Analysis Of Antarctic Peninsula Temperature Trends Shows it Runs Both Hot and Cold

By Paul Homewood

It is commonly known that the Antarctic Peninsula has seen substantial warming in the last few decades. Jim Steele wrote a guest post for WUWT a couple of days ago,  “The Greatest Climate Myths of All”, which contained these observations about Antarctica:

As seen in NASA’s map of regional warming, the Antarctic Peninsula is another unusual “hotspot”, but relative to other climate dynamics, the contribution from CO2 is again not readily apparent. Stronger winds from the positive phase of the Antarctic Oscillation (AAO) increased regional temperatures without adding heat via 2 mechanisms.

First stronger winds from the north reduced sea ice extent by inhibiting the expansion of sea ice along the western Antarctic Peninsula and Amundsen Sea.  As in the Arctic, more open water allows larger amounts of stored heat to escape, dramatically raising winter temperatures. Accordingly, during the summer when sea ice is normally absent, there is no steep warming trend.

The eastern side of the Antarctic Peninsula behaves in a contrary manner. There sea ice was not reduced and surface temperatures average 5 to 10° cooler, and the steep winter warming trend was not observed. However there was a significant summer warming trend. Previously during the negative phase of the AAO, weaker winds are typically forced to go around the mountainous peninsula. However the positive AAO generated a wind regime that moved up and over the mountains, creating anomalous foehn storms on the eastern side of the peninsula. As the winds descend, temperatures adiabatically rise 10 to 20 degrees or more due to changes in pressure without any additional heat.

 I cannot comment on the science behind this, but I can show how the actual temperature records support what Jim says.

Let’s start with the western side, where we have two long running stations, the two British Antarctic Research stations of Rothera and Faraday.

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 Rothera 67.34S 68.08W

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Faraday 65.15S 64.16W

 First, winter temperatures, using GISS data. There is a clear and sizeable upward trend.

image

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And now summer. The trend at Rothera is slightly down, and at Faraday slightly up. (Note, though, the differences in scale to the winter graphs – at Faraday, for instance, we are only looking at a trend of less than half a degree in summer.)

image

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Crossing to the other side of the Peninsula, we find the station of do Marambio on the eastern side.

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do Marambio 64.24S 56.62W

In stark contrast to Rothera and Faraday, winter temperatures at the Argentine station of do Marambio are actually declining.

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Whilst in summer temperatures are increasing.

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The numbers certainly support Jim Steele’s arguments, and suggest that it is regional factors that have led to recent warming there.

Sources

Temperature data is from SCAR datasets (Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research), available via GISS.

http://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/station_data/

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77 thoughts on “Analysis Of Antarctic Peninsula Temperature Trends Shows it Runs Both Hot and Cold

  1. But, if you look at Morambio, temperatures have been decreasing greatly during the last 12 years consistent with the pause in global warming.

  2. I see more rising trends than declining trends, and more steeply rising trends than declining, so the point is…. ??

  3. Barry

    I see more rising trends than declining trends, and more steeply rising trends than declining, so the point is…. ??

    Did you read Jim Steele’s post?

  4. When you talk winter temperatures that go back to 50′s, 60′s, and 70′s…were they “colder” because of the COLD WAR? Who maintained the sites???

  5. On today’s sea ice page, the NSIDC satellite mosaic picture shows a large calving event from sea ice adjacent to the Avery ice shelf, but no news info has been forthcoming. Of note, that satellite mosaic process sometimes displays artifacts of the microwave measurement interpretations used to produce the image, but those artifacts usually just appear as dots on the ocean.

  6. I hope Paul has saved a secure copy of that gistemp data. Having pointed out the 12 yrs drop since ’02 (Thanks, BenS) I’d anticipate a hard drive crash at GISS a la IRS/EPA……ooops, where’d that data go….. Or at least some HEAVY homogenization…..

  7. Not too surprising – when ice accumulates, less ocean heat accessible.
    When sea ice receeds, more ocean heat available.

  8. Jim Steele: “As the winds descend, temperatures adiabatically rise 10 to 20 degrees or more due to changes in pressure without any additional heat.”

    This is nonsense.

    Temperature is a measure of heat energy. It does not matter how something gets hotter, but if it gets hotter it contains more heat.

    In the case of lapse rate it is basically gravitational potential energy that is being converted into heat, but heat it is.

  9. Do the thermometers at each station represent the surrounding temps or are they located in sheltered “microsites” ??
    The nearby Ross Ice shelf station shows a radically different annual profile.

    http://data.giss.nasa.gov/cgi-bin/gistemp/show_station.cgi?id=700892620009&dt=1&ds=14

    What are the SSTs on the west and east sides of the peninsula??

    Maybe the Antarctic peninsula temps do no represent global temps??

    East Antarctica has four temperature stations since the IGY. Amundsen-Scott, Vostok, Halley and Davis. Annual temp records for all four stations show zero warming since 1958. Maybe Antarctica is immune from CO2 induced warming.

  10. How can anyone discuss temperature variations on the Antartic Peminsula without consideration of the active volcanic activity?

  11. It’s also interesting to think what goes up must come down. The same air went up before coming down and so must have cooled adiabatically by 10-20 degrees. That in itself does not explain it being warmer than surrounding low level air.

  12. It would be interesting to see how long each of these weather stations have been operating, and to see their raw data. This might give a more accurate overall temperature trend for the whole of antarctica:

  13. “First stronger winds from the north reduced sea ice extent by inhibiting the expansion of sea ice along the western Antarctic Peninsula and Amundsen Sea. ”

    This is highly dubious as well. Extent is just a measure of how spread out the bits of ice are. Compact or not does not change the surface of exposed ocean.

    A change in ice area could conceivably change the degree of stabilising effect oceans have nearby land temperatures but this argument about winds compacting the sea ice is spurious.

  14. Greg Goodman said, “Temperature is a measure of heat energy.” True, but it does not measure the quantity of heat. A review of Boyle’s Law should help clear that up.

