Sea Surface Temperature makes a jump

Bob Tisdale writes:

NINO3.4 SST Anomalies Make A Surge

NINO3.4 SST Anomalies have reached 1.5 deg C for the week centered on October 28, 2009.

http://i37.tinypic.com/nzoyvn.png

NINO3.4 SST AnomaliesSOURCEOI.v2 SST data is available through the NOAA NOMADS website:

http://nomad3.ncep.noaa.gov/cgi-bin/pdisp_sst.sh?lite

Here’s a look at the current global SST map:

click for larger image

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160 thoughts on “Sea Surface Temperature makes a jump

  1. Does this mean we get a California Monsoon to wash the AGW-induced drought guilt away? 1982-3 was a really great one. 880″ of snow over Donner Summit.

  2. The Nino is heating up now after being stuck in neutral for several months. The indicators are pointing to a moderate event now.

  3. The colors used in the map make it impossible to separate temperature increases in the 0 to 1.5 degrees. It would appear that there is a background increase of up to 1.5 degrees world wide. I am sure that this is not the case.

  4. Apparently the SST’s are still lower than last July, considering this article on Tisdale’s own site and the apparent error in the October SST data.
    http://bobtisdale.blogspot.com/
    But the Nino 3.4 anomalies are still apparently just below the 2.6 peak on that article (in the link)?

  5. Does a lack of hurricanes affect SSTs? The Atlantic hasn’t had a season this quiet in my memory. We’re long told by the Algore that high SSTs power big hurricanes… Do hurricanes extract significant heat from the water? Does a lack of hurricanes mean diminished mixing with colder/deeper water?

  6. I would expect this based on two things:
    1. A lack of hurricanes this year
    2. El Nino conditions.
    But please remember that surface temperatures are related to wind speed. If the trade winds are weaker, there will higher surface temperatures.

  7. Dave Middleton: “If you gave the Nino 3.4 SST Anomaly data to the AP’s panel of statisticians, would they find a warming trend or a cooling trend?”
    Not sure about the AP’s statisticians. But EXCEL says the linear trend of NINO3.4 SST anomalies from January 1900 to August 2009 is fundamentally flat.
    http://i33.tinypic.com/2ihxycn.jpg
    Can’t get much flatter than that.

  8. Adam from Kansas (19:08:40) :
    Adam: The link you provided was for the main page. If you’ll link the post you’re discussing, or link the graph (they’re below every illustration), I’ll be happy to reply.
    Regards

  9. Unless I’m off my marker, looking at the SST plot and comparing it against the hurricanes, an increase in SST doesn’t look to me to translate into more frequent and more violent hurricanes.
    If you look at the rate of the increase since 2008 we should have had an insane hurricane season last year and this, if the Gore’s theory was correct.

  10. So El NIno ain’t dead yet. Which is good news, the dry winters (when we are supposed to get rain / snow) were really bugging me. I hate watering.

  11. Adam from Kansas (19:08:40) :
    Okay, I found the link you posted in the next comment (I guess I should’ve scrolled down).
    You wrote, “Apparently the SST’s are still lower than last July, considering this article on Tisdale’s own site and the apparent error in the October SST data.”
    That’s the preliminary monthly SST anomaly data for October. Don’t be concerned about the error. It’s already been brought back into line this week, and as I discussed in that post, the official OI.v2 SST anomaly data for October is not scheduled to be released until Monday Nov 9.
    Also, in the future, could you be more specific, please? There are a bunch of datasets in that post. When you write, “Apparently the SST’s are still lower than last July,” it causes me to ask two questions: Which dataset? and Which July, 2008 or 2009? “Last July” can be interpreted a number of ways.

  12. To rbateman:
    Interesting article in the Salt Lake Tribune today 11/02/09: “Scientists Find patterns in Utah’s wet-dry cycles” http://www.sltrib.com/ci_13681950?IADID=Search-www.sltrib.com-www.sltrib.com
    “They looked at data going back 1000 years, discovering a powerful relationship between sea-surface temperatures in a specific area of the Pacific Ocean [IPWP ?] and rainfall and snowfall in northern Utah.”
    The article goes on to describe 2 other cycles, one a 40 year cycle and another a 150 year cycle. Then,all three cycles merged in the early 80s ,82-83, to create 2 perfect snow storm seasons. In the summer of 83, we had a river running down the main street (State Street) of SLC with small wooden bridges for cars to go over the water east and west. You could hear stones the size of baseballs rolling down the concrete. The writer just couldn’t manage to spit out any opinion as to the obvious connection of these patterns and AGW not being man made.

  13. Fred Nieuwenhuis: “What I don’t get is how the above NOAA SST Anomaly chart jives with their other SST anomaly products, especially in the NINO1&2 region where it doesn’t look as warm as the above map where it looks like NINO 1/2 is BLAZING HOT”
    The map that Anthony provided is dated November 2. The NOAA links you provided I believe are based on weekly average data, centered on the previous Wednesday, but they also use pentads for some datasets, so there’s a little lag with that, too.

  14. But EXCEL says the linear trend of NINO3.4 SST anomalies from January 1900 to August 2009 is fundamentally flat.
    What’s the linear trend on your 1990-2009 graph?
    Eyeballing, the 20 year trend looks negative.

  15. Patrick, comment 1:
    Yes, I can confirm it is bloody hot in Sydney today. A southerly change will come through tonight to cool things down. For the rest of the week, the temperature will be around 17-22 deg. C! (Who’d have thought we’d survive a 15-20 deg C change in a single day!)
    No doubt, the papers will claim the high temps is due to MMGW and the cold will just be ignored.

  16. I would be interested in what SST’s have been comparing El Nino to El Nino. Otherwise we are comparing to an average which does not exist. My hunch is that El Nino strength has peaked in 98 and is slowly decreasing. But I can’t tell for sure unless we compare apples with apples instead of apples with fruit compote.

  17. Leif Svalgaard (18:11:03) :
    We expected a bit more than Rocky VI.
    Instead we got Gilligan’s Volcano.

  18. Our local Meteorologist did a special week on El Nino’s. A 4C) anomalies do the heavy lifting. And isn’t an El Nino only regarded as official when December rolls in and it’s still kicking?

  19. I am interested by the question about hurricanes and SSTs. Is there a correlation? Is this one of the lesser known intersections of oceanography and meteorology?

  20. Anyone know where one can find information on trade wind strength? Is there anyplace that keeps that sort of information on a regular basis?

  21. There is a weekly update on winds with every enso status update issues every Monday. The surface winds are still westerly. The upper level winds are slightly easterly. When the surface winds become easterly and strong, we will have a La Nina, as the east to west equatorial winds blow off the skin of warm water and pile it up against the far East countries along the western edge of the Pacific Ocean.
    http://www.cpc.noaa.gov/products/analysis_monitoring/lanina/enso_evolution-status-fcsts-web.pdf

  22. “Andrew S (20:19:05) :
    Patrick, comment 1:
    Yes, I can confirm it is bloody hot in Sydney today. A southerly change will come through tonight to cool things down. For the rest of the week, the temperature will be around 17-22 deg. C! (Who’d have thought we’d survive a 15-20 deg C change in a single day!)
    No doubt, the papers will claim the high temps is due to MMGW and the cold will just be ignored.”
    Well the MSM were reporting October was the coldest in 17 years, in New Zealand too but even longer (Since 1942 I think I read). It is warm today, I would not say it is hot (And I’m a pome) and given we just had the coldest October in 17 years, today might feel a bit warm. But this is normal for Sydney when a westerly blows.

  23. Google ‘slow gulf stream’…. there are many reports about the varying speed of the Gulf Stream. Slower speeds are reckoned to transport less heat to northern latitudes. Does anyone know if there is a correlation between the ocean’s capability to transport heat away from the tropics due to current velocities and rapid spikes in tropical ssts?

  24. yes here in New Zealand its was a very cold october. The coldest October in 64 years, with all-time record low October temperatures in many areas. Exceptionally late snowfalls. Record low October temperatures were recorded on the 4th/5th in most North Island locations, and on the 9th at many South Island sites cold October.Here in Christchurch the October monthly avg was 9.8c just 1c warmer than in August.

  25. Well if you have higher SST’s then you have more energy for cyclones to draw upon, however SST’s are only one factor in the strength of a hurricane. Better would be that SST’s limit where they can form. To answer a question asked earlier, yes a cyclone cools the SST as it goes.
    Regards
    Andy

  26. Bob Tisdale (19:29:05) :
    Not sure about the AP’s statisticians. But EXCEL says the linear trend of NINO3.4 SST anomalies from January 1900 to August 2009 is fundamentally flat.
    http://i33.tinypic.com/2ihxycn.jpg
    Can’t get much flatter than that.

    It does look flat but the modulation of both the high’s and low’s does look to fluctuate, tending to follow the overall temperature curve and another wave pattern I know very well. Bob are there any type of records that go back further on SST for that region. If so it would be interesting to see in the same trend continues.

  27. Leif Svalgaard (18:11:03) :
    what did you expect?

    Exactly this. When the sun is very quiet, the oceans go into heat release mode. I keep saying it in the hope people will listen. 🙂

  28. Bob, on your ‘global SST map’ Tierra del Fuego, Antarctica, Canada, Siberia, Northern Europe and Greenland have disappeared.

  29. Interesting that the pacific warm pool is quite far to the west, instead of originating at the Peruvian coast.
    Global SST anomalies according to the MSU SST channel are some 0,03 deg C above 2003-2008 average. I will post 2003-2009 graph with MSU monthly anomalies together with HadSST from home, but they nicely fit except the different baseline.

