The climate engine

Guest post by Erl Happ

stirling_solar_engine

Solar Powered Stirling Cycle Engine

What follows is a general theory of natural climate variation supported by observation of the changing temperature of the atmosphere and the sea between 1948 and September 2009. This work suggests that strong warming after 1978 is an entirely natural phenomenon.

Imagine a small planet about the size of the Earth orbiting a sun just like our own. The planet has an atmosphere composed of nitrogen (76%), oxygen (23%) and trace gases (1%) of which argon makes up half of that one percent.

Let us further imagine that the sun bombards the Earth with radiation so energetic as to destroy the integrity of nitrogen and oxygen in the planet’s upper atmosphere. The region where this occurs may be called the ‘ionosphere’. When superheated at the highest elevations it can be known as the ‘thermosphere’.  The electrically unbalanced particles of the ionosphere possess negative or a positive polarity. Like iron filings scattered across a piece of paper atop a magnetized iron bar, atmospheric ions orient themselves according to the lines of the planets magnetic field. Rotating with the planet, the ionosphere is a place of constant flux.  Particles are energized on the dayside and dragged into a long tail on the night-side by the pressure of the solar wind, a highly magnetized stream of helium and hydrogen emanating from the sun. There is an exchange of energy between the wind and the ionosphere and particles are accelerated in one direction or the other and re-distributed according to the tension imposed by the constantly changing electromagnetic medium.

As ionized particles radiate energy and cool they will join up with particles of opposite polarity. The junction of one with the other moves the union closer to a ‘neutral’ state.  The orgy of irradiation, excitement, and reorientation, begins anew each day as the sun appears above the horizon. Recombination occurs mainly at night.

Nitrogen requires the most energetic short wave radiation to achieve the ionic state. This energy is available at a higher altitude. Oxygen ions are scarce at altitudes where nitrogen ions are formed because when the music stops, ions of nitrogen grab oxygen partners just as happily as nitrogen partners and there are many more nitrogen partners than oxygen partners.

Where free oxygen ions exist, they do so at a lower level where there is insufficient very short wave radiation to ionize nitrogen.

So, we have two regions of an ionosphere, the lower oxygen rich and the upper oxygen poor and nitrogen rich, ‘ionically’ speaking.

Ions of oxygen will hold hands in groups of three in a molecule called ozone. Although this happens only to a limited extent, it nevertheless creates an ozone rich layer. We call it the stratosphere.

The cumbersome ozone molecule has an ability to trap the relatively long wave radiation of the planet and also some radiation from the sun at the long end of the short wave spectrum.  Consequently this ozone rich layer is warmer than the atmosphere above and below it.

The depth of the atmosphere beneath the ozone rich layer is, in the context of the size of the earth, hardly skin deep (only 10Km at mid latitudes and 15Km at the equator) but nevertheless sufficient to effectively cool the Earth. In dry air the lapse rate is 10°C per kilometer. The upper troposphere is very much colder than the surface of the planet. So we must (reluctantly perhaps) conclude that the atmosphere is a very effective vent for surface heat.

Though about three quarters of the atmosphere is below the stratosphere and free of the influence of an electromagnetic field, the remaining portion of the atmosphere is very much under its influence. That part is much more than half of one percent, the quantity of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

The tropical troposphere tends to lose energy by decompression associated with uplift whereas the subtropical latitudes is a place of descending, compressing air where long wave radiation is the chief means of energy removal. Where decompression is vigorous, the upper troposphere cools to minus 85°C. Elsewhere it reaches a temperature of about minus 55°C. As the equatorial region has warmed the quantum of long wave radiation from the near equatorial zone has diminished while in the subtropics where the air is descending, it has increased.

The surface of the planet is 70% water and the atmosphere near the surface is water vapor rich. Because the air at 1000 meters elevation is already between 6 and 10°C cooler than the surface, clouds of moisture form in rising air. At an elevation of two to four kilometers condensing moisture forms, not water droplets, but ice crystals of many and varied patterns and considerable surface area. Ice crystals populate the atmosphere at a density so low as to make them virtually invisible. But, the ice crystal zone stretches from about 2km to 25km in elevation and it is therefore very much deeper and potentially more reflective than the water droplet zone.

Sensibly therefore, we might expect the temperature at the surface of the planet to relate strongly to the extent of ice crystal formation. Since the upper atmosphere tends to have much the same level of moisture all the time, the population of ice crystals varies inversely with air temperature.

How could the temperature of the ice cloud region change?

The concentration of ozone in the stratosphere and upper troposphere depends upon the rate of mixing of oxygen hungry, mesospheric nitrogen ions into the stratosphere. Where does this mixing occur?

Most of the land is in the northern hemisphere but there is none at the northern pole. Strangely there is a massive landmass at the southern pole. Here the surface is very cold all the year round and particularly so in winter.

The temperature of the Antarctic ice mound is always below the freezing point of water. Any precipitation that falls upon it is trapped. Ice surface area doubles in winter by virtue of the freezing of the sea on its margin. A downdraft is present at all times and it is particularly powerful in winter.

The circulation of the atmosphere is driven by differences in surface temperature and the release of latent heat giving rise to columns of rising air particularly over the tropical rain forests. Air descends over the cold oceans in the subtropics and also over the Polar Regions especially in their winter season when the pole is dark and the surface is at its coldest.

The column of descending air over the Antarctic continent stretches into the mesosphere.

Because nitrogen from the mesosphere enters the stratosphere primarily over the Antarctic continent there is less ozone in the southern hemisphere than the northern hemisphere. But when the downward flow of air within the vortex stalls, ozone builds up throughout the stratosphere and to a more limited but very influential extent in the upper troposphere. The mixing rate of ozone into the upper troposphere varies with latitude.

As the ozone content of the ice cloud region rises, so does its temperature. This depletes ice cloud allowing more solar radiation to reach the surface.

Can a reorientation in the direction, mass density or speed of the ‘solar wind’ or perhaps a change in the intensity of ionizing radiation or a change in the Earth’s magnetic field or a mix of all three shift air from high to low latitudes, lowering surface pressure there and raising it somewhere else? Unambiguously, the answer is yes. There is no process internal to the Earth itself that could account for this shift in the atmosphere. It depends wholly upon the magnetic fields in the ionosphere and the exchange of energy between the solar wind and the ionized atmsophere. So, the distribution of the atmosphere by latitude is determined by the sun and the earth together.

Figure 1 shows the loss of atmospheric pressure at 70-90° south latitude after 1948. Most of the depletion occurred before 1976. However, the forces that created this changed state have continued to maintain it.  Not only can the atmosphere move, it can be held in position by the electromagnetic force and it will stay in place until that force relaxes.

Figure 1

1 SA PressureChange in surface atmsopheric pressure

Where and when did surface pressure change?

Figure 2 compares the period of global warming after 1977 to the period of relatively stable or cooling temperature prior to 1977. After 1977 we see much lower pressure in winter and spring with the loss of pressure increasing with latitude between 40° and 90° south latitude.

Between the equator and 30° south latitude surface atmospheric pressure has increased. At 40-50° south, which may be a transition zone, surface pressure increased in summer and fell in winter with greatest loss in September. Very similar dynamics manifest at 30-40° south but by and large this latitude has been once of increasing atmospheric pressure.

Figure 2

2 Change in SP 0-90S

Looking now at the northern hemisphere as represented in figure 3, we observe a loss of pressure in the winter months at high latitudes with losses also in June, August and September. However, the loss of pressure is no more than 1mb, much less than in the southern hemisphere where pressure fell by 2 to 8mb south of 50° south latitude.

After 1977 atmospheric pressure increased in mid year between the equator and 50° north latitude. There is obviously a tendency for pressure to increase at high latitudes in the northern summer at the same time as pressure falls in the southern hemisphere. This represents an atmospheric shift from high latitudes of the southern hemisphere into the entirety of the northern hemisphere in northern summer. This should tend to increase northern vortex activity in the wing months of the northern winter.

Peak months for loss of pressure in high latitudes of the northern hemisphere are November through to February. At this time pressure rises at 40-50° south latitude (aqua line in figure 2). This represents an atmospheric shift from the northern to the southern hemisphere in northern winter. However, there is another contributing factor. It is probable that the Arctic vortex suffers from competitive downdraft activity over the very cold Siberian and North American land masses. It is noticeable that pressure loss in midwinter is greater at 60-70°N (olive green) than at 80-90°N (red).

The ‘Arctic Oscillation Index’ records change in the relationship between surface pressure close to the northern pole and that at mid latitudes in the northern hemisphere. Change in the index goes along with change in the nature of western European weather.  It is apparent that there are complex influences driving the Arctic Oscillation and paradoxically the most important of these influences is the state of the competing downdrafts over Antarctica, continental Asia and North America. But in physical terms, the real driving force is electromagnetic.

Figure 3

3 Change in SP 0-90N

The relationship between pressure and surface temperature in the tropics

Figure 4 shows the relationship between atmospheric pressure near the equator and sea surface temperature at 20° north to 20° south globally. Warming of the tropics goes hand in hand with increased surface atmospheric pressure. This is a key understanding. It is counter-intuitive because hot air is less dense and will rise in the middle of a low pressure area. But here we have hot air under increased pressure. We are accustomed to observing high pressure air that is associated with subsidence and cloud free skies in the subtropics. This is different. This pressure regime is determined by a shift in the atmosphere from high to low latitudes.

The relationship between these variables is mediated by the change in atmospheric moisture levels. An illustration of this relationship is the failure of the tropics to warm when pressure increased in the year 1999-2000. The precipitation event that followed the marked increase in atmospheric moisture during the El Nino event of 1997-8 created its own momentum (increased atmospheric moisture and cloud cover) and overwhelmed the possibility of a response to the increase in pressure a year later, itself a response to electromagnetic activity in the upper atmosphere. If one appreciates this, we can dispense with the usual statistical tests, proceeding according to logic and the eye. Many a baby has been thrown out with the bathwater after the application of an inappropriate statistical test.

Figure 4

4 Temp and pressure in tropics

We know that El Nino activity in the Pacific is accompanied by a slackening of the Trades as the pressure difference between the south east Pacific (high pressure) and Indonesia (low pressure) falls away. Figure 5shows that, when pressure rises in the Indonesian region, it falls very strongly in the waters off the coast of Chile. The weakening of the trade winds is a marker for El Nino activity in the Pacific. The change in pressure relations driving the trade winds is due to the movement of the atmosphere. That movement has its origin in electromagnetic activity in the upper atmosphere.

A glance at figure 5 reveals that the globe cools when surface atmospheric pressure in the Indonesian region falls below its long term mean.  There is much greater activity in terms of pressure change in the waters off Chile than in the Indonesian theatre.  Change in Chilean waters appears to precede change in Indonesia.

A shift in the atmosphere from high to low latitudes increases pressure at 30-40° south latitude. However, in the waters off Chile, we see a loss of pressure as pressure builds at the equator and this is particularly noticeable in March and September when geomagnetic activity peaks due to the favorable orientation of the Earth to the sun at the equinoxes. Surface pressure off Chile at 30-40° south behaves atypically for the latitude. It moves with polar pressure rather than low latitude pressure. This makes the Pacific particularly susceptible to influence from shifts in the atmosphere.

Figure 5

5 Pressure Indo and Chile

Figure 6 shows that when atmospheric pressure falls off Chile (in figure 6 pressure is inverted so that a rise in the pressure line actually represents falling pressure) sea surface temperature in the intake region for Nino 1 and Nino 2 warms. An increase in the temperature of tropical waters follows as a matter of course. The thing that controls the atmospheric pressure controls the temperature of tropical waters and ultimately the globe. That ‘thing’ is the electromagnetic force in the upper atmosphere. The change in surface temperature is due to a change in the ratio between radiation received at the limits of the atmosphere (almost a constant) and radiation reflected by ice crystals. Variation in reflection is responsible for change in the intensity of radiation received at the surface.

Figure 6

6 Press off Chile and SST

The temperature of the polar stratosphere increases at the time of the year when atmospheric pressure falls.

Figure 7 indicates a marked increase in stratospheric temperature at 10hPa post 1977 that is coincident with the fall in atmospheric pressure illustrated in figure 2.

There can be no shadow of doubt that the increase in the temperature of the upper stratosphere over Antarctica is associated with falling atmospheric pressure, the collapse of the vortex and a diminution of the flow of mesospheric nitrogen ions into the stratosphere. This allows an increase in ozone concentration which accounts for the increase in temperature both in the stratosphere and at the surface.

Ozone absorbs long wave radiation from the earth and UVB from the sun and this energy is rapidly transmitted to adjacent molecules. The upper atmosphere warms and as ice crystal population falls in southern winter and spring, the temperature of the sea increases in the intake zones for the equatorial currents. In the Pacific this is called El Nino. The conventional explanation of this warming is at odds with reality. Most of the warming activity occurs outside the tropics. It is most pronounced in late winter and spring in the southern hemisphere and it is patently a phenomenon that shows up with greater intensity after the climate shift of 1978. Indeed, the increased frequency and intensity of southern hemisphere warming in spring lies at the heart of the warming of the globe after 1978.

Figure 7

7 change by latitude at 10hPa

Figure 8 shows that the warming of the northern stratosphere at 10hpa in the middle of northern winter is insignificant if compared to the warming of the southern stratosphere. Stratospheric warming and cooling is just as lopsided as the distribution of the land between the hemispheres.

Some observers attribute sudden stratospheric warming in the polar night to ‘planetary waves’. But planetary waves are more evident in the northern than the southern hemisphere. These observers  maintain that the Earthly climate system is free of external influences.  Copernicus feared the response of the keepers of the conventional wisdom when he suggested that the sun was at the centre of the solar system rather than the Earth. He kept his opinions to himself until his theories were published close to his death in 1543. Galileo supported the Copernican viewpoint in a forthright fashion in 1632, was tried by his peers in the ‘Inquisition’ and spent the rest of his life in detention.  Geo-centrism is alive and well to this day and it thrives in the field of climate science. Trial by ones peers can be a harrowing affair. As Galileo would no doubt observe, if he were here to tell us:  ‘Most of them are a bunch of ignorant ******.

Figure 8

8 change at 10hPa northern hemis

The extent of warming of the polar stratosphere in winter increases with elevation

Figure 9 reveals that temperature gain in the Antarctic stratosphere after 1977 increases with elevation. This is in conformity with the notion that a mesospheric influence on stratospheric ozone is the driver of stratospheric temperature at the poles and it acts via a variation in vortex activity brought on by change in the weight of the atmospheric column as expressed in changing surface pressure.

Figure 9

9 Change 80-90S

Figure 10, relating to the northern hemisphere shows temperature gain increasing with altitude as is the case in the southern hemisphere. Peak temperature gain is in February when surface pressure loss after 1977 is maximal (see figure 3).

Figure 10

10 Change 10hpa 80-90S

Figure 11 shows the relationship between surface atmospheric pressure in the tropics and the aa index of geomagnetic activity. Anomalies are calculated with respect to mean monthly data for the period 1948-2009. The trend lines are third order polynomials selected for best fit.  It appears that this cycle may be about 80 years from trough to trough. A cycle of about this length has been called the Gleissburg cycle. The currently falling pressure at the equator heralds cooling. A simple projection of trend indicates perhaps thirty years of cooling ahead.

In considering figure 11 one must bear in mind that the atmosphere must first be ionized before it comes under the influence of the solar wind. We know little about the cycles in very short wave ionizing radiation. Nor, it seems do we know much about the driving force behind the change in the Earth’s magnetic field. The electromagnetic movement of the atmosphere is a multi-factorial phenomenon. Figure 11 deals with a single contributing factor and compares its oscillation with surface pressure near the equator. The field of change is much wider than the equator. The dynamics of pressure change are driven by many factors including the tilt of the Earth’s axis of rotation, the revolution of the earth around the sun, the distribution of the land and the sea, the variation in the temperature of the sea at the same latitude, variations in the magnetic emanations from the Sun and variations in the strength of the Earth’s magnetic field from place to place. At times surface pressure at both poles moves in the same direction and at other times pressure increases at one pole and decreases at the other. The atmosphere behaves quite differently when the earth is warm to when it is cool. The pressure systems move at quite different latitudes along with the jet stream.

Accordingly, one cannot say that geomagnetic activity drives surface temperature. It contributes as one element of a complex matrix in a constantly changing climate system. Do the climate modelers realize this?

Figure 11

11 atmospheric pressure and aa index

Figure 12 is astonishing in its symmetry.  Prior to 1977 peak anomalies in 30hpa temperature at 80-90°S latitude occurred in April-May. After 1977 peak anomalies occur in October.  After 1977 October anomalies are as strongly positive as they were negative prior to 1977. This change relates directly to the warming of the southern oceans in southern winter-spring that is expressed in El Nino activity in the Pacific. But the Pacific is only one of the theatres of action in the global tropics. All theatres of action are affected by change in atmospheric pressure in Antarctica.

Figure 12

12 anomaly 30hPa 80-90s pre and post 1977

Figure 13 shows 30hpa temperature anomalies at 80-90°north in the Arctic. Again the symmetry is astonishing. Let there be no mistake. Here is evidence that the climate system is alternating between two very different modes of activity. One is a cooling mode and the other a warming mode. Temperature anomalies are positive only for a period of time, and they move to the  negative. When October anomalies are positive in Antarctica they are negative in the Arctic and vice versa.

Figure 13

13 anomaly 30hPa 80-90N pre and post

Consequences of the warming mode of 1977-2009 for the temperature in the ice cloud zone of the upper troposphere

Figure 14 shows the character of the warming mode that prevailed after 1977 in the northern upper troposphere at 200hPa. There is sufficient ozone at this level for temperature to be driven by vortex phenomena rather than surface phenomena. At 200hPa, temperature change seems to be an amplified version of what happens at the surface. Of course this is nonsense. Changes at the surface reflect in miniature the more exaggerated and independently determined change that occurs above. But I diverge, and must return to the narrative.

In relation to the northern hemisphere: After 1977, at latitudes greater than 50° north, the upper troposphere warmed slightly in summer between June and November but is actually cooler during the winter months.  At low latitudes the troposphere is warmer all year but particularly so in northern winter. I hope some greenhouse theorists read this. Perhaps they can explain how the upper troposphere can warm when outgoing long wave radiation is at its annual minimum.

Figure 14

14 Change 200hPa N

Figure 15 illustrates the dramatic influence of the warm mode on temperature in the southern hemisphere upper troposphere. Strong warming occurs between 20 and 70° south latitude. Peak warming occurs about the time of the equinoxes when the coupling of the solar wind with the Earth’s atmosphere is strongest.

When the polar vortex stalls, it allows ozone levels to rise at high altitudes above the pole. A strong peak in 200hpa temperature occurs in September at 80-90° south latitude and this peak appears at mid latitudes within a month, testifying to the speedy rate of mixing of ozone into the upper troposphere at 200hpa.

Figure 15

15 anomaly 200hPa S

Surface temperature follows the lead of the stratosphere via change in ice cloud density

Figure 16 shows the relationship between the 20hpa temperature anomaly at 10° north to 10° south latitude on the one hand and  sea surface temperature in the in-feed zone in the south east Pacific near Chile on the other. The obvious way that the stratosphere and upper troposphere can affect surface temperature is via change in ice cloud density affecting the reflectivity of the atmosphere. An increase in temperature reduces ice cloud density allowing more radiation to reach the surface.

High amplitude variation in 20hPa temperature is seen between 1950 and 1976 when geomagnetic activity, stratospheric and surface temperature was depressed. This phenomenon might be interpreted this way: When stratospheric temperature is low due to low ozone content (high surface pressure at the pole and strong vortex) a small reduction in the inflow of nitrogen ions from the mesosphere can produce a large change in ozone and 20hpa temperature. The law of diminishing returns applies.  In periods where ozone levels are already high (low atmospheric pressure and collapsed vortex), the extent of change in 20hpa temperature from further collapse in the vortex is small.

After the year 2000 the flux in 20hpa temperature is large as it was during the cooling period prior to 1977.

Sea surface temperature in the south east Pacific follows 20hpa temperature with more fidelity and vigour after 1978 when change in southern hemisphere 200hpa temperature became the dominant mode of ENSO variation. Patently, the heating trend between 1977 and 2000 is due to a marked increase in the temperature of the ice cloud zone.

Figure 16

16 20hPa and SST

Figure 17 shows the relationship between 200 hPa (upper troposphere ice cloud zone) temperature and sea surface temperature at 40-50° north.

