In The Land of El Nino

Guest Post by Willis Eschenbach

[UPDATE: When reading the comments, you’ll notice a number of nasty untrue personal attacks made on me by three commenters with the screen names “Lady Gaiagaia”, “Gloria Swansong”, and “Sturgishooper”. One of them makes an attack, another jumps in to agree, the third one says the first two are right … that kind of thing. Here’s the funny part … alert work by a moderator has revealed that all three are nothing but sock-puppets for some unknown scumball with an axe to grind. I see this as a testament to the desperation of the person involved, that they are willing to try these despicable ploys in a vain effort to discredit real science. Anyhow, keep that in mind when going through the comments.]

While I was involved in an interesting interchange with David Douglass here, I stumbled across an interesting discovery. Before I get to that, though, I have to give high marks to David and his co-author, Robert Knox, for showing up on WUWT to defend their paper. Most authors don’t have the albondigas to do that, so I definitely tip my hat to them, much appreciated.

The subject of the interchange was the area in the Pacific Ocean called the “Nino3.4 Region”, which goes from 5°N to 5°S and from 170°W to 120°W. It started with a look at the sea surface temperature (SST) in the area. When the Nino3.4 region is running hot, it means that there is an El Nino in progress. Here is that graph:

CERES decomp nino3.4 SSTFigure 1. Sea surface temperature (SST) in the Nino 3.4 region of the Pacific Ocean, decomposed into seasonal and residual components. Top panel shows the observations. Middle panel shows the seasonal component of the observations, that is to say, the average monthly changes in the data. Bottom panel shows the “residuals”, which is what’s left after we subtract the seasonal component from the observations. DATA SOURCE

In the bottom pane of Figure 1, we can see the various El Nino events over the period as clear peaks in the data, including the large El Ninos in 1983 and 1998.

In the process of the discussion I looked at something I’d never examined, which is how much solar radiation the surface actually receives in the Nino3.4 region. This is measured as what is left of the downwelling solar radiation after cloud reflections and atmospheric absorption, minus the amount that is reflected from the surface of the ocean. So we’re measuring how much solar energy is actually absorbed by the ocean surface. The data is from the CERES radiation-measuring satellite.

CERES decomp nino3.4 surfaceFigure 2. Absorbed solar energy in the Nino 3.4 region of the Pacific Ocean, decomposed into seasonal and residual components. Top panel shows the observations. Middle panel shows the seasonal component of the observations, that is to say, the average monthly changes in the data. Bottom panel shows the “residuals”, which is what’s left after we subtract the seasonal component from the observations. DATA SOURCE

I looked at that and said “Wow!” and ran to compare the two. Why? Because I realized I could see the 2003, 2007, and 2010 El Ninos in the absorbed solar data, and it was moving opposite to the surface temperature … which would be very strong observational support for my hypothesis that the tropical ocean temperature regulates the incoming sunlight. It does so inter alia via the following processes:

Warmer Ocean ==> Earlier-forming and More Daily Clouds ==> More Solar Reflection and Absorption ==> Less Available Solar Energy


Cooler Ocean ==> Later-Forming and Fewer Daily Clouds ==> Less Solar Reflection and Absorption ==> More Available Solar Energy

Obviously, this is a self-regulating system. When it is running cool it lets in more energy, and when it is running hot it lets in less energy. This is the heart of the system of emergent climate phenomena that has kept the planet from either frying or freezing into a snowball for millions of years.

In order to compare the two datasets, SST and absorbed solar, I used what is called a “cross-correlation” analysis. This calculates the correlation (a measure of similarity) between the two at a variety of lags. Let me first say what I hoped to find.

First, I hoped to find that there was a strong negative correlation between absorbed energy and sea surface temperature (SST). This would mean that as SST rises, absorbed solar energy goes down, and vice versa. Note that this is the opposite of what we’d expect—normally, as the absorbed solar energy increases the temperature increases.

Next, I hoped to find that there was a very short lag between the temperature and the downwelling solar. Normally, when the sun heats the ocean there’s about a 2-month plus lag between peak insolation and peak temperature, because of the thermal mass of the ocean. But if the temperature is controlling the clouds as my hypothesis states, the lag should be much shorter, one month or less.

Finally, I hoped to find that the cross-correlation analysis would be convincingly shaped, which means a clear peak at zero or short lags, and falling away quickly on both sides of the peak.

With that said, here are the results of the cross-correlation analysis:

ccf absorbed solar and sst nino3.4Figure 3. Cross-correlation analysis, absorbed solar energy and sea surface temperature in the Nino3.4 region. The climatology (monthly averages Jan-Dec) has been removed from both datasets.Positive lag indicates absorbed solar lagging the change in temperature.

I could not have been happier when I saw that result. It is crystal-clear evidence that the sea surface temperature is regulating the incoming sunlight as my hypothesis states.

Of course, I couldn’t leave it at that, I had to look to see how widespread this phenomenon might be. One can use the CERES satellite data for this, but there is a challenge. CERES has no surface temperature dataset … but it does have a surface upwelling radiation dataset, which can be converted using the Stefan-Boltzmann to temperature. How accurate is this CERES estimate of the SST? Very accurate everywhere I’ve tested it … but this gave me another chance to test it. Here is the NOAA sea surface temperature in the Nino3.4 region compared to the CERES estimate of the SST for the same region …

Nino 3.4 ceres and noaa sstFigure 4. The CERES satellite dataset estimated sea surface temperature in the Nino3.4 region (red) compared to the NOAA SST for the same region.

Dang … well done, CERES scientists.

Greatly encouraged by that, I took a look at the relationship between temperature and absorbed solar radiation worldwide. Figure 5 shows that result:

CERES correlation surface temperature and absorbed solarFigure 5. The correlation of surface temperature and the solar radiation absorbed by the surface. The mid-Pacific red rectangle shows the Nino3.4 region. DATA SOURCE

As you can see, over much of the surface of the planet, the absorbed solar energy is positively correlated with temperature, just as we’d expect.

But in the area of the inter-tropical convergence zone north and south of the equator, what’s sometimes called the deep wet topics, the reverse is true. There, the emergent climate phenomena of cumulus clouds, thunderstorms, and squall lines act to regulate the incoming sunlight. And as it turns out, the Nino3.4 zone is not even the area of the strongest negative correlation. The strongest is centered on the equator and the international date line at 180° West (or 180° East).

Finally, let me call attention to the size of the restorative force. During the 2010 El Nino, the absorbed solar in the region dropped by about 40W/m2. This gives us an idea of the strength of this part of the temperature regulation system.

Not much else I can say except that this is very strong support for my hypothesis that the climate is not a simple function of the forcing, but instead is regulated such that it varies only a very small amount (e.g. ± 0.3°C over the entire 20th century).

Regards to all on a lovely late summer’s day,


My Usual Request: If you disagree with someone, please have the courtesy to quote the exact words that you disagree with. That way we can all understand both who you are addressing and exactly what it is that you object to.

Further Reading: Since the original publication in Energy and Environment of my hypothesis that emergent phenomena constrain the global surface temperature to a very narrow range, I’ve written the following posts on the subject:

The Thermostat Hypothesis 2009-06-14

Abstract: The Thermostat Hypothesis is that tropical clouds and thunderstorms actively regulate the temperature of the earth. This keeps the earth at an equilibrium temperature. …

Plankton Cause Hurricanes! Urgent Action Required! 2010-08-15

When people say that we understand the unbelievably complex climate system well enough to project scenarios out a hundred years, I point out that new things are being discovered every week. The latest scientific finding is that plankton cause hurricanes. I know it sounds like a headline in The Onion,…

Which way to the feedback? 2010-12-11

There is an interesting new study by Lauer et al. entitled “The Impact of Global Warming on Marine Boundary Layer Clouds over the Eastern Pacific—A Regional Model Study” [hereinafter Lauer10]. Anthony Watts has discussed some early issues with the paper here. The Lauer10 study has been controversial because it found that…

The Details Are In The Devil 2010-12-13

I love thought experiments. They allow us to understand complex systems that don’t fit into the laboratory. They have been an invaluable tool in the scientific inventory for centuries. Here’s my thought experiment for today. Imagine a room. In a room dirt collects, as you might imagine. In my household…

Further Evidence for my Thunderstorm Thermostat Hypothesis 2011-06-07

For some time now I’ve been wondering what kind of new evidence I could come up with to add support to my Thunderstorm Thermostat hypothesis (q.v.). This is the idea that cumulus clouds and thunderstorms combine to cap the rise of tropical temperatures. In particular, thunderstorms are able to drive…

It’s Not About Feedback 2011-08-14

The current climate paradigm believed by most scientists in the field can be likened to the movement of balls on a pool table. Figure 1. Pool balls on a level table. Response is directly proportional to applied force (double the force, double the distance). There are no “preferred” positions—every position…

A Demonstration of Negative Climate Sensitivity 2012-06-19

Well, after my brief digression to some other topics, I’ve finally been able to get back to the reason that I got the CERES albedo and radiation data in the first place. This was to look at the relationship between the top of atmosphere (TOA) radiation imbalance and the surface…

The Tao of El Nino 2013-01-28

I was wandering through the graphics section of the TAO buoy data this evening. I noted that they have an outstanding animation of the most recent sixty months of tropical sea temperatures and surface heights. Go to their graphics page, click on “Animation”. Then click on “Animate”. When the new…

Here there be Dragons 2013-02-04

I was reflecting tonight about emergent phenomena, and how one thing about emergent phenomena is their unpredictability. I’m in the process of writing up a post on emergent phenomena in climate, so they’ve been on my mind. I got to thinking about something I saw thirty-five years ago, a vision…

Emergent Climate Phenomena 2013-02-07

In a recent post, I described how the El Nino/La Nina alteration operates as a giant pump. Whenever the Pacific Ocean gets too warm across its surface, the Nino/Nina pump kicks in and removes the warm water from the Pacific, pumping it first west and thence poleward. I also wrote…

Slow Drift in Thermoregulated Emergent Systems 2013-02-08

In my last post, “Emergent Climate Phenomena“, I gave a different paradigm for the climate. The current paradigm is that climate is a system in which temperature slavishly follows the changes in inputs. Under my paradigm, on the other hand, natural thermoregulatory systems constrain the temperature to vary within a…

Air Conditioning Nairobi, Refrigerating The Planet 2013-03-11

I’ve mentioned before that a thunderstorm functions as a natural refrigeration system. I’d like to explain in a bit more detail what I mean by that. However, let me start by explaining my credentials as regards my knowledge of refrigeration. The simplest explanation of my refrigeration credentials is that I…

Dehumidifying the Tropics 2013-04-21

I once had the good fortune to fly over an amazing spectacle, where I saw all of the various stages of emergent phenomena involving thunderstorms. It happened on a flight over the Coral Sea from the Solomon Islands, which are near the Equator, south to Brisbane. Brisbane is at 27°…

Decadal Oscillations Of The Pacific Kind 2013-06-08

The recent post here on WUWT about the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO) has a lot of folks claiming that the PDO is useful for predicting the future of the climate … I don’t think so myself, and this post is about why I don’t think the PDO predicts the climate…

Stalking the Rogue Hotspot 2013-08-21

[I’m making this excellent essay a top sticky post for a day or two, I urge sharing it far and wide. New stories will appear below this one. – Anthony] Dr. Kevin Trenberth is a mainstream climate scientist, best known for inadvertently telling the world the truth about the parlous…

The Magnificent Climate Heat Engine 2013-12-21

I’ve been reflecting over the last few days about how the climate system of the earth functions as a giant natural heat engine. A “heat engine”, whether natural or man-made, is a mechanism that converts heat into mechanical energy of some kind. In the case of the climate system, the…

The Thermostatic Throttle 2013-12-28

I have theorized that the reflective nature of the tropical clouds, in particular those of the inter-tropical convergence zone (ITCZ) just above the equator, functions as the “throttle” on the global climate engine. We’re all familiar with what a throttle does, because the gas pedal on your car controls the…

On The Stability and Symmetry Of The Climate System 2014-01-06

The CERES data has its problems, because the three datasets (incoming solar, outgoing longwave, and reflected shortwave) don’t add up to anything near zero. So the keepers of the keys adjusted them to an artificial imbalance of +0.85 W/m2 (warming). Despite that lack of accuracy, however, the CERES data is…

Dust In My Eyes 2014-02-13

I was thinking about “dust devils”, the little whirlwinds of dust that you see on a hot day, and they reminded me that we get dulled by familiarity with the wonders of our planet. Suppose, for example, you that “back in the olden days” your family lived for generations in…

The Power Stroke 2014-02-27

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…

Arctic Albedo Variations 2014-12-17

Anthony has just posted the results from a “Press Session” at the AGU conference. In it the authors make two claims of interest. The first is that there has been a five percent decrease in the summer Arctic albedo since the year 2000: A decline in the region’s albedo –…

Albedic Meanderings 2015-06-03

I’ve been considering the nature of the relationship between the albedo and temperature. I have hypothesized elsewhere that variations in tropical cloud albedo are one of the main mechanisms that maintain the global surface temperature within a fairly narrow range (e.g. within ± 0.3°C during the entire 20th Century). To…

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September 26, 2015 2:25 pm

Willis, How much of that negative correlation is due to upwelling of cold subsurface waters. Increased insolation could increase the trades and upwelling?

Reply to  jim Steele
September 26, 2015 2:29 pm

Here is the trade wind index. As the trade winds weakened since late 2010, sea surface temperatures rose.

Curious George
Reply to  jim Steele
September 26, 2015 4:23 pm

We are discussing complex interacting phenomena, and in a sufficiently complex situation there are always tendencies to act one way and also an opposite way. That said, I find it difficult to explain why heating a top layer of the ocean, making it lighter, would cause an upwelling of a denser cold water.
Great job, Willis, thank you.

Lady Gaiagaia
Reply to  Curious George
September 26, 2015 4:39 pm

This link might help explicate the effects of winds on up- and downwelling waters:

Curious George
Reply to  Curious George
September 26, 2015 5:01 pm

Why do winds conspire with Willis?

