Volcanic Disruptions

Guest Post by Willis Eschenbach

The claim is often made that volcanoes support the theory that forcing rules temperature. The aerosols from the eruptions are injected into the stratosphere. This reflects additional sunlight, and cuts the amount of sunshine that strikes the surface. As a result of this reduction in forcing, the biggest volcanic eruptions are said to depress global temperatures, sometimes for years.

The idea that large volcanoes significantly cool the planet is widely accepted. This effect is built into the climate models, for example. It is a reflection of the dominant climate paradigm, which is that surface temperature is a linear function of forcing. Since it can be measured observationally that the volcanoes greatly reduce the global solar forcing, it follows that they must significantly affect the global temperature.

However, I hold that the climate system is not an inert slave of changes in forcing. I hold that the climate system immediately and actively responds to changes in forcing by adjusting things like albedo, cloud type, cloud formation times and locations, timing of Nino/Nina alterations, and the like, to quickly counteract any forcing changes.

Which means, of course, that according to my hypothesis, even very large volcanoes should a have very small effect on the global temperature. To see which hypothesis is true, mine or the standard AGW hypothesis, I devised a little game I call “Spot the Volcanoes”. Two of the largest volcanoes of the century occurred within a twenty year time span. See if you can tell where they occurred.

Figure 1. First difference (month-to-month change) in global surface air temperature. Timespan shown is twenty years. Two of the largest volcanoes of the 20th century are shown in this record. The volcano in the picture is Mt. Redoubt, Alaska, one of my favorite mountains.

In Figure 1, to make things a bit difficult, I show the month-by-month CHANGE in temperature. This is not the temperature itself, but the month-by-month change in temperature, called “delta T” (∆T). If the temperature is a function of the forcing, the eruptions should be making the temperatures drop for a while. So the game is, where in Figure 1 are the two eruptions? Make your choice before you take the jump …

The answer is shown in Figure 2 below. It contains the record of the atmospheric transmission over Mauna Loa. The two eruptions, of El Chichon and Mt. Pinatubo, are very apparent in the Mauna Loa (MLO) record. I have scaled the Mauna Loa record to the corresponding GISS estimate for the forcing from Pinatubo (in W/m2), in order to show the generally accepted size of the volcanic forcing.

Figure 2. As in Figure 1, plus Mauna Loa atmospheric transmittance observations. These observations are of the total amount of clear-sky sunlight making it through the atmosphere. 

Now, I can already hear folks grumbling, that this was not a fair game, that it was rigged because it was the first differences and not the actual temperature itself. And besides, most people don’t spend much time looking at first differences, so it was too hard. And perhaps those folks are 100% correct.

So let’s play a bonus round of “Spot the Volcanoes”, this time using the real temperature data. Figure 3 shows a stretch of the HadCRUT3 global surface air temperature record. This time it includes one smaller and two larger volcanoes. See if you can spot where the big ones erupted:

Figure 3. A stretch of the HadCRUT3 temperature record containing one small and two large eruptions. Don’t bother trying to find the small one.

So once again, the game is to spot two volcanoes.

Now at this time,

.

We’ve got to play the game show music,

.

. dee

. dee

. da dee dee dum

.

So as to hide the answer,

.

Until you make your choice, of the exact location of the two eruptions in Figure 3.

.

So here it is.

Figure 4. As in Figure 2, showing the eruptions of El Chichon (1982) and Pinatubo (1993). The small eruption is Mt. Agung (1963).

I’m sure you understand my point. There is nothing to see. The kinds of temperature excursions we see after the volcanoes are not different from the temperature excursions before the volcanoes.

How big an effect should we have seen, given the IPCC assumptions about climate sensitivity? Well, the average change in forcing over the three years following the Pinatubo eruption is ~ -1.7 W/m2. Now, that’s about half the forcing change expected from a doubling of CO2, maintained for three entire years … and where’s the response? Using the IPCC numbers, we should have seen a temperature drop of 1.4°C at equilibrium, and three years after the step change we should have seen at least a full degree of that …

Instead of a full degree of cooling after Pinatubo, or even half a degree, we see maybe a tenth of a degree of cooling.

But wait, as they say on TV … it’s even worse than that. The drop after Pinatubo may be just by chance, because after the earlier El Chichon eruption we see maybe a tenth of a degree of warming … and the average three year change in forcing for El Chichon is only trivially smaller than Pinatubo, at ~ -1.6 W/m.

So this is a great natural experiment regarding changes in forcing. From these observations, as near as we can tell, half the forcing change expected from a doubling of CO2 was applied for three full years, at two different times, and it resulted in … well, pretty much nothing.

So I’d say that the volcanic eruption data strongly supports my thermostat hypothesis, which says that changes in forcing are almost immediately and nearly completely offset by opposing changes in other aspects of the climate system.

w.

PS—Here’s the double bonus question … the UAH lower temperature record:

Figure 5. UAH MSU satellite based global lower tropospheric temperature record.

This time the game is a bit different. Are there one or two volcanoes in the record, and where is it / are they?.

Now at this time,

.

We’ve got to play the game show music like last time,

.

. dee

. dee

. da dee dee dum

.

So as to hide the answer,

.

Until you make your choice, of the exact location of the two eruptions in Figure 5.

.

So here it is.

Figure 6. As Figure 5 plus transmittance information.

Note that as with the surface temperature record, the globe cooled slightly after Pinatubo … and that as with the surface temperature record, the globe warmed slightly after El Chichon. And since the post-Pinatubo drop is indistinguishable from the post-1983 and the post-1988 drops, there is no reason to assume that the post-1991 drop is due solely to Pinatubo.

Which in my opinion is why all of the analyses focus on Pinatubo, while poor El Chichon is roundly ignored because it didn’t get the memo about causing a temperature drop.

PS—Does this mean volcanoes have no effect on the climate? No, it just means that because of the immediate and basically “equal but opposite” response of the climate system to forcing changes, the effect is much more local, much shorter lived, and much smaller than would be expected if the IPCC estimates of climate sensitivity were correct.

FURTHER READING: Climate forcing by the volcanic eruption of Mount Pinatubo

[UPDATE] People have asked for more information about how the climate responds to counteract the cooling action of the volcano. Figure 7 shows the response of the albedo to the Pinatubo eruption. The albedo immediately began to drop, allowing more and more sunlight to warm the surface.

Figure 7. Anomaly in post-albedo solar isolation for the period 1984-1998. The transmittance change due to the volcano is shown in red. Albedo data from Hatzianastassiou et al.

You can see that it’s not too hard to spot the volcano in this graph … which is exactly the reason why it’s so hard to spot in the other graphs.

w.

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216 Responses to Volcanic Disruptions

  1. Latitude says:

    …I like this game :)

  2. ArndB says:

    The impact of volcanoes is interesting, because it forces the oceans to “divert from statistical means”. Twenty years ago I did some research concerning the reaction of the ocean; details here http://www.whatisclimate.com/conditions-for-the-protection-of-the-global-climate.html#_aa14 concluding –inter alias- :

    “The fact that the air circulation did not reach its minimum until 1888 is not surprising. From the middle of the 1880s on, a “weakening” of the oceans in the higher latitudes must have become noticeable. The less heat energy the ocean feeds into the atmosphere, the weaker become the dynamics in the atmosphere. This also becomes clear when it is seen that three years after Krakatoa the temperatures above land rose more sharply than above the oceans.”

  3. adolfogiurfa says:

    Or…those temperatures´anomalies, being really a straight line, is meaningless.

  4. Hoser says:

    That’s interesting, but what does it really mean? We’ve seen other data where volcanic eruptions apparently have more obvious effects. You show a small sample, pick some graphs that are not necessarily random or representative of temperature data generally available. I’m not buying it yet.

  5. sunsettommy says:

    You left out a few details that would have helped.
    The strong 1982 El-Nino that can blunt the effect of a large volcanic eruption.Which is an atmospheric effect.
    You also did not tell us what the level of dust and other particles were from Mt. Pinatubo and El Chichon.Were they that insignificant?

    Generally the higher the dust and other “cooling” materials can go up into the upper atmosphere the greater the short term cooling effect.Since very few volcanoes in past push them high enough to do much of anything.That is why many eruption effects do not show up in the temperature record.

    But a few that did such as Tambora,Krakatoa,Laki among others huge eruptions.They ALWAYS caused a big cool down for a short time after wards that clearly stood out.Some caused a lot suffering.

    Tambora is a good case for significant climatic disruption that cause the famous phrase “the year without summer”

    Year Without Summer: Effects Of Tambora Volcanic Eruption On Iberian Peninsula Studied For First Time

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/02/090225161422.htm

  6. Mike Baillie has been sparing with the volcanoes-do-it-all crowd for years. He thinks the older climate excursions result from extraterrestrial inputs: http://cosmictusk.com/?s=mike+baillie

    I know he was controversial with skeptics when he claimed his data was proprietary, but he is a good egg and has been unfairly squelched by his critics (many of your same).

  7. Jon Tuck says:

    Good observations, good game. Your initial statement is a bit contentious though – i.e. that the climate always responds through a series of negative feedbacks. It’s a complex system with both positive and negative feedbacks. Other well-characterised systems with a mixture of postive and negative feedbacks (e.g. electrical circuits) tend to lurch between metastable states – a bit like moving a ping-pong ball around in an eggbox. Give it a little push and it will roll back to where it came from, push it hard enough and it will abruptly go somewhere else. Anyway, you’ve convinced me that recent volcanoes haven’t really done enough to push the ball out its current place, but not that the climate is immune to stronger forcings.

  8. Matt Skaggs says:

    Have you read the book “Volcano Weather” and what do you have on Tambora? If the global records are correct, Tambora had a huge effect and crops in the US failed due to mid-summer frosts. Unless I am missing something, your general hypothesis about forcing is vulnerable to a single, well-documented countervailing example.

  9. commieBob says:

    It just takes a sufficiently large volcano to have an effect on the climate. Consider Krakatoa for instance. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1883_eruption_of_Krakatoa

    The eruption darkened the sky worldwide for years afterwards, and produced spectacular sunsets throughout the world for many months.

    It seems likely that the ensuing temperature drop was not just a coincidence.

    The last super volcano, 600,000 years ago, nearly led to the extinction of the human race. http://lennyp.hubpages.com/hub/Supervolcanoes

  10. Geoff Alder says:

    Willis

    As an unapologetic simpleton, may I say how much I enjoyed this article. Indeed, I greatly enjoy most of them–at least those that I can partially understand!

    Thank you for all your hard work. (But there can be no doubt you must take great pleasure from putting them all together.)

    Geoff Alder

  11. Neil Jones says:

    So Gia works, balancing out the hiccoughs along the way as was originally proposed. Sad even Gia’s wondrous working have to be ignored for the sake of power and money.

  12. wsbriggs says:

    It seems we have more than a few “Playas”.

    For those who’ve forgotten about Pinatubo, we had an ozone hole at the North Pole following the eruption.

    For those who flipped up Krakatoa, even Gaia takes time when she has a rant to restabilize. Nonetheless, Willis’ point still holds, with the ueber tonnage of dust, ash, SO2, etc thrown into the atmosphere, the world still recovered within a short (geologically speaking) time period. In my mind, 5 years isn’t forever – Wikipedia, 1883 eruption of Krakatoa. It would take strong persistent negative feedback to fix something of that scale that fast.

  13. BM says:

    I got the second volcano exactly right in the first graph. I got the timing first volcano right if you spot me much larger margin of error on the second graph. On the last graph I got both volcanos right, the second spot on, and the first with a wider margin of error.

    Had you not said how many volcanos I would have guessed that there were a whole lot more than I was guessing.

  14. Sandy says:

    The Eschenbach Thermostat Theory suggests that after a major eruption, with insolation at the surface reduced, ITCZ Cu-nims should start later in the day.
    Could this be measured??

  15. KR says:

    It’s always worth noting that there isn’t just one forcing in effect – we have solar, ENSO, volcanic, anthropogenic GHG’s, etc. When you add _all_ of the forcing changes together it is rather more clear – instead of trying to spot changes from volcanic forcing when, for example, ENSO and solar changes are occurring at the same time.

    I’ll also point out that looking at the changes in temperatures relative to forcing changes supports the climate sensitivity estimates – if you actually run the numbers…

    Foster and Rahmstorf 2011 – forcing attribution over the last 30 years (http://iopscience.iop.org/1748-9326/6/4/044022)

    Lean and Rind 2008 – forcing attribution 1896 to 2006 (http://content.imamu.edu.sa/Scholars/it/net/lean2008gl034864-marked-attached.pdf)

  16. DirkH says:

    “PS—Does this mean volcanoes have no effect on the climate? No, it just means that because of the immediate and basically “equal but opposite” response of the climate system to forcing changes, the effect is much more local, much shorter lived”

    I disagree; I see it like this: All of the time, that oscillator that quasiperiodically creates La Niña / El Niño events, is charged by UV penetrating the oceans down to the boundary layer. The forcing modulation influences how fast this “heat capacitor” is charged. The timing and direction of the next event is influenced by that; but as it can take quite a while for it to occur, consequences of the volcanic eruption can be hidden for an unpredictable amount of time.

    With regards to the immediate reaction of the atmosphere, though, Willis seems to be right.

  17. Anopheles says:

    In the cases of Tambora and Krakatoa, can we see how long it took for the temperature to come back? Would the apparently short time mean mean response is pretty quick, and that therefore heat in the pipeline or long approaches to ‘equiliibrium’ are nonsense?

  18. daviditron says:

    Amazing. Even being roughly familiar with the changes in temps over the last decades, I still got it wrong! What this tells me is that even MASSIVE events by themselves don’t drive climate but rather a million factors affect what happens. Great demonstration.

  19. Dennis Nikols, P. Geo says:

    Thanks for the discussion. Most of what people call large eruptions are in geological terms a quite small to minor. Fortunately the truly big ones are very infrequent.

  20. Matthew W says:

    Willis, good article.
    In this quote:

    “I hold that the climate system immediately and actively responds to changes in forcing by adjusting things like albedo, cloud type, cloud formation times and locations, timing of Nino/Nina alterations, and the like, to quickly counteract any forcing changes.”

    Are you suggesting that there is a natural “balance” of/on/by/for the planet?

  21. The other possibility is that you have demonstrated that the temperature anomaly record and global average temperature information is useless for climate study as it cannot even find evidence of major forcings.

    The apocryphal evidence was that winters were noticeably more severe following the El Chichon eruption. The effect did not show up until the following winter. In Colorado we had the longest period of continuous snow cover on the ground in the Denver metro area on record (63 days) stretching from the Thanksgiving day blizzard of 1983 (21.5 inches snow fall over 37 hours ) with high winds. The snow cover persisted until January 27 of 1984.

    Granted this is only one local weather anomaly but the public perception at the time following these major volcanic eruptions was that the following winters 6 – 18 months after the event were noticeably harsher than usual.

    Many of us question the validity and usefulness of the temperature records and the use of global average temperatures and temperature anomalies for climate study. In view of that fact, it is just as likely that your demonstration shows the lack of validity of those temperature records, as it does demonstrate your hypothesis that the world climate actively resists forcing by compensation.

    Although I generally agree that thermal convection and the other related consequences of strong thunderstorm development is a powerful component of the “heat engine” we call weather, we can’t have it both ways and say the temperature records are worthless when arguing one hypothesis and then on another day use those same records to falsify a different hypothesis.

    Larry

  22. Willis Eschenbach says:

    Sandy says:
    March 16, 2012 at 9:03 am

    The Eschenbach Thermostat Theory suggests that after a major eruption, with insolation at the surface reduced, ITCZ Cu-nims should start later in the day.
    Could this be measured??

    Thanks, Sandy. I’ve been wondering about that myself. Unfortunately, the datasets that might be of use (TAO buoys, Argo floats, etc.) generally don’t start until after Pinatubo.

    w.

  23. Greg Holmes says:

    Good hypothesis, not sure its spot on but is looking likely. I love the real world versus models, real wins every time.

  24. M Courtney says:

    Marvellous.
    The climate models use of forcings which are derived from Pinatubo seems to be blown out of the sky.

    However, just because the models are wrong it doesn’t mean that all volcanoes will be of localised impact. There could be a scale of explosion (bigger then these two) which breaks out of the lower atmosphere and into the jet stream. If the volume of dust was big enough that could cause a global impact.

    Science fiction, I know, but mega-volcanoes (steam explosions) are supposedly on a different scale.

  25. James of the West says:

    The post high powered volcano drops are obvious in the anomaly record but temporary (2 or 3 years). the IPCC assumes they know and understand all climate forces, which is where the wheels fall of their wagon – it tends to make them artificially increase the sensitvity to the forces that they do consider because they cannot attribute any force to the variables they do not consider (clouds, GCR aerosols etc).

  26. Allan MacRae says:

    Very interesting Willis.

    The climate system seems highly stable in response to volcanic disruptions…
    …in addition to being highly insensitive to increases in atmospheric CO2.

    Instead of searching in vain for evidence of significant human impact on climate, we should be looking for a huge shock absorber in the climate system.

    It’s also interesting to see how often actual climate data tends to disprove the CAGW (very-scary global warming) hypothesis.

    The CAGW hypothesis is dying – every day that goes by provides new data to further falsify the global warming scare.

    This is why the global warming fraudsters have tried to whip up a public frenzy to demand emergency action to “fight global warming”, with very-scary talk of a climate “tipping point” of no return. There is no such scientific tipping point – it is pure political gamesmanship.

    The real tipping point the warmists fear is that of public opinion – if they cannot stampede a gullible public into handing them power quickly, then the decade-long absence of global warming, or even the advent of global cooling, will destroy their last tattered shreds of credibility.

  27. Willis Eschenbach says:

    Anopheles says:
    March 16, 2012 at 9:09 am

    In the cases of Tambora and Krakatoa, can we see how long it took for the temperature to come back? Would the apparently short time mean mean response is pretty quick, and that therefore heat in the pipeline or long approaches to ‘equiliibrium’ are nonsense?

    Dunno … Tambora was 1815, Krakatoa was 1883. In neither case is our data much good, nor do we have actual measurements of the transmission loss. I’ll take a look at 1883 when get a chance.

    w.

  28. gnomish says:

    well, when carl sagan started the rock.star.scientist.saving.the.world.from cataclysm.by.lying.with.a.sincere.expression industry, he founded his ficticious enterprise precisely on the idea of aerosol cooling effect (from nucules, dontcha know).
    but when kuwait was burning… and there were no global effects as he prognosticated with his prognosticator well lubed…
    well, that was the last we heard out of his sorry lie hole.
    since then, of course, they’ve learned that there are no consequences for getting flat out busted for outrageous lies – because lying for the cause is just a measure of one’s devotion.
    it’s lies all the way down.

  29. Willis Eschenbach says:

    KR says:
    March 16, 2012 at 9:03 am

    It’s always worth noting that there isn’t just one forcing in effect – we have solar, ENSO, volcanic, anthropogenic GHG’s, etc. When you add _all_ of the forcing changes together it is rather more clear – instead of trying to spot changes from volcanic forcing when, for example, ENSO and solar changes are occurring at the same time.

    I’ll also point out that looking at the changes in temperatures relative to forcing changes supports the climate sensitivity estimates – if you actually run the numbers…

    Foster and Rahmstorf 2011 – forcing attribution over the last 30 years (http://iopscience.iop.org/1748-9326/6/4/044022)

    Thanks, KR, Tamino and Rahmstorf, paywalled? If either one told me it was raining, I’d check out the window before believing them. No way I’ll pay to read garbage from people who censor scientific opinions and spend their time grinding their axes, I’d advise you do the same.

    Lean and Rind 2008 – forcing attribution 1896 to 2006 (http://content.imamu.edu.sa/Scholars/it/net/lean2008gl034864-marked-attached.pdf)

    Lean and Rind claim a cooling of about – 0.2°C for El Chichon, and about – 0.1°C for Mt Agung. Since those don’t show up in the surface record at all, I’m not sure what you mean when you say that “supports the climate sensitivity estimates” …

    w.

  30. Steve Oregon says:

    sunsettommy says:
    March 16, 2012 at 8:20 am
    You left out a few details that would have helped.

    What a perfect message to send to the IPCC.

  31. Willis Eschenbach says:

    Larry Ledwick (hotrod) says:
    March 16, 2012 at 9:10 am

    The other possibility is that you have demonstrated that the temperature anomaly record and global average temperature information is useless for climate study as it cannot even find evidence of major forcings.

    Many of us question the validity and usefulness of the temperature records and the use of global average temperatures and temperature anomalies for climate study. In view of that fact, it is just as likely that your demonstration shows the lack of validity of those temperature records, as it does demonstrate your hypothesis that the world climate actively resists forcing by compensation.

    Thanks, Larry. If the satellite record didn’t agree in all major details with the ground record regarding what happened after Pinatubo and El Chichon, I’d say you might have a point.

    But since the satellite record did agree as to the timing and the size of the eruption-caused variations, I’d say your claim is incorrect.

    w.

  32. Willis Eschenbach says:

    James of the West says:
    March 16, 2012 at 9:19 am

    The post high powered volcano drops are obvious in the anomaly record but temporary (2 or 3 years).

    No, they are not “obvious”, that’s the whole point of the game.

    Most people can’t guess where the vocanoes are, and if it were “obvious”, everyone would be able to guess it spot on. There is actually a rise after El Chichon.

    And it is not clear if any of the variations are much more than random swings. The records contain many other drops the size of the swing after Pinatubo, so we have no assurance that the Pinatubo swing is not partially natural …

    w.

  33. Steve from Rockwood says:

    Nice work Willis. It is interesting to note that where there is data, the evidence is slim and where there is no data, the claims are huge.

  34. Girma says:

    Willis

    I think the effects of volcanoes exist after the explosion, but it is just hidden within the larger natural variation. If you remove the known short and long term variations, the effects of the volcanoes will be more evident.

  35. MarkW says:

    Matt Skaggs says:
    March 16, 2012 at 8:28 am

    —-

    Another possibility is that there is a limit to how much the negative feedbacks can compensate for.
    El Chichon and Pinatubo weren’t big enough to swamp the feedbacks, Tambora was.