When the upper troposphere warms strongly, relative humidity must fall and the surface temperature response to high amplitude change in upper troposphere temperature then lacks coherence and vigour. Compare the cooling period after 1998 with the warming period ten years earlier. This observation suggests there is little increase in atmospheric moisture content as the troposphere warms. Moisture content, if it increases at all, lags the temperature increase. There is no amplifier here for a greenhouse effect.

Figure 17

17 200hPa 40-50N and SST

Figure 18 shows the increase in surface pressure that accompanies warming at 40-50° north latitude.  The increase in pressure relates to falling pressure at the poles and an increase in the temperature of the stratosphere as ozone content builds.

Figure 18

18 T and P at 40-50N

Figure 19 shows the repeating pattern of positive anomalies in 20hpa temperature in southern spring  at 70-90° south and the frequent symmetry in the rise in sea surface temperature at 40-50° north. The relationship between these two variables will never be absolutely deterministic because of the other influences that impinge. Firstly, there is the independent activity in the northern vortex as it becomes more or less active leading into northern winter. Secondly, the flux in high altitude specific humidity determines the response rate. Thirdly, the atmosphere is never homogeneous consisting as it does of a series of traveling pressure cells responding to forces that move them as a band either towards or away from the poles.

Repeating positive anomalies in southern spring is the essence of the change that occurred in the climate system after 1978. When these anomalies disappear, the earth will cool. This can only happen as the atmospheric shift away from Antarctica goes into reverse.

Figure 19

19 20hPa 70-90S SST 40-50N

There is great interest in the driver of sea surface temperature in the North Atlantic and the North Pacific. Enormous  store is put in the notion that the Pacific Decadal Oscillation is capable of influencing global temperatures and potentially reversing the trend in global warming. However, the actual forces determining sea surface and global temperature lie in the upper atmosphere rather than in the oceans themselves. There is no mystery as to where warm water appears or does not appear. It is always at the surface and it is always dissipating into the atmosphere via evaporative transfer, surface contact and radiation. There is only one thing that can warm the surface of the sea on a large scale and that is solar radiation.

The temperature of the southern stratosphere increased much more than the northern stratosphere after 1977

In line with the dominance of the southern vortex in determining stratospheric temperature we would expect a strong increase in temperature in the high latitudes of the southern hemisphere over the period of study. Figure 20 shows a 12 month moving average of 30hpa temperature in selected latitude bands of the southern hemisphere. It is apparent that the last great rise in 30hpa temperature at 80-90° south occurred just prior to the climate shift of 1978. Can planetary wave theorists explain this warming of the stratosphere above Antarctica at this time?

What theory explains why the high latitudes of the southern hemisphere have warmed so strongly while in low latitudes the stratosphere has cooled? Changes in gas composition will not suffice. Planetary waves will not suffice.

As the atmosphere shifts to mid and low latitudes the zone of heaviest ozone concentration in the stratosphere moves a little further away from the earth. This produces cooling. There has been a continuous fall in 30hpa temperature at 0-10° south latitude over the period. This may be due in part to the reduction in outgoing long wave radiation as cooling via decompression has become more important close to the equator. But, between 20° and 40° south the cooling of the stratosphere is likely related to the local thickening of the atmosphere.

Figure 20

20 30hPa SH

Figure 21 shows that, as the atmosphere in the northern hemisphere has ‘thickened’, due to the atmospheric shift, 30hpa temperature has declined slightly at all latitudes. This has nothing to do with greenhouse gas activity in the troposphere. Greenhouse theorists who maintain that the stratosphere cools while the troposphere increases in temperature may care to comment on the rise in the temperature of the rctic stratosphere between 1948 and 1978!

Figure 21

21 30hPa N H

Two climate modes

“Mad dogs and Englishmen go out in the midday sun. The sun is much too sultry and one must avoid its ultry violet rays”. Noel Coward 1932.

Perhaps Noel Coward’s observation is particularly pertinent in the southern hemispherewhere there is less ozone to absorb UVB. During the warming mode, protective ice crystals evaporate, allowing the surface to warm. Most of the warming activity post 1978 has been in the southern hemisphere in late winter and spring. This warming activity is plainly driven by shifts in atmospheric pressure affecting vortex activity.

The warming mode:

  1. There is a shift of the atmosphere from the poles towards mid and low latitudes under electromagnetic forcing of ionized air.
  2. Weakening of the polar vortexes curtails the flow of ionized nitrogen into the upper stratosphere allowing the survival of oxygen ions and increased ozone formation.
  3. Intermixing of ozone into the upper troposphere raises temperature in the ice cloud zone. Ice crystals evaporate.
  4. More solar radiation reaches the surface which warms.
  5. In the southern hemisphere 200hpa temperature rises much more than in the northern hemisphere exhibiting strong equinoctial maxima.
  6. Peak anomalies in stratospheric temperature occur in September-October rather than March.
  7. A southern spring deficit in ice cloud density promotes warming across all southern latitudes which promotes the El Nino pattern of sea surface temperature at the equator.

The Cooling Mode

  1. Surface atmospheric pressure increases at the poles as the electromagnetic force in the ionosphere/thermosphere relaxes.  This happens at solar minimum as the quantum of ionizing radiation falls to its lowest levels. It also tends to happen at solar maximum as the suns magnetic polarity reverses and magnetic fields emanating from the sun tend to be self cancelling. The manifestation in the Pacific Ocean is La Nina cooling.
  2. Strengthening of the polar vortexes introduces ionized nitrogen into the stratosphere reducing the population of oxygen ions and ozone.
  3. A loss of ozone in the ice cloud zone reduces temperature enhancing the formation of reflective ice crystals.
  4. Less solar radiation reaches the surface which cools.
  5. A generally low ozone level in the stratosphere results in high amplitude change in stratospheric temperature during the ENSO cycle. This is expressed in high amplitude variation in 20hpa temperature at the equator. At the surface the swing from El Nino warming to La Nina cooling is more violent and extreme.
  6. Change is more extreme in the southern hemisphere where the polar vortex is generally cooler especially at the highest altitudes. In the cool mode stratospheric temperature exhibits a March maximum probably in line with enhancement of orbital rather than geomagnetic influences on stratospheric temperature. The earth is closest to the sun in January.
  7. A cooler stratosphere and upper troposphere in southern spring promotes ice cloud formation reducing the flux of solar radiation to the surface establishing a La Nina dominant regime in the Pacific Ocean.

The pattern of change from the cool to the warm mode and back again is well expressed in figure 22 showing the pattern of change of the (Darwin –Tahiti) Southern Oscillation Index when compartmentalized according to solar cycle time intervals. A fall in this index represents warming. A dramatic fall in the index occurred about 1978. With the end of solar cycle 23 the globe is emerging from the strongest period of warming in the period of the instrumental record. The Southern Oscillation Index, based on barometric pressure, is not affected by the distortions present in the temperature record.

Figure 22

22 SOI

The smoking gun for natural climate variation is an increase in the temperature of the southern stratosphere and troposphere increasing with latitude all the way to the southern pole with a marked variation in southern hemisphere temperature in winter/spring between cool and warm episodes. This determines the strength of El Nino warming events across the tropics.

The smoking gun for greenhouse effects should be a generalized warming at all latitudes without any marked seasonal bias. If there were to be a seasonal bias it should be present as an increase in temperature above the norm when outgoing long wave radiation is maximal in the summer season. There should be no great difference between the hemispheres. That is far from what is actually observed. The evidence suggests that natural variation rather than anthropogenic influences drives climate change.

Conclusion

Between 1948 and 1976 the tropics and the globe as a whole was fairly stable in temperature with obvious cooling discernable in the decade prior to 1976. From 1977 through to 2000 the tropics and the globe warmed. By comparing data from the earlier period with that for the later period one can discern change in the atmosphere that resulted in more solar radiation reaching the surface of the earth causing it to warm.

Atmospheric conditions in the near earth environment are strongly influenced by the sun. The observed warming of the last decades of the twentieth century can be attributed to natural influences. There is no evidence of any warming signature due to the increased presence of so called ‘greenhouses gases’. It is suggested that the greenhouse hypothesis takes little cognizance of the manner in which the atmosphere actually functions. The atmosphere cools the planet but a change in its temperature causes a change in ice crystal density and the quantum of radiation reaching the surface.

Climatic models suggest that any greenhouse effect should be strongest in the tropical upper troposphere where water vapor is in higher concentration. In point of fact warming of the upper troposphere at the equator is less likely as the globe warms because the quantum of outgoing radiation diminishes as convection and de-compressive cooling is enhanced. It is in the subtropics that outgoing long wave radiation increases and in particular in the high pressure cells where the air is descending and warming and the sky tends to be cloud -free both in terms of liquid and ice crystal density.  A water vapor feedback mechanism would require an increase in specific humidity levels in these high pressure areas. The reverse is observed. If a greenhouse effect were present it would be unamplified and tiny. Any warming tendency in these areas is more likely to be due to a loss of ice cloud density than a greenhouse effect.

If the Earth enters a period of cooling, as it has since 1998, it suggests that the natural factor is pre-eminent. If there is a strong relationship between ice cloud density and surface temperature it confirms the point that moisture in the upper troposphere cools rather than warms the planet and the basis of the greenhouse feedback mechanism is negated. Without a water vapor amplifier a change in so called ‘greenhouse gas’ levels can have little or no effect upon surface temperature.

If we can rid ourselves of the foolish mantra that surface temperature is governed by so called greenhouse gas, much unnecessary pain can be avoided. We are threatened by zealous governments keen to interfere in markets, raise taxation and redistribute incomes. The absurd notion that carbon is a pollutant is daily promoted.  ‘Will of the wisp’ schemes to generate renewable energy burden the public purse. Nothing is to be gained by these stratagems. Innovation has its own rewards and investment in all forms of innovation is already well enough subsidized and feverishly exploited. Man needs no urging to innovate and will do so quite happily in the absence of artificially inflated monetary incentives. The introduction of market distorting incentives and disincentives destroys rather than creates wealth. This is the tool of the central planner, the social activist, the miscreant.

Distraction and absurdity are our unhappy lot, parading as morality and virtue. Snake oil salesmen multiply by the minute. These are unfortunate times.

There are none so blind as those who will not see. The authority of ‘Science’ and the United Nations organization has been subverted to the activists cause. This is a sorry time for mankind. It is a time when belief is substituted for science and the two are irretrievably tangled and confused.

DATA

The data used in this study can be downloaded from: http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/psd/cgi-bin/data/timeseries/timeseries1.pl

As I understand it the NCEP/NCAR reanalysis project uses a computer model to cross check the validity of data from many sources with the aim of representing the surface and the atmosphere of the entire globe. Data for one atmospheric parameter is related to other parameters that vary together in a known fashion. When a temperature recording station shifts site there is a discontinuity in the data. The reanalysis project is designed to overcome this sort of problem. This dataset is particularly valuable for research on climate change.

The sea surface data from the NCEP/NCAR dataset exhibits much greater variability than other datasets. The NCEP/NCAR data reflecs skin temperatures that respond to atmospheric change. Winter minima are lower while summer maxima are similar. Change is faster in the skin data with earlier seasonal maxima and minima. Sea surface temperature data incorporates ice and land surface temperature at high latitudes.

I understand that satellite derived sea surface temperature data for areas beyond about 60° latitude requires an adjustment for the extent of floating ice. Some SST datasets do not extend to higher latitudes. Because the NCEP/NCAR dataset provides skin temperature it covers all latitudes.

Some sources of SST data relate more to a near surface rather than a skin temperature reflecting the origin of data in the measurement of water temperature from engine intake, bucket or floating buoy. This is not the case with the NCEP/NCAR dataset.

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113 thoughts on “The climate engine

  1. This is remarkable stuff, Erl. I’m going to have to read it about ten more times.
    ==================================

  2. Too much science I don’t really understand for me to get the whole message out of it, even if it means CO2 has little effect if any.
    When you base your models on this data, what will be the climate outlook for the next year or so?

  3. Erl: your
    Again the symmetry is astonishing.
    …is a gross understatement. Every inflection on the one curve in Fig 12 and 13 is matched by the inflections on the other curve. The inflections not only match in time, and but also in degree of slope.
    This is extraordinary. I hope you have plans to publish….

  4. Wahey! Well done Erl!
    I left my comment to this post on your site yesterday, thanks for your reply.
    I took your advice and re-read at a leisurely pace. I believe our ideas are converging and complimentary. Your atmospherics and my ocean heat content and energy absorption/release stuff knit together along with Stephen Wilde’s and Willis Eschenbach’s hypotheses.
    Heat-energy transport within the oceans is the last major hurdle in understanding as I see it, I think you’ve got the atmospheric stuff pretty well nailed.

  5. I agree with Kim. Remarkable and not easily digested in a single reading. It looks like something Drs. Svalgaard and Christy would have a lot to comment about. I hope they stop by. I’ll look forward to their comments.
    In the meantime, Erl, very nice.

  6. Great paper – well done. When this data is factored in with the increase of world population, increase of population densities in cities, increase of temperature measuring stations in cities, as well as deforestation it leaves CO2 looking like the harmless trace gas it is.

  7. Excellent article – I need to put a week aside to digest it. One criticism however – after detailing the science, it goes all political, with statements such as “The introduction of market distorting incentives and disincentives destroys rather than creates wealth. This is the tool of the central planner, the social activist, the miscreant.”
    All true, no doubt, but completely out of place in a science article as it could be, and no doubt will be, construed as author bias.

  8. Erl,
    As an occassional visiter to your website I am always impressed by the ideas you are developing. It’s nice to see this information presented here to a wider readership. Well done and keep up the good work.
    When this is coupled with the results of the surfacestations project by our host, with complimentary work on GISTemp by EM Smith and others, and with the auditing of long-term proxy temp records at climateaudit a whole new picture of the Earth’s climate will emerge.

  9. Please don’t publish it in any mainstream science journal–they don’t deserve it. They should be cut out of the conversation.

  10. Would it be possible to give a rough judgment of the fourteen points listed under the summary of “Cooling Mode” and “Warming Mode?”
    That is: some of those points seem rock solid. Others are more murky.
    Adam: The short answer to your question would involve predicting the solar wind. It should be possible to make falsifiable guesses though: Like “If the electromagnetic forcing exceeds threshold X, expect roughly equal or warmer temperatures (barring major volcanos).”
    It also seems like there are crucial cutoff dates if I’m reading this right. That is: if the strength doesn’t increase (or decrease) by certain dates, the rest of the year should be mostly following the path it was on previously.

  11. I agree with Vincent “One criticism however – after detailing the science, it goes all political…”
    Just the facts mam, just the facts.

  12. That is a fine piece of detailed work raising many issues of interest even if Erl hasn’t got every aspect right (and I’m not qualified to judge that anyway).
    However there is a very real difference between Erl’s hypthesis and my own and only further research and the passage of time will resolve the issue as to whether either of us is broadly right or whether someone else will come up with a better synthesis.
    The difference is that Erl sees climate as being driven from the top of the atmosphere down whereas I see it as being driven from the ocean surface upwards.
    It will be interesting to see what Leif has to say as regards the solar effects on the top of the atmosphere as described by Erl.
    I am currently taking the view that there is variability in the depth, height and density of the various layers of the stratosphere which affects the rate of energy flow from the tropopause to space. I think that the purpose of those variations is to smooth out variations in the energy flow induced by the oceans below so that energy arriving from the sun is never significantly or for long out of equilibrium. After all the topopause does rise when the Earth is warmer.
    I would accept that the flow of energy from the sun is likely to affect the thickness and height of the layers of the stratosphere and thereby affect directly both the rate of energy coming in and the rate of energy going out.
    I would also accept that the variations in types of energy from the sun would have an effect.
    However it seems to me that the sheer size of the changes in the rate of energy flow from the oceans would always trump those tiny solar and stratospheric changes described by Erl.

  13. Re: Vincent (12:54:36) :
    “One criticism however – after detailing the science, it goes all political…”
    Although I once would have agreed with you, I’m no longer in that camp. Climate science has become so politically corrupted that “denier” works which do not bemoan that fact fail to acknowledge the full spectrum in which the “truth” of the author’s work will be critiqued. To pretend otherwise for the sake of “scientific rigor and style” is to deny the elephant in the room.

  14. I don’t know enough about either the data or the theory to judge this – however it does raise a question in my mind: does the basic idea that variations in solar wind drive variations in atmospheric distribution and thus the ground level temperature response to incoming radiation, yeild an immediate explanation for the faint young sun paradox?

  15. I’m with Vincent. It will take time to digest. What does Piers Corbyn make of this? He also factors in atmospheric Lunar tides.

  16. Well I have one immediate reaction to this hypothetical planet. It isn’t at all like earth since after nitrogen and oxygen, only about half of its remaining 1% atmospheric gases consistys of Argon; whereas on planet earth, the one we know best, virtually all of that 1% consists of Argon.
    So earth’s climate would be nothing like this hypothetical one. Remember that earth’s atmosphere is a dry one containing no water, which is why H2O never shows up in any accounting of earth’;s atmospheric composition; and of course it has nothing to do with earth’s climate.
    So where is this idylic planet that only has 0.5% Argon in its atmospehre; I’d like to go there to live.

  17. This article is very dense. A good way to approach it, I think, is to take Erl’s points about the warming and cooling modes of the atmosphere, and follow the evidence he gives for each point. Unfortunately, they are left ’til the end, so here they are now:
    The warming mode:
    1.There is a shift of the atmosphere from the poles towards mid and low latitudes under electromagnetic forcing of ionized air.
    2.Weakening of the polar vortexes curtails the flow of ionized nitrogen into the upper stratosphere allowing the survival of oxygen ions and increased ozone formation.
    3.Intermixing of ozone into the upper troposphere raises temperature in the ice cloud zone. Ice crystals evaporate.
    4.More solar radiation reaches the surface which warms.
    5.In the southern hemisphere 200hpa temperature rises much more than in the northern hemisphere exhibiting strong equinoctial maxima.
    6.Peak anomalies in stratospheric temperature occur in September-October rather than March.
    7.A southern spring deficit in ice cloud density promotes warming across all southern latitudes which promotes the El Nino pattern of sea surface temperature at the equator.
    The Cooling Mode
    1.Surface atmospheric pressure increases at the poles as the electromagnetic force in the ionosphere/thermosphere relaxes. This happens at solar minimum as the quantum of ionizing radiation falls to its lowest levels. It also tends to happen at solar maximum as the suns magnetic polarity reverses and magnetic fields emanating from the sun tend to be self cancelling. The manifestation in the Pacific Ocean is La Nina cooling.
    2.Strengthening of the polar vortexes introduces ionized nitrogen into the stratosphere reducing the population of oxygen ions and ozone.
    3.A loss of ozone in the ice cloud zone reduces temperature enhancing the formation of reflective ice crystals.
    4.Less solar radiation reaches the surface which cools.
    5.A generally low ozone level in the stratosphere results in high amplitude change in stratospheric temperature during the ENSO cycle. This is expressed in high amplitude variation in 20hpa temperature at the equator. At the surface the swing from El Nino warming to La Nina cooling is more violent and extreme.
    6.Change is more extreme in the southern hemisphere where the polar vortex is generally cooler especially at the highest altitudes. In the cool mode stratospheric temperature exhibits a March maximum probably in line with enhancement of orbital rather than geomagnetic influences on stratospheric temperature. The earth is closest to the sun in January.
    7.A cooler stratosphere and upper troposphere in southern spring promotes ice cloud formation reducing the flux of solar radiation to the surface establishing a La Nina dominant regime in the Pacific Ocean.

  18. Nitpick:
    The amount of CO2 in the atmosphere is around half of POINT ONE of a percent not half of ONE percent.
    Apart from , wow. Lots to read again and digest.

  19. George E. Smith, you had you tongyue firmly in your cheek there … didn’t you?
    Remember that earth’s atmosphere is a dry one containing no water, which is why H2O never shows up in any accounting of earth’;s atmospheric composition; and of course it has nothing to do with earth’s climate

  20. Having now captured the paper on this new small planet, and started to read the early pages; I find it intriguing that someone is finally bothering to think somewhat about the physical processes in that ionosphere.
    I studied it somewhat in one of my Physics majors (Radio-Physics), but we only spent enough time on the ionosphere itself to learn the physical properties that got involved in the propagation, reflection and transmission of radio waves at various frequencies. The thermodynamics of the ionosphere weren’t of much interest sicne it was the electronic properties that were of value to the subject at hand..
    So I’m anxious to read the rest of Erl’s paper; looks like he put a lot of work into it.