  30. The SOI has been negative for some time now. From my point this is expected. Then that I think this is a disaster for my prediction that 2009 would be colder than 2008 is another matter.
    If the SOI continues to be negative I would expect this El Nino to be stronger. I hope that the SOI will turn positive soon so that 2010 will be colder than 2009 and hopefully 2008.
    /Sven Hagström

  31. Sydney also had a big swing in humidity – 82% yesterday, 19% today. I just about fried cycling home – the bike temp gauge put said it was 38 degrees at 6pm!
    Yes, everyone will ignore the fact that tomorrow it will be raining and struggling to get into the low 20s.

  32. Geoff Sharp (23:28:41) : You asked, “Bob are there any type of records that go back further on SST for that region. If so it would be interesting to see in the same trend continues.”
    You have to keep in mind that the number of observations along the equatorial Pacific increased after the opening of the Panama Canal in 1914. There are also drops in the observations during the two World Wars. I graphed the number of readings for the Cold Tongue Index region recently, data available from JISAO. Since the CTI region (6S-6N, 180 to 90W) encompasses the NINO3.4 region (5S-5N, 170W-120W), the NINO3.4 data should drop off accordingly as one goes back in time.
    CTI Observations 1845 to 1991:
    http://i34.tinypic.com/in71v5.png
    CTI Observations 1900 to 1950:
    http://i34.tinypic.com/2ilydeg.png
    CTI Observations 1845 to 1900:
    http://i35.tinypic.com/wrj0p0.png
    With that in mind, here’s the NINO3.4 SST anomalies starting in 1870 with a linear trend. The trend is still relatively flat, less than 0.2 deg C/Century:
    http://i37.tinypic.com/4r6mh1.png
    And since you were interested in the underlying variations, I’ve thrown on a 5th Order polynomial trend to highlight it. (For those ready to comment about the use of a poly trend line, I’ve added a disclaimer to the graph.)
    http://i35.tinypic.com/wjz21j.png

  33. Juraj V. (01:23:32) : You wrote, “Interesting that the pacific warm pool is quite far to the west, instead of originating at the Peruvian coast.”
    You have to be careful with your use of the term “Pacific Warm Pool”. The Pacific Warm Pool, also known as the Western Pacific Warm Pool, refers to the area of the Western tropical Pacific where warm waters accumulate due to the Pacific trade winds. It’s sometimes known as the Indo-Pacific Warm Pool since it extends into the Indian Ocean. The Pacific Warm Pool serves as the reservoir of warm water for El Nino events.
    Refer to:
    http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/Features/WarmPool/
    Refer also to the Mehta and Mehta discussion:
    http://www.crces.org/presentations/dmv_ipwp/
    They include an animation of PWP SST (not anomalies) (2.7MB):
    http://www.crces.org/presentations/dmv_ipwp/images/SST_WP.MOV

  34. tallbloke (00:44:25) : You wrote, “Bob, on your ‘global SST map’ Tierra del Fuego, Antarctica, Canada, Siberia, Northern Europe and Greenland have disappeared.”
    I hate it when Tierra del Fuego disappears. My post included only the NINO3.4 SST anomaly graph.
    Anthony: You may wish to delete the word global from the sentence “Here’s a look at the current global SST map.”

  35. rbateman (20:31:13) : You wrote, :We expected a bit more than Rocky VI.
    Instead we got Gilligan’s Volcano.”
    The El Nino is not done yet, far from it. There are some signficant subsurface temperature anomalies that could work their way to the surface:
    http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/analysis_monitoring/enso_update/wkxzteq.shtml
    Also scroll down to the second cross-section, the Equatorial Temperature (not anomaly) illustration. The thermocline is flattening as the warm water works its way to the east.
    It’ll be interesting to watch.

  36. Bill Illis: Have you been keeping an eye on the Sea Surface HEIGHT anomaly maps?
    http://sealevel.jpl.nasa.gov/science/jason1-quick-look/2009/images/20090917G.jpg
    Here’s the archive for those SSH anomaly maps.
    http://sealevel.jpl.nasa.gov/science/jason1-quick-look/archive.html
    This year there’s a warm pocket in the Northeast Tropical Pacific, on a mild diagonal to the northeast. Refer to the following map. The area I’m talking about would be along the eastern portion of the Intertropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ) in this map.
    http://www-gte.larc.nasa.gov/img/pemtcirc.gif
    If you were to run back through the archived JPL SSH maps you’ll notice that those warm anomalies (they’re subsurface since they don’t show in the surface maps) appear to be feeding the central equatorial Pacific, fueling the El Nino. You can see the same thing happening during the 1994/95 El Nino in a JPL video that compares maps of SSH and SST. It’s kind of choppy but it’s visible here:
    http://sealevel.jpl.nasa.gov/gallery/tiffs/videos/SSH-SST.mov
    When the El Nino runs its course, I’m gonna try to get a copy of the daily maps from JPL to make a video.

  37. tallbloke (00:39:40) :

    Leif Svalgaard (18:11:03) :
    what did you expect?


    Exactly this. When the sun is very quiet, the oceans go into heat release mode. I keep saying it in the hope people will listen. 🙂
    So, presumably, you’d expect to see an increase in SST at solar minimum. This is not something that is evident at previous minima.

  38. tallbloke (00:39:40) :
    When the sun is very quiet, the oceans go into heat release mode. I keep saying it in the hope people will listen. 🙂
    People will listen if it makes sense only. How do the oceans know that the sun is very quiet?

  39. Thanks Bob, the result is as expected. Its a small sample but the overall trend with perhaps a slight lag matches up very nicely with the Dr. Scafetta’s work regarding the solar distance from SSB and my work with Angular Momentum Strength. The wave correlates very nicely.
    I have inverted the bottom part of the wave but you can see the general match up. El nino strength is quite likely related to solar UV output.
    http://www.landscheidt.info/images/Powerwavesm.png

  40. We’ve had 5 plus years of no heat increase in the top 700 meters of the ocean. Now, along with an El Nino, we are seeing SSTs increase, as they did in 1998. In 1998, the El Nino was followed (and preceded) by several years of increased heat storage in the top 700 meters of the ocean. But in 2009, we seem to be in a negative PDO, contrary to in 1998. Several authors opine that there won’t be any temperature increases for a decade or more because of a negative PDO.
    So it will be interesting to see if the El Nino and higher SSTs cause increasing heat in the top 700 meters of the ocean, or whether the negative PDO will prevent or minimize such heat gain.
    Another interesting science facet of this is that for some, El Nino and the PDO are interconnected. So if we get increasing heat in the upper 700 meters of the ocean going forward, does that mean that El Nino is stronger than the PDO, and that the PDO is just an artifact of a slightly different climate regime? If it is, then the predictions of a decade or more of no temperature increases may go by the board — if the lack of temperature increases really is a product of the (assumed negative phase) PDO. But that might not be the case….the sun is in cooler mode….
    This complexity is what I have to revert to letting my views on the severity (or lack thereof) of temperature effects depend on data going forward.

  41. However:
    http://weather.unisys.com/surface/sst_anom.html
    show only small spots of SST positive anomalies. Watch both sides of south pacific ocean with negative anomalies.
    We, the El Nino parents, know for sure that when it appears the sea along the peruvian center and north coasts must be warm, now it is the contrary, there is no north -south invasion of el Nino countercurrent. El Nino it is a warm water current which opposes the Humboldt´s cold current, which has appeared absolutely in correspondence with UN FAO´s graph intended to show the increase of anchovy fish catches along SA west coasts of Chile and Peru.
    http://www.giurfa.com/fao_temps.jpg
    Read also, Dr. Gerhard Loebert (02:31:10) : comments on:
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/11/01/spot-the-science-error/#comments

  42. There are problems in interpreting SST data which is mainly satellite based … infrared remote sensing only measures the temperature of the top 0.01mm of ocean. This does not necessarily represent what is going on beneath as it can be affected by many things (e.g. evapouration, solar heating, heat loss etc.).
    Jon

  43. SSTs are certainly of interest, but OHC (ocean heat content) is the bottom line. SSTs at best measure only the thin skin at the ocean surface.
    El Nino does seem to be holding on, but we still don’t see the NA west-coast precip increase as in a classic strong El Nino.

  44. Hi there,
    didn’t Joe d’Aleo predict this nino event would rapidly fade away? In opposition to the nino models? I think it is a sign that models coupling atmosphere and sea surfaces are not that bad after all…

  45. OT:
    Hot springs found in Norwegian Sea
    The researchers were stunned when the mini-sub glided into an underwater forest featuring pinnacles from which streamed water nearly 500 degrees F and saw sea life including shrimp, sea spiders, coral and eel.
    “It was like looking into a fantasy world,” said Rolf B. Pedersen, who led the international expedition. “Life that can adapt to extreme conditions can have extreme characteristics.”

    http://www.upi.com/Science_News/2005/08/11/Hot-springs-found-in-Norwegian-Sea/UPI-75021123792788/

  46. Hurricanes definitely mix deep cool waters in the Gulf of Mexico with surface waters, the larger and slower moving storms doing more mixing.
    I don’t know how much that would affect SSTs for the world, but it definitely happens.

  47. John Finn, el nino has followed within 12 months of the last five minima.
    Leif, because they are not being forced to mix excess incoming energy downwards.

  48. From the links to the subsurface data it looks as if the warmest anomaly is at 150m and that the great majority of the warmth is confined to the top 200m ( I had a spat with RealClimate on whether the oceans were warming significantly at depth, arguing that most of the warming was confined to the top 200m – and that upper ocean heat content data to 700m might be integrating too far down) – I would love to have a better picture of how the equatorial regions absorb and transport heat in the upper 200m and how it accumulates in gyres – I think the release of heat from these gyres is central to the pattern of warming and cooling across the globe – anyone working on this?