  36. GeneDoc says:

    Nice read Willis, I very much enjoy your empiric approach. If I understand your post correctly, you suggest that the Earth ocean/atmosphere system responds to reduced insolation in ways (largely unknown) that tend to maintain surface atmospheric temperature. But surely energy is lost somewhere? (and it’s a tragedy that we don’t know where!). Oceans are a huge heat sink, and I would imagine that they act as the principle buffer of atmospheric temperature change over short time intervals. But what about more drastic changes in energy influx? Or longer time intervals?

    I find limit cases instructive (if completely unrealistic):
    How long might the temperature be buffered if insolation went abruptly to zero? That is, what is the rate of loss of energy from the system and how much energy is present? The claim is that it’s well balanced, and that must be true at steady state. But the total heat stored in the system without input must provide some sense of the buffering capacity. And surely energy efflux could not fall to zero.
    Alternatively, what might you expect from a -1.7 W/m2 reduction ad infinitum? A few years seems well buffered, but at some point the Earth ocean/atmosphere system must adjust to a lower total energy. If that doesn’t show up in surface air temperature, where is it?

  37. paddylol says:

    Willis: How are the nasty gases and acids that spew into the atmosphere during eruptions accounted for? What are their impacts on greenhouse gas levels? Do the eacerbate or moderate atmospheric and surface temperatures?

  38. Anything is possible says:

    Play your game with volcanoes and lower stratospheric temperatures Willis, and you’d lose every time……

    http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/hadobs/hadat/images/update_images/global_upper_air.png

    It is not the immediate effect (strong warming) that intrigues me so much as what happens afterwards. When the aerosols (presumably) clear out, lower stratospheric temperatures fall dramatically to a level lower than they were before the eruption and, so far at least, there is no clear sign of any sort of recovery.

    What’s up with that? Anyone?

  39. Sandy says:

    Probably the best test of the EschenTherm Theory would be from those photos of the sun-side earth.
    A white pixel count in the band 20 deg N / S would give an ETT index which should drop after an eruption.

  40. Werner Brozek says:

    Le Chatelier’s Principle initially just basically applied to simple systems, I believe a much more complicated set of Le Chatelier’s types of Principles could be developed for climate, but we are not there yet. Perhaps 50 variables may be changing at any given time.

    I believe Lubos’ article on Le Chatelier’s principle and climate would be an interesting read: http://motls.blogspot.com/2007/11/le-chateliers-principle-and-natures.html

    From this article:

    “But the idea that positive feedbacks dominate or that they are the ones who win at the end simply contradicts basic laws of thermodynamics.”

  41. ArndB says:

    Willis Eschenbach says: March 16, 2012 at 9:21 am (RE: Anopheles says)
    __”Dunno … Tambora was 1815, Krakatoa was 1883. In neither case is our data much good, nor do we have actual measurements of the transmission loss. I’ll take a look at 1883 when get a chance.“
    It is worth to investigate Krakatoa more deeply, as climatology could have learned a lot about the functions of the oceans in the global system. For example :
    ___“In total, the blockage effect has been calculated at an average of approximately 10% over a span of four years, whereby the reduction of solar energy in the northern hemisphere (Paris) was at its greatest in fall of 1885, reaching a value of 25%. It would seem that a reduction of solar radiation of such proportions would necessarily have a long-lasting effect on atmospheric dynamics. But supposedly the average temperatures fell only slightly and the atmospheric circulation in 1884 was above normal and did not sink to a strongly developed minimum until 1888. While the equilibrium of the world of statistics may not have been disturbed by Krakatoa, events were rather different in the world of nature. Without the stabilizing effects of the ocean, the effect of Krakatoa would have been catastrophic. A person sitting in warm bath water does not experience any discomfort when the heating is turned off – at least, not right away.” Reference sees comment above:
    ArndB says: March 16, 2012 at 8:09 am

  42. Steven Mosher says:

    “Using the IPCC numbers, we should have seen a temperature drop of 1.4°C at equilibrium”

    you don’t reach equillibrium. You cannot simply compare one of many forcings against the record which is the result of all forcings. cannot. It will not work and the physics of the rest of the climate should tell you why you cannot.

    Better is to do a model like Lucia’s Lumpy. Then you will see how much variance volcanic forcing accounts for. The total temperature response is a function of all the forcings, some of which are lagged, others of which are not.

  43. Harold says:

    You are fooling yourself in some quite inventive ways here. Firstly by filtering out all variation on timescales longer than one month, and then thinking that this means that there are no variations on timescales longer than one month. Secondly by pretending that there are no other influences on the climate besides volcanoes. El Chichón’s eruption coincided with a very strong El Niño.

    And you appear to be entirely unaware of the extensive body of literature in which the effects of volcanoes on the global climate are observed. It goes right back to 1783, when Benjamin Franklin realised that the eruption of Laki in Iceland was the cause of an aerosol haze which dramatically reduced northern hemisphere summer temperatures.

  44. Bill Yarber says:

    Process control theory is being totally ignored by the AGW crowd. Process control engineers can easily determine that Earth’s climate (temperature) is dominated by NEGATIVE feedbacks, not positive. If CO2 concentration was such a dominant forcing, Earth’s climate would have saturated into a run-a-way greenhouse condition several million years ago when the average temperature was 9+C greater than today and CO2 concentrations were 2-7,000 ppm. It didn’t!

    Systems dominated by positive feedbacks are very unstable and will eventually saturate at one extreme or the other. Only systems dominated by negative feedbacks are stable enough to find equilibrium point(s) when not perturbed by outside influences. Although Earth’s climate is chaotic on short geologic time scales, and has demonstrated larger swings from glacial to interglaicial periods, it is fundamentally stable with fluctuations of little more than +/- 4C, with only a few exceptions. Even the LIA was only 2C colder than today at its worse with many much warmer years interspersed during the 500 year length of the LIA.

    That said, astronomical variations in orbit and tilt are sufficiently strong forcings to drive the Earth into glacial and intergalical periods because 3-5 million years ago, the South American plate joined with Central America and changed the deep ocean currents, reducing heat transfer from the equator to the poles and allowing glaciers to form and advance over much of the northern land masses. Man, and most fauna and flora, have survived and flourished during the past 2 million years when ice ages came and went on 130,000 year intervals.

    Bill

  45. AnonyMoose says:

    An interesting game. The only way to win is to not explode a volcano.

  46. kadaka (KD Knoebel) says:

    Willis, you’re making me start thinking “the climate” is best modeled, considering the thermal sources and sinks of the oceans and the ice caps, as a 10 ton boulder in a smooth bowl-like depression, with “natural variation” being it moving around like a billiard ball that won’t come to rest as assorted forces keep buffeting it. All the volcanoes did was try to kick the boulder.

    And Hansen and his ilk are arguing the slow steady pressure of CO₂ on this moving boulder, which will lead to “positive feedbacks” pushing it even harder, will push it over the rim and it’ll naturally roll upwards to somewhere even higher, from which it may never roll down to that depression again. When all that really happens is the boulder rolls away from the CO₂ stick poking it.

    Yup, they are insane.

  47. Vince Causey says:

    Let me guess – the cooling is “in the pipline” to emerge many decades hence.

  48. Jim G says:

    Willis Eschenbach says:
    March 16, 2012 at 9:21 am
    Anopheles says:
    March 16, 2012 at 9:09 am

    “In the cases of Tambora and Krakatoa, can we see how long it took for the temperature to come back? Would the apparently short time mean mean response is pretty quick, and that therefore heat in the pipeline or long approaches to ‘equiliibrium’ are nonsense?

    Dunno … Tambora was 1815, Krakatoa was 1883. In neither case is our data much good, nor do we have actual measurements of the transmission loss. I’ll take a look at 1883 when get a chance.”

    Willis,

    I was thinking along the same lines as Anopheles. Though more generally, in the geologic time frame, some of the truely major eruptions, such as some of the Yellowstone blows, may not fit your theory. In the scheme of volcanic activity, on a geologic time scale, those you have chosen were relatively minor by comparison based upon geologic evidence such as bentonite deposits, etc. There must be some middle ground between the super volcano, which can change the face of the planet for a very long time and those you have cited that would be interesting to look at were data available. Very interesting work, though, in any case. Thank you.

    Jim G

  49. Willis Eschenbach says:

    Girma says:
    March 16, 2012 at 9:46 am

    Willis

    I think the effects of volcanoes exist after the explosion, but it is just hidden within the larger natural variation. If you remove the known short and long term variations, the effects of the volcanoes will be more evident.

    Which “known short and long term variations” would you suggest I remove?

    I am very leery of removing what people call “El Nino variations” or “AMO variations”. These generally refer to the temperature in a particular part of the planet, the “El Nino 3.4 region” or the North Atlantic or somewhere else.

    I don’t see the theoretical justification for saying “From the world’s temperature, we will subtract the regression of the variations of the Nino 3.4 area on the world’s temperature” … I’m sorry, but that doesn’t seem like a mathematically valid operation, to subtract part of the temperature from itself. We could do the same for say the North Atlantic, remove the regression of the North Atlantic on the world temperature … or heck, we could remove the regression of the entire world temperature on the world temperature, and end up with a flat line …

    Not sure if that’s clear, but I hope you see the problem.

    w.

  50. George says:

    The 20th century was actually a mild period for volcanoes and shouldn’t be considered “normal”.

  51. Willis Eschenbach says:

    Steven Mosher says:
    March 16, 2012 at 10:17 am

    “Using the IPCC numbers, we should have seen a temperature drop of 1.4°C at equilibrium”

    you don’t reach equillibrium. You cannot simply compare one of many forcings against the record which is the result of all forcings. cannot. It will not work and the physics of the rest of the climate should tell you why you cannot.

    Steven, I know “you don’t reach equilibrium”, and so would everyone else if you didn’t selectively mis-quote me. It’s not like you didn’t quote the full paragraph or something. You cut my dang sentence in half, it actually said:

    Using the IPCC numbers, we should have seen a temperature drop of 1.4°C at equilibrium, and three years after the step change we should have seen at least a full degree of that …

    You don’t do your reputation any good by playing fast and loose with my words, cherry-picking them and cutting sentences in half to distort my meaning.

    And yes, although we don’t reach equilibrium, after three years of a drop in forcing half the size of a doubling of CO2 we should see some action.

    w.

    PS—And of course, you want to play your usual “I know something you don’t” nasty games. You say

    “You cannot simply compare one of many forcings against the record which is the result of all forcings. cannot. It will not work and the physics of the rest of the climate should tell you why you cannot.”

    No, Steven the physics of the rest of the climate doesn’t tell me a damn thing about that, so how about you stop acting like a withholding jerkwagon and actually say what you mean? You claim we can’t look for a volcano’s effect in the observational record, but you’re too … what … I don’t even know what, but you want to make some point or something.

    Steven, your drive-by type of “I know something you don’t know, you have to guess what it is, nyah, nyah” type of posting is insulting, repulsive, and very damaging to your reputation. I’ve seen comments on it in several places, none of them positive. Nobody likes it any more than I do. You are not doing yourself any favors with that kind of action. If you think we should not be able to look for the volcanic signature in the record despite the presence of other forcings, you’ll have to stop your childish game and simply explain why you think that. Because I’m not going to guess.

  52. KR says:

    Willis“Tamino and Rahmstorf, paywalled?”

    Foster and Rahmstorf (http://iopscience.iop.org/1748-9326/6/4/044022) certainly isn’t paywalled. Click through to the PDF.

  53. Paul Vaughan says:

    Most (the overwhelming majority I estimate) climatologists & solar scientists are fundamentally ignorant of spatiotemporal aggregation criteria impact on metrics. This is VERY serious fundamental (like 1+1=2 and up is the opposite of down) stuff. To help the layman relate: You could say they look at key markers of solar & lunisolar constraints through funky distortion lenses that can do things like flip things upside down, swap left with right, and make 3 look like it strictly equals 4 (…and worse: they don’t even realize this). It’s going to take awhile to help them sort out their conception, but who among the public will have patience if the heel-dragging continues for decades (as it appears it will)? They ignored warning shots and so now they have a hull breached by kinetic impact. Mainstreamers, quite simply: Assuming public trust extends to infinity is unwise. My advice: Rechannel research investment strategically beginning immediately. Tip: This is how you define who’s your enemy and who’s your ally in a capitalist system. Some of the best sharp-shooters are natural mercenaries. The public instinctively recognizes forces of nature. Harmonizing with nature is how to efficiently maintain composure and perhaps regain lost public trust.

  54. Willis Eschenbach says:

    Harold says:
    March 16, 2012 at 10:23 am

    You are fooling yourself in some quite inventive ways here. Firstly by filtering out all variation on timescales longer than one month, and then thinking that this means that there are no variations on timescales longer than one month. Secondly by pretending that there are no other influences on the climate besides volcanoes. El Chichón’s eruption coincided with a very strong El Niño.

    So what? If the action of the volcanoes were as strong as the IPCC says, they should blow an El Nino right out of the water … but they don’t. Who did you say was fooling themselves?

    Also, I haven’t a clue what you mean by “filtering out all variation on timescales longer than one month, and then thinking that this means that there are no variations on timescales longer than one month”. If you mean that I’m looking at first differences, you really should take a calculus course … and I also looked at the whole record.

    And you appear to be entirely unaware of the extensive body of literature in which the effects of volcanoes on the global climate are observed. It goes right back to 1783, when Benjamin Franklin realised that the eruption of Laki in Iceland was the cause of an aerosol haze which dramatically reduced northern hemisphere summer temperatures.

    Oh, please. I have read these reports, including Franklins, extensively. I did not say volcanoes have no effect. You’ve obviously learned to write, but you really should match that up by also learning to read. I said:

    Does this mean volcanoes have no effect on the climate? No, it just means that because of the immediate and basically “equal but opposite” response of the climate system to forcing changes, the effect is much more local, much shorter lived, and much smaller than would be expected if the IPCC estimates of climate sensitivity were correct.

    Your post sounds to me like you’re just upset because you couldn’t spot the volcanoes.

    w.

  55. Robin says:

    I’ve looked at many climate time series (numerically) and have always been a bit disappointed to find that evidence for a few years of lower temperatures after a volcanic eruption is hard to spot or recognise. I thought it was just me and my methods – which are I supposed really geared to detecting more enduring changes and climate shifts. I’ll look again, just to check!

    Robin

  56. tadchem says:

    I cite the General Form of Le Chatelier’s Principle: “Any change in status quo prompts an opposing reaction in the responding system.”
    This is a general prinicple taught in first year chemistry, and the atmosphere and hydrosphere are chemical systems, so the principle should apply.

  57. KR says:

    WRT climate sensitivity, a directly relevant paper is Annan et al 2006, “Using multiple observationally-based constraints to estimate climate sensitivity” – (http://www.image.ucar.edu/idag/Papers/Annan_Constraints.pdf)

    Volcanic forcings are included in the constraints. These end up with a large range, mind you, but combining the various points of evidence Annan concludes that:

    Climate sensitivity “…has a maximum
    likelihood value of 2.9C, and, using the IPCC terminology
    for confidence levels, we find a likely range of 2.2– 3.9C
    (70% confidence) and a very likely range of 1.7– 4.9C
    (95%). We can also state that climate sensitivity is very
    likely to lie below 4.5C (95%).”

    On the other hand, applying an ‘eyecrometer’ to the temperature record against volcanic forcings, without accounting for all of the influences, is not a terribly strong argument.

  58. michael Moon says:

    Anecdotally, I bought a morotcycle in 1993. I lived in Michigan, and the temperature rarely got out of the 60’s all summer. I had to keep my jacket on to ride the entire season. It was the coolest Midwest summer I ever went through. Was I wrong to attribute this to Mt. Pinatubo?

  59. geofcol says:

    I just love that music.

  60. LearDog says:

    Clever, entertaining and instructive post Willis! Which goes a fair way toward illustrating the reason why squadrons of students are scouring the globe searching for evidence of the erupted volcanoes we missed during the past 12 years hahaha!

  61. RockyRoad says:

    Bill Yarber says:
    March 16, 2012 at 10:25 am

    Process control theory is being totally ignored by the AGW crowd.

    You are absolutely correct, Bill–I’ve been a student of process control and use a form of it in my current work. And the reason the AGW crowd completely ignores it is because there would be no “catastrophic” (anthropogenic) event they can conjur up to scare people–their interpretation of reality ignores how the real world behaves.

  62. RockyRoad says:

    LearDog says:
    March 16, 2012 at 11:19 am

    Clever, entertaining and instructive post Willis! Which goes a fair way toward illustrating the reason why squadrons of students are scouring the globe searching for evidence of the erupted volcanoes we missed during the past 12 years hahaha!

    The volcanoes on the sun have been reticent, to say the least.

  63. Tim Ball says:

    Once again a topic is discussed without any reference to the work done 20 and 30 years ago. This is the legacy of the IPCC effectively diverting climate research to the single focus on CO2. I wrote about aerosols here;
    http://drtimball.com/2011/atmospheric-aerosols-another-major-ipcc-omission/

    and particulates here;

    http://friendsofscience.org/assets/documents/FoS_Atmospheric_particulates.pdf

    In addition I was coordinator and contributor (two articles) and organizer of a workshop on the global impact of Tambora through the National Museum of Canada; C.R. Harrington (ed.). The Year without a summer? : world climate in 1816, Ottawa: Canadian Museum of Nature, 1992.

    The keynote speaker was John Eddy because he had noted and many of us had observed that global temperatures were already in decline because of the Dalton Minimum. It is interesting to speculate on the effect of Tambora if global temperatures were rising.

    The proceedings of the Conference are available;

    http://www.worldcat.org/title/year-without-a-summer-world-climate-in-1816/oclc/27429039

    As a brief response to the question about how long the temperature impact is evident, it was generally agreed that with volcanoes that met the conditions identified in my article on particulates then the signal was detectable for about nine years. However, It was only detectable from a human sensibilities perspective for one year.

    One factor not examine in our symposium, but which I have written about since is the portion of the light spectrum affected by the atmospheric conditions.

    Here are four articles written variously from 1993 to 2000 in my monthly column in Country Guide, a farm journal. I wrote for 17 years but was fired when a new Board member was appointed.

    volcanoes001.jpg
    volcanoes002.jpg
    volcanoes003.jpg
    volcanoes004.jpg

  64. Harold says:

    “So what? If the action of the volcanoes were as strong as the IPCC says, they should blow an El Nino right out of the water … but they don’t. Who did you say was fooling themselves?”

    Point me to the bit where they say that volcanoes have a much stronger influence than El Niños.

    If you really didn’t have a clue what I mean about filtering out all the variation on longer timescales than a month, then do the following and it should become clear:

    1. create a series of numbers, 100 values of 0, 100 values of -0.5, 100 values of 0
    2. add to every number in the series a random number between -0.1 and 0.1
    3. plot this series. Look at it very carefully.
    4. subtract from every value in the series the previous value in the series.
    5. plot this new series. What do you see? Amazing, huh? The step function has disappeared!

    So you can see that in figure 1 you removed the very thing you claimed to be looking for. A bit inept, wouldn’t you say?

    Your ideas about the magnitude of the effect of volcanoes are decades or even centuries out of date. Maybe, as you claim, you’ve read the literature. You certainly didn’t understand it.

  65. Arno Arrak says:

    Willis – look at figures 8, 9 and 10 in my book “What Warming?” if you have it. If you don’t have it, get it and look. The difference between El Chichon and Mount Pinatubo is what made me write that section. If you are unfamiliar with my book you will notice that I do not use any computer smoothing but apply a magic marker to raw data. You get a thick line that covers up most of the fuzz in the record and neatly outlines the correct global trend. Any use of computer will destroy data and should be avoided. The fuzz looks random not because it is random errors but because it represents local cloudiness variations that are randomly distributed. But my motivation was that the 1992/93 La Nina is marked everywhere as Pinatubo cooling, even on Roy Spencer’s web site, which would change this particular La Nina cooling into a volcanic cooling instead of a part of ENSO. That volcanic cooling claim started with Best who pontificated in 1996 that “Pinatubo climate forcing was stronger than the opposite warming effects of either the El Nino event or anthropogenic greenhouse gases in the period 1991-93.” The man had access to satellite data but he had no idea how to spot an El Nino in it. Back to El Chichon and Pinatubo. After assignings the 1992/93 La Nina to Pinatubo cooling Best goes on and states that “… surface cooling is clearly documented after some eruptions (for instance Gunung Agung, Bali in 1963) but not others – for example El Chichon, Mexico in 1982…” Wow! I had to check that. Since I had already worked out the theory of how ENSO works and identified all El Ninos and La Ninas in the satellite record it was easy to see the difference between El Chichpn and Pinatubo. El Chichon erupted exactly when a La Nina had just bottomed out and an El Nino was beginning. Pinatubo, on the other hand, erupted at the peak of an El Nino warming that was immediately followed by a La Nina cooling. Just plain luck, it seems: if an eruption is followed by a La Nina, that La Nina counts as volcanic cooling. But if it is followed by an El Nino, like El Chichon was, there is an unexplained absence of cooling that does not disturb them thinking that they found volcanic cooling elsewhere. That is a pretty big loose end in their theory which nevertheless is accepted by climate scientists. So, let’s test it and check out that Gunung Agung. It should be followed by a La Nina if my theory is correct. And so it is – a pretty steep drop just after the eruption. But before I could determine this I had to find the locations of El Ninos and La Ninas in ground-based temperature records. That turned out to be easy despite the fact that nobody had either noticed or bothered to remark about it. They are present in all temperature records going back to the nineteenth century. The BEST project showed a comparison of four temperature records. I looked at them and found the same El Nino peaks present in temperature curves from America, Europe, and Japan. There are differences of course and someone will eventually sort them out. My figure 10 shows the timing of seven volcanoes against HadCRUT3 temperature curve. It is hard to test it because cooling is not one of the things that is recorded about most volcanoes. But one thing is certain: there is no such thing as volcanic cooling in nature. It is simply a matter of lucky timing in relation to the ENSO phase that determines whether and how much “cooling” is associated with any particular eruption. When you start working out the details you will realize the importance of understanding the role ENSO plays in this area. Climate “scientists” prefer to get rid of it by computer smoothing.

