El Niño is expected to strengthen and last through the Northern Hemisphere winter 2009-2010

Here is the current SST map:

clickable global map of SST anomalies

From NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center:

EL NIÑO/SOUTHERN OSCILLATION (ENSO) DIAGNOSTIC DISCUSSION issued by CLIMATE PREDICTION CENTER/NCEP/NWS

10 September 2009

ENSO Alert System Status: El Niño Advisory

Synopsis: El Niño is expected to strengthen and last through the Northern Hemisphere winter 2009-2010. A weak El Niño continued during August 2009, as sea surface temperature (SST) remained above-average across the equatorial Pacific Ocean (Fig. 1).

Figure 1. Average weekly sea surface temperature (SST) anomalies (°C) centered on 2 September 2009. Anomalies are computed with respect to the 1971-2000 base period weekly means (Xue et al. 2003, J. Climate, 16, 1601-1612).

Figure 1. Average weekly sea surface temperature (SST) anomalies (°C) centered on 2 September 2009. Anomalies are computed with respect to the 1971-2000 base period weekly means (Xue et al. 2003, J. Climate, 16, 1601-1612).

Consistent with this warmth, the latest weekly values of the Niño-region SST indices were between +0.7°C to +1.0°C (Fig. 2).

Figure 2. Time series of area-averaged sea surface temperature (SST) anomalies (°C) in the Niño regions [Niño-1+2 (0°-10°S, 90°W-80°W), Niño 3 (5°N-5°S, 150°W-90°W), Niño-3.4 (5°N-5°S, 170°W- 120°W), Niño-4 (150ºW-160ºE and 5ºN-5ºS)]. SST anomalies are departures from the 1971-2000 base period weekly means (Xue et al. 2003, J. Climate, 16, 1601-1612).Subsurface oceanic heat content (average temperatures in the upper 300m of the ocean, Fig. 3) anomalies continued to reflect a

deep layer of anomalous warmth between the ocean surface and the thermocline, particularly in the

central Pacific (Fig. 4).

Figure 3. Area-averaged upper-ocean heat content anomalies (°C) in the equatorial Pacific (5°N-5°S, 180º-100ºW). Heat content anomalies are computed as departures from the 1982-2004 base period pentad means.

Figure 3. Area-averaged upper-ocean heat content anomalies (°C) in the equatorial Pacific (5°N-5°S, 180º-100ºW). Heat content anomalies are computed as departures from the 1982-2004 base period pentad means.

Figure 4. Depth-longitude section of equatorial Pacific upper-ocean (0-300m) temperature anomalies (°C) centered on the week of 31 August 2009. The anomalies are averaged between 5°N-5°S. Anomalies are departures from the 1982-2004 base period pentad means.

Figure 4. Depth-longitude section of equatorial Pacific upper-ocean (0-300m) temperature anomalies (°C) centered on the week of 31 August 2009. The anomalies are averaged between 5°N-5°S. Anomalies are departures from the 1982-2004 base period pentad means.

Enhanced convection over the western and central Pacific abated during the month, but the pattern of suppressed convection strengthened over Indonesia. Low-level westerly wind anomalies continued to become better established over parts of the equatorial Pacific Ocean. These oceanic and atmospheric anomalies reflect an ongoing weak El Niño.

Figure 5. Forecasts of sea surface temperature (SST) anomalies for the Niño 3.4 region (5°N-5°S, 120°W- 170°W). Figure courtesy of the International Research Institute (IRI) for Climate and Society. Figure updated 18 August 2009.

Figure 5. Forecasts of sea surface temperature (SST) anomalies for the Niño 3.4 region (5°N-5°S, 120°W- 170°W). Figure courtesy of the International Research Institute (IRI) for Climate and Society. Figure updated 18 August 2009.

A majority of the model forecasts for the Niño-3.4 SST index (Fig. 5) suggest El Niño will reach at least moderate strength during the Northern Hemisphere fall (3-month Niño-3.4 SST index of +1.0°C or greater). Many model forecasts even suggest a strong El Niño (3-month Niño-3.4 SST index in excess of +1.5°C) during the fall and winter, but current observations and trends indicate that El Niño will most likely peak at moderate strength. Therefore, current conditions, trends, and model forecasts favor the

continued development of a weak-to-moderate strength El Niño into the Northern Hemisphere fall 2009, with the likelihood of at least a moderate strength El Niño during the winter 2009-10.

Expected El Niño impacts during September-November 2009 include enhanced precipitation over the west-central tropical Pacific Ocean and the continuation of drier-than-average conditions over Indonesia. Temperature and precipitation impacts over the United States are typically weak during the Northern Hemisphere summer and early fall, generally strengthening during the late fall and winter. El Niño can help to suppress Atlantic hurricane activity by increasing the vertical wind shear over the Caribbean Sea and tropical Atlantic Ocean (see the Aug. 6th update of the NOAA Atlantic Seasonal Hurricane Outlook ).

This discussion is a consolidated effort of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), NOAA’s National Weather Service, and their funded institutions. Oceanic and atmospheric conditions are updated weekly on the Climate Prediction Center web site (El Niño/La Niña Current Conditions and Expert Discussions). Forecasts for the evolution of El Niño/La Niña are updated monthly in the Forecast Forum section of CPC’s Climate Diagnostics Bulletin. The next ENSO Diagnostics Discussion is scheduled for 8 October 2009. To receive an e-mail notification when the monthly ENSO Diagnostic Discussions are released, please send an e-mail message to:  ncep.list.ensoupdate@noaa.gov

(source: PDF)

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180 thoughts on “El Niño is expected to strengthen and last through the Northern Hemisphere winter 2009-2010

  1. What’s interesting is that according to Unisys, while El Nino’s still going, the SST’s appear to be dropping more than rising
    Compare
    http://weather.unisys.com/archive/sst/sst_anom-090830.gif
    To
    http://weather.unisys.com/archive/sst/sst_anom-090830.gif
    Still either not too much difference or cooler than what’s shown at this date
    http://weather.unisys.com/archive/sst/sst_anom-090628.gif
    Could it be the ocean is releasing tons of heat through this El Nino thus resulting in cooler SST’s?

  2. If that is true then it’s going to be a big snow/rain year for the Pacific Northwest.
    California has been crying their eyes out, screaming Droughtal Warming.
    Now the can have thier Delugal Warming and eat it, too.
    in 1983, Donner Summit had 880 inches of snowfall.
    That’s 73 feet. We could look up from Sierra City on the ridge to the South in May and see old-growth Cedar trees with the snow behind them drifted up 2/3 the way to the top of the trees.
    Somewhere’s about 120 feet.
    Be careful what you ElNinol Warming Dream for.

  3. Looks like a difficult wheat harvest in Australia next year. I think I will buy some wheat futures, if the spot price will go down to ca. 4$/bushel

  4. So if this is the case, will the rational experts predict the broadly expected effect of this on:
    1. Arctic Sea Ice Extent – any influence? Because Mark Serreze will be jumping on that like nobody’s business.
    2. ‘Global Temperature’ – what’s the expected effect on temperature in the next 18 months? Because warmists will be rubbing their hands with glee expecting it to be going up but blaming it on ‘global warming’….
    3. Hurricanes? We’ve all seen the data which says no more hurricanes over the past 100 years, although recently apparently tornadoes in-land may have gone up……any likeliood of increases? Because they’ll be blaming it on us, not El Nino…..
    4. Floods? California? Peru??
    5. Droughts in Australia? In Brazil??
    What else?
    Flag it ALL up using reasoned best-estimates.
    So that it’s subtracted from natural variability in the quest to find human signatures……
    By the way: did Landscheidt predict this el Nino before he died?? Might be interesting to revisit his predictions and see if he’s a visionary or just another person who got it right sometimes and wrong somtimes…….

  5. Sandy: You asked, “Just how many depth samples make up the dataset??”
    The basis for an answer to your question is available at the bottom of this webpage:
    http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/analysis_monitoring/enso_update/wkxzteq.shtml
    They write, “Analysis is based on NOAA/PMEL TAO buoy data, TOPEX/POSEIDON sea-level data and ships of opportunity.”
    The TAO buoy website is here:
    http://www.pmel.noaa.gov/tao/
    The TOPEX/POSEIDON sea level website is here:
    http://ibis.grdl.noaa.gov/SAT/hist/tp_products/topex.html
    I believe the answer would then be there are 60+ buoys in the tropical Pacific that are supplemented with satellite altimetry and ship-based data.

  6. Not all the runs are the same. There are dynamical models and statistical models. The dynamical models are experimental and are being compared to the tried and true statistical models (so says NOAA). Note that the statistical models are nearly ALWAYS predicting less El Nino strength than the dynamical models are. I have often wondered why that is the case and NOAA does not do a good job of explaining what is in the dynamical models that says “hotter”. I have a hunch that they have included a CO2 affect.

  7. I said it on this site a while ago and I’ll say it again. The low solar activity has caused the oceans to go into heat release mode. The long minimum has allowed momentum to build in the upward movement of heat/energy stored in the oceans during the long run of high amplitude, short minimum cycles of the latter half of the C20th.
    This is resulting in heat/energy leaving the oceans all over the globe, and it will continue for a good while while the sun is quiet. The result will be a sustained but moderate el nino modoki extending through the winter, as I predicted some months ago. But when it dies down, the reduced ocean heat/energy content will result in sea surface temperatures lower than jan 2007 in 12-16 months time.
    Enjoy the warmth while it lasts, and get some food planted next spring. Tough times lie further ahead.

  8. That is not a building El Nino.I say that it;s snowblower time too.
    1969and 1972 were Nino years and quite Nasty…

  9. tallbloke (13:50:54) :
    I believe your thinking is quite clear.
    When enough heat is released, it’s El Dumpo time.
    Stuck/Stubborn weather patterns have been in place for over 2 years now.
    The Sun’s not going anywhere with this cycle. Nothing to drive the system but the Oceanic heat.

  10. John Edmondson (12:13:12) :
    That articles lead-in is misleading, to say the least.
    The CYA comes at the end, where they nonchalantly state that the Soviets used escort thier shipping through the NE passage with icebreakers, but ceased when money got tight.
    The two merchants were escorted by Russian icebreakers, but the article is written to take adavantage of attention span, where the damage is done.
    Global Warming takes precedence by virtue of taking the Lions shares of the article, not on it’s merit, which at the end looks like a big, fat zero.
    If nobody takes Serreze on, he wins by default.

  11. So DOES this portend a wetter winter for California? We had out first autumn storm front (weak) move through David this morning complete with gnarly low clouds, thunder an a few drops of rain. I didn’t see any lightening, but there must have been somewhere (although I saw lightening in Reno last month with no thunder). Hope there were no lightening-ignited fires in the foothills or Sierra.

  12. Adam from Kansas (12:06:53) :
    If you look at the scale, you’ll notice thesame temps apepars as green/yellow in Unisys while it appears oreange/red in NOAA.

  13. Tallbloke
    Ifr the oceans are losing energy and cooling, it should presumably mean they are now absorbing greater amounts of co2 and we might see the atmospheric concentration levels reduce.
    tonyb

  14. The forecasts are predicting a strengthening of El Nino conditions and there is considerable time left yet until the normal peak of the ENSO in December, but there is very little happening right now to strengthen the El Nino.

  15. tallbloke (13:50:54) :
    Enjoy the warmth while it lasts, and get some food planted next spring. Tough times lie further ahead
    Bill Illis (15:33:24) :
    there is very little happening right now to strengthen the El Nino
    ….PERIOD

  16. Is there any explanation yet why this El Nino has not affected the Southern Oscillation Index, which is normaly a reliable indicator of El Nino? The current 90-day SOI is +1, whereas it normally goes down to -10 or lower under El Nino.

  17. speculation: the globe is experiencing cooling effects from the drop in solar activity, but the atmosphere is seeing heating from the El Nino effect. If this is true, then there will be little movement either way providing these forces are roughly balanced. (so far this year they seem to be)
    BUT IF the sun stays quiet and the cooling trend continues (big if) then there should be a significant and somewhat sudden move downward in the temperature anomolies when the El Nino effect ends sometime next year.
    I’m not proposing this to say that this is certainly what will happen, but rather to say that this may be a future measurement to watch for to confirm a hypothesis.

  18. FYI – Joe Bastardi / Accuwx is calling for this nino event to fall apart over the winter, not strengthen. Joe was the 1st one I knowto make the call this nino would develop – long before NOAA, so I put some stock in his forecast. Joe, if you are reading, could you make a post on your take of where the SOI / enso index will be heading?

  19. tallbloke (13:50:54) : I said it on this site a while ago and I’ll say it again. The low solar activity has caused the oceans to go into heat release mode. ..and it will continue for a good while while the sun is quiet. The result will be a sustained but moderate el nino modoki extending through the winter, as I predicted some months ago. But when it dies down, the reduced ocean heat/energy content will result in sea surface temperatures lower than jan 2007 in 12-16 months time.
    Enjoy the warmth while it lasts, and get some food planted next spring. Tough times lie further ahead.

    The el nino I learnt was due to the warm waters in the Western Pacific, that pile up there due to the trade winds, sloshing back to the Eastern Pacific when the winds weaken.
    How then is this tied up with solar activity?

  20. John Edmondson (12:13:12) :
    OT
    North East Passage in BBC website
    just another untrue stroy. the only new thing appears to be a political change, that allows foreign cargo ships to do what russian ships have done regularly during the last 80 years.
    “…and in the 1930s the Northern Sea Route, a shipping lane, was established by the USSR. Since World War II the Soviet Union and now Russia has maintained a regular highway for shipping along this passage through the development of new ports and the exploitation of resources in the interior. A fleet of Russian icebreakers, aided by aerial reconnaissance and by radio weather stations, keeps the route navigable from June to October.”
    http://www.reference.com/browse/passage

  21. John Edmondson (12:13:12) :
    That article is amusingly full of one step forward, one step back inconsistencies. The ships made it through the once impassible Northeast Passage, but did so following two Russian icebreakers. Cost savings of $300,000 if one does not count the two icebreakers. Germans trying to prove safety of the route, which is now especially dangerous because of icebergs. Yes, they got through all right, but their departure is now delayed over bad weather, etc. etc.

