Where is Science?

Guest post by Erl Happ

The Southern Oscillation Index is a reference point for the strength of the Trade winds. It represents the difference in atmospheric pressure between Tahiti and Darwin. In figure 1 the SOI is the red line with its values on the right axis. A negative SOI reflects slack trade winds and a warming ocean. A positive index relates to a cooling globe. Note that the right axis in figure 1 is inverted.

How is it that change in surface atmospheric pressure is so closely associated with a change in the temperature of the tropical ocean? This is the major unsolved riddle in climate science. If temperature is so obviously associated with pressure on an inter-annual basis why not in the long-term? In this article I show that pressure and temperature are intimately related on all time scales. In other words, ENSO is not an ‘internal oscillation of the climate system‘ that can be considered to be climate neutral. ENSO is climate change in action. You can’t rule it out. You must rule it in. Once you do so, the IPCC assertion that the recent increase in surface temperature is more than likely due to the works of man is not just ‘in doubt’, it is insupportable.

If the IPPC can’t explain ENSO it can not explain climate change. It is not in a position to  predict surface temperature. Its efforts to quantify the rise in temperature must be seen to be nothing more than wild imaginings. Its prescriptions for ‘saving the planet’ must be viewed as ridiculous.

Surface pressure data: http://www.longpaddock.qld.gov.au/seasonalclimateoutlook/southernoscillationindex/soidatafiles/index.php. Monthly temperature data: http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/psd/cgi-bin/data/timeseries/timeseries1.pl

Temperature change is linked to change in surface atmospheric pressure

Figure 1 Left axis Temperature in °C. Right axis three month moving average of the monthly southern Oscillation Index

The Southern Oscillation Index leads surface temperature on the upswing and also on the downswing. Some factor associated with change in surface pressure is plainly responsible for temperature change.

How and why does atmospheric pressure change?

The evolution of surface pressure throughout the globe depends upon the activity of the coupled circulation of the stratosphere and the troposphere in Antarctica and in the Arctic. These circulations have become more aggressive over time resulting in a loss of atmospheric mass in high latitudes and gain at low latitudes. The gain at low latitudes reflects the seasonal pattern of increased intensity in the respective polar circulations. The stratosphere and the troposphere couple most intensely in February in the Arctic and in June through to September in the Antarctic. The pattern of enhanced activity at particular times of the year is reflected in the timing of the increase in sea surface pressure in equatorial latitudes, as seen in figure 2.

Figure 2 Gain in average monthly sea level pressure between the decade 1948-1957 and the decade 2001-2010. hPa

The coupled circulation in the southern hemisphere produces a deep zone of low pressure on the margins of Antarctica that encircles the entire globe as is clearly evident in figures 3 and 4. In previous posts I have documented the change in high latitude pressure since 1948 and the associated change in wind strength, sea surface temperature and by inference, since the atmosphere is warmed by the descent of ozone into the troposphere, a change in cloud cover.

Figure 3 Mean sea level pressure January

The pressure deficit on margins of Antarctica is deepest in July (winter).

Figure 4 Mean sea level pressure July

It is of interest therefore to look at the evolution of the pressure relationship between Tahiti and Darwin (that is the essence of the SOI) over time.

Bear in mind that as atmospheric mass moves from high latitudes to the equator atmospheric pressure increases at Darwin more than it does at Tahiti and the trade winds slacken. The increase in pressure at Darwin is well correlated with the increase in atmospheric pressure in equatorial latitudes globally. The plunge is atmospheric pressure at high latitudes that enables the increase in pressure at the equator is associated with cloud loss and increased sea surface temperature in mid and low latitudes. The most abbreviated explanation of mechanism behind the loss of cloud can be found here: http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/08/20/the-character-of-climate-change-part-3/

Figure 5 Thirty day moving average of the difference in daily sea level pressure between Tahiti and Darwin hPa.

The excess of pressure in Tahiti with respect to Darwin over the period 1999-2011 is shown in figure 5. The differential plainly evolves over time and an indication of the direction of change is given by the fitted polynomial curve.

