Antarctic Warming? Part 2 – A letter from a meteorologist on the ground in Antarctica

UPDATE 1/25: Mr. Hays has has provided a follow up letter, posted at the bottom of this article. – Anthony

This letter below, reprinted with permission, is from Ross Hays. Ross was a CNN meteorologist for many years. He works for NASA at the Columbia Balloon Facility.

ross-hays-mt-erebus

Ross Hays with Antarctica's Mount Erebus volcano in the background

In that capacity he has spent much time in Antarctica.  He obviously can’t speak for his agency but can have an opinion which he shared with several people. It is printed below in entirety, exactly as he sent it to Eric Steig today, the lead author of the University of Washington paper highlighted in a  press release yesterday that claims there is a warming in Antarctica. There were some of the pronouncements made in the media, particularly to the Associated Press by Dr. Michael Mann, that marry that paper with “global warming”, even though no such claim was made in the press release about the scientific paper itself.

I agree with Ross Hays. In my opinion, this press release and subsequent media interviews were done for media attention. The timing is suspicious,  with the upcoming  Al Gore’s address to congress, he can now say: “We’ve now learned Antarctica is warming”. A Google News search shows about 530 articles on the UW press release in various media.

I ask my readers that share this opinion to consider writing factual letters to the editor (in your own words) or make online comments if any of these media outlets are near you. – Anthony

letter dated 1/22/09

Eric,

Let me first say that this is my own opinion and does not represent the agency I work for. I feel your study is absolutely wrong.

There are very few stations in Antarctica to begin with and only a hand full with 50 years of data. Satellite data is just approaching thirty years of available information.  In my experience as a day to day forecaster that has to travel and do field work in Antarctica the summer seasons have been getting colder. In the late 1980s helicopters were used to take our personnel to Williams Field from McMurdo Station due to the annual receding of the Ross Ice Shelf, but in the past few years the thaw has been limited and vehicles can continue to make the transition and drive on the ice. One climate note to pass along is December 2006 was the coldest December ever for McMurdo Station. In a synoptic perspective the cooler sea surface temperatures have kept the maritime storms farther offshore in the summer season and the colder more dense air has rolled from the South Pole to the ice shelf.

There was a paper presented at the AMS Conference in New Orleans last year noting over 70% of the continent was cooling due to the ozone hole. We launch balloons into the stratosphere and the anticyclone that develops over the South Pole has been displaced and slow to establish itself over the past five seasons. The pattern in the troposphere has reflected this trend with more maritime (warmer) air around the Antarctic Peninsula which is also where most of the automated weather stations are located for West Antarctica which will give you the average warmer readings and skew the data for all of West Antarctica.

With statistics you can make numbers go to almost any conclusion you want. It saddens me to see members of the scientific community do this for media coverage.

Sincerely,

Ross Hays

Follow up letter, sent 1/24 and posted on 1/25 with permission:

Anthony,

A prerequisite to going to work for the Columbia Scientific Balloon Facility was to pass an Antarctic physical. During the southern summer each year CSBF launches large (up to 40 million cubic feet) scientific balloons that orbit Antarctica for up to 42 days with scientific experiments. Most of the payloads are astrophysics, but scientific balloons discovered the ozone hole over Antarctica.

The meteorologist job is to do daily forecasts for our launch site at Williams Field near McMurodo Station on Ross Island. When campaigns are going on daily briefings are provided to personnel and a written summary is provided for daily situation reports sent to the Balloon Program Office at Goddard Space Center. We also monitor the stratospheric winds while the payloads are being readied to launch and to make sure the winds are in the correct direction and the balloon will stay over the continent. We also forecast payload termination and impact areas.

I have only done two tours on the Ice but have provided forecasts from Palestine, Texas on the years between after the balloon launches we take over forecasts for the payload and handle termination from our command center. I will be returning to the Ice in November.

