Researchers Find Northeast Pacific Surface Warming (1900-2012) Caused By Changes in Atmospheric Circulation, NOT Manmade Forcings

Guest Post by Bob Tisdale

UPDATE:  See the update at the end of the post. One of the authors of the paper has joined us here at WUWT.

# # #

This is a revisit of a paper already discussed in the WUWT post Surprising PNAS paper: CO2 emissions not the cause of U.S. West Coast warming. We’re revisiting it because it relates to the record high global surface temperatures in 2014. There already has been and there continues to be a lot of misinformation about those record highs in the months to come, so this is another post intended to counter that misinformation.

The extraordinary sea surface temperatures of the Northeast Pacific are known to be responsible for the record high global surface temperatures in 2014. (See the post Axel Timmermann and Kevin Trenberth Highlight the Importance of Natural Variability in Global Warming… and the post On The Recent Record-High Global Sea Surface Temperatures – The Wheres and Whys. A well-timed paper reveals that the warming of sea surfaces in that region is governed not by manmade greenhouse gases but by changes in atmospheric circulation.

The paper is Johnstone and Mantua (2014) Atmospheric controls on northeast Pacific temperature variability and change, 1900–2012. In addition to the abstract, the PNAS webpage includes an introductory paragraph titled “Significance”. It reads:

Northeast Pacific coastal warming since 1900 is often ascribed to anthropogenic greenhouse forcing, whereas multidecadal temperature changes are widely interpreted in the framework of the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO), which responds to regional atmospheric dynamics. This study uses several independent data sources to demonstrate that century-long warming around the northeast Pacific margins, like multidecadal variability, can be primarily attributed to changes in atmospheric circulation. It presents a significant reinterpretation of the region’s recent climate change origins, showing that atmospheric conditions have changed substantially over the last century, that these changes are not likely related to historical anthropogenic and natural radiative forcing, and that dynamical mechanisms of interannual and multidecadal temperature variability can also apply to observed century-long trends.

Let me amend the opening sentence: “Northeast Pacific coastal warming since 1900 is often ascribed to anthropogenic greenhouse forcing…” but not any longer.

Let’s also repeat that last sentence (my boldface), because it’s important.

It presents a significant reinterpretation of the region’s recent climate change origins, showing that atmospheric conditions have changed substantially over the last century, that these changes are not likely related to historical anthropogenic and natural radiative forcing, and that dynamical mechanisms of interannual and multidecadal temperature variability can also apply to observed century-long trends.

The abstract of Johnstone and Mantua (2014) is also important because it highlights another climate model failure. They even use the word “fails” (my boldface and caps).

Over the last century, northeast Pacific coastal sea surface temperatures (SSTs) and land-based surface air temperatures (SATs) display multidecadal variations associated with the Pacific Decadal Oscillation, in addition to a warming trend of ∼0.5–1 °C. Using independent records of sea-level pressure (SLP), SST, and SAT, this study investigates northeast (NE) Pacific coupled atmosphere–ocean variability from 1900 to 2012, with emphasis on the coastal areas around North America. We use a linear stochastic time series model to show that the SST evolution around the NE Pacific coast can be explained by a combination of regional atmospheric forcing and ocean persistence, accounting for 63% of nonseasonal monthly SST variance (r = 0.79) and 73% of variance in annual means (r = 0.86). We show that SLP reductions and related atmospheric forcing led to century-long warming around the NE Pacific margins, with the strongest trends observed from 1910–1920 to 1940. NE Pacific circulation changes are estimated to account for more than 80% of the 1900–2012 linear warming in coastal NE Pacific SST and US Pacific northwest (Washington, Oregon, and northern California) SAT. An ensemble of climate model simulations run under the same historical radiative forcings FAILS to reproduce the observed regional circulation trends. These results suggest that natural internally generated changes in atmospheric circulation were the primary cause of coastal NE Pacific warming from 1900 to 2012 and demonstrate more generally that regional mechanisms of interannual and multidecadal temperature variability can also extend to century time scales.

I enjoy studies that point out climate model failings.

Johnstone and Mantua also provided sea surface temperature data as part of their Supplementary Information.

Bottom line: From 1900 to 2012, there is no evidence that manmade greenhouse gases had any influence on the sea surface temperatures of the Northeast Pacific.

Now, because of a prolonged weather event in the Northeast Pacific, which was strong enough to be reflected in sea surface temperatures globally, the chicken littles of our world are doing what they do best…whining about problems that exist only in their illogical, not-too-fertile imaginations.

POSTSCRIPT

I suspect that someone is bound to say something to the effect of: well this is only a small part of the global oceans.