  66. Kelvin Vaughan says:

    I can see 2 to 3 W/m^2 cooling for a short time.

  67. Svend Ferdinandsen says:

    It is quite clear from fig. 6 that the eruptions took place just after a warming that triggered the eruptions according to all known AGW science.
    It is then obvious from the same figure, that we will soon se a larger eruption.
    You have to be a sceptic denier if you can’t see that.

  68. darkobutina says:

    Willis, you are becoming a waste of space on this blog site. Who do you think you are – what are your scientific qualifications to have definite views on everything that any science can offer including the meaning of life. “I hold that the climate system..according to my hypothesis..I devised a little game” !!!! in case you did bother to check in your virtual reality show, the real scientists spend their life-time working on a very small segment of the science that they are qualified to do, and the top scientists like Lindzen, Carter, Plimer, to name but few, still state, we simply do NOT know enough about the climate. So, please, stop wasting this excellent blog site space.

  69. dana1981 says:

    Wigley et al. (2005):
    “Comparisons of observed and modeled coolings after the eruptions of Agung, El Chichón, and Pinatubo give implied climate sensitivities that are consistent with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) range of 1.5–4.5°C. The cooling associated with Pinatubo appears to require a sensitivity above the IPCC lower bound of 1.5°C, and none of the observed eruption responses rules out a sensitivity above 4.5°C.”
    http://www.agu.org/pubs/crossref/2005/2004JD005557.shtml

    Forster et al. (2006):
    “A climate feedback parameter of 2.3 +/- 1.4 W m-2 K-1 is found. This corresponds to a 1.0–4.1 K range for the equilibrium warming due to a doubling of carbon dioxide”
    http://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/pdf/10.1175/JCLI3611.1

    I’ll take peer-reviewed research over the eyeball method, personally.

    REPLY: And most everyone here will take Willis Eschenbach’s analysis over the serial deletion of comments and serial post facto article revisionism at “Skeptical Science” any day of the week and twice on Sundays. – Anthony

  70. Matthew W says:

    commieBob says:
    March 16, 2012 at 8:30 am
    The last super volcano, 600,000 years ago, nearly led to the extinction of the human race. http://lennyp.hubpages.com/hub/Supervolcanoes
    ================================================================
    Did you mean the Toba super eruption?
    It’s fascinating that the human population may have been as low as 10,000

  71. Willis Eschenbach says:

    I have added a seventh figure to the head post, folks might be interested to take a look. It shows the response of the albedo after Pinatubo, and how that affected the sunlight hitting the surface.

    w.

  72. Smokey says:

    darkobutina,

    I happen to love reading Willis’ articles. They are very thought provoking. And his qualifications as a peer reviewed, published author are available. Do a search and see for yourself.

  73. Willis Eschenbach says:

    KR says:
    March 16, 2012 at 11:07 am

    Willis – “Tamino and Rahmstorf, paywalled?”

    Foster and Rahmstorf (http://iopscience.iop.org/1748-9326/6/4/044022) certainly isn’t paywalled. Click through to the PDF.

    Thanks, KR, I didn’t catch that.

    However, I have indicated my objection to their method, removing the El Nino variations, above. Let me explain it again. Suppose you have a griddle on a stove. You measure the average temperature. Then you notice that one spot on the griddle tends to correlate with the entire temperature of the griddle.

    So you regress the temperature of that spot on the temperature, and you subtract that regression from the temperature.

    I hold that this is not a valid procedure, and that it distorts rather than simplifies the temperature record.

    w.

    PS—I don’t like to deal with Tamino in any case, I prefer actual scientists. He banned me from his site for asking hard questions.

  74. Willis Eschenbach says:

    tadchem says:
    March 16, 2012 at 11:12 am

    I cite the General Form of Le Chatelier’s Principle: “Any change in status quo prompts an opposing reaction in the responding system.”
    This is a general prinicple taught in first year chemistry, and the atmosphere and hydrosphere are chemical systems, so the principle should apply.

    I agree, but people look at me like I’m totally nuts when I apply Le Chatelier’s Principle to the climate, so I don’t say that much.

    w.

  75. KR says:

    Willis“I have indicated my objection to their method, removing the El Nino variations, above.”

    It’s perfectly reasonable if that local variation leads to a global change. It can be (likely will be) of a different scale than the local influence, or even opposite in sign – but if the temporal pattern of the ENSO index matches changes in the global temperature, that global influence can be separated using multiple regression against a local index.

    The whole idea of these attribution studies is to see how the dependent variable (global temperature) varies with influences of multiple independent (ie, you can’t get the ENSO index by summing combinations of volcanic and solar, for example, as they have different time patterns). And to that extent the attribution scalings are dimensionless relative numbers – not direct influences at local levels. I therefore cannot agree with your objection.

  76. vukcevic says:

    Reader is cautioned of serious consequences of the global warming.
    Global warming causes volcanic eruptions
    Compare the two steepest temperature rises in the Central England records going back to 1659.
    http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/CET1690-1960.htm
    After careful examination attentive reader will observe not only similarity in the trends but also the ‘year to year’ temperature movements.
    According to this hypothesis, soon to become a theory (to be widely acclaimed by the IPCC) a tipping point is reached when the unprecedented land temperature rises to the point where the rock expansion opens up old volcanic calderas (calderae ?) allowing magma and volcanic ash to spurt into atmosphere, resulting in substantial cooling in the following years.
    Reference: http://www.ipcc.ch/
    Climate Change 2014: Working Group I: The Physical Science Basis

  77. Arno Arrak says:

    Willis – look at figures 8, 9 and 10 in my book “What Warming?” if you have it. If you don’t have it, get it and look. The difference between El Chichon and Mount Pinatubo is what made me write that section. If you are unfamiliar with my book you will notice that I do not use any computer smoothing but apply a magic marker to raw data. You get a thick line that covers up most of the fuzz in the record and neatly outlines the correct global trend. Any use of computer will destroy data and should be avoided. The fuzz looks random not because it is random errors but because it represents local cloudiness variations that are randomly distributed. But my motivation was that the 1992/93 La Nina is marked everywhere as Pinatubo cooling, even on Roy Spencer’s web site, which would change this particular La Nina cooling into a volcanic cooling instead of a part of ENSO. That volcanic cooling claim started with Best who pontificated in 1996 that “Pinatubo climate forcing was stronger than the opposite warming effects of either the El Nino event or anthropogenic greenhouse gases in the period 1991-93.” The man had access to satellite data but he had no idea how to spot an El Nino in it. Back to El Chichon and Pinatubo. After assigning the 1992/93 La Nina to Pinatubo cooling Best goes on and states that “… surface cooling is clearly documented after some eruptions (for instance Gunung Agung, Bali in 1963) but not others – for example El Chichon, Mexico in 1982…” Wow! I had to check that. Since I had already worked out the theory of how ENSO works and identified all El Ninos and La Ninas in the satellite record it was easy to see the difference between El Chichpn and Pinatubo. El Chichon erupted exactly when a La Nina had just bottomed out and an El Nino was beginning. Pinatubo, on the other hand, erupted at the peak of an El Nino warming that was immediately followed by a La Nina cooling. Just plain luck, it seems: if an eruption is followed by a La Nina, that La Nina counts as volcanic cooling. But if it is followed by an El Nino, like El Chichon was, there is an unexplained absence of cooling that does not disturb them thinking that they found volcanic cooling elsewhere. That is a pretty big loose end in their theory which nevertheless is accepted by climate scientists. So, let’s test it and check out that Gunung Agung. It should be followed by a La Nina if my theory is correct. And so it is – a pretty steep drop just after the eruption. But before I could determine this I had to find the locations of El Ninos and La Ninas in ground-based temperature records. That turned out to be easy despite the fact that nobody had either noticed or bothered to remark about it. They are present in all temperature records going back to the nineteenth century. The BEST project showed a comparison of four temperature records. I looked at them and found the same El Nino peaks present in temperature curves from America, Europe, and Japan. There are differences of course and someone will eventually sort them out. My figure 10 shows the timing of seven volcanoes against the HadCRUT3 temperature curve. It is hard to test it because cooling is not one of the things that is recorded about most volcanoes. But one thing is certain: there is no such thing as volcanic cooling in nature. It is simply a matter of lucky timing in relation to the ENSO phase that determines whether and how much “cooling” is associated with any particular eruption.

  78. Scott Covert says:

    Good post Willis.
    You made a good point without resorting to Snark and Pomp. I really enjoyed it!

    You seem to have have reverted in the comments but if you didn’t, you would be someone else.

    Your “buttons” really seem easy to push. Hang in there big guy!

  79. Willis Eschenbach says:

    dana1981 says:
    March 16, 2012 at 12:29 pm

    Wigley et al. (2005):
    “Comparisons of observed and modeled coolings after the eruptions of Agung, El Chichón, and Pinatubo give implied climate sensitivities that are consistent with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) range of 1.5–4.5°C. The cooling associated with Pinatubo appears to require a sensitivity above the IPCC lower bound of 1.5°C, and none of the observed eruption responses rules out a sensitivity above 4.5°C.”
    http://www.agu.org/pubs/crossref/2005/2004JD005557.shtml

    Forster et al. (2006):
    “A climate feedback parameter of 2.3 +/- 1.4 W m-2 K-1 is found. This corresponds to a 1.0–4.1 K range for the equilibrium warming due to a doubling of carbon dioxide”
    http://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/pdf/10.1175/JCLI3611.1

    I’ll take peer-reviewed research over the eyeball method, personally.

    Like Groucho Marx said, “Who ya gonna believe? Grant (Tamino) Foster or your own lying eyes?” Me … I trust my eyeballs to identify large excursions. Tammy and all the rest claim large excursions. I don’t see them. You can’t see them either. So sue me.

    I KNOW that claim has been made, Dana, you can save your citations for someone more credulous. I analyzed Hansens claims of the same thing here at some length, take a look. You don’t seem to understand. These guys will look you in the eye, assure you of their honesty, and switch the pea under the shells. You are very, very naive to trust them.

    Finally, anyone who thinks that “peer-reviewed” means anything at all in climate science is either clueless or is truly not following the story …

    w.

  80. richard verney says:

    An interesting post.

    I have long argued that the effects of volcanoes may be over-stated. There is no doubt that super volcanoes can have a noticable effect on climate for a short period as the history books recount, but super volcanoes are very few and far between. I would say that there were none in the 20th century.

    Even the effects of Krakotoa (August 1883) are not clear. If one approaches the data set blind, I suspect that the observer would find it diificult to know whether there had been a volcano eruption and if so when. See for example Gisstemp. I attach a plot for the period 1880 to 1910 and a plot for the period 1880 to 1890.

    http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/gistemp/from:1860/to:1910

    http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/gistemp/from:1880/to:1890/from

    It will be seen that there was a period of cooling between 1865 and 1885 and that the period 1883 to 1885 was in no way exceptional. The rate of cooling does not appear to have accelerated afetr 1883. In the first plot, the low figure of -0.52degC is in late 1882 about 10 months prior to the eruption and during the autumn of 1883 it actually warmed by just over 0.1degC! of course, there may be other forcings at play but if so the point made by Willis remains that Volcano forcing is not overwhelming in nature even in the case of a super volcano like Krakatoa.

  81. Septic Matthew/Matthew R Marler says:

    Well done.

  82. Steve from Rockwood says:

    KR says:
    March 16, 2012 at 11:14 am

    On the other hand, applying an ‘eyecrometer’ to the temperature record against volcanic forcings, without accounting for all of the influences, is not a terribly strong argument.

    That’s why the climate is so hard to pin down. Every time there is a volcanic eruption cooling down the earth, some other unknown process emerges to exactly cancel it out./s

    Except for the super volcanoes of course, none of which has occurred since modern instruments started recording (dang)./s

  83. KR says:

    Willis – Note that dana1981 (http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/03/16/volcanic-disruptions/#comment-925422) was referring to an article by Piers M. De Forster, not Grant Foster.

    As to the eyeballs – that’s why we have statistics, Willis, because the eyecrometer is so often wrong.

    Now, as to accusing various folks of dishonesty – when both Foster’s and Hansen’s work is easily repeatable (I’ve seen several bloggers who have repeated those papers work with their own data and software), and to conspiracy theories about the body of climate science and peer review over the last 150 years – if you’re convinced of those, well then, neither I nor anyone else will be able to change your mind. But I cannot consider grand conspiracy theories rational…

  84. Mooloo says:

    michael Moon says:

    Anecdotally, I bought a morotcycle in 1993. I lived in Michigan, and the temperature rarely got out of the 60′s all summer. I had to keep my jacket on to ride the entire season. It was the coolest Midwest summer I ever went through. Was I wrong to attribute this to Mt. Pinatubo?

    The plural of anecdote is not data. I tend to suspect that there is a lot of post hoc ergo propter hoc reasoning with respect to volcanoes.

    If a string of cold weather follows a volcanic eruption, the reasoning is that the volcanoes caused the cooling.

    But if a string of warm weather follows a volcanic eruption, that particular eruption is ignored.

    If the volcano does not cause immediate and steep drops in temperature then its effects are not caused primarily by blocking out the sun. We notice a temperature drop the moment a cloud blocks the sun, not weeks later. So when Pinatubo went, shouldn’t the blocking of sunlight have been immediately obvious? And immediately obvious on the temperature record too?

    In the case of the CO2 theory, the post hoc ergo propter hoc is even worse. Since world temperatures are not rising fast enough for CO2 theory, something must have caused that. Villains are hard to find, so they are made up: volcanic and industrial aerosols get the blame. Evidence they work that way, be damned!

  85. kwinterkorn says:

    Doing good climate science may not be hopeless, but it certainly is daunting.

    The volcano issue raises the chaos issue again: multiple, non-linear processes conflated and an insufficient number of examples (ie small sample size) to do anything approaching robust statistics.

    Each volcano varies in several potentially important ways. For example,
    —variation in latitude (change in abedo near the poles in winter unimportant compared to same change in albedo near equator,
    —relation to prevailing winds and jet streams (for ash dispersal),
    —in the midst of a continent vs as ocean, coincidence of ENSO events, total volume of ash distributed over various altitudes,
    —a lot of ash in one day or week (explosive event) vs same amount of ash over months or years,
    —particulars of the ash (particle size and chemical composition),
    —coincident ex-gassing of CO2, CH3 and sulfates,
    —who knows what else.

    All of these might have some influence on local, regional, or global climates, or not, depending on magnitudes and underlying science.

    How can one go about doing rigorous science on such a complex set of difficult to measure data points.?

  86. Willis Eschenbach says:

    Scott Covert says:
    March 16, 2012 at 1:00 pm

    Good post Willis.
    You made a good point without resorting to Snark and Pomp. I really enjoyed it!

    You seem to have have reverted in the comments but if you didn’t, you would be someone else.

    Your “buttons” really seem easy to push. Hang in there big guy!

    Thanks, Scott. I used satire extensively in the last post, because those guys are buffoons, and my intention was to prick their pompous balloons.

    Here, it’s science.

    And I’m getting better at letting half-wits insult me, I no longer reflexively snap back, although I may snap back … but I still don’t suffer fools gladly.

    w.

  87. Septic Matthew/Matthew R Marler says:

    Larry Ledwick (hotrod): Granted this is only one local weather anomaly but the public perception at the time following these major volcanic eruptions was that the following winters 6 – 18 months after the event were noticeably harsher than usual.

    There are temperature/snowfall/rainfall records set every winter and summer somewhere in the world. So showing that there was a record somewhere 6 – 18 months after something happened is uninformative.

  88. Willis Eschenbach says:

    richard verney says:
    March 16, 2012 at 1:19 pm

    … Even the effects of Krakotoa (August 1883) are not clear. If one approaches the data set blind, I suspect that the observer would find it diificult to know whether there had been a volcano eruption and if so when. See for example Gisstemp. I attach a plot for the period 1880 to 1910 and a plot for the period 1880 to 1890.

    http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/gistemp/from:1860/to:1910

    http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/gistemp/from:1880/to:1890/from

    … Of course, there may be other forcings at play but if so the point made by Willis remains that Volcano forcing is not overwhelming in nature even in the case of a super volcano like Krakatoa.

    Excellent, Richard, another game of spot the volcano where I can’t spot it. As you say, there is no visible indication of Krakatoa in the record, and that was a supervolcano. And if you can’t see that …

    w.

  89. Nic Lewis says:

    KR
    You cite Foster and Rahmstorf 2011. I have compared their estimate of the effect of Mt Pinatobu on global surface temperatures, as shown in Fig. 7(b), with Fig. 4(c) of Lindzen and Giannitsis 1998 “Volcanic cooling and climate”. F&R estimate – in particular the shape and timescale of decay of the initial temperature reduction – is similar to L&G’s simulated curve at low (no more than 1C) climate sensitivity, and inconsistent with sensitivities in the IPCC ‘likely’ range of 2C – 4.5C.
    The peak temperature reduction computed by L&G is only weakly linked to climate sensitivity, except when sensitivity is exceedingly low, due to the effect of ocean heat uptake.

  90. David L. says:

    No fair..you’re using thermometer data. You need to use the better, more accurate measure for temperature……tree rings! And be sure to use only trees growing on the side of the volcano, preferrable downwind of the ash cloud.

  91. vukcevic says:

    Willis Eschenbach says:
    As you say, there is no visible indication of Krakatoa in the record, and that was a supervolcano. And if you can’t see that …
    Of course there is in any reasonably accurate temperature record.
    http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/CET-NAP.htm

  92. David L. says:

    dana1981 says:
    March 16, 2012 at 12:29 pm

    “I’ll take peer-reviewed research over the eyeball method, personally”

    Naive much? Take it from me, someone that’s published dozens of peer reviewed articles in prestigeous chemistry journals: peer review is not some magical device that turns papers into undeniable truth. Believe me, we used to write papers that guessed as to who would review them and we’d tuck some sentences and references in their to stroke the reviewer’s ego a little to more likelyget a postive review. At some level it’s a game…that can and is manipulated. So everyone please stop thinking just because something is peer reviewed that it’s beyond reproach.
    The literature is filled with peer reviewed articles that have been proven wrong at a later date. Peer review is an attempt at some quality control…but once again it’s not a magic wand. The article above that Willis wrote could easily be turned into a peer reviewed article. A couple more lines of text, a few more authors (up to 33!) and some references. Send to a journal with your chequefor the appropriate amount and viola…peer reviewed publication that will be sanctified by folks like dana1981 since they are “peer reviewed”.

    And that goes quadruple for “pal review”.

  93. Tom_R says:

    Harold says:
    March 16, 2012 at 11:47 am


    5. plot this new series. What do you see? Amazing, huh? The step function has disappeared!

    There are singular jumps at the start and end when you do that. There should also be singular (negative) jumps in the dT vs time plot due to the volcanoes, and the effect of a volcano should stand out more starkly on such a plot. There seems to be a singular drop at El Chichon but not Pinatubo, and the one at El Chichon is no different than several other drops not corresponding to a volcano. In any case, Willis also plotted the anomaly vs. time for those who can’t understand plot 1.

  94. Tom_R says:

    KR says:
    March 16, 2012 at 1:24 pm
    But I cannot consider grand conspiracy theories rational…

    There’s boatloads of money available for any research remotely related to AGW. That money will disappear if there is no perceived problem. If a scientist stops bringing in research dollars he doesn’t advance, raises are minimal, and tenure is out of the question. It doesn’t take a ‘grand conspiracy’ for intelligent people to see that and act in their own self-interest.

    Or maybe you have a better explanation as to why practically all of the adjustments to the raw data increase the warming … sea level rise … OHC …

  95. Juraj V. says:

    El Chichon went head-on with the Super El Nino, similar to that of 1997. I remember that Dr Spencer also used the volcano effect for deriving the climate sensitivity, getting something 5x lower than IPCC estimates.

  96. KR says:

    Nic Lewis – I would be wary of direct comparisons between L&G 1998 and F&R 2011 – Lindzen and Giannitsis themselves point out “it is clear that the uncertainties in our results are large”, and their simple 2-box ocean model (limited modeling of deep ocean circulation) has been implicated in biasing their sensitivities to the low side.

    More up to date and detailed models than L&G disagree strongly: for example Bender et al 2010 (http://www.misu.su.se/~frida/benderetal10.pdf) finds that the Pinatubo eruption indicates an equilibrium sensitivity between 1.7 and 4.1 C/CO2 doubling.

  97. Willis Eschenbach says:

    vukcevic says:
    March 16, 2012 at 2:01 pm

    Willis Eschenbach says:

    As you say, there is no visible indication of Krakatoa in the record, and that was a supervolcano. And if you can’t see that …

    Of course there is in any reasonably accurate temperature record.
    http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/CET-NAP.htm

    The Central England Temperature record? That’s your global evidence?

    So it shows up (maybe) in a local temperature record but not the global temperature record … doesn’t say much for the eruption. But heck, I’ll play your game. The two largest eruptions in the last quarter millennium are in the CET record below … spot the volcanoes!

    w.

  98. darkobutina says:
    March 16, 2012 at 12:22 pm
    “Willis, you are becoming a waste of space on this blog site. Who do you think you are….”

    Ah, “who do you think you are?” The words that warm the cockles of my heart and bring back cherished memories. The line every cheap-suited provincial peasant apartchik in old commie Europe used to boom out when having his worldview challenged. Usually to be followed by a list of approved exemplars or the chilling, “do you know who I am?” So, Darko, never mind Willis; we don’t know who he is or what he’s doing here, but most of us like to keep him as the site’s mascot, if it’s alright with you. More interestingly, who are you, comrade?

  99. Septic Matthew/Matthew R Marler says:
    March 16, 2012 at 1:31 pm

    Larry Ledwick (hotrod): Granted this is only one local weather anomaly but the public perception at the time following these major volcanic eruptions was that the following winters 6 – 18 months after the event were noticeably harsher than usual.

    There are temperature/snowfall/rainfall records set every winter and summer somewhere in the world. So showing that there was a record somewhere 6 – 18 months after something happened is uninformative.