My main problem with the study is the data sets. I know of only 4 stations for all of Antarctica that have fifty complete years of data. I am trying to find the exact number now. Most stations have been on and off in operation for a few seasons during field experiments. One of our retired meteorologists, Glenn Rosenberger was a US Navy meteorologist that did tours in Antarctica. He helped install the first automated weather stations on the continent: In conjunction with Stanford University, believe it was in 1978-1979 that 4 were put on the ice.  One was on Minna Bluff, one on the Plateau, one on the slope of Eribus.  They were powered by the RTG (radiological thermoelectric generators) and the I was the Radiological Officer for the command.  There is just not enough data to support the results in my opinion.

The discussion about the warming in West Antarctica is also questionable to me since the majority of stations with several years of data are on the Antarctic Peninsula, which is surround by warmer maritime air, and doesn’t give a good balance over the interior.

I hope this gives you some idea about me.

Sincerely,

Ross Hays

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John Plaice

According to the Cryosphere Today, a huge chunk of ice disappeared overnight
off the coast of Labrador. I wonder where in cyberspace it ended up?
http://igloo.atmos.uiuc.edu/cgi-bin/test/print.sh?fm=01&fd=21&fy=2009&sm=01&sd=22&sy=2009

Douglas DC

When is the AGW agitprop going to stop?When the Glacial front gets to Cleveland?

Graeme Rodaughan

I wonder if any Main Stream Media outlet will dare to publish this letter?

Graeme Rodaughan

Congratulations to Ross Hays for his honesty and courage in the face of the “consensus”.

Darrin

The following is posted as part of the environmental agenda on http://www.whitehouse.gov today. Here we go!
“Reduce our Greenhouse Gas Emissions 80 Percent by 2050
Implement an economy-wide cap-and-trade program to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 80 percent by 2050. Make the U.S. a Leader on Climate Change”.

James H

Something tells me that Mann is not overly concerned about this opinion.

It’s a fairly strong accusation to make that scientists are releasing their results purely for maximum media/political impact. Not a claim I’d want to make without significant evidence…
REPLY: I think the evidence is in the quotes made today by co-authors Michael Mann and Drew Shindell. While the scientific paper makes no attribution to global warming or GHG’s they do make those linkages in quotes to the Associated Press. If they had left the paper unconnected to this political issue of global warming, then I don’t think these kinds of opinions about media attention would be forming. – Anthony

Besides, Hays presents nothing more than anecdotal evidence, some of which is completely meaningless (“December 2006 was the coldest December ever for McMurdo Station”).
REPLY: Read carefully again. He presented a mechanism to explain the warming of west Antarctica. – Anthony

hunter

This latest work by Mann is just another stage prop for Gore’s next show before the Senate.
The authors know it is garbage, but it is not meant to be a scientific tool. It is a sales aid for AGW promoters.

Thanks for sharing this. My gut tells me this is the real story — though I am certainly no scientist.

Leon Brozyna

After seeing the nature of the response to his work, perhaps Professor Steig will exercise greater care in the future when selecting coauthors.

Nick

I am going to have to say that Hays has failed scientifically to make his point by saying basically that it seems colder to him. I am glad to see that he questioned the methodology, specifically the sampling method, but his apparent argument against the use of statistics is weak.
I think that the focus here should be on the sampling method rather than the broader discipline of quantitative analysis.

Neil Crafter

naught101 (20:57:58) :
Besides, Hays presents nothing more than anecdotal evidence, some of which is completely meaningless (”December 2006 was the coldest December ever for McMurdo Station”).
Completely meaningless? He’s there on the ground in Antarctica working as a meteorologist – where are you that you can say that? Your comment beggars belief.
Well done Ross Hays for coming out and saying this in the face of this kind of opposition.

Eric Anderson

naught101 wrote: “Besides, Hays presents nothing more than anecdotal evidence, some of which is completely meaningless (”December 2006 was the coldest December ever for McMurdo Station”).”
Is this really anecdotal evidence, or is it a statement based on actual December temperatures at McMurdo? Should be easy enough to verify.