  22. braddles (15:58:39) :
    Is there any explanation yet why this El Nino has not affected the Southern Oscillation Index, which is normaly a reliable indicator of El Nino? The current 90-day SOI is +1, whereas it normally goes down to -10 or lower under El Nino

    That´s because La Nina just went to the toilette a few minutes to arrange herself and now she is coming back!

  23. OK, is this forecast based on actual data or wishful thinking that El Nino will strengthen? All I’ve heard/read is that negative PDO favors short/weak El Ninos and the Southern Oscillation Index has been, well, mixed over the last few months.

  24. Richard (17:38:03) : El Nino, trade winds, slosh, Sun
    Well, you have these four variables and about 40 unknowns. Manipulate the data enough and the truth will pop out. Simple.

  25. Leif 18:01:19
    It is not, that we know of. If there is a causal relation, the mechanism is unknown.
    =======================================

  26. Best guess.
    Slack jet stream energies persist.
    Year long slack wind system energy across Pac basins persist.
    (Could we have an ACE for the jets any time soon?)
    Reduced flow rates for So Pac ocean currents, in particular Peru Current.
    Result: weak but persistent near surface heating in equatorial regions.
    Prediction: Persistent weak El Nino conditions particularly in West Pac, Indo Pac.
    Oceanic heat No. & So, will bleed off in a slow steady rate.
    Sol running at pilot light rate will not help matters.
    Wx over continental masses a big ?
    NOAA will run out of yellew and red crayons.

  27. wws (16:11:45) :
    Let’s see what this baby will do: If the sun dramatically reverses course and the cooling trend stops on a dime (big if) then there should be a significant and somewhat sudden move upwards in the temperature anomolies when the La Nina boat-anchor effect ends sometime down the road.
    62 out of the last 64 days dead sun. Activity only in the lee.
    The “why” of it is taboo, and it cannot possibly be the sun or anything to do with the sun.
    The Sun cannot affect Earth, and nothing can affect the Sun. Sentinels.
    Stuff happens on them just because and no other reason.

  28. Kevin Kilty (17:56:45) :
    The ice is beginning to re-form in in key places up there, as foretold by the DMI Explorer.
    Like Henirk says, enjoy Global Warming while it lasts.
    Those who insist upon driving the wrong way on the Freeway, let ’em go, just as long as I don’t have to join them.

  29. I find all the comments most interesting and with good thinking behind them.
    Now I’m going to add a piece of “fuzzy logic” to the mix.
    We are suddenly having a protracted “nice” autumn in MN.
    This worries me tremendously.
    I recall this happening in 1991. Then, after a nice 60 F high on Oct 31, a “front” came through and the temperature dropped to 28 F with snow.
    Known as the “Great Halloween Snowstorm” of 1991, about 30 hours later there was 28″ to 36″ of GOREBULL WARMING all over the state.
    What many people have forgotten is that 3 days later on Nov. 4th, we had -3F, the earliest below zero temperatures for 100 years.
    My point being this: With the El Nino, and the Russian volcano, things could be “really wild” this winter.
    Time to get out the Xcountry skis and the wax. Lots of HOT wax, the hotter the better.

  30. John F. Hultquist (18:24:49) :
    Richard (17:38:03) : El Nino, trade winds, slosh, Sun
    Well, you have these four variables and about 40 unknowns. Manipulate the data enough and the truth will pop out. Simple.

    Well the trade winds and the slosh are fairly well related. High, normal, trade winds blows the warm waters unobstructed westwards, till they hit the land dams of Indonesia/ Phillipines/ Australia, where they pile up, 50-60 cms higher than the Eastern Pacific. Trade winds weaken and the waters slosh back.
    Why the trade winds weaken is a mystery. Maybe the sun has something to do with it.
    Of course to the AGW crowd the answer is obvious – CO2 and evil humans. Except that El Nino appears in print well over 100 years ago and was known even before that. But then what do facts matter to AGW?
    When there is and El Nino there is drought in Australia, and currently there is a drought in Australia, which is being blamed on AGW.

  31. Some readers here may have looked at Ed Berry’s Atmospheric Insights, http://weatherclimatelink.blogspot.com/
    which frequently had an interesting take on, for instance, what Ed referred to as the “La-Nina base state.” As an National Weather Service employee, Ed was quick to point out that the opinions on the site were his only and not those of the NWS. Then rather suddenly in July, he announced that he would no longer be posting.
    I exchanged an e-mail or two with him in the weeks that followed, thinking to schedule an interview (suspecting politics behind the blog shutdown). When I went to follow through the other day, though, I learned that he had left the National Weather Service. From the passion evinced in his postings, though, this didn’t seem like someone who was on the verge of giving up the study of atmospheric science. I have heard that he now works for Bank of America/Merrill Lynch in Houston, Texas. I suppose it’s possible that banks have their own meteorologists/climatologists.
    If anyone is in touch with him, I would be interested in talking to him about the end of his blog and his career at the NWS.

  32. Winter of 71/72 here in Oregon was like that too-started snowing on Halloween and didn’t stop ’til late Feb… midding fair Nino then too…
    (Good thing I got a Season Pass at the local ski area..)

  33. I want to point to an essay of mine that explores the question:
    Will tropical waters a warm or cool in the last half of 2009?
    Necessarily it also addresses matters such as:
    * The character of warming cycles in the tropics.
    * The usefulness of the ENSO 3.4 Index as a proxy for tropical warming events. (Its very poor)
    * The driver of sea surface temperature change in the tropics.
    * Change in the nature of this driver over time.
    * The contribution of warming cycles in the tropics to global temperature change.
    * The place of greenhouse theory in explaining global temperature change.
    Find it at: http://climatechange1.wordpress.com/
    It’s not the last word on the subject. The more I look at the historical data the more I learn.
    The mechanism for warming and cooling is described as:
    When the ozone content of the upper troposphere and stratosphere increases, the upper atmosphere warms, cirrus cloud evaporates allowing more sunlight to reach the ocean. As the ocean delivers more evaporation to the atmosphere the centers of ascent and descent see intensified activity. As the centers of descending air expand, so also is there an expansion of the cloud free area. The ocean warms. This warming and cooling activity, depending upon cloud cover, is modulated by a wholly autonomous process that changes the concentration of stratospheric ozone.
    Stratospheric ozone content varies over very long periods of time. ENSO is not temperature neutral on any time scale.

  34. Leif Svalgaard (19:44:34) :
    “We can only claim that something exists if we know about it…”
    Due to our limited knowledge of the solar-climate mechanisms, we can only speculate, not dismiss entirely. We have much to discover, like on Earth, we know of new species to be discovered; we just don’t know what they are. (See recent discovery of species in a Papua New Guinea volcano crater including possibly the largest rodent discovered.)
    Nogw (18:01:36) :
    “That´s because La Nina just went to the toilette a few minutes to arrange herself and now she is coming back!”
    Nonsense, Adolfo said the same when the 2008 La Nina began to fade, and she never came back.

  35. I notice that in the last 2 El Nino years (2005 and 2007), IARC/JAXA’s sea-ice min was September 22nd and 24th respectively, while other years saw an earlier min. This makes sense in that the warming due to El Nino would extend the melt season and delay the onset of re-freeze. Given a weak El Nino, I expect the min to show up between the 15th and 20th.
    For those of you who want to plot the weekly data yourselves, it’s available for download at http://www.cpc.noaa.gov/data/indices/wksst.for

  36. Rhys Jaggar (13:24:57) :
    “By the way: did Landscheidt predict this el Nino before he died??”
    I read this up quite some time ago in a paper where he states that he correctly predicted an El Nino for around 2002. After some digging I discovered that his furtherest prediction was for an El Nino/ El Nino conditions for 2007, However I’ve lost the link but I will try dig it up.

  37. Contrary to what some on this site say, there is an indirect link between the level of solar activity and climate here on Earth.
    The link is that both are influenced by the same underlying mechanism.
    The level of long-term solar actvity is simply set by a mechanism that is synchronized with half the beat period between the (retrograde) Jose cycle (= 3 x Synodic period of Jupiter/Saturn or 60 years i.e. the time it takes for the alignments of Jupiter and Saturn to rotate once around the Sun with respect to the stars in a retrogade direction), and the (prograde) orbital period of Neptune (164.8 year), such that:
    (1/2) x (164.8 x 60)/(164.8 + 60) = 22 years
    Likewise, the long-term (multi-decadal) variations in the lunar/solar tidal dissipation in the Earth’s oceans, and important factor in setting the long-term varaitions in the ocean surface temperatures, are set by a mechanism that is synchronized with the dominant periodicity of the assymetries in the Sun/Earth’s motion about the Solar System’s barycentry = 36 years = twice the lunar Saros period.
    Since the Sun and the lunar/solar tidal dissipation probably both play a role in setting long-term temperatures here on the Earth, thee changes should be set by the beat period between the 36 year solar assymetry cycle and the 22 year Hale solar cycle, such that:
    (36 x 22)/(36 – 22) = 57 years
    Hence, the roughly 60 year cycle that is seen in both the trade-wind strengths and ocean surface temperatures.

  38. Ah, found it :
    http://www.john-daly.com/theodor/new-enso.htm
    About 2007:
    “PC/8 in 2007.2 has El Niño potential. As the date 2007.2 is closer to 2006/2007 than to 2007/2008 it is to be expected that El Niño will already emerge around July 2006 and last at least till May 2007 (Probability 80 %). The alternative to this early date is a release of the expected El Niño around April 2007; it should last till January 2008 (Probability 20 %).”
    About 2005:
    “The forecast for the rest of the year 2005 is more difficult than at other times, as can be seen when Figure 6 is compared with Figures 4 and 5. TCg/4 in 2005.9 would release an El Niño lasting from about May 2005 to April 2006 if it were not opposed by SM/2 which is expected to occur at the beginning of 2006. It is probable (75%) that conditions like around 1980 will develop when TCg/4 in 1980 and SM in 1979.9 released opposing potentials at the same time. Figures 4 and 5 show that around 1980 there was only slight warming that did not reach the level of an El Niño. These conditions should last at least till May 2006.”
    I know many readers here are skeptical about Landscheidt’s papers, but they are an interesting read nonetheless.

  39. Manfred (17:47:30) :
    In Sweden the lying is even more blatant. Dagens Nyheter, the largest newspaper (fanatically pro-AGW), claims that the freighters went through the Northeast Passage without icebreakers, and illustrates the story with a photgraph of one of the freighters following a russian nuclear icebreaker. They apparently assume that the average reader doesn’t recognize an icebreaker, and they are probably right.

  40. TonyB (15:33:07) :
    Tallbloke:
    Ifr the oceans are losing energy and cooling, it should presumably mean they are now absorbing greater amounts of co2 and we might see the atmospheric concentration levels reduce.

    Not until SST’s subside. The co2 would be absorbed through the ocean air interface, annd that is at an elevated temperature at the moment.
    As the plot in fig 3 shows, a lot of heat/energy has arrived in the upper 300m of the tropical Pacific. Given the low solar activity and increased albedo measured by Palle et al, I suggest the logical conclusion is that this heat/energy is welling up from below.

  41. Walter Dnes (23:20:30) :.. here’s a technical question for Leif Svalgaard. Daily Solar Flux is available for download at ftp://ftp.geolab.nrcan.gc.ca/data/solar_flux/daily_flux_values/current.txt I see columns for “Observed”, “Adjusted”, and “Series”. I assume that “Adjusted” is the “standard” value. Also, is the standard to use the 1700Z or 2000Z or 2300Z observation or the average of all 3?
    I will attempt to answer some of that.
    1. Observed flux is the actual measured or “raw” flux on Earth
    2. Adjusted flux is flux at a distance of 1 AU (Astronomical Unit) – The distance between the Earth and the Sun. So presumably this is the flux as it emerges from the Sun.
    3. I havent a clue what series is, also on 1700Z or 2000Z or 2300Z. But I use flux at 2800MHz.

  42. Richard (17:38:03) :
    The el nino I learnt was due to the warm waters in the Western Pacific, that pile up there due to the trade winds, sloshing back to the Eastern Pacific when the winds weaken.
    How then is this tied up with solar activity?
    Leif Svalgaard:
    You are correct, it is not.

    There are two main types of el nino, have a read of this thread.
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/07/07/el-nino-same-but-different/
    What I and others have observed (regardless of unsuppported flat denials by Leif Svalgaard) is that substantial and sustained el nino events have followed within around 12 months of solar minimum for the last four solar cycles at least. This I believe is due to the oceans going into heat release mode when the sun is quiet.
    When the sun is active, the thermal currents go the other way. This is evidenced by the fact that the solar heat that must be stored in the ocean when the sun is active, producing thermal expansion of the ocean which can only be accounted for by the mixing of heat/energy to great depths. This is consistent with the increase in SST’s during solar max which falls off fairly linearly to the thermocline.
    The downward motion of heat energy to hidden depths not captured by the surface record at solar max, and the emission of ocean heat/energy during solar min in el nino’s masks the true magnitude of the solar effect on the Earth’s energy budget over the solar cycle. This leads to an underestimate of the effect on global temperature of changes in the suns behaviour over longer timescales.

  43. rbateman (19:47:14) : “Those who insist upon driving the wrong way on the Freeway, let ‘em go, just as long as I don’t have to join them.”
    Even if you don’t you may end up in a frontal collision with the ones who do.

  44. Walter Dnes (23:20:30) :
    I assume that “Adjusted” is the “standard” value. Also, is the standard to use the 1700Z or 2000Z or 2300Z observation or the average of all 3?
    “Adjusted” means adjusted for the variable distance to the Sun to refer the flux to a fixed distance [the average distance].
    Because the time of observation changes [1700Z or 1800Z, depending on time of year, same for 2300Z], I only use the noon value [2000Z]. It does not makes a significant difference, though.

  45. Mr. Alex (23:36:28) :
    “We can only claim that something exists if we know about it…”
    Due to our limited knowledge of the solar-climate mechanisms, we can only speculate, not dismiss entirely.