Reply to  Curious George
September 26, 2015 5:04 pm

Heating the water increases rising warm warm air and lowers the pressure which in turn increases the trade winds entering the convergence zone. Stronger trade winds push warm water westward, causing the tropical cold tongue due to upwelling.

Lady Gaiagaia
Reply to  Curious George
September 26, 2015 5:07 pm

Because he was a sailor.
Dr. S,
As you say, plus, solar flux also affects air pressure and winds, especially the UV component, which varies much more than TSI, but on Planet Willis, that fact is anathema.

Curious George
Reply to  Curious George
September 26, 2015 5:16 pm

Jim, you are one of my minor gods. But today I can not follow your thoughts. First you write “As the trade winds weakened since late 2010, sea surface temperatures rose”, then you say that heating the water increases the trade winds.

George E. Smith
Reply to  Curious George
September 26, 2015 5:40 pm

Well Willis’s results do not surprise me at all.
I have been posting here at WUWT for some years now, and have many times stated that cloud feedback regulates the earth’s Temperature, and in the process mentioning Wentz et al; “How much more Rain will Global Warming bring.” from their July 13th 2007 SCIENCE paper, as the observational evidence for that regulating feedback.
Come to think of it, I don’t recall even a single comment from anyone, responding either in agreement, or in opposition to that suggestion; although I believe that Dr. Roy Spencer has alluded to cloud feedback in some of his comments on his site.
Of course Wentz et al said nothing about clouds, in their paper which claimed a 7% per degree C rise in surface Temperature for total global evaporation, total global atmospheric water content, and total global precipitation, although the GCMs claim as much as a factor of seven discrepancy in some of that relationship (they under report the total atmospheric water I think. (long time since I re-read the paper). I added the seemingly obvious cloud increase with Temperature, based on the notion that precipitation and clouds sort of go together, in that there is not a lot of precipitation from clear cloudless skies.
Now Steven Wilde, I recall did comment that the location of clouds could also move as one of the factors in global cloud variation.
Now there is one aspect of Willis’s essay that I still wonder about.
I have looked up at clouds from below, and down on clouds from above, and I usually can’t see much of what is above the clouds from below, or what is below the clouds from above; but that is at visible wavelengths.
So I don’t see how you can reliably measure surface insolation at solar spectrum wavelengths by looking down from above. What you may be able to do at LWIR of Microwave wavelengths is another matter.
But I would rather see surface insolation solar measurements from the surface below the clouds, than from above.
But once again, Willis has put some graphical pictures to something which for me is just some casual arm waving. Well I don’t have either the time, or the interest, that Willis does.
For me, negative cloud feedback regulation of earth’s surface is as obvious as the sun rising in the East and setting in the West.
Thanx for the paper Willis.
g >> G

Reply to  Curious George
September 26, 2015 6:11 pm

Curious Gerorge you ask a good question. And I think the best way to answer your paradox is to suggest we must look at the problem locally as well as basin wide.
Bob Tisadale has a nice post on the trade winds.
Due to the earth’s geometry any increase in insolation is felt most intensely at the equator, so that increased insolation will increase the north south temperature gradient and increase the trade winds converging at the equator. The strength of the trade winds is clearly observed to increase upwelling and the strength of the cold tongue that extends from Peru. The paradox you point out asks is why doesnt more cool upwelling cancel out warmer insolation at the local level?
Here you need to add the positive feedback of the Walker Circulation. The stronger trades push more heated water into the western warm pool near Indonesia causing more rising air in the western Pacific, while the stronger upwelling creates cooler waters and higher pressure in the eastern Pacific and this strengthens the Walker Circulation,which amplifies the trade winds and maintains the cool upwelling. The increased east west temperature gradient appears to more than offset the cooling effect on the north west gradient.
One reason climate models do not come to any consensus regards El Nino/ La NInas is due to this paradox. Some modelers think CO2 will warm the eastern Pacific and reduce the Walker Circulation and create more El Nino like conditions. Others model a warmer warm pool and a stronger Walker and less El Ninos. Of note, during the Little Ice Age and associated lower solar irradiance, proxy evidence suggests weaker trades and a more El Nino like pattern of surface temperatures. During the Medieval warm Period with proxy evidence of greater solar irradiance, the ocean proxies suggest stronger trades and more La Nina like conditions.

Reply to  Curious George
September 26, 2015 6:18 pm

Well said.
Might I add that the good evidence for El Niños of the past is yet more evidence supporting the global affect and indeed origin of the Medieval Warm Period and Little Ice Age Cool Period. La Niña frequency, the same. Perhaps paradoxically.

Reply to  Curious George
September 26, 2015 6:24 pm

Curious George,
I think there are also cloud feed backs that are very important drivers of climate. My questions regards upwelling and trade winds is not meant to dismiss cloud feedbacks but to refine our understanding.
I suspect stronger trades that induce more La NIna like conditions also create fewer clouds in the eastern Pacific. Small increases in solar insolation are amplified as the trades remove clouds and increase the solar heating of the oceans. Papers like Rosenthal’s 2014 showing about a one degree C warmer than today of the western warm pool during the Medieval Warm Period can not be explained by the small range of solar irradiance estimates. But if increased insolation increase the trade winds and reduces cloudiness in the eastern Pacific the added watts/m2 then offer a plausible explanation. Due to the Clausius-Clapeyron relation, cooler upwelled waters absorb and store more heat, relative to warner waters because the added heat is more likely to cause evaporation and less likely to be stored in the ocean. Thus La NIna like conditions store more heat than El Nino like conditions with warmer surface temperatures.

Reply to  Curious George
September 26, 2015 6:30 pm

I’m with you, but factor in the effect of large fluctuations in the UV component of TSI, affecting O3, hence air pressure and winds, and of GCR modulation on CCNs, and we’re talking solar amplification on steroids. And more tropical than polar.

G. Karst
September 26, 2015 2:30 pm

I wonder why the system breaks down with the onset of an ice age glaciation. what can interfere with this process, such that the thermostat control is overwhelmed. Process change (forcing) or setpoint movement?? GK

Gary Pearse
Reply to  G. Karst
September 26, 2015 3:39 pm

The control is more limiting on temperature rises. With cooling , the clouds can clear away to let more sun in but once they are gone there is no more ability prevent further cooling if other factors are causing the cooling. The system has shot it’s bolt so to speak?

George E. Smith
Reply to  Gary Pearse
September 26, 2015 5:48 pm

Well you better rethink that because once all the clouds; which currently cover the earth about 60% according to NASA/NOAA, are gone, you wil have a 20-25% increase in the surface insolation from the sun, so you will have the grandmother of all solar forcings.
Peter Humbug did an X-box experiment, where he removed all of the H2O from the atmosphere to demonstrate how ice ball earth would work; and he got all of the water back in about three months. His paper on that was in either SCIENCE or Maybe in Physics Today.
Lack of clouds will not result in a heap of cooling.

George E. Smith
Reply to  Gary Pearse
September 27, 2015 11:42 am

One thing about cloud feedback, that often goes in one ear and out the other, or is seldom mentioned, is that we are NOT talking about last night’s weather conditions, or today’s.
We are talking about climate changes, so that means as regards clouds, a CHANGE either up or down, in GLOBAL cloud cover/density/persistence/geographical location, that that lasts for intervals of time that are climatically significant; such as for 30 years or so.
While the obvious weather effects of changes in clouds can be observed on a minute by minute basis, (from down here anyway) and the net physical effect of that is registered promptly and integrated over time, as to resultant climate effect; the temperature regulating effect only becomes apparent over time.
So if high clouds at night keep the surface warmer, (as the standard text books claim), and even higher clouds keep it even warmer (which I don’t understand at all), that is not the issue. Those same clouds, (if they persist) will block solar energy during daytime.
Well of course it is always daytime on the planet I live on, and on a bit over half of the total spherical surface area. The earth subtends about 18 arc seconds at the sun (85 micro-radians), while the sun subtends about 30 arc minutes at the earth, to which atmospheric refraction adds at least as much extra illuminated surface. If the long term global cloud effect on solar insolation, is to increase the total surface energy received, then one would expect the Temperature to rise, which Wentz says increases atmospheric water, and the converse, if the clouds act to diminish total integrated surface insolation.
What happens at some location over a 24 hour interval seems somewhat irrelevant.
By the way. I’m just putting MY words, to notions which I get from either the direct statements of others, who actually make these observations; or which I INFER from their works. In no way do I claim any original discoveries, relating to any of this. If there was any such discovery, it would only be MY recognition of what I presume others already know.

Reply to  G. Karst
September 26, 2015 6:05 pm

OK, I’ll bite.
First, insolation at high latitudes drops due to orbital and rotational mechanics, such that earth switches into a new stable mode.
Second, this effect is reinforced by changes in oceanic circulation, also from direct or modulated solar effect.
Third, to have an ice age at all, the continents need to be in a particular configuration. This is why there were ice ages in the Ordovician, Carboniferous and Cenozoic, but not in the Mesozoic, when otherwise there should have been, given the 150 million year beat of ice houses.
Earth is homeostatic, but its self regulation serves to maintain the state it is in, IMO. BTW, there appears to be a third state here in the Quaternary, that occurs at least as often as interglacial, which is cold super glacial, and lasts about as long as the warm interglacials.

Reply to  sturgishooper
September 26, 2015 7:31 pm

“there appears to be a third state here in the Quaternary…”
sturgis, could you please you elaborate on that?

Reply to  sturgishooper
September 26, 2015 7:38 pm

The last glacial maximum lasted longer than the Holocene Interglacial has so far.
Some earth scientists, among whom I count myself, are convinced that a prolonged cold interval during and perhaps always at the end of, glacial intervals constitute a third climatic state. The past interglacial and maybe prior ones also appear to have had another one previously.
In this state, the North Atlantic freezes over in winter, much as does the Arctic Ocean in winter now.
Thus the Quaternary has three basic states instead of just two, ie glacial and interglacial. It appears that the super glacial lasts at least as long as the typical interglacial.

Reply to  sturgishooper
September 27, 2015 5:56 am

ALL the glaciation events of the last million years are ten times longer than the very brief Interglacials. This is a key piece of the puzzle of the climate many ‘scientists’ studiously ignore. And statistically speaking, we are near the abrupt end of the present Interglacial which is why they lie about temperature statistics of the past pretending this is the Hottest year Evah when it is far, far from that.
They deny the Minoan, Roman and Medieval Warm Periods now which is criminal.

Reply to  sturgishooper
September 27, 2015 4:12 pm

Thanks sturgis “Thus the Quaternary has three basic states …”
So if I understand you correctly, it’s; glacial, super glacial, then interglacial? Man that CO2 is some powerful Juju. Now I see why they want to impose limits.

Reply to  G. Karst
September 27, 2015 1:20 pm

The system Willis outlines has two bounds.
a) The World is getting so little energy (for whatever reason) that the regulator never starts. It cannot go negative beyond not happening at all (zero).
b) The world is so warm that ‘extra’ regulator makes no difference. It cannot go more positive than being permanent 24/7. Though it would spread North and South so the upper limit would be much harder to define than the lower limit.

September 26, 2015 2:39 pm

Great work Willis. Now surely that’s worth a research grant?

Steve B
Reply to  Tony
September 26, 2015 2:44 pm

Only if he is able to insert the words CO2 and Man made global climate change 🙂

Reply to  Steve B
September 27, 2015 5:57 am

Sadly, that isn’t a joke. The destruction of science is horrible.

Reply to  Steve B
September 27, 2015 1:33 pm

Yes but the title would be followed by “don’t matter” at which point his grant would disappear and they would be working out how to include him on the RICO indictment sheet.
Then again, from what I’ve seen, the ‘Stupid Sun’ crowd would want him in Court first.

September 26, 2015 2:56 pm

I like self-regulating systems. I think that CO2 comes equipped with its own one. If only Global Warmist/Climate Alarmists could be fitted with self-regulating systems, we would all be better off.

September 26, 2015 3:04 pm

So when will the 2015 data be in, so we can see what the current El-Nino is doing?

Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
September 27, 2015 2:11 am

Indeed, but the more important graph is figure 2, and that only goes up to 2014. I presume that 2015 must be another cloudy year in the tropics.

September 26, 2015 3:38 pm

i’ll say that this is not a true el-nino but more of a cold forcing the heat is being pushed or surrounded by cold from a melting lrg Antarctic .. this should collapse coming into the new yr as will the heat off Alaska followed by BAJA CALIFORNIA

Reply to  flea
September 26, 2015 4:42 pm

That’s an interesting comment, given that the official experts are all predicting a big El Nino [my gut feel is that they’re wrong but I have no grounds]. Can you provide more information/evidence?

Lady Gaiagaia
Reply to  flea
September 26, 2015 4:47 pm

IMO, we are having an El Nino, which might not be as big as in the Warmunistas’ wet dreams. Take this with a whole salt mine, since it comes from the organized criminal conspiracy called La Cosa NOAA, but the numbers are relatively uncooked, compared to other climate “data”:

Doug Danhoff
Reply to  flea
September 26, 2015 5:25 pm

What Antarctic melting are you referring too

Reply to  flea
September 26, 2015 5:32 pm

The Antarctic is not melting. Where did you get this idea?
The EAIS, the largest depository of fresh water on the planet by far, is gaining mass.
The comparatively tiny WAIS until recently was slightly losing mass, because of subglacial volcanism. How do these facts add up to “melting”.
Also, please explain record Antarctic sea ice.

Reply to  sturgishooper
September 27, 2015 8:11 am

Melting does not mean shrinking. The ice perimeter is very large now and more ice is exposed to the ocean which is warmer than the ice. It is melting faster but also accumulating faster. This is not a paradox.

Reply to  sturgishooper
September 27, 2015 12:05 pm
Reply to  sturgishooper
September 28, 2015 2:55 pm

it’s known the antarctic responds to el nino events almost immediately.
That’s why the antarctic went from record high in May to a bit below normal now. Once El nino is gone the “melt” is gone too

Roy Spencer
September 26, 2015 3:39 pm

tropical cloudiness tends to organize over warmer waters, as part of the Hadley and Walker circulation systems…it has nothing to do with feedbacks, and even occurs in climate models that have strongly positive cloud feedback:

Lady Gaiagaia
Reply to  Roy Spencer
September 26, 2015 4:21 pm

Regardless of its merits or lack thereof, Willis should have learned long ago from you and others to quit calling this hoary old hypothesis “his”, as if he originated it.

