the global use of fossil fuels and nuclear power, must contribute to
    global warming. The aim of this study is to compare globally accumulated and
    emitted heat. The heat accumulated in the air corresponds to 6.6% of global
    warming, while the remaining heat is stored in the ground (31.5%), melting of
    ice (33.4%) and sea water (28.5%). It was found that the net heat emissions
    from 1880–2000 correspond to 74% of the accumulated heat, i.e., global
    warming, during the same period. The missing heat (26%) must have other
    causes, e.g., the greenhouse effect, the natural variations in the climate and/or
    the underestimation of net heat emissions. Most measures that have already
    been taken to combat global warming are also beneficial for the current
    explanation, though nuclear power is not a solution to (but part of) the problem.
    Keywords: global warming; heat accumulation; heat emission; thermal
    pollution.
    Reference to this paper should be made as follows: Nordell, B. and Gervet, B.
    (2009) ‘Global energy accumulation and net heat emission’, Int. J. Global
    Warming, Vol. 1, Nos. 1/2/3, pp.378–391.

  94. David (20:19:14) : ***“It is also instructive that you say that higher surface temperature reduced the albedo over the ocean due to clouds. This is an argument for positive cloud feedback, which increases climate sensitivity. This agrees with the recent literature on this subject.”Until you consider that higher SSTs are a result of El Nino phenomenon, and that El Nino can occur without extra heat additions. Therefore, the higher SST leads to less albedo from clouds, which causes more energy to enter the oceans, which causes a higher probability for ENSO, which causes higher SST, which causes….
    Let’s see what the next few years bring. ***

    It seems to me losing cloud cover would be a double-edged sword. It would allow more sunlight in during the day, but the lack of clouds would also allow more LW radiation to escape, no??

  95. In any strict physical sense, ENSO is not a driver of the climate system, but simply a response mode. The ultimate energy-producing driver of the climate system is thermalization of solar radiation. Thermalization takes place largely near the surface, with minor contributions from cloud tops and stratospheric ozone. Insolation (i.e., solar radiation reaching the surface) is invariably regulated by clouds. Unlike the situation on land, it penetrates the oceans many tens of meters, and the heated water is mixed downward by turbulent processes. ENSO is but one mode for redistributing that heat.

    Taken as whole on an annual basis, the oceans shed more heat through evaporation than through LW radiation. LW backradiation from the atmosphere is totally absorbed well within the top millimeter of water, where the energy goes mostly into the latent heat of evaporation. GHGs cannot heat the deeper oceans. On the contrary, the oceans heat the atmosphere from below. It is only in that limited sense that the enigmatic heat-purging phenomenon that we call ENSO can be said to drive surface temperatures. Even in the tropics, however, the coherence of surface temperature with the ENSO index is limited to certain characteristic frequency bands. The most powerful climatic oscillations are much lower in frequency than those of ENSO. Climate changes have different physical foundations.

  96. JamesG: You wrote, “As far as I can tell (via Pielke snr), the only reliable SST measurement is from the ARGOS buoys and they have shown flat trends (or even cooling) for 6 years.”

    Are you sure you don’t mean OHC instead of SST. ARGOS buoys measure temperature at varying depths over a multiday cycle, I believe 10 days. So they’d be measuring SST once every 10 days. Satellites are measuring it daily.

  97. Dr. Robert Freerks (08:46:42):

    Without passing any judgement on the paper whose abstract you present, I dare say that heat generated by human activity is a significant factor not in global temperatures, per se, but in the temperatures recorded in population centers. Unfortunately that’s where most of the long-term temperature records come from. Call it an anthropogenic effect upon climate data.

  98. Bob,
    This sort of analysis is all about numbers. I accept the observation that surface temperature effects on a portion of the ocean not covered by the El Nino index may have been made warmer by El Nino. In a complex situation like climate, no simple linear regression will be totally accurate.

