Some interesting thoughts on Antarctic peninsula warming

From O'Donnell et al's rebuttal to Steig 2009 - click for a much larger image

Since there is a discussion going on over at RC on Eric Steig’s recent RC post here that criticizes the paper by O’Donnell et al. in the Journal of Climate, and the O’Donnell et al group are working on a rebuttal to that, this WUWT comment seemed appropos for discussion here:

 

WUWT commenter Ian Cooper says:

I thought that this site may be of interest to those pondering the warming of the Antarctic Penninsula. I came across this while I was scouring the net to learn more about the Southern Annular Mode (SAM) and it’s influence on our local New Zealand weather/climate. I hadn’t seen this here before, so apologies in advance if someone has already brought this to your attention. I was particularly taken by the second paragraph of this page, which I have copied below.

Due to the southward shift of the storm track, a high SAM index is associated with anomalously dry conditions over southern South America, New Zealand and Tasmania and wet conditions over much of Australia and South Africa. The stronger westerlies above the Southern Ocean also increase the insulation of the Antarctica. As a result, there is less heat exchange between the tropics and the poles, leading to a cooling of the Antarctica and the surrounding seas. However, the Antarctic Peninsula warms due to a western wind anomaly bringing maritime air onto the Peninsula (Fig. 5.9). Indeed, the ocean surrounding the Antarctic Peninsula is in general warmer than the Peninsula itself and stronger westerly winds mean more heat transport onto the Peninsula. Over the ocean, the stronger westerly winds tend to generate stronger eastward currents. Furthermore, the divergence of the currents at the ocean surface around 60oS is enhanced because of a larger wind-induced Ekman transport. This results in a stronger oceanic upwelling there.

From: Universite catholique de Louvain

http://stratus.astr.ucl.ac.be/textbook/chapter5_node6.html

The Southern Annular Mode

The equivalent of the NAM in the Southern Hemisphere is the Southern Annular mode (SAM). Various definitions of SAM have been proposed: a convenient one is the normalised difference in the zonal mean sea-level pressure between 40 oS and 65o S. As expected, the sea level pressure pattern associated with SAM is a nearly annular pattern with a large low pressure anomaly centred on the South Pole and a ring of high pressure anomalies at mid-latitudes (Fig. 5.8). By geostrophy, this leads to an important zonal wind anomaly in a broad band around 55oS with stronger westerlies when SAM index is high.

Figure 5.8: Regression between the atmospheric surface pressure and the SAM index for the period 1980-1999 in Pa for (top) the averages in April, May, and June and (bottom) July, August, and September. Data from NCEP-NCAR reanalyses (Kalnay et al. 1996)

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Due to the southward shift of the storm track, a high SAM index is associated with anomalously dry conditions over southern South America, New Zealand and Tasmania and wet conditions over much of Australia and South Africa. The stronger westerlies above the Southern Ocean also increase the insulation of the Antarctica. As a result, there is less heat exchange between the tropics and the poles, leading to a cooling of the Antarctica and the surrounding seas. However, the Antarctic Peninsula warms due to a western wind anomaly bringing maritime air onto the Peninsula (Fig. 5.9). Indeed, the ocean surrounding the Antarctic Peninsula is in general warmer than the Peninsula itself and stronger westerly winds mean more heat transport onto the Peninsula. Over the ocean, the stronger westerly winds tend to generate stronger eastward currents. Furthermore, the divergence of the currents at the ocean surface around 60oS is enhanced because of a larger wind-induced Ekman transport. This results in a stronger oceanic upwelling there.

The majority of the effects of SAM could be explained by its annular form and the related changes in zonal winds. However, the departures from this annular pattern have large consequences for sea ice as they are associated with meriodional exchanges and thus large heat transport. In particular, a low pressure anomaly is generally found in the Amundsen Sea during high SAM-index years (Fig. 5.8). This induces southerly wind anomalies in the Ross Sea (Pacific sector of the Southern Ocean) and thus lower temperatures and a larger sea ice extent there (Fig. 5.9). On the other hand, because of the stronger northerly winds, the area around the Antarctic Peninsula is warmer when SAM index is high, and sea ice concentration is lower there .

Figure 5.9: Regression between (top) the sea ice concentration in % (data from Rayner et al. 2003) and (bottom) the surface air temperature in oC (Kalnay et al. 1996) and the SAM index for the averaged over July, August, and September for the period 1980-1999. 

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85 thoughts on “Some interesting thoughts on Antarctic peninsula warming

  1. Well I guess the Team has to protect its integrity and at least attempt to challenge the destruction of their paper.

    Mailman

  2. Looking at today’s sea ice, it would follow that there is a low (negative?) SAM at present? The Amundsen Sea seems empty …

  3. We are told incessantly that publication and peer review are what sets real climate scientists apart from “uninformed” non-specialist commentators. Here we have a quandary – two published papers presumably fitting all the criteria for valid consideration which differ in their results.

    Now here is my problem. Apart from being told that the science is settled (which of course was always patent nonsense) what value is the peer review process adding, since both papers have presumably passed through peer review? They cannot both be right.

    I further find it unscientific that both then use the blogoshpere to conduct their subsequent “discussions”, although it is valuable for laymen like me to see the way real scientists conduct themselves when subject to criticism (/sarc). Since consensus is so important to climate science perhaps we could all vote and have some sort of weighting to the votes – eg climate scientists 100%, other scientists and weathermen 50%, laymen 10%, politicians 0%) – to determine who is “right”(/even more sarc). I suggest we call this democratisation of the scientific process

  4. Peter Plail writes:

    “what value is the peer review process adding, since both papers have presumably passed through peer review? “

    Peer review is intended and designed to exclude only the most ridiculous errors and excursions. Peer review, when it works, should assure you only that reading the paper is not a complete waste of time.

    Peer review does not, cannot, and should not act as a seal of approval from any authority. Any one who appeals only to the authority of the peer review is either lazy or incompetent or both. You have to read and understand the paper and form your own judgement. That is why people get so exercised about full disclosure, or the lack of it.

  5. I find the use of the word “insulation” in this statement to be curiously correct, but abstruse.

    The stronger westerlies above the Southern Ocean also increase the insulation of the Antarctica. As a result, there is less heat exchange between the tropics and the poles,

    I would prefer the word isolation instead.

    BTW Ian Cooper, Great find for SAM!
    Thanks

  6. One thing it does show is that lower pressure means more evaporation and more water vapor in the atmosphere.

  7. Peter Plail says:
    February 5, 2011 at 3:03 am
    Now here is my problem. Apart from being told that the science is settled (which of course was always patent nonsense) what value is the peer review process adding, since both papers have presumably passed through peer review? They cannot both be right.

    Forgetting for a moment that The Team have their own “peers” ready to give their papers the “ok,” I don’t think anyone has ever claimed that the peer review system is perfect – in fact from what I have read, your average honest scientist is happy to admit that the peer-review process is far from perfect. Scientific history is littered with published, peer-reviewed papers that have later been discredited.

    I further find it unscientific that both then use the blogoshpere to conduct their subsequent “discussions…”

    I disagree. The blogosphere puts scientific discussion and debate into the light of day for all to see. Sure, there’s a lot of crap commented on both sides, but again, this crap is also put into the light. The blogosphere is not by definition “unscientific.”

    Since consensus is so important to climate science perhaps we could all vote and have some sort of weighting to the votes…

    I hope you were being sarcastic with that one, but in case you were not, science is not, and never has been, about “consensus” (that would be politics). And giving weight to votes of different people is equally irrelevant because the only thing that matters in science is the merit of the proposal, not the assumed authority of he who proposes it.

  8. Peter Plail says:
    February 5, 2011 at 3:03 am

    We are told incessantly that publication and peer review are what sets real climate scientists apart from “uninformed” non-specialist commentators. Here we have a quandary – two published papers presumably fitting all the criteria for valid consideration which differ in their results.

    Now here is my problem. Apart from being told that the science is settled (which of course was always patent nonsense) what value is the peer review process adding, since both papers have presumably passed through peer review? They cannot both be right.

    I further find it unscientific that both then use the blogoshpere to conduct their subsequent “discussions”, although it is valuable for laymen like me to see the way real scientists conduct themselves when subject to criticism (/sarc). Since consensus is so important to climate science perhaps we could all vote and have some sort of weighting to the votes – eg climate scientists 100%, other scientists and weathermen 50%, laymen 10%, politicians 0%) – to determine who is “right”(/even more sarc). I suggest we call this democratisation of the scientific process.”

    I haven’t heard any serious claim that peer review is a perfect means of filtering incorrect results out of the scientific literature. When properly implemented it will keep out the most blatantly stupid ideas, but does not always do so. It is a human activity, and the human mind is not a perfect scientific instrument.

    From what I have gathered, from reading Steig’s blogpost, each group is using somewhat different methods to analyse the data. Their results are similar qualitatively, but quantitatively they are different. Steig’s subsequent discussions seem to be relatively civilized, sticking to the science, and useful in explaining the differences between the papers to those who are really interested. This is the level of discussion that would normally occur at a scientific conference.

    Jeff Id, who has a blog called the Air Vent, which seems to be tilted toward skepticism, and a coauthor of the O’donnell paper, complains that one of his comments was censored at RC. He had the option to post it on his own web site, but didn’t do this. The lead author, O,donnell is working on a reply.

