The Power Stroke

Guest Post by Willis Eschenbach

I got to thinking about the well-known correlation of El Ninos and global temperature. I knew that the Pacific temperatures lead the global temperatures, and the tropics lead the Pacific, but I’d never looked at the actual physical distribution of the correlation. So I went to the CERES dataset, and Figure 1 shows the result.

internal correlation two month lagFigure 1. Correlation of detrended gridcell temperatures with the global temperature two months later. Blue square shows the extent of the 3D section shown in Figure 2. Gray lines show the zero value.

The joy of science to me is wondering what the final map will look like. This map made me laugh when it came up on the silver screen. I laughed because it’s a very good map of the path of the warm water pumped from the equator to the poles by the magnificent El Nino pump. I didn’t expect that at all.

To understand why a map showing each gridcell’s correlation with the planetary temperature two months later should also be a great map of the path of the water pumped by the El Nino pump, let’s consider the action of the pump in detail. Figure 2 shows a 3D section of the Pacific showing the ocean before and after the power stroke of the El Nino pump.

nino nina tao triton temp and dynamic height

Figure 2. 3D section of the Pacific Ocean looking westward along the equator. The area covered is the blue box at the equator in Figure 1. Click on image for larger size. ORIGINAL CAPTION: This is a view of the current El Nino / La Nina evolving in the tropical Pacific Ocean. You are looking westward, across the equator in the Pacific Ocean, from a vantage point somewhere in the Andes Mountains in South America. The colored surfaces show TAO/TRITON ocean temperatures. The top surface is the sea-surface, from 8°N to 8°S and from 137°E to 95°W. The shape of the sea surface is determined by TAO/TRITON Dynamic Height data. The wide vertical surface is at 8°S and extends to 500 meters depth. The narrower vertical surface is at 95°W. SOURCE: click on “Animation”.

Now, every intermittent pump has a “power stroke” when it does the actual pumping. For example, the power stroke of your heart is marked by the “beat” of your heartbeat. (The heart has two pumping chambers, so there are two power strokes, with their timing signified by the “lub-dub” of your heartbeat.) The power stroke is the time when the work is done—it is the portion of the cycle where the water is moved by the pump. Figure 2 shows the situation before and after the power stroke of the El Nino pump.

On the left of Figure 2, we have the condition prior to the power stroke of the El Nino pump. In this condition, there is a build-up of warm water on the surface. As you might imagine, this also warms the atmosphere above it, and a few months later the warmth spreads to the planet as well.

However, when the amount of this warm water reaches a critical point, the El Nino phenomenon emerges. The wind that powers the El Nino pump arises, and it begins to blow. This wind blows the warm surface water strongly westwards. Essentially, the wind skims off the warm surface layer and pushes it all along the equator until it meets up with continental arc. This movement of untold cubic kilometres of water is the result of the power stroke of the El Nino pump.

On the right of Figure 2, we have the condition after the power stroke, when the wind has  already blown the warm surface water westwards. Note that the cooler subsurface layers have been exposed. These layers are up to as much as 10°C cooler than the surface was  before the power stroke. Naturally, the exposure of this huge area of cool water cools the atmosphere and thus the planet.

So with that as prologue, why does the correlation map of Figure 1 show the track taken by the warm water? It’s all a matter of timing.

Consider what happens when the El Nino pump skims off the warm surface of the equatorial Pacific waters. When the cool subsurface water is exposed all across that huge tropical area, first the Pacific atmosphere and then the whole planet starts to cool.

But actually, that’s not quite true. The whole planet doesn’t cool … because the warm surface water moved by the El Nino pump has to go somewhere. This means that the previously cooler areas to which the warm tropical water has been pumped are warming, while the rest of the planet is cooling … and as a result, we get the lovely blue and green areas of negative correlation shown in the western Pacific in Figure 1.

These areas demonstrate that when the warm Equatorial water hits the Asian continent and the shallow-water arc connecting Asia to Australia, the water pumped by the El Nino splits into two parts. One part of the warm water goes north, and one goes south.

And of course, like the other emergent climate phenomena, the El Nino pump functions to keep the Pacific from overheating. When there is a buildup of warm water, the El Nino pump emerges, pumps the warm water to the poles along the path shown in Figure 1, and then disappears until it is needed once again.

I can only stand in awe. This is a most ingenious method for temperature regulation. When the warm Pacific tropical surface waters get overheated, an emergent pumping system arises, which pumps the warm water polewards and exposes the cooler water underneath, and the cooler ocean waters in turn bring down the temperature of the whole planet … brilliant.

My regards to everyone,

w.

AS ALWAYS: If you disagree with something I’ve said, please quote the exact words you disagree with. That way all of us can understand exactly what you object to.

PS—It does strike me that with both a positively correlated and a negatively correlated area regarding the global temperature two months later, we should at least be able to forecast a few key climate parameters for a couple of months ahead …

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Alan Robertson
February 27, 2014 10:10 am

He’s doing it again! Thanks, Willis.
I’ve learned a lot from this site and a lot of that knowledge has come from your work and the resultant discussions.

Oldseadog
February 27, 2014 10:17 am

Beautiful.
Isn’t it a pity that some folk can’t just admire it all and work out ways to live with it rather than trying to control or change it.

February 27, 2014 10:19 am

Brilliant piece Wiilis, thanks again. Note Fig 1 caption should read along i.s.o alone.

R2Dtoo
February 27, 2014 10:25 am

Great job Willis. Can we learn anything by doing the same thing for 1, 3, 4, 5, 6… months? What I’m really curious about is the timing of the warm water off Alaska this winter. It really seemed to have an effect on NA’s weather.

February 27, 2014 10:26 am

That ENSO heart beat is observable in the rate thunder clouds pump CO2 into the upper atmosphere where it is delivered to the polar sinks. As with the global atmospheric temperature, there is a delay in the stroke signal observed at the poles.

O. Olson
February 27, 2014 10:38 am

Is this right? Seems to me the left side of figure 2 “is” the power stoke of el nino and the right side is a La nina (the recharge stroke). Also, the power stroke of el nino occurs when the trade winds are “reduced” does it not?

O. Olson
February 27, 2014 10:43 am

The same thing I suppose… just looking at it another way perhaps.

eqibno
February 27, 2014 10:44 am

El Nino plays a significant role in US weather as well. Despite the odd discrepancy (Andrew in 1992 etc.) the hurricane season in the Atlantic is quashed by the shear generated during El Nino years. That is a form of the “prediction” of which you speak.

Theo Goodwin
February 27, 2014 10:48 am

Great post, Willis. Thanks.

JJM Gommers
February 27, 2014 10:49 am

Can I draw a conclusion that the frequency and/or intensity of the El Ninos should have increased with the rising global temperature over the last 100 years?

Gary
February 27, 2014 10:51 am

The Global Precipitation Mission just launched from Japan. Hopefully, in a year or so you will have rainfall data to add to this analysis.

February 27, 2014 10:55 am

And then the exposed cool water suppresses cloud formation, reducing albedo, and allowing sunlight to heat the cool water area, until it is sufficiently warmed to re-initiate the power stroke. Perhaps this is the intake stroke.

cnxtim
February 27, 2014 10:55 am

I think it is marvellous that scientists study the climate and do so on the taxpayers dollar within reasonable bounds.
However, there are far more pressing subjects that need to occupy science and engineering.
BUT, when scientists and politicians fly off at a tangent over what is nothing more than an interesting theory, force serious engineers into attacking a ‘problem’ that is 100% unproven, scare the living daylights out of people, raise the spectre of humankind destroying the planet – I think it very timely that those that can influence and control public perception and the political representatives we elect MUST stop this madness with its consequent massive damage of economies and our quality of life – NOW!
Best regards,
Tim
http://lannamoon.com Skype: chiangmaitimcomment image
On 28 February 2014 00:56, Watts Up With That? wrote:
> Willis Eschenbach posted: “Guest Post by Willis Eschenbach I got to > thinking about the well-known correlation of El Ninos and global > temperature. I knew that the Pacific temperatures lead the global > temperatures, and the tropics lead the Pacific, but I’d never looked at the > actu”

ponysboy
February 27, 2014 10:58 am

A good chance to repeat an unanswered question That I asked recently:
It appears from much data over several decades that the cooling of the planet from the La Nina is never quite enough to totally overcome the previous warming from the El Nino. Two issues I wonder about:
1. Does this seemingly unbalanced cycle always leave a (semi-) permanent increase in global temperatures at the end of the cycle…and therefore periodic step increases in global temperatures? And, if so, at what point will it stop….. or will it stop without some other forcing?
2. Or is this phenomenon of apparent step changes due to the underlying continuous increase in global temperature (due to AGW or some other natural cycle) so that the baseline is always trending upward?
Thanks for anyone’s thoughts on the above.

February 27, 2014 11:09 am

In watching and saving the daily sst anomalies I had been wondering similar as to why some level of forecast could be possible, using the great visual real time tools available. For example the cool pool areas in the southern ocean that gradually were developing and then moving towards Australia. Three months ago, I found myself wondering if this would lead to cooler temps for Australia. The only part that I didn’t know was in the timing of the event ie, ‘how long does that water take to move the needed distance to have an effect’. There are three main cooler water pockets in the southern ocean. One was to the west and it had developed off of the Antarctic coast and then moved north, but not as easterly as I was thinking it would. It still sits to the west and is only slowly drifting eastward. The second pocket developed further east off of Antarctica and has moved straight north. This cooler water enveloped New Zealand early on, and then finally has touched the south eastern and eastern coast of Australia. Melbourne has been showing the effects of this in recent weeks. The third cooler water developed in the northern Indian Ocean and then moved eastward and southward to impact Australia from the north. Most of the northern coast of Australia now has that cooler water sitting off of it,s coastline. Only the northwest and southern coastline of Australia are still being impacted by warmer waters. The next step would be to understand the timing of the flow rate, which would be driven by wind and currents, to complete a picture of the total package. From there a partial forecast of temp conditions could be possible.

