Seven years ago, we were told the opposite of what the new Matthew England paper says: slower (not faster) trade winds caused ‘the pause’

While Matthew England claims in a new paper that fast trade winds caused cooling:

The strongest trade winds have driven more of the heat from global warming into the oceans; but when those winds slow, that heat will rapidly return to the atmosphere causing an abrupt rise in global average temperatures.

Heat stored in the western Pacific Ocean caused by an unprecedented strengthening of the equatorial trade winds appears to be largely responsible for the hiatus in surface warming observed over the past 13 years.

Another paper from 2006 says the exact opposite. This oldie but goodie, that preceded WUWT by a few months, escaped my attention until reader “Alec aka Daffy Duck” pointed me to a news article, and from that I found this original press release which says:

The vast loop of winds that drives climate and ocean behavior across the tropical Pacific has weakened by 3.5% since the mid-1800s, and it may weaken another 10% by 2100, according to a study led by University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR) scientist Gabriel Vecchi. The study indicates that the only plausible explanation for the slowdown is human-induced climate change. The findings appear in the May 4 issue of Nature.

So, who to believe? Representatives of The University of the Ship of Fools New South Wales, who seems capable of saying anything to the press depending on the month or year or NCAR/UCAR? Do any of these folks really know with any certainty what is really going on when their excuses for ‘the pause’ don’t even agree?

From NCAR/UCAR:

Slowdown in Tropical Pacific Flow Pinned on Climate Change  

May 3, 2006

BOULDER, Colorado—The vast loop of winds that drives climate and ocean behavior across the tropical Pacific has weakened by 3.5% since the mid-1800s, and it may weaken another 10% by 2100, according to a study led by University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR) scientist Gabriel Vecchi. The study indicates that the only plausible explanation for the slowdown is human-induced climate change. The findings appear in the May 4 issue of Nature.

The Walker circulation, which spans almost half the circumference of Earth, pushes the Pacific Ocean’s trade winds from east to west, generates massive rains near Indonesia, and nourishes marine life across the equatorial Pacific and off the South American coast. Changes in the circulation, which varies in tandem with El Niño and La Niña events, can have far–reaching effects.

“The Walker circulation is fundamental to climate across the globe,” says Vecchi.

In their paper, “Weakening of Tropical Pacific Atmospheric Circulation Due to Anthropogenic Forcing,” the authors used observations as well as state-of-the-art computer climate model simulations to verify the slowdown and determine whether the cause is human-induced climate change. The work was performed at NOAA’s Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory (GFDL), where Vecchi is stationed through the UCAR Visiting Scientist Programs. His coauthors include Brian Soden (University of Miami) and the GFDL team of Andrew Wittenberg, Isaac Held, Ants Leetmaa, and Matthew Harrison.

Walker circulation

This diagram shows the Walker Circulation, a vast loop of air above the equatorial Pacific Ocean. See below for an alternate depiction. Click here or on the image to enlarge. (Illustration by Gabriel Vecchi, UCAR.)

The Walker circulation takes the shape of a loop with rising air in the western tropical Pacific, sinking air in the eastern tropical Pacific, west-to-east winds a few miles high, and east-to-west trade winds at the surface. The trade winds also steer ocean currents. Any drop in winds produces an even larger reduction in wind-forced ocean flow—roughly twice as much in percentage terms for both the observed and projected changes, says Vecchi.

“This could have important effects on ocean ecosystems,” Vecchi says. “The ocean currents driven by the trade winds supply vital nutrients to the near-surface ocean ecosystems across the equatorial Pacific, which is a major fishing region.”

Matching theory and observations

Several theoretical studies have shown that an increase in greenhouse gases should produce a weakening of the Walker circulation. As temperatures rise and more water evaporates from the ocean, water vapor in the lower atmosphere increases rapidly. But physical processes prevent precipitation from increasing as quickly as water vapor. Since the amount of water vapor brought to the upper atmosphere must remain in balance with precipitation, the rate at which moist air is brought from the lower to the upper atmosphere slows down to compensate. This leads to a slowing of the atmospheric circulation.

Based on observations since the mid-1800s, the paper reports a 3.5% slowdown in the Walker circulation, which corresponds closely to the number predicted by theory. To establish whether human-induced climate change is at work, Vecchi and colleagues analyzed 11 simulations using the latest version of the GFDL climate model spanning the period 1861 to 2000. Some of the simulations included the observed increase in greenhouse gases; others included just the natural climate-altering factors of volcanic eruptions and solar variations. Only the simulations that included an increase in greenhouse gases showed the Walker circulation slowing, and they did so at a rate consistent with the observations.

Based on the theoretical considerations, and extrapolating from their 1861–2000 analysis as well as from other simulations for the 21st century, the authors conclude that by 2100 the Walker circulation could slow by an additional 10%. This means the steering of ocean flow by trade winds could decrease by close to 20%.

Simulation results depend on the assumptions and conditions within different models. However, the agreement of theory, observations, and models for the past 150 years lends support to this outlook, say the authors.

What about El Niño?

The study sends mixed signals on the future of the El Niño–Southern Oscillation—the system of ocean-atmosphere linkages that produces the worldwide weather of El Niño and its counterpart, La Niña.

“The circulation has been tending to a more El Niño-like state since the 1860s,” says Vecchi. “However, the dynamics involved here are distinct from those of El Niño.”

Walker circulation

This diagram and the one at top show two different views of the Walker Circulation, a vast loop of air above the equatorial Pacific Ocean. Click here or on the image to enlarge. (Illustration by Gabriel Vecchi, UCAR.)

Source: http://www.ucar.edu/news/releases/2006/walker.shtml

115 thoughts on “Seven years ago, we were told the opposite of what the new Matthew England paper says: slower (not faster) trade winds caused ‘the pause’

  1. The uni NSW is really being questioned now.
    Perhaps Professor England could discuss his lead findings in the context of a special posting here.
    Last year over two million hits were recorded from Australia, so there would be peer review.
    At the moment Australia is shifting to a slower decarbonising of the economy, while unemployment is rising and workers in old industries are being sacked.
    A bit like Detroit.
    We need objective verifiable predictions, not theories that are not robust or unable to be supported in reasonable debate.
    This is an opportunity to start afresh.