  21. Wow. High pressure = less moisture = less ice crystals = more TSI reaching Earth.
    Low pressure= more moisture = more ice crystals = less TSI reacing Earth.
    Upper Atmospheric changes are top dog in the climate food chain. They don’t obey greenhouse gas laws, they obey ionization processes.
    We don’t need no stinking S02 injections to save the Planet.
    We are going to need all the energy sources we can get to cope with the opposite end of the sine that was the Modern Maximum. Looks like that Maximum was hot, heavy and short-lived.
    Brrrrr.

  22. Erl Happ “If one appreciates this, we can dispense with the usual statistical tests, proceeding according to logic and the eye. Many a baby has been thrown out with the bathwater after the application of an inappropriate statistical test.”
    Wise words of profound significance.
    I was responsible for “indoctrinating” students for 3 years. Shivers of unyielding resistance fill my nerves & veins when I pause in lucid awareness of the consequences of the severely misleading dogma.
    Statistical inference is what you do when you are too lazy to investigate a problem further.
    Data analysis (& descriptive statistics), by contrast, may be a road to deepening insight.
    It is important to note the fundamental difference between statistical *inference, which rests on a foundation of _abstract assumptions, and *descriptive statistics, which are based on observation (not mental abstraction).
    Immunity to the algebraically-elaborate brainwashing is on the rise.

  23. “That part is much more than half of one percent, the quantity of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.”
    Not the earth perhaps since the quantity of carbon dioxide in our atmosphere is mere 0.038%.

  24. George E. Smith (13:39:42) : You are right. From Wikipedia
    “Dry air contains roughly (by volume) 78.08% nitrogen, 20.95% oxygen, 0.93% argon, 0.038% carbon dioxide, and trace amounts of other gases. Air also contains a variable amount of water vapor, on average around 1%.”
    George, you can’t make ice crystals without water in the atmosphere.Have you heard of Noctilucent clouds. Water exists at the highest levels.
    And that error shows that I can not rely on my memory for little details. I write this stuff in a rural shed where there is no access to the net. Thanks for the correction. It makes not one jot of difference however.
    Sorry, but it is there that I have to go at the moment and I will be back Saturday.
    Thanks all for the endorsements and I look forward to picking up your comments Saturday.
    Whatever is said please remember that the atmosphere shifts and temperature with it, with a marked seasonal bias that appears in Southern Hemisphere Spring (in the heating mode). That heats the Southern Ocean and the heat is transported to the equatorial region. What happens at the equator is a derivative. But what happens at the equator (and elsewhere at the highest latitudes) is climate change in action.

  25. This paper is fataly flawed. It does not use CO2, GCM’s churned out by supercomputers, huge grants and the AGW religion.
    More ice clouds, more cooling and less, more warming. These ice clouds change by easily explained natural explanations that dont even take us into account? How ridiculuous.
    Everyone knows the science is settled. All we have to do is keep paying the high priests in order to save the world.

  26. Learning by holding onto others coattails here, but does any of this theory tie in with the ‘ozone hole’ appearing in the mid-70’s (about same time as the above shift)?

  27. Very interesting analysis, as many above I will need to re-read it several times before commenting, there is so many interactions that I need to make sense of. It does however on first reading appear to be a valuable contribution to the mechanisms that might influence out atmosphere and sea temperatures.
    Larry

  28. This is a natural forcing the IPCC didn’t account for. But, just because they didn’t think of it, they should have allowed for the possibility of their not thinking of it. They should have left more room for an X-factor related to the sun, given the intriguing correlations between temperatures and solar cycles. Therefore, they should not have attributed a “very likely / 90%” causative weight to CO2, but only a 50% weight (at most).
    Their lack of circumspection betrays a strain of self-deluding arrogance in establishment science.
    PS: Happ’s article needs copy-editing. Most notably, there should be more commas and hyphens used.

  29. Actually, the symmetry in Figures 12 and 13 is not at all remarkable. You have two curves with only one independent variable. Since you are dealing with anomalies, the sum of which must always be zero, the two curves will just be the negative of the weighted average of the number of years each represents. Since the (1948-1976) curve represents 28 years and the (1977-2009) is 32 years (more or less), you expect the curves to have the relation (1977-2009) = -(32/28) (1948-1976), which is what it appears to be.

  30. My head hurts. “Calling Bishop Hill, come right away!”
    Hey, it worked for Samantha on Bewitched!
    Actually, I’d like Roy Spencer to take a swing at this one too, as I have a strong sense this is on a parrallel and sympathetic path to what he’s been feeling his way towards.

  31. In the above:
    “Because (the ionized) nitrogen from the mesosphere enters the stratosphere primarily over the Antarctic continent there is less ozone in the southern hemisphere than the northern hemisphere.”
    This seems to imply that the “hole in the ozone” is due to natural processes and not chlorofluorocarbons. That in turn means all of the money spent on removing R-12 et.al., and it amounted to billions, was wasted.
    As George Santayana has oft been quoted:
    “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”
    — Life of Reason, Reason in Common Sense, Scribner’s, 1905, p. 284
    Vincent (12:54:36) : and Jimbo (13:12:14) :
    “…. it goes all political, with statements such as ……All true, no doubt, but completely out of place in a science article …….”
    If the hole in the Ionosphere is a natural process, then junk science was politicized and used to completely change one aspect of our industrial life. I was an operating engineer back in those days and it really was a big expensive deal.
    Like the hole in the ozone, AGW also appears to also be highly politicized junk science. Except this time compliance will completely gut the economy of these United States.
    Due to the politicization of this “science” by Al Gore et.al., it is very appropriate, especially in this venue. It is too late to remain non politicized when researchers are threatened with “war crimes trials” for having the “wrong” results, government researchers are forced out of their jobs, and the revocation of credentials is proposed for rogue weathermen.
    I don’t read “peer reviewed scientific journals” but from the comments on this blog, I get the feeling that an absence of pro AGW political statements will insure that a researcher is NOT published. I would like to be corrected from the scientist types if my impression is wrong.
    Regards,
    Steamboat Jack

  32. erlhapp (14:26:11) :
    Sorry, but it is there that I have to go at the moment and I will be back Saturday.

    Erl, quick before you go…Do you have an abstract, maybe 100 words or so? ;~P

  33. Erl Happ “There is no process internal to the Earth itself that could account for this shift in the atmosphere.”
    I’m not so sure about this; I see confounding, but …
    Erl Happ “So, the distribution of the atmosphere by latitude is determined by the sun and the earth together.”
    … I’m not objecting here.

  34. Erl,
    Say Mate, you need to up the positive feedback gain on your tongue in cheek detector !
    I had to find something to be nitpicky about, while I knuckled down (gorilla style) and started digesting all the hard work you put into this effort.
    And the water thingy, is sort of a pet peeve of mine. Given that water is the only GHG of note that occurs in; and is a permanent part of the earth’s atmosphere, that exists in ALL THREE PHASES; and that while a vapor, is largely positive feedback warming (without any help or encouragement from CO2 needed) but when in liquid or solid phase as clouds leads to negative feedback cooling.
    Which is why my bumper sticker would read;- “It’s the Water, stupid !” if I had a bumper sticker. That 104 degreee angle in the H2O molecule is why there is life on earth at all; let alone living at a comfortable temperature that is entirely regulated by the physical properties of H2O; along with the TSI range of the sun, and the orbital parameters.
    But I’ll have to read further into your paper Erl, before I can come back and say something intelligent

  35. I found the word “quantum” several times in the article. Should that have been “quantity” instead ?

  36. Kim,
    “This is remarkable stuff, Erl. I’m going to have to read it about ten more times.”
    Quit bragging!! ;>)

  37. Erl: You wrote, “The NCEP/NCAR data reflecs skin temperatures that respond to atmospheric change. Winter minima are lower while summer maxima are similar. Change is faster in the skin data with earlier seasonal maxima and minima.”
    Do you have a link to the NCEP/NCAR paper or webpage that describes this? I’ve looked through their website but must have missed it.
    You wrote, “Sea surface temperature data incorporates ice and land surface temperature at high latitudes.”
    Then it’s not sea surface temperature.
    You wrote, “Some sources of SST data relate more to a near surface rather than a skin temperature reflecting the origin of data in the measurement of water temperature from engine intake, bucket or floating buoy. THIS IS NOT THE CASE WITH THE NCEP/NCAR DATASET.” [My caps]
    Same question as my first: Do you have a link to the NCEP/NCAR paper or webpage that describes this? And, what SST database does the NCEP/NCAR dataset use? HADSST2, HADISST, ERSST.v2, ERSST.v3b, and Kaplan all use the ICOADS SST database as their starting point. Does NCEP/NCAR have its own SST observation dataset that measured skin temperature before satellites?
    Also, I did a quick check of a few of your NCEP/NCAR SLP graphs, since they looked different from the data that I’m used to seeing. Your Figure 18 illustrates SLP for 40N-50N from 1948 to present, smoothed with a 5-month filter. Here’s a graph of HADSLP2 and Trenberth SLP data for the same latitudes, since 1948, with the same smoothing. The wiggles in these two datasets do not resemble the wiggles in your illustration.
    http://i34.tinypic.com/egv4lx.png
    Same thing for the ICOADS SLP data, though the ICOADS data appears to match the HADSLP2 and Trenberth data, with the HADSLP2 and Trenberth data appearing to be scaled or smoothed, thus decreasing the amplitude of their variations:
    http://i38.tinypic.com/34g62yw.png
    And the same problem exists with your illustration of SLP for 10S-10N in Figure 4. There are some significant differences between the NCEP/NCAR data in your Figure 4 and the HADSLP2 data…
    http://i36.tinypic.com/29du15k.png
    …and the ICOADS SLP data for the same latitudes…
    http://i34.tinypic.com/10qi1yd.png
    …but the HADSLP2 and ICOADS data appear to agree, though the HADSLP2 data appears to be scaled or smoothed, decreasing the amplitude of its wiggles.
    Do you have any ideas why there are such major differences between the NCEP/NCAR SLP data and the others?

  38. It is fortunate that we have entered a cool period and hopefully it will continue as Erl suggests. No amount of good science would be enough to influence politicians but temperatures are easier for them to comprehend.

  39. If one starts with the conclusion that Earth’s absolute global temperature is a zero-sum game, then yes, anomalies are all one should be concerned with.
    Glacier and Polar Cap melting or growing would only be temporal conditions. If, however, the Earth’s absolute global temperature is a cumulative game of how much actually gets through to warm the surface, then anomalies are the diagnostic of Earth’s albedo index. That would not be a zero-sum game. The Minimums and Maximums have erratic timespans, indicating change far beyond simple PDO’s and AMO’s.
    It would then follow that the Maximums of the past were the times where most of the Earth’s climate optimum was where the center of gravity of the largest landmasses are.
    The Minimums are the opposite, imposing a reduction of arable lands by moving the optimum climactic conditions away from the center of the largest landmasses.
    Accepting the nonsense of today’s climactic model predictions at face value, one would have to assume that man never noticed the weather until 1980.

  40. “The ‘Arctic Oscillation Index’ records change in the relationship between surface pressure close to the northern pole and that at mid latitudes in the northern hemisphere. Change in the index goes along with change in the nature of western European weather. It is apparent that there are complex influences driving the Arctic Oscillation and paradoxically the most important of these influences is the state of the competing downdrafts over Antarctica, continental Asia and North America. But in physical terms, the real driving force is electromagnetic.”
    Have a glass of wine, or two or few bottles… and it’ll become even clearer!
    Mixing red and white wines is no “rosé” you should know that Mr Happ…
    Next!

  41. So you made me dig out my 1960’s Physics and Geology (Geophysics) text to confirm that Erl’s not blowing smoke.
    I can follow most of his argument.
    If his “unified theory of climate – part 1” stands up to the intense screening it will get on this site we will have the feedback mechanism that explains why small changes in the suns total energy reaching earth have such a large impact on climate.
    The governments of India, China, Brazil, South Africa and Canada will be pleased.
    Washington not so.

  42. Aha…. So it WAS those dastardly CFC’s wot dun it!…..;-) In 1978 the CFC’s caused by Anthropogenic activity changed the dynamic of the Polar atmospheric pressures by the mechanism you have mentioned and we proceeded into warming!
    This proves an Anthropogenic effect and is WORSE than we could have ever imagined…. We must all immediately proceed to living in bark huts while patting the Earth in a soothing manner.
    That will be the argument of the Warm-mongers if Antarctic ozone is mentioned.
    …. Anyway, my general cynicism of AGW proponents and tactics aside, your article is an interesting read. I look forward to reading what the more learned among us determine from your method and conclusions.

  43. Very well written and thought provoking.
    I’d tend to agree with a couple of others here about the political comments though.
    Although I agree with your views entirely, they do nail your colours to the mast.
    It would be a shame if some dismissed this as somehow biased as I am sure it is not.
    Nice one.

  44. Erl: Also, did you ever contact the ESRL and ask why their website spits out SST data for the Sahara? We discussed this at the end of your prior thread here:
    http://climatechange1.wordpress.com/2009/10/04/a-different-view-of-enso-and-systematic-climate-change/
    There I wrote, To illustrate one of the problems with the ESRL website you’re using as a source of data, here’s the ESRL SST anomalies graph of 15N-25N, 0-30E:
    http://i36.tinypic.com/2ltn7gi.png
    Unfortunately, there’s no ocean there. The ESRL is providing SST anomaly data for the Sahara Desert, Erl.
    This would make all of the data in your SST anomaly graphs suspect, since it appears, based on the above Sahara SST data, that the ESRL website has an unknown bias in their SST data.
    One last question, why have you separated the two periods in Figure 4? The SLP data shows a gradual increase from the late 1950s to the mid 1980S and the SST anomaly data shows a multiyear rise from the end of the 1973/74/75/76 La Nina to the 1982/83 El Nino. Just curious. The Pacific climate shift is accepted to have taken place in 1976/77, at the end of that multiyear La Nina, but your Figure 4 separates the data in 1978.

  45. “The high pressure cell that occupies this zone is a near permanent fixture determining atmospheric dynamics across the Pacific. Pressure in the west is relatively invariable but in this zone it is very variable.”
    Extract from a June post by Mr. Happ on ENSO… and the entire stuff is of this calibre: hardly refreshing.

  46. Yet another gem from Mr. Happ, from April 2009:
    “Manifestly, the engine of climate change is in the tropics. Here, energy gain from solar radiation exceeds emission via radiation. The energy gain, more at some times than others, is transferred to high latitudes by the ocean and the atmosphere. To understand climate change we have to understand the Southern Oscillation that governs the warming and cooling of the tropics and also how that oscillation changes over time.”
    I hope his wine tastes better.

  47. Erl: I wrote in an earlier comment, “And the same problem exists with your illustration of SLP for 10S-10N in Figure 4. There are some significant differences between the NCEP/NCAR data in your Figure 4 and the HADSLP2 data…”
    Did you use the same 5-month smoothing as your other graphs in this post? Because, on a second look, the HADSLP2 and ICOADS data would agree with you graph if I’d smooth them with a 12- or 13-month filter.
    The other SLP dataset (40N-50N) though continues to have significant differences.
    Regards

  48. ERL HAPP; I tried to speed my way through your posting, It was kind of like running across a new ploughed field, too many details to pickup on the run. I did like your point of view on the effects of magnetic fields on weather systems. After over 50 years of looking over weather maps I have often thought gravity anomolies and magnetic fields have some effect on on weather patterns. Now if the guys that are into oceanic effects and you can work together we might get a true insight into weather and climate causes. Weather is in both the hydrosphere as well the atmosphere and operates in three dimentsions. From the shape of the planets surface to the suns output, all have influence on the flow of energy that IS weather.
    Now I guess I will have to go back and study this article in greater detail.

  49. Erl: Isn’t your Figure 5 and the discussion of it simply a rehashing of the SOI, but instead of using SLP of Tahiti and Darwin, you’re using the SLP of Indonesia and Chilean coastal waters?
    Also, you wrote, “Figure 6 shows that when atmospheric pressure falls off Chile (in figure 6 pressure is inverted so that a rise in the pressure line actually represents falling pressure) sea surface temperature in the intake region for Nino 1 and Nino 2 warms. ”
    Have you plotted the SST anomalies off the Chilean Coast versus NINO1 and 2 or NINO3.4 SST anomalies?

  50. Erl Happ: Your post looks to be accurate, though technical. I’ll need to read this again (a few times) to understand it. However, I don’t think you’ve placed enough emphasis on the effect of planetary rotation (centrifugal effect) for ‘thermal dissipation’ and ‘mixing’.
    Best regards, suricat.

  51. Stephen Wilde (13:21:51) :
    That is a fine piece of detailed work raising many issues of interest even if Erl hasn’t got every aspect right (and I’m not qualified to judge that anyway).

    Well his description of the ionosphere is wrong right from the start!
    The difference is that Erl sees climate as being driven from the top of the atmosphere down whereas I see it as being driven from the ocean surface upwards.
    It will be interesting to see what Leif has to say as regards the solar effects on the top of the atmosphere as described by Erl.

    He probably can’t stop laughing!
    Nitrogen requires the most energetic short wave radiation to achieve the ionic state. This energy is available at a higher altitude. Oxygen ions are scarce at altitudes where nitrogen ions are formed because when the music stops, ions of nitrogen grab oxygen partners just as happily as nitrogen partners and there are many more nitrogen partners than oxygen partners.
    Completely wrong, from ~300km up O+ exceeds N+ by a factor of 100-1000x. Below 300km N+ can’t coexist with O+ instead it forms NO+ (F region).
    Where free oxygen ions exist, they do so at a lower level where there is insufficient very short wave radiation to ionize nitrogen.
    Not true as stated above O+ exceeds N+ everywhere.
    So, we have two regions of an ionosphere, the lower oxygen rich and the upper oxygen poor and nitrogen rich, ‘ionically’ speaking.
    Afraid not!
    Ions of oxygen will hold hands in groups of three in a molecule called ozone. Although this happens only to a limited extent, it nevertheless creates an ozone rich layer. We call it the stratosphere.
    Ozone is not formed from oxygen ions but from oxygen atoms formed by photolysis.
    O2 → O‧ + O‧
    O2 + O‧ ⇋ O3
    See here for example for ionosphere structure: http://www.windows.ucar.edu/tour/link=/earth/Atmosphere/ionosphere_constituents.html&fr=t

  52. erlhapp (14:26:11) :
    ” I write this stuff in a rural shed where there is no access to the net.”
    Man o man o man. If that’s what it takes to develop brilliance, I’m moving back to the farm.

  53. As seen here already those who are solid in AGW (not labling anyone) aren’t going to say anyone on this site unseats the all knowing NOAA and all knowing IPCC, because those believers say all we need to know is CO2 = the one true climate driver, might as well make Joe Romm the true expert. 😛

  54. It’s always good to see a new theory put forward. I will need to read a few more times. One Issue I have that needs more explaining….
    If in the cool phase we need a stronger polar vortex to limit the level of Ozone in the stratosphere then we should have just completed 30 years of the cool phase. It’s well documented that after 1980 the southern vortex increased noticeably in strength and during this period we have had most of the warming take place.

  55. Adam, when the alarmist Canadian national newspaper Globe and Mail gets pseudo experts in any fields but climatology to dissert and scaremonger about AGW, I skewer the editor. But concurrently, the pseudo science of Mr. Happ’s posting betrays a deep lack in understanding the basics of atmospheric circulation. I am even surprised this kind of stuff made it on WUWT without a strong disclaimer or at least the qualification of the poster. If you cannot make the difference between science and either CO2 mania on one side or mambojambo on the other, education is my best advice.

  56. Phil. @ 19:29:07 said
    “Ozone is not formed from oxygen ions but from oxygen atoms formed by photolysis.”
    Yet the reaction equations you provided show that O2 is required. You’ll need to clarify this.
    You also said:
    “Completely wrong, from ~300km up O+ exceeds N+ by a factor of 100-1000x. Below 300km N+ can’t coexist with O+ instead it forms NO+ (F region).”
    True enough, if one looks at the webpage you provided. However, note that O2+ is nonexistent above 300km. According to the reaction equations you yourself provided O2 seems to be required for the production of ozone. Perhaps Erl was referring to O2+, not O+. Some clarification from someone on this point is required.
    Otherwise, this page is certainly food for thought.