    As Al Gore says: “if we don’t know anything, anything is possible”.

  46. tallbloke (13:50:54) : This is resulting in heat/energy leaving the oceans all over the globe, and it will continue for a good while while the sun is quiet. The result will be a sustained but moderate el nino modoki extending through the winter, as I predicted some months ago. But when it dies down, the reduced ocean heat/energy content will result in sea surface temperatures lower than jan 2007 in 12-16 months time.
    This makes perfectly sense and I have no problem to imagine that something like this will happen. If the release of heat from the oceans becomes particularly effective, the temperature drop may become substantial in a couple of years. Thus, I encourage famous scientists that think along these lines but sit on the fence to speak in public now – it is time to be brave and ignore the temporal issues with unpopular climate statements.

  47. From ICE CAP
    “Alarmists Abandon Air Temps, But Oceans Also Show Cooling”
    “those claiming there is a human-induced global warming crisis have abandoned air temperature as a measure of global climate and switched to ocean temperature”
    http://icecap.us/index.php/go/joes-blog/alarmists_abandon_air_temps_but_oceans_also_show_cooling/
    “Ocean temperatures can be measured adequately only by the Argo buoy network. Argo buoys dive down to 700m, recording temperatures, then come up and radio back the results. There are 3,000 of them floating around all the world’s oceans.”
    http://icecap.us/images/uploads/ARGOBUOYS.jpg
    “The Argo buoys have been operational only since the end of 2003. Before that, ocean temperatures were gathered by various methods – usually collected by ships in popular commercial shipping lanes – that lacked uniformity, sufficient geographical coverage, and the ability to measure temperature much beneath the surface. The Argo buoy system has added uniformity and greater reliability to ocean temperature measurements”
    “Icecap Note: to enable them to make the case the oceans are warming, NOAA chose to remove satellite input into their global ocean estimation and not make any attempt to operationally use Argo data in the process.”

  48. el happ (23:13:20)
    Hi Erl,
    I’m still trying to sort out whether the driver is changes in the air as you propose (along with Svensmark and others) or changes in the oceans as I propose.
    Could you provide something that shows why you think it is the air that initiates the process rather than the oceans ?
    I can see that it might look like the air in control on interannual ENSO time scales although I think the evidence at that level is ambiguous being capable of interpretation either way.
    Of more interest is the 25 to 30 year oceanic phase changes. I have never seen them correlated adequately with changes in the air so I tend to favour the oceans as the driver with the air simply following and, of course, then showing the processes which you describe.
    For example, if the oceans start to release energy faster then low cloud dissipates but a little later there is more evaporation, cloud at higher levels, precipitation and wind which then cools the oceans. Roy Spencer’s recent thread here showed the time lags and the sequence of events quite well.
    There might be a positive solar feedback for a short while as the low cloud dissipates but soon there follows a much stronger negative feedback as the speed of the entire hydrological cycle accelerates globally from the enhanced evaporation that you mention.
    Can we really explain it all with a beginning of the process in the stratosphere rather than in the oceans given the immense thermal mass and inertia of the oceans ?
    I’m inclined to the view that the changes in the stratosphere occur when the flow of energy from surface to space interacts with the portion of solar energy that is always interacting in it’s own ways with the top of the atmosphere.
    I can see a general background flow of energy from sun to sea to air to space and an interaction with solar input at the air/space boundary but I cannot envisage events in the air or at the top of the atmosphere working downwards against the background flow so as to enter and direct oceanic behaviour.
    Can you help me on this ?

  49. The strong El Nino of 1976-1977 didn’t prevent one of the 2 coldest and snowiest North American winters of 1976-1977/1977-1978. It would be interesting to review the synoptic weather patterns of those 2 years. If I remember correctly the summer of 1977 was also very hot and dry for the eastern 2/3rds of the US (Remember the Son of Sam Summer?). Also, there was a very strong autumn storm in 1976 across California. A strong cyclone brought very cold temps into both the coastal regions as well as the high deserts. Not your typical El Nino weather patterns.

  50. Leif Svalgaard (03:17:32) :
    “As Al Gore says: “if we don’t know anything, anything is possible”.”
    I couldn’t care less about Mr. Gore’s thoughts.
    We have a limited knowledge, not zero knowledge. Common sense and instinct also come into play.

  51. El Nino and the jet stream position seem to work together to produce variations in El Nino weather patterns. When an El Nino is afoot but the jet stream stays North and loopy, we get waves of snow and then waves of cold (more snow than cold). When an El Nino is combined with the more Southerly and less loopy jet stream position, we still get waves of snow but we also get waves of more warmish rain in the North. That is what happened during the flood year of 96. Google El Nino and 1996 floods for lots of information on how we got lots of snow then warm rain in an El Nino year.
    During a La Nina winter (the jet stream nearly always stays North during La Nina events), we get bitter cold with snow that stays around instead of getting rained away.

  52. JP (06:26:37)
    It takes some time for El Nino warmth to move through the oceans to affect other areas around the world. In fact it may take up to 10 years for El Nino warmth to circulate to the Arctic Ocean (1998 El Nino and 2007 Arctic ice melt for example).
    In the meantime the effect of warmth transferred to the air during an El Nino event is rapid. The equatorial air masses expand, the air circulation systems move a little poleward and the speed of the entire hydrological cycle accelerates pumping more energy to space faster.
    Now we currently have a situation where the run of strong El Nino events from 1975 to 2000 has ended and we are in a negative oceanic mode whereby El Ninos tend to be weaker and La Ninas tend to be stronger.
    Thus the warming of the northern hemisphere from oceanic influences has declined and gradually the winter cooling of the northern continents must increase. Whenever we now get a weak or moderate El Nino pushing more energy into the air it will come up against cooler northern regions than was the case during the 1975 to 2000 warming period.
    Expect a greater climate conflict this winter over the northern continents as colder polar air resists encroachment from the warm air from the current El Nino. I think that the recent ‘climate disaster’ in China was an example of just such an event but I cannot predict a repeat of that or any similar eent elsewhere. The severity of any incident is greatly affected by the size of the area over which it is distributed.
    In weather terms I expect the mid latitude jets to remain further south than their 1975 to 2000 positions over North America Europe and Asia with more dramatic snowfall events scattered around as the climate conflicts occur in varying locations.
    Places that remain poleward of the mid latitude jets will be cooler than they have been for a couple of decades but regions south of the jets may well be quite warm.
    All this assumes that the current El Nino persists. If it collapses to a new La Nina my expectations will change.
    Let the dice roll.

  53. Stephen Wilde (06:24:02): I can see a general background flow of energy from sun to sea to air to space and an interaction with solar input at the air/space boundary.
    This sounds extremely reasonable! I cannot find anything wrong with this hypothesis – this is obviously the main motorway for energy through our climate!

  54. JP-any note that this was during the Cold phase of the PDO?
    I was in Portland Or. period,nasty ice storms….

  55. tallbloke (02:17:33)
    I think you are broadly correct about the ocean/air interaction. El Nino does reduce ocean energy content and warm the air. La Nina increases ocean energy content and cools the air. In both cases the effect on ocean energy content remains dependent on solar input to the oceans.
    One can get increasing ocean energy content if the sun is active enough despite a positive ocean phase (1975 to 2000)
    One can get decreasing ocean energy content if the sun is weak enough despite a negative ocean phase (as now).
    However I’m not sure you are right about the timing issue.
    It may be that El Ninos are stronger at solar minima but if that is right it could just be a result of a lag from the earlier solar maximum.
    At this point I have to agree with Leif to some extent. The actual solar variation over a cycle or two doesn’t have much effect. The main effect of solar variability on decadal time scales arises from the apparent observation that if oceans and sun are in phase then global temperature changes are faster but even then by far the main influence is the oceanic one.
    However at century plus timescales I think solar variability over several cycles does provide a basic background trend of either warming or cooling. I’m actually not certain of Leif’s position on that. At one time I think he did accept the possibility of such a solar effect on time scales of several centuries but his tendency to minimise solar variabiliy over thousands of years tends to make me wonder whether I read him correctly. Perhaps he could clarify.
    Now to date I haven’t delved into the internal ocean mechanics and the relationship with solar variation so I’m open minded on that. I’ve so far concentrated more on the idea of varying rates of oceanic energy emission driving the entire climate system and I see all the observed changes in the air as fitting well into that scenario including (especially) the latitudinal shifts in the air circulation systems between El Nino and La Nina and much more greatly between positive ocean phases and negative ocean phases.
    At the moment I think your suggestions have merit in explaining the size disjunction between solar variability and the much larger variability in the rate of oceanic emission of energy from ocean to air. I have simply observed that disjunction but not explained it.
    However the background trend needs a greater degree of certainty because that provided the upward ‘steps’ in global temperature during the 20th Century and it is the second of those steps that the IPCC and alarmists generally put down to human activity. Even the IPCC seems to accept the first step in the first part of the 20th century as solar induced.
    Given the ramp up of solar activity in cycles 21, 22 and 23 I think the IPCC is on weak ground there.
    The IPCC also relies on the early peak in cycle 21 (or was it 19 ?) to assert that solar effects cannot explain the late 20th century warming because during the warming period the level of solar activity was declining from that early peak.
    They ignore the fact that until the end of cycle 23 solar input to the system remained at a historic high so continued warming could well have been a lagging effect of continuing high levels of solar activity especially if one also considers all those strong El Nino events pumping energy into the air.
    Then subtract the undoubted UHI effect and late 20th century warming ceases to have any necessary relation to increasing CO2 at all.

  56. Mr. Alex (23:36:28) :
    Look, there was and there is not a real Nino, and not because of any theory whatsoever but because, if you live near an El Nino ares, as I do, in front of El Nino 1+2, you would be able to say the same and citing that funny phrase about La Nina. In fact when it is going to be a big el Nino in december there is no winter in july/august, then, in any case it seems, as you mentioned after Landscheidt, a feeble Nino and a return to La Nina conditions for several years.

  57. Stephen Wilde (08:17:15) :
    but his tendency to minimise solar variabiliy over thousands of years tends to make me wonder whether I read him correctly.
    There is mounting evidence http://www.leif.org/EOS/Holocene-TSI.pdf [Figure 3] that TSI has not varied more than +/- 1 W/m2 over the last 9300 years. The question is if such a tiny solar variation has any climate impact above 0.1 degrees. I think not, but, obviously, some people need that in order to say that ‘natural climate change’ can be large [several degrees]. In this respect TSI is just a marker for solar magnetic variability as the variation of TSI [as far as we know] is solely caused by variability of solar magnetic fields. Measurements of the solar temperature outside of active regions and their sunspots, show no variation over time. We have very accurate measurements of this ‘quiet sun’ temperature over the past almost four solar cycles and no variation with solar activity has been observed.

  58. Hi Stephen,
    You state: “I can see a general background flow of energy from sun to sea to air to space and an interaction with solar input at the air/space boundary but I cannot envisage events in the air or at the top of the atmosphere working downwards against the background flow so as to enter and direct oceanic behaviour.”
    Can you help me on this ?
    Thanks for the inquiry and I delight in offering an opinion.
    First let us observe that energy from the sun is the source of warmth at the surface of the Earth and that the flux of energy at the surface depends upon cloud cover.
    The clinching argument (for me) is that the largest fluctuation in sea surface temperature (anomalies from the long term monthly mean) actually occur not at the equator but at the highest latitudes and in the northern rather than in the southern hemisphere in particular. It is the northern hemisphere that sees the greatest fluctuation in stratospheric temperature because of the seasonal coming and going of the northern vortex. The fluctuation of the northern vortex is greatest in NH winter and the resulting flux in sea surface temperature has its greatest amplitude at that time. Changes of 4-10°C in SST are common at high northern latitudes in the space of a few months. The highest and the lowest anomaly in sea surface temperature within the space of a year, north of the 40°N parallel, commonly occurs in the November to March period. This is when the northern vortex is active. It’s stop start activity has led to the classification of ‘warmings’ into various grades including the ‘sudden stratospheric warming’ and the ‘final warming’.
    By contrast the flux in temperature of equatorial waters is rendered in parts of a degree.
    The fluctuation in stratospheric ozone content that results from the waxing and waning of the Arctic vortex is a potent influence on stratospheric ozone content, stratospheric temperature and sea surface temperature world wide.
    You must be aware that the atmosphere between 200hPa and the top of the stratosphere tends to warm and cool as a unit. Cirrus cloud is observed not only into the upper troposphere but also the stratosphere. You should be further aware that ice particles are potent reflectors of incoming solar radiation even though their density may be so low as to render them invisible. The stratosphere and upper troposphere together give us about 50km of atmospheric depth as against the 7 km below 200hPa.
    Further you need to observe that as the upper atmosphere warms, so does the sea, and that this relationship is strong at all latitudes. Ice crystals in the upper atmosphere may absorb outgoing long wave radiation but their activity in mediating the flow of incoming radiation is deterministic so far as sea surface temperature is concerned. More cirrus in a cooling upper atmosphere (due to less ozone) means a cooling surface not a warming surface. This fact seems to escape most observers. Perhaps they never actually check the data.
    And of course the flux in stratospheric ozone is due to the change in flow of oxides of nitrogen from the mesosphere where the concentration of these chemicals is dependent upon solar irradiance and geomagnetic activity.
    Finally, let me observe that within the period of record stratospheric temperatures increased strongly up till the late 70’s climate shift and declined till about 2003 and now seem to be increasing gently. That gentle increase may not be solar related but due to a reducing flux of water vapour into the stratosphere as tropical sea surface temperature gently declines.
    Although the greatest temperature fluctuations occur in the northern hemisphere the bulk of the ocean is in the south. Hence the long observed identity between the southern oscillation in atmospheric pressure and the temperature of equatorial waters.
    None of this is rocket science. It represents painstaking observation.

  59. Stephen Wilde (08:17:15): At this point I have to agree with Leif to some extent. The actual solar variation over a cycle or two doesn’t have much effect.
    What about the cold period in the beginning of the last century that coincidences with the weak solar cycles 14 and 15? I suspect that we may observe a similar cooling the next decade as we saw in that period.

