Irene takes a bite out of ocean heat

While nowhere close to Trenberth’s missing heat, it’s a nice bite sized chunk of SST. Hurricanes are heat engines, transporting massive amounts of heat from lower to higher levels of the atmosphere.

La Niña is growing too. Have a look:

h/t to reader “mitchel44″

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97 thoughts on “Irene takes a bite out of ocean heat

  1. So if there is a following storm as some have predicted, This may mean that the heat engine will not be there when it hits the coast?

  2. Convection transports the largest portion of heat to the stratosphere. convection on a large scale forms hurricanes/typhoons. QED

    And alarmists worry about radiation.

  3. That is a great graphic! If this planet did not have means of self regulation I don’t think life would be possible. The geological record shows a fairly stable environment, even including the interglacials, for the last 600 million years or so. It is a beautiful and elegant system of self regulation and the more we learn the more we can appreciate it.

  4. Of course, it’s important to note that La Nina’s and hurricanes have the exact opposite effect on ocean heat. La Nina’s are a time that the oceans absorb more heat than they release when looked at in totality (hence less is released to the atmosphere), whereas hurricanes are huge engines that suck heat out of the ocean.

  5. Could we be about to see a double-dip La Nina, where the 2nd year is stronger? This Nina is certainly coming on faster than the 2008-2009 2nd year Nina episode. CFS and CFSv2 see -1.5 to -2C, which would put it colder than 2010-2011 La Nina.

  6. Problem: How to get lots of fresh water from the warm tropics to the far North to form huge Continental Galciers in order to counter Anthroprogenic Global Warming?

    Hint: Ask a woman. (Irene knows;-)

  7. The question becomes: what is the impact of huricane Irene’s ocean heat loss on subsequent tropical storms this huricane season? Having traveled the East Coast, the ocean heat loss may be made up by infill heat, conduction, as well a Gulf Stream current flow, that as far as ocean heat content is concerned and its potential to feed following huricanes, all is a wash in two weeks time.
    I noticed that Tropical Depression Jose seems to have “Petered” out.

  8. So if global warming causes an increase in the number and severity of tropical storms, that will produce a negative feedback by moving the excess heat to higher altitudes, past the CO2 and water vapor that supposedly cause the warming, and by precipitating some of that water vapor back out as rain.

    And the assertion that increasing CO2 sets off a POSITIVE feedback loop, creating runaway warming, is demolished.

  9. It’d be worth to compare the above image with an animation found on one of the pages (http://tropic.ssec.wisc.edu/tropic.php) suggested by PearlandAggie on Tropical Cyclone Page, namely:

    http://tropic.ssec.wisc.edu/real-time/mimic-tpw/global2/main.html

    Please, find the two enormous swirls on the Western part of Pacific Ocean. The Eastern part also shows gigantic swirl. All in all the starting point for all of the moves of the precipitable water masses lie in the middle of Pacific. The two Asian cyclones are supplied with additional energy coming from Indian Ocean as well.

    Decidedly animation for Mr Bob Tisdale (http://bobtisdale.blogspot.com/) who is searching for the causes of super La Nina’s energy dissipation. ;-)

    Comment valid Aug 29, 2011.

    Regards

  10. As always, addendum and correction. :-(

    1. Mr Bob Tisdale has new hyperlink: http://bobtisdale.wordpress.com/

    2. I have wrote “super La Nina’s energy dissipation”, it should be “Super El Niño’s energy dissipation”. I beg your pardon.

    Przemysław Pawełczyk

  11. And with continued comparative Solar magnetic weakness Svensmark’s albedo holding steady, tectonic tension loaded for elastic release.

  12. Like most, I see a real parallel between the hype of Irene and AGW. Journalists and politicians glory in “crisis.” It helps put the spotlight on themselves as being the sages that now pronounce with authority “what is.” Yet the stage is continually littered with these failed prophets of doom. Irene led to the classic syndrome of hype with more hype and drama lavishly laddled up to an adoring public looking for guidance. But most missed the obvious. Even in the aftermath, very few noted that since the storm was from its inception altogether too large and ill-formed to then become “organized” further without significant input from lower and warmer latitudinal waters, and could not possibly hold together any longer than it did. Indeed, there was not a single cautionary note broadcast from the MSM or the Weather Channel that this storm was weakening even before hitting NC, and its disorganization becoming more telling. Instead, true to form, except for the very few, most went hysterically ahead and hoped for the worst, not paying any attention to the possibility of a weakened storm, nor the weakening of their own soapbox.

  13. A few more like that and the warmth of the Gulf Stream to Western Europe will take quite a hit.

    During the late 20th century warming period the main hurricane tracks were into the Gulf of Mexico whereas now they seem to favour a track up the Eastern US.

    Was it like that during the mid 20th century cooling period ?

    Could we use the favoured hurricane tracks as a diagnostic indicator for a warming or a cooling world?

    My hypothesis set out elsewhere is that in a warming world the mid latitude jets move poleward and/or become more zonal but in a cooling world they move equatorward and/or become more meridional..

    So one could suggest that when the mid latitude jets are more equatorward/meridional they more readily and more often interact with hurricanes to draw them poleward and up into the mid latitude depression tracks. In contrast when the mid latitude jets are more zonal/poleward they fail to draw hurricanes poleward so that hurricanes stay in the tropics more often or for longer.

    Interesting that these pattern changes are occurring DESPITE increasing human CO2 emissions.