  15. i have watched Antarctic sea ice for years. Three years ago for the first time in all the time I have observed, the peninsula it was surrounded by sea ice.Last year it happened again. This year it has come very close to being surrounded. By going to null earth you can see that the ebb and flow of sea ice is a direct result of wind speed,direction and sea surface temp. .

  16. Greg Goodman says: “This is nonsense”

    Greg you obviously are caught grossly unaware. Foehn storms and their physics are well documented around the world. I am not sure why you deny well-known science. Compressing air will heat it. PV=nRT. Backpacking I used a fire starter that simply compressed air to ignite tissue. It was commonly used by natives from Burma to the Philippines. Changes in latent heat add to the effect. As the air goes up moisture condenses and releases latent heat that did not raise temperatures not on the windward side.

    On the eastern side of the peninsula where sea ice is trapped against the shore, the cold inversion is maintained as katabaitc winds descend across the Weddell Sea. Temperatures are always 5 to 10 degrees colder on the eastern side despite being at the same latitued. In contrast the western side always has more open water and ventilating heat not only warms but disrupts the cold inversion layer and supplies moisture to the winds. When the winds shift to an up and over regime, anomalous foehn storms erupt. Most observers report the melt ponds on the Larsen Ice shelf just before its collapse were the result of the observed foehn storm.

    But moisture is not always needed. In “Foehn Winds in the McMurdo Dry Valleys, Antarctica: The Origin of Extreme Warming Events” Speirs et al (2012) write “Foehn-induced warming frequently exceeds 40C within several hours at valley surfaces in the MDVs during winter” and “Episodes of strong and warm westerly airflow in the MDVs have generally been attributed to adiabatic warming of descending air, however, the disagreement lies with the exact forcing mechanisms.”

    Or read 321. Orr, A., et al., (2008), Characteristics of summer airflow over the Antarctic Peninsula in response to recent strengthening of westerly circumpolar winds, J. Atmos. Sci., 65, 1396–1413.

    “It has been proposed that the strengthening westerlies have resulted in increased vertical deflection of relatively warm maritime air over the northern peninsula, contributing significantly to the observed warming and the recent collapse of northern sections of the Larsen Ice Shelf. In this study, laboratory and numerical modeling of airflow incident to the peninsula are employed to further understand this mechanism. It is shown that the effect of the strengthening westerlies
    has led to a distinct transition from a “blocked” regime to a “flow-over” regime, that is, confirmation of the proposed warming mechanism. The blocked regime is dominated by flow stagnation upstream (i.e., little vertical deflection) and consequent lateral deflection of flow along the western side of the peninsula. The flow-over regime is dominated by vertical deflection of mid/upper-level air over the peninsula, with strong downslope winds following closely to the leeward slope transporting this air (which warms adiabatically as it descends) to the near-surface of the northeast peninsula.”

  17. checking back of Jim’s post yesterday he proves this unreferenced pic: https://wattsupwiththat.files.wordpress.com/2014/08/clip_image004_thumb2.png?w=301&h=275

    Here we see where extra heat is coming from.

    Rising air cooling adiabatically and causing condensation into cloud which to and extent rains out. Latent heat is released as becomes sensible heat. The air descends and warms up adiabatically ending up warmer than when it started. Thus it contains _more heat_ , that is what hotter means.

    The source of that _extra heat_ was the condensation of water vapour contained in the air as it come off the ocean. More wind, more evaporation. So the heat came from the ocean surface.

    Now I’m sure that some warmista could pop up and say that the ocean surface was warmer because of back radiation caused by CAGW. ;)

    Whichever way you play it, you can’t warm something “without adding heat “.

  18. Hi, I don’t mean to comment off topic, but is anyone else aware of the new comments policy at Scientific American? Apparently they are allowing only one point of view to be seen.I’ve been kicked out under two pseudonyms (I’m no quitter) for comments so innocuous it left me scratching my head. This is actually portentious of their demise. They got aboard the good ship Climate Change when the getting was good and now are forced to go down with all hands…..

  19. Jim: “As the air goes up moisture condenses and releases latent heat that did not raise temperatures not on the windward side. ”

    Yes it did, but because there is adiabatic cooling it does not get hotter, just less cool than it otherwise would.

  20. Greg Goodman says “his argument about winds compacting the sea ice is spurious.”

    Greg you are obviously unaware of the Antarctic’s climate and suffering from great cognitive dissonance. I can back up every claim with peer reviewed studies, and I suggest you do the same before you spout more ignorance.

    Read Massom, R., et al. (2008) West Antarctic Peninsula sea ice in 2005: Extreme ice compaction and ice edge retreat due to strong anomaly with respect to climate. Journal of Geophysical Research , vol. 113, C02S20, doi:10.1029/2007JC004239.

    “In September–October 2005, the juxtaposition of low- and high-pressure anomalies at
    130W and 60W, respectively, created strong and persistent northerly airflow across the
    West Antarctic Peninsula (WAP). This had a major impact on regional sea ice conditions,
    with extreme ice compaction in the Bellingshausen and East Amundsen seas
    (60W130W) but divergence in the West Amundsen and East Ross seas. This resulted
    in the former in a highly compact marginal ice zone and ice cover, mean modeled ice
    thicknesses of >5 m, and an earlier-than-average maximum extent (mid-August).”

    The ice compaction was the reason for the worst breeding collapse for Adelie Penguins. UNlike Emperors, Adelies will abandon a site of they must walk more than 2 km.

    Also from Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University read Stammerjohn, S., et a., (2008) Sea ice in the western Antarctic Peninsula region: spatiotemporal variability from ecological and climate change perspectives. Deep Sea Research II 55. doi:10.1016/j.dsr2.2008.04.026.

    “Large perturbations in the seasonality of the marine habitat occur in association with ENSO
    and Southern Annular Mode (SAM) variability. The local atmospheric response to these climatemodes is largely a strengthening of the meridional winds during spring-to-autumn, which in turn affect the timing of the sea-ice retreat and subsequent advance. These perturbations are embedded in overall trends towards a later sea-ice advance, earlier retreat and consequently shorter sea-ice season”

    I know it must be disappointing but warmer temperatures and less sea ice along the western peninsula were not caused by CO2 warming, but the later-advance and earlier-retreat caused by northerly winds. And I’ll guarantee you can not disprove those facts. It is you comments that are spurious. You seem to be one of those Merchants of Doubt that confuse real climate science.