  2. Text descriptions of percentage changes in the trade winds don’t do justice, so this is a case where a picture is worth a thousand words.

    Such as the plot of trade wind history posted in the prior thread, http://s16.postimg.org/vtt28xi6t/Trade_Winds_1871_to_2014.png , implies it doesn’t have a pattern fitting the overall decade by decade temperature change over the past century (which would be a double peak appearance, for unadjusted temperature data).

    What far more matches, what really explains history, from millennium-scale (e.g. the MWP, the Little Ice Age, the modern warm period) to the past century (warm 1930s-1950s, global cooling scare of the 1960s-1970s, global warming scare, and the recent “pause”) is this, far too inconvenient to the CAGW movement for them to properly depict: http://img213.imagevenue.com/img.php?image=62356_expanded_overview3_122_1094lo.jpg

  3. According to NOAA, Nature Geoscience :

    Under the influence of global warming, the mean climate of the Pacific region will probably undergo significant changes. The tropical easterly trade winds are expected to weaken;:

    That was back in 2010.

  4. “unprecedented strengthening of the equatorial trade winds appears to be largely responsible for the hiatus in surface warming observed over the past 13 years.”

    This happened during the 1940s and 1970s when there was a negative PDO. So recently continue blaming a negative PDO on the non warming period, yet ignore when energy build up near the surface due to solar warming when the trade winds become weaker. Sorry chaps but blaming AGW on the PDO variation is at best desperate and worst ignorant. Scientists have been telling you for years that the PDO influences warming in the tropics by coinciding with change in trade winds.

    A positive PDO occurs with weak trade winds and negative PDO with strong trade winds. What is happening now is exactly how it should with a natural variation of the PDO. Some scientists forecast this years ago, but your ignorant lot do anything you can to avoid natural variation. Only shows the alarmists types are not interested in science, but only the agenda.

  5. What i don’t get is they say that mixing of the top layer of the Ocean is trapping the heat. Yet we all know that if you want to cool hot soup faster you stir it so that heat is released more quickly. As far as i can tell there is no evidence to suggest any significant warming of the sub 100m ocean so i don’t understand this physical process.

  6. The NCAR report claims that in a warming world, trade winds will weaken. England’s study says that recent warming has not happened because of increased trade winds. That’s consistent.

    Maybe I’m missing something here.

  7. Great, isn’t it? I mean, it’s just great to sit on the sidelines and watch some warmists make just complete prats of themselves. Then of course, you have that other one, Grant Foster (Tamino), saying that there ISN’T a hiatus. I think it’s great to sit and watch the parade go by – with ever-more silly ideas on what might be causing the hiatus. Wonder how long it will be before one warmist/scientist says, ‘Hold up, we may of got the sensitivity wrong’. It won’t be Grant Foster, that’s for sure – he won’t ever be able to admit it, even when the temp anomaly is on the slide! Of course, you could say the slide has started. But then that would be cherry-picking a date to suit. Now that’s something Mr Foster knows all about. Back to the parade.

  8. Nice. These fools are caught out every single time. Once we finally shake off this menace it is going to make Piltdown look tiny.

  9. I think I may have spotted that earlier today in a ‘Letter to Nature’ from Gabriel A. Vecchi et. al.

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2014/02/10/the-reason-for-the-pause-in-global-warming-excuse-37-in-a-series-trade-winds/#comment-1563730

    Letter To Nature – 2006
    22 March 2006
    Weakening of tropical Pacific atmospheric circulation due to anthropogenic forcing
    ……….Observed Indo-Pacific sea level pressure reveals a weakening of the Walker circulation. The size of this trend is consistent with theoretical predictions, is accurately reproduced by climate model simulations and, within the climate models, is largely due to anthropogenic forcing. The climate model indicates that the weakened surface winds have altered the thermal structure and circulation of the tropical Pacific Ocean. These results support model projections of further weakening of tropical atmospheric circulation during the twenty-first century4, 5, 7.

    http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v441/n7089/abs/nature04744.html

    REPLY: with the firehose of information I deal with every day, sometimes its just a matter of who gets my attention first. Sorry, Anthony

  10. What you are missing mpcraig is that the AGW crowd says that the world IS warming (due to the continued increase in CO2 levels) and that the “pause” is not a pause.

  11. Hard to believe, but England does not cite the 3 papers I have seen on a weakening trade wind with warming. There is no mention of Collins, Vecchi or Tokinaga.

  12. William Kininmonth, chief of Australia‘s National Climate Centre at the Bureau of Meteorology from 1986 to 1998:

    “……If, as claimed, natural variation has dominated the warming effect of increasing atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration over recent decades then surely natural variation has also been important in determining the 20th century temperature rise. The science of climate change and the role of carbon dioxide are far from settled.”

    http://joannenova.com.au/2014/02/do-winds-control-the-climate-or-does-the-ocean-control-the-wind-kininmonth-on-england-2014/

  13. Isn’t it wonderful.. Alarmists say one thing but forget what they said only a few years ago. As soon as they say ‘global warming causes one thing’ just search for ‘global warming causes exactly the opposite’ and they will get had almost every time.

  14. Perhaps the most devastating rebuttal to advocate scientists who claim that natural variability is ‘just noise and is of no consequence’ to long term human induced climate change:

    If short term cycles are meaningless, then WHY DO THEY EXIST?

    (Oh, I don’t know! Earth just having a little fun?)

    It’s possible they are meaningless in the context of long term climate, however, unless there is a scientific basis which determines why they are just noise and of no consequence, the only terminology I can think of which adequately describes the advocates position is “extreme arrogance”.

    Good Luck (pseudo scientists).