    Ian Coopers commentary explains how the winds and ocean currents around the Antarctic work and affect the weather in each region. This is an aid in understanding of what is driving the temperature record for Antarctica, and explains why the West Antarctic Peninsula is warmer than the rest of the continent. This was a very useful and educational post.

  9. I have already dealt with this here:

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/10/05/antarctic-sea-ice-increase-not-linked-to-ozone-hole/

    Stephen Wilde says:
    October 5, 2010 at 3:43 pm

    “The West Antarctic Peninsula would normally grow when the sun is weak with more frequent air flows into and out of the continental interior (a cooling period) but shrink when the jets are more poleward and more tightly directed around the continent (a warming period). The position of the West Antarctic Peninsula is a by product of the land distribution around it. The air flow around Antarctica is disturbed by the land mass of South America so when during a cooling period with equatorward jets
    there are more frequent flows of air into and out of the interior the favoured route for cold outflows is across the West Antarctic Peninsula which then grows.”

    So during a tropospheric warming period the main part of Antarctica cools and expands because there is less in the way of northerlies entering the interior but the West Antarctic Peninsula is skimmed away by the tighter run of winds around the Antarctic from the more poleward jets.

    During a tropospheric cooling period the interior of Antarctic will be a little less cold due to more air flowing in and out from more equatorward jets but the West Antarctic Peninsula will grow back again because that is the favoured route for outflow of cold air.

  10. Perhaps I have missed something, but I think that the blogosphere is the ideal forum in which to ‘discuss’ science. It gives time for proper consideration of topics, time read and look at contentious matters and one can always turn it off in favour of a book and coffee. Much better than being stuck in a lecture theatre suffering something that wasn’t ‘as advertised’.

  11. Wandering of the Geomagnetic poles could be a good reason for the warming on the Antarctic peninsula.

    http://www.ngdc.noaa.gov/geomag/GeomagneticPoles.shtml

    ————-

    http://www.michaelmandeville.com/earthchanges/gallery/Quakes/

    INCREASED tectonic and geothermal activity could be a good reason for the warming on the Antarctic peninsula.
    “relative to the 20-year period from the mid-1970s to the mid 1990s, the Earth has been more active over the past 15 or so years,” said Stephen S. Gao, a geophysicist at Missouri University of Science and Technology. ”
    ———–
    Geothermal activity causes warming in West Antarctica

    http://www.appinsys.com/GlobalWarming/RS_AntarcticPeninsula.htm

    ———–
    Troubling Global Volcanic Activity on the Rise – By Alan Caruba

    http://www.iceagenow.com/Troubling_Global_Volcanic_Activity_on_the_Rise.htm

    ———–
    Thje South American Colliding plates continue on through/under Antarctic could be a good reason for the warming on the Antarctic peninsula.

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/35618526/

    NOT SO FAR AWAY,
    “The Chilean earthquake occurred at the boundary between the Nazca and South American tectonic plates. These rocky slabs are converging at a rate of 3 inches (80 mm) per year, according to the USGS. This huge jolt happened as the Nazca plate moved down and landward below the South American plate. This is called a subduction zone when one plate subducts beneath another.”

    “(Over time, the overriding South American Plate gets lifted up, creating the towering Andes Mountains.)”

    “The plate movement explains why coastal Chile has such a history of powerful earthquakes. Since 1973, 13 temblors of magnitude 7.0 or greater have occurred there, according to the USGS. ”
    ———–
    “Almost all tectonic movement can be linked to magnetic reversals. Seafloor spreading, sea level changes, mountain growth, earthquakes, and volcanism all seem to speed up whenever the frequency of reversals speeds up.”
    Alan Caruba blogs daily at

    http://factsnotfantasy.blogspot.com/

  12. Regarding Antarctic temperature changes, it is important to realize that changes in wind speed cause changes in the recorded near-surface temperatures.

    This is because higher winds create a larger disturbance of the near-surface air and thus greater mixing of that air with the warmer air above it. We see this phenomena regularly in the mid-latitudes, when calm nighttime air gives lower recorded temperatures. Orange growers sometimes use fans to simulate wind and keep their groves warm on frosty nights.

    If the average wind speed in Antarctica has increased, especially during the Antarctic night, then near-surface temperatures will appear to have risen. This effect would be due to increased wind and not due to increased greenhouse gases.

    There are some old comments (by me and maybe others) at CA on this topic, maybe including a few analyses of station temperature and wind trends. A comprehensive wind vs temperature analysis by someone would be very interesting, but would take some effort as the station data is imperfect.

  13. Having competing theories with differing conclusion about the same science is common — People think peer review means something conclusive, it does not. It just means it’s plausible and no obvious errors. It confirms nothing, no status, no higher order of understanding.

    For instance, Einstein’s peer reviewed notion of the static universe has now been falsified.

  14. Gorgeous graphical image from NASA at the top of this post. So, some areas were a little cooler and some were a little warmer and there is a “hot” tip? This was between 1957 and 2006 and would look different if different endpoints and/or reconstruction methods were used? Still, never understimate the power of a pretty picture to persuade.

  15. Re: Peer review,
    I wrote the following some time ago, for another discussion
    . And then there is “blogs are not peer reviewed”. See: http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/print/2010/11/lies-damned-lies-and-medical-science/8269
    QUOTE “THOUGH SCIENTISTS AND science journalists are constantly talking up the value of the peer-review process, researchers admit among themselves that biased, erroneous, and even blatantly fraudulent studies easily slip through it. Nature, the grande dame of science journals, stated in a 2006 editorial, “Scientists understand that peer review per se provides only a minimal assurance of quality, and that the public conception of peer review as a stamp of authentication is far from the truth.” end quote. Peer review in Climatology, is strongly biased to support of AGW advocates. Non-editor-controlled peer review is much more present in the blogosphere and is both swift and merciless.

    It might be interesting to deal with the subject of scientists a bit. For sure scientists suffer from all of the human frailties of the rest of us, including ego, greed, paradigm paralysis, and narrow mindedness. In fact, because of the way funding, recognition and specialization work in the science community, they are more subject to these specific failings than most of us. (See “Climategate”). However there is no consensus, and it seems that since 2007 there is a swelling cadre of skeptic scientists, and would be more except “Many of the scientists featured in this report consistently stated that numerous colleagues shared their views, but they will not speak out publicly for fear of retribution.” See http://epw.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?FuseAction=Minority.SenateReport.

    What does it mean to be a climatologist? The study of climatology involves at least the specialties of physics, gas chemistry, statistics, biology, computer modeling, and geology. How many “climatologists” have real expertise in any, let alone several of these fields? Why should not real specialists in these fields be qualified to question the work of climatologists when that work involves their field of specialization? When climatologists present analyses that are wrong, even to the layman, (and they do), or reach conclusions that are not supported by a careful assessment of the evidence (assuming the evidence is made available), why should not even a layman question their work? This “appeal to authority” is simply the use of bad logic to wave away arguments that the user can’t refute.

  16. Peter Plail, when opposing views are NOT allowed in scientific rags means that science is no longer a data driven, objective discipline, but a faith-based, Pope edict-ed religion. The very fact that two articles present opposing cause and effect views is to me, a breath of fresh air.

  17. This all makes perfectly sense doesn’t it.
    And this all without the term AGW or Climate Change in a single sentence.
    Just great, thanks for the posting.

  18. Peer review is meant to ensure the integrity of the process, not necessarily whether the author(s) are right or wrong. Peer review is meant to ensure that good scientific practices are followed, and that certain standards are met before a paper is published. It is good at things like double-checking the internal consistency of a paper, verifying that relevant references to prior literature are used, that any statistics are reasonably accurate, etc. Do the authors make a good argument for their case? One can acknowledge that even if one disagrees with their conclusion.

    Judging whether that argument is right or wrong should be left to the broader community to decide. Different authors using different datasets and different statistical analyses may very well come to different conclusions.

    That’s science. Two papers can easily disagree on things, and it may only be after some third or fourth or umpteenth research paper years hence, building on information developed in these early articles, where the everything clicks and we reach what could genuinely be referred to as a consensus among scientists.

    Peer review is about ensuring that that process works. It is as flawed as everything else we do, but two papers disagreeing with each other is not really a flaw in the peer review process.

  19. While the rest of the world does not behave for the Team, they continue to obsess over the Poles. Only in Climate Science can these people get away with such nonsense.

  20. The measure of the relevance of these studies should surely be the rise (or lack thereof) in sea-level caused by the melting of ice (or its addition to the sea from glaciers on land).

    If sea-level is not rising significantly then these factors are nothing more than normal and repetitive phenomena that happen to be in their current configurations.

    It’s all about the end result, after all.

  21. Both papers show that most of Antarctica is warming. The debate is over how the warming is distributed and which statistical methods are most suited to dealing with sparse data.

  22. Funny how now, peer reviewed paper discussion in a blog became suddenly acceptable to the Team… LOL

  23. Mike, Both papers show that most of Antarctica is warming. The debate is over how the warming is distributed and which statistical methods are most suited to dealing with sparse data.
    ++

    Nope, and should you acquaint yourself with meteo data, only the peninsula is warming with a degree of certainty and this is of dynamic origin. In fact if “most” antarctica was warming, how would you account for more powerful anticyclones and associated depressions? That’s one of the reasons why Steig’s paper is in contradiction with meteo data while O Donnell’s makes perfect sense (i.e see David Smith post).

  24. Mike (February 5, 2011 at 8:05 am) says
    “Both papers show that most of Antarctica is warming. ”

    Both papers are talking about an increase from way incredibly far below freezing to slightly less incredibly far below freezing.