Reply to  Lady Gaiagaia
September 26, 2015 5:27 pm

As many have noted, this is because Willis has never systematically studied the relevant scientific disciplines, such as astronomy, physics, meteorology, oceanography or climatology, nor did he bother to conduct an elementary literature search before claiming his hypothesis as HIS.
This is why the standard form for scientific papers includes a summary of what has already been discovered or at least published. Willis, the great polymathic genius, can’t be bothered to waste his valuable time on such procedures for the little people, ie those who have actually spent their lives in pursuit of a career in science. In one of his two (correct me if wrong) published papers, he fessed up to not wanting to follow this standard procedure. On this blog, he has proceeded as he began, by making claims without first exhaustively reviewing what has already been published.
Non-professional number crunchers can serve a useful purpose, but formulating hypotheses in the absence of basic scientific education is not among them. Amateurs can make contributions, but first they must make the effort to find out what has already been published, so as not to reinvent the wheel (especially those already found to be square), and announce it as a great, earth-shattering discovery, as Willis has done.
It would be rude to speculate as to the psychological motive behind this MO, but then, Willis is a psych major from Sonoma State, a licensed masseuse and an army deserter who avoided Leavenworth on a Section 8.
Little wonder then that so many here are put off by his megalomanical posturing, whatever might be the merits of his statistical analysis. I suppose that even Sonoma State requires pysch majors to take a statistics course.

Curious George
Reply to  Lady Gaiagaia
September 26, 2015 5:30 pm

Please provide a reference to previously published works.

Reply to  Lady Gaiagaia
September 26, 2015 6:29 pm

May I suggest you keep your criticism focused on the science. Right or wrong Willis always offers food for thought. When you add “It would be rude to speculate as to the psychological motive behind this MO, but then, Willis is a psych major from Sonoma State, a licensed masseuse and an army deserter who avoided Leavenworth on a Section 8.”
It appears you have more of a personal vendetta than a scientific disagreement.

Reply to  Lady Gaiagaia
September 26, 2015 6:35 pm

It’s not a personal vendetta, but a revulsion toward Willis’ attitude toward those hoi poloi who dare to question his obiter dicta, even when the questioners obviously know more and are smarter than the puffed up psych major himself.
Respect to whom respect is due. When Willis accords his entirely justified critics the respect to which they are due, instead of attacking them ad hominem, then I’ll let up on him. Those who obviously know a lot more about statistical analysis and basic science than does Willis come in for reaming here from commenters who know even less than does Willis from his fan boys and girls deserve better than they receive here.
IMHO. If you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen.

Gloria Swansong
Reply to  Lady Gaiagaia
September 26, 2015 6:47 pm

Sorry, Dr. Steele, but I have to go with Sturgis on this question.
Almost every post by Willis is challenged by experts whose livelihoods depend on statistical analysis, as his never has. Same goes for the science behind the analysis. He’s a rank amateur, at best, but maybe less so for analysis than science.
Private sector geologists and other professionals who flourish or fail on the basis of their work should be granted pride of place over an amateur like Willis, who has never put his reputation on the line and the money of investors, as has Steve McIntyre, for instance, or Willis’ professional critics here. That he disparages them instead of trying to learn from his betters to me says all I need to know about him.
I’m sorry, but Willis’ analyses just don’t cut it, or wouldn’t in the real world, where he has never competed. Which is a separate issue from his exempting himself from the academic norm of doing a literature search before announcing great new discoveries that have already been shown false decades ago.
To Willis’ credit, however, I will say that he made a useful contribution in finding the offshore buoy data for central CA, and analyzing them adequately, at least to my non-expert satisfaction.

Lady Gaiagaia
Reply to  Lady Gaiagaia
September 26, 2015 7:50 pm

Dr. Steele,
With all due respect, I think that Willis’ critics are focused on the science, in which Willis is sorely lacking.
Experts in statistical analysis, with whom thank God this blog is blessed, have repeatedly shown that Willis is clueless. This is only to be expected, since for the critics getting the analysis right is a matter of livelihood, if not life and death, while for Willis it is only a matter of ego.
But it goes far deeper than that. Willis has shown himself ignorant of even the most elementary principles of the sciences upon which he has anointed himself competent to pontificate. Maybe this wouldn’t matter if others here were as woefully ignorant of these sciences as he, but we’re not.
Willis looks only at data, which can always be manipulated, rather than physical reality. There are well established mechanisms by which solar variations affect the climate of earth, all of which Willis willfully ignores considering. Whether this is because of his lack of education in basic physical science or because of his anti-solar faith, I cannot say. Yet it is a fact.

Reply to  Lady Gaiagaia
September 26, 2015 8:02 pm

Why bother?
Nothing that Willis posts will have any affect on anything.
He’s not a footnote pimple on the posterior of anti-CAGW, which is a totally manipulated construct, which will be a huge embarrassment to science in future decades.

Crispin in Waterloo but really in Yellow Spriings
Reply to  Lady Gaiagaia
September 27, 2015 10:19 am

I was laughing as I read your attack on the ‘worthiness’ of an opinion from Willis. The validity of an idea is not dependent on its genealogy. From your extensive reading, can you remember who said that?
Your argument in essence is that only certain people (the anointed) can generate new or useful or valid ideas. That is priestcraft. You are attempting to gate-keep. Tossing a congratulatory bone you had to do in order to avoid seeming to be presenting the out-of-line argument you do.
I reject your argument. It is contradicted by the finest logicians of the 20th century. Truth does not have a mortar board on top, whereas a great deal of perfidy and misdirection does.
You claim (without reference) that the thunderstorm hypothesis (which he proved to my satisfaction – it is a theory, no longer a hypothesis) was first (shown? proven? claimed?) by someone else. Perhaps you will say ‘someone thought of it’ but hypothesizing is not the same as offering the proofs and supporting arguments Willis put in his peer-reviewed journal article demonstrating that there is a strong cooling effect created by water evaporating from the ocean, the timing of which varies according to the temperatures of the air and water.
I don’t care how many papers someone publishes. Einstein didn’t publish many before he got quite a major observation into the discussion on physics, agreed?
At the end, you have not disproven anything claimed in the article, you have only complained about who wrote it and who might have proposed it earlier. I take it that you agree with his overall thesis and further, agree that the earth is a strongly temperature self-regulating body that cannot ‘overheat’, cannot reach tipping points of temperature, as demonstrated by billions of years of proxy data provided the orbit of the earth does not change significantly.

Reply to  Crispin in Waterloo but really in Yellow Spriings
September 27, 2015 10:23 am

“sturgis” is a sockpuppet with other names, and thus won’t be commenting here anymore.

Lady Gaiagaia
Reply to  Roy Spencer
September 26, 2015 5:36 pm

Some are mentioned in Dr. Spencer’s link, from decades ago.
This old hypothesis is familiar to undergrads in earth and atmospheric sciences. Now it’s considered incomplete, at best, if not, as Dr. S. suggest, just plain wrong.
Dr. S. pointed this out to Willis in an exchange some time ago, which got unnecessarily bitter. Good Christian that he is, Dr. S has let bygones be bygones.

carbon bigfoot
Reply to  Lady Gaiagaia
September 27, 2015 8:16 am

And while I try to respect everyone’s opinions, Willis does raise some interesting points (Tonopah comes to mind ). Being a licensed Professional Chemical Engineer I’ve made an avocation to study the climate “science” while defending the 1st & 2nd Laws of Thermodynamics ( not an easy task ).
I have to ask if anyone remembers Immanuel Velikovsky?
A non-scientist genius that advanced the planet Venus’s polarizing theories, which ultimately were vindicated. Way before Lady G’s time of course!!

Tom in Florida
Reply to  Lady Gaiagaia
September 27, 2015 6:36 pm

On this blog Dr S is usually referring to Dr Leif Svalgaard. Perhaps we should refer Dr Spencer in a different manner to prevent confusion of from whom you are quoting.

Erik Magnuson
Reply to  Roy Spencer
September 26, 2015 5:44 pm

I would guess that the clouds forming over high SST’s would be more likely to form large cumulonimbus than clouds forming over lower SST’s. This then may contribute to Lindzen’s “Iris” effect.
The SST’s (28-30C)that Willis associates with the “governor” (that is a limiting as opposed to regulating governor) are about the same the the NWS says are needed to support tropical cyclone intensification (26C). If my reading of steam tables and math is anywhere near correct, this is the temperature for sea level pressure and 100% RH, the reduction in air density due to an increase in temperature is due more to the increased water vapor fraction than due to simple constant pressure thermal expansion.

Reply to  Erik Magnuson
September 26, 2015 5:56 pm

IMO, sir, you are on the right track.
But, also IMO, there are other significant factors which modify the straight physics of the situation.
But in the end, it all comes down, IMO, to the time integral of insolation, stored in the oceans and released in pulses.

Lady Gaiagaia
Reply to  Roy Spencer
September 26, 2015 7:06 pm

There might well be data sets which Willis has analyzed correctly. I just haven’t seen any.
Thank God that this blog is blessed with so many competent commenters that a few of them can call BS on the laughably lame “analysis” that is typical of the statistical stupe, arithmetic a$$ and mathematical moron Willis.
Which is not to say that he might not have accidentally have been close to right in a few instances of egregious statistical errors by the Team. But in this regard he is so far behind the great Canadians as not even to be a pimple on their posteriors. If they will forgive me the comparison.
But this is AW’s blog and if he wants to sponsor Willis, that is his choice, however detrimental to the “cause” of skepticism.

Reply to  Lady Gaiagaia
September 27, 2015 2:18 am

Lady Gaiagaia – you sound like a climate scientist in drag, with a grant and a stipend to protect…

September 26, 2015 3:50 pm

Willis how much of the warming (HAD 4 since 1850) of about 0.8 c do you attribute to nature and how much to Co2 increases? And how do you calculate 0.3 c of warming over the 20th century.

Lady Gaiagaia
Reply to  Neville
September 26, 2015 4:13 pm

HadCRUT4 is plainly bogus.
In 1995, the estimate was only 0.55 degrees C gain in GASTA since 1860. Even then, the “data” has already been “adjusted” upwards, but not as much as during the past 20 years.
As there has been very little warming since 1995 and wasn’t much from 1850-60, the present cooked book figure of 0.8 is surely wrong.
But in any case, the average per decade is clearly falling, given the idiotically named “pause”.

Lady Gaiagaia
Reply to  Lady Gaiagaia
September 26, 2015 4:18 pm

Abstract of Lean, et al, Geophysical Research Letters, 1995, linked above for GASTA increase estimate:
Reconstruction of solar irradiance since 1610: Implications for climate change
Solar total and ultraviolet (UV) irradiances are reconstructed annually from 1610 to the present. This epoch includes the Maunder Minimum of anomalously low solar activity (circa 1645–1715) and the subsequent increase to the high levels of the present Modern Maximum. In this reconstruction, the Schwabe (11-year) irradiance cycle and a longer term variability component are determined separately, based on contemporary solar and stellar monitoring. The correlation of reconstructed solar irradiance and Northern Hemisphere (NH) surface temperature is 0.86 in the pre-industrial period from 1610 to 1800, implying a predominant solar influence. Extending this correlation to the present suggests that solar forcing may have contributed about half of the observed 0.55°C surface warming since 1860 and one third of the warming since 1970.

Pamela Gray
Reply to  Lady Gaiagaia
September 26, 2015 9:13 pm

Lean no longer considers that paper’s conclusions to be accurate.

Lady Gaiagaia
Reply to  Lady Gaiagaia
September 26, 2015 9:22 pm

But does she no longer consider the amount of warming to be accurate?
It wasn’t her number, but the best estimate then available. It’s just one more evidence for the cooked books of consensus “climate science”.
Even more convincing is to look at what scientists thought was the temperature record in 1975, which led them to worry about impending catastrophic global cooling.

Pamela Gray
Reply to  Lady Gaiagaia
September 27, 2015 8:07 am

Solar records have since been removed of spurious weighting applied in the past by just a few observers (who thought it was the right thing to do at the time). The temperature record is far more difficult to reconstruct due to far more multiple observers, methods, and proxies, not to mention the political arena. While the recent solar record reconstruction, a very transparent process for those of you who mistakenly consider it to be part of the dark side, has provided the research community with a far more accurate and cleaned up record, the temperature record is another thing altogether.
In this temperature record mess, excellent researchers get smeared in public opinion by less than excellent researchers. What is uplifting about the solar record reconstruction effort is that just the opposite happened. Why? Because of the open process. Did they argue, fuss and fight? Very likely. To get it right, sometimes feathers must be ruffled. But the difference boils down to wanting to get IT right versus wanting to BE right.
From what I have read from her pen, Judith Lean struggles with the temperature record I am sure, and has alluded to that here as well as on her own blog. I don’t see or read of her struggling with the excellent and open results of the solar reconstruction team. However, because of that improved reconstruction, her older papers that use previous solar reconstructions are what they are. Educational and well done at the time and will stay in the research literature as all good research must. Improved reconstructions do not make previous papers using older solar reconstructions unworthy of continuing to be in the literature. That’s not how it works. This is how it works: It is up to individual researchers and the reading public, such as you LGG, to be discerning when new research overtakes out-dated research. And I don’t see you LGG as someone who is currently willing to perform at that level of discernment. For your own edification, I give you this advice. Continue at your present level of performance and you will soon be dismissed with prejudice by more readers than just the few who have already publicly done so.