  15. This is why many papers put the opposite case in parenthesis when describing their results and consigning it to global warming. Thus, when it is warm (cold) the Walker Circulation decreases (increases) due to anthropogenic global climate war…wei…cata…cha…extre…THINGS…I SAID THINGS GODDAMIT!!!.

  16. So they blamed the “Slowdown in Tropical Pacific Flow” “on Climate Change” and next they will blame the speed up on……………..DRUM ROLL…………………………..climate change. They are in a sticky situation. To blame the speed up on global warming would be to blame global warming on global temperature standstill. We can’t have that kind of bat droppings now can we.

  17. Who to believe? Neither of them – at least, certainly not in full. Stronger Pacific trade winds are coincident with La Nina, with weaker or reversed trade winds coincident with El Nino. What both papers utterly fail to demonstrate is that human GG emissions play any role in driving this process.

  18. To add to and clarify my prior comment, while trade winds are not unrelated to temperature particularly at the short annual scale, key aspects include:

    (1) contrasting decadal averages, like how treating them as the prime factor wouldn’t explain the rising NH/global temperatures in the 1920s-1930s

    (2) and how still more important is the matter of root cause, as trade winds are not something isolated from Earth where the direction of causation can only go one way, as rather the next step is to get into what causes the trade winds.

  19. When I am wet in a warm damp environment, If there is no wind I stay wet and warm for a long time, but if the wind blows I dry quite quickly and become cooler at the same time.
    Any relevance?
    Or is that too simplistic?

  20. REPLY: with the firehose of information I deal with every day, sometimes its just a matter of who gets my attention first. Sorry, Anthony

    Hey no problemo. What’s important is that it gets a fresh post all by itself. Keep up the good work.

    The first thing I do when I hear a new claim is to got directly to Google Scholar. You almost always find an opposite claim because that is the nature of Climastrology.

  21. All I can say is that the last two wet seasons here in the Eastern Tropical Pacific have not been up to much. Both very late, and not giving enough rain. I am not sure if that represents a slowing of the jet stream or not.

    My son has just been accepted to the University of NSW. I have encouraged him not to get involved in any discussions with these bozos and their faithful followers should he ever come across them. Life is far to short, and there are far to many better things to do at uni!

  22. “Do any of these folks really know with any certainty what is really going on when their excuses for ‘the pause’ don’t even agree?”

    I would vote that Trenberth’s cat is to blame.

    Oh Oh! This just in from NCAR: “Trenberth’s cat has been captured by Trenberth’s can-of-tomato-soup and holding the poor dear as hostage. SWAT Teams consisting of both mechanized infantry with heavy canons and airborne assault units consisting of C-130 gunships and Apache Helicopters from Denver and Boulder are converging on NCAR as we speak. The Governor has declared a state of emergency and Boulder a war zone. The Obama Administration is responding by dispatching two Predator Drones armed with “Big-Sucker” Hellfire missiles and issued a Secret Executive Order for the extra-judiciary killing of Trenberth’s can-of-tomato-soup. Obama was quoted at the White House responding to reporter’s questions, “To never fear, is fear it self.” Film at 11.”

    Ha ha. ;-D

  23. Why are you shooting the messenger? Professor England is merely a messenger; if his scientific prediction is wrong, it is clearly the science’s fault.

  24. “The strongest trade winds have driven more of the heat from global warming into the oceans; but when those winds slow, that heat will rapidly return to the atmosphere causing an abrupt rise in global average temperatures.

    Heat stored in the western Pacific Ocean caused by an unprecedented strengthening of the equatorial trade winds appears to be largely responsible for the hiatus in surface warming observed over the past 13 years.” (Matthew England)

    Funny, that is about the same time that the solar slowdown-low sunspot peak phase has been going…it appears that it will be a long time till that finishes, and goes upwards once more…so it may be a long, long wait Matthew!

  25. “Do any of these folks really know with any certainty what is really going on when their excuses for ‘the pause’ don’t even agree?”

    Don’t agree? They are exactly OPPOSITE!

    But that’s fitting with the whole rest of the fetid mess of climate “research” where cooling is also caused by warming! Is there a 3rd grader anywhere dumb enough to buy that story? I don’t think so!

  26. Weakening for 60 years caused by global warming then suddenly he is strong before weakening again.

    Abstract – Volume 25, Issue 5 (March 2012)
    Regional patterns of tropical Indo-Pacific climate change are investigated over the last six decades based on a synthesis of in situ observations and ocean model simulations, with a focus on physical consistency among sea surface temperature (SST), cloud, sea level pressure (SLP), surface wind, and subsurface ocean temperature. A newly developed bias-corrected surface wind dataset displays westerly trends over the western tropical Pacific and easterly trends over the tropical Indian Ocean, indicative of a slowdown of the Walker circulation. This pattern of wind change is consistent with that of observed SLP change showing positive trends over the Maritime Continent and negative trends over the central equatorial Pacific. Suppressed moisture convergence over the Maritime Continent is largely due to surface wind changes, contributing to observed decreases in marine cloudiness and land precipitation there.

    Furthermore, observed ocean mixed layer temperatures indicate a reduction in zonal contrast in the tropical Indo-Pacific characterized by larger warming in the tropical eastern Pacific and western Indian Ocean than in the tropical western Pacific and eastern Indian Ocean. Similar changes are successfully simulated by an ocean general circulation model forced with the bias-corrected wind stress. Whereas results from major SST reconstructions show no significant change in zonal gradient in the tropical Indo-Pacific, both bucket-sampled SSTs and nighttime marine air temperatures (NMAT) show a weakening of the zonal gradient consistent with the subsurface temperature changes. All these findings from independent observations provide robust evidence for ocean–atmosphere coupling associated with the reduction in the Walker circulation over the last six decades.

    http://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/abs/10.1175/JCLI-D-11-00263.1

  27. The first line of the post shows why you are confusing the subject.

    the first line says,
    The vast loop of winds that drives climate and ocean behavior across the tropical Pacific has weakened by 3.5% since the mid-1800s, and it may weaken another 10% by 2100

    which means that, on average, and over the last 130 years, the tradewinds in the pacific have decreased by 3.5%.