  57. An astonishing paper which will need at least ten reads to fully digest, and even then, it is probably only the professionals who will truly understand its scope and, obviously, rigour.
    The key components which you highlight, which need to be placed before policy makers for critical cogitation, are:
    1. The clearly different predictions of latitude-related warming using greenhouse gas theories or solar forcing.
    2. The link between antarctic pressure regimes and alternating cycles of the PDO (and possibly the AMO as well?).
    3. The trigger for regime change in antarctic pressure characteristics being solar/magnetic in nature.
    Now if you are right and all this geo-engineering vogue carries on, then clearly you should be thinking about how to modulate pressure over the South Pole.
    I have to say that to presume that one could control it in defined ways might be a little presumptuous, even to the ignorant ******* who might end up reviewing your paper for ‘peer-reviewed’ publication.
    So perhaps a little localised cloud seeding is a less earth-changing way to bring a little rains to parched soils, eh?

  58. Erl: Speaking of the Chilean waters, the coordinates you have listed for Chilean waters in Figure 5 are ~770 to ~3450 km away from the coast of Chile at 30 S and ~500 to ~3000 km from the coast of Chile at 40S. Most of the area you’ve listed is well outside of the Humboldt Current, so I’m not sure how much of it serves as the “intake region for Nino 1 and Nino 2”. The coordinates you’ve used are capturing little to no of the upwelling that occurs along the Chilean and Peruvian Coasts. Here’s a graph of the SST anomalies for the area you’ve listed versus those for the area 55S to 20S, 80W-70W, which better captures the Humboldt Current off the Chilean Coast.
    http://i36.tinypic.com/28lz9sl.png
    The two curves show little resemblance.

  59. After a first quick read I think you sure onto something Erl, with this excellent piece of work.
    To fully establish the link between formation of small ice at crystals at high altitude and solar / ozone effects needs more work to be done before the physics and chemistry which could be behind it are fully understood. There seem to be many differing and sometimes conflicting views about what’s going on in this remote area of our atmosphere. A better understanding atmospheric mixing would also help.
    More comments to come after I’ve spent some time digesting your work.

  60. Point of detail: “nitrogen (76%), oxygen (23%) and trace gases (1%)”. Usually the rounded composition of the atmosphere is given as N2 79%, O2 21%, with the trace gases having been added into the N2. Your figures are different: is that because you are using mass fractions instead of mole fractions? If so, why?

  61. kuhnkat @ 15:46:37
    Heh, ten more readings hasn’t yet sufficed for understanding.
    =================================

  62. Patrick (22:28:56) :
    Phil. @ 19:29:07 said
    “Ozone is not formed from oxygen ions but from oxygen atoms formed by photolysis.”
    Yet the reaction equations you provided show that O2 is required. You’ll need to clarify this.

    Oxygen molecules not oxygen ions, the formation of ozone does not involve charged species, Happ is wrong. Preparatory to the formation of O3 an oxygen molecule absorbs a UV photon and splits into two oxygen atoms (not ions). In fact in the ionosphere the predominant neutral species is the oxygen atom not N2 (neutrals substantially outnumber ions).
    http://www.haarp.alaska.edu/haarp/ion3.html
    You also said:
    “Completely wrong, from ~300km up O+ exceeds N+ by a factor of 100-1000x. Below 300km N+ can’t coexist with O+ instead it forms NO+ (F region).”
    True enough, if one looks at the webpage you provided. However, note that O2+ is nonexistent above 300km. According to the reaction equations you yourself provided O2 seems to be required for the production of ozone. Perhaps Erl was referring to O2+, not O+. Some clarification from someone on this point is required.

    There are two ionic forms of oxygen in the ionosphere, O+ (the predominant form) and O2+, and one ion of nitrogen, N+.
    None of these ions is required for the formation of ozone as I showed before, in particular Happ’s idea that nitrogen ions are necessary to form O3 and that they are the prevalent ion in the atmosphere is totally wrong
    Otherwise, this page is certainly food for thought.
    Hardly, its whole premise is based on completely wrong chemistry!

  63. “I found the word “quantum” several times in the article. Should that have been “quantity” instead ?”
    Or maybe he should have used “quanta”?
    Here are some suggestions from an amateur copy-editor:
    About 100 more commas are needed, and maybe 20 more hyphens.
    Change “I diverge” to “I digress”
    “Earth” is inconsistently capitalized. (But maybe it’s OK to capitalize it only after “the”?)
    Insert a space in “hemispherewhere”
    Under “Conclusion,” 1st line, change “was” to “were”
    Under “Conclusion,” 5th para., 2nd line, change “gas” to “gases”
    Under “Conclusion,” last para., 2nd line, append an apostrophe to “activists”
    Under DATA, 2nd para., 5th line, change “shifts site” to “shifts its site”
    Delete the space in “cloud- free”
    Hyphenate “so called” everywhere”
    Line above figure 2, change “once of” to “one of”
    Change “1997-8” to “1997-98” (the conventional format)
    Above figure 8, delete the nine lines dealing with Copernicus, Galileo, and peer review. It’s out of place and spoils the tone. And it will be used against the author.
    Under Cooling Mode, item 1, 4th line, change “suns” to “sun’s”
    For journal publication, an M-dash should be used between pairs of numbers, not a hyphen. (You produce an M-dash with a CTRL + keypad hyphen.)

  64. Thank you for your research. Finally a “simple” link between the Solar [Energy/Wind] and the heating of the surface of the Earth. Could you name the Solar [Energy/Wind] [ozone/ice crystal] effect -> the Solar Crystal Effect!!!
    Note that the Solar Wind is at the lowest levels in decades (perhaps centuries). Check the proton flux at Spaceweather.com, at times, it is zero!!!
    The sunspots are an indicator of the Sun’s magnetic field activity. Let us hope that the Sun’s activity increases. I would rather be warm than frozen.
    Thanks again for brilliant non-Politically Correct science!!

  65. None of these ions is required for the formation of ozone as I showed before, in particular Happ’s idea that nitrogen ions are necessary to form O3 and that they are the prevalent ion in the atmosphere is totally wrong
    Sorry a typo, should be ‘Happ’s idea that oxygen ions are necessary to form O3 is totally wrong’ and ‘that nitrogen ions are the prevalent ion in the atmosphere is also totally wrong’.
    To elaborate, oxygen atoms are the important precursor of ozone and the they are the predominant species in the ionosphere exceeding total ionic species ~100-fold, and nitrogen ions are hardly a significant ionic species outnumbered in turn over 100-fold by oxygen ions. In fact Happ has it completely backwards it is the nitrogen ions that are mopped up by the much more numerous oxygen ions.

  66. Erl: From what I can gather, your hypothesis is grounded in ice crystals, yet I find:
    1. no ice crystal data in your graphs,
    2. no links to ice crystal data,
    3. no supporting papers regarding the impacts of ice crystals.

  67. Erl: You wrote, “The warming mode:
    “1.There is a shift of the atmosphere from the poles towards mid and low latitudes under electromagnetic forcing of ionized air.
    “2.Weakening of the polar vortexes curtails the flow of ionized nitrogen into the upper stratosphere allowing the survival of oxygen ions and increased ozone formation.
    “3.Intermixing of ozone into the upper troposphere raises temperature in the ice cloud zone. Ice crystals evaporate.”
    Yet I find no data to support any of this. I could say the same for much of this post. It appears to be speculation about your imaginary planet.

  68. Roger Knights (07:33:39) :
    “I found the word “quantum” several times in the article. Should that have been “quantity” instead ?”
    Or maybe he should have used “quanta”?
    Here are some suggestions from an amateur copy-editor: . . .

    Good suggestions, mostly, and appreciated by a grammar n*zi like moi, but no biggie in a science blog. Enginears arent noted for there speling prowess.
    “Quantum,” however, is one of those specialized words like “parameter” and “black box” that have been made their way into general use with altered meanings. Here it is used to mean a variable quantity, a large quantity, a small quantity, but a quantum is about the smallest quantity there is, little energy jumps in electrons, or single photons of light. In the context of molecules and ionizing radiation, quantum has a specific meaning that just doesn’t fit the way it was used.
    Oh, the “enormity !”
    ( Now pressing the “Submit Comment” button and waiting for a case of Muphrey’s Law to transpire )

  69. Ozzie John (20:44:53) :
    If in the cool phase we need a stronger polar vortex to limit the level of Ozone in the stratosphere then we should have just completed 30 years of the cool phase.
    This was my first reaction when I read this paper too. But the idea that solar wind could affect the athmosphere is intriguing.

  70. After perusal, I still think this work looks stunning. But Erl has to answer Phil’s challenge before I can turn “stunning” into “credible”.
    Erl’s thesis is certainly fascinating and coherent. Sometimes brilliant minds throw in ideas that seem at odds with received scientific wisdom but actually can be explained completely; and sometimes the received wisdom may be faulty; but sometimes even brilliant minds are up the creek; and sometimes we can get fooled by conjuring tricks that look like brilliance.
    At the very least, Erl Happ has provided an extraordinary quantity of new patterned data that clearly has some kind of internal coherence and relevance to climate changes, even if it is neither what Erl says nor what Phil says. It doesn’t take a high scientific ability to see through the AGW scam; discerning the real science is much more laborious – but hey, we gotta start somewhere.
    Hemispheric shifts of pressure, sustained over several decades, is a serious piece of evidence. Maybe there is something to Erl Happ’s picture of downwelling nitrogen overcoming the ozone formation and all the rest. Maybe noctilucent clouds do contain ice crystals nobody has taken seriously so far. Maybe there are sound reasons for the divergence from data that Bob Tisdale is asking about. Another extraordinary piece of evidence is the marked hemispheric differences, with patterns within patterns. Why in Fig 2 do so many latitudes kink upwards together in March, June and September? On the other hand, figs 12 and 13 are not “astonishing symmetry” but mathematical necessity, as has been pointed out. But figs 16 and 19 show me something Erl has not commented on, namely a fairly strong cycle of approximately 2 years. What’s that?
    Heck, that’s enough.
    Erl, I’d be really glad to get some answers…
    Oh, and BTW, the Klyashtorin piece I mentioned yesterday has no doubts about authenticity, good science, acceptability, etc. It’s a paper addressing the FAO concern to maximise fish catches. It is a groundbreaking study of cyclic solar influences. Just not politically correct at present.

  71. George E. Smith (14:00:16) :
    I’m anxious to read the rest of Erl’s paper; looks like he put a lot of work into it.

    The sweat coming off Erl’s brow in the last year or so is largely responsible for the current el nino.

  72. Patrick (22:28:56) “Otherwise, this page is certainly food for thought.”
    Phil. (06:24:42) “Hardly, its whole premise is based on completely wrong chemistry!”

    Thanks for the alerts on the chemistry stuff Phil. (I skip all the chemistry stuff in Erl’s articles. (One appropriate response to “you don’t have a mechanism” charges is qualification of statements to acknowledge this.))
    However, I’ll agree with Patrick as follows: Erl has drawn my attention to a number of interesting phenomena over the months […but would I appreciate it if his notes were more condensed? Yes (& by a factor of at least 5 …or perhaps spread it out over 5 blog posts – long blog posts are both draining & an inefficient use of discussion-generating material)].
    The thing I take from this article is that I should look for datasets that convey info about the spatiotemporal pattern of downdrafts, because if Erl’s notes about them are accurate, this is a candidate for explaining phase-reversals I’ve found in relationships between (interannual-timescale) aa index & regional precipitation. (I’m 100% certain that the relationships are nonrandom, but I have not yet identified the conditioning variable(s) that are responsible for the phase-reversal patterns.)
    I will agree with those who have suggested partisan-shots should be left out of presentations & articles that are meant to be considered scientifically. This is important not just for the author but also for organizations funding the author’s work. The place for the partisan shots is in the comments-section. Presenters are wise to leave the antics to the circling partisan vultures – (no need to worry that they won’t do their thing!)

  73. Lucy Skywalker: You wrote, “Maybe there are sound reasons for the divergence from data that Bob Tisdale is asking about.”
    I was actually questioning the reliability of his data source. Erl admits his SST data is not SST data. He writes, “Sea surface temperature data incorporates ice and land surface temperature at high latitudes.” If that’s the case, then it’s not SST data. As I noted in another comment, the ESRL webpage spits out SST data for coordinates where there is no ocean, the Sahara. And at least one of the SLP graphs he presents does not appear to agree with three other SLP datasets. I’m afraid the reliability of his data undermines his conclusions–the conclusions for which he presents data.

  74. Lucy Skywalker (12:58:25) “Hemispheric shifts of pressure, sustained over several decades, is a serious piece of evidence.”
    Agreed.

  75. Lucy, you should certainly get familiar with the work by the late Professor Marcel Leroux, a real climatologist, before giving any credence to any of Mr. Happ stuff.
    Leroux’s PhD thesis on the Meteorology and Climate of Tropical Africa, published by the WMO and re-published by Springer brings facts and understanding of the ITCZ like no other, and serves as the basis of his work on general circulation described in his later books; his work is the most illuminating synthesis one can find.
    The second edition of his book “Dynamic analysis of weather and climate” is coming out soon http://www.springer.com/earth+sciences/meteorology/book/978-3-642-04679-7

  76. “”” Phil. (06:24:42) :
    Patrick (22:28:56) :
    Phil. @ 19:29:07 said
    “Ozone is not formed from oxygen ions but from oxygen atoms formed by photolysis.”
    Yet the reaction equations you provided show that O2 is required. You’ll need to clarify this.
    Oxygen molecules not oxygen ions, the formation of ozone does not involve charged species, Happ is wrong. Preparatory to the formation of O3 an oxygen molecule absorbs a UV photon and splits into two oxygen atoms (not ions). In fact in the ionosphere the predominant neutral species is the oxygen atom not N2 (neutrals substantially outnumber ions).
    http://www.haarp.alaska.edu/haarp/ion3.html “””
    Hi Phil,
    Not to be argumentative; but is that in fact correct, that O is the predominant neutral species in the ionosphere ? Excepting of course the obvious Ar.
    I would have thought O to be so highly reactive that it was short lived.
    I don’t suppose you happen to know the active UV wavelength range that splits O2 in to 2-O. I have no idea what the binding energy of O2 is.
    I know of at least one author (Chemist) who postulated that ozone is simply the end evidence that O2 was doing its job in absorbing solar UV; but I believe that the photon energy required to split the O2 molecule is a lot higher than the UVA and UVB that are of concern for skin disorders. UVB would be around 4eV energy I presume.
    George
    PS don’t know whether Erl was just slipping the tongue in postulating O+ ions being involved ?

  77. “”” dearieme (03:48:18) :
    Point of detail: “nitrogen (76%), oxygen (23%) and trace gases (1%)”. Usually the rounded composition of the atmosphere is given as N2 79%, O2 21%, with the trace gases having been added into the N2. Your figures are different: is that because you are using mass fractions instead of mole fractions? If so, why? “””
    For some reason that escapes me (I’m not a chemist) the composition of the standard atmosphere seems to be always specified as a percentage BY VOLUME. Can’t for the life of me understand why they don’t just specify the realative numbers of each molecular species.
    But Argon is something like 0.93 or 0.96% of the standard atmosphere; and I hardly consider that a trace gas.
    My CRC (1967-68) gives N2 78.084 =/-0.004, O2 20.946 +/-0.002 Ar(A?) 0.934+/-0.001; CO2 330 +/-1ppm, Ne 18.18 +/-0.04ppm, He 5.24+/-0.004, Kr 1.14+/-0.01 Xe 0.087+/-0.001, H2 0.5, CH4 2, N2O 0.5+/-.1
    No water at all in the standard atmosphere; no wonder they can’t figure out what makes it tick (the climate that is).

  78. As a further piece of data of recent interest, CRC gives the altitude for a one metre mean free path to be about 112 km.
    At 20km, which is over 60,000 feet and presumably above most thunderheads, the mean free path is one micron. Sorry about that dismal news for Higgs Boson studies in Lightning storms.

  79. George E. Smith (16:14:26) :
    “”” Phil. (06:24:42) :
    Patrick (22:28:56) :
    Phil. @ 19:29:07 said
    “Ozone is not formed from oxygen ions but from oxygen atoms formed by photolysis.”
    Yet the reaction equations you provided show that O2 is required. You’ll need to clarify this.
    Oxygen molecules not oxygen ions, the formation of ozone does not involve charged species, Happ is wrong. Preparatory to the formation of O3 an oxygen molecule absorbs a UV photon and splits into two oxygen atoms (not ions). In fact in the ionosphere the predominant neutral species is the oxygen atom not N2 (neutrals substantially outnumber ions).
    http://www.haarp.alaska.edu/haarp/ion3.html “””
    Hi Phil,
    Not to be argumentative; but is that in fact correct, that O is the predominant neutral species in the ionosphere ? Excepting of course the obvious Ar.

    Even including the ‘obvious Ar’, remember that it’s the heterosphere and species are segregated by their MW.
    http://i302.photobucket.com/albums/nn107/Sprintstar400/ionosphere.jpg
    I would have thought O to be so highly reactive that it was short lived.
    But up there the mean free path is so long it rarely contacts another molecule to react with, of course when it moves further down then it reacts hence the increase in ozone.
    I don’t suppose you happen to know the active UV wavelength range that splits O2 in to 2-O. I have no idea what the binding energy of O2 is.
    Actually I do, it’s a key parameter in the Chapman mechanism for ozone production.
    O2+ hν(175.9 nm .lt. λ .lt. 242.4nm) → 2O(3P)
    or
    O2+ hν(λ .lt. 175nm) → O(3P) + O(1D)
    I know of at least one author (Chemist) who postulated that ozone is simply the end evidence that O2 was doing its job in absorbing solar UV; but I believe that the photon energy required to split the O2 molecule is a lot higher than the UVA and UVB that are of concern for skin disorders. UVB would be around 4eV energy I presume.
    He’s not the only one, ozone just finishes off what O2 starts, I hope the crude notation above is understandable George?
    PS don’t know whether Erl was just slipping the tongue in postulating O+ ions being involved ?
    I don’t think so since he talks about nitrogen ions having a dominant role which it doesn’t do in any form, he has a completely messed up concept of the ionospheric chemistry!

  80. @George Smith: ..”the composition of the standard atmosphere seems to be always specified as a percentage BY VOLUME. Can’t for the life of me understand why they don’t just specify the realative numbers of each molecular species” – George, the figures I gave as mole fractions (O2 21%, “atmospheric” N2 79%) are just what you ask for. It is a strangely antique convention among chemists to refer to such figures as being “by volume”, but they are in fact “by mole” or, if you prefer, “by molecule”.

  81. Lucy,
    Phil is right, a library is your best bet if you cannot afford it. Regardless, read it, you’ll never regret it.

  82. “”” Phil. (20:26:17) : “””
    Thanks for all of that Phil; and yes it was all perfectly clear.
    Thinking about Ionospheric matters just serves to remind me of an ancient catastrophe nearly 49 years ago. When I left New Zealand by boat, there were three boxes that were supposed to be loaded on the ship, with all my worldly belongings in them. Wen I arrived in New York a month later, only two boxes came off the ship. The missing one contained ALL of my College (high school) and University papers and notes, and textbooks, including everything I had from the year of RadioPhysics, that included the electro-physics of the Ionosphere; but not so much on the chemistry. Well I never had any University Chemistry anyway. I’ve never been able to repkace any of those texts; and I continue to feel the loss even today; specially with the Pure Maths, and Mathematical Physics. Eventually the mind forgets things; especially when you aren’t using it every day.
    If solar UV is necessary for producing stratospheric Ozone; then one would expect that in the dark of polar winter nights, ozone production would diminish, leading to a natural occurrence of “holes”.

  83. George E. Smith (09:44:02) :
    If solar UV is necessary for producing stratospheric Ozone; then one would expect that in the dark of polar winter nights, ozone production would diminish, leading to a natural occurrence of “holes”.

    The other side of it is that the degradation of the ozone also requires UV, that’s when O3 absorbs UV. The trouble is that it just reverses the formation reaction: O3+ hν(λ .lt. 340 nm) → O + O2
    then the O atom can collide with another (or the same) O2 and reform O3, what ultimately terminates the process is if O3 collides with an O atom and forms two O2 molecules.
    So when the light’s out both the photodissociation of O2 and the photodissociation of O3 shut down so the O3 won’t decay. That’s where the ClO comes in at sunrise!
    HTH

  84. Some more information on the effect changes to air pressure has on climate here:-
    http://www.giss.nasa.gov/research/briefs/rind_04/
    “…However, to the extent that the relationship is as important as the modeling study suggests, it has various implications. Since the connecting link occurs in the stratosphere, it emphasizes the importance of accurate modeling of the stratosphere when attempting to predict future climate; this conclusion has been offered previously, but from different perspectives.
    It furthermore suggests that as chlorine and bromine in the stratosphere decrease during this century, due to their restricted emissions, the NAM (Northern Annular Mode) may become less positive in the future; this would change the geographical pattern of warming relative to what has been observed. And it emphasizes once again that the planet we live on is interconnected; our actions in one locale or arena can well have unexpected consequences far removed from their source.”