For nearly six years, we’ve been illustrating, animating and describing how data indicate coupled ocean-atmosphere processes are responsible for the rise in ocean heat content since the mid-1950s and the warming of sea surfaces during the satellite-era. If this is still news to you, see the introductory discussion in the free illustrated essay “The Manmade Global Warming Challenge” (42MB) and the blog post Answer to the Question Posed at Climate Etc.: By What Mechanism Does an El Niño Contribute to Global Warming?

# # #

UPDATE: Jim Johnstone, one of the authors of the paper, has joined us here on the thread at WUWT and provided a link to his webpage.  There you can find a link to the paper discussed in this post.  Also see his comment here for an update on the recent unusual warming event in the extratropical North Pacific. Thank you, Jim.

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70 thoughts on “Researchers Find Northeast Pacific Surface Warming (1900-2012) Caused By Changes in Atmospheric Circulation, NOT Manmade Forcings

  1. So just to be sure I’ve got this right; because “extraordinary sea surface temperatures of the Northeast Pacific are known to be responsible for the record high global surface temperatures in 2014”, 2014 is therefore disqualified from being the warmest year (so far) on record, and the earth isn’t really warming?

    • Village Idiot: So just to be sure I’ve got this right; because “extraordinary sea surface temperatures of the Northeast Pacific are known to be responsible for the record high global surface temperatures in 2014″, 2014 is therefore disqualified from being the warmest year (so far) on record, and the earth isn’t really warming?

      The mechanisms of energy transport in ocean and atmosphere and from one to the other are too complex and too little known for anyone to say with much confidence whether this was or was not the result of increased CO2. The idea that a steady increase in CO2 will produce a warming of the Earth surface that is uniform in space and time is clearly naive and inaccurate. However, the authors and Bob Tisdale do highlight a mechanism that might be totally independent of CO2. It is worth remembering and worth more consideration in the future, along with other such mechanisms.

      • When a new record is set for a given set of data, that means that the deviation from the average exceeds any previously known deviation. As such, there a high probability that the new record is outside of the 2-sigma band. For that reason it doesn’t make much sense to attribute a new record to “natural variability”

      • Bob,
        That prominent budding Gulf of Alaska “geyser” in the making, happens to be strategically located in a location walled in to the north and to the east by some very high mountains.

        To the extent that such a warmed ocean region could lead to abnormal surface evaporation, you then have to wonder what all that extra atmospheric moisture is going to do.

        Maybe it leads to some advancing of Alaskan and BC glaciers, or other weird events.

        In any case having a warm pool lodged in that corner seems to be asking for something untoward to happen as a result.

      • As such, there a high probability that the new record is outside of the 2-sigma band. For that reason it doesn’t make much sense to attribute a new record to “natural variability”
        =================
        that only applies when your sample is large enough to establish the average and variance. for example:

        If you go down to the beach and watch the waves for 1 hour, you will see a wave of say 3 feet maximum. From this you establish the average and variance. Does this mean that if we watch the waves for a year and see a wave of 9 feet that this cannot be due to “natural variability”?

        The problem is that all sorts of wrong assumptions are inherent in the 2-sigma calculation. The main one being that 95% = 100%. The assumption that if something has only a 5% probability, that there is zero chance it will happen naturally.

  2. Great post Bob.
    That big rise in sea-surface temperatures from 1900 to around 1940 looks mighty suspicious to me, there must have been big changes happening in the technology used and probably also in the sampling. Could it just be an artifact of the merging of datasets with mismatched calibrations, rather like the sudden rise in ocean temperatures when the Argo buoys were deployed?

    • MikeUK, The upsurge in the sea surface temperatures (globally) from the early 1900s to the 1940s has actually been suppressed. The ICOADS data are the source data for the others:

      That graph is from the post here:
      https://bobtisdale.wordpress.com/2013/05/14/multidecadal-variations-and-sea-surface-temperature-reconstructions/

      I haven’t checked to see whether those corrections carried over to the North Pacific region being discussed, but anyone can check it through the KNMI Climate Explorer.

      Additionally, ARGO buoys were deployed primarily in the early-to-mid 2000s. And they are used for subsurface temperature and salinity measurements.

      In the past, when I’ve presented the following maps from the NOAA (Reynolds) Optimum Interpolated (OI.v2) sea surface temperature webpages, I had (mistakenly) noted that the drifting buoys may have been ARGO floats (I likely used more definite language at times).

      Source of maps is here:
      http://www.emc.ncep.noaa.gov/research/cmb/sst_analysis/

      It turns out they’re not. Sorry for my mistake. They’re part of the Global Drifter Program (GDP), which has been around since the late 1980s. See NOAA’s webpages here:
      http://www.aoml.noaa.gov/phod/dac/dacdata.php

      I discovered that recently while researching and writing my new book.