    The point is, contra Gore and other non-scientific “alarmists”, the ice cap is _not_ “melting.” Any shrinkage in ice coverage — a proposition itself debatable — must necessarily be due to factors other than increase in temperatures from 31 to 33 degrees Fahrenheit; plus an additional incredible amount of heat going into heat-of-fusion. Simple physics, as they say.

    Getting a handle on the precise nature of those other factors involves not-so-simple statistics. But it’s interesting to this layman that every half-way feckful statistician looking at the Steig paper said something about auto-correlation in data representing circular population distributions. The experts didn’t notice, or didn’t care any more about “Chaladni pattrens” or whatever than I do. But I expect better of my experts. I’m frequently disappointed.

  25. Peer review is about ensuring that that process works.

    …or at least that’s what it should be. We have learned by sad experience that the peer review process can and will be hijacked to promote particular viewpoints by “political scientists”.

  26. pouncer says:
    February 5, 2011 at 8:47 am

    I’m glad you pounced—you are correct.

    The heat of fusion (latent heat of crystallization) of water is a great energy hog. As warm air containing high humidity passes over Antarctica, it is stripped of heat and moisture very efficiently. Much air is processed at the expenditure of some ice amount. It depends on direction and strength of the winds. By the time it reaches the interior (if that is the direction at the time), the air is dry and cold and continues on its merry way towards the tropics, where it picks up heat and moisture.

    This is an amazing attribute of Antarctica: the regulation of air temperature and humidity in the SH, then onward and upward.

    The other point being discussed here, the confusion over the disparate conclusions of the two papers is perfectly reasonable. No two papers are identical; if they were, one would be plagiarism. Papers differ in: 1) methodology 2) assumptions, and 3) conclusions.

    I have not the full text of each paper to dissect the differences. However, even when methodology is similar, it is often the assumptions that have the greatest variance. Sometimes opposite conclusions are completely justified when taking these factors into consideration.

    BUT! Then a new paper emerges, sorting out these factors and distilling the verification process, doing better methods, especially statistical and instrumental, or eliminating biased assumptions. This then may give more credence retrospectively to one conclusion or the other. It takes time and more minds to sort these things out, so have patience!

    Such is the scientific method in its best form, when peer-reviewed science is fully functional, as it has been for centuries (and still is for the “hard” sciences), and not dysfunctional, as the peer reviewed climate science has been apparently corrupted recently.

  27. Mike says:
    February 5, 2011 at 8:05 am

    Both papers show that most of Antarctica is warming. The debate is over how the warming is distributed and which statistical methods are most suited to dealing with sparse data.
    ************
    Mike- if Antarctica is warming, how do you account for the increasing extent of Antarctic sea ice during the satellite record. The increased sea-ice is also attested to by regular visitors to the Antarctic (eye witness).

  28. The southward shift of the SAM and resultant westerly wind anomalies also increases foehn winds in the northern peninsula. In 1984 Schwerdtfeger in his “Weather and Climate of Antarctica” described a foehn wind storm at the now defunct Matienzo station where the temperatures rose 24 C degrees in 3 hours and 40C degrees in 24 hours. He noted that foehn winds increased as the storm tracks center moved south, just as the SAM has generated. At Matienzo foehn winds compised about 20% of the winds. Foehn winds are well studied in Europe and the Alps. One studied has shown in the Carpathiansthat Foehn winds raise monthly temps by 1-1.5 C. Such rapid warming has also been noted by the Chinook winds in western USA,

    Meanwhile at the southpole where nature provides the best place to test if GHG are raising temps, no such correlation with warming and CO2 is to be found.

  29. Thanks vukcevic.

    I do agree that volcanic events can create individual stratospheric sudden warming events.

    However I don’t think that is enough to get from MWP to LIA to date on its own.

    In the longer term we have to look to the sun and it seems that chemical processes dominate rather than radiative processes.

    The focus on radiative balance (alone or primarily) looks to me to have been an error.

    The oceans push or pull the air circulation systems from below and from the equator.

    The sun pushes or pulls the air circulation systems from above and from the poles.

    The latitudinal position of the jets changes to hold an equilibrium between the two forces and in the process regional climate changes occur as the air circulation systems move to and fro overhead.

    Absolute global temperature is of no real significance and in any event is highly variable in the troposphere as the speed of energy release from the oceans changes and as the rate of energy loss to space changes.

    Whether energy in the troposphere is increasing or decreasing the jets shift to offset the forcings as an entirely negative reaction so as to maintain equilibrium between sea surface and surface air temperatures.

    That is the global climate setup in a nutshell.

  30. Philip Mulholland
    February 5, 2011 at 4:14 am

    I find the use of the word “insulation” in this statement to be curiously correct, but abstruse.
    ###

    Curious, I guess its because my eyesight is very bad, but my mind saw the word “isolation”, probably because that was what I expect to be there. I wonder if this was a typo auto-corrected into a different word, thus exasperating the error?

  31. re post by; Peter Plail says: February 5, 2011 at 3:03 am

    We are told incessantly that publication and peer review are what sets real climate scientists apart from “uninformed” non-specialist commentators. Here we have a quandary – two published papers presumably fitting all the criteria for valid consideration which differ in their results.

    Now here is my problem. Apart from being told that the science is settled (which of course was always patent nonsense) what value is the peer review process adding, since both papers have presumably passed through peer review? They cannot both be right.

    This is a misunderstanding of the very nature of peer review. Probably a common one in the general public. Peer review isn’t about deciding which hypotheses or which experiments are or aren’t correct. Peer review is simply supposed to check for correct application of the scientific method in the experiment. In other words, are there any systematic errors made which would render any/every experiment moot? Blatant errors in methodology, or in failing to account for confounding factors (e.g., things like natural causes which could account for the results rather than CO2! and here is one area where peer review clearly fails dismally in climate science), or errors in the statistics used such that the wrong conclusions are drawn from the research data, or a failure to research the body of existing literature in the subject area sufficiently, even to some extent failure to address some directly relevant and well established research that is directly opposed to or directly affects the research they are reviewing, and so on. This is even true to the extent that peer review ought to rein in any conclusions which clearly go beyond that which is supported by the research data – this is another area where, it seems to me, peer review is more and more often grossly failing in general and in climate science research especially.

    The very LAST thing you want is peer reviewers acting as judge and jury, deciding which research they BELIEVE is or isn’t correct. When that occurs (as it does all too often) then you wind up omitting new and valid conclusions – some of which might have the potential to entirely overturn whatever the current paradigm might be (flat earth anyone?).

    The more complex the subject matter of the research, the more likely it is that you do wind up with conflicting research. Conflicting research, regardless, is generally a very very GOOD thing. This is how science winnows through the complex or difficult subjects to get down to the base truths. Truth not as in “I believe” but truth as in factual, observable, repeatable, verifiable, not explained as well or better by any other hypothesis, etc. In order to accomplish this you cannot have peer review serving as the judge. The research has to be presented, and then other scientists work to tear it apart, see if they can duplicate the original research (if not, there’s a major problem right off the bat), or come up with other, conflicting, hypothesis that answer the question posed even partially or as well or even better than that original research paper did.

    Its pretty clear when one understands the process that you WILL wind up with conflicting research. The more complex the issue the more certain you are to see contradictions of this sort. If you don’t, then there’s almost bound to be a major problem with the application of science in that area.

    So – peer review is to weed out problems with the process and methodology, with the math or statistics used, conclusions that go beyond what the data supports, etc. Peer review, done properly is NOT to determine just from what’s in the reviewer’s head and paper in front of them which research they happen to feel/believe is more likely to be correct. In science the ONLY way one is to determine which properly conducted research is or isn’t correct, is by further properly conducted research which manages to overturn or seriously question the conclusions.

    Peter went on to say:

    I further find it unscientific that both then use the blogoshpere to conduct their subsequent “discussions”, although it is valuable for laymen like me to see the way real scientists conduct themselves when subject to criticism (/sarc).–clipped–

    Here I have to disagree with you. There is nothing which says that all scientific discussion must occur in the refereed journals. I would argue quite the contrary. Discussion of the research with anyone bright can turn up useful insights, find otherwise missed flaws, point out other relevant information that could be of use, etc.

    Papers are often presented in seminars and annual society meetings also, in front of an audience. In those situations, you typically have a Q&A session after the presentation and quite often at that point other scientists (or at times even just interested laymen) pose either real questions or questions which are statements of where they believe they see flaws in your work. There is no guarantee that these people will be scientists from your own field, or even that they are scientists at all (although one surely hopes that they at least have a clue what they are talking about and they aren’t just asking something that is well known and simply answered!) In either case, hopefully you are able to sufficiently answer the questions – but if not, then they have done you a favor and found errors in your work that need to be addressed for your conclusions to be valid – or for you to realize that you were in error and you need to revise your hypothesis and start again. All of this serves to move the science, the state of knowledge, forward.

    I see blog discussions as somewhat analogous to presentations with Q&A. There may even be added value in that folks with expertise in other areas may bring issues to light that hadn’t been considered – there can be tremendous value at times in having knowledge from other fields applied, from getting an ‘outside’ eye on the issue so to speak. The downside to blog discussions is that they often contain a ton of extraneous or very basic and easily answered, already considered type comments. From the flipside, however, with blog discussions there can be huge value in helping to educate truly interested folks who are either scientists from other fields or laymen. There is a real synergy that can occur from open discussions – and you can’t get much more open than blogs. Lord knows on the best discussions of this sort it is a very quick way for research flaws to get brought to light.

    One has to keep in mind that even the most well known and lauded scientists aren’t important because of their credentials – they’re important because of their ideas, their contributions that moved our state of knowledge forward. Being credentialed just means that you are far more likely to be able to apply the scientific method well than someone who isn’t trained, and therefor also far more likely to be able to make meaningful contributions. That doesn’t mean someone can’t be very well self taught and manage to have meaningful solid input/inspiration. What does it matter if an excellent idea that furthers the research, or finds a real flaw, or even manages to move the state of scientific knowledge forward (no matter how incrementally) comes from a credentialed scientist or from a layman, from a referred journal discussion or a blog discussion, or just a casual conversation between friends or acquaintances? Its the concept that is important, not who or where it happens to come from.

  32. The south pole during Antarctica’s polar winter provides a great contrast to the wind and temperature asymmetries generated by oscillations on the peninsula and west Antarctica . During the south pole winter without incoming shortwave radiation, there is a steady cooling as longwave radiation exports energy. Surprisingly from the end of March to the end of July the temperatures do no drop more than 2 degrees C. This is because an upper level supply of warm air is advected poleward. Due to the inversion layer of cold stable air their is insignificantly little vertical mixing at the pole. Thus the heat budget during the winter at the south pole is relatively the most simple to analyze Using the temperature data from Amundsen-Scott we see there is a heat budget equilibrium from March thorugh August which varies for the years 1955 to 1976 from -55 to -57. From 1977-2010 those winter lows have dropped -2 C on average- varying from -57 to almost -60.

    If CO2 was increasingy holding more heat in the cold air mass at the pole it should be warming. If the poleward advected air mass held more moisture or CO2, it should be warming. The cooling trend also would suggest that the cooler air might move coastward more quickly and thus draw in a greater amount of upper level warm air to to replace the colder air flow towards the coast , but in contrast it is still cooling. The southpole winters suggest something very different is affecting it that overpowers any possible CO2 attribution.

    Using south pole cooling trend as a background heat budget,the rising temperatures in the west Antarctica can on;y be attributed to changes in asymmetrical heat distribution through oscillations such as the SAM, etc

  33. Stephen Wilde says: February 5, 2011 at 11:17 am
    The sun pushes or pulls the air circulation systems from above and from the poles.

    I think the science is correct on the TSI , i.e. direct solar energy input, providing more or less constant energy supply. The solar factors however can be a trigger for other natural events.
    UV and magnetic can be such triggers.
    UV and particle radiation (particle radiation is a function of solar activity and the strength of Van Allen belt via the Earth’s field strength) could have far larger indirect contribution by controlling plankton volumes and in turn changing the oceans’ clarity and CO2 absorption.
    High UV/radiation = reduction in plankton = clear water = deeper penetration, more heat absorbed further down and retained = warming.
    Low UV/radiation = more plankton = water less clear = only surface absorption and night time re-radiation = cooling.
    Plankton is largest CO2 absorber, but also oceans are largest CO2 emitters, so if CO2 happen to be an important factor than:
    High UV/radiation = reduction in plankton = less CO2 absorbed = warming.
    Low UV/radiation = more plankton = more CO2 absorbed = cooling.
    Solar magnetic input is via sunspots and magnetic storms http://www.ngdc.noaa.gov/stp/geomag/image/apstar07.jpg
    but they act only in the Arctic and Antarctic. Direct magnetic power input is insufficient for a global effect. However, there is an impact on the Earth’s field http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/LFC9.htm
    GMF (geomagnetic field) in turn has enough power to affect in the long term circulation of the Arctic currents (North Atlantic Precursor)

    http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/CDr.htm

    (note high correlation at both graphs 1860-prsent, period of the good instrument records)
    and in the short-term via Arctic and Antarctica stratosphere circulation, with a direct effect on the polar jet-streams: http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/NFC1.htm

  34. @- Paul Deacon says:
    “if Antarctica is warming, how do you account for the increasing extent of Antarctic sea ice during the satellite record. The increased sea-ice is also attested to by regular visitors to the Antarctic (eye witness).”
    @- TomRude says:
    “(you)…..should you acquaint yourself with meteo data, only the peninsula is warming with a degree of certainty and this is of dynamic origin. In fact if “most” antarctica was warming, how would you account for more powerful anticyclones and associated depressions?”

    The best I can get from the two papers is that with sparse data with discontinuities from in-situ measurements and satellite observations even the most extensive mathematical processing cannot determine whether the Eastern and central parts of Antarctica show any trend in temperature. The analysis from both puts constraints on the magnitude of any temperature change, but is insufficient to determine the sign.
    Both papers detect a significant warming of the peninsula, but disagree in detail about how far that warming extends over the WAIS.

    It is a prediction from AGW theory combined with the influence of ozone depletion that the SAM will strength. So the increase in the polar anticyclone is supporting AGW theory rather than contradicting it. A cooler central Antarctic with a warmer border would also by the conventional understanding of climate in that region lead to an accumulation on the ice-cap and a possible increase in winter sea ice.

    The observed increase in Antarctic sea ice is actually rather small, the sea ice varies between ~2M km2 and 16M km2. Neither value has altered by more than 1M km2 since robust records began. While the Arctic ice has decreased by ~2M km2 the Antarctic shows a trend at present of less than 1M km2. The most recent data I can find put the present ice extent as around 160,000 km2 UNDER the long term average. By most measures the change in Antarctic ice is around an order of magnitude less than that seen in the Arctic.

    One significant change in Antarctic ice is the result of the large warming of the peninsula. Many of the ice shelves along that region have collapsed and retreated over the last few decades. The Wilkins in 2008 being the most recent. As far as I know there is no evidence that these ice-shelves are reforming. There is ice cover reforming over these areas in the cold season, but the thick, land-bound coastal sheets along the shores of the Antarctic peninsula seem to be gone for the moment. Here’s a list of whats been lost, compared to this the small variations in sea ice extent each season would seem less significant.

    Müller
    Jones
    Wordie
    Wilkins
    Northern George VI
    Prince Gustav
    Larsen Inlet
    Larsen A
    Larsen B
    Larsen C

  35. The propaganda image most people have in their head for red is about 25 to 35 degrees celsius because that is the degree of color of the “abnormal” warm days during the height of summer, apparently.

    So why doesn’t the “skeptic community” use proper degrees to gradient coloring scheme? If -45 is represented by dark purple in color then who truly believes screaming bloody red is a proportional representation for -42?

    And scientist wonder why they communicate so poorly? :p

  36. izen says:
    February 5, 2011 at 2:31 pm

    It is a prediction from AGW theory combined with the influence of ozone depletion that the SAM will strength. So the increase in the polar anticyclone is supporting AGW theory rather than contradicting it. A cooler central Antarctic with a warmer border would also by the conventional understanding of climate in that region lead to an accumulation on the ice-cap and a possible increase in winter sea ice.

    No that assumption is incorrect as the two are incompatible, say a decreasing mid an upper stratosphere T due to say co2 would increase the ozone at these levels and the uv absorbtion capability, a conflict of doctrines so to speak.

    As there are a number of problems with the resolution of statospheric chemistry in GCM and understanding in the IPCC ar4 the current ozone assessment (wmo2010 ) was asked to resolve the issue by the parties to the MP.

    EG chapter 4

    Observations and model simulations show that the Antarctic ozone hole caused much of the observed southward shift of the Southern Hemisphere middle latitude jet in the troposphere during summer since 1980. The horizontal structure, seasonality, and amplitude of the observed trends in the Southern Hemisphere tropospheric jet are only reproducible in climate models forced with Antarctic ozone depletion. The southward shift in the tropospheric jet extends to the surface of the Earth and is linked dynamically to the ozone hole induced strengthening of the Southern Hemisphere stratospheric polar vortex.

    The southward shift of the Southern Hemisphere tropospheric jet due to the ozone hole has been linked to a range of observed climate trends over Southern Hemisphere mid and high latitudes during summer.

    Because of this shift, the ozone hole has contributed to robust summertime trends in surface winds, warming over the Antarctic Peninsula, and cooling over the high plateau. Other impacts of the ozone hole on surface climate have been investigated but have yet to be fully quantified. These include observed increases in sea ice area averaged around Antarctica; a southward shift of the Southern Hemisphere storm track and associated precipitation; warming of the subsurface Southern Ocean at depths up to several hundred meters; and decreases of carbon uptake over the Southern Ocean.

    Further it was also found that only ccm that use realistic observations of solar forcing ie monthly and annual variations can reproduce the annular modes SAM and NAM or as Roy and Haigh 2010 suggested clearly a knowledge of the solar cycle,would be useful in climate modelling

  37. izen says:
    February 5, 2011 at 2:31 pm

    Here they go again:
    I don’t have time for each mistake you have cited, it would take a while.
    Two quickies:

    1) The sea ice extent, takes into account these itemized losses you cite, of course, or else the report could not say extent, now, could it?

    2) For ice shelves “to break off” as you mention, they have to grow past the cantilever support strength. If they “melt” then they recede and do not break. Breaking off is an admission that they had grown to that point. This has been dwelt upon in recent WUWT postings.

    Melting is very, very difficult at average -20°C air temp, at any rate. The reports also do not take into account the volcanic activity that is poorly mapped at this point.

  38. DesertYote
    February 5, 2011 at 11:40 am

    This is a lovely example of how a reader’s expectation can override the actually written word. The traditional description of Antarctica as the isolated (lonely)continent has morphed here into the term insulated (protected) continent, possibly because the following sentence is about heat. It may be an auto-correction error as you suggest or this might be an example of misattribution by the author in what is sometimes termed a linguistic “false friend” by translators.

    Google Translate from English to French (no authority I agree) gives isoler for insulate but also gives isoler for isolate.

  39. The original 2009 Stieg paper where widely published in media worldwide. In the largest daily paper in Sweden the “iconographic” view of yellow and red Antarctica was shown with the headline – now scientist have shown that also Antarctica is warming. Following the debate that followed Eric Steig was interviewed by a reporter from the Swedish public radio, where he “confessed” that the warming seen for the last 50 years basically took place the first two decades and that no warming had taken place for the last 30 years. This must be of some interest if the climate change should be linked to the recent warming period

  40. eadler said:

    Jeff Id, who has a blog called the Air Vent, which seems to be tilted toward skepticism, and a coauthor of the O’donnell paper, complains that one of his comments was censored at RC. He had the option to post it on his own web site, but didn’t do this.

    Either you can’t read, or you are lying, or just did not actually read the thread and comments in which Jeff made the claim, which means you’re being disingenuous, but the whole clipped post is posted… since before your post here, I might add.

    Mark

  41. maksimovich says:
    February 5, 2011 at 3:27 pm

    Good points. But “The Team” cannot mention the sun elephant in the room, even though high energy UV moves up and down about 10% cycle on cycle. ITSS! (not you of course, and for anyone here, of course, unless the shoe?)

    UV, especially short wavelengths, makes ozone, and other neat photochemistry. Meanwhile, low solar magnetic field leads to clouds via cosmic ray bombardment.

    The ozone “hole” (a misnomer, as you probably know), moves around, I think in response to the migration of the magnetic field, since ozone is one of the rare gaseous molecules, since it is paramagnetic. We cannot, therefore, treat ozone passively, as lying within the domains of the Laws of diffusion.

    None of these factors, and more that we haven’t “dreamt of in our Philosphie”, are operating in cyclical and complex ways.

    It’s like solving for a dozen variables, but we have only six equations.

  42. Frank K. says: “Eric Steig needs an extended vacation down in Vostok, Antarctica, where right now it’s -33F. That’s balmy for Vostok! Bring your flip flops and Bermuda shorts…”

    Dr. Steig is well aware of the temperatures there. Putative warming is expressed as anomaly relative to average historic temperatures. The Antarctic can be cold and still be warming at the same time. His novel statistical methods smeared the warming over the entire continent, regardless of the presence or absence of sensor data. “It is hard to make data where none exist.” –Kevin Trenberth

    Hard, but nothing is impossible to statistics.

  43. @Rational Debate says:
    February 5, 2011 at 12:00 pm

    “…Peer review isn’t about deciding which hypotheses or which experiments are or aren’t correct….” I beg to differ. I think that is exactly what Mann and The Climate Thugs intend it to be, as set out in the ClimateGate emails.

  44. The SAM [ "Southern Annular Mode" . Also called the Antarctic Oscillation; AAO ] is almost the only one of the great climate controlling / influencing systems that has been almost totally ignored right through the recent climate argument.
    It has significant influences on the only ocean basin, the Great Southern Ocean, that has links to all of the world’s major ocean basins.
    Unfortunately nearly all actual infield climate research has ignored the SAM and it’s significant climate influences as the world economic powers from which most of the climate research money originates are all in the northern hemisphere.
    So the North Atlantic, the north Pacific and the Pacific equatorial regions receive almost all of the available funds for field research in climate studies.
    Yet the SAM is also located where the largest mass of ocean waters and immense globe encompassing current systems are located and those ocean waters and their associated currents drive the climate in so many ways most of which are still at best only partially or barely understood or not yet dreamed of by ocean and climate researchers.

    Australia’s climate / weather is controlled by the Pacific factors such as the ENSO / El Nino / La Nina in it’s eastern one third, by the Indian Ocean and the phase of the critical to rainfall in SE Australia, “Indian Ocean Dipole” and finally the SAM phase during the winter across the southern regions of Australia.
    A positive SAM means that the high pressures that originate from the Hadley cell circulation that create Australia’s normally dry semi desert conditions in the heart of the Australian Continent [ it's anything but dry at the moment! ] move south and this shifts the band of low pressures and their associated frontal systems that southern Australia relies almost entirely on for it’s winter rainfall, even further south.
    [ Only low to very low rainfall totals occur during our late spring, summer and early autumn period here in SE Australia. ]
    So those frontal systems do not penetrate very far up into Australia and the winter rains are much reduced with consequent dry winter conditions, poor rainfall, water shortages and drought occurring and severe crop yield reductions or even complete crop losses as a result.
    All of which we have experienced for some 15 years now until this year’s shift in the ENSO, the IOD and now the SAM.
    Now we have immense areas , equal to areas greater than all of Germany and a part of France under water, something not seen since the same confluence of these climate phenomena last recorded in the early to mid 1970’s.

    A positive SAM has been ongoing for most of the last two decades but it has reverted to a negative phase recently.
    The result is that here in SE Australia we are already seeing even the weak summer front and trough systems penetrating further north into the continent bringing increased amounts of tropical origin water vapour down into SE Australia, tropical origin water vapour volumes that are heavily enhanced by the very strong La Nina which has pushed very warm Pacific waters up against Australia’s eastern sea board which then feed into the systems that transport it down into southern Australia.
    The IOD just finished was also negative for one of the very few times in the last couple of decades and this brought warm Indian ocean waters up to the NW coast of Australia from where high water vapour volumes also streamed via our North West cloud bands into SE Australia.
    It is about the first time since about 1974 that we have experienced a La Nina and a negative IOD together.
    Both in 1974 and now 2011 there was and now is very extensive flooding across all of the eastern half of Australia.
    A negative phase SAM with the winter rain generating low pressure systems traversing Australia much further north and along our southern coast , a now forecast continuing La Nina and perhaps another negative IOD will mean the strong likelihood of very heavy and extensive flooding in SE Australia during our oncoming southern winter in the next few months.

    Argentinean weather /climate researchers do have some research on the SAM and their conclusions on the impact of the SAM phases on Argentina are similar to the impact on Southern Australia.

    Perhaps the other question that arises from all these changes in the major climate influences is; Are we seeing right now a quantitative shift in the global climate occurring right across the globe towards a cooler and possible wetter climate phase?
    If so, Why?

  45. eadler says:
    February 5, 2011 at 5:29 am “This is an aid in understanding of what is driving the temperature record for Antarctica, and explains why the West Antarctic Peninsula is warmer than the rest of the continent. ”

    Many commentators seem to underemphasise that the so-called warm Antarctic peninsula is a temporary anomaly. If it was a permanent feature it would not be coloured red. Two possibilities, either the baseline is wrong or the present measurements are genuinely and recently anomalous. Next question, will the various proposed mechanism return the red Peninsula to neutral again, when, and by what mechanism?

    Having read what I have, I’d suspect that the historic quality of Peninsula measurement is prone to error and that the baseline is wrong. That’s only an opinion based on the reading of others. The present heat might not be entirely anomalous.

    Geochemists like me are far more used to working with anomalous data than with doing the climate thing to level blips down to smoother averages. I’ll give a current example next.

  46. Geochemists investigate anomalies. Example.

    Here is a time lapse of wind in the west hemisphere prior to and including the landfall of Queensland’s cyclone Yasi, thanks to several posters including Bill Illis/Bob Tisdale & elsewhere

    Here is a time lapse for January, with the invitation to look for warm SST as a driver for that cyclone, that was named on 27 Jan 2011 when about 300 km NNE of Port Vila (that is, at about 170E, 15S). The surface sea temperatures don’t look terribly anomalous to me, particularly at the end of the month of January (where my data run out).

    http://lwf.ncdc.noaa.gov/teleconnections/enso/indicators/sea-temp-anom.php?begmonth=1&begday=1&begyear=2011&endmonth=1&endday=26&endyear=2011&submitted=Animate+Selection

    On the first animation Yasi can be seen as a mass moving from this position about 28 Jan, to move WSW to clobber Innisfail about Feb 3rd. That’s 6 days for 2,500 km of a “bullet” cutting straight through the turmoiled global system of the first animation, over seas described as “warm around eastern Australia and contributing to the strength of the cyclone”. Bunkum. If this is as good as the climate people can do, it’s not very good.

  47. bubbagyro says:
    February 5, 2011 at 3:31 pm
    “I don’t have time for each mistake you have cited, it would take a while.
    Two quickies:
    1) The sea ice extent, takes into account these itemized losses you cite, of course, or else the report could not say extent, now, could it?”

    I know the EXTENT takes into account the loss of the land-locked ice shelves, I said the areas refreeze with sea ice in the cold season restoring the extent of the ice.
    But NOT its thickness. Or its ability to slow the flow of the glaciers on the land those shelves previously blocked.

    “2) For ice shelves “to break off” as you mention, they have to grow past the cantilever support strength. If they “melt” then they recede and do not break. Breaking off is an admission that they had grown to that point. This has been dwelt upon in recent WUWT postings. Melting is very, very difficult at average -20°C air temp, at any rate.”

    There are several mechanisms that result in loss of ice, melting from sun and rain on the peninsula occurs; a -20degC average does not preclude warmer days. But the warmer ocean under the ice is also a factor and the rise also increases the chances of the cantilever support failing without any growth of the ice shelf.

  48. post by; JimF says: February 5, 2011 at 7:25 pm

    @Rational Debate says: February 5, 2011 at 12:00 pm

    “…Peer review isn’t about deciding which hypotheses or which experiments are or aren’t correct….” I beg to differ. I think that is exactly what Mann and The Climate Thugs intend it to be, as set out in the ClimateGate emails.

    I’d laugh, because your comment is oh so true wrt climategate & that crew, if the entire ‘climate’ situation weren’t so bloody disgusting and anti-science. It’s gotta be ‘post normal peer review’ for those guys apparently.

  49. Jim Steele, Feb 5th at 11.12a.m.

    The “Foehn,” or “Fohn,” winds as they are often spelt here in N.Z., are well known to New Zealanders by the more colloquial name of the “Nor’ Wester!” People on the east coast of both major islands can experience their highest summer temperatures during a spell from the Nor’ Wester. Today was one of those days. Timaru (airport) about 100 miles (160 km’s) south of Christchurch recorded a T-max of 40C. The temperature is expected to drop there by 20C tomorrow.

    The humid air affecting the west coast of both major islands at the moment can be directly linked back to the trailing outfall of moist air from the remnant of TC Yasi. This trailing southern edge has also caused major flooding in Melbourne over 1,000 miles away today, such is the size of Yasi’s influence. The rising Nor’ Wester that precedes the approaching front that connects back to Yasi, leaves its’ moisture on the west coast before descending down the main divides (the Southern Alps in the South Island) resulting in hotter, drier air spreading out across the plains. This is the traditonal peak of N.Z. temparatures. New Zealand’s official highest temperature was set at Rangiora, just NW of Christchurch, on Feb 7th, 1973. The temperature was 41.2C. Although the Antarctic Penninsula sits at a far greater latitude than N.Z. it wouldn’t be a stretch to see similar effects on the Penninsula with its’ north-south spinal range.

    Rom Feb 5th at 8.58 p.m.

    I concur with your comments about SAM being almost forgotten amongst the leading protagonists connection with their main NH influences such as the PDO, AMO etc, not to mention the obvious influence of the equatorial elements that make up ENSO.

    I first heard of SAM through the NIWA website, but they don’t go into sufficient detail to satisfy my curiosity. Your further comments on the total influences on the Australian climate were not only succinct, but very enlightening on features pertaining to N.Z. weather and climate as well. The Great Southern Ocean and the South South-Pacific should not be understimated by anyone pondering global climate regimes. Just look at the latest Full Global SST Anomaly chart

    We always check out what is happening along the equatorial line, in this case a typically strong La Nina signature, but what about the large area of above average SST water just below the blue of the La Nina. People have talked for some time recently about the above average temperature of the water near NE Australia. I wonder though about the impact of the obviously warmer water further east. I have noticed through much of our S.H. summer how highs that move into the latter zone become stationary, and influence the paths of tropical depressions and cyclones as they move east, either onto Queensland, or NEastern N.Z. as occurred on the previous two weekends here, with similar effects, but at different scales. The S.H. anti-cyclones (highs) spinning counter-clockwise appear to act as a cog churning tropical moisture bombs in an easterly direction to cause havoc where they might fall.

    Our cyclone season has a full two months to go, and possibly more during a big La Nina event, so who knows what may befall us yet. They come and go with such rapidity it is hard to be more fully prepared for them (TC’s) than we are at the moment.

    The influence of SAM amongst all of this is something that is going to consume my time immeasureably, but it will be enjoyable learning more about the complex nature of the nature we live in.

    Cheers

    Coops

  50. @- maksimovich says:
    February 5, 2011 at 3:27 pm
    “As there are a number of problems with the resolution of statospheric chemistry in GCM and understanding in the IPCC ar4 the current ozone assessment (wmo2010 ) was asked to resolve the issue by the parties to the MP.

    EG chapter 4

    Observations and model simulations show that the Antarctic ozone hole caused much of the observed southward shift of the Southern Hemisphere middle latitude jet in the troposphere during summer since 1980. …”

    Thank you for the quote from the wmo2010 assessment, it supports my position that the SAM is driven by the temperature differential between the troposphere and stratosphere around the pole.
    As the troposphere gets warmer, or the stratosphere cools the SAM will intensify/move south.

    It does seem that the main cause in the intensification of the SAM is the stratospheric cooling due to changes in ozone. Changes caused by CFCs. A prime example of how very small changes in the percentage of a rare component of the atmosphere can have significant effects of the energy flows into and out of the biosphere.
    The ozone loss is exacerbated by the cooling stratosphere because the action of CFC’s in destroying ozone is enhanced if the stratosphere cools and forms ice crystals as a reaction substrate.

    The role of solar UV is crucial, the depletion of ozone from CFCs is a photochemical reaction, which is why the ozone hole appears when sunlight returns to the polar stratosphere when an increase might be the expected result. So the level of solar UV drives the rate of generation/depletion of ozone which in turn affects the temperature differential of the troposphere and stratosphere at the pole and drives the SAM.

    But I don’t think that you can ascribe the changes in ozone, the hole and the subsequent intensification of the SAM to solar UV changes, it requires the role of CFCs and the effect of CO2 on the differential warming troposphere/cooling stratosphere to explain the changes.

  51. Further to comments above, check out this satellite image of New Zealand this afternoon (2.06 U.T.C.) showing the building front at the bottom of the picture.

    http://satellite.landcareresearch.co.nz/noaa/?history=qd06021.txt

    The cloud build-up on the western side of the South Island, as well as the Lower North Island (L.N.I.), with some cloud spilling through Cook Strait that divides the two major Islands, is typical for the early stages of an approaching cold front at these latitudes. I am buried under that L.N.I. cloud bank and all of its’ associated humidity.

    Timaru sits in the clear on the smooth section of the South Island east coast between the leading edge of the front, and the patch of streaky, pink/red cloud sitting over Banks Peninsula, where Christchurch resides. Some of the typical white streaks of lenticularis, or Nor’ West Arches as they are known here, are starting to form ahead of the front, and in the lee of the Southern Alps further north. A Nor’ Wester, or Fohn wind in action.

  52. ahhhhhhhhhhh, reading this is better than doing the crossword or Sudoku or… anything. There are so many fine lines weaving together here, though

    “It’s like solving for a dozen variables, but we have only six equations.”

    I’m really puzzled by the Southern Annular Mode pictures above. They seem to be completely at odds with a key factor in Erl Happ’s recent post here. His Figure 2 shows a pretty constant UNIQUE LOW in atmospheric pressure at around 60 degrees South, rising to both the South and North of this ring-latitude. Precisely on this hangs his explanation for the constantly high winds here – which makes sense. Yet in the pictures above, there is primarily a steady lowering of pressure as one approaches the South Pole – ish.

    Or have I been really thick and misunderstood it all?

    I love this. It’s like the Earth and solar system are a whole orchestra and all the players affect each other, solar / barycentre / electric / magnetic oscillations > high atmospheric events > lower atmospheric oscillations > ocean oscillations > land temperatures. Oh, and we also have mysterious effects too, on everything – but that could spiral OT so no more said.

  53. Izen said:

    “As the troposphere gets warmer, or the stratosphere cools the SAM will intensify/move south.”

    Exactly as I have been saying. The trouble is that the stratosphere cooled when the sun was more active and is now warming a bit with the sun less active.

    Thus you have to say this:

    “But I don’t think that you can ascribe the changes in ozone, the hole and the subsequent intensification of the SAM to solar UV changes, it requires the role of CFCs and the effect of CO2 on the differential warming troposphere/cooling stratosphere to explain the changes.”

    But that is where I say that the consensus has got it wrong.

    It all happened before in the MWP and presumably in the Roman Warm Period and all previous warm periods without any human intervention from CO2 or CFCs. The jets went way poleward in the MWP too so the stratosphere must have cooled then too when the sun was more active.

    So a cooling stratosphere with an active sun and a warming stratosphere with a less active sun just has to be the natural order of things and if we have affected it at all then our contribution is probably too small to measure.

    If the natural order of things were for the stratosphere to warm with a more active sun (as always assumed) then that would have pushed the jets equatorward during the MWP but that did not happen.

  54. @-Stephen Wilde says:
    February 6, 2011 at 5:48 am
    “It all happened before in the MWP and presumably in the Roman Warm Period and all previous warm periods without any human intervention from CO2 or CFCs. The jets went way poleward in the MWP too so the stratosphere must have cooled then too when the sun was more active.”

    I defer to your apparent comprehensive knowledge of the intensity and position of the SAM during the MWP and the differential temperature of the troposphere/stratosphere at that time.

    Perhaps you can provide the source of this information?

  55. My thanks to those who have put me right on the practice and intent of the peer review process.

    However, whilst I see the benefits of using blogs for peer review, I feel uncomfortable because of the uncontrolled ability of the blog owner to influence the process (Willis Eschenbach gives a prime example here https://public.me.com/ix/williseschenbach/Svalbard.pdf – in this case the blog owner and the authors are essentially part of the same team but this would not always be the case).

  56. Izen asked:

    “I defer to your apparent comprehensive knowledge of the intensity and position of the SAM during the MWP and the differential temperature of the troposphere/stratosphere at that time.
    Perhaps you can provide the source of this information?”

    Well you accepted that if the stratosphere cools then the jets shift poleward. That clearly happened in the northern hemisphere MWP when the sun was more active as evidenced by Viking Settlements in Greenland and a warm Europe.

