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?

0 0 votes
Article Rating
146 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Julian Braggins
September 22, 2011 10:57 pm

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
September 22, 2011 11:06 pm

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

Rick Bradford
September 22, 2011 11:19 pm

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

Robert M
September 22, 2011 11:30 pm

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
September 22, 2011 11:39 pm

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
September 22, 2011 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. 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
September 22, 2011 11:45 pm

Hmm… International Planet Plonckers Crowd.

Doug S
September 22, 2011 11:47 pm

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.

Ken Stewart
September 22, 2011 11:49 pm

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
September 23, 2011 12:01 am

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.

September 23, 2011 12:07 am

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
September 23, 2011 12:17 am

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
September 23, 2011 12:22 am

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.

September 23, 2011 12:28 am

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
September 23, 2011 12:41 am

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
September 23, 2011 12:42 am

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.

September 23, 2011 1:14 am

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
September 23, 2011 1:33 am

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
September 23, 2011 2:07 am

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
September 23, 2011 2:36 am

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.

September 23, 2011 2:57 am

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
September 23, 2011 3:15 am

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
September 23, 2011 3:28 am

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.

September 23, 2011 3:33 am

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
September 23, 2011 3:42 am

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

Stephen Wilde
September 23, 2011 3:53 am

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.

September 23, 2011 5:01 am

Very interesting read, thank you.

Roger Clague
September 23, 2011 5:13 am

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
September 23, 2011 5:18 am

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?

Editor
September 23, 2011 5:27 am

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>.

Eternal Optimist
September 23, 2011 5:52 am

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
September 23, 2011 6:04 am

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

September 23, 2011 6:09 am

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).

September 23, 2011 6:19 am

@ 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
September 23, 2011 6:34 am

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
September 23, 2011 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.

James Sexton
September 23, 2011 6:58 am

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]

G. Karst
September 23, 2011 7:01 am

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

James Sexton
September 23, 2011 7:01 am

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!!!!

Pamela Gray
September 23, 2011 7:04 am

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
September 23, 2011 7:07 am

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
September 23, 2011 7:43 am

“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
September 23, 2011 7:45 am

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

James Sexton
September 23, 2011 7:55 am

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
September 23, 2011 8:02 am

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.

September 23, 2011 8:05 am

“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.

RR Kampen
September 23, 2011 8:21 am

“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.”
Yes, we have yet to discover the Gas Law. Until then, all is shrouded in mystery.

Steve Oregon
September 23, 2011 8:26 am

As I read WUWT pieces like this I find myself wondering what went wrong with science.
Climate science has delivered the most inflated significance in human history. The miniscule human generated portion of trace atmospheric CO2 is only what it is. Essentially meaningless.
Yet modern day science, with all it’s advantages and 1000s of colaborative participants, has been unable to avoid a fabrication of biblical proportions and a campaign using every modern day manipulation to impose it as truth and discovery.
With it’s many layers of deceit throughout academia and governments several science generations are being tainted beyond recognition.
With so many particpants entrenched in instituions and bureaucracies I can’t even imagine a full recovery as possible. In fact it is quite likely to get worse despite the tremendous work like Erl’s, WUWT et al.
The many participants being so well insulated from the truth and consequences is a scary reality that may spawn even worse depratures from honest science.
I like to presume science is in recovery.
But is that true? Or is it in fact getting worse?
How do we know?
Can we know?

Owen
September 23, 2011 8:49 am

Actually, if you want to see the effects of the endpoints you could graph 14 month periods (or more – 18-24 may be better), repeating the last two months(or however many required to even the period) on the first two months of the next graph, say graph from Nov – Feb, so the first plot would be Nov91-Feb93, the next would be Nov92-Feb94, etc, It won’t change the results, but the curve fits might be more obvious if there is a sinusoidal overlay.
I still think the feedbacks and the reaction time constants are going to be the key to understanding our continuously changing global climate. I haven’t read anything that seems to be close to a solution for those, and the climate models won’t shine any light on them at all, because they don’t even try to model them (they’d probably get it wrong anyway so maybe just as well).

September 23, 2011 8:51 am

“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.”
lHow astounding this statement is to me. I would have to say that these “climate scientists” must never have taken a comprehensive course in chemistry in high school, let alone in college.
Lower atmospheric pressure enhances evaporation of surface water, and the specific heat of vaporization (the change in state from liquid to vapor) of H2O is high . . . in older terms, 539 calories per gram of H2O evaporated, or 539 BTUs per pound, and that amount of heat is transfered from surface waters to the H20 molecules when those H2O molecules become entrained in the atmosphere. Of course, higher velocity surface winds also greatly enhance this evaporative process.
Perhaps a high school course in chemistry followed by a college course in chemistry, say a couple of semesters of 5 unit courses, 3 lectures and 2 labs per week, would help signficantly.

pittzer
September 23, 2011 9:00 am

Please bear with a layman’s questions.
My take-away from this article is that:
1. ENSO is a major factor in global climate change.
2. Current “Team” models assume ENSO is neutral factor in global climate change.
Obvious conclusions may be drawn from that. Am I missing anything?

Tom in Florida
September 23, 2011 9:06 am

Here is a nice tutorial for the average person to help in understanding atmospheric circulation. The beginning is general background so read it all the way to the end.
http://rst.gsfc.nasa.gov/Sect14/Sect14_1c.html

James Sexton
September 23, 2011 9:16 am

erl happ says:
September 23, 2011 at 8:12 am
…………..
Sorry James, not going to buy it.
===============================================
Erl, I’m not taking a position, but I’m simply stating we may benefit from exploring the thought. From your post, it is almost impossible not to consider the IGL or some of its variants(Boyles….etc). However, if it isn’t your desire to veer in that direction, so be it, it’s your post.
I’ll simply leave you with this, Venus has a remarkably similar temps to earth where the bars are the same. Energy, heat transfer and work……. mysterious things, they are.
Erl, thanks for the response,
James

September 23, 2011 9:20 am

Even more fundamental than the ideal gas law in this case is the simple definition of
P = F/A
For the atmosphere as a whole, the force = (mass of atmosphere) x (9.8 m/s^2) and area = (Surface area of the earth).
To the extent that the surface area and mass of the atmosphere are constant, the global average pressure will stay the same, independent of the temperature.
Or put another way,
P = nRT/V
If you raise the temperature of the atmosphere, the atmosphere will expand. The increase in T & V will offset, leaving P essentially unchanged.
(Net changes in humidity will cause mass to change, which would change the global pressure. A net upward/downward acceleration of the atmosphere would also result in a net change in pressure (but that could not last long!). There must be a few other small, temporary affects that could come into play. And of course, mass movement of air due to uneven heating of the surface can have localized affects on pressure, which would drive winds and weather.)

PB-in-AL
September 23, 2011 9:29 am

OH. MY. GAWD!!! It’s worse than we thought!!!
It’s man-made air pressure change. All those CO2s are heavier than regular air. Since we keep pumping them into the atmosphere, the atmosphere is getting heavier. We’ll soon be CRUSHED under the weight of it all…. AAAAAAAAAAAAAAIIIIIIIIEEEE!!! Where’s AlGore? Where’s the IPCC? Where’s the nearest steel building that will hold all that heavy air up off of me?!? There’s the connection that Al missed: as the atmosphere is compressed it heats up, so we’re not just going to broil ourselves and the poor polar bears off the face of the planet, we’re going to be smooshed… SMOOSHED… I tell you, into hot steaming piles of people and polar bear pudding! (/sarc)
Well, I can guarantee that if this takes off in the warmist camp there will definitely be hot steaming piles, but not of people or bears… (as opposed to now?) 😉

Owen
September 23, 2011 9:31 am

Erl,
My post wasn’t really meant as a detraction of your work. You are pointing out there is a pattern and eventually we have to get to the root of how to predict the specifics of this pattern in the future and develop a general mechanism to describe its causes. I like what you have here, but was addressing some of the complaints about endpoints from above posters. I am not even suggesting that you do the plots that way, because you only need to do the plots in a manner that illustrates the points you were making. Most of us can see the pattern wrap around to a nearly identical seasonal pattern year-to-year. Though the advantage of wrap around plots is you can see the effects a large pressure difference in one year can have on the pressure difference in the next more clearly. You weren’t discussing that so it makes sense that you didn’t graph it in that way. Didn’t mean to get pedantic.