    The paper showing the short term increase in trade winds doesn’t address that this is caused by global warming, only that the short term variability (in the last 15 years) has increased the trade winds and caused more mixing of warm surface water. They also say that they expect this short term increase to go away in the near future (decade or so) and return to the long term trend

  28. Man Bearpig says:
    February 10, 2014 at 1:02 pm

    Isn’t it wonderful.. Alarmists say one thing but forget what they said only a few years ago. As soon as they say ‘global warming causes one thing’ just search for ‘global warming causes exactly the opposite’ and they will get had almost every time.
    =============================================================================

    Haven’t you hear, Man made Global Warming causes Everything ™!

    It causes the sun to rise and it causes the sun to set. Why it’s even responsible for the very origin of the universe! ;-)

  29. But physical processes prevent precipitation from increasing as quickly as water vapor…

    why yes it does….But the amount of time difference is so small it’s immeasurable

  30. Combine incomplete, imprecise data with post hoc ergo propter hoc and you got nuthin. Such is climate science.

  31. Ah, I remember that weakening of the Walker Circulation business. I believe that at the time, it rested on there being a negative trend in the Southern Oscillation Index-SOI being inversely correlated with ENSO sea surface temperatures.

    As of the present, there really isn’t any trend, going all the way back to the 1870’s. Conditions have tended to be more persistently La Nina like in the time since many of these studies claiming weakening were published (around 2006-2007).

    Interestingly, the implication of all this seems to be that blaming “the pause” on a stronger walker circulation is *exactly equivalent* to blaming “the pause” on ENSO. It’s all more than a little handwavy!

    At any rate, it’s worth recognizing that if ENSO stopped warming from about 1998-present, logically it should have contributed to warming from 1976-1998. The latter is usually taken to be, essentially, entirely due to anthropogenic forcing. But evidently, climate can vary, on timescales of 10-20 years at least, on the same order of magnitude as anthropogenic forcing-since it can cancel such forcing out for such a length of time-and entirely of it’s own according, too. This casts serious doubt on the notion of “attribution” of warming mostly to man.

  32. If a climate scientist penned it, it does not matter if it is contradictory because it is peer-review and, consequently, infallible. To the point, more and more funding is going to modeling and hypothesizing and away from measuring.

  33. Are these people nuts ?
    While we know that in a closed system with air/water vapor over a water supply, there will be some equilibrium partial pressure of water vapor depending on Temperature, that condition varies widely, with wind added.

    Every chemist (I’m not one) knows that reversible reactions can be speeded up (in either direction, by simply removing the reaction products from the reaction site / interface.

    The water / vapor reaction, is easily driven in the direction of more evaporation, by simply moving the water vapor away from the surface. That’s what winds do, and simple kitchen experiments with a fan will show the accelerated evaporation.

    Evaporation transports huge amounts of latent heat (circa 590 cal / gm) from the liquid into the atmosphere. The cold tracks left behind by hurricanes are proof of that. I don’t see how winds heat the ocean depths; they certainly cool the surface.

    And no I don’t think these people are crazy. Just ignorant (lacking in knowledge)

    That’s ok; we are all born with ignorance.

  34. “which means that, on average, and over the last 130 years, the trade-winds in the pacific have decreased by 3.5%.”

    Surely this supports that warming during this period has been caused by solar energy been able to surface more in the tropics. It also supports that the data from ERSSTv3b is likely correct,

    than compared with HADSST.

    If you have an overall decline by 3.5% you would expect to see a rise in long term nino3.4 SSTs.

  35. @jai mitchell-

    Except there is no long term trend to return to. This site:

    http://www.bom.gov.au/climate/current/soihtm1.shtml

    Has the Southern Oscillation Index going back to 1876. At the time of the paper they claimed that the trend (1876-2005, or 130 years) was significantly negative, indicating a weakening of the Walker circulation. Well, easy enough, we can see if there is a significant trend now over about 138 years. As it turns out, the answer is that the slope is about -0.004±0.006 units per year-and given that the lag-1 autocorrelation is about 0.63, this probably underestimates the uncertainty there should be about that trend value-but it’s a moot point, the trend is not statistically significantly different from zero. There is no long term trend towards a weaker Walker Circulation. There is no trend at all, in fact.

  36. Thanks for bringing this golden oldie to our attention again.

    So we first had that global warming was causing weaker trade winds and now we have actually stronger trade winds causing global pause. Fantastic. This is BS (Bad Science). Sorry guys, it can’t go both ways. It can’t.

    btw, I just have to add this in case you wonder how AGW-scientists can think, and may find such contradicting results completely normal : “[global] warming from greenhouse gases is driving la nina like conditions … helping to suppress global warming.” Mark Cane in J. Tollefson. 2014, Nature. 505, 276-278. There you have it: global warming suppresses global warming. Unbelievable. With such a state of mind one can come up with anything, including BS papers like this one by England et al.

  37. Man Bearpig says:
    February 10, 2014 at 1:02 pm

    Isn’t it wonderful.. Alarmists say one thing but forget what they said only a few years ago. As soon as they say ‘global warming causes one thing’ just search for ‘global warming causes exactly the opposite’ and they will get had almost every time.

    =======================================================================
    I don’t think they forgot what they said. They hope we forgot what they said.

  38. mpcraig says:
    February 10, 2014 at 12:49 pm

    The NCAR report claims that in a warming world, trade winds will weaken. England’s study says that recent warming has not happened because of increased trade winds. That’s consistent.

    Maybe I’m missing something here.
    _________________________
    The UCAR report attributes the weakening trade winds to human influence and predicts increased weakening of the trade winds… predicting 20% decline. This is a double fail: 1) according to England, winds have strengthened. 2) temperatures have not gone up.

