Can Most Of The Rise In The Satellite-Era Surface Temperatures Be Explained Without Anthropogenic Greenhouse Gases?

The last 25 years of temperature variation

Satellite-Era Surface Temperature Record - Image via Wikipedia

Guest post by Bob Tisdale

In this post, I divide the globe (60S-60N) into two subsets and remove the linear effects of ENSO and volcanic eruptions from GISS Land-Ocean Temperature Index data since 1982. This is done using common methods. I further adjust the data to account for secondary ENSO-related processes. The Sea Surface Temperature subsets used for these adjustments are identified. The processes are briefly discussed, supported by links to past posts, and the data are presented that support the existence of these secondary effects. An additional volcanic aerosol refinement that increases the global trend is made. The bottom line is, the GISS LOTI and Reynolds OI.v2 SST data indicates that natural variables could be responsible for approximately 85% of the rise in global surface temperature since 1982. I’ll be the first to point out that I qualified my last sentence with the word “could”. This post illustrates a story presented by the data, nothing more. But this basic evaluation indicates these secondary effects of ENSO require further research.

This post continues with the two-year series of posts that basically illustrate that the effects of El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) cannot be accounted for using a single index like a commonly used SST-based dataset such as NINO3.4, or CTI, or MEI. These indices represent only the sea surface temperature of the central and eastern equatorial Pacific (that’s modified in the case of the MEI). They do not represent the process of ENSO. They do not account for the warm water that is returned to the western Pacific and redistributed during the La Niña. This post provides further evidence of those effects.

This post is long but I elected not to divide it in two. It’s 6,000 words or 13 single-spaced pages in length. It includes 32 Figures, a gif animation, and a video. So there’s a lot to digest. I tried to anticipate questions and answer them.

REMOVING THE LINEAR EFFECTS OF ENSO AND VOLCANIC AEROSOLS HELP TO SHOW THE TIMING OF THE WARMING

Many papers and blog posts that attempt to prove the existence of anthropogenic global warming remove the obvious linear effects of El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) events and of stratospheric aerosols discharged by explosive volcanic eruptions. An example is Thompson et al (2009) “Identifying Signatures of Natural Climate Variability in Time Series of Global-Mean Surface Temperature: Methodology and Insights”… http://www.atmos.colostate.edu/ao/ThompsonPapers/ThompsonWallaceJonesKennedy_JClimate2009.pdf
…and its companion paper Fyfe et al (2010), “Comparing Variability and Trends in Observed and Modelled Global-Mean Surface Temperature.”
http://www.atmos.colostate.edu/ao/ThompsonPapers/FyfeGillettThompson_GRL2010.pdf

Let’s run through the process using GISS Land-Ocean Temperature (LOTI) data. That’s their global temperature anomaly dataset with the 1200km radius smoothing. A known problem with that dataset is that GISS Deletes Arctic And Southern Ocean Sea Surface Temperature (SST) Data. Since that creates a bias, we’ll delete the GISS LOTI data where they extend land surface data (with its higher variability) out over the oceans. That is, we’ll confine the data used in this post to 60S-60N.

Someone is bound to complain that I’ve deleted the Arctic data from the GISS LOTI data and that the Arctic is warming much faster than lower latitudes. Keep in mind that the Arctic is amplifying the effects of the rise in temperature at lower latitudes. This is the basis of the concept of polar amplification. If the vast majority of the change in temperature at the lower latitudes is natural, the same would hold true for the Arctic. Regardless, these latitudes were also chosen because the effects I want to illustrate with this post are relatively easy to display using them.

Back to the data: since GISS switches sources for their Sea Surface Temperature data from HADISST to Reynolds OI.v2 data in December 1981, we’ll look at the LOTI data starting in 1982. Smith and Reynolds (2004) Improved Extended Reconstruction of SST (1854-1997)] states the following about the OI.v2 SST data: “Although the NOAA OI analysis contains some noise due to its use of different data types and bias corrections for satellite data, it is dominated by satellite data and gives a good estimate of the truth.”

The truth is a nice place to start.

And we’ll smooth the monthly data with a 13-month running-average filter to lessen noise and season variations.

Figure 1 shows monthly GISS LOTI data (60S-60N), from March 1982 to November 2010, compared to NINO3.4 SST anomalies. The NINO3.4 data represent the Sea Surface Temperature of a region in the central equatorial Pacific bound by the coordinates of 5S-5N, 170W-120W. NINO3.4 SST anomalies are a commonly used proxy for the strength and frequency of El Niño and La Niña events, also known as ENSO. (And for those new to ENSO, refer to An Introduction To ENSO, AMO, and PDO – Part 1.) Note also that the NINO3.4 data has been scaled (multiplied by a factor of 0.16) so that the rises of the two datasets are about the same during the evolution of the 1997/98 El Niño. The NINO3.4 SST anomalies have also been shifted down 0.01 deg C and moved back in time by 3 months (lagged) to align the leading edges of the two datasets at that time. (The data in the graph starts in March 1982 because of the 3-month lag in the NINO3.4 data.) I chose the 1997/98 El Niño because that event wasn’t opposed by a volcanic eruption and it was large enough to overwhelm the background noise. As you can see, the wiggles of lesser El Niño events after 2000 don’t match as well.

http://i53.tinypic.com/deuxdz.jpg
Figure 1

Many of the large year-to-year changes in global temperatures are removed when we subtract the scaled NINO3.4 data from the GISS Global (60S-60N) LOTI data. Refer to the “olive drab” curve in Figure 2. Since the NINO3.4 data has a negative trend since 1982, we increase the trend in the GISS LOTI data by subtracting it. Also note how the ENSO-adjusted GISS LOTI data has “flattened” after 1998. Without the volcano-related dip and rebound starting in 1991, the period from 1988 to 1998 would also be relatively flat. It appears as though the ENSO-adjusted GISS LOTI rose in two steps since 1982. Let’s remove the cooling effects of the El Chichon and Mount Pinatubo eruptions to see if that holds true. We’ll use a GISS dataset that represents Stratospheric Aerosols. (ASCII data) Like the ENSO Proxy, we’ll scale the data and lag it. The estimated range of the impact of Mount Pinatubo on Global Temperatures varies from 0.2 to 0.5 deg C, depending on the study, so we’ll use approximately 0.35 deg C to account for its effect. Visually, that scaling appears right.
http://i51.tinypic.com/8vyd54.jpg
Figure 2

Figure 3 illustrates the GISS Land-Ocean Temperature Index (LOTI) anomaly data with the linear effects of ENSO events and the effects of large volcanic eruptions removed. Also illustrated is the linear trend. I’ve included the linear trend line to illustrate the effect the straight line has on the appearance of the data. The trend line gives the misleading impression that there has been a constant but noisy rise in global temperatures.
http://i55.tinypic.com/zur19i.jpg
Figure 3

During the discussion of Figure 2, I noted that the data appeared to flatten after 1998. The upward steps in the data can be illustrated if we present the period average temperature anomalies for the three periods of 1982 to 1987, 1988 to 1997, and 1998 to 2010.
http://i55.tinypic.com/m96sly.jpg
Figure 4

WHAT COINCIDES WITH THE UPWARD STEPS?

The timings of those upward steps coincide with the transitions from the large El Niño to La Niña events that took place in 1988 and 1998. This can be seen in Figure 5, which includes the adjusted GISS LOTI data. The other dataset is scaled NINO3.4 SST anomalies that have been inverted (multiplied by a negative number). Figure 5 is a gif animation, and in it, the NINO3.4 data shifts up and down. That was done to show how precisely the upward steps in the adjusted GISS data coincide with ENSO transitions. The adjusted GISS data trails the NINO3.4 data by a month or two. And the scales are correct for both upward steps.
http://i54.tinypic.com/2i8b02b.jpg
Figure 5

But how can ENSO be impacting global temperature data if we’ve subtracted the scaled NINO3.4 anomaly data from the Global (60S-60N) GISS LOTI anomalies?

LA NIÑA EVENTS ARE NOT THE OPPOSITE OF EL NIÑO EVENTS

The assumption made when we removed the linear effects of ENSO (discussion of Figure 1) was that La Niña events were the opposite of El Niño events. But they are not. (This is the same incorrect assumption made by papers like Thompson et al 2009). This post is very long and to adequately describe how La Niña events are not the opposite of El Niño events would make it much longer. So it will be best to provide links to earlier detailed discussions on this topic.

Refer to:
More Detail On The Multiyear Aftereffects Of ENSO – Part 1 – El Nino Events Warm The Oceans
And:
More Detail On The Multiyear Aftereffects Of ENSO – Part 2 – La Nina Events Recharge The Heat Released By El Nino Events AND…During Major Traditional ENSO Events, Warm Water Is Redistributed Via Ocean Currents.
And:
More Detail On The Multiyear Aftereffects Of ENSO – Part 3 – East Indian & West Pacific Oceans Can Warm In Response To Both El Nino & La Nina Events

I provide a relatively brief description in the following section.

WHY ENSO INDICES LIKE NINO3.4 SST ANOMALIES DO NOT ACCOUNT FOR THE PROCESS OF ENSO

ENSO is a process, and ENSO indices such as NINO3.4 SST anomalies, the Cold Tongue Index (CTI), or the Multivariate ENSO Index (MEI) do not account for that process.

El Niño description: A reduction in the strength of the Pacific trade winds triggers an El Niño. A number of interrelated events then take place. Huge amounts of warm water from the surface and, more importantly, from below the surface of the western tropical Pacific (the Pacific Warm Pool) slosh east during an El Niño and are spread across the surface of the central and eastern equatorial Pacific. The increased area of warm water on the surface allows the tropical Pacific Ocean to discharge more heat than normal into the atmosphere through evaporation. That, combined with the change in location of the convection, cause drastic changes in global atmospheric circulation patterns. As a result, global temperatures vary. And most parts of the globe outside of the central and eastern tropical Pacific warm during an El Niño. The changes in atmospheric circulation work their way eastward–over the Americas, the Atlantic, Europe and Africa, the Indian Ocean and Asia. Eventually, the changes reach the western Pacific, but by that time, the El Niño is transitioning to a La Niña.

Refer again to the NINO3.4 SST anomaly data in Figure 1. A La Niña event, based on the temperature values on a graph, appears to be an El Niño of the opposite sign, and for some regional responses in temperature and precipitation that is true. But as noted before the use of NINO3.4 SST anomalies or other ENSO indices does not capture the fact that ENSO is a process. Those indices fail to account for the relocation and redistribution of huge amounts of warm water.

In the description of the El Niño, I noted that huge amounts of warm water from the surface and below the surface of the West Pacific Warm Pool had sloshed east during an El Niño. What happens to all of that warm water from below the surface of the Pacific Warm Pool that had been spread across the surface of the central and eastern tropical Pacific during the El Niño? Before the El Niño, it was below the surface and not included in the measured global surface temperature anomalies. During the El Niño, some of the warm water that had been below the surface is now on the surface of the central and eastern tropical Pacific and included in the measured global temperature. In response, surface temperatures there rose. The ENSO index captures that part of the process and only that part.

But during the La Niña, what happens to the warm water? It wasn’t all “used up” by the El Niño. And what happens to all of the subsurface warm water that had shifted east during the El Niño and had remained below the surface. It doesn’t simply disappear during the La Niña. Answering those questions explains why La Niña events are not the opposite of El Niño events, and why an ENSO index does not capture the aftereffects of an ENSO event.

The leftover warm water returns to the western Pacific. This is accomplished in a few ways. One is through a phenomenon called a slow-moving Rossby Wave. This can be seen in Video 1. It illustrates global Sea Level Residuals from January 1998 to June 2001 and captures the 1998/99/00/01 La Niña in its entirety. The video was taken from the JPL video “tpglobal.mpeg”. The slow moving Rossby wave is shown as the westward moving band of elevated sea level at about 10N. Watch the effect it has on western Pacific Sea Level Residuals when it reaches there.

The second way that the leftover warm water is carried to the Western Pacific is through a strengthening of the trade winds. During a La Niña event, trade winds strengthen above their “normal” levels and the ocean currents carry the warm water back to the west and then poleward.

Animation 1 is taken from the videos in the post La Niña Is Not The Opposite Of El Niño – The Videos. It presents the 1997/98 El Niño followed by the 1998 through 2001 La Niña. Each map represents the average Sea Surface Temperature anomalies for a 12-month period and is followed by the next 12-month period in sequence. Using 12-month averages eliminates the seasonal and weather noise. The effect is similar to smoothing data in a time-series graph with a 12-month running-average filter.

There are a number of things to note in Animation 1. First, the El Niño and La Niña events cause changes in the sea surface temperatures in the central and eastern tropical Pacific. The NINO3.4 SST anomalies used in this post are a measure of that variation in the central equatorial Pacific, and only that variation. Second, during the El Niño, note how the sea surface temperatures warm first in the Atlantic, then in the Indian Ocean, and then in the western Pacific. The warming is caused by changes in atmospheric circulation. And by the time these changes in atmospheric circulation make their way east to the western Pacific and it starts to warm there, the El Niño is transitioning to La Niña. Third, note how the sea surface temperature anomalies in the Western Pacific (and East Indian Ocean) continue to rise as the La Niña event strengthens. Fourth, note how the SST anomalies remain elevated in the East Indian and West Pacific Oceans during the entire term of the 1998/99/00/01 La Niña.

http://i53.tinypic.com/etb58j.jpg
Animation 1

The Sea Surface Temperatures of the East Indian and West Pacific Oceans remain elevated during the La Nina because the stronger trade winds reduce cloud cover. The reduction in cloud cover allows more Shortwave Radiation (visible light) to provide additional warming of the tropical Pacific waters east of the Pacific Warm Pool. The ocean currents carry this sunlight-warmed water to the west and then poleward.

DIVIDING THE GLOBE IN TWO HELPS IDENTIFY THE REASONS FOR THE UPWARD STEPS IN THE GISS LOTI DATA

To help illustrate the reasons for the upward shifts in the ENSO- and Volcano-adjusted GISS LOTI data (Figure 4), let’s divide the data into two subsets split at 20N. Refer to Figure 6.

http://i52.tinypic.com/jjpl5c.jpg
Figure 6

First we’ll look at the Northern Hemisphere GISS LOTI anomaly data, north of 20N. It has a relatively high linear trend since 1982, about 2.8 deg C/Century. Part is due to the additional variability of the North Atlantic. To compound that, these latitudes have a relatively high land surface area, and land surface temperatures vary much more than sea surface temperatures. The land surface area of the Northern Hemisphere latitudes of 20N-60N is about 45% of the total surface area, but the land surface in the tropical and Southern Hemisphere latitudes of 60S-20N is only 17%.
http://i53.tinypic.com/20mdjc.jpg
Figure 7

The dataset shown in Figure 7 has not been adjusted for ENSO or volcanic eruptions. Let’s correct first for ENSO, then for the volcanic eruptions, using the same methods we did for the Global (60S-60N) data. Figures 8 and 9 illustrate the interim steps and the required scaling factors, and Figure 10 illustrates the result.
http://i53.tinypic.com/15odzkh.jpg
Figure 8
http://i52.tinypic.com/34jdp94.jpg
Figure 9
http://i55.tinypic.com/vmx18x.jpg
Figure 10

The Northern Hemisphere data still has a relatively high trend, approximately 2.2 deg C/Century. But what causes the additional variability if we’ve removed the effects of ENSO and volcanic eruptions? The additional variations are often described as noise, but they have sources.

THE KUROSHIO-OYASHIO EXTENSION HOLDS THE ANSWER

There is a strong ENSO-related warming of the Kuroshio-Oyashio Extension that occurs during La Niña events. This was discussed and illustrated in my recent post The ENSO-Related Variations In Kuroshio-Oyashio Extension (KOE) SST Anomalies And Their Impact On Northern Hemisphere Temperatures. That secondary warming can be used to explain a major portion of the year-to-year variability in Northern Hemisphere land and sea surface temperature. And, along with ENSO, it helps to explain nearly all of the variations in the Northern Hemisphere (20N-60N) GISS LOTI data, including the rising trend. Figure 11 illustrates the location of the KOE dataset used in this post (30N-45N, 150E-150W).

http://i52.tinypic.com/14twvox.jpg

Figure 11

The GISS LOTI anomalies for much of the Northern Hemisphere warm (cool) when the Kuroshio-Oyashio Extension SST anomalies warm (cool). This can be seen in the correlation map of annual (January to December) Kuroshio-Oyashio Extension SST anomalies and annual Northern Hemisphere (0-90N) GISS LOTI data, Figure 12. Also note the correlation with the North Atlantic.

http://i54.tinypic.com/303llxg.jpg
Figure 12

As mentioned above, the secondary warming of the Kuroshio-Oyashio Extension was discussed in detail in my recent post The ENSO-Related Variations In Kuroshio-Oyashio Extension (KOE) SST Anomalies And Their Impact On Northern Hemisphere Temperatures. A quick description of the process: During a La Niña event, leftover warm water from the El Niño is returned to the Western Pacific and spun poleward by the North and South Pacific gyres. Much of that warm water finds its way to the Kuroshio-Oyashio Extension, where it apparently impacts atmospheric circulation.

The agreement between the variations in KOE SST anomalies and the adjusted Northern Hemisphere GISS LOTI anomalies is shown in Figure 13. I find that match quite remarkable. The additional spike (highlighted in blue) in the KOE data that starts in 1990 is out of place. It will make itself known later in this post. The other thing to note is the scaling factor required to align the two datasets in Figure 13. The scaling factor of 0.7 is very high. We’ll discuss this later in the post.
http://i51.tinypic.com/2j15udv.jpg
Figure 13

Some might think the agreement between those datasets is a lucky coincidence. Of course, the agreement between the adjusted LOTI data and the unadjusted KOE data in Figure 13 is based solely on the lags and scaling factors I used. But the scaling and lags were established logically. Eyeballing the data, the scaling factors appear to be correct. And as we shall see, using the same methods, the results are very similar for the data that covers the Tropics and Southern Hemisphere.

LET’S LOOK AT THE TROPICS AND SOUTHERN HEMISPHERE

The Southern Hemisphere and Tropics dataset includes the GISS LOTI data from 60S-20N, Figure 14. This subset has a relatively low trend, approximately 1 deg C/Century. Some of this is related to the amount of continental land mass. For these latitudes, land represents only about 17% of the surface area. The Southern Ocean (90S-60S), which is outside of the latitudes portrayed in the post, also impacts the Southern Hemisphere data. And since the Southern Ocean SST anomaly trend over this period is negative, its interaction with the Southern Hemisphere oceans lowers the trend of the dataset.
http://i54.tinypic.com/eiqtsy.jpg
Figure 14

And again, using the same methods, we’ll adjust for ENSO, then volcanic eruptions, Figures 15 and 16, and present the results, Figure 17. Refer to Figures 15 and 16 for the scaling factors.
http://i56.tinypic.com/e5nxg1.jpg
Figure 15

http://i56.tinypic.com/2vx28tt.jpg
Figure 16

http://i53.tinypic.com/2cqy0s3.jpg
Figure 17

As shown in Figure 17, removing the effects of the volcanoes has once again lowered the trend, and removing the ENSO data reduced the year-to-year variations.

Now we need a dataset for these latitudes to illustrate the secondary warming due to the leftover warm water from El Niño events and use it to account for the adjusted GISS LOTI data for the latitudes of 60S-20N.

THE SOUTH PACFIC CONVERGENCE ZONE (SPCZ) EXTENSION SST ANOMALY DATA AND CORRELATION MAP ARE REVEALING

The KOE was used in the discussion of the Northern Hemisphere data, so it seems logical that a similar area exists in the South Pacific. And for this discussion, we’ll designate that area as the South Pacific Convergence Zone (SPCZ) Extension. The SPCZ Extension data will be the SST anomalies of the area east of Australia (35S-20S, 160E-150W). As shown in Figure 18, it had a relatively high SST anomaly at the peak of the 1998/99 portion of the 1998 through 2001 La Niña.

http://i56.tinypic.com/2zhpb92.jpg

Figure 18

The SST anomalies for SPCZ Extension are shown in Figure 19.
http://i51.tinypic.com/2dinmgw.jpg
Figure 19

Like the KOE Extension data, the SST anomalies of the SPCZ Extension warm greatly during transitions from El Niño to La Niña events and appear to shift upward at those times. Refer to Figure 20.
http://i54.tinypic.com/35mf4v8.jpg
Figure 20

Creating the correlation map of annual (January to December) SPCZ Extension SST anomalies and annual Tropical and Southern Hemisphere (90S-20N) GISS LOTI data was eye-opening. It appears the SPCZ data is a good proxy for those areas in the western tropical Pacific and southwest Pacific that warm during La Niña events. It would also appear to show the effects those western Pacific areas have on the rest of the globe. As we can see in Figure 21, when the SPCZ Extension warms (cools) many areas throughout the tropics and Southern Hemisphere warm (cool). But as illustrated in Figure 20, the warming that occurs during La Niña events is not counteracted by the cooling during El Niño events. This causes the data to rise in steps during the La Niña events.

http://i56.tinypic.com/30d9xt0.jpg

Figure 21

Does the correlation map indicate that the upward shifts in the SPCZ Extension data also exist in the tropical and Southern Hemisphere GISS LOTI data? My understanding of correlation maps is that they emphasize the larger events in the data, and if we refer again to Figure 20, the larger events are those that occur during these upward shifts. We can also confirm this by comparing the respective time-series graphs.