James Sexton
September 23, 2011 10:05 am

Tim Folkerts says:
September 23, 2011 at 9:20 am
“……….Net changes in humidity will cause mass to change, which would change the global pressure…….”
===============================================================
So, are we back to discussing clouds?

TomRude
September 23, 2011 10:52 am

@ Doug S says:
September 22, 2011 at 11:47 pm
Before you rave about mr. Happ’s latest brew, may I suggest you read the first growth first?
“Dynamic Analysis of Weather and Climate Atmospheric Circulation, Perturbations, Climatic Evolution”, Prof. Marcel Leroux, Springer-Praxis books in Environmental Sciences, 2nd ed., 2010, 440p., ISBN 978-3-642-04679-7
Or start with this:
http://ddata.over-blog.com/xxxyyy/2/32/25/79/Leroux-Global-and-Planetary-Change-1993.pdf

Theo Goodwin
September 23, 2011 11:00 am

Absolutely brilliant work. It is fascinating and fun natural history. (Climate science, when it comes into existence, will be recognized as part of Natural History.)
I have not had time to absorb the science behind this work. But the direction of the work is excellent. Too bad, Happ is not tenured at Harvard because the Warmista will studiously ignore him.
Happ writes:
“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?”
Yes.
It can also be read as an early glimmer of a recognition by Trenberth that on Earth there are natural processes other than radiation and that it can happen that radiation has to work its way through these natural process before its effects can be understood. Time to get out of the supercomputer lounge and into the world for empirical research on La Nina.
I have been arguing for years that ENSO is a natural process that must be understood in its own terms and not dismissed by Warmista as an epiphenomenon of radiation.

A. C. Osborn
September 23, 2011 11:32 am

Erl, have you any idea why the switch in relative positions occurs around 1997.1998?

Ian W
September 23, 2011 12:39 pm

Erl
What you need to add in your explanation to Chris Korvin is that the clouds are manifestation of the latent heat being transported from the surface to high in the atmosphere where water vapor condenses.
The condensation releases the heat forming clouds that reflect incoming heat from the sun.
If the convection is strong enough the clouds continue to rise and the water freezes releasing yet more latent heat that was originally from the surface.
At night the convection reduces and the clouds slowly evaporate or sublimate away the clearing skies allow more direct radiation from the surface.
(I think that sums up Willis’ Hypothesis 😉 )
Atmospheric shifts increase wind – leading to increased evaporation transporting heat from the surface – leading to increased cloud cover leading to less incoming heating.
GCR may assist in providing cloud condensation nuclei in saturated air aiding the formation of clouds.

Interstellar Bill
September 23, 2011 12:55 pm

If ‘Climate Science’ were not a PC Cargo-Cult,
such trenchant scientific work would not have been left
to a lone, self-funded oenophile (Bless his industrious heart!)
Hansen would have done all this back in the ’70’s
and then gone before Congress that fateful hot day in 1980
to testify ‘Whew! No Problem!’
(This has to be the most radical alternate history ever proposed.
Imagine, the idea of an honest govt-scientist not being a quasi-oxymoron!)

Neo
September 23, 2011 12:59 pm

Wasn’t all of this predicted by the work of Robert Brown (and used daily in the form of modern air conditioning) ?

jorgekafkazar
September 23, 2011 1:35 pm

Sorry to rain (ha-ha!) on your parade, you who cite the Ideal Gas Law as if holy writ, but the Earth’s atmosphere is not an ideal gas. The ideal gas law does not apply when the system includes evaporation and condensation.

Jeremy
September 23, 2011 2:27 pm

Jorgekafkazar,
Of course we know that. How stupid do you think people are here. I was just pointing out that there necessarily must be a relationship between temperature and pressure. Of course the latent heat effects will modify things but it does not change the inherent strong interrelationship existing between temperature and pressure for a gas (even a non-ideal gas)
Yawn!

September 23, 2011 2:35 pm

It is quite funny, as in funny peculiar and not funny ha, ha, but atmospheric pressure comes in two forms.
1) We measure the weight of the (or a) column of air sitting statically above the earth’s surface with a “Barometer” and the pressure/weight of that air-column is around one bar, or 1Kg/m². That includes clouds, rain and the poxiest weather you can ever imagine.
Even with tons of rain pelting down, your barometer will only record some 9 hundred + milli-bars, up to maybe 1 Bar of pressure at the surface. — Now then, if the rain, the clouds and all the heavy stuff has had enough and goes away – you would expect the pressure to decrease, but it does not, – it increases. – Why is that?
You may very well ask and the answer is that as the energy from the Sun warms the “Earth’s Surface” which, in turn, warms the atmosphere (a point which is lost on today’s “Climate Scientists”)The air warms and clouds vanish and the Sun’s Rays have “free accsess” to the surface, warming it even more. Above this “Heated Surface” an air pocket is now created, inside which the pressure is bound to be greater than that at the outside as the, inside, warm air (never mind its temperature) is pushing against the cold air at the outside. So yes, Temperature and pressure are linked very closely. But what came first?
My assumption is that the Sun Rules.

Jeremy
September 23, 2011 2:38 pm

Is it really possible that those here can be surprised by the discovery that pressure and temperature are strongly related? Have some forgotten that the barometer is a time tested proven useful tool to predict weather.
A “high pressure” system is indicative of good weather and higher temperatures. A “low pressure” system is associated with cooler air, higher moisture and often bringing precipitation.

James Sexton
September 23, 2011 3:44 pm

jorgekafkazar says:
September 23, 2011 at 1:35 pm
Sorry to rain (ha-ha!) on your parade, you who cite the Ideal Gas Law as if holy writ, ………
======================================================================
jorge…….not as a holy writ, but as an ignored part of the climate discussion. I don’t recall seeing any scientific paper regard these gas laws relating to CAGW, yet, the central theme of CAGW is regarding a gas! And, whether Erl wants to venture down this path or not, his figure 1 clearly demonstrates the relationship, and he ties it quit nicely to how it effects ENSO. I don’t view it as the “end all” of the climate discussion, but I do view it as necessary to seriously address if the general knowledge of our climate is to progress.
Indeed, it must be addressed, the ideal gas law, PV=nRT, or, PV=NkT where k is Boltzmann’s constant, and where do we see a derivative of Boltzmann’s constant? The Arrhenius equation.
The IGL seems to be some crazy uncle to climatology that’s kept in the attic that no one wishes to talk about for fear that he’d start telling all of the family secrets. I simply see it as a different perspective. Seeing that climatology hasn’t made any significant advances in the last 20-30 years, I think it time to view it from a different angle.
Just my thoughts,
James

Tom in Florida
September 23, 2011 4:50 pm

O H Dahlsveen says:
September 23, 2011 at 2:35 pm
“Now then, if the rain, the clouds and all the heavy stuff has had enough and goes away – you would expect the pressure to decrease, but it does not, – it increases. – Why is that?”
Clear, calm weather is associated with high pressure because the air sinks suppressing cloud formation. Low pressure is associated with stormy weather because the heated air rises, clouds form, condensation occurs and rain falls.. When you say the bad weather “goes away” it has simply been displaced by a high pressure air mass and nice weather.

jorgekafkazar
September 23, 2011 5:20 pm

James Sexton says regarding the Ideal Gas Law: “jorge…….not as a holy writ, but as an ignored part of the climate discussion. I don’t recall seeing any scientific paper regard these gas laws relating to CAGW, yet, the central theme of CAGW is regarding a gas!”
True, there’s not a lot of “ideal gas” behavior discussion in CAGW. Why is this? (Beyond the obvious fact that the atmosphere is not an ideal gas) (1) As has been pointed out before, measurement of “Global Temperature” is problematic because it ignores heat flow, humidity change, etc. (2) The thermal mass of the ocean is about 1100 times the corresponding heat-carrying capability of the atmosphere.
Thus there are many much more important issues than behavior of gases, ideal or not. If I was designing, say, a car, do you suppose I’d have reams and reams of calculations focusing on “F=mA?” No, despite the underlying relevance of Newton’s Second Law of Motion:to every machine, It’s not the scientific area of interest for automotive design. Similarly, the area of greatest relevance for CAGW is not ideal gas law, but Marxist dialectic materialism.