  14. Keep an eye on TD12. It didn’t get the “Jose” name as some had predicted, it will get the “K” name but still looks on track to visit NC outer banks and Delmarva in about 9 days time.

  15. Przemysław Pawełczyk says:
    August 29, 2011 at 7:32 am

    “…who is searching for the causes of super La Nina’s energy dissipation…”

    That will be an interesting search since it is super (or regular) El Nino’s that dissipate energy to the atmosphere. La Nina’s are a time the oceans absorb more net energy, not dissipate it.

  16. R. Gates says:August 29, 2011 at 7:07 am

    Of course, it’s important to note that La Nina’s and hurricanes have the exact opposite effect on ocean heat. La Nina’s are a time that the oceans absorb more heat than they release when looked at in totality (hence less is released to the atmosphere), whereas hurricanes are huge engines that suck heat out of the ocean.
    Very crappy non sequitur Gates. Hurricanes suck heat from the ocean and dump it into outer space. It is not relevant if it occurs during El Nino or La Nina, they are still massive heat extractors. And it is an outright lie to state “it’s important to note that La Nina’s and hurricanes have the exact opposite effect on ocean heat.”, as if to imply during [La Ninas], hurricanes add heat to the ocean. Total nonsense.

  17. Mods, please change my use of “El Ninos” in my last sentence to “La Ninas” Thank you.

  18. Steve Keohane says:
    August 29, 2011 at 8:58 am

    Hurricanes suck heat from the ocean and dump it into outer space. It is not relevant if it occurs during El Nino or La Nina, they are still massive heat extractors. And it is an outright lie to state “it’s important to note that La Nina’s and hurricanes have the exact opposite effect on ocean heat.”, as if to imply during El Ninos, hurricanes add heat to the ocean. Total nonsense.

    ______
    I was not the one who mentioned Hurricanes and La Nina together in the same post. And hurricanes do not only “dump” energy to outer space. The move it from ocean to atmosphere and land. Some of will of course dissipate to outer space, but not all of it, or even nearly all of it.

    It is important to note that La Nina’s are, in a the bigger picture, doing the exact opposite of hurricanes, as more net energy enters the ocean than leaves during La Nina. In this regards, El Nino’s are far more similar to what hurricanes do.

  19. R. Gates says:
    August 29, 2011 at 7:07 am

    Of course, it’s important to note that La Nina’s and hurricanes have the exact opposite effect on ocean heat. La Nina’s are a time that the oceans absorb more heat than they release when looked at in totality (hence less is released to the atmosphere), whereas hurricanes are huge engines that suck heat out of the ocean.

    You’re talking apples and oranges here. Of course they have an “exact opposite effect”. The proper comparison would be the sea state post hurricane: having released all that energy, the oceans will be in a state where they will “absorb more heat than they release”. Similarly, if you truly account for the “totality” of a La Nina event, then you have to account for the processes which led to this depleted energy state.

  20. R. Gates – I don’t recall seeing anything in physics where energy collecting bodies did anything but radiate more than before. Cooled water radiates at a reduced energy but still radiates because it is warmer than the cloudless night sky. It may receive more incoming energy during the day if it remains cloudless in the area. But I suspect most heating of the cooled area of a hurricane path is the result of mixing with warmer water at the boundary, and vertical migration being back-filled from surrounding near-surface water.

    It represents a net energy loss to the spaces between stars.

  21. Hurricanes extract energy from the oceans and rush it up through the atmosphere to space.

    At present due (in my opinion) to the less active sun the energy available for hurricane activity is low.

    However, also due to the less active sun, the favoured track for hurricanes is now poleward up along the eastern USA rather than remaining in the tropics within the Gulf of Mexico.

    So we currently see both low availability of energy for hurricane development PLUS a more ready exit route for the reduced energy that is available to escape to space.

    I consider that combination to be a diagnostic indicator for a generally cooling climate system.

    During the late 20th century warming period the situation was reversed in that a more active sun was increasing the energy available for hurricane activity AND the exit of that energy to space was slowed down because the hurricane tracks remained within the tropics.

    I do not expect immediate recognition of the significance of what I say. Time will have to pass to demonstrate or rebut my concept of the system and I accept that I may well be dead before the validity or otherwise can be determined.

  22. R. Gates says:
    August 29, 2011 at 9:14 am

    “I was not the one who mentioned Hurricanes and La Nina together in the same post.”

    _____________________________________________________________________________

    Actually, you were. At 7:07 am. In the first ten words too.

    Thanks for the laugh, though.

  23. dp says:
    August 29, 2011 at 9:18 am
    R. Gates – I don’t recall seeing anything in physics where energy collecting bodies did anything but radiate more than before. Cooled water radiates at a reduced energy but still radiates because it is warmer than the cloudless night sky. It may receive more incoming energy during the day if it remains cloudless in the area. But I suspect most heating of the cooled area of a hurricane path is the result of mixing with warmer water at the boundary, and vertical migration being back-filled from surrounding near-surface water.

    It represents a net energy loss to the spaces between stars.

    ________
    I suspect you are mostly right about how the cooled area of a hurricane path gets re-heated, but it would depend on the time of year of course for how much SW radiation will also play into the mix. Your comments about clear night skies are interesting, but of course the central issue to AGW is that those apparent clear night skies are not so clear as they once were…meaning of course that there is more greenhouse gases in that “clear sky” to prevent the loss of LW radiation to space at the same level. This is the key reason why higher night time temperatures have long been predicted by models, and that is precisely what we’ve been seeing:

    http://www.dallasnews.com/news/local-news/20110817-high-nighttime-temperatures-taking-a-toll-on-dallas-fort-worth.ece

    http://www.nrdc.org/globalWarming/hottestsummer/

    Higher night time temperatures are one of the things that AGW models have predicted, but course skeptics love to ignore.