  21. Jim: “But moisture is not always needed. In “Foehn Winds in the McMurdo Dry Valleys, Antarctica: The Origin of Extreme Warming Events” Speirs et al (2012) write “Foehn-induced warming frequently exceeds 40C within several hours at valley surfaces in the MDVs during winter”

    No. clearly water vapour is the key element in this kind of phenomena.

    Foehn winds, like the Chinook are extremely dry because the air lost most of its water at altitude. When it descends and gains 10-20 deg C its relative humidity plummets. By the time it gets to low altitude it is a parchingly dry, hot wind. Perhaps that’s why the McMurdo Dry Valleys are dry ;)

    You’ve clearly been doing some research for all this and digging out references but it seems you have not fully understood what you are reading.

  22. Greg Goodman says “Whichever way you play it, you can’t warm something “without adding heat “.

    You words betray you, and you confuse temperature and heat. The argument is that “temperatures can rise without adding heat”.That is basic physics. The argument is the warmer temperatures on the eastern peninsula are not caused by an increased accumulation of heat due to CO2 or the sun, but due to dynamics that raise temperature adiabatically.

  23. “This resulted in the former in a highly compact marginal ice zone and ice cover, mean modeled ice thicknesses of >5 m”

    Then it was clearly reducing ice AREA, which like I said would expose more water and could produce the effect you were suggesting. Preventing ice from “spreading out” in EXTENT as you said, would not. Again you have not understood what you have read, or carelessly used the wrong term.

  24. Jim: “The argument is the warmer temperatures on the eastern peninsula are not caused by an increased accumulation of heat due to CO2 or the sun, but due to dynamics that raise temperature adiabatically.”

    The “dynamics” are simply the mechanism. This cannot violate the conservation of energy. Quite clearly the origin of the heat energy, as I explained in detail, comes from the ocean surface. which ultimately means it is from the Sun, with a little extra help form CO2 if you wish.

  25. Jim. “The argument is that “temperatures can rise without adding heat”.That is basic physics. ”

    It is possible to extract or add heat without changing temperature if there is a phase change but it is not possible to increase temperature without adding heat. In your compression igniter example, physical work is done in compressing the air thus increasing its heat energy and hence its temperature.

    change in heat energy = heat capacity * temp. change.

    Heat capacity is a fixed physical property of an object. Hence you cannot change temperature without adding heat.

    QED.

  26. Greg you quibbling and being disingenuous. Your first statement that evoked this argument was “Temperature is a measure of heat energy. It does not matter how something gets hotter, but if it gets hotter it contains more heat.”

    And that statement is absolutely and demonstrably wrong no matter how you quibble.

    Here is an experiment you can do at home so we can settle this nonsense. Put a pot of water on the stove and boil it. Simultaneously turn your oven to 212F . Both the oven and the water have the same temperature and by your argument both should have the same amount of energy.

    Now place one hand in the oven and the other in the boiling water and then tell me that both temperatures have equal energy.

  27. Jim it seems you are misunderstanding the term adiabatic, which means without exchanging heat _with the surrounding_. As I said in my initial comment, on the way down, the additional heat energy comes from conversion of gravitational potential energy. It is gravity which doing the compression.

    However, this must apply equally on the way up as on the way down. There no free lunch in the conservation of energy.

    You seem to be under the impression that this “dynamic” is magically creating heat from somewhere where it did not exist in the first place. As I explained in detail, the magicians trick is in some slight of hand at the top of the mountain involving latent heat. This enables the leeward wind to be warmer because there was some additional heat in the form of latent heat that got added.

    The air is warmer and contains more heat, That heat came from the ocean.

  28. jim Steele says “Greg you quibbling and being disingenuous. Your first statement that evoked this argument was “Temperature is a measure of heat energy.It does not matter how something gets hotter, but if it gets hotter it contains more heat. ”

    I’m actually being very patient and trying to explain something to you but you are so sure of yourself that you are not willing to listen and think about what I’m saying.

    Now you have descended into being insulting where you can stay. I’ve had enough of your belligerent ignorance.

    Before you try any more “myth busting” I suggest you learn what temperature means: It is rather a key concept when talking about global warming. Check out conservation of energy too if think “dynamics” can create it from nowhere.

    http://hyperphysics.phy-astr.gsu.edu/hbase/thermo/temper.html

    Temperature

    A convenient operational definition of temperature is that it is a measure of the average translational kinetic energy associated with the disordered microscopic motion of atoms and molecules.

    Goodnight and good luck with your studies.

  29. Greg, You are friggin amazing. You said something very wrong, then repeat what I said to defend yourself and say I am wrong.

    The argument has never ever been that energy appeared magically. That is your gross misinterpretation. The argument from the get-go has been temperatures rose without adding energy to the system “via 2 mechanisms.” And none of those mechanisms violate the laws of energy conservation.

    1. I argued that less sea-ice allowed more heat to ventilate from the ocean thus warming the air. Alarmists claim it is global warming due to CO2 trapping energy.

    Which argument do you agree with? Why do you try to slander me by suggesting I think energy appeared magically??!!

    2. Winds shifted so that air currents rose and then descended warming the eastern side much more than when winds did not rise and descend, but went around the peninsula. No heat was added to the system. The heat was simply experienced and measured differently. I simply argue that the higher temperatures are not an indication that CO2 has trapped “more energy.”

    Alarmist argue the rising temperatures on the eastern side is due to rising CO2 trapping more heat. Which side do you agree with??

  30. In Oklahoma and the high plains, meteorologists are very aware of the effects of down sloping winds on temperatures. Many of the high temperature records, especially in the winter and early spring, occur under such a regime. So, while not a meteorologist myself, I find the article quite credible.