Old woman of the north
February 27, 2014 11:17 am

Just a small typo under Diagram 2 – ‘alone’ when you mean ‘along’, Willis.
Your explanation of the ‘pump’ action of El Nino is great. Is there a mirror one in the Atlantic to set off the Gulf Stream? Does the warm water going north and south have a name like the Gulf Stream?
[Thanks, OWOTN, fixed. -w.]

February 27, 2014 11:26 am

Willis, you point out in the beginning of the post that the Pacific leads the globe in temp changes. In early November of last year there was a spike in sunspots and activity from the Sun. Some weeks later the temps shifted dramatically here in No California. After 2 months of bitter cold the days warmed up and the night time temps gradually increased. The shift in temps was an increase of 20F for the night time temps. It seemed to me that the solar spike had led to the warming change. I had asked a question regarding a possible connection between the solar influence and the temp change in the coastal mountain area where I live, but received a negative response to the question. From the point of view that the Pacific leads the globe is it possible that the temp change was due to the circumstances which I am describing, solar heats eastern Pacific warmth moves inland off of the ocean?

February 27, 2014 11:30 am

“And of course, like the other emergent climate phenomena, the El Nino pump functions to keep the Pacific from overheating.”
teleology

Walt The Physicist
February 27, 2014 11:37 am

@cnxtim says:
February 27, 2014 at 10:55 am
Dear Tim,
Real science is boring. It is boring to general public and it is boring to most of the government officers that decide what to fund and distribute funding. It is boring to the officers and heads of the private funds that support science. So, scientists that seek funding have to propose something that is exciting, disruptive, futuristic, fantastic,.. not boring. Something that is femto-, nonlinear Schrodinger, atto-, peta-, relativistic, nano-bio-, Higgs, and gravizapa related. Or, it should be something that will save us from killer-asteroid strike, man-made global warming, or will stop hurricane with 5,900 wind turbines in its path (and also will generate a lot of energy that will be stored in gigantic underground thermal storage chambers). Or, something that will disturb gravitation and disrupt navigational path of unfriendly alien civilizations if they will decide to attack the Earth… Studying water properties and its structure that, in spite of common believe, is practically completely unknown and not studied?! I see you yawning, falling asleep, I see you getting bored… So, who do you think “must stop this madness with its consequent massive damage of economies and our quality of life” and how will they do this?

James Strom
February 27, 2014 11:44 am

ponysboy says:
February 27, 2014 at 10:58 am
A good chance to repeat an unanswered question That I asked recently:
It appears from much data over several decades that the cooling of the planet from the La Nina is never quite enough to totally overcome the previous warming from the El Nino. Two issues I wonder about: . . .
_____
I think this is a really good question, implying that El Nino may be gradually ratcheting up the global temperature. And if you look at a graph of temperature anomalies going up through the 90’s you get the impression that El Nino has been doing just that. However, there have been several El Ninos since the big one in 1998, and they have all occurred during a period of a rather flat trend in global temperatures.
Here is what Wikipedia has to say (today) about recent ENSO history:
>>A strong La Niña episode occurred during 1988–1989. La Niña also formed in 1995 and from 1998–2000, and a minor one from 2000–2001. In recent times, an occurrence of El Niño started in September 2006[42] and lasted until early 2007.[43] From June 2007 on, data indicated a moderate La Niña event, which strengthened in early 2008 and weakened before the start of 2009; the 2007–2008 La Niña event was the strongest since the 1988–1989 event. The strength of the La Niña made the 2008 Atlantic hurricane season one of the most active since 1944; 16 named storms had winds of at least 39 mph (63 km/h), eight of which became 74 mph (119 km/h) or greater hurricanes.[19]
>>According to NOAA, El Niño conditions were in place in the equatorial Pacific Ocean starting June 2009, peaking in January–February. Positive SST anomalies (El Niño) lasted until May 2010. SST anomalies then transitioned into the negative (La Niña) and have now transitioned back to ENSO-neutral during April 2012. In early July, NOAA stated that El Niño conditions have a 50+% chance of developing during the Northern Hemisphere summer. As the 2012 Northern Hemisphere summer started to draw to a close, NOAA stated that El Niño conditions are likely to develop in August or September. The September 30, 2013 NOAA report indicates high probability of no El Niño or La Niña (ENSO-neutral) through Spring 2014.[37]<<
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/El_Ni%C3%B1o#Recent_occurrences

James at 48
February 27, 2014 11:48 am

And we can thank Plate Tectonics for the design of the current pump configuration. We have a long road ahead with this config. And that means, the ice will return.

James Strom
February 27, 2014 11:48 am

Steven Mosher says:
February 27, 2014 at 11:30 am
“And of course, like the other emergent climate phenomena, the El Nino pump functions to keep the Pacific from overheating.”
teleology
____
Nope–just casual idiomatic language, which you are smart enough to translate into formal scientific prose.

kuhnkat
February 27, 2014 12:09 pm

“James Strom says:
February 27, 2014 at 11:48 am
Steven Mosher says:
February 27, 2014 at 11:30 am
“And of course, like the other emergent climate phenomena, the El Nino pump functions to keep the Pacific from overheating.”
teleology
____
Nope–just casual idiomatic language, which you are smart enough to translate into formal scientific prose”
Actually, if you look at the papers on UHI and Berkeley Temps that Steven Mosher has been involved in you know he believes in magic, so, assigning the statement to teleology would be hard science to him!! 8>)

DS
February 27, 2014 12:11 pm

JJM Gommers says:
February 27, 2014 at 10:49 am
Can I draw a conclusion that the frequency and/or intensity of the El Ninos should have increased with the rising global temperature over the last 100 years?”
I don’t think so, and actually the opposite might be true.
“The study finds that the rise in ocean heat (and temperature) in recent decades is far faster than anything seen earlier in the Holocene, the period since the end of the last ice age. But the researchers say that this rise is from a relatively cool baseline. Between 10,000 and 8,000 years ago, at depths between 500 and 1,000 meters, the Pacific Ocean was some 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) warmer than today for many centuries.” Rosenthal et al (2013)
https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/75831381/Rosenthal%20ocean%20temps%20Supplementary%20Materials.pdf
the deep Ocean temperatures (at least in the Pacific) are currently lower then they have been for much of the past 10,000 years, as shown above. That includes about 0.65 Degrees lower then the MWP
We also know the atmospheric temperatures were similarly higher then today during that WMP, circa ~1000AD. (countless non-tree-ring/Mann peer-reviewed papers from across the globe indicate between 1-3 degrees higher at any given location. Many can be found for quick reference here http://www.co2science.org/data/mwp/mwpp.php )
Meanwhile, what the ENSO did in response to said warming during the MWP was supposedly this
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:PDO1000yr.svg
That seems to be 300 years of basically straight skipping the El Nino/Positive PDO cycle
That period of extreme La Nina conditions, coupled with the Wolf and Sporer (Solar) Minimums that were about to come (roughly 1275-1350AD and 1450-1550AD, respectively), seems to have been what gave us thrust us into the Little Ice Age.
My untrained eye sees what looks like is a gigantic balancing attempting to take place. It seems as if the planet may be trying to steady itself(/temperatures?) at a certain level, using the PDO cycles like a gas and brake pedal on a car. The last 120 years we have seen 30/31 year perfect flips between Positive and Negative cycles (well, I have a theory the 1925 flip actually took place in 1915 – it is the only one slightly out of whack time), possibly indicating it feels it is approaching its balance. That is before whatever the new Solar Minimum will be called though. Last time it was attempting to cool itself when the series of minimums started to hit, and like I indicated above, it seems we know the results of that – the LIA. (of course, all of my thoughts could be nonsense too, and maybe people want to skip this paragraph. None the less, it is what I believe)

Editor
February 27, 2014 12:17 pm

Willis, your timing confused me.
El Nino events are typically tied to the seasonal cycle, so El Nino events normally peak in December. Your Figure 1, with a 2-month lag, should represent February (give or take), should it not? And that’s a month before (give or take) the left-hand cell of your Figure 2, which states that it’s from March 2010. The right-hand cell of your Figure 2 states that it’s from October 2010, which would be a lag of 10 months.

February 27, 2014 12:29 pm

DS says:
February 27, 2014 at 12:11 pm
——————————————-
Thanks for sharing the links and your explanation. That provides a great counter response to those who claim the oceans are warming unnaturally.

Zeke
February 27, 2014 12:40 pm

Walt The Physicist says:
February 27, 2014 at 11:37 am “Dear Tim,
Real science is boring. It is boring to general public and it is boring to most of the government officers that decide what to fund and distribute funding. It is boring to the officers and heads of the private funds that support science. So, scientists that seek funding have to propose something that is exciting, disruptive, futuristic, fantastic,.. not boring. Something that is femto-, nonlinear Schrodinger, atto-, peta-, relativistic, nano-bio-, Higgs, and gravizapa related. Or, it should be something that will save us from killer-asteroid strike, man-made global warming, or will stop hurricane with 5,900 wind turbines in its path (and also will generate a lot of energy that will be stored in gigantic underground thermal storage chambers). Or, something that will disturb gravitation and disrupt navigational path of unfriendly alien civilizations if they will decide to attack the Earth… Studying water properties and its structure that, in spite of common believe, is practically completely unknown and not studied?! I see you yawning, falling asleep, I see you getting bored… So, who do you think “must stop this madness with its consequent massive damage of economies and our quality of life” and how will they do this?”
You are right.
Look at this water bottle in -20 weather. It freezes after an abrupt hit.

u.k.(us)
February 27, 2014 12:50 pm

She runs Her own game, some win / some lose.
The rules change on Her whim.