  24. During a La Nina, out-going longwave radiation in the equatorial Pacific can be 50 watts/m2 higher than normal due to the lack of cloud-cover. Additional energy is being released to space during a La Nina, that is why there is cooling. (R. Gates is trying to argue the opposite but he is not right as usual).

  25. La Nina absorbed it, and Irene sucked it right back out before it had time to sink in.
    Left a pretty good chunk of colder than normal water in it’s wake.
    Sounds like global cooling to me.

  26. Reported on BBC Radio Scotland this morning: “Irene has been downgraded to a Scottish Summer”.

    On the topic of this particular Scottish Summer and claims of changing seasons – it is late August and the trees look like they would in late September or October in Scotland. Leaves are turning yellow and red as temps drop to 5 Celcius overnight. Missing heat indeed!

  27. Stupid question: Do hurricanes remove a lot of moisture from the surrounding atmosphere? There has been a noticeable lack of humidity here in Western Carolina since Irene passed by two days ago..

  28. Sorry Gates but I have to believe that this year, at least in CO, we have seen our lows below normal as would ususally see some 70′s as a nighttime low, but haven’t hit it once this year. Obviously, it is annecdotal instead of your convenient charts for 1 year.. If you are going to cherrypick data to prove a point, you should also show us a trendline graph for comparative purposes. 1 datapoint out of thousands of is an anomoly. It’s called variance. Let’s put it in perspective.

  29. I’m on the fence about teleconnections, that said …

    I’m wondering if Irene combined with Rossby Waves from a recent WPAC typhoon will bring an early and intense winter to the NH, especially the northern 2/3 of North America.

  30. Anthony, is it possible you could add an image of thermal radiation from the top of the troposphere, because I presume there is an equal and opposite “heat” at that level.

    And I suppose it would be far far too much to ask for an image showing the difference between the two.

    REPLY: Yes

  31. Hurricanes are heat engines moving large amounts of heat from the ocean surface to higher levels in the atmosphere. By cooling the surface they moderate the intensity of hurricanes following the same track.

  32. “Ferd says: “So…. more La Nina…. what does that mean for TEXAS?????”
    Judging from History, it looks like it means a warm, dry year:”

    The pattern of global response to ENSO (and on longer time scales solar) variability is determined by the land/sea configuration.

    Unfortunately for Texas a negative ENSO signal (dominant La Nina) combined with a quiet sun (equatorward/meridional jets) gives a double whammy of dryness in that particular region.

    It seems that the dryness associated with the subtropical high pressure cell normally situated over Mexico moves north DESPITE the general tendency for the mid latitude jets to move equatorward during a period of quiet sun.

    I haven’t yet worked out why that should be so but it does seem to be something to do with the effect of the global landmass distribution on the global circulation.

    My best guess is that the La Nina effect contracting the size of the sub tropical high pressure cells is more than offset by the meridional behaviour of the jets caused by the inactive sun. Something about the land sea configuration causes a poleward loop of the jets in the Texas region despite generally more equatorward/meridional jets. Hence a poleward shift of the sub tropical high pressure cell despite a general global shift of air pressure systems toward the equator.

    I know that is a bit speculative but we shall see.

  33. Bill Illis says:
    August 29, 2011 at 10:02 am
    During a La Nina, out-going longwave radiation in the equatorial Pacific can be 50 watts/m2 higher than normal due to the lack of cloud-cover. Additional energy is being released to space during a La Nina, that is why there is cooling. (R. Gates is trying to argue the opposite but he is not right as usual).
    _____
    Sorry Bill, but you are completely wrong on this one as we are talking about NET heat, not one region of the ocean. The global spike in atmospheric temperatures that we see during El Nino’s is the release of NET heat, and of course, this heat has to be stored during some period, and that would be during La Nina’s. If La Nina’s didn’t store heat, where would it come from to be released during El Nino? This is a classic charge/discharge pattern.

  34. Bill Illis said:

    “During a La Nina, out-going longwave radiation in the equatorial Pacific can be 50 watts/m2 higher than normal due to the lack of cloud-cover. Additional energy is being released to space during a La Nina, that is why there is cooling.”

    I would expect cloudiness changes to have an opposite effect equatorward and poleward of 45 degrees latitude.

    Thus less cloud equatorward of 45 degrees would give a net energy gain to the oceans and less cloud equatorward of 45 degrees would give a net energy loss from the oceans.

    As far as I can tell Enso variability affects cloudiness equatorward of 45 degrees whereas solar variability affects cloudiness poleward of 45 degrees.

    So the precise balance at any given latitude will depend on the balance between solar and oceanic variability at the time and the point of balance will be different for the atmosphere as compared to the oceans. The oceanic and atmospheric points of balance would interact in a complex dance.

  35. The diagram says, “heat loss”. Isn’t it really heat transfer — what was taken out of the SST north of the Bahamas was transferred somewhere further north.

  36. Two thoughts: Would the “heat hoover” effect of hurricanes yield higher mean surface temperatures in years with lots of hurricanes? And do trees predict a severe winter by dropping their leaves early and if yes, how do they detect it is coming? Cosmic radiation counter?