  31. jim Steele says:

    ___________________
    Greetings Mr. Steele.
    Since the loss of ice along the Western peninsula coast has allowed the slightly warmer deep ocean upwelling to reach the surface closer to the coast, does that add another factor to the discussion?

  32. An additional remark:

    As previously stated, I am indeed no scientist, but have enough educational background and accumulated knowledge over the years to enjoy the science based discussions here – at least those that aren’t way over my head. That being said, I am disappointed at some of the criticisms directed at Mr. Homewood’s and Mr. Steele’s assertions which, imho, amount to little more than semantic pettifoggery and not up to the standard of what I would usually expect to see at WUWT. Ok, I said it.

  33. Lank is flannergasted says:
    August 6, 2014 at 1:55 pm
    How can anyone discuss temperature variations on the Antartic Peminsula without consideration of the active volcanic activity?

    It could be summarised by the phrase

    IT’S VOLCANIC YOU MORONS.

  34. Alan Robertson says:
    “Since the loss of ice along the Western peninsula coast has allowed the slightly warmer deep ocean upwelling to reach the surface closer to the coast, does that add another factor to the discussion?”

    It is indeed a factor, but for other dynamics.

    In the winter the cold katabatic winds blowing from the south(interior), push ice equator-ward and away from the coast. That process creates open water regions known as polynya which are dominant ice factories. There is considerable upwelling in polynyas.

    Northerly winds associated the AAO oppose the continental winds, which causes a reduction in sea ice extent (and area). When those winds compress ice against the coast, it is typically associated with downwelling. Still the loss of ice allows greater ventilation of heat.

    There are considerable amounts of upwelling of relatively warm CIrcumpolar Water onto the shallow ice shelves of west Antarctica where many of the receding glaciers are grounded. That warmer upwelled water has been responsible for melting those glaciers from below. The earliest explorers noted that around the peninsula and the Amundsen Sea, those glaciers exhibited a concave surface profile suggesting melting from beneath, and papers were published in the 70s suggesting the glaciers in this region were very unstable and would continue to shed ice faster than any other place.

    El Nino events and the Pacific Decadal Oscillation have been increasingly associated with changes in upwelling of this warmer water, and krill production in this region, as well as changes in the rate of glacier melting near their grounding points. But as has become commonplace, these long-term cyclical dynamics have been hijacked to suggest CO2 is causing the loss of Antarctica’s continental ice and krill dependent penguins.

  35. old44 says “IT’S VOLCANIC YOU MORONS”

    Volcanic activity indeed adds to the issue, but only in a limited area and a very limited degree. The other dynamics must be considered if we are to explain the majority of changes.

  36. but that’s a beautifull example of cyclibal behavior WITHOUT outer forces: ‘over’extended sea ice breaks down MECHANICALLY under its shear mass.

    Open sea ‘yealds’ warmth/heat to winds that transport the heat to other sites – A NEW EQUILIBRIUM IS ESTABLISHED,

    until the next onset of INNER forces / no climatologie needed.

    And thanks to the Foehn mechanics!

    brg – Hans

  37. Greg Goodman says:

    August 6, 2014 at 2:57 pm
    “or carelessly used the wrong term.”
    ——————————-
    You win, now can you give us the answer ?
    There was a question, right ?

  38. In regards to all of the talk about higher temperatures meaning there must be more “heat,” I’d say the terminology is the problem. The word “energy” or “heat-energy” should be used instead of “heat” to better convey adiabatic temperature effects. No new heat-energy is necessary to reach higher temperatures, nor is it necessary to reduce the amount of heat-energy in a system to reach lower temperatures.

    Or, more properly, if 1 gram of gas at 1.0 bar holds 1 kilojoule of energy and has a temperature of 20C one can change the temperature by adjusting the pressure, energy, mass, or composition of the gas. Temperature is just a measure of the excitedness of molecules.

  39. The station data shows that the Antarctic Peninsula warmed some until about the year 2000, while the rest of the continent was basically flat since the 1950s.

    The Peninsula, however, started cooling after 2000 and the remainder of the continent has stayed on the flat track.

    The southern ocean has also been cooling since about 2000, hence the increase in sea ice, and it has had more-or-less the same temperature for the last 150 years.

    That is just the facts. The Peninsula and the ocean cycles are what is interesting and the fact that climate science needs to pretend to itself that the rest of continent is warming when it is clearly not (that is also interesting).

    My main conclusion of recent history is that one cannot trust climate science or those that gain a living from it because they are willing to distort the truth in order to keep the money flowing in and to avoid having to admit they were wrong.

    Hey, no one likes to be a fan of the losing side and if one is making $200,000 year and maintains an office with 10 staff, who is going to rock the boat let alone tell the truth about the real climate. Fired scientists in this area do this while non-fired scientists toe the line.

  40. The discussion here is focussed on near-surface air temperature readings which are only a part of the total climate system. Globally near-surface temperature readings have been flat for the past 17 years. What is less widely known is that this result vanishes if you do whole-atmosphere calculations. The higher atmosphere has been getting significantly warmer. And then there’s the big one. near-surface ocean water temperatures have increased markedly over the past two decades (IPCC AR5 chapter 3).

    Once you incorporate the whole atmosphere and water temperature components it turns out that the Earth has heated more rapidly during 1999-2014 than it did during 1984-1999.

    This is why the discussions on this website focus so exclusively on surface temperature changes rather than whole atmosphere and ocean-atmosphere.

    Those of you arguing that Antarctic climate has not changed since 2000 have to explain why the rate of sea level change over the past two decades is now double the 20th century average (http://www.cmar.csiro.au/sealevel/sl_hist_last_15.html http://www.cmar.csiro.au/sealevel/sl_hist_few_hundred.html). There has been a steep increase in sea level change since 1990 as recorded by the JASON satellite altimetry mission. At the same time GRACE missions show mass loss over West Antarctica and mass gain in the ocean basins (Williams et al 2014) .

    Those of you who argue that there has been no significant long term warming trend need to explain why there was meltwater discharge at all during the twentieth century.

    There was no significant change in sea level between the Roman period and the 20th century (less than 0.1 mm/yr) .