Lady Gaiagaia
September 26, 2015 4:08 pm

Phytoplankton are also an important feedback modulating climate.
Lovelock on the contribution of phytoplankton to CCNs:
The affect of ENSO swings on phytoplankton:
The biggest influence on year-to-year differences in global phytoplankton productivity is the El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) climate pattern. ENSO cycles are significant changes from typical sea surface temperatures, wind patterns, and rainfall in the Pacific Ocean along the equator.
During EL Niño events, phytoplankton productivity in the equatorial Pacific declines dramatically as the easterly trade winds that normally drive upwelling grow still or even reverse direction. The transition between El Niño and its counterpart, La Niña, is sometimes accompanied by a dramatic surge in phytoplankton productivity as upwelling of nutrient-rich deep water is suddenly renewed.
El Niño events influence weather patterns beyond the Pacific; in the eastern Indian Ocean around Indonesia, for example, phytoplankton productivity increases during El Niño. Productivity in the Gulf of Mexico and the western sub-tropical Atlantic has increased during El Niño events in the past decade, probably because increased rainfall and runoff delivered more nutrients than usual.

Reply to  Lady Gaiagaia
September 26, 2015 6:26 pm

The heat and equanimity from equator to pole of Cretaceous and early Cenozoic time has been, IMO convincingly, attributed to biological cloud condensation nuclei. This paper convinced me and I have not since found any reason to doubt its conclusions:
Life has had a gigantic influence on the climate of Earth. Think oxygen, for instance.

Reply to  sturgishooper
September 27, 2015 5:15 am

l fully agree with this.
The lack of temperature contrast between the poles and equator would have greatly weaken the Polar jet and so turn greatly weakened the power of areas of low pressure across much of the globe. Resulting in a decrease in cloud cover

September 26, 2015 4:11 pm

Willis: having followed your musings on this subject for several years, I must commend you on the clarity of your presentations (understandable to those with little or no background in the area), your patient pursuit of evidence for this mechanism and the absence of grandstand claims. Together it sets an example for the way science ought to be done and presented.

Reply to  les
September 26, 2015 4:14 pm

hmmm …presentations!! mod can you fix that? …although the word ‘presetations’ would be a good one for much of what is called “climate studies” [Fixed – mod]

September 26, 2015 4:16 pm

Nice work! I expected good stuff from Willis and this is GOOD stuff.
We cannot yet draw conclusions about the idea but at least we can begin to formulate tests for it.
Climate is complex. Complexity is largely a word signifying that there are many variables and often that the variables react to multiple stimuli.
The more we know, the more more we can discover. I like this idea and think it may lead to progress even if it is not quite right. Few things are, you know.

Peter Miller
September 26, 2015 4:18 pm

A self-regulating temperature system for our planet?
That’s a new heresy for our Climate Inquisition.
Right now, we seem to be heading headlong into a super El Niño. My greatest fear is that the associated spike in global temperature could occur before or during the Paris-ites meeting in November/December. A comforting thought is that the spike in global temperatures in the 1997/98 El Niño occurred during the first few months of 1998.
Assuming history repeats itself, then this time around the spike will occur in February to April next year, too late for any Paris-ite hysteria.

September 26, 2015 4:58 pm

Now the eyelashes movements move the dog…

wayne Job
September 26, 2015 5:12 pm

Good find Willis, I would like to say that you are looking at the feed back mechanism for control of our weather, no doubt. It seems apparent that the TSI from the sun does not vary much, so some other measure of something else must vary to cause MWP and LIA,s. Plus of course the big ice ages.
That it was observed that the sun was spotless during the last LIA should give science some clue.

Lady Gaiagaia
Reply to  wayne Job
September 26, 2015 5:16 pm

Yet “science” remains blind, just as it did when looking at South America and Africa and concluding that continents don’t split and move.
TSI doesn’t vary much, true, but its UV component does, as does its magnetic flux. Mechanisms to amplify these variations have been abundantly demonstrated, but still the Warmunistas and their running dogs like Willis refuse to see.

Reply to  Lady Gaiagaia
September 27, 2015 6:51 am

Lady Gaiagaia
September 26, 2015 at 5:16 pm
TSI doesn’t vary much, true, but its UV component does, as does its magnetic flux. Mechanisms to amplify these variations have been abundantly demonstrated, but still the Warmunistas and their running dogs like Willis refuse to see.
Hello Lady
One problem I have with the ‘Sun is doing “science”‘ is that actually it remains a blind science.
Is a kind of approach that ignores one of the most fundamental steps in science, the experimental science.
I am not a scientist but does not take much for one to know the most basic steps in science, the theoretical science, the experimental science and the reality check step in science.
As far as I can tell, no any experimental science in the climate issue, like climate modeling, does validate the “Sun is doing it”, actually in contrary the GCMs give a clear 0% to the Sun forcing on climate.
Even the efficacy of the last step (reality check) contributing towards the bettering of knowledge and science depends mostly on how good and efficient the implementation of the other two previous steps could have being.
My question to you is, do you know of any experimental science in the climate issue that somehow validates to some degree the “Sun is doing it” theoretical(s)?

September 26, 2015 5:23 pm

Does the comparison in figure 4 of NOAA sourced sea surface temperature with Ceres derived sea surface temperature show any evidence of NOAA manipulation of SST’s ?

September 26, 2015 5:36 pm

How does this compare to the Pacific Thermostat Hypothesis of Mark Cane, which Mann has suggested as a reason why the Medieval Warm Period was not global?

Reply to  MikeN
September 26, 2015 6:21 pm

Every kind of evidence shows his garbage in to be garbage out.
Look no further than the ENSO proxy data discussed in this comment section.
“Consensus” climate science is at best an echo chamber, at worst a criminal conspiracy.

September 26, 2015 6:15 pm

“high marks to David and his co-author, Robert Knox, for showing up on WUWT to defend their paper.”
That sort of thing could give climate science a good name.

September 26, 2015 6:44 pm

Again with the quotes. These are NOT aliens from another planet that no one has never seen nor heard. They are standard tools of the trade.

Gloria Swansong
Reply to  Dinostratus
September 26, 2015 6:48 pm

Willis is alien to standard statistical procedures, IMO.

Reply to  Gloria Swansong
September 27, 2015 6:06 am

Insults are fun except you have to remember, they also are a mirror reflecting back your own face. Never forget this.

Reply to  Dinostratus
September 27, 2015 9:36 am

Eh. I’ve never put cross-correlation in quotes. That part of the mirror must be cracked.

Dr. S. Jeevananda Reddy
September 26, 2015 6:47 pm

Self regulating — During my work in Brazil, to estimate solar radiation and net radiation, as don’t have the data on sunshine hours or cloud cover for the north east Brazil, using the available data — rainfall — I tried to build an equation. I was successful. Rainfall — cloud cover — solar radiation. After estimating the solar radiation and evaporation — this is the main input in to the soil water balance studies — compared with measured data found it gives least error over traditional existing equations.
Annual march of Indian rainfall and temperature showed opposite peaks — in drought years the temperature rising and in flood years the temperature falling.
This is basic science.
Dr. S. Jeevananda Reddy

Gloria Swansong
Reply to  Dr. S. Jeevananda Reddy
September 26, 2015 6:49 pm

The basic science has been willfully ignored.
It’s the sun, stupid.

Dr. S. Jeevananda Reddy
Reply to  Gloria Swansong
September 27, 2015 1:01 am

Before making observations, why don’t you read, what is posted. It seems you are only interested in abusing others and show you are enlightened one!!!
I said : Rainfall – cloud cover — solar radiation; rainfall and temperature and finally I said this is basic science. Yes this is the basic science; as Sun emits energy and this is reduced by cloud cover [if they are present]; and rain comes through clouds and increases the humidity/moisture condition in the atmosphere and thus reduces the radiation reaching the Earth surface while Sunlight passes through it. When rainfall is there automatically the temperature goes down — see thermograph of any rainy day. When the sky is clear the temperature goes up. Generally we talk of average temperature, is an average condition of wet and dry periods. Over this average we say warm or cold.
I don’t know whether you have a knowledge to understand the simple basics.
Dr. S. Jeevananda Reddy

Dr. S. Jeevananda Reddy
Reply to  Gloria Swansong
September 27, 2015 1:45 am

I would like to present few more points see three articles of mine published in the Indian Journal of Radio & Space Physics, Vol. 6, March 1977, pp. 44-50, 51-59 & 60-66. All the three papers were presented the International Symposium on “Near Space Environment” held at National Physical Laboratories, New Delhi on 18-21 February 1975. The first paper was reported as one of the 15 papers of unusual interest by the Committee on Solar Terrestrial Physics [SCOSTEP] of American Academy of Sciences – they published volumes presenting abstract published in national and international Journals on Solar Terrestrial Physics in 1977. The title of my article is “Effect of Solar flares on lower tropospheric temperature & pressure” — The effect of solar flares on pressure is more pronounced compared to that on temperature. The third paper relates “Power spectral analysis of total and net radiation”. – The total and net radiation intensities show sunspot cycle [10.5 years].
Dr. S. Jeevananda Reddy

Reply to  Gloria Swansong
September 27, 2015 6:09 am

Yes, Gloria is simply insulting everyone. But then, this is what the entire Climate Science has devolved into: insults and deception which means we are at a key moment in history when everything will crash into this wall (the wall being obvious to me since the sun has decided this future series of sunspot cycles is going to be weak, not strong) of a definitely colder planet due to lower warmth from our dear, local star.

George E. Smith
Reply to  Gloria Swansong
September 27, 2015 6:55 pm

“””””….. @ Dr SJ Reddy
When rainfall is there automatically the temperature goes down …..””””
While generally agreeing with your points; I see here that you seem to have fallen into the trap that a lot of posters also get caught in.
While your words above are likely to be true, the message is likely mistaken.
Most physicists understand that at higher Temperatures, the atmosphere holds more water in vapor form. Clouds tend to form at higher altitudes, because for a given surface relative humidity the dew point will be met at higher altitudes if the surface Temperatures are higher.
The formation of clouds requires condensation which usually means a lowering of Temperature, in addition to the pesky preference for some substrate to nucleate water droplets.
So it would be more correct to say that when the Temperature goes down there can be rainfall (if there’s enough density of water in those clouds).
Rainfall and other precipitations usually follow a cold front of some sort, it is not the rain which starts the process; although I will agree that when a cold front moves into a warm air mass, and we get rainfall, it is likely that some of that rain will re-evaporate while falling, and in the process reduce the Temperature of the originally resident warmer air.
High clouds at night do not make the surface warmer; it is the much warmer humidity during the day that results in cloud formation once night time cooling sets in, and the hotter it was during the day the high will be the dew point altitude, and thus the clouds, but the Temperature will still fall with the onset of sunset and twilight (actually it starts before sunset.
The hot (moist) daytime conditions cause the clouds; not the other way round.

September 26, 2015 6:58 pm

For Nino3.4 or any other “box” on planet Earth, “correlation is not causation”.
All arguments and disputes, moot.
No need to send out Confederate and Union troops to slaughter and violate herds of cows, crows, geese or men and moose this day.

Another Ian
September 26, 2015 7:20 pm

Have you seen this?
The pattern for this current year from
looks similar to1957-58, which weren’t drought years in this part of Oz

Lady Gaiagaia
Reply to  Another Ian
September 26, 2015 7:23 pm

That was the Geophysical Year, however, and the biggest solar flare year since the Civil War a century earlier. It’s the sun, stupid!

September 26, 2015 9:14 pm

Many things can affect SST’s in Nino data regions. Nino 1+2 is the most excitable and prone to extreme warming, and it captures the “strong” Ninos of 1972, 1982, and 1997 very well.
comment image
1972 and 1997 show extraordinary phase alignment of the proxies.
Whatever the dampening effect of clouds these SST’s manage to heat up impressively.

Lady Gaiagaia
Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
September 26, 2015 9:53 pm

This is so typical of your MO. Not only do you want your betters to do the elementary literature search which you should have done, but you are so ignorant of basic climatology that you don’t know that your jejune “hypothesis” was already been shown false about a quarter century ago.
Roy tried to lead you to the water, but like an obstinate mule, you refuse to drink: Hartmann and Michelsen (1993 J. of Climate) and Lau et al. (1994 Geophys Res. Lett., 21, 1157-1160).
Yet still you have fan boys on this blog who don’t know what a bloviating impostor you so obviously are. For the same reason that you imagine yourself a genius, ie never having studied the science upon which you so impudently imagine yourself competent to comment.

Reply to  Lady Gaiagaia
September 26, 2015 10:13 pm

I looked up the two papers, the first being , and the second is . I also noticed, based on the copy and paste, that you pulled those references from Dr. Spencer’s site at this page . There is also this follow up paper that caps more of the context of the previous ones, it seems .
Now, you’ll notice that the second reference in particular makes it plain that the discussion is about Ramanathan’s cirrus-thermostat hypothesis published in 1991. It is conceptually similar, but not identical to Willis’, as Willis is focused on the thunderclouds and the cooling effect of their dynamics rather than cirrus reflections. As far as I gather, at any rate. Additionally, both the papers you mention focus more on evaporative cooling, with a small look at cloud shortwave/longwave estimates (reflections), but nothing exactly like Willis’ particular branch of analysis.
So, while the vein of intellectual investigation is indeed similar in that its cloud dynamics more or less, it seems to me that Willis comes to a different conclusion using different datasets with a different hypothesis driving different predictions–arriving to a more generally applicable view rather than a narrow banded reductionist approach (as his figure in this post shows). Thus, I must disagree with your view. It may be a nuanced matter, but it is pretty clear to me. Willis’ hypothesis explains the tropical phenomenon as well as the higher latitudes using a different mechanism, which the other papers I linked do not as far as I can see. But, I am not as steeped in it all as he or you seem to be.
Clearly though, this is the very definition of feedback, so Dr. Spencer is incorrect in his claim it has nothing to do with that, which he posted above.

Lady Gaiagaia
Reply to  Lady Gaiagaia
September 26, 2015 10:23 pm

You are welcome to your interpretation, but perhaps you’re not familiar with the extensive discussion between Willis and Dr. Spencer on this topic, nor the contributions of many other actual scientists, as opposed to Willis’ assertions.
It seems to be important to Willis’ sense of self late in life, but to me that’s not enough reason to go along with his pathetic claim of discovery, which no one else who is actually practicing science and familiar with the history of climatology appears ready to do.
But by all means please back the great atuodidact genius Willis if that makes you feel better.
For those of us who have actually studied the relevant disciplines, it is to laugh.