    Yes and no, that is specifically why I noted it was only a single instance of a all time record that happened to coincide with the period that was attributed to volcanic cooling. It was however more than just a record high or low but an all time low snow melt that lasted two months, so it carries a bit more weight than a single days event.

    But the correct way to make your statement is:
    showing that there was a record somewhere 6 – 18 months after something happened may beuninformative.

    It there is a real cooling due to volcanic activity there should be lots of new records and temperatures that flirt with record lows. You cannot have a change in the trend without that happening. A single instance is by itself simply an observation, it is the collective sum of lots of similar observations that would establish a change in the trend.
    It is just as wrong to totally dismiss a single observation as it is to accept it as proof of the hypothesis.

    It is “necessary” but not “sufficient” to prove the case.

    The point is, those of us who lived through those cooling periods remember very well that there were large numbers of observations that were consistent with the theory that volcanic cooling had happened. The cooling may have been due to other causes like cycles in sea surface temperatures but that is irrelevant, the cooling was noticed by large numbers of people. Enough that the general public perception was solidly behind the belief that that period was cooler than normal. As Willis points out, it is not nearly as simple as a one to one correspondence and we need a LOT more data (60 – 120 years or more) of additional quality satellite data and sea surface temperature measurements to tease the very complex signals out of the noise.

    There is a lot more to weather/climate than just temperature records. As noted by observers at the time, it was plainly obvious that the summers were cooler, the peak temperatures of the day were consistently a bit below what experience would suggest they should be. Not records but just cooler than normal. Plants made it very clear with late maturity of crops, like corn failing over wide areas to ripen by the usual land mark days, late and early frosts (again not records but just anomolies). Fruits failing to set, etc. How much of these effects to assign to AMO PDO etc and how much to assign to ground levels of solar isolation reduction due to atmospheric haze is not going to be easy.

    Due to the earth’s thermal inertia, changes in energy input will not be reflected immediately unless they are very significant drops in input. That is why the coldest day of the year in the center of the North American land mass frequently falls around the last week of January, and first couple days of February even though the annual minimum in solar input in North America is on the winter solstice on Dec 21-22 each year.

    As I pointed out to Willis the failure of the volcanic cooling to show up (if it existed) in his delta T plots could signify more than one possibility. It could show that there was no volcanic cooling, or it could show that a delta T plot is not the proper metric to look for volcanic cooling.

    Experimental findings often end up pointing to something totally unrelated to what the observer was looking for, and if you are not careful in how you set up controls and the experimental method can actually demonstrate more than one possible cause for the result.

    That is why replication and independent verification is so important in the scientific method.
    Sometimes you prove something you were not even looking for, and like Edison, sometimes your “failed experiments” are really successes as they show you ways Not to do something.

    Larry

  100. Nic Lewis says:

    KR
    You say about Lindzen and Giannitsis 1998
    “their simple 2-box ocean model (limited modeling of deep ocean circulation) has been implicated in biasing their sensitivities to the low side.”
    L&G didn’t use a 2-box ocean model – they used a mixed layer coupled to a fully diffusive thermocline, which they showed matched a more sophisticated mixed layer / thermocline / deep ocean upwelling-diffusion ocean model well over periods of up to at least 20 years. Surface temperature changes don’t propogate significantly to the deep ocean over the timescale of recovery from volcanic cooling,

    Further, L&G used an ocean effective vertical diffusivity value derived from direct observational data, similar to that originally used by Hansen. AOGCMs, such as those used in the Bender et al. study, are known to embody effective ocean vertical diffusivities that are unrealistically high, by a substantial factor. See, e.g, Even Hansen now admits this (Earth’s Energy Imbalance and Implications, 2011). I wouldn’t put much confidence in AOGCM-derived estimates of climate sensitivity, whether based on volcanic cooling or otherwise.

  101. lgl says:

    Agree with sunsettommy. The cooling is 0.3-0.5 deg C.
    http://virakkraft.com/Temp-without-volcanoes.png

  102. Jim G says:

    vukcevic says:
    March 16, 2012 at 2:01 pm
    Willis Eschenbach says:
    “As you say, there is no visible indication of Krakatoa in the record, and that was a supervolcano. And if you can’t see that …
    Of course there is in any reasonably accurate temperature record.
    http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/CET-NAP.htm

    Well not really a “supervolcano”, in the Krakatoa range of power, there are volcanoes such as Vesuvius, Pinatubo, and of course Anak Krakatau (son of Krakatoa) that are still active. Tambora is another active volcano that has actually bested Krakatoa in the past, with its 1815 eruption putting out an estimated 100 cubic kilometers of debris (compared with 25 for Krakatoa). Note, none of these are in the VEI8 category though, which is the category for some of Yellowstone’s past eruptions, which is a true supervolcano. Wikipedia (sorry) lists 6 known supervolcanos:
    Yellowstone,
    Long Valley, and
    Valles Caldera in the United States;
    Lake Toba, North Sumatra, Indonesia;
    Taupo Volcano, North Island, New Zealand; and
    Aira Caldera, Kagoshima Prefecture, Kyūshū, Japan

    Of course not all of their eruptions are in the super category though they have that ability.

  103. Willis Eschenbach says:

    And for those who claim that if we just removed the El Nino signal they could spot the volcanoes, against my better judgement I’ve done that. Here’s the quiz … one volcano? Two volcanoes?

    w.

  104. RockyRoad says:

    I get the impression from some of the critical comments that all volcanoes are the same–well, they’re not.

    They don’t have the same chemical composition, the sequence or ferocity of eruption isn’t the same, they don’t produce the same amount or type of ejecta, and they aren’t located at the same elevation, latitude, or longitude; or are the same with respect to surrounding mountains, oceans, etc. etc. And they all tend to errupt at different times of the year.

    So to think they all should impact the weather or the climate the same is completely unfounded. Please keep that in mind when trying to compare one volcanic eruption to another.

    Btw, good post, Willis–my MS thesis was on volcanoes so this was very interesting.

  105. Paul Bahlin says:

    Willis:

    Love the concept of thermostat(s). I happen to believe the earth-atmosphere has multiple thermostats and that they all work to maintain a ‘preferred’ condition for temperature, water vapor, chemical composition, etc.

    Do you know of a list of all the possible mechanisms, or have you ever thought to build one?

  106. Willis Eschenbach says:

    lgl says:
    March 16, 2012 at 2:54 pm

    Agree with sunsettommy. The cooling is 0.3-0.5 deg C.
    http://virakkraft.com/Temp-without-volcanoes.png

    You show my graph, with a green line drawn over it. Singularly uninformative. All you have shown to date is … well, you’ve shown that the line is green. And you seem to be calling the graph “temp without volcanoes”.

    How on earth did you “remove” the volcanoes, when the whole debate centers on how much they affect the temperature?

    w.

  107. Willis Eschenbach says:

    Paul Bahlin says:
    March 16, 2012 at 3:11 pm

    Willis:

    Love the concept of thermostat(s). I happen to believe the earth-atmosphere has multiple thermostats and that they all work to maintain a ‘preferred’ condition for temperature, water vapor, chemical composition, etc.

    Do you know of a list of all the possible mechanisms, or have you ever thought to build one?

    The mechanisms that I know of are as follows:

    1. The daily time of formation and amount of cumulus clouds in response to local temperature.

    2. The daily time of formation and amount of tropical thunderstorms in response to local temperature.

    3. The warming/cooling effect of clouds, which warm in winter and cool in the summer.

    4. The frequency and length of the nino/nina alterations.

    I’m sure there are more out there, but those are some of the major ones.

    w.

  108. lgl says:

    Willis

    Thought it was obvious, the green line is ENSO.

  109. vukcevic says:

    Willis Eschenbach says:
    But heck, I’ll play your game.
    Willis I’ve done 1750 to 1850 about a year ago (as a favour for one of the regulars), eventually will go back and do the rest:
    http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/CET-D.htm

  110. JustaMom says:

    Willis,

    Spot the Volcano now:
    http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/gmd/webdata/grad/mloapt/mlo_transmission.gif

    Mouna Loa is close to and downwind of Pinatubo and El Chichon.

    I would assume that a volcanoes impact on albedo (and temperature)would be based on: Amount of ash, height of the blast, quality of the ash (house dust fine to gritty sand…I was a St. Helen’s down winder and can attest that all ash is not created equal) and the location of the volcano. I would guess that volcanoes closer to the equator have more of an impact than those near the poles. I remember the satellite pics of the St. Helen’s Ash circling the earth….right at 45 degrees North, right where it started.

    Having said all that, the impact of these volcanoes was very short lived. In the chart above, solar radiation measurements returned to near normal in 12 months and were completely normalized in less than 24 months.

    This would agree with the historical example of Tambora and “the year without a summer”. There was an impact on temperature, but short lived. …it wasn’t “ the decade without a summer”.

  111. Tim Ball says on March 16, 2012 at 11:41 am: “Once again ——Etc, etc.

    Tim, you are the only ace left in the stack. – Who needs” Skeptics” who think CO2 is capable of warming the Earth?

    Either the “Warming by CO2 Theory” is right. – Or it is wrong. —— I say it is wrong, – but it is not up to me to prove it to be wrong. — I make no claims. Those who do, — should prove their assertions.

  112. Willis Eschenbach says:

    Someone mentioned above about snow cover, saying that temperature records aren’t all we have. Here’s the Rutgers snow extent records for the Northern Hemisphere …

    The winter after El Chichon erupted, there was more snow. The winter after Pinatubo erupted, there was less snow …

    But in no case are the excursions unusual …

    w.

  113. Espen says:

    Anything is possible says:

    It is not the immediate effect (strong warming) that intrigues me so much as what happens afterwards. When the aerosols (presumably) clear out, lower stratospheric temperatures fall dramatically to a level lower than they were before the eruption and, so far at least, there is no clear sign of any sort of recovery.

    What’s up with that? Anyone?

    One of my favorite topics, but you beat me to it this time :)

    The reason for the steps is probably stratospheric water vapor injected by the two volcanoes. And when stratospheric water vapor increases, stratospheric temperatures drop, and that makes tropospheric temperatures rise!

    “An increase in stratospheric water vapor in the 1990s likely had the opposite effect of increasing the rate of warming observed during that time by about 30 percent, the authors found.”
    (http://www.noaanews.noaa.gov/stories2010/20100128_watervapor.html )

    I think the conclusion from climate scientists so far has been that this warming is not enough to cancel out the initial cooling from the volcanoes. But what if these calculations are wrong? What if the two volcanoes actually were responsible for quite a bit of the 1980-2000 warming…?

  114. Volker Doormann says:

    The claim is often made that volcanoes support the theory that forcing rules temperature. The aerosols from the eruptions are injected into the stratosphere. This reflects additional sunlight, and cuts the amount of sunshine that strikes the surface. As a result of this reduction in forcing, the biggest volcanic eruptions are said to depress global temperatures, sometimes for years.

    It has been shown that as well the 6.3 heat peaks per year and the 6.3 global sea level oscillation peaks are time coherent in phase with solar tide functions of the heliocentric Mercury/Earth frequency:

    http://www.volker-doormann.org/images/sea_level_vs_solar_tide.gif
    http://www.volker-doormann.org/images/sea_level_vs_solar_tides_e1.gif
    http://www.volker-doormann.org/Sea_level_vs_solar_tides1.htm

    This means that whatever the oven is that heats the earth, there is no time delay in the temperature answer of the globe; the temperature follows immediately the heat source power function – obvious from the Sun.

    http://www.volker-doormann.org/images/sea_level_vs_solar_tides_d1.gif

    Climate code is solved.

    V.

  115. vukcevic says:

    Arctic ‘speckled’ snowfall (future ice) melt is main casualty of the volcanic ash
    http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/EAA.htm

  116. Willis Eschenbach says:

    Larry Ledwick (hotrod) says:
    March 16, 2012 at 9:10 am

    The other possibility is that you have demonstrated that the temperature anomaly record and global average temperature information is useless for climate study as it cannot even find evidence of major forcings.

    The apocryphal evidence was that winters were noticeably more severe following the El Chichon eruption. The effect did not show up until the following winter. In Colorado we had the longest period of continuous snow cover on the ground in the Denver metro area on record (63 days) stretching from the Thanksgiving day blizzard of 1983 (21.5 inches snow fall over 37 hours ) with high winds. The snow cover persisted until January 27 of 1984.

    The graph below shows as well as anything the value of what you call “apocryphal evidence” … here is the Denver snowfall record.

    Snowfall went down the winter after the Krakatoa and Novarupta eruptions, and went up following El Chichon and Pinatubo. None of these were in any way unusual or anomalous. So I’m gonna say the plural of anecdote is not evidence …

    w.

  117. Mooloo says:

    So to think they all should impact the weather or the climate the same is completely unfounded. Please keep that in mind when trying to compare one volcanic eruption to another.

    So, the perfect epicycle, then? Need to explain a drop – it was the right sort of volcano. Need to explain no drop – it was the wrong sort!

    Either a volcano puts large amounts of ash and/or sulphate into the upper atmosphere, or it does not. If the results of large explosions cannot be predicted beforehand, then we can assume the ash and sulphate is not working as predicted.

    If the effects are so small that they cannot be determined very well thanks to other fluctuations, then why to the climate models need a large factor to account for them? (No need to answer, because we know it is to help explain why CO2 is not working as fast as predicted/projected.)

  118. Willis Eschenbach says:

    lgl says:
    March 16, 2012 at 3:34 pm

    Willis

    Thought it was obvious, the green line is ENSO.

    Why on earth would that be “obvious”? And what are you using for what you blithely call ENSO? ENSO is the phenomenon itself, and there are many ways to measure it.

    Does the green line show the Nino 3 index? The MEI (multivariate enso index)? The BEST (Bivariate EnSo Time series) index? The Nino 3.4 index? The SOI (southern ocean index)?

    If you thought it was “obvious” … think again. We can’t read your mind.

    w.

  119. KR says:

    Nic Lewis – L&G 1998’s model really is too simplistic. To quote from Wigley et al 2005, “Effect of climate sensitivity on the response to volcanic forcing”, (http://media.cigionline.org/geoeng/2004%20-%20Wigley%20-%20Effect%20of%20climate%20sensitivity%20on%20the%20response%20to%20volcanic%20forcing.pdf):

    “Our results differ significantly from those of Lindzen
    and Giannitsis [1998]. These authors conclude that the
    observations favor a low value for the climate sensitivity
    on the basis of the long-timescale response to eruptions.
    The main reason for this difference is because the longtimescale
    response that we obtain, using physically more
    comprehensive and realistic models
    , is substantially less
    than that obtained by Lindzen and Giannitsis.”
    (emphasis added)

    I (IMO) tend to agree. Wigley et al conclude that:

    “Comparisons of observed and modeled coolings after the eruptions of Agung, El Chicho´n,
    and Pinatubo give implied climate sensitivities that are consistent with the
    Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) range of 1.5–4.5 C. The cooling
    associated with Pinatubo appears to require a sensitivity above the IPCC lower bound of
    1.5 C, and none of the observed eruption responses rules out a sensitivity above 4.5 C.”

  120. Steve from Rockwood says:

    vukcevic says:
    March 16, 2012 at 2:01 pm

    As you say, there is no visible indication of Krakatoa in the record, and that was a supervolcano. And if you can’t see that …

    Of course there is in any reasonably accurate temperature record.
    http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/CET-NAP.htm

    I think you are missing the point. You can stick a volcano icon under any low period in the temperature record. It doesn’t mean the low was caused by volcanic aerosols. Also, what about the equal amplitude other lows with no associated anomalies.

    Vukcevic – you would never have made it in mineral exploration with that analysis.

  121. Bob Tisdale says:

    Willis: I haven’t had a chance to read through the comments, so I’m not sure if anyone else has presented the following. I will agree that global surface temperature is not forcing dependent. And I will also note that variations in downward shortwave radiation associated with volcanic aerosols are significantly different than downward longwave radiation associated with greenhouse gases. But…

    It’s very easy to show the impact of volcanic aerosols on a global surface temperature dataset, specifically Mount Pinatubo on a satellite-based sea surface temperature dataset, HADISST or Reynolds OI.v2. I do it in lots of posts and comments. All one needs to do is invert the Aerosol Optical Depth data, include scaled (0.08) NINO3.4 SST anomalies as an ENSO reference, and smooth all of the data with a 13-month running-average filter. I’ve used the same period that you used in your first couple of graphs.
    http://i43.tinypic.com/14npnd1.jpg

    Or if you want to use the monthly change data as you had in your first couple of graphs, include the same volcano and ENSO references, determine the monthly change in all of the datasets, and then smooth all of the results with a 13-month filter again to reduce the seasonal components and weather noise.
    http://i42.tinypic.com/jrzfxg.jpg

  122. Arno Arrak says:

    dana 1981:
    ‘Wigley et al. (2005):
    “Comparisons of observed and modeled coolings after the eruptions of Agung, El Chichón, and Pinatubo give implied climate sensitivities that are consistent with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) range of 1.5–4.5°C. The cooling associated with Pinatubo appears to require a sensitivity above the IPCC lower bound of 1.5°C, and none of the observed eruption responses rules out a sensitivity above 4.5°C. ….I’ll take peer-reviewed research over the eyeball method, personally.’

    This is an example of the kind of nonsense that “peer reviewed” (actually buddy reviewed) climate science has become. Somehow these guys think El Chichon caused cooling when the record shows that it was followed by warming. As to the IPCC climate sensitivity they peddle, it is exactly zero. How do I know this, you might ask. I know this thanks to Ferenc Miskolczi’s work. Using NOAA database of weather balloon observations that goes back to 1948 he was able to show that the infrared transmittance of the atmosphere remained constant for 61 years. During that same time the amount of carbon dioxide in air increased by 21.6 percent. This means that the addition of this amount of carbon dioxide to air had no effect whatsoever on the absorption of IR by the atmosphere. And no absorption means no greenhouse effect, case closed. Carbon dioxide simply does not warm the atmosphere, even if you double it, hence the sensitivity is zero.

  123. Francois says:

    Sorry Sir, but I have a problem understanding your parlance, which sounds as clear as Pentagon-speak : what is that “transmittance” about?

  124. George says:

    Actually, we might not need volcanism to kick us over the edge if solar magnetics has the impact Svensmark thinks it has. The only question would be how long it lasts. On one hand we know that whatever happened during the LIA wasn’t enough to kick it in the opposite state but we also see that each cold period seems to be getting colder than the previous one. If we DO have severe cold period and it is colder than the LIA was, the jig might be up. It might not even require it to be as severely cold if it lasts longer. If the ocean cools enough, that might be all that is required. Combine weak solar magnetics with a volcanic eruption, and all bets are off, even with elevated CO2.

  125. lgl says:

    Willis

    Because sunsettommy said “The strong 1982 El-Nino that can blunt the effect of a large volcanic eruption” and I said I agreed.
    The green line is the Nino 3.4 temperature.

  126. HR says:

    Willis,

    KR is wiping the floor with you. The argument fails when the best you can say is it’s all just a conspiracy. Try harder.

  127. genghiscunn says:

    Willis, you say “because of the immediate and basically “equal but opposite” response of the climate system to forcing changes, the effect is much more local, much shorter lived, and much smaller than would be expected if the IPCC estimates of climate sensitivity were correct.” This is the way the world works, it’s a highly adaptive mechanism which adjusts various balances as required, a very happy pattern from the point of view of development of life-forms. It appears to me, though I can’t quote peer-reviewed chapter and verse, that such adaptation is pervasive.

  128. E.M.Smith says:

    A very good posting, only marred by the use of the nebulous “forcing”.

    There is no such thing as a ‘forcing’ in my physics book. There is a ‘forcing function’ in math, but that’s not physics.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Forcing_function_(differential_equations)

    “In a system of differential equations used to describe a time-dependent process, a forcing function is a function that appears in the equations and is only a function of time, not of any of the other variables. In effect, it is a constant for each value of t.”

    Is that really what you meant? A “something” that is “only a function of time”? Really?

    Yes, I know, it’s widely used as some kind of shorthand for “something that matters happened”, but IMHO it makes it far too easy to indulge in “hand waving”. Re-read the posting and try to figure out what PHYSICS term belongs where “forcing” is found. Solar radiation? Thermal inertia? Water evaporation? Just what is the “forcing”? It’s a game I like much more than “spot the volcano” as it causes me to realize that there is no “forcing” and trying to figure out what is really meant shows how void the “climate driving event” (an alternative to ‘forcing’) really is in terms of understood physics.

    In short: If you can’t put it in physics terms, you are risking self delusion, fuzzy minded muddle, and fog-speak. Oh, and waving your hands madly…

  129. Ulric Lyons says:

    Volcanic Eruptions May Affect El Niño Onset
    http://www.nsf.gov/od/lpa/news/03/pr03126.htm

  130. Ulric Lyons says:

    Volcanic and Solar Forcing of the Tropical Pacific over the Past 1000 Years
    http://www.meteo.psu.edu/~mann/shared/articles/mczc-jclim05.pdf

  131. Skaal says:

    It is a reflection of the dominant climate paradigm, which is that surface temperature is a linear function of forcing.

    Wow, what a spectacularly wrong statement. It is well known that surface temperatures are a highly non-linear function of forcing. Did you just say it for the sake of putting up a straw man, or did you actually think it was true? Either way you look a bit silly.

  132. Hans says:

    “Werner Brozek says:
    March 16, 2012 at 10:03 am

    Le Chatelier’s Principle initially just basically applied to simple systems, I believe a much more complicated set of Le Chatelier’s types of Principles could be developed for climate, but we are not there yet. Perhaps 50 variables may be changing at any given time.”

    Yes, because Le Chatelier’s Principle is if fact the Second Law of thermodynamics.

  133. You might want to reword this sentence:

    support the theory that forcing rules temperature.

    I think it’s pretty much true by definition that the various forcings rule temperature. It’s a lot more questionable if aerosols, dust, or greenhouse gases dominate, say, solar input.