    Any quantitative analysis regarding climate will have errors. Anyone who reads about this subject knows that. You have found a source of error.
    Your analysis begs the question, how much is the error and how much of the variation of climate does it explain? How far off does it make the Lean and Rind paper.
    There is also the question of how do the frequency and intensity of El Nino events depend on radiative forcing. Without mechanistic studies one can’t say anything about cause and effect. I haven’t read the Rind and Lean paper, but I know that regression analysis is not a good way to analyse cause and effect. GCM’s are a better way to do that, although their predictive properties for actual situations are not good for a number of reasons – chaotic phenomena, and lack of accuracy in specification of empirical parameters involving clouds, aerosals etc.. There are GCM’s that predict phenomena like El Nino but the data on frequency and intensity versus forcing seems all over the place.

  99. Stephen Wilde (01:16:41) :
    “ . . . an expansion of the equatorial air masses . . . results in larger equatorial areas of warm air and a displacement of the Trade Winds so that they become weaker in the regions where they were initially situated.”

    This makes sense.

  100. Bob Tisdale: Thank-you for taking the time to respond to my questions. You answered my last question with your response to my second last question (which I saw as the same).

  101. Bob Tisdale (09:28:05)

    If you are not already aware of any such data and graphs then they do not exist and I have imagined those that I have seen.

    Suffice it to say that my comments are wholly consistent with the data and graphs in the article from you at the top of this thread.

  102. matt v: You wrote, “I think the answer lies in research, why the frequency change in LA NINAS and El NINOS?”

    You need to look at the complete dataset, the analog signal, not just the frequency of El Nino and La Nana events, which is a digital rendition with qualifiers. Those El Nino and La Nina events that you’re counting are also changing in amplitude and the NINO3.4 SST anomalies between those events that you’re counting also change. An analogy: Imagine your favorite song and that awful bleat of the Emergency Broadcast System. Now imagine that someone has programmed the bleat to sound each time your favorite song rises above a certain note, one that doesn’t occur too often. If you were only listening to the random bleats, you’d have a different impression of your favorite song.

  103. eric: Regarding your 10:14:07 comment, if and when GCMs are able to recreate the many facets of ENSO and, from that, determine its impacts on radiative forcing, on water vapor, on OHC, on SST, on TLT, etc., and how ENSO provides feedback to itself, they will have value. Until that time, they do not.

    Regards

  104. Leif Svalgaard (23:28:30) :

    Nasif Nahle (23:12:16) :
    We (a mathematician and I) have considered HSG = 0% into the formula used for extrapolations. 0 is not a valid entry for the second term (Ln (%HSG), so it is considered equal to 0. Consequently, the result would be 1361.5 W/m^2, over the corresponding maximum or minimum fluctuation.

    And if %HSG was 0.1 or 0.0001, those are clearly valid… Then TSI would be a lot higher than 1361.5… It is the very form with a logarithm that is not right.

    We have an input of + or – {0.3 W/m^2}, so the algorithm is correct. It is coherent with a logarithmic trend in the real nature, so it is right.

    See Leif, I have not gotten mathematical madness; not yet. Nature is my best informant and mathematics is my best tool for conceptualizing what I observe in nature.

  105. Stephen Wilde: You wrote, “Suffice it to say that my comments are wholly consistent with the data and graphs in the article from you at the top of this thread.”

    But my request see data and graphs was in response to your earlier comment in which you included, “The oceans sometimes slow down the transmission of energy through the entire system (La Nina) when energy is denied to the air which cools but ocean heat content will increase UNLESS the solar input is too weak to take advantage of the reduced rate of energy release from the oceans (as at present).”

    I provided nothing in my post that could be used to document “UNLESS the solar input is too weak to take advantage of the reduced rate of energy release from the oceans (as at present),” which is why I asked.

    Has solar radiation dropped below a threshold? If so, at what level is that threshold? Those are questions that pop up in my head.

  106. Leif Svalgaard (23:28:30) :

    And if %HSG was 0.1 or 0.0001, those are clearly valid… Then TSI would be a lot higher than 1361.5… It is the very form with a logarithm that is not right.

    By the way, it is not a lot higher than 1361.5, but slightly lower because the logarithmic output is negative for numbers smaller than 0. The final figure from 0.1% is 1356.8, and from 0.0001% is 1342.6.