  49. Is there ever an El Nino before a minimum? And what would that time lag be? And what would it mean? Is there ever an El Nino during solar max? And what would that time lag be? And what would it mean? You can only say there is a possible unknown mechanism between solar minimum and El Nino events/conditions if El Nino’s never occur at any time other than at most 12 months after a solar minimum (and you must clearly define what you mean by solar minimum). You must also account for trade wind affects as a leading indicator of equatorial changes in SST, in this case a well understood mechanism regarding trade wind affects on equatorial SST. I would then add to Leif’s question, how do the trade winds know the Sun is in a minimum?

  50. Bob Tisdale (03:38:54) :
    tallbloke (00:44:25) : You wrote, “Bob, on your ‘global SST map’ Tierra del Fuego, Antarctica, Canada, Siberia, Northern Europe and Greenland have disappeared.”
    I hate it when Tierra del Fuego disappears. My post included only the NINO3.4 SST anomaly graph.
    Anthony: You may wish to delete the word global from the sentence “Here’s a look at the current global SST map.”

    If you click on Anthony’s graph, you do get the full global picture. Some hi SST’s in the NE Atlantic. This is heat rising out of the oceans from the locality, not so much a circulation driven phenomenon. It is more evidence that the oceans store heat on long timescales.

  51. The northern oceans are cooling because the recent strong La Nina reduced the flow of warmth from the equator which is required to enable the northern ocean temperatures to be maintained at the levels previously prevailing.
    That is leading to an ongoing cooling process near the poles due to energy loss to space exceeding energy transported by ocean and air to those latitudes.
    Meanwhile we have had a weak El Nino for a while, possibly now getting stronger but the fact is that El Nino releases energy to the air and reduces total ocean energy content so, again, that is a net global cooling process even if the air warms up a bit in the meantime.
    I expect energised cyclonicity for a while as the warmed equatorial air mixes with the cooling polar air masses in the mid latitudes.
    Since the general direction of global temperatures is now downwards I expect large slow moving cyclones pumping air poleward and equatorward along the lines of longitude rather than the more numerous faster moving East/West cyclones of generally warming periods which transfer energy more closely along the lines of latitude.
    The real issue is whether the next La Nina in a year or two gets as cool as the last one. If so there should be another decline in overall global temperatures both in sea and air because the current El Nino does not yet look strong enough to offset the coming northern continental cooling this approaching winter.

  52. SSTs are affected much more by hurricanes over warm but shallow water, like the GOMEX. In places where the 26ºC water is 100 meters of more deep, even a big slow moving storm like Mitch makes little difference.
    Its a weak El Niño year, the Pacific is supposed to be warm.
    Its complicated. Grad students study it. I have a BS in petroleum engineering. I know what I know, and not a scintilla more.

  53. The color scheme used in the map seems to be a bit misleading. It’s either above average or below average, and there is no color separation for ‘average’. If the same color was used for the -0.5 to +0.5 range, there would be huge swaths of ocean showing a boring ‘NORMAL’ reading.

  54. Pamela Gray (07:30:41) :
    Is there ever an El Nino before a minimum? And what would that time lag be? And what would it mean? Is there ever an El Nino during solar max? And what would that time lag be? And what would it mean? You can only say there is a possible unknown mechanism between solar minimum and El Nino events/conditions if El Nino’s never occur at any time other than at most 12 months after a solar minimum (and you must clearly define what you mean by solar minimum). You must also account for trade wind affects as a leading indicator of equatorial changes in SST, in this case a well understood mechanism regarding trade wind affects on equatorial SST. I would then add to Leif’s question, how do the trade winds know the Sun is in a minimum?

    This one seems to be directed at me. El ninos do occur at other times too. Weather is messy. My general rule about ocean heat absorption and release relating to solar activity being above and below 40SSN seems to be right on the long term average, but of course short term fluctuations in cloud cover etc are going to modulate climatic behaviour at the shorter and more regional level. I don’t think we can expect to find neat correlations between two factors when there are many other factors playing into the results too.

  55. tallbloke (06:52:07) :
    because they are not being forced to mix excess incoming energy downwards.
    The ‘excess’ is exceeding small, and what ‘forces’ the mixing anyway. You are saying that a 1/1000 deficit stops mixing in the oceans…

  56. CoonAZ (08:09:48) :
    The color scheme used in the map seems to be a bit misleading. It’s either above average or below average, and there is no color separation for ‘average’. If the same color was used for the -0.5 to +0.5 range, there would be huge swaths of ocean showing a boring ‘NORMAL’ reading.

    On my PC, the colour for +1C to +1.5C is a deep orange, like the colours for +3C and above. This is also is very misleading.

  57. Pamela Gray (07:30:41) :
    Is there ever an El Nino before a minimum? And what would that time lag be? And what would it mean? Is there ever an El Nino during solar max?
    El Ninos occur every 3-5 years at random, so you can always find some that are close [say, within a year or two] to anything you you like.

  58. Bob, I hope you don’t mind me dropping my report on your article. I don’t see a more relevant current posting.
    October (month end averages) NSIDC (sea ice extent)
    30 yrs ago
    1980 Southern Hemisphere = 18.9 million sq km
    1980 Northern Hemisphere = 9.5 million sq km
    Total = 28.4 million sq km
    Recorded Arctic min yr.
    2007 Southern Hemisphere = 18.6 million sq km
    2007 Northern Hemisphere = 6.8 million sq km
    Total = 25.4 million sq km
    Last yr.
    2008 Southern Hemisphere = 18.1 million sq km
    2008 Northern Hemisphere = 8.4 million sq km
    Total = 26.5 million sq km
    This yr.
    2009 Southern Hemisphere = 18.5 million sq km
    2009 Northern Hemisphere = 7.5 million sq km
    Total = 26.0 million sq km
    Another blogger asked me if I thought this year’s seasonal ice recovery (extent 1st month ice growth) appears sluggish or lagging? I thought the following might help answer the question:
    1980 Northern Hemisphere (Oct.) = 9.5 million sq km
    1980 Northern Hemisphere (Sept) = 7.8 million sq km
    Delta Sept\Oct Extent = +1.7
    2007 Northern Hemisphere (Oct.) = 6.8 million sq km
    2007 Northern Hemisphere (Sept) = 4.3 million sq km
    Delta Sept\oct Extent = +2.5
    2008 Northern Hemisphere (Oct.) = 8.4 million sq km
    2008 Northern Hemisphere (Sept) = 4.7 million sq km
    Delta Sept\Oct Extent = +3.7
    2009 Northern Hemisphere (Oct.) = 7.5 million sq km
    2009 Northern Hemisphere (Sept) = 5.4 million sq km
    Delta Sept\Oct Extent = +2.1
    1979-2000 mean (Oct.) = 9.3 million sq km
    1979-2000 mean (Sept) = 7.0 million sq km
    Mean Delta Sept\Oct Extent = +2.3
    So in the Arctic, the first month freeze-up ice growth (+2.1) is comparable to the mean first month growth (+2.3). Beyond this… we just have to wait and see. GK

  59. John (06:10:41) :
    But in 2009, we seem to be in a negative PDO, contrary to in 1998. Several authors opine that there won’t be any temperature increases for a decade or more because of a negative PDO.
    So it will be interesting to see if the El Nino and higher SSTs cause increasing heat in the top 700 meters of the ocean, or whether the negative PDO will prevent or minimize such heat gain.

    The PDO index was positive in August and September:
    2009** -1.40 -1.55 -1.59 -1.65 -0.88 -0.31 -0.53 0.09 0.52

  60. THEY’RE GETTING DESPERATE?
    “The high-quality Argo data has been embarrassing Warmists because it shows the ocean as cooling. So what to do? Say that the sensors showing most cooling are “bad” and discard their data.”John Ray (lead article)
    See also here
    http://jennifermarohasy.com/blog/2008/11/correcting-ocean-cooling-nasa-changes-data-to-fit-the-models/
    While ARGO measures actual temperature, satellites measure changes in ocean height, a proxy for temperature which couldn’t possibly have any cause other than temperature. And, of course it has to be the ARGO sensors that are “bad” because satellites never malfunction. And besides, satellites give the kind of data that’s expected/desired, so of course they must be right.

  61. Bob Tisdale (04:01:47) :
    Have you been keeping an eye on the Sea Surface HEIGHT anomaly maps? If you were to run back through the archived JPL SSH maps you’ll notice that those warm anomalies (they’re subsurface since they don’t show in the surface maps) appear to be feeding the central equatorial Pacific, fueling the El Nino. You can see the same thing happening during the 1994/95 El Nino in a JPL video that compares maps of SSH and SST. It’s kind of choppy

    I think it would be useful to compare the current situation to other similar scenarios. There is always going to be slightly different circumstances but it seems many of the moderate events look exactly the same, the big events seem to be similar etc.

  62. Interesting that the chart shows declining El Nino intensities right back to 1992 if one ignores the 1998 freak event.

  63. Leif Svalgaard (09:13:19) :
    tallbloke (06:52:07) :
    because they are not being forced to mix excess incoming energy downwards.
    The ‘excess’ is exceeding small, and what ‘forces’ the mixing anyway. You are saying that a 1/1000 deficit stops mixing in the oceans…

    Well the calculations I did which you verified showed a forcing 1993-2003 equivalent to 4W/m2 ‘excess’ energy, which is not exceedingly small compared to the radiative forcing attributed to co2, but rather, over twice as big.
    What forces the mixing is the fact that the ocean can only emit energy at a certain rate due to atmospheric constraints, and the S-B law. Incoming energy above that rate has to go somewhere else, and logic dictates that since down is the only direction available, down it is. Logic also dictates that there must be an equilibrium level where the enrgy in equals the energy out. Therefore, when the suns activity is below par, energy comes out of the ocean. Otherwise, they’d have boiled away long ago.
    I’m not saying anything “stops mixing in the oceans”, just the opposite. In any case It’s the direction of the energy flow we are interested in is it not?

