New El Niño causal pattern discovered

From the University of Hawaii ‑ SOEST:

Climate researchers discover new rhythm for El Niño

This is a schematic figure for the suggested generation mechanism of the combination tone: The annual cycle (Tone 1), together with the El Niño sea surface temperature anomalies (Tone 2) produce the combination tone. Credit: Malte Stuecker

El Niño wreaks havoc across the globe, shifting weather patterns that spawn droughts in some regions and floods in others. The impacts of this tropical Pacific climate phenomenon are well known and documented.

A mystery, however, has remained despite decades of research: Why does El Niño always peak around Christmas and end quickly by February to April?

Now there is an answer: An unusual wind pattern that straddles the equatorial Pacific during strong El Niño events and swings back and forth with a period of 15 months explains El Niño’s close ties to the annual cycle.

This finding is reported in the May 26, 2013, online issue of Nature Geoscience by scientists from the University of Hawai’i at Manoa Meteorology Department and International Pacific Research Center.

“This atmospheric pattern peaks in February and triggers some of the well-known El Niño impacts, such as droughts in the Philippines and across Micronesia and heavy rainfall over French Polynesia,” says lead author Malte Stuecker.

When anomalous trade winds shift south they can terminate an El Niño by generating eastward propagating equatorial Kelvin waves that eventually resume upwelling of cold water in the eastern equatorial Pacific. This wind shift is part of the larger, unusual atmospheric pattern accompanying El Niño events, in which a high-pressure system hovers over the Philippines and the major rain band of the South Pacific rapidly shifts equatorward.

With the help of numerical atmospheric models, the scientists discovered that this unusual pattern originates from an interaction between El Niño and the seasonal evolution of temperatures in the western tropical Pacific warm pool.

“Not all El Niño events are accompanied by this unusual wind pattern” notes Malte Stuecker, “but once El Niño conditions reach a certain threshold amplitude during the right time of the year, it is like a jack-in-the-box whose lid pops open.”

A study of the evolution of the anomalous wind pattern in the model reveals a rhythm of about 15 months accompanying strong El Niño events, which is considerably faster than the three- to five-year timetable for El Niño events, but slower than the annual cycle.

“This type of variability is known in physics as a combination tone,” says Fei-Fei Jin, professor of Meteorology and co-author of the study. Combination tones have been known for more than three centuries. They where discovered by violin builder Tartini, who realized that our ear can create a third tone, even though only two tones are played on a violin.

“The unusual wind pattern straddling the equator during an El Niño is such a combination tone between El Niño events and the seasonal march of the sun across the equator” says co-author Axel Timmermann, climate scientist at the International Pacific Research Center and professor at the Department of Oceanography, University of Hawai’i. He adds, “It turns out that many climate models have difficulties creating the correct combination tone, which is likely to impact their ability to simulate and predict El Niño events and their global impacts.”

The scientists are convinced that a better representation of the 15-month tropical Pacific wind pattern in climate models will improve El Niño forecasts. Moreover, they say the latest climate model projections suggest that El Niño events will be accompanied more often by this combination tone wind pattern, which will also change the characteristics of future El Niño rainfall patterns.

###

Citation: Stuecker, M. F., A. Timmermann, F.-F. Jin, S. McGregor, and H.-L. Ren (2013), A combination mode of the annual cycle and the El Niño/Southern Oscillation, Nature Geoscience, May 26 online publication at http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/ngeo1826.

h/t to Dr. Leif Svalgaard

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169 thoughts on “New El Niño causal pattern discovered

  1. “…interaction between El Niño and the seasonal evolution of temperatures in the western tropical Pacific warm pool.”

    That sounds suspiciously like “interaction between El Niño and La Niña effects,” which we already know are concatenated.

    If it’s a 15 month cycle, the question “Why does El Niño always peak around Christmas and end quickly by February to April?” remains unanswered. Christmas is a 12 month cycle. It’s models. I’m underwhelmed, unless they have more than is indicated here.

  2. At least the modelers are attempting to describe natural patterns and, thereby, admitting that they exist in reality apart from their models. That is a far cry from the old model centered approach to everything. Their particular claims might be dead wrong but they are now looking toward reality and might engage in empirical research.

  3. So what causes the unusual wind patterns that affect the El Niño? It appears to me the root cause for both phenomenon is still missing.

  4. My first instinct is to say “yeah, maybe that is true … sometimes”. Maybe there is a 15 month cycle as conditions are currently set right now but there is evidence that during the last glacial we had long term persistent La Nina conditions. In other words, that 15 month cycle can change, or go away, if the conditions that cause it change.

  5. Four 15 month cycles = 60 months = five 12 month cycles.

    Is this trying to say one El Nino every five years?

    $32 for the article.

  6. Paywalled of course.
    So how many cycles have they measured?
    Or cause they saw it once,therefore its a recurring cycle?
    Or is is modelled to oblivion?
    My distrust of the climatology profession is such I would not spend $32 to find out more.

  7. you know if they tied the 15 month cycle to the orbit of juniper and saturn and sun spots people would have no doubts about a paper they havent read.

  8. Lovely juxtaposition of art with science… why not call El Nino’s anomalous “combination tone” a Modular or Tartini Effect, recalling Giuseppi Tartini (1692 – 1770) as Maestro di Cappella, founder of a famed school in Padua, patron of Stradivarius, who published numerous treatises on acoustics and harmony from 1750?

  9. For Mosher:

    The full moon cycle is slightly less than 14 synodic months and slightly less than 15 anomalistic months.

    OMG- it’s teh moon!

  10. Here is another bunch that still doesn’t understand atmospheric circulation…
    “This wind shift is part of the larger, unusual atmospheric pattern accompanying El Niño events, in which a high-pressure system hovers over the Philippines and the major rain band of the South Pacific rapidly shifts equatorward.”

  11. Sera says:
    “The full moon cycle is slightly less than 14 synodic months ….”
    Well, no, the Full Moon cycle is EXACTLY 14 synodic months, by definition.

    .

  12. Well, we knew it was something like that. Being from Hawaii, it has always been an issue. Since discovered. And that was not so long ago, I might add. After the currents were mapped, and Hawaii is in a peculiar situation with regards to that, we knew something was ruining our lives every 20 years. Good work. real science is so much more important than pretend science.

  13. ” …but they are now looking toward reality and might engage in empirical research… but they’e still reading map to ground, and the map still has,”Here there be Dragons” writ large upon it.

  14. Uh…

    I heard it was from a shift in the tradewinds in the 80s… Did we lose a book at some point?

  15. An unusual wind pattern that straddles the equatorial Pacific during strong El Niño events and swings back and forth with a period of 15 months

    This is not the origin. What causes the un usual wind pattern. That’s the problem with models, they don’t model the real world.

  16. Interesting reference to Giuseppe Tartini, violinist, composer, and theorist as well as violin maker of the 18th century. Though he wrote many pieces, including over 150 violin concerti, his most popular work remains the violin sonata known as “The Devil’s Trill” from its difficult and acrobatic double stops. He did, indeed, discover both combination tones and difference tones, which he described and demonstrated in a major theoretical thesis circulated widely in both printed and manuscript copies during his lifetime, though not published in a reliable scholarly version until the 1950s and in a more modern translation in the 1990s. As a composer, I learned in college in the 1960s about both types of un-notated but audible tones, which are producible both on string instruments (but most easily on violin) and on certain wind instruments, especially the bassoon, through cross-fingerings. I found the information quite interesting, but was never able to apply it in my own compositions and have largely forgotten the specifics.

    Now–how does the concept of combination tones (or difference tones, for that matter) apply to the weather? That linkage in the article was diaphanous in its vagueness, though I assume the authors have some specific idea of how the theory applies in natural settings in and over the Pacific Ocean.

  17. Theo Goodwin says:

    “At least the modelers are attempting to describe natural patterns and, thereby, admitting that they exist in reality apart from their models. That is a far cry from the old model centered approach to everything. Their particular claims might be dead wrong but they are now looking toward reality and might engage in empirical research.”

    Yes, at least they are looking now. Their combination time is the same as harmonic interference, so they may actually be looking in the right direction.

  18. A very interesting pattern came out of the recent discussion on volcanic forcing
    I applied Willis’ stacking idea but kept calendar months aligned. A surprisingly regular pattern emerges:

    http://climategrog.wordpress.com/?attachment_id=278

    Now several papers have referred to Nina/Nino-like variations timed after eruptions.
    What this plot shows is that most of the supposed volcanic cooling would have happened anyway and is part of a cycle that was present before and after the events.

    Does this imply a synchronisation of El Nino pattern and timing of eruptions. That would imply common cause ….

  19. I think this is more of a sequence than a cycle, since it doesn’t repeat after being triggered, so there isn’t any need for the 15 months to tie into anything. It just takes that long for the phases to time out. Then it waits for the combination of conditions that trigger it to show up again, which happens often enough, but not on any schedule.

    Better version of the image:

  20. I have been suggesting for a while that El Nino could be a slow, basin wide tide in the thermocline. This would behave in a similar way to surface tides but with the density difference being much smaller than air/water difference the time-scales would be proportionally longer.

    To my mind this makes more sense the “water piling up because of winds ” explanation that seems to be the current orthodoxy. There may be an inertial cause for the bulk movement of water.

  21. The scientists are convinced that a better representation of the 15-month tropical Pacific wind pattern in climate models will improve El Niño forecasts.

    We’ll find out soon enough. I’m not holding my breath.

  22. “Now–how does the concept of combination tones (or difference tones, for that matter) apply to the weather? That linkage in the article was diaphanous in its vagueness, though I assume the authors have some specific idea of how the theory applies in natural settings in and over the Pacific Ocean.”

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beat_%28acoustics%29

    this also relates to amplitude modulation.

    https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/index.php/topic,174.msg2880.html#msg2880

    The author’s 1 year and 5 years will produce frequencies(1+1/5) and (1-1/5) per year, ie 1.2 and 0.8 per year.

    That gives 15 and 10 months. Like many doing this kind of calculation they seems forget (or not realise) the second is just as important.

    this kind of thing is trade stock for those looking planetary effects and is essential whatever the cause of climate oscillations if we are to understand interactions. Good to see this is not being examined.

    If climatology did less econometrics and more engineering type analysis they may find some surprising things. ;)

  23. Doesn’t seem to me from the information here that a “cause” has been found. Perhaps a correlating event, but that’s about it…

  24. It doesn’t correlate to anything since the frequency is wrong. What is new is that they have managed to get a El Nino “type” oscillation out of a model.

  25. The “cause” is the lunar declinational atmospheric and ocean tides at culmination come in and out of phase with the solar declinational tidal effects when the culmination angle of both are close to the same angle. as the 18.6 year cycle of the extent of the lunar culmination varies, the relationship is strengthened or weakened as the two effects go in and out of phase. The lunar declinational angle at culmination is now less than 20.5 degrees and decreasing for the next couple of years so the effects are going to be minimal for several years until it returns back toward 23 degrees when the effects is optimal for El Nino production alternating with La Nina effects with the additional heliocentric interactions of the outer planets, and the procession of the nodes of the moon, being confounding effects that make the pattern seem rather random looking.

    So those above who hint that there is a Juniper? or Saturn or lunar nodal effect in the mix will not find the answer from only one variable being considered. The strongest effect is from the declinational tidal interactive effects from both the sun and the moon.

  26. We got the outbreak of tornadoes as the combined sun/lunar declinational tidal effects in the atmosphere when into phase as the moon was coming back from Maximum North culmination till crossing the equator. Now that it has reached Maximum South yesterday (the 26th) and is pulling in a surge of secondary tidal bulge effects across the upper mid-west, we are having a derecho streaming across Iowa into Illinois as a result. Much like last time;

    http://research.aerology.com/severe-weather/derecho-storm-seen-from-space/

  27. I’ve just checked the formula and I think the paper has got it wrong , as I did above by following their logic.
    They are making the error of confusing the audible beat frequency with actual frequency. This is explained in Wikipedia page I linked above. The REAL frequency is half what they calculate. The ear can only hear acoustic intensity so the “beats” we hear are twice as fast as the actual oscillation.

    So I double my previous results to give 20 and 30 months ( twice their 15m)

    Now 30m is 2.5 years

    http://climategrog.wordpress.com/?attachment_id=278

    Looks like this deserves a closer look .

  28. @Richard Holls
    the years of the major VE force eruptions I used above : 1883 1902 1912 1963 1982 1991

    All those dates differ by 19 or 9 years. cf “18.6 year cycle of the extent of the lunar culmination”

  29. From the snippet we get at the doi link provided I find this acompanying figure 2:
    “Frequency is abbreviated to f. To illustrate the PC2 combination tone frequencies, PC1 was shifted to 1−f (dashed blue) and 1+f (dashed green) and scaled by a factor 1/3. Grey rectangles indicate the near-annual combination tone frequen…”

    I need to see the paper to be sure and see what they actually did to get their modelled results but it appears they did use the wrong calculated result for the beat pattern of 1 and 5 years.

  30. I like the attempt to see with greater detail. Originally (I’m talking forty years ago,) I heard talk of the El Nino versus a sort of “regular state.” Then there was an El Nino versus a La Nina versus a regular state. Now they are starting to speak of various types of El Nino and La Nina, based on where the greatest anomalies are centered, versus a regular La Nada state.

    I think they need to drop the idea of any sort of “regular state.” It is a bit like talking about the “average inflation” of our lungs; it is a midpoint we pass but never stay at.

    The writer adopts a sort of sensationalist tone, beginning, “El Niño wreaks havoc across the globe…” and moving on from there. Perhaps it is just a writer’s ploy to capture our attention, however it distracts me. It is like saying “Rain wreaks havoc across the globe,” in that it takes a normal, natural and necessary phenomenon and toots tons of trumpets.

    All over the world the weather shifts from sunny spells to rainy spells and back again. It is as natural as breathing. My garden needs both. What grabs the headlines is occasions when the cycle hesitates at one extreme or another, (floods and droughts, which mess up my garden.)

    I doubt we will ever control the weather, however understanding the detail and nuances of the cycles allow us to plan better: When to water gardens and when not to; when to release water from reservoirs and when to hold water back, and so on. Therefore seeing with greater detail is beneficial to us all, and well worth funding, however a lot of the hoop-la is, to be frank, just a big waste of time, unless you’re selling papers or seeking grants.

  31. This idea does not come close to explaining how or why the balance between nino and nina events (the ENSO index) varies over a sixty year cycle…

  32. The abstract for the Stuecker et al (2013) paper includes:
    “El Niño events typically peak in the boreal winter, but the mechanism governing this phase synchronization7 is unclear.”