1DandyTroll
September 23, 2011 5:38 pm

There-science? O_0

James Sexton
September 23, 2011 5:50 pm

jorgekafkazar says:
September 23, 2011 at 5:20 pm
James Sexton says regarding the Ideal Gas Law: “jorge…….not as a holy writ, but as an ignored part of the climate discussion. ………… a car, do you suppose I’d have reams and reams of calculations focusing on “F=mA?” No, despite the underlying relevance of Newton’s Second Law of Motion:to every machine, It’s not the scientific area of interest for automotive design. Similarly, the area of greatest relevance for CAGW is not ideal gas law, but Marxist dialectic materialism.
==============================================================
And we wonder why we can’t get our MPG up. 🙂 …….. Kidding aside, Jorge, I don’t disagree with your last statement. Nor do I disagree with the general thrust and posits of your comment. It is just that I believe we are limiting our ability to respond to the alarmists by ignore established physical and chemical laws. For instance, much as been stated about the second law of thermodynamics and how the alarmism seems to contradict it……. but when we inspect the law, “The second law of thermodynamics is an expression of the tendency that over time, differences in temperature, pressure, and chemical potential equilibrate in an isolated physical system.” There’s those silly references to temps and pressure……….. again. And, no, the gases in the collective are not ideal. But, I’ve yet to see a credible argument as to how the principles won’t apply in this case.
Well, if you want something done, ………. I’m working on tidal gauge measurements right now, after I’m done with that, I guess I’ll have to address this stuff……. BTW, other than viscosity, is there much difference in applying physical laws to space occupied by gas vs liquid?
James

Paul Milenkovic
September 23, 2011 5:57 pm

Here is how I understand the Harry Huffman PV=NRT hypothesis regarding atmospheric temperature.
The Sun is some millions of degrees at its core, but how do we say that the Sun is at about 6000K? That temperature is of the radiating photosphere. Below the photosphere, the gas is more or less opaque; above the photosphere, more or less transparent, and the temperature of the Sun we “see” is of this region where the gases become transparent.
The Earth too has a photosphere, or what I would like to call a “radiative thermosphere”, where below it the atmosphere is more or less opaque to infra-red and above is more or less transparent. Down on the ground, the average temperature is about 15 C, at the thermosphere it is about -15 C, which is the mean blackbody radiative temperature of the Earth, much as 6000K is the radiative temperature of the Sun — think of the outgoing blackbody radiation of the Earth as that of a really cool, dim star.
The 30 C temperature difference between surface and radiative thermosphere has two complementary explanations — it is the baseline “greenhouse” atmospheric thermal blanket that keeps the oceans from freezing solid; it is the PV=NRT compression heating (more precisely, the adiabatic lapse rate) between surface and thermosphere.
Now the lapse rate is a bit more complicated than that — it changes with humidity — and the atmospheric thermal transparency is wavelength dependent. Although perhaps an oversimplification, Harry Huffman has it right, that even after correcting for being closer to the Sun, Venus is hellishly hot because of compression heating of the atmospheric blanket below the thermosphere, which he claims to be at the same pressure level on Earth and Venus, which places it in mid-troposphere for Earth.
This provides a simpler explanation of the Spencer and Braselton results. The surface temperature of the Earth is what it is, and it doesn’t matter how it gets to be that way with ENSO and albedo variation with cloud cover or whatever. If the surface changes .1 K, the atmosphere appears to reequilibrate after a 3 month lag, the thermosphere changes by .1 K, and (to quote John Madden) boom! The heat radiated by the thermosphere goes up by the Stefan-Boltzmann T^4 relation.
Tropospheric clouds may change albedo and radiation incoming from the Sun, but tropospheric clouds are irrelevant to the “climate sensitivity parameter” because the troposphere is largely opaque to the long wavelengths the Earth radiates at. The climate sensitivity is essentially the Stefan-Boltzman law for radiation from the thermosphere, with the thermosphere linked to the surface through the lapse rate and the apparent 3-month equilibration time constant, and the Spencer-Brazelton data indicate that the lapse rate is not varying with changes in surface temperature, contradicting the climate-model assumption of positive feedback.

James Sexton
September 23, 2011 6:46 pm

Paul Milenkovic says:
September 23, 2011 at 5:57 pm
Here is how I understand the Harry Huffman PV=NRT hypothesis regarding atmospheric temperature…….
=========================================================
Hmm……. I wasn’t aware Huffman was credited with the equation, but, you gave an excellent primer. So, I’m wondering, how does the addition of CO2 enter into the equation? Volume? Moles? At what ratio?
As I alluded to earlier, I haven’t explored this thought as much as I would wish because I’m off on a different excursion, so I’m limited more to questions than I am answers.

TomRude
September 23, 2011 8:54 pm

Earl Happ writes: “My comment: Great work for 1992. But while Leroux is aware of some aspects of the phenomena his work seems to take no advantage of the observations of Thompson, Dunkerton and others in relation to the annular modes that arise from the coupling of the stratosphere and the troposphere at high latitudes.”
I suggested Doug S. start with this available, seminal paper of 1993, establishing the importance of lower tropospheric circulation and its geometry. I did also offer the reference to his final text book, finished in 2008 and published in 2010. In the latest, section 14.5 is dedicated to El Nino and the ENSO in relation to aerological dynamics, in particular that during EN, “Darwin is subject to the northern winter dynamic while Tahiti experiences the southern summer dynamic” and that “there is no direct physical link between them”. He then went on putting ENSO in a general circulation context and how these indexes are merely obsolete.
Leroux’s work is extremely coherent and based on observations, hardly on models. His affirmations are demonstrated by data so following his reasoning is a very didactic process. Last but not least, he was quite a modest man and he would surely blush from knowing that Mr. Earl Happ gave him a nice pat on the back for 30 years of climatology, including a comprehensive meteorology and climate of Tropical Africa and the precise reconstruction of tropospheric circulation geometry and dynamics…

TomRude
September 23, 2011 10:38 pm

Earl I’ll indeed expand as it seems logical to me but probably obtuse to many who are not familiar with his work. Needless to say that if you have read one of his books, it ties logically with the description of circulation.
Basically despite his geographical position below the geographical equator, during the boreal winter, Darwin is affected by the Australian monsoon, by definition an Ekman circulation that is an extension of the north hemisphere Asian/west Pacific aerological space, as it crosses the geographical equator. Thus its pressure evolution is consistent with this unit of circulation, in contrast with Tahiti, which pressure evolution is reflecting a different aerological space, separated by the meteorological equator, itself controlled by the austral summer during that season.
Through pressure and temperature observations, he demonstrates that it is the dilatation of the northern hemisphere circulation that shifts the Inclined Meteorological Equator and its associated Australian Monsoon affecting Darwin and Vertical Meteorological Equator over the Pacific ocean to an eastward position, a consequence of which is the strengthening of the Equatorial Counter-Current and the generation of the El Nino current. To complicate matters, central Pacific high pressure agglutination and the North Atlantic circulation, through the Panamean isthmus, also have an influence on the southward shift of the VME along the south American coast. The variations of these different components account for the variability in time and space of the EN event.
This dilatation is a sign that more powerful MPHs are created during a colder northern hemisphere winter.
Therefore establishing the cause/effect link of the synoptic reality is much more important than the statistical entities (such as the Azores anticyclone for the NAO) that have been used to define these indexes when satellites did not exist.
Hope I summed it up well.

lgl
September 24, 2011 12:55 am

How is it that change in surface atmospheric pressure is so closely associated with a change in the temperature of the tropical ocean?
Erl,
The answer my friend, is blowin’ in the wind
The answer is blowin’ in the wind
http://virakkraft.com/wind-latent-heat.png

richjard verney
September 24, 2011 1:58 am

Philip Bradley says:
September 23, 2011 at 2:57 am
////////////////////////////////////
In addition, there is also the change in albedo. In January (notwithstanding the mantra that snow will be a thing of the past rarely seen) there is a lot of snow cover in the Northern Hemisphere.
I consider that the temperature of the Earth is almost exclusively governed by the energy in and out of the oceans (ocean currents and winds distrubute this energy around the globe).

eyesonu
September 24, 2011 3:08 am

Erl, please direct me to a knowledgeable source regarding the polar night jet. You have gotten my attention yet again. Maybe very elementary question, but I don’t want to miss anything.
Your atmospheric theories are extremely thought provoking. Needs to be evaluated in depth by those without an axe to grind or an agenda.
Thanks

lgl
September 24, 2011 3:19 am

Yes, how many links must we give Erl Happ
Before he sees less wind > lower heat flux > higher SST?
The answer my friend …

September 24, 2011 3:27 am

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.
Thanks. Eric.
I realize I did a poor job of explaining.
Atmospheric pressure changes in the Earth atmosphere do not add energy to the system because the mass of the atmosphere does not change nor is there an external force at the top of the atmosphere compressing it.
All atmospheric pressure changes do is transfer energy around and release some of it as heat in high pressure areas.
To get back to the main topic.
I wouldn’t assume we are dealing with multi-decadal cycles here. Equally possible IMO is an external non-forcing driver, such as GCR fluctuations affecting clouds.