Resourceguy
February 27, 2014 12:55 pm

I suppose it’s just correlation and not causation that the peak to peak increases for 1950-1998 of the SST anomaly correspond to the Pacific as a heat capacitor for the solar cycles over that period and that the run down of the peak to peak SST since 1998 corresponds to the sequential decline of the solar cycles in recent cycle numbers. An investigation of that relationship is more complex than just annual lags in a model since it involves solar cycles of different periodicity than SST. Go for it to get to causation from heat capacitor as driver.

Arno Arrak
February 27, 2014 12:56 pm

You are another one who did not bother to read my book in which the El Nino phenomenon is explained. First, both El Nino and La Nina are part of ENSO, an oscillation. So what is oscillating? It is the oceanic water mass, sloshing back and forth from east to west within the ocean basin. A full ENSO cycle may take four or five years during which the El Nino and the La Nina are alternately active. Its power source is the Walker circulation that drives the trade winds which pile warm water in the west. New Guinea and the Philippines form a barrier and water piles up there to form the Indo-Pacific Warm Pool and the West Pacific Warm Pool. When water level is high enough reverse flow starts by gravity. An El Nino wave forms and crosses the ocean along the equatorial counter-current, runs ashore in South America, spreads out north and south, and warms the air above it. Warm air rises, interferes with trade winds, joins the westerlies, and we notice the arrival of an El Nino. But any wave that runs ashore must also retreat. As the El Nino wave retreats water level behind it drops, cold water from below fills the vacuum, and a la Nina has started. Your right hand slice shows the water level drop behind a La Nina. As much as the El Nino warmed the air the La Nina will now cool it. The cyclical temperature change from an El Nino peak to a La Nina valley may be 0.4 to 0.5 degrees Celsius.There is no long term warming or cooling involved. The article mentions lag but does not specify from where to where. There is a well known lag between warming observed at Nino3.4 and continental warming by El Nino. That is because the NINO3.4 is located right smack in the middle of the equatorial counter-current and it sees the El Nino wave crossing the ocean before it has reached South America. All this applies of course to the normal or regular ENSO oscillation. But a lot of things are going on in the ocean besides the El Ninos and La Ninas. It can happen that the equatorial counter-current for some reason gets blocked. That will stop an El Nino on the way from reaching its destination. As a result,its warm water spreads out in the middle of the ocean and creates an El Nino on the spot instead of on the coast. It is called an El Nino Modoki or Central Pacific El Nino. The La Nina phase is also changed but I have not figured out exactly how. It is these irregular El Ninos that could possibly be involved in unpredictable climate change but I do not know. They are not very powerful but the 1997/98 El Nino is the most powerful on record for more than a hundred years. Problem with it is explaining its power source which is way above what the preceding ENSO oscillation could have delivered. For now, it is one of the mysteries of climate science that the so-called “climate” scientists of IPCC have never even heard of, never mind trying to solve it.

February 27, 2014 12:58 pm

Steven Mosher has a one word comment in this thread:
“teleology”.
Here is Buckminster Fuller’s definition:
Teleologic: The subjective-to-objective, intermittent, only-spontaneous, borderline-conscious, and within-self communicating system that distills equitable principles – characterizing relative behavior patterns – from our pluralities of matching experiences, and reintegrates selections from those net generalized principles into unique experimental control patterns – physically detached from self – as instruments, tools or other devices admitting to increased technical advantage of man over environment circumstance, and consciously designed to permit his modification of forward experiences in preferred ways.
See? That’s what Mosher meant. You knew that, didn’t you?
Me, too. ☺
Carry on…

Editor
February 27, 2014 1:09 pm

Willis: Here’s an animation you’ll enjoy. Talk about a power stroke. Catch the transition from the 1997/98 El Nino to the 1998-01 La Nina. (It’s a 6MB gif animation so it may take a moment to load.) I should still have the original maps, so I could divide it into smaller animations if you like.
http://bobtisdale.files.wordpress.com/2014/02/sealevelglobal.gif
Regards

dp
February 27, 2014 1:41 pm

For this heat pump to actually have a cooling function for the global system it has to result in a great deal of energy leaving the Earth for the emptiness of space. How does that happen? The results are claimed (cooling occurs) but no mechanism for removing that energy from the system is identified. Just diluting it is not at all the same thing as removing it.

Stephen Richards
February 27, 2014 1:43 pm

1. Does this seemingly unbalanced cycle always leave a (semi-) permanent increase in global temperatures at the end of the cycle…and therefore periodic step increases in global temperatures? And, if so, at what point will it stop….. or will it stop without some other forcing?
Until the PDO reverses to the cold phase. Bob Tisdale has written some brilliant books and blogs on the subject? Enjoy.

Manfred
February 27, 2014 2:15 pm

“However, when the amount of this warm water reaches a critical point, the El Nino phenomenon emerges. The wind that powers the El Nino pump arises, and it begins to blow. This wind blows the warm surface water strongly westwards. Essentially, the wind skims off the warm surface layer and pushes it all along the equator until it meets up with continental arc. ”
———————-
Very telling correlation, interesting also the obvious tranfer of heta into the Atlantic.
But above appears to be wrong way. Warm water is generated in the western pacific warm pool. When El Nino starts, trade winds relaxe and warm water is sloshing eastwards.

Will Nelson
February 27, 2014 2:21 pm

dbstealey says:
February 27, 2014 at 12:58 pm
*****************************************
Sometimes I catch myself anthropomorphizing my dog.
That is wrong.
I should instead be Teleogizing.

Tom In Indy
February 27, 2014 2:34 pm

dp says:
February 27, 2014 at 1:41 pm
For this heat pump to actually have a cooling function for the global system it has to result in a great deal of energy leaving the Earth for the emptiness of space. How does that happen? The results are claimed (cooling occurs) but no mechanism for removing that energy from the system is identified. Just diluting it is not at all the same thing as removing it.

Maybe the transfer of warm water from the equator to the Arctic melts sea ice, in turn allowing more energy to escape from the oceans to space above the Arctic?

Editor
February 27, 2014 2:38 pm

Willis says…
> PS—It does strike me that with both a
> positively correlated and a negatively
> correlated area regarding the global
> temperature two months later, we should
> at least be able to forecast a few key
> climate parameters for a couple of months
> ahead …
The ELI (ENSO Leading Indicator)… you know you want it. But seriously, that could be an interesting article I’d love to read.

Manfred
February 27, 2014 2:54 pm

dp says:
February 27, 2014 at 1:41 pm
For this heat pump to actually have a cooling function for the global system it has to result in a great deal of energy leaving the Earth for the emptiness of space. How does that happen? The results are claimed (cooling occurs) but no mechanism for removing that energy from the system is identified. Just diluting it is not at all the same thing as removing it.
—————————————————-
Spreading heat over a greater surface IS a cooling mechanism. That mechanism is applied in millions of man ade devices, from caps on electronic devices to all sorts of radiators.

dp
February 27, 2014 2:58 pm

Manfred is quite right to observe the wrong way problem. The warm water in the east *is* el niño, and the power stroke, a well meaning but regrettable introduction of terms, starts at the beginning of la niña precisely when el niño ends. Naturally I expect full agreement will follow 🙂
There is a better explanation here: http://www.geology.wisc.edu/courses/g115/el_nino/2b.html.

Manfred
February 27, 2014 3:00 pm

@dp,
you will also find that mechanism implemented in about every living thing on this planet. Why do elephants have big ears ?

dp
February 27, 2014 3:06 pm

Spreading heat over a greater surface IS a cooling mechanism. That mechanism is applied in millions of man ade devices, from caps on electronic devices to all sorts of radiators.

This is why I hate the use of “cooling/warming/temperature” when describing the balance of energy between the Earth and the sun. Regions of the planet can warm and cool and without affecting the balance of energy and that is what you are saying, but to say the Earth is cooling requires more energy to be sent to space than is arriving. That as I understand it is the claim in this article. Discussions of climate change that only involve moving existing energy around the planet do not address the fundamental energy balance. The entire debate about CO2 is all about CO2 retaining energy that would otherwise be lost to space, not shuffling energy here and there, hiding it in the ocean, etc.

Editor
February 27, 2014 3:20 pm

dp says:
February 27, 2014 at 1:41 pm
> For this heat pump to actually have a cooling
> function for the global system it has to result
> in a great deal of energy leaving the Earth for
> the emptiness of space. How does that happen?
> The results are claimed (cooling occurs) but no
> mechanism for removing that energy from the
> system is identified. Just diluting it is not at all
> the same thing as removing it.
The Stefan-Boltzmann Law http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stefan%E2%80%93Boltzmann_law states that a “black body” (theoretical model of matter) will radiate away energy at a rate proportional to the 4th (yes, fourth) power of its temperature, in degrees K. At 100 K (-173 C) it’s 5.67 watts per square metre. Note 1 watt = 1 joule per second.
Let’s take an example of sea surface water that is 27 C at La Nina, and 29 C at El Nino (i.e. the index goes from -1.0 to +1.0). How much difference does that make, you ask? Running the numbers through the equation shows that at 27 C (300 K), a black body radiates away 459.3 watts/m^2 and at 29 C (302 K) 471.6 watts/m^2. That’s an extra 12.3 watts per square metre at El Nino versus La Nina.
Now let’s scale up to planetary dimensions. 1 square kilometre is 1,000 metres x 1,000 metres, i.e. 1 million square metres. So one square kilometre would radiate away an extra 12.3 megawatts. A million square kilometres, and you’re looking at an extra 12.3 terawatts, i.e. 12.3 terajoules/second radiating away 24×7. This extra energy radiating away into space at higher temperatures is what prevents a “runaway greenhouse effect”.

February 27, 2014 3:34 pm

Manfred says:
February 27, 2014 at 3:00 pm
@dp,
you will also find that mechanism implemented in about every living thing on this planet. Why do elephants have big ears ?
—————————————————-
That’s an easy one. They keep the mice from sneaking up on them, thus catching them by surprise. Nothing worse than a surprised elephant.