      • If increasing CO2 emissions lead to am increase of DWLWIR which increased amounts of DWLWIR are effectively absorbed by the oceans thereby heating the oceans, one has to ask why does the global SST anomaly show the SST anomaly trend as essentially flat between 1950 and 1978, and again essentially flat as from about 2000 onwards?

        According to IPCC data, CO2 emissions only became a significant driver as from the late 1940s and yet as soon as it is claimed to be a driver, there is a >25 year period with essentially flat SST anomalies!

        Now CO2 is at elevated level, and yet as from about 2000 onwards, again the SST anomaly trend is fairly flat.

        This is inconsitent with CO2 being a significant driver, and insconsistent with rising levels of atmospheric CO2 increases DWLWIR which then gets absorbed by the oceans and heats the oceans. The SST anomaly trend looks to be driven by some other process, and presently the prime canditade for that it is natural driver, not a manmade driver.

      • richard verney: This is inconsitent with CO2 being a significant driver, and insconsistent with rising levels of atmospheric CO2 increases DWLWIR which then gets absorbed by the oceans and heats the oceans.

        That is what I have called the “naive” (or “common sense”) view of DWLWIR effects. Even with uniform input on uniform flat surfaces, high dimensional nonlinear dissipative systems display non-uniform responses. Examples can be found in “Modern Thermodynamics” by Kondepudi and Prigogine, the last 2 chapters. There is no reason to believe that a system as complex as the Earth climate system will display a response that is uniform in space and time to a gradually increasing concentration of CO2.

      • I find it odd that people who posit that “downward LWIR” heats the oceans, have not apparently done some simple 4H club level calculations of the possible extent of that “Ocean Warming”.

        You can start from the assumption that the spectrum of that down welling LWIR radiation, approximates a 10.1 micron wavelength peaked spectrum (on a wavelength, not frequency scale). It can’t be more that 390 W/m^2 assuming the Temperature is the supposed global mean of 288 K.
        One can then note, that 99% of such radiation will be absorbed in the top 50 microns of the sea surface which is highly IR Opaque. And 37% of that will be absorbed in less than the top 10 microns, and I am being very generous. A point by point integration, will show that 50 microns is extremely generous.

        That thin layer of ocean surface is going to heat above the bulk of the surface water, and the top few molecular layers thickness will be evaporating the higher KE tail leading to a lowered surface few molecules thick Temperature.

        Remember that the emission Temperature of that 390 W/m^2 near BB radiation is about 15 deg C, 59 deg F. So just how much Temperature rise can that 50 micron layer see from the total absorption of that 390 W/m^2, less the evaporative latent heat returned to the atmosphere.
        Anybody willing to bet that 50 micron layer heats up by 10 deg. C ??

        Certainly not me; but just for laughs, let us assume it does.

        If the top 50 microns transmitted half of that heat energy down to the next 50 microns, we would have that amount of heat in twice the amount of water, so the Average Temperature rise would be more like 5 deg. C, for 100 microns of water.
        By the time that heat is conveyed to the top one silly mm of the top of the ocean, the average Temperature rise will now be no more than one deg. C, and the bottom of that mm, would be a good deal lower than that.
        Moving on to the top 10 mm of the ocean surface for watching the downward LWIR energy get stored in the ocean, we now fine the Temperature down one cm from the surface is now no more that 0.1 deg C, even if the top 50 microns had heated as much as 10 deg C.

        Do a little back of the envelope scratching, and you can see that this notion that the LWIR heats the ocean is just plain silly.

        You jump into that heated ocean, and your toes are going to be one micro degree C hotter than they used to be, before all that LWIR came crashing down into the ocean.

        You have to compare this conductive transport of surface heat to the depths, with the opposing convective flotation of the ever less dense upper warmer waters, to see that trying to feed “heat” (noun) from the surface to the depths, is like trying to push a coal train with a piece of rope.

        Remember that Konrad warned you that this tune does not play. You cannot heat the ocean with radiation that does not penetrate unmolested to great depths, BEFORE it is finally absorbed, and converted into stored “heat” energy in the depths.

      • george e. smith: I find it odd that people who posit that “downward LWIR” heats the oceans, have not apparently done some simple 4H club level calculations of the possible extent of that “Ocean Warming”. etc

        Do you have a really good reference for that? Not that I don’t believe you, but a good reference would be helpful.

      • There is no reason to believe that a system as complex as the Earth climate system will display a response that is uniform in space and time to a gradually increasing concentration of CO2.
        =================
        in that case, then natural variability would also be much higher than would be expected otherwise.

