The character of climate change part 4

Guest post by Erl Happ

This post is best read after viewing parts one, two and three that set the scene for what is described here.

I noted in parts 1 and 2 that variability in global temperature is greatest between November and March when the globe is coolest. This is related to high variability in southern summer when global cloud cover peaks. I suggested that this variability is likely related to variation in cloud cover. In part 3 I outlined a mechanism related to the coupled circulation of the stratosphere and the troposphere in the Arctic and the Antarctic that induces a variation in cloud cover and described the spatial expression of that variation.

The manner in which the planet warms is surprising. If we look hard enough, it tells us how and why it warms. The value of a good theory is that it makes explicable what we see. It is much safer therefore to look at the manner in which the planet warms, as I have done in parts 1 and 2, before theorizing.

What follows  is big picture analysis jumping from highlight to highlight.  For data I rely on Kalnay, E. and Coauthors, 1996: The NCEP/NCAR Reanalysis 40-year Project. Bull. Amer. Meteor. Soc., 77, 437-471. accessible here: http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/psd/cgi-bin/data/timeseries/timeseries1.pl.

In this article we see that:

  1. Equatorial sea surface temperature varies with equatorial sea level pressure.
  2. Equatorial sea surface pressure varies with the solar wind.
  3. In respect of anomalous behavior that is superimposed on the  seasonal cycle, the hemispheres heat alternately.
  4. The northern hemisphere suffers the widest swings in temperature but largely in winter.
  5. The evolution of temperature depends in large part upon what is happening in Antarctica.
  6. The planet tends to heat or cool most dramatically between November and March when cloud cover is most extensive.
  7. The mechanism responsible for climate variation that is described here can account for the diversity in our experience of climate change over the last sixty years and the cooling to come. It is a mechanism that allows one hemisphere to warm while the other cools.

The Sun and atmospheric pressure

The Southern Oscillation Index (SOI) tracks the ENSO phenomenon in the Pacific Ocean.  It is based on the difference in sea level pressure between Darwin Australia (12°south 131°east) and Tahiti (18°south 150° west in French Polynesia).

Daily sea level pressure for Darwin and Tahiti is available at: http://www.longpaddock.qld.gov.au/seasonalclimateoutlook/southernoscillationindex/soidatafiles/DailySOI1933-1992Base.txt

Because the record is short, the average is lumpy. It is assumed that, were the record long enough, it would be smooth. To obtain a smooth line the data has been adjusted manually. That  smooth line is shown against the actual 30 day moving average of Darwin sea level pressure for the period January 1999-July 2011 in figure 1.

Figure 1 Seasonal evolution of Darwin daily sea level pressure in mb.

An anomaly in sea level pressure is a departure from the average daily value for a selected period. In this case the period is January 1999 to July 2011.

Figure 2 charts the relationship between the daily anomaly in sea level pressure at Darwin and the Dst index which is an index of geomagnetic activity that relates to the strength of the ring current in the ionosphere.

Figure 2 Dst Index and SLP anomaly Darwin

Left axis: Daily Dst index in nanoteslas.   Source: http://wdc.kugi.kyoto-u.ac.jp/dst_realtime/201108/index.html  Note that a fall in the Dst index represents increased geomagnetic activity.

Right axis: Anomaly in daily sea level pressure at Darwin, Australia in millibars.

Note that the right axis is inverted

It is plain that Darwin sea level pressure is influenced by geomagnetic activity.

Similarly, sea level pressure in Antarctica is influenced by geomagnetic activity as we see in figure 3. There is no readily available index of daily sea level pressure in Antarctica but the Antarctic Oscillation Index (AAO) is a good substitute. It varies inversely with sea level pressure at the pole.

Figure 3 DST index and anomaly and the AAO index

Left axis: Daily Dst index in nanoteslas.

Right axis: Daily AAO index. This axis is inverted.

In figure 3 we see that as the Dst index plunges into the negative the AAO index increases in value indicating falling pressure over Antarctica.

It is apparent that under the influence of geomagnetic activity the atmosphere moves away from the Antarctica towards the equator.

The same phenomenon is demonstrated using the ap index and the AAO  in figure 4

Figure 4 AP index of geomagnetic activity and the AAO

Left axis:  Daily Ap index in nanoteslas

Right axis: Daily AAO index

The ap index and the AAO index increase together. An increase in the AAO index indicates falling atmospheric pressure at the pole. At times the relationship seems to be better than at other times. Other variables that will be described below  influence the atmospheric response to the solar wind. In particular the level of solar irradiance is important in that it governs the plasma density within the neutral atmosphere. Plasma density determines the effect on neutrals (electrically balanced particles) as plasma responds to a change in the electromagnetic field by accelerating away and bumping the neutrals along as it goes.

The data  for the year 2008 shows  the relationship during a protracted solar minimum when the atmosphere is  least inflated because solar irradiance is weak.  It can be observed that the relationship between these variables (although still imperfect) is better at solar minimum. At solar minimum the response of the atmosphere to the solar wind is amplified. Solar irradiance and geomagnetic activity do not vary together. Under high levels of irradiance the response of the atmosphere to geomagnetic activity is much reduced and harder to discern. At solar maximum the atmosphere can return to the pole regardless of the level of geomagnetic activity. High atmospheric pressure at the southern pole is associated with a cooling planet because night jet activity varies directly with pressure at the pole. The night jet brings nitrogen oxides into the stratosphere reducing ozone formation. This weakens the coupled circulation of the stratosphere and the troposphere resulting in rising surface pressure at 60-70° south (and over Antarctica generally), increased cloud and weakened westerly winds. This is a self reinforcing process.

Aspects of ENSO

The  anomaly in daily sea level pressure at Tahiti has been calculated in the same way as for Darwin. Figure 5 looks at the relationship between the margin between these two  pressure anomalies on the one hand and the Southern Oscillation Index on the other.

Figure 5 Tahiti less Darwin SLP compared to the SOI

Left axis Southern Oscillation Index

Right axis: Pressure anomaly in Tahiti less the anomaly in Darwin.

The difference in the sea level pressure anomaly between the Tahiti  and Darwin tracks the Southern Oscillation Index. A fall in the index relates to El Nino warming.  This is associated with a slackening of the trade winds due to a loss of the pressure differential between Tahiti and Darwin.

A slackening of the trade winds is associated with an even greater slackening of the north westerlies in the southern hemisphere.

The slackening of the north westerlies in the southern hemisphere is due to a rise in surface pressure at 60-70° south (and over Antarctica generally). This is associated with a fall in surface pressure in the Arctic ( a simple exchange of atmosphere between the hemispheres driven by change in the coupled circulation over Antarctica).

The fall in surface pressure in the Arctic is associated with an increase in the temperature of the polar stratosphere as night jet activity falls away enabling an increase in the ozone concentration of the stratosphere. Under the influence of the coupled circulation in the Arctic this affects sea surface temperature throughout the northern hemisphere but most energetically at 50-60° north. This is a winter phenomenon.

Low surface pressure in the Arctic is the expression of the warm phase of the Northern Annular Mode (also called the Arctic Oscillation) wherein the domain of the warm humid south westerlies extends to the North Pole to the exclusion of the frigid polar easterlies. Accordingly Arctic air temperature increases and the area occupied by sea ice falls away. The dominance of warm over cool episodes marked the period 1978 through to 2007. A cool mode commenced in 2007 and the northern hemisphere is currently experiencing winter temperatures not seen since the cool mode of the 1960’s and 1970’s.

The warm mode is marked by  El Nino dominance in the Pacific whereas the cool mode relates to La Nina dominance. Dominance can be assessed in terms of the length of time that the index has one sign or the other or by simply accumulating index values over time. Neither the Arctic Oscillation or ENSO is ever climate neutral.

The initiating influence in this activity is the solar wind, but the effect of the solar wind is amplified by the activity of a strengthened coupling of the stratosphere and the troposphere over Antarctica.

As will be demonstrated below, the pattern of inverse pressure relations between the hemispheres dictates how the planet warms. But first, lets look at the relationship between sea level pressure and temperature at the equator.

Figure 6  Monthly anomalies in sea level pressure at Darwin and Tahiti

Figure 6 shows that although there are times when sea level pressure anomalies in Darwin and Tahiti move in the same direction at the same time, a period of intense warming like that which occurred in early 2010 is associated with positive anomalies in sea surface pressure for Darwin and negative anomalies for Tahiti (weak trades). Conversely, the period of strong cooling that commenced in mid 2010 is associated with negative pressure anomalies in Darwin and positive anomalies in Tahiti (strong trades).

The upshot is that sea surface temperature at the equator moves directly with sea level pressure in Darwin. Since the sea surface temperature response is associated with geomagnetic activity and is a global phenomenon one would expect that Darwin pressure would move in concert with equatorial sea surface pressure around the entire globe and this is indeed the case as we see in figure 7. The range of variation in Darwin is about twice the variation in near equatorial latitudes. The Pacific is a theater of extremes. Darwin sea level pressure increases when the zone of convection moves from Indonesia to the mid Pacific during warming events.

Figure 7 Sea level pressure in Darwin compared to that at 15°north to 15° south latitude.

Left axis: Monthly anomalies in sea level pressure 15°North to 15°south latitude, mb.

Right axis: Monthly anomalies in sea level pressure at Darwin, mb

How much of the change in sea surface temperature at the equator is associated with the variation in pressure in near equatorial latitudes?

Figure 8 Anomalies in sea surface temperature (10°N-10°S) and sea level pressure (15°N-15°S)  with respect to the average for the period 1948 to July 2011

Left axis: Sea surface pressure in mb. Twelve month moving average of raw data centered on seventh month.

Right axis: Sea surface temperature in °C. Twelve month moving average of raw data centered on seventh month.

The closeness of the relationship that is seen in figure 8, and the fact that the curves start and finish together suggest that phenomena responsible for warming, that is allied with the rise and fall in sea level pressure at the equator is consistent with the change in sea surface temperature between 1948 and the present time. This is not the whole story however. In the short-term volcanic influences can influential. Notice the depression of temperature following the eruption of Pinatubo in 1991.

The relationship between surface pressure and geomagnetic activity

The relationship between the Dst index (or the ap index) of geomagnetic activity and sea level atmospheric pressure is non linear. From episode to episode other influences condition the surface pressure response. These influences could include:

Two factors modify the sea level pressure from day-to-day, month to month and year to year and these work in a bottom up fashion:

  1. Pressure changes on a daily basis with the passage of high and low pressure cells around the globe and the wetting and drying of the air.
  2. In near equatorial latitudes in the Pacific sphere sea level pressure is affected by the migration of the zone of convection between Indonesia and the central Pacific.