    In reality, the mechanism governing it is pretty obvious if you look at sea surface temperatures and not anomalies. During an El Niño, the sea surface temperatures of the Eastern Equatorial Pacific take on the seasonal cycle of the western tropical Pacific, because the equatorial counter current in the Pacific has strengthened and is carrying more warm water than normal from west to east. And during the La Niña, the normal seasonal cycle in the eastern equatorial Pacific is simply exaggerated. Pretty simply actually. Refer to the post:

    http://bobtisdale.wordpress.com/2013/03/19/why-do-el-nino-and-la-nina-events-peak-in-boreal-winter/

    Regards

  33. GlynnMhor says:
    This idea does not come close to explaining how or why the balance between nino and nina events (the ENSO index) varies over a sixty year cycle…
    ==
    No, but they’re looking in the right direction rather than brushing it all off as AGW + stochastic .

    It seems “5” represents a fixed ENSO frequency which is then added to the annual variations giving a beats interference pattern. Their 1-f , 1+f would be correct if they are just referring to the intensity of this crosswind , though there should presumably be a reversal in direction or else some physical explanation is needed as to what is varying at half the frequency and producing winds in one direction only. I’d like to see the details they have on this 15m wind pattern.

    I’m encouraged by the approach. Climate is full of neg. feedbacks and natural oscillations, there is far too little of this kind of research that seeks to identify and explain the interactions rather than dismissing everything as “random” as an excuse for not looking.

  34. Its hard to see what they are saying here in this study.

    Generally, I think the Trade Winds are the driver of the ENSO.

    And this very close relationship extends all the way back into record using the ESRL Renalysis2 dataset going back to 1871.

    But the ultimate driver of the winds and the ENSO is the temperture of the water itself (which has various circulatory patterns but one that is not recognized as important in the Equatorial undercurrent where the ocean actually flows backwards in the Pacific from the western side to the eastern side at 250 metres depth).

    Upper Ocean Temperature anomaly versus the Trade Winds.

    Which then leads to the ENSO being driven by the temperature of the water itself in a self-reinforcing oscillation.

    Data here.

    http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/data/indices/

    http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/analysis_monitoring/ocean/index/heat_content_index.txt

  35. The abstract for the Stuecker et al (2013) paper includes:
    “Here we show, using observational data and climate model experiments, that the nonlinear atmospheric response to combined seasonal and inter-annual sea surface temperature changes gives rise to a near-annual combination climate mode with periods of 10 and 15 months. Specifically, we find that the associated southward shift of westerly wind anomalies during boreal winter and spring triggers the termination8 of large El Niño events.”

    I think the tip is the 10 to 15 month periods. Without having read the paper due to the paywall, it looks as though they’ve “discovered” the seasonal (12-month) variations in the strength of the trades (during ENSO-neutral and La Niña) and the seasonal cycle in the westerlies (during El Niños), which are a function of the warmest waters wandering seasonally between the hemispheres, and how ENSO alters the normal 12-month cycle so that it’s 10 to 15 months.

  36. And we’re sure we know which is cause and which is effect? Why is it that there is always so much eureka in climate science (“Now there is an answer” [to the mystery]) that immediately lets you down when you read it.

  37. I like the theory, but this comment is quite interesting, implying there’s more work to be done

    “Not all El Niño events are accompanied by this unusual wind pattern” notes Malte Stuecker, “but once El Niño conditions reach a certain threshold amplitude during the right time of the year, it is like a jack-in-the-box whose lid pops open.”

  38. Jean Meeus says:
    May 26, 2013 at 11:06 pm

    Sera says:
    “The full moon cycle is slightly less than 14 synodic months ….”
    Well, no, the Full Moon cycle is EXACTLY 14 synodic months, by definition.

    Thanks – your post convinced me I better brush up on the various definitions for “month”. It seemed so simple when I learned about calendars.

    First a couple definitions from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Month

    Anomalistic month [time from perigee to perigee]

    The Moon’s orbit approximates an ellipse rather than a circle. However, the orientation (as well as the shape) of this orbit is not fixed. In particular, the position of the extreme points (the line of the apsides: perigee and apogee), makes a full circle (lunar precession) in about nine years. It takes the Moon longer to return to the same apsis because it moved ahead during one revolution. This longer period is called the anomalistic month, and has an average length of 27.554551 days (27 d 13 h 18 min 33.2 s). The apparent diameter of the Moon varies with this period, and therefore this type has some relevance for the prediction of eclipses (see Saros), whose extent, duration, and appearance (whether total or annular) depend on the exact apparent diameter of the Moon. The apparent diameter of the full moon varies with the full moon cycle which is the beat period of the synodic and anomalistic month, and also the period after which the apsides point to the Sun again.

    Synodic month [Time from new moon to new moon]

    This is the average period of the Moon’s revolution with respect to the line joining the Sun and Earth. The synodic month is the period of the Moon’s phases, because the Moon’s appearance depends on the position of the Moon with respect to the Sun as seen from the Earth.

    Unfortunately, I didn’t stop there. :-)

    What you quote from Sera is likely from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Full_moon_cycle which also says:

    The equivalence of 14 synodic months is an approximation that will accumulate an error of one synodic month after 18 cycles:

    18×FC = 251×SM = 269×AM
    whereas 18×14 = 252

    The equality of 269 anomalistic months to 251 synodic months was already known to Chaldean astronomers (see Kidinnu). A good longer period spans 55 cycles or rather 767 synodic months, which is not only very close to an integer number of synodic and anomalistic months, but also when reckoned in synodic months is close to an integer number of days and an integer number of years:

    767×SM = 822×AM = 22650 days = 55×FC + 2 days = 62 years + 4 days

    There are 13.944335 synodic months in a full moon cycle, the 251-month cycle approximates the full moon cycle to 13.944444 synodic months and the 767-month cycle approximates the full moon cycle to 13.9454545 synodic months.

    Later:

    The saros is an eclipse cycle of 223 synodic months = 239 anomalistic months = 242 draconic months. This is also equal to 16 full moon cycles.

    [Note 16 x 14 = 224 and 223 / 16 = 13.9375.]

    The basic 14-lunation full moon cycle synchronization between synodic and anomalistic months is not very accurate after running a few years, so using this basic cycle to find more accurate times of the syzygies gives increasingly poorer results as time passes by. As we have seen, the Babylonian ratio of 269/251 is a much better approximation, and it spans 18 full moon cycles which are equal to 18 basic 14-lunation cycles minus 1 month.

    So it appears they use both “basic full moon cycle” (14 lunar months) and “full moon cycle” (slightly less). Sigh, I hate conflicting definitions in science…. And I’m not too keen on fractional approximations except for 355 / 113. What do you call the less than 14 month period?

    The rest of the page appears to describe how all this stuff was predicted before computers made it easier. It has a lot of fractional approximations.

    Curiously, half of the references are to your articles and books.

  39. Another possibility is discussed in our new paper:

    Long-Term Lunar Atmospheric Tides in the Southern Hemisphere
    Ian R.G. Wilson and Nikolay S. Sidorenkov
    The Open Atmospheric Science Journal, 2013, 7, 29-54 29

    http://www.benthamscience.com/open/toascj/articles/V007/TOASCJ130415001.pdf

    Apologies for the poor quality of the posted paper as it a e-publication ahead of schedule.
    The final paper should appear soon. At least it is free to download.

    Abstract
    The longitudinal shift-and-add method is used to show that there are N=4 standing wave-like
    patterns in the summer (DJF) mean sea level pressure (MSLP) and sea-surface temperature
    (SST) anomaly maps of the Southern Hemisphere between 1947 and 1994. The patterns in the
    MSLP anomaly maps circumnavigate the Earth in 36, 18, and 9 years. This indicates that they
    are associated with the long-term lunar atmospheric tides that are either being driven by the 18.0
    year Saros cycle or the 18.6 year lunar Draconic cycle. In contrast, the N=4 standing wave-like
    patterns in the SST anomaly maps circumnavigate the Earth once every 36, 18 and 9 years
    between 1947 and 1970 but then start circumnavigating the Earth once every 20.6 or 10.3 years
    between 1971 and 1994. The latter circumnavigation times indicate that they are being driven by
    the lunar Perigee-Syzygy tidal cycle. It is proposed that the different drift rates for the patterns
    seen in the MSLP and SST anomaly maps between 1971 and 1994 are the result of a
    reinforcement of the lunar Draconic cycle by the lunar Perigee-Syzygy cycle at the time of
    Perihelion. It is claimed that this reinforcement is part of a 31/62/93/186 year lunar tidal cycle
    that produces variations on time scales of 9.3 and 93 years.

    *******IMPORTANT PART******
    Finally, an N=4 standing wave-like pattern in the MSLP that circumnavigates the Southern Hemisphere every 18.6 years will naturally produce large extended regions of abnormal atmospheric pressure passing over the semi-permanent South Pacific sub-tropical high roughly once every ~ 4.5 years. These moving regions of higher/lower than normal atmospheric pressure will increase/decrease the MSLP of this semi-permanent high pressure system, temporarily increasing/reducing the strength of the East-Pacific trade winds. This may led to conditions that preferentially favor the onset of La Nina/El Nino events.

  40. Mike McMillan says:
    Better version of the image:

    Thanks, has anyone got a clearer version figure 2 with the power spectra of the observations. It looks like they are being a bit liberal with frequencies they are choosing to adopt . May help explain the frequency question.

  41. I am sorry if I am just repeating what others have said but I think the author’s of this Nature Geo-Science paper are saying that 15 month winds are just the beat period between the ~ 5 year ENSO cycle and the annual seasonal cycle.

    (5 x 1) / (5 – 1) = 5/4 years = 1.2500 years = 15 months

    What they are probably seeing are winds which are following the beat period between the 4.65 year = (quarter of the 18.6 Draconic lunar tidal cycle) or 4.43 year ( = half of the 8.8502 year perigee pecession cycle), which are both ~ 4.5 years in length, with the annual seasonal cycle.

    (4.5 x 1) / (4.5 – 1) = 4.5/ 3.5 years = 1.2857 years = 15.43 months

  42. Bob Tisdale says: “.. and the seasonal cycle in the westerlies (during El Niños), which are a function of the warmest waters wandering seasonally between the hemispheres, and how ENSO alters the normal 12-month cycle so that it’s 10 to 15 months.”

    Do you have a link to any data on this “wandering”? That would seem to be the key here.

    Thx

  43. Wandering either side…
    When either side, trades are strong, when in the middle trades are weak, hence the wind intensity is half the true frequency of interference pattern which is (f-1)/2
    People should stop using the “beats” frequency unless they are talking about a full wave rectified phenomenon and can say why.

    It is not really the “frequency” since the amplitude signal is a folded (rectified) cosine. There is a repetition period but “the frequency” invites the incorrect idea that it is still a cosine.

  44. It is not a folded (rectified) cosine if the parameter in question (e.g. trade wind speed strength) is oscillating about some long-term equilibrium value i..e we are speaking of the Trade Wind anomaly. The frequency is then just the time for the mean wind speed to return to its previous values.

    I am assuming that Bob can show a correlation between the Trade Wind speed anomaly and the signed latitude of the location of the West-Pacific warm pool?

  45. I’d think that major volumes of water with different heat contents sloshing around in the Pacific would affect wind patterns and not the other way ’round. We’ll see.

  46. Yes, My gut feeling is that it’s ocean currents driving winds rather than the opposite. Tail shakes dog etc.

  47. Greg Goodman says: “Do you have a link to any data on this “wandering”? That would seem to be the key here.”

    All you have to do is plot and compare the sea surface temperatures (not anomalies) of the Northwest and Southwest tropical Pacific to see the opposing cycles in the temperatures. Here are the climatologies for both:

    Source:

    http://nomad3.ncep.noaa.gov/cgi-bin/pdisp_sst.sh?ctlfile=monoiv2.ctl&varlist=on&new_window=on&lite=&ptype=ts&dir=

    Regards

  48. Bob,

    I think Greg Goodman’s point is that if you talking beat frequencies then you have to consider temperature anomalies ( i.e. ocean sea-surface temperatures oscillating about some long-term mean) and compare them to trade wind speed anomalies (i.e also about some long term mean wind speed).

  49. Greg Goodman said: Yes, My gut feeling is that it’s ocean currents driving winds rather than the opposite. Tail shakes dog etc.

    Not if your considering up-welling of cooler deep ocean water – in this case the changes in sea-surface temperature are driven by surface winds.

  50. Thanks Bob,

    http://climategrog.wordpress.com/?attachment_id=279

    I don’t know if this is relevant to the wind patterns they were referring to but it looks similar to their figure 2 as far as I can see from the blurred preview.

    Those peaks look like split pairs (I’ll work out what period is splitting them later but I’ll bet it’s the same thing).

    taking the average frequency as the unsplit value I get periods of 19 months and 4.5 years.

    Ian will like that.

    Fits with my suggestion that the real frequency is half the value they are using but refers to 2*10 months (probably was rounded from 9.5).

    “Also ran” peaks at 7.6 and 33 years. The two bumps around 0.4 correspond to circa 30 months.

    Bang on.

  51. Bob do you have any detailed knowledge of the wind patterns? Does what I roughed out about warm spot either marking strong winds and cross-over marking trough of wind intensity match what really happens?

    If so it looks like we’re close to a periodic account of El Nino .

    BTW the split peaks are about 3 and 5 years so this also explains the vague period attributed to ENSO cycle of being between 3 and 5 years.

    Like I say if climatology had been build on engineering data processing and not econometric statistical methods we’d have worked this out 30 years ago.

  52. Ian Wilson says: “I am assuming that Bob can show a correlation between the Trade Wind speed anomaly and the signed latitude of the location of the West-Pacific warm pool?”

    We’re not concerned about anomalies; we’re dealing with absolutes. In other words, we normally think of ENSO as anomalies, but ENSO works from absolutes. The seasonal cycles in trade wind strength and direction in the Northwest and Southwest tropical Pacific oppose one another as I suggested in my earlier comment:

  53. OK , I have other thing to do but I could not resist.

    “30m” is about 31.7 months and is being split by 39 years. The other two are indeed being split by the same frequency: around 22.9 years.

    Ian may like to play with that.

    When you see that kind of structure and all the numbers tie you can be fairly sure it’s not “stocastic noise” ;)

  54. Greg Goodman says:
    May 27, 2013 at 4:30 am

    They are making the error of confusing the audible beat frequency with actual frequency. This is explained in Wikipedia page I linked above. The REAL frequency is half what they calculate. The ear can only hear acoustic intensity so the “beats” we hear are twice as fast as the actual oscillation.

    I disagree. What the Wiki page says is all true, and readily demonstrated in my high school physics class, but the audible issue is that people can’t distinguish a negative signal from a positive. The beating signal alternates between positive and negative, and that’s where this idea of “full wave rectified” sound is coming from.

    Look at the Wiki page again, especially the lower image at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Beat.png and note the red low frequency sinusoid.

