Recent NOAA Study: Climate change not all man-made

Cites Natural Causes

Tom Spears, Canwest News Service

noaa_rhcd

It’s wrong to blame our warming climate on human pollution alone, says a major analysis by U. S. climate scientists who say North America’s warming and drying trend also has important natural causes.

Natural shifts in ocean currents have caused much of the warming in recent decades, and almost all of the droughts, says the U. S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

Most climate researchers today deal exclusively with man-made “greenhouse” gases, and often dismiss suggestions of naturally caused warming as unscientific.

Yet NOAA says Western Canada has warmed by two degrees and Eastern Canada hasn’t warmed at all because flows of air from naturally shifting Pacific currents have affected the West most.

The lengthy re-analysis of climate data doesn’t dispute that greenhouse gases from fossil fuels cause a warmer climate. But it raises questions about the details: How much warming? How many causes? And why isn’t it the same every-where?

It also stresses that we don’t understand climate as well as we like to think, because scientists only have good data from about 1948 onward.

“Most of the warming [worldwide] is the consequence of human influences,” said Martin Hoerling, a NOAA climate scientist. But he said the question remains, “What does that mean for my backyard?”

Policy-makers need to know whether natural changes or pollution is causing local conditions such as the current drought from California across to Texas, the report notes.

“All regions are not participating [in warming] at the same rate as the global temperature is changing,” Mr. Hoerling said. Some in the West are warming rapidly, and some not at all (the southeastern United States and Atlantic Canada).

Oceans carry vast amounts of heat, releasing heat and moisture into air, which then travels inland. The re-analysis focused on this fact.

Some of the changes in North America’s warming trend of the past half-century have been due to shifting ocean currents, the NOAA team found. It estimates the “natural” change is substantial and could be close to half of all warming in North America (though it is still less than the amount caused by greenhouse gases.)

The study found:

– The 56-year trend of annual surface temperature showed a rise of 0.9C, plus or minus one-tenth of a degree.

– The greatest warming — up two degrees — has taken place across Alberta, Saskatchewan, Yukon and Alaska. Quebec and Atlantic Canada stayed cool.

That East-West difference “is not what we would expect from the effect of greenhouse gases alone,” Mr. Hoerling said. Greenhouses gases should have influenced both. However, NOAA believes Western Canada is receiving more warm air due to shifting patterns of the Pacific Ocean currents.

– Variations within North America “are very likely influenced by variations in global sea surface temperatures through the effects of the latter on atmospheric circulation, especially during winter.” The term “very likely” is defined as a chance of 90% or more.

– It’s “unlikely” that patterns of drought have changed due to global warming caused by human pollution. Rather, natural shifts in ocean currents are probably to blame. For instance, the current drought in Texas and the southwest are due to La Nina, a Pacific Ocean current that starts and stops periodically (such as El Nino), and cuts off the movement of moist air inland. Warmer temperatures from greenhouse gases, however, would worsen the basic drought.

– Seven of the warmest 10 years since 1951 occurred in the decade from 1997 to 2006. The data in the study cover only to the end of 2007.

The study, Reanalysis of Historical Climate Data for Key Atmospheric Features, was completed in December but hasn’t been widely publicized.

(Read the report here, PDF 8 MB)

Meanwhile, a study published in the research journal Science last week raises further questions about our under-standing of global warming. It disputes the theory that global warming is causing more major hurricanes.

NOAA and the University of Wisconsin at Madison blame, instead, a reduction in the number of volcanic eruptions and dust storms near the equator. When there’s less airborne dust and ash, more sunshine reaches the planet’s surface, which warms the tropical oceans and spawns strong hurricanes.

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Michael Hauber

‘Most climate researchers today deal exclusively with man-made “greenhouse” gases, and often dismiss suggestions of naturally caused warming as unscientific.’
Can anyone point to any climate scientist who deals exlcusively with man-made greenhouse gases, and dismisses suggestions of natural caused warming?
I am only familiar with climate scientists who show natural influences vs climate, with no match, human influences vs climate with no match, and then a combined human and natural influence vs climate – which matches.