Editor
September 24, 2011 6:10 am

Erl Happ, you wrote in your post, “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.”
There’s no riddle at all. ENSO is a coupled ocean-atmosphere process. This has been known for decades.
Under the heading of “Temperature change is linked to change in surface atmospheric pressure”, you provide a comparison of tropical (20S-20N) Sea Surface Temperature to the Southern Oscillation Index. Is the tropical SST data in your graph also smoothed? Because it looks more like anomaly data that’s been shifted up 26+ deg C. It does not contain the annual variations in tropical SST that one would expect:
http://i53.tinypic.com/2a0ap3o.jpg
Under the same heading you wrote, “The Southern Oscillation Index leads surface temperature on the upswing and also on the downswing.”
Your graph and your statement are misleading. ENSO leads variations in tropical SST anomalies. This has also been known for decades. You could have used any ENSO index in your graph. It takes 3 to 6 months for the tropics to respond to the changes in atmospheric circulation caused by ENSO. Here’s a graph of NINO3.4 versus tropical SST anomalies with both datasets standardized. NINO3.4 SST anomalies lead tropical SST anomalies. No surprise there at all: http://i54.tinypic.com/2le7a10.jpg
So you’ve misled yourself and your readers by implying that the cause of the variations in tropical SST are based solely on sea level pressure variations, when clearly they are not.
You finished the discussion under that heading with: “Some factor associated with change in surface pressure is plainly responsible for temperature change.”
And that factor is the coupled ocean-atmosphere process called ENSO.
That’s as far as I went in your post. Since your premise was misleading, I’ve assumed the rest of the post was misleading.

LazyTeenager
September 24, 2011 7:19 am

I am not keen in the stratosphere affecting the troposphere idea here. Assuming, that is, I have interpreted the hand waving correctly.
There is a huge mismatch in both mass and energy between stratosphere and troposphere. To suggest that the troposphere strongly affects the troposphere therefore amounts to an ant pushing an elephant. Unless Erl can come up with some decent justification I am calling this as implausible.
And another thing. A few of the climate models do reproduce ENSO like behavior. But I am ignorant of whether this is good enough to represent skill at prediction of ENSO. It would therefore appear that Erl’s last paragraph has a big hole in it’s argument.

TomRude
September 24, 2011 8:36 am

Erl, sorry for the wrong spelling.
“I see nothing in the above that explains the rise and fall in sea surface temperature, the change in cloud cover and the shifts in the atmosphere between high and low latitudes that are all part of the ENSO variation.”
Then you keep thinking the tail wags the dog, unlike Leroux, of course. I’ll continue checking on the reference you provided, but this is a fundamental difference.

Roger Taguchi
September 24, 2011 10:47 am

Hi all!
Congratulations to Erl for a fantastic Fig. 1, showing a correlation between atmospheric pressure
leading surface air temperature! The correlation is obviously too strong to be considered random.
Erl, please forgive me for not reading everything to date, including your references, as I have just stumbled onto this site. I don’t even know what ENSO stands for (SO= Southern Oscillation?).
Having said this, please don’t bite my head off if I make a perhaps-irrelevant or stupid observation:
adiabatic expansion of a gas explains why the temperature of the troposphere declines with altitude (I know there are complications when there is heat released by condensation) where the pressure is lower. This is the reverse of compressing a gas adiabatically (with no heat exchange to the surroundings): if you compress even an Ideal Gas, it takes energy because you are doing work (force times distance) against a spring. The work done shows up as an increase in temperature (since no heat is exchanged with the surroundings), The reverse occurs on adiabatic expansion. So increasing atmospheric pressure (explained nicely by Erl’s movement of air masses) couples with increased temperatures, with a slight lag as effect follows cause.
This is intimately connected to a correct explanation of the greenhouse effect, and therefore the the AGW controversy, for the following reason: according to Chris Colose and Prof. Grant Petty, in the absence of greenhouse gases, the troposphere would be isothermal (i.e. the temperature decrease with increasing altitude is caused by infrared (IR) radiation leaking to outer space from excited state CO2 molecules and other greenhouse gas molecules at an altitude of 20 km or so, where the temperature is about 220 K). Some features of the IR spectra observed by a satellite
looking down on a cloudless warm Earth are explained by a model using the real life temperature gradient (lapse rate), but my question to the smart contributors to this forum is this: are Colose and Petty right about an isothermal atmosphere? Their belief comes from siding with Boltzmann in the Boltzmann-Loschmidt paradox. Colose and Petty are among the most confident of radiation physicists whose computer models “explain” the spectra, and therefore they say they are right in backing the IPCC projections all the way. I’d be especially interested in views from those with a strong background in the physics behind meteorology, as I have not had time to take a course or read the relevant literature.

eyesonu
September 24, 2011 11:00 am

Erl, thank you for the links. Looks like a bit of my weekend may be occupied with this. This post, as well as your earlier 4 part post on WUWT, needs to be reviewed together as all are related to atmospheric pressure, mass transfer, heat/energy transfer, energy source, etc. phenomenon and you are tying a lot together. It taxes my brain! If your theory proves out, it will be a big piece in a much bigger chaotic puzzle. Like myself, I feel that you are looking at an overall picture and presenting a thought provoking summary/theory. Even if correct, others will try to deconstruct you with fine details. Those have their place and are necessary, but you need to keep your eye on the main topic and seem to have done well. All this is a new topic for many and I’m sure they have a lot of pondering to do, as I, to fully grasp what you are presenting. If a wine maker can solve a big riddle that ‘all the king’s scientists and all the king’s men’ can’t, you will certainly deserve a feather in your cap!

Paul Vaughan
September 24, 2011 11:33 am

Repeating advice I’ve given before in different words:
Escape the comically-loopy chicken-egg circular-logic. As it is now, many folks here have put chalk marks on different points of the wheel to mark the part of the wheel they think is “driving” the other parts of wheel.
The wheel is nothing more than the annual cycle …and that’s not what’s changing speed. LeMouel, Blanter, Shnirman, & Courtillot (2010) have shown that the wheel changes only in diameter (figuratively [amplitude literally]), not rotation rate. It’s changes in the solar-driven clustering of amplitude cycles that dial regional terrestrial climatologies (including SOI) multidecadally.
The thing I’m finding most comical about the discussions here is that LeMouel, Blanter, Shnirman, & Courtillot (2010) have spelled it all out and yet commenters keep turning a blind eye. Perhaps many or most are only interested in the truth if it conforms to their preconceptions. Perhaps many or most aren’t even ABLE to recognize the the truth if it doesn’t conform to their preconceptions. No offense is intended, but people need to wake up and clue in to what’s sitting in plain view.