Matthew R Marler
February 27, 2014 4:18 pm

Thanks again for another good read.
This is a most ingenious method for temperature regulation.
Been reading the Reverend Paley lately? You nearly have “the argument from design”. 😎

Gene L
February 27, 2014 4:26 pm

Great, the Hawaiin gods control the world!.

Matthew R Marler
February 27, 2014 4:30 pm

Arno Arrak: You are another one who did not bother to read my book in which the El Nino phenomenon is explained.
What book is that? The only one I see on amazon is titled “What Warming?: Satellite view of global temperature change.”
Another book that discusses ENSO is “Nonlinear Climate Dynamics” by Henk Dijkstra, Cambridge University Press, 2013.

jack morrow
February 27, 2014 4:43 pm

What happened to the Humboldt Current that powered Kon Tiki to the islands of the Western Pacific? Why does the current not push the warmer water West away from the West Coast and South America? I guess ” sloush” wins out over current. My picture of the current shows it turning West at the North part of Peru and even pulling in waters from the coast of California.

Matthew R Marler
February 27, 2014 4:43 pm

Willis Eschenbach: I come at it from the other end. Me, I understand that heat engines do work, and to understand a natural heat engine, it’s necessary to take a hard look at what said heat engine actually accomplishes. So rather than look for causes, I look at the effects.
Sorry, but “accomplishes” is another teleological word; you need “effects” (as you use at the end of the quote), “consequences”, and “sequelae”.
Unless, like the Reverend Paley and his “Intelligent Design” intellectual descendents you really do want to maintain that the system has been intelligently designed. I think that goes beyond your intention.
One reason for the lack of understanding of El Nino, in my opinion, is this bias against teleology in favor of looking for causality.
You have a perfectly reasonable narration of a causal sequence.

Arno Arrak
February 27, 2014 4:59 pm

What I said was true, Willis. It is not smart to make a virtue of ignorance as your reply does. But be that as it may be, thanks to me you now know how ENSO operates.

JimF
February 27, 2014 5:03 pm

Willis says: “…I can only stand in awe. This is a most ingenious method for temperature regulation. When the warm Pacific tropical surface waters get overheated, an emergent pumping system arises, which pumps the warm water polewards and exposes the cooler water underneath, and the cooler ocean waters in turn bring down the temperature of the whole planet … brilliant….”
Same here. But given this instrumental pump – this massive emergent phenomenon – there should be other effects that attend it. Such as: 1) your oft-described “thunderstorm regulator” (my abbreviation for your concept) ought to wax and wane in sequence with the pulse of hot or cool surficial waters across the Pacific equator; 2) depending on the thunderstorm activity, there ought to be more or less equatorial trade wind velocity and continuity; and 3) other things beyond my guessing range today. Is there data in CERES and the tropical float system (and elsewhere) to begin to see how a full “pump cycle” affects various other elements of earthly phenomena?
I think you and Bob have a grip on the climate version of “plate tectonics”. We may not fully understand the ultimate driving forces of the phenomenon, but it sure helps to understand why so many things occur, where they occur, and the timing thereof.
Regards, Jim Finley

u.k.(us)
February 27, 2014 5:07 pm

When Bob Tisdale weighs in, there is a reason.

DS
February 27, 2014 5:23 pm

dp says:
February 27, 2014 at 2:58 pm
Manfred is quite right to observe the wrong way problem. The warm water in the east *is* el niño, and the power stroke, a well meaning but regrettable introduction of terms, starts at the beginning of la niña precisely when el niño ends. Naturally I expect full agreement will follow :)”
That is not quite true, or in the least very misleading
The warm body is not El Nino, El Nino is merely when the trade winds calm and that warm body that is normally being gathered in the West moves Eastward. (The weakening of the trade winds allows the Pacific Jet Stream to straighten, with the warm water and rainclouds following a path basically directly towards California – hence the likelihood of droughts there when the PDO is Negative/La Nina favorable; no El Nino, no rain)
La Nada (neutral conditions) is the period where trade winds are acting normally, ensuring said warm water stays on the West. La Nina is an escalation of the La Nada, and happens when trade winds intensify.
You can also easily see that La Nina does not even always follow El Nino, let alone start directly when El Nino is complete
http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/analysis_monitoring/ensostuff/ensoyears.shtml
It is perceived one of the two follows the other because many times they do, but not always – (as you can see in the ONI) often we can instead see merely La Nada to even a repeat of the same. Which comes first seems completely dependent on how things are balanced at the start of whatever period, and is likely heavily dependent on which PDO cycle we are in.
But that is the thing; the entire process is just a big old balancing act. That is why I mentioned earlier that the 30/31 year PDO cycles look almost like Gas/Brake pedals (or maybe I should have said like the actual throttle and brake-pads themselves, as that is kind of more what is seemingly going on.)

dp
February 27, 2014 5:25 pm

Walter Dnes says:

Now let’s scale up to planetary dimensions. 1 square kilometre is 1,000 metres x 1,000 metres, i.e. 1 million square metres. So one square kilometre would radiate away an extra 12.3 megawatts. A million square kilometres, and you’re looking at an extra 12.3 terawatts, i.e. 12.3 terajoules/second radiating away 24×7. This extra energy radiating away into space at higher temperatures is what prevents a “runaway greenhouse effect”.

But the energy that is doing all this radiating came from somewhere else nearby and that somewhere else is radiating at a lesser rate because of the la Niña power stroke. Care to do the math to include the total energy radiated for the entire affected area including the depleted area over a complete ENSO cycle? At this point it appears you have found the free lunch we’re all told doesn’t exist.

Gail Combs
February 27, 2014 5:44 pm

ponysboy says: @ February 27, 2014 at 10:58 am
SWAG:
I think it depends on the ratio of El Nino to La Nina and the strength of both. Also there is more to the climate system than ENSO. The Polar Vortex this winter just made that very clear.
You could say the ENSO is the governed heat intake for the planet and the poles (and vortex) are the exit. The position of the jets governs part of the ‘Cooling’
Of course there is a heck of a lot more to it than that.

TimTheToolMan
February 27, 2014 5:52 pm

Willis writes “However, this is not teleology because I’m not ascribing causality.”
I think you are Willis. There are other possible explanations to the phenomena you’re describing (and Bob too). You say the warm water is sloshed north and south to cool as an emergent property but as far as I can recall have never actually explored whether that fundamental assumption is true.
So for example it might possible the atmosphere is what is changing and say, changing average cloud cover gives the appearance of warm water moving by progressively allowing it to warm north and south as the average cloud cover changes with changing wind patterns?
I mean that would turn your theory on its head, wouldn’t it…

Manfred
February 27, 2014 5:54 pm

dp says:
February 27, 2014 at 5:25 pm
Walter Dnes says:
But the energy that is doing all this radiating came from somewhere else nearby and that somewhere else is radiating at a lesser rate because of the la Niña power stroke. Care to do the math to include the total energy radiated for the entire affected area including the depleted area over a complete ENSO cycle? At this point it appears you have found the free lunch we’re all told doesn’t exist.
———————-
Keep in mind what Bob Tisdale says: La Nina is NOT the opposite of El Nino.
After La Nina, there are no cold water pools drifting polewards, simply because upwelled cold water sinks just back where it came from.

Editor
February 27, 2014 6:10 pm

Willis, thanks for the clarifications in your February 27, 2014 at 4:36 pm comment. And I agree wholeheartedly that the “leftover” warm water released by an El Nino has never been accounted for. That has been one of my arguments for years.
There will come a day when researchers finally get around to analyzing each El Nino event independently. What is the source of the warm water in the PWP? How much warm water was released from the PWP and travelled east during the El Nino? How much heat was released to the atmosphere during the El Nino? How much warm water (surface and subsurface) remained and was returned to the western tropical Pacific? Where did all of the warm water go from there? etc.
Now consider Trenberth’s follow-up email to his “travesty” email. He’s complaining that they don’t have the ability to track ENSO residuals. He knows the residuals are there. And he also knows that El Ninos are fueled by sunlight.
Regards
Bob
[PWP is the abbreviation of ??? West Pacific ? Mod]
[Good question. PWP is the Pacific Warm Pool. -w.]

Editor
February 27, 2014 6:16 pm

Arno Arrak says (assumedly to Willis): “You are another one who did not bother to read my book in which the El Nino phenomenon is explained…”
There’s no reason for Willis to read your book. Your understandings of ENSO are incomplete and flawed, as are your explanations.

Gail Combs
February 27, 2014 6:18 pm

dp says: @ February 27, 2014 at 1:41 pm
For this heat pump to actually have a cooling function for the global system it has to result in a great deal of energy leaving the Earth for the emptiness of space. How does that happen? The results are claimed (cooling occurs) but no mechanism for removing that energy from the system is identified. Just diluting it is not at all the same thing as removing it.
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
If you look at Willis’s pictures you can see the warm water hits India/Australia and the islands and then some of the water heads to the poles where it dumps the heat.
There is this animation too: http://www7320.nrlssc.navy.mil/GLBhycom1-12/navo/globalsst_nowcast_anim30d.gif
However most of the transport is via the atmosphere and the Gulf Stream.
This has a good map and description of the ocean currents:
CHAPTER 31 OCEAN CURRENTS: TYPES AND CAUSES OF CURRENTS

Editor
February 27, 2014 6:19 pm

Gene L says: “Great, the Hawaiin gods control the world!.”
Haven’t they always?

Manfred
February 27, 2014 6:19 pm

TimTheToolMan says:
February 27, 2014 at 5:52 pm
Willis writes “However, this is not teleology because I’m not ascribing causality.”
I think you are Willis. There are other possible explanations to the phenomena you’re describing (and Bob too). You say the warm water is sloshed north and south to cool as an emergent property but as far as I can recall have never actually explored whether that fundamental assumption is true.
———————————
After an El Nino, you will find tropical fish up to Alaska.
http://www.elnino.noaa.gov/enso4.html
http://plaza.ufl.edu/geohelen/lectures/Elnino.htm

TimTheToolMan
February 27, 2014 6:30 pm

Manfred writes “After an El Nino, you will find tropical fish up to Alaska.”
I’m not doubting the warming effect of ENSO or its locations, its been well measured. Its the mass long range movement of that warm water that I’m sceptical of at this stage. There are indications its true but I’m not yet convinced and certainly not convinced its the only or even dominating factor.