  107. John S.: Thanks for your 08:57:09 comment. A thought. You wrote, “In any strict physical sense, ENSO is not a driver of the climate system, but simply a response mode. The ultimate energy-producing driver of the climate system is thermalization of solar radiation. Thermalization takes place largely near the surface, with minor contributions from cloud tops and stratospheric ozone. Insolation (i.e., solar radiation reaching the surface) is invariably regulated by clouds.”

    Behind volcanic eruptions, ENSO has the greatest impact on global climate. ENSO events change atmospheric circulation patterns and cause variations in cloud cover and amount. They change the geographic location of clouds via shifts in the jet stream. If insolation is regulated by clouds, and if clouds are impacted in many ways by ENSO, then ENSO has a significant effect on the thermalization of solar radiation and is more than a simple response mode.

    You wrote, “GHGs cannot heat the deeper oceans.”

    I’ve read that LW radiation may only heat the skin, but through mixing caused by waves and wind stress turbulence, it would warm the mixed layer of the ocean. This in turn would affect the temperature gradient between the mixed layer and skin, dampening the outward flow of heat from the ocean to the atmosphere. Yet I’ve never been able to find any quantification of those effects. Are they minute? Are they significant? Have you seen a study that determines those effects of LW radiation?

  108. Bob Tisdale (12:38:00)

    Bob, thanks for narrowing down your request.

    First of all let me say that your work is thorough, logical and consistent with observations. I have no issue with anything you say having resolved my earlier confusing of your work with someone else’s which we dealt with in another thread.

    However you accept that the cause of the ENSO cycle is one of nature’s mysteries. My humble effort is to try and go one step beyond your work (and that of everyone else, it seems) and try to address that causation.

    Moreover I try to fit my view of that causation into an overarching idea about what is really going on between the arrival of raw solar shortwave into the Earth system and the departure of ‘processed’ radiated longwave from the Earth system.

    My various articles at climaterealists.com go into much more detail and I accept that over time those articles have become complex and difficult to assimilate quickly if one is accustomed to standard climatology but I can aver that it all remains internally consistent, complies with basic physics and fits real world observations.

    Now, returning to the specific point, there is no data and there are no graphics that support what I have said. It is a new idea.

    However, allocating an independent (of air) variation in the energy flow from oceans to air explains so much about real world observations and resolves the constant confusion about what causes what (the chicken and egg problem).

    Just look at the ENSO issue in isolation for the moment. Does the air drive the clouds, do the clouds drive the oceans, does solar shortwave drive either as the result of the other ? It’s a mess.

    If the oceans themselves without any intervention from the air are capable of changing the rate of energy transfer from ocean to air on multidecadal timescales then all those issues go away and it still fits basic physics and real world observations.

    The El Nino and La Nina phenomena both occur on or near the equator. The warmth of the equatorial air masses is key. If the oceans change the rate at which they release energy to the air then that is where one first sees the effects.

    So, if the equatorial oceans increase the rate of emission of energy the equatorial air masses expand and the position of the Trade Winds (and everything else in the air) moves poleward. That reduces the effect of those winds on the equatorial waters. In the area where ENSO occurs the Trade Winds slacken even if they become more powerful elsewhere. In the absence of the stronger Trade Winds in the relevant area the warm surface water ‘sloshes’ as you put it and pumps energy into the air to warm the air (El Nino).

    If the equatorial oceans decrease the rate of emission of energy the equatorial air masses contract and the position of the Trade Winds (and everything else in the air) moves equatorward. That increases the effect of those winds on the equatorial waters. In the area where ENSO occurs the Trade Winds strengthen even though they become less powerful elsewhere. In the presence of the stronger Trade Winds in the relevant area the warm surface water fails to ‘slosh’ as you put it and declines to pump energy into the air (La Nina).

    The thing is that that change in the rate of energy emission from the oceans changes everything else as well including the overall speed of the hydrological cycle, the size and positions of all the air circulation systems globally, the latitudinal speed and positions of all the jet streams and everything else to do with climate and weather.

    Then one moves on to the implications of an infinitely variable speed for the hydrological cycle and an infinite and rapid range of responses in the air for varying the speed of energy transfer from surface to space.

    Historically those processes have always prevented changes in the air from destabilising the climate system. We have had severe volcanicity, hugely greater CO2 levels, massive continental movements, Milankovitch cycles causing ice ages and apparently even a snowball Earth. Yet we still have liquid oceans – why and how ?