Jim Steele

It has been known for several years now that Antarctica can show both cooling and warming trends depending on the start date of the trend. The warming trend is dependent on starting 50 years ago. For the last 20-30 years the trend shows cooling.
The people who push the warm trend argue that their start point utilizes the “full data” set. But I think that choice is just opportunistic BS. The more interesting trend is that Antarctica has been definitely cooling these past 20-30 years just as Ross Hayes has observed, and that cooling is during the same time period that the AGW crowd claims that the global temperatures uncoupled from natural variation and thus they must conclude that the past 20-30 year of warming must be man made..
Antarctica remains a very embarrassing contradiction. So they hide the recent cooling in a re-hash of the 50 year warming trend and ignore the cooling trend.
It is a most interesting irony that the Antarctica peninsula has been warming consistently whether the global temperature have risen or fallen. The Antarctic peninsula is in fact the best example of something that has uncoupled from natural variations and atmospheric temperature trends. And ironically it suggests that something other than CO2 is the driving force. Vulcanism may be a possible answer.
See map:
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/2/29/Global_Cooling_Map.png

What a great letter. It explains the nearby RSS UAH satellite lower troposphere measurements, increase in ice as well as the politics.

Tim

I’m not clear on this:
“There was a paper presented at the AMS Conference in New Orleans last year noting over 70% of the continent was cooling due to the ozone hole. We launch balloons into the stratosphere and the anticyclone that develops over the South Pole has been displaced and slow to establish itself over the past five seasons.”
So is he attributing the cooling to the ozone hole or something else?
Anyone?

Fred Gams

Politically, I think we should let the alarmists implement some of their ridiculous ideas and then watch them crash and burn like they are about to do in the UK/EU.
They’ll be completely discredited after a short period of pain. I’m afraid that if we are able to stop them politically, this nonsense will drag on for decades.

mbabbitt

A pox on all of their data manipulation houses!

maksimovich

“The pattern in the troposphere has reflected this trend with more maritime (warmer) air around the Antarctic Peninsula which is also where most of the automated weather stations are located for West Antarctica which will give you the average warmer readings and skew the data for all of West Antarctica.”
http://i255.photobucket.com/albums/hh133/mataraka/ozoneap.jpg
So spatial drift in the minima and maxima of ozone over the Antarctic Peninsula is clearly obvious.

sdk

In Seattle, I have sent the following letter to the Editor, Seattle Times.
************************************************************************************
Editor:
The Seattle Times takes bad science and packages it as breaking news.
The newspaper printed a story by reporter S Doughton regarding a ‘study’ from the University of Washington about warming of the Antarctic continent ( UW study says Antarctica now feeling the heat, too, originally published Jan. 21, 2009 ).
There were some pronouncements made in the media, particularly to the Associated Press by a Dr. Michael Mann, that marry the UW paper with “global warming”, even though no such claim was made in the press release about the scientific paper itself.
In my opinion, this press release and subsequent Times usage, was done for media attention, most likely to coincide with Al Gore’s upcoming address to congress, so that he could announce “We’ve now learned Antarctica is warming”. A Google News search shows about 530 articles on the UW press release in various media.
A response to Eric Steig has been published at the web site http://www.wattsupwiththat.org. by Ross Hays. Ross was a CNN meteorologist for
many years. He works for NASA at the Columbia Balloon Facility in the Antarctic.
Faulty science does not belong in any newspaper unless reported as such, reporter agendas, of merit, belong on the opinion pages. Apparently, the Seattle Times will stop at nothing to push its own agenda.
Steven Keeler
************************************************************************************
I have also sent an email to Mr. Steig at the University of Washingtons Quaternary Research Center ( steig@ess.washington.edu ) . In my opinion, his interpolations, as stated, are an embarrassment to computer scientists in particular and to my home state as well .