    This has been demonstrated by analysis of Roman fish tanks at coastal sites and their relationship to local tidal ranges (Lambeck et al 2004). The spurious arguments about inland Roman ports ignore the fact that there are localised non-volumetric effects on sea level and shoreline position. In particular persistent deposition of sediment can result in substantial migration of local shorelines without affecting elevation with respect to sea level. This is what happened at Ostia and at Harlech. These sites are not evidence of changes in ocean volume for these time periods. Equally there is no evidence to support sea level change during the so called Little Ice Age (I use so-called because this is primarily a northern hemisphere phenomenon, not a global cooling event).

    The period of sea level stability can be pushed back to 3 kaBP through analysis of eclipse records. Redistribution of mass from poles to equator as ice melts changes the Earth’s rate of rotation which should affect the location of eclipses, the study demonstrates that the locations where eclipses are recorded are inconsistent with significant meltwater discharge into the oceans (Mitrovica et al. 2006).

    Take home message 1: For the past 3000 years sea level has been stable, some time shortly before 1900 sea level rise began and it has accelerated sharply in the past 20 years.

    Take home message 2: Don’t restrict your attention to localised temperature readings from a carefully selected portion of the atmosphere. The heat budget of the atmosphere ocean system needs to be considered as a unit to get a complete picture of what’s happening. As soon as someone shows you a picture of surface temperature – alarm bells should ring.

  41. looncraz says:

    In regards to all of the talk about higher temperatures meaning there must be more “heat,” I’d say the terminology is the problem. The word “energy” or “heat-energy” should be used instead of “heat” to better convey adiabatic temperature effects. No new heat-energy is necessary to reach higher temperatures, nor is it necessary to reduce the amount of heat-energy in a system to reach lower temperatures.

    Or, more properly, if 1 gram of gas at 1.0 bar holds 1 kilojoule of energy and has a temperature of 20C one can change the temperature by adjusting the pressure, energy, mass, or composition of the gas. Temperature is just a measure of the excitedness of molecules.
    ===

    Oh here we go again.

    If you have 1 gram of gas and you change its mass , you no longer have 1 gram of gas. Jeezus.

    Yes, if you supply external energy to compress a mass of a gas you can increase its temperature AND its heat energy content. You are thus adding heat. Adiabatic expansion means no heat exchange with the surrondings, it does not mean no energy exchange with the surrounds.

    What Jim wsa trying to suggest with all this and why I corrected him was that he was trying to say the temperatures in the Antarctic peninsula region had risen because of this wind “dynamic”. Without heat being added. That is fundamentally wrong and defies one of the most basic axioms of physics: the converation of energy. It is ill-informed and wrong.

    The air is warmer on the leeward side of a moutain range because there is a loss of water content that gives up latent heat which warms the air.

    As I explained in full detail above the heat energy input that results in the warming in this region comes from the ocean, “dynamics” do create energy,

    I had not read this part of Jim’s original post becase people that start out talking about “myth busting” or “debunking” are rarely objective and are usually pushing an agenda. By the time I got the fifth use of “chimera” I gave up any hope that it would be informative and stopped reading.

    My exchange with Jim above shows that I was not mistaken. He is ill-informed , beligerant in his ignorance of science and insulting. All the key ingredients of a “myth-buster”.

    Someone attempting to point out “common misconceptions” may often be more objective.

    That is independent of what side of whatever argument people are on. Myth-busters are generally trying to be smart, are rarely are.

    • “What Jim wsa trying to suggest with all this and why I corrected him was that he was trying to say the temperatures in the Antarctic peninsula region had risen because of this wind “dynamic”. Without heat being added. That is fundamentally wrong and defies one of the most basic axioms of physics: the converation of energy. It is ill-informed and wrong.”

      I was referring to all the methods by which the equilibrium temperature with the given start point could be altered. Changing the mass, pressure, energy, or even chemical makeup of the gaseous solution can result in a temperature change without any other portion of the equation being altered. That is because temperature is an emergent property.

      Adiabatic cooling and warming is well documented. It is not necessary for new energy to be added to an accelerating air mass for it to gain a higher temperature so long as that same air mass once again reaches equilibrium. This is the imbalance in the equation resolving itself over time.

      The air on one side of the mountain/elevation accelerates up and over the mountain (orographic lifting) to an area of lower pressure and then descends down the other side using its momentum and mass to overcome the pressure difference. This causes the descending gas to pressurize more than the air it must overcome and more so than it had before, thereby gaining in temperature.

      In the real world there are more factors such as the reduction in humidity due to the reduction in pressure during ascent and the reduction of volume – with the same mass – on the descent.

      The result is that the air coming down the mountain is warmer than it was going up the mountain without gaining any new energy. Once the air equalizes, of course, there is no temperature difference (since no new energy has been added), but we are specifically talking about the imbalance. The net result is balance, which keeps with conservation of energy.

  42. In regards to all of the talk about higher temperatures meaning there must be more “heat,” I’d say the terminology is the problem.
    .
    This is absolutely right. We are talking thermodynamics here and the language of thermodynamics is mathematics. If very simple mathematics understandable by everybody would have been used, the argument would have been solved long ago.
    Indeed it is right that temperature can vary (up or down) when no heat is added or removed from the system.
    Here is the easy and trivial demonstration :
    .
    dU = δQ + δW : this is the first law of thermodynamics
    dU is the variation of internal energy
    δQ is the variation of heat added/removed from the system
    δW is the variation of work added/removed from the system
    .
    Now for an ideal gaz U depends only on temperature T and air at the temperatures and pressures we consider here can be assumed to be an ideal gaz.
    So if we observe a variation of temperature dT, it implies that U varied too and dU is non zero.
    Follows that δQ + δW is non zero and if we want we can set δQ = 0.
    In this case we have dU = δW, the system’s energy and temperature have varied with no heat added/removed. To obtain this result we just need to add/remove work from the system.
    .
    Symetricaly we can have no variation of temperature and of energy (e.g dU=0) despite adding/removing heat from the system.
    Indeed in that case we just need to realize δQ + δW = 0 with δQ non zero (e.g the system is eaither heated or cooled yet its temperature doesn’t change because the work added/removed is exactly compensating the heat).
    QED
    .
    To be completely rigorous I add that the system above was a closed system.
    If an open system was considered, then besides heat and work we would have a third way to change the internal energy and it is adding/removing mass from the system.
    This is however not seen in the atmosphere where mass is conserved.