    The humidity of the Earth remains stable despite warming and cooling of oceans and large fluctuations in evaporation from the oceans. The hydrological cycle and the air circulation systems act rapidly on a day by day basis to ensure it. Water vapour is a greenhouse gas and is dealt with by changes in the speed of the hydrological cycle and the latitudinal movement of the air circulation systems. The radiative effects of all greenhouse gases are dealt with by the same mechanisms because the air cannot warm the oceans. Only the sun can do that.

    So you see I have accommodated all that you say, without inconsistency, into an overall description of the Earth’s climate just by asserting that the rate of emission of energy from the oceans is variable on multidecadal time scale for reasons yet to be determined.

    It works equally well for the Thermostat theory in relation to tropical convection and every other climate theory that I have read about except for those like AGW and some sceptic positions which postulate the air somehow controlling the oceans (a complete non starter because of the evaporation process).

    It even fits everything we see and know about standard climatology in terms of the established air circulation patterns and their movements.

    Just give proper weight to the oceans as the primary multidecadal climate driver, acknowledge the power and purpose of changes in the speed of the hydrological cycle combined with latitudinal shifts in the air circulation systems.

    I’ve been searching for something that does not fit. Where is it ?

  109. Bob, I missed one point.

    There is always a balance between solar shortwave input to the oceans and the release of that energy by the oceans to the air.

    I say that both components are variable but as regards the oceans that is news to many and there are those who hold that solar variation is negligible as well. However slight the variability might be the Earth is self evidently sensitive to it according to well documanted historical data.

    The point of balance (the threshold as you describe it) is always changing and the only way to establish the current position is to observe whether the air around the globe is warming or cooling.

    I have said elsewhere trhat the first indication we get that a change in temperature trend is in progress is a latitudinal shift in the air circulation systems.

  110. Bob Tisdale (13:27:45)

    Ah, the ocean skin issue, Bob said:

    “I’ve read that LW radiation may only heat the skin, but through mixing caused by waves and wind stress turbulence, it would warm the mixed layer of the ocean. This in turn would affect the temperature gradient between the mixed layer and skin, dampening the outward flow of heat from the ocean to the atmosphere. Yet I’ve never been able to find any quantification of those effects. Are they minute? Are they significant? Have you seen a study that determines those effects of LW radiation?”

    I see the ocean skin proposal as an essential prop for AGW and have given it much thought for months. This article is my considered position:

    http://climaterealists.com/index.php?id=3735

  111. Stephen Wilde (14:43:25) :

    However slight the variability might be the Earth is self evidently sensitive to it according to well documanted historical data.

    I like this. Going on to my issue, which is related to the seas so it is not off topic, small changes in solar irradiance derives in quantifiable proportions of feldspar grains and hematite stained quartz in sedimentary layers of the sea bottom. The feldspar grains and hematite stained quartz accumulated in oceanic deep layers are not signaling a mixing of hot surface waters with cold deep waters, although ice drift, the main responsible of the deposition of HSG in sites to the South from the Arctic Circle, could be an alternate system which contributes to the mixing.

    Under this understanding, it is almost impossible to find a layer absent of HSG. Leif Svalgaard pointed out that the percentages below zero would lead to “odd” extrapolations of solar irradiance trends; however, there is an effect of local conditions which could modify temporarily the production of HSG. Anyway, the anomalies of insolation caused by local modifiers are quite low, so the TSI approximate values for periods going back beyond 12000 years are conspicuous, especially if those magnitudes coincide with other databases obtained with different proxies.

  112. Stephen Wilde: Yo wrote, “I have said elsewhere trhat the first indication we get that a change in temperature trend is in progress is a latitudinal shift in the air circulation systems.”

    And again, please show the plots or the data source for the latitudinal shift.

  113. Bob Tisdale (13:27:45):

    You’ve done an excellent job of describing the manifold effects of the ENSO phenomenon throughout the globe. Rigorous physical understanding of any phenomenon, however, requires that the categorical distinction between energy-imparting “drivers” and energy-using or redistributing elements be maintained. It’s the basic difference between the left-hand terms in a normal-form differential equation that characterize the response and the right-hand terms that specify the excitation or forcing. Clearly, ENSO produces no energy on its own. Thus it belongs in the realm of responses, rather than forcings of the climate system. In calling it “simply a response” I was not implying that this enigmatic mode is “a simple response.” I’m sorry if that misled you.