  134. DavidA says:

    Quoting Willis above,

    “If you think we should not be able to look for the volcanic signature in the record despite the presence of other forcings… ”

    Now lets look at Michael Mann’s words, spoken only 2 days ago, where he tries explain away the significance of the MWP,

    “Now we can actually explain that period of moderate temperatures 1,000 years ago based on natural factors. A fairly high amount of solar activity, so the sun was a little bit brighter; there were relatively few volcanic eruptions, which are a cooling influence on the climate…”

    http://www.abc.net.au/lateline/content/2012/s3454652.htm

    He’s trying to say the MWP had the benefit of no volcanic cooling, as compared our recent past which has, it is suggested by Mann, been cooled by volcanic eruptions – hence the CO2 forced climate not trouncing the MWP.

    So yes, in light of that kind of hype, Willis is quite right to expect to find evidence of volcanic eruptions in the temperature record.

  135. Willis Eschenbach says:

    Bob Tisdale says:
    March 16, 2012 at 4:26 pm

    Willis: I haven’t had a chance to read through the comments, so I’m not sure if anyone else has presented the following. I will agree that global surface temperature is not forcing dependent. And I will also note that variations in downward shortwave radiation associated with volcanic aerosols are significantly different than downward longwave radiation associated with greenhouse gases. But…

    It’s very easy to show the impact of volcanic aerosols on a global surface temperature dataset, specifically Mount Pinatubo on a satellite-based sea surface temperature dataset, HADISST or Reynolds OI.v2. I do it in lots of posts and comments. All one needs to do is invert the Aerosol Optical Depth data, include scaled (0.08) NINO3.4 SST anomalies as an ENSO reference, and smooth all of the data with a 13-month running-average filter. I’ve used the same period that you used in your first couple of graphs.
    http://i43.tinypic.com/14npnd1.jpg

    Your graph doesn’t show what you claim. I understand Pinatubo, but you get the opposite response from El Chichon. As I mentioned above, nobody looks at El Chichon because it simply doesn’t fit the “volcanoes cause cooling” paradigm. Note that the El Chichon warming starts while the transmittance is still dropping … WUWT?

    Or if you want to use the monthly change data as you had in your first couple of graphs, include the same volcano and ENSO references, determine the monthly change in all of the datasets, and then smooth all of the results with a 13-month filter again to reduce the seasonal components and weather noise.
    http://i42.tinypic.com/jrzfxg.jpg

    Same thing only worse. It looks great, cooling for Pinatubo, but is doing the reverse, it’s warming with El Chichon.

    You can’t just pick and choose like that, Bob.

    w.

    PS—Again let me say I object to “removing El Nino”. You are taking the temperature of one tiny part of the earth’s surface, regressing it against the whole surface, and subtracting the regression. Consider that you could do the same with a patch of the North Atlantic … could you justify doing that? I’d have to see at least some theoretical reason for that, not to mention the great increase in the uncertainty of the record, before I’d think that made sense.

  136. Jim D says:

    Please re-read your reference for Figure 7. The outgoing solar radiation is increased after Pinatubo (their Fig. 6). This agrees with what they say in the text, and also with Lindzen and Choi when they show solar forcing. Are you disagreeing with Lindzen and Choi, and just about everyone else, when you say reflection decreased after Pinatubo? Would a sign error negate your theory?

  137. Ric Werme says:

    Anopheles says:
    March 16, 2012 at 9:09 am

    In the cases of Tambora and Krakatoa, can we see how long it took for the temperature to come back? Would the apparently short time mean mean response is pretty quick, and that therefore heat in the pipeline or long approaches to ‘equilibrium’ are nonsense?

    Tambora was about 5X bigger than Krakatoa, which was about 5X bigger than Mt. St. Helens. (My pet page on the topic is http://wermenh.com/1816.html because I wrote it….)

    Krakatoa gets more press because there were more Europeans living in the region and communications were a lot better thanks to telegraph systems. Krakatoa was heard in Europe and people linked them together quickly.

    There were other volcanic eruptions in Tambora’s timeframe. It was also during the Dalton Minimum, and the Earth was still working its way out of the Little Ice Age – and may still be. Still, the sulphate haze settled out at a typical settling rate and Tambora’s effect were short lived. There are very few accounts of of cold weather in 1817, but more of the Erie Canal started then as did the westward migration of hard-scrabble farmers to the richer and deeper soil “out west”.

  138. E.M.Smith says:

    As an example of the silliness that comes from using “forcing”, this “Angles and Pins” argument breaks out:

    Skaal says: March 16, 2012 at 6:44 pm

    It is a reflection of the dominant climate paradigm, which is that surface temperature is a linear function of forcing.”

    Wow, what a spectacularly wrong statement. It is well known that surface temperatures are a highly non-linear function of forcing. Did you just say it for the sake of putting up a straw man, or did you actually think it was true? Either way you look a bit silly.

    Now if we had even the smallest clue what Physics Term was meant, we’d have a basis to decide if “ir reflection” or “increased insolation” or “water evaporation” or whatever was linear or non-linear.

    As it stands, since “forcing” can be anything, we have idea how it is ‘driven’, what the ‘driver’ might be, or how it might behave mathematically. It can be any function and is anchored in the blue sky of non-physics… A Humpty Dumpty term that means just what the speaker intends it to mean, nothing more, nothing less…

    So perhaps the article writer meant “temperatures are directly proportional to insolation” and the reader thinks “temperatures are exponentially proportional to insolation and feedbacks”. Yes, those Angels and Pins…

    You may now all resume pin inspection and hand waving…

  139. Ric Werme says:

    paddylol says:
    March 16, 2012 at 9:51 am

    Willis: How are the nasty gases and acids that spew into the atmosphere during eruptions accounted for? What are their impacts on greenhouse gas levels? Do they eacerbate or moderate atmospheric and surface temperatures?

    Indonesian volcanoes emit a lot of sulphur dioxide which becomes sulphuric acid and that’s what the long lived aerosols are made of. Mineral dust settles out of the stratosphere pretty quickly, and sulphuric acid droplets settle out during the next couple of years.

  140. Willis Eschenbach says:

    For those who wonder why I dislike the practice of “removing the enso variations”, consider the following map:

    As you can see, there are other parts of the planet that are better correlated to global surface air temperature. Would you want to regress them against the SAT and subtract the regression? If not, why not?

    w.

  141. Willis Eschenbach says:

    Francois says:
    March 16, 2012 at 4:29 pm

    Sorry Sir, but I have a problem understanding your parlance, which sounds as clear as Pentagon-speak : what is that “transmittance” about?

    It’s the Mauna Loa atmospheric transmittance data. I thought I had linked to it in the head post, my bad. The link is here, I’ll fix it in the main post.

    w.

  142. Willis Eschenbach says:

    lgl says:
    March 16, 2012 at 4:45 pm

    Willis

    Because sunsettommy said “The strong 1982 El-Nino that can blunt the effect of a large volcanic eruption” and I said I agreed.
    The green line is the Nino 3.4 temperature.

    Thanks, lgl, but it’s not. The Nino 3.4 temperature, like all temperatures, jumps all around every month. Yours doesn’t. So it’s some kind of smooth of the temperature. Have you allowed for the uncertainty introduced by the smoothing process?

    w.

  143. Snowfall went down the winter after the Krakatoa and Novarupta eruptions, and went up following El Chichon and Pinatubo. None of these were in any way unusual or anomalous. So I’m gonna say the plural of anecdote is not evidence

    I never said or even implied that “snow fall amount” was unusual or anomalous, it was the lack of it melting off as it typically did which was unusual, ie persistent cold. One of the coldest winters I can remember had almost no snow here in the Denver area. Snow fall is driven much more by available moisture and local weather patterns here than it is by cold. In the Denver area, it is frequently cold enough for it to snow, but since we are in a border line desert area, about 14-15 inches of precipitation a year (most of which arrives in the spring and early summer) on average it is fairly common for it to be quite cold with little if any snow on the ground.

    The year I have in mind there was no snow cover and the ground froze feet deep in many areas around the Denver Metro area. My sewer line froze during several of these cold dry years as it was only buried about 18-24 inches deep. A friend of mine spent the whole winter repairing broken construction equipment torn up while trying to dig the frozen ground. One winter we had a rash of residential natural gas explosions when the spring thaw set in as the gas lines laid in the frozen ground over the winter were broken when the frozen soil settled as it thawed and pulled the lines apart, with leaking natural gas following the poorly consolidated back fill into houses which then exploded as the natural gas collected in the basements.

    Your snow plot is another example of asserting proof based on data that is not a valid test of the theory.

    Plotting the volcanic eruptions against heating degree days over the core months of the winter by region would be a more relevant test of the assertion that no anomalous cooling took place.

    A simple average daily temp will not necessarily show an unusual cold spell, A day could be well within the extremes but the duration of the cold could be highly unusual. Heating degree days could show that persistent cold that simple averages and record lows would not.

    Record low temps are often (in this area of the country) caused by a Siberian express (Alberta clipper) cold front sweeping down the front range causing a sharp and extreme cold snap which is preceded the day before by unusually warm weather due to compressional heating as the cold front approaches. As a result there might be a record high temp the day before, and a sharp cold snap the following day. It is the persistence of cold weather that counts when you are talking about the social impacts (and popular perception of a cold winter).

    Heating degree days will to some extent integrate daily temps over a period of time. Unfortunately there are several ways that various sources compute heating degree days so it is easy to get an apples to oranges comparison unless these issues are considered.
    Unfortunately the NWS does not publish easily accessible data files of heating degree days going back into even recent decades.

    A snow less winter that has consistent nightly temps in -10 -15 deg F range can be much harder on society than a warmer winter that has lots of snow that quickly melts off as it typically does in this part of the country.

    A brief cold snap and a long term period of persistent cold can have exactly the same average temperature, yet the soaking cold of a week or more of temperatures that never get over freezing will both be remembered as colder but will do more social damage both to people and infrastructure such as frozen pipes, and frost killed crops.

    For example in January 1962 we had a cold period where temperatures never exceeded 0 deg F for 9 days but only one record low was set on January 22 at -14 deg F. A record low maximum was also set on the 22nd with a daily high of 11 deg F.

    (capitalization is from the original NWS document)

    15-23 IN 1962…A PROTRACTED COLD SPELL KEPT METRO DENVER IN THE
    DEEP FREEZE FOR MORE THAN A WEEK. FROM THE 15TH THRU THE
    23RD…LOW TEMPERATURES WERE ZERO OR BELOW FOR 9 CONSECUTIVE
    DAYS…BUT A DAILY RECORD LOW WAS SET ONLY ON THE 22ND WHEN
    THE TEMPERATURE DIPPED TO 14 DEGREES BELOW ZERO. A RECORD
    LOW MAXIMUM FOR THE DATE WAS ALSO SET ON THE 22ND WHEN THE
    TEMPERATURE CLIMBED TO ONLY 11 DEGREES. THE COLDEST HIGH
    TEMPERATURE WAS 3 DEGREES ABOVE ZERO ON THE 21ST…WHICH DID
    NOT BREAK THE RECORD. THE PROTRACTED COLD WAS BROKEN FOR
    ONLY A FEW HOURS ON THE AFTERNOON OF THE 20TH WHEN CHINOOK
    WINDS WARMED THE TEMPERATURE TO A HIGH OF 38 DEGREES BEFORE
    ANOTHER SURGE OF COLD ARCTIC AIR PLUNGED TEMPERATURES
    BACK INTO THE DEEP FREEZE THAT EVENING. THE SEVERE COLD
    CAUSED MUCH DAMAGE TO WATER SYSTEMS. A WOMAN WAS FROZEN TO
    DEATH AT MORRISON. THERE WERE OTHER DEATHS ATTRIBUTABLE TO
    THE WEATHER…INCLUDING TRAFFIC DEATHS AND HEART ATTACKS
    FROM OVEREXERTION.

    With that brief high spike due to chinook winds to 38 degrees F daily average temperatures would give a totally bogus average that does not accurately represent the temperatures that persisted over this period, and neither do the record lows. It was the prolonged persistent cold that froze water pipes and resulted in deaths and injuries due to exposure.

    January 1937 had a similar episode that would be totally misrepresented by cold records.

    20-22 IN 1937…A SECOND INCURSION OF COLD ARCTIC IN LESS THAN TWO
    WEEKS KEPT TEMPERATURES IN THE DEEP FREEZE FOR THREE DAYS…
    EVEN THOUGH ONLY ONE TEMPERATURE RECORD WAS SET DURING THE
    PERIOD. TEMPERATURES WERE BELOW ZERO FOR AN ESTIMATED 53
    CONSECUTIVE HOURS. THE BELOW ZERO PERIOD WOULD HAVE
    BEEN LONGER HAD THE TEMPERATURES ON THE 20TH NOT CLIMBED
    TO A HIGH OF 1 DEGREE AFTER A LOW OF 8 DEGREES BELOW ZERO.
    ON THE 21ST…THE HIGH TEMPERATURE OF 1 DEGREE BELOW ZERO
    WAS A RECORD LOW MAXIMUM FOR THE DATE. LOW READINGS ON
    BOTH THE 21ST AND 22ND WERE 9 DEGREES BELOW ZERO.

    In 1948 we have a record snow event but temperatures were relatively mild by comparison.

    22-26 IN 1948…THE LONGEST PERIOD OF SNOWFALL ON RECORD (92 HOURS
    AND 3 MINUTES) OCCURRED IN DOWNTOWN DENVER WHERE A TOTAL OF
    13.6 INCHES OF SNOW FELL. AT STAPLETON AIRPORT…19.0 INCHES
    OF SNOW FELL…MAKING IT THE HEAVIEST SNOW IN JANUARY AND THE
    5TH HEAVIEST SNOW OF RECORD AT THAT TIME. NORTH WINDS WERE
    SUSTAINED TO A VELOCITY OF 23 MPH ON THE 25TH…BUT GENERALLY
    THE WINDS WERE LIGHT THROUGHOUT THE STORM. THE SNOW
    DISRUPTED TRAFFIC…BUT STREET CLEARING WAS BEGUN SOON AFTER
    IT BECAME APPARENT THAT THE SNOW WOULD BE HEAVY. OVER THE
    5 DAYS…TEMPERATURES RANGED FROM A HIGH OF 48 DEGREES ON
    THE 22ND TO A LOW OF 1 DEGREE ON THE 26TH. MOST READINGS
    WERE IN THE TEENS AND 20’S DURING THE STORM.

    Snow fall and temperature have very little in common, really cold weather seldom is associated with deep snow fall. In bitter cold conditions there is seldom enough moisture present to allow significant snow to develop. In many cases the signature of cold spells people remember are not the low temps that usually happen in the wee hours of the morning when they are snug in their beds, but the low high temps and the failure to warm up during the day. These days will show up in heating degree day numbers, but might be well within the norm when only viewed from the perspective of record low temps or daily average temps.

    What is interesting looking at the record weather events in the Colorado NWS weather history is the mid and late 1980’s for January were not marked by record cold events but by several severe wind events some with peak gusts over 100 mph in the Denver Metro area.

    Due to a lack of easily accessible weather info, it is very difficult to pull together a snapshot of why that period is remembered as being cooler than normal but one thing is clear by the clips posted above, daily average temps (anomalies from the norm) and record low temps do not accurately reflect the real weather conditions people experience. This is one of the disconnects in the whole process of trying to identify unusual weather periods. The local weather patterns can be highly unusual and persistently colder than usual and not appear at all out of the ordinary when viewed only by looking at low temperature records or daily average temperatures.

    When looking for social impacts like freeze damage to infrastructure and crops, cold snaps might be completely invisible to the investigator unless he/she takes the time to drill down into the details of the daily weather patterns and how they compare to typical weather patterns for the area and that time of year.

    Larry

  144. Willis Eschenbach says:

    HR says:
    March 16, 2012 at 5:06 pm

    Willis,

    KR is wiping the floor with you. The argument fails when the best you can say is it’s all just a conspiracy. Try harder

    I have not said it is a conspiracy, nor have I implied it is a conspiracy. I have not used the word, nor any synonyms. Finally, other than the Climategate folks, I do not believe that there is a conspiracy. I think there is Noble Cause Corruption run rampant, but not a conspiracy.

    So you, sir, are either badly mistaken, or you are a liar. Your choice.

    Next time you disagree with something I say, QUOTE MY EXACT WORDS, because obviously you have serious problems with either your comprehension or your honesty.

    So as an acquaintance of mine remarked …

    Try harder.

    w.

  145. Willis Eschenbach says:

    E.M.Smith says:
    March 16, 2012 at 5:48 pm

    A very good posting, only marred by the use of the nebulous “forcing”.

    There is no such thing as a ‘forcing’ in my physics book. There is a ‘forcing function’ in math, but that’s not physics.

    Sorry, my friend, but each profession has its jargon, and it doesn’t matter in the slightest if it makes no sense at all, or if you or I don’t like it. Forcing is the term thats used in climate science. I don’t like it either if that’s any consolation.

    w.

    PS—From the IPCC Glossary:

    Radiative forcing
    Radiative forcing is the change in the net, downward minus upward, irradiance (expressed in W m–2) at the tropopause due to a change in an external driver of climate change, such as, for example, a change in the concentration of carbon dioxide or the output of the Sun. Radiative forcing is computed with all tropospheric properties held fixed at their unperturbed values, and after allowing for stratospheric temperatures, if perturbed, to readjust to radiative-dynamical equilibrium. Radiative forcing is called instantaneous if no change in stratospheric temperature is accounted for. For the purposes of this report, radiative forcing is further defined as the change relative to the year 1750 and, unless otherwise noted, refers to a global and annual average value. Radiative forcing is not to be confused with cloud radiative forcing, a similar terminology for describing an unrelated measure of the impact of clouds on the irradiance at the top of the atmosphere

  146. markx says:

    Bill Yarber March 16, 2012 at 10:25 am
    Said :

    Process control theory ……
    ……Systems dominated by positive feedbacks are very unstable and will eventually saturate at one extreme or the other. Only systems dominated by negative feedbacks are stable enough to find equilibrium point(s) when not perturbed by outside influences.

    I’ll listen to Bill! I have the greatest respect for process control engineers!

    And it may be all as simple as water vapour/clouds creating a negative feedback rather than the vaguely postulated positive feedback assumed by CAGW proponents. It constitutes around 95% of the volume/quantity of total ‘greenhouse gases’.

    It seems inconceivable to me that (eg) a big influx of CO2 capable of raising the earth’s temperature 1 degree C will push more water vapour into the air, compounding the warming, but in complete contrast: a big burst of solar energy capable of raising the earth’s temperature 1 degree C will push more water vapour into the air, which will then condense out cooling the atmosphere and returning it to the previous ‘prewarming’ temperature.

    Willis’ volcano data may be telling us the same thing – cooling, less water vapour, less condensation cooling, return to ‘precooling’ temperature.

    I went searching this on the Skeptical Science site (it’s OK, don’t panic: I washed, disinfected, changed clothes before coming here!!).

    It is actually worth a look, it is by far their weakest argument, and their ‘vaguest’ page:

    http://www.skepticalscience.com/water-vapor-greenhouse-gas.htm

    And they had to get really desperate with the deny/slice/dice/divert/delete on this one. eg:

    andyfrith said 01:07 AM on 9 December, 2010 :
    The overall point of the article to state that water vapour warming will amplify CO2 warming is misleading, since there is nothing special about the CO2 warming. A natural sun-inducing warming would have similar effects on water vapour. So it is dangerous to state without qualification that ‘Water vapour is also the dominant positive feedback in our climate system and amplifies any warming caused by changes in atmospheric CO2…… The reference to Kiehl 1997 shows the clouds also reflect some sunlight back into space (diagram on page 10). Why is this negative feedback not discussed?

    Response: “Clouds are not water vapor; they are condensed water. This post is about water vapor. See the post Positive feedback means runaway warming.”

    Henry justice at 16:11 PM on 18 December, 2010
    I thought the residence time for atmospheric CO2 was verified as about 5.4 years as determined in this article: Carbon cycle modelling and the residence time of natural and anthropogenic atmospheric CO2.

    Response: See the post “CO2 has a short residence time,” and comment over there. For the CFCs topic, comment on that post, not this one. Off topic comments usually are deleted after one warning.

  147. Willis Eschenbach says:

    Skaal says:
    March 16, 2012 at 6:44 pm

    It is a reflection of the dominant climate paradigm, which is that surface temperature is a linear function of forcing.

    Wow, what a spectacularly wrong statement. It is well known that surface temperatures are a highly non-linear function of forcing. Did you just say it for the sake of putting up a straw man, or did you actually think it was true? Either way you look a bit silly.

    My uninformed friend, the dominant paradigm is assuredly that the change in temperature equals the change in forcing times the climate sensitivity … and that’s linear. What do you think the climate sensitivity means?

    I agree with you that in fact the forcing and temperature are not linearly related.

    But the mainstream view is indeed that temperature is a linear function of forcing, the usual formula is

    ∆T = λ ∆F

    where T is temperature, lambda (λ) is climate sensitivity, F is forcing, and delta (∆) is the “change in” operator.

    So on that question I fear that you are the one who is wrong, and spectacularly so.

    And because you are wrong, and because most everyone here knows you are wrong, your over-the-top attack on me in your very first post just convinces everyone that in addition to being not that smart, you are also a jerkwagon … let me recommend that the next thread you enter, that your first post be actually pleasant and informative. Otherwise, as just happened, you may just get your okole handed to you on a platter when you make a glaring error and then want to crow about how stupid I am.

    Because errors are not a problem. Being wrong is not a problem, I’m wrong as much as the next man.

    But being a jerkwagon when you are wrong?

    That’s a problem.

    w.

  148. Willis Eschenbach says:

    Charlie Martin says:
    March 16, 2012 at 7:10 pm

    You might want to reword this sentence:

    support the theory that forcing rules temperature.

    I think it’s pretty much true by definition that the various forcings rule temperature. It’s a lot more questionable if aerosols, dust, or greenhouse gases dominate, say, solar input.

    No, it’s not “true by definition” that forcing rules temperature. Actually, that’s the great unanswered question in climate—whether when TOA forcing rises temperatures must perforce rise as well, or whether the forcing is offset by one of the many thermostatic mechanisms in the climate system.

    So you don’t get to claim it’s “true by definition”. Well, you can claim it, but you just look like a newbie.

    w.