Figure 22 illustrates the adjusted GISS LOTI data for the Tropics and Southern Hemisphere north of 60S. Also shown are scaled (0.25) SPCZ Extension SST anomalies. There are minor divergences from time to time, but in general the two curves agree surprisingly well.
http://i53.tinypic.com/6tmj9y.jpg
Figure 22

WHAT’S THE BOTTOM LINE?

What do the curves and linear trends of the adjusted GISS LOTI data look like if the KOE and SPCZ Extension data are removed? And what happens when you combine the two results to form a global dataset with all of the adjustments? Let’s take a look. The Northern Hemisphere GISS LOTI data (20N-60N) that’s been adjusted for ENSO and volcanic aerosols and the KOE SST anomalies is shown in Figure 23. Recall the divergence circled in blue in Figure 13; that’s the cause of the significant additional dip in 1990. Other than that, this was not a bad first attempt with scaling factors. But notice how small the trend is, 0.13 deg C/Century. If that dip was removed, the trend would be even lower.
http://i51.tinypic.com/jze2o9.jpg
Figure 23

The Tropical and Southern Hemisphere GISS LOTI data (60S-20N) with the ENSO, Volcano, and SPCZ Extension adjustments is shown in Figure 24. The trend is basically flat. This dataset appears noisy, but look at the temperature scale. The range is only one-quarter of one used in Figure 23.
http://i53.tinypic.com/67i7iu.jpg
Figure 24

We can combine the Northern Hemisphere data (20N-60N) with the Tropical and Southern Hemisphere data (60S-20N) using a weighted average. (The latitudes of 20N-60N represent approximately 29% of the surface area between 60S-60N.) Figure 25 shows the result. The linear trend is basically flat at 0.06 deg C/Century. The saw-tooth pattern is interesting, but…
http://i53.tinypic.com/29cw9dc.jpg
Figure 25

Due to the timing, the saw-tooth pattern appears to indicate that there was a lagged (repeated) volcano signal in the data. Refer to Figure 26. The reason I say repeated is that originally when the volcanic signal was removed, the Aerosol Optical Depth data was lagged 3 months and the leading edges of the data aligned well in Figures 9 and 16. The volcano signals in Figures 25 and 26, assuming those spikes are volcano signals, are lagged 9 months. The additional signal may also simply mean the Sato Mean Optical Thickness data doesn’t account perfectly for the decay of the volcano signal and that an additional adjustment is required.
http://i51.tinypic.com/6rjxpg.jpg
Figure 26

So let’s make the secondary volcano correction, refer to Figure 27. That will raise the linear trend of the adjusted GISS LOTI data.
http://i54.tinypic.com/2a8s204.jpg
Figure 27

After all of the adjustments are made, there is a small trend, about 0.24 deg C/Century. Compared to the original, unadjusted data, Figure 28, the trend of the adjusted data is only about 15% of the original GISS LOTI data for 60S-60N.
http://i56.tinypic.com/wnxa9.jpg
Figure 28

This makes perfect sense since there is little to no evidence of an anthropogenic global warming effect on global Ocean Heat Content (OHC) data. All one needs to do is divide the global oceans into tropical and extratropical subsets per ocean basin. Then it’s relatively easy to determine that ENSO, changes in Sea Level Pressure, and AMO/AMOC are responsible for that vast majority of the rise in OHC since 1955. Refer to:
A. ENSO Dominates NODC Ocean Heat Content (0-700 Meters) Data
B. North Pacific Ocean Heat Content Shift In The Late 1980s
C. North Atlantic Ocean Heat Content (0-700 Meters) Is Governed By Natural Variables

SHOULDN’T THE KUROSHIO-OYASHIO EXTENSION AND SPCZ EXTENSION DATA BE DETRENDED?

In this post and in The ENSO-Related Variations In Kuroshio-Oyashio Extension (KOE) SST Anomalies And Their Impact On Northern Hemisphere Temperatures, we illustrated that the Kuroshio-Oyashio Extension and South Pacific Convergence Zone Extension SST anomalies rise in steps during La Niña events. Since those upward steps are clearly responses to ENSO, there should be no need to detrend those datasets.

A NOTE ABOUT THE ATLANTIC MULTIDECADAL OSCILLATION

There is a natural variable I did not account for in this post, and it is the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation, or AMO. I did not remove its impacts on the Northern Hemisphere data. For those new to the AMO, refer to An Introduction To ENSO, AMO, and PDO — Part 2.

As noted in that post, RealClimate defines the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation (“AMO”) as, “A multidecadal (50-80 year timescale) pattern of North Atlantic ocean-atmosphere variability whose existence has been argued for based on statistical analyses of observational and proxy climate data, and coupled Atmosphere-Ocean General Circulation Model (“AOGCM”) simulations. This pattern is believed to describe some of the observed early 20th century (1920s-1930s) high-latitude Northern Hemisphere warming and some, but not all, of the high-latitude warming observed in the late 20th century. The term was introduced in a summary by Kerr (2000) of a study by Delworth and Mann (2000).”

I could have accounted for the AMO before removing the impacts of ENSO and the volcanic eruptions. But I chose to leave it in so that I could include the impact of the KOE on the North Atlantic.

As shown in Figure 29, the trend of the North Atlantic SST anomalies between 20N-60N is 70% higher than the North Pacific SST anomalies trend. By accounting for that additional “some, but not all” trend from the AMO, the scaling factor required to align the KOE dataset with the North Hemisphere data would drop.

http://i52.tinypic.com/x4lx5t.jpg
Figure 29

THE KOE SCALING IS TOO HIGH

The scaling factor for the Kuroshio-Oyashio Extension data in Figure 13 was 0.7. To some, it would not seem likely that the secondary warming of the KOE could raise temperatures for the Northern Hemisphere (20N-60N) that high, especially when one considers the multiplier for the SPCZ Extension was 0.25 in Figure 22.

First: Let’s consider the known effects of an El Niño event. When surface temperatures around the globe warm in response to an El Niño, most of those areas warm due to changes in atmospheric circulation. That is, they do not rise because the heat released into the atmosphere is warming the land and sea surfaces. The following is an example I often use. During an El Niño, the tropical North Atlantic warms even though it is separated from the Pacific by the Americas. The tropical North Atlantic warms during the El Niño because the El Niño causes a weakening of the North Atlantic trade winds. With the decrease in Atlantic trade wind strength there is less evaporation, and if there is less evaporation, sea surface temperatures rise. There is also less upwelling of cool water from below the surface when the trade winds weaken. This also causes sea surface temperatures to rise.

Therefore, it is through teleconnections or atmospheric bridges, not the direct transfer of heat, that the KOE would impact the areas of the Northern Hemisphere.

Second: There is a second western boundary current extension in the Northern Hemisphere, and it is the Gulf Stream Extension in the North Atlantic. For this quick discussion, we’ll define the Gulf Stream Extension by the coordinates of 35N-45N, 75W-30W. The map in Figure 30 is a correlation map and it shows that when the Gulf Stream Extension warms (cools) there are many parts of the Northern Hemisphere that warm (cool). And note that the eastern tropical Pacific is negatively correlated, indicating that these areas warm during La Niña events.
http://i52.tinypic.com/x1alur.jpg
Figure 30

Scroll back up to Animation 1. It also shows the parallel warming of the Gulf Stream Extension with the KOE.

But do the SST anomalies of the Gulf Stream Extension cool during El Niño events? As shown in Figure 31, the SST anomaly variations of the Gulf Stream Extension and the Kuroshio-Oyashio Extension are very similar. Both datasets can warm significantly during La Niña events but they do not drop proportionally during El Niño events. In an earlier linked post, I described the process that causes the KOE to warm, but I have not found a paper that describes the warming of the Gulf Stream Extension at those times. Why does the Gulf Stream Extension respond differently to El Niño and La Niña events? Like the KOE, is the warm water created during an El Niño also carried north by the Gulf Stream during the following La Niña? Do the changes in atmospheric circulation caused by the La Niña add to the warming? During the La Niña, does an increase in the strength of the North Atlantic trade winds also reduce cloud cover over the tropical North Atlantic? Does the warm water created by the decrease in cloud cover and resulting increase in sunlight then get transported to the Gulf Stream Extension? There are too many unanswered questions for me to use the Gulf Stream Extension data in this post.
http://i52.tinypic.com/4g6i9w.jpg
Figure 31

But, the parallel warming of the KOE and the Gulf Stream Extension during the transitions from El Niño to La Niña events would help to reduce the KOE scaling factor required to explain the step changes in the adjusted GISS LOTI data.

WHAT ABOUT SOLAR?

If we scale sunspot numbers so that the variations from solar minimum to maximum represent about a 0.1 deg change in temperature, and if we lag the sunspot data 6 years, it compares well visually with the adjusted GISS LOTI data. Refer to Figure 32. Someone with additional data processing tools could duplicate the steps taken in this post and confirm how well the two curves align.
http://i51.tinypic.com/23jsjo1.jpg
Figure 32

WHAT FUELS THE EL NIÑO EVENTS?

The warm water created during the previous La Niña(s) via the increase in Downward Shortwave Radiation (visible light) fuels El Niño events. This was discussed in More Detail On The Multiyear Aftereffects Of ENSO – Part 2 – La Nina Events Recharge The Heat Released By El Nino Events AND… …During Major Traditional ENSO Events, Warm Water Is Redistributed Via Ocean Currents.

CAN THE THIS TYPE OF EVALUATION BE EXTENDED BACK IN TIME?

I would not expect that what was presented in this post could be extended back in time. The Pacific climate shifted in 1976/77. In the abstract of Trenberth et al (2002), they write, “The 1976/1977 climate shift and the effects of two major volcanic eruptions in the past 2 decades are reflected in different evolution of ENSO events. At the surface, for 1979–1998 the warming in the central equatorial Pacific develops from the west and progresses eastward, while for 1950–1978 the anomalous warming begins along the coast of South America and spreads westward. The eastern Pacific south of the equator warms 4–8 months later for 1979–1998 but cools from 1950 to 1978.”

The way ENSO events interacted with the Kuroshio-Oyashsio Extension and the SPCZ Extension also appear different before and after 1979 in the correlation and regression analyses presented in that paper. Link to Trenberth et al (2002):
http://www.cgd.ucar.edu/cas/papers/2000JD000298.pdf

SOURCES

Most of the data used in this post are available through the KNMI Climate Explorer Monthly observations webpage. GISS LOTI is identified there in the second field under “Temperature” as “1880-now anomalies: GISS”, with the “1200km” radius smoothing. The Reynolds OI.v2 is listed under SST as “1982-now: 1° Reynolds OI v2 SST”. The coordinates used are identified in the text and/or on the graphs.

And if you want to attempt to duplicate my results but have never used the KNMI Climate Explorer, refer to the post Very Basic Introduction To The KNMI Climate Explorer for a place to start.

The dataset used to simulate the impacts of the volcanic eruptions is available through GISS:
http://data.giss.nasa.gov/modelforce/strataer/tau_line.txt

The Sunspot data is available through the KNMI Climate Explorer Monthly climate indices webpage. Refer to the Sunspots (1749-now, SIDC) field under the heading of “Sun”.

CLOSING REMARKS

This was a very basic attempt to approximate the effects of natural variables on global temperatures, using scaling and lags that were eye-balled. Sometimes basic things work well, and in this case, they appear to have done that. The similarities between the adjusted GISS LOTI datasets and the respective KOE and SPCZ Extension data were remarkable. While those similarities and the correlation maps do not prove the KOE and SPCZ Extension SST anomalies cause those addition rises in surface temperature, they imply that natural factors are causing the upward steps in global temperatures illustrated in Figure 4.

After some preliminary discussions, I divided the global (60S-60N) GISS LOTI data into two sections. The linear impacts of ENSO and volcanic eruptions were then removed from those subsets. The processes that cause the Sea Surface Temperatures in two parts of the Pacific to warm greatly during La Niña events were discussed. The unadjusted SST anomalies of the KOE and the SPCZ Extension were then compared to their respective adjusted GISS LOTI anomalies. The related curves were surprisingly similar. After removing the impacts of the KOE and the SPCZ Extension from the related GISS LOTI data, the linear trends dropped significantly. When the two GISS LOTI datasets were again combined, we had removed approximately 85% of what some consider to be the “anthropogenic global warming signal.”

This post differs from studies such as Thompson et al (2009). Thompson et al assumed that the ENSO proxy accounts for all of the processes within the Pacific that take place during ENSO events. In reality, NINO3.4 SST anomalies (or the CTI SST anomalies they used) can only account for the linear responses to the changes in equatorial Pacific SST anomalies. NINO3.4 SST anomalies cannot be assumed to account for the ENSO processes that take place within the Pacific or the aftereffects of those processes. What I presented in this post was a simple way to view those aftereffects within the Pacific and the global responses to them.

In short, I presented a story told by the GISS Land-Ocean Temperature Index and Reynolds OI.v2 SST data between the latitudes of 60S to 60N.

About these ads

160 thoughts on “Can Most Of The Rise In The Satellite-Era Surface Temperatures Be Explained Without Anthropogenic Greenhouse Gases?

  1. All of that took a lot of work. I have considered performing such an analysis, but never did it. I worked it from the other direction. I worked the standard deviation of a 10,000 year period from the Vostok ice core. Since the data from Vostok is a data point every 20 years or so it is important to compare to 20 year averages.

    Based on that the world is well within one standard deviation which would give the same result that the current warming is normal and CO2 emissions have not altered anything.

    http://theinconvenientskeptic.com/2010/10/the-warmest-in-600000-years/

  2. Bob, I think you’ve established enough plausibility to move on to exploring purely empirical model discovery. “Empirical” meaning “I have no idea why, exactly, the apple falls, but I know enough to try to find a numerical model of what actually happens.”

    You’ve weaseled parts of this information out by determining the scaling factors and various lags. But it seems as if you’ve got enough to actually sequester some data and actually calculate a predictive error.

    Another (more frustrating) step would be to take all of the available parameters, permute them, and throw them into a multivariate regression. This can often highlight “Hey, you don’t want to ‘scale by 42′, you want to square it instead.” Or “use the derivative”. Or testing any sensible permutation.

  3. I just broke the button on my mouse scrolling down through this article!

    I read a little and then scrolled down to see how much was left — and i scrolled and scrolled and then, maybe metal/plastic fatigue my mouse died.

    I reckon it will take probalbly 2 hours and a good brain to read and comprehend this article, so it’s unlikely to see many responses for a while. i just thought i’d bump things along with a silly comment.

    This dang Climate change is even killing mice.

    tim

  4. Bob said:

    “Someone is bound to complain that I’ve deleted the Arctic data from the GISS LOTI data and that the Arctic is warming much faster than lower latitudes. Keep in mind that the Arctic is amplifying the effects of the rise in temperature at lower latitudes. This is the basis of the concept of polar amplification. If the vast majority of the change in temperature at the lower latitudes is natural, the same would hold true for the Arctic. Regardless, these latitudes were also chosen because the effects I want to illustrate with this post are relatively easy to display using them.”

    ____

    Indeed, someone IS bound to complain, for your basic definition of polar amplfication of AGW is quite incorrect. It is not that the polar regions are amplifying the warming “going on” at lower latitudes, it is that any warming going on AT THE POLES is amplified through inherent positive feedback processes AT THE POLES, and specifically this is primarily the ice-albedo positive feedback process whereby more open water leads to more warming leads to more open water, etc.

    I would direct readers to these links:

    http://www.cgd.ucar.edu/oce/pubs/03pubs_files/Holland-ClimDyn.pdf

    http://www.ossfoundation.us/projects/environment/global-warming/arctic-polar-amplification-effect

    http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v464/n7293/full/nature09051.html

    With these extracts from them:

    “Climate model simulations have shown that ice albedo
    feedbacks associated with variations in snow and sea-ice
    coverage are a key factor in positive feedback mechanisms
    which amplify climate change at high northern
    latitudes…”

    “We conclude that diminishing sea ice has had a leading role in recent Arctic temperature amplification. The findings reinforce suggestions that strong positive ice–temperature feedbacks have emerged in the Arctic15, increasing the chances of further rapid warming and sea ice loss, and will probably affect polar ecosystems, ice-sheet mass balance and human activities in the Arctic…”

    ___
    This is the heart of polar amplification and has very little to do with your stated defintion of amplifying the effects of warming going on at lower latitudes. The polar regions have their own set of dynamics that create the conditions for the inherent polar amplification of warming. To limit your analysis to part of the planet (60 degrees S to 60 degree N) and cast out the data from the latitudes where the majority of the earliest signs of AGW are occurring is, in my perception, more than a bit deceptive, and leaves your entire analysis quite hollow. As you yourself say:

    “Regardless, these latitudes were also chosen because the effects I want to illustrate with this post are relatively easy to display using them.”

    How convenient that the “effects you want to illustrate” are relatively easy using a select part of the planet…but do those effects have any relationship to what is actually happening to the whole planet? You might as well say, “let’s leave out the parts of the planet that GCM’s have long since modelled would see the first and most severe effects of AGW, and see if we can find any evidence of AGW.”

    Bob, I certainly couldn’t hold a candle to you in terms of scientific knowledge or background, but I find your premises and logic baffling, as you knew, a priori exactly what point you wanted to make, and knew you could make it by throwing out the places on the planet where the first and most severe impacts of AGW have been projected to be seen, and are being seen, and then you mischaracterize the nature of polar amplification to try and further justify your point.

    Other than that, your post was quite excellent….

  5. john edmondson says:
    January 10, 2011 at 11:38 am
    Is it possible to make a prediction of what will happen in the next 5 to 10 years?
    _____

    10 years…yes. There will be year-to-year Arctic sea ice than there is today, and it is more likely than not that the decade of 2010-2019 will be warmer than any other decade on instrument record.

  6. After you remove ENSO and Volcanic forcing you ask:

    “WHAT COINCIDES WITH THE UPWARD STEPS?”

    The answer: SOLAR CYCLE!

    Both the upward steps coincide with ascent into the next solar maximum. The flat periods coincide with descent into solar minimum.

    What is left is a background warming trend. We have an explaination for that too – CO2.

  7. An incredible piece of work.

    I wonder if we are going to see some clear steps down.

    According to Joe Bastardi:
    GREATEST OCTOBER-DECEMBER POSITIVE SOI ON RECORD.

    The SOI value of around 20.4 for October-December looks to be the strongest positive ever for that three-month period, defeating the “La Freaka” of 1917 for the same period, though that was the strongest yearly value ever. This strong signal for cooling assures us that the Earth’s energy budget is such that continued cooling of the global temp to beyond the reaction to the previous ninos, such as 1997-98 and 2006-07 is highly likely and the coldest monthly and yearly global temp since the 1990s are indeed possible in 2011 and/or 2012. I may need to adjust down a bit my forecast for normal for next year.

    Ciao for now.

  8. R. Gates.

    If Bob used a different dataset instead of GISS that didnt have the problem he worried about ( deletion of some SST) would that be better? Honest question

  9. I admit that I haven’t followed the details of Tisdale’s above post. From what I have read of it, it seems to be take most of the observed sea surface temperature variations out of the global surface temperature variations between 60S and 60N, and then come to the conclusion that there has been no global warming of the surface. Since the sea surface represents most of the surface of the globe, my reaction is “duh!”.
    In fact if one looks at the heat balance of the oceans down to 2000M, which cannot be driven to first order by surface related ocean cycles, we come to the conclusion that the earth is warming due to radiative imbalance. This is estimated at about 0.8W/M^2.

    http://climateprogress.org/2009/10/10/skeptical-science-global-warming-not-cooling-is-still-happening-ocean-heat-content/

  10. Well said, John Edmondson!

    Einstein predicted precisely how much the sun’s gravity would deflect starlight, and at the 1919 eclipse was proved to be smack on. Both our friend Bob Tisdale, and also the Global Warming Brigade, need to make predictions so that their ideas can be falsified if wrong. Give it a go, Bob! If you’re right you’ll have made your mark; if wrong we’ll celebrate your integrity. The prophets of the AGW religion are always careful not to commit to specific predictions (even end-of-days religious nutters give us a date – and give us a laugh – every decade or so). So come on, Bob, give us max and min for 2013. We’ll carry you on our shoulders if you’re right!