Secondly, we can see that the pressure differential exhibits a pattern of seasonal variation. In general the pressure differential is high at the turn of the year and low in mid year.

The pattern of the average daily differential for the entire period for which daily data is available (1992 -2011) is shown in figure 6.

Figure 6 Average daily sea level pressure differential between Tahiti and Darwin over period 1992-2011. hPa

We observe that the pressure differential between Tahiti and Darwin:

• Reflects strong variability even when averaged over a period of twenty years.

• Is greatest between late December and the end of February (strong Trade winds)

• Is least between April and September (weak Trade winds).

• Shows a pattern of enhancement in February- March and also in September- October that plainly relates to the pattern of pressure increase in near equatorial latitudes evident in figure 2. The shift in the atmosphere away from Antarctica tends to enhance the pressure differential driving the trade winds all year, but in particular in September and October. So far as the Arctic is concerned the pressure loss is centered on February and March.

Why do the trades tend to fail in mid year?

Figure 7 Sea level pressure hPa. Seasonal pattern in Tahiti and Darwin.

The erosion of the pressure differential in southern winter relates to the establishment of a high pressure zone over the Australian continent. Compare figures 3 and 4 noting the difference in atmospheric pressure over Australia in summer and winter.

Change in the pressure differential (and the trade winds) over time.

In figures 8-11 the evolution of the pressure differential between 1997 and 2000 is compared with its evolution between the years 2009-2011.

Figure 8 Daily pressure differential. Tahiti less Darwin. hPa

The first and largest El Nino of solar cycle 23 began in early 1997. The first El Nino in Cycle 24 started in late 2009. The pattern of the differential is shown in figure 8. Plainly, the reduction in the pressure differential was more extreme in 1997 than in 2009.

Figure 9 Daily pressure differential. Tahiti less Darwin. hPa

The reduced differential persisted till March in 2010 and May in 1998. The last half of the year saw a strong recovery.

Figure 10 Daily pressure differential. Tahiti less Darwin. hPa

In 1999 and 2011 we see a strong pressure differential (La Nina) in the early part of the year, and in the case of 1999 this enhanced differential persisted through to the end of the year. The differential in early 2011 was much stronger than it had been in 1999.

It is noticeable that week to week variability is enhanced in 2011. I suggest that this relates to increased plasma density in an atmosphere due to reduced ionizing short wave radiation in solar cycle 24 by comparison with 23. Under these circumstances El Nino and La Nina produce  a relatively ‘wild ride’.

We note the extension of La Nina into a second year.

Figure 11 Daily pressure differential. Tahiti less Darwin. hPa

2000 was a La Nina year coinciding with solar maximum. A coincidence of La Nina with solar maximum is more usual than not. On that basis one expects the current La Nina to continue into 2012. However, given the relative deficiency in short wave ionizing radiation in cycle 24 with respect to cycle 23 this time around might be different. The likely lack of a well-defined peak in cycle 24 will make a difference. If the cycle goes in fits and starts, so to will the ENSO experience.

Is the climate swinging towards El Nino as it warms?

It is a favorite meme of those who suggest that the globe is warming ‘due to change in trace gas composition’ that the climate is likely to progress towards a more of less permanent El Nino existence. Does recent history support this assetion? Is a warming globe associated with increased incidence of El Nino?

Figure 12 Average daily pressure differential Tahiti less Darwin hPa

In the six year period 1992-1997 the average daily pressure differential reveals an El Nino bias in relation to average for the entire period 1992-2011. In this period the globe warmed, but the degree of warming was subdued by the eruption of Pinatub0 in 1991.

Figure 12 Average daily pressure differential Tahiti less Darwin hPa

A cooling bias is evident over the last seven years from 2005 through to 2011.