  37. Is the net effect of a hurricane to transfer heat to outer space?
    And if so, at what rate? For example, can a storm like Irene be expected to have a measurable impact on the (monthly & lower troposphere) satellite-based global temperature measurements for global temperature?

  38. At least I got my question/point answered in today’s thread that I posted yesterday. After having read what I wrote in yesterdays post, and feeling like a doofis for asking, I feel a bit better today, having referred to most of what is being discussed here.

    In Toronto I too have noticed that a few trees appear to have some early die off and drying up of leaves. The night time temperatures are now fall-like, with the worst of the summer heat wave long gone. I fear that the winter coming up will be a lot like this past one, which was longer and colder than it has been in a few years.

    Before I go I also was thinking yet again on how very little we know about Ice Ages or long term climate cycles in general. We all have seen recently about how some scientific papers on the impact that cosmic radiation…..has confirmed a measurable influence on cloud formation. I also saw a few years ago a paper (darned if I recall where I stashed it in one of my computers) about how it is theorized that our Sun and it’s babies are travelling into a dead null void zone of one of the arms of the Galaxy. I think that the writer speculated that the impact of the overall energy levels of where our solar system traverses has an impact on our climate….and so, I do wonder if the reason why some Ice Ages commence (first of all) and last for extraordinary long time periods (hundreds of thousands of years in some cases) has more to do with where we are in the galaxy? Makes you wonder but it is probably unprovable one way or the other.

  39. Nuke says:
    August 29, 2011 at 11:07 am
    @ R Gates:

    Sounds like you’re saying these climate patterns are cyclical.

    _____
    Of course ENSO and hurricanes are cyclical…but that doesn’t mean those cycles can’t be modulated by changes in earth’s climate. You would expect, for example, the average hurricane during the depths of a glacial period would be of a different frequency, strength and even location than those at the height of an interglacial. So too, while ENSO has been around for millions of years, you’d expect it to change character based on climate conditions.

  40. Come on guys.

    The plural of ‘La Niña’ is “Las Niñas’ and the plural of ‘El Niño’ is ‘Los Niños’.

    Por favor.

  41. Something else to add. I was lolling around yesterday, unable to go up to Georgian Bay because the distant fingers of Irene dragged or pushed cold air and cloud cover over Southern Ontario….and I was reading April 2011 National Geographic. Here is the online link:

    http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/2011/04/nyiragongo-volcano/finkel-text

    I took note of one factoid that just jumped out at me.
    “Every day the lava lake emits around 7,000 tons of sulfur dioxide, the chief element in acid rain. This is more than the total from every car and factory in the United States. “Basically, it’s one big chimney,” Tedesco said. The environment was noxious, the air full of acid and metallic aerosol particles.”

    Got me thinking yet again about how we still don’t pay close enough attention to the natural inputs from our earth. Oh well….

  42. rbateman says:
    August 29, 2011 at 10:08 am
    La Nina absorbed it, and Irene sucked it right back out before it had time to sink in.
    Left a pretty good chunk of colder than normal water in it’s wake.
    Sounds like global cooling to me.

    _____
    Can’t imagine how you see cooling in a system that amounts to balancing out the heat in the oceans…but then again, in your case, I can imagine how you’d see that.

  43. Ryan Welch says:
    August 29, 2011 at 6:59 am “” “”

    I with you on this . . . I find it practically astounding that clouds float . . . . but yet . . . all that weight just floating around in the sky.

    I like to ask people . . . how much do you think THAT cloud weighs?

  44. Tie this truism and a data sets together: 1) Hurricanes are heat dissipators, and 2) We’ve seen a whole lot less of them in the past several years.

    Conclusion: The earth isn’t warming up, it is cooling down. One could say the lack of hurricanes supports this hypothesis.

  45. Perhaps it is also upwelling that contributed to the change in the anomaly for the area not actual ocean heat loss.

  46. According to NORSEX SSM/I we’ve possibly reached the annual NH sea ice minimum and ice may already be in its annual expansion at the hemispheric level. I’d been reporting for a number of days that ice growth had commenced around the Date Line. After years of comparing the Anchorage NWS Ice Desk reports and various reporting orgs, I now conclude most orgs under report both extent and area. It’s probably the age old set of issues around melt ponds and how to count at the edge when the edge is very near land, especially land with Continental glaciation.

  47. Laurie Bowen says:
    August 29, 2011 at 12:09 pm

    Ryan Welch says:
    August 29, 2011 at 6:59 am “” “”

    I with you on this . . . I find it practically astounding that clouds float . . . . but yet . . . all that weight just floating around in the sky.

    I like to ask people . . . how much do you think THAT cloud weighs?

    Yet the same could be said of huge ships floating on the oceans–they certainly are massive–much heavier than the water that supports them, but they aren’t found at the ocean’s depths. No, they float around just like water does in clouds.

  48. RockyRoad says:
    August 29, 2011 at 12:21 pm
    Tie this truism and a data sets together: 1) Hurricanes are heat dissipators, and 2) We’ve seen a whole lot less of them in the past several years.

    I’ll add to your number 1) all gases are heat dissipators. Our lives depend on this property. Drying hair, heating homes, cooling cars engines, ceiling fans, etc. Only in climate science do gases do something other than dissipate heat.

  49. RGATES:

    “Your comments about clear night skies are interesting, but of course the central issue to AGW is that those apparent clear night skies are not so clear as they once were…”

    Aren’t they? The central failing of AGW is that it does not account for changes in cloudiness, which is an effect that is orders of magnitude larger than that which ‘simple physics’ can attribute to CO2.