  11. Understood GISS to be not that reliable especially in the hands of Hansen…..so why use it.
    Hopefully the scientists on here will be able to evaluate and explain….however I did note that the author expects the next decade to be even warmer…..is there a solar physicist in the house to explain the facts of life???
    Or should HM Government cancel the new snow ploughs!

  12. Bob, great post, and I really appreciate the work you put into this. It was very enlightening.nI do, however, have a couple of things to point out that stuck out to me when you said them.

    “The Sea Surface Temperatures of the East Indian and West Pacific Oceans remain elevated during the La Nina because the stronger trade winds reduce cloud cover.”

    This seems wrong. The stronger trade winds during La Nina do not extend past 130E on average, and are met over the western Pacific by stronger than normal westerlies coming from the east Indian Ocean, causing strong convergence and above-normal rainfall in the western Pacific and around the Maritime Continent. The weaker than normal trades in the eastern Indian Ocean help keep SSTs warm there. This is confirmed by viewing the correlation between surface zonal wind and Nino 3.4 SST data. One can see that during La Nina events (in which case you mentally reverse the anomalies shown in the image), there is net convergence over the western Pacific which results in increased cloud cover and precipitation.

    A second statement that you made, similar to the first, also stuck out:

    “The tropical North Atlantic warms during the El Niño because the El Niño causes a weakening of the North Atlantic trade winds.”

    Again, this seems wrong. The increased upward motion in the eastern Pacific during El Ninos draws stronger than normal easterlies across the tropical north Atlantic. This can again be confirmed by a correlation between Nino 3.4 and surface zonal wind, which shows a tendency for stronger trade winds in the deep tropics during El Nino episodes. I can see how the anomalous westerlies and high surface pressure could contribute to warmer SSTs north of 20N in the Atlantic during El nino episodes, but to say it weakens the trade winds in the tropical belt is incorrect, most especially during the summer months when the Azores-Bermuda High is farther north.

    All that said, this was a great post.

  13. R Gates says,

    “Bob, I certainly couldn’t hold a candle to you in terms of scientific knowledge or background, but I find your premises and logic baffling, as you knew, a priori exactly what point you wanted to make, and knew you could make it by throwing out the places on the planet where the first and most severe impacts of AGW have been projected to be seen, and are being seen, and then you mischaracterize the nature of polar amplification to try and further justify your point.”

    [snip]

    REPLY: Mr, Adler, I grow quite weary of your judgements/pronouncements as to the character of people that post here. You contribute nothing but complaints yet at the same time offer nothing of your own qualifications, nor any of your own writings or analysis. Put up or shut up. – Anthony Watts

  14. Bob – that’s a lot of excellent work and I’ll have to read it a couple of times more before I’m sure I’ve got a good grip on it. You’ve also made me wonder if I’m becoming too sensitive to word parsing because; the more I read of the article the more my mind keeps going back to the title you’ve given it and wondering “Why has Bob included the words ‘most of ‘ in the title?”

    The title as it stands seems to imply that (at least some) *Anthropogenic* warming must be assumed by the reader – yet the article well shows that the sheer chaotic mass of natural forces, acting on the climate, supply an overabundance of probable cause.

  15. R Gates,

    Hang on, this polar amplification that involves melting ice doesn’t seem to be happening in Antarctica so perhaps your concentration on the Arctic is a tad one sided.

  16. ‘Can Most Of The Rise In The Satellite-Era Surface Temperatures Be Explained Without Anthropogenic Greenhouse Gases?’

    Yes.

    And if the climate fanatic doom monger hippies don’t understand that they’ve obviously not read their own material, what with the anthropogenic signal only constitute, according to themselves, some 20% of the .8 rise in temperature, and since 20% is less ‘an 50% or, in this case, the opposing some 80% then yes the supposed rise in temperature can be explained without the anthropogenic cause.

  17. Mr. Gates

    “The warmest year in the extended Greenland temperature record is 1941, while the 1930s and 1940s are the warmest decades.” (from: Extending Greenland temperature records into the late eighteenth century, B. M. Vinther,1 K. K. Andersen,1 P. D. Jones,2 K. R. Briffa,2 and J. Cappelen3; JOURNAL OF GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH, VOL. 111, D11105, doi:10.1029/2005JD006810, 2006)

    Greenland:

    http://www.dmi.dk/dmi/index/klima/klimaet_indtil_nu/temperaturen_i_groenland.htm

    Iceland:

    http://en.vedur.is/climatology/clim/nr/1213

    Svalbard:

    http://met.no/?module=Articles;action=Article.publicShow;ID=882

    Karasjok (Norway)

    http://met.no/?module=Articles;action=Article.publicShow;ID=881

    Uppsala:

    http://www.smhi.se/klimatdata/meteorologi/temperatur/1.2855

    Finland:

    http://en.ilmatieteenlaitos.fi/normal-period-1971-2000

    Alaska:

    http://climate.gi.alaska.edu/history/History.html

    And I recommend section 162: “warming of te Arctic” from:

    http://www.archive.org/stream/arcticice00zubo#page/470/mode/2up

    And as far as the Antarctic is concerned:
    There hasn’t been no significant warming since 1955 (the 7 station series from New Zealand show the same and for what it’s worth I don’t trust the BOM temperature-series)

    B.T.W. Mr. Tisdale, good job

  18. Thanks for this excellent work! I think this is quite close to what factors have mainly affected to temperatures. But maybe there additionally is solar factor behind ENSO…

  19. Steven Mosher says:
    January 10, 2011 at 12:23 pm
    R. Gates.

    If Bob used a different dataset instead of GISS that didnt have the problem he worried about ( deletion of some SST) would that be better? Honest question
    ______

    So long as the dataset can be shown to more accurately represent the areas and time frames in question. But I think it would be first of all more honest to use the true definition (with all the implied causes) of polar amplification. To link polar temperature amplification in a simple linear connection to temperatures in lower latitudes is to miss and exlude a key dynamic of those regions. To simply exclude the polar regions, especially the N. Pole, where every honest student of the subject knows that the earliest and most severe signs of global warming have long been forecast to be seen, is not honest. Yes, the data set for the polar regions is far more sparse and subject to educated extrapolations that other regions, but excluding any estimate at all for temperature changes in these all important polar regions by excluding them is to to give an incomplete and, IMO, quite inaccurate, view of climate change.

  20. john edmondson says:
    January 10, 2011 at 11:38 am

    Is it possible to make a prediction of what will happen in the next 5 to 10 years?

    ######
    sure it’s possible to make a prediction. That’s not what you want to ask.

  21. Dave Andrews says:
    January 10, 2011 at 1:05 pm
    R Gates,

    Hang on, this polar amplification that involves melting ice doesn’t seem to be happening in Antarctica so perhaps your concentration on the Arctic is a tad one sided.
    _____

    Dave, with all due respect, you are quite out of your element here. This simple, and rather feeble attempt to try and equate the dynamics of what is happening in the Arctic with the Antarctic tells me that either you haven’t studied the subject quite enough or you’re just trying to be difficult. Look at any GCM projection for the polar regions– why do you think they show the N. Pole warming faster than the S. Pole? Find out the answer to this, and then let’s talk…with all due respect, you need to do some more research…

  22. R. Gates says: “Indeed, someone IS bound to complain, for your basic definition of polar amplfication of AGW is quite incorrect.”

    The RealClimate post on Polar Amplification…

    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2006/01/polar-amplification/

    …begins with the statement, “’Polar amplification’ usually refers to greater climate change near the pole compared to the rest of the hemisphere or globe in response to a change in global climate forcing, such as the concentration of greenhouse gases (GHGs) or solar output (see e.g. Moritz et al 2002).”

    And my point was, I’ve shown that much of the warming “to the rest of the hemisphere or globe” is not attributable to greenhouse gases or “solar output”. And if the warming over the rest of the world is not attributable to greenhouse gases or “solar output”, then “the greater climate change near the pole compared to the rest of the hemisphere or globe” is not attributable to them.

    The RealClimate post continues, “Polar amplification is thought to result primarily from positive feedbacks from the retreat of ice and snow.” And that agrees with all of the links you’ve provided, I believe. And again, since the majority of the warming as described in this post is a function of natural variability, then the positive feedbacks are natural as well.

  23. onion says:
    January 10, 2011 at 12:01 pm

    After you remove ENSO and Volcanic forcing you ask:

    “WHAT COINCIDES WITH THE UPWARD STEPS?”

    The answer: SOLAR CYCLE!

    What is left is a background warming trend. We have an explaination for that too – CO2.

    Try UHI,

    http://scialert.net/fulltext/?doi=rjes.2011.1.21&org=10

    http://www.metlink.org/pdf/articles/past_and_projected_trends_wilby.pdf

    Since the 1960`s, the intensity of nocturnal UHI in the spring and summer has increased by approximately +0.12 degC/dec, this has been contributed to more rapid night time warming in the city that in the outlying rural areas.

    Where are the weather stations situated.

  24. This post requires a lot of time to digest.! But in the concluding remark Bob you say: “When the two GISS LOTI datasets were again combined, we had removed approximately 85% of what some consider to be the “anthropogenic global warming signal.” So Bob, without going thru the whole of your article are you saying that at least 15% is due to AGW? or……………….

  25. onion says: “The answer: SOLAR CYCLE!”

    Most studies about the impact of solar variations on global temperatures include multiyear to multidecadal time lags. That is, depending on the study, if memory serves me well, the lag times between solar variation and response in global temperature is said to range between 5-7 years on the low end to a couple of decades on the high end due to the thermal inertia of the oceans. Don’t you recall the debate over this a couple of years ago?

    So your added comment, “Both the upward steps coincide with ascent into the next solar maximum. The flat periods coincide with descent into solar minimum,” fails to account for lag times. It also fails to account for the agreement between the inverted NINO3.4 data and the GISS LOTI data that’s been adjusted for ENSO and volcanoes. Refer again to Figure 5. Here’s a link:

  26. john edmondson says: “Is it possible to make a prediction of what will happen in the next 5 to 10 years?”

    This was not intended as a prediction tool. What I’ve presented is an attempt to explain why temperatures have risen. It also was intended to show that NINO3.4 SST anomalies do not capture the process of ENSO.

  27. Elaboration on this:
    See Figure 3 & Table 3 (true gems) here:
    Trenberth, K.E.; Stepaniak, D.P.; & Smith, L. (2005). Interannual variability of patterns of atmospheric mass distribution. Journal of Climate 18, 2812-2825.

    http://www.cgd.ucar.edu/cas/Trenberth/trenberth.papers/massEteleconnJC.pdf

    Note the wave patterns and also note that they have been isolated using a varimax rotation, which dramatically simplifies interpretation by “sorting” naturally contrasting modes. Seemingly complex (if viewed linearly) aspects of nature are tied together in a simple nonlinear whole.

    Interesting work Bob.

  28. Steven Mosher says: “If Bob used a different dataset instead of GISS that didnt have the problem he worried about ( deletion of some SST) would that be better? Honest question”

    There were a couple of reasons I elected GISS LOTI. One was the Reynolds OI.v2 data. The satellite data provides better coverage, and there is less infilling.

    Also, I had planned a post on RSS TLT next.

  29. FrankK says: “So Bob, without going thru the whole of your article are you saying that at least 15% is due to AGW? or……………….”

    I have no idea what the “or” could turn out to be. I’ve shown that natural variables could account for 85% of the warming since 1982. Does it? Dunno. It might be more; it might be less. But this interpretation of the data illustrates that AGW might not be as strong a signal as many propose.

  30. Bob, it seems that you have 1) found hot spots with about the right time signature (KOE and SPCZ) to do what you want, 2) multiplied their temperatures by arbitrary factors, and 3) subtracted them from the GISS temperature data. That process really doesn’t prove very much. At the same time as KOE and SPCZ are warm, the equatorial Pacific is cold. If you multiply the equatorial temperature by a suitable factor and subtract it from the brown curve in Figure 28, you’ll get something very much like the blue curve in Figure 4.

  31. Bob, Anthony, I come to WUWT because they have published articles and analyses which the MSM wouldn’t touch, and which often have been scientifically accurate. WUWT, along with Climate Audit, showed the lack of clothes on the Emperor.

    But if you believe that greenhouse gases (not just CO2, but also methane, tropospheric ozone, black carbon) aren’t responsible for some of the warming, I’m not with you.

    The debate is about whether the increase in warming is small, medium or (unlikely in my mind) large, and then whether we should be further bankrupting already bankrupt societies to only slightly affect that rate of warming, whatever it is.

    If we want to win the debate for the minds of people who aren’t hard set in their views, we don’t get there by denying what is, frankly, obvious on first principles: GHGs warm the atmosphere.

    We get there by showing (1) the IPCC and their ilk have been BSing us, and now climategate shows that; (2) the models don’t know how to deal with important feedbacks such as clouds, and IPCC authors also acknowledge this, so that their vaunted models are untrustworthy (and overpredict current warming by quite a bit); and (3) the little the US could do, at very high cost today, will have almost no affect on future temperature changes, so why spend the money?

  32. Bob Tisdale says:
    January 10, 2011 at 1:40 pm
    R. Gates says: “Indeed, someone IS bound to complain, for your basic definition of polar amplfication of AGW is quite incorrect.”

    The RealClimate post on Polar Amplification…

    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2006/01/polar-amplification/

    …begins with the statement, “’Polar amplification’ usually refers to greater climate change near the pole compared to the rest of the hemisphere or globe in response to a change in global climate forcing, such as the concentration of greenhouse gases (GHGs) or solar output (see e.g. Moritz et al 2002).”

    And my point was, I’ve shown that much of the warming “to the rest of the hemisphere or globe” is not attributable to greenhouse gases or “solar output”. And if the warming over the rest of the world is not attributable to greenhouse gases or “solar output”, then “the greater climate change near the pole compared to the rest of the hemisphere or globe” is not attributable to them.

    The RealClimate post continues, “Polar amplification is thought to result primarily from positive feedbacks from the retreat of ice and snow.” And that agrees with all of the links you’ve provided, I believe. And again, since the majority of the warming as described in this post is a function of natural variability, then the positive feedbacks are natural as well.
    _____
    Bob, with all respect, in your original post you stated:

    “Keep in mind that the Arctic is amplifying the effects of the rise in temperature at lower latitudes.”

    This would imply some kind of causal linkage to the temperatures at lower latitudes with those at the pole in the process of polar amplification. This is definitely NOT what is implied by the causal definition of polar amplification.

    To leave out the polar regions, and specifically the northern hemisphere, which, both by observation and by measurement has seen a larger percentage warming than the mid-latitudes is to slice the greatest area of dynamic change related to global warming right out of the equation. No one is happy with the sparse data, but other confirmatory proof, such as the melting of permafrost and the reduction in sea ice, show that the extrapolation of arctic temperatures to show increases must be close t the mark.

    The Arctic is the front-line of AGW, and to attempt to remove the front-line (and the wealth of data and real world effects found there) is to attempt to redefine the battle in terms that are both illogical and in my opinion…not founded on science.

  33. Polar amplification due to CO2 is based on warming melting ice that lowers albedo and thus raises temperatures. However there are several contradictory pieces of evidence. First most of the observed temperature increases is reported during the winter when there is little solar input to be amplified.

    Second several papers by Rigor and others show that the loss of ice is due to changing wind patterns have caused greater ice export. This raises temperatures in 2 ways. As sea surface refreezes latent heat is released. The more the wind exports ice the more refreezing the more latent heat. Also less ice cover allows the vastly warmer sea water to warm the much colder arctic air.

    One could argue that the ocean is warming due to loss of sea ice that allows the ocean to absorb more heat during the summer which carries over into the winter. I would argue that the higher temperatures more likely represent greater venting of heat from the ocean, thus represent a cooling. If the Arctic ocean is indeed warming we would expect the sea level to rise. If cooling we would expect sea levels to fall. Almost every sea level gauge in the Arctic show dramatic drops in sea level such as http://tidesandcurrents.noaa.gov/sltrends/sltrends_global_station.shtml?stnid=025-001 on Svalsbard. Oddly when sea level is calculated those declining trends Arctic ocean sea levels are typically ignored because some argue it is due to glacial rebound. Yet satellite data observes a 2mm /year drop in sea level supporting the contention that observed “warm temperatures” are due to the Arctic cooling and venting through the more open water.

    Finally most warming in Alaska has been shown to have increased when the PDO switched pushing warm air over most of Alaska. Lots of warming without the help of CO2.

  34. Levi: Sorry for the wording of my statement, “The Sea Surface Temperatures of the East Indian and West Pacific Oceans remain elevated during the La Nina because the stronger trade winds reduce cloud cover.” I was speaking of trade winds in the Pacific, east of the PWP. It would best also if I had not included the East Indian Ocean in that explanation. It’s simply a (bad) habit I’ve grown into since I first posted (about two years ago) about the SST anomalies for 60S-65N, 80E-180 (the East Indian and West Pacific Oceans) rising in steps during those ENSO transitions.

  35. Very interesting report. I would recommend to include a summary of the results at the beginning of the article as well (such as 85% of GISS warming can be explained without GHG, .. or adjustment biases) .

    As a side note:

    Polar feedbacks appear to be poorly understood as about anything else in climate “science”.

    Just recently a “scientist” at the German hyper alarmist PIK “found out” that the (temporary) loss of sea ice in the arctic leads to increased ocean heat loss to the atmosphere resulting in more snow elsewhere. This would clearly be a negative feedback mechanism.

  36. Bob Tisdale says:
    January 10, 2011 at 1:57 pm
    john edmondson says: “Is it possible to make a prediction of what will happen in the next 5 to 10 years?”

    This was not intended as a prediction tool. What I’ve presented is an attempt to explain why temperatures have risen. It also was intended to show that NINO3.4 SST anomalies do not capture the process of ENSO.

    Thanks Bob.

    I like the idea of explaining variations in temperature due to natural forces. The difficulty being the large number of interconnected variables.

    Your post is top class in this respect.

    My thoughts are that the largest influence on climate is the sun. The magnetic field of the sun drives the formation of clouds, via GCRs.

    However, opinions are worth nothing. What counts is evidence.

  37. Hi Bob, continuing in the debate from your blog:
    “I hate to answer a question with a question, but Has there been a climate shift?”

    I think so. North Pacific peaked in 2005, North Atlantic peaked in 2006 (even there was recent peak). Actually, the whole NH SST peaked.

  38. No one seems to be grasping the full significance of Bob Tisdale’s results, so let me as briefly as I can try to put them into perspective.

    According to conventional AGW wisdom the surface warming over the last thirty or forty years can be explained only by assuming a large GHG contribution. It can’t be explained by ocean oscillations such as La Niñas and El Niños because these are cyclic events that have only short-term impacts on global temperatures. They don’t generate any long-term warming trends.

    What Bob is saying is that these oscillations do in fact cause long-term warming trends. He presents a mechanism showing how from time to time they cause warm water to rise to the ocean surface – and stay there. It doesn’t go away, it just reappears in different places as we switch from El Niños to La Niñas. As a result we get step-function increases in global temperatures. If this supposition is correct then the recent warming can be almost entirely explained by changes in ocean circulation patterns. We don’t need to assume any contribution at all from GHGs (unless of course, GHGs are what trigger the ocean circulation changes, which doesn’t seem likely).

    Is the supposition correct? I don’t know. However, Bob presents some good evidence in favor of it. And if it is correct then AGW is no longer an issue.

  39. It would appear that your reply to mr Gates makes a lot of sense Bob but if the warming signal over the last 30 or 40 years is as week as it looks doesn’t that portend an extraordinary cooling over the next 20 or 30 years with the pdo amo going into a unified cooling phase?

  40. R. Gates says:
    January 10, 2011 at 11:51 am
    QUOTE
    Indeed, someone IS bound to complain, for your basic definition of polar amplfication of AGW is quite incorrect. It is not that the polar regions are amplifying the warming “going on” at lower latitudes, it is that any warming going on AT THE POLES is amplified through inherent positive feedback processes AT THE POLES, and specifically this is primarily the ice-albedo positive feedback process whereby more open water leads to more warming leads to more open water, etc.
    ***
    “Climate model simulations have shown that ice albedo
    feedbacks associated with variations in snow and sea-ice
    coverage are a key factor in positive feedback mechanisms
    which amplify climate change at high northern
    latitudes…”

    “We conclude that diminishing sea ice has had a leading role in recent Arctic temperature amplification. The findings reinforce suggestions that strong positive ice–temperature feedbacks have emerged in the Arctic15, increasing the chances of further rapid warming and sea ice loss, and will probably affect polar ecosystems, ice-sheet mass balance and human activities in the Arctic…”
    ***
    This is the heart of polar amplification and has very little to do with your stated defintion of amplifying the effects of warming going on at lower latitudes. The polar regions have their own set of dynamics that create the conditions for the inherent polar amplification of warming.
    ***
    UNQUOTE

    R Gates – as you refer to “the polar regions”, why are all your other comments confined exclusively to the Arctic? It is not clear to me why the Arctic region has become the poster child for the Warmists, other than that nobody lives there, it has few weather stations, and polar bears look cute in photos. If in practice a warmer (less cold) Arctic coincides with cooling in the world’s main population centres (NE USA, NW Europe, N India, N China), as appears to have happened in the early part of the current NH winter, it is not clear to me why a warming Arctic should be cause for AGW alarm (although it could perhaps in a crude/tabloid sense be used as cause for Global Cooling alarm).