Figure 13 Average daily pressure differential. Tahiti less Darwin. hPa

Plainly there has been a progression away from an El Nino towards a La Nina state over the twenty years since 1992. In the period to 1998 the globe plainly warmed. In the period since 1998 warming seems to have ceased. There have been a suggestion that some heat that ‘should be there’ has gone missing. Can this be read as an admission that warming has either slowed down or has actually ceased?

Conclusion:

ENSO is not climate neutral. ENSO is the reality of climate change in action. The progression towards cooling that is evident in the increasing pressure differential between Tahiti and Darwin shows no sign of abating. The ENSO state changes not only on an inter-annual time scale but on very much longer time scales. ENSO is plainly not ‘climate neutral’.

If we look back at figure 1 we will see that the Southern Oscillation Index leads the change in tropical sea surface temperature on the upswing and the downswing. The SOI is more positive (cooling) in 2011 than it has been at any time over the last sixty years.

Until the IPPC can properly account for ENSO cycles they can not attribute climate change to ‘change in trace gas composition due to the works of man’. We see an excellent correlation between surface pressure and surface temperature and no correlation at all between trace gas concentration and surface temperature.

Where is Science?

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Julian Braggins

Well, this certainly gives support to those who think that lapse rate determines the temperature of a planet with an atmosphere, like Harry Dale Huffman,
http://theendofthemystery.blogspot.com/2010/11/venus-no-greenhouse-effect.html#comments
and why the average calculated temperature of Earth should be high in the atmosphere where there is a layer that does just that without a ‘greenhouse effect to be looked for to justify near ground temperatures, as in,
Understanding the atmosphere, PDF by Postma

John Peter

I look forward to reading Bob Tisdale´s comments on this.

Rick Bradford

IPCC, surely (on 2 occasions)
Don’t want to attack the folks at the International Plant Protection Convention …..

Robert M

Where is Science?
The “Team” has gagged it, and locked it in a basement changed to a wall. When asked if they would ever release it, the teams answer was that they would destroy it first, before they let any of those darn skeptics set it free.

Hoser

And what does it all mean? Really? Nice analysis. Interesting correlations. Cause and effect? I doubt we are ready for that. It’s nice to see there isn’t a computer model involved. I guess we keep an eye on this behavior for the next 20 or 30 years and see if it hangs together.
Any predictions?
I’m not clear on a proposed mechanism other than wind shifts and pressure changes that vary with the seasons. How do these produce the temperature effects and other features of changing climate? Are these sufficient on their own? I don’t think so. It seems the seasonal pressure maps are a consequence of the average weather pattern, but I suppose that would be climate when averaged over some period of time we think is enough.
Nothing wrong with collecting observations and performing some analysis sans hypothesis. Far, far better than lying with pretty pictures produced by computer models. It seems like we still have a bunch of puzzle pieces that need to be fit together. With this post, perhaps we can say a little more of the picture is emerging.

jorgekafkazar

I compare ENSO to a grandfather’s clock with a mouse running up and down the pendulum. It’s a cyclical device, but the period is variable and unpredictable, since we don’t know where the mouse is. If the mouse is most often near the bottom of the pendulum, the period is long (more ElNinos, increasing global T); if it’s staying near the top, the period is short (more LaNinas, decreasing global T). There is no reason to assume the mouse will, on average, be dead center on the pendulum!
Dead right, Erl!

Richard111

Hmm… International Planet Plonckers Crowd.

Doug S

Excellent post. If I got the gist of it correct:
For some reason the kinetic energy of the circulating gas at the poles increases.
As the energy of rotation increases, the atmosphere is shifted out to the equator zone by centrifugal force.
This causes an increase in atmospheric pressure in the mid band of the globe and the heat transfer coefficient (some kind of generalized coeff.) is changed.
Energy transfer for the earth is changed as temp. and pressure in the mid band of the globe changes.

Thank you Earl, that confirms what I have suspected for a while. Do you see any longer term (decadal) connection between SOI and temperature?