    What you’re saying is analogous to saying that the positive and negative PDO phases have the same effects but differ from the neutral PDO.

  55. Greg Goodman says: “Yes, My gut feeling is that it’s ocean currents driving winds rather than the opposite.”

    Short reply: I disagree.

    Long reply: The greatest convection occurs where the temperature is highest–in the tropics. The inrush of air from higher latitudes provides make-up air to the convection. And the winds in both hemispheres flowing toward the equator are deflected toward the west by the Coriolis effect. Those are the trade winds. The trade winds blowing from the Northeast to the Southwest in the Northern Hemisphere and blowing from the Southeast to the Northwest in the Southern Hemisphere cause the equatorial currents to flow.

    However, the trade winds, ocean currents, the temperature gradients from east to west, and sea surface height from east to west in the tropical Pacific are all coupled. The trade winds and the temperature gradient provide positive feedback to one another–positive feedback that’s restricted by Mother Nature. And those interrelationships are impacted by other variables. If a large weather-related temperature anomaly works its way into the tropics along the eastern boundary currents from the west coast of the Americas, it influences the balancing act between trade wind strength, temperature gradients and sea surface height. And if there’s a large and persistent change in the wind patterns in the western tropical Pacific–caused by a tropical cyclone, for example–that change can be enough to destroy the balancing act. Then gravity takes over and causes the warm water in the west to slosh to the east, carried by a strengthened equatorial counter current, and there’s an El Nino. The trade winds in the west reverse, becoming westerlies, and now provide positive feedback to the El Nino.

  56. Just a comment about my “split peaks” , it’s basically the same thing again . When a very long periodic variations interferes with a short one it produces a doublet, like the ones I instantly recognised in this spectrum.

    This kind of effect is very well known in spectroscopy and acoustics. The unperturbed frequency is the average of the two peaks, The split gives the other one.

    Just in case anyone is wondering what I’m burbling on about :)

    The fact that the 4.5 doublet yields that same splitter and the 19 month doublet means it all hangs together.

    I need to run though all this more thoroughly later but it looks coherent.

  57. Bob says: “However, the trade winds, ocean currents, the temperature gradients from east to west, and sea surface height from east to west in the tropical Pacific are all coupled. ”

    Yes , probably best not to over simplify.

    I’m a bit allergic to all this talk of “sloshing” back and forth. Water does not “pile up” anywhere in it’s liquid state. If a wind blows on a lake all the dead leaves and flotsam pile up on once side and surface water is displaced. But the water does not pile up on the far shore, just the leaves.

    If mean sea level is higher it must is more to do with the depression on one side and the high on the other that is driving the wind in the first place. Otherwise it would just flow north and south from the west Pacific and circulate.

    I know this is the current orthodoxy and you are well read on the subject but I’ve seen enough dodgy climatology to be very mistrusting by now and this doesn’t ring true to me.

    Seeing the apparent synchronising between major eruptions and tropical SST that I found yesterday, I’m more convinced that ever that there is an inertial driver at work here.

    finding the crude 2.75 estimate in the volcano stack tie in with the central frequency of one of the main doublets here, just about clinches it for me.

  58. Orchestra a little weak in the volcano section but a nice little symphony nonetheless …

  59. If they truly have discovered the pattern, they should be able to make a prediction about when the next El Nino will occur. Have they?

  60. Steven Mosher: you know if they tied the 15 month cycle to the orbit of juniper and saturn and sun spots people would have no doubts about a paper they havent read.

    That’s clever.

    If this paper ever comes out from behind the paywall, I hope someone here will alert us. The abstract is too skimpy.

  61. Bill Inis: http://s17.postimg.org/noobqikhr/Trades_ENSO_Apr_2013.png
    Interesting.
    If you are discussing causality I’d want to look for lead/lag. My first impression was that Nino3.4 was lagging wind index. However, I realised this is yet another running bloody mean problem.

    http://climategrog.wordpress.com/2013/05/19/triple-running-mean-filters/

    Nino3.4 data has clearly been “smoothed”, and since there is a general downward trend in the data all the major peaks get bent to the right and give a false impression that wind is leading SST.

    If I try to ignore the processing error, there seems to be no lag, but that needs an correlation lag plot to check.

    If wind was driving SST by shifting away the surface layer it would require time. I take no lag to discount that but it needs checking with correlation lag on non runny mean bent data.

  62. “When anomalous trade winds shift south they can terminate an El Niño by generating eastward propagating equatorial Kelvin waves that eventually resume upwelling of cold water in the eastern equatorial Pacific.”

    Now this is the kind of mathematically precise language that cam make a geologist cringe. Or a salesman proud. Eventually? Exactly what sort of events? By any account these waves are shallow and they reflect with opposite sign.

    Just one of a number of hedges. Combination tones? Once apron a time a serious violinist I can report that combination tones arise from inadvertent harmonics when the string is incompletely pressed, when two strings are engaged by the bow, and are the nature of harmonics in general.

    Having just returned from a fortnight in the trade winds, I can also report from this definitely not statistically significant interval that the trades seemed far more drawn by the ITC than pushed by the synoptic circulation. Beastly in the afternoon, gone at night.

  63. Greg Goodman says:
    May 27, 2013 at 9:41 am

    I’m a bit allergic to all this talk of “sloshing” back and forth. Water does not “pile up” anywhere in it’s liquid state. If a wind blows on a lake all the dead leaves and flotsam pile up on once side and surface water is displaced. But the water does not pile up on the far shore, just the leaves.

    A well known (and often very detrimental) effect on the Great Lakes, and I assume on other long lakes is an effect called “seiche.”

    http://www.isgs.illinois.edu/sections/engin-coast/lakemich-coastal-seiches.shtml describes one on Lake Michigan:

    … a seiche (pronounced saysh) is caused by air pressure and wind. When storm fronts move rapidly from across a large body of water such as Lake Michigan, air pressure changes and strong downbursts of wind can form one large wave or a series of large waves. The wave or waves will travel across the lake until the seiche reaches shore, where it can be reflected and travel to the opposite shore. The height of the waves depends on the strength of the wind and air pressure contrasts that form the seiche. The largest seiche on record to strike the Illinois coast of Lake Michigan reached a maximum height of 10 feet….

    During spring and summer, small seiches with a height of a few inches to 1 foot regularly strike the Illinois shore of Lake Michigan. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association issues warnings to Lake Michigan mariners and lakeshore residents when weather conditions favor seiche development.

    There was no warning for the record-high seiche that struck the Chicago lakeshore at 9:30 a.m. Saturday, June 26, 1954. The seiche approached from the southeast and struck the entire Illinois coast with a wave about 2–4 feet high. Swelling as it approached the North Avenue groin, also called the North Avenue pier, the wave reached a maximum height of 10 feet. Fishermen on the North Avenue pier and piers to the north at the entrance to Montrose Harbor were swept into the lake. Many were rescued, but eight drowned.

    Seiches don’t really apply to the Ocean basins, but things like trade winds etc can drag a lot of water over thousands of miles and pile it up before the next continent.

  64. Greg Goodman – regarding the split peaks – very good observation!

    http://climategrog.wordpress.com/?attachment_id=279

    I think that what you are trying to point out is that there are frequency peaks at 1.59 years and 4.43 years that are amplitude modulated by a higher frequency phenomenon present in the data.

    What I find is that:

    a) a 22.7 year period amplitude modulating a 4.43 year period in the (sea surface temperature?) spectra above would produce split peaks at 5.504 years and 3.707 years.The observed peaks are at 5.502 and 3.706 years.

    b) a 22.3 year period amplitude modulating a 1.59 year period in the (sea surface temperature?) spectra above would produce slit peaks at 1.712 years and 1.484 years. The observed peaks are at 5.502 and 1.485 years.

    CONCLUSIONS

    1) The 22.3 – 22.7 year modulating signal is clearly the Hale cycle [assuming that they do not have a date series that just happens to be ~ 22 years long].

    2) The 4.43 year period is just half the 8.85 year precession cycle for the lunar line-of-apsides with respect to the fixed stars.

    3) And more controversially, I believe that the 1.59 year period (~ 19 months) is the 1.599 year cycle when Venus and the Earth align on the same side of the Sun.

    I am hunkered down in my fox hole [flack jacket-on] ready for the mud to fly.

  65. Ric , red what you quoted: “The wave or waves will travel across the lake until the seiche reaches shore, where it can be reflected and travel to the opposite shore.”

    No where does it say the water “piles up” . It a wave that propagates.

  66. Greg Goodman said earlier:

    The author’s 1 year and 5 years will produce frequencies(1+1/5) and (1-1/5) per year, ie 1.2 and 0.8 per year. That gives 15 and 10 months. Like many doing this kind of calculation they seems forget (or not realise) the second is just as important.

    AND

    They are making the error of confusing the audible beat frequency with actual frequency. This is explained in Wikipedia page I linked above. The REAL frequency is half what they calculate. The ear can only hear acoustic intensity so the “beats” we hear are twice as fast as the actual oscillation.

    So I double my previous results to give 20 and 30 months ( twice their 15m)
    Now 30m is 2.5 years

    http://climategrog.wordpress.com/?attachment_id=278

    Looks like this deserves a closer look.

    MY COMMENTS:

    Couldn’t the 30 month period just be the Quasi-Bienneal Oscillation (QBO) and the 20 month period period 19 month period that you observe in the spectra of sea surface temperatures (?) posted earlier?

    Could you post the details of how the spectra was generated please?

  67. Lets say we use 1 year and 4.43 years instead of 1 and 5 years. This will produce frequencies(1+1/4.43) and (1-1/4.43) per year i.e. 1.226 and 0.774 per year.
    That gives 14.71 months and 9.29 months.

    If, as you suggest, they are using the beat frequencies rather than the actual frequencies involved, then we would have to double these periods.

    Hence, we would get 29.4 months {the QBO is ~ 28 months) and 18.6 months [not far off the 19.1 months from your spectra].

  68. Greg Goodman says:
    May 27, 2013 at 8:29 pm

    Ric , red what you quoted: “The wave or waves will travel across the lake until the seiche reaches shore, where it can be reflected and travel to the opposite shore.”

    No where does it say the water “piles up” . It a wave that propagates.

    If your backyard floods in a seiche or a NYC subway tunnel floods in a storm surge, most people’s primary concern is not how the water lifted and moved in, but that it did. From the point of view of whoever is flooded, water piled up.

    Umm, yours was the first mention of “piles up”. H.R. and Bob Tisdale said slosh, which is closer to the “standing wave” Wikipedia refers to seiches. IIRC, my high school biology teacher probably said slosh in reference to seiches on Lake Erie.

  69. Typos Ian: “The observed peaks are at 5.502 and 1.485 years.”
    ” that are amplitude modulated by a higher frequency phenomenon present in the data.” lower frequency

    1,2 and 3 seems fairly obvious propositions though I’d like to redo the spectrum by a different method and verify the numbers. I’ll also have to have a look at the trade winds index that Bill linked to , I think that is probably what they used in the paper.

    I’d always thought ENSO cycle was a bit of “non cycle” but it seems there’s a lot more order in there than is at first apparent. (As is true of most things in climate).

    It was a 32 year dataset I worked on. In any case rectangular modulation caused by the dataset length cropping a signal would not produce a nice clean doublet. That requires sinusoidal modulation.

    Spotting these doublets and associated A.M. triplets is a valuable way to detect the influence of long orbit planets that have a period well out side the length of the data set.

    http://climategrog.wordpress.com/?attachment_id=216

    This pattern that I spotted in Arctic ice area data indicates a 12.83 year modulation. A figure I’m sure Ian will recognise instantly as a Jupiter – Neptune period.

    Junipers, junipers! I told you they wanted junipers.
    .

  70. Greg,

    Sorry, I often switch between periods and frequencies and so I get my “highers” mixed up with my “lowers”. Thanks for the correction.

    It seems we live in interesting times.

  71. I would like to spout about the “quasi-biennial oscillation”.
    (Oscillation of easterly/westerly wind around the tropopause,
    in the tropics especially in or near the ITCZ, and maybe
    more in the Western Hemisphere.)

    This is a known atmospheric phenomenon, with half-period
    being typically a little over a year. Full period is a little over
    2 years, maybe usually 2.5 years.

    I have seen some correlation between QBO and ENSO.
    I have seen El Ninos to be disproportionately occuring
    when QBO is westerly (from west to east).

    And when the east-equatorial Pacific is “no baby”,
    especially with also QBO being westerly, I see America
    getting fewer but more-notable windy storms.

  72. Ric “If your backyard floods in a seiche or a NYC subway tunnel floods in a storm surge, most people’s primary concern is not how the water lifted and moved in, but that it did. From the point of view of whoever is flooded, water piled up.”

    .. and storm surges are causes by ?

    Not a surface wind making the water pile up and at one end but due to the atmospheric depression of the storm. Which is [precisely what I said :

    “If mean sea level is higher it must is more to do with the depression on one side and the high on the other that is driving the wind in the first place. Otherwise it would just flow north and south from the west Pacific and circulate.”

    Please try to read and understand before commenting.

  73. Ian Wilson says:
    Greg Goodman – regarding the split peaks – very good observation!

    http://climategrog.wordpress.com/?attachment_id=279

    I think that what you are trying to point out is that there are frequency peaks at 1.59 years and 4.43 years that are amplitude modulated by a higher frequency phenomenon present in the data.

    ===

    Thank you. I’m glad there’s someone who can follow what I’m doing.
    I’ve just had a look at the trade wind index:
    ftp://ftp.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/wd52dg/data/indices/wpac850

    It is showing very similar values but without some of the doublets. There are still major peaks around 3 an5 that produce 4.434 year central value.

    Be careful not to be too liberal “seems close to” attributions. A 18 month peak from a 32 year dataset has to be pretty close. Bending it to fit 19 months getting very shaky.

    The 8.85 year lunar cycle looks like a definite hit

    I’ll give more details on how I derived the spectra later once I’ve checked results.

  74. Greg Goodman (May 27, 2013 at 7:02 am) wrote:
    “[...] My gut feeling is that it’s ocean currents driving winds rather than the opposite. [...]“

    I hope you’re not serious.

  75. Greg Goodman says:
    May 27, 2013 at 2:06 pm
    Nino3.4 data has clearly been “smoothed”,
    —————————-

    Nino 3.4 has been smoothed in a 3 month moving average in some datasets but this value is almost exactly the same as the straight single month number. I mean you could not see the difference. It is just the way the ENSO builds up/declines and draws down/warms back up over time.

    So the newer datasets have just discarded the smoothing since it makes no difference.

    ————

    On the Trade Wind index, the whole Pacific going from 135E to 95W provides the best correlation, although sometimes the Western Pacific Trades leads Nino 3.4 by a month or two but it is not consistent enough to be reliable.