    And at a general level, I don’t see anything inherently wrong with Bob Tisdale isolating parts of datasets in order to ask questions. It’s the sort of thing climate scientists do all the time, isn’t it?

    All the best.

  41. R. Gates writes: “The Arctic is the front-line of AGW…”

    One wonders where those 1065hPa anticyclones are coming from…

  42. R Gates says, “…I find your premises and logic baffling, as you knew, a priori exactly what point you wanted to make, and knew you could make it by throwing out the places on the planet where the first and most severe impacts of AGW have been projected to be seen, and are being seen, and then you mischaracterize the nature of polar amplification to try and further justify your point.”

    First, your complaint assumes that AGW is responsible for most of the warming. Big assumption.

    Second, I’ve written posts or included graphs in blog comments for almost two years about these upward steps in SST for the East Indian-West Pacific Oceans, RSS TLT north of 20N, GISS LOTI (20N-65N), CRUTEM (20N-65N), etc. Of course I knew beforehand what the general outcome would be. I didn’t realize, though, how well the agreement would be between the adjusted GISS LOTI data and the scaled KOE and SPCZ Extension data.

  43. Manfred says: “Just recently a “scientist” at the German hyper alarmist PIK “found out” that the (temporary) loss of sea ice in the arctic leads to increased ocean heat loss to the atmosphere resulting in more snow elsewhere. This would clearly be a negative feedback mechanism.”

    Do you have a link to the study?

  44. R. Gates says:
    January 10, 2011 at 1:28 pm
    Dave Andrews says:
    January 10, 2011 at 1:05 pm
    R Gates,

    Hang on, this polar amplification that involves melting ice doesn’t seem to be happening in Antarctica so perhaps your concentration on the Arctic is a tad one sided.
    _____

    Dave, with all due respect, you are quite out of your element here.

    Find out the answer to this, and then let’s talk…with all due respect, you need to do some more research…

    In other words, “go away you pig ignorant pleb and do some serious research on marginal visibility as a culturally contextual fashion forward social statement and you will have your ‘aha’ moment and see that the Emperor is, and always has been, splendidly clothed.”

  45. RGates said:

    The Arctic is the front-line of AGW, and to attempt to remove the front-line (and the wealth of data and real world effects found there) is to attempt to redefine the battle in terms that are both illogical and in my opinion…not founded on science.

    Dr. James Hansen said:

    http://www.columbia.edu/~jeh1/2005/Imbalance_20050415.pdf

    “This energy imbalance is the ‘smoking gun’ that we have been looking for”, referring ocean heat content.

    and

    Amplification of Surface Temperature Trends and Variability in the Tropical Atmosphere

    Tropospheric warming is a robust feature of climate model simulations driven by historical increases in greenhouse gases (1–3). Maximum warming is predicted to occur in the middle and upper tropical troposphere.

    Now it is known both of those tenets do not match reality, or are at least greatly exaggerated.

    Since when is the Arctic the “front line” of AGW? Those who’ve followed the AGW storyline for the last two decades know that has not been the case until recently, namely 2007 and when all other AGW predictions have failed.

    Could we please get a clear definition of just what AGW is and what the real fingerprints are?At some point there must be a way to falsify it. Are we now to believe the Arctic is is the location of the missing heat? Now we are told warming causes cooling; it’s become somewhat of a joke IMO.

    There is no direct evidence to suggest the Arctic warming is due to GHG, CO2 or otherwise. There are several natural components (PDO, NAO, AO, AMO etc.) that comprise Arctic warming/cooling processes, and we don’t understand very much of them.

  46. John said:

    Bob, Anthony, I come to WUWT because they have published articles and analyses which the MSM wouldn’t touch, and which often have been scientifically accurate. WUWT, along with Climate Audit, showed the lack of clothes on the Emperor.

    But if you believe that greenhouse gases (not just CO2, but also methane, tropospheric ozone, black carbon) aren’t responsible for some of the warming, I’m not with you.

    If I may be so bold, Bob intent is not to show that CO2 and other GHG’s could not possibly be responsible for the warming. He’s showing is that the warming can be explained with out them, something the established (old school) climate scientists do not wish to acknowledge.

  47. John says:
    January 10, 2011 at 2:24 pm

    “The debate is about whether the increase in warming is small, medium or (unlikely in my mind) large….”

    But if it can be small, it can be very very small. So small that it cannot be measured…..

  48. R Gates

    I think you need to take a good look in a mirror that reflects your own image.

    You have assumed that warming in the arctic has a largely anthropogenic cause. That assumption is not settled science. If the warming from 60N to 60S is largely from natural sources, and if the same warming bleeds northward into the arctic, also by natural processes, then the albedo feedback you refer to will naturally kick in. So if Bob Tisdales interpretation is largely correct then a substantial part of the Arctic warming is likely to be a response to the same ENSO related processes.

    Bob, “rectangular boxes” seem to be used to define areas of sea surface for temperature measurement in many research papers. I hesitate to raise this, but it seems to me that the some of these processes that you are describing could be captured better if the shapes of the relevant oceanic areas being measured were alowed to have curved margins.

    Anyway this is great work and is a pleasure to read.

    Eventually I see this line of enquiry as being very useful helping inform us on the real sensitivity of climate to anthropogenic greenhouse gases. Ultimately I suspect it will also have significant implications for analyses of changes in total oceanic heat content. Its hard to see how the oceans can be warming dramatically due to anthropogenic causes if the sea surface temperature (controlled for ENSO, ENSO afteraffects etc) is actually relatively stable.

  49. R. Gates says:
    January 10, 2011 at 2:25 pm
    “Polar amplification is thought to result primarily from positive feedbacks from the retreat of ice and snow.”

    And the retreat of ice and snow is due to warm air/water originating elsewhere.

  50. Hi Bob,
    Thanks for another great post. I really like the way you’ve worked the solar data into this. It’s very interesting to note the spikes in the adjusted temperature data lining up post-minimum on the lagged solar cycles. It will be interesting to see what happens next. If that pattern recurs and we get a spike around 2013, my guess is we are in for a big long fall in temp before that happens.

    Last week I stuck my neck out and predicted -0.32C +/- 0.05C on Dr Roy’s metric by September this year. Interesting times.

  51. I really admire R.Gates. Perhaps he would like to participate in the bet at No Tricks Zone.
    Another couple of hours reading Bob’s post leaves me in awe.

  52. R. Gates says: “This would imply some kind of causal linkage to the temperatures at lower latitudes with those at the pole in the process of polar amplification. This is definitely NOT what is implied by the causal definition of polar amplification.”

    Let’s look at the data. Go to the GISS map-making webpage and ask for maps of the GISS LOTI Annual TRENDS from 1910 to 1945:

    http://data.giss.nasa.gov/cgi-bin/gistemp/do_nmap.py?year_last=2010&month_last=11&sat=4&sst=1&type=trends&mean_gen=0112&year1=1910&year2=1945&base1=1951&base2=1980&radius=1200&pol=reg

    And from 1945 to 1975:

    http://data.giss.nasa.gov/cgi-bin/gistemp/do_nmap.py?year_last=2010&month_last=11&sat=4&sst=1&type=trends&mean_gen=0112&year1=1945&year2=1975&base1=1951&base2=1980&radius=1200&pol=reg

    And 1975 to 2009:

    http://data.giss.nasa.gov/cgi-bin/gistemp/do_nmap.py?year_last=2010&month_last=11&sat=4&sst=1&type=trends&mean_gen=0112&year1=1975&year2=2009&base1=1951&base2=1980&radius=1200&pol=reg

    That’s two warming periods and a cooling period. Each time the map is presented, scroll down to the Zonal Mean plots and download the data for the trends in the zonal mean data for those periods. Here, I’ll save you some time:

    The first thing you’ll notice is that the warming trend in the Arctic was greater during the earlier warming period than the latter. Kind of makes one wonder about the supposed AGW impact during the latter warming period. Note also that the Arctic is amplifying the cooling during the cooling decades from 1945 to 1975. To me these two things indicate that the Arctic is simply exaggerating (amplifying) the trends at lower latitudes, and that the Arctic trends are not based on the greater Greenhouse Gas concentration.

  53. The ocean does not create its own heat. Heat is transferred from deeper to colder water under the influence of winds and currents. So the surface temperature can be changed by internal variation.

    Surface temperature is an imperfect gauge of whether the earth has been warmed by an imbalance between incoming radiation from the sun, and outgoing radiation, because of the role of ocean currents in the distribution of heat between deeper and surface waters. The total change in ocean heat, including deep water regions is the best gauge of global warming.

    The fact is that the oceans have been gaining heat since 1970:

    http://www.skepticalscience.com/How-do-we-know-global-warming-is-still-happening.html

    Measurements of the radiational imbalance are converging on 0.8 to 0.9W/M^2.

    http://www.skepticalscience.com/How-we-know-global-warming-is-happening-Part-2.html

    I would like to see an explanation of how the ENSO cycle, and other ocean current phenomena, can result in a spontaneous increase in energy entering the earth atmosphere system. If the external GHG forcing accounted for only 15% the warming, as Tisdale is claiming, it would seem to me that the system must have an enormous positive feed back so that it becomes extremely unstable. This would seem to me a cause for alarm.

  54. Really great material Bob. I support the conclusions.

    Just a couple of points. The Kuroshio-Oyasho extension does not need to be detrended. Check the data back to before 1900, there is just a very small trend in the Kuroshio.

    Taking your idea on the original Kuroshio post, I had been working on the general idea – that there are areas in the oceans which seem to be the most active in exchanging energy with the atmosphere. Those areas are the ENSO, the Kuroshio, the Gulf-Stream equivalent area of the Kuroshio, the Equatorial Atlantic (which has some type of oscillation like the ENSO) (and these two replace the AMO), the Agulhus current off South Africa, the Brazil-Malvinus Confluence closer to Antarctica. I guess you added the southern Pacific version of the Kuroshio which makes sense to me.

    All these areas share common latitudes and common land boundary confinements. These are the areas where the ocean currents are the strongest and the most confined. Ocean energy is moving hard and moving fast.

    I couldn’t get it to work the way I wanted though. Maybe you can try adding a few other areas using this idea.

    Great stuff.

  55. Bob, thanks for this wonderfully illuminating piece. I’m looking forward to the RSS discussion. I’ve little to add or detract to your piece in that the subject remains out of my purview. Perhaps that will change. I would caution you that you’re running close to the correlation/causation difficulty, but you’ve made a remarkable case in my estimation.

    Great job! Keep it up!

  56. “The Arctic is the front-line of AGW, and to attempt to remove the front-line (and the wealth of data and real world effects found there) is to attempt to redefine the battle in terms that are both illogical and in my opinion…not founded on science.”

    The GISS data for the Arctic is made up and we all know this and does not show what the nearby instruments there are actually showing for most regions. Weather patterns have warm and cold anomalies within hundreds of miles, this man-made data is very poor at best. During persistent positive/negative NAO and AO phases many regions stay warm or cold throughout. (compared to average) If one station is used that is warm during the postive phase and is painted over 250km/1200km this gives a warm bias to regions that are cold during this phase. Many regions are cold or warm with these changing phases so odd stations can be cherry picked. This is overall both illogical and not founded on science so it is discarded. If AGW driving the climate is not found using the majority of ocean it won’t be found by using the Arctic too.

    This excellent presentation by Bob demonstrates what a number of scientists have thought occurred, but had difficulty in demonstrating it. We can go back number of issues and not surprising when LWR can’t warm a small volume of water and especially not the deep ocean when compared to SWR. The difference in the role between LWR and SWR on a volume of the ocean is like comparing a teaspoon of water with a swimming pool.

    The swimming pool can change temperatures up to 2c and back down again, how many teaspoons of water at 0.1c warmer added are going to require to increase the swimming pool 1c? There are so many needed that when this amount is achieved, far more energy will have already been lost to the atmosphere with the natural day and night cycle of the sun with evaporative cooling. Now we have a comparable estimate of how LWR is compared to SWR in climate. The oceans don’t freeze because the SWR controls the energy in it and LWR has no measurable affect compared with it’s many orders times greater brother.

  57. Paul Deacon says:

    R Gates – as you refer to “the polar regions”, why are all your other comments confined exclusively to the Arctic? It is not clear to me why the Arctic region has become the poster child for the Warmists, other than that nobody lives there, it has few weather stations, and polar bears look cute in photos. If in practice a warmer (less cold) Arctic coincides with cooling in the world’s main population centres (NE USA, NW Europe, N India, N China), as appears to have happened in the early part of the current NH winter, it is not clear to me why a warming Arctic should be cause for AGW alarm (although it could perhaps in a crude/tabloid sense be used as cause for Global Cooling alarm).

    And at a general level, I don’t see anything inherently wrong with Bob Tisdale isolating parts of datasets in order to ask questions. It’s the sort of thing climate scientists do all the time, isn’t it?

    All the best.
    ____

    By every global climate model the Arctic would be the first to see the most visible signs of warming. From lower year-to-year sea ice to melting permafrost, the warming would begin to change the entire region. For those, like myself, who are not “true believers” in AGW, but, only sit at “more likely than not” that it is occurring, then, like looking down a long train tunnel for the headlight of the train long before you hear the whistle, it makes sense to study the changes going on in the Arctic. Anyway, that’s why I (and many other “warmists”) pay attention to the Arctic. But there is another reason the climate experts do, and that’s because the Arctic climate is tightly connected to the rest of the weather in the N. Hemisphere, as we see with this winter (and last’s) round of extremely negative Arctic Oscillation index. When the conditions are right atmospherically for the Arctic “freezer door” to be left open, it can mean misery for the populated areas further south. Along with the negative AO index, we’ve seen an increased frequency of the the Arctic Dipole Anomaly, whereby the deep polar closed low that normally keeps the Arctic air contained is split into a pressure zones on both sides of the pole (i.e. a dipole) creating zonal winds across the Arctic shunt both cold air (and ice) more vigorously out of the Arctic. This also has effects on population centers further south.

    It is interesting to me that AGW skeptics only pay attention to the Arctic when some short term event (like a small bump up in sea ice) appears to go against a longer term trend. Arctic sea ice “recovered” (if you want to use that term very loosely) in 2008 and 2009 from the extreme low seen in 2007, and skeptics were certain that the trend would continue up in 2010. They were of course disappointed, as the power of the long term down trend intruded on their plans.

    As a matter of pure research, I don’t have any problem with Bob doing whatever he wants to do to isolate causes (or parts of causes) with his use of the data and study whatever he wants, but I would question the value of any climate study that does not take into consideration the changes observed in the Arctic.

  58. John says: “The debate is about whether the increase in warming is small, medium or (unlikely in my mind) large, and then whether we should be further bankrupting already bankrupt societies to only slightly affect that rate of warming, whatever it is.”

    This post showed that the AGW component could be small. So I don’t understand the rest of your comment.

  59. Bob:

    A marvelous post. As noted by some, it will take hours to completely digest.

    Having done a lot of Xbar and Rbar charts for SPC (statistical process control) and being greatly steeped in the business of “statistical significance” it appears to me that despite the “linear fit” upward trends, the “noise” of the data would be strong enough to make useful conclusions on “trends” impossible.

    Have you run any S.D. (Standard Deviation) tests on the data sets?

    Thanks!

    Max

  60. Hello Bob,

    Did I get that correct; it WAS you who recently posted at WUWT to the effect, that Clausius-Clapeyron, predicts a 7% increase in atmospheric water content for a one deg C Temperature rise; as found experimentally by Wentz et al. I think I originally mistakenly blamed Bill Illis for posting that.

    George

  61. eadler says: “I admit that I haven’t followed the details of Tisdale’s above post. From what I have read of it, it seems to be take most of the observed sea surface temperature variations out of the global surface temperature variations between 60S and 60N, and then come to the conclusion that there has been no global warming of the surface. Since the sea surface represents most of the surface of the globe, my reaction is ‘duh!’.”

    Apparently you missed much of the content of the post since you admit you “haven’t followed the details of Tisdale’s above post.” In other words, maybe you should have read the entire post before you react with “duh”.

    You continued, “In fact if one looks at the heat balance of the oceans down to 2000M, which cannot be driven to first order by surface related ocean cycles, we come to the conclusion that the earth is warming due to radiative imbalance. This is estimated at about 0.8W/M^2.”

    If greenhouse gases were having an impact on the OHC to depths of 2000 meters, eadler, they would have to have had an impact on the upper 700meters. Greenhouse gases couldn’t bypass the upper 700 meters to warm the 700 to 2000 meter depths.

    If you’re not aware (and apparently you’re not since you didn’t bother to read this post), I’ve written three posts that illustrate that most if not all of the rise in OHC from 1955 to present (0-700meters) can be explained as responses to natural variables. Let me copy what was written. Maybe you won’t overlook it this time.

    Just below Figure 28 I wrote: This makes perfect sense since there is little to no evidence of an anthropogenic global warming effect on global Ocean Heat Content (OHC) data. All one needs to do is divide the global oceans into tropical and extratropical subsets per ocean basin. Then it’s relatively easy to determine that ENSO, changes in Sea Level Pressure, and AMO/AMOC are responsible for that vast majority of the rise in OHC since 1955.

    Here are the links again, eadler:

    http://bobtisdale.blogspot.com/2009/09/enso-dominates-nodc-ocean-heat-content.html

    AND:

    http://bobtisdale.blogspot.com/2009/12/north-pacific-ocean-heat-content-shift.html

    AND:

    http://bobtisdale.blogspot.com/2009/10/north-atlantic-ocean-heat-content-0-700.html

    This should also serve as a reply to your later comment in which you linked the posts from skepticalscience.

  62. R. Gates:

    You say “I would question the value of any climate study that does not take into consideration the changes observed in the Arctic.”

    Taking these these changes into consideration doesn’t make any difference. Bob Tisdale would have obtained the same results had he used the GISS met station air temperature series, which include both the Arctic and the Antarctic (and also doesn’t use SSTs) instead of the 60N-60S GISS LOTI series.

  63. “”””” R. Gates says:
    January 10, 2011 at 2:25 pm
    Bob Tisdale says:
    January 10, 2011 at 1:40 pm
    R. Gates says: “Indeed, someone IS bound to complain, for your basic definition of polar amplfication of AGW is quite incorrect.”

    The RealClimate post on Polar Amplification…

    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2006/01/polar-amplification/

    …begins with the statement, “’Polar amplification’ usually refers to greater climate change near the pole compared to the rest of the hemisphere or globe in response to a change in global climate forcing, such as the concentration of greenhouse gases (GHGs) or solar output (see e.g. Moritz et al 2002).” “””””

    Well it seems to me, that incoming solar energy is concentrated in the mid latitude regions (tropics, and Temperate) simly because most of the sunlight lands there. So those places reach higher Temperatures compared to the poles, which receive relatively little sunlight.

    As a result there is a natural Temperature gradient from equator to poles, and a natural flow of heat in that direction.

    Because the polar Temperatures are so low, the cooling by radiation is very much slower than in the tropics, since the radiation goes at T^4.

    So you have excess heat being transported towards the poles; where the loss mechanisms are quite poor. It stands to reason that Temperature increases will be larger at the poles than at the equator. It also takes less heat to increase the Temperature at low Temperatures (since the heat loss rate is much lower).

    So this is a simple picture, and nothing that could be called an “Amplification” is occurring. It’s a non l;inear process.

  64. Rob R says: “Bob, ‘rectangular boxes’ seem to be used to define areas of sea surface for temperature measurement in many research papers. I hesitate to raise this, but it seems to me that the some of these processes that you are describing could be captured better if the shapes of the relevant oceanic areas being measured were alowed to have curved margins.”

    I use the KNMI Climate Explorer as a data source, and it is a coordinate-based system, meaning I have to enter the coordinates to retrieve the data. The easiest way (not necessarily the best) is to use the rectangles and rely on Climate Explorer to provide a weighted average of the data based on those coordinates.

  65. George E. Smith says: “Did I get that correct; it WAS you who recently posted at WUWT to the effect, that Clausius-Clapeyron, predicts a 7% increase in atmospheric water content for a one deg C Temperature rise; as found experimentally by Wentz et al.”