Truthseeker

Julian Braggins,
I have also seen that analysis by Dr Huffman and agree that it shows that atmospheric temperature is driven by energy output from the sun, distance from the sun and air pressure. Also, I did a “back of the envelope” calculation of these factors for Titan and got a number (in K) that agreed with the NASA and Wikipedia information I found regarding Titan.
Erl,
If we accept this basic relationship between the energy output from the sun, distance from the sun and air pressure dictating temperature, then as far as seasonal variations go, the Earth is at the closest point to the Sun in January and the furthest point in July. The temperature difference at these times to the average distance at sea level is about +2.5K and -2.3K respectively.

Philip Bradley

How is it that change in surface atmospheric pressure is so closely associated with a change in the temperature of the tropical ocean?
I assume you mean Sea Surface Temperature, not temperature of the tropical ocean.
Similarly, when you say temperature, It’s not clear whether you are refering to atmospheric or sea surface temperatures.
It is indeed interesting that surface pressure leads SSTs. Can you suggest a physical mechanism for this?
And as for increased frequency of El Nino in a warming climate. The Forcing model predicts that the oceans will warm due to a warmer atmosphere impeding heat flow out of the oceans. I see no reason why it would predict El Nino frequency to increase except to the extent SSTs overall rise. IMO more El Ninos is just baseless alarmism on a par with Polar Bears drowning.

eyesonu

Erl, once again I find your discussion on atmospheric pressures and circulations very interesting.
As always, I will reread a few times as you present interesting theories and topics for discussion. I look forward to greater minds than myself to weigh in on the topic.

Roy Clark

The oceans cool mainly by evaporation, which depends on surface temperature, humidity and wind speed. The ENSO oscillation is a dynamic balance between solar driven subsurface ocean heating and wind driven evaporation.
There is a lot of information on ocean evaporation available at:
http://oaflux.whoi.edu/publications.html
The basic idea is that the total daily (‘cloud free’) solar flux in the tropics is about 25MJ.m-2. The wind driven evaporation (latent heat flux) in the warm pool can easily vary from 15 to 35 MJ.m-2 per day as the average wind speed goes from about 2 to 8 m.s-1. The tropical Pacific Ocean can heat or cool depending on the wind speed and this drives the ENSO oscillation. This is also part of the N. and S. Pacific Gyre circulation – the N. and S. equatorial currents. The wind speed also controls the transit time of the ocean flow across the Pacific. This also influences the ocean heating. The wind and evaporation may also change the cloud cover. This then changes the solar heating. The details get complicated and it becomes an interactive chicken and egg problem.
However, the total daily increase in downward LWIR flux from a 100 ppm increase in atmospheric CO2 concentration is only 0.15 MJ.m-2 per day – over 200 years. This flux is absorbed right at the surface. The wind can easily do +/- 10 MJ.m-2 per day.
Sun, wind and water need no help from CO2 to change the Earth’s climate.

petermue

jorgekafkazar says:
September 22, 2011 at 11:40 pm
I compare ENSO to a grandfather’s clock with a mouse running up and down the pendulum. It’s a cyclical device, but the period is variable and unpredictable, since we don’t know where the mouse is.
You can calculate, where the mouse is and where it will be in the near future.
http://www.john-daly.com/sun-enso/sun-enso.htm
There is more documentation referring to this. Just google for Theodor Landscheidt.

Chris Korvin

Trade winds this way, trade winds that way, altering pressures between Darwin and Tahiti,etc.,etc.,….I can see how this can alter prospects for anchovy fishing in Peru,etc., etc., but I cannot see how the planets total thermal budget can be influenced by this local blowing around of temperature changes in the Pacific. Surely what counts is how the planet as a whole warms or cools. I dont see how El Nino vs La Nina can affect the planets temperature AS A WHOLE. can some cleverer than me please explain.

Truthseeker

Philip Bradley,
My theory with regard to air pressure and SST is that the closer the molecules are together, the more photon to air molecule interaction, the more air molecule collisions and the more molecules in a given area to hold that heat energy. Pardon me if anyone thinks I am stating the bleeding obvious, but I do not come from a physics background.