    “Higher night time temperatures are one of the things that AGW models have predicted, but course skeptics love to ignore.”

    Higher nighttime temperatures may also predicted by changes in the extent and pattern of cloudiness, ‘but course’ CO2 AGW religionists love to ignore. And suppress. And wave hands in front of. And pretend dont exist.

    In science, it isnt the simple consistencies with predictions that matter. What matters are the relavent consistencies (those that differentiate between alternate hypotheses) and, most importantly, the inconsistencies. Those are what falsify hypotheses. One of those inconsistencies renders all of the consistencies irrelevant. You know, like the inconsistency between the prediction of a tropical high altitude hot spot, and the observation of no hot spot. And the inconsistency between the prediction of a minimum .2 deg C rise in global for every decade, and the obsevation of no temp rise for the past fifteen years. etc.

  50. John Marshall says

    Convection transports the largest portion of heat to the stratosphere. convection on a large scale forms hurricanes/typhoons. QED

    And alarmists worry about radiation.

    In my opinion the best comment in this post – simple, elegant and so obviously correct – we just saw how powerful convection effects can be.

    PS Irene never got organised unlike Yasi which never left the tropics.

  51. R. Gates:

    Since you summed up ENSO so nicely (La Nina sucks heat from air to sea, El Nino pushes heat from sea to air) maybe you can answer me a question.

    Warmist philosophy states that between 1975 and 2000, human CO2 caused most (if not all) the global warming. Okay. So by that statement, we warm the air a lot faster than nature (Sun) warms the oceans. That’s cool. So between 1975 and 2000, since the air over the Pacific was a lot hotter than the waters, we should see in the records a lot of La Ninas to “balance the heat” as you say.

    Hmmm…… I think you have a problem there, let’s look at observations.

    During 1975 and 2000 there were 14 El Nino years, 6 La Nina years, and 5 neutral years. So for 60% of that 25 year period, heat was being pushed out of the Pacific into the air and only 20% where heat was being pulled into the Pacific. So unless you somehow found a way to avoid thermodynamics, doesn’t that show that natural warming (Sun heating the ocean) outweighs human warming (CO2 warming the air)? Because if “humans did it” that would mean there should’ve been more La Nina years to El Nino years since the air would be hotter than the sea.

  52. Gary Crough says:
    August 29, 2011 at 11:33 am
    Is the net effect of a hurricane to transfer heat to outer space?
    And if so, at what rate? For example, can a storm like Irene be expected to have a measurable impact on the (monthly & lower troposphere) satellite-based global temperature measurements for global temperature?

    The heat transfer from a Hurricane can be calculated from two aspects the energy transport of the water cycle and the kinetic energy of the wind. NASA has a page that explains this:

    It uses one method to calculate the energy from convection, clouds and rain, In ONE day an average hurricane releases energy ” equivalent to 200 times the world-wide electrical generating capacity”

    The other method is to calculate the wind kinetic energy. In ONE day an average hurricane generates kinetic energy “equivalent to about half the world-wide electrical generating capacity “.

    http://www.aoml.noaa.gov/hrd/tcfaq/D7.html

    A lot of energy – convection carries more heat from the surface than radiation.

    If you want to see the infra red from the top of weather systems then look at http://www.ssd.noaa.gov/goes/east/natl/flash-rb.html

    Note that this is infra-red heat energy released as latent heat, it is not linked to temperature or to Stefan Boltzmann’s radiation equations.

    For the water vapor imagery look at http://www.ssd.noaa.gov/goes/east/natl/flash-wv.html

  53. John Marshall says:
    August 29, 2011 at 6:50 am
    Convection transports the largest portion of heat to the stratosphere. convection on a large scale forms hurricanes/typhoons. QED

    And alarmists worry about radiation.
    ——–
    The importance of each mechanism for transporting heat varies with height. The higher you go the more important radiation becomes.

    Radiation becomes the bottleneck at the nominal boundary between the atmosphere and space. That’s why radiation is important and why CO2 is important.

  54. @ SteveSadlov

    Most of the increase in area is from the Beaufort adding a lot of 20-40% ice from convergence after that SLP a week ago wrecked it. Would Melt Ponds freezing over cause the extent to slow dramatically even though there are areas melting out all over the arctic daily?
    Have you looked at modis images today?
    The flow has been from NE Greenland slamming the Beaufort with ice, now it’s cut off and the ice there is starting to melt out without aid from richer ice sources. This will be reflected in the data tonight. And more so by tomorrow. It is likely we will see Area drop 200,000km2 by Sunday.
    A new SLP has formed and moves into the Western Arctic Basin. It will pump warm air/record warm SSTs into the Beaufort/Central Artic While inflow on the fram side/greenland sea side is crippling the ice down there. Ice between 135E and 100E up to 85N is still falling out because bottom melt is as bad as 2007. This is what happens when areas of the arctic are ice free for 3 months exposed to sun and warmth. Some buoys indicate bottom melt well into mid to late October.

    As far your continental glaciation.

    http://lance-modis.eosdis.nasa.gov/imagery/subsets/?subset=Arctic_r03c03.2011241.aqua

    Norsex also uses a 25km grid resolution which makes it useless.

    UB or Jaxa are much more reliable.