Philip Bradley (September 23, 2011 at 2:57 am) wrote:
“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.”
Encouraging to see someone here stressing land-ocean contrast …And land-ocean contrast is north-south asymmetric. (For NH, zonal summaries are particularly misleading.)

lgl (September 24, 2011 at 12:55 am) wrote:
“The answer my friend, is blowin’ in the wind
The answer is blowin’ in the wind”

Led Zeppelin:
“Dear lady can you hear the wind blow? And did you know?
Your stairway lies on the whisperin’ wind…
…And it’s whispered that soon, if we all call the tune,
________ “
(fill in the blank)…
All that’s missing in the public domain is the interannual spatiotemporal piece. For bright human minds aware of LeMouel, Blanter, Shnirman, & Courtillot (2010) [ http://wattsupwiththat.files.wordpress.com/2010/12/vaughn_lod_fig1b.png , http://wattsupwiththat.files.wordpress.com/2010/12/vaughn_lod_fig1a.png ] and it’s implications [differential solar-pulse position modulation: http://wattsupwiththat.files.wordpress.com/2010/09/scl_0-90n.png , http://wattsupwiththat.files.wordpress.com/2010/09/scl_northpacificsst.png , http://wattsupwiththat.files.wordpress.com/2010/08/vaughn_lod_amo_sc.png , same pattern for whole-Pacific-basin, etc.], that’s not a very big step. The interannual spatiotemporal cat can’t necessarily be kept in the bag indefinitely, as the bag is becoming saturated with the rain of solar & lunisolar hints.

erl happ (September 24, 2011 at 5:51 am) addressing lgl:
“The faster the westerlies blow the more the ocean warms […]”
Careful there Erl. You just gave a textbook example (by accident presumably) of the dangers of anomaly-based conception. TomRude is correct to draw peoples’ attention to Leroux. Might help people “get off the anomalies” (like some junkie’s bad delusion-driving drug). The annual cycle isn’t something we can ignore. It is the key temporal cycle modulated by the sun, as shown by LeMouel, Blanter, Shnirman, & Courtillot (2010). Hydrology isN’T a function of anomalies …which demand 12 ever-changing freezing points [!], to highlight 1 key threshold among others that matter qualitatively.

Erl, like clouds [ http://judithcurry.com/2011/09/21/cloud-wars/ ], ozone is just another part of the wheel. Any dog somewhere on the wheel chasing ozone, clouds, or whatever is just chasing its tail. This might be interesting – or perhaps more likely a contractual obligation – for micromodelers, but it’s not going to add anything to our macroview that we don’t ALREADY know from EOP (Earth Orientation Parameters).

Bob Tisdale (September 24, 2011 at 6:10 am) wrote:
“That’s as far as I went in your post. Since your premise was misleading, I’ve assumed the rest of the post was misleading.”
Erl mixes needles into the haystack. I wouldn’t advise blanket-ignorance of everything he says, even if he hasn’t got the whole act organized as some of us might prefer.
Erl deserves a lot of credit for pointing us at an excellent website that should remind everyone of the hazards of conceptualizing solely in anomalies (which many here – perhaps most it seems some days – clearly do).
http://ds.data.jma.go.jp/gmd/jra/atlas/eng/atlas-tope.htm

I suggest that everyone go through the temporally-windowed-AVERAGE annual cycle frame-by-frame for every variable in every available format.
http://ds.data.jma.go.jp/gmd/jra/atlas/eng/atlas-tope.htm
Priceless …and sure to eliminate some of the misconceptions we see INCORRECTLY asserted here day after day AFTER DAY. Finally, something that moves attention back towards where it NEEDS to be – i.e. the terrestrial year.
Regards.

Editor
September 24, 2011 3:55 pm

In response to my statement, “There’s no riddle at all. ENSO is a coupled ocean-atmosphere process. This has been known for decades,” Erl Happ replied, “That’s one interpretation. It’s not mine.”
Apparently.
Erl Happ wrote, “I might ask you to explain how the ‘coupled ocean-atmosphere process in the Pacific’ to give it the correct title, produces the twenty year increase in the pressure differential between Tahiti and Darwin that is apparent in figure 13. I’m sure the Pacific is influential but can it do that?”
The most significant ENSO-related variations in Sea Surface Temperatures occur along the equatorial Pacific. The track of the Kelvin waves that carry warm water east from the Pacific Warm Pool at the beginning of an El Nino is along the equatorial Pacific. During an El Nino, warm water is carried eastward by the Pacific Equatorial Countercurrent, and as its name implies, it is located along the equator. The significant upwelling that takes place during La Nina and ENSO-neutral periods occurs along the equatorial Pacific. In fact, if you go to the NOAA/CPC ENSO index web pages here…
http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/data/indices/
…and here…
http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/precip/CWlink/MJO/enso.shtml
…and to the NOAA TAO Project webpage…
http://www.pmel.noaa.gov/tao/elnino/wwv/
…most of the ENSO indices are measured from single locations/grids (not as a difference) and they are measured at the equator. The exception is the Southern Oscillation Index. The SOI is measured as the Sea Level Pressure difference between two off-equatorial locations. Darwin is at 12S and Tahiti is at 17S. Therefore, the SOI should not be expected to be a perfect representation of the ENSO process. In fact, there are no individual ENSO indices that fully represent the ENSO process. Refer to the discussion here:
http://bobtisdale.wordpress.com/2011/07/26/enso-indices-do-not-represent-the-process-of-enso-or-its-impact-on-global-temperature/
Back to your question: You asked about the increasing pressure difference between Darwin and Tahiti. Assuming the graph you referred to and your interpretation of it are correct, then, apparently, since the ENSO process is primarily an equatorial process and the SOI is off equatorial, then the SOI data is picking up extraneous off-equatorial noise that is not associated with the process of ENSO.
Erl Happ replied, “The SST data is a simple 12 month moving average of monthly data for the latitude 20°north to 20° south centered on the seventh month.”
It would have been nice if you’d noted that on the graph or in the text of your post. Also, why did you mix filters? You used a 12-month filter centered on the 7th month for SST, but you used a 3-month filter, assumedly centered on the 2nd month, for the SOI. By centering your SST data on the 7th month, aren’t you introducing a one-month lag that is not present in your SOI filter?
Erl Happ replied, “I resent the you saying my statement is misleading. My intention is to inform accurately. The SOI leads sea surface temperature in the global tropics. There is absolutely nothing misleading about that statement.”
Sorry you’re upset with what I wrote, BUT, let’s drop back to what you wrote in your post. It was, “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.”
What’s misleading is you imply that the SOI and only the SOI is responsible for the change in tropical Sea Surface Temperature. And that is not the case. The variations in tropical Sea Surface Temperature are lagged responses to the changes in atmospheric circulation caused by the ENSO process, not solely by the Southern Oscillation Index. The “Some factor” is ENSO.
You wrote, ”Please do me the courtesy of reading the rest of the post.”
Your “hypothesis” appears in part to be that the SOI is the driver of ENSO and, in turn, the driver of the variations in tropical SST. It is not. The SOI and its individual SLP components in Tahiti and Darwin represent the effects of ENSO on those variables, nothing more, nothing less.
With respect to ENSO and the Solar Cycle, you make the following unsupported statement, “2000 was a La Nina year coinciding with solar maximum. A coincidence of La Nina with solar maximum is more usual than not.”
If you were to plot the SOI and scaled Sunspot Numbers, you’d find that statement to be wrong:
http://i54.tinypic.com/x0w7yx.jpg
You continued with, “On that basis one expects the current La Nina to continue into 2012.”
Since, as shown above, there is no relationship between ENSO and the Solar Cycle, how’d you make that leap?
In your conclusion you state, “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.”
Yet you haven’t shown that global temperatures are cooling, only that the SOI is leaning toward La Nina events.
This is similar to one of the statements you make in your opening. There you wrote, “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.”
Yet you have done nothing to show that the decadal or multidecadal rises and falls in Global temperatures or tropical Sea Surface Temperatures are caused by ENSO.

Paul Vaughan
September 24, 2011 9:15 pm

Hi Erl,
You’ll find solar & lunisolar signals in EOP (Earth Orientation Parameters). I again encourage you to take the time to digest Tomas Milanovic’s message about regional interannual spatiotemporal variability. There’s no need to chase the relations of adjacent eddies; the system is constrained globally.
Sincerely.

Paul Vaughan
September 24, 2011 9:20 pm

No new physics is needed. Modelers will be able to do the job using conventional physics once they get a handle on the spatiotemporal framework and the implications for sampling & aggregation. Sincerely.