Philip Bradley

but I cannot see how the planets total thermal budget can be influenced by this local blowing around of temperature changes in the Pacific.
Its not local, its global scale changes in winds.
The Earth’s heat budget is in large part driven by how fast heat accumulating in the oceans is released to the atmosphere then transits the atmosphere and is lost to space. El Nino/La Nina and winds play important roles in the speed of this process.
Truthseeker, I’m not sure what your point is, but if you compress a gas it gets warmer because energy is released. Not because it gains energy.

John Marshall

The stronger the surface wind over the seas the greater the evaporation (latent heat required). This removes heat so lowers temperature. Cannot be the only thing though.

Stephen Wilde

Nice work by Erl and I agree with his conclusions overall.
Just a few more steps to be taken to see if we can firm up on the mechanics of the atmospheric temperature changes that lead to the observed redistribution of surface pressure. There is a difference between me and Erl on that but I am relaxed about which of us is right.
It seems to be agreed that it is that redistribution which is involved in altering total global cloudiness, albedo and thus the amount of solar energy getting into the oceans for a warming or cooling effect on the whole system.
I would say that it is the net level of solar input to the oceans that skews the relative balance between El Nino and La Nina during successive same sign phases of the Pacific Multidecadal Oscillation (not PDO as Bob Tisdale keeps reminding us).
That gives steps upward during warming spells such as LIA to date and presumably steps downward would have been observed from MWP to LIA.
I think we are all zeroing in on the primary features of the global system. Features which the models do not reflect.
It then only remains to find out how big the natural processes involving sun and ocean are compared to the human input.
Overwhelming in my judgement.

cal

I found this very interesting but I am not convinced by the long term correlation. Since PV=RT for a given mass of gas I would expect average Pressure and Temperature to be correlated for the atmosphere as a whole. Locally and in the short term I can see that pressure differences could easily lead to temperature differences but in the long term I would tend to think that temperature differences would lead to pressure differences. This relationship would lead to an oscillation which is exactly what we see. This is not to disprove what you are suggesting only to raise some doubts.

Philip Bradley

Cloud reflects solar radiation and the surface cools. That is the reason why the Earth as a whole is coolest in January when it is 3% closer to the sun and has 7% more solar irradiance at it’s disposal.
The Earth’s atmosphere’s global minimum temperature is in January because 80% of the world’s land mass is in the northern hemisphere. Land retains heat from solar irridiance for a much shorter period than the oceans. Overall in January NH atmosphere over land is losing more heat to space than SH oceans are releasing to the atmosphere.
The Earth definitely has its maximum heat gain in January. The SH oceans gain more heat at this time than the NH land loses heat. The reverse is true in July and the Earth has its maximum heat loss at this time.
Clouds may play a role in the atmospheric temperature changes between July and January, but that role is secondary to the land versus ocean effect.

JP Miller

Erl/ Steve, your data analyses and theories, when coupled with Svensmark, are quite intriguing and provocative. It’s fun to watch you work out/ explain your thinking here. However, if there is a real “‘there’ there,” then would it not be worthwhile to either try to get a paper published or hook up with a traditional academic researcher to put your thinking into the “mainstream” of science? Failing that, we have to wonder whether you guys are just clever or are onto something meaningful. “Peer review,” while it has its problems, is still the best way to get scientific ideas rigorously tested.

wayne Job

Where indeed is science, in the community of the hockey team it seems to be lacking, as they have had no new thoughts or ideas for twenty years. They remind me of an old 78 record with a scratch that repeats the same old mantra over and over again. Measuring stuff to prove your ideas seems to be beyond them, and the output of their million dollar play stations seems to be their idea of science.
Thank you Mr Happ for some real thought and input into a very interactive and complex regulatory system that is our planet Earth air conditioning system.