  43. Greg, You are friggin amazing. You said something very wrong, then repeat what I said to defend yourself and say I am wrong.

    The argument has never ever been that energy appeared magically. That is your gross misinterpretation. The argument from the get-go has been temperatures rose without adding energy to the system “via 2 mechanisms.” And none of those mechanisms violate the laws of energy conservation.
    ====

    Jim you’re figgin amazing. Temperature is a measure of kinetic thermal energy, I linked to a definition above, so your claim ” temperatures rose without adding energy to the system” is a fundamental violations of conservation of energy. All the rest is irrelevant detail until you resolve that.

    “Alarmist argue the rising temperatures on the eastern side is due to rising CO2 trapping more heat. Which side do you agree with??”

    That is why this all matters and why it is not pedantry to correct you. And this is why I took considerable effort to try to explain in basic scientific terms why you were wrong. Yet you will not read and reflect on what I explain.

    The problem is you are trying to suggest that temperatures can rise from “dymanic” and that this does not require heat and therefore disproves any linkage to AGW.

    What I’m saying is that it demonstrates no such thing since the heat that is warming the air in this region is coming form the surrounding oceans upwind of the peninsula. We are then back to usual impasse about whether AGW is contributing to this heat.

    So I am not agreeing with AGW, I am just saying that mechanisms for the warming do not help to inform us one way or the other.

    That is why your myth-bust is busted. Sorry, it’s not a case of one side or the other, just correctly understanding the physics.

    All the stuff you dug out is very useful in that it explains why the region around the peninsula has warmed and while the rest of the Antarctic has not. This is precisely the warming that the rebutted Steig et al paper tried to smear out right across the continent.

    Explaining how the meteorology of the mountainous peninsula extracts heat from the water vapour in the air ( ultimately sourced from surrounding oceans ) and converts it into a net increase in air temperatures is a valuable point to make. I had always been puzzled by the odd warming on the peninsula but had never dug into why it happened. I have learnt something from you explanations, Thank you.

    Unfortunately this does not help us one way or the other on whether there is an AGW component included in this but it does show that it is local geography and changing wind patterns that causes regional warming of air by extracting heat from the ocean.

    Once we can recognise that the heat is coming from the oceans we also realise that the common practice of adding land and sea temperature records is lunacy. Because of the massive difference in heat capacity of air and water, there will be a minute drop in SST that is the sources for this significant regional warning , just adding the two or taking the average will give the impression of a regional warming which is totally misleading. You cannot add or average temperatures of substances with vastly different specific heat capacity.

    Thus there is a rise in the regional sea+land near surface temperature without any need for a change in total heat content ( from whatever cause ).

    That shows that this regional warming does not _require_ AGW and is thus not supportive of it. But neither does it tell us anything about whether the oceans were warmer because of AGW, whether AGW caused the stronger winds, that caused the warming etc.

    Unfortunately it is ultimately rather uninformative on the big issue although it does explain how the peninsula is warming which is interesting.

    Now I have work. ;)

  44. Earlier I posed Greg Goodman says:
    August 6, 2014 at 1:45 pm

    Jim Steele: “As the winds descend, temperatures adiabatically rise 10 to 20 degrees or more due to changes in pressure without any additional heat.”

    This is nonsense.

    Temperature is a measure of heat energy. It does not matter how something gets hotter, but if it gets hotter it contains more heat.

    In the case of lapse rate it is basically gravitational potential energy that is being converted into heat, but heat it is.

    ===

    i note that now you say “The argument from the get-go has been temperatures rose without adding energy to the system “via 2 mechanisms.”

    If by adding “to the system” you are now including the surrounding ocean, we are in agreement, It seems you’ve got my point.

  45. Greg Goodman: if you are going to be a pedant at least offer the correction:

    “Jim Steele: “As the winds descend, temperatures adiabatically rise 10 to 20 degrees or more due to changes in pressure without any additional heat.””

    It should read ‘without any additional energy’.

    Greg, in my book heat and energy are the same for conceptual purposes. He was presenting a conceptual argument. Please be more circumspect or people will think you are seeking leadership.

  46. Greg:

    “Temperature is a measure of kinetic thermal energy, I linked to a definition above, so your claim ” temperatures rose without adding energy to the system” is a fundamental violations of conservation of energy.”

    Seriously, Greg, you are dabbling in something you do not understand. That is clear. The conservation of energy requires that if the pressure rises, the temperature must rise. If it didn’t, pressurised air in a tank would not require cooling. Air compressors are covered with radiator fins for this reason. Suggested research: the Universal Gas Law; potential energy available from relative height (elevation), Conservation of Energy.

    Take a break for research then come back to read more and comment less.

  47. “Without additional heat.” Perhaps it would have satisfied Mr. Goodman more if that had been “without heat flow.” Compression does work on the gas, contributing energy that can then be called heat, but in accordance with the terminology used by most thermodynamics professors, heat did not (significantly) flow from outside the gas packet to inside..

    Thermodynamics is insidious because its nomenclature is treacherous. It makes smart people say dumb things. Two of this site’s most popular posts were directed to refuting the theory of a stable equilibrium lapse rate, but both unwittingly begged the question they were arguing. No, there would be no measurable equilibrium lapse rate, but in attempting to prove that those posts’ authors were confounded by thermodynamics’ hidden assumptions.

    I avoid thermodynamics whenever possible.

  48. Any article or comment that discusses the Antarctica Peninsula, but does not discuss the rest of Antarctica, would be like discussing the “climate” in Florida, without mentioning the other 47 contiguous states.
    .
    Of course every place on Earth is either cooling or warming.

    Of course the entire Earth is always cooling or warming.

    The only question is whether the measurements are accurate, and whether humans have had any negative influence on the climate.