    Question: Where is the human signature in all of this?

  39. With all that wind speeding up and slowing down over the ocean, it’s apt to start swirling, and before you know it, it’s a SHARKNADO!!!

  40. Given the obvious contradiction with earlier research, either the author didn’t bother to look at what had been previously published or deliberately chose to ignore it because it didn’t fit the work he had done.

    Either, way, as a penalty, he should be stripped of all his funding (and perhaps should refund funding already received) – for either shoddy research or for fraud, depending on which situation above applies. Furthermore, whoever did the peer review for it should have the same penalty likewise applied to their research funding. If all researchers which could influence public policy operated with this kind of framework, we might see a lot more honest work being done.

    Clearly, we are crowd-sourcing better peer review than the publisher did.

  41. Jai Mitchell says:
    ….
    The paper showing the short term increase in trade winds doesn’t address that this is caused by global warming, only that the short term variability (in the last 15 years) has increased the trade winds and caused more mixing of warm surface water. They also say that they expect this short term increase to go away in the near future (decade or so) and return to the long term trend.

    Why have the trade winds increased? What temperature rise would start the change again?
    What is the correlation between the Trade winds and temp ?

  42. Will Nitschke says:
    February 10, 2014 at 1:57 pm

    On the plus side, whatever does happen climate scientists predicted it.

    I discovered some time back here that contradictory nonsense was their game. No matter what happens they will say that climate scientists predicted it.

    I predict that tomorrow London will be cloudy with plenty of rain. I also predict that tomorrow London will be sunny all day long. Heads I win, tails you lose. THIS IS THE KEY TO THE CAGW CON and it’s what keeps these scammers feeding in public funds. Outrageous!

  43. “Based on observations since the mid-1800s…” you mean they actually used data, not models for this? Now THAT’s unprecedented.

  44. oh lordy, the climate change fanatics are becoming the funniest show in town, just when you think you cannot laugh anymore, another belly laugh is just around the corner,

  45. Don’t be confused. It depends on the period you’re looking at. Compared to the previous decades, the last 2 decades see stronger trade winds, on average. Vecchi’s paper is about what to expect from global warming, weaker trade winds. England’s paper is about the more recent stronger trade wind trend, acting against global warming.

  46. The UCAR report blamed instead of the positive PDO, weakening trade winds to human influence. Weakening trade winds have always been associated with stronger and more frequent El NInos. So it was like they blamed El NInos on human influence, which is awful science of course. With the unarguable avoidance of the PDO now influencing stronger trade winds they blame this on to pause. The facts shows because the expected further decline in trade winds disappeared since the PDO become negative, this provides sound scientific evidence that the PDO contributed to both weak and strong trade winds during its positive and negative phases. Human CO2 had not a detectable influence on the trade winds because the PDO is behaving exactly how it would be expected.

  47. mpcraig says :
    “The NCAR report claims that in a warming world, trade winds will weaken. England’s study says that recent warming has not happened because of increased trade winds. That’s consistent.”
    NCAR’s report does NOT say that trade winds will strengthen in a stable world, and England’s study does NOT say the planet is not warming, only that the warmth goes underwater, apparently
    magically avoiding both air and water temp sensors.

  48. With global warming, it’s the solution that counts, a vast world wide psuedo government with unlimited powers to control behavior and commerce, setting up toll booths to redistribute wealth from those who don’t deserve it to those deemed worthy of it.

    So you can believe BOTH studies, simultaneously, as long as the solution doesn’t change.

  49. I just have to quote Blackadder, just exchange he’s for they’re .

    Blackadder: He’s mad! He’s mad. He’s madder than Mad Jack McMad, the winner of this year’s Mr Madman competition.

  50. Regarding the whole ‘carbon dioxide driven climate change causes everything’ meme. I came across a quotation of George Orwells from his ‘Notes on Nationalism’ essay (1945) today that seems to fit the bill.

    “One has to belong to the intelligentsia to believe things like that: no ordinary man could be such a fool.”

  51. I was reading the sks blog (a whopping 19 comments) about the paper and I read a couple of assertions from Dunkerson and dana.

    1. “by measuring incoming and outgoing total radiation (via sattelites) we know that there is currently an imbalance”.

    What is the uncertainty in that? And another one that I found suspect because the way dana says it.
    2. deep ocean is usually defined as below 700m (that’s the definition I use).

  52. Winds depend on Earth rotation and on the air pressure gradient between the equator and the poles. Ocean currents depend on earth rotation and winds. Currents follow the winds, winds do not follow ocean currents. Wind speed is at least an order of magnitude larger than the streams so there is no mechanism for why winds should follow currents.
    ENSO and other phenomena which affect air pressure do have influence on winds, and hence on currents. So also other often seasonally based local and regional air pressure anomalies.
    An explanation of atmospheric circulation by Ole Humlum can be found here

    http://climate4you.com/

    go to Climate+History and scroll down a bit.

    Ole Humlum has some reflections, citation from the site:
    “When the thermal contrast across the mid-latitude zone is high, many strong storms develop, and less so in periods where the thermal contrast is smaller. The thermal contrast is high when the planet is relatively cold, and smaller when the planet is relatively warm” .

    When planet is relatively warm trade winds and westerlies should decrease because equator-pole pressure gradient (and thermal contrast) is smaller.
    UCAR explanation (disregard the AGW stuff) seems consistent with established atmospheric physics. The UNSW variant does not.

  53. The trade winds are the resultant of the thermal force and the Coriolis force. They are relatively constant. That is why they were called “trade” winds. Duh. Do these people really think that the variation can actually be significant? Eg the earth fluctuates in its rotation enough to affect the slippage? Or the thermal force fluctuates? I suppose they might subscribe to the latter, but if the warming jumps out of the ocean and says boo it is going to be picked up by the thermal force isn’t it? I think England and Vecchi are in danger of disappearing up their own ….