Leon Brozyna

I see the obligatory tip of the hat to global warming. So, in another 20-30 years, I wonder how they’ll be responding to conditions as the current negative phase of the PDO comes to its end.
As for human influences, how many are real and how many are a result of UHI, bad siting (as shown at surfacestation.org), massive loss of rural stations, and the ever present computer ‘adjustments’?
With all the equivocations in that piece, it sounds like they’re starting to painfully straddle the fence.

anonymous

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Yet Another Pundit

– It’s “unlikely” that patterns of drought have changed due to global warming caused by human pollution. Rather, natural shifts in ocean currents are probably to blame. For instance, the current drought in Texas and the southwest are due to La Nina, a Pacific Ocean current that starts and stops periodically (such as El Nino), and cuts off the movement of moist air inland. Warmer temperatures from greenhouse gases, however, would worsen the basic drought.
Here is a nice chart of Lake Mead water levels:
http://www.arachnoid.com/NaturalResources/index.html
And here is a scare story to go with it:
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/23130256/

Rhys Jaggar

1. ‘Warming in the West’ – PDO having been in positive phase?
2. ‘No warming in the East’ – was there a little rise/fall, then a little fall/rise due to AMO?
3. ‘The greenhouse gases’ they refer to: is that water vapour or seeohtwo?
Seems to me that the tectonic plates are starting to shift……..
High time too…….

Phillip Bratby

“we don’t understand climate as well as we like to think”. And yet governments are proposing to spend trillions based on poorly understood science. Incredible!

Richard111

April 3rd 2009 and the temperature outside right now is 3C (39f).
For this time of year it should be 8C or better. Forcast is frost on
Saturday and all my fruit trees are in blossom. aahhghgh….

Phillip Bratby

To Michael Hauber. What matches would these be? Computer model predictions? Pull the other one.

John F. Hultquist

Alright, I just downloaded this 156 page “Reanalysis” and will predict that almost no one will read more than a few pages.
The key findings are reported beginning on (pdf) page 19. But my download skips pages 14 to 22 which is where, I think, it explains what they have done.
This seems to be a typically dreadful (gov.) read. However, I need some sleep before trying again. I hope by the time I get back someone will have managed to look at this document and tell what it is about!

timetochooseagain

Michael Hauber-If you’re referring to the “attribution studies” like this:
http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/corporate/pressoffice/myths/Forcing-Diagram.gif
I have to be perfectly honest. They are model based crap. Here’s my rant on them:
“”Natural” forcing is solar irradiance and volcanoes. Before about 1980 there are no measurements of TSI and even after that no continuous, verifiable record. Before Pinatubo, volcanic forcing is adjustable, too. Anthropogenic forcings include aerosols and GHG’s-and while the time history and forcing ability of GHG’s is fairly certain, aerosols are not. Not to mention other anthropogenic forcings, like soot, land use, etc. Solar forcing does not contain the effects of UV/Ozone interactions or the more controversial effects of cosmic rays on low altitude cloud cover. Finally, the effects of natural, internal variability are not-cannot-be considered-but are dismissed because models don’t produce such internal variability (even though it is known that this is actually a failure on their part!).”
So, in sum, while it is true that studies claim that you need anthropogenic forcings and some weak aspects of nature (mostly cooling) that are poorly defined and not measured, to get models to agree with the GMST. Not to impressive really.

Claude Harvey

Not difficult to spot “editorial additions” designed to conform with “the company line”, is it?
““Most of the warming [worldwide] is the consequence of human influences,” said Martin Hoerling, a NOAA climate scientist.”

Richard Heg

“It estimates the “natural” change is substantial and could be close to half of all warming in North America (though it is still less than the amount caused by greenhouse gases.)”
so its close to half but still have to reinforce that its not quite half. I suppose in real terms it does not make much difference if it is say .49 or .51 but in newspaper headlines it changes from almost half to majority.
almost on topic
http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn16892-natural-mechanism-for-medieval-warming-discovered.html

deadwood

Slowly back away from the mad man.
Is this the second of some important back peddling efforts we can expect to see in the next few years as the planet cools?
First Hadley admitting UHI effects and now NOAA admitting ocean currents and other natural climate impacts are imprtant. Interesting, no?

neill

on the one hand, western proximity to the largest ocean combined with gg emissions caused the warming in the west. on the other, non-proximity to the largest ocean combined with gg emissions caused no temperature change in other regions?
hmmmm.