  55. Ok hurricanes are powered by ocean heat, it is well understood that they intensify over warm water and weaken over cold or land masses. The obvious heat dissipation mechanism is the evaporation of water vapor powered by convection to high atmosphere to cool and condense giving off radiant heat into space. But I would love to see the actual numbers on the radiation of the oceans heat surface in the trail of a hurricane whether it was from accelerated evaporation, dilution cooling by rainwater at the surface from the storm or vertical mixing of the thermocline due to wave action.

  56. Let us look – earth is maybe 8 billion years old and has definite temperature cycles. We arrogant humans are trying to observe one year, five year, twenty year, one hundred year, 1000 year and 5000 years – that is like looking at the stock market when it opens and seconds or minutes latter tell what it will do over of the next 20 years each day.

    We are just silly for even embarrassing ourselves calling this computer generated bunk sicience?

  57. re: R. Gates says: August 29, 2011 at 9:57 am

    Higher night time temperatures are one of the things that AGW models have predicted, but course skeptics love to ignore.

    I can’t speak for all of course, but I seriously doubt many skeptics ‘ignore’ this aspect. Amazingly, this is the exact same effect that urban heat island issue would also cause.

    Alternative hypotheses and confounding factors must be considered, and controlled for accurately, or it’s poor science or not science at all.

  58. The latest from the Climate Prediction Center has:
    (last week ….. this week)

    Niño 4 …… -.2°C ….. -.2°C
    Niño 3.4 … -.7°C ….. -.6°C
    Niño 3 …… -.5°C ….. -.6°C
    Niño 1+2 .. -.3°C ….. -.5°C

    Showing increased cooling anomaly in the Eastern Pacific.
    Welcome back, La Niña.

  59. As reported here at WUWT

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/06/26/global-hurricane-activity-at-historical-record-lows-new-paper/

    Cyclones/hurricanes are at record low levels. Cyclone energy (per annum) has halved since 1997.

    As always with the climate it is difficult to separate cause from effect, but fewer cyclones means less heat energy transported from the oceans to the atmosphere.

    The cause is either less heat energy available in the oceans,
    Or, some other cause with the consequence more heat energy being retained in the oceans.

    Given the evidence that the oceans aren’t warming (Argos) I tend toward the less heat energy in the oceans cause. Which means fewer cyclones results from climate cooling.

  60. I can tell when I have touched a nerve or three. There are certain sacred cows amongst certain quarters of the cryo community.

  61. Dale says:
    August 29, 2011 at 3:41 pm

    R. Gates:

    Since you summed up ENSO so nicely (La Nina sucks heat from air to sea, El Nino pushes heat from sea to air) maybe you can answer me a question.

    Warmist philosophy states that between 1975 and 2000, human CO2 caused most (if not all) the global warming. Okay. So by that statement, we warm the air a lot faster than nature (Sun) warms the oceans. That’s cool. So between 1975 and 2000, since the air over the Pacific was a lot hotter than the waters, we should see in the records a lot of La Ninas to “balance the heat” as you say.

    Hmmm…… I think you have a problem there, let’s look at observations.

    During 1975 and 2000 there were 14 El Nino years, 6 La Nina years, and 5 neutral years. So for 60% of that 25 year period, heat was being pushed out of the Pacific into the air and only 20% where heat was being pulled into the Pacific. So unless you somehow found a way to avoid thermodynamics, doesn’t that show that natural warming (Sun heating the ocean) outweighs human warming (CO2 warming the air)? Because if “humans did it” that would mean there should’ve been more La Nina years to El Nino years since the air would be hotter than the sea.

    ____
    A few problems with your analysis of La Nina and El Nino. First, during La Nina years, the oceans are not “sucking heat from air to sea”, but rather the NET of heat entering the ocean, from both DLW (downwelling long wave), plus direct solar insolation or shortwave, is toward the oceans gaining heat during a La Nina year when compared to an El Nino year. Your reference to the time period in question is an interesting one, as the total ocean heat content did indeed go up during that period, so one must not assume that during this period that El Nino’s and La Nina’s completely balanced out, but rather, the cycle of ENSO has shown a step-wise increase over this period. Absent any AGW, we should see a step-wise decrease over the following few decades. Failure to do so will of course be further confirmation of AGW. The bottom line: despite the numbers of El Nino’s compare to La Nina’s…they still are not enough to dissipate ocean heat content over this period, meaning that oceans are gaining more heat during La Nina’s then they can dissipate during El Nino’s– at least for the period in question.

  62. Anything is possible says:
    August 29, 2011 at 9:56 am

    R. Gates says:
    August 29, 2011 at 9:14 am

    “I was not the one who mentioned Hurricanes and La Nina together in the same post.”

    _____________________________________________________________________________

    Actually, you were. At 7:07 am. In the first ten words too.

    Thanks for the laugh, though.

    ______
    It seems you don’t know what the “very first” means, like in the very top of this thread, which reads:

    “Hurricanes are heat engines, transporting massive amounts of heat from lower to higher levels of the atmosphere.

    La Niña is growing too.”

    But it seems you simply need a reason to laugh, so have at it.

  63. Bill Illis says:
    August 29, 2011 at 10:02 am

    During a La Nina, out-going longwave radiation in the equatorial Pacific can be 50 watts/m2 higher than normal due to the lack of cloud-cover. Additional energy is being released to space during a La Nina, that is why there is cooling. (R. Gates is trying to argue the opposite but he is not right as usual).
    ______
    Bill, again, you have your basic physics confused, and it even goes against common sense. If the ocean didn’t build up heat during a La Nina, where would that heat come from that is then released during an El Nino? During a La Nina, the Pacific equatorial surface waters are cooler than normal (i.e. they are releasing less heat). If you can’t understand this basic principle, perhaps there’s no point in conversing.