  76. Bill, thanks for your comment. I was forgetting that averaging inherent in the index. I just ignore “indices” created like that and go for the SST directly. Sadly running means are ubiquitous in climate science, there is even one at the heart of the Hadley climatology creation algo against which their ‘anomalies’ are derived. Worse , they put it in an iterative loop until it “converges”. I suspect that is one of the main causes for the differences I find in the spectra of ICOADS and hadSST3.

    They also manage to crate some strange teleconnections that aren’t in the original data. Very odd.

    Paul Vaughan says: Greg, you should also take a look at some SSH (sea surface height) data.

    Could you be more specific?

  77. Based on NUSJMaEV:
    (22.2)*(6.4) / (22.2 – 6.4) = 9
    (11.1)*(3.2) / (11.1 – 3.2) = 4.5
    (22.2)*(9) / (22.2 + 9) = 6.4
    (11.1)*(4.5) / (11.1 + 4.5) = 3.2
    (6.4)*(1) / (6.4 – 1) = 1.185
    (12.8)*(2) / (12.8 – 2) = 2.37
    The framework is found in heliospheric, lunisolar, & climate series.
    Well-constrained climate series (laws of large numbers & conservation of angular momentum) that reverse phase with heliospheric series suggest resonance on the lunisolar framework (rather than a lunisolar driver).
    Dickey, J.O.; & Keppenne, C.L. (1997). Interannual length-of-day variations and the ENSO phenomenon: insights via singular spectral analysis.

    http://trs-new.jpl.nasa.gov/dspace/bitstream/2014/22759/1/97-1286.pdf

  78. Greg Goodman (May 28, 2013 at 6:11 am) asked
    “Could you be more specific?”

    censorship 1/2/3

    Jean Dickey (NASA JPL) emphasizes that mass, temperature, & velocity are coupled. There’s an excellent ENSO video that will help you see the SSH (mass) coherence with temperature & velocity (wind). It overlays wind vectors on color-coded-SST & SSH (radial axis elevations). Bob Tisdale might have the link. The video makes the coupling & spatiotemporal coherence crystal clear. Bill Illis might be able to link to related graphs.

  79. Dickey, J.O.; Marcus, S.L.; & Chin, T.M. (2007). Thermal wind forcing & atmospheric angular momentum: Origin of the Earth’s delayed response to ENSO. Geophysical Research Letters 34, 7.

    http://adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/2007GeoRL..3417803D

    “[...] thermal winds arising from the poleward gradient of tropical temperature (TT). We show that the TT gradient (TTG), which peaks 1-2 months after the Nino 3.4 SST anomaly, is the source of the thermal winds that drive [...]“

    Dickey, J.O.; Marcus, S.L.; & de Viron, O. (2003). Coherent interannual & decadal variations in the atmosphere-ocean system. Geophysical Research Letters 30(11), 1573.

    http://trs-new.jpl.nasa.gov/dspace/bitstream/2014/11255/1/02-3203.pdf

    http://technology.jpl.nasa.gov/people/j_dickey/

  80. Here is something new.

    The Pacific Trade Wind Variability. Normally, the winds at the equator are blowing east to west. This is dragging the surface waters along with it and generally the ocean currents in the equatorial Pacific are flowing east to west driven by the wind and manner in which a rotating planet organizes its atmosphere and ocean.

    In an El Nino, these winds slacken and can even blow the other direction, west to east, in which the warm waters from the western warm pool will move back into the eastern side (dragged backwards in essence and also by gravity since the western side is metres higher than the eastern side of the Pacific). These western waters can be 2.5C to 3.0C warmer than the central and eastern Pacific, and, hence, there is an El Nino when this occurs.

    But it is really the Western Pacific Trade Winds which have the variability. The central and eastern parts do not really. In December, in particular, the Western Trades are 6.0 metres per second to the West or 6.0 metres per second to the East. The central and eastern sides are still generally to the west. Ie. The Western Pacific Trade Winds are really the driver.

    A busy chart that might be hard to understand fully, but the above is what it shows. Something like what this paper might be about.

  81. Greg Goodman: Seems the link has been scuppered by Nature.

    It worked for me.

  82. thanks, I like the 3D presentation of the data, a very effective way to capture several variables at once. Shame the dataset isn’t a bit longer. It does not really last longer enough to get an idea of how it evolves.

    I’ve also seen a similar simulation of the thermocline which only re-enforced my impression of a long term tidal phenomenon.

    I think I once calculated that the density difference was about 3000 time smaller than air/water barrier. That means the equivalent of a 12h surface tide would be about 4 year tide in the thermocline. In view of the present discussion that is bang on. The surface resonates with the daily passage under the moon, the thermocline response time dictates it will react to something like the 8.85 year lunar cycle.

    Having already noted that 4.43 is exactly half of a lunar periodicity and knowing the prime mover of surface tides is the moon …… join the dots.

    Thanks for all the other papers.

    So all this has been known, studied in painstaking detail and published for at least two decades and were a still told ENSO is some unfathomable, un-modelable mystery. That paper even says it can provoke decadal scale warming, something Bob has been trying to draw attention to.

    [Bob, maybe you can now see what I meant last year about your having found the mechanism , not the cause and that the need to look for the cause of what was driving El Nino. You took it the wrong way , but this is what I was trying to point to.]

    FWIW , if ENSO is lunar in origin then much of the other variation in other regions may be common causation, not a direct influence of El Nino. That may help to explain the surprisingly wide supposed impact of this relatively obscure part of the Earth’s surface.

  83. Matthew , all I get is some big print:

    nature.com homepage
    Publications A-Z index
    Browse by subject

    maybe they’ve blocked my IP ???

  84. Sustained north winds routinely pile up water a foot high at the south end of the GSL:
    terdata.usgs.gov/ut/nwis/uv/?site_no=10010000&PARAmeter_cd=00065,00060,00010,72020

    http://www.weatherhq.com/weather-station/salt-lake-city-international–airport

    …and otherwise move water around big puddles.

    None of the astrologers has invoked the 433 day Chandler Wobble period. Good.

    The ear doesn’t create beat frequencies; it detects them. Proof: take two tuning forks, one at A440 and another at A419. Hold both near one ear: beat detected. Hold them near opposite ears: none. –AGF

  85. Paul, the question I wanted to ask you about your comment and wavelet plots in your comment at TS was the following and is relevant here: if there is a pervasive circa 9y cycle in physical record but there is also one or more related frequencies that are at times in anti-phase with it and neutralise it, it will still be detected in a sample long enough to identify them both. However a short period wavelet analysis is specifically designed to take a narraw view and will not detect a signal which is temporarily absent due to anti-correlation with another signal.

    why did you conclude that 9y period was not permanently present on the grounds of a short term wavelet waterfall that would not show its presence in such circumstances?

    For example the Arctic plot has a very strong , multiple circa 2y components yet if you do a narrow wavelet analysis , between 1986 and 1990 it will tell you there is noting in that range: That does not mean it is not there , it is just destructive interference.

    http://climategrog.wordpress.com/?attachment_id=216

  86. Greg: Goodman said:

    Having already noted that 4.43 is exactly half of a lunar periodicity and knowing the prime mover of surface tides is the moon …… join the dots.
    [Bob, maybe you can now see what I meant last year about your having found the mechanism , not the cause and that the need to look for the cause of what was driving El Nino. You took it the wrong way , but this is what I was trying to point to.]

    AND
    FWIW , if ENSO is lunar in origin then much of the other variation in other regions may be common causation, not a direct influence of El Nino. That may help to explain the surprisingly wide supposed impact of this relatively obscure part of the Earth’s surface.

    MY COMMENT:
    This is what I have trying to tell Bob and others for years, however, most [not you Greg] have politely either ignored my comments or dismissed my research papers and work. I have tried to pointing people to the work of others [e.g. Claire Perigaud] that support a Lunar tidal explanation for the ENSO phenomenon but this has failed to produce any interest.

    Thank you Greg for your support of the Lunar Tidal explanation!

    If you are still interested, please read:

    Long-Term Lunar Atmospheric Tides in the Southern Hemisphere
    Ian R. G. Wilson and Nikolay S. Sidorenkov
    The Open Atmospheric Science Journal, 2013, 7, 29-54

    http://www.benthamscience.com/open/toascj/articles/V007/TOASCJ130415001.pdf

  87. Greg: Goodman said:

    Having already noted that 4.43 is exactly half of a lunar periodicity and knowing the prime mover of surface tides is the moon …… join the dots.
    [Bob, maybe you can now see what I meant last year about your having found the mechanism , not the cause and that the need to look for the cause of what was driving El Nino. You took it the wrong way , but this is what I was trying to point to.]

    AND
    FWIW , if ENSO is lunar in origin then much of the other variation in other regions may be common causation, not a direct influence of El Nino. That may help to explain the surprisingly wide supposed impact of this relatively obscure part of the Earth’s surface.

    MY COMMENT:
    This is what I have trying to tell Bob and others for years, however, most [not you Greg] have politely either ignored my comments or dismissed my research papers and work. I have tried to pointing people to the work of others [e.g. Claire Perigaud] that support a Lunar tidal explanation for the ENSO phenomenon but this has failed to produce any interest.

    Thank you Greg for your support of the Lunar Tidal explanation!

    If you are still interested, please read:

    Long-Term Lunar Atmospheric Tides in the Southern Hemisphere
    Ian R. G. Wilson and Nikolay S. Sidorenkov
    The Open Atmospheric Science Journal, 2013, 7, 29-54

  88. I am having trouble posting – It will not post my comments but when I try posting it again it says that it is already posted. Nothing appears. I have tried clearing my cookies and restarting my programs but to no avail.

  89. Greg: Goodman

    This is what I have trying to tell Bob and others for years, however, most [not you Greg] have politely either ignored my comments or dismissed my research papers and work. I have tried to pointing people to the work of others [e.g. Claire Perigaud] that support a Lunar tidal explanation for the ENSO phenomenon but this has failed to produce any interest.

    Thank you Greg for your support of the Lunar Tidal explanation!

    If you are still interested, please read:

    Long-Term Lunar Atmospheric Tides in the Southern Hemisphere
    Ian R. G. Wilson and Nikolay S. Sidorenkov
    The Open Atmospheric Science Journal, 2013, 7, 29-54

    http://www.benthamscience.com/open/toascj/articles/V007/TOASCJ130415001.pdf

  90. “Note that the peak at 7.462 year = (22.386 / 3) years”
    Ah, I have seen this one come up in a number of spectra , I have never been able to understand where it came from. That is worth considering.

    That is interesting. I’m probably too used to looking for even harmonics. Dependant on the magnitudes, 1st+2nd+3rd, could reflect a ramp or sawtooth, probably an exponential decay too. Odd only harmonics can produce an even triangular form.

    A word of caution: if you take the full set of possible combinations, just restricting it two bodies you have a pretty full set of numbers. Then if you add in all odd and even harmonics and subharmincs you have enough numbers to start a new arithmetic system.

    UN 172.688147785753 55.7803996866069
    JN 12.7825513249407 11.0658269913118
    SN 35.8731500775881 24.9920895752896
    JS 19.8587480110924 8.45706696610071
    JU 13.8043643320595 10.3994330961582
    SU 45.2791575917216 21.8324184332597

    VE 1.59868506535693 0.380877791467258
    EM 2.13533151680291 0.652874201610664

    The danger is that there will always be one which is “quite close”. What range of number would NOT fit into that kind of scheme ?

    This is where the danger of falling into meaningless numerology creeps in. Some fairly strict self discipline needs to be applied.

    Having said that, I think the 4,43 looks convincing . All the 3.x and 5.x pairs seem pretty solidly either side of 4,43. and it hardly moves. The 2,45 seems pretty well rooted as well.

  91. Greg, indeed Dickey & Keppenne (1997) revealed more in their graphs than what they wrote about in the text. Serious climate enthusiasts can learn more from that one paper (if they’re careful to read between the lines) than they can learn from the entire collection of climate blog articles that presently exist.

    Let’s at least be careful to not have misunderstandings. Misunderstandings are a waste of time.

    i) Above you’ve made some generalizations about wavelets that actually aren’t true. Wavelet extent is an adjustable parameter. You suggest it must be narrow — this is not true. It can be set as narrow or as wide (including temporally-global) as one wants. The full range should be explored. Essential: Take due care to distinguish between resolution, grain, extent, & span.

    ii) Also, please be careful interpreting my comments at the Talkshop about the 9 year signals. I’m certain you have the wrong impression, in part because I cut corners communicating out of sheer necessity since I’m orders of magnitude short on time. This is a topic we’re just beginning. This may take many months.

    iii) Finally, the lunisolar framework looks like a good candidate for a component of the resonance framework being strummed, but the sun is doing the strumming. I suspect some (maybe most) will misunderstand what I’m saying in this paragraph. A number of misunderstandings will fade over time. Certainly Ian shouldn’t interpret silence as lack of appreciation, understanding, & interest.

    A final note:
    From the work I did last week on the Steinhilber+ TSI, I advise watching for 1500 year modulation of annual variation attractors and 2300 year modulation of semi-annual variation attractors (see attractors illustrated in Figure 3a & 3b of Dickey & Keppenne (1997)).

    I’ll just keep picking away at all of this stuff casually as rare free time permits.
    When I can I’ll comment on your 2 & 12.8 year sea ice notes.

    Regards.

  92. Paul,

    Assuming that I understand (at least in part) what you are saying about the annual and semi-annual variations, then I am in agreement with your statement:

    “…the lunisolar framework looks like a good candidate for a component of the resonance framework being strummed, but the sun is doing the strumming…”.

    I have always claimed that the Luni-Solar tides are (by and large) a modulator of much larger solar driven changes in climate.

  93. Greg, using temporally-global summaries you’re looking at a short univariate record that’s neither stationary nor well-constrained in aggregate by universal laws. I note that you make no mention of one of the more interesting features of TWI: the ~1998 changepoint. I hope you will make the effort necessary to understand it before you put any stock in the notion that you’ve precisely characterized temporally-global waves using this sample.

    It appears we’ve taken this as far as we can for now.

    All the best.

  94. Ian: I thank you & Nikolay Sidorenkov for another stimulating contribution. If I ever have the right combination of time & resources (this luxury is nowhere to be seen on the current horizon), I’ll take a look at the patterns using a related but different method. I’ll be paying attention to see if you influence Warren White’s future work. I wish you serenity as you wait in territory that’s presently beyond the vision of most.

  95. Sorry, just don’t buy the Scientific American analysis. Watch a few Ninos develop. They begin as salients of warm water carried westward from Peru by the various reflecting waves. Last year started with several furtive salients that didn’t develop. The most promising one in September was aborted when the warm water was mysteriously replaced by cold.

    Do you seriously think the warm water source for these salients is the Pacific warm pool relaxing thousands of miles away. How would this relaxation of the warm pool and flattening of the thermocline cross the Pacific leaving no surface signature?