    So I’ve made the imaginative leap that if the cause of the cooling stratosphere is solar (as it must be because the stratosphere is now warming with a less active sun after a pereiod of cooling with a more active sun) then there is likely to be a similar effect at both poles.

    Now currently with the quieter sun we are seeing greater jetstream meridionality in both hemispheres but not identical patterns because the Antarctic is a continent surrounded by oceans whereas the Arctic is an ocean surrounded by continents. That increased meridionality in both hemispheres at the same time supports my conjecture as does the decreased meridionality in both hemispheres during the late 20th century.

    So the burden of proof is with you to state why the two hemispheres should NOT be affected similarly by a variation in solar activity.

  57. Lucy Skywalker,

    Note the “anomaly” view: “[...] a large low pressure anomaly centred on the South Pole and a ring of high pressure anomalies at mid-latitudes [...]“

    Erl’s plot is in absolutes.

    It is precisely the mainstream convention of relying too heavily on anomalies that has mired both the public & climate science in the pit of Simpson’s Paradox. See my comment here [ http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/02/04/noaa-enso-expert-odds-for-a-two-year-la-nina-event-remain-well-above-50/#comment-592404 ] where I clarify that the annual cycle is nonstationary. The mainstream is so caught up in the first moment (the mean) that they don’t notice the second one (variance). It certainly doesn’t help that they don’t differentiate between grain & extent (if they are aware of extent at all!)

  58. Hello Paul,

    There is a lot that I like in that Leroux paper. I haven’t seen it before.

    He is confirming much of my proposition as regards the top down polar side of things but doesn’t much go into causation.

    Although I’ve chosen the level of solar activity as the dominating top down driver (via chemical not radiative processes) that still leaves room for other features of solar behaviour to be relevant such as Length of Day and solar cycle length.

    The chemical nature of the relevant processes also allows for magnetic field effects since part of the chemistry is a consequence of atmospheric interactions with charged particles coming in along the magnetic field lines.

    Another advantage of nailing atmospheric chemistry as the primary process is that it breaks the impasse with Leif Svalgaard et al who concentrate entirely on radiative processes.

    What we have here is atmospheric chemistry changing in response to changes in the mix of wavelengths and particles from the sun so as to change the energy content of atmospheric layers differentially, alter the heights at each boundary layer and redistribute the tropospheric air circulation with the most pronounced effect on those mobile polar highs that Leroux describes.

    Furthermore the uv effect on the stratosphere below 45km seems not to be the major player in determining the energy content of stratosphere and mesosphere. Instead the ebb and flow of the solar induced ozone destruction processes above 45km seems to dominate the vertical temperature profile.

    The resulting change in cloudiness and albedo as the jets wave about more meridionally changes solar input to the oceans to change the global energy budget from positive to negative and back again depending on the degree of meridionality/zonality.

  59. @-Stephen Wilde says:
    February 6, 2011 at 10:15 am
    “Well you accepted that if the stratosphere cools then the jets shift poleward. That clearly happened in the northern hemisphere MWP when the sun was more active as evidenced by Viking Settlements in Greenland and a warm Europe.”

    When the temperature differential between the stratosphere and the troposphere affects the SOUTH polar vortex which intensifies and the jets shift pole-ward. But other factors can alter jetstream positions, ENSO is one. And as you acknowledge later the Northern anular mode is less well defined/stable as a result of geography. I don’t think it is ‘clear’ what was happening to stratospheric temperatures or any North polar vortex and asociated jets during the MWP in Northern Europe.

    The assumption you make about a more active sun is not supported by Vikings in Greenland, their occupation started AFTER the peak of the N hemisphere MWP when temperatures were lower than the present. BE-10 isotope levels indicate that solar activity was no greater than at present.

    “So I’ve made the imaginative leap that if the cause of the cooling stratosphere is solar (as it must be because the stratosphere is now warming with a less active sun after a pereiod of cooling with a more active sun) then there is likely to be a similar effect at both poles.”

    Imaginative leaps are best made after considering every other possibility. Present changes in temperature of the stratosphere are also caused by the decreased warming from decreased ozone and increased cooling by increased CO2
    Warming due to increased solar input also warms the stratosphere more than the troposphere decreasing the differential unlike a GHG forcing which cools it.

    “So the burden of proof is with you to state why the two hemispheres should NOT be affected similarly by a variation in solar activity.”

    They may well be, but that pre-supposes there are changes in solar activity with sufficient magnitude to cause an observable variation. The difference between the MWP and LIA solar activity was smaller than the ~11 year solar cycle. What magnitude of change does that cause in the present stratospheric temperatures?

    There is also a well established climate see-saw effect that shows warming first in the S hemisphere with cooling in the N. hemisphere followed by cooling in the south with warming in the north. Several examples of this occurr shortly after the warming from the last glacial period.Past warming in one hemisphere does not imply that the increase was global.

    I asked for the source of the information you had on the SAM in the MWP period because AFAIK there is no data with that local or temporal resolution available that can provide that data.
    As I suspected it was not data so much as imaginative leaps, which might be better characterized as ‘jumping to conclusions’?

  60. Varimax-rotated EOF or VEOF (vastly superior to plain EOF for most purposes) suggests the 4 major (statistical) modes of interannual terrestrial climate variability are:

    1) SAM (Southern Annular Mode)
    2) SOI (Southern Oscillation Index)
    3) NAM (Northern Annular Mode)
    4) NPI (North Pacific Index)

    See Figure 3 & Table 3 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

    Complex (nonlinear) data exploration clearly reveals a lack of independence between these modes, but the insights of Trenberth, Stepaniak, & Smith (2005) are of classic value nonetheless.

    Important:
    A recurring misunderstanding demands clarification:
    LOD does not drive climate; climate drives LOD.

    Vukcevic, I suggest that you review the work of N.S. Sidorenkov on multidecadal LOD variations. (I also suggest that you come clean with definitions for “NAP”, etc. People are busy and life is finite.)

    Stephen Wilde, I am curious to hear at some point in time (as the weeks & months unfold) which researchers have most influenced your noticeably sharpened focus over the past few months. Your presentation will be further strengthened (dramatically) if you work seasonal variations into your exposition – (i.e. no need to fall into the pit of Simpson’s Paradox with mainstream climate science, awaiting rescue by earth orientation parameter experts…)

    Also, when asked for data, just point people at AAM & LOD — truly global (& spatially unbiased) variables, which is why they show with crystal clarity the mark of solar variability …and to be clear for the resident distortion artists: NOT TSI & “irradiance”. Moderators, a serious suggestion: It’s time to consider cracking down on the obfuscatory tactic of DELIBERATELY (& erroneously) conflating insolation with irradiance. Sensible peoples’ time is too valuable to be spent dealing with such hyperpartisan nonsense – or plain naive ignorance in some cases perhaps.

    Finally Stephen, I caution you to not fall into the trap of assuming a 1 to 1 relation between solar variation and terrestrial circulation/insolation changes. Clarification: As I have shown, the relationship is with the variance, not the mean. Everyone needs to slow down for long enough to try to contemplatively understand the implications of this, even if they are not experts on the dependency of spatiotemporal summaries on harmonics, grain, & extent. It is important to bear in mind the role of QBO at interannual timescales. I look forward to any efforts you might make to incorporate Leroux’s (1993) Figure 8 into your narrative.

    For those familiar with Stephen Wilde’s most common theme over recent months, see if Leroux’s (1993) figures 11 & 13 condense thousands of words into 2 pictures.

    Leroux, Marcel (1993). The Mobile Polar High: a new concept explaining present mechanisms of meridional air-mass and energy exchanges and global propagation of palaeoclimatic changes. Global and Planetary Change 7, 69-93.

    http://ddata.over-blog.com/xxxyyy/2/32/25/79/Leroux-Global-and-Planetary-Change-1993.pdf

    Note that those 2 figures (11 & 13) are “annual” generalizations. Things get a whole lot more interesting when seasonal variations are studied (figure 8 – and AAM & LOD… http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/12/23/confirmation-of-solar-forcing-of-the-semi-annual-variation-of-length-of-day/ , keeping in mind that annual grain power is inversely related to semi-annual grain variation at decadal extent).

    All the Best.

  61. izen says:
    February 6, 2011 at 1:13 am

    But I don’t think that you can ascribe the changes in ozone, the hole and the subsequent intensification of the SAM to solar UV changes, it requires the role of CFCs and the effect of CO2 on the differential warming troposphere/cooling stratosphere to explain the changes.

    Agreed mostly,however we can exclude co2 as the signal is trivial in the stratosphere and is not observable ie it is obscured by other variables wmo 2010.

    Secondly GCR is a significant variable that needs to be included as it effects the photochemistry of the stratosphere by production of odd species such as NOx .

    We can see the levels of atmospheric attenuation here at high latitude stations Murmansk in the NH in the top and Mirny in the SH bottom.

    It is only by including the correct differences in externalities eg monthly and annular solar modes, and the annular modes such as SAM and NAM can we start to understand the stratosphere correctly and its effects on the lower atmosphere.

  62. Hi Paul
    I might start with PDO-ENSO driver, it is a bit simpler; Pacific is far more self contained than Atlantic.

    Any idea for the pre 1950 ENSO monthly or annual data file ?

  63. just a small correction to my earlier post of Feb 6th at 1.09 a.m.