    The theory that one or more greenhouse gasses is the primary cause of global warming would be supported by significant warming of the Arctic, the Antarctic, and a large increase of temperature with altitude, peaking at about six miles up, over the tropics.

    The only possible evidence of a “greenhouse” effect so far is warming of the Arctic, since there is no warming of Antarctica (unless you mislead people and focus on the peninsula), or warming with altitude over the tropics.

    I believe there are better hypotheses for why the Arctic is warming, while the Antarctic is not (such as dark soot on the ice and snow, from burning coal and wood in the Northern Hemisphere, which increases absorption of solar energy versus pristine ice and snow).

    For the warmists (science deniers / climate astrologers), “proof” of the greenhouse effect is simply declaring “the science is settled” and then character attacking real scientists who do not subscribe to computer game predictions of the future climate.

    The warmists continually focus on a mere 2% of Antarctica, the peninsula, as if the remaining 98% of Antarctica does not matter.

    Real scientists would not do that unless they are trying to mislead people … and then they would be acting as politicians (who happen to have a science degree!)

  49. TonyP wrties: The higher atmosphere has been getting significantly warmer. And then there’s the big one. near-surface ocean water temperatures have increased markedly over the past two decades (IPCC AR5 chapter 3).

    That is wrong. Consensus for Argo data shows the upper 300 meters have not warmed or cooled slightly since 2003.(Xue 2012) and Lyman 2014 has the upper 100 meter cooling and Wunsch and Heimbach 2014 have everything below 2000 meters cooling.

    Take home lesson is you need to get your facts straight.

  50. Greg Goodman says “What Jim wsa trying to suggest with all this and why I corrected him was that he was trying to say the temperatures in the Antarctic peninsula region had risen because of this wind “dynamic”. Without heat being added. That is fundamentally wrong and defies one of the most basic axioms of physics: the converation of energy. It is ill-informed and wrong.”

    The whole point of these essays are that temperature is not a good measure of heat content. They are related but not equivalent. You are fabricating your interpretation of what i said. You engage in pettifoggery that appears to suggest temperature and heat are the same. That stance is absolutely wrong. If you dont like my use of the words go argue with the many authors who also describe the warming as adiabatic. Maybe you can get them to se the wold according to Greg.

    Again during a foehn storm no energy was added to the “system”. Your mistake is that you arbitrarily define the system as just the air at the surface where temperatures were measured. I explained the posted picture of adiabatic heating to you and said in part the energy to heat in the descending winds was released when acquired moisture from the windward side condensed. On the leeward side of a mountain temperature are measured 10 to 90 degrees higher than on the windward side during foehn events. If there was no foehn event there would be no measured rise in temperature. That was the point and it is accurate but you misdirect with your quibbles.

    Just because some of the heat came from the ocean, does not mean energy was added to the regional system which includes the ocean. The heat in the ocean was just expressed as dramatically higher air temperatures, with no noticeable change in ocean temperatures. Adding that foehn storm rise in temperature does not tell about added heat to the earth, yet it is inappropriately included to drive the average chimera. But you quibble semantics ad nauseum.

    You are on some self-absorbed pedantic power trip, and repeated my very same analysis to say “It is ill-informed and wrong.”

    If those descending winds did not descend, the potential temperature would not have been translated into a rise in surface temperature. But descending winds were heated adiabatically as the pressure increased. To show moisture is not always needed, I referred to papers observing dry katabatic winds that raised temperatures simply due to increasing pressure as they descend from the high Antarctic plateau. The interior of Antarctica is about as dry a place as you can get. No moisture was added. But you twisted those observations to fit your misconception. The Dry McMurdo Valleys are dry due to sublimation. Katabatic winds descend due to gravity and because they are cold and dense. But you go off talking about gravity adding potential energy as if that was not understood.

    Again as as been noted elsewhere your arguments are semantic pettifoggery.

  51. Greg Goodman as i read your comments further you attack me but then repeat the very same points I made as if you were enlightening me.

    You said “Once we can recognise that the heat is coming from the oceans we also realise that the common practice of adding land and sea temperature records is lunacy. Because of the massive difference in heat capacity of air and water, there will be a minute drop in SST that is the sources for this significant regional warning , just adding the two or taking the average will give the impression of a regional warming which is totally misleading. You cannot add or average temperatures of substances with vastly different specific heat capacity.”

    Exactly my points. Are you not myth-busting the chimeric global average temperature exactly they way I wrote?

  52. Well, can’t say that I see much of this massive Antarctic Peninsula warming over the last 30-32 years at least:

    Seems by and large to have ended in the early 80s. Strange, considering CO2 has continued its relentless rise ever since.

    What minor winter warming might have occurred even over this recent period most likely have to do with wind patterns, yes. Like in the Arctic.

    What happened in 1987, BTW?!

  53. Alan Robertson says:
    August 6, 2014 at 1:38 pm
    —————-
    Today’s NSIDC satellite mosaic picture of Antarctic regions does not display the big ‘berg, so apparently, yesterday’s apparent calving event was only an instrumental/computational artifact, after all.

  54. tonyp,

    You’ve hit all the alarmist talking points. They are all wrong.

    For one example, you say:

    There was no significant change in sea level between the Roman period and the 20th century (less than 0.1 mm/yr) .

    That is crazy. It is contradicted by mountains of evidence. Here is just one source. There are many more. If you’re interested, just ask, and I will post them.

  55. Another thing that the katabatic winds are responsible for creating in the Antarctica is Blue-ice fields or Blue-ice runways. They occur miles (kms) from the ocean.

    “Blue-ice fields are glacial areas that remain snow-free. Most of the Antarctic ice sheet is covered by snow, since the accumulation of snow by precipitation, wind deposition and condensation exceeds ablation (loss) by evaporation and wind erosion. In blue-ice areas the ice is on the surface with no blanket of snow, because wind and evaporation remove more snow than is accumulated. These relatively small net ablation areas are scattered over the continent.
    Blue-ice areas in the Antarctic interior typically form where mountains disturb the flow of katabatic winds. Blowing snow is deposited on the upwind side of the mountains, with a turbulent wake of snow-free air on the downwind side. The gusty winds on the lee side of the mountains strip away any snow that might fall during calm weather and the ice itself erodes by evaporation. Over time a very thick layer of ice can be removed by ablation, revealing older layers that were once deeply buried and bringing embedded solids to the surface.”