Editor
September 25, 2011 5:26 am

Erl Happ replied regarding the mixing of data filters and failing to identify them, “My error. I see than you occasionally fall into the same trap.”
Please identify the post and the figure at my blog where I have mixed the filters used in smoothing and have not identified the reason for it.
Erl Happ replied, “Here we differ. As will be apparent from what I have written I see the coupled circulation at the poles (NAM and SAM) as responsible for change in the base state. Hence the progression towards an expanded pressure differential between Tahiti and Darwin over the entire period.”
And as you are aware based on past discussions, I have found no evidence of this. Are you still using the NCEP’s reanalysis website as your source for data? If so, does the NCEP still have problems with their land mask; that is, does it still produce Sea Surface Temperature data for the Sahara Desert? Have your confirmed your findings with another modeled reanalysis?
You wrote, “I think the crux of the disagreement we have is in relation to the scope of what is to be referred to as THE ENSO PROCESS.”
The ENSO process includes the interaction of all coupled ocean-atmosphere variables, including sea surface temperature, ocean heat content/ocean temperature and salinity at depth, trade wind strength and direction, sea level pressure, cloud cover, precipitation, etc., and cannot be explained with one index.
You wrote, “So, I want to look at the big picture because it sets the base state for ENSO being responsible for the so-called ‘climate shifts’. “
But the SOI does not represent the “big picture”; it represents only one off-equatorial aspect of it.
You wrote, “The most influential climate dynamic so far as the globe is concerned is the Southern Annual mode…”
Are there papers that support your hypothesis?
You asked, “Did you read:
http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/08/15/the-character-of-climate-change-part-1/
http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/08/16/the-character-of-climate-change-part-2/”
I found the first to be primarily a political discussion, and your politics do not interest me, and I found the second to be skewed by your use of absolute data. The AGW debate is over a few 10ths of the degree C, and the scale you’ve used for the absolute data masks the significance of this.
In response to my comment about the SOI and the solar cycle, you replied, “Figure 126 and associated text. Figure 164, http://www.happs.com.au/images/stories/PDFarticles/TheCommonSenseOfClimateChange.pdf”
I’ve marked up your Figure 126 to show the timing of all El Nino and La Nina events:
http://i52.tinypic.com/29geoh0.jpg
This confirms my earlier thoughts that the statement in your post, “A coincidence of La Nina with solar maximum is more usual than not,” is incorrect. The first reference you sent me to, Erl, is erroneous. Not a good sign. I don’t have the time or inclination to investigate all of the others.
You wrote, “As you know, because we have crossed swords over this matter in the past, I use SST data from Kalnays reanalysis. It reflects skin temperature rather than SST beneath the surface and it is a lot more volatile than the data you access.”
Please provide a link to the paper that identifies the source of the SST data for the “Kalnays reanalysis” at the NCEP website, from which you can make that curious “and it is a lot more volatile than the data you access” statement. According to Kalnay et al (1996) “The NCEP/NCAR 40-Year Reanalysis Project”, which is identified at the NCEP website…
http://dss.ucar.edu/datasets/ds090.0/docs/bams/bams1996mar/bamspapr-bm.pdf
…their SST data is Reynolds OI (assumedly the current version OI.v2) from 1982 to present and the obsolete Hadley Centre GISST dataset from 1948 to 1981. Reynolds OI data uses a combination of satellite (skin) observations and in situ data from ships and buoys, while the GISST is in situ data only based on ICOADS readings. GISST has been replaced by HADISST by the Hadley Centre. Is the NCEP reanalysis using the obsolete GISST or the current HADISST data, Erl? And as you’re aware, I use Reynolds OI.v2 SST data for my satellite-era SST discussions and HADISST for long-term discussions, so our past differences regarding SST data do not appear to be based on your use of the NCEP (Kalnay) reanalysis.

Paul Vaughan
September 25, 2011 9:22 am

Erl, you really need to pay attention to Tomas Milanovic.
For example, see his response to my comments here:
http://judithcurry.com/2011/03/07/phase-locked-states/#comment-54749
You’re effectively chasing relations between eddies & back-eddies. I’m suggesting you look OUTSIDE the box (which is constrained at a GLOBAL scale). Without a handle on the spatiotemporal framework, the physical micromodelers (who will be subordinately tied up at committee for MANY decades at any rate) can’t constrain their models properly.
It’s not only a physics problem. It’s a sampling & aggregation problem. This is absolutely fundamental. NO discipline is immune to sampling & aggregation issues.
You underestimate how deeply fundamental this is and you haven’t understood Milanovic’s primary reason for entering the climate discussion. I sternly advise you to understand Milanovic’s primary point. Otherwise you will continue confusing spatial phase reversals with temporal evolution.
If you think the problem is some mysterious missing physics, it’s clear you haven’t taken the time to understand the nature of terrestrial spatiotemporal integration & aliasing as indicated by EOP OBSERVATIONS. Ignorance & misconception are routes backward, not forward.
Understand that my intention is not to argue with you, but rather to help you. Ultimately, if you won’t acknowledge base fundamentals, then trust is going to break down, just as it would if you stubbornly insisted 1+1=3.

Stephen Wilde
September 25, 2011 9:44 am

“It is important to know that the stratosphere at 10hPa over Antarctica warmed so strongly between 1948 and 1978 and has been slowly cooling since.”
Yes indeed because in my opinion based on observations a cooler stratosphere pulls the air circulation poleward and a warming stratosphere pushes it equatorward.
BUT from the above data the bulk of the warming in the stratosphere occurred when the sun was becoming less active after the high peak of cycle 19, through the less active cycle 20 and before the resumed high level of activity of cycle 21.
Then the stratosphere cooled through active cycles 21 to 23 and apparently has now stopped cooling and may be warming a little after the peak of cycle 23 and as we move into the less active cycle 24.
So the evidence there is of a reverse sign solar effect on the stratosphere namely cooling when the sun is active and warming when it is less active.
Admittedly the match is not perfect but then there are lots of other internal system variables that could confound the solar signal especially variable energy release from the oceans. However the longer the period we look at the clearer the reverse sign solar signal becomes.
If we take the latitudinal position of the jets as a proxy for the level of solar activity over centennial timescales AND for the temperature of the stratosphere then there is a good match for surface air pressure distribution changes from LIA to date and also by extrapolation from MWP to LIA.
There is good anecdotal evidence for poleward jets in the MWP and today with much more equatorward jets in the LIA.
So, Erl, what does it do for your ideas if one reverses the sign of the solar effect on the stratosphere?
It should help them shouldn’t it ? Might need a bit of reworking of the narrative though.

Stephen Wilde
September 25, 2011 10:44 am

Sorry Erl, my day job is still too demanding for me to get stuck into the data handling techniques of the rest of the contributors here.
I’m fine with the interpreting of data processing outcomes and comparing them with real world observations but not the processing itself.

Paul Vaughan
September 25, 2011 1:53 pm

Erl, since you misinterpret my comments and [more importantly] choose to ignore fundamentals, we have nothing further to discuss. Best Regards.

Paul Vaughan
September 25, 2011 7:47 pm

Erl, once a back-&-forth gets to 3 rounds in a single thread, I’ve had enough (resolution or not). There will be other threads. Thanks.