Gail Combs
February 27, 2014 6:36 pm

Arno Arrak says: @ February 27, 2014 at 4:59 pm
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
If you mention a book at least give the title. Otherwise it is very hard to locate.

Manfred
February 27, 2014 6:45 pm

TimTheToolMan says:
February 27, 2014 at 6:30 pm
Manfred writes “After an El Nino, you will find tropical fish up to Alaska.”
I’m not doubting the warming effect of ENSO or its locations, its been well measured. Its the mass long range movement of that warm water that I’m sceptical of at this stage. There are indications its true but I’m not yet convinced and certainly not convinced its the only or even dominating factor.
————————–
Bob Tisdale has shown the movement in temperature anomaly maps.
This is warm water from the warmest part of the Pacific and has the lowest density. Without a downwelling force it will stay near top whereever it is drifitng until it has cooled down.

Thomas W. McCord
February 27, 2014 6:47 pm

Sir there is something I would like you to do if you could.
If I understand it correctly the Isthmus of Panama completely closed aprox 2.5M years ago and that appears to be when our current cycle of long periods of glaciation with short periods of inter-glacial warmth started. Could this isolation of the Atlantic/Caribbean from the Pacific be the cause? Perhaps if the warm waters from the Atlantic/Caribbean could still flow into the Pacific then this “power stroke” would send so much warmth to the poles that it would really bring our current iceage to a close.
So what I think would be interesting to do would be to create a computer simulation ( yes I know it would be a model and models are not always right but what harm would it do? ) to see what would happen if there was a big gap in the Isthmus of Panama that would let lots of warm water flow into the pacific. Perhaps it would warm the world enough to prevent the return of the ice?
Could you do this?

Gail Combs
February 27, 2014 6:48 pm

JimF says: @ February 27, 2014 at 5:03 pm
Note this graph of changes in albedo has an inflection point at 1997-1998, same timing as the Super El Nino.
http://wattsupwiththat.files.wordpress.com/2007/10/earth_albedo_bbso.png?w=640
WUWT: http://wattsupwiththat.com/2007/10/17/earths-albedo-tells-a-interesting-story/

TimTheToolMan
February 27, 2014 6:56 pm

Willis writes “If you warm cold water, it doesn’t suddenly sprout tropical fish.”
That is one of the indications…but it doesn’t preclude them from moving there with the warmth.

Matthew R Marler
February 27, 2014 7:04 pm

Willis Eschenbach: Now, you and Manfred are right that this is a simplified version of events. The lead-up to the pumping cycle is more complex than simple heating. In fact, there are bizarre things in the cycle like a very fast soliton wave (just one moving hump of water) that runs from west to east until it hits South America, and then reflects back as a different kind of wave … go figure. Emergent behavior.
Cool. (my sons say I over use that word.) Where can I read about it.

Matthew R Marler
February 27, 2014 7:07 pm

Bob Tisdale: There will come a day when researchers finally get around to analyzing each El Nino event independently.
Why? El Nino and La Nina emerge naturally from the ENSO. That is the view of Henk Dijkstra, in the book I mentioned earlier. It is the view that emerges naturally from reading your book “Who Turned on the Heat”, imo.

Matthew R Marler
February 27, 2014 7:11 pm

Willis Eschenbach: Now, is this the “watch implies a watchmaker” argument? Not at all. I’m simply pointing out how humans think. We infer purpose from observing the phenomenon at work.
Yeh. It’s almost irresistable.

Matthew R Marler
February 27, 2014 7:14 pm

Arno Arrak: What I said was true, Willis. It is not smart to make a virtue of ignorance as your reply does. But be that as it may be, thanks to me you now know how ENSO operates.
What is the title of your book? I looked for it on line, and couldn’t find a book about ENSO from you.

TimTheToolMan
February 27, 2014 7:35 pm

Manfed writes “Bob Tisdale has shown the movement in temperature anomaly maps.”
Bob has shown what appears to be warm water moving but could equally be water progressively warming further and further south (and north) with changing cloud cover as the wind patterns change. I’m too sceptical to accept long distance sloshing water theories without a bit more evidence 😉
Fish movement isn’t a bad one but they can still swim there by following the warmth.

Box of Rocks
February 27, 2014 8:27 pm

I can only stand in awe. This is a most ingenious method for temperature regulation. When the warm Pacific tropical surface waters get overheated, an emergent pumping system arises, which pumps the warm water polewards and exposes the cooler water underneath, and the cooler ocean waters in turn bring down the temperature of the whole planet … brilliant.
*****
So, what controls the energy of the cooler water underneath?
What happens if the the ‘cooler’ water underneath is well not so cool, or the other other extreme, is that it is too cool?
What are the boundary conditions for the upwelling water and how does that variance effect global temps.
I suspect an oscillation somewhere….

Box of Rocks
February 27, 2014 8:29 pm

What would be nice would be a 3 dimensional cartoon of how the water flow through WestPac.

Baa Humbug
February 27, 2014 8:38 pm

My understanding is that the Pacific Warm Pool (PWP) can be up to a metre higher than the sea level at the Eastern Pacific.
Looking at the size of the PWP compared to the size of the rest of the tropical Pacific, if all of this warm pool was to slosh back, how much higher would sea level be in the Eastern Pacific? Maybe 10cm? maybe 20cm? Hardly large enough to ‘expose’ cooler deep waters IMHO.
It seems to me that we have a fairly good understanding of El Nino. PWP waters spread out over a much larger area, hence warming a much larger area.
But theNino 1-2 regions are also at the tropics. It hardly seems likely that blowing 10-20cms off of the top of the Easter Tropical Pacific waters is going to expose waters much cooler than the original top water. I believe the Eastern Pacific can be up to 8DegC cooler than the Western Pacific. Is it really 8DegC cooler just 20cm down?
As one other commentor mentioned further up, what happened to the Humboldt Current?
IMHO, the speed of this Humboldt Current, and the amount of deep (much deeper than 20cm) cold water brought to the surface along Peruvian and Chilean coasts may explain the variability of the trade winds and the consequences (El Nino or La Nina or La Nada) thereof.
regards

Editor
February 27, 2014 9:05 pm

dp says:
> February 27, 2014 at 5:25 pm
> But the energy that is doing all this radiating came
> from somewhere else nearby and that somewhere
> else is radiating at a lesser rate because of the la Niña
> power stroke. Care to do the math to include the total
> energy radiated for the entire affected area including
> the depleted area over a complete ENSO cycle?
Sorry; it’s *EXTREMELY* ugly. You basically have to do a time and area integral, using small chunks of water, and land/ice to cover the entire globe. Because the radiated energy flux is not linear with temp (it goes up as 4th power of temp K), you cannot use smoothed area average temperature.
> At this point it appears you have found the free lunch
> we’re all told doesn’t exist.
It’s a well-known law of physics, explaining how an incandescant lamp filament works, when heated to high temperatures. Another interesting observation; ice cover is a negative feedback. During winter there’s no sunlight in the far north, and even in the summer, it’s weak due to a low angle. Let’s compare a square metre of salty water at freezing point 270 K (-3 C due to salt), with a square metre of ice at 250 K (-23 C) in the Arctic ocean…
A square metre of water at 270 K (-3 C) is constantly radiating away
5.67 * (270 / 100) ^ 4 = 301 W/m^2
A square metre of ice at 250 K (-23 C) is constantly radiating away
5.67 * (250 / 100) ^ 4 = 221 W/m^2
That’s an extra 80 W/m^2. Winters with low ice Arctic Ocean cover result in a lot more energy being radiated away.

Robert_G
February 27, 2014 9:31 pm

The doldrums (aka Intertropical Convergence Zone [ITZ]) at +5°N to -5°S, sit right in the middle of this model (+8°N to -8°S— cf. fig 2). Classically, The trade winds don’t blow in the doldrums and there could be days of no wind that becalmed sailors. Couldn’t this band of calm surface air allow for an equatorial countercurrent to prevent (or at least diminish) any trade-wind-generated, west-pacific “pile up.” Even if the ITZ wiggles around the equator, wouldn’t it still act like a hose (not to mention the north and south pacific gyres and the Indonesian throughflow that are continually “leaking” any build up immediately from the onset of windier trades). My knowledge of this is scanty–a lot gathered from reading WUWT. Can anyone clarify how the doldrums would affect, or not affect, the model? Thanks.

dp
February 27, 2014 9:34 pm

Gail said:

If you look at Willis’s pictures you can see the warm water hits India/Australia and the islands and then some of the water heads to the poles where it dumps the heat.

It would have dumped the heat without going to the poles. I’m trying to find out what it is about the “power stroke” that causes global warming/cooling. Willis stated it happens as an emphatic function of the ENSO cycle but all I’m seeing is resident energy being moved from here to there with no particular process that moves it to space. Without that there can be no global cooling from ENSO, only a regional change where things heat up here but cool down there.
Yes surface heat will get into the atmosphere and no heat leaves the earth system without passing through the atmosphere, but the heat was already poised to enter the atmosphere where it was – it didn’t need to go the the poles to do that, and going to the poles, so far, is no guarantee that energy will leave the system. ENSO does not change the power density of the Earth system, but a global average temperature change requires that happen.
It has been suggested by some here that it is absorbed by colder water or that the 4th power law kicks in because the energy becomes concentrated by ENSO, ignoring that the concentration resulted in energy depletion elsewhere. WTF? I read that wrong or someone doesn’t know where energy comes from and where it goes. ENSO causes it to leave the system or it doesn’t. If it does, how, and how much, and how do we know? The consequence of ENSO pointed out in the article says ENSO cools the planet (it is impossible for ENSO to heat the planet – it doesn’t create heat. If ENSO diminishes albedo then fine, show how).
The implication of this article is ENSO creates new opportunities for energy to leave the ocean and head to dark voids between the stars. I don’t see these new opportunities yet. I only see energy moving around the planet and creating regional warming here, or preventing regional warming by depriving energy from going there.
I’m a skeptic – that used to mean something here.