  54. My post 4:21
    Correction: Trade winds are fairly constant from 80:s and up to now. Swapped between screens so did eyeball the wrong diagram.

  55. Apologies if this has been posted already. Michael Mann has a piece in HP that reduces the hiatus to a speed bump and writes if off even if the Earth doesn’t warm again soon.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/michael-e-mann/global-warming-speed-bump_b_4756711.html

    If we are simply witnessing a temporary natural excursion that is part of an internal oscillation in the climate system, then things might easily turn around in the years ahead. Just as we are getting lulled into a sort of false complacency about the rate of global warming, we may be caught by surprise as the natural oscillation swings in the other direction, and the globe warms even faster than the models predict it should.

    On the other hand, if we are instead seeing a subtle effect of global warming in which increased greenhouse gas concentrations are, seemingly paradoxically, favoring the colder La Niña state of the climate system, then future global warming might end up being just a bit less than many of the current climate models are predicting.

  56. Professor Mathew England:
    “The strongest trade winds have driven more of the heat from global warming into the oceans; but when those winds slow, that heat will rapidly return to the atmosphere causing an abrupt rise in global average temperatures.”

    http://www.nature.com/nclimate/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/nclimate2106.html

    Professor Judith Curry:
    “All in all, I don’t see a very convincing case for deep ocean sequestration of heat. And even if the heat from surface heating of the ocean did make it into the deep ocean, presumably the only way for this to happen involves mixing (rather than adiabatic processes), so it is very difficult to imagine how this heat could reappear at the surface in light of the 2nd law of thermodynamics.”

    http://judithcurry.com/2014/01/21/ocean-heat-content-uncertainties/

    The 2nd Law of Thermodynamics:
    A]. It is impossible to extract an amount of heat QH from a hot reservoir and use it all to do work W . Some amount of heat QC must be exhausted to a cold reservoir. This precludes a perfect heat engine.
    This is sometimes called the “first form” of the second law, and is referred to as the Kelvin-Planck statement of the second law.
    B]. It is not possible for heat to flow from a colder body to a warmer body without any work having been done to accomplish this flow. Energy will not flow spontaneously from a low temperature object to a higher temperature object. This precludes a perfect refrigerator. The statements about refrigerators apply to air conditioners and heat pumps, which embody the same principles.
    This is the “second form” or Clausius statement of the second law.
    C]. In any cyclic process the entropy will either increase or remain the same.

  57. This is earth shattering news indeed – AGW “scientists” have discovered AGW hot ocean water sinks to the bottom and then hides. Why this will revolutionize physics.

  58. This (and other) proposed mechanisms for variation in the response of the average global temperature to CO2 levels seems (at least to me) to confuse the issue of exactly what global warming constitutes. I thought the basic hypothesis of global warming was that an increase in C02 levels causes a more or less linear increase in global average temperature. (I think there is some wiggle room here since there are other greenhouse gasses than CO2 but the notion seems to be that CO2 dominates.) This proposal (trade wind modulation causing ocean heat eating) seems to modify that.

    Climate is not my field, but when I try to figure out what is going on I tend to look at data for myself. So I downloaded the HADCRUT4 decadal averaged global temperature anomalies from the Met Office (here: http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/hadobs/hadcrut4/data/current/download.html#regional_series ) . I also downloaded the spline fit combined Law Dome and Cape Grim historical CO2 record from the Oak Ridge CDIAC site (here: http://cdiac.ornl.gov/trends/co2/modern_co2.html ). Then I simply plotted the HADCRUT4 global decadal averaged temperature anomalies versus the CDIAC CO2 levels for the time period from 1880 to 2004.

    The plot seems curiouser and curiouser the more I look. From 1880 to about 1910 the temperature anomaly decreases sharply (large negative slope) with increasing CO2 levels. Between about 1910 and 1940 the temperature anomalies increase sharply (large positive slope) with increasing C02. Then from 1940 to about 1974 temperatures decrease less sharply with increasing CO2. Finally from about 1975 to around 2000 or so temperatures increase with increasing CO2 but much less steeply than the 1910 to 1940 period. (There is yet wiggle room for CAGW. I did not look at methane, nitrous oxide, CFCs, or the like.)

    Previously I had blithely assumed (based on seeing endless papers and articles dealing with the time since 1975) that CO2 levels were correlated with temperatures but that causation had not been established to my satisfaction. But it seems to me now that any correlation as discussed typically is peculiar to the period from 1975 to 2000. It does not seem possible to plausibly argue that there is any significant correlation between the two at all over the past century or so. The data just does not support that unless some modulating mechanisms can be established. It seems the argument of a CAGW advocate must be that 1) CO2 levels increase the heat content of the earth system in a strongly forced manner, such as linear ,2) the heat may or may not go into actual warming, as in increased temperatures in the atmosphere, but it does somehow flow into the global climate system, such as the oceans, and 3) the CO2-forced heat that has become “hidden” will inexorably return to the atmosphere and cause warming (or extremes, floods, or something new and bad). Perhaps someone more versed in the climate science can give me the traditional arguments used by CAGW to explain away the past variations.

    It looks to me that the CAGW hypothesis must be moving into a new state due to the pause, namely that CO2 traps heat, but the inexorable catastrophic effects may be delayed but not avoided. It strikes me that the only reason that argument needs to be made now is that the natural variability in the relationship between CO2 and temperatures in the historical record had been swept under the rug and conveniently ignored. The pause no longer allows that. CAGW seems to be devolving to a modern version of the boogeyman who lurks out there somewhere, just waiting to jump out, and one had better do whatever is said by the “consensus” to be able to keep the boogeyman away.

  59. Yet another “Oh the Pain” moment in time. In fact 2 of them if my basic calulations are correct. Mr.England may have set an anomolous record of the 37th most painful moment in climate science history twice.

    Anthony, we have had a statistically significant rise in painful moments in climate science history in the last few years.

    I really think there needs to be an award, yearly, for such blatent incompetance in a field that simply does not get challenged enough. Hummm, at this rate, weekly may be in order?