  64. Leif Svalgaard (04:42:32) :
    tallbloke (00:39:40) :
    When the sun is very quiet, the oceans go into heat release mode. …
    … How do the oceans know that the sun is very quiet?

    I would also like to ask how 4C ocean tempeatures release heat to 15C air temps?
    AND
    How the heat is stored for 5 years without mixing/conducting and away from the air.
    AND
    why the sea temperatures round the UK continental shelf (I’m sure it happens elswhere!) can change by 14C in 6 months e.g.
    http://www.cefas.co.uk/data/sea-temperature-and-salinity-trends/presentation-of-results/station-7-cromer.aspx
    i.e. the temperature reacts quickly to changes in insolation

  65. The discussion about 700 meter depths is contra-indicated by experience in the Anti-submarine community. There is a “thermocline” where the surface water temperatures changes to much colder temperatures. Very seldom is the thermocline any where near as deep as 700 meters.
    What is so strange, is the assumption that 700 meters is an appropriate depth to measure the above Thermocline near SST temperatures. When SST rise there is an upwelling of warm water, and a COOLING of the water of the surface as it radiates Heat to the atmosphere and space.

  66. tallbloke (11:03:19) :
    Well the calculations I did which you verified showed a forcing 1993-2003 equivalent to 4W/m2 ‘excess’ energy, which is not exceedingly small compared to the radiative forcing attributed to co2, but rather, over twice as big.
    It is nonsense to compare with something you yourself don’t believe in. The energy to compare with is the incoming energy over the time when you have the excess. How big is that?
    the ocean can only emit energy at a certain rate due to atmospheric constraints
    A body emits radiation according to the temperature it has, independent of everything else.

  67. tallbloke (11:03:19) :
    Therefore, when the suns activity is below par, energy comes out of the ocean.
    Sure, when the incoming is smaller by 1/1000, the temperature will be 1/4000 lower and if there is heat at depth, that 1/4000 will be made up from that, until that heat is gone and the temperature can stabilize at 1/4000 less [=0.07 K].

  68. Leif Svalgaard (11:31:02) :
    A body emits radiation according to the temperature it has, independent of everything else.

    Radiation isn’t the only means by which the oceans emit heat energy into the atmosphere. When humidity levels and air temperatures are high, less convection occurs. When there is more high cloud cover, air temperatures stay higher at night.

  69. bill (11:21:16) :
    Leif Svalgaard (04:42:32) :
    tallbloke (00:39:40) :
    When the sun is very quiet, the oceans go into heat release mode. …
    … How do the oceans know that the sun is very quiet?
    I would also like to ask how 4C ocean tempeatures release heat to 15C air temps?
    AND
    How the heat is stored for 5 years without mixing/conducting and away from the air.
    AND
    why the sea temperatures round the UK continental shelf (I’m sure it happens elswhere!) can change by 14C in 6 months e.g.
    http://www.cefas.co.uk/data/sea-temperature-and-salinity-trends/presentation-of-results/station-7-cromer.aspx
    i.e. the temperature reacts quickly to changes in insolation.

    As Leif points out, radiation occurs regardless of relative temperatures
    AND
    Increases in steric sea level measured continuously by satellites for 17 years are strong evidence for heat retention lower down towards the thermocline
    AND
    Shallow waters warm and cool more quickly, but are a very small fraction of the global oceans.

  70. Cold water will release heat to warmer air by evaporation. Not by radiation.
    The energy needed to evaporate water comes from the water not from the air.
    Common science say that the cold water west of africa 30 N is by uppwelling but take a look of this map: http://polar.ncep.noaa.gov/ofs/viewer.shtml?-natl-temp-700-small-rundate=latest
    Seems to me that is not a uppwelling but a downwelling caused by dry air from africa picking up moist and by that cool the ocean surface west of africa
    Evaporation that cause the clouds that move latent heat to higher latitudes.

  71. Leif Svalgaard (11:37:36) :
    tallbloke (11:03:19) :
    Therefore, when the suns activity is below par, energy comes out of the ocean.
    Sure, when the incoming is smaller by 1/1000, the temperature will be 1/4000 lower and if there is heat at depth, that 1/4000 will be made up from that, until that heat is gone and the temperature can stabilize at 1/4000 less [=0.07 K].

    Heh. In the context of average sunspot numbers over periods of years , this is nonsense.

  72. The ice-melt on the pacific side of antarctica has been sluggish. It will be interesting to see what happens if /when this melt increases.

  73. Note how cold the Southern Ocean is in Anthony’s link (repeated below). Likely due to the large positive sea ice anomaly of the last couple of years. I’ll speculate that the increased sea ice is interfering with the normal poleward transport of heat in the SH, resulting in more heat accumulation toward the Tropics, and heat which would ‘normally’ be lost from the oceans nearer the poles is now lost nearer the tropics, and this is influences SSTs.
    Not that I think it is the major influence on SSTs.
    http://www.osdpd.noaa.gov/data/sst/anomaly/2009/anomnight.11.2.2009.gif

  74. Tallbloke is on a roll it seems.
    I can find his statement of the Sun giving energy to the oceans believable, when I go outside when the summer sun is blazing, I at times feel quite a bit of warmth, I can’t really discount the energy the sun brings to everything on Earth, from your own skin to concrete to water.
    Anyway, I’ll just keep watching the boxing match between Tallbloke and Lief.

  75. tallbloke (12:28:47) :
    Heh. In the context of average sunspot numbers over periods of years , this is nonsense
    Not good enough. If there are no spots for a million years followed by a grand maximum for the next million years, the temperature difference between the two periods will be 0.1K. If you change 1,000,000 to 1,000 that will still be true. If you change 1,000 to N. that will still be true, until N is small enough. What is your value of N and how is it derived? [correlations don’t count as that is circular reasoning as you pick N such that what you want to show is true].

  76. tallbloke (11:03:19) :
    Well the calculations I did which you verified showed a forcing 1993-2003 equivalent to 4W/m2 ‘excess’ energy, which is not exceedingly small compared to the radiative forcing attributed to co2, but rather, over twice as big.
    It is nonsense to compare with something you yourself don’t believe in. The energy to compare with is the incoming energy over the time when you have the excess. How big is that?
    You avoided this, so I try again.

  77. Adam from Kansas (14:05:39) :
    when I go outside when the summer sun is blazing, I at times feel quite a bit of warmth, I can’t really discount the energy the sun brings to everything on Earth, from your own skin to concrete to water.
    Except that right now that warmth must come from the oceans according to tallbloke 🙂

  78. tallbloke (12:05:38) :
    I would also like to ask how 4C ocean tempeatures release heat to 15C air temps?
    As Leif points out, radiation occurs regardless of relative temperatures

    The air is radiating/conducting
    the water is radiating/conducting
    The air is 15C
    The water is 14C
    is the water going to warm or is the air going to warm?
    Which direction is the energy flow?

  79. Leif Svalgaard (14:11:01) :
    If there are no spots for a million years followed by a grand maximum for the next million years, the temperature difference between the two periods will be 0.1K.

    If you really believe that there is little hope for any kind of sane discussion here.

  80. bill (14:44:10) :
    tallbloke (12:05:38) :
    I would also like to ask how 4C ocean tempeatures release heat to 15C air temps?
    As Leif points out, radiation occurs regardless of relative temperatures
    The air is radiating/conducting
    the water is radiating/conducting
    The air is 15C
    The water is 14C
    is the water going to warm or is the air going to warm?
    Which direction is the energy flow?

    For starters, the average temperature of the ocean surface is around 17C not 4C.
    Beyond that there is the fact that longwave radiation from the air cannot penetrate the surface of the ocean further than it’s own wavelength, whereas the longwave radiation from the ocean readily heats the air.

  81. Leif Svalgaard (14:24:18) :
    Adam from Kansas (14:05:39) :
    when I go outside when the summer sun is blazing, I at times feel quite a bit of warmth, I can’t really discount the energy the sun brings to everything on Earth, from your own skin to concrete to water.
    Except that right now that warmth must come from the oceans according to tallbloke 🙂

    Well, a good bit of it on my side of the Atlantic at the moment anyway. Maritime climate Britain has stayed pretty mild this autumn, whereas central Germany has been freezing hard.

  82. Leif Svalgaard (14:13:01) :
    tallbloke (11:03:19) :
    Well the calculations I did which you verified showed a forcing 1993-2003 equivalent to 4W/m2 ‘excess’ energy, which is not exceedingly small compared to the radiative forcing attributed to co2, but rather, over twice as big.
    It is nonsense to compare with something you yourself don’t believe in. The energy to compare with is the incoming energy over the time when you have the excess. How big is that?
    You avoided this, so I try again.

    You’re right Leif, I don’t believe co2 has a 1,7W/m^2 forcing, more like Lindzen and Spencers 0.4W/m^2 at the most.
    So the solar forcing on the ocean during the late ’90’s was more like 10 times the climate forcing attribured to co2 rather than over twice as big.