        For example, you turn the steering wheel on your car to the right. since the car need not respond uniformly, it doesn’t turn right. It continues to go straight, or it goes left. Similarly, if one holds the wheel still, the car need not go straight. It might go left or right.

        Thus, one cannot say that the steering wheel is causing the car to go left of right. Instead, it is the natural variability of the car itself. The steering wheel might have some effect, but it is unpredictable.

        This then explains the rise in temperatures from 1910 to 1940, which cannot be due to CO2. And the very similar rise in temps from 1970 to 2000, which according to Occam’s Razor are much more likely to be from the same mechanism than different mechanisms.

        CO2 might have a role, but the role is unpredictable due to the lack of uniform response.

      • “””””…..george e. smith: I find it odd that people who posit that “downward LWIR” heats the oceans, have not apparently done some simple 4H club level calculations of the possible extent of that “Ocean Warming”. etc

        Do you have a really good reference for that? Not that I don’t believe you, but a good reference would be helpful……”””””

        Yes I do. Just look immediately above your most recent post.

        If I knew of a back of the envelope calculation that I trust better than I trust my own back of the envelope calculations, I would certainly cite it.

        But these days, scientists are not taught how to do “back of the envelope” calculations.

        I started with just a stick to scratch in the sand on a remote desert island, since I didn’t have any envelopes.

        The problem is trivial in the extreme.

        You have a very specific radiation source; the downward LWIR flux.

        You have the certainty that virtually 100% of that RADIANT EM ENERGY is going to be absorbed in NO MORE THAN 50 microns of ocean surface water, where it will be 100% converted to “HEAT” energy (noun).

        That heat energy will raise the temperature of that 50 microns of water. Whatever Temperature gradient is established will then result in conductive transport to lower layers, which are cooler, and the Temperature will drop as the total amount of water to be heated is increased.

        Long before the amount of water reaches any significant thickness, the Downward Temperature gradient, will be so low as to lose out to the upward convective flow of the water, and that energy can never get beyond a few cm deep.
        Re-radiation (BB like) from the surface water and evaporation with latent heat, will establish a thermal equilibrium, that involves on the top few cm of ocean water.

        Specific heat of water is a great cooling influence.

        Why on earth would you believe any reference I might cite

        If I can’t work it out for myself, I might consider looking for someone else who can; but why should I do it without a taxpayer funded grant to pay me for my trouble.

    • MikeUK, I ascribe the temperature changes we see to solar activity in this way:

      From 1910-1913, the low point in the ICOADS data, the sunspot numbers were

      SIDC: 5.7, 3.6, and 1.4; average of 3.6
      rGSN: 8.3, 4.1, and 1.7; average of 4.7

      Those are very low numbers for three years in a row. No wonder it got cold.

      From 1868-1935, the SIDC SSN averaged 40.2 (prelim rev GSN of 42.8), and from 1936-2003, the SIDC SSN was 76.0 (and rGSN was 73.5).

      That’s an 89% higher SIDC SSN (and a 72% higher rGSN) for 68 years, defining the solar Modern Maximum, than for the previous 68 years (going back to 1868 from 1935).

      There’s the source of “global warming”, ultimately.

      Notice the major uptick in ICOADS temperature anomaly starting in 1936, responding to the beginning of higher solar activity starting that year. 1936 is the inflection point.

      I have found that changes in sunlight energy via variable solar activity control the ocean temps.

      From there I stay out of the way as Bob Tisdale regularly describes the ever-varying changes in ocean heat content and SST distributed over time and place.

      What it all means is there are times when solar activity is insufficient for the oceans to accumulate heat and maintain the SST, the SSTs and OHC will decline (on average), and during most of the rest of time, when solar activity is going up, the sun is driving SSTs and OHC upward.

      Case in point, this year in November, SSTs are said to be near “record” levels. Solar activity this year has been higher than the previous years going back to 2003.

      Presently sunspot numbers are on the increase. Yesterday solar F10.7cm flux was 185, expected to stay near there for several more days as we head into the winter solstice. Considering that the SC24 average flux is 103 sfu/day, solar activity is relatively high now. That will continue to impact US weather with warm moist tropical air for weeks.

      I expect more hand-wringing, teeth-knashing, and wailing from crybaby warmists as SSTs stay high in Dec and probably for many months until SC24 activity drops off into the next minimum.

      Sources:
      http://www.sidc.be/silso/datafiles
      ftp://ftp.swpc.noaa.gov/pub/indices/quar_DSD.txt
      http://www.leif.org/research/Preliminary-Revised-GSN-and-B.xls

      • Oops:

        From 1911-1913, the low point in the ICOADS data, the sunspot numbers were

        SIDC: 5.7, 3.6, and 1.4; average of 3.6
        rGSN: 8.3, 4.1, and 1.7; average of 4.7

        In 1910 the SIDC SSN average was 18.5 and the rGSN average was 22.