  85. Thanks to all who have contributed comments Apologies for the late reply. I have responsibilities that take me away from the net during the week. To avoid confusion I identify the text that was a comment with the letter ‘C’ and my response with the letter ‘R’.
    Tamara (12:20:12) :
    R I know of your expertise re the Arctic stratosphere and I am very happy that you approve of what I write.
    Adam from Kansas (12:27:18) :
    C what will be the climate outlook for the next year or so?
    R I Let’s look at some indicators. Firstly there is the long established trend, starting in 1978 for falling atmospheric pressure over Indonesia and rising pressure in the south east Pacific. That indicates strengthening trades and a cooler Pacific. Secondly a projection of figure 22 provides another indication of a trend to strengthening La Nina tendencies. Right now I see a lot of cold ocean at high latitudes. That will find its way to the tropics. The southern hemisphere has been through a cloudy, cold and extended winter. Sea level pressure fell periodically at 30-40s as Antarctic air found its way more regularly to higher latitudes. Sea levels are rising as air pressure falls. Coastal erosion increases, driven by high sea levels and strong winds. Rainfall is recovering winter by winter in the south west of WA as I expect it is in other Mediterranean climates at 20-40 ° of latitude. The high pressure cells that dominate these latitudes in summer shrink and travel a little closer to the equator.
    However, the increasing irradiance of a new solar cycle normally promotes a strong El Nino and that may be initiated in late 2010.
    If there is a sudden stratospheric warming in the Arctic in the next few months it will start the warming process in the southern hemisphere in February-March.
    I don’t pretend to know how the solar wind impacts the atmosphere. I have observed when studying the relationship between the aa index of geomagnetic activity and the southern oscillation index that a small change in the former promotes a large change in the latter at solar minimum when the episodic component of the wind is least influential and the component that comes from the suns poles as a strong steady stream is most influential.
    Ian (12:50:09) :
    C since when did ionised gasses become magnetic?
    R I maintain is that that any particle that is electrically unbalanced or has a geometry that locates a positive charge at one end and a negative at the other, will align itself to the local magnetic field. That does not imply that these particles are in themselves magnetic. No doubt the composition of that part of the atmosphere that is subject to bombardment by energetic short wave radiation is exceedingly complex. I would imagine it is a subject of continuing theoretical speculation. In this respect Phil comes across as a man who is overplaying his hand in a histrionic fashion in relation to a subject of incidental interest while ignoring the thrust of the paper. What matters is that, in the energized state, particles are electrically unbalanced and begin to behave like plasma. As such they will be impacted by the solar wind. The amount of impact depends upon the type and amount of energetic radiation. When they move they bump the neutrals along with them.
    The UN panel on ozone depletion are saying that ‘natural variation’, (that they cannot explain) plays a large part in the variation in the ozone content of the polar atmosphere.
    What is observed in the atmosphere during a sudden stratospheric warming is
    1. Reduction of surface pressure
    2. Increase in temperature of the stratosphere from the top down.
    3. Increase of ozone in the high latitude atmosphere.
    These are the phenomena of interest. Nitrogen oxides of various descriptions that originate in the mesosphere apparently play a strong role in the dynamics of polar vortexes. Pity Phil couldn’t add any information on this subject.
    My post deals with many linked phenomena and has been criticized as being too long. Necessarily the introductory page tries to set the scene for a discussion of atmospheric shifts that are ultimately linked to the warming of the surface of the sea, i.e ENSO. If there is one part that I wished could be more complete it is this introductory section. But its purpose is really just to set people thinking. The meat of the paper is the observations of the change in the atmosphere that pivots about 1976-8 and what that has meant for the temperature of the Earth.
    Vincent (12:54:36) :
    C Excellent article – I need to put a week aside to digest it. One criticism however – after detailing the science, it goes all political, with statements such as “The introduction of market distorting incentives and disincentives destroys rather than creates wealth. This is the tool of the central planner, the social activist, the miscreant.”
    All true, no doubt, but completely out of place in a science article as it could be, and no doubt will be, construed as author bias.
    R Vincent, I was trained in economics. Perhaps economics doesn’t rate as ‘science’ in the sense that you use the term. But to me the word science can apply to many disciplines not only in the physical sciences. This article links surface temperature change to change in the upper atmosphere. I have been brought to task because my description of upper air chemistry is deficient. The physics of electromagnetism is involved. Should I draw boundaries at the end of the physical sciences? Do the physical sciences exist in a moral and ethical vacuum?
    You may see a sort of ideological bias here. But, I cannot sit idly by while people suggest that gross distortion of markets is a means of improving the sum of human happiness. I can’t sit idly by while the progress of society is hampered by people whose pretend their morality is of the highest order while generating an agenda that is ultimately very destructive.
    One of our problems is a lack of generalists, whose interests cross boundaries enough to enable them to synthesize the big picture. Chemists are excellent value in their field but that field of interest is frequently too narrow to enable them to comprehend the linkages to other areas of study. Witness the comments on the chemistry of the ionosphere above. These guys get so tied up with the detail that they miss the big picture. The atmosphere shifts and as it shifts the surface warms. Better that they offered an opinion as to why the temperature rises at 30hpa over the pole when surface pressure falls. Better they offer an opinion on why the upper troposphere at 200hpa has warmed so dramatically in the southern hemisphere. Better they offer an opinion on why the surface warms when the stratosphere and upper troposphere warms. Better they provide an explanation for the fact that post 1978 there is a strong recurrent anomaly in upper atmosphere temperature in southern spring that wasn’t there before 1978 and ask themselves why that has produced a warming of the upper troposphere and the surface.
    When I read Roy Spencer on climate I am impressed by his grasp of economics.
    If the economic consequences of the warmist’s agenda were not so dire perhaps I could be quite happy fishing or playing bowls.
    As a teacher I was dismayed as climatology and geomorphology ceased to be studied as disciplines and were replaced by something that might be described as ‘issues education’.
    I would call myself a social rather than a physical scientist. My interest is the big picture. Big picture stories do not find their way into the sort of journals that publish ‘climate science’
    And I love the freedom of the net. And who says that an article of this sort cannot range far and wide given the medium. This is not a scientific journal. The article was not written for a scientific journal It was written for a blog. Comments questioning statements of a social /political nature belong with the criticism of spelling or grammar. They are not appropriate. It reveals a person who wants to have a cheap shot and it’s fundamentally an ego building exercise. Do me a favour. Look at the ideas. Look at the documented observations and look at the argument in the broad. End of the day there is a lot at issue. This is very much a social and political issue. There will be no apology from me and I don’t think I am getting my hands dirty at all. I am being responsible in calling it like it is.
    Ever had a teacher mark your assignment and his only comment was by way of a red line through the spelling mistakes? Think he was a phony?
    Alan S. Blue (13:08:19) :
    C Guys, sounds like engineer talk. I can’t quantify these variables or their influences. There are too many. Look at figure 22. What is causing the oscillation to expand like that? When will it begin to contract? We need to know a lot more about the operation of the upper atmosphere to predict the local weather. How much do we really know about the sun?
    R Good solid common sense.
    Paul Murphy (13:28:57) :
    C does the basic idea that variations in solar wind drive variations in atmospheric distribution and thus the ground level temperature response to incoming radiation, yeild an immediate explanation for the faint young sun paradox?
    R Sorry can’t help.
    Mike Borgelt (13:53:18) :
    C Nitpick:
    The amount of CO2 in the atmosphere is around half of POINT ONE of a percent not half of ONE percent.
    R I was a factor of ten out. Yes, it’s so damn small as to be insignificant and that would still be the case even if I had been correct.
    D MacKenzie (14:37:09) :
    C does any of this theory tie in with the ‘ozone hole’ appearing in the mid-70’s (about same time as the above shift)?
    R The UN organization charged with studying the ozone hole phenomenon acknowledged in their last report that ‘natural factors’ were far more important than hitherto realized.
    Roger Knights (14:42:05) :
    C PS: Happ’s article needs copy-editing. Most notably, there should be more commas and hyphens used.
    R Thanks for volunteering. And thanks for the detail. Do you also comment on ideas?
    Mark Nodine (14:45:34) :
    C Actually, the symmetry in Figures 12 and 13 is not at all remarkable..……
    R I say think again more carefully.
    There is a shift from one state to another very different state. It involves a negative anomaly in September-October turning into a positive anomaly after 1978.
    I suggest you download the monthly data. Calculate the divergence of each month from the average monthly temperature for the entire period. Then, put aside the anomalies so calculated for the years up to 1976 and the years after 1976 and calculate the mean of the anomalies for each month for the earlier years and compare to the later years. You will find that I am correct. If you can’t do it, then give me an email address and I will send you my spreadsheet. Just run a small comment on my blog and I can contact you directly.
    Jon Jewett (14:46:25) :
    C In the above:
    “Because (the ionized) nitrogen from the mesosphere enters the stratosphere primarily over the Antarctic continent there is less ozone in the southern hemisphere than the northern hemisphere.”
    This seems to imply that the “hole in the ozone” is due to natural processes and not chlorofluorocarbons. That in turn means all of the money spent on removing R-12 et.al., and it amounted to billions, was wasted.
    R Not necessarily. The chlorofluorocarbons may be an independent influence. But, if and when the atmosphere moves back to increase surface pressure over Antarctica we will see what a decent sort of ozone hole actually looks like.
    Paul Vaughan (15:04:07) :
    C Erl Happ “There is no process internal to the Earth itself that could account for this shift in the atmosphere.”
    I’m not so sure about this; I see confounding, but …
    R Paul, that’s a useful point. I should have said ‘There is no process that is generated at the surface or in the troposphere that could account for this shift in the atmosphere’.
    George E. Smith (15:06:37) :
    C Erl,
    And the water thingy, is sort of a pet peeve of mine. Given that water is the only GHG of note that occurs in; and is a permanent part of the earth’s atmosphere, that exists in ALL THREE PHASES; and that while a vapor, is largely positive feedback warming (without any help or encouragement from CO2 needed) but when in liquid or solid phase as clouds leads to negative feedback cooling.
    Which is why my bumper sticker would read;- “It’s the Water, stupid !” if I had a bumper sticker. That 104 degreee angle in the H2O molecule is why there is life on earth at all; let alone living at a comfortable temperature that is entirely regulated by the physical properties of H2O; along with the TSI range of the sun, and the orbital parameters.
    But I’ll have to read further into your paper Erl, before I can come back and say something intelligent
    R George, what you say is profoundly intelligent. By the way, it’s interesting to look at the declining levels of specific humidity at all levels of the atmosphere over time as shown in the NCEP/NCAR database. A less humid atmosphere means less cloud. A warmer atmosphere means less cloud. Less cloud means increased radiation at the surface.
    Bob Tisdale (15:57:42) :
    C Erl: You wrote, “The NCEP/NCAR data reflecs skin temperatures that respond to atmospheric change. Winter minima are lower while summer maxima are similar. Change is faster in the skin data with earlier seasonal maxima and minima.”
    Do you have a link to the NCEP/NCAR paper or webpage that describes this?
    R Bob, that comment is based on my observation of the difference in downloaded data between the sources that you suggested and the NCEP/ NCAR.
    C You wrote, “Sea surface temperature data incorporates ice and land surface temperature at high latitudes.”
    Then it’s not sea surface temperature.
    R Exactly, but if you wanted to verify my figures you will have to download the data that is described as Sea Surface Temperature in that particular database. You don’t cut the mustard for me if you download data from a different database and say it’s different.
    C You wrote, “Some sources of SST data relate more to a near surface rather than a skin temperature reflecting the origin of data in the measurement of water temperature from engine intake, bucket or floating buoy. THIS IS NOT THE CASE WITH THE NCEP/NCAR DATASET.” [My caps]
    R Exactly. NCEP/NCAR is skin temperature including ice at high latitudes.
    C Same question as my first: Do you have a link to the NCEP/NCAR paper or webpage that describes this? And, what SST database does the NCEP/NCAR dataset use? HADSST2, HADISST, ERSST.v2, ERSST.v3b, and Kaplan all use the ICOADS SST database as their starting point. Does NCEP/NCAR have its own SST observation dataset that measured skin temperature before satellites?
    R Bob, I don’t know. What I do know is that the NCEP/NCAR dataset is one of the most carefully constructed datasets that we have. It addresses a fundamental problem and that is discontinuity. For example, temperature data for Darwin Australia unfortunately reflects the fact that the recording station has been moved on three occasions. I presume they kept shifting it out of town as the town grew. As it is, the Darwin temperature data useless for long term climate study. The NCEP/NCAR data is called a reanalysis dataset. That means they have taken conflicting data from all possible sources and tried to make sense of it in a very analytical and exhaustive fashion. It represents a major effort to provide a view of the entire atmosphere and the surface to assist climate change studies. Obviously there are parts of the earth where there are very few observations to go on. I believe the model (understanding of relationships between variables) that they use enables them to fill in the gaps in a rational fashion.
    C Also, I did a quick check of a few of your NCEP/NCAR SLP graphs, since they looked different from the data that I’m used to seeing. Your Figure 18 illustrates SLP for 40N-50N from 1948 to present, smoothed with a 5-month filter. Here’s a graph of HADSLP2 and Trenberth SLP data for the same latitudes, since 1948, with the same smoothing. The wiggles in these two datasets do not resemble the wiggles in your illustration.
    http://i34.tinypic.com/egv4lx.png
    R Bob, I am not using a five month filter on the raw data. That sort of smoothing will produce a very different result to mine. I calculate a five month average of the anomalies where the anomalies relate to average monthly data for the entire period. I will send you a spreadsheet. Look after it because it represents a lot of laborious work. We can then talk the same language.
    C Same thing for the ICOADS SLP data, though the ICOADS data appears to match the HADSLP2 and Trenberth data, with the HADSLP2 and Trenberth data appearing to be scaled or smoothed, thus decreasing the amplitude of their variations:
    http://i38.tinypic.com/34g62yw.png
    And the same problem exists with your illustration of SLP for 10S-10N in Figure 4. There are some significant differences between the NCEP/NCAR data in your Figure 4 and the HADSLP2 data…
    http://i36.tinypic.com/29du15k.png
    …and the ICOADS SLP data for the same latitudes…
    http://i34.tinypic.com/10qi1yd.png
    …but the HADSLP2 and ICOADS data appear to agree, though the HADSLP2 data appears to be scaled or smoothed, decreasing the amplitude of its wiggles.
    Do you have any ideas why there are such major differences between the NCEP/NCAR SLP data and the others?
    R Bob, I haven’t done the comparisons but I reckon it might be to do with the reanalysis process to take out the discontinuities. The aim with the NCEP/NCAR data was to create a dataset that was internally consistent according to known relationships between atmospheric variables. I know that they took in as many sources of data as they possibly could.
    Antonio San (16:39:43) :
    R Your point is obscure.
    Bob Tisdale (17:22:36) :
    C Erl: Also, did you ever contact the ESRL and ask why their website spits out SST data for the Sahara? We discussed this at the end of your prior thread here:
    http://climatechange1.wordpress.com/2009/10/04/a-different-view-of-enso-and-systematic-climate-change/
    There I wrote, To illustrate one of the problems with the ESRL website you’re using as a source of data, here’s the ESRL SST anomalies graph of 15N-25N, 0-30E:
    http://i36.tinypic.com/2ltn7gi.png
    Unfortunately, there’s no ocean there. The ESRL is providing SST anomaly data for the Sahara Desert, Erl.
    This would make all of the data in your SST anomaly graphs suspect, since it appears, based on the above Sahara SST data, that the ESRL website has an unknown bias in their SST data.
    R Bob, I did contact them after your query. I know that it was put together as a best effort reanalysis in order to weed out inconsistencies between and across datasets. Now, for my purposes skin is skin whether its land or sea and its temperature reflects the amount of sunlight that falls upon it. Skin is not half a metre or a metre below sea level, beneath the ice or beneath the surface soil. And, I am very interested in skin temperature in icy regions. If one is interested in the response at the surface to changes in the atmosphere, skin is the way to go.
    Bob, for your own research I suggest you satisfy yourself as to what NCEP/NCAR is doing. I have seen you complain about discontinuities in datasets. Using NCEP/NCAR data is one sure way to overcome this problem. Reanalysis makes a lot of sense.
    R One last question, why have you separated the two periods in Figure 4? The SLP data shows a gradual increase from the late 1950s to the mid 1980S and the SST anomaly data shows a multiyear rise from the end of the 1973/74/75/76 La Nina to the 1982/83 El Nino. Just curious. The Pacific climate shift is accepted to have taken place in 1976/77, at the end of that multiyear La Nina, but your Figure 4 separates the data in 1978.
    R Bob, you can look in different places and find different dates for this change. Looking at figure 4, it manifested fully in pressure in 1978 and in temperature in 1984. The point of this post is this: Pre 1978 September 30hPa Antarctic anomalies tended to be negative and post 1978 they were positive. My graphs present the result of subtracting monthly means for the prior from monthly means for the post 1976 period. That is true of figures 2,3,8,9,10,14 and 15. It wouldn’t have made a great difference if I had split the database two or three years either way, so great are the seasonal changes in the atmosphere after 1978. My interest is in analyzing why there was such a change in late winter conditions in the southern hemisphere. Not one person who has read this post has addressed this question or suggested an alternative reason for the change in place of the one I have proposed.
    The change is observed much more readily in the atmosphere than in the surface of the sea. Do you have problems with the data for the atmosphere too?
    If you want to see when/where this climate shift actually occurred you must observe the upper troposphere, See this graph:
    http://s249.photobucket.com/albums/gg220/erlandlong/?action=view&current=200hPaandSST.jpg
    Consider these questions:
    1. Where does change begin?
    2. Why does the 200hpa anomaly line lie below the SST line and then it moves above the SST anomaly line?
    3. Why does 200hpa temperature have more structure to its variation than does sea surface temperature? Is SST a dampened version of change in the upper atmosphere or is it the other way round?
    4. What could be the causative factor that accounts for the relationship between 200hpa temperature and SST that so obviously exists?
    5. Is 1978 a point of transition or is some other point more appropriate?
    If you are interested in these questions you must then have a detailed look at the atmosphere and relate that to change in surface pressure, the temperature of the stratosphere work out why it has changed so much.
    Does the IPCC concern itself with the relationship between the temperature of the stratosphere and the surface? Or why there has been such a marked increase in the temperature of the southern stratosphere and upper troposphere in recent times? No, because they cannot conceive of the possibility that climate change proceeds from causes other than change in greenhouse gases.
    But you can conceive that climate change can be due to other factors and I thank you for your many questions and comments.
    Antonio San (17:45:59) :
    C Yet another gem from Mr. Happ, from April 2009:
    “Manifestly, the engine of climate change is in the tropics. Here, energy gain from solar radiation exceeds emission via radiation. The energy gain, more at some times than others, is transferred to high latitudes by the ocean and the atmosphere. To understand climate change we have to understand the Southern Oscillation that governs the warming and cooling of the tropics and also how that oscillation changes over time.”
    I hope his wine tastes better.
    Antonio: an observer may changes his opinion when he looks a little closer or sees new evidence. Look at figure 22 and see if I have changed my mind to such a degree as to produce an obvious inconsistency. I still maintain that “To understand climate change we have to understand the Southern Oscillation that governs the warming and cooling of the tropics and also how that oscillation changes over time.”
    R Since you are reading so diligently go back a little further and you see the origins of today’s work in a post called ‘The atmosphere dances in the solar wind El Nino shows his face’. The sudden stratospheric warming in the Arctic in February 2009 was associated a marked increase in stratospheric ozone and warming in the south east Pacific.
    You are right in one respect: I would not say today that ‘the engine of climate change is in the tropics’. The effects manifest in the tropics, but the causes lie elsewhere.
    And I find your tone unmannerly.
    Bob Tisdale (17:48:53) :
    C Erl: I wrote in an earlier comment, “And the same problem exists with your illustration of SLP for 10S-10N in Figure 4. There are some significant differences between the NCEP/NCAR data in your Figure 4 and the HADSLP2 data…”
    Did you use the same 5-month smoothing as your other graphs in this post? Because, on a second look, the HADSLP2 and ICOADS data would agree with you graph if I’d smooth them with a 12- or 13-month filter.
    The other SLP dataset (40N-50N) though continues to have significant differences.
    Regards
    R Bob, I always begin by calculating average monthly temperatures for the entire period up to the most recent month for which I have data. I then calculate the divergence from the average monthly temperature (the anomaly) and then, to cut out some of the noise (not always a good idea) I frequently calculate a five month moving average OF THE ANOMALY centered on the third month. I always cross check with a straight 12 month moving average centered on the seventh month. In figure 2, I show the five month moving average of the divergence from the monthly average (the anomaly).
    In respect of SST at 40-50N the difference will be between a skin temperature and what is called a surface temperature both relating to the sea. I am using five month moving averages of the anomaly in figures 16, 17 and 18.
    Bob if you really want to criticize this post you need to justify why I should be using some other dataset than the one I am using. I trust it more than the others, it is internally consistent. It is the result of a complex system of checking to remove spurious variations. Skin temperature represents today’s response today, not next month.
    Bob Tisdale (19:01:35) :
    C Erl: Isn’t your Figure 5 and the discussion of it simply a rehashing of the SOI, but instead of using SLP of Tahiti and Darwin, you’re using the SLP of Indonesia and Chilean coastal waters?
    R Yes Bob, it is one way of looking at the difference in pressure that drives the trades. But I am also building on the relationship between SLP in the tropics and tropical temperature and the loss of pressure in Antarctica as the atmosphere shifts in order to build that extra pressure over Indonesia. And I am also asking why, if pressure rises generally at 30-40° south latitude when it falls at the pole why it should FALL in the south east Pacific at that same latitude. That is an anachronism.
    Above all I want to suggest that El Nino activity is a product of the forces that shift the atmosphere. Now, Theodore Landscheidt actually suggested that, and it’s nice to confirm it. And of course, I want to go on to make the point that El Nino activity is climate change in action rather than an internal oscillation that balances out over some indeterminate period. By the way, figure 22 shows that the period that it balances out over may be a solar cycle or two. But it could also be ten or more. Remember that the SOI only captures the ratio between pressures at Darwin and Tahiti. It tells us nothing about the long term shifts in absolute pressure in these places.
    C Also, you wrote, “Figure 6 shows that when atmospheric pressure falls off Chile (in figure 6 pressure is inverted so that a rise in the pressure line actually represents falling pressure) sea surface temperature in the intake region for Nino 1 and Nino 2 warms. ”
    Have you plotted the SST anomalies off the Chilean Coast versus NINO1 and 2 or NINO3.4 SST anomalies?
    R Yes, and the southern waters warm before the northern waters in a very high proportion of cases.
    Ozzie John (20:44:53) :
    C It’s always good to see a new theory put forward. I will need to read a few more times. One Issue I have that needs more explaining….
    If in the cool phase we need a stronger polar vortex to limit the level of Ozone in the stratosphere then we should have just completed 30 years of the cool phase. It’s well documented that after 1980 the southern vortex increased noticeably in strength and during this period we have had most of the warming take place.
    R I have covered the temperature/ozone relationship in the post http://climatechange1.wordpress.com/2009/03/08/the-atmosphere-dancing-in-the-solar-wind-el-nino-shows-his-face/
    I would agree that after the marked collapse that culminated in the shift of 1976-8 there is a slow and continuous recovery in the vortex between 1978 and the present time. It is evident in gradually deepening minima in 10hPa temperature over Antarctica since the winter of 1979. That is what is pulling the climate system away from El Nino dominance to La Nina dominance. But, disregarding the short term changes of the ENSO cycle, we are still in a warm phase by comparison with the nineteen seventies.
    Antonio San (20:56:32) : There is no doubt about it, you are a well practiced critic.
    Rhys Jaggar (01:24:41)
    C The key components which you highlight, which need to be placed before policy makers for critical cogitation, are:
    1. The clearly different predictions of latitude-related warming using greenhouse gas theories or solar forcing.
    2. The link between antarctic pressure regimes and alternating cycles of the PDO (and possibly the AMO as well?).
    3. The trigger for regime change in antarctic pressure characteristics being solar/magnetic in nature.
    R Thanks, you have given this post a close read, understood it and realize the implications for climate science. The foolishness of our geo-engineers is par for the course in this area. As an Australian I am amazed that my government is calling carbon a ‘pollutant’ and trying to lead the charge to Copenhagen. Sadly, the leader of the opposition is backing the Prime Minister. I am pinning my hopes on a rebellion in the back bench of the Liberal party.
    Bob Tisdale has made the point elsewhere that the PDO is a creature of ENSO and I agree.
    Bob Tisdale (01:45:19) :
    C Erl: Speaking of the Chilean waters, the coordinates you have listed for Chilean waters in Figure 5 are ~770 to ~3450 km away from the coast of Chile at 30 S and ~500 to ~3000 km from the coast of Chile at 40S. Most of the area you’ve listed is well outside of the Humboldt Current, so I’m not sure how much of it serves as the “intake region for Nino 1 and Nino 2″. The coordinates you’ve used are capturing little to no of the upwelling that occurs along the Chilean and Peruvian Coasts. Here’s a graph of the SST anomalies for the area you’ve listed versus those for the area 55S to 20S, 80W-70W, which better captures the Humboldt Current off the Chilean Coast.
    http://i36.tinypic.com/28lz9sl.png
    The two curves show little resemblance.
    R Bob, I have deliberately stayed away from the Humbolt Current. I am looking at the influence of the atmosphere on the temperature of the sea not the influence of the trade winds on the temperature of the coastal waters off Chile.
    The Humbolt current is not the only bus travelling to the equator. The trades blow the surface waters north.
    The point is that a broad area of the south Pacific warms up prior to the increase in temperature in the Nino regions. These same waters are driven north towards the equator by the trades. I am amazed that people studying this phenomenon place so much reliance on studying an east-west rather than a north-south temperature gradient.
    Skin temperature changes much more at higher than at lower latitudes. One reason for this is that ozone change is initiated at the poles. Another reason is that tropical waters tend to respond with increased evaporation rather than change in the temperature of the skin. Evaporation cools the skin. The real measure of the extent of the change in the tropics presents at 850hpa where temperature reflects the release of latent heat of condensation. Here, the rate of increase in temperature is three times that at the surface (from memory).
    Paul Vaughan (02:13:15) :
    C Erl, in light of your comments on downdrafts, I’d be curious to hear your thoughts on the following:
    Wang, J.; Zhang, J.; Watanabe, E.; Ikeda, M.; Mizobata, K.; Walsh, J.E.; Bai, X.; & Wu, B. (2009). Is the Dipole Anomaly a major driver to record lows in Arctic summer sea ice extent? Geophysical Research Letters 36, L05706. doi:10.1029/2008GL036706.
    ftp://ftp.glerl.noaa.gov/wang/Related_Papers/Wang_paper63_2009_GRL.pdf
    R Some pretty complex geometry apparently influences sea Ice extent in the Arctic. Too much for me to get into right now. But, I would suggest that if September-October surface pressure is important to wind direction one should look to the Antarctic vortex to see how that is influencing pressure change.
    Tenuc (02:23:36) :
    C To fully establish the link between formation of small ice at crystals at high altitude and solar / ozone effects needs more work to be done before the physics and chemistry which could be behind it are fully understood. There seem to be many differing and sometimes conflicting views about what’s going on in this remote area of our atmosphere.
    R This research effort will continue into the distant future. But you don’t have to understand all the ins and outs in order to develop useful rules of thumb and work out which way the wind is blowing. When the stratosphere cools, so does the surface. The cooling and warming of the stratosphere is clearly associated with vortex phenomena and atmospheric shifts. The important thing is to acknowledge that these interesting links exist. You then have an entirely new explanation for the process of climate change and a new area for purposeful investigation.
    dearieme (03:48:18) :
    C Point of detail: “nitrogen (76%), oxygen (23%) and trace gases (1%)”. Usually the rounded composition of the atmosphere is given as N2 79%, O2 21%, with the trace gases having been added into the N2. Your figures are different: is that because you are using mass fractions instead of mole fractions? If so, why?
    R Not sure if this question is addressed to me. The micro-measurement of quantities is of little interest to me. I took the data out of a fusty corner of my head and forgot to check it. I admit my error. But, its immaterial to the argument.
    Juraj V. (06:58:32) :
    C According to UAH for lower troposphere, most of the warming occurred in northern extratropics, which I can confirm as Central European citizen:
    R Can we distinguish between warming activity (absorbing more solar radiation) and temperature increase? In cool relatively clear waters much sunlight can be absorbed without raising the temperature of the sea very much. If the water so warmed is diverted to the northern hemisphere and there is very little circulation of those same waters to high latitudes and these high latitudes are in any case not terribly cool, the temperature increase will manifest more strongly there.
    Northern hemisphere sea surface temperature in latitudes between 20 and 70°N declined to a minimum about 1978 and increased thereafter to reach the sort of level that existed in the forties. See these skin temperatures from the NCEP/NCAR database at:
    http://i249.photobucket.com/albums/gg220/erlandlong/SSTglobal.jpg
    From memory these are 12 month moving averages of raw data centered on seventh month.
    Dr. Lurtz (07:39:35) :
    C Note that the Solar Wind is at the lowest levels in decades (perhaps centuries). Check the proton flux at Spaceweather.com, at times, it is zero!!!
    R Re the solar wind. I know the flux is very low. The solar effect on the atmosphere is in part a product of ionizing radiation and the solar wind. I don’t think we know enough about either to understand why the atmosphere does what it does. We need to know a lot more about the fluctuation in the very short wave spectrum and I suspect that no two solar cycles are alike in this respect.
    By the way, the dependence of the flux in nitrous oxides in the mesosphere on solar activity is now well documented with good correlation with both irradiance and geomagnetic activity. Solar effects are perceptible on a solar rotation timescale. There is also documentation of the depleting effect of nitrous oxides on ozone in the stratosphere over the poles. See for instance:
    http://www.athena-spu.gr/~upperatmosphere/index.php/Nitric_Oxides_in_the_Mesosphere
    “Once NO reaches the lower mesosphere, its lifetime becomes longer because of less photodissociation, due to absorption in the O2 Schumann-Runge band, and self-absorption in the δ band [Minschwaner and Siskind, 1993]; therefore in the lower mesosphere there is sufficient time for the NOx to descend to the stratosphere, where it has a lifetime as long as a year [Solomon et al., 1982]. Once in the stratosphere, NOx can participate in the catalytic processes controlling ozone. This mechanism for coupling the upper and lower atmosphere has been referred to as the EPP Indirect Effect [Randall et al., 2007]: it was first proposed through modeling using a 2D model [Solomon et al., 1982; Brasseur et al., 1984], and has since been observed many times in connection to Solar Proton Events (SPEs) [e.g., Callis et al., 1996, 1998; Siskind et al., 2000a; Jackman et al., 2001; Randall et al., 2001; Randall et al., 2005]. However the degree to which NOx descent depends on varying EPP and/or varying solar UV flux is still a controversial issue [e.g., Rozanov et al., 2005], which needs satellite measurements of NOy, O3, and related parameters covering the high latitude stratosphere to the thermosphere throughout the polar winter in order to be conclusively resolved.
    (iv) SME Measurements of NOx: The hypothesis that the variation in the density of low latitude nitric oxide at 110 km is caused by the variation in the solar output of soft X-rays in the wavelength range 2–10 nm and that the solar soft X-rays vary with a greater amplitude than does the solar extreme ultraviolet radiation was first proposed by Siskind et al. [1990] and the evidence for this hypothesis came from three years of observations of thermospheric nitric oxide from the Solar Mesosphere Explorer [Barth et al., 1998]. The SME observations showed that the nitric oxide density at low latitudes varies with the 27-day solar rotation period and with the 11-year solar cycle. The variation of nitric oxide correlates with the solar 10.7 cm radio flux which is a solar index measured from the ground. The correlation is due to the partial ability of the 10.7 cm flux to track solar EUV and soft X-rays. As shown in Figure 1.47, Nitric oxide (NO) has a maximum density of about 3×107 cm-3 near 110 km whereas in the polar region the mean density is several times greater and highly variable, sometimes as much as 10 times larger. However, Figure 1.48 shows that the solar 10.7 cm flux is an imperfect index of the solar radiation that is causing the changes in nitric oxide density.”
    Phil. (07:55:01) :
    R Phil: Your comments slate my understanding of chemistry but add nothing to our understanding of the phenomena of interest. Can you be more useful? What could account for the shift in the atmosphere?
    Bob Tisdale (09:25:56) :
    C Erl: From what I can gather, your hypothesis is grounded in ice crystals, yet I find:
    1. no ice crystal data in your graphs,
    2. no links to ice crystal data,
    3. no supporting papers regarding the impacts of ice crystals.
    R Bob, I presuppose that it is the reflective capacity of ice crystals that accounts for the symmetry in the flux of temperature above 200hpa with that at the surface. It’s a hypothesis. Have you got a more plausible one? You and I know that there is no literature on this relationship.
    For me, the ice crystal idea gains credibility as I observe changes in related variables like surface pressure and upper atmosphere temperature at the poles. Quite some time ago I looked at the relationship between the aa index and the SOI. The timing of El Nino warming events follows a pattern dictated by the solar cycle. I had a long discussion with Leif Svalgaard on climate audit on this subject. It looks like I am out on a limb here but it’s the only explanation that makes sense to me.
    There is a lot of data on atmospheric moisture levels that backs up the ice crystal hypothesis. There are times when the relationship between stratosphere and 200hpa temperature on the one hand and surface temperature on the other, breaks down. That is after a strong El Nino which puts so much moisture into the atmosphere that it ultimately generates a self reinforcing precipitation event. That’s when low level cloud comes into play. That little wrinkle gives me confidence in the ice crystal hypothesis.
    If one does the correlations one finds a very strong relationship between 200hpa temperature and skin temperature but the correlation falls away very quickly when atmospheric relative humidity falls to a low level. That also gives me confidence in this hypothesis.
    The paper is already 6000 words long. Another day perhaps.
    Bob Tisdale (09:45:10) :
    C Erl: You wrote, “The warming mode:
    “1.There is a shift of the atmosphere from the poles towards mid and low latitudes under electromagnetic forcing of ionized air.
    “2.Weakening of the polar vortexes curtails the flow of ionized nitrogen into the upper stratosphere allowing the survival of oxygen ions and increased ozone formation.
    “3.Intermixing of ozone into the upper troposphere raises temperature in the ice cloud zone. Ice crystals evaporate.”
    Yet I find no data to support any of this. I could say the same for much of this post. It appears to be speculation about your imaginary planet.
    R Re your point no 1 please see figure 1 that shows the shift in the atmosphere as reflected in surface pressure. The relationship to electromagnetic forcing is suggested in figure 11.
    Re point 2: See figures7 through 13 which show related phenomena. See also http://climatechange1.wordpress.com/2009/03/08/the-atmosphere-dancing-in-the-solar-wind-el-nino-shows-his-face/
    The increase in ozone at the time of the sudden stratospheric warming in February 2009 is carefully documented in that post.
    Re 3: see figures which show the relationship between the temperature of the stratosphere and the surface. These are figures 16 through to 18. If there is no direct data on ice crystal density one must infer on the basis of other evidence.
    Bob, what I am doing here is offering data and an explanation for the rather extraordinary changes that are seen. There is nothing speculative about the data and you are welcome to offer alternative explanations for the changes that are observed. You seem to be saying that the changes are not real and the explanations are therefore of no interest. If that’s your point of view so be it. If you reckon that the data in the NCEP/NCAR database is all about my imaginary planet, well, it will be a bit of a stretch, but I can accept that too.
    Lucy Skywalker (12:58:25) :
    Q After perusal, I still think this work looks stunning. But Erl has to answer Phil’s challenge before I can turn “stunning” into “credible”.
    R Lucy, Phil offers no information as to why the polar atmosphere behaves as it does or why the temperature of the southern stratosphere increased so strongly up to 1978. I am not a chemist but I understand that there are plenty of atmospheric constituents within the stratosphere including carbon dioxide and water that have geometry that will cause them to align themselves with a magnetic field. As such, they will be affected when that magnetic field changes. We also know that there is a marked expansion of the volume of constituents that align themselves with the ever changing magnetic field when the level of energetic short wave energy changes.
    In relation to the modulation of ozone levels by nitrogen oxides of various forms there is plenty of literature on the subject and even the UN panels are acknowledging that the source of natural variation in ozone levels is playing havoc with their predictions based on their inadequate understanding of the upper atmosphere.
    The basic thesis is unaffected by speculation as to what has caused the change in the atmosphere. The fact is, it has happened and there has been a marked warming in the southern hemisphere in Spring that enhances the El Nino tendency. We now have a climate system that was different to that prior to 1980.The warming after 1978 is explicable in terms of changes that have a natural origin. We don’t have to be able to explain the ultimate origins of the change to know that it is real.
    At the same time, we can see that the bias to El Nino activity is gradually decaying. So, we have an explanation for the cooling after the El Nino of 1978. We have an explanation for the warming that will come with the new solar cycle if and when short wave radiation surges.
    And, of course there is a good reason to look closely at the stratosphere and the mesosphere and try and work out what is going on there.
    Lastly, we can look at El Nino activity with new eyes and recognize that it is climate change in action and a lot of stuff that is written about it is just plain guff.
    C On the other hand, figs 12 and 13 are not “astonishing symmetry” but mathematical necessity, as has been pointed out.
    R That’s nonsense. The biggest change is that we have a marked increase in stratospheric temperature in southern spring. We move from one situation to the other and these graphs document the move.
    C But figs 16 and 19 show me something Erl has not commented on, namely a fairly strong cycle of approximately 2 years. What’s that?
    R That’s the Quasi Biennial Oscillation and it manifests most strongly at 10N to 10S latitude and appears also in the atmosphere of other planets. It reflects changing ozone concentration in the equatorial stratosphere. The QBO reinforces the tendency to strong sea surface temperature increase in the tropics in the odd numbered years. i.e. 2003,5,7,9. While the cooler years are 2004,6,8. The SOI when calculated as a five month average of an anomaly tends to rise to its annual peak in September. But in the even numbered years it falls short producing warming in the Southern Ocean that is expressed as a strong increase in sea surface temperature in southern winter and strong maximum at the equator in March-April when equatorial waters hit their maximum temperature for the year. That’s when it shows up in ENSO 3.4. This comment applies to the climate system post 1978, not the prior climate system.
    Paul Vaughan (14:13:04) :
    Q I will agree with those who have suggested partisan-shots should be left out of presentations & articles that are meant to be considered scientifically.
    R I am a partisan. No apologies for that. People have got to know why this arcane stuff is relevant to the way they vote. Too many people have too little confidence in their own ability to reach valid conclusions on the basis of information at hand. A blog is a good place to blow the whistle and blow it hard.
    What do you say about Mr Rudd as PM whose comments are thoroughly partisan? He studiously avoids any comment about the science of the matter? Is that OK?
    Q This is important not just for the author but also for organizations funding the author’s work.
    R I am self funded. And, I run the risk of people like Antonio saying my wine is sour when they read what I have to say.
    Antonio San (15:05:28) :
    C Lucy, you should certainly get familiar with the work by the late Professor Marcel Leroux, a real climatologist
    R I am familiar with his work and endorse your recommendation. His description of the role of mobile polar highs is revelatory. But his knowledge of ENSO, upper atmosphere dynamics and tropical warming leaves a bit to be desired.