  96. The waves consist of either a pair of low shoulders and a high center, or a pair of high shoulders and a low center crossing the Pacific. When they hit the continent on the opposite side they reflect with opposite sign. Either way a railroad track or a single line of warm surface water should be observable crossing the ocean. It is not. The warm salients always begin off Peru and travel west. In 1997 the salient continued across the Indian Ocean with even a weak sympathetic signal in the Atlantic.

  97. Paul Vaughan: “i) Above you’ve made some generalizations about wavelets that actually aren’t true. Wavelet extent is an adjustable parameter. You suggest it must be narrow — this is not true.

    No, that is not what I said. I don’t now how you manage to read that into what I said. Such misunderstandings are indeed a waste of valuable time. I realise it is variable and you used a variety of wavelet lengths to create the plots at TS using KNMI (which unfortunately no longer render what you did).

    You concluded that the 9 year signal I had detected by using spectral analysis of the whole record was not a persistent feature since it was not universally present in the plots where you had used a shorter wavelet. Indeed the shorter the wavelet used, the less persistent the feature was.

    What I’m saying is that that is a spurious conclusion since in periods where such a cycle is counteracted by destructive interference it will not be visible to wavelet analysis based on a short window.

    That is the key point and the cause of your spurious (IMO) conclusion.

    “ii) Also, please be careful interpreting my comments at the Talkshop about the 9 year signals. I’m certain you have the wrong impression, in part because I cut corners communicating out of sheer necessity since I’m orders of magnitude short on time.”

    It is true that you are often terse to the point of obscurity. Free time is a problem.

    You comment at TS seemed clear enough however. You said you thought the 9y cycle would be very significant if it was persistent. You then did the various wavelet plots with different windows and concluded it was not persistent and thus no more than an interesting feature.

    I’m saying that this is a spurious conclusion based on misinterpretation of wavelet analysis results.

    In the absence of evidence to the contrary I remain convinced that it is a significant as you suggested it was until misleading yourself and the rest of those reading my article with what appears to be a spurious conclusion.

    As and when you have time to reconsider what you posted, please feel free to contact me via climategrog.wordpress.com

    The presence of a strong circa 9 year signal in most major basins is significant

    http://climategrog.wordpress.com/2013/03/01/61/

    It is also one one of the main features that gets wholesale abuse by the Hadley regridding and processing and is the main reason I prefer ICOADS for SST when doing frequency analysis.

    The following plot shows a remarkable similarity between North Atlantic and _South_ Paciic

    The apparent circa 10 year periodicity is in fact the superposition of 9 and 11 years signals as can be seen from the drops in autocorrelations at around 40 and 80 years.

    It is a combination of the corruption of the data in “reanalysis” datasets and the failure of trivial analyses to resolve these features that has lead to the rejection of both solar and lunar hypothesis as major drivers of global scale climate variation.

  98. Greg said:

    It is a combination of the corruption of the data in “reanalysis” datasets and the failure of trivial analyses to resolve these features that has lead to the rejection of both solar and lunar hypothesis as major drivers of global scale climate variation.

    Reply: Greg, your comment is right on the money. The climate systems here on Earth are responding (in part) to outside forcing(s) from both the Sun and Moon. The problem we have in interpretating what is going on is that different parts of the system (atmosphere pressure, sea-surface temperatures, up welling of deep ocean waters etc) respond in different ways – some respond directly to the forcing(s), while others respond to an admixture of the forcing(s) and the annual (seasonal) cycle.

  99. Greg, you’ve repeated your misinterpretation of what you are calling my “conclusion” about the 9 year signals. Also, the Talkshop readers have not been misled to dismiss the 9 year signal — quite the contrary. You’re making false assumptions about what I’m thinking. We’re more on the same page than you realize, but we differ in one key way: You have time to chase spatiotemporally-turbulent interference patterns in local metrics that are not well-constrained in a global sense whereas with my limited time & resources I strategically focus my attention intensely where there’s simple crystal clarity — i.e. on globally-well-constrained metrics such as EOP (Earth Orientation Parameters). If you reread my Talkshop comments, you’ll see clearly that I suggest someone with a lot of time & resources on their hands explore further the spatiotemporally-local details of the 9 year signals that are undeniable at the globally-well-constrained scale. I appreciate the preliminary exploratory contributions you have made in this area. Such contributions are neither necessary nor sufficient to prove solar-terrestrial coherence. That’s best done with metrics that are well-constrained globally by the laws of conservation of angular momentum & large numbers, as I’ve shown repeatedly in the past. However, the contributions you are making may be necessary or at least critically supplementary for other interesting purposes. I will continue monitoring your stimulating explorations, which are a welcome contribution to an often dull, politically-overcharged-&-misdirected climate discussion. Thanks sincerely for sharing your notes.

  100. Bill Illis, thanks for sharing the seasonal west/east/combined trade wind summaries — this has triggered a valuable review of dozens of climatology animations plus SOI seasonal variability patterns. This has reminded me that I need to get back to some very clear semi-annual patterns I noticed in the Indo-Pacific Warm Pool (via KNMI data) after Harry van Loon dropped by with some valuable tips several months ago. The warm pool has a very special type of semi-annual stability that exists nowhere else on Earth so far as I have been able to tell to date.

  101. I have grabbed the blurred preview of their figure2 , sharpened it and added annotations to clarify the text.

    http://climategrog.wordpress.com/?attachment_id=282

    They have plotted the first three EOFs it seems PC1 PC2 PC3.

    PC1 seems dominated by three peaks around 0.2 0.25 and 0.3. That is the circa 3,4,and 5 year periods already discussed above as being all manifestations of the lunar 8.85 / 2 being split by something at around 22 years in period.

    PC2 had additional peaks at 0.45 0.65 and 0.75 . Using this as 1-f and inverting we find: 22m, 34m and 4 year periods. Obviously very approximative guessing the log scale off a blurred graph but ballpark this is indeed 20 months , 30 months and the central 4.43 y peak.

    In fact the three peaks in PC2 are a simple reflection of the three peaks in PC1 due to the (1-f) calculation.

    using: 1/(1/pc-1/p2)*12, 1/(1/pc+1/p2)*12)
    1.00 * 4.43 years => 15.50 + 9.79 months
    1.00 * 5.42 years => 14.71 + 10.13 months
    1.00 * 3.75 years => 16.36 + 9.47 months

    They have correctly labelled the side bands as 1+f and 1-f this gives a difference of 2f between the peaks hence my earlier suggestion of a factor of two. Now I have decrypted the graph, I see their numbers are correct. Apologies to the authors for doubting ;)

    So in view of what we have already shown it seems that this paper has extracted a series of patterns and frequencies that all have their origin in the interaction of the annual cycle with the [b] lunar perigee precession cycle [/b] modulated by a circa 22 year period .

    First time I’ve seen a paper supporting luni-solar climate published in Nature-Geoscience.

    I wonder if they realised !!

  102. Re. lunar atmospheric tides:

    What we would need are quantified mechanisms. Ocean and earth tides are gravitational, so that the moon’s influence is twice that of the sun’s. Atmospheric “tides” are driven primarily by solar radiation; secondarily by gravitation. True lunar atmospheric tides are so feeble that they are driven primarily by sea tide displacement–not by gravitational attraction of air.

    Which is to say that lunar cycles can have nothing but negligible effects on weather. All who claim otherwise have some explaining to do. –AGF

  103. I’ve been working at getting a clear understanding of these “beats” and it requires going back to basics to distinguish two similar treatments that are often confused with one another.

    Here’s the link I intended to put in earlier

    http://www.animations.physics.unsw.edu.au/jw/beats.htm

    amplitude modulation:
    the basic trig. identity that is used to relate modulation to interference patterns is this:
    cos (a+b) + cos (a-b) = 2 cos a * cos b

    this rearranges to gives amplitude modulation
    cos a * cos b = 0.5 * (cos (a+b) + cos (a-b) )

    now since spectral analysis splits things into a series of additive components , we have to interpret what we find in the spectrum as being the sum and the difference of the physical frequencies that are modulating.

    Superposition (beats).
    in the other direction for superposition of two signals:
    cos (f1t) + cos ( f2t) = 2 cos ((f1t + f2t)/2) * cos ((f1t – f2t)/2)
    which if we rename things using a and b
    cos (a) + cos ( b) = 2 cos ((a + b)/2) * cos ((a – b)/2)

    Now if we had perfect sampling the two forms are mathematically identical and again what we would find in the spectra would be the left-hand side , the two additive signals. However , what happens to the modulated “beats” on the right in the climate system may well mean that the faster one get smoothed out , or our sampling interval and all the averaging and data mangling breaks it up . The longer “beats” frequency may be all that is left and then it is what comes out in the spectrum. Also,if one part (usually the faster one) gets attenuated by other things in climate it may still be visible but the mathematical equivalence in gone and we detect the two, now separate frequencies.

    So there we see that we can determine whether we are seeing amplitude modulation in the climate data or additive superposition of two signals. The two are very similar and that is where all the confusion comes from.

    Now as I noted above from the paper’s figure 2, taken from the “observed” data, we find PC2 had peaks at 0.45 0.65 and 0.75 . That is periods of around 27m 18.5m and 16 months. Again all _very_ roughly but whatever we do, we must end up with figures of that order, not half those values.

    using: 2/(1/pc-1/p2)*12, 2/(1/pc+1/p2)*12) which will give us SUPERPOSITION rather than MODULATION, which is what the authors musical analogy would suggest they intended.

    1.00 * 3.75 years => 32.73 + 5.29 months
    1.00 * 4.43 years => 31.00 + 5.39 months
    1.00 * 5.42 years => 29.43 + 5.49 months

    Now since the sun passes over the equatorial regions twice a year there is a strong six monthly signal in climate and it is likely that something around 5.4 months will get absorbed or simply lost in the noise. Since a lot of climate science focuses on “anomalies” where the seasonal average is removed, anything on a sub-annual scale is either removed or totally distorted. This means all that is detectable is longer period “beats”. This must now be interpreted using the above formula that produces a period twice as longer as the form used for modulation.

    The remaining period with values around 29 -31 months are similar to what is suggested for the somewhat variable quasi-biannual oscillation : QBO .So QBO can be seen as the superposition of ENSO variations superimposed upon the annual cycle once the 5.4 month component has been lost.

    This is almost certainly the peak in the paper’s PC2 curve just short of 0.5 on the frequency scale. Looking again at PC1 the rightmost peak is probably at about 0.4 which would also match 2.5 years = 30 months. Since QBO is strongly present in many tropical signals , especially atmospheric ones, this is not surprising.

    Furthermore, the two major peaks probably correspond to 5.42 and 3.75 years. with possibly a much weaker 4.4 being the reason for the poor resolution of the two peaks (it was very small in the trade wind data I looked at)

    http://climategrog.wordpress.com/?attachment_id=281

    What is interesting and significant here is that this links QBO , with its awkward variability, back to the variability of ENSO and its bimodal origins in lunar and solar periods.

    Now it would be nice to have Stuecker et al’s PC1 and PC2 in numeric format to get a more precise evaluation but I think this paper actually provides some strong evidence of the solar-lunar influence, once correctly interpreted.

  104. PS: The sea tide bulge and “true” atmospheric tidal bulge move retrograde; the relevant (solar) atmospheric “tide” is prograde, like average sea and air currents generally. –AGF

  105. ” The [lunar??] sea tide bulge and “true” atmospheric tidal bulge move retrograde;”

    retrograde with respect to what , the moon?

  106. Moonshine has more influence on climate than tides. Tidal dissipation has sufficient energy to heat the ocean two thousandths of a degree C per century (assuming no loss). The notion that the precession of the moon’s orbit influences climate is less scientific than Hansen’s sea level predictions. Invoking LOD evidence evinces total misunderstanding of the physics. Fortnightly tides strongly affect LOD–reversibly–miniscule angular momentum is lost by conversion to heat. And of course the strength of fortnightly tides varies according to lunar precession, showing up on the LOD record as an 18 year cycle. But virtually none of this energy is available to the earth’s climate system–the process is almost entirely reversible.

    Reasonable interpretation of atmospheric coupling requires that ALL tidal effects be modeled out of LOD history, leaving nothing but genuine weather bereft of lunar cycles. –AGF

  107. Greg Goodman says:
    May 29, 2013 at 11:35 am

    ” The [lunar??] sea tide bulge and “true” atmospheric tidal bulge move retrograde;”

    retrograde with respect to what , the moon?
    ==================================================================
    Conventionally the terms “prograde” and “retrograde” when speaking of planetary atmospheres mean with respect to the solid planets they circle, the classic case being Venus. –AGF

  108. “But virtually none of this energy is available to the earth’s climate system–the process is almost entirely reversible. ”

    I don’t think anyone is suggesting an energy transfer from the angular momentum of Earth-Moon system is responcible to heating the planet (other than the miniscule frictional loss).

    However, that the 18a cycle is visible in the LOD record means it is either displacing significant amount of water on that time scale or significant transfer of water from oceans to atmosphere is happening in a way synchroneous to the lunar cycle. Possilby both.

    Either the moon is affecting climate or the earth’s climate is affecting the precession of lunar perigee. Which do you consider the most likely?

  109. First let me say my 1126 post is BS — both tides are retrograde relative to earth rotation whereas overall air and sea currents are prograde.
    ——————————————————————–
    The fortnightly tide cycle entails equatorial water displaced toward the poles (the earth speeds up) and returning toward the equator (the earth slows back down) with negligible loss of energy. The 18 year cycle determines how much water moves toward and away from poles, hence the LOD amplitude of the fortnightly tide–still reversible–no energy available for weather. Once tides are accounted for wind speed (primarily) and sea current strength (secondarily) control LOD–also reversibly. If the jet stream speeds up the earth slows down, and when the jet slows down the earth speeds back up.

    The point being, don’t confuse tidal processes with weather–they both show up in LOD but the causes must be sorted out. So no, neither does the moon affect climate nor does climate affect the angle of the moon’s orbit. There’s no statistical evidence for such effects when LOD is properly interpreted, neither is there any possible mechanism evident for such a process. –AGF

  110. Oops, typo in formula I used. I saw something unexpected with 5m4 months and forgot to check back on it. Those values should be near 20 months.

    2/(1/pc+1/p2)*12)
    1.00 * 5.42 years => 29.43 + 20.26 months
    1.00 * 4.43 years => 31.00 + 19.58 months
    1.00 * 5.42 years => 29.43 + 20.26 months

    So the peak in the middle of the “1-f” band is the other part of superposition of ENSO and annual cycles.

    So it appears that Stuecker et al are taking the right approach but have failed to distinguish two fundamentally different interference patterns in their EOF of observational data.

