The Arctic Oscillation Index goes strongly negative

In the last month, the Arctic Oscillation Index (AO) has gone strongly negative. You can see that it headed to its negative peak right about the time the Copenhagen Climate Conference started, so it is no wonder that they ironically experienced cold and snow there. It is also a setup for the record snow and cold Canada and the USA has seen recently.

click to enlarge

Source: NOAA Climate Predication Center Daily AO Index

With this change happening, the setup for an increased Arctic Sea Ice Maximum is enhanced this year, likely to happen sometime around March 1st, 2010.

NSIDC has an interesting writeup and graphic on the AO:

Image from NSIDC: artwork by J. Wallace, University of Washington

From NSIDC:

The Arctic Oscillation refers to opposing atmospheric pressure patterns in northern middle and high latitudes.

The oscillation exhibits a “negative phase” with relatively high pressure over the polar region and low pressure at midlatitudes (about 45 degrees North), and a “positive phase” in which the pattern is reversed. In the positive phase, higher pressure at midlatitudes drives ocean storms farther north, and changes in the circulation pattern bring wetter weather to Alaska, Scotland and Scandinavia, as well as drier conditions to the western United States and the Mediterranean. In the positive phase, frigid winter air does not extend as far into the middle of North America as it would during the negative phase of the oscillation. This keeps much of the United States east of the Rocky Mountains warmer than normal, but leaves Greenland and Newfoundland colder than usual. Weather patterns in the negative phase are in general “opposite” to those of the positive phase, as illustrated below.

Over most of the past century, the Arctic Oscillation alternated between its positive and negative phases. Starting in the 1970s, however, the oscillation has tended to stay in the positive phase, causing lower than normal arctic air pressure and higher than normal temperatures in much of the United States and northern Eurasia.

As we see in this graph below, we’ve seen more red (positive) than blue (negative) phases of the AO in the last 30–40 years. Whether this is short period negative excursion or the start of a longer trend is unknown.

Click to enlarge - The standardized 3-month running mean value of the AO index. The departures are standardized using the 1950-2000 base period statistics.

Source: NOAA Climate Prediction Center

There are other indicators recently of a flip in patterns, notable is the Pacific Decadal Oscillation which changed last year, but we also see the North Atlantic Oscillation in a negative phase as well. Whether it will remain negative or not we’ll soon know, but note that it has been negative the majority of time since August 31st.

click to enlarge

Source: NOAA Climate Prediction Center

Since 2000, it has seen a fair amount of negative time also:

click to enlarge

Source: NOAA Climate Prediction Center

The climate change seems to be changing now.

h/t to Werner Weber

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162 thoughts on “The Arctic Oscillation Index goes strongly negative

  1. Yes, the North Atlantic Oscillation and the Arctic Oscillation (a/k/a Northern Annular Mode) are believed to be linked. If both go over to full negative phase, it will add a cooling influence to current climate.

    The AO has been in overall positive (warm) phase since 1989 and the NOA since around 2001. Based on past patterns, they would be expected to remain in warm mode for another decade or two, but if they do a major early shift, all bets are off.

  2. I’m in Germany. I want my warm winters back. I hate those arctic blasts. It nearly made me crash my car last week. Look at the way that arrow points over Europe. It’s the wrong direction now!

  3. So this would suggest the possibility of an extended cooling period?

    If there is an early shift in NOA/AO and if the PDO has genuinely turned negative, yes, there is a distinct possibility.

    The NOA/AO is the atmospheric component. If the oceanic component (the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation) follows along, that will be another indication.

  4. wow…how quickly might we see fruit of this? it would be so funny if we reached a new IJIS maximum in march. any chance of this?

  5. So if trade wind strength is influenced by the AO, does that mean ENSO is also influenced? As a major driver of ENSO changes is driven by the trade wind strength which is influenced by the AO?

  6. WRT the NSIDC graphic on the AO; specifically the negative phase:
    Oh; WONDERFUL:
    The big, black ”cold” arrow diving down thru the middle of North America in the negative phase goes right thru northern ND; which is where I will be for the next few months. Last winter it got down to minus 41.7 degrees BELOW zero F. one morning. Wonder what we have to look forward to in ND in 2010 (we already had a pretty good approximation of an old-time 3-day blizzard). . . .

  7. The NSIDC graphic suggests that during negative phase AO, Britain should experience sunny, cool, dry weather. But it has had much the opposite. Are we to take it that the arrow shown coming over Europe has, in this negative cycle, moved farther to the West than normal? Perhaps a test of this would be what is happening in Iceland and Greenland? Given the way “normal” weather patterns vary, one would expect the sunny, dry weather to be realised farther out in the North Atlantic area. Or perhaps the NSIDC graphic is full of S*&*% or so wildly general as to be almost useless for the purposes of interpreting the current phase change.

  8. BTW Mojib Latif , german Climatologist in Kiel, has predicted something like this with a computer model that incorporates the thermohaline convection. He’s a convinced warmist and warns that this will give us only a break before rapid warming happens (no surprise there).

  9. How come all this cooling around much of the world over the recent few months is not reflected in the official surface temperature readings as reported by NASA? I smell a rat.

  10. Would this be a good thread to note that “natural variation” as an explanation is something I still find unsatisfying, even if accurate? To me, it still is just hiding another deeper level of detailed processes that we still don’t understand. There must be a process or group of processes that is/are susceptible to understanding that causes “natural variation”, and would thus would be at least predictable if understood. Or in other words, *why* did the AO just turn negative, and I don’t want to here “natural variation” as the answer, even if it is an accurate one. If you ask me “what is 2+2?” and I answer “Not less than 3 and not more than 10″, then I’ve given you an accurate answer. . .but not the best one that should be able to be arrived at.

  11. Seems they were bang on (from 2003):

    Quote,
    Finally and importantly, it should be noted that the factors appear to have recently changed to modes favoring a cooling. If so, the recent winters of 2000/01 (coldest ever November and December for the United States) and 2002/03 (one of the coldest in the eastern states in many decades) could be sign of things to come.

    Global Cooling About to “Kick-in”?
    An Alernative View on Climate Change

    http://www.biblelife.org/globalwarming-kick-in.pdf

  12. I would surmise that a mix of warm ocean and cold atmospheric conditions with the right “negative” bent would result in a build-up of snow and a regrowth of glaciers over time. If everything turned cold, then rivers would freeze, precip would dry up, and many areas will be ice-locked. Larger water sources would continue to build up and create large ice dams. If a thaw then took place, we would have severe flooding in many areas. An all cold scenario is not to be wished for, especially if followed by warmth and rain.

  13. Watts up with the south pacific? (SST anomilies)
    This looks very strange to me. I don’t have the time right now to dig
    through NOAA archives, but the Gulf Stream looks peculiar also.
    Interesting times eh?

  14. What would be really interesting is seeing a 3d volumetric time series in fine resolution of the entire atmosphere and ocean currents. I wonder if this is even possible given the current set of data collected from the various satellites and other data collection equipment in play today. This fine resolution volumetric visualization mapped onto Google Earth in real time or near real time would enable people, just about anyone, to see a detailed map aka representation of what is going on with the planet at any given moment in time. Correlate the upper atmosphere and solar winds and influence of the moon as Piers Corbyn alleges would also be fascinating.

    It sure looks like Piers Corbyn called it right using a forecasting model based upon the Arctic Oscillation Index and comprehension of the diagram you show above. Cold blowing across Europe and Canada/USA in the NO graphic as Piers forecast. Fascinating.

    pwl

    http://pathstoknowledge.net/2009/12/28/long-term-weather-forecasting-with-piers-corbyn

  15. I am also guessing that the jet stream, pressed upon by El Nino and trand wind behavior, would bring about some variation in the predictions globally portrayed above under a negative AO.

  16. the picture on the right looks exactly like Corbin’s long term prognosis, with cold in the US and much of europe and storms in mediterranean europe.

    the questions are,

    how Corbin predicted the shape of the AO in advance,

    and, why the hadley center has not been able to do so, let alone attributing AO variability as a or THE major factor of european warming in1979-2000 ?

  17. This is very bad news for those who say Arctic ice is in a ‘death spiral’.

    REPLY: The diagnosis was wrong, it just had a bad case of a cold. -Anthony

  18. geo (20:05:53) :
    Would this be a good thread to note that “natural variation” as an explanation is something I still find unsatisfying, even if accurate? To me, it still is just hiding another deeper level of detailed processes that we still don’t understand. There must be a process or group of processes that is/are susceptible to understanding that causes “natural variation”, and would thus would be at least predictable if understood. Or in other words, *why* did the AO just turn negative, and I don’t want to here “natural variation” as the answer, even if it is an accurate one. If you ask me “what is 2+2?” and I answer “Not less than 3 and not more than 10″, then I’ve given you an accurate answer. . .but not the best one that should be able to be arrived at.

    Well when people say Natural Variation it is in contrast to Anthropological Global Warming… That is not to say that there are not definitive mechanisms that we are not learning about and peeling away from climate science. TO be honest the true sad story is that AGW and it’s backers have pretty much hijacked the real science funding that was going about and peeling back the first real layers of understanding that we were developing. that is not to say that it is not still going on only that the true scientists that are studying have to homage to the great AGW story in order to get funding.