Conditions in the stratosphere and mesosphere are the strongest influence on the evolution of surface pressure. The shift of the atmosphere from high to mid and low latitudes that is monitored as the Arctic Oscillation and the Antarctic Oscillation index depends upon:

  1. The plasma density where plasma interacts with neutral atmospheric molecules under the influence of the changing electromagnetic field.
  2. The state of ionization of the atmosphere as it depends upon the changing incidence of very short wave radiation from the sun.
  3. The changing electromagnetic field within the solid Earth.
  4. The changing spatio-temporal expression of the Northern Annular Mode and the Southern Annular Mode. The mode results from the coupling of the stratosphere and the troposphere that introduces ozone from the stratosphere into the troposphere causing the troposphere to warm, lowering surface atmospheric pressure in a ring like pattern at 60-70°south latitude and also 50-60° north latitude. But the expression of the mode changes over time, for instance, a migration of zones of ozone descent affects the relativity of sea level pressure between New Zealand and the Pacific Ocean west of Chile. This is possibly involved in the El Nino ‘Modoki’ phenomenon.
  5. The rate of introduction of nitrogen oxides from the mesosphere into the stratosphere over the poles affects the population of free oxygen atoms capable of forming ozone, and therefore the ozone content of the polar stratosphere. This in turn bears upon the concentration of ozone in the air that descends within the coupled circulation and the strength of the surface pressure and temperature response.

The relationship between the NAM and the SAM and sea surface temperature

The northern and southern annular modes of inter-annual climate variability influence sea surface temperature. The flow of ozone towards the equator via the high altitude counter westerlies (see part 3) warms and dries the air reducing cloud cover. Accordingly a pattern of positive sea surface temperature anomalies is generated that stretches from high southern hemisphere latitudes towards the equator in a north-westerly direction and from high northern latitudes towards the equator in a south-westerly direction. This pattern of sea surface temperature anomalies can be seen to originate from zones of increased geopotential heights at 200hPa that identify the locations of ozone descent in the coupled circulation of the stratosphere and the troposphere. This is the fingerprint of climate change as it is written in sea surface temperature.

The seasonal evolution of ENSO

Figure 9 shows the evolution of sea level pressure in Darwin and Tahiti over a year.

Figure 9  The seasonal evolution of the pressure relativity between Tahiti and Darwin

Left axis:  Sea level pressure, mb.            Right axis: Difference between blue and red curves, mb

The green curve represents the difference between the red and the blue curves. It shows the pressure differential driving the trade winds between Tahiti and Darwin as it evolves in an ‘average year’. It is positive in all months, builds strongly from July onwards and peaks just after the turn of the year. The Trades are weakest in mid year.

Figure 10 Variability in the raw data pressure differential between Tahiti and Darwin since 1999, mb

Figure 10 shows that in the last decade, variability in ENSO is least in mid year and greatest at the end of the year.

So the variation in cloud cover is greatest in the midst of southern summer when the globe is coolest. It is at this time that global cloud cover peaks with three percent more cloud than in July-August. In mid year cloud cover is reduced due to the direct heating of the atmosphere by the land masses of the northern hemisphere. But at the turn of the year the northern continents are least illuminated and this cloud degrading influence, a product of the distribution of land and sea,  is minimal.

The influence of the coupled circulation of the stratosphere and the troposphere in the Arctic between November and March explains the strong variation in cloud cover and sea surface temperature between November and March. It is at this time that the Earth is closest to the sun, irradiance is most intense, global cloud cover is greatest and most susceptible to alteration.

Surface temperature is determined not by variations in solar irradiance (very small) but by variation in cloud cover (very large). Cloud cover relates directly to the influence of the coupled circulation between the stratosphere and the troposphere over the poles. The main driver of long term change is the coupled circulation over Antarctica but in terms of the short term jerks the Arctic circulation is important and by and large it is a mirror image of that in the south. It is the rise and fall in pressure in Antarctica that determines surface pressure in the Arctic. The Arctic is more influential in determining the evolution of cloud cover in part because cloud cover is maximal at the time that the coupled circulation in the Arctic is most active.

But, the influence of the Arctic is also supercharged due to the relatively high concentration of ozone in the northern stratosphere. Ozone levels are high precisely because the coupled circulation is intermittent and the night jet less active than it is over Antarctica. In fact when Arctic pressure is weak, a situation that has persisted for thirty year intervals (e.g. 1978-1997) , ozone depletion via night jet activity is rarely seen. The temperature of the northern stratosphere is then anomalously high.

When cloud cover is curtailed the surface begins to warm.  Then the land masses of both hemispheres provide a feedback by swiftly warming the atmosphere enhancing the loss of cloud cover. Add to this the fact that wind speed is generally much lower in the northern hemisphere and we can see why gyrations in sea surface temperature that are experienced in the north Pacific and north Atlantic are about twice the amplitude of those in the southern hemisphere. Increased  evaporation due to high wind speed mutes the response of surface temperature in the southern hemisphere.

Southern waters do warm as ozone is introduced to the troposphere lowering surface pressure and speeding the flow of the westerlies. But the coupled circulation is perennial in the south and stratospheric ozone levels are consequently much less than in the northern hemisphere.

When sea surface pressure is depressed in the southern hemisphere high pressure in the Arctic enhances the flow of the polar easterlies that sweep across the northern continents towards tropical latitudes. But this is largely a winter phenomenon. It is high variability in winter that marks climate in the northern hemisphere. This is most evident in the Arctic as seen here: http://ocean.dmi.dk/arctic/meant80n.uk.php

The evolution of sea surface temperature by latitude

Figure 11 The evolution of sea surface temperature at 40-55°north and 40-55° south. Anomalies with respect to the 1948-2011 average, °C.

So far as the mid latitudes are concerned, we see the sea cooling in the southern hemisphere as it warms in the northern hemisphere. Don’t be confused by the apparently consistent pattern of warming in the southern hemisphere in summer. It’s not consistent at all. Look at 2001. Similarly one notes marked warming of northern seas in winter in 2002 and 2003.  The hemispheres warm and cool alternately, a pattern that is inconsistent with the notion that a greenhouse effect is responsible for temperature change. This pattern of anomalies is an expression  of atmospheric circumstances post the climate shift of 1976-8. It represents the current expression of atmospheric balances that are always changing. There is not one climate system but many. If you don’t appreciate the change in its parameters, you can’t model the climate system.  It’s the assumptions behind the models that give them away.

It’s a system that is open to external influences.

Figure 12 The evolution of sea surface temperature at 40-55°north and 40-55° south. Anomalies with respect to the 1948-2011 average, °C.

Left axis: Northern hemisphere

Right axis: Southern hemisphere. The right axis inverted.

In figure 12 (a restatement of the data in figure 11) we see that the cooling of the southern mid latitudes, (inverted and re-scaled) has a lot of symmetry with the warming of the northern mid latitudes. Make no mistake, sea surface temperature responds to a global stimulus with mirror image effects between the northern and southern hemisphere. This must be so, because the pattern of pressure variation at all latitudes is dictated by the evolution of surface pressure over Antarctica. If pressure is falling in Antarctica it will be rising in the Arctic and vice-versa. The variation in surface pressure is directly related to the influx of ozone into the troposphere on the margins of the Arctic and the Antarctic via the coupling of the circulation of the stratosphere and troposphere that occurs at high latitudes. The strength of the coupling varies through the year. However if one takes notice of geopotential heights at 200hPa the circulation is active to some extent in influencing surface pressure and cloud cover in both hemispheres all year round.

Figure 13 Evolution of sea surface temperature between 25 and 40° of latitude, °C.

Between 25° and 40° of latitude we see the same mirror image effect of alternate advance in sea surface temperature anomalies.

Figure 14 Evolution of sea surface temperature in near equatorial waters at 10-25° latitude. °C

In subtropical latitudes the tendency for the hemispheres to warm alternately is still apparent even though these latitudes are blessed with less cloud than higher latitudes. These latitudes are a long way away from the latitudes where the coupled circulation brings ozone into the troposphere.

Figure 15  Influence of high northern latitudes on the evolution of sea surface temperature. °C

In figure 15 we see the influence of the mid latitudes of the northern hemisphere in providing the spikes in sea surface temperature that can be seen in the evolution of sea surface temperature between 50°north and 50°south latitudes. It is not just the tropics or indeed the Pacific Ocean that is responsible for the evolution of temperature where the sun shines brightest.

Summary for policy makers
The Earth system, under the influence of solar emanations, modulates the reception of solar radiation at the surface by varying the extent of reflective cloud. The solar wind initiates this process via its influence on the distribution of the atmosphere between high and low latitudes. The effect of the coupled circulation of stratosphere and troposphere over Antarctica is to amplify these variations.

The day-to-day and year to year gyrations in cloud cover are associated with what we observe as ENSO. ENSO is a complex phenomenon that arises in part from dynamics in the Pacific including a shift in the main zone of convective activity. But the evolution of ENSO is also driven by change in surface pressure that affects deep ocean upwelling. It depends upon change in pressure at high latitudes where the stratosphere can behave like an extension of the troposphere. It does so because in winter, temperature falls away with altitude in the polar atmosphere from the surface all the way to 5hPa, encompassing both the troposphere and the stratosphere. When a convectional circulation is established the coolest parts of the stratosphere descend to elevations that we think of as the domain of the troposphere. This results in what has come to be known as the Annular Modes of inter-annual climate variation, zones of lower pressure that, as they establish reinforce the coupled circulation. These ‘annular modes’ are also involved in the evolution of climate on decadal and centennial time scales via their association with change in cloud cover. It can be shown that change in sea surface temperature and sea surface pressure  in higher latitudes heralds change in the tropics.

If we were more observant we would note that gyrations in the climate are closely associated with a strong variation in the temperature in winter in the northern hemisphere. These variations are monitored as the Arctic Oscillation. This phenomenon is part of the rich texture of climate change of equal importance to ENSO.  Both are dependent on Antarctic processes.

The role of trace amounts of ozone in the troposphere is critical to an understanding of cloud dynamics. It is the change in cloud cover that results in changing surface temperature.

Current understanding of what determines the ozone content and the temperature of the stratosphere is deficient. We need to understand the role of the night jet and the coupled circulations in modulating ozone concentration and therefore stratospheric temperature.

Geomagnetic activity and surface pressure variations evolve over long periods of time according to plasma dynamics that is seldom observed and little appreciated.

The dynamic described here provides a plausible explanation for the change in surface temperature that is observed. The pattern of temperature change is complex, varying by latitude and hemisphere. The fingerprint of change is inconsistent with the notion that the increase in so-called greenhouse gases in the troposphere is responsible for change.

The important thing to note is that the change is reversible and there is nothing that man can do but adapt. The temperature of the southern stratosphere has been gradually declining since 1978.  A less active sun will see further falls in the temperature of the Antarctic stratosphere. This will gradually reverse the  erosion of atmospheric pressure in high southern latitudes that has been influential in the warming process.

When we are dealing with complex systems like climate the idea that we can project an outcome and then qualify that projection with a statement about our degree of certainty in relation to the likelihood that we are correct, is  inappropriate. Time and again we discover that our assumptions do not reflect the real world.

Those who refuse to acknowledge that their projections are inaccurate, and in any case variable from one soothsayer to the next, are not practicing science at all. They should be able to explain the variations that we see from day to day and year to year, and that includes ENSO and the Arctic Oscillation. They are in fact doing something other than ‘science’. On no account should they be suggesting that they understand the system or that their models are a source of truth.

We can not pretend that we understand the climate system unless we can explain ENSO, the Arctic Oscillation, put the Antarctic Oscillation in its context of evolving pressure relations as the Southern Annular Mode  and explain the PDO and the NAO. When that is accomplished we might ask around as to whether people think the science is settled.

When we understand what determines  the emanations from the sun we might hazard a forecast as to the weather to be expected in six months time.