  83. Much as I like some of the ways that tallbloke interprets the real world I really can’t go along with the idea that somehow the oceans mainly or only go into energy release mode at solar minima.
    Clearly the oceans do vary in the rate at which energy is released to the air and we clearly have two and possibly three timescales for which there is empirical evidence namely ENSO interannual variability, PDO multidecadal (30 or so years) variability and probably also a cycle of 1000 years or so.
    Unfortunately none of those timings fit neatly enough to solar changes even though solar input to the system is the primary energy source.
    The Svensmark idea has a similar problem in that the necessary correlations with the timing of the oceanic changes is missing so that even if it exists the GCR effect cannot be a primary driver. At most it can only have a minor modulating effect but there are also many other second order processes out there both positive and negative which most likely as not cancel each other out. The Svensmark effect is probably just one of those many.
    The neatest and simplest solution is to accept that the oceans themselves have their own internal variability which leads to those several cycles during which the rate of energy release to the air changes.
    The direction of net energy flow globally is always sun to sea to air to space. The phase changes of water involving latent heat transfers ensure it. That is why the temperature gradient in the oceans is from bottom (cold) to top (warm) yet the energy flow is mainly from bottom to top (excluding subduction from internal ocean movements). Normally energy flows from warm to cold but the sucking out of energy from the oceans by evaporaion reverses the ‘normal’ flow.
    Those phase changes of water are variable rapidly over the entire globe and at multiple levels above the surface and so can suppress distortions in the energy flow from all other causes.
    The effectiveness of those phase changes in cancelling out variation from other causes (say, from the oceans) in the flow of energy through the system is demonstrated by the apparent lack of significant variation between energy arriving at the Earth from the sun and energy leaving the Earth to space.
    Whatever the oceans or anything else does to disrupt the flow of energy through the system the air circulations in both troposphere and stratosphere simply work together to retain overall stability.
    There is a good reason for the existence of the tropopause. It is the point at which two competing processes meet.
    It is the boundary between two competing forces, namely the circulations in the troposphere regulating the rate of energy transport from surface to tropopause and the circulations in the stratosphere regulating the rate of energy loss from tropopause to space.
    Depending on which process is dominant at any particular time the height of the tropopause rises and falls.
    We see the latitudinal shift in the tropospheric air circulation systems when the rate of energy flow from surface to tropopause changes.
    We should be looking for a corresponding and opposing global pattern change in the stratospheric air circulation systems to ‘square the circle’.

  84. The huge flaw in Leif’s argument is the .1% variance in TSI he always leans on. We all now know that is not all about TSI alone, and how it might be measured in space.
    There are modulators of TSI, they are called clouds.

  85. tallbloke (15:15:25) :
    If you really believe that there is little hope for any kind of sane discussion here.
    As you conceded: “what goes in must go out”, hence the 0.1K.
    tallbloke (15:24:04) :
    You avoided this again [beginning to take count, now at 2], so I try again:
    The energy to compare with is the incoming energy over the time when you have the excess. How big is that?

  86. Stephen Wilde (15:58:08) :
    Whatever the oceans or anything else does to disrupt the flow of energy through the system the air circulations in both troposphere and stratosphere simply work together to retain overall stability.
    There is a good reason for the existence of the tropopause. It is the point at which two competing processes meet.
    It is the boundary between two competing forces, namely the circulations in the troposphere regulating the rate of energy transport from surface to tropopause and the circulations in the stratosphere regulating the rate of energy loss from tropopause to space.

    The loss to space is radiational not convective, the stratosphere is heated from above by UV and is inherently stable and doesn’t circulate vertically.

  87. Geoff Sharp (16:11:17) :
    There are modulators of TSI, they are called clouds.
    A higher temperature [because of higher TSI] means more clouds [negative feedback as Spencer points out], so the effect of a 0.1% increase of TSI might be even less than 0.1K in the long run.

  88. 50 years of pretty precise ocean temp correlation to CRF
    http://www.sciencebits.com/calorimeter
    From the empirical data presented there, I see absolutely no indication that Oceans store heat, nor any reason to trust those who massage the ARGO data until it agrees with the models. Oceans absorb or emit heat in concert with CRF, with the coupling presumably being an amplification mechanism involving cloud cover, which also correlates with CRF.

  89. Leif Svalgaard (16:47:24) :
    Geoff Sharp (16:11:17) :
    There are modulators of TSI, they are called clouds.
    ——————-
    A higher temperature [because of higher TSI] means more clouds [negative feedback as Spencer points out], so the effect of a 0.1% increase of TSI might be even less than 0.1K in the long run.

    You are grabbing at straws here, the greater modulation comes at minimum or low activity, more clouds from more GCR’s and less ozone. At higher levels of activity there is reduced cloud cover as well…as explained here.
    “In order for such reinforcement to take place many small wheels have to interdigitate. The initial process runs from the top downwards: increased solar radiation leads to more ozone and higher temperatures in the stratosphere. “The ultraviolet radiation share varies much more strongly than the other shares in the spectrum, i.e. by five to eight per cent, and that forms more ozone” explains Katja Matthes. As a result, especially the tropical stratosphere becomes warmer, which in turn leads to changed atmospheric circulation. Thus, the interrelated typical precipitation patterns in the tropics are also displaced.
    The second process takes place in the opposite way: the higher solar activity leads to more evaporation in the cloud free areas. With the trade winds the increased amounts of moisture are transported to the equator, where they lead to stronger precipitation, lower water temperatures in the East Pacific and reduced cloud formation, which in turn allows for increased evaporation. Katja Matthes: “It is this positive back coupling that strengthens the process”. With this it is possible to explain the respective measurements and observations on the Earth’s surface.”
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/08/27/ncar-spots-the-transistor-effect-small-solar-activity-fluctuations-amplify-to-larger-climate-influences/#more-10339

  90. Geoff Sharp (17:40:20) :
    As a result, especially the tropical stratosphere becomes warmer, which in turn leads to changed atmospheric circulation.
    As pointed out upthread, the stratosphere is vertically stable and does not change the troposphere.

  91. The neatest and simplest solution is to accept that the oceans themselves have their own internal variability which leads to those several cycles during which the rate of energy release to the air changes.
    The direction of net energy flow globally is always sun to sea to air to space.

    Stephen Wilde is correct on both counts here.
    The oceans act as a heat/energy buffer between solar radiation and atmospheric heating/cooling. Whatever variations there are in solar radiation, the oceans will smooth those variation out and introduce a delay (likely between months and years) in any solar heating/cooling effect.
    So even if Leif is out on his estimate of solar radiation variations (and I am confident his is the best estimate we have) the effect on atmospheric temperatures will be less than the solar variation itself, likely very much less. (Except over long time periods – decades?).
    As SW states there are other variations/cycles at work on the Earth’s climate like ocean cycles. Some of which may have similar periods to variations in solar radiation and others of which may be influenced by solar effects (GCRs and clouds?).
    However, these are NOT direct solar radiation effects.
    Otherwise, Geoff Sharp may well be correct (I don’t know) about indirect solar mechanisms effecting climate and atmospheric temperatures. But I would need solid empirical evidence to be persuaded. Something that may be some time coming with the (rampant?) politicization of climate science.

  92. Don’t know if it is related or not; perhaps Bob has an opinion ?
    But the DMI temperature graph is still dooing crazy delaying tactics on its way to the bottom; and if that is real (why wouldn’t it be ?) that would be consistent (I like that turn of phrase) with the fact that the JAXA ice regrowth; which got off to a good start mid september; right about the time this silly yo-yo appeared in DMI, with the regrowth plot (JAXA) slowly working its way over towards the record low 2007 plot. That trend would certianly jibe with the delay of the temperature drop in the high arctic.
    Could any of this be related to what Bob is referring to as regards SSTs ?
    Just asking.

  93. yonason (17:00:07) :
    50 years of pretty precise ocean temp correlation to CRF
    http://www.sciencebits.com/calorimeter
    , which also correlates with CRF.
    I’ve deleted the two graphs in between the CRF and detrended SST:
    http://i37.tinypic.com/4lhms2.gif
    I can’t say that I see the correlation. I see an influence.
    Leif, do you have a the CRF data available in a spreadsheet on a monthly basis? If so, I’ll detrend Global SST anomalies and throw it and the CRF data onto the same graph.

  94. Bob Tisdale (18:54:29) :
    Leif, do you have a the CRF data available in a spreadsheet on a monthly basis? If so, I’ll detrend Global SST anomalies and throw it and the CRF data onto the same graph.
    http://www.leif.org/research/Thule-Monthly-GRF.xls
    somewhat meaningless as all solar parameters follow the same curve, so if you see a correlation, you don’t know if it is CRF, SSN, TSI, CMEs. flares, UV, whatever.

  95. tallbloke (15:18:05) :
    Beyond that there is the fact that longwave radiation from the air cannot penetrate the surface of the ocean further than it’s own wavelength, whereas the longwave radiation from the ocean readily heats the air.

    I still do not understand.
    Are you saying that if a bath full of water at 17C in in a room heated to 18C then the bath water will cool and the air temperature will rise.
    I’m sure I must be missing something, sorry.

  96. “equally well with TSI or any other solar cycle indicator.”
    But TSI is inversely correlated, and by all indications neither it or any other solar indicators are the direct cause, as far as I am aware. E.g., as you point out, there just isn’t enough of an energy change between max and min solar activity to drive climate. Yet climate responds to solar cues none the less. How?
    CRF appears to be the only candidate for a direct cause, with the sun serving merely to modulate it. According to the theoretical model CRF isn’t sufficient to induce cloud nucleation, but in practice more clouds form when CRF is elevated. And now there is even “proof of concept.”
    It would be nice if there were a good (i.e., objective and complete) state of the art review that laid out all the different scenarios, with their pros and cons. Does any such document exist? (something independent of the UN’s tree-ring circus, that is).

  97. yonason (20:15:02) :
    But TSI is inversely correlated
    No CRF is inversely correlated. Note the scale is upside down.
    Yet climate responds to solar cues none the less. How?
    That is what is claimed, but not established. Now, there should be a small dependence, and there probably is. The issue is whether solar activity is a major driver, and it probably is not.
    According to the theoretical model CRF isn’t sufficient to induce cloud nucleation”
    A model is the expression of what we know form physical law.
    Does any such document exist? (something independent of the UN’s tree-ring circus, that is).
    Many exists, and that is the problem, as they are contradictory.