    The profound global consequences of a strong El Nino are well known. They are also quite short-lived in a climatic sense. Less than a third of the total variance of the ENSO index is associated with spectral components longer than 7.3yrs. By contrast, nearly two thirds of the total variance of average global temperatures is at these lower frequencies. The ENSO effect upon secular “climate trends” thus is negligible.

    What little I know of air-sea interactions comes from fundamental physics and from old research colleagues who are specialists in that narrow field. The fundamental obstacle to LW heating of the ocean surface being mixed down to any depth is the fact that the greatly sub-millimeter “skin” is rapidly evaporating. Each day ~3mm of surface water is lost that way as a global average. Furthermore, heated surface particles tend to stay at the surface, whitecapping waves notwithstanding. Even if these basic obstacles were overcome and a whole millimeter of surface water, say several degrees warmer than below, were mixed into the top ten meters, the temperature effect would be miniscule. I regret that no current references that quantify all of this pop up readily in my non-academic mind.

  114. Bob Tisdale (17:47:23)

    As far as I know there are no plots or data sources for net latitudinal shifts in the global air circulation systems beyond normal seasonal variations.

    I have previously called for such to be collated as a matter of priority.

    In the meantime I saw the poleward shft in the mid 1970s and I saw the equatorward shift around 2000.

    Those shifts have been noted and commented on quite widely but with no proper assessment of the climate implications.

    It is one of several gaping holes in climate theory and I am attemting to fill them. Successfully, I hope.

  115. Bob Tisdale (19:05:17) :

    “A La Nina is not the reverse of an El Nino. During a La Nina, trade winds increase above “normal”, and this “exposes” more cool water in the eastern equatorial Pacific. It raises the thermocline there.”

    During La Nina the slope of the thermocline increases ,the warmer and lighter water is displaced by colder and heavier water,thus raising the centre of mass of the system and hence increasing the potential gravitational energy(at the expense of solar energy)

  116. Bob Tisdale (13:28:59) :

    Bruce Cunningham: In response the Leif’s comment, “There is no observational evidence for the upward trend of TSI shown in Figure 1. This reduces the solar long-term forcing to zero,” you wrote, “Wow! Bob?”

    The only TSI graph in this post is that furnished with Lean and Rind. It is Wang et al data. Why wow?

    Wow was because I am surprised that the measurement of TSI value seems to be of such debate. I would have thought it was rather easy (comparatively) to measure, but I am not an expert so don’t hold me to it. I do remember reading recently that solar output varies about .7%, and that it increased over the last half of the 20th century.
    If there is no agreement about the Sun’s output, how can there be agreement on more complex issues of AGW?

  117. Stephen Wilde: You wrote, “In the meantime I saw the poleward shft in the mid 1970s and I saw the equatorward shift around 2000.

    “Those shifts have been noted and commented on quite widely but with no proper assessment of the climate implications.”

    I looked and could not find any papers noting or commenting on poleward shifts circulation patterns. Do you have links?

  118. maksimovich: You wrote, “During La Nina the slope of the thermocline increases…”

    I agree with that. The warm water (that had shifted east during the El Nino) shoshes back to the west (to the PWP) during the La Nina, increasing the slope of the thermocline. It’s at a greater depth in the west equatorial Pacific than it is in the east. BTW, it takes a significant El Nino to flatten and “invert” the thermocline.

    You continued, “the warmer and lighter water is displaced by colder and heavier water…”

    But that’s in the eastern equatorial Pacific. In the western Pacific, the opposite is happening. That is, during the La Nina, much of the warm water that had been in the east shifts west, back to the PWP. So the colder and heavier water that had been in the west during the El Nino is displaced as the warmer water as it shifts back.

    You continued, “thus raising the centre of mass of the system and hence increasing the potential gravitational energy…”

    But only in the eastern equatorial Pacific. The opposite is happening in the western Pacific, is it not?