  60. Invariant (09:33:40) :
    What about the cold period in the beginning of the last century that coincidences with the weak solar cycles 14 and 15? I suspect that we may observe a similar cooling the next decade as we saw in that period.
    What about the cold period in the 1840s-1870s that coincided with the strong cycles 8 to 11?

  61. erlhapp (09:25:19) :
    the greatest fluctuation in stratospheric temperature
    The temperatures in the mesosphere and stratosphere have nothing to do with the temperature at the surface, except for possible weak upwards-traveling influences.

  62. Leif Svalgaard (09:51:53): What about the cold period in the 1840s-1870s that coincided with the strong cycles 8 to 11?
    I speculate that the instant value of HMF B makes little sense. It is the accumlated HMF B that influences global temperature. See:
    http://i25.tinypic.com/fb97ph.jpg
    The green curve is accumulated HMF B.

  63. Mr. Alex (01:42:40) :
    I know many readers here are skeptical about Landscheidt’s papers, but they are an interesting read nonetheless
    But, as many like Landscheidt have discovered cycles that really correspond to actual phenomena, wouldn´t we expect from real scientists to put aside all “pride and prejudice” so as to not to reject the challenge but to search for the real physical causes behind all these peculiar “coincidences”?, otherwise we are not witnessing rational discourse but subjective and emotional arguments.

  64. In relating solar cycles and temperature, are we not supposed to consider a time lag of about six years, as many times has been posted here in WUWT?

  65. It could very well be that oceanic influences on temperature and weather over land is quite rapid, but I am intrigued by the issue of this noncompliant jet stream stubbornly refusing to drop into its El Nino position. Could it be that it also lags with the warm oceanic pool? Stephen, it would make sense that the jet stream is more affected by exactly where that El Nino warm pool is at and how strong it is. Could it be the cause for this jumbled jet stream behavior?

  66. Leif Svalgaard (09:51:53) :
    Leif, always like your comments.
    Nevertheless, when I look on Armagh, CET, Uppsala, De Bilt, Hohenpeissenberg,
    locally (Europe), it cuts both ways.
    There were cold years and warm years in the 1840s and 1870s. When using centered
    averages over several years, generally the 1836 to 1840, 1875 to 1882 and the 1886 to 1890 are the timeframe with lowest averages. It differes a little bit from dataset to dataset. However, I couldn’t say it would support Invariant’s (09:33:40) nor you.
    Best Regards
    KlausB

  67. Pamela Gray (11:22:27)
    I think one should take the average net latitudinal position of the jets globally. However I don’t think that is being done at the moment.
    Additionally that position will depend on the average net contribution of all the oceans at any one time (often ocean phases are out of phase with each other). That is not being done at the moment either.
    At any given moment there is a huge range of possibilies for jet stream positions in relation to individual locations. I am sure those possibilities vary according to the distribution of warm and cold pools as you say.
    On top of that is normal day to day chaotic variability.
    The word ‘jumbled’ is appropriate in this case.

  68. erlhapp (09:25:19)
    I can see the logic but can also see alternative ways to get the same observations.
    You clearly see that the northern hemisphere has a lot more land so solar heating of the land especially in the northern summer would provide a larger contribution to stratospheric air temperatures than would the contribution from the seas.
    Thus I don’t see a larger variability in northern hemisphere air temperatures as significant as ocean temperatures.
    Turning now to the greater variability of ocean temperatures in the polar regions as opposed to tropical regions then it seems clear to me that where energy is being lost to space faster i.e. at the poles then the waters nearest the poles get a far greater opportunity to lose energy than do the tropical waters where solar energy arriving always exceeds the rate of energy lost to space.
    Thus tropical waters vary hardly at all but polar waters would vary greatly depending on how much energy filtered to them from equatorial regions. The degree of variation seems to be dependent on the supply of warm waters reaching the polar seas and that in turn seems to depend on partly the ENSO cycle but more substantially the 25 to 30 year ocean phase shifts.
    It is those phase shifts which need explaining if events in the air are to qualify as drivers of anything. As far as I know there is no correlation between those phase shifts and anything that happens in the air or involving the sun (at least directly).
    The northern polar regions would vary more than the southern polar regions because the warm water flow gets right into the Arctic Circle whereas in the south it can only circulate around the Antarctic continent.
    So, whilst seeing what you are saying I come to a different opinion and conclude that the oceans drive the air and the air cannot drive the oceans or the climate in the way you suggest, but it’s only my opinion.
    I see all the air based phenomena you describe as entirely consistent with oceanic forcing.

  69. It would be interesting to look at jet stream patterns over time that correspond to high summer wind direction out through Fram Strait (2007 and parts of 2008 come to mind), and compare that to jet stream position when winds along Fram Strait are blowing ice INTO the Arctic instead of OUT like in 2009.

  70. Leif Svalgaard (09:19:56)
    I see that reply as confirming your doubt that solar variations drive global temperature changes on ANY timescale.
    My problem with that is the absence of any other supply of energy to the system.
    I had the impression that you were doubtful about the AGW hypothesis but if one excludes solar variability completely as an adequately large driver then of course one is driven to conclude that something else is responsible and that something else could be increasing CO2 in the air.
    Please could you explain how you are still able to doubt the CO2 AGW hypothesis whilst considering that solar changes are insufficient to produce observed climate changes.
    The reason I cannot accept CO2 even as a provider of a background rising temperature trend is that we clearly see a slow cyclical background rise and fall in past global temperatures over several centuries at a time when human sourced CO2 could not have been an issue.
    I’m sure it doesn’t apply to you but wouldn’t it be useful for the AGW lobby to have the assistance of someone who SAYS he does not believe in the hypothesis but who works tirelessly to eliminate or debunk all possible alternatives.
    It boils down to a simple issue,
    There have always been slow cyclical global temperature variations in the background even throughout interglacials.
    Human sourced CO2 cannot have been a serious issue until after WW2. even the IPCC accepts that.
    How does one exclude solar variability as a driver of those changes when many historical sources show a correlation (which you seek quite strenuosly to deny) and when there is no other energy source for the climate system ?

  71. Leif Svalgaard (09:59:20) :
    erlhapp (09:25:19) :
    the greatest fluctuation in stratospheric temperature
    The temperatures in the mesosphere and stratosphere have nothing to do with the temperature at the surface, except for possible weak upwards-traveling influences.

    what about this publication, given in the Svensmark thread by
    Ron de Haan (10:50:28) :
    Solar Heat Amplifier Discovered
    http://theresilientearth.com/?q=content/atmospheric-solar-heat-amplifier-discovered

    Seems as if a model can be made where there is amplification of the sun input influence from the stratosphere downwards, in conjunction with that from surface upwards.

  72. Nogw (10:39:52): In relating solar cycles and temperature, are we not supposed to consider a time lag of about six years, as many times has been posted here in WUWT?
    This makes perfectly sense in my toy model, as I have made the assumption that the temperature is the time integral of the solar cycle. Assuming that Qout is constant and Qin is sine function with period 11.1 years due to varying solar activity we obtain
    m•cp•dT/dt = Qin – Qout
    Qin ~ sin (2π•t/11.1)
    T ~ cos (2π•t/11.1)
    Everybody knows that sine and cosine are the derivative of each other and are out of phase by half the period, meaning that the time lag would be 11.1/2 = 5.55 years which is almost the value proposed by Mogw. I should listen more to Mary Poppins that once said:
    “Why do you always complicate things that are really quite simple?”

  73. Stephen Wilde 7:47:40
    Pretty clearly the earth is a heat engine that pumps heat poleward from the equator. My figure for the lag is about three years, the time it took for the peak of temperature around 2004-2005 to melt the Arctic Ice in 2007. Just as the globe has cooled since 2005, the Arctic has been freezing back up for the last two years. NB, this is highly speculative.
    ====================================

  74. Hmmm, invariant @ 12:54:24, similar figures from entirely different methods of analysis.
    ================================

  75. kim (13:15:47)
    I agree with that but think the 2007 melt was also componded by residual energy in the oceans from 30 years of dominant El Ninos and favourable synoptics blowing ice out of the Arctic.

  76. Invariant (12:54:24) : However, as I have cited before: In 1991.3 there was a low in GCR and afterwards the 97-98 big El Nino (See H. Svensmark “The chilling stars”, p.77)= 6 years lag.

  77. I have a question for Dr. Svalgaard,
    Dear Dr. Svalgaard,
    If you go to a cabin in the Norwegian mountains in wintertime the first thing you do is to make a fire in the fireplace. In the beginning the cabin is freezing cold below zero, but after a few hours the temperature starts to increase and within a day or two the cabin is comfortable. While the air in the cabin is quickly heated, the cabin itself may take a couple of days to heat.
    Let us imagine that the fireplace resembles the sun and that the cabin resembles our planet. My main point is that we do not need to see that the output from the sun (fireplace) increase in order to see that the temperature in our planet (cabin) increase. The only requirement is that heat from the fireplace (Qin) is larger than the heat dissipated through the walls (Qout).
    To make the analogy complete we can assume that the initial freezing state of the cabin resembles our planet during the little ice age. So I argue that the heating of our planet since the last ice age is perfectly possible without any increase of the output from the sun in that period. I do not want to speculate what caused the little ice age, but do you agree that our planet will heat even if solar activity is constant as long as Qin > Qout?
    My second question is how much reduction in the output from the sun is required to get a similar temperature fall as we had during the little ice age?

  78. Sandy: You wrote, obviously disagreeing with my earlier reply, “Satellite and ship don’t contribute to depth data so we just have the buoy grid.”
    I won’t dispute the ship data, but I will disagree with you on the satellite altimetry data. The TOPEX/POSEIDON sea surface altimetry satellite was replaced by the Jason-1 and Jason-2 satellites. (The NOAA webpage I originally linked is out of date. Sorry.) Those satellites are not measuring sea surface temperature. They’re measuring sea level. A major component of sea level is the temperature of the water column. By computing sea level anomalies, the powers that be can find subsurface temperature anomalies and supplement the TOA buoy array. Refer to the most recent Sea Level anomaly map available through a JPL website. The sea level anomaly is in the same location as the one in Figure 4 above:
    http://sealevel.jpl.nasa.gov/science/jason1-quick-look/2009/images/20090821G.jpg
    And of course, since it’s a pool of subsurface warm water, it does not appear in the surface temperature map:
    http://i32.tinypic.com/2rcbdx2.png
    Regards

  79. kim (13:32:52) : Hmmm, but 11.1/4 is 2.8 years. Even closer to my 3.
    Great. Yes it should be 11.1/4. I divided by 3 instead this is embarrasing, no wonder I sometimes find bugs in my FORTRAN code.

  80. anna v (12:30:52) :
    Seems as if a model can be made where there is amplification of the sun input influence from the stratosphere downwards, in conjunction with that from surface upwards.
    This is not what Erl had in mind and my comment was in direct relation to his ideas]. As far as I can understand [from his tens of thousands of words on the subject] he want the mesosphere/upper stratosphere heated by geomagnetic activity and such and then having that heat propagate downward to heat the sea. That does not happen [for once, because the density decreases by a factor of a thousand for each 50 km you ascend so there is not many Joules up there].

  81. Stephen Wilde (12:24:26) :
    I see that reply as confirming your doubt that solar variations drive global temperature changes on ANY timescale.
    No, just on the timescale where we have reasonably good proxies, e.g. that last 10,000 years. Clearly, on the timescale of billions of years [covered by your ANY], things must be different [yet, there are the Gaia crew…]
    Human sourced CO2 cannot have been a serious issue until after WW2. even the IPCC accepts that.
    So what? The temps have varied in the past unconnected with CO2. Now, there must also be some small but unknown CO2 effect.
    How does one exclude solar variability as a driver of those changes when many historical sources show a correlation (which you seek quite strenuosly to deny) and when there is no other energy source for the climate system ?
    The correlations are not all that good, and you make the standard rhetoric of asking what would happen if we turned off the Sun [‘no other energy source’]. You cannot imagine that even with constant external input, a system can oscillate. One can move the problem up one notch: what makes the Sun vary? it has no access to another energy source [discounting Jupiter shine]. What makes you so willingly accept that the Sun varies from internal oscillations while you seek quite strenuously to deny that the climate system could do the same?

  82. I think the Earth has within its atmosphere, its land masses and channels between them, and its slowly mixing oceans, the wherewithall to be the source of the variation in temperatures we see from year to year, decade to decade, century to century, and inbetween the long orbit wobble cycle. It varies the amount of energy we get from the Sun by using it in different amounts, storing it in different amounts, and exhaling it in different amounts, while the relatively constant Sun does what it can to refill this rather leaky planet.

  83. It’s “interesting” to compare the UAH day-to-day satellite temperatures for 1998’s El “Supero” Nino to this year’s (2009’s modest El Nino) satellite temperatures:
    For almost every day this year, satellite temperatures have been higher by .15 to .20 more than 1998.
    We may face a Copenhagen-hyped “hottest year ever” by the time he meeting begins!

  84. Leif Svalgaard (03:15:24) : Walter Dnes (23:20:30) :
    “Adjusted” means adjusted for the variable distance to the Sun to refer the flux to a fixed distance [the average distance].

    So Walter I was wrong about presuming that it was the flux as it came out from the sun. It is at a fixed distance, that is 1 AU, FROM the sun.
    Which is more meaningful? To me the “observed” flux is more meaningful if I try and correlate it with temperature, because that is the net effect felt here, at the time.
    Because the time of observation changes [1700Z or 1800Z, depending on time of year, same for 2300Z], I only use the noon value [2000Z]. It does not makes a significant difference, though.
    I presume all that is at 2800 MHz?