    I offer the “Dr. Smith award” opportunity for such!

  60. I should have added in my previous post that Dr. Smith had a habit of stating ” Never fear Smith is here”. Seemed fitting considering the currend status of this topic ..

  61. I’m actually not upset that there are two studies coming to different conclusions about the same phenomenon, at least not in the abstract. Isn’t this competition of ideas and hypotheses the way science should work, as so many readers of this blog have said?

    Rather, it is the sureness — especially in the second, M England study PR — that the heat really is hidden and really will come back up. They didn’t come up with that until they had to stop saying that there wasn’t a pause, until reality outran their smugness. Only then did then start looking for an explanation. It smacks of “political science,” not of the real stuff.

    Science actually SHOULD be the product of different views, different hypotheses, testing them, and finally seeing which ones work. So let them fight it out, that’s OK. Just don’t tell us you KNOW the answer, you might remind people of Michael Mann.

  62. People want “explanation” and “sin” in their lives, without traditional religion they needed to invent one that had reputation: Science. Was more at hand to fill that void.

  63. If anyone can predict the ENSO and also predict how the Trade Winds will change and how they will influence the ENSO, …

    … then there is a $billion worth of profits to be made if one can be accurate.

    But I don’t think anyone has been able to raise forecast accuracy above the 50% level. A few months ahead (1 or 2) is all that can be relied on.

    There is just a huge degree of randomness and uncertainty here.

    I make predictions on this all the time and have been doing so for longer than you have had access to the Internet. The status of the ENSO was the second thing I looked up when I got access to the Internet in the very, very, very early days of its pubic access (more than 20 years ago) having become interested in it after the 1982-83 Super El-Nino.

    I change my mind about the predictions every time the next set of observations becomes available every few days. I haven’t put a dime on it because history tells me that one will just simply be wrong.

    It is only the most important weather phenomenon on the planet, influencing global temperatures by +/-0.25C and changing rainfall patterns by +/-50% in specific areas. Yet, it is still a mystery and climate science should not pretend they have a handle on it until someone starts producing reliable predictions in advance.

  64. The ENSO is a naturally occurring phenomenon that will appear in any large, deep ocean at the equator. It is the result of a rotating planet with an ocean and an atmosphere on a planet of Earth size. It is just the way, the oceans and atmosphere will organize itself.

    The Atlantic is a relatively new ocean that has not become wide enough yet. If it keeps spreading for about another 30 million years, it will then become large enough to develop a full-fledged ENSO. It already has a mini-ENSO, but it needs to have a longer width to have one like we are used to in the Pacific.

    The Indian Ocean, as well, is not long enough. And it has had two continents traversing it over the past 60 million years – the Indian sub-continent and Australia. No ENSO here.

    But the Pacific (and its predecessors) have been long enough and deep enough to have an ENSO for at least 450 million years.

    Think of Pangea, 250 million years ago, when the Pacific-predecessor equatorial ocean covered more than 75% of the planet. The ENSO region literally covered 75% of the planet. The eastern side of Pangea, which was mostly a shallow, partly land-enclosed sea would have been subject to periodic ENSO warming oscillations of let’s say +/- 4.0C and this shallow inland-type ocean was already up to 40.0C. It would have, every few years, got to 44.0C which is too hot for complex life. The Anaerobic extinction events described by climate science as being caused by CO2 warming in this period were simply the result of a +9.0C climate combined by the ENSO oscillation.

    The ENSO has always existed on the planet because there has always been at least one long, deep ocean at the equator.

  65. mpcraig: “The NCAR report claims that in a warming world, trade winds will weaken. England’s study says that recent warming has not happened because of increased trade winds. That’s consistent.”
    ____________________________________________________________________________

    The only way this is consistent is to accept that the Earth has been not warming (since 2001 or even earlier). Let me explain :

    According to these two studies there can’t be warming and increasing trade winds. Hence, either there is warming causing weaker trade winds, or there is no warming due to stronger trade winds. A combination of both (warming and stronger trade winds) is not possible according to both studies, otherwise both studies would be wrong.

    Hence, logically the only consistency between both papers is that there has been no warming. If you say there has been warming than the trade winds must have decreased, but according to England they have increased… Accept there has been no warming -since early 2000- and both papers make sense. Insist there has been warming -since early 2000- and both papers are wrong.

    You see now where the fallacy lies? This falls in the department of “yes we can have it both ways”

    In addition, NCAR suggests that warming influences the trade winds, whereas England et al suggests that trade winds influence the warming…. so which way is it? it can’t be both ways. a cause can’t cause the cause.

  66. Col Mosby says:
    February 10, 2014 at 2:47 pm
    magically avoiding both air and water temp sensors.
    ——————————————————————
    The renowned scientist, Houdini, predicted that very same effect. Amazing!

  67. Warm water — being less dense — rises to the top. Wouldn’t that blow the hypothesis out of the water, so to speak?

  68. Amusing though this fine mess is from a sceptical perspective, the most depressing thing for me is that all this talk of trade winds is making me really, really miss sailing the deep oceans. It’s over a decade since I last did some blue water sailing and I can just hear the Pacific calling me.
    One day I’ll be out there again…

  69. jai mitchell says:
    February 10, 2014 at 1:20 pm

    The first line of the post shows why you are confusing the subject.

    the first line says,
    The vast loop of winds that drives climate and ocean behavior across the tropical Pacific has weakened by 3.5% since the mid-1800s, and it may weaken another 10% by 2100

    which means that, on average, and over the last 130 years, the tradewinds in the pacific have decreased by 3.5%………

    I wonder about the accuracy of the instruments used between 90 and 130 years ago. What was the sampling rate compared to today?