  86. Thanks to all who have contributed comments Apologies for the late reply. I have responsibilities that take me away from the net during the week. To avoid confusion I identify the text that was a comment with the letter ‘C’ and my response with the letter ‘R’.
    Tamara (12:20:12) :
    R I know of your expertise re the Arctic stratosphere and I am very happy that you approve of what I write.
    Adam from Kansas (12:27:18) :
    C what will be the climate outlook for the next year or so?
    R I Let’s look at some indicators. Firstly there is the long established trend, starting in 1978 for falling atmospheric pressure over Indonesia and rising pressure in the south east Pacific. That indicates strengthening trades and a cooler Pacific. Secondly a projection of figure 22 provides another indication of a trend to strengthening La Nina tendencies. Right now I see a lot of cold ocean at high latitudes. That will find its way to the tropics. The southern hemisphere has been through a cloudy, cold and extended winter. Sea level pressure fell periodically at 30-40s as Antarctic air found its way more regularly to higher latitudes. Sea levels are rising as air pressure falls. Coastal erosion increases, driven by high sea levels and strong winds. Rainfall is recovering winter by winter in the south west of WA as I expect it is in other Mediterranean climates at 20-40 ° of latitude. The high pressure cells that dominate these latitudes in summer shrink and travel a little closer to the equator.
    However, the increasing irradiance of a new solar cycle normally promotes a strong El Nino and that may be initiated in late 2010.
    If there is a sudden stratospheric warming in the Arctic in the next few months it will start the warming process in the southern hemisphere in February-March.
    I don’t pretend to know how the solar wind impacts the atmosphere. I have observed when studying the relationship between the aa index of geomagnetic activity and the southern oscillation index that a small change in the former promotes a large change in the latter at solar minimum when the episodic component of the wind is least influential and the component that comes from the suns poles as a strong steady stream is most influential.
    Ian (12:50:09) :
    C since when did ionised gasses become magnetic?
    R I maintain is that that any particle that is electrically unbalanced or has a geometry that locates a positive charge at one end and a negative at the other, will align itself to the local magnetic field. That does not imply that these particles are in themselves magnetic. No doubt the composition of that part of the atmosphere that is subject to bombardment by energetic short wave radiation is exceedingly complex. I would imagine it is a subject of continuing theoretical speculation. In this respect Phil comes across as a man who is overplaying his hand in a histrionic fashion in relation to a subject of incidental interest while ignoring the thrust of the paper. What matters is that, in the energized state, particles are electrically unbalanced and begin to behave like plasma. As such they will be impacted by the solar wind. The amount of impact depends upon the type and amount of energetic radiation. When they move they bump the neutrals along with them.
    The UN panel on ozone depletion are saying that ‘natural variation’, (that they cannot explain) plays a large part in the variation in the ozone content of the polar atmosphere.
    What is observed in the atmosphere during a sudden stratospheric warming is
    1. Reduction of surface pressure
    2. Increase in temperature of the stratosphere from the top down.
    3. Increase of ozone in the high latitude atmosphere.
    These are the phenomena of interest. Nitrogen oxides of various descriptions that originate in the mesosphere apparently play a strong role in the dynamics of polar vortexes. Pity Phil couldn’t add any information on this subject.
    My post deals with many linked phenomena and has been criticized as being too long. Necessarily the introductory page tries to set the scene for a discussion of atmospheric shifts that are ultimately linked to the warming of the surface of the sea, i.e ENSO. If there is one part that I wished could be more complete it is this introductory section. But its purpose is really just to set people thinking. The meat of the paper is the observations of the change in the atmosphere that pivots about 1976-8 and what that has meant for the temperature of the Earth.