  149. Willis Eschenbach says:

    Jim D says:
    March 16, 2012 at 7:43 pm

    Please re-read your reference for Figure 7. The outgoing solar radiation is increased after Pinatubo (their Fig. 6). This agrees with what they say in the text, and also with Lindzen and Choi when they show solar forcing. Are you disagreeing with Lindzen and Choi, and just about everyone else, when you say reflection decreased after Pinatubo? Would a sign error negate your theory?

    Thanks, Jim. We’re measuring the opposite things. I’m measuring the sunlight that’s left after albedo reflections. They’re measuring the sunlight reflected by the albedo. That’s why the signs are reversed.

    w.

  150. Jim D says:

    Willis, so if there is less sunlight left and more reflected, you agree it would get cooler, right?

  151. markx says:

    KR says:March 16, 2012 at 1:24 pm
    But I cannot consider grand conspiracy theories rational…

    HR says:March 16, 2012 at 5:06 pm
    ….. The argument fails when the best you can say is it’s all just a conspiracy.

    I have never seen any argument from Willis mentioning a conspiracy.
    It does not take a conspiracy: Simply requires a loose association of similar interests/rewards: (then we have a pretty powerful positive feedback loop at work!):

    Government: taxes, revenue … perhaps hope of triggering a ‘new economy’
    Government departments/authorities: Funding, power, promotions.
    Economists: a ‘new economy’
    Banks/trading institutions: volumes (and how!) derivatives, commissions, fees, trading profits, maybe a ‘new economy’.
    NGOs: Funding , power, and the chance for lazy faux-idealistic kids to traipse around the globe pretending it is all for a noble cause and nothing to do with the fact they are too lazy to work for a living.
    UN: power, influence, money, growth, self-perpetuation (note the positive feedback loop involving all of these.)
    Scientists: at the lower levels: large amounts of funding, and you’d better come up with something ‘interesting’ to get funding next year.
    Senior scientists: Promotions, recognition, speaking engagements and articles and all the extra income that entails.
    Michael Mann: Everlasting Fame and Glory and all that vainglorious bas***** require to stoke their egos (…and the cash probably helps).

  152. Willis Eschenbach says:

    Larry Ledwick (hotrod ) says:
    March 16, 2012 at 8:15 pm

    Snowfall went down the winter after the Krakatoa and Novarupta eruptions, and went up following El Chichon and Pinatubo. None of these were in any way unusual or anomalous. So I’m gonna say the plural of anecdote is not evidence

    I never said or even implied that “snow fall amount” was unusual or anomalous, it was the lack of it melting off as it typically did which was unusual, ie persistent cold.

    Larry, why do I have to do all the work to correct your nonsense?

    There exist records for the Denver temperatures, you know. Next time you have some anecdotal urban legend, LOOK IT UP FIRST before you come torment me with it.

    Here’s the Denver winter temperatures. The red dot shows the 1883 winter after the Krakatoa eruption. It’s right about an average winter temperature for Denver, and it’s above freezing. Nothing unusual at all.

    As I said, the plural of anecdote is not data.

    w.

  153. Willis Eschenbach says:

    Jim D says:
    March 16, 2012 at 9:02 pm

    Willis, so if there is less sunlight left and more reflected, you agree it would get cooler, right?

    It would be, but that’s not what happened after Pinatubo.

    w.

  154. Jim D says:

    By saying there was less reflected sunlight immediately after Pinatubo, you realize you are disagreeing with everyone who has written papers on this issue, even Lindzen and Choi, don’t you?

  155. HR says:

    Willis’ words

    “These guys will look you in the eye, assure you of their honesty, and switch the pea under the shells. You are very, very naive to trust them.”

    Apologies Willis a con trick carried out en masse is somewhat different to a conspiracy, although not so different you need to start suggesting I might be a liar. Even so it’s still no more convincing an argument.

  156. Willis Eschenbach says:

    Jim D says:
    March 16, 2012 at 9:47 pm

    By saying there was less reflected sunlight immediately after Pinatubo, you realize you are disagreeing with everyone who has written papers on this issue, even Lindzen and Choi, don’t you?

    Well, Lindzen and Choi say very little about Pinatubo, it’s only mentioned once … but their chart (figure 1b) looks just like mine inverted, so I’m unclear what you are saying here. My figure 7 is just Lindzen and Choi inverted. Here’s how I read the sequence.

    Immediately after Pinatubo, the injected aerosols immediately reduced the sunlight reaching the surface.

    Right after that, however, the albedo started decreasing as the world started cooling. In a cooler world we get less tropical cloud and it forms later in the day.

    As a result, the amount of sunlight reaching the surface soon was well above its pre-eruption levels, and only returned to normal levels when the imbalance was redressed.

    My claim of strong negative feedback post-Pinatubo is buttressed by the Douglas paper I link to in the head post.

    w.

  157. Willis Eschenbach says:

    HR says:
    March 16, 2012 at 10:19 pm

    Willis’ words

    “These guys will look you in the eye, assure you of their honesty, and switch the pea under the shells. You are very, very naive to trust them.”

    Apologies Willis a con trick carried out en masse is somewhat different to a conspiracy, although not so different you need to start suggesting I might be a liar. Even so it’s still no more convincing an argument.

    Thanks, HR. The problem is, when you claim I’m talking about a conspiracy and I’m not, you’re either mistaken or a liar. Since I had NEVER MENTIONED THE WORD, and since I am very careful when and how I do use it, and since there’re lots of anonymous folks on these threads who do lie without hesitation, “liar” has to be included in the possibilities. Sorry, but you brought it on yourself—if you try to put false words in a man’s mouth he may bite you, it’s a very bad thing to do. Next time just quote my words, then there will be no confusion.

    Regarding whether it is a good argument, it’s not an argument at all, nor was it intended to be one.

    It is advice on how to approach their claims … which is to approach them like you’d approach a three-card monte game on the streets of New York. Not trusting them and believing them as you obviously do, but checking and verifying everything they say. Sure, they may be right … but you’d be foolish to assume that they are. Far too many of these AGW alarmist scientists are publishing absolute bollocks.

    All the best,

    w.

    PS—I’d advise you approach everyone’s claims in that same way, including mine, but for different reasons. I (and the other ethical scientists) won’t be lying to you, but any of us could certainly be wrong, and climate science peer-review these days is worthless.

  158. Skaal says:

    “Jerkwagon” – interesting! I guess you really don’t like being called out on a really basic mistake. Talk about spitting the dummy.

    From the IPCC 2001 report:

    “The effective climate sensitivity is a measure of the strength of the feedbacks at a particular time and it may vary with forcing history and climate state.”

    From the IPCC 2007 report:

    “The nonlinearity of the climate system may lead to abrupt climate change, sometimes called rapid climate change, abrupt events or even surprises. Abrupt climate changes … may be truly unexpected, resulting from a strong, rapidly changing forcing of a nonlinear system.”

    It’s clear that you genuinely weren’t aware of the basic definitions. If you start from a position based on a fundamental misunderstanding, do you think you will come to sensible conclusions?

  159. Larry, why do I have to do all the work to correct your nonsense?

    There exist records for the Denver temperatures, you know. Next time you have some anecdotal urban legend, LOOK IT UP FIRST before you come torment me with it.

    Here’s the Denver winter temperatures. The red dot shows the 1883 winter after the Krakatoa eruption. It’s right about an average winter temperature for Denver, and it’s above freezing. Nothing unusual at all.

    First it might help a lot if you gave a citation to where you got those temperature records so we could talk about the same thing. The National Weather Service does not publish any such temperature data on their web site that I have ever been able to find.

    Second it would also be helpful if you told us what that temperature record is ??

    Third “Larry, why do I have to do all the work to correct your nonsense?” because it is you who are proposing a hypothesis that there is no volcanic cooling, because you cannot see it in your temperature delta T graphs, and it is your job to answer challenges to that assertion.

    Is that graph the daily average temperature for Denver (from what source)?
    I just spent the better part of a page showing you is useless for the purpose you are using it for?

    As shown in the short examples I listed, our average temperatures and delta T graphs based on them are useless because of the local topography and the local meteorological conditions. The same applies to all average temperatures but it is much more significant of an issue in areas like where I live which are subject to down slope winds and the ebb and flow of cold air masses due to local micro climates.

    In mid winter we can have a short period of Chinook winds that briefly raise the air temperature 30-40 deg F then a sub zero air mass can push back up against the mountains and hold the air temperature at sub freezing or even sub zero temps for the rest of the day. That brief spike of chinook heating totally screws up the daily average. You might have 22 hours where the temperature holds between 10 deg F and -10 deg F and 2 hours of 40 deg F, giving you a simple arithmetic average temp for the day of 15 deg F when the real average temperature would be slightly above 0 deg F if you appropriately weighted the temperatures for their duration.

    Even without chinook winds, we are subject to strong inversions, at Stapleton airport (the old station of record until DIA was built) and down town Denver which was the temperature recording location prior to the construction of Stapleton we are subject of huge discontinuities of temperature in just a few miles due to inversion effects. The city of Denver sits in a basin connected to a river valley. In the winter time cold air slides down that valley at night and in the day time gets pulled back up toward the city. On smoggy days you can watch the ebb and flow of this cold inversion like the incoming tide in a harbor.

    The Core city of Denver might be at 20 deg F while a mile or two away in the Highland neighborhoods of west Denver it might be 50 degrees. On the same day and time 30 miles down the Platte river valley it might be sub zero temperatures. This is a worst case environment for the sort of mind bendingly stupid smearing of temperatures used in the “official temperature records”.

    When I was in 8th grade I had a paper route on the west side of the metro area, on the high ground of the route in the spring, it was shirt sleeve warm with temps in the low 50’s and just a mile away in the valley it would be below freezing and all the parked cars had frost on the windshields.

    Without dealing with that sort of microclimate the current temperature records are absolutely useless for any sort of high resolution detection of small sub degree C temperature trends.

    This is completely ignoring the issue of lapse rate where nearby cities might have elevation differences of 1 – 2 thousand ft elevation, making comparisons meaningless without consideration for both the elevation difference and the humidity conditions at the time the temperatures were taken. I traverse a 1000 ft elevation change going too and from work, and that is traveling on the “flat” plains going north and south along the front range.

    I will repeat my key point which you have totally ignored, a lack of a temperature dip in your plots does not necessarily mean that there was not any significant cooling, because the data does not recognize or in any way represent the duration of temperature changes.

    The lack of an easily identifiable temperature dip in the chart, could just as easily be proof that the data analysis method has no skill at seeing volcanic cooling as it is proof that volcanic cooling did not exist.

    A day that had a low temp of 5 deg F and a high temp of 40 deg F will have exactly the same average temperature recorded in the record regardless of how long that high temperature existed. It might have held at 5 – 10 deg F all day and only briefly spiked to 40 degrees F for 15 minutes or it might have had a low of 5 degrees and quickly climbed to near 40 degrees and held there for hours. That difference would be totally unnoticed in the average temperature data, but would be very obvious to the person on the street, it would show up in peoples heating bills, and in the heating degree day data (especially if it was properly integrated on say hourly intervals).

    With modern data gathering technology there is no legitimate reason that heating degree day info cannot be gathered in real time with 5 or 10 minute resolution for the temperature changes. The power utilities have used heating degree day information for decades because it has a strong correlation with actual fuel used in home heating and hence demand on their utilities. That strong correlation exists even if the data is gathered over very coarse time intervals.

    Larry

  160. vukcevic says:

    Steve from Rockwood says: March 16, 2012 at 4:26 pm
    You can stick a volcano icon under any low period in the temperature record.

    I’ve done some (1750 – 1850) about a year ago (as a favour for one of the regulars), eventually will go back and do the rest:
    http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/CET-D.htm
    Not all areas get evenly affected. When Eyjafjallajokull erupted in 2010, most of West Europe’s airports were closed, but Reykjavik was not (jet stream and prevailing winds come to mind). See possible effect on the CET (not much in the GTs)
    http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/CET1690-1960.htm
    Are the Global temperatures reliable: the last 40 or so years is a carbon copy of the AMO, or is it the other way around? But then the experts tell us that the AMO is to blame for 1960s.
    http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/GT-AMO.htm
    It looks as everyone wants to run a marathon and they never done a mile. The CET is relatively accurate record, if one can understand what is going on there then next step to the N. hemisphere and global is easier, and correlations are not to bad:
    http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/CETGNH.htm
    suddenly everyone is an expert on the global without knowing their back yard.
    I am not an expert on anything , just like to mess around with data, have no idea about ‘mineral exploration’, I hope my daughter should know, she got an MSc from Oxford uni (cost me a bit), seen few calderas and recently descended (about 700m or so) down Callinan and Kimberley mines, uncommon for a girl not yet 23 .
    Sorry, that rumble was far too long.

  161. Willis Eschenbach says:

    From a paper that tries to explain (unsuccessfully in my opinion, YMMV) why temperatures didn’t drop after Krakatoa, and why the models do such a miserable job simulating it …

    Note that the average of the models predicted a drop of about half a degree, when in the event it wasn’t even two tenths of a degree. It seems to me that they are trying to get out of admitting the very low sensitivity implied by the Krakatoa data.

    w.

  162. alex verlinden says:

    if you calculate the volume of the spherical shell around mother earth (R = 6371 km) with 40km (according to Wikipedia, “The eruption column – of Krakatoa – reached the stratosphere, an altitude of more than 43 km (140,000 ft)” of air above it, you get 1103737860360 km3 or 1.1 E12 km3
    again according to Wikipedia, Tambora ejected some 160 km3 and Krakatoa some 21 km3 of ash (and stones), meaning 0,0000000078 and 0,0000000010 of the shell was “filled” by the volcanoes …

    do very large erupting volcanoes have some influence on climate ? … maybe

    do very large erupting volcanoes have a big influence on climate ? … most probably not

    I’m a civil engineer, and that is what my back of the napkin calculations tell me, whatever “real scientists” have to say about it …

  163. lgl says:

    PS—Again let me say I object to “removing El Nino”. You are taking the temperature of one tiny part of the earth’s surface, regressing it against the whole surface, and subtracting the regression. Consider that you could do the same with a patch of the North Atlantic … could you justify doing that?

    Willis, please, don’t be silly. http://virakkraft.com/Nino34-tropical.png

  164. lgl says:

    Right after that, however, the albedo started decreasing as the world started cooling. In a cooler world we get less tropical cloud and it forms later in the day.

    Tropical cloud cover decreased 1985-2000 so no reason to link that to Pinatubo.
    http://climate4you.com/images/HadCRUT3%20and%20TropicalCloudCoverISCCP.gif
    and in a warmer world we get less tropical cloud (or more likely, less cloud -> warming), so wrong again.

  165. vukcevic says:

    lgl says: March 17, 2012 at 5:21 am
    ……….
    It’s more to do how the Jet stream and Rossby wave meandering gets affected by plume of volcanic hot air and ash rising into the stratosphere. Kamchatka’s volcanoes are notorious in deflecting jet-stream and splitting the polar vortex:
    http://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/docs/00/56/34/77/PDF/SSW.pdf

  166. Bill Illis says:

    I agree with Willis that you can’t really see the volcano impacts in the record. Most importantly, if there is an impact, the temperature response per forcing is much, much lower than the climate theory is based on.

    But let’s assume there is an impact. Simple regression predicts that Pinatubo reduced temperatures by -0.5C. El Chichon was -0.35C. This is how it would look and what would happen to UAH sat temperatures if we added these temporary reductions back.

    http://img831.imageshack.us/img831/2993/uahvsvolcanoimpacts.png

    Now we can see that perhaps the two volcanoes in the early part of the record have distorted the temperature trend. It is not going up anywhere near what the Raw record does.

    Now we can see that the 1982-83 Super El Nino shows up in the record. Now we can see that the ENSO’s impact is much more clear. UAH Volcano-adjusted versus the impact of the Nino 3.4 Index.

    http://img43.imageshack.us/img43/4831/uahvolcadjustedvsenso.png

    But there appears to be more going on. Some parts don’t match up very well. Let’s see how the AMO might be related.

    http://img208.imageshack.us/img208/4194/uahvolcadjvsamo.png

    Now we can put them all together in one model. UAH temps versus the impact of the Volcanoes, the ENSO, the AMO and a warming trend (which might be due to the Ln(CO2)). Note that the Volcano impact declines a little now since there are other elements involved. Pinatubo falls to -0.3C and El Chichon to -0.2C. I think this model works pretty well.

    http://img94.imageshack.us/img94/2716/uahmodelfeb12.png

    That leaves a very small warming trend in UAH sat temperatures, just 0.039C per decade which is consistent over time and has a mostly random error value now. This is much lower than the IPCC AR4 forecast on the same basis.

    http://img685.imageshack.us/img685/6456/uahwarming.png

  167. Jim D says:

    From ERBE presented by both Lindzen and Choi papers (the later one has more about Pinatubo), the shortwave for the first two years shows a strong reflection over the previous average. The next few years show a smaller reduction from the average for several years. The biggest signal by far is the increased reflection and it affects the first two years. So your statement only applies to the weaker recovery period.

  168. KR says:

    markx – Leaving behind the ad hominem fallacies (Willis’s accusations of lying at http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/03/16/volcanic-disruptions/#comment-925452, rather than actually discussing the data), what you are essentially claiming with your science “positive feedback loop” is that: 97-99% of climate scientists (surveys, checks on published article orientations), the science advisory groups in every country, are so bedazzled by the funding they receive (paying primarily for equipment and grad students), so enamored of the 10-year old used cars they drive (because grants don’t change academic salaries), that they are willing to uniformly distort masses of data in multiple fields (ice extent, spectroscopy, satellite readings, ocean temperatures, plant growth region shifts, on and on) for the last 150 years to support the theory of anthropogenic global warming???

    Seriously? Have you ever dealt with the herd of maddened cats that are grad students looking to make a name for themselves by proving something against the consensus?

    If you want to look at a field where this kind of distortion might be rather more likely, examine pharmaceutical approval studies. Literally billions of dollars ride on approval/disapproval of drug manufacture, with studies often paid for directly by the pharma companies. There’s a definite reward cycle there, and there have been some instances of bad science as a result.

    Which are not 97% of the studies. And which get caught. Because of those pesky facts. Reality is a harsh critic – and if you really want to destroy your science career, your reputation, prestige and position, make up some facts – reality will show you up.

  169. Robert Austin says:

    KR says:
    March 17, 2012 at 7:44 am

    “Which are not 97% of the studies. And which get caught. Because of those pesky facts. Reality is a harsh critic – and if you really want to destroy your science career, your reputation, prestige and position, make up some facts – reality will show you up.”

    Is Michael Mann’s science career destroyed yet? Does he drive a 10 year old car? Has Al Gore been publicly repudiated by scientists for the errors in his productions. Unfortunately, “reality” may not rear its ugly head for another generation.

    “Have you ever dealt with the herd of maddened cats that are grad students looking to make a name for themselves by proving something against the consensus?”

    We would love to embrace this idyllic image of “Nullius in verba” grad students. Alas, reality shows a somewhat more sordid picture as exemplified in the climategate emails.

    As for driving a 10 year old car, would you rather be an academic driving a 10 year old car or serving burgers at McDonalds and driving a ten year old car.

  170. markx says:

    Re 97% of Climate Scientists agree: Two references below sourced from Wikipedia

    Not quite so absolute:

    The EOS article (reporting the work of Kendall and Zimmerman had a 30% response level from 10,257 ‘earth scientists’. 90% of respondents were US based, and 8.5% of the respondents published extensively in the area of climate change.

    82% indicated they thought ‘human activity is a significant contributing factor in changing mean global temperatures’.

    Not quite 97%. Not quite a full response rate for something so important. Any chance ‘dissenters’ may have been reluctant to participate?

    The PNAS (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences) publication is interesting, dividing researchers into two groups; those convinced by the evidence (CE) of ACC (anthropogenic climate change) and those unconvinced by the evidence (UE) of ACC and using a method of ranking by amount of publication and citation.

    Here is where the 97% figure comes from: “The UE group comprises only 2% of the top 50 climate researchers as ranked by expertise (number of climate publications), 3% of researchers of the top 100, and 2.5% of the top 200”

    Ie, so we have 97% of the top 200 “most frequent publishers” being in agreement with the tenets of anthropogenic climate change (ACC)

    This is from a total survey group of 908 scientists with more than 20 publication on the topic of climate , (CE 817, UE 93)

    Well, a few ranked in both groups, but that looks like 10% of the top 900 climate scientists don’t agree, and if we include those with less than 20 publications we find 34% of the top 1385 don’t agree.

    Note the source of the CE group is primarily from the lists of IPCC AR4 Working Group, those engaged most fully in the ‘business of global warming’.

    Is it likely they get more opportunity to publish and certainly more funding than those on the outer?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scientists_opposing_the_mainstream_scientific_assessment_of_global_warming#cite_note-1

    EOS VOLUME 90 NUMBER 3 20 JANUARY 2009 Examining the Scientific Consensus on Climate Change Peter T. Doran and Maggie Kendall Zimmerman, Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of Illinois at Chicago

    This brief report addresses the two primary questions of the survey, which contained up to nine questions (the full study is given by Kendall Zimmerman [2008]):

    1. When compared with pre-1800s levels, do you think that mean global temperatures have generally risen, fallen, or remained relatively constant?

    2. Do you think human activity is a significant contributing factor in changing mean global temperatures?

    With 3146 individuals completing the survey, the participant response rate for the survey was 30.7%.

    Of our survey participants:
    90% were from U.S. institutions and
    6% were from Canadian institutions;
    the remaining 4% were from institutions in 21 other nations.

    ……………..the most common areas of expertise reported were:
    geochemistry (15.5%),
    geophysics (12%),
    oceanography (10.5%).
    General geology, hydrology/hydrogeology, and paleontology each accounted for 5–7% of the total respondents.

    Approximately 5% of the respondents were climate scientists, and 8.5% of the respondents indicated that more than 50% of their peer-reviewed publications in the past 5 years have been on the subject of climate change.

    Results show that overall, 90% of participants answered “risen” to question 1 and 82% answered yes to question 2.