  64. JJ says:
    August 29, 2011 at 2:13 pm

    Higher nighttime temperatures may also predicted by changes in the extent and pattern of cloudiness, ‘but course’ CO2 AGW religionists love to ignore. And suppress. And wave hands in front of. And pretend dont exist.

    ____
    JJ, the role of clouds and water vapor as feedback (both positive and negative) to increasing amounts of CO2 in the atmosphere has hardly been ignored or “suppressed”. I strongly suggest you really do some deeper research on this to see that water vapor, clouds, and aerosols are among the most widely studied and difficult areas of climate study…especially when trying to understand their various feedbacks to increasing amounts of CO2.

  65. R. Gates says:
    August 29, 2011 at 8:54 pm
    Failure to do so will of course be further confirmation of AGW

    Why bicker over a few straws when you have a truck loaded with bales?
    You still do not have confirmation of wholesale warming in significant excess of natural patterns, despite having an army of straw arguments.
    Nothing further on account of their is no missing heat to account for.
    Which is why this thread is about the heat pump that just hit the Atlantic.

  66. Gates says:

    “Absent any AGW, we should see a step-wise decrease over the following few decades.”

    Wait… what?? The planet is emerging from the LIA – but if it doesn’t, then that is supposedly evidence of AGW?? That is lunacy, not science. Where do you get your crazy notions, from Skeptical Pseudo-Science, or Romm’s Climate Progressivism?

    And: “Failure to do so will of course be further confirmation of AGW.”

    What??!? If the planet continues to naturally emerge from th LIA, then that is your ‘further confirmation of AGW’??

    Gates, you have exactly zero understanding of the scientific method, or of the null hypothesis, or of physical science in general. Your absolute belief in AGW is based on your true belief system, and it is irrational as we can see from your statement above. You remind me of the movie, Say Anything. If you ever based your arguments on the scientific method, they would go up in flames.

  67. Smokey says:
    August 29, 2011 at 9:30 pm

    He might get it if there were colored dye in the oceans detailing where the heat is going, and what it’s doing when it gets there.

  68. The current La Nina is deepening, making this the second double-dip La Nina in half a decade. This is consistent with a transition to a La Nina dominated phase out of an el Nino phase, which constitutes the cool phase of the PDO.

    Combine this with the apparent beginning of an overturn in sea levels, and the overall picture is one of a commencing cooling phase which is either of a magnitude expected from the 60 year pattern, or perhaps even greater.

  69. Stephen Wilde says:
    August 29, 2011 at 9:54 am
    During the late 20th century warming period the situation was reversed in that a more active sun was increasing the energy available for hurricane activity AND the exit of that energy to space was slowed down because the hurricane tracks remained within the tropics.

    According to the NCEP re-analysis OLR increased by 6W/m^2 from 1948 to 2003.

  70. R. Gates says:
    August 29, 2011 at 9:03 pm
    Bill Illis says:
    August 29, 2011 at 10:02 am

    During a La Nina, out-going longwave radiation in the equatorial Pacific can be 50 watts/m2 higher than normal due to the lack of cloud-cover. Additional energy is being released to space during a La Nina, that is why there is cooling. (R. Gates is trying to argue the opposite but he is not right as usual).
    ______
    Bill, again, you have your basic physics confused, and it even goes against common sense. If the ocean didn’t build up heat during a La Nina, where would that heat come from that is then released during an El Nino? During a La Nina, the Pacific equatorial surface waters are cooler than normal (i.e. they are releasing less heat). If you can’t understand this basic principle, perhaps there’s no point in conversing.

    Gates, are you incapable of understanding the difference between the atmosphere and the ocean? How much OGLWR was released during Irene? The lack of cloud cover during La Nina is documented. The outgoing LWR is documented. The atmosphere cools. The SWR penetrates the ocean surface where the residence time of that energy can be years.

  71. ” If the ocean didn’t build up heat during a La Nina, where would that heat come from that is then released during an El Nino?”
    Blue and red images have you confused. The oceans release heat 24 hours a day, even during the 12 hours they tend to absorb solar radiation. La Nina is not a “net absorption” of heat but colder subsurface water circulating from Antarctic and Bathys climes. Illis knows whereof he speaks.

  72. LazyTeenager says:
    August 29, 2011 at 3:58 pm

    Radiation becomes the bottleneck at the nominal boundary between the atmosphere and space. That’s why radiation is important and why CO2 is important.

    Exactly how much CO2 is there at the nominal boundary between the atmosphere and space?

  73. Oh, and all the peole saying that El Nino means that the oceans are releasing heat to the atmosphere and La Nina means they are absorbing more heat, must’ve missed the numerous posts by Bob Tisdale among others about the nature of ENSO. It’s nowhere near as simplistic as El Nino = warming air and cooling water, La Nina = cooling air and warming water.

  74. Keith says:
    August 30, 2011 at 4:51 am

    Oh, and all the peole saying that El Nino means that the oceans are releasing heat to the atmosphere and La Nina means they are absorbing more heat, must’ve missed the numerous posts by Bob Tisdale among others about the nature of ENSO. It’s nowhere near as simplistic as El Nino = warming air and cooling water, La Nina = cooling air and warming water.