Gloria Swansong
Reply to  Lady Gaiagaia
September 26, 2015 10:56 pm

You say without success, but any disinterested observer would conclude that Dr. Spencer is right and you, as usual, are wrong.
But please, by all means, bask in the glow of the admiration of your fans here, who are even less familiar with science and statistics than you.

Lady Gaiagaia
Reply to  Lady Gaiagaia
September 26, 2015 11:02 pm

Hmmm, whom am I going to trust here, NASA rocket scientist Roy Spencer, or blog poster and home repair guy Willis Eschenbach? Call me crazy, but I’m going with door number one.
I’m not down with appeal to authority, but I am for demonstrated competence over gaff-prone amateurism, at best.

Curious George
Reply to  Lady Gaiagaia
September 27, 2015 8:57 am

Your Excellency Lady Gaiagaia, thank you for a lesson familiar to undergrads in earth and atmospheric sciences:
“Hmmm, whom am I going to trust here, NASA rocket scientist Roy Spencer, or blog poster and home repair guy Willis Eschenbach?”

Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
September 26, 2015 10:29 pm

I think the reason it isn’t a feedback is that it doesn’t operate on the right time or spatial scale. Roy’s post from 2013 had a diagram that I don’t think made this clear enough but the distinction is I think clearer in a diagram I’ve seen Lindzen use (actually, this is from one of his grad student’s dissertations, but I’ve seen him use a very similar diagram, this one is just nicer):
The point of which being that you cannot generalize from the behavior of clouds locally in response to seasonal or other short term sea surface temperature variations to a global climate feedback-or, you can’t, without accounting for certain other factors.

Reply to  Andrew_FL
September 26, 2015 10:30 pm

Dang I guess I can’t place images. Or, I can, but I’m not doing it right.
Anyway, this is the diagram I am talking about.

Reply to  Andrew_FL
September 27, 2015 1:51 am

Paste the URL on a line all by itself with no HTML tags, like this:comment image
At least, that worked last time I tried it. More info in the Test link at the top of this page.

Pamela Gray
September 26, 2015 9:35 pm

Lordy. You can lead a horse to water. We now have direct observation of the change in w/m2 during equatorial La Nina and El Nino cloudy conditions, a change that reaches 40w/m2. Compare the Sun’s TOA change which results in about a 1w/m2 change. Even a first grade student knows that 40 is a lot bigger than 1.

Reply to  Pamela Gray
September 27, 2015 7:25 am

Pamela Gray
September 26, 2015 at 9:35 pm
the Sun’s TOA change
What is “the Sun’s TOA change”?
I do not know what that is or stands for, can you tell me or point me in some direction where I can learn more about it!?

Pamela Gray
Reply to  whiten.
September 27, 2015 10:07 am

It means top of the atmosphere before the spectrum is acted upon by Earth’s atmosphere. Search “Solar irradiance measured at the top of the atmosphere” and you should get lots of reading material. Recently satellites have actually measured this phenomenon from solar maximum to solar minimum.

Reply to  whiten.
September 27, 2015 12:59 pm

Pamela Gray
September 27, 2015 at 10:07 am
Thank you Pamela, I understand clearly now the point you made in the previous comment.

General P. Malaise
September 26, 2015 9:43 pm

thank you Willis, I enjoy your work and writing.
I am saddened to see some detractors mention your lack of credentials. apparently the elitists like the poor will always be with us.

General P. Malaise
Reply to  General P. Malaise
September 26, 2015 9:46 pm

I should like to add that when someone uses credentials/college or university degrees as their argument (usually their only argument) then it is obvious they are not to be taken seriously. They are just snobs.

Lady Gaiagaia
Reply to  General P. Malaise
September 26, 2015 9:55 pm

If that were the sum total, maybe. But in Willis’ case, his demonstrable lack of basic science and statistics reinforces the case.

Reply to  General P. Malaise
September 27, 2015 7:00 am

How is it that lady’s posts dont have the reply facility. Is that an option for those who dont like contrary opinion. To be engaged by someone with an hypothesis is stimulating and personally I couldnt give a damn who said what first.
If Willis by concentrating on tropical rainclouds and their formation as a opposed to cooling by evaporation and cirrus cloud albedo comes up with correlations that are not widely publicised and are from uncontested data sources, then surely that is what a blog site is all about. Pointing out Willis’s colourful side (boy I’d like to meet him) is pointless, spiteful and construed to detract from the fact that you have not come up with a quoted prior hypothesis on the daily formation of rainclouds and for how long they form due to the sst.
To attack Willis personally like this shows a rather hysterical tendancy and entirely misses the point of sites like Anthony’s (IMHO before I get into trouble).

Gloria Swansong
Reply to  General P. Malaise
September 26, 2015 10:10 pm

Whatever others might say, for me the issue is basic competency.
Willis has the statistical capability which I would expect of a BA psych grad. It is simply far too inadequate for the analyses which he presumes to undertake, as commenters here have pointed out. Those critics are from the private sector, where correct statistical analysis means money and often even lives. So I’m going with them, such as “Dinostratus” over Willis, who has never been required to conduct analysis with any such consequences.
Besides which, he has repeatedly shown himself ignorant of the most elementary grasp of the physical basis of the essential atmospheric, oceanic or terrestrial sciences. In this sense, his lack of credentials matters. It’s not snobbery, but lack of basic understanding of climatic processes.
That doesn’t mean that his number crunching is necessarily to be rejected. It just means that his grand hypotheses should be rejected with laughter because they are recycled guesses which have long ago been shown false. He doesn’t know that because he has never studied any of the relevant sciences.
A psych major can no more divine climate than the computer modelers who have so corrupted the field.

Reply to  Gloria Swansong
September 26, 2015 10:18 pm

Willis argues from the data and its analysis. That I can respect. Any other arguments, such as yours about “credentials”, which is a subjective and uninformative measurement, is not an argument from data and thus not respectable in that regard.
You also sound nigh identical in speech and approach as Lady Gaiagaia and sturgishooper, which is kinda tripping me out. So my statement stands for both of them as well.

Lady Gaiagaia
Reply to  Gloria Swansong
September 26, 2015 10:24 pm

You can add a lot of other names on other of Willis’ bloviating blog posts, who are experts, as he is, to say the least, not.

Gloria Swansong
Reply to  Gloria Swansong
September 26, 2015 10:54 pm

And claiming an hypothesis as his own which isn’t, you’re OK with that?
How about when a real expert like Dr. Spencer concludes that it’s not only not original with Willis but long ago shown false?
Will nothing make you question your unquestionable attraction to Willis?

Gloria Swansong
Reply to  Gloria Swansong
September 26, 2015 11:27 pm

Speaking of other names, here is one, who knows what he’s talking about, unlike Willis. These two have had many such exchanges, which always crack me up. From WUWT blog post:
Problems With Analyzing Governed Systems
Willis Eschenbach / August 2, 2015
Willis Eschenbach
August 2, 2015 at 10:25 pm
Gerald, the problem is that the ocean is chaotic in the sense that if you go out into the ocean and drop two floats, one on each side of the boat, most of the time they’ll end up in very, very different locations … not good.
August 3, 2015 at 4:51 pm
Are you sure it’s chaotic and not random? Why/why not? Use math. Thanks.
August 4, 2015 at 8:21 pm
Still waiting for math. Tell us the difference between chaotic and random. Double dog dare you.
Willis Eschenbach
August 4, 2015 at 10:46 pm
Dinostratus August 3, 2015 at 4:51 pm Edit
Are you sure it’s chaotic and not random? Why/why not? Use math. Thanks.
Dinostratus August 4, 2015 at 8:21 pm Edit
Still waiting for math. Tell us the difference between chaotic and random. Double dog dare you.
Thanks for the question, Dinostratus, but I fear that your manner of trying to get your way doesn’t work with me. I don’t respond well to that kind of ragging.
However, your luck is amazing. As it happens I’ve been looking at that very question for a couple of months now. I have the post half written. However, you’ll have to wait, because I plan to finish it on my schedule, not yours.
All the best,
August 5, 2015 at 4:06 pm
‘I don’t respond well to that kind of ragging.”
Or poorly for that matter.
“As it happens I’ve been looking at that very question for a couple of months now. I have the post half written. However, you’ll have to wait, because I plan to finish it on my schedule, not yours.”
It’s a fairly simple answer. It has a lot to do with f(t+tau) but nothing to do with auto correlations….. be warned.
Willis Eschenbach
August 5, 2015 at 7:50 pm
Dinostratus August 5, 2015 at 4:06 pm
“As it happens I’ve been looking at that very question for a couple of months now. I have the post half written. However, you’ll have to wait, because I plan to finish it on my schedule, not yours.”
It’s a fairly simple answer. It has a lot to do with f(t+tau) but nothing to do with auto correlations….. be warned.
So you know the answer? That’s great! Are you going to tell us?
Or are you going to be a prince among men and dance around the subject and play games and withhold your supposed knowledge for personal aggrandizement?
If you know the answer then why on earth are you asking me? If you think the issue is important then stop playing silly buggers and give us the damn answer. If it’s all that important, I’m sure that I’m not the only one that’s interested, so how about you give us your explanation?
August 5, 2015 at 9:02 pm
I’m withholding my supposed knowledge for personal aggrandizement. That and chicks. Never forget the ladies.
Okay, new question….. What’s the difference between linear feedback and nonlinear feedback? The answer doesn’t take more than once sentence.

Reply to  Gloria Swansong
September 27, 2015 1:33 am

Well, I taught statistics to undergrads for years, and while Willis may not have a degree in statistics, his analyses typically are more advanced than that of someone with a Ba in Psych.
Really, if you had any real knowledge of statistics, and had perhaps taught it at a college level, you would be aware of this fact; that you aren’t calls into question all of your assertions.
Now, on to your “name”: why should anyone take anything some poster using an anonymous BS nom de net writes about anything?
Youre no effing Publius; why dont you put your name under your comments, if you are so self assured?
Only a coward would hide behind an anonymous name like “Glloria Swanson”.
Youre a poseur, a despicable coward.

Reply to  Gloria Swansong
September 27, 2015 2:32 am

Hmmm, is it just me, or has Lady Gaiagaia morphed into Gloria Swansong?
Perhaps they are just sisters.

David Norman
Reply to  Gloria Swansong
September 27, 2015 8:33 am

Gloria… I analyzed your commentary with that of LadyGaiaGaia and sturgiscooper with language diplomatics software I’ve been developing for a few years. The narrative and structural style comparison with LadyGaiaGaia was 90% and with sturgiscooper 85% with a +or- 5% error. Not that this little exercise was of any relevant consequence, I was however compelled to do so by the paradox your own and that of the related pseudonymous narratives, presented. That is, whilst calling into question Willis’ academic and financial ‘skin in the game’ you fail to present any indication of your own identity and relevant credentials and personal investment. Of particular narrative note is the observation that you and the related pseudonymous characters have used an “skeptic” statement in conclusion, i.e. “A psych major can no more divine climate than the computer modelers who have so corrupted the field”, to garner credibility for a quite personal attack. And, using reference to Dr. Roy Spencer to justify your narrative is disingenuous and disrespectful.
Sounds a lot like a Hot Whopper to me!

Reply to  Gloria Swansong
September 27, 2015 9:43 am

It just means that his grand hypotheses should be rejected with laughter because they are recycled guesses which have long ago been shown false.

Well, you say that, but I’ve no idea of your credentials. And even if I were wowed and weighed by people with fancy hats and statements of authority written — is cursive! — by other authorities it would hardly matter at this late stage in our pseudonymous game.
Even without any established credibility of your own bonafides to get into parties with real NASA scientists that wear button downs festooned with pin-up girls, you could certainly, minimally, present any minor compendium of references to your hypothesis that the cloud hypothesis that belongs to people other than Eschenbach is laughably in error.
Mind, given that Climatologists don’t understand the basics of Climatology either, I’m not really sure what sort of collegiate bloviating suffices for this.

September 26, 2015 11:12 pm

Dear Anthony, there are a few (way-too-) frequent (anonymous) posters in the comments here who are insulting and add no value to the discussion. I suggest they be placed on moderation as per blog policy. Nobody should be allowed to make such insults anonymously.

Respect is given to those with manners, those without manners that insult others or begin starting flame wars may find their posts deleted.

Reply to  Toto
September 27, 2015 10:56 am

Well, I was offline for about 16 hours, I needed a recharge. The fake posters/sockpuppets have been dealt with.

Lady Gaiagaia
Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
September 26, 2015 11:16 pm

You have no “science”. You have usually but not always ineptly done statistical “analysis”.

Reply to  Lady Gaiagaia
September 27, 2015 1:38 am

Do we really have to wade through these types of comments from people who dont even have the courage or decency to post under their real names?
Like a tag team of transvestite midget wresters “Lady Gaiagaia” and “Gloria Swansong” pollute threads with their unreasoning ad hominem attacks.
[Reply: You are correct. This is getting out of hand. More such ad hominem attacks will be deleted. Please just cocomment on the science, not on the individuals. Thanks. ~mod.]

Peter Miller
Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
September 26, 2015 11:56 pm

The Climate Inquisition takes many forms, it likes to be anonymous, abusive and denigrating. It never does anything useful or objective, as has been clearly shown here. The Climate Inquisition thrives in an atmosphere of fear and ignorance, while trying to silence all those who question its rationale.
The point is that our climate has to have some kind of self-regulating system, which has allowed hundreds of millions of years of evolution to occur to eventually achieve us. In some ways, it is like the stock market, where occasional short lived extremes occur, which are usually quickly corrected.
The comments here of ‘Lady Gaigaia’ and ‘Gloria Swansong’ are tedious, dull and uninformative; I do not know if they are part of the official Climate Inquisition, but they certainly act like it.

Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
September 27, 2015 7:09 am

Willis – they really dont matter do they – My scant knowledge in this field is from my farming qualifications and my brief flirt with military flying and the Royal Navy. My reading and knowledge are greatly enhanced by your writing. Having been at sea for 8 years I can see exactly how the formation of clouds fascinates you – me too.
Please dont rise to the bait, perhaps ignoring the blathering of idiots will eventually have them go back to the intense navel gazing they are so good at!

Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
September 27, 2015 10:21 am

Well said!
I see this a lot on Facebook,where they spend so much time with their funding canard,while they say little or nothing to what the person talks about,whether it is Dr. Spenser,Dr. Ball and many others. I point this out over and over in thread after thread,to show they have no cogent counterpoint to offer.

Crispin in Waterloo but really in Yellow Springs
Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
September 27, 2015 11:05 pm

Willis: “None of these good people can find a single fault with my science”
That is correct. Nothing at all. And no one has shown up with prior art. I came back to the topic and re-read everything coming down the page. Very interesting. I agree with the guess above that it is Hot Whopper who can’t resist showing off, has nothing to contribute and resents people who make her look the fool.
The crafted ‘skeptic’ arguments were obvious from the start. The structure of the presentations (from the three fake names) is similar, the bone tossing and the personal invective that had no point: Hot Whopper traits again. Unmasked by an algorithm. Isn’t the internet wonderful?

September 26, 2015 11:34 pm

The Figure 5 map seems to me to show a thermostat mechanism that is specific to the tropical oceans. And I think this thermostat is not so much a regulator of absolute temperature of the tropical oceans, but the temperature differential between the tropical oceans and something else, such as a level or levels of the tropical atmosphere. If the output of the sun should have a major change, I think the whole world including the tropical oceans will have a temperature change in the same direction, although the tropical oceans may change less. Increase of clouds caused by warming of a particular location seems to me to mean that the trigger is warmth in comparison to someplace else.

Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
September 27, 2015 2:22 am

Everything is “emergent” until proven otherwise, i.e., when it is shown not to be irreducible.

Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
September 27, 2015 3:25 pm

I think the 3 degrees C per 2xCO2 is higher than reality in today’s situation and most times when the world is warmer than it is now, although it may have been realistic at times in the past back when CO2 was a feedback for climate change initiated by something else. Some of the feedbacks seem to vary significantly with temperature. I seem to think 1.25, maybe as high as 1.45 degrees C per 2xCO2 is about right nowadays, and it would decrease as the world gets warmer. The surface albedo feedback would decrease with the decrease of variability of reflection of sunlight by ice and snow as the variable portion decreases in area and retreats towards the poles. I expect the lapse rate feedback to increase its negativity as the world gets warmer. I think the cloud albedo feedback is slightly positive, but less so than expected by IPCC. And the water vapor feedback has to be less than if relative humidity is constant in order for the cloud albedo feedback to be positive.
When the world was a few degrees C cooler than it is today, the net feedback was more positive than it is now, and the ice age glaciations had times of unstable climate. When CO2 was thousands of PPMV, global temperature seems to have been largely capped at 22-23 degrees C.

Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
September 27, 2015 10:03 pm

Willis, if you haven’t yet, I would recommend looking up Geocarb III. That is regarded as the gold standard for estimating free CO2 over the Phanerozoic. There is no work showing any correlation that I have seen of planetary temperature across that span (ca. 600 My) and the planet would have been much warmer despite lower insolation if CO2 were any kind of serious factor in climate except as a fertilizing agent. However, estimated planetary temperatures with the exception of one brief spike as I recall, are consistent – they drop, but never rise above about 25 C (e.g. The lower limit looks to be about 10 C, which is mighty cool for a good piece of the planet. The geological evidence seems to support your concept of a governor system that limits the range of what is called “global climate.”

Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
September 28, 2015 7:30 am

Clarification of the lapse rate feedback changing with temperature: I meant to say it becomes stronger (more negative) when surface albedo decreases (surface is warmed, increasing lapse rate), and when greenhouse gases increase (they warm the surface and cool the tropopause). The reverse happens when surface albedo increases or GHGs decrease.

Reply to  Donald L. Klipstein
September 27, 2015 12:51 pm

I suspect that the “thermostat” mechanism is a regulator (limiter) of absolute temperature as opposed to temperature differential. My reasoning is that the vapor pressure of water follows an approximate exponential around “room temperature”, roughly doubling for every 20F (11C) increase in temperature. Since water vapor is slightly less than 2/3rds the density of air, there will be a point where water vapor will be the dominant driver of convection and this crossover point is when the dew point approaches 30C. For what it is worth, I did a bit of back of the envelope calc’s with steam tables after reading one of Willis’s earlier posts.
For dry areas, temperature differentials would make more sense.
One of the most common complaints about the global circulation models is their inability to do fine scale modeling of clouds. Willis’s observations further support those complaints.

Reply to  erikemagnuson
September 27, 2015 5:34 pm

Dewpoint of tropical air at the surface in tropical cyclones seems to usually be around 24 degrees C in my experience, or typically around 4 degrees C cooler than the water surface. (IIRC conditions in hurricanes bearing down on USA while over water warm enough to sustain them – not many of them lately.) Vigorous convection seems to bring down enough dry air for dewpoint to be a few degrees C cooler than the water surface.
Meanwhile, suppose maritime air with dewpoint of 30 C (and temperature at least a few degrees C higher) is the main feed for a full-blown tropical maritime thunderstorm. For the sake of argument, suppose the temperature of the air is maximum a few or several meters above the surface at 33 C. And the air up from there has temperature and dewpoint corresponding to uplifting of air whose temperature was 33 C and whose dewpoint was 30 C when it was 10 meters above the surface. This results in a cloud base around 375 meters above the surface, with temperature and dewpoint equal to each other at about 29.5 C. And going up from there, the temperature and dewpoint cool at the wet adiabatic lapse rate, which will be significantly lower than the average It seems to me that the wet adiabatic lapse rate from such temperature and dewpoint and pressure of 1000 mb is about 4.75 degrees C per kilometer, and increasing slightly and gradually as the air goes up from there. At 2 km above the cloud base, 2375 meters above the surface, the temperature and dewpoint would be equal to each other and 20 C or slightly less. The wet adiabatic lapse rate is increasing slightly with altitude, and the dewpoint and temperature would be 0 C not much higher than 6 km above sea level, and the pressure would be very close to 500 mb. And this is only about 1/3 of the way to the tropical tropopause. So I think any special effect of dewpoint of 30 degrees C is only going to go a little way.

Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
September 27, 2015 3:59 am

A chaotic system is deterministic, while a random system is probabilistic. It may be impossible without a priori knowledge of the system to separate the two, e.g., are the results from a pseudo random number generator or are the results based upon the decay of Cesium 137 atoms?
The Lyapunov exponent may be used to distinguish random from chaotic behaviors. See What is the Difference Between Random and Chaotic Sequences.

Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
September 27, 2015 5:24 am

Of course, whether the system is random or chaotic can be the result of a mirage. A system may only appear to be chaotic or random until the details of the system are uncovered.
Mistakenly replaced a multiply operator with an addition operator and ended up with a three dimensional equation having six global minimums rather than one. The equation appeared chaotic, with wildly fluctuating exponents and strange manifolds, but of course it was really only continuous. Once the data set was auto-rotated, it was easily solved. Much more useful for testing than what I originally had in mind. Named it mirage.cpp.

September 27, 2015 1:09 am

Gloria Swansong, Lady Gaiagaia, and Sturgishooper are all the same person.
This is prohibited sock puppet behavior, in addition to his/her idiocy and personal vendetta. Thanks to the person upstream who noted identical language. I hadn’t thought to check IP addresses as I’m not very active these days.
Normal recourse is to delete every single comment of his/her’s on the thread, but that may look weird with all the back and forth. I leave it to you to decide what we should do. You can discuss with Anthony if you wish. I will email him a link to this comment.
All subsequent comments of his/hers will be deleted on this thread going forward.

Reply to  Charles Rotter
September 27, 2015 1:40 am

thank you Charles…I had noted the similarities in the two “women’s” comments, as well as the temporal proximity of “their” posts.

Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
September 27, 2015 6:23 pm

Willis, congrats. You’ve spawned sock puppet triplets.
Anthony, I’m surprised that WordPress doesn’t have a filter that prevents one person with multiple names, from one IP address, from talking to him- or herself.
CTM, great catch.

Dave in Canmore
Reply to  Charles Rotter
September 27, 2015 9:18 am

Many thanks CTM! An otherwise interesting thread was being hijacked by a foul-mouthed child. Thanks for enforcing a little civility.

Reply to  Charles Rotter
September 27, 2015 9:34 am

If you Google “”Sturgis Hooper you will mostly find Ellen Sturgis Hooper, 19th century female poet.

Reply to  Charles Rotter
September 27, 2015 10:13 am

Obviously, a person with no life. Pathetic, and also sent to the bit bucket – permanently from now on.

average joe
Reply to  Anthony Watts
September 27, 2015 1:30 pm

Anthony, I suggest when this type thing happens, write it up into a short article to post on the site. It’s great fodder for a story highlighting how far some people will go in attempting to trash someone’s credibility.

Michael Spurrier
Reply to  Anthony Watts
September 28, 2015 3:47 am

…..whatever the reason I don’t think its good to say “a person with no life” or you’ve got personal problems as Willis did among other things – particularly if you are taking the moral high ground.

Reply to  Charles Rotter
September 27, 2015 10:29 am

I would suggest keeping these diatribes and perhaps flagging this thread as a reference exemplar of the extraordinary masquerade of misdirection, corruption, and intellectual dishonesty to which some of the “opposition” are willing to foist on this site, its contributors, and readers.

Reply to  Charles Rotter
September 27, 2015 12:50 pm

Thank you Charles for looking more closely at this individual.
I don’t mind somebody criticising Willis, he can look after himself as well as any.
What the sock puppet has been doing though is ruining (for me) potentially interesting threads. What happens is that I start skipping entire sections where the puppet appears and potentially missing actual interesting and relevant comments.
With Ga-Ga (idem) poisoning the thread I simply skip dozens of potentially interesting comments. Defeating, for me, the the whole point of Willis creating a post.
Just to clarify a little, I don’t much care for “salvatore” either but would never call for him to be banned. He’s a different league of annoying. (I’m thinking ‘Iron Sun’ man (can’t remember his screen name)). He doesn’t have me skipping 2/3rds of the comments (just his comments).

Reply to  3x2
September 27, 2015 2:15 pm

I have to agree 3 x 2 – I was banned from a climate website for daring to question the ‘settled’ science. I hope the ‘three in one’ calms down re-enters his single entity and comes back with comment rather than spitefulness as at the end of the day there is some good comment in amongst the invective and I am sure the mods have better things to do (keep up the good work)

Robin Hewitt
September 27, 2015 1:47 am

The greens used Frankenstein science and Willis is the perfect reply. You can’t blind him with science, show him computer models and he drags you back to the raw data with his own explanation which always fits the facts. He is entertaining and readable, he doesn’t care who you are and nobody out ranks him. Sometimes his attacks may seem excessive, but like Margaret Thatcher sinking the General Belgrano while it was outside her Falklands exclusion zone, never forget, they started it.

George E. Smith
Reply to  Robin Hewitt
September 27, 2015 12:25 pm

Seems to me as I recall, that PM Margaret Thatcher, already had a licence in her pocket, from no greater authority, than the United Nations itself, long before she found it necessary to enforce that matter militarily.
The Argentine submarine, was also outside the Falkland Islands zone; but it was bloody cheeky of them to boldly charge into a sovereign British port on the very morning of ANZAC day. (April 25th) So they got what they deserved.

Reply to  Robin Hewitt
September 27, 2015 12:59 pm

Robin Hewett and George E. Smith,
Correct me if my memory isn’t what it used to be. But the Belgrano was actually well outside of Britian’s Total Exclusion Zone [TEZ] of 200 miles around the Falklands. But word came from Whitehall to sink her anyway. So she was torpedoed. Sank in a few minutes with hudreds of Argentine sailors lost.
How do I recall that, after so many years?
I remember it because of the really memorable headline (I can’t recall the UK newspaper that printed it): BRITANNIA WAIVES THE RULES!
A very clever play on the marching tune, “Britannia Rules The Waves”.
BTW, another useless factoid: the capitan of the Belgrano was Capitan Bonzo. This incident occurred when Reagan was President…

Reply to  dbstealey
September 27, 2015 2:28 pm

as I was in the Navy at the time I think you are being economical with what happened. If you are at war with some one and they sail in to an exclusion zone then they absolutely will be attacked however that doesnt mean that if you are outside the exclusion zone but threatening the military units being deployed then in international waters you will still be attacked. By your understanding had the Belgrano sailed up the English channel and in an international shipping lane (well outside the exclusion zone) we couldnt do anything about it until they actually started shelling Portsmouth or Plymouth – dont be daft.
The Belgrano was quite deliberately trying to split the Bristish Task Force and after the invasion of the Falklands by Argentina disputed or not, was a legitimate target. Britain didnt waive any rules they did what they had to do to save British lives. What was the Belgrano doing there if there was no intent. We most definitely do not rule the waves nor do we think so – even then have you any idea how tiny our Navy was compared to the USA, Russia and China for instance. We dont rule anymore but we still protect our own and I am proud to live in a country with that does.
I am sorry to be off topic but it needed a correction.

Reply to  dbstealey
September 27, 2015 3:42 pm

It may surprise you, but I’m not arguing with anything you wrote. The only quibble wasn’t with you, it was that the Belgrano was outside the TEZ. That’s the reason for the clever newspaper headline at the time.
You say:
We most definitely do not rule the waves nor do we think so
But at one time, you surely did. Remember Trafalgar, Nelson, and the Spanish Armada? Thus, the marching song. ‘Ruling the waves’ is something to be proud of, not something to defend.
You should be proud of your history. Too many Americans are critical of our own country because they’re ignorant of history. Everything has to be seen through a lens of political correctness, and if it doesn’t fit the P.C. narrative, it is to be attacked.
Personally, I was proud of what the UK did in protecting its territory and citizens, and I was proud of both Margaret Thatcher and “Bonzo” Reagan — who was a better President than the current ‘community organizer — doubled and squared. With exponents.
(I should add that the Argentine soldiers, sailors and airmen were used as pawns by the Argentine generals, who were promoting the confiscation of the “Malvinas” in order to distract from their disastrous domestic policies back home. I recall their air force pilots making a very good accounting of themselves with their French Exocet missiles, breaking through air defenses at great personal risk to sink or disable British ships. They were much more brave than the generals who sent them pretty much unprepared into battle.)