Just a quick pair of comment — hopefully more later.
1) Why do your fit over a calendar year? The calendar year is an artifact of human society, not an intrinsic feature of the earth. You might argue that you are looking from winter to winter, or perihelion to perihelion, but there ought to be some physical reason.
2) More importantly, why a polynomial fit? Over the course of several years, your fig 6 will look like a serrated knife, with pointy peaks every Jan, ie cusps pointing upward (and in fact, the cusps would show a sudden jump from 5 to 6 every January 1. If had happened to go from July to July instead of Jan, to Jan, the cusps would have pointed downward. This would give a very different appearance to your results based merely on the artificial start date.
A sinusoidal curve with an adjustable phase angle would make much more sense to me.

Claude Harvey

Well, bugger AGW! Let’s get real here. What does all this mean in terms of wine production, Earl?

Stephen Wilde

JPM,
A few more bits of data need to fall into place before I could consider my hypotheses clearly demonstrated but your suggestion is appreciated.

Very interesting read, thank you.

Roger Clague

I agree with cal
September 23, 2011 at 2:36 am
who says that the the ideal gas law PV = RT explains how temperature and pressure of the atmosphere vary.
There is no room for a theory considering the radiative effects of CO2, a trace gas. The AGW theory.

Garacka

Shouldn’t these discussions which significantly focus on pressure and velocity suggest that enthalpy is what we should really be measuring for measuring “climate” changes vice being so focused on temperature?

Philip Bradley says:
September 23, 2011 at 1:14 am

Truthseeker, I’m not sure what your point is, but if you compress a gas it gets warmer because energy is released. Not because it gains energy.

Energy is added to a gas when you compress it. (work = force x distance and all that.) If the container is poorly insulated, then more thermal energy is released from the warmed gas than would be had it not been compressed.
Of course, the energy added to the gas had to be released by whatever drives the compressor. In that sense your statement is ambiguous.
BTW, you seem to have misterminated a <i> and triggered a WordPress bug that leaves italics on to the end of the post. The proper termination is </i>.

Tim Folkerts
I am no expert, but measuring over a year seems right considering the axis of the earth is not perpendicular to the plane, and that land-mass is not evenly distributed around the planet.

Alberta Slim

More evidence to present to the IPCC.
But, will they accept it? No!
Impudent Pack of Condescending Clowns.

tjfolkerts

Your first graph clearly shows a correlation. However, there is also a clear trend of the SST upward IN ADDITION to the correlation to the pressure data.
Put another way, there is no long-term trend in the pressure data, but there is a long-term upward trend in the SST data. Thus it appears your approach shows what drives short term (monthly or annual) variations, but it does NOT show what drives long-term (decadal) changes. The long-term changes would need some OTHER explanation (like changes in the sun or changes in GHGs).

tjfolkerts

@ Eternal Optimist
Certainly a year is a reasonable period to choose; my point was more that Jan-Dec (summer-summer in the southern hemisphere) period is artificial. It would make just as much sense to fit the data from JUL-JUN (winter-winter). The fit as shown is a handy guide for the eye, but making any inferences from such an artificial fit seems to be asking too much from such a fit.
And again, a sinusoidal fit makes more sense, because then the fit would repeat smoothly, rather than having a discontinuous cusp at the end of every year.

Spector

RE: Erl Happ: (September 22, 2011)
“If the [IPCC] can’t explain ENSO it can not explain climate change.”
I believe that the IPCC was founded on the general proposition that human behavior, especially that in modern western civilization, was adversely affecting the climate, thus the governments of the world must get together and control this adverse human behavior worldwide before our environment is damaged beyond amendment.
If, as many now believe, the climate is largely beyond our control, then perhaps it should be replaced or augmented by an organization dedicated to dealing with the international aspects of human adaptation to gross climate changes.
There seem to be increasing indications that our knowledge of climate science is much less mature than we had believed in the past.

Jeremy

Not sure this proves anything. Of course Pressure and Temperature are linked inherently everywhere in our atmosphere. It’s basic high school chemistry – look up Boyle’s and Charles law and the ideal gas law PV=nRT.
Where is the science?
In your basic high school text book.