    It wasn’t me, George>

  66. Bob – excellent!

    Suggest you download the data sources, segregate and save them to an available (Anthony, can you oblige?) server. Mosh has suggested this in the past, and I strongly recommend it. THE DATA HAS A BAD HABIT OF CHANGING ON YOU!

    R. Gates is very exercised about your exclusion of the Arctic. I believe that Bob’s approach is appropriate, and that he has responded appropriately.

    It seems, Mr. Gates, that we should be concerned about the MECHANISMS of the first order cause of the warming, not the “first (region) to see the most visible signs of warming”, nor the feedbacks (second and third order impacts) that it may engender.

    For us to consider the arctic warming to be serious, we need to understand what causes the arctic warming. Mr. Gates may be absolutely correct that when the arctic is warmed there results some (serious) additional warming: however, if that warming is not caused overwhelmingly by anthropogenic sources, then – at the very least – we can halt the alarmist cry over CO2 emissions and start the important work of science.

    Remember, the GCMs (and their approach to the Aerosol/GHG balance) are predicated on the confident statement that absent CO2, there is not an identified mechanism that could have caused the warming over the past 30 years. Bob has advanced a plausible mechanism for a fairly large component of that warming (in the geographic areas that count. Interestingly enough, the greater the feedback at the Poles, the more comprehensively Bob’s mechanism explains the entire temperature rise!)

    As an inventor of a computer model, I would focus on the first order issues first, and suggest that the second order issues are better resolved when the principal components of the model are better understood.

  67. R. Gates says:

    “As a matter of pure research, I don’t have any problem with Bob doing whatever he wants to do to isolate causes (or parts of causes) with his use of the data and study whatever he wants.”

    ==============================

    Most of us are pretty confident that “Bob” could care less whether or not you have a problem with his research.

    This is the most annoying part of your posts. You prance around on this site as if you are an expert.

    You are not. You not a researcher, not a scientist, and definitely not an expert.

    Stop playing like you ARE one.

    Chris
    Norfolk, VA, USA

  68. George E. Smith, I’m the one who said the Clausius-Clapeyron equations indicate there should be a 7% increase per degree C. All the climate model build in 6% to 8% for this amount.

    Its just that water vapour levels are not increasing at that rate – there is a range in the estimates but it is closer to about half. It is also hard to tell because the correlation in the X-Y scatter is very poor.

    They are also strongly tied to the ENSO. All the rain and snow we have had lately is the atmosphere cooling down and dumping water vapour from the peak set by the last El Nino. It will continue for at least three more months.

  69. Bob, the somewhat recent rise in temperature also coincides with the positive phase in the AO. The recent slow decent to its negative phase coincides with the pause in temperature. How would this influence factor into your theory? It has been fairly well understood that a positive AO results in warmer temperature in lower latitudes, and a negative AO results in colder temperatures in lower latitudes. It has also been recently been discovered that the winter 3 month AO average reveals a multi-year, if not multi-decadel oscillation.

  70. R. Gates says: “As a matter of pure research, I don’t have any problem with Bob doing whatever he wants to do to isolate causes (or parts of causes) with his use of the data and study whatever he wants, but I would question the value of any climate study that does not take into consideration the changes observed in the Arctic.”

    Regardless of your personal preferences, the post showed that the vast majority of the warming between 60S and 60N could be natural.

    Also, the GISS Arctic data is biased by the deletion of SST data:

    http://bobtisdale.blogspot.com/2010/05/giss-deletes-arctic-and-southern-ocean.html

    Additionally, even GISS provides warnings about the uncertainties in its Arctic temperature data. In the most recent paper…

    http://pubs.giss.nasa.gov/docs/2010/2010_Hansen_etal.pdf

    … Hansen et al write, “Another analysis aimed specifically at evaluating the magnitude of Arctic warming in the past decade has been carried out by P. Chylek et al. (How large is recent Arctic warming?, manuscript in preparation, 2010) using only surface air temperature measurements at meteorological stations. They find about 0.25°C less Arctic warming during the past decade than in the GISS analysis, a difference that they attribute to our method of interpolating and extrapolating data, especially into the Arctic Ocean regions where no station data are available. We agree with Chylek et al. (manuscript in preparation, 2010) that the Arctic temperature change is uncertain and must be regarded with caution, but we make two observations.”

    Arctic data “must be regarded with caution”.

    After they make their observations, they conclude with, “Thus, although it is possible that the GISS analysis overstates the magnitude of Arctic warming in regions where data are extrapolated, it is also possible that the Chylek et al. (manuscript in preparation, 2010) analysis underestimates the warming in the Arctic Ocean.”

    There doesn’t seem to be a lot of certainty on the part of Hansen et al about the Arctic data, yet you have argued on and on about the need to include it.

  71. Larry G says: “Suggest you download the data sources, segregate and save them to an available (Anthony, can you oblige?) server. ”

    The data is available through the KNMI Climate Explorer.

  72. By the way, the AO also figures into the temperature of the Arctic. RGates, you can rest easy. You don’t have to breath your CO2 into a bag and sequester it. Let it out. Breath free. You are not polluting the Earth. It’s okay. There, there.

  73. George Smith says:

    “Well it seems to me, that incoming solar energy is concentrated in the mid latitude regions (tropics, and Temperate) simly because most of the sunlight lands there. So those places reach higher Temperatures compared to the poles, which receive relatively little sunlight.

    As a result there is a natural Temperature gradient from equator to poles, and a natural flow of heat in that direction.

    Because the polar Temperatures are so low, the cooling by radiation is very much slower than in the tropics, since the radiation goes at T^4.

    So you have excess heat being transported towards the poles; where the loss mechanisms are quite poor. It stands to reason that Temperature increases will be larger at the poles than at the equator. It also takes less heat to increase the Temperature at low Temperatures (since the heat loss rate is much lower).

    So this is a simple picture, and nothing that could be called an “Amplification” is occurring. It’s a non l;inear process.”

    The part you are missing is that in the Arctic, the loss of summer sea ice, results in a strong reduction in reflection of the sunlight, and absorption by the open ocean. This is where the amplification comes in.

  74. Bob –

    I noted the source of the data. But let me quote Steve Mosher:

    “You should ( and so should everyone who posts) get in the habit of posting your data as used. You collected data from GISS. Since we know it always changes it would be wise to collect and post the SNAPSHOT you used. I beat the AGWers with this stick all the time, so good procedures on both sides.. Ok. Also merely posting to the
    URL is not enough as we all know that they change, the data behind them changes etc. Ok? Anthony should just make a repository for the data from articles he
    posts and if you guest post on wattsup you better have your data
    and code ready to be posted. Show the other side HOW ITS DONE.”

    I think this post is important. Let’s snapshot the data, note it’s source and segregate it.

  75. R. Gates – you have said:
    QUOTE
    Arctic “freezer door” to be left open, it can mean misery for the populated areas further south. Along with the negative AO index, we’ve seen an increased frequency of the the Arctic Dipole Anomaly, whereby the deep polar closed low that normally keeps the Arctic air contained is split into a pressure zones on both sides of the pole (i.e. a dipole) creating zonal winds across the Arctic shunt both cold air (and ice) more vigorously out of the Arctic.
    UNQUOTE

    Would you please explain this in different words as I am confused by your explanation. For example:
    (1) What is the “frezer door” and how does it get left open?
    (2) what is a “deep polar” and how does it “close low”?
    (3) Why does “the deep polar ” normally keep the Arctic air contained”
    (4) why does it closing low split the artic winds into “pressure zones on both sides of the pole (i.e. a dipole) creating zonal winds”
    (5) why does having “zonal winds across the Arctic” “shunt both cold air (and ice) more vigorously out of the Arctic?”

    I am clearly not an artic specialist, but expressing your theory in such a manner does nothing to convince members of the general public that the recent cold weather in the northern hemisphere is due to global warming.

    As an aside, people in Australia also are struggling to understand how our current cool and very wet summer is due to global warming.

    The old 60 odd year climate cycle plus a knowledge of the nature of chaotic systems seem to adequately explain both phenonema in a much more straightforward manner.

  76. R. Gates says:
    January 10, 2011 at 4:26 pm
    QUOTE
    When the conditions are right atmospherically for the Arctic “freezer door” to be left open, it can mean misery for the populated areas further south. Along with the negative AO index, we’ve seen an increased frequency of the the Arctic Dipole Anomaly, whereby the deep polar closed low that normally keeps the Arctic air contained is split into a pressure zones on both sides of the pole (i.e. a dipole) creating zonal winds across the Arctic shunt both cold air (and ice) more vigorously out of the Arctic. This also has effects on population centers further south.

    It is interesting to me that AGW skeptics only pay attention to the Arctic when some short term event (like a small bump up in sea ice) appears to go against a longer term trend. Arctic sea ice “recovered” (if you want to use that term very loosely) in 2008 and 2009 from the extreme low seen in 2007, and skeptics were certain that the trend would continue up in 2010. They were of course disappointed, as the power of the long term down trend intruded on their plans.
    UNQUOTE

    R Gates – my understanding is that the satellite record of Arctic sea ice extent is very short indeed in climate terms, dating from 1979.

    It seems rather to me that it is the Warmists who are tending to focus on short term trends in the Arctic, at a time when most other observed trends are against them. A drowning man clutching to straws comes to mind. It seems the Warmists bet the farm on a correlation between rising atmospheric CO2 and rising temperatures in the period 1976 to 1998, and are at a loss to explain the lack of correlation since then.

    I note that you are in the camp of those who believe that higher temperatures in the Arctic combined with lower temperatures in the world’s main population centres supports AGW doctrine. I will not go so far as to say that this idea is completely untenable, but the fact that it is a new idea coming just days after a spell of cold NH weather illustrates the hoops that some in the Warmist camp will jump through in order to maintain their doctrine in the face of natural world observations. I suggest the idea that cold = warm will not have much traction with the man in the street. Using similar logic, I might argue that the Arctic region must have been unusually warm during the ice ages. So what?

    All the best.

  77. Bob I had to take the time to read your post thoroughly. That’s some very good, level and honest work there.

    This is a coincidence and you are only analyzing over the thirty year satellite era but viewing your Adjusted GISS LOTI data for 60S-60N with Secondary Volcano Adjustment in figure 28, the rate I noticed given in the equation of 1/4 ºC/century matches nearly exactly what you get in the trend of the 350 year long record kept in good old central England with little Pacific influence.

    http://hadobs.metoffice.com/hadcet/cetml1659on.dat

    I just stumbled on that data accidentally yesterday but it really caught my attention. Should give you some added confidence in your figures you are coming up about influences in the Pacific after corrected.

    Seems to me that the small remaining residual has most of it explained by the UHI effect.

    Good work. Nice to find some reality.

  78. Bob Tisdale says:
    January 10, 2011 at 5:23 pm

    “..You continued, “In fact if one looks at the heat balance of the oceans down to 2000M, which cannot be driven to first order by surface related ocean cycles, we come to the conclusion that the earth is warming due to radiative imbalance. This is estimated at about 0.8W/M^2.”

    If greenhouse gases were having an impact on the OHC to depths of 2000 meters, eadler, they would have to have had an impact on the upper 700meters. Greenhouse gases couldn’t bypass the upper 700 meters to warm the 700 to 2000 meter depths.

    If you’re not aware (and apparently you’re not since you didn’t bother to read this post), I’ve written three posts that illustrate that most if not all of the rise in OHC from 1955 to present (0-700meters) can be explained as responses to natural variables. Let me copy what was written. Maybe you won’t overlook it this time. ..”

    I have looked at these posts.
    What you show are a bunch of graphs without any real model which explained the relationships you observe. Correlations do not indicate the precise mechanism which is operating. The graphs you have shown cannot prove that the frequency and intensity of global warming events are unrelated to GHG related warming.

    The point made in the skeptical science article is that there is good quantitative agreement between ocean heating and satellite measurements of the radiation imbalance which is what one would expect to see.

    It seem to me that you claim that a warmer ocean surface will make the heat content of the ocean increase even more. Since an increase in heat content would make the surface temperature likely to become even warmer.
    In fact if a strong self sustaining unforced warming of the oceans as we have seen, around 0.8W/M^2 does exist, the climate of the earth would be in the process of an unstable runaway condition.

    Finally, in order to determine total ocean heat content, it is prudent to go as deeply as possible. There can be an interchange of heat content between the depths below 700 meters and the region above 700M that would affect the total heat content in the region between 700M and the surface.

  79. Bob: The first thing you’ll notice is that the warming trend in the Arctic was greater during the earlier warming period than the latter. Kind of makes one wonder about the supposed AGW impact during the latter warming period. Note also that the Arctic is amplifying the cooling during the cooling decades from 1945 to 1975. To me these two things indicate that the Arctic is simply exaggerating (amplifying) the trends at lower latitudes, and that the Arctic trends are not based on the greater Greenhouse Gas concentration.

    BINGO. There is something left over in your analysis that might be GHG, but you’ve done a good job demonstrating that it’s quite feasible for almost all of it to be natural (or something else entirely).

    Great article Bob, you have a very easy to follow and logical writing style, I look forward to your next article.

    BTW – You can use excel to find the best fit for your lags, trends, cycles, or whatever instead of eyeballing it. Take the two data sets in two columns, square the differences in the 3rd, sum the squares, then tell excel to vary an input to the lag / trend / sine wave / intercept / offset formula, and set the sum of the square error to zero. It won’t, but it will try to minimize the error by moving the variable you tell it to (using goal seek). Or you can use the analysis toolpak (or write your own backsolver) to find multiple values with constraints (it’s quirky but works if you manually lead it close enough – it’s not very bright). Either way, you’ll have to define several equations at once and solve iteratively, but you can nail the lags, offsets, cycle wavelength, etc. This can work wonders to tease out cycles that look like trends, but in fact might be just the rising or falling slope along a long duration cycle. I’ve seen many examples where it looks like a function is in an uptrend, but a sinusoidal cycle overlaid on a downtrend explains the data a lot better (especially with long duration ocean cycles). I can email some examples if you want…

    Then of course, once you’ve found the best fit for all of your variables, you can work forward toward prediction given certain new inputs. Handy stuff, way more powerful than linear regression. Mike S.

  80. “Arctic Amplification” form CO2 was not primarily from the (theorectical) loss-of-ice/increase in albedo meme so often used, but ratehr it began from the relative amounts of GHG’s in the warmer, more water-vapor laden equatorial climates to the very dry Arctic regions. Therefore, near the poles, water vapor is near zero, almost all of the GHG concentrations are from the non-condensing/man-caused-increasing CO2 and methane. So a small increase in CO2 significantly increase total local GHG effects.

    At the equator, where water vapor is on the order of 92 percent of the total GHG, the same increase in CO2 hardly raises the local GHG effect at all.

    Repeating, near the poles, we should see much increasing temperatures because the same well-mixed worldwide level of CO2 would greatly increase the local GHG concentration near the poles -> greatly increasing the (predicted) temperature increase; while near the equator, the same increase in CO2 means little.

    Or so the CAGW theory goes.

    Once the Arctic temperatures do increase, then the melting ice = increased albedo and melting permafrost = release of methane theories of tipping points is played.

    It is worth reminding those who use these tipping points that “they don’t work” – If they were true – then each summer’s Arctic ice minimum could not recover. And yet it did. There is NO relation between the level of mid-winter ice and mid-Sept (lowest point) ice extents. And there MUST be a one-to-relation between the two across the winter if theory is to mean anything. (In fact, usually the opposite happens: the higher the minimum point is (the more ice there is at mid-Sept), the lower the mid-winter point is. The lower the mid-Sept point is, the higher the mid-winter point is six months later.

    Arctic albedo/sea ice extents are also falsified by the (lack of) absorption of the radiation at low angles of incidence. The (potential) heat is reflected off of the both the ice surface and the water surface at angle under 20 degrees. And, in the Arctic Ocean, there are few areas receiving sunshine at very hours-per-day from higher angles than 21 degrees.

    We also have the absolute measured DMI Arctic summer temperatures at 80 degrees north – the ONLY Arctic temperatures which are affected by solar radiation! – showing a steady DECREASE since 1958.

    Arctic temperatures are NOT increasing as Hansen hopes/needs/fears/is desperate to find.

  81. Bob:
    You have done a huge amount of work but have been handicapped and misled by current methodology. Here are some points that you should consider:
    1. Do not use averaging, even a running mean, because it destroys data. You want to know what is contained in your dataset, not to hide it. Use a magic marker or its equivalent, the Photoshop layer. If you do it right you should be able to observe that the 1998 super El Nino is different from all other temperature features of the last thirty years.
    2. Forget about volcanic corrections. I have determined that volcanic cooling of the troposphere is a myth.
    3. Forget about ENSO corrections. They are a normal part of every temperature curve. ENSO has been with us since the Isthmus of Panama rose from the sea. What you should do about ENSO is to make sure that all El Nino peaks and La Nina valleys are accurately represented.
    4. Forget about curve fitting. If you have a series of ENSO oscillations put a dot in the center of any line connecting an El Nino peak with an adjacent La Nina valley. Connecting the dots gives you the best temperature average you can get. ENSO oscillations can be found in curves going back to the nineteenth century but I don’t know about their accuracy.
    5. The super El Nino must not be incorporated into any temperature curve. Also, it is illegitimate to join two halves of the temperature curve to its right and left into a single temperature curve. That is because of the step warming between 1998 and 2002.
    That should be enough. Now back to the drawing boards. I am looking forward to your revisions.
    Arno

  82. I found this article and the comments left in it disturbing.

    Earlier today I visited a pro-AWG site for probably the second time ever. His (Tamino) lead article was the EXACT SAME article as this one. He got the EXACT SAME results, which are different than Bob Tisdale’s.

    Both articles involve pure curve-fitting to show a pre-determined outcome. Both are without any scientific merit. Both rely mostly on adjusting the data with ENSO and volcanic forcings. Neither of them adequately explain the step-change in the temperature record of the last decade that is apparent in both analyses. And that is a subject that I believe hasn’t been properly explained anywhere. Oh, and they both contain pre-packaged strawmen.

    Bob,
    Why didn’t you just subtract a linear trend to show no AWG? It’s just as valid as the rest of the curve-fitting, smoothing, and arbitrary starting point. You could just call it “natural recovery from the LIA”. At least you admitted in the comments that you started this analysis with pre-determined results.

    WUWT community,
    Why did you seem to give this article a free pass? Are you all suffering from relativism? This is the same BS that is in all of the climate models.

    There is so much poor science and non-science in the CCAWG camp. Playing the same game is admitting defeat. I guess we should leave this debate for Fox News and the talking heads on AM radio.

  83. R. Gates states:
    “To leave out the polar regions, and specifically the northern hemisphere, which, both by observation and by measurement has seen a larger percentage warming than the mid-latitudes is to slice the greatest area of dynamic change related to global warming right out of the equation. No one is happy with the sparse data, but other confirmatory proof, such as the melting of permafrost and the reduction in sea ice, show that the extrapolation of arctic temperatures to show increases must be close t the mark.
    The Arctic is the front-line of AGW, and to attempt to remove the front-line (and the wealth of data and real world effects found there) is to attempt to redefine the battle in terms that are both illogical and in my opinion…not founded on science.”

    To all climate scientists, but specially to the AGW crowd:
    If the Arctic is so “crucial” for Science then why have there not been more (automated) ground stations been installed, or a satellite parked over it? That “essential” area is now patched over by interpolations in the climate models: strange for good Science. Exactly that same area now shows up in extreme colors on most temperature maps.

  84. I’d like to give my apologies to Arno Arrak. I started composing my comment before yours cleared moderation. You gave the best skeptical analysis of this article.

    I disagree with your non-cooling volcano hypothesis/concept. It can easily be tested using a light meter under a volcanic plume on an otherwise sunny day. ;)

  85. · · Bob Tisdale says:
    January 10, 2011 at 2:16 pm
    FrankK says: “So Bob, without going thru the whole of your article are you saying that at least 15% is due to AGW? or……………….”
    I have no idea what the “or” could turn out to be. I’ve shown that natural variables could account for 85% of the warming since 1982. Does it? Dunno. It might be more; it might be less. But this interpretation of the data illustrates that AGW might not be as strong a signal as many propose.
    ========================================================
    Thanks.
    Well it could be that none of it is AGW.!
    I have just looked and analysed the data from the longest temperature record world wide in Central England from 1659 to 2010:

    http://hadobs.metoffice.com/hadcet/cetml1659on.dat

    The so-called IPCC “accelerated warming” that is said to occur during the period 1963 to 2009 has a best-fit rising temp rate of 0.29 deg C per decade from this data. But there was also a rapid rising temperature period between 1695 and 1736 when there would have been no measurable increases in CO2 and therefore human induced warming. This rate is some 1.3 times greater at 0.376 deg C per decade over the 42 years of record!