    ^ Anderegg, William R L; James W. Prall, Jacob Harold, and Stephen H. Schneider (2010). “Expert credibility in climate change”. PNAS. Retrieved August 22, 2011.

    We provide a broad assessment of the relative credibility of researchers convinced by the evidence (CE) of ACC and those unconvinced by the evidence (UE) of ACC.

    We compiled a database of 1,372 climate researchers based on authorship of scientific assessment reports and membership on multisignatory statements about ACC (SI Materials and Methods). We tallied the number of climate-relevant publications authored or coauthored by each researcher (defined here as expertise) and counted the number of citations for each of the researcher’s four highest-cited papers (defined here as prominence) using Google Scholar. We then imposed an a priori criterion that a researcher must have authored a minimum of 20 climate publications to be considered a climate researcher, thus reducing the database to 908 researchers. Varying this minimum publication cutoff did not materially alter results (Materials and Methods). To examine only researchers with demonstrated climate expertise, we imposed a 20 climate-publications minimum to be considered a climate researcher, bringing the list to 908 researchers (NCE = 817; NUE = 93).

    We ranked researchers based on the total number of climate publications authored. Though our compiled researcher list is not comprehensive nor designed to be representative of the entire climate science community, we have drawn researchers from the most high-profile reports and public statements about ACC. Therefore, we have likely compiled the strongest and most credentialed researchers in CE and UE groups.

    The UE group comprises only 2% of the top 50 climate researchers as ranked by expertise (number of climate publications), 3% of researchers of the top 100, and 2.5% of the top 200, excluding researchers present in both groups (Materials and Methods). This result closely agrees with expert surveys, indicating that ≈97% of self-identified actively publishing climate scientists agree with the tenets of ACC

    Mean expertise of the UE group was around half (60 publications) that of the CE group (119 publications; Mann–Whitney U test: W = 57,020; P < 10−14), as was median expertise (UE = 34 publications; CE = 84 publications).

    Furthermore, researchers with fewer than 20 climate publications comprise ≈80% the UE group, as opposed to less than 10% of the CE group.

    We compiled these CE researchers comprehensively from the lists of IPCC AR4 Working Group I Contributors and four prominent scientific statements endorsing the IPCC (n = 903; SI Materials and Methods). We defined UE researchers as those who have signed statements strongly dissenting from the views of the IPCC. We compiled UE names comprehensively from 12 of the most prominent statements criticizing the IPCC conclusions (n = 472; SI Materials and Methods).

  171. markx says:

    KR March 17, 2012 at 7:44 am said:

    “……. are willing to uniformly distort masses of data in multiple fields (ice extent, spectroscopy, satellite readings, ocean temperatures, plant growth region shifts, on and on) for the last 150 years to support the theory of anthropogenic global warming?…..”

    KR, I don’t think anyone claims there is mass ‘data distortion’ going on, although I do wonder myself at the amount of ‘calibration adjustment’ of past temperature records (97% of which is in the ‘required direction’ …. OK, I made up that number…..)..

    Most of the data/science listed above is not greatly in dispute, except in some cases in relation to the claimed accuracy of readings.

    The argument is more about how much of the present warming is anthropogenic, how much future warming we are likely to see, and how much of that is likely to be anthropogenic.

    Basically it all comes down to interpretation of the available data, and models.

  172. KR says:

    Robert Austin“Is Michael Mann’s science career destroyed yet? Does he drive a 10 year old car? Has Al Gore been publicly repudiated by scientists for the errors in his productions. Unfortunately, “reality” may not rear its ugly head for another generation.”

    Perhaps so, and no, I don’t know what car Mann drives. So far, there’s really no solid indication that they’re wrong.

    And perhaps, just perhaps, the 97% consensus is actually right?

    One of my favorite “classic” articles on the topic is Svant Arhennius 1896 “On the Influence of Carbonic Acid in the Air upon the Temperature of the Ground” (http://www.rsc.org/images/Arrhenius1896_tcm18-173546.pdf) – clear and reasonably technically accessible. On page 265 of that article he notes increases in carbonic acid (the term at the time for atmospheric CO2) would result in polar amplification of warming, diminishing differences between day and night temperatures, more warming over land than ocean, albedo feedback from melting ice, water vapor feedback (p.263), and a climate sensitivity of ~3C/doubling:

    “Thus if the quantity of carbonic acid increases in geometric progression, the augmentation of the temperature will increase in nearly arithmetic progression.”

    That was 116 years ago, working from basic principles. The ‘fingerprints’ he worked out then are being observed now. Nothing he wrote has been disproven – some numbers have shifted due to better data, but his conclusions still hold. At what point do you accept the evidence? At what point do you decide that perhaps your preconceptions are incorrect, unsupported by the data? At what point do you stop searching for maverick academics with contradictory hypotheses that don’t hold up to examination?

    How much evidence is enough to convince you? This is an important question – if the answer for you is “There will never be enough”, then you’re not speaking of science, but rather of belief, devoid of factual support.

  173. Robert Austin says:

    KR says:
    March 17, 2012 at 7:44 am

    As counterpoint to your arguementum ad verecundiam (from authority) and argumentum ad populam I suggest reading http://rogerpielkejr.blogspot.ca/2012/03/false-positive-science.html for an interesting article on “false positive” science or the “incorrect rejection of of the null hypothesis” problem.

  174. Robert Austin says:

    KR says:
    March 17, 2012 at 10:06 am

    “Perhaps so, and no, I don’t know what car Mann drives. So far, there’s really no solid indication that they’re wrong.
    And perhaps, just perhaps, the 97% consensus is actually right?”

    The null hypothesis rules (unless you are Kevin Trenbreath). No need to prove the CAGW’ers wrong, just expose the weaknesses in their science. Your “97% consensus” may be right but the proponents haven’t really advanced their hypothesis in 20 years and it will be decades before Gaia reveals the climate sensitivity to greenhouse gases. Meanwhile the public is tiring of the hysterical cataclysmic claims.

  175. HR says:

    “Not trusting them and believing them as you obviously do, but checking and verifying everything they say.”

    Willis I can play the same pedantic game as you if I want. I never at any point said I found they’re arguments convincing or i believe them. I was simply saying that expressing a sentiment that all you oppose are fools and liars, that aspects of climate science are corrupt and untrustworthy are just arguments being played to the peanut gallery. And are going to turn off anybody trying to be thoughtful on the issue.

    I actually like the fact you question the validity of ∆T = λ ∆F. It makes sense that this underlies the difference between those convinced by the IPCC and those who are skeptical. Maybe we actually agree that there is much to be gained from looking at internal dynamic changes to the system in respect to this question. Climate science does seem to have something to say on this issue, if you hunt for it, but it seems to be quickly dismissed by the IPCC.

  176. Tom_R says:

    KR says:
    March 17, 2012 at 7:44 am
    (because grants don’t change academic salaries),

    You can’t possibly believe that. Bring in lots of overhead money via grants and you get tenure, promotions, and sizable raises. Bring in no grant money and you get refused tenure (fired if you work for a lab or institution that does not give tenure), or if you have tenure you get no promotions, minimal cost-of-living raises, and the crappiest assignments. Why do you think Pen State is so willing to whitewash Mann’s [alleged] complicity in destroying evidence (deleting E-mails)? For the same reason they were willing to overlook Sandusky’s [alleged] sex crimes in the football program. Money gets you everything.

  177. Thanks Willis great article!
    I played this game some time ago with the UAH record and failed big time, learned a lesson.

    P.S. I wanted to post this yesterday but the latestest WordPress bug got me.
    Now I have changed my e-mail for posting.

  178. Steve from Rockwood says:

    vukcevic says:
    March 17, 2012 at 1:47 am

    I am not an expert on anything , just like to mess around with data, have no idea about ‘mineral exploration’, I hope my daughter should know, she got an MSc from Oxford uni (cost me a bit), seen few calderas and recently descended (about 700m or so) down Callinan and Kimberley mines, uncommon for a girl not yet 23.

    I do appreciate your efforts. Send your daughter to Canada and have her complete an MSc in Applied Geophysics. Only 1 geophysicist graduates for every 8 geologists. We could use some help here and she would be earning a six figure salary before turning 30. She could also help her father better interpret graphs ;)

  179. vukcevic says:

    Steve from Rockwood says:
    ……….
    Hi again
    Thanks for the advice. I think there are plans for her to visit some mining areas overthere some time within a year. She is currently working for a mining company and is based in their London office.

  180. KR says:

    [snip - he's comparing the lack of investigation, YOU are the one making unsavory bizarre leaps of logic which are even more inappropriate - Anthony]

  181. dana1981 says:

    I have to say Willis, I’m a little disappointed with your confirmation bias. You seem to be one of the more intelligent people here, but looking for excuses to reject peer-reviewed literature (like confusing Forster with Foster because you feel comfortable dismissing the latter), choosing the eyecrometer over actual statistics – it’s pretty poor behavior. Oh well.

    REPLY:
    Dana Nutticelli, Willis won’t answer you as he’s out of the country. But while we are on the subject you’ve raised about, we are still waiting for you to clean up your own poor behavior at Skeptical Science what with the constant labeling of people as deniers, the post facto revisionism, and the wholesale exclusion of many commenters that challenge your views, and the shoddy treatment of Dr. Roger Pielke who tried and failed to engage a meanigful converstaion only to be ridiculed and taunted.

    Starting cleaning up your own house and then you MIGHT have a point. – Anthony

  182. markx says:

    KR March 17, 2012 at 10:06 am
    Said:
    “…..One of my favourite “classic” articles on the topic is Svant Arhennius 1896 “On the Influence of Carbonic Acid in the Air upon the Temperature of the Ground” ….. increases in carbonic acid (atmospheric CO2) would result in ….. and a climate sensitivity of about 3C per doubling….”

    Interesting you would quote his 1896 publication, when by 1906 he’d revised his thoughts a little (NB – probably partly due to intense scientific debate on the topic – please note the parallel with today!) to estimate an expected warming of 1.6 degrees C per doubling.

    Arrhenius estimated that halving of CO2 would decrease temperatures by 4–5 °C (Celsius) and a doubling of CO2 would cause a temperature rise of 5–6 °C.
    In his 1906 publication, Arrhenius adjusted the value downwards to 1.6 °C (including water vapour feedback: 2.1 °C).

    . http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Svante_Arrhenius

  183. Bob Tisdale says:

    Sorry for the delay in getting back to you, Willis. I believe your reply to my comment is based on an assumption that the responses in global surface temperature to volcanic eruptions (and ENSO) will be consistent from one event to the next. They’re not. Lags vary, and the magnitudes of the responses are different.

    And with respect to your PS, are you’re referring to an earlier comment you made, in which you wrote, “I am very leery of removing what people call ‘El Nino variations’ or ‘AMO variations’. These generally refer to the temperature in a particular part of the planet, the ‘El Nino 3.4 region’ or the North Atlantic or somewhere else”?

    When persons wrongly attempt to remove ENSO from the global surface temperature record based on factors determined through regression analysis using an ENSO Index, they are not solely attempting to subtract the temperature of the NINO3.4 region or the eastern tropical Pacific. (If that was the case they wouldn’t need to regress it. They could simply remove it.) They’re also attempting to capture the additional responses of surface temperatures outside of the tropical Pacific that result due to ENSO-caused changes in atmospheric circulation.

    The reasons it’s wrong to remove ENSO from the surface temperature record in that fashion are, (1) it assumes La Niña events are the opposite of El Niño events–They are not–(2) it assumes global surface temperatures respond linearly to the process of ENSO, and they do not, and (3) it also assumes the ENSO index captures the entire ENSO process, and it does not. The ENSO index only represents the impact of ENSO on that ENSO index. Nothing more.

    Regards

  184. markx says:

    KR March 17, 2012 at 10:06 am

    Said: “…How much evidence is enough to convince you? This is an important question – if the answer for you is “There will never be enough”, then you’re not speaking of science, but rather of belief, devoid of factual support….”

    Interesting you would say that. Really to date we have a lot of theory, faith and fairly scant evidence that anthropogenic warming will be significant to the point of being catastrophic.

    We have a quite a lot of proxy evidence (that is still under intense debate) which shows …. Well, almost whatever you want it to show – I personally particularly like the long term ice core records from both Antarctica and Greenland, because I can see that today’s warming is pretty miniscule in relation to that in previous interglacial periods, and even to that evident in the early part of the Holocene epoch. Of course, I don’t much like Mann and Co’s tree ring proxies which don’t manage to detect my much beloved MWP. But, we can all find what we want in there somewhere.

    We are starting to accumulate quite a lot of spectroscopic data from satellite readings, lots of ocean level data, lots of earth station temperature date, lots of deep ocean temperature data, etc etc. This has really been going on for only the last 30 years or so. Now I like to wonder why we are still spending billions on such projects, and why we are still modelling and remodelling the climate, especially in light of every new (and usually unexpected!) climate phenomenon which arises. To ‘prove’ the point? Or to learn more about what is really happening?

    I really expect it is the latter. So rather than all this desperate ‘back-casting’, I believe we should keep examining the data, keep quietly testing our predications, then when we REALLY have some evidence such as proven forecasts, it will be an easy sell.

    So back to your original question above: It appears even the CAGW proponents feel a great need to accumulate more evidence. So, is it really ‘absolute blind faith’ required to simply accept a bland statement that ‘the science is settled’ in this, or indeed, in any field of science?

  185. KR says:

    markx“In his 1906 publication, Arrhenius adjusted the value downwards to 1.6 °C (including water vapour feedback: 2.1 °C).”

    I really don’t know where that came from. If you actually read the book, “Worlds in the Making” (1908 English translation of the 1906 text, as I don’t read Swedish), which can be found at http://www.archive.org/details/worldsinmakingev00arrhrich :

    “If the quantity of carbonic acid in the air should sink to one-half its present percentage, the temperature would fall about 4°; a diminution to one-quarter would reduce the temperature by 8°. On the other hand, any doubling of the percentage of carbon dioxide in the air would raise the temperature of the earth’s surface by 4°…” (pg. 53)

    These are in degrees Celsius, developed by the Swedish Anders Celsius in 1742, the same scale he used in 1896. That’s a sensitivity of 4°C, not 1.6°C.

    [I don't know where the wikipedia article gets the erroneous information in the discussion section (the only source I've found for your quote), as they show the relevant section just a few paragraphs above. But then, wikipedia is just not as reliable as original sources.]

    This is drifting far afield of the original post. Willis Eschenbach drew some confusing graphs and arm-waved some objections to both the significance of volcanic forcings and any efforts to attribute climate changes to those forcings.

    Multiple references were provided indicating that volcanic forcings do have identifiable effects, and can be attributed.

    Willis responded by dismissing the evidence with ad hominem fallacies (http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/03/16/volcanic-disruptions/#comment-925452, also http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/03/16/volcanic-disruptions/#comment-925260), incidentally confusing the authors of those references, conflating spatial distributions with time signatures (http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/03/16/volcanic-disruptions/#comment-925432), and basically stating that he doesn’t trust well established statistical methods such as multiple linear regression of time signals.

    Eschenbach’s post doesn’t hold up – insults, whether of individuals or of mathematic methods, are no substitute for factually supported works or for tested techniques.

    Adieu

  186. Willis Eschenbach says:

    lgl says:
    March 17, 2012 at 5:06 am

    Right after that, however, the albedo started decreasing as the world started cooling. In a cooler world we get less tropical cloud and it forms later in the day.

    Tropical cloud cover decreased 1985-2000 so no reason to link that to Pinatubo.
    http://climate4you.com/images/HadCRUT3%20and%20TropicalCloudCoverISCCP.gif
    and in a warmer world we get less tropical cloud (or more likely, less cloud -> warming), so wrong again.

    I showed observations that albedo decreased immediately after Pinatubo. You seem to think that general changes in albedo are the issue. I am talking about volcanoes and their aftermath., it is immaterial what the albedo was doing over your 15-year period.

    Second, when it gets warmer in the tropics, more clouds form. This has been known for some time, and is clearly visible in the monthly albedo observations.

    One thing you are correct about, that you are “wrong again”.

    w.

  187. Willis Eschenbach says:

    KR says:
    March 18, 2012 at 10:59 am

    … This is drifting far afield of the original post. Willis Eschenbach drew some confusing graphs and arm-waved some objections to both the significance of volcanic forcings and any efforts to attribute climate changes to those forcings.

    I’m sorry you find graphs confusing, that must be a real handicap.

    Multiple references were provided indicating that volcanic forcings do have identifiable effects, and can be attributed.

    Please learn to read the entire post before making a fool of yourself. I said quite clearly that volcano forcings have identifiable effects,because I knew someone like yourself would try to bust me for something I never said. Read the following paragraph from the head post real slow until you understand it.

    Does this mean volcanoes have no effect on the climate? No, it just means that because of the immediate and basically “equal but opposite” response of the climate system to forcing changes, the effect is much more local, much shorter lived, and much smaller than would be expected if the IPCC estimates of climate sensitivity were correct.

    So all of your “multiple references” were meaningless, because they were objecting to something I didn’t say …

    Eschenbach’s post doesn’t hold up – insults, whether of individuals or of mathematic methods, are no substitute for factually supported works or for tested techniques.

    Adieu

    Sounds like you’re really upset that you can’t spot the volcanoes. In any case, you are welcome to come back when you learn to read graphs and read paragraphs of text.

    w.

  188. Willis Eschenbach says:

    Larry Ledwick (hotrod) says:
    March 17, 2012 at 12:34 am

    Larry, why do I have to do all the work to correct your nonsense?

    There exist records for the Denver temperatures, you know. Next time you have some anecdotal urban legend, LOOK IT UP FIRST before you come torment me with it.

    Here’s the Denver winter temperatures. The red dot shows the 1883 winter after the Krakatoa eruption. It’s right about an average winter temperature for Denver, and it’s above freezing. Nothing unusual at all.

    First it might help a lot if you gave a citation to where you got those temperature records so we could talk about the same thing. The National Weather Service does not publish any such temperature data on their web site that I have ever been able to find.

    My apologies. They are from GISS, a standard source that many folks knowledgeable in the field use, and I forget some folks don’t know that. My bad.

    Second it would also be helpful if you told us what that temperature record is ??

    It is what it says it is on the graph. Denver winter average temperatures.

    Third “Larry, why do I have to do all the work to correct your nonsense?” because it is you who are proposing a hypothesis that there is no volcanic cooling, because you cannot see it in your temperature delta T graphs, and it is your job to answer challenges to that assertion.

    That would be a reason why I have to provide citations for my nonsense and my claims. But you have to provide citations for your claims, such as claims of an intense winter.

    Is that graph the daily average temperature for Denver (from what source)?
    I just spent the better part of a page showing you is useless for the purpose you are using it for?

    As shown in the short examples I listed, our average temperatures and delta T graphs based on them are useless because of the local topography and the local meteorological conditions. The same applies to all average temperatures but it is much more significant of an issue in areas like where I live which are subject to down slope winds and the ebb and flow of cold air masses due to local micro climates.

    If that is the case, if we only have anecdotal evidence about Denver and the official actual weather observations are totally useless, then why are you talking about Denver at all? This is a scientific site, anecdotes are of no value at all to us.

    My best to you,

    w.

    PS—You, like KR, need to be more careful in your reading. You foolishly assert that I am “proposing a hypothesis that there is no volcanic cooling, because [I] cannot see it in [my] temperature delta T graphs”.

    But this is not my first rodeo, I’ve dealt before with jokers like you before who make up stories about what I’m saying. As a result, I was very careful to write in the head post:

    Does this mean volcanoes have no effect on the climate? No, it just means that because of the immediate and basically “equal but opposite” response of the climate system to forcing changes, the effect is much more local, much shorter lived, and much smaller than would be expected if the IPCC estimates of climate sensitivity were correct.

  189. Willis Eschenbach says:

    KR says:
    March 16, 2012 at 1:24 pm

    Willis – Note that dana1981 (http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/03/16/volcanic-disruptions/#comment-925422) was referring to an article by Piers M. De Forster, not Grant Foster.

    Very true, my bad, my apologies to Mr. Forster.

    As to the eyeballs – that’s why we have statistics, Willis, because the eyecrometer is so often wrong.

    You should get your eyecrometer adjusted if that is the case, mine works much better than that. Because when people claim that the reason we haven’t seen more warming in the late 20th century is because of the volcanoes, it should be visible in the record. It’s not.

    Can a relationship be shown by statistics? Perhaps, but but the lack of any visible effect means that it is very weak, much weaker than Hansen claims, much weaker than the IPCC claims. Which is what I said. There is a relationship, but it is very weak.

    Finally, I know of no one who has shown statistically that volcanoes affect the weather. Everyone I know of just shows the graphs and says “see?”. Why not statistically? Because we don’t have enough volcanoes or enough data to analyze them statistically. We can’t say something like “42% of volcanoes cause a drop in temperature greater than 0.01°C”, because there’s really only a few volcanoes for which we have data.

    Now, as to accusing various folks of dishonesty – when both Foster’s and Hansen’s work is easily repeatable (I’ve seen several bloggers who have repeated those papers work with their own data and software), and to conspiracy theories about the body of climate science and peer review over the last 150 years – if you’re convinced of those, well then, neither I nor anyone else will be able to change your mind. But I cannot consider grand conspiracy theories rational…

    Are they lying? I don’t know. But I stand by what I said. If you believe James Hansen without checking every single thing and then some more, you’re naive. What I actually said was:

    I KNOW that claim has been made, Dana, you can save your citations for someone more credulous. I analyzed Hansens claims of the same thing here at some length, take a look. You don’t seem to understand. These guys will look you in the eye, assure you of their honesty, and switch the pea under the shells. You are very, very naive to trust them.

    Now, I’ve linked to my analysis of Hansen’s Pinatubo claims. I find them risible. You may or may not agree with my analysis.

    But to blithely claim that we should not be highly skeptical of Hansen? After all of his failed predictions?

    That’s naive. What I said was, check everything these guys say, and watch the shell under the pea. Any given AGW alarmist may or may not be telling the truth at any given instant … but you’d be foolish to assume that they are.

    If you treated them with the skepticism you seem to reserve for anyone who disagrees with you, you might just learn a few things …

    W.