Howard
February 27, 2014 9:37 pm

http://ieor.columbia.edu/venkat-venkatasubramanian
(3) Complex Adaptive Teleological Systems: An important challenge facing the 21st century science is in understanding how complex adaptive systems composed of millions of relatively simple interacting entities produce complex emergent behavior. Such emergent behavior is seen in a wide range of problems such as the behavior of ant colonies, flocking behavior of birds, investor behavior in stock markets, consciousness in brain and so on.
Our group is interested in the modeling, analysis, control and optimization of such emergent phenomena in complex, adaptive, networked, teleological systems via self organization. Teleological systems are systems with a purpose or goal. They are specifically designed, or evolved, to achieve this purpose in some operating environment, often competitive or even hostile. They are different from ordinary thermodynamical systems, such as gas molecules enclosed in a container, which are governed by the laws of statistical thermodynamics. The molecules themselves are purpose-free.
Complex teleological systems may be human-designed, such as the ones in engineering (e.g., Internet, transportation networks, national power grids, etc.), economics (e.g., corporations, supply chain networks, etc.), sociology (e.g., governmental organizations), and so on. They can also be naturally evolved complex systems such as cellular and metabolic networks, protein interaction networks, food webs, ecosystems, etc. One may view the purpose or goal as a survival objective of teleological systems in some environment. For example, in biology, an organism needs to execute the functions of reproduction and growth, at some desired performance levels dictated by the environment, in order to survive, grow and propagate its species. In economics, a corporation needs to execute a variety of business and/or manufacturing functions efficiently, safely, and quickly in order to survive and grow in a competitive market for its customers. Professor Venkat’s group is exploring a deeper understanding of such networks using statistical mechanics, optimization, artificial intelligence, and artificial life models.

gymnosperm
February 27, 2014 10:17 pm

“teleology”
Find myself agreeing with Mosh. It’s ok to marvel that we live in this verdant paradise while all the universe as far as we can see is a godforsaken hades or frozen desert, but it is not science.
The “power stroke” is a sleeper wave, a harmonic of the Rossby, Kelvin, and likely other unidentified waves bouncing around the ocean basins. It does not happen because it is too cold.
The trade winds that pile the water against Indonesia do not arise because the planet is “too hot”. The ENSO cycle has existed at some level during both warming and cooling trends. We have index for it in tree rings, coral, and cave carbonate right through the little ice age.
The trade winds seem modulated by the PDO, which spans several ENSO cycles.
At some point we all give in to the sense of purpose.

February 27, 2014 10:54 pm

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F8zYKb2GoR4?feature=player_detailpage&w=640&h=360%5D
Thanks Willis. That looks amazingly informative. I’ll have to spend some time replaying it.
It’s a shame you did not post your code this time. You did reply to a request for different lags but I think it may be informative to run at least 18 months in both directions. If you want prediction, like you suggested may be possible one would need to look at more than just on lag value that shows a pronouced patter.
I’d run it each direction at least until I saw the first negative correlation in each direction.
All these regions that are linked at the same lags seem too widely dispersed for it to be simple unidirectional causation. It looks more like common cycles that are at different phases in different parts of the globe. That is to say common causation, though there is clearly a lot of effects propagating around the oceans, this could be part of cycle patterns too.

Ashby Manson
February 27, 2014 10:57 pm

What Willis is describing (and Bob Tisdale in his books) is the way the chaotic surface flows fluctuate within certain parameters before ultimately feeding into the thermohaline conveyor belt at the poles.
http://oceanservice.noaa.gov/education/kits/currents/06conveyor2.html
I’m a little surprised that some people doubt that masses of water can move or slosh around the ocean. Anyone who has swam in California can attest to the fact that cold water moves down the west coast, progressively warming as it goes. The water here is much colder than the equivalent latitude on the east coast where the warm water is flowing north from the Gulf of Mexico. The oceans have immense currents moving warm masses of surface waters to the poles. They continuously dump some of their heat as they meander, eventually reaching the poles and freezing temperatures. As the ice forms, the remaining water is dense from both temperature and elevated salinity. The ocean deeps are incredibly cold, being filled with super cold salt water. The warm surface currents flow around on top of the dense cold deep ocean basins.
It makes perfect sense to me that the steady trade winds can accumulate warm surface waters. I do think we still have a lot to learn about the sources of the warm water. Maybe it’s all sunlight fueled, but I wouldn’t be surprised if there was also some subterranean volcanic or tectonic component.

Manfred
February 27, 2014 10:57 pm

TimTheToolMan says:
February 27, 2014 at 7:35 pm
Manfed writes “Bob Tisdale has shown the movement in temperature anomaly maps.”
Bob has shown what appears to be warm water moving but could equally be water progressively warming further and further south (and north) with changing cloud cover as the wind patterns change. I’m too sceptical to accept long distance sloshing water theories without a bit more evidence 😉
Fish movement isn’t a bad one but they can still swim there by following the warmth.
———————————————
Agree with most of that. Though the warm water is not sloshing to the poles but transported by the usual dynamo ocean currents.
Fish movement isn’t a bad one
Gravity isn’t a bad one either, warm water will not sink down, once it leaves the warm tropical waters.
A third one are step function temperature increases which last for multi years after each El Nino. These are explainable by huge close to surface layers of warm water transported out of the tropical region, but not by thin layers of sea surface heated by weather.
ARGO may be able to measure this.

February 27, 2014 10:59 pm

Bob, that mean sea level anomaly animation is very interesting. How about you give credit to whoever created it and a link to source rather than dumping it in a dropbox?
One thing I find odd is if you watch the Indian Ocean as well as Pacific. Much of the time I.O. is in phase with central Pacific with the indonesian area in anti-phase.
Do the trade winds blow in opposite directions in the Indian Ocean?

Ashby Manson
February 27, 2014 11:15 pm

dp,
You seem to be picturing the energy flows in the oceans in flat space. A thick column of warm water over in the East Pacific is a whole different kettle of fish than that same volume of warm water spread thin across a wide flat area. Much greater surface area in the latter formation to dump heat into the atmosphere.

February 27, 2014 11:25 pm

Gail Combs says:
February 27, 2014 at 5:44 pm
You could say the ENSO is the governed heat intake for the planet and the poles (and vortex) are the exit. The position of the jets governs part of the ‘Cooling’
————————————————————————————-
By the same token then, when the jets stabilize west to east can they then reduce the rate of cooling for a time and thus allow for a buildup of heat in the overall system?

Ashby Manson
February 27, 2014 11:28 pm

Sorry, meant West Pacific for location of thicker column of warm water.

February 28, 2014 12:19 am

Box of Rocks says:
February 27, 2014 at 8:27 pm
So, what controls the energy of the cooler water underneath?
——————————————————————————-
Would part of that energy be derived from the release of the over-pressure from the removal of the weight?

dp
February 28, 2014 12:33 am

Ashby Manson says:
February 27, 2014 at 11:15 pm
dp,
You seem to be picturing the energy flows in the oceans in flat space. A thick column of warm water over in the East Pacific is a whole different kettle of fish than that same volume of warm water spread thin across a wide flat area. Much greater surface area in the latter formation to dump heat into the atmosphere.

Show the math – how does that work? Recall it begins with an energy concentration X, is reorganized to energy concentration Y which involves a new and lower energy concentration at X. It appears to be a net zero movement of energy.

Oldseadog
February 28, 2014 12:44 am

Greg,
The Indian Ocean has monsoons, not trade winds.
You can look the process up in lots of places on your search engine.

Matthew R Marler
February 28, 2014 12:53 am

Willis Eschenbach says:
February 27, 2014 at 7:56 pm
Cool and even more cool. Thanks much. I look forward to your next work.

TimTheToolMan
February 28, 2014 4:58 am

Manfred writes “Fish movement isn’t a bad one”
In fact on closer reading of the NOAA article, it looks less likely the fish are swept along with large scale water movements and indeed there are examples of fish that go in the opposite directions towards the colder waters. Obviously they swam that way so my scepticism remains on this point.

Ashby
February 28, 2014 5:49 am

dp, Think about the heat exchanging surface area of a sphere vs the heat exchanging surface area of a pancake shape of the same volume of water. Which shape will exchange heat more rapidly? If the flattened shape is swept toward the poles rather than remaining bound up near the equator in a thick column, it will dump it’s heat content far more rapidly.

eyesonu
February 28, 2014 5:58 am

Willis, you do very well at looking at observations for effects and presenting a summery/compilation of those in a commonsense and easy to picture manner to help see what’s happening. As you mentioned in a comment above, your interest in this post was more of effect as opposed to cause. The effect seems clear and the cause as presented by you and Bob Tisdale also seems clear.
I have a tendency to approach my understanding from a similar point of view. Once I see/understand the effect of something it is often much easier to grasp the cause. Another way to look at something is to view the big picture before getting lost in the details. Those details may not be as complicated as they may first appear.
Another emergent phenomenon, it makes sense to me.
Good work, I’ll keep an eye on you!

Ashby
February 28, 2014 6:01 am

I’m not arguing that any energy is created or destroyed. It’s a point about rate of flux. The oceans have a vastly greater thermal capacity than the atmosphere, and the warm waters are NOT uniformly distributed. If you change the rate of exchange (in our thought experiment) because warm waters have spread more widely, you can moderately warm the atmosphere until equilibrium is once again reached.