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101 thoughts on “The character of climate change part 4

  1. Erl Happ:

    You say;
    “It is plain that Darwin sea level pressure is influenced by geomagnetic activity.”

    Sorry, but looking at your Figure 2 I do not see that as being “plain”. Indeed, the two parameters do not seem to be significantly correlated. Do you have an r^2 calculation to prove your point, please.

    I ask you to note that I am not disputing your assertion, but I am not convinced by the evidence which you have presented and, therefore, I am asking you to provide the statistical assessment that would prove support your point.

    Richard

  2. This is a fascinating study; I would really like to see it laid out at more length, with diagrams to explain the concepts presented for those of us (such as me) who are statistically less ept than others might be, and who cannot automatically relate electrical currents in the stratosphere with ozone density and solar wind.

    What I find particularly interesting is that this hypothesis apparently focuses on the effects of solar variation on atmospheric phenomena at the poles, whereas most others tend to look more closely at solar effects on the tropical ocean. Climate is sufficiently complex, of course, that all of these hypotheses could simultaneously be true and contribute in varying degrees to “climate change” — i.e. long-term weather variations/cycles/whatever.

    I’d be most interested, also, in Bob Tisdale’s view of this hypothesis, since he has more experience with ENSO-related SST data than probably anyone else around.

  3. Erl says: Geomagnetic activity and surface pressure variations evolve over long periods of time according to plasma dynamics that is seldom observed and little appreciated.
    There is no evidence in your Figures 2-4 of any correlation.

  4. This is all very comprehensive. But it depends very heavily on the correlation is causation fallacy.

    In other words showing two similar shaped graphs does not prove one thing influences the other or the direction of influence, which is something that Earl often assumes.

  5. I’m with Leif & Richard here. Correlation is not good.
    That’s not to say you’re wrong but the possibility of multiple influences has not been sufficiently explored.

  6. I am reading through and must say that I am bothered by the expression “sea surface pressure”. I presume that this means “air pressure at sea level”; an explication after its first use would have been appreciated, for the words themselves are close to meaningless (to me, anyway).

    IanM

  7. Craig Goodrich says:
    August 21, 2011 at 2:55 pm
    What I find particularly interesting is that this hypothesis apparently focuses on the effects of solar variation on atmospheric phenomena at the poles
    But provides no support for such a notion.

  8. For those who want a correlation coefficient, sorry but the exercise would be meaningless. If all other variables that condition the response could be stabilized it would have some meaning.
    The first thing that you would have to stabilize is solar irradiance. Next you could bring the axis of rotation to the vertical. Perhaps, you might then stop the earth spinning on its axis. But seriously, there is a list of other influential variables under the heading:”The relationship between surface pressure and geomagnetic activity”.

    And if you were to demand a correlation coefficient on every occasion that it is postulated that one variable conditionally depends on another and you were to reject the notion that they are co-dependent on the basis of a low correlation we would not get very far in life.

    e.g. This plant in this pot grows when it is watered.

    Grow up guys.

  9. Richard S Courtney says:
    August 21, 2011 at 2:11 pm
    Richard, a statistical assessment never proves any point. Without a rationale to suggest that there is a causative relationship you are never going to convince anyone that one thing is responsible for another.

    To assess the relationship you need to look at the behavior of the phenomena over time and ask yourself why things happen as they do. Then you look at projections of what should follow if you should be correct. You need to look at the evolution of surface temperature and ask yourself if it supports the notion that the atmosphere at the poles could be driving it or whether it could be driven by the evolution of energy intake at the equator. The evidence plainly points to two forcing agencies, not one and it also strongly suggests that the one in the north depends upon the one in the south. How could this be? Its because the evolution of surface pressure in the south is a massive force that influences pressure relations world, wide changing on decadal and centennial time scales.

    If the Earth and it’s atmosphere were a closed system we would expect it to behave in a certain fashion, vary between certain limits. It doesn’t. The Antarctic is a case in point. Nothing that is internal to the Earth itself can explain the behavior of the atmosphere over Antarctica.

    Craig Goodrich says:
    August 21, 2011 at 2:55 pm

    This is a fascinating study; I would really like to see it laid out at more length:

    You can see the full exposition at: http://www.happs.com.au/images/stories/PDFarticles/TheCommonSenseOfClimateChange.pdf

    The evolution of sea surface atmospheric pressure on the margins of the Arctic is plainly associated with the evolution of sea surface temperature in the mid latitudes of the northern hemisphere. See figures 80 to 85. Use your eye. The human brain is a very good tool for pattern recognition, much better than statistical analysis.Those who insist on statistical analysis are simply protecting their impoverished intellectual turf.

  10. Does this mean Chlorocarbon refrigerants do not cause ozone holes and global warming and I can go back to using cheap, non-toxic and efficient refrigerants?

  11. Frank says:
    August 21, 2011 at 5:46 pm
    “Does this mean Chlorocarbon refrigerants do not cause ozone holes and global warming and I can go back to using cheap, non-toxic and efficient refrigerants?”

    Good question.

    Those who manage to fit some observation of the real world into their lives are now saying that the evolution of ozone in the southern stratosphere seems to be related to what they call ‘dynamical processes’ that are beyond their ken. The words are ‘unknown dynamical processes’ .

    There is however a group of people who have found an excellent correlation between the aa index of geomagnetic activity and the temperature of the Antarctic stratosphere. No reference at hand but the names Randall, Hood and Seppala come to mind.

    I do believe that a correlation has been found between the aa index and the Arctic Oscillation Index. Again, sorry but no reference to hand.

    Correlation means absolutely nothing unless you have a plausible mechanism to describe. That is what this post is about.

  12. Ian L. McQueen says:
    August 21, 2011 at 4:25 pm

    I think that most people know that air pressure varies with altitude and that its usual to correct for that. Sorry if my text confuses the issue.

  13. Brian H says:
    August 21, 2011 at 5:01 pm

    “A lot of moving parts here. The urge to look for a single “bottom line” driver should be resisted.”

    Sage. In the sense of wise, judicious, or prudent: sage advice.

  14. erl happ says:
    August 21, 2011 at 6:16 pm
    Correlation means absolutely nothing unless you have a plausible mechanism to describe. That is what this post is about.
    Yogi Berra: “if I hadn’t believed it, I wouldn’t have seen it”.

  15. LazyTeenager says:
    August 21, 2011 at 4:08 pm

    “This is all very comprehensive. But it depends very heavily on the correlation is causation fallacy.

    In other words showing two similar shaped graphs does not prove one thing influences the other or the direction of influence, which is something that Earl often assumes.”

    No person by that name here.

    As to one influencing the other, if you can overcome your laziness to the necessary extent see my response to benfromo on the part 3 thread.

  16. Brian H says:
    August 21, 2011 at 5:01 pm
    A lot of moving parts here. The urge to look for a single “bottom line” driver should be resisted.

    A lot of fields in science have “a lot of moving parts”, but that does not mean one should not look for the “bottom line”. Erl has written a lot of words in these posts but unless he can distill his words into a concise theory comprising mechanisms (causes and effects) that can be proven or disproven it’s just so many words.

  17. Daryl M says:
    August 21, 2011 at 7:46 pm
    Erl has written a lot of words in these posts but unless he can distill his words into a concise theory comprising mechanisms (causes and effects) that can be proven or disproven it’s just so many words.
    This is one of the major problems with Erl, that instead of concrete, to-the-point replies, he drowns the issue out with words, or brings in twenty other things, so the gist or meat is completely lost. I have now and in the past read his stuff very carefully with an open mind and interest, but I’m unable to explain or paraphrase what his theory is. This could be [as he is at pains to point out] because I lack the logical and scientific wherewithal to understand that ‘plain’ stuff.

  18. Daryl M says:
    August 21, 2011 at 7:46 pm
    unless he can distill his words into a concise theory comprising mechanisms (causes and effects) that can be proven or disproven it’s just so many words.
    When publishing a scientific paper it is required that you write an abstract that concisely describes the result or finding. The length of the abstract varies with the journal but is about 200+/-50 words.

  19. Leif Svalgaard says:
    August 21, 2011 at 7:54 pm

    Daryl M says:
    August 21, 2011 at 7:46 pm
    Erl has written a lot of words in these posts but unless he can distill his words into a concise theory comprising mechanisms (causes and effects) that can be proven or disproven it’s just so many words.

    This is one of the major problems with Erl, that instead of concrete, to-the-point replies, he drowns the issue out with words, or brings in twenty other things, so the gist or meat is completely lost. I have now and in the past read his stuff very carefully with an open mind and interest, but I’m unable to explain or paraphrase what his theory is. This could be [as he is at pains to point out] because I lack the logical and scientific wherewithal to understand that ‘plain’ stuff.

    I took great interest in the way you tried to coach Erl into distilling his ideas into a theory over at Climate Audit. I don’t think you were unsuccessful because you lack the logical or scientific wherewithal.

  20. Leif Svalgaard says:
    August 21, 2011 at 7:54 pm

    ‘he drowns the issue out with words, or brings in twenty other things,’

    If only the process were simple, like the idea that the atmosphere returns radiation to the surface.

    The coming and going of the clouds demands an understanding of the real world and it is more complex than that that simple idea.

    Daryl M says:
    August 21, 2011 at 7:46 pm A lot of fields in science have “a lot of moving parts”, but that does not mean one should not look for the “bottom line”.

    Bit hard to know what you mean by the term ‘bottom line’. The words confuse rather than enlighten. Give me a better lead.

  21. erl happ says:
    August 21, 2011 at 8:41 pm
    ‘he drowns the issue out with words, or brings in twenty other things,’
    The coming and going of the clouds demands an understanding of the real world and it is more complex than that that simple idea.

    I know, it’s too complex for me.

  22. erl happ says:
    August 21, 2011 at 8:41 pm

    Daryl M says:
    August 21, 2011 at 7:46 pm A lot of fields in science have “a lot of moving parts”, but that does not mean one should not look for the “bottom line”.

    Bit hard to know what you mean by the term ‘bottom line’. The words confuse rather than enlighten. Give me a better lead.

    Erl, if you read any scientific paper, it will provide some background information (e.g., a phenomenon), an explanation of the phenomenon (e.g., a theory), and some examples that prove the theory (e.g., a prediction). Those three aspects of a paper are distilled into an abstract.

    You have made observations and you have ideas of what is behind them, but you need to turn all of that into a concise theory that can make predictions which can be proven or disproven. That is the “bottom line”.

  23. Daryl.

    Will this suit:

    The phenomenon called the annular mode of inter-annual variability in climate is observed to relate to cloud cover via its effect on the temperature of the troposphere.
    The annular mode depends upon the coupled circulation of the stratosphere and the troposphere at high latitudes.
    The strength of the coupled circulation as it relates to the loss of surface pressure at 60-70° south latitude is observed to vary with atmospheric pressure over Antarctica that affects the ozone content and the temperature of the stratosphere.
    The interchange of atmospheric mass between Antarctica and the rest of the globe depends upon external influences including the solar wind.
    Prediction: As atmospheric mass returns to Antarctica stratospheric ozone levels will fall, the coupled circulation will weaken, atmospheric pressure will rise at 60-70°south, cloud cover will increase in the southern hemisphere and it will cool. If the same phenomenon is observed in the Arctic, the northern hemisphere will also cool.