    • ren,

      The red curve (top right) shows the evolution of sea surface temperature (SST) in the orange ‘Arc’ region bounded by the bold contour in the map (top left), . The blue line (lower right) shows the evolution of regional sea-level pressure (SLP), reflecting the area within the blue bulls-eye in the map (bottom left). SLP changes are inverted, showing a century-long decline, with fluctuations that (oppositely) resemble the SST changes. Our NE Pacific SLP index (SLP1) is also compared with the established North Pacific Index (NPI, in gray) covering areas further west. Both show evidence of century-long SLP decline, though changes are somewhat stronger in the east.

      On time scales from months to multiple decades, low SLP in the NE Pacific corresponds to a tendency for cyclonic (counterclockwise) surface winds that weakens the mean clockwise wind pattern. The reduction in wind speeds reduces evaporative cooling at the ocean surface over the Arc, leading to incremental surface warming. SLP leads SST by ~4 months, and in fact the forcing is so stable and consistent that it’s possible to quite faithfully reproduce the SST record from current and prior SLP alone. All this leads us to conclude that SLP reductions and weaker winds primarily caused the century-long warming trend, just as they cause warming on shorter time scales. Some have questioned the validity of the early SLP data, but we conducted tests that strongly suggest the quality is good and the changes are real.

      • “The study cast doubt on the possibility that the wind changes were themselves caused by rising carbon-dioxide levels, noting that simulations employing the latest climate-change computer models found no such link, and that temperatures rose most sharply when carbon dioxide levels were lower.”

    • ren & Jim,

      Following up on my previous comment, I noticed that in your http://www.pnas.org/content/111/40/14360/F1.large.jpg posted above, the SST1 (B) and SLP (D) also track solar activity. The early minimum at 1913 coincides with four years of low SSNs. The climb up from there to about 1940 coincides with ICOADS anomalies and also the ramp up of solar activity through cycle 17 maximum. The next uptick in SST1 and SLP come from cycle 19, a downturn during lower cycle 23, and then the final increases in both seen during the high cycles 21 & 22, dropping off after the Modern Maximum ends in 2003.

      I also think its possible that all the atmospheric aerosols from WWII may have contributed to the late 1940’s into the early 1950’s decline, something I’ll have to look into now.

      • Correction: “lower cycle 20”.

        Fascinating that NE Pacific SST & SLP change with solar activity.

        I welcome your thoughts on that ren.

  3. The most important is the stable circulation in winter. Polar vortex is blocked by the Bering Strait, because the warm air reaches of Alaska, and the cold from the Arctic to North America.

  4. Hello,

    The full paper can also be found at my personal site:
    http://www.jajstone.com

    There you can see updated results through November showing that current warm conditions have resulted directly from regional pressure and wind anomalies. My co-author Nate Mantua is giving a talk on this work later today at the AGU annual meeting in San Francisco.

    [Thank you for your reply and your comments here. .mod]

    • Thank you, Jim, for your appearance here and the link to the full paper. We appreciate it when the authors of papers being discussed join us here at WUWT.

      Thank you again.

      • Glad to discuss. I will note that this was a regional study, and we did not draw any conclusions about broader temperature changes.

    • Jim

      Have you ever read the works of Hubert Lamb the first director of CRU?

      If not you may find his book ‘Historic storms of the North Sea, British Isles And Northwest Europe’ to be especially interesting. In it he recreates the likely pressure and wind direction back to 1500AD. His CRU colleague John Kington then wrote a most interesting book called ‘Climate and Weather’ in which he analysed the predominant wind directions of a similar area, back to the 12th Century.

      It is very striking how certain decades have certain weather characteristics entirely different to their neighbours and how these are sometimes strung together into much longer periods so, for example, for a century and a half during the MWP Britain had predominantly mild Westerly Winds whilst in the 17th Century the predominant winter wind was from the cold east causing episodic bursts of the LIA

      Therefore your comment here makes perfect sense.

      ‘There you can see updated results through November showing that current warm conditions have resulted directly from regional pressure and wind anomalies.’

      Prolonged weather and wind patterns will have an impact on SST’s as well as the temperatures on land.

      tonyb

      • Yes – I am a big fan of Lamb’s work…very impressive compilation and synthesis of early observations. The next question is, what causes these prolonged weather pattterns…

      • Take a look at the distribution of ozone in September and the magnetic field.