    You concluded, “(at the expense of solar energy)”

    Why? During an El Nino, convection, cloud cover and precipitation follow the warm water east, decreasing the downwelling shortwave radiation in the eastern tropical Pacific. During the La Nina, the warm water shifts back to the west; the convection, cloud cover and precipitation go west with it; and the downwelling shortwave radiation increases in the eastern equatorial Pacific.

  119. Nasif Nahle (12:42:42) :
    By the way, it is not a lot higher than 1361.5, but slightly lower because the logarithmic output is negative for numbers smaller than 0. The final figure from 0.1% is 1356.8, and from 0.0001% is 1342.6.

    Slightly lower? What are the TSI for the % values of 1, 0.1, 0.01, 0.001, 0.000,1, 0.000,01, 0.000,001, 0.000,000,1, 0.000,000,000,000,000,000,001? This exercise is meant to show that to set the contribution of 0% to 0, is not correct, or that the logarithm relationship is not correct.

  120. Leif Svalgaard (17:10:29) :

    Slightly lower? What are the TSI for the % values of 1, 0.1, 0.01, 0.001, 0.000,1, 0.000,01, 0.000,001, 0.000,000,1, 0.000,000,000,000,000,000,001? This exercise is meant to show that to set the contribution of 0% to 0, is not correct, or that the logarithm relationship is not correct.

    Leif, as I told you before, I’ve not got yet mathematical madness. Your thoughts could be correct; however, your observations would be practical for modeling and I am not modeling, but taking real data from nature. If the function works for the last 300 years of realistic reconstructions of TSI, then the algorithm is correct. Nature compared against nature, for saying something.

    Regarding the figures you propose, of the famous 0%, we have not found a layer deploying those percentages, not yet. We presume it is because the Sun has not fallen down to such levels of low activity so the percentages of stained feldspar and quartz in sedimentary layers remains always above 1%.

    As long as the formula holds coinciding with the reality, as long it will be valid. When I find a sedimentary layer with such percentages, I will change the theory. That’s science, isn’t it?

  121. Leif… I wrote:

    If the function works for the last 300 years of realistic reconstructions of TSI, then the algorithm is correct. Nature compared against nature, for saying something.

    However, I didn’t include examples:

    Year %HSG Alg. TSI (W/m^2 ) ~Real TSI
    (+/-0.3 W/m^2)

    2009.5 6.25 1365.26 1365.92
    1930 10.93 1366.41 1366.48

  122. ******************************
    Stephen Wilde (15:06:53) : “Bob Tisdale (13:27:45) Ah, the ocean skin issue, Bob said: “I’ve read that LW radiation may only heat the skin, but through mixing caused by waves and wind stress turbulence, it would warm the mixed layer of the ocean. This in turn would affect the temperature gradient between the mixed layer and skin, dampening the outward flow of heat from the ocean to the atmosphere. Yet I’ve never been able to find any quantification of those effects. Are they minute? Are they significant? Have you seen a study that determines those effects of LW radiation?”

    I see the ocean skin proposal as an essential prop for AGW and have given it much thought for months. This article is my considered position:

    http://climaterealists.com/index.php?id=3735

    *******************************************************
    But you guys haven’t considered the …. Jellyfish Effect!

    http://www.livescience.com/animals/090729-jellyfish-mixers.html

  123. That is interesting, I found the jelly fish “effect” on: http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2009/07/jellyfish/

    “The fluid dynamics of swimming jellyfish have provided a plausible mechanism for a once-wild notion: that marine animals, hidden from sight and ignored by geophysicists, may stir Earth’s oceans with as much force as its wind and tides.”

    The article includes a video.

    The number of jellyfish has increased sharply.
    Scientist believe it has to do with the decline of natural predators of jellyfish like the tuna.

  124. Ron de Haan (07:00:43) : It seems people often discount biological effects, even after the planet was bio-engineered to change to atmosphere from anaerobic to aerobic. I don’t necessarily believe that Snowball Earth happened, but it reminds me of dry rot. Dry rot is a fungus (or maybe more than one) that can live on dry wood. It does so by sending out hyphae tens of feet away to a source of water. I can imagine a fungus on Snowball Earth, perhaps in a symbiotic relationship with algae, that could hasten the melting of snow and ice. It might be advantageous to be dark as that would open up more biochemical processes due to the increased temperature achieved. To make up for the lack of nutrients in the snow and ice, hyphae could be deployed deep within the ice to scavenge what nutrients were trapped there. So a fungus could explain how to get out of the Snowball Earth mode.