February 28, 2014 6:25 am

Oldseadog says:
“Greg,
The Indian Ocean has monsoons, not trade winds.
You can look the process up in lots of places on your search engine.”
Yes, my question was a bit tongue in cheek, since the usual explanation for ENSO is “it creates itself” (the chicken and egg : paradox is not an explanation) from some feedbacks from the trade winds.
Now Bob really interesting animation shows similar but reversed variations in the Indian Ocean. How does that one chicken and egg itself , without trade winds blowing the other way?
The even more fascinating anim. that Willis linked on youtube shows little ‘blobs’ running across the Atlantic and Pacific equatorial zones. These look very much like standing waves being set up in resonance with the passage of sun/moon , at certain times. Once is a while there is flurry of one or two reverse rushes of larger proportion, that Willis says marks the start of El Nino.
I suspect some tidal phenomenon is doing the egg-laying.

February 28, 2014 6:29 am

To Dp,
The process that transports energy from the sea surface to space is the evaporation of water, the formation of thunder clouds, the strong up drafts that build those clouds into the stratosphere, the freezing of water and water vapor in the tops of those clouds, and the radiation by them to space. CO2 emitted at the sea surface is going along for the ride with water vapor. Some is absorbed by clouds and returns as rain, the rest is pumped out of the top of those tall clouds where it also radiates energy to space. Try doing your energy flow calculations in a square meter vertical column inside a tropical thunderstorm. The change rate in sea surface temperature as the water goes from east to west across the equatorial Pacific (ENSO) is the main driver of these processes.

Ulric Lyons
February 28, 2014 6:30 am

Manfred says:
“After an El Nino, you will find tropical fish up to Alaska.
http://www.elnino.noaa.gov/enso4.html
During an El Nino and not after according to your link.

Robertv
February 28, 2014 6:34 am

http://youtu.be/oZVE8JHxRAc
Climate Change Driven By The Oceans

Ulric Lyons
February 28, 2014 6:34 am

@Old woman of the north
Benguela Niño:
“Similar to the Pacific El Niño, a thick slab of warm, nutrient poor water enters the northern part of the Benguela upwelling system off the Namibia coast about once per decade.”
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Benguela_Current#Benguela_Ni.C3.B1o

February 28, 2014 7:50 am

Thank you Willis. Most interesting!

February 28, 2014 8:27 am

TimTheToolMan says:
February 28, 2014 at 4:58 am
Manfred writes “Fish movement isn’t a bad one”
In fact on closer reading of the NOAA article, it looks less likely the fish are swept along with large scale water movements and indeed there are examples of fish that go in the opposite directions towards the colder waters. Obviously they swam that way so my scepticism remains on this point.
———————————————————————————————————————–
There are fish that prefer cooler waters, just as there are fish that prefer warmer waters for their food needs.

February 28, 2014 9:50 am

dp,
ENSO is one of the pumps helping to move energy from equator to other parts of the world, as mentioned some of it from storms moving along the jet stream (which changes position due to the state of the ENSO), but also there are significant currents moving warm water pole ward, where lower amounts of solar energy in allows the balance between in and out to be net cooling.
Box of Rocks asked about the cold water upwelling, that has to get replenished from downwelling cold polar waters. More open water in the arctic losses more heat than frozen ice.
Longer than ENSO is the PDO and AMO, and the cyclic melting of the Arctic, somewhere in this mess of oscillations there is a 60 or so year cycle.
IMO the rate of these cycles should increase with increased energy accumulation, and they should slow down with lesser amounts of energy accumulation.

Ulric Lyons
February 28, 2014 10:34 am

“And of course, like the other emergent climate phenomena, the El Nino pump functions to keep the Pacific from overheating. When there is a buildup of warm water, the El Nino pump emerges, pumps the warm water to the poles along the path shown in Figure 1, and then disappears until it is needed once again.”
There is an established relationship between El Nino episodes and more frequent negative AO/NAO states, and it is during negative AO/NAO states that poleward ocean transport is increased. So the polar regions tend to warm during El Nino episodes, and cool during La Nina episodes.
A more southerly jet stream track and associated circulation during negative AO/NAO could be responsible for both increased poleward sea water transport, and inhibition of the trade winds, particularly in the north hemisphere winter when an El Nino peaks.
I would see the synchronous warming of El Nino and the polar regions as effectively moderating mid latitude cooler than normal land temperatures in these periods, and the inverse with La Nina, providing cooling when mid latitude land temperatures are generally higher.
Would the east Pacific overheat without a La Nina, or would increased tropical storms and albedo keep it around 30°C maximum anyway?

Manfred
February 28, 2014 6:23 pm

TimTheToolMan says:
February 28, 2014 at 4:58 am
Manfred writes “Fish movement isn’t a bad one”
In fact on closer reading of the NOAA article, it looks less likely the fish are swept along with large scale water movements and indeed there are examples of fish that go in the opposite directions towards the colder waters. Obviously they swam that way so my scepticism remains on this point.
——————————————
Look at Curtis et al. and what happens to the wind during El Ninos:
http://www.nasa.gov/images/content/71740main_sst_wind_20030121_web.jpg
(taken from here
http://www.nasa.gov/vision/earth/lookingatearth/elnino_ocean.html)
It is blowing along the North American coast from Mexico up to the Bering Strait. You also can see a clear “feed” from the El Nino leftover warm water region.
El Nino leftover warm water stays on top. That is a major difference to La Nina. La Nina upwelled cold water just sinks down, once upwelling stops. El Nino leftover water can’t go anywhere, if it is not puished down or somewhere else by force or otherwise very slowly cools. That leftover water is then very susceptible to wind and ocean currents.
During El Ninos, a very strong low pressure system develops in the Northern Pacific, which produces above northward winds.
http://www.srh.noaa.gov/images/maf/research/nino3.gif
Even the southbound California ocean current is so stopped during an El Nino event.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/California_Current
Another interesting read is here and reports the transfer of warmer water through “coastal waves”. (It also says, that in Winter winds are generally northbound, reports alteration of ocean currents and displacement of drifting ocean creatures)
“El Niño can affect the Pacific Northwest through two primary pathways: the oceans and the atmosphere. The atmosphere and ocean can link the conditions in two areas that are thousands of miles apart, by forming teleconnections (or connections that act over considerable distances) between these areas. Noticeable changes in oceanic conditions off the Pacific Northwest have been reported to occur as rapidly as one month after El Niño conditions were first spotted off Peru. These initial effects are transmitted by coastal waves that originate off South America and that bring warmer water to areas off the Pacific Northwest.”
http://seagrant.oregonstate.edu/sgpubs/onlinepubs/g97008.html

TimTheToolMan
February 28, 2014 6:44 pm

Manfred writes ” if it is not puished down or somewhere else by force or otherwise very slowly cools.”
I dont disagree with anything you wrote but am sceptical about the suggestion that the “leftover” warmer water can travel thousands of miles without cooling. My instinct tells me there is more going on than simply warm waters travelling long distances moving energy away from the equator (which Willis is focussing on) and instead there are other important (warming) factors in play that need to be considered.

TimTheToolMan
February 28, 2014 9:07 pm

Manfred writes “You also can see a clear “feed” from the El Nino leftover warm water region.”
There is no clear feed in that diagram that supports the idea of a “pump”. The vast majority of the warming appears to come from much further North originating from the West. And then the warming anomaly is much greater the further North one looks. Now either the water is refusing to cool or is warming some other way the further North it goes. My instinct tells me its the latter.

GUIDOT
March 1, 2014 2:53 am

“I knew that the Pacific temperatures lead the global temperatures, and the tropics lead the Pacific” you write in the foreword to this post. As a simple statistician, four years ago I wrote a paper which I submitted for publication to Climate Dynamics, edited by E.K. Schneider.
The paper was a Principal-Component analysis to find the most effective forcings on temperature changes, 1850-2010. The forcings included PDO, sunspot numbers (SSN), CO2 emissions, GHGs, etc., and PDO was found together with SSN to be the major culprit of GW.
The editor’s response was: “The paper calls the PDO a “forcing,” yet the PDO is the spatial average SST in the North Pacific, which is a substantial fraction of the global average temperature– thus, the paper attributes fluctuations in global average temperature to … the Pacific Ocean! Most readers would not call the Pacific Ocean a forcing.”.
On the basis of your opinion and that of quite a few climate scientists this comment seems BS to me. Right or wrong?
Here’s the paper:
http://econpapers.repec.org/paper/pramprapa/23600.htm

March 1, 2014 3:00 am

Nice work Willis,
I suggest you may now be close to solving one of the greatest intellectual contradictions of our time:
“CO2 is alleged to be a primary driver of global temperature, so how is it that CO2 lags temperature at all measured time scales?”
Regards, Allan
___________
From a previous post:
The “mainstream” global warming debate centres on the magnitude of Equilibrium Climate Sensitivity (“ECS”) to atmospheric CO2, which is the primary subject of contention between global warming alarmists (aka “warmists”) and climate skeptics (aka “skeptics”).
Warmists typically say ECS is high, greater than ~~3 degrees C [3C/(2xCO2)] and therefore DANGEROUS global warming will result, whereas skeptics say ECS is 1C or less and any resulting global warming will NOT be dangerous.
The scientific evidence to date strongly suggests that if one had to pick a side, the skeptics are more likely to be correct.
However, BOTH sides of this factious debate are in all probability technically WRONG. In January 2008 I demonstrated that CO2 LAGS temperature at all measured time scales*, so the mainstream debate requires that “the future is causing the past”, which I suggest is demonstrably false.
In climate science we do not even agree on what drives what, and it is probable that the majority, who reside on BOTH sides of the ECS mainstream debate, are both technically WRONG.
Hypothesis:
Based on the preponderance of evidence, temperature drives CO2 much more than CO2 drives temperature, so ECS may not exist at all at the “macro” scale, and may be utterly irrelevant to climate science except at the “micro” (and materially insignificant) scale.
There may be other significant sources of CO2 that contribute to its increase in the atmosphere, but increasing CO2 just does not have a significant or measureable impact on global warming (or cooling), which is almost entirely natural in origin.
I therefore suggest that the oft-fractious “mainstream debate” between warmists and skeptics about the magnitude of ECS is materially irrelevant. ECS, if it exists at all, is so small that it just does not matter.
Wait 5 to 10 more years – I suggest that by then most serious climate scientists will accept the above hypo. Many will claim they knew it all along… 🙂
________
* If ECS (which assumes CO2 drives temperature) actually exists in the Earth system, it is so small that it is overwhelmed by the reality that temperature drives CO2.
Proof:
In this enormous CO2 equation, the only signal that is apparent is that dCO2/dt varies ~contemporaneously with temperature, and CO2 lags global Lower Troposphere temperatures by about 9 months.
Reference my January 2008 paper at
http://icecap.us/index.php/go/joes-blog/carbon_dioxide_in_not_the_primary_cause_of_global_warming_the_future_can_no/
CO2 also lags temperature by about 800 years in the ice core record on a longer time scale.
To suggest that ECS is larger that 1C is not credible. I suggest that if ECS exists at all, it is much smaller than 1C, so small as to be essentially insignificant.
Regards, Allan
________
My January 2008 hypo is gaining notice with the recent work of several researchers. We don’t always agree on the fine details, but there is clear agreement in the primary hypothesis.
Here is Murry Salby’s address to the Sydney Institute in 2011:

Here is Salby’s address in Hamburg 2013:

See also this January 2013 paper from Norwegian researchers:
The Phase Relation between Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide and Global Temperature
Global and Planetary Change
Volume 100, January 2013, Pages 51–69
by Ole Humluma, Kjell Stordahlc, Jan-Erik Solheimd
http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0921818112001658
Highlights
– Changes in global atmospheric CO2 are lagging 11–12 months behind changes in global sea surface temperature.
– Changes in global atmospheric CO2 are lagging 9.5–10 months behind changes in global air surface temperature.
– Changes in global atmospheric CO2 are lagging about 9 months behind changes in global lower troposphere temperature.
– Changes in ocean temperatures explain a substantial part of the observed changes in atmospheric CO2 since January 1980.
– Changes in atmospheric CO2 are not tracking changes in human emissions.

Old woman of the north
March 1, 2014 3:36 am

Someone recommended the World wind map to show the highs and lows that cause the winds around the world at work. It is beautiful, but is not this also showing the world working at divesting itself of heat to space?

Carl
March 1, 2014 4:01 pm

Hi Willis
“However, when the amount of this warm water reaches a critical point, the El Nino phenomenon emerges. The wind that powers the El Nino pump arises, and it begins to blow. This wind blows the warm surface water strongly westwards. Essentially, the wind skims off the warm surface layer and pushes it all along the equator until it meets up with continental arc. This movement of untold cubic kilometres of water is the result of the power stroke of the El Nino pump.”
I thought it was La Niña that drove the water westward, exposing the cool water underneath.

March 1, 2014 7:51 pm

I suggest you are misinterpreting what I said, Willis.
Please re-read what I wrote, not what others have written on the subject.
I am clearly NOT saying that temperature is the ONLY source of increasing CO2. Other sources of CO2 could be fossil fuel combustion and or deforestation, etc. However, this is essentially irrelevant because there is no evidence that CO2 drives temperature, and substantial evidence that temperature drives CO2.
I AM saying that CO2 lags temperature at ALL measured time scales, from ~9 months in the modern UAH Lower Troposphere record to ~800 years in the ice core record.
I am also saying that both sides of the mainstream climate debate, the skeptics and the alarmists, assume that CO2 drives temperature, they just disagree as to the magnitude of ECS, and I say they are both fundamentally wrong.

Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
March 2, 2014 5:55 am

CO2 emissions from the equatorial Pacific are a function of the rate of change in SST (not average temperature) as the water is warmed by the sun as it goes from east to west. Multipe wave-length cycles are observed in that rate of change. The amplitude of those cycles decreases with increasing wave length.

March 2, 2014 4:31 am

Willis, you are not quoting me, you are quoting the following paper:
The Phase Relation between Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide and Global Temperature
Global and Planetary Change
Volume 100, January 2013, Pages 51–69
by Ole Humluma, Kjell Stordahlc, Jan-Erik Solheimd
who said:
“Changes in ocean temperatures explain a substantial part of the observed changes in atmospheric CO2 since January 1980.”
Your above point re ~3 ppmv of CO2 increase has been ably made by Ferdinand Engelbeen many times over the past years in debates on wattsup and elsewhere with the very capable Richard S Courtney.
That is why I did say:
I am clearly NOT saying that temperature is the ONLY source of increasing CO2. Other sources of CO2 could be fossil fuel combustion and or deforestation, etc. However, this is essentially irrelevant because there is no evidence that CO2 drives temperature, and substantial evidence that temperature drives CO2.
The question of what is driving the significant increase in atmospheric CO2 is scientifically interesting but has little or no relevance to the global warming debate. It is significant that Earth is CO2-deficient at this time and additional CO2 from whatever source is clearly beneficial.

Kristian
March 2, 2014 3:21 pm

Gail Combs says, February 27, 2014 at 5:44 pm:
“(…) there is more to the climate system than ENSO. The Polar Vortex this winter just made that very clear. You could say the ENSO is the governed heat intake for the planet and the poles (and vortex) are the exit. The position of the jets governs part of the ‘Cooling’
Of course there is a heck of a lot more to it than that.”

Yes, regionally, you’re right. When it comes to global temperatures, ENSO is IT.

March 10, 2014 3:53 am

One more misquote by Willis:
“”Changes in atmospheric CO2 are not tracking changes in human emissions.”
This statement is not mine, but is ALSO from the paper:
The Phase Relation between Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide and Global Temperature
Global and Planetary Change
Volume 100, January 2013, Pages 51–69
by Ole Humluma, Kjell Stordahlc, Jan-Erik Solheimd
I included the highlights from this paper because two of its conclusions were essentially identical to those I made in my January 2008 paper. These were:
Highlights
– Changes in global atmospheric CO2 are lagging 9.5–10 months behind changes in global air surface temperature.
– Changes in global atmospheric CO2 are lagging about 9 months behind changes in global lower troposphere temperature.
The first three conclusions from the Humluma et al paper suggest a mechanism:
1. Changes in global atmospheric CO2 are lagging 11–12 months behind changes in global sea surface temperature.
2. Changes in global atmospheric CO2 are lagging 9.5–10 months behind changes in global air surface temperature.
3. Changes in global atmospheric CO2 are lagging about 9 months behind changes in global lower troposphere temperature.
The fourth and fifth conclusions from Humluma et all are more controversial and may or may not be correct – these are the ones Willis objected to – but neither is essential to my above hypo.
4. Changes in ocean temperatures explain a substantial part of the observed changes in atmospheric CO2 since January 1980.
5. Changes in atmospheric CO2 are not tracking changes in human emissions.
Best to all, Allan

March 11, 2014 4:20 am

Willis, with respect, you are being ridiculous. You routinely have a major fit in this blog when you are misquoted, and now you are having another fit when I politely pointed out that you misquoted me. I am not being unpleasant above, I am merely stating the facts.
Now to the science question:
I do not necessarily support all the conclusions of Humluma et al, but their first three points cited above are valid and interesting and suggest a mechanism.
Humluma points 4 and 5 above are more controversial and may or may not be correct. However, the source of increasing atmospheric CO2 is scientifically interesting but I suggest materially irrelevant to the global warming debate, because the only discernible signal in the data is that CO2 LAGS temperature at all measured time scales.
So I did not respond to your point as you requested above, because I suggest that it is materially irrelevant.
A decade ago, when I last studied this matter in detail, I found that atmospheric CO2 does NOT track human fossil fuel emissions all that well. As I recall, I concluded that society has had periods of economic stagnation when fossil fuel consumption flat-lined, and atmospheric CO2 just kept increasing.
I also wonder if deforestation is as or more significant than fossil fuel combustion – I recall that Murry Salby pointed out some satellite data that supported this hypo. .
Also, if CO2 actually did closely track human emissions from combustion of fossil fuels , it is unlikely that the CO2-lags-temperature signal would survive in all the noise, and yet it clearly does.
Repeating, Ferdinand Engelbeen and Richard Courtney have ably discussed your point (the “Mass Balance Argument”) in these pages and elsewhere. I used to participate in these discussions, but now I just do not think the point is significant.
Let’s end this discussion, which has gone badly off-topic.
Personal regards, Allan

March 12, 2014 1:32 am

http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/08/30/important-paper-strongly-suggests-man-made-co2-is-not-the-driver-of-global-warming/#comment-1070493
Hello Willis,
Some references you said were absent are included in my above post from 2012.
– Japanese satellite results and Salby re sources of CO2 from deforestation.
– CO2-lags-temperature by nine months – my 2008 paper.
– Some of the many decade-long exchanges between Richard Courtney and Ferdinand Engelbeen on the Mass Balance Argument are also on this thread.
For example, Richard at
http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/08/30/important-paper-strongly-suggests-man-made-co2-is-not-the-driver-of-global-warming/#comment-1068368
and Ferdinand at
http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/08/30/important-paper-strongly-suggests-man-made-co2-is-not-the-driver-of-global-warming/#comment-1068377
My analysis of atmospheric CO2 vs fossil fuel consumption is unpublished – if I can find it quickly I will email it to you.
Willis, there is no justification for your anger in this discussion. Please try to be calm, for your own sake.
Regards, Allan

March 12, 2014 8:36 pm

Nonsense Willis. I never said you were deliberately doing anything. I just said you misquoted me, which you did, twice.
You are grasping at straws, and your anger, real or feigned, is unjustified.
Read this exchange again in six months and you will feel foolish.
Regards,

March 14, 2014 1:30 am

“Ooops … I forgot the quotes, my bad”

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