        Let the high wave of cosmic rays GCR about a week earlier. It must be remembered that these waves reach the same surface of the Earth (neutrons measured on the surface). The last two years have been a strong jumping GCR (solar activity).
        http://cosmicrays.oulu.fi/webform/query.cgi?startday=01&startmonth=09&startyear=2014&starttime=00%3A00&endday=01&endmonth=10&endyear=2014&endtime=00%3A00&resolution=Automatic+choice&picture=on
        So was located in the center of the polar vortex in the stratosphere in December 2013.
        Area strongest GCR radiation corresponds to the lowest pressure over the Arctic Circle.

      • Jim

        What causes these prolonged weather patterns?

        Great question. Just secure a couple of million dollars for research and we can work on it for a year or two…

        More seriously, I think we can make an analogy with flooding. More specifically flooding from the sea.

        In our circumstances ( I live on the southern coast of England) there are a number of factors that come into play To cause flooding, of Which the key ones are;

        An exceptionally high tide coinciding with extreme weather caused by low pressure in a certain position arriving at around the peak of that high tide, extended heavy rain with resultant large volumes of river water, a wind coming from Exactly the wrong direction which had been blowing for some time thus creating large waves.

        If ALL those factors are in place there is likely to be flooding of property. If one or more of those factors are missing the flooding will be much reduced or non existent.

        Transfer that over to climate and we need to factor in the position of the jet stream, resultant wind directions, strength of those winds and their frequency, sea temperatures, Currents, atmospheric conditions, blocking highs, sun, clouds etc.

        If ALL those factors come into play at the same time they are likely to cause extremes of weather and in certain circumstances they could become extended. Looking at the LIA for example it is clear it was highly episodic, not one deep freeze for 500 years but periods of several years in a row, or a decade of cold weather or perhaps 15 cold years out of 20. In other words a century such as the 17th century may be characteristically cold but by no means all the years in that century will be cold

        I think cold or warm periods of that length can be explained By the factors I have outlined.

        Ps if you like lamb you will also like the book by Kington I referenced.

        Tonyb

      • Let’s see where he currently is blocked polar vortex. You can see that it is shifted to Europe. Thanks to this arctic air has access to North America
        (jet streams in the stratosphere located north of the Bering Strait).

  5. There’s no problem with my interpretation, rooter. Obviously you haven’t read the posts linked above. Are aware that all–not just some, all–of the warming of global sea surfaces can be explained without greenhouse gases? We’ve been doing that here at WUWT for 6 years. You must be new, rooter. Now go back and whine to Sou at HotWhopper so she can misrepresent what’s been presented in this post and the posts linked to it. The last time I challenged her to write a post that misrepresented what I presented, she did exactly that. She does it so well.

    Have a good day.

    • You tried to explain the warming in the ocean with warming in NE Pacific. Unlucky for you: that area has a lower trend than the rest. So higher trend in the NE Pacific cannot be an “explanation” for the warming elsewhere.

      Who is Sou? Has she explained the warming the way you do?

    • It’s obvious that all SST can be explained by natural causes because that how they were driven before the industrial revolution. If the warmists are saying that nowadays SST are driven by natural causes AND something extra, they have not proved it so far.
      Papers like this just demonstrate how little that ‘something extra’ actually is

    • rooter, you’re repeating yourself, without acknowledging that I’ve already replied to you. Apparently, you have nothing worthwhile to add to this thread.

    • Well, you claim to have explained all SST warming somewhere. A claim is not an explanation. Short version: You can’t explain the warming. And this study won’t help you. Warming in NE Pacific less than elsewhere.

      Too bad.

    • Seems like Tisdale has learned his self-contradictions from Monty Python. A smaller trend i NE Pacific than elsewhere “explains” warmer global SSTtrend
      That is actually funny.

      Another bit from Tisdale’s post is also quite funny: How can NE Pacific warming (which is less than elsewhere) 1900 – 2012 explain record warm SST in 2014?

      Perhaps Python knows?

    • rooter says: “Another bit from Tisdale’s post is also quite funny: How can NE Pacific warming (which is less than elsewhere) 1900 – 2012 explain record warm SST in 2014?”

      I never said it did. I stated in the post:
      [Start]
      For nearly six years, we’ve been illustrating, animating and describing how data indicate coupled ocean-atmosphere processes are responsible for the rise in ocean heat content since the mid-1950s and the warming of sea surfaces during the satellite-era. If this is still news to you, see the introductory discussion in the free illustrated essay “The Manmade Global Warming Challenge” (42MB) and the blog post Answer to the Question Posed at Climate Etc.: By What Mechanism Does an El Niño Contribute to Global Warming?
      [End]
      And, rooter, here again are the two links that paragraph contained:
      https://bobtisdale.files.wordpress.com/2013/01/the-manmade-global-warming-challenge.pdf
      AND:
      https://bobtisdale.wordpress.com/2014/05/13/answer-to-the-question-posed-at-climate-etc-by-what-mechanism-does-an-el-nino-contribute-to-global-warming/

      You’ve exposed the fact that you are incapable of addressing what is presented in that essay and post–and exposed that the discussions in them are beyond your grasp, rooter–because you keep avoiding them.