    The official highest New Zealand temperature set at Rangiora on the east coast of the South Island on Feb 7th, 1973, was actually 42.4C, and not 41.2C as I had posted. This record still stands after 38 years.

    Rangiora’s record surpassed by a whopping 3.8C the previous N.Z. record set further south at Ashburton on January 19th, 1956. From the only source that I have, a soft covered book titled, “The New Zealand Weather Book,” (published in 1978), I see that yesterday’s synoptic chart was almost identical to the one in that book showing the situation 38 years ago! Hence it is no surprise to see a serious challenge to the long standing record.

  64. Paul, thanks for the constructive comments. I’ll give them thought and see if they can help to clarify my narrative.

    Mind you, I see the background climate changes from say MWP to LIA to date as being longer term variations over and above seasonal variability.

    I agree that there is no simple 1:1 relationship between any of the components of the system which is why it is hard to see the wood for the trees. At any given moment there are a host of confounding factors at work plus natural internal system chaotic variability. That is why it is not possible to provide nice neat correlations for doubters such as Bob Tisdale. However over longer periods of time the underlying mechanisms do seem to me to be becoming apparent beyond the short term chaos.

    One certainly needs to move away from purely radiative physics. The ozone chemistry of the region above 45km seems to be critical and so far poorly understood.

  65. izen said:

    “Present changes in temperature of the stratosphere are also caused by the decreased warming from decreased ozone and increased cooling by increased CO2″

    On that basis the stratosphere should still be cooling but it isn’t:

    http://www.jstage.jst.go.jp/article/sola/5/0/53/_pdf

    “The evidence for the cooling trend in the stratosphere may need to be revisited.
    This study presents evidence that the stratosphere has been slightly warming
    since 1996.”

    So the whole basis for your contribution here is ill founded.

  66. Paul Vaughan says: February 6, 2011 at 9:19 pm
    I also suggest that you come clean with definitions for “NAP”, etc. People are busy and life is finite.
    If NAP- CET correlation is meaningful

    http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/CDr.htm

    (I think unlikely to be coincidence, since the mechanism should be strait forward) than whole of the Arctic / North Atlantic relationship will be far clearer.
    The NAP- SSN correlation (specially 1870-present with good SSN record) is a bit of a ‘Pandora box’.
    There are personal reasons why I will not make public ‘NAP ideas’ before mid June.
    I got now on line little project, I did it in the depth of the UK’s December freeze-up:

    http://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/docs/00/56/34/77/PDF/SSW.pdf

    it is just an exercise in writing a reasonably well structured project; have to add more on Antarctica’s case, managed to resolved that too.

  67. Paul Vaughan asked:

    “Stephen Wilde, I am curious to hear at some point in time (as the weeks & months unfold) which researchers have most influenced your noticeably sharpened focus over the past few months.”

    Leif Svalgaard effectively scotched radiative physics as a cause of real world observations so after some thought it seemed likely that the radiative processes were being trumped by chemical processes.

    Various sources showed stratospheric and mesospheric cooling when the sun was more active so the question was whether that was artifially induced by CO2 and CFCs or whether it was natural. Joanna Haigh’s finding of increased ozone above 45km despite a quiet sun potentially produces the required reverse sign solar effect in those two layers and again points to natural chemical processes trumping radiative processes.

    Apart from that it is recent real world events that are sharpening the focus. I’ve been going on about reduced jetstream zonality for three years now having first noticed it around 2000. It is now widely commented on.

    There are now so many real world developments that fit my narrative that confidence and precision are increasing. Instead of being rebutted by new papers I am finding that they fit in rather neatly.

    There are a number of possible events that could screw it up though. I’ll just have to wait and see.

  68. Well I think I have figured out a plausible reason why the Antarctic Peninsula is warmer than the rest of Antarctica.
    Looking at that first colored relief map of the Antarctic Continent, it appears that the Antarctic Peninsula actually protrudes outside of the Antarctic Circle; which if I’m not mistaken means that the sun never disappears completely for more than 24 hours.

    And that Peninsula also seems to point right at the tip of South America, so it constricts the Atlantic, and Pacific sides of the southern ocean that goes sloshing back and forth through there every day. Those tidal bores, would seem to wash right undeer the floating ice shelves on the East side of the Peninsula (as well as the West), and that could raise, and break those shelves occasionally exposing more of the coastline to those lapping waves. Maybe that’s why Larsen B fell down.

    Well it’s just a theory; there might not be any truth to it.

  69. This results in a stronger oceanic upwelling there.

    This is the most interesting and important sentence in the above article.

  70. Stephen Wilde says:
    February 6, 2011 at 5:48 am

    So a cooling stratosphere with an active sun and a warming stratosphere with a less active sun just has to be the natural order of things and if we have affected it at all then our contribution is probably too small to measure.

    Hi Stephen, I think your on the right track but there is a conundrum. The Sun has been quite for at least 12 months, during that time we see 2 opposites occurring. The north polar stratosphere is warmer with a weaker vortex and a negative AO over that period. This is creating the jetstream movement that is cooling the top hemisphere.

    But in the south the opposite is occurring, we have a cooler stratosphere with a strong vortex and a highly positive AAO (SAM) which is contracting the southern jet stream (which strengthens the La Nina). Both hemispheres are showing what you would expect in regard to ozone. There is a lot less at the south pole. There has to be another factor involved that is controlling the ozone quantities other than just total solar EUV output.

    I have plotted the monthly AO/AAO index in an attempt to flush out some trends. On the whole the two patterns follow each other in their overall trends but the baseline can vary for each index. The trends happening now and back around 1979 are interesting showing a larger divergence between the indexes during low EUV. The December values being more relevant for the northern hemisphere winter.

  71. Thanks Geoff. I’ve been aware of that conundrum for a while and concerned in case it indicated different responses at each pole from solar variations. Generally I have been assuming similar if not identical responses.

    However as you say ” the two patterns follow each other in their overall trends but the baseline can vary for each index”.

    So I agree that the characteristics of the Antarctic upper atmosphere lead to it responding slightly differently for some reason but not so much as to invalidate my general global scenario.

    Clearly the southern oceans heavily influence the lower atmospheric layers but the solar effects seem to predominate above 45km as suggested by the findings that Jo Haigh has publicised.

    I’d be inclined to look at how the solar effects on ozone quantities above 45km vary at the southern pole as compared to at the northern pole but the data is not currently available. Those Haigh findings were quite a surprise since ozone above 45km is not supposed to increase when the sun is quiet.

    I’m sure that investigations are ongoing.

  72. Russian scientists have been publishing about meridional vs. zonal circulation regimes for 7 decades. (This certainly is not a “new” concept.)

    Major recent development:
    Le Mouël, Blanter, Shnirman, & Courtillot (2010) have shone a bright light on the CORE role of SUBannual processes.

    Limiting focus to higher timescales is like ignoring the role of the piston in an engine! [Or more precisely: the role of 2 antiphased pistons & their spatiotemporal aliasing in a dynamically asymmetric cylinder.] “Anomalies” are fatally misleading for researchers unaware of their limitations.

    While I take issue (at a fundamental level) with some of the assumptions built into the following conceptualization, Sidorenkov’s p.433 [pdf p.10] supplements Leroux (1993) and might trigger awareness of the NEED to consider SUBannual processes:

    Sidorenkov, N.S. (2005). Physics of the Earth’s rotation instabilities. Astronomical and Astrophysical Transactions 24(5), 425-439.

    http://images.astronet.ru/pubd/2008/09/28/0001230882/425-439.pdf

    Le Mouël, Blanter, Shnirman, & Courtillot (2010) have taken things to a whole new level, but it is evident in discussions here that participants are (so far) lacking the background to appreciate the seminal findings. Perhaps Leroux’s (1993) figures 8-15 & Sidorenkov’s exposition on heat engines will help with dot connection.

    [Note for those thinking about this more deeply: I'm very, very far from being convinced that a linear decomposition (based on questionable assumptions) of the overlapping heat engines is the approach most likely to facilitate increasingly penetrating insight.]

  73. Stephen Wilde says:
    February 8, 2011 at 1:27 am

    Stephen I am not sure if you are still viewing this thread, but I came across a paper that has some answers to the conundrum. Its a very big informative read by Baldwin et al, but the main thrust is that the QBO and planetary waves control the NH polar vortex and have very little influence on the SH vortex. Of interest the authors speculate that there is a solar component in the QBO as well as a strong possibility that EUV could modulate the NH planetary waves, this could explain the divergence on my graph. The planetary waves seem to be the major driver in breaking up the NH vortex which in turn influences the AO. I couldn’t find any secular changes in stratospheric temps or ozone in the last 2 decades that would affect the NH polar vortex. A different story for the SH vortex though that seems to be in a different league.

    Also of interest was if the planetary wave is strong enough it does not matter what phase the QBO was in, it still affected the NH vortex.

  74. “If your result needs a statistician then you should design a better experiment”

    I believe Rutherford also said Science is either physics or stamp collecting.

    I was trained in the physical sciences so I see where Ruthorfords prejudices are coming from.

    Physicists dealt with simple systems that were almost exactly reproducable and therefore statistical treatments of experiments were not required. This was in the days before the quantum revolution and the uncertainty principle changed physics forever.

    Other sciences deal with complex systems for which an entirely reductionist approach – separating the phenomenon to be studied from everything else going on in the system is not possible. I learned that when I moved into biomedical research.

    Climate is another messy system where all the contributing factors cannot be teased out and studied seperately. Statistics are required.

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