  190. Gail Combs says:

    Willis Eschenbach says:
    March 18, 2012 at 4:50 pm
    Finally, I know of no one who has shown statistically that volcanoes affect the weather…
    _________________________________
    I do not know if these were done statistically but they are interesting studies none the less.

    Bipolar correlation of volcanism with millennial climate change

    Analyzing data from our optical dust logger, we find that volcanic ash layers from the Siple Dome (Antarctica) borehole are simultaneous (with >99% rejection of the null hypothesis) with the onset of millennium-timescale cooling recorded at Greenland Ice Sheet Project 2 (GISP2; Greenland). These data are the best evidence yet for a causal connection between volcanism and millennial climate change and lead to possibilities of a direct causal relationship. Evidence has been accumulating for decades that volcanic eruptions can perturb climate and possibly affect it on long timescales and that volcanism may respond to climate change. If rapid climate change can induce volcanism, this result could be further evidence of a southern-lead North–South climate asynchrony.
    Alternatively, a volcanic-forcing viewpoint is of particular interest because of the high correlation and relative timing of the events, and it may involve a scenario in which volcanic ash and sulfate abruptly increase the soluble iron in large surface areas of the nutrient-limited Southern Ocean, stimulate growth of phytoplankton, which enhance volcanic effects on planetary albedo and the global carbon cycle, and trigger northern millennial cooling. Large global temperature swings could be limited by feedback within the volcano–climate system…..

    The Role of Explosive Volcanism During the Cool Maunder Minimum
    The Dalton Minimum was a period of low solar activity, named for the English meteorologist John Dalton, lasting from about 1790 to 1830.[1] Like the Maunder Minimum and Spörer Minimum, the Dalton Minimum coincided with a period of lower-than-average global temperatures. The Oberlach Station in Germany, for example, experienced a 2.0° C decline over 20 years.[2] The Year Without a Summer, in 1816, also occurred during the Dalton Minimum. The precise cause of the lower-than-average temperatures during this period is not well understood. Recent papers have suggested that a rise in volcanism was largely responsible for the cooling trend.[3]…

    Study of Dust in Ice Cores Shows Volcanic Eruptions Interfere with the Effect of Sunspots on

    University at Buffalo scientists working with ice cores have solved a mystery surrounding sunspots and their effect on climate that has puzzled scientists since they began studying the phenomenon.

    The research, published in a paper in the May 15 issue of Geophysical Research Letters, provides striking evidence that sunspots — blemishes on the sun’s surface indicating strong solar activity — do influence global climate change, but that explosive volcanic eruptions on Earth can completely reverse those influences.

    It is the first time that volcanic eruptions have been identified as the atmospheric event responsible for the sudden and baffling reversals that scientists have seen in correlations between sunspots and climate…..

  191. Harold says:

    You still haven’t shown any signs of understanding that your figure 1 removed all trace of any volcanic signals. Do you actually not get it? Are you too ashamed to admit your error? Or did you do it on purpose?

  192. Willis Eschenbach says:

    Harold says:
    March 18, 2012 at 7:23 pm

    You still haven’t shown any signs of understanding that your figure 1 removed all trace of any volcanic signals. Do you actually not get it? Are you too ashamed to admit your error? Or did you do it on purpose?

    Harold, I removed absolutely nothing from Figure 1 except the years from the X-axis. I showed the first difference of the temperature data exactly as it came from HadCRUT3 … which you could have actually checked.

    Does first differencing “remove all trace of any volcanic signals”? Not a bit. If the signals were other than tiny, you’d see them in the first difference of the temperature. You don’t see them because they are small, not because of the first differencing.

    I haven’t a clue why you think first differencing removes a signal, but it doesn’t. For example, here is what GISS says the volcanic forcing is like, and thus what they claim the resulting temperature change is like. I have also included the first difference of the GISS volcanic signal … as you can see, nothing is “removed”, you can see the GISS volcanic signal in either the raw data, or in the first difference of the data. All that has happened is that, as you’d expect, the shape of the signal has changed.

    So your claim, that first differencing “removes any trace” of a signal is just, well, not true.

    But in any case, in Figure 3 I’ve shown the raw data … and you can’t see the volcanoes there either. So what “volcanic signals” are you talking about?

    You are accusing me of something that I did not do, and in an unpleasant manner full of ugly speculation as to my motives and my honesty.

    Since I removed nothing, except the years from the X-axis, that not only makes you look wrong, it makes you look like someone with whom people don’t care to interact. If you don’t understand first differencing, go learn about it, but don’t bust me for your ignorance.

    Like the song says, “Before you accuse me, take a look at yourself” …

    w.

  193. Willis Eschenbach says:

    Gail Combs says:
    March 18, 2012 at 5:58 pm

    I do not know if these were done statistically but they are interesting studies none the less.

    Thanks, Gail. I took a look at the first of your studies, since it was actual data. Here is what they call their evidence. The upper panel shows cold periods, and the lower panel shows volcanoes.

    The problem is, some of the largest volcanoes, like Toba at 67 ka before present, show up as cold periods but have no detectable change in ash levels. Then we have giant changes in ash levels, which presumably are giant volcanoes, with no detectable change in temperatures

    So I’m not impressed at all. They identify 27 volcanoes, and 19 cold spells … and little connection between many of them. There’s plenty of cold spells without volcanoes, and plenty of volcanoes without cold spells. The second largest volcano signal is at ~ 55 ka BP … but no cold spell. And the Toba cold spell has no volcano … and the biggest volcano in the bunch, at ~ 31 ka BP, has no cold spell at all.

    Next, assuming they are correct, they are saying that the volcanoes are causing cold spells lasting as much as four thousand years … and not only that, sometimes the volcanoes are occurring in the middle of the cold spell and not at the start of the cold spell. See the volcano at ~ 54.2 ka BP. You may believe that a volcano in the middle of a cold spell caused that cold spell. I don’t

    Truly, folks, you need to get more suspicious. Assume that everyone is wrong, including me, and look at their claims from that perspective. If you can’t find holes in their claims, that’s good. But for goodness sakes, do not assume that they are correct. Look hard at things like the graph shown above.

    w.

  194. Jim G says:

    Willis,

    My point continues to be that though the concept of nulear winter has apparently been debunked for nuclear weapons as a potential cause, a true supervolcano has the ability to cause such an event and there are none in your data. Perhaps there is no reliable data. Does not change the fact that the potential exists for a climate changing event based upon volcanism.

    Jim G

  195. Steve from Rockwood says:

    @Jim G.

    Why not make the definition of a true supervolcano one that has a measurable change in global temperature? Then go on to admit that such an event has not yet occurred in the modern temperature record. Willis can claim that volcanoes do not affect global temperatures, but that does not make him right. He provides evidence of no real correlation between the temperature record and transmittance forcing change. Still he cannot claim victory. But he certainly has the higher ground. A compromise would be to agree that volcanoes have much less influence on global climate than we currently believe and that it would take a truly “super” volcano to lower world temperatures for any amount of time – the likes of which we have not seen in modern history.

    And BTW you can’t use “fact” and “potential” together like that. The fact that a potential exists is meaningless until it happens, which it may never. Use possibility in place of fact.

  196. Tim Ball says:

    Here is the reference to the four articles I wrote about volcanoes starting in 1993 that were not attached to my original comment on this thread.

    http://drtimball.com/_files/volcanoes001.pdf

  197. Willis Eschenbach says:

    Steve from Rockwood says:
    March 19, 2012 at 9:37 am

    … Willis can claim that volcanoes do not affect global temperatures, but that does not make him right.

    As I have told too many people in this thread already, LEARN TO READ. I repeat the following from the head post:

    Does this mean volcanoes have no effect on the climate? No, it just means that because of the immediate and basically “equal but opposite” response of the climate system to forcing changes, the effect is much more local, much shorter lived, and much smaller than would be expected if the IPCC estimates of climate sensitivity were correct.

    I don’t mind being questioned regarding what I’ve said.

    But this now makes the fourth time that I have copied and pasted the above paragraph for people with reading comprehension problems. Could we make it the last time?

    w.

    PS—You are correct that my claims don’t make me right.

    My evidence makes me right. The largest volcanoes in the modern era have had only a trivial effect on the temperature.

  198. Willis Eschenbach says:

    Jim G says:
    March 19, 2012 at 8:58 am

    Willis,

    My point continues to be that though the concept of nulear winter has apparently been debunked for nuclear weapons as a potential cause, a true supervolcano has the ability to cause such an event and there are none in your data. Perhaps there is no reliable data. Does not change the fact that the potential exists for a climate changing event based upon volcanism.

    Thanks, Jim. I am addressing the oft-repeated and widely-believed claim that volcanoes of the size of Pinatubo or Krakatoa are enough to significantly change the climate. I see no evidence for that at all.

    Is it possible that a “supervolcano” could significantly affect the climate? Sure, anything is possible, but so what? That’s not the issue here, and we have no data on the supervolcano question.

    w.

  199. Willis Eschenbach says:

    Tim Ball says:
    March 19, 2012 at 11:33 am

    Here is the reference to the four articles I wrote about volcanoes starting in 1993 that were not attached to my original comment on this thread.

    http://drtimball.com/_files/volcanoes001.pdf

    Dr. Tim, I respect your work, but this time I’m going to have to respectfully disagree. You say:

    Consider the 1°C drop in 1991 caused by the eruption of Mount Pinatubo. Farmers across Canada know the effect that had during the summer of 1992.

    I don’t see any “1°C drop” anywhere, either globally (see e.g. Figure 3) or in Canada.

    To see why I don’t find anything in the Canadian temperatures, let me invite you to play “Spot the Volcanoes Canadian Edition”.

    The data above is the CRUTEM surface temperature data from KNMI for the Canadian growing region. To make it easier for everyone, it is the data with the monthly averages removed so that the volcanic effects can be seen.

    There are two major volcanoes shown in the data, El Chichon and Pinatubo … so spot the volcanoes!

    My best to you, and thanks for your good work,

    w.

  200. Willis Eschenbach says:

    Dr. Tim, reading back over your cited papers I note that your claim only involves the summer:

    Consider the 1°C drop in 1991 caused by the eruption of Mount Pinatubo. Farmers across Canada know the effect that had during the summer of 1992.

    So here’s just the summers …

    The question in this game of “Spot the Volcanoes” is … which drop is Pinatubo—red, green, or blue?

    w.

  201. Bob Tisdale says:

    Using TLT Anomalies and a 13-month filter, it’s easy to spot the volcanoes.
    http://i42.tinypic.com/2sh3l.jpg
    The rise and fall in TLT anomalies in response to the 1982/83 El Niño should have been comparable to the response to the 1997/98 El Niño. But what did the TLT anomalies do? They dropped, then rose a reduced amount.

  202. Willis Eschenbach says:

    Bob Tisdale says:
    March 19, 2012 at 4:01 pm

    Using TLT Anomalies and a 13-month filter, it’s easy to spot the volcanoes.
    http://i42.tinypic.com/2sh3l.jpg
    The rise and fall in TLT anomalies in response to the 1982/83 El Niño should have been comparable to the response to the 1997/98 El Niño. But what did the TLT anomalies do? They dropped, then rose a reduced amount.

    Thanks, Bob. Yes, if you look at the atmospheric temperature (which swings more easily than surface temperature) using a 13 month filter plus a comparison to El Nino, you might be able to spot the volcano … which is my point.

    If you have to comb through the atmosphere with a 13-month filter and the El Nino to spot the volcano, the surface signal you’re looking for must be pretty small …

    w.

  203. Willis Eschenbach says:

    For those who’d like to see the huge effects of the volcanoes on Canada, here’s the answer to the first of the two “Spot the Volcanoes Canadian Edition”.

    You can see the huge effect that the two volcanoes had on Canada … not. In fact, after Pinatubo temperatures spiked up and then down … WUWT?

    w.

  204. agileaspect says:

    My problem with this post is I can’t get past the first figure.

    First, there is no reference to the data used for the first differencing of the global surface air temperature in figure 1.

    Is the global surface air temperature time series the actual temperate data or merely the residues – or the so-called temperature “anomaly”?

    Second, first differencing is a mathematical transform which hopefully produces a stationary signal.

    What does the first differencing in figure 1 tell you about the original time series – is the global surface air temperature time series stationary?

    Why would anyone use the first difference of the temperature to match a temperature when they have the temperature data?

    Differencing AMPLIFIES the noise in the signal (reduces it’s precision.)

    It appears the junk science “forcing from Pinatubo (in W/m2)” you chose from Hansen’s RadF.dat file was the “StratAer” forcing – since Hansen’s net forcing has a trend.

  205. Willis Eschenbach says:

    agileaspect says:
    March 20, 2012 at 2:10 am

    My problem with this post is I can’t get past the first figure.

    First, there is no reference to the data used for the first differencing of the global surface air temperature in figure 1.

    HadCRUT3.

    Is the global surface air temperature time series the actual temperate data or merely the residues – or the so-called temperature “anomaly”?

    Temperature anomaly.

    Second, first differencing is a mathematical transform which hopefully produces a stationary signal.

    What does the first differencing in figure 1 tell you about the original time series – is the global surface air temperature time series stationary?

    Why would anyone use the first difference of the temperature to match a temperature when they have the temperature data?

    Differencing AMPLIFIES the noise in the signal (reduces it’s precision.)

    If you don’t like Figure 1, move on to the next figure. It’s a game, to see if you can spot the volcano. You don’t want to play? Fine, but if you don’t want to play, don’t complain about the game.

    It appears the junk science “forcing from Pinatubo (in W/m2)” you chose from Hansen’s RadF.dat file was the “StratAer” forcing – since Hansen’s net forcing has a trend.

    Yes, that is the forcing in question.

    w.

  206. lgl says:

    Willis

    My evidence makes me right. The largest volcanoes in the modern era have had only a trivial effect on the temperature.

    You have no evidence. You are putting on the darkest glasses you can find, looking for something, can’t find it and conclude it isn’t there.
    You can’t use the raw dT in this exercise. The ENSO is much higher frequency than the volcanoes and equally strong on the interannual scale, so all you see is noise. You have to filter those high frequencies, and then you get something like this: http://virakkraft.com/moon-volcano-temp.png, and flipped: http://virakkraft.com/Volcano-temp-deriv.png, clearly a huge impact on temperature.

    This impact is also very visible in sea level change rate, http://virakkraft.com/sealevel-VEI-4.jpg
    so time to admit you are very wrong on this.

  207. Willis Eschenbach says:

    Now that we’ve seen the answer to the first Spot the Volcanoes Canadian Edition, let me post up the second one again and discuss it for a moment:

    As you recall, the question is which one is Pinatubo—red, green, or blue.

    But the point of the exercise should be quite clear. Any one of the three could be the change after Pinatubo, but whichever one it is, the other two are just normal random fluctuations. As it turns out, the answer to the question is that the drop after Pinatubo is indicated by the blue arrow. But there’s nothing to distinguish it from the others.

    Now perhaps the drop indicated by the blue arrow is caused to Pinatubo. But with three drops like that in a decade or so, there is certainly a good chance that the post-Pinatubo drop is merely a fortuitous happenstance.

    So there you have it … of the three temperature drops, Pinatubo is the blue one, and you can’t tell that drop from the two natural fluctuations.

    w.

    Hang on … did I say the drop after Pinatubo was marked by the blue arrow? I meant to say the green arrow.

    Note that the eruption of El Chichon had no effect at all. Note also that no matter when a volcano erupted during that time period, it has a good chance of looking like it caused a drop in temperature.

  208. Willis Eschenbach says:

    lgl says:
    March 20, 2012 at 8:47 am

    … You have no evidence. You are putting on the darkest glasses you can find, looking for something, can’t find it and conclude it isn’t there.
    You can’t use the raw dT in this exercise. The ENSO is much higher frequency than the volcanoes and equally strong on the interannual scale, so all you see is noise. You have to filter those high frequencies, and then you get something like this: http://virakkraft.com/moon-volcano-temp.png, and flipped: http://virakkraft.com/Volcano-temp-deriv.png, clearly a huge impact on temperature.

    lgl, it sounds like you’re upset because you couldn’t spot the volcano even after I removed the ENSO effects … in any case, in your first chart above, you have Pinatubo lined up with a big temperature drop. The only problem is … the temperature drop starts happening before Pinatubo explodes. I note also that according to your graph, Krakatoa, the largest explosion in a while, caused a significant temperature rise … and I’m sure you can explain that all away somehow, using Jupiter instead of the moon or something.

    But even ignoring those huge holes in your argument, you make my point very well. If you have to take out the moon’s orbit and remove the ENSO and filter the high frequencies and the like, obviously the signal you’re trying to find must be small.

    But the claim is that the signal is very large. The claim is that volcanos in the late 20th century are what has kept the globe from overheating due to CO2. Here’s a typical claim, one of many:

    A temperature rise of approximately 0.15 K over the 20th century ascribed to an increasing trend in solar forcing is more than offset by a cooling trend of about 0.3 K due to stratospheric aerosols from volcanic eruptions.

    Now, 0.3K is HALF THE 20TH CENTURY WARMING … and for volcanoes to cool the planet by 0.3°C total over the century, you’d have to be able to see the effect immediately after the eruption without putting on special colored glasses and holding the record at a certain precise angle and looking at it in just the right kind of moonlight …

    w.

  209. lgl says:

    Willis

    You didn’t removed the ENSO so I only spent 1 sec. on that. How did you remove it?
    The derivative always leads the signal, so no hole.
    The derivative is smoothed so it should drop before the volcanoes, no hole.
    The derivative still contains low frequency ENSO which will sometimes cancel or counter some of the volcano signal, no hole.

    I agree “cooling trend of about 0.3 K” is absurd. Don’t know where you found it but sounds like something from skepticalscience or some other unreliable source.

  210. Willis Eschenbach says:

    lgl says:
    March 20, 2012 at 2:18 pm

    … I agree “cooling trend of about 0.3 K” is absurd. Don’t know where you found it but sounds like something from skepticalscience or some other unreliable source.

    Thanks, lgl. It’s the AGW party line, and that’s what I’m objecting to. That particular incarnation of the claim is from the wild-eyed, unreliable Journal of Geophysical Research (JGR) … there are plenty of others in the same order of magnitude.

    I note that you neglected to explain why, according to your graphs, the massive eruption of Krakatoa caused a rise in the temperature.

    w.

    PS—if the temperature drops before the volcanic eruptions because of the particular smoothing method used, why didn’t you use the same smoothing method on the volcano data? As it is you are comparing apples to oranges.

    PPS—I removed the ENSO signal by regressing the Nino 3.4 temperature on the global temperature and removing the regression from the signal. How would you suggest I do it? In any case, I don’t agree with regressing part of the global temperature against the entire thing. That seems unjustifiable mathematically.

  211. lgl says:

    Willis

    No, I didn’t neglect to explain. ENSO is still there and there probably were a strong Nino and Nina right before 1880.
    No smoothing because I used some old stuff, but now you made me waste even more time on this, http://virakkraft.com/Volcano-temp-derivative.png
    Face it, volcanoes have a huge effect.

  212. arnoarrak says:

    Willis – there is no doubt that volcanic cooling is a myth. I proved it in my book that has been out for two years but no one seems to pay attention to it. You seem to be reinventing the wheel here when you suddenly discover that volcanic cooling does not influence climate. You are of course right that there was no cooling associated with El Chichon. As I showed in my book that is because by random chance it erupted exactly when a La Nina cooling had just hit bottom and an El Nino was starting to build up. In satellite temperature curves you can pinpoint that accurately. With Pinatubo it was the reverse – by chance its eruption coincided with the peak of an El Nino warming that was immediately followed by La Nina cooling. Best in 1996 called that particular La Nina of 1992/93 Pinatubo cooling and everyone copied him, including Roy Spencer on his own web site. You don’t need anything else but these two volcanoes to understand what is going on: volcanic eruptions occur at random times, and depending upon how their timing meshes with ENSO phase they may be followed by cooling or warming of various degrees, none of it their own making. You do need to understand that what makes this possible is the universal presence of these ENSO peaks and valleys in all temperature curves. That is because ENSO is a harmonic oscillation of ocean water from side to side that has existed as long as the equatorial current system has existed, which is to say about 1.85 million years.

  213. Brian H says:

    Here’s a page on the site of current guest author Forrest Mims III, claiming:

    The Aerosol Optical Thickness (AOT) or Aerosol Optical Depth (AOD) is a haze index. AOT is a dimensionless logarithmic term that expresses the attenuation of a direct beam of sunlight caused by atmospheric aerosols (microscopic droplets and particles of dust, smoke, sulfate, salt, pollen, etc.). A high value means the sky is hazy. A low value means the sky is clear. Note that AOT (blue in time series below) has a distinct annual cycle. The sky is much cleaner during winter than during summer. Note how this is closely associated with temperature. Note also how the AOT during the winters of 1991 and 1992 was higher than normal because of the eruption of Mount Pinatubo. The reduction in temperature (red in time series below) following the eruption (June 1991) is quite obvious, as is the gradual recovery to normal levels.

    http://www.sunandsky.org/Sun_and_Sky_Data.html

  214. Willis Eschenbach says:

    Brian H says:
    April 29, 2012 at 5:38 am

    Here’s a page on the site of current guest author Forrest Mims III, claiming:

    … Note also how the AOT during the winters of 1991 and 1992 was higher than normal because of the eruption of Mount Pinatubo. The reduction in temperature (red in time series below) following the eruption (June 1991) is quite obvious, as is the gradual recovery to normal levels.

    Thanks, Brian. No, the “reduction in temperature” is definitely not “quite obvious” as he claims. In fact, there are four winters (1990, 1995, 1996, and 2001) and several summers in even this short record that are cooler than the winters of 1991 and 1992.

    Next, the claim is made that these are extensions of data from Geronimo Creek Observatory as shown at the Forest Mims website … but when I go to that website, I do not find any such data at all from Geronimo Creek …

    In fact there is no AOT data at all at the Forest Mims website, just Total Optical Thickness data from Seguin Creek, and it is different data. The data you refer to seems odd, because it frequently has a value of zero (a perfectly clear sky). The data from Seguin Creek looks more real, as it doesn’t go down to zero.

    w.

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