    As far as the ‘Natural Variation’ goes it is all about peeling back layer upon layer of complexity. Nothing in the climate system does not touch something else but the feedback and responses to any added variable are fluid in nature. Meaning hat there are SO MANY VARIABLES to account for. This is one of the reasons why CO2 is a scapegoat rather then anything else. Just because in physics it says CO2 retains heat better then say nitrogen does not mean that by introducing CO2 into the atmosphere we will have an overall warmer climate… It also does not mean we will not have a warmer climate… You have to account for Solar radiance, tidal flux, oceanic currents, magnetic resonance, cosmic rays?, Tectonic movement, solar wind, cloud cover, evaporation, solar winds, UHI, and probably a few tens of things we have not learned enough about to ask the correct questions about. So while someone else may be able to answer your question as to what mechanism CAUSED the arctic to get colder I welcome the response, but what we have learned at the vary least is the cause and effect of when it does this and the knowledge that it does in fact change. I know that may not seem like a great answer but it is all I got, anyone else?

  19. “Source: NOAA Climate Predication Center Daily AO Index”

    Is the 1st source supposed to be a more logical forecast center?

  20. Over the last 1.8-million years, cyclical Pleistocene ice ages have averaged some 102,000 years interspersed with median 12,250-year interglacial epochs. Since the Pleistocene Era is barely one-seventh through its statistically-alotted span, this well-defined pattern should recur for another 12 – 14 million years.

    Though Earth’s latest ice age lasted from about 116,400 – 14,400 years-before-present (YBP), continental ice sheets did not fully recede prior to c. BC 8800 (10,800 YBP). Our current Holocene Interglacial Epoch, however, was set back 1,500 years to BC 7300 by a so-called Younger Dryas “cold shock” induced by cometary/meteorite debris impacting Earth from Sol’s enveloping Oort Cloud (qv). Though Earth’s Long Summer should have ended about AD 500, coincident with the Fall of Rome, odds now are that the Holocene was due to end about AD 2000 + (12,250 – 12,300) = AD 1950. As warmth rebounds from the 500-year Little Ice Age that ended c. 1850 – ’90, Earth enters on a 70-year “dead sun” Maunder Minimum which may well tip the planet to Ice Time once again.

    Milankovich orbital cycles, various intra-solar and cosmic radiation factors are all very well, but Ice Ages are at bottom geophysical phenomena tied to Wegener’s “continental drift”, aka plate tectonics. When Gondwanaland clumped all Earth’s landmasses together at the South Pole, pre-Cambrian ice ages lasted up to 500-million years. For some 300-million years before the Pleistocene, continental dispositions precluded freezing because most lay in temperate zones. Now that North and South American continents wall off eastern from western hemispheres, interfering with deep-ocean currents that drive atmospheric convection circulation, it seems that landmass configuration lends itself to oscillating temperature regimes.

    Like botany, climatology is a classificatory rather than experimental science– hindsight derives data which may serve to formulate hypotheses, but Lorenz’s Chaos Theory renders linear extrapolations mathematically impossible for complex systems. So we rely on cyclical phenomena, alternating peaks and troughs of varying amplitude and frequency that cancel and reinforce at intervals to produce extended stable periods, which in fact are no such thing.

    Given Luddite sociopaths’ willful sabotage of the U.S. energy economy since early 1970s, we can only hope that Ice Time will be deferred a few more centuries. But as contrary evidence accumulates, odds of that grow very slim. And what will Cock Robin do then, poor thing?

  21. REPLY: The diagnosis was wrong, it just had a bad case of a cold. -Anthony

    ————————–

    Like the doctor who orders emergency heart surgery for a case of indigestion?

  22. “The NSIDC graphic suggests that during negative phase AO, Britain should experience sunny, cool, dry weather. ”

    It would depend. I believe that graph shows the extreme states. So if the jet is South of you, the storm track would be into Spain and Northern France. But it doesn’t switch from maximum positive to maximum negative, it varies between the two. So right now it would seem that the storm track is across England. If it were to go more negative, you would see the jet drop South of you and you would be sunnier and drier.

  23. Can someone please explain in simple language what the implications are with respect to the AGW hypothesis.

  24. Innocentious (21:14:18) :

    You make a good point about AGW research funding crowding out other climate research.

    I just sometimes feel a need to raise the flag of science against accepting “natural variation” as a sufficient explanation –I just get a little hackle-raising going against the “Posoiden Is Angry” feeling it evokes.

  25. Charlie Martin (19:25:46) :

    So this would suggest the possibility of an extended cooling period?

    One thing we can see is that those who forecast a cold winter in the US look right. They are Joe Bastardi, Piers Corbyn, and The Farmers Almanac.

  26. the setup for an increased Arctic Sea Ice Maximum is enhanced this year, likely to happen sometime around March 1st, 2010.

    Can someone point me to the site that is the most generally accepted source(s) (by AWGers) for daily listings of arctic ice extent? TIA.

  27. So, what does the varying density of the upper and lower atmosphere during solar max and solar min have to do with it. The density of the atmosphere does change due to the intensities of the magnetospheres of the earth and sun during these periods, does it not?

  28. The Arctic Dipole pattern will have to be taken into consideration too I suppose for estimates on maxima. Currently it is not very active it seems.

    Andy

  29. Is it sort of like a plunger effect, pushing the cold down to lower latitudes when we get into these periods of solar minimum?

  30. This strongly negative AO has been a surprise. There has been a very strong bout of stratospheric warming over much of northern Eurasia as well as North America and the north Atlantic with strong cooling over the high Arctic and at lower latitudes.
    The El Niño has also had an effect… the weaker trade winds has no doubt also weakened the polar jet stream, allowing it to buckle more.. which kind of reinforces the negative AO. Also, the amplified southern jet means more uplift in the southern U.S., so cold air is drawn southward from the relatively high pressure up north in Canada.
    It could be a sign of a weaker sun… the stratosphere overall is very cold but the lack of energy input from the sun easily could be causing the winds in the stratosphere to snag which would create larger areas of anomalies.
    Who knows… but this does appear to have an extraterrestrial signature to it… whether it’s the sun, or alignment of planets.. who knows.
    Either way, the AO has clearly been more negative since the mid 1990s than it was during the 80s and early 90s… so to suggest that it is somehow going more positive thanks to GHG warming is ridiculous.

  31. There is still snow in the shade in North Texas with more due tomorrow.

    Looking at the models, I see some extremely cold air forming in the Arctic. Ten years of looking at these models, I don’t recall seeing such a large pool of -50 c air before. And given that these models have underdone actual temps by 3-5 degrees C, I wonder if its underdone and if the models themselves cannot go any colder anyways.

  32. Mapou (21:36:00) : You wrote: “Can someone please explain in simple language what the implications are with respect to the AGW hypothesis.”

    If AGW were a legitimate scientific hypothesis it would have died years ago. This too would be enough to kill it.

    However, AGW is more religion-like than it is science. So the answer to your question –it seems to me- is “Not a thing!”

  33. Peter of Sydney (19:53:38) :

    How come all this cooling around much of the world over the recent few months is not reflected in the official surface temperature readings as reported by NASA? I smell a rat.

    He has poor taste in clothes too.

    JK ;-)

  34. Evan Jones “The NOA/AO is the atmospheric component. If the oceanic component (the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation) follows along, that will be another indication.”

    Well the AO and the NAO definitely are tandem with one another. However, the AMO is its own beast (possibly linked, however with ENSO and PDO ).

    WE are on the crest of the multi-decadal AMO….so, of statistics are to be believed, it will be a few years before it turns negative….

    Great post here. Truly….the AO and the NAO are like fraternal twins: they are still twins. And you know how twins behave.

    Chris
    Norfolk, VA, USA

  35. Austin (22:17:36) :
    There is still snow in the shade in North Texas with more due tomorrow.
    Looking at the models, I see some extremely cold air forming in the Arctic. Ten years of looking at these models, I don’t recall seeing such a large pool of -50 c air before. And given that these models have underdone actual temps by 3-5 degrees C, I wonder if its underdone and if the models themselves cannot go any colder anyways.

    It is interesting how Mother Nature really does snap back. Years and years of positive height anomalies and hot HOT temps over TX and OK….are finally getting their payback….in the opposite direction.

    The rubber band theory at work. Interesting times for the big D and the OKC.

    Chris
    Norfolk, VA, USA

  36. Anyone know? In a negative AO do the weaker tradewinds off of the Sahara tend to keep most huricanes in the Atlantic and east of the gulf. Weaker also?

  37. Oil and corn rise as winter bites

    http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/dcccd322-f3be-11de-ac55-00144feab49a.html

    Even the liberal media must acknowledge the cold when oil prices respond to it.
    Crude Oil Rises in New York as Cold Weather Boosts U.S. Demand

    http://www.businessweek.com/news/2009-12-28/crude-oil-rises-in-new-york-as-cold-weather-boosts-u-s-demand.html

    And how about the homeless in Florida and homeless shelters being prepared?
    Homeless Shelters Prepped For Cold Weather Tonight

    http://cbs4.com/local/broward.county.cold.2.1393675.html

  38. photon without a Higgs (21:07:59) :

    This is very bad news for those who say Arctic ice is in a ‘death spiral’.

    REPLY: The diagnosis was wrong, it just had a bad case of a cold. -Anthony

    The Arctic had a fever!