    The first link is from one that BAS uses and the second is from a private company that has been using Blue-ice runways since 1987.

    http://www.antarctica.ac.uk/met/momu/International_Antarctic_Weather_Forecasting_Handbook/7.3.9_Ski%20hi%20Blu%20Palmer%20Land.php

    http://www.adventure-network.com/blue-ice-airfields

  56. BAS “…. and the ice itself erodes by evaporation.”

    It’s a shame British Antarctic Survey can’t use the correct terms. Solids do not evaporate, the process is called sublimation.

  57. Jim: “Again during a foehn storm no energy was added to the “system”. Your mistake is that you arbitrarily define the system as just the air at the surface where temperatures were measured.”

    You now substitute “energy” for you earlier use of “heat” and again slip in “to the system” .

    You originally said “As the winds descend, temperatures adiabatically rise 10 to 20 degrees or more due to changes in pressure without any additional heat.”

    And you call me disingenuous. LOL

    I quite clearly pointed out that contrary to what you wrote it was necessary to view the system as a whole ( gravitational potential energy, lantent heat and sensible ocean heat ). Nothing arbitrary about that.

    “Greg Goodman as i read your comments further you attack me but then repeat the very same points I made as if you were enlightening me.”

    I was not “attacking” you I was correcting some fundamental errors in the physics of what you presented. If you see that as a personal attack, that’s your ego getting in the way.

    Since you have now changed what you said originally, it seems you have been enlightened, even if you are too proud and/or obstinate to admit it.

    Jim:

    You said “Once we can recognise that the heat is coming from the oceans we also realise that the common practice of adding land and sea temperature records is lunacy. Because of the massive difference in heat capacity of air and water, there will be a minute drop in SST that is the sources for this significant regional warning , just adding the two or taking the average will give the impression of a regional warming which is totally misleading. You cannot add or average temperatures of substances with vastly different specific heat capacity.”

    “Exactly my points. Are you not myth-busting the chimeric global average temperature exactly they way I wrote?”

    Well since you said nothing about adding land temps and sea temps, said nothing about the heat that caused warming of the air temps having come from latent heat of water vapour and hence the ocean but said it was magically created from nowhere by the “dynamics”, I can’t agree that this was “exactly” the way you described it.

    However, there seems little point arguing about what you originally posted if you now think we are agreed on what happens.

    You have shown that the warming of Antarctic peninsula is due to adiabatic warming caused by local geography and changing wind patterns. This is a useful addition to understanding why that part warms and the continent as a whole does not. That is significant, thank you.

    That was a problem when Steig et al 2009 used some creative accounting to spread this warming across the whole of Antarctica but that has since been thoroughly rebutted. A localised warming is difficult to blame on AGW since GHGs are well mixed and can’t chose where they hit. ( Though inconvenient facts and logical deduction don’t hinder some. )

    Global average temperatures are not “chimeric” they are data. What resulted from this discussion is a very good, concrete example of how misleading the whole idea of adding sea and land temperature records is. Irrespective of which way the error goes and whether one finds the result convenient or not, it is fundamentally unscientific to add two incompatible quantities together.

    Since HadCRUT4, one of the major datasets that is frequency quoted and used for comparison to various climate drivers, is just such an addition, I think the case of the Antarctic peninsula will be a useful reference.

  58. Greg / Greg Goodman,
    A system that hasn’t reached thermal equilibrium doesn’t have a meaningful temperature.
    “…we can speak of a system as having a temperature only if the condition of thermal equilibrium exists.”-Principles of Modern Chemistry, 4th ed., p. 119
    And solids can and do “evaporate.” If you’re going to be a pedantic jerk, you have to get it right:
    1. to change from a liquid or solid state into vapor; pass off in vapor.

    http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/evaporate

    • “A system that hasn’t reached thermal equilibrium doesn’t have a meaningful temperature”

      This is true only when you care about the whole system temperature. Herein a partial system temperature is being discussed which causes localized warming without additional energy from GHGs with adiabatic processes being indicated as the cause.

  59. loon crass,
    What partial system are you referring to–the atmosphere + ocean surface + land surface? Is it a part that is in equilibrium? Do you include trees and fish and snow in your “partial” system”? What does the word “system” mean to you?
    You see, I thought we were talking about the mathematical abstraction called “global average temperature”, as per infallible Greg: “Global average temperatures are not “chimeric” they are data.
    Now you come along to move the goal post. Gee, thanks.

    • “loon crass,
      What partial system are you referring to–the atmosphere + ocean surface + land surface? Is it a part that is in equilibrium? Do you include trees and fish and snow in your “partial” system”? What does the word “system” mean to you?
      You see, I thought we were talking about the mathematical abstraction called “global average temperature”, as per infallible Greg: “Global average temperatures are not “chimeric” they are data. ”
      Now you come along to move the goal post. Gee, thanks.”

      I’m not moving the goal posts, I’m referring specifically to the abstract concept of a closed system. In this context it refers to the air mass experiencing adiabatic temperature changes as a result of orographic lifting and the resulting compression experienced by said air flow. In this case, we aren’t interested in the equilibrium temperature but the imbalance temperatures since it is being asserted that it is the imbalanced temperatures which are being mistaken/claimed as a AGW signal/indicator.

      Personally, I think global average temperature is a meaningless number. Only the actual energy contained within the system matters (in this case, the entire atmosphere – and ONLY the atmosphere which has continual proxies – so this will likely limit us to the lower troposphere). If CO2 prevents energy from escaping (it does) then it can cause warming (it does). If it can trap more than what water vapor can (it can’t) or significantly increase how much net energy is being retained (it can’t, the spectra in question are practically ‘exhausted’) then there is credence to the CO2 claim (there isn’t much).

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