Editor
September 26, 2011 4:00 am

Erl Happ: In response to my comment in which I asked you to document your claim that I have failed to identify the filters used, and have mixed filters, in my graphs, you replied, “My point related not to mixing but simply to the identification of the smoothing. I see no reference to the smoothing or lack of it in figures 2 and 3 of the post that I was directed to.”
There was no smoothing in Figures 2 and 3 in my post:
http://bobtisdale.wordpress.com/2011/07/26/enso-indices-do-not-represent-the-process-of-enso-or-its-impact-on-global-temperature/
And there’s no reason for me to identify a lack of filtering.
You said, “What I am concerned with is not degrees of accuracy but the linkage between variables. The magnitude of change is not as important as the direction and whether one variable is related to the other.”
I understand. But IMHO the modeled portions of the NCEP reanalysis should be verified with other reanalysis to determine if there is a consistency between how the modelers represent those variables. In other words, you’re putting all of your research into model outputs that may or may not represent reality.
Thanks for the link to Trenberth et al (2005).
In response to my comment about your use of absolute data and it masking the magnitude of the rise in temperature, you replied, “All data streams involve smoothing and in monthly data its already massive. I used the NCEP generated graphs because they give more information and they enable people to keep a sense of perspective…”
You apparently missed the point of my comment. For those following this discussion, it pertained to this post…
http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/08/16/the-character-of-climate-change-part-2/
…and this graph, as the first example…
http://climatechange1.files.wordpress.com/2011/08/air-t60n-50s-august.jpg
…and this text from that post, “In 2008 and 2011 winter minima are almost as cool as those experienced during the period of cooling between 1948 and 1976.”
I duplicated your surface temperature graph from 0-60N at the NCEP website:
http://i53.tinypic.com/10qdtt2.jpg
But I also downloaded the data so that I could plot the annual minima for that dataset. And as you can see, the 2008 and 2011 are nowhere near the levels reached between 1948 and 1976:
http://i55.tinypic.com/331ev5j.jpg
Returning to your graph, it was very obvious that you did not center the ellipse you used to highlight the last few years of minima. You extended it well below the data points for those years. That sleight of hand was a very obvious attempt to force the illusion that the recent minima were near the levels of 1948 to 1976. They are not.
Now let’s look at your Southern Hemisphere graph:
http://climatechange1.files.wordpress.com/2011/08/air-t-sh-0-50s.jpg
I again duplicated your results:
http://i55.tinypic.com/s30jn5.jpg
To your graph, you’ve added those misleading flat lines from 1978 to present, and about it, you’ve written, “A plateau was maintained between 1978 and 2011 as temperature in the northern hemisphere increased strongly.”
There was no plateau in the annual maximum and minimum for the Southern Hemisphere Surface Temperatures from 1978 to present, Erl. Anyone who looked past the flat lines you added can see that. To help illustrate this fact, I again downloaded the data associated with the NCEP reanalysis graph. Here are the annual maxima…
http://i51.tinypic.com/u8snp.jpg
…and annual minima…
http://i56.tinypic.com/64lcv5.jpg
…plotted separately, with the linear trends from 1978 to 2011 added to both. During the periods that you identify as a plateau and highlighted with flat lines, the annual maxima data rose are at rate of 0.051 deg C per decade and the annual minima rose are a rate of 0.049 deg C per decade. Those trends are not insignificant.
Again, as I wrote in my earlier comment: The AGW debate is over a few 10ths of the degree C, and the scale you’ve used for the absolute data masks the significance of this.
By using the absolute data and adding your circles and flat lines, you’re misleading yourself and you’re misleading your readers.
Regarding my mark-up of and comment about your Figure 126…
http://i52.tinypic.com/29geoh0.jpg
…you rep lied, “You choose to misinterpret what I said. I did not say that La Nina events are confined to solar maximum or that El Nino events are confined to solar minimum.”
What you did write in the post was, “2000 was a La Nina year coinciding with solar maximum. A coincidence of La Nina with solar maximum is more usual than not.” But in reality, there is no coincidence of La Niña with solar maximum. You are again attempting to mislead yourself and your readers.
In response to my comment, ”The first reference you sent me to, Erl, is erroneous. Not a good sign,” you replied, “Which was that? I would like to check it out. In what respect was it erroneous?”
It was your representation of La Niña events coinciding with solar maxima “is more usual than not,” and the link you provided to your Figure 126 from your pdf. But we can add the graphs from your “The character of climate change part 2” post discussed above in this comment if you like.
I wrote earlier, “Please provide a link to the paper that identifies the source of the SST data for the ‘Kalnays reanalysis’ at the NCEP website, from which you can make that curious ‘and it is a lot more volatile than the data you access’ statement,” since I had identified the NCEP uses the same SST datasets that I use, but you chose to provide an explanation that had nothing to do with that request. In other words you cannot document your earlier comment that the “Kalnay” SST data provided by the NCEP “reflects skin temperature rather than SST beneath the surface and it is a lot more volatile than the data [I] access”. It’s the same data, Erl.
You started your comment with, “Bob, your tone is harassing. If I provoke that response I must apologize”
It is not intended to be harassing. I’m simply presenting my findings and adding commentary as I feel necessary.

Paul Vaughan
September 26, 2011 5:45 am

Getting ready for the next thread — this is a test:
Erl or anyone else:
Can you access the following links?
1. http://xa.yimg.com/kq/groups/21705507/or/2144438090/name/AnimPolarWind200hPa.png
2. http://xa.yimg.com/kq/groups/21705507/or/1600750484/name/AnimWind200hPa.png

Paul Vaughan
September 26, 2011 8:04 am

Bob, in my last comment I posted links to APNGs. Do those animations play properly for you? Thanks.

Editor
September 26, 2011 8:45 am

Paul, the links to the animations provide a “HTTP 403 Forbidden” response.

Editor
September 26, 2011 2:57 pm

erl happ: You wrote, “Bob, I applaud you for the level of precision you achieve. But I think you are missing the wood for the trees. There is a very obvious difference in the thermal experience of the two hemsipheres. I don’t want to trade blows with you on minutae. It will be never-ending. I too could plot the maxima and minima and magnify the scale so that the changes look mind bogglingly large.”
I’ve illustrated to you that your presentations of the data in those two surface temperature graphs (from the post you asked me to look at) are fatally flawed, and you call it minutia and somehow think the scaling I’ve used makes a difference. The facts are, the Northern Hemisphere Minimum Surface Temperatures in 2008 and 2011 are not close to the levels they were at during the cooling period from 1948 to 1976, as you had represented, and the Southern Hemisphere Minima and Maxima are not flat since 1978, as you had represented. Linear trends of 0.05 deg C over 30 plus years are not flat.
Your statement that there “…is a very obvious difference in the thermal experience of the two hemsipheres…” is irrelevant to our discussion. It’s widely understood that the Northern Hemisphere surface temperatures have had greater variations over the term of the instrument temperature record than the Southern Hemisphere. This doesn’t change or justify how you’ve misrepresented the data with those graphs.
You wrote, “The coincidence of solar max with a La Nina orientation has been noticed by others. First Harry Van Loon and after him Meehl.”
Are your referring to van Loon and Meehl (2008), “The response in the Pacific to the sun’s decadal peaks and contrasts to cold events in the Southern Oscillation”?
http://www.cgd.ucar.edu/ccr/publications/vanloon_meehl_2008.pdf
That paper discusses how the responses of numerous Pacific Ocean variables to Solar Maxima are similar in some respects to La Niña events, but different in others. It does not conclude that La Niña events coincide with Solar Maxima.
Hmm. I believe you are referring to that paper. You referenced it at the end of your 196-page discussion titled “The Origin of Climate Change.”
http://www.happs.com.au/images/stories/PDFarticles/TheCommonSenseOfClimateChange.pdf
You wrote, “Having looked at the Trenberth paper is it not apparent that the Southern Annular Mode is the chief source of variation in climate?”
I believe your overstating the conclusions of Trenberth et al (2005) “Interannual Variability of Patterns of Atmospheric Mass Distribution.”
http://www.cgd.ucar.edu/cas/Trenberth/trenberth.papers/massEteleconnJC.pdf
Their conclusions are based on multiple types of EOF analyses of the ERA40 reanalysis data. You could discuss the advantages and disadvantages of these EOF analyses with Paul Vaughan. But in opposition to your emphasis on the SAM. Trenberth et al also note, ending their paper with, “For monthly data, ENSO comes in as the second mode, and it is global in extent. However, it also exhibits more coherent evolution with time and projects strongest onto the interannual variability where it stands out as the dominant mode in the CSEOF analysis. As shown, it is coherent with Niño-3.4 SSTs and thus is a coupled mode. This analysis establishes these modes and their ranked importance in more rigorous ways than has been done in the past.”
In some respects, to me, this means that ENSO is the dominant mode of year-to-year Global climate variability, no surprise there, and if I wanted to look for a source of the month-to-month noise, I should look to the Southern Annular Mode. But that, of course exhibits my confirmation bias, since one of my areas of research is ENSO. Are you expressing your confirmation bias with respect to SAM?