  125. matt v: You asked, “This article claims that the upcoming possible EL NINO may warm global climate for 5 years .This sounds excesive to me . What do your own studies show?”

    If we run into a period when El Nino events dominate, global temperatures will rise, as they always have. And if La Nina events dominate, global temperatures will fall. Other than that, I’m not much into predictions.

    But the Guardian’s description of the upcoming Lean and Rind paper is ridiculous: “The work is the first to assess the combined impact on global temperature of four factors: human influences such as CO2 and aerosol emissions; heating from the sun; volcanic activity and the El Niño southern oscillation, the phenomenon by which the Pacific Ocean flips between warmer and cooler states every few years.”

    It’s the first? There are dozens, maybe hundreds, of similar analyses.

  126. Leif Svalgaard (08:13:25) :

    Nasif Nahle (21:12:03) :
    However, I didn’t include examples:
    2009.5 6.25 1365.26 1365.92
    And where did you get the % for 2009 from?

    From samples of the upper sedimentary layer from the Pacific Coast. Coordinates: 20° 39′ 55.22″ N 105° 16′ 3.29″ W. The period comprehends the last 30 years.

    I have to make clear that the first 2.5 cm from the layer exhibits the percentage and it is not combined with previous layers, so you cannot divide 6.25%/20 years to obtain a yearly trend because the SI has been fluctuating, i.e. the solar activity is not static.

  127. Nasif Nahle (10:40:17) :
    “And where did you get the % for 2009 from?”

    From samples of the upper sedimentary layer from the Pacific Coast. Coordinates: 20° 39′ 55.22″ N 105° 16′ 3.29″ W. The period comprehends the last 30 years.

    Shouldn’t it then be labeled 2009.5-15 = 1994.5 instead?

  128. Stephen Wilde (15:06:53) :

    “Bob Tisdale (13:27:45) Ah, the ocean skin issue, Bob said: “I’ve read that LW radiation may only heat the skin, but through mixing caused by waves and wind stress turbulence, it would warm the mixed layer of the ocean. This in turn would affect the temperature gradient between the mixed layer and skin, dampening the outward flow of heat from the ocean to the atmosphere. Yet I’ve never been able to find any quantification of those effects. Are they minute? Are they significant? Have you seen a study that determines those effects of LW radiation?”

    I see the ocean skin proposal as an essential prop for AGW and have given it much thought for months. This article is my considered position:

    http://climaterealists.com/index.php?id=3735
    Bob Tisdale,

    There are problems with Stephen Wilde’s. It doesn’t describe the details at the surface skin and its relation to the energy fluxes that are taking place.

    It is not only mixing that absorbs the downwelling radiation into the ocean bulk.

    In order to enhance evaporation, and upward radiation, as well direct transmission of energy to the air, the surface skin temperature must increase in temperature as a result of increase in downwelling radiation.This has an effect on the rate of loss of energy from the bulk of the ocean, which absorbs solar short wave radiation. The ocean bulk is generally warmer than the surface skin, because maintainance of energy balance between incoming short wave radiation and outgoing energy, requires upward transmission of the absorbed energy to the surface by convection. The rate of convection increases with increasing difference in temperature between the warmer and colder regions of the fluid. Therefore the increase in surface skin temperature, which must result from absorbing down welling radiation, will reduce the loss of solar energy absorbed by the ocean bulk.

    I haven’t seen a quantitative analysis of this effect, but it makes sense looking at the physics.

  129. eric (06:57:53)

    If you read my article properly you will see that I DO deal carefully with the

    “details at the surface skin and its relation to the energy fluxes that are taking place”.

    The conclusion is that the region involved in evaporation is a buffer between the air and the water just below that region and the interactions occurring within that evaporative layer, especially as regards an increased rate of evaporation, DO NOT permit a slowing down of the ‘normal’ rate of energy flow from ocean bulk to the air.