    Just as an aside:
    Pity I can’t show the graphs here but there are 255 temperatures higher (warmer) than the mean yearly temp for 2010 for central England (i.e. 2010 temp sits at equal 256th on the warmest scale!) Not the warmest, not the second warmest or the third…..no the 256th warmest over the 351 years of record.There is also now a –0.22 deg C per decade (negative) regression slope in the temp data between 1995 and 2010.

  86. Ausie,

    RE: (2) what is a “deep polar” and how does it “close low”?

    The actual words were: “the deep polar closed low”

    You missed the “ed”

    Folks tend to used shortened notation at times and it can be confusing. What was meant was a Low Pressure system with a circular or cyclonic structure that normally would be expected to do one thing, in fact, sort of loosened some (“split into a pressure zones on both sides of”) and allowed something else to happen.

    A good suggestion for all would be to personalize Lows and Highs with a first capital. Such things as: Polar Highs, Sub-Tropical High Pressure, or Azores High, and so on, are commonly used in (are you ready?) peered reviewed papers.
    —————
    Bob T. — good post. Thanks.

  87. quote
    loss of sea ice in the arctic leads to increased ocean heat loss to the atmosphere resulting in more snow elsewhere. This would clearly be a negative feedback mechanism.”
    unquote

    Robert Essenhigh predicted this years ago. That’s ‘predicted’ as opposed to ‘projected’ – he is a scientist (well, engineer) as well as a gentleman. I have seen suggested, however, that ice free Arctic water covers itself with even more reflective low cloud.

    racookpe1978 wrote January 10, 2011 at 8:21 pm about polar amplification and it’s being caused by the relative importance of CO2 and methane as compared with water vapour: yes, it’s not just ice snow feedback, it’s more fundamental than that which is why Steig’s warming in Antarctica mattered — without that warming there’s a wheel coming off the bus. I’d also check emissivity changes during the dark nights in the Arctic, smoothed ocean cools slower.

    BTW, Hansen’s “Global Warming in the 21st Century: An Alternative Scenario” seems to accept that CO2 control would be much more difficult than cleaning up black carbon emissions from power stations. Polar amplification has been attributed to carbon on snow, which suggests yet another reason for the imbalance between the Arctic and the Antarctic.

    Google also “Global Warming in the 20th Century: An Alternative Scenario”

    JF

  88. If you subtract one temperature index from another, what happens to the global warming trend that is common to both?

    It disappears!

    Bob Tisdale’s long post is only long because he needs a great many words to mask the simplicity of what he just did.

  89. Bob Tisdale,
    What an excellent thought provoking study!
    Is it necessary to be so complicated though? What about the following consideration?

    1) The Hadcrut3, RSS, and UAH global data, all show that 1998 was the hottest year on record, globally. GIStemp also showed it as the hottest year back in 1999, before they since made highly questionable and big changes to the whole time-series.
    (See previous WUWT http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/05/18/gistemp-vs-hadcrut/)

    2) There is little doubt that the 1997-1998 El Nino was the main driver for the 1998 global high average and that it was big. (That is without necessarily understanding why it is so global and rapid in effect.)

    3) However, what can be said is that what predominantly heats the oceans is sunlight. On the other hand, GHG induced back radiation has little effect because being long-wave, it is extinguished in the skin of the water, is able to re-radiate virtually instantly, and can only penetrate via rapid mechanical mixing.

    4) Thus the 1998 super El Nino induced global warming was a secondary effect of short-wave ocean heating, not necessarily recent, and had very little to do with GHG.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Also, in your closing remarks you wrote:
    In reality, NINO3.4 SST anomalies (or the CTI SST anomalies they used) can only account for the linear responses to the changes in equatorial Pacific SST anomalies.
    Here is a comparison between Roy Spencer’s AMSR-E global sea surface T’s, and the Nino3.4 as issued by the Australian BOM. This supports your ~3-month lag, (I would have guessed longer), but see the remarkable correlation.

    Nino 1,2,3,&4 etc is also presented by the Oz BOM

  90. Bob,

    There’s a paper in press at GRL that suggests indices for two types of ENSO. I strikes me that the simple subtraction of a figure based on the traditional ENSO index might have no base. I’m not particularly criticising you here, I know many do the same sort of subtraction, I just wanted to get a feel about how useful this type of analysis is? I appreciate you already have identified some of the limits to reseachers understanding on the ENSO index.

    Ren, H.-L., and F.-F. Jin (2011),
    Niño Indices for Two Types of ENSO,
    Geophys. Res. Lett., doi:10.1029/2010GL046031, in press.

    A question on the scaling. Are the scaling values for KOE and SPCZ a measure of the amount of the warming(cooling signal) in the wider region? E.g. is 25% of the 60S-20N signal contained within the SPCZ. This sounds wrong but I have to ask.

    The consensus would say that ENSO is an energy neutral process. It’s not a source of energy so can’t be responsible for a trend, it’s just energy moving around the system. I wonder how you counter that? Maybe in a related way, ENSO has been going on forever. If you projected these step changes into the past then the world would be boiling now. So there must be something behind this making the step changes upwards at the moment. And if that’s natural then a negative or alternative process to allow steps down. So any idea what these other processes might be? Couldn’t AGW still be correct just that the earth’s system, thru’ ENSO, is translating the smooth increase in forcing from CO2 into step changes?

  91. Levi,

    Bob’s comments don’t look too far off the mark. Particularly “The Sea Surface Temperatures of the East Indian and West Pacific Oceans remain elevated during the La Nina because the stronger trade winds reduce cloud cover.” seems spot on.

    Australia’s BOM website has good ENSO info and good data about the present La Nina. Flick thru’ the different tabs halfway down the page they seem to be desciribing exactly what Bob is.

    http://reg.bom.gov.au/climate/enso/

  92. Pamela Gray wrote, “It has also been recently been discovered that the winter 3 month AO average reveals a multi-year, if not multi-decadel oscillation.”

    Not a “recent” discovery – well known, rather (but perhaps there are those who need a funding hook).

  93. Wow. A LOT of work’s gone into this- brilliant effort Bob.

    I’ve only skim read so far- will need more time to fully digest the entire article, but hell of an effort there.

  94. When the term polar amplification is used, it is to refer to the South Pole and the North Pole, otherwise you would use the term Arctic amplification.

    Clearly there is no amplification in the South Pole, so Polar amplification does not exist.

    Arctic ice has only been measured during the warm PDO, since the PDO has turned cold, the ice has now stabilised and since 2007 has grown. We need another few years of data to draw any conclusions on whether the Arctic ice just follows the PDO cycle.

  95. Bob Tisdale says:
    January 10, 2011 at 3:05 pm
    Manfred says: “Just recently a “scientist” at the German hyper alarmist PIK “found out” that the (temporary) loss of sea ice in the arctic leads to increased ocean heat loss to the atmosphere resulting in more snow elsewhere. This would clearly be a negative feedback mechanism.”

    Do you have a link to the study?

    —————————————————————

    Comment in German from the PIK website:

    My own translation of an excerpt (capital letters added by me):

    “IF THE SEA SURFACE IS ICE FREE, IT LOSES A LOT OF HEAT TO THE COLD AIR. The scientists now fed their computers with scenarios, where the ice cover in the eastern arctic decreases stepwise from 100 to 1 percent.

    “Our SIMULATIONS have shown a RATHER significant non-linear response of the air temperature and winds, when we shrinked the area of the ice sheet“, said physicist Petoukhov. „This went from WARMING to cooling and then again to WARMING”. An abrupt change between different mechanisms of the atmospheric circulation COULD then WELL be POSSIBLE. THE WARMING OF THE COLD AIR OVER THE BARENTS-SEA APPEARS to bring cold winter winds to Europe.

    http://www.pik-potsdam.de/aktuelles/pressemitteilungen/erderwaermung-koennte-winter-kaelter-werden-lassen?set_language=de

    This APPEARS to be the state of the art of “SCIENCE” at PIK.

    The “study” is here.

    http://www.agu.org/pubs/crossref/2010/2009JD013568.shtml

  96. Larry G;
    Yes, I think you’ve touched the core. If Bob has shown that ~85% of the temp changes can be explained without reference to either the Arctic or GHGs, then they’re going to have to fight it out over the scraps! Unless something else scoops them up first …

  97. HR (January 10, 2011 at 11:01 pm)

    Looks like it’s a duplicate comment, same as the one from my blog. I hope you don’t mind. I replied there first, so I’ll duplicate my answer here:

    HR: I haven’t read Lin & Jin (2011) “Niño Indices for Two Types of ENSO”, and they’ve got a paywall on the preprint, so I can’t say if it would have an impact on these results. (The scaling of NINO3.4 SST anomalies [or CTI] and subtracting it has been a commonly used method for removing the linear effects of ENSO.)

    You asked. “A question on the scaling. Are the scaling values for KOE and SPCZ a measure of the amount of the warming(cooling signal) in the wider region.”

    The entire East Indian-West Pacific (60S-65N, 80E-180) dataset rises in similar upward steps, and like the KOE and SPCZ Extension, that’s before the effects of ENSO and volcanic eruptions have been removed. The KOE and SPCZ extension have the strong signals within that region.

    You wrote, “The consensus would say that ENSO is an energy neutral process.”

    And they would be wrong, as illustrated in this post. Their opinions are faulty as I’ve shown in this post. The use of an ENSO index does not account for the redistribution of warm water.

    You wrote, “If you projected these step changes into the past (I see Lucia is already trying to project them into the future) then the world would be boiling now.”

    The methods used in this post are likely dependent on the climate of the Pacific after the 1976/77 Climate Shift. Speculation: It would seem likely to me that similar conditions existed in the earlier warming period (1910 to 1945) but did not exist during the cooling epoch (1945 to 1975). Is it dependent on the AMO as well? Dunno.

    You asked, “So any idea what these other processes might be?”

    I’d be adding to the above speculation. The problem with trying to identify them is, there is less and less source data as we go back in time. Poorer coverage and more infilling. Many studies of ENSO start in 1950 because of the earlier data. Compound that with the need to use the SST data for two more relatively small regions in the Pacific for this analysis.

    You asked, “Couldn’t AGW still be correct just that the earth’s system, thru’ ENSO, is translating the smooth increase in forcing from CO2 into abrupt step changes?”

    There’s no evidence of an anthropogenic signal in the source of fuel for ENSO, which is the tropical Pacific OHC.

  98. Bob_FJ says: “SORRY, Re my post above to Bob Tisdale
    “The link I intended suggesting dodgy GIStemp numbers was this:
    “GISStimating 1998, by Steve Goddard
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/08/29/gisstimating-1998/

    Bob_FJ, while I will agree that the corrections GISS makes always seem to contribute to the trend, you also have to keep in mind that they do document the changes. Refer to my comment on that WUWT thread here:

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/08/29/gisstimating-1998/#comment-469598

    Refer also to Steve Mosher’s comments about Goddard’s post, starting with this one:

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/08/29/gisstimating-1998/#comment-469572

  99. Didactylos says: “Bob Tisdale’s long post is only long because he needs a great many words to mask the simplicity of what he just did.”

    I made no effort to hide what I did. I went through the process of removing the signals step by step and explained why the trends existed in reference datasets before removing their signal.

  100. Daniel Kozub says: “Both articles involve pure curve-fitting to show a pre-determined outcome. Both are without any scientific merit.”

    The linear effects that ENSO and volcanic aerosols have on global temperatures are well documented through a multitude of different analyses, including “curve-fitting”. This post was an effort to illustrate why the linear effects of ENSO do not capture the processes involved and fail to capture the impacts of the redistribution of the warm water that had been released during the El Niño.

    You continued, “Neither of them adequately explain the step-change in the temperature record of the last decade that is apparent in both analyses. And that is a subject that I believe hasn’t been properly explained anywhere.”

    I have written posts for almost two years that explain the upward steps in the global temperature record that occurred in 1998 and in 1988 , starting with these posts:

    http://bobtisdale.blogspot.com/2009/01/can-el-nino-events-explain-all-of.html

    And:

    http://bobtisdale.blogspot.com/2009/01/can-el-nino-events-explain-all-of_11.html

    You obviously feel the efforts are lacking, but you, Daniel, fail to suggest ways I could improve the explanations and posts.

    You continued, “At least you admitted in the comments that you started this analysis with pre-determined results.”

    Again, as noted in the comment you’re referring to, I’ve written posts or included graphs in blog comments for almost two years about these upward steps in SST for the East Indian-West Pacific Oceans, RSS TLT north of 20N, GISS LOTI (20N-65N), CRUTEM (20N-65N), etc. Of course I knew beforehand what the general outcome would be.

  101. Arno Arrak says: “That should be enough. Now back to the drawing boards. I am looking forward to your revisions.”

    Feel free to duplicate the results of this post using the methods you describe, Arno. If you are going to wait for me, you’ll be waiting for a long time, because I’m not going to bother. I say that for a reason, Arno. It follows.

    You wrote, “Forget about volcanic corrections. I have determined that volcanic cooling of the troposphere is a myth.”

    If your methods result in this finding, then your methods are flawed. The impacts of volcanic eruptions have been documented for decades. If you believe your finding has merit, I would suggest you present them to Alan Robock of Rutgers. He has written numerous papers on the subject. Like many scientists, he replies to emails. I know that for a fact.

  102. Bob said:

    “CAN THE THIS TYPE OF EVALUATION BE EXTENDED BACK IN TIME?
    I would not expect that what was presented in this post could be extended back in time. ”

    A pity because unless it can be Bob’s brilliant and magisterial work cannot easily be used to involve ocean oscillations in the climate cycling from MWP to LIA to date.

    For those climate changes we need to deal with the ‘stepping’ that is apparent from one phase of PDO to another which apparently requires an external forcing affecting the net balance between El Nino and La Nina over time.

    Still, useful stuff nonetheless.

  103. John said:

    “If we want to win the debate for the minds of people who aren’t hard set in their views, we don’t get there by denying what is, frankly, obvious on first principles: GHGs warm the atmosphere.”

    Not quite. They add energy to the system but do not necessarily warm the atmosphere.

    There is the little matter of latent heat to consider and also certain natural negative climate responses that seem to push the additional energy out of the system faster.

  104. Michael D Smith says: “BTW – You can use excel to find the best fit for your lags, trends, cycles, or whatever instead of eyeballing it…”

    Thanks for the suggestion, but I would limit the EXCEL statistical analysis for ENSO to the 1997/98 El Niño, because it was strong enough to overcome the other noise. The 1982/83 El Niño was also strong, but it was counteracted by the eruption of El Chichon. The additional noise can be seen in the failure of global temperature anomalies to respond as one would expect to the lesser El Niño events of 2002/03, 2004/05, and 2006/07. Refer to Figure 1. So those lesser El Nino events would bias any statistical analyses, as would the volcanic eruptions. And if I was going to limit the analysis to the 1997/98 El Niño, I might as well just eyeball the curves.

    Example: I referred to Thompson et al (2009) in the post. They used a statistical model to determine lags and scaling factors. Link to Thompson et al:

    http://www.atmos.colostate.edu/ao/ThompsonPapers/ThompsonWallaceJonesKennedy_JClimate2009.pdf

    They also provided a link to their data:

    http://www.atmos.colostate.edu/~davet/ThompsonWallaceJonesKennedy/

    I detrended their adjusted global temperature data over warming and cooling decades and compared the detrended data to their original ENSO index in this post:

    http://bobtisdale.blogspot.com/2009/09/thompson-et-al-2009-high-tech-wiggle.html

    As you can see in Figures 11 through 13, there were ENSO residuals left that were approximately the same magnitude as the reference ENSO signal.

    My eyeballed wiggle matching in this post appears to have done a better job of eliminating the linear ENSO impacts.

  105. Bob, I didn’t say you hid what you did. Obviously, anyone who goes to the trouble of reading and understanding what you wrote can plainly see what is going on, and make a neat list of your errors of reasoning.

    I said “mask”. You buried the salient points in a morass of verbiage and graphs, [snip]

    [reply] No need to attribute motivation, your point is clear. RT-mod

  106. eadler replied, “It seem to me that you claim that a warmer ocean surface will make the heat content of the ocean increase even more. Since an increase in heat content would make the surface temperature likely to become even warmer.”

    Not sure how you assumed that from my posts, eadler.

    You continued, “In fact if a strong self sustaining unforced warming of the oceans as we have seen, around 0.8W/M^2 does exist, the climate of the earth would be in the process of an unstable runaway condition.”

    An assumption on your part. What I have shown in those posts is that the rise in OHC from 1955 to present can be explained by natural factors that have resulted in upward shifts in OHC, not a monotonous rise. The only ocean basin where the rise might be misinterpreted as being monotonous WAS the North Atlantic, but that has shown a significant drop since 2005.

    You continued, “Finally, in order to determine total ocean heat content, it is prudent to go as deeply as possible. There can be an interchange of heat content between the depths below 700 meters and the region above 700M that would affect the total heat content in the region between 700M and the surface.”

    Unfortunately, there’s little long-term OHC data at depths below 700 meters. But as shown in the posts I linked for you, those varaitions can be explained with natural variables.

    The depths of 0-3000 meters used to be presented in long-term OHC papers along with other depths, but researchers have been presenting only 0-700 meters in the long-term reconstructions recently. Example, Levitus et al presented OHC at different depths (0-300m, 0-700, and 0-3000m) in their 2005 “Warming of the world ocean, 1955–2003”. Looking at each ocean basin, and the global data, the long-term variations for the three depths in each basin are basically the same, as are the variations in the global data for the three depths. There are a few divergences, but one has to take any long-term OHC dataset with a grain of salt. There is little to no Southern Hemisphere OHC data prior to ARGO. If you’d like to wait another 30 years, I’ll be happy to explain the change in OHC over that period also.

  107. Bob, Pielke Pere has a question for you at the end of JC’s ‘Where’s the Missing Heat’ thread, about the source for your assertion that OHC has risen just recently.
    =================

  108. Pamela Gray says: “Bob, the somewhat recent rise in temperature also coincides with the positive phase in the AO. The recent slow decent to its negative phase coincides with the pause in temperature. How would this influence factor into your theory?”

    Sorry it took so long to get back to you, Pamela. I was working down the list of comments last night before I stopped for the night, and then this morning I started from the bottom up.

    When I was preparing the post, I didn’t stop after I removed the KOE and SPCZ extension data. I then tried to identify the additional variations. The first thing I checked with the Northern Hemisphere data was the AO, (same for the AAO and the Southern Hemisphere residual). The correlation was terrible. There were a few periods when they appeared to run in synch but the other periods when they were out of synch greatly outweighed them. I tried a few other SLP datasets but was not getting anything worthwhile.

    Could the AO (and AAO) have an impact? Of course. I’ve noted in this post that the KOE and SPCZ extension rise in steps during the La Nina events, and I’ve explained why those upward shifts occur. SLP could impact the magnitude of the steps and the magnitude of the responses of the surface data.

    That’s one of the reasons I noted in the post that this was a preliminary analysis and it needed further research. It’s getting to the point where the additional research is beyond my simple means.

    Regards

  109. kim says: “Bob, Pielke Pere has a question for you at the end of JC’s ‘Where’s the Missing Heat’ thread, about the source for your assertion that OHC has risen just recently.”

    Thanks, kim.

  110. Didactylos says: “Obviously, anyone who goes to the trouble of reading and understanding what you wrote can plainly see what is going on, and make a neat list of your errors of reasoning.”

    Please present your “neat list of [my] errors in reasoning.”

  111. Stephen Wilde says: “For those climate changes we need to deal with the ‘stepping’ that is apparent from one phase of PDO to another which apparently requires an external forcing affecting the net balance between El Nino and La Nina over time.”

    Conjecture on your part.

  112. “”””” Bill Illis says:
    January 10, 2011 at 6:29 pm
    George E. Smith, I’m the one who said the Clausius-Clapeyron equations indicate there should be a 7% increase per degree C. All the climate model build in 6% to 8% for this amount. “””””

    Well fancy that; my first guesspost was actually correct. When I read your Posts Bill, and those that Bob T posts, I often do get you two chaps intermixed. Wentz of course said “total atmospheric water content”, so they were talking more than just water vapor.

    So you think the vapor is just half of what C_C predicts. Well unless I’m mistaken; doesn’t the C_C equation simply calculate what would be the saturation level of water vapor; and since it’s not a closed system; I imagine it isn’t always saturated.

    I’m not a chemist so I am just getting my teeth into the C-C thing, because Prof Will Happer told me I should do that.

    I’m glad that you and Bob T do what you do, because I just don’t have time to learn all that stuff. Right now I’m boning up on my Atomic Physics, and Atomic Spectra; from Herzberg, and Max Born. I’ll get back to the Molecular spectra, once I’m back to comfortable with the atomic spectra.

    Thanks for clearing up that C_C thing; I knew it was one of you two who posted that; very timely.

    George

    On another matter; why do people keep on dredging up latent heat questions along with CO2 and the GHG thesis ?