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

    Always one to go for the electrical analogy, here’s my mental model for ENSO. It’s like a crude oscillator circuit. The capacitor is the warm pool over by Indonesia. El Nino is the discharge cycle, La Nina is the charging cycle. Just because that circuit element may be charging or discharging, the oceans are not globally doing so in lock step.

  75. “According to the NCEP re-analysis OLR increased by 6W/m^2 from 1948 to 2003.”

    Quite right Rog. I should have said:

    “AND the exit of that energy to space from that particular source was slowed down because the hurricane tracks remained within the tropics.”

    Meanwhile other sources had a larger positive impact on OLR namely warmer ocean surfaces generally.

  76. gary gulrud says:
    August 30, 2011 at 4:39 am
    ” If the ocean didn’t build up heat during a La Nina, where would that heat come from that is then released during an El Nino?”
    Blue and red images have you confused. The oceans release heat 24 hours a day, even during the 12 hours they tend to absorb solar radiation. La Nina is not a “net absorption” of heat but colder subsurface water circulating from Antarctic and Bathys climes. Illis knows whereof he speaks.

    _____

    I suppose the key word here is “NET”. Say it: NET NET NET. The oceans can’t constantly be releasing more NET heat than they aborb, or they’d freeze up. There has to be some part of every ocean cycle (be it daily, annually, or ENSO) in which:
    1) the NET heat loss is greater than that which is gained, and
    2) visa versa, some part of a cycle in which the NET heat gained, is greater than the loss.

    For the ENSO cycle, El Nino is when #1 above occurs, and La Nina when #2 occurs. You can try to equivocate this all you want, and I’m sure you will.

  77. http://pafc.arh.noaa.gov/ice.php?img=fullice

    There is also some interesting commentary from this office which speaks “volumes” about how “ice tectonics” can form new “cratons” just like what happens with continental crust. In this case, there is a lot of new thin ice at the edge. Over the next few days a wind event is prog’ed to result in compressive stress and subsequent “obduction” of thin ice into thicker ice. Yes the edge will temporarily “retreat” but thicker more resilient ice will emerge from the event. Fascinating stuff.

  78. R. Gates says:
    August 30, 2011 at 11:37 am

    You’re missing the point. The Oceans store 3000 times the heat the Atmosphere does and yet have an emissivity 500 times that of H20. Illis pointed out OLR heats the Troposphere because of H20 aloft, yet La Nina, comparatively cloudless, allows transparent passage.

    The difference in emissivity of water in tens of degrees is negligible. Cloudiness has no effect on the final destination of 60% of incoming radiation, IR and UV. The effect you grope for is one impinging on the Atmosphere not the Oceans.

  79. R. Gates says:
    August 29, 2011 at 9:57 am

    Higher night time temperatures are one of the things that AGW models have predicted, but course skeptics love to ignore.

    Actually skeptics love to refute this claim.

    From http://www.friendsofscience.org/assets/documents/FOS%20Essay/Climate_Change_Science.html#Models_fail

    Computer models predict warming at the north and south poles to be symmetrical, but there is a warming trend at the North Pole but not at the South Pole. They also predict that the polar surface regions will warm more than the surface at the tropics. Winter temperatures will warm more than summer temperatures; night-time temperatures will warm more than day-time temperatures. Therefore, according to the CO2 warming theory, winter nights in the arctic will warm, but there will be little summer day time warming in the tropics.

    A team of four researchers from three American universities led by David Douglass compared the troposphere temperature trends in the tropics predicted from climate models to actual satellite and radiosonde observations. In a paper published in December 2007 by the Royal Meteorological Society, Douglass et al analysed the simulation results from 22 climate models at the surface and at 12 different altitudes. The simulation results were compared to the temperature trends determined from two analysis of satellite data and four radiosonde datasets for the period January 1979 through December 2004.

    After the graph, this article continues:

    The above diagram shows the comparison of temperature trends from 1979 through 2004 of climate models and actual satellite and radiosonde observations, expressed as degrees Celsius per decade versus altitude and atmospheric pressure. The left panel shows four radiosonde results as IGRA, RATPAC, HadAT2 and RAOBCORE. The thick red line shows the mean of the 22 computer model results, and the models’ 2 times standard error of the mean are shown as the two thin red lines. Temperature trends from three surface measurement datasets are identified in the legend by Sfc and are plotted on the left axis. The RSS and UAH analysis of satellite data are plotted on the right panel at two effective layers: T2lt represents the lower troposphere with a weighted mean at 2.5 km, T2 represents the mid troposphere with a weighted mean at 6.1 km altitude. A trend is the slope of the line that has been least-squared fit to the data. Synthetic model values corresponding to the effective layers of the satellite data are shown in the right panel as open red circles.

    An essential place to compare observations with greenhouse computer models is the layer between 450 hPa and 750 hPa atmospheric pressure where the presence of water vapour is most important, and is called the “characteristic emission layer”. In this layer, the observations are all outside the 2 times standard error test. The radiosonde and satellite trends are inconsistent with the model trends at all altitudes above the surface. Douglass et al. conclude that “Model results and observed temperature trends are in disagreement in most of the tropical troposphere, being separated by more than twice the uncertainty of the model mean. In layers near 5 km, the modelled trend is 100 to 300% higher than observed, and, above 8 km, modelled and observed trends have opposite signs.” Therefore any projections of future climate from the models are very likely too high, and these projections should not be used to form public policy. See the paper “A comparison of tropical temperature trends with model predictions” here.

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