  39. Max Hugoson (19:46:33) :

    Weather is NOT climate.

    -10 F in Minneapolis tonight.

    BURRRRrrrrr……

    Thank God, eh? Because if it were, you’d be [snip]

    Mark

  40. Just posted comments in the thread, “The Unbearable Complexity of Climate” down about #140 or so detailing my ideas on the driving mechanisms, and periods of “The natural variability cycles”, and how to define them to be usable in weather and climate forecasts.

    A long term BETA forecast method using these cyclic patterns to generate daily maps from 2008 through the end of 2013, (data tabled in August of 2007, started producing the maps in September of 2008).

    Natural analog forecast @ http://www.aerology.com/national.aspx

    I have not the computing power, or data base needed to add these decade long cycles, into the process I am already using, to define how these patterns are also coupled into the rest of the process. But would love to give it a go, when time and money becomes available.

    Richard Holle

  41. Roger Knights here is the site…(21:49:57)…goes back to 2002 only but…

    http://www.ijis.iarc.uaf.edu/en/home/seaice_extent.htm

    The best way to appreciate the data is to download it and plot it yourself…I have been doing this for some time now…..what I do is plot it as a surface….I assume a “six month gap” between years and plot it like a “membrane”….this way you can actually see the variations better…

  42. My scenario would explain the current negative AO as follows:

    i) A quieter sun would result in more stability in the layers of the atmosphere from stratosphere upwards and so a reduced rate of energy loss to space.

    ii) A positive ocean phase would energise the hydrological cycle and push more energy into the stratosphere where it would accumulate because of the reduced rate of radiation to space.

    iii) the warmer stratosphere would in turn inhibit the speed of the hydrological cycle allowing more powerful polar high pressure systems that would try to push the jets equatorward against the influence of the positive oceans trying to push them poleward.

    Thus I think sudden stratospheric warming is a consequence of energy being pumped up into the stratosphere by the oceans and the energised hydrological cycle. A warming stratosphere will induce cooling of the air in higher latitudes because the air that went up to dump it’s energy in the stratosphere then has to descend again in high pressure cells.

  43. The big question is: What is the motor of those changes?
    Meteorologists seldom look higher than the stratosphere. Some of them look into the sea too. Their prognosis seem to be falsified already.

    As someone pointed out, this corresponds quite well with Piers Corbyn’s forecasts. Is that pure chance or has the guy got a real track? Not yet falsified as far as I can see.

    And how about Svensmark? Sparse sunspots for the last two years should be followed by cooling, according to him. Does his theory still hold?

    ” DirkH (19:51:44) :
    BTW Mojib Latif , german Climatologist in Kiel, has predicted something like this with a computer model that incorporates the thermohaline convection. He’s a convinced warmist and warns that this will give us only a break before rapid warming happens (no surprise there).

    Though that seems like an “ad hoc hypothesis” aimed to save the AGW theory, it will soon be honestly tested against reality.

  44. (OOoopppps sorry Antony I posted those other comments #140 or so in this thread> Our current weather: A test for forecast models – December shaping up to be one of the coldest on record in the USA, not “the Unbearable Complexity of Climate as mentioned above…

  45. Trivial re-expression reveals shared AO & NAO phasing:

    The phasing is shared with AMO, PDO, aa index, & others much of the time.

  46. Timothy Also this ice extent probably more reliable as it updated daily AMSR/CT takes their time and might do some adjusting to suit AGW agenda who knows? Note since October 1 most ice extent data not reliable probably been adjusted down to suit the agenda but even with this they cannot prevent showing that ice will problably go “over” anomaly

  47. The IJIS data is known to under report the actual ice extent by up to 1 million km2. This is due to ice reflectivity. I am actually fairly happy with the IJIS dataset, even though I know it under reports the actual ice extent, since they flat out tell you that they do. I am less happy with the analysis put out by the NSIDC. However, their daily map is still fairly accurate.

  48. AMSR-E ice recovery shows 5, possibly 6 negative downturns (less ice) during this Fall’s recovery. None of the other years shows any downturns at all. Is there something happening to the AMSR-E data this Fall?

  49. Wayne, hurricane paths tend to be very chaotic under negative AO conditions with some traveling up the East coast and some hitting South America and missing the Gulf. Some still hit the Gulf but the tracks look like a plate of spaghetti. They are very predictable and pointed right in to the Gulf during positive swings, almost like the strands of a woman’s long flowing hair.

  50. geo (21:36:01) :

    I just sometimes feel a need to raise the flag of science against accepting “natural variation” as a sufficient explanation –I just get a little hackle-raising going against the “Posoiden Is Angry” feeling it evokes.

    I’d would think that the majority of posters here take a position far removed from simply accepting natural-variation as a final and definitive answer. Yes we need to know more about why and how the climate changes; natural human inquisitiveness drives us down that road, unfortunately there’s currently a series of big road blocks on that highway and they don’t like to let “deniers” through, so efforts tend to be focused on removing the road blocks (or junta behind them)…

    Cheers

    Mark

  51. Peter of Sydney (19:53:38) : How come all this cooling around much of the world over the recent few months is not reflected in the official surface temperature readings as reported by NASA? I smell a rat.

    Well you might… NOAA via NCDC, creates the GHCN data set that is the ‘base’ data (have trouble calling it ‘raw’ since it isn’t…) that goes into CIStemp (and if the leaked emails are to be believed substantially matches CRU, and so HadCRUT, and the NCDC adjusted, and even the Japanese series). That data series has had cold thermometers strongly removed in recent years (since 1989 or so) but they are left in the baseline. IMHO, this biases the input data via thermometer change so much that it swamps the ability of the “anomaly process” to recover a valid anomaly.

    In other words, the input temperatures are cooked. A lot. 90% of peak thermometer count has been deleted. California, for example, has 4 surviving thermometers. One at SFO Airport near the San Franciso Bay (final approach is over water… water moderates cold…) and three are “near the beach” in Southern California. Places like San Diego, LA, Santa Maria. Nice warm SoCal beach weather. (San Diego is darned near paradise. 70 something F almost year round -/+ a little. You can grow bananas and get fruit – that is, the real tropical bananas, not those fruitless cool tolerant things…)

    So how can you get “cold” in California when you leave out the Cascades, the glaciers of Mount Shasta, the Ski Resorts of the Sierra Nevada… Heck, the whole northern 1/3 of the state. Similar things are done to the rest of the world. For more details, tour the world thermometer deletions here:

    http://chiefio.wordpress.com/2009/11/03/ghcn-the-global-analysis/

  52. Re: Roger Knights (21:49:57)

    Sea ice data links:

    http://polynya.gsfc.nasa.gov/seaice_datasets.html

    http://arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/SEAICE/timeseries.1870-2008

    AndyW (22:04:20) “The Arctic Dipole pattern will have to be taken into consideration too I suppose for estimates on maxima. Currently it is not very active it seems.”

    Can you share a link to the ADA time series Andy?

    Related:
    Recommended to all:
    Wang, J.; Zhang, J.; Watanabe, E.; Ikeda, M.; Mizobata, K.; Walsh, J.E.; Bai, X.; & Wu, B. (2009). Is the Dipole Anomaly a major driver to record lows in Arctic summer sea ice extent? Geophysical Research Letters 36, L05706. doi:10.1029/2008GL036706.
    ftp://ftp.glerl.noaa.gov/wang/Related_Papers/Wang_paper63_2009_GRL.pdf

  53. >>REPLY: The diagnosis was wrong, it just had a bad case
    >>of a cold. -Anthony

    A bıt lıke the dıagnosıs for Swıne Flu beıng wrong. I thınk the global authorıtıes are rapıdly runnıng out of scare storıes to scare us wıth.

    Once bıtten ……..

    .

  54. Mapou (21:36:00) : Can someone please explain in simple language what the implications are with respect to the AGW hypothesis.

    My understanding is that this means we had an arctic air pattern that gave us extra warm weather for many years over North America and Europe (where most of the thermometers are located) and that regime has ended. We’ve now entered and air pattern (perhaps due to changes in solar output, or perhaps due to natural oscillations – the why is unclear) that tends to much colder weather.

    If we “go cold” as we were warm before, the AGW thesis ends up critically wounded (perhaps fatally) due to a very long period of cold when AGW predicts warming.

    I suspect the “Warmers” position will be that “it’s only weather and the warming will be hidden in the pipeline to reassert itself in 20 years with a vengence”. Only I never have been able to find that pipeline they talk about…

    But I could be wrong in this explanation. I’m still learning this arctic oscillation stuff…

  55. ‘With this change happening, the setup for an increased Arctic Sea Ice Maximum is enhanced this year, likely to happen sometime around March 1st, 2010.’

    I’m not sure that is totally sure, given the c. 10C above average temperatures recorded for the past 3 months north of 80N. I agree, it’s now down to a suitable minimum for this time of year, but there’s definitely been a significant season of higher than average temperatures in the Arctic.

    To date, this year, it appears that Hudson Bay took slightly longer to freeze over, the Bering Strait region froze early, but has been returning to normal coverage since, ice N. of the siberian coastline has been regenerating more rapidly this winter than might have been expected and Newfoundland/mouth of the St Lawrence appear not yet to be freezing on time.

    No doubt one of our expert contributors will have some interesting insights to explain all that?