REPLY:
Thank you, but just a point to consider. Newspaper editors regularly reject letters that are copied almost verbatum from websites. Using my text will probably disqualify your letter. I encourage voicing opinions in your own words. – Anthony

Tim

Very interesting, Maksi…

Jim G

The trend for sea ice extent trend is clearly growing for the last 20 years.
Do you really think it would be growing if it were getting warmer?
http://arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere/IMAGES/current.anom.south.jpg
The anomoly for 2008 was almost 2 million km^2.
Would this also be a sign of warming?

More anecdotal evidence from the field:
From a recent post: “In a document published January 19th, NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center (NCEP) has officially put the stamp on the cold water conditions we’ve seen growing in the equatorial mid and eastern Pacific. ………… This does not bode well for California’s drought conditions, which are likely to continue due to this renewed La Niña event.”
Down here in the southern part of the state, in December, we had a heavy accumulation of snow and an extended cold snap, highly unusual and unseen in the 20 years I’ve lived here. As I type, it’s raining, with more predicted for next week, starting on Monday. Drought? Warming? I guess it depends on where you happen to be, and if you stick your head out the window and it hits you in the face. If you’re sitting in a controlled climate building, analyzing ‘adjusted’ satellite data, it apparently looks warm and dry.
Why are we paying these guys to bamboozle us?

sdk

and as you may be wondering, Mr. Steig is a ‘no show’ regarding a response to my email.
REPLY: he is probably inundated today, give him time. – Anthony

Neil Jones

Sort of off topic
I’m an agnostic still trying to get a real grasp on the science of all this so please bare with me.
If the planet has got hotter since 1973 then something might be causing it outside of the normal mechanisms. As a psychologist my immediate question is what significant changes in the behaviour of humans might cause such an event, burning fossil fuels is “more of the same” and so not one I would look at first. Try this instead.
In 1973 Motorola demonstrated the first mobile phone, since then we have seen a massive growth in their use in the world, could this be the cause?
1. The existence of mobile phones has greatly increased the demand for electricity, in turn demanding an increase in the use of fossil fuels.
2. Mobile phones use microwave frequencies which are known to cause excitation (heating) in water molecules. This in low level but persistent over the entire period talked about and cumulative.
3. Water vapour is a “Green House Gas” far more effective than CO2, if I have understood this sights past postings.
Could these factors combined, in the hands of a scientist like Michael Mann, be used to prove a causal relationship resulting in the closure of all mobile networks across the world?
I look forward to your replies

Pamela Gray

I say let the cap and trade bonds go the way of the stock market. They will be nothing more than junk bonds in a hurry. This scheme will be self-correcting, just like the housing market bubble. Yes, people will crash and burn and a few traders may jump out windows, but this may be the only way to move beyond the alarmism.

Alan Wilkinson

This is a great example of why statistical analysis usually contains less information than ground-based individual observation. The statistical approaches almost always loses information by making invalid assumptions that the measurements it employs were made with all other relevant conditions equal.
The ground-based informed and intelligent observer notes the other critical variations in factors that statistics ignore. Mann is simply politicking and will almost certainly come to grief with many others on that basis.

deadwood

The short-term political battle in the US over GW has been lost and will remain lost for at least two years. Let the fools in DC cap and trade themselves out their jobs.
The American people aren’t completely stupid and after a few more winters like the last two, they will awaken with a vengeance – no matter how much propaganda is thrown at them.

Kum Dollison

[snip, this belongs on the appropriate thread, please repost it there on the bus-biofuel thread]

Ron de Haan

OT but in my opinion an IMPORTANT piece of the climate/weather puzzle:
Cosmic rays detected deep underground reveal secrets of the upper atmosphere
“Cosmic-rays detected half a mile underground in a disused U.S. iron-mine can be used to detect major weather events occurring 20 miles up in the Earth’s upper atmosphere, a new study has revealed”.
“What did surprise the scientists, however, were the intermittent and sudden increases observed in the levels of muons during the winter months. These jumps in the data occurred over just a few days. On investigation, they found these changes coincided with very sudden increases in the temperature of the stratosphere (by up to 40 oC in places!). Looking more closely at supporting meteorological data, they realised they were observing a major weather event, known as a Sudden Stratospheric Warming. On average, these occur every other year and are notoriously unpredictable. This study has shown, for the first time, that cosmic-ray data can be used effectively to identify these events.
Lead scientist for the National Centre for Atmospheric Science, Dr Scott Osprey said: “Up until now we have relied on weather balloons and satellite data to provide information about these major weather events. Now we can potentially use records of cosmic-ray data dating back 50 years to give us a pretty accurate idea of what was happening to the temperature in the stratosphere over this time. Looking forward, data being collected by other large underground detectors around the world, can also be used to study this phenomenon.”
http://www.ncas.ac.uk/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=446&Itemid=249

Neil Jones

Anthony
Thanks for your patient response to my post however I’d like to point out mobile phones have been recorded to cause localised warming in the human brain so I’m not convinced about the “No Effect” argument for the frequency. As for the power question, a candle if left long enough can boil a gallon of water, it’s low output/input is mitigated by duration.
I understand this is all as probable as a hockey stick graph but I thought I’d ask.
Thanks again
N

Ron de Haan

The arctic has been studied as well:
http://www.canada.com/topics/news/story.html?id=1186593

lulo

I have now read the ‘Antarctic Warming’ article and hereby declare it to be the worst demonstration of bias in science that has ever hit a journal of such high regard. It is hardly even worth comment, except to provide an explanation as to (click below)…
http://medicine.plosjournals.org/archive/1549-1676/2/8/pdf/10.1371_journal.pmed.0020124-L.pdf

Jonathan

Ron de Haan, the paper you mention is pretty clear that the muon flux is used to detect stratospheric warmings; there is no suggestion of a causal link.

J.Hansford.

So the Environmentalists are laying on a massive media offencive in anticipation to the change of administration within the White house….
Well then, it’s going to be a very interesting time as a spectator of politics.
….. Because politics is exactly what it is…. It has nothing to do with Climate.

Richard Heg

Anthony regarding your comment on cell phones. It is possible to collect weather data from cell phone networks. Cell phones and base stations constantly monitor receive power and adjust transmit power levels accordingly to overcome attenuation (to a different extent with different technologies). If you look at the data for all the phones in a cell you will see the power levels changing depending on the water in the air.( You are right to say the frequency is too low to resonate the water molecule but there is still some attenuation.) With thousands of cells in a network and almost everywhere covered you could create real time maps of perception and fog. The data is there if someone were to write the software to collect and use it but i am no weather expert so don’t know how useful it would be.
As for cell phones heating the air well all signals end up as heat unless they go into space but as you say its a tiny power. The non radio network elements use a lot more power and produce a lot more heat.

R John

Neil Jones –
Visible light that comes from an incandescent light bulb in your home puts out 10^6 more energy than your cell phone. Do you get “baked” sitting under the light from this when you are reading a book? No! (unless you are smoking something funny at the same time…).
You can calculate this on your own using Einstein’s equation of:
E = hv, where h = Planck’s constant (6.63E-34 J*s) where a megahertz of a cell phone is approximately 8.5E8/s and that of a light bulb is 5.5E14/s.
Don’t believe all of the conspiracy crap you find on the internet.

Not only do we know, thanks to DeSmogBlog, that interest in climate skepticism and concern about fraudulent climate science has doubled Google ratings last year, now the latest survey finds that the number of US voters disbelieving in manmade global warming has just tipped into an outright majority, 51%.
So thanks to Ross Hays for speaking up and saying what he knew (anecdotal) without claiming what he did not know. Every little helps.

Mike McMillan

wattsupwiththat (23:14:54) :
NEIL JONES I’m happy to answer your question. Cell phones produce so little radio power (about 50 to 100 milliwatts typically) that the total amount of radiated power is negligible compared to the 1365 watts per square meter of average solar energy impacting the earth’s surface.

Ummm, that’s TSI at the top of the atmosphere, about 1000 watts per sq meter down here.

Brit.in.Aussie

This is the sort of posting that fully justified the voting for best Scientific Blog, IMHO

Anthony: In addition to the number of stations in the West Antarctic skewing the results, Mann and Steig were somewhat open about the Steig et al (2009) paper in their post on RealClimate.
http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2009/01/state-of-antarctica-red-or-blue/
They note in Clarification 3: “Our paper — by itself — does not address whether Antarctica’s recent warming is part of a longer term trend. There is separate evidence from ice cores that Antarctica has been warming for most of the 20th century, but this is complicated by the strong influence of El Niño events in West Antarctica. In our own published work to date (Schneider and Steig, PNAS), we find that the 1940s [edit for clarity: the 1935-1945 decade] were the warmest decade of the 20th century in West Antarctica, due to an exceptionally large warming of the tropical Pacific at that time.”
If the link doesn’t make it through, here’s the link to the abstract of the Schneider and Steig (2008), PNAS paper “Ice cores record significant 1940s Antarctic warmth related to tropical climate variability”:
http://www.pnas.org/content/105/34/12154.abstract
The “exceptionally large warming of the tropical Pacific at that time” referred to was the 1939/40/41/42 El Nino. From the Schneider and Steig abstract: “This record, representative of West Antarctic surface temperature, shows extreme positive anomalies in the 1936–45 decade that are significant in the context of the background 20th Century warming trend. We interpret these anomalies—previously undocumented in the high-latitude SH—as indicative of strong teleconnections in part driven by the major 1939–42 El Niño. These anomalies are coherent with tropical sea-surface temperature, mean SH air temperature, and North Pacific sea-level pressure, underscoring the sensitivity of West Antarctica’s climate, and potentially its ice sheet, to large-scale changes in the global climate.”
Since we’ve had more than one “exceptionally large warming of the tropical Pacific” since 1976, one would think that the more recent warming in the West Antarctic should also be attributable to the high number of El Nino events. I noted this in a post at my website last night.
http://bobtisdale.blogspot.com/2009/01/recent-antarctic-warming-attribution.html
And to put the multiyear early-1940s El Nino into perspective, here’s a graph of NINO3.4 SST anomalies that’s been smoothed with a 2-year (actually 25-month) filter. While the 1939-42 El Nino was larger when viewed with this smoothing, note how many significant El Nino events there were after 1976.
http://i33.tinypic.com/2cmp7ck.jpg
The 1982/83 and the 1991-95 El Nino events, though, were suppressed by volcanoes, making them Non-Ninos. That leaves the 1986/87/88 and 1997/98 El Ninos to raise global temperature in steps. And you posted my take on that last week:
http://bobtisdale.blogspot.com/2009/01/can-el-nino-events-explain-all-of.html
http://bobtisdale.blogspot.com/2009/01/can-el-nino-events-explain-all-of_11.html
Regards

Dermot Carroll

The satellite data is only for the last 25 or so years, does show warming or cooling?

Anders Valland

Neil,
the arguments Anthony made on the question of frequencies and excitation of water molecules are hard physics. Radiation from mobile phones cannot heat water through excitation. Period.
As for your claim that it has been shown that radiation from cell phones will heat parts of the brain that is a dubious claim. A couple of years ago, students at the Norwegian University of Technology in Trondheim, Norway, performed a study where they hade people talking at length with mobile phones while measuring the temperature in the region around the ear. What they found was that the heating was independent of whether the transmitter in the phone was active or not. What they did was actually physically disconnecting the transmitter in some of the phones but having people keep them to their ear for the same period of time as those who where actually talking with active phones. The heating of the skull was the same, thus indicating that the insulation of the area due to a hand and phone covering the air was the culprit and not radiation.
This is also in line with previous claims that radiation lead to heating, as those studies found more heating by time in accordance with what happens when you insulate an area of the skull.
Aplogies for this OT, and I will understand if Anthony removes this post.

Reuters…. Wilkins Ice Shelf hanging by a thread…
http://www.reuters.com/news/video?videoId=97373&videoChannel=74
Jan 21 – An Antarctic ice shelf is on the brink of collapse with just a sliver of ice holding it in place, the latest victim of global warming that is altering maps of the frozen continent.
The video on the warming story. Reporter ’stretching’ what was said.
http://www.reuters.com/news/video?videoId=97453&videoChannel=74
Jan 22 – Antarctica is getting warmer rather than cooling as widely believed, according to a study that fits the icy continent into the wider trend of global warming.

Anthony,
while I agree there are many reasons not to consider cell phones in relationship to global warming your answer is rather technically lacking when it comes to frequency usage and water resonance.
For the frequencies you can check Wikipedia. There are quite a few bands used globally.
Besides that it’s a myth that you specifically need 2.45Ghz in a microwave oven. It’s the amount of power and the construction of the oven that gives you the desired result. Check Wikipedia and you can find references to ovens working at 915Mhz. Actually sold models aren’t hard to find either (bottom model).
Basically the cell phone angle is pointless because of the lack of power and the fact that earth isn’t exactly constructed to work like a microwave oven anyway.

MattN

Thank you Mr Hays. Very courageous of you. Particularly the last sentence.

Ron de Haan (23:16:20) :
“Cosmic-rays detected half a mile underground in a disused U.S. iron-mine can be used to detect major weather events occurring 20 miles up in the Earth’s upper atmosphere, a new study has revealed”.
Looking more closely at supporting meteorological data, they realised they were observing a major weather event, known as a Sudden Stratospheric Warming. On average, these occur every other year and are notoriously unpredictable. This study has shown, for the first time, that cosmic-ray data can be used effectively to identify these events.

Very interesting. Wikipedia has this to say:

One reason for major stratospheric warmings to occur in the Northern hemisphere is because orography and land-sea temperature contrasts are responsible for the generation of long (wavenumber 1 or 2) Rossby waves in the troposphere. These waves travel upward to the stratosphere and are dissipated there, producing the warming by decelerating the mean flow. This is the reason that major warmings are only observed in the northern-hemisphere, with one exception. In 2002 a southern-hemisphere major warming was observed. This event to date is not fully understood.

Does Ross Hays have any knowledge of this anomalous antarctic event, and if so, please could he comment.

Ozzie John

Ozone as a greenhouse gas controlling the southern vortex ?
Not sure if this is the jist of what Ross is trying to convey, but the decrease in Ozone over the poles ( caused by CFC’s ??? ) apparantly has sped up the southern vortex due to the increased rate of heat loss and subsequent increase in the hadley circulation. One theory to explain the heating/ cooling in Antarctica is that the vortex has pulled the low pressure systems further south allowing warmer air to reach the edges of the continent but at the same time the interior has cooled due to increased heat loss and less mixing with warmer air masses to the north due to the increased containment of the polar air mass.
What I’m not sure about is where Ross describes how the circulation has slowed in recent years given we still have Ozone depletion compared to earlier years ?
Also, with the prospect of increased cosmic rays due to extended solar cycle minimum, I’m curious what even further reduced ozone may have on the polar regions.
Does anyone have info on heat loss caused by reduced ozone at the poles ? Is this a contributing factor of global cooling during low sunspot cycles such as the maunder minimum ???
There would seem to be a possible fit here somewhere….!