      You’re wasting your time here, rooter, and wasting everyone else’s. But that’s what trolls do.

      Good-bye, troll.

    • “Another bit from Tisdale’s post is also quite funny: How can NE Pacific warming (which is less than elsewhere) 1900 – 2012 explain record warm SST in 2014?”

      Tidale says: “I never said it did”

      Tisdale don’t know what he has written. Some help:

      “The extraordinary sea surface temperatures of the Northeast Pacific are known to be responsible for the record high global surface temperatures in 2014. ”

      Tisdale would rather forget what he has written?

  6. Bob

    You state:

    “There already has been and there continues to be a lot of misinformation about those record highs in the months to come, so this is another post intended to counter that misinformation.”

    I do not normally bother with language issues, but that statement suggests that there is a present continuing happening of future events. That is logically incionsistent. It should read:

    ‘There already has been and there continues to be a lot of misinformation about those record highs, and this misinformation is likely to continue in the months to come, so this is another post intended to counter that misinformation.’

  7. Reblogged this on Idea Capitalists and commented:
    It appears the debate is not over. For years global warmists, a.k.a. climate change activist and the alphabet soup of the mainstream media have been pointing tot he drought in California as irrefutable evidence man-made CO2 emissions are the primary cause of drought conditions and extreme weather. Now there is science to contradict their claims.

  8. When I first heard of the concept of Man-made global warming, an alternative cause being proposed by some was cyclical changes in ocean and atmospheric currents. It seems that the more things change, the more they stay the same.

  9. Rooter, I was interested in your second map , the 2000-2014 summary of GISS data and intrigued by the fact that at zones around 60N and 60S there has been overall cooling during this period , approx the period of the “pause”.
    Now clearly I am in no way educated in the climate sciences but I wondered whether one could superimpose the average track of the jet stream on that chart to see if there is some correlation with the cooled areas . I appreciate that the jet stream twists and turns almost hourly but there is presumably some track.which it follows most often during the year. The reason I ask is that whenever our BBC weather forecaster talks about warm or cold spells he or she correlates it to the position of the jet stream relative to UK and from your chart it seems that here in the UK we have not benefited much from global warming and I was wondering why Nature has been so ungenerous to us.

  10. Climate is complex, as we all know, and not all regional changes can be attributed to anthropogenic forcings, any more than all heart attacks can be attributed to smoking. However, because heart disease can have multiple causes doesn’t mean that smoking isn’t dangerous, and attribution of temperature rise to naturally occurring events doesn’t mean that AGW isn’t real. Even the authors of the paper, while quite reasonably advocating continued study, seem to think so:

    “Should we be concerned about human-caused global climate change even if it can be outpaced by regional climate factors?

    Of course. Climate at regional and global scales is subject to a combination of natural and human-caused factors. The present study suggests that care should be taken in trying to identify and separate these factors. It may not be safe to assume that regional warming trends over the span of a century are dominated by human causes, nor that global climate models faithfully reproduce the relevant processes. We hope that this study will motivate further research on circulation changes and their role in overall climate change.”

    • Not all regional changes can be attributed to space aliens either. That doesn’t mean space aliens don’t exist.

      • The existence of space aliens haven’t been proven by decades of cross-disciplinary research, nor validated by every major scientific organization on earth. AGW has. I feel so sad that I had to point that out.

  11. Bob, the NE Pacific temp trace (red graph) has actually fallen off to 1940s levels since 1998. Is there anything said about this? These linear graphs are misleading, especially for laypersons who support the CAGW hype. I’ve noted the temperature trend in the arctic to similarly have fallen off at the same time, yet we have a linear trend showing 0.323C/decade when the decline of the past decade is notable.

    ftp://ftp.ssmi.com/msu/graphics/tlt/plots/rss_ts_channel_tlt_northern%20polar_land_and_sea_v03_3.png

    Using this linear game, a continued decline for another decade would reduce the long term linear to a still substantially positive 0.2/decade, even though the curve would have dipped below the linear trace altogether. I would like your type of analysis using length of period of time that the rise is statistically zero for these dropping trends.

  12. Could someone explain to me why the recorded global surface temperatures are a mix of air temperatures above land and water temperatures of the ocean. That’s like mixing top soil temeratures on land with air temperatures 1 1/2 meter above the ocean surface. Obviously , the discrepency between RSS/UAH and HadCRUT4 temperature trends is due to the fact that they measure different physical properties of the earth.