  98. yonason (20:15:02) :
    But TSI is inversely correlated
    No CRF is inversely correlated. Note the scale is upside down.
    Yet climate responds to solar cues none the less. How?
    That is what is claimed, but not established. Now, there should be a small dependence, and there probably is. The issue is whether solar activity is a major driver, and it probably is not.
    According to the theoretical model CRF isn’t sufficient to induce cloud nucleation
    A model is the expression of what we know from physical law.
    Does any such document exist? (something independent of the UN’s tree-ring circus, that is).
    Many exists, and that is the problem, as they are contradictory.

  99. The science of the clouds is an emerging area of science that cannot be ignored because all the science hasn’t been done yet.
    It would be arrogant to suggest we know everything in this arena, just like another area of science I can think of.
    Cream will rise to the top…..

  100. Geoff Sharp (21:25:15) :
    The science of the clouds is an emerging area of science that cannot be ignored because all the science hasn’t been done yet.
    As Al Gore says: if you don’t know anything, everything is possible.
    We base policy on what is known. And 99% of what people think is cream is actually junk, as in another area I know of.

  101. Evaporation, conduction, and convection are the main factors in surface heat transfer. A hurricane will drop sea surface temperature by 10F in some cases, all from the above. Gray body radiation at these low ambiant temperatures is quite low. The evaporated water has a MW of 18, which is much lower than air, which has a MW of 28.9, so the “hot” water vapor rises. The vapor condenses on a cold nucleate site (dust) and radiates heat to space. However, it has much higher surface area plus the circumference increases with height * pi. CO2 is meaningless since it has a MW of 44 and will stay closer to the surface. Water vapor will rise as high as it needs to, until it condenses to water or ice.
    If increased cosmic radiation causes more nucleation, then it will increase the heat transfer engine. The “shading” effect might be secondary compared to the 1000 btu’s per pound of water condensed that is released. Keep in mind that a pound of “cloud” has orders of magnitude more surface area than a pound of ocean, so the radiative increase is immense.
    One more point, you may have seen a “cooling tower” on buildings, where water is sprayed over slats, and fans draw air up through the slats. On a 90F day, if you pump 100F water on the slats, it is quite possible to see the water at the bottom lowered to 78F. This is a concept most warming alarmists don’t grasp. Evaporation is very powerful at heat transfer.

  102. Leif Svalgaard (21:39:57) :
    As Al Gore says: if you don’t know anything, everything is possible.
    You keep rolling out the same mantra’s as if its part of a script to your agenda. I am sorry I don’t go for your “the sun didn’t do it” story. Good science doesnt follow agenda’s, it searches for answers and takes on all areas with interest (dont give me your filter/pseudo science story)
    Sometimes I think us Laymen can do it better, the politics are not involved.

  103. JamesD (22:03:09) :
    Evaporation is very powerful at heat transfer.
    Brilliant post. And all of this is a result of a warmer ocean which has the Sun shining on it. There cannot be clouds around at that point, not rocket science really.

  104. In a rather unassuming way Houston Cygnus atratus has landed,
    NZ climate summary for october -1.4c a 64 year record clearly explanations are in order.
    Coldest October in over half a century
    * Oct09_summary.pdf
    * Temperature: The coldest October in 64 years, with all-time record low October temperatures in many areas. Exceptionally late snowfalls. Record low October temperatures were recorded on the 4th/5th in most North Island locations, and on the 9th at many South Island sites.
    * Rainfall: Well above normal rainfall in the east of the North Island, as well as in Wellington, Marlborough and parts of Canterbury. Very dry on the West Coast of the South Island.
    * Sunshine: Extremely sunny on the West Coast of the South Island.
    Record or near-record low October temperatures were experienced in many locations, with temperatures more than 2.0°C below average throughout eastern and alpine areas of the South Island, as well as in the lower half of the North Island. Temperatures were below average (between 0.5°C and 1.2°C below average) elsewhere. Overall for New Zealand, it was the coldest October in 64 years (since 1945), with a national average temperature of 10.6°C (1.4°C below the long-term October average). Such a cold October has occurred only four times in the past 100 years. Record low October temperatures were recorded on the 4th/5th in most North Island locations, and on the 9th at many South Island sites.
    http://www.niwa.co.nz/our-science/climate/publications/all/cs/monthly/climate-summary-for-october-2009

  105. Phil (16:46:02)
    If there is not enough vertical movement in the stratosphere to achieve the required regulatory function then it most work some other way.
    I suggest variability in the depth and density of each layer so as to influence the rate of radiative flow of energy to space.
    It would make sense for that to be the case because the primary engine of energy transfer from surface to tropopause is the phase changes of water whereas you point out that the primary engine of energy transfer from tropopause to space is radiative.
    That gives another reason for the sharpness of the tropopause. Two entirely different energy transfer regimes.
    If the height of the tropopause varies depending on the relative dominance of each section then the layers in the stratosphere will vary in height, density and thickness as well thus affecting the rate of radiative energy flow.
    We can tie that in with the observed changes in the depth of the entire atmosphere between surface and space as it responds to changing energy flows from the sun. It must follow that such changes in depth and density at various levels within the stratosphere induced by the sun would have an impact on the rate of radiative energy transfer from stratosphere to space.

  106. Leif: Thanks for the Monthly CRF data. I’ve looked for a solar signature in SST data a number of times and never really found it. So I wanted to use the same data in yonason’s link.
    yonason:
    The use of Monthly CRF and SST data in place of Annual data reveals different results. Leif provided the Thule CRF data in a link above. I inverted it as noted in the graph you linked. I detrended HADISST Global SST data. To remove the effects of ENSO, I shifted NINO3.4 SST anomalies three months, scaled it by a factor of 0.1, and subtracted it from the detrended Global SST data. When I compared the Inverted CRF with the Adjusted and Detrended Global SST, it was really apparent that volcanic eruptions were influencing the SST data, making the SST and CRF data appear to agree in places, so I removed the volcanic aerosol influence using Sato Index data (Scaling Factor of 2).
    Of course, removing ENSO and volcanic aerosol influences always leaves a residual, because if you key the scaling on one ENSO event or volcanic eruption, there’s always a residual left on the others. Here’s the result.
    http://i35.tinypic.com/2rfu0ld.png
    I don’t see a long-term correlation between the two datasets. Some of the wiggles match, but not all.
    I’ve examined the solar-Global SST “link” before and you can adjust the scaling factors so that you get a better fit in one portion of the curves, but that throws off the agreement in others.

  107. Leif Svalgaard (16:44:49) :
    tallbloke (15:24:04) :
    You avoided this again [beginning to take count, now at 2], so I try again:
    The energy to compare with is the incoming energy over the time when you have the excess. How big is that?

    I need to check my notes but I seem to remember I calculated that between 1993 and 2003 the ocean retained some significant percentage of the solar energy which entered it. That was the amount of energy required to cause 5400cubic kilometres of thermal expansion as measured by satellite altimetry. I think it was around 8×10^23J.
    I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve asked you how the oceans can thermally expand by 5400 cubic kilometres over ten years if they don’t retain heat, but you’ve always avoided this question, and never goiven a straight answer. So now I’ve answered your question, please answer mine.

  108. tallbloke (09:27:27) :
    You avoided this again [beginning to take count, now at 3], so I try again:
    The energy to compare with is the incoming energy over the time when you have the excess. How big is that? You had a number for the excess in W/m2, so you must compare with another number in W/m2.
    how the oceans can thermally expand by 5400 cubic kilometres over ten years if they don’t retain heat
    It is called Global Warming.

  109. Maybe we should be using the ERBE/CERES data on incoming solar radiation rather than the top-of-the-atmosphere solar irradiance data.
    Starting in 1993, there is 4 watts/metre^2 less of solar irradiance being reflected in the stratosphere (ozone depletion by the Pinatubo eruption).
    Bob Tisdale has started down this path adjusting the volcano impact out of the SST data using the SATO index, but if we use the ERBE/CERES data and look at the Pinatubo impact on solar energy getting through the stratosphere, it almost looks like the Ocean Heat Content data is actually modulated by the impact of volcanoes.
    Volcano happens, Ocean Heat Content falls (for a few years) as the sulfates and other particles absorb/reflect solar energy in the stratosphere. The OHC then rises since more solar radiation in getting through (for a decade or more due to ozone depletion).
    The OHC data is stable from 1955 until the Agung volcano occurs in 1963. OHC then falls for 6 years before it starts rising again until the 1982 El Chichon eruption. OHC then falls for 3 years and starts rising again until the 1991 Pinatubo eruption. OHC then falls for 2 years and then starts rising again until 2003 when it stabilizes for the past 5.5 years (with no major eruptions since 1991). There are some other minor eruptions which could be incorporated as well.

  110. Leif Svalgaard (20:34:06) :
    yonason (20:15:02) :
    But TSI is inversely correlated
    No CRF is inversely correlated. Note the scale is upside down.

    I assume you are referring to the Shaviv paper? (fig.3 here)
    http://physicaplus.org.il/zope/home/en/1105389911/1113511992_en/
    I hope he’s just mislabeled the axis, because if you’re right, then the whole theory breaks down, because increased CRF has to correlate with increased clouds in order for it to work.
    This one I gave above has it right, for both solar irradiance and cosmic rays.
    http://cce.890m.com/solar-gcr/images/tsi-vs-gcr-vs-clouds.jpg
    Also, see figure 2, here
    http://www.tau.ac.il/institutes/advanced/cosmic/Conferences/2002_COSPAR_Houston/CosmRays_WheatPrice1.pdf
    The axis appears to be correctly labeled there. (note the excellent correlation over 20 years, too.)
    And when TSI increases, CRF decreases, so TSI has to be inversely correlated, again otherwise none of this works. I think they would have been caught on that by now if it were the case?