    Sure other thermal processes are important; but the one thing you can say about the greenhouse gas warming hypothesis, is that it is entirely a matter of Radiation Physics. True that may be only a part of the energy transport process; but it is the only part that really involves GHGs; well other than H2O which happens to be THE condensible GHG, and therefore CAN get involved in latent heat transactions; CO2 cannot since it remains immutable in the atmosphere for thousands of years.

  113. Bob,

    Thanks for the interesting study. I’ve linked it to a local blog I participate in.

    I’ve seen concern for the use of “eye-balled”. Can you explain or qualify this?

  114. Bob from the UK says:
    January 11, 2011 at 12:56 am

    “Arctic ice has only been measured during the warm PDO, since the PDO has turned cold, the ice has now stabilised and since 2007 has grown.”

    ____
    Uh, no, not quite. We’ve got the lowest January levels of Arctic sea ice ever on satellite record following the lowest December level ever. Saying the ice has “now stabilized” is wishful skeptical hyperbole at best…

  115. Bob_FJ says:
    January 10, 2011 at 10:35 pm

    “..
    3) However, what can be said is that what predominantly heats the oceans is sunlight. On the other hand, GHG induced back radiation has little effect because being long-wave, it is extinguished in the skin of the water, is able to re-radiate virtually instantly, and can only penetrate via rapid mechanical mixing…”

    You have been misinformed about how down-welling radiation from the GHG’s operates to warm the oceans. Penetration of the down-welling radiation from the GHG’s, into the bulk of the ocean, is not required for the long wave radiation to have an effect on ocean temperatures.

    The sun’s rays warm the top layer of the ocean down to 10’s of meters below the surface. The heat from the sun flows to the top of ocean by convection. The rate of flow is driven by the temperature difference between the cooler top surface and the bulk below, where the heat is absorbed.
    The absorption of the down-welling radiation increases the temperature of the the very top surface of the ocean. This reduces the difference between the top surface and the bulk of the ocean which absorbs the sun’s heat, reducing the rate of convection of heat absorbed by the bulk of the ocean to the top surface. This is the mechanism by which the down-welling radiation from GHG’s make the oceans warmer. The downward radiation itself does not have to penetrate into the bulk of the ocean to be effective in making it warmer.

    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2006/09/why-greenhouse-gases-heat-the-ocean/

  116. “R. Gates says:
    January 11, 2011 at 10:31 am
    We’ve got the lowest January levels of Arctic sea ice ever on satellite record following the lowest December level ever.”

    At this time of year the range of ice cover from year to year is so small that that is insignificant.

    Wake me up in March.

    Re that word ‘evah’. Do you mean since 1979 on a planet 4 billion years old?

  117. Bob Tisdale says:
    January 11, 2011 at 5:51 am

    “eadler replied, “It seem to me that you claim that a warmer ocean surface will make the heat content of the ocean increase even more. Since an increase in heat content would make the surface temperature likely to become even warmer.”

    Not sure how you assumed that from my posts, eadler.

    You continued, “In fact if a strong self sustaining unforced warming of the oceans as we have seen, around 0.8W/M^2 does exist, the climate of the earth would be in the process of an unstable runaway condition.”

    An assumption on your part. What I have shown in those posts is that the rise in OHC from 1955 to present can be explained by natural factors that have resulted in upward shifts in OHC, not a monotonous rise. The only ocean basin where the rise might be misinterpreted as being monotonous WAS the North Atlantic, but that has shown a significant drop since 2005.

    You continued, “Finally, in order to determine total ocean heat content, it is prudent to go as deeply as possible. There can be an interchange of heat content between the depths below 700 meters and the region above 700M that would affect the total heat content in the region between 700M and the surface.”

    Unfortunately, there’s little long-term OHC data at depths below 700 meters. But as shown in the posts I linked for you, those varaitions can be explained with natural variables.”

    Whether you look at 2000M or 700M, the earth’s oceans as a whole have been gaining heat since 1970. This heat gain varied from location to location, but despite the variation from tree to tree, the forest has gained heat.

    You ascribe the increase in ocean heat content to natural factors. The only “natural factor” you mention is ocean surface temperature. The problem with this explanation is that ocean temperatures, to first order are a consequence of an increase in ocean heating, rather than a cause of ocean heating. If a hotter surface temperature due to El Nino or other ocean oscillations is the cause of ocean heating, due to a second order effect, such as reduced cloud cover allowing more sunlight to enter the ocean, or some other effect, you haven’t made a case for it in your article.

    Since the primary source of ocean heat is the sun, and the sun has not gained in intensity since 1970, and volcanic action has not reduced markedly, these cannot explain the overall increase in ocean heating.

  118. George E. Smith says:
    “CO2 cannot (get involved in latent heat transaction) since it remains immutable in the atmosphere for thousands of years.”

    Well actually.

    It does get involved indirectly. It increases the energy in the system to increase evaporation and speed up or intensify the water cycle.

    However the water cycle negates the effect of more CO2 by just accelerating the extra energy to space for a zero effect on the equilibrium temperature of the bulk ocean.

    I recently provided elsewhere a clearer explanation as to why the extra downward IR from more CO2 is unable to affect the equilibrium temperature of the bulk ocean and I’ll repeat it here:

    “I think it would be fruitful to look very closely at the interface between SST(int) and SST(skin).

    For definitions see here:

    http://ghrsst-pp.metoffice.com/pages/sst_definitions/

    It is necessary to get a clear idea as to exactly why the higher temperature of SST(skin) fails to slow down the rate of energy flow from the subskin below.

    A. The Default situation

    i) Evaporation occurs primarily because of pressure and density differentials between water and air. Thus it will occur even if both water and air are at the same temperature. The process of evaporation is not dependent on any temperature differential. There are other influences that will increase or decrease the rate of evaporation but they need not concern us here.

    ii) At Earth’s atmospheric pressure the energy required to provoke evaporation is always less than the energy taken from the local environment when evaporation occurs so we need to analyse exactly where the deficit can be provided from.

    iii) In the absence of DLR it is taken from the water below because the water is generally warmer than the air hence the development of a layer of cool water 1mm deep and 0.3C cooler than the ocean bulk below.

    B. When DLR is added to the mix.

    i) DLR in itself does nothing. Before it can warm anything it must be absorbed by a water molecule.

    ii) When DLR impacts the water surface some molecules will evaporate immediately and others will need to wait a moment to acquire enough additional energy.

    iii) Those which are in the process of evaporating form SST(int). Those which are busily acquiring energy form SST(skin). The molecules in SST(skin) steadily gain more energy and move upward towards SST(int). In the process they gain more energy and become warmer with sensible energy that registers on our sensors.

    C. The response to DLR once evaporation from DLR begins.

    i) The molecules in SST(int) evaporate producing a local energy deficit. The energy most readily available is in the nearest molecules of SST(skin) so a flow of energy is set up from SST(skin) to SST(int)

    ii) That energy flow is upward so the additional energy being supplied to the molecules in SST(skin) cannot flow downward to increase the temperature of the subskin.

    iii) We then have both energy AND individual molecules moving upwards towards SST(int)

    iv) The DLR cannot penetrate beyond SST(skin) so ALL the DLR gets absorbed by molecules in that region and ALL those molecules in due course find their way to SS(int). Thus there is no surplus energy from DLR left over to warm the subskin and even if there were it is flowing in the wrong direction.

    v) Meanwhile remember that there is a net deficit to deal with when evaporation occurs. If ALL the DLR is now in molecules that are going to move upward and evaporate it can only be provided by a cascade of energy from molecule to molecule up through SST(skin).

    vi) But at the bottom of that cascade where SST(skin) has it’s interface with the subskin there is still going to be that deficit. That remaining deficit must be accounted for and it already has been catered for by the pre-existing upward flow of energy from the ocean bulk below which is always present even in the absence of DLR

    vii) Additionally that energy is already of the correct quantity to make up the deficit because the DLR is ALL accounted for in the process of accelerated evaporation leaving the background equilibrium undisturbed.

    Thus DLR in any quantity or from any source cannot alter the equilibrium temperature of the oceans.

    Now if there is a flaw in any of that then someone please tell me now.

  119. eadler says: “You ascribe the increase in ocean heat content to natural factors. The only ‘natural factor’ you mention is ocean surface temperature. The problem with this explanation is that ocean temperatures, to first order are a consequence of an increase in ocean heating, rather than a cause of ocean heating.”

    The three posts I linked in the text of this post, and that I linked a second time for you in my January 10, 2011 at 5:23 pm reply to you, were Ocean Heat Content posts. They were not about “ocean surface temperature” . The units are Gigjoules per sqaure meter (GJ/m^2) not in deg C. The NINO3.4 SST anomalies you see in the graphs (as explained in those posts) are there as references for timing, nothing more.
    Let’s try again. Here are the links:

    http://bobtisdale.blogspot.com/2009/09/enso-dominates-nodc-ocean-heat-content.html

    AND:

    http://bobtisdale.blogspot.com/2009/12/north-pacific-ocean-heat-content-shift.html

    AND:

    http://bobtisdale.blogspot.com/2009/10/north-atlantic-ocean-heat-content-0-700.html

  120. DCA engineer says: “I’ve seen concern for the use of “eye-balled”. Can you explain or qualify this?”

    The scaling and lag were established by appearance of the two variables, using the larger(est) event (the 1997/98 El Nino, the 1991 Mount Pinatubo eruption, etc.) as reference, not by statistical methods using all events. The data indicates that the larger events (such as the 1997/98 El Nino) are strong enough to overcome the noise that can mask the global response to lesser events. In other words, I used the larger events as reference because the response to them was clearest.

  121. eadler says:
    January 11, 2011 at 11:08 am

    “Since the primary source of ocean heat is the sun, and the sun has not gained in intensity since 1970, and volcanic action has not reduced markedly, these cannot explain the overall increase in ocean heating.”

    Strawman argument that is as bad as saying the tiny atmospheric amount of CO2 has no contribution on the greenhouse effect. The sun doesn’t need to gain intensity because it already has in the recent past, just needs to maintain it. This is the problem with people failing to understand the difference between temperature and heat. The temperature can stay the same, but the energy increases or decreases. The oceans rely on SWR at the surface, what occurs measured in the upper troposphere has little bearing compared with how much is reflected back to space from clouds and snow/ice. Albedo from medium/low level clouds warms or cools the ocean surface by increasing or decreasing over time across the global surface. This albedo has been changing over recent decades and is responsible for most ocean warming with the increased maintained higher solar levels.

    Lets consider LWR (long wave radiation) and SWR (short wave radiation) with LWR not being able to warm a small volume of water and especially not the deep ocean when compared to SWR. The difference in the role between LWR and SWR on a volume of the ocean is like comparing a teaspoon of water with a swimming pool.

    The swimming pool can change temperatures up to 2c and back down again, how many teaspoons of water at 0.1c warmer added are going to require to increase the swimming pool 1c? There are so many needed that when this amount is achieved, far more energy will have already been lost to the atmosphere with the natural day and night cycle of the sun with evaporative cooling. Now we have a comparable estimate of how LWR is compared to SWR in climate. The oceans don’t freeze because the SWR controls the energy in it and LWR has no measurable affect compared with it’s many orders times greater brother.

  122. Chris Brown says: “Have you not just correlated temperature with temperature?”

    I have adjusted hemispheric surface temperature datasets based on volcanic aerosols, and on a temperature-based ENSO index. Both volcanoes and ENSO events are known to cause variations in global temperatures. I then argued and illustrated that there are secondary effects of ENSO that are not accounted for using the temperature-based ENSO index. I compared the ENSO and volcano-adjusted data to the SST anomalies of two parts of the western Pacific (the Kuroshio-Oyashio Extension and the SPCZ Extension) where the secondary effects of ENSO appear strongest. Originally, that was where I ended the post. The agreements between the adjusted hemispheric temperature data and the respective KOE and SPCZ datasets were very strong and would have made for a great post. (I would have ended with Figures 13 and 22 and those were good matches between datasets.)

    What has some people concerned (including yourself apparently) is I elected to take the post a few steps farther. I took the hemispheric surface temperature data that were adjusted for ENSO and volcanoes and further adjusted them with the datasets that were intended to illustrate the secondary effects of ENSO. It is the secondary effects that are presently not accounted for in climate studies like the one referenced in the post, Thompson et al. These secondary effects are the unknowns, and this is why the first paragraph of the post includes the following sentence: “But this basic evaluation indicates these secondary effects of ENSO require further research.”

  123. Bob Tisdale
    You wrote January 11, 2011 at 2:36 am :

    “…while I will agree that the corrections GISS makes always seem to contribute to the trend, you also have to keep in mind that they do document the changes…”

    Documentation of changes does no necessarily mean correctness. Bear in mind that you limited your own study to latitudes +/- 60 degrees, apparently because you had greater confidence in GISS for this region.
    What sticks out like dog’s balls, is that there is a distinct disparity between GIStemp, and the other big 3 for the widely described 1998 “super El Nino“. Whilst I don’t have great confidence in Hadcrut3, it’s 1998 does line-up rather well with UAH & RSS. The satellite data picks-up stratospherically, what is a surface driven anomaly rather markedly.

    The big 4 time-series plus NCDC global records are conveniently overlaid here with common baselines:

    The other big 3, all show a distinct plateau commencing at, I would say; 1998, variously described as a cooling phase or lack of warming. Even RealClimate recognised this in an article some time back. (although it was rapidly closed after 3 days of comments… whoops).

    If you like to draw step-changes, then one could argue a step change at 1998, on the basis of the combination graph cited above.

    The effect of GISS depressing the 1998 value (some time after 1999, and raising 2005 etc), is to show a lessening of the plateau, or if you like a more remorseless global warming.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Bob, did you see my January 10, 2011 at 10:35 pm ?
    It proposes a less complicated and/or supportive argument.

    I see that eadler has some objections to it, and has even quoted the oracular mount of RC. I may have time to respond today

  124. Bob Tisdale
    You wrote January 11, 2011 at 2:36 am :

    “…while I will agree that the corrections GISS makes always seem to contribute to the trend, you also have to keep in mind that they do document the changes…”

    Documentation of changes does no necessarily mean correctness. Bear in mind that you limited your own study to latitudes +/- 60 degrees, apparently because you had greater confidence in GISS for this region.
    What sticks out like dog’s balls, is that there is a distinct disparity between GIStemp, and the other big 3 for the widely described 1998 “super El Nino“. Whilst I don’t have great confidence in Hadcrut3, it’s 1998 does line-up rather well with UAH & RSS. The satellite data picks-up stratospherically, what is a surface driven anomaly rather markedly.

    The big 4 time-series plus NCDC global records are conveniently overlaid here with common baselines:

    The other big 3, all show a distinct plateau commencing at, I would say; 1998, variously described as a cooling phase or lack of warming. Even RealClimate recognised this in an article some time back. (although it was rapidly closed after 3 days of comments… whoops).

    If you like to draw step-changes, then one could argue a step change at 1998, on the basis of the combination graph cited above.

    The effect of GISS depressing the 1998 value (some time after 1999, and raising 2005 etc), is to show a lessening of the plateau, or if you like a more remorseless global warming.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Bob, did you see my January 10, 2011 at 10:35 pm ?
    It proposes a less complicated and/or supportive argument.
    I see that eadler has some objections to it, and has even quoted the oracular mount of RC. I may have time to respond today

  125. eadler says:
    January 11, 2011 at 10:45 am

    LWR has to be millions of times greater then demostrated to beable to complete with any tiny variable change in the solar output. It has a miscule effect and was used by realclimate as a get out of jail clause because they knew the oceans dominate atmospheric global temperatures. They have not provided evidence the LWR is changing the water below the surface one bit. SWR easily explains the changes when this penetrates down to 100m depth compared with 0.5mm while cloud albedo had decreased.

    Lets look at this energy wise, even if LWR and SWR were equal (which they are far from not) SWR would still be around 200,000 times greater. Vary the LWR from CO2 another 50 percent higher and this energy contribution is tiny (orders smaller) to just a 0.01 percent change from SWR. I know the skin idea is wrong because it is demonstrated with numbers being too big to make any difference. The change is so small compared to SWR that any tiny build up over many years is easily lost to space during the same period. The energy lost to space is much bigger, but we have stable temperatures because this compares well with SWR. If you still don’t believe this then try this experiment at home and compare the same volumes of water at same temperatures to begin with, one exposed to the sun for the day and one only exposed to LWR shaded from the sun. Then measure the temperature changes at the end and record any differences.

  126. Bob_FJ says: “Bob, did you see my January 10, 2011 at 10:35 pm ?”

    Yup. I already replied to the first part of it, when I replied to the correction.

    You continued, “It proposes a less complicated and/or supportive argument.”

    I’m not sure how they make the same arguments I made in this post. My primary discussions were that NINO3.4 SST anomalies do not capture the process of ENSO and that there are secondary effects of ENSO that could explain much of the rise in surface temperature since 1982.

  127. Matt G says:
    January 11, 2011 at 2:04 pm

    eadler says:
    January 11, 2011 at 11:08 am

    “Since the primary source of ocean heat is the sun, and the sun has not gained in intensity since 1970, and volcanic action has not reduced markedly, these cannot explain the overall increase in ocean heating.”

    Strawman argument that is as bad as saying the tiny atmospheric amount of CO2 has no contribution on the greenhouse effect. The sun doesn’t need to gain intensity because it already has in the recent past, just needs to maintain it. This is the problem with people failing to understand the difference between temperature and heat. The temperature can stay the same, but the energy increases or decreases. The oceans rely on SWR at the surface, what occurs measured in the upper troposphere has little bearing compared with how much is reflected back to space from clouds and snow/ice. Albedo from medium/low level clouds warms or cools the ocean surface by increasing or decreasing over time across the global surface. This albedo has been changing over recent decades and is responsible for most ocean warming with the increased maintained higher solar levels.”

    I will accept the verdict of climate scientists who are experts on the sun. They say that the sun is not responsible for the warming we have seen since 1970.
    In fact solar radiation has declined since 1960 while global warming has accelerated. Check out the graph on the following web page.

    http://www.skepticalscience.com/solar-activity-sunspots-global-warming-intermediate.htm

    Eighteen peer reviewed papers are quoted on the above page, concluding that solar radiation was not a significant contributor to the warming observed since 1970.

    You continue,
    “Lets consider LWR (long wave radiation) and SWR (short wave radiation) with LWR not being able to warm a small volume of water and especially not the deep ocean when compared to SWR. The difference in the role between LWR and SWR on a volume of the ocean is like comparing a teaspoon of water with a swimming pool.

    The swimming pool can change temperatures up to 2c and back down again, how many teaspoons of water at 0.1c warmer added are going to require to increase the swimming pool 1c? There are so many needed that when this amount is achieved, far more energy will have already been lost to the atmosphere with the natural day and night cycle of the sun with evaporative cooling. Now we have a comparable estimate of how LWR is compared to SWR in climate. The oceans don’t freeze because the SWR controls the energy in it and LWR has no measurable affect compared with it’s many orders times greater brother.”

    Sorry but your analogy is wrong. On average the LWR from the atmosphere incident on the ocean surface has a flux of about 324W/M^2, and is TWICE the energy flux of the incoming solar radiation which is absorbed by the ocean , only168W/M^2. Without this LWR, the earth’s average surface temperature would be 33 degrees cooler.

    http://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://www.windows2universe.org/earth/Atmosphere/images/earth_rad_budget_kiehl_trenberth_1997_big.gif&imgrefurl=http://www.windows2universe.org/earth/climate/warming_clouds_albedo_feedback.html&h=456&w=664&sz=40&tbnid=khMQlXF5TEG-vM:&tbnh=95&tbnw=138&prev=/images%3Fq%3Dtrenberth%2Bearths%2Benergy%2Bflux%2Bdiagram&zoom=1&q=trenberth+earths+energy+flux+diagram&hl=en&usg=__a9nDZ3klcoNaBuYYmmKnFmQuE0w=&sa=X&ei=5vAsTYCRD4K8lQeu3fC6Cg&ved=0CBsQ9QEwAA

    The LWR warms the ocean’s surface skin, and slows the escape of the solar radiation absorbed by the ocean bulk, by reducing the convection of heat to the ocean surface.

    The earth’s surface is cooled by the upward LWR, evaporation and convection.

  128. Bob Tisdale says:
    January 11, 2011 at 12:51 pm

    eadler says: “You ascribe the increase in ocean heat content to natural factors. The only ‘natural factor’ you mention is ocean surface temperature. The problem with this explanation is that ocean temperatures, to first order are a consequence of an increase in ocean heating, rather than a cause of ocean heating.”