    Their broad “1-f” band is not necessary. Only the peak closest to one year is explicable as amplitude modulation. This is the 15 month value. This is due amplitude modulation in the physical domain , not “beats”.

    The beats phenomenon (superposition) is also present and when correctly calculated accounts for the other two peaks they found in PC2 in the grey band they labelled “1-f”. Values around 20m and 29 months. These are in fact (1-f)/2 values.

  111. “The fortnightly tide cycle entails equatorial water displaced toward the poles (the earth speeds up) and returning toward the equator (the earth slows back down) with negligible loss of energy. The 18 year cycle determines how much water moves toward and away from poles”

    Thank you. This is what seemed probable to me but I have not had time to investigate and dig out proper references yet. Perhaps you could point me in the right direction.

    As the amplitude of the moon’s declination increases and decreases it will draw water away from the equator towards low extra-tropical latitudes and back again. When this amplitude is lowest it will tend to concentrate water around the equator. When greatest it will draw it outwards.

    Once the warm tropical waters are draw outwards they will enter the major oceanic gyres and be carried to high latitudes eventually influencing the polar regions. This will also leave lower, cooler waters exposed in the tropics which will warm towards the local equilibrium. This is like the typical La Nina phase where OHC is increased through exposer of cooler water and assimilation of a greater amount solar energy.

    In the contrary phase the now warmed surface waters in the tropics will be concentrated towards the equator. This will increase the frequency of tropical thunder storms and evacuate heat to the troposphere. This is El Nino like patterns and involves loss of OHC .

    As you have already pointed out these movements are of sufficient amplitude to produce a visible 18 year period in LOD. This implies two things. Firstly, that the displacement of the water is sufficient to require an adjustment in the angular momentum of the solid earth to compensate for the change in angular momentum of the water. This requires a boundary interaction between the oceans and the continents in an East / West direction.

    Second, as the water moves towards the equator it moves to a larger radius and hence slows. This implies and eastward movement relative to the solid Earth. This is the movement which causes the boundary interaction affecting the solid Earth, that is visible in LOD.

    The biggest ocean will meet the deepest and steepest continental barrier along the Western coast of South America. Since we are principally concerned with tropical waters this will be the northern end of the South American continental barrier.

    In other words Peru, the birth place of the famous La Nina / El Nino events.

    So, yes, the momentum exchanges are mostly reversible, the thermal implications not so.

  112. Their computers discovered a 15-month combination tone between El Nino events and the pattern of sun crossing the equator. Interesting, but just how does this explain the mystery of “…why does El Niño always peak around Christmas and end quickly by February to April?..” The periods are incommensurate. But looking at temperature curves the mystery resolves itself without help from a 15 month combination tone because in real life El Ninos and Christmas rarely coincide.They claim that the Christmas El Nino ends quickly in February to April, which is about three months. Checking the record, the quickest ending El Nino I can find is the El Nino of 1988. That one took six months to wind down. Also, it just happens to be the one that Hansen promoted as the peak of anthropogenic warming to the Senate. The La Nina that followed it in six months lowered global temperature by 0.4 degrees from that world-beating high temperature Hansen was pitching. Actually these guys who wrote this article are no better than any of their predecessors, among whom we find both Hansen and Trenberth. Collectively there must be a thousand articles all trying to fathom out the secret of El Nino and failing. They all have some part of the El Nino story to tell but they don’t know where to go from there. They are like blind men trying to guess what part of an elephant they have gotten hold of and how to fit all together. Among other things, they have postulated an El Nino-like Pliocene climate which is an absurdity.Today there is no excuse for this because I explained it all in my book in 2010. El Nino is part of a resonant oscillation of ocean water from side to side in the equatorial Pacific. If you blow across the end of a glass tube you get a tone that is its resonant oscillation whose frequency depends on the dimensions of the tube. Trade winds are the equivalent of blowing across the tube and the ocean answers with its own resonant tone – about one El Nino wave every five years or so. This has been going on since the present configuration of Pacific equatorial currents has existed, which is to say since the Panamanian Seaway closed. Trade winds push the two equatorial currents west until they are blocked by the Philippines and New Guinea. This prevents them from reaching the Indian Ocean. As a result, their water piles up in that triangle and creates the Indo-Pacific Warm Pool – the warmest water on earth. When that pile of water is high enough gravity flow starts backward. An El Nino wave forms and moves east along the equatorial counter-current until it hits the South American coast. There it spreads out north and south and warms the air above it. Warm air rises, interferes with trade winds, mixes with the westerlies, and we notice that an El Nino has arrived. But any wave that runs ashore must also retreat. As the El Nino wave retreats water level behind it drops half a meter, cool water from below fills the gap, and a La Nina has started. As much as the El Nino warmed the air before the La Nina will now cool it. This balance is quite precise and is self-adjusting. Judging by satellite data the usual swing from warm El Nino to cool La Nina is approximately 0.4 degrees Celsius. This is not local temperature change I am talking about but world temperature change. It is about as much as fifty years of global warming will produce. If you compare temperature curves measured in North America, Europe, and Japan the El Nino peaks in all of them line up precisely. This much is basic. But now consider the long path it has to travel across the ocean, the time it takes to do that, and all the other things like cyclones also going on in the ocean, and you will understand why ENSO does not look like a perfect sine wave. It is possible, for instance, that something will stop the El Nino wave cold in its tracks as it is on the way to South America. What happens then is that its warm water, instead of spreading out along the coast, will spread out in the middle of the ocean and create an El Nino on the spot. Such an El Nino is called an El Nino Modoki or Mid-Pacific El Nino. It is an anomaly that can change the apparent frequency of La Ninas because the normal flow pattern of ENSO is disturbed. We have no idea what causes it but here is something worthwhile for these people to research instead of talking about a silly 15 month computer simulation. There is more. I suggest they study carefully pages 23 to 29 in my book.

  113. ]OK, I’ve managed to get a clear copy of figure and I’ve extracted the peaks with a reasonable degree of accuracy.

    # PC1 peaks:
    # px py freq years months

    *P1 0.206 4.854 58.2
    P2 3.759 45
    *P3 0.404 2.475 29,7
    *P4 0.589 1.698 20.4
    P5 0.661 1.513 18,2 # poor def
    *P6 0.782 1.279 15.3

    # CP2 peaks
    # px py freq years months

    +p1 0.204 4.902 58,8
    p2 0.371 2.695 32.3
    +*p3 0.492 2.033 24.4
    *p4 0.667 1.499 18
    +p5 0.780 1.282 15,4
    p6 0.991 1.009 12
    *p7 1.294 0.773 9.3
    p8 1.414 0.707 8,5
    *p9 1.504 0,665 8

    So how does that square up with my previous interpretations?

    Here’s frequencies I found in SPD chirp analysis of west Pacific trade wind data:

    http://climategrog.wordpress.com/?attachment_id=281

    TW PC1 PC2
    1.827a = 22m 1.698 = 20.4m
    2.455a = 29.5m 2.475 = 29,7m
    3.745a = 45m 3.759 = 45m
    4.431a = 53m 4.854 = 58.2 m 4.90
    5.424 = 65m

    So the tentative QBO of 29.5m and the inferior “ENSO” of 3.745 spot on . The central period of 4.43 that I found differs significantly 4.85 however, and the long period around 5.4 does not appear.

    Now looking at the side-bands denoted in grey in the paper there are three peaks each side. If this is amplitude modulation with (1-f) and (1+f) as marked we should find pairs adding to 2.0, approximately. p3,p9 and p7,p4 seem to conform.

    For the first pair (1-f) and (1+f) are fairly symmetrical and give a modulation frequency very close to 2 years. The second pair is slightly off at one side but suggests an amplitude modulation of 3 years.

    With evenly spaced 1,2 and 3 years this may just reflect auto-correlation in the data with last years changes affecting this years. The spectral analysis should be repeated using the first difference of the time series (rate of change) to eliminate this.

    It is also noted that p1,p3,p5 are symmetrically disposed:
    As A.M. side-bands: 3.4736 2.0330 -3.4704
    The two side frequencies are also strongly present PC1 as P1 and P6 again modulation by 2.0 years suggests autocorrelation in the data.

    The centre is close to the 3.759a found here and in the trade wind data I looked at. however it is probably too far off the be attributed as being the same thing. if the analysis is correct.

    Now since p5 and P6 are the key frequency that the study focussed on (the 15months) I would want to be convinced that this is not just a result of the auto correlation that is present in nearly all climate data.

    Testing the data for the presence of autocorrelation and stationarity are standard checks before doing this sort of analysis. Now unless I missed it, I did not see any mention of this in the S.I. that did go into quite some detail about the method.

    Taking the first difference of the monthly data will remove the autocorrelation without removing the hypothesis physical loop of 15 months if it is real.

    For now I think there are too many integer multiples of 1 year coming out for me to have too much confidence this is real.

    One of the authors, Axel Timmermann, has contacted me by email to inform me:
    “You confuse a BEAT (linear superposition) with COMBINATION TONE ( a nonlinear feature; e.g. the square of the sum of two cosines)” though he did not specify exactly what non-linear function they were using or even if they had anything more specific than “a nonlinear feature”.

    I would say he is confounding amplitude modulation and superposition in the physical domain. Though I would be happy if he can prove me wrong on that.

    The work with EOFs and complex climate models is interesting and I think the authors are right to be looking for feedbacks and loops in this key region but I’d like some basic signal processing checks before they go in with the heavy artillery.

    I found some interesting patterns is the trade wind data which should not be too different from what they are using so I’m rather surprised to see similar kind of structure but with the numbers not tying up and a preponderance annual multiples.

    I also prefer not to use anomalies in spectral analysis unless is it unavoidable.

  114. Looking at the authors’ claim of a (1+f) (1-f) pair of periods around 10 and 15 months it seems the peaks that come closest ot that are P6=p5 and p7

    However, p7 is clearly part of an AM triplet indicating modulaiton of between 1y and 3y periods
    p4 0.667 1.499 18
    p6 0.991 1.009 12
    p7 1.294 0.773 9.3

    Equally,p5 is part of a triplet arising from 2 year and 3.47 years
    p1 0.204 4.902 58,8
    p3 0.492 2.033 24.4
    p5 0.780 1.282 15,4

    It is unclear why the authors fail to spot these clear triplets, instead suggesting that there is 10/12/15 month triplet. Using the peaks in their data this gives an improbably assymetric “triplet”.
    As A.M. sidebands: 4.5461 1.0000 -3.4053

    Before invoking exotic and ill-defined “non -linear” combinations tones it would seem more sensible to correctly apply basic linear interference relationships that have been understood for centuries.

    Before investing time in esotric EOF analysis and complex yet incomplete computre models of climate, it would seem appropriate to investigate simpler, traditional spectral analysis techniques such as spectral density derived from the fourrier transform of the autocorrelation function as I did on the West Pacific trade wind data.

    As I said above , I think the authors are looking in the right direction but the executions and interpretation of the analysis shown in this paper seems to have serious short-comings.

  115. Greg Goodman says:
    May 29, 2013 at 3:18 pm
    ============================
    Sorry I didn’t get back sooner. One should think of the fortnightly tide as a slowly forming bulge of a few inches, involving latitudinal displacement of water of only a few inches. It affects LOD by a millisecond, plus and minus. Nor whale nor minnow can catch a ride on this wave. The appropriate wave speed units are millifurlongs per fortnight. –AGF

  116. I see I’ve been misusing the term “fortnightly,” which correctly refers to the phasing of lunar and solar tides. What I’ve been calling fortnightly is correctly called “zonal.” Of course the zonal tide is of fortnightly frequency but is determined by the moon’s position relative to the earth’s axis rather than to the sun. –AGF

  117. agfosterjr says:
    One should think of the fortnightly tide as a slowly forming bulge of a few inches, involving latitudinal displacement of water of only a few inches. It affects LOD by a millisecond, plus and minus. The appropriate wave speed units are millifurlongs per fortnight.

    Thanks for the information. You seem to have detailed knowledge on this.
    Is is possible to express that Sverdrup total for each hemisphere?

    How does the magnitude of this effect vary with the variation in the declination angle? As the mean position of the oscillation increases there must be a net flow away from the equator. This is the period I believe you referred to as being a visible 18 year variation visible in LOD.

    With the huge inertias involved it is clear that the amplitude of the response will drop off sharply with frequency. Conversely, it could have a much larger amplitude response to a persistent tendency that continues on annual to decadal scales in the same direction.

    On that time scale it may even express itself as a slow tide in the thermocline and halocline. Are you able to comment on that?

    It’s a while since I did any work in furlong but unless I’m mistaken one millifurlong per fortnight is about 50 km in 9 years. Can that be expressed in Sverdrup for each hemisphere?

    I’m just trying to a handle on the orders of magnitude here. Your apparent familiarity is most helpful.

    many thanks for your comments.

  118. What I think it perhaps more physically relevant is the precession of the lunar perigee. I say this because I see several periodic variations in SST, trade winds and the like that are obviously related to 8.85 (4.43) years rather than 18.6 (9.3) years.

    Also having more pull in the Northern hemisphere and less in the south (and vice versa) is a more persistent influence than a drift in the magnitude of a symmetrical oscillation.

    I think that is factor that needs evaluation.

  119. Greetings, Greg:
    For magnitude of tidal bulge constituents see Wikipedia sv. “Earth Tide” at

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

    There you may note vertical and horizonal components at an 18.6 year frequency of 17 and 2.3mm respectively. The tidal bulge varies usual between one and two feet, and over the course of a siderial lunar revolution moves twice from from perpendicular to the earth axis to an angle of roughly 60-70 degrees to the axis. When the bulge is parallel to the axis the bulge has no measurable effect on LOD, but when it has a strong north and south component it decreases LOD by half a ms. See:

    http://hpiers.obspm.fr/eop-pc/index.php?index=realtime&lang=en

    The bulge is a standing wave of variable magnitude. Daily tides involve very little current except along shallow coasts and rivers, and fortnightly tides involve even less. According to the Wiki article the zonal tide has zero magnitude at 35 degrees latitude, as tropical waters rise and fall while polar waters fall and rise by a few inches. The earth’s moment of inertia varies by one part in a hundred million as the lithosphere and hydrosphere deform latitudinally. Moving water from the equator to the poles is like moving an electric current between transformers on power lines. Though the current moves a hundred miles at the speed of light, the electrons themselves move only a few inches. Likewise the zonal tide moves water just a few inches in a week, so that using sverdrups for units would be overkill. “Furlongs per fortnight” were units my Dad relayed to me, spoofing US resistance to SI units.