NS

” Claude Harvey (22:18:00) :
Not difficult to spot “editorial additions” designed to conform with “the company line”, is it?
““Most of the warming [worldwide] is the consequence of human influences,” said Martin Hoerling, a NOAA climate scientist.” ”
I did have a little chuckle at that particular “reality disconnect”
Natural shifts in ocean currents have caused much of the warming in recent decades, and almost all of the droughts, says the U. S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)………………………..
“Most of the warming [worldwide] is the consequence of human influences,” said Martin Hoerling, a NOAA climate scientist.
Incredible!

timbrom

OT, but another chink of light appears … <a href=”http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/7980441.stm””US to be pragmatic on climate change.” And this from the BBC, of all places. Of course, there isn’t a hint from anything in the article that AGW/CC is utter tosh, but it looks like some pre-positioning going on.

tallbloke

Sounds like a rivetting read. [yawn]
So, a gentle repositioning of the NOAA stance. Not well publicised now, but in a couple of years time they’ll ba able to point to it:
“Oh we’ve been saying that for ages”
At least they won’t be able to do so much arm waving with both hands covering their cheeks.

Aron

Just amazed anyone could attribute all climate changes to measly humans.

Aron
Malcolm

NOAA are simply hedging their bets with this re-analysis of climate data.
They understand that skepticism over climate is on the increase and that it has finally entered mainstream thinking.
Under the certainty that the planet is cooling NOAA now fear the political consequences of putting all their faith in computer models.
Like Real Climate who declared that the Antarctic is both cooling (observed) and warming (statistical infilling) at the same time, NOAA are simply stating the modelled claims are real but that natural variations can over-power the data.
There can only be one winner in the clash between the real world of scientific obeservation and the virtual world of climate modelling. The planet will win every time.

Robert Wood

Richard Heg @22:30:53)
That NS article is another “the MWP was local” argument and the hockey stick is true. I haven’t purchased a copy of the enviro-mental propagandist organ for years; I used to be an avid reader

Anthony ..any comment on the photo of the weather station featured at the head of chapter 1 on page 5 of this report.
There seems to be a problem with the shadows-the shadow of the pole of the MMTS sensor seems to be opposite of that of the guy with the red jacket taking the readings and the Stephenson Screen. I may be wrong.
Either way surely NOAA has a photo of a better weather station than this!

What is this crazy black line?
http://www.newscientist.com/data/images/ns/cms/dn11648/dn11648-2_726.jpg

Let’s be charitable and just say that it’s the result of grafting the thermometer record on to a spaghetti plot of proxy-based reconstructions. A case of comparing apples and bars of chocolate . To avoid giving a misleading impression, which I’m sure is unintentional, the plot should just show proxy reconstructions which have been updated to the present day.

Chris Wright

@ Richard Heg & Robert Wood,
I stopped buying New scientist several months ago for the obvious reason.
First, I note that they still use the term ‘climate change denier’. As a major sceptical argument is that climate is always changing, that’s completely bizarre as well as insulting (it’s obviously intended to sound like holocaust denial). In fact it’s the IPCC and their followers who are the climate change deniers. They deny that there was significant climate change over the preceding ten centuries. In fact the whole essence of the hockey stick is climate change denial.
This report certainly seems to concede that there was significant warming during the MWP. And one of the scientists who commented on this warming is Michael Mann. Can this be the same Michael Mann who created the Hockey Stick we all love? The sports implement that triumphantly whitewashed the MWP from history? Yes, it can. In fact, his 2008 hockey stick does show signs of the MWP, though naturally a lot smaller than the 20th century warming.
I think this is actually quite hopeful. It may be that science is slowly – painfully slowly – in the process of correcting itself, just as it has in the past. Clearly, science often gets things spectacularly wrong, for example the denial of continental drift in the early 20th century, but in the end the scientific truth usually triumphs. Unfortunately the climate scientists have huge vested interests in AGW (political influence, money, jobs, pensions) so it will be a very slow process of self-correction, probably taking decades. But, yes, there are signs that this is happening. I’m getting on in years. I just hope it will happen in my lifetime.
Chris

The referenced report is the CCSP report, which is a regurgitation of the IPCC’s AR4. Nothing more, nothing less.