  24. Leif you say that “The length of the abstract varies with the journal but is about 200+/-50 words”

    Dear oh dear, I had 150 words to spare.

  25. Leif Svalgaard says (August 21, 2011 at 7:12 pm)
    ( … )
    Yogi Berra: “if I hadn’t believed it, I wouldn’t have seen it”

    Ah, but Leif, as the same authority also said:
    – “You can observe a lot just by watching.”

  26. Erl Happ:

    Thankyou for your reply at August 21, 2011 at 5:39 pm August 21, 2011 at 2:11 pm:
    Unfortunately, your answer leaves me less convinced of your case than I was before you answered.

    I asked;
    “the two parameters do not seem to be significantly correlated. Do you have an r^2 calculation to prove your point, please.”
    and you have answered;
    “Richard, a statistical assessment never proves any point. Without a rationale to suggest that there is a causative relationship you are never going to convince anyone that one thing is responsible for another.” etc.

    Say what!?
    Correlation does not prove causation but absence of correlation disproves caustion.

    One effect may influence another effect but cannot be the cause of the other effect if they do not correlate.

    You said;
    “It is plain that Darwin sea level pressure is influenced by geomagnetic activity.”
    and I pointed out that it is not “plain” to me because I could see no indication of correlation.

    I iterated the purpose of my request for the r^2 statistic by saying;
    “I am asking you to provide the statistical assessment that would prove support your point.”

    Importantly, your argument relies on the causative mechanisms which you assert.
    You presented data which you said was “plain” evidence of one causative mechanism.
    I pointed out that the data was not “plain” evidence of your claim and asked you to justify it.

    You have not provided the r^2 statistic but have given me meaningless verbiage instead.

    Indeed, the data you presented is evidence that your argument is wrong if you cannot show the correlation you claim because absence of correlation disproves causation.

    Please note that this absence of correlation is more serious than your argument is flawed. The absence of correlation indicates your argument is wrong because evidence denies it.

    Your answer to me is clear evidence that your argument is wrong .

    Richard

  27. @- Richard S Courtney
    Erl Happ does graph a correlation between the geomagnetic ring current and air pressure anomaly at Darwin. But as both are modulated by seasonal changes this is unsurprising and certainly does not imply any causative influence in either direction.

    There is credible work being done on how the ozone changes have impacted the annular mode and how that causes changes in the Southern surface Westerlies, try this for a simplified overview.

    http://www.gfdl.noaa.gov/blog/isaac-held/2011/07/26/15-fluctuations-and-responses/

    “A series of studies over the past decade, starting with Thompson and Solomon 2002, have built a very strong case that the ozone hole in the Southern Hemisphere (SH) stratosphere has caused a poleward shift in the SH surface westerlies and associated eddy fields, especially during the southern summer….
    The mechanism by which the ozone hole causes this poleward shift is a hot topic in dynamical meteorology. Not only is this response to the ozone hole important in itself, but related mechanisms likely govern the effects on the troposphere of stratospheric perturbations due to volcanic eruptions, the solar cycle, and internal variability.”

  28. izen:

    @August 22, 2011 at 4:03 am you assert:
    “Erl Happ does graph a correlation between the geomagnetic ring current and air pressure anomaly at Darwin.”

    No! That is what – so far – he has failed to demonstrate.

    Your sentence would be accurate if it were to say;
    “Erl Happ provides a graph showing plots of the geomagnetic ring current and air pressure anomaly at Darwin.”

    He may be able to show the correlation and I am pressing him to do it because his entire argument relies on his being able to do it. However, he has yet to show any such correlation.

    To be clear, I reject the AGW hypothesis because it is refuted by (much) empirical evidence.
    At present I am rejecting Erl Happ’s hypothesis because it, too, is refuted by empirical evidence (i.e. the absence of the claimed correlation).

    Richard

  29. izen I would recommend a longer historical perspective.

    Based on reanalysis data the Westerlies in the southern hemisphere have been strengthening since 1948, See figure 14 at:http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/01/12/earths-changing-atmosphere/

    The strengthening of the westerlies is associated with increasing temperature in the southern stratosphere and plunging pressures at 60-70°south both pretty good indicators of increasing ozone concentration associated with falling polar pressure. The AAO index does not go back far enough to indicate the extent of the change but reanalysis provides us with both pressure and temperature data across the atmospheric profile.

  30. Richard S Courtney says:
    August 22, 2011 at 2:58 am

    “Correlation does not prove causation but absence of correlation disproves caustion.”

    If there is a third variable involved that sets up the environment for a favorable interaction we might see a correlation at some times and not others. For example put a plant in the sun, water it and so long as the water is applied within an appropriate range and the plant does not get waterlogged, it grows.

    Put the plant in darkness and no amount of watering will make it grow. So, on that basis we might say that it is not necessary to water the plant because there is no apparent correlation between water application and growth, and therefore no causation?

    Put the plant in the sun and water it outside the appropriate range and we have the same problem.

    As we know there are many factors that can be limiting to plant growth.

    If the response of B to A appears to be uncannily good for even a small part of the time, its a good idea to ask why it might be good at that time and not others. There may well be a dependent relationship. And unless you are completely aware of all the other factors involved and their coming and going you would be silly to rule out the possibility that there is in fact a dependent relationship. And there is no statistical test that will help you decide one way or the other. It’s back to the eye and pattern recognition.

    So, I say to you have another look at the data.

    There is another way to approach the problem. It’s the ‘If then’ approach. If there is a relationship between these variables I would expect consequences and go look for them.

    I also ask myself what I might expect if the relationship were inoperable and if the phenomena I am looking at appears to be varying outside the range that I would expect if the variable in question were inoperative that supports the proposition that it could be influential.

    I look at it every which way and in the end I make up my mind.

  31. Erl Happ:

    I am grateful for the reply to me you provide at August 22, 2011 at 2:58 am. However, with respect, it does not answer my point.

    If an affect is causative of another effect then they correlate. If they don’t correlate then the postulated causation does not exist. And if other effects overwhelm the causation then the causation does not exist.

    Since you like illustrations I provide this one.

    The darkness of night is caused by the rotation of the Earth and, therefore, there is a correlation between the rotation of the Earth and the periods of night-time darkness. The darkness of night is affected by the phases of the Moon and by cloudiness. If the phases of the Moon and cloudiness were to overwhelm the effect of the rotation of the Earth then the observed correlation would cease.

    Indeed, in a deep cavern the darkness of night equals the darkness of day because the enclosure around the cavern overwhelms the effect of the rotation of the Earth (i.e. the degree of exposure to sunlight) and, therefore, the correlation does not exist in a cavern.

    So, if the causative mechanism you postulate has the effect you say then the mechanism and the effect must correlate. But you have provided no evidence of such a correlation.

    And if that correlation does not exist then your argument can only be wrong.

    I again ask for evidence of the correlation.

    Richard

  32. Erl Happ & Richard S Courtney

    Statistical correlation may be elusive to capture if at an instant in time the output may not be linear or direct function of the input. The output may depend on the internal state of system where there are more than one variable governing the response of the system. Recently I was looking at a possible correlation between the sunspot number and the winter months atmospheric pressures at Darwin (Apr-Sep) (SOI) and Ponta Delgada(Oct-Mar) (NAO).

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

    Statistical correlation is negligible. While the Atlantic pressure is at occasions coincidental, there may be an integration (cumulative) process going on. If data prior to 1960 is reliable the integration takes up to two SS cycles, while since 1960’s it is more direct. In the Pacific situation is more complicated, there is (n years) delay between the SSN and ‘presumed pressure change’. Both of the above factors point to an intermediate agent, most likely the ocean currents in the areas concerned.
    Let’s make it clear, I am not suggesting a definitive cause-consequence relationship, but nevertheless possibility of a link appears to be present.

  33. Richard S Courtney says: August 22, 2011 at 11:37 am

    “If an affect is causative of another effect then they correlate.”

    Richard, thank you for your very cordial reply which makes a lot of sense to me.

    I agree with you, there will be a correlation, so long as the conditioning variables allow.

    In the case of the GA/ atmospheric pressure relationship we have several conditioning variables that vary on a day to day, inter-seasonal basis and dynamic basis.

    Day to day: solar irradiance is out of phase with GA. This changes plasma density in the interaction zone where plasma density drives neutrals.The relationship between GA and irradiance changes over the solar cycle. The composition of that irradiance varies within the influential short wave spectrum. So, the nature of the driver that actually does the work changes on a daily basis. This is like taking pistons out of an engine or putting them back.

    Interseasonal:
    1.A wholly natural tendency for atmospheric density to be much greater over the winter pole.
    2. Presence or absence of land masses in a hemisphere returning radiation to the atmosphere affecting air density on a week to week basis according to the passage of high and low pressure cells.
    3. The hemispheres have a very different land – sea configuration. The Arctic functions very differently between summer and winter.
    4.The coupled circulation at either pole will accentuate the pressure variation initiated by the solar wind but in a most unequal fashion depending upon the season and which pole is providing the feedback. The Antarctic is a V8 on high octane fuel the Arctic is a single cyclinder engine working on a mixture of petrol and water.

    Dynamics
    The feedback from the polar circulation. As soon as surface pressure falls there is an increase in ozone in the upper stratosphere and an acceleration of the circulation that brings ozone into the troposphere, in the case of Antarctica lowering surface pressure over half the hemisphere maintaining it in that fashion for months at a time. This pressure drop feeds back to night jet activity allowing ozone to further build and further accelerate the coupled circulation.In this way we get a sustained shift in atmospheric mass from the southern to the northern hemisphere that builds over a sixty year period. This is evident also in the change in the pressure differential driving the westerly wind in the southern hemisphere.

    What sort of a correlation can be expected in these circumstances? Its going to come and go.

  34. erl happ says:
    August 22, 2011 at 2:58 pm
    What sort of a correlation can be expected in these circumstances? Its going to come and go.
    Two random, unrelated time series also have a correlation that comes and goes.

  35. Richard,
    Sorry one more thing that I think is very important. The atmospheric response is governed by a dramatic illustration of the ‘law of diminishing returns’. It takes very little GA to get a response if plasma density is favourable. Increasing the stimulus has no further effect. So, the Dst index varies up to negative 300 nanoteslas but all of the response is in the 30 nanotesla range. Add to that a persistence factor. Once energised the ring current takes some months to relax.

  36. erl happ says:
    August 22, 2011 at 3:08 pm
    So, the Dst index varies up to negative 300 nanoteslas but all of the response is in the 30 nanotesla range.
    The Dst index is the response at the surface.

  37. I read the first part of the article, viewed the graphs, skimmed more of the article without reading carefully, then said to myself, I don’t see any correlation. Then I read the other replies. The presumed correlation needs further exploration.

  38. Leif Svalgaard says: August 22, 2011 at 3:11 pm
    “The Dst index is the response at the surface.”

    And the atmospheric pressure response is also at the surface.

  39. Richard,
    Please look at figure 12.
    Are these variables correlated?
    Do you think that both are responding to the same forcing at any particular time.

  40. erl happ says:
    August 22, 2011 at 6:21 pm
    “The Dst index is the response at the surface.”
    And the atmospheric pressure response is also at the surface.