    The slight tidal current is distrubuted throughout the depths of the ocean and is capable of creating turbulence at great depths along the coast, and of creating standing waves between density gradients, but as far as I can tell, is quite incapable of affecting ocean currents to anything but a negligible degree. With tides the sea is a wave carrying medium for the most part. You may want to take a look at Chao et all:

    http://gji.oxfordjournals.org/content/122/3/765.full.pdf

    Regards, –AGF

  120. Greg, I streamlined a concise intro here:

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/04/10/solar-terrestrial-lunisolar-components-of-rate-of-change-of-length-of-day/

    The Gross (2007) reference includes a detailed tabulation of LOD components.

    I’ve learned a few things since then. Here’s a key tip:
    Take due care to note when solar variations reverse phase on terrestrial resonance frameworks. Pay particular attention to asymmetries (gradients) and their integrals (cumulative flow).
    __
    I have new insights into the structure of volcanic indices — details another week or month …

  121. “There you may note vertical and horizonal components at an 18.6 year frequency of 17 and 2.3mm respectively.”

    Thanks , but that’s the _solid earth_ tide not oceanic tide.

    I agree sverdrup would not be much use for the displacement of the crust.

    What I’m trying to evaluate is the magnitude of the volume of water displaced by the precession of the lunar perigee. since that only moves from north to south once in 8.85 years it will pass the tropics twice in that time and could explain the strong 4.43 year cycle I identified in the wind data.

  122. Greg:
    Lunar-induced solid body tide amplitude =41 cm.
    Lunar-induced ocean tide = 58 cm (rel. to solid earth).
    Solar induced tides are ~ 1/3 of these values.
    Theoretically calculated at:

    http://astro.cornell.edu/academics/courses/astro6570/Tidal_evolution.pdf

    Have you seen Keeling and Whorf?

    http://www.pnas.org/content/94/16/8321.long

    I don’t believe a word of it, but at least a mechanism is suggested, and LOD is not involved.
    But yeah, I was full of it. Besides my earth tide confusion the fortnightly tide does involve a few sverdrups, but that’s irrelevant. You can’t interfere with the tide without without taking energy from it, which reduces its reversibility and slows down the earth. So the available energy is limited to 4TW, 5 orders of magnitude lower than solar energy. Moreover there is no such thing as an 18 year tide flow. It is a fortnightly flow with an amplitude that varies over 18 years. In terms of signal processing the zonal tide is a carrier wave modulating a lower frequency of 18 years.

    Correct me if I’m wrong. –AGF

  123. “You can’t interfere with the tide without without taking energy from it, which reduces its reversibility and slows down the earth. ”

    No, you’re still not getting it. This is NOT about extracting energy from the tides. It is about horizontal tidal displacement of water in and out of the tropics.

    There is an 18year tide since perigee moves up and down in latitude over this period. This is distinct from variation in the magnitude of the lunar declination.

    The solid Earth tidal components you linked to show even a small vertical movement on this scale.

    This may indicate the wet tide is small but that does not necessarily follow. If any of these frequencies are close to a resonant frequency of the oceanic basin it could build up to a significant signal.

    If there is an effect from lunar perigee cycle of 8.85 years this will pass the tropics twice as often (similar to the solar variation at the tropics). That would create a signal of 4.43 years which is exactly what I extracted from the W. Pacific trade wind data.

    It is the central frequency of circa 3.7 and 5.2 years which are the splitting of 4.43 by a longer periodicity. That very likely accounts for the “3 to 5 year” scale usually attributed to ENSO. In which case ENSO is basically a lunar driven bimodal oscillation.

    It is at least possible that the long term modulator is the solar Hale cycle.

    The Keeling paper is very interesting. It seems to be heading in the same direction but has not made the link with all the resonances I’ve found here.

    Again , his observations of a different frequency around 1920 is the same thing I was discussing in this article:

    http://climategrog.wordpress.com/2013/03/01/61/

    The short frequency is because the lunar and solar signals are out of phase. That seems to be what Keeling is saying. I’ll have read it fully.

    Thanks for the link.

  124. Greg Goodman says:
    May 30, 2013 at 2:31 am

    “Looking at the authors’ claim of a (1+f) (1-f) pair of periods around 10 and 15 months it seems the peaks that come closest to that are P6=p5 and p7

    However, p7 is clearly part of an AM triplet indicating modulation of between 1y and 3y periods
    p4 0.667 1.499 18
    p6 0.991 1.009 12
    p7 1.294 0.773 9.3

    Equally,p5 is part of a triplet arising from 2 year and 3.47 years
    p1 0.204 4.902 58,8
    p3 0.492 2.033 24.4
    p5 0.780 1.282 15,4

    The 3.47 years was found in figure 2 from the paper in this article and in my spectrum of trade winds. Almost exactly the same figure : 3.745 cf 3.759

    This is also part of an AM triplet based on the lunar perigee that I found in TW data:
    3.745; 4.431, 5.424

    I’ve just checked back on my power spectrum of Arctic sea ice areal acceleration and find the exact same thing !
    2.019 , 1.2868 and there is also 4.802 but very small.

    The whole climate is ringing like a bell.

  125. Okeedokee. Assuming a flat rectangular earth with an ocean 3×10^7m wide, 10^7m long and 3×10^3m deep, with a peak to peak flat–linear–seesaw tide of 1m over a period of 1 week, I calculate a flow of half a sverdrup and an average horizontal/longitudinal water displacement of 2.2km. I think this might generously represent planet earth within an order of magnitude–maybe too high by an order of magnitude. Would you care to replicate my calculations? –AGF

  126. New:

    In concert with what I’ve pointed out above, that’s enough info to crack the code of NPI and July & August ENSO.

  127. “Ocean temperatures in the upper 250 m in the northern North Pacific (60°N, 149°W) increased by more than 1°C from 1972 to 1986 but are now decreasing. Subsurface temperature anomalies are well correlated (∼0.58) with the air temperature anomalies at Sitka, Alaska; hence the coastal air temperatures can be used as a proxy data set to extend the ocean temperature time series back to 1828. Up to 30% of the low-frequency variance can be accounted for with the 18.6-year nodal signal. Additionally, spectral analysis of these air temperature variations indicates a significant low-frequency peak in the range of the 18.6-year signal. Similar low-frequency signals have been reported for Hudson Bay air temperatures since 1700, for sea surface temperatures in the North Atlantic from 1876 to 1939, and for sea level in the high-latitude southern hemisphere. The water column temperature variations presented here are the first evidence that the upper ocean is responding to this very long period tidal forcing. An enhanced high-latitude response to the 18.6-year forcing is predicted by equilibrium tide theory, and it should be most evident at latitudes poleward of about 50°. These low-frequency ocean-atmosphere variations must be considered in high-latitude assessments of global climate change, since they are of the same magnitude as many of the predicted global changes.”

    http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1029/92JC02750/abstract;jsessionid=09ED4271D96D3E8EA5A6E71BF2D43E88.d02t02

    Now with the moon on the sunny side I calculate 3000 sverdrups and 22km displacement for my flat earth tides, which ventures dangerously close to the realm of significance. Therefore I will concede the possibility of tide cycles affecting weather, however minutely.

    Before I give up I will note a couple of things I learned along the way: 1) Most of the ocean is too shallow for a semidiurnal tidal bulge/wave to keep up, so that the tides set up their own oscillations according to the depth and size of their basins. The case is different with zonal tides, whose wave speed is easily handled by ocean depths. 2) If my flat earth representation is true to life and Hansen’s sea level predictions come to pass, we may expect considerable alteration in tidal behavior–maybe the end of the world as we know it. –AGF

  128. “Now with the moon on the sunny side I calculate 3000 sverdrups and 22km displacement for my flat earth tides, which ventures dangerously close to the realm of significance. Therefore I will concede the possibility of tide cycles affecting weather, however minutely.”

    Interesting, what caused the huge change from your earlier estimations? Could you explain what tides these figures relate to?

    The findings in the paper you linked to and Keeling’s paper seem to confirm my gut feeling about this. Significant to note the dates: 1993 an 1997.

    I seems that .prior to MBH 1998 and all the stupidity created by IPCC TAR and the hockey stick, there was some normal, boring and realistic science being done in this field.

    “The case is different with zonal tides…” That is the circa “fornightly” tides if I recall you correctly, so your figures would be even bigger for 18.6 years, no?

    Maybe I’m not following what you meant.

  129. Paul Vaughan says:

    In concert with what I’ve pointed out above, that’s enough info to crack the code of NPI and July & August ENSO.

    ===

    Sadly, not enough to crack the code of your cryptic post and label free graph. ;)

    Looks like you have some significant pattern there. What’s pi, what’s the polar plot coords, what’s it all about?

  130. Greg Goodman says:
    June 2, 2013 at 12:06 pm

    “Interesting, what caused the huge change from your earlier estimations?”
    Huge mistakes.
    “Could you explain what tides these figure relate to?”
    Zonal tides. I unwound the northern hemisphere onto a plane.
    “’The case is different with zonal tides…’ That is the circa ‘fornightly’ tides if I recall you correctly, so your figures would be even bigger for 18.6 years, no?”
    No. The zonal tides are real. Like I told you before, there is no such thing as an 18.6y tide. The 18.6y cycle is an oscillation in the amplitude of the zonal tide. Semidiurnal tides try to travel at earth rotation speed, but they can’t. Zonal tides can. Conventionally so called “fortnightly” tides are artifacts–beat frequencies–of the semidiurnal lunar and solar tides, so that they can’t keep up either. –AGF

  131. One thing I picked up on in Keeling’s paper was interference between 18.6 and 8.85 produces almost exactly 6 years. Now since most of these cycles seem to double up at the equator due to the double pass, this would be almost exactly 3.0 years.

    That is the one major frequency that was not accounted for from the wind speed analysis.

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/05/26/new-el-nino-causal-pattern-discovered/#comment-1321186

    p7 and p4 in the peaks I extracted from Stuecker et al 2013 and taking their suggestion that this is amplitude modulation produces 3 years

    I also found 3.047 years in doing the spectrum on wind speed squared (the energy of wind).

    http://climategrog.wordpress.com/?attachment_id=283

    Being so close to an integer value I was looking for an explanation related to the annual cycle (and was not getting too far). Seems I was looking in the wrong direction.

    It appears that most of the peaks in this wind data can be traced back to 8.85 and 18.6 years.

    Keeling’s objective paper from 1993 was correct it would seem. Unfortunately climates science has been derailed for most of the following 20 years.

  132. Excuse the sloppy syntax: zonal tides can’t travel at earth rotation speed, but they can travel easily at fortnightly periods–a few thousand furlongs per fortnight. –AGF

  133. General comment (to everyone) to correct a tired old (often seemingly deliberate) misrepresentation: LOD is not suggested as a climate driver. It’s a climate indicator with exceptional diagnostic utility since it’s so well-constrained in aggregate by the laws of conservation of angular momentum & large numbers.

    ______

    Greg Goodman (June 2, 2013 at 12:13 pm) asked about:

    “What’s pi, what’s the polar plot coords, what’s it all about?”

    2pi radians = 1 cycle
    That’s VEI summarized by solar cycle phase (2 different views of same thing in bottom panel).
    …But as I & others have cautioned: Temporally-global summaries are severely misleading — it’s worthwhile to look at them, but stopping there leads to patently false inferential assumptions.

    Pay very careful attention to the phase relations of the 11 solar activity cycle and the 9 year solar asymmetry cycle:

    When the 9-11 phase contrast ventures away from 0, stratospheric effects (which are dependent on large scale circulation) are minimized:

    The role for the lunisolar, annual, semi-annual etc. cycles is aliasing & resonance. It’s solar activity & asymmetry that do the driving. May I suggest devoting some attention to temperature gradients? As Jean Dickey emphasizes: Mass, temperature, & velocity are coupled. Lunisolar forces rhythmically move mass, but the sun maintains the shifting & cycling gradients that drive large scale flow on this (framed resonance & aliasing) background. Remember that the solar system, the sun, & the earth-moon system share common (confounded) timing frameworks. It’s important to note when the solar amplitude & asymmetry inputs of commensurate or nearly-commensurate period gradually change frequency and/or abruptly reverse phase relative to one another &/or the local framework. I have illustrated this crucial detail using both wavelets and nonparametric rank stats in the past, but perhaps it will be necessary to reinforce this lesson many more times.

    One final note: There’s actually one more important feature of the 9 year solar asymmetry cycle that I’ve not yet illustrated. It will be visually obvious to an astute observer from careful inspection, but I realize it won’t be obvious to most. When time permits, I’ll illustrate further.

  134. agfosterjr says:
    Excuse the sloppy syntax: zonal tides can’t travel at earth rotation speed, but they can travel easily at fortnightly periods–a few thousand furlongs per fortnight. –AGF

    So none of these gravity waves can travel fast enough to “follow” the moon on a 24h scale and the whole notion of a tide “bulge” that is dragged around the globe (relative to the earth’s surface) causing high tides at its passage is a totally erroneous.

    What actually happens is a periodic perturbing force which sets up complex wave patterns that are reflected off run along continental boundaries as Kelvin waves, interfere with one another and resonate. Thus being more dependant up on geography of the basin concerned than the position of the moon at any one time.

    The tidal bulge myth seems pervasive even in university level texts I have been able to find ( as well as , of course, Wankipedia pages ), yet it is nowhere to be found in tidal records.

    So there is a strong M2 constituent in all tides but there is no “bulge” that passes any location on Earth. The phase of the M2 constituent at any location is totally dependant upon the geography of the basin.

    Thank you for pointing out the wave speed argument which helps to clarify this.

  135. re 18.6 : I don’t know if you want to call it a tide but there is a periodic effect that will displace water volume. As the angle of declination is reduced, the obliquity of the liquid earth will increase. As declination increases the force will be less centred on the equator, obliquity will reduce. This implies a movement of mass. I think you already pointed out this is visible in LOD.

    The other effect that I’m trying to quantify, since I suspect it is more important, is the effect of precession of the line of periapsis.

    The perigee migrates from one hemisphere to the other and back with a period of 8.85 years. As I demonstrated, this period is abundantly present in many climatological time series and multiple peaks in the Stueker paper can be traced back to this periodicity.

    I’m trying to understand why but I’m having a lot of difficulty in finding information on the latitudinal variation in the position of lunar perigee. Everyone seems focused simply on the magnitude.

    The average eccentricity of lunar orbit is about 5%. Since tidal force is reckoned to vary with inverse cube that makes 15% . Now it seems to me that a variation of 15% in the prime driver of oceanic tides that is continually asymmetrically offset into one hemisphere for 4.43 years at a time could displace significant amounts of water.

    My spectral analysis of wpac850 trade wind speed finds an AM triplet centred on this period.

    http://climategrog.wordpress.com/?attachment_id=281

    3.475 4.431 5.424
    Stuecker et al found almost exactly the same figure for the first: 3.745 cf 3.759 but did not find the other two as I did. Their PC1 and PC2 EOFs showed 4.854 4.90 years.

    now the mean _frequency_ of 4.431 5.424 = 4.877 years

    Stuecker et al 2013 simple failed to resolve the two peaks. Had they done so they would have found as I did that there is a perfect amplitude modulation triple based on 4.43 years : the frequency with which the perigee cycle affects the equatorial region.