Richard Heg

“Robert Wood (00:56:43) :
Richard Heg @22:30:53)
That NS article is another “the MWP was local” argument and the hockey stick is true. I haven’t purchased a copy of the enviro-mental propagandist organ for years; I used to be an avid reader”
I always go to the NS web site thinking ok this time i will ignore the story about how the latest computer model proves AGW and anyone who questions it is ignorant or worse and just look at the articles on all the other science/news areas i am interested in. But every time i am drawn to the headline and every time it puts me off reading about anything else. But i think that is the problem with the whole AGW issue, so much attention has been given to it that it has left many more important issues ignored.

Urederra

Natural shifts in ocean currents have caused much of the warming in recent decades, and almost all of the droughts, says the U. S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

Climatology is one of these qualitative sciences where (almost) everything is explained by using terms like “much of the” “most likely” “almost all” and such.

There is an analysis of Australian temperatures which shows a decreased trend by using all temp readings rather than min/max (-44%):
http://gustofhotair.blogspot.com/2009/04/analysis-of-australian-temperature-part.html

tarpon

Painful straddling that fence. One slip and …
What I would like to know is how you draw the line. Man vs the rest, is it another fudge fator? It’s become obvious to most, the Ocam’s Razor of climate is the sun. How could we possibly have missed it. I am, sure if we continue to spend billions, we will find the “most likely” culprit for “almost all” of the heat on earth.
Pollution is not Climatology, and CO2, the very stuff of life on earth, is not pollution.

maz2

“Effects Of Climate Change On Infectious Diseases Questioned By Ecologists
Recent research has predicted that climate change may expand the scope of human infectious diseases. A new review, however, argues that climate change may have a negligible effect on pathogens or even reduce their ranges. The paper has sparked debate in the ecological community.”
“Lafferty agrees that climate isn’t the only issue that affects disease ecology, and maintains that climate may play only a small part in determining disease ranges.
“If we over-emphasize the role of climate, which we have little control over, at the expense of other factors that drive disease dynamics, we may be missing the forest for the trees,” he says.”
http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/144822.php

Michael Hauber (20:47:57) :

Can anyone point to any climate scientist who deals exlcusively with man-made greenhouse gases, and dismisses suggestions of natural caused warming?

The folks behind Realclimate come to mind. High on the dismissive score! I confess I don’t follow them too closely any more. I do pay attention to James Hansen, if he gives ascribes any warming to natural effects it’s drowned out by his campaign against coal and its death trains.

I am only familiar with climate scientists who show natural influences vs climate, with no match, human influences vs climate with no match, and then a combined human and natural influence vs climate – which matches.

Dr. Syun Akasofu’s updated paper looking at PDO and Little Ice Age recovery, see http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/03/20/dr-syun-akasofu-on-ipccs-forecast-accuracy/ , shows shows a very good match between those and a century’s worth of matching.
On a shorter scale, Joe D’Aleo’s stronger correlation between PDO and temps than CO2 and temps, see http://wattsupwiththat.com/2008/01/25/warming-trend-pdo-and-solar-correlate-better-than-co2/ convinced me it was time to join this fray.

ROM

AG ON LINE [ http://dgroups.agriculture.com/n/pfx/forum.aspx?nav=messages&webtag=agfarmbiz&tid=7139%5D an american agriculture web site is currently running a poll for farmers headed;
“Do you believe the earth’s climate is warming?”
At 6.06 AM the poll numbers were
Yes; 160 votes. [ 24% ]
No; 466 votes. [ 70% ]
Don’t know; 41 votes [ 6% ]
Polls of this nature of course, are subject to complete manipulation but from the comments box it would seem that the vote numbers are running roughly in line with the comments and in line with the attitudes of the farming community.
Certainly here in Australia those figures would probably be quite close to any similar poll held amongst Australian farmers.
I have seen this skepticism about global warming and even more so about claimed climate change amongst farmers for a long time.
Farmers spend a great deal of their working life out in the weather and just trying to make a living by taking head on all the vagaries, the constant changes and all the subtleties of a very cunning and impossible to pin down opponent that forms our weather and climate.
Few farmers will ever believe that it is getting permanently warmer or colder or if it seems as though it is, it will change again to something different just when you least expect it to.
That’s weather and when it happens next year as well, that’s climate!
Don’t worry, it will do something completely different the following year!

matt v.

They have known since 2004 that AMO and PDO are responsible for 52% of all droughts in America http://www.pnas.org/content/101/12/4136.full.pdf+html
They have also known for many years that PDO affects the western half of the continent more and AMO affects the eastern coast more. Both are global climate makers and not just North America.
http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/full/309/5731/115
http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/full/309/5731/115
http://oceanworld.tamu.edu/resources/oceanography-book/oceananddrought.html
This is especially true for Canada. A plot of Canadian east coast temperature anomalies shows that it follows the AMO and a plot of Canadian west coast temperature anomalies shows that it follows PDO. Canadian National temperature anomalies follow a combined index of PDO plus AMO. They do no follow co2 trends.
It is no surprise that
NOAA says Western Canada has warmed by two degrees and Eastern Canada hasn’t warmed at all because flows of air from naturally shifting Pacific currents have affected the West most.
In the period of the study [1948-2007] PDO was cool in the period l948 to1976, but warming the last 30 years1976-2007, while AMO was warm1948 to 1964, cool from1964 to1994 and again warm 1994 to 2009.
The west received more warming recently while the east received more cooling recently. Since the PDO went negative in 2007 and the AMO went negative in Jan2009, both coasts as well as Canada as whole has been cooling two years in a row , with 2009 winter temperatures in the northwest dropping as much as 7.1c degrees from the 2006 levels.
The positive sign in my opinion is that NOAA is the first major climate monitoring organization finally admitting that oceans play a significant role in global warming .However when they again state that “Most of the warming [worldwide] is the consequences of human influences” without offering any proof that this warming greater than the influence of the oceans, they again diminish all their new acknowledgement about the effect of oceans. But still it is a positive sign that some real science is entering the global warming debate finally.

Ah, another place for the sceptics to hang out and pat each other on the back over their amazing intelligence and ability to know the truth against the scientific concensus. You just don’t get it do you, yet it’s there for anyone to see, not just scientists.
The latest poster, ROM, seems to think farmers are better qualified than scientists to make intelligent judgements about climate change, excuse me, but in my experience farmers are just interested in a quick buck, which is why they are responsible for soil erosion, water pollution, pesticides in everything, animal abuse and a lot more.
I would suggest that the so-called sceptics are the ones who don’t know their arse from their elbow, don’t live in the real world, ie. the environment, but instead are city dwelling nerds who spend most of their lives in front of a screen reading nonsense to back up their deranged ideas from a collection of inane websites peddling folk ‘wisdom’. IF any of you doubters had a clue about the environment, you would KNOW the climate is changing, you would KNOW the planet is warming; why else would birds be nesting earlier, why else would plants be surviving more northerly than ever and dying out in southern, warmer, parts, why else would droughts be affecting many countries while floods are the norm in others?
Most of you are probably too young to even know what the climate was like thirty years ago, forty years even, you get all your ‘knowledge’ from websites, and believe it. If you did have experience of the climate in the past, you would know it’s changed, it wouldn’t be a subject for discussion. Which is why I rarely waste my time trying to inject some common sense and intelligent discussion into places like this. You’ll see; when the floods have wiped out millions, when starvation is taking care of the rest. Won’t be so cocky then.

Aron

First, I note that they still use the term ‘climate change denier’. As a major sceptical argument is that climate is always changing, that’s completely bizarre as well as insulting (it’s obviously intended to sound like holocaust denial).
What is needed is collective legal action by those scientists labelled deniers. The accusers know full well that climate realists have said time and time again that climate is always changing. Being labelled a denier or criminal is an act of defamation, slander and misrepresentation.

Pearland Aggie

“Most of the warming [worldwide] is the consequence of human influences,” said Martin Hoerling, a NOAA climate scientist.
I agree with this statement. UHI temperature record contamination, poor siting, and rural station dropout are the human signature on the temperature record!

Mr Lynn

Not really OT: Despite a little hedging, the drumbeat continues:
“Small islands urge deep CO2 cuts, fear rising seas”
http://www.reuters.com/article/environmentNews/idUSTRE5305AT20090402
(Can’t seem to make he tag work.)
/Mr Lynn

JMD

It is hugely significant that an outfit as prestigious as NOAA admits that nature plays a part in climate change. This is a major crack in the facade of consensus science which until now has held the preposterous view that man was entirely responsible. (Investigating man-made global warming is the sole purpose of the IPCC to the exclusion of any other cause). Watch now as this crack widens into fissures and the whole rotten edifice crumbles. Maybe the Goreacle will be forced (or shamed) eventually to hand back his Nobel as his fraud is laid bare for all to see.

D. King

Now that advocacy is being translated into policy
and “energy prices will necessarily skyrocket”,
this is a CYA move. Bart Simpson would be proud!

Caleb

Richard Heg,
I find that article you linked us to quite annoying, because it suggests Mann is now attempting to construct an elaborate link between the La Nina and NAO, employing thermohaline circulation, in order to once again shrink the MWP.
What is annoying is that Dr. Bill Gray was itching to study thermohaline circulation, back when Gore was VP, but funding for such study was over and over denied to him. I’m not sure, but I think 8 requests were denied. They basically told Dr. Gray to mind his own business and stick with hurricanes, and sent all the funding to Dr. Hansen.
Dr. Gray had noticed a correlation between what happened in the North Atlantic and what happened in the Pacific, and felt warming might be explained if the link between the two systems was studied. However, because he was prevented from gathering data, his hunch remained merely a hunch. In fact, over at Real Climate, they like to dismiss Dr. Gray by saying, “He has no data.”
It always seemed to me that Dr. Gray lacked data because they prevented him from gathering it. I imagined he represented a threat, because raw data is real, while Hansen’s models were in essence fondled data, massaged data, and extrapolated data.
The threat represented by the study of thermohaline circulation seemly reached a degree where the response can be called denial. One of the richest deep-sea upwelling on earth is off the coast of Peru during La Ninas, yet your Wikipedia map of Thermohaline circulation shows no branch leading to the coast of Peru. (In other words, that upwelling comes from no-place.)
Considering all this effort was made to ignore the thermohaline link between the North Atlantic and La Ninas, when Dr. Gray was involved, it seems the height of audacity for Mann to now use that same link (without data) to once again attempt to explain away the MWP.

Francois GM

Let’s do a bit of logical thinking about climate change drivers backing it up with some math.
Let’s assume that phenomena (presumably all natural) are cooling the earth to a degree that warming (man-made plus or minus natural) is no longer apparent.
In mathematical terms, factors or drivers of cooling (natural) are as quantitatively important as drivers of warming (natural + man-made), which can be expressed as:
natural cooling (nc) = natural warming (nw) + manmade warming (mmw)
It is illogical to consider that natural drivers only cause cooling. It is likely and logical that, overall, over short-to-medium time spans (say 30 years), nc=nw.
nc = nw + mmw
nc=nw
nc = nc + mmw
mmw=0

re: Pete Simmons (05:15:54) :
Please folks, wisdom: Don’t feed the trolls.

MikeW

MarcH (01:48:19) : I agree with you that the shadow looks wrong in the picture. But, on a larger issue, I think I recall it being said that a rooftop weather station was a real no-no. It’s cute that a thumbnail version of the shot is repeated on every page of that chapter. My guess is that the pic was chosen because it was colorful and ‘pretty’ not for any scientific merit.

Bruce Foutch

RE: John F. Hultquist (22:13:40)
Missing pages can be found here:
http://www.climatescience.gov/Library/sap/sap1-3/final-report/#finalreport
Just download chapter 2 at bottom of this page.
Also, other studies from this group here:
http://www.climatescience.gov/Library/sap/default.htm