    I was rebutting your claim that “but all of the response is in the 30 nanotesla range”. This is wrong, the response to a magnetic storm is 300 nT at low latitudes, but ten times large [e.g. 3000 nT] in the auroral zone. You posts are littered with so many inaccuracies or misunderstandings, it is hard to keep up.

    So, the Dst index varies up to negative 300 nanoteslas but all of the response is in the 30 nanotesla range.

  41. John Andrews says:
    August 22, 2011 at 6:11 pm

    “I read the first part of the article, viewed the graphs, skimmed more of the article without reading carefully, then said to myself, I don’t see any correlation. Then I read the other replies. The presumed correlation needs further exploration.”

    From my point of view that’s a win. But just to be sure, can I ask the same question of you in relation to figure 12? Two variables driven in part by a common stimulus or not?

  42. Leif Svalgaard says:
    August 22, 2011 at 7:08 pm

    erl happ says:
    August 22, 2011 at 6:21 pm
    “The Dst index is the response at the surface.”
    And the atmospheric pressure response is also at the surface.

    I was rebutting your claim that “but all of the response is in the 30 nanotesla range”. This is wrong, the response to a magnetic storm is 300 nT at low latitudes, but ten times large [e.g. 3000 nT] in the auroral zone. You posts are littered with so many inaccuracies or misunderstandings, it is hard to keep up.

    So, the Dst index varies up to negative 300 nanoteslas but all of the response is in the 30 nanotesla range.”
    …………………………………………………………………………………………
    Thanks for that explanation. There is a misunderstanding on your part. The response I am talking about is the atmospheric response in Darwin that is one hell of a lot less than at the pole but in either instance the Dst 30 nanotesla level (the published index) appears to pretty well exhaust the response. There is no further response of atmospheric pressure at any higher Dst level in terms of the published index.

    Here are a couple of extra queries to inform me and hopefully to reduce the number of inaccuracies and misunderstandings in my future posts:

    How does the geomagnetic force, as measured at the surface, vary between the summer and the winter pole and night and day?

    How does the geomagnetic force vary with altitude and by latitude at elevation.

    Why does the equatorial upper stratosphere cool when atmospheric pressure falls in Antarctica? At the equator there is a coincidental depression of temperature for every upward spike in the temperature of the upper stratosphere at 80-90° south. What is the change in temperature due to in each case?

    Exposition: Teach me.

  43. erl happ says:
    August 22, 2011 at 8:18 pm
    So, the Dst index varies up to negative 300 nanoteslas but all of the response is in the 30 nanotesla range.”
    …………………………………………………………………………………………
    Thanks for that explanation. There is a misunderstanding on your part. The response I am talking about is the atmospheric response in Darwin that is one hell of a lot less than at the pole but in either instance the Dst 30 nanotesla level (the published index) appears to pretty well exhaust the response.

    It looks like you are saying that Dst more negative than 30 nT has no further effect. That nullifies the claim that geomagnetic activity is causative as the 30 nT is just random small fluctuations, such as shown here: http://wdc.kugi.kyoto-u.ac.jp/dst_realtime/201107/index.html

    How does the geomagnetic force, as measured at the surface, vary between the summer and the winter pole and night and day?
    The geomagnetic field has two parts, an internal part in the 50,000 nT range and an external part a thousand times smaller [although during very large and rare magnetic storms the external part can grow briefly by a factor of 100]. The internal part does not vary. The external part has two sub-parts: a regular one that varies with solar zenith angle and falls to a about zero nT at the night winter pole and can reach 50 nT during the summer day [actually it is day all summer, etc], and a larger random part that has no large seasonal or daily variation.

    How does the geomagnetic force vary with altitude and by latitude at elevation.
    The internal part varies very slowly with altitude [as found in the atmosphere]. Falls of as the inverse cube of the distance from the center of the Earth, so for altitude 100 km, the fall off is only about 300 nT.

    Why does the equatorial upper stratosphere cool when atmospheric pressure falls in Antarctica? At the equator there is a coincidental depression of temperature for every upward spike in the temperature of the upper stratosphere at 80-90° south. What is the change in temperature due to in each case?
    I have no idea, and it should first be shown that such changes happen more often than chance. That you can find examples does not establish that. In any case the area above 80° if very small compared to that from 0° to 10°. It would seem that the dog should be wagging the tail and not the other way around.

    Exposition: Teach me.
    1) formulate the message; simple and sweet.
    2) stick to the message; don’t pile up incidentals.
    3) accept that your readers are your judge and [occasional executioner]. If you don’t get your point across [assuming there is one] it is your fault, not theirs.

  44. Erl Happ:

    At August 22, 2011 at 6:47 pm you ask me:
    “Richard,
    Please look at figure 12.
    Are these variables correlated?
    Do you think that both are responding to the same forcing at any particular time.”

    It is impossible to determine if “these variables are correlated” by looking at Figure 12.
    Please give me the correlation coeficient and I will then know if they are correlated with a specified degree of confidence.

    And your other question is not capable of a rational answer on the basis of the available information.

    Richard

  45. @- erl happ says:
    “I would recommend a longer historical perspective.”

    Okay, because at the moment any correlation between air pressure and geomagnetic ring current looks to be a purely seasonal phenomina. When air pressure and geomegnetism vary together it looks a little foolish to claim geomag affects the air pressure, or vica versa when both are varying in step with the seasonal changes.

    “Based on reanalysis data the Westerlies in the southern hemisphere have been strengthening since 1948, See figure 14 at:http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/01/12/earths-changing-atmosphere/
    The strengthening of the westerlies is associated with increasing temperature in the southern stratosphere and plunging pressures at 60-70°south both pretty good indicators of increasing ozone concentration associated with falling polar pressure. ”

    Or on the measured tropospheric and sea surface warming and stratospheric cooling from increase CO2 and depleted ozone due to anthropogenic effects.
    I find it difficult to see how what you have presented here is anything other than peripheral and local effects of seasonal changes and the AGW trend.

  46. Richard S Courtney says: August 23, 2011 at 2:46 am
    Thanks for that advice. I appreciate your desire for precision. Sorry, just at the moment the data is not close at hand but I would not expect an impressive correlation.

    izen says: August 23, 2011 at 3:39 am
    Thanks for the comment.
    Looks like we have a disagreement in both perception and logic. I am pointing to increased temperature in the Antarctic stratosphere associated with increased ozone. You are talking stratospheric cooling associated with ozone loss. It appears that in your mind both are consistent with and due to an increase in CO2 in the atmosphere.

    I see surface pressure and GA varying on weekly and you see them varying on seasonal time frames.

    Different people, different ideas. It’s all part of the rich texture.

  47. erl happ says:
    August 23, 2011 at 9:49 am
    I see surface pressure and GA varying on weekly
    This kind of thing has been seen and claimed by MANY people over the past 100+ years but the correlations have never held up [in my copy of Encyclopedia Britannica (9th edition, 1889, vol XVI, page 179) Geomagnetism is a sub-section of the article about Meteorology]. Yours is no different.

  48. Greetings, Erl:

    I see your treatise as presenting alternatives preferible to those of Dickey, et al (http://www.nasa.gov/topics/earth/features/earth20110309.html), towards explaining the correlation between CAM, LOD and T (http://www.nasa.gov/images/content/525284main_earth20110309b-full.jpg).

    They claim high correlation, but with a lag they don’t try to account for, and over what appears to be a single period which drops out of phase. And of course, they are at opposite poles with you with respect input from GHG’s.

    Any comments? –AGF

  49. Leif Svalgaard says: August 23, 2011 at 10:48 am

    erl happ says:
    August 23, 2011 at 9:49 am
    I see surface pressure and GA varying on weekly
    This kind of thing has been seen and claimed by MANY people over the past 100+ years but the correlations have never held up [in my copy of Encyclopedia Britannica (9th edition, 1889, vol XVI, page 179) Geomagnetism is a sub-section of the article about Meteorology]. Yours is no different.
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    Yes the literature is replete with many references to GA as a controller of the Arctic Oscillation, atmospheric circulation, atmospheric angular momentum, ozone in the stratosphere and so on. Karen Labitzke has been a great contributor following on the work of Scherlag. She did very careful work on the stratosphere and collaborated with Harry Van Loon who made enormous contributions to our understanding of the role of the Antarctic circulation and the role of the sun in climate. Harry pointed out the incidence of La Nina at solar maximum.

    You would do well to read Labitzke and Van Loon ‘The Stratosphere’ Springer 1999

    Your pushing of the notion that irradiance is is invariable and can be discounted as an influence on climate, that I happen to agree with is fine. But your lack of of interest in the work of Labitzke and Van Loon and the more recent work by Hood indicating geomagnetic control of ozone in the southern hemisphere serves us ill.

    In many areas of human activity people have agendas. Yours is showing.

    Looking at their work today I see the following that is particularly apt in the context to the subject under discussion, this post and reactions to it:

    “The formulation of a problem is often more essential than its solution, which may or may not be a matter of mathematical or experimental skill. To raise new questions, new possibilities, to regard old problems from a new angle, requires creative imagination and marks the real advance in science” Albert Einstein (1879-1955)

  50. erl happ says:
    August 23, 2011 at 4:59 pm
    Yes the literature is replete with many references to GA as a controller of the Arctic Oscillation, atmospheric circulation, atmospheric angular momentum, ozone in the stratosphere and so on. Karen Labitzke has been a great contributor following on the work of Scherlag.

    The point is that in spite of a century of work, none of that is generally accepted, including Labitzke’s.

    But your lack of of interest in the work of Labitzke and Van Loon and the more recent work by Hood indicating geomagnetic control of ozone in the southern hemisphere serves us ill.
    The lack of further interest stems from the non-convincing aspects of the papers. They simply do not make the case.

    In many areas of human activity people have agendas. Yours is showing.
    I don’t know what you are referring to. My agenda is the review this type of claims as carefully and as scientifically correctly as I can. You have a problem with that?

    Albert Einstein (1879-1955)
    Sorry, but you are just not in that league. You might want to check out Dunning: http://people.psych.cornell.edu/~dunning/publications/pdf/unskilledandunaware.pdf and check if you are wearing the juice.

  51. It seems that a mechanism such as Erl has postulated here gets around Leif’s long term point that any mechanism based on the sun must have inherent instability in it for it to cause the range of climate observed. That the climate varies as a function of a variable diminution from the full power of the sun does this. There is something in those sultry rays other than mere energy.
    =============

  52. A G Foster says: August 23, 2011 at 2:19 pm

    I see your treatise as presenting alternatives preferible to those of Dickey, et al (http://www.nasa.gov/topics/earth/features/earth20110309.html), towards explaining the correlation between CAM, LOD and T (http://www.nasa.gov/images/content/525284main_earth20110309b-full.jpg).

    They claim high correlation, but with a lag they don’t try to account for, and over what appears to be a single period which drops out of phase. And of course, they are at opposite poles with you with respect input from GHG’s.

    Any comments? –AGF
    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    Holy moley. Leif will not be happy with this:

    “These longer fluctuations are too large to be explained by the motions of Earth’s atmosphere and ocean. Instead, they’re due to the flow of liquid iron within Earth’s outer core, where Earth’s magnetic field originates. This fluid interacts with Earth’s mantle to affect Earth’s rotation. While scientists cannot observe these flows directly, they can deduce their movements by observing Earth’s magnetic field at the surface. Previous studies have shown that this flow of liquid iron in Earth’s outer core oscillates, in waves of motion that last for decades with timescales that correspond closely to long-duration variations in Earth’s length of day.