Reply to  dbstealey
September 27, 2015 4:12 pm

Thanks for that dbs much relieved my patriotism coming to the fore I’m afraid hence the non sequiters in the response! But you obviously got my drift. I too felt very sorry for the professional and conscript personnel on the Argentinian side – cannon fodder and political distraction. I seem to remember a few years later the captain of the attacking submarine committed suicide because of the loss of life he initiated with his boats attack.

September 27, 2015 2:15 am

The equatorial band in the Nino 3 region shows a positive correlation.

September 27, 2015 3:06 am

Willis –
I’m relatively new to your work but I applaud your attitude and discipline. You don’t always need to be 100% right to make a big contribution, and I’m very disappointed that an interesting discussion should have been hijacked by a lot of personal attacks that have absolutely no place here. Let this stand or fall upon the merits of your post, and that alone.

For many years I’ve discounted the CAGW meme on the grounds that there MUST be feedbacks to control runaway warming, and the establishment case seems to me to concede this, by its evocation of a water vapour multiplier for basic CO2 warming, needed to take AGW into the ‘catastrophic’ zone. Has always seemed to me that if this was the case, then water vapour ought to potentiate its own greenhouse effect, with or without CO2. I’ve never been able to rely on a mechanism, however, and therefore I appreciate your investigations in this area immensely. Many others have postulated cloud effects – which we know to be enormous but whose net effect is disputed -and there may be plenty of prior work, but I do thank you for the way you have set out.

The logical next step to saying that tropical clouds are the feedback controller, however, is to infer that they control ANY warming, including the original CO2 warming. So it is possible that Climate Sensitivity to CO2 doubling is not just small, but somewhere around zero. What is your view of this?
Of course, we do have to consider the fact that CO2 is distributed much more evenly, in latitude and in altitude, than water vapour, and that means we’d have to consider effects well outside the tropics. So we might need to explore what the models say about it.. Do you have comments on this?

Reply to  mothcatcher
September 27, 2015 9:32 am

September 27, 2015 at 3:06 am
Hello mothcatcher.
I am replying to you simply because your comment seems to be a well enough reasonable argument on the issue, even when I personally may disagree with some of your conclusions and approaches to the Willis hypothesis.
Let me tell you first that I truly do appreciate any Willis’s Posts and articles I have read at WUWT, as I have learned too in any of such occasions, or at least so I think.
Second, I hope Willis does read my reply to you and hopefully understands that any critique I may have towards his hypothesis is simply in the direction of allowing me to have more chances in furthering my knowledge and that in no any way means to offend or upset.
From my point of view his hypothesis clearly goes in the direction of debunking the Solar forcing as of any significance in climate change…..that is how and why so many here are upset about it and getting to the point of provoking and offending Willis,,,,,,,,,,always provided that I have clearly understood Willis hypothesis,,,,,,, an if statement here.
But one thing, (maybe because I do not understand well the overall connection in this hypothesis), is that when there is a tendency and a kind of harmony of self regulating in the mechanism described in the hypothesis still in the overall outcome that mechanism propagates a positive feedback, or an accumulation of energy, warming, with a possibility of a runway warming in nature, towards “frying”,……the opposite of what it actually claims in the first place .
According to the mechanism described the TOA energy imbalance will be always tending to be positive, especially if considered in the long term.
While it may be considered in a very short term as efficient enough in self regulating, in the long term that is not the case.
In the long term, moving between less and more available energy does not necessary mean cooling, but may very well be considered as moving towards a runaway warming……..
The very thing, the very problem that Albedo, the Sun and the Mil.Cycles face when TOA energy imbalance considered to go in a positive imbalance. None of the above including also the Willis mechanism described in this hypothesis can turn TOA imbalance from positive to negative.
TOA imbalance going positive for any reason needs that at some point TOA energy imbalance should turn negative, otherwise in only matter of time the climate goes towards a runway warming with no any prospect of a glacial period to ever happen again.
With only a CS ~0.7C, after 4 interglacial optimums there is no chance of any glacial periods after that, according to the scientific projections and assessment of climate and climate change.
But even with a hypothetical CS=0C, as you suggest, still the mechanism described by Willis here will lead to an ever accumulation of energy in the system and towards a runaway warming at some point.
Now when it comes to the question of the models, one thing clear is that RF, CO2 concentration variation has an impact and changes TOA energy imbalance, either for positive or negative.
No any thing else in GCMs as far as I can tell can cause a negative TOA energy imbalance, that is why Albedo, the Sun and Mil. Cycles get a 0% as forcing in climate and climate change.
This hypothesis of Willis has a lot of value and merit. It shows how robust and balanced the natural systems can be and are generally, and how such systems can self regulate and balance out in the prospect of energy circulation and energy budget, especially in short term.
And that helps a lot, I think, in the better understanding and knowledge about climate, but the only think I disagree is with the conclusion about the forcing that such a mechanism as described can have in climate and climate change.
For once it depends in the SST variation,,,,,,, and the SST for the tropics is quasi constant with no any significant change in the climate term, medium to long term. The tropics are the climate power house so to speak.
If this mechanism works as described than the only thing sure is that we should abandon the stubborn approach that the Sun is and must have a considerable forcing in climate and climate change.
Because the conclusion is simple, either the Sun or this natural internal mechanism could be working as described, not both.
Looking forward for any correction towards my understanding in this particular point.

September 27, 2015 3:26 am

Lady Gaiagaia aka Sturgishooper aka Gloria Swansong is a climate skeptic and an amateur student of philosophy from Arizona, probably Phoenix. She pretends to be female to extract feminine sympathy, but writes, fights and brags like a man. He-she may well be active in academia, which is why he-she hides behind multiple avatars.
He-she is also quite shy and inadequate, one of life’s losers, which is why he-she has to over compensate by needless aggression when hiding behind his-her avatar. If met in real life, he-she would be the cowering shadow at the back of the room, unable to interact socially or converse in person. A sad figure of fun, seething with resentment.

Reply to  ralfellis
September 27, 2015 7:11 am

Absolutely. It was increasingly obvious that the posters were a multi-personality disorder individual who should see a doctor.

Don Perry
Reply to  ralfellis
September 27, 2015 7:28 am

I have noted that this 3-in-1 personality, who claims to be a scientific academic repeatedly misuses the words “affect” and “effect”. When I see this, I am inclined to immediately disregard any further comments on science from that poster. As these words are two of the most commonly used words in scientific discourse and publications, anyone who doesn’t know the difference is of questionable scientific competence.

Pamela Gray
Reply to  Don Perry
September 27, 2015 8:34 am

Then color me even less than a one-hit wonder. I have spent more cogitation energy on those two words than any other two words in the &%#*)^ dictionary. I wait hoping that our fluid, supple, and every changing English language will come up with replacements before I am too old to type. Which is coming on fast.

George E. Smith
Reply to  Don Perry
September 27, 2015 12:38 pm

Seems like one is a verb and the other is a noun. But what do I know, I think my last English grammar lesson was at about age 10. After that education in “English” was just reading literature; and literally 100% of that ” literature ” was fiction.
But then, Americans don’t discriminate between ” license ” (verb) and ” licence ” (noun).
In America, ” I’ll be with you momentarily ” means, ” I will be with you IN a moment. ”
Elsewhere it means ” I will be with you FOR a moment. ”
Why not say ” soon ” instead of momentarily (in America) ??

Reply to  Don Perry
September 28, 2015 6:27 am

who doesn’t know the difference is of questionable scientific competence.

Count me in then. A dictionary tells there is a difference between to effect and to affect. It is just that I mix cause and effect, because instead of saying ‘new policies have effected major changes in government’ I’d say ‘new policies have caused major changes in government’.
I find this whole thing embarrassing. But I’ve learned you can’t learn the use of these words by language users, because many of them will make the mistake and just lead you wrong.

Richard Barraclough
Reply to  Don Perry
September 28, 2015 7:23 am

In South Africa, they would say “I’ll be with you just now” – very confusing for those UK-educated English speakers who think “just now” refers to the recent past – not the near future.
If “just now” is perceived as being not soon enough, then a measure of urgency can be implied by saying “now now”

September 27, 2015 3:41 am

“Here is the NOAA sea surface temperature in the Nino3.4 region compared to the CERES estimate of the SST for the same region …”
Wait I thought NOAA were fraudulantly altering data…

Peter Miller
Reply to  Steven Mosher
September 27, 2015 5:14 am

That really is a sad comment. This is the year of Paris; it was blatantly obvious there was going to be yet another set of GISS temperature manipulations to cool the past and warm the present.
And, of course, that is exactly what happened – Obama needed the ‘proof’ for his legacy and GISS was there to do its duty. Even the great Mann might have been embarrassed to use such obvious opportunism.

Reply to  Steven Mosher
September 27, 2015 7:10 am

Apparently not in that one small region of ocean; maybe since it is so important for other analyses (e.g. El Nino/La nina); that says nothing of the broader global dataset they present however. I’d love to see the CERES dataset be used to map out the global temperatures, and see how that compares to the other datasets. Probably not very easy though, and highly computationally intensive with all those radiation to temp conversions.

Reply to  Steven Mosher
September 27, 2015 2:01 pm

How about you start by distinguishing between Willis and some anonymous ‘handle’ that you remotely recollect from some unspecified thread on some unspecified site some unspecified time ago.
Seriously, this “‘sceptics’ say…” makes you sound no different than some idiot child in mom’s basement.
Who is this mythical ‘sceptic’ that believes xyz? Point them out to us all.
Sometimes you have something interesting and valid to contribute and sometimes you babble on about some mythical ‘sceptic’ that nobody recognises. Please tell me that somebody has been hi-jacking your account on every other weekday.

September 27, 2015 3:44 am

” It’s just endless ankle-biting about my credentials and abilities, as if that made any difference. It’s simple.
Either my claims are valid or they are not. Nothing else matters. Not my age. Not my race. Not my sex. Not my education. Not my abilities. Not my tone or my style. The only valid scientific question is whether my claims are valid or not. Period.”
agreed 100%

Reply to  Steven Mosher
September 27, 2015 5:50 am

So…i suppose the use of multiple sock puppet identities to endlessly trash Willis’ work irritates you as well?
Was there anything of merit included in the barrage of comments that one sock puppetteer dumped on this thread?
You probably know that the father of modern analysis of variance who published under the pseudonym “Student” was a brew master for guiness?
a true amateur…
Callender was a steam engineer. (on the other hand, so was Patchuri, so theres that)
And there are countless examples of foolishness published in “peer reviewed” journal;s from the likes of peaople who hold PhDs like Oreskes, or Lewandowsky…
Even guys who majored in English, and had a career in marketing, can make substantial contributions, not the least of which can be helping a ton of people learn R.
Thats not too shabby of an accomplishment; I remind myself of this whenever your “pissyness” gets annoying.
If I haven’t thanked you recently, let me thank you again now…
Your website, although now not updated for some time, was quite helpful; you were generous in mind and spirit to put that much effort into it.
Thanks Mosh.

Don Perry
Reply to  davideisenstadt
September 27, 2015 7:32 am

And then there was a Swiss patent clerk ……..

Alan Robertson
Reply to  Steven Mosher
September 27, 2015 7:07 am

Sure Mosh, you would say that. We’ve seen your pic!

September 27, 2015 3:46 am

“davideisenstadt September 27, 2015 at 1:33 am
Well, I taught statistics to undergrads for years, and while Willis may not have a degree in statistics, his analyses typically are more advanced than that of someone with a Ba in Psych.”

Reply to  Steven Mosher
September 27, 2015 5:41 am

But true…a Ba in Psych typically requires but two classes in statistics, descriptive statistics and a cursory class in analysis of variance…techniques that Willis “uses” like fourier transforms, and the like, typically aren’t covered by people getting BAs.
Of course,If you had taught statistics, you would know this…in fact if you got a degree in a social science you would know this, in fact Mosh, if you were anything other than an English major, you would know this.
Its really not any kind of secret.
You have, however, mastered equivocation, which, I suppose is appropriate for a student of english….

September 27, 2015 3:57 am

Willis – Thanks for a very interesting article complete with data and logic (and therefore falsifiable). Thanks for responding factually and coolly to your fact-free three-named critic. Two queries :
(1) Your observations are I think of the tropics only. Obviously that is likely to have effect globally, but are you able to establish the global connection? [in a later comment, you say ” … what I’ll call the thunderstorm thermostat hypothesis for short. This is my hypothesis that the global temperature is closely regulated to a narrow range … “].
(2) You show a stunning correlation between CERES and SST. Is it possible that the CERES data is used in the calculation of SST? IOW that the correlation is to be expected?

Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
September 27, 2015 2:32 pm

Willis – Thanks. Now, re the global cloud effect, is there any possibility that you could develop your theory into a peer-reviewed paper showing that cloud feedback is negative? One of the most important flaws in the CAGW case is that the “cloud feedback” guesswork has the wrong sign. [And of course “peer-reviewed”, no matter how suspect, in their world trumps observation and logic.].
I and others (see other comments) think that the extraordinary reaction to your post indicates that you have hit an important weak spot. Now you can drive home the advantage if you can add “peer-reviewed”, ie. get around the gate-keepers.

Samuel C. Cogar
September 27, 2015 6:15 am

@ Willis Eschenbach

Because I realized I could see the 2003, 2007, and 2010 El Ninos in the absorbed solar data, and it was moving opposite to the surface temperature … which would be very strong observational support for my hypothesis that the tropical ocean temperature regulates the incoming sunlight.