    • There was some discussion of combining MAT ( marine air temperature) with SAT ( surface air temperature) to create a global air temp at 2m.

      Issues, as I recall, are that MAT is not taken at the same height in every ship; MAT is not a min/max measurement. So, folks decided to make an INDEX.

      That’s why when we want to be really accurate we dont speak of global temperature, but rather global temperature INDEX.

  13. Here is what the authors say

    “Does this mean anthropogenic warming is not affecting the West Coast/eastern Pacific Ocean?

    This study shows that atmospheric circulation changes, essentially changes in winds, were the proximate cause for West Coast/NE Pacific temperature changes from 1900 to 2012. If anthropogenic effects were important for NE Pacific / west coast warming from 1900 to 2012, they likely occurred through an indirect circulation pathway that that is not well simulated by current global climate models. The more we understand the regional climate dynamics discussed in this research the better we can understand how they may interact with human-caused climate change, and what the combined effect on the region’s climate may be.

    How do you know that anthropogenic climate change is not creating the trend in declining winds you find responsible for the warming trend?

    Global climate models used to simulate changes from 1850 to 2005 do not generate anything like the observed decline in winds that we identify as the key driver of the observed coastal warming trends.

    Furthermore, the timing of warming and cooling periods in the region do not match the timing of relatively strong and weak trends in greenhouse gas concentrations. Regional climate changes from 1980 to 2012 suggest, for example, that winds strengthened and the coastal ocean cooled while greenhouse gas concentrations rose rapidly. The strongest implied wind reductions and strongest regional warming occurred from ~1910 to 1940, when greenhouse gas increases were relatively modest.

    Does this call into question the veracity of the global climate models if they cannot reproduce such basic influences?

    It raises questions about the ability of global climate models to simulate regional climate changes, which is a known shortcoming of these models. A better understanding of model strengths and weaknesses may guide future research efforts.”

  14. “Same goes for the trend after 2000”

    Rooter, that trend shows warming in the NE Pacific (the yellow, orange, red blob). Hence it does not contradict what Bob is saying.

    • Lower trend than elsewhere. NW Pacific included. That was the “same”. Tisdale tried to make the global SST this year a result of NE Pacific warming. Impossible when NE Pacific warming has been lower than elsewhere.

  15. “This study uses several independent data sources ”

    See, there’s the problem. Using actual data instead of modelling regularly leads to inappropriate results.

  16. Jim Johnstone
    Abstract
    Biogeographical, physiological, and paleoecological evidence suggests that the coast redwood [Sequoia sempervirens (D. Don) Endl.] is closely associated with the presence of summer marine fog along the Pacific coast of California. Here we present a novel record of summer fog frequency in the coast redwood region upon the basis of direct hourly measurements of cloud ceiling heights from 1951 to 2008. Our analysis shows that coastal summer fog frequency is a remarkably integrative measure of United States Pacific coastal climate, with strong statistical connections to the wind-driven upwelling system of the California Current and the broad ocean temperature pattern known as the Pacific Decadal Oscillation. By using a long-term index of daily maximum land temperatures, we infer a 33% reduction in fog frequency since the early 20th century. We present tree physiological data suggesting that coast redwood and other ecosystems along the United States west coast may be increasingly drought stressed under a summer climate of reduced fog frequency and greater evaporative demand.
    http://www.pnas.org/content/107/10/4533.short
    Congratulations.

  17. Naive question probably, directed at Bob. I haven’t followed these posts about Pacific multi-decadal and centennial warming in depth so please excuse any ignorance on my part. Jim was at pains to stress that his paper was regional; I quote: ” I will note that this was a regional study, and we did not draw any conclusions about broader temperature changes.”

    Which is fair enough. Bob points out that the “extraordinary sea surface temperatures of the Northeast Pacific are known to be responsible for the record high global surface temperatures in 2014” and gives two illustrative links which I have visited and looked at briefly, neither of which seem to mention the Atlantic, specifically the North Atlantic. N Atlantic SSTs have been anomalously high throughout 2014 I believe. It is probable, indeed very likely, that this has resulted in the record warmth which we have seen in the UK and Europe for the past 12 months which certain people are already saying is almost certainly due to man made climate change.

    http://www.climatecentral.org/europe-hottest-year-on-record-climate-change#graphics

    Total rot as far as I am concerned, but just how does the North Atlantic fit into this pattern of global warming mediated via NE Pacific SSTs and changes in circulation patterns? Probably not a simple straightforward thing to answer but any links greatly appreciated.

  18. The curious part of the belated admission that multidecadal natural variation, rather than anthropogenic radiative forcing, is driving the currently high SSTs in this region is the posture that the authors, rather than the “denialists,” discovered this in the first place.

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