    ,…….the corrected temperature record remained strongly correlated with both Earth’s length of day and movements of Earth’s core throughout the entire temperature data series. The researchers performed robust tests to confirm the statistical significance of their results.

    “Our research demonstrates that, for the past 160 years, decadal and longer-period changes in atmospheric temperature correspond to changes in Earth’s length of day if we remove the very significant effect of atmospheric warming attributed to the buildup of greenhouse gases due to mankind’s enterprise,” said Dickey. “Our study implies that human influences on climate during the past 80 years mask the natural balance that exists among Earth’s rotation, the core angular momentum and the temperature at Earth’s surface.”

    So what mechanism is driving these correlations? Dickey said scientists aren’t sure yet, but she offered some hypotheses.

    Since scientists know air temperature can’t affect movements of Earth’s core or Earth’s length of day to the extent observed, one possibility is the movements of Earth’s core might disturb Earth’s magnetic shielding of charged-particle (i.e., cosmic ray) fluxes that have been hypothesized to affect the formation of clouds. This could affect how much of the sun’s energy is reflected back to space and how much is absorbed by our planet. Other possibilities are that some other core process could be having a more indirect effect on climate, or that an external (e.g. solar) process affects the core and climate simultaneously.

    end quote
    ++++++++++++++++

    Perhaps those who want robust correlations could take note. Movement within the Earths crust is inferred from GA at the surface and is well correlated with the long term temperature record at the surface of the Earth once it is de-trended. LOD is a result in all this, not a cause.

    Better have a close look Richard and Leif.

    I wonder if it has occurred to these researchers that the trend in temperature that relates to GA might be less tenuously and far more directly associated with the trend in geomagnetic activity via ozone and cloud cover.

    Obviously these guys are completely unaware of the correlation between GA and ozone and ozone control of cloud cover via the coupled circulation.

    By the way, we have on the other thread Leif saying

    “200hPa temperature and GPH dynamics reflect the activity of the coupled circulation of the stratosphere and the troposphere.”

    Leif: Trivial point, such has been known for decades

    “Sea surface temperature anomalies reflect the same dynamics.
    Leif: another trivial point.

    When will the penny drop that the evolution of the temperature of the southern stratosphere relates to surface pressure, long term loss of cloud and surface warming?

    Don’t hang about waiting for it to happen.

  53. erl happ says:
    August 23, 2011 at 5:50 pm
    “These longer fluctuations are too large to be explained by the motions of Earth’s atmosphere and ocean. Instead, they’re due to the flow of liquid iron within Earth’s outer core, where Earth’s magnetic field originates. […]
    the corrected temperature record remained strongly correlated with both Earth’s length of day and movements of Earth’s core throughout the entire temperature data series. The researchers performed robust tests to confirm the statistical significance of their results.

    Read Dunning. Ant flows [core or atmosphere] that move stuff around changes the moment of inertia of the Earth system. Since the Angular momentum is constant, the LOD will change. But don’t believe that the LOD is causing the flows.

    Obviously these guys are completely unaware of the correlation between GA and ozone and ozone control of cloud cover via the coupled circulation.
    Rather, it is that they are not convinced that these correlations are valid, significant, and indication of causation.

    When will the penny drop that the evolution of the temperature of the southern stratosphere relates to surface pressure, long term loss of cloud and surface warming?
    All of these things are related, just not in the way you seem to think.

  54. Leif Svalgaard says: August 23, 2011 at 5:27 pm

    The lack of further interest stems from the non-convincing aspects of the papers. They simply do not make the case.

    In many areas of human activity people have agendas. Yours is showing.
    I don’t know what you are referring to. My agenda is the review this type of claims as carefully and as scientifically correctly as I can.”
    ++++++++++++
    That is not at all obvious.
    ++++++++++++
    The point is that in spite of a century of work, none of that is generally accepted, including Labitzke’s.
    ++++++
    You have the alternative in the work referred to by AG Foster. Take your pick.

    If someone could tell me how to italicize I would be obliged.

  55. erl happ says:
    August 23, 2011 at 6:04 pm
    “as carefully and as scientifically correctly as I can.”
    That is not at all obvious.

    If you can’t see it, then take heed of what I tell you.

    You have the alternative in the work referred to by AG Foster. Take your pick.
    No need to pick between equally un-convincing stuff. The case, in spite of a century of claims, has not been made.

    If someone could tell me how to italicize I would be obliged.
    Enclose the statements between <i> and </i>

  56. Heh, Erl, moshe has wounded me. He thinks I use metaphors instead of understanding the physics. Gad, the physics is a piece of cake compared to the metaphors.
    ===============

  57. erl happ says:
    August 23, 2011 at 9:49 am
    Karen Labitzke has been a great contributor following on the work of Scherlag.

    She is now saying [SORCE 2011, Sedona AZ]
    On the QBO-Solar Relationship throughout the Year: Karin Labitzke;
    Large effects of solar variability related to the 11-year sunspot cycle (SSC) are seen
    in the stratosphere throughout the year, but only if the data are grouped according to the
    phase of the QBO (Quasi-Biennial Oscillation). New results based on an extended, 70-
    year long data set, fully confirm earlier findings.

    So she is still at it.

  58. Kim,
    Gad, the physics is a piece of cake compared to the metaphors.

    You are right. We must all rise a smile occasionally, its better that way. A laugh is positively precious.

    And when you are inclined to talk physics I read with interest.

    Thanks Leif.

  59. Leif,
    Dunning’s comments are in the realm of the blatantly obvious. In the context that you put them forward they represent an insult of the highest order. Fortunately, I am unimpressed and you can refer to Dunning to discover why that might be the case.

    There seems to be a bit of circularity in the argument. Is this science of the highest order do you think?

  60. Leif,
    Large effects of solar variability related to the 11-year sunspot cycle (SSC) are seen
    in the stratosphere throughout the year, but only if the data are grouped according to the
    phase of the QBO (Quasi-Biennial Oscillation).

    No surprise there. The QBO represents a cycle in ozone variability.

  61. erl happ says:
    August 23, 2011 at 6:51 pm
    Fortunately, I am unimpressed and you can refer to Dunning to discover why that might be the case. There seems to be a bit of circularity in the argument. Is this science of the highest order do you think?
    Dunning describes the situation well enough for most people to understand. What is even worse than the situation discussed is when people ignore well-founded research and calls it corrupt and garbage. Perhaps the authors would consider that insults of even higher order.

    To fill you in on current research on coupling between stratospheric and tropospheric waves, this might be enlightening:

    http://www.agu.org/pubs/crossref/2011/2010JD015473.shtml

  62. erl happ says:
    August 23, 2011 at 6:56 pm
    No surprise there. The QBO represents a cycle in ozone variability.
    The surprise could have been that keep a very close eye on all her work. Not that I find it convincing, but one should not dismiss work as garbage or corrupt, so I keep up with it.

  63. Leif,

    To fill you in on current research on coupling between stratospheric and tropospheric waves, this might be enlightening:

    Here is a paper for your collection:

    Those who model should begin with a thorough analysis of how the atmosphere has behaved in the past.

    Statistical analysis uninformed by theory as to what the mechanism could be that might account for the coming and going of the correlation is never going to be convincing. Unfortunately the GHG hypothesis has been well bedded down in the unconscious. So many times we see that a phenomenon is said to be attributable to GHG. The lack of observational confirmation means nothing. The evolution of the atmosphere over time is of no interest to modellers. We have specialists in interplanetary physics charting correlations with atmospheric phenomena they know very little about.

    The answer lies in observation and historical analysis of the change that has occurred in the part that matters……..the cloud bearing layers, as they are affected by the layers above them that are patently interaction zones between emanations from the sun and the substance of the atmosphere.

  64. erl happ says:
    August 23, 2011 at 7:56 pm
    Those who model should begin with a thorough analysis of how the atmosphere has behaved in the past. Statistical analysis uninformed by theory
    You may assume that scientists know the past and the theory, after all, that is their field of study.

  65. kim says:
    August 23, 2011 at 8:07 pm
    It’s layers of turtles, Leif, from the sun to the bottom of the deep blue sea.
    Without doubt. I have dedicated my life to study of the layers, and have had some success in advancing science in small ways. Critical to such success is deep knowledge of past and present literature in several interrelated fields, and reluctance to engage in flights of fancy that are not backed up with solid physics and convincing relations between reliable data.

  66. Paul Vaughan (October 16, 2010 at 11:41 am)
    “ACE records don’t go back very far. Could geomagnetic aa index & OMNI near-Earth solar wind speed data [ http://omniweb.gsfc.nasa.gov/ ] be influenced (indirectly via terrestrial climate perhaps) by the Earth-Moon system at interannual timescales (most specifically at the QBO-timescale, but not necessarily by the QBO itself)?”

    Leif Svalgaard (October 16, 2010 at 12:00 pm)
    “No, OMNI certainly not, and aa not in any detectable way. There are lunar tides in the ionosphere, but they are very small and almost always below the aa ‘radar’ [and are taken out explicitly if detected].”

    This left many questions.


    Erl, have you read the writings of Tomas Milanovic at Judith Curry’s blog Climate Etc.?

  67. I would like Robert Ellison and Erl Happ to read and understand each other.

    Note for Leif, this is a ‘flight of fancy’.
    =====================

  68. Paul

    Erl, have you read the writings of Tomas Milanovic at Judith Curry’s blog Climate Etc.?

    No, I have not. But give me a lead and I will.

    Kim, If you could point me to something brief and to the point I’d be happy to. So far, on not impressed by his references to chaos.

    Leif: You may assume that scientists know the past and the theory, after all, that is their field of study.

    It is my observation that, in climate science, modelling and statistical analysis is all the rage. If your ‘scientists’ studied the history they would know that the basic parameters of the system change over time. They models assume otherwise. If they looked at the history and the geography of climate change they would realize that their notions of what drives the climate is wholly inconsistent with the manner in which climate has evolved by latitude and season. Did you read parts 1 and 2?

    I see absolutely no interest in the graphs numbers 10-15 in this current post. Not one mention by a single contributor. This is absolutely basic stuff. If you don’t ask the question as to why temperature evolves as it does, you will never find the answer.

    Good science makes explicable what is observed. So these graphs show us what is observed. Tell me why the hemsipheres warm anomalously at different times. While one warms the other cools. Why is the swing in SST the northern hemisphere so much greater than in the south? Why is it greater at higher latitudes?

    I read recently that people at NOAO are theorizing that the Arctic has something to do with ENSO. Well, that’s good, they are getting closer.

    Are you aware that the SAM and the NAM take no cognizance of inter-hemispheric shifts of atmospheric mass. Well, that is also changing so there is some hope.

    The data instructs. Look at the data. There is already more than enough of it in storage to work out what is going on.

  69. Tomas speaks lucidly of temperospatial chaos, and Robert Ellison, AKA the Chief Hydrologist @ Judy’s speaks of Dragon Kings and other associated horrors, but also understands water circulation, wherever it goes, more explainably than anyone else I’ve read.
    ============================

  70. Erl Happ:

    At August 23, 2011 at 5:50 pm you write:

    “Perhaps those who want robust correlations could take note. Movement within the Earths crust is inferred from GA at the surface and is well correlated with the long term temperature record at the surface of the Earth once it is de-trended. LOD is a result in all this, not a cause.