Your observation of the data you presented seems reasonable to me.
Of course I am slightly biased to agree with your observational results of the data simply because your data appears to also provide strong observational support for my hypothesis that the tropical and/or Southern Hemisphere ocean temperatures play a major role in regulating both the quantity and the bi-yearly cycling (ingassing/outgassing) of atmospheric CO2, as per the following data implies, to wit:
—-– mth – CO2 ppm — ytd increse
1997 _ 5 _ 366.69 …. +1.53
1998 _ 5 _ 369.49 …. +2.80 El Niño
1999 _ 4 _ 370.96 …. +1.47
2000 _ 4 _ 371.82 …. +0.86
2001 _ 5 _ 373.82 …. +2.00
2002 _ 5 _ 375.65 …. +1.83
2003 _ 5 _ 378.50 …. +2.85
2004 _ 5 _ 380.63 …. +2.13
2005 _ 5 _ 382.47 …. +1.84
2006 _ 5 _ 384.98 …. +2.51
2007 _ 5 _ 386.58 …. +1.60
2008 _ 5 _ 388.50 …. +1.92
2009 _ 5 _ 390.19 …. +1.65
2010 _ 5 _ 393.04 …. +2.85
2011 _ 5 _ 394.21 …. +1.17
2012 _ 5 _ 396.78 …. +2.58
2013 _ 5 _ 399.76 …. +2.98
Data excerpted from:

September 27, 2015 6:39 am

The formation of clouds is also the mechanism which allows the ENSO to temporarily warm or cool other parts of the planet.
Willis has shown the large increase in convection storms over the Nino 4 region and the International Dateline area during an El Niño reduces the amount of solar radiation reaching the surface,…
… But the large increase in tropical convection clouds also reduce the outgoing long wave radiation from all that warm water. The clouds actually hold the heat in.
It takes time for the cloud systems to build up in terms of strength and it takes time for the atmosphere to slowly warm up as less OLR is getting out and then it takes even more time for the prevailing weather systems shift that extra warmth north, south and west. This is why there is a lag with respect to the ENSO and its impact of the world’s weather.
So there is reduced solar radiation but there is also reduced OLR and these numbers are essentially the biggest variability of any area on the planet. It can be +/- 50 watts/m2 which makes the ENSO the biggest weather phenomenon on the planet.

Reply to  Bill Illis
September 27, 2015 7:24 am

Bill, from what I understand this is a daily effect – during the day clouds build and reflect sunlight as the heat of the day dies off so do the clouds and therefore there is little reflective effect at night. Over warmer water th e length of time that cloud forms in to rainclouds is extended, increasing albedo but not significantly inceasing reflection of long wave radiation.

Bill Illis
Reply to  Bill Illis
September 27, 2015 8:06 am

mwh, the cloud formation is not daily when it comes to the ENSO-impacted regions. These clouds are almost continuous over a 24 hour period. Obviously, there is some build-up and decay throughout the day but it is more general than daily.
This is the last 30 days OLR anomaly map from the NOAA. The International Dateline area and the Intertropical Convergence Zones are the most important for the ENSO. International Dateline area is -35 W/m2 and it has been close to this high of a negative value for the past 6 months. Yes, since March, 2015.
Notice Indonesia and Australia which are now high positive OLR values as the clouds and rain do not reach this region anymore during an El Nino. This is also a feature of an El Nino.

Reply to  Bill Illis
September 27, 2015 2:36 pm

I stand corrected – thank you Bill

Reply to  Bill Illis
September 27, 2015 2:48 pm

My head was referring back to Willis’s post earlier in the year where I thought he was alluding to daily fluctuations changing enough to make a marked difference. The evidence above I assumed is the smoothed data over a month. To my mind this shows very clearly the reduced OLR in the regions 4 right through 3 but doesnt explain the mechanics of the increase even if increased cloud is the reason for it.
I liked the tropical storm formation becoming longer during the day, it sort of made a lot of sense to me. Hey ho perhaps its back to the drawing board for me then

Reply to  Bill Illis
September 27, 2015 2:52 pm

… But the large increase in tropical convection clouds also reduce the outgoing long wave radiation from all that warm water. The clouds actually hold the heat in.“. It may look symmetrical (a cloud blocks incoming and outgoing equally), but there is an asymmetry : the incoming solar has a substantial SW component, whereas when the clouds hold in the heat they do it with IR only. Do SW and IR heat the ocean equally efficiently?

September 27, 2015 7:08 am

Willis, I see the old maxim here being applied to you — “No good deed goes unpunished”.

September 27, 2015 7:39 am

comment image
The covergence zone receives more energy from solar absorbed outside the zone and transported into the zone as latent heat than from solar absorbed inside the covergence zone.

Billy Liar
Reply to  lgl
September 27, 2015 10:28 am

If you click the bottom right hand icon on the page your image was displayed it will give you a link which you can copy which will work in your post:comment image

Billy Liar
Reply to  Billy Liar
September 27, 2015 10:29 am

Darn! it doesn’t work!

Reply to  Billy Liar
September 27, 2015 12:25 pm

Thanks. To get some W/m2 into it, this is quite good,

Billy Liar
Reply to  lgl
September 27, 2015 10:34 am

Just click on the image and copy the address of the resulting page:comment image

Claude Harvey
September 27, 2015 8:05 am

I enjoy watching Willis thrash about in a cabbage patch that has been carefully tended for decades by trained cabbage professionals. Occasionally, he hauls out a watermelon and says, “Look what I found! A watermelon in the cabbage patch!”. Some of the professionals respond, “Oh, we found that years ago. If you’d bothered to read our reports, you’d know that.” Then you read those reports and find reference to “a giant cabbage”….but it isn’t a giant cabbage…it’s a watermelon!

Reply to  Claude Harvey
September 27, 2015 9:51 am

Yes! Best analysis of the debate here today!

Reply to  Claude Harvey
September 27, 2015 10:58 am

That’s what I’m getting out of the naysayer posts too–but you have stated the case with an exquisite analogy LOL!

bit chilly
Reply to  Claude Harvey
September 28, 2015 1:31 am

brilliant analogy.

G. Karst
September 27, 2015 8:54 am

This interesting post has been thoroughly sullied and reduced to a juvenile level. Professional pride and conceit have spoiled interest. As far as “sock puppetry” goes, my only question is: WHY?? What reward is expected from such tactics to self justify using cheats. I hope some explanation will be proffered other than rampaging egotism. Some serious self examination is required, by more than a few. Another reason to discourage anonymous comment, especially when they consist of purely ad hominem. One should use their real names for the privilege of insulting or attacking other persons.
Sad, as these are intelligent and thoughtful people, whose ideas and comments I very much want to read – Including the ill-advised sock puppets. Just be honest in commenting and everything else can be forgiven. /rant off. GK

Pamela Gray
Reply to  G. Karst
September 27, 2015 9:03 am

I have done the back and forth dance with the apparent owner of the sock puppets. I find it much like cleaning out the horse barn. Smelly. Dirty. Tedious. But must be done.

Reply to  Pamela Gray
September 27, 2015 2:12 pm

And tomorrow you start all over again

Pamela Gray
September 27, 2015 9:27 am

Now that we are back to our regularly scheduled programming, here is the best damn set of powerpoints I have ever seen that provides a great fat-free, reduced sodium (aka sans solar and CO2 debates) menu of educational opportunities on the background physics necessary to engage in intelligent conversation. Delightful in every way and well worth taking time to digest it.

Reply to  Pamela Gray
September 27, 2015 9:54 am

Here at this fine website in the past we have had the discussion about the North and South Poles switching from warm phase to cold phase with each taking a roughly 25-30 year cycle to do this. The entire premise for ‘global warming’ is that CO2 alone causes this to stop and everything to heat up forever and ever which is impossible since even with a thousand times more CO2 this never happened.
This hijacking of basic science and the history of our planet is purely for power and financial gain and fears that the peasants of the planet (you and me and all of us) are going to consume the previous oils and coals and etc. the very rich want to hog for themselves.

G. Karst
Reply to  Pamela Gray
September 27, 2015 10:01 am

That IS an interesting and comprehensive page. I look forward to reading and digesting it over the next few days. Harvest demands may make that a little difficult but will give me something to think about during long tractor communion induced Zen. Thank-you GK

Pamela Gray
Reply to  G. Karst
September 27, 2015 10:10 am

Nothing better than to field harrow. Love it love it. And the harrow also does a great job of snagging errant barbed wire and wood planks so that I could have a field free of debris.

Pamela Gray
Reply to  G. Karst
September 27, 2015 5:35 pm

Old chain harrow. Came in sections. You can drag two connected to make a long one, or side by side to make a wide one.

Reply to  Pamela Gray
September 27, 2015 12:34 pm

Very good, thanks.
Air moves horizontally across the ocean surface to replace the unstable rising equatorial air, bringing water
vapor evaporated from the subtropical regions, where evaporation exceeds precipitation. Once in the tropics, the air rises, condenses, and releases latent heat, which was derived from the subtropics. The tropics therefore accumulate excess energy, to be released in this restricted area of rising air and instability. The ocean warms, forming a warm pool.”

Reply to  Pamela Gray
September 27, 2015 4:56 pm

Agreed. Thanks for posting this reference. Who is(are) the author(s), are the other chapters available, and what is the title of the book?

Pamela Gray
Reply to  robert_g
September 27, 2015 6:29 pm

The professor:
Don’t know the author of the material. Maybe him?

Pamela Gray
Reply to  Pamela Gray
September 27, 2015 6:46 pm

I emailed the professor thanking him for such a great set of powerpoints. It would be of great value to discover that he is the author of the book/powerpoint he is using. A book well worth the price I would think.

Reply to  Pamela Gray
September 27, 2015 9:47 pm

Thank you for your response and for your efforts in reaching out to the author. I agree, again, and look forward to seeing more.

Pamela Gray
Reply to  Pamela Gray
September 28, 2015 7:25 pm

I emailed Dr. Waylen and received a gracious response the next day. Please credit the following for the powerpoints:
Introductory Physical Geography text, “Exploring Physical Geography”, by Reynolds, Rohli, Johnson, Waylen and Francek (2014).
He also recommended the sister book: “Exploring Geology”. So I am off to search for these books because they sound like a must have for my nerdy library.

Pamela Gray
Reply to  Pamela Gray
September 29, 2015 5:26 am

The book these powerpoints come from is published by McGraw Hill. Please use them for your personal instruction only. I am going to buy the book. From its description at Amazon, these are not the only pages worth reading about physical geography. I love having this kind of work in my library, which is already filled with textbooks on many different subjects. Great reads. This one is written in a unique style that asks questions of the reader. Way cool.

Reply to  Pamela Gray
September 29, 2015 5:43 pm

Sadly, the Florida article has been taken off the server. Is thereany other way to access this information?

Pamela Gray
Reply to  Thomas Port
September 30, 2015 8:27 am

Yes. Look up the thread a bit for my link to two books (expensive paperbacks but I think worth the price). You will find the powerpoint pages in “Exploring Physical Geography”:

Pamela Gray
Reply to  Pamela Gray
September 30, 2015 8:20 am

While the author I have conversed with, Dr. Waylen, leans towards anthropogenic drivers, I have found him to be a gracious and humble published researcher apparently at ease with those that lean towards natural drivers (he has collaborated with both sides). Who knows, he may show up here to take a look at our musings, fights, and insights.

Peter Waylen
Reply to  Pamela Gray
September 30, 2015 12:28 pm

Thanks for the very positive feedback on the figures. They were first drafts for a text several of us prepared for McGraw-Hill. Once you stumbled upon them, I had to remove the, but if anyone wants to learn more try tracking down a copy of “Exploring Physical Geography” by Reynolds, Rohli, Johnson, Waylen and Francek. The first 7 chapters will be of particular interest to readers of this blog. Pamela got to see some of the figures used in chapter 6 on Atmosphere-Ocean interactions.

Pamela Gray
Reply to  Peter Waylen
September 30, 2015 8:40 pm

I am getting a copy for our school district (it’s a small district) so that teachers will have a solid background in order to teach required science standards in the area of weather and climate as well as other areas of geography that are in the standards.

September 27, 2015 10:07 am

Gloria Swansong
Lady Gaiagaia
What is happening here is much more pernicious than that. All three of the above posters are bona-fide skeptical posters. Sturgishooper for example regularly posts will knowledgeable geological-palaeontological information which soundly refutes anti-science CAGW propaganda which, like 6day creationism, rejects geology.
No – what has happened here is a very sophisticated hack, quite likely with US government assistance. The names of these genuine skeptical posters have been hijacked by extreme ecofasc1sts, smearing the names of those posters in the process.
“Gloria Swansong”
“Lady Gaiagaia”
Tell your fuehrer John Holdren to go fist himself.

Pamela Gray
Reply to  Phlogiston
September 27, 2015 10:11 am

Disgusting reply. Should be removed.

Reply to  Pamela Gray
September 27, 2015 10:52 am

Probably, but both Willis and I have replied to it. The best way to combat these things is to show everyone else how ridiculous such comments are.

Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
September 27, 2015 5:03 pm

the answer is simple: if one isn comfortable putting one’s name on a comment, it shouldn’t be posted.that all.
Names…thats all.
Sturgis Hopper?
Gloria Swansong?
some idiot who chooses “lady gaiagaia” as its nom de net?
No, its simple.
put your name on it.
those people are lower that whale excsretia at low tide.

Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
September 28, 2015 10:15 am

Sturgis Hooper is a “chair” in the Geology Department at Harvard that was endowed by one Samuel Hooper, and thus there have been a number of “Sturgis Hooper professors of Geology” in the Hooper School of Mining at Harvard.

Reply to  Phlogiston
September 27, 2015 10:51 am

For the record, based on the internal data and logs I have access to, the claim by “phlogiston” is not just untrue, but wildly and irrationally so.

Reply to  Phlogiston
September 27, 2015 10:52 am

If their accounts have been hacked, they can reach out to Anthony and try to set the record straight. I do think that Willis, in the update at the top of his posting, misconstrues the motivation of who[(m)ever is behind these attacks on Willis when he alludes to “climate alarmists.” Without going back to find it, at some point in one of these posts I got the distinct impression that the beef with Willis is over not giving the sun credit for dominating climate, or some such. So yes, may “skeptic,” but one who is so ideological on the other side that they would resort to such inappropriate conduct and behavior. We do not need their kind.