  87. Vincent (12:54:36) :
    C Excellent article – I need to put a week aside to digest it. One criticism however – after detailing the science, it goes all political, with statements such as “The introduction of market distorting incentives and disincentives destroys rather than creates wealth. This is the tool of the central planner, the social activist, the miscreant.”
    All true, no doubt, but completely out of place in a science article as it could be, and no doubt will be, construed as author bias.
    R Vincent, I was trained in economics. Perhaps economics doesn’t rate as ‘science’ in the sense that you use the term. But to me the word science can apply to many disciplines not only in the physical sciences. This article links surface temperature change to change in the upper atmosphere. I have been brought to task because my description of upper air chemistry is deficient. The physics of electromagnetism is involved. Should I draw boundaries at the end of the physical sciences? Do the physical sciences exist in a moral and ethical vacuum?
    You may see a sort of ideological bias here. But, I cannot sit idly by while people suggest that gross distortion of markets is a means of improving the sum of human happiness. I can’t sit idly by while the progress of society is hampered by people whose pretend their morality is of the highest order while generating an agenda that is ultimately very destructive.
    One of our problems is a lack of generalists, whose interests cross boundaries enough to enable them to synthesize the big picture. Chemists are excellent value in their field but that field of interest is frequently too narrow to enable them to comprehend the linkages to other areas of study. Witness the comments on the chemistry of the ionosphere above. These guys get so tied up with the detail that they miss the big picture. The atmosphere shifts and as it shifts the surface warms. Better that they offered an opinion as to why the temperature rises at 30hpa over the pole when surface pressure falls. Better they offer an opinion on why the upper troposphere at 200hpa has warmed so dramatically in the southern hemisphere. Better they offer an opinion on why the surface warms when the stratosphere and upper troposphere warms. Better they provide an explanation for the fact that post 1978 there is a strong recurrent anomaly in upper atmosphere temperature in southern spring that wasn’t there before 1978 and ask themselves why that has produced a warming of the upper troposphere and the surface.
    When I read Roy Spencer on climate I am impressed by his grasp of economics.
    If the economic consequences of the warmist’s agenda were not so dire perhaps I could be quite happy fishing or playing bowls.
    As a teacher I was dismayed as climatology and geomorphology ceased to be studied as disciplines and were replaced by something that might be described as ‘issues education’.
    I would call myself a social rather than a physical scientist. My interest is the big picture. Big picture stories do not find their way into the sort of journals that publish ‘climate science’
    And I love the freedom of the net. And who says that an article of this sort cannot range far and wide given the medium. This is not a scientific journal. The article was not written for a scientific journal It was written for a blog. Comments questioning statements of a social /political nature belong with the criticism of spelling or grammar. They are not appropriate. It reveals a person who wants to have a cheap shot and it’s fundamentally an ego building exercise. Do me a favour. Look at the ideas. Look at the documented observations and look at the argument in the broad. End of the day there is a lot at issue. This is very much a social and political issue. There will be no apology from me and I don’t think I am getting my hands dirty at all. I am being responsible in calling it like it is.
    Ever had a teacher mark your assignment and his only comment was by way of a red line through the spelling mistakes? Think he was a phony?

  88. Alan S. Blue (13:08:19) :
    C Guys, sounds like engineer talk. I can’t quantify these variables or their influences. There are too many. Look at figure 22. What is causing the oscillation to expand like that? When will it begin to contract? We need to know a lot more about the operation of the upper atmosphere to predict the local weather. How much do we really know about the sun?
    R Good solid common sense.
    Paul Murphy (13:28:57) :
    C does the basic idea that variations in solar wind drive variations in atmospheric distribution and thus the ground level temperature response to incoming radiation, yield an immediate explanation for the faint young sun paradox?
    R Sorry can’t help.
    Mike Borgelt (13:53:18) :
    C Nitpick:
    The amount of CO2 in the atmosphere is around half of POINT ONE of a percent not half of ONE percent.
    R I was a factor of ten out. Yes, it’s so damn small as to be insignificant and that would still be the case even if I had been correct.
    D MacKenzie (14:37:09) :
    C does any of this theory tie in with the ‘ozone hole’ appearing in the mid-70’s (about same time as the above shift)?
    R The UN organization charged with studying the ozone hole phenomenon acknowledged in their last report that ‘natural factors’ were far more important than hitherto realized.
    Roger Knights (14:42:05) :
    C PS: Happ’s article needs copy-editing. Most notably, there should be more commas and hyphens used.
    R Thanks for volunteering. And thanks for the detail. Do you also comment on ideas?
    Mark Nodine (14:45:34) :
    C Actually, the symmetry in Figures 12 and 13 is not at all remarkable..……
    R I say think again more carefully.
    There is a shift from one state to another very different state. It involves a negative anomaly in September-October turning into a positive anomaly after 1978.
    I suggest you download the monthly data. Calculate the divergence of each month from the average monthly temperature for the entire period. Then, put aside the anomalies so calculated for the years up to 1976 and the years after 1976 and calculate the mean of the anomalies for each month for the earlier years and compare to the later years. You will find that I am correct. If you can’t do it, then give me an email address and I will send you my spreadsheet. Just run a small comment on my blog and I can contact you directly.
    Jon Jewett (14:46:25) :
    C In the above:
    “Because (the ionized) nitrogen from the mesosphere enters the stratosphere primarily over the Antarctic continent there is less ozone in the southern hemisphere than the northern hemisphere.”
    This seems to imply that the “hole in the ozone” is due to natural processes and not chlorofluorocarbons. That in turn means all of the money spent on removing R-12 et.al., and it amounted to billions, was wasted.
    R Not necessarily. The chlorofluorocarbons may be an independent influence. But, if and when the atmosphere moves back to increase surface pressure over Antarctica we will see what a decent sort of ozone hole actually looks like.

  89. Paul Vaughan (15:04:07) :
    C Erl Happ “There is no process internal to the Earth itself that could account for this shift in the atmosphere.”
    I’m not so sure about this; I see confounding, but …
    R Paul, that’s a useful point. I should have said ‘There is no process that is generated at the surface or in the troposphere that could account for this shift in the atmosphere’.
    George E. Smith (15:06:37) :
    C Erl,
    And the water thingy, is sort of a pet peeve of mine. Given that water is the only GHG of note that occurs in; and is a permanent part of the earth’s atmosphere, that exists in ALL THREE PHASES; and that while a vapor, is largely positive feedback warming (without any help or encouragement from CO2 needed) but when in liquid or solid phase as clouds leads to negative feedback cooling.
    Which is why my bumper sticker would read;- “It’s the Water, stupid !” if I had a bumper sticker. That 104 degreee angle in the H2O molecule is why there is life on earth at all; let alone living at a comfortable temperature that is entirely regulated by the physical properties of H2O; along with the TSI range of the sun, and the orbital parameters.
    But I’ll have to read further into your paper Erl, before I can come back and say something intelligent
    R George, what you say is profoundly intelligent. By the way, it’s interesting to look at the declining levels of specific humidity at all levels of the atmosphere over time as shown in the NCEP/NCAR database. A less humid atmosphere means less cloud. A warmer atmosphere means less cloud. Less cloud means increased radiation at the surface.
    Bob Tisdale (15:57:42) :
    C Erl: You wrote, “The NCEP/NCAR data reflecs skin temperatures that respond to atmospheric change. Winter minima are lower while summer maxima are similar. Change is faster in the skin data with earlier seasonal maxima and minima.”
    Do you have a link to the NCEP/NCAR paper or webpage that describes this?
    R Bob, that comment is based on my observation of the difference in downloaded data between the sources that you suggested and the NCEP/ NCAR.
    C You wrote, “Sea surface temperature data incorporates ice and land surface temperature at high latitudes.”
    Then it’s not sea surface temperature.
    R Exactly, but if you wanted to verify my figures you will have to download the data that is described as Sea Surface Temperature in that particular database. You don’t cut the mustard for me if you download data from a different database and say it’s different.
    C You wrote, “Some sources of SST data relate more to a near surface rather than a skin temperature reflecting the origin of data in the measurement of water temperature from engine intake, bucket or floating buoy. THIS IS NOT THE CASE WITH THE NCEP/NCAR DATASET.” [My caps]
    R Exactly. NCEP/NCAR is skin temperature including ice at high latitudes.
    C Same question as my first: Do you have a link to the NCEP/NCAR paper or webpage that describes this? And, what SST database does the NCEP/NCAR dataset use? HADSST2, HADISST, ERSST.v2, ERSST.v3b, and Kaplan all use the ICOADS SST database as their starting point. Does NCEP/NCAR have its own SST observation dataset that measured skin temperature before satellites?
    R Bob, I don’t know. What I do know is that the NCEP/NCAR dataset is one of the most carefully constructed datasets that we have. It addresses a fundamental problem and that is discontinuity. For example, temperature data for Darwin Australia unfortunately reflects the fact that the recording station has been moved on three occasions. I presume they kept shifting it out of town as the town grew. As it is, the Darwin temperature data useless for long term climate study. The NCEP/NCAR data is called a reanalysis dataset. That means they have taken conflicting data from all possible sources and tried to make sense of it in a very analytical and exhaustive fashion. It represents a major effort to provide a view of the entire atmosphere and the surface to assist climate change studies. Obviously there are parts of the earth where there are very few observations to go on. I believe the model (understanding of relationships between variables) that they use enables them to fill in the gaps in a rational fashion.
    C Also, I did a quick check of a few of your NCEP/NCAR SLP graphs, since they looked different from the data that I’m used to seeing. Your Figure 18 illustrates SLP for 40N-50N from 1948 to present, smoothed with a 5-month filter. Here’s a graph of HADSLP2 and Trenberth SLP data for the same latitudes, since 1948, with the same smoothing. The wiggles in these two datasets do not resemble the wiggles in your illustration.
    http://i34.tinypic.com/egv4lx.png
    R Bob, I am not using a five month filter on the raw data. That sort of smoothing will produce a very different result to mine. I calculate a five month average of the anomalies where the anomalies relate to average monthly data for the entire period. I will send you a spreadsheet. Look after it because it represents a lot of laborious work. We can then talk the same language.
    C Same thing for the ICOADS SLP data, though the ICOADS data appears to match the HADSLP2 and Trenberth data, with the HADSLP2 and Trenberth data appearing to be scaled or smoothed, thus decreasing the amplitude of their variations:
    http://i38.tinypic.com/34g62yw.png
    And the same problem exists with your illustration of SLP for 10S-10N in Figure 4. There are some significant differences between the NCEP/NCAR data in your Figure 4 and the HADSLP2 data…
    http://i36.tinypic.com/29du15k.png
    …and the ICOADS SLP data for the same latitudes…
    http://i34.tinypic.com/10qi1yd.png
    …but the HADSLP2 and ICOADS data appear to agree, though the HADSLP2 data appears to be scaled or smoothed, decreasing the amplitude of its wiggles.
    Do you have any ideas why there are such major differences between the NCEP/NCAR SLP data and the others?
    R Bob, I haven’t done the comparisons but I reckon it might be to do with the reanalysis process to take out the discontinuities. The aim with the NCEP/NCAR data was to create a dataset that was internally consistent according to known relationships between atmospheric variables. I know that they took in as many sources of data as they possibly could.

  90. Antonio San (16:39:43) :
    R Your point is obscure.
    Bob Tisdale (17:22:36) :
    C Erl: Also, did you ever contact the ESRL and ask why their website spits out SST data for the Sahara? We discussed this at the end of your prior thread here:
    http://climatechange1.wordpress.com/2009/10/04/a-different-view-of-enso-and-systematic-climate-change/
    There I wrote, To illustrate one of the problems with the ESRL website you’re using as a source of data, here’s the ESRL SST anomalies graph of 15N-25N, 0-30E:
    http://i36.tinypic.com/2ltn7gi.png
    Unfortunately, there’s no ocean there. The ESRL is providing SST anomaly data for the Sahara Desert, Erl.
    This would make all of the data in your SST anomaly graphs suspect, since it appears, based on the above Sahara SST data, that the ESRL website has an unknown bias in their SST data.
    R Bob, I did contact them after your query. I know that it was put together as a best effort reanalysis in order to weed out inconsistencies between and across datasets. Now, for my purposes skin is skin whether its land or sea and its temperature reflects the amount of sunlight that falls upon it. Skin is not half a metre or a metre below sea level, beneath the ice or beneath the surface soil. And, I am very interested in skin temperature in icy regions. If one is interested in the response at the surface to changes in the atmosphere, skin is the way to go.
    Bob, for your own research I suggest you satisfy yourself as to what NCEP/NCAR is doing. I have seen you complain about discontinuities in datasets. Using NCEP/NCAR data is one sure way to overcome this problem. Reanalysis makes a lot of sense.
    R One last question, why have you separated the two periods in Figure 4? The SLP data shows a gradual increase from the late 1950s to the mid 1980S and the SST anomaly data shows a multiyear rise from the end of the 1973/74/75/76 La Nina to the 1982/83 El Nino. Just curious. The Pacific climate shift is accepted to have taken place in 1976/77, at the end of that multiyear La Nina, but your Figure 4 separates the data in 1978.
    R Bob, you can look in different places and find different dates for this change. Looking at figure 4, it manifested fully in pressure in 1978 and in temperature in 1984. The point of this post is this: Pre 1978 September 30hPa Antarctic anomalies tended to be negative and post 1978 they were positive. My graphs present the result of subtracting monthly means for the prior from monthly means for the post 1976 period. That is true of figures 2,3,8,9,10,14 and 15. It wouldn’t have made a great difference if I had split the database two or three years either way, so great are the seasonal changes in the atmosphere after 1978. My interest is in analyzing why there was such a change in late winter conditions in the southern hemisphere. Not one person who has read this post has addressed this question or suggested an alternative reason for the change in place of the one I have proposed.
    The change is observed much more readily in the atmosphere than in the surface of the sea. Do you have problems with the data for the atmosphere too?
    If you want to see when/where this climate shift actually occurred you must observe the upper troposphere, See this graph:
    http://s249.photobucket.com/albums/gg220/erlandlong/?action=view&current=200hPaandSST.jpg
    Consider these questions:
    1. Where does change begin?
    2. Why does the 200hpa anomaly line lie below the SST line and then it moves above the SST anomaly line?
    3. Why does 200hpa temperature have more structure to its variation than does sea surface temperature? Is SST a dampened version of change in the upper atmosphere or is it the other way round?
    4. What could be the causative factor that accounts for the relationship between 200hpa temperature and SST that so obviously exists?
    5. Is 1978 a point of transition or is some other point more appropriate?
    If you are interested in these questions you must then have a detailed look at the atmosphere and relate that to change in surface pressure, the temperature of the stratosphere work out why it has changed so much.
    Does the IPCC concern itself with the relationship between the temperature of the stratosphere and the surface? Or why there has been such a marked increase in the temperature of the southern stratosphere and upper troposphere in recent times? No, because they cannot conceive of the possibility that climate change proceeds from causes other than change in greenhouse gases.
    But you can conceive that climate change can be due to other factors and I thank you for your many questions and comments.

  91. Antonio San (17:45:59) :
    C Yet another gem from Mr. Happ, from April 2009:
    “Manifestly, the engine of climate change is in the tropics. Here, energy gain from solar radiation exceeds emission via radiation. The energy gain, more at some times than others, is transferred to high latitudes by the ocean and the atmosphere. To understand climate change we have to understand the Southern Oscillation that governs the warming and cooling of the tropics and also how that oscillation changes over time.”
    I hope his wine tastes better.
    R Antonio: an observer may changes his opinion when he looks a little closer or sees new evidence. Look at figure 22 and see if I have changed my mind to such a degree as to produce an obvious inconsistency. I still maintain that “To understand climate change we have to understand the Southern Oscillation that governs the warming and cooling of the tropics and also how that oscillation changes over time.”
    Since you are reading so diligently go back a little further and you see the origins of today’s work in a post called ‘The atmosphere dances in the solar wind El Nino shows his face’. The sudden stratospheric warming in the Arctic in February 2009 was associated a marked increase in stratospheric ozone and warming in the south east Pacific.
    You are right in one respect: I would not say today that ‘the engine of climate change is in the tropics’. The effects manifest in the tropics, but the causes lie elsewhere.
    And I find your tone unmannerly.
    Bob Tisdale (17:48:53) :
    C Erl: I wrote in an earlier comment, “And the same problem exists with your illustration of SLP for 10S-10N in Figure 4. There are some significant differences between the NCEP/NCAR data in your Figure 4 and the HADSLP2 data…”
    Did you use the same 5-month smoothing as your other graphs in this post? Because, on a second look, the HADSLP2 and ICOADS data would agree with you graph if I’d smooth them with a 12- or 13-month filter.
    The other SLP dataset (40N-50N) though continues to have significant differences.
    Regards
    R Bob, I always begin by calculating average monthly temperatures for the entire period up to the most recent month for which I have data. I then calculate the divergence from the average monthly temperature (the anomaly) and then, to cut out some of the noise (not always a good idea) I frequently calculate a five month moving average OF THE ANOMALY centered on the third month. I always cross check with a straight 12 month moving average centered on the seventh month. In figure 2, I show the five month moving average of the divergence from the monthly average (the anomaly).
    In respect of SST at 40-50N the difference will be between a skin temperature and what is called a surface temperature both relating to the sea. I am using five month moving averages of the anomaly in figures 16, 17 and 18.
    Bob if you really want to criticize this post you need to justify why I should be using some other dataset than the one I am using. I trust it more than the others, it is internally consistent. It is the result of a complex system of checking to remove spurious variations. Skin temperature represents today’s response today, not next month.