    Better have a close look Richard and Leif.”

    Say what!?
    From the very first post in this thread I have been asking you to justify your assertion of correlation where I see no indication of any kind that such correlation exists. I have repeatedly made this request because your entire argument is constructed on an assumption of the correlation although no evidence for the correlation has been presented. And your responses to my requests for evidence have failed to provide any evidence of any kind that the correlation exists.

    Now you comment on an analysis by Dickey, et al which relies on correlations between other parameters than those you claim are correlated. Dickey, et al do provide evidence for the existence of the correlations they consider. And you suggest that I “Better have a close look”!

    Your suggestion is disingenuous in the extreme.

    Richard

  71. Richard,
    I am not being insincere. The paper that Leif put forward found a correlation between GA and global temperature. That was the what you were after because temperature and pressure are very closely related. Did you notice that? Figure 8.

    Here I point to the pressure dynamic and its relation to GA and I put forward a plausible mechanism to account for the phenomenon and describe a pattern of variation in temperature that is consistent with that dependency. So many papers do not even provide a plausible mechanism.You don’t seem to be at all interested in the mechanism, or the distinctive pattern of temperature variability that arises from this mechanism that in itself confirms that the mechanism is operating, just the correlation. Naturally, I am unimpressed. Who is being disingenuous?

    If you value the correlation above all else you will be interested in these papers that establish that there is a correlation between GA and pressure or temperature or geopotential heights, NAM, SAM the AO or some aspect of climate that varies with pressure or temperature. Very few offer a plausible mechanism.None describe the pattern of temperature variability that is the fingerprint of the mechanism as I describe it.

    So, I see myself as being short changed.

    Like this:
    Geomagnetic activity forcing of the Northern Annular Mode via the stratosphere
    D. R. Palamara 1, E. A. Bryant 1
    (19/03/2004)
    We consider various aspects of the link between solar-modulated geomagnetic activity and the Northern Annular Mode (NAM). Our results indicate that the geomagnetic forcing of atmospheric circulation in the Northern Hemisphere is temporally and seasonally restricted, modulated by the Quasi-Biennial Oscillation (QBO), and reliant on stratosphere-troposphere coupling. When the data are restricted to January values after 1965, for years in which the January QBO is eastwards, the correlation coefficient between the geomagnetic AA index and the NAM is 0.85. These results can account for many of the enigmatic features of Northern Hemisphere circulation.

    OR

    http://www.physics.otago.ac.nz/space/2008JA014029-pip.pdf

    http://web.dmi.dk/fsweb/solar-terrestrial/staff/hgl/Pubs/TCG_GRL03.pdf

    http://www.lund.irf.se/HeliosHome/NAO_article.pdf

    http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1364682604001750

    http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1364682607001368

    http://www.springerlink.com/content/k5559l7046405324/

    but you can use Google as well as I can.

    Looking at it in the round I would say that the insistence on a correlation coefficient was a tactic to stall the discussion and cast doubt into the mind of all participants. I went to great lengths to describe the number of variables involved and the reason why a strong correlation could not be expected.

    So, I am unimpressed by your demand for a correlation co-efficient. In my view, in this circumstance, its inappropriate. It reflects a simplistic, narrow minded, aggressive and unreasonable attitude.

  72. Erl Happ:

    I take severe umbrage at your message to me that says;

    “Looking at it in the round I would say that the insistence on a correlation coefficient was a tactic to stall the discussion and cast doubt into the mind of all participants. I went to great lengths to describe the number of variables involved and the reason why a strong correlation could not be expected.

    So, I am unimpressed by your demand for a correlation co-efficient. In my view, in this circumstance, its inappropriate. It reflects a simplistic, narrow minded, aggressive and unreasonable attitude.”

    My “tactic” was to ask you to justify an assertion on which your entire argument relied.
    You have failed to doi that.

    My “attitude” was polite and helpful: it was not “simplistic, narrow minded, aggressive and unreasonable” as you wrongly assert.

    Apologise and provide the missing data or withdraw your article.

    Richard

  73. Erl Happ (August 24, 2011 at 6:06 am)
    “Looking at it in the round I would say that the insistence on a correlation coefficient was a tactic to stall the discussion and cast doubt into the mind of all participants. I went to great lengths to describe the number of variables involved and the reason why a strong correlation could not be expected.”

    The sense in which it’s multivariate:
    Changes in the state of water reverse relationships.

    More importantly (the part Erl appears to overlook):
    It’s spatiotemporal. Not “spatial”, nor “temporal”, nor “spatial & temporal”, but rather “spatiotemporal”, which differs fundamentally from all preceding in this list – analogous to the fundamental difference between a collection of marginal distributions and a joint distribution. This is absolute logic. Zero controversy. There’s no basis for discussion without agreement on fundamentals like black vs. white & 1+1=2.

    It’s not a mere matter of clouds, but of circulation – and readers like Vukcevic could lend a courteous ear to oceanographer/commenter “sky” who keeps trying to make readers realize that winds, driven by pressure differentials, drive ocean surface currents that are orders of magnitude above effects from other types of ocean currents (such as THC).

    It’s not constant laminar flow in a tube (which would yield simple linear correlation). The pump has variable speed and mass-misinterpretation of stats stems from assumptions of stationarity and misconception of relationship-reversing effects of changing size, position, & orientation of flow features.

    The correlations are complex (as in complex numbers, not as in complicated). The functional numeracy of the audience here is insufficient for sensible discussion of the preceding at present, but this can change …and for the discussion to advance, this HAS to change …and in the meantime those with an interest in keeping wool over innocent eyes will continue having a comfortable, easy train ride.

    Regards.

  74. Richard S Courtney says:
    August 24, 2011 at 6:32 am
    My “tactic” was to ask you to justify an assertion on which your entire argument relied.
    You have failed to do that.

    Indeed, Erl has failed to show that there is a correlation, but as he admits, he wouldn’t expect any, so no wonder that there is none.

  75. Paul Vaughan says: August 24, 2011 at 7:20 am
    Eloquently put.

    I wonder if we are to get a response from Richard and Leif on the matters that you raise. While they are at it perhaps they might address the question as to whether there are other ways to assess a relationship than via a correlation co-efficient.

    Here is one: “Ye shall know them by their fruits.”

    And the fruits being:
    The hemsipheres warm alternately on monthly, annual and longer time scales.
    The SST variation increases with latitude in the northern hemisphere and falls away with latitude in the southern hemisphere.
    SST varies with surface pressure in high latitudes.
    Variation in the strength of the winds occurs with the change in high latitude surface pressure.
    In the southern hemisphere the sea warms as the wind blows harder.
    The north westerlies in the southern hemisphere fell away for sixty years prior to 1920 and have strengthened since.

    You will also be informed via the use of logic.
    Is temperature in a single hemisphere reacting to a unitary forcing or twin forcings?
    What are the candidates for twin forcings?
    Is sea surface temperature at high latitudes responding to the coupled circulation of the stratosphere and the troposphere at high latitudes?
    Is the activity of the coupled circulation tied to time of year?
    Why does the coupled circulation vary as it does? Sometimes both poles together and at other times alternately?
    What is the role of the night jet? How does in vary over time and why? Is this and the coupled circulation the primary control of ozone levels in the polar stratosphere?
    Is it the variation in ozone that drives the coupled circulation?
    Is this system externally forced? By what mechanism might it be forced?
    What could explain the fall in surface pressure at 60-70° south over the last sixty years.
    What is required to reverse the fall in pressure at 60-70° south.
    Is it conceivable that all this is externally driven?
    Does the atmosphere move when the electromagnetic field changes? What direction does it move in. Where is the electromagnetic force greatest?
    Is there a mechanism within the Earth system that could amplify surface pressure variations arising from electromagnetic effects?
    What happens to the temperature of the stratosphere over the pole when surface pressure falls? Why does it vary on daily, weekly, monthly, annual, inter-annual, decadal and longer time scales? Might this variation be tied to variations in surface temperature?

  76. erl happ says:
    August 24, 2011 at 4:36 pm
    I wonder if we are to get a response from Richard and Leif on the matters that you raise. While they are at it perhaps they might address the question as to whether there are other ways to assess a relationship than via a correlation co-efficient.
    If there is a good relationship the extra machinery Paul likes is not needed at all. If the relationship is spurious, Paul’s methods will find all kinds of cycles, equally spurious.

    The hemsipheres warm alternately on monthly, annual and longer time scales.
    The SST variation increases with latitude in the northern hemisphere and falls away with latitude in the southern hemisphere. […] etc

    All of these things are incorporated in the current atmospheric models. And are not so mysterious as you want to believe.

  77. erl happ says:
    August 24, 2011 at 7:15 pm
    OK I am mightily reassured.
    I don’t think you mean this.
    But hang on, which ones of these are the current atmospheric models that I can hold in high esteem?
    You can hold them all in high esteem for the effort and science going into them. That they don’t have all the answers is just the nature of good science, rather than the pseudo-science practiced by self-assured amateurs.

    with some attempt at integrity.
    Still in the insulting business I see.

    As an example of what I’m talking about, refer to this paper:
    “Growth increment series in Eocene fossils from the Antarctic Peninsula exhibit spectral peaks consistent with modern ENSO, the region is strongly teleconnected to the equatorial Pacific today, and ENSO variation and similar teleconnection during the Eocene are predicted by a coupled
    climate model.” http://www.leif.org/EOS/2011GL048635.pdf

  78. Leif Svalgaard wrote (August 24, 2011 at 4:45 pm)
    “If there is a good relationship the extra machinery Paul likes is not needed at all. If the relationship is spurious, Paul’s methods will find all kinds of cycles, equally spurious.”

    Correct on the 1st point. Absolutely NOT on the 2nd.
    On the 1st point: What’s up for discussion is interpretation.

    For example, AGF linked to this [ http://www.nasa.gov/topics/earth/features/earth20110309.html ] which includes (for a taste) this:
    “Other possibilities are that […] an external (e.g. solar) process affects the core and climate simultaneously. “

    I’m not convinced of arguments about the core (which are based on model assumptions). I’m also not convinced that the researchers understand LeMouel, Blanter, Shnirman, & Courtillot (2010) and insights from optimized extension of comparable methods to other indices (e.g. aa index).

    I disagree with most of the wild speculation of some WUWT commenters.

    The discussion of interpretation will have to wait for another week or month, as I’m working 7 days per week, but if I can find time tomorrow I’ll dig out links to Milanovic comments for Erl.

    Regards.

  79. Leif Svalgaard says: August 24, 2011 at 7:58 pm

    The presence of ENSO variation during this markedly warmer interval argues for the persistence of robust interannual variability in our future greenhouse world.

    It’s been with us through warmer times and cooler times. Nobody yet knows what causes it and I know of a whole group of people who don’t want to know including the authors of this paper and Leif Svalgaard.

    What is a ‘fully coupled Eocene climate model’? Will it produce an ENSO variation? Do any of the models that I point to above manage to predict it? If they do, tell me which one so that I can check which way it is pointing? Then we can check if it’s any good or not.

    There is some science that you think is convincing and other science that you seem to think is deficient but when you cite papers like this its hard to tell the difference.