    The effect is clear and is clearly attributable to this cycle. It remains to understand the mechanism. That is why I’m trying to asses the volume of water that could be displaced by asymmetrical displacement of this 15% variation in the lunar tidal force.

  136. Paul Vaughan says: http://img268.imageshack.us/img268/8272/sjev911.png
    That’s interesting. The period in which they are out of phase is the one that Keeling identified as being dominated by 6 year rather than circa 10y periodicity (10 is probably just confounding 9 and 11). He also points out that 6.0 years is 8.85 combined with 18.6 .

    The analysis being discussed here shows the lunar signal is still very present in the recent climate, it was apparently a more significant proportion of the whole during the earlier period.

  137. “Stuecker et al 2013 simple failed to resolve the two peaks. Had they done so they would have found as I did that there is a perfect amplitude modulation triple based on 4.43 years : the frequency with which the perigee cycle affects the equatorial region.”

    Re-reading that it could sound like unfair criticism. It should be noted that it is possible that their processing failed to resolve the peaks because they are blurred in the physical wind speed data they chose to analyse which was not identical the wpac850 dataset I used or because it was lost in ERA40 “reanalysis” modelling. Another reason to prefer to do such work on real data rather than reanalysis model output.

  138. Greg Goodman (June 3, 2013 at 1:28 am) wrote:
    “The period in which they are out of phase is the one that Keeling identified as being dominated by 6 year rather than circa 10y periodicity (10 is probably just confounding 9 and 11). He also points out that 6.0 years is 8.85 combined with 18.6 .”

    The 6 year tide isn’t news. On the contrary, it’s well-known.

    Actually, the beginning of the cycling 9-11 phase contrast coincides with the middle of Keeling & Whorf’s suggested 6 year dominance window. Keeling & Whorf saw enough to laudably raise an important issue (rather than ignore it as had become mainstream convention), but crucial insights arose in later literature. Be careful here to recognize hierarchical confounding.

    This is the crucial piece of the puzzle you’re missing:

    Mursula, K.; & Zieger, B. (2001). Long-term north-south asymmetry in solar wind speed inferred from geomagnetic activity: A new type of century-scale solar oscillation? Geophysical Research Letters 28(1), 95-98.

    http://spaceweb.oulu.fi/~kalevi/publications/MursulaAndZieger2001.pdf

    That signal shows up as the most interesting & most crucially informative centennial-scale feature of multivariate geophysical records of the past 150 years. The asymmetry of the heliosphere flipped over and the synchronized impact lights up in terrestrial annual persistence summaries like a flashing multivariate Christmas tree. If you need a review of related links, you’re welcome to ask. (This isn’t something you can safely ignore.)

  139. Greg, I’ve decided this needs to be said frankly:

    If you stubbornly insist on sticking only to temporally-global summaries, you’re guaranteed to remain ignorantly blind to crucial solar-terrestrial insights that flow easily & effortlessly from adjustably-windowed summaries.

    For far too long die-hard old-school temporally-global analysis agents of ignorance &/or deception have been allowed a free pass on diagnostic integrity. The climate discussion has been darkened and set back by years if not decades by this fatally persisting conceptual log-jam.

    Sensible analysis cannot be based on patently false assumptions (e.g. cycle length stationarity). If it has not already expired, my willingness to continue turning a collegial blind eye on this particularly egregious issue has worn paper thin.

    Using hammers to sink nails is sensible. Hammers are useful, but a hammer isn’t the right tool for sinking a screw.

  140. “If you stubbornly insist on sticking only to temporally-global summaries …..Sensible analysis cannot be based on patently false assumptions (e.g. cycle length stationarity). If it has not already expired, my willingness to continue turning a collegial blind eye on this particularly egregious issue has worn paper thin.”

    Paul , I asked you to discus that issue about 10 days ago and you said ‘when the time and place is right’. Perhaps you now feel it is.

    Wavelet analysis gives an interesting perception of the data. But like all kinds of analysis it is not the one imputable truth and like all analysis it needs skillful interpretation.

    When I posted my article on Talkshop your last comment was this:
    “So the power’s not always there, but you can make it look like it is.
    That doesn’t mean the signals aren’t informative. Intermittent signals of common period observed in multiple basins: That’s interesting and it shouldn’t be ignored.”

    The counter argument is even if a signal is there all the time , with limited window wavelet processing you can make it look like it isn’t/

    Consider something like you two 9 and 11 years signals plus a 6a and a bit noise. If you chose a period like 1940 to 1955 when the two are out of phase , when you pass, say a 15 year wavelet, it will tell you about the noise and six year and probable miss the 9 and 11a because they are mutually cancelling each other and not clearly expressed in that part of the data. It will probably also somewhat misdiagnose the 6 year and other signals by confounding what is really the residual of 9 and 11.

    A full length Fourier analysis would correctly reflect this.

    There are other situations where wavelet may give alternative insights into the data, the art is in the interpretation of what various techniques reveal , not thumping on the table and name calling.

    You seem to be of the impression that wavelet trumps full width spectral approach and call anyone using later ignorant or worse.

    Now if a signal is of celestial origin, like the lunar cycles I am finding. I know it is not of variable period , neither is it only going to be present from 1925 to 1945 or whatever. If it’s there, it is there. It may be modulated by something else, or cancelled by interference but it is always there.

    That is my reason for preferring that particular tool which is well adapted to detecting what I am trying to identify.

    I would also say that if a periodic signal has a variable period it is not periodic. It is either a non-periodic variable that someone is trying to shoehorn into being periodic or a mixture of different periodic variables that have not been fully resolved.

    Your 9 & 11 plot seems to be a case in point. Both those cycles seem to be modulated by at least one other. A character called Bart made a very insightful analysis of SSN that was reproduced on TS some time ago. He resolved the whole thing down to an interplay of two fundamental , purely harmonic functions (of constant period ! ) .

    I think you need to mitigate the apparent importance you accord to wavelet techniques, which you seem to regard as the ultimate in frequency analysis.

    Sensible analysis cannot be based on rejecting patently obvious conditions like stationarity of lunar cycles.

  141. It seems I was misunderstanding perigee variation somewhat but in essence is still there. Perhaps AGF could confirm or correct as appropriate.

    perigee is always in SH and only varies in latitude with declination angle over 18.6 years. However magnitude varies and hence inv. cube varies. on a 8.85 year cycle.

    This gives a modulation that Keeling correctly drew attention to. This gives both 6.0 and 16.88 as the equivalent linearly superposed components that will be found in a spectral analysis.

  142. Paul Vaughan says:
    June 2, 2013 at 8:25 pm

    General comment (to everyone) to correct a tired old (often seemingly deliberate) misrepresentation: LOD is not suggested as a climate driver. It’s a climate indicator with exceptional diagnostic utility since it’s so well-constrained in aggregate by the laws of conservation of angular momentum & large numbers.
    ==================================================================
    But one of our bright lights, Nils Axel-Morner, has clearly invoked LOD directly as a climate driver:

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/07/05/nils-axel-morner-arctic-environment-by-the-middle-of-this-century/

    And another contributer claimed tides interfered with sea currents to drive ENSO:

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/01/20/analysis-shows-tidal-forcing-is-as-a-major-factor-in-enso-forcing/

    So it took me a while to figure out that GG and others were not invoking physical interference of the tides but rather their heat carrying capacity. This concept was new to me and seemed highly unlikely in practice, but as noted above, I have come to accept it in principle. –AGF

  143. AGF, thanks. It always more use convincing someone who thinks you completely wrong. Especially since you seem to have a good understanding of tides.

    Are you able to help with _farthest_ perigee value? Everyone seems excited about nearest perigee but I can only find farthest values for each year.

  144. Thanks. That’s a start. If I take the max/min perigee as percentage and x3 for the cube it gives 12.3% change in tidal forcing a the extreme variation.

    I’m a little concerned nearly all those values are pre 1000 AD. Don’t know whether exentricity is declining or model is not accurate that far back. I’d prefer to work on values for last 200 years only, but it’s a first approx.

    thanks.

  145. Greg, wavelets are more flexible than most realize — temporally-global analysis is just a special case. At the Talkshop I suggested that you extend your methods to a network approach — e.g. like Tsonis+. In an infinite network of coupled oscillators paradigm, nonstationarity gives a huge family — or a “raised noise floor” as some would say. Some classes of wavelets let you skip that dead end by cutting directly to the amplitude modulation. That’s how I did the volatility weave work. It’s easy. Use a hammer, a screwdriver, or a screwdriver that can effortlessly transform into a hammer, like the class of multi-grain, multi-extent, multi-span wavelets I use ….or use whatever. Using lots of methods is best. Let’s just all share and see where it goes. We all have different backgrounds. Yes, careful interpretation is the key — we agree effortlessly on this. Again: I appreciate your contributions. There’s plenty more potential for productive sharing ….but like always I’m just short on time. Moving forward we need to find a way to communicate more efficiently. Maybe if you start exploring your interference patterns using large scale circulation to guide aggregation in a Tsonis-like network, you’ll make a spatiotemporal pattern breakthrough. I don’t have the time and the computing resources to do what I have in mind, but maybe you do …

    AGF, glad to see you’re open minded about what Jean Dickey is teaching us — i.e. that mass, temperature, & velocity are coupled — e.g. when mass moves, it can take heat with it. I think we could all be more efficient with our collective explorations if we could find a way to skip sidetracking misunderstandings – (may be a more difficult problem to solve than climate, but also an interesting component of nature).

    It’s the sun that maintains & shifts temperature gradients, which drive large scale circulation. That’s what I find beautiful. There’s plenty more to illustrate more carefully as time permits.

    I’m feeling pressed for time, so I’m leaving it at that for now…

    All the best…

  146. ” e.g. like Tsonis+. In an infinite network of coupled oscillators paradigm,”

    Yes, I think that is ultimately to only was to arrive at a realistic model. However, a first step it to identify the prime movers. You can’t just wave around some impressive term like “infinite network of coupled oscillators” plug it into OLS and get a model. You need to have damned good idea of what the major patterns are before you try to model them.

    There are three stages in scientific investigation: observation, analysis, hypothesis.
    The reality of climate science has a fair but inadequate amount of the first and is in the rudimentary stages of the second. Unfortunately, there is a large body of mainstream climatology trying to pretend they are close to finishing the third step and can now project climate 100 years hence based on poor quality hind-casts of the last 50.

    “nonstationarity gives a huge family — or a “raised noise floor” as some would say.”

    So can non linearity, and in poorly resolved data the “noise” elements can shift the major peaks a bit to one side. That is why it is important to chose the right variable to analyse (eg wind speed or square of wind speed) and to take measures such taking time differential of data like temperature that are strongly autoregressive and parameters such as wind speed that are heavily dependant on them.

    Professor Timmerman has some impressive talent down there in Hawaii, and other aspects of this study seem very rigorous, that leaves me rather confused as to why they got the basics of the signal processing so wrong and failed to continue the amplitude modulation interpretation to reveal the strong lunar influence. Maybe they did but it is not currently ‘politically correct’ or financially astute to report it. Apparently Keeling felt it necessary to couch it all in conditionals as far back 1993.

    To be honest I think they simply missed what was right in front of them.

  147. @ Greg Goodman

    clarification: Tsonis+ network approach = exploration (not modeling)
    Moving forward I propose we limit exchanges to ruthlessly condensed notes.

    ___

    from google search for:
    “4.5 year” climate

    http://oceanrep.geomar.de/16413/1/2012_Dengler_etal_THOR_NA_Climate_Cycle_and_Heat_budget.pdf

    http://amma-conf2012.ipsl.fr/data/documents/PL7_1_Brandt.pdf

    http://www.clivar.org/sites/default/files/imported/organization/atlantic/meetings/tropical_bias/talks/Brandt.pdf

    http://tallbloke.wordpress.com/2012/10/09/is-this-the-4-5-year-cycle-in-argo-and-tropical-atlantic/

    beat of semi-annual with QBO nearest harmonic ~= 9 years ~= half-Saros ~= Saturn-Earth-Venus ~= solar North-South asymmetry ~= 2 * Neptune-Earth-Venus ~= 2 * ENSO LF ~= beat of semi-annual with ENSO QB nearest harmonic

    __

    @ Ian Wilson

    thanks for update — appreciated

    Wilson & Sidorenkov (2013). Long-term lunar atmospheric tides in the southern hemisphere.

    http://www.benthamscience.com/open/toascj/articles/V007/TOASCJ130415001.pdf

    __

    Loose end to be addressed elsewhere in future:
    direct illustration of solar asymmetry 9 year phase shifts and connection with NPI and July & August ENSO (should already be obvious to careful observers)

    __

    Crucial Reminder:

  148. Paul Vaughan says:
    June 3, 2013 at 7:52 pm
    ============================================================
    Here’s what else Jean Dickey is trying to teach us–the earth’s core drives the climate–the rest is anthropogenic:

    http://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/abs/10.1175/2010JCLI3500.1

    –hardly an improvement over Axel-Morner’s LOD driver.

    The statisticians are always in danger of falling into holes of gematria and numerology and otherwise missing the big picture. After all, the pre-Copernicans weren’t too bad at predicting eclipses. –AGF

  149. thanks Paul , out of time I’ll dig that lot later.

    Brandt looks interesting, I’ve already suggested that ENSO is lunar and global El Nino impacts are probably common cause not teleconnection.

    I suspect that will confirm my lunar perigee hypo is also found in Atlantic.

    Thx

  150. climategrog (June 5, 2013 at 8:25 am) wrote:
    “[...] I’ve already suggested that [...] global El Nino impacts are probably common cause not teleconnection.”

    I’ve been saying something equivalent for years, but I’ve expressed it quite differently (spatiotemporally balanced multi-axial circulatory-loop differential).

    ___

    @ AGF

    Jean Dickey’s background is physics, not stats.

    http://scienceandtechnology.jpl.nasa.gov/people/j_dickey/

    Dickey & Keppenne (1997) is a landmark paper. As you may recall, I’ve made some very harsh remarks about some of Jean Dickey’s later work.

    ___

    May we have more efficient, more harmonious communications moving forward.

    All the best.

  151. Paul Vaughan:
    “Moving forward I propose we limit exchanges to ruthlessly condensed notes.

    beat of semi-annual with QBO nearest harmonic ~= 9 years ~= half-Saros ~= Saturn-Earth-Venus ~= solar North-South asymmetry ~= 2 * Neptune-Earth-Venus ~= 2 * ENSO LF ~= beat of semi-annual with ENSO QB nearest harmonic”

    ruthlessly condensed: numerology.

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