  92. Bob Tisdale (19:01:35) :
    C Erl: Isn’t your Figure 5 and the discussion of it simply a rehashing of the SOI, but instead of using SLP of Tahiti and Darwin, you’re using the SLP of Indonesia and Chilean coastal waters?
    R Yes Bob, it is one way of looking at the difference in pressure that drives the trades. But I am also building on the relationship between SLP in the tropics and tropical temperature and the loss of pressure in Antarctica as the atmosphere shifts in order to build that extra pressure over Indonesia. And I am also asking why, if pressure rises generally at 30-40° south latitude when it falls at the pole why it should FALL in the south east Pacific at that same latitude. That is an anachronism.
    Above all I want to suggest that El Nino activity is a product of the forces that shift the atmosphere. Now, Theodore Landscheidt actually suggested that, and it’s nice to confirm it. And of course, I want to go on to make the point that El Nino activity is climate change in action rather than an internal oscillation that balances out over some indeterminate period. By the way, figure 22 shows that the period that it balances out over may be a solar cycle or two. But it could also be ten or more. Remember that the SOI only captures the ratio between pressures at Darwin and Tahiti. It tells us nothing about the long term shifts in absolute pressure in these places.
    C Also, you wrote, “Figure 6 shows that when atmospheric pressure falls off Chile (in figure 6 pressure is inverted so that a rise in the pressure line actually represents falling pressure) sea surface temperature in the intake region for Nino 1 and Nino 2 warms. ”
    Have you plotted the SST anomalies off the Chilean Coast versus NINO1 and 2 or NINO3.4 SST anomalies?
    R Yes, and the southern waters warm before the northern waters in a very high proportion of cases.
    Ozzie John (20:44:53) :
    C It’s always good to see a new theory put forward. I will need to read a few more times. One Issue I have that needs more explaining….
    If in the cool phase we need a stronger polar vortex to limit the level of Ozone in the stratosphere then we should have just completed 30 years of the cool phase. It’s well documented that after 1980 the southern vortex increased noticeably in strength and during this period we have had most of the warming take place.
    R I have covered the temperature/ozone relationship in the post http://climatechange1.wordpress.com/2009/03/08/the-atmosphere-dancing-in-the-solar-wind-el-nino-shows-his-face/
    I would agree that after the marked collapse that culminated in the shift of 1976-8 there is a slow and continuous recovery in the vortex between 1978 and the present time. It is evident in gradually deepening minima in 10hPa temperature over Antarctica since the winter of 1979. That is what is pulling the climate system away from El Nino dominance to La Nina dominance. But, disregarding the short term changes of the ENSO cycle, we are still in a warm phase by comparison with the nineteen seventies.
    Antonio San (20:56:32) : There is no doubt about it, you are a well practiced critic.
    Rhys Jaggar (01:24:41)
    C The key components which you highlight, which need to be placed before policy makers for critical cogitation, are:
    1. The clearly different predictions of latitude-related warming using greenhouse gas theories or solar forcing.
    2. The link between antarctic pressure regimes and alternating cycles of the PDO (and possibly the AMO as well?).
    3. The trigger for regime change in antarctic pressure characteristics being solar/magnetic in nature.
    R Thanks, you have given this post a close read, understood it and realize the implications for climate science. The foolishness of our geo-engineers is par for the course in this area. As an Australian I am amazed that my government is calling carbon a ‘pollutant’ and trying to lead the charge to Copenhagen. Sadly, the leader of the opposition is backing the Prime Minister. I am pinning my hopes on a rebellion in the back bench of the Liberal party.
    Bob Tisdale has made the point elsewhere that the PDO is a creature of ENSO and I agree.

  93. Bob Tisdale (01:45:19) :
    C Erl: Speaking of the Chilean waters, the coordinates you have listed for Chilean waters in Figure 5 are ~770 to ~3450 km away from the coast of Chile at 30 S and ~500 to ~3000 km from the coast of Chile at 40S. Most of the area you’ve listed is well outside of the Humboldt Current, so I’m not sure how much of it serves as the “intake region for Nino 1 and Nino 2″. The coordinates you’ve used are capturing little to no of the upwelling that occurs along the Chilean and Peruvian Coasts. Here’s a graph of the SST anomalies for the area you’ve listed versus those for the area 55S to 20S, 80W-70W, which better captures the Humboldt Current off the Chilean Coast.
    http://i36.tinypic.com/28lz9sl.png
    The two curves show little resemblance.
    R Bob, I have deliberately stayed away from the Humboldt Current. I am looking at the influence of the atmosphere on the temperature of the sea not the influence of the trade winds on the temperature of the coastal waters off Chile.
    The Humboldt current is not the only bus traveling to the equator. The trades blow the surface waters north.
    The point is that a broad area of the south Pacific warms up prior to the increase in temperature in the Nino regions. These same waters are driven north towards the equator by the trades. I am amazed that people studying this phenomenon place so much reliance on studying an east-west rather than a north-south temperature gradient.
    Skin temperature changes much more at higher than at lower latitudes. One reason for this is that ozone change is initiated at the poles. Another reason is that tropical waters tend to respond with increased evaporation rather than change in the temperature of the skin. Evaporation cools the skin. The real measure of the extent of the change in the tropics presents at 850hpa where temperature reflects the release of latent heat of condensation. Here, the rate of increase in temperature is three times that at the surface (from memory).
    Paul Vaughan (02:13:15) :
    C Erl, in light of your comments on downdrafts, I’d be curious to hear your thoughts on the following:
    Wang, J.; Zhang, J.; Watanabe, E.; Ikeda, M.; Mizobata, K.; Walsh, J.E.; Bai, X.; & Wu, B. (2009). Is the Dipole Anomaly a major driver to record lows in Arctic summer sea ice extent? Geophysical Research Letters 36, L05706. doi:10.1029/2008GL036706.
    ftp://ftp.glerl.noaa.gov/wang/Related_Papers/Wang_paper63_2009_GRL.pdf
    R Some pretty complex geometry apparently influences sea Ice extent in the Arctic. Too much for me to get into right now. But, I would suggest that if September-October surface pressure is important to wind direction one should look to the Antarctic vortex to see how that is influencing pressure change.
    Tenuc (02:23:36) :
    C To fully establish the link between formation of small ice at crystals at high altitude and solar / ozone effects needs more work to be done before the physics and chemistry which could be behind it are fully understood. There seem to be many differing and sometimes conflicting views about what’s going on in this remote area of our atmosphere.
    R This research effort will continue into the distant future. But you don’t have to understand all the ins and outs in order to develop useful rules of thumb and work out which way the wind is blowing. When the stratosphere cools, so does the surface. The cooling and warming of the stratosphere is clearly associated with vortex phenomena and atmospheric shifts. The important thing is to acknowledge that these interesting links exist. You then have an entirely new explanation for the process of climate change and a new area for purposeful investigation.
    dearieme (03:48:18) :
    C Point of detail: “nitrogen (76%), oxygen (23%) and trace gases (1%)”. Usually the rounded composition of the atmosphere is given as N2 79%, O2 21%, with the trace gases having been added into the N2. Your figures are different: is that because you are using mass fractions instead of mole fractions? If so, why?
    R Not sure if this question is addressed to me. The micro-measurement of quantities is of little interest to me. I took the data out of a fusty corner of my head and forgot to check it. I admit my error. But, it’s immaterial to the argument.

  94. Juraj V. (06:58:32) :
    C According to UAH for lower troposphere, most of the warming occurred in northern extratropics, which I can confirm as Central European citizen:
    R Can we distinguish between warming activity (absorbing more solar radiation) and temperature increase? In cool relatively clear waters much sunlight can be absorbed without raising the temperature of the sea very much. If the water so warmed is diverted to the northern hemisphere and there is very little circulation of those same waters to high latitudes and these high latitudes are in any case not terribly cool, the temperature increase will manifest more strongly there.
    Northern hemisphere sea surface temperature in latitudes between 20 and 70°N declined to a minimum about 1978 and increased thereafter to reach the sort of level that existed in the forties. See these skin temperatures from the NCEP/NCAR database at:
    http://i249.photobucket.com/albums/gg220/erlandlong/SSTglobal.jpg
    From memory these are 12 month moving averages of raw data centered on seventh month.
    Dr. Lurtz (07:39:35) :
    C Note that the Solar Wind is at the lowest levels in decades (perhaps centuries). Check the proton flux at Spaceweather.com, at times, it is zero!!!
    R Re the solar wind. I know the flux is very low. The solar effect on the atmosphere is in part a product of ionizing radiation and the solar wind. I don’t think we know enough about either to understand why the atmosphere does what it does. We need to know a lot more about the fluctuation in the very short wave spectrum and I suspect that no two solar cycles are alike in this respect.
    By the way, the dependence of the flux in nitrous oxides in the mesosphere on solar activity is now well documented with good correlation with both irradiance and geomagnetic activity. Solar effects are perceptible on a solar rotation timescale. There is also documentation of the depleting effect of nitrous oxides on ozone in the stratosphere over the poles. See for instance:
    http://www.athena-spu.gr/~upperatmosphere/index.php/Nitric_Oxides_in_the_Mesosphere
    “Once NO reaches the lower mesosphere, its lifetime becomes longer because of less photodissociation, due to absorption in the O2 Schumann-Runge band, and self-absorption in the δ band [Minschwaner and Siskind, 1993]; therefore in the lower mesosphere there is sufficient time for the NOx to descend to the stratosphere, where it has a lifetime as long as a year [Solomon et al., 1982]. Once in the stratosphere, NOx can participate in the catalytic processes controlling ozone. This mechanism for coupling the upper and lower atmosphere has been referred to as the EPP Indirect Effect [Randall et al., 2007]: it was first proposed through modeling using a 2D model [Solomon et al., 1982; Brasseur et al., 1984], and has since been observed many times in connection to Solar Proton Events (SPEs) [e.g., Callis et al., 1996, 1998; Siskind et al., 2000a; Jackman et al., 2001; Randall et al., 2001; Randall et al., 2005]. However the degree to which NOx descent depends on varying EPP and/or varying solar UV flux is still a controversial issue [e.g., Rozanov et al., 2005], which needs satellite measurements of NOy, O3, and related parameters covering the high latitude stratosphere to the thermosphere throughout the polar winter in order to be conclusively resolved.
    (iv) SME Measurements of NOx: The hypothesis that the variation in the density of low latitude nitric oxide at 110 km is caused by the variation in the solar output of soft X-rays in the wavelength range 2–10 nm and that the solar soft X-rays vary with a greater amplitude than does the solar extreme ultraviolet radiation was first proposed by Siskind et al. [1990] and the evidence for this hypothesis came from three years of observations of thermospheric nitric oxide from the Solar Mesosphere Explorer [Barth et al., 1998]. The SME observations showed that the nitric oxide density at low latitudes varies with the 27-day solar rotation period and with the 11-year solar cycle. The variation of nitric oxide correlates with the solar 10.7 cm radio flux which is a solar index measured from the ground. The correlation is due to the partial ability of the 10.7 cm flux to track solar EUV and soft X-rays. As shown in Figure 1.47, Nitric oxide (NO) has a maximum density of about 3×107 cm-3 near 110 km whereas in the polar region the mean density is several times greater and highly variable, sometimes as much as 10 times larger. However, Figure 1.48 shows that the solar 10.7 cm flux is an imperfect index of the solar radiation that is causing the changes in nitric oxide density.”

  95. Phil. (07:55:01) :
    R Phil: Your comments slate my understanding of chemistry but add nothing to our understanding of the phenomena of interest. Can you be more useful? What could account for the shift in the atmosphere?
    Bob Tisdale (09:25:56) :
    C Erl: From what I can gather, your hypothesis is grounded in ice crystals, yet I find:
    1. no ice crystal data in your graphs,
    2. no links to ice crystal data,
    3. no supporting papers regarding the impacts of ice crystals.
    R Bob, I presuppose that it is the reflective capacity of ice crystals that accounts for the symmetry in the flux of temperature above 200hpa with that at the surface. It’s a hypothesis. Have you got a more plausible one? You and I know that there is no literature on this relationship.
    For me, the ice crystal idea gains credibility as I observe changes in related variables like surface pressure and upper atmosphere temperature at the poles. Quite some time ago I looked at the relationship between the aa index and the SOI. The timing of El Nino warming events follows a pattern dictated by the solar cycle. I had a long discussion with Leif Svalgaard on climate audit on this subject. It looks like I am out on a limb here but it’s the only explanation that makes sense to me.
    There is a lot of data on atmospheric moisture levels that backs up the ice crystal hypothesis. There are times when the relationship between stratosphere and 200hpa temperature on the one hand and surface temperature on the other, breaks down. That is after a strong El Nino which puts so much moisture into the atmosphere that it ultimately generates a self reinforcing precipitation event. That’s when low level cloud comes into play. That little wrinkle gives me confidence in the ice crystal hypothesis.
    If one does the correlations one finds a very strong relationship between 200hpa temperature and skin temperature but the correlation falls away very quickly when atmospheric relative humidity falls to a low level. That also gives me confidence in this hypothesis.
    The paper is already 6000 words long. Another day perhaps.
    Bob Tisdale (09:45:10) :
    C Erl: You wrote, “The warming mode:
    “1.There is a shift of the atmosphere from the poles towards mid and low latitudes under electromagnetic forcing of ionized air.
    “2.Weakening of the polar vortexes curtails the flow of ionized nitrogen into the upper stratosphere allowing the survival of oxygen ions and increased ozone formation.
    “3.Intermixing of ozone into the upper troposphere raises temperature in the ice cloud zone. Ice crystals evaporate.”
    Yet I find no data to support any of this. I could say the same for much of this post. It appears to be speculation about your imaginary planet.
    R Re your point no 1 please see figure 1 that shows the shift in the atmosphere as reflected in surface pressure. The relationship to electromagnetic forcing is suggested in figure 11.
    Re point 2: See figures7 through 13 which show related phenomena. See also http://climatechange1.wordpress.com/2009/03/08/the-atmosphere-dancing-in-the-solar-wind-el-nino-shows-his-face/
    The increase in ozone at the time of the sudden stratospheric warming in February 2009 is carefully documented in that post.
    Re 3: see figures which show the relationship between the temperature of the stratosphere and the surface. These are figures 16 through to 18. If there is no direct data on ice crystal density one must infer on the basis of other evidence.
    Bob, what I am doing here is offering data and an explanation for the rather extraordinary changes that are seen. There is nothing speculative about the data and you are welcome to offer alternative explanations for the changes that are observed. You seem to be saying that the changes are not real and the explanations are therefore of no interest. If that’s your point of view so be it. If you reckon that the data in the NCEP/NCAR database is all about my imaginary planet, well, it will be a bit of a stretch, but I can accept that too.

  96. Lucy Skywalker (12:58:25) :
    Q After perusal, I still think this work looks stunning. But Erl has to answer Phil’s challenge before I can turn “stunning” into “credible”.
    R Lucy, Phil offers no information as to why the polar atmosphere behaves as it does or why the temperature of the southern stratosphere increased so strongly up to 1978. I am not a chemist but I understand that there are plenty of atmospheric constituents within the stratosphere including carbon dioxide and water that have geometry that will cause them to align themselves with a magnetic field. As such, they will be affected when that magnetic field changes. We also know that there is a marked expansion of the volume of constituents that align themselves with the ever changing magnetic field when the level of energetic short wave energy changes.
    In relation to the modulation of ozone levels by nitrogen oxides of various forms there is plenty of literature on the subject and even the UN panels are acknowledging that the source of natural variation in ozone levels is playing havoc with their predictions based on their inadequate understanding of the upper atmosphere.
    The basic thesis is unaffected by speculation as to what has caused the change in the atmosphere. The fact is, it has happened and there has been a marked warming in the southern hemisphere in Spring that enhances the El Nino tendency. We now have a climate system that was different to that prior to 1980.The warming after 1978 is explicable in terms of changes that have a natural origin. We don’t have to be able to explain the ultimate origins of the change to know that it is real.
    At the same time, we can see that the bias to El Nino activity is gradually decaying. So, we have an explanation for the cooling after the El Nino of 1978. We have an explanation for the warming that will come with the new solar cycle if and when short wave radiation surges.
    And, of course there is a good reason to look closely at the stratosphere and the mesosphere and try and work out what is going on there.
    Lastly, we can look at El Nino activity with new eyes and recognize that it is climate change in action and a lot of stuff that is written about it is just plain guff.
    C On the other hand, figs 12 and 13 are not “astonishing symmetry” but mathematical necessity, as has been pointed out.
    R That’s nonsense. The biggest change is that we have a marked increase in stratospheric temperature in southern spring. We move from one situation to the other and these graphs document the move.
    C But figs 16 and 19 show me something Erl has not commented on, namely a fairly strong cycle of approximately 2 years. What’s that?
    R That’s the Quasi Biennial Oscillation and it manifests most strongly at 10N to 10S latitude and appears also in the atmosphere of other planets. It reflects changing ozone concentration in the equatorial stratosphere. The QBO reinforces the tendency to strong sea surface temperature increase in the tropics in the odd numbered years. i.e. 2003,5,7,9. While the cooler years are 2004,6,8. The SOI when calculated as a five month average of an anomaly tends to rise to its annual peak in September. But in the even numbered years it falls short producing warming in the Southern Ocean that is expressed as a strong increase in sea surface temperature in southern winter and strong maximum at the equator in March-April when equatorial waters hit their maximum temperature for the year. That’s when it shows up in ENSO 3.4. This comment applies to the climate system post 1978, not the prior climate system.
    Paul Vaughan (14:13:04) :
    Q I will agree with those who have suggested partisan-shots should be left out of presentations & articles that are meant to be considered scientifically.
    R I am a partisan. No apologies for that. People have got to know why this arcane stuff is relevant to the way they vote. Too many people have too little confidence in their own ability to reach valid conclusions on the basis of information at hand. A blog is a good place to blow the whistle and blow it hard.
    What do you say about Mr Rudd as PM whose comments are thoroughly partisan? He studiously avoids any comment about the science of the matter? Is that OK?
    Q This is important not just for the author but also for organizations funding the author’s work.
    R I am self funded. And, I run the risk of people like Antonio saying my wine is sour when they read what I have to say.
    Antonio San (15:05:28) :
    C Lucy, you should certainly get familiar with the work by the late Professor Marcel Leroux, a real climatologist
    R I am familiar with his work and endorse your recommendation. His description of the role of mobile polar highs is revelatory. But his knowledge of ENSO, upper atmosphere dynamics and tropical warming leaves a bit to be desired.

  97. “Antonio San (15:05:28) :
    C Lucy, you should certainly get familiar with the work by the late Professor Marcel Leroux, a real climatologist
    R I am familiar with his work and endorse your recommendation. His description of the role of mobile polar highs is revelatory. But his knowledge of ENSO, upper atmosphere dynamics and tropical warming leaves a bit to be desired.”
    Oh my… obviously Leroux did not have your experience and climatological knowledge… especially in the tropics… LOL (his WMO published PhD. thesis on the Meteorology and Climatology of Tropical Africa is a reference… how about yours?).
    His knowledge of ENSO is enough to explain why ENSO is a mind construction that doesn’t reflect the physical reality, in particular that the indice draws on statistical centers belonging to two different aerological spaces! You may still believe in Santa Claus while Leroux has demonstrated it’s a commercial hoax.
    Had you undertood his work, you could not possibly write a response that this. Enough time wasted!

  98. erlhapp;
    It is a great privilege to see a creative work of the mind taking shape in ‘real-time’ as it were. Thanks for your breadth of mind and generosity of spirit.
    And, is there a finally a role for noctilucent cloud data in your concept?
    And anyway, would it be possible to observe proposed high-latitude high-altitude ice-crystal formations that may otherwise be invisible, from spacecraft looking laterally?

  99. supercritical (11:36:21) :
    Thanks for the very kind remarks.
    My comment about noctilucent cloud was designed to emphasize the fact that water vapor forms reflective ice crystals throughout the bulk of the atmosphere upwards from the point where air temperature falls below zero which is between two and four kilometers in elevation. Cirrus cloud is sometimes observed in the stratosphere. We think of regular water droplet clouds as providing the obvious albedo effect but there is evidence in the strong relationship between the temperature of the upper atmosphere and that at the surface that it is ice cloud that is the critical factor. Not such an outlandish idea really.
    Now, as to how one observes the density or reflectivity of these ice crystals I don’t know. But, I have certainly witnessed dense formations reminiscent of thin fog at high elevations while traveling in aircraft in the tropics.
    But really, having observed the relationship between upper atmosphere temperature and that at the surface, we know what is going on so, why bother. Surface temperature relates to changing albedo. That’s the message pure and simple.

  100. Erl: You replied, “These are figures 16 through to 18. If there is no direct data on ice crystal density one must infer on the basis of other evidence.”
    Then this is speculation. That’s all I wanted to confirm.

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