    Still in the insulting business I see.
    Which are you, the pot or the kettle?

    I don’t like your methods.Too much reliance on authority, no attempt to address the question or deal with the gist of the argument. In sport they call it sledging. Ultimately it erodes authority rather than enhances it.

    That they don’t have all the answers is just the nature of good science

    For myself I like to see problems solved and understanding enhanced.

  80. erl happ says:
    August 24, 2011 at 9:03 pm
    What is a ‘fully coupled Eocene climate model’?
    How about you actually reading the paper, study the models, etc

    There is some science that you think is convincing and other science that you seem to think is deficient but when you cite papers like this its hard to tell the difference.
    I look like you didn’t even read the paper

    Which are you, the pot or the kettle?
    So you admit it.

    I don’t like your methods.Too much reliance on authority,
    The main authority I rely is myself. But there are times when it pays to bow to expert knowledge. Ever had on operation? Wasn’t the doctor an authority you relied on?

    no attempt to address the question or deal with the gist of the argument.
    I have gone to the core of your argument, all the was back ozone being soluble in water and folloed each step, and, frankly, they don’t hang together.

    For myself I like to see problems solved and understanding enhanced.
    Science is a collaborative effort and your one-man show does not cut it.

  81. Leif Svalgaard says: August 23, 2011 at 6:45 pm
    Leif, I have read enough of the paper at http://iri.columbia.edu/climate/ENSO/currentinfo/SST_table.html to have formed an opinion.

    I suggest you read the Character of climate change parts one and two as posted here…………………and we can then discuss the paper, and the issues that I raise above at August 23, 2011 at 6:45 pm on the basis of a shared understanding that the Greenhouse World that is mooted for the Eocene is not something that we are currently experiencing.

  82. Erl,

    By referencing Tomas Milanovic notes from Dr. Judith Curry’s blog Climate Etc. I’m trying to help readers see [ http://tallbloke.wordpress.com/2011/08/21/delve-into-halcrut-at-the-poles/#comment-8355 ] that Tim Channon’s summary [ http://tallbloke.files.wordpress.com/2011/08/had-uahlat-corr-1.png ] is a mere (single) cell of an infinite multiscale array.

    At best, narrowly-focused autocorrelation & cross-correlation summaries PATENTLY canNOT handle the job; at worst, they’ll hopelessly mislead [spatiotemporal version of Simpson’s Paradox] the unwary.

    The Milanovic quotes may serve as energizing food for thought in your efforts to interpret complex correlations, which are sometimes driven turbulently in parallel by different processes. (Not saying that’s the case, but a data explorer’s wise to always remain vigilantly alert to the possibility of confounding.)

    Important:
    It’s not just turbulence that flips relationship signs, it’s also spatiotemporal aliasing. (Many in these discussions forget that the “data” aren’t actually data; they’re stats. [Worse: Probably most here don’t even know the difference.])

    You may be pleased with comments slipped into a WUWT thread late (in early July after everyone left the June discussion) by Marcia Wyatt:

    “[…] recent research suggests AMO is connected to multidecadal variability in frequency of sudden-stratospheric-warmings, which are related to both tropical convective processes and to the integrity of the polar vortex – both features wielding hemispheric influence on the climate. In addition, longitudinal and latitudinal placements of the atmospheric centers-of-action shift with multidecadal variations in AMO, as does the meridional placement of the mean intertropical convergence zone (ITCZ), along with associated changes in Atlantic hurricane activity and in frequency of occurrence of Atlantic-NINOs. Likewise, with multidecadal variability in PDO come changes in placement and strength of atmospheric centers-of-action and in placement and strength of associated oceanic gyres and in meridional mean location of the Pacific ITCZ. […]”

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/06/08/on-the-amopdo-dataset/#comment-695279

    I disagree with Wyatt, Milanovic, Tsonis, Swanson, & Kravtsov fundamentally on many points, but these folks bring something stimulating to the discussion.

    I’ll have a few more Milanovic notes to add in the Channon thread over the next few days, including a quote where Milanovic reveals his primary reason for entering the climate discussion.

    Regards.

  83. Hi Paul,
    Thanks for your helpful observations, some of which I understand and the rest I appreciate are probably indecipherable due to my lack of background in using the tools that you have at your command.

    Atmospheric phenomena respond to multiple influences. A good correlation for a period of a month or two on two variables that swing on a daily time scale should alert people to the presence of a causative relationship. And decay in the correlation or a simple displacement either vertically or horizontally tells you that something else is involved.

    But one doesn’t go looking for those things without a theory that suggests that two things should be related and that theory must be based on a thorough exploration of how the atmosphere has behaved in the past. You must have a clear idea of what you are trying to explain. You have to do the hard yards of data exploration first.

    So, you develop a theory and you go looking for relationships that confirm that the posited cause and effect are operable. And one doesn’t keep looking unless the strike rate from these data explorations is exciting. End of the day it is a whole array of observations and a chain of logic about cause and effect that convince you that you have a handle on phenomena.

    It strikes me that this correlation http://tallbloke.files.wordpress.com/2011/08/had-uahlat-corr-1.png tells us that equatorial processes do not drive climate change.

    Just as the diversity of thermal experience across the hemispheres, by latitude and season should tell you that the greenhouse hypothesis is inoperable.

    So, when Wyatt says : Sudden-stratospheric-warmings, which are related to both tropical convective processes and to the integrity of the polar vortex – both features wielding hemispheric influence on the climate.

    She betrays confusion about causation that should not be there. The equatorial forces push in one direction and should provoke a wave of reactions spreading towards the poles like a ripple in a pond in both hemispheres, albeit biased according to season. What I see is altogether different. Antarctica is the driver and the Arctic a bit player.

    Basically, using the pond analogy: Where is the biggest splash occurring? Where do you see the greatest variation in the variables under observation? It’s as simple as that. Then you ask, what’s causing the splash? Why is it manifesting in this place?

    When Wyatt says this:
    longitudinal and latitudinal placements of the atmospheric centers-of-action shift with multidecadal variations in AMO, as does the meridional placement of the mean intertropical convergence zone (ITCZ), along with associated changes in Atlantic hurricane activity and in frequency of occurrence of Atlantic-NINOs. Likewise, with multidecadal variability in PDO come changes in placement and strength of atmospheric centers-of-action and in placement and strength of associated oceanic gyres and in meridional mean location of the Pacific ITCZ.

    It would be a lot simpler of she were to look at the Southern Annular Mode and the Northern Annular Mode and how they evolve over time. These are acknowledged modes of inter-annual climate variability located close to the poles, obviously related to the coupling of the troposphere and the ‘startosphere’.

    That little dyslexic typing mistake is something that Kim will appreciate. It’s accurate. The characteristics of the stratosphere are determined by a circulation wherein the stratosphere interacts with the mesosphere. The basic dynamic determining the variability in the interaction is surface pressure. And surface pressure responds in the first instance to the solar wind.And in the second instance it responds to the dynamics created by the interaction of the stratosphere and the troposphere that amplifies the pressure response due to the electromagnetic effect. The circulation is not maintained without constant stimulus.

  84. erl happ says:
    August 27, 2011 at 6:07 pm
    The characteristics of the stratosphere are determined by a circulation wherein the stratosphere interacts with the mesosphere. The basic dynamic determining the variability in the interaction is surface pressure. And surface pressure responds in the first instance to the solar wind. And in the second instance it responds to the dynamics created by the interaction of the stratosphere and the troposphere that amplifies the pressure response due to the electromagnetic effect.
    Not to reopen the thread, but the above is totally, utterly wrong, and incoherent to boot.

  85. Hi Leif,
    Don’t worry, I will keep working on you until it is coherent, and if not to you, then until it is sufficiently coherent to your wife or some other person close to you that you will trust implicitly.

  86. erl happ (August 27, 2011 at 6:07 pm)
    “It strikes me that this correlation http://tallbloke.files.wordpress.com/2011/08/had-uahlat-corr-1.png tells us that equatorial processes do not drive climate change.”

    I have to point that this is a misinterpretation.
    (Part of the burden of being a former stats instructor.)
    Not challenging your idea – but the graph is about something else…
    …and also misinterpreted by its author (TC).
    Bob Tisdale would have an easy time giving misinterpreters a schooling on this one.

    Thanks for the articles Erl.

    Best Regards.

  87. erl happ says:
    August 28, 2011 at 1:58 am
    It seems that I may have misconstrued what that correlation was about. And its not plain in the original.
    It is called confirmation bias: you misconstrue to see what you wish.

  88. Tim’s aggregation criterion: Summarize by latitude.
    The problem: Line transects crossing alternating spatial patterns (e.g. sideways V-patterns one sees on global SST maps caused by opposing average trades & westerlies …& there are 2 looping basins in the north, a different pattern in the south – the equator is the only straight line transect and even so, it’s NOT without spatial modes, etc., etc.)

    In layman’s terms: Tim used a blender on the spatial patterns.
    One can design other blending schemes …and get completely different results.

    Plus: Tim looked only at a marginal distribution. He went from studying the temporal dimension blindered to the spatial one to the other extreme of studying the spatial dimension blindered to the temporal one. The sum of the 2 in isolation [even if one designs sensible aggregation] is NOT a joint distribution. Bob Tisdale would know very well that Tim would obtain completely different results if he laid down his line transects &/or quadrats differently and looked at lags.

    It’s a sampling issue.

    Aggregation criteria FUNDAMENTALLY affect measures of pattern (aliasing, integration across spatiotemporal harmonics, etc.). Change the size, shape, or orientation of your transect &/or quadrat and you measure a DIFFERENT pattern from the SAME field. (This is why Milanovic is so worked up.)

    In landscape ecology we went through a bit of a revolution in the 90s where some folks were waking up to this and rocking the boat. There are some in climatology who know this VERY well (I took a graduate level course from one 16 years ago on exactly this), but my experience as an educator tells me this stuff isn’t always intuitive for students …and some forget right after they learn. We certainly have a challenge here for capable educators. The online medium is excellent for communication, but designing the needed messages (with good “picture worth 1000 words” visuals) takes FAR more time than most have available.

    I suggest that everyone take the time to understand Milanovic’s primary concern, even if he hasn’t packaged the message the way people need it.

    Sorry for the fast & loose message. I wish I had time to give the course, but since I don’t I can at least alert you to the issue. Erl, add to your list of “other factors” the following PRIMARY one: spatiotemporal aggregation criteria.

    If you want to discuss this further, I suggest doing so over there [ http://tallbloke.wordpress.com/2011/08/21/delve-into-halcrut-at-the-poles/ ] (a still-active thread) since everyone has moved on from here by now.

    Regards.

  89. Leif,
    It is called confirmation bias: you misconstrue to see what you wish.

    It’s always a danger and sooner or later it catches up with you, and you come a nasty cropper. Good to admit that when it when you see it.

  90. Brian H says: September 19, 2011 at 11:18 pm

    “The extra energy from the late phase can have a big effect on Earth. Extreme ultraviolet wavelengths are particularly good at heating and ionizing Earth’s upper atmosphere. When our planet’s atmosphere is heated by extreme UV radiation, it puffs up, accelerating the decay of low-orbiting satellites.”

    Another good reason why we would not expect a linear response of atmospheric pressure to geomagnetic activity.

    Thanks.

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