Mods, I lost a comment to the nether worlds!
[REPLY: I didn’t find anything in Spam. If it did not appear, resubmit. -REP, mod]

Jeremy says:
September 23, 2011 at 6:49 am
Not sure this proves anything. Of course Pressure and Temperature are linked inherently everywhere in our atmosphere. It’s basic high school chemistry – look up Boyle’s and Charles law and the ideal gas law PV=nRT.
Where is the science?
In your basic high school text book.
================================================
I wish I’d remember to refresh the page before I post. But, yes, it seems it might be appropriate to apply some gas laws. But, Jeremy, it’s been done before and, wow, you wouldn’t believe how many people oppose that type of application of such science laws.
Mods…… italics seem to be stuck on!!!!

G. Karst

It all reminds me of the parable of the blind man trying to discern an elephant by touch.
We have been examining the tail of this beast, for some time, and we are still cannot identify the fundamental animal. Frustrating as hell.
Btw: Add to this enigma, Cern’s neutrino faster than light speed results and one has to be amazed, by our apparent ignorance (see tips and notes) GK

Pamela Gray

I now have a kink in my neck from reading italics. Someone forgot to “unitalic”.
[REPLY: It’s fixed! It’s fixed! -REP, mod]

gnomish

nice work, Erl.
nice comment by Roy, too.
i submit that a ‘cloud’ need not be visible as condensed vapor, too – a volume of water vapor which is invisible is as effective an ir blocker/absorber as a visible cloud.

TomRude

“The Southern Oscillation Index is a reference point for the strength of the Trade winds. It represents the difference in atmospheric pressure between Tahiti and Darwin.”
Indeed that’s how it was defined and Leroux demonstrated why it is an aberration.eom.

Edim

Earl,
Good analysis and a very important point – ENSO change IS climate change. It’s not climate neutral and it’s not noise.
http://www1.ncdc.noaa.gov/pub/data/cmb/teleconnections/eln-f-pg.gif
http://www1.ncdc.noaa.gov/pub/data/cmb/teleconnections/lan-f-pg.gif

Ok, trying again…..
Erl, you are skirting on a very contentious issue by even daring to mention atmospheric pressure. You may not be aware of the history. A about a year & 1/2 ago a frequent contributor (Steve Goddard, who has gone on to run his own blog……http://www.real-science.com/) presented the thought of applying the Ideal Gas Law to the climate issue. http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/05/06/hyperventilating-on-venus/ and http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/05/08/venus-envy/ .
As you can see, the idea was quite controversial, and was met with much resistance from alarmist and skeptic alike. That said, Steve’s writing and response style is more provocative and elicits emotive responses rather than intellectual exploration.
The law, PV=nRT, is apparently not very palatable to many that have considered the CAGW hypothesis. Now, I’m not familiar with all of the intricacies of atmospheric pressure. But, what I do know is that science laws don’t selectively apply. They always work or they are not laws. The laws of motion don’t cease to exist because we aren’t considering them, neither do the laws of energy transfer. Some, from conversations in the past, seem to think the Ideal Gas Law only applies when we consider the question.
Perhaps its time for a more level-headed discussion regarding how the Ideal Gas Law applies to the earth’s temps.
James

Edim

T = pV/nR = pv/Rspec = p/ρRspec
That means that if pressure and volumen (or density) are given, the temperature is defined and depends only on these two. You can only change the temperature if you change the p/ρ ratio, assuming any change in specific gas constant is insignificant.

“ENSO is supposed to be climate neutral. ” Given a long enough period of time it is. That is why this climate science debate is so frustrating. There are natural frequencies in any dynamic system. 9.5 years and 15.3 years would seem to be the most applicable, but there are 40, 65 and 96 years cycles that should be considered in 100 years forecasts of climate change. Now that the bar for a trend is set at greater than 17 years, it is more of a challenge. Before, 14.7 years was a reasonable minimum period for a trend.