Stephen Wilde
September 26, 2011 7:17 pm

Erl, I found this towards he end of your 196 page pdf:
“Cloud cover will increase as the stratosphere cools. There is a lot of cooling to be
accomplished before the southern stratosphere returns to the temperature of 1948, or
perhaps even 1812 when Napoleons troops evacuated a frozen Russia. This process will be
driven by rising polar pressure reinvigorating the night jet bringing erosive compounds from
the mesosphere to deplete stratospheric ozone.”
However in fact cloud cover has been seen to INCREASE as the stratosphere WARMED since about 2000 and seen to DECREASE as the stratosphere COOLS as during the late 20th century warming spell.
I think the reason is revealed by the effect of short term events such as sudden stratospheric warmings. Such events drive the air circulation pattern equatorward and/or make the jets more meridional which gives more cloudiness rather than less.
I think you are on the right track overall but that you have to go to a lot of convolutions that might be unnecessary if you acknowledge that point and work it into your narrative.
That is also why the consensus view of a warming stratosphere with an active sun and cooling stratosphere for an inactive sun cannot be right IMHO.
My view is supported by the Joanna Haigh announcement that above 45km ozone actually INCREASED from 2004 to 2007 DESPITE the less active sun and the fact that the cooling of the stratosphere ceased in the late 90s with signs now of a slight warming.
I do support your general contention that there is a top down polar effect on surface air pressure distribution which the ENSO phenomenon cannot be responsible for driving and which I agree must be influenced by the level of solar activity.
As for Bob’s points about a couple of your graphs being ‘misleading’ or ‘flawed’ I wonder whether you would need them at all if you were to rejig your proposals to accord with the reversed sign effect that I mention.
Of course, if the stratosphere suddenly starts cooling again whilst the sun stays inactive then I will be proved wrong but I wouldn’t recommend anyone holding their breath in the meantime 🙂

Stephen Wilde
September 26, 2011 11:54 pm

Actually Erl, I think it may be less complex than one might think.
However the stratospheric temperature changes are distributed what counts is the relative tropospheric heights between poles and equator.
If the polar regions cool above 45km from a more active sun more than the equatorial regions warm below 45km from a more active sun then the gradient from equator to poles will change and the surface air pressure systems will drift poleward.
I agree that the key level is at or near the stratopause where Haigh seems to suggest that the solar effect reverses and in light of that I propose that the thermal effect in the mesosphere dominates over the thermal effect on the stratosphere for a reverse sign effect in the stratosphere too.
So the variable net solar effect between mesosphere and stratosphere operates a sort of see saw with the fulcrum at about 45 degrees latitude in eacxh hemisphere and as the thermal effects vary between active or inactive sun the balance of the atmosphere in each hemisphere moves poleward or equatorward as necessary to maintain the overall global energy budget by altering the rate of the net energy flow from surface to space.
From the surface we see the permanent climate zones drift first one way and then the other and that is pretty much all that climate change is.

Stephen Wilde
September 27, 2011 3:22 am

During the LIA the mid latitude jets were south of their present positions and presumably during the MWP similar to now or possibly even more poleward.
So I am looking at a 1000 year cycle peak to peak or trough to trough. A multicentennial variability but no doubt also affected on shorter timescales by individual solar cycles and the Pacific Multidecadal Oscillation of 60 years or so. The shorter the timescale the more the multicentennial underlying trend is masked by those other variations and by chaotic variability.
I think it is driven from above by solar effects on the atmosphere due to the correlation with solar changes observed from around 1600 to date.
As regards items 1 and 2 that you mention I think that they respond to the interplay between top down solar and bottom up oceanic variations but for the purpose of your work we are currently discussing the top down solar component.
Ask yourself this:
Why would sudden stratospheric warming events cause polar air to surge towards the equator if a warm stratosphere at a time of an active sun is supposed to allow the jets to move more poleward ?
Why, now that the stratosphere has stopped cooling and may now be warming at a time of relatively quiet sun, are we seeing more meridional/equatorward jets ?
The observation of what happens during sudden stratospheric warmings and at a time of quiet sun is inconsistent with the standard theory.

Editor
September 27, 2011 3:57 am

erl happ says: “Bob you got the Van Loon paper in one.In sending me the paper Harry commented: ‘The funny thing, which disturbs many colleagues, is that at the PEAKS in the 11-year cycle the equatorial Pacific cools, though not to the extreme values of the low SSTs in the Southern Oscillation.’”
And the comment from Harry (van Loon) does not confirm your statement from the post that La Nina events coincide with Solar Maximums.
In response to my comment “Your statement that there ‘…is a very obvious difference in the thermal experience of the two hemispheres…’ is irrelevant to our discussion…” you replied, “Not irrelevant at all…”
My comments on this topic pertain primarily to your misrepresentation of data in the two graphs. The additional topics you elect to interject appear to simply be a smoke screen to hide that fact.
You replied, “The matter under discussion in this post is why does temperature change as it does, and what has atmospheric pressure got to do with it. You began by asserting that the change in the SOI was a result of ENSO processes. My post pointed to the underlying upward trend in figure 13. At issue is what is causing the upward trend.”
What’s causing the upward trend? The answer is very obvious, you’ve actually answered that in your post, but you obscured it by plotting 12 months of average daily SOI values for those three periods. By doing so, you’ve complicated a very basic analysis. All you have to do is pick an ENSO index of your choice and plot the times series from 1992 to 2011, breaking the data up into the three periods you elected to use, (without explaining why you selected them). Here’s NINO3.4 SST anomalies for example:
http://i53.tinypic.com/fmkgf9.jpg
The period of 1992 to 1997 was dominated by El Nino events, the period of 1998 to 2004 was a mix of El Nino and La Nina events with the average NINO3.4 SST anomaly being close to zero, and the period of 2005 to 2011 was dominated by La Nina events. Simple as that, Erl. And if you were to do a similar analysis from 1973 to 1997, breaking that into three periods, you’d find that the NINO3.4 SST anomalies trended upwards (or SOI trended downwards). There’s a decadal/multidecadal component to ENSO, Erl. You know that.
Why complicate something so simple? And on that question, I will bid you a fond farewell on this thread.

Stephen Wilde
September 27, 2011 4:27 am

Here I agree with Bob Tisdale as regards the ENSO effect on periods up to about 60 years. I really do not see any tendency for La Nina to be dominant when the solar cycles are at maximum.
There is a reason why Erl might think it necessary. La Nina represents a witholding of energy by the oceans so ocean heat content should increase and indeed ocean heat content did increase whilst the sun was active in the late 20th century. However we also had a run of strong El Ninos during that period so another explanation is needed.
I prefer the view that the poleward shift of the surface air pressure systems allowed more solar energy into the oceans than was lost even by that strong run of El Ninos.
In addition it remains necessary to explain the upward stepping from one positive phase of the Pacific Multidecadal Oscillation (not PDO) to the next and it is there that Erl’s work could be useful.
Unfortunately neither Bob nor Erl seems to be looking at the global climate cycling from MWP to LIA to date let alone the Roman Warm Period and the Dark Ages.
If one were to integrate Erl’s work on the upper atmosphere with Bob’s work on ENSO variability but extend both to a peak to peak timescale of 1000 years then that could be progress but to produce the stratospheric temperature changes actually observed plus the observed effect on the surface air pressure distribution Erl (IMHO) would need to abandon the consensus view and embrace a reversed sign temperature effect in the atmosphere above the tropopause.
The two main problems for Erl are as foillows:
i) The stratosphere cooled when the sun was more active.
ii) The ocean heat content increased despite strong El Ninos whilst the sun was more active.
A workable hypothesis must deal with both those problems AND fit all other observations including the observed latitudinal jet stream shifting, the declining cloudiness and albedo during the late 20th century and the subsequent recovery, the stalling of the rise in global tropospheric temperatures to point up just a few.

Editor
September 27, 2011 5:57 am

Stephen Wilde says: “Unfortunately neither Bob nor Erl seems to be looking at the global climate cycling from MWP to LIA to date let alone the Roman Warm Period and the Dark Ages.”
And you continued, “If one were to integrate Erl’s work on the upper atmosphere with Bob’s work on ENSO variability but extend both to a peak to peak timescale of 1000 years then that could be progress but to produce the stratospheric temperature changes actually observed plus the observed effect on the surface air pressure distribution Erl (IMHO) would need to abandon the consensus view and embrace a reversed sign temperature effect in the atmosphere above the tropopause.”
You well aware that there’s no reliable data to use, so there’s no reason that you should continue to raise this topic and attempt to make Erl and I appear to be negligent in our research..

October 11, 2011 11:31 am

What does it mean? It means that we (Earth) and all the sun heliosphere are experiening a condensed version. Like you take spun cotton candy and squeeze it, it becomes more compact. Taking that a little further this condensed version of Sol’s heliosphere would mean that the compact form is just this little ball surrounding Sol, baring Jupiter, etc., to the cosmic (truly cosmic) wind.
It means this happens periodically as we humans ‘discover’ things like quasicrystals (already long discovered but ‘forgotten’ as to meaning), the ‘discovery’ of Mars supersaturated atmosphere due to this pressurizing event (not to the lack of dust particles for the water vapor to settle out on), and other endless ‘discoveries’ that are not discoveries at all, just repeating events which our past selves may have witnessed with more understanding than we are evidencing.
A clearer eye is needed to avoid hubris.

%d bloggers like this: