Guest essay by Dr. Tim Ball
The comment by “steven” (Oct 9, 8:20 am) on this web site about an article by Lam, Chisham and Freeman (LCF) says correctly that “The science is getting settled-er and settled-er.” Finally, we are getting beyond the 30-year hiatus in climate science created by the IPCC focus on CO2. The LCF article extends knowledge a little, but fails to consider the wider climatological picture of interactions between solar events and weather patterns. It also contains some illogic. Impact of solar effects are more likely to be stronger at the Equator because of the spherical presentation of the Earth and its magnetic field to solar inputs, although it is true the Earth’s magnetic field is concentrated at the Poles (dipoles) and can concentrate incoming solar effects as evidenced by the aurora. These events are interesting and speak to the validity of the paper because aboriginal people of the Arctic used the aurora for weather forecasting.
The Jet Stream (traditionally called the Circumpolar Vortex) is a function of temperature and subsequent pressure difference at the boundary between cold polar air and warm tropical air.
It marks the Zero Energy Balance (ZEB) boundary between the polar areas of the atmosphere in negative energy balance and the intervening tropical area of positive energy balance. (Figure 1 A). The ZEB shifts seasonally as depicted for the Northern Hemisphere in Figure 1 B.
So while the theory of this article may speak to the Jet stream and its inherent Rossby Waves, it doesn’t explain those Rossby Waves. More important it doesn’t explain the other important weather pattern determining upper level winds, the Equatorial Easterlies (EE). Their reversals are important because they drive the major weather patterns of El Nino and La Nina. Other questions include, what causes the EE to weaken and then reverse their direction? What creates the generally sinusoidal pattern of the Rossby Waves and the changes in the number of Waves generally between 1 and 8.
The challenge is to have a mechanism that explains the relationship between external forces creating internally generated weather patterns, the weather patterns created by internal forces and then the way those, in turn, are affected by external forces.
I first tried to address these issues publicly in an article on John Daly’s web site;
Some readers will be interested in reading what was going on at John Daly’s web site before the IPCC hijacked climatology, as evidenced by the leaked CRU emails.
Anthony wrote about John’s pioneering work,
but he needs more recognition and celebration. You can read more about John here;
Phil Jones of the CRU provided a perverse accolade in the leaked emails when on hearing of John’s death he wrote, “in an odd way this is cheering news.” Undoubtedly, this would have amused John.
Here is another more recent article I wrote on the subject of changing major wind patterns and a possible solar connection. The problem is part of the ongoing difficulty of the difference between climatology and climate science. The latter tries to interrelate all the variables and factors, the latter only looks through specialized perspective of one piece of a very complex puzzle.
What Causes El Niño / La Niña? IPCC Doesn’t Know, But Builds Models and Makes Projections Anyway
by DR. TIM BALL on DECEMBER 16, 2012
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) perpetuates the deception that they examine all causes of climate change. They only examine human causes, which you can’t identify if you don’t know or understand natural causes. They tacitly acknowledged the problem by widening the definition in the 2007 Report, but little changed.
Studying human impact excludes anything outside the terrestrial system. They cynically included the Sun in their list of human forcing mechanisms (Figure 1), but then only studied variations in insolation (electromagnetic radiation) thus excluding other solar and astronomic changes.
Figure 1: Source IPCC AR4
It’s a circular argument developed during the ozone debate. Ozone is created by the UV portion of sunlight. They assumed it was constant, which meant any change in ozone must have a terrestrial cause. Claim everything outside the terrestrial system is constant then climate change must have a terrestrial cause. Imply climate doesn’t change much naturally, and you can argue recent changes are unnatural – that is, caused by humans.
Figure 2: General Global Wind Patterns
Wind is the most ignored weather variable in weather and climate research. Increase global wind speed by one kph and it alters critical dynamic mechanisms, including evaporation and transport of energy. There are three large average surface wind patterns few know about: the tropical easterlies (tradewinds), the midlatitude westerlies and the polar easterlies, but variability results in significant weather changes.
Large gaps in knowledge and understanding create unquestioned acceptance of illogical situations. For example, El Niño creates warm water on one side of the Pacific and cool on the other; La Niña is opposite. Yet El Niño supposedly raises global temperatures but La Niña doesn’t. Some argue they are not opposite effects, but the explanations are disturbingly unscientific.
During a significant El Niño, tropical Pacific trade winds relax and warm waters from the Western Equatorial Pacific and from below the surface of the Pacific Warm Pool slosh to the east.
What do “relax” and “slosh” mean?
El Niño/La Niña-Southern Oscillation, or ENSO, is a quasiperiodic climate pattern that occurs across the tropical Pacific Ocean roughly every five years.
However, it also says,
Mechanisms that cause the oscillation remain under study.
Oscillation is caused by ocean current reversal. Wind creates currents so it reverses first, but wind is created by pressure differences so it must reverse. What causes that? They apparently don’t know:
Despite this progress, serious systematic errors in both the simulated mean climate and the natural variability persist.
Finally, it remains unclear how changes in the mean climate will ultimately affect ENSO predictability.
But what causes ENSO?
The IPCC doesn’t know, because they generally ignore sun- / climate-related research. Sun-driven correlations or mechanisms have been ignored for a long time. Harry van Loon and Karen Labitzke expressed the problem in their New Scientist article of September 1988. They wrote,
“Serious” meteorologists still prefer to dismiss any claim that there is a noticeable relationship between the activity of the Sun and events on Earth. And yet, to our own surprise, we have found a highly significant correlation between the state of the atmosphere and solar activity.
They try to deflect the intimidation.
Our analyses are nothing more than statistics. We can only be sure that we are right if someone can explain how such a large influence on the atmosphere can be produced by comparatively small changes in the energy output of the Sun during the solar cycle.
Figure 3: Rossby wave patterns
Labitzke and Landscheidt produced work on sunspots and ENSO relationships, but they’re not even referenced in IPCC reports. Senior IPCC author Kevin Trenberth knew of the work because he was a fellow presenter at a conference with Labitzke and van Loon. El Niño/La Niña are reversals of surface currents related to reversals of the weak upper level tropical easterlies, but what causes upper level flows to reverse?
Westerlies don’t reverse, but shift from Zonal Flow with few low amplitude Rossby Waves to Meridional Flow with more and higher amplitude Waves (Figure 3). Each produces distinctly different weather patterns. Rossby Waves change patterns are periodic, but the cause is unknown?
Most, but especially the IPCC, seek mechanisms of change within the terrestrial system, whether it’s ENSO, the Jet Stream, Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO), Atlantic Multivariate Oscillation (AMO) or other fluctuations. It is more likely the changes are driven externally. There’s a possible mechanism to explain major wind pattern changes like ENSO and the Rossby Waves.
Figure 4: Solar wind compressing magnetosphere
Solar wind is ionized particles streaming from the sun with varying intensity. It hits the magnetosphere causing compression on the upwind side and a large tail downwind (Figure 4). Pressure on one layer will cause pressure on underlying layers right down through the stratosphere to the troposphere. There must be internal adjustments within each layer besides the transmission of energy, which result in horizontal adjustments of gases within the layer.
Variations in solar wind pressure would create a bellows effect on the atmosphere below the tropopause. Weaker equatorial winds would respond by stopping and reversing their flow thus triggering the ENSO and other periodic oscillations. This is facilitated at low latitudes because Coriolis Effect (CE) of the Earth’s rotation is very weak. Jet Stream flow is much stronger and CE is correspondingly stronger at middle latitude. The bellow effect is insufficient to overcome these forces, so the wind reaction is increased sinuosity as it swings between Zonal and Meridional flow.
Using a narrow definition of climate change to achieve a political agenda means the IPCC ignores most major climate mechanisms, especially outside the terrestrial system. Despite this, they build climate models and make definitive projections that are the basis of devastating and completely unnecessary policies.