    According to the theoretical model CRF isn’t sufficient to induce cloud nucleation
    A model is the expression of what we know from physical law.

    Which is why all the Global Climate Models work so well? Models are fine, but depending on them to extrapolate into the unknown can be quite risky.
    Besides, the Folks at CERN take the correlation seriously enough to look for the mechanism.
    http://cloud.web.cern.ch/cloud/documents_cloud/cloud_proposal.pdf
    And you don’t waste those kinds of resources looking for a mechanism for an imaginary process.

  111. Leif Svalgaard (20:34:06) :
    yonason (20:15:02) :
    ……………
    ……………
    Does any such document exist? (something independent of the UN’s tree-ring circus, that is).
    Many exists, and that is the problem, as they are contradictory.

    I.e., more worms to add to the already overflowing can?
    Oh, well, I guess that’s why we’re still at it here. On the up side, one can hardly say the debate is over.

  112. “The Nino is heating up now after being stuck in neutral for several months. The indicators are pointing to a moderate event now.”
    SOI has gone firmly negative. It would appear I was quite wrong, this will be an official El Nino.

  113. yonason (12:27:15) :
    Leif Svalgaard (20:34:06) :
    yonason (20:15:02) :
    “But TSI is inversely correlated”
    “No CRF is inversely correlated. Note the scale is upside down.”
    I assume you are referring to the Shaviv paper? (fig.3 here)
    http://physicaplus.org.il/zope/home/en/1105389911/1113511992_en/

    Take a look at Figure 3. Note that the upper left scale is upside down [as it should be]. All I’m saying is that low CRF occurs at the same time as high TSI [and vice versa], and both could make sense. The point is that you cannot tell which one it is that is the driver, CRF or TSI, because they both correlate [sort of].
    Besides, the Folks at CERN take the correlation seriously enough to look for the mechanism.
    Not the folks at CERN. CERN just lists the experiments going on at their facility. Does not mean that the ‘Folks at CERN” are doing it. They are not.

  114. Leif Svalgaard (09:51:45) :
    tallbloke (09:27:27) :
    how the oceans can thermally expand by 5400 cubic kilometres over ten years if they don’t retain heat
    It is called Global Warming.

    Thanks Leif that’s all I need to know about your thinking.

  115. tallbloke (16:18:44) :
    Thanks Leif that’s all I need to know about your thinking.
    But you, again, avoiding the question [count = 4].
    One way to explore the understanding of the physics is to go to extreme cases. I have already outlined one and would like to pursue that a bit more: imagine that for a million years the solar output was constant, then it suddenly increased by 1/1000, at which level it would sit for the next one million years. What would be the difference in temperature between these two epochs [e.g. just before the end of each]? Others can weigh in too.

  116. Leif Svalgaard (15:43:55) :
    “All I’m saying is that low CRF occurs at the same time as high TSI [and vice versa], and both could make sense.”

    I’m not clear on what you mean by “make sense?” In what way does TSI make as much sense that CRF?
    As to CERN.
    “CLOUD (Cosmics Leaving OUtdoor Droplets) is a novel experiment at CERN conducted by an interdisciplinary team of leading scientists from 18 institutes in 9 countries.
    http://public.web.cern.ch/public/en/Spotlight/SpotlightCloud-en.html
    That can’t be cheap. And you don’t throw that kind of time and effort into a project unless you think it will pay off.
    Here’s an interesting talk. As much of it I’ve watched so far touches on all the important stuff, though only after paying the obligatory homage to AGW.
    http://cdsweb.cern.ch/record/1181073?ln=ru
    “Estimated changes of solar irradiance [TSI] on these time scales appear to be too small to account for the climate observations. This raises the question of whether cosmic rays may directly affect the climate, providing an effective indirect solar forcing mechanism. Indeed recent satellite observations – although disputed – suggest that cosmic rays may affect clouds.”
    Anyway, from everything I read it’s cosmic rays in the lead as we round the bend, with solar irradiance taking up the rear.
    If you want me to see TSI as closing ranks [i.e., “making sense” in any direct way], you have to show me, please.

  117. yonason (18:39:45) :
    I’m not clear on what you mean by “make sense?” In what way does TSI make as much sense that CRF?
    Because the TSI provides a direct forcing without any intermediate process. You simply supply more heat and it makes sense that things heat up, no?
    That can’t be cheap. And you don’t throw that kind of time and effort into a project unless you think it will pay off.
    You’ll be amazed at what is spend on things that don’t pay off. Often it is worth spending money simply to see if it pays off.
    Anyway, from everything I read it’s cosmic rays in the lead as we round the bend, with solar irradiance taking up the rear.
    The point is that the cosmic rays involve a poorly understood process so there is a lot of wiggle room, while with TSI there is not.
    If you want me to see TSI as closing ranks [i.e., “making sense” in any direct way], you have to show me, please.
    I think that neither have any great influence. For every paper espousing cosmic rays there are papers that dispute it. In any case, the issue has become so political that the science plays second fiddle to people’s beliefs [which have been accorded religious status, c.f. another thread on this blog]. The correlations with either TSI or CRF are so weak that not much can be said with any confidence, unless you, of course, have chosen a view point ahead of time and just want confirmation; then you’ll look where you find it and ignore anything else.

  118. yonason: You wrote, “I’ll leave it there, and wait to see what the CLOUD expts., come up with.”
    Joel Norris is one of the cloud experts. In the following 2009 paper, he and Anthony Slingo explain, in great detail, the problems with cloud cover/amount data here:
    http://meteora.ucsd.edu/~jnorris/reprints/02_Norris%20and%20Slingo.pdf
    With the lack of reliable data, we may have to wait a long time before the cloud experts can come up with anything worthwhile.

  119. Leif Svalgaard (16:48:34) :
    Imagine that for a million years the solar output was constant, then it suddenly increased by 1/1000, at which level it would sit for the next one million years. What would be the difference in temperature between these two epochs [e.g. just before the end of each]? Others can weigh in too.

    We do have something similar with the Milankovitch Cycles.
    The total global solar irradiance received over a full year goes up by 4 watts/metre2 (3/1000ths) when the Earth’s orbit is at its most circular. This only lasts for about 30,000 years but that should be close enough to a million.
    The Stefan-Boltzmann equations predict this would increase the Earth’s temperature by 0.207C (assuming Albedo stays the same but there should be a small impact here as well). So, overall, not much impact.
    But the last time this circular orbit position was reached, the Earth was already heading into the last ice age and temperatures actually fell by about 5.0C as the peak was occuring. High latitude solar irradiance was at it lowest even though the Earth as whole was at its highest so the ice-Albedo affect overwhelmed it.

  120. Bill Illis (06:35:28) :
    We do have something similar with the Milankovitch Cycles.
    No, not at all. The important thing is not the irradiance but the insolation on the Northern hemisphere in summer, and THAT varies quite a lot.

  121. Bill Illis
    But the last time this circular orbit position was reached, the Earth was already heading into the last ice age and temperatures actually fell by about 5.0C as the peak was occuring.
    Interesting statement Bill, I would be be very interested to see the accomplishing data.

  122. Geoff Sharp
    Here is a chart showing the data. (There is one line missing from this chart – solar insolation at high latitudes which will have to wait till later).
    http://img261.imageshack.us/img261/2127/last3iceages.png
    We only see the data for 65N but there is a global solar irradiance value as well. From Berger and Loutre 1991 at
    http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/paleo/forcing.html
    And Leif, I was attempting to back up your points. Maybe it didn’t come off right.

  123. Bill Illis (10:00:36) :
    And Leif, I was attempting to back up your points. Maybe it didn’t come off right.
    Guess not. The point was that the Milankovich variations are huge compared to solar activity variations.

  124. Leif Svalgaard (11:06:08) :
    Bill Illis (10:00:36) :
    And Leif, I was attempting to back up your points. Maybe it didn’t come off right.
    Guess not. The point was that the Milankovich variations are huge compared to solar activity variations.

    Oh I don’t know about that, the orbital parameters which affect the milankovitch cycles don’t vary much in percentage terms, whereas the heliomagnetic flux increased 40% -70% during the C20th to 1990 or so before rapidly dropping off again to 1900 levels.
    Since the variation in TSI seems to have a terrestrial amplification factor of between 7-10 (Shaviv) This is not insubstantial either. Then there’s the variation in the UV which is large in percentage terms… Plenty of large solar variations we don’t yet know the effects or consequences of.

  125. tallbloke (11:37:03) :
    “The point was that the Milankovich variations are huge compared to solar activity variations.”
    Oh I don’t know about that,

    Apparently not. Since the energy in the solar wind is a million times smaller than that in TSI, the heliospheric magnetic field doesn’t matter compared to the very large [in W/m2] variations of the insolation.

  126. Leif Svalgaard (11:06:08) :
    The point was that the Milankovich variations are huge compared to solar activity variations.

    No, they are not.
    They are at 65N or 75N but not for the planet as a whole. I was using the global annual solar irradiance which only varies by +/- 2 watts/metre^2 over 100,000 year cycle.

  127. Bill Illis (13:04:23) :
    They are at 65N or 75N but not for the planet as a whole.
    Milankovich’s whole argument is that the effect takes place when there is not enough energy to melt the snow in summer [i.e. at high Northern latitudes]. It doesn’t matter what the rest of planet does.

  128. Bill Illis (10:00:36) :
    Thanks Bill, but struggling to see the orbit data on the graph, it should be a 100,000 year cycle.
    tallbloke (11:37:03) :
    Since the variation in TSI seems to have a terrestrial amplification factor of between 7-10 (Shaviv) This is not insubstantial either. Then there’s the variation in the UV which is large in percentage terms… Plenty of large solar variations we don’t yet know the effects or consequences of.
    Yep, much more than just TSI to consider.