  56. Richard Holle (23:16:52) : I have not the computing power, or data base needed to add these decade long cycles, into the process I am already using, to define how these patterns are also coupled into the rest of the process. But would love to give it a go, when time and money becomes available.

    It does not take as much hardware as you might think. The supercomputer of 1989 is the laptop of today. In many cases, this exquist hardware has the performance sucked out of it by very highly inefficient software. Use a highly effiicent software base and you can rediscover what you have.

    I run GIStemp on a box that started life as a x486 box. It was “upgraded” about a decade ago to an AMD CPU at 400 Mhz and has 132 MB of memory. Most folks would consider it completely useless. But with Red Hat Linux on it, it becomes a quite effective compute engine. (I think BSD might be even a bit more efficient, but have not done the benchmark.)

    Further, you can make a supercomputer out of a gaggle of such “junk” machines by running them as a “cluster”. For an example of a free super computer made in this way (with Beowulf) see:

    http://www.extremelinux.info/stonesoup/

    At one time a guy at ORNL (Oak Ridge) could not get funding for the computes he needed. So he collected ‘discards’ and made a free supercomputer. You can too.

    What with Christmas just passed, there will be a lot of “junk” available for free that can be clustered for free. ( I once made a 7 node Beowolf from discards just for fun. My present GIStemp box is one of the original nodes. 2 others are in the garage. I didn’t need to dig them out to make GIStemp go.)

    A nice “how to” book:

    And yes, you can do this on MS software (“but it would be wrong” ;-)

    Just Google “Beowulf supercomputer” if you want to know more. It’s not very hard to build one. Figuring out what to do with it once you have it, that’s harder ;-)

    “So, I had this REALLY BIG Hammer, and I saw this little problem … ” ;-)

  57. Someone needs to rescue “Climate” before it becomes as obsolete a word as “Phrenology”!

    Repy: nice. ~ ctm

  58. The more I have been thinking about our central European climate, the more I am convinced the warming since mid-80ties has been caused by changes in air circulation. Cold winter (like 2005/06) is always caused by lot of arctic air coming down here, while warm winter (like 2006/07) by steady flux of warm air from south-west. The same is valid for summers. We have been receiving more often warm air from subtropics than from arctic, simple as that. According to greenhouse theory, we should be receiving the same amount of arctic air, but warmer which is not the case.

    To anyone experienced in meteorology here, I checked the trends for individual months in KNMI Climate Explorer for Central Europe since 1900 and found very surprising results: there are months, which show almost no trend during last 110 years (September, December, February, March) and there are summer months, which show pronounced warming since 1980s (April-August).

    I have compared those trends since 1979 with satellite data for given area, and even the summer warming is a bit less pronounced (plenty of our met stations here are the airport ones), there is the same pattern: some months do warm during the century, but some do not. So either the “strengthened greenhouse effect” take vacations during some months or there is something completely different going on.

  59. E.M.Smith (01:19:44) :


    Peter of Sydney (19:53:38) : How come all this cooling around much of the world over the recent few months is not reflected in the official surface temperature readings as reported by NASA? I smell a rat.

    Well you might… NOAA via NCDC, creates the GHCN data set that is the ‘base’ data (have trouble calling it ‘raw’ since it isn’t…) that goes into CIStemp (and if the leaked emails are to be believed substantially matches CRU, and so HadCRUT, and the NCDC adjusted, and even the Japanese series).

    So how do you explain the high UAH satellite anomalies?

  60. So how can you get “cold” in California when you leave out the Cascades, the glaciers of Mount Shasta, the Ski Resorts of the Sierra Nevada…

    “You” use anomalies. If the 1951-1980 mean temperature for a station is 25C (77F) and in 2009 it only reads 23C (73F) then the anomaly will be -2, i.e. the anomaly will be ‘cold’ even though the climate/weather is still warm.

    I any case, as I said above, satellite readings are also showing high anomalies and have a similar 30 year warming trend over the US as the GISS record.

  61. Slightly OT, but wasn’t one focus of old Dr. Bill Gray cycles like this?

    Back in the 1980’s, when Hansen was predicting an ice age, Dr. Gray stated that there would be warming. Gray was right and Hansen was wrong, but for some reason, (perhaps due to Gore becoming VP,) Hansen was rewarded for his incorrectness as Dr. Gray was frustrated in his efforts to gain funding.

    Hansen then switched over to predicting warming, but Dr. Gray stated the warming was only a cycle, and cooling would return. It looks like once again Dr. Gray was right and Hansen was wrong.

    It is my understanding that NASA turned down eight separate requests from Dr. Gray for the funding needed to research the AMO and other cycles. He wanted to better understand components such as Thermohaline Circulation, but instead we have spent millions, perhaps billions, on fudging surface temperature data and building computer models which don’t work.

    I was wondering if anyone knows the details of Dr. Gray’s requests for funding. It would be interesting to know exactly what he wanted to study. Using 20-20 hindsight, I imagine we might wish we had studied what Dr. Gray wanted us to study. We might very well have a better idea what the current AO cycle means.

    I know this is a bit like crying over spilled milk, but it also is history…and those who don’t learn from history are doomed to repeat it.

  62. Mark T (23:09:11) :

    Max Hugoson (19:46:33) :

    Weather is NOT climate.

    -10 F in Minneapolis tonight.

    BURRRRrrrrr……

    Thank God, eh? Because if it were, you’d be [snip]

    Mark

    In those temperatures, you wouldn’t even need the {snip}!

  63. “… If everything turned cold, then rivers would freeze, precip would dry up, and many areas will be ice-locked. Larger water sources would continue to build up and create large ice dams. If a thaw then took place, we would have severe flooding in many areas.”

    This is exactly what occured in the Swiss and French Alps during the coldest periods of the LIA. Not only did the glaciers grow downslope, but during the summer, the ice dams would suddenly burst. Huge torrents of ice cold water destroyed entire villages and pasture lands.

    It should also be noted that during periods of prolonged cold, semi-permanent high pressure centers develope in many places. This brings the unexpected consequences of summer heat waves and drought to those places. This is most obvious for Northern Europe and the interior of the Rockies (the famous 4-Corners High). The large center of subsiding air in the winter brings frigid polar and subartic air to localities; but, if it persists into the summer, scorching heatwaves and drought persist. The London Fire of 1666 was the result of one such high pressure center. Strong, dry northeasterlies kept London in the 90s and low 100s through the summer, and when a bakery fire broke out in September those winds fanned the flames. The following winter, the temps were so cold that oak trees in the English Midlands split right down the middle.

  64. Are the satellites calibrated to ground measurements or not ?

    In several locations I have read that they are but I keep coming across AGW supporters who deny it.

    The truth, please.

  65. John Finn (02:52:39) :

    E.M.Smith (01:19:44) :

    Peter of Sydney (19:53:38) : How come all this cooling around much of the world over the recent few months is not reflected in the official surface temperature readings as reported by NASA? I smell a rat.

    Well you might… NOAA via NCDC, creates the GHCN data set that is the ‘base’ data (have trouble calling it ‘raw’ since it isn’t…) that goes into CIStemp (and if the leaked emails are to be believed substantially matches CRU, and so HadCRUT, and the NCDC adjusted, and even the Japanese series).

    So how do you explain the high UAH satellite anomalies?

    70% of the earth’s surface is water. UAH correctly measures the above surface temp of both land and ocean. The oceans are currently yielding up some of the energy stored in them by the active sun of the C20th. Because the sun is quiet, a lot of this heat is rising straight up through the less humid than usual atmosphere and heading out to space. Hence the high outoing LW readings at the TOA over the last 8 years.

    The sea normally warms the land in winter by giving heat to the air which then passes over land, but because the trade winds are weak, and the air is less humid, this isn’t helping as much as before, and the interiors of the N.H. continents are getting mighty cold.

  66. Stephen Wilde, satellites are calibrated to air balloon radiosondes and were repeatedly recalibrated, found to match the radiosonde readings very well.
    I have compared MSU satellite readings of lower troposphere with good quality stations like Irish Armagh Observatory and the agreement for given area was exceptional.

  67. We are living now in “interesting times” we have not lived exactly before. Also the SOI index for el Nino it is positive while there is no el Nino at all, warm areas along the equatorial pacific are limited only to el Nino 3+4 area and have not reached SA, instead it appears a non expected hot zone in the middle of the south pacific.
    I hope some a more informed people could interpret this. Perhaps the magnetic field approach of Vukcevick…

  68. Pt. II

    Continuing the thought of the Quasi-Biennial Oscillation (QBO) affecting the Stratospheric Sudden Warmings (SSW) which help modulate the Arctic Oscillation (AO) as opposed to the Annual Oscillation (AO), I came across an interesting paper published in 2005 demonstrating a potential link between the QBO behaviour and the Solar Cycle at:

    http://sd-www.jhuapl.edu/TIMED/WWW/science/meetings/2005_SWG_04_12/General_Science/Mayr_SolarCycle.pdf

    What would be interesting to see is the way the QBO is reacting to this long solar minimum since it should cross several QBO cycles.

    Jeff

  69. savethesharks (22:29:02) :

    Hi Chris
    As you can see I do not give up easily, although banned from elsewhere, and occasionally getting hard time here.
    Great chart, thanks
    It would be helpful to know the originator.

  70. Thanks everybody for the links to the aqrctic ice monitoring sites. Does anyone have a link to a Norwegian site? (I think it has a name like “Nansen”.)

  71. Paul Vaughan (01:30:00) :

    I’m afraid I don’t have these, I was simply basing it on the pattern of H and L regions currently which does not indicate a positive Arctic dipole pattern.

    Andy

  72. “”Eggsuckindog (23:03:37) :

    Forget the Artic, its cold as hell in Florida””

    On the bright side, a really cold winter might help reduce/eliminate some alien species like pythons and tropic fish.

  73. Caleb:
    Hansen then switched over to predicting warming, but Dr. Gray stated the warming was only a cycle, and cooling would return. It looks like once again Dr. Gray was right and Hansen was wrong.

    It is my understanding that NASA turned down eight separate requests from Dr. Gray for the funding needed to research the AMO and other cycles.

    Fox / Stossel should interview Dr. Gray. (Perhaps in conjunction with Tim Ball.)

  74. vukcevic (06:16:13) : I was asking for an interpretation from you of this big hot spot in the middle of southern seas:

    Any guesses if you put it on your magnetic field charts?

  75. BTW El Nino it´s “congealed” and debilitated in the Nino 3+4 area and he seems to be scared not daring going eastward, not obeying SOI differential pressure.

  76. Snowguy716 (22:10:00) : We have to be careful when talking about warming or cooling in the Arctic and the stratosphere. My guess (forecast?) of a coming cold NH winter was based upon this chart here: http://ocean.dmi.dk/arctic/meant80n.uk.php or see Anthony’s link to DMI Polar Temperature above on the right.

    An AGW simpleton would look at the warmer Arctic temperatures during the last few months and shout global warming. To me it meant the Arctic was warmer than usual so losing more [IR] energy to space. Hence the NH was actually cooling down.

    Warmer poles mean the Earth is cooling, colder poles mean the Earth is warming. The same applies to the stratosphere.

  77. Pamela Gray (20:30:21) :

    I would surmise that a mix of warm ocean and cold atmospheric conditions with the right “negative” bent would result in a build-up of snow and a regrowth of glaciers over time. If everything turned cold, then rivers would freeze, precip would dry up, and many areas will be ice-locked. Larger water sources would continue to build up and create large ice dams. If a thaw then took place, we would have severe flooding in many areas. An all cold scenario is not to be wished for, especially if followed by warmth and rain.

    You are in Oregon, right? I lived there for about 10 years, during the ’60’s and ’70’s, and remember some pretty bad flooding along the Willamette. Now I’m in Arkansas, where we are about to finish the year with ~85 inches of rainfall, compared to a normal of ~50 inches. The school where I teach has flooded twice, the second time on Christmas eve, wiping out most of the school’s computers (~150 or so).

    Flooding is not nice.

  78. Mapou (21:36:00) :

    Can someone please explain in simple language what the implications are with respect to the AGW hypothesis.

    It’s not getting warmer.

  79. John Finn (03:01:19) : “You” use anomalies. If the 1951-1980 mean temperature for a station is 25C (77F) and in 2009 it only reads 23C (73F) then the anomaly will be -2, i.e. the anomaly will be ‘cold’ even though the climate/weather is still warm.
    I any case, as I said above, satellite readings are also showing high anomalies and have a similar 30 year warming trend over the US as the GISS record.”

    Plus or minus anomalies are totally dependent on the base period chosen.
    Perhaps there should be a standard base period that would be as long as possible. Then anomalies could be compared on equal footings.

  80. John Finn (03:01:19) :

    “You” use anomalies. If the 1951-1980 mean temperature for a station is 25C (77F) and in 2009 it only reads 23C (73F) then the anomaly will be -2, i.e. the anomaly will be ‘cold’ even though the climate/weather is still warm.

    I think you miss EM’s point. In order to calculate your anomalies you need a base line to subtract. So for CA if you had 3 stations in 1965, one coastal, one valley and one mountain then your gridded (5×5) product base line is the product of all three. If in 1990 you remove the valley and mountain stations but keep your 1950-1980 base line then post 1990 …

    There is a huge influx of stations around 1950 and a huge exodus around 1990. It is difficult to see how like is being compared with like in 2009.

    I any case, as I said above, satellite readings are also showing high anomalies and have a similar 30 year warming trend over the US as the GISS record.

    Not sure too many here would disagree that there has been a warming trend since 1975 or so. Or that we are thankfully not still stuck in the LIA.

    Syun-Ichi Akasofu …

    There is an urgent need to correctly identify natural changes and remove them from the present global warming/cooling trend, in order to accurately and correctly identify the contribution of the manmade greenhouse effect.

  81. Sometimes the correct answer is; “umm, I dunno”. No one likes to give that answer because it makes them look dumb, but nonetheless it is sometimes the right answer.
    Our climate is incredibly complex. Anyone who thinks CO2 is like a thermostat on our climate is vastly oversimplifying it. Maybe one day we will be able to understand and possibly even control earth’s climate, but we aren’t there yet. Let’s just pray we are able to exercise some control over it before the next ice age hits.

  82. AlanG (06:52:42) :
    Warmer poles mean the Earth is cooling, colder poles mean the Earth is warming. The same applies to the stratosphere
    Very interesting..Watch this hot spot in the middle of the pacific and cold waters east of it and surrounding it. The pacific anticyclone, which goes form south to north and counterclockwise to the west could displace those hot waters southwards (??)

  83. E.M.Smith (01:19:44) :

    Thanks for the concise summary of the work you’ve been doing on this.

    I have a question, and we could take it up at your blog, if it is too OT here, but I don’t think we’ll get too off topic You wrote:

    “IMHO, this biases the input data via thermometer change so much that it swamps the ability of the “anomaly process” to recover a valid anomaly.”

    I understand this, I think. But wouldn’t the bias be there even if you do not use anomalies? I frequently use station, state, or regional data that doesn’t have an anomaly base, just temps (in F, though I sometimes convert to C). I simple 12 month moving average of the monthly values gives me a nice “annualized” graph of the series, but in degrees F (or C), not “anomalyized”. Now if we were to take the “raw” global temperatures, not “anomalyized,” and do the same, we’d still have the bias you report, wouldn’t we?

    On the other hand, since the global temperature is built from gridding the station data, and not simply taking an average of all the stations, doesn’t this limit the influence of the problem you are talking about? I can see the large station dropout raising uncertainty levels, but not necessarily the mean. Unless, of course, you are saying that what dropped out within specific grid boxes were cooler stations, leaving behind proportionately more warmer stations.

  84. The December 2009 AO index is indeed worthy of note .The recent level of around -4 looks to be the lowest since the 1950 start of record keeping. It is the lowest for December ever?

    PREVIOUS LOWS
    JAN 1977 -3.76
    JAN 1963 -3.31
    JAN 1966 -3.23
    FEB 1969 -3.11
    FEB 1978 -3.01

    PDO and NAO are also negative and AMO is about to go negative . So many signs are all pointing in the same direction. This is not just a one winter event but may last for decades and is comparable to the 1960-1980 era.

  85. Well, in contrast to US and northern Europe, we in Greece are getting a mild December (18C daytime maximum, 9C minimum). Fortunately we did get a cold spell sometime in October ( cold meaning below 10C maximum) and in the beginning of December, otherwise all the fruit trees would have bloomed which would not be good for agriculture. This, fruit trees blooming in December has happened once in my memory of watching weather here( 50years?).
    Our summer was cool though, practically air conditioned, so the yearly temperature should average out on the average :)

  86. 1. It would be interesting to look at reconstructions of the AO and NAO from the 1920’s and ’30’s.

    2. The AO was deeply negative from the beginning of June, 2009 until the middle of August. During this time, the temperature reported in Central Park never reached 90F (not shown in the graph above).

    2a. How much of the deeply negative AO this past summer was due to the eruptions of Mts Redoubt and Sarychev (more importantly the latter)? A significant injection of SO2 into the stratosphere might induce a sudden stratospheric warming an event which translates in the lower troposphere to a negative AO. Joe D’Aleo, I believe, wrote a blog post on Icecap about this connection at the time of the eruption of Sarychev.

    3. Interesting shift around 1995. Negative AO’s seem to become more frequent and deeper. positives less frequent and shallower.

    4. Deeply negative AO in October correlates with the third coldest October in the U.S. instrumental record.

    5. Different signals can have widely different effects, especially in the context of longer-term variations in the ocean-atmosphere couplet, such as the AMO and PDO.

    6. Could someone sit me down and explain, patiently and slowly, the basics of Atmospheric Angular Momentum? My spiritual serenity would be greatly torqued.

  87. being picky here anthony but;; REPLY: The diagnosis was wrong, it just had a bad case of a cold. -Anthony
    Shouldn’t that be case of warm. :))

    Now its all down to how the climate re-acts when the PDO goes cold phase (now), AMO( just beginning), Sun( maybe now), Artic’just beginning) etc. What is reasonably obvious, he says carefully, is that warming would naturally continue up to the beginning of the next ice-age but also that the deeper a cold spell in between the slower and lower that warming could become, So doing an AGW funded scientist impression, we look to be in for a cold snap but global warming will resume ( but maybe not immediately and maybe not in time to show an overall dramatic increase in global temps before 2100)

  88. Juraj V. (02:32:16) :
    “The more I have been thinking about our central European climate, the more I am convinced the warming since mid-80ties has been caused by changes in air circulation.”

    Here in Hungary I think exactly the same. The macrocirculation patterns have changed greatly over the last 20-30 years, especially during summer months. More sunshine, more SW radiation, more heat and higher temperatures. I think our climate is driven by AMO and sometimes influenced by ENSO.

  89. Eve (08:12:26) :Could somebody give me an idea of what is wrong with Real Climate’s analysis of C02 induced warming?
    Everything!
    Didn’t you know about “Climate Gate” ?

  90. Great curve on the AMO, and another stromg suggestion of big trouble. The mid century cold in NA started about 1944 and temperature dropped like a stone to about 1953, right after the AMO smoothed peak, warming started about 1976, right after the trough, we are now a year or so past the next peak. Oh oh! Murray

  91. Eve

    It’s toooooo simple, thats all. Yes CO² absorbs IR but at two very specific and narrow bands. CO² also gives up the radiation but it can’t give it to just any old molecule. N and O (96% of the atmosphere will not accept it) so CO² can only transfer its energy to N and O and other molecules but kinetic transfer, it has to get rid of the energy because it naturally wants to be in its ‘ground state’ (min energy state) so if it can’t do so by kinetic means then it will do it by re-radiation. Only other CO² can be reradiated but because they are already ‘saturated’ the reradiated energy is ‘assumed’ to radiate in all directions ie 50% down to earth and 50% into space. Kinetic transfer then relies on the 1:2500 CO² molecules exciting the others. Not very influential you see. If you were into purifying metals for money, ie gold, nickel, etc, you would consider 0.04% of impurity very close to pure and that is the amount of CO² in the atmosphere. For the fabrication of intergrated circuit we look for an impurity level of better than 0.01% to 0.001% or better that is to say 99.99% to 99.999% pure. You pay considerably more money for 5 nines pure than 4 nines pure but both are very difficult to achieve. Our atmosphere is 99.96% pure relative to CO².

    Now this is also a very simple explanation but it should give you the drift. I will say, though, that CO² has the potential to warm the planet but we simply do not understand all the feedbacks within the system. Climate models make many assumption about these feedbacks which may or may not be correct but what is certain is that we need a lot more genuine and honest research into the climate system which will not happen until governments relinquish their desire to use climate as a means of taxation.

  92. stephen richards (08:46:19) :
    until governments relinquish their desire to use climate as a means of taxation
    So…the best idea to make them forget about carbon dioxide and climate change would be to accept a direct taxation on fossil fuels, that would fix your deficits and your economy, and believe me, it will assure fossil fuels industry because, readily the government becomes addicted to this tax. Rest assure that comsumption does not decrease at all. In my country we happily pay (the poorest and the richest) a premium gasoline price of US$4.89 per US gallon.

  93. Jonsie
    Thats exactly what the French have done. Which is where I live and work with local government. We have a €17/tonne tax on carbon beginning next week. BUT I think it is deceitful. I would rather be taxed honestly thank you and not told seemingly endless lies in order to impose it. We pay 0.60€ /ltr for heating fuel at the moment and €1.26/ltr for petrol which is about €5.67/gallon with an average wage of €1500/mth before tax. Premium petrol is about €1.32/ltr although I use diesel @ €1 / ltr so you see that carbon taxes are already very high against the average wage.

    The difference with ecotax and the reason the governments like it is because they can make the halfwitted average mr public feel good about paying it. There is no other tax that does that; Which also means they can augment it at will. Incidently the french deficit is about average for europe, so well below the US and UK on a par with germany.

  94. If some one bothers you all days and all the time…it’s better to finish it by asking : what do you want?!!…then I’ll give you some money but go!
    That’s the logic of it. If with that money we pay they can do what they please OK, but let us leave us live in peace!. That is the price we have to pay to allow us to live, see?. They will, of course, as corrupt as they are, will spend part of that money in buying some whittish stuff that will make them more useless that they are now, and we can happily live our simpler but fruitful lives.

  95. They really will become the real “gammas” of their naive “Brave new world”, and we, the commonest among the common will have the wealth of knowledge. Just leave them to live their miserable lives only scarcely bearable by sniffing that starnge powder imported from southern latitudes.☺

  96. JonesII (07:36:13) :

    Very interesting..Watch this hot spot in the middle of the pacific and cold waters east of it and surrounding it. The pacific anticyclone, which goes form south to north and counterclockwise to the west could displace those hot waters southwards (??)

    Im kind of curious about the warm water off Greenland on the gif. Is it real, and if so is it geothermal or sumthin?

  97. **************
    JonesII (09:35:35) :

    stephen richards (08:46:19) :
    until governments relinquish their desire to use climate as a means of taxation
    So…the best idea to make them forget about carbon dioxide and climate change would be to accept a direct taxation on fossil fuels, that would fix your deficits and your economy, and believe me, it will assure fossil fuels industry because, readily the government becomes addicted to this tax. Rest assure that comsumption does not decrease at all. In my country we happily pay (the poorest and the richest) a premium gasoline price of US$4.89 per US gallon.
    *****************
    The best idea is to forget taxing CO2 and forget taxing gasoline. I mean, a tax cut would be the best idea. What’s up with all you taxing people??

  98. Looking at NOAA’s historical averages for December going back to 1950 make December 2009 very significant. I was unable to get raw data to see just how far below (-4) the index is actually recording but even assuming maximum anomalies of (-4) and standard arithmetic averages, we could be exceeding (-3) for the month which is significant given the record for the last 60 years for December is (-2.3)

    JAN 1977 -3.76
    JAN 1963 -3.31
    JAN 1966 -3.23
    FEB 1969 -3.11
    FEB 1978 -3.01

    And as Matt V (07:54:18) :

    has shown the December reading would be approaching all time lows for January and February.

    http://www.cpc.noaa.gov/products/precip/CWlink/daily_ao_index/monthly.ao.index.b50.current.ascii

    1950 1 -0.60310E-01
    1950 12 -0.19281E+01
    1951 12 0.19872E+01
    1952 12 -0.18267E+01
    1953 12 0.57547E+00
    1954 12 0.55259E+00
    1955 12 -0.44403E+00
    1956 12 0.89139E-03
    1957 12 0.82801E+00
    1958 12 -0.16865E+01
    1959 12 -0.41950E-01
    1960 12 -0.34295E+00
    1961 12 -0.16682E+01
    1962 12 -0.71143E+00
    1963 12 -0.11781E+01
    1964 12 -0.24609E+00
    1965 12 0.16297E+00
    1966 12 -0.14015E+01
    1967 12 -0.34693E+00
    1968 12 -0.78317E+00
    1969 12 -0.18556E+01
    1970 12 -0.39915E+00
    1971 12 0.82387E+00
    1972 12 0.12375E+01
    1973 12 -0.18148E+00
    1974 12 0.55645E+00
    1975 12 0.12898E+01
    1976 12 -0.20743E+01
    1977 12 -0.23965E+00
    1978 12 -0.98014E+00
    1979 12 0.12948E+01
    1980 12 -0.57300E-01
    1981 12 -0.12157E+01
    1982 12 0.96718E+00
    1983 12 0.18625E+00
    1984 12 0.44600E+00
    1985 12 -0.19476E+01
    1986 12 0.59768E-01
    1987 12 -0.53391E+00
    1988 12 0.16788E+01
    1989 12 -0.64365E+00
    1990 12 0.12767E+00
    1991 12 0.16132E+01
    1992 12 0.16267E+01
    1993 12 -0.10412E+00
    1994 12 0.89383E+00
    1995 12 -0.21271E+01
    1996 12 -0.17208E+01
    1997 12 -0.71116E-01
    1998 12 0.13534E+01
    1999 12 0.10431E+01
    2000 12 -0.23544E+01*
    2001 12 -0.13224E+01
    2002 12 -0.15921E+01
    2003 12 0.26521E+00
    2004 12 0.12301E+01
    2005 12 -0.21039E+01
    2006 12 0.22817E+01
    2007 12 0.82113E+00
    2008 12 0.64778E+00
    2009 12 -0.99900E+34

  99. Jim

    Great idea but countries are like households. We should spend only what we get in income or perhaps a little than our income in order to save for banker induced economic failures.
    The big difference of course, is that countries can print more money. That works for a while but eventually fails in massive inflation and bankruptcy.

    So tax is income and we need it to help the sick (us sometimes), to build infrastructure, recreaction facilities and so on. In reality, oil is a very cheap commodity these days relative to our personal incomes and at the well head it is massively cheaper than at the pump. Which why OPEC gets really annoyed when western governments tell them to drop their prices. So honesty first, I think.

  100. That is just a place holder for missing data. Since it is the monthly value that is shown, Dec doesn’t have a value yet. Also sometimes represented as NaN’s (not a number)

  101. Thanks Pamela. Couldn’t find the interrelationship when searching Arctic Oscillator and huricanes.

    That diagram above is great, you can see and feel the increased westward pressure when in positive mode. We all know the huricane tracks will always be somewhat chaotic. But as you said, this increased pressure would tend to straighten their path to the west, more or less aiming them more toward the gulf and away from the Atlantic as they curve to the north. But just a tendency. In negative mode the decreased pressure would let them wander. Make sense?

  102. The french carbon tax is roughly compensated for by some tax cuts according to this article:

    http://www.ansamed.info/en/top/ME12.XAM20003.html

    Germany – where i live – has a similar tax, colloquially called Ökosteuer (eco tax) as an extra tax on fuel for several years now. And some more shackles on the economy.

    http://www.ibtimes.com/articles/20091217/climate-change-cost-me-look-germany-tax-cop15.htm

    For Americans this must all seem pretty horrendous.

  103. JonesII (06:47:55) :
    “vukcevic (06:16:13) : I was asking for an interpretation from you of this big hot spot in the middle of southern seas:

    Any guesses if you put it on your magnetic field charts?”

    Nothing magnetic, just a simple hydrodynamics. The ‘hot spots’ are created at a convergence of two currents of different salinity over a plunge in the ocean floor. As currents move their strength and direction the ‘hot spots’ appear, gain in strength and eventually disappear. Here is a good graphic explanation of the Iceland-Greenland one (which I was following during last month or so):

  104. Eve,

    “Step 6: Radiative forcing x climate sensitivity is a significant number

    . . . . . We can estimate this independently using the changes in ocean heat content over the last decade or so (roughly equal to the current radiative imbalance). . . ”

    Here is what they projected consistent with OHC and their global warming theory.

    GISS PROJECTED GLOBAL OCEAN HEAT ACCUMULATION
    2003 ~10.532*10**22 Joules
    2004 ~11.512*10**22 Joules
    2005 ~12.492*10**22 Joules
    2006 ~13.472*10**22 Joules
    2007 ~14.452*10**22 Joules
    2008 ~15.432*10**22 Joules
    2009 ~16.412*10**22 Joules

    According to Pielke and also the Argos Bouys, there has been no increase in OHC (ocean heat content) in the last 10 years.

    The observations reported in Lyman et al indicate

    “We observe a net loss of 3.2 (± 1.1) X 10**22 J of heat from the upper ocean between 2003 and 2005.” [3.2 X 10**22 Joules = 0.32 X 10 **23 Joules]

    There were no net increases whatsoever. And it can’t possibly happen short of a planetary catastrophe in the next two years.

  105. stephen richards (12:05:27) :

    Ron

    Is that right? 2009 12 -0.99900E+34
    Dec 2009 -0.999 to the power of +34

    No. . . . they use that annotation when the results are not yet complete. There are 3 more days of data to collect for December 2009.

  106. geo (20:05:53): asks about natural variability …

    It’s was a tough nut, geo. After years of painstaking research I have finally discovered the answer. Remarkably, the answer is exactly the same as Al Gore’s IQ ………………… 42.

  107. DirkH (12:33:11) : What is silly is to cut emissions, like oneself emissions: We all exhale CO2 and that’s impossible to cut. So I am in favour of paying anything as long as they stop meddling in our private lives to sell us stupid gadgets like windmills, eco-electricity from conveniently transformed eco-cows’ farting or their new-age-post-modern-leftist-ideologies.
    That’s the deal!

  108. radun (12:35:00) : Thanks for the explanation. It is good to stir waters once in a while ☺. However, following the socratic mayeutic method I must ask: are those currents above caused by winds?…and those winds, as the pacific counter clockwise anticyclone, caused by what? and so on…

  109. Since december is now all but over, and the anomoly calculations are now days away. I have read all of the weather is not climate articles this month as I have for as long as Mr Watts has been printing them. The anomoly for december will be no less than +0.5. This month will also be proclaimed to be within the top 10 warmest since the surface of the earth was molten 4.5 billion years ago. The warmth will mostly come from high anomolies from places where people don’t live such as siberia, antarctica, and austrailia.

  110. geo (20:05:53) :
    “Would this be a good thread to note that “natural variation” as an explanation is something I still find unsatisfying, even if accurate? To me, it still is just hiding another deeper level of detailed processes that we still don’t understand.”

    Outside the IPCC cabal of climate scientists, a small group of people do understand what drives of weather/climate system – deterministic chaos. This means that looking for simple linear processes and using linear statistical measures gives us no insight into what is going on now, or what will happen in the future. At best it can give us knowledge about climate history, but that’s not much use to political policy makers.

    We do not have sufficient knowledge yet about how the total system operates. Only by doing pure research on this hard problem will progress be made, but currently it seems the powers that be want CO2 to be accepted as the only driver of change.

    Science is about facts, and producing rules which lead the way to discovery. The CAGW hypothesis provides none of these, and the measured results continuously profound and falsify this ludicrous theory.

    It is possible we will understand this one day, but I don’t think it will happen in our lifetimes.

  111. JonesII (13:31:30) :
    “radun (12:35:00) : Thanks for the explanation. It is good to stir waters once in a while ☺. However, following the socratic mayeutic method I must ask: are those currents above caused by winds?…and those winds, as the pacific counter clockwise anticyclone, caused by what? and so on…”

    My knowledge of matters of the concern is limited one, or to paraphrase one of the greatest exponents of the western diplomacy, from the early years of this century:
    Currents? they are ‘known knowns’; caused by winds? these are ‘known unknowns’ ; counter clockwise anticyclones? these, to myself, are unknown unknowns.
    I whish you a HNY.

  112. I was interested to read that among the places ‘where people don’t live’ was my own country/continentof Australia. I wonder what everybody has been doing here for the past 60,000 years the place has had people?

  113. JeffK (06:07:06) ” http://sd-www.jhuapl.edu/TIMED/WWW/science/meetings/2005_SWG_04_12/General_Science/Mayr_SolarCycle.pdf

    article: “QBO is driven by waves, and solar cycle “modifies” QBO from above like steering an ocean liner.”

    Effective translation (into laymanese).

    article: “Quasi-decadal oscillations, generated internally by QBO, may interfere with or aid SC effect.”

    I’m not so sure they are “internal”.

    Speculation:
    (11.86630899*164.888325)/(164.888325-11.86630899)=12.78649873
    (12.78649873*2)/(12.78649873-2)=2.370833957
    Factor of 2 relates to symmetry/asymmetry.

    Maybe 2 & 2.5 are (usual) bounds determined by integer effects. I suggest everyone see pp.23-25 – stimulating …even if they are wrong.

    article: “Monkey Wrench
    Beat periods between 9 and 11 years generated by QBO interacting with:
    –Annual oscillation (AO): 12 months, hemispherically anti-symmetric
    –Semi-annual oscillation (SAO): 6 months, hemisphericallysymmetric like QBO”

    Clarification for readers: AO in this WUWT article refers to Arctic Oscillation, but AO in JeffK’s link refers to Annual Oscillation.

    Related:

    (IOD = Indian Ocean Dipole)

    1948+ QBO series:

    http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/psd/data/correlation/qbo.data

    Arthur Glass (07:57:46) “Could someone sit me down and explain, patiently and slowly, the basics of Atmospheric Angular Momentum? My spiritual serenity would be greatly torqued.”

    In one word: WIND.
    (“How windy it is globally” is a longer translation into laymanese.)

    Btw: Accumulated QBO shows same pattern when window-integrated with bandwidth determined by:

    tallbloke (05:13:38) “The sea normally warms the land in winter by giving heat to the air which then passes over land, but because the trade winds are weak, and the air is less humid, this isn’t helping as much as before, and the interiors of the N.H. continents are getting mighty cold.”

    Are you suggesting the giant stir-stick is
    taking a vacation? [ :

    Tenuc (13:46:34) “deterministic chaos [...] [...] simple linear [...] no insight into [...] future. [...] It is possible we will understand this one day, but I don’t think it will happen in our lifetimes.”

    It’s not all chaos. Once the conditioning is understood, look at what Piers Corbyn is doing, for one example.

    Eventually we may be left with chaos after we have exhausted conditioning, but we have TONS upon tons upon tons of work left on that front, so operational optimism is more-than warranted (…particularly if we can pry the funding floodgate-controls away from the distortion-artists!)

    “Considering the above-discussed characteristics and importance of the wave forcing, which controls the equatorial oscillations, we shall delineate for diagnostic purposes the NCEP data in terms of their hemispherically symmetric and anti-symmetric components. For this purpose, the data (D) at a particular (and the same) latitude in the northern (n) and southern (s) hemispheres, Dn, Ds, respectively are split up into the symmetric (S) and anti-symmetric (A) elements by computing respectively DS = (Dn + Ds)/2 and DAn = (Dn – Ds)/2, DAs = (Ds – Dn)/2. The original data in the two hemispheres are then reproduced by the addition of the symmetric and antisymmetric components, i.e., Dn = DS + DAn and Ds = DS + DAs. As discussed above, DS would then describe primarily the QBO and SA0 that characterize the nearly symmetric atmospheric oscillations around the equator, while DAn = – DAs would represent to fust order the dominant 12-month A0 with opposite phase in the two hemispheres.
    Employing different data samples, the hemispherically symmetric and anti-symmetric components are spectrally analyzed to describe the AO, QBO and long-term variations. The important spectral features are then synthesized to reveal, for comparison, the different oscillations embedded in the data.”
    (Mayr et al. 2007a&b)

    “Solar Cycle influence at high latitudes originates around the equator, where wave interactions amplify the effect.” “Possible Monkey Wrench: Quasi-decadal Oscillations with beat periods 5 to 12 years generated by QBO interacting with seasonal variations –to interfere with or aid Solar Cycle effect.” “Constant 10-year solar cycle, with maximum during solstice, synchronizes solar variability and seasonal variations.” (Mayr et al. 2006)

    Blue sky (08:06:29) [re: Juraj V. (02:32:16)] on Europe “I think our climate is driven by AMO and sometimes influenced by ENSO.”

    The interannual component of AMO very often relates to the rate of change of ENSO. The phase-relations aren’t always tight, but they are categorically not random.

  114. I was able to locate an AO plot showing the actual points below (-4) going back to 1899

    and using an eyeball of the plot on the right and came up with an arithmetic average for a December AO of 3.04 with two days to go which would make it the all time low AOI reading going back to 1899 with the previous being December 1935 of 2.73.

    Here is the AOI plot for 1899 to 2002.

    http://jisao.washington.edu/ao/#analyses

  115. Stephan (23:46:31) : “Timothy Also this ice extent probably more reliable as it updated daily AMSR/CT takes their time and might do some adjusting to suit AGW agenda who knows? Note since October 1 most ice extent data not reliable probably been adjusted down to suit the agenda but even with this they cannot prevent showing that ice will (probably) go ‘over’ anomaly”

    Not exactly. Since September, much heat has been transferred to the Arctic from North America, China, and Europe, driving temperatures down in the NH, but keeping Arctic temperatures “high” (i.e., 5 to 10°C above “normal.”) This has suppressed the Arctic freeze-up, but has also resulted in some extra heat lost to space. Between increased albedo, the lowered NH temperatures, and that extra heat loss, we should see a long, harsh winter with many broken records.

  116. Wayne, makes perfect sense. Don’t know if that is the answer but it’s a damn good hypothesis with a proposed mechanism.

  117. Ron (17:44:08) “AO plot showing the [...] below (-4) [...] http://www.cpc.noaa.gov/products/precip/CWlink/daily_ao_index/ao.mrf.gif

    Thanks for the link. Other interesting stuff in that directory:

    Vertical AO structure:

    http://www.cpc.noaa.gov/products/precip/CWlink/daily_ao_index/hgt.aao_body.html

    Noteworthy USA spatial correlations:
    Temperature AO- FMA (February-March-April) :

    Temperature AO+&- DJF:

    Precipitation AO- ASO (Aug-Sep-Oct):

    Data:
    Monthly AO 1950+:
    Table:

    http://www.cpc.noaa.gov/products/precip/CWlink/daily_ao_index/monthly.ao.index.b50.current.ascii.table

    Column:

    http://www.cpc.noaa.gov/products/precip/CWlink/daily_ao_index/monthly.ao.index.b50.current.ascii

  118. Paul Vaughan (16:27:07) :

    Fascinating stuff, Paul, as always. Thank you.

    I hope you teach classes. If you do, I would sign up for the course in no time.

    Chris
    Norfolk, VA, USA

  119. Paul Vaughan “…so operational optimism is more-than warranted (…particularly if we can pry the funding floodgate-controls away from the distortion-artists!)”

    YES. Let’s do it!!!

    Chris
    Norfolk, VA, USA

  120. savethesharks (22:28:07) “YES. Let’s do it!!!”

    Step one is to divert very large streams of sufficient, stable, secure public funding to Piers Corbyn & his team. When it becomes clear that the streams are unquestionably reliable, it will be safe for Dr. Corbyn to begin a phase of scientific benevolence. This will both stimulate & accelerate multiple natural variation research tracks.

  121. Perhaps for ease of use as much as accuracy, you might care to refer to the lowest points as troughs, rather than negative peaks. I’m off to look out my thermal underwear and then shovel some more snow off the driveway…

  122. CO2 Busted!!! Again and again and again!!!!!

    Its seems to be an intellectual benefit NOT to be AGW junkie. Maybe lack of intelligence explains the whole AGW religion.

  123. Paul Vaughan:

    tallbloke (05:13:38) “The sea normally warms the land in winter by giving heat to the air which then passes over land, but because the trade winds are weak, and the air is less humid, this isn’t helping as much as before, and the interiors of the N.H. continents are getting mighty cold.”

    Are you suggesting the giant stir-stick is
    taking a vacation? [ :

    Well, my analysis was a very abbreviated version, but basically, yes. For a more detailed analysis of what the later part of the winter has in store, this is pretty thorough:

    http://www.netweather.tv/index.cgi?action=other;type=winterbulletin;sess=

    Small snippet:
    The NAO is also linked to the Arctic Oscillation (AO), particularly during the second half of the winter when high pressure over the Arctic (negative AO phase) can force the NAO negative through a large block developing over Greenland effectively deflecting the jet stream southwards. The biggest determinant of the AO during the winter months, especially during El Nino events, is the state of the stratosphere over the Arctic.

  124. And more from the same link:
    Currently, the net balance of winds or globally averaged angular momentum (GLAAM) is below average indicating La Nina type weather patterns still persisting despite the presence of warm surface waters in the equatorial Pacific consistent with El Nino. This is probably related to the extended lull in solar activity although the east QBO, which is adding a 15 m/s component to the overall wind budget is also a factor.

  125. Since the warming stopped in 1998 the NAO has been mostly positive (at least according to the top chart standardized at 1950-2000. However, nothing like 1986-1995.

    “In the positive phase, frigid winter air does not extend as far into the middle of North America as it would during the negative phase of the oscillation. This keeps much of the United States east of the Rocky Mountains warmer than normal,

    but leaves Greenland and Newfoundland COLDER than usual.

    Weather patterns in the negative phase are in general “opposite” to those of the positive phase, as illustrated below.”

    Seems a negative NAO means warmer temperatures for Greenland, or should I say less cold. I guess the warmers will focus on any warming trend their.

  126. tallbloke (05:57:56) & (06:00:22) ” http://www.netweather.tv/index.cgi?action=other;type=winterbulletin;sess=

    Thanks – some interesting observations there on dates of anomalous GLAAM/NAO/AO/SOI/QBO phase-relations – exactly what I’ve been looking into recently (along with aa/PDO/AMO/LOD/others). The notes have inspired some tweaking of …

    …to arrive at …

    (annual smoothing)
    …& then …

    (1st derivative with annual smoothing)
    …which I’m discovering (watch for an update) helps provide insight into the timing of kinks in…

    ….when phase relations involving LOD/GLAAM/QBO/SOI are taken into account. (Someone with your patience & curiosity will see what I mean without further words – watch for a few more plots which I hope to have time to edit & add….)

  127. continued from above …

    When noting the late-80s to mid-90s phase-concordance, remember the acceleration of Arctic ice-melt during this period and the concurrent Netherlands warming, which one of our formerly-regular alarmist-visitors has drawn to our attention (with no mention of cumulative AO – but with plenty of other assumptions).

    Blink between browser-tabs to compare with:

    Note that there appears to be something interesting going on with the pattern-shift at the 5 to 6 year timescale. [My first guess, based on earlier studies would be polar motion; further investigation (for example via cross-wavelet phase-coherence) is necessary. It already looks like this is going to get quite interesting -- there are several variables showing time-normalized power in roughly the same timescale-band - (linear-correlations are intermittently getting crushed by spatial-stirring & asymmetry) --- I will be particularly interested in comparing phase-mismatches with the terrestrial polar motion record. I'll probably need to develop new computational methods & software.]

    For reference:

    [Reminder to other investigators: Antarctic Circumpolar Current (ACC) spatiotemporal-phasing (more another day...)]

    Anecdotally, I’ve also found this:

    …which ties in with the concurrent sharp drop here:

    …& of course this all happens on the concurrent climb here:

  128. ‘Starting in the 1970s, however, the oscillation has tended to stay in the positive phase, causing lower than normal arctic air pressure and higher than normal temperatures in much of the United States and northern Eurasia.’

    As this is where much of the global warming scare came from, can we blame God for flipping the AO and hence cause temperatures to rise or did we, human beings, fly to the moon too often, thereby changing the atmosphere, stratosphere etc etc and cause the change through BEING BAD BOYS AND GIRLS?!

    To me, where climate science research should be at now is coming to understand how the modes of many parameters are influenced, modulated and flipped. AO, PDO, ENSO, IPWP etc etc.

    There seems to be good 1 – 3 day forecasting now.

    Also good medium-range prediction of extreme seasons and storms. Maybe not by those who run the 1 -3 day forecasts, though!

    ENSO predictions are starting to come along. Not routine yet, but the monitoring systems are there for reduction to practice by 2025 – 30.

    Solar predictions remain an art form, not an exact science. No reason it shouldn’t become understood by 2030 though. IMHO.

    If the interdecadal segment can be added, then weather predictions can start to become useful in strategic commerce.

  129. SPECIAL REQUEST:

    Please give a precise, clear definition of the ARCTIC OSCILLATION in such a way that you make VERY clear when the “negative” corresponds to the correct temperature (warmer?/ colder?) over the arctic.

    Every description I see does NOT make this clear.

    So, please, make it clear:

    NEGATIVE = what? — warm over the arctic or cold?

    POSITIVE= what? — warm or cold where?

    Graphs of the anomally have the low pressure going upward and the high going downward, then they leave out the connection between which is positive and negative correspondingly. What’s up with that?

    Please clarify, …. clearly, … once and for all.

    Thanks,

    Robert

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