Antonio San

This is hardly new: read Favre and Gershunov 2006, 2008 and the MPH trajectories in teh Pacific, read Alexis Pommier thesis for the same in the North Atlantic aerological space. The demonstrations are there and Marcel Leroux and his students did not wait for NOAA to publish their conclusions. the climatic shift of the the mid-1970s is the key:
From Favre and Gershunov 2008
Clim Dyn
DOI 10.1007/s00382-008-0417-3
“Around 1976–1977, the North Pacific region has experienced
a deep climatic modification, which was
characterized by intensification and weakening of cyclonic
and anticyclonic activity, respectively, in the Northeastern
Pacific (FG2006). This shift in the mid-latitude atmospheric
circulation has contributed to warming over western North
America (e.g., Karl et al. 1984, 1986, 1993; Easterling
2002; Groisman et al. 2004) and more frequent intense
precipitation over the southwestern United States (Gershunov
and Cayan 2003). These observed circulation changes
over the North Pacific run counter to those observed over
the global midlatitudes, and also to changes projected by
most models including CNRM-CM3, as well as to physical
intuition about synoptic changes to expect from greenhouse
warming. We therefore conclude that the mid-1970s North
Pacific climate shift, although it contributed to the observed
winter warming of the West, was a result of natural NPO/
PDO variability that happened to temporarily suspend most
of the other regional weather and climate modifications
expected from anthropogenic climate change.”

An Inquirer

re: Michael Hauber (20:47:57) :
“Can anyone point to any climate scientist who deals exlcusively [sic] with man-made greenhouse gases, and dismisses suggestions of natural caused warming?
Of course, the word “exclusively” is a weasel word that allows one to escape unharmed under scrutiny. However IPCC AR4 (see figure SPM.2) essentially does “dismiss suggestions of natural caused warming.” According to IPCC ARF, since 1750, natural forcings have been only 0.12 W/sq meter, and anthropogenic forcings have been 1.6 W/sq meter. This is quite dismissive of natural caused warming.
Regarding comments about matches on “human influences” versus “natural influences,” actually the models referenced by the IPCC do get a good match with their definition of human influences versus historically estimated GMT. Adding natural influences adds little to the match. However, two cautions to emphasize: First, these natural influences in the analyses contain only volcanoes and a questionable measure of TSI, not natural influences such as oscillations. Second, they would not get a good match with human influences if not for opportunistic and controversial choices of the aerosol impact.

William R

Ah come on, James…trolls have to eat too!
Apparently Pete Simmons thinks that ad hominen attacks, tearing down straw mans like farmer opinion polls, and making assertions without evidence qualifies as “intelligent discussion”. But alas, this is what we have come to expect from the true believers. No mention of scientific evidence, just tired old slogans and false moral grandstanding. Please Pete, indulge us, give us some of that common sense and intelligent discussion!

Dave Middleton

The declining probability of anthropogenic global warming…
In November 2007 “most” of the warming had at least a 90% probability of being caused by anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions. A year later, “more than half” of the warming has at least a 66% probability of being caused by anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions…
Most of the observed increase in global average temperatures since the mid-20th century is very likely due to the observed increase in anthropogenic GHG concentrations.
–IPCC, November 2007 Fourth assessment Report, Summary for Policymakers
More than half of this warming is likely the result of human-caused greenhouse gas forcing of climate change.”
–NOAA, December, 2008, Reanalysis of Historical Climate Data for Key Atmospheric Features: Implications for Attribution of Causes of Observed Change
One of the greatest difficulties in reading these qualitative assessments is in quantifying the adjectives, nouns and adverbs…In both of these reports “likely” means at least a 66% probability and “very likely” means at least a 90% probability. Do “most” and “more than half” mean the same thing? I don’t know. To me “most” means significantly or much more than half.
In 2007 there was a 90% probability that lets say 75% of the warming was due to capitalism…So about 2/3 of the warming of the last 50 years was anthropogenic.
Now, there’s only a 66% probability that lets say 55% of the warming was due to capitalism…So just a year later, only 1/3 of the warming of the last 50 years was anthropogenic.
Since both of these studies are based on surface temperature measurements and ignore the more reliable satellite data…They both assert that about twice as much global warming occurred in the late 20th century as the satellite data do. And neither study picks up on the cooling trend since 2005 that is obvious in the satellite data. Yet…The amount of anthropogenic global warming over the last 50 years appears to have miraculously and quietly been cut in half.
And yes, I do realize that I am comparing the IPCC’s work to NOAA’s work…So on top of the subjectivity; there might be an apples and oranges thing going on…But the tepidness of NOAA’s anthropogenic finger-printing is quite interesting.

kuhnkat

Michael D. Smith (02:56:47)
Nice analysis of UHI!!
Too bad it isn’t mentioned in the editorial.