  85. The key to whether the Earth is warming or cooling lies in the reflective capacity of tiny particles of ice suspended in the atmosphere. So far as the tropical and subtropical latitudes are concerned the warming and cooling of the sea is particularly evident in those locations where outgoing long wave radiation is heaviest. These are the ‘apparently’ cloud free downdraft areas. Here the air warms by compression. Here the transmission between warming and cooling occurs on daily and monthly time scales.
    And Leif’s re-iteration of my ideas is a classic illustration of the how a story gets changed in the retelling. Sadly, meaningful discussion is not possible.
    Stephen, Bob Tisdale has been at pains to show that the long period oscillations in the ocean are simply a product of short term change that is so clearly seen in the tropics. I, on the other hand want to demonstrate how that changes at the equator are simply a somewhat muffled derivative of what is happening elsewhere. A pan of water will warm whether it is located centrally over a heat source or not. The Ocean can warm very effectively if the exchange of energy changes in such a way that its coolest parts become slightly warmer. The oceans circulate between a warm equator and a cold pole and it is frequently the temperature of the in-feed water on the eastern margins of the ocean that drives small changes in temperature at the equator.
    The Pacific is just one of several theaters of activity. The temperature of the water in the ENSO 3.4 region is unrepresentative of the global tropics and the global tropics are in fact unrepresentative of the oceans as a whole.
    The focus on ENSO 3.4 suits the warming brigade. It’s a red herring and a very effective one at that.

  86. Invariant 13:54:43
    Even more embarrassing for me our ‘similar figures’ from different analyses are of different objects of the analysis. Oh, well; my math was right anyway.
    ====================================

  87. Stephen Wilde (12:24:26) : I had the impression that you were doubtful about the AGW hypothesis but if one excludes solar variability completely as an adequately large driver then of course one is driven to conclude that something else is responsible and that something else could be increasing CO2 in the air.
    Please could you explain how you are still able to doubt the CO2 AGW hypothesis whilst considering that solar changes are insufficient to produce observed climate changes.

    It is not an “either or” situation. It could be simple oscillation of physical systems (i.e. ocean currents) or it could be an artifact of broken thermometers ( http://www.surfacestations.org ) or it could be that the temperature calculation code is broken ( http://chiefio.wordpress.com ) or who knows what other possible drivers could be involved (cosmic rays, whatever).
    The bottom line is that the temperature record in GIStemp is not consistent with either solar or CO2 since it has seasonal variations that they do not have while it also has a geographic distribution of the data that are not consistent with a “global” driver. So you must look elsewhere.
    FWIW, I would still like to hold out hope that the solar system center of rotation changes might have some long term impact (i.e. Bond Events, Volcano cycles, etc.); but that can “at best” be rampant speculation at this point, and is not related to the AGW thesis nor the observed temperature record in GIStemp.
    Some of us kicked around possible mechanisms of action here:
    http://chiefio.wordpress.com/2009/03/09/are-we-quaking/
    down in the comments, but could not reach any reasonable conclusions. There are some tenuous potential mechanism, but they hang by delicate threads, are obscure things (some involving relativistic effects) and are not subject to easy “armchair verification”…
    At this point, I’m content to just watch the next 20 years unfold and see what really happens (presuming I last that long 😉

  88. Leif Svalgaard (18:01:19) :
    Richard (17:38:03) :
    How then is this tied up with solar activity?
    You are correct, it is not.
    You have a severe case of tunnel vision Leif when it comes to solar – climate and it’s built around your misguided schooling and your inability to let go of preconceived notions.
    What about the new research out trying to tie in the ENSO with the solar cycle which some have already known about. (But they did get some things wrong.) Or do you think they are grasping at straws ?
    http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2009-08/ncfa-sus082509.php

  89. Richard (15:56:19) :
    Which is more meaningful? To me the “observed” flux is more meaningful if I try and correlate it with temperature, because that is the net effect felt here, at the time.
    The radio flux itself has no effect [being extremely tiny energetically]. The flux is but a proxy for other solar activity, such as the Total Solar Irradiance, or the Interplanetary Magnetic Field, or such. now, I would actually agree that for all these measures one should use the ‘observed’ values. This is ordinarily NOT done, because people work with anomalies, that is deviations from [say] monthly means so that the annual variation of the distance is subtracted out.
    I presume all that is at 2800 MHz?
    yes.

  90. Equatorial heat moves air (vertical).
    Planetary rotation moves air (horizontal).
    Wind moves oceanic surface water.
    Water moves heat.
    Coriolis effects modify all of the above.
    Add in the haline driven circulation at depth.
    Each variable exhibits a different temporal rate of change profile.
    Nudge the entire ensomble, with apparent minute changes in TSR
    That is the multivariate process attempting reach equilibrium in each of the four primary ocean basins.
    In my humble opinion the jet changes are the most visible, though most volital peice of the processes. I suspect that velocity of the air and water movement profoundly affect the rate of transfer/dissipation of thermal energy to and from the atmosphere. With regard to the jets, location, location, location. It appears that global circulatory systems are slowing and if true, will affect cooling or warming of all componemts of the atmosphere.
    At this point in the timeline, oceanic thermal energy is in dissipation mode.
    It is difficult to conceive that minute differences in TSR can affect significant changes in the planetary atmospheric thermal budget yet it may well be. Human intervention into these vast natural systems doesn’t comport with the physics reported.
    If I have inadvertantly purloined verbage from other commentors, I offer my apolgies.
    J.D. Lindskog

  91. erlhapp (16:23:21) :
    I, on the other hand want to demonstrate how that changes at the equator are simply a somewhat muffled derivative of what is happening elsewhere.
    […]
    the global tropics are in fact unrepresentative of the oceans as a whole.

    To me, this is a contradiction, but your language is, as usual, so muddled that [as you point out] “meaningful discussion is not possible.”

  92. Well the SOI (sitting around 0 for 30 & 90 days) is currently decoupled from an El Nino which according to SOI definitions isnt happening. Darwin is having low pressure systems pop up frequently. The models predicting an El Nino seem to be based on climate history from solar grand maximums as well as, as many have said the biggest effect on climate science seems to be Copenhagen – Id have to agree! This isnt about facts but policy.

  93. Jim Hughes (17:18:41) :
    You have a severe case of tunnel vision Leif when it comes to solar – climate and it’s built around your misguided schooling and your inability to let go of preconceived notions.
    35 years ago, I did a lot of work on sun-weather relations, e.g. http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/abstract/180/4082/185
    so you can lay off the schooling and preconceptions.
    What about the new research out trying to tie in the ENSO with the solar cycle which some have already known about. (But they did get some things wrong.) Or do you think they are grasping at straws ?
    They are trying to see if they can build a sun-climate relation into their models [which everybody here always badmouth when it comes to AGW]. This is different from actually showing observationally that such an effect exists [and as you point out, there are inaccuracies and mistakes in the work].

  94. “Leif Svalgaard(1452:36)
    Stephen Wilde (12:24:26) :
    I see that reply as confirming your doubt that solar variations drive global temperature changes on ANY timescale.
    Leif Svalgaard:
    No, just on the timescale where we have reasonably good proxies, e.g. that last 10,000 years. Clearly, on the timescale of billions of years [covered by your ANY], things must be different [yet, there are the Gaia crew…]
    Stephen Wilde:
    Human sourced CO2 cannot have been a serious issue until after WW2. even the IPCC accepts that.
    Leif Svalgaard:
    So what? The temps have varied in the past unconnected with CO2. Now, there must also be some small but unknown CO2 effect.
    Stephen Wilde:
    How does one exclude solar variability as a driver of those changes when many historical sources show a correlation (which you seek quite strenuosly to deny) and when there is no other energy source for the climate system ?
    Leif Svalgaard:
    The correlations are not all that good, and you make the standard rhetoric of asking what would happen if we turned off the Sun [‘no other energy source’]. You cannot imagine that even with constant external input, a system can oscillate. One can move the problem up one notch: what makes the Sun vary? it has no access to another energy source [discounting Jupiter shine]. What makes you so willingly accept that the Sun varies from internal oscillations while you seek quite strenuously to deny that the climate system could do the same.”
    Stephen Wilde:
    That’s a very helpful reply.
    You will see from my many posts that I do place a lot of weight on various internal oscillations of the climate system, primarily within the oceans, and have likened the development of those oceanic oscillations to those generated by a tuning fork.
    At the moment we have the interannual ENSO signal and the recently noted multidecadal phase shifts at 25 to 30 year intervals which in my view deal adequately with everything observed during the 20th century.
    The next step is to deal with longer term background trends and there the only difference between us is the length of time at which internal climate oscillations give way to solar variations.
    It may be that even on multicentury time scales there is another level of oceanic variability which we have not yet observed and if so then that defers the need for a solar influence to timescales of thousands of years which I think you would find just about acceptable (correct me if I’m wrong).
    The historical correlations with solar variations may be ‘not all that good’ but if one takes into account the lagging effects of oceanic variability the correlation is persuasive and should not be dismissed. On balance I judge the correlation such as it is to be better than we would get if solar variability were as insignificant as you suggest. I support those who are trying to resolve that oddity by closer investigation of the solar/climate interaction.
    On grounds of scale and the correct sequence of events as revealed by observation my opinion is that the sun and oceans are in full control and all that is needed is to tease out the entangled process at an appropriate timescale.
    The whole question of climate variation is to get the sequence of events right and then deal with matters of scale. Any ideas that rely on changes in the air alone driving the system get both those aspects wrong from the start.

  95. Perhaps Lief needs a larger net. The measurement of radiant energy of the sun would seem to me to be as effective as measuring the radiant energy of a large pot of water over a camp fire to discern the energy output of the pot. The radiant output would not change as long as the water lasts. Whether the pot simmers or boils, the radiant signature would stay nearly the same. The boiling pot would release a lot more energy then the simmering pot.
    We know at this time that the solar wind is at a very low point, maybe the earth is encountering less energy as it transits the solar wind.
    Finally as an old refrigeration man, I know that a very small change in input or output of energy into a vacuum sealed container, as the earth, can cause considerable changes in energy inside the container.

  96. p.g.sharrow (00:05:37)
    With that analogy the extra energy loss when the pot boils is in the form of the latent heat of evaporation (which speeds up) and so is not discernible as part of the energy radiated.
    To be fair to Leif I don’t see how the sun can take advantage of some other process similar to the evaporative process in order to get more energy to the Earth than is represented by the measurement of radiative energy.
    Even the variations in the magnetic flux and the solar wind seem to be directly related to TSI.
    The answer seems to be a fine balance within the Earth system with that balance swinging above and below the changes one would expect from the observed changes in TSI and of course I favour the oceans as the source of those irregularities with the air having to counter them to restore stability. The Earth system is apparently very sensitive to small changes in input and as a result of that sensitivity of response (always a fast and powerful negative response) it is very insensitive to anything that tries to disturb it’s internal equilibrium.
    The air circulations always provide a fast negative feedback to the slow oceanic forcings arising within the Earth system. Otherwise we would see much bigger differences between incoming solar energy and outgoing radiative energy.
    The issue to be resolved is the time scale at which the small solar variability takes over from the much larger internal Earth system variability. I see it in the historical record on century time scales but Leif and other solar scientists seem to be moving to longer and longer timescales as they further reduce their estimates of past solar variability.
    As we more finely tune our solar knowledge there are two main issues:
    Are the solar scientists being over enthusiastic in the extent to which they are applying what they do think they know to their guesses about past solar variability ?
    Are there internal Earth system oscillations at longer timescales than we have yet been able to reliably observe ?
    The answer must be a balance between those two parameters. Either way it’s a much bigger effect than anything CO2 can achieve as we have seen from the size of the pre industrial age changes in global climate.
    AGW theory is firmly dependent on late 20th century warming being faster and bigger than anything the natural forcings can achieve and then they go on to extrapolate it indefinitely.
    The past 12 years or so is good evidence that their extrapolations are unfounded and the past 2000 years shows that the natural forcings are far larger.
    Additionally they have failed to show that changes in the air alone have any effect on ocean energy content the variable release of which is our most direct climate driver. Sceptics relying on changes in the air alone have the same problem.

  97. Just to clarify one point.
    The oceans provide either a negative or positive response to variations in solar input depending on whether the oceanic oscillations are in phase with the solar variations or not.
    The air circulation systems combined with the speed of the hydrological cycle always provide a fast and very variable negative response to whatever the sun and oceans do to vary the speed of energy flow through the Earth system.
    The same system in the air deals very effectively in neutralising changes that occur in the air alone so that changes in the air alone can never alter the equilibrium temperature set by sun and oceans at any given moment (and it is always changing).

  98. p.g.sharrow “PG” (00:05:37) :
    We know at this time that the solar wind is at a very low point, maybe the earth is encountering less energy as it transits the solar wind.
    The energy in the solar wind is a million times smaller than that of solar radiation [TSI].

  99. Stephen Wilde (00:00:12) :
    if so then that defers the need for a solar influence to timescales of thousands of years
    For the current debate about climate change, that timescale is not too relevant, and we don’t need to speculate on it. Perhaps we need ice cores from the Moon, Mars, or Europa to settle what is solar and what is not, but that is not for now, so let’s defer the speculations until we have some.

  100. Leif Svaalgard (21:31:15)
    35 years ago, I did a lot of work on sun-weather relations, e.g. http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/abstract/180/4082/185
    so you can lay off the schooling and preconceptions.
    And you obviously found no connection for the most part and I am basing this off of the manner in which you usually speak. So this tells me you are not an expert within this field and that you have looked in the wrong areas. And I am also going to assume that most of your research was done early on in your defense. So you were younger and the available atmosphere- oceanic data was much more limited. As was the space weather data. (Solar included in this term)
    They are trying to see if they can build a sun-climate relation into their models [which everybody here always badmouth when it comes to AGW]. This is different from actually showing observationally that such an effect exists [and as you point out, there are inaccuracies and mistakes in the work].
    The mistakes in their work are based about them broadbrushing the variables within the solar cycle. Which even you know are different from cycle to cycle. So they are not seeing the forest through the trees. And you can have El Nino’s at solar maximum because of this, like with Cycle 19 & 20.