  70. There is a dartboard somewhere with all the possible reasons. The con artists have a beer, throw a dart and …. Gore bal warming is caused by ……

  71. Jonathan Abbott:

    At February 11, 2014 at 1:26 am you say

    Amusing though this fine mess is from a sceptical perspective, the most depressing thing for me is that all this talk of trade winds is making me really, really miss sailing the deep oceans. It’s over a decade since I last did some blue water sailing and I can just hear the Pacific calling me.
    One day I’ll be out there again…

    Please think more positively.

    I am sure many WUWT readers would contribute to helping you sail away. Of course, this assumes you would not come back.

    Richard

  72. Jai Mitchell says:
    ….
    The paper showing the short term increase in trade winds doesn’t address that this is caused by global warming, only that the short term variability (in the last 15 years) has increased the trade winds and caused more mixing of warm surface water. They also say that they expect this short term increase to go away in the near future (decade or so) and return to the long term trend.
    ———-

    Jai, the previous papers assumed no variability like this to attribute the slowdown to man.

  73. david dohbro says:
    February 10, 2014 at 9:09 pm

    >>>The only way this is consistent is to accept that the Earth has been not warming (since 2001 or even earlier).
    ______________________________________________________________
    Yes, that is what I am saying, there has been no warming.

    >>>In addition, NCAR suggests that warming influences the trade winds, whereas England et al suggests that trade winds influence the warming….
    ______________________________________________________________
    Now that is what I was missing. Good point.

  74. Well in South Australia we’re having a hot summer (presumably because you Northerners aren’t using your share of heat at present) and it brings the usual suspects out flapping their gums- http://www.adelaidenow.com.au/news/south-australia/bureau-of-meteorology-says-manmade-climate-change-responsible-for-south-australias-record-summer-temperatures/story-fnl1ee8j-1226823469780
    Naturally any skeptical meteorologists are not peer reviewed climatologists and anything they have to input doesn’t count.
    As background here, Adelaide has had one of the longest thermometer records (from 1880) of any State of Australia and indeed much of the World I understand, due to its Utopian founding, compliments of one Edward Gibbon Wakefield of England at the time. You might like to use Google maps to see how the city is located on the Eastern side of Gulf St Vincent between it and the Adelaide Hills which join the coast to the sea to the South and the arc away inland to the North leaving Elizabeth on a hot dusty plain in summer. With a Mediterranean climate we are chilled in winter by Souwesterlies from distant Antarctica and in summer heated by hot northerlies from inland when slow moving large high pressure cells impact us.
    Now here’s the rub. The main city temp station was located to the West of the city in the West Parklands( surveyor Colonel Light designed the city surrounded by such parklands) up until the 1970s when it was moved to the BoM office site in Kent Town, directly to the East of the CBD. Since then Adelaide has grown and in particular become an airconditioned CBD and no doubt the BoM site is a perfect urban heat island nowadays. No doubt with a broken temp record, the good folk at the BoM have been up to the usual tricks trying to make a silk purse out of a sows ear.

  75. Box of Rocks once again puts his finger on it with the Hadley Cell Thingy. I can only wonder if the researchers have ever travelled across the equatorial Pacific. Many of the comments are revolving around the researchers claim that the Walker Circulation is what drives the Trades. Maybe its time for Tropical Weather 101. I’m a retired operational forecaster for the Tropics and yes the Walker Cell determines the strength of the Semi-permanent High Pressure Cell off Equador/Peru. This HP Cell only drives SOME of the trade winds. The equally so or of more importance are the travelling High Pressure Cells roughly near 30S do the bulk; these HP cells are a function of the Hadley Cells; rising air over the equator loops upward then down near 30S to create them. When these moving HP cells are strong, over 1030hPa, the trades are enhanced to 30 kts or more; when the cells are weak, say 1020hPa the trades are weak or near 15kts. In between the travelling HP cells is a trough where the trades reverse. This is a cycle: HP-LP-HP etc, and takes about a week. By the time these winds get to 10S and northward to the equator they are greatly diminished. This is a zone of variable winds; the direction of these winds can be SE, ESE, NE and even NW to W.
    The ENSO cycle as Bob Tisdale explains effects the above process. With generally stronger trades during La Nina and weaker trades during El Nino. Neutral ENSO, of which we are in year 2 , is a mixed bag. During the last 2 Neutral years the trades have been fairly robust about 2/3 the time and average the rest (about 15-20kts).
    Regarding commercial Fishing and apart from the very Western and Eastern Equatorial Pacific there is none. The big Tuna boats don’t go near the equator; they generally will be found around 15 South; they chase SST as Tuna are quite particular where they swim.
    I apologize for boring most of you with the basics, but so many of these recent ‘research papers’ make me wonder if these people have any idea of what really happens over the great oceans. I get the impression that some pick up a technical cartoon that shows the Walker Cell, get an idea, then, ‘right, we’ll do a paper on that’.

  76. Sounds like another missing fingerprint of GHG-driven warming. UCAR 2006 says GHG increases should slow down the Walker Circulation but England 2014 finds that trade winds have been speeding up as GHGs have been increasing. Thanks for this latest GHG/AGW falsification Mr. England.

  77. It’s those darn wind turbines that are slowing down the wind. We need more laws and government regulations to limit construction or one day we will exhaust the wind. Wind turbines are also hurting the birds and that is a tragedy that we can no longer tolerate!

    We also need to limit the production of solar panels. We are draining the sun of its power and one day it will go dark and that will plunge the earf into darkness.

    Save the wind. Save the sun. Save the birds. Save the earf.

  78. It is high time all so-called “climate scientists” are regulated, required to hold a license, and be held to account for their work. I have never seen a discipline so confused, and involved in what is looking more and more like ‘crystal-balling’ on climate change… one moment it’s this … another moment it’s that. It’s pathetic.

    Just look at the climate models as evidence of what I am talking about. The models will never be able to simulate the climate system, let alone predict future climate, for obvious reasons. Yet scientists keep pretending it can be done if only they could have more money to achieve more computer power. So the money-flood continues with the deception. It’s disgraceful. And this has happened ever since the IPCC was anointed “the world’s peak scientific body” … something it certainly is not.

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