    It does not necessarily follow that just because the topmost molecules get a little warmer then the energy flow from below the evaporating region is slowed down. The loss of latent energy during the evaporative process seems to be enough to prevent such a reduction in the energy flow. Indeed it might even enhance it due to the large value of the latent heat of evaporation.

    Unless, that is, you can refer me to proper evidence to the contrary rather than a mere assumption.

  130. ” Indeed it might even enhance it due to the large value of the latent heat of evaporation.”

    I’m sure there is a wind speed (as a function of sea – temperature) for which heat loss by evaporation equals gain from sunlight (under cloudless skies).
    Even under a tropical sun I guess these wind-speeds may be quite low say 15kts at 35C. Those figures are a total guess but I think establishing just what the (insolation – evaporation) heat flow is is probably important.

  131. Leif Svalgaard (23:21:46) :

    Nasif Nahle (10:40:17) :
    “And where did you get the % for 2009 from?”

    From samples of the upper sedimentary layer from the Pacific Coast. Coordinates: 20° 39′ 55.22″ N 105° 16′ 3.29″ W. The period comprehends the last 30 years.

    Shouldn’t it then be labeled 2009.5-15 = 1994.5 instead?

    At the risk of being misunderstood because I am barely finishing the first third of the investigation, I think that your label wouldn’t be realistic because at the end of this year we will make a comparison with sand which was extracted from the seabed and placed in the intertidal zone, consequently we would be talking about the most recent changes, i.e. those corresponding to the period 2000-2009, and the label “1994.5” would give the impression that the last 14.5 years were not included in the assessment, for which I would see myself forced to explain that the period includes the dating up to date. I’d prefer to label it “today”, as Dr. Bond pointed out in his paper.

  132. Bob Tisdale

    In one of your previous posts[ Can El Nino events explain all of the global warming since 1976] you noted that there had been three significant steps in the temperature rises since 1976. I agree that there does seem to be three more significant temperature rises but they seem to occur not after El Ninos but shortly after the Solar max. and during mostly Enso neutral years. In the absence of El Ninos, could solar factors [three very strong past solar maximums and solar cycles] be behind these three temperature rises? The common factor for all three step temperature rises is that they all happened immediately post solar maximum of a high solar year with no major La Nina to take the temperature down again as typical was the case in the past.
    .
    2000 Temp Anom. 0.270 C solar max year [enso neutral]
    2001 Temp.Anom.0.409 C 2ND near solar max[neutral 10 months , La Nina -2months

    1989 Temp Anom 0.103 C solar max year [enso neutral]
    1990 Temp Anom 0.254 C [ La Nina 5 months , neutral 7 months]

    1979 Temp anom 0.049 C solar max year [enso neutral]
    1980 Temp Anom 0.0.77 C [enso neutral]
    1981 Temp Anom 0.120 C enso neutral]

    Global Temperature anomalies per hadcrut3

    AMO was not a significant warming factor and mostly low or negative. PDO was also negative mostly in 2000-2001 and 1989-1990 but only slightly positive in 1979[0.34], 1980[0.6] and 1981[0.92]

  133. Nasif Nahle (10:02:17) :
    I’d prefer to label it “today”, as Dr. Bond pointed out in his paper.
    But if it really is some kind of mean over perhaps a decade, you can’t compare with TSI of “today”. You have to compare TSI and %H for the same real intervals, no matter how they are ‘labeled’.

  134. Leif Svalgaard (17:18:47) :

    Nasif Nahle (10:02:17) :
    I’d prefer to label it “today”, as Dr. Bond pointed out in his paper.
    But if it really is some kind of mean over perhaps a decade, you can’t compare with TSI of “today”. You have to compare TSI and %H for the same real intervals, no matter how they are ‘labeled’.

    Indeed, my intention is to separate the percentages year by year. I have obtained the %HSG for the last 30 years period and I’ve tested the resolution for the last seven months; the value until now is 6.25% obtained by following the standard methodology.

    I’m also running in an experiment exposing quartz grains to insolation and registering the changes, so I’ll have a way of comparing the results with other researchers and have a more accurate resolution after 12 months of exposition.

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