  101. Jim Hughes (06:00:47) :
    And you obviously found no connection for the most part
    On the contrary, our early papers are credited with reviving the sun-weather/climate field back in the 1970s [when it was basically dead]. Unfortunately, with 30 years more data, the correlation breaks down [as often happens in this field], although Brian Tinsley is trying to keep it alive by asserting that aerosols from volcanoes are necessary in addition to the solar sector boundaries.
    that most of your research was done early on in your defense. So you were younger and the available atmosphere- oceanic data was much more limited. As was the space weather data. (Solar included in this term)
    The newer data have, unfortunately for the field, rather than bolstering the relationship showed it to be spurious. You see, with more data, the correlations have to be really good to survive, and they haven’t.
    And you can have El Nino’s at solar maximum because of this, like with Cycle 19 & 20.</i?
    You can have El Ninos any time: solar max, min, or in between.

  102. Leif Svalgaard (07:47:39) :
    Jim Hughes (06:00:47) :
    And you obviously found no connection for the most part
    On the contrary, our early papers are credited with reviving the sun-weather/climate field back in the 1970s [when it was basically dead]. Unfortunately, with 30 years more data, the correlation breaks down [as often happens in this field], although Brian Tinsley is trying to keep it alive by asserting that aerosols from volcanoes are necessary in addition to the solar sector boundaries.
    that most of your research was done early on in your defense. So you were younger and the available atmosphere- oceanic data was much more limited. As was the space weather data. (Solar included in this term)
    The newer data have, unfortunately for the field, rather than bolstering the relationship showed it to be spurious. You see, with more data, the correlations have to be really good to survive, and they haven’t.
    And you can have El Nino’s at solar maximum because of this, like with Cycle 19 & 20.
    You can have El Ninos any time: solar max, min, or in between.

  103. As Warwick and others have pointed out the SOI is “near zero”. In fact, it is banging, rail-to-rail, like a disconnected Tach.
    Significant cloudiness, inreased H20 vapor aloft(even Accuweather’s GW blog has had the equatorial satellite photos), means no heat entering or leaving. Despite the untimely El Nino SSTs this is a neutral regime.

  104. Leif,
    Do you currently subscribe to the view that all we need to explain observed climate variability is oscillations internal to the Earth system ?
    If so, then would you think the oceans could be sufficient or do you favour a combination of elements ?
    If a combination, then which aspects should we be looking at ?

  105. Paul Vaughan (22:56:00): You might next toy around with inclusion of an ENSO term in your model.
    Ideally a model would not need to include ENSO, as ENSO would be something that a good model should predict. There is always a danger in science to “add epicycles” which is a sign of bad science:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Epicycle#Slang_for_Bad_Science
    Our climate is a transient boundary value problem of the same type as the heat equation.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heat_equation
    With all the required transient initial and boundary conditions available it should in theory possible to calculate the climate accurately without any assumptions about ENSO, PDO and the other oscillations that are just a redistribution of heat within the ocean – atmosphere system.

  106. Stephen Wilde (08:37:46) :
    Do you currently subscribe to the view that all we need to explain observed climate variability is oscillations internal to the Earth system ?
    No. But it could be like this [as it may be for the Sun as well]. We don’t know. My view is that we cannot tell at this point what it is, and that we therefore cannot [should not] say “it’s the Sun, stupid” or “it’s the Oceans, stupid” or whatever categorical statement one likes to make.

  107. Leif Svalgaard (11:38:04) :No. But it could be like this [as it may be for the Sun as well]. We don’t know
    Dear Dr. Svalgaard,
    I sincerely subscribe to your point of view. A couple of years ago I studied buoyancy forces in great detail and I was in contact with the best people on the subject. The lesson learned is indeed we do not know. In particular since chaotic buoyancy forces both dominate the oceans, the atmosphere and the interior of the sun, the prediction of the future climate seems nearly impossible. On the other hand, this situation is terribly interesting, and I suspect that human capabilities may outperform computers in predicting the future climate – buoyancy forces almost always leads to wildly diverging solutions in a numerical simulation.

  108. Erl Happ; You wrote, “The focus on ENSO 3.4 suits the warming brigade. It’s a red herring and a very effective one at that.”
    Would you explain that for me? If it suits them, it’s because they misunderstand it, or misinterpret it, or misrepresent it. Obviously, they’re missing something.

  109. Jim Hughes: You wrote, “But they did get some things wrong.”
    I’ve got a copy of the paper, but haven’t read it yet. I’m curious. What did they get wrong?

  110. Leif Svalgaard (11:38:04)
    I think it’s legitimate to consider the direction that observations and simple logic are taking us.
    The effect of solar variability is being pushed to longer timescales than some would like but it is still there as the provider of background trends on one timescale or another.
    The recent observation of that 25 to 30 year oceanic phase change cannot be ignored either and as the solar effect is pushed back into longer timescales that oceanic effect becomes more and more influential.
    The observation of latitudinal shifts in the air circulation systems is highly significant because it happens in tune with and always follows the ocean phase changes and to a lesser extent the ENSO cycle.
    One has to formulate a scenario that accommodates all those observations and yet complies with basic physics and a plethora of other climate phenomena.
    That is what I have made an attempt to do and it is not simply a matter of ‘“it’s the Sun, stupid” or “it’s the Oceans, stupid” .
    In fact my approach is what the climate professionals should have done at least two decades ago but they failed to respond to real world evidence preferring to rely on inadequate models and an ideological decision as to the effect of extra human sourced CO2.
    There are certain key facts that cannot be denied:
    1) All the energy in the system is originally from the sun (discounting geothermal for the moment)
    2) The oceans redistribute that energy in time and space releasing it at variable rates to the air.
    3) There is no other potential climate forcing agent anywhere near the size of sun and ocean variability and such other potential forcings as there are simply constitute single components of a plethora of such second and third order forcings that as often as not just cancel each other out.
    4) The speed of the hydrological cycle clearly changes in response to ocean energy release variability as evidenced by those latitudinal shifts.
    5) Air cannot heat oceans.Only the sun can do that.
    6) The energy flow is one way from sun to sea to air to space.
    7) The latitudinally oscillating air circulation systems provoked by those oceanic changes explain all observed regional climate changes.
    Putting all that together with various other facts and observations the position must be that there is a natural mechanism that prevents changes in the air from changing the equilibrium temperature of the globe which is in fact set by sun and oceans together and not by the composition of the air.
    Tyndall was right about the effect of more GHGs in the air but wrong about the effect on the equilibrium temperature. Instead of heating the oceans all that happens is that the rate of energy transfer from surface to space is increased to a miniscule extent compared to the natural swings induced by the oceans.
    The more I debate this on these boards the clearer it is becoming and as yet I see no one in a position to contradict where observations and logic have led me.

  111. Paul Vaughan (22:56:00) “You might next toy around with inclusion of an ENSO term in your model.”
    Invariant (08:48:04) “Ideally a model would not need to include ENSO, as ENSO would be something that a good model should predict. […]”
    I agree wholeheartedly.
    Including the ENSO term would only be of intermediate value in sharpening your HMF B / temperature model communications & stats (but that’s not an issue if you have a climate-literate audience).

  112. Re: Bob Tisdale (14:32:07)
    Compare their model-maps with their observation-maps. It will be interesting to track their progress as time passes.

  113. Stephen Wilde (14:40:27) :
    I think it’s legitimate to consider the direction that observations and simple logic are taking us.
    Observations and simple logic do not tell us that the Sun has any influence. An absolutely constant Sun would still provide the energy the climate system works with. You are claiming logic tells you that the climate system does not vary on its own, but that the Sun does. That does not follow from logic. Logic would only tell you that they both vary, one varies, the other varies, or none vary. Now, you can fervently believe that climate change is due to a varying Sun, that is another matter, and you are, of course, entitled to that belief. But we cannot [should not – although it happens every day] base policy on somebody’s belief.
    If you claim that observations show that a varying Sun changes the climate, then you must be able to separate the various causes. How would you know that a variation at a certain time is due to cause A, B, C, or D? So, pick your best correlation, provide the data, and we can all analyse the correlation. Remember, it is the one who claims an effect, who has to show the effect.

  114. Stephen Wilde (14:40:27) :
    there is a natural mechanism that prevents changes in the air from changing the equilibrium temperature of the globe which is in fact set by sun and oceans together and not by the composition of the air.
    I’m reasonably sure that if you changed the composition of the air to 100% Methane, that the temperature would change dramatically.

  115. Well I have it right from the mouth of Sharon Noguchi; climate expert ordinaire at the San Jose Mercury News for Monday Septempber 14th (tax day -24 hrs).
    “Could early storm herald El Nino year ? ” on Page B2.
    So a “serious Alaskan storm” blew into the Bay Area last night; trust me it was a ho hum event in Sunnyvale down the Peninsula; but yes I did get some water droplets while out shopping around sunset.
    Actually I had been watching cloud patterns change all weekend; first some scattered small cotton ball puffs with relatively crisp boundaries; then some wispy layers with edges that just petered out in streaks, some solid but still white layers, and mixtures of those depending on whether it was over the hills or above the valley. Eventually it got relatively solid and darker as the sun had to penetrate the clouds to get underneath.
    The thing that dawned on me; and you Meteorologists can confirm or deny this; there is no GCM or climate or weather model that can predict the exact morphology or shapes of all those cloud types. OK some general categories of high school cloudology can be associated with noctilucent or cumulo-nimbus et al; but nobody can explain why each of those exact cloud structures I saw, came and went. Well presumable some moist air got down to dew point, and somethiong or somebody caused water droplets or ice crystals to form, and start scattering visible light so I could see it; but exactly why the edges just seem to fade out in streaks; or just flat stop dead as in a big old thunderhead; nobody can predict (IMHO).
    Well I shouldn’t say nobody; because Gaia knows; she knows everything; we don’t.
    Gaia also knows what the exact global surface mean temperature of planet earth is too. Yes there is one; but we can’t measure it.
    I would define the earth surface as being the boundary between the gaseous atmosphere, and the non-atmosphere whatever that consists of, say +/- 1mm in radius. If I choose mathematically to use a spherical co-ordinate system for the earth, then reasonably my theta and phi angles are robust, but the r variable is a bit noisy and waves up and down with the waves and tides over the ocean; but also with the plants wafting in the breeze over land; not to mention the animals stooping down at an oasis or stream to drink. Well I can accept that; Gaia keeps track of all of that.
    So I can define T(s,t) as being the Temperature measured at any instant of time at any location s defined in my spherical co-ordinate frame.
    I can also define $$T(s,t) as being the summation over all planet earth s locations at all possible times t of all the data that Gaia measures; she has enough thermometers; but we don’t.
    Then we can easily state with our mathematician tassle on the mortar board that the global mean surface temperature Tm = $$T(s,t) / $s . $t ; where s is summed over all of Gaia’s thermometers at every point on earth’s surface, and t is summed from t1 to t2 perhaps for a complete sun orbit, or any other long term climate interval we might be interested in.
    So you see measuring the earth’s surface temperature is trivial; any 8th grade physics student could do it (in principle).
    Now since we have the math hat on, we can observe that it matters not wheither I evaluate $$T(s,t) by integrating the time variable first or the spatial variable; we end up with the same result.
    So for example, If GISStemp wants to do this, they can integrate over time first, at each owl box, and then report a single daily number, to sum up with all the other owl boxes, to eventually arrive at the globals mean for whatever time interval. Well of course they don’t have enough owl boxes by a long way; and even the satellite folks can’t see the whole pseudo static surface at the same time; but apart from that it oughta work; either way I do the integrations or summations; and the result should be good so long as I comply with the Nyquist criterion for both s and t variables.
    Well of course GISStemp can’t do that but Gaia can, and does.
    But hang on a minute; remember that we have the math tassle exposed on the mortar board; not the physics tassle; so let’s switch hats to get from the completely fictitious mathematics environment to the actual physical reality of Gaia’s habitat.
    Now we have an immediate problem. If we observe Gaia in action, we see that she is acting in real time, and she is reacting at ANY instant to the spatial variations in T(s,t), and she is doing stuff in response to what she sees; like moving air around in response to temperature differntials from one point to another. OOoops !!
    I didn’t allow for any of that in my definition of the global mean surface temperature; I did a purely mathematical operation on a large set of sampled data, without any regard to the fact that stuff happens as a result of the differences of those data numbers form place to place, and from time to time.
    So to get to the bottom line; here is the problem. Mathematically we can compute the mean of T(s,t) doing the summation in any order, and GISStemp, Hadcrut, even RSS, and UAH cannot sample the whole field simultaneously, so they are driven to do some summation over t first, and then gather that up to sum over s to compute whatever it is that they compute.
    And there’s the rub, because whatever they come up with is quite meaningless; since they don’t even consider (the climatologists) what to do with the result (in the way of “stuff”) untill they have completed the whole summation and actually done it in bass ackwards order from what Gaia does; and without doing anything at all in real time like Gaia does.
    So please Peter Humbug; don’t come to me bragging about your climate models or GCMs or whatever it is you have on your Playstation; because one thing is for sure; they are NOT models of what Gaia does in real time; and she always gets the right answer; you never will, because whatever it is you are modeling, it certainly isn’t this planet or its climate.
    George

  116. To follow on from Stephen Wildes’ and Pamela Grays’ threads and add my questions are the Polar Vortex or other artic highs effected by solar cycles. I am intrigued by the lack of discussion in energy loss from the Earth as this would seem to be the crux of why the atmosphere cools or heats. Is stratospheric heating at the poles varied by the changes is UV insolation from solar max to min (sometimes of the order of a 400% change)? Does lack of stratospheric heating produce stable high pressue zone as we have seen across the artic this summer (Environment Canada has had most of the low pressure systems crossing the Canadian Arctic at above 1000mB this summer and the North has been characterised by a constant stream of high pressure systems). If these changes affect jet stream stability over Northern lattitudes, I can concieve that stable, cold and intensly dry arctic air allows heat to be radiated to space faster than the reverse situation so that the global climate is varying not so much by how much heat is entering the system but by how much heat is being distributed to the poles mainly by the oceans and lost. I can also conceive that if a positive phase of ocean currents is pumping more heat to the poles whilst at the same time stable southern jets streams and lack of stratospheric heating were to occur simultaneously (Winter 08/09?) the atmosphere cools dramatically and artic air breaks out periodically to deep freeze North America and Eurasia. So these short term solar changes will interact with medium period oceanic cycles sometimes positively or neagatively or marginally. Is anybody looking at these questions, can we see any trends that follow a solar signature? I hope not, I live in Canada. Heres to solar minimum.

  117. Paul Vaughan: You wrote, “Compare their model-maps with their observation-maps.”
    Thanks. There is little to no correlation between the observed SST and precipitation patterns (Fig 1 Cells A and B) and the coupled-model output (Figure 1 Cells G and H). It was a stretch to find the correlations they claim.

  118. Leif Svalgaard (11:38:04) :
    My view is that we cannot tell at this point what it is, and that we therefore cannot [should not] say “it’s the Sun, stupid” or “it’s the Oceans, stupid” or whatever categorical statement one likes to make.

    By an extension of the same logic, one cannot [should not] say “it’s not the Sun, stupid” or “it’s not the Oceans, stupid” or whatever categorical statement one likes to make.

  119. Leif Svalgaard (15:39:15)
    Of course. 100% methane means no hydrological cycle.
    My comment was about the world as it is not some fanciful invention designed to confuse.

  120. Leif Svalgaard:
    “Observations and simple logic do not tell us that the Sun has any influence.”
    Of course they do. All the energy in the system comes originally from the sun.
    Your summary of what I said is surprisingly adrift considering how clearly I put it.
    Anyway you have previously accepted some solar variability and have accepted some climate effect. The only issues are , the size of the variability, the size of any climate response and the timescal on which the solar effect eventually overcomes any climate response whether it be hundreds, thousands or tens of thousands of years.
    My opinion is that ANY solar variation will slowly alter the global equilibrium temperature over enough time via it’s effect on the oceans.

  121. Nick Britnell (17:25:08)
    ” So these short term solar changes will interact with medium period oceanic cycles sometimes positively or negatively or marginally.”
    Exactly. I’ve been saying that for 18 months.
    As far as I know the climate establishment is not considering such matters and in particular is continuing to ignore the energy budget implications of the latitudinal shifts in the air circulation systems that I keep banging on about.

  122. Nick Britnell (17:25:08) “I am intrigued by the lack of discussion in energy loss from the Earth as this would seem to be the crux of why the atmosphere cools or heats.”
    I share your interest in the role of Arctic highs. Thank you for your stimulating comments.

    Re: Bob Tisdale (17:37:57)
    Meehl seems to be a clever character (both scientifically and politically). I’ll be watching how he plays his hand with great interest.

  123. I wonder if anyone here will have the answer to this question:

    When was the last time Drake Passage (between Antarctica & S.America) froze over?

  124. Leif Svalgaard (15:36:58) : You are claiming logic tells you that the climate system does not vary on its own, but that the Sun does. That does not follow from logic. Logic would only tell you that they both vary, one varies, the other varies, or none vary.
    Yes. Strictly speaking a constant Sun may still be able to increase the temperature here.
    m•cp•dT/dt = Qin – Qout
    With both Qin and Qout constant T will still increase for any Qin > Qout. Here T is global temperature, Qin is heat added from the sun and Qout is heat dissipated. If Qin – Qout is positive but sufficiently small T may increase very slowly. Let us imagine that something else than the sun caused the little ice age – what is the main explanation to reject the theory that a small, but constant and positive Qin – Qout may be the main explanation for the heating from the little ice age?

  125. Perhaps climate science could move forward quicker if it is stopped assuming that a single cause like the sun, ocean currents or CO2 are responsible for climate change and start to look at how multiple small nudges to the different climate mechanisms can alter the Earth’s energy balance over different time-scales.
    Dynamic chotic systems like our climate only need multiple small changes to cause massively different observed outcomes. Seems like Edward Lorenz theory has been forgotten.

  126. “”” Paul Vaughan (02:24:30) :
    I wonder if anyone here will have the answer to this question:

    When was the last time Drake Passage (between Antarctica & S.America) froze over? “””
    Is that even possible Paul; well without major orbit change.
    Unlike the Arctic Ocean Which is pretty much land locked, Antarctica is water locked, and there is nothing to stop the Atlantic Ccean and the Pacific Ocean from sloshing back and forth twice each day through that Drake Passage; which is pretty much whyice shelves aren’t too successful at hanging on to the sides of the Antarctic Peninsula which sticks up into the Drake Passage.
    So freeze all the way across that passage, the entire coast line of Antarctica would have to build up frozen ice shelves.
    Now the tip of South America is at about -55 degrees latitude, and there is more water between South America, and the South Pole, than there is land area between south America and the South Pole.
    I know that is not a popular belief among those who believe the Arctic is mostly water (ice) and the Antarctic is mostly land; actually it is just the reverse. The Arctic is mostly land, while the Antarctic is mostly water (or ice).
    So to ice over the Drake Passage, would require growing more sea ice shelves than there is ice area on Antarctica. It has to freeze all around the coast, or else the twice daily tides will simply sweep the sea ice off the coast, and break it all up as it heads north.
    Well that’s my story, and I am sticking with it.
    George

  127. Tenuc (10::17)
    Actually the real issue is how the potential for catastrophic changes that would remove our liquid oceans has been avoided since the sun was 30% weaker.
    I nominate the hydrological cycle which has the ability to vary it’s speed and thus the rate of energy transfer from surface to space.
    The power, speed and flexibility of that process has maintained liquid oceans despite a 30% increase in solar power and can shrug off the effect of human CO2 by such a miniscule adjustment that we could never measure it.
    The observation which tells us the current speed of the hydrological cycle at any given moment is the average global latitudinal position of the main air circulation systems.
    Note however that it is constantly changing in response to the current rate of energy release from the oceans (again, averaged globally).
    No one is currently paying any attention to those two most crucial parameters.

  128. In an earlier post I said the following:
    “My opinion is that ANY solar variation will slowly alter the global equilibrium temperature over enough time via it’s effect on the oceans.”
    I have now changed my position on this point thanks to a helpful post from Richard S. Courtney on another thread.
    It appears that the Earth has retained liquid oceans since the sun was 30% weaker so there must be a mechanism that can preserve liquid oceans despite such a huge change in the amount of energy reaching the Earth.
    Hence my reference to the speed of the hydrological cycle in my reply to Tenuc.

  129. Invariant (08:32:19) “[…] what is the main explanation to reject the theory that a small, but constant and positive Qin – Qout may be the main explanation for the heating from the little ice age?”
    Interesting question.

    Invariant (08:32:19) “Let us imagine that something else than the sun caused the little ice age”
    I applaud your efforts to raise awareness. So few in our current society make the effort to think conditionally. The mainstream education system has poisoned conventional thinking with excessive-linearity; the mainstream media has reinforced this almost-beyond hope. Most in our society wouldn’t recognize a paradox if it smashed them in the face with a baseball bat. (Hence other societies are overtaking us.)
    There is such cultural insistence on dumbing everything down to:
    a) “If A goes up, B goes up.”
    b) “If A goes down, B goes down.”
    …and at the mainstream extreme, it is:
    c) “If A goes up, B goes down.”
    d) “If A goes down, B goes up.”
    There is nothing illogical about paradox – and yet we see it ridiculed day after day after tiresome day on these discussion boards by those who (perhaps inadvertently) advocate the preservation of intellectual-blindness.
    With educational reform we might increase the future (decades out) pool of intellects in our society who might be capable of independently succeeding at challenging tasks such as the generation of an ENSO-table (that works like a tide-table).
    The education system could be immersing our children & mature students in the challenges of (logical) paradox, rather than succumbing, in fear, to an inadequate preference for “soundbite logic”. (“If C goes up, we blow up.”)–[Imagine future security with this hopelessly-linear “logic” dominating the masses.]

  130. Re: George E. Smith (11:20:30)
    Thank you for your comments George, particularly the cautionary note about paradox (beliefs about what is beyond 55N&S [vs. 66N&S]). I encourage you to read up on the Antarctic Circumpolar Current (ACC); Bob Tisdale’s recent post on the Southern Ocean is a very good read. I welcome an answer to my question [Paul Vaughan (02:24:30)] from anyone who can provide it.

  131. Paul Vaughan (12:25:15) : I applaud your efforts to raise awareness. So few in our current society make the effort to think conditionally.
    Thanks for the nice comments Paul Vaughan! I wonder why Dr. Svalgaard has not commented the idea that a small, but constant and positive Qin – Qout may be the main reason for the heating from the little ice age. I am really uncertain whether this is a good idea. On the other hand, if it is a bad idea I would very much appreciate to know why.

  132. Of all the threads on this site that I have followed ( I try to read all posts ) this one has exchanged the most intelligence. I would guess that this group could writ a useful climate model.
    I would propose that the atmosphere should be primarily treated as an insulation factor. Oxygen and Nitrogen are steady state and water vapor is the primary changeable constituent that also works to transport energy from the ocean and land.
    The “R” value better out then in. There is should now be enough satelite data from the earth and the sun to measure energy in and out. Even better the sun’s extended quiet spell after a maximum and hopefully a ramp up later should yield good data on it’s variabitie’s effect on the system..

  133. Bob Tisdale (14:15:46) :
    Erl Happ; You wrote, “The focus on ENSO 3.4 suits the warming brigade. It’s a red herring and a very effective one at that.”
    Would you explain that for me? If it suits them, it’s because they misunderstand it, or misinterpret it, or misrepresent it. Obviously, they’re missing something.
    Sorry Bob, missed this question because I have been away.
    My Answer:
    As I see it ENSO is a response to a change in insolation received at the surface of the Earth. That change can occur at any latitude and given the amount of cloud at the ITCZ is hardly likely to be confined to the zone of study between 5°N and 5°S. It is the high latitudes that show the most extreme short term variation in temperature and in the northern hemisphere in particular. The ocean temperature at the Equator and the ENSO 3.4 zone in particular responds to change of insolation at any latitude. This is so because the temperature of the waters of the in-feed zone is affected.
    The amount of volatility (extent of change in the short term) that one observes in a temperature trace increases with latitude. The temperature trace at 5°N to 5°S has little volatility and poorly reflects the change in insolation occurring at higher latitudes.
    I believe the big El Nino of 1997-8 had its origin in the sustained warming of waters in mid latitudes of the northern hemisphere from about 1995.
    The ‘expert’ on ENSO is Trenberth. He is an ardent warmer and is in charge of quantifying the various greenhouse forcings for the US Government and the UN. I see no acknowledgment in Trenberth’s writing that ENSO is due to a change in the insolation received at the surface.
    The simplistic ideas of ENSO being due to ocean- atmosphere energy redistribution effects are a barrier to improving our understanding of the sources of natural climate variation. People take refuge in mumbo jumbo. If energy is released into the atmosphere it is rapidly lost to space. There is no reason to expect that the surface, whether it be land or water, varies in the rate at which energy is released into the atmosphere. That idea is ‘unphysical’.
    Leif Svalgaard (18:03:06) :
    erlhapp (16:23:21) :
    I, on the other hand want to demonstrate how that changes at the equator are simply a somewhat muffled derivative of what is happening elsewhere.
    […]
    the global tropics are in fact unrepresentative of the oceans as a whole.
    To me, this is a contradiction,
    I hope that the foregoing assists.

  134. Speculation (with details omitted):
    ~1911-1942 the interannual-timescale geomagnetic aa index oscillation or something confounded with it largely hijacked the hydrologic cycle from ENSO in some regions that have a major influence on global dynamics.
    http://www.sfu.ca/~plv/GA_MapXL.PNG
    http://www.sfu.ca/~plv/PPT_SOI.png
    http://www.sfu.ca/~plv/PPTaa(IA).png
    Something similar-in-some-regards but different-in-others started happening ~1970. (More comment at a later date…)
    http://www.sfu.ca/~plv/CumuSumDJFMwinterNAO.png
    http://www.sfu.ca/~plv/ClimateRegimeChangePoints.PNG
    We can’t generalize about how the solar cycle affects global temperature oscillations. We need to take into account global-scale flows. The hydrologic “fire-hose” isn’t always pointing over the same terrain during different ENSOs & solar cycles (since circulation patterns vary), so global temperature response can seem paradoxical if the qualitative modes of the phase relations of the lunar nodal cycle, solar system dynamics, and terrestrial polar motion are not taken into consideration.
    http://www.sfu.ca/~plv/Phase(2r..-Pr)MorletPiLin(3.5,9.5)Chandler.PNG
    http://www.sfu.ca/~plv/Pr,JN4,r..,m4..png
    See Yu.V. Barkin’s work on moving towards more realistic modeling of celestial shells.
    I base the preceding speculation on deepening insights gleaned from weather/climate/geophysical records for the whole globe & selected regions. The insights would not necessarily be possible with global-scale integration alone.
    The bright-streaks of time-integrated cross-correlations at lag=0 do not look very random here:
    http://www.sfu.ca/~plv/CCPxXTR.png
    http://www.sfu.ca/~plv/ccM4Py.png
    For contrast, here is an example of what a time-integrated cross-correlation color-contour plot looks like when an important conditioning variable has been missed:
    http://www.sfu.ca/~plv/ccTMeanXTMax.png
    Here’s a relationship of intermediate complexity:
    http://www.sfu.ca/~plv/CCLR1LPPT1.png
    More details at a later date.

  135. erl happ:
    “There is no reason to expect that the surface, whether it be land or water, varies in the rate at which energy is released into the atmosphere. That idea is ‘unphysical’.”
    Reply:
    I can see the sense in saying that a variable rate of energy release is ‘unphysical’ in relation to a solid such as land.
    However I don’t see it as being at all ‘unphysical’ in relation to a liquid such as water.
    A body of liquid as great as an ocean has a good deal of movement within it. Furthermore light penetrates to varying depths before it is all converted to heat energy.
    It must be the case that the oceans absorb or release energy to the air at variable rates depending upon movements within the body of the water.
    That certainly seems to be what happens at the 25 to 30 years phase changes
    and is probably what happens during ENSO changes.
    I see this as a critical issue because the idea of variable oceanic energy release puts the oceans firmly in control of changes in the air rather than
    our having to go to greatly convoluted lengths to explain how changes in the air alone can change the energy flow to or from the oceans.
    If the source of variation is indeed the oceans so that the air is forced to then respond (as I propose) then any theory, either AGW or of a sceptical nature, that relies on changes in the air alone as a primary climate driver must fail.