  129. Leif,
    You asked what happens if solar irradiance increases by 0.001% for a million years. I gave a real-world example where it does actually increase by +0.003% for 30,000 years at least. I then went on to say it hardly makes any difference – +0.2C only. I then noted that even with this 0.003% higher solar irradiance, the Earth still goes into an ice-age (because of the ice-Albedo effect).

  130. Bill Illis (15:20:21) :
    I then noted that even with this 0.003% higher solar irradiance, the Earth still goes into an ice-age (because of the ice-Albedo effect).
    That is not how it works. The glaciation comes about because the Northern Hemisphere summer does not get enough heat to melt the snow during the summer, so it accumulates. The difference in insolation is large, tens of W/m2.
    Geoff Sharp (15:11:20) :
    Since the variation in TSI seems to have a terrestrial amplification factor of between 7-10 (Shaviv) etc
    All good except that no clear solar cycle effect is seen above the 0.1K level.

  131. Leif,
    I know about the changing insolation at 65N and the summer melt issue. I have a post coming up where I will show exactly how the changing summer solar insolation at high latitudes puts us into and then takes us out of ice ages (there will be detailed calculations and I’m using the numbers at 75N instead of 65N because the glaciers have to build up at 75N before they can build up at 65N and there is no sea ice at 65N (that latitude is mostly land), the sea ice melts or doesn’t melt at 75N. Technically, without the ice-Albedo effect, the changing summer insolation at 65N or 75N doesn’t match the ice age cycles – there needs to be a large Albedo effect which even the Milankovitch Cycles can only break about a third of the time.)
    I’d show a really nice chart of that now but I’m saving it.
    I was just saying that solar irradiance doesn’t change enough to affect Earth’s temperatures very much, backing up your position.

  132. Bill Illis (18:52:33) :
    I was just saying that solar irradiance doesn’t change enough to affect Earth’s temperatures very much, backing up your position.
    You sure have a backwards way of saying it.

  133. Bob Tisdale (04:28:44) :
    Since that paper says nothing about cosmic rays, I don’t see that it’s topical, other than background material on clouds in general.
    I repeat, there is enough evidence that cosmic rays affect cloud cover significantly enough to be a/the major contributor to climate change. What the CLOUD experiments are looking for is the mechanism for a process that’s already accepted by many as highly probable.
    Oh, and that reminds me. I didn’t address L.S.’s comment. “You’ll be amazed at what is spend on things that don’t pay off. Often it is worth spending money simply to see if it pays off.”
    Note that he has edited it (wish I had editorial privileges) by adding a second sentence, without which the first appears a logical fallacy, but now a mere non sequitur. The fact that things we spend money on sometimes fails isn’t proof that what we are now investing in will fail. My point was that if there weren’t sufficient evidence for the phenomenon, there would be no justification to invest in investigating it The fact that they are proves that they believe that the evidence he is saying is so weak really isn’t. And that is really just what I previously said, that they think it is “worth spending money” on it, because it looks like a good bet. If it was as flimsy as L.S. claims, it’s not likely to have gotten this far, because (for the umpteenth time) money and resources are not thrown at things “just to see” what will happen. There has to be a justification, and it has to be based on evidence, not wishful thinking.
    Recapping, his fist sentence is at best a non sequitur, and his second just corroborates what I have been saying.
    I’ve given lots of links to substantiate my position. I will only repeat this one from CERN, where the next phase of CLOUD is currently under way (still looks promising enough to throw even more money at).
    http://cdsweb.cern.ch/record/1181073?ln=ru
    So, what I’m waiting for is the results of CLOUD, because it’s got a good shot at elucidating the mechanism, if they guess correctly about how to go about that. But if they don’t succeed, it still doesn’t disprove the connection between cosmic rays and climate, for which the evidence goes back throughout all geological history.
    http://www.sciencebits.com/ice-ages
    And for CO2, no such connection exists – not even close.
    http://www.junkscience.com/images/paleocarbon.gif

  134. Whatever the eventual mechanism – the normal solar cycle has been shown to have an effect on sea surface temperatures – the latest work I have seen is
    Camp CD and Tung KK (2007) ‘Surface warming by the solar cycle as revealed by the composite mean difference projeaction’ Geophys. Res. Lett. 34 L14703 doi:10.1029/2007GL030207
    Where they found 0.2 C difference from minimum to maximum and some kind of poleward amplification. ) 0.2 C is not an insignificant amount – but if solar cycles were always of the same amplitude, there would be no overall climatic effect.
    Here is what I think we know relatively certain:
    Whatever the mechanisms attendant on the Milankovitch cycles, they are not relevant to the later Holocene (not since the Holocene maximum 8000 years ago) –
    There are long cycles of solar activity within the late Holocene that correspond to warm and cool periods – Roman Warm, Dark Age cool, Medieval Warm, Little Ice Age cool, current Modern Warm, (roughly 800 year cycle from peak to peak) and the cool periods seem to correspond to low solar magnetic activity and lower TSI (but not as low as we thought – am happy to accept Leif’s analysis). On top of this ‘wave-form’ we have oceanic oscillations in each basin – the cause of which is not known – and which seem to be driven by changes in sea level pressure and which produce alternate cold and warm phases (around 30-70 year cycles -PDO/AMO/AO). Shorter term cycles such as the NAO and ENSO also ride on these longer waves.
    All of these waves seemed to have peaked in the modern warm period between 1998-2006.
    Given that the longest cycle – 400 years from trough to peak – the LIA, being the last trough, produces a global range of plus or minus 0.5 C (mean), and we are not at present outside of that variability, then we should be looking for mechanisms that can explain that longer term variability (that, I understand was Svensmark’s motivation – and he was looking for the amplifier).
    This amplifier does not have to be very large. For example – IF the 0.2C cycle in the oceans due to the 11 year solar cycle is related to a cooling effect at the minimum, then if that minimum were to be prolonged – as in a Dalton or more powerfully a Maunder, then I would argue, it could have a cumulative effect – i.e. the oceans would lose heat continuously until magnetic activity/TSI built up again. The mechanism could be cloud mediated – either by cosmic rays (some evidence) or UV effects on the jetstream and storm-tracks (some evidence) – or both of these in concert. It would seem logical that the oceans would cool steadily, and then warm again – as we have seen from the ‘recovery from the Little Ice Age’ argued by Prof Akasofu (Intl Arctic Rsearch Centre).
    We can easily see the heating of the oceans from 1980-2000 by enhanced penetration of SW radiation – and although there is much disagreement about the exact amount and the total trend – it is present in many records – and of course in the upper ocean heat content data. The leveling of the OHC since 2003 (again disputed but at the very least a lessening of the build-up) would indicate a relatively quick response of the oceans to changing cloud conditions (and again cloud data shows a shift around 2001/2002 to less SW coming in). I think this may be correct, because 80-90% of the warming signal appears locked in the upper 300m over most of the oceans – and can only be transferred to depth at the zones of downwelling (there being little vertical mixing over most of the oceanic regions).
    If we look at the spatial distribution of the upper ocean warming – it is not homogenous – the warmth is concentrated in two or three major gyres, with most of it in the northern hemisphere – and this heat store then loses heat to the land downwind – see
    Compo & Sardeshmukh (2008) Oceanic Influences on Recent Continental Warming – Earth Systems Research Laboratory – NOAA, Boulder, Co.
    for the signal being transferred to land (and absence of any indication of a greenhouse warming effect – other than in a warmer ocean).
    I think that this long cycle – with irregular period, peaking roughly every 1000 years, and resultant ocean heat storage and loss, is adequate to explain the late Holocene variability – and MUST be solar related (sorry Leif, I think the paleo-climate data clinches it – please do read ‘Chill’).
    One last line of evidence – which I review in my book, is that since 2006 – a vast store of heat has been lost from the NE Pacific off Alaska (the turning of the PDO) – and the Atlantic gyre is also losing heat. The jetstream has shifted southward (contrary to model predictions) and so have the cloud banks that insulate northern waters – and I expect also a reversal of the 14% increase of Arctic basin cloud since 1980, as well as a reduction in penetrating warm currents. IF this were to continue, then global temperatures would drop by 0.5 C, maybe more – and this could well be maintained at some kind of equilibrium for as long as solar activity remained constant. Once it ramped up again, the process would go into reverse and the oceans gain heat again.
    Of course, we can expect SOME greenhouse effect from human emissions – but I don’t see how we can isolate a signal at the level of decadal variability – certainly not as claimed by attribution models for the 1950-2010 period. The modellers acknowledge that their understanding of both oceanic and solar-terrestrial climate effects is poor. They also acknowledge they cannot accurately model cloud feedbacks and that they use unproven gain-factors in their equations that could readily be nullified by cloud feedback. Thus we have TWO competing factors – natural AND GHG, both increasing at the same time.
    I have made some effort to find a maximum signal for GHG – by looking at the recent Arctic warm peak compared to the previous (1940) – and I would put it at 20%. Of course, the recent peak may be riding on top of a natural modern warm period wave (I think it is) – and hence that 20% is likely to be generous.
    Thus the current – 0.4 C ‘anomaly’ probably contains 0.1C GHG effect and we are only one-third the way to a doubling of GHG. Saturation effects and ‘warming in the pipeline’ complicate matters, but I think 0.3-0.5 C for a doubling is the kind of range that is compatible with the current knowledge.
    That does not mean to me we can all go home and stop worrying about climate – natural climate change is dangerous to vulnerable populations – and I would like to see a huge effort to make human ecosystems resilient to natural change. Sadly, if the GHG scare is shown to be a scam (and I don’t like that word because I think a lot of scientists have genuinely worked for the good of humanity out of real concern) – then the great danger is that the rich nations will turn away from all climate change concerns, and certainly away from the need to finance adaptation.

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