    The three posts I linked in the text of this post, and that I linked a second time for you in my January 10, 2011 at 5:23 pm reply to you, were Ocean Heat Content posts. They were not about “ocean surface temperature” . The units are Gigjoules per sqaure meter (GJ/m^2) not in deg C. The NINO3.4 SST anomalies you see in the graphs (as explained in those posts) are there as references for timing, nothing more.
    Let’s try again. Here are the links:

    http://bobtisdale.blogspot.com/2009/09/enso-dominates-nodc-ocean-heat-content.html

    AND:

    http://bobtisdale.blogspot.com/2009/12/north-pacific-ocean-heat-content-shift.html

    AND:
    http://bobtisdale.blogspot.com/2009/10/north-atlantic-ocean-heat-content-0-700.html

    I read those links. They show graphs regarding variation in the heating of different regions of the earth’s oceans. They say nothing about the source of the heating although they correlate it with El Nino and other ocean oscillatory phenomena, which are related to periodic sea surface temperature variations. As I have mentioned, high ocean surface temperatures are a ,result of ocean heating, not a source of ocean heating.

    The oceans are heating either because they are gaining additional heat from the sun, downward radiation from the atmosphere, or are losing heat more slowly through radiation, evaporation or convection to the air. You haven’t presented any evidence that bears on these sources of ocean heating in the 3 links you have provided. Breaking the ocean up in sections doesn’t shed any light on the sources of ocean heating.

  129. eadler says:
    January 11, 2011 at 4:56 pm

    Sorry what you mentioned doesn’t say this is wrong and not read the post properly either for the solar explanation or ocean one. Why have you decided to ignore albedo and SWR at the surface and gone straight to solar levels measured above the cloud levels? The figures you have given of LWR and SWR are not comparable because one doesn’t penetrate the surface and the other penetrates 100m deep. With you’re same flawed logic you are admitting the greenhouse effect of 33c has nearly twice more energy then for the entire source of the sun. The sun is responsible for 255c not around 16c and therefore the planet is around 288k not 49k. I’m am in disbelief that you think LWR warms the planet more than the sun.

  130. Stephen Wilde says:
    January 11, 2011 at 11:10 am

    “George E. Smith says:
    “CO2 cannot (get involved in latent heat transaction) since it remains immutable in the atmosphere for thousands of years.”

    Well actually.

    It does get involved indirectly. It increases the energy in the system to increase evaporation and speed up or intensify the water cycle.

    However the water cycle negates the effect of more CO2 by just accelerating the extra energy to space for a zero effect on the equilibrium temperature of the bulk ocean.

    I recently provided elsewhere a clearer explanation as to why the extra downward IR from more CO2 is unable to affect the equilibrium temperature of the bulk ocean and I’ll repeat it here:

    “I think it would be fruitful to look very closely at the interface between SST(int) and SST(skin).

    For definitions see here:

    http://ghrsst-pp.metoffice.com/pages/sst_definitions/

    It is necessary to get a clear idea as to exactly why the higher temperature of SST(skin) fails to slow down the rate of energy flow from the subskin below.

    A. The Default situation

    i) Evaporation occurs primarily because of pressure and density differentials between water and air. Thus it will occur even if both water and air are at the same temperature. The process of evaporation is not dependent on any temperature differential. There are other influences that will increase or decrease the rate of evaporation but they need not concern us here.

    ii) At Earth’s atmospheric pressure the energy required to provoke evaporation is always less than the energy taken from the local environment when evaporation occurs so we need to analyse exactly where the deficit can be provided from.

    iii) In the absence of DLR it is taken from the water below because the water is generally warmer than the air hence the development of a layer of cool water 1mm deep and 0.3C cooler than the ocean bulk below.

    B. When DLR is added to the mix.

    i) DLR in itself does nothing. Before it can warm anything it must be absorbed by a water molecule.

    ii) When DLR impacts the water surface some molecules will evaporate immediately and others will need to wait a moment to acquire enough additional energy.

    iii) Those which are in the process of evaporating form SST(int). Those which are busily acquiring energy form SST(skin). The molecules in SST(skin) steadily gain more energy and move upward towards SST(int). In the process they gain more energy and become warmer with sensible energy that registers on our sensors.

    C. The response to DLR once evaporation from DLR begins.

    i) The molecules in SST(int) evaporate producing a local energy deficit. The energy most readily available is in the nearest molecules of SST(skin) so a flow of energy is set up from SST(skin) to SST(int)

    ii) That energy flow is upward so the additional energy being supplied to the molecules in SST(skin) cannot flow downward to increase the temperature of the subskin.

    iii) We then have both energy AND individual molecules moving upwards towards SST(int)

    iv) The DLR cannot penetrate beyond SST(skin) so ALL the DLR gets absorbed by molecules in that region and ALL those molecules in due course find their way to SS(int). Thus there is no surplus energy from DLR left over to warm the subskin and even if there were it is flowing in the wrong direction.

    v) Meanwhile remember that there is a net deficit to deal with when evaporation occurs. If ALL the DLR is now in molecules that are going to move upward and evaporate it can only be provided by a cascade of energy from molecule to molecule up through SST(skin).

    vi) But at the bottom of that cascade where SST(skin) has it’s interface with the subskin there is still going to be that deficit. That remaining deficit must be accounted for and it already has been catered for by the pre-existing upward flow of energy from the ocean bulk below which is always present even in the absence of DLR

    vii) Additionally that energy is already of the correct quantity to make up the deficit because the DLR is ALL accounted for in the process of accelerated evaporation leaving the background equilibrium undisturbed.

    Thus DLR in any quantity or from any source cannot alter the equilibrium temperature of the oceans.

    Now if there is a flaw in any of that then someone please tell me now.”

    You must have missed the post I made above, where I showed the flaw in your thinking.

    Because of the heating of the ocean depths by the sunlight , which penetrates a number of meters , the depths are warmer than the surface skin, because radiation, evaporation and conduction cause the surface skin to lose heat.
    The DLR heats the surface skin. This suppresses the upward convection of the heat absorbed from the sun by the ocean depths below the surface. With reduced upward convection from below, more of the sun’s heat will remain in the ocean. If the DLR decreases, the temperature gradient between the surface skin and bulk increases, and more heat flows from the ocean depths to the surface where it is radiated away. If DLR increases, less heat flows from the depth to the surface. So DLR can have a significant effect on how much of the sun’s short waver energy is retained by the ocean.

    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2006/09/why-greenhouse-gases-heat-the-ocean/

    Your explanation left out this important mechanism, so your conclusion that DLR cannot affect ocean heat is wrong.

  131. Bob Tisdale, in response to your January 11, 2011 at 4:00 pm
    You seem to have missed items 2),3),& 4) in my proposal, which in full was as follows:
    1) The Hadcrut3, RSS, and UAH global data, all show that 1998 was the hottest year on record, globally. GIStemp also showed it as the hottest year back in 1999, before they since made highly questionable and big changes to the whole time-series.
    (See previous WUWT http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/05/18/gistemp-vs-hadcrut/)

    2) There is little doubt that the 1997-1998 El Nino was the main driver for the 1998 global high average and that it was big. (That is without necessarily understanding why it is so global and rapid in effect.)

    3) However, what can be said is that what predominantly heats the oceans is sunlight. On the other hand, GHG induced back radiation has little effect because being long-wave, it is extinguished in the skin of the water, is able to re-radiate virtually instantly, and can only penetrate via rapid mechanical mixing.

    4) Thus the 1998 super El Nino induced global warming was a secondary effect of short-wave ocean heating, not necessarily recent, and had very little to do with GHG.

    In a later comment, I wrote:
    It proposes a less complicated and/or supportive argument.
    This referred to the above, as perhaps being supportive of your study. (not to the ENSO 3.4 as published by the Oz BOM as you seem to have reacted.)

    The point I was making was that this version of ENSO index has what I think is an astonishing correlation with Roy Spencer’s AMSR-E GLOBAL SST’s, as compared here:

    I find it hard to wrap my head around a global lag of only 3 months, let alone the matching shape of the curves!

  132. Bob says:As you can see in Figures 11 through 13, there were ENSO residuals left that were approximately the same magnitude as the reference ENSO signal.

    Wow, you’re not kidding! Thanks for the explanation.

  133. Bob, notably absent from your article was a direct comparison of KOE & GSE with -N34. In the following paper, note the lower correlation of NPGO with SPCZE (vs. with KOE) – see figure 4b:

    Di Lorenzo, E.; Schneider, N.; Cobb, K.M.; Franks, P.J.S.; Chhak, K.; Miller, A.J.; McWilliams, J.C.; Bograd, S.J.; Arango, H.; Curchitser, E.; Powell, T.M.; & Riviere, P. (2008). North Pacific Gyre Oscillation links ocean climate and ecosystem change. Geophysical Research Letters 35, L08607. doi:10.1029/2007GL032838.

    http://horizon.ucsd.edu/miller/download/NPGO/NPGO.pdf

    NPGO might be a good place to start when exploring the mismatches (of KOE & GSE with -N34), which you’ve no doubt noted for the early 90s. Given your knowledge of El Nino Modoki, I’ve little doubt you’ll have pieced this all together by the time you finish reading this sentence (if you hadn’t already).

    Thanks for drawing our attention to SPCZE & GSE. Your posts usually stimulate cross-referencing efforts that lead to dot connection. This time around has been no exception.

    Best Regards.


    Related:

    Everyone should consider the possibility that for some indices, North Atlantic correlations (in correlation maps) are depressed by the North Atlantic’s sensitivity (being the smaller northern basin surrounded by a lot of land/ice, resulting “higher continentality”), which gives it a propensity towards high amplitude oscillations, including decadal-timescale nonlinear trends.

    Nonlinearly removing the multidecadal component of North Atlantic SST and repeating analyses is one avenue towards multiscale insight. When nonlinearly detrending, I recommend against reliance on assumed functional forms; filters that allow the data to speak for themselves (such as repeat narrow-band smoothing with iterative end-correction) have superior utility for many purposes. An alternative (to nonlinear detrending) approach is working with derivatives.


    Michael D Smith seems to be thinking about similar data exploration issues — interesting comments Michael – and a thought-provoking response from Bob on the superiority of the eyeballed adjustment in this particular case – very sensible rationale.


    For those interested:

    NPGO data:

    http://www.o3d.org/npgo/data/NPGO.txt

    Related Info:

    http://www.ocean3d.org/npgo

  134. Bob_FJ says: “4) Thus the 1998 super El Nino induced global warming was a secondary effect of short-wave ocean heating, not necessarily recent, and had very little to do with GHG.”

    The 1997/98 El Nino was fueled by the warm waters created by the 1995/96 La Nina. Discussed that and provided a link to a McPhaden (1999) paper “Genesis and Evolution of the 1997-98 El Niño” in the following post:

    http://bobtisdale.blogspot.com/2010/02/la-nina-underappreciated-portion-of.html

  135. eadler says: “I read those links. They show graphs regarding variation in the heating of different regions of the earth’s oceans. They say nothing about the source of the heating although they correlate it with El Nino and other ocean oscillatory phenomena, which are related to periodic sea surface temperature variations. As I have mentioned, high ocean surface temperatures are a ,result of ocean heating, not a source of ocean heating.”

    It appears I must write a post for those, like yourself, who are skeptical of skeptics, and provide a more detailed analysis of the rise in OHC.

    And I will disagree with your final sentence, which read, “As I have mentioned, high ocean surface temperatures are a ,result of ocean heating, not a source of ocean heating.”

    Sea surface temperature is a portion (component) of ocean heat content.

  136. A couple of new charts.

    The Daily UAH satellite temps over 2010 – Global, NH, SH, Tropics – (these are not the official numbers as there is some processing required but close enough).

    Some variation but it has been a pretty consistent downtrend throughout the year. Let’s say maybe there is a NH bump in the late summer as the Kuroshio was peaking.

    And then the water vapour numbers for December were released (NCEP Reanalysis) and the levels are dropping rapidly now about as expected. More to come yet.

  137. eadler said:

    “http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2006/09/why-greenhouse-gases-heat-the-ocean/

    Your explanation left out this important mechanism, so your conclusion that DLR cannot affect ocean heat is wrong.”

    My explanation set out the flaw in that very proposition. Where do they account for the evaporative cooling in the interacting layer that cancels out the heating in the skin layer so as to prevent any reduction of the natural upward energy fllux ?

    You cannot consider a water/air interface without dealing with evaporative cooling.

  138. eadler Reur January 11, 2011 at 10:45 am

    Your comments seem to hinge on a 2006 commentary piece at RealClimate, which I doubt would have passed peer review. But anyhow, let’s look at it using some engineering style first principles:

    A] It all seems a tad futile in that even IF the methodology were correct, it alleges only a 0.08C rise for 2xCO2, (sensitivity), relative to pre-industrial, which, is hardly alarming. However, the experiment is apparently flawed, based on the parameters that have (not) been described etc. Furthermore, this result can only be determined during daylight hours, and the laws of physics do not stop at night.

    B] Great accuracy is claimed for temperature measurements, but not for the instrument measuring downward LWR. More seriously, there was a dependence on an S-B calculation of up-welling radiation based on the surface temperature measurement, in order to determine the net radiation.** However the sea surface is far from constant, particularly when observed from a close distance on the vessel. By rights, there should be a separate value determined for emissivity for each data point, but it seems most unlikely that that could be done.

    C] The skin temperature is not purely a radiative consideration because it is also affected strongly by evaporation and thermals. That’s using Trenberth & Fasullo (T & F) terminology. In their latest “Earth’s Energy Budget Diagram” they attribute ~60% of the global surface cooling to these drivers. OH, and they think ~10% of the calculated up-welling radiation escapes directly to space BTW. See B] (Oh, and 0.9 W/m^2 have gone missing)

    D] The discussion on a skin layer up to 1mm deep seems to be rather speculative and irrelevant. The true skin wherein LWR is fully absorbed is a nano portion of any such 1 mm, (varying with wavelength a la Planck), and it is from there that re-emission occurs with great rapidity. That is also where the conductive interface and the evaporative molecules are located relative to the atmosphere. The statement that water up to 1 mm deep is in contact with the atmosphere, and consideration of its temperature gradient etc, is erh inappropriate.

    E] There are many parameters that appear to have no consideration, for instance.
    * Humidity variation would significantly alter the ratio of contribution of CO2 to the total GHG effect.
    * Cloud cover increase generally increases humidity. (This may well explain the upward slope obtained in the graph, with increasing cloud cover).
    * Humidity, wind speed and atmospheric pressure affects evaporation rate
    * Wave action affects emission, mixing, & evaporation
    * Wind speed affects the effectiveness of the conductive interface

    F] My word, that’s a funny chart! Why doesn’t he simply show a legend for each data point? If I understand it they only took data between about 9:0 am and 10:00 pm. (eyeballed) So, what were the energy and temperature gradient considerations etc in those missing ~11 Hrs?. If I understand it correctly, at ~10:00 pm the flux varied between about -85 & -10 W/m^2. Is that right?
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    ** BTW eadler, you wrote to Matt G that 324 w/m^2 of back radiation (T & F say 333), heats the surface. Wrong! It slows down the escape of heat. In the case of T & F’s scenario, there is a net EMR transport of HEAT upwards of (396-333) = 63, not a downward gain of 300+ W/m^2 of HEAT. But don’t worry, Peter Minnett (RSMAS) got it wrong in his title too.

    Also, in your citing of the 2006 Minnett piece there was reference to an article by Fred Singer which makes perfectly valid points that are not addressed in that RC expose.
    See also: Stephen Wilde says: January 12, 2011 at 10:08 am
    Stephen, sorry to cross yours, but mine was in draft late yesterday.

  139. Bob Tisdale says:

    “I’ve shown that natural variables could account for 85% of the warming since 1982. Does it? Dunno. It might be more; it might be less. But this interpretation of the data illustrates that AGW might not be as strong a signal as many propose.”

    Thanks for that explanation. The extremists want to blame everything on CO2. But the more we learn, the more we understand that GHG’s are only a small part of any warming. Most of it is natural.

  140. Bob, Figure 2 here succinctly reinforces one of your points:

    Trenberth, K.E. & Stepaniak, D.P. (2001). Indices of El Nino Evolution. Journal of Climate 14, 1697-1701.

    http://www.cgd.ucar.edu/cas/Trenberth/trenberth.papers/tniJC.pdf

    Too bad that wasn’t presented in color.

    We’ve got to be careful interpreting that plot though. They only looked at one extent (i.e. sliding-window width).

    Also, due to the nonlinearites, we need to realize the distortion of a comparative look at the 2 time intervals studied in the paper’s various correlation maps – (relates to a point I made above when discussing North Atlantic SST). As the plots are structured, apples & oranges are being compared — still gives some info, but info that needs to be interpreted carefully – and which can be seriously misleading.

    Bottom Line: Without varying extent, there’s a limit to what can be learned – and interpretations can run seriously afoul with so many blind spots (which are guaranteed if only one extent is studied).

    The authors do succeed in getting people thinking in the right direction; even if a single paper can’t be all luxurious things desirable, it can be ruthlessly efficient in its succinctness.

  141. eadler,
    Some time back, I copied something rather simplistic that you wrote:
    The part you are missing is that in the Arctic, the loss of summer sea ice, results in a strong reduction in reflection of the sunlight, and absorption by the open ocean. This is where the amplification comes in.

    And now, I’ve finally got around to commenting.
    For a start, you might like to examine the implications of this from NASA. Please study it carefully

    Definition [albedo]
    A ratio of the radiation reflected by a surface to that incident on it.
    Clouds are the chief cause of variations in the Earth’s albedo since clouds have highly varying albedo, dependent upon thickness and composition. Old snow is about 55% (0.55), new snow around 80% (0.8). water surfaces vary from very low about 5% (0.05) at high sun elevation to at least 70%(0.70) at low sun angles.

    http://disc.sci.gsfc.nasa.gov/data-holdings/PIP/albedo.shtml

    Sea-ice area changes, normally with old snow atop, also have some other complicated effects that you and your alarmist friends may have overlooked, but let‘s see how you go with the above for a start.

  142. Paul Vaughan: Thanks for the link. I’ve enjoyed and learned much from Trenberth’s early papers. And yes, I did qualify that with “early”. His more recent work? Not so educational.

  143. Bob Tisdale wrote, “I’ve enjoyed and learned much from Trenberth’s early papers. And yes, I did qualify that with “early”. His more recent work? Not so educational.”

    I found one of his 2010 papers useful. Clarification: My approach to filtering Trenberth’s communications is the same one I apply to Corbyn’s or anyone else’s: Mine for the substantive bits and filter off hyperpartisan nonsense.


    I will reiterate Bob’s thanks to Anthony (& WUWT more generally).

  144. Bob: You are wrong about volcanic cooling being documented for decades. These people had no idea what they were documenting because the presence of ENSO oscillations in global temperature curves was simply not understood. You will find an explanation and appropriate graphics in the second edition of my book, due out in a couple of weeks if not sooner. But let me give you a short explanation now. First you have to understand that ENSO oscillations – an alternation of warm El Nino and cool La Nina periods every four-five years – is present in all temperature curves. They normally comprise a temperature swing of approximately half a degree from El Nino peak to adjacent La Nina valley. They are well developed in the eighties and nineties and I have several graphics in that book that show this. The important figure to look at is Figure 9 because I use it to explain the difference between Pinatubo and El Chichon eruptions. It’s base is a satellite temperature graph that is is outlined in red. There are five El Nino peaks on the left side with La Nina valleys in between them. Self et al. whose article is in the big Pinatubo book “Fire and Mud” unhesitatingly assign the 1992/93 La Nina valley to Pinatubo cooling . Not only that, but they give it power over El Nino by pontificating that “Pinatubo climate forcing was stronger than the opposite warming effects of either the El Nino event or anthropogenic greenhouse gases in the period 1991-93.” For most people that would be case closed. But they also start to wonder why surface cooling is “…clearly documented after some eruptions (for example, Gunung Agung, Bali, in 1963) but not others – for example, El Chichon, Mexico, in 1982…” Well, I had to see what that meant. And as soon as I plotted the two that fit on the satellite graph I understood the reason: Pinatubo eruption coincides with the peak of an El Nino that is immediately followed by descent into a La Nina valley while El Chichon coincides with the bottom of a La Nina valley that is followed immediately by a steep climb to an El Nino peak. Just bad luck, no mystery about it. If a volcano erupts near the top of an El Nino peak it can claim the La Nina valley that follows for its own. But if it erupts at the bottom of a La Nina valley there is simply no way to do it and its cooling goes missing. If it were true that a volcano can override an El Nino warming then El Chichon would have been ideally situated to do that. But clearly it was a complete failure at that. I went on to test that with five other volcanoes and came to the conclusion that all so-called “volcanic cooling“ is nothing more than a misinterpretation of La Ninas that belong to ENSO. And the variability of warming is caused by the different degrees of overlap between volcanic and ENSO phases. Obviously some textbooks need to be rewritten but this is their problem for accepting shoddy ideas in the first place.

Comments are closed.