  136. erlhapp (09:25:19) [Sept. 13] “Finally, let me observe that within the period of record stratospheric temperatures increased strongly up till the late 70’s climate shift and declined till about 2003 and now seem to be increasing gently.”
    Erl, an interesting question was asked in a recent thread, but I noticed no one answered it – maybe you can. The commenter was wondering aloud why global SST & tropospheric temperature are phased with NH while, in contrast, stratospheric temperature is phased with SH – such as:
    http://i41.tinypic.com/29zxus7.jpg
    [credit: Bob Tisdale]
    My impression, from what I’ve read, is that a considerable portion of the deep-ocean bottom-water is phased with the SH.
    I don’t want to speculate as to whether the commenter’s question was well-formulated, but I do find the contrasts interesting and I’m curious to know if you have any related notes to offer for the non-climatologists / non-oceanographers in the audience. Specifically, what would you say (perhaps to straighten out conceptualization) to someone who suggested the stratospheric & deep ocean patterns are extensions of the SH into the NH while the sea-surface & tropospheric patterns are extensions of the NH into the SH?

  137. erlhapp (09:25:19) “[…] the flux in stratospheric ozone is due to the change in flow of oxides of nitrogen from the mesosphere where the concentration of these chemicals is dependent upon solar irradiance and geomagnetic activity.”
    Question for anyone:
    Is there consensus on this (across all groups) or is this disputed?

  138. Request for Erl Happ:
    Please double or even triple the size of the text on your graphs.
    http://climatechange1.wordpress.com/
    Your work is interesting, but exceedingly tedious to read. Some of the text remains illegible even when heavily magnified. (The text is blurred due to image degradation (e.g. figure 9) – but more importantly, it should not be necessary to use heavy magnification to try to read figure-text.)
    Thanks if you can go easier on eyes! I really do want to (with your help) be empowered to consider your graphs.

  139. Stephen,
    Re: “It must be the case that the oceans absorb or release energy to the air at variable rates depending upon movements within the body of the water.”
    Warmest water will always be at the top because it is less dense and the energy transmission rate will vary with wind strength because of its effect on evaporation. Wind strength does not, as far as I know, vary on thirty year time scales.
    The atmosphere can not function as a variable inhibitor of the loss of surface warmth.

  140. “The atmosphere can not function as a variable inhibitor of the loss of surface warmth.”
    Have you looked at the effects of the ITCZ cumulo-nimbi?

  141. Paul Vaughan
    Re: the locking of sea surface temperature with the stratosphere. Here, off the top of the head, are some of the factors I consider relevant.
    Ozone levels are much greater in the northern stratosphere than the southern and this relates to more continuous vortex activity in the south.
    It is now generally recognized (even the UN) that ozone levels over the poles relates to ‘dynamical factors’ determining the supply of nitrogen oxides from the mesosphere than the chemistry of ozone in the stratosphere including the supply of degradative compounds emanating from below.
    The presence of a varying level of ozone is the factor that accounts for temperature change in the upper troposphere/stratosphere without change in irradiance levels. It is the northern vortex rather than the southern that turns on and off between summer and winter. The northern vortex waxes and wanes over the years and that factor gives rise to the phenomenon of the ‘Arctic Oscillation’ whereby the major area of downdraft over the Arctic varies in strength over decadal and longer time (perhaps 30 year) scales. It is also noticeable that SST varies more in the northern high latitudes than it does in southern high latitudes. There is a particularly strong variation in the mid latitudes of the northern hemisphere.
    Variation in the strength of the northern vortex affects ozone levels and hence upper atmosphere temperature and precipitant levels at all latitudes. Any variation in ozone levels in December to March in the height of southern summer has a strong impact on SST in the southern hemisphere. Irradiance levels peak at 10-20°S because the sun is closest to the Earth in early January.
    The southern oceans are much larger than the northern. Though the flux in temperature may be inferior the bulk is much superior.
    The thirty year cycle is much more obvious in the Northern Hemisphere than the southern. The Arctic was warmer in the forties than it is today.
    The global atmosphere has about 3% less cloud in July than in January due to the effect of radiation from the land masses of the northern hemisphere.
    Paul, Thanks for your comments on the graphs. I will take that on board. If WordPress allowed larger graphs I would be right into it. Perhaps someone might have some useful hints in that respect.
    RE the flux in stratospheric ozone is due to the change in flow of oxides of nitrogen from the mesosphere where the concentration of these chemicals is dependent upon solar irradiance and geomagnetic activity.”
    Google: “ozone, nitrogen oxide, mesosphere”.

  142. There are so many potential mechanisms leading into multiple feedbacks for albedo and unfathomed turbulences of convection and thermodynamics. I’m particularly struck by the centrality in it all of the phase changes of H2O.
    I think I’ve never heard so loud
    The quiet message in a cloud.
    ======================

  143. Sandy (06:08:49) :
    Kims comment seems apt.
    Your feedback mechanism and the way it is related to ocean heat dissipation is obscure to me.
    In relation to the post you referred to and the question of ‘Amplification’ there is a question to be asked and answered. When the temperature at the surface rises is it a response to a change in the temperature aloft? Alternatively, does the temperature aloft simply change in response to a change in the temperature of the surface? Is the temperature aloft and at the surface mutually dependent with complex influences working in both directions?
    In the tropics the temperature at 200hPa changes by a factor or two or more in relation to the temperature at the surface. But if you look at the relationship in a different place the ratio is different. And the ratio changes over time. The moisture content of the upper atmosphere changes over time. Over the last thirty years it appears that the tropical upper troposphere has dried out whereas the moisture content of the stratosphere has increased. Under that circumstance a rise in the temperature of the upper troposphere will produce a smaller change of temperature at the surface because the cloud cover albedo response is smaller. In a moister stratosphere any change in ice cloud density for a given change in temperature should become slightly greater.
    If the change in moisture content affects ozone concentration in the stratosphere then the temperature response in the stratosphere will be damped.
    Not sure whether this is related to what you are talking about or not.

  144. Much more important than the albedo of clouds is the evaporation caused by trade winds feeding the ITCZ cu-nims which is then pumped up into the stratosphere by the super-cells, where it then falls back to the ocean as cold rain. Thus while they don’t have the cooling effect of a hurricane, everyday, starting sooner or later, they start the process of ripping heat from the ocean and continue into the night. I’m not sure what you mean by higher level drying, it’ll be wet/icy in the cu-nims as we suspect the Airbus that went down found out.

  145. Re: erlhapp (04:03:13)

    If you are making your graphs in Excel, just click, double-click, & right-click all features on your graphs to discover a wide variety of adjustment options. (Larger, bold text can be obtained in just a few seconds, with just a few clicks.)

    Thanks for the notes Erl.
    What I find particularly interesting is the connection with geomagnetic activity. What I have found for coastal British Columbia, Canada (the area I research) is that while interannual precipitation relates to ENSO for years-at-a-time, there are intervals when it shows a relationship with interannual geomagnetic aa index (which I estimate by filtering off the main solar cycle signal in the aa index record). [I’m not suggesting interannual aa index is a causative factor — it might be confounded with something else – that is a matter for the physicists to ponder.]
    I have been having success in using EOP (Earth orientation parameters) to identify intervals with differing dynamics. The arguments that celestial bodies do not affect Earth climate are based on flawed assumptions. (See the works of Russian scientist Yu.V. Barkin for details.)
    Related: I’ve been reading up on annular modes (good notes here http://ao.atmos.colostate.edu/introduction.html btw [with notes about stratosphere/troposphere coupling]). Your comments in these threads have helped me realize the importance of the polar vortices — thank you.

  146. Paul,
    Thanks for the suggestions. I can amend the titles and the key easily but I think the WordPress format that we are using is generally too small.
    Re British Columbia rainfall: I find this image showing the ever changing distribution of precipitable water of continuing interest. http://www.coaps.fsu.edu/~maue/extreme/gfs/current/plan_water_000.png
    British Columbia is the recipient of a strong flow of moisture from the maritime Continent and local dynamics must also be strongly affected by the strength of Arctic, Canadian and East Asian downdraft zones.
    For visible high and low cloud cover and the way the former is fed from the main centres of convection this imagery found via links at the head of this thread is worth pondering http://www.intelliweather.net/imagery/intelliweather/sat_worldm_640x320_img.htm If you look carefully you can see the high cloud simply disappearing in the zones of greatest downdraft. See the zone to the east of Chile and also Baja California.
    Rainfall outside the tropics depends upon evaporation within the tropics. East Australian rainfall has been increasing for 100 years as the tropics have gradually warmed. West Australian Rainfall has declined as the frontal systems have been pushed further south. This seems to be reversing over the last decade. The Southern hemisphere is in general pretty cold at the moment with a long sustained winter.
    There is a seasonal change in the temperature and evaporation rate from tropical waters and a change on top of that which is is due to ENSO. Because temperatures in the stratosphere/upper troposphere affect albedo (and therefore SST) and do so unequally (more at some latitudes and longitudes than others and moreover this distribution changing over time) the ENSO effect on equatorial waters is similarly variable over time. Variability in ENSO reflects the original variability in the polar vortexes, the mesosphere and the sun. Both irradiance and geomagnetic activity are implicated in the change in mesospheric nitrogen oxides so the geomagnetic indices tell us about just one of the variables involved. The strength of the vortexes very probably depend upon solar influences as well (because much of the atmosphere carries an electric charge and behaves like a plasma responding to the solar wind) but also I would think surface influences relating to the strength of tropical and hemispheric convection.
    The notion that ENSO is an ‘internal oscillation’ which is temperature neutral in terms of its effect on the Earths heat budget reveals a pathetic lack of appreciation of the linkages involved. ENSO is reflects natural climate variability in action.
    Sandy, I have no argument about what you remark on in the zone of inter-tropical convergence. However, much of that cooling in that near equatorial zone is due to decompression and is balanced by warming due to compression in the subtropical zones of descending air. The heat is moved from one place in the atmosphere to another. This is in turn reflected in maps of outgoing long wave radiation. It is in these latter zones and their margins (and the mid and high latitudes) that strong albedo effects are found. I see little role for albedo effects at or near the equator except that the zone of maximum convection shifts along the equator. Indonesia is wet during La Nina and dry during El Nino.
    Sandy, if you want documentation on the changing level of moisture in the atmosphere you can access it it at:http://www.cdc.noaa.gov/cgi-bin/data/timeseries/timeseries1.pl
    In particular look at specific humidity levels.
    If what I say is irrelevant to your point please tell me.

  147. “erlhapp (03:16:04) :
    Stephen,
    Re: “It must be the case that the oceans absorb or release energy to the air at variable rates depending upon movements within the body of the water.”
    Warmest water will always be at the top because it is less dense and the energy transmission rate will vary with wind strength because of its effect on evaporation. Wind strength does not, as far as I know, vary on thirty year time scales.
    The atmosphere can not function as a variable inhibitor of the loss of surface warmth.”
    Repy:
    1) Warmest water will always be at the top because the effect of direct insolation and downwelling IR is always added to the background energy level at or near the ocean surface. However sunlight gets into the water to depths of 100 metres or more which is well below the region involved in evaporation. Thus there is plenty of scope for an uneven and constantly shifting distribution of energy below the evaporative layer. Each time such unevenness affects the surface layer it will increase or decrease the total energy at the surface by adding to or subtracting from the effects of direct insolation and downwelling IR. Furthermore the density of water and it’s thermal capacity will ensure that such internal oceanic variations in energy flow will vastly exceed any variability in insolation or downwelling IR.
    2) An increase in wind strength generally follows an increase in energy at the ocean surface rather than leading it. When more energy is released by the oceans the entire hydrological cycle speeds up as shown in another thread by the lag curves set out by Roy Spencer. First evaporation, then clouds and rain and then windiness. You seem to be suggesting that windiness comes first but I cannot see how that could be so because more windiness needs more convective activity which in turn needs more evaporation which itself needs warmer ocean surfaces first.
    3) On 30 year timescales (approximately) in tune with ocean phase changes the entire hydrological cycle speeds up or slows down as the air circulation systems shift poleward or equatorward. The windiness in a specific location or region may not be typical of the global effect because each location or region is primarily affected by the change in it’s location in relation to the air circulation patterns and not by the global change in windiness. Thus larger equatorial air masses globally may well show less windiness in the tropics and other places affected by high pressure cells but nonetheless the global speed of the hydrological cycle has increased with greater global windiness overall.
    4) I must insist that the air can and does provide a variable and always negative response to changes in the rate of energy release by the oceans. I judge that the oceanic variation and the negative response in the air are orders of magnitude greater in terms of the scale of energy transfer than anything that can happen in the air alone. Thus the processes you observe are in my opinion merely second or third order modulating effects within the overall ocean/air interaction and are never strong enough to alter the trend imposed by oceanic variability. AGW and the Svensmark approach have the same problem.
    You can counter what I say if you can demonstrate how the processes described by you can inject enough energy into the oceans to create those 25 to 30 year phase changes in relation to which I see no correlation with the processes you describe, or the cosmic ray variability or indeed CO2 increases.

  148. Stephen
    You say and I agree:
    “However sunlight gets into the water to depths of 100 metres or more which is well below the region involved in evaporation. Thus there is plenty of scope for an uneven and constantly shifting distribution of energy below the evaporative layer.”
    And it is the sunlight that provides the energy for the evaporation and the wind, the ocean currents and the atmospheric circulation.
    Take away the sunlight and the circulations will come to a halt.
    The variation in the circulations relate to fluctuation in the energy received at the surface. As the atmosphere above 200hPa (that contains ozone) warms so does the surface. As it cools so does the surface. This is an immutable fact. It is not speculation. Furthermore, the increase in temperature in the atmosphere is double or triple that at the surface so the change in the atmosphere can not be a response to change at the surface. The atmosphere increases in temperature in response to a change in its ozone content.
    Very simple. Nothing convoluted about this at all.
    The atmosphere contains water vapour. As it warms cloud disappears. Simple as that. Then more energy gets to the surface. And this happens at all latitudes.

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